Travel Tips

Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, the mechanics of travel can take a toll.  Here are some ways to help you arrive in a happier state of being!

On the plane or train:

Check bags that are heavier than 10% of your body weight.  And remember – even mules prefer a balanced load, so do your best to distribute the weight you carry evenly.

Keep your body in line with the task.   Everyone wants to get right into their seat – but take a few moments to line yourself up in front of the overhead bin or rack.  Often it’s easier to lift your bag in stages; if you can use the seat / armrest as a resting point halfway, do.   Ask for help if you need it!  PLEASE DON’T hoist your monster-heavy bag overhead, twist your torso and neck, lean forwards and push –  all while you stand on your tippie-toes!

If you stow your bag below the seat in front of yours, please cut down on the number of times you have to bend down and get stuff out of it.  There’s barely room for your feet (let alone your head!) so there’s really no good way to do it.  So try to minimize the amount of twisting you do, and don’t force bulky objects in with your feet: it’s easy to strain your lower back and legs.

Move around as much as you can!  Prolonged sitting can restrict blood flow and build up pressure in your circulatory system – especially in the lower part of the legs.  Change your position:  massage your arms and legs; move your knees up and down; prop your feet up on a book or bag; do some gentle head and neck stretches or range of motion exercises; sit up straight, arch your back, wiggle around – do something like this at least every 20 minutes.  And you can always get up and walk down the aisle…

An inflatable neck pillow can make a big difference on a long flight; if you fall asleep, you won’t feel like Quasimodo when you wake up!  Try to avoid drafts: point the air nozzle away from you to keep your muscles from tensing up.  And – of course – drink lots of water!

In the car:

Check your position relative to the steering wheel.  Are all your mirrors lined up so you can see?  Are you in the center of your seat?  Are your knees the same height or higher than your hips?  If you’re poking your head forwards, move your seat up!  Not only is this a better position for your body, it’ll help you relax the death grip on the steering wheel!  If you use a back or seat support, make sure it’s centered – and that it fits you (ask your chiropractor to check your car seat)!

Exercise while you drive: wiggle your toes; squeeze your calf, thigh and butt muscles; do shoulder rolls; rock your sit bones back and forth; tap your fingers on the wheel; sing – whatever keeps you lively.  Most importantly, take a break every hour.  Get off the road, out of the car, and get some fresh air.  Whew!

Have a wonderful trip!

posted in Healthy Living, Posture & Ergonomics, Seasonal Tips

The Hidden Cost of Pesticides

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Annually, 33,500 tons of pesticides and 3 million tons of fertilizer are used on U.S. lawns (1 ton = 2000 pounds!).

 

 

 

 

Pesticide residue contaminates air, dust, household surfaces, and carpets due to drift and track-in.

 

 

 

Of 30 commonly used lawn pesticides: 16 are toxic to birds, 24 are toxic to aquatic organisms, and 11 are toxic to bees.

 

 

 

Children in homes using pesticides are 6.5 times more likely to develop leukemia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources: beyondpesticides.org, duke.edu, The United States Environmental Protection Agency

 

So, how can you minimize your exposure to these toxins?

  • Invest in a filter system for your drinking and cooking water, and follow the recommended maintenance schedule.  Use a metal water bottle if you can, rather than plastic.
  • Avoid highly processed food, and use the Clean 15 / Dirty Dozen shopping guide.
  • Change into house shoes or go barefoot when you get home.  This reduces tracked-in toxic debris and makes cleaning easier!
  • Remember that your skin absorbs chemicals, so shop for personal care products that won’t compromise your health.  Sadly, cosmetics are one of the worst offenders.
  • Use non-toxic soaps and cleaners inside your house.  Many good brands are now available.
  • Air your house regularly, and change your HVAC filters on a schedule.  If you use window AC units, rinse out the filters once a month.
  • Run a ventilator fan while you shower, and use a de-humidifier in damp areas of your house to discourage mold and mildew.
  • Remove the plastic from dry-cleaned clothes and let them air thoroughly before storing.
  • If you are in the market for new carpeting or furniture, avoid heavily treated synthetic or fiberboard products.  Always let new products have a chance to out-gas before use.
  • Buy better alternatives to lawn and garden pesticides: this helps our health, the pollinators we depend on, and protects our water supply.
  • If your neighbors use a lawn service, ask them to please request non-toxic products or switch to a company that does.
  • Be proactive about your health! Good diet, sleep and exercise habits support your physical health and your ability to withstand the inevitable stresses of daily life.  If you think you need a detox, please call on us: we are here to help!

An ounce of prevention is always worth a pound of cure.

PDF version of this information

 

 

posted in Healthy Living, Seasonal Tips

Poison Ivy

 poison ivy, autumn

 

The active element in poison ivy is an oil called urushiol and it is nasty!  It is very potent, spreads easily on your skin and can be transmitted to you via your pet’s fur.  If you think you’ve been exposed to it, your best defense is a thorough scrubbing with warm, soapy water. You also need to wash any clothing or bedding that has been exposed; twice is better than once.  If your pet will let you, wash them as well.  

 

If you make an autumn bonfire, please make sure there is no poison ivy mixed in with your wood; inhaling the oil can create a medical emergency.  Difficulty breathing, a rash and swelling near eyes or genitals, or a rash over most of your body are all indicators that you need emergency medical treatment.

 

If yoPoison Ivyu missed the chance to wash off the oil and are already developing the rash, DO NOT SCRATCH and DO NOT BREAK THE VESICLES that will form on your skin.  This can be hard to resist; they not only itch, but they are also painful as they harden.  

 

But breaking the fluid-filled sac can open you up to an infection, so exercise your will power and try some remedies to cool the burn.  From start to fading finish, the rash can last up to 14 – 21 days, so you are going to want some relief.  You can bathe the rash with vinegar, you can put a paste of water and baking soda on it, you can cool it with cucumber slices.  Some people have success with a cortisone cream.  Baths with colloidal oatmeal or baking soda can ease the discomfort.  

 

Cool compresses can also help – but the best thing I found is Fels Naptha soap.  Make a heavy lather and let it sit on your skin for a few minutes before rinsing.  Repeat 1 – 2fels_naptha 2 times a day, but avoid contact with your eyes or other areas of your skin.   For me, this accelerated the drying-out process and reduced the discomfort considerably.  I also recommend supporting your immune system while you are waiting this out: I took a lot of Congaplex daily, on top of my usual Echinacea Premium and Thymex.  Anything that helps speed up this process is a very good thing!

posted in Seasonal Tips

What you need to know about hand sanitizers

Why use them?

Sometimes it just isn’t feasible to wash your hands.  And we all know that our hands are a vector for transmitting bacteria.  Doorknobs, gas pumps and pin pads are all touched by many, many people, and are rarely – if ever! – cleaned.

Why ingredients matter:

Trans-dermal delivery is incredibly effective, as anyone who’s used a nicotine patch can testify.  Harsh chemicals can not only be very damaging to your skin, they can also disrupt your hormonal system.  Especially for small children, who tend to put their hands in their mouths: safer is smarter.

What we recommend:

Buy a quality product.  You want a sanitizer that’s designed with your total health in mind, not just the company’s bottom line.  And don’t forget, actually washing your hands is still the best way to prevent sickness.

Clean Well Hand Sanitizer

 

EO Products Hand Sanitizer

 

CleanSmart Hand Sanitizer

Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Hand Sanitizer

                     These are all available locally (or online): try Mom’s, Trader Joe’s or Wegman’s.

 

posted in Healthy Living, Seasonal Tips

8 Daily “Greats” for a Healthy 2017

Here are 8 food items that are incredibly beneficial to include in your daily diet.  They will boost your immunity and vitality, and are very protective of your overall health!

Dark chocolate

Promotes micro-circulation; anti-oxidant, mineral rich; heart protective; improves mood

Blueberries

Anti-oxidant & anti-aging; neuro-protective; anti-cancer; supports digestion; heart protective; nutrient-dense; healthy fiber

Turmeric

Anti-inflammatory; anti-cancer; anti-depressant; helps regulate blood sugar; heart & gut protective

Best as food, with fat (ex. coconut milk) for absorption

 
Green Tea

Promotes micro-circulation; anti-oxidant; heart and neuro-protective; helps regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels; anti-cancer & anti-aging

 
Garlic

Anti-inflammatory; anti-cancer; heart protective; anti-fungal; detoxifying; supports healthy digestion; anti-oxidant & anti-aging

 
Bitter Greens

Nutrient-rich; promote bile secretion & healthy digestion; boost gut-based immunity; detoxifying; reduce sugar cravings; stimulates metabolism

 
Ginger

Anti-inflammatory; heart-protective; promotes healthy digestion; reduces fever; anti-nausea; anti-bacterial & anti-fungal; helps regulate blood sugar

 
Echinacea

Strong immunity modulator; anti-aging; anti-cancer

Best used long term; sourcing & formulation are key

 
Water

# 9 here, but truly # 1 in healthy habits: drink half your body weight (lbs) in ounces every day

 
posted in Healthy Eating, Healthy Living, Seasonal Tips

Pumpkin Chili

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oilVegetarian Chili
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz canned unsweetened pumpkin
  • 1 15 oz black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz small white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
 
Optional garnishes:
  • Minced green scallions
  • Shredded cheese
  • Salted pumpkin seeds
 

Heat heavy pan over medium heat and add olive oil.  Add onion, celery, garlic and cumin seeds.  Saute until onions are translucent.  Add red bell pepper, chili powder and oregano.  Saute a few minutes more until bell pepper starts to soften.  

Add cinnamon, tomatoes, pumpkin and beans.  Add stock and let it heat through.  Turn heat down to low.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 30 minutes.  Check the seasoning; add more chili if you like it spicier, or more stock if needed.  Let cook another 10 minutes; add salt to taste.  This freezes well.

 

Click here for a print-friendly version.

posted in Healthy Eating, Seasonal Tips

Halloween Safety Checklist

Pumpkins on front steps of home during  Halloween/Thanksgiving s

For you:

  • If you are buying a costume or wig, check the label for “flame resistant”.
  • Add reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.
  • Carry a flashlight or glow stick.
  • Always test face paint on a small patch of skin in case of allergies, and don’t wear it any longer than you must.  A skin or eye irritation can out-last the candy!
  • Decorative contact lenses can result in severe eye infections; better not to use them.
  • Avoid walking near lit candles or luminaries while wearing costumes.
  • Whatever your costume, wear shoes that fit well if you’ll be out walking.
  • Walk in groups; it’s more fun for everyone, and much safer.
  • Stay on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic. Look for cars when walking by a driveway.
  • Only visit well-lit houses, and don’t go past the front door.
  • Don’t accept any homemade treats made by strangers.

Halloween Pumpkin Witch Dog

For your pets:

  • Don’t let your pets eat your treats!  Chocolate in all forms can be very dangerous for your dog or cat.  
  • Eating pumpkin can also cause upset stomachs in pets.
  • When in doubt, call your vet or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center: (888) 426-4435.
  • If you have a candle in your decorative pumpkin, place it where your pets are not likely to knock it over or investigate it with their whiskers.
  • Keep power cords for decorative lighting away from pets, especially chew-happy puppies!
  • Don’t dress up your pet, unless you are absolutely sure a) it doesn’t annoy your pet; b) it fits well and won’t get tangled up; c) it’s not constricting your pet’s ability to breathe, bark or meow.
  • Make sure your pet doesn’t dash out when you open the door for trick or treaters; it may be best to keep them in the kitchen for the evening.
  • If you take your pet with you for the evening, make sure he or she is on a lead and has a proper collar with ID tags.
posted in Healthy Living, Seasonal Tips

Festive Toasting

 

If you love the festivity of bubbles, but not what alcohol does to your head, here’s a lighter alternative for toasts around the table.

Festive punch 

Marinate in a punch bowl:cranberry cocktail with ice and mint

1/2 bottle dark cherry or cranberry juice (100% pure juice, with added sugars)

2 thin sliced oranges, cut in quarters

2 thin sliced limes, cut in quarters
When ready to serve, add:
3 bottles chilled sparking water
Garnish with mint, if desired.

You can change the proportions to suite your taste; this can also be made by the glass.

Enjoy!

Click here for a print-friendly version.

posted in Seasonal Tips

Tips for a Safe Summer Season


Summer Holiday Dog

Not only is the summer our busiest travel season, it’s also hurricane season.  Many of us leave town for anything from a long weekend to a summer-long vacation.  No matter how experienced a traveler you are, it can be a mad scramble to take everything you and your family need and leave your house in good order. Even if you stay close to home there are a few things to have on hand in the event of a power outage. Here’s a handy checklist that can save you a world of trouble…

 

Prepare your home:

  • If you have a sump pump, be sure it’s in good working order; a battery-powered backup is ideal, if you have that option
  • Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant
  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts
  • Store loose patio and pool furniture
  • Arrange with a neighbor or friend to check on your property regularly
  • Stop mail and newspaper deliveries
  • Put some interior lights on timers
  • Consider programming the radio to come on during the day
  • Keep important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
  • Keep vital medical information in the same container

 Supplies to have on hand:

  • Paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
  • Water! (one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days),  for both drinking and sanitation
  • Food: at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Manual can opener
  • Battery-powered or hand crank NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert; consider one with a cell phone charger
  • Flashlight; extra batteries (of recent vintage); 12-hr glow sticks; kerosene lanterns and fuel
  • First aid kit
  • Cash
  • Warm blankets and/or sleeping bags
  • Waterproof matches
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Personal hygiene suppliesWhistle to signal for help
    • Moist wipes
    • Feminine supplies
    • Toilet paper
    • Garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Books, games, puzzles, playing cards or other activities to help pass the time
  • Prescription medications and glasses
  • And don’t’ forget:
    • extra infant formula and diapers
    • pet food and extra water for your pet

  Travel safely:

  • Leave a copy of your itinerary with a trusted family member or friend
  • Make a list of important emergency information
  • Cash
  • Go over basic safety information, rules, and procedures with family members and travel companions
    • what to do if you get lost or sick
    • backup meeting location(s) and 3rd party contact info
  • First Aid kit
  • Auto Emergency kit (jumper cables, flares, thermal blanket, whistle, etc.)Check your cell phone battery before you leave and bring your charger
    • Emergency window hammer with seat belt cutter
  • Sturdy shoes
  • Extra water and high-energy foods (granola bars, trail mix)
  • Local maps
  • Secure loose items in the vehicle: during a sudden stop loose items can be thrown around the car like missiles
  • Check for local weather alerts to avoid flooded areas, etc.

Click Here for printable checklist.

posted in Seasonal Tips

Don’t be a martyr to allergies this season…

Short circuit the seasonal misery this spring!  

a girl blowing on a dandelion done with a vintage retro instagra

Give your immune system the fuel it needs to fight off that pesky pollen and all the discomfort it causes – safely, effectively, and without nasty side effects.

 

Allerplex©— With the help of vitamin A and C complexes, Allerplex by Standard Process supports the body’s immune response to seasonal, environmental, and dietary stressors.  Also formulated to maintain healthy liver function, the body’s natural cleansing system.*

 

Here’s what one of our patients had to say:

“WOW! Need I say more? I am taking two capsules two times a day and within a couple of days I don’t have that sneeze reflex besieging me in the mornings.  Plus, I have been spending many hours outside doing yard work and driving around with the top down on my convertible; these two activities would usually result in allergy reactions and so far that hasn’t happened.”

 

 

 

 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.  These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

posted in Seasonal Tips