WHY EXERCISE IS THE GOLDEN TICKET FOR BOOSTING YOUR METABOLISM

Metabolism.  How to keep it at peak levels is what we all want to know.  Everyone would like the metabolism of their 18-year-old self.  Food didn’t seem to affect your body as much at that age.  You may have heard about special pills, supplements or diets that can amp up your metabolism but believe it or not; exercise is the golden ticket for boosting your metabolism. Think of your metabolism as a powerhouse that converts your food into energy and propels your body from one minute to the next without missing a beat.

Factors that affect your metabolism

Multiple factors may affect how well your metabolism operates. Let’s take a moment to examine a few of the things that may get in the way of our bodies functioning at optimal levels.

Age

Studies show that with age, our metabolism begins to decline. This change often leads to extra pounds that are difficult to shed. Along with that we lose anywhere from three to five percent of our muscle mass, and we...

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PORTION SIZE MATTERS. ARE YOU AWARE HOW MUCH YOU'RE EATING?

healthy eating Oct 14, 2020

How much you eat matters as much as what you eat.  For those who snack, partake in office shared food, or stop for coffee/soda during the day along with consuming regular meals might be surprised how much food they’ve had in one day.  In this world of super-sized fast food and enormous quantities served at restaurants, it’s no wonder Americans are the most obese society.  I don’t blame people for not knowing what a healthy serving size is.  It’s not talked about or demonstrated by most restaurants.  Restaurants get reviews toting “lots of food” or “big portions” as if it’s a good thing to grossly over-deliver portion amounts to the table.  Unless you’re sharing that meal, it’s most likely enough for 2-3 meals.

Young and old, obesity has infiltrated our lives in one way or another; affecting us personally or a loved one. And it isn’t just about the numbers popping up on the scale....

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MEDITERRANEAN ROASTED VEGETABLES

healthy eating recipes Oct 09, 2020

Here’s a great way to use up any leftover vegetables sitting in your refrigerator. If you don’t have the vegetables used here, feel free to substitute any sturdy veggie you have on hand, such as carrots, fennel, parsnips, eggplant, and cauliflower.  

Roasting deepens and intensifies the inherent sweetness of vegetables; so don’t be surprised if this becomes a new family favorite!

RECIPE
Mediterranean Roasted Vegetables

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 40-45 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb. bag mini sweet peppers, seeded and cut in half 

  •  1 lb. Portobello mushroom caps, sliced

  • 1 large red onion, sliced

  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half

  • 2 t. garlic powder

  • 2 t. Herbs de Provence (or Italian seasoning)

  • 2 T. extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 T. balsamic vinegar

  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Add peppers,...
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SPENDING TIME WITH YOURSELF. THE CHALLENGE BUT BEAUTY OF QUIET.

self care Oct 08, 2020

Spending time alone isn't easy for some people.  Those who thrive with human interaction (the more people around the better) don't always know how to let quiet surround them.  As a massage therapist I'm sure you've had a client on the table who talks and fidgets throughout the session.  One of my longest standing clients took 2 whole years before she could lie quietly on the table and not "help" me by moving limbs.  These very cerebral people with cerebral jobs take some time and coaching to learn to receive massage and use the time to decompress and feel their body.  Massage time is a great opportunity to be alone with your thoughts, tune in to how different parts of your body feel and come out feeling refreshed.       

What quiet allows

In this world of cell phones it's rare that we unplug for more than a few minutes of the day.  The convenience these handheld computers bring also disrupt our quality time with others and...

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COFFEE! WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW. PART 2

healthy eating Oct 01, 2020

This one beverage is the center of many days.  It's from a bean that grows in nature so it must be good for us right?  Well, that depend what you put in your coffee.  A gingerbread latte is a far cry from a black cup of coffee.    

How do you take your coffee?

 

There are as many ways to make coffee as there are ways to drink it.  Black, with cream and sugar or a fancier version like the latte or cappuccino.  Espresso machine, french press, pour over, good ole drip coffee, there are many ways to make coffee.  Some swear grinding the beans right before you brew makes all the difference.  However you come by your morning cup let's look at what's hiding in your coffee so you can decide whether a change for better health is in order. 

Creamers

  • Milk of any percentage will contain sugar and dairy calories of course.  Fat free milk for example has about 3 grams of sugar per 2 ounce and roughly 25 calories. If you're a 16...
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COFFEE! GOOD FOR YOU? WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW. PART 1

healthy eating Sep 24, 2020

Over 2 billion cups of coffee are consumed each day worldwide according to Wikipedia.  This beloved drink is the beginning of the day for so many people but are there any nutritious benefits in this popular cup of joe?  It depends on what you put in your coffee, how the bean is processed and how much you drink.  In this two part series we will take a look at the health benefits of the coffee bean, caffeine in general (how much is too much), and the healthiest ways to drink your coffee.  With a bonus Starbucks menu deep dive!   

Not all coffee beans are equal

 

Although there are different ways to process the coffee beans before they are ready to purchase, mold has been reported in some coffee bean production.  The potentially harmful chemicals, called mycotoxins are formed by mold which can be found on improperly stored beans.  Our bodies are regularly exposed to trace amounts of other harmful substances and since mycotoxins are...

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WAYS TO STAY FIT DURING DAILY TASKS

exercise Sep 17, 2020

We all have those weeks when no exercise happens. 

Any number of things can get in the way of the best laid plans to exercise and that's OK because here are some ways to keep fit while going about your daily activities.  I got creative here so have fun with me on some of these.  :)

Stand on one leg while watering the garden

If you have a hose or watering can, outside plants or inside, you can improve your balance while watering.  Stand on one leg and if you want to take it a step further, bend forward at the waist with one leg straight behind you.  Count to 10 and switch legs while making your plants beautiful.  

Take a break from (anything) and do 5 push ups

Whether it's computer work, checking emails or watching TV you can set an alarm for every hour and when it goes off, drop and give me 5!  You could potentially get a whole lot of push ups done in one day. 

Squat while folding laundry

Squats are good for building leg strength and...

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MASSAGE THERAPIST'S BEST BODY MECHANICS WHILE SEATED

body mechanics Sep 11, 2020

There are times during a massage when every massage therapist needs to or chooses to sit down.  While I have my own opinion about when and how often a therapist should sit, I will keep this discussion focused on the best body mechanics while performing the seated portion of a massage.

Body Mechanics are important even while sitting. 

In my experience hiring and working with MT's in my clinic I found many therapists weren't shown specific body mechanics while seated.  They had some for standing but then grabbed the stool, sat down and all good use of their body went out the window.  Including posture!     

Seated massage is still work.  The stool is not there to take a break or sit on because you're tired or your back hurts.  The seated position is only used when a massage therapist can't safely perform the massage stroke standing.  In other words, if the body mechanics are better seated than standing, a seated position should be...

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SEEDS HAVE BIG HEALTH BENEFITS

healthy eating Sep 09, 2020

Nutrition comes in many forms and seeds have always been a nutritional powerhouse.  Seeds are known for helping with cholesterol levels and fighting off inflammation while also contributing to steady blood sugar levels. By eating seeds you'll gain healthy fats, dietary fiber, protein and a variety of antioxidants in your diet.

Don't let their small size deter you.  Seeds are packed with nutrients.

Pumpkin seeds

These seeds are a favorite roasted and tossed in salads (instead of croutons), in grain dishes or on their own as a snack. You can find seasoned varieties, sweet or spicy, or try seasoning your own at home. See recipe below.
Nutritionally, it’s hard to beat pumpkin seeds. In 1/4 cup you get 9 grams of protein and roughly 50% of daily magnesium.  Pepitas are shelled pumpkin seeds. 

Flax seed

Grinding flax seed makes them easier to digest and boosts nutrient absorption. Ground flaxseed can sub for breadcrumbs. Try using as a coating on baked chicken or...

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HEAD AND NECK WORK: SAVE YOUR HANDS!

body mechanics Aug 28, 2020

Remember how remarkable an awesome neck massage feels?  I hope you've received at least one in your life that really stands out.  Whether it's helping clients with headaches, stress relief or neck pain, a skilled neck massage gets results.  But when sessions cause strain to fingers, hands and forearms, what can we as massage therapists do to save our bodies?  We need to be smart about body mechanics, know our limits and honor them!    

BODY MECHANICS

Prone neck and head work

When the client is lying prone it's easier to maintain good body mechanics but we are still able to over-work the hands and fingers.  Think of petrissage at the back of the neck,  circles on the scalp or friction along the upper trapezius.  All of these techniques can cause strain to the fingers and hands if joints are not kept in alignment.  Weight shift while petrissaging, use straight fingers for circles and friction and you should be able to give your...

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