Are You Too Busy To Eat Healthy?

Are You Too Busy To Eat Healthy?

When I prescribe diet changes to my patients, the most common objection I get is that their busy schedule is not conducive to healthy eating choices. As a busy professional I can understand how eating healthy might feel like an enormous burden and can be left on the curb due to the numerous demands of life. While eating healthy on a time budget does require a little fore-thought, it can be a whole lot easier than you think.

A small investment of time pays off by keeping you healthy, eating well and feeling your best. Ultimately, it makes life easier. Even the simple strategy of cooking once and eating twice by making more than you need and enjoying leftovers is effective in promoting better nutrition on a daily basis.

Waiting to decide what to eat until just before you leave for work or just after you get home in the evening may result in you not have everything you need to put a meal together. Cooking your own food can become a revolutionary act that could, possibly, save your life, or at least enhance it substantially

Being unprepared in the face of hunger is a sure-fire way to sabotage your efforts to stick to a nutritional program. In this ‘food emergency’ what is available, quick and easy is not the most nourishing option for you or your body.

With a little strategy and some minimal planning, you can ensure those emergencies are avoided entirely. Here are some ideas I share with my patients to support them in maintaining consistently healthy meals even when schedules are at their tightest.

1. Make Lists.

Take some time one day every week to sit down and make a shopping list. Then visit the grocery store and purchase all of the ingredients for those recipes in advance. Keeping a list and sticking to it saves time, money, and unhealthy food from ‘appearing’ in your shopping cart. It is also wise to never go to the grocery store hungry!

2. Frozen is Your Friend.

Frozen vegetables (preferably organic) become a real timesaver, especially if you already have some in your freezer and can avoid the need for last-minute grocery store stops. The same goes for frozen grass-fed beef, wild-caught salmon, and organic berries. Shopping at warehouse stores can become a real time- and money-saver. Buy the very best quality you can find that fits your budget. If you have the freezer space, you can take advantage of sales and coupons and stock up for weeks or even months with these essentials.

3. Pre-Prep.

If the time for chopping has no place in your tight agenda, choose fresh pre-washed organic leafygreens, like spinach, kale, arugula, and even Romaine. Pre-cut produce is also available at many markets, which drastically reduces kitchen work. They might be a bit more expensive, but if you are short on time they are well worth it to get some fresh produce into your meal.

4. Use Canned.

Carefully chosen canned and jarred foods, such as vegetable or chicken stocks, sardines, wild Alaskan salmon, artichokes, and roasted red peppers, make it easy to toss together last-minute meals. I recommend choosing lower-sodium versions and read labels carefully to be sure that gluten, dairy, sugars, and other unwanted ingredients not inadvertently sneaking into your food. Whenever possible, BPA free cans are best.

5. Schedule Your Prep Time.

Once you have a well-stocked kitchen, it is time to prepare for the days ahead. Choose two days during the week (I find that Sunday and Wednesday generally work best) when you are going to spend a few extra hours in the kitchen, cooking and preparing as much as you can in advance. That means chopping your vegetables, making a few sauces and marinades, and cooking any whole grains you want to eat in advance. Focus on making it a fun process rather than a chore. Get your children and your spouse involved, create some great conversation.

6. Progress Not Perfection.

Even when you do your best, there will always be days where everything falls apart and preparing something as simple as a salad topped with pre-cooked wild salmon becomes impossible. You have learned to be prepared and will have nuts, seeds, and other healthy snacks available and easy to grab to ensure by the time dinner comes you are not ravenous.

Many grocery stores now have hot bars with healthy selections. Stopping by your local market on your way home and picking up a rotisserie chicken along with sautéed pre-cooked vegetables makes a simple ‘fast food’ meal without the processed grains, sugar, sodium and damaged fats found in many a drive-through. Always do the best you can under the circumstances rather than aim for perfection or an ‘all or nothing’ approach. Good enough right now is always your best option.

Today’s article was written by Dr. Christian Turbide and is shared from the following website: https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/dr-christian-turbide/too-busy-to-eat-healthy_b_10195738.html

Menu Monday!

Menu Monday!

Parsley Potato Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds new potatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Was potatoes and cut them in cubes (or, depending on their size, slice or quarter them). Steam-cook them until tender when pierced with a fork. Run them under cool water to stop the cooking process; set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together garlic, fresh parsley, olive oil, lemon juice and pepper. Pour over potatoes and mix well. Refrigerate for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, before serving.

Notes

Today's recipe is shared from The New Natural Healing Cookbook by Bessie Jo Tillman, M.D. Recipe photo is shared from the following website: http://cookalmostanything.blogspot.com/2006/06/weekend-herb-blogging-parsley.html

http://chiroaddict.com/menu-monday/

4 Best Exercises for Improved Posture

4 Best Exercises for Improved Posture

Let’s face it. Good posture isn’t exactly a high priority for many Americans. Like most things related to our health and wellness, we don’t notice it until it’s gone. 

Most of us live in a sitting culture—we sit at work, we sit at school, and we sit at home. The hard truth is that most of us sit too much and sit incorrectly. Beyond this, our love affair with mobile devices is amplifying the post problem by encouraging us to bend over, hunch our shoulders and crane our necks to look at small screens. Given our lifestyle choices, poor posture may seem almost inevitable. But it doesn’t have to be that way. For anyone with a bit of mobility, motivation and time, there are exercises you can do to improve poor posture. Here are four of the best types of exercises to help you improve your posture. 

Exercises to Strengthen Your Core

A strong core is essential for good posture. Your core includes your abdominals, lower back, obliques, and hips. Strong core muscles don’t just give you an attractive “six-pack” to show off at the beach. In fact, they help hold your body up straight, improve your balance, and provide you with greater muscle control and efficiency. They’re also critical to maintaining back health and provide some measure of protection against injury. When your core muscles aren’t strong, other muscles have to compensate, which results in reduced mobility as well as weakness and even pain. So, to help avoid or reduce low back pain, try regular core training. Some core training exercises include basic crunches (but not full sit-ups), side planks, crunches with a twist, standing side bends, and plank holds. Doing Pilates is another great way to work out your core muscles, as are back extensions and slow swimming. 

Exercises to Correct Your Rounded Shoulders

Because so many people spend their day hunched over while driving, sitting at a desk while working, using a laptop, or even watching television, rounded shoulders are extremely common—but they are in fact a postural abnormality. When you spend a lot of time in these forward-reaching positions, the muscles in your chest, shoulders, and hips become shortened and tight, and at the same time, your upper and middle back muscles lose strength. In order to help avoid and ease rounded shoulders, you can do exercises that strengthen the weak upper back muscles and stretch the tight muscles in the chest, shoulders, lats, and hips. As the upper back becomes stronger and the chest becomes more flexible, the shoulders naturally pull back, which improves your posture significantly. You can strengthen the upper back with exercises such as reverse dumbbell flys as well as rows with a resistance band, while you can stretch your tight muscles by doing standing chest stretches, torso stretches, and standing quad stretches. 

Exercises to Neutralize Your Tilted Hips

Hips should be neutral and level when viewed from the side—however, some people have postural abnormalities stemming from their hips’ tendency to slant forward. This is called the anterior pelvic tilt, and it negatively affects posture. Lordosis (also known as “swayback”) is a common indication of this tilt. Seen very often in people who sit for hours every day with their legs bent, this abnormality is caused by weakness in the hamstrings, glutes, and abs as well as tightness in the hip flexors and thighs. Exercises to correct this tilt include the core exercises mentioned above as well as bridges, leg curls with a ball, and single leg hamstring flexions with a ball. Exercises that stretch tight hip and quad muscles include standing quad stretches and kneeling quad and hip stretches. 

Exercises to Retract a Forward Head

Unfortunately, you can easily develop poor posture by tilting your head forward for hours every day. This happens when you drive, when you use a laptop or tablet, or when you watch television. When you fail to retract your head while performing everyday tasks, this tightens the front and side neck muscles and weakens the deep and rear muscles of the neck. The muscles at the front of your neck have to be strong enough to hold your head directly above—not forward of—the shoulders. Not only does this abnormality contribute to poor posture, but it also causes chronic neck pain. In order to retract a forward head, elongate the back of your neck by gently pulling your chin straight in. The highest point of your body should be the top back of your head. This works against the penchant to slip into a forward head posture. You can also work on this issue while driving: practice pulling your chin in and pushing your head into the headrest behind you for a few seconds at a time, then releasing. If you have a high-backed chair that you sit in at work, you can do this at your desk as well.  

Fear of Movement After Car Crash Hinders Recovery

Fear of Movement After Car Crash Hinders Recovery

Your muscles contract, there’s a burst of pain, and a soreness that makes you want to avoid moving your neck too much or turning too far. You may worry about re-injuring yourself or you may think, “I could do more harm than good by moving my neck.” Unfortunately, not moving your neck after an auto injury can actually be worse for your recovery, especially for people after a car accident.

While the patients’ injuries ranged in severity, all of the patients had pain for under a month and all were injured in an auto collision. Researchers measured patients’ levels of fear using two different scales. They also examined neck range of motion and degree of neck disability. Patients were evaluated after one, three, and six months after the injury.

Patients who were more afraid to move their neck had more severe neck disability and reduced range of motion. Increased fear also prolonged the symptoms. In contrast, patients with lower levels of fear were more likely recover before the six month follow up.

Maintaining movement after an injury does more than just reduce anxiety. It also ensures that tissues don’t become more tense, restricted or damaged. Chiropractic can help you with recovery, because chiropractic works by restoring the normal movement and function of your neck and back.

Conclusion

If you’ve been in a car crash, don’t wait to get treatment. It’s important to get your spine moving again as soon as possible! Chiropractic can help you on the path to recovery!

References

Pedler A, Sterling M. Assessing fear-avoidance beliefs in patients wit whiplash-associated disorders: a comparison of 2 measures. Clinical Journal of Pain 2011; 27.6: 503-7.

Vangronsveld KLH, et al. The influence of fear of movement and pain catastrophizing on daily pain and disability individuals with acute whiplash injury: a daily diary study. Pain 2008; 139.2: 449-57.

15-Minute Asian Rice Salad

15-Minute Asian Rice Salad

15-Minute Asian Rice Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Category: Salads

Ingredients

  • 2-inch piece ginger
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces shiitake mushrooms (about 4 cups), stems removed
  • 2 scallions
  • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
  • 4 cups store-bought pre-cooked or leftover brown rice
  • 2 breasts from a rotisserie chicken
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 5 ounces baby arugula

Instructions

  1. Peel the ginger and finely grate it in to a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the olive oil, vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil. Season with some salt and pepper. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the dressing and set aside. Thinly slice the mushrooms and scallions, keeping the white and green parts of the scallions separate. Add the sliced mushrooms, scallion whites and the edamame to the dressing in the large mixing bowl. Stir to combine and then marinate at room temperature (the mushrooms will become more tender while they sit in the dressing) while you prepare the rest of the ingredients, stirring occasionally. Reserve the sliced scallion greens to use as garnish.
  2. Place the rice in a glass mixing bowl and break it up using a fork. Place a damp paper towel directly on top of the rice and place in the microwave; cook until just warmed through and softened, about 3 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, remove the skin from the chicken and shred the meat in to large bite-size pieces, about 2 cups. Toss the chicken, warm rice and carrots with the mushrooms and edamame. Season with some salt and pepper.
  4. Toss the baby arugula and reserved dressing in a large mixing bowl. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Divide the arugula among 4 large plates and top each with 2 cups of the salad mixture. Garnish with the reserved scallion greens.

Notes

This recipe has been shared from the following website: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/15-minute-asian-rice-salad-3362993. Copyright 2014 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved.

http://chiroaddict.com/15-minute-asian-rice-salad/

Chiropractic Care and Your Sympathetic Nervous System

Chiropractic Care and Your Sympathetic Nervous System

While chiropractic physicians are generally thought of as experts in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal problems (particularly those related to back and neck pain), chiropractic treatments can also help the body’s nervous system function more effectively. From freeing pinched nerves and relieving generalized pain to regulating the immune system and stimulating healing, chiropractic care can achieve a wide range of long-lasting health benefits. 

To understand how chiropractic care can have these broader benefits, it’s useful to know a little bit about how your nervous system works. Doctors use a few different frameworks for describing the structure and function of the nervous system. One of the most basic frameworks distinguishes between your autonomic nervous system (ANS) or “involuntary” nervous system and your somatic nervous system (SoNS) or “voluntary” nervous system. The remainder of this article is about the two main branches of the ANS, the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. 

The body’s autonomic nervous system is actually made up of three parts—the sympathetic nervous system, the parasympathetic nervous system and the enteric nervous system. All of these parts work together to act as a control system that regulates the functions of the internal organs, such as the heart, stomach and intestines. From a structural point of view, the ANS operates as a complex network of neurons that originates inside the spinal cord and extends throughout the body via a series of interconnected hubs (called “ganglia” or “trunks”).   

The ANS is active at all times and is responsible for unconscious regulation of our glands and organs. In very general terms, the sympathetic nervous system regulates the “fight or flight” responses during times of stress or anxiety, including increased awareness, heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate and sweating. In contrast, the parasympathetic nervous system coordinates processes associated with the “rest and recover” or “rest and digest” responses, such as salivation, tears, sexual arousal and digestion. 

The sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems have a complementary, push-pull relationship that allows the body to respond very swiftly when necessary (through the sympathetic nervous system’s quick mobilization) and to slow down to perform other, less urgent activities in the background when appropriate (through the parasympathetic nervous system’s more gradual dampening). Together, these systems act a bit like an accelerator and a brake for our bodies and also help to maintain balance, or “homeostasis.”   

During the fight or flight response, your body slows or shuts down many of the rest and repair processes so that more energy is available for the processes necessary for near-term survival. In nonemergency situations, the parasympathetic nervous system is supposed to go to work, conserving energy and directing it to rest and repair responses, including healing. This is where chiropractic care can be very helpful. 

While stress hormones and the physiological changes they trigger can be helpful (maybe even life-saving) when we’re facing real physical threats, they can do significant damage to our health over the long term if they’re switched on all the time. Certain types of chiropractic adjustments have been shown to affect the autonomic nervous system by helping to down-regulate the sympathetic nervous system and stimulate parasympathetic activity. Quieting the fight or flight responses in turn promotes healing, bolsters the immune system and helps relieve the immediate sensation of pain. 

There’s no doubt that chiropractors can help patients find relief from acute injuries and chronic musculoskeletal conditions. But we may also be able to help you address neurological problems. If you’re interested in learning more, we encourage you to call or visit the office today! 

 

Additional Resources 

Sympathetic and parasympathetic responses to specific diversified adjustments to chiropractic vertebral subluxations of the cervical and thoracic spine. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2686395/ 

Short-term effects of cervical manipulation on edge light pupil cycle time: A pilot study. http://www.jmptonline.org/article/S0161-4754%2800%2981597-3/abstract 

Hormones: Chemical Messengers and the Chiropractic Link. http://www.theamericanchiropractor.com/articles-integrative-healthcare/4895-hormones-chemical-messengers-and-the-chiropractic-link.html 

Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad with Walnuts, Parmesan and Lemon-Mustard Dressing

Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad with Walnuts, Parmesan and Lemon-Mustard Dressing

Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad with Walnuts, Parmesan and Lemon-Mustard Dressing

Yield: 6 to 8 Servings

Ingredients

  • For the Salad
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 pound Tuscan or curly kale (about 1 large bunch), thick center rib removed, leaves thinly sliced
  • 1 cup coarsely grated or chopped Parmigiano Reggiano
  • For the Dressing
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, from about 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots, from one large shallot
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean-up. Bake the walnuts for 5-8 minutes, until toasted and fragrant. Keep a close eye on them; they burn quickly.
  2. Combine the brussels sprouts and kale in a large bowl.
  3. Make the dressing by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over the vegetables. Add most of the walnuts and cheese, reserving some to garnish the platter, and toss well. Let the salad sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes (or up to a few hours in the fridge) to allow the flavors to meld and the vegetables to soften. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Transfer to a serving dish and scatter the remaining walnuts and cheese over top. Serve at room temperature.

Notes

This recipe is by Jennifer Segal who was inspired by BonAppetit and is shared from the following website: https://www.onceuponachef.com/recipes/shaved-brussels-sprouts-salad-parmesan-walnuts-lemon-mustard-dressing.html

http://chiroaddict.com/kale-brussels-sprout-salad-with-walnuts-parmesan-and-lemon-mustard-dressing/

Chiropractic Adjustments Help with Pain Relief

Chiropractic Adjustments Help with Pain Relief

Johns Hopkins Medicine defines pain as “an uncomfortable feeling that tells you something may be wrong.” Depending on its cause, this feeling can range from being mildly annoying to absolutely debilitating in nature, potentially preventing a person from having any quality of life whatsoever. Additionally, some pains are constant and steady, whereas others tend to come and go.

Regardless of the type, intensity, and consistency of the pain, at some point in our lives, we all experience this feeling in one form or another. However, whether or not we’re able to effectively handle it is largely determined by our individual pressure pain thresholds. In other words, the higher our thresholds, the less impact these pains have on our lives, and one fairly new study has found that chiropractic may just increase that limit.

In December of 2016, Chiropractic & Manual Therapies published a piece of research which set out to determine what effect, if any, spinal manipulation therapy (SMT) had on pressure pain threshold. Individuals were recruited from Murdoch University campus in Western Australia and, ultimately, 34 subjects ranging in age from 18 to 36 qualified for inclusion. Twenty of the participants were male, with the remaining 14 being female, all of whom were assessed at the beginning of the study and declared asymptomatic.

Using an algometer with a 1cm2 rubber probe, the participants’ deep mechanical pain sensitivity was assessed multiple times at four different sites on the body (calf, lumbar, scapula, and forehead) by asking each one to indicate the point in which the pressure turned into pain. The average of the second and third recordings was used as a baseline.

Once the initial data was recorded, each participant was then subjected to a high-velocity, low-amplitude spinal manipulation using the hypothenar mammillary push while the subject lay on his or her side. Furthermore, the thrust was aimed at the portion of the participants’ spine located between the L5 and S1 vertebrae. Upon completion, the pressure pain threshold was collected again, and then again at 10, 20, and 30 minutes after the conclusion of the treatment session.

Researchers found that, after engaging in just one session of SMT, subjects reported increases in pressure pain threshold in the calf and lumbar spine areas, with no notable reduction in the scapula or forehead. Additionally, the thresholds that did increase did so at a higher rate on the right side of the participants’ bodies than on the left.

This study shows promise for patients dealing with chronic pain issues as chiropractic adjustments seem to provide an instantaneous reduction in pain. Further research with a larger group of test subjects is warranted.

Dorron SL, Losco BE, Drummond PD, Walker BF. Effect of lumbar spinal manipulation on local and remote pressure pain threshold and pinprick sensitivity in asymptomatic individuals: a randomized trial. Chiropractic & Manual Therapies 2016;24:47.10.1186/s12998-016-0128-5

What is Pain/Types of Pain Treated?  Johns Hopkins Medicine: Blaustein Pain Treatment Center.

Good Workplace Ergonomics Matter! Lessons from Medical Lab Technicians

Good Workplace Ergonomics Matter! Lessons from Medical Lab Technicians

Are the bad ergonomics of your workplace causing you chronic back or neck pain? If so, you’re not alone. Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSDs) are one of the leading causes of occupational injuries and disability throughout the world. In the United States, WRMSDs cause over 647,000 days of lost work every year and result in workman’s compensation claims costing anywhere from $45 billion to $60 billion. They also account for 34% of all work-related injuries and illnesses. Examples of WRMSDs include chronic back and neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, sprains, and hernias. While you might assume that these types of injuries are the result of unrelated incidents or isolated situations playing out in many different environments across the country on any given day, there is actually a pattern. Many of them are caused by badly designed workplaces.

This pattern became evident in a study recently published in the Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation. The researchers wanted to analyze the postures of workers in a high-tech medical laboratory to determine the prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders and to investigate the relationship of these musculoskeletal disorders to workers’ individual factors, their work characteristics, and their working postures.

They gathered data from the medical lab technicians, using the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ, a standardized scale for measuring musculoskeletal disorders and occupational health), the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS, a type of self-reporting measurement), and RULA (Rapid Upper Limb Assessment, a self-reported scale by which workers assess the postures that most accurately reflect their working positions). They then assessed the positions that the technicians’ lab workstations and equipment forced them to adopt for long periods of time each day and compared them with the technicians’ medical problems.

What they found was that poor lab workstation design was causing musculoskeletal problems in 73.3% of the workers. The poorer their posture was on the VAS and RULA scales, the more musculoskeletal problems they had. In addition, there was a significant difference between pre-work and post-shift reports of neck, lower back, and knee pain. In summation, the workplace design was definitely causing the WRMSDs.

There is a very real possibility that your own workplace is just as likely to put you at an increased risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders. Symptoms of WRMSDs are not limited to back and neck pain—they also include joint discomfort, muscle tightening and swelling, stiffness, and feelings of numbness or “pins and needles.”

If you or your fellow workers have noticed such symptoms, you should report them to your employer and expect that they will take steps to correct any problem-causing ergonomics. In the interim, you can take some steps on your own to protect yourself from WRMSDs. You don’t have to sit at a desk that is too high or low or in a chair that puts you in an uncomfortable and unhealthy position. Modern desks and their accompanying desk chairs have controls that can be used to lower or raise them. The same applies to computers or other equipment you use every day—you can put your monitor on top of some books so that it’s more in your line of sight or make other changes to help make your workspace more ergonomic. A good place to start looking for tips on how to improve the ergonomics of your office workspace is the Occupational Safety & Health Administration Computer Workstations guide. OSHA also has similar guides for other types of work environments.

 

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