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Aging isn’t easy, it takes effort to age well with grace, stamina and a healthy sense of self. It’s vital to remain active and make sure you are getting exercise to combat degenerative health problems on a routine basis. You don’t have to make the gym your second home but exercising 3-5 times a week is a good number to shoot for to encourage good health and a long life
Along with regular exercise, it’s vital to have good nutrition habits in order to nourish your body from the inside as well as maintaining the outside.
Some tips to keep in mind as you age well and eat well:
Eat foods rich in antioxidants to combat free radicals. Antioxidants can be found in colorful foods like berries, beets and tomatoes. Eating a colorful variety of foods will help you meet your 5-9 servings a day and fill you with vitamins and minerals necessary to fuel you each day.
Cook with olive oil. Olive oil has been shown to have a positive affect on memory. Olive oil also has some anti-inflammatory properties and in men has been shown to reduce bad cholesterol by clearing fat from the artery walls.
Eat beans to increase your fiber intake. Fiber can lower your blood pressure, lower your cholesterol, improve digestion and prevent constipation. Eating beans 3-4 times a week can help you get these benefits in a low fat way. And a diet rich in fiber will help you feel fuller so you won’t be battling hunger throughout the day. It’s important to mention that chiropractors not only treat neck pain and back pain but a host of other ailments that can be successfully treated with chiropractic care.
Staying active and eating healthy is key to staying fit for life not just in your twenties but your whole life long and your chiropractor will certainly agree with that.
There’s nothing more tempting than a fast snack out of the vending machine or at the local gas station front counter. Think packaged, salty, sweet whatever your weakness may be it’s likely readily available and not very healthy.
So, instead of fighting temptation and fighting those hunger pains, plan ahead and pack some healthy snacks while at work, school or out running errands.
Needs some inspiration?
Yogurt Pops. Take some seasonal fresh fruit, lowfat yogurt and a little milk (soy, cow’s or almond) blend it and then freeze it in a standard ice pop mold tray. You’ll have a snack or breakfast for on the go for both adults and kids.
Frozen Grapes. It’s not your typical fruit snack. They’ll be crunchy, sweet and cold and likely to hit the spot when you need a sweet snack. They are fiber rich and have a high water content so they’ll be filling.
Roasted Chickpeas. Chickpeas are high in protein and low in calories. To eat them roasted drain and rinse them, toss lightly in olive oil and salt and then roast them at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes. These are easy carry to work or munch on your way to school and they’ll be plenty filling to tide you over to your next meal.
Hummus, Pita and Vegetables. This could be a good meal substitute or a healthy and substantial snack. Hummus is packed full of healthy protein and many varieties include vegetables for an extra punch. In combination with veggies to dip and whole wheat pitas you’ll find yourself with a boost of energy, full but not bloated and with some cravings satisfied.
Snacking habits can make or break your diet. When you’re in for your next chiropractic appointment for your neck pain, consider addressing your nutrition as well. Your chiropractor is well versed in whole body health and that includes nutrition.
There are many many reasons to lose unnecessary weight. A key reason is to alleviate strain and pressure put on muscles and bones by excess weight. If you suffer from lower back pain, being overweight can be the primary cause for your pain and it could make it worse.
If you need some weight loss tips that you can really use, consider these ideas:
Take It Slow. Rapid weight loss from extreme dieting or weight loss pills is unhealthy, dangerous and frequently ineffective. Sudden weight loss often backfires leading to more weight gain. Slow, steady weight loss has been shown to stay off longer with fewer hangups because you’ve actually made lifestyle changes that will accommodate lasting weight loss.
Get Good Sleep. When you are sleep deprived your body revs up the hunger hormones it produces. So, even if you aren’t hungry, your body will send these messages that it is hungry often leading to overeating. And for those who are tired, eating is often used as a means of staying awake. And you probably won’t be surprised to know that when you are tired, you lose the motivation to exercise and tend to make poorer food choices.
Exercise. Chiropractors recommend regular exercise to combat illness, fatigue and back pain. Regular exercise also burns calories and can strengthen and build muscle and muscle in turn burns calories.
It can be difficult to stay motivated and keep up a healthy and balanced lifestyle for the long haul. Have a friend or loved one join you on your journey so you can exercise together, cook together, swap recipes and keep each other accountable for stay on task. It can make your journey easier, more fun and more rewarding overall.
There’s no magic trick to having self confidence. And sometimes it feels like everyone else around us has it, so what are we missing? Being self-confident doesn’t mean you are pompous or full of yourself it just means you feel good about yourself and can show that to others. And whether you’re having a down day or week because you are ill, being challenged at work or experiencing a bump in a relationship, there’s no reason why you can’t ride those waves with some self-confidence in your back pocket.
So, how can you get a boost in the self-confidence department when you need it most?
Dress Up. You don’t have to put on your best duds necessarily but putting on something you know is flattering and grabs you a little attention could be just what you need for a mood pick me up. And sometimes we just need to see ourselves how other people see us. So, what are you waiting for? Go get cleaned up.
Lend A Smile. When you don’t feel it, sometimes you just need to fake it. Putting a smile on your face and sharing that smile with others can prompt a reciprocal response where you get some love and good vibes back.
Volunteer Your Time. Sometimes when we can’t receive good things about ourselves or the world around us we can give good things to others and that gives us that boost of self-confidence we need. It may be mowing a neighbor’s lawn, serving food at a homeless shelter or caring for orphaned dogs at a local animal shelter. Naturally, when we do something that requires our time, attention and sympathy it produces those feel good hormones that helps us recognize the things in life that are really important.
Sometimes, chronic illness, lingering lower back pain or something like frequent headaches can take so much out of your physically and emotionally that there’s no room for self-confidence. Check in with your chiropractic specialist for a head to toe evaluation to determine what course of treatment to pursue.
What’s so great about snacking? Well, eating healthy snacks can help curb cravings, give you a boost of energy, keeps you from over eating, and ALSO support weight loss.
For those of you who are new to gluten-free or need a refresher, check out the basics of living without gluten.
Healthy Gluten-free Snacks
Morning or Breakfast Snacks
- Mini Apple Baked Oatmeal Cakes
- Light & Nutty Maple Mix
- Greek yogurt & granola
- Fresh Fruit [salad]
- Apricots, yogurt and pistachios
- Spinach, Kale and Pear Smoothie
- Mint Cocoa Milkshake
- GF Toast with Nut butter and Bananas
- Eggs, Bacon and Gluten-free Toast Cups
- Avocado Toast
- Avocado + Tomato Wrap
- Mini Baked Omelet for Kids [via Super Healthy Kids]
- Frozen Grapes
- Kale chips
- Baked cinnamon spice apple chips
- Roasted Curried Chickpeas
- Baked Sweet Potato Fries
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Curry
Sweet & Salty
- Celery slices [with a little salt] and almond / peanut butter [or sunflower seed for nut allergies]
- Apples & PB / Almond butter
- Dried fruit and nuts [almonds, walnuts, pistachios]
- Raw almond + dried cranberries + salt
- Homemade trail mix – less sugar than store bought
- Chocolate dipped (gluten free) Pretzels
- Air-popped popcorn with peanut butter [heat before drizzling]
ps. Dark chocolate peanut butter DOES exist!
- Hard boiled eggs
- Mashed black beans rolled in corn tortillas
- Chickpea salad
- Rice cakes with almond/peanut/sunflower seed butter & banana slices [optional]
- Cottage cheese and fruit
- Pumpkin Pie Protein Shake
- [Hard boiled] egg whites filled with avocado mix – avocado, lime juice, s+p, sprinkle of fresh cilantro [pictured above]
- Vegetables & Hummus [carrots, bell pepper, jicama, etc.]
- Hummus, Avocado and Tomato Bites
- Quinoa Stuffed Cucumbers
- Shrimp Cocktail
- Olives and marinated mushrooms
- Chips & Salsa [or Healthy guacamole]
- Truffled Popcorn
Sweet Tooth [without all the sugar]
- Sweet potato with salt, cinnamon and nutmeg – add a little maple syrup if desired [pictured above]
- My “Special” Popcorn
- Mini baked apple with cinnamon [mash & it's like homemade apple sauce]
- S’mores Pudding [dairy-free]
- Chocolate Peanut Butter & Espresso Shake
- Dark Chocolate with Pistachios and sea salt [1-2 ounces]
- Almond milk and date shake
- Strawberries dipped in melted chocolate
- Fruit Kebabs
half sweet potato with roasted brussles sprouts and dried cranberries
We all have some good and bad habits. We have rituals we repeat because that’s just how we were raised and we have habits we’ve developed more intentionally as we’ve gotten older and made choices both good and bad.
So, what are some good habits you can really sink your teeth into, helping to make your life easier, healthier and more efficient?
Wake Up Early. While there’s no right time to get up we all function on different schedules, try to make a habit of getting up before the rest of your house is all abuzz. Having some time to gather your thoughts, plan your day and spend a little time just quietly waking up. Whether you meditate, drink coffee or sit and write or read, spending some time early in the day readying for your day is a good habit to start.
Exercise Every Day. Being physically active doesn’t require a two hour stint at the gym-pumping iron and doing marathon preparation. Being physically active could be taking your dog for a daily walk, playing tennis or doing yoga. Stretching, cardiovascular exercise and weight resistance are all good habits to incorporate into your regimen on a regular basis. Exercise can combat heart disease, high blood pressure and even lower back pain. Chiropractic specialist recommend regular exercise for preventative care as well. Find something you like to do and then make it a part of your regular routine.
Review Your Goals Each Day. Regardless of how big or little your goals are, take some time with your early wake up and go over your goals and get into a frame of mind where you’re working towards those goals. You’ll be surprised at how you can make those dreams a reality in a matter of days, weeks or months.
Take some time today to consider what bad habits you want to drop and what good habits you want to start and then set your goals accordingly. If you aren’t deliberate about your goals and habits you’ll find that you’ll get very little accomplished and end up with habits that are getting you nowhere.
We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day but come crunch time when the clock is ticking, the bus is waiting and work is calling you, breakfast can get skipped altogether. Maybe you need some inspiration or fresh ideas (and a little extra time) to help you stay committed.
Here are some easy breakfast ideas that just may get you hooked on that morning meal:
Add some ground flaxseed to whatever you’d normally eat. Whether it’s cereal, oatmeal, yogurt or a quick smoothie adding a tablespoon or two of ground flaxseed can make it heartier and healthier. Flaxseed provides a good dose of protein and omega-3 fatty acid. You can stick with what you like but adding flaxseed will make it healthier, give it a bit of a crunch if you like texture and give it a new spin in the flavor department.
Cook up some quinoa. Quinoa is more readily known as a side dish or yummy grain served at dinnertime. But quinoa can easily be transformed into a breakfast food. Just cook it according to the package directions the night before, heat it with some milk the next morning and off you go. You can add fruit or flaxseed to this dish as well.
Swap breakfast for lunch. If you’re a fan of tuna, try eating your tuna sandwich for breakfast instead of reserving it for lunch. It’s easy to prepare a day or two in advance and can be eaten on the go. As a bonus, tuna offers 25 grams of protein per can so it will serve you well all morning long.
Just eating anything for breakfast won’t cut it. Foods like sugary cereals, donuts and pastries will only add inches to your waist band, a burden to your lower back pain and a forecast for a mid-morning crash. Eating healthy isn’t complicated or time consuming. It may require a bit more mental energy but eventually will feel natural, a well earned habit. Work in conjunction with your chiropractic specialist for a healthy meal plan that will work in rhythm with your goals for preventative healthcare. You won’t be sorry and you’ll find your mornings will go better than expected with a nutritious start.
We’ve all seen how small changes or even smaller actions can create major, positive changes. The same is true for our health and mental well being. Those small pebbles create major ripples of change.
So, what can you do to inspire big results in your own life?
Hold His Hand. Whether it be your spouse, child, mother or acquaintance those small touches can create a wealth of positive emotion. It might be a squeeze on a shoulder, a touch on the head or holding a hand but our bodies are inclined to respond to these touches and illicit feel good chemicals that make us feel good and whoever is on the receiving end feel good as well. Whenever you have the opportunity to snuggle up or offer a meaningful touch, do it! Keeping those sweet touches going can be contagious.
Add Healthy Fats to Every Meal/Snack. When your meal/snack includes protein, fiber and fat it slows your body’s release of insulin, stabilizing your blood sugar. Your body works best when it has a slower response to blood sugar spikes and eating this combination of foods can do that, helping you to avoid sluggish after meal lulls.
Don’t Let Your Desk Become a Sticky Mess. While you are trying to manage your lower back pain those sticky notes that scream at you all day can leave you with a headache as well. Instead of adding to the clutter, weed through it each afternoon and make yourself one list instead of intimidating yourself with several “to do” notes. When some people see the chaos of notes, files, papers and more it can bring migraine symptoms to the surface. Don’t let your day be dictated by chaos and clutter. Instead sort, file, sift and toss what you don’t need and what’s left you can streamline into a tidy “to do” list.
These are just a few ways to make your life simpler, more enjoyable and healthier. Chiropractic care is also a part of a healthy lifestyle. Routine care from your chiropractor is ideal for preventing future illnesses and injuries and for treating current problems you may be dealing with. In the end, only you have the power to make changes in your day to day life. Once you decide to make changes following through is up to you.
Weather changes bring anticipation of warmer weather, vacations, school breaks and many fun outdoor activities that can be enjoyed by the whole family. If you suffer any allergy or sinus problems during seasonal changes then you may find impending spring weather to be unpleasant perhaps painful. Sinus headaches are a common complaint during the spring warm up. You may be planning a visit to see your chiropractor for headache relief but if you’re waiting for your appointment and looking for some relief on the home front then try these tips:
Keep It Cool. Warmer temperatures indoors can make it difficult for mucous to clear out of your sinuses. Instead of keeping the heat cranked up inside, opt for cooler temperatures and wear an extra layer. Specialists say that if you’re having fewer nosebleeds with cooler temperatures indoors, that is a good indicator that your house is a better temperature for your nose.
Humidify The Air. Air that is too humid can promote the growth of mold and dust mites. The goal is to find a middle ground that keeps the air around you moist enough to ease nasal dryness but not too moist so mold and dust mite growth aren’t promoted. Getting a humidifier or a cool mist vaporizer and using it regularly while keeping it clean may help you breathe better and sleep better at night.
Air Out Your House. While keeping your home energy efficient and sealed at every nook and cranny is good at reducing your energy cost it can be harsh on your sinuses by recirculating stale air. When you can, open your home to outside air (when outside allergens aren’t too high), allowing fresh air to come and clean out some of the stagnant air in your home can help eliminate some of the air that may be aggravating your sinuses.
Taking your health into your own hands can be easy but requires commitment to making healthy choices on a regular basis. Talk with your chiropractor about the sinus problems you’ve been experiencing and together you can develop a plan that will put you on the road to good health.
There are all times in our life when we just lose our mojo, otherwise known as umpf, juice and drive. Staying motivated, no matter what the goal can be difficult, untimely and just plain exhausting. We all experience the let down of losing our motivation but it can be recaptured.
Here are some tips to help you get your drive back:
Focus on what you are gaining. If your goal is to earn a specific degree or train for a 5k it can be easy to focus on what you may be missing out on, time with friends, extra sleep or time pursuing a more enjoyable hobby. Instead of wallowing in what you can’t do relish the time you’re devoting to yourself and your goals. If you’re in school working on coursework make the little things fun. Study with a friend, make yourself a favorite cup of coffee to take to class with you or remind yourself of the dreams you are pursuing. If it’s exercise you are spending time on then make a playlist of music you enjoy or save a special podcast to listen to. Not to mention you are doing something that will help you look and feel great.
Set smaller goals. Whatever the end of the line goal is for you, set smaller goals along the way to help you stay motivated. It can be easy to lose sight of the big picture but setting smaller goals for yourself along the way can help you stay focused and motivated. It may be a new pair of shoes, a favorite meal or alone time with a special person but reward yourself along the way and you’ll find it easier to stay on task.
Have others validate your efforts. Whether it be your chiropractor who is acknowledging your efforts at home and at the office to help relieve headaches or a friend who can encourage you along your new career path even though you feel uncertain in the beginning, remember to include others in your journey. We need support as we make changes in our life. If you find that others are discouraging you from making changes, take a step back and make sure they aren’t feeling abandoned in your new process. Quite often change can be just as hard on those around us as ourselves.
Staying motivated can be challenging and sometimes uncomfortable but healthy changes that encourage growth and ready us for the future are well worth the effort and time. Just keep on swimming.