Category Archives: Structural Chiropractic

Stop Slouching: How to Fix Bad Posture Now

Stop Slouching: How to Fix Bad Posture Now

Maybe you’re suffering from back pain. Or maybe you’ve just started to notice tensed shoulders and slouching as habits that have started to creep into your day.

Either way, it’s time to stop slouching now, before serious problems occur from your poor posture. The fact is, back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. It’s also the second most frequent reason people visit a doctor. Yikes!

If left untreated, bad posture can start to effect your daily life. But if you start to break bad habits today, you can avoid back pain altogether — and greatly improve your future quality of life!

We’re going to tell you a few tips and tricks on how to fix bad posture so you can avoid serious problems with your spine.

Straighten Up! How to Fix Bad Posture

The stress bad posture puts on your spine is a slow accumulation over time. Sometimes, people don’t even notice until the toll starts to cause serious harm.

Here’s how to get on top of your posture now to prevent pain later.

Test Your Posture… and Become Aware!

The best first step is to assess the current state of your posture. Increasing awareness in your body will help you correct bad habits more consciously during every day.

You can do this in a couple of ways. First, basic wall tests have you stand against a flat surface to evaluate the curve of your spine.

Or, you can see a professional! A structural chiropractor can get a grasp on the state of your spine to give you a better understanding of where your current posture stands. It is always important to be sure that your posture is not just a secondary condition of an underlying structural shift.

Once you’re more aware of your posture and body’s ergonomics, you can move on to the next tip.

Basic Posture Tips and Tricks

We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of easy-to-implement daily tricks for how to fix bad posture.

They’ll help you straighten up and fix nasty habits in no time! Here they are:

1. Work on your core strength.

Our spine and core are undeniably intertwined. The more support your back gets from your abdomen muscles, the less strain will be put on your delicate spine. Basic core exercises are a great start, but a targeted core exercise plan that works with your spine is essential.

2. Do some posture correcting exercises.

There are a ton of simple, easy to do exercises that help strengthen your back. Over time, they can help correct poor posture. These are always an important part of a structural correction treatment plan.

3. Evaluate your workspace.

Is your chair keeping your spine in an uncomfortable position? Is your desk at the right height? You spend a lot of time at work. Make sure your space is spine-friendly. We often recommend a sit/stand workstation along with ergonomic key board, mouse, and proper monitor position (at eye level or up to 1 inch above depending on the current state of your cervical spine structure).

4. Think about other parts of your body.

Make sure when you think about posture you aren’t purely focused on a neutral spine. Make sure your weight is being evenly distributed on each half of your body, whether it’s your feet while standing or derriere while sitting. We also recommend MOVEMENT while standing. Anyone who has had us work on their ergonomic workstation knows that I recommend having a step stool and alternating feet (think Captain Morgan’s stance).

Implement all of these simple strategies into daily life to enhance your posture. Your spine will appreciate the effort!

Tall, Proud, and Pain-Free

You’re now enabled with some knowledge on how to fix bad posture. The spine controls your nervous system, and in turn your whole body! Remember, if you have any questions or need clarification on how to implement any of these tips, please contact us.

Book a free consultation today — work towards living a back pain-free future.

Sleep Positions and Posture During Pregnancy

 

pregnantbackpainLet’s face it, most people don’t have the best posture to begin with. Unless you happened to attend an old-timey finishing school where you were forced to walk around balancing a book on your head, chances are good you’re one of the many adults that slouches and suffers from back and neck pain as a result. And when you discover that you’re pregnant, you’re in for even more problems. As your body puts on weight, your posture is likely to get even worse – that is, of course, unless you become aware of the changes that your body is undergoing. If you do, you can take steps to keep your back aligned (biomechanically speaking) and correct the posture issues contributing to the decline in your spinal health.

You obviously want to maintain your overall health as much as possible for the benefit of your baby, but also for yourself. The way you position your body during pregnancy, during both waking and sleeping hours, can help to ease the heavy burden you’ll carry for the next several months, keeping you as comfortable as possible throughout the process. If you’re looking for ways to ensure a smooth(er) pregnancy, the following are just a few sleep positions and posture basics to get you started.

Sleep on Your Left Side

If you’ve read any literature pertaining to what you should expect when you’re expecting, you’ve no doubt discovered that sleeping on your stomach is a major no-no. Well, that’s just common sense. You might be more surprised, though, to learn that you should also avoid sleeping on your back. As your baby grows and you gain weight, this position can lead to labored breathing and pressure on internal organs. Sleeping on your side is best and sleeping on your left side is actually better than the right. This position aids circulation and it stops the growing baby inside you from putting undue pressure on your liver all night long.

As a side note, proper posture and spinal alignment during slumber can generally be better maintained by sleeping with a body pillow (click here for a Structurally approved body pillow). Place it between your knees and arms to keep your body in the most desirable and comfortable position.

Stand Up Straight

If you don’t want to end up looking like Igor or Quasimodo in your twilight years (don’t get me wrong, I do love them both), you should probably strive to stand up straight all of the time, but it is especially important to observe proper posture when you’re pregnant and you have an extra 20 to 40 pounds weighing you down. Standing up straight does require some amount of attention to detail, and because practice makes perfect, here are a few points to keep in mind where posture is concerned.

Hold your head straight and try to keep your earlobes aligned with your shoulders (as viewed from the side). Keep your shoulder blades pulled back (but not up – be mindful of shrugging your shoulders up as it will increase the tension in your neck). Pull your stomach up and in, and tuck your pelvis so that your back doesn’t arch. Point your feet forward and don’t lock your knees. These are the “basics”. And when you’re pregnant, try to move around frequently rather than standing in the same spot for any great duration. As always, I will gladly teach this to you during one of our complimentary consultations along with explaining how Webster technique may be able to help you.

Sit Up Straight

Sitting is seen by most patients as a chance to relax, but sinking into your favorite La-Z-Boy is nothing but an excuse to slouch. If you want to preserve your spinal health during pregnancy, it’s important that you sit up straight. If you’re having trouble doing so, try to sit in straight-back chairs and add lumbar support in the form of a lumbar pillow as mentioned below.

Support Your Lower Back

Okay, remembering to sit and stand tall is all well and good, but it does take some work. Luckily, you can cheat a bit by using lumbar support, at least when sitting. You will not find a shortage of pregnancy-related products, and that includes pillows. But you need not shell out beaucoup bucks for a specialty pillow. A sturdy bolster or even a rolled towel will do the trick. Simply position it behind your lower back when sitting for an extra measure of support. This will help you relax and feel comfortable while still maintaining proper posture. If you want an inexpensive lumbar support, HERE is an Amazon link.

Try Pregnancy Yoga

If you’re looking for ways to strengthen the areas around your belly, pregnancy yoga can be a godsend. Gentle stretching will help to relieve the aches and pains of pregnancy, while also improving circulation and minimizing swelling. Yoga routines will strengthen key areas of the body. This will allow you body to better withstand the increased burden of gravity as your baby grows.

There you have it. Just a few tips to help make your pregnancy (or someone you care about) a little more comfortable.

As a perinatal and pediatric trained chiropractor, I understand that pregnancy can come with some “different” sensations. I offer complimentary consultations to discuss structural correction and/ or Webster technique during your pregnancy. Please share with moms, moms to be and aspiring moms as they all deserve know these easy tips.

How to Improve Your Sleep

We all know the frustration that comes with insomnia: watching the clock, counting the hours till morning, and flipping through late night channels. If you suffer from frequent insomnia, you’re not alone. Approximately 30% Americans are plagued with insomnia each year and even more struggle in one way or another with sleep, such as grogginess, poor concentration. But apart from these frustrating symptoms, poor sleep habits can result in long-term medical issues, including cardiovascular disease, anxiety, and depression. Luckily, with some small changes in your habits and sleep routine, you can take control of your sleep and boost your chances of getting better rest.

Limit Your Screen Time

Despite the urge to watch Netflix in bed, try leaving your computer, tablet, or television anywhere but the bedroom. Doing so can improve your sleep, even if you don’t suffer from full-fledged insomnia. Using electronic devices, including your phone, just before bed has been linked to irregular sleep patterns and poor sleep habits. So if you find yourself waking up exhausted or tossing and turning before falling asleep, switch out your laptop for a book.

Move Your Body

An aerobic workout may be enough to tire our your body and promote deep sleep. After all, regular exercise has been found to improve patterns of insomniacs. But even a single moderately paced exercise session may help you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, at least for that night. Exercise may help with insomnia because it regulates your body temperature, reduces anxiety and depression, and helps to normalize your circadian rhythm.

Change Positions or Your Pillows

No matter how tired you are, you may find it difficult to get into a comfortable position and stay asleep. If neck pain or headaches are keeping you awake at night, you may want to re-consider your sleep position or even your pillows. After all, an individual’s reported pillow comfort is correlated with sleep quality. Aim for a position and pillow that prevents your neck from staying in neutral while you sleep. I recommend THIS PILLOW and even sell it in the office. I provided the Amazon link just in case you can save a few bucks by buying it from them. The goal is to improve your ability to get a good nights rest, not to sell you a pillow.

A good night of sleep is irreplacable

Address Pain

Aches and pain not only make it difficult to fall asleep but lead to frequent awakenings, painful mornings, and a restless night.

Unfortunately, pain and sleep may work in concert: pain can lead to poor sleep quality, and poor sleep quality can further exacerbate pain. To break free of this frustrating cycle, address the primary cause that is leading to a secondary condition of pain.

Get Checked For Sleep Apnea

If you are a snorer, wake up gasping for breath, or struggle to stay awake during the day, do yourself a favor and get checked for sleep apnea. It is a condition characterized by cessations in breathing during sleep and it is devastating to your health. Short periods of oxygen deprivation lead to numerous subsequent micro-awakenings, ones that you may not even remember. Although between three and seven percent of adults suffer from sleep apnea, very few get treatment for this potentially dangerous condition.

Consider Supplements

If all else fails, you may find yourself desperate for a good night’s rest. Hopefully you are not drawn to television advertisements for sleeping pills. Before you ask your doctor for a prescription, consider nutritional or herbal-based remedies that may help you get a better ZZZZZ’s. Look for foods that contain melatonin, including cherries. Some studies have found that melatonin supplementation reduces the time it takes to fall asleep and increases quality sleep time.

Replace That Old Mattress

If you are sleeping on a mattress that is more than 8 years old, stop! Take a deep breath, and imagine waking up in the morning without aches pains. I have tested, discarded, and been very disappointed MANY times over the years. There are two mattresses that I can recommend without hesitation. One is the Intellibed, a medical grade bed that is top notch. Unfortunately, like many mattresses, it is pricey. 

The second bed is one that I am extremely happy to share with you. It is the best memory foam mattress I have found. Yes, much better than the “brand name” that we always associate with memory foam and MUCH cheaper. Thankfully, it is cheap in price and TOP in quality. Save your money and brag to your friends that this bed is STRUCTURALLY APPROVED. Do yourself a favor and put this in your shopping cart now and get some much needed rest.

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Back Pain: 1 Simple Tip to Decrease it

Hopefully you all know that I am in the business of helping people rid themselves of neck pain, back pain, and headaches. In fact, most of my new patients all have some form of back pain. While this may be only ONE of many symptoms they are experiencing, it is often the driving force that brought them into my office.
Now, you may be asking yourself,
“I thought this was about Moms?”. 
Let me explain. Since we usually see mother’s first in our clinic, I wanted to write this article to help them while they were not in my office.
The good news is that this applies to all HUMANS (almost)!

Let me start out by giving my disclaimer. All neck pain, back pain, and headaches are unique to the individual who walks into my office and THEIR STRUCTURE. No one is perfect, and no one has the same structure, therefore it really does take a consultation and examination to determine the exact path to improving your spine health.

Now lets get to the tip to decrease your low back pain.

1.) Stretch Your Psoas. Here is a great photo showing you where the Psoas muscle “lives”.
Below are a few stretches to help bring down your pain levels. I think now is a good time to add another disclaimer.
While your pain levels may go down,
YOUR PROBLEM IS NOT FIXED. I repeat, YOUR PROBLEM IS NOT FIXED. 
Without going into great detail, I want to make sure you know why I made the above statement in bold. Your tight Psoas muscle is not the problem, but rather the RESULT of many things. It is the result of poor neurological control, poor posture, and lack of supporting musculature. While I hope you get some relief from these stretches, I do not want you to ignore the fact that you may have some  structural abnormalities that need to be addressed. Please seek a professional that focuses on structural correction, and NO, it does not have to be me.
Here are two stretches that you must put into your repertoire.
I hope you seriously consider adding these two stretches into your routine. And as always, if you have something that you would like to discuss with me in person, please schedule a complimentary consultation by either calling 425-636-0303 or by filling out this form.

Inflammation is BAD, but…

If you are a research and health news junkie like I am, then you have probably heard someone talking about how inflammation is the “big bad wolf”.

I want to quickly say… NOT SO FAST!

Inflammation-And-Natural-Health

While systemic inflammation is an absolute nightmare to most people, it is not necessarily “THE” problem. The question you should always ask is, what caused it? What caused the inflammation to occur? Was it diet? Physical injury? Bacteria? Virus? Parasite? Stress (yes, stress)? A Structural Shift?

Maybe, just maybe the inflammation is there in an attempt to HEAL.

In every pathology class, the basic process of healing is introduced.

For simplicity, I will talk about wound healing. When you first get a physical wound, your body goes through 3 phases of healing that wound. Inflammation is the first phase after bleeding is stopped, inflammation begins to bring essential cells, nutrients, enzymes, and growth factors to the area in order for the body to repair itself. Without this process, healing cannot occur. Inflammation is NECESSARY! Remember this when you attempt to bring down inflammation during the healing process. You should always consult a trusted health professional before “bringing down inflammation”.

Obviously, inflammation COULD cause a problem with SEVERE injuries. In such cases, bringing inflammation down may be necessary. This is usually done in a hospital setting under the supervision of surgeon, or trauma specialist.

Okay, now that we know inflammation is NECESSARY for healing, we can focus on the “bad form” of inflammation. “Bad inflammation” occurs when the body has a reason to systemically heal itself. Think of it this way… If you are constantly providing your body with IRRITANTS (i.e. food, inhaled, injected, topically), then it will have the need to cause inflammation in order to heal. Although I will not get into the different irritants here, I will blog on them in the future.

My favorite way to reduce irritants is to eat foods that are high in antioxidants and that provide properties that do not encourage inflammation. These foods have been shown to reduce inflammatory blood markers that tend to be high in MOST chronic disease processes. I am not saying that you won’t get a chronic illness if you eat these foods, BUT I will say that it is a good idea to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to chronic illness. With that being said, here my top 5 “anti-inflammatory” foods:

  1. Animal based Omega-3 fatty acids (My favorite is Fish oil). These are also important for brain health!
  2. Leafy greens (kale, spinach, collard greens, swiss chard).
  3. Blueberries (high in antioxidants).
  4. Tea (Matcha tea from Japan, and Tulsi tea are the absolute best).
  5. Fermented foods (kefir, kimchee, miso, pickles, sauerkraut, olives, and other fermented vegetables, will help recolonize your gut with beneficial bacteria that control inflammation).

I hope you increase these foods in your diet ASAP and that you learned a little about inflammation and how it is bad and NOT so bad at the same time.

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Whiplash: Don’t Crack That Whip!

Whiplash: The Scary Truth.

Many people hear the term “Crack that whip” or “Whip It” and get a certain song in our heads along with the inevitable big smile. If you aren’t familiar with the song by DEVO that was released in the 1980’s, watch the video below. You can thank me later. Just for the record, they are not talking about whiplash.

neck

Whip It!

What many of us forget is the part that states “break your momma’s back”. That is the line that I will focus on in this blog. That line has a lot of significance right now due to our wet roads.

Whiplash… we all hear about it, but what the heck is it?

For simplicity, whiplash is an injury that can occur in your neck during any fast movement of the head. Most whiplashes are caused by car accidents, sports collisions, falls, and any time the head changes directions abruptly (including stopping abruptly). Watch this video to see how even a minor accident can result in major problems, Whiplash slow motion video.

Contrary to popular opinion, whiplash can occur in ANY DIRECTION. While most of the information out there focuses on rear end collisions (just do a google search on whiplash), in reality, any forceful change in direction can also result in LONG TERM neck damage from a whiplash.

Many cases of whiplash do not cause immediate severe pain. In fact, many report “feeling fine” immediately following a car accident. I often ask people that I know may be suffering from a whiplash type injury if they have ever had their structure evaluated. More often than not, I am sad to hear that they didn’t think about it because it “didn’t hurt”. Remember, pain is often the last of the secondary conditions that follow a whiplash. Some other secondary conditions to be aware of are headaches, foggy thoughts, trouble concentrating, loss of enjoyment in hobbies/ activities, depression, anxiety, headaches, irritability, “fussiness” and MANY MANY others. Any change in attitude, feeling of general well being, and/or mood can be a secondary condition of even a minor whiplash. It is NOT uncommon for a whiplash to actually cause residual or a secondary condition of low back pain!

My point in mentioning all of the symptoms above is to impart the importance of ruling OUT any Structural Shifts of the spine before you write of that “minor accident”, fender bender, fall or “bonk” (for the little ones).

Food for thought… in the United States alone there are an estimated 16,000,000 car accidents each year on our roads. How many do you think has one car traveling faster than the slow motion video above? I would venture to say most of them. You can decide for yourself when you realize that all of you can RUN, roll, or ride your bike faster than the speed in the video.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE be safe out there and don’t neglect your structure!

If you have been in a recent car accident, then a Complimentary Consultation is a no brainer.

Did you enjoy this post? Feel free to share it with people that you love and care about. As always, we provide COMPLIMENTARY CONSULTATIONS to discuss your individual case and determine if we are a good fit to help you improve your heath.

What to EAT for your Brain Health: My Top 3 Foods

There are many different nutrients that protect our brain health, but not all can be created equal.

While my focus on brain health has much to do with the structure of your spine and being free of any underlying structural shifts, we can’t ignore the role nutrition plays in creating a healthy and thriving brain.

Let me just say that I did do some serious searching for articles on brain health and nutrition. All sources are included for your reference.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Yes, this heart saving fatty acid is also excellent for you brain health.

In one study, they actually showed that these healthy fats may help protect the brain after a concussion. Another study showed how these fats improved depression.

Last, but certainly not least, one study showed improved reaction times and memory in HEALTHY ADULTS. I highlighted healthy because most studies are done with disease and symptoms in mind and this one was done on healthy young adults. These are my favorite types of studies!

Obviously, the best source of Omega-3’s is from food, so fatty fish like king mackerel and salmon are an ideal source. However, eating fish daily is impractical and undesirable for almost everyone. Therefore supplementation with a high quality Omega-3 fish oil can help fill the gap.

A high quality fish oil contains a 3/2 ratio of EPA/DHA, contains vitamin E (for freshness). Of course, I will always help you with choosing a quality fish oil.

Probiotics

This is one of the hottest research topics out there. Everyone is trying to crack the code on healthy bacteria. You can find probiotics in many products including Kombucha, yogurt, and many forms of fermented foods.

One of the most exciting things about the science is how gut bacteria can affect almost every other system in the body. I found studies that link gut bacteria to you that number on the scale that I will not mention, blood sugar regulation, and even Parkinson’s. Obviously this important “system” in our body has much more effect than just helping with digestion and bowel movements.

Another exciting field of research is how gut bacteria may be affecting our children. Would you call me crazy if I said, “Your child’s mood is because of their gut bacteria”. Read that study and you many not call me crazy anymore (although my wife says this is a long shot).

Studies are being done to link gut bacteria to depression, anxiety, movement disorders and yes, even autism.

Even with all of the promising research, there are still many questions regarding probiotics. I cannot predict where these studies will ultimately take us, but I have read enough to have every person in my house take probiotics daily, including my 17 month old son who has been supplementing since 6 months of age.

Curcumin

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Image courtesy of Steven Jackson. (Flickr CC license)

I bet this one caught you off guard. Even if it is the “it” supplement of the day, it does have some great health qualities. Enough that I put it in my top 3 brain foods. While the research is still mostly on animals, it does give us a lot of insight into what the mechanism of how this supplement is helping.

This extract of turmeric has been shown to alter the process of Alzheimer’s, tumor formation, diabetes, chronic pain, and even DOMS or delayed onset muscle soreness after that long lay off from the gym (don’t worry, I know you would never do that).

It is thought that the chemicals in curcumin are able to help eliminate inflammatory molecules in the body called free radicals, thus reducing inflammation.

While this is great news, there is still a lot of research that needs to be done in humans. We also know that cucumin gets mostly destroyed in the stomach and that very little is absorbed into the blood stream. In other words, we don’t know what the best delivery method is quite yet.

However, many people report benefit from a simple curcumin supplement. The risk is very low along with the price and the reward can be very great if you are a chronic pain sufferer that gets some relief.

One way to increase curcumin is to eat more curries and use turmeric in more of your dishes. If you are anything like me, this is not a bad thing to hear.

My BIG Idea…

I had a BIG revelation on this past Thursday night and I have to share. I was preparing to end my day and head off to bed. I did the unthinkable and I clicked one of those annoying ads on a site where I was doing research.

I know what you are thinking…”who clicks the ads?”

Well, I do… I am always looking for new and fun things on the web, especially when I am searching for new research and frankly I needed a break from reading mundane scientific studies.

I ended up on a site with many Chinese proverbs and while there were many great ones, ONE proverb instantly grabbed my attention. I am not going to lie, it brought on A LOT of emotion as I read it.

It brought me back to the reason I became a Structural Chiropractor. It brought me back to the day when I was THAT person in the proverb with one dream.

Here it is…

“He who has HEALTH has 1000 dreams, and he who does NOT, has ONE.”

You may be thinking to yourself that this isn’t that important or that it doesn’t apply to you. Well, I hate to break it to you, but… IT DOES.

If you have ever had a health challenge, you know that it consumes your entire life and rightfully so. Even if you have not experienced a health challenge, someone you love or care for dearly has been the person with only one dream.

They would do just about ANYTHING to change it.

Think about the things that person could be doing instead of battle their health. If Einstein or Edison were suffering do you think they would have come up with HALF of the amazing inventions/ discoveries that they did?

That person in your life could possibly be someone to change the world. If only they could FOCUS and not be stuck battling with their health.

As a Structural Chiropractor who absolutely wants to change the health of our community, I had to share this AND offer my assistance. If I keep my mouth shut, someone may suffer… and that is UNACCEPTABLE to me.

HOWEVER, I cannot do it alone. If you have someone in your life who could use help to become a dreamer again, please, please, please let them know that there is hope. Let them know that you want to help.

All I ask is that you reach out to ONE person this month and let them know you care and share my vision with them to create more dreamers.

As you may already be aware, I always offer a Complimentary Consultation to discuss whether I can help that person once again become a dreamer. We can be so caught up in our lives that we can forget what it is like to experience health. Don’t take this lightly as it is my driving passion to help people live up to their full potential.

Please join me so that we can create DREAMERS in our community (the Eastside).

Whether it is a family member, co-worker, and/or friend. We are here to help.
Dreamers
Yours in Health,

Tony Brooks D.C.

Ask Dr. Tony: How is Structural Correction different from Conventional

Wow, where do I start? I will try to brief here.

First, conventional chiropractic care is excellent in its own right, but it has very different goals from Structural Correction. Conventional care is focused around increasing range of motion, relieving muscle spasm, and the temporary relief of pain. At Structural Chiropractic we focus on correcting the underlying structure of your spine in order to relieve any secondary conditions that may be present.

The spine is akin to the foundation of your house and we all know what happens when the foundation of your home is not structurally sound! The easiest way to see the difference is to watch our video HERE!

Thanksgiving, The Holiday That KEEPS On Giving

5 Tips to avoiding that “holiday bulge”.

Oh boy, my favorite holiday is right around the corner. When was the last time you heard someone talk about that AMAZING holiday body they have been working on? Let’s just say that a holiday body is NOT the same as a bikini body.

As much as I LOOOOOVE Thanksgiving, it usually isn’t known for how well it makes us feel or even how it shrinks our waistline. In fact, it is probably one of the worst holidays when it comes to our health.

For those of us who TRY to make healthy eating choices, the holidays do not do us any favors. It is really hard to be social, visit with family, AND make healthy food choices. Unfortunately, that is the state of our society.

With that being said, let me move on to my first tip. It is a big one and it is also a very simple one.

1. Drink Water

Drink two full glasses of water FIRST THING when you wake up on that day when you know that there may be some “questionable” food choices (in fact, I do this every day). This does a lot for your health and isn’t THAT hard. Oh and trust me, I have heard it all about why you “can’t” do it.

“I am not thirsty.”

“I am full.”

“I will puke.”

“I just can’t do it.”

Yes, I know it isn’t the most exciting or enjoyable thing to do FIRST THING when you wake up. I had the very same thoughts the first time I did this, but it can be done. If you can only manage one glass of water, then do that, but two is ideal. This will not only help your body detox in the morning, but it will help you stay hydrated when you do eat those salty traditional foods. It will also fill you up and may suppress some of your hunger. Many times our body will satisfy dehydration with the feeling of being hungry. I recommend that most people increase their water intake and the guideline that I typically start with is to recommend that you drink half of your body weight in ounces per day. Again, this is a starting point and I will alter this depending on your individual case.

2. Eat it all.

Wait, did I just say that? Yep. Go ahead and enjoy your Thanksgiving by eating anything you want.

Now here is the catch, you can do this ONLY if you commit that it is just for ONE day. Let’s be honest here. You did not get your current body composition (all the muscle, fat, and bones) from ONE day of eating. It took many days of eating great food and exercise to give you that beach body, or many days of eating bad food to give you your “winter coat”.

WARNING: If you normally eat healthy, then eating bad food for one day will result in you feeling AWFUL. If you have done this, then you know what I am talking about and you likely will not make that terrible decision again.

Eat Better, Feel Better

3. Eat THIS, not that.

Start off with meat and veggies. By starting with protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates, your body will likely not crave the high simple carbohydrate foods like mashed potatoes, bread and stuffing. I won’t lie to you here, I have a bread problem. If bread is the first thing in front of me, then it is going to be a bad day. Thankfully I have learned that I have a bread problem and now I do my best to avoid it until after I have filled my belly. This makes eating a lot of it almost impossible and saves me from a LOT of simple carbohydrates.

4. Game Time!

I love football season! As much as I love it, I try to find time before I sit down on the couch for the day to get out and play some catch or two hand touch football outside. I know, I know, it is cold. All I ask is that you get some exercise before you eat that holiday meal. Be creative and burn some calories. You will be a big hit amongst the children in your family if you play some type of game. My only requirement is… to have FUN.

5. Bring Your Own Dish.

I am not saying that you need to replace the menu this Thanksgiving, but I am suggesting that you bring something that is more…”friendly” to your health. Although there are many options out there, I have selected a few good sources for replacing an item.  I would probably start with dessert if you want to only bring ONE thing. Check out the sites below!

Great Thanksgiving Recipes

Yummy Paleo Options

Dessert Alternatives

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Did you enjoy this post? Feel free to share it with people that you love and care about. As always, we provide COMPLIMENTARY CONSULTATIONS to discuss your individual case and determine if we are an option to help you improve your heath.

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