Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Food, Inc.

I watched a very interesting movie the other night called Food, Inc. It was a documentary that allowed a look into the food industry and our nation's food supply. It showed how our food production has become controlled by a few corporations. It might not have taught me anything new about how unhealthy our food is, but it really opened my eyes to why our food has become so unhealthy. Unfortunately, as with most things in our country, it all comes back to big business. A company can't patent an organic apple that you can buy at any farmer's market, but they can patent and mass produce a crop that has been genetically modified to resist chemicals and pesticides that will otherwise kill everything else around. All while we get sicker and sicker as a nation.

An insert with the movie gave a list of 10 things you can do to change our food system. Here is a few of them...

1. Action: Stop drinking sodas and other sweetened beverages.
Fact: If you replace one 20 oz soda a day with a no calorie beverage (preferably water), you could lose 25 lbs in a year.

2. Action: Eat at home instead of eating out.
Fact: Children consume almost twice (1.8 times) as many calories when eating food made outside the home.

3. Action: Buy organic or sustainable food with little to no pesticide or antibiotic use.
Fact: Over a billion lbs of pesticides are used every year in the U.S. and an estimated 70% of all antibiotics used in the United States are given to farm animals.

If want to get a behind the scenes look at our food system and the food you and your family are eating every day, watch this movie. It may just make you question how your food is made. If nothing else, you will see how bad the chickens you are eating are being treated!

Merry Christmas! Give yourself and your family the gift of good health this year!

Live Well.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Toy Drive 2009!

The Doctors and Staff of AcuCare Total Health are hosting our
6th Annual Toy Drive!
Drop of your new, unwrapped toys from Monday, November 9th through Friday, December 5th.
You can view our hours at
For every new toy that you donate valued over $10, you will be entered in a raffle for a chance to win a prize from the list below!!
Some of the raffle prizes include:
$200 Visa Gift Card
Standard Process 21-Day Purification/Detox Kit ($250 Value)
One Hour Massage with Dawn Maychszak
One Hour Massage with Danielle Roberto
Half Hour Detox with Michele Foster
Barlow Girl CD Gift Basket
Mary Kay Gift Basket
$25 Cocoon Gift Card
$25 Jimmy's Charhouse Gift Card
Four Movie Passes to Marcus Theatres
And Much More!!
All toy donations will be given to the Walter and Connie Payton Foundation 2009 Holiday Giving Program to help provide gifts during the holidays for underprivileged children in the Chicago-land area who have been neglected and/or abused.
With your generous donations, we can help provide some happiness to these less fortunate children.
For more information and/or to schedule an appointment, please feel free to call us at 847.888.3131.
Thank you and have a safe and wonderful holiday season!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Are you toxic?

I have had a few people ask me more about the detox, so here are a couple links that will help.

Click here to find out how toxic you are and to see if you can benefit from the detox. 99% of the population can benefit from it!

To find out more about the detox, you can view the purification guide by clicking here.

Live Well

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Detox Diary: Week 1 Recap

Well, the first week of the detox is in the books. The first week is definitely the hardest and the rest gets much easier. The cravings are very minimal and my energy has been fantastic, but I am a little tired of chopping vegetables. ;) Although weight loss is not the primary goal of the detox, I did lose 8 pounds in the first week. I tend to lose the most weight in the beginning and then I level out. Weight loss is different for each person. Some lose it right away, while other people don't lose it until the end.

The rest of the detox:

For the most part, everything stays the same for the next 2 weeks except that chicken and fish can be added after Day 10 of the detox. Yea!! Also, on Day 8 you stop taking the SP Cleanse pills and start taking SP Green Food for the rest of the detox. The shakes and the fruits and veggies all stay the same.

Here is what is in the SP Green Food:

Buckwheat Juice Powder
Barley Grass Juice Powder
Brussels Sprout Powder
Kale Powder
Alfalfa Sprout Powder

These are all great to help promote healing in the lining of your gut.

Here is what you may feel after the 21 days:

More energy
Better sleep
Softer skin
Better digestion
Less headaches, join pain, and allergies
Weight loss
Better overall health!!!

And I know it sounds crazy, but you really won't want to go back to how you were eating before the detox. Sure, you might add a couple things back to your diet. In general, people tend to continue to eat a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables and lean meats.

If you are interested in trying the detox yourself or have any other questions, feel free to call me at the office. 847.888.3131.

Live Well.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Detox Diary: Day 5

Yesterday and today have been going much better. I have more energy, my digestion has been great (I know you wanted to know that!), and the cravings have been much less. I actually didn't feel hungry at all today and the 21 SP Cleanse pills per day really help. Speaking of the SP Cleanse pills, if you were wondering what is in them, here you go...

SP Cleanse

Juniper Berry Powder
Red Clover Flower
Collinsonia Root
Apple pectin
Burdock Root Powder
Barley Grass Powder
Globe Artichoke Leaf
Spanish Black Radish Root
Oregon Grape Root Powder
Cayenne Pepper Powder
Fenugreek Seed Powder
Dandelion Leaf
Fennel Seed
Oat Flour
Beet Leaf Juice Powder
Beet Root Powder
Milk Thistle
Tillandsia Powder
Carrot Powder
Broccoli Powder
Kale Powder

Yes, there is a lot of stuff in the pills! These all play a role in detoxifying the liver, supporting the gut, aiding with digestion, and stimulating the immune system.

My menu for today:

Breakfast: Fruit shake. Green Tea.

7 SP Cleanse pills.

Mid-morning snack: Cantaloupe and sweet potato chips.

Lunch: Big salad with lots of veggies and apple cider vinegar and olive oil dressing.

7 SP Cleanse pills.

Mid-Afternoon: Apple and carrots.

Dinner: Home-made soup with lots of veggies and a steamed red beet.

7 SP Cleanse pills.

After-Dinner: Fruit shake.

Well, 5 days down and feeling good! Bring on Day 6!!

Live Well.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Detox Diary: Day 3

Today was a little easier for me. I still had some carb cravings, especially while watching the Bears game, but it wasn't too bad. I didn't feel as grumpy or tired. We even had family over for a birthday and I didn't really miss the cake.

Breakfast: Fruit Shake. Green Tea.

7 SP Cleanse pills

Mid-Morning: Carrots and grapes.

Lunch: Big salad with olive oil and apple cider vinegar dressing and some collard greens.

7 SP Cleanse pills

Mid-Afternoon: Sweet potato chips and an apple.

Dinner: The same soup as yesterday.

7 SP Cleanse pills

After-Dinner: Fruit Shake.

I drink tons of water throughout the day also.

This detox program definitely needs some determination and focus, but it is well worth it!!

Live Well.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Detox Diary: Day 2

The second day of the detox was definitely a little tougher for me. Not only did I feel more tired and a little grumpy, but it always makes it harder on the weekend. It also didn't help that we did some shopping at Whole Foods with all the free samples just teasing me. But I am drinking my last shake of the day and feeling good about the healthy eating today.

I wrote about drinking the fruit shakes yesterday and mentioned that there are 2 scoops of the SP Complete powder in them. Well, here is what is in the SP Complete...

Flax Meal Powder
Brown Rice Protein Powder
Buckwheat Juice Powder
Brussel Sprouts Powder
Kale Powder
Barley Grass Juice Powder
Alfalfa Powder
Soybean Lecithin
Carrot Powder
Grape Seed Extract
Red Wine Extract
Whey Protein

These natural, whole food ingredients help to support healthy cardiovascular, digestive, and nervous system function and deliver powerful antioxidant protection to promote cellular health.

Here was my menu for today:

Breakfast: Fruit shake with blueberries and mango.

7 SP Cleanse Pills

Mid-Morning snack: A pear and some home-made sweet potato chips (sliced sweet potato brushed with olive oil and baked). Green tea.

Lunch: Boiled collard greens with sea salt and butter and a big salad with lots of veggies and the olive oil and apple cider vinegar dressing.

7 SP Cleanse pills

Mid-Afternoon snack: Some grapes and some more sweet potato chips.

Dinner: Home-made soup with organic vegetable broth, beets, carrots, kale, broccoli, onion, brussel sprouts, garlic, and sea salt.

7 SP Cleanse pills

After Dinner: Fruit shake with blueberries and mango.

Please let me know if you have any questions about the detox.

See you tomorrow!

Live Well.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Detox Diary: Day 1

In general, I would consider myself a good eater. I am definitely not perfect, but my wife and I focus on eating a lot of organic foods and getting a good variety of fruits and vegetables every day. I tend to eat good during the week and then splurge a little on the weekend with a pizza or a burger or some ice cream and maybe some wine or beer. So the detox is definitely a little challenging for me, but it really does help to refocus my brain and body.

In previous posts, I have talked about the 21-day purification/detox program that I offer to my patients. You can read some more about it here. I like to do the program 1-2 times per year to help detox my liver, clean up my gut, increase my energy, and just get me back on track with eating better. And it is always nice to lose a few pounds in the process. Well, I started the detox today and I plan to describe my first week to give you an idea of what I am eating and how I am feeling. I just got over a pretty good 2-day cold, so it is good timing for the detox.

I did all my shopping yesterday and bought all organic fruits and vegetables. (The first 10 days of the detox is only fruits and vegetables.) I also spent about an hour chopping and preparing all the veggies, so that can just put together a meal quickly each day.

Breakfast: Fruit shake. (I actually have this for my breakfast when I am not doing the detox)

Fruit Shake:

1/2 cup filtered water
1/2 cup organic unfiltered apple juice
1/2 cup frozen organic blueberries
1/2 cup frozen organic spinach
1/2 organic banana
2 rounded scoops of SP Complete Powder (included in the detox kit)
1 Tablespoon of Whole Food Fiber (included in detox kit)
1 teaspoon fish oil

Mixed in a blender

With the shake, I took 7 of the SP Cleanse pills (included in the detox kit).

Before lunch: Pear and some carrots. Green tea and filtered water.

Lunch: Big salad with romaine lettuce, kale, broccoli, carrots, radishes, tomatoes, and alfalfa sprouts. Dressing of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, tumeric, and sea salt.

7 SP Cleanse pills

Afternoon: More carrots and an apple. Filtered water.

Dinner: Spaghetti squash topped with tomato paste, broccoli, zucchini, onions, sea salt and organic butter.

7 SP Cleanse pills

After dinner: Fruit Shake with blueberries and mango.

How I am feeling:

Usually the first 3 days I tend to feel a little tired. Today, I had a lot of energy, but this could be do to me just getting over my cold and getting a lot of sleep the last 2 nights. I did not feel too hungry. Believe it or not the 7 SP Cleanse pills three times in a day help to fill you up. I will get into what is in the pills and the shakes over the next couple days. Just know that it is made up of real, whole foods such as juniper berry, buckwheat juice, barley grass, and others.

Continued tomorrow...

Live Well.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Fight Inflammation

Now that you know how inflammation can effect the body, let's go over what causes this inflammation and what we can do about it. Like so many other things, it all comes back to diet and exercise. Our society is surrounded by inflammatory foods. Processed foods, sugars, soda, white flour (bread, pasta), hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, vegetable oils, etc. These can all have a direct effect on increasing our blood sugar and insulin levels as well as creating free radicals in the system which can damage healthy tissue. If we looked back at our ancestors, we would see the women out gathering fruits and vegetables, while the men were hunting and fishing for the meat. Their diets consisted of fresh fruits and vegetables and meat and fish. Is it a coincidence that the incidence of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other diseases has drastically increased over the years with poorer nutrition?

I'm sure you have heard it a hundred times before, but so many health issues can be helped through a better diet and some regular exercise. Well, the same holds true for helping to avoid inflammation in your body. The closer you can eat to how our ancestors once ate, the better off you will be. One of the best ways to combat the inflammatory and free radical damage in your body is through phytonutrients and anti-oxidants which are found primarily in fruits and vegetables. Eat as much fruits and vegetables as you would like throughout the day. Just remember that fruit contains a lot of sugar and vegetables tend to have more beneficial phytonutrients, so try to eat more veggies than fruit. As far as meat, lean meats such as chicken and fish are much better than the pro-inflammatory red meats. The omega-3 fats found in fish are also very anti-inflammatory in nature.

Here are some more anti-inflammatory tips:
  • Use herbs such as tumeric (found in curry), ginger, and cayenne pepper
  • Use olive oil instead of vegetable or canola oil
  • Avoid processed and commercially processed foods which usually contain hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup
  • Eat other omega-3 rich foods such as walnuts, flax seeds, almonds, green leafy vegetables
  • Get 4-5 days of 30 minutes of cardio exercise each week (easy as taking your dog on a walk)
  • Eat fresh food

Live Well.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Are you inflamed?!

What comes to mind when you think about inflammation? Hot and red swelling? Maybe a sprained ankle, or a hurt knee, or possibly even the swollen ankles you pregnant ladies might have had? What you might not realize is that inflammation is involved with most if not all of the disease processes. Some inflammation related to local injury can be good for the general healing process. However, most of the inflammation in the body is problematic.

The suffix "-itis" denotes inflammation, so any condition or disease ending in "-itis" is specifically related to inflammation. i.e. bronchitis (inflammation of the air passages in the lungs), sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses), arthritis (inflammation of the joints), diverticulitis (inflammation within the digestive tract), prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate). However, if a condition does not end with this suffix it does not mean that inflammation is not involved. Here is a list of just a few diseases and conditions that are or can be caused or promoted by inflammation...

chronic pain
heart disease
high blood pressure

...and this is just a small sample of the conditions related to inflammation.

After seeing this list, don't you think it would be a good idea to try to avoid things that promote inflammation in the body? The good news is that there are some simple changes you can make with your diet and lifestyle that can help decrease overall inflammation. Whether or not you already suffer from one of the conditions above, your current and future health will benefit from less inflammation.

Next time, we will review some things that you can do to help decrease inflammation.

I hope you are all having a wonderful summer!

Live Well.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Shopper's Guide to Pesticides

In a perfect world, we would all be eating only organic foods. Foods with no hormones, pesticides, anti-biotics, or any other chemicals. Hopefully, someday it will be the only option. But for now, we still have to choose. Unfortunately, the healthier option is still more expensive, but I still highly recommend shopping at Trader Joe's. The organic foods are very reasonable in price compared to any other grocery store I have visited. (I should ask for a stipend from Trader Joe's for the amount I promote them!)

I have a lot of people who tell me they want to start buying some organic foods, but can't afford to do too much. Last year, I gave a top ten list of foods that you should try to buy organic. Recently, I found a good list from the Environmental Working Group that shows different types of produce with the highest and lowest amounts of pesticides. If you can try to buy organic produce from the list that contains the highest pesticides, you will help to cut down your exposure to these chemicals. Here is the list.

Just remember, a little change in your diet, household items/products, or daily environment can go a long way in the health of you, your family, and future generations.

Live Well.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Vitamin D...Part 2

After quite a long break from blogging, I am back. At least I have a good excuse for not posting...After issues with infertility and waiting on the adoption list, Dawn and I are finally parents!!! Zachary William was born on St Patrick's Day and weighed 5 lbs 1 oz and was 17.5 in. We now know why we had to wait for so long. Zack is truly a blessing and we couldn't imagine our lives without him! He is now 3 weeks old and we are having so much fun spending each and every day watching our son grow!!

Now back to the business at hand. Considering I started giving you information about Vitamin D about 2 months ago, I'm guessing you are more than ready for me to finally finish the topic. In the first post about Vitamin D, I talked about the importance of Vitamin D and health issues that have been associated with Vitamin D deficiency. All that information is great, but you are probably wondering how you know if you are Vitamin D deficient and what you should do about it.

Finding out your Vitamin D level is as easy as a simple blood test. You can have your blood drawn at your doctor or at our office or there is even at-home Vitamin D test kits that you can order on the web. However, you need to make sure you get the right type of Vitamin D levels checked. 25-hydroxyvitamin D or 25(OH)D is the proper form of Vitamin D that is best used to check for Vitamin D deficiency. If you go to your doctor, make sure you ask for this form of Vitamin D to be tested and not 1,25-dihydroxy-vitamin D. Normal, healthy levels of 25(OH)D is between 50 and 80 ng/mL. Any levels below 50 ng/mL may be considered deficient.

Fortunately, if you find out you are deficient or if you live in areas of little sun, you can supplement your diet with Vitamin D to improve your level. Vitamin D3 is the most useable form of Vitamin D in humans, so make sure you supplement with Vitamin D3. The FDA suggests supplementing with 400-600 IU of Vitamin D daily, but studies have shown that higher doses are needed to achieve optimal levels. Here is what Dr. John Jacob Cannell MD, the director of the Vitamin D Council, suggests...

"If you have little UVB exposure, my advice is as follows: healthy children under the age of 2 years should take 1,000 IU per day—over the age of 2, 2,000 IU per day. Well adults and adolescents between 80–130 pounds should start with 3,000 IU per day while those over 130 pounds but less than 170 pounds should take 4,000 IU per day. Those over 170 pounds should receive 5,000 IU per day. Two months later have a 25-hydroxy-vitamin D blood test, either through ZRT or your doctor."

With springtime hopefully around the corner, do your best to try and get 15-20 minutes of sun exposure per day. If not, you should consider supplementing your diet with Vitamin D3.

Live Well.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Disconnect in order to Reconnect

I know I told you that this post would be more about Vitamin D, but I thought first I would write about something I learned in Mexico. I had a great time spending time with my family in Huatulco for the week. This is the second time we have been to Hualtulco. The reason we love it so much is that besides the weather being 90 and sunny everyday, it is very uncommercialized. You won't find any high rise hotels or McDonalds. But the best part is that we did not have internet, television, phones, or newspapers. We were completely disconnected from the "real" world. And it was great! It is amazing how much time there is in a day to do other things when you don't have the use of all those things. We found ourselves reading a lot, playing games, telling stories, and just spending quality time with each other.

Being there was literally like going back in time 20 years. Yes, things definitely did take longer without all the updated technology. Just going out to dinner took an extra hour, but we just called it being on Mexico time. There were always very few tables full at the restaurants, so I am guessing most families were home having meals together. And as we walked around town, we noticed the schoolyards and the playgrounds were constantly full with kids of all ages playing even until after dark. How many of you can remember playing capture the flag or at the neighborhood park until you ran home for dinner or it was too dark too see? I'm guessing most of you. Or how many times have you wondered how we got by without our cell phones or the internet? But we did.

Believe me, I am as big of a fan as anyone of the internet, cell phones, and all the other technological advances that we all are able to enjoy everyday. I mean, I am writing a blog that can only be read on the internet. However, being in Mexico made me realize how much of our lives are spent on the computer or e-mail or on the phone or watching television. And when we got back from vacation, it was the same news in the newspapers and the internet and the same "reality" shows on tv. Oh, the outrage of The Bachelor! The lesson here is that we need to take a day from time to time to just slow down. Our society is so fast paced and we are all so "connected" that we tend to forget that life can actually exist without all of this.

Challenge yourself and/or your family to "disconnect" for one day. Turn off the tv, turn off the computer, turn off your cell phone. Don't worry, I promise that all the same e-mails, texts, voicemails, and news will still be there the next day. I think you will find how much time you will have to do other activities like taking your dog for a walk, playing games with your family, visiting a neighbor, writing an actual letter to a loved one, enjoying a family meal together, etc. All those things that we used to do everyday that we just don't have "time" to do anymore. Who knows, you might actually find that you like it and start to do it for longer periods or more often. Just make sure you check the internet occasionally for the newest post on my blog ;)
Live Well.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Importance of Vitamin D

What better time to talk about the importance of Vitamin D than in the middle of winter? So, my next couple posts are going to be about Vitamin D (deficiency, benefits, dosage, sources, etc.).

A large source of Vitamin D in humans comes from the UV rays especially UVB from the sun. In fact, you can meet the daily requirement of Vitamin D by giving your skin 15 minutes of sun exposure every day. Easy enough for those of you who are living in Florida or Arizona. But for all the rest of us who are stuck in the typical winter climate, we only have a 6-8 month window where we actually have a chance to get 15 minutes of sun per day. I don't think the sun even came out the entire month of January this year in Chicago! With this lack of sun, comes a Vitamin D deficiency.

We all know about the importance of Vitamin D and calcium with keeping our bones healthy and strong. However, more and more studies and research are coming out showing the importance of Vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency has been thought to be linked to depression, anxiety, mental disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, autoimmune disorders such as MS, chronic pain, many cancers, fibromyalgia, asthma, and many other health related issues. In fact, there is a much greater prevalence of many of these in the northern states compared to the southern states. Just look at this eye-opening map of MS prevalence in the US (the darker the shade, the greater the prevalence of MS)...

Figure 1: Prevalence map of MS (cases/100,000) in the USA

PM Rothwell, D Charlton. High incidence and prevalence of multiple sclerosis in south east Scotland: evidence of a genetic predisposition. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 1998 64: 730-735.
IAF van der Mei et al. Regional variation in multiple sclerosis prevalence in Australia and its association with ambient ultraviolet radiation. Neuroepidemiology 2001 20: 168-174.

Pretty crazy, huh?

So, how many of you just feel blah during the winter months? Well, it is more common than you think and could definitely be due to a simple vitamin D deficiency. There is even something called SAD, seasonal affective disorder, which is a general depressed feeling which is more common during the winter. The good news is that even if you can't get enough sun light during the winter months, there is a way to get enough Vitamin D. Here is a good article that was published in the Chicago Sun-Times about some ways to help beat SAD.

Next time, I will review the recommended daily doses of Vitamin D compared to what you actually should be getting as well as giving you the proper test to know if you are Vitamin D deficient.

I am off to Mexico in 3 days...strictly for the benefits of Vitamin D research, of course!

Live Well.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Our New Office!

I am super excited to announce that we have moved into our new office! It is our 3rd and hopefully final move in just over a year. For those of you who don't know, we had a fire that destroyed our original building in November of 2007. We scrambled over night and were seeing patients in a different office the morning after the fire. It was a make shift office that we had to use for over a month while we renovated another office. In January of 2008, we moved again into the renovated office. The office was temporary, so another doctor in our practice took the opportunity to build out new office space in a nearby medical building. It was a very long process, but she did an amazing job and as of this past Monday, February 2, we are officially in our brand new office. Thanks Dr. Renee!

Our new website is not complete yet, but you can see some pictures and information at I think you will really like the new office and will find it very welcoming and representative of the type of care and treatment you have come to expect. It will not only be a place where you enjoy coming, but it is a facility where you feel comfortable referring friends and family. I hope to see you there soon!

If you have never been to a chiropractor and want to know what to expect with your first visit, view this previous post. If you want to schedule an appointment, you can call our office at 847.888.3131.

Live Well.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Low Back Pain? Don't Stress It.

Happy Wednesday!!

If you are like the majority of people, you will get low back pain at some point in your life. It may be due to a fall, or a car accident, or lifting something wrong. But what about those of you who have had sudden low back pain when bending over to pick up a pencil or showering or just doing your normal daily activities? What most people don't realize is how much stress plays a role in our physical health. You may realize that stress can cause anxiety, high blood pressure, or fatigue, but did you know that it can also cause pain in the body?!

Stress from work and/or personal life as well as stress from your diet can not only weaken your immune system leaving you with less defense against colds and/or infections, but it can also make you more susceptible to pain or injury. Most of us can figure out where the stress is coming from at work or in our daily lives, but what about with our diet? Well, the 4 biggest stresses of our gut through our diet are 1) coffee, 2) pop, 3) chocolate, and 4) alcohol. When our gut gets stressed, then the rest of our body gets run down and fatigued which creates an environment where we are more prone to pain.

When a patient comes to my office complaining of low back pain that just started out of the blue with no trauma or injury ("My back just went out"), I usually address their stress level and diet. Most of the time, the person admits drinking a pot of coffee per day or a 6 pack of coke a day or just got back from a weekend of drinking a lot of alcohol or all of the above. Hey, it's the American diet, right?! If I ask further about their digestion, they usually complain of constipation or diarrhea or both. In these cases, acupuncture and chiropractic manipulation is a very effective treatment at our office, but I also try to have the patient modify their diet by drinking less pop, coffee, and/or alcohol to increase their natural healing ability. The patients that do change their diet usually notice an almost immediate improvement in their symptoms.

Next time you have sudden low back pain, or any sudden pain for that matter, think about the stress in your life and diet. If you have too much of any, try to modify things so that you give your body the best chance to heal!

Live Well.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Resolution Time

Happy New Year!

It is that time of the year again when you go to workout at your gym and you can't use your favorite cardio machine because there are so many people working out. Yep, it's resolution time! As you probably know, some of the more popular resolutions for the New Year are: losing weight, start exercising, spending more time with friends and family, quit smoking, get out of debt, etc. A common theme to all of these is living a better, healthier life.

I think having a New Year's resolution is great...if you can keep it. Everybody can make a change for a month and then go back to the old habits, but making a lifestyle change and staying committed to your resolution, your health, and yourself is the ultimate challenge. The biggest problem that most people have with keeping their resolutions is that they get burnt out. Determined to get in shape, they go from being a couch potato to working out 7 days a week and go right back to the couch within a month because they can't handle the load.

As with most things in life, moderation is key. Don't just hit the ground running. Take baby steps. Instead of going on a crash diet and cutting out all junk food, maybe just start by avoiding foods with high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oils or add an extra fruit and vegetable to your daily diet. Then as you get used to this change, go a step further and try to avoid sugar and white and enriched flour while adding another fruit and vegetable and some fish to your diet.

As far as exercising goes, if you haven't been to the gym for a year, don't go every day. The best way would be to get a personal trainer to start you on a good program. If a trainer is not an option for you, here are some tips. Maybe start by going 2-3 times per week and walking on the treadmill for 15 to 20 minutes and increase the time as you get comfortable with the cardio. After a couple weeks, add some weight training by doing 10 to 15 minutes with weights. Then as you get comfortable with this, add another day or some more time or a fitness class. The biggest thing to continue to exercise and stay in shape is to keep it fun. Change up the workouts and try different machines and/or classes. But most of all, HAVE FUN!

For those of you who already have a good diet and workout regularly, but may have gained the "holiday" weight, a really good way to get the push in the right direction is with a detox. I recommend a detox at my office that I really like. It is a 21 day purification program that really focuses on eating the right things, not on losing weight. (Although everyone that does it, loses weight.) The first 10 days you only eat fruits and vegetables along with drinking a whole food nutritional shake and taking whole food supplements. Then on Day 11 you can add chicken and fish for the next 11 days. It may sound very difficult, but honestly after the first 3 days you really start to realize that you don't need or crave the pasta or the sugar. Plus, you start to realize how good you feel with more energy and better digestion. Personally, I do this twice per year to "detox" myself. If you are interested in this, the cost of the detox is $250 (supplements, shakes, recipes, education). If not, I would recommend to just focus on eating fruits, vegetables, and lean meats (chicken and fish) as much as possible.

Click HERE for a small study that shows imporvement of cholesterol levels with the purification program.

Whether you have a resolution or not, try to make small changes over the course of this year that will help create a healthier lifestyle. I will do my best to continue to give you useful and practical ideas on how you can make these changes. As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me here or at I don't use outlook, so please e-mail me through your own e-mail.

By the way, for those of you who are annoyed by crowded gym...Don't worry, you will have your favorite machine available within a month!!

Live Well.