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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CHIA SEED PUDDING RECIPE

healthy eating recipes Aug 26, 2020

Chia seeds are small white or black seeds which when wet become a sticky, gel-like substance that helps clear out your large intestine as it travels through.  This tiny seed packs a big nutrient punch.  It's rich in healthy fats and satiety-boosting fiber.  Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids along with B vitamins, fiber, protein and calcium round out the list of reasons to eat this super-food.  Aside from adding chia seeds to salads or smoothies, you can sprinkle them in yogurt, bake in breads or muffins and make an instant pudding out of them! 

Here is an easy first-timers recipe for Chia pudding.

RECIPE

Chia Seed Pudding

Time to build: 10 minutes      Ready in:  1-2 hours after refrigeration  

Things you need: 

  • Chia seeds (black or white doesn’t matter) - 3-4 Tablespoons
  • Milk (dairy or non-dairy of your choice) - 1 cup
    I like almond milk but cashew or coconut milk are good options too.
  • Spices...
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CHOCOLATE COVERED FROZEN BANANAS

healthy eating recipes Aug 21, 2020

With a heat wave hitting us this week I broke out an old recipe that sounded good and I know my family loves it.  Frozen bananas!  With dark chocolate of course because chocolate makes everything better.  There is something about a frozen banana that tastes better than a regular banana.  Maybe it's just me but if you haven't eaten one give this super easy recipe a try.  Seriously, two ingredients and you're done. 

RECIPE

Chocolate Covered Frozen Bananas

Ready in 10 minutes

Things you need:

  • 3-4 bananas
  • A bag of chocolate chips (dark chocolate of at least 60% cacao is healthiest)
  • Cookie sheet 
  • Wax paper or parchment paper
  • Popsicle sticks or wooden skewers 

Where to start:

1. Cover cookie sheet with wax paper

2. Peel bananas.  Cut bananas in half and insert stick or slice bananas.  (My family likes the banana bites better than the half banana on a stick.)

3. Melt chocolate in double broiler or microwave in safe dish.  (I...

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KOMBUCHA AND IT'S HEALTH BENEFITS

healthy eating Aug 19, 2020

Kombucha has that slightly hard to drink taste to it.  It's fermented, a little bubbly and lightly sweetened which makes you hesitate when you first taste it.  Most commercially made Kombucha tastes good in my opinion but I have a way of convincing myself something is worth the taste as long as there are health benefits.  Let's look at what Kombucha is and the supposed health benefits and then you can decide for yourself.  

What is Komucha

Kombucha is made from a green or black tea which sits to ferment.  It grows bacteria and yeast which lead to health benefits.  It can be sweetened by the fruit added or additional sweeteners.

Ingredients

Tea, sugar, bacteria, yeast

Variations

Fruit juices or spices can be added

Health Benefits:

Aides Digestive Health

Foods that go through a natural fermentation process gain probiotic properties, and eating or drinking these foods may bring benefits like improved digestion and a more balanced gut microbiome....

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SWISS BALL WORKOUTS PROVIDE ENDLESS FUN

That one piece of equipment to have at home.

If I had to pick one piece of exercise equipment everyone should have at home it's the Swiss ball.  Also known as the stability ball, exercise ball, or physio ball.  These big balls are filled with air and are usually sold burst resistant.  They are heavy duty and last forever.  They are versatile and because of the rounded nature of the ball your body's core muscles are called into action while stabilizing the ball during movements.  In other words you have to balance.

There are exercises for your lower body, upper body and core all without using anything but your body weight and the ball.  Plus I think the ball makes any exercise more fun.  I've been known to "play" at the gym and make up new ways to strengthen and stretch with the ball.  The possibilities are endless but I've put together a few to demonstrate here. 

Wall Squat

This exercise is good for learning squat form or strengthening...

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SELF CARE DURING COVID-19

current events self care Aug 12, 2020

Times of Change

Needless to say COVID-19 has changed the way we live.  Mask wearing in California among other states is common place.  So much so that a local boutique is advertising summer dresses with matching face masks and my laundry area has masks hanging to dry.  As if these visual reminders aren't enough, social distancing means we can't interact with friends and family like we used to.  Eating has been moved to outdoors and family members who fall in the high risk category refrain from physical contact like hugging.  Parents with newborns are being more careful which means family can't always visit and meet the new addition.  Handshakes and other physical contact is not a risk some chose to take.  All of this can lead to feelings of melancholy or downright depression.  Self care is always an important topic for massage therapists but during this time it's imperative to do what you need to stay mentally fit.     ...

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THINK OF EXERCISE AS PLAY

exercise Aug 09, 2020

Mindset shift about exercise

OK, I get it.  You don't like exercise.  It's uncomfortable, you sweat and you're usually sore the next day.  As I write about different areas of fitness, the workout category is the least popular.  :)  Is this because it takes effort?  Yes.  Is it because present day humans have all the comforts of living and have fallen into patterns on non-movement?  Yes. What if I told you it's easy once your body adapts?  What if I told you your body will actually WANT the next workout?  What if I gave you the treasure map and all you have to do is have courage and follow it?  You have to find your motivation and I think I can help starting with changing your mindset regarding the word: exercise.

Play like a child

If you've ever watched a child play, especially one under the age of 6, their movements are guided by sensory feelings and curiosity.  If it feels good to jump, run or roll on the ground that's...

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TOP REASONS WHY MASSAGE THERAPISTS ARE ESSENTIAL WORKERS

current events Aug 05, 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic many states have labeled massage therapists non-essential workers.  While I can see how our working at close proximity for extended periods of time could add to the spread of Coronavirus, I've never thought of myself as non-essential.  Ask any regular receiver of massage and they'll have a good reason why they believe it's an essential part of their health and wellness.  The stigma that massage is a luxury has fallen by the wayside over recent years.  Let's look at 20 of the top reasons massage therapy is an essential part of life.   

1. Human touch can’t be replicated

No number of self-massagers, massage chairs or electric massage tools will replace the effects of skin to skin contact.  

2. Manually manipulated muscle tissue is healthier than stagnant tissue.

As little as a few minutes of massage can positively effect the state of muscle tissue.  

3. Lymphatic system can be manually...

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LET'S TALK HIIT! THE AWESOME FAT BURNING WORKOUT.

Shorter workouts while still getting great results! 

What is HIIT?

High intensity interval training is in it's basic form a cardio session split into short bursts of very hard work.  The goal is to pick up the intensity and give it your all for a short time.  That's the good news.  It's hard but only for 30-90 second bursts.  It's work hard, rest, work hard, rest and repeat.  When you read the benefits you'll see the appeal.  

Why is HIIT good?

High intensity exercise boosts endurance, increases metabolism, regulates insulin levels, and burns fat.  It's a fast track to getting lean.   

HIIT is known for it's calorie burn long after the workout is over.  HIIT uses the body’s reserves of energy and, after a workout, metabolism stays elevated and continues to burn calories for hours after the workout. This is due to something called the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) effect. With HIIT, you not only...

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