All posts by Sara Stefan

Magnesium and Micro-nutrients

Emily Heil CPT, BS Health Promotion and Wellness

I used to just dismiss vitamins and minerals. I was one of those people who thought you just needed to exercise, eat right, and have your mind right. Now those may be all good things, but we don’t think a lot about the other things that we need as well such as our micro-nutrients.

When people think about food, we usually think of the breakdown of carbs, fats, and proteins. And although those are a big part of what food is, food is more than just that. It contains so many more vital things that your body needs.

Now believe me when I say I used to just glance at a food and say, “oh yeah, that has 25% of my daily value of (insert vitamin or mineral here), so that’s good!” But I never really used to make sure I was getting enough of it. More recently I have learned that when you give your body the micro-nutrients that it needs, it can not only help you increase positive things happening physiologically, but it can also help you to OPTIMIZE your life.

Let’s take magnesium for example. 80% of people around the world are deficient in magnesium. Did you know that? I was experiencing some neurological issues, so I wanted to see what I could eat or supplement with that would help me. – And it just so happened to turn out I was one of the 80% deficient in Magnesium (go figure). I thought I was doing everything right! So I started taking a magnesium supplement. Do you know what happened? I became focused. I lost my brain fog and a whole host of other things happened to me. But Magnesium isn’t just for brain health.

It helps as an antioxidant and combats against oxidative stress ( this is any type of stress you put on your body) anything from working out, to things that you eat that your body doesn’t like, to stressors that are in your everyday life. And when you get rid of that oxidative stress your body can work more like a well-oiled machine and less like a rusty 1920’s car that hasn’t been taken care of.

Magnesium helps to boost immunity and defend against cancer. Now if you don’t think that you want to boost your immunity that sounds crazy to me, but to each their own. Doing that right now is such a vital thing for your body (along with taking your vitamin D, but you know that).

This special micro-nutrient helps you also to improve thyroid function and increase fertility (yes, in both men and women). Your thyroid helps your body with a whole laundry list of things from your metabolism to your heart beat, your temperature, and just basic things that are important. On the fertility topic, this is especially important if you are of child-baring years and want to eventually have a baby. Create the healthiest body you can for your child, promote a strong and healthy microbiome by introducing all of the right nutrients.

These are only a few things that magnesium helps with… and yeah, you can take it in a supplement form, which is great if that is what you want to do. But the BEST way to get nutrients is through food. It can be hard because of all of the pesticides that we use on our food nowadays, we don’t find it in the soil much, therefore the plants don’t “soak it up” per se. But If you are looking for the best way to get magnesium in foods, here are a list of foods that you can find it in.

Magnesium rich foods:

Spinach, edamame, potato with the skin, salmon, halibut, and okra just to name a few.

I understand if you look at this list and you are saying to yourself “what in the world is okra?” I dare you to try it. Find something new and try it! You might just like it. And if you don’t well then there are plenty of other sources of magnesium in other foods. Find different recipes and different ways to spice up your foods. Dry rubs and spices are my favorite!

So here is your call to action. Start paying attention to what goes in your body. I don’t mean just counting calories. Check your multivitamin and what sources these vitamins and minerals are coming from. We have an incredible multivitamin through Orthomolecular right in our office that you can ask us about any time. Get your nutrients in and watch yourself have more energy, feel happier, and enjoy life more. It is amazing how much different you can feel when your body is not being starved of the nutrients that it so badly needs. Check in with yourself and pay attention to what your body is saying. If you love your body right, it will love you back.

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5 Tips to Achieving your Health Goals

Emily Heil CPT, B.S. Health Promotion and Wellness

Sometimes it feels like we go round and round, trying to find a solution to the health goals that we have. It can feel like we take one step forward and three big steps back. But when you understand what you need to achieve your goals, it gives you power (knowledge = power). If you are trying to lose weight, gain weight, have a happy relationship with your food, have food freedom, lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, feel happier, have more energy, or just trying to improve your overall quality of life… let me tell you: it is possible. So let me share with you some tips to achieve these health goals.

1 Believe in yourself.

I always tell my clients that if your mind isn’t right first, everything else in your life won’t be right either. So where is your mind today? Are you having thought distortions? AKA: telling yourself something that is not true, such as, “I can’t have more energy during the day when I have all of life’s stressors and the kids calling for my attention” … YES. YOU. CAN. Telling yourself these negative thoughts over and over will subject your subconscious brain to literally look for the negative in life and will in general make your outlook more negative. Why is that? You are training your brain that it is ‘acceptable’ and even ‘normal’ to have negative thoughts. It’s not; we are meant to live fulfilling lives that are productive, positive, and energetic. You can live a beautiful life and do not have to be subject to the negative thoughts that run rampant in your mind. I dare you to turn those “I cant’s” into “I MOST CERTAINLY CAN”.  The first step to success in anything is believing that you can do it. Because whether you believe you can, or believe you can’t, you’re right. Bring about a new mindset to your life because you deserve it.

2 Find your “why”

What it means to find your “why”: Why do you want to achieve the goals that you are setting out to achieve? Let’s say you are trying to lose weight. You might say the reason behind that is to make life easier. Ok, now ask yourself, “why would this make life easier”. Because you can then chase your kids around and play with them. Okay, great. Now ask yourself, “why do I want to chase my kids around and play with them?” and your answer might be so that you can show your kids your love for them. That right there is your ultimate why. You want to lose weight so that you can show your kids love. Now, isn’t that more meaningful to you and internally motivating than just “oh life will be easier”?

3 Get in touch with the right resources for you

There are plenty of local and online resources for you to find. If you are having a hard time with always thinking about food and the psychology behind food and food addictions and behaviors, Noom is a great resource that gives you some very logical and science backed research as to why people behave the way they do and how to change your habits one by one and achieve a better mindset with food. This helps you to develop a much healthier relationship with your food choices. If you are looking for nutrition counseling, personal training, bootcamps, and a great supportive community to help you achieve fitness goals, Forever Fit is a fitness studio here in Plover, WI with some great things to offer. If you are looking to optimize your overall health and realign your spine, Infinity Wellness and Chiropractic offers the best chiropractic services in town (not that we are bias or anything). Kali Clark with Sweet spot nutrition is in our office as well. She is our close friend and nutrition coach that definitely would never steer you wrong. If you want to quit smoking, there are plenty of active coalitions in the Portage area as well. No matter what you are doing, there ARE resources for you – you just need to find what works for you. Keep trying because your health is worth it.

4 Find support and accountability

Finding support and accountability is one of the key factors to helping with achieving any type of goals. I know that when anyone (including myself) sets out to change a habit, it is uncomfortable. It sucks sometimes. And it is hard and not easy to change. When those hard times hit, and you slip up (because you will) you need to have someone who has your back. Someone that you can turn to. And someone who can tell you what you need to hear- whether it is tough love, or “it’s okay you’re trying your best and tomorrow is a new day”. Personally, I would take the latter of the two- but that is just me. You do what is best for YOU. Not what everyone thinks you should be doing. Whether this person is your mom, dad, significant other, or just a group you joined on Facebook. You are now being held accountable to them and they will be there to support you.

5 Have a plan

If you fail to plan, you can most certainly plan to fail . Don’t get caught up in the end that you can’t see the steps along the way. Make sure you believe in yourself all the way through, recite your “why” to yourself every day if you have to. Find a resource that can provide you with the support and plan that you need. And recruit your family and friends. They will most likely support your new healthy habits and be proud of you for making your life a little better one day at a time.

If you need help or resources or would just like to chat about achieving optimal health or fitness levels, please feel free to talk with Emily or Dr. Sara in the office. They would be happy to make conversation with you over the adjustment table or in any of the traction units. Plus- who doesn’t love free advice from a couple of professionals?

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Traditions worth repeating

By Dr. Sara Stefan, DC, CCWP, fCBP

June is Dairy Month. June mean mosquitos and might be what you think of as the start of summer. June probably conjures up a lot of ideas and musing for you. To me, June is my mom’s birthday that always coincides with strawberry season.

As a kid, every year we would pack up the cardboard strawberry flats, a bucket of warm, soapy water and a few rags and we’d pile into the car to drive to the local strawberry patch. It was the one time of year where going to Clintonville meant something special was happening. Even back then, my parents were insistent upon getting there as soon in the morning as possible. You know, you have to “beat the heat”. So we’d bumble down the road in our trusty minivan and jump out onto the grassy, uneven terrain of the field turned parking lot. From there we would scour the horizon until our eyes landed on the tractor pulling the wagon full of people. We would be crossing our fingers that it wasn’t too far away since we could barely contain the excitement and the idea of warm, sweet strawberry juice running down our chins. (My mom was smart. She came prepared with the aforementioned bucket of water for post-picking cleanup before piling back into the car in a strawberry induced haze.)

The tractor ride was one of the best parts. It would chug and jerk and if you weren’t paying attention, every once in a while it would feel like you were almost about to fall off. Or maybe that was just me – the scrawny little kid in a hand-me-down tee shirt and jelly shoes with just enough meat on my bones to keep me from bouncing up and off the trailer. Then, all at once, the driver would stop and everyone would scramble off in search of the worker who assigned you your row where you would begin your search for the world’s best strawberry. “Work from this flag, down. Take the flag with you and put it where you stop. Don’t leave any ripe berries and stay in your row”. I was a rule follower even back then so it was a simple nod of the head and get to work. If you pick strawberries like I do, you’ll pick for a few minutes, get a bit in your bucket and a sense that not everyone is watching you (especially the workers!) and you’d sneak your first berry. I can almost taste and feel that first fresh berry of the season on my tongue. Warm from the sun. So juicy you have to eat it all in one bite, and so sweet you realize that any other strawberry you’ve eaten in the last 6 months was nothing like this, not even comparable.

Fast forward 25 minutes or so and your feet are a little achy. Your back might be a little tight. And the sun shining down upon your back probably has you feeling more than a little warm, even though it’s only 8:30 in the morning. If you’re lucky, the berries that year are big, plump and the truest color of red you’ve seen in person. You pick around the leaves and find cluster upon cluster of berries and pretty soon, your flat is filling up. Mom looks over, sees what you have and declares, “I think we have enough.” You know what that means? That means fresh strawberry pie and homemade strawberry jam and fresh berries for every meal for the next three days. YES! It also means you better pick a few more and stuff them into your face before you put your stake in and head for the edges of the field.

Once you hop back on the tractor and get back to the farm house, it’s time to find out how much your strawberries weigh. Slide the box down and feel the cardboard grate against the well-worn wooden countertop. Who picked more? Mom gets out cash to pay the older woman who smells like my grandmas, and reality sets in. Strawberry picking is over and it’ll be a whole year before you get to do this same routine all over again….bummer.

The good thing is you still have all the fruits of your labor, literally. The other good thing is that year after year, this annual tradition becomes part of your DNA. You probably don’t realize it as it’s happening, but this is the sort of thing that fires you up while simultaneously calming you down. Every year now, when mid-June rolls around, I scope out the calendar and the weather to see what day I can get out and pick. It is exciting. And then when we start to pick, a sense of child-like wonder comes over me and time slows down a little bit (except for last year when we were racing to finish picking before a hellacious storm brewed not far in the distance. We did end up beating it. We pulled onto the highway just as it started to downpour. Not sure what all the folks out in the fields did or how they missed the thick, grey clouds rolling in).

It’s these types of memories and experiences that I want to leave with my kids. I need to realize that we might be setting our own, new traditions right now, and I don’t even realize it. What is happening today that might leave an indelible mark that they’ll never forget? I guess my point in telling you this long story about something so mundane as picking strawberries is best summed up in a quote by  BJ Palmer, the developer of Chiropractic,: “We never know how far reaching something we may think, say or do today will affect the lives of millions tomorrow.” We are obviously in the middle of an odd time right now. What isn’t always obvious, though, is that life is made up of series of memories and events. Cherish the moment right now and create positive, character building events. Start new traditions if you want or build upon the old, trusty ones. Either way, love the people around you, find the best in life, and live the life of your dreams.

Oh, and by the way, a cup of strawberries provides vitamin C, manganese and also contains folate (vitamin B9) and potassium. Strawberries are rich in antioxidants and plant compounds that may have benefits for heart health and blood sugar control, among many other benefits.  Whatever you choose in this next season, make it impactful and fun. Create memories and friendships. And as always, stay healthy, my friends! Enjoy!

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Sunscreen Safety: You and your Family

With higher temps and more sun in our hopeful near future, now is the time to stock up on better for you sunscreen options. I’m all about getting a safe amount of sun. We need sun exposure to help us have proper amounts of vitamin D, which is critical for many functions throughout our body. However, when you are planning on being outside for hours, have very fair skin, or want to prevent sunburn and premature aging of your skin, sunscreen is necessary.

Unfortunately, many of the sunscreen option on the market are loaded with questionable and harmful ingredients. The Environmental Working Group (ewg.org) just released a new report on the best sunscreens for everyone from children to adults. According to the report, of the over 1300 sunscreen formulations tested: “about two-thirds still offer inferior sun protection or contain concerning ingredients, such as oxybenzone, a potentially hormone-disrupting chemical that is readily absorbed by the body”.

When looking for a sunscreen, not only do you want to avoid oxybenzone, you also want to make sure that is it “broad spectrum”. That means it is working against UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) rays. When applying sunscreen, make sure that you are applying enough. For an average sized adult from head to toe, you need about an ounce of sunscreen. That is enough to almost fill a shot glass. Make sure you reapply often, as well. Check the label of the safer sunscreen you choose to find out the optimal amount of time between reapplying. For many sunscreens, you’ll want to reapply around every hour. 

One brand that you can always count on to bring you high quality products with none of the fear of dangerous or potentially harmful ingredients is Beautycounter. Two of their products made the EWG’s 13th Annual Guide to SunscreensBeautycounter’s sunscreens are formulated with non-nano zinc oxide which is a physical, mineral sun protection technology that bounces the sun’s rays away from the skin. Their sunscreens are also “reef safe”, meaning they are better for the environment and will not contribute to the degradation of our planets coral reefs.

Try out a few of the different sunscreens on the ewg.org’s list. If you have questions or want to try the Beautycounter products, ask me. I’m more than happy to help. Find out what works best for you and your family and keep yourself happy and burn-free. Let’s go outside and enjoy the beauty of Wisconsin summers. 

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The Benefits of Exercise for the Aging Population

Many times I see older adults unable to walk stairs, or tell me that they have achy joints. They tell me that their range of motion (ROM) has decreased quite a bit since they have aged and they “just don’t feel as if they could start exercising”. But here is the thing, exercise may be difficult at first but it helps to reduce (if not eliminate) all of the problems that they seem to tell me that they have.

Exercise has many wonderful effects on the body. Osteoporosis is a very big concern for most older adults, but when you exercise, you are actually putting weight on your bones. When doing weight baring activities, your bones are ‘stressed’ which means your body will send a signal that it needs help or repair. This sends tiny cells called osteoblasts to your bones to help with increasing bone density. This is also a good case for those of you who don’t get the recommended dose of calcium to make it a priority to exercise.

Exercise really can look like anything from a walk, to yoga, to simple stretching or very high intensity workouts. There are so many things that you can do to move your body. When your body begins to move, something even more cool happens than that bones forming #sciencenerdslovefacts. Your body will begin to produce endorphins which are basically “happy hormones”. When we sit in our houses all day or don’t move much, a cloud of gloom will likely begin to form over our heads. But these endorphins work almost like drugs, or sugar, in the thought that they make us feel happy or feel a sense of less stress. Along with the increase in endorphins, science has shown that this decreases the speed and chances for memory loss, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Moving also increases our abilities to multitask and be creative, so get moving!

Let’s talk joints and range of motion. It may be hard to move at first, but with time and dedication, you will be able to increase your range of motion through movement, stretching (and chiropractic care, of course). Each time you move your joints, there is a lubrication mechanism in between your bones to help it move more smoothly, without pain, and help you feel effortlessly in control of your body. The more you move, the more lubrication is happening. So even if it hurts, try to stretch. And then try to stretch a little further the next time around. Try to make big circles with your arms, then maybe go a little bigger next time. Keep pushing yourself, and I promise you will see results.

As you age, if you keep your muscles strong, bones strong, and joints healthy, you will be able to walk up the stairs at age 80. You’ll be able to love on your grandchildren and great-grandchildren the way that you really want to. And you will be able to live your best life and find optimal health for what stage of life you are in. I said it before, but I will say it again. Yes, it will be hard. And yes, it will be worth it.

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MSG – The Dirty Truth

Here’s the story of an ingredient named MSG

A cooking rut. Have you ever been in one of those? You know, where you are uninspired to make anything, let alone something new, in the kitchen? I just got out of one. And I’m here today to tell you all about the recipe that has me fired up again. Want to know what the game changer was? You’ll never guess. A homemade condensed cream of mushroom soup. One to replace the red and white and gold Campbell’s version that rolls around in your cart. Why would you want to make that when it’s so easy to purchase, you ask? Well, let me tell you why this simple recipe is far superior to the one at your local grocery store.

Pre-made grocery items like a condensed soup have a lot of ingredients in them. Ever try to read labels? I have years (and years and years) of chemistry in my background, and I still struggle to pronounce the many ingredients. We’re talking fillers, stabilizers, preservatives and three nasty letters – M. S. G. And that right there, my friends, is why I choose the hard road to make my own food.

It might help make food taste better, but MSG is a scary ingredient. MSG is an excitotoxin. Long story short – it causes so much excitement in the neurons in your brain that it kills them. I don’t know about you, but I would prefer to keep my brain cells. One mentor of mine has connected the dots and links MSG and aspartame (we’ll discuss fake sugars more some other time) to neurodegenerative disorders. These disorders include Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s and more.  Serious business.

If MSG were only in a few, not so common products we eat, I wouldn’t be so concerned. The problem lies in how universally abundant it is. You probably remember the signs hung proudly at Chinese restaurants that state “our food contains no MSG”. They might be right. But they’re probably wrong. That’s because MSG has dozens of aliases. Here are a few:

-Glutamate -Monosodium Glutamate -Monopotassium Glutamate -Yeast extract -Hydrolyzed protein (any protein that is hydrolyzed) -Glutamic Acid -Calcium Caseinate -Sodium Caseinate -Gelatin -Textured Protein -Yeast Nutrient -Autolyzed Yeast -Hydrolyzed Corn Gluten

And even more these “often contain MSG or create MSG during processing”:

-Carrageenan -Natural Pork Flavor -Bouillon and Broth -Soy sauce extract -Maltodextrin -Citric Acid -Protease -Natural Flavor & Flavorings -even the vague word Seasonings and many, many more.

My homemade condensed cream of mushroom soup didn’t contain any ingredients like that. It might have been a bit tedious in terms of the number of steps, but it was really pretty simple and utilized my Vitamix (which always makes me happy). I used it to make a homemade green bean casserole for when my parents came over for dinner on Sunday. I made up the recipe for the GBC as I went, using the homemade soup, some sautéed shallots, fresh steamed green beans and a few other ingredients. It was the most complimented dish on the table. The whole pan was gone, nearly licked clean. The key to the recipe? The soup. No MSG or other questionable ingredients. No worries of health concerns, long term or short. Only pure, delicious, nutritious goodness in whole food form.

So now that I’m out of my cooking rut, it’s time to make another batch of condensed soup and use it to recreate some healthier versions of casseroles and whatnot that I had as a kid. First up: a tator tot casserole using grass fed beef, tons of added veggies and topped off with veggie tots. I’m excited.

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Beautycounter

Beautycounter
Change happens one person at a time. That = YOU!
              Did you know that the US government hasn’t passed a significant legislative act in the beauty industry since 1938? Think about that. That was World Word II. Since then, personal care companies have run rampant in formulating products that are littered with toxic and harmful ingredients. You might think that it’s not a problem you need to worry about. Well, I’m not talking just about makeup. I’m talking baby shampoo, body lotion, sunscreen, toothpaste and so much more. The stuff you use every day is negatively impacting you. The policies regulating the whole industry are not set up to protect our health and well-being. Beautycounter is working to change the archaic regulation and get safer products into the hands of everyone.
             You may have seen the new shelves of Beautycounter products in the office and thought: “why is that in my chiropractor’s office?”. It’s quite simple. The less toxic exposure we have, the better. With so many of our patients suffering from issues like autoimmune diseases, infertility, developmental delays and so much more, it made sense for me to jump on the bandwagon to sell a safer and cleaner line of products that enhances our health, and they work great, too.
             Beautycounter formulates all their products – which includes a baby and kid line, shampoos & conditioners, multiple lines of skincare products to help with everything from fine lines to acne and dryness, beautiful makeup and much more – using the “Never List”. The “Never List” is a list of over 1500 ingredients that are known to be toxic and harmful to our health. Many of these ingredients, like sodium lauryl sulfate, for example, are likely in dozens of products in your cabinets at home. Did you know that SLS is linked to cancer and is a known endocrine disruptor? That means it can alter your hormone balance. In our already over stressed society, the last thing we need is for our everyday products to be contributing to our poor health.
            What can you do to decrease your toxic exposures? One, start researching the ingredients in the products you use. Look at The Environmental Working Group (ewg.org) to see how safe your products are. Start switching some of your more toxic products out for better, cleaner ones. Maybe start by switching out a product that you use for often, like a body moisturizer or face wash. Or maybe you’ll be like some people I’ve met and make a fresh start with clean products across the board. Where ever you are on that spectrum, Beautycounter likely has products that you can rely on and will love.
            Interested in learning more? Ask Dr. Sara. Want to see how the products work before you buy them? We probably have something in our office that you will want to try. All of the products in the office are here for you to sample. Whatever you do, pay attention to the products you use. Start making changes. As I have often said, even small changes will add up over time. Oh – and keep an eye out for a future post. We have some stunning and amazing products coming your way for the holidays this year!
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It Takes a Team

It Takes a Team

My baby turned two months old on Saturday. It’s time I acknowledge some really important people for helping bring him into this world.

As with most situations on this planet, life is easier when you surround yourself with others who can support you and lift you up in times of need. When my due date of July 1st came and went and then came and went another 8 times, life started to get a little difficult. It wasn’t that I was in physical discomfort. My body was holding up very well thanks to ongoing strong nutrition habits, daily walks and strength training throughout the previous 9 months, and consistent water consumption. No. It wasn’t my body that was struggling. It was my mind. I had no idea how mentally taxing it would be to wait for a baby to arrive. In the end, everything worked out perfectly. We have a very healthy two-month-old, who happens to be in the 95th percentile for length. I’ll attribute that to the extra two weeks of incubating. 😉 In all seriousness, in that last 5 days before Duke was born, I used all my connections, called in a favor or two and had all hands-on deck to help make sure that his arrival was happy and healthy. My team consisted of:

  1. My chiropractor! It may seem obvious that I would have this as #1, but many people don’t realize how important chiropractic care is while pregnant. Not only is it a stress on the mother’s body and spine to grow and carry the baby, but it’s also imperative to make sure the pelvis is lined up properly to allow for the most room for baby to grow, and ultimately get the baby in the proper position to come out. Knowing that removing pressure and subluxation from the spine could speed up the process, I was at Dr. Joel’s office multiple times in the last weeks of pregnancy. It is hands down my #1 tip for expectant moms. Get adjusted. You’ll thank me later.
  2. My friend Andi, who also happens to be a chiropractor. She played a critical role since in those last days as I was beginning to doubt that a natural, drug-free home birth could happen for us. In a quick 10 minute phone call she reminded me that the baby is WAY smarter than we are with all of our education. I was reminded to never doubt our innate intelligence. Women have been having babies forever and the communication that happens between unborn baby and pregnant mom is something we’ll never fully understand. What we need to do is trust the process and let it unfold naturally. Trust in your body to do what it knows how to do best. Man did I need that reminder.
  3. My acupuncturist. I made Cheryl really work. I was in her office on Tuesday and again Friday morning. As a practice of Eastern medicine, many people also don’t understand how this ancient practice works. And I’d be lying if I told you I totally understand it, too. All I know is that it works with your body’s own energy and energy pathways (meridians) to keep energy moving versus stagnant. Cheryl was amazing at keeping me calm and helping my body work on doing what it needed to do – end pregnancy strong. It may sound hokie, but I know deep down that what she did helped us have the birth that we desired.
  4. My coach. Here’s another person that went the extra mile for me that last few days. I texted Bill in an almost panicked state because I knew that there was something blocking me from wanting to give birth. Don’t get me wrong. No woman really wants to give birth. It’s the inevitable ending to a long 9 months, and I could tell something was mentally blocking me from beginning the process. He walked me through some exercises and gave me homework to help collapse some inflated thoughts and left-over fears from my first birth experience. I will be forever grateful for his wisdom and insights.
  5. Matthew – my husband. A supportive partner is critical in pregnancy, labor and delivery. And Matt is the best. Really. He’s amazingly patient and beyond loving. He hugged me in the last days where I was reduced to tears and was stead-fast in knowing that everything was going to work out perfectly. He’s my partner in life and I thank God everyday that he brought us together. Plus he’s the reason I was in this mess to begin with…..just kidding. Kind of.
  6. Last and certainly not least, my Midwives. To say they are masters at their craft is an understatement. They are gentle yet firm. Certain yet not overbearing. Loving and amazing and wonderful women. We were blessed to find the three women of In The Beginning (out of Iola, WI) two years ago with Hank’s pregnancy and birth and it was a no-brainer for us to call them up in our first trimester of pregnancy with baby #2. We are serious when we say we consider them family. We could invite them to our family Christmas dinner and not think twice about the fact that they aren’t even close to being blood relatives. I was in constant communication with them in the last weeks. Whether it be a quick text “no baby signs yet” or a “pep-talk” phone call and the re-occurring stress tests (when you get that far overdue, you have to make sure the placenta and baby are healthy on a much more regular basis), they were with us. When I finally called Jane and said, “it’s game on!”, she sped through town, more thankful than ever before when she hit all green lights at midnight and got to us just in time. Having Duke born into her hands was an honor.

Our birth was what I wanted. At home with no interventions or complications. Beautiful baby boy to join our little family. All the waiting and discomfort was worth it. In chiropractic school, we had a saying that “the hard is what makes it good”. It was so hard to wait 2 extra weeks for our little dude to join us, but it was so rewarding in the end. This team of people helped make it all happen. I owe a huge thank you to each and every person on my team. You lifted me up. For the love and support you gave me, I am forever indebted and grateful. #dreamteam

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Quick and Kid Friendly 

Quick and Kid Friendly 

Back-to-School season seems to bring stress to many people.  Schedules fill and something simple like a grocery list falls through the cracks.  If you have a freezer full of meals or a plan ready for this time of year, good on you!  If not, keep reading. Eating well doesn’t have to be a chore during these busy times.  Making healthy meals and snacks a priority is the biggest hurdle.  Approach the tips and recipes below with confidence.  Doing so will help your kids (and you) focus and perform better.

School bag and Travel snacks (that are attainable):
-Trailmix: opt for homemade and keep it nutrient dense by using hardier nuts like walnuts and almonds. Also use seeds, dried fruit, a good quality dark chocolate chip, maybe some jerky bits.

-Bars: simple ingredients and low sugar (5g or less) are good guidelines.  Recommended brands include Kind, HappyTot, Health Warrior Chia Bars, Larabar Renola, Nature’s Path, and Cascadian Farms.
*meal replacement bars are completely different from a snack bar, pair granola and nut bars with fruit/veggies/jerky to make it a complete snack.
-Protein: a protein based snack will last longer than a handful of crackers.  Think nuts, hard boiled eggs, jerky, meat sticks, a good quality lunch meat, nut butters, and cheese.  Pair your protein with veggies or fruit, the vitamin C will help the iron get absorbed, win!
-Speaking of fruit and veggies: they’re also good snacks.  Attempt to have more available than baby carrots, variety is necessary.  Also dip veggies in hummus, guacamole, salsa, nut butter or a good quality mayo based dip (like dill).
-Salty snacks: an afternoon crunch but instead of traditional corn or potato based chips try some salty nuts.  Other options include plantain chips, sweet potato chips, kale chips, and zucchini chips.
-Kali
PS: Kali is a nutrition coach, for more information
go to Sweet Spot Nutrition 
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H2O Yeah!

H2O Yeah!

Did you know we’re 60% water?  Yup, our body is made up of mostly water which is why it is important to replenish with water regularly.  Simply drinking water is extremely beneficial to our health.  Being properly hydrated decreases brain fog, promotes healthy looking skin, increases energy and allows organs like the kidneys to function well.  Plain water is also necessary for smooth digestion as our gut will pull water into it or force water out based on what it needs to empty properly.

    With water comes electrolytes which are found in food and fortified into drinks.  Electrolytes are vital nutrients with a positive or negative charge that need to be available for good nerve function.  And we know a thing or two about nerves.  These nutrients include calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium and more.

Not all beverages are created equal, some act as diuretics leading to a hydration imbalance.  Energy drinks, coffee, some teas, soda, and alcohol are counterproductive.  So what’s left?  Plain water, sparkling water, fruit infused water.  This isn’t to say you can’t drink those drinks, just have more water than coffee.

It is important to hydrate because we lose water through daily living.  Even breathing.  Also digestion, sweating, evaporation off the skin, urination and defecation.  Ideal intake is half your body weight in ounces per day (150lbs/2=75oz or 3 24oz water bottles).  It’s easy and necessary!

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