Nutrition Class Series in Oregon!

A kick ass 4 week series is starting February 4th! This series will run every Wednesday in the month of February on Wednesday evenings from 6:30-8:30. 

Located in Cottage Grove, Oregon! If you are interested in hosting this series at your business or in your community in Oregon…hit me up! See the contact page for email & #

Class #1…..The Roots!  Feb 4th:  In this foundations class we will be talking REAL nutrition. We will dive into the physiology & science of real food nutrition in an easy to comprehend & then put into practice kind of way. We’ll cover the what, why, how much & what kinds of carbs, proteins & fats, as well as the role of the all-important blood sugar balancing act that is vital for ALL! We will also debunk some food & nutrition myths so we have a solid base for the rest of this series & our lives!

Class #2….The Trunk!   Feb 11th:  The trunk is our core. It is where all things stem from. The essence of our health lies here. It is the digestive system & the brain! We will dive into the importance of digestive system health & how to obtain it as well as the crucial gut-brain connection. That buzz word…the “microbiome” will also be hashed out. Many ‘ah ha’ moments!

Class #3….The Burl!  Feb 18th:  A burl forms in a tree in response to some kind of stress. Humans become ‘inflamed’ from a variety of everyday ‘stressors’. We will discuss the importance as well as the detriments of inflammation…as it often is the true cause of most all dis-ease. We will talk gluten, grains, & autoimmunity, as well as heart & joint health.

Class #4….The Branches!  Feb 25th:  In order to branch out, to grow, to flower and flourish…we need to fine tune our inner workings. We need solid ENERGY!! We will dive further into adrenal & thyroid function & the health of our hormones in general. What drives us? What gives us lasting vital energy so we can thrive & not just survive!

Cost: $100 for the 4 week series or $30 drop in

                                 tree6

Goals and Resolutions…Why They May Fail and What To Do About It….

 

 

i'm not telling oyu....Tis the season when we all start to think about making that damn resolution.  Sometimes it feels good to set a goal, to commit to something, to challenge yourself and other times we do it begrudgingly or with a sense of dread or even fear.

As a New Year approaches, I challenge you NOW to start thinking about how you can do better in your personal life.  Create goals for yourself….These are resolutions in a sense.  Write it down.  Commit to it.  But in order to do so you need to think about what that entails….how is this potential change going to impact my life?  What changes do I need to make in my life to reach these goals? What are the potential or very real obstacles in my way, seen and unforeseen??  What am I going to do if I start teetering on the edge? What supports do I have in place??  How am I going to Master this new ‘practice’??

While you are thinking along those lines, I wanted to take a minute to share my personal summary of an important blurb from a great book (Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long Term Fulfillment).  Important stuff to read now before you try to tackle a new goal and start to slip away from it or find yourself putting up “fire walls” to it……

When you create a new goal, a new resolution or a plan for change in your life, you resolve to yourself to reach those goals.  You resolve to make a change for the better in your life.  You tell your friends and family about it, you put it in writing. You actually make the change, it works and it feels good! Your happy about it, your friends and family are happy about it.  Your life is better! Then you backslide.

Why?! Are you some kind of slob with no will power??!!  No, not necessarily.  Backsliding is a universal experience.  Everyone of us resists significant change, no matter whether it’s for the worst or for the better.  Our body, brain and behavior have a built-in tendency to stay the same within rather narrow limits, and to snap back when changed – and normally it is a very good thing.

Just think about it:  if your body temperature moved up or down by 10%, you’d be in big trouble.  The same thing applies to your blood sugar level and any number of other functions of your body.  This condition of equilibrium, this resistance to change is called homeostasis. It applies to all self regulating systems from a bacterium to a frog to a human to a family to an organization to an entire culture…and it applies to psychological states and behavior as well as physical functioning.

The problem is homeostasis works to keep things as they are even if they are not good.  Let’s say, for instance, that for the past 20 years – ever since high school in fact – you’ve been almost entirely sedentary.  Now most of your friends are working out, and you figure since you can’t beat the fitness revolution, you’ll join it.  Buying the tights and the running shoes is fun and so isn’t your first steps on the high school track near your house.  Then about a third of the way around the first lap, something terrible happens…maybe your suddenly sick to your stomach, maybe your dizzy, maybe a strange panicky feeling starts to overcome you.  You feel like your going to die!  The particular sensations your feeling aren’t necessarily significant in themselves.  What your really getting is a homeostatic alarm signal…bells clanging, lights flashing.  Warning, warning, warning! Changes in respiration, heart rate, metabolism..whatever your doing stop!

Homeostasis, remember, doesn’t distinguish between what you would call change for the better or change for the worse.  It resists ALL change.  After 20 years without exercise, your body regards a sedentary style of life as “normal”; the beginning of a change for the better is interpreted as a threat.  So you walk back to your car, looking around in hopes no one saw you, and resolve to join some other revolution.

This can happen with any significant change, whether it is physiological in nature or psychological or social in nature.  Take the case of a family of five.  The father happens to be an alcoholic who goes on a binge every 6-8 weeks.  During the time he is drinking, and for several days afterwards, the family is in an uproar. It’s nothing new. These periodic uproars, have in fact become the normal state of things.  Then for one reason or anther, the father stops drinking.  You’d think that everyone in the family would be happy –  and they are, for awhile.  But homeostasis has a strange and sneaky way of striking back.  There’s a pretty good chance that within a few months, some other family memeber, (say a teenage son) will do something (say start dealing drugs) to create just the type of uproar the father’s binges triggered. Without wise professional counseling, the members may not realize that the son, unknowingly, has simply taken the father’s place to keep the family system in the condition that has become stable and “normal”.  In order to survive, we want “stability”.

Still change does occur, individuals change, families change, organizations and entire cultures change.  Homeostats are “reset”, even though the process may cause a certain amount of anxiety, pain and upset.  Just as your body will change, your cravings will change, your metabolism will change.  The questions are: How do you deal with homeostasis? How do you make changes for the better easier?  How do you make it last?

How can you??…….

do epic shitUltimately you have to decide if you really do want to spend the time and effort it takes to get on and stay on the path.  If you do, and if you want to “DO EPIC SHIT”… here are a few guidelines that might help.

1:  Be aware of the way homeostasis works:  This might be the most important guideline of all.  Expect resistance and backlash.  Realize that when the alarm bells start ringing, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are sick, or crazy or lazy or that you made a bad decision embarking onthis journey. In fact, you might take these signals as an indication that change is indeed happening – just what you wanted!  Of course it might be that you have started something that is not right for you, only you can decide.  But in any case, don’t panic and give up at the first sign of trouble.

2: Be willing to negotiate with your resistance to change: So what should you do when you run into resistance, when the red lights flash and the alarm bell rings? Well you don’t back off and you don’t bull your way through either.  Negotiation is the ticket to sucessful long-term change in everything from increasing your running speed or your push up rep to transforming your organization. The fine art of playing the edge in some cases involves a willingness to take one step back for every two forward, sometimes vice versa.  It also demands a determination to keep pushing, but not without awareness.  Simply turning off your awareness to the warning deprives you of guidance and risks damaging the system. Simply pushing your way through despite the warning signals increases the possibility of backsliding.  (think over pushing yourself and your abilities at bootcamp causing injury causing you to miss your next few workouts).

3:  Develop a support system:  You can do it alone, but it helps a great deal to have other people with whom you can share the joys and perils of the change your making.  The best support system would involve people that are going through or have gone through a similar process, people who can tell there own stories and listen to yours, people who will brace up when you start to backslide and who will encourage you along when you don’t.

4: Follow a regular practice:  It is after all a practice, which involves regular time and effort to master.  People embarking on any type of change can gain stability and comfort through practicing some worthwhile activity on a more regular basis.  Practice is a habit, and any regular practice provides a sort of underlying homeostasis, a stable base during the instability of change.

5:  Dedicate yourself to lifelong learning:  We tend to forget that learning is much more than book learning.  To learn is to grow and change, or rather adapt.  Eduction, whether it involves a book, body or behavior, is a process that changes the learner.  It doesn’t have to end at college graduation or at age 40 or 60 or 80, and the best learning of all involves learning how to learn – that is, to change.

6Commit to Making This Your Best F-ing Year!!

best fing year

What Would a Beast Eat?!

September 13th 7pm-8:30pm. $15

Next nutrition class at The Confluence is centered around eating to fuel yourself for that upcoming obstacle race, namely the Spartan Beast in Killington, VT on Sept 22-23rd…..

Are you going to the Spartan Beast?? Or are you participating in an upcoming endurance race? Want to be as prepared as you can be for that race? After all you did pay good money for this race, you might as well give it your all! These races are long and grueling and lots of people risk ‘bonking’, ‘hitting the wall’ or ‘cramping up’ becasue they haven’t prepared as best they can with proper fuel. What kind of food you choose for fuel WILL make or break your expereince and how well or not you do. This class will cover what to eat the week leading up to the Beast or another similar race, what to eat the night before and the morning of. We will also be discussing important electrolyte requirements to help you avoid cramping up. In addition we will go over, what foods etc to eat mid race to keep you in the game! There are plenty of other considerations we can discuss as well, like what are you going to wear, the best shoes and socks, etc.

So come join Megan on Sept 13th from 7pm-8:30pm and get out there and be the Beast that you know you are! Be in touch for more info etc…. megewroot@yahoo.com

This is the first class in the Upcoming Fall Nutrition Series so stay tuned!

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“Whole Paleo”

As I mentioned in the last post, the topic of the next few blogs will be regarding the concept of “Paleo” and what that means as well as what that may look like. Before diving into the Paleo Diet…the hot topic these days (even though we are talking about something this is thousands of years old!!), I feel very compelled to share with you a highly respected individual’s (and one of Skye’s collegues) write up on this Paleo paradigm. Frank Forencich takes a look at the importance of viewing paleo as not just a diet or a fad etc but rather a lifestyle. He also gives eloquent credence to the importance of getting ‘paleo’ right and what that could mean for our entire society…exciting stuff!! “Going paleo” does not just all of sudden mean changing your diet to eat more meat and no grains but rather to embrace more of the paleolithic way of being in every aspect of life. It included living or rather re-living it fully….That includes moving in a more paleo manner….similar to the way Skye of Mocean365 teaches or the way Erwan Le Corre of MovNat teaches, that also includes spending plenty of time living and breathing outside in our natural world/playground.

Getting back to your roots! This is where living “Roots Wise” comes into play….taking a look at how you live, how you interact, how you move and of course how you eat. So please read through Frank’s “State of the Meme”, gain a bit of insight or a new perspective and then we will move forward into the Paleo Diet and Primal Moving in the next few posts…..

The State of the Meme by Frank Forencich

“The beginning is the most important part of the work.”

Plato

Paleo is smoking hot these days, hot enough to roast a hindquarter of antelope to a mouth-watering golden brown. All the hippest fitness people (the “hip-fit”) are talking about our ancestral origins. They’re reading and writing books, going to conferences, sharing ideas and speculating about the future.

The enthusiasm is well-placed. Paleo holds immense promise for reshaping the trajectory of health, medicine, fitness and human welfare in general. The big-box health and fitness industry is doing its best to ignore this trend, but there can be no putting human biology or evolution back in the bottle. Ancestry has the potential to touch everything in our modern lives, from health and medicine to business, education and social organization.

But what exactly is “Paleo” anyway? Depending on who you talk to, Paleo might be a period in human history, a philosophy for living or a way to maximize one’s athletic performance. It might be a “caveman” lifestyle or a diet of meat and vegetables. Paleo may be all these things, but there’s one description that we need to add to the list, one that hasn’t gotten the attention that it deserves. That is, “Paleo” is a meme.

what’s in a meme?

A meme is simply a unit of culture that replicates, with variation across space and time. The word was first made popular by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 bestseller,

The Selfish Gene. The basic idea is that memes behave like genes. They make copies of themselves and spread out into the cultural environment. And like genes, they mutate, spinning off variations that may or may not survive in the wild. Some memes replicate in astonishing numbers and remain viable for years or even centuries, while others quickly perish.

Once we understand the nature of memes, we get a sense of how best to introduce them into the wild. That is, if you’re out to create a powerful and sustainable meme that will change the world, that meme must have clarity and appeal. If people don’t understand what it is, it won’t replicate with fidelity. If it’s vague, it will quickly splinter off into a range of styles and sub-specialties. If it’s poorly defined or not credible, it will disappear from the cultural radar and go extinct.

With a highly successful Ancestral Health Symposium now on the books, we have a golden opportunity to shape the future of the Paleo meme. If we create a coherent, clear and compelling message, we can shape the conversation around health, medicine and fitness in the 21st century. This idea–that our bodies have a history and that we can improve our health by behaving in ways consistent with that history–has the potential to completely transform the way we live. But if we get it wrong, things will take an entirely different course. If we craft a meme that is fragmented, inaccurate, boring or irrelevant, it will fall by the wayside and perish.

As it stands, we’re already seeing some distinct variations on the Paleo meme:

academic paleo

The original version comes to us from university lecture halls, laboratories and the fossil beds of East Africa. This is the labor-intensive, hard-won, scientific version of human prehistory. The advantage of this meme is that it’s highly credible and probably accurate in most respects. Unfortunately, it’s damn hard work. To really get to a complete picture of human history at this level, we’ve got to be fluent in paleontology, evolution, molecular biology and a host of related sub-disciplines. We need the authority of this meme, but it’s almost a full-time job in its own right.

cartoon paleo

At the other end of the sophistication spectrum we find “cartoon Paleo.” In this variation, slackers are content to go forth with the caveman image and are not inclined to ask deeper questions. For many, “Meet the Flintstones” is all the explanation they need. This meme is quick to propagate because its easy to comprehend, never mind the fact that it’s completely inaccurate and profoundly misleading. Fortunately, the Flintstones meme is starting to crumble under a mountain of hard evidence.

romantic paleo

Also known as “New Age Paleo,” this meme views human prehistory as a time of perfect physical health and spiritual connection with nature and the cosmos at large. In this utopia, there was no hardship, no disease, no anxiety and no unhappiness. This vision, of course, is nonsense. In actual fact, life in the Paleo would have been a mixed bag of pleasure and pain; we can be certain that many individuals suffered excruciating injuries, predator attacks, sunstroke, hypothermia, starvation, snakebites and poisoning by toxic plants. Human health was robust in prehistory, but life was not a free ride.

athletic paleo

This is the “Born to Run” variant in which athletes, usually runners, cite and embrace evidence that supports their favorite athletic pastime, usually running. There’s lots of cherry picking going on at this level, leaving us with the impression that the Paleo was little more than a grassland version of the Ironman or an ultra. In this meme, there’s so much talk about athletic performance that proponents become blind to other dimensions of paleo living. What about tracking, gathering or natural history? What about social living and tribal cohesion?

macho paleo

Closely related is macho-Paleo, fueled by testosterone. In this predominately male fantasy, human prehistory was all about getting together with your mates, killing animals and having an outdoor barbeque. This meme dovetails nicely with popular chest-thumping boasts such as “Your workout is our warmup.” (Crossfit) “What off-season?” (Nike) and “My best vacation is your worst nightmare.” (Mountain climbers) This meme has more to do with primate dominance behavior than it does with the actual nature of human history.

dietary paleo

Then there are those who focus on the dietary dimensions of Paleo life. These pundits attack grains and vegetarian diets with great authority, but sadly, they never get much past the digestive tract. The problem with this variation is that it’s a fragment of a much larger story. And because it’s a fragment, it tends to get pigeon-holed with every other diet meme out there. In the Barnes and Noble system, “The Paleo Diet” winds up alongside every “Five Minute Diet Guide for Getting Skinny.” This brings Paleo down to the level of pop health where it looses its meaning and its power.

whole paleo

As we can see, all the current Paleo memes have limitations. Most are fragments, some are caricatures. Few of them deliver the whole scope and potential of what the Paleo has to offer. My proposal is that we craft a “whole Paleo” meme, one that’s comprehensive and true to the authentic Paleo experience as it was lived, on the ground, by the people at the time. Of course, we can’t interview such people directly, but we can refer back to early work done by anthropologists who lived with and studied native cultures and indigenous peoples. While not strictly “Paleo,” (as in “old stone age”) these people and their accounts are the closest thing we have to a genuinely Paleo world view.

What does this inquiry reveal? In short, a holistic view of experience, one that includes far more than just the body, the digestive tract, weight loss and athletic performance. Rather, this view weaves mind-body-spirit-land-tribe-ancestry into a single, massively interconnected orientation. In primitive cultures across the globe, from Australia to Africa to the Americas, these interconnected elements are cited with astonishing regularity. In fact, primal peoples find our Westernized focus on single elements to be not just curious, but completely out of balance, even bizarre. In many cases, they are right.

The beauty of the holistic-primal orientation is that it’s both descriptive and prescriptive. It tells us about the comprehensive world view of our ancestors, but it also suggests a sophisticated, sane way forward in a modern world run amok. Specifically, it encourages us to study, not just the characteristics of individual elements in isolation, but the relationships between elements. And in this sense, it’s all about rapport: with our bodies, with each other, with our habitat and our work.

“Wholeness” is a meme too, of course, one that’s appearing with greater frequency in just about every dimension of modern human experience. Not only are we beginning to appreciate the importance of eating whole foods, we also understand the “whole body” approach to functional fitness training. Similarly, the case for wholeness is now being made in disciplines as diverse as psychology, engineering, urban planning, politics, education, corporate management and criminal justice.

And so, this “whole Paleo” meme has immense promise. Not only is it balanced, comprehensive and historically accurate, it keeps our attention moving across a broader range of possibility. It allows for detail, but it also keeps us from getting stuck in isolated specialties and sub-specialties. It inspires us to work creatively and systemically, building relationships that create a more complete and thriving experience. Most importantly, “whole Paleo” unifies the three most important activist movements on the planet today: environmentalism, public health and social justice (including economics). By focusing on the intersection of mind-body-spirit-land-tribe-ancestry, we turn the past into a powerful force for a saner future.

So, let’s launch this “whole Paleo” meme into the wild and encourage its propagation. Let’s talk about diets, athletic performance and medical issues, but let’s keep our attention moving over our entire habitat and experience. Let’s keep our meme historically accurate, relevant and emotionally appealing. Let’s keep it clear, coherent and compelling.

If we tell this story in the right way, it’s going to change everything.

copyright 2011 exuberant animal http://www.exuberantanimal.com

In Search of the Perfect Human Diet….

This week, starting on Friday evening, the Catamount Arts Center in St Johnsbury, VT will begin showing the movie “In Search of the Perfect Human Diet“.  I am stoked to see this movie as I have been hearing about it as it’s been in the works for quite some time and features some of my favorite nutrition authors, who include folks like Gary Taubes and Micheal Eades, amoungst others.  And I am stoked to share this with others!!

Soooo…on Sunday the 5th at 7:30 we will be heading to the Catamount Arts Center in St Johnsbury for date night!

Come join us in checking the movie out!

For the next week, I will blog about topics that are covered like the paleo diet, primal eating, transitioning to eating this way, why elements of paleo eating and living might work for you and how it is also about a lifestyle and not just a way of eating. 

Check out the trailer for the movie and come join us!!

Food As Fuel….Performance Nutrition Class at the Confluence on June 21st!

On June 21st from 5:30 pm to 8 pm, I will be teaching a class all about nutrition for the mover and shaker.  It will be held at The Confluence in Berlin, VT…read on….

Do you want to take your athletic conditioning and performance to the next level?  Are you looking to prepare your body nutritionally for that next race or competition but are lost as to how to go about that?  Are you confused with all the information out there telling you what to eat and when to eat it, to get you to that next level?  Are you a die hard crossfitter, a marathoner, or you want to be one, a biker, an obstacle racer, weekend warrior or an everyday mover and shaker looking to gain the most from your workouts, your training and your everyday movement sessions?

Then join us in the FitPark, our outdoor classroom, for a class that will answer those questions & more. Physical activity, athletic performance & recovery from exercise are enhanced by optimal nutrition.  We’ll discuss the foundations & the specifics of athletic & performance nutrition, appropriate selection of foods & fluids, timing of intake & supplement choices for optimal health, exercise performance and recovery.

Some topics that will be covered include:

  • The Protein Low Down
  • Healthy Fats for Fuel
  • How and When to Use Carbs to your Benefit
  • Supplements of all sorts…from protein powders to omegas, to superfoods to MRP’s
  • Alkaline vs Acid
  • The Key Vitamins and Minerals for Optimal Performance
  • Electrolytes and Recovery Foods
  • Pre-race prep, mid race fuel and post race replenishment
  • And we will attempt to debunk some of the myths that abound!
  • You will also leave with a sample of the Roots Wise Recovery Blend

Call or email Megan at 603-674-7249 or megewroot@yahoo.com to pre-register or with any questions.  The cost of the class is $35

Our Ever Important Joints!

Why are we focusing on joints this week??  Because we have over 200 of them in our incredible bodies!  Because along with our skeleton, connective tissue and muscles, our joints give us form, hold us together and allow us to move….and our body was designed to move!  Also, because we all have them, we all use them and we all torment them in one way or another throughout our lives.  Since I am a big advocate of movement for life, how can we not discuss what allows our bodies to move?!

So, whether or not you have “joint issues” now or not, read through because with age, comes many changes and what you do now greatly effects what happens later and there is sooo much to be said for nourishing and protecting our joints now!  There is so much to be said and I only touched upon a small portion to get us thinking about our joints more.

I love doing classes on joint health because I feel we are never too young to regain some of that strength, reduce some of that inflammation, and allow our bodies to move more freely and easily.  As a health care practitioner, I see too many people stopping doing what they love in life because of joint issues, whether it is pain, swelling or stiffness.  As a nurse, I see so many needless surgeries being performed for a quick fix and I hear doctors acknowledging that they are often performing needless joint surgeries, but do so because they do not believe that their patient will change their movement and dietary lifestyle to help themselves.  I would love to see this post help at least one person become pain free, avoid an injury or be more able to move freely by making the right chooses.

Throughout life we use and often abuse our joints; we bend, pull, twist, push, jump, run, and swim with our joints.  There is a great tendency for us to break them down, often unnecessarily, too early in life, be it through wear and tear, lack of wear and tear, the way we move, the foods we choose or don’t choose, poor posture, injury or trauma, or by allowing too much weight to settle onto them.

The health of our joints is not just determined by the way we use them.  Joint health is also determined by what is going on in the internal environment that surrounds them.    This internal environment is affected very much so by our diet, lifestyle, and immune system, amongst other things….and these are areas that we have choices in making the right decisions to support them as much as possible.

So this post will address what foods, herbs, supplements, home remedies and moves positively affect our joints.  The mission here is to help give you the tools and a bit of knowledge so that you can get back to or continue to do the things you love in life, so much of which revolves around how our bodies move.    I am a huge advocate in this mission because I feel it makes for a better society as a whole when people are ABLE BODIED!


INFLAMMATION:

Normal joint health begins with a healthy inflammatory response.  Joint Health is a complex issue but we all recognize one simple truth and that is …..It is indisputable that a healthy inflammation response is required to maintain normal joint health.  The body’s natural inflammatory response affects every major organ system.  Suddenly, supporting a healthy inflammatory response takes on whole new meaning.

Prolonged inflammation, caused by a self-destructive lifestyle, is a harmful response that affects your musculoskeletal system, gastrointestinal function, cardiovascular system, vision, and hormone balance. It’s crucial to control inflammation but it’s even smarter to prevent inflammation (In fact, I am a firm believer that inflammation is at the root of essentially all chronic issues/diseases).  You can do this through daily movement, stress management, avoidance of certain foods and addition of certain other foods.  As we age, cartilage is lost, and this process predisposes the bones that make up the joints to change.  In an attempt to address the change, immune cells mount a cellular response that involves inflammation. The inflammation response function in the joints results from the activation of inflammatory enzymes.  Numerous other factors can trigger these enzymes, including normal aging, oxidative free radicals, poor movements over and over again and being overweight.

Arthritis literally means: inflammation of the joint.  ‘Arthos’ in greek = joint and ‘itis’ = inflammation.  We can picture arthritis as swelling, redness, heat and pain caused by tissue injury or joint dis-ease. Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis and is also know as degenerative joint disease…..it mainly effects the cartilage of the joint, which is the tissue that cushions the end of the bones in the joint area and acts as a shock absorber.  OA occurs when this cartilage in inflamed and begins to fray, wear away and decay…sometimes completely…from a variety of reasons…nutrition and how we move are the two main factors in joint health.  Contrary to popular belief, we are now seeing the research and results that show that cartilage (like bone) can actually repair itself (it has been believed for years that it could not)..but repair itself only to a point.  It is far more important to prevent this breakdown than try to rebuild after the breakdown.

Reduce overall stress in your life….It’s pretty clear that the body deals with stressors rather indiscriminately, and a high stress lifestyle (no matter the source) is also an inflammatory one.

So another important aspect of nourishing, protecting and/or repairing our joints, and alleviating discomfort is what we feed ourselves and thus our joints.  We need to build or rebuild a solid foundation from which the surrounding tissues and blood vessels can rely on.  This includes strengthening our connective tissue which supports the joint, strengthening the existing cartilage, reducing inflammation in our bodies and providing the joint with a “clean” work environment to do this…free of waste accumulation…when a joint is stagnant waste loves to settle there causing even more degradation of the good stuff.

DIET:
An extremely important part of life let alone any treatment program is a well balanced diet.  A well balanced diet combined with proper movement and weight control is crucial to maintain the health of our joints.  Our joints like the rest of our bodies require proper nutrition to function well.  Excess waste accumulation in the synovial fluid of our joints is believed to be a main contributor to joint dis-ease and arthritis.  Excess waste can come from fried foods, excess caffeine, alcohol, smoking, processed foods, preservatives etc…we all know the culprits.  Certain foods, like excess wheat and soy, can lead to inflammation in the body which will also directly effect the joints.  Also, food allergies and sensitivities can be a major contributor…do you have joint pain that may not be associated with any structural breakdown (yet)?  Do you eat alot of wheat, dairy, corn or soy for example and have digestive issues as well as joint issues?  This may be an allergy or sensitivity to one of these foods, but yet you continue to eat them without realizing it and these “foreign” molecules put our immune system on attack mode and create an inflammatory repsonse.  Don’t ignore your body.
Foods to Avoid for Overall Joint Health (and health in general!):
  • Processed Junk
  • Artificial this and that
  • Wheat (gluten intolerance is often connected to arthritis and since it is in almost everything, more of us may be a touch intolerant thatn we think)
  • Potatoes
  • Excess grains…stick to quinoa, millet, and barley
  • Excess Omega 6 Oils…so skip the corn, vegetable, soy, and canola oils…use butter, olive oil and coconut oil instead
  • Excess caffeine
  • Excess alcohol

Foods to Eat In Abundance:  Food rich in anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidants, vitamin c, vitamin E, and Omega 3:

  • Berries, cherries, plums, red grapes, citrus fruits, black currants, guava, strawberries, kiwi, cantaloupe, peaches, pineapple
  • Allium Family: garlic, onions, leeks
  • Cruciferous Family:  broccoli, cauliflower, red cabbage, brussel sprouts
  • Leafy Greens:  kale, spinach, swiss chard
  • Sweet red peppers, tomatoes, sweet potatoes
  • Wild Fish:  rich in omega 3 fatty acids for inflammation: salmon, sardines, raw oysters, trout, herring, mackerel….
  • Cold pressed oils esp olive oil, flaxseed oil, fish oil, eggs, sunflower seeds, walnuts, brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, and hazelnuts
  • Turmeric: we will discuss more under the herb section, but start sprinkling it on your foods
  • Green Tea (over other caffeine sources)
A word on the Nightshade Family: this family includes some great veggies and spices that many of us love but also ones that some of us are sensitive to.  These inlcude: eggplant, potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, tomatillos, paprika, cayenne pepper, etc.  They have been associated with inflammation, esp in the joints.  Nightshades,, in those with sensitivities to them have been associated with symptoms like stomach discomfort, digestive problems, joint pain and muscle tremors.  Given the evidence, it is wise for those with arthritis or gout to avoid these foods.
HERBS:
There are many incredible herbs that could be discussed here but I will just focus on a few and the ones I see the most benefit from…hit me up with any questions regarding others and specifics about these herbs, the best form and their dosing.
The main properties of herbs we are looking for include:
  • Anti-inflammatory: to calm overall systemic inflammation for reasons mentioned above, to provide symptom relief and decrease swelling for healing to begin
  • Alterative: Improves overall health by helping to support natural waste elimination… one of it’s many tricks esp useful for this purpose
  • Circulatory stimulants: stimulates blood circulation, increasing blood flow to muscles and joints, bringing nutrients in and taking away waste…best to use peripheral stimulants here.
  • Mild diuretics: to eliminate the wastes out of the body that the blood has picked up

Some of the beneficial ‘joint health’ herbs I use:

  • Aloe: anti-inflammatory in nature and also contains vit E, C and some important B’s; helps to restore connective tissue and thus improve joint function.  Internally and topically.
  • Alfalfa: improves digestion for proper nutrient absorption and also contains about 8 active enzymes as well as calcium, vitamin K, magnesium and phosphorus.
  • Cat’s claw (Una de Gato): a historic specific for all issues related to joints, arthritis and overall rheumatism. Anti-inflammatory and a digestive aid to increase the absorption of important nutrients so they can get to the joints.
  • Horsetail and Oatstraw: nutrient rich herbs in particular in silica which is an important mineral for regenerating connective tissue and will enhance collagen and elastin growth…which leads to stronger supports structures.  These minerals are important foundation materials for bone growth as well.
  • Ginger, Prickly Ash & Rosemary: peripheral circulatory stimulants…to move the junk out and bring the goods in!
  • Meadowsweet and White Willow: pain relief and anti-inflammatory
  • Turmeric:  vital herb for it’s anti-inflammatory properties.  Also antioxidant rich and with mild circulatory stimulating properties
  • Yucca:  has been shown to help with joint dis-ease through the digestive system…shown to decrease bacterial endotoxin absorption and thus reduce the inhibition of cartilage synthesis by these endotoxins.
  • Cayenne: topically: (as capsicum or capsaicin): when applied to the skin it stimulates blood flow to that area and blocks certain nerve fibers that transmit a message of pain.
  • Nettles: internally for it’s nutrient rich properties and also externally:  the infamous nettle swat:  take fresh nettles and ‘swat’ on your joints and let the sting do it’s magic!
New Chapter Vitamin company makes an excellent anti-inflammatory blend that works great with joint issues….called Zyflamend.  Check it out here:  Zyflamend
SUPPLEMENTS:
  • Glucosamine: a nutrient found and made naturally in the body that is used in the formation and ‘repair’ of cartilage.  During normal use, connective tissue goes through a cycle of constant breakdown and repair creating a continuous demand for glucosamine.  As we age, or beat up our joints, our cartilage loses this nutrient at an increased rate as it is trying to constantly repair…which leads to thinning of the cartialge and thus pain/stiffness/swelling.  Supplementation with Glucosamine is based on the theory you are providing more of the building blocks for growth and repair.
  • Chondroitin: many questions surround the efficacy of chondroitin yet many people who take chondroitin report a difference though that is when it is taken along with glucosamine. It is beleived to work by inhibiting certain ‘cartilage chewing’ enzymes, interfering with the metabolism of other enzymes that will starve the cartilage of vital fluid and stimulates production of variuous nutrients for the joint.
  • MSM: works in rebuilding connective tissue with ‘elastic’ sulfur bonds to inrease flexibility.  sulfur is thought to be a vital building block of joints and cartilage and is used in the inhibition of pain impulses along nerve fibers.  I have seen it help when just glucosamine isn’t quite cutting it.
  • Bromelain: a protein digestive enzyme used to help reduce inflammation in the body and treat pain and swelling….found in pineapples!
  • New Chapter’s Zyflamend Supplement (see above)

Make your own Glucosamine!!  Check out this video and learn how:

MOVEMENT:  Soooo important!!!

Can’t even begin to say enough here!

It is so vital to properly warm up, dynamically, before any movement session to start the lubrication process of our joints.  Synovial fluid feeds and bathes our joints in nutrients.  Often our joints are starved of vital fluid and thus nutrients from inactivity (ya know that feeling when you’ve been sitting awhile and you hurt when you get up…your joints are dry).
Movement increases flexibility, provides muscle strength and endurance so you can do more of the things you love to do…not to mention in helps with weight reduction which will help take excess pressure off of your joints.  Mix up your movement sessions though…chronic cardio, chronic weight bearing moves, chronic anything can increase systemic inflammation….so mix it up!
Go barefoot:. Wearing padded shoes disrupts your natural stride, and going barefoot allows valuable proprioreceptive input so you can intuitively adjust your landing to reduce stress on joints.
Move Dynamically: Check out this video Skye put together awhile back for a some dynamic warm up moves and a joint specific session to get you lubricated and to get that nutrient rich synovial fluid pumping to bathe your joints in goodness!
 
Bottom line…be kind to your joints so you can keep moving and doing the things you love in life!!

Smoothies!

This week is all about recipes and fuel ideas/thoughts….so we are on to Smoothies!  What better way to get in a power packed, energy giving, healthy meal or snack?!  Smoothie’s can be a great answer to obtaining optimum balanced nutrition throughout the day.  In the right combination they can give you all the necessary macronutrients (carbs, fats and protein) as well as many essential micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, essential plant compounds).

They are quick & easy to whip up & are super beneficial post workout when you need to refuel, or as a nutrient rich start to the day or midafternoon to help you avoid choosing nutrient empty/calorie rich snacks.  These are a go to for us often, especially because they are extremely multi purpose!  You want a protein packed smoothie, a super greens smoothie, want to get your daily quota of fruit in, need a post workout boost, want to go for the super alkaline smoothie, want something sweet??  So many options here!  So I’ll briefly break down what I feel are the key components to a smoothie then head over to the smoothie recipe page for some great ideas…Recipe Page!  Recipe topics include general goodness, superfoods, raw, and post workout smoothies.  THEN start getting creative on your own with recipes and share them with me…I’ll post them for ya!

1:  Liquid

Start off with 1-2 cups of your liquid and adjust depending on how thick oor thin you like it.  The best liquid options in my mind include:

  • Almond milk
  • Coconut Milk
  • Brewed herbal tea (or chai etc)
  • Grapefruit juice..the only juice I recommend, better than most sugary juices out there
  • Mocean Mate
  • Organic raw milk (I’m not usually an advocate of any other type of milk)
  • Water….but why not make it power packed and go with one of the above

2: Fruits and Vegetables:

  • Experiment here!
  • Look for fruits that are in season…but if you live in VT in the winter when not much is in season….shoot for temperate region fruits like berries, apples, pears, cherries, a banana on occassion, vs pineapple, mango, papaya etc. Mainly b/c the temperate region fruits have less overall sugars in them, more fiber and often the sugars react more forgiving internally than tropical region fruits.  Or at least try to buy those yummy tropical fruits when they are in season in their country of origin.  Food choices do indeed have an environmental impact as well!
  • Yes you can put kale or spinach etc in a smoothie….you may have some floaters but you’ll eventually get over it!  And if you don’t have a juicer but have always wanted to “juice” veggies..go ahead and throw them in!

3: Optionals (that to us have become essentials)

  • Yogurt (plain is best, greek is great…more protein, yogurt will act as a thickener too)
  • Powders of all sorts (protein, supergreens, fiber etc)
  • Seeds (hemp, flax, chia etc)
  • Nut butters…peanut, almond, cashew etc…
  • Herbs and spices….cinnamon for blood sugar balance, cayenne for a little metabolism boost, chia spices or fresh vanilla for yumminess…
  • Ice…I never put ice in, usually b/c i don’t have it on hand but also b/c I don’t like my drinks too cold, and often frozen berries cover this area.

Misc to Remember:

  • Any time you have fruit on the fringe…throw it in the freezer for your smoothies
  • Add liquid first, it helps the blender do it’s job easier
  • If you add psyllium or the like or even chia seeds…don’t let it sit too long before drinking if your not a fan of a congealed glob sliding down your throat! (sounds like good times eh?!)

Click Here for Recipe Page

Roots Wise Wellness!

A New Year is upon us and I have challenged myself as well as each and every one of you to make it the Best F-ing Year possible… for you but also for all of those around you!

Optimal nutrition and wellness is crucial to having the Best F-ing Year and a healthy lifestyle combined with physical fitness, can help you live a life full of vitality and adventure!  Roots Wise goal is just that….to offer you a guideline on how to get there and what that looks like in your own life.  Whole body wellness makes for a happier and more energized you, so you can spread that to those around you and help create a better society in the meantime!  Roots Wise Wellness Consultations cover whole body health… that includes nutritional health but also emotional, environmental, social and creative health as well.  I believe physical movement is also a major key in this quest for total health and therefore work with Skye of Mocean365 to help you achieve greater health through movement as well!  Check out his site at:  www.mocean365.com

Roots Wise and Mocean365 together offer package plans available for you combining movement with nutrition and wellness counseling that are custom to you and as always, sliding scale pricing is available for all levels of income.  We would rather you take us on than be held back my money!

The Daily Practice will now be found here, as well as at The Mocean Project.  The Daily Practice is just that…about what we want and need to practice each day to create a life full of passion, learning, adventure and inspiration. We all have things we need to get better at or want to get better at… so I will be posting something new and exciting to think about each week for the Daily Practice along with a weekly blog about health, nutrition, food, herbs or whatever I diving into!

Feel free to hit the “follow” button on the home page to receive updates via email whenever I post something here.

So, are You Ready To Make A Healthy Change in Your Life??!!  The time is now!!  It’s About Living a Healthy and Fun Filled Life So You Can Do What You Love!!  Take a class, make an appt for a Nutrition & Wellness Consultation, MOVE and drink Mocean Mate!

Let’s all ‘Live ROOTSWISE!’  Ge back to your natural roots of eating well, feeling great and moving with energy!  Roots Wise Nutrition and Wellness Consultations can help you get there!  Offering 3 different levels of consultations to suit everyone’s needs. So whether you want me to simply review where you are at currently and offer ways to improve upon that or you want me to follow your eating and daily habits for an extended period of time to ensure the greatest results.  The consultations include a variety of offerings including  nutrition education, measurements, food journaling and reviews, supplement education and discounts, personalized meal plans, and more.  Check out the rest of the site for more info and be in touch!