May is For Women and Mother'sMay 01, 2022 07:45PM ● By Daralyn Chase
May is when we celebrate Mother's Day. So as a gift to all our readers—even if you’re not a mom, you know and love one—we’ve devoted our entire May issue to women’s health.
Mothers have a unique place in the animal kingdom. They’re life givers and then life sustainers, providing us nourishment and protecting us until we’re able to fend for ourselves. In humans, those last two roles often last far longer than biologically necessary. Most adults have no fiercer advocate than their mom, and many of us grew up with the tradition of being fed (sometimes to bursting) by our grandmothers. Women are wired to give, for obvious reasons, and even when giving doesn’t take the maternal form, the instinct is often to tend to others’ needs before their own. While that’s a noble instinct—imagine living in a world of “givers”—it can also leave women depleted in times of prolonged stress. The last two years are testament to that.
Then again, try advising a woman who’s juggling kids and work and perhaps aging parents that she just needs to set aside time for “self-care.” If she could take a week to lie on the beach and read, she probably would. So this edition of Natural Awakenings offers actionable advice for busy women, plus words of encouragement. A few little things can make a big difference when you’re trying to stay healthy and make it through the day.
Tops in the actionable advice department is “Staying Hydrated,” page 44, which explains why we need hydration—and why some of us, especially women, require more of it than others—and lists simple habits we can all adopt to get the water our body needs. Good news: coffee can be hydrating too, in moderation. And don’t miss “Intermittent Fasting Basics,” page 36, which explains the nuts and bolts of this popular but not-so-new approach to eating. (Fasting traditions have been around forever.) Intermittent fasting doesn’t deprive the body of food—no calories to count! Rather, it gives the body respite from being in a state of constant digestion. That means limiting eating to certain window of time each day. Washington, D.C., nurse practitioner Cynthia Thurlow, who’s written a book on intermittent fasting, tells us that 90 percent of Americans are “metabolically unhealthy.” She says fasting is a way to set things right, helping us achieve a healthy weight and balanced hormones. We also offer tips for fending off fibroids naturally (page 30).
And then there are the words of encouragement. Often there’s no greater psychological boost than simply hearing from someone who’s shared your struggle and made it through to the other side. In our feature story, “Resilient Mothering,” page 26, we talk to women for whom the last two years have been both exhausting and illuminating, and who’ve used lessons from the pandemic to reorder their priorities and rethink the way they navigate life.
A local twist on that theme is Kimberly Hood, M.D., who opened her Destin medical practice in January 2020, quickly adjusted to offer telehealth, and realized that it made way too much sense to be a temporary model of care. You can read about her on page 18. We’re also pleased to introduce you to Dr. Lydia Bastable, a doctor of Oriental medicine and acupuncture physician who moved here from New Mexico and is opening a wellness practice in Gulf Breeze. Learn more on page 11.
Enjoy the beautiful month of May, and don’t forget to give a mom a hug.
Daralyn & Scott