BLOGS Ask the Pharmacist Ask the Pharmacist – December 2015

What if there was something you could do to change your health? What if you could wake up every morning and jump out of bed and feel fantastic? What would you be willing to do to make that happen?

Changing your health is all about how you eat, sleep, think, move and supplement. Your not so comfortable body didn’t happen overnight; instead it was a gradual thickening of your waist and weakening of your muscles. Your recovery is but a decision away and the change in attitude you develop is your gift to you. Get ready for smooth sailing after a few adjustments to your lifestyle.

What you choose to eat determines how you feel, and eating food that damages your cells can slowly destroy your body in subtle ways. What is the truth about gluten, GMO and food additives? There are a number of books that can help you learn about healthy food choice. One is The Elimination Diet, by Tom Malterre and Alissa Segersten. It is the guide you will need to change the way you think about food. No grains? No sugar? No dairy? “What else is left for me to eat?” you exclaim! Instead, think about what it would be like to feel great by just refusing that donut, soda, and fast food meal. What if you could avoid surgical procedures, painful muscle cramping, agonizing migraine headaches, debilitating diarrhea or constipation just by finding out which foods to never let past your lips? You will find that once you know which foods to buy and how to prepare them, you will discover how wonderful you feel when you eat real food. Grab a partner and go on an amazing journey of discovery and support each other as you learn about the power of food.

So much healing happens when you sleep. A healthy sleep pattern can help you lose weight, heal your adrenals, improve your mood, and strengthen your immune system. Because proper sleep is important for brain detoxification, you may decide to use sleeping pills to help you fall asleep or stay asleep, but they can interfere with your daytime mental acuity. Instead, learn of new ways to improve the quality and quantity of your hours of rest. One way is to make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary by keeping it cool, dark, smelling great, and free of distractions such as television, computers and cell phones. Check out the research on circadian rhythms and electro-magnetic fields at

The way you think affects the way you show up in the world. Happiness is a choice. Is it merely a phrase or a book title? Maybe it’s a sort of lifestyle that is but a decision away. From the teachings of Eckhart Tolle, we learn that by becoming aware of your thoughts, especially negative ones, you can become connected to the “you” behind the voice in your head. Once you decide to get on board, there are ways to elevate your happiness and feel better about your life. In fact, that is the description of an app called Happify that promises to increase your life satisfaction.

Why is movement so important? Exercise is a way to produce endorphins which are neurotransmitters that generally make you feel amazing. Better yet, add grounding, (also called earthing) to your daily regimen by putting your bare feet on the ground and moving. Walk on the beach, choose to practice yoga in your back yard, or just decide to incorporate some form of movement and feel the difference it makes when you go about your everyday routine.

Why is supplementation necessary? Even when you have made a conscious decision to eat mostly organic locally grown food, grass- fed meat, wild caught fish, and avoid inflammatory foods; you still may need to add some micronutrients in supplement form. Vitamin D, which is created naturally from your skin’s exposure to sunlight, is a good example of a nutrient that is vitally important for more than just bone health. If you live in the north and especially in the winter, it is probably necessary to take oral Vitamin D to reach and maintain a healthy blood level of 40-60 ng/ml to promote optimal wellness. Get tested and find out your 25-hydroxy vitamin D level. You can learn more about this important hormone and participate in a study called D*Action Project at

You are invited on a journey to create your optimal self by diving into each of these subjects over the next few months. Change course on the way you eat and let me know how you feel.

Deidre (Dee) Kohley, Rph, works at Watkins Pharmacy, is a graduate of Ferris University and has lived all her life in Muskegon. She continues to find ways to reach women who genuinely want to get well or live an optimal life. Dee loves digging into research to find new ways to help people. She is married and has seven children and nine grandchildren who keep her busy. She loves the beach and spending time outside enjoying the seasons. You can contact her by going to her website or

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