Tag Archives: natural

Fad Dieting

fad dieting

A friend of mine recommended a great article The Weight Loss Trap:  Why Your Diet Isn’t Working.  It’s about why diet fads don’t work for everyone.  I’d be lying if I didn’t include my newly adopted veganism as a fad.  The truth lies in the fact that no one diet works for everyone.

A particular diet that used to work at one stage of your life, may no longer serve its purpose later in life.  For example.  Most teens and young adults simply exercise more and restrict calories to for weight management as oppose to most middle aged adults who tend to utilize a more nutrient dense approach.

As we grow, age, and live in this world with its many exposures to toxins and chemicals what we need to maintain a healthy weight changes, and our perception of health in general changes.  Ultimately we tend to gravitate to what makes us feel the best.

Recognizing the need to change is key.  It’s not a one size fits all or even a one lifetime fits all approach that we need to take.  We must constantly reassess how our body is reacting to the foods we eat and adjust accordingly.

As I teach my patients, make your own recipe for life.  My recipe will not work for your health and weight loss goals.  Your goals can only be met by an effort that is reflective of you, something custom built—so custom, you are the only one that can do it.

The TIME HEALTH article points out that, dietary staples such as eating breakfast every day, daily exercise, weekly weigh ins, and limited screen time consistently contribute to a healthy weight.  Everything else is quite variable among individuals to produce success.

From my perspective there are several key questions to ask yourself when assessing your diet:

  • How is your inflammation today?  I check to see how easily my rings come on and off, how easily my knees can bend.
  • How is your overall pain today?  If I make a poor food decision for my body, I’m often achy and have increased pain.
  • How is your mood?  Is it fluctuating?  Do these fluctuations occur before or after eating?
  • What are your energy levels like throughout the day?  I take note if I am experiencing mid-day or early evening crashes.
  • How is your sleep, and how do you feel when you wake up?  I notice if I slept solidly or tossed and turned as well as whether or not I wake feeling rested or exhausted.

By making it more about how you feel, you will gravitate to a diet that will naturally promote a healthy weight.

This is not an exhaustive list but can be applied to any diet or health decision you may be making from quitting coffee, to cutting gluten or dairy.  Some people function perfectly fine on 3 cups of coffee a day, others have severe mood fluctuations.  Some can drink alcohol, some can’t, some can enjoy chocolate daily, and others can’t.

For me, right now, I feel veganism is the right way to go!  Please note that I have tried many dietary approaches, that produce effective results; however, it’s a constant evaluation process—don’t forget change is the key when something doesn’t feel quite right.

I strongly encourage you to check out The Weight Loss Trap:  Why Your Diet Isn’t Working at http://time.com/4793832/the-weight-loss-trap/ for more details and all the scientific explanations!

You can find me on the web and FB at www.AlternativePTFortWorth.com and on Twitter and Instagram @alternative_pt.

Check out some pretty awesome vegan nutrition, skincare, and makeup at www.AmandaHazel.Arbonne.com

Reference

Sifferlin, Alexandra.  The Weight Loss Trap:  Why Your Diet Isn’t Working.  TIME Helath.  Accessed June 15, 2017.  http://time.com/4793832/the-weight-loss-trap/

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Brain Food

post-it

Here’s a list of food to help the brain.  What inspired this?  A post-it note asking for natural remedies for Parkinson’s Disease.  I love being a reference for a holistic and alternative approach to healthcare.

This list was composed while listening to the re-play of Anthony William and Restoring Brain Health. 

The Grocery List:

Chaga Powder

Turmeric and ginger

Gotu Kola (herb)

Restore glycogen with

Wild blueberries (most powerful medicinal)

Apples

Oranges

Cilantro (medicinal)

Parsley

Rosemary

Potatoes

NO ASPARTAME!!!

Heavy metal detox with:

Barley juice grass powder

Cilantro

Spirulina (Hawaiian)

Dulse (blue green algae), Kelp

Artichokes

Celery Juice (fresh pressed extremely powerful medicinal)

Cucumber juice (fresh pressed)

Leafy greens (lettuce, spinach)

Walnuts

Hemp Seeds

Coconut and coconut water, coconut butter, coconut meat

Aloe Vera

Bananas—only thing that kills HIV/AIDS in a petri dish!!!—HUGE antiviral, helps with sleep too.

Salmon, Halibut, Haddock

Minimize animal proteins each day (don’t have to quit just lower it)

Vitamins:

Melatonin (you WILL NOT get addicted to it)

Vitamin C

Curcumin (from Turmeric)

Burdock Root tea or Fresh burdock root

Magnesium glycinate

L-threonate

L-glutamine

Pharmagaba

Examples to live by:

Eat a banana everyday

Breakfast:  Fruit Salad, or smoothie and celery juice

For dinner sprinkle turmeric powder and ginger on as seasoning

Cut up ginger and boil it:  Drink the water.  You can also juice fresh ginger

Lunch:  EVERYDAY:  Have a raw salad with a mixture of greens, vegetables, nuts, and berries.  Top it with a dressing made from blended orange juice and avocado.

Dinner:  Baked potatoes with Himalayan salt, pepper, topped with braised cabbage and avocado.  Also utilize the squash family (butternut, spaghetti, acorn, and crooked neck) to replace pasta and meat.

References:

Life Changing Foods by Anthony William

Medical Medium:  Secrets Behind Chronic and Mystery Illness and How to Finally Heal.  Anthony William

Catastrophizing: Why is it ALWAYS so bad?

Last week on @LoveinActionTV on the Periscope app my sister and I talked about PTSD.  Closely linked to PTSD is catastrophizing.  These two are similar to the chicken and egg theory.  Many catastrophizers experience PTSD and many people with PTSD are catastrophizers.  So what is catastrophizing anyway?

Catastrophizing is thinking something is much worse than it actually is.  Guilty as charged.  We all do it but some people get stuck in a catastrophic wheel unable to pull the breaks, stop, and get off, which tailspins catching a multitude of other problems along the way such as:

  • Poor interpersonal relationships
  • Missed opportunities and underachievement
  • Hopelessness
  • Irrational thought patterns
  • Constant pity parties and disappointment
  • Chronic or uncontrollable pain
  • Anxiety, depression, negative mood
  • Illness
  • Suicidal ideation

I see this situation all the time in my practice as a physical therapist.  When treating acute or chronic pain, the person’s outlook on their ability to improve, heal, and move on speaks more to their prognosis than the actual diagnosis.  Those who constantly think about the situation, depend on others to give them answers, and allow one injury to segue to multiple tend to have poor outcomes no matter how simple the medical and PT diagnosis may be.

These problems can be classified into three major categories, which identifies those exhibiting catastrophizing behaviors about a situation or the future:

  • Magnification: Having fear that a situation will worsen
  • Rumination: Unable to stop thinking about the situation
  • Helplessness: The feeling that you have no power to change or improve the situation

Simple techniques get out of catastrophizing:

  • You become aware that you’re doing it!
  • Fake it. Visualize the best possible outcome and begin to act, talk, and be the reflection of greatness.
  • Take charge. Be an advocate for yourself, empower yourself as your ultimate healer.
  • Draw a line between catastrophe and something very unfortunate that you can deal with.
  • Meditate, breathe, and pray. This will increase your ability to cope with negative situations.

References

Boyls A.  What is Catastrophizing?-Cognitive Distortions  www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-practice/201301/what-is-catastrophizing-cognitive-distortions

Grohol JM.  What is Catastrophizing?  https://psychcentral.com/lib/what-is-catastrophizing/

Quartana PJ, Claudia MC, Edwards, RR.  Pain catastrophizing:  a critical review.  Expert Rev Neurother.  2009 May; 9(5): 745-758. Doi:10.1586/ERN.09.34

**Catch Teaching & Talking with the Twins every Friday night on the Periscope app @LoveinActionTV!**

I am also on social media!

FB:  Alternative PT Fort Worth

Periscope, and Twitter:  Alternative_PT

Instagram:  Alternative_pt

Strength vs. Endurance

strength

What is the difference between strength and endurance?  Simply put strength is the ability to generate force in the presence of resistance (moving something heavy) and endurance is the ability to perform prolonged, less forceful, contractions over time.  Type 1 slow twitch muscle fibers are associated with endurance and type 2 fast twitch muscular fibers are associated with strength.  We have the power to influence the abundance of each fiber, and this is depends on the type of exercise we perform.

Examples of strengthening exercises are performing heavy bench press, back squats, or dead lifts for 5-8 repetitions.  Examples of endurance exercise include running, swimming, jogging, or performing any exercise (bench, squats, dead lifts) with a high frequency (10 or more repetitions).

As with anything else, it’s important to realize that the power to change your muscle composition is yours!  Yay!  That’s empowering isn’t it?!  So first off, why do we need each type of fiber, and what fiber is the most important?

Endurance enables us to tolerate life’s activities such as caring for kids, walking to and from parking lots, and standing all day.  Endurance training also improves our cardiovascular health and endurance.  Muscle strength, on the other hand, enables us to lift and move objects.  Here’s the problem:  Many people focus only on endurance type training such as treadmill, biking, swimming, running, elliptical or light, high repetitive strength work, which is actually endurance training since the contraction becomes prolonged over time as oppose to quick and forceful for low repetitions as in strength building.

Here’s the kicker:  Endurance training does not significantly increase strength; however, strength training can significantly improve endurance.  For example–If you want to run a 5K or a marathon continuous running will improve your ability to run but it will not improve your ability to lift and move heavy objects.  I have evaluated many endurance athletes that exhibit strength deficits.  They are typically shocked at this revelation because they exercise every day.  When I question the type of exercise it is endurance training or light, repetitive strength training. This type of exercise does not correlate to strength improvements.  With prolonged endurance training type 2 fibers will convert to type 1.  Conversely, prolonged strength training will convert muscle fibers to type 2.

There are two categories of type 2 fibers.  One related to producing a quick force, and one relating to repeating the reproduction of that force over time (endurance).  With prolonged strength training, muscle fibers are converted to type 2 but because of the two categories of type 2 fibers (one for strength and one for endurance) the end result is improvements of strength as well as endurance.  This is why strength training correlates to the ability to perform endurance activities more efficiently.

Strength training also multiplies the capillary presence within the muscle promoting vascularization.  With improved vascularization oxygen and nutrients are better transported to and utilized by the muscle.

Muscle pumping action also improves hormonal release and utilization, which can have profound effects on chronic illness such as diabetes and chronic pain syndromes.  Strength building also works to prevent chronic overuse syndromes through muscular balance across multiple axis, reduces chronic pain via hormonal release, and improve vascularization and oxygenation.

Of course you will never run a 5K if you don’t practice running but the take home message is that strength training is essential to meet any type of aerobic, endurance, wellness, or fitness goal.

Life is all about balance, and both strength and endurance training have profound health benefits.  The additional caveat is flexibility.  Flexibility plays a key role in health as well.  The total package would be defined as strength, endurance, AND flexibility.  With this, please know that a weekly practice (even if just one day a week) focused at flexibility is also essential.

We are multi-dimensional beings requiring a multi-dimensional approach to health, wellness, and physical performance.

Knee Pain: Look Above and Below

“My knees never bother me”—said no one ever. Everyone has experienced either a complex knee injury or a simple tweak that is now haunting. “Oh great, my knee doesn’t hurt anymore”…<perform max squat clean>…”Never mind.” Here’s another scenario—”I’ve never had knee pain”…<gain 10 pounds>…”Why do my knees hurt all the time?!” The knees and low back are the middle ground, Switzerland, neutral territory. With neutrality comes comprise. Our knees and back compromise when the feet, hips, and upper body battle.

Look above and look below. What does this mean? It’s important to look at the joint or structure above the knee pain and below it to fully treat the problem manifesting in the knee.

In the foot, we’re looking for over-pronation (flat feet, knock knees) or under-pronation (rigid feet, bow legged). A simple correction to a neutral foot position may remedy knee pain. This may mean changing shoe type, getting new shoes, or getting a running/walking shoe evaluation (done at many running stores on a treadmill for free).

In the hip, we are looking for a neutral pelvis, leg length, muscular weakness (typically the gluteals in adults), and muscular tightness (quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteals, piriformis), which may be affecting knee position and function. Correcting leg length in athletes may greatly reduce knee and back pain.

Here’re a couple of tips to deal with knee pain:

1)  Stretch—seriously, at least 1-2 times a week spend some quality time stretching. Stretches specific to the knee include: hamstrings, quadriceps, gluteus, piriformis, gastrocnemius, and soleus.

2)  Joint mobilization—Try a gentle knee mobilization with a towel roll hold 30 sec to 2 minutes and repeat as feels comfortable.

3)  Strengthen—Target the gluteus medius, gluteus maximus, and hamstrings.

4)  Good shoes—don’t wait until the tread wears off or until your pinky toe is sticking out to get new shoes. Generally, for those exercising daily, this means zapatos nuevos every 6 months.

5)  Correcting leg length—this may be as simple as adding an insert or heel lift in the shoe of the short leg. For significant discrepancies (greater than 1cm) the use of a shoe cobbler may be beneficial to build the shoe up from the outside.  Many times shoes can be altered (even cute sandals) with no apparent, aesthetic, difference.

heel lift

6)  Knee sleeves—I know I know…I hate to rely on supportive devices but my left knee has converted me. For those of us squatting (especially below parallel), lunging, and lifting regularly, a knee sleeve can alleviate pain during these tasks. DO NOT wear the sleeve 24/7 unless recommended to do so by a PT or physician.

knee sleeves

7)  Allow time to heal—for a solid 10 WHOLE days after the initial injury, avoid movements that exacerbate the pain. In this time, you are stretching, strengthening, and mobilizing pain limited or pain-free. You may implement knee sleeves if returning to the activity continues to cause some pain.

8)  Maintain a healthy weight—fast every now and then. From my observation, the leading cause of knee pain is carrying around too much weight. The quantity of food I can consume in one sitting has changed drastically since fasting (I’m a small lady but I can eat!). Over one year, I worked my way up to tolerating a liquid only fast for 24 hours about once a week. If I have a crazy hard workout planned on a fasting day, I definitely throw some protein powder in the mix. I also allow myself to fail if it’s getting too hard and I need dinner—I just pick it back up again next week. This practice and regular exercise keep me in check.

**all of these recommendations are in the absence of a severe injury that requires medical attention such as a fracture, or ligamentous tear. You’ll know its severe if the pain intensity stays the same and function continues to be inhibited or impossible.