Categories
Educate

Are You Eating Your Vegetables?

The growing season has begun!  Farmers stands are starting to fill up with fresh vegetables and fruits.  The Mid-Atlantic region is lucky because we have such an expansive growing season.  Dr. Scott and I are already harvesting lettuces and spinach… and the green beans are just around the corner!  Even if you’re not interested in growing your own vegetables, we have so many resources at our finger tips.  In my nutrition practice, however, I’m noticing less and less consumption of our local produce.  Instead, people are getting their “fruits and veggies” in drink-form from the grocery store.  Let’s talk about why it’s important to get the whole vegetable or fruit in your diet…

Phytonutrients are compounds found naturally in plants that help protect the plant.  They also help protect us!  For example, phytonutrients are anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory, and even contain properties that are healthy for our liver’s health.  Other plant-based foods, such as grains, do contain phytonutrients.  However, there is a higher concentration within our fruits and vegetables that help make them much healthier for us, without the increase in calories.  Some phytonutrients are dense in pigments, giving foods their color.  For example, the phytonutrient “beta-carotene” is a yellow-orange color and can be found in carrots, sweet potatoes, and melon.  The phytonutrient “lycopene” gives a pink-red color and can be found in tomatoes and watermelon.  Some healthy plants like garlic and onions aren’t colorful because they are high in sulfur which is not a colorful compound, but they are healthy!  “Eating the rainbow” helps ensure you intake a variety of phytonutrients.

Flavonoids, also called bioflavonoids, are a particular group of phytonutrients found in plants.  This is the group most famous for their healthy properties.  For example, quercetin found in pineapple is extremely anti-inflammatory.  In fact, you can find specific quercetin supplements to help fight inflammation naturally.  I simply suggest you eat the fruit instead!  Cocoa found in nature even has a high concentration of flavonoids.  This doesn’t mean cocoa-based candy bars are all good for you so be careful!  Research is showing that improved brain health may be associated with an increased intake of flavonoids.  The diet is proving to be a very important component in our mental status as we age.

Fiber.. I think we all know what fiber is and what is does for our digestive health!  But did you know that it can also help reduce your cholesterol?  As soluble fiber moves through the digestive tract, it becomes gel-like and can bind the low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) and pass them through the body so they don’t recirculate and become problematic.  Soluble fiber is found in fruits and vegetables as well as nuts, which are all plant-based.

Juice does not count!  Unfortunately, juice and juice-based drinks do not contain the concentrations of healthy compounds that I mention above.  Instead, when juice is removed from the fruit or vegetable, it is mostly the sugar of the plant leaving behind the phytonutrients which are often found in the skins, or peels of the fruit.  For example, the white part of an orange between the hard outer shell and the fruit itself contains just as much Vitamin C as the fruit.  The white part also contains fiber.  If you like to drink fruit smoothies or get your vegetables in without having to chew as much, I suggest using a NutriBullet or other pulverizing machine so you can put the whole plant or fruit (even nuts!) into your smoothie.  By using the whole plant you will gain all of the benefits, and not just the sugar!

For those of you that struggle to eat your plant-based, there is a Standard Process supplement  that can help.  Since Standard Process uses a whole-food based approach, their supplements contain these amazing nutrient compounds that synthetic, lab-based supplements lack.  SP Green Food can be taken daily to help provide some of the nutrients that may be missing from your diet.  Two of the main ingredients are Brussel sprouts and dried barley… not too common in the average American Diet!  It’s not always easy to eat healthy, but at Body Logic we do our best to help you gain the benefits through education and making smarter choices!

Categories
Educate

Why Are Men Prone to Low Back Pain?

Low back pain is the second most common reason for people to seek care from their doctor, besides the common cold. Then, they end up in our office! Clinically, more men are complaining of low back pain compared to neck pain. Why? What makes men more prone to low back pain? Anatomy explains a lot of it!

The pelvis and hamstrings – When we look at the anatomical structure of the male pelvis, it helps explain why many men suffer from tight hamstrings. For men, the pelvis sits back and in a more vertical position compared to women. (The female pelvis naturally sits tilted forward to accommodate bearing children.) The hamstrings, which are the big muscles of the back of the thigh, attach to the two bottom bumps known as the ischial tuberosities. Since the pelvis sits back more in men, the hamstrings are naturally shortened due to their attachment sites. This helps explain why it’s often harder for men to touch their toes than women. However, this is a big reason men need to stretch more! With tighter hamstrings, men can’t stretch their low backs as well. And the muscle tension cascade begins…

Upper body strength – Men naturally have more muscle mass and strength in their upper bodies compared to women. Unfortunately, a challenge is created for men who develop their pecs and other chest muscles while ignoring the importance of strengthening the upper back.  As the chest builds up, the shoulders are drawn forward causing a pull on the muscles that line the spine, known as the paraspinal muscles or erector spinae. As these long muscles tighten, they restrict mobility and increase tension in the low back. In this case, stretching the chest and shoulders can actually help remove tension from the low back!

Gaining weight in the apple shape – Generally speaking, most men gain weight in their midsection, while women frequently gain weight in their lower abdomen and hips. With increased weight in the stomach, affectionately referred to as the classic beer belly, there is also increased pressure on the low back due to the change in the body’s center of gravity. There is an increase in the lumbar lordosis, the natural curve of the low back. The excessive curvature puts more strain on the intervertebral discs, compresses the low back, and, again, tightens the muscles. Preventing unnecessary weight gain and stretching the low back can prevent the discomforts associated with an increased lumbar lordosis.

Now that some anatomy is explained, I hope everyone reading this article will take time to stretch!  Low back pain and injury can be prevented or at least lessened if you take steps to care for yourself. Chiropractic care and massage therapy are helpful to improve and maintain mobility. However, self care such as stretching is irreplaceable. Help us, help you!

Categories
Educate

All About Sports Massage

We’ve all heard of Sports Massage; however, for many of us, we have no idea what it actually entails. Imagery of marathon runners and high level athletes may pop in to our heads of people hopping onto a table in an open air setting at an event. Now you may think, “I don’t go to events or I don’t train like that… sports massage isn’t for me.” Many people think this, but before you dismiss sports massage, let’s take a look at what it really is.

  • Sports massage is made up of 3 types: pre-event, post-event, and maintenance. Not every person will opt for all three. Some people choose to get maintenance massages only and others will only receive massage as part of an event. The main difference between the 3 is the intention. Each plays a role in enhancing your overall athletic performance and can be tailored to meet the needs of the event that you’re in or training for.
  • The speed is faster than a Swedish massage (especially for prevent and there is a focus on stretching. This is because the therapist’s intention is to prepare the body for activity. A faster pace and more rhythmic compression and percussive motions are used to promote the body’s readiness to move. The stretches are also tailored to the client for the sport that they are doing or training for. Even someone who regularly golfs or plays tennis but not competitively benefits from sports massage because the repetition of the types of motions performed should be counter-balanced with massage and stretching.
  • Sports massage is very often performed while the client is clothed. Many sports massage clients are worked on at events and because of the time proximity between the massage and the match/race/etc., the movements used in sports massage can be done without oils and over clothes. This makes Sports massage a great option for those who experience anxiety about receiving a massage due to not wanting to disrobe.

At Body Logic, we offer maintenance Sports Massage as an option for sports enthusiasts at all levels who want to help improve their ongoing performance between events through bodywork and stretching. Pro athletes work regularly with massage therapists as part of their training and now you can, too.

Categories
Educate

Raw Fruit and Veggie Tacos

June is National Fruit and Vegetable Month and that’s a great reminder to think of creative ways to get fruits and veggies into all of your meals.

This raw food taco recipe is a great way to get fresher options introduced into your summer eating routine. Eating raw (no cooking or processing) foods is a plus too because you are getting all of the goodness out of these whole foods that are often lost to heat or packaging.

Ingredients

Romaine lettuce leaves washed and dried

1 avocado

1 tsp minced jalapeno pepper

2 Tbsp minced red onion

1 Tbsp lime juice

Salt to taste

1 cup strawberries halved and sliced

1 cup mango cubed

1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes halved

1/2 tsp fresh cilantro chopped or torn

1/2 tsp fresh mint chopped or torn

Instructions

Place the romaine leaves aside to use for the “taco shell” later.

In a small bowl, combine the avocado, jalapeño, onion, lime juice, and salt. Mash with a potato masher or the back of a fork, keeping it a little chunky.

Spread a large scoop of the avocado mixture on each lettuce leaf.

In a medium bowl, toss together the strawberries, mango, tomatoes, and herbs. Spoon over the avocado mixture in the lettuce leaves.

 

Categories
Educate

Essential Oils for Men

We don’t always think of essential oils for men. But truth be told, there is no reason why men should avoid essential oils. In fact, throughout history, men have used oils as a way to fragrantly anoint their bodies, frankincense and myrrh were presented as gifts in the Bible, and plant medicine was the only form of medicine for thousands of years.

So why don’t men use essential oils as much as women? Most likely it is due to marketing. Many women’s health and beauty products have included essential oils for both fragrance and skin conditioning for years. But both sexes can benefit from the aromatherapy and skin benefits of these oils and more and more companies are realizing this. Some men mention that essential oils are too flowery, however, there are many masculine oils that are woodsy or resin based that both smell amazing and have great therapeutic properties.

Looking to try something new? Here are some great essential oils for men.

  • Vetiver- This oil has been the underlying bassnote for countless colognes throughout history so it is a natural transition for many men wanting to start using essential oils. Vetiver’s aromatic properties have therapeutic benefits of reliving stress, grounding emotions, and alleviating anxiety. As an added side result, it can also promote great sleep.
  • Cedarwood- Also a very heavy, masculine oil, cedarwood has some amazing benefits when applied topically. This oil makes a great choice for scalp massage as it can assist with the regrowth of hair. It is also great for skin irritations as it is nourishing and anti fungal.
  • Frankincense- Frankincense has long been called the “King of Oils” as it has a large amount of therapeutic benefits. Not only does it smell fantastic as a cologne, but it also is great at relieving inflammation. Adding a few drops to a massage oil or included in a bath can help to soothe aches and pains in the joints and muscles.
  • Sandalwood- A very warming and woodsy smell, sandalwood is a great oil for everyone to use in a diffuser. It helps provide a sense of clarity and has long been used in meditation and prayer. It is also used medicinally in a diffuser to act as an expectorant to help promote good respiratory function.

 

For videos and additional information on essential oils, visit our doTERRRA infosite by visiting www.mydoterra.com/bodylogicvb.

Categories
Educate

Upcoming Classes

 

The Summer months are a great time to learn something new at Body Logic! We have some amazing and informative free mini workshops that are open to all and are sure to help you learn more about your body’s health.

Classes have limited seating so be sure to reserve your space in our office or by email at admin@bodylogicvb.com.

For more information on class descriptions and dates, click here. We look forward to learning with you!