BATTER UP! MY LITTLE LEAGUE CAREER BECOMES A LIFELONG PASSION
every year. This year will be different , we think. Usually about a month into the season, reality sets in, and we just enjoy every game for what they're worth. Every year, my family makes a few short trips to Angel Stadium for a handful of games, and we have even been to Arizona for spring training. That’s always a fun trip because we have a chance to see a few teams that we wouldn’t normally see. Two of our boys play baseball, too. All three of them tried the sport, and now our middle child is playing on his freshmen team, and our youngest is still in Little League. I’ve even had the chance to be a coach or assistant coach a few of my kids’ teams. As a parent, it’s always fun to watch your kids play sports, and I love watching my boys enjoy a game that has always been a big part of my life.
I hit the peak of my baseball career when I was just 11 years old. I can still remember the feeling of glory I had that season when I smacked a few home runs over our opponents’ heads. I’m sure I had an unfair advantage since I was a little bigger than most of my peers and could hit the ball farther. But that didn’t stop me from feeling like an All-Star standing at that plate, waiting for the pitcher to make his move. I started playing Little League baseball when I was 7 years old. I preferred batting rather than playing defense, but when I was in the field, I played third base or left field. I moved on to football after junior high school when the pitching speeds increased, but I never lost my enjoyment of the sport — especially after that career-making season when I was just 11 years old. I wasn’t just an athlete; I was also a fan. Today, I root for the Los Angeles Angels. Sure, we get our hopes up
compares to the thwack of a bat that sends the ball zooming into the field. There’s just something special about it. And, in a lot of ways, it’s a very simple game. Sure, strange things can happen, as in every sport, but at its core, baseball is about hitting the ball and scoring runs, and stopping the other team from doing the same. It’s just simple. Despite its simplicity, playing baseball can cause some painful injuries. Shoulder and elbow injuries are the most common ailments baseball players experience because of the emphasis placed on the strength of the arm. The best way to prevent these injuries is to have a healthy off-season, which includes plenty of strength training. Because it’s the start of the season, I remind athletes to stretch before and after they play. Engaging and strengthening the core and hip muscles can also protect your arms and shoulders from overexertion and add power to your throws and at-bats. If you notice any pain or issues, give our team a call! As we head into another season of baseball, I want to wish good luck to all the sluggers out there! –Mark Nowlin
I’m not sure what it is about baseball that first drew me to the sport. Nothing
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HOLISTIC METHODS FOR TAMING SEASONAL ALLERGIES LEARN TO BREATHE BETTER
GETTING TO THE GYM What’s the hardest part of working out? For most people, it’s not the heavy weights or the long cardio sessions — it’s actually stepping into the gym. Sometimes, people will wake up and think that the gym isn’t possible that day as they lay in bed. Some people will psych themselves out of working out because their time is limited, or they worry about how tired they’ll be after the workout (especially after or before a busy day). Instead of thinking of reasons you can’t or don’t want to go, focus your mind only on the task of getting there. Stepping into the gym will often give you the mental push to actually work out. It’s also best to leave the all-or- nothing mindset behind — a 45- or inflammation and swelling, while quercetin, found in tea, red wine, and apples, can act as a natural antihistamine. If you’re looking for something more savory, spicy foods can light a fire under your mucus, break it up, and clear your nasal passages. POKE THEM AWAY Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese treatment method that pinpoints specific pathways crucial to the flow of energy throughout the body and reopens them through strategic needle placements. While studies have yet to prove that acupuncture can serve as a stand-alone treatment for allergies, it has been shown to aid in symptom management. Acupuncture can also decrease pain and release built-up pressure caused by congestion. DRAIN THEM AWAY Have you ever just wanted to open your nose and flush out all of your congestion? With a neti pot, you can! Simply create your own saltwater
Whether your New Year’s workout routine is finally embedded in your schedule or you’re still trying to make it happen, always remember that your mind is just as important as your body. On some days, you may feel like anything is possible, and on others, it may feel impossible to even get out of bed. Don’t worry, that’s totally normal! There’s no reason to feel ashamed if you’re struggling with gaining steam and motivation for your workout. Here are some mental strategies to help you get firmly into your routine this year and the years to come. The season of sniffles and sneezes is upon us, but you don’t have to let your allergies stop you from enjoying gorgeous April blooms and fresh spring breezes. Try these natural solutions to help combat your allergies and breathe a little easier this spring — though if your allergies are persistent, seek professional medical help. EAT THEM AWAY Food is often overlooked as a method to fight your allergies, but make no mistake: The nutrients in some foods can do wonders for your body! Use this to your advantage by choosing ingredients proven to fight the sniffles. Raw, local honey has the ability to soothe scratchy throats, which protects the airway passage from further damage. ( Warning: Children under the age of 1 should never consume honey.) Also on the sweeter side, the naturally occurring enzyme in pineapple, bromelain, has been shown to ease
solution with filtered water — do not try this with unfiltered water, as deadly organisms can enter your body this way — and 1 teaspoon of salt. Some experts even suggest adding a pinch of baking soda to the mixture to soothe the bite of the salt. Next, pour the solution into the pot. Tilt your head to one side over a sink, pour the mixture from the pot into one of your nostrils, and let it drain out the other side. Repeat on the opposite nostril and feel the relief!
FINDING MOTIVATION ON THOSE TOUGH DAYS TOP MENTAL STRATEGIES FOR YOUR FITNESS ROUTINE
55-minute workout isn’t required every single gym session. Life happens, and even if it’s a short exercise, your workout will actually energize you for the rest of your day. PUSHING YOURSELF TO THE LIMIT Studies have found that the most successful people share grit: the ability to work hard and endure even the most difficult times. Workouts will burn, and the motions may feel uncomfortable or even painful, so it’s crucial to have the grit to push yourself to the limit. Rather than give up, you should embrace the pain and see it as a sign you’re growing stronger. Adjust your inner vocabulary. Anything that seems “uncomfortable” should be reconsidered as “intense” but something you can work through. Of course, be careful of injury pains!
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GOOD OL’ GARLIC AND EVERYTHING WE LOVE ABOUT IT
worshiped the plant and even used it as local currency. It’s still loved by many today, though it is primarily used for cooking.
Did you know that there are over 2.5 million acres of garlic in cultivation worldwide? It’s no wonder: Garlic boasts a fascinating history, has unparalleled health benefits, and is used in so many different types of cuisine around the world. Plus, garlic just makes recipes tasty! National Garlic Day is April 19, so here are some facts to help you brush up on your knowledge and celebrate it to the fullest. Humans have been using garlic for a variety of purposes for over 5,000 years. It originated in central Asia and rapidly spread to many civilizations and cultures around the world. Its nutritional and remedial benefits quickly made it popular in recipes, medicine, and even magic potions. Its pungent aroma was thought to ward off evil beings like witches and vampires, and ancient Greek warriors ate it to instill strength and courage. Egyptians HISTORY
Throughout history, garlic has been used to treat wounds, cure asthma, combat diseases, and even fight gangrene. Today, its recognized health benefits are a little more practical but no less astounding. Garlic contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can boost immunity, reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol, promote healthy hair and skin, and fight fungus and bacteria. The best way to take advantage of these benefits is by eating it raw, but if you can’t deal with the lingering stinky breath, following proper cooking methods can still yield healthy results.
eight weeks if the skin is unbroken, and around two weeks for individual cloves. Garlic works well in recipes that call for its relatives, like onions, shallots, and leeks. When cooking with garlic, the finer you mince and mash, the more flavor you’ll get. You should also let your garlic rest between chopping and cooking, and add it to the pan near the end of the recipe to better preserve its nutrients and flavor. Garlic breath can often be combated with a little bit of lemon juice, but if you’d rather let it linger and savor the flavor, your secret is safe with us! SESAME ZUCCHINI NOODLES Inspired by PaleoRunningMomma.com
When buying garlic, avoid shriveled or soft bulbs. Its shelf life is roughly
TAKE A BREAK!
• 3 tbsp coconut aminos • 3 tbsp pure sesame oil • 3/4 tsp fresh ginger, grated • 2 cloves garlic, chopped • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar • 3 scallions, thinly sliced • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
1. If you have a spiralizer, use it to cut zucchini into noodles. Otherwise, use a peeler. Salt zucchini. Allow zucchini to “sweat” out water for 1 hour, wrap in a paper towel, and squeeze the water out. 2. In a food processor, blend dates with almond butter and aminos until smooth. • 4 medium zucchini • Salt, to taste • 3 medjool dates, pitted and softened in warm water for 5 minutes • 3 1/2 tbsp creamy, unsweetened almond butter DIRECTIONS
3. Add sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and vinegar and pulse until sauce is smooth. 4. In a pan, sauté zucchini noodles until heated and slightly softened. 5. Toss zucchini noodles with prepared sauce and top with scallions and almonds.
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1. LITTLE LEAGUE MEMORIES INSIDE THIS ISSUE
FIGHT THE SNEEZE WITH THESE HOLISTIC REMEDIES TOP MENTAL STRATEGIES FOR YOUR FITNESS ROUTINE
CELEBRATE NATIONAL GARLIC DAY
SESAME ZUCCHINI NOODLES 4. LAUGHTER YOGA’S RISE AS A GLOBAL HEALTH MOVEMENT
LAUGHWITH ME! A LIGHTHEARTED APPROACH TO DECREASING STRESS
research into practice by telling jokes to his patients, and after seeing the positive effects, he took his material to a local park. Parkgoers, who were initially skeptical, joined in on the practice, and the first laughter yoga club was born. The laughter meetup had everyone in high spirits — until the group ran out of jokes. Unsure of what to do next, Kataria found another medical book suggesting the group didn’t need jokes to laugh. Fake laughter is just as beneficial as the real thing because the body can’t tell the difference between the two. Collaborating with this wife, Madhuri, Kataria combined common yoga warmups and breathing techniques with facilitated laughter to create the
We’ve all heard that laughter is the best medicine, and it turns out that human physiology supports this claim. When we laugh, our body releases a flood of feel-good chemicals and neurotransmitters. Our blood flow increases, and our production of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress, decreases. Oh, and laughing also burns calories! The feel-good, endorphin-inducing benefits of laughter are exactly what prompted Dr. Madan Kataria to develop laughter yoga in 1995. Laughter yoga incorporates breathing, stretching, clapping, and of course, laughing. Kataria developed the initial idea after coming across research into the benefits of laughter on overall health and well-being. He began to put the
form of laughter yoga that is practiced worldwide today.
If you’re interested in trying laughter yoga for yourself, then you’re in luck. Laughter yoga clubs exist across the United States and the world. Videos on YouTube can teach the basics, but laughter yoga tends to be most beneficial in a group setting. Just think about the last time you found yourself in a fit of giggles with a group of friends or during a comedy show. Didn’t it feel great? Rather than wait for a silly situation to trigger laughter, use laughter yoga to promote laughter and alleviate stress on any day at any time.
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