Wellness Digest #45: Dental Health, Bedtime Procrastination, Cicely Tyson Memoir

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Wellness Digest – February 18, 2021

Welcome to this week’s digest. As much as I can, I like to keep things simple, especially when it comes to exercise. This week I learned about Makko Ho, a Japanese stretching system. Four movements done once or twice a day to keep limber and help ward off back, knee, and hip pain. I’m on board. Always remember: small consistent steps can equal powerful results. Here’s this week’s list:


Dental health is a reflection of your overall health. Period. A dentist can detect the warning signs of ailments from cancer to osteoporosis simply by looking at your teeth, tongue, and especially your gums. One example is that during perimenopause changes in estrogen levels can lead to dry mouth. Less saliva in the mouth helps unhealthy microbes thrive, which can lead to an increased potential for gum disease. Find out more here.

If you find yourself zoning out and mindlessly scrolling right before bedtime, you’re not alone. And there’s apparently a name for it: revenge bedtime procrastination. If this habit is keeping you up far too late, then making your mornings miserable, here are some ways to stop sabotaging your sleep.


I eat dark chocolate every day. It’s one of my essentials (on the list with kiwi fruit, avocado, and matcha). Yes, it’s healthy (preferably if it’s over 70%) with antioxidants and magnesium, and just makes life a bit more joyful. If you’re looking for brands to try, here’s a good list. My current new favorite? Hu’s Salty Dark Chocolate. Wow!

Gluten-free baking can be full of surprises. Some happy, some painful. It usually comes down to how to keep the batter light and which flour mixes work best. I found some really helpful tips on GF baking hacks here.


Good communication skills are essential to feeling grounded, understood, and more confident. Subtle changes in the way we use words can help. Here’s a leadership coach’s list of 10 words and phrases that tend to diminish and minimize what we have to say. Also ideas on becoming better communicators.

I just tried some essential oil blends from NYC’s Enfleurage. “Sleep” is a mixture of lavender, tangerine, marjoram, chamomile, palmarosa, and ylang-ylang. Perfect to help wind down at the end of the day. Other notable ones are Sanctuary, Headache Helper, and Female Balance. Enfleurage also offers online classes.


Chloé Zhao’s highly anticipated film, Nomadland, comes out tomorrow. Starring Frances McDormand, one of my favorite actors, the film follows her journey living in her van (after an economic crisis) and traveling across the US. Here’s the trailer.

We lost actor Cicely Tyson (age 96) on January 28th of this year. Her memoir Just As I Am came out on January 26th and I can’t wait to dive in. To say she was a true pioneer is an understatement. She refused to take parts that demeaned Black people and won Emmys, a Tony, and an honorary Oscar. In addition to her civil rights work and commitment to women’s issues, she also helped found the Dance Theater of Harlem. What an extraordinary life!

Thanks so much for reading!


Photo credit: Kolya Korzhe