Tag Archives: Dr. Jeff Ulery

Quick & Easy Ways To Relax And Re-charge

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Use the Summer to Relax and Recharge

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Dr. Jeff Ulery

Have you felt anxious or stressed lately? On going feelings of apprehension, fear or just nervousness can rob people of their quality of life and even negatively impact their health. Research shows that chronic stress and anxiety can shorten our life spans, speed aging and dramatically increase our risk of life threatening diseases. Stress can also cause immediate problems of poor performance, cognitive function (cloudy thinking) and depressive or angry mood swings. The good news is that there are things you can do to help with stress and anxiety.

You probably already know the most important things you can do to manage stress . . . That’s right . . . eat a healthy diet, exercise, and get a good nights sleep. Foods have a profound effect on mood and coping. Processed, refined and sugary foods exacerbate symptoms of stress while eating a diet rich in fresh produce, high-quality protein and healthy fats (especially omega-3s) help you better cope with stress. Give your body all the nutrients it needs and try some of these tried and true stress-less strategies:

  • Write in a journal
  • Go for a walk or hike…spend time in nature
  • Call a friend, socialize and welcome good humor
  • Get involved with helping others
  • See the big picture and slow down
  • Avoid unnecessary stress
  • Prioritize your life, set realistic goals and use a to-do list
  • Celebrate anything (successes, holidays, people)
  • Read a good book for enjoyment
  • Accept things you can’t change
  • Establish/maintain a daily routine
  • Keep thoughts positive
  • Make time for hobbies (music, dance, cultural)
  • Meditate- use a meditation or breathing app
  • Take control and learn to say “no”
  • Relax in a long Epsom salt bath
  • Light scented candles
  • Work in a garden
  • Get a massage
  • Listen to music
  • Watch a comedy show
  • Be optimistic and express gratitude
  • Let it go…don’t drown in perfectionism, lower expectations
  • Simplify, eliminate and delegate
  • Forgive yourself and others
  • Make time for fun and relaxation

Come up with a list of your personal favorite ways to relax and recharge and keep this list handy. Remember, YOU have the power to transform your health … ONE healthy choice at a time! So take some time to rejuvenate everyday and remember to eat right, exercise and get your rest.


We love Dr. Jeff Ulery and his team at Whole Body Health, especially their holistic, functional and alternative approach to health. For more information, visit their website at austinwholebodyhealth.com.


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The Value in Breathing Deeply

How to Stay Energized, Renewed and Balanced Throughout Your Summer, Part IV

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Point to Ponder:
Do you make it a priority to breathe deeply?

iGnite Neissa

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Recently I read a great article where actress Jennifer Garner said something very true, which is, “Unplugging takes real discipline”. In addition to unplugging being difficult, I find that taking long, deep and slow breaths takes real discipline, too. Both unplugging and deep breathing are important to maintaining our health as well as keeping our stress at bay. This is why taking advantage of a holiday like today, July 4th, as well as the summer months where we can unplug, relax and breathe deeply is vital for energy, renewal and overall health.

During the spring and while in Austin, I had a shallow breathing experience. I developed a pounding headache for several days, along with mild chest pain and heart burn—both of which I have never had. At one point I even questioned if I was having a heart attack. It was weird! Thankfully I was able to see my friend, health adviser and mentor Jeff Ulery at Whole Body Health. After accessing my body and cringing when he touched my jaw, diaphragm and shoulders, he diagnosed me with shallow breathing. He adjusted my body, including my diaphragm and jaw, and as I laid and rested on his table for one long and amazing hour, I began feeling renewed. Both my headache, diaphragm and jaw pain eased. Not surprisingly, he recommended the same things he always does when I see him, which is adequate rest, daily prayer and mindful bouts of deep and slow breathing, rather than my normal shallow breathing.

Shallow breathing is thoracic breathing, or chest breathing, which is the drawing of minimal breath into the lungs, usually by drawing air into the chest area using the intercostal muscles rather than throughout the lungs via the diaphragm. Ultimately, my continual shallow breathing is what caused my neck, chest, shoulder pain and tightness, which is what led to the tension in my body. So, as simple as it sounds, my final recommendation to staying energized, renewed and balanced throughout the summer season is to be intentional with deep breathing. Here’s why:

  1. Detoxifies and Releases Toxins – Your body is designed to release 70% of its toxins through breathing. If you are not breathing effectively, you are not properly ridding your body of its toxins i.e. other systems in your body must work overtime which could eventually lead to illness. When you exhale air from your body, you release carbon dioxide that has been passed through from your bloodstream into your lungs. Carbon dioxide is a natural waste of your body’s metabolism.
  2. Releases Tension – Think how your body feels when you are tense, angry, scared or stressed. It constricts. Your muscles get tight and your breathing becomes shallow. When your breathing is shallow you are not getting the amount of oxygen that your body needs.
  3. Relaxes the Mind/Body and Brings Clarity – Oxygenation of the brain reduces excessive anxiety levels. Paying attention to your breathing. Breathe slowly, deeply and purposefully into your body. Notice any places that are tight and breathe into them. As you relax your body, you may find that the breathing brings clarity and insights to you as well.
  4. Relieves Pain – You may not realize its connection to how you think, feel and experience life. For example, what happens to your breathing when you anticipate pain? You probably hold your breath. Yet studies show that breathing into your pain helps to ease it.
  5. Massages Your Organs – The movements of the diaphragm during the deep. breathing exercise massages the stomach, small intestine, liver and pancreas. The upper movement of the diaphragm also massages the heart. When you inhale air your diaphragm descends and your abdomen will expand. By this action you massage vital organs and improves circulation in them. Controlled breathing also strengthens and tones your abdominal muscles.
  6. Increases Muscle – Breathing is the oxygenation process to all of the cells in your body. With the supply of oxygen to the brain this increases the muscles in your body.
  7. Strengthens the Immune System – Oxygen travels through your bloodstream by attaching to hemoglobin in your red blood cells. This in turn then enriches your body to metabolize nutrients and vitamins.
  8. Improves Posture – Good breathing techniques over a sustained period of time will encourage good posture. Bad body posture will result of incorrect breathing so this is such an important process by getting your posture right from early on you will see great benefits.
  9. Boosts Energy, Improves Stamina and Elevates Mood – Breathing increase pleasure-inducing neurochemicals in the brain to elevate moods and combat physical pain
  10. Improves Cellular Regeneration and Nervous System – The brain, spinal cord and nerves receive increased oxygenation and are more nourished. This improves the health of the whole body, since the nervous system communicates to all parts of the body.

Finally and very importantly, according to Hope4Cancer, cancer research is supporting that cancer cells thrive in oxygen-poor environments and when the body is deprived of oxygen, disease can set in. Also, according to Bo Forbes, whose research was sited in last week’s journal, cancer cells look for tight connective tissue and dehydrated cells to live in and spread. So, while it sounds ridiculously simple, I believe the key to fully embracing our freedom is through our health, and the ways we access great health, energy, renewal and balance is through daily movement, exercise, stretching, trying new things, staying hydrated, eating often and from the Earth, having fun, unplugging daily and breathing deeply.


Action Item:
Several times each day, make it a priority to unplug and breathe deeply.


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Pumpkin Spice Coconut Oil Bites

Pumpkin Spice Coconut Oil Balls

Pumpkin Spice Coconut Oil Balls

by Allison Quinones of Plant Based Pulse

by Allison Quinones of Plant Based Pulse

Yields: Approx. 35 T Sized Balls
Serving: 3 per day
Prep Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup organic unsulphured raw coconut butter (boughten or homemade)
  • 3/4 cup organic extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup organic coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup + 1 T organic pumpkin puree
  • 2 T  pumpkin pie spice
  • 15 drops stevia (or to taste)

Pumpkin Spice Coconut Oil BallsInstructions:

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until combined. Take the mixture and refrigerate for no more than 30 minutes to allow the dough to become more firm. Using a melon baller/cookie scoop, or your fingers, gently roll dough into tablespoon sized balls. Place on a plate cover in parchment paper and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or until hard. Store in an airtight container in the fridge, will last about 3 weeks.

Why We Love Coconut Oil

One strategy to increase ATP (the energy currency for the body) for brain healing & preventing dementia is consuming coconut oil: 1 tbsp with breakfast, lunch and dinner.  MCT (medium chain triglycerides) found in coconut oil have many great benefits, including:

  • Improving the body’s use of insulin
  • Improving cholesterol by increasing HDL (good cholesterol)
  • Boosting thyroid function resulting in increased energy
  • Acting as an antioxidant and natural antibiotic
  • Improving overall health of skin and hair
  • Improves cognitive function

As one way to get your fill of coconut oil, I love the idea of using coconut oil to satiate sweet cravings. This is an especially good idea for those who might have a taste or texture aversion to coconut oil on its own (like my wife). Personally I create a chocolate version using raw cacao powder, coconut oil and stevia to satisfy my sweet cravings.

 

The Scoop on Coconut Butter

by Allison Quinones of Plant Based Pulse

by Allison Quinones of Plant Based Pulse

You may be asking yourself, “Why did she use coconut butter in addition to the oil, versus just oil?”  Coconut butter is made from ground raw coconut flakes or meat, that when processed at a high speed, pulls out the oils (just as nuts do into nut butter). When using coconut butter, you are not only getting the benefits of the oil, but also dietary fiber, proteins, vitamins and minerals. Coconut butter provides a full flavor and creaminess that compliments the texture of the coconut oil.

Any brand of coconut butter will work as long as the only ingredient is raw organic coconut. If you own a high-speed processor or blender, it’s much cheaper to make it at home than purchase it (plus it is satisfying to make yourself!). I paid $3.28 for 3/4 lb., which yields at least 16 oz. coconut butter, versus boughten at no less than $10.00 per 16 oz.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

What Everyone Needs To Know About Sweeteners

by Dr. Jeff Ulery, D.C., Whole Body Health

by Dr. Jeff Ulery, D.C., Whole Body Health

I think it is extremely important to start out on the right foot, so to speak. I teach nutritional lifestyle in my practice with a focus on identifying toxic foods and transitioning to eliminating the offending foods. Therefore, there seems to be a generally accepted opinion that my diet is perfect — even though I frequently share with my patients and class attendees that it is not. To that point, I will begin with my nutritional story to emphasize my imperfect dietary history.

Jeff’s Story

Growing Up a Sugar Addict

Let’s be frank! My greatest weaknesses are sweet things. I have spent most of my life consuming large amounts of sugar. I grew up eating the obviously sugar-laden Captain Crunch, Fruity Pebbles, Dolly Madison Sweet Rolls and Donuts for breakfast, something made with Ms. Baird’s white bread, McDonalds, Wendy’s and Burger King with a large soda for lunch, Hamburger Helper for dinner. I typically snacked on chips, Oreos, Chips Ahoy or, of course, a Snickers bar. I was an addict without  knowing any better.

In hindsight, I see how this dietary lifestyle contributed to my intense hypoglycemia, adrenal exhaustion, recurring injuries in sports and other various symptoms as a youth. After graduating from college and striking out on my career as an educator, I made minor changes to my diet in an attempt to eat healthier. I changed from putting sugar in my tea to using Sweet & Low and eventually NutraSweet. I changed my morning meal to Toaster Strudel, an extra large banana nut muffin or an occasional donut, my lunch stayed about the same with the addition of fried chicken and then dinner was whatever delicious meal my lovely wife prepared. (Did I tell you that she is from Southern Louisiana?) The only motivation for diet modification in my life was physique and, at the time, my metabolism was such that I could stuff myself at an all-you-can-eat-buffet 6 days a week and not gain a pound …not so now.

Making Changes for the Better

I grew up in a household that utilized almost only Western medicine with my mom being a registered nurse and my stepfather a family physician. It wasn’t until I retired from teaching and went back to school for my Doctorate in Chiropractic that I learned what healthy eating was all about. I would like to say that we made changes because I was motivated by the higher ideal of living to my highest potential, but the truth is that my oldest daughter was experiencing bizarre rashes and illnesses. So, like many parents, I was motivated to find a solution to our child’s illnesses that were not adequately being addressed by Western medicine.

The more classes and seminars that I attended, the more we implemented healthy lifestyle practices in our home and life, and the better we all felt. Within a year’s time, I gave up fast food, a diet soda habit (roughly 6 per day), most of my concentrated sweets like candy bars and candy, and transitioned to more real foods. Around 2006, after years of being told I had a gluten sensitivity, I finally committed myself to eliminating gluten from my diet (my mom had colon cancer, and I decided that I would like to be around for my kids and their kids) and, a short time later, I eliminated most dairy as well.

Today, I usually start the day with a smoothie of kale, cucumber, ginger, lime, beet, 8 oz. of pomegranate juice, a handful of berries, vegan or egg white protein and water and on the weekends I usually indulge with a vegetable omelet sans cheese. Pretty amazing journey from  where I started!

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The Truth about Sugar & Sweeteners

Based on what I hear from my patients, staff and what we experience in our own home, November through the New Year is the most difficult time of the year. Even for the most diligent healthy-eater,  we all tend to give in to the “holiday cheer” and indulge in the starch-rich foods, sugar-laden goodies and maybe a little more alcohol than usual. What is the answer? What are the healthiest choices you could make? Are sugar-free sweeteners the answer? Are sugar-free sweeteners really safe? Let’s answer all of these questions, as well as some that you might have thought to ask.

A Sugar Epidemic

The only concentrated sugar that early man would have had access to was honey. But observational research of modern-day hunter-gatherers shows that the average honey consumptions was minor—maybe four pounds, or three percent of total calories, over the course of an entire year. (1,2)   At the turn of the last century, the typical American consumed an average of 158 pounds of sugar per year (this is more than 1 cup/day!). High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) was a huge breakthrough in the sweetener industry because it is twenty times sweeter than cane sugar, cheaper to produce and smaller amounts need to be used to achieve the same sweetening effect. “HFCS is now nearly the exclusive caloric sweetener used in the soft drink industry, and it is also used in juice, condiments, jams, and wine but is not available for home use. Presently, HFCS dominates the sweetener industry, accounting for 55 percent of the market and $4.5 billion in annual sales. In 2003, Americans consumed sixty-one pounds of HFCS per person.” (3)

The multiplying factor for most people is the hidden sugar in their food supply. Most processed foods contain sugar.  Even foods you would not expect to have sugar are heavily laden with it, including salad dressings, medications, sauces, cereals, alcohol, peanut butter… and just about everything that comes in a box, bag or a can. Sugar is an inexpensive flavor enhancer and bulking agent used by food manufacturer companies. My patients often tell me, “I don’t eat that much sugar!” …but they are usually only considering candy, cake, ice cream, candy bars, hard candy, etc. They are typically not considering all of the different sources by which they take in sugar (HFCS and other refined sugars are considered sugar in the context of this article).

The Dangers

You can certainly do your own research, but a few of the well-documented health risks include increased risk of:  diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, high blood pressure, gallbladder disease, depression, allergies, Candida, fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, arthritis, hormone imbalance, food allergies and much more.

“In 1986, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a report on American sugar consumption and its harmful effects on health. One of the conclusions (based on published studies) was that diets containing 25 percent or more of their calories as sugar could result in one or more of the following:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Behavioral problems
  • Mineral deficiencies
  • Gallstones” (3)

“Western nations are in the midst of the worst obesity epidemic to ever hit the planet. There are record numbers of cancers, heart attacks, strokes and Alzheimer’s disease. One of the primary culprits is our craving for sugar, combined with the convenience and affordability of many processed foods that contain it.” (3)

It seems that logic would dictate that a simple solution to the problem of trying to reduce sugar consumption would be to use artificial sweeteners. In fact, Americans consume twenty plus pounds of artificial sweeteners per day per year without any effect on the exponential rates of obesity and other chronic degenerative diseases.

If you’re interested in the science behind it all, this is a great video explaining how sugar affects your brain:

Alternative Sweeteners: Saccharin, Aspartame and Splenda

The big three alternative sweeteners, Sweet & Low®, aspartame and Splenda® were all  accidently discovered. Saccharin was developed in the process of working with the toxic chemical Toluene, aspartame was originally developed as a drug to treat peptic ulcer disease and Splenda® was originally being developed as an insecticide. There is much debate over each of these products, their safety and their alleged health benefits.

My personal experience with aspartame side effects came from my ten-year diet soda habit. I began to struggle with focus and concentration which grew alarmingly worse over time. After I began chiropractic school, I was struggling with memory and focus. A classmate of mine asked me if I ingested products containing aspartame. I told him of my love for diet soda and chewing gum (loaded with artificial sweeteners) and he recommended that I quit. He also recommended I research aspartame more deeply. After three days of discontinuing my diet soda and chewing gum habit, it felt like my brain came alive and my focus and concentration issues became a thing of the past. I have seen similar responses with my patients. Specifically, Brent scheduled a nutritional consultation appointment asking me to load him up with any and all supplements that could improve his failing memory and focus. I inquired to his aspartame intake, discovering that he also was a diet coke addict. I suggested he quit the diet soda and contact me in a few days. He called me two days later excited that his brain was working again!

Is aspartame an effective weight loss product? There is research that shows that aspartame may actually cause people to gain weight. The amino acids in aspartame have been shown to cause a rapid release of insulin and leptin, which signal the body to store fat. Large doses of the amino acid phenylalanine can decrease serotonin, a critical neurotransmitter that helps the body with satiety, the feeling of being full. (3)

Regarding Splenda, “’The FDA’s final ruling noted that no adverse health effects were attributed to sucralose given to animals at doses hundreds of times higher than maximum estimated intakes in humans. However, most of the taste research scientists interviewed for a recent article on sucralose refuse to eat it. One of them commented, ‘I look at that structure and have an irrational fear of it. I’ve seen the safety studies, and you feed it to rats and mice forever and nothing happens. But it scares me.’ – Burkhard Bilger, reporter for the New Yorker Magazine” (4)

Healthy Sweetener Use Guide

Sweeteners to Avoid

(Sweetener data in this chart was adapted from Sweet Deception3)

Where do I go from here?

As I shared with you at the beginning of this article, I have struggled mightily with my sugar addictions, and when not controlled well, I notice many negative symptoms associated with my sugar intake. Most natural caloric sweeteners are simple sugar carbohydrates that will cause elevated blood sugar levels and over time can lead to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome (elevated triglycerides, cholesterol, low HDL, central obesity, hypertension), obesity and diabetes. Some sweeteners are safer than others, and the general rule is: the less-processed, the better. It is critical that you do your own research to help you decide which sweeteners are best for you. Lastly, when you use sweeteners, artificial or natural, you begin to lose your sensitivity to sweetness, requiring you to use more and more to achieve the sweetness you desire.

Even when I am eating “God’s diet” (a diet with foods that are mostly unaltered by man), my ultimate personal goal and my recommendation to patients would be to limit intake or eliminate all sweeteners from your diet. This goal may seem overwhelming and unachievable, but when you are eating a diet that your body was designed to eat, sugar cravings will almost always be significantly reduced or even disappear.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Dr. Jeff Ulery, D.C.‘s practice at Austin Whole Body Health aims to identify the underlying cause of patients’ pain and allergies, instead of merely treating symptoms. Whole Body Health believes in a holistic, functional and alternative approach to health, and provides chiropractic care, acupuncture and supporting adjunctive care that aligns with these principles.

Resources:
Whole Body Health for Life Class: a nutritional makeover class for cleansing,detoxing and transitioning to a healthier nutritional lifestyle at home for your family, shopping and eating out. http://www.AustinWholeBodyHealth.com
Free Nutritional Typing to determine how to eat for your specific body type: http://products.mercola.com/nutritional-typing/
If you would like to learn more about how sugar effects the body, alternative sweeteners, the discovery and politics behind artificial sweeteners like Sweet & Low®, NutraSweet®, Splenda® and more, read:
  • Sweet Deception Why Splenda®, NutraSweet® and the FDA May Be Hazardous to Your Health by Dr. Joseph Mercola and Dr. Kendra Degen Pearsall
  • 76 Ways That Sugar Can Destroy Your Health from Lick the Sugar Habit (Avery Publishing Group, 1996) by Nancy Appleton, PhD, http://www.nancyappleton.com
  • Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic by H.J. Roberts, M.D.
NOTES
• B. Meehan, Shell Bed to Shell Midden (Canberra, Australia: Humanities Press, 1982).
• K. Hawkes, K. Hill, and J.F. O’Connell, “Why Hunters Gather: Optimal Foraging and the Ache of Eastern Paraguay,” American Enthonologist 9 (1982): 379-98.
• J. Mercola and K. D. Pearsall, Sweet Deception Why Splenda®, NutraSweet® and the FDA May Be Hazardous to Your Health (Nelson Books, 2008).
• Burkhard Bilger, “The Search for Sweet,” New Yorker, May 22, 2006.
 

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