National Stress Awareness Month

 

If I’m feeling stressed I can take a bath or write my diary to get rid of any pent up feelings!  But it’s always good to accept a bit of outside help from time to time.

How can stress affect my spine?

Think of your spinal cord as a guitar string. The greater the tension, the higher the note. Your nervous system has “tone” as well. With each stressor, your body tightens up, like bracing yourself for a tight curve on a roller coaster. The weakest joints of your spine are forced out of their normal position. Like the shrill notes from an over-tightened string, your body loses its capacity to respond to the full range of human experience. And ill health can result.

Can chiropractic care solve all my stress?

Of course not. Much of the emotional stress we experience is largely self-induced. Imagine how much pain and suffering result from attaching inappropriate meanings to events in our lives. Or the constant burden we experience by not forgiving others. Stress is a natural part of life. Chiropractic care can’t eliminate stress, but it can help increase your capacity to accommodate it.

Safe and Natural

Chiropractic is a team approach to better health. As you enjoy results, tell those you love. Explain how millions enjoy relief and better health by restoring the integrity of their spines and nervous systems with safe and natural chiropractic care.

 

Are Toxins in Potatoes Possibly Harming your Body?

Are Toxins in Potatoes Possibly Harming your Body?

What you need to know about natural toxins found in potatoes and potato skins and the effects on your body

Guest Article by Nate Miyaki – Nutritionist, Author of Feast Your Fat Away
Try to eat a bird in the wild, and it will try to peck off your hand.

Try to reel in a Marlin without being prepared for battle, and it will take you for a swim and then stab you in the heart.

The point is that all animals have defense mechanisms against potential predators.

Guess what?  So do plants, but they are just not as obvious as claws or teeth.  They have more innovative ways of trying to NOT get eaten.

Most plants produce some sort of toxic compounds that they use to ward off insects and animals.  Who cares right?  Well, those same compounds can be problematic for both human digestion and overall health.

Now don’t panic… eating that salad is not going kill you.

As you know, it’s the dose that makes the poison with any natural toxin.  Small exposure to a toxin – such as the alcohol in a glass of red wine or a dark beer – has an antioxidant effect and can actually improve your health.  But large and frequent exposure – like a daily Jack Daniels Attack – can cause alcohol poisoning and liver disease.

Today I want to talk to you about the toxic compounds in a food that’s near and dear to my heart – POTATOES, aka – taters.

TATERS AND TOXINS

First, lets establish I believe in a relatively moderate carbohydrate approach for those who perform anaerobic training on a regular basis… Not too low, not too high, and eaten at the right times of day.

While sedentary populations generally do better with a lower carbohydrate approach, some controlled and well-timed carbs can help an athlete properly fuel and recover from intense strength or cross-training sessions.

Yet we know the many problems associated with concentrated sources of refined sugar, gluten, cereal grains, and other foods in a typical Y2K diet.  That’s the value of a Paleolithic approach to nutrition – eliminate the crap without the complexity.

So where can we turn to for anaerobic carb fuel?  Many Paleo proponents who exercise intensely regularly recommend potatoes and/or sweet potatoes as their primary carb source.

I agree, with a subtle caveat — the preparation of those potatoes matter, especially if you’re eating them on a near daily basis.

Remember, the frequency of exposure to a toxin, and the dose, makes the difference.

I’ve worked with athletes that tried regular potatoes as their primary starch fuel and complained of side effects such as inflammation and joint pain.

Others have tried sweet potatoes and complained of bloating and other gastrointestinal distress.

In both cases, the fact that they were eating “carbs” in general was blamed.  But the reality was it wasn’t the glucose/starch that was the problem.  It was the natural toxic compounds coming along with, and protecting that starch… the plant’s natural defense system.

PEEL TO FEEL BETTER

Lets start with the bad news first.  In addition to starch, potatoes contain toxic compounds called glycoalkaloids.  This is their own little toxic compound they use to ward off predators (like us humans) from eating the potato and thereby killing it.

The good news?  The majority of these glycoalkaloids are located in the skins of potatoes.

Thus, if you eat potatoes on a regular basis, I suggest you peel, boil, and eat them without the skins.  Why? You end up with good starch that you can use as anaerobic fuel (if you workout intensely), along with a decent variety of vitamins and minerals that are found in potatoes, but WITHOUT the potential drawbacks of overexposure to the toxic compounds found mostly in the skins.

Sure, that means you’re throwing away a little bit of the fiber of the potato, but I think you’ll agree it’s best to pass on a couple grams of fiber if it means you eliminate most of the TOXINS too!

What about sweet potatoes?

Now, the science is not so clear when it comes to sweet potatoes, as they are a completely different classification of plant from regular potatoes, and don’t contain these particular toxins we’ve identified in potatoes.  But my personal anecdotal evidence as an athlete and coach is clear.

I’ve worked with many strength trainers that complained of GI distress when emphasizing sweet potatoes as their primary carbohydrate source.  I experienced this personally.  My suspicion was that some compound located in the skins caused it.

It makes sense logically right?  The skin is that outer layer that wards off predators, especially those that don’t walk around with a handy-dandy peeler.   So we tested this theory…

And sure enough, when the same peeling method was applied, removing the skins of sweet pototoes, the GI distress went away for the majority of my clients.  The consistency was too much to just be coincidence.

RICE CAN ALSO BE NICE

I look at the skins of potatoes and sweet potatoes much in the same way I look at the bran of rice.

If you are a Paleo geek, you already know the problem with most cereal grains – “anti-nutrients” such as phytic acid can inhibit mineral absorption and cause GI distress.  Brown rice is no different.

Yet in more informed Paleo circles, especially those that include regular intense exercisers, white rice is often included as what is referred to as a “safe starch” option.  I agree 100%.

The “anti-nutrient” or phytic acid that is problematic for digestion and nutrient absorption is located in the bran of the grain. This is removed in the milling process that essentially changes brown rice to white rice.

That’s why cultures that eat a lot of rice generally eat white rice.  It’s probably due more to natural intuition than scientific method.

CAVEMAN AND CULTURAL CONCLUSIONS

I believe evolutionary history teaches us valuable lessons about optimum nutrition for health, without information overload, or waiting for science to “catch” up to what nature has been trying to teach us for centuries.

I also believe some cultural approaches to nutrition can do the same for merging health with modern performance and physique goals.

As I wrap this thing up, I’m looking down at my Japanese-style dinner. The side of rice is white, and the sweet potato next to it is peeled, boiled, and mashed.  In a cultural diet that includes these foods on a regular basis, that’s for a reason!

-Nate


Hey, it’s Mike here… Thanks Nate for a great article!  I recently met Nate and have found him to be one of the most knowledgeable guys I’ve talked to about nutrition in a long time.

4 YOGA POSES TO MASTER THIS SUMMER

During the summer, it feels like plans are never ending and a new invite pops up on your calendar every day! Although we usually think of summer as a season of relaxation, these months can get pretty busy – sometimes to the point where you actually have to set aside time for yourself. We love a good Netflix binge as much as the next person, but we’ve also discovered that there are more productive options if you need to de-stress… and, surprise!, you won’t end up feeling like a couch potato after. One of our favorite ways to unwind is by getting active, whether that means taking a walk outside, lifting weights in the gym or hitting the mat for some yoga. Active movement helps to clear your mind and strengthen your body. Plus, it’s a great way to show off your athleisure #AEOSTYLE! Today, we’re grabbing our yoga mats and breaking down four yoga poses to master this summer.

CRESCENT LUNGE (Anjaneyasana):
Alignment Tips: Make sure you’re on the ball of your back foot and that your hips are square. Sometimes it helps to put your hands on your hips and psychically align them so that they’re facing the front wall. Keep your back heel firm on the floor and the back leg strong as if you were trying to touch the back of your knee to the ceiling. To your own degree, bend your front knee as close to 90 degrees as possible. Reach your arms overheard and breath deep.

Benefits: Stretches hip flexors & legs; strengthens thighs and glutes; opens chest; improves balance

Master these 4 yoga poses by the end of summer!

DANCER (Natarajasana):
Alignment Tips: Keep a slight bend in your standing leg & shift weight on to this leg. Bend your back leg up to your degree slowly, simultaneously catching your foot or ankle with one or both hands if possible. You can reach one arm in front to help your balance. Keep your neck long and head high.

Benefits: Improves balance; strengthens legs and core; stretches shoulders and chest

Master these 4 yoga poses by the end of summer!

ONE LEGGED KING PIGEON (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana):
Alignment Tips: Keep your shin on the ground parallel to your mat to protect the knee. Slightly angle your back hip and from a straight leg, bend the back leg up. Catch the ankle or foot with one or both hands, or rest it in your arm as seen below. If you cannot reach back or bend the leg up, that’s fine! support yourself upright using both arms in front.

Benefits: Stretches thighs, chest and shoulders; stimulates abdomen & internal organs

Master these 4 yoga poses by the end of summer!

ONE LEGGED KING PIGEON II (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana II):
Alignment Tips: Start with shins on the floor and core reaching high. Slowly backbend to your degree and catch one leg within your arm as your raise it. Reach the other arm toward the ceiling and breathe. If you need back support, bring your lower hand to your lower back and breathe.

Benefits: Stretches torso and deep hip flexors; improves posture; strengthens back; stimulates abdominal organs

Master these 4 yoga poses by the end of summer!

Heel Pain – Plantar Fasciitis

footpainPlantar fasciitis causes pain in the bottom of the heel. The plantar fascia is a thin, ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot.
It supports the arch of your foot and helps you walk.

Signs & Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis:

  • Pain and stiffness in the bottom of the heel 
  • It can affect one foot or both feet.
  • It can be a dull pain, sharp pain, some feel a burning or ache on the bottom of the foot extending outward from the heel.
  • The pain is usually worse in the morning when you take your first steps out of bed, or if you’ve been sitting or lying down for a while.
  • Climbing stairs can be very difficult due to heel stiffness.
  • After prolonged activity, the pain can flare up due to increased inflammation. Pain isn’t usually felt during the activity but rather just after stopping.

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common orthopedic complaints. Your plantar fascia ligaments experience a lot of wear and tear in your daily life. Normally, these ligaments support the arch of the foot. Too much pressure on your feet can damage or tear the ligaments. The plantar fascia becomes inflamed and the inflammation causes heel pain and stiffness.

Treatment Options for Plantar Faciitis:

At Bedford Chiropractic clinic, Our expert Dr Sandu will evaluate the strength of your muscles and the health of your nerves by checking your:

  • reflexes
  • muscle tone
  • sense of touch and sight
  • coordination
  • balance

Using the latest technology our Laser Foot Scanner will show the areas on on the foot which are experiencing the greatest pressure, helping Dr Sandu to adapt your treatment to get the best from your body, to aid your recovery and Special orthotics, or arch supports, for your shoes may help alleviate some of the pain by distributing pressure, and they can prevent further damage to the plantar fascia.

4 Key Beginner Yoga Poses For Men

If you’re a guy, it’s easy to find yoga intimidating. This feeling is understandable. As a gender, there’s a cultural push to make us work out hard, compete, and do sports that tighten us up instead of loosen us up.

 

Sometimes, we’re intimidated because of neglect. In this little article, I’m going to make your entrance into yoga and your body quick and transformative!

These 4 key yoga poses for men will help you ease into a practice and ease into your body. Although they are relatively simple, they are deeply therapeutic as well as strength building. They will also work miracles for your flexibility. You can master them in the privacy of your living room AND I’ve set it up so you can do it all in 10 minutes at day! Check these out!

 

. Child’s Pose

man in Child's PoseThis pose is a low back saver and is the hunch reducer. Do it for your posture, do it for your pain, and do it because it feels so good.

Benefits: Child’s Pose lengthens the spine, assists the relief of lower back pain, and stretches your knees.

How to do it:

  • Kneel with your knees open shoulder-distance, with your toes touching.
  • Place your forehead on the floor.
  • Walk your hands forward with fanned fingers OR move hands behind you on the floor alongside your body.
  • Stay in this pose for 15 deep breaths through the nose.

High Lunge

Man in High Lunge

Here is a wonderful pose for runners and couch potatoes alike.

Benefits: High Lunge resurrects your leg strength and flexibility and fine tunes your core strength and balance. It’s also great for stretching muscles of the feet and toes.

How to do it:

  • Set up like a sprinter with your finger tips on the floor on either side of your lead foot. Your back foot has it’s toes curled under as if you’re going to run a race.
  • Alignment is key. Your front knee should be above your ankle and shouldn’t waver to the left or right. Keep that knee in line with your 2nd toe.
  • Your front thigh should be flat like a table and your butt is in line with that front knee. That means you may have to step back a few inches to get that thigh flat! If that’s difficult you may have to prop your hands up on books (or yoga blocks) or go high on your finger tips.
  • Press firmly through the back heal and look forward to lengthen your spine.
  • As this gets easier, transition from 5 fingers of a tented hand to 3 fingers, then one finger, and then, perhaps, shooting your hands behind you in the air or out to the side so your body looks like a cross.
  • Always draw the tummy in and try to lengthen your spine.
  • Breathe as deep as you can and see if you can stay for 5 to 20 breaths.

Crescent Pose

Man in Crescent Pose

Crescent is similar to the high lunge, but it refines more subtle strength and balance throughout the body, especially in the core and the legs.

Benefits: This pose goes deep into the hip flexors for extra strength and flexibility. It also strengthens and stretches the front of the legs.

How to do it:

  • Set up in the high lunge as above, but now the arms will reach straight in the air.
  • The torso is at “attention” and is straight with no back bend in the spine. Rooting down through the tail bone, draw the tummy in and try to gain length in the spine growing through the side ribs.
  • Stay here for 5 to 20 breaths.

Yogic Squat

Man in Squat

In India, they have chai and conversations sitting in a squat. Three quarters of the world goes to the toilet like this, and many ladies give birth like this. Most Westerners, however, have lost the ability to do a decent squat. Not good.

Benefits: This pose provides huge benefits for rehabilitating the flexibility in legs and knees. It also relieves constipation.

How to do it:

  • Feet should be shoulder-distance apart. Bend your knees so that your butt is as low as it can go without hitting the floor.
  • Try to get your heels flat. If this is impossible, curl up a towel or yoga mat to give you “ high heels.”
  • In your Squat, sit up tall with your hands in prayer on your heart with elbows pressing into the knees. For a variation, you can place hands on back of skull, drop head, and tuck chin into throat.
Start with these 4 tested and approved postures for only 10 minutes a day using deep breathing as you hold them. You will be amazed at how these poses will lead to small changes and transform your body in major ways.