14 Essential Tips for Healthy Eating

I must admit eating properly all the time is difficult. We don’t have the time, we are in a rush, healthy food is expensive, or we don’t know what foods are good for us. healthy food. These are all excuses that we are used to giving or hearing.

Throughout my years in health care as a Chiropractor, Athletic Therapist and a Strength and Conditioning Specialist, these are the top tips, in no particular order, which I have found to be excellent pearls of wisdom. I have simplified the tips because it is better to keep your diet simple than complex. Remember; do not get caught up with the fads at the time. Keep it simple. Do your best to follow the Canada food guide.

Incorporating these healthy eating tips will help you achieve better health. To accomplish these tips you must pre-plan and know what and when you are going to be eating. Take a day or two each week to prepare your food for the week and freeze what you can. This simplifies your week. It also means that when you are hungry you can quickly grab something from the freezer and heat it up. That means that it will take you 2 minutes rather than 20 minutes to prepare your food for that meal. Plus you won’t have to do as many dishes either.

If you find that purchasing healthy food is too expensive try purchasing your food when it is on sale and stock up on it. The cost of eating unhealthy food may end up being more expensive when you have to start paying for that medication to help lower your high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Take time and plan ahead with your purchasing. Remember, without a plan failure will happen.

Here are my favorite tips that I like to give to my patients.

  1. Eat slowly
  2. Eat to 80% full
  3. A regular meal pattern including breakfast consumption, consuming a higher proportion of energy early in the day, reduced meal frequency (i.e., 2⁻3 meals/day), and regular fasting periods may provide physiological benefits such as reduced inflammation, improved circadian rhythm, increased autophagy and stress resistance, and modulation of the gut microbiota.
  4. Eat one to two servings of vegetables or fruit on each meal. Pick from all the different colors available. Consider supplementing with a “Greens” product.
  5. Drink plenty or water or green tea approximately 8 cups a day. Avoid fruit juices and other sugar filled beverages.
  6. Minimize the consumption of simple/refined sugar and starchy foods until after moderate to strenuous exercise
  7. Eat a “complete protein” at each meal such as egg, milk, poultry, beans, fish etc.
  8. Consume essential fatty acids daily (Omega 3s) such as fish or fish oil supplements.
  9. Have a Multi-vitamin daily
  10. Choose whole foods rather than processed foods
  11. Choose whole foods that are high in fibre
  12. Chose whole grains as opposed to whole wheat.
  13. Avoid foods that are fried or contain trans fatty acids, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.
  14. Don’t worry about cheating every once in awhile.

Don’t try and do this all at once.  Take one tip and practice it for the next 3 weeks and then add another tip.

Original document was created  May 2010. Updated January 2 2020.

How do I cure a sore back?

I recently received a question from someone on Klout.com asking the question, “How do I “cure a sore back”. Here is my response:

“How do I cure a sore back?”

It’s a difficult question to answer since there are multiple reasons for someone to have a sore back. Factors that may influence your lower back soreness may be:

Postural Strain

Staying in a stationary position for extended periods of time. For example, sitting for long periods of time. This is called postural strain.  To help with this, taking mini breaks from that position may help. http://drnotley.com/protect-your-spine-mini-breaks/

Inappropriate movement habits

If you are an athlete or are active then looking at your technique may be needed. Simply having someone help with your technique may be all that you need to take the strain off your back and allow your soreness to improve. A wonderful exercise that may be great for conditioning, like the burpee, may be detrimental to your back if done improperly http://drnotley.com/burpees-and-back-pain-my-thoughts/

Deconditioning

If you are not very active then developing general conditioning may be what you need.  I often see those who have back pain and they are very deconditioned but once they start getting active their pains diminish.

TRX suspension trainer and back pain: challenging the spine

Back Strength: Four for the Core

Unaddressed old injuries

If you have other injuries or an old injury these should be addressed. For lower backs we often need to look at spine posture during the actively, as well, as how the looking at the mobility or stability of the hips, knees, ankles and feet. If there are problems in these areas they can put added stress on the spine and cause pain.   What you may need if these is the case is exercises that will aid in increasing mobility of joints or stability.

Suboptimal health habits

Smoking (http://drnotley.com/chronic-pain-and-cigarette-smoking/), stress, and nutrition (http://drnotley.com/understanding-essential-fatty-acids/) can also cause back pain among other health issues.

Help from a professional

 Above, I have discussed approaches that require an active approach on your part.  These are very important because you are taking control of your health/pain which is very effective but there are passive methods that can be beneficial in the process.  Here are some examples

Pain referring to the back

Back pain/soreness may be as a result of other internal problems. For example, women have sore backs as a result of their menstrual cycle. A number of internal organ problems can result in back soreness.  A rule of thumb is that if you can’t find a position  or treatment that gives you relief or that there are no movements that cause added soreness then seeking out a medical doctor is warranted.

Conclusion

This is a round about way of saying that there are numerous ways to help a sore back.

Dr Notley

P.S. This list may not be all inclusive. If this pain persists seek out a Chiropractor, Athletic therapist, Physiotherapist, acupuncturist, or medical doctor.

Enjoy healthy elbows, wrist and hands, with these circle exercises

The elbow joint is actually made up of 3 joints. These joints allow the elbow to bend and straighten as well and pronation and supination (turning the palm down and up when the elbow is bent).

To perform this exercise:

  • Begin with your elbow straight and your palm facing forward. Begin to bend your elbow. During this time supinate (turning the pinky side of the hand up towards the ceiling) the forearm as far as you can.

  • Once you have bent your elbow completely, turn the palm over towards the floor, att

  • empting to rotate the thumb to the floor as far as you can (pronating).

  • While you are pronating straighten out your arm.

Wrist, thumb and finger circles 

 

For the wrist:

Flex the wrist down as far as you can and then try and scribe out the largest circle

If you place you hand down on a table with the palm up your thumb can move up and down (abduction and adduction), in towards the pinky and out away from the pinky (flexion and extension) and it can rotate so that the pad of the thumb can touch each finger (opposition).

Start by lifting your thumb up towards the ceiling as far as you can and then towards your pinky circling around to the pads of the fingers and then away from the pinky finally ending up pointing back up towards the ceiling.

This can be performed in the other direction as well

 

The base of each finger can also create a circle as well.

Self myofascial release of the medial pterygoid

The medial pterygoid is a muscle of mastication (chewing).

It attaches onto the jaw near it’s angle but can’t be easily touched from out side of the mouth because there is bone is in the way.

Most of this muscle is found on the inside of the mouth just behind the bottom molars.

The action of this muscle is to close the jaw and to shift the jaw to the opposite side.

When it is a problem the ability to open the jaw is restricted.
and it can be quite tender to touch.

Pain can often be felt in the mouth but also around the TMJ.

I’m going to show you to methods to methods to treat this muscle. But remember that this muscle can be quit tender to do not be overly aggressive.

Method One

Slide your index finger down the inside of your cheek. The pad side is against the cheek and the nail said up against the molars. When you get to back of the molars you will bump into bone. Open your jaw and slide your finger in to the inner side of that bone . The muscle is right there. Apply mild to moderate pressure and wait for it to relax. Hold until it relaxes. Perform once 1 to 2 times a day.

Method two

Though not direct, this method helps treat the distal part of the muscle. As you can see, the muscle ends up at the angle of our jaw. Take your thumb and tuck it underneath your jaw at this point. Use the pad of your thumb to contact the tender point o this muscle. You will have an easier time getting into this spot if your tuck your chin down. Hold until it relaxes. Perform once 1 to 2 times a day

when trying to contact the muscle from the outside you need to be aware that there are salivary glands near here as well. If you feel like you are starting to salivate that tender spot may be the salivary gland.

What is the best mattress to buy?

Dr Notley here. Winnipeg Chiropractor and Athletic Therapist.

What is the best mattress to purchase?

Sometimes the cause of morning back stiffness or chronic lower back pain is the bed you sleep in. What is the best type of mattress?

Research has looked at the affect of changing mattress types on the quality of sleep as well as the affect on lower back pain.

Currently there is no definitive answer but this is what I found:

  1. Lower back pain is more prominent in those who use cheaper mattresses.
  2. Despite similar quality mattresses the amount of spinal twisting or bending in the thoracic spine varies significantly.
  3. Foam or innerspring mattress? It doesn’t matter. The quality of sleep is unaffected.
  4. Adjustable air beds and custom bedding systems reduce back pain and improve sleep quality.
  5. Using a mattress of medium firmness improves pain, disability and sleep quality. But there is some question whether this is true for heavier individuals.

Conclusion

At this point in time it seems that a mattress of medium firmness and of medium or high quality material may be best but there will be some variation in comfort depending on the individual. A customized mattress may be the best option but likely the most expensive.