Sunday, December 19, 2010

Made to be Healthy

Did you know there are 2 completely opposite ways of looking at the body?

A mechanistic view says we are a list of chemicals, parts, and pieces. We are a machine like a car. If a part stops working, pull it out (surgery), chemically force it to do something different (drug it), or manipulate it.  YOU don't get treated- your illness or injury does.

Do you want to have a doctor for each part of the body or condition? (We know how often they all talk to know what is going on with you.) Do you want to treat the body by forcing it to behave differently?  A mechanistic approach is why you may have a diabetes doctor, an oncologist, a cardiologist, a GP, an internist, a gastroenterologist, and an ENT (ear, nose, throat). Each doctor only works with "his part" of the body.     

A holistic (also called vitalistic) view of the body says that YOU ARE MORE THAN THE SUM OF YOUR PARTS.  If you have an illness it is because you are not working properly- you need to be nourished, moved, hydrated, neurologically stimulated, or in some way cared for.  You have a symptom because something is not right. The symptom is not the problem- it is just a signal of the problem.

A vitalistic approach honors you as a complex relation of systems designed to be healthy. That is right, you are made to be healthy.  

I love to know my patients. What is going on with you, your family, your job. When did you eat? How is the stress level? Did you get the raise or promotion? To be the best doctor that I can for each client I HAVE TO know them.

Would you love that kind of doctor and that kind of personalized care? To be treated like a real person and not have a conversation with the doctor's hand already on the doorknob? That is what I want and therefore what I deliver. Want to know more? Come by and sit down with me for a real consultation.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Costco-Sized Bottles of Aspirin!?

You know what scares me? Those huge bottles of aspirin you find at Costco or Sam's Club. I mean 500 tablets per bottle. Those things have a shelf-life you know. They should expire before anyone could possibly go through them all.

But then, I know there are people out there who take 8 or more, at a time. Sometimes 3 times per day! The question I have is- why? Even taking 2 aspirins (or Tylenol, Excedrin, etc.) per day for a prolonged time (that being greater than 7-10 days according to most manufacturers) can have side effects. Not just bleeding stomach ulcers but some really nasty things like liver and kidney damage.

If you take ANY pain reliever as part of your daily routine you have a problem and should actively seek to fix it. Fixing the underlying problem is the smartest thing you can do.

Take muscle and joint pain- there are several causes. If your cause is found and corrected then the pain can go away on it's own. Try any of these: (Realize, too, you may have more than 1 problem).
  1. See a chiropractor/ME. (
  2. Drink enough water (see my blog post about water for all the info).
  3. Exercise 4-5 times per week. (start simple and build up).
  4. Take supplements - I prefer USANA Health Sciences (
  5. Get enough rest/sleep.
  6. Take MSM (it is a similar compund to glucosamine and chondroitin but more effective).
  7. Increase your fish oil (talk with me, a naturopath, or your doctor as too much can be not good).
  8. Take a "greens" supplement to improve your pH (reduce the acid in your system).
  9. Increase your salt intake (must be electrolyte balanced like RealSalt or Himalayan Pink- again, ask me if you need help or are not sure).
I get questioned sometimes about taking any kind of prescription or over-the-counter medication.
*Legal Disclaimer - I do not and can not prescribe ANY medication, even OTC.* 
Logic would dictate that if the problem is corrected then the symptom (pain) should resolve as well. If reaching for a bottle is your first reaction then I have to recommend you fix the problem instead of just putting a band-aid over it and pretending it isn't there.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Do you know a healthy kid when you see one?

This sounds like the start of a really bad joke. I wish it was. This is the paradigm of "normal" that we need to be cautious of.

So a friend of mine takes her 1 year old son in for his check up with the pediatrician and the doc comments how the little guy is dropping in his percentile of weight. Not that he is undernourished, malnourished, showing any signs of starvation or abuse. He is just not as big "for his age group" as he used to be. 

I know the family and mom feeds the kids typically very healthy. So what happened that he is dropping compared to his "peers"?  I think the answer is easy - like my kids, they don't eat foods loaded with growth hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, herbicides, or other chemicals. Growth hormones in meat artificially stimulate our bodies to get bigger faster. Not healthier mind you, just bigger.

Shame on this pediatrician for not looking at anything other than an age-divided height/weight chart before making a comment that has the potential to really upset a good parent. What are we willing to accept as normal? Does being called small compared to a group of overweight people seem a bit off to you to? 

A good doctor asks you about eating and exercise habits, vitamin/mineral supplements, how much water you drink, what kind of things you do to relieve stress, how much rest you get, etc. That is part of taking care of a whole person and being a trusted and learned friend a.k.a. doctor.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lets Talk Supplements

Supplements are vitamins, minerals, herbs, and so on that are meant to help us complete our bodies nutritional needs. They are NOT meant to replace good eating habits. The whole concept seems to be misunderstood.

There are really only a few things to consider about supplements.

1. Quality. My recommendation is USANA Health Sciences ( They are a general health support supplement meant to give you a solid base of nutrition to work from. You won't find a line of targeted amino acid therapy with them, that is just not what they do. What they do have is the best* multivitamin/mineral supplement with a selection of optimizers to expand on an individual's needs.

2. Diligence. It is like brushing your teeth. It has to be done daily. Waiting until Saturday and just brushing for 30 minutes is not the same as brushing every day for 5. Supplements have to be taken daily to be useful. They just can't work if they are not in your body.

3. Consistency. I almost always get asked, "What will I feel and how long will it take?" Generally, you may or may not have a noticeable change. Does it really matter? Are you expecting drastic changes in a day? When change happens over time it is harder to notice.   

The thing to remember is that supplements do not replace good eating. They add to it. And please, don't be fooled by thnking that the foods around today offer a complete nutritional profile. Even the organic stuff (which is almost all I will eat) doesn't have it. Organic means they don't add chemicals and poisons, it does NOT mean that they are complete nutritionally.

Lastly, please don't buy supplements off the shelf at the grocery stores. They offer what is going to make them money not what is going to make you healthy. Some of the poorest quality supplements out there are Centrum, Kirkland Signature (Costco), and pretty much any grocery store brand.*

Do your health and that of your family a great help- use USANA supplements daily. And remember, if you want help determining your nutritional needs I can order labs and blood tests to dial in your specific needs.

*This statement is not FDA supported. It is not opinion as 3rd party companies have independently ranked USANA as the top supplement. (Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements, MacWilliams).

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween, Please Pass the Crack.

So I can't figure this out. When did it become completely acceptable to ingest poison simply because we like it?  I mean, crack addicts really like crack but we clearly don't want ANYONE ingesting it and yet we happily allow,even encourage people (especially children) to eat sugar.  

Now, I know someone is going to say crack and sugar are not even close to the same. Indulge me for a second. Sugar has zero health benefits. It causes inflammation that leads to cancer, diabetes, and heart disease just to name a few problems. There is no real reason to eat sugar at all. In fact, as far as effect on health - sugar only kills slower than crack.

I don't know about many others but I personally know 2 (count them, two) people who have been addicted to crack. I know DOZENS IF NOT HUNDREDS of people with diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Doctor's offices, medical centers, and hospitals are literally crowded with diabetics, heart disease and cancer patients, stroke victims, and morbidly obese patients. Sugar will damage far more people than crack ever will.  

Let me be clear- I am not referring to naturally occuring sugar like in fruit and some veggies. I am talking about processed, refined, added sugar. Cakes, cookies, pies, candy bars, processed meats (high fructose corn syrup is one of the worst), and boxed "foods" are loaded with it.

Let's stop the insanity of loading up on sugar and then pretending it is a "treat".  At Backbone, we refer to sugar by its correct name - poison. Let's be rid of it. We can recommend and even offer natural alternatives for chocolate, sweeteners, and foods that will build you up instead of tear you down. Healthy eating is a part of treating healthy people.      

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

You are the Greatest Super Computer

So here is a new concept for some: spine care helps organs function better. 

How does this work? Let me give you an analogy. The nerve system is like a computer.  The spine is the keyboard.  (90% of the information into the brain comes from the many joints, muscles, and nerve endings in the spine).  The brain is the hard drive and processor in one. The organs are the monitor.

So it goes SPINE ---> BRAIN ---> ORGANS. We are input (sensory) driven!

Just like your computer, if the spine (keyboard) is broken then the brain (processor) just doesn't know what to do and the organs (monitor) will give you an "error message". 

What is the "error message" from the organs? There are several things that can show up. High or uneven blood pressure, indigestion (even with a reasonable diet), muscle weakness, respiration, pulse rate, poor posture, glandular or cellular dysfunction, fatigue, or poor breathing. 

Taking a drug (without investigating the CAUSE of the problem is like altering the processor without fixing the keyboard. Surgery is unplugging the monitor (permanently) so you don't have to see the error message. Neither approach deals with the underlying CAUSE of the problem.

What is the take home message? If you don't like what you see on the monitor (organs) - look at the input (spine) to the processor (brain). Get your spine checked! Find the long term solution to your health problems and have your quality of life as high as you deserve it to be.

PS- I know there are doctors out there who will disagree with this since it is not commonly taught anywhere but in chiropracitc schools. I invite them to contact me and I will happily put it in big technical language so they can feel spoken to from 1 physician to another.     

Monday, July 12, 2010

What's the Deal with Rehab?

So most chiropractors offices make you wait until the secretary puts you back in a small room with an adjusting bench. the doc comes in and pushes on all the tight spots until something "pops". Then you leave. Sounds wonderful right?

The idea of just getting adjusted and not doing rehabilitation to strengthen the muscles is so antiquated that it really amazes me that anyone still gets away with it.

If you want the spine to line up and stay lined up then a proper combination of adjusting and rehabilitation must take place. There are lots of types of rehab so the thing to understand is that the rehab we do in the office is for postural muscles.

Postural muscles respond to direct nerve stimulus with the Pettibon Weighting System and the Linked Exercise Trainer. Postural muscles just don't respond in the gym the way phasic muscles do.  Postural muscles need isometric exercises.

The idea of just doing rehab doesn't cut the mustard either. If the joint is not moving properly then all the time spent making the muscle pull on the spine won't move the spine an inch. The combo of adjusting plus rehab is really what it takes to get the job done.  

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Healthy Now a Mental Disorder

Yes, sadly enough there are psychiatrists who now say that if you refuse to eat sugar, wheat, gluten, or some other known allergen foods or if you avoid herbicides, pesticides, and chemicals that you have a mental disorder. Did you get that?

If you eat healthy, organic food (no pesticide, herbicide, or chemical) you have a mental disorder.

You have to wonder if they really think that or if there is a new drug that isn't being used and someone came up with this hair-brained "disease" to justify prescribing it. (If you think that doesn't happen- look up Ritalin.) 

The claim is that you will somehow become malnourished if you eat this way. The assumption is that the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) is somehow better for you. This is the epitome of illogical.

So, if wanting to be healthy is now a disease- I will wear that badge with honor. Anyone care to join me?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Do you know your workout intensity?

Choosing what type of exercise, how long you do it, and when to change it up is important if you are going to get to a health goal.  I strongly advise working with an experienced doctor who deals with preventitive health (not many do) or a trained and certified personal trainer. Preferably one with a degree in exercise physiology not just a weight training certification.

To know if your workout intensity you need to do a couple simple calculations. The formula comes from our friends at Penn State University.

     220 - (your age) = your maximum safe heart rate.

The intensity is then based on a percent of the maximum.

High intensity (cardio) is 70-80% of your maximumMedium intensity (fat burning) is 60% of your max.  The only adjustment to this is based on resting heart rate since your age is already factored in.

So, if your goal is to lose weight your most effective workout is not turning up the treadmill to max and huffing and puffing.  Stay at 60% which is far less intense than most people think.  Try a simple walk after dinner. And remember to start easy- 5 or 10 minutes at first and gradually (weeks) build up to 30 to 45 minutes. 

If you want improved cardiovascular function and better heart rate- try a kickboxing or something that really gets your heart thumping.  Strength and endurance comes from resistance training (weights) and can be done at any intensity. 

Of course, combinations can be a great time-saver but if you have a specific goal then you should have a targeted plan. My clients get a custom made plan just by asking for it- at no charge- including follow up and adjusting that plan as needed. I want the healthiest clients in the world.  Wouldn't you like to reach your best? You can do it. I can help you.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Eat to Maximize Your Work Out Effectiveness

Are you a morning, lunchtime, or evening exerciser?  Time of day and how you fuel is important to maximize your workout effectiveness. 

Eating should be done to correlate to the body's needs for the workout.  One common misunderstanding is going to the gym to workout before breakfast.  The idea is that if there is no sugar (glucose) in the blood then the body will burn fat.  Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way.

When the body doesn't have enough blood sugar it will convert amino acids (proteins) into glucose (sugar). This is done by the liver and is called gluconeogenesis.  There are 2 available sources of proteins to use-immune cells (immunoglobulins) and muscle cells.  You don't want your body converting your immune system to sugar OR your muscles to break down for fuel every time you work out.

The best time to eat is before your workout. Not right before it- you definitely don't want to up-chuck on the gym's equipment- about an hour is good.  The best choice of foods are low-glycemic carbs, lean proteins, and don't be afraid of good quality fats. This can be accomplished with a high quality meal replacement shake if time is tight.  Otherwise, I can share with you some relatively fast and easy recipes.

And, if your workout is going to last more than about 45 minutes then you want to stop near the half-way point and take in a small amount of shake or a nutrition bar and a strong anti-oxidant/vitamin.

I prefer USANA Health Sciences Nutrimeal for my shakes and their Peanut Butter Crunch nutrition bar.  There are a few other but you have to be careful about the types of sugars- you don't want to spike your blood sugar either.   

One lady I know spends 2-3 hours per day at the gym and yet she just can't seem to lose the extra weight.  Popular thinking says "calorie in, calorie out" so she must be eating too much of the wrong stuff.  In fact, she eats very well but doesn't eat enough to sustain her during the workouts so she is not generating lean muscle mass.  It is lean muscle mass that is responsible for burning "calories" and weight loss, lowering triglycerides, cholesterol, and improving health.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Paradigm Change

A paradigm is a pre-set way of thinking about something.  It is how we view the world sub-consciously.  I like to say it is what we think about something before we think about it. We do this with our health all the time.

How many people do you know that reach for an aspirin when they get a headache? I'd like to think we all recognize that the aspirin doesn't cure the headache. It just shuts off the pain signal. So what paradigm are most people using?

The one the pharmaceutical companies spend billions of dollars a year making sure they do. Ever notice that about 1 in 3 commercials is for a pharmaceutical product? Go ask your doctor about...What happened to the doctors making the decisions about what would help you most? 

So next time someone asks or reaches for an aspirin- ask yourself, is this just a habit of an old paradigm? Is there something causing the headache that should be addressed?  If it is an aspirin deficiency then by all means stick with the daily dose of aspirin. If that seems as absurd to you as it does me maybe you should consider getting to the cause of the problem. Call me. I live for this stuff.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Weekend Warrior Syndrome - 2 Types of Injuries

It never fails- Monday morning following the first really nice weekend there are scores of people suffering from Weekend Warrior Syndrome.  What is this about? 

There are really 2 varieties of injuries that happen over the weekend.
  1. Sudden onset
  2. Delayed onset (improper cool-down injury).
Sudden onset injuries happen "right now". A patient will come into see me and say, "I was doing... and all of a sudden felt...".  This type of injury happens when we participate in activities on the weekend that we have not done all week. This is one reason why consistent exercise is so important.

Delayed onset injury happens when the body is not allowed to cool down properly after an activity. This is not the same as delayed onset muscle soreness that happens after intense physical exercise.  According to Penn State University, many injuries happen between bursts of work or play. 

For example- you need to move dirt or beauty bark. Most people will go out and simply start bending, shoveling, lifting and pushing the wheelbarrow without warming up. Then after some time (usually without adequate water) the job is done and you get to go inside and "kick back" in the recliner. After all, you worked hard and deserve some rest.  Then an hour later you get up and feel stiff and ache all over. 
This is because when we exercise our ligaments become soft and pliable. Then when they cool down and become stiff they assume whatever shape they are put in. So, if we exercise (yard work, sports, playing, etc.) then plop into the recliner when we come inside and rest we can expect to have more soreness when we get up 15 minutes to 2 hours later because the ligaments have cooled down without the spine being in the correct position.

Prevent this type of injury by simply laying down on proper spinal supports for 10-15 minutes when you come inside and then you can kick back into the recliner and enjoy your hard earned rest. 

Good Morning Sunshine

When the weather gets nice there are 2 main concerns that come about:
  1. Dehydration
  2. "Weekend Warrior" syndrome.
Dehydration is easier to get to than most people think. Out in the yard playing or gardening in the warm sunshine it is easy to just enjoy and forget to stop for water. Some will accelerate the process by adding other fluids that actually cause more dehydration-like soda or alcohol.

Just remember to drink half your weight in ounces of water every day. It is really easy if you just follow these 4 steps:
  1. Drink a big glass 1st thing in the morning- at least 12 ounces.
  2. Drink a big glass 10 minutes before each meal- at least 12 ounces each time.
  3. Drink just 2 bottles of water throughout the day besides the "before-meal" glasses.
  4. Be sure to keep up your electrolytes by using RealSalt.  Pedialyte or gatorade may be used if necessary but they have lots of sugar in them making them less healthy.
Be careful not to drink a large amount just before bed or you may be up several times in the night and will be less liekly to wake up refreshed.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Snap, Crack, Pop- Cereal or Adjustment?

Much discussion has taken place around the noise often heard with an adjustment and there is still a lot of confusion as to what the noise is, what it means, and what is happening. So let's define some language and eliminate some confusion.

Adjustments restore function and stimulate the nerve system. They do not correct the spine's shape, restore curves, or reduce Forward Head Posture (FHP) with any permanency.

An adjustment serves 2 purposes:
     1. Stimulates the nerve system- one of the most valuable purposes of an adjustment.
     2. Unlocks or mobilizes fixated (improperly moving) joints. (Crucial for maximum effectiveness of a rehabilitation program.)

So what is with the popping or cracking sound that has led to the breakfast cereal confusion? Truth is- we just don't know. There are no studies that I am aware of confirming exactly what causes that noise. There are a couple theories out there but the reality is- it just doesn't matter.

A good adjustment is not dependant on how noisy it is. A good adjustment delivers an outcome (better nerve function and joint mobility).  This is measurable and observable in some very practical and simple in office tests. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Health or Wellness?

Mosby’s Medical Dictionary says, “Health is a condition of physical, mental, and social well-being. It is not a static condition; constant changes and adaptation to stress result in homeostasis (balance).” 

Wellness is achieving and working to stay in that balanced state. Most people think of wellness as eating organic food, participating in activities like yoga or Pilates, and having time for both rest and play. It is that and more.

What if there was one aspect so vitally tied to our health but was missed by approximately 85% of the population? Sadly, there is: the health of your nervous system. Your nervous system controls and coordinates every other system of the body (Gray’s Anatomy- the book not the TV show).

Most people have never had their nerve system’s function evaluated. How do you check the nervous system? The easiest way is to look at posture. When your posture is bad- your nervous system is stressed. The Sealy Institute states that posture effects and moderates (via the nervous system) every physiologic function from breathing to hormonal production.

The most common postural problem leading to nerve stress is forward head posture (FHP).  FHP causes loss of normal spinal curves when viewed from the side. This causes the whole spine to be thrown out of balance.  Common findings include shoes wearing out unevenly, one pant leg longer than the other, one hand seems more in front of the body than the other, shoulders rounded or slouching. If you notice any of these signs in yourself, a friend, co-worker, or loved one, recommend they get checked.

Benefits of a Pettibon Rehabilitation program, like the one offered at Backbone, include enhanced physical performance, decreased risk of injury, more energy, and improved health. Only when the nervous system is functioning at 100% can you truly achieve wellness.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Vitamins and Free Radicals

Free radicals are little scavengers that come by a cell and "steal" parts to make themselves whole while leaving the cell damaged. Free radicals are a part of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can be thought of as "rust on the inside".

Vitamins and minerals protect the body and the cells by giving the free radicals the parts they need- effectively neutralizing them. For this reason vitamins (and their mineral co-factors) are more accurately called anit-oxidants.

The sad fact is that it is just about impossible to get enough vitamins and minerals from food. It has to do with the way food is farmed, processed, packaged, and stored. An apple today does not have the same nutrients as an apple 100 years ago.

What is the way to get the vital anti-oxidants? Supplements. I use and recommend USANA Health Sciences. Their quality is unsurpassed anywhere. They not only use the best ingredients, they also have the most complete and bioavailable (absorbable).

You can learn more at or scheduling a nutrition consultation with me.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

High Glycemic vs. Low Glycemic Eating

Foods that are both healthy and delicious are an important part of life. What foods fit into the category of healthy and delicious? Whole foods. Lean meat, fruits, vegetables, beans (legumes), whole grains, and even some dairy. These are foods that build the body strong and healthy.

If you don't think they are delicious it may be that you are used to eating high glycemic foods. High glycemic foods cause a sharp spike in your blood glucose. This would be processed foods: sugar, flour, pasta, bread, potatoes, and rice (there are some exceptions).


High glycemic foods cause the body to release large amounts of insulin and set off a cascade of ill effects. Blood sugar comes crashing down leaving you hungry, fatigued, and even light headed.

Think about a child at a birthday party. They eat cake and ice cream and they seem to be bouncing off the walls. What happens in the car? They crash (sorry, but the pun is intended).

Most people think they are just tired from running around and having fun. The truth is that their blood sugar is crashed to hypoglycemic levels and they CAN'T stay awake for anything.

Eventually the body becomes resistant to the insulin and you develop Metabolic Syndrome (Syndrome X) or what is now called "pre-diabetes". Left uncorrected it will become full blown diabetes.

The good news is that this can be corrected. It takes making some lifestyle changes and time but what better reason is there for a lifestyle change? Stop, control, or even reverse diabetes. That means no diabetic neuropathy, less stroke, aneurism, and heart disease.

That is why Backbone offers the Healthy for Life program. Dr. Cohen and his team are Certified Team Leaders. For more information check out the Healthy for Life program and USANA Health Sciences or just stop in my office and schedule a consultation.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Exercise at the Gym Won't Fix This

When you have Forward Head Posture (FHP) your neck literally doesn't work right. FHP and loss of the normal curve (lordosis) go together all the time. Losing the curve means the muscles don't work properly.

Going to the gym and pumping iron (which I do encourage people to after their spine has been corrected) simply won't fix the problem.

The reason is that you have postural muscles. Going to the gym only helps with phasic muscles. What's the difference?

Postural muscles cannot be controlled by thinking about them. Phasic muscles are can. In other words- you can choose to flex your arm (biceps) but you can't choose to wiggle one of your backbones.

Our program is specifically designed to work with your postural muscles.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Dangerous Posture

Do you know the most common presentation of an injured spine? It is called Forward Head Posture (FHP).

It is where the weight of the skull is in front of the balance points in the neck, back, or pelvis. It causes serious compromise to your health.

According to research from University of Southern California it causes gut problems, lung problems, pain sensitivity problems, and overall poor spine function.

Shealy Institute says posture regulates EVERY physical and mental function of the body including; pulse, blood pressure, breathing, and mood.

The thing people seem to have a hard time with is that FHP can cause little pain until it is really advanced.

Most patients presenting in my office have over an inch of FHP and some have had over 3 inches. That is severe and is obviously much more difficult to work with.

The secret to optimum health is to stay proactive. And remember, everything of value takes maintenance- your house, your car, and your body.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Treated Like You Are Already Dead

So here is the challenge: adjustments restore function and are profoundly important for proper neurological balance but adjustments alone can’t change the structure of the spine.

Muscles react, under nerve-controlled reflexes, to applied forces. Adjusting a vertebra back into alignment and expecting it to stay (like most chiropractors) works great if the patient is already dead. No Reflexes!

Every living patient takes rehabilitation to change the structure of the spine. Our rehabilitation works with the muscle reflexes instead of against them. This allows you results that adjustments alone can't get.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Healthy Eating or Dieting?

Have you ever noticed that some people are always on a diet. They are either just finishing one, sufering through one, or just finishing one.

The problem is that diets are meant to be short term. But, eating is something we will do for the rest of our lives.

So ask yourself this- do you want to diet off and on with your weight going up and down like a yo-yo? Or would you rather learn how to eat to gain strength, vitality, and youth? The difference is the way we think about and perceive eating.

Instead of thinking about not getting to eat sugar and foods (I use that word lightly) that are like poison in our system- think about what you do get. You get to eat foods that taste good AND deliver strength and energy.

When the decision to eat better happens the changes become life-long because you are not on a diet. You simply eat better.

You will probably lose inches. But more importantly you will have a better quality of life with stregth, energy, and a youthful feel. That is worth it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Get the Most of Your Joint Supplements

So what is the deal with supplements? Are glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate really any good? What about MSM? The answer is yes and no.

Let's get an understanding of the process first. I'll use MSM as an example (mostly becasue it is short and easy to type). MSM is a comound particle. In order to get where it needs to be and be effective it must be carried there. Guess what carries it? You got it- WATER.

So the first challenge is taking a good supplement but not getting enough water. The supplement would then appear to be ineffective. Hence, many people say they have tried MSM but it didn't work.

Try taking your joint supplements with at least 12 ounces of water. (More info- see my post about drinking enough water). Be done with chronic dehydration and you will see a difference in pain anyway.

Next, you have to understand something about a joint or a disc. THEY HAVE NO BLOOD FLOW. That's right- they are avascular. The only way they get rid of waste and bring in fresh nutrition is through movement.

And not just any movement- it must be specific to the joint involved. It fascilitates 2 processes- imbibition and osmosis. Imbibition is to simply take in fluid. Osmosis is the movement of water due to concentration gradients.

So the moral of the story is- water and movement or your joint supplements are useless!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year Resolutions

So it's that time again. Most people make their resolutions and it takes about 8 days (national average) for them to vanish. Most people tend to make unattainable resolutions or resolutions that are not specific enough to be useful.

For someone who does not go to the gym to all of a sudden start going 5 days a week- probably not reasonable. Saying "I am going to get healthier" also not good. What does that mean? What does healthier look like? Is it a weight goal? A clothing size? Lowering cholesterol by X points?

Reasonable goal setting includes attainable and specific(measurable) goals. Some goals for the most common resolutions:

1. Spend more time with family.

Better: Spend 20 minutes per day with my spouse and kids with no TV, computer, or other distrations. (Sounds easy, right? Try it.)

2. Get in better shape.

Better: Go to the gym 2 days per week to lose 15 lbs and 2 inches from my waist by February 28. (specific and measurable)

3. Eat healthier.

Better: Eat a salad with at least 1 meal each day with a good salad dressing (no sugar).

The idea of setting smaller goals seems silly to most people. We all think we can accomplish huge changes. The truth is we can- but not so suddenly. Starting with a smaller reasonable goals with a deadline allows us to take measurable steps towards the bigger goals. It also allows us successes along the way that we can be proud of.