Smoothie Recipes to Treat Fatigue, Naturally

Smoothie recipes for health, wellness, stress, adrenal, fatigue

Smoothie recipes

As spring arrives, and warmer weather is on the horizon, it just seems natural that it’s also smoothie season. Smoothies are a delicious treat but can also be good for you, too. Healthy smoothie recipes are easy to find and create, making it easy and yummy to drink your nutrition.

Whether you are looking for healthy breakfast smoothies to help get your nutrients, or even help when it comes to fighting fatigue, you can’t go wrong with a delicious blend of fruits, veggies, and vitamins. Smoothies are the perfect quick-fix for a rushed morning or a fantastic midday snack. Your whole family can enjoy these nutrient-packed treats, and reap the health benefits as well.

If you are looking for ways to naturally heal and treat your body, you’ll love the care you receive at Balanced Care. At Balanced Care, we look at each of our patients individually, getting to know them and addressing their health concerns. We try to always take the most natural approach to health and wellness, and look at the body holistically.

When it comes to fatigue, we can help you address the causes, and find natural solutions to help you battle. We are available to develop a treatment plan that works for you and offer solutions that are effective and healthy.

Smoothies can tackle some of your health concerns. Life today can be hectic and fast-paced. Because of the chaos of life, sometimes we experience fatigue. Fortunately, there are natural ways to fight fatigue. Why not do so with a delicious and healthy meal option?

What is Fatigue?

Many people think that fatigue is the same as being sleepy or tired. It is not. Fatigue is an overall lack of energy and a deep tiredness. It is more intense than the feeling of “sleepy” that we feel. Fatigue is not just being tired but also comes with a lack of energy and motivation.

Also Read: Are You Allergic To The Foods You Eat?

Not getting enough sleep can affect your well-being in many ways. From irritability to downright fatigue, lack of sleep can take a toll. Sometimes mental stress can cause fatigue, other times, physical activity brings it on. A reduction in energy, mental clarity, and even sore and weak muscles are all symptoms of fatigue.

Whether your exhaustion has emotional roots, or physical, fighting fatigue can be a challenge. By taking actions to feel better, you can improve how you feel and recover from fatigue. Drinking lots of water, getting exercise and fresh air, and trying to regulate your body’s internal clock are some ways you can get a handle on exhaustion. Another effective way to fight fatigue is through nutrition.

Foods that Decrease Fatigue

Foods to decrease fatigue

You’ve heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Well, when it comes to fighting fatigue, that’s true. Other than a healthy breakfast smoothie, some excellent foods can decrease fatigue.

Fruits and vegetables are perfect for fighting fatigue. Fresh and natural, these nutrient-filled foods will help you feel energized and alert. Bananas specifically can provide the potassium, fiber, and correct amount of carbs to give you a natural energy boost.

Also Read: Healing Benefits of Garlic

Lean proteins like fish and poultry can offer the protein you need to stay healthy and the energy you need. Nuts and seeds are ideal for snacking and provide nutrients and energy. Oatmeal is another excellent option when it comes to looking for a healthy, nutrient-packed, natural energizer.

Smoothie Recipes That Increase Energy and Battle Fatigue

While the foods mentioned above are valuable to fighting fatigue, making a smoothie that’s rich in vitamins, protein, and nutrients is a fast and delicious way to fight fatigue. Perfect for a quick breakfast or an after-work snack, these smoothie recipes will help keep you going.

One final note: For those who have problems with dairy products or desire dairy free options, all of the smoothie recipes below can be made dairy free. There are multiple plant based milks and yogurts that will provide the same amount of smoothness and even more flavor and protein.

Balanced Care Blast Smoothie

This smoothie recipe comes highly recommended from the professionals at Balanced Care for their clients.

1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (can be vanilla flavored)

1/2 cup berries

1/2 banana – optional

1/2 – 1 cup spinach

1 scoop protein powder

1 tbsp nut butter – optional

1 scoop collagen

Chia, flax, avocado, frozen broccoli are others can be added as well to give you the variety and flavors that appeal to you. Note there is no added sugar in this one as banana’s are a perfect way to get the sweetness needed.

Fruit and Yogurt Smoothie

Let’s start with the old stand-by. Fruit and yogurt smoothies are easy to make and delicious to eat. These simple, yet tasty smoothies are convenient and healthy. All you need to make the perfect smoothie is yogurt, fruit juice or milk, and frozen fruit.

Keep a variety of frozen fruits in the freezer. Strawberries, blueberries, peaches, pineapples, and raspberries all make fantastic ingredients. You can mix and match to create a flavor you love or stick to the basics. Just blend a ¾ cup of plain yogurt, 1 ½ cups of the frozen fruit of your choice, and ½ banana.You’ll have a sweet, filling smoothie to boost your energy.

Also Read: Natural Remedies for Heartburn and Indigestion

Pineapple Green Smoothie

How about a green smoothie to make sure you get enough servings of vegetables throughout the day? This Pineapple Green Smoothiepacks a nutritious punch. For ingredients, you’ll need almond milk, non-fat, plain, greek yogurt, one cup of baby spinach, one cup of frozen banana slices, ½ cup of frozen pineapple, and one tablespoon of chia seeds for some fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Blend until smooth, and enjoy.

Chocolate Banana Protein Smoothie

chocolate banana protien recipe

Eating healthy can taste good with this chocolate banana protein smoothie. You’ll need to blend one frozen banana, ½ cup of cooked red lentil beans, ½ cup of nonfat milk,and two teaspoons of unsweetened cocoa powder.Once blended thoroughly you’ll have a delicious and healthy smoothie to enjoy.

Super Berry Smoothie

Berries are full of rich antioxidants. This healthy super berry smoothie even includes spinach for a serving of greens. You’ll need two cups of frozen strawberries, one cup of frozen raspberries, one cup of fresh blueberries, one cup of baby spinach, one cup of pomegranate juice, three tablespoons of vanilla protein powder. Blend well for a tasty, healthy treat.

Also Read: Healthy Soup Recipes

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

To add a seasonal option for your healthy smoothie recipes, try this pumpkin pie smoothie. With half of a cup of almond milk, one frozen banana, ⅓ of a cup plain Greek yogurt, ½ cup canned pumpkin puree, and ⅛ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, you really can’t go wrong with this delicious smoothie

Let Balanced Care Help

At Balanced Care, we are ready to help you find the solution to your fatigue. From finding the root cause of fatigue to developing healthy, natural solutions for combating it, we will address your fatigue concerns. Using nutrition and a more natural approach, we can help you feel your best.

Contact us today and let us help you fight fatigue and gain your energy back.

How to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

Rx

The holiday season is upon us. In theory this is the most wonderful and joyous time of the year. For many of us, however, it can be extremely stressful and physically draining. So what are some ways to stay healthy during the holidays?

Consider the following natural treatments to help you stay healthy throughout the holiday season.

Rx

  1. Understand Adrenal Health

The first step on the road to recovery, from the stress and anxiety of the holidays, is to understand the possible root cause. A possible cause is adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue is a state where your body feels tired and worn out all of the time. Adrenal fatigue is also a condition that is correlated to stress. If you are constantly lacking energy or feeling overwhelmed, especially during the holidays, it is a good idea to get your adrenal health checked.

Adrenal fatigue occurs when your adrenal glands are performing below their optimal levels. The main function of your adrenal glands is to produce and regulate the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol balance is vital to overall health. Too much cortisol in the body can cause weight gain, mood swings, anxiety and depression. Too little cortisol can result in dizziness, fatigue and weight loss.

  1. Rest and Watch What You Eat

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  1. Get Plenty of Vitamin C

Yoga

  1. Practice Stress Relieving Activities

The holidays are a time of giving and a time to be considerate of others. With that said, it can be very easy to forget about taking care of yourself this season. Make sure that you have plenty of “me time”. Use this time to practice stress relieving activities like working out, yoga, meditation, breathing exercises or getting a massage.

Holiday anxiety and depression is often heightened when we’re constantly jumping from one thing to another without any time to step back and unwind. Make sure you are taking time out to relax and reconnect with yourself.

  1. You Don’t Have to do it All

Herbal Medicien

  1. Seek Professional Help

Letting stress, anxiety, and adrenal fatigue linger, without doing anything to help alleviate them, can have long-term effects. These effects include a weakened immune system, chronic exhaustion, dark circles around the eyes and short-term memory loss.

If you have tried the above tips, but your holiday stress, anxiety and depression continues to be more than you can handle, it is time to see a professional. The naturopathic doctors at Balanced Care are conveniently located in the Twin Cities metropolitan area in Edina and Woodbury. We can assist with everything from running tests to find the root cause of your ailment, to prescribing natural treatments. Call to schedule your appointment at 612-564-2218, and stay healthy during the holidays.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4048973/

Dr. Katie and Dr. Rachel are Naturopathic Doctors serving the Minneapolis and St. Paul areas. Their goal is to address the underlying cause by using natural remedies. We love what we do and would love to help you too! Call 612-564-2218 to schedule your appointment today!

Five Places to Purchase Locally Grown Produce

locally grown produce

Most of us are aware that apples and pumpkins are abundant this time of year, but so are beets, Brussels sprouts, green onions and so much more. There are many places in the Twin Cities where you can find locally grown produce that is picked at its prime.

woman-selling-fresh-local-vege

Farmers Markets

The Minneapolis and St. Paul metropolitan area is home to over 70 Twin Cities farmers markets. With so many markets to choose from, chances are high that you’ll find a market with an array of locally grown produce near you.

Farmers markets ensure that you are buying the freshest locally grown produce around. In addition to purchasing the most nutrient dense fruits and vegetables, shopping at farmers markets also keeps money in the local economy, encourages you to talk to those who grow the food you eat, and provides you with a sense of community. You can find farmers markets in your area through the Minnesota Grown Directory.

Food Hubs and Community Supported Agriculture

A food hub is a business or organization that actively manages the collection, distribution and marketing of local and regional food. Food hubs can vary in size, but their main goal is to provide the appropriate infrastructure and support for small and mid-sized farmers.

The Good Acre [i] is a non-profit food hub in Falcon Heights, MN that provides space and the infrastructure necessary for farmers to wash, process and store produce fresh from the field. Additionally, The Good Acre purchases seasonal produce from its network of growers and distributes these in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes to its 450 members.

As a CSA member you pay an upfront fee. In return you receive a box of fresh picked produce every week, typically from mid-June to mid-October. Minnesota is home to a number of CSA programs. You can search for a CSA in your area through the Minnesota Grown Directory.

Food Co-operatives

Food co-operatives or food co-ops are food distribution channels that can sometimes look like a smaller version of a large supermarket. What makes a co-op grocery store different from the typical grocery store is that the co-op is usually member-owned and frequently purchases its products and produce from local sources. Often times, co-ops will detail where exactly its produce came from.

Normally, you do not have to be a member of a co-op to shop there. Being a member, however, may provide you with benefits not available to non-members, such as specials and discounts. Minnesota is home to a number of grocery co-ops. You can find a list of them here: http://bit.ly/2z4gL3J.

Grow Your Own

If you are completely committed to the benefits of locally grown food, why not experiment with growing your own? Plant and garden centers like Mother Earth Gardens [ii] , with two locations in Minneapolis, are committed to providing plants and products that have been grown in a sustainable way. At Mother Earth Gardens you can find seeds, fruit trees, plant starters and bulbs to help you prepare for next year’s harvest.

There are plenty of resources throughout the Twin Cities including The Good Acre, Mother Earth Gardens, grocery co-ops and more that can help you with tips and advice for cooking locally, and how to start an organic garden.

The health benefits of locally grown fruits and vegetables should help build up your immune system during this cooler season. However, if you find yourself or your family members feeling ill, please reach out to the naturopathic doctors at Balanced Care. We can run tests to determine the root cause of your illness and provide you with natural treatments for all of your ailments.

Drs. Katie and Rachel are wishing you a spooky Halloween!! They see patients in Edina and Woodbury, MN serving the Twin Cities. Their goal is to address the root cause by using natural medicines and nutrition. They offer complimentary 15 minute consultations if you would like to learn a little more. 612-564-2218

[i] www.thegoodacre.org
[ii] http://www.motherearthgarden.com

4 Tools For Your Adolescent Child With Anxiety

Sadness, anxiety, panic, depression, postpartum

Do you worry that your child may be silently suffering from anxiety? It’s certainly possible. One out of every eight children is affected by an anxiety disorder and of those kids, 80% are not receiving treatment.

Sadness, anxiety, panic, depression, postpartum

#1 – Take Time For Self-Care

The Anxiety & Depression Association of America ( ADAA ) recommends yoga, exercise, meditation, a healthy diet, and avoidance of drugs and alcohol to combat stress and anxiety – and they may be onto something. Researchers found that those who get regular vigorous exercise are 25 percent less likely to develop depression or an anxiety disorder within the next five years. The good news is that to relieve depression or anxiety, a ten minute walk may be just as effective as a 45 minute workout.

#2 – Make Your Fear Boring

If a thought is making you anxious, take its power by repeating it slowly and clearly over and over to yourself for at least twenty minutes. This works much in the same way as it does for those facing a physical fear. For instance, if you had a fear of elevators but rode in one a thousand times in a row, at first you would be anxious but eventually you’d become used to it and ultimately, bored of riding it altogether. You can do the same thing with anxious or fearful thoughts by riding them as well and eventually they’ll just become boring.

#3 – Recognize Anxiety Attacks As Temporary

Anxiety attacks are commonly described as a sudden and inexplicable feeling of intense panic, which can be unnerving and downright frightening to experience. But that rapid heartbeat doesn’t mean you’re having a heart attack – it’s simply your natural physical reaction to fear. Instead of focusing on this physical cue, treat it the way you would a defined thought in meditation: thank it for its message, then let it pass by.

#4 – Schedule Time To Worry

Instead of stopping to address each and every one of your worries during the day, schedule some time at the end of your day – 4:30 or so, especially if you work office hours – to dedicate to worrying about your daytime troubles. As worry pops up throughout the day, jot it down for your later appointment and move on with your current tasks. Once your dedicated worry time rolls around, you may find that the items on your list no longer have any bearing on your anxiety level and you’re able to let them go. If you find yourself creating new worries during your appointment, jot them down along with any possible solutions, and schedule them for the next day.

While trying to control your anxiety usually backfires and leaves you feeling worse, there are a number of ways for you to take its power away, which empowers you. And sharing these coping strategies with your child can help them manage their anxiety whether they’re facing a school presentation, a new extracurricular activity, or a new home and new school, which can be especially stressful for those dealing with anxiety.

Life Hacks and Self-Care for Women

Family, health, anxiety, mental health, depression, natural treatment

As women, we face more stress each day than we would ever let on. Between workplace discrimination, relationship issues, raising a family, and concerns about our nutrition and overall health. No wonder women are twice as likely as men to suffer from an anxiety disorder. Read on for a few self-care for women life hacks that will help you improve your quality of life right now.

Healing, soup, postpartum, food, medicine

Nutrition (Self-Care for Women)

Our diets are a huge contributor to our mood…and waistline. A few key modifications to your daily dinner grind can help you relax at night.

Keep it simple. Forget the fad diets that have you running all over town for the latest, greatest weight loss remedy. Chances are, it isn’t a sustainable nutrition cycle. Instead, focus on whole foods, including lean meats, colorful vegetables, in-season fruits, and complex carbohydrates.

Leave the boxes at the store. If it’s in a box, you should probably leave it on the shelf. Most chemically processed foods are full of additives, especially sugar. Excessive sugar intake can lead to weight gain, poor oral hygiene, and stress. Even more alarming, many of your favorite snacks have been chemically altered over time to trigger the reward center of your brain and can lead to a food addiction.

Reduce shopping time. Make a list the day before you go grocery shopping. This will help keep you on track and get you in and out in nearly half the time. If you live in an area with online grocery shopping, you can order ahead, pick your food up, and be on your way home without ever stepping foot in the store where temptations are at every end-cap.

Make friends with the frozen section. While canned vegetables are easy and convenient, they also contain a number of additives including sodium, sulfites, and BPA – an industrial compound suspected to cause a number of health problems. Frozen vegetables, by contrast, are not preserved chemically and often contain nutrients similar to fresh-picked produce.

Time management, planning, anxiety, depression, mental health, nutrition

Time management (Self-Care for Women)

Time is our most precious commodity and there never seems to be enough to go around. Save a few valuable seconds with the following tips:

Remember your time has value. Even if you’re not a CEO or mortgage banker, your time is valuable. Don’t waste it doing things that don’t matter — time wasters such as scouring social media and flipping through fluff news stories on your phone each day. Cut that in half and you’ll have more time for the things that you really want to do. If you act like your time is worth $1000 an hour, you will act accordingly.

Quit multitasking. Women often feel pressure to live up to societal expectations regarding their careers, relationships, and parenting skills. Stop trying to do it all at once. Instead, block your days off into time chunks that you can set aside to do specific tasks. You’ll not only feel more accomplished but you’ll be less distracted all day long.

Finish the easiest tasks first. Each morning, make a list of what you have to do that day. Put your least time-consuming items at the top of that list. As you mark these off, you will gain momentum and likely get everything done as opposed to getting stuck on a difficult task and never making it to the small ones.

Family, health, anxiety, mental health, depression, natural treatment

Relationships (Self-Care for Women)

Perhaps you’re experiencing relationship issues or simply want to set the foundation for a healthy partnership. Either way, pay attention to the little things and watch your relationship flourish in a big way.

Make time for each other. We already know that time is an asset and one that we must be willing to share with our partners in order to create a strong relationship.

Broaden your circle. While you should set aside your most intimate moments for your partner, don’t rely on one person to fill all of your social and emotional needs. Spend time with friends, especially those that share common interest where you and your partner don’t see eye to eye.

 

Author: Julia Merrill (BefriendYourDoc.org)

The Insulin – Cortisol Connection

Adrenal fatigue

Do you have stress in your life? I think it would be fair to say that we are stressed at varying levels. But how does stress and insulin affect your energy, weight, cravings, or fat distribution? I talk about this with my patients all. the. time. Let me break this down.

stressed women, adrenal, fatigue, motivation, depression

First, let’s talk about insulin. Insulin is famous for its relationship with glucose. As a hormone, it shuttles glucose into fat, muscle and the liver to be stored for use at a later time. We eat various forms of sugar and carbohydrates → increases blood sugar → pancreas secretes insulin → insulin directs glucose into cells → blood sugar levels decrease. → Make sense ← Check out this 1 minute video for a visual:

 

Fat production is increased by insulin while burning fat is inhibited.Exercise, health, weight lift, running, cardiovascular

Insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes develop from a diet rich in processed foods and sugar. Eventually, if left unregulated, the pancreas will struggle to make enough insulin. This is prevented and treated with a proper diet and regular exercise. It really is that simple…Or is it?

Enter cortisol, insulin’s bestie. Remember that little thing called stress? Working too much, not getting enough sleep, life, kids, a marriage, bills to pay, a car to fix, a sick parent – we all have it. As you try to balance life, cortisol is there to help. Cortisol is released from the adrenal glands during times of stress to help you “survive”. The adrenals are part of the ‘fight or flight response’.

Chronic stress can cause a kink in the system. The adrenals start sending out too much or too little cortisol and at the wrong times of the day, resulting in adrenal fatigue. The consequence? Fatigue, sleep issues, weight gain (especially abdominal), and cravings.

stress, adrenal fatigue, anxiety

THE CONNECTION – if cortisol increases, so does insulin. A study looked at 766 Chinese men and women to see if cortisol and insulin are related. The study showed that the men and women who reported having “demands” and “insecurity” at work had higher levels of cortisol AND insulin resistance. The results “showed that chronic stress was associated with insulin resistance and may contribute to the development of insulin resistance.”

The reverse can cause problems too – when insulin is around cortisol triglycerides accumulate in the abdomen resulting in abdominal obesity.

Even if you are of normal weight or maybe a little over weight, but do not have insulin resistance, cortisol will still behave the same way for you.

Follow these simple tips to make the cortisol and insulin work FOR you and not AGAINST you:

1. Eat 3 meals per day with 1 optional snack ONLY. Snacking or eating several times throughout the day causes more spikes in your glucose and insulin throughout the day. Your metabolism will be A-OK with eating only 4x per day.

2. Find effective coping techniques to relieve stress – this will help reduce your cortisol and protect your adrenals. A bath, bike ride, meditation, walk, yoga, reading, painting or drawing are just a few ideas.

 

3. Stop eating so much sugar. Just stop! It is in everything so even if you think you aren’t eating it, you probably are. Indulge once in a while, but make sure it is very limited in your regular diet. Remember sugar spikes your insulin.

4. Eat balanced meals: tons of veggies, 4-5 ounces of meat or 20 grams of protein, and healthy fats.

kale, veggies, health, nutrition, holistic, naturopathic

5. Have 5-9 servings of veggies daily!

6. Sleep! Your adrenals need sleep to repair and recover from stress. A study showed that for every 1 hour of sleep lost per day there is an increase of .35 in body mass index (BMI). This is about 2 pounds in a 35-year-old female who is 5’4” and 160 lbs. Sleep duration may also be a predictor of weight gain, insulin resistance, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

PCOS, infertility, dysmenorrhea, irregular menses, women's health

 

 

Katie Corazzo, naturopath, naturopathic doctor, holistic, homeopathIf you are looking to dig deeper into this issue, please contact me for an appointment – I would love to help. We offer saliva hormone testing to help evaluate metabolic function with dramatic changes in patients energy, food cravings, weight, blood sugar, and overall healthy. I hope to hear from you soon! To schedule visits, including complimentary 15 minute in-person or phone visits at my Edina or Woodbury locations, visit this link.

 

 

5 Post-Partum Home Care Tips

post-partum home care, sitz bath, magnesium, epsom

Post-partum home care tips from Jen Wittes of Welcome Baby Care

1. DIY Sitz Bath

Bath tub, postpartum, sitz, magnesium, epsom

Relax with our first post-partum home care tip. There are many Sitz Bath “mixes” on the market, as well as recipes for you to follow at home. Most contain comfrey, lavender and raspberry leaf. Not up for the hassle and expense? You can DIY with tea bags in shallow warm water – chamomile, lavender or raspberry leaf. NOT peppermint or ginger…OUCH!

2. Easy Postpartum Pads

Whether you have a hospital or home birth, your nurses and midwives will give you cold packs to soothe your sore (and possibly torn and sutured) perineum. Here’s our second post-partum home care tip: When the supply of cold packs runs out and you are at home, alone and healing, you can make your own by dipping maxi pads in a solution of witch hazel, aloe vera gel and lavender essential oil before freezing them.

3. Eat Your Soup

Healing, soup, postpartum, food, medicine

Doulas know that the traditional postpartum meal across many generations and cultures is hot soup. Why? The Chinese believe it restores your heat or “chi” which is said to leave in the process of childbirth. In Western cultures, we find that soup – often rich in nutritious ingredients – just makes us feel better. When you’re tired, hot liquid foods are easier to stomach and make you feel relaxed.

4. Hydrate Like Crazy

Lemon Tea, hydrate, postpartum, anxiety

During birth, you lose quite a bit of blood and fluid. After birth, your body continues to expel the fluid retention of pregnancy through frequent urination and sweating. Both breastfeeding mothers and those trying to suppress milk production need to replenish the fluids lost in lactation. Heavy hydration also helps aid in muscle recovery and involution (or the return of the uterus to pre-pregnancy size). Water, water, water! Tea is great too. I also like a simple restoration smoothie of frozen blueberries, spinach and coconut water.

5. Ask for and Accept Help 

Love, support, family, planning, infertility, fertility, postpartumSoup is not the only multi-generational, multicultural postpartum tradition. It is customary to surround the new mother and child with abundant love, support and practical help. In the U.S., we have fallen away from this to the detriment of our women. The expected quick return to work and participation in a continuously plugged in word only exacerbates the problem. Whether sought out and hired or volunteered, postpartum support is crucial. YES to the neighbor’s offer to walk the dog. YES to every casserole. YES to anyone or anything that helps you get in a nap and a hot shower.

 

naturopath, natural medicine, holistic, edina, woodbury

Dr. Katie Corazzo is a Naturopathic Doctor practicing throughout the Twin Cities in Edina and Woodbury, MN. She specializes in women’s health and fertility. Natural medicines and nutrition are used for treatments.

Strength Training and Cardiovascular Health

bigstock-Gym-woman-strength-training

Strength Training and Cardiovascular Health information from Discover Strength

This post is from  Discover Strength  a premier personal training gym. They focus on science-based strength training with time-efficient affordable workouts. Dr. Katie trains with them and absolutely loves it. Check this article out about how strength training can not only improve your fitness, but your cardiovascular health as well.

It is well established that aerobic exercise increases the elastic properties of the arteries.  This is a very positive adaptation as the compliance of our blood vessels plays an important role in predicting cardiovascular events.

Until recently, physicians and researchers assumed that intense resistance training reduces the compliance of our major blood vessels; of course, this is a bad thing as increased “stiffness” of the blood vessels predisposes us to cardiovascular disease.  However, very little research has existed to support this contention.  Authors of a recent research study published in the Journal of Hypertension (February 2014) sought to determine the impact of long-term, intense strength training on arterial “stiffness.”  The researchers concluded,

“Long-term intense resistance training in men decreased aortic stiffness… and preserved cardiac structure/function when compared with well matched untrained healthy controls.”

This important study contributes to the growing body of literature that represents a paradigm shift from defining the benefits of resistance exercise as increased muscle strength, bone health, and body composition, to a more robust profile of cardio-metabolic health benefits.   Indeed, “strength training” is more properly coined, “resistance exercise.”

  • It is well accepted that aerobic exercise increases the elastic properties of central arteries (elasticity in our vessels is important in preventing cardiovascular disease!)

  • The research and/or opinions on whether or not strength training is good or bad for the elasticity of our vessels is mixed (and much of the thought is that strength training REDUCES elasticity AKA “compliance” of the vessel… and this is why many cardiologists have been anti-strength training. This was a longer term study with trained runners and trained strength training subjects (and the strength training group had to have been strength training 5 times per week!)… The researchers even speculated that half of the strength training participants were on steroids! Subjects were in their mid-30’s.

human-heart

  • Endurance running led to improvements in vascular function – “We confirmed that long-term endurance training is associated with the classical cardiovascular and hemodynamic adaptations and with decreased aortic stiffness.”
  • Main finding:  Our main finding was that long-term intense resistance training men presented decreased aortic stiffness (PWV values similar to endurance runners) and lower cAP, a trend to longer T1 and Trw, normal central aortic pressures, and preserved cardiac structure/function when compared with well matched untrained healthy controls.
  • In conclusion, besides the benefits of improvements in the musculoskeletal functions, it seems that long-term IRT is not associated with detrimental effects on central artery elastic properties or wave reflection or cardiovascular structure and function of healthy individuals.

bigstock-Gym-woman-strength-training

Take home message in simplest terms:

It has long been assumed that intense strength training over a long period of time has a negative impact on artery/vessel elasticity and function (this is a bad thing). However, the results of this study show that intense strength training actually improves elasticity (i.e. Decreased aortic stiffness) in healthy adults (a good thing!).

Top 10 Sleep Tips For Babies

baby, crying, postpartum, anxiety, depression, adrenal, fatigue

sleep, baby, infant, crying, postpartum, anxiety, depression, adrenal, fatigue

Welcome Baby Care is a local business in Edina here to support moms and their babies pre and postpartum. Doulas, lactation consultants and in home care are their specialties. They have lots of experience and here are their favorite sleep tips for babies from 4-12 months.

1. No Solids at Bedtime

Solids offer little nutritional value at this age. The primary source of nutrition for infants in the first year of life is human milk or formula. Solids can also be difficult for an immature digestive system to digest and can often cause or exacerbate reflux, gas or tummy pain – all things which disrupt sleep! Offer solids no later than 5pm.

2. Tank Baby Up

Cluster feeding in the evenings is normal for breastfeeding babies! Melatonin levels in mother’s milk increase in the evening hours, helping baby sleep. Offer baby breast or bottle shortly before bedtime in a room other than Baby’s bedroom so that he learns to break the feeding-sleep association. Watch for drowsiness and end the feed at this point, putting baby down sleepy.

3. Choose a Bedtime Between 6 and 8 p.m.

Infants are biologically wired to go bed early! 11-12 hours is the expected amount of sleep needed, broken up by 1-2 feeding sessions. Choose a time that you can be consistent with and can commit to, taking into account both Baby’s needs and the family’s schedule.

4. White Noise

A must have! Infants are comforted by those womb sounds that they heard for 9 months. The noise should be not too loud, but not too quiet. Water sounds work well.

5. Darken Baby’s Room

The darker the better. No night lights. Black out shades are recommended, especially for naps and during the summer months.

Sleep, fatigue, adrenal6. Clear Out the Crib

Remove toys, mobiles and playthings. Keep the bed a place for sleeping only! It’s not a bad idea to limit active play in Baby’s room in general.

7. Add a Lovey

For babies 6 months and older, learning to emotionally self-regulate can be advanced by attachment to a soft inanimate object. Lovies need to have a FACE. Faces are processed in the emotion centers of the brain, triggering positive, calming responses.

8. Lower the Temperature

A cooler sleep environment keeps Baby from overheating. Set your thermostat at 68-72 for the night.

9. Consider a Dream-Feed

Feed Baby when YOU want go to bed (usually between 9 and 11 p.m. or about 3 hours from baby’s bedtime feed) either breast or bottle, even if Baby is sleeping and not cueing for food and especially if she wakes frequently for feeds or is in an active growth spurt. Do not wake Baby fully – just offer and see what she takes!

10. Reduce Stimulation

At least 1 hour prior to bedtime, quiet the home. Turn off TV, silence the phones and dim the lights. Engage Baby in quiet, calm interactions only! A bath may or may not be recommended, depending on Baby’s temperament. 30 minutes prior to bedtime, change Baby into PJs and a clean diaper. Add diaper cream! Sleeping through a wet diaper requires prevention for diaper rash.

And that’s it – Welcome Baby Care’s top 10 sleep tips for babies.

Thank you Welcome Baby Care!

Top 8 Naturopathic Sleep Remedies

Insomnia, tea, coffee, chamomile, natural treatment

insomnia, anxiety

Naturopathic sleep remedies to improve your overall health.

Most people know they need 8 hours of sleep. This is not new news, but the National Institutes of Health reported that 30% of adults were sleeping less than 6 hours per night. Did they miss the memo or were they overthinking, anxious, worrying, restlessness, in pain, uncomfortable, or was their mind racing so much it impacted their sleep?

Did you know that 27.6% of people in Minnesota sleep less than 7 hours per night according to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). They also found that more than half of Minnesota snores, and here is a scary fact: 3.1% have nodded off or fell asleep while driving within the past month. Yikes.

Sleeping is more than just about having good energy, feeling your best, and staying safe on the road. Sleep is also critical for preventing chronic conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and anxiety. Here are some problems that can result from not sleeping the full 7-8 hours per night:

Holistic, naturopathic, natural medicine

So what can you do to improve your sleep?

Chamomile tea, insomnia, sleep, anxiety1. Chamomile Tea

Turn on relaxing music and sip on this calming herb at night before bedtime. Chamomile tea is a great natural treatment for sleep that is safe in pregnancy. Always check with your doctor before using however.

2. Melatonin

This hormone is made in the brain to regulate the sleep and wake cycle. Melatonin is secreted when it is dark and broken down in the light. Do you notice feeling tired earlier in the evening during the shorter winter days? Melatonin could be to blame.

The adrenals send out cortisol during times of stress. As cortisol increases with stress, your body responds by reducing melatonin. Lower levels of melatonin during chronic stress can begin to affect your sleep. Stress reducing techniques are equally if not more important and adrenal support may be necessary.

Tip: If you feel drowsy the morning after taking melatonin, you have taken too much. Dosage is important with this natural sleep treatment.

3. Exercise

Exhaust your energy during the day so you will be ready to sleep. Be wary of exercising late at night as this can prevent you from falling asleep. Studies have revealed that those who exercise experience more restful sleep; however if exercise (cardio specifically) is done later in the day it can have the opposite effect. One study looked at the effect weight lifting has on sleep when performed at 7 AM, 1 PM, or 7 PM. They noticed that the early morning workouts resulted in the subject falling asleep faster, but the 7 PM workouts led to a more restful sleep. The bottom line is that exercise improves sleep, so just do it.

4. Hydrate smart

water, hydrate, dehydrationDo you fall asleep easily, but wake several times during the night to use the bathroom? If so, it is time to rethink your hydration schedule. Drink water and caffeine earlier in the day. My rule is no caffeine after 3 PM. If you are like me and crave warm beverages in the winter, reach for an herbal tea or hot water and lemon. Check the label to make sure it is caffeine free.

Pair water with dinner, but slowly sip in the evening if bathroom trips are waking you at night. Soda should be avoided regardless of your sleep patterns, but especially if you have problems sleeping. Soda contains sugar, sweeteners, and caffeine – 3 no-no’s for sleep.

 

Protein, health, insomnia, heart disesase

5. Eat for your sleep

When and what you eat is important to consider when improving your sleep. Avoid eating within 2 hours of going to sleep. Find yourself reaching for a carb or something sweet in the late afternoon? What about at night? This might be an sign that your adrenals need a little help. The sugar can help with energy for a short time, but a crash usually follows. Combine carbs and sweets with a little protein to help protect your blood sugar.

In a review by The American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine they stated that, “…difficulty falling asleep was associated with decreased protein and fiber intake; difficulty maintaining sleep was associated with decreased protein, carbohydrate, and fiber intake; non-restorative sleep was associated with decreased protein and fiber intake; and daytime sleepiness was associated with decreased protein and fiber and increased sugar intakes.” The common denominator seems to be protein and fiber. Include good quality protein at meals and snacks and don’t forget about your veggies and whole grains for fiber.

Foods to improve sleep: nuts, eggs, fish, bananas, walnuts, and pineapple

Foods to avoid: meat, spicy foods, fried foods, rich and/or salty, alcohol, coffee, caffeine 

6. Magnesium

Do you enjoy taking a bath before bedtime? Soak in an epsom salt bath to increase your magnesium. Magnesium dilates blood vessels and is relaxing to muscles. Relax with a cup of chamomile tea while in the bath for added benefits! Magnesium is a great natural treatment for sleep.

Sleep, app, track, insomnia

7. Track your sleep with sleep app or fitbit 

Do you wake feeling unrefreshed? If the answer is yes, your sleep may be compromised. Oftentimes we don’t realize that we aren’t sleeping through the night, but a sleep app or the fitbit can help you find out. This is also helpful when beginning a new regimen. The app can help track your progress – is the new protocol working, or not?

8. Sleep Hygiene! 

  • Eliminate sleeping pills, alcohol, or recreational drugs. Naturopathic medicine can help you with this.
  • Avoid stimulating activities close to bedtime – turn off the TV and other electronics
  • Stick to the same bedtime every night, even if you didn’t sleep well the night before and want to crash early. This also means avoiding naps during the day, because they make it more difficult to stick to a sleep schedule at night.
  • Use your bed for sleep and sex only!
  • Maximize your sleeping environment – comfortable mattress and pillow, temperature, dark, quiet, etc.
  • Sorry pets, but you need to sleep elsewhere.
  • Read, meditate, or take a hot bath before sleeping
  • Focus on your breathing – breath for 4 counts in, hold for 4, release breath for 4, and hold for 4. Repeat. This helps stimulate your sympathetic nervous system.

And there’s our top 8 naturopathic sleep remedies. If you struggle with reflux, sleep apnea, depression, anxiety, digestive issues, diabetes, restless leg, or have a medical issue that interferes with your sleep, seek medical care with your Naturopathic Doctor. Dr. Katie can help those of you who may not know what is causing your sleeping issues and find natural treatments for your sleep. 

Thanks for reading friends!

Katie Corazzo, ND

Katie Corazzo, naturopath, naturopathic doctor, holistic, homeopath

This list is not account for individual differences or specific medical concerns. Dr. Katie treats sleeping issues and conditions that cause insomnia by addressing the underlying issue using natural medicine. She practices in Edina and Woodbury, Minnesota and would be happy to chat with you if you have any questions about her services. You can also schedule appointments and complimentary 15 minute consults online