How to Have a Good Night’s Sleep

sleep

Sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your health daily. Sleeping recharges your whole system, especially your brain. When you are sleeping, your brain has a very unique system of filing and filtering the important and unimportant things. Therefore, when you do not sleep well, or sleep very little, you are not giving your brain the ability rest, cleanse, and file and delete.

To function at our best and have our bodies function optimally, we need adequate and consistent nightly rest. What happens when we don’t get enough quality sleep? We have fatigue, irritability, low productivity, mood swings, and poor behavior. This puts us at greater risk for heart disease and cancer, and harms the brain by halting new neuron production, interferes with growth hormone production, weakens your immune system, decreases problem solving ability, and causes constipation and trouble focusing. Even a few days of sleep deprivation or disruption, can increase appetite, increase blood pressure and cortisol levels, and elevates insulin and blood glucose. These changes can lead to an increase in memory impairment, and an increased risk for Alzheimer’s and dementia.

 

Common Sleep Disruptors:

Noise: Even unconsciously observed or background noise in people’s normal surroundings, such as local traffic, music, and television, can have a negative impact on your sleep quality.

Stress: Stress keeps the brain active and impedes “sleep initiation” through stimulating the body.

Alcohol, Nicotine & Caffeine: Consumption of alcohol shortly before bedtime can impair sleep that night, and alcohol dependency can lead to chronic sleep problems. Even if alcohol helps you doze off quickly, after it metabolizes it will interrupt your sleep later. In addition, exposure to nicotine is associated with sleep problems. Large doses of caffeine close to bedtime will disrupt sleep. The half-life for caffeine is about 4 to 6 hours.

Technology: Blue lights from computers and phones are very stimulating and places stress on your eyes. The blue lights send signals to your brain that you should be on full alert, when it is actually time for bed. F.lux is a great app to download that adjusts the color of the screen to adapt to the time of day.

 

How to have a Good Night’s Sleep

Exercise: Moderate bouts of exercise lead to improvements in the following night’s sleep. Even a little will go a long way; just 10-20 minutes of yoga or light exercise daily will help you sleep better. A daily 15-30 minute walk after dinner is a great way to increase digestion, move your legs, and promote better sleep.

Establish a Bedtime Routine: Maintaining the same bedtime and waking time make it easier to sleep deeply and wake more easily. Creating a routine of limiting electronics at least one hour before bed, drinking a warm cup of tea (chamomile, lemon balm, dandelion, passionflower), taking a warm bath, stretching, meditating, and reading a book is an excellent routine to develop to help promote and improve sleep.

The Bed is for Sleeping: Keeping your bedroom as a sleeping sanctuary is a great way to consciously think that your bed is for sleeping only. Avoid over stimulating tasks in bed such as work and technology use, to help your brain efficiently kick into sleep mode. Use a Himalayan salt lamp, essential oil diffuser, air purifier, and play meditation music to help create a calming and sleeping sanctuary.

Regular Chiropractic Care: Chiropractic care works with your nervous system, which is the master control system of your body; controlling and coordinating all your organs and systems. Adjustments activate the parasympathetic, “the rest and digest” portion of your nervous system, and as a result, decreases stress and promotes relaxation within your body. Less stress and more relaxation improves your overall quality of sleep.

Business of the Month Highlight: LiFT Academy

lift

  1. Why was LiFT Academy created?

LiFT is the vision of three moms who wanted an exceptional educational program for their own children; each of whom had learning differences. They wanted an inclusive and accepting environment where children would be free from bullying so they would have the peace to learn and grow. They wanted academic expectations placed on each and every student, regardless of their abilities and learning differences. They wanted a blend of education and life skills which prepared each child for successful independence.

They took their vision and plan to two other colleagues, mothers, and friends. On January 9, 2013, these five women and educators opened the doors to LiFT Academy with 17 students.

Today, LiFT boasts an enrollment of 115+ students, 30 staff members, and a post-secondary transition program. The vision does not stop there. The founders have a hope to build a living community for the LiFT graduates as well. Their philosophy, as Mother Teresa once said, “Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.”

  1. What type of programs does LiFT offer that other schools do not offer?

We serve students with neurodiversities such as autism, intellectual disabilities, development delays, and down-syndrome, and more at LiFT Academy and LiFT University, in a safe, inclusive environment. LiFT Academy is designed for K-12 students and our LiFT University transition program serves students age 18-23, who work towards successful independence through integrated academics, social skills development, intensive life skills training and career readiness through community internships.

  1. Do you have any upcoming or recurring events?

“LiFT Your Spirits” at the Derby is our annual mixer and auction, with 100% of our proceeds going to benefit our students. Mark your calendars for May 5, 2018 for our Cinco De Derby Party at the Coliseum! If you are interested in participating as an event sponsor, donor, or attendee please contact Jodie Miller at jmiller@liftacademy.org.

  1. How do I find out more information about LiFT?

Visit www.liftacademy.org or call 727-258-7659 to schedule a tour, volunteer, or request to receive information and quarterly newsletters.

 

LiFT Academy and LiFT University

13400 Park Blvd

Seminole, FL 33776

www.liftacademy.org

 

10 Benefits of Chiropractic Adjustments

Finding a good chiropractor isn’t only key to correcting the damage caused by years of poor posture and/or trauma — it’s also important for everyone wanting to take a proactive approach to his or her health care.

Here is some of the medical research and studies proving the therapeutic benefits of chiropractic.

chloe                         dani

1. Sciatica
The European Spine Journal published the findings from a clinical trial last year uncovering how chiropractic adjustments resulted in a 72 percent success rate in treating sciatica and related symptoms compared to the 20 percent success from physical therapy and 50 percent from corticosteroid injections.

Compared to most medical treatments, few interventions can initiate back pain relief and healing like chiropractic adjustments can!

2. Low Back Pain and Neck Pain
In a study published in the British Medical Journal 2003, 183 patients with neck pain were randomly allocated to manual therapy (spinal mobilization), physiotherapy (mainly exercise) or general practitioner care (counseling, education and drugs) in a 52-week study.

The clinical outcome measures showed that chiropractic adjustments resulted in faster recovery than physiotherapy and general practitioner care. Moreover, total costs of the chiropractic-treated patients were about one-third of the costs of physiotherapy or general practitioner care.

Another study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found patients with chronic low-back pain treated by chiropractors showed greater improvement and satisfaction at one month than patients treated by family physicians. Satisfaction scores were higher for chiropractic patients.

A higher proportion of chiropractic patients (56 percent vs. 13 percent) reported that their low-back pain was better or much better, whereas nearly one-third of medical patients reported their low-back pain was worse or much worse.

In a study funded by NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine to test the effectiveness of different approaches for treating neck pain, 272 participants were divided into three groups that received either spinal manipulative therapy from a doctor of chiropractic (DC), pain medication (over-the-counter pain relievers, narcotics and muscle relaxants) or exercise recommendations.

After 12 weeks, about 57 percent of those who met with DCs and 48 percent who exercised reported at least a 75 percent reduction in pain, compared to 33 percent of the people in the medication group. After one year, approximately 53 percent of the drug-free groups continued to report at least a 75 percent reduction in pain, compared to just 38 percent pain reduction among those who took medication.

3. Headaches (Tension and Migraine)
Second only to back pain, headaches are one of the most common conditions regularly managed by chiropractors.

A group trial found that 22 percent of people who had chiropractic treatment saw the number of attacks drop by 90 percent. In that same study, 49 percent said they had a significant reduction in pain intensity.

Compared to most medical treatments, few interventions can initiate headache relief like chiropractic adjustments can!

4. Colic and Ear Infections
A 2012 study published in Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapeutics found that chiropractic adjustments greatly reduced colic symptoms.

Although very few randomized control trials have been conducted describing the clinical effects of chiropractic care on children, literally scores of case studies have been documented that describe how children suffering from otitis media (ear infections), acid reflux and colic have experienced complete to near complete resolution after just a few visits.

The reasons for this vary, but one common theme is that nerves controlling the gut and brain are intricately connected to each other and are quite sensitive to neurological insult caused by vertebral subluxations.

5. Neurological Conditions
Exciting research is currently being conducted via upright MRI showing how upper cervical adjustments affect various brain-based conditions. What we have seen so far is quite remarkable.

Not only are MRI scans revealing that cerebral spinal fluid and blood flow are markedly increased after a chiropractic adjustment, researchers are observing that cerebellar invagination (when the cerebellum drops down below the skull line) is being reversed and brain plaquing (common in multiple sclerosis patients) is disappearing!

6. Blood Pressure
In 2007, George Bakris, the world expert on hypertension, published a study with a team of researchers in the Human Journal of Hypertension proving that one upper cervical chiropractic adjustment had the same effect as two blood pressure-lowering drugs. Even more fascinating, the effects of just one adjustment lasted more than six months!

Compared to the placebo-treated patients, those who got the real procedure saw an average 14 mm Hg greater drop in systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure count) and an average 8 mm Hg greater drop in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom blood pressure number).

Other studies have shown similar findings with hypotensive patients, and their low blood pressure was raised to normal levels after chiropractic care. This is exciting because it highlights the body’s ability to create a homeostatic balanced environment once vertebral subluxations are removed.

7. Surgery Prevention
Chiropractic has long been heralded by natural health care providers as a natural method to prevent back surgery.

In fact, the Journal of the American Medical Association just recently published its low back pain guidelines and suggested that people suffering from back pain first try chiropractic before resorting to surgery.

8. Frozen Shoulder
Last year a clinical trial was published describing how patients suffering from the debilitating condition frozen shoulder responded to chiropractic care.

Of the 50 patients: 16 resolved completely; 25 showed 75 percent to 90 percent improvement; eight showed 50 percent to 75 percent improvement; and one showed 0 percent to 50 percent improvement.

9. Scoliosis
Chiropractic adjustments for scoliosis coupled with muscular rehabilitation techniques may help prevent the progression of scoliosis. Organizations like the nonprofit Clear Institute founded by Dr. Dennis Woggon have set out to empower health care professionals with an effective chiropractic system to treat people with scoliosis.

They’ve perfected a model and discovered that it is possible to effectively treat the condition without the use of restrictive braces or dangerous surgeries. In many case studies, participants have seen a 10 percent to 30 percent decrease in their scoliosis curvatures.

10. Athletic Performance
There is a reason why athletes both today and in the past, like Michael Phelps, Jerry Rice and Joe Montana, are under regular chiropractic care. In fact, over 50 percent of NFL teams have a chiropractor on staff.

Because it is so effective at pain-based and pathological conditions, one of the most overlooked aspects of chiropractic care is that it enhances personal and athletic performance. Studies have sown that it:

Reduces inflammatory cytokines
Boosts your immune system
Enhances pulmonary function
Decreases mental and oxidative stress
Relieves muscle tension
Naturally increases your energy level

Studies have even proved, objectively and subjectively, that chiropractic patients experience “overall increased bodily function,” which includes bowl regularity and mental clarity.

Basically, because it helps place your body in the position where it can heal itself, chiropractic adjustments can free your immune system up to focus on keeping you healthy, which enhances your ability to think, move and perform.

Have you been checked by a Chiropractor? Call our office @ 727-498-5643 !

 

Reference: https://draxe.com/10-researched-benefits-chiropractic-adjustments/

8 Reasons to Eat Blueberries + Why You Should Freeze Them

blueberries

Just when you thought that the health benefits of blueberries could not be any more plentiful, new research has found that freezing the superfood actually increases the berry’s nutritional content. Research found that frozen blueberries are equally nutritious as fresh blueberries, even after 6 months of freezing.

The ice crystals that form during freezing disrupt the structure of the plant tissue, making the anthocyanins more available. Anthocyanins are a group of antioxidant compounds that provide various systems in the human body with protection.

Blueberries may be the world’s healthiest food…

Blueberries go head-to-head with strawberries and pomegranates in antioxidant capacity. When it comes to eating healthy foods, the greener or redder, the better!

It’s no coincidence that people associate bright color with nutrition. Anthocyanin, which works wonders in our bodies, is also the colorful pigment that gives many foods their color.

Organic blueberries have higher nutritional contact then conventional berries…

Don’t believe industry studies that claim organic food is equal in nutrition to conventional; it’s simply not true.

A study compared the total antioxidant capacity of organically grown versus non-organically grown blueberries and found that the organic blueberries had significantly higher concentrations of phenol antioxidants and total anthocyanin antioxidants than conventional berries.

8 Reasons to Eat Blueberries Daily:

1. Improving Memory & Motor Function: shown to improve cognitive function

2. Eye Protection: proven to protect the retina from unwanted sunlight and oxygen damage

3. Heart: significantly lowers risk of developing heart disease by regulating and relaxing arterial elasticity in the vascular wall, and improve blood flow

4. Reduces Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia: anthocyanin improves memory and mental fluidity, protects against brain cell loss; stimulates nerve cell growth and facilitate better communication between nerve cell processes, slowing the aging process

5. Digestion: offers antioxidant protection of the digestive tract by combating free radicals, which can cause cancer

6. Toxic Heavy Metal Protection: creates a force field that acted as a barrier against cadmium, protecting cells from toxic heavy metal damage

7. Blood Sugar: has a favorable impact on blood sugar, even for diabetics; significant improvement in regulation of blood sugar levels

8. Nervous System: provides nerve cells with protection from oxygen damage and fuels the nerves with energy

 

 

Reference: foodmatters.com

Business of the Month Highlight: Veterinary Healing Arts; Dr. Tiffany Rimar

Veterinary Healing Arts

1. How does Veterinary Healing Arts differ from conventional Veterinarians?
At Veterinary Healing Arts our Practice is very unique in that we take an integrative approach to medicine. We look at the animal as a WHOLE being instead of a disease process. Our goal is to look for the root or baseline cause of an issue/disease rather than trying to just deal with the presenting problem (that is also addressed). Treating the patient is done by holistically evaluating the animal; First by a conventional aspect (what you may be familiar with from your regular Veterinarian, examining the eyes, ears, teeth, auscultating the heart and lungs, etc.). However, our unique medical approach assesses the patient from a Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine aspect by evaluating the properties and abnormalities of the tongue; detailed feeling and presentation of the pulses; temperature changes of the ears, back, body and feet; luster and feel of the fur coat, foot pads and claws; the orientation, color and moisture of the nose, (among many other ways).
We also do annual and puppy wellness visits with heartworm and other blood work, fecal analysis and vaccines (or vaccine titers as an alternative, if indicated). We strive to work together and complement the care received at your conventional western medicine clinic. Working together with multiple modalities of medicine (and some natural remedies you can make in your kitchen) for the maximum health and well-being of animals, and their caregivers, is our goal and mission.

 
2. What types of services do you offer?
We utilize Acupuncture– the placement of needles into specific points on the surface of the body to cause desirable and safe healing effects; Tui-Na– can be thought of as a combination of acupressure, massage and chiropractic techniques to calm the body and mind; Herbal Formulas– the use of Traditional Chinese Medical formulations, glandular preparations and natural topical salves; Food Therapy– the use of food as medicine; Laser Therapy– the use of light energy, in the form of photons , on the skin and deeper tissue to create a positive biologic affect and accelerate the body’s natural healing process; and most standard Western diagnostics and treatments to help you care for your furry kids in the most well-rounded way possible.

3. How does acupuncture work for animals?
Acupuncture is one of the safest forms of medical treatment for animals when administered by a properly trained and experienced Veterinarian. Acupuncture has been used for over 7000 years to successfully treat and cure internal medical diseases and disorders, reduces pain, augments western medical treatments and assists the body to balance as preventative medicine. Needles are placed in specific points which have been proven to be both safe and effective at creating a predictable result to induce a favorable and desired effect on the nervous systems. Some patients may feel euphoria or tingles, all being an indication that the body is responding positively to the stimulation. For example: acupuncture can stimulate nerves to increase blood circulation, relieve muscle spasm, regulate hormonal release and even help lowering itch by stabilizing mast cells. Acupuncture has also been shown to successively treat seizures, behavioral issues and even assist in cancer treatment.

4. What types of illnesses or issues can Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Tui-Na, and Laser therapy help with?
In a nutshell……. nearly EVERYTHING…….. Excluding what is needed for a life-saving emergency or surgery. Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Tui-Na, and Cold Laser can work well together or independently depending on a pet’s condition. The following are just some of the general conditions which may be treated well with acupuncture, herbal medicine, tui-na and/or laser therapy:
Musculoskeletal issues or pain: hip dysplasia, tendons and ligaments (e.g., knee problems, cruciate injury and luxating patellas), developmental abnormalities of the spine or limbs
Arthritis, hind end weakness, herniated disks: intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), wobblers
Paralysis of face or legs
Skin and ear allergies/ infections
Respiratory problems: feline asthma, collapsing trachea, COPD
Nervous system: seizures and behavioral disorders
Systemic Disease: hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, diabetes, congestive heart disease, kidney disease/ failure, liver disorders, etc.
Gastrointestinal Disorders: chronic/ acute diarrhea, vomiting, pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), intestinal lymphoma
Cancer treatment: as a sole treatment or integrative treatment approach
Maintenance treatment: for working, hunting, show and agility performance enhancement

For more information about Veterinary Healing Arts or to book an appointment for your fur-baby,

contact them @ 727-360-5700 or myzenvet@gmail.com.

Veterinary Healing Arts
431 Corey Avenue
St. Pete Beach, FL 33706
www.myzenvet.com

 

 

 

How Chiropractic Helps the Whole Family + Four Habits

When some people think of visiting a chiropractor, they associate chiropractic adjustments with pain relief instead of whole body wellness. You don’t have to be in pain to visit us. Did you know that only 10% of our spinal nerves detect pain? The beauty of chiropractic is that it can benefit the entire family, from infants to seniors.

Infants: When babies are born, the birthing process, even natural births, can be very traumatic on their spine. Newborns often benefit from care after birth to ensure proper spinal alignment.

Adults: The wear and tear of daily life can cause a number of problems in adults, from posture issues to too much bodily stress and many things in between. Chiropractic adjustments can help calm stressors, regulate the body, and improve nervous system function.

Seniors: Many older patients find adjustments and care to not only help them feel better than they ever have before, but also help improve balance and equilibrium to diminish falls.

Portrait of a extended happy family standing in the park.

Four Healthy Habits for a Happy Spine:

Exercise: Don’t be a couch potato! As little as 30 minutes of exercise per day isn’t just good for your heart and lungs, it’s great for your entire body’s function!

Laugh: Did you know that laughter can stimulate your muscles, lungs, and heart? It’s also a fantastic stress reliever, and when you’re experiencing less stress, you have a better chance of experiencing whole body wellness.

Nutrients: When we eat healthy wholesome foods, we provide our body with the best fuel and energy that it needs and wants. A healthy diet high in vegetables (especially leafy greens) can help our body better accommodate stress and allow our nervous system to function optimally.

Get Adjusted: Getting adjusted regularly can help keep you and your family happy and healthy!

Top 5 Natural Ways to Manage Blood Pressure

Uncontrolled high blood pressure is a very serious health concern that can lead to heart disease and increased risk for stroke if left untreated. The good news is, by optimizing your dietary intake, exercising, and effectively managing your stress, the odds of normalizing your blood pressure are greatly in your favor.

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Eliminate Caffeine: If you have hypertension, coffee and other caffeinated drinks and foods can exacerbate your condition. Caffeine can have a powerful effect on your individual physiology.
Consume Fermented Foods: Differences in gut flora from one person to another appears to have a large effect on whether or not you develop heart disease. If your gut flora is not healthy, your risk is much greater for heart disease, as well as many other chronic health problems. The best way to optimize your gut flora is by including some naturally fermented foods in your diet, such as sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, and kombucha.
Exercise: Physical Activity is by far one of the most potent “drugs” there is, and its side effects are exactly the kinds you want to experience. Most comprehensive exercise regimens will produce long-term benefits in people with high blood pressure. Nearly every program should incorporate anaerobic sprint or burst type exercises one to three times a week, as these have been shown to be even more effective than aerobic exercises at reducing your risk of dying from a heart attack.
Control Your Stress: One in three Americana adults have high blood pressure (hypertension), and just as many, if not more, battle emotional and mental stress on a day-to-day basis. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is an easy to learn, easy to use technique for releasing negative emotions. EFT combines visualization with calm, relaxed breathing, while employing gentle tapping to “reprogram” deeply seated emotional patterns.
Optimize Your Vitamin D Levels: The farther you live from the equator, the higher your risk of developing high blood pressure. And did you know that blood pressure is typically high in winter months than in summer?
Sun exposure causes your body to produce vitamin D. Lack of sunlight reduces your vitamin D and increases parathyroid hormone production, which increases blood pressure. Exposure to UV rays is thought to cause the release of endorphins, chemicals in your brain that produce feelings of euphoria and pain relief. Endorphins naturally relieve stress, and stress management is an important factor in resolving hypertension. If you are low in Vitamin D, take a few minutes to get outside in the sun daily and take a supplement of vitamin D3.
High blood pressure is an epidemic and like obesity, your best treatment is to evaluate your lifestyle and make the necessary adjustments. In the case of high blood pressure, lifestyle changes can put you on the road to a drug-free, all natural return to optimal health.

 

Reference: www.foodmatters.com

Business of the Month Highlight: Yoga Moves

yogamoves

1. Tell us about Yoga Moves. What types of classes and services do you offer?
Denise opened her first Studio, The Yoga Room in 1996 in St Pete, then moved to the current location in 2001. She has practiced yoga for 40 years and has taught for 30 years She has experience in many forms of yoga, children’s, maternity, restorative, flow yoga, partner yoga, Jivamukti, and Yoga Nidra. For the last 15 years she has focused more on the Therapeutic value of alignment based yoga as it complements her busy massage practice.
Denise graduated massage school in 1999 and specializes in Thai Massage and Bhakti (which incorporates many modalities to achieve balance and alignment in the body mind and emotions.) All massages are always tailored to the needs of the whole person, as are her yoga classes. This form of Yoga and massage is a great complement to Chiropractic Care.
Denise is also a certified Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist. So, blends the principles of Ayurveda in both yoga and massage. Class size is small and intimate so the needs of the individual are met.

2. What is Aerial Yoga?
Denise and Tara Tomerine are certified in Aerial Yoga with Air Cat Aerial in Bolder Colorado. They are very passionate about Aerial for its therapeutic value. Denise is a leader in the community and with Tara’s help, they are the first to offer Aerial Yoga in St Pete. Students from all over the world have tried classes and say they have never experienced aerial the way we teach.

3. What are some of the (amazing) health benefits of practicing yoga regularly?
The benefits include:
Strength, flexibility, and traction in joints and spine. Making inversions easy, which increase blood flow to all the organs including brain. Emotionally, trust has been a big one for students, feeling youthful, happy, and free. Developing creativity and breaking through self-imposed limitations.
Other Teachers:
Cheri Frady RYT 500, specializes in Therapeutic Alignment based yoga, and Yin Yoga, and has been with Yoga Moves for many years.
Tara Tomerine RYT 500, practices Alignment based yoga and skillfully incorporates it into her Aerial Yoga.
Shushila RYT 500, teaches Kundalini on an appointment bases and is working on her Aerial Certification with Denise.

For more information about Yoga Moves, contact them at 727-251-8868.
Yoga Moves Me
1045 9th Avenue North
St. Petersburg, FL 33705

12 Ways to De-Stress Outdoors

hike

With April being Stress Awareness Month, here are some 12 fun and easy ways to de-stress outdoors!

Mother Nature. Think of it as nature’s anti-anxiety, anti-depressant medication. When you live in an urban area or have an indoor desk job, you are very likely suffering from a lack of nature (and vitamin D), also known as Nature Deficit Disorder. Studies have actually shown people who begin to exercise outdoors in a natural environment become less agitated and have an easier time focusing. Studies suggest that 90% of patients with depression would not need therapy if they simply exercised regularly. Imagine combining exercise with the powerful effects of getting back in touch with nature – that’s one potent anti-stress combo!

  1. Go for a Walk: Exercise releases stress and gives you a boost by releasing mood-enhancing endorphins. Pair that with vitamin D from the sun, fresh air in your lungs, as well as greenery or the beautiful, calming ocean nearby and feel your stress slip away!
  2. Sit Outside and Listen to Music: Research has shown that your mood can be greatly affected by the music you listen to. Listening to loud, upbeat music cheers you up and distracts you from negative thoughts. Unwind with some of your favorite tunes while getting some vitamin D and fresh air outside for a gentle mood booster.
  3. Take your Dog to the Park: Not only does your mood boost, but your blood pressure actually drops when you pet a dog. Give your dog some love by taking them to the park or the beach. It will be therapeutic for the both of you!
  4. Meditate on the Grass: It may seem daunting to do so, but research shows mindfulness is an ever increasingly important skill for our health, and that people who meditate (even for 5 minutes a day!) receive amazing benefits! Try downloading some free guided meditations or listen to some on YouTube to get you started.
  5. Read a Great Book under a Tree: Prevent negative thoughts or obsessive thinking by providing a distraction. Even if you don’t like reading, you can listen to audiobooks to take your mind to a whole other world.
  6. Have a Meal Outside: Enjoy breakfast in your garden, on your balcony, or take your lunch outside if you’re at work. Stepping away from distractions and enjoying your food and your natural surroundings helps to calm the mind.
  7. Take an Outdoor Yoga Class: Yoga is a proven stress buster, but inverted stances such as backbends and headstands may be even more powerful. Research suggests the part of the nervous system that relaxes you may be stimulated by bending the spine. Regardless of what your yogi skills are, enjoy some deep stretches and calming yoga poses any time of day is beneficial for your mind and your body.
  8. Dance It Out: Gather some friends, play some music, and have a backyard party for a great stress-reliever. It helps to revitalize your energy, boost your confidence, renew your creativity and even strengthen your immune system, reduce anxiety and boost your serotonin levels.
  9. Grow a Garden: Not only does adding greenery and flowers to your space make it look nice and homey; gardening gets you out of the house, away from distractions and closer to nature. Just being outside can improve your mood drastically, but seeing your little edible garden grow or a flower you planted bloom also gives you a sense of accomplishment and pride. Serving up a salad fresh from your garden? Priceless!
  10. Take a Hike: Head to your local park or the nearest climbable mountain and enjoy the picturesque views while moving your body. You’ll get your adrenalin pumping, see some amazing sights, challenge yourself, and feel a great sense of accomplishment at the end.
  11. Take your Kids to the Park: But don’t just watch them, play with them! Rediscover those fun, carefree childhood vibes by swinging on the swings, chasing your kids around the sand, going down the slide, and playing imaginary games. Not only is it amazing for your health, your kids will love it too!
  12. Go for a Bike Ride: Riding your bike is not only amazing exercise, it is fun too! If you haven’t hopped on a bike in years, just try again. Feel the breeze on your face, the adrenalin through your body, and the endorphins kick in as you ride around your local area. There’s something liberating about riding a bike that reminds us of childhood summers and good times! Bring your dog too!

Science continues to prove the powerful benefits of nature. How it can calm the brain, improve your mood and concentration. Even hospital patients can recover faster when they can see trees or flowers from their window (or take a sit outside). So, enjoy getting back to nature, whichever way you prefer – we guarantee you won’t regret it! We live in sunny St. Pete, where we can enjoy the beautiful sunshine and the outdoors all year around – let’s take advantage of it!

 

 

Reference: Food Matters

http://www.foodmatters.com/article/12-ways-to-de-stress-outdoors

Health Benefits of Acai Berries + Recipe

  1. Acai berry is a natural cleanser, helping the liver and kidneys to process and remove waste and toxins from the body.
  2. Acai berry is fiber-rich and a natural digestive cleanser, which means it prevents the accumulation of harmful substances and undigested matter from staying lodged in the colon where they can cause constipation and toxic by-products such as ammonia.
  3. Acai berry has certain appetite-suppressing abilities thanks to how it effects various hormones that control blood sugar levels and feelings of hunger, fullness, and satiety. It also boosts metabolic function.
  4. Acai is protective against damaging effects of stress, including disrupting hormonal balance and raising cortisol levels, which is why some consider acai berry to be an “adaptogen.”
  5. Acai is estimated to have 10 to 30 times the amount of anthocyanins than red wine! Acai may be richer in protective antioxidants than cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, or goji berries – wow!
  6. Acai berries are believed to help stimulate mental function, maintain high energy levels, and deal with various effects of psychological stress better.
  7. Acai berry is useful for preventing early signs of aging (wrinkles and fine lines) and helping with skin regeneration.
  8. The ellagic acid in acai has anti-proliferative properties due to its ability to directly inhibit DNA binding of certain carcinogens.
  9. Acai berries are very rich in beneficial fatty acids like omega 3s. Omega 3s boost brain function and keep our hearts healthy.

acai

Acai-Avocado Bowl Recipe:

1 frozen unsweetened acai packet

1/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (add more if needed)

1 large overripe frozen banana

1 pitted Medjool date

1/4 of an avocado

spoonful of unsweetened almond butter

Blend the acai and milk together in a blender. Then add rest of ingredients. Blend until smooth.

Top with desired toppings: cacao nibs, nuts, bee pollen, unsweetened coconut, banana, berries & mango, granola, chia seeds.

 

Reference: organicolivia.com