A Holistic Chiropractor Takes a Look at Sugar…and YOU!

By Dr. Michael Roth

 

“Sugar in the morning, sugar in the evening, sugar at suppertime…” 

The lyrics of this song from a bygone era address the sweetness of love. However, in today’s modern world, the sugar we consume at meals is very real and very addictive!

Flickr photo credit Moyan Brenn

 

Most people are not aware that they are addicted to sugar. Yet, try to go a few days without it and you will briefly experience the pangs of withdrawal. Most of the clients I see in my holistic chiropractic practice know that too much sugar is not good for their bodies and their health.

 

Sugar leads to excess weight gain and puts you on the path to Type II diabetes. Although you most likely won’t be able to eliminate sugar from your diet completely, I offer here a few tips to reduce your sugar intake.

 

Plenty of people eat sugary foods throughout the day because their bodies tell them that they are hungry. One of the best ways to combat this feeling is to drink plenty of water. In addition to staying hydrated, you will not feel as hungry.

 

 

It is very common for people to eat all sorts of foods without bothering to read the list of ingredients. If you are trying to overcome your addiction to sugar, then make label-reading a habit. If sugar is one of the first three ingredients, don’t buy it.

 

The type of food that you eat is very important. Eat foods that are as close to their original form as possible. For example, instead of eating canned peaches in syrup, eat a whole fresh peach. Eat organic oatmeal for breakfast instead of packaged cereal, which usually has added sugar.

 

In my book, The Healing Code of Weight Loss, I recommend the following:

 

Avoid large beverages such as “super-sized” sugar-sweetened soft drinks. They have a large number of calories. Instead, try drinking water with a slice of lemon. If you want to drink soda, choose a calorie-free beverage or fruit juices instead.

 

Eat a breakfast that contains protein and fat to keep sugars low. This will help stave off cravings for chocolate and starches. Protein takes longer than sugar for your body to digest. You will feel full for a longer period of time and be less inclined to reach out for a sweet snack.

 

Stay away from fast food. The high sugar and fat content of fast food, combined with lack of exercise, creates a chain of events that puts the body into chemical stress. The digestive system is down-regulated when the body is under stress and one of the symptoms is belly fat.

 

Keep an accurate journal of everything that you eat. You may be surprised at how your sugar intake adds up when all of the foods you eat are combined. Keeping a journal will allow you to see exactly how much you consume.

 

You will also help yourself by staying as active as possible. People tend to eat more often when they are sitting around relaxing or watching TV. Starting an exercise regimen is a great idea since it helps you get or stay in shape. In addition, when you are physically active, you will be too busy to reach for the sugary foods!

Flickr photo credit Brett Lohmeyer

 

If you are concerned about your sugar intake and overall health, and if you would like assistance in developing healthier eating habits and lifestyle choices, please call Amber in my Ventura office to make an appointment for a personal consultation and start singing a different tune! (805) 644-0461

Proactive Steps to Manage Your Stress

By Dr. Michael Roth

Controlling your stress level is a necessity in today’s fast-paced society. For many people, the challenges life brings rest heavily on their shoulders and they don’t know where to begin to alleviate their tension.

Flickr photo credit Bottled Void

Worry – we all do it to some extent. Worrying is a stress-producing activity. Multiple worries can lead to a cycle of non-stop agitation.  Humans usually can tackle only one “worry” at a time effectively.  And really, does the act of worrying ever make anything better or easier?  At the end of the day, put worrying on hold until the morning.  Getting a good night’s sleep can help reduce the urge to worry.

Yoga and other stress-relieving movement exercises are always an asset. For example, the simple act of focusing on your breath allows your mind to take its attention off the stressful thought.  The deep breathing sends fresh oxygen circulating to all parts of your brain and body, refreshing your entire system.

Flickr photo credit Matt Madd

As a holistic chiropractor, I often recommend breathing and movement activities to my patients.  Locally here in Ventura, there are many such choices available.

Rigorous stress-busting exercise works wonders on an emotional and chemical level.  The mood enhancing endorphins created during a good workout relieve stress and may even improve your attitude!  Make sure your primary care doctor clears you for vigorous activity before you begin.  The last thing that you want is to cause more stress through a sports related injury or a cardiac-related mishap.

You are what you eat.  Making good food choices and managing your portion size will reduce the stress that improper nutrition and excess weight put on your system. Many people love their caffeine in coffee and colas. It is wise to limit your caffeine intake to reduce any undue stress it may be creating in your digestion or circulation. Please come talk to me about making healthy food choices—it is a passion of mine!

Treating yourself to some fun is always a good strategy for reducing stress and making life more enjoyable. Go for a walk in the hills or at the beach. Have a catch, toss a Frisbee, go for a swim. See a movie, visit a friend, play with your pets, or tell a joke. Laughter is always a great stress-buster. Laughter chases away the worry and oxygenates the body at the same time!

Flickr photo credit Kendall

Balance is a wonderful word worth reflecting on for a moment. Financial, emotional and physical balance are goals we all wish to achieve. You can start balancing your life today by managing your stress level, releasing more energy to meet those goals. Choose one thing right now that you can do to help release the stress in your life. Come see me for more discussion on how to optimize your health and wellness and reduce YOUR stress!