Dr. Northrup has a prescription for Rachel. "I want to get your hormones balanced and you need more circulation. The circulation of blood equals the circulation of joy," she says. "So you need to actually deliberately put in your calendar joyful times. I don't care what the kids are doing. Because if you're not happy, the legacy for them and their health is not good."
The first thing Dr. Northrup wants Rachel to do is to make a list of five things she wants to do—and then do them! The five things Rachel chooses to do may help improve her health in the long run. "When you do those, they decrease cellular inflammation. This isn't just some kind of pop psychology. They decrease inflammation in your cells and cellular inflammation is the beginning of all chronic degenerative disease," she says. "So headaches, high blood pressure, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, it all begins with cellular inflammation. Things that bring you joy quell stress hormones in the body and decrease cellular inflammation."
Dr. Northrup also says Rachel needs to make sure she's eating right and keeping her blood sugar steady. That means eating breakfast, cutting back on carbs and increasing grains. "There's no other way. You can't get into that little black dress after, you know, the five days of dieting. The body goes, 'Oh, yeah. I'm not doing that anymore. You wanted me to do that for 20 years? We're done. We're done.' So you need to eat very, very well."
But don't think of it as a diet, Dr. Northrup says. "Because you value yourself, your body doesn't like the word diet. It's got die in it. Okay? It won't do it anymore," she says.