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Bjorn + Bach & The Godfather of Omega-3’s

August 22, 2011 Leave a comment

How would you like to reduce your chances of cardiovascular disease?  What about reduce your chances of cardiac death… by 90%?  Well, unless you’ve got a serious death wish then you’ve probably answered yes to the questions above, and I’m going to tell you how you can do just that.  Omega-3 fatty acids, and it doesn’t even have to feel like a chore.  Supplementing with fish oils has never been so easy and more importantly, so delicious.

It wasn’t very long ago that health professionals, dietitians and medical organizations would scoff at the idea of using nutritional fats to improve cardiovascular health, but scoff no more people; we’re starting to come around, and there is plenty of research to back it up.

Omega-3, Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s), DHA, EPA and fish oils; these are all words (or acronyms rather) that you’ve probably heard mentioned in health articles, on commercials or read about in some fitness magazine.  They are beginning to be the buzz words of health and wellness across America and not only do these fatty acids talk the talk, but these nutritional supplements walk the walk as well.  If you’ve taken fish oils before, then you know they aren’t always the ‘best’ tasting supplements… but what if I told you I found a product that defies everything you thought you knew about fish oils.  What if I told you this product actually tasted good… not only good, but great!  Well, look no further, Bjørn + Bach has created not only the best tasting fish oil on the market, but the most bio-available (meaning it is absorbed more readily into the body).  Add to that list Organic and  guaranteed free of mercury, lead and PCB’s…  I mean, really folks; what more could you ask for?

I recently read an article in Whole Foods Magazine online about Omega-3 Fish Oils and their health benefits; it was part of a series on Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) and was written in interview form.  The man they interviewed, Dr. Jorn Dyerberg, is a world-renowned professor and pioneer of the Omega-3 movement.  It all started in 1970 when he, and a fellow physician, Dr. Olaf Bang traveled across Greenland to study the health of a small population of Inuit’s who consumed a diet rich in Omega-3’s; or rather a high fat diet ripe with fish, and developed little to no cardiovascular disease or death by cardiac arrest.  No one expected the results that followed.  After many months of blood tests, diet and lifestyle observation and tracking the overall health of the community; the two physicians walked away with a remarkable discovery… Eicosapentanoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexanoic Acid (DHA), two  Omega-3 fatty acid chains that are very well known today.  These Omega’s were found in rich supply in the bloodstreams of the healthy Inuit community.  It was in 1971 that Olaf and Dyerberg published the first paper on the benefits of fatty acids (EPA and DHA) in the diet; and since then, the research has blossomed into thousands upon thousands of research studies and articles all pointing toward the same positive results.  Omega-3 fatty acids, (including both EPA and DHA), which are found in rich supply in fish, have a beneficial effect on cardiovascular health, inflammatory conditions, Alzheimer’s and even the regulation of healthy blood sugars.  Need I remind you of the statistics above… you can’t beat reducing your chances of sudden death by cardiac arrest by 90%!

With the vast number of research articles out there these days, how does one sift through them and get the right information?  Well, by asking the right people (those who have spent years studying and researching), and this article did just that.  Whole Foods Magazine writer, Richard A. Passwater sits down with Dyerberg to get all the juicy details on what we need to know, what the best research shows and how we can decrease our cardiovascular disease risk and effectively live a long and healthy life.

Did you know that some of us get close to zero of these beneficial fats in our diet?

Dyerberg: There are several conclusions, but to me the most obvious is that we are in a nutritional deficiency of long-chained omega-3 fatty acids. In the United States, the average daily intake of EPA plus DHA is 100–200 mg. In 20% of U.S. citizens, the intake is close to zero! The recommended intake is 400–600 mg/day, and in pregnancy and lactation, women should consume 300 mg of DHA/day.

Passwater: Wow! The intake of EPA and DHA is close to zero in 20% of U.S. citizens! Holy smoke! And, the U.S. Daily average is about 100–200 mg, instead of the recommended 400–600 mg! On average, U.S. citizens are getting only a third to a sixth of the recommended amounts, and I feel that the 600 mg recommendation should be higher. We seek optimal health, not average health. I personally lean more toward the 1,000-mg level for healthy persons and more for those with health problems. This is still far short of the 14,000 mg you found in the Eskimo diet (15) (Passover, 2010)

If that doesn’t get your attention, I don’t know what will.   If anything, check out these graphs (taken from the article), they pretty much say it all.

Passwater uses the results of three different research studies looking at Omega-3 intake and cardiovascular risk, cardiac death and cardiac arrest. Each chart emphasizes the importance of adding these fats into your diet.  So, I don’t know about you… but if it means feeling healthier, looking better and being able to do the things I want to do until a ripe old age, I’m going to enjoy my fats; Bjørn + Bach style.

To read the full article and get caught up on parts 1, 2, and 3 of the series, check out the article here, on Whole Foods Magazine online; Omega-3 Fish Oils:  The Greatest Nutritional Discovery Since Vitamins, Part 4: The Major Studies.

For more information about Bjørn + Bach products and ordering information please visit the website here:  Bjørn + Bach

Until next time ~   “Seek optimal health,” and add some Omega’s into your life; because according to Dyerberg and the other millions’ of researchers out there, your heart will surely thank you for it.

Sources:

Passover, R.A. (2010, September). Omega-3 fish oils: the greatest nutritional health discovery since     vitamins, part 4: the major studies. Whole Foods Magazine: Vitamin Connection, Retrieved from http://www.wholefoodsmagazineonline.com/columns/vitamin-connection/omega-3-fish-oils-greatest-nutritional-health-discovery-vitamins-part-4

*All figures are taken directly from the article*

         CLICK HERE TO BUY BJORN + BACH NOW!

How To Get The Most Out of Your Training

May 15, 2011 4 comments

Benji Hill @ 1st Primal Power Meet in Hailey, ID, HAF April 2011

I recently read an article from mercola.com that inspired me to post on this subject.  Exercise is always supposed to be beneficial right?  Well in most cases, yes, most of us actually do need more exercise & it’s health benefits are not unlike a wonder drug.  However, it seems that the growing trend these days is marketing high intensity, all out exercise all the time.  As you’ll see as I continue, high intensity exercise is great and it serves its purpose… just not every time you exercise.

More isn’t necessarily better:

Somewhere along the way, we got it in our heads that more is better, and in order to get anywhere we have to go all out, all the time and if the results aren’t instant then we’ve failed.  You’ve heard the sayings… “go big or go home”, “no pain, no gain” or even, the latest I recently heard, “if you aren’t puking or on the verge of it, then you’re not working hard enough”… right, well not if I can help it.  I would like to think that I could actually enjoy the process and get some good results without feeling miserable the whole time or like a failure because I couldn’t quite push it hard enough to do a million plus one reps as fast as the next guy!  This is supposed to be fun right?

Recovery:

Without proper recovery, you won’t get anywhere.  You may notice that you have either experienced this before.  Either you aren’t sleeping, you are too stressed or you are simply overtraining.  You may notice that your body feels worse, you are constantly dealing with injuries and illness, you’re groggy and fatigued all the time and you may even be holding on to that abdominal weight some refer to as “the spare tire” or “muffin top” no matter how many crunches you do.  And… what do you do?  More exercise… to push through it.  And what do you get?  A stubborn extra layer of fat and adrenal fatigue.

Your recovery time is absolutely crucial, it is the period of time where your body reaps all the benefits of your exercise and training regimen.  During exercise, your muscles are strained and stressed and broken down… it’s during your recovery where you are actually maximizing on your muscle growth, fat loss and increases in strength.   Recovery accounts for a number of things, including the actual rest (sleep) you are getting; both quality and quantity, your nutrition as well as your lifestyle and relaxation levels.  Sometimes it’s really “less is more”, but it’s finding the balance that always seems to be tricky.

Total Training Load:

In order to understand how much we individually need to train to create just the right balance of training vs. rest and recovery; it is important to understand Total Training Load (TTL).  This is the amount of training “strain” on the body over time.  The beauty of TTL, is that it can be manipulated to suit your own individual needs from workout to workout & day-to-day.  Here are some of the things you can change within your workout regimen; whether you are running, spinning, swinging kettlebells or strength training with free weights.

  • Number of repetitions
  • The amount of resistance or weight
  • Length of workout sets
  • The speed
  • Length of resting intervals

Depending on what you want out of your workout for that day, you can mix it up with this short list of things and get exactly what you need.  The thing you want to remember is that if you overdo it (and you will overdo it from time to time), then you are essentially going backwards and breaking the body down, taxing the nervous system and will likely feel worse, experience more injuries, illnesses and eventually burnout.

It’s all about listening to and understanding your own body.  For most of us, this may not be as easy as it sounds.  It’s easy to say “listen to your body, and rest when you need it”, but how many of us actually know how to listen to our bodies?  If we did, then I likely wouldn’t have a job.

Cycling Intensity:

In general you should cycle the intensity of your workouts between easy, moderate & hard.  So how do you know what your intensity is and how often do you cycle through each?  How do you know when you are actually participating in an easy workout as opposed to a moderate or hard one?  The answer is relatively easy, how much can you talk during the actual workout.

  • Easy:  According to experts an easy workout is one in which you would be able to have a full conversation, speaking full sentences while working between 50 & 75% of your maximum.  This would fall into the category of low-level aerobic activity below.  In general you should be doing 2 easy workouts per each 1 hard workout.
  • Moderate:  This falls right around the 75% mark.  This is where most people camp out.  You are able to speak words but not engage in a full conversation or speak in full sentences.  Your moderate workouts basically fill in the blanks as far as timing and scheduling workouts go.
  • Hard:  This is where you can no longer talk at all, you’re likely reaching your VO2 max.  These workouts are great to supercharge.  For a good balance and to achieve gains in whatever your goals are, 1-2 hard workouts a week, separated by 2 days (at least) is a good baseline to go off.

Types of training:

There are tons and tons of different training styles out there today… one could never get bored researching them… trust me, I’ve spent hours on the computer getting lost in blogs, YouTube videos and research studies on exercise and training.  Your body is adaptable, it’s one of the things that makes us so resilient.  As you can adapt to different climates, situations and even people, you will adapt to exercise if it’s not varied.   Your body will figure out the most efficient way to preserve energy and nutritional stores, it’s a survival mechanism rooted in our DNA; this is both a blessing and a curse.  The blessing is that we are able to adapt to our surroundings and the curse; your body will hold onto fat like your life depends on it, because at one point, it did.  Hence, the plateau.  I know you’ve all experienced this at some point, you’ve gotten great gains at the beginning (built muscle mass, lost some body fat, gotten stronger and felt better) but then it just stops and no matter what you do… nothing changes and you may even notice you do go backwards.  One of the worst things you could do is continue doing exactly what you’re doing, exactly how you’re doing it.  Mostly people will exercise at about 75% of their max all the time, doing the exact same exercise (a good example is runners).  Switch it up people!  Go harder, go easier… refer to the list above and change-up your workout routine.  What you need is to recharge your system (nervous and cardiovascular) in a different way and shock the body into having to recalibrate and adapt to a new set of criteria.  Otherwise, you may just be stuck on that plateau whether you like it or not.  In addition to the different ways in which you can change-up your intensity and total training load above, the following is just a quick and short list of options to add in to your training regimen.

  • High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) – Just like it sounds, HIIT is a high intensity short burst of exercise.  Much like sprinting, and sometimes referred to as sprint interval training.  In other words if you are feeling pretty confident with your fitness level and try doing some HIIT, prepare to be humbled.  Sprinting would definitely fall into the category of HARD workouts.  HIIT is not limited to sprinting however, you can use this concept with anything else… jumping, bounding, push ups, weights, spinning… you name it.  The key with these, is they are usually short in duration, lasting anywhere from 9-20 minutes for your entire workout.  The original protocol for HIIT training follows a 2:1 ratio; meaning for every 2 (units) of exercise, you recover for 1.  This may sound familiar…
    • Tabata – HIIT that is measured by doing intense bouts of exercise for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest.  This is great for sprinting and we use it a lot at the Gym with Kettlebells, ropes, boxes and other functional training modalities.
  • Neural Charging –  Still following a similar concept but is based on the idea that you can train more frequently without overtraining.  In general, neural charging uses explosive movements for short amounts of time (stopping before you experience any muscle fatigue, a concept many of us are not used to).  An example of this is doing explosive push ups.  Pushing up off the ground or a box as fast and as explosively as you can for 1 – 5 reps (until you feel you may lose power) and taking out the eccentric part of the movement (the slow lowering of your body back to the floor).  For a more in-depth description, check out Christian Thibadeau’s articles on Neural charging here.
  • The benefits of all the above have been shown to increase your body’s ability to burn fat, improve insulin sensitivity, as well as increase your speed, agility and athleticism.
  • Low-Level Aerobic Activity – Basically anything you do where you can talk with a friend at the same time.  For some workouts, you may even count these as a gym workout, there are plenty of times I’ve been taking it easy at the gym, able to have a full conversation with somebody while I’m lightly swinging a kettlebell.  However, more commonly these workouts are walks, hikes, biking into town, other daily activities outdoors or even indoors.  You could probably count vacuuming as a low-level aerobic activity if you wanted.

Stress and your body:

Stress is a huge part of our lives, some experts say it’s the cause of 90% of disease, (though one could argue it may be high fructose corn syrup and stress causes about 99% of disease)!  Your body can’t differentiate between physical stress and all the other mental and emotional stressors that you experience in a day.  When we work out, our physical bodies are stressed in that we are putting strain on the muscles, the cardiovascular system & the nervous system.  When we are emotionally stressed, our bodies are dealing with the windfall of adrenaline and cortisol spikes and valleys elicited by work, family responsibilities, finances, traffic, deadlines, not getting enough sleep etc… the list goes on and on (you are probably feeling a little bit of this stress right now, just after reading that short list).

For the most part, exercise reduces stress, increases the amount of endorphins your body produces, helps you lose weight, increase focus & improves sleep just to name a few.  However, there is always a balance to be found.  It depends on who you are, how you live and what you deem priority in life.  For example, for some people it’s like pulling teeth just to get them to commit to going for a walk 20 minutes a day 3 days a week… then for others it’s more is always better.  Pain is the name of the game right?  “No pain, no gain”… well to some degree this is true, but in general not to the extreme that we American’s are used to.

First and foremost it is important to find your balance and as far as exercise is concerned.  Here are a couple of notes from Dr. Jeff Spencer, named Sports Chiropractor of the Year, author, olympian and recent author of the article “Fail To Do This After a Workout and Your Whole Effort is Wasted” on Mercola.com. 

  • Should have quick and full recovery after each workout – After a workout you should rebound quickly from the effort and feel almost back to normal within 30-minutes. A prolonged rebound is a sign the workout was too difficult and you need to go easy for a couple of days.
  • Ideal to feel better at end of workout than the beginning – Successful workouts will leave you feeling better at the end of your workout than the beginning. This is a sign of well-trained body.
  • Slight soreness on occasion is OK, but regular soreness isn’t – Slight muscle soreness is normal after starting to exercise, when new exercises are implemented into your workouts or when an increase in exercise intensity is done.
  • Should be able to raise heart rate – A cardinal sign of having the right training balance of effort to recovery is when your heart rate moves up and down nicely during a workout. If your heart rate fails to elevate during a workout you’re over-trained from training too hard too often, and you need time off.
    • Also keep an eye on your resting heart rate first thing in the morning.  If your heart rate is elevated while you are still lying in bed, then you are likely not recovery properly &/or overtrained.  Take this as another indicator that you’ve pushed your threshold and just back off.
  • Heart rate should drop immediately when workout completed – Fitness buffs having ideal intensity variety in their workouts have heart rates that drop down to slightly above normal within 5-minutes of finishing a workout then drop back to normal levels shortly thereafter.
  • Perspiration should stop shortly after training complete– As a rule sweating associated with workouts should stop within a few minutes after exercise is stopped when workout intensity and overall fitness is within ideal range.  If sweating continues 20-30 minutes after exercise it is the sign the workout was too hard, and requires a few easy days to recover from.  If you feel sore then put two or more easy day’s into your program to let your body catch up with itself (Spencer, 2011).

As for the rest of your life, it’s up to you to start decreasing the amount of stressors in your life.  There are many ways to do this and that could be a much longer post… so stay tuned we’ll get there.  Diet is going to play a big part in your total stress too, in short you are better off eating as clean as possible, lots of vegetables, fruits and good clean proteins.  But for now, get some acupuncture, do some yoga or meditation and get a massage!

There are a number of nutritional supplements that you can add to your regimen in order to better deal with stress (both physical and mental emotional), many of them are referred to as ‘adaptogens’ and I regularly cycle through them.  A quick and short list includes:  Rhodiola, Ashwaghanda, Maca, & Ginseng.  Add to that B-vitamins (complex), Vitamin C (for tissue repair) and a daily multi-vitamin and you should be well on your way.  (If you are currently on a list of a number of other medications please consult your physician before beginning any new supplements, this article is not intended to diagnose or cure & is for informational purposes only).

As an Acupuncturist & Master of OM, chinese herbal formulas can also do wonders to help with stress management and recovery.  In addition to acupuncture treatments, a trained herbalist can put together a mixture of herbs (including some of those listed above) personalized just for you in order to help your body adapt to stressors and strains.

Overtraining & Cortisol Response:

It’s actually an easy thing to do.  Life stressors are always changing and our ability and strength to stay resilient has its own personal ups and downs.  I still struggle with keeping a good balance of how much is just enough in order to get the benefits without the break down.  So what happens to our bodies when we overdo it?  Your body is running on adrenaline all the time, and much like the insulin de-sensitivity that happens with Type II Diabetics, we become a little less sensitive to the constant influx of adrenaline-like substances coursing through our bodies and literally get sick and tired.

Just like we need to exercise, but not too much, we also need Cortisol… just not too much.  It is a necessary hormone and in moderate amounts will regulate glucose, insulin, blood pressure, the immune system and our inflammatory response.  Aptly referred to as the ‘stress hormone’ it is released as a means to improve mental acuity, kickstart your immune system and shuttle glucose to where it may be needed during acute episodes of stress.  However, our bodies were never meant to experience stress all the time, especially at the levels we are accustomed to today.  The fallout of having elevated levels of cortisol in the bloodstream for prolonged periods of time makes up a very long list of maladies including (and not limited to):

  • a decrease in muscle tissue and bone
  • decreased immunity
  • increased blood pressure and likelihood of experiencing a cardiovascular accident
  • blood sugar imbalances
  • lowered thyroid function and
  • an increase in abdominal fat (that stubborn muffin top that never seems to disappear no matter what you do).

Just like Goldilocks, you’ve got to find the right fit for you in order to achieve the maximal benefits from your exercise whether you are looking to gain size, increase strength and muscle, lose fat or just to reduce your stress level.

So… go on, get out there and enjoy your training regimen, switch it up and cycle your TTL’s & don’t forget how important your recovery time is.  Get the benefits that exercise was meant to give you without the frustrations of never getting it right!  Have fun and I’ll see you in the gym… or at the office.

Till next time ~ be well,

Erin (soon to be LAc., MAOM)

Sources:

High Intensity Interval Training. (2011). Wikipedia. Retrieved May 14, 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-intensity_interval_training

Scott, E. (2008, February 5). Cortisol and stress: how to stay healthy. Stress Management, Retrieved from http://stress.about.com/od/stresshealth/a/cortisol.htm

Spencer, J. (2011, May 13). Fail to do this after a workout and your whole effort is wasted. Mercola.com, Retrieved from     http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2011/05/13/getting-fit-doesnt-mean-killing-yourself.aspx

Thibadeau, C. (2010, December 16). Neural charge training. T-Nation, Retrieved from http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_neural_charge/neural_charge_training

Kettlebells & The Skogg System!

March 7, 2011 Leave a comment

on the set...

It’s official! The DVD is complete and it’s shipping out as we speak!  If you are new to my blog and me; I am currently a full-time graduate student at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine as well as a Kettlebell coach at Skogg Gym in downtown Portland.

Now, add to that list; kettlebell fitness ‘talent’ in the new DVD series by Michael Skogg; former Navy Seal and face of Weider PowerBells:

The Skogg System!

This project has been in the works for some time now and is finally complete and ready to buy.  We’ve gotten it out there via the web; either on…

  • Skogg Gym’s website:  SKOGG Gym
  • Amazon
  • Or if you are in the Portland, OR area at our Gym (10th and Everett)!

Check it out and let me know what you think!  It’s been a crazy past 3 years for me with school and work but good things come to those who work hard and I’ve been workin’ hard!  Here’s a little teaser for you…

 

Need more proof?  Burn more calories in less time and get the best workout of your life 🙂 Check out this article by ACE Fitness:  Study Reveals Kettlebells Provide Powerful Workout in Short Amount of Time

Also, keep updated on the Skogg System DVD series, the gym and all things Kettlebell here on Sue Skogg’s (Michael’s other half; co-owner of the Skogg gym, and Executive Producer of the DVD) Blog:  Skogg Sytem: Sue’s Journey

Till next time, keep swingin!

Erin

Happy Chinese New Year!

February 3, 2011 Leave a comment

by, chooyutshing @flickr.com

 

Today marks the eve’ of the Chinese New Year; the year of the Rabbit!  For the next 15 days; until the Full moon, those who celebrate the Chinese New Year will take part in many different traditional celebrations & parties.  But where do these traditions come from and what do they entail?  Check out my previous post from the 2009 for more info on this.  Just click here.

For those who are born in the year of the Rabbit are in for a very fortunate future, the rabbit in Chinese mythology is thought to be the ’emblem of longevity’.  The rabbit possesses great graciousness, kindheartedness, good manners and a sensitivity to beauty.  In addition a person born under the sign of the rabbit; is a good friend, sensitive, soft-spoken, amiable, elegant, reserved, cautious, artistic, thorough, tender, self-assured, shy, astute, compassionate, lucky, flexible.  But just like anybody, they will have their ‘down side’ as well and can be moody, detached, superficial, self-indulgent, opportunistic, stubborn.

A child born in the Rabbit’s year will have a sweet disposition. Even-tempered and obedient, he will be sensitive to the moods of his parents and act accordingly. He may or may not be talkative, but he won’t be rowdy or offensive. He can sit quietly and concentrate on one toy or game at a time.

Usually he is a light sleeper and may fret a lot when he is sick. He will be easy to discipline and should have little trouble fitting in at school. He learns his lessons well and with ease. But although he has better than average manners, this does not mean he will not be argumentative in his own soft-spoken way. He can grasp both sides of a question quickly and debate his point with intelligence.

At times, it will be difficult to decipher his thoughts or deeds. Smooth at masking his feelings, the Rabbit will only say what he knows will please you and thus maneuver you to his way of thinking without your even noticing it.

He will be able to fend for himself and protect his possessions. Remarkably observant, he can calculate his chances for getting his way. Instead of directly resisting rules, the subtle Rabbit will carefully devise ways around them. In short, this polite little angel is going to bargain for a better deal every time (www.theholidayspot.com; Feb. 2, 2011).

He can take reproach with a defiant or philosophical sort of indifference. Shrugging off his setbacks, the Rabbit will patiently start again from square one. Helpful at home, conforming in school and well-tuned to his environment, this child will know his way around people and problems. Rest assured he will be well-liked and accepted in all circles (.

Each year is marked by a different animal in the Chinese Zodiac; and each year is blessed with it’s own theme based on the ‘personality’ of the zodiac sign.  So what will this year bring us with the energy of the rabbit?

This year we are under the influence of the Metal Rabbit.  The rabbit in general will bring us a year of peace and tranquility, a time to recharge our batteries and refresh our spirits; something we can probably all use especially after the ‘ferocious’ year of the Tiger.  In addition, the Metal element will bring a competitive edge to the tranquil bunny.

From one website:

A placid year, very much welcomed and needed after the ferocious year of the Tiger. We should go off to some quiet spot to lick our wounds and get some rest after all the battles of the previous year.

Good taste and refinement will shine on everything and people will acknowledge that persuasion is better than force. A congenial time in which diplomacy, international relations and politics will be given a front seat again. We will act with discretion and make reasonable concessions without too much difficulty.

A time to watch out that we do not become too indulgent. The influence of the Rabbit tends to spoil those who like too much comfort and thus impair their effectiveness and sense of duty.

Law and order will be lax; rules and regulations will not be rigidly enforced. No one seems very inclined to bother with these unpleasant realities. They are busy enjoying themselves, entertaining others or simply taking it easy. The scene is quiet and calm, even deteriorating to the point of somnolence. We will all have a tendency to put off disagreeable tasks as long as possible

Money can be made without too much labor. Our life style will be languid and leisurely as we allow ourselves the luxuries we have always craved for. A temperate year with unhurried pace. For once, it may seem possible for us to be carefree and happy without too many annoyances (www.theholidayspot.com; Feb. 2, 2011).

For more reading on the personality of the rabbit and what is to come, click the link above or just simply google chinese astrology…  I am a sucker for these kinds of things.

Here’s another link:  http://pages.infinit.net/garrick/chinese/rabbit.html

So, whether you are taking part in the festivities or not, get ready for a great year!  I am especially looking forward to the year to come as I will be going through some big life changes and I surely could use some peacefulness and tranquility in the process as well as a nice recharge to my battery!  Coming up this year, I will be graduating with a Master’s in Oriental Medicine, getting my Acupuncture license, starting my own business, moving back in with my boyfriend (after 3 years of living long distance and finishing school) & becoming an Aunt (hopefully in the next 7 days! An early congrats to Aaron and Erika Hill!)  Anyway, the list goes on and certainly change is in the air, so it’s nice to know that their will be a fluidity and sense of ease that comes with the rabbit.

Till next time…  Happy New Year!

Erin

Sources:

2011 is the year of the rabbit. (2011, February 2). Retrieved from http://www.theholidayspot.com/chinese_new_year/more_zodiacs/rabbit.htm

Chinese zodiac. (2011, February 2). Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Zodiac

 

 

GMO’s Taking Over

January 31, 2011 Leave a comment

By, ConstructionDealMarketing @flickr.com

In the wake of a 12-year battle to keep Monsanto’s Genetically Engineered (GE) crops from contaminating the nation’s 25,000 organic farms and ranches, America’s organic consumers and producers are facing betrayal. A self-appointed cabal of the Organic Elite, spearheaded by Whole Foods Market, Organic Valley, and Stonyfield Farm, has decided it’s time to surrender to Monsanto. Top executives from these companies have publicly admitted that they no longer oppose the mass commercialization of GE crops, such as Monsanto’s controversial Roundup Ready alfalfa, and are prepared to sit down and cut a deal for “coexistence” with Monsanto and USDA biotech cheerleader Tom Vilsack (examiner.com, 2011)

Continue reading on Examiner.com: Whole Foods and other organic groceries cave in to Monsanto and GMO products – National Finance Examiner | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/finance-examiner-in-national/whole-foods-and-other-organic-groceries-cave-to-monsanto-and-gmo-products#ixzz1CYfiOlay

Just when I thought we were on the right path, and there were still some company’s out there trying to support health, nutrition and wellbeing.  Once again, big corporations who are more interested in their income than health, win again.  I am a subscriber to the Environmental Working Group e-mail serve and every so often they send letters out concerning petitions and other chances for us to sign letters supporting healthy eating, environmental sustainability, non-toxic babies you name it.  Recently the past 4 that I have received from them are regarding the laws pertaining to GMO’s (genetically modified foods) and Monsanto.  I did my part and sent a letter to the government, hoping that enough people may do the same in order to make a difference; however, it still seems that as progressive as we (I) think we are in supporting healthy, non genetically modified, pesticide and chemical free foods, we are still under the big hand of those in control (those who make the decisions also control the $, i.e. big corps & big pharma).

So, in an effort to support your own health and those closest to you; family and friends, spread the word and get informed.  Read your labels, research where your food comes from; find out if it’s organic or ‘natural’ and what exactly that means.  A little knowledge can go a long way and your health and wellbeing depends on it.  We are what we eat; literally, and if we keep pumping ourselves full of non-nutrient dense foods, filled with chemicals; how are our bodies supposed to thrive?

And to lighten things up a bit after that depressing news; this all reminds me of a scene in the new show Portlandia… and yes, though a little extreme, those of you who do live in Portland or are familiar with it know that it isn’t too far off.  Love it!

 

 

Source:

Schortgen, K. (2011, January 28). Whole foods and other organic groceries cave in to monsanto and gmo products [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.examiner.com/finance-examiner-in-national/whole-foods-and-other-organic-groceries-cave-to-monsanto-and-gmo-products

 

RIP Jack LaLanne

January 24, 2011 Leave a comment

Here’s a little tribute to the late and great juice-master himself…

I’ll take it as a sign to cut sugar for the next week and thereafter.  I’m usually pretty good about not taking in any refined sugars, but for some reason the past week has not been pretty and I have been paying for it.  Here’s to a new week; who’s with me.  Rest in peace Jack Lallane.

 

A Dream Job

November 30, 2010 Leave a comment

by, Megan Mallen @ Flickr

While I do believe I will be happy working just about anywhere I end up, deep down I secretly think Lisa Ripi (see New York Times article below) has created something of a dream job…

Before I started acupuncture school I always considered getting into sports medicine and seriously considered going to physical therapy school.  My undergraduate degree was from Univ. of Colorado @ Boulder in Integrative Physiology and they had an amazing sports medicine program that I was fortunate to be a part of.   Growing up I participated in many sports as well as spending much of my teens skiing for the US Development Freestyle Ski Team.  An athlete myself I have always wanted to work with athletes and hope to do so in the future (maybe sooner than later as I will graduate in just under a year).

These days Acupuncture is getting into the mainstream and articles like this are both great for the publicity of a great health care modality and can be a huge benefit to athletes of all types.

New York Times:  Acupuncturist Lisa Ripi Treats 40 NFL Players in 4 Cities

Till next time,

~be well~

Erin

 

 

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