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I workout so I can drink protein shakes

protein-powderProtein is required by the body, especially when challenging it with exercise. Nowadays it is widely accepted and (even expected) to follow a good workout with a protein shake or smoothie. They go well together. Your body will crave the amino acids available in protein to rebuild damaged tissue post workout. Their is even a small window of time after exercise termed the “anabolic window” where the body is primed to absorb nutrients for assimilation.

You may have noticed that there are MANY types and flavors of protein powder available to choose from. Some are much safer and healthier than others. I encourage you to read the label of your current brand and lookout for a few things.

First of all, find out the source of protein. Is if from a plant or animal?

Plant protein powders typically come from rice, chia, hemp, pea, flax, and soy. These are very easy to digest and almost immediately ready for absorption. I recommend avoiding all types of soy for many different reasons so be sure to find one without soy. 

Animal protein powders typically come in the form of whey which is made from dairy. Conventional dairy is an allergen to everyone. Some of us more than others. It increases inflammation in the lining of our guts and produces various symptoms such as digestive discomfort, acne, headaches, congestion, excess mucus production, and sinus infections. Those who choose whey protein powders commonly report bloating, distended stomach and gassiness. Another pitfall for conventional dairy products is the high amount of contamination with hormones, antibiotics, and other environmental contaminants. No wonder dairy consumption is directly linked cancer in many different studies.

Secondly, watch out for many different types of additives and fillers. Your body will digest and absorb real food better than it will artificial ingredients. Be careful about sugar of many different names and forms and ALOT of it! This is added simply for taste and will harm your body. You may find different types of binding agents and dyes also. Ideally, the best protein powder will be made with protein.

I enjoy high quality plant protein from Metagenics


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Foam Rolling: What’s the Point and How do I do it?

Foam RollerWhat is the point of foam rolling?

Foam rolling can provide health benefits by breaking down soft tissue adhesions and scar tissue that is in your fascia. Fascia is a three dimensional fibrous matrix that interconnects and surrounds all cells of the body including muscles, bones, and joints, providing integrity and strength.

Abnormal fascia can cause chronic pain, reduced flexibility, and decreased athletic performance. Foam rolling can be an effective, inexpensive and convenient way to keep your body healthy, limber, fit and flexible. I recommend a high density foam roller.

Whether you are a bodybuilder, athlete, or weekend warrior, foam rolling is important to allow strength along with flexibility and full range of motion.

How to use a foam roller:

Foam rolling is very simple to learn. Choose an area of tightness in your body and place it on top of the foam roller. Slowly roll along the muscle groups end to end until you find a tender spot. Stop right on top of the painful area and hold it there until the pain diminishes by about 75%. Then continue scanning around to find another area to hold until you can’t find any other tender points to work on. Over time, with practice and repetition, you might be able to work out all of the tender points throughout your body and then keep the foam roller handy for maintenance and prevention. You can increase pressure over the soft tissue by stacking your body parts upon one another or repositioning your body in many ways. You can use a foam roller before physical activity, or after, or both to reduce muscle soreness and speed recovery.

Target specific muscle groups with your foam roller:

Paraspinals

Paraspinals: With your arms behind your head, lie on your back, face up, with roller positioned in the middle of your back and your butt off the ground. Roll up and down along your spine.

Latissimus

Latissimus: Lie on your side with your arm overhead. Roll back and forth along your side from your arm pit to your mid-torso.

Gluteus Muscles-Minimus-Piriformis

Gluts / Piriformis: Sit on the foam roller while leaning forward into the side your working on. Roll up and down along the entire buttock area.

Hamstrings

Hamstrings: Sit with the foam roller on your hamstrings on the back of your thighs. Roll up and down along the back of your thighs.

Quadriceps

Quadriceps: Lay face down with the foam roller under your thighs. Roll up and down your quads and rock side to side to work the entire muscle group.

Iliotibial Band

Iliotibial  Band: Lay on your side with the foam roller on your lateral thigh. Roll up to your hip and down to your knee.

Calves Gastro-Soleus

Calves Gastro-Soleus: Sit with the foam roller behind your legs. Roll up and down along your calves from behind your knee to your heels.

Peroneals

Peroneals / Tibialis: Kneel over your foam roller and roll up to the knee and down to the ankle while focusing on the outer / lateral portion of your shin.

If you have pain/discomfort which does not resolve or worsens with exercise and foam rolling, I encourage you to consider Chiropractic care. After you are more comfortable with your foam roller, a full body routine might take about 10-minutes to complete. I recommended to foam roll anywhere from 3 to 5 times each week. Take this time to focus on deep breathing.

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Himalayan Salt Lamps Create Negative Ions for Positive Health Benefits

Himalayan Salt Lamp

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you noticed the new Himalayan Salt Lamps at Baltuska Chiropractic? I enjoy having them around to help purify indoor air and for their soothing red glow. I was first exposed to them when I was a Chiropractic student shadowing an amazing doctor who had been in practice for 50 years! I remember the feeling and ambiance that they provided in his practice and made a note to implement the same into my own when the time came.

What are Salt Lamps?

Salt lamps are simply large pieces of pure, food grade, Himalayan Salt with a small bulb inside.

The importance of negative ions:

Salt lamps are natural negative ion generators. At any given time, there are both positive and negative ions in the air.

Negative ions occur more often in nature and they are often created by things like lightening storms, sunlight, waterfalls, and ocean waves. This is one of the reasons we feel renewed or refreshed after a storm or at the beach.

Positive ions are often created by electronic devices like tablets, cell phones, stereos, computers, TVs, microwaves, and vacuum cleaners. Positive ions can often exacerbate problems like allergies, stress and sleep difficulty. Negative ions can then neutralize, quench, or bind to positive ions and help cleanse the air and protect us from potentially harmful effects.

The unique combination of salt and a light source in these salt lamps are what cause the negative ions. Salt is naturally hygroscopic, meaning that it attracts water to its surface and this water evaporates quickly due to the small amount of heat from the light source. The protective negative ions are generated during the evaporation process.

Since things like airborne mold, bacteria, and allergens often carry a positive charge, they can also be neutralized by negative ions.

Negative ions have been shown to increase the flow of oxygen to the brain; resulting in higher alertness, decreased drowsiness, and more mental energy. They also may protect against germs in the air, resulting in decreased irritation due to inhaling various particles that make you sneeze, cough, or have a throat irritation. And for a special one in three of us who are sensitive to their effects, negative ions can make us feel like we are walking on air.

Places like waterfalls and beaches where negative ions are naturally produced can have a negative ion concentration of up to 10,000 negative ions per cubic centimeter whereas busy cities can have negative ion levels as low as 100 ions per cubic centimeter.

Salt lamps are a very affordable and effective for home and office use. You will especially appreciate them in winter months when you aren’t able to spend as much time outside.


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Sitting is the New Smoking – Even if Fit & Active, Desk Jobs are Bad for Health

sitting the new smokingSitting is the new smoking. It is killing us by the masses and we don’t know any better. Our human bodies are not meant to be folded in half for hours at a time. Sedentary lifestyle instigates every co-morbidity known to man. The muscles decondition and atrophy. The organs are squished, restricted in function and get backed up with viscous fluids. The joints degenerate and the nerves get irritated and inflamed. The brain slows with fog. The cardiovascular and lymphatic systems grow stagnant. All that is just the beginning! Compile years of desk time studying, reading, computer work, phone calls, meals, entertainment, and traveling then you have created a human body that is really good at one thing- sitting. We will adapt to the stresses and demands that are asked of us. If the challenge is only that of endurance in the seated posture, then we will lose our mobility. Use it or lose it!

Researchers are taking a closer look at how we position ourselves day to day and are repeatedly demonstrating that standing and moving is a much more safe, efficient way to spend our time as opposed to sitting. Those who are adopting standing workstations, where the day to day tasks can be performed in the upright standing position, are experiencing many benefits including: improved health profiles and lab-work, more efficiency and productivity, better mood, more enjoyment and fulfillment in career, more energy etc. They are finding less fatigue, irritability, brain fog and sick days. Choosing standing over sitting can reduce your risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

The abundance of evidence is in. Standing desks need to replace the primitive seated work environment in school, home, and work. There are many options available to help you make the switch. You can simply prop up your monitor and keyboard with standard household tables, boxes, and stands of any kind.  Or you can invest in yourself with more elegant and custom fitted furniture like this one: