One the most popular topics of Indagare founder and CEO Melissa Biggs Bradley’s live Zoom series, Global Conversations, is wellness, as featured in episodes with such experts as The Ashram’s Catharina Hedberg, the Six Senses’ Anna Bjurstam, the Omega Institute’s Elizabeth Lesser and Harvard Medical School’s Dr. Steven Lockley. Our speakers have shared wisdom from every health and wellness field, covering sleep hygiene, astrology, detox beauty, mindfulness, self-care, grieving, empowerment and more. In case you missed them, we’ve rounded up these experts’ top health and wellness tips and recommendations, just for you.
Sign up here for upcoming Global Conversations—plus: you can now stream episodes of past Global Conversations on our Indagare Podcast! Listen and subscribe now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher, with new episodes being added weekly!
Advice on Living Simply and Positively from The Ashram Co-Founder Catharina Hedberg
Based in Calabasas, California, with seasonal outposts in Iceland and Sweden, Catharina Hedberg’s cult-classic wellness and weight-loss program The Ashram (beloved by celebrities, professional athletes and fitness junkies) champions a regimen of daily hiking and yoga, elemental, plant-based meals and immersion in a no-frills, embracing-community environment to effect major changes in individuals’ mental outlook as well as health and fitness overhauls. However, for Cat, the key to lasting change lies in living simply and closely to nature, and maintaining a positive attitude. Here are some of our favorite quotes from her conversation:
On the importance of living simply: “Swedish living has always been simple and to the point—no excess. [Growing up, I was out] in nature, walking, skiing to school. The Ashram is built on [this same] simplicity [and importance of] being out in nature…And even if you’re out in nature and you’re working, that’s a meditation. And that’s the simple formula of The Ashram—just getting people moving, out there in nature.”
On finding inspiration when times are tough: “I was stumbling a little bit with that during COVID because I am such a free spirit. I need to have air under my wings. If I want to go somewhere, I want to go. If I need to have a flight that goes anywhere, I’m on it. So it was a little bit of a shift for me, I must say. But, ultimately, I do choose the positive, and also…the now. Let’s stay in the now—and that’s where I said, ‘You know, let’s be thankful for what we have.’ It’s not about money or, or anything right now. It is about the relationship we have with ourselves and the attitude we have with ourselves in our environment.”
Related: The 18 Best Wellness Retreats
Advice on Sleeping Well and Managing Jet Lag from Dr. Steven Lockley and Mickey Beyer-Clausen of the Sleep and Jet Lag App Timeshifter
Steven and Mickey’s Best Practices for Inducing Sleep:
- Melatonin, which requires a prescription in most countries except the U.S., is not to be used to “knock yourself out.” It is not a sleep supplement, but a dark supplement, tricking your brain to think that it’s dark, hence triggering sleep and helping you adjust to new time zones or re-sync your circadian rhythm. Pure, fast-release melatonin of only three milligrams is best.
- Do not keep electronic devices in your bed and avoid them one-to-two hours before bed. You may also want to use blue light-blocking glasses (blue-enriched light before bed will suppress deep sleep, when key growth happens).
- Avoid caffeine eight-to-nine hours before bedtime.
- Have a hot drink (caffeine-free) before bed (you need to be able to lose heat when you sleep, so you need to be warm enough to be able to fall asleep). Taking a hot shower before bed or wearing socks to bed can also help.
- The Key: Stability. Your internal clock wants regularity (and so does your immune system and feeding cycle). Try to go to sleep at the same time and wake up at same time, and do not vary between weekends and weekdays. Make sleep your priority. “Catching up” on weekends does not work.
You can listen to the full conversation, explaining the science behind sleeping well and key strategies for mastering jet lag, when it is released as a new episode (coming soon!) on the Indagare Podcast. Subscribe now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher and be the first to know when it goes live.
Advice on Beauty and Detoxing from the Six Senses’ VP of Spas and Wellness Anna Bjurstam
Anna’s Everyday Best Practices: Drinking a liter of warm ginger- and lemon-infused water in the morning rehydrates us after sleep, replenishes electrolytes and is a natural anti-inflammatory, a digestive and detox aid and immunity-booster. Facial ice baths and roller massage stimulate collagen production, and the custom moisturizer that uses your own blood plasma (see below) seems to be a miracle cream.
Anna’s Skincare Tips:
- Use LifeSpan Medicine Blood Plasma Lotion and retinol creams
- Do facial ice baths and use skin rollers
- Practice regular massage and meditation
- Get good sleep and hydration and avoid sugar!
- Anna’s Recommended Essential Oils: Subtle Energies Oils and The Organic Pharmacy Oils
- Anna’s Recommended Sunscreen: Organic Pharmacy’s Sunscreen and EWG.org as a resource
Anna’s Detoxing Tips:
- Anna’s Recommended Energy Doctor and Cleanse: Alberto Villoldo and his courses and book, Grow a New Body
- Anna’s Recommended Fasting Regimen: 16/8 Intermittent Fasting
Advice on Gut Health and Fasting from Dr. Cindy Geyer
Dr. Cindy’s Healthy Eating and Weight Loss Tips:
- Intermittent fasting (not eating for 14 to 16 hours at a time) has clear health and longevity benefits, as does focusing on gut health.
- Women taking hormone replacements really should not drink alcohol, even in moderation.
- If you crave bread, the best ones to choose are sourdough or sprouted grain.
- Dr. Cindy’s Recommended Cleanse: Prolon Cleanse
Dr. Cindy’s Recommended Reading:
- The Longevity Diet by Professor Valter Longo: Research on intermittent fasting, as well as what he recommends for overall health and longevity when not fasting.
- The Swift Diet by Kathie Swift and Joseph Hooper: While this dates back to 2015, this method was one of the first to approach weight and gut health through food and mind-body practices. Kathie is one of the premier dieticians on this topic.
- Hunger, Hope and Healing: A Yoga Approach to Reclaiming Your Relationship to Your Body and Food by SarahJoy Marsh: This is for people interested in learning more about their emotional connections to food. It employs simple yoga practices as tools to make a shift.
Related: 9 Ultimate Wilderness Vacations
Advice on Astrology from the Indagare-Adored Astrologist Kamma Bothe
Kamma’s Recommended Reading: The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need by Joanna Martine Woolfolk is perfect for an introduction to astrology and explains that, just as the seasons affect our moods, changes in the gravitational pull of the moon and planets impact our emotions.
Related: Enlightened at Mii Amo
Advice on Empowerment from the Empowerment Institute Co-founder Gail Straub and Life and Career Coach Joanne Heyman
On self-empowerment through the practice of visualization: “Where I place my attention, is what grows. If I place all my attention, all the focus of my beliefs and my thoughts, on what’s negative, the negative grows stronger. If I focus on my visions, that’s what grows stronger. We know another principle is that to create something new, a dream, a vision, we have to clear away the old to make room for the new; this is a very profound spiritual principle. So we have many processes in [our institute’s] work which allow people to clear away the old to make room for their new dreams. If there’s one breakthrough that we made—of course everything I’ve said so far has been known forever, these are not new principles—but what we refined was the capacity for individuals to understand and articulate what we call their “limiting beliefs.” And what we mean by limiting beliefs is a belief that’s blocking our life force or blocking our capacity to create what’s really meaningful to us. We came up with very practical, simple steps that allow people to identify those limiting beliefs and then to transform them….Our book is called Empowerment: The Art of Creating Your Life as You Want It and the good thing about it is that it’s a workbook, designed for people who [can’t join our live training]; they can go through the book and do the exercises on their own or in a small group. It’s really fun to do—and it can be done on Zoom, by the way!”
Joanne’s Recommended Training Programs:
- On the Handel Group: “It was very intense. I got a tremendous amount out of it. It was long; it’s a real commitment.”
- On the Next Practice Institute: “This is a great week-long program where you can sign up for different focus areas of coaching.”
- On Good Wolf Group: “This was founded by Xander Grashow, who is one of the most brilliant and soulful trainers in this area who I’ve come across.”
- CTI, as well as major universities like Columbia, Georgetown and NYU, all have highly-regarded programs.
Joanne’s Recommended Reading:
- The Overstory by Richard Powers
- Jacqueline Novogratz’s new book Manifesto for a Moral Revolution: Practices to Build a Better World
- The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life by Rosamund Stone Xander
- When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron
- What Color is Your Parachute? by Richard N. Bolles
- Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up by Jerry Colona
Joanne’s Recommended Mantra: “I am enough, I have enough, I know enough.”
Advice on Patience and Grieving from Omega Institute Founder and Bestselling Author Elizabeth Lesser
On harnessing the art of patience: “It’s so hard for us humans. The opposite of patience is wanting to be in control. We want to control things against all evidence that we actually have no control of anything. Last night, a huge rainstorm completely trampled lettuce I’d just planted. And now I’ll go out and plant it again and be offended at nature when it happens again. We get offended when we can’t control things, even if there is no control. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have an orderly, beautifully-planned life, but when it doesn’t go the way we want, we need to remind ourselves that this too shall pass. So we need to sit in the wreckage and reemerge. And that takes a lot of patience.”
On the value of grief: “I’m a great fan of grief. Our society has adopted this idea of closure: Get over it and move on. That to me is a sacrilegious attitude. I don’t like the word closure. When the people whom I love have died, I try to buck the system and get back and be open, even if it hurts. It’s important to stay open to the beings we love and lose. People are afraid that if they do they’ll cry forever and ever. I believe the opposite. If you don’t cry and don’t feel and don’t let yourself fall apart, you become bitter and tense. Grief and grieving are wise and take time. We should lobby congress to allow people weeks to grieve. Think of the proverbial old country, where women wore black for months, even years. You respect someone who’s still wearing loss. Yes, be strong. Strengthen your back and boundaries, but stay open and soft to loss and grief.”
Sign up here for upcoming Global Conversations on wellness and a host of other topics and passions—plus: you can now stream episodes of past Global Conversations on our Indagare Podcast! Listen and subscribe now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher, with new episodes being added weekly!