Wellness Wednesday: Holiday Wellness Collection 

Here is a little collection of holiday wellness quick reads from my past blog posts. I hope they help the next week or two be merry and bright. 

Holidays, the Happy Disruption

Holiday Wellness

Gratitude is at the Center of Wellness

Look forward to more post collections during the holiday week while I take a little time off from writing and just highlight the “ need to know “ stuff. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. 

May the light of the season be within you. 


Wellness Wednesday: Wellness Gifts

Still searching for that perfect gift ? Why not give something that promotes health and wellness ? I propose considering a “ wellness gift”. Here are some useful categories: 


1. Books on health and wellness. These could be books on mental or physical health. 

The Seven Habits books by Stephen Covey are some of my favorites. 

2. DVDs for exercise, yoga or meditation- Try those by Gaiam or Jillian Michaels. 

3. Basket of healthy drinks: herb teas, decaf coffees, matcha, or chai

4. Basket of healthy foods 

5. Healthy cookbooks ! - Try the Mayo clinic cookbooks, as well as the series by Jonny Bowden PhD, CNS. 

6. Tuition for a series of health classes, but only if you are sure they want them. 

7. Cool workout gear, or a gift certificate for it. 

8. Certificates for spa treatments, massage, or even a personal trainer session.


Spread cheer this season with some of these worthwhile wellness gifts. 

Wellness Wednesday: Holiday Wellness

Here are just a few tips to make this most intense part of the holiday season less stressful, more relaxing and more celebratory. 

1. Take a look at your calendar from now until New Years. Make sure you are neither overbooked, nor forgetting about events that are meaningful to you. Make sure the schedule is realistic and that your family members are all on board with the plan. 

2. Take a hard look at your budget and stick with it for your Holiday expenditures. A great source of holiday stress is financial. Reduce costs by decorating with natural elements, entertaining pot luck, and by making or baking homemade gifts. Consider also gifts of outings. For example, give a certificate good for “one Sunday afternoon walk in the park with me”. 

3. Ramp up the consistency of your workouts. You will feel better about yourself and avoid the Holiday weight gain. 

4. Be choosy about your indulgences. Eat slowly and savor your treats. Drink ample water through the day, and be sure to consume the sights and sounds of the season, not just the tastes. Consider being the amateur event photographer of the family. It takes your appreciation of the season far beyond the food. 

5. Relatives coming from out of town ? Make a sound plan for their accommodations. A little advance planing can save a lot of stress. 

6. Anticipating stressful interpersonal encounters ? Plan ahead and adjust your attitude. Try to see the good in everyone. Blessed are the peacemakers. 

7. Bon chic, bon genre - This is a French saying meaning that if you dress well, you bring your best self forward. Dress to present yourself thoughtfully, and to indicate your respect, enthusiasm and cheer. Never dress to impress. Dress to delight and to put others at ease. 

8. Consider the deeper meaning of the season. This is, of course, the best way to put the shine on the season. 


Happy Holidays from Dr. Gina 




A very nice reference for more reading : 



Medical Monday: being a patient

Yes folks that's my arm. There's nothing better for a doctor than to be a patient sometimes. Your regularly scheduled blog post is thus interrupted with this post about my small experience of being a little too sick. 

You may wonder how I came to be such a health nut. Well it's because I have lupus. I have to be extra careful and on top of things to stay healthy. The majority of the time I do very well, but once in a while a simple upper respiratory infection gets the better of me. I had to come in briefly for some extra medication and  I am feeling much better. I will probably not be in clinic for the next couple days. 

I was reminded of how vulnerable and wretched you feel when you are truly sick. I was reminded how much it means when people help you out. I had a good friend or two cover for me on labor and delivery, my husband who brought me in, and all the hot shots in the emergency room to tune me up. 

There are two messages as far as I can see. Number one, if you are not doing well reach out and get some help. Number two, if you see someone else not doing well check in with them. It means so much.


Wellness Wednesday: What is Wellness ?

Did you realize the concept of wellness wasn't always around ? According to an article in the November issue of Real Simple, the term did not appear in the English language until the 16th century. Until then we simply thought of the absence of disease.  

After World War Two, the World Health Organization ( WHO ) explicitly defined health as not simply the absence of disease, but rather a state of " complete physical mental and social well-being ". The concept of " High Level Wellness"  was defined in a book of the same name in 1961. And finally the first " Wellness Center " was opened in northern California in 1975, and was catapulted to both fame and ridicule with its spot on the TV news show 60 minutes in 1979. Today the general public and the medical profession take wellness very seriously. I agree with the WHO definition of what it is. What interests me is how to attain it.

My first comment is this: that wellness is not a one time goal. Rather it is a constant work in progress. It is borne of a repetitive but dynamic rhythm of daily activities that we must consciously put into place. If I have emphasized anything about health maintenance in my practice it is this: that no one thing that will confer wellness. It is a comprehensive approach which says that every thing you do or take into your body must be for a good health promoting purpose. Whether it is a food, an exercise, or even a manner of communication, it should be for the good. If these good things are done so often as to become habits, their cumulative result is wellness. In other words, it is the summation of all the well chosen good small things and actions in the day, experienced repeatedly over time. 

In this spirit I would like to introduce the concept of optimal health. Yes there is great satisfaction in curing disease. But there is even more in teaching people how to move toward optimal wellness.  And with that in mind I would like to share a terrific website :


Of course it is a play on the word "greatest" and I take it to mean someone who studies and tries to embody that which is great. The site offers tips not only on nutrition and fitness, but also addresses optimal life functioning in general. So check it out, as a part of your quest for wellness. 

For more information see: 

The Eight Dimensions of Wellness 

adolescent misogyny

I felt very done with posting about the recent shootings, until, another one happened and until I saw this article: 

Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds

I thought I had a grasp of two of the most important factors in play: guns and bullying. This article let me in on a whole other aspect of the situation of which I was unaware. It is a shocking but well written and heartfelt article. I am passing it on because I think these ideas need more exposure. 

It discusses a virulent strain of geek culture wherein young adolescent men alternatively idolize and revile the attractive and popular women who don't date them. The narrative broadens to describe " rape culture "  as it has been portrayed in the popular media and online. It is an eye opener. So I pass it on to you, with one caveat: Do not extrapolate and apply these observations to everyone in this social group. Nerd and geek culture is evolving and more and more it includes women.

And speaking of rape culture, can someone explain to me how so many people can tolerate watching Game of Thrones ?