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THE POWER OF THE PLATE HOW THE RIGHT DIET CAN SPEED UP YOUR RECOVERY
suggested — basically cutting out all of the foods that had come up “red” (highly sensitive) in the test for six months, then slowly adding them back into our diets to see if our symptoms changed — we both saw huge improvements in our energy levels, concentration, and overall health and well-being. I’m not going to lie, the elimination diet was tough. We ended up going completely vegan and gluten-free for six months. Luckily, we didn’t eat much meat to begin with, and Renee is an amazing cook. She hit a home run with pretty much every one of her vegan recipes, and because we felt so fantastic eating that way, we’ve stuck to a near- vegan diet ever since. Four years later, we do eat some butter, and every once and a while we’ll have eggs or fish, but we’ve cut red meat out entirely. I’ve never once been tempted to go back. A lot of people think eating vegan is just eating sticks and twigs, but for us, it’s not like that at all! If you use the right seasonings and preparations and cook a variety of things, vegan food can be mind-blowingly good. That whole experience reaffirmed what I already knew from my own education: Nutrition plays a huge role in how people heal. That’s why today, when patients come to my clinic for help with their recovery, we always
Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month? Since 1980, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has used this month to double down on raising awareness of the importance of good diet and exercise habits. But for me and my wife Renee, every month might as well be National Nutrition Month! Food is one of the major topics of discussion in our household, and since 2016, we’ve been particularly mindful of what we eat. That year, both Renee and I were having health problems. My energy levels were down, my concentration was dulled, and my gut wasn’t in great shape. Renee was feeling even worse, but after seeing multiple doctors, no one could give us an answer on how to help her. Eventually, someone referred us to a clinical nutrition specialist as a last resort. I know the basics of nutrition science because I did my undergrad in exercise physiology, and I was impressed by the battery of tests this nutritionist ran. She took blood, did a full chemical workup, and was able to build complete body profiles for both of us that showed us our food sensitivities. Her approach finally got to the root of Renee’s problems and mine! It was awesome to see the whole process come together, and I was blown away by the results. After going on the elimination diet our nutritionist
chat about their diet. A big point I try to drive home is the danger of inflammatory foods because anything you eat that causes inflammation in the body can slow down your healing process. My biggest pieces of advice to fight inflammation are simple: drink more water and cut down or eliminate caffeine and processed sugars. These things are such common parts of most people’s diets that they seem normal, but they can actually get in the way of the healing process! If a patient still isn’t healing as quickly as I’d expect, or if they hit a plateau, I’ll often refer them to a nutritionist like the one I went to. Nutritionists can work with all kinds of dietary restrictions and preferences, including paleo, gluten-free, and vegan. Food is just one part of the big health picture I look at (sleep, exercise, and fresh air are other important factors), but it’s a vital one! If you’ve been seeing a PT who isn’t taking these things into account and you’ve hit a wall in your recovery, I might be able to help. Call me today at 970-301-3149 to set up an appointment! –Dr. Thomas Cleveland
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WHAT DO YOU KNOWABOUT POISON IVY? LEAVES OF 3, LEAVE THEMBE
YOU CANNOT BECOME IMMUNE TO POISON IVY.
Meditation has different meanings for different people. Traditionally, the act of focusing one’s mind has been used in religious and spiritual practices around the globe. More recently, it’s become a popular method of relaxation. Now, new research shows that this ancient practice may have yet another benefit: pain management. In 2008, the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey found that over 100 million adults in the U.S. suffer from chronic pain due to conditions like arthritis and debilitating injuries. Because of this, care providers have become focused on finding ways to help patients manage these persistent aches. The sensation of pain is caused by a complex interaction of biological and The days are getting longer, the temperature is rising, and the great outdoors are calling your name. It’s time to start planning your summer adventures! Just remember to watch out for the enemy of all outdoor enthusiasts: poison ivy. Found in every state except Hawaii and Alaska, poison ivy — or more accurately, the rash- causing urushiol oil on its leaves — can quickly ruin a trip. Before you head out on your next outdoor adventure, make sure you get your facts straight. Many people believe the poison ivy rash can spread if the blisters pop, but the only thing that can cause the rash is urushiol oil. This is why it’s so important to clean your skin and wash your clothes as soon as possible. Urushiol oil can spread onto objects like doors or chairs, and you don’t have to touch poison ivy to have a reaction to urushiol oil. THE POISON IVY RASH IS NOT CONTAGIOUS.
cognitive factors, leading scientists to study how mental exercises like meditation can aid in pain relief. Anecdotal evidence regarding meditation’s ability to reduce pain has existed for as long as the practice itself. However, modern technology has given researchers the means to accurately measure the effectiveness of this age- old tradition. The Department of Health and Human Services has cited MRI brain scans as proof that meditation can lead to moderate pain reduction. These scans revealed that the same areas of the brain stimulated by painkillers are activated when the mind is in a meditative state. This supports the accounts of those who have reported better functionality after meditative sessions. Urushiol oil triggers an allergic reaction in 85% of people, leading to the ensuing rash. Some people believe regular exposure to poison ivy can help develop an immunity to urushiol oil, but this isn’t the case. In fact, it’s just the opposite. About 15% of the population isn’t allergic to poison ivy, but the allergy can develop over time. The more you’re exposed to poison ivy, the worse your outbreak can become. IF YOU TOUCH POISON IVY, DO NOT POUR URINE ON YOUR SKIN TO PREVENT THE RASH. Urine, vinegar, dirt, bleach, and even gasoline are common “treatments” for preventing or curing a poison ivy rash. None of these are effective, and some can really hurt you. If you’ve been exposed to poison ivy, your best course of action is to wash your skin with soap and water. Cleaning off
the urushiol oil within 20 minutes of exposure can greatly decrease your odds of developing a rash. When all is said and done, the best way to treat poison ivy is to avoid it altogether. The next time you’re exploring the great outdoors, just remember: Leaves of three, leave them be.
PRACTICE PAIN RELIEF THE BENEFITS OF MEDITATION
With the ongoing tragedy of the opioid crisis, there is a dire need for pain management strategies that are noninvasive and not habit-forming, such as physical therapy. Meditation is easily accessible and can be used in conjunction with other pain relief strategies. Whether you sign up for guided meditation sessions, download one of the many mindfulness apps on the market today, or simply make time to sit and clear your mind for 30 minutes, it’s easy to add meditation to your normal routine.
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FACT VS. FICTION: THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET AN EASY WAY TO EAT HEALTHIER FOR YOUR HEART
While the basis of the Mediterranean diet has been a staple in its titular region for centuries, it wasn’t until the 1960s that nutritionists popularized the concept in Western culture. Doctors noticed that Mediterranean countries like Greece and Italy have less heart disease- related deaths than the U.S. and northern Europe. When they looked to regional eating habits for answers, they found a common plant-based diet rich in healthy fats, seafood, and bread. However, in modern years, misconceptions plague the popular diet, so let’s clear some up. FALSE. There are no defined portion sizes for the Mediterranean diet. Instead, it comes with a loose guideline: Eat a plant-based diet of mostly fruits and vegetables with a weekly intake of fish, poultry, beans, and eggs. Dairy products are allowed in conservative amounts, but nutritionists discourage red MYTH NO. 1: IT’S RIGID.
MYTH NO. 3: NUTRITIONALLY, IT’S 30%–40% FAT.
meat intake whenever possible. To the delight of many Mediterranean dieters, a moderate amount of red wine is encouraged!
1. Heat oven to 400 F. 2. In a colander, toss eggplant, zucchini, and salt. Let sit for 30 minutes and pat dry. 3. In an ovenproof pot, heat 1/2 cup olive oil. Add half of eggplant mixture, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Remove vegetables from pot. 4. Tie thyme sprigs together with kitchen twine. 5. In the same pot, heat remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, and cook onion, pepper, garlic, and thyme for 8–10 minutes. 6. Add half the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. 7. Stir in original eggplant and zucchini mixture and top with remaining tomatoes. Do not stir. 8. Transfer pot to oven and bake mixture for 15–20 minutes. 9. Remove pot from oven and remove thyme bundle before serving. TRUE. But be careful about which type of fat. The Mediterranean diet relies heavily on olive oil instead of butter or lard for cooking. Saturated fats, trans fats, or hydrogenated fats like palm oil don’t contribute positively to your heart health, but a diet based on natural fats can improve your overall cholesterol levels. Fatty fish are also crucial for the Mediterranean diet and include salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, albacore, and lake trout. Thanks to omega-3 fatty acids, consumption of these fish improves your blood circulation and reduces inflammation in the body. If you’re concerned about your heart health, try out this plant-based diet with a focus on foods local to you for long- term health and delicious meals. Your body will thank you! RATATOUILLE DIRECTIONS Inspired by Bon Appétit
MYTH NO. 2: IT’S EXPENSIVE.
FALSE. You don’t have to eat only what’s native to the Mediterranean, so don’t swear off avocados just yet. Eat locally by choosing in-season fruits and vegetables that benefit your diet and your wallet. You’ll find that preparing meals centered on vegetables and whole grains is very affordable, especially when you get your grains from dry bulk bins. And while buying olives and cheese might be expensive, you can get away with buying small amounts. Try different brands of canned olives for affordable alternatives to bottled ones. Plus, some grocery stores place cheap cuts of their premium cheeses near the deli.
TAKE A BREAK!
• 1 eggplant, peeled and chopped • 1 large zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch- thick rounds • 2 tsp salt • 3/4 cup olive oil, divided • 5 sprigs thyme • 1 large onion, halved and sliced 1/2-inch thick • 1 red bell pepper, chopped • 2 garlic cloves, sliced • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
1. COVER TITLE 1.
HAS YOUR RECOVERY PLATEAUED? YOUR DIET COULD BE TO BLAME
POISON IVY MYTHS
MEDITATION AND PAIN RELIEF
HAVE YOU HEARD THESE MYTHS ABOUT THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET?
RATATOUILLE 4. GET FIT WITH FIDO
WELLNESS ANDWHISKERS 3 WAYS TOWORK OUT WITH YOUR PET Creating a healthy lifestyle is often easier with support, but if you’re
RACKING UP THE MILES A simple way to get moving with your pet is to go for a walk. If you’re looking for a bigger challenge, then try running, biking, or hiking with your pet. Anything beyond a walk may require extra obedience training or equipment — like a specialty tool that prevents your pet from colliding with your bike — but after a few loops around the trail, your pet will be begging to go again. And how can you say no to that face? Plus, this idea isn’t just for dogs. You can find leashes and harnesses for cats, lizards, ferrets, and other pets that love to get fresh air. GOING FOR A SWIM If you have a dog that appears to be more fish than canine, swimming might be the workout for you! Swimming is a joint-friendly cardiovascular exercise that works your entire body. If you’re not one
for a dip in the pool, then kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding are great for your arms and core. Meanwhile, your pet can enjoy a relaxing ride or an exciting game of fetch. Just be sure to secure your pet with a life jacket before you and your four-legged friend splash away! KEEPING IT TRADITIONAL If you want a good full-body workout while entertaining your pet, then consider including them in traditional exercises. Entertain your pup with a game of fetch and drop down for a burpee every time it runs away. Balance your bird on your shoulder while you squat and lunge. Mentally and physically stimulate your cat by dragging a string around your body during Russian twists. With a little creativity and a few of your pet’s favorite things, both of you can work up a sweat.
struggling to find someone to join you on your path to wellness, then look to your furry friends instead. Read on for some ways to get active with your pet, and learn more about their wellness and health at PetMD.com.
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