Dr. Laura: Is your thyroid to blame?

One in eight women will develop thyroid disease in her lifetime and 15 Million women have a dysfunction, but don’t even know it. Men can have issues too, although at a less rate than women.

Environmental toxins are largely to blame for the rising rates of thyroid disease. Years ago, it was mostly iodine deficiency and this is why iodine was added to salt. Now we point the finger more often at the rising rates of hormone mimickers in our environment like BPA’s and their alternatives in plastics, cadmium, circadian light disrupters, pesticides, herbicides and more.

Untreated thyroid dysfunction can lead to feelings of:

  • Fatigue and exhaustion
  • Brain fog, difficulty focusing thoughts
  • Unexpected weight gain, and with it increased risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease
  • High LDL cholesterol – the thyroid plays an important role in fat metabolism
  • Depression – as many as 15% of women on antidepressants have an undetected thyroid problem as the root cause of their depression –but their problem hasn’t been fully investigated. When I check thyroid I check more than the TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone).  I look sub functioning gland by checkin TSH, T3, T4, thyroid antibodies and look for how well cortisol is clearing on the DUTCH hormone test.
  • Anxiety – often because cortisol is not clearing
  • Increased risk of cardiac arrhythmias and congestive heart failure due to the regulatory control of this hormone has on heart rate and rhythm.

Troubles in the digestive track and liver can lead to poor activation of the T4 to T3 hormones. When I work with patients I am always looking for clues in the skin, stress, and sleep and how well the micro biome functions. A good clue to micro biome function is the Comprehensive Stool Analysis by Doctors Data.

If you suspect you may have a thyroid issue, get it tested!  I’ll look at results from a functional medicine perspective, which mean optimal performance, not disease levels of lab markers.

From the heart and research of Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND.

Dr. Phil Shares: How to Avoid Eating All That Leftover Halloween Candy

How to Avoid Eating All That Leftover Halloween Candy

Let’s be honest: We all say Halloween candy is for kids, but it’s hard not to reach for a piece — or seven — once it’s in your house. While we can’t come to your house and physically prevent you from housing the whole bag at once, we can offer you some tried-and-true tips to keep your candy binge in check.

7 Ways to Stop Yourself From Eating Halloween Candy

1. Hold Off On Buying Candy

Buy candy for trick-or-treaters as close to Halloween night as you can. “Having treats in the house is a huge temptation and can cost you extra money if you have to go buy more,” says Ann Marion Willis, a R.D. in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

2. Buy Less Candy, Give Out More

Willis also advises that you should “Buy less than you think you will need. This will help you avoid having leftovers hanging around the house. It’s better for you to run out of treats than to be left eating them yourself.” If you find that your Halloween candy bowl is still full as the night goes on, start handing out more candy to each costumed kiddo that rings your doorbell. They’ll be thrilled, and you’ll be saved.

3. Buy the Stuff You Like the Least

One simple way to prevent yourself from eating leftover candy is to buy stuff you don’t like, whether that’s candy corn, atomic fireballs, or Good & Plenty. “Buying what you don’t like will make you less likely to indulge and reduce the urge you have to sample treats as you hand them out on Halloween,” says Willis.

It’s not that I want to be cruel to others by feeding them waxy candy corn. Some kids love it. I just know I won’t eat a single piece.

4. Eat Well

Sugar cravings can strike when you’re hungry and haven’t consumed enough fuel to keep your blood sugar in balance. Eat protein and fiber-rich meals in the days before and after Halloween, advises Willis. It’ll make you feel less tempted to create a dinner out of mini candy bars.

5. Savor a Single Treat

Mindless eating is a good way to eat way more than you mean to — whether that’s nuts, chips, or candy. Rather than sitting in from of your TV munching your way through a bag of chocolate, try mindful eating.

Select the one piece of candy that you most want to eat. Tune out all other distractions and focus on savoring the experience of eating it. Chew slowly, let it melt in your mouth, enjoy the the sweetness, and notice how it makes you feel. Cutting that piece of candy into smaller pieces will make the experience last longer, and may even make you feel like you’re eating more. Make your piece of candy go even further by chopping it into tiny pieces and sprinkling the bits on top of plain Greek yogurt.

6. Keep Your Mouth Minty Fresh

I’ve had adult braces for months and my candy consumption — especially the chewy, sticky stuff like caramels and gummy bears — has drastically decreased. Installing orthodontic hardware just to avoid eating candy is a pretty drastic solution, but brushing your teeth can be a similar deterrent. When you get the urge to unwrap handfuls of Halloween loot, give your pearly whites a quick brushing and see if that curbs it.

7. Just Chuck It

This will likely put you in the running for Worst Parent Ever, but Wills says, “Ask your kids to choose their favorite treats and then donate or throw away the rest. The longer treats stay in the house uneaten, the more likely you are to give in to temptation.”

Some dentists now offer to buy candy off kids in exchange for cash. This way they get a little spending money and you’ll get that calorie-filled temptation out of your house and mind.

Shared by Dr. Phil McAllister @ Forward Health Guelph

Dr. Phil Shares: Does Yoga Work for Shedding the Pounds?

Does Yoga Work for Weight Loss?

While there are some styles of yoga that can help one burn more than 500 calories per hour — such as Vinyasa (see below) — overall, yoga doesn’t top the list of calorie-torching weight loss workouts one can do to see relatively quick results. But research shows that practicing yoga may work for weight loss when combined with a healthy diet. And the more often you practice yoga, the greater the results you’re likely to see on the scale.

In a massive study of more than 15,000 adults, those who had been practicing yoga for at least four years clocked in at a lower weight than those who went without a regular session. But you don’t have to have do yoga for years to see results. A small study from South Korean researchers found obese women who practiced yoga for 16 weeks saw significant improvements in body weight, body fat percentage, BMI, waist circumference, and visceral fat compared to those who didn’t exercise. In addition, one study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine showed that a short-term yoga program could reduce weight in overweight and obese men.

So how can yoga help you lose weight? Read on.

What Type of Yoga is Best for Weight Loss?

yoga for weight loss

“If you’re looking to burn the most calories, you want to find a class that incorporates a lot of strength positions and sun salutations, particularly chaturanga dandasanas [essentially, yoga push-ups],” says yoga instructor Seth Kaufmann, C.S.C.S., co-owner of Iron Lion Fitness Studio in Florida. “In order to burn calories efficiently, you need to be moving and using the most amount of mass and muscles.”

You’ve probably heard about people sweating like crazy in heated yoga classes like Bikram, which has to translate to a ton of weight lost — right? Kaufmann says, “In theory a hot yoga class would burn more calories than a non-heated room because anytime the external temperature is extreme (hot or cold), your body has to work harder to maintain your core temperature homeostasis, thus burning calories.”

However, a small study from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse found that yoga students in a non-heated yoga class showed the same increase in core temperature and heart rate than in a hot yoga class. Researchers found that the students’ perceived effort was higher than what their vital signs revealed, leading scientists to wonder whether students didn’t end up pushing themselves as hard during some poses to compensate for the added heat and humidity in the room.

Another study from the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies found 30 minutes of just sun salutations is invigorating enough to qualify as cardiorespiratory training, and helps a 130-pound person burn an average of 230 calories. These studies point to the idea that your final caloric burn is tied more closely to how hard you’re working than how hot the room is.

Calculating Your Caloric Burn

As mentioned previously, the style of yoga you perform can play a significant role in the amount of calories you burn. But other factors such as your weight, gender, body composition, and effort level are also important. What follows are averages based on the Health Status calories burned calculator.

A 165-pound woman will burn the resulting number of calories during an hour of yoga:

  • Hatha Yoga: 207 calories
  • Ashtanga/Power Yoga: 386 calories
  • Bikram Yoga: 524 calories
  • Vinyasa: 653 calories

A 190-pound man will burn the resulting number of calories during an hour of yoga:

  • Hatha Yoga: 239 calories
  • Ashtanga/Power Yoga: 445 calories
  • Bikram Yoga: 604 calories
  • Vinyasa: 752 calories

How Slow Yoga Helps Burn Fat

OK, so should you do the most intense yoga possible if you want to lose weight? Not so fast. Even super mellow methods have their weight-loss perks. A small study at the University of California, San Diego, found that overweight women who practiced restorative yoga, which focuses less on increased heart rate and more on relaxation and stress reduction, lost around three pounds and about five inches of subcutaneous fat after six months.

This may surprise you, but it makes sense to the experts. “If you’re super stressed, your body may actually respond better to yoga than [high intensity] cardio,” says Pete McCall, C.S.C.S., personal trainer and adjunct faculty of exercise science at San Diego Mesa College.

Physical stress (as triggered by high intensity exercise) and psychological stress (caused by work, family, etc.) both activate the sympathetic nervous system, which controls the “fight or flight” response. When you go into “fight or flight” mode, your body increases its production of the hormone cortisol. In the short term, that’s a good thing; cortisol is a performance enhancer, increasing the concentration of glucose (your body’s primary fuel source) in the blood. But if levels never return to normal (e.g., because of chronic stress), cortisol can also promote weight gain. That’s why doing high intensity workouts might hamper weight loss efforts if you’re already (and chronically) “super stressed”—you’re layering stress on top of stress, and cortisol on top of cortisol.

To counteract that, you need to activate your parasympathetic (“rest and digest”) nervous system. “By going to a gentle yoga class during a stressful time, you’ll be surprised that you’ll come out of it calmer — and actually lose weight,” says

Kaufmann agrees, “There are many physiological benefits to yoga, including stabilizing our nervous systems, improving respiratory efficiency, stomach function, hormone production, and, of course, increased strength and energy levels. These benefits in turn lower stress, improve sleep, and help the body recover and run more efficiently.”

Plus, more than half of people who do yoga report that it helps them sleep better, according to a survey from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Scoring less than five hours a night is directly related to more abdominal fat and an increase in body mass index, according to a study performed over five years on adults younger than 40 and published in the journal SLEEP. It’s hard to deny the importance of sleep — not just for your quality of life but also for weight loss.

How the Psychological Benefits of Yoga Can Aid Weight Loss

yoga for weight loss

“The greatest benefit of yoga for weight loss is learning how to love and care for yourself more, which helps you make better lifestyle decisions when it comes to caring for your body,” says Kaufmann.

And the research agrees: A study in Qualitative Health Research found that practicing yoga helped people develop physical self-empowerment, and better awareness of the self and the present moment. The women who participated in the 12-week yoga treatment program for binge eating (in the study mentioned above) reported an overall reduction in the quantity of food consumed, decreased eating speed, and an improvement in food choices.

“The core essence of yoga is to teach us to live fully present in the moment, accepting what is, and letting go of anything that doesn’t serve us,” says Kaufmann. “When we can live our lives with more mindfulness we will make better decisions when it comes to what we do for our health.”

To most Westerners, yoga is more often associated with trendy fitness studios. But the practice originally began as a philosophy in India roughly 5,000 years ago, and incorporates so much more than merely the postures and poses it’s famous for today.

The true practice of yoga encompasses eight limbs: the yamas (restraints), niyamas (observances), asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing), pratyahara (withdrawal of senses), dharana (concentration), dhyani (meditation), and samadhi (absorption). It’s the combination of all eight of those limbs (not just the one that stretches the limbs) that can lead to weight loss for men and women.

“There are many studies that suggest that stress and the hyper-palatable food supply filled with refined carbohydrates create an internal biochemistry that activates the amygdala of the brain and make us less thoughtful choice-makers,” explains Annie B. Kay, RDN, E-RYT 500 registered yoga instructor, and lead nutritionist at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health. “Yoga helps reduce stress as well as provides movement, which helps change that internal biochemistry to one that supports a more balanced brain activation (the cerebral cortex or executive function), which makes us better choice makers.

“From my experience, the primary way yoga helps with weight management is through stress management, and with its philosophy of compassion and cultivation of contentment,” continues Kay. “With yoga, there is an entire philosophical guide for living in balance with yourself and with others that can be helpful from an emotional standpoint. It provides a framework through which to look at life issues.”

Yoga is a path toward a deep self-discovery, and the practice not only helps unearth the difference between physical and emotional hunger for those who practice, but it also stretches the mind and body in new ways to open students up for more active lifestyles. Because yoga operates on so many levels (physical, mental, emotional), it has a way of making following an overall healthful lifestyle more easily attainable.

If you’d like to give yoga a try, check out the 5-Day Yoga Body Challenge to burn calories while you stretch, or try 3 Week Yoga Retreat to learn the fundamentals of yoga.

Shared by Dr. Phil McAllister @Forward Health

Thank you to Beachbody.

Feel Rested: How to get a full night’s sleep

How Heart Math has changed my practice

This past spring I had a patient with a really challenging case.  They told me that they have been sleeping less than 6 hours a night for years and that even that was only possible with the help of sleeping medication.  Most nights they were so tired they’d pass out in minutes but weren’t able to stay asleep and never felt rested in the morning.  Worst of all, in the morning they felt groggy and felt slower.  If you were to ask any of my colleagues they’d tell you that I think medications really do have a time and place.  I take comfort in the fact that my patient was being pro-active and reached out for help with their doctor when they needed to. However, not all medications are meant to be taken long-term and in this case my patient really wanted to get off them.

Luckily for me I added Heart Math to my practice this past May.  It uses over 25 years of science to help people like my patient find relaxation and even better sleep.  My patient had just retired and STRESS was a huge reason of why they couldn’t sleep.  Heart Math uses something called Heart Rate Variability (HRV) to see how healthy someone’s nervous system is.  Unlike other stress management exercises like meditation, in heart math you can see your progress in real-time.  Over time my patient could see the changes they were making to their health with every week of practice.

Over the course of a few months I am happy to report my patient finally feels rested.  They do not instantly fall asleep when they rest their head on the morning and they feel awake in the morning.  Instead of going to another pill or supplement my patient was able to train powerful skills that they can use anywhere to feel more relaxed and get better sleep.

Last Call!

Dr. Graeme Rowell is finishing his Heart Math certification and had only a few spots left at a reduced rate.  If you or a friend are looking to get better sleep feel free to book a free 15 minute consult or phone Forward Health at (519) 826-7973 to see if Heart Math is right for you.

 

 

Dr. Phil Shares: How to Bring Mindfulness to Work

How to Bring Mindfulness to Work

You may ask yourself, “How do I bring mindfulness to work?” Mindfulness is something you practice as a being, as a person. And then it brings itself to every situation you’re in, every role that you play: at work, being a parent, being a wife, being a friend. So it’s more about how to bring mindfulness to your life.

What Is Mindfulness?

Let’s clarify what mindfulness is. For me, one of the ways I talk about it is how to be less reactive, more loving, and more present in how I act in a given situation, or how I decide not to act in a given situation as opposed to a knee-jerk reaction based on what we are conditioned to do.

The beauty of mindfulness is that the situations that come up that are challenging or could create a knee-jerk reaction are the actual situations that can bring mindfulness into your life.

How Can I Become More Mindful in My Life?

When you get triggered, you can use the situation as an opportunity to identify the types of situations that trigger you. And, rather than reacting, you can take a deep breath and allow the breath to center you.

With some practice, you become more aware and realize that when you’re reactive, you actually create more problems. So, these high-stress situations, where you feel you are not being mindful at all, serve as the best learning opportunities because you can “catch” yourself and make the shift from reactivity to mindfulness in the moment. With continuous practice, you can become a more mindful person.

It’s kind of funny, isn’t it? The very thing that you feel is disrupting your peace is the very thing that can create more peace in your life.

Any situation brings to you an opportunity to being mindful. It really forces you—if you are intent—to stop these constant, crazy reactions that just exhaust you. These reactions cause you to have bad days, then terrible weeks… as if the week is having you. But, you are the week, you create it. The week is not coming to you and saying, “This week is going to be horrible, so just enjoy the ride.”

This process has become fun for me over time—it’s a sort of game with myself. When there are situations that are quite challenging for me, I know they are also my gateway—my way in—into mindfulness. 

How Can I Bring Mindfulness into My Work Life?

Rather than thinking about how you can bring mindfulness to work, try and see it more as how mindfulness is being brought to you from work. Each time something challenging happens that brings on anger, frustration, resentment, jealously, envy, disappointment—all these emotions that come and go—you are presented with an opportunity to cultivate mindfulness within yourself by how you respond to these emotions.

Let’s say someone at work doesn’t take responsibility for something that wasn’t done or your opinion about something is not in harmony with theirs. The moment you get triggered is the moment you can take a beat and take a deep breath rather than react.

You can slow down and become a little more aware. That’s mindfulness.

You can think to yourself, “Here’s a situation that usually creates uncomfortable emotions in me and I usually feel attacked and then I react. But, instead I’m going to see this situation as an opportunity to step into mindfulness.” So, rather than speaking with frustration or running away, see your trigger as an indicator of how your mind works, then take a breath and bring mindfulness to the situation.

Shared by

Dr. Phil McAllister @ Forward Health

Dr. Phil Shares: 10 Reasons Heavier Weight Training is Great For Women

Benefits of Strength Training for Women

Many women believe the only way to lose weight is to do cardiovascular (aerobic exercise), but without adding weight training to their workout routine, they are missing a key component to weight loss.

When you’re weight training, you shouldn’t rely exclusively on the scale to gauge your progress. You can use a body fat tester or a tape measure to track how many inchesyou’re losing. The size of your body will shrink as you shed fat and build muscle, but your weight may not change as dramatically as you expect. Besides, what’s more important, the number on the scale or how you look in your selfies?

If you’re still not convinced that you need to lift weights, here are 10 reasons you should reconsider.

1. Burn More Fat

Researchers at Tufts University found that when overweight women lifted heavy weights twice a week, they lost an average of 14.6 pounds of fat and gained 1.4 pounds of muscle. The control group, women who dieted but didn’t lift weights, lost only 9.2 pounds of fat and gained no muscle. When you do an intense weight-training program such as A WEEK OF HARD LABOR, your metabolism stays elevated and you continue to burn fat for several hours afterward. During regular cardio exercise, you stop burning fat shortly after the workout.

2. Change Your Body Shape

You may think your genes determine how you look. That’s not necessarily true. Weight training can slim you down, create new curves, and help avoid the “middle-age spread”. Just look at the amazing body transformations of the women who’ve completed Body Beast. So, no, you won’t bulk up—women don’t have enough muscle-building hormones to gain a lot of mass like men do. If you keep your diet clean and create a calorie deficit, you’ll burn fat.

3. Boost Your Metabolism

The less muscle you have, the slower your metabolism will be. As women age, they lose muscle at increasing rates, especially after the age of 40. When you diet without doing resistance training, up to 25 percent of the weight loss may be muscle loss. Weight training while dieting can help you preserve and even rebuild muscle fibers. The more lean mass you have, the higher your metabolism will be and the more calories you’ll burn all day long.

4. Get Stronger and More Confident

Lifting weights increases functional fitness, which makes everyday tasks such as carrying children, lifting grocery bags, and picking up heavy suitcases much easier. According to the Mayo Clinic, regular weight training can make you 50 percent stronger in 6 months. Being strong is also empowering. Not only does it improve your physical activities, it builds emotional strength by boosting self-esteem and confidence.

5. Build Strong Bones

It’s been well documented that women need to do weight-bearing exercise to build and maintain bone mass. Just as muscles get stronger and bigger with use, so do bones when they’re made to bear weight. Stronger bones and increased muscle mass also lead to better flexibility and balance, which is especially important for women as they age.

6. Improve Mood

You’ve probably heard that cardio and low-impact exercises such as yoga help improve mood, and weight lifting has the same effect. The endorphins that are released during aerobic activities are also present during resistance training.

7. Improve Sports Fitness

You don’t have to be an athlete to get the sports benefit of weight training. Improved muscle mass and strength will help you in all physical activities, whether it’s bicycling with the family, swimming, golfing, or skiing…whatever sport you enjoy.

8. Reduce Injuries 

Weight lifting improves joint stability and builds stronger ligaments and tendons. Training safely and with proper form can help decrease the likelihood of injuries in your daily life. It can also improve physical function in people with arthritis. A study conducted at the University of Wales in Bangor, United Kingdom, found that mildly disabled participants who lifted weights for 12 weeks increased the frequency and intensity at which they could work, with less pain and increased range of movement.

9. Get Heart Healthy

More than 480,000 women die from cardiovascular disease each year, making it the number-one killer of women over the age of 25. Most people don’t realize that pumping iron can also keep your heart pumping. Lifting weights increases your “good” (HDL) cholesterol and decreases your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol. It also lowers your blood pressure. The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that people who do 30 minutes of weight lifting each week have a 23 percent reduced risk of developing heart disease compared to those who don’t lift weights.

10. Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

In addition to keeping your ticker strong, weight training can improve glucose utilization (the way your body processes sugar) by as much as 23 percent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 weeks of strength training can improve glucose metabolism in a way that is comparable to taking medication. The more lean mass you have, the more efficient your body is at removing glucose from the blood.

Shared by Dr. Phil McAllister @ Forward Health

Thanks for sharing 

Dr. Laura: Micro biome linked to fatigue, insomnia and hormone regulation

Did you know? You can fix your fatigue, insomnia, and hormones by focussing on your flora. Find out how and why your gut affects your biorhythms in the next complimentary seminar with Dr. Laura M. Brown.

The GUT-Circadian Rhythm Connection

Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND, is a licensed naturopathic doctor, Certified HeartMath Practitioner, Ceritified Gluten Practitioner and has a Functional Medicine approach in her practice. What she really does is help people better digest their food and the world around them.

Wednesday, July 12th 6:30-8:00pm @ Goodness Me

Register Now!

Dr. Phil Shares: 5 Non-Scale Victories That Prove You’re Making Progress

 

5-Non-Scale-Victories-That-Prove-You're-Making-Progress-header

You’ve been trying to lose weight for weeks. You’re dieting. Working out. Making mindful choices about everything you do, from the amount of sugar you stir in your coffee to skipping that extra glass of wine at dinner. But then you step on the scale and your heart sinks: The number is the same as last week. Or maybe you’ve lost a couple of pounds, but you feel like you’ve worked so much harder than that. What gives?

When you’re on your weight-loss journey, it’s easy to get caught up in the numbers game. But there are plenty of non-scale victories indicating that your hard work is, well, working. So instead of focusing on that flashing number on the scale, look for signs that you’re moving in the right direction, even if the scale’s not budging.

“Chances are, positive changes are happening that you’re not noticing if you’re obsessively checking the scale,” says Devin Alexander, a weight loss coach, cookbook author, and chef for NBC’s The Biggest Loser. “There are other ways to see results.”

So how do you tell if you’re achieving those non-scale victories? When it comes to improving your health, the following five signs reveal that you might be doing better than you think.

Non-Scale Victory #1: You Feel Stronger

That endless set of stairs in the subway station that you dread climbing? Well, after a couple of weeks following the workout and eating plans, you’re walking up them with a lot less huffing and puffing. “If you feel less winded after exercise or have more energy as you go about your day, that means your heart is getting stronger,” says Alexander.

It’s also a sign that it may be time to up your fitness game even further. “Your body is amazing and has the ability to maximize performance and minimize energy expenditure,” says Dr. Ralph Esposito, a men’s health expert and functional medicine practitioner at Armonk Integrative Medicine in Armonk, New York.

The more you perform an exercise, workout, or fitness program, the more efficient your muscles and nervous system become at doing it. That’s why you might notice your progress start to stall if you always do the same workouts — and why you need to regularly switch things up to continue to adapt.

Non-Scale Victory #2: Your Clothes Fit Differently

That bodycon dress isn’t as, uh, revealing as it once was. Or maybe there’s a little more room in the waist of your jeans, or you notice they’re getting a bit saggy in the seat. If your clothes are looser or fit differently than they did a few weeks ago, that’s a non-scale victory.

If you want more concrete evidence that your efforts to lose weight are working, break out the measuring tape. Each week, measure your natural waistline (just above your navel). If you see that number shrinking, then you’re losing fat mass. “Sometimes instead of losing weight, we lose inches,” says Esposito. And those lost inches might not be reflected on the scale as dramatically as they are on the tape. The reason: You are gaining muscle as you lose fat, and muscle weighs more than fat by volume. So even if your dimensions are shrinking, your bodyweight might not follow suit as quickly.

Non-Scale Victory #3: You See More Muscle Definition

You might not have six-pack abs or bulging biceps, but look for clues that your muscles are more defined than before. A simple way to do this? Go into selfie mode. “Take pictures of yourself from week to week. Keep them in your phone so you can quickly compare each picture,” says Alexander, who suggests striking various poses, like flexed biceps, shots of your stomach, or profile views of your midsection and backside. “You should be able to see some subtle changes in the photos that you wouldn’t necessarily notice while you’re staring in the mirror.”

Non-Scale Victory #4: People Are Noticing

A couple of colleagues have mentioned that you look slimmer. And then you bump into a buddy who asks if you’ve been working out. Chances are, they’re not just being nice: They’re being honest. “Other people can often see subtle physical changes in you before you see them,” says Alexander. “If someone compliments you, embrace it. It’s a sign that you’re doing the right thing.”

Non-Scale Victory #5: You’re Happier

nonscale victories

We tend to focus solely on outside appearances, but there’s a lot to be said about the shape of your inner self, too. Take a step back and analyze how you feel as you go through your day. Is your mood lighter? Are you more confident? Are you getting better sleep? These factors are flashing indicators that positive changes are happening.

“When you get in the habit of making better, healthier choices, it becomes easier to replace all of that negativity you tend to pile on yourself with happier thoughts,” says Alexander. “Plus, the release of endorphins from exercise are a proven way to combat depression and stress.”

Your Health: More Than Just A Number

Sure, the weight you’ve lost is an obvious way to track success, but it’s not the only — or even the healthiest — way to measure progress. “What people usually forget is that you’re really only supposed to lose one to two pounds a week, which may seem insignificant. But that can add up to 52-plus pounds a year,” says Alexander. “Dropping 15 pounds a week is just not realistic in a normal setting.”

Instead, appreciate other milestones you reach along your journey, and celebrate the efforts you’re making to improve your overall health.

“Use the scale as a general guide, but don’t let that weight define you,” says Alexander. “There’s so much more to what makes us healthy than that number.”

Shared by Dr. Phil McAllister @ Forward Health

By Sarah Wassner-Flynn @ Beachbody

Help Dr. Phil Fight Cancer in 2017

Hi Friends,

It seems that we all know a friend or loved one, or personally struggle or have been taken from us with cancer.

I’ve felt like I couldn’t do enough over my years in practice. Until now.

I’m not a scientist and can’t find a cure on my own, but I can and will be participating with Team Kortright in an event called The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer benefiting Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, one of the top 5 cancer research hospitals in the world. Through this event, I can help prevent other’s from having to struggle with this disease.

The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer is a 2-day bike ride, over 200 kilometres (124miles), from Toronto to Niagara Falls, riding 100kilometres (62 miles) two days in a row, with thousands of other people.

As you can imagine, riding that far is not going to be a simple feat.   I’ll have to train and get in shape. But I’m excited that I can finally do something this big in the fight against cancer.
I know you understand why this is so important to me, and know why I’m asking for your financial support. My goal is to raise at least $2500 and I really hope you’ll help me get there or hey, even beat it.

It’s hard asking my family and friends for money, but this cause and this event are very important to me. I hope that you can donate at least $50.

The proceeds benefit The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Canada’s leading institution dedicated to cancer research.

Click the link at the bottom of this email to donate to me online. You’ll also find a printed donation form on my webpage, if you prefer that. Thank you for your support and concern over the last incredibly difficult year, and thank you for your support in my participation in this cycling event.

Donate Here:

Thank you in advance for your generosity!

Sincerely,

Dr. Phil McAllister

Spiritual Side of Heart Health

Heart Stores the Spirit

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. This is so true. When I work with people to gain more resiliency or heart coherence, other things start to naturally fall into place in their life.

Anxiety is a wrinkle between the spirit and the heart

If you are feeling anxious, have troubles sleeping or can’t seem to get your timing right, then your heart and spirit are 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. Countless times I have witnessed when patients restore their spiritual connection, whether that is inviting the Holy Spirit into their souls, getting outside more in nature, or bringing themselves closer to God in relationship, their anxiety dials down a notch or two. Usually I get a big hug too, which is all confirming of their gratitude and joy.

Even and Regular Pulse

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. This is because the Heart relies on other organs for its nourishment and energy. 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, 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.

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.