New Healthy Food Trends You Might Want To Try

Are you looking to start eating healthier this year?  If so, you’ve probably done all the usual things:  Cut back on processed foods, started eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, and adopted something that vaguely resembles the Mediterranean Diet.

Those things represent a great start, but there are several newly emerging trends in the world of healthy foods. If getting (and staying) healthy is high on your list this year, then consider checking out some or all of the following:

Sparkling Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar has been in the news and on a variety of health blogs for a few years now, with experts from around the world touting its many benefits.  Now, some healthy and hip companies are taking things to the next level by offering a carbonated apple cider vinegar drink that’s tangy, crisp, and delicious.  KeVita was one of the first companies out the gate to offer this new, healthy drink, and if you’re already a fan of apple cider vinegar, then it’s well worth a taste!

Grass-Fed Cultured Butter

A few years ago, grass-fed beef was all the rage, and now the same enthusiasm has spread to butter.

You’ll find that it has a similar taste and texture to the butter you’re used to, but is loaded with more Omega 3s, vitamins and minerals your body needs. On top of that, it’s full of healthy bacteria which promotes better gut health.  What could be better than that?

Shio Koji

This fermented liquid from Japan is starting to appear on American store shelves.  Made with malted rice, it’s got a flavor that’s strangely reminiscent of salted meat with just a hint of sweetness.  It makes a fabulous marinade and works well with any type of meat, or works as a bit of extra flavoring for sauces and soups.  Try it, you’ll love it!

If healthy is your game, any of these will help you put points on the board!


Spring Is Here, Time To Get In Shape For Summer

If you’re like a lot of people, you go into the winter months with good intentions. However, between the winter holidays, the cold weather and the shorter days, exercise is something that just gets put on the back burner.  With things warming up again and summer just around the corner, it’s time to start getting serious about getting back into shape.  The following quick tips will help you on your journey.

Start Slow And Build Incrementally

If it’s been a few months since you’ve done any exercise, don’t expect that you’ll be able to jump back in full throttle.  Take it easy.  Set modest goals in the beginning,  such as a fifteen-minute exercise session on day one, adding five minutes to the duration every week.  That way, you give your body time to adjust to the new routine.

Don’t Forget The Warm Up & Cool Down!

Too often, in their enthusiasm to get started, people forget these steps.  Don’t!  They’re absolutely essential if you want to minimize your chances of muscle strain.  So many people adopt the “no pain, no gain” mindset when it comes to exercise, and it’s true that some soreness is to be expected when you start working out and pushing your body, but you don’t want to cause yourself needless injury, either.

Find A Workout Partner

This is important because if you’re working out with someone, then you can hold each other accountable and help motivate and inspire each other when you’d rather be doing something else.  If you can’t find anyone in your immediate circle of friends to exercise with, then hit the internet!  There are tons of great fitness apps available, and all of them have vibrant, robust communities of people with fitness goals similar to your own.

Finally, it goes without saying, but be sure to eat right and get plenty of sleep!  You’ll be asking a lot of your body in the months ahead, so be sure to give it everything it needs.

It’s a simple recipe for success, but it really works!


Hand Pain, Numbness And Tingling Might Not Be Carpal Tunnel

Anytime a person’s hand starts hurting, the first thing that comes to mind is Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, and that could be what’s causing the pain.  It is a very common condition, especially among people who have jobs that see them performing repetitive motions with their hands and wrists (machinists, anyone who types regularly, people who work checkout counters at grocery stores, and the like).

While Carpel Tunnel might be the root cause, it could be a couple of other things too, including:

Cervical Radiculopathy

This is a complicated sounding term with a simple explanation.  The pain or tingling you are feeling in your hands might be caused by a problem in your back or neck.

Both Carpel Tunnel and Cervical Radiculopathy impact the median nerve, and both can cause pain in your hands.  The main difference though, is that Carpel Tunnel only impacts your hands, where Cervical Radiculopathy will cause pain that runs the full length of your arm.  Basically, it will feel as though you’ve pulled every muscle in your arm.

There are lots of things that can trigger radiculopathy, including cervical spinal stenosis, cervical osteoarthritis, and degenerative disc disease. The most common cause, however, is a herniated disc.  Definitely rule this out before proceeding with a treatment plan that assumes you’re suffering from Carpel Tunnel Syndrome.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

This is another condition that can present with great similarity to Carpel Tunnel.  The key difference here is that rheumatoid arthritis pain is symmetrical.  It impacts both hands the same way, and at the same time, where Carpel Tunnel may only impact one, but not the other.  Also note that arthritis pain is centered in the knuckles and joints, rather than along the path of the median nerve, as is the case with Carpel Tunnel.

The bottom line is, don’t jump to conclusions.  If you’re experiencing pain in your hands, be sure to rule out these other conditions via consultation with your doctor before designing a treatment plan.

Everyday Ways To Protect Your Back

Tens of millions of Americans suffer from lower back pain.  It is, in fact, one of the most common ailments that bring people to the doctor or to their local chiropractor.  There are also plenty of things you can do at home to help minimize your chances of straining your back, and especially your lower back, which is where most back injuries are centered.  Here are a few:


This one’s obvious, and it’s not something most people like to hear.  The simple truth though, is that by strengthening your core, you’ll be much less prone to back strains and sprains. This means less pain in your life, and that’s a good thing.

The best types of exercise to minimize back pain are low-impact cardio routines or working out on elliptical machines.  If you’d rather not do either, then take regular walks, or try swimming.  Both are low impact ways of getting the exercise your aching back needs.

Pay Attention To Posture

Most people have really bad posture when sitting in chairs. This is made worse by the fact that these days, many of us have jobs that require us to sit for extended periods.  It’s no wonder doctors and chiropractors are treating so many patients for back pain these days!

Paying attention to how you’re sitting will go a long way toward minimizing your risk of back pain.  Even better, invest in a high-quality ergonomic chair that will assist you in ensuring good posture.

Mindfulness When Lifting

Watch carefully the next time you see someone lifting a heavy object.  Most of the time, they’ll bend over and pick it up, letting their core muscles do the heavy lifting.  This is exactly the wrong approach unless you’re looking to maximize your chances of a back injury.

The better, more effective way to lift is to squat, and allow your powerful leg muscles to do most of the work.  That’s less stress on your back, and less chance that you’ll suffer an injury.

Sooner or later, you’re going to experience some kind of back pain.  If you follow the simple steps above, though, you’ll go a long way toward minimizing your chances.

Get Joint Pain Relief Without Pain Pills

If you suffer from any kind of joint pain, then you know what a misery it is.  Pills help, but you may not like taking them for fear of developing an addiction, or you might be worried about how they’ll interact with some of the other medications you’re on.

Fortunately, there are many viable alternatives available that will help take the edge off of the pain you’re experiencing.  Here are a few to consider:

Alternate Ice and Heat

If you’re just using ice, or just using heat, you’re not getting the maximum benefit from it.  By alternating ice and heat though, you’ll find that your pain level will drop significantly.  The trick here is to not use either for an extended period of time.

Start with ice and leave it in place for no more than fifteen minutes, then switch to heat.  Then thirty minutes of neither and go back to ice.  You’ll be amazed at how well it works!  It’s also worth mentioning that you can get the same basic effect by alternating something like Icy Hot and Biofreeze on the area that’s causing you pain. Although if you’d rather not spend the money on these products, ice and heat are both easy to come by.


Capsaicin is the stuff in peppers that makes them hot.  It can also be found in a number of pain relieving creams and ointments and is incredibly effective in terms of providing pain relief.  In fact, a study conducted by Case Western Reserve University found that eight out of ten participants who suffered from arthritis had less pain after applying capsaicin-based ointment four times a day for two weeks, making it a great alternative (or addition) to pain medication.

Bulk Up On Omega3s

Fish oil tablets are good for you for a variety of reasons, but many people aren’t aware that Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties.  If you suffer from any kind of joint pain, taking 1000mg of fish oil every day will help ease the pain in your aching joints.

The bottom line is, there are options available besides pain pills.  Experiment with these and mix and match as you prefer.  Your joints will thank you.