Beat The Summer Heat With This Super Cool Watermelon Juice Recipe! 

Refreshing Watermelon Juice Ingredients:

8 cups cubed watermelon (chilled)

5-6 leaves of fresh mint or basil

Directions: Blend the watermelon with either the mint or basil in a high speed blender until everything becomes liquid. Strain through a fine sieve or nut milk bag and either drink right away, or keep in the fridge for up to 1-2 days (it’s always best within the first 24 hours). Mint adds a super cool refreshing twist to this delicious drink. If you want to switch it up, a touch of basil is a unique way to take this juice to the next level!

Enjoy this super cooling recipe on a hot day when you need to beat the heat!

Benefits of Watermelon:

1. Hydrating (watermelon is made of 92% water!)

2. Contains high amounts of Lycopene, an antioxidant

3. High in Vitamin A, B6, and vitamin C

4. Easy to digest

5. Watermelon is rich in an amino acid called citrulline that may help move blood through your body and can lower your blood pressure.

6. Contains natural sugar and helps curb those sweet tooth cravings without the guilt!

7. Can help reduce inflammation in the body

Eat or drink watermelon this summer in abundance for your health!

5 Simple Ways to Increase Hydration

Many of us have heard of the formula for staying hydrated: drink half your body weight in oz of water, every.single.day. If you love water, this is the best news ever! But if you find yourself in the category where you don’t remember to drink it, don’t like the taste, or typically just end up drinking other liquids throughout the day that take the place of water- hope is not lost, you also can keep your cells hydrated, and thriving, with a few of these creative ways to keep your body hydrated every single day.

 

Our bodies aren’t one stop shops. We can’t just practice a healthy habit one time and have the health benefits last forever. Consistent maintenance is key for long term health. We have to continue to hydrate our bodies every single day to keep up its optimum function. Take a look at these quick and easy things you can add to your day to reach that ideal hydration point your body is craving! 

 

  1. Eat high water content fruits and vegetables, juices, and smoothies. There is living water in every fruit and veggie that can provide amazing benefits for hydrating the body. Your body knows exactly what to do with this pure water. It soaks it up and delivers it to the cells exactly how they need it. Incorporate things like watermelon, oranges, apples, celery, cantaloupe, peppers, pears, cucumbers, carrots, lettuce, and grapes into your meals. When you’re eating enough fruits and vegetables, your body is getting  much of the water that it needs, and requires less drinking water than a body that is only eating processed foods all day. 

 

  1. Drink a glass of high quality (filtered) water with a squeeze of lemon or a tiny pinch of sea salt or pink himilayan salt. If you forget to drink water frequently, adding things like lemon or a teeny tiny pinch of salt to your water will make it easier to absorb. Think of the pinch of salt like adding electrolytes into the water. If you are making sure to eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and low in processed foods (aka high sodium foods), then you don’t need to worry about the sodium in the salt. Your body needs some sodium! Just not too much. 
  2. Drink aloe water. Aloe is an incredibly healing plant that can do wonders for your body. It can improve your liver function, increase the alkalinity of your body, provide you with amazing minerals and vitamins, is antioxidant rich, and is great for your skin. To make aloe water from scratch, take a 2 inch piece of aloe and carefully slice the skin away from the gel. Place the gel into a blender with 2 cups of water and a squeeze of lime if desired. Blend and drink right away for a quick, easy, hydrating boost! 
  3. Drink herbal tea. Herbal tea is an extremely  hydrating drink that can aid you  with  whatever healing properties you need  by choosing which tea you brew. You can make this iced or hot. PRO tip: brew a half gallon of tea in advance and keep it in the refrigerator for easy access to pour over ice. There are so many medicinal benefits to herbal teas, and they can really transform your water drinking to a time where your body gets in those added healing properties of the tea. Want to take your hydration to the next level? Replace your coffee with herbal tea. Not only is coffee acidic, it’s also dehydrating. Drinking coffee first thing in the morning after a night’s sleep when your body is already slightly dehydrated, can only worsen the situation. Switching over to an herbal tea, or at least having a glass of lemon water before you drink coffee, will do your body wonders. 
  4. Make hydration your priority first thing in the morning. Instead of reaching for that cup of coffee, let lemon water be the first thing that hits your stomach after your body has been fasting all night. Then go ahead and have your cup of coffee. PRO tip: Keep a bottle of water or a drinking glass in places where you already have a good daily habit established. For example, if you take a multivitamin every day, keep a full glass of water next to it to remind yourself to drink water every time you take that vitamin. Or keep a glass by your toothbrush to remind yourself to take a glass of water when you brush your teeth in the morning or at night. Tacking on a good habit to another good habit is a great way to build up the healthy lifestyle that you want to achieve! 

 

Hydration is powerful! it has the power to jump start your health by:  flushing out toxins, helping the kidneys filter properly, regulating body temperature, eliminating constipation by flushing body waste, keeping the skin clear, can help with kidney stones, headaches, weight loss, maintaining blood pressure, and  maximizing physical performance by allowing the muscles and joints to work properly. 

 

15 fun Ways To Get Kids To Eat Their Vegetables (And Other Tips And Tricks To Eating Healthy With A Picky Eater)

We know that fruits and veggies are good for kids, but have you ever tried to get a kid to eat them? Talk about a completely different story! What if it was as easy to get kids to eat their carrots as it was chips, a cookie, or a popsicle? What if kids could eat their favorite food, and have it be healthy for them? I’m optimistic that by applying a few of these tried and true tips, your kiddo will be on the healthy train in no time (and they might even get you eating a few more servings of veggies too!), making the kitchen a place of happiness, health, and peace of mind, knowing your kids are fueling their brains, bodies and activities with the healthiest fuel on the planet. 

 

 Let’s dive into 15 tips and tricks to get kids engaged in the eating process, excited about different foods, and make healthy eating a delightful tradition for kids and parents all around. 

 

  1. Rename foods to sound delicious. Call fruit “dessert”, call water “river juice”, call a plain fruit smoothie a “tropical delight”. It sounds silly, but these simple life hacks can make a huge difference in a kids perception of a certain food. 
  2. Make it fun! Keep the atmosphere around food light, happy and exciting. When at all possible, try to not give negative behaviors any attention. Also with an unfamiliar food, they might not like it the first time, that’s okay, keep trying! 
  3. Fruit smoothies with hidden veggies. I’m not talking about cabbage or cauliflower here. I’m talking about greens! Throwing greens into a fruit smoothie is a great way to eat up those greens without having to put a salad in front of your kids. Smoothies are a great way to mask the flavor, and enjoy every sip. PRO tip: use mild flavored greens for this, like spinach. Some greens out there are much more bitter tasting to kids and it might not be so hidden if the flavor is too strong, so choosing a mild green will go a long way to getting those servings of veggies in. 1 cup of spinach = 1 serving of vegetables.  
  4. “Get-your-greens-in” pesto.  Made with spinach, kale, arugula or any other kind of green; adding in greens to your pesto is a great way to add servings of veggies for kids (and stretch the sauce out too!) Use this pesto the way you may traditionally use it, on pasta, or as a pizza sauce! 
  5. Disguise veggies in other “comfort foods”. Mac and cheese with veggies in it? It can be done! Lots of creamy sauces can be made super healthy by adding steamed and pureed cauliflower or zucchini. Try steaming some cauliflower florets and blending them into a “mash” then add them into the cheesy sauce. Voila! You can also do this for alfredo, spaghetti sauces etc. Cauliflower is a somewhat neutral flavored food that can easily be added to tons of dishes! 
  6. Cut food into shapes. Whether its heart shaped watermelon, or Mickey Mouse shaped blueberry pancakes. Kids LOVE shapes! Get creative with cookie-cutters to cut up some fun shaped fruits or veggies for snacks. 
  7. Kale chips. Forget the veggie straws as a crunchy snack.  (They’re really just cleverly marketed potato chips). Instead throw some kale pieces in olive oil, salt, with maybe a little garlic powder and some nutritional yeast (optional) and bake in the oven on 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes until crispy. These “chips” turn out healthy and delicious, making it easy to get in those servings of veggies. It’s hard to keep track of how quickly these disappear. I’ve eaten a whole tray in one sitting, before I even knew what happened! 
  8. Frozen popsicles made from fresh blended fruits. Start by making a smoothie however you like it, with fresh berries, banana, maybe some mango or strawberries, and some sort of plant-based milk, then just pour into the popsicle molds and wait until the next day for them to set in the freezer. These are great things to make ahead of time for a weekend of fun in the sun. 
  9. Spinach quesadillas. No matter what you’re making, throwing in some veggies that are “muted” in flavor is a great way to help your kiddo understand that veggies are here to stay. When you’re having quesadillas for dinner, they have spinach in them. When it’s spaghetti night, there are chopped zucchini and red bell peppers in the sauce. Not only does this normalize vegetables, it also begins to change kids’ palates when they are introduced to these servings of fruits or vegetables regularly. 
  10. Zucchini bread. There is nothing more fun and delicious to bake than some fresh warm zucchini bread. Similar to banana bread, but with servings of veggies in each bite! Zucchini has a mild flavor that can easily be disguised in this amazing dessert. 
  11. Fresh juices. Store bought juices are already processed and have lost so many of their vitamins, minerals, living enzymes and healthy impact that the original fruit or vegetable may have once had. Try juicing your own fresh fruits and vegetables to have on hand. These can be bottled and frozen for later or kept in the fridge for a few days to substitute for those sugary drinks kids always reach for! There are even reusable juice pouches that you can purchase to put your own fresh juices or smoothies in! 
  12. Veggie snacks. Bite size nibbles are always a favorite with kids. Have a plate or bowl of cut up veggies and make them super available by having them already prepared in the fridge for a quick grab. Carrots and hummus, cut up watermelon, or already de-stemmed grapes are great ideas for grab and go fuel for after school snacks and quick turnarounds. 
  13. Fresh lemonade. Lemons are a powerful fruit for a healthy body! Use 8 cups of water with 2 fresh squeezed lemons and a hint of natural sugar like honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar to beat the heat and get in all the amazing benefits of this amazing fruit! Keep on hand for those hot days of summer! 
  14. Fun straws, spoons or bowls. Have certain dishes that kids exclusively get to use certain items with. Have some fun fruit shaped straws that come exclusively with a smoothie. Or a special bowl that they only get to use with their fruit “dessert”. Kids will feel like they are getting something rare and exclusive, and adds tons of excitement to an otherwise normal meal. 
  15. Have a “no thank you” helping. Growing up, this was a consistent tactic my parents used (and successfully I might add). If we didn’t want to eat a certain kind of food or meal, we had to eat a tiny portion of it as our “no thank you” helping. This got us as kids to at least try different foods, and over time, develop our taste buds to like that food. 

 

Last but certainly not least, give it time, and don’t lose heart. Taste buds take about three weeks to adjust to a new taste or way of eating but the good news is that they DO change. Give kids the delicious flavors of real fruit for a few weeks, and when they go back to having processed sugar it sometimes tastes too sweet. It’s the same with salty foods. When your kiddo is eating all the healthy snacks you’ve been replacing chips with, that first taste of a chip is going to be insanely salty. Once the taste buds change, the food preferences soon follow suit, your kid will be asking for fruits and vegetables in no time! 

 

The Fabulous Benefits of Walking

What if there was a magic pill that could help control your weight, improve your digestion, reduce risk of heart diseases, help maintain a healthy blood pressure, help control sugar levels and insulin in the blood, boost your mood, keep your mind sharp, AND boost your immune system, -all bundled into  one pill that you take once a day, with no side effects? Would you take that pill? Of course you would! I’m not here to tell you that a magic pill has been created, that would be too good to be true, but the great news is that  the solution to these things exists today, and always has! It’s simple, affordable, fun, and almost anyone can take advantage of what it has to offer.  The answer is walking!

We all have heard that walking is good for us, but do we really know how amazing it is for us? You don’t have to be a runner, an athlete, or even consider yourself “fit” to be able to do this one simple thing that can drastically improve your health. Walking is a lifetime sport. Movement plays a significant role in the aging process. Those who move their bodies throughout their lifetime, whether its dance, tennis, walking, running, swimming, aerobics classes, yoga, pilates, weight lifting etc, are able to maintain functional fitness well into old age compared with those who live more sedentary lifestyles. 

The key is to find movements that you love. If you don’t like running, you don’t have to force yourself to run in order to be “healthy” or “fit”. Walking provides nearly identical benefits to running when we look at cardiovascular fitness, lymphatic movement, blood circulation and caloric burn. A one mile run vs a one mile walk may take less time, but other than that, you are still reaping all the glorious benefits that a one mile run can have. In fact, if you walk instead of run, your joints will thank you for it.  Walking is a gentle enough activity to provide you with a lifetime of fitness well into old age if you choose to incorporate it regularly into your week, which is great news if  you dislike running but enjoy walking.  it. Enjoyment is key in finding the activity that you’ll love doing, for life. 

7 amazing benefits of walking:

🏃🏼‍♀️Walking helps move your lymphatic system. Lymph is an extremely important fluid in our body  that has many jobs to do, but unlike the blood, the lymphatic system does not have a pump to help it move and flow freely to where it needs to go. Things like muscle contractions and movement act as mini pumps to help this fluid move and not stay stagnant. 

🏃🏼‍♀️Walking improves blood circulation and blood pressure. 

🏃🏼‍♀️Walking boosts your immune system function, increases the oxygen circulating in your body, and releases endorphins. 

🏃🏼‍♀️Walking helps with digestion. 

🏃🏼‍♀️Walking helps boost creativity, brain function, reduces anxiety, depression, and stress levels.  It keeps your mind active, awake, and sharp. 

🏃🏼‍♀️Walking strengthens bones and muscles, giving you an edge as you age ever so gracefully. 

🏃🏼‍♀️Walking is an activity that can increase friend and family bonds when done together as a group.   

Think of all the easy ways you can fit a quick walk into your day. Go for a stroll before dinner, take the kids out around the block during break-time, walk down the street to the nearest store to get a treat. Take a walk on the beach at some point during your beach day. Go to the park by the bay to walk, people watch and get some fresh air. Go on a long hike on a trail into the wilderness. There are so many ways we can fit this amazing activity into our daily lives, and our bodies will thank us for it. The benefits to this simple activity are almost endless!

Kick-Start Any New Health Routine With These Simple Smoothies

What are some of the best ways to get the biggest bang for your health in a smoothie?

1) Keep it simple. contrary to trending health movements, you don’t need to add a ton of ingredients to a smoothie. Choosing a few high quality ingredients to add to your smoothie is going to allow your digestive track to get started slowly, waking up the stomach and digestive organs to let them begin their day.   Not only is it going to be faster to use fewer ingredients in the mornings when you’re rushing out the door, but your body is going to thank you when it has 2-4 ingredients instead of 10-15 ingredients to pay attention to, process, and digest. Your digestive track is waking up too.  Just like us, it wants to be gently woken up, not given a million tasks to do first thing in the morning!

2) Don’t be afraid of carbohydrates. Granted, there are healthy and unhealthy carbohydrates. Adding spoonfuls of sugar to a smoothie would not be the same as adding in a cup of nutrient packed mango! Fruits like bananas, berries, cantaloupe, mango, kiwi, pineapple, grapes, apples, watermelon, and oranges all have essential vitamins and minerals in them that we can benefit from. The carbohydrates in fruits are easy to digest, and give your brain and nervous system the healthy sugars they need to function properly. Remember the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”? Fruits should not be feared because of their sugar content. A few servings of fruit a day, added into a diet with non-processed foods like vegetables, whole grains, legumes, healthy proteins and fats is key to finding your health again and maintaining it.

 

Power Green Smoothie (Morning) 

2 frozen bananas

2 cups spinach

1 cup pineapple

Coconut water or unsweetened Almond milk to blend

 

Getting some green into your smoothie  is an amazing way to boost your health, especially if you aren’t a salad person, and that added spinach or kale is going to be the only green thing you’ll eat all day. A great tip to keep in mind for your smoothies is to save your fats and proteins (nuts, chia seeds, yogurt, protein powders) for later on in the day, when your stomach has had a little warm up.  Still want your protein smoothie? Do it as an afternoon snack. Once your digestive system is woken up with your simpler morning smoothie,  it will have plenty of digestive fluids moving and flowing, and can handle the heavier foods you’ll eat throughout the day.

 

Pick-me-up Berry Blast (Afternoon Snack) 

1 cup frozen mixed berries

2 frozen bananas

1 scoop protein powder

Coconut water or vanilla unsweetened almond milk to blend

…Just the snack your body needs to get you through the rest of your day; full of vitamins, minerals, healthy carbohydrates easy to digest protein, and bright living food!

Fruits and vegetables are key to a healthy happy life. At the end of the day, it matters less if you steam, sauté, blend, bake, chop, air-fry, or disguise them, than if you are just making sure they are somewhere in your every day life. The FDA recommends about 9 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Just by adding in 1 or two simple smoothies a day can help you meet this requirement and watch as your health improves! Choosing to replace your McMuffin or breakfast biscuit in the morning with something your body will digest easily, thrive on, and love, is one of the greatest morning routine starters you can make. Getting your day started off on the right foot can lead to a million other great choices…just think of the possibilities!

How Does Stress Affect My Pregnancy?

Let’s face it….pregnancy can be stressful. We are constantly worrying about what is happening with our baby, if we are making the right decisions, and stressing about the birth process. In our society, we are faced with even more stress than ever before and this impacts the way that our body functions, and the way that we give birth. When we are stressed, we produce more cortisol (our stress hormone) which travels through the umbilical cord and goes straight to baby. We see that women who are under more stress have more pregnancy complications, longer delivery times, and more interventions during birth….which leads to more stressed kiddos (i.e. colic, reflux, constipation, immune struggles, ear infections).

Let me break this down….

When we are under stress, the sympathetic part of the nervous system (fight/flight stress response) or “gas pedal” mode is activated. When this happens, it suppresses the parasympathetic (rest/digest) “brake pedal” mode that controls sleep, digestion, relaxation, immune function, and growth and development. During pregnancy, you are LITERALLY growing and developing a little human inside of you. I think it’s fair to say that this part of our nervous system needs to be functioning properly! During labor, this parasympathetic or “brake pedal” part of the nervous system is what is responsible for producing the hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin is responsible for uterine contractions. So, if you are stressed and your body is stuck in “gas pedal” mode, the cortisol (stress hormone) produced will inhibit the production of oxytocin and lead to longer labors, and more interventions during the birth process.

After birth, we tend to see longer NICU times, and babies who are also stuck in that fight or flight stress response from day 1. When this happens, babies don’t sleep well, their digestion sucks, their immune system is challenged, and they don’t grow and develop in the way they are supposed to!

The great news is…Chiropractic care can help! Chiropractic care suppresses the fight or flight stress response by activating the parasympathetic (“brake pedal”) mode through way of the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve exits the cranium right outside of the top part of the spine, and controls sleep, digestion, immune function, growth and development, and relaxation. When we are able to get the vagus nerve functioning correctly, chiropractors can stimulate the parasympathetic “brake pedal” mode, and get the nervous system out of the sympathetic “gas pedal”/ stress mode. This not only means a healthier pregnancy, but also a better labor and delivery, and a healthier baby!

If you have any questions about how stress can affect your body during pregnancy, how it can affect your child, or how chiropractic care can help, please reach out to our office, Blossom Family Chiropractic. We have the technology to be able to measure how much stress your nervous system is under, and how well your body is functioning. The best part is, these scans are completely safe for pregnancy and for kids! Feel free to reach out to us at 727-498-5643, and we will be happy to answer any of your prenatal or pediatric questions. 😊

Alexa, how do I get 8 hours of sleep in 4 hours?

We’ve all been here. You stayed up too late watching tv and now you’ve got to wake up in a few hours. Or every night you try to get sleep but sleep evades you… Your body is tired, but your mind is wide awake, it’s 2:00 in the morning and you have to be up at 5:30am for work. 

 

“How can I wake up feeling rested, functional and awake tomorrow? How can I get 8 hours of refreshing sleep, when I only have 4 hours to do it in?” You ask yourself. I’ve asked this question in my own google browser too many times…

 

Trust me I’m no wizard, I can’t wave a magic wand and extend your alarm out  to give you four more hours of sleep while still allowing you to magically wake up in time for your job or responsibilities, but I do have some tried and true solutions to offer that will help you get the shut eye you need, train your body to sleep when it should, and perhaps by following one or all of these, allow you to get the beauty sleep you deserve. 

 

  1. Give yourself a sleep schedule. Set a time to go to sleep and wake up every day. No matter if it’s a work day or a weekend. Routine helps condition your body to know what to do, and when. Nothing happens overnight but slowly your body will begin to adapt to whatever routine you’ve decided. You’ll begin to feel sleepy at the time that you’ve set to go to bed. This also works for you to wake up at the same time every day. If you do it often enough, you don’t even need an alarm clock! 
  2. Create an evening ritual to help your body know that it’s time for bed. One hour before the time that you’ve designated that you are going to go to bed, put your phone and electronics away, turn off the TV, do your evening hygiene routine, read a book, diffuse some essential oils, whatever it is that tells you and your body that it’s time for bed. Then when it comes to that time that you set for yourself to go to bed, lie down. Even if you aren’t falling asleep right away, your body still is getting rest, and that’s a good thing. Evening rituals will condition your body to unwind in the evening so that the sleep that evades you, one day will find you again. 
  3. Keep a pen and paper by your bedside table, when your mind is racing with a to-do list for tomorrow, something that bothers you, or the thing you told your work you would do but forgot, write it down. This subconsciously tells your mind that it doesn’t have to stay “on” to remember it anymore. That job is being done by the notepad and now your mind can rest. 
  4. Diffuse essential oils. Oils are my best friend, I use them for everything. My favorite part of my nightly routine is picking a relaxing essential oil or blend of two oils to help me calm down for the evening and get my body ready for sleep. My favorite ones for sleep are lavender, vetiver, cedarwood and frankincense. 
  5. Get away from electronic screens. There is  a reason for why I mentioned turning off electronics in your evening ritual an hour before you go to sleep. Blue light from your phone, laptop, TV, and tablet disrupts your internal clock and simulates daylight outside. When this happens, the melatonin that the pineal gland usually sectretes at night time either is secreted in smaller amounts or not at all. When this happens it’s really hard for your body to go from “awake” mode to “sleep” mode so suddenly. By turning off your electronic screens, your body gets in tune with the rhythms of nature. Naturally your body will begin to realize that when it’s dark outside, it’s time to sleep! 
  6. Make sure you are getting enough Magnesium. Magnesium is an essential macro-mineral that we need in our bodies. Studies are showing that people with low magnesium levels have a harder time sleeping, struggle with insomnia, have restless leg syndrome, and can experience higher levels of anxiety and feelings of restlessness. What you might be missing is this mineral. By supplementing a good quality magnesium into your day or enhancing your diet with foods rich in magnesium, you might just help your body get that restful sleep that it needs! Here at Blossom we love Natural Calm, a high quality magnesium supplement, and eating avocados, nuts, seeds, legumes, dark chocolate (not at night), whole grains, bananas, and leafy greens to boost magnesium in our bodies. 
  7. Reduce EMF exposure. More and more research is coming out about these types of energy waves and what they may be doing to our bodies. It comes to us in the form of wifi, cell towers, smart meters, microwaves and the like, and may be interfering with our bodies nervous system function. If your wifi box is near your bedroom, try moving it to a different location. Keep your laptop off at night, and your cell phone either on airplane mode or across the room from where you sleep so that this exposure can’t interfere with the sleep that you’ve earned. 
  8. Aim to get sleep during the 10pm-2am window. Your body does incredible work healing, repairing, and restoring itself during this timeframe. Getting one hour of sleep during this window compares to 2 hours of sleep outside of it, as far as deep sleep, repair, and healing goes for your body. Even if your sleep is light, interrupted, intermittent or spotty during this time, at least try to get even 10 minutes of sleep during this window. Your body will thank you for it. Just choosing to spend this time laying down even if your mind is wide awake during this time has immense benefits. If your norm is only getting 2-6 hours of sleep at night, aim to get them during this window. The rest you are giving your body allows it to get to work preparing you for the next day, giving you a feeling of being refreshed and restored. 
  9. Get adjusted! Chiropractic adjustments reset the nervous system and take us out of the “fight or flight” stress mode, by activating the parasympathetic or “rest, digest, and relaxation” part of our nervous system. Adjustments keep our nervous system functioning properly, keep us healthy, and help to reduce our stress response so that we are better able to be at ease and fall into that sleep state quicker, stay in it longer, so that our body can repair, mend and restore. Allowing our bodies to get the deep sleep we need so badly. 

 

Our bodies are so amazing. They function for us even under the most difficult situations, adapting as needed. When you can’t sleep, and you feel like it’s your body that is working against you, just know that this is not the case. Our bodies always work for us. They are always supporting us, helping us, and always have our back. Know that when you can’t get any sleep it isn’t your body that is the enemy, because they would never betray us. Something else is amiss. Thank your body for the work it has done for you, and then decide that together, you and your body are going to figure out the solution to whatever is the culprit. Know that your body is an amazing warrior fighting alongside you to find the rest you deserve, and together you’ll discover the answers that work for you. Test the solutions provided above, add your own solutions that you have discovered, and rest easy.

How Can I Manage My Anxiety and Stress Levels During COVID-19?

It is no surprise that so many of us are facing more stress than ever before with the COVID-19 pandemic. We find ourselves asking questions like, “How is this going to impact my loved ones?” How will this impact our economy?” “Will I lose my job?” “Will my business survive?” “When will I get to see my friends and my parents again?” These are all valid questions, and questions that we don’t yet have the answers to. Things are unknown, unfamiliar, and that fear of ‘not knowing’ allows our minds to easily wonder into dark places. Then, we inundate ourselves with negative social media and news that only furthers our anxiety. At some point, we become paralyzed with fear and curl into a fetal position. Trust me, I’ve been there! As a small business owner and someone who is tackling this pandemic during her 3 rd trimester of pregnancy, I’ve felt ALL the feels! I’ve really had to do some work on myself to help with my anxiety and stress levels so that I can continue to be there for my son and my husband, so that I can show up as a leader for my team, and so that I can show up and support my patients during this time. So, I wanted to share the things that I have been doing to allow myself to become better and show up every day for the people that I care most about.

1) Start my day with gratitude. Since the beginning of the year, I have used Rachel Hollis’s “start today” journal where I begin each and every day writing down the 5 things that I am grateful for. This can be simple things like a good night’s sleep, the coffee that you are sipping on, your child’s contagious laugh, or even the roof over your head. When you are able to start the day with gratitude, it truly reminds you of all the things that we are so blessed to have. By concentrating on these things every morning, we begin to notice all the small things that we take for granted, and become grateful for them. This allows us to start our day with a positive mindset, and takes us out of fear.

2) Limit access to Social Media and the News. We have to remind ourselves that the news is a business, and they are going to report on things that sell. They will not run a segment on how beautiful the weather has been, but they WILL run 24 hour coverage on the hurricane that is coming. In this instance, the news will report on the deaths that have happened due to COVID- 19, rather than focusing on the hundreds of thousands of people who have recovered. These news channels are smart, and run a successful business. They know exactly what to say to feed into our fear and anxiety so that we tune in. Be informed on the current status of the virus and the economic status of our country, but limit the amount of time that you spend filling your brain with negative information.

3) Be in action. Whether this is to organize the closet that you’ve been wanting to do for 10 years, or to write a blog post for your business (see what I’m doing here?), be in action. When we are constantly taking action, we are able to accomplish things that are IN OUR CONTROL. In a time that feels like things are so uncertain and so out of our control, taking action allows us to control various aspects of our life. When we feel like we are in control of our life, we walk away feeling accomplished, more productive, and more motivated to keep moving forward.

4) Remind ourselves that this is temporary. Like all things, this too shall pass. When it does, plan a celebratory event where you are able to see all your friends and family! Plan a nice dinner out with your work team! Celebrate that we WILL get through this together!

5) Get adjusted! Chiropractic adjustments reset the nervous system and take us out of the “fight or flight” stress mode, by activating the parasympathetic or “rest, digest, and relaxation” part of our nervous system. Adjustments keep our nervous system functioning properly, keep us healthy, and help to reduce our stress response so that we are better able to live life, and show up every day for the people that mean the most to us!

What Kind of Milk Should I be Drinking?

Whole milk, 2%, Almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk, cashew milk, oat milk, hemp milk, or a combination of all of these? 

As far as variety and options go, we’re living in a time when we have a million different choices to make every time we go to the grocery store. Many people are prioritizing their health and stores have risen up to the challenge and provided us with endless brands and types of milks. This is so evident when you go to the milk section and almost have to spend as much time reading labels as you do watching your favorite show or taking a leisurely walk in the park. It can be time consuming! 

What are some key things you should be looking for when you navigate the milk section/ plant based milk section of the grocery store? Are these milks really healthy? Or did some companies just jump on the health food craze and provide a product that appears to be the healthier option but has ingredients in it that you can’t recognize that may be harmful to you? Let’s break it down into simple things to look for on the nutrition label so that you can navigate what milk options are best for your family. 

Whether you are choosing a traditional milk or a plant based milk, here are a few things to look for and avoid: 

Carrageenan: this is an inflammatory additive that should be avoided. 

Natural flavors: there is nothing natural about these! Companies are allowed to hide all sorts of ingredients under this label. Until they are told to be specific about their ingredients, it is best to avoid anything with “natural flavors” in the ingredients list. 

Soy: Many varieties of soy are GMO and can be very inflammatory. Unless the soy is organic, leave it on the shelf! 

Sugar: pay attention to the sugar content of some plant based milks. Sometimes the “original and “vanilla” flavored milks have sugar added. Usually these same brands will have an “unsweetened” version right next to them, grab that instead! 

Conventional cow’s milk: If you’re buying milk from a cow, an additional step is needed to figure out the ingredients. When the ingredients label says “milk” you really have to dig a little deeper and think about everything that cow has eaten, because those things are also in the milk! Look for cow’s milk that is organic, grass fed, and hormone free. Traditionally processed cow’s milk comes from cows that are fed tons of antibiotics, hormones, corn wheat, and soy. If you have any allergies to these products, consider that your milk may contain these things as well, and search for cow’s milk that specifically mentions that the cows were not fed these things. (*note: if the label doesn’t mention that they avoid these things, they probably don’t!). With so many other healthy nutrient packed alternatives for cow’s milk, it is possible to avoid buying this all together. 

Want to skip the grocery store processed milks and make it from scratch in your own kitchen? It’s so easy! Here’s my favorite recipe to make at home: all you need is a blender and a nut-milk bag or fine strainer.

 

Homemade coconut milk: 

-Meat from one mature coconut + the coconut water or 1 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes

 -4-6 cups hot water

-1 tsp vanilla

-2 tbsp sweetener of choice (honey, dates, maple syrup, or coconut sugar)

-1 pinch of salt 

Instructions: Choose a mature (not young) coconut that has meat in it. These are the ones in the grocery store that have the husk removed already and are light brown on the outside. They are usually sold with a score around the outside to make them easier to crack open with a large knife or hammer. Dig out the meat, and place the meat and coconut water into the blender. (or you can substitute 1 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes) Add 4-6 cups of hot water and blend for a few minutes until the water has a nice white creamy consistency. (*tip, the hot water helps the fats from the coconut melt into the water for a creamier milk!) Once blended, pour the contents into a nut milk bag or fine strainer, and discard the pulp. Add 1 tsp vanilla, and 1-2 tbsp your choice of honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar to sweeten to taste and a pinch of salt and blend again for a few seconds. Refrigerate and enjoy! Lasts about 4-7 days in the fridge. 

Want to try another type of plant based milk like almond milk, cashew milk, hemp milk, oat milk, or rice milk? Just substitute 1 cup of your alternative ingredient into the hot water, and follow the same instructions (soaking your almonds or cashews overnight before blending)! 

Making your own plant based coffee creamer? Just cut the water content in half, and add a few more tablespoons of a natural sugar, and a teaspoon more of vanilla. You can even spice it up with a teaspoon of cinnamon, or add cocoa powder… any variation you can think of to mix it up! 

 

Making your own plant based milks from scratch lets you avoid all of the questionable ingredients from the store that you may find in pre-packaged milks, while delivering you all of the amazing health benefits from the vitamins and minerals of the fresh ingredients that you are using! 

By just paying attention to a few key ingredients on the labels, we can bring our families health to a whole new level, easy as that! #gotmilk? 

How Do You Know if You’re Healthy?

How do you know if you’re healthy?

According to the WHO, the US ranks 27th in healthcare, far below most first world countries. Our country consumes more pharmaceutical drugs than any other country and yet is still incredibly sick. In the US alone, 1 in 2 people will be affected by cancer, and 48% of the population will develop heart disease throughout their lifetime. So, why does this happen?

Well, in my experience, our country has done a poor job actually understanding what true health is. And if we can’t define it properly, how would we even know where to begin taking appropriate action? When I talk to most patients in the office, they assume that they are healthy if they feel good, and that they are unhealthy if they are expressing symptoms.

However, I want to challenge this belief system. Most people assume that a fever is a bad thing (and take medication to lower it). However, in all reality, a fever is your body’s first line of defense against a foreign pathogen. When your immune system detects viruses/ bacteria, it will innately raise your internal body temperature to kill this foreign invader off. Talk about a healthy response of the body!

On the other hand, one of the first signs of a heart attack in 50% of cases, is the heart attack itself. Those people never felt any chest pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness. But, were they healthy? Of course not.

These examples prove that we can’t just base our health on how we FEEL. Our definition of health has got to be based on how our body FUNCTIONS! As a chiropractor, I get excited about talking about FUNCTION since I work with system in the body that controls the FUNCTION of every single cell, tissue, muscle, and organ in the body- the nervous system. If our nervous system controls and coordinates every function in the body, and can function appropriately, we can achieve true health! We have got to change our definition of health. Let’s redefine it as health= 100% function.

Check out our wellness workshop to learn how to get your body to function appropriately, and truly BE healthy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u53LPMVLKkQ