We don't know about you, but we're about ready to fast-forward to warm spring days and patio dinners. Fortunately, we have lots of fresh and cheerful seasonal recipes to carry us through the remainder of winter. One recipe we are really excited to try is Avacado & Citrus "Ceviche" . Loaded with oranges and grapefruit, and combined with perfectly ripe diced avocado, this recipe makes a cheerful party appetizer or dip. It’s healthy, too!
This recipe is simple to make; you’ll just need a cutting board, sharp knife and serving bowl. The produce preparation is a bit labor intensive, though, so don’t plan on making this in a big hurry.
Avocado & Citrus “Ceviche”
*Recipe and photo credit goes to www.cookieandkatie.com.
This month we are pleased to feature Michael Graves, Junior, in our Patient Spotlight. A recent knee injury brought Michael to The Smith Clinic, and what a joy it has been getting to know him!
A student at Germantown High School, Michael is a native Memphian, and his favorite thing about living in Memphis is the pyramid. In his free time, Michael enjoys playing football and spending time with his family.
Speaking of family, after experiencing great success through physical therapy at The Smith Clinic, Michael's father, Michael Graves, Sr., became a patient as well! When asked about his experience at the clinic, Michael stated, "They have treated my father and I with such good care and have helped me get back to doing what I love."
In discussing his biggest challenge in doing PT, Michael mentioned staying motivated and continuing to push himself was his biggest hurdle. He also expressed, however, that the process led him to gain more confidence in himself.
Michael's favorite part about coming to The Smith Clinic is, "The loving and welcoming of the staff." The admiration is mutual, Michael! We have loved having you and your dad as patients! You are a kind, bright and determined young man. It has been an honor to work alongside you and a thrill to watch you thrive!
It's fitting that, in the month of Valentine's Day, comes another reason to turn your attention to the heart, as February is also American Heart Month. Did you know that The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists heart disease as the leading cause of death in the U.S., killing even more Americans than cancer?
The good news is making small changes to your daily life can improve your health, in turn lowering your chances of heart disease. These changes can include: adding exercise to your routine, quitting smoking (which you should do regardless) and (probably the easiest change to make) improving your diet by incorporating heart-healthy foods.
When it comes to incorporating heart-healthy foods, below are some of our favorite foods that both taste great and improve cardiovascular health:
Fish: Fish such as salmon and tuna are high in omega-3 fatty acids that help keep your blood flowing and lower blood pressure and triglyceride levels, which, in turn, lowers your risk of heart disease. Not a fish person? Try taking fish oil supplements instead.
Oatmeal: This breakfast staple is high in soluble fiber that helps eliminate "bad" LDL cholesterol from the body. But, be sure to eat whole or rolled oats as opposed to instant oat that can contain high amounts of sugar.
Nuts: Walnuts, almonds and cashews are full of healthy fats that can improve cholesterol levels when used in place of saturated fats. Avoid salted varieties, however, as they are high in sodium. Also, consume them in moderation, as they are very calorie dense.
Berries: Berries are nature's super fruits. Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries are full of rich vitamins, antioxidants, phytonutrients and soluble fiber, all of which help decrease chances of a heart attack. They can also decrease inflammation, which is crucial to one's health and well-being.
Potatoes: This food is high in potassium and fiber that lowers blood pressure and the risk of heart disease.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes contain lycopene that helps to rid the body of bad cholesterol.
Dark chocolate: Make sure you look for dark chocolate made up of at least 70% cocoa. It contains flavonoids called polyphenols that help to reduce blood pressure, inflammation and the chance of clotting.
In addition to a healthy lifestyle, another key component to fighting heart disease is awareness. Tell a friend or a family member and get as many people as you can to join the new healthy you! It's proven that, when you team up with a group of people living a healthy life with you, the easier it will be for everyone to maintain this lifestyle by encouraging each other.
While you can't change things like age and family history, even modest changes and actions can improve your heart health and lower your risk by as much as 80 percent. By striving for a healthy lifestyle, building awareness and encouraging others, together we can help prevent heart disease. Don't wait until it's too late...start your journey to a healthy heart today!
Fitting in a nutritious breakfast can be hard for just about anyone. And for those sticking to a Paleo (or similar) diet, your morning meal might seem even more daunting. Eggs are always an option, but going through multiple cartons per week gets old fast.
Whether you’re making a brunch spread or just looking for something quick, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you. The following options range from savory to sweet, refreshing to rich. The only hard part now is picking which recipe to make first!
1. Breakfast Casserole with Bacon, Sausage, Sweet Potato & Kale
This recipe gives the typical casserole a whole new identity with sweet potatoes, bacon, greens, and sausage. With so much flavor, you'll never miss the cheesy topping one bit!
Photo Credit: A Calculated Whisk
2. Classic Paleo Breakfast Casserole
This breakfast casserole takes a classic paleo combo of meat (this one uses ground turkey), veggies, and spices and loads it in a mug. You can get wild and crazy with this one, adding whichever veggies and meats you prefer, or even stick it in a mason jar (just make sure to use oven mitts if you're putting the jar in the oven).
Photo Credit: Paleo Grubs
3. Paleo Pumpkin Porridge
Bring the flavor of fall to a creamy morning treat with a porridge made from pumpkin, almond milk, coconut flour, egg, and cinnamon!
Photo Credit: Kiss my Kiwis'
4. Italian Spaghetti Squash Breakfast Casserole
Italians like to use leftover pasta to make all sorts of breakfast dishes, and this spaghetti squash casserole has a similarly hearty texture minus the wheat. One of the best things is that it’s versatile enough to work with just about any meat or veggie you prefer.
Photo Credit: Peace Love and Low Carb
5. Three Ingredient Strawberry Chia Jam
Have overripe berries on hand? Whip up this easy strawberry chia jam—it just begs for a piece of Paleo toast!
Photo Credit: Well Plated by Erin
Does this sound like you? During the summer, you're a workout fanatic... swimming, running, hiking under the warm sun, keeping that body healthy and in ship (or beach) shape. Or maybe you're a little less vigilant, but you still try to hit the gym every few days.
Then, IT happens: daylight-saving time ends, and you find it hard to get out of bed and, by nightfall, you'd rather curl up with a book than go for a run. The winter months can be brutal for fitness routines.
Some people are dedicated gym-goers and aren't much affected much by the weather. However, the lingering darkness in the morning and early evenings can sap even the hardiest gym-lover's motivation to hit the gym. If that's your problem, you may need a contingency plan. For example, get some exercise equipment to use at home: a stationary bike, treadmill or exercise videos to rotate though. If you do exercise at home, though, be sure to make it entertaining. Read a book or place a TV in-front of your equipment so you do not get bored!
On the flip side, if you're an outdoor exerciser who has slacked off since the temperature dropped, you may not have been giving yourself enough time to acclimate. To acclimate, you'll of course have to keep working out through the cold, but it will be easier to make yourself go outside if you warm up inside first! One idea is to take five to ten minutes and do some low level aerobic exercise like jogging in place or doing jumping jacks. That way, you'll already be warm when you head outside. Dressing properly can also help. Wear layers so you can peel them off as your body temperature increases.
No matter your preference (gym vs. outdoor), thought, now is the time to call on your friends! Even if you usually exercise alone, we could all use someone to help keep us motivated. In fact, many studies have shown that social support keeps people active. Reorganizing your schedule is another possible solution. For example, if cold and darkness typically keeps you from morning exercise, try to fit in a brisk walk or an exercise class during your lunch hour.
Backsliding on your fitness due to Winter doesn't have to be the end of your hard earned results. Call on a friend (perhaps even make a commitment to each other to workout at least twice a week), mix up your routine or make it possible to work out at home. All of these will keep the effects of Winter at bay, make you more likely to get off the couch, and get with the program!
You know what we love about the new year? You get a fresh start and can set goals that you actually feel confident about! A new year offers a clean slate and a perfect time to make changes in our lives. Often times people want to lose weight. Other times, people just want to try to eat healthier foods.
Wether you're wanting to trim up or just trying to eat healthier, we’ve found some yummy Winter recipes to help you start out the new year on the right foot. Here's to healthy eating in 2018!!
Healthy Sweet Potato Pancakes
Most of us look at the New Year and think: a New Year...now what?! Let us help you start the New Year with a New WHY! And the Why is YOU!
NOW is the time to establish a plan where you can create consistent, obtainable goals for yourself. Let us help you by signing up for our 2018 Whole Life Challenge TODAY!
By joining us for our “New Year - New You Challenge”, you will improve your health, happiness and overall wellness, alongside your friends and teammates! Throughout the challenge, we will work on the following 7 areas that are easily in your control, benefitting your health and well-being:
You will score points each day (how fun is that?!), and, every week, you will have the chance to win great prizes** just for making a healthier you...it’s a
Win - Win!!
All you have to do is to commit to 6 weeks of being a better you! Once you commit, we will give you all the resources to help you reach your goals!!
2018: A New Chance, a New Why, a New YOU!!! Make 2018 your year to shine!! We promise you will not regret it!
**Prizes include (but are not limited to): Southern Social gift card - Lululemon gift card - Malco Movie Passes - Day Spa Passes!!
Do you have joint pain and stiffness? Do you experience an increase in pain after prolonged sitting or upon rising in the morning? Or are you frequently taking ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin to alleviate pain? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you may be suffering from too much inflammation!
There are two types of inflammation that occur in our bodies: acute and chronic. Acute Inflammation is critical to our bodies' healing process and is a natural and productive response to tissue damage. Chronic Inflammation, on the other hand, is ongoing and occurs with persistent injury or infection or is associated to diseases such as arthritis, obesity, and diabetes. And, unfortunately, chronic inflammation usually leads to tissue damage. The good news, however, is chronic inflammation can often be controlled with diet and does not come with the side effects that frequently occur with medication!
When it comes to tissue healing, what you eat can greatly impact the healing process. Foods high in sugar and saturated fats cause an over stimulated immune system which can produce joint pain, fatigue and tissue damage. Diets high in processed food do not supply your body with suitable nutrients to recovery as well as it could. The top 9 inflammatory foods that you’ll want to avoid at all costs are:
Excessive sugar consumption leads to increased risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome, acne, and type 2 diabetes.
2. Common Cooking Oils
Many cooking oils contain extremely high levels of pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids and abysmally low levels of anti-inflammatory omega-3s.
3. Trans Fats
There’s nothing good about trans fats. Trans fatty acids are known to substantially increase bad cholesterol while simultaneously lowering good cholesterol. In addition to promoting inflammation, trans fats encourage obesity, insulin resistance and many other degenerative illnesses.
4. Dairy Products
As much as 60 percent of the world’s population cannot digest milk. Dairy products can cause gastrointestinal distress with constipation or diarrhea, skin rashes, acne, hives, and even breathing difficulties.
5. Feedlot-Raised Meat
Many commercially-raised animals are subjected to very poor living conditions. These animals are also fed a diet that is high in inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids and low in anti-inflammatory omega-3s.
6. Red and Processed Meats
Experts suggest that ingesting red meat causes humans to develop anti-Neu5Gc antibodies, a harmful immune response.
Regular high consumption of alcohol can lead to a plethora of issues, including irritation and inflammation of the esophagus, larynx, and liver.
8. Refined Grains
Refined grains have a dramatically increased glycemic index and can encourage the progression of degenerative diseases.
9. Artificial Food Additives
Artificial food additives such as aspartame and monosodium glutamate (MSG) have been reported to trigger and worsen inflammatory processes in the body.
Conversely, eating an anti-inflammatory, well-rounded diet of appropriate carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals along with adequate water intake can reducing inflammation and allow your body to heal properly. While there are no magic foods, making minor additions and subtractions from your diet can go a long way in combating these chronic conditions and get you on track to feeling better. A few tips for beginning an anti-inflammatory diet are:
The following foods are also recommended, because they possess anti-inflammatory components like omega-3, calcium, fiber, vitamin E, iron, lycopene, betalains, allicin, and anthocyanins:
In a nutshell, anti-inflammatory foods are those that any nutrition expert would encourage you to eat - in general, foods that include lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, plant-based proteins (like beans and nuts), fatty fish, and fresh herbs and spices. An anti-inflammatory diet is widely regarded as healthy, so even if it doesn't help with your condition, it can help lower your chances of having other problems. Don’t let your diet stack the odds against your health! Do your best to keep inflammation in check by choosing a wide variety of delicious, antioxidant-rich foods and get back on track to feeling better.
Chronic lung disease can make tasks that used to be easy, very difficult. Simple activities like getting the mail, climbing a flight of stairs, or keeping up with your kids or grandkids can seem overwhelming. The good news is that you don’t have to live that way forever!
Pulmonary Rehabilitation is a process that helps recondition the respiratory system in patients living with chronic lung disease. Performed at The Smith Clinic for Physical Therapy, Pulmonary Rehab empowers and rehabilitates patients with chronic lung disease by teaching breathing techniques to help you increase your lung capacity, exercises to increase strength and endurance, and tricks for conserving energy so you can do the things you want to do and live life to the fullest. This, in turn, enables you to manage your condition, giving you the tools necessary to maintain pulmonary function in every day life.
If you experience shortness of breath and fatigue due to chronic lung disease, you may be a candidate for pulmonary rehabilitation. While Pulmonary rehabilitation won’t cure your disease, it can help you learn how to overcome the shortness of breath and fatigue you associate with activity. The goal of The Smich Clinic for Physical Therpay’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation program is to help each and every patient increase their endurance and exercise capacity, reduce symptoms of disease, decrease hospital admissions and achieve the best possible lung function. Breathe easier, get stronger, and do more in your daily life. Call us today to make an appointment!
WHAT IS A CONCUSSION?
According to WebMD, a concussion is "a type of traumatic brain injury that is caused by a blow to the head or body, a fall, or another injury that jars or shakes the brain inside the skull." Concussions are a surprisingly common occurrence in sports. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 1.6 million to 3.8 million people experience concussions during sports and recreational activities annually in the United States. These numbers may be underestimated, as many cases are never reported. High school athletes in particular suffer thousands of concussions every year, most often in football, ice hockey, and soccer.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER A SPORTS-RELATED CONCUSSION?
Sports-related concussions often result in mental and physical symptoms (i.e., inability to concentrate, forgetfulness, headache, fatigue, dizziness). For many athletes, the symptoms disappear after about 2 weeks and typically do not last more than several months. In some cases, however, concussions lead to persistent physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral symptoms, sometimes referred to as post-concussion syndrome. It is unknown whether persistent post-concussive symptoms result from primarily medical or psychological causes. In rare cases, when repeated concussions occur over a brief interval, athletes may suffer from second impact syndrome, a pathological response of the brain that can be life-threatening if not treated promptly. Those affected should seek careful evaluation and management of any sports-related concussion.
HOW SHOULD A SPORTS-RELATED CONCUSSION BE EVALUATED?
Concussions are typically managed according to their severity. Immediately after a concussion takes place, medical evaluation is neccesarry to determine an individual vital signs and level of consciousness and to rule out any other injuries, such as those to the spine. Recent guidelines indicate that anyone who loses consciousness as a result of trauma during a sporting event should be evaluated by a hospital emergency department. In less severe cases, athletes are typically evaluated on site rather than in hospital emergency departments. There are a variety of approaches to the "sideline" assessment of concussion. Guidelines are also available to assist in deciding when a child is ready to return to play after a concussion.
A physical therapist can assess symptoms of a concussion and treat the injury by guiding the patient through a safe and individualized recovery program. Treatment for concussions may include:
- Rest and recovery. Your physical therapist can help you and your family understand why you should limit any kind of activity after a concussion, until it is safe to return to these activities. A period of rest helps the brain heal and helps symptoms clear up as quickly as possible.
- Restoring strength and endurance. The physical and mental rest required after a concussion can result in muscle weakness, and a decrease in physical endurance. Your physical therapist can help you regain your strength and endurance, when the right time comes, without making your symptoms worse. It is common for elite-level athletes and fit “weekend warriors” to experience exercise intolerance with concussion and brain injury. Your physical therapist can help you to identify and treat your specific symptoms.
- Stopping dizziness and improving balance. If you are experiencing dizziness or difficulty with balance, your physical therapist may be able to help reduce your dizziness and balance problems after a concussion using special treatments or teaching you specific exercises, some of which you may be able to do at home.
- Reducing headaches. Your physical therapist will assess the different possible causes of your headaches and use specific treatments and exercises to reduce and eliminate them. Treatment may include stretches, strength and motion exercises, and the use of technologies such as electrical stimulation.
- Returning to normal activity or sport. As symptoms diminish and you regain your normal strength and endurance without symptoms returning, your physical therapist will help you gradually add normal activities back into your daily routine. They will help you avoid overloading the brain and nervous system as you increase your activity level. Overloading the brain during activity after a concussion interferes with the healing of the brain tissue, and can make your symptoms return.
Changes in the rules for athletic competition have reduced the number of sports-related concussions. After the National Collegiate Athletic Association made the use of the head when tackling illegal in 1976, the annual number of head and neck injuries in football declined by about 50%. The required use of helmets in many contact sports and improvements in helmet design has also resulted in fewer head injuries. Making sure helmets and other gear fits and are worn properly, as well as asking a coach or other sports professional about safe playing techniques will also make a difference.
If you or a loved one have suffered a concussion, The Smith Clinic can help! Call us today at 901.756.1650 to make an appointment and get started on your road to recovery!