Eliminate Cravings for Junk Food

chiropractor san diego Eliminate Cravings for Junk FoodWe crave food for a variety of reasons. My problem is that I develop cravings for pizza, that thick luscious gooey cheese makes me swoon. Sometimes. Other times I could eat a salad morning, noon, and night. What’s with the cravings for foods that aren’t really good for me? Why can’t I crave healthy food?

Many bad food cravings come from our frenetic lifestyle. When we’re stressed, we’re looking for food to sate us. Not to satisfy our hunger, but to make us feel better. We don’t care that we’ll end up hungry, grumpy, and with a likely case of heartburn later. We want food that is going to send our endorphins soaring and give us that “feel good” feeling within minutes of eating it. Pizza is one of those foods. High in fat, salt, and depending on the sauce and crust, sometimes sugar.

We also associate pizza with a party or a celebration. So not only does the food make us feel better temporarily, we also associate it with good times, and memories like that make us feel good too.

Then there is a deep, dark, and dirty little secret the food industry hopes we won’t notice.

We’re being tricked.

Yes indeed. Our taste-buds have been high-jacked by well-meaning scientists who started creating convenience foods to make our lives easier. Then they discovered that convenience foods were a big money-maker. And once money’s involved, all bets are off.

Soon the processed food industry went from helping the 50’s and 60’s housewife enjoy a little cuddle in the evening with her hubby and a re-heated frozen dinner on the TV tray in front of them to a full on assault of our nearest and dearest.

Our children.

Notice food commercials. Many of them are directed at adults, but most of them are designed to get kids to nag their parents into stopping by a fast food place because the kiddos want to. It’s fast. It’s cheap. It’s convenient. And darn if it doesn’t smell good too.

Millions of dollars have gone into the processed food industry to get people to buy one brand over another. They know exactly what smell we respond to, and they use it against us.

We’re working so hard to be healthy. We want to be a good example to our children. But they’re hungry and crabby. You’re tired and don’t want to cook. Besides, you haven’t gone grocery shopping in ten days. There is nothing at home you can make quickly.

“Just this once,” you think, “it won’t make that much difference.” But you’re wrong. Every time you give in to the desire to have those french fries, that greasy burger topped with buns that don’t rot and ketchup that is only sugar that masquerades as a relative of the tomato.

I really hate to tell you this, but fast food and processed foods are merely chemicals that masquerade as food. If you love yourself and you love your family…schedule some time every single week (preferable more than once) and shop for fresh food and produce that needs to be stored in a refrigerator. Identify quick and healthy meals you can serve your family that will serve them and you well.

Food cravings occur because we believe they do. By having better choices available, we can teach ourselves and our children to want a better choice.

Weight Loss Myths You’d Be Foolish to Believe

chiropractor san diego Weight Loss Myths You’d Be Foolish to BelieveEverybody’s an expert. They all have their fool-proof diet and/or exercise plan. The more industrious of them have a cookbook and exercise videos for you to purchase. Some of them are based on science. Others are based simply on some research and pure industriousness.

Worse still, many of them either put forth, or perpetuate myths that we continue to believe about how we should best approach our weight loss journey. Here are a few of the biggest that irritate me. I’d feel better knowing that at least a few of you listened and stopped wasting time on something that doesn’t work.

1. The Tortoise and the Hare. Remember the story? Whether you do or not, I’m sure you remember old Aesop’s moral, “Slow and steady wins the race.” This may be good advice for those on a weight loss regimen, but it sure is a tough way to keep people motivated. I’ve talked with people who have attended weekly weight loss meetings for years and years…some of them for a decade or more. They’re resigned to the adage, “It took you fifteen years to put it on, it will take at least that long to take it off.” When I ask how they’re doing, they admit that they’re still about the same as when they started. These poor women are discouraged beyond belief. But they’re determined to succeed, so they’ll pay their weekly fee and give their self-effacing smile at their weigh-in as the leaders who are happily collecting her money say, “Don’t worry. Slow and steady. That’s the key.”

No it isn’t.

Motivation is the key, and the best way to stay motivated is to lose weight. A recent study demonstrated that people who lost weight more quickly were more likely to keep the weight off and not rebound. It’s possible to do it without the weekly fee and monthly shaming that comes with public meetings.

2. “Eat smaller meals.” So now we’re rabbits and we graze our way through the day. Well folks, unless you’ve counted every calorie of the food you plan to eat for the day, and put it in one place so that once you’ve grazed your way through breakfast, lunch, and dinner by 3 pm you have to know you’re done. It doesn’t matter if you graze or if you wolf your food, consuming a lot more calories than you burn will end up around your hips and thighs.

The other problem with grazing is that your insulin levels stay high and every time you eat your body’s insulin will grab any available calorie passing through your blood stream and save it for later. As fat.

Why? Because most people, if they admit their habits honestly, are not eating spinach and celery sticks when they graze. They reach for the 100 calorie snack packs that are full of chemicals and sugar. Empty carbs that do nothing but make you hungry an hour later, wondering why you’re not losing weight but gaining it. Give yourself a chance to actually feel hunger. Do you even know what it feels like to be hungry?

3. “Everything in Moderation.” Sounds pretty good. But then I heard a spin on the saying that explained why it doesn’t work: “Everything in moderation, except moderation.”

The problem with this mindset is that it sets you up for failure. The instant you give in to a craving, you want the next one and the next. There really is such a thing as sugar addiction and unless you spend a couple of weeks really weaning yourself off sugar, you won’t be able to kick it. So if you’ve done well for three days you may want to give yourself a treat. After all, you deserve it, right? Just one little ice cream cone. Bam! Your sugar addiction has suddenly been reignited and now you can’t even look at a Tic-Tac without wishing it were made out of real sugar.

Try to stay away from that slippery slope of justification. You deserve a reward that is not food related. Get a new blouse. A manicure. Or better, take a kayaking trip or a guided hike through a wilderness preserve. Rewarding yourself with the very thing you’re addicted to is like handing an alcoholic a bottle of gin when he says he’s twelve weeks sober.

Belly Fat Fighting Foods

Aging simply is not for sissies. By the time we hit that point of middle age where our middles are expanding despite some of our very best efforts, we know we’re facing a crisis of some kind in our future. Statistics will bear it out. The more belly fat we have, the greater our chances of experiencing unpleasant and dangerous incidences of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke. Obviously, or not, getting enough exercise is certainly one way to keep on top of that stubborn belly. But recent studies have shown that even more important than exercise is what we put in our mouths.

Here are a few fat-busting foods that you might want to consider adding to your daily eating plans.

1. Cruciferous veggies. I like saying that word, it sounds like someone I would like to know as a friend. Cruciferous veggies include things like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale. These vegetables contain phytonutrients, and one in particular, indole-3-carbinol (I3C) do battle against the effects of chemicals called xenoestrogens. No this is not the name of an action figure. Xenoesrogens are chemicals that act like estrogen and come from plastics, pollutants in the air, and things that we spray around our home like pesticides and herbicides. Even our meat, unless you’re a hunter, comes loaded with hormones that might not be doing as nature intended. Once these xenoestrogens enter our body, they get to work on our belly, industriously gathering and storing fat against some future apocalypse. Eating your cruciferous veggies boosts your blood levels of I3C that will do battle against the xenoestrogens and hopefully your belly will once again behave and let you button the top button of your jeans.

2. Avocados. Filled with healthy fat, these beauties actually help us control our craving for fatty snacks. Anything that satisfies cravings needs to be in our arsenal, otherwise we develop sugar cravings that lead to binging, leading to other unintentional and untoward results. Avocados talk to the hormones in our body that control our appetite and tell them to chill. They’re also delicious and make us feel satisfied for hours.

3. Lentils. Filled with digestion resistant starches, lentils belong to the high-fiber diet. Fiber foods are either soluble or insoluble. The phrase “digestion resistant” is our clue that lentils belong to the insoluble fiber group which helps our digestive process without being absorbed quickly. We feel full longer and don’t feel as hungry. If you haven’t been eating lentils already, take it slow and easy. Consuming too many of these insoluble fiber items can actually cause bloating, which might make you think your belly is expanding instead of decreasing, but it’s only temporary. In addition to lentils, garbanzo beans (found in hummus) are an excellent alternative.

4. Salmon. Preferably wild, salmon is considered a superfood for a variety of reasons. It has excellent levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, necessary for good heart health and brain function, and is a fabulous source of protein. Eat it steamed, baked, planked, or cooked in lime juice the way Kate Middleton seems to enjoy, (it’s called ceviche).

5. Green tea. More good stuff that we can’t see. Catechins are chemicals found in green tea that help our bodies burn fat. Some people say they don’t really care for green tea. I’m one of them. So I trick myself by making a pot of tea with half green tea and half another variety of tea. Now I enjoy the benefits of green tea while believing I’m drinking something I actually enjoy. Or if you prefer, you can find green tea supplements.

Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy: The Benefits

chiropractor san diego Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy: The BenefitsBack pain is a common problem faced by women during their pregnancy. This occurs when pregnant women put on extra weight causing extra pressure on the spine. Receiving spinal treatments can reduce such pains through chiropractic, and pregnancy issues like delivery can be made more comfortable and faster.

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care is a conservative form of treatment that addresses the spinal cord, discs and related nerves without the use of surgery or drugs. It involves the adjustment of spine to align it back to its normal position. This reduces the spinal nerve stress which can cause various other health complications in the woman and later on in the child. Hence, chiropractic treatment addresses the whole body to promote health and well being.

Safe during Pregnancy

Many complications can occur during pregnancy that can be triggered by spinal problems. These complications can get transferred to the newborn, as they affect the nervous system of a mother. Babies can develop colic, breathing problems, allergic reactions, bedwetting, and neural disorders. The Webster Technique is commonly employed for pregnant women to reduce the spinal nerve stress and balance pelvis, ligaments and muscles.

Throughout the stages of pregnancy, specialized chiropractic care plans are devised to suit the patient. Research shows there are no known potential contradictions to chiropractic treatment during pregnancy. Chiropractic professionals are known to adjust treatments to better suit the body of a pregnant woman. They follow tables and employ techniques which avoid unnecessary pressure on the stomach.

Benefits of Chiropractic Care

Many medical experts recommend chiropractic care during pregnancy as it helps maintain pelvic balance. A balanced pelvis gives a baby more room to move into the correct birth position. This avoids some of the potential fallbacks of delivery. Other benefits include:

  • Reducing back, neck and joint pain
  • Reducing nerve stress to promote healthy development of the mother and baby
  • Relieving pressure from the spine and maintaining better posture
  • Restoring joints to ensure optimum range of motion
  • Reducing symptoms of nausea
  • Reducing time of labor and delivery
  • Stimulates optimal functioning of reproductive organs
  • Preventing potential cases of cesarean
  • Maintaining a healthy pregnancy

 

A visit to the chiropractic clinic begins with physical evaluations, and then a treatment plan is made, involving therapies, nutrition and exercise. Chiropractic care aims to provide comfort for mothers during and after pregnancy, and also ensuring their babies enjoy proper bone and neural development.

Image Used Under Creative Commons Licensing: Profile of a pregnant woman by Jason Pier in DC

Treatment and Prevention of Muscle Cramps during Exercise

chiropractor san diego Treatment and Prevention of Muscle Cramps during ExerciseMuscle cramps that are caused by exercise can be very painful and can cause athletes to drop out of competitions.  Muscle cramps can happen in any types of sports and are usually a result of muscle fatigue, a loss of electrolytes or dehydration.

Cramps are not limited to sports, they can happen even to people who are not involved in any type of sports.  Repetitive cramps can be healed by a chiropractor by aligning the vertebrae correctly in the spine using various techniques.

Causes of Cramps

The American College of Sports Medicine published a review on the causes of muscle cramps during exercise – two possible causes were identified that lead to muscle cramps.

The first was credited to muscle fatigue.  Neuromuscular systems are embedded into muscles to allow control of contraction of the muscles. When this system malfunctions, contraction of muscle takes place and then causes the cramps.

Muscles that are regularly used, such as those of an athlete or a person with a very active lifestyle, are at a higher risk of experiencing cramps or spasms.

The second major cause is a result of an excessive fluid loss from the body (sweat), which decreases the body’s electrolytes level.  This depletes the body of sodium.

Body’s Natural Cooling System

The body is designed to cool itself by sweating when body temperature starts to rise beyond normal levels.   The loss of electrolytes due to sweating can cause depletion of body’s electrolytes and if it is not replenished properly, it will cause cramps.

What are Electrolytes?

Electrolytes are minerals including sodium, chloride, magnesium and potassium. They are dissolved in the body and directly control the required muscle contractions and nerve conductions.

Consuming bananas to treat muscle cramps has no solid ground and there is no evidence to support such a remedy.

Treating Muscle Cramps

- Fatigued Muscles

Treatment of muscle cramps depends upon the initial cause.  For those people who experience a muscle cramp due to a strenuous workload such as exercise or sports, chiropractors recommend treatments such as a massage, application of cold packs to the affected muscles and passive stretching.

Proper rest must be given to those muscles which have experienced an overload due to stress.

- Cramps due to Loss of Electrolytes

For those people who suffer from cramps as a result of excessive sweating and a deficit of sodium, the same methods of treatment can be used besides replenishing the lost fluid levels.

Image Used Under Creative Commons Licensing: 111002-A-XY792-430 by Minnesota National Guard

Spinal Disc Herniation – Disc Injuries and Chiropractic Therapy

chiropractor san diego Spinal Disc Herniation   Disc Injuries and Chiropractic TherapySpine and disc injuries are more common in individuals who lie in the 40 to 60 age bracket. While young individuals who engage in different strenuous work activities (which involve the lifting of heavy loads and operating on machinery for long hours) experience spine, neck and disc injuries which cause great pain. These injuries cause hindrance in the movement of the back and the neck, and are aggravated by continuous involvement in different laborious activities. Spinal disc herniation is a medical condition experienced by individuals because of over-exertion on the back and neck parts of the body. Chiropractors offer different treatment methods to relieve the pain and facilitate movement of the affected individual.

What Is Spinal Disc Herniation?

Spinal disc herniation is a medical condition in which a tear appears on the outer fibrous layer of the vertebra disc, which causes the inner soft nucleus material to bulge and squeeze out from the torn area of the disc.

The tear in the disc is usually attributed to old age in individuals, but may also be caused because of any trauma, straining and lifting injuries, experienced by a young individual, because of different work related and other everyday activities. The nature of the tear in the disc might cause inflammation in the surrounding area, which might put pressure on the nerves, resulting in pain for the individual. The bulging out of the inner pulpous material from the ruptured or torn disc results in a pressure on the spine and disc which causes extreme pain.

Spinal disc herniation is also called a slipped disc condition, though the disc is securely intact in between the vertebra. Individuals suffering from a minor case of spinal disc herniation are able to recover within a few weeks, with suitable rest. But, in cases of extreme damage to the spinal disc, the patient sometimes requires surgical treatment, which does not always provide good results.

Patients with acute spinal disc herniation in the upper, central or lower part of their spinal cord require physical therapy and medications for quick recovery.

Chiropractic Therapy for Spinal Disc Injuries

Chiropractors provide treatment and therapy for the effective recovery of individuals suffering from different forms of spine and disc injuries. They mobilize and manipulate the muscles of the spine and the neck, adjusting the different joints and muscles, to relieve the individual of the excruciating pain experienced because of the different musculoskeletal disorders.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: the neck thing. ouch. no really…ouch! by Beth Punches

Understanding Ergonomics – How Seat Design Plays a Vital Role

chiropractor san diego Understanding Ergonomics – How Seat Design Plays a Vital RoleIt is estimated that at least 50% individuals in the industrialized world suffer from some kind of back problem, most notably due to a poor or inadequate seat design. How we sit all day in front of our workstations has a marked impact on the overall health of our spine. As a result of bad posture, the lumbar region in the back bone is what takes the most pounding. Here’s what you need to know, and many chiropractors will stand by it.

There is no universal seat that’s designed to accommodate every single person. But there are a number or ergonomic factors that come into play when we’re talking seat design. These generally work well for the average person.

Seat height should be set in a way so as to support a knee angle of 90 degrees. This takes undue stress off the thighs and buttocks. A chair that’s too high will increase the pressure at the underside of the knees, reducing blood flow and increasing unnecessary pressure on the nerve.

A chair that’s too low places pressure on the ischial tuberosities – this is where the upper thigh originates in the gluteus maximus region. Normally, the glutes cover them in the upright position, but they are exposed and at an ergonomic disadvantage when we’re sitting.

Optimal seat depth is recommended at 16.5”; between 14” and 18.5” for adjustable seats.

You should avoid hard seats. Seat pan contouring and cushioning should be designed in a way so that pressure is distributed over a larger area and the pelvis rotates forward – this encourages better posture.

Ideal seat cushioning is about 2” thick. The cushioning needs to be firmer and thicker in the back, while being less firm and thinner at the front. Too much cushioning and your body is going to sink into the chair, restricting movement. A soft chair may be very welcoming and comfortable at first, but it goes against basic ergonomic sense; as the body sinks, blood flow is reduced and skin temperature rises as you experience more compression under the thighs. At the end of the day – more discomfort.

A seat width that’s between 20” and 23” generally works well.

An ideal seat angle helps you maintain good contact with the backrest; a 5 to 10 degree angle is good.

There many more ergonomic factors related to optimal seating, and these are just some of them at a glance. A good chiropractor can help you determine exactly what type of chair best suits your body type.

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Kids and Chiropractic Care: How It Can Benefit Them

chiropractor san diego Kids and Chiropractic Care: How It Can Benefit ThemChiropractic care deals with the spinal column’s important relationship in creating harmony throughout the body.  It works on the principle that even a slight maladjustment in the spinal column can create problems for the individual.  The backbone is home to the nervous system and fine tuning of vertebrae can have enormous effects in reducing pain and help in healing.

Kids and chiropractic care have a very important relation – as kids grow, their body experiences a lot of physical stresses.  Any slight problems in the spine can restrict their growth and even cause severe problems.

Due to the curved position which the baby adopts when growing in the womb, many complications can arise at or after birth.  For this reason, a lot of parents get their newborn’s spine checked by a chiropractor.

Other health-related complaints in newborns include difficulty in breast-feeding, sleep problems, reflux and infections that can be linked to the nervous system of the baby.  These problems are the result of misaligned spine which may have resulted either due to the pre-birth curved position of the fetus, or due to the stresses incurred during delivery.

A chiropractor starts off by examining kids and their spines.  A lot of parents are worried about the baby’s delicate body being subjected to the forces required during the adjustments.  What they don’t realize that many chiropractors are specialists in treating kids.  They have the right skills and the touch of delicacy required in handling babies.

Nevertheless, spinal adjustments for kids – especially newborns – require very gentle pressures using only fingers.

Chiropractic care for kids is absolutely painless.  The kid may be sensitive to the touch at points where there is an injury – apart from that, there is no need to worry about pain.

A kid’s spine is far more responsive than that of an adult.  Only a few minor adjustments are required to get rid of any abnormality.  The complete time required for all chiropractic care sessions would depend on how long the problem has persisted for.

Kids have far less chances of suffering any injuries during the spinal adjustment procedure.  A study by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) revealed that only a few children from a figure of more than ten thousand experienced some sort of minor discomfort.

Therefore, it is extremely safe to have kids go through chiropractic care to ensure they do not have any kind of spinal issues while they grow up to become healthy adults.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Newborn Baby Cute Child Portrait Face Little

Cervical Herniated Disc – Disc Injuries and Chiropractic Care

chiropractor san diego Cervical Herniated Disc   Disc Injuries and Chiropractic CareIndividuals, engaged in strenuous everyday tasks of lifting and shifting heavy loads, and operating machines and computers for long hours on end, run a high risk of experiencing spinal disc injuries. Injuries in the spine or neck region tend to cause extreme pain and hindrance in the movement of the back or neck. Cervical herniated disc is a medical condition in which the patient feels excruciating pain in the neck, due to a slipped disc. Chiropractors provide invasive treatment methods for relieving the pain in the neck and spinal areas of the body.

What Is A Cervical Herniated Disc?

It is a medical condition, in which the individual suffers from extreme pain in the neck, and sometimes shoulder region, due to a slipped disc or pressure on a nerve. Cervical herniated disc injuries are less common than a lumbar herniated disc, which affects the lower region of the body. A cervical herniated disc condition is in the neck region of the body.

The 7 applicable vertebra of the spine are termed as C1 to C7, in a descending manner, for medical convenience. Between every two vertebra, a disc is located which serves as shock absorbers for the spine. The exertion and pressure on the neck and spine of the body causes swelling or bulging of the disc which might in extreme cases, even cause the disc to rupture, resulting in severe disc injuries.

The swelling and bulging of the disc exerts pressure on the nerves, which results in extreme pain in the neck and back region, hampering movement of the affected individual. A slipped disc or cervical herniated disc in the vertebra segment of C4 to C5 causes nerve root impingement, which results in pain in the upper shoulder or arm, hindering movement. Any swelling in the cervical segment of C5 to C6 results in weakening the front arm muscles, also called biceps, and causes a numbing and tingling pain in the wrist. It is the most common area in which a cervical herniated disc condition occurs.

The herniation of the discs in the C6 to C7 vertebra results in creating painful sensations in the back muscles of the arm, also called triceps,  which extends all over the hand, causing pain up to the fingers. Any disc herniation in the C7 to T1 region, results in affecting the control and grip of the hand, with a tingling pain and numb sensation throughout.

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care and treatment methods are highly effective for different musculoskeletal disorders and spinal disc injuries, experienced by individuals because of over exertion and engagement in strenuous activities. Chiropractors provide services for joint and muscle adjustment and pain relief.

 

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Shoulder Sport Injuries and Chiropractic Care

chiropractor san diego Shoulder Sport Injuries and Chiropractic CareAthletes and sports enthusiasts suffer from different sports injuries, the most common one being shoulder injuries, contracted during the strenuous activities and efforts required during various sports. Chiropractors provide effective treatment methods to rid the patients of the pain and suffering of a shoulder injury.

How Are Shoulder Sports Injuries Contracted?

Shoulder sport injuries are contracted by professional athletes and individuals who pursue a certain sport as a hobby. The strenuous and exhausting practice procedures, along with the constant exertion on the body, result in acute muscular pains in the arm and shoulder regions, for the sports professionals. In extreme cases, the pain spreads throughout the entire arm, causing sore and stiff shoulder muscles and tingling pain up to the fingers.

The sports which require extensive physical effort like basketball, baseball, football, etc., require the players to engage in different repetitive movements, which sometimes cause shoulder sport injuries.

Symptoms of Shoulder Injuries

Shoulder injuries which are very common among sports athletes and professionals present certain symptoms and signs which help in the diagnosis of the form of injury. A patient with a shoulder pain which persists for a couple of days has a high risk of suffering from a shoulder injury which needs to be treated promptly.

Recurring episodes of shoulder pain is also a sign of a shoulder injury, while inability to carry objects highlights the extent of damage suffered by the shoulder of an individual. In extreme cases, the shoulder injury causes a deformity in the joint and damages the muscles of the shoulder, which leaves the individual in extreme pain.

Shoulder injuries also include bruises and swellings around joints or the arm region of the body, which results in stiff muscles that are difficult to move. In some cases, the patient suffers from a fever and swelling with an infection, if there is acute damage to the muscles and joints of the shoulder region. Some individuals also face difficulty in moving their injured shoulder and experience pain in the area throughout the day.

Treatment Options

Shoulder injuries require prompt and efficient medical treatment, carefully administered, to ensure that there are no further damages to the injured area. Rest and anti-inflammatory medicines are prescribed by doctors to bring down the swelling in the shoulder. Various painkillers are prescribed which only serve to alleviate the pain for a short period of time. Chiropractors provide effective treatment for the shoulder sports injuries contracted by different individuals.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Mikko with dislocated should… by Aleksi Aaltonen