How to connect

How to Connect

I’m going to give you some ideas here to get you started on your way to balancing your body, inducing healing and gaining health and energy. My family has been consciously grounding for several years and it’s certainly something I prescribe to my clients.

The Earth’s energy is there for your taking any time, day and night. It’s free. It’s not a pill, potion, nor ointment. It’s in the ground, on the ground, and from the ground, right beneath your feet. You can have as much of it as you want … free … no limit.

Here’s How You Do It:

1. You can walk barefoot on the beach, in a park, your yard (or someone else’s yard), on sand, stones, gravel or just plain earth.

2. Ground by sitting in a chair with your feet planted on the ground, while reading a book or listening to music.

3. Dampen the earth for more conductivity and leave your feet on the earth for 30 to 40 minutes at least. Truth told, any part of your body in touch with the Earth will conduct electrons. That would include your torso, arms, legs, head … you get the idea.

4. Concrete is conductive but its effectiveness is contingent upon the amount of water beneath the concrete. A dry concrete floor or one with a water barrier beneath won’t be very effective. Asphalt is not conductive, neither is wood nor vinyl.

5. Water-wise, wading or swimming in the ocean is not only fun recreation, it’s a brilliant form of grounding. Saltwater is rich in minerals and highly conductive – several hundred times more than fresh water. Conductivity is dependent on the concentration of minerals in the water, so lake water is far less conductive, pool water is virtually non-conductive and kiddie pool water is not at all conductive due to the plastic that insulates from the ground.

6. A tree is wood and thus non-conductive. However, if you hold a leaf of the tree firmly between your fingers, you’ll be grounded. The earth under a tree is generally moist when exposed and is a good place to ground. But, tree hugging with your shoes on doesn’t do anything in terms of grounding.

If you’re interested in learning more about grounding, or Earthing as it is sometimes called, then I recommend a book by Clinton Ober, Stephen T. Sinatra, MD and Martin Zucker, called “Earthing”. Most of the technical information in this article was gleaned from this source.

Having said that, as I mentioned earlier, my family has been using grounding (including grounding sheets, foot pads and flip-flops) for several years with wonderful results.

A couple of years ago I arrived back home from a trip abroad with a serious pain in my upper back and neck. My husband suggested we ground at the beach – always a pleasure for me. We did so two times for a couple of hours each time and the pain in my back and neck was gone.

When I’m stressed, a long walk barefoot on the beach, or just sitting with my bare feet on the ground brings calm and clarity.

Grounding, One of the Most Important Health Discoveries Ever!

Grounding, One of the Most Important Health Discoveries Ever!

If you’ve been following me on Facebook, you may have seen a recent video I did on grounding. In this case, I was walking barefoot on the beach. Many of us love to do that – but did you know you were gaining great health benefits as a result of that barefoot walk? Well, you do and as you read on you’ll discover why spending time connecting with Mother Earth is so very good for you.

Inflammation – the Root Cause of Chronic Disease

It’s widely understood these days that the cause of so many illnesses is inflammation. In fact, inflammation is recognized as the central health issue of our time with more than 30,000 scientific studies per year – for nearly half a century – done on the subject. As such, it shows a critical link between our lifestyle and the soaring global increase of chronic diseases.
Everyone is susceptible to inflammation – from high performance athletes to non-performance couch potatoes. It’s an equal opportunity attacker.

The word, inflammation, comes from a Latin word that means to set on fire. It’s the biological response of the body to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants; a protective attempt by the system to remove agents that threaten or injure as well as trigger the healing process for affected tissues. Without inflammation, wounds and infections would never heal and progressive destruction of the tissue would put survival in jeopardy.

Inflammation comes in two forms: acute or chronic. Acute is when the body reacts as it should to harmful stimuli and it’s what we want, as described above. Chronic inflammation, or prolonged inflammation, is not what we want or need. With chronic inflammation there is a harmful free-radical release and encroachment on healthy tissue and it can seriously harm you.

Free radicals have an important role to play in the immune response. However, when they fail to wind down completely after the job is done they cause serious issues. They continue to attack and oxidize healthy tissue, the immunity gears switch into overdrive and send more white blood cells into the affected area. The result contributes to the out-of-control levels of chronic disease we have amongst populations today.

We’ve Disconnected and Now We Suffer

In an extensive series of studies done in the Max Planck Institute during the 1960s and 70s, researchers intentionally isolated volunteers for months at a time to live in underground rooms electrically shielded from the rhythms in the Earth’s electric field. They were meticulously monitored for all types of responses, including sleep patterns, body temperature, urinary output and other physiological activities. The results were astounding as they experienced disturbed sleep-wake patterns, out-of-sync hormonal production and overall disruption in basic body regulation.

When electric rhythms comparable to those measured at the Earth’s surface were pulsed into the metal shielding around the chambers, there was a dramatic restoration of normal physiological patterns. These studies, conducted over many years, documented the significance of the Earth’s electrical rhythms for normal biological function. Normal rhythms in the body establish a stable reference point for repair, recovery, and rejuvenation – for full health.

Interestingly enough, David Wolfe, an author, nutritionist, speaker and outspoken authority on health and lifestyle, deems “the common shoe” as perhaps the “world’s most dangerous invention.” After almost twenty years of lifestyle research, he incriminates the shoe as one of the “most destructive culprits of inflammation and autoimmune diseases” in our lives because it separates us from the healing energy of the Earth.

“Put a shoe on,” he says, “and it’s gone.”
Now, I love shoes … so in order to keep my body healthy, I engage in Grounding regularly.

Enter Grounding: The Missing Link

Before we go any further, it’s important to make the following announcement: We are Electrical Beings. The concept that man is made from the Earth is more than a fable. It has been proven to be fact in terms of our bodies’ abilities to heal when in touch with the Earth.
The land and seas of the planet are alive with a boundless, constantly replenishing supply of electrons. By making contact with the surface of the planet, our conductive bodies naturally equalize with the Earth … in effect, we refill the electron level in our tank that has become low.

So, how do we know this is actually happening?

Well, for one thing, common sense tells us. The Earth is negatively charged and has an endless supply of free electrons. Anytime two conductive objects make contact – like your bare feet and the earth – electrons will flow from the place of abundance (earth) into the place of lack (your body). The electrical potential of the two objects equalizes. That’s grounding.

Here’s where the free radical connection enters.

Free radicals and electrons constantly interact and many free radicals are positively charged. Some are not, but most are. These reactive molecules, hungry for electrons, absorb them from our bodies when we are in contact with the huge amount of electrons available from the Earth. This process reduces or shuts down the inflammatory destruction caused by free radicals.

Big, negatively charged Earth overwhelms little electron-hungry free radicals.

Family support for OCD

Some Help for The Friends and Family

What About Those Who Watch the Suffering?

In an article on families of OCD sufferers, Heidi and Alec Pollard, two experts in the field of OCD, state:

“OCD is a family affair.  The toxic tentacles of this disorder extend far beyond its identified victim.”

I did a little digging and found a page from a website dedicated to helping sufferers of OCD and their friends and family.  Following is an excerpt from that page, from http://beyondocd.org/information-for-friends-and-family

Steps To A Better Life

Life with a person who has OCD is filled with conflicting emotions.  If you feel frustrated, angry, overwhelmed or hopeless, you are not alone.  Today, there are new and more effective coping strategies for dealing with OCD-related difficulties. Families and friends can now take advantage of various “tools” that are effective in improving interactions between you and the OCD sufferer, and, at the same time, can help him or her succeed in the treatment process.  Very importantly, when you interact with and/or provide care to an individual with OCD, you must take care of your own physical and emotional well-being.

First Things First

Some very important steps to help your loved one begin with you:

Learn about OCD

You will need to understand what your loved one goes through with this frequently debilitating disorder.  We recommend you visit the OCD Facts, Individuals, or Parents section of this website for more information about:

You can access the OCD Facts, Individuals and Parents sections through the Home page of this website, or through these links:

Become a Catalyst for Change

We urge you to follow these guidelines:

  • Help your loved one find appropriate treatment for OCD and encourage him or her to actively participate in the therapy process.  Effective treatment is the most important step in gaining relief.
  • Stop enabling OCD in your household or in your relationship.  Participating in rituals with your loved one or accommodating avoidance behavior actually does not help.  In fact, the effect can be just the opposite.
  • Try to establish a positive emotional climate in the home.  How you communicate with your loved one as well as the level of support you provide cannot be overemphasized.

If this sounds easier said than done, we understand your skepticism.  Beyond OCD’s mission is to help people with OCD get relief, help their families and friends develop the key skills to become agents of change and help initiate dramatic improvements for everyone in the life of an OCD sufferer.  The following sections will help you get started:

Take Care of Yourself

Before an airplane ever leaves the ground, flight attendants provide important instructions about what to do in an emergency.  One of those instructions is particularly noteworthy: Put on your own oxygen mask before trying to help anyone else.  The basic message is that unless you first take care of yourself, you won’t be able to help others.  Yet this fundamental idea is frequently ignored by family members of individuals with OCD.  And even though research has indicated that family members report some – if not severe – distress adjusting to OCD, they seldom seek the professional help they need.  Instead, they usually focus on the individual with OCD.

OCD adult-care

You’re OCD? Really??

Have you ever said something like this:  “Oh, I’m just OCD”, or “It’s just my OCD”?  It seems saying something like this is quite acceptable and in some cases, it’s just part of the vernacular.  We bandie the expressions around without understanding what we’re saying – and there are real people, with real OCD who are both offended and dare I say, put off with such trite comments.

Don’t Confuse Perfectionism with OCD

Most of us don’t understand what OCD is and may confuse it with perfectionism (that is if we’re thinking about what we’re saying).  In this month’s newsletter I want to give some basic understanding to both perfectionism (of which I am a card-carrying member) and OCD.  There’s a huge difference and it is my hope that by having a little more information we will become more considerate and sensitive to others in a positive and helpful way.

Perfectionism or OCD?

People often laugh at and about me over the way I do things.  I have a friend who tells other people that even the Tupperware lids are arranged in perfect order.  All of my drawers are organized and yes, my closet has all of the clothes organized in color order.  By the way, my husband’s closet is organized that way too, because I do that.  Do you?  Does that make me OCD?

The fact is that many of us have perfectionistic quirks, like keeping things in order or lining the books on the shelves in order of height and content.  We lightheartedly throw the term OCD around when we talk about it and say we’re OCD.  But, the truth is that these things do not make a person OCD.

In fact, OCD is no laughing matter.  Often misunderstood, this type of mental illness has the potential to cripple a person’s ability to go through the day.  It can be triggered and driven by perfectionism, but it is neither the same as nor is it “perfectionism on steroids”.

“From a high level, the best way to think about OCD versus perfectionism is to think about who is this behavior serving and who is it bothering?” says psychiatrist Joseph Baskin, MD. “People with obsessive-compulsive disorder know that their behavior is problematic but they can’t stop it. People with perfectionism don’t care – it makes their lives orderly.”

What OCD means

OCD is a mental health disorder that causes an individual anxiety through repeated, unwanted thoughts or urges.  So, in an attempt to reduce the anxiety, the person performs a repetitive and compulsive action or ritual that may not even be associated with the fear they are dealing with.  Even though they may know what they’re doing is not rational, they’ll compulsively do the action over and over again for hours throughout the day.

“Sometimes people have fears of germs; sometimes it’s the need for counting or certain things to happen in certain quantities,” Dr. Baskin says. “Sometimes it’s just an obsessive thought that they can’t get out of their head.”

As an example of OCD behavior, a person with obsessive thoughts about safety, whether theirs or that of their loved ones, may have to unlock and relock their front door a specific number of times before they feel they can leave their home.

“They know that they shouldn’t have to do it, but they must do it, because to not do it means to have an increase in their level of anxiety that’s intolerable,” Dr. Baskin explains. “The whole process is very bothersome to the individual.”

So, How Does Perfectionism Relate to OCD?

Perfectionism as a personality trait may show up as rigidly following certain habits or rituals consistently; for instance, a specific morning routine or the way the desk at work is organized.  However, these rituals or habits are not necessarily motivated by anxiety.

According to Dr. Baskin, “They’re content to do those things because it works well for them, even if it drives everyone else crazy.”

Perfectionists have high standards and expectations for both themselves and others and they are usually recognized as good organizers with a tendency to be goal-oriented.  In fact, in a healthy context, perfectionism can be an excellent tool for the achievement of excellence.
However, there’s a saying that “perfect is the enemy of good”, and the high standards imposed by perfectionists can make them very critical of themselves and others.

When perfectionism becomes problematic, the individual themselves is usually the last one to know,” he explains. “It’s often their work or marriage that tends to suffer the most.”

There is Help!

Dr. Baskin says that OCD is most commonly treated by combining medication and psychotherapy.  The therapy may be the type that focuses on the idea of “radical acceptance,”  which is designed to help those dealing with OCD to stop the internal fight and let go of what they can’t control.  In some milder cases, behavioral therapy is enough, in more extreme cases SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), a commonly prescribed drug for mental health issues, is frequently used.

For those with extreme or unhealthy perfectionism, psychotherapy may be of benefit,

“But these people often don’t seek help, because they don’t think that anything is wrong,” Dr. Baskin says.

The good news is that anyone who experiences anxiety, obsessive thoughts or behaviors that affect their quality of life, should know that there is help available and their quality of life can improve.

veg basket

The Glory of the Lowly Root

If you’ve been hanging around this newsletter for any time at all, you know I often advise people to “eat with the seasons” in order to get the most health benefits and flavor from their food.  With winter here in the Northern Hemisphere, we get to enjoy root vegetables … and there’s a huge variety of nutrient-rich roots out there to explore.

Unfortunately, this category of vegetables often gets whittled down to just potatoes, onions and carrots – but there are so many root vegetables with much to offer in terms of vitamins, minerals, and great taste.

Root veggies include tubers, corms, and rhizomes – strange words for a class of root veggies that includes potatoes and yams, water chestnut, turmeric and ginger.  Then there are bulbs … think onions, garlic, fennel, shallots and Jerusalem artichokes.  “True” roots include those that we automatically think of such as carrots, parsnips, beets, radishes, jicama, turnips and sweet potato.

What makes these vegetables truly unique is that root veggies evolved to store nutrients for the plants themselves, so they offer us a true powerhouse of energy, minerals, vitamins and more.

3 Healthy Reasons to Eat More Root Veggies

  1. Dietary fiber. Because root veggies tend to be rich in complex carbs, including dietary fiber, they promote glucose stability and improved digestive health.  Fiber is definitely one of those nutrients we could all use more of!
  2. Resistant starch. This type of complex carb doesn’t easily break down in the gut. It arrives intact in the colon and ferments there, feeding gut bacteria and producing beneficial short-chain fatty acids.
  3. Vitamins and minerals. Here’s where the list gets very impressive. Due to the close contact with the soil, root veggies are particularly rich in minerals like potassium, zinc, copper, phosphorus and magnesium.  However, mineral content is contingent upon the type of soil they’re grown in – another reason why organic is better.  Also, the high mineral content makes root crops alkalizing foods.  As for vitamins, many roots are loaded with vitamins A, C, and B6 and those with edible greens like beets and radishes are also a great source of vitamin K.

But what about carbs?

Limiting your carb intake because of concerns about weight gain or insulin resistance? You may be trying to avoid “starchy” root vegetables like potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, carrots and parsnips.

But “low carb” doesn’t mean no carb. If you’re “not eating carbs” it is better to focus on cutting out simple sugars like sucrose and fructose. Both are readily absorbed in the gut, unlike the resistant starch present in many of the root veggies we’re talking about.

Get all the health benefits of root crops

Many root veggies also have antioxidant properties. Some, like onions, ginger, beets and turmeric, have known anti-inflammatory capabilities.

A few, like garlic, contain natural antibacterial qualities that can help limit bacterial overgrowth in the gut. Radishes have long been known to have a mild hypoglycemic effect in diabetes. Ginger and turmeric both have widely been researched for their anti-inflammatory properties.

Food Tips for the Holidays

Food Tips for the Holidays

Along with the holiday season comes an abundance of food and drink, parties showcasing more food than we would normally include in our regular dinner menu. It’s clear why overeating is so easy to do this time of year.

While I am all about eating real, wholesome, delicious food (and being grateful for it!), this time of year calls for a very mindful approach to enjoying the offerings without feeling sick and bloated at the end of the day.

Here are a few tips worth including in your daily practice that can be of help as you navigate through the goodies:

  1. Start the day in a mindful way: Start your day off with healthy choices that get your body moving and your mind awake and aware. A walk or run, some yoga, a morning meditation … these things not only help you feel your best, they also help you deal with the frantic pace and massive selection of food in a calm and mindful manner.
  2. Hydrate! For whatever reason, when winter rolls around people stop drinking water. Proper hydration is essential for promoting good digestion, energy, and focus, transporting nutrients, encouraging circulation and metabolism, and many other aspects of what it takes to build a strong body. Water also plays a part in regulating your appetite, so be sure to drink up throughout the day.
  3. Check in with your hunger: Ask yourself where your hunger levels are before you start eating and continue to check in throughout the meal. This simple exercise can be the difference between the food-coma and a post-dinner family game.
  4. Choose wisely: High-quality protein and fats encourage satiation and reduce extra carb cravings. Of course, veggies should be the star of your dish; non-starchy varieties like leafy greens are rich in fiber and phyto-nutrients that will fill you up without the regret. Sweet potatoes and butternut squash are starchier options that can still be part of a well-balanced plate, just try to stick to ½ cup portions of these to aid in blood sugar balancing.
  5. Chew slowly: Paying closer attention to the pace at which you chew your food can make a huge impact on the total amount of food you consume. It’s also a great way to more mindfully enjoy it—for foods that took so much time, love, and energy to prepare, doesn’t it deserve that kind of appreciation? You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to eat less and feel completely satisfied when you pay attention to the tastes and textures of each bite.

I hope these tips will help you enjoy your holiday in a comfortable and healthy way.

Exercises for good posture

Helpful exercises to correct posture

We all know exercise is an important component to our daily health. The following exercises were developed by Dr. David Jockers, DC, MS, CSCS to help combat poor posture and to help restore health and proper posture.

Perform each of the following exercises twice a day for one minute. In 30 to 90 days you will notice improved posture and all its benefits.

a. The Eagle: To do this exercise, imagine opening your arms just like an eagle spreads its wings. Stretching your arms overhead will open the lungs and boost oxygen intake. The boost in oxygen stimulates tissue regeneration and increases blood flow.

Instructions for Exercise:

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart
  2. Start with arms lowered and adjacent to sides
  3. Simultaneously lift both arms above your head
  4. Pause for a moment
  5. Lower arms back down to sides in a slow and controlled movement
  6. Repeat for 1 minute

b. The Hummingbird: This is a great exercise to remove the slouch from poor posture and to realign the head with the spine. The hummingbird strengthens the muscles between the shoulder blades, improves muscle fibers around the thoracic spinal column, opens pectoral muscles, and lifts the rib cage.

Instructions for Exercise:

  1. Lift arms so that they are parallel to the floor
  2. Bend elbows and facepalms forward to form a 90-degree angle between the bicep and forearm
  3. Rotate arms backward in a circular movement while squeezing shoulder blades together
  4. Repeat for 1 minute

c. The Trap Opener: The trapezius muscles stabilize the shoulder blades providing support for head and neck movement. Habitual forward head posture pulls and weakens the shoulder blades which consequently also relocates the ribcage. This exercise will release stress from the trapezius muscles and dispose of the so-called “monkey” on your back.

Instructions for Exercise:

  1. Relax your shoulders
  2. Drop your chin towards your chest
  3. Roll head slightly to the right side
  4. Use your right hand to massage trapezius muscles on the upper left side of the back
  5. Repeat exercise for opposite side
  6. Perform for 1 minute

d. The Butterfly: The butterfly is a great exercise to correct forward head posture.
Performing this exercise regularly targets muscles in the neck and shoulders that cause chronic neck pain.

Instructions for Exercise:

  1. Focus on lifting chest toward the ceiling
  2. Bring your hands back against your head so that thumbs point down. *Optional: If reduced flexibility hinders your ability to lift arms and hands behind head, perform exercise standing flat against a wall. You can also align back of head against a seat.
  3. Use about 10% of strength to push head backward while keeping head straight
  4. Hold for approximately 10 seconds
  5. Relax and repeat for 1 minute

e. The Chin Tuck: A contrasting exercise to the butterfly is the chin tuck. This exercise balances the opposite core muscles in the neck by strengthening the deep neck flexors. Performing the chin tuck helps balance your head and neck, reducing the occurrence of forward head shift.

Instructions for Exercise

  1. Focus on lifting chest toward the ceiling
  2. Maintain head position with ears over the neck
  3. Place 1 hand on your forehead
  4. Gently push forward with about 10% of strength (muscles in neck should contract and head should appear immobile)
  5. Relax and repeat for 1 minute
balance

Standing Tall: The Importance of Good Posture

Did your mother or teacher have to constantly tell you to stand tall or sit up straight? Well, as it turns out, their advice was right on the money. Posture is how your body is positioned when you are sitting, standing, or lying down. This article will discuss why good posture is important, the health consequences of poor posture, and steps you can take to improve posture.

All of us admire those with good posture, it is an attractive feature and those with good posture give a sense of command and control. Unfortunately, very few people are committed to practicing daily rituals to improve their posture. This postural neglect can have serious consequences on our overall health.

Why is Good Posture Important?

Posture is the window into your spine. Your spine has a powerful relationship with your brain, spinal cord, and overall organ function. The curve in the spine is there to provide support and balance to the musculoskeletal system. This natural curve is essential for preventing deformation to bones, joints, muscles, and tendons.
Correct posture reinforces the natural curve of the spine and not only influences how you look but helps you breathe, improves concentration, supports vital organ function, and stimulates overall well-being. Correct posture protects against disc degeneration that can lead to inflammatory conditions and disease. It is also critical for protecting the central nervous system.

What Is Subluxation?

In our modern society, we daily repeat activities that create stress on the supporting spinal column. Slouching, crossing legs, Smartphone use, and incorrect ergonomic practices at home, school, and work cause poor posture.

These daily activities lead to the abnormal curvature of the spine and abnormal stress on the nervous system, which is known as subluxation, or partial dislocation. Subluxation interferes with nerve impulses and can manifest in numerous physical symptoms.

Examples of physical symptoms from subluxation include:

  1. Neuropathy, a disease or disorder, generally degenerative, that affects the nervous system
  2. Back pain or neck pain
  3. Chronic pain common in the hips, joints, lower back, pelvis, and knees
  4. Irritation of a specific area such as arm pain
  5. Weakened immune system
  6. Organ dysfunction
  7. Inability to move or exercise normally
  8. Dizziness and loss of balance
  9. Loss of bladder or bowel control
  10. Autoimmune conditions
  11. Fatigue
  12. Headaches and migraines

The spine is susceptible to numerous traumas, including birth, regular physical activities from exercise and sports, as well as accidental injury from car accidents and falls. Depending on the type of injury and which nerve pathways of the spine become disrupted, spinal subluxations can increase the risk for weakened immunity and lowered quality of life.

Loss of the spine’s natural curve inhibits normal physiological and nervous system functions. The ability to protect the brain stem and support the communication of nerve impulses throughout the body becomes suppressed.
In addition, physical limitations of the body marked by poor posture accelerate the aging process and increase inflammation. This is a result of the body’s inability to manage stress and tissue trauma appropriately.

Forward Head Posture

Probably the most noticeable and common postural issue is forward head posture. It is an exaggeration of the natural curve of the neck. The natural curve, or arc, helps protect the brain stem and the spinal canal, where the spinal cord and nerves that travel to every region of the body are housed.

As the arc reduces it becomes unstable and results in a forward head posture. Causes of forward head posture include:

  1. Looking down while typing or reading (which has become excessive with the use of smartphones)
  2. Sitting improperly with shoulders rounded and back hunched
  3. Driving with your head more than 2 inches away from the head rest
  4. Carrying a backpack or heavy purse over one shoulder

Forward head posture causes major stress on the musculoskeletal system. It can lead to many health issues. For every inch your head extends forward, your neck must support an additional 10 pounds (nearly 5kg) of weight, and depending on the severity of the forward head posture, it can add up to 30 pounds (about 14kg) of additional weight on the spinal discs, ligaments, and tendons. This results in a cascade of injury to internal organs, like the lungs (which affects breathing), and affects blood flow and oxygenating the blood.

3 Ways to Improve Your Posture by Correcting & Preventing Sublaxation and Forward Head Posture

#1: Chiropractic Care – Chiropractic adjustments can help compensate for postural abnormalities leading to an improvement in the health of the spine and the whole body. Research found that chiropractic adjustments and rehabilitation exercises lead to the correction of forward head posture and cervical lordosis and restored pulmonary function.

#2: Lifestyle Practices – The first step to achieving good posture is being aware of your postural habits. Once you are aware of your poor postural habits, you can replace these habits with new healthy postural habits.

Four suggested lifestyle practices to reinforce good posture include:

  1. Make sure the top of your computer screen is level with your eyes, about two feet away from your face
  2. Carry a backpack squarely over both shoulders to balance the weight distribution
  3. When carrying a purse or duffle bag, carry it diagonally across the torso
  4. Have ample lower back support while sitting or lying for prolonged periods

#3: Exercises – Daily practice of posture correcting exercises will help create new postural habits.

How much is too much?

How much is too much?

How many times have you taken a bite of a food and said, “I’m so bad – this is so bad for me”?
News Flash: there’s no such thing as a good or bad food. No food is morally good or morally bad. If you have a food labeled as bad, then eating it makes you a bad person. What do you do to bad people? You punish them.

So, here’s the question: Are you punishing yourself because you’re “bad” for eating something that “is bad”. Can you begin to see food as neutral? Can you see the error in thinking?

What we need to realize is that it isn’t the food, it’s the quality and the dose. The true value of food is less about what food you’re eating and more about the quality and how much of it you eat.

Quality is everything. If you’re going to eat a slice of pizza, eat the best one you can find (or make it yourself using a vegetable crust rather than white flour).

Choose the highest quality version of the foods you’re going to eat anyway. When you elevate the quality of your food, you elevate your metabolism.

Quantity … ah, now there’s the rub. How much is enough? How much is too much? Do you know when you’ve had enough, or do you eat until your pants are so tight you can’t to breathe? Do you know when you’re hungry, or do you eat because the clock says it is noon?

Here’s the challenge:
Write a list of some foods that you can eat in moderation, but if you over-indulge it’s a problem.

You see – you do know what they are; now, all that is necessary for you to do is respect your body enough to allow quality food in, in moderation, and know when and where to draw the line. Having trouble completing this challenge? Hit the button and make an appointment because that’s one of the things I’m good at – helping you figure it all out.

bread-breakfast-coffee

What Am I Supposed to Eat?

Often, when I’m out at an event and happen to bump into someone who knows I’m a health and nutrition professional, usually the first thing that happens (after “Hi”) is either an apology for eating what they’re eating, or a question … WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO EAT? IS THIS OKAY?

As we all know, there’s a glut of information available on diets – most of it very confusing. It seems there’s a new incarnation of an old idea every year with all kinds of voices crying, “Eat vegan!”; “Eat like a caveman!”; “Eat soy!”; “Don’t eat soy!”; “Count calories!”; “Don’t count calories!” You get the picture. The fact of the matter is that all diet theories – and there are at least 100 of them – are simply shifting the balance, the source, or the timing of macronutrients. They change the ratio of how many carbs to fats to proteins are measured. High carb/low carb; high protein/low protein; high fat/low fat – these ratios are the balance of macronutrients: protein, fat and carbohydrates. We need to look at the basic macronutrients and a little bit of science to make sense of it all.

There are six main nutrients needed for energy, maintenance of tissues and regulation of bodily processes. Those are carbohydrates, fats, proteins, water, vitamins and minerals. The “macro” nutrients are fats, proteins and carbohydrates and for the sake of basic nutrition science, we’ll stick with these.

The Mighty Macronutrients – Carbohydrates

Macronutrients provide your body with energy, which is measured in calories.  We’ll start with carbohydrates.

Carbs are organic compounds that contain single, double, or multiple sugar units.  Our bodies look to carbs for quick energy because carbs are a very powerful, fast-acting, energy source.  There are three kinds of carbohydrates: complex, simple and fiber.

  • Simple carbs have a simple chemical structure and they’re broken down and metabolized very quickly by the digestive system – they’re also usually sweet. Think fruit for a healthy example and bread, cookies and chips for the “other” kind.
  • Complex carbs take more time to break down and digest; they’re savory or starchy – like potatoes, squash or lentils.
  • Fiber can’t be broken down. It’s the intestinal scrub brush.  There’s no caloric value in fiber, but without it the gut can be in serious difficulty.  That’s why it’s so important to eat some of your fruit and vegetables raw or only slightly cooked.

The Power of Protein

Proteins are large, complex molecules that are critical in the body at a cellular level and are needed for structure, function and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs.  They are made up of amino acids, of which there are 21 different types that can be combined to create a protein.

  • Proteins are used to produce new tissues for growth and repair and they regulate and maintain body functions.
  • They define what an organism is, what it looks like and how it behaves.
  • Enzymes, used for digestion, protection and immunity are made of proteins.
  • Proteins are used as a source of energy when carbohydrates aren’t available, usually as a last resort.
  • Proteins are found in meats, poultry, fish, cheese, milk, nuts and legumes.

Many people have had great success with weight loss using high protein diets, such as Atkins and the Paleo diet.  And, while these types of diets can be very effective, they’re not necessarily the right fit for everyone.  It’s important to honor your body and your own individual metabolism; we’re all different and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all diet.  Our metabolisms are all different.  What works for one may not work as well for another.

Some people handle animal protein quite well, others can’t manage it at all.  Knowing the type of protein that works best for you is important to your dietary health and success.

Fats are a big subject and I addressed it in my blog in August.

That’s where understanding nutrition theory comes in and, that’s where I come in.  In the meantime, you’re welcome to eat whatever you want to eat.  I am not the “eating police”.  However, if you really want to know what to eat and if what you’re eating is doing you good, then we need to meet and spend some time together.  I’m always happy to do that!  Just click on the button and make an appointment.