In his new book, How to Be Well, Frank Lipman, MD, shares his six keys to a happy and healthy life. And his advice is no ordinary prescription.
Dr. Lipman is a renowned functional medicine physician who focuses on disease prevention over treatment. In other words, his protocols involve detailed food, exercise, and stress-reduction plans instead of just pills.
He’s also had more than a few high-profile patients, like Gwyneth Paltrow and Maggie Gyllenhaal.
In his new book, Dr. Lipman shares lots of simple, actionable tidbits on how to actually make the “six keys” possible in your own life. It’s filled with many tips that fit into the realm of good advice you’ve likely heard (and that aligns with Nutritious Life’s philosophy)—like not focusing on counting calories or ditching devices in bed for better sleep. But we flipped through it to pull out a few of the most interesting physician-approved tips that might surprise you.
6 Unexpected MD Tips for Living Well
1. Don’t take supplements in the evening
2. Eat broccoli stalks and chard stems
We’ve heard about eating oft-discarded parts of veggies to avoid food waste, but for better health? “The tough parts of veggies play an important role in helping the health-protecting microbes in your belly to thrive,” he says. “They contain cellulose fibers, hard-to-digest carbohydrates that give those good bacteria something to chew on.” Try slicing them thin and throwing them in the sautee pan with the more celebrated parts of the veggie.
3. Deadlifts are the best exercise ever
A doctor who deadlifts? Dr. Lipman says if you had to pick a single exercise to do for the rest of your life, he’d suggest the barbell deadlift, since it is a simple movement but requires multiple major muscle groups to work together.
4. Pets are better than superfoods
“In study after study, pet owners are healthier and happier than non-pet owners,” he says, since caring for a pup or a kitty can lower stress, encourage exercise, and lead to important mental health benefits like a sense of belonging and purpose.
5. Prioritize touch
Yes, sex is really good for you, but non-sexual touch “tells your body and brain that there is social support around you.” He suggests giving and receiving more hugs (yay!), bodywork like massages, and even getting a mani-pedi.
6. Embrace darkness
Health experts are always touting the mind-body benefits of sunshine, but Dr. Lipman says you’ve got to balance that with real darkness. “Humans have a physiological need to be immersed in outdoor darkness,” he says. If you live in a city, you might want to plan a camping trip, stat.
(Featured Photo: Shutterstock)