Spring Clean Your Body! Basic Detox Program

Spring is here! Even though the weather might not seem that way, the change of season is a great time to give your body a boost and consider a detox. Trust me, doing a detox is not a scary, depriving, horrible experience. It’s actually a great way to get refocused on healthy eating habits, give your digestive system a break and ultimately support your health.

There are countless programs out there, and even more products you can purchase to detox. I recommend this basic program because ANYONE can do it, no special products are required, and you can customize it to your comfort level and physiological needs depending on how ‘toxic’ you are. It’s also a fantastic way to determine whether you have any food intolerances or allergies, and provides great perspective on how you eat and your general attitude toward food.

Why Detox? Modern urban life is toxic by definition! Many people live a fast, hectic, stressful pace, and rely on convenient and time-saving measures to feed themselves. We are surrouded by a variety of chemicals in our environment too. Your body has its own detoxifying systems (liver, kidneys, bowels), and does an amazing job of removing wastes from your body. However, if the volume of internal waste exceeds what it is able to safely process, these organs can be overwhelmed and not function properly. If your body is carrying more toxins than it is built to handle, your health will be at risk.

The concept of detoxifying and cleansing your body has been around for hundreds of years, and has been used medicinally to promote the healing of many ailments. By giving your digestive system a ‘break’ from the task of processing, digesting, and eliminating certain foods, it can direct more energy towards cleaning out the build up of the potential stored toxins in your cells. Seasonally detoxifying supports all organ systems, allows for cell renewal, and will help you look and feel younger!

When? At minimum I recommend a detox protocol seasonally, unless there is a specific health concern that has developed to which a detox can offer benefit. To plan your detox you need to find a time when your social and work calendar is not over-booked, and when you can give yourself the time for some additional rest. It’s often a good idea to start on a weekend, so that the bulk of the detoxifying can start before the typical work week begins.

What are the benefits? After a detox program you should notice increased energy, clarity of thought, improved digestion, better sleep, glowing skin, and even the subsiding of certain health concerns. You’ll likely feel good about yourself that you were able to exert some discipline and will power, and possibly even determined some food sensitivities or allergies.

Are there any adverse effects? As your body is clearing itself of toxins you may experience some symptoms, but they are generally nothing of great concern and a sign that the detox is working. Remember, your digestive system will be healing and although you may be uncomfortable at times, they are healthy responses. Some symptoms you might experience are: furry tongue, headache, irritability, excessive elimination (urinating, diarrhea), flu/cold-like symptoms, skin eruptions, fatigue. Similar to when you contract a cold, develop an infection, or contract food poisoning, your body is doing its job to expel what does not belong inside! Consult a health professional if you experience anything that concerns you, but rest assured what you are feeling is temporary.

The plan: It’s pretty simple – Remove irritating foods and beverages, and overload your body with proper nutrients to support healing and increase the elimination of waste.

Avoid: alcohol, caffeine, refined sugars/candy/chocolate, processed food, wheat, gluten, dairy products.

Choose: an abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole foods

Let me be clear, many items we consume taste great, offer us comfort, connect us socially, or fill some other need that is not nutritional. Consuming those types of foods or beverages occasionally (think 20% of your diet) is not necessarily harmful but it’s not a health-producing habit. The objective with a detox is to support your health so minimizing (if not completely eliminating) these items is key.

BASIC 7 – DAY DETOX FOOD PLAN

DAY 1 – liquids only, unlimited quantity (water, fresh fruit and vegetable juices, unsweetened herbal teas, vegetable broth, dairy-free smoothies )

DAY 2 – liquids and fruit only

DAY 3 – add raw vegetables

DAY 4 – add cooked vegetables and brown rice

DAY 5 – add beans, lentils, nuts and seeds

DAY 6 – add grains and live yogurt*

DAY 7 – add fish

Seasonings? At any time after day 3 you need to add more flavour to your foods, consider lemon, lime, olive oil, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, black pepper, Bragg’s unfermented soy sauce. There may be organic, pure foods I have missed here, but just keep it simple for a few days. If in doubt whether something is appropriate or not, just look at the ingredient list and if there are items you cannot pronounce or that are not real food…pass on it!

Customize it: depending on how ‘toxic’ you are, or your interest level, this program can be implemented for anywhere from 7-30 days! If you have never done a cleanse before, consider a simple 7 day program to see how your body responds. If you are more comfortable and confident with the restrictions, consider a lengthier program. Although everyone can benefit from a 21 day cleanse, only you can determine what will work for you based on your level of commitment. You might find that once you start with the first week, continuing on is easier than you think!

To create a lengthier cleanse, simply follow the food implementation protocol but extend the number of days. For example, for a 14 day program follow the DAY 1 protocol (liquids only) for 2 DAYS, for a 21 day program follow it for 3 DAYS, for 30 day program follow it for 4 days..

You can do this!

You may have read through this and thought about being deprived, and what you are giving up for a week, wondered “What am I going to eat?!”….but I’d encourage you to think about what you are going to gain from changing your diet for a week instead of what you are losing. You’re stronger than you think! It’s only a week, and chances are, you’ve done many tougher things before and surprised yourself with the result.

Like any healthy habit, making choices to support a better body is never a poor investment. Regularly giving your body a detox boost is just another part of a healthy balanced lifestyle.

 

Get Smarter!

21667jx2cmug83pYour brain is the most amazing and important muscle in your body, and it has the same requirements as other muscles to stay strong and healthy.

To keep building it you need to challenge it! 

Your brain has the ability to constantly grow and change. It can grow new neurons, make new connections, and even learn to inhibit dysfunctional pathways that don’t serve you (such as cravings, addictions, negative thought patterns, hyperactivity, poor memory or concentration, etc.)  It’s a huge topic, but for now let’s just focus on ways to boost it with challenge and activity.

Giving your brain new experiences helps it form new nerve pathways necessary for that activity, particularly if its something you have not done before. Trying new activities is powerful for your brain because doing so stimulates brain centres that have been dormant, or helps create entirely new pathways to complete the task at hand. Your brain is an amazing machine that can adapt to new processes and challenges, you just need to give it the experiences to do so! If you have children in your life, they are some of the best companions with their eagerness and love of adult attention.

Consider trying some of these activities on a regular basis:

  • Learn a new language
  • Do mind games (sudoko, word scrambles, brain teasers)
  • Try a new sport (builds coordination, precise muscle control, memory, strategy, plus increases blood flow to your brain!)
  • Read a book
  • Pursue something creative (painting, photography, sculpture etc.)
  • Try a new instrument (or play one you know), sing, dance
  • Learn to build models
  • Play board games or work on a puzzle

There are unlimited ideas, these are just a few. Like moving your body, it doesn’t matter WHAT you do, just do SOMETHING that will engage or challenge your brain. Choosing something you find intriguing or joyful will stregnthen your resolve to keep doing it…but remember you might not know you enjoy a new activity until you try it!

Boost Your Antioxidants with Chiropractic? YES!

ID-10034246I always love it when people in my practice tell me how great they continually feel, that the benefits of regular chiropractic care continue and that their body’s are always improving.

It’s not because they are “addicted to getting adjusted” or because we have created some type of dependency within their body by working together.

It’s quite simply because the body as a whole works better when the brain and spinal cord can direct all internal functions without interference.

Consider this research:

In 2005, a landmark study found evidence that chiropractic care can reduce oxidative stress in the body. Oxidative stress plays a role in a whole host of diseases and disorders: Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis and many others. Thiols are compounds in the body that act as antioxidants, reacting with free radicals to neutralize them. Serum levels of thiols reflect DNA’s capacity to repair itself, and can be used to measure aging and disease status.

The study participants who received chiropractic care for 2 or more years had higher serum thiol levels in their body. Some of the chiropractic patients even had serum thiol levels higher than what is associated with normal health and wellness!

Based on these findings and consistent with all other health habits, chiropractic as a preventative or wellness strategy just makes sense.  Find out for yourself!

Define Your Year!

ID-100211313What’s Your Word?

I love this concept and started to apply it a few years ago. Think about your aspirations for 2014. What do you want for the year ahead? Is there an overriding theme that comes to mind for you? Can you sum up your intentions in a single word? I bet you can.

A great word can set the tone for your actions and keep you focused.  A word can also serve as a reminder of what’s important when everyday  ‘life stuff’ frustrates us. For example, when my sons were young and I wasn’t in practice, my word was “Nurture“.  It reminded me of my focus on raising my sons and looking after myself.  It allowed me to accept that my career aspirations would be fulfilled at a later date, and that the little boys in my kitchen were simply more important for the time being. In other years the words “Grow“, “Balance” and “Focus” have worked well for me.

A great word  sets your intention and will help manifest the people, places,  opportunities (and challenges!) to help you achieve your goals.  A good friend recently shared her story of using theme words during the past few years. “Abundance” was her focus at one time and she grew her business substantially. “Love” was her focus another year, and she met the man she married.  Metaphysics aside, what you focus on tends to happen!  The simple act of awareness can powerfully  keep you oriented towards actions that support your goals, and make you more likely to attract success.

Your ‘word’ might come to mind easily.  You may already have one that has been running through your thoughts repetitively, especially if you have set resolutions or goals for yourself. If not, carve out some time in your week to think about it. Sit quietly and reflect.   Journal if it helps you sort out your thoughts, or, on a blank sheet of paper simply write down words that depict your hopes and dreams for the year ahead. Something will pop out at you, or you may notice a pattern in the words you write down. Don’t over-think it!

Friends, colleagues, and people in my practice have shared their words with me for added support and accountability. Here’s some of their theme words to get you started:  Relate, Believe, Focus, Simplify, Build, Mindful, Refresh, Rejuvenate

Once you have your ‘word’ write it down where you can see it regularly. Use it as a password so you have to consciously think about it many times a day. Place post-it notes all over your home if you need to. Get creative and do what works for you – and share your ideas!

One word is easy to remember. Pick one for yourself and let it shape the months to come.

Gifts of Experience

ID-10030491There are many ways to show affection and pamper the ones you love without purchasing ‘things’.  Time together is more valuable with the ones we love than any object, and you’ll get the benefit too! Take the stress away from shopping and get creative giving gifts of the heart in other ways.

If you choose to give gifts during the holiday season, consider ones that are from local stores. Shop within your community if possible and you’ll save on gas, meet new people and support a small business.

I’ve noticed many people choosing ‘experience gifts’ instead of tangible items…consider giving someone you love movie/theatre/concert tickets/sporting events. This year my sons chose tickets to an NHL game and a few days away in lieu of new toys. We’re all looking forward to spending the time together, and enjoying some playful rivalry as we’ll be cheering for the opposite teams!

Vouchers for ski passes, yoga passes, gift certificates for restaurants and cafes. Cooking classes, music or art lessons. Spa services are always a popular choice.

What about the gift of a consultations with health professionals you know and trust? Sound crazy? It’s one of the most popular events I do in my practice and people wait for it every year.  I extend the opportunity for people in my practice to give the gift of heath to someone they care about, someone they believe could benefit from holistic approach to health and chiropractic care. It’s a no obligation way for their friends and family to meet with me, get a feel for the practice, ask questions about their health and consider whether the chiropractic approach is right for them.

Many practices offer something similar, as do many small service businesses.

Look around your community for services you use, ones that have made an impact on your quality of life, and consider giving your loved ones a certificate to try out those services.

“You never know how far reaching something you think, say or do can impact the the lives of others.”

A small gesture to help someone else, to merely suggest they try something that has improved your health, can make a tremendous difference in the life! Imagine if EVERYONE you knew had exceptional health…how much better would it be to be around them? How much happier would they be? What would they be able to do better?

Adapting or Surviving?

ID-10034246“Health is a condition of physical, mental, and social well-being and the absence of disease or other abnormal condition. It is not a static condition.  Constant change and adaptation to stress result in homeostasis.” (Dorland’s Medical Dictionary) 

Our bodies are amazing machines, with an incredible innate wisdom inside that helps us constantly adapt to the changing demands placed on us. I want you to think about this for a second:

  • When you eat, your body adapts by taking the nutrients out and using them, and getting rid of the ones not necessary and creating waste.  If you eat something poisonous to your body, you also adapt and your body gets rid of it as quickly as possible!
  • When you exercise, your body adapts by increasing the blood flow to your heart, and by increasing your breathing rate to bring more oxygen to your lungs.
  • When you cut yourself, your body adapts by forming a clot and then growing new tissue
  • When you are exposed to bacteria  and viruses, your body adapts by mounting an immune response. You sneeze, cough, have a runny noses, vomit, or perspire to get the toxins out, and a fever develops to raise your core temperature so that the bacteria cannot survive.

Where does chiropractic fit it? It helps your body adapt better!

A body that is mechanically balanced with joints that are moving properly will better adapt to the physical demands of sports, hobby, household chores or work responsibilities. A body with a strong, straight spine will adapt to the forces of slips, falls, motor vehicle collisions or repetitive strains with greater ease, resulting in less injury.    A body that is neurologically balanced (with a spinal cord free of irritation) will adapt better to stress, be calmer and happier, digest easier, sleep well, have balanced hormones, breathe easier, and exhibit a stronger immune response.

It’s for theses reasons so many people choose regular Chiropractic care, because they know their bodies are stronger in every possible way!

What is Holistic Care & Why is it Important?

ID-10083065Spinal misalignments called vertebral subluxations cause muscle imbalances, joint irritation, inflammation, and early degeneration.

Spinal subluxations alter the healthy mechanical and neurological functions in the body.

Subluxations weaken all organ systems, leading to sickness, pain,  and a lesser quality of life. Doctors of Chiropractic correct spinal subluxations to restore proper motion and function within the body.

Spinal subluxations are caused by STRESS! – physical, chemical and mental/emotional.

If we only address the spinal subluxations with adjustments, we might not be addressing the real cause of the problems with your health.

The lifestyle choices you make (exercise, nutrition, sleep, good relationships, positive thinking, hydration etc.) have a huge impact of the results you will obtain with chiropractic.

The goal of your care here is to help you THRIVE in all aspects of your health, and life.

In addition to clinical care, there is an extensive lending library, monthly workshops, an interactive web community, and an extensive network of other health professionals we can connect you with to make other changes in your health.  In my experience, when healthy lifestyle changes are combined with chiropractic care, the transformations are profound.  Entering my twelfth year of practice, I continued to be inspired by the healing that I witness, and the increased quality of people’s lives as a result.

Chiropractic works! Find a chiropractor to add to your health care team. If you need advice call for a complimentary consultation (yes, even on the telephone or online). If I can’t help you I will find you someone who can.

It’s never too late to start feeling better. Get started today.

Headache Relief

headacheWhat makes your head ache?

When the blood vessels, membranes, and cranial nerves in the brain and skull become irritated, stretched, compressed, inflamed or infected, headaches can result.

Spinal misalignments called vertebral subluxations cause muscle imbalances, joint irritation, inflammation, and early degeneration.

Spinal subluxations alter the healthy mechanical and neurological functions in the body. Subluxations weaken all organ systems, leading to sickness, pain, and a lesser quality of life.

Doctors of Chiropractic correct spinal subluxations to restore proper motion and function within the body.

Subluxations in the cervical spine can lead to dysfunction of the joints and muscles in the neck, leading to tension and alteration of healthy blood and nerve flow to the brain and surrounding tissues.

Many people find relief from headaches and migraines when healthy joint movement and function is restored with chiropractic spinal adjustments.

Every part of your body works better with a spine that is moving properly. Instead of relying on medications (with side effects!) help your body heal from the inside-out.

Consider Chiropractic first!

Disclaimer: Chiropractic care supports overall health and healing, but is not a cure or treatment for headaches.

It Feels Good…

chiropractor-lawrenceville-ga-presents-chiropractic-care-children-wellnessI love it when people I care for comment about how good they feel after being adjusted, how they feel “lighter”, “high” “grounded”, “energized” and “calmer”.  Often I watch their faces light up and their bodies relax right in the office.

What causes it? The simple answer, and what I tell the kids in my practice – your power is turned on!  The neurological answer is this: there is a part of your brain, the limbic system, that plays an important role in your moods and sense of wellbeing.  There are receptors for the cells in this system throughout your spinal cord, and when you have a spinal subluxation they are blocked.  The adjustment corrects the subluxation, removes pressure on your spinal cord and lets the receptors in the specific segments signal your brain properly…yes, you should feel happy and well most of the time!

There’s a reason why so many people choose to make spinal care part of their lifestyle! Chiropractic helps your body function the way it was designed to.

Life needs Motion!

ID-10030974Roger Sperry, the recipient of the Nobel Prize in 1982 for his work in brain research, stated

“The more structurally distorted we are, the less energy we have for metabolism, for healing and for thinking.”

This is Chiropractic 101!

Without movement you could not sustain life. Blood cells that don’t move cannot transport oxygen, lungs that don’t move cannot breath, hearts that don’t move can’t pump blood, and spines that don’t move can’t create the motion needed for proper joint nutrition, proper body mechanics, or stimulation of the joint-brain pathways required for the regulation of hundreds of internal functions your body performs each and every day.

Movement and alignment of the spine is required for healthy brain function, specifically the coordination of activities such as concentration and learning, emotions, motor control and organ function.

Chiropractors ensure your spinal joints are moving the way they were designed to, so that YOU can move, think and feel the way you were designed to!