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Lifestyle Diseases

Recently obesity was officially classified as a disease.  This means it may end up eligible for medical reimbursement which theoretically will improve patient outcomes when dealing with excess weight.  A person is classified as obese when their Body Mass Index is over 30.  It has been estimated that at present that could be over 1/3 of adults in the USA.


Opponents of this classification point to the fact that obesity is caused by life style.  It is not an infectious disease.  Lack of exercise, diet and a host of other factors play a role in a person becoming obese.  It is a slow process that develops over many years.  Obesity is also deeply intertwined with other life style illnesses such as diabetes, cancer and stroke to name a few.




If lifestyle modification is the presumed treatment for obesity then isn’t the medical establishment basically paying itself for providing wellness care?  Wellness care has been looked at as basically a side treatment for years for people willing to go further than standard medical treatment.  The idea of paying a doctor to talk to a patient about lifestyle modification has apparently just been made acceptable and at the very least I hope this makes it a more attractive alternative than say a bariatric surgery. 


However, given that the typical doctor in the USA has had virtually no training in nutrition, which is the cornerstone of any wellness program, should they be the ones handling the majority of cases in which patient’s seek assistance with what is essentially a wellness plan?  As the issue progresses in the years to come it will be increasingly important for the patient to seek a professional who has ample knowledge of what is actually required to attain wellness rather than just reading off some note cards. 


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Lessons From Game 7 (Congratulations Miami Heat on your 2nd Straight Title!)

After watching an amazing game 7 of the NBA Finals last night a couple things ran through my mind.  First of all was the sky high level of competition and sportsmanship, which was great to see.  Tim Duncan turned back the clock all series long and played great basketball.  And this is from a guy who is supposed to be at the end of his career.  Tony Parker is like a layup magician who can pull a hoop out of thin air.  The young and energetic Leonard really stepped up all series too.


On Miami’s side of the ball LeBron James was his usual awesome self, doing it all for the Heat who would never have even been in the Finals without him.  Dwane Wade battled his achy knee one more night and turned in a great game and Chris Bosh was quite but did all the small stuff right, as usual!  Mario Chalmers and Shaine Battier also contributed huge scores during the game.


So what can we learn about health from Game 7?  For starters, people try harder when it is their last chance to play.  The effort level goes up tremendously.  For many people starting to make life changing alterations in their eating habits, exercise patterns, etc… usually need some sort of wake up call.  Something that makes it win or go home time in their life.  This event could be a health emergency like a heart attack, a personal lose or a close call that makes them realize how fragile life is or some similar event.  I think it’s helpful to remember that in life, it may not always feel like it but it’s always Game 7.  There is no better time to put in the work.  Put in the extra effort and really try to make your life better.


Also, the best players show up in big games.  This is also true in life and most if not all people, deep down inside, know they can be better and when really pushed can show up big in life.  All sorts of different scenarios exist in our daily lives where we know we can be more, do better and really shine even though much of the time we choose not to.  If it’s always Game 7 in the game of life why not start showing up big?


The last thing is the people who put in the work get the respect (and sometimes awards!).  After watching the series you can’t help but respect what those guys do.  And you know they didn’t get where they are clicking through channels on the couch all year.  They put in the effort to get better at their game and to become the best they can be.  It doesn’t happen overnight either.  It takes building physical toughness and mental toughness as well as just experiencing enough ups and downs to be good enough to take it all in stride.  The same is true with life my friends.  Put in the work when no one is watching.  Do it day in and day out and sooner or later you will see the changes in your life.  Maybe you are even one of the fortunate few who rises to the elite level and enjoys an amazing life of happiness and great health!  Shoot for the stars.



The Balance of Healthy and Unhealthy Behaviors

They human body is wonderfully designed to adapt to different circumstances.  Many positive changes because of this adaptability are possible.  For example, if you lift weights consistently the muscles you exercise will grow stronger.  If you walk for several miles a day your cardiovascular strength improves.  If you practice mindfulness techniques to manage stress you can actually become a less stressed out person.  Chiropractic care also works because of this adaptability.  If you repetitively reintroduce proper joint motion and muscle function by adjusting areas where normal joint and muscle function has been lost the body will respond by adapting this as its normal state which results in less pain, stiffness, radiating pain and increased nervous system function.


This principle is a double edged sword however because it works the other way too.  If you never work out the body stores extra calories in the form of fat.  If you self-medicate via energy drinks, alcohol or drugs to manage stress soon you find yourself needing that fix to maintain the “normal” climate of your body.  Chronic poor posture inevitably puts extra stress on certain areas of the spine which then results in the build-up of calcium as the body makes up for the extra stress and bone spurs form.  


It is very true to think of health as a set of balanced weights with one side of the balance being healthy things we do and the other side being unhealthy.  Ideally we would weigh down the healthy side with all of our good habits.  The wonderfully healthy foods we choose to eat.  The 45 minutes of exercise we do every single day.  The total lack of stress in our lives… But reality is that often do have a more even balance or even a balance tipped in the favor of our unhealthy habits. 


Remember, the scales can always be balanced


By taking control of our health and doing things we know we should such as change how we eat and implement an exercise plan we start to balance the scales.  By doing any act of willfully improving our health we are by necessity taking away from the unhealthy side and over time the balance shifts.  It’s not an all or nothing game and shifting the scales of health in your favor may take time but its time well spent.



Rooibos Tea: A Summer Super Drink

With the warm days of summer upon us I don’t always feel like hot tea, coffee or other beverages that sound so good on a cold, rainy day or during a snow storm.  I also recently cut way back on coffee and other caffeinated drinks for a change of pace and have been drinking lots of rooibos tea lately which got me thinking maybe I should expand on the benefits of this wonderful tea. 


Rooibos is a South African herb that is dried and made into tea.  There 2 varieties, a green and a red one.  The red has been oxidized while the green has not.  While both are packed with nutrients the green has more because of its lack of oxidation but is also more expensive and less easy to find.


As I mentioned above Rooibos tea is a nutrient powerhouse. It contains high levels of









It is also caffeine free which can make it an attractive alternative to coffee.  Its flavor is semi-sweet with a somewhat grassy twinge.  I really like the vanilla flavored variety provided you can find an organic vanilla flavoring. Here in Eau Claire, WI that means Just Local Foods, who carry a variety of organic teas. 


Rooibos tea has also been purported to have many additional health benefits including


• Reduces heart disease by providing protection through ACE inhibition

• Contains quercetin and luteolin, which are known to have cancer fighting qualities

• Is an anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-mutagenic and anti-spasmodic

• Eases nervous tension, allergies and digestive problems

• Limits uric acid production, which can help gout sufferers

• Soothes asthma and eczema

• Boosts the immune system

• Cures nagging headaches

• Fights insomnia

• Strengthens bones and teeth

• Relieves severe stomach cramps

• Eases hypertension/lowers blood pressure

• Is considered to have anti-aging properties

• Prevents DNA damage

• Suppresses fasting glucose levels

• Improves glucose uptake and insulin secretions after a meal

• Aids in liver tissue regeneration

• Acts as a bronchodilator

• Has no known side-effects

Rooibos is great iced so brew it up and throw it in the fridge for a few hours before enjoying it how you would normally enjoy any summer beverage!


Sources for this article:

The Chiropractic and Diet Connection

Chiropractic care is a natural form of healing that focuses on restoring the proper function of the nervous system.  This is accomplished through adjustments that restore proper joint movement and restoring proper muscle function.  When muscles are not overly tight and joints move properly pressure on the nerves exiting the spine is relieved and the body is able to heal itself without drugs or surgery.


Natural chiropractic care works wonders but the muscles and joints being treated are still a part of the body.  They body is subject to increased levels of inflammation which and hamper its ability heal.  Diet is the single most important aspect of reducing inflammation in the body.  The foods we choose to put in our bodies dictate whether we are increasing inflammation in our bodies or decreasing it. 


The less inflammation is present in the body the easier it is for the body to heal.  Thus chiropractic adjustments are more effective if the body has less inflammation.  The better the food choices you make the more benefits you will receive from your chiropractic treatments.

Beef Soup with Soup Bones

This recipe uses soup bones.  This is important because the slow cooking process releases collagen into the soup which adds some very healthy fat and helps give the soup a very delicate and delicious flavor.  This is essentially the “old school” way to make soup and you will be able to tell a difference from normal beef stew.   This nourishing soup is excellent for people with digestive troubles or who need an easy to digest meal that is still very high in nutrients.


1 lb beef soup bones

1 large onion

3 large carrots

16oz frozen green beans

Redmond Real Salt to taste

1 tablespoon thyme

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 bayleafs


Put soup bones, onion, carrot, beans and bay leafs in a slow cooker and fill with filtered water until the food is just submerged.  Cook on high for 5 hours.  Turn off heat. Remove soup bones from pot and separate bone from meat.  Remove excess fat and slice the meat into ½ inch cubes and return to pot.  Add remaining seasonings and stir well.