Here are the articles featured in this edition:
- Page 1: 3 Secrets to Finding Happiness
- Page 2: Whole 30 Program
- Page 3: A Hatful of Resolutions
- Page 4: 4 Reasons to Eat Fermented Foods
- Center Insert: “Balance & Fall Prevention Workshop” on February 19th
Here are the 2 downloadable links to view the newsletter in .pdf format:
Finally, below are all of the articles in plain text. Enjoy!
3 Secrets to Finding Happiness
Let me officially welcome you to the New Year! This month’s newsletter will be in line with everyone’s favorite topic this time of year…resolutions! To kick things off, I want to talk to you about a favorite topic of mine: finding happiness.
You may think I’m being a bit sarcastic here, but I’m actually quite serious. Over the last several years, my interest in the topic of happiness has grown. Along with my wife, I’ve watched films and read books about happiness, and I want to share my 3 favorite pieces of advice with you.
But before we get into the “warm and fuzzy” advice, let me put you in the right frame of mind. In my opinion (pardon the offense), most people are not happy, or at least they’re not as happy as they think they should be. Have you ever thought to yourself something like “I’ve got a pretty good life, but I’m still not happy?” If so, let me assure you that you’re not alone. More importantly, I believe there’s plenty you can do about it!
Secret #1: Define what makes you happy. In America, we’re bombarded with very effective advertising that strives to convince us that purchasing certain products or services will lead us to happiness. This misleading information often leaves us confused and frustrated. Specifically, we’re led to believe that more money, elevated status, and our personal appearances contribute to our happiness. Research has shown that all three have absolutely nothing to do with happiness. When looking to define what makes you happy, try these 3 areas instead: expanding your number of personal/intimate relationships, being part of a community, and contributing to something larger than yourself (similar to finding a purpose in life).
Secret #2: Focus on the positive. With the confusion mentioned above, you can appreciate why it’s so easy to focus on what you don’t have. When you shift your focus to the positive aspects of your life, you can start to gain a new perspective on how good your life really is. Personally, it’s very easy for me to get sucked into negative aspects of my life, but when I’m able to really step back and look at how very fortunate I am, I’m able to change my whole perspective.
Secret #3: Practice gratitude. While you’re focusing on the positive aspects of your life, compound the effect by practicing gratitude. This can be verbally expressing gratitude to people around you, keeping a “gratitude journal”, or praying/meditating. My favorite version of this idea is to create a ritual before bed to refocus on those things you’re grateful for in life. Including your spouse or a loved one in your ritual is an added bonus. Again, this may take the form of a journal, a discussion or a small prayer together.
If you’re looking to make happiness a priority in your life this coming year, these 3 strategies should really help you along your journey. There’s also one thing I want to mention regarding “happiness” and “focus”. If you desire to make happiness a priority in your life, then start focusing on it by studying it. If you prefer videos, you can check out a documentary called “Happy” on Netflix. Or you can browse through about a thousand related books online. Either way, your decision to commit some time and attention to the pursuit of happiness will likely bring you closer to it.
And don’t forget to enjoy the journey! To your best year ever,
The “Whole30” Program
This may be a little bit overkill with the “resolution” theme, but here’s one more idea you might consider if looking to make some positive changes to your diet. Before we look at the “Whole30” program, let me just warn you that it’s quite extreme for most people. While trying gluten-free and/or diary-free diets is becoming much more common, this program combines the two and also excludes some other foods.
In general, the Whole30 program is basically following the “Paleo” diet for 30 days. Many people refer to Paleo as the cave-man diet, which is a nice framework. First, here are the foods to eat: meats, seafood, as many veggies as possible, fruits, eggs, nuts and seeds. If possible, eat locally-sourced meats and veggies as much as possible.
Next, avoid these foods for 30 days:
- Processed and refined sugars
- All grains (wheat, barley, rye, rice, etc.)
- Dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt)
- Beans & legumes
- Artificial preservatives, such as MSG, sulfites and carrageenan
- Re-created “junk foods” like gluten-free cookies
Here’s one final rule to follow the Whole30 challenge: no stepping on a scale for the entire duration! While you may not be trying to lose weight, it’s very likely that you will, so no peeking!
If you’re interested in taking this rather large leap, you can visit www.whole30.com. And if you do decide to get extreme with this challenge, make sure to tell us how you did. Maybe your story will help inspire others!
A Hatful of Resolutions
Like a lot of you, several of us here at Gordon PT have some New Year’s resolutions in our sights for 2017. Here are a few of the highlights:
- KayLynn: “I’d like to expand the family by one member this year…” (she declined to specify if hoping to add a baby vs. a puppy!)
- Ashley: “I’d like to cook more, eat out less, and cook recipes I’ve never tried before.”
- Luke: “I’d like to exercise more frequently, to help my joints feel better and for stress relief. It always seems weird that I’m a PT and I spend most of my time working in a gym, and yet I rarely exercise. Time to change that!”
- Stephanie: “I’m in a cold place right now, and I don’t want a resolution!” When pressed further, she’d like to learn how to cook liver and onions like Luke’s mother-in-law.
- Serena: “I believe the world is made up of positive and negative energy, and I’d like to cut out some of the negative energy in 2017.”
- Roberto: “I’d love to get back into shape to embrace the outdoor sports the Northwest has to offer!” (Roberto recently moved from Dallas)
With any luck these examples help inspire you to make some positive changes in 2017 (or at least give you some comfort to know that you’re not alone J) And here’s one more tip to help you achieve your goals. If you have a specific behavior or action that you want to improve, try tracking it for 21 days on a little pad of paper that you keep in your pocket or purse. For example, say you want to eat healthier in general. Just by writing down everything you eat on a daily basis will help you improve your diet, simply because you’re focusing on it. Personally, I’ll be tracking how often I exercise, since that’s my main goal for now. If you’d like to try out the 21-day challenge, we’ll be posting about in on our Facebook page, so make sure to check it out. These things are much easier to do in a group setting!
4 Reasons to Eat Fermented Foods
Are you looking for a fun way to infuse your diet with some ultra-nutritious food? Then fermented foods may be just what you’re looking for! Eating fermented foods regularly has been shown to have several benefits, beyond just tasting delicious. Let’s take a look:
- They’re rich in probiotics. Probiotic bacteria are responsible for “lacto-fermentation”, which involves the bacteria eating the sugars and starches. The more they eat, the more they reproduce! The benefits of these bacteria is highly touted by some and is the topic of ongoing research.
- Improved nutrition and food absorption. As the bacteria break down the fermenting food, the food becomes rich in enzymes and is much easier to digest. Combine that with the right balance of beneficial bacteria in your gut, and you’re much better equipped to properly digest all the healthy food in your diet.
- Budget friendly. Aside from the health benefits, there’s a reason people have been fermenting foods for centuries: it’s very affordable. If you’ve ever made your own sauerkraut, you know what I mean! It’s a lot cheaper to make your own (all you need is cabbage and salt) than buying it at the store.
- Natural way to preserve your garden veggies. People have been fermenting foods for centuries, long before our modern ways of preserving foods existed. Fresh produce, like homemade salsa, will only typically keep for about a week. But fermented salsa can last for months!
Fermentation goes far beyond sauerkraut these days. If you do you research, you can ferment just about any type of vegetable, from beets and carrots to cucumbers and cabbage. In addition, there are several versions of fermented drinks available, such as kombucha and kefir.
With the abundance of information available online and in books, adding fermented foods to your diet has never been easier! Cheers! (If you’re interested in making your own kombucha, call the clinic and Luke will help you get started 🙂