Fish Soup: Easy Recipe

Heart Healthy recipe sure to warm your heart and your belly. Low in saturated fat, high in protein, poured over lots of veggies of choice and a small amount of complex carbs.

fishsoup

Dr. Laura’s Fish Soup (Pickerel or any white fish)

Cook up until celery and onion clarify in colour:

1 rib celery, chopped.

5 sliced white mushrooms

¼ onion chopped finely

1 1/2c chicken or vegetable broth

if not dairy problem, add 1tsp butter otherwise use olive oil.

Add 2 pieces of preferred white fish frozen or fresh

 

Cook separately 1/4 c Brown rice  in 1/2 c water. Takes about 40min to simmer and cook.

 

Simmer Fish Soup 30-60 min, while rice is cooking.

When ready, pour fish soup on to rice, kale or add green peas or lightly steam coloured peppers

Top with Frank’s hot sauce, chili peppers or plain with salt and pepper.

Recipe from the heart and mind of your local Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND

Picture credit: elledecor.com

9 Yoga Stretches to Help Relieve Hip and Lower Back Pain

Beachbody-Blog-9-Yoga-Poses-Hips-Back
 Tight hips can be debilitating. When things aren’t working right down there, even sitting or walking can cause pain. Luckily, a little (proper) stretching can ward off this pain, increase the fluidity of mobility, and decrease chances of serious injury in the lower region of your body. It can also take pressure off the lower back, decreasing chances of pain in that area.

These 8 simple poses can help both stretch and strengthen your hips, but keep in mind when moving through them to listen to that internal voice of your body that tells you if you are in pain or just feeling a stretch. A stretch may feel a little sore but inevitably it feels like a release of tension. When you feel sharp pain, back out of the pose and consider using a prop or moving on to another stretch.

Lizard-Lower Lunge
Apparently, lizards have loose hips and this hip opener’s moniker is testament to that. Step your left foot forward several feet in front of the right foot. Bend the left knee until it lines up perfectly with the ankle. Drop the right knee to the ground and keep the toes curled under on that foot to stretch the calf muscle. Walk the left foot out to the side and place both elbows on top of blocks on the inside edge of the left foot. Keep hips lined up parallel to each other. You are opening the right psoas muscle and the left inner thigh. To get deeper into the right psoas, lift the right knee into a high lunge.

 

Bound Ankle Pose
This pose requires that you bind your ankles—and by doing so you’ll unbind your hips. Bring the soles of your feet together, pulling the heels close to your groin, bending the knees, and butterfly flare the legs open. If you notice your knees are set too high to relax, simply place a blanket right under the sit bones to prop the hips up. You can also take the feet out further from the pelvic cavity to create a diamond shape with the legs. Keeping your spine straight, lead with the chest, pull your shoulders back, and fold toward your feet. This pose will open and relax the inner thighs and groin.

 

Cow Face Pose
Begin by threading the left leg under your right leg. Work toward stacking the knees, while keeping both sit bones on the ground. Tuck the toes in to protect the knees. Sit in the pose for several minutes. When the muscles start to loosen and you no longer feel a stretch, fold forward with a straight spine. If this stretch is too intense, you can situate both sit bones on a blanket and place a block or blanket between the knees.

 

Pigeon Pose
Starting in downward facing dog, lift the right leg and step it forward between the hands. Drop the left knee down and untuck the toes. Slide the right foot over toward your left pelvic bone placing the outside edge of the right leg on the floor. Tuck the right toes in (flexing the foot). Line up hips parallel to each other, continually pressing the left hip toward the floor. If this position is too difficult, place a blanket under your bottom. To intensify the stretch, move the right foot away from the left side of your body and drop to the elbows or chest. To make this pose less intense, move the right foot closer to your right leg and stay on the hands instead of folding. This is a profound stretch to the psoas, shin, glutes, and outer hips.

 

Happy Baby
It’s not likely you will ever hear a baby complaining about hip pain. So, make like a baby and lie flat on your back, grab hold of both feet with each hand, bend the knees and pull them toward your armpits. Once in the proper position rock side to side, keeping your head on the floor. This will externally rotate and stretch the hips, loosen the inner groin muscles, and help realign the spine.

Beachbody Blog Happy Baby Pose Hips

 

Fire Log Pose
This pose should put the fire out in your hips. Sit on the floor with a straight spine, both sit bones pressing against the ground. Take the left leg out in front of you and bend it until it is in a straight line and parallel with your body, knee, and ankle. Stack the right leg on top of the left, lining up the right ankle to the left knee and the right knee to the left ankle. If you find the final position too difficult, you can use blocks as support to lighten the pose. This is a deep stretch to loosen the outer hips and glutes. It also stretches and strengthens the groin, calves, thighs, and abdominal muscles.

Beachbody Blog Fire Log Pose Hips

 

Goddess Pose
Gentlemen, do not be deterred by the name of this pose. It will help you open your hips regardless of your gender. Step your feet out very wide, turn the toes outward, bend the knees so they line up with your ankles, and tuck your butt in to engage the core. The further the toes are pointed outward, the deeper the stretch. This will give your groin, inner thighs, and hips a deep stretch. Note: Avoid this pose if you have a knee or hip injury.

 

Half Lord of The Fish Pose
Sitting on the floor, extend both legs out in front of you. Keep the left leg straight and bend and pull the right leg in. Line the right heel up approximately 2 inches away from the back of the right leg and 2 inches away from the left thigh. Sit up very tall, avoiding sinking in the lower back. Wrap the left arm around the right leg, creating a spinal twist. Move the left shoulder forward as you move the right shoulder back, attempting to line the shoulders up. Take your gaze over the right shoulder. This pose stretches out the hips, glutes, lower back, spine, chest, shoulders, and neck.

Beachbody Blog Lord of the Fish Pose Hips

 

Garland Pose
This pose is so effective for opening the hips that it’s the position most women use to give birth. Turn your heels so they line up with your hips, turn your toes outward. Bend the knees until you reach a squatted position. Place a blanket under the heels if they have to be lifted while squatting. You can also stack two blocks to sit on to work up to the full integrity of the pose. The Garland Pose increases fluidity in the hips, and stretches the ankles, knees, and lower back. It also strengthens the core muscles.

Beachbody Blog Garland Pose Hips

All photos by Lulu Lam.

Thanks to Beachbody.com

Shared by Dr. Phil McAllister @ Forward Health Guelph

Sugar Detox?

Ever think you could be addicted to sugar?

Here’s what could be driving your cravings for sweets:

HANGRY = Hungry and Angry!!

Dips and spikes in blood sugar can wreak havoc on your moods. When you have a sugary drink or sweet it spikes your blood sugar and then the body rushes to put that sugar into the cells, resulting a drop in blood sugar and – you guessed it – craving for more sweets to bring the blood sugar back up again.

Reward system

Let’s face it, we are pleasure seekinsugarg beings and when we use sweet treats to reward ourselves for a job well done, it changes our brain so that we look for sugar as a reward. Dopamine is a reward chemical that gets affected in sugar addiction as well as cocaine addiction.

Bacteria and Yeasts

The microbes in your GI tract can preferentially feed themselves by communicating to your enteric nervous system by sending signals for “more carbs please” or specific foods to provide the nourishment they require. Candida is a yeast that occurs naturally in our intestinal flora but overgrows during periods of stress, long term use of birth control pills or use of antibiotics. An imbalance of Candida can increase cravings for carbohydrates (sugar) – driving them from yeast to fungal form which can cause things like headaches, sinus problems, skin rashes, bloating and indigestion.

Effects of Too Much Sugar

Blood sugar dysregulation can lead to mood swings, weight gain and lack of energy. Long term it can lead to diabetes type II, inflammation, nutrient deficiencies, yeast overgrowth and non-alcoholic fatty liver.

Help to Kick the Habit

Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND has tools to help you kick you sugar cravings, loose weight, avoid or even reverse type II diabetes.

Book for your free 15 minute consult to learn more on how Dr. Laura may be able to help you or get started right away. Call (519)-826-7973 to set up your appointment.

Massage Therapy for Heart Disease?

We hear it often enough….preventing heart disease involves making healthy lifestyle choices such as eating heart healthy foods, daily exercise and if you are a smoker…to stop, but there is one more component that is often overlooked….and that is a regular massage therapy treatments.  How and why you ask?  Well we know that massage therapy helps reduce stress and in turn helps decrease high blood pressure, but many are unsure of the link.

massagetherapy

So what is the link between stress and your heart?  For the answer lets look at the link between your heart and your nervous system…your autonomic nervous system that is. You know you have a central nervous system but you may not have heard of your autonomic nervous system. Let me tell you a little about it.

Your autonomic nervous system is made of two parts or states…..the sympathetic nervous system,  and the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest state).  This is the system that is tied to our cardiac health.

Sounding familiar to you…..not yet?…well what if I told you the sympathetic nervous system is known as our fight or flight response. This is the state we find our bodies in during stressful times.  Stressful times can mean many things for our bodies. Stressed bodies are those that are constantly suffering with chronic pain, those that are constantly under pressure to succeed or meet obligations, in addition to strong emotions such as fear or anger.  These strong stressful emotions cause the hormones epinephrine, also known as adrenaline,  and cortisol to be released into the bloodstream causing  an  increase in  heart rate, and blood pressure as well as increased muscle strength and contraction…otherwise known as tension. The vessels also constrict in this state causing the blood to flow faster.  With increased blood pressure comes cardiac arrhythmia’s, which is when your heart skips a beat as it can’t keep up and pumps less effectively, causing less blood to reach your brain and other organs. Staying in this stressful state or in a sympathetic state  for a prolonged period of time is a problem in this modern time which  increases the likelihood of developing heart disease.

What we need then is for our bodies to be in a parasympathetic state, also known as, as I mentioned earlier, our rest and digest state. How do we get our body to the state which is characterized by reduced heart and breathing rates and widened  blood vessels which allows our blood to flow slower through the veins?  Well this is where the fourth component of prevention comes in…..and that is a regular massage therapy regimen.

Getting a regular massage can reduce the risks associated with stress. It is an ideal addition to quitting smoking, eating healthy and regular exercise. With massage techniques of effleurage and kneading, the nerve endings in the skin are stimulated and send messages of relaxation to your central nervous system, inhibiting  those stress hormones we talked about earlier….cortisol and epinephrine, and causing vasodilation or widening of the blood vessels.  Blood pressure will drop and your heart rate will slow down; your body is in the parasympathetic state. Resting and digesting, relaxing allows your organs to get all the nutrients they need. Promoting this state helps with high blood pressure, which is  the most common contributor to heart disease. Regular massage helps decrease tense and contracted muscles. When this happens, muscles and soft tissue are lengthened and pressure is taken off the blood vessels again allowing blood to flow freely and without restriction.

Unfortunately being inactive is also a top risk factor for heart disease. However like regular exercise, regular massage treatments improves circulation, strengthens the heart and lowers blood pressure…and eases tension…which are all the factors in lowering heart disease.  So, if you are not as active as you would like to be, massage therapy treatments, although not a replacement for regular exercise, can be a valuable addition to preventing heart disease.

 

Top 10 February Healthy Heart Tips

A healthy lifestyle will make your heart healthier. Here are 10 things you can do to look after your heart.

Give up smoking

If you’re a smoker, quit. It’s the single best thing you can do for your heart health.

Smoking is one of the main causes of coronary heart disease. A year after giving up, your risk of a heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker.

You’re more likely to stop smoking for good if you use NHS stop smoking services. Visit the Smokefree website or ask your GP for help with quitting.

Get active

Getting – and staying – active can reduce your risk of developing heart disease. It can also be a great mood booster and stress buster.

Do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. One way to achieve this target is by doing 30 minutes of activity on five days a week. Fit it in where you can, such as by cycling to work.

Manage your weight

Being overweight can increase your risk of heart disease. Stick to ahealthy, balanced diet low in fat and sugar, with plenty of fruit and vegetables, combined with regular physical activity.

Find out if you are a healthy weight with the BMI calculator. If you’re overweight, try our 12-week weight loss plan.

Eat more fibre

Eat plenty of fibre to help lower your risk of heart disease – aim for at least 30g a day. Eat fibre from a variety of sources, such as wholemeal bread, bran, oats and wholegrain cereals, potatoes with their skins on, and plenty of fruit and veg.

Cut down on saturated fat

Eating too many foods that are high in saturated fat can raise the level of cholesterol in your blood. This increases your risk of heart disease. Choose leaner cuts of meat and lower-fat dairy products like 1% fat milk over full-fat (or whole) milk.

Read the facts about fat.

Get your 5 A DAY

Eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day. They’re a good source of fibre, vitamins and minerals. There are lots of tasty ways to get your 5 A DAY, like adding chopped fruit to cereal or including vegetables in your pasta sauces and curries. Get more 5 A DAY fruit and veg tips.

Cut down on salt

To maintain healthy blood pressure, avoid using salt at the table and try adding less to your cooking. Once you get used to the taste of food without added salt, you can cut it out completely.

Watch out for high salt levels in ready-made foods. Most of the salt we eat is already in the foods we buy. Check the food labels – a food is high in salt if it has more than 1.5g salt (or 0.6g sodium) per 100g. Adults should eat less than 6g of salt a day in total – that’s about one teaspoon.

Eat fish

Eat fish at least twice a week, including a portion of oily fish. Fish such as mackerel, sardines, fresh tuna and salmon are a source of omega-3 fats, which can help protect against heart disease.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women shouldn’t have more than two portions of oily fish a week.

Drink less alcohol

Don’t forget alcohol contains calories. Regularly drinking more than the NHS recommends can have a noticeable impact on your waistline. Try to keep to the recommended daily alcohol limits to reduce the risk of serious problems with your health, including risks to your heart health.

Read the food label

When shopping, it’s a good idea to look at the label on food and drink packaging to see how many calories and how much fat, salt and sugar the product contains. Understanding what is in food and how it fits in with the rest of your diet.

Thanks to http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Healthyhearts/Pages/Healthy-heart-tips.aspx

Rebalance Your Sleep Rhythms

Bothered by tosses and turns through the night, snores, troubles falling or staying asleep or would like alternatives to prescription sleep medication?

On Wednesday, March 9th, 2016 at GoodnessMe! Guelph location 6:30-8pm join  Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND to learn

  • what you may do to get a good night’s rest
  • the importance of sleep for healing and disease prevention.

Stimulate your life with the healing power of sleep.

sleeping zoie

10 Steps to Changing Your Life for the Better in 2016

apple steth

Happy New Year! This year, what do you say we all skip the New Year’s resolution? About half of North Americans make them, and most start out strong but come February or March, many have already thrown in the towel.

Overall, it’s estimated that 92 percent of Americans fail to achieve the goals they commit to on New Year’s Day.1 And so, I’m proposing this instead: in place of a New Year’s resolution, make a commitment to simply live better this year.

This is an ongoing process, a lifestyle change, not an impulsive resolution that you blurted out at midnight and have all but forgotten by morning. It’s also not something you can achieve overnight. Rather, this is a plan you can live by.

10 Steps to Changing Your Life for the Better in 2016

It’s the start of a new year — what better time to start fresh with some positive changes? The 10 that follow are the crème de la crème of lifestyle tricks you can use to live better and be happier — and isn’t that really what virtually all of us are after?

Below follows a brief introduction to the 10 points I suggest you commit to this year. In the coming months, stay tuned for an updated comprehensive nutrition plan, which is scheduled for release in 2016.

It will include these points in detail along with a plethora of additional recommendations, tips, and strategies to help you live the best life possible.

And, starting next week, look for forthcoming articles in the newsletter, which will cover each of these topics in depth. Are you ready to start fresh in 2016? Then keep on reading.

1. Give Up Soda

Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, liver damage, osteoporosis, and acid reflux are just some of the health conditions linked to soda consumption. No wonder nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of Americans say they actively try to avoid soda in their diet.2

If you’re not yet among them, commit to swapping your soda for healthier beverages like water, sparkling water, and, occasionally, tea and/or organic black coffee.

When you consume soda your body increases dopamine production, which stimulates the pleasure centers of your brain — a physically identical response to that of heroin, by the way.

This explains why so many people find it difficult to give up their daily soda “fix.” But, it can be done and you’ll feel better for it.

2. Eat Two Meals a Day, Within an Eight-Hour Window

Your body probably only needs two meals a day, and eating this way allows you to restrict your eating to a window of six to eight consecutive hours each day, while avoiding food for at least three hours before bedtime.

As long as you restrict your eating to a six- to eight-hour window, and avoid eating for at least three hours before bed, you can choose between having breakfast and lunch, or lunch and dinner, but avoid having both breakfast and dinner.

Which two meals you prefer are up to you; let your body, and your lifestyle, be your guide.

This type of intermittent fasting has numerous benefits for your health, including weight loss, disease prevention, resolving insulin resistance, optimizing your mitochondrial function, and preventing cellular damage from occurring.

3. Get Eight Hours of Sleep Each Night

I used to think I was immune to needing adequate sleep. I would routinely get less than six hours a night and thought I could function this way. But, I’ve since realized that most adults really need about eight hours of sleep every night.

What makes sleep deprivation so detrimental is that it doesn’t just impact one aspect of your health; it impacts many.

Sleep deprivation has the same effect on your immune system as physical stress or illness,3 which may help explain why lack of sleep is tied to an increased risk of numerous chronic diseases.

Sleeping less than six hours per night more than triples your risk of high blood pressure, and women who get less than four hours of shut-eye per night double their chances of dying from heart disease.4

Sleep is also intricately tied to important hormone levels, including melatonin, production of which is disturbed by lack of sleep.

This is extremely problematic, as melatonin inhibits the proliferation of a wide range of cancer cell types, as well as triggers cancer cell apoptosis (self-destruction). Lack of sleep also decreases levels of your fat-regulating hormone leptin, while increasing the hunger hormone ghrelin.

The resulting increase in hunger and appetite can easily lead to overeating and weight gain. Not to mention, poor or insufficient sleep is actually the strongest predictor for pain in adults over 50.5

Small adjustments to your daily routine and sleeping area can go a long way to ensure uninterrupted, restful sleep and, thereby, better health.

If you’re not sure how much sleep you’re getting, a fitness tracker can be beneficial for helping you keep track of the actual time you’re asleep (as opposed to the time spent in bed).

If you need more sleep, I suggest you read through my full set of 33 healthy sleep guidelines for details on proper sleep hygiene

4. Eat More Healthy Fats and Fiber

Public health guidelines condemn healthy fats from foods like butter and full-fat dairy, and recommend whole grains and cereals — the opposite of what most people need to stay healthy.

The latest science suggests healthy fats (saturated and unsaturated fats from whole food, animal, and plant sources) should comprise anywhere from 50 to 85 percent of your overall energy intake. Healthy fat sources include coconut and coconut oil, avocados, butter, nuts, and animal fats.

That’s right; butter need not be shunned and, in fact, is a beneficial source of healthy saturated fats, especially when it’s raw, organic, and grass-fed. In addition to eating more healthy fats, most Americans need to eat more fiber. A high-fiber diet can help reduce your risk of premature death from any cause, likely because it helps to reduce your risk of some of the most common chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

When it comes to boosting your fiber intake, be sure to focus on eating more vegetables, nuts and seeds (not grains). Organic whole husk psyllium is a great fiber source, as are sunflower sprouts and fermented vegetables, the latter of which are essentially fiber preloaded with beneficial bacteria. Flax, hemp, and chia seeds are also excellent fiber sources.

5. Eat Fermented Vegetables

Fermented foods are potent chelators (detoxifiers) and contain much higher levels of beneficial bacteria than probiotic supplements, making them ideal for optimizing your gut flora.

In addition to helping break down and eliminate heavy metals and other toxins from your body, beneficial gut bacteria perform a number of surprising functions, including helping with mineral absorption and producing nutrients such as B vitamins and vitamin K2. They may also play a role in:

  • Preventing obesity and diabetes, and regulating dietary fat absorption
  • Lowering your risk for cancer
  • Improving your mood and mental health
  • Preventing acne

In the US, imbalances in gut flora are widespread due to diets high in sugar and processed foods as well as exposure to antibiotics, both in medicine and via CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation) meats in your diet.

The solution is simple — in addition to cutting back on sugar and antibiotics, consuming fermented foods will give your gut health a complete overhaul, helping to clear out pathogenic varieties and promoting the spread of healing, nourishing microorganisms instead.

Just one-quarter to one-half cup of fermented vegetables, eaten with one to three meals per day, can have a dramatically beneficial impact on your health. You can even start a new tradition by getting together with friends and family to make big batches of fermented vegetables together.

6. Sit Less and Walk More, Work on Your Flexibility

On average, a U.S. adult spends nine to 10 hours each day sitting,6 which is so much inactivity that even a 30- or 60-minute workout can’t counteract its effects.7

While it might seem natural to sit this long since you’ve probably grown used to it (physically and mentally), it’s actually quite contrary to nature. Studies looking at life in agriculture environments show that people in agrarian villages sit for about three hours a day.

Your body is made to move around and be active the majority of the day, and significant negative changes occur when you spend the majority of the day sedentary instead.

Setting a goal of taking 7,000 to 10,000 steps a day (which is just over three to five miles, or 6 to 9 kilometers) can go a long way toward getting more movement and less sitting into your life. This should be over and above any exercise regimen you may have.

In addition, stand up at work if you can, rather than sitting at your desk. Meanwhile, make it a point to gain flexibility, which will help keep you functional well into old age. Pilates, yoga, and whole body vibration training are options to help increase your flexibility.

7. Have Your Vitamin D Level Tested

It’s incredibly easy to boost your vitamin D levels, so there’s no reason to put your health at risk from low status. Yet, researchers such as Dr. Michael Holick estimate that 50 percent of the general population is at risk of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency. If you’re among them, your risk of multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and other chronic disorders may be significantly increased.

In a study of more than 100 people, those with low vitamin D levels were more likely to have type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes, or metabolic syndrome, regardless of their weight.8

Dementia is also directly linked to vitamin D. Seniors who have low vitamin D levels may double their risk of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.9 As noted by the authors, “This adds to the ongoing debate about the role of vitamin D in nonskeletal conditions.” Incidence of several types of cancer could also be slashed in half if more people increased their vitamin D levels.

One of Dr. Holick’s studies showed that healthy volunteers taking 2,000 IUs of vitamin D per day for a few months upregulated 291 different genes that control up to 80 different metabolic processes.

This included improving DNA repair to having effect on autoxidation (oxidation that occurs in the presence of oxygen and /or UV radiation, which has implications for aging and cancer, for example), boosting your immune system, and many other biological processes.

If you don’t know what your vitamin D level is, get tested. The vitamin D test you’re looking for is called 25(OH)D or 25-hydroxyvitamin D. This is the officially recognized marker of overall D status and is most strongly associated with overall health.

The other vitamin D test available, called 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25[OH]D), is not very useful for determining vitamin D sufficiency. While sunlight is the ideal way to optimize your vitamin D, winter and working indoors prevent more than 90 percent of those reading this article from achieving ideal levels.

A high-quality tanning bed is your next best option, but if your circumstances don’t allow you to access the sun or a high-quality tanning bed, then you really only have one option if you want to raise your vitamin D, and that is to take a vitamin D3 supplement.

Regular testing is crucial in this case to keep your level within the optimal range. If you live in the U.S., January and February are ideal months to find out if you’re vitamin D levels are low.

vitamin d levels
Sources

8. Eat Nutrient-Dense Protein (Quality not Quantity)

Protein is essential for your health as it’s a structural component of enzymes, cellular receptors, signaling molecules, and a main building block for your muscles and bones. But, eating excessive amounts of protein could actually be worse than eating too many carbs. Excessive protein can stimulate two biochemical pathways that accelerate aging and cancer growth.

For optimal health, I believe most adults need about 1 gram of protein per kilogram of lean body mass (not total body weight), or 0.5 gram of protein per pound of lean body mass. In this formula, you must first determine your lean body mass. To do that, subtract your percent body fat from 100. For example, if you have 30 percent body fat, then you have 70 percent lean body mass.

Then multiply that percentage (in this case 0.7) by your current weight to get your lean body mass in pounds or kilos. As an example, if you weigh 170 pounds; 0.7 multiplied by 170 equals 119 pounds of lean body mass. Using the “0.5 gram of protein” rule, you would need just under 60 grams of protein per day. Substantial amounts of protein can be found in meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, and nuts.

The quality of the meat you eat is just as important as the quantity. As a general rule, the only meat I recommend eating is pastured, grass-fed, and grass-finished, ideally organically raised meats (and of course, the same goes for dairy and eggs). Wild-caught Alaskan salmon and sardines are also excellent protein sources.

You can also get plenty of protein from plant foods. Consider hemp seeds (hemp hearts), chia seeds, spirulina, sprouts, and bee pollen, for instance.

9. Meditate for 5 to 10 Minutes a Day

Stress-related problems, including back pain, insomnia, acid reflux, and exacerbations to irritable bowel syndrome may account for up to 70 percent of the average US physician’s caseload.10 Such health-care expenditures are the third highest in the US, after only heart disease and cancer. New research suggests, however, that such costs could be cut drastically simply by becoming more relaxed.11

Both meditation and mindfulness are excellent for stress relief and relaxation, as are prayer, keeping a gratitude journal, and the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT).   One simple way to incorporate such relaxation techniques into your life is to meditate first thing in the morning, even before you get out of bed, to take advantage of your mind being in a quiet zone.

10. Help Others and Be Active in Your Community

Volunteering is a simple way to help others, but it’s also a powerful way to help yourself. Beyond the good feelings you’ll get from donating your time, and the potential to develop new, meaningful relationships with people in your community, volunteering has a significant impact on your physical health, including a boost to your heart health.

In one study, people who volunteered for at least 200 hours a year were 40 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure than those who did not.12 People who volunteer for altruistic reasons, i.e. to help others rather than themselves, may even live longer than those who volunteer for more self-centered reasons.13

The benefits of being active in your community are particularly pronounced among older adults, a population that tends to slow down once retirement hits. There’s a definite social aspect, as if you’re socially isolated you may experience poorer health and a shorter lifespan.

Volunteering also gives you a sense of purpose and can even lead to a so-called “helper’s high,” which may occur because doing good releases feel-good hormones like oxytocin in your body while lowering levels of stress hormones like cortisol.

Giving back is about so much more than even that, though, as it will help you to connect with your community and contribute your time and/or talents to promoting the greater good.

Remember, most New Year’s resolutions do fail for one reason or another. So this year, try making a simple commitment to live healthier from here on out. Start slow and small as little changes can make a huge overall difference in your health. And, when you commit to a lifestyle, it’s no longer about meeting a particular goal, like losing 10 pounds. It’s about living a little bit differently, a little bit better, so that ultimately you’re happier and healthier for it.

By Dr. Mercola @  http://www.mercola.com

Shared by Dr. Phil McAllister @ Forward Health

Is Your Heart in Alignment?

If you are feeling anxious, have troubles sleeping or can’t seem to get your timing right, then your Heart and Spirit may be out of sync. You see, when the Heart does not get enough Yin or Blood, it lacks substance and then it cannot anchor the Spirit, causing the mind to wander.

heartcharkra

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Heart stores the Spirit. When the Heart and the Spirit are in harmony, one sleeps well, speaks kindly with compassion and their intentions and actions are shared, as the moment is right.

The Heart is also regulates the flow of blood, and when the Heart Qi and Blood are abundant and flowing, the pulse will be even and regular. The majority of Heart problems are a result of imbalance in other systems as the Heart relies on other organs for its nourishment and energy.

heartmeridian
picture from pinterest.com

Treating other organs to reduce heat and nourish Yin are also ways of ultimately supporting the smooth flow of Qi and Blood to the Heart.You may trace the acupuncture heart meridian by starting at your axilla (arm pit) and travel down along the inner aspect of your bicep, across the inside of your elbow, and go along your inner forearm toward and off the inside of your pinky finger.

By treating the heart channel with acupuncture, your mind will calm (reduce sadness fear, anxiety, hypertension, mental restlessness), your heat will clear (treat dry mouth, red eyes), and you will feel invigorated as we tonify Heart Qi and stimulate Heart Blood.

Another tool I use in clinic is a Heartmath monitor. With this we can see how thoughts can change the rhythm of your heart rate. We can also see how regulating the breath while going into a pleasant memory can bring the mind and the body into complete balance. This is something, which over a period of sessions and practice at home, can help you learn to bring yourself into a calm, peaceful state without any drugs or supplements.

Sometimes to help stimulate the body’s own innate mechanisms to heal I will prescribe a botanical short term to help calm the mind and nourish the Yin. This can help while the acupuncture is doing its thing and you are learning how to balance your energies with your breath and your thoughts. Nourishment in the diet can also help build Blood and strengthen the Heart, and we talk about this too.

So if you are feeling anxious, have troubles sleeping or can’t seem to get your timing right, maybe it is time to come in for an alignment of a different sort – one that has the love and care for your Heart and Spirit.

From the heart and mind of your local Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND.

 

 

 

10 Tips For A Happier New Year

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Wishing people a “Happy New Year” is all well and fine, but if you’re serious about spreading cheer in the New Year, consider passing along more specific advice from a psychologist who studies the science of happiness at Washington University in St. Louis. There is no secret to happiness, but there is a science to it, says Tim Bono, a psychology lecturer in arts and sciences who teaches courses on happiness at the university.

Based on his own research and other scientific studies, Bono offers the following tips for getting and staying happier in the coming year.Get outside and move around. Research confirms that a few minutes walking around in nature can boost both mood and energy levels. Exercise is key to our psychological health because it releases the brain’s “feel good” chemicals.

Reach out and connect with someone. Ask people about their happiest memories and most will mention experiences shared with loved ones. People with high-quality relationships are not only happier, they’re also healthier. They recover from illnesses more quickly, live longer and enjoy more enriched lives.

Limit time on social media. Sites like Facebook often exaggerate how much better off others are compared with how we might feel about ourselves at the moment. Bono’s research on college students shows more time spent on social media usually is associated with less self-esteem, optimism and motivation while leaving people feeling less socially connected to others.

Spend less of your time checking email. Adults who check email only “in chunks” at designated times during the day — instead of checking and responding to messages continuously — are significantly less stressed and less distracted throughout the day. And they’re still just as accomplished with their work.

Get more happiness for your money. Studies show little connection between wealth and happiness, but there are two ways to get more bang for your happiness buck — buy experiences instead of things and spend your money on others. The enjoyment one gets from an experience, like a nice dinner or weekend getaway, will far outweigh and outlast the happiness from adding another possession. A different study found adults given $20 to spend were happier when they spent the money on someone else.

Carve out time to be happy, then give it away. People dream of finding an extra 30 minutes to do something nice for themselves, but using that time to help someone else is more rewarding and actually leaves us feeling less pressed for time. Doing a good deed empowers us to tackle the next project, helps us feel more in control of our lives and leads to higher levels of happiness and satisfaction.

Delay the positive, dispatch the negative. Anticipation itself is pleasurable and looking forward to an enjoyable experience can make it that much sweeter. Wait a couple of days before seeing a new movie that just came out, plan your big vacation for later in the summer and take time to savor each bite of dessert. On the flip side, get negative tasks out of the way as quickly as possible — anticipation will only make them seem worse.

Enjoy the ride. People who focus more on process than outcome tend to remain motivated in the face of setbacks. They’re better at sticking with big challenges and prefer them over the easy route. This “growth mindset” helps people stay energized because it celebrates rewards that come from the work itself. Focusing only on the end outcome can lead to premature burnout if things don’t go well.

Embrace failure. How we think about failure determines whether it makes us happy or sad. People who overcome adversity do better in life because they learn to cope with challenges. Failure is a great teacher, helping us realize what doesn’t work so we can make changes for the better. As IBM CEO Thomas Watson once said, “If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate.”

Sweet dreams. Get a full night’s sleep on a regular basis. Our brains are doing a lot of important work while we sleep, including strengthening neural circuits that both consolidate memories from the previous day and that help us regulate our moods when we are awake. Sleep deprivation can lead to cognitive impairment similar to that of intoxication, and often is the prelude to an ill-tempered day.

– See more at: http://www.canadianchiropractor.ca/patient-care/10-tips-for-a-happier-new-year-4303?custnum=22212242128&title=director+of+clinic+services&utm_source=E916&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=160111J#sthash.jE4Booi4.dpuf

Shared by Dr. Phil McAllister @ Forward Health

8 fun and free family-friendly winter activities

It’s easy to find great, free and fun winter activities that will warm up your family’s winter. Stuck for ideas on what to do or where to go? Consider these eight simple and easy-to-afford family activities.

8 fun and free family-friendly winter activities

1. Head for the park

The first snowfall opens up a world of possibility at parks. Many offer frozen ponds for ice-skating and sledding or tubing hills. Some also offer free equipment and lessons to local residents.

2. Build a fort

If the snow’s deep enough, why not build a fort or two with your kids.

  • You can add to the fun by building some snow people to live in the forts, too.
  • Be warned, though, when snow forts pop up, family snowball fights may not be far behind.

3. Check out the mall

Odds are, a mall near you has a free play area with toys or rides for kids. In addition, malls often hold special events like concerts that the entire family can attend.

4. Hit the books

In this video-intensive age we tend to forget about books. On a cold grey day, the local library provides a welcome chance to get out of the house and catch up on a good read.

  • Most libraries offer free programs in winter, too, like storytelling for toddlers or discovery activities for older kids.

5. Volunteer

Many local charities welcome adults and kids for simple tasks like packing boxes or stuffing envelopes. Participating is a great chance to teach your kids to give back to the community.

6. Catch a family flick

Libraries, community centres and other organizations often host free family movie nights. Keep an eye out for one near you. And call ahead to find out if you can bring your own popcorn.

7. Play a game

Gather together for an evening of family fun with a popular board game. Odds are there’s one or two hidden in a closet in your home.

8. Make hot cider

Warm apple cider can chase away the winter blues.

  • Just heat some apple cider with a mix of cinnamon and nutmeg over a low heat.
  • When the mixture is hot pour it into mugs and let the drinks cool slightly.
  • Serve with whipped cream or a cinnamon stick.

Winter’s chill makes us long for warm rooms, cozy blankets and a fire. Still, even in the heart of winter, it’s nice to get out with the kids and have some fun

Thanks for sharing yp.ca

Shared by Dr. Phil @ Forward Health