Chicken and Vegetable Pot Pie

It is finally cold outside and really feeling like fall, AKA, comfort food season! This pot pie, is savory, hearty, and delicious. Perfect for warming you up on a cold day. This recipe is also a better-for-you version of the classic. Chicken pot pie isn’t one of those dishes that is notoriously bad for us, but there are many ways to make it, so it’s good to have a healthier option. Some chicken pot pie recipes call for heavy cream and potatoes which can significantly up the fat and carb content. By adding more veggies and subbing in almond milk for heavy cream, we cut down on calories and keep this dish relatively good for us.

 

What you need:

  • 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
  • 2 cups frozen peas and carrots
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 prepared, uncooked pie crust (found in the refrigerated section)
  • 1 egg, beaten with water to make egg wash

 

What you do:

  1. Saute mushrooms in oil until they start to brown, about 7 minutes.
  2. Add onions, celery, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook until celery softens, about 3 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle in flour and cook 2 minutes.
  4. Slowly stir in almond milk and bring to a low boil.
  5. Let bubble until thickened, stirring well.
  6. Stir in chicken, peas, carrots, and thyme.
  7. Spoon mixture into a greased pie dish.
  8. Roll out pie crust and cover dish. Pinch edges and brush with egg wash.
  9. Bake at 425 degrees until crust is golden brown, about 25 minutes.
  10. Let rest 10 minutes, then serve!

Pumpkin Hummus

This pumpkin hummus is a great spin on the traditional dip and perfect for fall! Traditional hummus has become very popular because it is a hearty snack that isn’t bad for us (and we all know those aren’t easy to find). It pairs well with many foods and is low in saturated fat, sodium, and calories. This pumpkin hummus is no different! And that’s not all. Pumpkins are really good for us! Pumpkins are great sources of vitamin A, beta-carotene, and potassium. They are also a good source of vitamin C. So, make a batch of this amazing hummus and get snacking!

 

What you need:

  • 1 15-oz. can pumpkin
  • 4 tbsp tahini
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

What you do:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
  2. Serve with raw veggies and pita chips!

Can also be used as a spread on sandwiches or a topping on salad!

Happy Birthday, Chiropractic!

Today marks the 122nd anniversary of the first chiropractic adjustment. The practice of chiropractic has come a long way in the past hundred years and is constantly growing. Chiropractic is now used worldwide and is becoming a part of mainstream healthcare here in the U.S. But, today we want to take a look back at where it all started!

 

The following was originally posted by the American Chiropractic Association at acatoday.org:

The word ‘Chiropractic’ comes from the Greek words cheir (meaning ‘hand’) and praktos (meaning ‘done’), i.e. Done by Hand. The name was chosen by the developer of chiropractic, Daniel David (DD) Palmer.

A prolific reader of all things scientific, DD Palmer realized that although various forms of manipulation had been used for hundreds if not thousands of years, no one had developed a philosophical or scientific rationale to explain their effects. Palmer’s major contribution to the health field was therefore the codification of the philosophy, art and science of chiropractic which was based on his extensive study of anatomy and physiology. 

Palmer performed the initial chiropractic adjustment in September 1895. Palmer examined a janitor who had become deaf 17 years prior after he felt something “give” in his back. Palmer examined the area and gave a crude “adjustment” to what was felt to be a misplaced vertebra in the upper back. The janitor then observed that his hearing improved.

From that first adjustment, DD Palmer continued to develop chiropractic and in 1897 established the Palmer School of Cure, now known as the Palmer College of Chiropractic, in Davenport, Iowa, where it remains today. Following the first adjustment, many people became interested in Palmer’s new science and healing art. Among his early students were Palmer’s son, Bartlett Joshua (BJ), as well as members of the older healing arts of medicine and osteopathy. The first state law licensing chiropractors was passed in 1913, and by 1931, 39 states had given chiropractors legal recognition.

Today, there are more than 70,000 active chiropractic licenses in the United States. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands officially recognize chiropractic as a health care profession. Many other countries also recognize and regulate chiropractic, including Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, Australia, Japan and Switzerland. 

 

Daniel David “DD” Palmer, founder of chiropractic

 

Chocolate Avocado Cookies

I think everyone who has tried to diet or eat healthier has experienced at least one downfall. You know, that food you love that isn’t the best for you, but you crave all the time. Especially when you feel like you can’t have it! Well, if a rich, chocolatey cookie is your usual downfall food, you’re in luck! These chocolate avocado cookies are guilt free and SO good. Coconut flour is used instead of wheat to lower the carb count and add flavor. There is no added sugar, but cinnamon gives a natural sweetness and compliments the dark chocolate really well. And, avocado not only adds a creaminess factor, but also adds healthy fats and other nutrients that keep you fuller longer!

 

What you need:

– 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

– 2 eggs

– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

– 1/4 cup mashed avocado

– 1/4 cup coconut flour

– 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

– 1 teaspoon cinnamon

– 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

– 1/8 cup dark chocolate chips

– 1/8 cup peanut butter chips

 

What you do:

  1. In a large bowl, combine milk, eggs, and vanilla.
  2. Add avocado. Mix in with a fork.
  3. In another bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and baking powder.
  4. Combine dry ingredients with the wet.
  5. Fold in chocolate and peanut butter chips.
  6. Scoop cookie dough onto baking sheet covered in parchment paper. (Use about a tablespoon of dough for each cookie.)
  7. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
  8. Enjoy!

 

Finally, An Answer To Your Dizziness

I recently partnered with an amazing new company, Dizzy Analyst, which uses an online algorithm to help create a presumptive diagnosis and potentially treat certain inner ear dysfunctions, such as dizziness and vertigo. Every single day in the United States, tens of thousands of patients report to the emergency room with their primary complaint being “dizziness” related. There are times when these symptoms are caused by more serious conditions, such as Parkinson’s, Stroke, or even a tumor. However, there are also a lot of conditions that cause dizziness that can be helped or managed without going to the E.R.

At some point in their lifetime, four out of ten American citizens will experience this sensation severe enough to seek medical help. Elderly individuals are more apt to experience the sensation. The common causes of dizziness are frequently associated with feelings of unsteadiness, a sense of being off balance, and unfortunately, at times, falling. The sense of being unsteady may profoundly impact activities of daily living as well as cause psychological and emotional hardship.

Image courtesy of findatopdoc.com

This is where Dizzy Analyst comes into play! Dizzy Analyst is designed to help you determine the cause or causes of your dizziness. The system will help you understand the meaning of the term “dizziness,” the problems that create this feeling, and how to correct them. The feeling of dizziness means different things to different people. It can be difficult and frustrating to describe. Sometimes it is used to describe a sense of vertigo or spinning, sometimes a sense of unsteadiness or instability, or even a sense of faintness…sometimes, more than one. Our testing system will sort out these symptoms and provide you with a guide to understanding the reason for your problem. This program explores specific situations, positions, activities, medications, associated medical conditions, and symptoms to arrive at a solution to your problem.

From there, we can determine if our in-house therapy will be beneficial and help reduce your symptoms, or if it is more serious and we need to refer you for emergency services. For conditions where the therapy is useful, such as Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo or vestibular migraines, patients may experience a resolution of symptoms within 1 treatment, although we recommend 6-12 sessions for maximal benefits.

The feeling of dizziness is not only unpleasant, but is also associated with unsteadiness, decreased balance, and increased risk of falling. The risk of falling is particularly dangerous in the older population, in which falls account for 25% of hospital admissions and 40% of admissions to nursing homes! The statistics show that about 50% of those who fall never return to independent living. Uncommonly, these symptoms are due to serious medical conditions such as heart disease, decreased blood flow, tumors, and MS. More commonly, “dizziness” is caused by treatable conditions like inner ear dysfunction which accounts for more than half of all cases.

Image result for broken hip fall

It is better to get checked out sooner rather than later to make sure these symptoms do not lead to a more serious condition or fall. Let us help you and your loved ones with these debilitating problems and provide the same exceptional care you’ve come to expect and deserve here at Excel. For more information on Dizzy Analyst, feel free to contact us or visit the website at www.dizzyanalyst.com.

Tips to Reduce Back Pain

Our lifestyles can lead to back pain in many ways. If you have a desk job and sit all day, then that can lead to discomfort. If you have a more active job and stand or move all day, then that can be a strain on the spine and back muscles, too. As humans, we are constantly doing things in our lives that aren’t great for our bodies and can lead to pain. Getting regular chiropractic care is a great way to minimize pain and prevent further issues. However, there are some things you can do on your own, everyday, to help reduce and prevent back pain!

Check out the slideshow below for all of our recommendations!

 

  • Maintain a healthy diet and weight

    Excess weight on our bodies is a strain on our muscles, joints, and spine. This strain can lead to pain in many areas, including the back.

  • Remain active

    Proper exercise will help strengthen the muscles around our joints and spine, helping to stabilize these areas.

  • Avoid prolonged inactivity or bed rest

    While doctors once thought that bed rest relieved back pain, now we know that is does not reduce pain and can actually make it worse. Also, sitting for prolonged periods can cause bad posture and put pressure on the low back causing pain.

  • Warm or stretch before exercising or other physical activities

    Getting the body ready for physical activity can help prevent injuries.

  • Maintain proper posture

    Maintaining your spine’s natural curvature is key. When standing, stand straight with your shoulders back. When sitting, sit straight and use lumbar support to maintain your low back curve.

  • Lift with your knees

    Using your knees to lift objects reduces strain on the back. When lifting, keep objects close to your body and avoid twisting.

  • Quit smoking

    Smoking restricts blood flow and can deprive all tissues, including those in our backs, of oxygen and nutrients.

  • Ensure that your workspace is ergonomically correct

    Incorporating the proper chair, desk, and other supports can make your workplace more comfortable and reduce back pain typically associated with desk jobs.

 

Please use us as your total health team and wellness coaches. Dr. Cohen helps all of his patients address these issues everyday. Contact him for any tips, tricks, or resources to help in any of these areas!

Black Bean and Spinach Enchiladas

We’ve been hearing more and more lately that consuming animal products like meat and dairy isn’t great for our health. While there isn’t conclusive evidence on how much animal protein, if any, we should be eating, we all know plants and vegetables are good and nutritious for us and that we should be eating more. Many health professionals have touted a plant-based diet for its benefits and suggest decreasing the intake of eggs, dairy, and meat. However, it’s not always easy to radically change our diets. Switching out the meat a couple times a week with other types of protein is a great way to get the benefits of a plant-based diet without a complete overhaul. This recipe is vegan and contains no animal products at all. BUT, it is packed with protein, fiber, and other nutrients and it is delicious!

 

What you need:

  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, chopped
  • 2 jalapenos, chopped finely
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cans black beans
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 pack of tortillas (I used Trader Joe’s Habanero Lime tortillas!)
  • 1 28 oz. can of red enchilada sauce
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • Salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper

What you do:

  1. Saute onion in oil for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add peppers and saute 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, black beans, spinach, and spices (severally good shakes of salt and pepper and a dash of cayenne should be good) and cook, stirring frequently, until spinach is wilted.
  4. Coat the bottom of a large glass baking dish with a thin layer of enchilada sauce.
  5. Fill tortillas with bean mixture, fold, and put in the baking dish.
  6. Pour remaining sauce over tortillas.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes
  8. Top with cilantro.
  9. Serve with a side salad and enjoy!

enchilada-plate

The Perception of Health: How Your Mind Affects Your Health

Have you ever noticed that person or friend who looks at the weather report, sees it’s going to be raining a lot during the coming week, and says something along the lines of, “Ugh, I just know I’m going to get sick this week because of this weather!” And, what happens almost 9 out of 10 times to this person? They get sick! It is incredible how powerful our thoughts are and how thoughts can even manifest as physical symptoms and pain.

While chiropractic care focuses on removing nerve interference by correcting spinal misalignments, a lot of people are unclear on how our bodies become misaligned in the first place. The easiest explanation is the “3 T’s,” or Thoughts, Traumas, and Toxins. While the toxins we ingest or breathe in and the injuries and accidents we sustain are major causes of spinal misalignments, this article is more interested in what’s going on between your ears: the thoughts.

There is a category of pain known as “psychosomatic pain.” Psychosomatic, by definition, means mind-body, and when relating to pain, it describes pain that is caused by nothing more than your own mind and thoughts. The idea that we can “think ourselves sick” has been around for centuries; however, the opposite is true as well! There is also research backing that mental health and positive thoughts can help prevent and treat certain conditions. This is why reciting positive affirmations daily are a necessity to starting your day off on the right foot. For a refresher, re-read our article on positive affirmations and how to start implementing them into your life today.

We all know how toxic stress can be on our bodies, be it from work deadlines, a bad relationship, or forgetting to do your homework. Unfortunately, this stress releases toxic hormones within your body that negatively affects your health. If this is not addressed early on by either dealing with the mental thoughts that caused it, or by correcting the nerve interference caused by such a stressful state, your body can and will suffer.

how-stress-and-anxiety-affects-your-body

So, the next time you go home with a scratchy throat, don’t immediately say, “I knew I was coming down with something and getting sick…” Instead, recite positive statements that take your mind off not feeling well and, in turn, can help boost your immune system, such as, “I feel great—there’s no way I’m getting sick!” or “Today was a great day because of x, y, and z!” By focusing on positive thoughts, your brain will release dopamine, a hormone responsible for feeling better, as opposed to the dangerous hormone cortisol that is released when negative thoughts start clouding up your mind.

Do you have any stress fighting strategies you love to use? We would love for you to message us or comment below with any tips and tricks that help keep your head in the right place!

negative-mind

Why Everyone Needs Structural Chiropractic Care

Structural chiropractic care focuses on restoring the natural, proper structure of our spine to decrease nerve interference. What exactly does this mean? It means that when your body gets out of alignment, you start to experience dysfunction, and possibly pain. In our spine, we have natural curves that help keep us more like a spring; the curves help us adapt to forces better during the day. Unfortunately, due to improper posture, certain daily activities, and even emotional and chemical stress, we start to lose those proper curves in our spine. Because of this, our spinal bones, or vertebrae, begin to put pressure on our nerves which cause problems in our bodies.

spinal-curves

This is the same concept as our car alignment. If our alignment is off, we start to wear down the axle and tires at a quicker rate and cause issues with our car. Proper alignment in our car ensures that our tires run evenly and smoothly. If it’s not taken care of and maintained, we see bigger, more expensive problems once we finally take it to the mechanic. Receiving structural chiropractic care, like we offer here at Excel Chiropractic, helps maintain proper alignment, instead of dealing with bigger, more expensive health issues down the road, such as injections and surgery. Is there a time when a surgical procedure is a good option? Absolutely. But, it should not always be the first option, as it is used so often these days.

car-alignment

This is why the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) recently published an article in April, 2017 “supporting the use of spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) as a first line treatment for acute low back pain.” Next time you, a friend, or a loved one injures their back and doesn’t know where to turn, try a chiropractor that focuses on structural, corrective care. This is why we have such great results with our patients—we are focused on correcting the underlying cause of pain: the spinal misalignments putting pressure on nerves, or better known in the chiropractic community as “vertebral subluxations.”

blonde-fam

Not Just a Luxury: Benefits of Massage Therapy

Massages are often seen as a luxury or a special treat, but there is a lot more to the practice of massage therapy. The Mayo Clinic defines massage therapy as “a type of treatment in which a trained and certified medical professional manipulates the soft tissues of your body — muscle, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments and skin — using varying degrees of pressure and movement.” The practice has been around, in some form, for thousands of years and has long been used to heal and rejuvenate the body. I spoke with our Licensed Massage Therapist, Kelli Bragg, to learn more about massage therapy and why it is good for us:

 

Erica: What are the benefits of massage therapy by a licensed therapist?

Kelli: Massage therapy does not “fix anything,” but rather aids in the body’s healing process and works best in conjunction with chiropractic care and physical therapy. It also increases flexibility and circulation which provides the body with nutrient rich blood. It helps repair muscles and tissues, and really our whole system. It gives us life.

 

E: What are the different types of massage?

K: There are hundreds of different types of massage! From classic Swedish and deep tissue, to sports massage, prenatal, and Thai. The list is endless. Different therapies accompany massage, too, like aromatherapy, hydrotherapy, and reflexology. It just depends on what you need. There is also energy work and stretching massage. The list is endless and growing.

 

E: How often should someone get massaged?

K: Every single week on average. Those working in labor intensive careers could use massage every other day. A more laxed lifestyle needs it less. Someone who wants to live the best quality of life and sustain a positive energy level should get massaged regularly. For rejuvenation and detoxification, I recommend every week for 60 minutes. I understand that it is difficult for people to take advantage of massage therapy at this frequency, so at the very least, 1-2 times per month can make huge differences.

 

E: You mentioned earlier that massage therapy works best when used with chiropractic care. Why does massage go hand-in-hand with chiropractic?

K: Chiropractic care is about resetting the body–strengthening neurological connections in the body. Massage therapy comes in next – now that we have you back on track, let’s repair. After the skeletal structure and nervous system function is corrected by corrective chiropractic adjustments, massage therapy comes in and circulates nutrient rich blood that helps repair damaged tissues. It detoxifies and rejuvenates the body. Massage is also soothing for the client, so the body can better heal itself. It all works together.

Kelli points out that in western culture, massage is usually seen as pampering, but she believes that “it is part of healthy living. Part of living a progressive and positive life.”

 

Everyone can benefit from massage therapy! Whether you sit at a desk all day, are sore from gardening all weekend, or just want to keep healthy, chiropractic care and massage therapy can benefit you and enhance your life.

 

photo

 

For more information about massage therapy or to make an appointment with Kelli,

contact her at kelli@excellentwife.com or (404)228-5082.