Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Got Pain? Drop the Dairy.

milk and arthritis pain and inflamation
The consumption of dairy – specifically cow’s milk products, has been a much debated topic. I mean, how bad can it be? We grew up on the stuff, right? Well, now more than ever, people are becoming aware of the health impact that dairy may have on their bodies.

Cow’s milk products have certain protein molecules (casein and whey) that can cause our immune system to over react and stimulate immediate allergic responses such as hives, wheezing and vomiting, or longer term issues such as loose stool, abdominal cramps, and skin rash. However, it seems that you do not have to be allergic to dairy to experience a negative physical response to it.

Food sensitivities can equally trigger the immune response and any time the immune response is activated, inflammation will present itself.

Why is this important? Well, if you are one of the millions of people that suffer from joint pain or inflammatory diseases such as, Arthritis, Lupus or Fibromyalgia, you can understand that having more inflammation in your body directly translates into more pain you will physically experience.

So what can you do to fight dairy related inflammation?

Begin with an experiment. Try an elimination diet. If you suspect dairy products increase your joint pain, removing it from your diet for a few weeks may help confirm it. Chart your pain for the two weeks you are dairy free. Then, on the third week, reintroduce dairy into your diet and chart your pain to compare. If the pain and inflammation increase during the “re-introduction” phase, you may consider avoiding all dairy products. Just don’t forget to look for ways to get adequate calcium from other sources, such as green leafy vegetables and supplementation.

If you find that you just love dairy too much to eliminate it from your diet then opt to significantly reduce your dairy intake. Try some of the many dairy alternatives on the market today. Rice milk, oat milk, coconut, almond and soy milk can be used in place of cow's milk in cereals, baking and even gravies and stews. Soy yogurt and cheese products alternatives are also available in just about any supermarket. Experiment and find alternatives that you enjoy.

And, if you need help developing a nutrition based health and fitness program that will work for you, feel free to contact me at any time.

As always – enjoy your life.

John Aaron Villarreal


Bio: I am a Houston based, male massage therapist and wellness coach specializing in pain management and health programs for individuals over the age of forty. I laugh - a lot. I'm quirky but sincere. And, while I'm not a counselor, I do listen and I do care: Except for the times that I don't. That’s a joke - Did I mention that I like to laugh? Anyway, visit my website, call or email me and let's get together to talk about you, and the many ways to live life better!
 

The Legal Stuff: I write to inform, inspire and encourage my readers to enjoy all that life has to offer.
The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease.
Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise, diet or wellness program.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pumpkin Power!

the nutritional value of pumpkins do more than decorate
Have you seen them? I just visited Whole Foods and was floored by the selection! So many shapes, colors, sizes. Some with bumps; some smooth. Some full and round; others short and squat. No matter how many varieties there are, you can’t deny that pumpkins are a very popular purchase in the month of October. Though they are mainly purchased to adorn a porch stoop, become a jack-o-lantern for Halloween, or a serve as a centerpiece for autumn decorating, I want to remind you that they are also quite nutritious and delicious.

For example, did you know that…

Pumpkins contain loads of Vitamin A
Vitamin A is vital to the health of the eyes. This vitamin helps the eyes adjust to changes in light. Vitamin A is also important to the functioning of the immune system – quite important to note as we head into the middle of Flu season.

Pumpkins contain Potassium
Zombies would be happy to know that you were eating your pumpkin! Why? Because the potassium contained therein helps to keep your brain functioning well. On a side note; potassium helps to reduce blood pressure and can also help to relieve anxiety and stress.

Pumpkins are a good source of Fiber
Fiber not only helps you eat less by making you feel full, it is essential to keeping the gastrointestinal tract running well, too. Fiber, ahem… helps to flush out toxins from the body. Need I say more?

Pumpkin Seeds can Make for a Healthy Snack
The more mature pumpkin seeds get, the more nutritionally valuable they become. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of vitamin K, magnesium, iron, and vitamin E. Pumpkin seeds also contain those energizing B vitamins! And, pumpkin seeds are rumored to be good for prostate health.

So, while pumpkins are a great autumn decoration, don’t forget that they boast many health benefits, too! So roast’em up and serve them in pies, salads, smoothies and side dishes. You’ll not only be surprised at their versatility and flavor, but you’ll reap the benefit of this seasonal, “fairy tale” fruit.

And, if you need more ideas on how to make the best food choices for getting your waist trim and your heart healthy. Call me at 713-562-2474 and let me set you on the right path with a complementary consultation.

As always – enjoy your life.

John Aaron Villarreal


Bio: I am a Houston based, male massage therapist and wellness coach specializing in pain management and health programs for individuals over the age of forty. I laugh - a lot. I'm quirky but sincere. And, while I'm not a counselor, I do listen and I do care: Except for the times that I don't. That’s a joke - Did I mention that I like to laugh? Anyway, visit my website, call or email me and let's get together to talk about you, and the many ways to live life better!
 

The Legal Stuff: I write to inform, inspire and encourage my readers to enjoy all that life has to offer.
The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease.
Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise, diet or wellness program.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Feeling Guilty...

So I was at the gym today doing my time at the treadmill when I look up to one of the feature stories on Good Morning America. It's about Maria Kang and her “offensive” posting of a picture of her and her three boys. Can you believe that? A mother of three post a picture of herself in excellent form to motivate and inspire, yet people find reason to be insulted? How can that be? The pic was family-friendly, certainly nothing pornographic or “artistic” about it. No suggestive poses, or excessive cleavage. So, why the big hullabaloo!?!?

Then it hit me. It's the mirror. Know what I'm talking about?

It's the times when you look in the mirror and you really don't like what you see… It's those times when you notice the extra inches of flab or the little jiggle-in-the-middle that you just can't seem to get rid of. Then someone posts a seemingly perfect pic of themselves and we compare… What’s worse, we feel judged and our “defensive mode” kicks in quickly followed by self-justification.

To justify our late-night snacking or frequent visits to happy hour we tell ourselves; “Well, I work hard! I deserve this time, this treat, this... [insert vice here]!” We justify not going to the gym by saying; “I work hard, I have SO many things to do, I'm BUSY, I don't have time to go to the gym!”

Then, someone like Maria Kang shows up... Someone who has a full schedule, a competitive career, a husband, and three very energetic kids. And, the most offensive thing? She reminds us that it CAN be done! We CAN control our weight, our bodies, our health, and our lives. We CAN voluntarily limit our access to excessive calories and lack of sleep. She reminds us that, while working and earning a living is important, it's not an excuse to ignore your health.

In all honesty, I am 100% sure that Maria never posted that photo to snub to anyone. Not once did she stick her tongue out at us and say, “You're so fat!” Nope. Not once. Instead, it was the inner-voice that lives inside each of us that mouthed those words. The unfortunate and bitter truth is that this inner voice is often times correct. We just find it easier to blame her for our insecurities – our guilty feelings.

Clearly there is a whole lot more going on here than a controversial picture. Living life is complicated, and each of us must find the right balance for ourselves. So the challenge that I have set for myself, and hope you will pursue as well, is that we don't look at the Maria Kangs of the world and compare ourselves to them.

Instead, I challenge myself to be the best that I can be. Does that mean making more choices that lead me in the direction of better health and a leaner, stronger body? Absolutely!

The fewer self-destructive actions I take (like overindulging in food or alcohol), means the further I get from that flabby guy in the mirror, and the closer I get to actually living a life filled with energy, activity, and happiness. I choose to stop feeling guilty about all the choices I have made in the past that took me away from that goal and I pledge myself to move forward to the greater good. I hope you do the same.

As always - Enjoy Your Life!

John Aaron Villarreal
713-562-2474


Bio: I am a Houston based, male massage therapist and wellness coach specializing in pain management and health programs for individuals over the age of forty. I laugh - a lot. I'm quirky but sincere. And, while I'm not a counselor, I do listen and I do care: Except for the times that I don't. That’s a joke - Did I mention that I like to laugh? Anyway, visit my website, call or email me and let's get together to talk about you, and the many ways to live life better!
 

The Legal Stuff: I write to inform, inspire and encourage my readers to enjoy all that life has to offer.
The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease.
Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise, diet or wellness program.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Why Breakfast really is the Most Important Meal of the Day

Are you one of those people that just doesn’t see what the big deal is about eating breakfast? Despite the fact that nutrition experts and health professionals have always said how important a hearty breakfast is, I continued to skip breakfast on a regular basis.

I know I’m not the only one to do this. A large percentage of us who avoid eating regular breakfasts say it’s because they don’t have time to eat in the morning. A similar proportion say they don’t eat breakfast because they just don’t feel hungry when they first wake up. Whatever your reason for avoiding breakfast, I’m here to say I no longer plan on missing out on the whole range of health benefits this one little meal can bring. Benefits like;

Better Concentration
Eating a breakfast with complex carbohydrates has been shown to increase concentration and brainpower throughout the day. High-quality carbohydrates that release energy slowly, such as those found in wholegrain breads and cereals, are far more nutrient-rich than white bread and refined grains that are often high in sugar. Eating just one slice of wholegrain toast in a morning can improve your cognitive abilities throughout the whole day.

Weight Loss
I’ve discovered that some of my very own clients would skip meals, especially breakfast, in the mistaken belief that it would help them to lose weight. However, skipping breakfast has been shown to have the opposite effect, with many studies suggesting that eating breakfast is an essential component of long-term weight loss. Eating breakfast helps you to maintain control of your appetite and reduces the risk of food cravings later in the day. If you are trying to lose weight, choose a low-fat breakfast with plenty of lean protein and a small amount of complex carbohydrates. Eating a small breakfast is far more likely to help you achieve your weight loss goal than skipping breakfast completely.

Increased Energy
The human body is a complex mechanism that needs fuel in order to function properly. Skipping breakfast means your body is trying to work without the fuel it needs and this leads to a significant reduction in your energy levels – and a greater dependency on caffeinated drinks like our morning coffee. However, a breakfast with good quality protein, such as eggs, lean meat, or low-fat dairy, will give you consistently higher energy levels throughout the day. Add some fresh fruit for an extra energy boost.

Improved Mood
Adding to the theme of increased energy, skipping breakfast puts your body into a “fasting” state, where it has to work harder to function properly because it has no fuel. This leads to irritability, anxiety, and low mood. Eating a breakfast complete with complex carbohydrates and high-quality protein can help to stabilize your moods for the day and leave you better able to deal with the problems you may face at home and work.

Preventing Serious Diseases
Having regular meals, including a balanced breakfast, are essential for keeping your blood sugar levels stable and balanced. Stable blood sugar levels help to prevent diabetes and improve your long-term health. Regularly eating a balanced breakfast also reduces your risk of developing heart disease and cardiovascular problems.

So there you have it. My five reasons I (and YOU) should have breakfast daily. I encourage you to eat a breakfast that incorporates complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and fresh fruit or vegetables for a health-boosting start to the day.

As always – enjoy your life.

John Aaron Villarreal


Bio: I am a Houston based, male massage therapist and wellness coach specializing in pain management and health programs for individuals over the age of forty. I laugh - a lot. I'm quirky but sincere. And, while I'm not a counselor, I do listen and I do care: Except for the times that I don't. That’s a joke - Did I mention that I like to laugh? Anyway, visit my website, call or email me and let's get together to talk about you, and the many ways to live life better!

The Legal Stuff: I write to inform, inspire and encourage my readers to enjoy all that life has to offer.
The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease.
Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise, diet or wellness program.