Diet soda or regular? Habits for health

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Is diet soda better than regular soda?

We have a serious addiction to soda in the United States, and everything we see encourages it, whether in the media or in our stores or restaurants.

So many of my health conscious clients seek to reduce or get rid of soda in their lives.  Often times they turn to diet soda, or diet drinks thinking this is just as good as water because there is no sugar. Unfortunately, the jury is out for diet drinks, and the survey says your chance of stroke and dementia is 2x higher if you drink between 1-6 diet drinks a week (or more), than people who do not (according to the journal Stroke). There was no correlation for increased stroke or dementia for people who drank regular soda.

Regular soda, however, is the main source of excess sugar in the American diet, which leads to a greater risk in cardiovascular disease.  The more sugar, the more risk, according to a study by the American Heart Association Council on Epidemiology and Prevention in 2013, and as published in JAMA in April 2014.

So diet or regular?  Maybe neither.

Not that I want to take away your daily treats, or coping mechanisms.  Though maybe we can find some replacements that will actually make us feel better. Replacements that nurture us.

I see the soda/diet soda drive coming from a couple places: 1) habit and brand alliance, 2) a small time out from the normal routine, 3) a pick me up when we are feeling a little low.

1) is easy: try a naturally flavored sparkling water – find a new brand and a new friend. Maybe an herbal unsweetened tea, or hot water with lemon and a touch of honey.

2) is also easy: find a different break. Try a breathing exercise, a micro workout/stretch, walking outside, walking up and down the stairs, opening a window, taking a power nap or power meditation, hey – eat an apple.

3) is harder and takes a little more consciousness.  If we are feeling low, it could mean that we have been ignoring our body while we are paying attention to the task at hand. Are you giving yourself the basics for life: good sleep, lots of water, food every 3 hours with a little protein, fat, or fiber to maintain blood sugar?  If you are, and you are still feeling low, what would it take to ask of your body what it has to give?  Are you able to breathe, rest, move around to renew yourself? Do you let yourself make choices that serve you, or do your choices serve others at your expense more often?

Though I can make a case for why not to eat almost anything (and we have to be practical – right?), sugar and diet drinks are a clear risk for the biggest lifestyle diseases we have in America. What can you change in your daily habits to support a different option, and make those a 1-2x/month or less thing?  Regardless of what else you do, getting rid of a daily soda/diet drink habit will go a long way for your sustainable health.

Dr. Lisa Hastings
Systems Chiropractic
MultiSensory Functional Integration
Your Austin chiropractor for quality of life

Overwhelmed, Opportunity for Self Compassion

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overwhelm

So much going on in the world and in so many people’s lives right now. Sometimes it is all too much, and sometimes it is hard to see the way through. Overwhelmed, opportunity for self compassion. Moments like these are not usually fun, and we don’t choose these paths on any given day. Though these moments can shift our direction, give us opportunities to let go of things that are simply too hard to hold on to, and open perspectives that are too subtle to see at other times in our lives.

Being overwhelmed is a gift. A gift that demands our attention while we negotiate a ride we have no control over. A gift that takes all our energy and gives us the opportunity for true kindness. Not to others necessarily, but to ourselves.

In these times do we listen to our needs each moment and support ourselves without judgment? Do we witness ourselves being less than optimally capable of thought, of tolerance, of patience, of physical stamina and prowess? How do we support ourselves when we are not the shining star we want to be?

Times of overwhelm provide a true opportunity to give ourselves the love we need regardless of our performance or the outcome in the world around us. A time to re look at the commitments we make to ourselves. Deep down – do we give ourselves the love we give to babies? Do we withhold love until we achieve or earn it? Do we continually judge ourselves to make sure we don’t take a misstep? If we take a misstep, what does that do in the world, really? If we judge and withhold love from ourselves when we take a misstep, what does that do in ourselves and in the world, really?

Kindness to our neighbor, friend or stranger is a seed of love in the world. Kindness to our inner selves – giving comfort, reprieve, unconditional love and understanding, builds and grows our well of love that feeds us and gushes continually out to the world around us. A misstep may cause issue in your world and will give the receiver an opportunity to actively choose graciousness and compassion. Withholding love from ourselves, because of a misstep or a feeling that we do not deserve it yet, breeds internal conflict which dries up our well and requires us to search for love externally.

compassionWe can never collect enough seeds of kindness from others to sustain us (we can never give enough seeds to sustain them). Seeds are only effective if they grow in fertile soil that is watered from our own internal well. We don’t have control over much when we are overwhelmed, though we can take this time to feed our own well. Fill the cracks, remove the boulders, ultimately we will find our way to the other side and the water of life and love will fill our wells and flow over into the world around us again.

When we are overwhelmed, it may be too much and too hard to see where we are going. Though it is a unique opportunity to see how we treat ourselves and to cultivate a little self compassion that will sustain as we continually head into our future.

With Love and Respect,
Lisa Hastings
Dr. of Chiropractic
Multi Sensory Functional Integration

Feel like yourself again.

Healing from Trauma without Trauma

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We are all affected by trauma at various points in our life.  Whether that trauma be physical or emotional, it can affect every part of us: how we relate to others, how we carry our bodies, how we view ourselves, how we process pain, etc.

Whatever the trauma is, however, and whatever the symptoms are, we want healing.  We want healing soon.  And because of this desire for healing, we often turn to aggressive approaches that can be, in and of themselves, traumatic.

Here is an important lesson, however, that I have learned over and over through my experience helping those from trauma: Trauma only heals in the absence of trauma.

In other words, the safer your environment, the more trustworthy your people, the more loving you are to yourself, and the more peace that your body feels, the more likely healing will be.

Groundbreaking work done by Dr. Karyn Purvis shows the efficacy of fostering safety and connection in children from the worst backgrounds.  It is not hard to see how these techniques can apply to adults as well.

This is what we are about at Clear Point Wellness. We create a peaceful space, a safe place, and only non-traumatic approaches for healing.  If that is what you are looking for, come check us out.

Dr. David Jones
Chiropractor in Austin TX
Focusing on trauma release in the body