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

Hate Sitting At Long Meetings?

Here's a short video for those days when you have to sit for several hours in a long meeting, or presentation/workshop.

The piriformis is a thick muscle that can tighten up after sitting for a long time and what a pain in the rear that is! Well, here is a good stretch for that pesky piriformis and you'll find that when others see you doing it, they'll join in!

 

Best of Health,

Kathi

What Is Bone Broth?

Bone Broth is what my mom used to call – Real Broth!

I heard an interview with Louise Hay where she spoke in great detail about the health benefits of “bone broth” and I thought – Wow! That sounds cool. I’m going to go and fine her recipe!

What a lovely surprise to discover that it’s the same broth that my mom made in the day and my sister and I still make all the time today!

Homemade broth is so much better than the canned variety. No preservatives, just enough salt and real veggies! Yummm.

We store our chicken bones in bags in the freezer until we get enough together to make a big pot of broth.

Ingredients:

2 large onions chopped

4 or 5 stalks of celery chopped

5 or 6 large garlic cloves chopped

5 or 6 large carrots, chopped

2 or 3 large bay leaves

Preparation:

In a large stockpot, saute onions, celery, garlic and carrots just until soft, then add the bones, bay leaves and cover with water. Bring to a boil, the simmer for at least an hour, stirring occasionally. Cool and remove the bones. Use the stock for soups, stews or just plain – enjoy!

Best of Health

Kathi

More Help For Those Who Sit All Day

Another easy exercise I recommend for people who sit for most of the day is the Hamstring Chair Stretch. This stretch helps reduce the tension in your lower back and can be done any time you are seated. In fact, I’m sure if you try it at your next long meeting or conference, there will be others joining you before you can say “cramped legs!”

  • Sit up straight, close to the edge of your chair. Keeping your left leg bent with your foot flat on the floor, and your left knee positioned over your foot, stretch your right leg out so that only your heel is on the floor. Then, “dig in your heel” by pressing it against the floor.
  • Next, hold onto the seat of your chair with both hands and stretch your upper body forward gently until you feel the muscles in the back of your leg stretching.
  • Breathe and stretch for about a minute, then switch legs.

Let me know how many people join you when you try this!

Best of Health

Kathi

Better Bone Health For Baby Boomers!

winter yoginiHave you noticed that your knees are a little stiff and sometimes scream at you when you try to get up off the couch? As we age we experience normal wear and tear on the joints, but we may experience a loss of bone mass as well. Not to worry though, you can avoid knee and hip replacement surgeries and their long recoveries by starting now to take better care of these joints and bones. Through exercise, diet and supplementation, you can increase bone mass and minimize your risk for osteoporosis and arthritis.

Let's start with diet. Calcium, Magnesium and Vitamin D are very important for healthy bones.

Vitamin D is currently the most serious Vitamin deficiency in North America. Some studies have recently shown that the mighty vitamin D also protects us against rheumatoid arthritis. Most docs now recommend between 2000 and 3000 mg. a day of vitamin D.

The new studies on calcium indicate that we only need about 500-600 mg from supplementation as we get the rest of our RDA (750-1000 total) of calcium from the foods we eat. More than that can increase you risk of heart attacks, and even increase your chance of a hip fracture!

Magnesium is an important mineral for not only bone health, but our health in general. It can reduce headaches, insomnia, and much more! My friend Dr. Carolyn Dean recommends at least 400 mg of Magnesium each day.

But, vitamins aren't the be all, end all. You should get as much of your vitamins from food as possible and here are a few foods that contain vitamin D - oily fish like Alaskan salmon or sardines, fortified soy milk, orange juice and whole grain cereals.

Calcium is plentiful in dairy, but did you know that sheep cheese has about twice as much calcium as cow's milk cheese?  Also, broccoli, dried figs, kale, collards and healthy nuts like almonds can provide your body with lots of calcium. I knew there was a reason I love Almonds!

Vitamin K helps activate proteins that are involved in the structuring of bone mass. Low intake of vitamin K has been linked to low bone density. You can get your vitamin K in swiss chard, kale, parsley and spinach, broccoli and cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, liver, soybean oil and wheat bran. In addition, avoid eating too much protein - excessive protein can promote calcium loss from bones - and too much caffeine and sodium can promote calcium loss so do be careful of those.

Glucosamine and chondroitin are two compounds which strengthen cartilage and improve joint mobility, which then slows osteoarthritis related damage to the joints. They are available anywhere vitamins are sold, and many people have shared that their flexibility has increased with these supplements.

And you all know that Exercise is important for keeping our bones strong. Weight bearing exercises like walking, hiking, and Pilates classes are all good for our bones and our hearts. 

Do You Have FLC Syndrome?

This is a guest post by my friend Dr. Mark Hyman

What is FLC Syndrome? Chances are you have it.

It affects nearly half of our population. It causes gain weight and resistance to weight loss. And it causes a whole list of chronic symptoms and diseases. Yet most people have no idea what causes it or how to fix it. The truth is, most of us have experienced FLC Syndrome at some point in our lives. 

FLC Syndrome is when you Feel Like Crap. Even though most doctors don’t know how to diagnose and treat it, the science of Functional Medicine provides a clear roadmap for your way out of FLC!

How Do You Know If You Have FLC Syndrome?

You have FLC Syndrome if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Excess weight around the middle (belly fat)
  • Crave sugar and refined carbs
  • Binge on sugar or junk food
  • Yo-yo dieting where you keep gaining back the weight
  • Tired and sluggish
  • Brain fog
  • Joint pain or muscle aches
  • Bloating, gas, diarrhea, or constipation
  • Congestion, sinus problems, asthma
  • Allergies or autoimmune diseases
  • Skin problems—acne, eczema, psoriasis
  • Mood problems like anxiety, depression, or insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Memory problems
  • Low sex drive or function
  • Just “feel like crap”

The fact is, most of us are only a few days away from feeling well, from ending sugar and carb cravings, from having control over our bodies, only a few days away from getting our body back to its original factory settings.

There is a solution. It is one of the greatest medical advances of the 21st century. 

It is this: Food is the most powerful drug on the planet.

The wrong food will make you sick (FLC Syndrome) and the right food will transform your body in just a few days. Food is medicine, and what you put at the end of your fork is far more powerful than anything you will find in a prescription bottle.

After nearly three decades of medical practice and research and seeing over 15,000 patients, performing extensive metabolic and nutritional testing, and synthesizing thousands of research papers on the root causes of disease and FLC Syndrome, of weight gain, pre-diabetes, and type 2 diabetes, or what I like to call “diabesity,” I created a simple 10-day plan that can quickly reverse FLC Syndrome and help you lose significant amounts of weight quickly, safely, and sustainably. 

The result is The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet.  

We did a trial on 600 people, and here are their results:

  • Lost over 4000 pounds in 10 days (average of about 8 pounds each)
  • Blood sugar dropped an average of 20 points
  • Blood pressure dropped an average of 10 points
  • Ended sugar and carb cravings
  • Reduction of all symptoms from all diseases by 62% in 10 days (FLC Syndrome)—there is no drug on the planet that can achieve those results
  • Many went on to lose 50 to 100 pounds and reverse type 2 diabetes and many other health problems as they continued on the program

The Secret of The 10-Day Detox Diet

10-Day Detox-fbtile-300x300The secret of The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet is this: we simply swap out processed foods, sugar, flour, and inflammatory foods and add delicious, whole, fresh, real, anti-inflammatory, detoxifying food, and the body does the rest.

The food industry’s dirty little secret is that they have intentionally hooked us on addictive, hyper-processed, hyper-palatable, “food-like” substances that have hijacked our taste buds, hormones, our brain chemistry, and our metabolism. 

The scientific verdict is in: sugar and flour and processed foods are highly biologically addictive. In fact, sugar has proven to be eight times as addictive as cocaine. Think cocaine cookies, morphine muffins, or heroin lollypops.

The 10-Day Detox Diet is a goof-proof, step-by-step, science-based program that resets your hormones and brain chemistry and quickly lets you take ownership back over your body. The truth is, our biology has been held hostage by food terrorism, and The 10-Day Detox Diet is a Navy SEAL raid taking it back. And it doesn’t take long. 

If you are thinking you can’t give up sugar or bread for 10 days, then, for sure, you are an addict. If you start wondering about artificial sweeteners or alternatives to sugars, it is a profound clue that you don’t own your body anymore—the food industry does.

Here’s one participant’s story. It can be yours, too. And it is just 10 days away.

“I was a sugar and carbohydrate addict. I couldn’t go a day without something sugary. I was like a vampire…I had to have it! I sensed, though, that if could go a few days without it, I could get past it.

I started the 10-Day Detox and was surprised that I didn’t crave sugar. But the way the food plan was designed, I didn’t feel hungry or anxious in any way. I was calm, the food was good, and I didn’t miss the bad stuff I was used to eating. 

Every day I was on the program, I felt more in control…that the food wasn’t in control. Before, I used to think, ‘I know eating this food is bad for me, I know I shouldn’t have it, and yet, I can’t NOT have it.’ I couldn’t stop. I didn’t understand that the food literally had physical control over me and that my willpower—even though I had it—wasn’t enough. I didn’t realize that I was so entrenched in the addiction of the processed foods. They’re right with that commercial, you can’t have just one! You’re sitting there eating it, knowing you shouldn’t, yet you cannot stop. I noticed right away that I felt like I was in control over the food, and that was a huge shift.”    —Jackie Woods

A Simple Plan for 10 Days

The program is simple—the daily schedule and theme, the meals and menu plan, set you up for automatic success. You learn what to let go of and what to add into your life. The food, lifestyle practices, journaling, tracking, community support are all scientifically designed to give you a jump start to health and weight loss, to end cravings for sugar and carbs, reverse diabesity, and put an end to FLC Syndrome for good.

You will also learn how to design your life and health for long-term success. And the food rocks—one person called it “Detox for Foodies.” It is not about bland, boring diet food but about abundance, pleasure, and deliciousness. Get your copy HERE!

Wishing you health and happiness,

Mark Hyman, MD

Breaking Bad Habits

sleeping pigeon modified

 

Do you sometimes skip your morning workout or lower back stretches, telling yourself that you'll take a walk or get some stretches in later, but it doesn’t happen? The next day when your workout is twice as difficult, or you're stiffer than usual, you kick yourself in the butt for skipping the day before?

Throughout recent history, we have been programmed into thinking the energizer bunny is someone we should emulate and that taking care of our body and mind through meditation, time in nature, etc. are "niceties" instead of "necessities." We have been taking care of everything and everyone else for so long that we even sometimes forget who we are. In the US, especially, we see ourselves as our job. We often judge people based upon what they do for a living. When was the last time someone introduced themselves to you at a party or event and then followed up with "do you enjoy swimming or boating?" instead of "and what do you do for a living?"

OK, let’s take a look at a fabulous exercise for programming our subconscious mind with some new paradigms to help us let go of the old habits and patterns that are holding us back.

Evening Review Exercise from Jack Canfield's Breakthrough to Success

At the end of your day, sit comfortably with pen and paper and take a deep breath in and out. Next, close your eyes and ask yourself the following question(s):

Where could I have been more (loving, assertive, productive, kind to myself - fill in the correct phrase for you) today?

As things come up, jot them down and try not to make any judgments or be self-critical. When you feel you have noted all of them, take each incident, one at a time, and rewrite it in your mind the way you would have preferred to have done it. Make sure that you imagine everything: smells, colors, how much you sweat on that workout, any emotions that came up, etc. This simple technique creates a subconscious image that will help produce your desired behavior the next time a similar situation occurs. I find this exercise very powerful, but some have trouble with the rewriting. The good thing is that there are lots of tools so if this one doesn't work for you - try another!

Best of Health,

Kathi

Back Pain Relief Videos

Here are a couple of videos for your exercise collection.

The first is the relaxation technique from my Amazon international bestselling book STOP Back Pain. I highly recommend taking five minutes every day for this one - It's easy and your back will thank you!

The second is a great stretch for when you have to sit all day. it's simple and helps keep that pesky piriformis muscle from causing you a pain in the butt!

Best of Health,

Kathi

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