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.

bikesun

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

How to Have a Healthy Lymphatic System

lymph

The lymphatic system includes your bone marrow, tonsils, adnoids, spleen, thymus, lymph nodes, and lymphatic vessels which are a web of very thin tubes that lay just beneath the surface of your skin. It is an independent circulatory system that works in partnership with your blood circulatory system as well as your immune system. Your lymphatic system provides a variety of immune functions that ward off infections, viruses, injury… and even cancer.

Lymphatic vessels lead into lymph nodes. The body has around 600 to 700 of these nodes concentrated in the groin, neck, armpits, around the heart, lungs, and intestines. The largest concentration of lymph tissue called gut-associated lymphatic tissue (GALT) surrounds the intestines and is made up of immune cells called lymphocytes.

It is important to emphasize that unlike blood circulation (propelled by the pumping action of the heart in many directions), lymphatic fluid flows primarily upwards towards the neck. The lymphatic system has no pump of its own and must rely on the movement of the body’s musculoskeletal system to circulate. In other words, as you move your body YOU become the pump.

Through movement, lymph fluid circulates and is able to do its many vital functions. There are a variety of self-help techniques you can do on a regular basis to keep your lymph system healthy and functioning efficiently.

 

4 Ways to Activate Your Lymphatic System

#1 – Movement

Lymphatic vessels are activated during movement of the musculoskeletal system. The main lymph vessels run up the legs, arms, and torso so moving these areas will move the most lymph. Studies show that daily moderate exercise significantly reduces recurrence risk for breast cancer, in part due to its effect on the lymphatic system. It is highly likely that it also provides a reduction in all cancers. Fortunately, exercise and physical activity come in many forms:

  • Activitiessuch as dancing, gardening, climbing stairs, physical labor, household chores and others that require movement and the contraction and relaxation of muscles.
  • Exercise and sports– walking (especially brisk walking while swinging your arms), running, biking, yoga, Pilates, tennis, golf, swimming, weight lifting, aerobics, jumping jacks, rope jumping, and many others.
  • Rebounding– jumping up and down on a mini-trampoline. (More on this topic below)

If you love exercising, then that’s great. If you’re someone who does not, it’s important to do some type of physical activity. Pick something that you enjoy doing such as cycling, dancing, gardening, tennis, or golf. Consider finding a walking or exercise partner to make it fun and to hold one another accountable. Above all, it is important to make movement a regular part of your daily routine, just as you would eating and sleeping well.

 

#2 – Deep Diaphragmatic Breathing

While muscular movement clearly helps the lymphatic system, deep breathing is equally important. Dr. Jack Shields, a prominent lymphologist, conducted a study in 1979 that showed deep diaphragmatic breathing causes the lungs to press into the thoracic duct (after its purification by lymph nodes etc.) which presses the fluid from there back into the blood stream where it belongs. This relieves the pressure off of millions of check valves throughout the entire system.

Deep diaphragmatic breathing facilitates movement of lymph through the bloodstream and dramatically increases the elimination of toxins. It’s simple to do. Breathe deeply in through your nose and hold for four counts. Exhale through your mouth for two counts. As you get better at this, you can increase the time – for example breathe in for a count of five, hold for 20 counts and exhale for a count of 10.

Exhaling for twice as long as inhaling brings oxygen to the blood and activates the lymphatic system. Perform deep diaphragmatic breathing two or three times a session, three times a day. You can do this either sitting or lying down.

 

#3 – Rebounding

Rebounding is the equivalent to jumping up and down on a mini-trampoline. Because lymph fluid mostly runs vertically, certified lymphologists and reboundologists (yes, it is a real term) believe that vertical motion exercises such as rebounding are more effective for lymphatic actuation than horizontal motion exercises, such as walking, jogging or biking.

Vertical movements are perceived to be particularly effective in pumping lymph fluid because of the continuous contraction and subsequent relaxation of muscles, and the continuous compression and release of the connective tissues, and tissue spaces. It is with millions of one-way check valves that lymphatic fluids are kept moving in a consistent one-way direction.

The benefits of rebounding include:

  • Activating lymphatic vessels while massaging vital organs and tissues, strengthening bones, and invigorating bone marrow
  • Very little stress on the bones and joints (when using a therapeutic rebounder)
  • Strengthening the tissues of the entire body including the heart muscle
  • Facilitating profound body detoxification
  • Encouraging deep breathing
  • Actuating brain lymph and cerebral spinal fluid renewal
  • Converting mechanical motion into electrical energy in the body for the magnification of thought waves, and boosting the endocrine system

Rebounding is fun and is not complicated. Bounce gently, run in place, dance, jump, perform jumping jacks (be sure you have adequate clearance); anything will do the job. Start with five minutes a day and work up to 20 or 30 minutes. Try to make this a daily habit or at least four or five times a week alternating with other movement activities.

Rebounders are available in sporting goods stores as well online, and come in a wide range of price points. If you’re unable to invest in a rebounder, skipping rope and jumping jacks are also vertical movements, but will place considerably more stress on your joints.

 

#4 – Dry Skin Brushing or Effleurage

Dry skin brushing helps to release toxins and stimulates the lymphatic system. Dry-skin brushing is best done first thing in the morning (before showering) because toxins are released and build up during sleep. Start with the soles of your feet and brush with upward strokes as you move up the legs and towards the heart. Do the same beginning with the hands up the arms. The routine is easy and should take you no more than 5-10 minutes.

You can dry skin brush daily, but do it a minimum of three times a week (and preferably five) for best results. A natural-bristled brush is best; avoid nylon and synthetic brushes because they can scratch and irritate your skin. Brushes can be purchased in any drugstore or online.

If you can, get one with a long handle that has a notch on the back of the brush to be able to insert the handle. A good option is to look for a brush with a strip of cloth attached to the back of the brush (to insert your hand) to be able to hold the brush better. If your brush does not have a long handle, you may want to employ the assistance of a partner for brushing your back.

Brushing the abdomen, chest, and neck is important too, but keep the strokes light to avoid damaging the skin.

 

This “tree of life” we call the lymph system is necessary to maintain health throughout your entire body and makes life and healing possible. Small efforts such as the 4 steps outlined above combined with eating whole organic food and drinking pure water can greatly affect the efficiency of your lymph system, and in turn will protect and defend your entire body.

 

Reference: Ty Bollinger, The Truth About Cancer

How Can You Improve Your Work Space?

workspace

One of the many questions we get in the office is “how can I improve my work space?”

Did you know sitting too much can be hazardous to your health? They are calling sitting the new smoking. Many of us spend the majority of our day behind a desk, so it’s important to make sure your work space is friendly and ergonomically correct for your body.

Here is how you can improve the ergonomics of your work space:

  1. The Chair: Get a posture friendly chair that is comfortable, has an adjustable height lever, arm support, and the ability to swivel. My desk chair is comfortable and reminds me to always have my neck in the proper position. It’s important to get up every hour for a few minutes to stretch, get a drink of water, or go to the restroom – your body will really thank you.

This is our office’s chair if you are interested:

http://www.staples.com/Staples-Hyken-Technical-Mesh-Task-Chair-Black/product_990119

  1. The Screen: Your screen should be at your eye level. It is important to make sure your head and neck do not tilt too far downward while completing tasks on your computer or phone. Consider a computer/laptop stand or stacking books under your device, and holding your phone at eye level.
  1. The Desk: Consider a standing desk. I absolutely love our office’s standing desk! If you’re not sitting, you’re less likely to be slouching or have poor posture. Standing can help lessen nerve pressure and the development of poor sitting posture. Standing provides your joints with more movement and improves your body’s circulation.

This is our office’s standing desk if you are interested:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00Y3P0K1M/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

  1. Your Posture: Be sure to take advantage of your chair features – if your chair has great lumbar support, then don’t sit on the edge of the chair causing more strain and stress on your back and nerves. Make a conscious effort to press your bottom against the back of the chair, and avoid slouching. Your elbows and knees should be at a 90* angle. Try to maintain this ideal sitting posture when you are not standing.

Getting adjusted regularly and having a proper ergonomic work space go hand in hand with each other by helping your body function optimally. Have more energy, focus better, and be more productive at work with your new work space!

Check out our article about the best plants to purify the air your home/office, and learn why you should have a couple plants in your work space! 🙂

Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

sleeping

Sleep plays an important role in your mental and physical health. While you are sleeping, your brain is working hard, forming the pathways for learning, and creating memories and thoughts. Without enough sleep or good quality of sleep, you have low concentration, focus and energy, and mood problems (just to name a few). Chronic lack of sleep can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, infections, obesity, diabetes, and depression.

For most people today, sleep is a luxury. Everything is so fast-paced that 24 hours in a day sometimes feels too short to get all your tasks and activities completed, so you skip sleep, which only makes you feel worse and more stressed. Research suggests that adults need 7-9 hours of sleep each night to be well rested and have a body functioning at its best.

 

4 Common Signs That You Need More Sleep:

1. You are gaining weight
Lack of sleep can lead to an increased appetite (not the best food choices either). In addition, lack of sleep messes up your hormonal balance, making your body more likely to store any excess energy consumed as fatty tissue.
2. You are craving fatty and sugary foods
Being sleep-deprived leads to an increased production of cortisol, leading to the same physiological reaction – increased cravings for processed and fatty food. Lack of sleep also affects your decision-making skills as well as your ability to pick healthy food options.
3. It’s harder to focus
Sleep allows your brain to dispose of unnecessary waste of neural activity allowing it to function faster when you’re awake. Your memory and concentration does not function properly when you are sleep deprived.
4. You are moody
Ever heard of waking up on the wrong side of the bed? They’re often days when you had very little sleep. Eating sweets because you are sleep deprived can also contribute to an increase in your negative mood. Your body is under a lot of stress when you don’t allow your brain and body to regenerate during sleep. Feelings of stress, anger, sadness, and mental exhaustion can occur when you sleep less than 7 hours per night.

6 Natural Sleep Aids:

1. Food is medicine
Eating a heavy meal just before bed can cause you to have a poor night of sleep. Tryptophan and serotonin foods such as honey, whole grain gluten-free oats, brown rice, quinoa, turkey, nuts and seeds, may promote restorative sleep.
2. Calcium and Magnesium
Calcium levels are at their highest during our REM sleep. If you never get to the REM sleep phase or it’s limited, it could be related to a calcium deficiency. Calcium is important because it helps the brain create melatonin (natural sleep aid). Foods high in calcium are dark leafy greens (kale, broccoli, bok choy, okra), almonds, non-dairy milks (fortified), yogurt, and sardines (with bones). If you have trouble sleeping, it could be related to a magnesium deficiency. Higher levels of magnesium can help induce a deeper sleep and more consistent sleep since it is a calming nutrient, and when taken with calcium it increases better absorption together. Foods high in magnesium are spinach, swiss chard, pumpkin seeds, cacao, bananas, black beans, figs, and avocados. Taking a supplement with both calcium and magnesium is also beneficial.
3. Essential oils
Prescription medications for sleeping can cause awful side effects, making you feel not like yourself. Essential oils can help ease nerves, stress, anxiety, and promote sleeping. Bergamot, lavender, sandalwood, frankincense, and mandarin essential oils can create a sleep-inducing blend.
4. Valerian Root
Valerian is a plant with roots that contain many healing properties. It helps increase GABA, which helps calm the nerves in the brain and promotes a calming and sedative effect. There is valerian root and chamomile tea, and valerian root in capsule form.
5. St. John’s Wort
Depression and lack of sleep relate to one another. Insomnia and sleeping problems are common among those who are depressed. Chemicals, hyperforin and adhyperforin, are found in St. John’s wort, which act as little messengers in the brain that drive mood and work as power antidepressants. Using St. John’s Wort can help treat your depression and increase restful sleep.
6. Bedroom Atmosphere & No Technology
Don’t watch TV, work on the computer, or be on the cell phone while you are in your bed. The bright screen can lead to alertness. Also, keep your bedroom as a calming and sleeping sanctuary, with no electronics and only books, cold (temperature 60-69*F) and dark, and essential oils, which will promote calmness and sleepiness. The cold will help decrease your core body temperature and promote sleepiness.

Sleep is one of the most important factors of success and leading a healthy life.

Be sure to make sleep a top priority in your life.

References:
http://www.foodmatters.com/article/4-common-signs-that-you-need-more-sleep