15 Smart Strategies to Reduce the Negativity in Your Life

Negativity

The world is full of nice people.  If you can’t find one, be one! [Click to Tweet]

We are all faced with challenging events and people throughout our day that can leave one feeling defeated, angered and stressed out. How we choose to deal with those moments will make all the difference in the world to you and everyone around you. I chose to start seeing my stresses and problems as conquerable challenges from which I can learn. I choose to focus on being a better person that I was yesterday.  I choose to laugh at myself and remind myself that we all make mistakes and that I’ll never be perfect!   Instead of focusing on the bad things, I want to recognize, appreciate and be grateful for all the good things in my life.  I’m working on living with intention, finding my purpose and inspiring and supporting those around me to do the same.
Identifying your negative thinking is the first step towards letting it go. I have come up with some strategies that have helped me deal with my own negativity and that of others. I am more mindful of my thoughts and when dealing with other’s negative thoughts and opinions I am more mindful of my reactions.  I know that by dealing with my own negativity I am better for all of those who are in my life.
Below are a few effective strategies to rejuvenate yourself when you just need to refocus on what is important to you in your life.
  1. Get plenty of sleep, exercise for at least 30 minutes a day and keep up a healthy diet.
  2. Think one small positive thought in the morning and change your whole day! There is power in positive thinking.
  3. Wherever you go, be all there. Be mindful of those moments instead of trying to control each moment and moment to come. Live each moment with intention knowing you have a purpose for being in that moment.
  4. Invest in the important relationships in your life. Do one kind gesture a day.
  5. Take a hot bath at least once a week for 20 minutes. Add a handful of Epson salts, 10 drops of Lavender oil and a half cup of baking soda.  There is not much a hot bath can’t solve.
  6. Say “I can!” Instead of “I can’t”. “The mind is everything.  What you think you become” -Buddha
  7. Look for the good in the experience even if it takes a while.
  8. Do something nice for someone. Help someone.  It will take your mind off of things and you’ll feel better.
  9. Have gratitude. Be thankful for all the good in your life. Make a list of 5 things for which you are grateful.
  10. Tap into your Spirituality. Pray and pray some more and/or meditate.
  11. Add humor to a sticky situation. Life is too short to sweat the small stuff.
  12. Take a deep breath and let it go. Whether for the moment or a lifetime. Walk away for a bit.
  13. Read a good book – one that you may get lost in for a while.
  14. Do more Yoga. Of course I was going to say that!  In order to lead a happy life one MUST balance mind, body and soul.
  15. Most importantly, if you can’t find a happy person in the room, BE ONE!
You can certainly make the world a better place by working on yourself and the space you create.   Tap into your compassion! [Click to Tweet]  Compliment, be that positive person in someone’s day, listen, hug and don’t forget to smile.  If all else fails, walk away, knowing that you are in control of your own happiness and that you choose not to take part in negative behavior.
What are some of the ways you overcome the negativity in your life?
Joy Vale
Patient Care Coordinator
July 29, 2015
www.balancingyourchemistry.com
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians
To make an appointment, click here.

Graphic: “Umbrella Silhouette Stock Photos, Illustrations, and Vector Art.” Umbrella Silhouette Stock Photos, Images, & Pictures. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 July 2015.

10 Ways to Improve Your Memory

 

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Remember when you used to remember

everything?  You can get your memory back.

How do I improve memory? That’s a big question for many people today as more and more people have trouble recovering information from their brain. Technology is a great thing. We get information at the speed of our fingertips. This includes getting directions, calling a person on their phone, or finding an address. Technology has made all this much simpler, but it has had an effect on how we “work-out” our brains. I am showing my age, but when I was growing up, I had phone numbers memorized.  I was able to look at a map, yes, a paper map, and could remember the routes.  I remembered addresses or was able to get out the big old phone book out and look up addresses. Today, kids keep their memories sharpened by playing Mortal Combat on the X-box and remembering the codes to, “rip the spine out of your opponent.”
They say you can’t treat an old-dog new tricks. This is wrong. The brain can adapt to new information, no matter what your age. This is due to Neuroplasticity. With the right stimulation, your brain can create new neural pathways, or wake up neurons along pathways that have become dormant. At any age, neuroplasticity is a possible and wonderful system the brain harnesses. [Click to Tweet].
So let’s look at some ways that anyone can improve their memory:
  1. You can work on those crossword puzzles that are in your daily newspaper, or in those small books you can get at most stores.
  1. Word searches are another exercise you can use to help keep your mind sharp.
  2. The fun game of Concentration is something fun and simple you can do to improve brain power.
  3. Getting the proper amount of sleep, “The truth is that over 95% of adults need between 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep every night to avoid sleep deprivation. Even skimping on a few hours makes a difference. Memory, creativity, problem-solving abilities, and critical thinking skills are all compromised.” [1]
  1. Try to keep your stress in check. Over time, stress releases cortisol which can destroy brain cells and affect our hippocampus. This is the area of the brain where new memories are formed and retrieval of old memory occurs. In our clinic, we are able to tell the people who may have memory issues by their cortisol load and circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is your sleep wake cycle.
  1. Have a diet that helps your brain. “Get your omega-3’s. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids are particularly beneficial for brain health. Fish is a particularly rich source of omega-3, especially cold water “fatty fish” such as salmon, tuna, halibut, trout, mackerel, sardines, and herring.”[2] Another way to boost omega-3’s is to eat more fruits and vegetables.
  2. Learn something new. Remember when I used the old phrase, “you can’t teach an old dogs new tricks?” That is absolutely false.   Older people are taking it upon themselves to learn new things all the time.  More older people are going back to college. When I was in Chiropractic school, we had a gentleman who was an ambassador, taking classes who was in his sixties. Alfred was an amazing guy. He got his degree in Chiropractic in his mid-sixties.
  1. Exercise, even if it’s a little. “Exercise encourages your brain to work at optimum capacity by stimulating nerve cell to multiply, strengthening their interconnections and protecting them from damage.”[3]
  1. If you’re a computer person, then try the site Luminosity on your desktop or Ipad. It has lots of fun games to help you improve your memory.
  1. Make sure you have a healthy gut. “Your gut is your “second brain,” and your gut bacteria transmits information to your brain via the vagus nerve, the tenth cranial nerve that runs from your brain stem into your enteric nervous system (the nervous system of your gastrointestinal tract).[4] There is a close relationship between normal gut flora and brain heath. [Click to Tweet] “Quite simply, your gut health can impact your brain function, psyche, and behavior, as they are interconnected and interdependent in a number of different ways.”[5] Probiotics are also beneficial for your brain health.
So, I hope this helps many of you increase your brain power no matter what your age is. The brain is a remarkable thing, keep using it. Like the old saying goes – use it or lose it!
Dr. David Starkey D.C.
July 27, 2015
www.balancingyourchemistry.com
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians
To make an appointment, click here.

[1] http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/04/24/memory-improvement-tricks.aspx
[2] Id.
[3] Id.
[4] Id.
[5] Id.

10 Ways to Know if You Are Watching Too Much TV

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6 Tips to Kick Your TV/Netflix/Hulu/Amazon Habit

TV programming is not the same as it was.  That is not to say that it is better or worse.  There is just a lot more of it!  You can watch it live, record it on your DVR, stream it, or watch almost any show from services like Hulu and Amazon or network-special programming from HBO and Netflix.  How do you know if you are watching too much?
Watching TV these days is like eating Thanksgiving dinner. There is so much to choose from that even if you watch just 1 show on each network, you are spending a lot of time in front of some sort of screen.  I would love to say that this has never been a problem for me but that would be just silly.  Who doesn’t like The Good Wife, or House of Cards, or Breaking Bad, or Orange is the New Black?  I also watch true crime shows, like Dateline or 20/20 and, of course, every Ohio State Buckeye football game.  You might be thinking – wait – I watch a lot more than that!  Is she saying that this list is too much?  No, I’m not saying that.  What I am saying is that each person’s needs to balance their TV viewing habit with their lifestyle and their health!

So, how do you know how much is too much for you?

  1. Are you regularly missing family activities or events?
  2. Are you choosing one of your programs over sleep?
  3. Do you always choose to watch TV over that great book that “everyone” has told you to read?
  4. Are you choosing TV over spending time with a friend in need?
  5. Are you choosing TV over exercise most of the time?
  6. Are you choosing to watch TV while your to-do list at home gets longer and longer?
  7. Do you consider watching TV as quality time with your kids?
  8. Are you watching TV and not keeping your mind active/learning something new?
  9. Is watching TV usually the only activity you are doing in bed with your spouse?
  10. Are you watching TV and not spending time outdoors?
So, how did you do?   Did you answer yes to more than 2 of these questions?  If so, you might want to consider some of these ideas to balance your life, health and relationships with your TV-viewing habits:
In the last few years, I have greatly reduced the amount of time I watch TV using some of these strategies.  It has improved my life in general, my health and my relationships.  It was hard in the beginning like any new habit but now, I can’t imagine where I found the time to watch so much TV.    All of that being said, I will tell you that almost NOTHING, none of the items listed above, would keep me from watching my Ohio State Buckeyes come football season.
So, has TV ever “controlled” your life?  What did you do about it?
Caroline Boardman
July 22, 2015
www.balancingyourchemistry.com
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians
To make an appointment, click here.

[1] http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/too-much-tv-can-raise-the-risk-of-alzheimers-new-study-suggests/2015/07/20/7dcdc4cc-2eea-11e5-97ae-30a30cca95d7_story.html
[2] http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2015/03/06/spending-time-outdoors.aspx
[3] http://www.onlymyhealth.com/how-important-physical-intimacy-in-relationship-1307596226

Are You a Victim of Stress? Stop and Be a Hero Instead!

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Making the Stress in Your Life Productive!

There is no such thing as a stress-free life! No matter who you are, how wealthy you are, or how successful you have become, you will always have stress in your life. Life is a beautiful thing that is full of different events and surprises! Instead of dreading these stressors, we should embrace life and all the opportunities it has to offer.
In my previous blogs, I have addressed anxiety and the power of positive thinking. This blog will take things a step further. In battling with anxiety, it is easy to become overwhelmed with stressful situations. Change and stress are inevitable; we will always meet them in our lives. Currently I am going through a lot of changes and dealing with a lot of stress. However, positive changes are causing most of it! I recently graduated with my bachelor’s degree, moved to a new house, was in my best friends wedding, and had family from out-of-town staying with me – all in a matter of two weeks!  But, even when it’s positive stress, sometimes our bodies and minds have trouble recognizing the difference. The trick is to control the stress and not allowing it to control you! Be the hero of your own life – not the victim of the stressful moments!
There is good stress and bad stress that are within and outside our control. By having a better understanding of these two types of stress, you can embrace and better adapt to stressful changes in your life.

Good Stress

Stress is the body’s response to changes that create taxing demands. Good stress, or eustress is the type of stress we feel when we feel excited. Typically during these types of stress, your pulse quickens, and your hormones change, but there is no threat or fear involved.  One good way to help identify eustress is listening to your first emotional response to the stress. Did you get excited?  Did you want to take part in the activity? If so, it is most likely a good stress. Embrace these changes and stress. Be careful though. If you allow even these good stressors to take over your mind they can convert over to bad stressors.[1]
Eustress is short-term.  It will motivate you and take the focus of your energy.  It will give you the feeling of excitement and can even improve your performance.[2] [Click to Tweet]
Examples of positive stressors include:
  • Receiving a promotion or raise at work
  • Starting a new job
  • Marriage
  • Buying a home
  • Having a child
  • Moving
  • Taking a vacation
  • Holiday seasons
  • Retiring
  • Taking educational classes or learning a new hobby
  • Graduating from school
  • Riding a roller coaster
  • Going on a first date[3]
Bad Stress
Bad stress, or distress, usually involves feelings of helplessness because you don’t have a lot of control over what’s happening and you may begin to feel compressed or trapped.[4] Distress causes anxiety, excessive worrying, and concern.  We consider it as outside of our coping abilities. Distress will make you feel unpleasant and decreases your performance. Chronic or prolonged distress can lead to serious mental and physical problems.
Below are some examples of stressors that may cause distress:
  • The death of a spouse
  • Filing for divorce
  • Losing contact with loved ones
  • The death of a family member
  • Hospitalization (oneself or a family member)
  • Injury or illness (oneself or a family member)
  • Being abused or neglected
  • Separation from a spouse or committed relationship partner
  • Conflict in interpersonal relationships
  • Bankruptcy/Money Problems
  • Unemployment
  • Sleep problems
  • Children’s problems at school
  • Legal problems
  • Relationship trouble
  • Ongoing high demands at work with little to no reprieve
  • Unhealthy thinking such as: fears/phobias, repetitive thought patterns, worrying about future events, unrealistic, perfectionist expectations[5]
Concurring Stress!
There are many ways we can help ourselves deal with and overcome stressful situations. The first thing we need to do is accept the things you cannot change and have the strength to change the things you can. Stop feeling guilty and start praising or motivating yourself to become better! Please avoid being a perfectionist and setting yourself up for failure. On the other hand, eliminate procrastination altogether. Prepare yourself as much as possible for events and situations.  That way, when they happen, you can sit back and enjoy them! Another great tip is to prioritize your life. This includes setting daily, weekly, yearly, and life goals! Helping others is another great way to take yourself out of a negative stress situation and into a more positive state.  [Click to Tweet]
Stress doesn’t is not always a bad thing, and it will always exist.  Embrace what life has in store for us, and live life to the fullest!
Missty Klinger
July 19, 2015
www.balancingyourchemistry.com
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians
To make an appointment, click here.

[1] Elizabeth Scott, M.S. (2014). What Kind Of Stress Is Good For You. Retrieved from http://stress.about.com/od/stressbasics/a/Good-Stress-When-Stress-Is-Good-For-You.htm
[2] Id.
[3] Harry Mills, Ph.D., Natalie Reiss, Ph.D. and Mark Dombeck, Ph.D. (2015) Types of Stressors (Eustress vs. Distress). Retrieved from http://www.sevencounties.org/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=15644&cn=117
[4] Kimberly Snyder. (2015). HOW CAN YOU TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOOD STRESS AND BAD STRESS? Retrieved from http://kimberlysnyder.com/blog/2014/03/21/can-tell-difference-good-stress-bad-stress/
[5] Id at fn 3.

The Key to Happiness in Your Job

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5 Steps to Making Each Work Day Meaningful

We have a blog schedule.  I know. I, with the help of my very talented and creative staff, put it together.  But, when I sat down to write my article for our regular Wednesday post, I just did not feel like writing about the topic assigned.  That is not like me so I decided to take a few minutes to figure out why.  Once I did, I knew what I needed to write about.  I have struggled to find the time and motivation to do the parts of my job that I love the most because of the never-ending demands on my time.  I just never get the opportunity or blocks of time to really sink my teeth into the projects I love.  We all have that struggle but I ask you – who really benefits when almost all of our time is devoted to doing tasks that are not really where our talents and passion lie? [Click to Tweet]  I contend that no one really benefits – not the employee, the company, nor its customers.  So, what do we do about that?
I love communicating and interacting with people.  I love sharing what I know and learning what they know.  I love sharing information with people that can make them happier and healthier.  In the last year, I have devoted significant time and effort into learning how to do this in a way that reaches the most people – through social media.  I have always had my own Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram accounts and I know the amazing ability of these mediums to connect people and ideas.   Businesses use these mediums as well but, like most, I was not a fan of ads taking over my social space.  Businesses have finally started to realize that salesy ads in people’s timelines alienate, rather than attract, potential customers.  Savvy businesses now know that they need to operate in the social space in the same way that people do. [Click to Tweet] They need to share their own information, share other people’s information and interact in a real and human way.  I love that!  Social media allows a business to develop personal relationships with people that can turn into business relationships. Social media allows us, a functional medicine practice, to give information to people that an alternative to mainstream medicine exists.  Simply put, we can help more people because more people will know what we do.
So now that you know where my passion lies, I can tell you that if I could, I would devote 50% of my time to building those relationships through our company’s Facebook page, Twitter account, Pinterest page, website, and this blog.   That is not even close to realistic.   So, I sat down to figure out a way that would allow me do what I love and do what I need to do (but may not love so much) in a way that best serves me, my company, our clients and anyone else interested in functional medicine and good health.

5 Steps

Step 1:  Determine what you love to do.  What job duties or tasks do you really like?  What gets your creative juices flowing or analytical mind churning in your job?  [Click to Tweet]  What tasks do you never mind doing?  This may take some time to figure out.  I mentioned that I have worked on social media marketing for about a year, but I’ve been President of this company for almost 6 years.  Yes, it took me that long. It does not have to take that long.  Sit down in a quiet place (probably at home) and do some real thinking.
Step 2: Break down that task.  Now that you have this list, break it down.  What about that particular task do you love?   Why do you love it?  For example, do you love it because the task requires you to concentrate on just 1 thing for a block of time?  Or, do you love it because when you are doing that task, you are interacting with people, and not a computer?  Or, do you love it because it gives you a sense of satisfaction; you can cross something off your list?
Step 3:  Get creative.  Now that you have the reasons why you really like a particular part of your job, it’s time to get creative.  Figure out how you can get the feeling you get from doing that job from some of your other job duties. [Click to Tweet]  For example:  If you really love interacting with people, could you set up weekly Skype meeting, or daily phone calls or 15 minute check-in meetings instead of going back and forth on email all day?  If you love a particular task because you can close your door and work uninterrupted, could you figure out a way to do that every day even if for small blocks of time?  (See my solution for this below).  If you love the sense of crossing something off your list, could you start bundling the never-ending tasks with a task that can be completed each day so that you can do more “crossing off.”  Or, could you schedule your day so that you can do 1 “cross-off” item each hour or each day to give you that feeling you love?
Step 4:  Share the Love.  Once you finish Step 3 (and this may take some time), share it.  Everyone has the same struggle in their job, no matter what it is.  Share your ideas with your co-workers and your boss.  You might want to start with the boss first. J  Maybe your ideas could inspire a company initiative bringing greater satisfaction to your boss, your co-workers, and your customers!
Step 5:  Work it.  You’ve come up with your plan, gone through the proper channels to implement it, and shared your ideas.  Now, it’s time to work it!   Follow your plan.  Don’t stray from it.   Since you have communicated with your coworkers about how you will be working going forward, there is no need to defend it.  Just do it (thanks Nike).  You may need to tweak things a bit as you go or when you get promoted because of your ridiculously improved productivity numbers!  Just keep your eye on the goal.
As for me, my love for social media marketing comes from wanting to interact with people in a real and meaningful way, loving the blocks of uninterrupted time it takes to create and share content that really means something to people and liking the “cross=off” concept.  Shortly, I will cross off, “Write Blog Article” from today’s list.   For me and our company, finding an uninterrupted block of time is the biggest hurdle.  A few years ago, I worked with a business coach who noted that the biggest impediment to productivity in the corporate world are the constant “gotta a minute” interruptions.  You know what I mean.  A coworker sticks their head in your door or buzzes you on the intercom needing “just a minute.”  These constant interruptions are irritating and harmful to you, the company and its clients.  Statistics show that once interrupted, it takes an average of 25 minutes to get back on task.[1]  Following this coach’s advice, we implemented a system whereby each person would write out their schedule for the day, writing down each task next to an a particular hour of the day.  Included in this schedule was what we called, GAM Time (or Gotta a Minute time).  GAM time was a block of time that each person could work “uninterrupted.”  Depending on the person’s role in the company, this could range from 15 minutes to 2 hours.  Overall, the tight scheduling process did not work in our company and we scrapped the concept as a whole.
My solution to my recent struggle has been to reinstitute GAM time.   During these times, I cannot be interrupted except in an emergency.  What is an emergency will vary depending on your company. In our business, besides the real emergencies, like flood or fire, emergencies could be if a client only wants to speak with me, or a doctor has an issue that needs addressed immediately, or if an employee needs to leave work early.  I am writing this article during my GAM time although I admit I did answer the phone twice when it rang more than three times.  Hey, I’m a work in progress.  🙂
Everyone says that finding a job that you are passionate about is the key to happiness.  For most of us though, we work where we work because of lots of other reasons that may or may not involve a passion for the job itself.  The answer is not to quit your job, put on a back-pack and roam the country in search of yourself.  The answer is to find something about your job that you are passionate about.  [Click to Tweet]  If you have worked for your company for any length of time, there is something.  Just find and reconnect with it.
I would love to hear your thoughts or ideas on this topic.
Caroline Boardman
July 15, 2015
www.balancingyourchemistry.com
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians
To make an appointment, click here.

[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/05/opinion/sunday/a-focus-on-distraction.html?_r=0

The Big Tuna – 3 Things You Need to Know

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Tuna: Size (and a few other things) Matter!

Tuna fish is one of the most well-known fish.  But, it has got a lot of bad press lately.  What do you need to know before you buy your next tuna?
I’ll bet you are wondering how much you need to know about the subject of tuna fish.  I know I did before writing this article.   “A tuna is a saltwater finfish that belongs to the tribe Thunnini, a sub-grouping of the mackerel family (Scombridae), which together with the tunas, also includes bonitos, mackerals, and Spanish mackerals.” (1)   What I didn’t know before my research is that there are five tuna fish in the tuna family and their average size varies according to the fish.  Those five include: albacore, Atlantic bluefin, skipjack, yellowfin, and bigeye tuna.
My goal when starting to write this article was to decide which canned tuna was the healthiest and why.  What I found is that there are more things to consider than just which brand is the best for me.
1.  I had always heard that tuna was high in mercury and this was my main concern.  What I discovered is that you can decrease the amount of mercury ingested by the species of tuna that you eat.  Men’s Health Magazine offers insight on this difference,                   “….because albacore are typically larger, they also have higher mercury levels. So balance risk and reward, and eat only one 6-ounce serving of albacore a week. You can have 12 ounces of skipjack a week.”(2)  So, the smaller the species of tuna, then the lower the rate of mercury in that fish tissue.  [Click to Tweet] I also discovered that when eating tuna, the fattier pieces will hold more mercury because the heavy metals are stored in the tuna’s fat stores.
2.  To buy the healthiest tuna, you also need to consider the packaging. Canned foods can become contaminated by the plastics that line the can to prevent the can from rusting.  Bisphenol or BPA is what can leach into the foods causing harmful effects if over-consumed. “BPA kills rats in laboratories even at smaller portions, like 1,000 times less than what an average American consumes per meal. I hope soon FDA would do a U-turn on this and come clean and tell people about the harm to humans caused by BPA like they do periodically about drugs which they have claimed for decades to be safe, only to tell us now that they were not safe. I just hope it does not take decades before they try to protect the public against BPA. BPA is a toxic chemical that causes hormone imbalances and wide variety of health issues ranging from hypertension, aggression, obesity to cancer and heart disease. Based on FDA 17% of the American diet comes from canned foods yet there are no regulation or safety standards regarding the amount of BPA in canned foods. A study by Environmental Working Group shows that more than 50% of cans with brand names have toxic BPA in them.” (3)  Next time you buy tuna in a can, look for the BPA free symbol to ensure that it is a healthier option for your body. [Click to Tweet]  Another option is buying tuna fish in a plastic bag because it is more likely BPA free.
3.  You must also consider when buying tuna whether it is packaged in oil or in water.  Typically the oils in pre-packaged tunas are not healthy and the better option would be to buy the tuna in water.  If you would like to add oil to your tuna, choose healthy oil such as extra virgin olive oil and add it yourself.
So next time you are considering buying a tuna salad for lunch or buying a can of tuna from the store, think about all the considerations and decide what is best for your body.
Dr. Andrew Kender, D.C.
July 12, 2015

www.balancingyourchemistry.com

Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians

 To Make An Appointment, Click Here.

  1. Graham, Jeffrey B.; Dickson, Kathryn A. (2004). “Tuna Comparative Physiology” (PDF). The Journal of Experimental Biology 207: 4015–4024.doi:10.1242/jeb.01267. Retrieved 20 September 2012.
  2. http://www.menshealth.com/best-life/healthy-tuna
  3. http://www.seattleorganicrestaurants.com/vegan-whole-foods/avoid-canned-food/

Should Your Summer Menus Include Corn-On-The-Cob?

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A summer without corn on the cob?

Can it be done?

Is it Really Necessary?

Do you really need to skip the tasty treat that is so perfect with a little butter and some salt?  It’s such an easy vegetable to prepare and goes with everything from hamburgers to steak!  Plus, there are corn festivals all summer long! No one wants to hear that the corn you are eating may cause your health to get worse, but if it’s genetically modified (as most corn is), it probably is.  There is a big difference between genetically modified corn (GMO) and non-genetically modified corn (non-GMO).
“In genetic modification of food plants, scientists remove one or more genes from the DNA of another organism, such as a bacterium, virus, animal, or plant and ‘recombine’ them into the DNA of the plant they want to alter.”[1] They hope that the plant will then be more resistant to diseases. The main problem with this is that the scientists have no idea where the DNA will go.  It can interfere with the normal functioning of the other genes. Here are some of the crops that are genetically modified.
  1. Corn
  2. Soybeans
  3. Cotton
  4. Canola
  5. Sugar beets
  6. Alfalfa
  7. Papaya
  8. Yellow squash
  9. Zucchini
  10. Artic Apple
  11. Innate potato
For purpose of this article, I will be writing about corn specifically. Monsanto is the biggest company genetically modifying our foods. “Studies found that GM corn altered blood biochemistry, damaged organs, and caused potential effects on male fertility.”[2] Also GM corn toxin was found in the blood of pregnant women and in the fetuses as well. Id.
More and more people are selecting foods that have not been genetically modified as they are becoming more educated. Additionally, GMO foods have less nutritional value than Non-GMO foods.[3]  “A stunning report on GMO vs. Non-GMO corn posted on ‘Moms Across America’ clearly show[s] the nutritional value difference between GMO corn and Non-GMO corn.”[4] “The important thing to note in these deficiencies is that these are exactly the deficiencies in a human being that lead to susceptibility to sickness, disorders and cancer.”[5] This clearly demonstrates that the GMO corn is terrible compared to Non-GMO corn. This paper showed that non-GMO corn is 20 times richer in nutrition, energy, and protein than the GMO product.
Also, one has to ask the question when you are buying beef or pork, “what are those animals being fed and if they are being fed GM corn… then this is going to affect you. *** ‘Farmers are becoming more aware also,’ says Hosteler.  ‘Farmers are starting to see poor decomposition in soil, poor plant health, less yield, and animal health decline with GMO grains,’ he says.”[6]  I personally know a farmer that planted field corn for his cows. He wasn’t able to find Non-GMO field corn so he decided to plant what he could get. That season, all 40 of his bee hives died.  [Click to Tweet] The county investigated but found nothing. The only thing that changed is that this was the first time he had planted corn that was genetically modified. Now, if this doesn’t stop and make you wonder, I don’t know what will.
So heed this article…GM foods, and in this case, corn, is not good. There are so many farmers out there starting to plant non-GMO products, and yes, corn as well. There is now non-GMO corn in some stores as well. [Click to Tweet]  As a side note, my wife was shopping at Heinens’s the other day and saw they had non-GMO corn. There was a sign that said you could speak to the manager about the seeds and so she did. He informed her that all Heinen’s stores carry only non-GMO fruits and vegetables. Sounds like a pretty good idea to me. Watch how many other stores follow suit!
Eat well and healthy my friends,
Dr. David Starkey D.C.
July 8, 2015
www.balancingyourchemistry.com
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians
Click here to schedule an appointment.
[1] http://www.non-gmoreport.com/whatisnon-gmo.php
[2] Id.
[3] http://myscienceacademy.org/2013/04/17/comparing-vitamin-mineral-and-energy-content-of-gmo-vs-non-gmo/
[4] Id.
[5] Id.
[6] http://www.non-gmoreport.com/site_map.php
Image: Care of http://www.non-gmoreport.com

 

11 Things Your Doctor and His or Her Staff Must Do To Keep You Healthy

Untitled design (31) Quick Guide to What Your Doctor and His or Her Staff Should Be Doing To Help You Achieve Your Health Goals

A visit to most doctor’s offices is not a pleasant experience.  You either don’t feel well or believe something is wrong.  While there is no way to stop how you might feel before you come into the doctor’s office, it is completely within the doctor’s control to make your visit as pleasant and fulfilling (yes, I said fulfilling) as it can possibly be.
We have all been to one or many doctors in our lives.   I know I have.  Click here to read my article about what brought me to Functional Endocrinology of Ohio.  While some of my doctors’ office experiences and treatments were not awful (not really a rousing endorsement), it took a lot of time, effort and frustration for me to find the right doctor and doctor’s office.  What I discovered is that both (the doctor and his office staff) are important to your health.  The right doctor and staff can make almost as much difference as the right diagnosis and treatment.   Here is what you should expect from your doctor and his staff.   I have listed these items in chronological order (from your first exposure to the office through your lifelong experience with the office).
  1. A great website or social media presence. In this day and age, we all go to the internet to find information about everything.  A good medical office needs to bring the information to where their patients will see it. [Click to Tweet] They are able to answer almost any (non-medical) question a potential patient may have on their website.  The information should preferably be in video form as well as written for those people who learn best by video.  The website is easy to navigate and should give the contact information for the office on almost every page.  The website should include doctor biographies, directions and patient testimonials.  Beware of reviews you read on-line.  The best and most accurate reviews are from real patients.  Look for the testimonials on the company’s website.
  2. A great telephone staff. The staff that answer the phone will be your first live exposure to the practice. The staff is friendly, empathetic, professional, patient, and knowledgeable and be able to answer almost every question.  You should not hold for longer than a couple of minutes.  The staff member may have been already assisting another patient in the office when you called.  When they return to the call, the staff member will listen to you and not be distracted or doing other things.
  3. Scheduling and re-scheduling should be easy. You can call the office, have your questions answered, give the relevant information (name, address, etc.) and schedule an appointment at a time convenient to you within 5 minutes.  We all know that the schedules of good doctors are often booked far in advance.  That cannot be helped.  However, an option should be offered to you to be put on a waiting list if there is a cancellation.  You should be given all the information you need to prepare for your appointment during this phone call so that you do not need to call back.  This information should include directions, parking instructions, instructions about any paperwork that needs to be completed, what to expect during your visit, and other office-specific information.
  4. Informative confirmation calls. You should always receive a confirmation call before your visit per whatever policy the office has set.  Some office calls 2 days in advance, some 1 day, and some even on the weekends.  The person who confirms your appointment should be able to answer all (non-doctor) related questions and reschedule your appointment if needed.
  5. A prompt, friendly and informative greeting. You should be greeted immediately upon arrival into the office by the front desk staff.  They should look you in the eye, smile and if it is not your first visit, greet you by name.  The staff should instruct you where to sign in, where sit, and let you know about how long the wait will be, and instruct you on what the first part of your visit will entail. For example, if staff will take your vitals before you see the doctor, the front desk staff should tell you this.  If there is paperwork to complete, the staff should give you the proper instructions and be ready to answer any questions.  One thing to remember about paperwork is that the doctor has instructed the staff about how he or she wants the paperwork completed.  So, if the staff seems overly critical about paperwork completion, don’t judge them too harshly.  Sometimes patients do not realize how important thoroughly completed paperwork is to their overall healthcare treatment.
  6. Qualified nursing staff. You should be completely comfortable with any services provided by the staff.  The staff should tell you of what they are doing each step of the way and you should feel comfortable that they know what they are doing.  If you don’t, it is important that you tell your doctor.
  7. A doctor who greets you and really listens. Just like the description of a good staff above, your doctor should greet you by name and a handshake (in most cases) while looking you in the eye.  The doctor should sit down, look you in the eye, and after giving a sentence or two about why he thinks you are there (the reason you gave to the front desk when you scheduled), he should ask you to tell him what is going on.   Then, he should listen to you! [Click to Tweet]  He should take notes as necessary but be listening.  He is not distracted or in too much of a hurry and you should always feel that he is really hearing you.
  8. A doctor who is prepared. Your doctor should be prepared in advance of your visit.  We have all been to doctors who, despite having seen you before, open the chart for the first time as they are walking into the room and then clearly do not know who you are, or why you are there to see them.  This should not happen.  It should be clear to you that your doctor has reviewed your chart before your visit and is ready to ask the right questions to get you on the road to good health.  The doctor’s explanation is clear and easily understood and the doctor should answer every question you have until you understand.
  9. A clearly explained treatment plan. Your treatment plan should be very clearly explained and outlined in writing, including all costs.  You should know what to expect at each step of the way and the doctor and staff should be ready to answer any questions you might have about the treatment plan at any point.   If your treatment plan changes for any reason, this should also be communicated to you timely.
  10. Open line of communication. You should feel comfortable enough with your doctor and his staff to discuss any issues you may have about your health or your treatment. This includes any customer service issues you might have with the office itself.   A good practice will always want to improve and should be open to any feedback you give them and thank you for it!  [Click to Tweet] The office should also be ready to resolve any problem you might have promptly.
  11. Follow up. Finally, a good medical provider is your lifelong health partner.  This means they will be ready to help you through any health issue you might have.   You should expect follow-up calls, follow-up visits, and follow-up communications with the office at regular intervals.
So, how does your doctor and his/her staff measure up?  I would love to hear about some really great experiences that you have had visiting your doctor.  Were there things that they did or did not do that you really appreciated?
Caroline Boardman
July 1, 2015
www.balancingyourchemistry.com
To make an appointment, click here.
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians