6 Ways to Conquer Your Cravings

Understanding the 5 types of overeaters is crucial, however, your best offense is a good defense. Learn how to avoid temptations by conquering your cravings before they take you down. The holidays are right around the corner and cookies, fruit cake, and feasts of food are in abundance. On average, adults gain 2 pounds a year during the holidays (and don't lose it). Multiply that by 25 years and that's a lot of weight that you could avoid gaining if you are a conscious eater.

Given this information, what can you do with it? You may not be severely overweight but you may have some characteristics of a certain "overeater". No matter if you are a compulsive eater or an emotional eater, controlling and conquering cravings is very important. Six tips on controlling cravings are summarized below:

1. Get moving
Research has shown that exercise can help blunt genetic obesity tendencies, improve how the brain uses sugar, reduce cravings and overcome food addiction, handle stress, helps you make better food choices, and improve brain health overall.

2. Keep blood sugar levels balanced
Low blood sugar levels are associated with lower brain activity and more cravings. Here are some tips for keeping your blood sugar levels even throughout the day:

  • Eat a nutritious breakfast every day
  • Eat cinnamon, found to help regulate blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes
  • Ingest smaller meals throughout the day
  • Stay away from simple sugars and refined carbohydrates (processed/boxed foods- if it won't spoil if left out on the counter overnight, it's likely processed)

3. Decrease the use of artificial sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners can  be up to 600 times sweeter than sugar and may activate the appetite centers of the brain, making you crave even more food and more sugar.

4. Manage Stress
Chronic stress has been implicated in obesity, as well as addiction, anxiety and depressive disorders, and cancer. Consider deep breathing, meditation, and hypnosis to combat stress.

5. Get adequate sleep
Science has shown that the less sleep you get, the more cravings you'll have; the more calories you eat, the more belly fat you'll have and the higher your BMI (body mass index) will be.

6. Find out about hidden food allergies
Food allergies can trigger cravings. If you have an allergy to wheat gluten or milk and you eat wheat or dairy products, the allergy can reduce blood flow to your brain and impair your judgement. Subtle but important food allergies can result in brain inflammation that contributes to poor brain health.

To identify food allergies, eliminate dairy, wheat, sugar, food additives, preservatives, and artificial flavorings or colors from your diet for 1-2 months. Then, slowly reintroduce these items one at a time every 3-4 days to determine whether a new item triggers problems.When you reintroduce a food, eat it at least two or three times in a day for 3 days to see if you notice a reaction. Stop immediately if you do. Symptoms vary greatly but may include brain fog, difficulty remembering, mood issues (anxiety, depression and anger), nasal congestion, headaches, sleep problems, joint aches, muscle aches, pain, fatigue, skin changes, and changes in digestion.

Food allergy testing is also available in our office. The test results show you which foods you're severely allergic to (avoid at all costs), moderately allergic to (eat sparingly if you must), and mildly allergic to (be aware how frequently you eat these foods and limit your consumption). A mild food allergy, if not controlled or addressed, can escalate into a moderate or severe food allergy.

Hopefully this information helps you throughout this holiday season (and beyond!). Find out which "craving conqueror"  works best for you and stick with it. Consistency and routine turns conscious decisions into habits. How much easier would it be if reaching for the veggies at the next holiday party was your instinct rather than the cookies and creme puffs?

Reference: Monroe, Mary. "It's All in the Brain: Unlocking the Secrets of Overeating With Neuroscience."IDEA Fitness Journal November-December (2011): 38-46. Print.

5 Types of Overeating

Obesity is rising rapidly in the US. New research put out by Dr. Daniel Amen, has shown that there are five patterns of brain activity that may cause overeating. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans are taken of an individual's brain, which show predictable patterns of activation. The pattern of activation determines the "type" of overeater the individual may be. The five types of overeating are explained below:

Compulsive Overeater
Compulsive overeaters get stuck on one thought (such as food) and feel driven to eat. The brain scans show decreased levels of a chemical in the brain called serotonin. These people do best by increasing the serotonin levels in the brain through natural ways via exercise, for example.

Impulsive Overeater
Impulsive overeaters often have difficulty with control and are easily distracted. They often reach for food without thinking. The brain scans show decreased activity in the "control" area of the brain, which helps you decide between the banana and the banana split. High-protein and low-carb diets benefit these people. Exercise, meditation, and supplements that calm the brain help to control overeating.

Impulsive-Compulsive Overeater
Impulsive-Compulsive overeaters are compelled to eat and have little control to say "no". The brain scans show  too much activity in the "gear shifter" in the brain so people get stuck on food thoughts. Exercise increases serotonin levels and greatly benefits these types of overeaters.

Sad or Emotional Overeater
Sad or emotional overeaters eat to medicate their feelings of rejection or nervousness to calm the emotional "storms" in the brain. There is excess activity in the emotional (limbic) region in the brain on the MRI scans. Exercise benefits this type of overeater because it optimizes vitamin D levels (which make you "feel" better).  Taking fish oil supplements are also great.

Anxious Overeater
Anxious overeaters medicate their feelings of anxiety with food; they reach for food to calm their nerves. they are always waiting for something bad to happen and don't look for the positive. These people suffer from physical tension. Meditation, hypnosis and anything else that calms the mind benefits this "type" the most.

Granted, not everyone is obese, but these 5 types of overeating can be a tool to evaluate your patterns of eating. Stay posted for next week with the "6 Ways to Conquer Your Cravings"!

Reference: Monroe, Mary. "It's All in the Brain: Unlocking the Secrets of Overeating With Neuroscience."IDEA Fitness Journal November-December (2011): 38-46. Print.

Staying Fit As You Age

Children (0-12 year olds)

The importance of crawling
The cross crawl is the correct form of crawling. The baby needs to move both extremities opposite of each other. This allows the motor nerve impulses, which begin on one side of the brain, and cross over the brain stem to supply the motor activity to the opposite extremity. This uses both the right and left sides of the brain and enhances neurological coordination.

Get your kids outside as much as possible!
It is the best way for them to get exercise. Playing with siblings and friends outside makes it fun and creative. Encourage jump roping. Kids’ endurance is extensive compared to adults. Encourage activities such as jump roping for as long as possible as they age.

Music and the connection to math abilities late in life
Babies are more attracted to sounds that are melodic and rhythmic and have bold tones. When babies get a bit older, they make noise with anything they can get their hands on: pans, pianos, clapping hands, etc. This love for music and rhythm is an innate drive within us to find patterns and rhythms. Training the brain to detect rhythms and patterns is transferred over into math as they enter school-age. Research shows that students who participate in musical activities perform better in math later in life. 

Teens (13-20)

* Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Don’t skip it * 

Staying active is important! 
This is the time period when children get involved in more competitive team sports and activities. Allowing children to lead sedentary lifestyles (sitting inside watching TV or playing video/computer games) teaches them that it is ok to stay sedentary and not take an initiative in caring for their health and fitness.

Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are caused by an external mechanical force and are either “closed” or “penetrating” (opens skull). Concussions are a type of closed traumatic brain injury and are the most common form of TBI among teens. You can only protect kids and teens from TBI so much but they do occur. It is very important if your child suffers a TBI to seek medical help and do everything possible to prevent a second one. After a TBI, you will never be 100% but you can get as close as possible. Multiple TBI’s can be very serious if not deadly! Pulling your child out of a favorite sport after a TBI can be a “dream killer” for them but it can save their life.

Diet Soda
Diet soda, especially in females, leeches magnesium and calcium from the bones and can initiate the beginning of chronic migraines and low bone density. In addition, the human body does not recognize the artificial sweeteners used in diet sodas as a sugar. Because of this, these sweeteners are not broken down properly and are stored in the body. Over time, these storages contribute to weight gain not loss.

20’s + 30’s

* Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Don’t skip it *

Pre-workout and post-workout nutrition
It is important to have a balanced exercise program incorporating strength training, cardio, stretching, and proper nutrition. A large part of taking control of your body weight and fitness is timing your eating habits with your exercise.

Pre-workout: It is fact that your body needs glycogen (the stored form of glucose in your body) in order to burn fat. If no glycogen is present, your body will burn muscle for energy. Therefore, it is important to eat some sort of carbohydrate (bananas, Ezekiel bread, apples, and berries are great option) within 2 hours of the start of your workout.

Post-workout: Protein, protein, protein! When you workout and exercise, your body breaks down muscles in order for them to get stronger and larger. It is important to supply your body with protein after your workout. This enables your body to rebuild those muscles you just worked out. Lean meats (chicken, turkey, and wild fish) are great but a low-sugar protein shake is a quick and easy option too. Just add a scoop of protein powder to a liquid (water, almond milk, non-GMO soymilk, unsweetened fruit juice, etc.) and shake it up!

40’s + 50’s

* Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Don’t skip it *

Keep your muscle!
Similar to your 20’s + 30’s, it is very important to maintain a balance of strength training, cardio exercise, stretching, and nutrition. Muscle burns fat. Therefore, it is important to constantly be doing exercises that increase strength, simply so you don’t lose it. A slower metabolism is tightly linked to loss of muscle mass.

Lower Impact Exercises
Be aware of your knees and joints! Repetitive high impact exercise (i.e. running) can irritate and injure knees, hips, and other joints.

60’s +

* Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Don’t skip it *

Staying Active
It is very important to stay active, even if it does not feel as easy as it once did. Daily walks, pool aquatics, and low impact weight training are good activities to keep up. Try exercises that are seated rather than standing if balance is difficult. Keeping a sedentary lifestyle is one of the worst things you can do for your health. Talk to your health care provider or a personal trainer for some great ideas that would compliment your abilities well.
Be a constant learner
Daily Sudoku puzzles, mind games, and crossword puzzles are great for keeping the mind sharp. Research has linked these fun activities with a decrease in Alzheimer’s occurrences. The brain is a true example of the phrase, “if you don’t use it, you lose it”. These games reinforce the brain’s logical thought processes, enhance problem solving abilities, improve concentration, and boosts mental sharpness. 


Injury Recovery

With fall around the corner, sports will be ramping up. Injury prevention is ideal, but when sprains and strains arise,  it's important to know how to care for them.

R= Rest. 
Give your body a break. The less strain you put on your body, the more energy your body can focus on healing the injury.

I= Ice. 
Initially after the injury, apply ice to the area for 15 minutes, then remove the ice for 45 mins. repeat the cycle hourly if necessary.

C= Compression.
 Increased blood flow to the area of injury is your body's way of starting the healing process. With this said, swelling causes more pain. Use an ace bandage to wrap the injury to keep it compressed and limit the swelling.

E- Elevate. 
Help reduce the swelling (and pain!) by elevating your feet above your heart.

In addition to RICE, taking arnica tablets (orally) or in an ointment formula (topically) will help with healing and reduce swelling. Sugar, alcohol and processed foods hinder the body's ability to heal and increases inflammation. To return to normal as fast as possible, cut those three categories from your diet.



It’s the inability to burn fat that makes you fat.  In fact, if you deprive your body of fat it can have detrimental effect to its function.  Your brain, your nervous system, your hormones, in fact, every cell of your body is built from fat.  Therefore, for your body to function at its optimal level, you need to replenish your body with sources of healthy OILS and FAT in your diet.

In the last decade, “low-fat” and “non-fat” or “0 Calories” products have taken over the shelves at the grocery store.  From yogurt to Pringles to soda, people have been tricked into thinking that if its “low in fat” this will help them lose weight.  In fact, the opposite is true.  Research from the Behavioral Neuroscience found that fat substitutes can interfere with the body’s ability to regulate food intake. This leads to inefficient use of calories and weight gain!1 

Researchers compared rats on a high fat diet versus rats eating “fake-fats.” The results showed that the rats that ate fake-fat Pringles ate more food, put on more weight, and gained more body fat than their counterparts on the high-fat diet that were given only the high-fat Pringles (we are NOT recommending either type of Pringles, this is only an example). 

Not only does eating a “low-fat” diet deprive your body of essential nutrients, but it doesn’t lead to the weight loss you want.  A 2009 study published in the American College of Cardiology showed 645 obese patients who used a low-fat diet had NO CHANGE in waist circumference.2

Don’t get drawn into the trap that man-made and man-altered products are better and healthier for your body than food in its natural state.  If a food doesn’t naturally come from the earth, don’t eat it!

What’s in YOUR CART???  Ask Dr. Schenck or Emilie Clairmont for help and learn how to make healthy grocery shopping easy AND affordable for you and your family. 

1. Susan E. Swithers, Sean B. Ogden and Terry L. Davidson. Fat Substitutes Promote Weight Gain in Rats Consuming High-Fat Diets. Behavioral Neuroscience, 2011; 125 (4).
2. Anthony A. Bavry, M.D., M.P.H. and Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D., F.A.C.C. Comparison of Weight-Loss Diets With Different Compositions of Fat, Protein, and Carbohydrates. American College of Cardiology Cardiosource, 2009.

Basics and Benefits of Exercise

Exercise has many benefits when performed properly. Some of the benefits include lowering blood pressure, maintenance of blood sugar levels, decreased body fat, and reduction of chronic disease. Other benefits of exercise include improved sleep, arthritis relief, decreased amount of depression, and improved strength, stability, and flexibility. Exercise is an important part of life and its benefits are not taken seriously enough.

With so many benefits and fitness centers popping up everywhere, why isn't everyone reaping the benefits of exercise? The most common reasons are lack of knowledge and motivation. Some people are lazy and don't want to follow a routine, while others follow a routine and end up with minimal gains. Improper execution of exercises will cause injury and may hamper results. Getting the advice of a qualified professional is a great way to ensure proper technique and maximum benefit. If you're searching for a fitness coach, a quality trainer will focus on flexibility, stability, and core strength while working toward a specific goal.

Flexibility is a very important part of any training program but it is often overlooked. Lack of flexibility can be the root to many problems. When a muscle or ligament is tight, it limits its ability to contract properly, causing inefficient movements and joint stress. Muscles that are tight are more likely to become injured, hampering your fitness goals and results. Flexibility plus strength equal stability and are the foundation of exercise. Without them, the body's movement becomes limited and good results are difficult to achieve.

Stability exercises should be a part of every exercise program. Exercising with free weights or resistance bands and challenging the surrounding environment promotes balance and stability, which is essential. Training primarily with machines without integrating free weights into a program is inefficient because you are moving resistance along a fixed axis and not free in space (as we do in life). Stability is critical for everyone. Stability training starts with an efficient core routine. A weak core contributes to poor stability and inhibits proper limb movements.

Maintaining a strong core is vital for protecting yourself from injury. Many back and hip injuries stem from a  weak core. Training the core (your midsection) goes way beyond sit-ups and back extensions. An effective and efficient core routine involves dynamic movements (varying intensity and activity), challenge of the center of gravity, and isometric exercises (muscular contraction against resistance). Using a physio ball (large rehab ball) is much more effective than training on the floor. Working on a ball forces you to use your core muscles that deal with balance. In addition to using a ball rather than the floor for core exercises, it is important to work in all planes of motion (not just front and back). Working with a personal trainer or a knowledgeable exercise partner is a great way to expand your horizons and ideas of different exercises.

If the goal is gaining lean muscles and losing body fat, circuit training is the best choice. Circuit training is geared toward increasing your heart rate while using some type of resistance or environmental challenge. When circuit training, it is crucial to keep moving and maintain your target heart rate zone. Performing full body functional workouts every session is a sure way to bur maximum calories. This type of training does not isolate muscles, rather it targets getting as many body parts involved as possible. For the general population, the benefits of this type of training surpass the traditional style of single body part sessions.

Exercise promotes a healthy body and prevent against injury. As we age, maintaining muscle mass is very important. A healthy and vital longevity should be everyone's goal! Exercise is the key. Set specific goals for yourself and keep track of your progress in a fitness diary. If you want that extra motivation or challenge, find a great personal trainer who matches your goals. It is a sure way to get the results you're hoping for and avoid injury now and down the road.


Damaging Effects of UVA and UVB

There is a huge hype about protecting your skin from the sun and for good reason! Although sunscreen use has reached its peak,  skin cancer rates have also been rising. What is the correlation? There are a few misconceptions that led to the false reassurance of sun protection via sunscreen.

Myth: “My high SPF sunscreen blocks the sun’s radiation”
  • You first must understand that there are different types of radiation from the sun. SPF (the sunscreen measurement we are most familiar with) refers to the level of protection against Ultraviolet B rays (UVB). UVB rays are responsible for damaging the skin via a sunburn. Unfortunately, a majority (95%) of the sun’s rays are Ultraviolet A rays (UVA) which cause wrinkling, sagging, and most importantly, trigger cell mutation that may initiate skin cancer. Simply blocking the UVB rays is not enough and gives us the false belief we are protected from the sun’s harm because we burn less quickly. Most sunscreens are great at blocking those UVB rays, however, they lack the ability to block UVA rays.

Myth: “The sun is bad for me” 
  • Lack of sunshine is just as detrimental to your body and health as getting too much sunshine. When sunshine touches your skin, your body makes vitamin D. Vitamin D is crucial for immune health and also plays an amazing role in preventing osteoporosis and breast cancer. You can find manufactured vitamin D in health food stores, but it will never be of the same quality that your body produces naturally when exposed to sunshine. The key is getting small doses of sunshine regularly (i.e. don’t try and cram a year’s worth of sunshine into a day at the beach).  

Myth: “I’m not burnt so I’m fine”
  • Sunscreen gives us a filter from the sun, allowing us to spend all day in the sun and moderate the rate of tan. However, as described above, the sun’s rays that burn you are different from the ones that contribute to skin cancer. Sunscreen blocks the burning effects of UVB making us believe we are safe; however, the UVA rays are busy at work damaging our skin. The human body is genius! A sunburn (caused by UVB rays) is your body’s way of saying, “you’ve gotten too much sun and are quickly approaching the point of radiation damage from the UVA rays”. It is important to get out of the sun before you burn. The best way to protect yourself from UVA radiation but still get a good dose of vitamin D is to adopt the philosophy of “everything in moderation”. Go out in the sun (without sunscreen) but don’t stay out too long. When determining “how long is too long”, take these factors into consideration:
    • Your skin tone (darker skin is naturally more protected from sun damage)
    • The heat of the day, cloud coverage, etc.
    • The time of day (burn time will be more delayed in the evenings and early mornings)
    • Location (tropical areas are more prone 


Burger Season

Bonfires and BBQ's are everywhere during the summer months. When it comes time to decide the menu and burgers are on the list, keep a few things in mind!

Mind Your Buns! The starch of the burger bun absorbs the necessary digestive enzymes naturally found in your stomach. Therefore, your body requires extra water to help break down and digest carbohydrates when you eat them.  The absorbent properties of the burger bun also contributes to dehydration. The tricky part about burgers are that the protein in the burger meat requires saturated digestive enzymes (a.k.a. drinking less water while eating meat) and the burger bun requires drinking more water to prevent dehydration. As you can see, starches and proteins are not easy on your body to consume simultaneously while properly digesting your foods and staying hydrated. Going "bun-less" is ideal (use lettuce as your replacement buns). If you must have your buns, find freshly baked whole grain buns from your health food store and use only half the bun.

Know Your Meat! The processed meat found in grocery stores has become very unhealthy for us. Ground beef contains a ratio between omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids. Ideally, a healthy ratio for beef is 2:1 (omega 3: omega 6). This is considered a healthy ratio. Grass-fed, lean beef (90% or leaner) contains this ratio. The key is finding grass-fed beef, which you can find in your health food store. Generic brand, non-grass-fed beef is incredibly toxic to our bodies and is contributing to the obesity problem in America. Know where your meat comes from! You are much better off buying grass-fed meats from local farmers. Vermont has a plethora of local farmers!

Keep It Juicy! Especially with leaner beef, your burger can taste dry and less flavorful. Try adding some cooked rice or Bulgar to your burger meat before forming it into patties. This will add some fiber and bulk up your burgers. For a tasty treat, add some caramelized onions or avocado to your burger (*Also: avocado is a great alternative to mayonnaise!)

Portion Control! As with anything else, portion control is key! Watch how frequently you chow down on burgers and how many you eat in a meal. Resist the urge to go back for seconds; let the burger digest and re-evaluate whether you are still hungry or whether it's your taste buds wanting another juicy burger.

Happy Grilling!

Cherries! Artichokes! Carrots!

With a new season, fruits and vegetables are in their prime with an abundance of benefits.

Cherries are the fruit to indulge in this summer! Quell a post-workout soreness with cherries as they contain natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Cherries work in a similar way as common NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; e.g. Ibuprofen) but  without the health threats and concerns of gastrointestinal bleeding, liver damage, kidney damage, and cardiovascular damage. Cherries are great alternatives to Ibuprofen and aspirin! 

There are three main types of cherries. Sweetheart cherries (more commonly called "Bing" cherries) are dark in color and delicious for eating. Emperor Francis cherries (more commonly called "Ranier" cherries) are delicious for eating raw. They are a yellow/red combination in color and are a bit sweeter than Sweetheart cherries. These cherries do not produce the deep red juice that stains- a perfect summer treat for kids who love to dribble on their shirts! Lastly, Meteor and Surefire cherries (both are sour varieties) make for great jams and pie filling. These cherries are very sour but will sweeten a bit when cooked. Additional Sugar is needed in recipes to attain the sweetness of pies. 

Artichokes are a delicious and exotic looking vegetable. They provide the visual decadence for a dinner party in addition to the great nutritious properties. Artichokes contain folate, fiber, inulin (supports digestive health), and tons of antioxidants. They are an easy side dish to prepare with your meal. They are best steamed and served with a balsamic dipping sauce or simply a small amount of melted butter. Peel off each leaf individually and dip the "meaty" part of each leaf into your sauce of choice.

Finally, we have always heard that carrots are great for your eyesight. Yes, that is true, however there are more perks to nibbling on carrots throughout the day! Eating carrots gives your skin a luminous, healthy glow. Paired with the vitamin D your body produces from exposure to sunlight, you will be radiant. Other "glowing" vegetables are red and yellow peppers and dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach.

Indulge in something new this summer and seek out foods that nourish and sustain you!


Walk for your Health

Walking is one of the easiest ways for you to be physically active. This post provides you with general tips on how to create and follow a walking plan. Walking is inexpensive, and you can walk almost anywhere and at any time. Walking may:
  • Give you more energy and stamina and lift your mood.
  • Tone your muscles and strengthen your bones.
  • Increase the number of calories your body uses.
  • Lower your risk of health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.
  • Give you an opportunity to actively socialize with friends and family.
Start walking now!
Leave time in your busy schedule to follow a walking program that will work for you. Keep the following points in mind:

  • Choose a safe place to walk. Find a partner or group to walk with you. Encourage and support each other in committing to walking regularly even if each of you has a different fitness level or walks at a different pace.
  • Wear shoes with proper arch support, a firm heel, and thick flexible soles. They will cushion your feet and absorb shock. Before you buy new shoes, walk in them in the store.
  • Wear clothes that will keep you dry and comfortable. Put on fabrics that absorb sweat and remove it from your skin.
  • Divide your walk into three parts. Warm up slowly, then increase your speed to a brisk walk. This means walking fast enough to elevate your heart rate while still being able to speak comfortably, concentrate, and breathe without effort. Cool down slowly.
  • Stretch lightly after warm-up and cool-down.
  • Spread your walking evenly throughout the week. Try to walk at least 3 days each week if you cannot walk daily. Each week, add a few minutes to your walk.
  • Break up your walk into multiple sessions throughout the day if you have a busy schedule. Make sure each session is at least 10 minutes long. Some physical activity is better than none.
  • To avoid stiff or sore muscles and joints, start gradually. Over several weeks, begin walking faster, going further, and taking longer walks.
  • Set goals and reward yourself.
  • Keep track of your progress with a walking journal or log. Record date, time, and distance.
Experts recommend at least 150 minutes each week of moderate intentensity physical activity. Divide these minutes up over the week as your schedule allows. The more you walk, the more health benefits you may gain! Check out the sample walking program below to help you get started:


Are you getting enough Fiber?

Fiber is found only in plant foods - fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes. Experts suggest trying to get 30 to 35 grams of fiber per day. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains give you anywhere from 2-8 grams of fiber per serving. One cup of beans or legumes give you 10 to 15 grams of fiber.

There are two main types of fiber:
  • Insoluble fiber helps move waste through your intestines. It helps give you regular bowel movements and is mostly found in dark leafy vegetables, fruits skins and root vegetable skins, and in seeds and nuts.
  • Soluble fiber helps you feel full longer. It lets sugar release and get into your system more slowly. This type of fiber can help lower your cholesterol levels. Of course, lower cholesterol reduces your risk for heart disease. It also helps regulate your blood sugar levels, important to people with diabetes. Soluble fiber can be found in many grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables.
Benefits of fiber:
  • Lowering cholesterol
  • Weight management
  • Intestinal health
  • Blood sugar control
  • Reduced cancer risk
High-Fiber Foods
  • Beans and other legumes
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grain cereals, breads, pasta and crackers
  • Citrus fruits
  • Dried fruit

Tips to Increase Fiber Intake

  • Try oatmeal with chopped apples and cinnamon (leave the skins on the apple)
  • Have all-bran cereal with fruit and nuts
  • Throw some garbanzo beans on your salad
  • Have lentil soup
  • Cooked veggies with rice or beans
  • Use whole wheat pasta in your favorite recipe
  • Try orange or grapefruit slices in your salad or yogurt
  • Add ground flaxseeds to yogurt, cottage cheese or a smoothie
  • Dried plums
  • Dried cranberries or cherries w/ yogurt
  • Trail mix using whole grain cereal, dried fruit and nuts


Start your Vegetable Garden

Growing your own garden is a fun challenge and there is nothing better than eating fresh vegetables. Check out some of the tips below to help you get started:

  • Pick the right site:
    • Sunlight-at least 6 hours/day for the growing season.
    • Water-the closer to a tap or hose the better.
    • Soil-something between rock-hard clay and soft sand. Soil is something that you can improve over time. A compost pile is one of the best and easiest ways to do this. Recycle kitchen and yard waste into rich organic matter that is good for any garden soil.
  • Start small, grow over time:
    • The smartest plan is to grow your garden slowly. Over time, you'll learn what works best in your location and what your family likes to eat. You can start with a few containers on a deck or patio. Small theme gardens are fun for everyone. Try a salad garden (lettuce and other greens, herbs, tiny tomatoes and maybe radishes) or a pizza garden (Roma tomatoes, onions, garlic, basil, oregano and peppers).
  • Pick the right seeds or plants
    • Some vegetables grow well from seeds (carrots, radishes, beans and peas, for example). Others do best when you buy small plants (tomatoes, peppers and herbs). Most garden varieties will do just fine anywhere. For better luck, you may want to pick seeds for your specific region. You can also try heirloom varieties (like your grandmother used to grow), organic or open-pollinated.
  • Feed and water with care
    • During the growing season, your vegetable plants will need the right amount of water and the right balance of nutrients. Getting it right will depend on your soil and the weather. Too much or too little water or fertilizer can be a problem. The instructions on the seed packets or seedlings are a good place to start. You can also chat with a green-thumbed family member, friend, neighbor or Master Gardener.
  • Pick the fruits and vegetables of your labors
    • Planting, weeding and watering can be fun family activities. Picking your vegetables is the best part of the season. Fresh veggies can be so tasty that they never make it to the kitchen! Want to grow a winning garden from year to year? Keep a simple garden journal. It can help you remember what you planted, how well it grew, when you picked the vegetables and what your family liked eating the most.


Spring into Fitness: Cardiovascular Fitness

Cardiovascular or aerobic exercise is continuous movement that gets your heart pumping more quickly and your breath coming a bit faster. It strengthens your heart and lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reducing your risk for heart disease and stroke. It stimulates your immune system, helps control diabetes, reduces anxiety and depression, and helps lose or maintain your weight.

How to start your cardiovascular program:

1: Type of activity: Choose any activity that is fun for you. The choices are endless: walking, running, Zumba, kickboxing, jump rope, tennis, or swimming. As long as the movement has you moving continuously, gets your heart pumping  and your breath coming a bit faster.

2. Intensity: To gain cardiovascular benefits it is important to be exercising at an intensity where you feel like your body is working and being challenged, but not to the put where you feel like you need to stop moving. Intensity can be monitored by measuring your heart rate or using Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE).

3. Duration: 20-60 minutes. Start slow and build up. You can also break down activity into 10 minutes of exercise 3 times per day.

4. Frequency: 3-5 days/week.

5. Progression of Exercise Program: Set new goals, try new activities, increase duration and/or frequency.

Remember these are basic guidelines to follow and are modifiable depending on your current fitness level and goals.


Spring Clean your Diet

Get out your industrial-strength garbage bags and start using the following tips below to spring-clean your diet.

Things to trash:
· High-calorie dips, spreads, and condiments: Bye-bye nacho cheese sauce, French onion chip dip, blue cheese dressing, and mayo. Replace with salsas, vinaigrette dressings and mustards. Check to make sure these items are free of added sweeteners.
· Fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt: Stick with sugar-free, plain variety and mix in your own fruit or nuts. Choose Greek yogurt for more protein.
· Anything with trans fat
· Kids’ breakfast items
· Snack and sugary drinks

Stock up on the following:
· Lean proteins (chicken, turkey breast, fresh fish)
· Produce: Broccoli, spinach, apples. Cut up veggies in advance to save time and have healthy snacks accessible.
· A giant water pitcher to keep track of your H20 intake
· Rolled oats and canned beans
· Raw almonds, walnuts, pecans, and pistachios
· Tea

Detox with the Doc: Cleansing for Improved Health

Join Dr. Bill in a 10-day detoxification program designed to:

  • Reduce fatigue
  • Increase vitality
  • Tame inflammation
  • Clear your mind
Receive daily emails to keep you focused and on track. The detox will officially start on April 11th. For more information, call 802-878-8330.

Take back your HEALTH!


Spring into Fitness

Spring is here, the weather will be warming up and it is the perfect time to start a new fitness routine. Follow the 6 steps below to help succeed at reaching your health and fitness goals.

1. Set Goals
The first step before starting your spring fitness routine is to clearly state what you want to accomplish. Set small goals that lead up to your main goal. For example, if you want to exercise for 30 minutes, set small goals as exercising for 10 minutes and adding one minute each day until you reach 30 minutes.

2. Prepare
Prepare for success. If you are going to start exercising, designate a period of time each day. Stock your fridge with healthy foods, throw out the junk food, start drinking plenty of H20, buy running shoes, do whatever is necessary to guarantee success.

3. Routine
Plan your fitness routine. What are you doing exactly everyday. Write your plan down and follow it meticulously. Be specific: what are you doing, how long, how hard.

4. Initiate
Take the first step. Get to the gym or outside for a walk. You will never regret doing a workout. The hardest part is getting started.

5. Notation
Dedicate a special notebook to record your exercise and diet each day. This will help hold you accountable and stay motivated. Record what you did exactly that day and note how you felt physically, mentally and emotionally. Studies have shown the people who write down what they eat each day lose more weight than people who do not.

6. Review Goals
 Each time you attain your goal, set a new goal. Being fit and healthy is a lifelong process.


Start your day off right!

Do you find yourself rushing around each morning trying to get yourself and family ready for the day? Ever notice when you start your day off late the rest of the day feels rushed? The way you spend your morning can add a certain flavor to the rest of your day. Here are some healthy lifestyle habits to incorporate into your morning routine that can leave you better able to handle the stress you may experience. Try one or several and experiment until you find what suits you.

1. Put on some music
Music therapy has been shown to reduce stress and have a positive effect on health. But you don't need a therapist to enjoy some of the benefits music has to offer. Listening to music as you get ready and start your day will create positive energy and a soothing sense of peace (or a sense of fun, if you play party music). Music can compliment other healthy lifestyle habits, adding a sense of peace to a yoga workout, putting a spring in your step on a morning walk, or stimulating your mind as you write in your journal.

2. Stretch in the Shower
The hot water will loosen up your muscles, so it’s easier to get a good stretch. The act of stretching will help to release stored tension and enable you to start the day feeling more relaxed, at peace, and ready to handle what comes your way.

3. Eat a Balanced Breakfast
For those of you who start the day on a bagel and coffee, read this! Breakfast is known as ‘the most important meal of the day’ for a very good reason: a healthy meal in the morning can balance your blood sugar levels and give you the sustenance you need to handle physical and mental stress. Without it, you will be less resilient, both physically and mentally. Be sure to have plenty of protein and fruit, not just caffeine and empty calories!

4. Drink Green Tea
Sipping a warm cup of tea is a soothing activity that will help you prepare for the day ahead and feel nurtured. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants, so it’s a delicious and healthy lifestyle choice.

5. Write in Your Journal
Journaling has many health and stress management benefits, and can also lead to increased self-awareness. Writing once a day can help you feel focused, process negative emotions, and solve problems.

6. Take a Morning Walk
Walking has so many health benefits, the stress management benefits are practically just gravy! A morning walk can get you ready for your day, help you sleep better at night, lower your stress level, and reduce your risk of numerous health conditions. And if you bring a dog with you, you’ll be lavished with attention as well!

7. Practice Yoga
For a healthy body and peaceful mind, few activities give as much ‘bang for your buck’ as yoga Combining all the goodness of several stress management techniques, such as diaphragm breathing, meditation, stretching and more, yoga provides some of the best stress management and health benefits you can find in a single technique.

Feeling Stressed?

There is no way to avoid encountering stress in your life but there are positive ways that you can handle the stress. Check out the tips below and make it a habit to practice at least one of the tips below the next time you are feeling stressed.

  • Think about something else: Distract yourself with a positive thought (tropical island, your spouse, an activity you love to do). This positive thought will help break whatever chain of thought is producing stress.
  • Think positively: Think about a success or past achievement that you are proud of.
  • Take a mental vacation: Allow yourself 5 minutes to think of your favorite vacation spot.
  • Use Affirmations: "I can handle this", "Everyone makes mistakes", "Staying calms helps me solve problems".
  • Count to 10
  • Look away: Focus on something at least 20 feet away
  • Get up and leave: Go out to lunch, take a walk, give yourself time away from the stressful environment.
  • Massage your target muscles: Recognize which muscles build tension when you are stressed. Self-massage those areas or treat yourself to a professional massage.
  • Press on your temples: Moving your fingertips in a circular motion relaxes muscles elsewhere in your neck.
  • Stretch your chest for better breathing.
  • Listen to relaxation tapes or music.
  • Give someone a compliment.
  • Share a joke, SMILE!
  • Get a drink of water.
  • Say thank you.
  • Yell or cry: If the environment is private and safe, emotional release can be healing.
  • Stretch: Stretching muscles reduces the sensation of stress even when we can't do anything about the source of stress.
  • Take several deep breaths: Close your eyes and let yourself focus on taking 10 deep, full breaths. You will be amazed at how much better you feel afterwards.

Get Moving at Schenck Chiropractic

Movement for Life
with Jessica Gerhart

Use it or lose it! Exercising is a way for us to stay strong, flexible and feel good. It can improve sleep quality, combat disease and manage weight. Join Jessica Gerhart in learning the core components to a well-rounded exercise program. Jessica has a BS in Exercise Science and is an AFAA Certified Personal Trainer.

Monday, February 21, 2011
Full Body Stretch and Relax: Learn how to fully stretch your body to help maintain a healthy range of motion as well as relaxing your mind at the same time.

Monday, February 28, 2011
Core Training: The muscles of the core make it possible to stand upright and move on two feet. A strong core distributes the stresses of weight-bearing and protects the back. Join us in learning a core training routine that you can do at home.

Monday, March 7, 2010
Total Body Strength Training: With a regular strength training program you can reduce your body fat, increase your lean muscle mass and burn calories more efficiently. By the end of this class you will have a full-body strength training program that you can do anywhere.

Cost: $50 (includes all 3 sessions!) Payment is due at registration to reserve your space.

Please arrive to class a minimum of 5 minutes in advance. Come dressed ready to move! Early registration is recommended as space is limited.


The High Costs of Poor Health

Chronic disease, especially obesity, is literally weighing us down financially and emotionally, resulting in a less productive work force with less innovation.  If projections hold true, the legacy we leave future generations is not something to brag about.

Take a look at some of these statistics…

More than half of Americans currently suffer from at least one chronic disease.  The total cost of chronic disease on the American economy is more than $1.3 trillion per year and is expected to rise above $6 trillion by 2050.  $277 billion of that is spent on disease treatment (not including follow up or other diseases that will arise since most chronic diseases are a precursor for more disease) and $1.1 trillion is spent on lost productivity.  In other words, if we had a healthy America we would produce another $1.3 trillion every year that could be invested in our future and our children’s future. Instead, this money is simply lost.

The amazing thing about these astronomical figures is that they are almost all avoidable and more importantly, reversible.

Studies have demonstrated that even modest changes such as exercising twice a week or cutting down on smoking can decrease the overall costs by up to $1 trillion, adding almost that amount of money to our GDP.  Lower obesity rates alone could save about $300 billion per year.

The problem with these numbers often seems that they are too large to ascertain.  Only politicians, doctors or healthcare administrators are interested enough in the aggregate to be motivated by these numbers.  

Well, what about the individual, what about you? 

Estimates state the average person with a chronic disease spends anywhere from $3500 - $15,000 annually.  These costs are in health insurance premiums, drugs, hospital visits, surgeries, and in many cases a reduction in salary due to the employer having to pay for their health insurance (ironically, this is often a cost people overlook since they do not see it).  And then of course the rest of the cost is shared by all of us.

This is our legacy:  a less inventive generation with a lower life expectancy that has trouble paying the electric bill. 

But don’t forget this is reversible.

It’s time to realize we are all in this together.  Our children’s futures depend upon it.