Wellfie Wednesday Tip #146: Try Cooking Ethnic Foods

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Welcome back! This week’s tip is brought to you by Patrick (@TheFuelPhysio) and is meant to spice things up in the kitchen, especially if you’ve been in a rut lately and bored with eating the same ole things.

My wife and I cook about all of our meals, I would say roughly 95% of what we eat comes out of our kitchen, unless we’re out of town of course. So needless to say, we’ve encountered a few episodes of boredom along the way, when we find ourselves constantly eating the same thing. As a side note, I recently started tracking our weekly dinner menus on Twitter, search the hashtag #BernerKitchen to follow along.

So earlier this year we started experimenting with some different ethnic food recipes. And it has been great thus far! For the most part. What is interesting is that you not only get to learn about different ways of cooking, but also how various herbs and spices mixed together create a very unique flavor. Don’t get me wrong though, we’ve certainly encountered some things we won’t be cooking again, but that’s okay! It’s all in fun of trying different foods. And know that I’m talking about ethnicity beyond Mexican and Chinese foods, we’re talking Greek, Tanzanian, Zimbabwean, Iranian, etc.

Now the only roadblock we occasionally hit is ingredients, as you would imagine some recipes calling for things I’ve never heard of or have no idea where to get, but you can make it work! Don’t let that stop you from being creative. And the best part is that most of the time cooking ethnic foods will lead to consuming more plant-based options! So it’s really a win win.

Go ahead and try cooking some ethnic foods and let us know how it goes! Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #145: Mental Health Awareness Month

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! We’re back!! We apologize, but the Wellfie Crew ended up taking a little hiatus the last few weeks because life and other things sometimes get the best of us, and THAT’S OKAY! Which actually goes well with this week’s topic, brought to you by Diana (@DianaKlatt), on Mental Health.

Mental health and wellness are important for not only individual health but for society as a whole. So why then do we still have such drastic numbers around untreated mental health issues? Stigma.

One of the most important things is that we need to stop treating mental health illnesses as something that you can just “get over.” Do we refer to chronic diseases, such as diabetes, like this? (Maybe diabetes wasn’t the best example because this is also highly stigmatized.) People often feel isolated, shame, discrimination, and stereotypes about their mental illness, but we need to increase talking about these things and decrease the stigma. It is perfectly normal to experience anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses. Many people do not even recognize that they may have a mental illness that can be treated. Many societies and cultures teach and instill the concept of silently suffering. But there are ways to help these people and talking about mental illnesses and increasing awareness is just the start. It can be hard to seek help but the more someone realizes that they are not alone, the more likely they will feel comfortable seeking help.

So what can we do to help? We need to recognize that while discussing the complicated nature of mental health may be common for those working in health and wellness, that this is not the norm for most people. Many people find it difficult to discuss their mental health and how they are feeling in their professional and personal lives. We can help by discussing the normalcy more, by giving people the space to talk about how they’re feeling, and to lead by example. We cannot change the way society treats mental health alone, it is a team effort of helping those that live with mental health ailments know that they are not alone and to increase acceptance in society.


Check out how different people experience depression to see just how varied the experiences can be: https://www.blurtitout.org/2016/07/08/describing-depression-whove-never/


Here are some stats from a previous piece I wrote about mental health so you can see how common mental health illnesses are and how there is a severe lack of treatment:

  • Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the global burden of disease.

  • Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the US experience mental illness in a given year.

  • Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the US live with a serious mental illness.

  • Approximately 1 in 5 youths (13-18 years old) experience a severe mental disorder at some point during their lives.

  • Nearly 60% of adults and 50% of youths did not receive mental health services in the previous year.

Lets end the Stigma! Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #144: Know Your Seasonal Produce

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Welcome back! This week is brought to you by Patrick (@TheFuelPhysio) and is a perfect mention for the Spring Season!

Spring is finally here!! Well at least for where I am in upstate South Carolina. The temperatures are finally where they should be, everything is COVERED in pollen, and it’s forecasted to rain… like every day. But we do have some beautiful weather forecasted for the future. But enough about that, lets talk PRODUCE!

Spring is an amazing time to start being on the lookout for fresh produce, which if you didn’t know can be very specific to your region of the country. Fresh produce is not only important to get the best flavors, but also that time of the year they become a bit cheaper. For example, early this week I took advantage of buying a larger quantity of strawberries and they’ve been fantastic!

A great resource that you can use to find what’s available in your area, and even specific to ANY time of the year, is the Seasonal Food Guide. I love this resource because it’ll also link you to info on storing and even cooking methods for specific fruits or vegetables.

So check out what’s fresh in your area and let us know! Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #143: Feeling Uninspired? Try a New Fitness Class

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Welcome back! This week is brought to you by Diana (@DianaKlatt)!

Recently felt uninspired to get to the gym? Feel like you keep doing the same exercises over and over again? We’ve all been there. It can be hard to keep pushing forward when we feel like we are plateauing and we don’t know where to go from here. Here’s a simple way to get over this hump - mix it up!

There are numerous types of different exercise classes and outlets out there now, HITT (High Intensity Tactical Training), TRX, aerial/anti-gravity yoga, pilates, bouldering, rowing, skating, barre, kickboxing, swimming… the list can go on and on. It’s likely that you may be doing a couple of these already but are you doing them regularly? And are you basically hitting autopilot? If so, maybe you should try out a new exercise class!

You may feel like it’s hard to try something new, especially if it’s something that is completely new to you. So bring a friend! It’s a great way to try new things while spending time with a friend and having the motivation to complete your workout.

If you’re looking to try something new, I highly recommend bouldering and aerial silks/yoga.

  1. Bouldering can be equal parts fun and a good life skill to learn (or it can be your start into recreating the documentary Free Solo…). Rock climbing is a great workout that uses muscles in your arms, core, and lower body. Your back and arms are engaged with pulling yourself up the wall or mountain and your core, quads, and calves are used to help stabilize your body while you climb. (Note that this activity frequently results in dry hands from applying chalk, so maybe don’t try it out if you have somewhere to be where you may shake a lot of hands.)

  2. Aerial silks/yoga, while much less of a life skill, is quite fun and is an amazing workout for your core and upper body. Aerial yoga takes the movements and efforts of normal yoga and adds more of a full body aspect due to the nature of utilizing the silk hammock. You spend a lot of time getting yourself up into the silks and holding static poses or you use the silks to help suspend various limbs while also holding static poses. Aerial yoga acts as a method of cross-training as it incorporates both strength and flexibility, as well as having a strong core focus. It heavily focuses on core strength as well as spinal and shoulder flexibility.

If you do try something new, let us know! Especially if it’s uncommon, we’d love to hear about all the different things you’ve all tried.

Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #142: National Frozen Food Month

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Welcome back! This week is brought to you by Patrick (@TheFuelPhysio) .

You read it right folks, this entire month has been National Frozen Food Month! I had no idea! But it brings up a good opportunity to chat on frozen foods, which sometimes get a bad rap. Now first, there is a distinct difference between frozen “processed” foods (the instant meals loaded in preservatives and other random ingredients) and regular frozen food, that being frozen fruits, vegetables, and leftover home cooked meals.

I won’t spend any time on frozen processed foods because I’m a big proponent of cooking meals at home for a number of reasons. But what I want to spend time on is why frozen foods can be a good thing, especially if finances or time are a barrier. And first things first, there is no major difference in quality of nutrients when comparing fresh and frozen foods.

  • Frozen foods can easily be bought in bulk, because they last longer, but still under 12 months. Meaning that when they are on sale, you can stock up, saving some $$.

  • Most frozen fruits and vegetables are ready to go, already cleaned, trimmed, and chopped if wanted, saving a bunch of time in preparation.

  • Easier access to foods that may not be in season at the time. You can usually still find them in the frozen foods section.

  • You can stock up on fresh foods when they are in season (cheaper and taste better) and freeze them for later use. I do this every year for blueberries, which can get pretty pricey in their off season.

  • And lastly, if you were to cook something in a large quantity (I usually do for pot roasts, soups, and gumbo), you can freeze the leftovers for later. Virtually eliminating time and money as a barrier.

Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #141: Start a Vegetable Garden!

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Welcome back! This week is brought to you by Patrick (@TheFuelPhysio).

Man this weather has been crazy!! I think I’ve been fooled by Mother Nature at least 4 times this season. Every time I think Spring has come and warmer weather is here to stay, temperatures drop again! Happening again right now after the beautiful weekend we just had in upstate South Carolina. But I certainly took advantage of those nice couple days. Finally got our new vegetable garden built!

Normally I would have liked to get the ground ready and prepped prior to planting some things, but I went ahead and did it all at once while I had the time to do so. This year I went with trying out a raised garden bed, where I could control all the soil and compost being used. Also testing out the location of it, prior to making it any bigger. I’ve situated it on the side of our house, where it gets morning sun and than shade from about 1-2PM onward.

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So far, I’ve planted some bell peppers, jalapeño peppers, banana peppers, roma tomatoes, and strawberries (not in this picture). I’ll add zucchini this coming weekend. It’s a bit smaller than my previous vegetable garden, but you have to start somewhere.

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The picture of the fenced in garden was at our old place back in 2017. That one was pretty successful back then, so I’m hoping for a similar harvest this year.

Personally, I think EVERYONE should try out having a vegetable garden! Especially if you have young kids. Being able to teach them how things grow and where real food comes from is tremendously important. Now it doesn’t have to be as elaborate as these or other gardens you may have seen. I’ve literally done vegetable gardens in multiple gallon pots. If anything, just try out having 1 plant this year.

Give it a try and let us know how it goes! Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #140: Reflections from a Health Screening Event

Happy #WellfieWednesday! This week’s post is brought to you by Aaron Perez (@FreestylePhysio). Enjoy!

                  This past week I had the privilege of assisting at a health expo where Pro-Activity Tennessee, led by Alexis and Zac Morgan, conducted a health screening event and launched a year-long health and wellness initiative with a large employer. It was the largest and busiest health screening I had ever been a part of, and it was awesome! Given that I know most of our readers are PTs interested in health and wellness, I thought it may be useful and interesting to share a few takeaways from my experience. 

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Importance of Planning 

I love that quote by Dwight D. Eisenhower, and feel it applies to my experience this past weekend well. I thought the team did an amazing job of preparing. Alexis put together an incredibly detailed, yet easy to follow master spreadsheet to keep us organized. We walked through the event virtually and then again when we all got together in person. I never felt overly anxious or panicked during the walkthroughs, and this may be because my role and responsibilities were small in comparison to others on the team, but nonetheless I think it speaks to how well prepared those leading the charge were. 

Look the Part 

The host company did an excellent job of branding their event and initiative. They created shirts for all of us to wear so that we could look like one team, even though the day of the event was the first time some of us had met in person. Further, even with it being the first health screening event for some of us in the group, I feel like we looked the part and had a great showcase, with eye catching handouts (kudos Alexis for being a design wizard), fun music (can’t go wrong with ACDC), and lots of equipment, including BP cuffs, hand grip dynamometers, body composition scales, assault bikes, and more. In fact, two of the biggest game changers in my opinion were not used in any part of the health screening, yet made the health screening a memorable event worth participating in and talking about. 

Building Comradery Through…Competition?

As hinted at above and in the main picture of this blog post, the Pro-Activity team utilized a “Live” scoring system that was continuously updated on a big screen TV as participants completed their screenings. This really seemed to add a “Wow” factor that not only brought people into the screening but also kept them around afterwards watching the leaderboard to see how their co-workers were doing. Not only was there a live leaderboard, but there was an awesome looking “WWE-esque” belt hanging over top of the leaderboard to be won by the overall champion of our screens. I found that addition to be powerful and it made it much simpler to persuade people to participate. I could simply say, “You want to participate in this because you want a chance at winning THAT!” **pointing to the belt hanging on top of the leaderboard*” Big shout out to Nick for creating the system that made the Live leaderboard possible, and to Zac for the championship belt. 

Energy is Contagious 

Lastly, I want to acknowledge the host company’s participants as I felt their energy throughout the event and even at the 6am workout the next day, it was tremendous! It made it much easier to stay excited during the event when I could feed off the participants energy. Health screenings can be difficult in that regard because they are by nature monotonous for the conductors. I’ve never had so much fun asking people what their age and height are for 3 hours straight 😊. Kudos to everyone involved, and I hope that same energy snowballs throughout the yearlong initiative.  

Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #139: National Nutrition Month® 2019

Welcome back! Happy Wellfie Wednesday! And Happy National Nutrition Month®! This week is brought to you by Patrick (@TheFuelPhysio), our crew’s Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.

National Nutrition Month® is an annual campaign “To increase the public’s awareness of the importance of good nutrition and position Academy members as the authorities in nutrition.”

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The Key Messages of this year’s campaign are:

  1. Discover the benefits of a healthy eating style.

  2. Choose foods and drinks that are good for your health.

  3. Include a variety of healthful foods from all of the food groups on a regular basis.

  4. Select healthier options when eating away from home.

  5. Be mindful of portion sizes. Eat and drink the amount that's right for you, as MyPlate encourages us to do.

  6. Keep it simple. Eating right doesn't have to be complicated.

  7. Make food safety part of your everyday routine.

  8. Help to reduce food waste by considering the foods you have on hand before buying more at the store.

  9. Find activities that you enjoy and be physically active most days of the week.

  10. Consult the nutrition experts. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists can provide sound, easy-to-follow personalized nutrition advice to meet your lifestyle, preferences and health-related needs.


Check out the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics website (https://www.eatright.org) for an abundance of resources for healthier eating.

Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #138: Blue Light & Sleep

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Welcome back! This week is brought to you by Diana (@DianaKlatt)!

I don’t know about all of you but I frequently find myself turning off the lights, cozying up in bed, and then… looking at my phone. And then I wake up in the morning thinking “wow, why am I so tired? Why did I got to bed so late last night?” Well, it’s because I was staring at my phone’s screen before trying to go to bed!

We have become so overly plugged into our phones and technology that it’s hard for our brains to “turn off” at night. Checking our phones, regardless of where we are and what we’re doing, has become second nature. I know that sometimes when I am reading something on my phone that I don’t even remember picking up the device. And because our lives have become so fast paced, with constant access to knowledge, I also find myself trying to fit in reading news or catching up with people in other time zones any chance I can get - which frequently is right before going to bed.

And I know I’m not alone in this mad cycle of phone staring. I, along with hundreds of thousands of other people, am trying to keep up with everything and everyone constantly and we can't seem to put our phones down to get some sleep (1). Why is it so bad for us to be using our devices or looking at a computer/television monitor late at night from the comfort of our own beds? Artificial blue light.

So what's the deal with this blue light and why does it impact us so much? The body functions on a system that is controlled by the amount of natural light and dark we are exposed to. This is called circadian rhythm and it's a critical process in much more than just our sleep cycles (2). It is no secret that this light alters our cycles. Prior to the boom of technology, people relied primarily on sunlight for cues on when to start and end the day. People simply spent more time outside. Less jobs required you to stare at a giant LED screen and less leisure activities required screens. All of this screen time is seriously messing with our bodies, especially our sleeping patterns. According to a study done in 2012, use of any of these technologies before sleep can completely throw us off. The use of technology prior to sleep has major biological effects on our circadian clock because it suppresses the levels of melatonin (that hormone we produce - or take - to help us sleep), which in turn reduces the amount of REM sleep we get, which leads to a decrease in alertness in the morning... ultimately impacting not just your sleep but also your overall functionality and daily performance (2).

So what can we do if we have to look at screens for work? If we want to pass time scrolling through Twitter or Instagram? For starters, you can install some software to counter that penetrating blue light. Well yes, that's a start. You could install flux (Apple, Windows) OR you could get some really trendy, blue-light blocking glasses (Pixel, Felix Gray). I highly recommend doing at least one of these things. I actually install flux on all of my devices and it's easy to disable if you need true colors for digital editing. I personally prefer installing something to work on the device as I already wear glasses. Also, the iPhone has a feature called "night shift" that you can put on an auto-schedule (enable night shift). While, it's actually quite easy to help ease that harsh blue light emitted to your eyes, this doesn’t mean all is solved. I still do not suggest looking at your phone when you try to go to sleep!

Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew

1. https://www.soundsleepinstitute.com/sleep-tips/cell-phone-causes-sleep-problems/

2. http://www.pnas.org/content/112/4/1232

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #137: Sleep & Pain Sensitivity

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Welcome back! This week is brought to you by Patrick (@TheFuelPhysio) and the topic revolves around how sleep can affect your pain sensitivity.

For starters, pain is a very complex thing, especially chronic pain, and it seldom deals with just a physical sensation. Our brain and neurological system controls a lot of it, and it can be a combination of experiences, exposures, and interpretations of painful situations, whether physical or emotional, that contribute to our sensation of pain. Now sleep, the body’s ability to recover, has been discovered to be something that should be of concern when it comes to pain and pain sensitivity.

A recently published study found that individuals with just a single night of sleep deprivation had a 15-30% increase in pain sensitivity, reducing their pain threshold. Meaning there interpretation of a painful stimuli came sooner than if adequate sleep was had the night before. In agreement with sleep playing a role in pain sensitivity, another recent study found that extended sleep could increase an individual’s pain threshold.

Both of these studies of course have several limitations, but their findings should still be considered. So if you or someone you know is dealing with pain, getting a better night sleep could be a good start. And I know that’s easier said than done for most. Check out this resource by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine for some helpful tips to improving your sleep.

Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew

Krause, A. J., Prather, A. A., Wager, T. D., Lindquist, M. A., & Walker, M. P. (2019). The pain of sleep loss: A brain characterization in humans. Journal of Neuroscience, 2408-18.

Simonelli, G., Mantua, J., Gad, M., St Pierre, M., Moore, L., Yarnell, A. M., ... & Capaldi, V. F. (2019). Sleep extension reduces pain sensitivity. Sleep medicine54, 172-176.

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #136: "Ultra-Processed" Foods

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Welcome back! This week is brought to you by Patrick (@TheFuelPhysio). So this week a study was released that spoke on “ultra-processed” foods and researchers found an associated 14% higher risk of dying early with every 10% increase in the proportion of ultra-processed foods. Though they do conclude that further research is needed to confirm their findings, meaning it’s not something that necessarily needs to be shouted from the mountain top.

They term ultra-processed foods as “manufactured industrially from multiple ingredients that usually include additives used for technological and/or cosmetic purposes.” "Ultraprocessed foods are mostly consumed in the form of snacks, desserts, or ready-to-eat or -heat meals." Basically those foods with a laundry list of ingredients you can’t pronounce. Some critics of the study mention that the researchers don’t go into enough detail as to explaining what foods are actually considered “ultra-processed.” Because yes, most food is “processed” as it is probably cut, trimmed, washed, sealed, and packaged.

Now what we do have tons of evidence on are the benefits of eating “whole,” “real,” “natural,” (whatever you prefer to call fruits, veggies, grains, legumes, and other protein sources). So instead of trying to purposely avoid something, look to adding or swapping for healthier options. And it may take a little effort, initially. Read your labels. Choose minimally processed, if possible. Choose plant-based foods!

For me, I’m not going to never eat bacon again, but I do make an effort to limit the amount I consume and swap for healthier options.

Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #135: Beware the Cycle of Malnutrition

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Welcome back! This week is brought to you by Patrick (@TheFuelPhysio) and it highlights a recent publication that looks at malnutrition, frailty, and sarcopenia (muscle loss) in older adults. The piece was written to help physical therapists understand the importance of nutrition in older adults and give them practical tools to address malnutrition and their patient’s eating behaviors. However, the information can be used beyond physical therapists and is applicable to any rehab profession, such as occupational and speech therapy alike.

Abstract

“The intersectional relationship between malnutrition, frailty, and sarcopenia in older adults presents unique challenges for health care providers. Malnutrition, specifically, is a leading risk factor for disability, morbidity, and mortality in older adults. Despite improvements in screening procedures, many older adults at risk for malnutritionare not identified, which prevents effective management. Utilizing interdisciplinary approaches toward malnutrition screening is both effective and feasible. Physical therapists can play an important role in both the identification and management of malnutrition in older adults by remaining aware of common nutritional concerns in older adults and performing routine malnutrition screening.”

Severin, R., Berner, P. M., Miller, K. L., & Mey, J. (2019). The Crossroads of Aging: An Intersection of Malnutrition, Frailty, and Sarcopenia.  Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation ,  35 (1), 79-87.

Severin, R., Berner, P. M., Miller, K. L., & Mey, J. (2019). The Crossroads of Aging: An Intersection of Malnutrition, Frailty, and Sarcopenia. Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation, 35(1), 79-87.

Summary

“Malnutrition has significant consequences on patient outcomes, especially in older adults. Unfortunately, many older adults who are malnourished go untreated because of gaps in screening for malnutrition and malnutrition risk. Physical therapists can play an important role in the identification and management of malnutrition and malnutrition risk by remaining aware of common concerns in older adults and by performing routine malnutrition screening. Although medical nutrition therapy is performed by registered dietitians, physical therapists can provide basic nutritional education and should do so while acknowledging their scope of practice and their patients' medical and nutritional needs. In addition, the combination of physical therapy and nutritional interventions may provide optimal patient outcomes. Despite variations in scope of practice, all members of the health care team must strive to improve patient care through interprofessional communication and collaboration.”

Though it was written with a clinical mindset, the article still contains information that can be helpful to the everyday adult. Such as highlighting current evidence that protein needs for older adults may be upwards of 1.2 g of protein/kg of bodyweight, far greater than the standard recommendation of 0.8 g of protein/kg of bodyweight. And practical information such as common food-drug interactions and potential affects on appetite due to medications.

Check out the article in its entirety

The Crossroads of Aging: An Intersection of Malnutrition, Frailty, and Sarcopenia

Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

Resource: Severin, R., Berner, P. M., Miller, K. L., & Mey, J. (2019). The Crossroads of Aging: An Intersection of Malnutrition, Frailty, and Sarcopenia. Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation35(1), 79-87.

- WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #134: The Most Interesting Men

Happy #WellfieWednesday! This week’s post is brought to you by @FreestylePhysio. Enjoy! 

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending a men’s spiritual retreat called Men’s Cornerstone Weekend. I was invited by my friend and co-worker, Eric, and I blindly accepted without asking many questions. I didn’t have any expectations or goals for the event. I assumed I would I listen to men’s stories about their own spiritual and religious journey and be invited to share my own. Somewhere in that process I might just learn a thing or two. But having been mostly disconnected from my own faith practice for the last decade or more, I wasn’t sure how much I’d be able to participate or gain from the weekend. Nonetheless, I went in with an open mind and felt deeply moved by the entire experience. This post could easily turn into a novel, but I’ll try my best to keep it brief and discuss a couple personal takeaways I left with. 

Life is hard.

I was reminded of this simple fact about life again and again listening to the stories shared this weekend. Adversity throughout life Is inevitable. Life’s challenges often seem to be dealt at random without reason or fairness, and at times may feel insurmountable. I was amazed to hear the trials and tribulations that the men at Cornerstone had gone through and were going through. It helped give me perspective on how relatively easy my life has been thus far, and a good reminder that challenges I can’t see are on the horizon. I’m not confident my current spiritual/faith practice is strong enough to guide me through extreme difficulty. It’s easy to go on cruise control in many aspects of life, and I certainly have been regarding my spirituality/faith for a while now. This weekend provided a helpful nudge toward exploring that aspect of myself. Sometimes catastrophe forces us to explore that aspect of ourselves, but I think it’s ideal to consider it prior to a disaster striking. 

Be Kind. Always. 

My perspective of others also changed this weekend. The vulnerability and courage displayed through sharing emotionally jarring stories was enough to bring me to tears. This unassuming group of men turned out to be some of the strongest men I’ve ever had the privilege to meet. And I don’t believe they came to be that way by chance. They’ve consistently worked on themselves and continue to do so, and in doing so have helped countless others grow into better versions of themselves. I’m reminded of this quote, “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be Kind. Always.” 

My Invitation 

Throughout the weekend we were asked to reflect on what God’s invitation was for us in relation to how a story impacted us. I interpreted this as a moment to consider a personal call to action based on lessons learned from another person’s life experience. First, I thought of one of my own battles. As I mentioned earlier, I feel adversity in my life has been relatively minimal and mostly self-governed meaning I’ve sought out and accepted challenges on my own terms rather than it being dealt to me regardless of how I felt. However, one consistent challenge I’ve faced throughout my life is social anxiety. I’m not sure it’s appropriate to call it that as I’ve never been medically diagnosed or treated for it. But those who’ve known me the longest and know me best, like my parents, know that I tend to avoid social interaction. I’ve always admired people like my Dad who seem eager to strike up a conversation with a stranger and can talk to anyone for hours. Relating this back to my Cornerstone experience, I realized that if I were to come across any of the men attending anywhere else, I would have never said hello and asked about their life. It was hard enough to do so this weekend when I really had no other choice. I think of what I miss out on by not doing that. So, my call to action is simple, just say hello. In doing so, I might end up speaking to and learning from the most interesting man (or women) in the world. That’s how I would describe the men in attendance this weekend, the most interesting men in the world.  

Thank you to the men who attended Cornerstone this past weekend. Special thanks to Eric for the invite. I arrived with minimal expectations and left with a better understanding of myself and a stronger connection with my spirituality that I would not have otherwise sought out. I also learned I can survive without my phone for more than 24 hours. It’s ironic that to truly connect you might first have to disconnect. I hope everyone has similar opportunities and takes advantage of them. Cheers. 

Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #133: #ClimbDC This FRIDAY (1/25/19)

Welcome back! Happy Wellfie Wednesday! This week’s post is notice to an event coming up this Friday, 1/25/19, and brought to you by Nick Schmit, a physical therapist student and member of the Academy of Prevention and Health Promotion Therapies.

What happens when you bring a group of people with a passion for turning the “sick care” system into a true “health care system” together in Washington D.C.? You get #climbDC organized by the Academy of Prevention and Health Promotion Therapies (APHPT)! Small changes to your physical activity, like taking the stairs, can make a significant impact on your health and we want the D.C. community to experience this first hand. That’s why, in parallel with CSM on FridayJanuary 25th, we will attempt to summit Everest, a cumulative 29,029 feet, on staircases throughout the city.

Keep your eyes on #climbDC on social media for the exact locations, but we’ll be stationed throughout the city getting passersby to climb with us and celebrating their achievements. Join us, and bring some friends, at one of these spots to get in your stairs or hang for a while and help talk all things incidental physical activity and health. We also hope you’ll track all your stairs throughout the day, no matter if you’re local or remote and add to our cumulative elevation. Log your steps at www.aphpt.org/tracker.

Although the main goal of our event is to raise awareness about the large impact a small change can make on someone’s health, we are also raising money for a local non-profit that we feel exemplifies the mission of the APHPT - The After School All Stars D.C. You can get more information about #climbDC, track your steps, and make your donation or pledge at www.aphpt.org/CSM.

Thank you for all of your support and we hope to see you on the steps! - Nick Schmit

Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #132: Try Out Meatless Monday

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Welcome back! This week is brought to you by Patrick (@TheFuelPhysio) and it reintroduces one of our original posts back in 2016. The movement is so inspiring that it deserves more recognition. Meatless Monday, a non-profit health initiative launched in 2003 by the Center for a Livable Future at the John’s Hopkins School of Public Health, encourages people around the world to go meatless one day a week for their health & the health of the planet. #MeatlessMonday.

The Meatless Monday website is full of amazing resources that can help you make the change personally, but also help spread the word to others. As you have probably heard from us in the past, plant-based eating patterns (limiting the consumption of processed foods and meats, especially red meat and processed meat) have shown to reduce risk of many chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.

MM_PlantProteinPower_Asparagus.gif

One of the biggest misconceptions I come across is that we need to consume meat in order to get our days worth of protein. And that is just not true! There are many other options to choose from, that are rich in vitamins and minerals and will also provide tons of beneficial fiber. Aside from that, choosing to eat more plants is fun and excited! Giving you the opportunity to experiment with different textures and flavors and really be creative.

And what’s awesome is that some hospital systems are starting to see the benefit as well. Just this week in NY, Woodhull Hospital and Kings County Hospital launched their very own “Meatless Mondays” initiative. Check out this article for more details.

Join in on the Global Movement! Give it a try and let us know how it goes!

Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #131: New Year, New Me, New… Toothbrush?

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Welcome back! This week is brought to you by Diana (@DianaKlatt).

Let’s all be honest with ourselves, when’s the last time you changed your toothbrush?

Oral hygiene is something we all frequently take for granted, something we do on autopilot: wake up and brush teeth, brush teeth and go to bed. But is that really enough?  Well, dental care is not really a “one-fits-all” situation, but one method ­does fit many. Now, I know I won’t be able to convince you all to floss your teeth more regularly so let’s just focus in on something we can all do right now.

REPLACE YOUR TOOTHBRUSH.

Dentists and toothbrush makers suggest replacing your toothbrush every 3 months, but why? The purpose of a toothbrush is to help remove plaque build up from your teeth and from sitting along your gum line. Regardless of the material of your toothbrush bristles, they will weaken overtime and no longer effectively remove the plaque. With that said, those of you using sensitive toothbrushes should take note that you will likely need to replace your toothbrushes more frequently because the bristles are already softer.

Not convinced? Let’s talk bacteria and fungus. Your toothbrush is similar to your kitchen sponge. It is used to clean and it’s not like we all have a way to clean our toothbrushes after each brushing. Each time you brush, you leave germs behind tucked into those bristles (gross). Those germs can develop into bacteria and fungus and can lead to reinfection (if you’ve been sick recently) or become infected by whatever is growing on there.

So, I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely going to go replace my toothbrush now because (1) I’ve been sick and (2) toothbrushes are gross.

P.S. I’m no dentist, but I was told to be one every day of my life since I was 5 years old, so you can imagine I had an odd fascination with dental care and oral hygiene.

Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #130: Bring in the New Year!

Happy Wellfie Wednesday and Happy New Year! This week is brought to you by Patrick (@TheFuelPhysio).

We hope your 2019 is off to a great start! Though we know every start of the year comes with many New Year Resolutions and most of the time they are broad and non-specific. Such as “I’m going to exercise more,” “I’m going to lose weight,” “I’m going to spend more time with friends and family,” and the list goes on. Don’t get me wrong, these are great, but may end being very difficult to attain without an execution plan or support.

This year try to set some specific goals for yourself. You can start with a big picture idea, such as losing weight, but break it down into small attainable goals that may help build your confidence and keep a consistent wave of success. Now since most people go the route of improving their health and well-being, here are some things that may help. Have an Accountability Buddy, whether a friend, co-worker, family member, or even a complete stranger with similar goals. Get someone in your corner to help keep you focused and motivate you along the way. Track your progress; when setting small goals you need to have a way of knowing if they’re being met and if you are actually doing what you have set out to do. Self reflection will only make you stronger. Path deviation is OKAY! Since you are most likely tackling a behavior, it’s normal to revert back to old habits or how things were before, but don’t be discouraged. As long as you maintain consistency you’ll most likely be successful in your endeavors and continue meeting your goals.

We hope that you have big things planned for this year, but even more hopeful that you remember success comes with support, consistency, and small incremental change.

Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #129: Dream Challenge

Welcome Back! Happy Wellfie Wednesday! This week’s post is brought to you by Aaron (@FreestylePhysio). Enjoy! 

I have a challenge for our readers this week for those willing to give it a shot. But first, a quick back story behind its inspiration. One podcast I like to listen to is called Redesigning Wellness. One of my favorite episodes is number 84 with Mary Miller, CEO of JANCOA. The JANCOA story is incredible. In fact, a book was inspired by it. JANCOA is a janitorial services company. As you could imagine, the Janitorial industry has a very high turnover rate. The JANCOA team sought out to fix this problem. However, along their journey they discovered the root cause of turnover was not what they expected, and the “Dream Manager” program was eventually born as a result. Dreaming seems as natural to humans as breathing. I really feel like it’s essential to well-being. Dreams are visions of hope. The book ends with a challenge, to write down 100 dreams. They offer 12 categories to help your brainstorming process:  

  • Physical

  • Emotional

  • Intellectual 

  • Spiritual 

  • Psychological 

  • Material

  • Professional 

  • Financial 

  • Creative

  • Adventure 

  • Legacy

  • Character 

It seems like a fitting time of year to bring this up, given we are approaching the holidays, allowing many of us to break from the daily grind and have time to reflect. Plus, new year resolutions are right around the corner #NewYearNewMe. Why just have one resolution, WHEN YOU CAN HAVE 100???! (CAPS FOR SARCASM). In all seriousness though, I think it’s a good exercise and noticing the themes in your list will likely tell you something about what is most important to you. Don’t overthink it. No matter how big or small, how practical or ridiculous, write down 100 dreams and see what comes to mind. I plan on taking some time to do it, and I hope you will too. More importantly, I hope you all have an awesome holiday season. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #128: Early Winter Bringing SAD News

Welcome Back! Happy Wellfie Wednesday! This week’s post is a repost of a tip shared at the start of this year by Diana (@DianaKlatt). With the recent passing of Winter Storm Diego (which left a fair share of snow across the country, even in the Carolina), we felt it was time to get a jump start on Winter, since it has apparently already arrived, bringing SAD news.

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?
     SAD is a subset of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and is triggered based on seasonal changes, most frequently during the onset of winter. The most common symptoms are lethargy, oversleeping, depression, extreme changes in eating habits (loss of appetite or overeating), loss of interests, thoughts of helplessness, and suicide.

     Now, the first symptom, lethargy, is quite common and expected during the winter season and is not necessarily a strong sign of having this issue. However, in the United States of America along, roughly 20% of people have some level of SAD, so lethargy shouldn’t be ignored. But when should you really get concerned? When lethargy is combined with depression and you are eating less and feel like you aren’t really doing much/feeling helpless and useless. These are all symptoms associated with depression, which should be appropriately addressed. If you are feeling like this please seek professional help! There is no shame in getting the help you need!

↓ Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s get into the why and how of this happening ↓

     As I previously discussed, during winter there is less sunlight hitting the earth and temperatures drop. Shorter days have shorter photoperiods, or rather, less hours of daylight. A decrease in sunlight is linked with changing the levels of serotonin and melatonin in your body. These are the neurotransmitters responsible for mood, energy, sleep, and most importantly your circadian rhythm. Serotonin is responsible for regulating your mood and decreases exposure to sunlight results in decreased serotonin production, which ultimately leads to decreased moods (i.e. depression). Low levels of serotonin has the highest correlation with SAD presentation. Melatonin is known for being the neurotransmitter related to sleep but that’s not all it does, melatonin is also responsible for regulating your circadian rhythm (which is linked to your ability to sleep… so thinking of sleeping isn’t wrong, per se). Decreased sun exposure causes an increase in melatonin because this neurotransmitter is produced primarily when it is dark (hence all studies tell you to not look at light, such as technological devices, before going to sleep). Increased levels of melatonin during the daytime leads to making you feel sleepy but also totally throws off your internal clock (circadian rhythm) causing you to feel “off” with the actual time it is – this leads to an overall feeling of not feeling like you’re functioning and the right pace, the right time, with the right energy. All of these miscommunications in your body can lead to feelings of helplessness and loss of interest because you’re just tired but also confused as to why your body feels tired when you haven’t done much (this is why!! more sunlight!!).

     The majority of studies have shown that increasing your exposure to sunlight helps with treating SAD. You don’t have to stare into the light but you can get one of those little UV desk lamps and just leave it on while you do your make-up in the morning (hello picture perfect), while reading a book, prepping your meals, watching a tv show, scrolling through instagram, reading my website, creeping on your ex on facebook, or whatever it is you do to pass the time! Try to get outside and soak up some of the natural sunlight, even though it may be blocked by clouds its there, Mr. Sun is there to beam his rays down on you!

Also, try hard to keep up your physical activity routines during the winter, I know it’s hard to get outside with nippy weather but you will be glad you did (no one ever regrets a workout). Check out last week’s post on the #IMovedToday December Challenge for some motivation! But most of all, talk to someone about it! Talk to your friends, your family, find a therapist – it’s important to take care of yourself!

Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew



References:

Psychiatry (Edgmont). Seasonal Affective Disorder: An Overview and Update. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3004726/)

Innovations Clinic Neuroscience. Sunshine, Serotonin, and Skin: A Partial Explanation for Seasonal Patterns in Psychopathology. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3779905/)

The Mayo Clinic. Seasonal Affective Disorder. (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20364651)

Pscyhology Today. Seasonal Affective Disorder. (https://www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder)

Mental Health America. Seasonal Depressions. (http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/sad)

Healthline. What Are the Benefits of Sunlight? (https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/benefits-sunlight)

The Guardian. How do I… Deal With Seasonal Affective Disorder? (https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/oct/23/how-do-i-deal-with-seasonal-affective-disorder)

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #127: #IMovedToday December Challenge

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Welcome back! This week’s post comes to you by a guest promoter of health, Mark Milligan (@markmilligandpt). Mark is a practicing physical therapist in Austin, TX, specializing in orthopaedics and pain science. Mark is also the founder of Anywhere Healthcare (@Anywhere_Health) - “A telehealth platform solving the problem of healthcare access by allowing any provider of any discipline remote access to their patients.”

December is upon us! With December and the holiday season, the Season of Excess begins!! This is a challenging time in almost every way. The temperatures are cold, the days are short, the end-of-year work piles up, and we all have the desire and need to spend more time with our families and colleagues, eating of course!! All this happens just before we all make the annual effort to change our lives for the better... 

Reflecting on my holiday behaviors over many years and realizing my own struggle with the "I'm on top of the world and I am going to get in the best shape of my life" moments mixed with the "Meh, what's one more cookie, I can start my diet tomorrow" moments, I realized that I always had these discussions in my own head and never with other people... So, I decided to reach out for help with accountability and motivation. Social Media seemed like the obvious place to go so I just put it out there and created the #IMovedToday hashtag to not only help me post about my daily movements but also have people support me and be able to support others!! People were responding and a small group were supporting and tweeting!

Timing is everything and the universe works perfectly, I had received a message from Cheryl Capone Keller (@KellerCaponePhD) who was having a similar thought about helping each other support and celebrate movement during the season, when movement is often forgotten about! 

The #IMovedToday December Challenge was born!!!

So we would like to invite and welcome all of you to the Challenge to help you and others choose movement!

The rules for the #IMovedToday December Challenge are incredibly easy!

Join us and look for #IMovedToday to continue into 2019!!!

Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your successes and pictures this week and tag with #WellfieWednesday & #IMovedToday, along with the WW crew members (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew