The Power of Naturopathic Medicine

power of naturopathic medicine

There comes a time in one’s life where stress gets the best of us, people get the best of us, life gets the best of us. Sometimes this comes on suddenly like a thief in the night and other times things progressively head south over an extended period of time.  Whether this is a mental issue, or a physical issue is indifferent they both lead to the land of blah. We try to self medicate with exercise, wine, sleep etc but nothing seems to be able to reset us back to that once calm, centered state we were in before.

I’ve been there and back.  I’ve tried numerous avenues to reset myself like mentioned above but none of which gave me any solid results. It was frustrating and draining. After my failed attempts I decided to try a holistic approach as I had heard numerous friends talk about the power of acupuncture, supplements and oil.  All sounded like voodoo to me…  but I decided if this has been around since ancient times let’s give it a try.

I started visiting a Naturopathic doctor last summer. What I loved immediately is she addressed the whole of me. She didn’t just go straight to what my issue at hand was she dug deeper and instead analyzed the whole.  After a bout of blood work and various other less invasive tests we sat down and went through the results.  What was really interesting is that what we found were areas of weakness in the body.  But those areas of weakness were not what my perceived issues were.  What I learned though is how closely related functions of the body are.  If one is weak it can affect a whole different part of you.

After review we started acupuncture to balance out my body and strengthen my pulse. I proceeded to get accupuncture treatments twice a month for about 5 months.  It was like a glorified nap for 20 minutes while I “baked” with needles stuck in me.  Seriously though they don’t hurt and if positioned right you can almost feel the energy circulating your body.  In addition I started taking what I now consider essential supplements with a myriad of benefits: Magnesium Lactate, liquid Vitamin D3, supplements to balance my blood sugar levels (they were a bit wacky), and L-theanine in liquid form to help with stress.  At first I was a bit skeptical as supplements are not cheap.  But as I started taking these I could literally feel the change.  My mood was lifted (thanks to the Magnesium), I felt stronger, less ornery and less stressed.  In addition to the supplements, I also carried my lavender essential oil everywhere…. you can never get too calm when you have a Type A personality!

Finally after those 5 months were up I decided to discontinue the acupuncture (for financial reasons… it is not cheap…) but I have continued to use the supplements with great results.  I am nowhere near that funk I used to be and just feel more balanced and ready to take on the world.

Moral of this story is, sometime life throws lemons at you.  Use that opportunity to dig deeper and explore other options. You don’t have to live feeling less than great.  What is awesome about naturopathic medicine is it is natural… you are not adding chemicals or other crap into your body to try to band aid a deeper issue. You are healing yourself from the inside out.  Balance. Strength. Power. Beauty.

Have you tried Naturopathic medicine? What was your experience like?  Would you recommend it?

 

 

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Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

stuffed portobello mushrooms

I love a good hearty dinner especially if it’s packed with protein and ooey gooey cheese.  However, I also try and maintain an 80/20 clean eating lifestyle every week.  Because of that of that I constantly look for ways to re-invent variations of foods I love in a healthier way so that they fit into my week and I never have to feel guilty eating them.

The following recipe is one I am still perfecting.  The flavors are great, the meatiness of the mushroom cap really shines, and oh yea of course the cheese is on point!  However where I fail is with the cooking of the mushroom cap.  It always ends up overly liquidy.  So I definitely am looking for any pointers on how to drain out some of that excess water from the cap.

However without further ado here is my recipe for Portobello stuffed mushroom caps:

Ingredients – Makes 8 servings

  • 1lb chicken breasts
  • 8 Portobello mushroom caps
  • 8oz shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup pasta sauce
  • 1 can diced black olives (optional)
  • 1 diced red pepper (optional)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Oregano (some to sprinkle on each cap)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Wipe off mushroom caps (check out this video: how to prepare portobello’s)
  3. Brush mushroom caps lightly with olive oil and set on parchment paper on baking sheet
  4. Place baking sheet in oven to cook mushrooms about 30 minutes
  5. While mushroom caps are cooking, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in pan, add chicken
  6. Cook chicken until no longer pink/internal temperature of 165 degrees
  7. While chicken is cooking dice red pepper
  8. Take cooked chicken and dice up
  9. Combine in a medium bowl chicken, red pepper, black olives, seasoning, and tomato sauce
  10. Spoon the chicken mixture into each of the portabella caps
  11. Sprinkle cheese over the tops of the stuffed portabella’s
  12. Pop in oven for about 10-15 minutes

I like to serve these with a side of steamed vegetables but they would also just be good by themselves.  Enjoy!

What stuffed mushroom variations have you made? I’m always looking for new, fun ways to dress these up!

 

Workout Review: Shift Shop

Shift Shop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a new trainer in the Beachbody house and he goes by the name of Chris Downing coming in with an explosive 3 week program called the Shift Shop.

How the program works

Simple three-week program (round 1).  Each week are two new cardio and strength training workouts each progressing in difficulty and time.  First week strength and cardio workouts are alternated 6 days a week/25 minutes a day. Second week ramps up same progressions of cardio and strength except slightly more difficult and 35 minutes a piece.  Last week ramps up again with sessions lasting 45 minutes. Throughout the three weeks you will also occasionally add in an ab focused workout and stretching.

The Workouts

Cardio 25, 35, 45 – high intensity intervals at 60 secs a pop

Strength 25, 35, 45 – multi-functional weight training recruiting both legs and arms simultaneously for an added burn

Abs – work your transverse abdominals, rectus abdominals, obliques and back

Stretch – much needed relaxation and stretching of muscle fibers to get you ready for the next challenge

Results

Debatable…  so I tried it.  I had not done an intense cardio based program in a while.  I had spent time focusing on muscles and lower intensity cardio workouts so initially these workouts were a challenge but definitely strengthened my muscular endurance.

While I enjoyed the program where I have issues is in the results.  Now I didn’t take it the whole nine yards and do the meal plan nor am I specifically talking about my results.  I wasn’t in it to try and change anything significantly or lose weight etc.  I just wanted to try out the new trainer.  I like Chris, he’s funny, keeps you going and makes the time fly.  I also love that his workouts include your whole body in training for agility and balance. By all means you are definitely in a pool of sweat by the end of pretty much all of the workouts in the program.

Where I go sideways is with results I am seeing posted online.  I’ve browsed tons of before and after pics for the program and honestly, I’m not impressed.  I mean I get that this is meant to charge you up and set up a pattern to keep you motivated to workout.  However where I have a problem is the sheer volume of intensity these workouts pack with little to no difference in visible results when you are done.  Why beat yourself up six days a week for little compensation?  You know?

That said, I do think this workout program would be a great fit post holiday season after overindulging or as a way to increase cardiovascular efficiency.  In fact I plan on saving the next round for those types of scenarios.  However if you are looking for a program to kick your ass AND get fast results I just don’t think this is it.  It really all depends on your goal.

To summarize, Shift Shop was fun.  I made it through all three weeks and was a sweaty mess.  Personally, I just feel there are quite a few better Beachbody programs for seeing results in the same time period.  I will go into some of my favorite programs in future reviews so stay tuned!

Did you try Shift Shop?  What did you think, did it work for you?  Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.  Remember, we are all in this together, one crunch at a time.

Why your apparel could be ruining your workout

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Research has shown wearing the right clothing for the right type of working out can make or break your workout success. it has been found that although cotton is breathable and great it also absorbs sweat and doesn’t get rid of it thus making you feel even sweater and hotter in the process.  The best clothes to wear when your working out inside are those that are going to whisk moisture away from your body and keep you cool such as clothes made of

Scenario 1: Right Clothes, right workout

You’re finally motivated to start your new workout plan.  Maybe you even purchased some kick ass looking workout clothes for the occasion.  You look great and feel great.  As you progress through your workout you start getting super sweaty and your thinking, “my god did someone turn up the heat in here?”.  Your shirt is sopping wet and making you feel a lot hotter/heavier than you are, your new pants are not helping out the situation.  Finally after just being too hot you call your workout quits.

What went wrong? Wearing the wrong materials or types of clothing based on the style of the workout you are doing can really mess up your plans and ultimately the success of your workout.  I know, that sound silly but it is really true.  Good news is that today there are so many options for workout clothes that are fashionable but more importantly functional too…

  • Choose the right fabric. Your best bet is to look for a material that is moisture wicking meaning it will wick away that sweat while still remaining dry and cool allowing you to spend time focusing on your workout not how your clothes are doing a disservice. Synthetic materials or blends are great in this case.  As is bamboo, anything that says “dri-fit” or “cool-max”.
  • Wear the right type of clothes based on your workout.  For instance if you are doing yoga wearing looser fitting pants and a breathable tank top will keep you comfortable.  However if you are cycling long pants can be a hazard as they could get stuck in the pedals so cycling shorts or capri’s would be a better alternative.
  • Look for the level of support you need in clothing.  First and foremost you just want to make sure you are comfortable and distraction free. So make sure your clothing works for you…  find a sports bra with good support for your needs, look to compression clothing which has been shown to improve circulation and even quicken the muscle recovery process!

Scenario 2: Right shoes, right workout

You are running on the treadmill practicing for an upcoming half marathon, your toes start feeling numb and your outside of your foot is throbbing to the point you can’t bear it anymore and your workout is cut short.  What the heck just happened?

Like clothing, shoes play a huge part of your workout success.  Wearing worn out shoes or shoes inappropriate for the type of workout your doing can not only lead to unnecessary discomfort but can actually pose as a safety hazard.

How can you tell what shoe to get?

  •  Define what types of workouts you do most of the time.  Are you a runner? Aerobics more your style? Or maybe cycling…. step etc.  You need to understand what movement you do often so you can pick the right level of shoe support.  Like is you do a mix of weights, aerobics, running etc a cross trainer is most likely going to be best for you.  Buying your shoes at a good store is recommended as you can talk with an expert to really help you figure out what is going to be best for your level of activity.
  • Go shoe shopping toward the end of the day. Did you know that our feet can swell up to half a shoe size over the course of the day? Going toward the end of the day ensures you won’t end up with too small a size.  Another recommendation is to go based on when you workout.  So if you workout in the evenings go at night or if you are an early bird go in the morning.
  • Get the right fit.  Nothing is worse than wearing a shoe where your big toe is touching the top.  Or your running and your heel keeps slipping off.  Make sure you take time to test out moves in your shoe before buying it.  Try pointing and flexing or standing on the balls of your feet, jumping etc.  Make sure the shoe fits and isn’t slipping anywhere or too tight.
  • Be prepared to ditch your shoe 3-6 months from now.  Shoes will tend to wear out after about 500 miles are put on them…. depending on your routine this may be 6 plus months from now or as little as 3.  Be prepared to get new shoes if you notice the heel is uneven from wear or there are other wearing signs.

As you can see wearing the right types of clothes can really help you make your workouts a success.  By taking the time initially to pick the right clothes and shoes you will be happier, be able to stay focused on the workout and get so much more out of the whole experience distraction free.