The Importance of Protein

We hear so much about the importance of protein and amino acids in our diet, but what are they?

 

Proteins are a part of every cell, tissue and organ in our body.  Our body proteins are broken down and replaced.   The proteins in the foods we eat are digested into amino acids that are used to replace the proteins in our body.

 

Amino acids are the chemical building blocks of protein and contribute significantly to the health of our nervous system, muscular structure, hormone production, vital organs and cellular system.  They are critical for good health.

 

Structurally, our bodies are mainly comprised of proteins developed from amino acids.  From twenty (20) amino acids, the body manufactures more than 50,000 different types of proteins that play vital roles in our body.

 

There are non-essential amino acids and essential amino acids.   Non-essential amino acids are manufactured by our body.  Essential amino acids are not manufactured by our body; therefore we must acquire them through the foods we eat.

 

The proteins in foods that contain all of the essential amino acids are called complete proteins. Complete proteins will be found in animal sources and soy sources (tempeh, tofu, miso, edamame, fresh soybeans, some soy milks) and from quinoa (a whole grain).

 

Rather than try to combine amino acids at every meal, focus on eating a variety of protein-rich foods on a daily basis.

 

One of the healthiest combinations of amino acids include: 

 

Nuts, Seeds, Beans, Whole soy foods, Whole grains and certain Vegetables.

 

How much protein do you need?  

 

The answer varies based on bio-individual factors and are not the same for everyone.  A general, global rule of thumb is:

 

Women age 19  – 70+       46 grams each day

Men age       19 – 70 +       56 grams each day

 

Blog by:          LisaMarie Tersigni, CHHC, AADP

Inspiring Wellness Solutions, LLC

                          www.inspiringwellnesssolutions.com

Self-Care For Your Spine

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So many of the aches and pains I see come through our doors are a result of the patients’ daily routines.  Our bodies are designed for a lot of different kinds of movements, however if we aren’t conscious of our activities we tend to move very little and in the same way each day.  We walk, sit, stand and maybe bend a few times.  Adding new movements and positions for your body can make a big impact on your health.

One of my favorite self-care tips to give my patients is a simple position to take the day’s stresses off of your spine.  If you are one of the many people that sit or stand in one place for a majority of their work day this is perfect for you.  At the end of the day (and in the middle if possible at work) lie on your stomach propped up on your elbows.  I often refer to this position as lying like a little kid watching TV.  That’s it, just lie down like that relaxed for about 15 minutes.  If you tend to get a sore low back it can be tough to get up if you are lying in this position for too long so 15 minutes is the rule.  This simple trick creates an arch throughout your spine to counteract the forward or slouching stresses you put on the spine throughout the day.  Another benefit of adding this position to your daily routine is that it will help to hold your chiropractic adjustments longer by improving the flexibility of your spine.

Start to become more aware of your movements.  If you are more daring you can try something like yoga to introduce new positions.  Yoga captures such a variety of movements it is the perfect exercise to make sure you are keeping your body flexible and balanced among other its benefits.  But while you are deciding which yoga class to take, lie down on your stomach and destress for a while!

-Dr. Jaclyn Purcell, Saratoga Chiropractic

Commit to Achieving Wellness

optimal health

Does an easy way out exist when it comes to health?  Quick fixes never seem to stand the test of time yet we expect immediate results in our healthcare.  Medicine is perceived as our magic elixir, and expectations are for instant gratification.  Why exercise when you can pop a pill instead?  Sure you risk a series of potential side effects, but at least you don’t have to get off the couch.

If you really think about it, adding chemicals to your body to fight the cause of a problem requires that your body fight both the chemicals and the cause.  We have essentially been trained to put out a fire by dousing it with gasoline.   We have been led to believe that the amazingly efficient work the body has been accomplishing over thousands of years is suddenly no longer possible in the absence of drugs.

Most natural forms of healthcare take time. Losing weight takes consistent exercise and eating right to change your body enough to quantify results.  If you stop exercise and eat more, you go back to where you were, right?  Your body responds to the effort you put out.  A commitment to actively participating in your health will provoke positive change.

From the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the health of your body is in direct proportion to the abundance and integrity of the body’s innate healing energies.  You are able to control the direction of your wellness by adopting ways to effectively manipulate these energies.  Acupuncture, herbal therapy and dietary changes are some of the tools in TCM, but the idea of self healing is similar to that of many natural healthcare modalities.  It may take hard work and time, but by learning about and committing to what is needed to heal, YOU are the leader to your own health and happiness.

 -Michele Dolan, L.Ac

 Make your appointment today!

How to Counteract the Negative Effects of Poor Posture

Poor posture can affect your entire body! Most people who have a job that revolves around a desk complain of pain in the lower back, shoulders, hips, legs, head and neck – the whole body!  Poor posture can also cause poor circulation, inconsistencies in breathing, fatigue and can negatively affect the muscles and bones. All of these strains can change and limit your range of motion. Luckily there are ways to improve your posture to help counteract all of this pain!

 

First lets talk about proper posture

 

When sitting –

  • Keep your head straight rather than tilted down. If your head is tilted down often, take a break ever 15-30 minute to do a few head and neck circles or treats yourself to a self-shoulder massage.
  • Keep your shoulders back and down. Try to let your shoulders relax down your spine. This will help keep unwanted tension out of your shoulders.
  • Sit with your knees slightly lower than your hips. Most office chairs have a height adjustment, so this should be an easy fix.
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor. Most people, especially women have a tendency to cross their legs when sitting. While this may be comfortable in the moment, it causes our weight to be unevenly distributed. Instead, plant your feet firmly on the floor directly under your knees.

 

When Standing –

  • Keep your shoulders back and down, aligned with the spine.
  • Use your stomach muscles to keep your body straight.
  • Slightly bend your knees to ease pressure.
  • Wear good quality shoes with proper arch support for your foot type.

 

One of the best ways to counteract the negative effects of poor posture is some good quality stretching! Below, I have added a few simple yoga postures that are easy to perform at home. Try these poses nightly, after a long day of sitting or standing and see if they help ease any pain. It is also helpful to begin a regular exercise or yoga routine to help build muscles in the core, back and legs. Adding basic core exercise to this stretching routine will help greatly!

 

Preform these postures at home nightly. Remember to breath through each movement!

  • Childs Pose

 

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Coming to your knees, bring them wider than hips width apart, keep big toes touching. Hinging at the hips and walk your fingertips forward.  Once you come all the way down to the floor, bring your arms shoulder width apart and rest your forehead on the floor between your arms. Keep your shoulders away from your ears by drawing them down your spine. Allow your buttock to rest on your heels (if you don’t have the hip mobility for this, separate your feet and slide a large pillow under your body, between your legs and rest your body on the pillow). Remain here in stillness for 8-10 breaths.

 

  • Thread The Needle

 

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From Childs Pose slide your right hand under your chest and left arm pit, bringing it to stick out from the left side body. Turn your right palm to face to sky and turn your right cheek and temple to rest on the mat. Relax here for 3 to 6 breaths. To release exhale the right arm back to Childs Pose and repeat on the other side.

 

  • Seated Side Bend – 

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Come to a comfortable seated position on the floor. Place your right palm on the floor next to your right hip. Inhale as your raise your left arm overhead beside your left year. As you exhale, take a slight bend in the right elbow and hinge at the right hip as you take a side bend to the right, letting your head, torso and left arm follow you as you bend to the right. Try to keep your buttocks on the floor as you bend. On your next inhale, return to an upright position. Repeat on the other side.

 

  • Butterfly with Fold
    Come to a seated position on your mat (if you have tight hips, sit on a folded blanket).

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a. Pull your heels towards your pelvis as you bring the soles of your feet to touch, allow your knees to fall open to the sides. Inhale as you begin to focus on your posture – sit tall through the spine, lengthening through the crown of the head. Allow your shoulders to relax back and down.
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b. As you exhale slowly begin to hinge at the hips and fold forward bringing your chest closer to the mat, as you do this begin to walk tour finger tips long in front of you toward the front edge of your mat.

 

  • Cow/Cat– Come to all fours in “tabletop” position. Bring your shoulders, elbows and wrists to stack in one long line & keep your knees directly under your hips. Center your head in a neutral position with your gaze at the floor.
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  • a. As you inhale, lift your tail bone and chest towards the ceiling and allow your belly to sing toward the floor. Lift your head to look straight forward – This is Cow Pose.

 

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b. As you exhale, begin to move into Cat Pose, round your spine toward the ceiling and release your chin to your chest.

Repeat these poses together for 4-6 inhales (Cow Pose) and exhales (Cat Pose).

 

  • Mt. Poses/Upward Standing Back Bend and Wide Legged Forward Fold – Stand with your shoulders stacking over your hips. Allow your shoulders to relax back and down. Bringing your feet hips width apart. Feel your feet plant into the ground, keep your weight out of the balls of your feet and toes. Slightly tuck your tailbone, engage your core & thighs. Try not to let your chin extend forward, instead keep the crown of your head lengthening up as a straight extension of your spine. You can keep your eyes open, or close them for more of a challenge.

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a. From here take ahold of a strap or a rolled towel. Bring each end of the strap/towel slightly wider than shoulders width apart. Keeping feet hips width apart, inhale as you bring the strap/towel overhead and slightly back. Open up your chest as you draw your shoulders back and down and create a light backbend in the upper back, taking a slight Upward Standing Backbend.

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b. On your next exhale, hinge at the hips and begin to fold forward. As you do this keep your spine straight and lead with your chest, also keep a slight bend in the knees. You can keep the strap in your hands, allowing the strap to stay shoulders width apart, even in your forward fold, this will further open your chest or your can release your strap and tuck each thumb into opposite elbow creases, coming into a Wide Legged Forward Fold.

A big thank you to Author, Nat from All Good Things, Loudonville and Saratoga locations

Life Lessons

judging

 

Recently I had a battle with my ego. It started with a water leak that was not fixed right the first time and ended in a rock throwing contest to see how much stuff we could bring up to insult the other. This was not my first time collecting these rocks and I was ready to win the fight! After being totally wrapped up in frustration for an hour or so I had to stop and take a breath.

I went to my Spirit Junkie app, which everyone should go and download right now, and the affirmation for that day couldn’t have been more perfect! “Judging others blocks me from inner peace.” BAM. That smacked me right in the face! I smiled and reread it a few times because that was EXACTLY what I needed to read at that moment and it really helped put things in perspective. I finally realized that this would not resolve itself with more rocks but rather with no rocks at all.  I was reminded that not everyone is perfect and we all make mistakes from time to time.

Don’t sweat the small stuff because everything is small stuff!

-AU

 

The After Effects of Whiplash

Whiplash injuries are most commonly associated with motor vehicle collisions (MVC), although they can happen from anything that results in a sudden movement of the head — from slip and fall injuries, carnival rides, sports-related injuries, and more. When associated with MVCs, the terms “acceleration/deceleration injury” or “whiplash associated disorders (WAD)” are often applied, depending on the direction of the collision. When the striking vehicle rear-ends the target vehicle, the term “acceleration/deceleration injury” is used. WAD encompasses all scenarios and also includes the type and extent of injury. The degree of injury has been broken down into four main categories with the least amount of injury = WAD I, and the worst soft tissue injury category as WAD III. Fractures are covered separately in the WAD IV category. It has been found that the more severe the soft tissue injury (WAD III > WAD II > WAD I), the worse the prognosis, or the greater the likelihood of long-term injury-related residual problems.

We are often asked why the neck is so vulnerable to injury in a MVC. The simple answer is the head, which weighs about 12-15 pounds (~5-7 kg), is supported by the neck and not all necks have the same length, strength, and mass. This is the reason women (especially those with longer, thin necks) are most vulnerable to the forces that occur in a WAD injury. Another reason whiplash injury can occur is the relatively “slow” speed at which we can voluntarily contract our muscles (>600 msec.) vs. relatively fast speed at which a typical rear-end collision takes to move the head on the neck during whiplash (~300 msec.)! Though the whiplash time duration will vary somewhat, depending on the speed of the collision, angle of the seat back, the distance between the head and the headrest, the “springiness” of the seat back, the weight of the two vehicles, the slipperiness of the road, if the brakes are locked, (…AND MORE!), here’s a typical breakdown of what takes place in a rear-end collision (within a 300 millisecond “typical” time frame):

0 ms The rear-end is impacted and the car is propelled forwards and/or crushes while the occupant(s) remain stationary. No force is yet applied to the occupant.
100 ms The seat back accelerates the torso forwards while the head stays stationary (due to inertia).
150 ms The torso/trunk may “ramp up” the seat back (esp. if reclined); the lower neck is pushed forwards by the accelerating torso/seat; the upper neck/head rotates and hyper-extends backwards.
175 ms The head is still moving backwards while the torso starts to spring and accelerate forward, as the head reaches a peak of full extension.
300 ms As the head, neck and torso continue to accelerate, the neck/head is “whipped” forwards hyper-flexing the neck.

The degree of injury is affected by all the items previously listed above and more. For example, if the headrest is more than two inches (~5 cm) away from the back of the head, and/or if “ramping” occurs and the head “misses” the headrest, hyper-extension can result and the soft tissues in the front of the neck can become over-stretched and/or the back of the neck can become over-compressed. Or if the rebound phase into flexion exceeds the tissue capacities, the back part of the neck can become over-stretched and the front part over-compressed.

 

This articles has been taken from:

http://chiro-trust.org/whiplash/whiplash-happen/

10 Things You May Not Know About Chiropractic

1. “Pain is the last symptom of dysfunction.” Many times your spine will be out of alignment days, months or even years before you even feel pain. Taking a pill to get rid of the “pain” will not correct the problem, but rather mask it causing more injury in the long term.

2. “Athletes use chiropractors to stay well and perform better, not just for the occasional injury.” Receiving regular adjustments can help you feel your best which will in turn help you perform your best.

3. “The body does not perform as a cluster of separate mechanisms, but rather a cascade of events that all starts with proper control by the nervous system.” Once you realize that your spine controls your nervous system you will want to keep it in proper alignment!

4. “Doctors don’t do the healing.” Your body has the power to heal itself.

5. “Chiropractic is for all ages.Adjustments are for newborns, toddlers, teens, adults and seniors. There are no age restrictions.

6. “We know about more than your backbone!” Chiropractors are trained to give advice on nutrition, fitness, ergonomics and lifestyle choices, screen for conditions unrelated to the skeleton and refer out to other practitioners when necessary. They have a lot of knowledge so don’t be afraid to ask!

7. “Successful chiropractic patients accept responsibility.” Chiropractic can help relieve pain and discomfort, but you have to do your homework and listen to what your chiropractor prescribes.

8. “Chiropractic may help you get sick less.” Adjustments can boost your immune system which can keep you healthy and happy.

9. “I heard I’ll have to go forever” is a myth. Do what’s right for you. If you feel better after a few adjustments that’s great! Listen to your body and trust your intuition when it comes to pain and discomfort.

10. “Adjustments don’t hurt.” Really they don’t hurt! Schedule an appointment and see for yourself!

-AU

 

Bullet points taken from: http://www.hoosierhealthplus.com/10-things-most-people-dont-know-about-chiropractic/

Kitchen Essentials

kitchen essentials

     The Kitchen is where I spend A LOT of my time. Mainly because I love food and also because my husband loves to cook, which works out great for both of us! Here are just a few of my very favorite kitchen essentials that I could not live without.

 Crazy Sexy Kitchen cookbook by Kris Carr, Breville Juice Fountain juicer, a big, huge salad bowl with lots of greens of course, Mrs. Myers basil scented countertop spray and my new favorite weekly box of goodies from Blue Apron, which supplies me with fresh ingredients and great recipes to prepare every week.

Let me know what you can’t live without in the kitchen in the comments below.

Love Your Lateral Stabilizers

Casual runners to marathon enthusiast listen up! As runners we tend to focus on things like increasing our mileage, setting a personal record, or training for that upcoming race. We tend to ignore the intimate balance we need to maintain between our passion and our bodies. Your lateral pelvic stabilizers are muscles that stabilize your hip while you run and walk. These muscles basically prevent your hip from popping out of place. The iliopsoas, gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, piriformis, and adductors are all part of this important muscle group.

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According to Dr. Russ Ebbets D.C, running is a linear activity. It has very little lateral or side to side movement. When we run, we overdevelop the muscles that contribute to our linear motion (quadriceps and hamstrings) and we tend to ignore our lateral stabilizers. If we continue to run without addressing our stabilizers we can develop a very nasty problem, especially in our low back, hips, iliotibial band and/or knees. Don’t forget…our body is one big kinetic chain, what happens in one area affects many other areas!

It is time to incorporate some stabilization into your workouts! Below are some important exercises to keep in mind. [Adapted from Princeton University; Athletic Medicine]. Remember, when doing exercises your movements should be controlled, pain free, and with proper body positioning. Consult a medical professional with questions.

>> Gentle Exercises you can do at home

Guest Blogger,

Cortnee Gillson

References:

Ebbets,R. Dynamic Stability. Pacesetter. July 2012.

Princeton University- http://www.princeton.edu/uhs/pdfs/PelStabHip-StrenPro.pdf

Picture- http://visionforenrichment.com/vfe-articles/2013/11/27/the-biomechanical-effects-that-takes-place-with-a-weakened-gluteus-muscle

 

Safe Sun for Everyone

Protect yourself and your family this summer with (safe) sunscreen along with these helpful tips:

1. Use Sunscreen with at least an SPF 30, mineral based with no artificial colors or fragrances:

Say NO to these ingredients: OxybenzoneRetinyl Palmitate, Vitamin A, & Super-High SPFs

2. Avoid midday sun when the intensity is at its peak, from 10-4pm

3. Find shade or make your own shade with an umbrella, hat and light clothes to cover up

4. Reapply sunscreen often, especially after getting out of the water or after sweating

5. Stop using tanning beds, PLEASE – For the love of your beautiful skin!

Follow these tips to ensure a safe and sunburn-free summer!

Interested in an amazing brand of sunscreen? If so check out Beautycounter Protect SPF 30

sunshinedreams

 

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