Having allergies, either in the Spring or all year round can be a very uncomfortable way to live. Leveraging natural and easy at-home ways to manage or reduce your symptoms can be effective in making the Spring enjoyable, even if you have allergies. In this blog, we’ll explore the uses for various essential oils and how you can use them to finally ditch your seasonal allergy suffering to the curb.

Essential oils are made from natural ingredients, often plants that have medicinal or calming effects. You can use essential oils in a host of different ways, including, but not limited to:

  • Put them in a diffuser to release into the air
  • Placing a few drops in the bathtub or shower while bathing
  • Rub them on the skin or on the soles of your feet
  • Smelling them directly from their container

Using essential oils, specifically with a diffuser is often referred to as aromatherapy. In this way, your body is stimulated through your sense of smell and this can then in turn influence other areas in your body.

If you do choose to use oils on your skin, it is recommended to dilute them before applying them, as the concentrated oil may cause skin irritation. When used in this fashion, the oils are absorbed by the skin and immediately enter your bloodstream.

Here are three essential oils that can be used to alleviate allergy symptoms.

Lavender

Lavender is known to create a soothing sensation and is great to use during bedtime. Due to its calming qualities, it can also be great for soothing allergy symptoms and reducing inflammation during high pollen times. Recent scientific findings have shown that lavender can help to prevent the enlargement of mucous cells, which lead to running noses and watery eyes. The best way to use lavender is to put a few drops into a diffuser or to use it in a soaking bath.

Peppermint

Peppermint is also known to help eliminate inflammation and can be even more potent when mixed with lavender or lemon oils. Peppermint is great to open up your pores, especially if you suffer from nasal or chest congestion during the Spring. It is best used through a diffuser or applied (in a diluted form) directly on the skin.

Lemon

Most citrus-based oils are known to help boost energy and alertness. Lemon oil is also helpful in clearing the sinuses and dramatically reducing the common symptoms associated with seasonal allergies. Due to its potency, lemon oil is best used through a diffuser and released into the air.

The Spring does not have to be riddled with allergies. You can enjoy the great outdoors without sneezing – all by using all-natural allergy remedies and essential oils. For other at-home health tricks, be sure to check our blog often for our latest, informative articles.

Healthy Breakfast Options for Kids

Healthy Breakfast Options for Kids

With the school year starting and schedules quickly filling with homework and after-school activities, fast and healthy nutrition can easily be overlooked. However, proper food choices are key for these busy times, especially for our kids. After all, the food we put in their bodies is the fuel that powers them through the day. Do we want our kids running on sugar and processed (i.e. whole nutrient deficient) foods? Hopefully not because this kind of diet leads to energy crashes and various developmental challenges (Dr. Mercola, “Breakfast is Not So G-r-r-reat When Your Only Option is Frosted Flakes”)*. So for this weeks article we’ll discuss healthy breakfast options for kids.

One of the struggles with preparing a nourishing meal is breakfast time. What is filling and nutritious but also intriguing to the youngin’s taste buds? Here are some quick tips when focusing on such an important meal of the day:

  1. Include healthy omega-3 fats (e.g. Avocado; coconut oil/milk; seeds; organic, grass-fed meat). These fats support the brain and cellular functioning, and they keep us fuller longer.
  2. Include protein sources (e.g. organic, pasture-raised eggs; organic, grass-fed meat; chia/hemp seeds). Protein helps rebuild the body’s tissues and support the immune system and hormones.
  3. Veggies! (Any kind). Vegetables are vital for their high vitamin, mineral, and fiber contents. The goal is to have veggies at every meal!
  4. Fruits (e.g. Berries, cherries, green apples, grapefruit). Look for fruits that are low-glycemic. In other words, they do not affect insulin levels as greatly as other high sugar/carb fruits.
  5. Avoid processed grains. They have various negative effects on the body and brain, especially for growing kids!*

Quick Breakfast Recipes

  • Poached eggs with avocado; veggies; a side of berries
  • Chia seeds soaked overnight in coconut oil; top with berries, sliced raw almonds, and cinnamon
  • Green smoothie (kid-friendly!). 1 handful greens, 1 ½ c. fruit, 1 c. coconut milk, ½ avocado,
    2 tbs. chia/hemp/sunflower seeds. Blend together.
  • Leftovers from dinner

Articles for more details on Child Nutrition

by Dr. Joseph Mercola (a leading expert in the nutrition field)
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/03/29/breakfast-is-not-so-grrreat-when-your-only-option-is-frosted-flakes.aspx

PaleoMom.com- this is an article with bountiful information and resources on food for kids! http://www.thepaleomom.com/paleo-for-kids

Farmers Market

Summer is upon us, and that means fresh farm food is at its prime! Atlanta has so much to offer its residents, especially its focus on and access to myriad local famers. One need not look terribly far in this city to find a farmer’s market booming with fresh produce, homemade delicacies, and eager food-lovers seeking out the best products for their weekly meals. Here is a list of Atlanta farmers markets happenings. Wherever you look, local food is not too far away!

Atlanta Farmer’s Markets 2014

Atlanta Farmers Markets

Which Natural Health Supplements Are Best

Supplements and diets and vitamins. Which natural supplements are the best options? There are so many choices out there, so where does one begin to even look for answers? When choosing high-quality supplements, there are key characteristics to consider: manufacturing practices, care of product from start to finish, environmental awareness.

I recently returned from the Standard Process Farm in Palmyra, WI, and it was an incredible experience. Standard Process (SP) is a company that provides dietary supplements that are whole-food based and organic. We carry SP products in our Corrective Chiropractic office, so I traveled north to check out the farm and manufacturing building. Everything about the facility was impressive (cleanliness, benefits for employees and their families, sheer size of the land, and the genuine kindness of those on site), but what amazed me the most was the congruency between what the company preaches (whole-food and organic) and what it preaches; from the soil to the final product, each creation is handled with delicate and intentional care.

Now, a majority of our daily nutrients should come from a diverse, colorful, and living diet, and supplements are intended to sprinkle on those nutrients a person might be missing. That being said, choosing whole-food supplements is imperative because the body recognizes exactly what is in them: whole foods. The challenge with synthetic vitamins is that they are not surrounded by the other components of the vitamin, so the body leaches those parts from wherever else they are stored in the body.

Dr. Mercola, health care professional and best-selling author, uses the following illustration in his article “Real or Synthetic: The Truth Behind Whole Food Supplements” (2005) to explain the importance of whole-food based products:

“An automobile is a wonderfully designed complex machine that needs all of its parts to be present and in place to function properly. Wheels are certainly an important part of the whole, but you could never isolate them from the rest of the car, call them a car or expect them to function like a car. They need the engine, body and everything else.”

The human body is a complex machine that has an innate intelligence to know exactly what to do to survive, and by golly it does whatever it can to keep everything aligned internally, regardless of how we treat it. Because the part of our bodies -organs, cells, DNA- are all living and active, we need to feed them with foods that were also living and active. Dead (processed) foods just simply do not provide necessary nutrients. Therefore, when you are looking for your next round of supplements to ensure a healthy body, make sure to seek out whole-food based, organic products from a manufacturer that takes precious care of each stage in the process from the farming to the manufacturing to the final production. Your living body will appreciate the nutrients and thrive!

To read Dr. Mercola’s article in its entirety, click here

Your Turn

Which natural supplements have you used? Leave comments below!

Can Chiropractic Help Digestive Problems

Every month our office sees numerous people who suffer from some form of digestive problem. So, for today’s article, we’ll answer the patient question “Can chiropractic help digestive problems?”.

Whether it is acid reflux, bloating, constipation, irritable bowel, or some other digestive disorder, most of these problems can be resolved with chiropractic adjustments and lifestyle changes.

The nervous system controls every cell, tissue, muscle, and organ system in the body, and interference from everyday stress can disrupt this system. The nerves in the lumbar and sacral area are directly related to digestion, so when the body is under a state of stress, the nerves stay hyperactive, which negatively affects digestive processes.

The Role of Stress

For example, if someone is chasing after you, your body is under stress , so it does not expend energy digesting food. Rather, your body will use its energy on the innately driven physiological responses to keep you safe. This kind of acute situation can be easily changed by various means. However, in today’s world, many people develop chronic stress due to lack of interest in their careers, constant sitting, toxic diet, sedentary lifestyles, or negative thinking, all of which rot the spine and lead to bodily shut down.

Structural chiropractors are well trained on how to reposition the vertebrae in place, so stress is removed from the nervous system, thereby allowing the digestive system to work more efficiently. A case study done a few years ago shows a woman who suffered with IBS symptoms once or twice a week for 5 years. After her first adjustment, she noticed an ease of symptoms, and quickly all her digestive problems disappeared. At her follow-up visit 2 years later, she was still symptom free.

Chiropractic for Infants with Digestive Problems

In 2008 a study showed how chiropractic can also help with infants who have digestive disturbances. Researchers chose 3 infants who had infrequent bowel movements ranging from once a week to once every 3 – 4 days. Parents of these infants tried laxatives and other medical procedures recommended by their primary care providers to regulate their babies’ digestive tracts, but they had little success. Then, the infants began chiropractic care for anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months, and all 3 infants experienced immediate improvement and began to have bowel movements on a daily basis.

The bottom line is that when we take stress off the nerves and the nervous system, the body is able to function at its fullest potential and digest foods more easily.

Get Involved

Have you, or anyone you know, found chiropractic to help with their digestive problems?

Best Vitamin Supplements For Winter Months

Needless to say, the amount of rainfall this summer has been higher than normal, and because of this there will be a lot of repercussions. (At the office we’ve already noticed more patients coming in with cold and flu like symptoms, many have been asking us “What are the best supplements to take during the winter months?”. This is a great question! In this article we will dive into the question and offer advice on the topic.

Rain, rain go away! This seems to have been the jingle this summer as the amount of precipitation in Atlanta has been hitting record highs. In June, we had 9.57 inches of rain compared to the average of 3.95 inches, and in July, we had 8.48 inches compared to the 5.27 inches. Needless to say, the amount of rainfall this summer has been higher than normal, and because of this there will be a lot of repercussions.

Sun

Summertime is our opportunity to be outside, work out and store up vitamin D to protect us from the fall/winter months (aka flu season). Unfortunately, due to all the rain this summer, most people are deficient in vitamin D and have not been outside as much loading up vitamin D for the fall. I have a bad feeling that if people do not build up their vitamin D levels soon then this fall could be a very bad flu season. It will not be a bad season because the flu is bad, but because people’s bodies are not strong enough to fight off bacteria with suppressed immune systems.

Once September begins, people tend to drink more and cook out more with football season then, October brings Halloween, which includes massive amounts of sugar; November has thanksgiving, which is a gluten bomb to the body, and then the holidays hit us in December with emotional stress. All of this to say, the next 3 months make or break whether you give bacteria a chance to thrive and develop into the flu. Your goal should be to build a titanium immune system over the next 3 months, so you are not laid out and miserable from the flu or other problems going around this time of year.

A 2010 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed dramatic improvement on the immune system with the use of vitamin D and its effect on preventing the flu. Children who were taking 1200 IU (see back label) daily showed a 42% reduction in contracting the flu. There was no correlation to how much a person was taking a day, but the key was making sure her/his serum levels were between 50 – 70 ng/ml. The average adult would need to take 8000 IUs daily to achieve levels greater than 40 ng/ml, which is why the sun is the best and easiest way to get vitamin D, as we absorb it much faster and do not need as much time. Testing your vitamin D levels can be done through your medical doctor and would be a great action step to complete before October starts.

Choosing a vitamin brand that is whole food based is essential; taking vitamins made of synthetic or artificial materials is damaging to your health. We do not want a healthy action turning into a destructive one, so we have made the process easier for you. Come into the office this week and pick up your bottle of a whole food based source of vitamins D for only $10.

We thank you for taking the time to read our article about the best supplements for the winter months. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below or call our office at 404-382-9280.

eating-healthy-on-a-budget

When it comes to discussing nutrition with a client, one of the largest misconceptions I run across as a healthcare provider is the excuse of “eating healthy is too expensive”. This statement is purely false and I would like to show you how eating healthy can be very inexpensive.

The first issue I have when it comes to eating healthy is many people are obsessed with the word “organic”. They feel if the product says organic then it must be healthy. This is completely false and one of the reasons why eating healthy can be expensive. For example, when I go to the grocery stores I will see people with a bill of $400 but they are buying organic oreos, organic animal crackers, organic pizza, organic donuts, etc. They think that by buying these products is healthy because it says organic. Anytime you are buying processed organic food it is going to be much more expensive than the non-organic but still creates a negative impact and drops a bomb of inflammation into your body. Would you feed organic oreos, donuts, or organic pizza to your dog? Why not? If your answer was because it will get sick then think about what that garbage does to the human body. Fortunately for dogs they feel it much faster but for humans we can adapt to those toxins for longer until they build up into some chronic disease.

In order to shop healthy at the grocery store on a budget there are certain steps that must be taken first so we can rule out certain foods.

Step 1: Ingredient List Understanding

One of the areas where I feel grateful to have learned at a young age is how to read ingredient labels and determine what is bad and good.  If the food is not a fruit or vegetable then I am going to look at the ingredient list no matter what the marketing on the front says. Here are items in food that you must stay away from and rule out of your grocery list. If you have some you would like to add please comment on this post so we can work together for a healthier community.

* High fructose corn syrup
* Corn syrup
* Fructose
* Modified corn starch
* Refined wheat flour
* Soy lecithin
* Soy protein isolate
* Aspartame
* Sucralose
* Glucose
* Canola oil

 

Step 2: What To Eat Organic and Non-Organic

When it comes to the food I choose to eat organic vs non-organic I primarily stick to the dirty dozen, meat, fish, and poultry. There are many foods that do not need to be eaten organic but if cost is irrelevant to you then feel free to buy everything organic. For those where cost is important then stick to the following foods being organic no if, and, or but’s.
1) Apples
2) Kale
3) Beef (100% grassfed: USDA organic)
4) Celery
5) Peaches
6) Strawberries
7) Blueberries
8) Nectarines
9) Bell peppers
10) Grapes
11) Lettuce
12) Cherries
13) Fish
14) Chicken (Cage free)

Now that we have our list of organic foods down and what foods to avoid we can go in to the grocery store with an educated mind. Here is an example of what our shopping experience looks like with some of the food we buy and where we buy it from:

Cohen Shopping List

Trader Joes
Boneless chicken breast – Comes in a 4 pack of freeze wrapped chicken
Grassfed Beef Patties – Comes in a 4 pack and still needs to be cooked
Raw Creamy Almond Butter – Great to dip celery or apples for a cheap breakfast
Premade beets – Comes in 4 beets premade and is great to add on a salad
Arugula – Great lettuce for the salad base
Shredded brussel sprouts
Raw blue cheese – Throw this into the salad with brussel sprouts, beets, chicken, and avocado
Himalayan sea salt

Whole Foods
Apples
Bananas
Blueberries
Red bell pepper
Avocado
Kale
Coconut water
Coconut oil
Eggs

I want to give you 3 recipes of easy food to make that is very cost effective and super healthy.

Kale Avocado Salad
3 Avocado
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 Red Onion
1 Stalk Kale

Cut up all ingredients and put into a bowl and mash up together.

Paleo Pancakes
4 Eggs
1 scoop flax meal
1 ripe banana
1 scoop raw creamy almond butter (Trader Joes)
Blueberries (optional)

Put all ingredients into a bowl and stir up as this will become your batter. Heat up a pan with coconut oil. Place the batter onto it and let it cook to your liking. If you like blueberries then feel free to add into the mix.

Quinoa Bowl
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
Any veggies you want (jalapeno peppers, onions, mushrooms, squash, and zuchini)

Stir fry vegetables in pan with coconut oil. In pot put quinoa and water. Cover and wait for water to evaporate. Once the water has left the pot than throw all vegetables into a big bowl with quinoa. To season it use Bragg-Apple Cider Vinegar, olive oil, himalayan sea salt, and oregano.

Eating healthy can be easy, inexpensive, and taste great as long as you follow many of the protocols outlined above. Please feel free to share any recipes you have that are cost effective and very healthy.

nutrition-101

Food is changing!

Believe it or not but the food industry is changing fast and unfortunately what used to be called food-by-Earth is quickly becoming food-by-man.

Every day in my car either on my way to work or on my way home I pass by a plane spraying chemtrails in the sky and polluting our beautiful ecosystem.

Enough is enough! If we do not get educated on the facts about whole food based nutrition then we are setting ourselves up for failure in the long haul.

To live the D.R.E.A.M. Lifestyle it is essential that our diet is fully functional, anti-inflammatory, low glycemic, and alkaline for our bodies.

Great news! I can show you how to do this and this is what we will be discussing tomorrow night at 6:30 PM at our Nutrition Protocol workshop. If you plan on attending please reply to this e-mail with your name and how many guests you will be bringing.

I will go through the following:

* How the body uses fats, sugars, and protein for fuel.
* What the food pyramid SHOULD look like
* What tests can you take to see which foods your body is sensitive to
* Great breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes. 
* How to determine which supplements your body NEEDS
* A quick 3 day cleanse to flush out your system. 
* And much more

If you do not know what D.R.E.A.M. stands for then it is a coined term our office has put together to help you achieve your best life.

D – Diet (Anti-inflammatory, low glycemic, and alkaline)
R – Rest (8 hours uninterrupted)
E – Exercise (functional movements)
A – Alignment (Making sure your nervous system is functioning optimally through chiropractic)
M – Mental attitude (Have a clear conscious that is relaxed and constantly expanding)

Here are all of our podcasts that are free to download so you can get more information on the DREAM lifestyle.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/half-hour-to-health-dr.-austin/id549521166

maximize-health-this-summer

Summer is right around the corner and this is the best time to refresh your body and build it up for the upcoming cold months. If we look at trends most people get sick in the winter and allergies in the Spring not because of the external environment but more commonly because of how they neglect the internal environment such as:

1) Less working out

2) Decrease sunlight meaning less vitamin D

3) Eating sugary foods from all the holidays

4)More emotional stress from the holidays and end of year

5)Staying indoors more based on colder weather

Even though we should ALWAYS be caring for our bodies, Summer must be an action oriented time to rebuild our health. Here are 3 important tips to maximize your Summer and accelerate your health.

1) Eat Greens Abundantly – During the summer months many of us will be outside for barbecues, hanging out by the pool, and heading to the beach to load up on Vitamin D, which is amazing! However some of us will overdo it and this creates extreme oxidative stress to the body and more free radicals for the system. Research is now showing that by eating greens that are rich in antioxidants can reduce sunburn and help your body absorb the levels of Vitamin D properly. My favorite is kale which should be bought organic as it is on the Dirty Dozen list. My favorite recipe for the summer is: 1 kale, 3 avocados, 1 red onion, and 1 red pepper all cut up put into a bowl and mixed together. Throw some Himalayan sea salt to taste and enjoy this antioxidant rich summer salad.

2) Sweat Once A Day – One of my favorite traditions that Lululemon is bringing to the market is to “Sweat Once A Day”. Many stores challenge their employees to be an inspiration to the community and get a sweat in at least once a day through physical activity. Sweating is a powerful tool to detoxify the body especially as most people are not sweating enough during the colder months so make sure to take extra yoga classes or go for a run outside this Summer.

3) Chemical Free Sunscreen – As many of us start looking for sunscreens and sunblocks to get I strongly encourage you to look out for a toxic chemical called “parabens”. Parabens are artificial preservatives that companies put in to the sunscreens to make them last longer. This is unfortunately sad because these chemicals are cancer “contributing” and have a severe negative impact on our health. According to cancer.gov, in 2004 a research study found an excess of parabens in 18 out of 20 breast cancer tumors. Parabens are also found in deodorants and soaps so be sure to look out for the following toxic ingredients: methylparaben, butylparaben, or propylparaben. You can get nontoxic chemical sunscreen on mercola.com or vitacost.com.

favorite-recipes

As I have heard from many you the most difficult meal to put together is breakfast. Many of you say you want a quick, easy, and healthy meal yet resort to bowls of cereal and oatmeal.

I want to share with you 4 of my favorite breakfast meals so you can keep you and your family healthy. These take less than 10 minutes to make and are super cheap.

Lastly, many of your friends, family, and co-workers are not on this e-mail list and are missing out on some vital information to their health. Please invite them to our quarterly Dinner With Doc at Eclipse Di Luna on May 20th at 7:00 PM. Click here to register. 

4 Breakfast Ideas

1) Egg and Avocados

Hard boil 4 eggs (Do not overdo them. Should not have a gray ring around yolk). Place eggs and avocado in a bowl and mash up using a fork. Some people like to slice the hard boiled vertically and put yolk in a bowl with the avocado. They will then mash up the yolk and avocado and place it back in the egg to make avocado deviled eggs. When I make these for guests I like to put some cayenne pepper on top of this.

2) Beyond Organic Hot Dogs

I know this one is going to sound strange but one of my favorite breakfasts is hot dogs and onions. Don’t knock it til you try it! The beef is 100% grassfed and raised in beautiful pastures in the Ozark Mountains. They are treated humanely and are never fed a grain their entire life. The only ingredients are: beef, water, organic honey, sea salt, organic mustard, organic paprika, celery powder, organic coriander, organic garlic, and organic black pepper. They take 5 minutes to heat up on a stove top with coconut oil and make a fast, delicious breakfast. Recently, Sam has become a Certified Health Coach with Beyond Organic so talk to her about getting some hot dogs as they are currently running specials.

3) Banana/Almond Butter

An all time favorite in the Cohen household is cutting up an apple or banana and putting it together with raw creamy almond butter from Trader Joes. The key is buying organic apples and making sure the almond butter is raw and unsalted. It is rare to find raw almond butter anymore especially at the $4 price at Trader Joes. Also, apples are highly sprayed fruit so make sure to buy them organic.

4) No Granola Granola Cereal

Recently I have found this company that makes grainless granola which is AMAZING. The only ingredients are: Organic Coconut, Almonds, Prunes (unsweetened, unsulfured), Carrots,Himalayan Sea Salt. We take this and mix it with almond milk as it is a super healthy bowl of cereal. Much different than the other crap you find in grocery stores where the box is probably better for you than the “food” inside.