Dr. Alan Broering's Blog

Choose Yourself

Choose Yourself

It is easy to get consumed with doing things for others. Kids, spouses, friends, neighbors, coworkers, strangers, and countless others take up so much of our own time. It’s time to put yourself first! Without your own health in tip top shape can you continue on your current path? I hope that over these last 40 days you have been able to take a deeper look into your own health. To quote Dr. James Chestnut - “There are 3 things we like to blame for disease. Bad Germs, Bad Luck, and Bad Genes. But in reality more of them are from bad choices.” Is this statement purely true in all instances, no, but it should get us thinking more about the daily decisions we make. We want to find a cause and a reason for feeling the way we do and when it comes to the human body there are too many variables that go into developing diseases and even staying healthy.

We have more control over our health than we think. We choose to eat a cookie over a fruit or vegetable. We choose to sit on the couch and check our social media or watch tv instead of checking something off of the todo list. We choose to hit the snooze 8 times before getting out of bed instead of waking up on the first alarm and having time in the morning. We choose to have the late night snack instead of water. We choose to go to bed late just because our favorite team is playing late. We choose to eat more potatoes and bread instead of extra broccoli or asparagus. We choose to view food as enjoyment instead of fuel! We choose sedation instead of movement! We choose laziness instead of drive!

Now go out and take control over your health and your future!

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Vote Turmeric

Vote Turmeric

It’s all the rave right now! We all have inflammation! Do you know what inflammation is? Inflammation gets a bad wrap. It is actually a normal and necessary process of our body. Our body undergoes an inflammatory process in order to heal damaged tissues and fight infections. During the inflammatory process our body releases different hormone like chemicals which lead to us feeling pain.

The real issue becomes when we have prolonged and excessive inflammation leading to more pain than we can handle. Our first thought is let’s get some Advil, Tylenol, or Aleve. Most NSAIDs work on blocking the pathway that creates these pain hormones therefore halting the inflammatory pathway. The difference between turmeric and the over the counter medications is that turmeric is naturally anti inflammatory. Curcumin is the active ingredient within turmeric. It works similarly as the other NSAIDs but does not have the side effects that they contain with prolonged use. Supplementation isn’t the only way to get turmeric into your system. You can cook with it too! Be prepared though as it will most likely turn your food yellow!

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Choose Color

Choose Color

Everyone has a favorite color. But do you have a favorite color of food? Beets, sweet potatoes, yellow peppers, spinach, blueberries, and plums. Eat those foods and you have eaten the colors of the rainbow. I’m sure you have looked at your plate of chicken, potatoes, and corn and thought this plate looks boring. Spice up your life and start adding some colorful foods to your diet! They are packed with important vitamins and phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are what give most fruits and veggies their color. They are antioxidants and help the body with inflammation. Some of the nutrients have even been shown to have positive effects against cancer cells. The most common forms of phytonutrients are carotenoids, resveratrol, glucosinolates, and flavonoids. Stop being boring and add some color to your plate, it will taste better and make you feel better!

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Vote No to Crossing Legs

Vote No to Crossing Legs

Gonna keep this one short and sweet today. Stop crossing your legs! This is such a habit for many and we do it without thinking. When you cross your legs you are increasing pressure on your lower back and hip. More importantly you are shutting off venous and lymphatic circulation in the popliteal fossa (behind the knee). You need these channels functioning properly in order to fully heal any injuries in your lower leg properly. This can lead to swelling and pain in the lower extremity. Just don't do it!

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Choose Bracing

Choose Bracing

Talking about the core today. When you hear the words contract your core what is your first instinct? Do you suck your stomach inward or do you push your stomach out? If you are an inward sucker try taking a deep breath while contracting is it easy or do you find yourself getting stuck and it feel impossible? Let's talk about you inward suckers. When you do that it destabilizes your spine. Imagine this scenario. If a castle is under attack and the only way to get in is through the front gate would you tie a rope towards the inside of your castle and increase the tension therefore making it easier for enemy to break in? I hope not, so why do you allow your core to suffer?

Instead we need to BRACE the door to keep them out. Bracing is hard to learn. However, our body does this automatically in certain instances. Coughing, sneezing and laughing are a few of those instances. Try it, cough and feel what your stomach does. If this is the automatic way your body contracts the core when in need for protection wouldn't it make sense to listen to our body and not work against it? So start bracing. Cough and hold that position of your core and take some deeper breaths with it you should find it easier. This form of core contraction is what you should be doing with every physical activity, especially weight lifting! Without proper stabilization you are increasing the risk for musculoskeletal injury!

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Vote No to Issue Sugar

Vote No to Issue Sugar

No sugar on Halloween! Who would dare say such horrible words? Dr. No, as my coworkers like to call me, that's who! If you have ever come to see either Dr. Dave or myself more than likely you have heard the no sugar speech. In my opinion it is the ultimate destructor of the world. Ironic that it was the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man that attempted to destroy New York. Luckily the Ghostbusters saved the day but who will be our real world Ghostbuster in this battle against sugar? Look in the mirror! You are your best defense! But Dr. Alan everything in moderation right? Ha, that's a good one. Have you ever had just one M&M or one cookie? The willpower needed to resist is off the charts for most of us. It is much easier to cave in and eat the sweet treat.

Why is sugar so bad? By itself glucose (sugar) is a necessity of the body to survive as we utilize it for the production of ATP via glycolysis → Kreb’s Cycle → Electron Transport → 38 ATP. But sometimes we get too much of a good thing and it leads to disease. The biggest one being type 2 diabetes. This is also known as insulin resistant diabetes. You hear the term but so you know what is happening? Let me explain it. When you eat sugar your body must release insulin in response. Insulin acts as messenger in the blood it says to your cells “little cells, little cells, let sugar come in.” If the cells have room they will say “Sure, we will take some.” As long as sugar levels stay low the system works in unison. However, as the glucose levels rise due to us either eating a high sugar or high simple carbohydrate (flour containing) food. This relation gets tense. Insulin starts to bully the cells to accept more than they can take. Eventually the cells will get the courage to say “not through the channels of my phospholipid-bilayer!” Now the cells have resisted insulin.

Now where will the sugar go?

Some of the sugar stays in your gut for fuel for the unhealthy bacteria in our gut. Most goes into the bloodstream in high concentrations. Your body responds to the high concentrations by diluting your blood with increased water mostly taking the water out of your cells. The increased water content in your blood leads to things like high blood pressure, weight gain from increased water retention, and increased urination. The sugar will then pass to the liver where the liver will take some of the glucose molecules and turn them into fat which gets deposited throughout the abdomen for a rainy day in case of starvation. The remaining glucose will then pass through the kidneys and then out the body through urine. So is all this sugar worth the risk of this awful disease that is diabetes? 

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the damage that sugar does to our system if you want to dive in to further conversation feel free. 

Now back to Halloween will I pass out candy? Darn right I will! Nobody wants to be That house! Happy Halloween! 

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Choose Vitamin D

Choose Vitamin D

Oh mister sun, sun, mister golden sun, please shine down on me! Your welcome now you have to finish the whole song in your head! I think that rhyme was ahead of the game when it came out. This song teaches kids that we need to get outside and embrace the sun! I highly doubt the motivation in making this song was to increase the importance of the sun to make vitamin D, but it works. As we approach the time of year when the sun is stuck behind the clouds more than we care for and the temperatures force us inside; we need to take advantage of the sunny days and get outside!

The main function of vitamin D is to help in control of your calcium levels throughout the body. Failure to have enough vitamin D can lead to decreased bone density and increased muscle fatigue. Vitamin D deficiency has also been associated with many acute and chronic illnesses including disorders of calcium metabolism, autoimmune diseases, some cancers, type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease and infectious diseases. Supplementation is obviously an avenue to increase the concentration inside your body but nothing works as well as the big giant yellow thing in the sky!

If you do not know your vitamin D levels I do recommend getting blood work done through a doctor to see what your levels may be. Due to the low amount of sunlight the majority of us get I suggest a supplementation of at least 2000 IU/day of Vitamin D3. The adequate dose for Vitamin D is 4000 IU/day. Higher dosages should be taken from September – May due to time spent indoors and lack of sun exposure. The amount of Vitamin D that I recommend should be in your system is 40-80 ng/mL. The vast majority of people have levels which are much less than this, which is why it is so important that this be addressed in your daily diet. Again before supplementing with anything you should always consult with you healthcare professional to be sure that it will not have any adverse effects!

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Vote Tech - Free

Vote Tech - Free

“It's not tech-free night!” Those are too often the first words out of my 3 year olds mouth in the morning. Not good morning or another form of hello. Of course most days are no however, on Mondays and Wednesday morning the answer is “yes it is tech free night.” Followed quickly by a “NOOOOOO!!” Tech-Free night for us starts after 7:00 on Mondays and Wednesdays. Pretty simple rule no TV, no computer, and no phone unless there is an emergency call or task to be completed. Initially we thought it would be really difficult, but what we have found is that we don’t miss those things as much and sometimes it rubs off into the other evenings as well.

In the last 10-15 years many of us have become slaves to technology. Constantly checking email, texts, and social media to see what is going on in the world. Don’t forget watching our favorite shows, using a DVR to watch them later, and of course binge watching. Oh, and video games! It is tough to realize the detriment this focus on useless things is doing to us internally yet we feel the need to constantly want the “connection.” If it is that hard to have the willpower to avoid technology, is it any better than other addictions out there? Do you have tech withdrawal symptoms afterwards?

Try it take 1 night a week and don’t use anything after 7:00! Read a book, talk to your family members, play a board game, do a puzzle, exercise, clean, laundry, meditate, or simply go to bed early! Try it and thank me later!

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Choose Nothing

Choose Nothing

I for one get really excited when I see that nothing is planned for the weekend. It means that I can catch up on my at home work and todos. But this isn’t the nothing that I’m talking about. I literally mean choose nothing. No work, no chores, no events, and nothing that you feel you have to do.

This version of nothing is very difficult for us in the era of electronics and constant doing. But it is important for our body and brain to do this occasionally so re can rest and rejuvenate. Similar to meditation, It doesn’t have to be to be all day. It can be a few minutes here and there. Embrace the nothing and don’t feel obligated to fill every part of your day, week, month, or year.

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Vote Strength

Vote Strength

I have slight memories of Popeye growing up eating his spinach and then getting super strength. I don’t think it got me to eat more spinach but I was definitely envious of his strength. I don’t remember many kids that didn’t want super strength when they were young. That desire for strength didn’t continue into middle school and high school. As a runner I didn’t see the point of weightlifting. If I had to do it over again I think I would have done a little more strength training in the off season. 

Strength training gives us the support to perform workouts and tasks every day. When we increase the demand on the muscles your body increases muscle fiber recruitment and development to make the task easier. Strength training also increases the demand of support on our bones making them grow stronger and denser. This is of huge concern for the older population. Strength training can decrease the risk of broken bones and increases proprioception. If you find yourself in cardio only workouts start incorporating strength to get a true full body workout! 

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Choose Your Diaphragm

Choose Your Diaphragm

Have you ever looked at a baby and watched them breathe? They don’t raise their chest up and down over and over again. It’s their tiny little bellies that move the most. They use their diaphragm! If we are born using our diaphragm why is it that so many of us struggle to use it on a daily basis? 

One of the big reasons is because of our awful posture. While you are sitting there slouched over reading this post on a computer or on your phone try to take a deep breath through your stomach. I bet it's difficult and you feel as if you get stuck in the process. Now sit up tall shoulders back and try to do the same thing expanding your stomach outward while inhaling. Easier right? Who knew posture has an influence on so many things. Another we fail to use it is due to the fact that expanding your stomach while breathing isn’t aesthetically pleasing to the eye. 

The pitfalls of poor diaphragm control and lack of diaphragm breathing include: decreased core stability, increased use of accessory breathing muscles, and decreased oxygen intake. The core is built like a cylinder with the diaphragm being the top, the abdominal muscles and back being the sides, and the pelvic floor being the bottom. If one isn’t functioning properly or non existent then the structure fails and therefore you lose stability. If you find yourself holding your breath while working out it is probably due to poor diaphragm control. We then start using our accessory neck muscles to raise our chest upwards in order to increase the lung capacity a little more especially when exercising. The problem here is that those accessory muscles are close to many different arteries and nerves that may get impinged if there is hypertrophy or swelling of the muscles due to overuse. The other issue is that there is limited space at the top of the rib cage for expansion. However, down by our diaphragm it is easier to expand downwards increasing lung volume and therefore increasing oxygen. Last I checked more oxygen is good for us. 

See comment for how to help this!

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Choose Family

Choose Family

There's nothing like coming home from work, and the first thing I hear is “daddy are you home?” Then it's the smiles and the hugs, kisses, and the giggles. It could be the worst day in the world but in that moment everything turns around because of my family. I grew up in a large family of 9. That is not a typo. It was a lot of fun and I still wonder how my parents did it to this day. But I learned quickly the importance of family. Family is there to provide advice and support to us in good times and in bad. Often family does not only refer to the immediate blood relatives, but also the friends and groups of people we surround ourselves with on a daily basis. Embrace and cherish the moments you get to spend with your family, and that feeling of comfort you get when are surrounded by those most dear to you. 

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Choose Smiles

Could you imagine a world without smiles? I for one think it would be miserable. We need to smile it’s good for us! There is a healing power in laughter and smiling that is difficult for anyone to explain. It’s contagious to see a smile and then not smile back. Try walking down the street and smile at the strangers passing you. Most will smile back. You never know when a smile might change the course of someone life in a day. Now get out there and show off your pearly whites to the world!

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Vote No Sitting

Vote No Sitting

This is easy, just don’t do it. We are meant to be active. Sitting promotes laziness and low energy. Standing activates more muscles therefore stimulating more of your brain. Many of us have symptoms of ‘dead butt’. This is when our glutes turn off due to lack of stimulation. The lack of glutes can lead to further dysfunction in our gait and core strength. Dysfunction leads to injury and injury to pain. So do yourself a favor and get off the chair more frequently throughout the day!

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Vote Magnesium

Vote Magnesium

NERD ALERT! Magnesium is the 12th element on the periodic table. Coincidentally 12 is the number I chose for all of my ultimate jerseys. It may be the single most important element for the function of our body. Here is a chemistry lesson on magnesium. Magnesium is part of the main group of elements on the periodic table. This group of elements has different layers of electrons and the outermost layer is its shell. These elements want to have 8 electrons in their outermost shell, also called their valence shell, as that creates the most stability in the molecule. In the case of Magnesium it contains 2 valence electrons. Because of these 2 valence electrons it is more likely to be become donor of electrons. The giving nature of Magnesium makes it the ideal element to be used as a cofactor for a plethora of biochemical reactions in the body.

One of the most important interactions is the use of magnesium to make ATP (adenosine-triphosphate). ATP is our body’s fuel. Last I checked we need fuel to keep working. Magnesium also is important in bone and muscle health. In the brain magnesium is important in gating the release of calcium into the neuromuscular junction. Too much calcium released post-injury can cause a phenomenon called excitotoxicity and lead to potential cell death. These are only small examples of what magnesium is doing on a daily basis.

It is difficult to get an adequate amount of magnesium in our daily diet. Good sources of magnesium are typically green leafy vegetables like spinach and nuts. The current RDA for magnesium is 420 mg per day for males, and 320 mg per day for females. If you plan to supplement I suggest finding a supplement that has a majority of magnesium chelated to an amino acid. The reason for this is because when attached to an amino acid it increased the bioavailability. Magnesium is best taken by splitting the dose to half at breakfast and half at dinner. This allows for better absorption and maximizes the use by your body.

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Choose Meditation

Choose Meditation

It is Sunday and I cannot think of a better day to talk about meditation. There are many forms or meditation: guided, prayer, sitting in silence, going for a walk, driving to work. Of course most of us have the image of sitting on the floor legs crossed and palms up and saying “ohhhhmmm.” But meditation is more than that. It is a time to get back in touch with your body and surroundings.

In our current society it is tough to find 5-15 minutes of downtime to take for yourself. Now I am telling you to sit around to meditate. Who the heck and has time for that?! Meditation is a break that allows our brain to better understand what our body is telling us. For me it recharged and refocuses. You really have to experience it on your own to see how you feel. Biggest advice is be consistent. Get at least 7-10 days straight of trying to meditate. It is not easy to shut our brains off for many of us. It takes practice and discipline. We can find 10 minutes of not reading FB or Instagram, watching tv, surfing the web (is this still a thing), complaining about something, playing video games, or watching cat videos on YouTube. There are an abundance of apps and other resources online. I personally enjoyed the Headspace app as it is guided and a great way to start if it’s new to you.

Happy thinking or not thinking.

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Vote Balance

Vote Balance

If you can stand on one foot without touching the ground for 2 minutes, congratulations you are normal! Now I challenge you to attempt standing on 1 leg barefoot, but this time close your eyes. (Make sure something stable is around to grab onto just in case you get wobbly.) Can you make it to 1 minute? If so, congratulations that's what normal should be. Most of us are lucky to make it 10 seconds. Why is this?

One of the biggest reasons is because many of us have lost proprioception. Proprioception is our body’s awareness in space. In other words it’s how your body knows it is raising its right arm without seeing it. Our balance controlled by the brain of course but the major systems that work keep us on our feet are: sight, inner ear, and proprioception. Take one away like you do when you close your eyes and the others have to work more. Try standing in one leg barefoot again and feel your foot and other muscles work harder to stabilize when you close your eyes. This is your proprioception trying to recruit more muscles to keep you up.

Start working on your balance today! Balance work should always be done without shoes on and ideally barefoot to maximize the nervous system input through the foot. Start single leg eyes open on a firm surface and start at 1 minute and increase up to 2-3. Always have something easy to grab onto or another person around if you are extremely uneasy on your feet. When training eyes closed, I like setting a timer for 1 minute and always going for 1 minute keeping track how many times I either need to touch down or grab onto the wall. Other options are stand on 1 foot while brushing your teeth. Brush with right hand then stand on left leg and vice versa. Balance is key in all our movements and it prevents falling when older so start working on it now!

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Choose Rows

Choose Rows

When is the last time you heard someone say the phrase “Grow some pecs.”? I really hope your answer is never. “Grow some backbone!” Now that is something we have all heard before. Our back is the foundation that so much of our body is built. Our back bone surrounds our spinal cord. For protecting something so important to our everyday tasks we sure take its strength for granted. Back day at the gym gets the least amount of enthusiasm and yet from my standpoint it is the most important day. What does everyone have against their back? I think mostly it’s because you can't look in the mirror and see your back muscles easily. They aren’t as fun to work out as the “glory” muscles: pecs, delts, bi’s, and tri’s. These muscles show visible changes on a routine basis.

So I challenge you to change the trend and start focusing more on your back. A simple and effective exercise is the Row. The focus on a row is scapular retraction. It is easy to make this a triceps dominated exercise. I suggest using resistance bands for this exercise. Take a band and wrap it around a pole. Have your arms bent at 90 degrees and elbows near your side. Slowly begin pinching your shoulder blades back towards each other. You should maintain the 90 degree form of your elbow. This should not be a big movement it should be a short movement of the shoulder not of your arm. If you find your arm is moving a lot then you are using your triceps and not retracting correctly. Once retracted hold this position for about 6-10 seconds and slowly return to the starting position. Repeat this in reps of 10 and 2 sets daily. To further challenge yourself do this exercise standing, seated on a chair, and then seated on the floor keeping the resistance band starting at the same height the whole time. This will target different groups of back muscles.

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Vote Eccentrics

Vote Eccentrics

So you’re in the gym working out pumping that iron then you stop to check yourself out in the mirror and think “why am I not getting any bigger?” First of all what are you doing staring at the mirror at the gym anyways? The mirrors in the gym aren’t for checking yourself out. You know who you are… They are for making sure you are using the right form, which most people don’t. I don’t have time to dive into that today. The bigger point here is whether or not you are focused on the proper part of your lift?

A traditional lift consists of a concentric and eccentric contraction. Eccentric contractions are also referred to as negatives in most instances. Let’s use a bicep curl for example. When you have the weight in your hand and you are bringing the weight up towards your shoulder that is the concentric phase as the biceps shortens. Bringing weight back down to 90 degrees is the eccentric phase as it is a slowed controlled lengthening of the muscle. The importance of eccentrics is that during this phase you send more signals to the brain telling the body to make more muscle. When you increase the demand on the muscle your body has no choice but to increase the size of that muscle and therefore your size and overall strength. So next time you are lifting weights be sure to focusing on both sides of the lift to maximize your benefits.

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Choose Broccoli

Choose Broccoli

This is the one that inspired them all. Choose Broccoli was the first topic I thought of when I was getting the inspiration for the 40 day political health journey. I thought, “how funny would it be to see a political sign in the front of someone’s house that said Choose Broccoli?” Just enough to make someone laugh and hopefully wonder what it was all about.

Broccoli- the vegetable you either grew up to love or hate! Some like the florets some like the stems. Even if you didn’t love them your mom always made you take at least 1 bite. But why was she so adamant about you eating that treelike green thing? Not only because broccoli is easy to make and a relatively cheap vegetable to buy, but also because it’s packed with nutrients! Fiber, protein, vitamin C, B-6, A, potsssium, iron, calcium, and magnesium. Not to mention it is a cruciferous vegetable. This group of veggies has been getting more research lately for having nutrients that aid in fighting cancer! You would be hard pressed to find a better bang for your buck than what you get with broccoli!

Eat it, love it, and enjoy the benefits!

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Vote Nuts

Vote Nuts

I'm not talking about actually political “nuts” here, I'm talking about the ones that come from fruits and trees. Like almonds, cashews, walnuts, macadamia, pistachio, pecans, and peanuts to get us started. You could even group most seeds into this category such as chia, flax, sunflower, and pumpkin. I LOVE peanuts and peanut butter and whoever decided to add chocolate to the mix was a genius! Sadly peanuts are not the best nut for us. They are not packed full of as many nutrients as the other seeds and nuts. But that won’t stop me from enjoying my peanut butter with celery, carrots, or apples as a snack, though I will use almond butter from time to time.

As I was saying there are a lot of beneficial nutrients in seeds and nuts. The big ones being fat and protein! The fat and protein within them make them perfect for midday snacking to boost energy and keep us full. Whole nuts and/or nut butters also make for a great addition to breakfast smoothies. Flax seed mixed with the right amount of water can be used as an egg supplement when baking if you desire a vegan option. The other nutrients you can find in nuts and seeds include: magnesium, manganese, selenium, copper, phosphorus, and vitamin E. So much nutrition available in such a small product!

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Choose Posture

Choose Posture

“Sit up straight. Don’t slouch. Stand up straight. Chin up and shoulders back.” We have all heard this over and over again throughout our lifetime from parents, teachers, coaches, and grandparents. Did you really listen though? Or did you correct it for 2 seconds while they were looking at you and then slowly settle back down into the nice comfortable slump. Good posture is difficult to attain. I preach it all of the time and still I find myself correcting it constantly in order to avoid that dreaded hump in the back of the neck. I bet some of you are reaching to the back of your neck now feeling the size of that hump. But how did it get there? 

It didn’t happen overnight and now I am seeing it develop at younger ages than ever before. Most of this particular postural change happens due to the constant head flexion (looking down) that we do on a daily basis. Be it on a computer, on a phone, writing, reading, watching tv while laying down, sleeping with too many pillows under the head, or even walking. I challenge you to look around throughout the day and make a mental note of how many of us are constantly staring downwards. This downlooking posture not only affects our neck, but it also changes the rest of the spine to flex with it. Therefore putting more pressure on the middle and lower back as well. 

It is difficult to correct your posture and in some cases it is nearly impossible to correct it. But doing nothing is not an option. You may feel more pain initially, due to your body exercising new body position that it isn’t used to. For good posture think shoulders rolled down and back, and your head looking forward and not downward with a slight retraction backward. If you do these movements you will feel the rest of your body adjust correctly. If this is a painful position to reach and maintain you may need to see a chiropractor as we can help! 

A few more things. Bad posture → low energy, decreased oxygen intake, increased muscular strain, and bad biomechanics. Good posture → more energy, increased oxygen, decreased stress on spine and muscles, and improved biomechanics!

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Vote No Sit-Ups

Vote No Sit-Ups

Sit-ups are a staple of many ab workouts. I remember doing sit-ups in gym class for the Presidential Fitness Test. To get the Presidential award you had to do so many pushups, pull ups, sit-ups, and the sit and reach. Do they still do this test? I enjoyed every part of the test except the silly sit and reach. Who needs flexibility anyways?

Back to sit-ups and why they are bad for you. Here’s the thing, when done correctly a sit-up or crunch can actually be a great exercise for the rectus abdominus (6 pack abs). However, most of us do some awful form or sit-ups. With the most common amerror being the combination of excessive neck flexion and lower back flexion. Our everyday life puts those areas into repetitive flexion. Any extra of those movements has the potential to lead to injury of those regions.

So how should you do a sit-up? Avoid excessive neck flexion by keeping your chin retracted (think double chin) and neutral, and avoid forward flexion of your middle and lower back. This is easier to do if you can imagine a stick going from the back of your neck to your tailbone and that stick cannot bend or break. Try maintaining this posture and then you feel your abs working. If you cannot maintain that form choose other ab exercises like planks or only perform a sit-up as high as you can until you lose your form.

 Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Vote Coconut Oil

Vote Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has become a staple in our household over the last few years. We use it just as much as olive oil to cook. I like the flavor it provides and more importantly the nutritional benefits.

Coconut oil is considered a medium chain triglyceride. What this also means is that it is full of a lot of different smaller fatty acids each of which can have different health benefits. Medium chain triglycerides can go straight into the liver to be utilized as energy via ketone breakdown. Other fatty acids such as lauric acid can be transformed into monolaurin which can fight against harmful bacteria and viruses. The other health benefits of coconut oil include: increased fat burning, increased HDL, decreased hunger from the fullness that healthy fats provide. One of the big things to keep in mind when purchasing coconut oil is to choose organic unrefined coconut oil.

 Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Choose Movement

We are born to move! So then why do we spend so much of our day sitting? Growing up and even now, sitting still for too long of a time seems boring to me. The worse thing I could ever say to my mom was the good old "I'm bored!!" I think secretly she liked hearing that phrase because there was always some chore that she would think to keep me occupied; clean your room, vacuum, dust, clean out the garage, clean the toy closet, help your dad outside, or even pull the weeds!

Movement is necessary for our bodies. When we move our whole body feels better. We utilize the calories we eat instead of allowing them to get stored in our body as fat. We release chemicals that make us feel better and increase our energy. It creates a better hormonal balance. We build strength and propriception - our body's awareness. Without it our joints become stiff almost like they are rusting shut. We become lethargic, fat, slow, and lose drive. Nobody wants to feel that way, so get out and MOVE!

Homework: If you plan on sitting for 3 hours watching football be sure to get up during half time and MOVE!

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Vote H2O

Vote H2O

Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. It is so vital to our body yet most of us do not get enough. Proper hydration supports a healthy immune system, blood pressure, mucosal linings, muscles, and pretty much every other activity in our body. We can die of thirst!!!!!!

Ok, I think I got the point across about water but how much should you drink per day?  Half your body weight in ounces is the recommendation for water consumption. Then for every 15-30 minutes of exercise you should add another 8 oz.  if you are starting to get your intake back up so it gradually throughout the day. Do not chug the water. If you chug it the water will go through you just as fast as you drank it. Initially when getting to half your body weight you will need to use the restroom more. Your body will adapt and you will feel better when you have the proper balance inside!

Homework: Calculate how much water you typically get in a day. If it’s not half your body weight you know what to do!

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Choose Fiber

Choose Fiber

The first thing that comes to mind when I hear the word fiber is Raisin Bran. It was a staple in the house growing up. My dad’s favorite cereal. Packed with bran flakes and sugar coated raisins it made the perfect choice of the day to keep you regular and to keep you feeling full. In the case of most bran flakes and high fiber cereals, you get the benefits to insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber helps to allow bulk to your stool and creates a liquid plumber like effect as it passes through clearing out the junk.  Soluble fiber is called such because when added to water the fiber becomes soluble. This is the fiber that is found in most of our plant based foods. The fiber that is in most whole foods works to slow the absorption of sugar into the body. Therefore, making it easier to control our blood sugar levels. When breaking down a whole grain into flour you destroy a large part of the fiber network making it easy to extract the simple carbohydrates which are quickly transformed into glucose in our mouths.

The recommended amount of fiber per day is 20-30g. Most of us are lucky to get 10-15g. When adding fiber to your routine do it slowly and make sure to drink extra water. This will help to minimize the bloating or possible constipation as your body adapts to the increased consumption. So do your digestive system a solid and eat more fiber.

Homework: calculate the average amount of fiber you get in a day. If under 20-30g slowly increase it using a mixture of fiber types.

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Vote No to Stretches

Yes, you read that right. I said No to Stretching! Before anyone gets in an uproar, allow me to explain. First off, I'm not against stretching in all instances. What I am against is stretching when, in fact, it's strengthening that you need to be doing. Stretching is what most of us do in response to muscle aches, tightness, and pain. It feels good while your doing it, but that relief lasts, what, maybe 10-20 minutes?  If that is truly the problem and you have a shortened and tight muscle, shouldn't stretching it fix it for longer than 30 minutes?

Let's dive in to a common thing I see in the office. 36-year-old patient presents with a chief complaint of neck discomfort stating their neck has been tight and stiff for the last 3 weeks. The pain began without a known cause and is gradually getting worse. They sit at a desk most of the day doing computer work.  Sounds like anyone you know? (Some of you may be able to look in the mirror) Upon doing my exam I check their range of motion and notice that they have a full range in all directions with no pain. Palpation reveals some tenderness along the spine but no significant tightness or muscle spasms in their neck.

So is this patient just crazy and faking their pain? In my opinion no, what we have here is a case of instability causing pain. In this case the body is straining the muscles together to try and create strength and stability. Their neck joints are too loose!  Imagine playing Jenga. If you stack the blocks too tightly it's hard to remove blocks without knocking the pile over. On the other hand if you pack the blocks too loosely and then you can remove the blocks easier, but the pile will fall down sooner. In both instances the pile falls down sooner than you'd like it to. It takes a perfect balance of strength and looseness for the body to function optimally.

This can occur in any joint! So the next time you feel that need to stretch think twice about why you might feel that way.

Disclaimer: I enjoy yoga and other stretching as much as the next person and there is a time and place for it, but this is something that I believe is a bigger issue that can lead to big problems if not identified.

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Vote No to Prone Zzzs...

Vote No to Prone Zzzs...

Happy Monday! I bet some of you wish you were still in bed catching a few extra zzz’s.  I have previously talked about the importance of getting 8 hours of sleep but is it it possible that your sleep position costing you restful sleep? Assuming we average 8 hours of sleep every night, this means that 33% of your life is spent sleeping!!! If you aren't paying attention to how you sleep then it is time you start.

In no instances should you ever sleep at night lying prone (on your stomach). This position allows gravity to act on our body in a negative way. It increases pressure in our chest making it harder to breathe, compresses our digestive organs, increases pressure on the lumbar lordosis, and finally it forces you to turn your neck one way or the other. The constant position may cause you to wake up with chronic neck pain or acute neck spasms.  Instead stick to sleeping on your back with a pillow under your knees or your side, preferably your left, with a pillow between your knees. These 2 positions keep your spine more neutral keeping any extra stress off the spine.

Homework: Pay attention to your sleeping position.  If you are finding yourself waking up at night or sleeping on your stomach try one of the 2 positions above.  

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Choose Beets

I was never much of a beet person until about 2 years ago.  It was probably the flavor that got to me for all of those previous years. That earthy taste takes a little getting used to, but when combined with the right foods the true sweetness of a beet is discovered.  Now, I enjoy on an almost weekly basis. Most often roasted along with some sweet potatoes or I will juice them with their greens and other veggies.

Why should you start eating them? They are packed with nutrients of all types! Vitamin B, Vitamin C, fiber, magnesium, manganese, and copper among others. They are high in nitrates, which will convert to nitric oxide inside the body. Nitric oxide leads to vasodilation making it great for heart health and also a great pre workout food/drink. They also have a phytonutrients called betalains. The phytonutrients are important for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Beets are considered one of the best foods to eat for liver and gallbladder support. So stop dropping beats and start eating them!

Homework: give beets another try! I love making the juice that includes the following: 1 medium beet with greens, 2 large carrots, 1 stalk of celery, 1 apple, ½ of lemon or lime, and fresh ginger to taste.

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Vote Chair

Vote Chair

Now, the first thing I think of when I read ‘Vote Chair’ is “I love lamp.”- Anchorman Of course there is more to this post than that.  We sit now more than ever and that has led to many health problems. The chair I want to focus on is the chair you use at work. A proper chair for work can make all the difference in the world for your back and neck. Do you find yourself sitting on the front half of your chair and then slouching on your desk?  This is an all to common image in an office setting and your back and neck are screaming for help the entire time.

So what should the proper chair be like? You should be able to sit all the way in the back of the chair while still maintaining contact with your feet on the floor. Your chair should be able to slide under your desk. When seated at your chair you should be comfortable enough as to not need to lean forward onto a desk to see your computer screen. These are all simple things to satisfy. I suggest a firmer chair as well to maintain proper support. Even better don't have a chair at all and get a standing desk!  

Homework: Analyze your office chair to see if it meets the above standards.

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Choose Ultimate

Choose Ultimate

I couldn’t go through all of these days and not bring up Ultimate Frisbee.  I have been playing since 2006 when I tried out for Ohio State Leadbelly. That year we played in the college national championships and finished tied for 9th. Ultimate has played an integral part of my life as it was because of it that I met my wife, Jennie, and so many great friends.  I don't get to play as much as I would like to anymore. I still play a few tournaments with my wife and friends, and I also coach a high school club called Fox Valley Fusion from Algonquin.

Ultimate requires a lot of endurance and athleticism.  In a weekend tournament a player can expect to run between 12 and 16 miles. It is like combining a frisbee, football, and soccer together.  If you have never seen it played check out WatchESPN the weekend of 10/18-10/21 for some potential air time. Below are some basics of the game.

Field size is 110 yards long, 40 yards wide and 20 yard end zones.  A point is scored when an offensive player catches it in the end zone. A typical game is played to either a point total of 15 or 90 minutes whichever happened first. You cannot run with the frisbee and so once a pass is completed you must stop and set a pivot foot. The thrower has 10 seconds to throw it to a teammate. Turnovers occur if the disc hits the ground, the disc lands out of bounds, the disc is intercepted, or if the 10 seconds runs out. The game is meant to be non-contact with the players self officiating.  Lastly is a term called spirit of the game. It is difficult to describe in words. It is better experienced on a first hand basis. So get out there and watch or find a place to play. Anyone can learn to throw and catch a frisbee!

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Vote Probiotics

Vote Probiotics

Aww probiotics. There are a lot of directions I could go here but moral of the story is I like them and if you're not taking one you probably should.  Over the years the majority of us put the digestive system through the proverbial wringer as we enjoyed everything but healthy foods. What is difficult to see during the late night snacks of pizza and bowls of ice cream (I preferred mine straight from the tub) is the damage we are doing inside our intestines. We are creating a perfect environment to feed unwanted bacteria.  Quality probiotics compete with the bad bacteria for space along the lining of our gut and aid our system in breaking down food.

If you have been struggling with digestive issues probiotics may help, but in most instances they are only aid for getting your gut back on track.  They are not a super, secret, magic pill that cures all! Like anything else, before taking any medications or supplements consult with your doctor to be sure they are a good fit for you.

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Choose Planks

Choose Planks

Remember when it was the cool to plank in outrageous places and in odd situations sort of like “Tebowing”.  Except it wasn’t really planking it was more just laying stiff as a board on top of things. We should bring planking back, but lets do it right!

Planks are, in my opinion, the best core exercise to do.  When done correctly it turns into a full body isometric contraction.  How to perform a plank: step 1: lay on the floor face down, step 2: come up onto your elbows making sure the elbow is directly below your shoulder, Step 3: raise your hips off of the floor and come onto your toes, Step 4: your core should be contracted at this point and you hold for a period of time.  If you are new to planking I suggest starting the hold for 20-30 seconds. If this position is too difficult you can also plank from your knees on up. If you want an extra challenge try a side plank. Same set up but coming up from your left or right side. Work your way up to at least 1 minute in each position.  I recommend increasing in weekly intervals of 5-10 seconds.

Homework:  Initiate a daily plank of either variety into your daily routine for two weeks.  You probably won’t see any big changes in two weeks, but strength and stability are occurring.

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Vote No on Fake Sugar

This is simple, just say no! Would you put diesel fuel purposely in an unleaded gas tank? Because that is essentially what you are doing when you ingest artificial sweeteners into your body!  What are they and why is it so bad? The ones that I’m talking about are those typically found in 0 calorie foods/drinks. Typically it will be aspartame, saccharin, or sucralose. The reason I’m not a big fan is because it’s all about your insulin levels.  The moment the fake molecules hit your taste buds is the moment that your body releases insulin in the body to tell it to uptake more sugar into the cells. The problem here is that there isn’t any sugar going into the blood when you have a fake sugar. Now it’s easy to think ‘ok great I won’t have blood sugar problems.’  Wrong! Now you just confused your body by telling it to get ready to have a rush of sugar into the system but then nothing comes. So the next time you have a sweet tasting treat your body won’t be able to decide do I release insulin this time or not. You repeat this process enough and before you know it there’s mass hysteria.  So do me and your body a favor a just say No!

Homework:  Start paying attention to the added sweeteners in the food/drinks that you buy and consume.  Diet drinks are one of the most common culprits. If you know you used fake sugars on a daily basis try taking them out of your diet for a week.

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Choose Chiropractic

Choose Chiropractic

Chiropractic, or “choir-practic” as some close relatives refer to it, is what I do and I cannot imagine doing anything else.  Not everyone is able to make that statement about their job so I feel fortunate that I can about mine. But what really is chiropractic?  The first thought that comes to many minds is “it’s where you go to get your back ‘cracked.’” If you have only ever gone to your chiropractor for spinal injuries you are missing out.  Chiropractic is so much more than getting your spine adjusted. Though spinal dysfunction MAY lead to many other health related conditions such as: knee pain, shoulder pain, foot pain, and headaches just to name a few.  To me chiropractic is more about looking for the root cause of an injury or condition. As a biochemistry major I love working with nutrition to heal the body from the inside out. As an athlete I love breaking down the biomechanics of a movement to re-establish proper patterns.  As a doctor I love watching patients make changes that affect their lives! If I ever lose those loves maybe I’ll try “choir-practic” instead, just imagine a chiropractor that also sings “We will, we will, crack you!”

Homework:  Call your chiropractor and make an appointment with them!  If you’ve never been to one be open minded it never hurts to go in for a consultation.

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Choose Eggs

Choose Eggs

Scrambled, hard boiled, over easy, sunny side up, over hard, over medium, or poached.  How do you like your eggs? I enjoy them almost every morning of the week over easy. What better day to talk about eggs but a Sunday when most of us enjoy a delicious brunch.  Eggs are such a simple thing to make. I think I was about 9 or 10 when I fried my first egg on a small cast iron skillet. After awhile you get tired of the old pick the cereal out of the cupboard game, especially when the options are down to Raisin Bran or Raisin Bran.  My reasoning for having eggs in the mornings is simple. They are cheap, quick to make and vary the style, and packed with nutrition! Protein being the most important factor. Each egg has about 6 grams of protein. But what about the yolk and the cholesterol? This is definitely something to take into consideration if you have an issue with an increased cholesterol level.  If it is a concern of yours you can always stick to egg whites which will still give you about 4 grams of protein. If you find yourself in a boring rut of carbs in the morning mix it up and don’t be afraid of the egg!

Homework: This is simple if you don’t have a good source of protein in the morning already, try to incorporate eggs a few times a week.  P.S. The avocados of day 1 make a nice pairing with the eggs in the morning to keep you full!

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Vote Squats

I just witnessed my 3-year-old do 10 overhead squats perfectly on cue.  If a toddler can do it that means you should be able to do a perfect squat too right?  Probably not. Plenty of people think they can perform a perfect squat but more often than not they have something that they are doing wrong.  Here are the top 3 mistakes I see in the office: forward flexion at the waist, knees going toward each other on the way down, and the knees going in front of the toes.  What muscles do you feel the most when you perform a squat? If your glutes aren’t sore afterwards chances are you aren’t doing them right. Squats can be a spine saver when performed correctly.  Here are things to keep in mind in order to do them correctly: perform them sloooowwwwly, feet at least shoulder width apart, keep your head and chest up while going downward, imagine sitting back into a chair, keep pressure down through your feet, and be aware of your knees to keep them from going inward.  

If the above is too difficult to perform or you feel as if you will fall over then you need to modify your squats.  The best way to relearn squat form is using an exercise ball. Put the exercise ball against the wall and stand in front of it with the ball resting on your butt.  When performing your squat with the ball use the contour of the ball to guide your ability to sit back thinking about all of the things I mentioned above. I strongly suggest getting a resistance band and tying it lightly around your knees.  Then, while performing your squat apply an outward pressure against the band and feel your glutes fire that much more. Lastly, only squat as low as you can with PERFECT form.

Homework:  Perform a squat in front of a mirror or on a video with a front view and a side view looking for the errors I mentioned.  If you see any errors start performing the modified squat with ball with 10 reps 2 sets daily for a week. Again only go as low as you can with PERFECT form.  If you struggle with any of that schedule an appointment I’m sure we can help you out!

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP®

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Choose 8 Hours

Choose 8 Hours

I woke up at 5:00 AM Wednesday.  I could have fallen back to sleep after my daughter woke up for an early breakfast, but would that extra hour have made that much of a difference? Granted, it would have turned into more like an hour and a half after hitting the snooze on my phone about 3 times.  My vote is yes, it does make a difference. Every hour/minute/second of sleep at night counts. It is the one time during the day that our body has a chance to recharge. When we sleep we give our body a fighting chance to survive the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives.  

But why 8 hours? Why not 2, 3, 4, 6, 12? Aww 12 hours of sleep. I will never see that again as long as I have kids!  Most studies show anywhere between 7 and 9 hours of sleep is what is most beneficial for the brain and body. There are loads of benefits to 8 hours of sleep: more energy, healthier heart, decreased brain fog, decreased inflammation, less wrinkles, increased bone health, decreased fatigue, and the list goes on.  

Homework: Try to get a full 8 hours for a week and pay attention to how you feel.  It will be difficult and take some discipline, but if you are sitting on the couch falling asleep to your favorite show every night at 9:30 anyway don’t you think maybe your body is giving you a signal?

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Vote Avocado!

Vote Avocado!

Today starts the 40 days of healthy politics!  Oh no politics! I hate that stuff. Don’t worry. I’m not going to talk about real politics. There are enough people doing that already.  I’d like to provide to you an avenue for a break from all of the political chaos. Each day there will be a “political” sign in my yard with a different health topic.  Some straight forward, some not. I am also writing a blogpost explaining the importance of each topic. Follow the office on Facebook or Instagram @MennerChiropracticLLC to follow along with all of the fun!  

Growing up I never knew avocados existed.  It was not until college that I was exposed to this delicious green stuff called guacamole.  I remember it clearly it was this new restaurant in Columbus called Chipotle. Back then I don’t think they even charged more than 25¢ or 50¢ for adding it to the order.  Enough about delicious guacomoooollleee. Why choose avocado for your health? Loads of healthy fat keep you full. Close to 75% of the calories in an avocado are from fat in the form of oleic acid.  This is useful in fighting inflammation throughout the body. The increased fat also makes it easier to absorb fat soluble vitamins. There are many other benefits to avocados but Google can provide you with more information if you truly desire.  The point of this is to get you thinking about incorporating more of this delicious green fruit into your diet. Think of it this way: “An avocado a day keeps the between-meal hungers away.” - Alan Broering, D.C.

Homework: Incorporate an avocado throughout your day at different meals. I strongly recommend breakfast with nearly half of one. Watch that 10 AM hunger disappear!

Dr. Alan Broering D.C., CCSP® 

Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.

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Trust Your Gut?

gut brain1I’m in the checkout lane at the grocery store and there it is, that orange wrapper grabs my attention and it’s saying “Alan, eat me!” My brain says, “Don’t do it, there’s an apple over there,” but my stomach says, “Mmmm chocolate and peanut butter!” I can’t resist. After all, it’s been a long day and I deserve it. I look to see if any patients are around and slowly place it on the conveyor. Of course I have to eat it right away. I can’t let it melt on the way home. I get home and unload the car with the rest of the groceries. You know fruits, vegetables, some avocados, eggs, and some salmon. I am a doctor. I have a healthy eating reputation to maintain. After a few minutes inside, it hits me; that wall, the “I’m tired, and I want to throw on comfy clothes and lounge around.” We have all been in this scenario.  So I ask you, did I trust the wrong “brain”? 

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Want to win a Championship?

footballCheck out this great article from the Washington Post about Tom Brady, arguably the best quarterback in NFL history, and how he chooses to treat his body. He uses more alternative care and allows his body to heal naturally. He follows a strict diet of NO SUGAR, DAIRY, or WHITE FLOUR. In a separate article, also a great one, he is reported of having 2 smoothies per day. 

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The Right Kind of Busy!

Payne swingSometimes life gets in the way and we have to prioritize the important things. Jennie and I have completed a month of being gluten free and sugar free. Were we perfect the entire time? No, but we have to live a little too. 

So what has me so busy that caused me to miss last week’s post? Everything! Summer weather brings summer fun! We began the summer with a colorful explosion at The Color Vibe Run in Lake Zurich. Jennie, Payne, and I ran/walked the event with members of the Menner Chiropractic office staff. It was an awesome event and a lot of fun. Some of you may have seen us rocking our new shirts.

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Moderation...

blog3 soupSO THERE WE WERE…..driving to Ohio for my cousin Kelly’s wedding.  We asked ourselves, "What are the common excuses that others use to not try a gluten and sugar free diet?"  I often hear "Then, what do you eat?"  My translation of that question is that it sounds hard and impossible, and they have instantly set themselves up for an uphill battle.  It is easier now than ever to make this change.  This thing called the internet makes it so easy to find tasty and delicious recipes.  We had a delicious Cocoa-Coconut Pork Chop Chili (say that 3 times fast) on Monday evening and it was delicious.  Click the picture to link to the recipe! 

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Toughing it Out

Blog2One week in and going strong! We are feeling great and full of energy. 

Though, the first week wasn’t without challenges. Both of us felt normal detoxing symptoms -- stomach cramping, cold sweats, and a mild headache. They were nothing we couldn’t handle and tough out for the greater goal.  Saying no to the delicious Rice Krispie Treats at a small group BBQ we attended Friday evening was my biggest challenge. The weekend also brought Mother’s Day!  This was Jennie’s first!  We spent most of the day outside enjoying the beautiful weather, working on our deck, and doing a photoshoot for Payne. We wrapped the day up with delicious grilled cedar plank salmon (which I caught on Wednesday from Lake Michigan). 

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Chronic Case of the Mondays

Alan Family 2016My wife, Jennie, and I have an energetic nine-month-old son. Parenting is hard, but very rewarding. Lately though, we have had a chronic “case of the Mondays”. We’ve felt sluggish and tired, busy, unmotivated, and uninspired to do more than what really must be done. Being parents—titles we’re still getting used to—makes us want to change our lifestyle. We’ll do anything to be around for all of our little guy’s big (and small) moments. We’re TIRED of being tired, so we decided to DO something about it.

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American Chiropractic Association
Illinois Chiropractic Society
National University of Health Sciences