Recipe: Velvety Mint Chocolate Mousse

cleveland mint choc mousse

Cleveland Clinic
@ClevelandClinic

This protien packed treat whips up quickly in a food processor! #ChocolateMintDay

Studies demonstrate that including chocolate rich in flavanols like dark chocolate made with 70 percent cocoa can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease risk. Remember – a little dark chocolate goes a long way!

Ingredients

6 oz. silken tofu
½ tsp cocoa powder
3 oz. 70 percent cocoa dark chocolate
½ tsp. peppermint extract
1 tbsp. unsweetened almond milk
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. agave nectar

Directions

  1. Melt chocolate in the microwave by placing chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl on low power.
  2. Place all ingredients in a food processor.
  3. Blend until smooth.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Nutrition information per serving

Makes four servings 

Calories 160
Total fat 9 g
Saturated fat 4-5 g*
Trans fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 70 mg
Total Carbohydrate 14 g
Fiber 2 g
Protein 4 g

*Varies based on the brand of vegan dark chocolate you choose
Source: The Dietitian’s Dish, Cleveland Clinic

How does breaking a sweat boost immunity?@ClevelandClinic

cleveland break sweat

Cleveland Clinic
@ClevelandClinic

 

You know exercise builds muscles, strengthens bones, keeps your heart healthy and your mind sharp. But it also does something that you might not think much about: It helps keep your immune system — your internal defenses against infection — in tip-top shape.

If you take time for some physical exertion each day, it helps get your body ready to attack bacteria, viruses and toxins that can sneak in and make you sick.

But how much exercise is effective? Do too little or too much, and it won’t have the best effect on your immune system.

Clinical immunologist  Leonard Calabrese, DO, answers common questions about how exercise can impact your immunity and how to use your workouts to shut out a world of would-be invaders.

Q: How does breaking a sweat boost immunity?

A: If you exercise moderately on a regular basis, it tunes up the immune system in many ways. It enhances your broad-based defenses against viral infections, such as those causing upper respiratory infections.

Working out regularly also reduces the risk of many chronic diseases such as cardiovascular, respiratory illnesses and metabolic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.

Q: How much exercise do you need?

A: Fortunately, you don’t have to push yourself to the limit to rev up your immune system. In fact, your immune system needs less of a workout than you get with your average cardio routine.

Focus on getting 20-30 minutes of moderate exercise, five days a week, and your immune system will thank you.

Q: What types of exercise are most helpful?

A: Moderate exercises, including biking or walking briskly in your neighborhood, are good ways to get your blood flowing. Swimming is also a good option for non-weight-bearing exercise for your joints.

Also try mind-body exercises such as Tai-Chi, Qi Gong and yoga, which are all options that help keep your joints flexible. These exercises also reduce chronic stress, which in itself is a powerful immune booster. These exercises can also help alleviate osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia symptoms.

Q: Can too much exercise set your immune system back?

A: Yes, though, the level to which it can slow your system down is still up for debate.

Research shows that exercising for more than 1.5 hours without refueling your body or giving it enough time to recover suppresses your immune responses for up to a few days. During that time, your cortisol levels rise, your white blood cell count drops and you’re more likely to develop a respiratory infection.

This problem usually affects elite athletes, such as marathon runners, most.

On the flip side, staying sedentary also increases your risk of infection, inflammation and chronic disease.

Q: Can exercise make an illness worse?

A: Yes, it can. This is a complex issue, but I like to tell my patients to do a “neck check.” If your symptoms are mostly of a mild cold without fever or lower respiratory symptoms, such as a productive cough, wheezing or shortness of breath, mild exercise can actually reduce congestion and may make you feel better.

If your symptoms are primarily in your lungs or you have a significant fever its better to rest until things settle down. Regardless, good hydration is important.

A Gentle Yoga Sequence to Target Your Nerves

yoga journal therapeutic tool

A Gentle Yoga Sequence to Target Your Nerves
Your yoga practice can be a therapeutic tool for pain management and prevention. Try this gentle sequence to target your nerves and protect their signaling powers.
yogajournal.com

Join Tiffany Cruikshank at Yoga Journal’s upcoming event in January at 1440 Multiversity. Learn more at yogajournal.com/thepractice.

Jenny Jimenez

With all of the new and emerging information on pain science, yoga students and teachers have the opportunity to apply modern research to their practices and help alleviate and prevent pain.

Preliminary research suggests that gentle movement of your nerves is vital to both managing pain and supporting the general health of your nervous system. The idea is that healthy nerves should be able to gently slide, elongate, and angulate within neural tissues (some nerves can move as much as ¾ inch) in order to adapt to different loads and minimize pressure that can worsen existing pain, alter sensation, or lead to new pain patterns. Sometimes, tone and tension around neural tissues can be a problem. These tissues are bloodthirsty and rely on an important pressure gradient around them to maintain adequate blood flow. So even small changes in tissue tension around a nerve can be enough to block nerve mobility and lead to compression that disrupts blood flow and nerve signaling back to the brain, contributing to pain.

See also Low Back Pain 101: 3 Sequences to Ease Your Pain

To help you keep your nerves adaptable and protected, try the asana technique on the following pages based on an understanding of neurodynamics (the study of nerve movement through its surrounding tissues) and nerve pathways. We have the ability to alternately put tension on different ends of the nerve to create a movement of the nerve through the tissues, often referred to as nerve gliding. As you floss the nerve, you potentially allow it to move more freely so that it can communicate more efficiently with your brain. For example, the sciatic nerve runs through the back of your leg, so in Supta Padangusthasana (Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose) if you bend your knee (raised leg) and flex your foot, you’ll put tension on one end of the nerve (by your foot) and slack the other end (by your knee). This action draws the sciatic nerve and its branches toward your foot. Then, as you extend your knee and point your toes, you’ll reverse the areas of tension and slack. This action draws the branches of the sciatic nerve toward your knee. When you put these movements together you can encourage the sciatic nerve to move back and forth through its tissues more effortlessly. You also may down-regulate local inflammatory responses, restore healthy blood flow to the hard-working nerve, and encourage more efficient communication between your brain and body. Optimal signaling is crucial if you want your immune and nervous systems to function at their best, which is another reason to add nerve gliding to your repertoire.

The key to nerve gliding is to move gently within an easy range of motion. Since your target is the pain-free movement of your nerves, not of your muscles and fascia, you want very little sensation or stretch. It’s a great reminder that even in the physical body there’s clearly more to what we do than just sensations or the feel-good endorphins associated with them. Another thing I love about this approach is that, in addition to being a safe way to work with pain, it’s very accessible since it’s about simple, gentle movements.

See also Reduce Pain and Discomfort with These Poses for the Pelvis

Sequence – Neurodynamic Movement

To begin, pick a nerve you want to focus on and find a range of motion that’s accessible, pain-free, and with very little (if any) stretching sensation. Do 5–10 repetitions of the pose or this sequence once or twice a day. If you’re using these moves more preventatively, try rotating a few of them into your regular practice a couple times a week, and remember that in group classes there’s more than just stretch and sensation affecting the tissues. Happy flossing!

https://www.yogajournal.com/practice/gentle-yoga-sequence-to-target-your-nerves

A Gentle Yoga Sequence to Target Your Nerves

yoga journal therapeutic tool

A Gentle Yoga Sequence to Target Your Nerves
Your yoga practice can be a therapeutic tool for pain management and prevention. Try this gentle sequence to target your nerves and protect their signaling powers.
yogajournal.com

Join Tiffany Cruikshank at Yoga Journal’s upcoming event in January at 1440 Multiversity. Learn more at yogajournal.com/thepractice.

Jenny Jimenez

With all of the new and emerging information on pain science, yoga students and teachers have the opportunity to apply modern research to their practices and help alleviate and prevent pain.

Preliminary research suggests that gentle movement of your nerves is vital to both managing pain and supporting the general health of your nervous system. The idea is that healthy nerves should be able to gently slide, elongate, and angulate within neural tissues (some nerves can move as much as ¾ inch) in order to adapt to different loads and minimize pressure that can worsen existing pain, alter sensation, or lead to new pain patterns. Sometimes, tone and tension around neural tissues can be a problem. These tissues are bloodthirsty and rely on an important pressure gradient around them to maintain adequate blood flow. So even small changes in tissue tension around a nerve can be enough to block nerve mobility and lead to compression that disrupts blood flow and nerve signaling back to the brain, contributing to pain.

See also Low Back Pain 101: 3 Sequences to Ease Your Pain

To help you keep your nerves adaptable and protected, try the asana technique on the following pages based on an understanding of neurodynamics (the study of nerve movement through its surrounding tissues) and nerve pathways. We have the ability to alternately put tension on different ends of the nerve to create a movement of the nerve through the tissues, often referred to as nerve gliding. As you floss the nerve, you potentially allow it to move more freely so that it can communicate more efficiently with your brain. For example, the sciatic nerve runs through the back of your leg, so in Supta Padangusthasana (Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose) if you bend your knee (raised leg) and flex your foot, you’ll put tension on one end of the nerve (by your foot) and slack the other end (by your knee). This action draws the sciatic nerve and its branches toward your foot. Then, as you extend your knee and point your toes, you’ll reverse the areas of tension and slack. This action draws the branches of the sciatic nerve toward your knee. When you put these movements together you can encourage the sciatic nerve to move back and forth through its tissues more effortlessly. You also may down-regulate local inflammatory responses, restore healthy blood flow to the hard-working nerve, and encourage more efficient communication between your brain and body. Optimal signaling is crucial if you want your immune and nervous systems to function at their best, which is another reason to add nerve gliding to your repertoire.

The key to nerve gliding is to move gently within an easy range of motion. Since your target is the pain-free movement of your nerves, not of your muscles and fascia, you want very little sensation or stretch. It’s a great reminder that even in the physical body there’s clearly more to what we do than just sensations or the feel-good endorphins associated with them. Another thing I love about this approach is that, in addition to being a safe way to work with pain, it’s very accessible since it’s about simple, gentle movements.

See also Reduce Pain and Discomfort with These Poses for the Pelvis

Sequence – Neurodynamic Movement

To begin, pick a nerve you want to focus on and find a range of motion that’s accessible, pain-free, and with very little (if any) stretching sensation. Do 5–10 repetitions of the pose or this sequence once or twice a day. If you’re using these moves more preventatively, try rotating a few of them into your regular practice a couple times a week, and remember that in group classes there’s more than just stretch and sensation affecting the tissues. Happy flossing!

https://www.yogajournal.com/practice/gentle-yoga-sequence-to-target-your-nerves

Muscles in your body are a use-or-lose proposition. You need to use them to keep them strong!@ClevelandClinic

cleveland muscles

Cleveland Clinic
@ClevelandClinic

Muscles in your body are a use-or-lose proposition. You need to use them to keep them strong!

You may not realize it, but we all start losing 1 percent of muscle mass each year after age 30. That’s why your diet in later years should not look the same as it did when you were younger, says endocrinologist Susan Williams, MD.

Skipping breakfast, eating fast food and being inactive in your 20s and early 30s might not hurt your health in the short term. However, poor nutrition and lifestyle habits take their toll over time.

People who embrace good habits early on really get ahead of the game, Dr. Williams says. But it’s never too late to start eating better and taking better care of your body.

Whether you’re 30 or 50, Dr. Williams offers three important tips to get started in eating right when you are thinking about your long-term health.

RELATED: Do You Know How Much Exercise You Really Need? 

1. Keep your weight in check

A roller coaster of weight gain and loss can change your body composition and leave you with more fat mass and less lean muscle mass.

2. Eat three balanced meals a day

You also want to limit your snacks in between. The word “balanced” is especially important because eating a wide variety of foods will help you prevent nutritional deficiencies.

Dr. Williams suggests this simple shopping list:

  • Lean proteins. Choose chicken, white fish, oily fish like salmon, eggs, tuna fish and red meat (less frequently than other protein).
  • Whole grains. This includes multigrain breads, and long-cooking rice or oats.
  • Veggies. Go for fresh or fresh frozen. Choose what’s in season and enjoy a variety to get the vitamins and minerals your body needs.
  • Fruit. Fresh fruit is best, followed by frozen. Canned fruit can be OK, but choose options in light syrup or water. Check the label and avoid added sugar.
  • Dairy. Choose milk, yogurts, cheeses and cottage cheese that are low-fat or fat-free.

Steer clear of cookies, cakes, pies, ice creams, juices and rich desserts. If that sounds like no fun, Dr. Williams advises treating these foods as treats. Save them for dining out or special occasions, but don’t make them part of your daily diet.

RELATED: Which Bread Is Best For You — Whole-Grain, Multigrain or Whole Wheat?

3. Use your muscles

Eating protein and being physically active are equal partners in the quest for maximum health, Dr. Williams says. Muscles are made of protein, but simply eating protein is not enough to save them.

“Muscles in your body are a use-or-lose proposition,” she says. “You need to use them to keep them strong.”

Can’t carve out time for the gym? Try this daily routine:

  1. In the morning, stretch for 10 minutes.
  2. At lunch, eat and then walk for 10 minutes.
  3. After dinner, spend 10 minutes with stretch bands or light weights.

Even a half hour of physical activity can make a world of difference, especially if you make it a habit in your 30s. “Don’t let your weight creep up while your muscle mass creeps down over your 30s and 40s,” Dr. Williams says. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to get started — and the more muscle you will have already lost.

16 Poses to Ease Back Pain.@Yoga_Journal

yoga journal ease back pain

Yoga Journal
@Yoga_Journal

Experts agree that routine stretching can both prevent and relieve lower back symptoms. Choose from a 10, 20, or 30 minute routine to release pain.
16 Poses to Ease Back Pain
Experts agree that routine stretching can both prevent and relieve lower back symptoms. Choose from a 10, 20, or 30 minute routine to release pain.
yogajournal.com

16 Poses to Ease Back Pain.@Yoga_Journal

yoga journal ease back pain

Yoga Journal
@Yoga_Journal

Experts agree that routine stretching can both prevent and relieve lower back symptoms. Choose from a 10, 20, or 30 minute routine to release pain.
16 Poses to Ease Back Pain
Experts agree that routine stretching can both prevent and relieve lower back symptoms. Choose from a 10, 20, or 30 minute routine to release pain.
yogajournal.com