6 Simple Tips To Help Make A Positive Switch In Your Life

Tips to Help Make a Positive Switch in your LifePicture a big glass goblet filled to the halfway mark with water. How do you see it – half-full or half-empty?

Consistently finding the glass half-empty, and the world as a difficult place, is a hallmark of negativity.

Research has found that a negative outlook can contribute to everything from depression to heart disease to lowered immune system function. It can affect your:

  • sleep
  • weight maintenance
  • relationships
  • social life
  • ability to hold a job

Now, imagine what it would feel like to approach life from a place of positivity, fun, connection, health, and possibility. Sounds good, right? To help wipe out negativity, try one or more of the following action steps this week.

6 Simple Tips to Help Make a Positive Switch in your Life:

  1. Go complaint-free. Try going an hour without complaining and see the positive things in your life. Next, try a day, a week, and so on.
  2. Keep a gratitude journal. Each evening, list 10 or more things that you are grateful for.
  3. Give compliments freely. Notice the good in others. Praise your loved ones and others you interact with.
  4. Find the beauty everywhere. Notice its gorgeousness.
  5. Share your good news. Studies show that sharing happy events brings even more happiness within yourself and to others around you.
  6. Focus on what you want. Do not focus on what you don’t want or have.

Maintaining a positive outlook takes practice, and the more you do it, the easier it gets. The payoff – a happier and healthier life – is absolutely worth the effort!

Reasons to Take Omega-3s Daily

Reason to Take Omega-3Omega-3 is a type of fatty acid. Fatty acids are small molecular component found in all fats, but their type and structure differs between foods. They are part of the process of building new cells, which is the key to developing the central nervous and cardiovascular systems, supporting the health of your brain, and helping the body absorb nutrients.

Omega-6 is another essential fat for human health. However, the typical American consumes far too much omega-6 fat, and consumes far too little omega-3 fat. Omega-6 is primarily sourced from corn, soy, safflower oil, and sunflower oil. Consuming exceeding amounts of omega-6s encourages the production of inflammation in your body. Many scientists believe that the imbalance of omega-3 and omega 6 is one reason that there is high incidence of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, premature aging, and cancers today.

Omega-3 comes from both plant and animal sources. The primary plant sources are flaxseed, walnuts, seaweed, chia, and hemp. The primary animal sources are krill oil and fish oil.

The body cannot make Omega-3’s alone; we can only get it from the food that we eat. Therefore, it is essential to make sure we have a daily dose of omega-3 through whole foods.

3 Main Types of Omega-3s:

  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
  • Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)

5 Reasons to Take Omega-3s Daily:

  1. Brain cells: Omega-3s support healthy brain cell structure. There are over 100 billion cells in our brain, which are responsible for powering our bodies. The human brain is about 60% fat, and each cell has an outer membrane, which is made up of fats (lipids). Creative thinking, planning and following your goals and dreams rely on our brain to function properly.
  2. Fetal brain development: Research shows that children of those women who consumed Omega-3s while pregnant scored very well in developmental and behavioral testing. Omega-3s are critical building blocks of fetal brain and retina development.
  3. Anti-aging: Omega-3s have incredible anti-aging effects on the brain. Research suggests that since the brain metabolizes DHA into anti-inflammatory compounds, it may be effectively slowing cell death (which naturally occurs with age). Insufficient omega-3 intake impairs learning memory as you age.
  4. Mental health and happiness: Omega-3s not only help in the formation of healthy brain cell membranes, but also the flexibility and fluidity of the membranes. They help regulate the flow of proteins and neurotransmitters, which act chemical messengers and are directly related to mood. Omega-3s also helps increase the levels of dopamine, which is an important neurotransmitter associated with our “reward response,” and serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with our ability to access feelings of well being.
  5. Hormone balancing: As omega-3s act build healthy cell membranes, enabling effective communication between cells; it makes it possible for hormones to adhere to cells more easily. Omega-3s also aid the body in keeping the cellular receptor sites repaired (where hormones are) and in optimal condition, which is key for premenopausal/menopausal women. The anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3s also eases the symptoms of PMS and dysmenorrhea.

Omega-3s and Children’s Brains:

  • Improves children’s literacy level and academic performance
  • Helps children with ADHD
  • Improves emotional processing and social skills of children
  • Improves children’s mood and memory
  • Improves short bowel syndrome (SBS) in children

From the time of your pregnancy through your child’s later life, omega-3 fats have a radically important role in their brain health and other functions. It is crucial to maintain an adequate intake of omega-3s through whole foods or supplementation during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Babies receive DHA through mother’s breast milk, so continuing to breastfeed through the first year will give your child a great head start for health and success.

Recommended Omega-3 Intake for Kids:

  • 0 to 12 months: 0.5 grams/day
  • 1 to 3 years: 0.7 grams/day
  • 4 to 8 years: 0.9 grams/day
  • 9 to13 years (boys): 1.2 grams/day
  • 9 to 13 years (girls): 1.0 grams/day
  • 14 to 18 years (boys): 1.6 grams/day
  • 14 to 18 years (girls): 1.1 grams/day

“When your cells contain equal amounts of Omega-6s and Omega-3s, as was the case with early humans, this promotes less inflammation, less constrictive blood vessels, and prevents clot formation, all important functions in preventing many diseases.”

– Artemis Simopoulos, President of the Center for Genetics, Nutrition, and Health.

Best Plants to Purify the Air in Your Home

Best Plants to Purify the Air in Your HomeFACT: 90% of the world’s population breathes dirty air!

The World Health Organization (WHO) released an air quality model which showed that more than 9 in 10 people live in areas that have unsafe levels of air pollution. Some air pollutants are 100 times more concentrated in your home than they are outside. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the levels of indoor air pollution in your home may be 2 to 5 times higher than they are outside. Indoor air pollution comes from more hidden sources than outdoor sources like car and traffic pollution.

The air in our homes can be polluted by toxic gases that are released from common, everyday household items such as:

  • cleaning products
  • cement
  • paint
  • carpet
  • mattresses
  • furniture
  • particleboard

The use of home insulation also means that once these gases are released, they are more likely to be trapped within your walls. This can cause unpleasant side effects experienced immediately or several years later, such as memory and cognitive issues, fatigue, respiratory problems, skin complaints, irritated eyes, headaches, asthma, and allergies. Both the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CCDC) have established that 80% of all cancers may be attributed to factors from your environment. Therefore, exposure to these carcinogenic chemicals and toxins are among the causative factors of cancer.

There are a number of different contributors to the rise in poor air quality indoors. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is listed as one contributor, which is a dangerous type of pollution from products such as aerosol sprays, cleaning products, and wood preservatives. Familiar VOCs names are benzene, formaldehyde and toluene. The variety of other contributors to indoor pollution include asbestos, carbon monoxide, cockroaches, lead, secondhand smoke, bacteria and viruses, carpets, dust mites and dust, pet dander, building and paint products, cleaning chemicals, formaldehyde, radon, and fire retardants.

Sociologists revealed that the average person in the U.S. spends 92% of their day indoors. People who are employed spend 2% of their time outside and 6% in transit between home and work. This means that the quality of the indoor air your breathe is very important to your health. The EPA states that poor indoor air quality is one of top public health risks people face each day.

You are dependent on good quality air to support your respiratory system and overall health. There are many ways that we can take measures into our own hands to make a difference in our personal environments. So, one great way to purify the air in your home and office is having beautiful green plants! Here are a few of my favorite air-purifying houseplants.

The Best Plants to Clean the Air in your Home

Gerbera Daisy

This plant may be a little higher maintenance by needing lots of sunlight and well-drained soil.

Good For: Removing airborne chemicals that are released from inks and dry cleaning including benzene and trichloroethylene.

Snake Plant

This plant does not need much light or water to survive, so they are an easy choice for your home.

Good For: Absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen during the night (while most plants do so during the day).

Spider Plant

This plant is super resilient and requires very little maintenance. This long leafed ornamental plant has a high performance rate of removing 80% of p-Xylenes o-Xylene and ethylbenzene from the air.

Good For: Removing the chemicals that are released from artificial rubbers, pesticides, paint, paint thinners, and ink, including benzene, formaldehyde, and carbon monoxide.

Bromeliad

This broad-leafed plant is excellent at filtering out six types of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and can filter up to 80% of these chemicals from the air in just 12 hours.

Good For: clearing away the toxic chemicals that are released from paraffin candles and car exhaust fumes.

Red-Edged Dracaena

This vibrant plant can grow to be ceiling height, making it a great plant for filling up space. It grows best in sunlight.

Good For: Sucking up the toxic acetone released from nail polishes, nail polish removers, and other household items, and removing formaldehyde.

Lucky Bamboo (Bamboo Palm)

This stylish plant is very low maintenance and needs indirect sunlight. It’s believed to help put moisture back into the atmosphere, which is a great for air-conditioned homes.

Good For: Clearing away benzene and trichloroethylene.

Aloe Vera

This succulent has been used for thousands of years as a laxative, natural antidote to skin burns, and other healing properties. It grows best with lots of sun.

Good For: Clearing benzene, formaldehyde, and other chemicals found in cleaning products.

Peace Lily

This beautiful plant is relatively easy to grow indoors and requires very little TLC. It does well in shade and cooler temperatures.

Good For: Removing formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, benzenes, and ammonia from the air.

FYI: The lily flower is toxic to cats and dogs.

Golden Pothos

This plant is a great hanging plant for your kitchen, living room or office, as the leaves will grow down in cascading vines. It grows easily in cool temperatures and low levels of sunlight.

Good For: Clearing away formaldehyde from the air.

It’s also important to consider using good quality potting mix and materials for your plants. Using clay or non-toxic pots, organic soil, and not using any artificial fertilizers and sprays. With a few small investments for these beautiful plants, you can truly clean the air and have great décor in your home!

What type of indoor plants do you like? Leave comments below!

Reference:
Please see foodmatters.com for other great tips.

Fats: Good or Bad?

Fats - Good or BadThe answer is both!

Not all fats are created equal! Highly processed, hydrogenated fats which are used in packaged foods are extremely dangerous to our bodies. These bad fats can lead to problems with your immune system, cardiovascular system, and even your behavior and mood. They contribute to weight gain, skin conditions, high blood pressure, and liver damage. Unhealthy fats includes trans-fat and inflammatory vegetable oils. Unfortunately, these fats have increased in our diet as they make us fatter and contribute to inflammation, which plays a role in nearly every chronic disease on the planet.

So, Where is the Good Part?

Well, our body needs healthy fats for insulation, vitamin and mineral absorption, organ protection, and most importantly for brain health. These fats can steady our metabolism, maintain hormone levels, nourish our skin, hair and nails, and provide lubrication to keep our body functioning properly.

Healthy fat is required for calcium to be effectively incorporated into bone as key bone-building vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble, meaning they rely on fats to be absorbed and transported within the body. In order to have proper lung function, the airspaces of the lungs have to be coated with a thin layer of lung surfactant, which is 100 percent saturated fatty acids. Your brain is mainly made of fat (60%) and cholesterol (40%). A diet without healthy fats robs your brain of raw materials it needs to function optimally. A diet with healthy fats supports memory and is critical for overall brain function. Certain healthy fats, such as coconut oil and oily fish are necessary for proper nerve function and protection. These nerves influence everything in the body from metabolism and muscle movement to the appropriate release of insulin.

What are the Healthy Fats?

  • Avocados
  • Olives
  • Coconuts
  • Nuts & Seeds
  • Nut Butters (such as, almond butter and tahini)
  • Wild-caught salmon and cod
  • Organic pasture-raised eggs
  • High quality organic oils: Organic cold-pressed extra virgin and unrefined (such as, olive oil and coconut oil)

There are so many benefits for including more healthy fats into your diet, therefore, it’s important to include a variety of sources as they all offer a variety of benefits. The right fats can improve your mood, skin, and hair, while protecting you against diabetes, dementia, cancer, and much more. Try a new fat today!

Tips on How to Use Healthy Fats

  • For cooking at high temperatures (stir frying or baking) use coconut oil.
  • For sautéing, use olive or coconut oil.
  • Use avocado as a wonderful dressing to a salad or a spread on a sandwich.
  • Add a spoonful of coconut oil to a smoothie.
  • Cook eggs in coconut oil for the ultimate healthy fat dish.

If you have any questions, contact our office by emailing blossomfamilychiro@gmail.com or calling 727-498-5643.

What Are the Benefits of Breastfeeding?

Benefits of Breastfeeding

According to the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda, breast milk is thought of as nectar and breastfeeding is considered the primary method of giving love to your child. It is through breastfeeding that the child forms his/her first understanding of, and bond, with the mother – a relationship that will impact all that follows. Fortunately, breastfeeding does more than create a connection between mom and baby.

A mother’s milk is one of the most precious sources of vitamins for mammals. Breastfeeding assists in the development of an intricate immune system and most importantly, a healthy gastrointestinal tract, which houses 70% of our immune system. Breast milk is easier to digest than formula. The proteins in formula are made from cow’s milk, and it takes time for babies’ stomachs to adjust to digesting them. Moreover, by holding and breastfeeding your baby, you are teaching him/her how to regulate their body temperature through your breath and heart beat.

Tips for Breastfeeding:

  • Breastfeed for at least 12 months.
  • Breastfeed as soon as possible and often, and as long as your baby needs to.
  • Don’t feel like you have enough milk? Breastfeed more often! Breast milk is supply and demand.
  • Food before one is just for fun. It is encouraged to be exclusively breastfeeding for the first year.

The body develops a miraculous predecessor called colostrum, also known as liquid gold, during pregnancy and just after birth for the baby. This substance is super-rich in antibodies, protein, and minerals, all which lead the baby’s immune system off to the best possible start. The immune system is the body’s best defense mechanism for maintaining a healthy body; therefore colostrum promotes a strong immune system that is equipped to fight against cancer. Colostrum contains antimicrobial properties, which aids in reducing the frequency of infections and respiratory problems.

Breast milk changes as your baby grows. Colostrum changes into what is called mature milk. By the third to fifth day after birth, this mature breast milk has just the right amount of fat, sugar, water, and protein to help your baby continue to grow.

Health Benefits of Breastfeeding:

  • Protects your baby from a long list of illnesses
  • Protects your baby from developing allergies
  • Lower your baby’s risk of SIDS
  • Boosts your child’s intelligence
  • Protects your child from obesity
  • Reduce your stress level
  • Reduce your risk of postpartum depression
  • Reduce your risk of some types of cancers and diabetes

For more information about the health benefits, common questions, and learning to breastfeed, visit womenshealth.gov or breastfeedingusa.org, or speak to your local Birth Doula or Lactation Counselor.

Text Neck – A New Epidemic

Text NeckWhen you walk around town, how many people do you notice walking around while looking down at their iPad or iPhone? The other night my husband and I went out for dinner and noticed seven children playing games on an iPad and ten adults checking email or texting.
It is estimated that the average child spends 7 hours a day on some sort of media device while teens and adults spend approximately 9 hours per day. With an increase in technology, what impact is this having on the spine and nervous system? And, is the “text neck” caused by constantly looking down at devices becoming an epidemic?

Effects of Increased Usage

When children are born, they spend the first few months trying to lift and hold their head up. This is a critical time during development because this action forms the C-shaped curve in the neck. This C-shaped curve is designed to support the weight of the head.

When or your child looks down at the computer, iPad, phone, etc. this reverses the c shaped curve that we developed as an infant, and places stress onto the nerves going into the neck and upper back. Overtime, this can lead to headaches, sinus/allergy issues, decreased immunity, neck pain, back pain, stiffness, carpal tunnel, or arthritis.

Impact of Heading Being Forward

In fact, research has shown that for every inch forward that the head goes, the weight on the upper back is increased by ten pounds. So, if your child’s head is looking down at the iPad, and the head is positioned two inches forward, this adds 20 pounds of additional weight onto their developing spine.
As a chiropractor, I am seeing individuals in their 20’s come in with massive amount of degeneration and arthritis forming in the neck because of this new epidemic of “text neck”. Think about it- Millennials are the first generation to grow up with technology in front of them!
Since we become more dependent on technology as time evolves, here are top 2 tips to maintain your spine and nervous system:

  1. Hold the technology at eye level so that you and your kids are not looking down
  2. Get under chiropractic care from an early age! Gentle and specific chiropractic adjustments allow you to maintain the C-shape curve in the neck, and relieve any stress that is placed onto the nervous system, and prevent future health challenges from occurring!

If you know anyone with “text neck”, have them contact our office by emailing blossomfamilychiro@gmail.com or calling 727-498-5643. We can help!

The Best Breakfast Options For Kids

Breakfast Options for KidsIt’s the first week of school and life is chaotic! With all the new school year excitement, nutrition can easily be overlooked. However, proper food choices are crucial for these busy periods. After all, the food we put into our kids’ bodies is the fuel that gives them energy throughout the day. Should our children be running on sugar and processed foods? No, these nutrient deficient foods leads to energy crashes and developmental challenges. So, lets talk about some healthy breakfast options for these busy mornings!

When thinking about fast, easy, and nutrient dense meals, here are a few guidelines…

Guidelines:

  • Include healthy omega-3 fats (i.e. Avocado; coconut milk, coconut oil; organic grass fed meats; seeds). These fats support the brain and cellular function, and keep us full longer!
  • Include some type of protein source (i.e. organic, pasture-raised eggs; chia seeds; hemp seeds; grass fed meat). Protein helps to rebuild tissue, support the immune system, and hormone production.
  • Avoid processed grains. They are inflammatory to the body and have detrimental effects on the body and brain!

Here are my favorite breakfast recipes that are fast, easy, delicious and nutritious!

Paleo Pancakes:

  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat; add butter
  • Mash banana chunks in a bowl using a fork until it becomes a wet consistency. Add egg and whisk mixture until batter is smooth.
  • Drop batter into the hot butter to make 2 pancakes. Cook for 3 minutes, and then flip for 2 minutes.
  • Add organic, pure maple syrup for a sweet treat!

Smoothie:

  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 1 cup of berries
  • 2 cups of raw, organic spinach
  • Blend and enjoy!

Eggs & Avocado:

  • Scramble organic, pasture-raised eggs in coconut oil or grass fed butter
  • Slice up avocado and sprinkle some Himalayan sea salt on it
  • Toss the avocado on top of the scrambled eggs and eat!

For more easy breakfast options, check out one of my favorite bloggers, Paleo Mom. Here is one specific article with tons of information and resources on foods for kids!

http://www.thepaleomom.com/paleo-for-kids

3 Tips For Keeping Your Family Healthy Throughout The School Year

Tips for staying healthy throughout the school yearWith summer coming to an end, kids are going back to school….and we all know what that means, GERMS! First your little one comes home with a snotty nose, then mom gets it, then dad. It’s a family affair!

There are several things that I recommend families in my practice do when trying to stay healthy throughout the school year. Here are my top 3 tips.

1) Get Plenty of Sleep

Research now shows that sleep directly affects the immune system. When we sleep, our body creates and releases certain disease fighting substances. Our bodies needs these hormones, proteins, and chemicals to fight off disease and infection. Sleep deprivation decreases the availability of these substances and leaves us more susceptible to viruses and bacteria. If we are sleep deprived and become sick, we will stay sick for a longer period of time because our bodies lack the resources to fight off the bad guys!

Here is a guide as to how much sleep you and your family should be getting each night based on age:

  • 1-4 weeks: 15-16 hours per day
  • 1 -12 months: 14-15 hours per day
  • 1-3 years: 12-14 hours per day
  • 3-6 years: 10-12 hours per day
  • 7- 12 years: 10- 11 hours per day
  • 12- 18 years: 8-9 hours per day
  • 18 years- adulthood: 7-9 hours per day

2) Take A Vitamin D Supplement

Vitamin D plays a HUGE role in your health, influencing nearly 3,000 of your genes and playing critical role in your immune response. Vitamin D is being called a “miracle nutrient” for your immune system because it enables your body to produce over 200 anti-microbial peptides (these peptides help to fight a wide range of infections)! In fact, a recent Japanese study showed that school children taking vitamin D3 supplements were 58% less likely to catch the flu.

I recommend that all members of the family take a daily D3 supplement. My favorite brand is the liquid D3 drops from Innate Choice. Innate Choice is a quality, affordable brand developed by a fellow chiropractor, scientist, and nutrition expert, Dr. James Chestnut. My husband and I have been taking this for years to keep healthy!

3) Get Adjusted Regularly!

The nervous system controls every system in our bodies including our immune system. When the spine is misaligned, it places stress on our nervous system and our immune system is weakened. Research shows that chiropractic adjustments increase white blood cell counts and boost overall immune function by 200%. In order for us to be as healthy as possible, we need regular chiropractic adjustments to ensure that our body is functioning optimally.

Taking Probiotics While On Antibotics

Probiotics While On AntibioticsWhenever we feel sinus or cold like symptoms start to kick in, many people turn to antibiotics to clear things up. While antibiotics destroy the harmful bacteria that is intruding our system, they also destroy the healthy bacteria that keep our gut and immune system strong. In fact, if we break down the word antibiotic, “anti” means against and “biotic” referring to living organisms. So, antibiotics fight all bacteria (both the good and the bad)!

What Happens In Our Gut While Taking Antibiotics:

  1. Antibiotics wipe out all the good and bad bacteria in our gut/li>
  2. There is no good bacteria left to fight off the viruses/ disease/li>
  3. Our immune system is compromised/li>
  4. Bacteria becomes stronger and resistant to future antibiotics

Don’t get me wrong- I believe antibiotics are a good thing in emergency or life threatening situations. However, when we take them, we should be intentional about replenishing the good gut bacteria with probiotics (“pro- in favor of and “biotic”- living organisms).

Since 70% of our immune system lies within our gut, our bodies depend on good gut bacteria to stay healthy. In addition to decreasing inflammation, balancing gut flora, and supporting our gut’s natural ability to fight illnesses and disease, probiotics also line the intestinal walls to ensure that harmful bacteria cannot escape to the rest of our body! They act as our body’s own shield!

Probiotics naturally occur in fermented food/drinks like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and kombucha. However, many Americans need a little extra intestinal support and take a probiotic supplement. When taking a probiotic supplement, you will want to ensure that it is a good quality product that is actually supporting your gut. Brands that I recommend to my practice members include: Klaire Labs (infant probiotic) and Standard Process’s Prosymbiotic (for adults).

If you have any questions regarding your families health, please contact our office at blossomfamilychiro@gmail.com or call us at 727-498-5643.