MINDBODY Exchange Blog
Perhaps you have wondered as I have, why there seems to be a loss of sensitivity and concern for others in our society, a loss of empathy. Our children are killing one another in the streets and in our schools. As seen more recently, adults too, are acting out their anger more and more at home, in the marketplace, at work, and, even in our churches. Health care is defined more in terms of efficiency and profit than in terms of quality and individual needs. Many of our most cherished institutions have failed to uphold many of our social values because individual leaders have breached our trust. It seems that we are becoming less and less aware of the impact of our choices upon one another, oblivious of our capacity to hurt one another. Where does this social apathy come from?
There seems to be erosion of an essential function of our spirituality in our society. We are quickly losing empathy. Empathy is perhaps, a barometer of our spiritual awareness and human connection. It allows us to experience the universality of what it means to be human and at the same time, calls forth our transcendent capacity to love. Our capacity for empathy is an emotional window into our spiritual self, those important moments when we are able to reach in and identify with someone else’s pain and then reach out with compassion, forgiveness and assistance. Have we begun the new millennium armed with the newest electronic communication gadgets; pagers, cell phones, iPods, and computers and yet unable to connect and communicate with one another at this most fundamental human level?
Gadgets do indeed occupy more and more of our lives. We have been led to believe that somehow they will increase our pleasure and reduce our pain. We almost seem to worship our technology, spending more and more time on video games, computers, and the internet, yet having less and less time to really connect with one another. Empathy is built upon human connection and time is a requirement for making the connection.
If there is any one thing that has changed in our society over the last thirty years it is the amount of time families spend together. The age of technology seemed to hold promise that we would have more leisure time. Instead, those same technologies have stolen even more time. Studies have shown that we are working more than ever. Children are adversely affected by these social changes and families have been caught in an earn and spend cycle that evolves from a technological pedagogy with empty promises to make our lives more complete, but often resulting only in a deadening of our deepest emotional and spiritual needs.
Children require time. Anyone who has worked with troubled children will tell you that the one thing that they report as contributing to their anger is the lack of time that they have with significant adults, “nobody cares.” When we teach parenting classes, rules and consequences are a central theme, but there is one other thing that is far more difficult to teach, and that is how to have a relationship with your child. Not just a series of questions about homework and grades, but time to play together and be together long enough to establish an emotional connection and cultivate empathy.
Empathetic connections require time. Often, the only emotional connection for today’s family is anger. Parents are frustrated by time constraints, the earning and spending cycle, and increased isolation and then act out with anger when their children misbehave, their plans are interrupted or unfulfilled, or they are just overwhelmed with the daily tasks of problem solving that is required to keep a family functioning. We seem to have become numb and are unable to express other emotional responses such as hurt, sadness, disappointment, or worry and hence substitute these feelings with anger. Prolonged anger invites more numbness, distance, and eventually isolation. It also interrupts the process of forgiveness. Is there any wonder that our children and many adults are no longer in touch with the effects of their behavior on others? Empathy requires a full range of emotional feedback that requires time and a relationship.
The media too, adds to this destructive process. The steady diet of violence and thrill seeking that is at the forefront of most media productions today adds to the numbing process. At the center of this issue we hear of arguments that deny the effects on children or want to convince us that art reflects real life. The problem, however, is that most of what is coming into media vogue is not art but a reflection of the greed for media profits. Our common sense tells us that while violence in the media does not cause violence in our children, it does influence our children.
At the core of most religious teachings is the fundamental belief that we are loved by a power outside ourselves and at the same time, within us. We are taught that we are also made to love and that our spirit thrives on love, compassion and forgiveness. What could be more fundamental to our spirituality than the building of empathy in our children? When we undertake this task, we must consider the impact of our own behavior on them. We must consider how our choices can be harmful. With the many choices that make up our daily lifestyles…we must practice exactly what we keep preaching to them. Consider slowing down your lifestyle, pay attention to excessive media exposure, spend down time together, play together and teach them to live in the present moment.
Bill Elwood, L.P.C.C-S, MAC, CCMHC, SAP is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor who earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in psychology from Ursuline college, and Masters Degree in counseling from John Carroll University and is a Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor. He has extensive experience with adolescent behavior problems as well as marriage and family related issues. He is Certified Master Addictions Counselor and is a Substance Abuse Professional. He also has specialized training in co-dependency treatment approaches. Mr. Elwood has an interest in the function of faith and spirituality in the healing process. He is an Ordained Permanent Deacon for the Cleveland Catholic Diocese and Adjunct Faculty member at St. Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology.
A sweet treat for the holidays without the guilt. Add a little color to your holiday baking!
- 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon raspberry extract
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- Preheat oven to 200ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in sugar until mixture is glossy with stiff peaks, about 3 minutes. Fold in extract.
- Spoon meringue into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe into 1 1/2-inch stars on sheet, 1/2 inch apart.
- Bake until firm and crisp but not browned, 1 hour 30 minutes to 1 hour 40 minutes. Slide parchment, with meringues, off sheet onto a wire rack. Let cool completely before removing meringues from parchment.
- Set a small bowl over a pan of simmering water. Place two-thirds of chocolate in bowl and melt, stirring occasionally. Remove bowl; stir in remaining chocolate until melted.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment. Dip bottom of one meringue in chocolate, wipe off excess against side of bowl and transfer to sheet. Let stand until set. Repeat.
Recipe courtesy of health.com.
As an acupuncturist, I more often than not discover emotional links to physical pain. Several years ago, I treated a twenty-seven year old man for upper back pain. During his intake, we went through the usual litany of questions about his physical and emotional health. He admitted to feeling out of sorts about a recent breakup. Most men are fairly reticent about their emotional issues, but he was very open and willing to discuss how the breakup was affecting him. He had been depressed and apathetic since the relationship ended, and he couldn’t seem to relax. Sleeping and enjoying the other aspects of his life had become difficult. The onset of back pain added fuel to the fire, depressing him even more.
All of his back pain was around the scapular area, which I found interesting, since we often treat that area when there are emotional disturbances. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are five major organ systems: Kidney, Lung, Heart, Spleen, and Liver. Each system has a point located on the back which builds its energy-these points are called back shus. The back shus are located approximately 1 1/2 inches away from the midline of the back. If you locate these points and then move outward a bit further, you will find acupuncture points that work on the emotional aspects of the organs-these are the outer back shus. For example, the Kidney back shu is often used to build the energetics of the Kidney and work on issues such as low back pain, knee pain, or frequent urination. The outer back shu of the Kidney can be used for strengthening the willpower, or for a person suffering unnecessary fears.
The outer back shus of the Heart ease emotional suffering, and the outer Lung back shu can help clear unresolved grief. In general, the points that are located around the inner border of the scapula soothe the spirit, and are beneficial for sadness, anxiety, and depression. This was the area I focused on with this patient.
After his first treatment, he returned to say that his back pain was nearly gone. Not only that, but the black cloud of depression that had been around him since the breakup had lifted. He actually felt happy for the first time in weeks, and was also sleeping again. He didn’t see the connection between my treatment for his back pain and his sudden lifted spirits, but he liked the way he felt after acupuncture, so he wanted to continue. He became a regular patient, and by the time the clinic sessions ended, it was clear that he had recovered both physically and emotionally – he actually looked like a new person.
Even if you have never set foot in an acupuncturist’s office, you have probably experienced some of what these outer back shus can do. Don’t you feel better after someone touches your upper back? A deep, vigorous massage of that area puts everyone into a better frame of mind, but even a light touch feels wonderful. I often wonder if stimulation of that area is an instinctual urge. Think about it-when a friend tells you about something unfortunate that has happened to him or her, what is the first thing you do? Most people automatically touch that area of the back. If there is an established comfort level, there might be a hug involved, which usually includes a quick rub over the area. But even a near stranger usually feels comfortable giving a quick pat or two in that spot to buck someone up after hard news. Or, think of how you would soothe a crying child, by rubbing the upper back area. It’s just a natural urge, nothing that you ever really think about. So the next time you are feeling stressed or unhappy, have someone press into the sides of the scapula, and put those acupoints to work!
Marisa Fanelli is the owner of Healing Point Therapeutics in Wayland, MA. She is a licensed acupuncturist and certified hypnotherapist and she uses a combination of these two modalities to create hybrid treatments refered to as “hypnoacupuncture.” Marisa is a graduate of the New England School of Acupuncture, the oldest acupuncture school in the U.S.
The Holiday Season can be an emotional rollercoaster. On one hand it’s a time to celebrate the joy of giving, of family and friends. On the other hand, we have to contend with travel, big family reunions or party plans and gift-buying frenzies. The holidays can be a stressful time and many people feel the effects of anxiety or depression in December and into the New Year. Acupuncture is a gentle treatment that is effective and useful during these high-stress times. We often seek treatment in response to pain or acute symptoms, but it’s much easier to gently bring yourself to balance and healing before symptoms appear.
Acupuncture helps you manage stress and anxiety. A little stress can be beneficial, but too much stress or poor handling of stress can have a big impact on your physical and emotional wellbeing. Acupuncture is extremely relaxing and most people fall asleep after the needles are inserted. Patients often report feeling a sense of calm and quiet energy after their treatments which translates into less anxiety, less worry and a more positive outlook.
Acupuncture helps you balance meals, drinks and desserts! Though certainly not a magic pill, acupuncture helps to control cravings, regulate your metabolism, balance hormones tied to weight gain, and maintain motivation to exercise. Regular treatments help to reduce addictive behaviors, whether its alcohol, smoking or sugar. Acupuncture is used in many detox centers for its ability to reduce cravings, manage anxiety and promote a sense of calm.
Acupuncture relieves pain. Yes, the stress and busy-ness of the holidays have a real impact on your physical wellbeing. Many people report increased pain and discomfort in the upper back, neck, low back or other joints during this time of year. Studies show that acupuncture helps to relieve osteoarthritis, sciatica, neck, back and shoulder pain, migraines and headaches.
Acupuncture helps you stay healthy. This time of year coincides with cold and flu season. Take preventative measures to bolster and regulate your immune system. Treatments can also help you shorten the duration or decrease the severity of the cold or flu. Specific acupuncture points are used to help clear nasal congestion, decrease coughing and reduce fevers and body aches.
Acupuncture will help you help others. Remember the adage, “to truly love another, first you have to love yourself;” the same goes for helping. In order to help others, you need to know how to take care of yourself. Giving of ourselves – our time, our money, our resources – is at the heart of what it means to be a good person. However, giving of ourselves can also be depleting. We need to be sure we replenish our energy so that we always have more to give. Acupuncture can help nourish, replenish and bring you into balance, so that we can continue to share and give with joy.
Amara Huckabone, Lic. Ac., MAOM, Dipl. OM is a practitioner and founder of On Point Acupuncture, located in lovely Old Saybrook, CT. The practitioners at On Point Acupuncture are dedicated to offering clients a well-rounded and holistic approach to treat the whole person, not just the disease. They strive to empower their patients through education to promote long lasting health and well-being in body, mind and spirit.
Amara received her Master’s Degree from the New England School Acupuncture, the oldest and one of the most prestigious acupuncture schools in the USA. She is nationally certified in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal medicine and is licensed to practice in the state of Connecticut. Amara incorporates Chinese Herbal Medicine as well as Chinese and Japanese styles of Acupuncture into her practice. Visit her website at www.ctonpoint.com.
A vibrant salad featuring delicata squash, pomegranate, arugula, pepitas and feta tossed in a maple balsamic vinaigrette. If you are preparing this salad in advance, reserve the dressing on the side until you are ready to serve.
- 2 medium delicata squash, around 1 and 1/4 pounds total
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Fine grain sea salt
- 4 heaping cups arugula (or mixed baby greens)
- 2/3 cup pomegranate arils (or a generous handful of dried cherries or cranberries)
- 1/3 cup raw pepitas (or pecans)
- 3 to 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon real maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash the squash and scrape off any tough bits of skin with a knife. Slice the squash into 1/2-inch wide rounds. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds from each round. Drizzle the squash with a generous tablespoon of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. Use your fingers to lightly coat all surfaces of the squash with olive oil. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the squash is tender and golden, flipping halfway.
2. In a medium skillet over medium-low heat, toast the pepitas (or pecans), stirring frequently, until they are fragrant and lightly golden on the edges. Remove from heat.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and Dijon mustard with a pinch of salt and pepper.
4. Once the squash has had a few minutes to cool, combine the arugula, pomegranate (or dried fruit), pepitas (or pecans), crumbled feta and squash in a serving bowl. Toss with enough dressing to lightly coat the leaves. Serve immediately.
Adapted from cookieandkate.com.
Perhaps the number one reason people seek massage therapy is to help relieve pain in their neck and shoulders. There are several muscles that comprise this region: scalenes, splenii, trapezius, and many more. Today we are going to look at the mighty levator scapula, so called because it elevates our scapulae, or shoulder blades. It also is responsible for neck rotation to the left and right (checking traffic during a lane change), as well as craning our ear to our shoulder (aka, lateral flexion, as in holding the telephone while still typing on the keyboard – you’ve never done that, have you?).
Levator scapula is a mighty beast, and literally, a pain in the neck. It’s because we’re upright and forward-facing individuals – this causes chronic tightness in the neck and shoulder area, particularly when we are sitting still for most of the day. So, it’s safe to say that this muscle is supposed to be tight. In fact, the only time I’ve felt one completely lax is on an individual who was in a really bad car accident.
That said, the muscles surrounding levator scapula generally should not be chronically tight, and since the upper back/shoulder area is poorly vascularized (has a proportionately low blood supply in relation to other body parts), when something does tighten up, we notice it rather quickly. Since we use our neck quite a bit to turn our heads, or talk on the phone, check the blind spot in traffic, look down and see if we can find our toes, etc., these muscles get used a lot, and occasionally, some will “stick” or adhere together in small parts. Think of these adhesions as traffic jams – blood supply slows down, oxygen can’t get in, and CO2 can’t get out, among other things.
Listen to your mother to keep your neck and shoulder pain to a minimum! Good posture is a priceless and very affordable way to keep pain at bay. Those of us who sit at a computer all day are prone to having chronically rolled shoulders and a bit of a hunch back – be conscious about sitting up straight! A good way to do this without remembering is to replace your chair with a stability ball – it forces you to keep moving and is excellent for building and keeping a strong core (weak cores can contribute to most back pain). And remember, massage therapy helps loosen up adhesions and helps muscle fibers align properly, and more importantly, it helps you feel your best!
Trina G. Jennings, LMP graduated from Ashmead College in 2004 with honors and received national certification. Since then, she has been working in the field in both a chiropractic and massage clinic setting. She loves blending her energy work training into her massage sessions (primarily Polarity Therapy and The Emotion Code), providing a deep sense of relief and uniqueness to every experience. Trina is the owner of A Better View Massage at Snap Fitness Redmond. For more information visit www.trinajennings.com.
As a massage therapist I often ask new clients about their prior massage history. The response I get most often from clients is, “I love getting massages, but I don’t get them as often as I’d like.” We have become conditioned to scheduling regular physical checkups, dental visits, and time for physical activity and exercise. However, many people still have difficulty finding time in their schedules for regular massage sessions. I’m not pointing fingers at anyone, because I’d be the first to admit that I, too, wish I made more time to receive massages as well. In case you’re considering deepening the role massage plays in your self care routine or if you’re on the fence about scheduling that first appointment, here are five of the many reasons why massage should be a positive, healthy habit.
1. An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth A Pound of Cure
Surely you’ve heard this old adage before (perhaps even from a family doctor) when discussed in relation to healthy diet and exercise being a major factor in prevention of heart disease. But did you know that massage can be a very powerful asset for preventive care too? By seeing a massage therapist regularly you can prevent minor skeletomuscular injuries from becoming major problems that could lead to loss of mobility or flexibility later in life. Massage therapy specifically works to lengthen muscles that are stuck in a pattern of chronic shortening. If you’re worried about the cost of regular massage sessions consider how costly prescription drugs, doctor visits and surgeries would be once that nagging muscle ache becomes a real structural problem. In this case an ounce of prevention through massage is worth more (and may cost less!) than a pound of cure.
2. Enhance Your Yoga (or other Fitness) Practice
If you are serious about deepening your yoga practice and find yourself attending regular workshops and classes to try to target a specific trouble spot (backbending, hamstring stretches, hip opening, etc.) massage just may be the complementary modality to help enhance your efforts. A skilled massage therapist is able to isolate and create length or opening in muscle groups and joints by applying techniques to the soft tissue. Try this: Book a massage prior to your next regular yoga practice. Ask the therapist to focus on a specific area of the body where restrictions in the muscles have caused difficulties in your practice in the past. Once you’ve worked with a massage therapist to lenghten these muscles, try a yoga practice that challenges that muscle group. By using massage as a way to assist with chronic shortened muscles, you may find that parts of your practice that had seemed challenging, unpleasant, or downright impossible are more within reach.
3 . Keep Your Cool
Many people use meditation and breathing techniques to relax the mind and create a deeper connection to the inner self. For some people meditation can be a real challenge because it requires a self-created stillness that can be at opposition to the challenges of modern life. Regular massages can be extremely beneficial for those who find relaxation to be difficult. By incorporating techniques that act upon the muscular, nervous, and circulatory systems, massage therapy can help slow down the heart rate, decrease activity in an overstimulated nervous system, and allow clients to deepen their breath. As a result, a relaxing massage can have many similar effects to practicing mindful meditation. By keeping your body, mind and spirit in a relaxed state for longer periods of time you can avoid the harmful side effects of stress such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and tension headaches.
4. Elevate Your Mood
If you are looking for a way to beat the blues or simply put a little pep in your step, massage can turn your mood around. In addition to the general lift you’ll feel once chronic pain is lessened or eliminated, a massage treatment can cause a mood boost by the release of endorphins into the bloodstream. These amino acids can act as the body’s natural painkiller and cause a general feeling of well-being. Several studies have also shown that massage and other forms of therapeutic touch are effective remedies for lessening depression and anxiety.
5. It Feels Good AND Is Good For You
There are not many indulgences in life that can’t also count as vices as well. In our culture we are trained to turn to fast food, fatty desserts, alcohol, cigarettes, or other external sources for gratification and pleasure when it’s time to treat ourselves. Receiving therapeutic massage is one of the few truly healthy ways that you can treat yourself to a physically pleasurable experience that is also beneficial to your health. Rather than celebrating that next anniversary or birthday with a heavy meal at a restaurant, why not consider a couples massage instead? Taking care of your body and enjoying the relaxation and health benefits of massage is a great way to celebrate special occassions, treat yourself for a job well done, or unwind on that unexpected day off. It’s also a great way to ensure that you’ll have plenty more happy, healthy birthdays to celebrate in your future!
Brian Critchley is the Owner/Director of OM Central Jersey Massage & Yoga and is a Licensed Massage Therapist & Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher. He is a graduate both of the Somerset School of Massage Therapy (now Cortiva Institute) in Piscataway, NJ and Princeton University. A yoga practitioner since 1998, he has maintained a private healing arts practice in Central New Jersey since 2004. Brian has also shared his love for the healing arts through writing projects as Co-Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of New Jersey Namaste News and as Yoga Editor for AllThingsHealing.com.
Whenever you have leftover vegetables, the addition of an egg, flour and some herbs can turn a mistake into one of the most delicious and happiest of accidents. Case in point are these Green Veggie Patties. They work great as a side dish or even on their own for lunch or a snack. Add any one of a variety of dips or sauces and things get even more fun. They are easy to make, fun to eat and perfect for the whole family….whether you intend to make them or not!
- 1 cup zucchini, broccoli, and/or cauliflower
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- canola or vegetable oil
- Place the vegetables in a food processor and pulse to chop fine.
- Add the chopped vegetables into a bowl along with the flour, salt, egg, basil and garlic powder. Mix to combine.
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat and place 1 tbsp of the batter into the pan for each pancake.
- Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side.
- Serve with marinara sauce or dip of your choice.
Recipe compliments of weelicious.com.
Life is rich, dynamic and, often, stressful. Stress can be negative (easier to recognize) or positive (such as celebrating the holidays with family, getting married, changing jobs, etc.). We know that stress is a co-factor, and often pre-cursor, to over 90% of all diseases.
As an Acupuncturist, Herbalist and nutrition expert working with acute and chronic disease, I am in awe of the cornucopia of botanical compounds which help us overcome illness and stress, including a particular class of plants known as Adaptogens. Adaptogens contain a unique profile to help us stay balanced AND recover from life’s stressors. The term Adaptogen comes from the Russian scientists who first identified this group of herbs for their effects on stress response. They worked with elite athletes including Russian Olympians, cosmonauts, shift workers, post-Chernobyl radiation-exposed populations and more. They studied how these compounds improved stamina, endurance and recovery – physiologically and mentally. The Chinese also used these plants with athletes – breaking world records in distance running, for example.
The Latin term “homeostasis” means to recover balance. When we are in Go Mode! we’ve turned on our “sympathetic overdrive.” Most of us recognize that thrill of adrenaline, which plays a part in this excitement stage. Prolonged behaviors such as checking email + text messages, video gaming, working long hours, skipping meals, eating too much sugar, not getting enough sleep – are all examples of this overdrive. Sound familiar? We can’t live in Go Mode … and our physiology isn’t meant to either. Our innate intelligence seeks homeostasis, by bringing back the calmer, parasympathetic balance. If we are deficient or under-functioning, Adaptogens help restore the vitality we need to return to that healthy, vital baseline. The majority of adaptogenic herbs grow in harsh climates at high altitudes where they must endure great challenges to thrive and survive. They produce exceptional chemical compounds to do that. Lucky for us – they share this innate wisdom, so we too can survive and thrive!
- support our immune system
- improve mental focus and restful states of mind
- modulate inflammation
- have an anti-fatigue effect
Adaptogens are, by definition:
- safe, unique, whole plant extracts that work at the cellular level to help the body overcome the harmful side effects of stress
- able to increase the health and vitality of our cells, thus increasing the health and vitality of the entire organism (you)
Some Adaptogens include:
- Eleuthero root + leaf
- Asian Ginseng root
- American Ginseng root
- Holy Basil leaf + seed
- Ashwaganda root
- Reishi mushroom
- Cordyceps mushroom
- Schizandra seed + fruit
- Have solid scientific research validating their use as adaptogens.
- Enhance ‘general resistance’ of the entire body.
- Act in a non-specific way having a ‘normalizing effect’ against all forms of stress.
- Have an ability to maintain or restore homeostasis.
- Be safe and have no side effects, or negative interactions with other substances, or even with prolonged consumption.
If you are interested in incorporating Adaptogens into your health regimen and have questions about which to use or where to purchase them, just ask me or a qualified herbalist in your area. These also come in blends for deeper adrenal exhaustion + recovery, or nourishing balance in all of us who are motivated to maintain our wellness!
Debra Sue Kelvin, L. Ac., Dipl. Ac., MS TCM, is the founder/director of Healthy Chi Chinese & Integrative Medicine in West Berkeley. She is Board certified by the California Acupuncture Board and the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. An inspiring health integrationist, educator + lecturer, Debra Sue guides her patients to participate in their healing with passion + grace, along with excellent nutrition, botanical medicine, acupuncture, culinary + lifestyle skill resources and mindful awareness to promote wellness, lower incidence of disease and build real, lasting, thriving health – so YOU feel your best!
Debra Sue specializes in adrenal fatigue, thyroid imbalances, auto-immunity, cancer and women’s health. She leads a seasonal Longevity Cleanse Tele-Class to help you move the dial. Join the New Year’s Longevity Cleanse Challenge starting January 8th. For more information, visit: www.healthychi.com.
Afraid you are going to end up more stuffed than the turkey this Thanksgiving? Here are a few simple tips to have a happier, healthier, holiday. The following tips are from Libby Parker, Registered Dietitian, NASM certified personal trainer, and owner of “Libby’s Fit Nutrition,” where she does nutritional counseling and personal training at her client’s home or office, in and around San Luis Obispo, CA.
- Check out if your city has a “turkey-trot,” typically a 5K run on Thanksgiving for a little pre-meal workout. Don’t worry if you are not a runner, you can always power walk it.
- If you are making the meal, choose healthier options such as less butter in the foods, raw crudités with dip, fresh cranberries instead of canned, and fruit or salad sides.
- If you are not making the whole meal, offer to bring a healthy side. How about a vegetable tray, homemade stuffing (you know what you put in it – make it healthier), corn without gobs of butter, lightened-up pumpkin pie…be creative!
- Get your family out moving with you. Go for a walk after the big meal to get it digesting, play football or catch together, play charades, take the dog for a walk, or anything else active that you all like to do.
- When getting food buffet-style: only have 3 things on your plate at a time. You can always go back again, but if it’s not on your plate, you might re-think needing to eat it.
- Drink water. Enough said.
- Know that it was one day, one huge meal (averaging 3,000 calories!), and do better tomorrow.
- Keep up activity through the whole holiday season. You can always take a few minutes to do body-weight resistance exercises (plank, push-ups, etc.) and pack your walking shoes when traveling.
- Spend time being thankful for all that you have, and toast your health and wellbeing.
Libby Parker, RD, CPT