How do we keep our New Year’s resolutions?

by Dr. Shelese Pratt ND @ The Pratt Clinics

Boulder, Colorado


 At the beginning of the year we commit ourselves to exercise and eating better but eventually we go back to drinking 3 cups of coffee, skipping the gym and eating our comfort foods. By late February, most people forget their New Year’s intention.  Instead of making a New Year’s resolution this year, maybe you can commit yourself to making some lifestyle changes that last a lifetime.

Try to employ these basic tenants to health.  Print this out and focus on one topic per month to make them a habit.

January:  Chew your food and stop drinking anything with your meals.

February: Avoid your food sensitivities. If you don’t know what they are, you should try a food elimination diet or call my office and we can run a test.

March:  Take a quality probiotic, multi-vitamin (make sure it has folinic acid or MTHFR. Never take any supplement or food with folic acid), and fish oil.

April: Drink more clean water through out the day. Invest in a good water purifier, and drink ½ of your body weight in oz. through out the day.

May: Buy, prepare and eat green leafy vegetables and other colorful vegetables.  Leafy green vegetables are good for your liver and reduce inflammation in your body. Most people know they need more vegetables but they still don’t find them on their plate.

June: Go to bed earlier and get more sleep.

July: Exercise every day. Find a friend that will take a class with you. It’s harder to skip out on your exercise routine if you have someone to hold you accountable.  

August: Meditate for 5 minutes everyday. It can be as simple as lighting a candle and sitting for 5 minutes each day.

September: Take 10 deep breaths every time you check your email. Take a breath in to a count of 4 seconds. Hold your breath for 4 seconds. Exhale your breath for 4 seconds. Hold your breath for 4 seconds. Repeat.

October: Focus on the positive. Try to avoid complaining and see the best in people.

November: Try to replace your coffee with green tea.

December: Drink less alcohol.

I suggest you build on the monthly topic and focus on adding a new tenant each month. Create new habits. Let’s see how you feel at the end of the year.  I wish you the best for a happy and healthy 2016.

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by Dr. Shelese Pratt ND @ The Pratt Clinics

Boulder, Colorado


Expanding on my last blog about establishing a healthy rhythm and optimal endocrine functioning, I’ll now focus on the nutritional piece of the three critical areas (nutrition, water and sleep) for a stronger and healthier you! 

Most importantly, our bodies need protein and fiber. Protein is involved in virtually every cellular function and is critically important for energy, concentration, movement, balancing blood sugar and moods, detoxification, boosting the immune system, and building and maintaining muscles, organs, connective tissue, bones, skin and teeth. You can hardly name a body part for which protein is not of paramount importance for growth and development. Getting a healthy amount of protein in our system at breakfast and lunch is critical if you want to feel your best throughout the day. 

Fiber is equally important. Fiber increases energy stores, boosts the immune system, manages blood sugar levels.  Fiber helps lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and the risks of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, obesity and numerous gastrointestinal diseases – all of which are affecting children at younger and younger ages.

Here are some easy ways to eat healthy fiber and lean protein for breakfast and lunch:    

  • Rotate between nitrate-free chicken or turkey sausage, bacon, eggs, and protein powders; try hemp, pea, rice or whey (if dairy is tolerated).
  •  Include protein powders in pancakes, waffles, and smoothie recipes. You  can make ahead of time and freeze or refrigerate for quick access on school/work mornings. 
  •  Include dark leafy greens such as Kale, Spinach, or Chard in smoothies.
  •  Encourage a diversity of whole grains such as whole oats, whole wheat, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, wild rice, spelt, kamut.
  •  Avoid high sugar, processed cereals, instant oatmeal, and many gluten-free products – kids can burn right through these foods as rapidly as 30 minutes and then have nothing left in the tank. 
  •  Grab a handful of nuts or include a nut butter in your smoothie! Almonds, cashews, walnuts and sunflower and pumpkin seeds are all great choices. 
  • Try changing the concept of what you eat for breakfast and offer veggies, chicken breast, etc.

Try out a couple of my favorite breakfast recipes!

  • Dr. Pratt’s oatmeal: 2 cups gluten free oats, 1 pear, 1 apple, 2 tbsp raisins, 1 tsp of coconut oil, 1 tbsp chia or flax seeds. 
  • Dr. Pratt’s morning smoothie: 4 pieces of kale, 1/3 cup mixed berries, 1/2 banana, 4 tbsp of hemp powder. 

Visit us again for more useful information about nutrition, sleep and being well!



by Dr. Shelese Pratt ND @ The Pratt Clinics

Boulder, Colorado


Now that I have touched on the importance of daily rhythm and nutrition as two critical components of healthy endocrine functioning, I will focus on the third piece; sleep. So often we hear how important it is to get plenty of sleep, yet as a society, our priorities tend to shift away from this. Millions of Americans have difficulty sleeping. Earlier this year the CDC declared sleeplessness a “public health epidemic” affecting both children and adults.  

Our physical health, longevity and well-being are directly affected by the amount and quality of sleep we get. Sleeplessness has been linked to chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, depression, and heart disease. Additionally, our judgement, mood, immune system, and ability to learn and retain information are all areas that are compromised without adequate, quality sleep. Sleep plays a vital role in repairing our bodies, consolidating memory, detoxification and numerous other rejuvenating functions. 

Our body manages and requires sleep very much in the same way that it regulates our needs for food, water, and respiration. Establishing healthy sleep habits and a rhythm is key. We need to place the same importance on a good night’s sleep that we place on our nutrition, water and exercise habits.

If we don’t have a set bedtime and are constantly pushing through feeling tired (or don’t even know when we’re tired), the quality of sleep is poor. Keeping lights on and staying awake even when we are tired changes our cortisol curve. Blood sugar regulation is off, hormones become “off” and melatonin production is strained. Hormones are released that keep us awake and interfere with sleep the entire night.  

Once in a while this is ok, but if we are always going to bed at different times, then we will lay down and not be able to fall asleep or we lay down and fall asleep right away because our body is exhausted. If we don’t establish a smooth, consistent routine, the body has no idea when it is going to get rest. This cycle burns the adrenals and affects the thyroid, blood sugar levels, hormones, etc., eventually putting a lot of stress on the body. Conversely, it is calming for our body to know when it is going to get rest.  

A healthy amount of continuous sleep depending on one’s age is as follows: 

1-3 years, 14 hours/day

3-6 years, 10-12 hours/day

7-12 years, 10-11 hours/day

12-18 years, 8-9 hours/day

18 and up, 7-8 hours

Some useful tips for getting a good night sleep:

  • If transitioning to an earlier bedtime is difficult, try taking small steps and move your bedtime back by 10 minutes each night to help your body adjust.
  • Turn off lights, cell phones, alarm clock radios, computers, television and electronic reading devices. Lights and electronics overstimulate the adrenals and interfere with quality sleep.
  • Exercise early in the day – exercise releases cortisol and will keep you awake before bed.
  • Avoid stimulating activities or conversations close to bedtime.
  • Do not drink caffeine after 2 p.m.
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, nicotine – alcohol disrupts sleep in the second half of the night as your body starts to break it down. 
  • Cut out sugar and simple carbohydrates to balance blood sugar – unbalanced blood sugar levels can create sleep disturbances.
  • Don’t eat a heavy (protein-dense or fried) meal before bed – your body won’t be able to rest and digest at same time.
  • Do not drink too much water before bed – it can cause you to wake up to go to the bathroom.
  • Keep the bedroom as a sanctuary for sleep and sex only – no desk or work.
  • Keep your internal clock schedule, maintain the same bedtime and wake time every day and try to stay close to your clock on weekends.
  • Get plenty of exposure to natural light during the day – getting light into the retina helps the pineal gland secret melatonin, helping you sleep better at night. 
  • Establish a relaxing routine or rituals – soothing music or reading, epsom salt bath/shower, lavender essential oil on your pillow, meditation or breath work.
  • Taking calcium or oral magnesium supplements in the evening can also promote a more restful sleep.