Synergy Chiropractic

The Anti-Inflammatory World – What are we doing to ourselves?

Get outside and live life fully!

The anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle is very much in the news these days.  Is it Fact, Fiction or Fad?

I’m very much learning as I go so I will take a basic intro to the anti-inflammatory world of do’s and don’ts and share them with you!  And would love your ideas, feedback and recipes.

First let’s talk about inflammation. What is it? Why does it happen and why is it bad for us? Or is it?

Inflammatory cells are cells that cause inflammation. They release different molecules and mediators that can cause an area to become hot, hyperperfused (red), painful and swollen. In some cases, inflammation is a good thing.  A mosquito bite gets puffy and red.  It’s the body’s way of isolating a problem or intruder, rushing blood cells to the area to fight and heal.

It is important to let the body heal itself.  But when is it a problem and what is chronic low level inflammation doing to our bodies? Let’s look at what today’s lifestyles throw at our bodies, things that previous generations never had to deal with and as a result we are seeing more and more chronic illnesses and even fatal diseases. Things such as chronic fatigue, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Let’s take a look at contributing factors;

·         Sedentary lifestyles – we work more, exercise less.

·         Diet and Nutrition – we think of diet predominantly as a number/result issue as opposed to nutrition/wellness  – Processed foods may be fast  and easy but it’s also a fast and easy way to wreck your health.

·         Environmental contributors – pollution, second hand smoke and even medications.

Hence the Anti-Inflammatory Lifestyle! Or as we like to say around here “ a balanced lifestyle”. Identify in your life what could be contributing to unnecessary inflammation in your body.  Some of these things you can change some you can’t. Cut out ONE simple anti-inflammatory causing food at a time.  Replace it with an anti-inflammatory fighter!  Follow a vitamin regimen and modify it as needed. GET ADJUSTED!  A well-functioning nervous system is the hub to wellness.  Discover a fun way to exercise that will keep you motivated and committed. Hiking, dancing, skating or even just walking.  I have friends that have recently discovered photography and bird watching.  Get outside and live!  Do everything possible to help your body fight todays challenges!

Here are a few more anti-inflammatory ways to fights;

·         Omega 3 – in its purest form

·         Spices such as turmeric, ginger, curry and garlic

·         Whole grains such as wild rice, quinoa and oats

·         Go fresh!  Stay in the fresh food isles and explore new ways to add foods (for me it’s some I don’t enjoy) as smoothies and soups

·         Tea, dark chocolate and yes even a little red wine is good for you!

 

So when (not if) we choose a balanced approach to an anti-inflammatory lifestyle, we will be helping our bodies be inflammation fighters when they need to be!

 

After seeking chiropractic help in her twenty’s for the usual (and expected –or so she thought) lower back issues that go with horseback riding, she experienced a new level of health. Not only has she made chiropractic a regular part of her life but she has made a commitment to changing her lifestyle and coaches others how to do the same. She is an avid outdoors person. You can find her walking her beagle, biking, painting and drinking great coffee. Her true passion is riding horses and has been a competitive rider/jumper for years.

Resolutions Suck – 4 Ways to Maintain your Goals All Year

We all make them. We all break them. It’s like there’s a societal pressure to make resolutions every January, only to stop mid-February and feel like a complete failure. Gyms thrive on this time of year; hundreds of new memberships sold, a large percentage of which will go unused within a few months. Countless healthy cookbooks bought, new workout equipment, self-help gimmicks that are going to change lives! I’m not saying some don’t stick with it and we should celebrate those who do, but there’s a definite noticeable difference in the gym parking lot come March.

What if you didn’t NEED to resolve to do better each New Year because you always strive to do your best regardless, and if you slip, you’re ok with it? A novel idea, but one that everyone should adopt.

Here are my 4 ways to stop the madness and be your best all year:

  1. Stop pressuring yourself!

    You’re not perfect, no one is! Stop trying to attain a level of fitness, healthy eating or mental clarity that you’re not ready for. Stop comparing yourself to others. You are your own independent person and you should act that way. Unfortunately in this day and age, it is becoming increasingly difficult to stay our own course and feel like we are doing OUR best. Stand strong and know that as long as you are doing what is best for YOU and for YOUR family, that’s all that should matter. Do not let other people’s opinions influence your daily life. Only YOU have the power to let anyone make you feel a certain way.

  2. DO NOT buy a Gym Membership in January! 

    At any time of the year that you feel you should step up your workout game, do it then! Don’t wait until the New Year. January is the time that you can’t find a parking spot, classes are packed and personal trainers are hunting for new clients. If you want to join a gym, do it at a time where not everyone has the exact same idea. This way if you want to try classes, they are of a reasonable size so you can ask for help and you have access to most equipment without waiting. That being said, it is not wrong to join a gym in January if that is when you feel inclined to do so. But remember to start slow, ask for help when you need it and do what you enjoy.

  3. If you fall, dust yourself off and get back up! 

    You only fail when you stop trying. Working out and eating healthy is HARD! Saying you’re only going to eat kale salad and boiled chicken everyday is a recipe for disaster. Sure, that can absolutely be a goal, but most people are going to get sick of kale salad and chicken and may indulge in something way over the top, feel horrible about themselves and decide it’s not for them. So try this: when you get to that point of hating what you’re eating, switch it up. Add in some of those indulgences but in a healthy way. Or indulge once in a while and start fresh at the next meal. Don’t beat yourself up. If you’re too tired to make it to the gym one day, listen to your body and be ok with it. Start fresh the next time, don’t fall into a trap of thinking “I can’t do it”.

  4. Be realistic! 

    Going to a gym everyday is not for everyone. But it’s also not the only way to workout. Find what works for you. Do you really have time to lug your kids to the gym daycare, do your class and get home? Find an at-home exercise program you can do while they entertain themselves, or better yet, do it with them! Does running on a treadmill bore you? Get outside! Research what you should wear when it’s cold, how you should pace yourself throughout your run etc. You want to try some new diet because everyone else says it’s amazing? Look into all aspects of any new way of eating before you try it and see if it realistically fits into your life first. What works for one person won’t necessarily work for the next. As long as you are avoiding foods that you know are harmful or do not work for you, THEN try to add in the good stuff.

The main point here is to pace yourself. Don’t jump out of the gate January 1st trying to change everything in your life all at once. That’s how people fail. Make small but impactful changes throughout the whole year. Or if January is your time to start, start small and slow. Add in the good and the bad will eventually fall to the wayside. Be yourself and enjoy your life. Like the cliche says, it’s often too short. Remember this: Be Fit. Eat Right. Think Well. Get Adjusted. Follow my 4 ways of maintaining your goals in each of these aspects and you will be just fine.

Kayleigh Read

Chiropractic and a wellness lifestyle changed her life. She had such an incredible experience and change in her health, that she decided she help change people’s lives. In addition to being the Director of First Impressions at Synergy, she is also a Certified Holistic Health Coach. When she’s not at the office, you will find her either at the gym kickboxing, or with my husband, Mike, and their 3 dogs. She is a philanthropist and founded a non-profit charity, Families First Community Cancer Support, which supports and provides financial relief to cancer-burdened families in the community.

Weight-Loss: Stop the Yo-Yo!

Weight-loss is the number one ‘resolution’ every new year.  If you are like most people in January, you maybe decided not to set any resolutions, but perhaps this is your year to:

“Lose some weight.”

“Shed some pounds.”

“Get ripped!”

I know that in my practice, I’ve had numerous patients tell me that their goal is weight-loss this year.  I then ask them “what’s your plan to make that happen?”.  Invariably their responses are “eat better and exercise”.

Aside – I was a highly respected and sought after personal trainer before I went to Chiropractic college.  In January, our membership sales would skyrocket.  As cliche as it is, within 3 weeks most people quit coming to the gym.  All of them had the same goals – “weight-loss by eating better and exercise’

Let’s take a hard look at why people fail and how YOU can succeed!

 

The Weight-loss Epidemic – A look at the facts:

Weight gain after eating

It is well know that 95% of all dieters who lose weight will gain it back within 5 years.   Of those that diet, 40% of people will gain even more weight than they lost.

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, over 1/3 of adults are obese.  When it comes to weight-loss, we often think of adults.  But it is a hot topic amongst today’s youth and has lasting negative effects.  Girls who diet in their early teenage years are three times more likely to become overweight within five years, even if they started at a normal weight.

Poor self-image

For most people who struggle with their weight, there is a strong association of poor self-image.  According to data from the Keep it Real Campaign, 78% of 17-year-old girls are unhappy with their bodies.  As any one knows, this age group is highly influenced by their peers and weight is often a target to bullying.

It seems that body image challenges are starting at an even younger age.  Staggeringly, 80% of all 10 year-old-girls have already been on a diet.  As the parent of a 10 year old daughter, I can see challenges in discerning the difference between ‘healthy’ and ‘skinny’.  As parents, it is important to keep lines of communication open and be sure to properly define terms with your kids.

Finally, in a survey of female college students, 44% who dieted were of normal weight!  As university and college student struggle to move into adulthood, it seems that a large number of them are concerned with their weight.

Dieting can be dangerous

When it comes to dieting methods, many elect for the ‘starvation’ mode.  In one particular study it was determined that 50% of teenage girls and one third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control methods.  This may include but not limited to vomiting, taking laxatives, fat-burning pills and improper fasting.

Eating disorders

It is estimated that up to three million people have an eating disorder in Canada alone.  This statistic is regardless of age or gender.  Men who have eating disorders are less likely to get help because of the connotation that it’s a “women’s problem.”  Eating disorders come in different forms.  Anorexia refers to when an irrational fear and the individual avoids food intake and psychologically sees themselves as being overweight or ‘fat’ when they are actually underweight or quite lean.  Bulimia consists of high levels of guilt after binge eating or even consuming a proper amount of food and then purged usually through vomiting

Unsustainable

This is by far the largest reason why most people fail at weight-loss.  Many people choose diets that are not sustainable lifestyle choices.  They attempt to deprive themselves all at once.  They force themselves to eat in a way that is radical for them.  The results is usually a temporary improvement in their dietary habits only to succumb to the challenge of the ‘all or nothing’ principle.

The biggest problem with an unsustainable weight-loss regime is that is doesn’t treat the underlying cause.  Overeating and unhealthy choices are often not about the food – but are triggered by emotional or mental causes, including trauma.  It is our psychological understanding and philosophical premise of what food is and what health is that determines one’s success or failure at weight-loss.

The metabolism

By reducing caloric intake, we cause the body to decrease body temperature and reduce activity levels – thus decreasing energy burned and metabolic rate.  This is the anti-thesis of what we want!  Interestingly, someone who lost weight quickly will generally have a slower metabolism than someone who was at the same weight without diet.  It is well documented that hormonal changes occur in dieters.  Hormones that tell the brain when you’re full are decreased with weight loss.  The hormone that stimulates hunger, ghrelin, is increased with weight loss.  So we need ways to keep our metabolisms high, stay satiated and get all of our nutritional requirements.

The brain tells your body what it “should” weigh, within a 10 or 15 pound range.  In the brain, the hypothalamus pushes the body back to “normal,” even if that normal weight is overweight, even seven years after original weight-loss.

“Diet” foods

Most marketed “diet” foods are made out of artificial ingredients.  The truth about “Fat Free” products is that they are especially unhealthy.  Mayonnaise, for example, is made out of a cup of oil, an egg yolk, vinegar, and mustard and is 98% fat – so “fat-free mayonnaise” is as fake as you can get!   Manufactturers will often use sugar or starch fillers to thicken their ‘fat-free’ products.  This in turn drives your insulin up, and increases your insulin resistance.  Your body stops responding to insulin and you convert and store more fat!

But…but…but it’s fat-free!!

Non-sense.

Eat the full fat product. Butter, bacon, avocados.  Eat it all.

Artificial sweeteners

Diet soda contains artificial sweeteners, which can confuse the body.  The body is tasting sweetness, but not getting the expected energy from it, so it may promote overeating.  Artificial sweeteners interfere with hormones in the body that regulates blood sugar and satiety.  This causes you constantly disrupts your blood sugar levels making you always feel hungry.

So let’s dive into how we reframe our minds, change our habits and ultimately make sustainable changes that will help you stop the YO-YO!

The Anti-Diet Diet

First, let’s look for things in your body to be appreciative about! It can be anything…

Confidence is the best outfit. Rock it and own it.

  • Your beautiful hair.
  • Your strong legs.
  • Your nice hands.
  • Your ability to see.
  • That you have skin.
  • Your cheekbones.
  • Get focused.

The more you focus on the things you like about yourself, the more things you will find to like about yourself.  By showing your body love (no matter what it looks like now), you’re programming your subconscious to create more opportunity for you to love yourself (which may result in it decreasing your appetite and losing weight).   You MUST change how you view yourself and your health.

Ask yourself:

Who do you want to be? Not what the magazines, your mother, your friends, your favorite instagram celebrity etc wants you to be.  Think of yourself as how you want to be.  I highly recommend writing out “What do I want?”.  List ALL of the things YOU want.

Next – spend time everyday and visualize yourself looking how you want to.  Even just a couple of minutes trains your brain to see and feel your body differently.  The important thing is that you feel good during the visualization. Avoid negativity!  Avoid the ‘haters’!   Don’t partake in body bashing talks, and don’t read magazines/look at social media memes or photos that make you feel bad about yourself!  Appreciate qualities in other people without comparison.  Celebrate them for their accomplishments.  By celebrating others you focus on abundance and attract compliments.  If you notice negative qualities in others – realize you’re projecting thoughts about yourself onto them. Choose to think positive thoughts instead.  Write down your thoughts in a journal and focus on what little step you took that day to move forward.

Please please please – Don’t weigh yourself.  It is a terrible indicator of how healthy you are.

Throw away your scale!

Your weight is NOT a reflection of WHO YOU ARE!

Intuitive eating

Eat when you’re hungry!  Don’t “save your hunger” for certain times of the day – you’re more prone to overeating and missing your body’s signals when it’s hungry.  Your body intuitively knows what it needs to be strong and healthy – listen to it.  It might be scary to eat real foods with full fat, or without artificial sweeteners, but trust yourself!  You might end up eating more calories at first, but your body will adjust!

Trust yourself!

Eat what you want, but pay attention to what foods give you energy, and which foods make you feel sick or tired. Focus on the foods that make you feel good!  If you do eat “bad” food, don’t beat yourself up, or you’ll train your subconscious to make more poor choices – love yourself, and focus on eating healthy food again.

Stop eating when you are no longer hungry!  Before starting your meal, think – if I get full before I finish everything on my plate, how can I store the food and eat it later?  You should never feel like you have to clean your plate.

Sorry but your parents were wrong to enforce that habit.

Some people are scared of wasting food because “there are starving children in the world” – but how does your eating food that your body doesn’t need help them?  If portion control is an issue, use smaller plates – you’re more likely to eat less!  You can also drink a full glass of water prior to eating.  The volume of water will fill you up and help you overcome the feelings of fullness.

Another thought on water – If you’re not sure if you’re hungry… Drink water: your body‘s signals for hunger and thirst are sometimes hard to distinguish.

Ask yourself how you’re feeling emotionally, and get to the root of it. If you’ve had a hard day at work or school, ask yourself  “Are you eating because you have an emotional issue that needs to be addressed?”

Make eating enjoyable.  Lots of fresh vegetables with a great lean protein is a energizing meal that feels great for hours.  I always recommend and strive to have at least one fresh vegetable at every meal.  The fibre and nutrients pack a punch.

Exercise

Find exercise that you enjoy doing – it can be anything.  Don’t force it.  Don’t force yourself to exercise at first. If you make exercise a punishment for your body, you won’t get positive results.  See exercise as a way to love your body and make it feel energized!  Exercise will always improve your mood.  It is consistently the number one way to  improve mood and decrease signs of depression.  If you’re an emotional eater, exercise can help!  Consider going for a walk and de-stressing before dinner.  It will help you burn calories, build muscle and burn fat from your body.

Eat Right. Be Fit. Think Well. Get Adjusted.

Chiropractic Care.

I can’t even count the number of patients in my practice who have told me that they’ve lost weight since starting chiropractic care despite NOT changing any thing else.  Chiropractic helps put the spine into proper alignment, so that the nervous system can function properly.

The nervous system is the master controller of the entire body.  The nervous system sends signals to the brain that tells you when you’re full.   A healthy nervous system can mean a healthy digestive system!

Chiropractic & the metabolic system

Chiropractic can help the metabolism by correcting underlying issues.  Imbalances in the nervous system can affect hormone production such as blood sugar regulation.

The message behind chiropractic is that the body is an amazing, self-healing organism.  At Synergy Chiropractic we’re here to support you – going to receive regular chiropractic care can be your reminder to love your body!

Healthy New Year – Round Two!

 

My Boy!

About this time last year I set out to get healthy!   I know a lot of you are thinking it right now.  “Time to make changes.”  I set out  on the usual path with goals in mind, but boy did the plan change!  I’ll tell you one thing right off the bat, I haven’t been sick in a year!  Yep, Jan 15th 2016, I was suffering with my second round of bronchitis, weight gain, limited physical abilities, and STILL in menopause! Brutal.  I had numbness and tingling in my hands, prone to breaking out in hives, insomnia, and somewhat depressed.  Who wouldn’t be!  I was on a puffer for my lungs, sleeping pills to get some rest and the ususal handful of Advil for all the aches and pains.

It turns out the one constant place, person and treatment where I felt strong and motivated was here!  Synergy Chiropractic.  Their ever abundnant positivity and gentle pushing (and sometimes I needed a healthy shove!) slowly helped me get my act together.  Nothing is as easy as getting on a treadmill, eating a salad and putting a smile on your face.  Everyone’s reality is different.  And the one step forward, two steps back reality can be VERY discouraging.

Slowly but surely I’ve been chipping away at many of my issues and how I got there:

  • frequent colds, turning into bronchitis
  • hives, from what?
  • sleep? what sleep?
  • weight, fitness
  • over use of medications

Where to start? I think the big picture scared me.  That’s a big list of changes.  But I was sick and tired of being sick and tired!  My immune system was tired.  Worn out.  I had nothing left, so I started there.  Replacing the medical pill popping with vitamin pill popping.  Staying away from people and situations that could compromise my recovery.  Pretty sure the hives were stress related. But I couldn’t tackle it all at once so I gave myself permission to be succesful at just one thing at a time.  And it’s been slow!  I really thought by the end of 2016 I would have achieved all my healthy goals.

What have I achieved?  It started with learning more about vitamins and which ones are important to me.  And sticking with it.  I actually have a gigantic pill box on the kitchen counter to help me stay on track.  There’s a great website http://www.drweil.com/ that I follow.  He also has a health survey you can take and it will provide you with a vitamin protocol.  I don’t do all of it but I certainly do the obvious ones! Multi’s, C, Cal-Mag, Probiotics and more!  (You do have to give your email but I actually like the daily emails – they’re short and relevant and I’ve learned tons!)

Sleep is still an elusive creature.  But I have made changes and it has certainly improved.  And I always sleep better on a day that I’ve had my chiropractic adjustment!  Menopause *sigh*  Well it happens to the best of us lol! But there are also steps I’ve learned that have helped and most importantly not to be angry and frustrated with something that is a healthy part of life.  And also not to use it as an excuse!  “oh the weight gain… well it’s menopause, can’t do anything about that!”  Yes I can!

As most of you know I have a horse and I ride several times a week.  I am not however in great physical shape and that really was one of my goals for 2016.  So now that I have many of the other things under control I have set myself fitness goals that are related ONLY to my riding.  I’m hoping by narrowing the focus a little that I will have better luck sticking with new changes.  For the record… I hate the gym!  I could spend a day at the barn no problem!

I also went back to work this year!  And boy did I get lucky!  What a great place.  I’m learning tons, meeting great people and being supported and pushed along my journey.  Synergy Chiropractic is so much more than a place to get a physical adjustment.  They’ve adjusted my outlook on life and I am excited for 2017!  Round Two!  Another Healthy Year!