Wellness Articles

You Look Great!

Who wouldn’t want to hear those words? In our culture, looking good is highly valued, and we spend a significant chunk of our fortunes on grooming, clothing, jewelry and other adornments that improve the way we are perceived by those around us.

Yet, you’ve heard the expression “you can’t tell a book by its cover” – appearing good on the outside doesn’t mean that everything is working properly on the inside. In fact, sometimes health problems are sneaky and insidious, without any noticeable symptoms.

Blood pressure can creep upwards, wear and tear can erode the joints, and any number of subtle changes can occur that at first create no pain or obvious malfunction. There are really only two things you can do to help yourself.

First, you can choose the very best lifestyle habits available. Eat well. Reduce your stress. Exercise appropriately. Avoid unnecessary injury. Minimize toxicity by reading labels and staying away from excessive chemicals in your food.

Second, you can consult experts on body function and lifestyle design, building a wellness team with the services you prefer – nutritionist, personal trainer, life coach, massage therapist or body worker, and of course your doctor of chiropractic, who can help you coordinate the use of professionals like these and others.

There’s an old story about a young man and his mentor, walking and contemplating, when the student, looking up at the heavens, exclaimed, “I cannot believe that the ancient peoples of the world were so stupid as to think that the sun rotated around the earth!”

The old man looked up as well, and remarked, “Does it look any different to the two of us down here?”

The young man realized that his understanding of the earth rotating around the sun was from his previous knowledge, and that the sky really did look like the sun was revolving the earth – he could see how people were duped by the appearance of it.

And so are we sometimes misled when we hear people say, “You look great” – it may be true, but you’ll still need to take the responsibility of developing good health habits and building a team of professionals to help you get healthy and stay healthy, so you work as great on the inside as you look on the outside!

What are your Health Goals?

Most of us know at least a little about goals. Setting a goal is one of the simplest and most basic success tools – it means to pick a target to aim at, a result you would like to happen, and then make a plan to work toward it. Setting goals is how almost all successful people create their success, in every chosen field of endeavor.

Some health goals are goals of safety – for example, if you want to travel safely in your car and avoid unnecessary injury, you would wear your seatbelt. Yes, it’s a law, but if you have a goal to be as safe as possible in your car, then no one has to insist that you wear a seatbelt – it’s an action step you would take to achieve the goal.

Or, you can choose a goal of a slimmer figure or clean, healthy lungs. You would then have to select some new behavior patterns, perhaps in eating, exercise and self discipline, to move yourself to lose weight or stop smoking.

See how this works? When the goal is clear and meaningful, the natural tendency is to act to make it happen, and that’s one of the main reasons setting goals is so important – it guides you toward naturally good decisions and behaviors, supportive of what you want to accomplish.

Interestingly, you can also set goals around positive health practices, like deciding to improve your diet, starting a regular exercise or meditation practice, or coming in for regular chiropractic care. These goals are not only to avoid pain and illness — they are designed to increase health and wellness, for a longer and better life.

You could set a goal of better posture, or a better attitude while doing chores you don’t really enjoy. You could aim at more patience with your children (or your parents). You could work toward improving your strength, balance or your wind and lung capacity by walking or running regularly.

You could set a goal to learn a martial art like karate or a sport like tennis. You could pick an ideal weight and combine proper diet, exercise and coaching to get there. You could aim at better mobility and flexibility by practicing yoga.

You could set a goal to clean up your nutrition, and reduce or eliminate unhealthy food and drink habits, like sugary soft drinks, excessive coffee, or chips and candy.

You could set a goal to assemble a team of expert health and wellness advisors, and research the best providers in your area and develop relationships with them.

So what are your health goals? To avoid pain? To improve your quality of life? To live as long as possible and be as healthy as possible? Learning to eat fresh wholesome natural foods, get enough rest, reduce your stress and keep your body tuned up and ready to go with exercise and chiropractic care are habits that will take you toward a healthier life.

Too little, too late…

They say that hindsight is 20/20, which means that after things happen it’s obvious what decisions you should have made along the way, but too often the opportunity has by then been missed.

So it goes too often with our health – we may be lulled into a false sense of security by the lack of overt symptoms, only to discover that our poor choices have painted us into a corner, requiring a huge effort to get out of it, if we even can.

Sad, and ironic, since the commitment necessary to stay healthy is usually a reasonable one – moderate eating and exercise, staying positive and reducing stress, getting enough rest and keeping our bodies tuned up with some basic maintenance care can go a long way toward producing good health and avoiding preventable illnesses and conditions.

Your doctor of chiropractic is specially trained in lifestyle science, and can advise you on some of the fundamentals of good health. You’ll be surprised how easy it can be, especially once you develop some momentum around these simple and profoundly beneficial habits.

If you wait too long, you could suffer the consequences – doing too little, too late is common in our world, but you don’t have to become an unfortunate statistic if you just make a few good decisions and stick to them.

Ask your chiropractor how you can improve your quality of life and avoid health problems – the result will be a longer, healthier life for you and your family.

“Begin with The End in Mind”

Recently we lost one of our foremost authors and success teachers, Stephen Covey. Covey wrote the landmark personal growth book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” regarded by many as the greatest business and self-development book of all time.

His second habit to build a great life is to “begin with the end in mind” – in other words, to be clear on the vision of what you’d like to accomplish.
This enormously powerful tool is used on the path to “personal leadership”. It supports you in becoming more determined to lead yourself to a successful outcome regardless of your starting place. It invites you to get very clear about what you want and fortifies you to address any obstacles that may interfere.

This is more than simply managing the circumstances of your life — it’s more about doing whatever it takes to get that desired goal.
As a chiropractic patient you have the opportunity to apply this habit, by imagining what you want your ultimate health and wellness to look like. What would a life of wellness be like? What would being healthy be like? Beginning with the end in mind will clarify your decision-making and help you get there the fastest and best way possible.

Keep your eye on your target and do whatever it takes to get to the end you have in mind – that’s how the most successful people do it, and you can too.

Fighting The Obesity Epidemic

Modern living has its advantages, but there are drawbacks as well, and the inactivity and excessive eating of unhealthy foods, coupled with the body function imbalances from poor lifestyle habits, have led to an all time high in obesity in our communities.

In fact, in 2010 it was discovered that 35.7%, over a third of all adults, and 17% of all children are obese, meaning that their body weight was 20% or more above their optimal weight. This doesn’t even include those who are simply overweight, and it points out an unavoidable fact – if we don’t do something about this trend, our health care system will collapse under the weight, since obesity seems to lead to many serious diseases, like heart disease, diabetes and even some cancers.

If you or someone you care about is obese or moving in that direction, there’s plenty you can do to make things better. Awareness is always the first key – call it what it is, and admit the problem, so you can start to work on it.
It’s unmistakable – you’ll need to eat less and move around more. Go easy on the exercise in the beginning, but even walking for a half hour three times a week, even if you have to work up to it, can be very beneficial in burning fat and trimming down.

Set goals, and work at a reasonable pace. Weight reduction is not a sprint, it’s a marathon – develop better habits of eating, depending more on fresh, wholesome foods and less on processed foods filled with sugar and fat. And drink water – the more the better.

Get help if you need it – it’s no shame to seek advice on this challenge. Consult your chiropractor, who may be able to help you choose better nutrition and design the right exercise program, or at least direct your attention toward the latest thinking in this area. Get your weight under control – not only will you look and feel better, but you’ll decrease the chance of serious illness, too.

Headaches, Neck Pain, and Back Pain – You Don’t Have To Suffer

Every day millions of people experience a wide variety of painful conditions – low back pain, neck pain and headaches among them.
Yet current research shows that there is a simple solution for people who are afflicted with these conditions.
For example, last year a study was done called the Mercer Report, where some of the world’s best scientists evaluated chiropractic care compared to physical therapy, exercise and other medical treatments. Chiropractic care was found to be by far the most effective answer to the back pain riddle.
In 2001, a report was released by Duke University showed that chiropractic adjustments provided almost immediate relief for headaches originating in the neck, and resulted in significantly fewer side effects and considerably longer lasting relief than commonly prescribed headache medications.
As researchers take a closer look at chiropractic, it compares favorably to most medical treatments in these common situations. So if you know anyone who is complaining of back pain, neck pain or headaches, point them toward your chiropractor – they don’t have to suffer.

The Difference That Makes The Difference

Dear Patient and Friend,
Why are some people healthy while others are not?
It’s easy to chalk it up to genetics, that some have better raw materials to work with, and this is not entirely inaccurate. But much as some athletes have natural gifts and others have to work harder to achieve their objectives, so it goes with health and wellness – regardless of your inborn tendencies, there are things you can do to improve your chances at glowing, vibrant good health and vitality.
Good health and wellness boil down to lifestyle habits and decisions – some more obvious than others. For example, if you eat fresh, wholesome foods, balancing and combining them effectively, then your body gets the fuel it needs and works better. If you drink enough water, get enough rest, and exercise appropriately, you’ll feel better, look better, and your body will work better. If you meditate, get regular massage or perform some other stress relaxation technique, then you have less stress and less wear and tear on your body. Most people are aware of the importance of developing patterns of behavior like this.
But your body also requires some maintenance to work at its best – and one of the most important things you can do is to keep your spine and nerve system healthy with chiropractic. Your nerve system is the control system of your body, and when it is working well, your body thrives. When it is not working as well, your body doesn’t work as well.
Well-informed people include safe, all-natural chiropractic care among their lifestyle choices – it’s the difference that makes the difference in health and wellness.

The Importance of Sleep

Simple as it may seem, getting enough quality sleep is one of the most important things you can do to safeguard and improve your health. Here are six reasons you need to get sufficient sleep, according to the Harvard Women’s Health Watch:

  1. Learning and memory: Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation. In studies, people who’d slept after learning a task did better on tests later.
  2. Metabolism and weight: Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite.
  3. Safety: Sleep debt contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the daytime. These lapses may cause falls and mistakes such as medical errors, air traffic mishaps, and road accidents.
  4. Mood: Sleep loss may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness. Too little sleep can also leave you too tired to do the things you like to do.
  5. Cardiovascular health: Serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat.
  6. Disease: Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells. Keeping up with sleep may also help fight cancer.

Healthguide.org offers these tips on getting and staying out of sleep debt:


While you can’t pay off sleep debt in a night or even a weekend, with a little effort and planning, you can get back on track.

  • Aim for at least 7.5 hours of sleep every night. Make sure you don’t fall farther in debt by blocking off enough time for sleep each night. Consistency is the key.
  • Settle short-term sleep debt with an extra hour or two per night. If you lost 10 hours of sleep, pay the debt back in nightly one or two-hour installments.
  • Keep a sleep diary. Record when you go to bed, when you get up, your total hours of sleep, and how you feel during the day. As you keep track of your sleep, you’ll discover your natural patterns and get to know your sleep needs.
  • Take a sleep vacation to pay off a long-term sleep debt. Pick a two-week period when you have a flexible schedule. Go to bed at the same time every night and allow yourself to sleep until you wake up naturally. No alarm clocks! If you continue to keep the same bedtime and wake up naturally, you’ll eventually dig your way out of debt and arrive at the sleep schedule that’s ideal for you.

Make sleep a priority. Just as you schedule time for work and other commitments, you should schedule enough time for sleep. Instead of cutting back on sleep in order to tackle the rest of your daily tasks, put sleep at the top of your to-do list

Healthy Summertime Recipes

Here are some delicious, nutritious dishes you can include in your summertime menu:

Jalapeno-Lime Corn on the Cob (Courtesy of Rachel Ray)


1 stick butter                                    1 teaspoon sweet paprika

1 lime, juiced and zested              1 clove garlic

1 small jalapeno, seeded              1 slice bread, of any kind

6 ears corn on the cob, husked    Coarse salt



Combine butter, lime, jalapeno, garlic and paprika in food processor and pulse process until smooth. Place on waxed paper or plastic and roll. Place in freezer until ready to serve. Cook corn by boiling, steaming or grilling. Cut disks of butter and rub onto corn, nesting the butter in a slice of bread to apply it to the hot corn. Season ears with salt (and fight over the hot buttered bread slice!)

Asparagus, Artichoke and Mushroom Saute with Tarragon Vinaigrette

(courtesy of Giada De Laurentis)


Vegetable Saute:

2 tablespoons olive oil          1 bunch asparagus (1 pound), sliced into 3-inch pieces

1 large shallot, sliced            8 ounces mushrooms, sliced

1 clove garlic, minced         1 (8-ounce) package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed

1/2 teaspoon salt                  1/2 pint teardrop tomatoes, halved

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Tarragon Vinaigrette:

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Directions For the Vegetable Saute:

Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and the garlic and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and artichokes and cook until the asparagus is tender, about 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat and add the tomatoes, salt and pepper and reserve.


Directions For the Tarragon Vinaigrette:

Combine the oil, vinegar, tarragon, salt and pepper in a glass screw-top jar. Seal the jar and shake vigorously to mix the vinaigrette. Toss the vegetables with the vinaigrette and serve.


Farro Salad with Grilled Eggplant, Tomatoes and Onion (courtesy of Bobby Flay)


Farro is a food product consisting of the grains of certain wheat species in whole form.  It is sold dried and is prepared by cooking in water until soft, but still crunchy (many recommend first soaking overnight). It may be eaten plain, though it is often used as an ingredient in dishes such as salads and soups. It is sometimes ground into flour and used to make pasta or bread.



1 1/2 cups farro

1/2 pint grape tomatoes, washed and sliced in 1/2

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish

3 Japanese (baby) eggplants, halved   Olive oil, for brushing

1 small red onion, peeled, halved, and thickly sliced

Sherry Vinaigrette, recipe follows



Cook farro in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 15 minutes. Drain well and place in a large bowl. Heat grill to high. While the farro is cooking, brush the eggplants and onion slices with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until just cooked through. Remove from the grill and cut into 1-inch dice. Add the eggplant and onions to the farro along with the tomatoes and dill. Pour Sherry Vinegar over the farro mixture and stir to combine. Garnish with additional dill. Best served at room temperature.


Sherry Vinaigrette:

1 small shallot, finely chopped

1/4 cup sherry vinegar or balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

1/2 cup olive oil

Whisk together the shallot, vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper, and dill in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil until emulsified.


Easy, fun recipes like this combine healthy ingredients with interesting new flavors your family will enjoy! You can find lots more at www.foodnetwork.com.

Three Steps To Better Health

People want to know – what does it take to be healthy? What habits and behaviors are likely to lead to more vitality? How do we avoid getting sick, and spend more of our time being well?

There are three basic steps each of us can take to walk the path of good health.

First, we need to learn to eat right. Providing quality fuel for this human machine is critical in maintaining and developing the best health possible. While there are many styles of good eating, there are a few simple guidelines we must all respect:

–       eat enough but not too much

–       stick with fresh whole foods over processed foods

–       avoid toxic substances like preservatives, food additives and colorings

–       strike a proper balance between proteins, fats and carbohydrates

–       drink water

–       supplement with vitamins and minerals from natural sources

Second, we need to think right, creating a healthy mindset that helps us deal with the stresses of our lives effectively.  Developing supportive self-talk, practicing meditation or just quiet introspection, and sleeping sufficiently can lead to a better attitude and more happiness.

Third, we need to move right, through appropriate exercise, proper breathing, good posture and maintaining your structure and nerve system with chiropractic care. Including yoga, stretching or martial arts helps to create balance and coordination.

Addressing these three basic needs, eating right, thinking right, and moving right, will lead to a better quality of life with less illness and more productive time throughout your life. Take the responsibility to notice where you could improve, and make good decisions to enhance your lifestyle – it will pay off for you, as it has for millions of people who are adopting the wellness way of life.