This past week I gave a talk to a small group of high school students in an elective class on nutrition. Relating to teenagers is not my specialty, especially since I was so shy during high school. Yet, with some advice from a dear friend on how to relate to teenagers by talking about how eating real food would allow you to "take a selfie without a filter" or "go to prom looking great" or "kick ass on that math test" or "improve your ability to compete against your schools rival" it actually went....um...ok?
It's hard to read these kids. One fell asleep. A couple watched me. A few did homework. I rallied, and engaged them enough with a few activities,....I think.
In the end, I think I made them more aware. I focussed on why the SIMPLE choice is always the best and that packages are tricky. We focussed alot on sugar as well which is why the photo above. Yes, I purchased those things to make a point about how our food is often loaded with added sugar, and if it doesn't have added sugar, it is made with chemicals.
Sometimes you get caught. It’s mid afternoon, and you haven’t had lunch and there isn’t time to make dinner before soccer games. The only thing to do is go through the drive thru…..How do you get in/out without throwing yourself so far into gluttony that you can’t get out for weeks???
Here are a few tips to optimize your experience until you can better plan for next time.
Recently I completed my first CrossFit Open…Scaled of course at 39 years old, mother of three young kids, married and small business owner/entrepreneur. It was pretty awesome. I ranked 43,615 (0f 56,166) worldwide and 2,551 (0f 3,233) regionally. That’s not super, but I do get bragging rights now. Best part is, I am proud that I completed the five workouts without injury. See I only crossfit officially twice a week, other days I live my life. Don’t believe me search me on the leaderboard.
I have been brewing on this blog for quite some time. Most of those who are already “in the know” about Paleo will find this a bit boring…nothing new to them. Those who dig their heels in about Paleo may never read this. Maybe it will strike a chord with someone but they aren’t going to hit “Like” or “Share.” It’s hard to predict.
I wrote one of my most favorite blogs as a guest blog for Robb Wolf (one of the Paleo leaders and someone who continues to inspire and support me with his graciousness), but that blog fell flat to his audience. Maybe it wasn’t technical enough. Maybe it was too simple. It felt good to write that blog. It was one of my personal favorites. I appreciated Robb Wolf sharing it on his website.
Then again, another blog I wrote as a guest on Dr. Kristin Prentiss Ott, MD site about tips to recovery after injury or surgery was not as inspiring to write for me, but apparently much more well received on her site. Funny. I don’t totally understand it all, the world of blogging and Internet and likes and sharing…but apparently I can’t stop.
I can’t stop because health is AWESOME. It is always a work in progress, but I never knew I felt bad until I felt good. Although there are many components that help to support health, it wasn’t until I changed how I ate that it finally all came together.
Special treats, like this, are occasional for our family. The Holiday Season is a great time to enjoy some treats that don’t derail your healthy progress. It is also a great time to offer up some healthy treats to share with family and friends. Most people are surprised about the simplicity and sweetness of the natural fruits and ingredients.
This recipe was derived out of simply pulling from the refrigerator and cupboards to produce a warm dessert for a wintery weekend day.
*** A special note that this is still sweet to our family of five, but we are 3 years into eating whole foods and avoiding excessive sugars. We actually only used ½ TBSP honey as the cream is already sweet. You may need to flex with the honey to suit the stage your family is in***
As most of you know, I have been working on simple principles to live by so that living life doesn’t derail you from having health. As we get into the holiday season, many people can be driven by emotions, I know I am. When I first started my journey with food, I found that emotional eating was a difficult beast to manage. I ate excessively because I was stressed by large gatherings or conflict with family or long distant travel or kids acting ungrateful about presents or fear of hurting someone’s feelings…the list goes on.
Over time, however, it has gotten easier as I have developed habits that gracefully help me stay on track so the normal stress of holiday doesn’t send me into emotional eating.
(This was a previous guest blog I wrote for my friend Dr. Kristin Prentiss Ott, MD on www.kristinprentissott.com October 2015)
My past work experience has included years working in the hospital including the surgical wards. Now, I specialize in outpatient orthopedic physical therapy. I see mostly patients who want to avoid surgery. I am a proponent of keeping the body intact whenever possible. However, there are times when accidents happen or it is necessary to have surgery in order to get back to living life.
Sometimes it happens.
You take good care of yourself and exercise regularly, but then you fall skiing and tear your ACL. Often, to keep up that same level of activity, the ACL will need to be surgically repaired.
Or you may have been a college athlete that played football and now have severe hip arthritis in your 60s that requires a total hip replacement.
Like I said, sometimes it happens. And if you are going to have surgery planned or not, here are a few tips to help you to optimize recovery, not faster, but optimally.
When you are grocery shopping for a family, sometimes it is nice to find a few pre-packaged items that may make life a little easier. Over the past few years, I have learned though, to be very careful to avoid the “booby trap” of marketing on packages.
“How you think about something can transform its effect on you.” – Kelly McGonigal PhD
When you think about stress, what do you think? Do you think, “I have too much of it and it is causing me to be sick and tired?” Or do you think, “Stress is the ability to adapt to change and I acknowledge it when I see it?” Which is the right answer? The answer is that both are true, if that is what you believe.
Here is the interview from the Katie Coombs show Uncommon Sense. I am primarily in Segment 7 and 8. I wonder how many "ums" I actually said?
Hopefully this sparks questions for you. Please share and ask. I would love to hear your thoughts.
Special thank you to Katie Coombs for the opportunity.
We all have those days. You know the day when you “wake up on the wrong side of the bed” even though you are sleeping in the same spot you have been for ages?
You just feel that everything is just a bit off and you can’t put your finger on it?
And then it happens….things really start to fall apart.
For me it was today. My firstborn is now sick and can’t go to school. Yet, today was the day I finally got to take my friend up on her birthday gift of a massage I wanted to enjoy. And then the neighbor calls angry that we put in a fence to keep our dogs from bothering other homeowners. And then my daughter tries lying as a strategy to get out of soccer practice.
Upcoming Speaking Events:
September 26, 2015 5-7:00 PM
with Katie Coombs
107.3 FM local
Available to listen after at
October 7, 2015 7:00-7:15 PM
"Inflammation: Two Sides of a Coin"
Active Physical Therapy Clinic
3594 W Plumb Lane
December 1, 2015 5:30-7:30PM
Kaiser Health and Wellness Symposium
Webinar for rehabilitation physical therapy specialists
As most of you know, my family and I try to live a whole foods lifestyle. In part of living this lifestyle, we have been trying to raise and grow some of our own food in the city (or just outside of the city of Reno, NV).
I must say, it has been a learning experience and I have a new found respect for the wholesome organic and non-GMO food that I purchase.
A few years ago, my husband and I were traveling via Southwest. You know that magazine on the airplane? Well, I have a crazy story. We got some very useful and life changing information from that magazine. I know, I can’t believe it either.
Ok. I did it….well sort of. I have had many questions related to how much I spend on groceries for my family of 5 since making the paleo inspired, whole foods eating transition about two years ago. There are many arguments that this lifestyle is expensive. Well, it may or may not be depending on how you look at it.
First, we eat out much less, so we actually save money in that regard.
Second, we eat just about EVERYTHING I buy, so there is much less wasted food. So we save again.
This past weekend my husband and I had a rare morning solo. We decided to use our time to do something we aren’t otherwise able to do with 3 kids in tow. And a 10 mile round trip hike up to the peak of Mt Rose sounded like a great idea.
We headed out early….5:45AM….no sleeping in. In part it was because we did have to pick the kids up by noon, the other part was to try and get it done before the crowds.
It was a cool and brisk morning and perfect for exploring our local natural beauty; Mt Rose. We made it to the waterfalls at 2.5 miles and planned on a family hike later this summer with the kids and dogs. We were only 2.5 miles from the summit from what we had read. Right on time.
We continued thru the meadow and enjoyed the wild flowers. Then we started climbing a rocky mountain. We stopped and asked, “Is this the right way?” But we didn’t see any other way to go and felt like “going up” seemed like the correct direction.
If you are a Renoite (meaning you are born and raised Reno, NV), you have probably had the Awful Awful burger from the Nugget. It is touted as the “Best burger in Reno!” If you are not a Renoite, I hear it is something to experience. In fact, it is a Reno Legend and is available 24 hours/day.
Ripple Effect: a spreading, pervasive, and usually unintentional effect or influence; a situation in which one event causes a series of other events to happen – merriam-webster.com
“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms.” - unknown
This past weekend I attended my niece’s high school graduation and my cousin’s
beautiful wedding. At the last minute, I got to attend these milestone events without my children. Although I missed my family, the time allowed me to witness and experience lots of ripples and blooms that I may have otherwise missed with distraction. Let me explain.
Did you know that your gut microbiome can also impact inflammatory arthritis disorders?
Rheumatoid Arthritis, an inflammatory arthritis disorder, is a debilitating autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks its own tissue, typically the small joints of the hands and feet. Traditional treatments include medications, physical therapy and surgery to control symptoms and prevent joint damage. Recent research is indicating that probiotic intervention holds promise to decrease disease activity score and inflammatory cytokines (TNF alpha, IL-6, IL-10).1
There are many lifestyle factors that interconnect for holistic health and recovery. The interplay of the eight personal lifestyle factors is critical. Imagine a wheel rolling smoothly along. Each section is balanced. If any section is damaged or ignored, then the wheel bumps along or stops rolling altogether. Getting balance is the difficult part, but it is wonderful when things are balanced together. Many things can disrupt the balance. When that happens, call on the other lifestyle factors to help support the wheel until it can be repaired.
Life is busy. Work. Family. Friends. Obligations. Grocery shopping. Paying bills. School activities. Eating. Exercise. Sleep. Repeat. You don’t feel your best, but you don’t know where to start. The pain in your knee makes it hard for you to exercise. You are working too much so you don’t have time to eat well. Sometimes acknowledging that you are not satisfied where you are is the first step to moving in a healthier direction.
It doesn’t matter which direction you choose to go, but go somewhere. You can always change directions if it isn’t the right way. But start somewhere. Begin anywhere.
Start committing to sleeping more, because adequate rest is critical to recovery. Pick a consistent bedtime and stick to it. Don’t worry about the rest until you are ready. Or if the knee pain keeps you from exercising, then let physical therapy help you understand the pain and improve it in order to be able exercise. If optimizing your health and well being is your goal, then begin somewhere…begin anywhere.
Special thanks to Grant Korgan, founder of Choose Positivity Now, and his book “Two Feet Back” for solidifying this idea for me.
"After having hip surgery in January of 2014 to remove bones spurs, a bone cyst and a severe calcium build up, I thought the pain would be over. Yes, the pain from the hip was over but I found I was still struggling with lower back pain. That is when I met with Carolyn Dolan.
I didn't want medication nor was I looking for a quick fix. I wanted to figure out how I could strengthen my back and at least find a place where I could manage whatever back pain I might have. Carolyn gave me exactly that and more.
We met weekly for about 6 months. We tested different exercises and back stretches. But it was the daily exercises that Carolyn prescribed for me that allowed me to control my back pain. Simply by starting my day with these basic exercises, I was experiencing a tremendous difference in my pain. She also gave me other tools including lifestyle nutritional recommendations to improve my recovery. She empowered me to care for myself. Through my exercises, Carolyn showed me how to recognize my bodies response to certain activities and movements. I was able to make adjustments myself, not relying on her to "fix" me. By making these changes I have been able to return to the active lifestyle I had enjoyed before my hip injury. Today I am cycling, hiking and doing yoga without pain. Thank you so much Carolyn for giving me the tools to heal MYSELF!!"
Can what I eat really decrease my inflammation from osteoarthritis?
Yes, it can help! What you eat can have a positive effect on the inflammatory process associated with Osteoarthritis.
This graphic from an article published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences in 2013 demonstrates where along the inflammatory pathway each nutritional component inhibits inflammation. The nutraceuticals or components of whole foods like, resveratrol, polyhenols (including epigallocatechin 3-gallate (EGCG)), curcumin, ginger, Glucosamine/Chondroitin sulfate, pomegranate, and rosehip can help to limit inflammation.
Dr Carolyn Dolan DPT, Cert MDT, MSHN
Where physical therapy, nutrition and lifestyle meet, because how you live your life determines whether or not you soar. Inspiring action with information so you can reduce pain, optimize healing and improve function naturally during recovery from injury, surgery or painful condition. This is a website for the open-minded; obstinate need not apply.