Six Ways to Keep Your Holidays Healthy and Fun!

When it comes to eating healthy, holidays are the worst time even to try. With family get-together caulked-full of calories, to eating fast food while shopping, the months of November and December are some of the hardest of healthy-living. No matter how discouraging it seems, don’t totally kick nutrition out the door this year – we’ve put together a list of six simple ways that you can enjoy the holiday season without completely giving up.

  1. Trick Your Brain. While you may head to the table ready to eat the entire turkey, you’re really not as hungry as you think. Before you load a huge plate down with food, consider taking a smaller plate and just putting a lot of food on it. The smaller plate will seem like it has a ton of food while actually sporting only half the calories of a regular- sized plate. You can do the same thing with drinks by using tall glasses that hold fewer
    ounces. Your mind thinks you’ve had the regular amount, and it will pass the news on to your stomach!
  2. Get Some Sleep! Yes, the holidays are stressful, and there doesn’t seem to be time enough to think about napping, but it’s important to get a full seven-hours sleep a day. The less you sleep, the more you eat, and calorie-loaded foods will be more attractive when you’re tired.
  3. Eat Before the Meal. It sounds crazy, but you might consider eating before you head off to the big meal. Healthy foods such as fruits and veggies can help calm your appetite and keep you from totally stuffing your face at the dinner.
  4. Take Time to Chew. Sometimes, eating at family get-togethers can become a race to see who can pack in the most food the fastest. Aunt Edith’s famous chocolate pie? Sure I’ll take another slice…just like me woof this one down first! Take time actually to enjoy your meal by chewing slowly. Not only will this give your food time to digest, but it’s another trick that makes you feel stuffed even when you’re not.
  5. Make Good Choices. Strangely enough, the foods that you put on your plate first are the ones you will eat the most of. Before you grab for the macaroni and cheese, head for the low-calorie veggie tray first. It may not seem like the most attractive food, but your waistline will thank you!
  6. Add Some Nutrition to the Meal. If you’re going to eat with friends or family, talk to the host about bringing along a healthy dish. Most chefs are happy to have something extra at the meal and would welcome a low-calorie dish that goes along with what they are serving. While you can still enjoy the other food, your healthy dish will ensure you that there is something nutritious available for your main course.

Yes, the holidays bring along a lot of festive meals and some very unhealthy eating choices; however, you don’t have to entirely give up on your plans to get in shape. By using the six tips listed above, you can continue to enjoy the fun while staying on course for a healthier new year!

Your Phone May Be Hurting Your Neck

The scornful remarks about teenagers being “glued” to their cell phones have been circling for ages – it’s hard to find a teenager who isn’t either talking, texting, or playing on their phone. However, as wireless devices grow in popularity, it isn’t just teenagers who are turning to them on a daily basis. In 2013, a study found that 91% of adults in the United States own a cell phone…and we’re just as addicted to them as the kids. On average, a young woman will spend ten hours using her phone each day. That’s right…ten hours! Before you get too disgusted, take a minute to consider your own cell phone use; if we’re honest, we all spend a lot of time typing, browsing, and playing on our devices.

Whether you use your phone to connect with family members through texts and messages, keep up with business matters through email, do research for school, or just play some fun games, doctors now have sobering news: Too much time with your cell phone could be bad for your neck!

How Cell Phones Can Damage Your Body

The Chief of Spine Surgery with New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, Dr. Kenneth Hansraj, stepped forward to explain how cell phones are damaging necks and what can be done about it. According to Dr. Hansraj, the average person’s neck weighs about eleven pounds – while this seems like a lot of weight to carry around on your neck and cervical spine, it gets worse when you’re not standing with good posture.
Cell phone use causes people to naturally lean forward outside of their regular, healthy posture. Even a head that is leaned only slightly forward makes it weight more than twice as much, putting around 27 pounds of pressure on your neck. Do you get a little closer to your phone? Guess what – that puts even more pressure on your neck. If you lean forward at a 45-degree angle, which is not even as far as many people lean to look at
their phones, your head will put almost 50 pounds of pressure on your neck and back.

businessman holding a phone and her neck with painHow Much Phone Time is Too Much?

Understandably, the more you use your phone, the more damaging the effects will be on your neck. Before you breathe a sigh of relief because you only use your phone an hour or two a day, it’s important to remember that any amount of cell phone use can cause side effects. Even if you only text or check your email for short periods of time, there may still be repercussions for years to come.

What You Can Do

Before you lock away your cell phone and live like you’re in the 90’s, there are several things that you can do to help. First, you need to be aware of how you stand when using your device; rather than lowering your head to meet your phone, raise your device so that it is eye-level when in use. Secondly, try to cut back on your phone use – while any amount can damage your neck, the more time you spend with your head leaning forward,the worse your neck will be hurt. Last, set up a visit with your chiropractor for an adjustment. A chiropractor can help you by putting your neck back in place and reversing some of the damage from cell phone use.

Reaves Chiropractic
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