Trying to Kick That Sugar Habit?

The foods we eat today are drastically different from what we ate even 30 years ago. In the past, we ate locally grown vegetables and fresh meats that were not filled with pesticides and antibiotics. Now, the norm is prepackaged, processed foods that are filled with empty calories and refined carbohydrates (think sugar). This leaves our bodies without important nutrients, this, in turn, leads to a blood sugar roller coaster. Research has proven that the food industry designs their products to be as addictive as possible. This is why it is so hard to avoid the allure of sugar-laden foods.

Because of our addiction to sugar and lack of eating quality foods, we are often deficient in the:

  • Magnesium: This is the fourth most abundant mineral in your body but one of the most common nutrient deficiencies. It can help to bring down cortisol and reduce stress levels. Great sources of magnesium include dark leafy greens.
  • Zinc: Low zinc can contribute to higher stress levels, so make sure to load up on shellfish such as oysters or nuts and seeds for a plant-based option.
  • Chromium: Low chromium can cause good cholesterol levels to drop, increased risk of insulin resistance, and raise triglyceride levels, so make sure to load up on chromium-rich foods such as broccoli, mushroom, green beans and seafood.
  • Iron: Being deficient in iron will leave you tired and reaching for the energy drinks. Try instead, spinach, grass-fed beef, broccoli and dark chocolate. To increase iron absorption, combine iron-rich foods with vitamin C-containing foods like leafy greens.
  • B vitamins: B vitamins are they essential for your brain to handle stress, and they are the fuel behind methylation, your body’s biochemical superhighway that is responsible for your ability to detox. Grass-fed beef and wild-caught fish are animal sources of B vitamins. They can also be found in leafy greens and avocados.

Getting off the sugar highway is not easy, it can be done with some thought and preparation. Instead of mindlessly reaching for what is available, think about what you are putting in your body. Feed your body!

 

Fresh Start for a Fresh New Year

New Year Better You? 

As we get past the holidays and into the new year, we have big plans to hit the ground running in 2018. Often our busy lives overwhelm us and all of our plans for the new year get pushed to the side. Take a deep breath, stop and think for a moment about what you are doing on a daily basis. Is it making you happy, healthy and fulfilled?

  1. Love your work.

I spoke to a woman last week, I asked her what she did for a living, she said I am a kennel technician at an animal shelter, she cleans cat cages and takes care of unwanted pets. Sounds depressing right? I asked her, do you like your job? She said, “I love my job! I spend all day with beautiful animals, get to meet all kinds of people and I am making a difference.” Pretty powerful. Her perspective on something I thought would be horrible was totally different.

All jobs are a matter of perspective. Work is a chance to be of service every day. Work is a chance to use whatever gifts you have to benefit others. Work is a chance to change your small corner of the world every day. It’s up to you to find work you love or love the work you do. We spend most of our life working, happiness comes from loving every day, what you are doing and who you are doing it with!

  1. Don’t Rush

Rushed = Miserable. Period. Feeling like you never catch up and have to rush through your day will affect every aspect of your life. Creating a balance is key to good mental and physical health. Being productive at a comfortable pace is what you strive for. Prioritize what is most important and be mindful, plan you day, week and month. Always plan for downtime, even if it is 5-10 minutes in the middle of the day to reset and recharge your batteries. No one is too busy to stop for a few minutes and breath, get up and walk around or relax. It will keep you sane. Don’t be afraid to say NO. Everyone has obligations, be careful not to let people take advantage of you. If it is not going to bring you joy, benefit you or a loved one or fit into your schedule it is ok to say NO.

  1. Give if You Can

While this may seem to be the opposite of saying no, it really isn’t and is important. Giving is often more beneficial for the giver than the receiver. Making a difference in the lives of those who need it, providing support where you can is actually more helpful to your mental health and self-worth than that of those you are giving to. It feels amazing to help someone who needs it. Lasting happiness doesn’t result from what we get, but from what we give – the experience of making a difference in the world.

So just keep in mind that while you can’t give all of yourself all of the time, you can give some of yourself some of the time, and if you do it will make all the difference in your life as well.

If you’re struggling with the start of the year and wanting to be perfect, meet your goals and move forward, know that you are not alone. We are right there with you, working hard to feel better, think more clearly, and get our lives back on track in 2018.

 

At Port Orange Chiropractic, we care about your overall health.  If you have questions about how you may benefit from chiropractic adjustments, call our friendly staff at (386) 761-0520.  We look forward to hearing from you.

 

 

“Tis the Season for Stress

While ‘tis the season to be merry, for many of us, it’s also a season for stress, anxiety and depression, which leads us to behave in ways we may live to regret later. People often resort to bad habits—they may cave in to sugar cravings, go for the booze and overdose on caffeine.

During the holidays, people tend to experience heightened emotions. You may feel overcome by loneliness, become annoyed by meddling relatives or lose patience with your loved ones.

In fact, the American Psychological Association (APA) found that nearly half of all women in the United States experience heightened stress during the holidays, which puts their health at risk. The APA also learned that during this time, 41 percent of women use food and 30 percent use alcohol.

To help you have a happy season, here are 6 Tips to relieve holiday stress.

  1. Take calm-down breaks. Soon after you awake, close your eyes, take several deep breaths and meditate or just relax. Imagine yourself in a beautiful place, think of a happy memory or visualize yourself succeeding at a cherished goal. Conscious, slow breathing can help you when you’re feeling frustrated waiting in line at the supermarket, post office or drug store. Talking 5-minute breaks throughout the day can give you just enough time to reset and get on with your day!
  2. Be Happy. When people try to push their bad habits on you during this holiday season, tune into their motivations. For instance, before you get annoyed at your cousin Ann, who keeps urging you to eat more, or your co-worker, who keeps trying to fill your glass with booze, first take a deep breath. Then, step into their shoes and realize that Ann is just showing that she loves you, and your coworker is trying to be friendly. Then graciously thank them for their attention. Rather than view your situation with annoyance, be grateful instead.
  3. Get moving. Perhaps one of the best ways to overcome stress during the holidays or any other time is to exercise regularly. Research shows that physical activity not boosts your fitness and energy levels but can also elevate your moods. In addition, exercise has been found to reduce anger, tension, fatigue and confusion. Despite the many demands on your time, this is not the season to stop exercising. When regular exercisers are inactive, they begin to feel depressed and fatigued after just one week,
  4. Go for real foods mostly.Inevitably, at this time of year, you’ll be tempted with sugary, empty-calorie snacks and treats just about wherever you go. To be your most energetic, focused and happy self, it’s best to eat foods that grow on trees or on the ground (vegetables and fruits) and to choose healthy fats (such as olive oil and flax seeds), lean protein (such as fish and organic chicken) and legumes, nuts and seeds.
  5. Take small polite portions of holiday food and drinks.During the holidays, it’s easy to “fall off the wagon” and use—or over-use—alcohol, sugar and caffeine. The best way to stay true to the best you is to limit your consumption of these comfort or pleasure foods and drinks.
  6. Be generous. One of the best ways to stay calm, content and cheerful this time of year is to be generous with your loved ones, co-workers, and friends. This doesn’t have to mean you’re spending a lot of money. You can be generous with your compliments. You can generously offer to do a loved ones dreaded errand. Be creative, people will appreciate your real, heartfelt sentiments. Keeping a positive outlook in all your interactions will make you feel better too!

At Port Orange Chiropractic, we care about your overall health.  If you have questions about how you may benefit from chiropractic adjustments, call our friendly staff at (386) 761-0520.  We look forward to hearing from you.

 

 

“Tis The Season for Stressed Out Kids

The holidays are a fun and joyous time for everyone, but they are also a very busy one. As adults, we get stressed out, so imagine how the small ones feel. Stress and anxiety in children does happen during the holidays. There are lots of fun activities and events going on, both at home and at school. That can be a good thing, the reality is that all that hustle and bustle means schedules are often out of whack, bedtimes get pushed back, and routines are disrupted. The result is holiday stress for your kids.
Set a Good Example
The most important way parents can help calm anxiety in their children during the holidays is by trying to keep things relaxed. If you let holiday stress get to you, your kids will definitely pick up on it, and child anxiety is more likely to be a problem in your house. Don’t stress yourself out trying to create a perfect holiday for your child. Go with the flow and then your holiday will be perfect for your family!
Don’t Set Your Children Up to Fail
Avoid taking children to places such as the mall or parties when they are hungry or tired. It’s hard for adults to deal with noise and lots of stimulation when they’re hungry or tired, imagine your 3-year old. Everyone feels more holiday stress when they are hungry, tired or hot.
Keep Your Routine Alive
The holidays can throw your household routines into chaos, that can play a role in anxiety in children. To minimize stress in your kids, try to keep your routines as close to normal as possible and get them back on track if you get sidetracked by an event or a party.
Food is Critical
Healthy eating is the first thing to go during the holidays. Extra sugary holiday snacks and the lack of time to sit down to regular meals all contributes to anxiety and stress in kids. Try packing healthy snacks when you must go shopping or run other holiday errands and try to minimize the number of sweet treats at home.
Fresh Air and Exercise
Fresh air and exercise are essential for boosting mood and keeping anxiety levels ow. Playtime is key to a child’s well-being all year round!
Avoid Overscheduling
Don’t accept every invitation. Stick to the ones that have meaning to you and your family. Don’t do it just to do it! A couple of events a week may be fine, but having an obligation every day can lead to holiday stress for you and your children.

Schedule Down Time
Having peace and quiet with your child is more important than ever during the busy holiday season. Nap schedules, quiet playtime and regular family meals should be figured into your holiday plans.
Remember What the Holidays Are About
Be kind to yourself and others during the holiday season. Visit an elderly neighbor, make goodies for a family or co-workers. Make some handmade cards for the elderly in a nursing home. Have your kids help! Share the spirit of the season and everyone will have a memorable holiday!!

At Port Orange Chiropractic, we care about your overall health. If you have questions about how you may benefit from chiropractic adjustments, call our friendly staff at (386) 761-0520. We look forward to hearing from you.

Plan Now for Holiday Health

Already planning your Thanksgiving feast? Do you do the cooking or rely on a friend or family member to get that turkey on the table? Holiday parties already on the calendar? Keep these simple tips in mind to keep your holidays healthy.

Party

Family gatherings, parties at the office, traveling are all sources of holiday food and holiday stress. We know that your health may not be first on your list but at least keep it in the back of your mind!

• Snack before you go. Pick something high in protein and low in sugar. Are you the host? Don’t pick while you cook!
• Choose your treats carefully. Splurge on things you really love and pass by those treats you don’t really want. Don’t eat, just to eat! Enjoy those things you really love (within reason).
• Be very conscious of your portion size. Bite-size portions of those party foods you crave may be just enough to satisfy that craving.
• You are there to mingle and enjoy the company of the people around you. Do it! Enjoy your family and friends, this will take the focus off of food.
• If you are hosting – share the leftovers! Get that party right out of your house!

Exercise

Many people use the time Halloween to New Years to take an exercise hiatus. Bad idea, it is even more stressful this time of year, we eat and drink more. Exercise is essential in keeping not only the holiday pounds at bay but will also help you sleep better and stress less!

At Port Orange Chiropractic, we care about your overall health. If you have questions about how you may benefit from chiropractic adjustments or massage therapy, call our friendly staff at (386) 761-0520. We look forward to hearing from you.

31 Day of Wellness

Our goal at Port Orange Chiropractic is to promote overall wellness and good health. Most people use January 1st as the day they start a wellness program or make “resolutions”. Most people fail at achieving unrealistic expectations year after year. We believe it takes baby steps and small changes to achieve overall wellness and good health! October is a great month to make changes before the holiday insanity begins. Change your habits and change your health!

Prioritize, be positive and picture it!

For every day in the month of October, we will share something positive to help you on your wellness journey! We will also have some fun contests and giveaways throughout the month! Stay tuned on our Facebook, Twitter and Google pages for more information!

At Port Orange Chiropractic, we care about your overall health.  If you have questions about how you may benefit from chiropractic adjustments, call our friendly staff at (386) 761-0520.  We look forward to hearing from you.

 

An Apple a Day

Will Apples Really Keep the Doctor Away?

We’ve all heard the old saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” But, is it true? According to science, an apple a day could help you in many different ways.

Apples first use in North America was in the early 17th century, they were used to make cider. Today, the apple is the 3rd most important fruit for the US economy. They deliver quite a healthy punch in the health benefits department.

Apples are low in calories and free of fat, sodium and cholesterol. They are rich in fiber, disease-fighting anti-oxidants and a variety of vitamins and minerals including potassium, folate, niacin and vitamins A, B, C, E and K. Eating apples has been associated with lower risk of a variety of cancers, stroke and may help with diabetes. Some studies add that apples may help protect the brain from developing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Apples are full of vitamins and are good for the body and the brain, helping to reduce things like cholesterol and some types of cancers.  A study found that eating apples helped to reduce cholesterol by 23 percent. Additionally, apples contain phytochemicals that may provide an immune boosting and cancer deterring effect. They also contain antioxidants, which have the ability to counteract chemical substances responsible for aging.

Apples have also been found to be beneficial to muscles as we age and when we are sick, our muscles can become progressively weaker. Apples contain ursolic acid, which is found in their peels.

An apple a day, in addition to maintaining your health in other ways, really can keep the doctor away. Try buying organic apples when you can to reap the all of these benefits without the risk of pesticides.

At Port Orange Chiropractic, we care about your overall health.  If you have questions about how you may benefit from chiropractic adjustments, call our friendly staff at (386) 761-0520.  We look forward to hearing from you.

 

Have You Tried Meditation?

Do You Meditate?

Meditation is an approach to training the mind, kind of like how an athlete trains the body. There are many meditation techniques out there, how do you know which one to choose?

“In Buddhist tradition, the word ‘meditation’ is equivalent to a word like ‘sports’ in the U.S. It’s a family of activities, not a single thing,” University of Wisconsin neuroscience lab director Richard J. Davidson, Ph.D., told The New York Times. Different meditation techniques require different mental skills.

It’s very difficult for a beginner to sit for hours and think of nothing or have an “empty mind.”

Concentration

Concentration meditation involves focusing on a single point. This could entail following the breath, repeating a single word or mantra, staring at a candle flame, listening to a repetitive gong, or counting beads on a mala. Since focusing the mind is challenging, a beginner might meditate for only a few minutes and then work up to longer durations.

Using this form of meditation, you simply refocus your awareness on the chosen object of attention each time you notice your mind wandering. Rather than pursuing random thoughts, you just let them go. Through this process, your ability to concentrate will improve.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness meditation encourages you to observe thoughts as they wander through the mind. The intention is not to get involved with the thoughts or to judge them, but simply to be aware of each one as it arises. Using this technique, you can begin to see how your thoughts and feelings move in particular patterns. Over time, you can become more aware of your tendency to quickly judge an experience as good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant. With practice, an inner balance develops, your ability to put your thoughts into perspective develops.

Benefits

If relaxation is not your goal, it is often a result. Studies on the relaxation response have documented the following short-term benefits to the nervous system:

Lower blood pressure
Improved blood circulation
Lower heart rate
Slower respiratory rate
Less anxiety
Lower blood cortisol levels
Feelings of well-being
Less stress
Deeper relaxation

Researchers are now exploring whether a consistent meditation practice yields long-term benefits, and noting positive effects on brain and immune function among meditators. Yet it’s worth repeating that the purpose of meditation is not to achieve benefits. The goal of meditation is no goal. It’s simply to be present.

Simple Meditation for Beginners

This meditation exercise is an excellent introduction to meditation techniques.

Sit or lie comfortably. Close your eyes. You may want to use a cooling eye mask.

Make no effort to control the breath; breathe naturally. Focus your attention on your breath and on how the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. Notice the movement of your body as you breathe. Observe your chest, shoulders, rib cage, and belly. Simply focus your attention on your breath without controlling its pace or intensity. If your mind wanders, return your focus back to your breath.

Maintain this meditation practice for two to three minutes to start, and then try it for longer periods.

At Port Orange Chiropractic, we care about your overall health.  If you have questions about how you may benefit from chiropractic adjustments, call our friendly staff at (386) 761-0520.  We look forward to hearing from you.

 

Summer Colds & Immunity

Summer Colds & Immunity

Nothing worse than a summer cold. We have all had one at one time or another it is HOT out and we feel terrible. How is your sugar intake affecting that cold? You may be surprised to find out, quite a lot.

Sugar affects your ability to fight off those illnesses. The one supplement most of us reach for when we catch a cold is Vitamin C, and for good reason.  Vitamin C is an antioxidant that supports healthy white blood cell function, which is essential to immune system function.  However, it may surprise you to learn that when we ingest sugar it inhibits the white blood cells from attacking and fighting off bacteria and viruses, a process called phagocytosis.

Humans are not able to turn sugar into vitamin C as other animals can. According to Jim Howenstine, M.D., glucose and ascorbic acid compete with one another. So a diet high in sugar means lower levels of vitamin C. Overall, the immune system is weakened by this scenario. Keeping sugar consumption to a minimum might be a way to avoid colds. 

Natural Ways to Prevent the Cold and Flu

Proper self-care means fueling your body correctly before the scratchy eyes and body aches start.  Here are 3 tips to help prevent the cold and flu this summer:

Drink Plenty of Water

Aside from promoting weight loss, increasing energy and helping to fight headaches, drinking enough water has been proven to help the body’s immune system function.  Divide your bodyweight in half and you have your target water intake in fluid ounces for the day.

Limit Sugar

Eat sugar in moderation. Stay away from processed foods that are full of sugar. Substitute natural sweeteners such as fruit, agave and maple syrup in your cooking to cut down on the white sugar.

Eat Vitamin and Nutrient Rich Foods

Fuel your body with vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants. This gives you the best chance to beat that summer cold or other illness.  Allowing yourself the occasional treat while focusing on making proper nutrition a lifestyle will provide a healthy balance for you and your family.

At Port Orange Chiropractic, we care about your overall health.  If you have questions about how your immune system may benefit from chiropractic adjustments, call our friendly staff at (386) 761-0520.  We look forward to hearing from you.

 

Boost Your Immune System Naturally

This month our focus is on the immune system. Current research has shown the benefits of chiropractic care on the immune system. The nerve system possesses unique control mechanisms on the immune system.  Chiropractic adjustments relieve stress on the nerve system, which in turn allows the nerve system to better direct the immune response. White blood cells, which eat and destroy bad cells, are enhanced through chiropractic care.

The chief of cancer prevention at New York’s Preventative Medicine Institute found that people who received regular chiropractic care over a five-year period had a 200% greater immune competence than those who had not received chiropractic care.

Everyone can experience the benefits of a healthy immune system through gentle chiropractic care. Daily stress, whether physical, nutritional, environmental or emotional, will influence how long the benefits of a chiropractic adjustment can last.  Patients seen for regular chiropractic wellness care may experience the benefit of their adjustment for up to three or four weeks.  Periods of increased stress is associated with a weakened immune system, and during these times, more frequent chiropractic adjustments are needed to ensure optimal immune function.

Other ways to boost your immune system include choosing a healthy lifestyle and following general good health guidelines. Including:

  • Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in saturated fat
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Control your blood pressure.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
  • Get adequate sleep.
  • Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.
  • Get regular medical screening tests for people in your age group and risk category.
  • Get adequate sleep.

At Port Orange Chiropractic, we care about your overall health.  If you have questions about how your immune system may benefit from chiropractic adjustments, call our friendly staff at (386) 761-0520.  We look forward to hearing from you.