“Tis The Season For Over-Indulgence!

Speaking of over-doing, the holiday season is a time when many of us overbook ourselves and become pretty stressed out. I have one word for you: no. Learn how to say "no." It's difficult at first, but after a while you'll feel a lot happier for not overbooking, overcooking, overworking, etc., and then it becomes easier because you'll have the freedom to enjoy, savor, and celebrate the season again! Hey, just sayin'...

In keeping with my theme of helping you avoid the illness or injury that often accompanies being stressed, here is another quick stress reliever. Just the thing to rid yourself of that pain in the neck! 🙂

STOP Stressing Out!

I know, I know… you’ve got deadlines and bills and relatives, and you have to take the car in for repair, and you’ve simply got no time to take care of yourself. But if you slow it down and relax, all that changes. This is important because your nervous system is responsible for how your body’s self-repair mechanisms work. Stress raises your heart rate and blood pressure, releases the “stress hormones” adrenalin and cortisol, and weakens immunity—exactly what you don’t want. When you’re relaxed, you have higher levels of the growth hormone that repairs cells and tissue. This is key when you are working on building muscle.

Do whatever works for you to relieve stress, whether it’s meditation, gardening, exercising, or singing in the shower!

Water is also essential for well-balanced blood composition and proper functioning of your brain, respiratory, and muscular systems. When you are dehydrated, your body’s ability to repair itself is weakened. And I’m not talking about the kind of dehydration that a person feels walking around in the desert without water, but rather a continuous daily practice of not enough hydration – just not drinking enough water in your everyday life!

The rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you’ll want to drink 75 ounces of water a day. I weigh 125 and drink 67 ounces (2 liters) of water a day, which is a little more than suggested. My friend Ned, on the other hand, drinks much less than half of his body weight/ounces per day. So while I believe everybody is different, I think this is a pretty good rule of thumb to keep in mind.

Best of Health,

Kathi

Exercise For Painful Piriformis Syndrome

Everyone who has Piriformis Syndrome knows what a pain in the butt it is! (Pun intended)

But, it doesn't have to continue that way. Here is an exercise that helps to stretch that painful piriformis to ease a bit of the pain.

Try it and see for yourself!

Healthy Bones Recipe

Irish Cabbage and Red Potatoes - Good For Your Bones!

Irish cabbage and potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound small red potatoes, scrubbed and cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 cups green cabbage, thinly sliced (about 1/2 head)
  • 1 cup low-fat milk, milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Preparation:

  1. Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Place potatoes in a steamer basket and steam, covered, until just cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and cover to keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, heat butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add cabbage and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage begins to brown, about 5 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to low. Stir in milk, salt and white pepper; cover and cook until the cabbage is tender, about 8 minutes. Add the cabbage mixture to the potatoes. Mash with a potato masher or a large fork to desired consistency.

Nutrition Information

Per serving: 182 calories; 4 g fat ( 2 g sat , 0 g mono ); 11 mg cholesterol; 31 g carbohydrates; 6 g protein; 5 g fiber; 653 mg sodium; 842 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (150% daily value), Potassium (24% dv), Fiber (20% dv), Calcium (15% dv).

This recipe is courtesy of www.EatingWell.com

Best of Health,

Kathi

Do High Heels Cause Trauma To Your Body?

YES, they do!

Whenever I see a woman in spike heels, I shudder first, then dig out my business card and hand it to her, saying that she'll need my help soon (for back pain) if she continues to wear them all the time. In fact, there are a couple of women in our local Chamber of Commerce, that smile whenever they see me, and tell me they have my business card for when they'll need it. 

high heels 2Yet, many television personalities like Oprah continue to advertise their love of high heels - the higher the better. In O magazine this month there are no less than twelve photos of women in very high heels and 5 additional ads/photos of high heels. Makes me want to scream!

I was happy to see that my friend Dr. Carolyn Dean also feels this way about high heels. In her recent Blog Post, she has a lot more to say about High Heel Trauma. Please read her post along with my prior post and at least limit your use of high heels to very special occasions only!

Here is a study that shows how the damage occurs.

And if that’s not enough – check out this video from the Royal National Orthopedic Hospital in London. YIKES!

Best of Health,

Kathi

Feel Like Your Immune System is Under Assault?

Take heart, help is on the way!

There are a few easy things you can do to quickly beef up your immunity and lose that fall cold. Firstly, take some extra vitamin C. Then eat foods with lots of vitamin C. Here are your top ten choices and the amount of vitamin C they provide:

Red and Green Hot Chili Peppers. Green chilies provide more vitamin C than any other food with 182 mg in a half cup chopped, and 109 mg in a single green chili pepper. Red chilies provide 108 mg per half cup chopped, and 65 mg per pepper. You can add them to soups, stews and salads.

Guavas come in second with 377 mg per cup, and 126 mg per fruit. Add one to your smoothie!

Yellow Bell peppers provide 341 mg per pepper, and 95 mg in 10 sliced strips.

Kiwi fruits are delicious and make a great addition to any fruit salad or dessert. They provide us with 164 mg per cup, 84 mg per fruit.

The one we all know and love, Oranges, provide 98 mg per cup, and 83 mg per orange. Clementines or tangerines provide 36 mg (60% RDA) per fruit.

Strawberries also provide 98 mg per cup of slices, and 11 mg in a single large strawberry.

Papaya provides 87 mg per cup cubed, and 188 mg in a medium sized papaya.

Broccoli provides 81 mg per cup chopped.

Kale provides 80 mg per cup of chopped. In case you missed it, here’s a link to a fabulous recipe for Raw Kale.

And last but not least, raw Brussels sprouts provide 75mg per cup, 16 mg per sprout.

Best of Health,

Kathi

Fabulous Kale Salad!

kale saladKale is definitely up there with the mightiest of vegetables, in fact, it may be the top of the pile. One cup contains on 34 calories, yet provides over a thousand percent of the Daily Value for vitamin K, 192% of vitamin A and 88 % of vitamin C. It's also a great source of potassium, with 299 mg. in one cup! 

But I didn't grow up eating Kale. Even though we grew many of our own vegetables, Kale just wasn't one of them. I'd never even heard of Kale until well into my adult life and the first time I tried it, I didn't care for it.

In recent years I have been searching out good recipes for Kale, since it's so nutrient rich, and today I'll share my favorite. This Kale Salad is very popular at my friend Michelle's dinner table and, believe it or not, it's a raw dish. The key to this dish, according to Michelle is to make it at least a half hour ahead of time and let it sit in the dressing. That's how the Kale becomes soft - raw Kale is a bit too crunchy for most people. I think it's her dressing which makes the Kale unbelievably delicious - that's the magic!

Here's the recipe:

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • Handful of crushed walnuts (optional)
  • 1 cup of chick peas or kidney beans (optional)
  • Grated Pecorino cheese (optional)

Mix the dressing together and shake well.

Clean a big bunch of Kale and strip out the center stalks.

Then cut it up, toss with the dressing and let it sit for 30 minutes. When you're ready to eat, toss in the walnuts, beans or whatever else you'd like to try, and add salt and pepper to taste. You can sprinkle the Pecorino on just before serving, or pass it around with the salad and your family can sprinkle or not, as they choose. Experiment with this yummy tasting salad and your body will thank you!

Enjoy

Best of Health,

Kathi

Relax Your Back!

Whether you are in pain, or just know that you've done a lot today and want to avoid tomorrow's pain and stiffness, the most important thing to remember is to relax all the muscles of your back.  

There is only one way to do that and here it is!

In keeping with our last post about making small changes in your diet that reduce inflammation, here a great recipe from chow.com for a soup that I think you'll love!

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

quinoa chowderIngredients

3/4 cup quinoa (any color)

8 cups water

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 lg garlic clove finely chopped

3/4 lb thin skinned potatoes, diced

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp Kosher salt

1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced

3 cups thinly sliced spinach leaves

4 oz feta cheese, diced

1/3 cup chopped parsley or cilantro

lime juice

black pepper

optional -1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped

1 hard boiled egg per bowl for garnish

Instructions

Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer under cold water until the water runs clear.

Bring quinoa and 8 cups water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer till the outer casings on the quinoa have popped (10-15 min)

Strain the quinoa, reserving the liquid.

Heat olive oil. Add garlic and jalapeno and cook till fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add potatoes, cumin, salt and cook until potatoes begin to soften (3-5 minutes)

Add the reserved cooking liquid (and more water to make 6 cups), half of the scallions and simmer until potatoes are tender (15 min)

Add cooked quinoa, spinach and remaining scallions and simmer until spinach just begins to wilt. Remove pot from heat and stir in the feta and parsley or cilantro. Taste and season with salt, pepper and lime juice. Top with chopped egg and enjoy!

Calories 165, Cholesterol 13mg, Fat 52g, Fiber 4.1g, Protein 6g, Calcium 116mg 

Best of Health,

Kathi

There are about a bazillion diet books on the market today and I know this can cause information overload! So today, I want to talk about simple dietary changes that will give the biggest bang for your effort – especially when your desire is beating the inflammation, heart disease, back pain and other issues it can cause.


Everyone these days knows at least a little about the Mediterranean diet. It works. It involves eating more fruits, vegetables and fish. Well, I’m not going to tell you to stop eating red meat, or that you need 6 servings of fruits and veggies every day. What I will suggest is that you try out some different vegetables that you may not have ever eaten before. There are many exotic varieties on the market now and also lots of different ways to prepare them. Try one new recipe this week, or one new fruit. Go slowly. Make small changes. Find something you like and then add it to your weekly shopping list. It IS possible to make very small changes that have a large impact on your health. For instance, replacing one serving of beef steak (32 grams of saturated fat) a week with one serving of tuna steak (2 grams of saturated fat) cuts out 30 grams of saturated fat from your diet! When grilled lightly and still pink in the middle, the flavor of the tuna steak is very similar to the steak your are replacing. This is just one example, but you get the idea. My mother would shudder if she heard me say this, but, play with your food! Try something different once a week until you find what works for you so that you eat more Mediterranean.

Best of Health,

Kathi

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