Getting you back to the life you want to live.
M ay 2017
F inding the B right P ath Even in the Midst of Darkness
It’s been a few months since getting our last newsletter out, and an overwhelming few at that. I had another post already written, but if you’ve spent any time with me personally, you’d know that it doesn’t reflect my need to live honestly. I am appreciative and proud of the fact that who I am is darn close, if not identical, to who you know me as. This goes for my daughter as well, and it’s a quality I cherish in her. So, I’m going to apologize up front: This one will be a little heavier than usual. If you’ve been to the clinic this year and chatted with me, I’ve probably shared the news that my daughter, Callie, sustained a spinal cord injury in January. It happened due to some “off-label” monkey bar tricks while at school. That kid needs to be bold, a quality out of my comfort zone, but squarely in hers. After the first ER visit, we were told everything appeared to be fine. “But the tingling?” I inquired. “Not concerned,” they said. Pushy mom got her to an MRI. “Looks normal,” they said. “But the tingling?” I persisted. “Let us know if she gets worse,” they responded. “She’s getting worse. Symptoms are spreading,” I said. The pediatrician’s office checked her out, “She’s anxious and making it up,” they said. Now, again, if you’ve spent any time with me, you know this didn’t end well for the practitioner in front of me. Short story, she got a referral to someone who does know more, she had an abnormal MRI, and then a second abnormal MRI. The poor kid is going to have a long year in front of her with surgery to ease the tension on her spinal cord. Through all of this, I have been grateful. Grateful that I know enough to know better than to listen when I have been told to not worry. Grateful that I know enough to solve most of the puzzle that was her medical presentation. Grateful that I regularly question authority and know those authorities’ opinions have come less from diagnostic assessment and more from tests with limited accuracy. Grateful that I (and our amazing team) have some of the best diagnostic training out there, able to solve difficult puzzles and listen to the patient, because throwing away pieces to fit your finding is a terribly ineffective way to be accurate. And mostly, despite these current daunting challenges, grateful that my daughter is as happy and full of life as she’s always
been. I’m grateful that no matter what life throws at you, one can choose the bright path, even in the midst of darkness.
And, if you’ve been my patient, you may have heard me say, “If you listen long enough, the patient will always tell you what’s wrong with them. They may not know what they’ve shared is important, but those pieces are always there, ready to be put in the puzzle.” I wish for you to be heard and to advocate for yourselves. We’ll always advocate for you as well, even if it means raising some hackles. Lord knows that is my comfort zone.
– Shelly Coffman
B eat Y our F ast M etabolism
Tips and Tricks to Gain Muscle
Having a fast metabolism seems like a good problem to have — until you hit the gym. People with a naturally fast metabolism find it difficult to gain weight and increase muscle mass despite working out. Their bodies use calories so efficiently that it becomes difficult to fuel muscle growth. To overcome this challenge, those with fast metabolisms should focus on high-quality nutrition combined with specific training approaches to maximize muscle gain. Increase the Number of Calories You Consume You can have the best workout regimen in the world, but if you don’t eat enough of the right foods, you won’t gain muscle. To calculate the number of calories your body expends, multiply your current weight by 18. You’ll want to gradually increase this number every two weeks by consuming your current weight multiplied by 20, and then your current weight by 22. Evaluate the effectiveness of each incremental increase, and if necessary, increase your caloric intake in a similar manner until you find that you are gaining weight. Focus on High-Quality Foods As you are working out, eat calorie-dense foods such as whole grains, nuts, dehydrated fruits, and nut butters. According to the University of Illinois, incorporating these foods into your diet is easier than simply eating more food. Summertime means family vacations, and few places offer as much family fun as your classic amusement park. If you’d rather avoid the high prices and long lines at the home of a certain mouse, there are countless amusement parks all across this great nation! Consider some of these for your family’s vacation destination: T he R ide of Y our L ife
It’s important to avoid empty calories like fast food. These foods are low in nutrients and don’t support muscle growth. Getting enough protein and complex carbohydrates is key. Try incorporating more lean beef, skinless chicken, cottage cheese, eggs, fish, oatmeal, whole grains, and healthy fats into your diet. Focus on Heavy Compound Lifts According to bodybuilding.com, lower repetitions with heavier weight are most effective for gaining muscle. Compound movements like barbell squats force you to challenge multiple muscle groups simultaneously. This stimulates a number of muscle fibers to respond by adding mass. Weightlifting every other day will allow stubborn muscles to recover between heavy workouts, which facilitates growth. Engage in Cardiovascular Exercise Engaging in cardiovascular exercises like jogging, swimming, and cycling can help strengthen your cardiovascular system, which is important even if you are trying to put on mass. However, unlike those who are trying to shed pounds, you’ll require shorter cardiovascular workouts that are lower in intensity. It’s important not to cut out cardiovascular exercise completely though — these exercises deliver nutrients to your growing muscles and decreases the risk of muscle breakdown.
The Best Amusement Parks in America (That Aren't Disney)
admittance — guests just pay for any food or rides they enjoy during their stay. While everyone else is busy scrambling for the “latest and greatest,” Knoebels prides itself on nostalgia, with bumper cars, wooden coasters, and a classic carousel among an array of other attractions.
Knott’s Berry Farm, Buena Park, California
Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio
Don’t let its age fool you — one of America’s oldest amusement parks has no problem keeping up with the expectations of today’s guests. Packed full of thrill rides and roller coasters, family rides and 4-D experiences, live entertainment, a full ghost town, and some of the best dining you’ll find at any amusement park, Knott’s Berry Farm knows how to have fun. You can even grab a jar of famous Knott’s jam before you head out! If you’re ready for roller coasters, one-of-a-kind attractions, delicious food, or are just looking to create new memories with your family, you really can’t go wrong with an amusement park. Just hold tight and have fun!
Found on every thrill-seeker’s to-do list, Cedar Point has been dubbed the “roller coaster capital of the world.” Cedar Point is home to 17 current and former world record-holding roller
coasters, including the Valravn, the world’s tallest, fastest, and longest dive coaster. Even if roller coasters aren’t your thing, guests can enjoy other thrill rides, family rides, attractions, and several kid sections throughout the park.
Knoebels, Elysburg, Pennsylvania
Knoebels is the park for families on a budget, offering free parking and
M ake the 5K C ool A gain Short-Distance Running Might Be Better for Overall Health
We’ve all seen the stickers — 26.2 inside a circle on someone’s back windshield. It’s impressive, just like its younger sister, the 13.1 sticker. But why don’t you ever see a 3.1 sticker? After all, five times as many people ran 5Ks last year than half- or full marathons, according to a survey by Running USA. It’s because there’s a belief that running in a 5K isn’t something to boast about. It’s lost its competitive edge — thanks, in part, to people calling them “fun runs.” But fitness websites are abuzz with claims that racing short distances is better for overall health. Sure, the discipline it takes to a train for a marathon is worth noting, but whether you should focus on long- or short- distance running depends on you. How long do you want to run? Running for over 26 miles in one go is a lofty goal. Of course, humans operate at their best when they’re climbing metaphorical mountains. But if you don’t like running for extended amounts of time, or if you’re looking to take on a more long-term hobby that you can enjoy for years to come, a shorter race might be more your speed. Shorter interval work is better for weight loss than distance running. It requires speed and strength, as well as endurance. It’s also notable that 5Ks are more readily available than marathons, so in most parts of the country, you could compete in several a year. Think of it like eating: It’s much healthier to have smaller, more frequent meals, than to occasionally gorge yourself. The same is true for exercise.
If you are goal-oriented, you can channel that through competing in 5Ks rather than simply completing marathons. The
5K is synonymous with being family-friendly and
sponsoring charities, but it’s also an Olympic event. Most marathon runners are only focused on one thing: finishing.
The most important part is to get fit and stay fit, however you choose to do so. But it’s time we made the 5K cool again. After all, the fastest 3.1 miles
ever run — by Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia — happened in 12:37. Now that’s a number that belongs on a bumper sticker.
E asiest C hickpea C urry
Ingredients: • 1 tablespoon olive oil • 1 large yellow onion, diced • 3 garlic cloves, minced • 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick • Pinch of ground cloves
• 2 (15-ounce) cans no- salt-added chickpeas, rinsed and drained • 3 tablespoons ketchup • Salt and pepper, to taste • Chopped cilantro (optional) • Lemon wedges (optional)
H ave a L augh !
Instructions: 1. In a large straight-sided skillet, heat oil over medium- high heat. 2. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until dark brown around edges, for about 6 minutes. 3. Add garlic, curry, cinnamon, and cloves and cook, stirring, until fragrant, for 30 seconds. 4. Add chickpeas, ketchup, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. 5. Uncover and increase heat to medium-high; cook until sauce is slightly reduced, for 5 minutes. 6. Serve with chopped cilantro and lemon wedges, if desired.
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I nside T his I ssue
Finding the Bright Path, Even in the Midst of Darkness Page 1 Beat Your Fast Metabolism America's Best Amusement Parks Page 2
Make the 5K Cool Again Easiest Chickpea Curry Page 3 The Great Inca Citadel Page 4
T he G reat I nca C itadel
Visit Machu Picchu This May
Before Columbus landed on what he thought was India in 1492, and before Pizarro later wiped them out, the Incas controlled the largest empire on the North American continent — and maybe the biggest in the entire world. The religiously and culturally diverse civilization spanned a huge portion of western South America, comparable to the most robust territories of Eurasia. Nowadays, not much remains of the Inca Empire, save for some ruins and the otherworldly constructions of Machu Picchu. The Inca citadel, probably built as an estate for the Inca Emperor Pachacuti, still stands after over 500 years, and the blocks of polished stone overlook intense, vertigo-inducing views, considered by some to be among the most beautiful in the world. If you’re thinking of visiting the enormous agricultural terraces and fantastic stone constructions of Machu Picchu, it’s best to go in May, right as the rainy season ends. That way, you won’t have to deal with the battering rain that could potentially muddy the experience of such a historical location.
Fly into Cusco, then immediately take the train to Machu Picchu Pueblo, colloquially known as Aguas Calientes. It’s a scenic 3.5-hour trip running along the Urubamba River, through the fabled hills of the Inca, with breathtaking canyon walls rising above on either side. Spend a night or two in the town getting acclimated to the 6,700-foot elevation, then head to Machu Picchu for some exploring before you return to Cusco. This way, you’ll be able to minimize the unpleasant — and sometimes dangerous — effects of altitude sickness that such heights can bring. You might find yourself dizzy from more than the altitude, though. The views are world class, and the feeling of being in such an ancient place imbued with cultural importance is electrifying.
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