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Stretch Today --> Stretch Everyday

March 31 2017

Stretching is one of those things that we all should do, but almost none of us actually do. Sure, maybe we stretch for 15 to 30 seconds before and after a run or a maybe a few morning arm reaches while we yawn… but that is not nearly enough. While that small stretch before your run is good and might loosen you up a little bit… you know it’s nothing compared to what you should do.

As we age our bodies become less and less flexible as that happens, we lose the amount of mobility that our bodies have. We can counter and even reverse those effects by delegating a small amount of time each day to stretching your muscles. It doesn’t need to take a lot of time out of your day and it doesn’t need to be done in tandem with any other physical exercises (even though I do recommend doing daily exercises). You can spare 5 to 10 minutes out of your day to reach up to the sky as high as you can go, and then bend down as far as you can go without bending your knees. Always make sure to take big, slow breaths while doing your stretches. Try sitting on the floor and reaching as far as you can to grab your toes without bending your knees. If you can grab them, do it and try touching your forehead to your knees without bending them. Also try spreading out your arms and legs, like an X, and touch your right hand to your left foot do the same with your left hand to the right foot. Always remember to take big slow breaths while you are performing your stretches, get lots of oxygen flowing through your body…. You need it.

A simple few minutes of stretching every day can greatly improve your body's range of motion, but there are a lot more benefits that you can gain by stretching. By making stretching a part of your life you will regain your body’s mobility, improve circulation throughout the body, revitalize energy, improve posture, improve flexibility, relieve stress, reduces back pain and one very important benefit…..help to prevent injuries. The amount of injuries that we all suffer from as a result of having stiff bodies is outstanding. You can prevent a whole spectrum of body aches and pains with a few daily stretches.

Make stretching a part of who you are. Your body will thank you.

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Healthy Gut, Healthy Mind

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Healthy Gut, Healthy Mind

 

March 17 2017

Over the past several years we have been learning more and more about the importance of healthy gut flora. Gut health is extremely important to maintain as you are not only sustaining the health of your digestive tract & keeping your farts and bloating at bay, but you are also maintaining well-balanced mood and happiness as the gastrointestinal health can be the main cause for other health related issues such as brain and mental health.

Maintaining healthy gut flora is vital to the health of your entire body as well as your overall quality of life. Every single person has their own combination of gut bacteria that is as unique as their fingerprint. Keeping that unique bacteria healthy is very important as a healthy gut flora is what will help to absorb essential vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc and can even assist in manufacturing vitamins such as vitamin K and the essential B complex vitamin. Probiotics and healthy gut flora also help to keep harmful bacteria at bay which will preserve and strengthen your immune system to keep your overall health at peak performance.


The connection between the gut and the brain is extremely important as the gut is directly connected to our mood. The Enteric Nervous System is often referred to as the “Second Brain”, this is two thin layers of more than 100 million nervous cells lining your gastrointestinal tract. Scientists have found that unhealthy gut flora causes gastrointestinal problems resulting in irritable bowel syndrome. Irritable bowel syndrome such as diarrhea, constipation, bloating and stomach pain is estimated to affect roughly 35 percent of the population at some point. Research has indicated that an irritated gastrointestinal tract may send signals from the enteric nervous system to the central nervous system triggering mood swings. This is important to know as the estimated 35 percent of the population that is experiencing irritable bowel syndrome are also experiencing cases of depression and anxiety. It is important to know that the healthy gut bacteria help to produce serotonin. Serotonin is regarded by researchers as a chemical in the body that is responsible for balancing your mood and a deficit in serotonin leads to depression and anxiety. It is estimated that 90 percent of the body’s serotonin is made in the digestive tract. Maintain healthy gut flora with probiotics → keep those probiotics healthy with prebiotics → to keep your body and mind running at peak performance levels.  


Here is a short list of natural foods to help keep your gut healthy and happy.


Probiotic Foods to Add to Your Diet:

  • Yogurt - One of the best probiotic foods is live-cultured yogurt, especially handmade.

  • Kefir - Similar to yogurt, this fermented dairy product is a unique combination of goat's milk and fermented kefir grains.

  • Sauerkraut.

  • Dark Chocolate.

  • Microalgae.

  • Miso Soup.

  • Pickles.

  • Tempeh.

  • Kimchi

  • Kombucha Tea


Prebiotic (food for the probiotics) Foods to Add to Your Diet:

  • Acacia gum (or gum arabic)

  • Raw chicory root.

  • Raw Jerusalem artichoke.

  • Raw dandelion greens.

  • Raw garlic.

  • Raw leeks.

  • Raw or cooked onions.

  • Raw jicama.

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Goals

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Goals

March 8 2017

I do not think that we do enough to make ourselves feel good. Now what I mean by that is, I don't think that we challenge ourselves enough to feel the slow drip effect of accomplishing daily goals. For instance, did you achieve your goals today or did you put them off for another day? Did you eat good or did you eat like shit? Did you exercise or did you sit on your ass and watch Netflix?

A good habit to start doing is to write down a daily goal. You can do this while drinking your morning coffee or eating your breakfast. In the morning, write down a goal that you would like to achieve during your day and at the end of the day write down on that same sheet of paper if you hit your goal or not. You can also give a brief summary of how you achieved your goal and how it made you feel, or if you did not reach your goal you can write down how you plan to reach it the next day. One thing to remember is that writing down your goals in some sort of a notebook is a great way to track progress and is an achievement itself… Great Job!

The goals that you set for yourself do not need to be large scale goals. They can be something as simple as walking around the block, to cook a meal at home rather than eating out, or to make a little progress on a project that you’ve been putting off. Just try not to take the new year resolution approach by setting your daily goal at an unreachable level. Those are more of a long term type of goal.

Doing something that makes you feel good about yourself is intoxicating… kind of addicting in a way. It also spreads out into other areas of your life. I’ve noticed for myself that when I exercise, I tend to eat healthier… when I exercise and eat healthier, I tend to feel more energized and motivated to complete household chores or vehicle maintenance.

Remember, doing something to improve yourself is 100% better than doing nothing for yourself.

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