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Tired of Neck Pain?

Tired of your neck pain? Here’s how to get rid of it.

If you are suffering with nagging neck pain and don’t know what to do about it then you're in the right place.  Taking Tylenol to kill the pain may work short term but eventually the pain returns.  Let me explain what contributes to neck pain and then we can talk about how to relieve the pain and prevent the pain from coming back.

 Imagine a tall, neat stack of Jenga pieces.  Each section is evenly stacked on top of one another.  If you push the top of the tower so that it leans farther than the bottom stacks, the tower falls and the pieces collapse.  Gravity is pulling the pieces down.  When they are stacked on top of each other, the center of gravity is in the center and has less force to collapse the tower. 

Now think of the Jenga tower as your spine, each level is a vertebra with your skull stacked on top.  Your skull is approximately 12 pounds. When you lean forward over your center of gravity you put stress on your spine.  However, we have muscles and connective tissue to support our spine like tent ropes support the circus tent from collapsing.   The farther forward your head leans, the more these muscles tense to support your head. 

We lean forward most of our day looking down at our cell phones, computers, reading etc.  

Every inch our head is forward is an additional 10 pounds of pressure on the spine.  The vertebra in your neck compress and restrict blood flow, nerve impulses and restrict elimination of waste causing pain and discomfort. 

If your skull is 12 pounds and each inch forward is an additional 10 pounds of pressure on the neck, then at 2 inches forward your head weighs 32 pounds. At 3 inches your head weighs 42 pounds.  If you held a 42-pound weight in front of you for 3,4,5 hours your arm is going to hurt and want to drop the weight.  Except your muscles that support your neck cannot release your head when they get tired. 

This restriction can cause a throbbing headache because its “kinking the hose” of blood flow to your head which increases the blood pressure in your vessels.  Dehydration and a buildup of metabolic waste can cause pain receptors to activate from the limited blood flow. 

All in all, this can be uncomfortable and even debilitating if you get migraines. 

But how do we fix it?!  

Correct the structure and relieve the compression of the muscles and connective tissues.  This means having better posture.  This “un-kinks the hose” and allows proper flow that is needed to eliminate waste, bring water and nutrients where they are needed.  The less stress on the head, spine and muscles means less pain, headaches, pinched nerves, tension etc. 

Myofascial Release, stretching, trigger point therapy and cupping are some of the treatments that we can do to release compression and re-align the spine and shoulders into a more stacked position.

Next, we strengthen muscles that are weak to help support our neck, shoulders and spine.  There are exercises that I recommend helping support better posture and are easy to do. 

I want to empower you to understand your body and know tools to relax, strengthen and re-engage your nervous system to prevent pain and discomfort in the future.  The better your body can move the less chance of pain and injury. 

Finally, we work on a plan to create new postural habits that are long-lasting, helping you feel better, move better and think better. 

Come in and learn about your body and how Functional Movement Therapy can help to eliminate your neck pain for good! 

Mastering Emotions for Success

Master your emotions to go for what you want this summer!

Our emotions can sometimes be chaotic like wading in the ocean in a storm.  Fear can take over and dictate our decisions which can take us further away from our goals and dreams.

Mastering our emotions can be the sail that moves us forward toward our greatest aspirations. 

Your inner being wants to have loving and joyful emotions, but we can become bombarded with fearful thoughts and a sense of loss that our subconscious mind plays on repeat. 

This fear can start in the morning with the shock value of the news.  When you hear about death, terrorism, politics and someone’s negative perspective of the economy this can influence your own perspective that the world is a negative and unforgiving place.  Your subconscious brain records this information and can revert to fear when confronted with a conflict or major decision.  When in fear we may freeze and do nothing, run away from the problem or get angry and reach your emotional “red line” far too quickly.

Emotions either drive us forward by taking appropriate action or hold us back from lack of action.  

Can you think of a time when you let fear or anger take the reins and the outcome was not for your highest good? 

I categorize emotions into 2 boxes: The 1st is the Box of Fear and the 2nd is the Box of Love.

These boxes are deep in your mind and you reach into them daily just as you reach into your closet to choose what clothes to wear.  You want to look and feel good. Not for the world but for yourself. 

The Box of Fear

When you reach into the box of fear you may pull out guilt, anger, frustration or disappointment. 

Fearful emotions hold us back from what we want. If you are wanting to start exercising, you may have negative thoughts running through your head and decide to distract these thoughts by watching television on the couch instead of looking for the easiest way to get in your exercise.  We may cover up our emotions with food, alcohol or drugs.  We also may suppress our emotions because we do not want to deal with them or confront them.  This causes chronic stress, frustration and resentment which can bite us back later and cause us to stay in an underlying state of fear.  These negative emotions can lead us down a dark hole.  When you are in this state, you make poor choices or avoid making choices all together. 

The Box of Love

When you reach into the box of love, you pull out happiness, confidence, gratitude, joy and enthusiasm. 

What are some more loving emotions that you want to have in your life? 

Loving emotions drives us to take action.  Self-love gives us confidence to join that fitness class or go to the pool to swim laps.  We love ourselves enough to choose more nourishing foods that will make us feel and look good.  We love ourselves enough to find outlets to release stress in a positive way.  Love helps us be creative, find ways to grow and become healthier.   Love keeps us open to receive support and ask for help when needed. 

You have the choice of which box to choose from. The more intentional you are when choosing the easier is becomes to love yourself and see positive in others and the world.  Ask yourself “who do I want to be today?” Do I want to choose fear and feel helpless or cynical? Do I want to put it off for another day? Or do I want to step out into the world standing tall and confident knowing who I am and what I stand for?  Do I want to take action to move forward one more step toward my goal or find the courage within me to have that conversation that needs to happen?  Do I want to feel empowered today? 

Will you choose the box of fear of the box of LOVE tomorrow and the next day... and the next?

If you have a health goal that you want to reach and are unsure where to start, let’s have a conversation about it.  To reach any goal we need to get organized to create the new habits we want that will move us toward our goal.  Let’s talk if you're tired of yo-yo-ing with your diet, suffering with brain fog, or just don’t feel healthy and vibrant in your body and are ready for a change.  I give free consultations and work to empower you to overcome your health challenges in a positive and easy way.  

Give us a call so we can have the conversation that is going to start you on the path to success. 

Give Your Skin a Healthy Boost with Broccoli

Spring is upon us! This means, fresh vegetables from farm to table!  I will discuss many vegetables and their benefits this season but today I want to start with a small green vegetable that is loaded with vitamins, Broccoli!
Broccoli is a great way to keep your skin looking healthy, especially for the upcoming summer season.

Packing a punch with Vitamin C:

Vitamin C is the head-honcho in this nutrition fiesta, providing 149% of the daily value.  (Daily values are based on recommendations for key nutrients consumed on a 2,000-calorie diet.  Calorie count consumed differs in each individual per day, so use this as a reference whether you consume more or less than 2,000 calories) By eating about a half a cup of raw broccoli, you will have an army of vitamin C to fight of free-radicals that cause skin damage and other negative consequences.

Free radicals... what are those?

Here's how it works, First lets understand what  "free radicals" are.  Free radicals are any atom or molecule that is unpaired with an electron in an outer shell.  These radical molecules come from the byproduct of turning food into energy, from the food that you eat and the air that you breath.  The sunlight’s rays on the skin and eyes generate some as well.  There are many sources of free radicals on this planet, which our body fights, everyday.  Antioxidants help us minimize free radical activity in our body. We can find healthy and tasty ways to get antioxidants from fruits and vegetables to help our body fight these nasty molecules.

Since free radicals are down an electron, they are on the hunt to steal one from any substance that will allow it.  When the molecule that is left with a missing electron, its structure and function is altered.  (I.e. free radicals damage can alter the sequence on a strand of DNA.  It can increase the chance of “bad cholesterol” getting trapped in an artery wall, or change what enters and leaves a cell membrane.)

Want to protect your beautiful looking skin?

Vitamin C Limits the damage induced by ultraviolet (UV) light exposure. 
All UV light is not bad.  Our body needs sunlight to form vitamin D, which is created to strengthen bone structure, but limiting exposure is necessary to reduce the amount of free radicals from UV light.

The anti-oxidant property of vitamin C protects the skin cells from UV damage by donating electrons when free radicals steal them.  Like Superman flying in and returning your prized possessions that were stolen.  Vitamin C returns the function and structure of the cells back to their rightful owner.

What is the best way to get my Vitamin C?

Vitamins are best when eaten naturally if possible.  On average, the adult body absorbs approximately 70%-90% or 30 to 180mg of vitamin C.  When taking supplements, be aware of how the vitamins are bound when the pill or capsule was made. When dietary supplements
are made with synthetic materials, the body cannot recognize the foreign matter easily.  Your system will flush these foreign materials out of the body along with most of the vitamins.
This doesn't do you much good.  On the other hand, choosing supplements that have natural binders (usually plant-based) that the body can recognize gives more of the vitamin the chance to be absorbed and you most of the benefit. (Look for "whole food" or "plant based" vitamins on the label)

Using over the counter vitamins like “one a day” and “Centrum” only have a documented 5-10% absorption rate. These synthetic vitamins can causing digestive discomfort and your wasting your money!  You can get whole food vitamins at your local Whole Foods, Rebecca’s natural foods, or any local natural food store that sells suppliments.  These supplements are made from real plants and vegetables, not synthetic copies of molecules in a lab.  Check out a bottle yourself and compare the difference. The more information we know about what we consume, the more we can make healthy choices for a healthy lifestyle. 

Now go and be well and enjoy some Broccoli. I like mine with Hummus! 


Raw Asian Portabello Mushroom BBQ and Slaw

This recepe was inspired by Asian Lettuce Wraps found at Mariko Sakata's webiste.  Check her out for some amazing inspirations.  In the mean time, I have adapted her recipe to make an amazing Raw BBQ and Slaw Sandwhich.  

Portabella Mushroom BBQ Meat 

4 Portabella Mushrooms    

1C Walnuts    

3 Stalks of Asparagus

4 T Tamari 

2T Apple Cider Vinegar 

4 Green Onions   


2T Miso 

2T Apple Cider Vinegar 

2T Maple Syrup 

4T Sesame Oil 

1/4 tsp Garlic Powder 

1/4 tsp Onion Powder 

1 tsp Grated Ginger 

1/4 tsp Liquid Smoke  

Drizzling Sauce 

1T Dijon Mustard  

1T Apple Cider Vinegar 

1T Tamari 

1T Sesame Oil 

1T Chili Past


1/2 Head of Red Cabbage

2C Shredded Carrots

1/4C Sesame Seeds

1/4C Sunflower Seeds

2 Green Onions

Blend all ingredients for Portabella Mushroom BBQ in a Vitamix or Food Processor.  Save two green onions for garnish.  Blend Sauce incredients and pour 1/2 over BBQ meat mixture.  Dehydrate for 2-4hrs on 115degrees to keep raw and delicous and to give a meaty texture.  This step is optional!  No dehydator no problem.  Shred the cabbage in a Food Proccessor on S blade, or in a Veggie Bullet on S blade.  Combine with sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and small chopped green onions and the other half of the sauce.  Place in lettuce wraps, on sprouted grain bread or enjoy as is as a BBQ Salad with the BBQ Meat over top of the Slaw.

The 411 on H2O

The amount of water varies in the human body.  It ranges from 50-75%. The average adult male is about 60% water and the average adult woman is about 55%.  

We know from science class that water is made up of 2 Hydrogen and 1 oxygen.  Hydrogen is the lightest element and tis widely spread on the planet and the universe.  Hydrogen binds to many other elements, mainly carbon and nitrogen which makes up your DNA, proteins, sugars and fats.  

Oxygen is vital to transfer energy stored food throughout the muscles and organs.  A process called cellular respiration (energy made from glucose) occurs to give cells energy to move and maintain vital functions of our body. 

What happens when we don't have water ?!

Our body must balance the amount of water we lose with the amount gained from food and beverages.  If we lack water our body's function declines. We need water to carry nutrients to the cells and carry waste away from the cells.  Water helps regulate body temperature by absorbing heat and eliminating heat through perspiration. 

We also need water to digest food and to lubricate our joints.  
Our stomach lining is 98% water and contains a bicarbonate (helps buffer the acidic levels in your stomach) and should be thick to prevent stomach lining damage.  Inadequate water intake thins this lining causing damage and increasing the probability of getting gastric ulcers. 

As we get older we dread getting arthritis like some of our parents or grandparents.  Did you know that the cartilage in our joints consists of approximately 80% water!  Cartilage allows our joints to glide smoothly during movement.  As long as we keep them lubricated, we lessen the chance of arthritic damage.  When don't drink enough water, our joints have less lubrication causing a greater amount of friction.  This degeneration leads to arthritis.  

Lack of water can lead to high blood pressure.  We need water to keep our capillaries open and keep blood flowing easily.  The smaller our capillaries close the harder our body tries to push the blood through.  In turn, restricting blood flow to the kidneys. The kidneys react by constricting veins and arteries causing blood pressure to rise even higher. 

Water also helps flush lactic acid and impurities out of our muscles.  When we drink pop or eat processed foods. Our body has to work harder to flush out the artificial chemicals and dies that are packed into these foods.  Less water in our muscles means less filtration causing a collection of debris in our muscles.  This causes irritation to the muscles.  When we exercise, the lactic acid builds and creates even more sediment in the muscle tissue.  

So how much water should I drink daily? 

There are many variables that need to be considered. I.e. your weight, hight, age, activity level of that day, temperature outdoors or indoors, etc...

Im going to share with you an average recommendation of water consumption to make it easier.

So, who measures in ounces? Unless your a Chef or work in a science lab you probably don't.  

Here is a breakdown in glasses.

The average household glass size is about a pint or 16oz.  

The average adult Female should drink about 6 glasses of water a day.  Not hard right? especially on a warm day.

The average adult Male should drink about 8 glasses of water a day.  Little harder but doable. 

With all this said I hope you will consider these negative health effects and try harder to drink more water daily.  We all want to live longer and be healthier.  What an easy way to stay healthy. H20 is the way to go!  

Do you pull your own strings and sabotage your desires?  

My wife and I visited the Wright brothers memorial during our honeymoon to the outer banks, South Carolina.  There was a kite festival taking place on the grounds where their first flight was achieved and recorded for history.  As we were learning how to fly different types of kites and how to control them in the wind, I was reminded of an ongoing struggle that we as human beings experience.

As I was throwing a small triangular fighter kite into the air, it flipping and spinning in the wind, the instructor instructed me to pull on the string whenever the kite spins in the direction that I wanted it to travel.  Each correct pull with the flow of the wind, my plan ascended higher into stronger wind.  Flipping and spinning even harder now, causing me to focus and concentrate on the direction I wish it to travel.  

The quicker it spins the more I pull the string toward me, foreboding that I will lose control and the kite will come crashing down.  The more I pull on the string to maintain control, the faster the kite descends, causing me to pull even faster and stronger.  It crashes to the ground and I have to start all over again.  

I throw it back up, maintain flight for a few moments, panic, tug on the string again and the kites come crashing down to my feet.  Back to where I started from.  It took me several attempts to control and steer this kite in the direction that I desired.  Only to realize  that when it spins faster, and I relax and focus, the kite will eventually turn in the direction that I want to go.   All I have to do is give the kite a slight pull to nudge it in the direction I want it to travel and the wind takes it the rest of the way.  

Does this sound familiar in your life?  Starting a job, a diet, a meaningful task that you have the good intentions to complete with flying colors, yet panic when the going gets tough, crash and burn and have to start from the beginning again.   

If you focus and put continuous intention into your goal, take authentic action and relax with knowing that you are moving in the right direction, you will reach your desired outcome. 

You are capable of greatness.  You must believe in yourself and know that you are human. That life is a learning experience. 

Think of yourself as the kite.  It falls to the ground, picked back up and thrown back up to ride the wind into the sky.  This kite does not swim and it does not walk or run. No matter where the kite is thrown, it is meant to fly and so are you.  Embrace your greatness and fly!  

I honor you for being present on this journey called life. Keep putting one step forward, believe in yourself each new day, lean in and enjoy the moments that life brings.

Much love,

Michael Coles


7 Tactics to help you stick with your health goals 

At the end of every year we sit and reflect on what we accomplished and what we look forward to accomplishing in the new year.  Health is a popular topic when it comes to making new years resolutions.  Gyms will be flooded with new members that are determined to drop some unwanted weight, get information on a new diet plan, or prepare early for that bikini body that we wanted last summer.  Whatever the health goal, rarely do you see that same person in the gym, still motivated by April 1st.  

What is it that halts our motivation? Why don't we stick to a health plan or exercise routine?

There are many reasons why we give up or postpone our health growth but It all starts in the mind.  We decide if it is important enough and then create a plan to reach our goals.  What puts a fire under you to drive you toward getting healthier? Seeing your grand-kids graduate college? Playing with your children in the park without being winded?  Controlling your diabetes so you can keep your leg that you cherish standing on? Find your WHY and make a plan to complete your goal!

The more we develop a plan and put it on paper, review it and put it into practice, the more likely it will turn into a habit.  Habits are autonomic, same as your heart beating.  You don't think about your heart beating, it just beats.  If you create healthy habits like going to the gym Monday, Wednesday, Friday or eating one portion of vegetables, your body will crave exercise and vegetables.  You will learn to enjoy it!

7 tactics to help you create a game plan to meet your health goal one-by-one. 

1. Start with a small goal. 
Get specific on your small goal.  The more vague we are with what we want, the more overwhelmed we can get and quit before we even start.  

2. What small action steps will it take to reach your goal.

The less steps involved to complete your goal, the greater the chances you will stick to it.

Smalls goals with small action steps may look like this:
1. Waking up each morning and walking for 15 minutes in the yard or neighborhood.  (If it's too cold out do push ups or crunches indoors for 15 minutes for example or simply stretching)  We want to keep the time consistent to train your nervous system to anticipate exercise.

2. Adding 2 cups of vegetables a day to your meals.  You can choose how to divide it up.  This small amount is not overwhelming and can be easily increased over time.  Your palate for vegetables will change over time and you will start to crave them.  The flavors will start to pop in your mouth and you won't need to smother them in dressing.

Make a list of these small goals and do one a month.  We feel a sense of accomplishment each time we successfully reach this tiny goal each day.  This feeling of accomplishment makes us feel good, motivated, keeping us on our journey toward who we want to become. Slowly adding on goals is key to maintaining momentum toward a healthier lifestyle.

3.  List out your WHY'S and post them where you can see them everyday.
Sit for a moment and ask yourself this WHY question again and write the answers down in big letters on a piece of paper.  Next I want you to write in bold, how you envision yourself when you have created the body and health that you desire.  Example:  "I see myself in a 32 waist Armani suit. I am fit and healthy.  I quit smoking and I am walking the 10 blocks to work instead of taking a cab."  The more specific you can imagine your outcome, the easier it will be to take yourself to that place of joy. Joy will give you motivation.

Post this paper on your bathroom mirror, bedroom wall, work desk etc.  A space where you visit frequently and can be reminded of your motivation to continue your journey toward health and who we want to become. Hence the word "journey", this implies that you will have disappointments, struggles with yourself and times where you are stressed and want to give in to unhealthy habits.  We all go through this, we fail and we get back up.  Seeing your list of WHY's will help you stand strong again when you have setbacks.  It will remind you of who you want to be and drive you toward that desire.

4.  Track your progress of each goal.
Since the goals are small, tracking them is a breeze.  Maybe you mark a check on each calendar day that you have walked 15 minutes or completed your indoor exercise routine. Maybe you portion out the vegetables in baggies for each day of the week.  Whatever your strategy, find one that works for you.  

5.  Think ahead for busy life. 
This involves pre-planning, setting ourselves up for success.  Ex. leaving your exercise clothes and sneakers near the bed.  Once you wake up you can easily get dressed to take a walk rather than spending time looking for your clothes which you can make an excuse not to workout.

We can have a perfect plan for today and then life smacks us in the face.  If we have a contingency plan, we can anticipate most things that come up unexpectedly.   If you have to travel and still want to eat healthy, what can you do to bring healthy food with you on the road.  If you want to hit the gym but there is a blizzard what can you do in your home with your body weight to get in a workout.  The more we anticipate the unexpected, we can keep our momentum toward success.  

6.  Reward your self often.
If you eat vegetables each night, leave a small piece of dark chocolate on the table.  Once you have finished your meal, enjoy the chocolate.  Your brain will say "I eat vegetables, I get pleasure from chocolate".  This sets a positive environment when meeting a health goal vs dread of doing something you are not accustom to doing.  

7. Find your SPIRIT TEAM.
Who around you can cheer you on and help motivate you to success?  People in your home may make it difficult to stick to your health goals if they are not on the same journey as you.  Find friends, colleagues, people on health blogs or social media pages that have the same health interests.  Having support behind you is critical for staying motivated and getting out of your own head.  

I hope these tactics have given you some clarity on how to plan for a healthier you.  

If you are feeling overwhelmed by all of these tips and don't know where to start, I can help take some of that pressure off of you.  I help organize healthy habits into the daily life of busy people, by reprogramming your nervous system to kick "bad" habits that are preventing you from living in the body that you desire and living the vibrant life that you want most.  Together we can go step by step on how you can transform your body and health into the person that you want to be.  Join me for a free 45 minute chat to see how I can serve you best and help you feel confident that you are on the right path to wellness and change.   

Call us to book a phone call or to meet for a consultation.  
Front desk: (804) 672-3489
My direct line is (804) 380-1316 
Michael Coles (Healthy Lifestyle Coaching)

Sugar Addiction - How excess sugar harms your body 

Sugar is everywhere we look.  Thing is most packaged foods hide sugar as an ingredient, so we don’t notice that we are consuming more sugar in our diet than we need.  Take for instance fruit yogurt which many people think is a nutritious breakfast.  Fruit yogurt can contain 19 grams of added sugar in a single serving.  But how much is 19 grams?

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the maximum amount of added sugars you should eat in a day are :

  • Men: 150 calories per day (37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons).

  • Women: 100 calories per day (25 grams or 6 teaspoons).

So women who start the day with a cup of fruit yogurt containing 19 grams of sugar have already eaten over half of their daily intake.

This is only in the first hour of the day!

A can of coke consists of 33 grams of sugar.  If someone had a cup of blueberry yogurt for breakfast and a can of coke for lunch….. they have already surpassed the maximum daily intake before noon.  

Now let’s talk about what this sugar does in the body when it breaks down.

What is sugar?

Sugar is a combination of two molecules:

Glucose and Fructose

Glucose is “plant” sugar. Plants and make glucose from photosynthesis to store as energy.  Every cell in our body can metabolize glucose.  If we don’t get it from a food source then our body makes it.  A wonderful process called Gluconeogenesis!. Sounds cool right? I won’t bore you with this process though (Phew!).

Fructose is “fruit” sugar.  Found in fruits and many plants as well and can only be metabolized in the liver.  The liver then stores this converted energy and if full will turn the fructose into fat.  If this overabundance of fat cannot be shipped out of the liver you have a greater chance of creating Fatty Liver Disease.

According to the American Liver Foundation, this disease can form with as little as 5% to 10% of the liver’s weight in fat.  This disease can cause fatigue, weakness, jaundice, swelling of the legs and abdomen, mental confusion and other nasty symptoms.

Insulin and insulin resistance

We have all heard of diabetics taking insulin but what is insulin?

Insulin is hormone made by the pancreas to signal the cells to absorb glucose from the bloodstream.  Our body monitors what we digest, what our cells demand and releases insulin in the right amount to help regulate blood sugar.  

The more sugar you eat, the more insulin your body produces to send the signal to your  muscle and fat cells to remove and use glucose from the blood.  When your cells get enough glucose for energy from the excess sugar, they essentially block the insulin signal.  The body then produces more insulin and tries again.  The pancreas will continue to create insulin until it cannot anymore which in turn causes the blood glucose levels to rise.  This is known as Insulin Resistance which is the first step to type 2 diabetes.

Insulin resistance comes long before type 2 diabetes occurs.  You can prevent future harm by getting regular checkups at your primary care physician to check your glucose levels and vitals.

Other symptoms that can come along with type 2 diabetes is arteriosclerosis or known as atherosclerosis. This is thickening and hardening of your artery walls which can lead to strokes or heart attacks.  Skin lesions and skin tags can also develop.  Problems with menstruation in women known as polycystic ovary syndrome can develop causing women to grow moustaches, sideburns and mid-chest hair.  I’m quite sure no woman wants to resemble David Hasselhoff.  

This information is not given to scare you but to inform you so you can make your own  choice when you step into the grocery store.  

Now that I have ruined the sweet joy we all like to indulge in, here are some sugar alternatives.

Monk fruit sweetener- this is a zero calorie sweetener made from a sub-tropical melon in southern china.  It is not processed with toxic chemicals. It is 300 times sweeter than sugar which allows you to use much less and still get the same taste.

Here is what we use in our home Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener.

Stevia extract- this is also a zero calorie sweetener derived from the Stevia Rebaudiana plant which is native to Central and South America.  Stevia extract is about 40 times sweeter than sucrose.  It is mixed with other ingredients when sold as a powder. You will have to check the label of the manufacturer to see what it is combined with. The main ingredient in Truvia is a sugar alcohol called erythritol, which has no calories since our body cannot metabolize it.  I prefer the monk fruit since it is in its natural state when turned into granules.

I want to emphasize that I recommend using these alternative sweeteners in moderation.  These can still raise insulin levels in high quantities.  

The more we moderate our intake of sweet food the less we will crave sweet.  Eating whole fruits is a good way to satisfy our sugar craving since it has fiber to help us digest and metabolize properly.  

If you are addicted to sugar, these sweeteners will help you lower your sugar intake and lower your cravings over time.  The more you can get your sugar from natural sources the better.  We have to lower your craving first so you will be less likely to eat something “bad” for you in a moment of temptation.  If we limit our sugar intake, we can stay far away from type 2 diabetes and these health limiting symptoms. 

There are simple habits that we can develop in our lifestyle that will make it easier to live a healthier, more vibrant and energetic life.   I know you want to live fully each and everyday and share your passion and purpose.  

At Enrich Your Health we can help you develop these habits and dive into our psychology to understand what we do and don’t do when it comes to making choices about our health and wellness.  We will work with you one on one to tailor a program to your specific needs and help you reach your health goal.  

You CAN have a more productive life to get things done and still have energy to give to your friends and loved ones.  Give us a call and get a free consultation so we can help you be a high performer everyday!

Now continue to be the amazing person you are and always

enrich​ your mind, enrich your body and enrich your health.

Author - Michael Coles

The Benefit of Castor Oil on Our Muscles

Castor oil is an amazing natural oil that has many holistic uses. You may have heard your grandmother say to drink Castor oil if you have a backed up GI tract.  Today we mostly use castor oil to induce labor, for muscle cramps or hyper-tonic muscles.  Castor oil is thankfully used externally for these purposes. 

So what exactly is Castor oil? 

Castor oil comes from the beans of a perennial flowering plant called Ricinus Comminus.  The beans are pressed into an oil.  Castor oil is a triglyceride of fatty acids. Approximately 90% of its fatty acid content is made up of ricinoleic acid.  Ricinoelic acid has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.  Ricinoleic acid can also be effective in preventing the growth of viruses, bacteria, yeasts and molds.  

There are many helpful uses for castor oil but the main benefit that I want to discuss is the analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.  Many of us have achy, tense or sore hands from time to time.  This pain can be attributed to long periods of gripping tightly, typically from holding a racket, golf club, long periods of typing, jobs that require large amounts of hand dexterity etc. These forces and activities of overuse aggravate the muscles and tendons in your hand, wrist and forearm creating inflammation and tension. 

We use our hands everyday so finding time to rest them for more than the time we sleep is hard to come by.  The muscles and tendons need to let nutrients and blood flow freely to help the healing process.  When we receive trauma to our muscles, they tense and tighten inhibiting adequate flow of these essential nutrients.  Also prohibiting the lymphatic flow which removes waste trough the circulatory system.  

Castor oil is known to have a significant increase in the production of lymphocytes (disease-fighting cells of the immune system).  With the anti-inflammatory properties to relieve muscle swelling, in addition to the increased lymphatic flow, pain and tension is greatly reduced, giving adequate relief as well as starting the healing process.  

By rubbing a dime size amount on the hands before bed can greatly help relieve and prevent pain and tension.   

Author - Michael Coles

Why Do I Feel Sore After Strenuous Exercise?

We all know that exercising can leave our muscles feeling sore and stiff. The question is WHY? Why do my muscles feel achy and sore to the touch. How come I am stiff in the morning getting out of bed? 

Here is why:

Muscles need energy

Our body produces energy to sustain extended periods of muscle exertion.  Our body needs oxygen to perform this process which is called aerobic respiration. 

This process is done by converting glucose (sugar) into pyruvate (an organic acid that supplies energy to living cells).  This is done when aerobic activity is present.  Over the course of exercise, lactate or lactic acid is produced from pyruvate. In short, this chemical compound helps maintain energy production throughout the length of activity in which lactate concentration rises. 

Imagine a camera inside of a beer cask that is in the fermentation stage.  Initially it is just water, yeast and hops (or whatever else you throw in), then the carbohydrates and the yeast introduced begins to turn into alcohol.  The longer it sits the more sediment builds and the cloudier it becomes. Then it is filtered out and we have a delicious brew.

But what if it wasn't filtered? This process applies to our muscles as well.  If this sediment builds up in our muscles and is not removed, our muscles react accordingly. We get sore and stiff!  Lactic acid is exactly that... an acid, it irritates the muscle fibers  as well as putting the body through strenuous activity causing them to swell and stiffen.

Here is another analogy.... Imagine now that you are at your sink about to do the dishes. You have a sponge in one hand and a plate in the other covered in spaghetti sauce, but before you get the sponge wet you start to clean the plate.  You will notice that the spaghetti sauce just smears around the plate, the sponge doesn't soak up the sauce and it just a bigger mess.  This obviously is not cleaning the plate.  Now, rinse the sponge under the running faucet and allow the clean and fresh water to saturate the dry sponge and flush out all the sauce and impurities it is holding.  This analogy also applies to your muscles. Lactic acid build-up, impurities from chemicals, artificial dyes, and sediment settle in your muscles and need to be flushed out.  

Here's how you can reduce the amount of impurities in your body to reduce muscle soreness and increase athletic performance:

Drink adequate amounts of water

We need water to flush out the muscles as does the sponge for cleaning.  We need water for proper organ function and to clean the blood as well. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, even when not exercising.

You work diligently and may forget to drink water.  Here is a way to help you stay hydrated at work.

Health Hack: Find a aesthetically pleasing bottle. Fill it with tap water and sit it on your desk in a in eyes view. When you look at it and your body is thirsty it will trigger you to think about drinking. Have another bottle with filtered water handy or get up and go to the water cooler.  Taking a many small sips throughout the day can help give the body the hydration it needs to keep you functioning well. 

Stretch Daily

The water we drink needs help flushing the muscles. Stretching contracts and elongates the muscle fibers to help excrete metabolic waste and pull in water, blood and needed nutrients for tissue repair.  Stretching also helps keeps our joints and skeletal system healthy.  Creating space between the joints allows the cartilage and bursa to stay healthy by allowing blood and bursa fluid to enter the joint space. This allows your joints to move freely without pain. The tighter your joints are, the less movement you have and you increase the risk of muscle injury. 

Foam Rolling

Foam rolling is a great addition to your stretching routine. All you need is 5 minutes of rolling before exercise to stimulate blood flow and prepare the nervous system and 5 minutes after exercise to help stimulate waste elimination.  Imaging pulling an inflated balloon on both ends away from each other.  Then visualize someone compressing the balloon from the top and bottom.  If this balloon was porous the air would start to seep out.  Foam rolling compresses your congested muscle fibers and helps to excrete metabolic waste.  

Call and ask about my personalized foam rolling class to show you how to use the foam roller properly for your best recovery.


Regular Sports Massage, Thai or Shiatsu 

Getting Sports Massage sessions regularly:

  • Re-balances postural misalignment that contributes to hip, knee and foot pain. 
  • Improves waste elimination to minimize muscle soreness 
  • Improves joint health 
  • Increases flexibility
  • Facilitates faster tissue healing 
  • Increases athletic performance.  

These are just a few benefits from Sports Massage.  Regular communication between your nervous system, muscle and fascial systems will help your body run optimally and move better in your sport and in everyday life activities.  

Thai and Shiatsu Massage is a compression therapy that can help eliminate waste and increase flexibility. 

Give us a call to help you eliminate muscle and joint pain, help you move the way you were meant to move and play life at your best!

Author - Michael Coles

Reach Your Health Goals in 2019 with the 5-R's Method 

Last night I was listening to a video from John Assaraf (a behavioral and mindset expert) and he described this 5-R method for overcoming a problem that you may have from past fears or disappointments.  I believe this method can set you up for success when you want to achieve a health goal, change a belief or reach a desired outcome that you envision for yourself.

When we set new health goals especially for the new year, we look at old failures and recall how we did not achieve them the years before.  This sets us up to doubt ourselves. Also this can set us up to fear future change.  If we expect losing weight or giving up our favorite foods will be difficult and cause us distress, we tend to make excuses and give up on our goals even before we make them.  

This 5-R Method will help you create a framework to create a new thought patterns, gain confidence and retrain your bran for success! Let's get started. 

The first R stands for Recognize.  Become aware of your thought patterns.  When you think of your new goal, recognize the negative thoughts or emotions that you have.  Write them down so that your conscious mind is aware of these recurring thoughts.  Getting these thoughts out on the table will help you see them and take action on each one to determine if it is helping you grow and succeed or if it is holding you back from achieving your goals.

The second R stands for Respond.  Instead of reacting to these thoughts you can analyze these thoughts to see if they are helpful or hurtful.  "Can I change this thought around".  "How does this thought make me feel".  "Can I change anything about this thought that is destructive".  

The third R stands for Reframe.  When you categorize a thought to be unhelpful or makes you feel fearful, ask yourself "how can I look at this from a different perspective".  An example would be, If I was told as a young adult that I was fat and unattractive, what does that mean to me"  Surely not everyone that sees me thinks this.  "Could I be projecting this fear onto others and assuming that everyone thinks of me in this way?"   Take each thought and look at it from a different point of view.  We often perceive things to be worst than they are based on past negative experiences.

The fourth R stands for Release. When you have a destructive thought or an unpleasant emotion, can you release it? Meditation is one way to release these thoughts. When we sit in thought while meditating, we can observe our thoughts and control whether to keep this thought/emotion or to let it pass. Are you willing to let this thought pass to make room for positive thoughts that will serve you and help motivate you to reach your goal?

The last R stands for Retrain.  Now that you have released unhelpful emotions and experiences, you want to retrain your brain to have different thought patterns, different responses to unwanted emotions and create new behaviors that will lead you to success.  This changes the patterns in your brain so that the unhelpful thoughts come less and less.  Each time you go through this process these negative thoughts and emotions have less power and new helpful thoughts develop to grow your confidence, lift your spirit and motivate you to reach your desired goals.  

This process will help you take control of your thoughts and emotions and unleash the greatness that you have inside of you.  You are the creator of your world so shape it as you wish.  I give you much love this new year and I believe in your power that you have within you.

Author - Michael Coles