Get Happy About Hobbies!
I have a LOT of hobbies. Now, I am not saying I am good at any of them, but I enjoy them all! Having hobbies is an important part of your overall wellness. They give you the opportunity to expand your interests and expertise.
First and foremost, hobbies should be enjoyable to you. Only you have to enjoy your hobby, so find something that fits you - even if that means thinking outside the box. One of my hobbies is Cross Country Skiing. I hear so many times, “that is too hard!” Well, I enjoy it and that is all that counts.
A hobby should be also be accessible. If it takes too long to get ready to do your hobby or it’s too far away, chances are you will not do it. In the past I’ve taught Stress Management. There was a chapter on “making a house a home” which met setting it up so you can do the things you enjoy very easily.
For those you who think hobbies are a waste of time, consider this; there is research that suggests that participating in hobbies enhances critical thinking and problem solving skills.
One last suggestion, try new hobbies when you can! You never know what you are going to enjoy until you try.
Celery Juice - yay or nay?
Green drinks and juicing have been a nutrition guru’s go-to for years now. If you read nutrition blogs or browse Instagram posts then you may have seen something about celery juicing. According to the Medical Medium, “Celery is truly the savior when it comes to chronic illness.” Which is a far contrast to what most people think of as a measly veggie that provides a bit of crunch in their ranch dip. Despite that, this health kick is sweeping the nation. I can’t believe the number of patients and friends that have asked me about this newfangled-fix-all! Who is behind this celery juice that is taking over the world, what does it taste like and most importantly, does it really work?!
First let’s talk about the man behind the green glass of goodness. He calls himself the Medical Medium. The following is what his bio looks like, “Meet Anthony William, #1 New York Times best-selling author... was born with the unique ability to converse with Spirit of Compassion who provides him with extraordinarily accurate health information that’s often far ahead of its time.” That’s pretty much it…a man whose advice millions are following with absolutely zero health, nutrition, science, anatomy or physiology background. Now mind you, eating a stalk of celery everyday isn’t bad advice, but is it going to cure all your ailments?
Let’s start with how the juice is supposed to be consumed. To really reap the benefits of celery juice, the stalks should be juiced (no pulp), consumed by itself (nothing added to it at all, not even ice), and a full 16 ounces are drank on an empty stomach first thing in the morning at least 30 minutes before breakfast.
The amount of celery to use is an entire stalk (not just a single rib) which is about 8 cups, roughly chopped. Nutrition information for 8 cups of celery (pre-juiced) is 113 calories, 5.6 grams protein, 1 gram of fat, 24 grams of carbohydrate, 13 grams of fiber (40% Daily Value, DV), 2101 mg potassium (105% DV), 25 mg Vitamin C (42% DV), 0.46 mg Riboflavin (27% DV), 0.6 mg Vitamin B6 (30% DV), 178 mcg RAE of Vitamin A (~20% DV), 237 mcg Vitamin K (nearly 300% DV) and various other vitamins and minerals. The nutrition profile is for those chewing the entire 8 or so cups of celery. Whenever you juice anything you remove most, if not all, of the fiber. Listen… can you hear your gut microbes crying? ☹
In addition to the quantifiable nutrition facts, celery also contains antioxidants that help protect against oxidative damage to our cells and tissues (think vibrancy and youth). They also contain phytochemicals (or phytonutrients) which have antioxidant like properties and other beneficial effects in the human body. Both, antioxidants and phytochemicals are found in all plant foods in varying amounts.
Before writing about this topic I had to try the trend out for myself. First, let’s talk about what the juice tastes like? Honestly, it’s not the worst thing I’ve tasted, it’s much like what you’d expect celery juice to taste like; a cold, grassy juice. The vibrant green drink is beautiful too, so that adds to its’ appeal. However, I didn’t like the laborious, wasteful process. During my short stint of celery juicing I started the process the night before (as to not wake my kiddos with the hum of our blender); each night I’d wash and roughly chop my organic celery and begin to blend, then I had to remove the pulp. I didn’t like that the pulp had to be sieved through mesh and tossed out (not an issue if you have a juicer, but in either case it’s wasteful). I searched for recipes to use the pulp but found nothing appealing, so I fed it to our chickens. Lastly, and most importantly, I missed my warm cup of coffee. Don’t get me wrong I drink a fair amount of water first thing in the morning, but I want to quickly follow that with my morning coffee. For me, it just wasn’t a good fit.
Even if the process seemed too time consuming, would I be willing to do it if science suggested? Well…the research behind the craze is sparse. I searched PubMed and Medscape and looked for other reliable resources and didn’t find much. However, I did learn that celery has been used for thousands of years as a homemade remedy for various ailments such as hangovers and digestive issues, like bloating.
Whether the science backs this trend, or not, perhaps part of the benefit of celery juicing is that the follower is consuming nearly 8 cups of veggies and 16 ounces of water before they wipe the sleep out of their eyes; the average person only eats two to three servings of veggies their entire day! In addition, this amount of celery is an excellent source (greater than 20% DV) of fiber and potassium (two nutrients that are inadequately consumed in the American population).
Does celery juicing work for you? I’ve heard believers of celery juice say their skin improved, they had more consistent bowel movements and they felt less bloated. If celery juicing makes me you feel better, then keep it up! If you feel better, do you need further reassurance than that?
Your most important tool in an emergency crisis is your brain –is yours prepped?
According to a 2004 Harris Poll, 96 percent of Americans feel it is important to prepare for emergencies, but less than 20 percent describe themselves as totally prepared. It is an odd disconnect when you think about it, and makes you wonder why people don’t prepare more if they believe it is so important. Perhaps it’s because no matter how much you do prepare for emergencies, the unpredictable nature of an emergency means that you can never be 100% prepared. Therefore, many people would like to avoid the feeling of futility that comes with trying to fight randomness. But you can and should try as much as possible, especially when it comes to mental preparedness.
Emergency preparedness can help you physically if there is ever an emergency (see the newsletter for more details on the kits and materials you should invest in), but there are mental and emotional elements as well. By thinking through disaster scenarios and what you would need in each, you are training your brain ahead of time how to react in those scenarios. If you trace out an escape route in your mind you are, in a sense, practicing that route. Another example is: let’s say your stove catches on fire. If you haven’t really thought through the scenario or a house fire, your thoughts may look something like this:
“My stove is on fire, what do I do?”
“Do I have a fire extinguisher?”
“Where is my fire extinguisher?”
“Once I found my extinguisher, how do I use it?”
By this point of frantic panic, the fire may have spread and you are up a creek with no paddle. If you had prepped and mentally or physically practiced for a fire, however, these thoughts wouldn’t need to slow you down and it would be more of an instinct of “event happens-here’s how I react to it.” You’d grab the fire extinguisher from where you put it and use it quickly. The less panic in an emergency, the less damage is done. “Everybody hates the idea that we practice for emergency events. Fire drills… ugh. But it’s practice, and practice helps you understand what to do or how to react when you don’t have a lot of time,” said Jerzell Black, Operation Coordinator, CDC Office of Safety, Security, and Asset Management in his blog post. “Not only can practice save your life, but if you know how to save yourself, emergency responders on the scene can use their time and effort to save others. You’re one less person who needs saving, and that saves lives.”
You can’t think through every emergency situation (and it probably isn’t healthy to dwell on every bad situation either), but preparing yourself mentally and physically for certain emergencies can help you adapt those skills and resources for the ones you didn’t think of. “Remember, if you depend on everyone else to take care of you, you’re leaving the most important person out,” said Black, “Don’t wait to make a plan. Know yourself, know your situation, and be prepared to save your own life.”
Let 'em fly!
Are you looking for a new sport to get into? Tired of the expensive price tags on sports equipment? Disc golf may be the sport for you then! Disc golf is played on a course like regular golf, the exception is that instead of the hole, there is a pole with a basket on it. Instead of different clubs, in disc golf there are different discs that are thrown at different distances, A driver, a mid range, and a putter. Most golf clubs are in the hundreds of dollars, while disc golf, you can get a complete set for fifty dollars! Disc golf can be played alone or with any number of friends making it flexible to play. Disc golf is a great way to get outside and get some exercise while you walk the course, while being low stress on your body. If any of this interests you then disc golf may be the next summer sport for you!
Recovery recover recovery
I think we have all fallen into the cycle of thinking we can’t miss a day in the gym. Lately have have been really pushing my body to the limit mentally and physically. As I was getting stretched out by my chiropractor the other day, “yea you are really tight.” From head to toe my body was just telling me take a break.
Recovery is something that many people often times neglect. My excuse is “I just don’t have time,” but really can’t you always make time? Doing things after your workout like stretching, foam rolling and joint mobility can make huge difference in your body’s recovery process. When you don’t allow your body and muscles to recover you are doing more harm than good not only to your body but to your mentality. Sometimes the stretching and the rolling is hard to do than the strength training part of things. Stretching after weight training helps elongate the muscles to reduce fatigue and promote recovery. Stretching can also improve flexibility and mobility. This allows your joints and supporting muscles to move more freely with less tightness. Recovery can be stretching, mobility, walking, foam rolling and one of the most important of them all is rest days! So make it a point to not only work your muscles but to repair and take care of them after the fact!