Food. Family. Fun. That’s about the order of priority around the holidays, but if you (like most) are worried about gaining those few extra pounds over December, we’ve got a few tips for you.
It doesn’t have to be a blue Christmas this year with bland foods that taste like cardboard, but take the initiative to make a DEFENSIVE game plan when it comes to eating this season. Start with some of our helpful tips and maybe sprinkle in a few ideas of your own. Happy season’s eatings!
1. Be A Picky Eater – In other words, spend your calories wisely on the foods you love and enjoy. Put yourself on a food budget at each meal and at every party and come New Years, you won’t be disappointed in your waistline. That’s something you can take to the bank.
Try This: Make a mental note of which foods are your favorites and try to stick to those instead of going crazy and eating every single thing on the table.
2. Rethink Seconds – It takes a little time for your brain to realize you’re “full” so give yourself a break and then take inventory of how you feel. You may not want those seconds after all.
Try This: After you’re finished with your first plate of food, take a 10-minute break. Grab some water. Talk to an old friend. Go to the bathroom.
3. Don’t Be A Grazer – We’re talking about acting as guardian of the food table. It’s easy to mindlessly eat while you talk, even if you’re full, so keep some distance between you and that delicious spread.
Try This: If you know you’re the type who will grab a snack at every turn, carry some gum or mints in your pocket and pop those in when you get a hankering to keep on snacking.
4. Never Go To Party With An Empty Tummy – That’s just asking for trouble and you’re almost certain to gorge yourself when you get there. It’s just human nature, when you’re famished, you FEAST.
Try This: Grab a filling bite before heading out. Something like apple slices with peanut butter or turkey and cheese on pita bread are perfect choices.
5. Try Not To Drink All Your Calories – Easier said than done when you’re enjoying friends and food in a fun atmosphere, but there are some tips that can at help (a little). Did you know that a glass of eggnog can rack up 500 calories or more in a single glass? Wine, beer or cocktails typically run 125-250 calories per drink, so they can add up quickly. Be mindful of those deliciously dangerous drinks.
Try This: Take a break between drinks to grab a glass of water or even a flavored seltzer between takes.
6. Slip-On Those Dancing (Walking) Shoes – Depending on the type of dancing and obvious intensity levels, dancing can burn up to an average of 282 calories per hour! The perfect way to make up for those yummy hors-d’oeuvres and cocktails. Walking can also be a great way to burn some calories before a night of partying.
Try This: Choose a dinner spot that offers live music so you can dance the night away or grab a friend or family member and take a brisk walk around the block before the night starts.
7. Don’t Shop Hungry – Similar to going to a party hungry, NEVER leave the house hungry, especially if you’re going shopping. Strolling around the mall or department store will have your stomach growling for those yummy cinnamon rolls and pretzels that you won’t be able to resist. Poor choices are just bound to happen.
Try This: Grab a healthy snack before you leave the house or eat a good meal at home. This will help cut down on those impulse snacks that seem to be everywhere.
8. Cook For Those You Love – Going out to eat or to a party, it’s hard to control your food choices or more importantly what’s in them. Why not plan your own dinner party and cook a delicious heart-healthy meal for the important people in your life. There are lots of ways you can make your meals healthier around the holidays without sacrificing all the good flavor.
Try This: Get creative by using less of those ingredients that are piled high with saturated fats and cholesterol like butter, cream, and vegetable shortening. There are lots of healthy alternatives out there such as applesauce or even evaporated skim milk.
We want everyone to be happy and healthy overall, and that requires baby steps sometimes. We hope these tips help you out, and if you have any questions about health and wellness we’d love to talk with you. Give our team a call and let’s set some health goals to make next year your best year yet!
Bend. Stretch. Repeat. Good advice for someone with back pain, especially lower back pain. You don’t have to get to a gym, and it’s not just reserved for athletes.
Stretching is for everyone and aside from easing up on your back pain, it also helps prevent injury and promote circulation in your body: pretty good news for the 31 million adults claiming to have back pain at any given time.
The best part is you can do it literally anywhere, so here are the top 4 stretches to help whip your back, back into shape.
Knee to Chest
Lie on your back, pull one knee into your chest, wrapping your hands around your thigh, knee, or shin. Pull slightly until you feel the stretch through lower back, hamstring, and buttocks. Hold for 20 seconds. Slowly re-center your knee. Repeat each leg 3 times.
Benefits: Strengthens core abdominal muscles, core muscle groups and stretches your paraspinal muscles
Yoga Cat & Cow
Begin on all fours, hands beneath your shoulders, knees below your hips. Exhale and gently arch your spine. Inhale, tighten your core muscles and round your back like a cat. Your movements should be slow. Hold each movement for 5-10 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
Benefits: Soothes back pain, flexes your spine maintaining essential spine health
Seated Back Twist
While seated, cross your left leg over a bent right leg. Gently pull foot toward chest until you feel the stretch through your buttock. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat each side 3 times.
Benefits: Stretches and lengthens your piriformis muscle
Begin on your stomach, legs extended and hands palm down with elbows and forearms on the ground. Slowly push yourself upwards so your weight is resting mostly on your forearms and make sure to keep your hips on the ground. Gently stretch your abdominal muscles and lower back. Hold for 10 seconds. Return to your original position. Repeat 3 times. Try straightening your arms more each time you push up.
Benefits: Stretches really tight abdominal muscles and lower back muscles
These simple stretches aim to ease back pain, even sciatic nerve pain, as well as help prevent future back problems down the road. Once into these stretches, if you feel uncomfortable and or any pain, stop immediately. Stretches are not meant to be painful, so should you feel you have back pain that needs more professional attention, our team wants to help.
Chiropractic care focuses on the health of your spine and a large part of that affects your lower back, so contact us today to discuss how we can help eliminate your back pain for good.
You can weed through the millions of different ways to lose weight from the apple cider vinegar craze to even surgery, but if you don’t want to travel down the weight loss rabbit hole, we’d like to offer up some guidance.
It’s a tough road and whether it was becoming super winded playing with your energetic toddler at the park , or a trip to Old Navy for the dreaded swimsuit shopping that’s got you motivated, it’s a road you’ve decided to go down.
There’s never just ONE diet plan or type of exercise schedule that is attributed to one’s health or weight loss, but lots of factors play a part. That’s why we want you to remember: mentality, motivation, and movement. They will help you navigate your weight loss journey in a natural and healthy way.
Ok, you’re ready to charge up weight loss mountain and get your rear in shape. You’ve researched the perfect plan for yourself, but a couple of Mondays later, you step off that scale frustrated and disappointed. You’ve already lost heart, and it’s sunk to the bottom of the ocean right along with that heart necklace from Titanic.
Losing weight fast seems so simple, right? Read the steps. Follow the directions. Poof. The pounds should melt off in a snap! The thing is, it IS simple, but it’s mentally and psychologically complex. That’s where the biggest problems lie.
What you have to understand is when you struggle and win, then struggle some more and win some more, you start to get what it’s about. It’s not a perfect formula. It’s a process and pounds lost don’t necessarily equate to happiness. Your life habits are what change you from the inside out, so finding a healthy and balanced lifestyle will ultimately bring you the peace you’re looking for. Your mind just needs to get on board.
Committing to something is a huge step no matter if it’s losing weight or buying a house. Make your commitment and write it down where you can see it every day. This is fuel for your fire. If it’s your mirror so be it, whatever it takes to force yourself to look at your goals every single day. Maybe you want to be able to play soccer with your little boy at the park without nearly dropping to your knees out of breath or conquer that simple flight of stairs at your work without huffing and puffing the whole way. Your goals are your goals, but you have to keep them in front of you.
Building your support system is another building block to your motivation. Don’t be around people who are only going to give you lip service. Ultimately it’s up to you if you eat the cake, drink the soda and lounge on the couch, but accountability and encouragement can push you to do your best. You CAN do this!
We’ve heard it our whole lives, haven’t we? Diet & Exercise. Exercise & Diet. They pretty much go together like peanut butter and jelly. It’s true. The food we eat is crucial to our health, but our daily activity is right there with it. Sure, you could do one without the other and achieve some results, but it wouldn’t be a fully balanced picture.
Aside from physical exercise helping to shed those lifestyle, after-baby, or holiday pounds, it also helps in the grand scheme of your overall health. Keep that blood flowing by moving around throughout your day. Don’t just sit at your desk or stay static on your couch. Walk around. Stretch. Do simple squats. Go for a family bike ride. Just keep moving!
You’ve done it. You’ve made up your mind to move past your struggle into a lifestyle built on healthy habits. Now we want to arm you with the tools to make it easier.
Dr. Paul recently visited Afternoon Live on KATU and showed different ideas for giving the gift of “wellness” this holiday season. Check it out!
Pumpkin season has finally arrived, so we thought it appropriate to carve out some time for dishing out some impressive health benefits of this yummy seasonal favorite. No more feeling anxious about what you’re bringing to family gatherings, now you can feel good about all of your pumpkin recipes this fall and brag away about how healthy they are.
Check out our 6 favorite health benefits of pumpkin and feel free to share them with everyone, unless you want to hog all the credit for yourself, in which case we won’t tell anyone.
Top 6 Health Benefits of Pumpkin
1. Pumpkin Seeds Are Heart Healthy
Seeds and nuts no matter what kind are actually all heart healthy, and of course that includes our favorite pumpkin seed. They contain what are called phytosterols, a plant-based molecule that acts in the intestine to lower bad cholesterol absorption. Pumpkin seeds can lower cholesterol by 10% when taking 2g per day, which is a little less than 1oz. If not being used as a garnish for a delicious recipe, raw pumpkin seeds are great snacks that can be picked up at most local grocery stores. Snack away!
2. Pumpkin Can Boost Your Mood
Unless you’re just a Scrooge around the holiday season, who doesn’t like to be happy? Pumpkins contain an amino acid called tryptophan, a key ingredient in producing serotonin. In case you were unaware, serotonin is huge when it comes to our mood, so partaking in a bit of pumpkin this season will help chase those moody blues away. And unlike Cinderella, this pumpkin will last past midnight.
3. Pumpkin Helps Boost Your Immune System
Packed FULL of vitamin C, it’s hard not to get excited about pumpkin during the season that is famous for cold and flu assaults. The recommended daily dose for vitamin C is 65mg, and one cup of cooked pumpkin contains nearly 20% of that recommended dose. Sounds like a winning combo to us, so start pumping your body with some pumpkin before sickness has a chance to set in.
4. Pumpkin May Reduce Cancer Risk
The orange family of vegetables all have something in common, and we’re talking about carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and of course pumpkin. They all have strong levels of beta-carotene, and according to the National Cancer Institute, it may have a strong link to preventing certain cancers. Seems silly NOT to plate up some pumpkin this season, there’s really nothing to lose.
5. Pumpkin Protects The Skin
Hello best beauty product ever! Ok, maybe a bit too far but seriously how awesome is that?! Carotenoids contained in pumpkin act as protective antioxidants that not only protect the body against free radicals that damage the body but also keep the skin wrinkle-free. So don’t feel bad to ask for seconds when the pumpkin’s being passed around. Your skin just might thank you.
6. Pumpkin Supports Natural Weight Loss
When we think of fiber, we hardly think of pumpkin, but it has surprisingly large amounts of fiber within that bright orange packaging. For every 1 cup of pumpkin, there are 3 grams of fiber and only 49 calories. It’s common knowledge that a fiber-rich diet actually helps people feel fuller longer and eat less, giving them the ability to lose some of those pesky pounds. PLUS pumpkin is just yummy to eat. Wins all around!
These top health benefits are yours to take advantage of this fall season, so pop into your local farmer’s market or grocer and grab some pumpkin before it’s all gone! If you have any questions about how your diet plays a part in balancing the body and its function, then we’d love to help. Give our team a call today!
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