Tips for Parents Of Picky Eaters

Does this sound familiar: “when I go to the grocery store, I know there are five hundred kinds of vegetables and fruit, but I buy the same three all the time.” About one third of parents say their child is a picky eater and, in many cases, it’s nothing to worry about.  The behavior is one of the few ways children can exert an influence on their parents and caregivers and that’s through eating or not eating. It’s a natural stage of developing some independence. But there are some things parents can do. Introducing a variety of foods in the toddler ages are crucial because it is such a short window of time. When children get older, it’s hard to accept new flavors. Parents also need to keep in mind that kids are more tuned in to their satiety cues than adults. Also, a child’s appetite will fluctuate at various stages. We are so used to seeing our portion sizes, that as adults we forget that kids have a smaller tummy and they don’t need as much food.

That means don’t bribe them into eating that extra bite by promising a cookie. When approaching mealtime, we recommend a division of responsibilities. Parents decide what, when, and where to eat and children decide whether to eat and how much. It can help to involve a child in preparing meals, but don’t cook them a separate meal. One family meal, no short order cooking.  If you’re concerned with your child’s growth, be sure to consult your physician. Seek their advice to make sure your child is getting the nutrients they need and to rule out any underlying medical conditions that may be contributing to a change in growth.  And unless your health care provider gives you specific instruction otherwise, rely on healthy food options instead of supplements!

For more information on healthy tips, be sure to sign up to for our newsletter.  Interested in speaking with us, contact us to schedule a consultation!

Is Sitting Around Really Bad For You?

Is sitting around really bad for you?

Couple on sofa with TV remote

With all the craziness going on outside in today’s world, you might be tempted to snuggle down into the safety of your sofa and simply avoid all the bad stuff out there. But is sitting around more dangerous than you think? It’s a sad fact of life that everything we do – including the things we decide not to do – has consequences. And there’s mounting evidence that prolonged periods of physical inactivity are not good for us.

In 2011, researchers examined a large group of subjects and found that sedentary behavior – sitting around in other words – was associated with a whole host of undesirable effects. These included increased waist circumference, elevated cholesterol, and blood-sugar levels, and early markers for heart disease. “Big deal,” you might say, “tell me something I don’t know!”

Well how about this: these trends were independent of the subjects’ exercise levels. In other words, even following a regular exercise routine may not counter the effects of excessive sitting. A bummer in more ways than one! So what’s the solution?

What’s The Solution?

The answer may be a simple as taking a stand – quite literally. Recent studies have identified a number of positive effects associated with intermittent breaks in sedentary activity. For instance, it seems that simply standing for a few minutes every half an hour or so may reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease by stimulating your metabolism. And while regular cardio sessions are important, low to medium levels of physical activities such as walking or doing household chores have also been associated with similar health benefits.

There are plenty of obvious risks we need to navigate around each day. But there is increasing evidence that our year-round habit of sitting on our backsides may be a risky proposition than we’d ever thought. So don’t forget to stretch your legs!  Need more health tips or a regimented routine?  Visit Discover Thornton Colorado Chiropractors or give us a call for a consultation.

eating-healthy

7 Tips to Make Eating Healthy Easier

It seems that people in general want to eat healthy, but they just don’t have enough time.  Sometimes we associate eating healthy with being expensive and we would like to dispel that thought.  Sure you can probably get a Big Mac or a burrito for less than you would buying groceries or items to prepare a meal.  However, if you plan and shop properly, it can be both convenient and affordable for you in the long run.  So here are 1o tips that will make eating healthy easier for you!

  1. Batch Meals. Make more than you need so you have leftovers.  You can freeze them or plan to eat them throughout the upcoming days.
  2. Make the same stuff over and over.  You don’t have to be a culinary chef or even start looking up special recipes.  Just make the same few things that you know you like to eat. This makes shopping a lot easier and you spend less time stressing about what you will need to get at the store. Now when making the same stuff over and over again, you can switch it up.  If you follow step one and batch your foods, you can mix and match your pre-planned meals! Maybe come up with a dozen things you like to prepare to eat and go from there.
  3. Drink your green.  Yes, drink your vegetables.  If you don’t have a blender, I would consider picking up one as it is going to make preparation a lot faster.  Don’t worry about a fancy high cost blender.  Really any blender will do; just drink your greens.
  4. You don’t have to LOVE everything you eat. You don’t have to like everything and you don’t have to always eat healthy. So just go easy on yourself. The important thing to remember is that you are trying and making an effort.  We all have our days where we aren’t feeling like eating a salad.  So don’t beat yourself up.
  5. Eat what you don’t have to count. What I mean by that is, eating things like quinoa and green vegetables in abundance really isn’t going to hurt your caloric intake.  It’s not like making sure you only eat one cupcake or counting how many calories are in a soda.  Start picking up healthy habits so you don’t have to focus on how many calories each food item has.That’s the stuff you want to eat.
  6. Shape the path.  Make it easy for you to stay on the path to eating healthy.  Get rid of the junk food in your house and keep it stocked with healthy snacks, which leads to tip number 7.
  7. Healthy snacks.  Get or make quick and easy healthy snacks.  The reason why most of us eat junk food is because it is already “processed” and packaged up for our convenience.  If you like dips, perhaps get hummus or a queso dip that you have on hand when hunger strikes.

Remember, stay positive and stay focused.  If you are trying to lose weight, maybe switch your thinking to “trying to gain health.”  Thinking of it in a positive light gives us a better attitude about doing something.  With eating healthy, the pounds will shed and you will have accomplished your goals and also given your body something to thank you for.  If you are having a hard time getting back on track and need some guidance with health and wellness, contact Thornton Colorado Chiropractors.  We are happy to help you out!

constructing healthy plate

Constructing a Healthy Plate

A healthy meal begins with assembling a healthy plate. And before you bring anything to that plate, it might be worthwhile to buy a set of smaller dinner plates cups and glasses. Interestingly, many hardware stores sell these very inexpensively, but they’re harder to find in fancy kitchen stores. Mostly because small plates have gone out of style. One of the reasons we like to obsess about nutrients, and the industry likes us to obsess about nutrients, is a way of distracting us from the quantities of food.

We are eating more. Thus, this supersizing has made plate sizes bigger. Soda sizes are bigger and the portions have been doubled. The bigger the portion, the more you will eat! So, size matters when it comes to your plate. But once you’ve found a reasonably sized plate, the first step in constructing the meal should be deciding what is my vegetable component of this meal going to be? We tend to start by thinking about the protein when we’re planning a meal. If we can think of the vegetables as the feature then the entire meal will likely end up being healthier.

The plate itself should consist of about one half plant based food, ideally with a mix of different colored vegetables. Different colored vegetables contain different micro nutrients. So, eating a variety of them maximizes our nutrient coverage. In general, eating a variety of foods is also beneficial because it minimizes the chances of getting sick from potential contaminants in any one food. The remaining one half of the plate should be equally divided into whole grains and lean protein rich foods. These foods can come from animal sources or from plant sources, but again variety is good. Eating chicken every night of the week is almost certainly not the best way to stay healthy or excited about your next meal.  Next comes thirst.

Most of the time the best drink to quench thirst and keep us hydrated and healthy is plain, clean water. The human body is made up of more than 50% water so don’t forget to replace it during mealtime. Drinking water before each meal may even be helpful for weight management. The variations are endless. But getting into the habit of creating a healthy plate, sitting down for mealtimes, and taking time to enjoy our meals are priceless.

For more healthy tips, be sure to sign up for our newsletter.  Interested in speaking with us directly, give us a call to schedule a consultation!

headaches

Headaches: Before You Reach for Medication…

Do you suffer from headaches? If so, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that up to 50% of people deal with headaches each year. While an occasional headache is nothing more than a nuisance, when they become chronic, you can experience challenges at home and at work and you might even experience depression. The good news is, it may be easier than you think to find relief from your headache pain. Keep reading…

Why it Matters:

Medications, especially opioids, are not recommended for most headaches. These drugs should be avoided because of their addictive qualities and, ironically, their headache inducing side-effects! That doesn’t mean your only option is to grin and bear the pain. Here’s a few alternative, evidence-based treatment options you can use to reduce the frequency of your headaches naturally.

  • Drink water. Dehydration is a common cause of tension and migraine headaches. Drinking a tall glass of water has been shown to start relieving symptoms within 30 minutes!
  • Rest. Researchers have found a strong correlation between lack of sleep and an uptick in the frequency and severity of headaches.
  • Get adjusted. Muscle spasms in your neck and shoulders are a major contributing factor to tension headaches. Chiropractic adjustments can help decrease this tension.

Next Steps:

Hunching over computers, phones, and tablets can place a tremendous amount of stress and strain on the muscles supporting your head and neck. Over time, this can lead to an increase in those dreaded tension headaches. Luckily, our practice has helped many people just like you overcome their headache struggles naturally. Reducing your muscle tension, improving your range of motion, and helping you maintain a more balanced posture are all part of what we do every day. If you or someone you know is looking for a natural pain relief alternative to help get rid of their headaches, share this research with them and contact Thornton Chiropractor to schedule a consultation!

 

Science Source(s):

Drug Interaction and Serotonin Toxicity with Opioid Use: Another Reason to Avoid Opioids in Headache and Migraine Treatment. Current Pain and Headache Reports 2016

Opioids in headache. Headache 2014

18 Remedies to Get Rid of Headaches Naturally. Healthline 2018

sleep-thornton

Get Better Sleep This Spring

Spring is a time of growth and progress, but it is also a time for seasonal joint pain. Changes in temperature, humidity, and air pressure can affect your joints and cause you to feel pain, especially if you have prior injuries or arthritis. Plus, overlooked minor injuries from the winter ski season can quickly lead to chronic pain. Sleep is a necessity for injury recovery, pain management, and overall health, but it can be hard to rest if you have the wrong sleeping environment. Here are some ways to fall asleep faster this spring in order to better manage your pain:

Control the Humidity

Humidity rises slightly in springtime, especially with increased seasonal rainfall. A more humid environment makes it feel warmer than it actually is and can affect your ability to self-regulate your temperature at night. Managing your home’s humidity to about 30-50% can help prevent night sweats, congestion, and worsening of allergies. This can be accomplished with an air conditioner or a dehumidifier.

Take Control of Your Allergies and Asthma

Allergies can make it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep. Itchy eyes, sneezing, and trouble breathing are all symptoms that can prevent you from getting the rest that you need. Seasonal allergies and asthma can both be made worse by pollen in the air this spring. If you suffer from these conditions, discuss how to best manage your symptoms with your doctor, and consider chiropractic care for asthma. In addition to medication and treatment, reducing exposure to pollen and other allergens can drastically reduce symptoms and help your home feel more comfortable. Avoid opening your bedroom windows on high pollen days; you can check the pollen forecast on most weather websites. Keeping your home clean will also make a big impact on your symptoms, and therefore, your sleep. Taking a shower after coming inside, using an air purifier, and changing your clothes before sitting or lying in bed can all make a difference. Allergens will accumulate on soft surfaces in your bedroom, so use a pillow that you can wash and vacuum surfaces that you can’t, such as couch cushions.

Get a Massage

Massage therapy is a great way to relax, reduce pain, and decrease stress. Many people report that they get more restful sleep after getting a massage. The benefits are both physical and psychological. Whether it is once in a while or as part of a larger treatment plan, consider finding a massage therapist to help bring you into spring the right way and help you get a better night’s sleep.

Give your body the rest it needs this spring by setting up an ideal sleeping environment and managing chronic pain. Don’t ignore injuries from winter – get ahead of your pain and enjoy the season of wellness. Contact Thornton Chiropractors to schedule an appointment today!

Three Stretches For Headache Relief-pec-stretch

Three Stretches For Headache Relief

If you are experiencing headaches, there are three stretches for headache relief that you can do right now to help reduce some of your headache symptoms. Headaches can be caused by a lot of different things. The headaches that we commonly treat in the office are cervicogenic headaches, tension headaches, and sometimes migraines.

Stretch The Levator Scapulae Muscle

three-stretches-for-headache-relief-neck-muscle-diagramThe first stretch for headache relief focuses on your levator scap muscles. The levator scap muscle starts on your neck, and runs down past your neck into the top of your shoulder blade. So it can get really tight.  When there is tension in the muscle, it will pull on your neck, sending pain up in behind your eye, and give you headaches this way. So if you’re experiencing headaches in this way, this is a good stretch for you.

You can stretch the muscle sitting or standing, but what you’re going to do is rotate your head 45 degrees to the left. Place your left hand behind your head and gently pull it at an angle toward your knee. Stretch the muscle in this manner for 5 to 10 seconds. Stop the movement when you feel a slight sting in the right side of your neck. Next, relax the muscle for 5 to 10 seconds and switch sides.

The Pectoral Stretch

Three Stretches For Headache Relief-pec-stretchThe next stretch you can do to help reduce headache symptoms, or headache tension is going to be a pec stretch. Often times when we evaluate people, and they have headaches from the neck, or from tension in the muscles, they’ve got head forward posture. Forward posture is when your slouching a little and your head comes forward.  With this type of posture, your pectoral muscles get tight so if the chest is loosened up, you are able to stand up straighter.

In order to do this stretch, you will need to stand in a doorway with your arms at a 90 degree angle on both sides. With one foot in front of the other, lean in and hold for 15 seconds.  Try to keep your spine in a nice neutral position.  Keeping your arms at 90 degrees, you can bring your elbows lower or higher to stretch different areas of your pectoral muscles.

The Cervical Spine Stretch

three-stretches-neck-spine-diagramThe Cervical Spine stretch is really helpful for those that suffer from headaches due to car accidents, or headaches due to bad posture.  The cervical spine should be a nice C shape.  When it is straight or there is a loss of curvature, there are usually headaches associated with it.  One of the ways you can help increase the curve, or take the pressure off your spine, is by stretching.

For this stretch, you will need a towel.  You will begin by rolling the towel up and laying on a hard surface (your floor), with the towel under your neck. Make sure that the roll is high enough so that the back of your head doesn’t touch the ground. This allows gravity to stretch the anterior longitudinal ligament, and your posterior longitudinal ligament. They’re the ligaments that run down the front and the back of your spine. This helps to reshape that natural curve of your neck. So it puts that natural C shape back in your neck.

To intensify the stretch across your chest and tired shoulder muscles, spread your arms to the sides, with your hands above your head.  This is also a great stretch for chest muscles. However, nerves and blood vessels in your shoulders might become impinged by tight chest muscles, causing your hands or fingers to tingle or go numb. If this occurs, simply lower your arm angle slightly.

As we stretch out that spine, and decrease some of that tension on there, it really starts to feel good on those tension or cervicogenic headaches. With that exercise, start at 10 minutes and try to do it for a week.  Then add two minutes every week if you can for improvements.

While these three stretches are great for you to do on your own, contact your chiropractor for a more permanent solution.  If you don’t have a chiropractor, contact Thornton Colorado Chiropractors to receive our New Patient Special!

healthy thinking in thornton

Healthy Thinking-How Thoughts & Emotions Influence Health

There was an interesting study conducted at UCLA in the early 1990s where 14 professional actors were recruited to study the effects of emotion on the immune system. During the study, the actors were told which mood state they would be experiencing.

Emotions Can Stimulate or Suppress Immune Function

They then read the appropriate scenario, which was about 100 words long, and were told to create and experience a realistic mood by developing the scene and verbally and behaviorally acting it out while seated. Actors were encouraged to use their own personal memories to intensify the experience. Once the actors were in a particular emotional state, the researchers drew blood to measure any physical changes that may be associated with particular emotional states. What they found surprised everyone. Simply by shifting from one emotional state to another, the actors could stimulate or suppress their immune function. Subsequent studies have measured all kinds of physical changes that result from emotional states, such as changes in hormone levels, brain chemistry, blood sugar levels, even the ability to heal properly. In fact, the mind-body connection is so strong that an entire field of science has emerged called psychoneuroimmunology.

Thoughts & Emotions Influence Health

More and more scientific studies are published on a daily basis proving the idea that thoughts and emotions have a powerful influence over our physical health. This is one of the reasons why people are much more likely to get sick during job changes, holidays and other stressful times; or why people who are depressed have a much higher risk of developing cancer. How can emotions affect our immunity or resistance to disease? Research shows that the brain can release hormones and other chemicals that affect white blood cells and other parts of the immune system. Though the chemicals also have other functions, they are a link between our thoughts and our ability to resist diseases. For example, when people react to stresses with fear, their brains send a “danger” message to the body. Hormones are released to raise blood pressure and prepare muscles for quick action, as if to fight or flee from danger. The stress hormones also depress the disease-resistance system, and over time, can damage the brain, heart and digestive tract. Thoughts can cause physical abnormalities such as ulcers, indigestion, nervousness and high blood pressure. Thoughts can also depress the immune system, which leads to a wide variety of diseases. Whether a person experiences poor health, and how soon, depends on that person’s heredity, environment, diet and behavior.

Grief Can Cause Illness

An Australian study in the late 1970s showed that when one spouse dies, the other experiences a weakened immune system. This helps explain why grieving spouses have more diseases and a higher death rate than others of similar age. Other studies have shown that heart patients who are depressed have more heart problems than happier heart patients; depression was a better predictor of problems than physical measurements were.

How Emotions Affect Cancer

Cancer is more common in people who suffer a major emotional loss, repress anger and feel helpless. Cancer patients who express their emotions rather than denying them seem to recover more often. The link between emotion and cancer is so strong that some psychological tests are better predictors of cancer than physical exams are. This does not mean that everyone who has cancer or some other disease has simply thought it upon himself. There are many factors involved in disease; even the best attitude is not going to prevent ill effects from genetic malfunctions and some chemical and biological hazards. A new study shows physical proof how one of those aspects – a strong and happy marriage – can be a boon to your health. According to the study, physical wounds take much longer to heal in marriages marred by hostility and conflict than those in which couples build a more pleasurable home life.

How To Find A Good Chiropractor

Do They Offer A Full Exam?

In order to find a good chiropractor, there are some questions you need to ask.  First and foremost, do they do a full exam?  Meaning, do they do orthopedic, nuerological, and a full exam?  Every chiropractic office is a little bit different, but those are the most important things to look for because you don’t want someone guessing on your health.

Is The Practice Fast And Efficient?

Secondly, you want to find a practice that is fast and efficient.  Can they get you in and out rather quickly?  If you are hurting, you don’t want to wait a week until you are able to get some pain relief.  Look for an office that is efficient, friendly, and doesn’t seem overworked.

What Do The Online Reviews Say?

You likely will not be able to tell if they run an efficient chiropractic office without actually getting in the door.  So take a look at their online reviews.  What are the patients saying about the practice.  You can also call the chiropractors office and speak to the staff directly.  Meaning you aren’t getting automated messages or have to leave a message and wait for a return phone call during normal business hours.  If the staff has time to speak with you and are friendly, generally that means the office runs efficiently and the staff and patients aren’t stressed over time issues.

You may want to ask how quickly you are able to get in to see a chiropractor.  Do they take same day appointments for emergency situations.  When scheduling an appointment, ask how long the process takes.  You should be able to get in, get a proper exam, and adjustment all in one appointment and it should only take several minutes from start to finish.

Now if you have specific questions regarding your chiropractic care or chiropractic in general, you will want to find a chiropractor that has no problems answering such questions and is willing to take the time to sit down to speak with you to go over your concerns.

A good chiropractor is like a good friend – always there to pick you up when you need a hand. Call (303) 280-2202 today or schedule a new patient appointment and learn why chiropractic medicine is your key to feeling better.

lose-weight-thornton

Can Chiropractic Help You Lose Weight?

Let’s be honest, there isn’t an easy way to lose weight. Any person or establishment claiming it can provide easy weight loss isn’t telling the truth, unless we’re talking lipo. If you want to lose weight, you will have to make changes to your daily routine and swap out unhealthy habits for healthy ones! One great habit to pick up in order to improve overall health, and therefore have a greater chance of success when trying to lose weight, is seeing a chiropractor on a regular basis. Many studies have revealed there are overall health benefits people receive from chiropractic care.

While chiropractors won’t promise an instant cure-all for any health issues, there is evidence to back up the claim that chiropractic treatments and adjustments, when combined with other healthy lifestyle habits, can help a person achieve their weight loss goals.

Chiropractic Adjustments can Impact Weight

The main reason why so many people don’t succeed in losing weight is because they get fixated on the idea that they only need to do one thing.  They decide they need to go on a diet, or go see a specialist, or start running to lose weight. Inevitably, they don’t see results, and end up quitting altogether in discouragement. It needs to be understood that living a healthy, well-rounded lifestyle is the best way to go about losing weight, in addition to improving your overall quality of life in general.

Chiropractic care aims to treat the body on a holistic level. meaning its goal is to not only provide immediate relief from issues such as back pain, but to help the body heal and manage itself from the inside out, so it’s less likely to face other health issues such as weight gain.

What Happens In A Session

During a treatment session, the chiropractor will examine the spinal column for any misalignments. Misalignments can interfere with the central nervous system, which can hinder communication between the body and the brain. As a result, many functions in the body may begin to decline, including the metabolic system and the body’s ability to burn fat. When adjustments are performed using manual manipulation techniques, the spine is brought back into its proper alignment and this vital communication can be restored.

If you’re ready to take your health into your own hands and see how chiropractic care can help you, contact Dr. Phillip Wygonski, your Thornton Chiropractor.  We’ll help you out!