So, you really are what you eat
Hopefully that doesn’t make you feel too uncomfortable. But think about it this way: if you are consistently consuming foods that are devoid of nutrition, how can your cells rebuild, repair and literally regenerate, properly? How can you expect to feel well? The western diet, replete with meats and sweets, has had crippling effects on the American population for exactly this reason: with such inferior inputs, our bodies are literally incapable of repairing themselves properly. It’s time to start giving your body the nutrition it needs to support your lifestyle.
Eating wisely begins with awareness
It is difficult to simply swap out a sweet with a fruit, or a meat with a legume. We are programmed from a young age to crave such delights. But what if you could replace your craving for sweets with a craving for optimal wellness? At Community Chiropractic & Acupuncture of Park Slope, we go about this by helping people realize how much better they feel with a balanced diet. Once you unlock the awareness of how good it feels to maintain a healthy diet, the cycle will keep feeding itself, if you’ll pardon the expression. There is no denying that our bodies simply work better with a properly balanced diet- if you need help getting on board the healthy-eating train, give our office in Park Slope a call to schedule an appointment today. We work with you to identify and change any aspect that is holding you back from feeling your best.
Define: Junk Food
It’s the kind of food that gets your mouth watering at the very thought. We can all think of our favorite junk food, but what does the term really entail? From McDonald’s to freezer pizza to donuts, junk food is pre-prepared food that has little to no nutritional value. It is usually high in processed ingredients, sugar and bad fats. It is formulated to taste great and treat your brain’s reward complex, make you feel full and give you the baseline of nutrition to stay alive but not much more!
Junk food is not your friend
All that sugar:
- Spikes blood-sugar levels
- Inflames tissues
- Raises blood pressure
- Raises and drops insulin levels
The fat raises levels of undesirable cholesterol and your risk for type 2 diabetes while the sodium causes your body to retain water, making you feel bloated but also contributing to an enlarged heart muscle.
Balancing out the junk food diet
So you’ve gone on a junk food bender and you are looking to recover. Don’t feel bad- with our on-the-go lifestyle, the drive-thru or ready made meal is almost an essential from time to time. However, it is important to not make this your only source of fuel. Below we have come up with ways to balance a junk-food bender.
- Anti-inflammatory ingredients: junk food has a tendency to raise inflammatory markers in the blood, which makes it important to balance this by eating anti-inflammatory ingredients. Adding turmeric to your next stir fry is a great place tos tart.
- Water, water, water! to fight inflammation and nourish the cells of your body.
- High-fiber foods: to balance blood sugar and optimize the function of your gut.
- Healthy starches: rather than the good-for-nothing starches that characterize junk food.
Food is fuel so therefore food should be your friend!
At our office in Park Slope, we are aware of the difficulties inherent in a fast paced lifestyle; we are often at the mercy of the clock which leaves us little room for choice when its time to eat. If eating is a constant challenge, let us help you find the time to eat right and make healthy decisions across the board.
Dr. Karen Thomas, D.C.
Summer is the season of freshness, positivity and reinvigoration. With bright summer days offering an abundance of (free) Vitamin D, you already have a head start on your winter body of health just by being outside. Vitamin D is essential for bone density and immune system functioning, two areas of health that we are primarily concerned with at your Park Slope chiropractor and acupuncturist. There are so many little things you can do to your diet during the summer that are not available at other times of the year. Start at the farmer’s market, of which there are many in our area, and follow some simple guidelines to make this your healthiest summer yet.
Less juice, more wholesome fruit: juice usually contains trace amounts of the vitamins found in raw fruit while containing much more sugar. Find the most vividly colorful fruit you can and sink your teeth into it: let the health flow.
Focus on fresh: local produce is a multi-win situation. Rather than being shipped across the country, you are ingesting vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants fiber and healthy sugars which have been plucked within a reasonable radius from you. The kinds of produce that are in season during the summer (think tomatoes, corn, berries, avocado) are chalk full of nutrients. We can help you determine which nutrients you need more of and help you select them for maximum taste as well as health.
Portion control: Humans will eat, on average, 92% of what is on the plate they are served. For those trying to watch their weight, this makes portion control a priority. Simply cooking smaller amounts, or serving a smaller amount will make you consume fewer calories and help you lose weight. This is a boon for back health, particularly in the lower back.
Summer is also a time of elevated activity: ensure your body is aligned, muscles are relaxed and your nervous system is working optimally by calling our office in Brooklyn today.
Dr. Karen Thomas, D.C.
Nutrition is a huge component of overall physical health- it influences everything from your metabolic rate to body weight, skin complexion and emotional stability. Healthy living starts with healthy eating! Unfortunately, we live in a society where food is made to be ultra-convenient, fast and filling. Fast food companies and supermarket chains use this as an excuse to replace quality nutrition with food products that are simply not good enough. Living with less stress starts with the nutrients and building blocks that you put into your body.
With this in mind I will spend a few blogs elaborating on easy and convenient ways that you can incorporate healthful practices into your every day routine. Nutrition and chiropractic are complementary sciences that can be combined into a dynamic health plan that will improve your well-being.
One thing that will help cognitive functioning as well as promoting healthy bones and nerves is hydration. So…Drink water! Studies show that 80% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. The body is hugely reliant on water and when it does not receive enough, it has to ration its existing supply, which means that vital organs throughout the body are not getting their recommended amount of H2O. Being just a little bit dehydrated can raise the body’s levels of the stress hormone Cortisol.
Doctors recommend 1 quart of water per 50 pounds of body weight. If this standard is met and maintained you will experience an uptick in the functioning of your brain, nervous system and digestion! Grab a reusable water bottle and make it your companion. Being hydrated is cool.
Remember: Coffee and soda do not count!
At Community Chiropractic and Acupuncture, we want to help you understand nutrition and how it affects your biochemical well being. We offer instruction and monitoring that will help you recover a sense of health that will change your life. We can also recommend vitamin and mineral supplements that you may be missing. Don’t take on the responsibility of changing your diet all alone. Call us at (718) 398-3100 or come on in to our Park Slope office today. By working together, we can change unhealthy habits and replace them with great ones!
Karen A. Thomas D.C., L.Ac.