Dr Jessica’s Favorite Things

Here are a few resources for you during the holiday season so we can try to avoid the end of the year bulge.  Click on the links to my favorite places on the internet for great exercises, recipes and more!!

Please follow the links below:

Exercise

Back Strengthening

Pec Stretch

Core Strengthening

 Low Back Stretch

Best Posture Exercise

Recipes

Fat Bombs

Avocado Chocolate Mousse

Paleo Crock Pot Meals

Mason Jar Salads

Home-Made Beef Jerky

Chunky Monkey Trail Mix

Self-Care

Yoga of The Mind

Free Yoga Around Denver

Free 9 Week Meditation Series

 

Is Your Breakfast Cereal Killing You?

I apologize in advance for the dramatic title, but this is a serious issue.  It has recently come to my attention the confusion around folic acid vs. folate.  Folic Acid is a synthetic form of Vitamin B9, whereas folate is the natural and absorbable form.  Most of us think of pregnancy and neural tube defects when we hear the term folic acid. However, Vitamin B9 (along with B12) is so important for many functions in the body. B9 deficiency can cause:

 

-Elevated homocysteine levels, which is an inflammatory blood marker and “ruffles” linings, such as the arteries and veins. This is a much more accurate predictor of heart disease.

 

– Alzheimer’s disease and brain shrinkage with age. Folate is also useful for preventing depression, seizure disorders, and brain atrophy.

 

-Increase in cholesterol levels- Dutch researchers found folate supplementation of 5 mg for 4 weeks improved vessel dilation, which decreases risk of high blood pressure and blood clots.

 

Because of the well-known effect of B9 on pregnant women and their unborn children, the US Food and Drug Administration ruled that all grain and grain products should be fortified or “enriched” with folic acid and other synthetic vitamins as of January 1, 1998.

 

However, not all vitamins are created equal.  The synthetic form of B9, folic acid, which is in all “enriched” processed food products, such as breakfast cereals and white bread, has been linked to certain kinds of cancers, including lung and colorectal cancer. The benefit of ensuring mothers are getting enough B9 from processed foods outweighs the risk it is putting on the rest of society.

 

Ideally, fresh, raw, high-quality (organic) dark leafy vegetables and beans are the most ideal way to get enough folate. However, studies have shown that the nutrient content in food has decreased over the past 30 years, so supplementation might be the best option to ensure optimal levels are reached.  Just remember that supplements are never an acceptable substitute for regular consumption of high-quality, unprocessed foods.

 

However, yet again there another consideration to be made. In order for folate to be of use to your body, it must first be activated (methylated) into its biologically active form – L-5-MTHF. This is the form that is able to cross the blood-brain barrier to give you the brain benefits noted. However, nearly half of the population has difficulty converting folic acid into the bioactive form because of a genetic reduction in enzyme activity.

 

If you taking a B-vitamin supplement, make sure it contains:

 

  • natural folate rather than synthetic folic acid
  • a methylated form of both B9 (L-MTHF) and B12 (methylcolbalamin)
  • sub-lingual (under the tongue) administration of B12 in case the gut lacks proteins to carry B12 into the blood stream.

 

 

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/06/03/vitamin-b.aspx

http://wellnessmama.com/12543/folic-acid-vs-folate/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3218540/

Staying Healthy In The Cold Weather Months – Bonus e-book of Fall Recipes

So here we are again.  The wonderful time of year called “The Holidays.”  During this time, we attend parties, see loved ones that we have been too busy to see during the rest of the year, and make bountiful dinners to share with family. Unfortunately another reality of this time of year is the average weight gain.  The average person gains 7-10 pounds from the months of October to the end of December.1  However this is not only a phenomenon in the United States.  One study showed that on average our country, as well as Germany and Japan, showed increases in weight around their major holidays.2 I’m not saying to fast during the holidays, or to not enjoy your favorite treats. However, here are a few suggestions for beating the holiday bulge.

1) Portion Control- as tempting as it is to eat the entire plate of cookies at the holiday office party, it is so important not to overindulge just because “it’s the holidays.”

2) Maintain Your Exercise Regimen- Because of holiday partying and possibly over indulging in the spiked eggnog or mulled wine, we have a tendency to be not feeling well enough to work out the next day. Skip the third glass of champagne and make sure to work out!

3) Make Delicious Healthy Dishes- There are so many great healthy recipes that you can make at home or bring to the party.  Here is an e-book of some of our favorite fall dishes as a gift to you. Please enjoy these delicious treats and remember to have a safe and happy holiday season.

 

Please enjoy this Free e-Book of Healthy Fall Recipes to get you off on the right foot this holiday season

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1 http://blogs.plos.org/obesitypanacea/2014/12/17/the-truth-about-holiday-weight-gain-2/

 

2 http://www.livescience.com/56206-holiday-weight-gain-america-japan-germany.html

 

 

Getting To The Root of Your Muscle Tension

Muscles are amazing! They move the body into any the position the brain decides (as long as flexibility allows).  The brain uses a complex system to tell where the muscles are and if they are contracted or relaxed called proprioception.  Muscle spindles, located in the muscle tissue, send feedback to the brain via the spinal cord. The amount of stretch of the spindle allows the brain to detect where the limb is in space.  Spindles also contribute to the amount of muscle stiffness or tone.

Unfortunately, we live in an imperfect world and our posture and daily repetitive activities such as sitting at a desk, looking down at cellphones and computers, or driving a car, can cause the muscle to “reset” into a different resting position. The muscle is either too tight (shortened), or too loose (lengthened). In either case, other muscles in that area need to compensate and change to adapt to the new “reset” muscle.  This creates pain, both in the “reset” area as well as in other areas of the body due to tension patterns.

Fortunately, one of the best ways to relax the muscle spindles and restore normal resting position is to incorporate chiropractic and massage. Chmassage photoiropractic adjustments help “reset” the proprioceptors in joints and massage “resets” the muscle spindles. When the muscles are relaxed and in normal resting position pain is eliminated and bones are held in the correct position as well.

 

We are featuring our new massage therapist, Maia Talbott. She is trained in sports massage and functional movement.  She focuses on retraining musculature and relaxing the body to alleviate pain and increase flexibility. Please come and see for yourself all the benefits massage can bring into your world. To Schedule with Maia please return to our home page and click the Make an Appointment button, or give us a call  at (303)-221-0195IMG_8396

What is Your Gut IQ?

The gut is known as the “second brain,” containing over 100 million nerve cells that line the entirety of the GI tract.   This extensive neural system is designed for coordination between the gut and the brain, and ultimately the immune system as a whole.  In other words the gut controls the immune system and your overall health. When the gut lining isn’t working well, it is known as “leaky gut,” meaning food can cross the gut lining before it is broken down.  Please take this short quiz to evaluate the health of your gut lining.

 

1. How often do you experience pain/bloating after meals, reflux, or flatulence?

-1 pt- Always

-2pts-Often

-3pts-Occaisonally

-4pts- Never

 

2. How often do you experience headaches, fatigue, weight gain or joint pain?

-1 pt- Always

-2pts-Often

-3pts-Occaisonally

-4pts- Never

 

3. How often do you get minor illnesses such as a cold or flu?

-1 pt- Always

-2pts-Often

-3pts-Occaisonally

-4pts- Never

 

4. How often do you have allergic reactions to foods? (Hives/Tight Throat..etc)

-1 pt- Always

-2pts-Often

-3pts-Occaisonally

-4pts- Never

 

5. How often do you have mood swings or anxiety?

-1 pt- Always

-2pts-Often

-3pts-Occaisonally

-4pts- Never

 

1-6 points= Gut Check Engine Light– You are showing signs of leaky gut and could turn into a serious issue. Good news is we can help you turn that around and get you back on the road to health.

7-14 points= Tummy Tune-Up Time– Have no fear; we have your back! There is still time to get your gut healthy in time to cold season.

15-20 points= Gastro-Genius! – You have a rockin’ gut lining and in turn a rockin’ immune system! Keep up the good work!

 

Dr Jessica is always up for a gut lining conversation.   If you’d like to talk to her about the results of your quiz give us a call at (303)-221-0195 or send an email to admin@renewhealthco.com. 

5 Ways to Improve Blood Sugar Levels

 Whether you are trying to combat Type 2 diabetes, are trying to loose weight, or if you are interested in your health overall and would like to know where to start, here are a few tips on how to regulate your blood sugar naturally and live a balanced and optimized life.

1)  Exercise In fact, moderate to intense exercise may cause your blood glucose to drop for the next 24 hours following exercise. In the 15 minutes of exercise, fuel comes from blood or muscle, which is stored as glycogen, a sugar storage molecule, and is then converted back to sugar. After 15 minutes the fuel starts to come from glycogen stored in the liver. After 30 minutes, the liver stores of glycogen start to deplete and the body begins to use free fatty acids as fuel. As a result, exercise can deplete sugar levels and glycogen stores.

2) Eat more high fiber foods- foods high in fiber help maintain even blood levels and eliminate the big spikes that come from simple sugar and carbs.  Leafy greens, broccoli, beets, carrots, and artichokes are very high in fiber. However it is best to eat local seasonal vegetables.

3)  Only eating complex carbs after 3pm– picture your blood sugar as a straight line. This is the ideal shape for your blood sugar to be throughout the day….no spikes up or down. Now think of a typical American breakfast—a big bowl of cereal and milk. Cereal breaks down into sugars starting in your mouth, and the milk, especially skim milk, is full of sugars. This will immediately spike the blood sugar way over the line. Then too much insulin is released into the blood stream, the sugar moves into cells of the body, and the blood sugar levels plummet below the line. This is the 11 am sleepiness and reaching for a candy bar. Not eating complex carbs until after 3 pm will make a few things will happen. First, this cycle will not happen all day long and there will not be bouts of sugar high and crash a few hours later.  Second, when you wake up, your blood sugar is relatively low and your body is primed to utilize stored blood sugar and fat reserves. A breakfast high in protein and good fats (like avocado or coconut oil) will keep the blood sugar level and low.  Lastly, cortisol is a stress hormone that is naturally higher in the morning, to help us wake up naturally. Cortisol increases insulin’s ability to store fat. That means that bowl of cereal will turn into more fat in the morning than it will in the evening, when cortisol levels are at its lowest, preparing the body to sleep.

4)Anti-Oxidants – The most well researched anti-oxidants that help regulate blood sugar are Alpha-lipolic Acid (ALA) and Polyphenols. ALA protects your body from cell damage and is found in foods like liver, spinach, broccoli and potatoes. ALA supplements have been shown to reduce pain, numbness and burning associated with the most common type of diabetic neuropathy. Polyphenols aid in cardiovascular health as well as glucose control and can be found in foods like tea and dark chocolate. EGCG, found in green tea, is a polyphenol and has been shown to lower blood glucose in mice.

5) Apple Cider Vinegar has been shown to lower blood sugar during fasting and after meals. If you can’t handle the taste or feel a little burning after swallowing, mix 2 teaspoons with 6-8 oz of water and lemon juice (I like to add a little stevia too and make it a lemonade.)

 

nccam.nih.gov

http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/27/1/281.full

http://www.joslin.org/info/why_is_my_blood_glucose_sometimes_low_after_physical_activity.html

http://primalpotential.com/carbs-at-night/

Text Neck – Part 2: Take Action!

Some things can be done to prevent and reverse this from progressing further.  First, being aware of this situation and changing the habit of looking down at your device is the most important step. Lift your phone/tablet to eye level when texting or surfing. Also, if you spend a lot of time on a computer, place the monitor at or slightly above eye level. Even better, see if you can get a standing desk, where you can have the monitor up, preventing looking down. Secondly, you can strengthen the muscles that support good posture.

1) Interlace fingers behind neck, and gently press your head back. (Don’t press too hard; just enough to engage the back neck muscles.) Do 10 sets.

2) Standing, inhale and raise arms up over head. Upon exhale, lower arms slowly to your sides and drop head back and look up. Do 10 sets.

3) Raise arms to a T and bend the elbows so the hands are up in the air. Then do small backwards circles with the elbows, making sure to squeeze the shoulder blades together on your back. Do that until it burns you can’t anymore. With time you will be able to do it a lot longer.  Do these three exercises at least 3 times a day.  If you are at a computer for long duration, make sure to stand up and stretch at least once an hour, if not 2 times an hour.

  Finally, the last line of defense, and one of the most important is to have a chiropractor examine and adjust the neck to increase motion in the joints and help retrain the muscles into a more optimal position. Keeping motion in the joints will slow down the progression of bone spurs, and will decrease pain caused by improper biomechanics.  If you think you may be suffering from text neck and would like a comprehensive exam and consult, please call our office or schedule online.

Text Neck – Part 1: What is it and how does it affect me?

The human head weighs about a 12 pounds. As the neck bends forward and down, as seen with looking down at cell phones, tablets, and computers, the weight of the head increases pressure on the neck. At a 15-degree angle of the neck, it is increases the pressure on the neck to 27 pounds; at 30 degrees it’s up to 40 pounds, at 45 degrees it’s 49 pounds, and at 60 degrees it’s 60 pounds. Some medical experts say that for every inch the head tilts forward, the pressure on the spine doubles.  This forward head posture, becoming known in the medical world as “text neck,” can lead to wear and tear on the joints in the neck, particularly the 5th and 6th cervical bones, where the curve in the neck is at its fulcrum. This leads to osteophytes, a.k.a. bone spurs, disc degeneration, and leading to foraminal encroachment, meaning narrowing of the space that nerves travel out of the neck to the shoulder, arm and hand. Conventional treatment is surgery, where the neck is fused to prevent further degeneration. However this also limits motion and leads to further problems. One study says that 58% of Americans who own smartphones are at risk.

    The symptoms of this improper posture can lead to headaches, heart disease, neurological issues, and depression. Poor posture has been shown to decrease lung capacity by over 30%. Symptoms might be obvious like physical pains, or could be insidious, like decreased nerve function to lungs, heart, and stomach.  In another 20-30 years, this will be an epidemic, when the youth of today’s spines will no longer be able to take this prolonged extra pressure.

Could Your Feet Be a Pain in the Neck?

The Problem: If your feet don’t work correctly you hurt all over. Remember the song, “The foot bone is connected to the shinbone…etc., etc., all the way up to the neck?” Well you’re aching feet, trick knee, stiff back, or crick in your neck may all come from abnormal foot biomechanics.

You have seen cracked walls in the houses with unsound foundations. It is the same with you. When the arches of your feet fall, your knees knock, your disks slip, your shoulders slump, and you cry my neck is killing me!

The Solution: Some of the mechanics observed by your doctor, who will perform and a valuation of your posture and movement, or supination and pronation of the feet. If I have normal, very important aspect of your treatment will be the prescription of functional foot orthotics, also known as shoe inserts. Orthotic therapy helps normalize your movement and relieve the pain in your aching muscles and bones. One reason some people find traditional chiropractic care on effective is because their feet are causing the problem. When they get adjusted laying down the problem is resolved, but as soon as they walk to the front of the office their spine is already misaligned.  Foot orthotics help patients hold their adjustments and feel better longer.

What’s the Buzz About Candida?

 

            Candida is a fungus, a form of yeast that naturally occurs in the body. It is located in various parts of the digestive tract, particularly in the gut.  There are about 3 pounds of bacteria/microbes in the gut that help us to breakdown food, create vitamins, and help us digest. We need this micro-biome as much as it needs us.  Because it is a fungus and not bacteria, therefore it is not affected by the amount of anti-biotics that we ingest, either prescribed or in the meat we eat, littered with anti-biotics and synthetic growth hormones. There are other reasons, such as high carb diet, high alcohol consumption, and high stress to name a few. This excess die off of bacteria leaves extra space and resource for yeast to grow and thrive. Candida causes a condition called leaky gut that allows food and particles to enter the blood stream before they are digested. The immune system recognizes these particles as foreign and starts an immune reaction-creating inflammation.  This inflammation causes various symptoms, such as headaches, joint pain, sinus congestion, weight gain, and various others.   There are several systems out there to alleviate this, some treatments are very drawn out and difficult to complete. Find a natural health professional that has a concise program to battle these beasties and take back your gut health.