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Causes of Inflammation and Natural Remedies

Inflammation is often seen as the enemy; something that leaves us miserable, in pain, and should be struck down at all cost. However, inflammation is the body’s natural way of protecting us. Designed to call forth the blood cells and hormones meant to heal us when we obtain an injury, it’s also meant to be counteracted with anti-inflammatory hormones that keep it in check, deactivating it once the situation has been handled or dampened. The problem arises when this delicate balance is upset, where too few or no anti-inflammation properties arrive. This leaves you either more miserable than you were from the original trigger or reeling from a false alarm, experiencing headaches, throbbing joints, and back pain.

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That’s when it’s time to manually counterbalance your body’s overactive system; first by understanding the root problem, and then applying a healthy, natural solution.

Causes of Inflammation

  1. Food

Most of us are led by our taste buds. It’s human nature to go towards what feels good immediately versus what’s good for us long term, and this encourages a diet that sets us up for failure. Some of the most popular and tasty foods are high carb and low protein, which contain oils such as corn, sunflower, peanut, soy, and so on.

This ratio is a perfect recipe for pro-inflammation hormones, but lack entirely the omega-3 fatty acids meant to keep it in check. They’re not only left to their devices without a fight naturally – which got you into this mess – but they in fact encourage anti-inflammatory hormones to steer clear, worsening the problem.  By consuming more of these foods which set your inflammation balance off course, every time your body deems it time to call in your immune system, you’re left with the poor results.

  1. Stress

Back in our cave-dwelling days, stress was a lifesaving creature. Stress and panic would trigger a series of responses in our body that made us ignore pain, made our blood vessels swell to give us more energy and more immunity against danger, made our heart pound harder to make us stronger, and shut off the little parts of our brain that focused on anything but escaping that moment.

In the modern day, we’re not fleeing tigers on a daily basis – so this natural “fight or flight” response is a pain in the butt. You don’t need to break into a sprint from your annoying boss and you don’t need to fight your way out of an unpleasant family dinner. But your body acts as if you do, expanding your veins – which resembles inflammation. The more stressed you become, the worse the inflammation becomes, causing back pain, joint aches, and migraines that increase in intensity until the situation is sufficiently handled or fled from – with some long-term suffering added into the mix for good measure.

  1. Smells

Do you ever walk past someone wearing a certain kind of perfume and instantly get a headache? How about entering a hardware store to find the scent of plastics, rubbers, and sealants setting you back on your heels? That’s thanks to the chemicals that are wafting from the item to you, and while it may not have initially bothered you, you live in an environment where you’re exposed to harmful chemicals and substances on a daily basis.

Your immune system works to keep these things at bay, but after a few years in an office with circulated air, a few decades visiting a hardware store or tire shop, or a few months running into people with a cold – your body has enough, and can’t process these chemicals anymore. While they may harmless to you on such a small scale, your body has a build-up of these toxins and acts accordingly: launching your immune system into overdrive to protect you unnecessarily, and harming you in the process with its overreaction. This overreaction is inflammation, which brings on the headache as the veins in your brain swells to kill any threats.

Natural Remedies for Inflammation

Having a name for the problem is step one; step two is fixing the problem. Medication and changes to your routine are credited as excellent ways to reduce all the painful results of this immune system overreaction, but nature has provided healthier and more effective ways to cure this ail.

  1. Fish

Chugging down something tasteless isn’t the way to ease your suffering; you can make yourself a delicious meal that’s as much a solution as it is a celebration to be free from the ache. Fish such as salmon are jam packed with omega-3 fatty acids – the very kind designed to put inflammation back in its place. By filling your body with those hormones it lacks, you can set the pain on its heels and even continue with your normal high carb, low protein diet. You just need to balance it out with other healthy foods to bring you to a satisfying middle ground.

  1. Pineapple

Pineapple is a favorite for pizza, but when you need to reprieve from inflammation, grab a can of sliced pineapple and get to munching. It’s packed with bromelain, an enzyme that is credited as one of the most powerful for fighting against pain, as it’s absorbed by your body in its entirety rather than being broken down during digestion. If you’re in really bad shape, start chugging the juice itself for faster results. It’s an excellent boost of energy to get your strength back, and will go to work balancing out your body instantly.

  1. Turmeric

A spice you can obtain at any grocery shop, putting a little turmeric in your everyday diet will build up the stores you need of anti-inflammation properties, so you can counteract those rushes of ache and pain before they even begin. Turmeric is known especially to help reduce headaches, and when you’re not using it to fight your overactive immune system, you can trust that it’s boosting your brain’s overall health. Credited for helping focus and improving long term memory, this spice is ideal for everything brain-related.

  1. Kale

A dark lefty green, kale is best when blended into a smoothie, as its rich anti-inflammation properties and vitamins help fight against aches. Additionally, due to its moister-rich nature, it also serves as an excellent way to stay hydrated, which can also help fight against headaches and joint pain.

  1. Yogurt

It doesn’t get more soothing than yogurt; you can trust its smooth texture as an accurate representation of its healthy properties. As a container of high levels of probiotics, it’s naturally designed to get to the heart of inflammation in the stomach especially, making it ideal for ulcers; but its healthy benefits are system-wide. Yogurt can balance your digestive system and give you a calm boost of energy to sooth headaches.

 

Inflammation means well; it’s just unbalanced. By understanding the source of your triggers, you can better prepare to avoid situations that spur your inflammation into action. But when it comes knocking, don’t turn to pills or just wait it out in pain; snag some natural remedies from the fridge for fast relief, and add them to your daily diet to avoid more incidents in the future.

14 Exercises You Can Do With a Dish Towel

It’s hard to carve time out of your day to exercise, especially if you don’t live near a gym or lack the expensive equipment you need. But since most of us spend hours on our butts for work, socializing, or taking some well-earned “us”-time, getting up and getting those muscles moving is important.

 

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You can get a full workout within a few minutes, at home – and with only a dish towel. Include all these 14 exercise techniques and get more in-shape than you even would at a gym! What are these secret workouts?

  1. Arm Circles – towels under both arms

While lying flat on your stomach, place two towels underneath your hands. Extend them in front of you until your spine is stretched and your body forms a straight line. Then keep your arms extended and swing them down to your sides, as if making a snow angel while on your chest, lifting yourself up slightly as you do so. If you keep pressure on your hands, this will strengthen those hard-to-reach arm muscles.

  1. Leg Stretches – towels under both feet

Place two dishtowels underneath your feet. Assume the plank position, and then keep your spine as straight as you can to work the muscles of your core. While keeping this tense position, focus on bringing one knee up to press against your chest, as if you were about to rest on your thigh. Then slide your leg back into position and bring your other knee up to mimic the position, as if scrubbing the floor beneath you.

  1. Complete Crunches – towel stretched between both hands

Roll the towel into a tight rope and hold it between both hands. While lying flat on your back, keep your arms straight and swing yourself forward like in a crunch. Lean forward as far as you can so that you touch your feet, then while keeping the towel high above your head, repeat the motion to lie down. This focuses the strain on your arms and away from your back, so you can work out those aching muscles without injuring them.

  1. Wheelbarrow Exercise – towels under both feet

While planking with two towels beneath each feet, begin “walking” on your hands, much like when you played the game of “wheelbarrow” as a child. The towel will slide across the floor as you pull yourself forward, and by keeping your spine straight, this will work out both your abs and your arm muscles.

  1. Knee Curls – towels under both feet

Assume a plank position with two towels underneath your feet, your spine extended as straight as it can be. While clenching your lower ab muscles, draw both legs up underneath you like you’re hunched over, while keep your feet on tip-toe. So long as your knees come up directly underneath you, this will strengthen your core without requiring unnecessary effort from your back.

  1. Leg “V”s – towels under both feet

For those of your who like yoga, this is perfect. In a plank position with both feet on towels, slide your feet forward toward your hands while curling yourself inward. Be sure to keep both your arms and legs straight, so that you bend your body in a “V” shape. You should be almost able to touch your toes in this position, working your lower ab muscles.

  1. Arm “V”s – towels under both hands

Slide into a plank position with towels on both hands. With your feet anchored, slide the towels back towards your feet until your back arches up in a “V” shape. Be sure to keep your spine as straight as possible, and this effort will work the muscles of your upper abs, ridding you of those hard-to-reach flabs without putting a strain on your back.

  1. Pushing Leg Stretches – towel under both hands

Assume the plank position with a single towel extended under both hands. While keeping your spine straight and your ab muscles taut, bring your knee up to your chest and push yourself forward on the towel, as if trying to push a car. Bring your other knee up to follow through, going as fast as you can within your designated area. For smaller spaces and greater workouts, add something heavy such as books or weights to the towels for more resistance.

  1. Twisting Knees Stretches – towels under both feet

With two towels underneath both feet, place your arms underneath you and extend yourself for the plank pose. Then slide your knees up, as if to press them to your chest, but angle your hips to the side so that only one knee pressed to your chest while the other meets open air. This works the more difficult angles of your abs in a simple movement. If you don’t have a hardwood floor, this can also be done with plastic lids placed under the towel for carpet.

  1. One-Sided Push-Ups – towel under one hand

For beginners still struggling with pushups, this is a great way to get your workout without harming your spine. Put a towel under one hand and assume the position for a traditional push-up. Instead of sinking down on both arms, let the one with the towel slide out in front of you as you do it. Then switch arms and repeat.

  1. Side Push-up – towel under one hand

For a little more strain, place the towel under one hand and then take on the position for a push-up. Instead of going straight down, let your hand slide out to the side while you sink down on your un-padded arm. Do this for 10 repetitions and then begin again with your other arm for a full workout.

  1. Side Leg Stretch – towel under one foot

Place two towels beneath your feet and take on the position of a plank. While stretching your spine and fully extending your arms, swing your straight leg out to the side in a wide arch, as if you were doing a snow angel. Then while keeping your leg muscles taunt and your hips straight, swing it back in.

  1. Backward Lunge – towel under one foot

Stand straight with a towel under one foot, then put your hands on your hips and be sure to keep your spine straight. Slide your towel backwards as you sink down on your steady leg, until you’re nearly in a kneeling position. Hold that position for a moment and then rise up again. Do this 10 times per leg for a strong but low-impact lunge.

  1. Side Lunge – towel under one foot

Put your hands on your hips and a towel under one foot. While standing with your spine fulfilling its proper posture, slide the towel to the side, away from your body as far as it can go while you lean forward to accommodate. Then drag your leg back until you’re standing straight, and repeat.

 

Staying put for most of the day leaves you feeling tense, full of aches, and less resilient than you were before. You can put an end to that by grabbing up the nearest dish towel and putting a few or all of these techniques to work keeping you mobile and fit.

Chiropractic Care and Headaches

Nine out of ten Americans suffer from headaches, with 13% of the population experiencing debilitating migraines that come in the form of extreme pain, nausea, disorientation, and a complete inability to function. Headaches have a habit of running in families, and even if you’ve never had a headache before, work, school, and general stress can bring on that throbbing bane of existence that makes you lock yourself up in a dark room to wait it out. Even then popping a pill to relieve the pain might not do it.

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Chiropractic care is a scientific practice that focuses on the human body’s natural ability to heal itself. By making adjustments and applying hands-on treatment to work out the misalignments and imbalances within the body, it eliminates pain, discomfort, difficulties with mood, and helps provide relief for injuries. But chiropractic care is for car accidents and broken necks, not headaches, right?

On the contrary. If you’re looking for relief and long-term results, then this treatment can provide the fix.

Types of Headaches:

  1. Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches are a strange but intense sort, with a propensity for showing up mostly at night. What makes them so disruptive is that, unlike other headaches, they appear in extreme bouts that last from a few minutes to an hour and will continue to appear up to four times a day for several days. You may have a cluster headache that lasts a week, disappears, and then reappears several months later with no obvious sign as to what caused it.

  1. Tension Headaches

These are the kind that most people experience. When you work too many hours, your posture begins to go sour and forces your spine into poor shape. Staring at a bright screen day in and day out strains your eyes and causes the blood vessels in your head to inflame. Dealing with a stressful situation such as a surprise bill or a bad family dinner makes your muscles naturally tense as a defense technique, disrupting the joints of your neck or upper back. Each of these cases leads to your very own tension headache, where you’ll feel a pressure on either side of your head and around your eyes in a dull ache. This can last for thirty minutes or several hours, but are the least intense kind of headache and can be muscled through.

  1. Migraines

The atomic bomb of all headaches, migraines are the variety that stop life in its tracks. They usually begin like a tension headache, which prompts many to try and muscle through on their own without seeking medication or rest to head off a migraine at the pass. For some of the 25 million Americans who experience migraines, nothing can be done to prevent them once they begin. They’re characterized by the sharp throbbing behind your eyes that can eventually become intense enough to make you lose balance and even your eyesight. This is accompanied by waves of nausea and an extreme sensitivity to sound, and in some cases can be warned of by random flashes of light behind sufferer’s eyes along with disassociation-like symptoms.

  1. Ear Infection Headaches

Especially common in children, ear infections can also afflict adults, caused by an imbalance of fluid in the ear which creates inflammation and results in unfriendly symptoms such as a stiff neck, irritability, fever, and especially headaches. A headache caused by ear infections are especially prone to making you feel dizzy and disoriented, such as with a more intense tension headache, with some cases bringing on more extreme migraine-like symptoms.

How Chiropractic Care Can Ease Them

  1. Preventing Nerve Pinches That Block Brain Signals

Your nervous system is comparable to the motherboard of your computer. Small, intricate, but undeniably in charge of every complex aspect a functioning computer has. Yet should a fall or bump shift one of its small workings slightly out of place or some component within lean too hard on another, progress is thrown off or halted entirely, leaving you with a poorly operating computer.

When a disc or vertebrae in your neck is misaligned, then it can pinch nerves that are then blocked from carrying the signals from your brain to the rest of your body. This disruption can cause poor signals to be sent and improper ones to received, and the jumble it creates internally is responded to with pressure building in the head – resulting in a headache. With chiropractic care, regular adjustments can be made to shift these discs or vertebras back into their proper alignment, so pinched nerves are relieved and proper signals can return.

  1. Aligning Joints to Ease Tension

When your joints seize and muscles become tense due to stress or as a natural reaction to the spine being out of alignment, your body is working harder than necessary to compensate for its most vital portion being out of place. This not only causes ache across the body, but triggers headaches, which are a result of that tension turning into pressure in the brain. Chiropractic care will make precise adjustments that shift your points back into line, so muscles are not required to work harder to make up for the strain. The pressure is then taken off your brain, eliminating headaches and putting your body’s structure in a healthy place to handle the burden of stress in the future without causing a physical reaction.

  1. Adjusting Vertebra to Provide Better Balance

Ear infections in particular are caused by an imbalance of liquid in the head, which causes dizziness, disorientation, irritability, and a general lack of function. Your spinal structure also requires balance in order to operate at its peak ability, and chiropractic care is focused on bringing he body into its natural alignment. By making adjustments to ensure your spinal structure is properly arranged, you can experience relief from ear infections, avoid them in the future, and in the very least, have the headaches reduced. Your body will naturally balance out your levels now that your spinal structure is properly set.

  1. Providing Practices to Ease Headaches

Chiropractic care is about taking away the roadblocks which prevent your body from healing itself. With this in mind, you’ll not only receive treatment to help ease your body back into alignment, via therapy techniques and massages to help reduce tension and prevent misalignments, but your chiropractor will also provide you with practices you can apply at home to keep your body in its best form. By working out the tension or pinched nerves that cause headaches on a regular, small-scale basis, your body will be more receptive to care and less likely to follow a poor pattern, keeping headaches at bay and improving your overall health.

Headaches are a product of something being out of sorts in your body – and a rather vicious way of letting you know about it. While sometimes a dark room, rest, and pain killers can relieve the symptoms of a headache, it’s not a long-term solution and in some cases not effective at all. By visiting a chiropractor today, you can not only find relief from the harmful side effects of genetics, tension, or ear infections, but prevent them from happening in the future.

Chiropractic and Athletic Recovery

It’s no surprise that participating in sports puts difficult demands on the body. Whether you’re pounding the pavement on a run, dancing away calories in Zumba, lifting heavy weights in the gym, or elongating muscles in yoga, you need your body to be prepared for the impact athletics can have — this means doing all you can to avoid an injury.

Osteopathy treatment, the professional masseur and his patient

Luckily, it is possible to reduce your chances of suffering an injury to your muscles and ligaments through chiropractic care. Chiropractic adjustments can help your neck muscles, ligaments, and tendons to heal faster through spinal manipulation and stretching/strengthening exercises. By getting regular chiropractic adjustments, you ensure your spine is properly aligned, your nervous system is working at its fullest potential, and you’re ready to take on the athletic endeavors of your choosing.

Should you suffer an athletic injury, chiropractic care is a powerful tool that can decrease recovery time and have you back in the game faster. Your chiropractor has years of training and experience in understanding how the human body works — if you injure your hip, chances are you’re overcompensating in other areas of your body to make up for it. Your chiropractor can help identify the areas where you are overcompensating, help restore balance, and aid in muscle and ligament recovery along the way.

Whether you’re a professional athlete or a weekend warrior, chiropractic care can aid in your fitness journey. It can help prevent injuries, treat injuries, and help you live your best life! Call us today for your consultation and appointment!

Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee

54 percent of Americans over the age of 18 drink coffee every day. As it turns out, coffee is actually pretty amazing for your brain, skin, and body! According to a study done in 2005, “nothing else comes close” to providing as many antioxidants as coffee. While fruits and vegetables are clearly packed with antioxidants, the body seems to absorb the most from coffee. Read on for some of the amazing health benefits of coffee:

Cup of coffee

Just smelling coffee could make you less stressed. 

Researchers at the Seoul National University studied the brains of rats who were stressed with sleep deprivation and found that those who were exposed to coffee aromas experienced changes in brain proteins tied to that stress!

Coffee could lessen the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

ScienceDaily reported in 2012 that drinking coffee may help people with Parkinson’s disease control their movement.Ronald Postuma, MD, the study author, said, “Studies have shown that people who use caffeine are less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease, but this is one of the first studies in humans to show that caffeine can help with movement symptoms for people who already have the disease.”

Coffee can make you feel happier.

A study done by the National Institute of Health found that those who drink four or more cups of coffee were about 10 percent less likely to be depressed than those who had never touched the java. And apparently it’s not because of the “caffeine high” — Coke can also give you a caffeine high, but it’s linked to depression. Study author, Honglei Chen, MD, PhD, told Prevention.com that the proposed reason coffee makes you feel good is because of those trusty antioxidants.

Coffee can make you a better athlete.

The New York Times reported, “Scientists and many athletes have known for years, of course, that a cup of coffee before a workout jolts athletic performance, especially in endurance sports like distance running and cycling.” How? Well, coffee increases the number of fatty acids in the bloodstream, allowing athletes’ muscles to absorb and burn fats for fuel, saving the body’s small reserves of carbs for later on in the exercise.

Drinking coffee may keep your brain healthier for longer.

Researchers from the University of South Florida and the University of Miami found that people older than 65 who had higher blood levels of caffeine developed Alzheimer’s disease two to four years later than others with lower caffeine levels. Dr. Chuanhai Cao, a neuroscientist at the USF and co-author of the study said, “We are not saying that moderate coffee consumption will completely protect people from Alzheimer’s disease. However, we firmly believe that moderate coffee consumption can appreciably reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s or delay its onset.”

Moral of the story? Coffee is not only incredibly delicious, it packs some powerful health benefits — grab a cup and drink to your health! And If your office does not offer any, ask them to get a coffee machine or service immediately!

Scientifically Proven Benefits of the Paleo Diet

Throughout the years, we’ve all been exposed to our fair share of fad diets and opinions on what constitutes a healthy diet. The Paleo approach to eating has emerged as one dietary philosophy that is here to stay. It promotes eating real food, fresh ingredients, and is changing lives.

Raw healthy dieting products for Paleo diet

So why is the Paleo approach to food so powerful? Here are several scientifically backed benefits of the paleo philosophy:

1. Sustained weight loss. (1) For many, this is one of the biggest benefits of the paleo diet. The best part is, eating paleo is not only beneficial for initial weight loss, but helps maintain the weight loss over time. One study points out that the sustained weight loss may be due to increased satiety from eating paleo foods (2).

2. Feeling fuller, longer. When most of us start a new diet, we often complain of being hungry. Satiety is one major benefit of the paleo diet — letting you eat less frequently and become more in tune with your feelings of actual hunger rather than feelings of thirst or emotions.

Research from a recent study shows that the increase in protein in paleo meals are what help us feel fuller, longer.

3. Reduce inflammation. The paleo diet is rich in healthy fats and nutrient dense foods like nuts and vegetables. It also encourages eating grass-fed beef, wild salmon, and free-range eggs, leading to a higher intake of nutrients as well as the proper ratio of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.

The correct ratio of Omega’s helps reduce inflammation in the body! (3)

4. Boosted immune system. A diet loaded with fresh vegetables and fruit with every meal helps strengthen your immune system. This helps your body fight off germs and viruses far more effectively than those who eat poorly.

5. Reduced risk of disease. The paleo diet reduces our risk of developing many diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. (4) (5)

Have you thought about given the paleo diet a try?Need recipes? Coaching? Accountability? Let us know how we can support you in your efforts!

7 Reasons to Start Foam Rolling Now

Foam rollers are popping up all over the place, and for good reason. Maybe you’ve seen them at the gym or on the athletic aisles of your favorite big box store — they look like foamy tubes and for some reason, people are obsessed with rolling on them. Why? Because foam rollers have tons of health benefits!

Handsome Healthy Guy Doing an Exercise on a Mat with Foam Roller on his Upper Back

Here are 7 reasons you should start foam rolling now:

1. Foam rollers help prevent injury. Foam rollers are one of the best ways to get a self-myofascial release. This allows normal blood flow to return to your muscles and restores healthy tissue throughout your body.

2. Foam rolling isn’t just for athletes. If you sit in an office all day your muscles can become tight from remaining in that one position. Foam rolling releases the tension in your muscles and can benefit anyone!

3. Foam rolling removes lactic acid from your body. Lactic acid causes cramps, burning, and soreness throughout the body. Foam rolling helps rid your body of lactic acid build up.

4. Foam rolling improves mobility and flexibility. If you’re carrying around a lot of muscle tension, your body becomes stiff. Foam rolling helps ease muscle tension and improve your mobility and flexibility.

5. Foam rolling breaks up scar tissue. Foam rolling can help break up scar tissue through gentle massage. By removing this tissue, simple movements, exercises, and tasks become easier to perform.

6. Foam rolling can improve circulation throughout the body. Good circulation is vital to overall health. Myofascial release can help improve circulation by breaking up the tight areas where blood flow has become restricted.

7. Foam roller exercises can help reduce stress. One study found that myofascial release can lower cortisol, the stress hormone, after a hard workout! Grab your foam roller and let your workout woes fade away.

If you’re interested in a foam roller and exercises to help you reap this simple instrument’s amazing benefits, check out this video!

Seven 3 Ingredient Smoothies For Busy Mornings

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Unfortunately, most of us find ourselves scrambling out the door each morning and don’t take the time to fuel our bodies properly for our day.

Check out these seven different smoothie recipes with only 3 ingredients! They are simple, quick, and delicious — guaranteed to make your morning breakfast routine easier and fuel your body with the good stuff for the day ahead.

1. Strawberry Banana Smoothie1.5 cups frozen strawberries, 1 banana, 1/2 cup orange juice — blend all the ingredients together and enjoy!

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via JessicaInTheKitchen

2. Green Smoothie 1 cup fresh baby spinach, 3/4 cup coconut milk, 1 cup frozen pineapple — blend all the ingredients together and enjoy!

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via CookEatPaleo

3. Mixed Berry SmoothieApproximately 8oz frozen mixed berries, 6oz yogurt of your choice, 1 cup milk of your choice — blend ingredients and enjoy!

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via AverieCooks

4. Avocado Banana Smoothie1 avocado (cubed), 2 frozen bananas (chopped), 1 and 3/4 cups milk of your choice — blend ingredients and enjoy!

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via OmnivoresCookbook

5. Mango Banana Smoothie1 cup chopped mango (fresh or frozen), 1/2 banana, 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, 2-3 ice cubes — blend and enjoy!

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via HomemadeNutrition

6. Watermelon Basil Smoothie5 cups cubed watermelon (chilled), 1/2 cup fresh coconut water (chilled), 4 large fresh basil leaves — blend and enjoy! Makes 2-3 servings.

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via RadiantRachels

7. Creamsicle Smooothie1 cup frozen peaches, 1/2 cup oranges juice, 3/4 cup vanilla flavored almond milk — blend all ingredients and enjoy!

via GetInspiredEveryDay
via GetInspiredEveryDay

 

 

10 Signs You’re Sleep Deprived

You know you’re supposed to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night, but sometimes it’s just not possible… or you decide to watch just one more episode on Netflix… three times. We get it — it happens to the best of us!

When you skimp on sleep repeatedly, it becomes a real problem. Chronic sleep deprivation, has serious health ramifications. Lack of sleep has been tied to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression.

Tired businesswoman sleeping on the desk, in front of the computer screen.
Not sure if your sleep cycle is in dire straits? Check out these 10 signs that you’re sleep deprived.

1. You’re always hungry. If your brain isn’t getting the energy it needs from sleep, it will often try and get it from food, according to Chris Winter, MD and owner of Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine in Virginia. Running on fumes can increase the production of ghrelin, also known as the hunger hormone, in your gut. Too much ghrelin makes your body want fatty and sugary foods. Lack of sleep also messes with leptin, the satiety hormone, causing you to overeat.

2. You’ve gained weight. When you’re tired, you’re far more likely to overeat as you search for anything and everything that will help you feel more energized. Lack of sleep can also impact your metabolism as it tends to slow down without proper rest.

3. You’re more impulsive. When you’re exhausted, you tend to act without thinking — mindlessly eating, drinking, snapping at those you care about.

4. Your memory is shot. When you’re tired, it’s difficult to pay attention to detail and surroundings when trying to make a memory. You may find yourself losing your car keys more often, struggling to remember what you were supposed to pick up from the store, etc. Sleep actually helps clear toxic molecules from the brain, so not getting enough sleep can impair your brain’s ability to keep the nervous system firing on all cylinders.

5. You can’t make up your mind. Sleep deprivation can impact speed and higher-level cognitive processing, making essential functions like problem solving or time management difficult to carry out.

6. Your motor skills are off. If you find yourself repeatedly tripping over your own feet or bumping into walls, you might just be too tired to focus. When you’re walking up and down stairs, through hallways, etc., there is a lot of processing happening in your brain, and lack of sleep makes that difficult to do.

7. Your emotions are all over the place. If you’re sleep deprived, your emotions can easily be out of whack. You cry at the drop of a hat, you laugh hysterical at the dumbest jokes, you fly off the handle over spilt milk, etc.

8. You get sick often. If you’re not sleeping properly, your body’s ability to fight off infections is weakened. Your immune system produces cytokines while you sleep, which are proteins that help protect you against infections and inflammation, so sleep truly is one of nature’s best medicines.

9. You’re skin has seen better days. It’s called “beauty sleep” for a reason. As you sleep, your skin works to repair damaged cells, so if you’re not getting enough sleep, the process is disrupted. This means that sleep deprivation causes more breakouts and even older looking skin!

10. You’re having trouble seeing. When you’re tired, your ability to control your eye muscles well is weakened. Not getting enough sleep tires out your ciliary muscle (helps your eye focus) and your extra ocular muscle (moves the eye from side to side and up and down).

What’s the verdict? Are you sleep deprived? If so, turn off your phone or computer and go to sleep!

Reasons to Strengthen Your Core

Many of us strive for a strong core because we want that “perfect beach body,” but with summer soon ending, we are here to offer you some long-term, lasting motivation on reasons why you need to strengthen your core.

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Your core is about more than just your ab muscles. It’s your body’s powerhouse! It facilitates movement and houses your inner organs and central nervous system — safe to say your core is a big deal. Here are a few reasons why you should keep your core strong:

  • Help Prevent Injuries
    • Building a strong core requires more than just doing crunches. You need to build both core stability (those deep internal muscles close to the spine) and core strength (those six-pack abs). A rock-solid core will help ensure that your movements are strong and will keep injuries at bay!
  • Protect Your Inner Organs and Central Nervous System
    • Your core houses a majority of your internal organs, your protects your spine and central nervous system, and is also where your body’s largest (and most important) veins and arteries abide. Having a strong core will help ensure everything stays protected as you move throughout your day.
  • Banish Back Pain
    • Back pain is quickly becoming an epidemic across the United States, and weak core muscles can often be the culprit. When ab muscles are weak, it’s often because back muscles are overly strong, creating an unbalance in the body. Through chiropractic adjustments and strengthening your core, back pain can be a thing of the past!
  • Get a Strong, Confident Posture
    • A strong core helps you have an upright posture, not only protecting your spine but also exuding confidence and strength to those around you. Practice good posture every chance you get — in the car, at the office, etc. Posture matters.

Now that you know why you need a strong core, check out this video to show you how you can strengthen yours!

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