By: Dr. Bri Duga
Most nights, after we finally get our three kids in bed, Seth and I will relax on the couch and recount our day. Our conversation goes from the kids, to the office and, often to what important information we have learned in our study of health and wellness that we wish to share with each other. Seth and I are always working on our own personal health journey, and I feel very blessed to be able to share it with him.
One incredibly key aspect to health is nutrition. I started down the rabbit hole of food with my daughter’s gluten intolerance and my son’s auto immune disease. I have learned so much, and although modern science is catching up to what we already innately know about a whole food, natural diet, I think the sticking point exists in learning how to apply this in our modern American culture.
Hippocrates said “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” However, he forgot the foil to that statement, which is “Don’t let food be your poison,” Which it emphatically is in our culture.
The food groups that cause the most amount of inflammation in our bodies are Grains, Dairy and Sugar. Ask you average American what they had to eat yesterday, and you will inevitably get an answer that is heavy in one or all of those three groups. Why do we eat these particular foods so much? It’s simple. They are cheap, tasty, shelf stable and readily available without having to prepare it ourselves. In the excess in to which we eat grains, dairy and sugar, these foods are our poisons.
Go ahead and google Anti – inflammatory foods. You will see a list of colorful foods such as Asparagus, cabbage, lemon, sweet potato and Brussel sprouts. No where will you see bread, muffins or cakes.
Pre- biotic foods help to feed the helpful bacteria in our digestive system. Did you know that you have more bacterial cells in your body then you do human? That makes us a symbiotic organism! Your gut bacteria like to eat onions, garlic, berries and flax seeds, just to name a few.
When I end up eating something that I know is more on the poison side of the scale, boy do I feel it! It usually takes up to a day or two, but I notice that I feel cranky, lethargic, tired, have mental fog, less patience with my children, insomnia, depression and less motivation….. Does any of this sounds familiar? Do you ever feel this way? When you do, does the sound of an invigorating workout sound like fun, or like a punishment? Do you find yourself reaching for a quick fix like coffee, sugar, bread, pasta, chocolate or alcohol? If you do, I promise you, you are not alone.
By eating the right fuel for our bodies (read: real food, not processed) will you find the vitality and energy to do all the things that your life requires of you without feeling weighed down by the invisible inspiration stealer: inflammation.
I have spent years trying to find a bridge between the concept as food for fuel and food for fun. This is part of my wellness journey, and I finally have some great ideas to share. We will be hosting some cooking classes in our office during the month of May. Wednesday May 9th and May 23rd at 12:00 noon, Dr. Seth will be sharing some of his favorite Vitamix receives. On May 15th and May 29th at 12:00 noon, I will be teaching how to use the Instant Pot. All events will be held at our office at 249 Main Street, in South Berwick, Maine. If you are not currently a patient, please RSVP to 207-704-0298 so we can make sure to have enough food for all!
By Dr. Seth LaFlamme
I happen to be a huge George Carlin fan. For those of you who don’t know, his language can be quite blue, and he is known for his famous “7 Things You Can’t Say on Television” bit. After I became a chiropractor, I gained a new appreciation for his “Fear of Germs” routine. He uses very salty language and doesn’t pull any punches, so just be forewarned if you decide to YouTube it.
Even in a time where most people are aware of probiotics (beneficial bacteria that help gut and immune function), we still seem to waging an obsessive-compulsive war on germs. I love how George puts it: “…everybody’s running around scrubbing this and spraying that and overcooking their food and repeatedly washing their hands trying to avoid all contact with germs.” The mental image I get is a Woody Allen type character with a face mask and a bottle of hand sanitizer and a little travel packet of sani-wipes for doorknobs.
Could it be that we need to relax just a bit? Let’s get cozy with germs for minute.
-Bacteria are an essential part of digestion, especially Lactobacillus. They help us break down and absorb foods.
-Bacteria live in you, on you, all over you. In fact, there are ten times as many bacteria that call you home as there are your own cells. Ten times.
-These bacteria that coexist with you are an important part of your immune system, forming a sort of barrier that keeps harmful invaders out.
-The strongest form of immunity comes from exposure and beating an infection.
-There is a growing body of evidence that keeping kids too clean can harm their future health…that dirt and germs can actually protect against disease.
Look this stuff up. A simple Google search with bring up sources like the New York Times, NBC News and PubMed. I’m not just talking crazy here.
Yet, I think we’ve fallen prey to hyped up marketing efforts to sell us chocolate scented hand sanitizer, bleach cleaners of all types, wipes, swabs, sprays and more. And of course, there are the ever strengthening newer antibiotics—you know, to fight the superbugs we created by overusing the old ones. Alexander Fleming, in his Nobel prize speech for his accomplishment with penicillin predicted the very state we’re in. And it’s not just antibiotics that create stronger and stronger infectious agents, but all the “anti bacterial” chemical agents we use all the time. Sometimes we need this stuff, but not on a constant basis. Let’s talk some sense.
You just chopped up a package of grocery store bought conventional chicken. Should you wash the counter? You bet! Do you need super duper disinfectant to do it? No! Vinegar will do the trick.
You just were out gardening and got your hands dirty. You notice the year’s first ripe cherry tomato. Do you run inside, scrub your hands and wash the tomato? No! Is there bacteria on it? You can count on it, but the bacteria in dirt is good for you! Wipe your hands off and eat the darned tomato. Feel you immune muscles flexing…it feels good.
You shake hands with someone who’s obviously under the weather. While getting sick is good for you by exercising your immune system to keep it in good working order, you don’t want more than your fair share. Do you wash your hands with antibacterial soap and then douse them in sanitizer? If you want to breed the next generation of indestructible mega bugs, then go right ahead. However, washing your hands with good ol’ plain-jane soap is all that’s needed. Physical removal works just fine.
If we just calm down a little bit and put down that spray can, perhaps we’ll all have more competent well-oiled immune systems, and learn to make friends with the little one-celled beasties that have been given an overly bad rap.
There’s so much to this story that a little blog post doesn’t begin to cover it all. But I hope it makes you think, and look around. Do some digging….literally!
Here, let me get you started with the web search. Enjoy: https://www.google.com/search?biw=1211&bih=867&ei=c5S7Wq-FFYS2sAWujZigBA&q=health+benefits+of+exposure+to+germs&oq=health+benefits+of+exposure+to+germs&gs_l=psy-ab.3..33i22i29i30k1.1743755.1760556.0.17616184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.4545.26j20.47.0....0...1c.1.64.psy-ab..3.75.4620.6..0j0i131k1j0i131i46k1j46i131k1j35i39k1j0i67k1j0i20i263k1j0i22i30k1j0i10k1.101.jx1a2dtFAn4
Great Works Chiropractic (GWC) is now offering a unique experience to the community- the opportunity to relax, reboot, and strengthen their busy brain with a Brain Spa. Brain Spa is a powerfully effective mind development tool designed to help users overcome the ill effects of the fight-or-flight response while achieving physical, mental and emotional balance. The Brain Spa headsets utilize sound frequencies and light synchronization to help guide users to the perfect state of balance between the left and right brain. Over 1000 doctors across the world use this technology with their patients.
Brain Spa utilizes four of the five senses – sight, sound, smell, and touch – to bring users into the most relaxed and stress-free state of mind currently possible. The soothing atmosphere and brain-balancing experience are specifically designed to neurologically complement the chiropractic care patients receive at GWC.
“Today, people spend thousands of dollars enhancing their bodies, but do little to improve the quality of their thoughts,” says Dr. Seth LaFlamme, owner of Great Works Chiropractic. “The truth is, we can accomplish far more by managing brainwave activity and mentally rehearsing the positive, productive and healthy lifestyle we all want. The majority of users report stress relief, healthier sleep patterns, improved memory, improved learning ability and concentration, a sense of calm, increased focus, and increased physical energy.”
With the headset over closed eyes, and headphones over the ears, users are immersed in a perfect mixture of light and sound frequencies. Eyes will be treated to a beautiful light show while users listen to specially designed music, part of the guided Brain Spa process. There are over 700 programs to choose from to help change habits and behaviors including smoking, over-eating, insomnia, and sports success.
For more information about whether the Brain Spa process could work for you, contact Great Works Chiropractic at 207-704-0298. GWC is located at 248 Main Street, South Berwick, Maine. www.greatworkschiro.com
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South Berwick, Berwick, North Berwick , Eliot, Rollinsford, Dover, York and Somersworth.
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