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The Benefits of Pilates for a Your Mind-Body Connection

Pilates-and-Benefits WilcoWellness

Something tells us you are on the hunt for a pilates workout nearby

We’ve got you covered! But first, let’s go over the basics.

The 1980s was a spunky, colorful, and cardio-crazed decade for exercise enthusiasts. This quirky period in time was marked by several notable fitness fads that have since lost popularity or have entirely disappeared. That might have to do with the fact that the vast majority of these fads weren’t nearly effective enough to make up for the fashion faux pas that came with them (unitards, anyone?).

When finally the inevitable burnout took hold towards the end of the decade, several slightly more relaxed workouts hit the mainstream, including spinning and pilates. Pilates had actually been around since the sixties when Joseph Pilates introduced what was then called “Contrology” to ballerinas in New York City.

Joseph Pilates had a difficult childhood, plagued with rickets and asthma. To overcome his ailments, he became a student of yoga, martial arts, and zen meditation- all of which would come to play a part in pilates (the method). On the rebound from the eighties aerobics mania, people were drawn to pilates because it was less aggressive yet every bit as transformative in its own way.

 

What kind of workout is Pilates, exactly?

Walking into a pilates studio can be intimidating, given all the fancy-looking machinery involved. But it’s not as complex as it looks, and anyone of any body type can benefit from pilates immensely. In fact, it’s in part thanks to the machinery that makes pilates such a flexible option for people no matter where they are on their fitness journey. In essence, your workout is perfectly adjustable, and there’s no getting yelled at by Gene Simmons to step it up if you want to “party off the pounds.”

Pilates is a low-impact workout that focuses on improving strength, flexibility, and posture, and balance all in one. It can easily be adapted to amp up the challenge and is used for both rehabilitation purposes and as a challenging workout for professional athletes. Like Yoga, there are a limited number of exercises utilized- around 50 different exercises, to be precise. Each focuses on a different muscle group to improve strength, endurance, posture, and balance.

As for those intimidating machines? That machine is known as the Reformer, and it’s essentially a sliding platform within a box-like frame that provides resistance to movement using a simple pulley system. For the most part, the Reformer isn’t necessary, though it can amplify the challenge and increase strength-building. Still, most Pilates exercises can be done on a mat or from the comfort of your home, and the exercises can always be modified to increase (or decrease) resistance, with or without a Reformer.

 

How is Pilates different from Yoga?

The spiritual component emphasized in some Yoga classes can be a turnoff for some people who simply wish to work out. While pilates and Yoga have their similarities, meditation isn’t one of them. Both foster a mind-body connection, but pilates tends to be much less “woo woo” and much more kinesthetic. In other words, it will teach you to become more aware of how your mind connects with your surroundings using your body as a vehicle. That connection is purely driven by concentration and control, though, not meditation.

 

Other key differences to note include:

  • Whereas Yoga utilizes some aggressive breathing techniques that often have a spiritual emphasis, pilates uses breathing techniques for a more simple purpose of maintaining a consistent flow of oxygen to keep muscles relaxed.
  • Don’t get us wrong, Yoga is a fantastic workout, and you can achieve great results with consistent practice. But you’re more likely to see those results faster by practicing pilates consistently as the exercises are more intense and employ more resistance.
  • Contrary to popular belief, Yoga isn’t as easy on the body as it’s commonly made out to be. Without solid form, you can easily stretch yourself a little too far and injure your tendons or make pre-existing injuries worse.
  • If you’re hoping to improve your overall flexibility or the flexibility of particular joints, Yoga is ideal. But if you’re more interested in building strength, look to Pilates.

 

Is Pilates Good for Weight loss?

A consistent Pilates practice can help you tone your body, build lean muscle mass, and improve your posture, thereby lengthening your figure. Pilates certainly has a lot going for it, but it’s not exactly cardio-heavy. So while it is a great workout to help you stave off excess weight, you will probably have more success dropping pounds by swimming, cycling, running, boxing, or another aerobic activity. For some people, that’s a plus! But do keep in mind that 20-40 minutes of cardio each day is the optimal amount to lose weight safely.

 

Three Places to Try Pilates in Williamson County

  •    First up, Truecore in Georgetown offers reformer pilates, so it’s a great place to try those reformer machines if you’ve never had the chance or wish to up the resistance level of your workout.
  • Located in Cedar Park is a special studio called Pilates Island. Instructors at this studio bring over 15 years of knowledge and experience teaching pilates around the world. Besides offering reformer pilates, they also have a number of other equipment options available to vary your routine, including TRX.
  • Last but certainly not least, we also recommend Pilates 512 in Round Rock. Here, you can benefit from either group classes or one-on-one instruction in a studio that is clean and beautiful. With smaller class sizes, you are guaranteed to receive individual attention as well.

How lucky we are here in WilcoWellness to have so many workout options, from indoor classes in studio settings to the many outdoor trails that contribute to the sheer beauty of our community. We enthusiastically vouch for the effectiveness of pilates both in the general sense and at studios in Williamson county. Just keep in mind that while pilates is fun and uber-addicting, you still have to get some cardio in to maintain a healthy heart.

 

 

 

 

The Wonders of Walking: How Walking is the Most Underrated Exercise

Wonders of Walking WilcoWellness

 

One of the first monuments in our lives are those first few steps we take.

As we age, our walks become more valuable; we spend them communing with nature, making business deals, and conversing with people we care about.

We take walks to escape stressful situations and cool our minds and brainstorm our next big idea. Walking is one of the most under-appreciated things we do in life, and this simple activity benefits our body, mind, and spirit.

How does walking work?

The cycle of walking requires two phases, which are referred to as the “gait.” The first phase of the gait is called the “stance,” whereupon the foot is on the ground. The second phase occurs when the foot swings from the ground.

This is called the “swing,” and it comprises 40% of the cycle. Walking requires a coordinated effort of the brain, the hips, the knees, and the feet. By stretching the hips, knees, and feet often, you can walk better and walk longer without placing too much pressure on any single area of your body.

Why is walking important?

Taking at least one walk a day can have a tremendous effect on overall health and wellbeing. Thirty minutes of walking each day can significantly improve cardiovascular fitness while strengthening bones, tightening muscles, and increasing energy.

Walking benefits mental health by:

  • Increasing self-esteem
  • Brightening mood
  • Radically reducing stress and anxiety
  • Decreasing fatigue

Walking benefits physical health by:

How much should you walk to achieve these benefits?

Walking 10,000 steps a day is considered ideal by many experts, and while that seems like a lot, it certainly doesn’t have to happen all at once. To reach this goal, you might consider walking to nearby places more often rather than driving.

Another consideration is to walk to the grocery store once a week or walk to work more often. For those of you who aren’t counting steps with your watch or an app on your phone, 30 minutes of walking a day or at least 150 minutes of walking a week is considered enough to reap the benefits of walking without overdoing it.

How to make walking more interesting?

If you need a little more motivation for your walks, you’re not alone. In this busy society of ours, it’s become harder and harder to step away from our work and obligations to find time to walk in peace. For many, the joy of walking is hampered by the stresses of everyday life. To make walking a little more enjoyable, there are a few things you can try:

  • Mixing up where you walk: If you’re a mall walker, maybe it’s time to try taking a hike through nature. And if you’re a nature junkie, you might find it interesting to take a trek through the city. Fortunately for us here in Williamson County, there are a plethora of sites to see, from the big city to the rivers and walking paths. More on those below!
  • Walking with a dog: A dog’s got to walk, and their enthusiasm for walking is undoubtedly inspiring. Most dogs love to walk fast and walk as long as possible. You’ll be able to count on your dog to keep going as long as you do, and your dog might even get you running! Did you know there are dog parks in Williamson County? Now you do!
  • Wear a pedometer and challenge yourself: By wearing a pedometer, you can easily track how many steps you are taking, then challenge yourself to increase that amount each day. Choose a healthy reward for yourself or plan a special night of pure relaxation for the end of the week after you have reached your goal.
  • Join (or start) a walking club: Accountability partners can make all the difference in reaching your health and fitness goals and sticking with them for the long-term. If you don’t have a friend to go on walks with, you might consider finding a walking group near you, or better yet, starting one with a few neighbors and friends.

Tips for Walking Safely

Three factors to consider to walk safely are: what shoes you wear, the safety precautions you take, and how you prepare for and cool down from a walk.

#1 – Walking Shoes

Walking shoes come in all different kinds of colors and styles, but there are a few primary components that go into making a shoe ideal for walking. First, pick a shoe that provides ample arch and heel support.

Next, choose a size that offers a little room in the toe area, so that your feet aren’t scrunched up against the shoe as you move. Be sure to pick a pair that offers cushioning in the midsoles, as this portion of our feet tends to strike the ground with the most force. And finally, look for shoes that provide good traction to avoid slipping no matter which surface you walk on.

#2 – Safety Precautions

Personal safety is extremely important while walking in public areas, especially when out in nature where you think nobody else is around. For starters, it’s crucial to stay alert and aware of your surroundings. If you absolutely must walk with headphones in, keep the volume low and only use one earbud.

The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office offers self-defense classes, and in addition to taking classes, it’s wise to carry at least one self-defense tool, such as mace. Be sure to keep your phone charged at all times, and let someone know where you’re going as an added precaution.

#3 – Warming Up and Cooling Down

Before heading out on your walk, it’s best to warm up with soft exercises such as lunges and squats, jumping jacks, or arm circles. This will help to get the blood flowing and prevent any injuries. While you might think that stretching beforehand is the way to go, research suggests that it’s best to save the stretches for after the walk is finished.

Stretching before a walk loosens up muscles and tendons, making them more prone to injury. Stretching after a walk, however, is known to improve flexibility and expedite post-workout recovery.

Where are some great places to walk in Williamson County?

Parks, rivers, and paths galore! Williamson County has no shortage of places to explore. If you’re looking for a walking path, check out one of Williamson County’s beautiful nature parks, such as the Lake Park Trails in Hutto or the Veteran Memorial Park in Cedar Park.

If you would prefer to venture off the beaten path, you can find a map of trails nearby on TrailLink. No matter where you go, no two walks are ever the same!

 

The Amazing Grapefruit

19 Grapefruit Tips WilcoWellness

Nineteen Ways Using Grapefruit Can Transform Your Health

And Home

Grapefruit is a stunningly colored citrus fruit grown in subtropical climates with a sweet and tart taste. First documented in Barbados in 1750, the grapefruit has often been referred to as the forbidden fruit.

As delectable as they are, grapefruits have 50% more citric acid than oranges. For that reason, they are also known for making those who eat them grimace with the sour sensation they provide.

Even if their bitter taste isn’t your jam, regularly eating grapefruit is mighty beneficial for your body, and thanks to its antimicrobial properties, it also makes for an incredibly eco-friendly cleaning agent. And that’s just the start!

Ready to take the grapefruit challenge? See if you can incorporate each of these 19 grapefruit uses into your life for a healthier body and a sparkling home:

#1. Sheds Extra Weight

Eating just half a grapefruit before or after each meal may reduce insulin levels and encourages weight loss. A 12-week study led by Dr. Ken Fujioka found that participants who ate just half a grapefruit with each meal lost an average of 3.6 pounds.

#2. Lowers Cholesterol

Grapefruit consumption may lower cholesterol and may reduce the risk of heart diseases. In fact, incorporating grapefruit into your diet for just one month can reduce cholesterol by as much as 17%.

#3: Boosts the Immune System

Grapefruit packs a heavy dose of both vitamin A and vitamin C and helps close the gate to various illnesses.

#4: Helps Control Blood Pressure

High levels of potassium in grapefruit help reduce systolic blood pressure in patients up to four degrees. Many scientists consider grapefruit as the miracle fruit for lowering blood pressure, as it is so powerful that many patients choose to stop taking the pills and eat grapefruit instead.

#5: Creates A Youthful Glow

An antioxidant powerhouse, grapefruit may help reduce wrinkles when consumed or used topically. Grapefruit-enriched topicals improve pigmentation, discoloration, and dull complexion. Making detoxifying grapefruit topicals requires minimal ingredients too!

#6: Is a Delicious Tea

After enjoying the grapefruit’s insides, the peel itself can be brewed into a throat-soothing tea. The peel is especially dense with antioxidants, making this one of the best teas we can improve the immune system. Pick up an extra sparkle of taste by adding a little spoon full of honey from your local Bee Farmer at your local Farmers Market.

#7: Makes Cookware Sparkle

Pots and pans made of copper, brass, or aluminum can become dull over time. To make them shine like new, simply rub them with a halved grapefruit or grapefruit seed oil, then dry with a clean cloth for a glossy finish.

#8: Polishes Furniture

Both grapefruit seed oil or the combination of olive oil and grapefruit juice make for top-notch furniture polish, particularly for wooden pieces. Spray this sustainable mixture onto a surface and buff away.

#9: Regulates Digestion

Drinking grapefruit juice for breakfast or after meals may be an excellent way to kickstart the digestive system or assist with constipation. Grapefruit juice is also known to reduce inflammation, making it a simple solution for soothing irritable bowels.

#10: Promotes Radiant Skin

Exfoliate the skin with a halved grapefruit thoroughly and see a difference that glows. The burst of vitamin C helps nourish sun-damaged skin while increasing collagen production and improving overall skin tone.

#11: Prevents Hair Loss

Washing your hair with antioxidant-rich grapefruit juice twice a week enables hair regrowth and fights bacteria that causes dandruff. Additionally, massaging the scalp with grapefruit seed oil gives dull hair a lustrous sheen that is super soft to the touch.

#12: Repels Pests

A little-known fact about insects is that they commonly despise citrusy scents. Rather than introducing harmful chemicals into the home, place dried grapefruit peels by walls, in cracks, or anywhere that ants or other pests make their appearances.

#13: Assists with Diabetes

Grapefruit boasts a low glycemic index of about 25, compared to high GI foods such as white bagels (72) or even a banana (48). Consuming just one half of a grapefruit drastically reduces insulin levels in the bloodstream.

#14: Heals Wounds

Applying grapefruit juice cuts, scrapes, and even post-surgical wounds are said to promote healthy scar tissue and blood vessels, thanks to all that vitamin C again.

#15: Prevents and Slows Cancer

Certain studies show that the high citric acid levels in grapefruit reduce inflammation and stop cancer cells from multiplying and spreading. The cancer-fighting properties of grapefruit are especially helpful with fighting prostate and pancreatic cancer.

#16: Improves Eyesight

We’ve learned by now that grapefruit is a great source of vitamin A, even more so than oranges. In fact, one helping of grapefruit contains 28% of the recommended value for daily vitamin A consumption. But grapefruit also hosts a heavy dose of beta carotene, which combines with vitamin A to improve eyesight.

#17: Detoxes the Liver

Grapefruit is one of the main ingredients used in many detoxes. The fruit’s antioxidants and phytonutrients play a major role in cleansing the liver and fighting against liver disease.

#18: Decreases the chance of Kidney Stones

Drinking half a glass of grapefruit juice every day may reduce the risk of developing kidney stones by increasing hydrating and stimulating urination. Drinking grapefruit juice is so effective that it is considered one of the best treatment options for preventing and eliminating kidney cysts.

#19: Safely Cleans Pet Toys and Cages and Cleanses Wounds

Next to vinegar, the grapefruit seed oil is widely considered the safest cleaning agent for any product that a pet (or, for that matter, a baby) comes in close contact with. So much so that it is preferred in the avian community to clean and treat open wounds without the risk of poisoning the animal with toxic chemicals.

When confronted with health issues, kitchen messes, and beauty blunders, there is just one doctor we can always turn to for an eco-friendly, toxin-free solution: Mother Earth.

Before opting for expensive medicines with questionable ingredients, it’s best to seek out natural remedies in the form of plant medicines, such as grapefruit. This wondrous fruit heals the body while boosting the immune system and is available locally. Find it fresh and take a delicious step towards a healthier life.


Preparing Your Adolescents for the Dentist Visit: 5 Great Tips

dental-tips-for-kids WilcoWellness

Truth be told, some kids won’t crack a grin because they’re embarrassed about their teeth

Why? Many parents may not be able to afford to take their children to the Dentist, where they learn proper dental hygiene care.

Thankfully, it’s National Give Kids a Smile Month this February, and we’re ‘flossin’ about it with information on how to give kiddos a big smile (at an affordable rate). Read this blog for ADA’s history, what happens during the visit, and tips on getting anxious kiddo that bright smile.

Brush up on the American Dental Association (ADA), who started it all.

Thankfully, the American Dental Association (ADA) reminds us that February 7th is National Give Kids A Smile Day each year. Events are launched across the country to target children who cannot receive appropriate dental care, no matter what the reason.

These magnificent events have served more than 5.5 million underserved children who have received free oral health services from approximately 7,000 volunteer dentists and 30,000 dental team members. Learn more about the History of Giving Kids A Smile.

Why is it essential to go to the Dentist?

Regular dental appointments are essential to keep teeth and gums happy and healthy. Every six months, you should be visiting your Dentist to avoid mouth issues like gingivitis and cavities.

What happens during a dental visit?

Expect two parts to occur during your visit – the cleaning and examination. First, kiss plaque and tartar build-up good-bye as the teeth receive polish and shine. After the patient is clean, the Dentist proceeds to check all areas (including those in question) in the mouth. An x-ray may occur to get a closer look.

 A quick lesson on proper care of the mouth and gums and the patient is out the door! Easy-peasy! Also, did we mention the new toothbrush and paste? Honestly, my favorite part! So fresh, so clean.

Anxious kiddo? Here are a few tips to help!

Do you have a child that is kicking and screaming, hiding, and colliding their way out of visiting the Dentist’s chair today? Don’t fret! Here are 10 do’s and don’ts to help you out:

The Dos of Dentistry:

#1 Do Start them young. American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) suggests taking your child to the Dentist as soon as their first tooth appears and no later than their first birthday. Taking them early will not only be good for their dental health, but it will familiarize them with the new atmosphere for many visits to come.

#2 Do read dental-themed storybooks. Check out these themed books to toss unnecessary fear out. Your child will be so excited to see the illustrations, hear (or read) the words to get a better idea of what Dr. Toothbrush is all about!

#3 Do communicate efficiently. Give your child some time before their dentist appointment to prepare mentally. Talk about the details of the meeting and answer any questions that they may have. Avoid any negative words like “hurt” or “shot.” The staff will know words to use to explain any upcoming dental procedures. It’s essential for parents to positively prepare their child before the Dentist for a smooth visit.

#4 Do dress-up time for active role-play. Use a kitchen chair to mock a dentists’ chair and a towel to cover the child like a hygienist’s drape. Perhaps tie some yarn to a plastic spoon to imitate the cleaning tools. Get a bowl for the ‘rinse and spit.’ Your child will feel confident after playing pretend Dentists. Let your imagination soar!

#5 Do make the Dentist proud. It’s essential to teach your child the importance of oral care — set expectations for what healthy and happy teeth look like. You may even consider having your child practice brushing their teeth to make the Dentist proud. A beautiful smile will be rewarded with praise and maybe even a sticker!

Top 5 Dental Don’ts:

# 1 Don’t fast before the appointment. Food immediately before visiting the Dentist can be chewy, sticky, and intense. However, you do not want your child to be scared, anxious, and hungry at their appointment. Consider eating a protein-filled meal about or at least an hour before hitting the road for their meeting.

#2 Don’t go if your child is sick. Whether it’s a simple cold or you have a clue about Covid-19, you should cancel your appointment. Not only will the dental appointment be uncomfortable and unpleasant, but spreading sickness (especially in pandemic times) is not cool and puts the Dentist and staff at risk. Reschedule your appointment if your immune system is running low.

#3: Don’t whiten your child’s teeth. You haven’t “seen it all” until you’ve “seen it all.” It might sound silly to make such a recommendation, but do not whiten your child’s teeth before their appointment. Not only do at-home whitening process kits fail to work as intended, but they make your teeth more sensitive – which means you might be very uncomfortable during the meeting. If you would like to brighten your child’s smile, ask your Dentist about the treatments they might recommend during their appointment.

#4: Don’t lie about your child’s oral hygiene. It can be embarrassing to admit to slacking on the upkeep of your child’s oral hygiene, but a big white lie will not help anyone – especially the child. It would help if you did not let that get in the way of being honest with your Dentist. They need to know that critical information to perform the best cleaning possible and make additional recommendations. Be honest about what actions you are (and are not) taking, issues you’re facing, or any pain.

#5 Don’t panic! Remember, the Dentist is there to help you, not judge you (or hurt you). If anything makes you feel uncomfortable, you can let them know and try their best to understand and advise. No one is perfect! So do not feel ashamed about issues you might be facing. Your Dentist is there to listen and help guide you in the best direction for your overall dental health. If you do have a negative experience with a dentist, you can always try another facility.

 

Helpful links to prepare you for your visit:

If your child still is not reacting to the tips above, you may want to consider alternatives like sedation or therapy. Each party will need to prepare for the appointment, inform the Dentist about the specific concerns for smooth sailing.

No one likes to go to the Dentist, but everyone loves a beautiful, healthy smile.

Brake the Diet Mentality by Understanding Intuitive Eating

Intuitive Dieting WilcoWellness

Facing The Challenges Of Intuitive Eating With

Interoceptive Awareness

Crash dieting rarely leads to successful weight loss, and when it does, it’s rare that the results last. Instead, crash dieting creates a mean cycle of shedding weight, then packing it on, exhausting the body with a pattern, and binging and starving the body of the calories it needs to thrive.

With regards to healthy eating, two of the biggest questions we should be asking ourselves are these: how did we become so out-of-touch with our bodies? And when was the last time we listened to what our bodies are telling us? A healthy life begins with a healthy diet, and a healthy diet is one that consistently feeds the body with what nutrients the body is asking for.

What Is Interoceptive Awareness?

Long before fast food and modern medicine came along, humans were more clued-in on the dietary needs of the body. Believe it or not, it’s possible to sense when the body needs protein as opposed to carbohydrates or when one area of the body is the cause for pain felt in every limb.

The body does not lie; however, our perceptions of the body’s requests can be easily misinterpreted. For example, if you find yourself constantly craving chocolate and sugary treats, your body may actually be requesting magnesium or more sleep. Just as well, your body may be signaling that it is mineral deficient or that there is a blood sugar imbalance.

The practice of interoceptive awareness helps people to properly perceive and interpret the various sensations of the body, both physical and emotional. The practice is often taught by therapists who work with their patients to focus attention on one area of the body at a time and thereby understand its triggers and signals.

How Does Interoceptive Awareness Relate To Intuitive Eating?

Interoceptive awareness can help practitioners focus attention on many ailments that require listening to the body, such as diabetes, anxiety disorders, and chronic pain disorders. Intuitive eating, on the other hand, utilizes Interoceptive Awareness to interpret which nutrients the body is specifically asking for.

Unlike crash dieting, intuitive eating actually gives you the freedom to eat whatever you feel your body needs without having to overthink what you can or cannot have in order to lose weight. Whereas Interoceptive Awareness helps practitioners follow the inner trails of their pain, Intuitive Eating honors the body as its own best guide to better health, rather than some crash diet designed by a complete stranger.

How Exactly Is Intuitive Eating Healthier Than Crash Dieting?

  • Crash diets make the body feel deprived by limiting the nutrients it needs. You might be surprised to learn that a little bit of sugar is actually good for the body, and the same goes for carbohydrates- both of which are the most common pieces eliminated from crash diets.
  • Intuitive eating returns power to the practitioner by allowing them to eat without restricting any particular food group when it’s needed. This helps people feel emotionally and physically satisfied as it reduces the likelihood that a diet will be broken with emotional eating.
  • The severe nutritional deficits created by crash dieting may promote very short-term weight loss. However, crash dieters become lethargic as the body fails to receive the caloric energy it needs. Intuitive eating boosts energy without abusing the body.

What Are The Guidelines Of Intuitive Eating?

In 1995, Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch coined the term “Intuitive Eating.” The term’s origins reach much further back to previous concepts, though. The practice is centered upon the idea that thoughtful eating habits maintain a healthy lifestyle. The 10 basic guidelines to intuitive eating as outlined in their book, Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works, are as follows:

  • Crush the Diet Mentality
  • Respect Your Hunger
  • Make Peace With Food
  • Challenge The Food Police
  • Respect Your Fullness
  • Discover The Satisfaction Factor
  • Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food
  • Respect Your Body
  • Exercise And Feel The Difference
  • Honor Your Health With Gentle Nutrition

Easier Said Than Done, Right?

When converting to an Intuitive Eating lifestyle, there will be many ups and downs at first, but with time, you will develop more faith in your ability to listen to your body and respond to its needs. Some of the main challenges associated with Intuitive Eating include:

  • Thinking about food all the time. If you are encountering this issue regularly and aren’t sure why, it’s worth it to talk it out with one of the many incredible Nutrition Specialists located in Wilco, who can assist you with understanding your emotional eating triggers. Once you find those triggers, you will be able to incorporate non-eating solutions to working through emotions, such as exercising or journaling.
  • Lacking confidence and body shaming. We are experiencing a self-esteem crisis in the United States, an issue that is positively correlated with anxiety and depression. Intuitive Eating trains practitioners to listen to the body and respect it as the temple that it is. The practice reveals the power of the body to show you exactly what changes can be made to bring greater happiness and health to your life.
  • Lost interest in food at all. It’s an effect of intuitive eating that can be alarming at first, as practitioners may worry that they aren’t thinking about the body’s nutritional needs enough. In reality, this is an effect of Intuitive Eating that tells the practitioner they are learning to use food as an energy source rather than an emotional band-aid.

Breaking The Diet Mentality For A Better You

The beauty of mastering Intuitive Eating through Interoceptive Awareness is that it gives practitioners their life back and shows them what foods they should shop for to improve their unique body’s wellness.

By breaking the diet mentality, practitioners learn to distinguish between emotional needs and nutritional needs and to stop letting food distract them from living their lives.

Plan ahead for February 13th- Galentine’s Day!

Galentine's Day WilcoWellness

Happy Galentine’s Day! This Day, Like All Others, is a Day to Celebrate YOU

Galentine’s Day is one of the most special days of the year and arguably even more special than Valentine’s Day. Want to know why? Because it is the Day that all gals, single or taken, are encouraged to celebrate their individuality without the tag of a spouse or a partner. To celebrate themselves for simply being the strong, fabulous, and unique Gals they are.

Women of the world certainly never needed a day to celebrate simply being, but far and wide, women have a way of putting others first, and all too often only reserving time for self-love when there’s a reason for it. Well, Gals: this Day is your reason. And if you’re still not convinced, rest assured that Wilco, Texas intends to celebrate you.

Here are ten great ideas for how to celebrate Galentine’s Day this year:

#1 – Take a yoga class.

There are a number of outstanding Yoga studios in Wilco where women thrive. Yoga is one of the most refreshing ways to celebrate the total connectivity of your mind, body, and spirit. The practice teaches you to tune your breath and heighten your self-awareness while releasing negativity and strengthening the body and its coordination. Get dressed to sweat and check out Om Sweet Om Yoga Ranch in Liberty Hill or Hotworx in Cedar Park to detoxify your body and add balance to your life.

#2 – Enjoy a healthy wine party with your girlfriends.

 A glass (or two) of wine, a beautiful sunset, and a cozy patio where you and your Gals gather around for a laugh? It doesn’t get much better than that. Here’s an idea: spend a morning shopping for locally grown organic food from farmer’s markets in Wilco. Later, invite everyone together to transform the dinner table with favorite healthy recipes and home-baked delicacies. Oh yeah, and don’t forget the wine! Scout and Cellar is your go-to for wine, organic candles, chocolate, and everything else you’ll need for your delectable Galantine’s Day party.

#3 – Hit the spa or splurge on a massage.

Need we say more? Few things are more relaxing than a personal message or spa day with your sisters, daughters, and girlfriends. Sure, it’s a luxury, but YOU are your most valuable asset. Whereas cars need to be washed and pets need to be bathed, you need to be pampered. So, if you must, you can think of it as…routine maintenance. Go ahead, treat yourself! We recommend Family Wellness in Round Rock for a deep tissue therapeutic massage or cupping therapy.

#4 – Or, make your own spa day at home.

Sometimes all you need is a day to relax apart from the rest of the world. Galentine’s Day is for those who love spending time with their girlfriends just as much as it is for those who don’t want to be bothered by anyone or anything at all. If that sounds like you, stop by the apothecary at Sanctuary Holistic Kitchen for essential oils and essential oil candles, or a bath bomb, then leave your worries behind with a healing cup of hot tea at home.

#5 – Try acupuncture for energy healing.

Acupuncture is truly one of those things that you can’t fully appreciate until you try it, but for those who are skeptical, let us assure you that it is worth every single poke. This traditional Chinese medicine has been used for more than 2,500 years to relieve chronic pain, arthritis, anxiety, insomnia, depression, and even obesity, and works by correcting energy imbalances in the body. Liberty Hill Wellness Center offers Acupuncture along with herbal consultations that focus on guiding patients closer to their health and wellness goals through holistic healing. If you’re the kind of gal who embraces adventure, acupuncture is a soothing thrill to cross off the bucket list.

#6 – Eat your heart out.

Here’s a little-known fact about Wilco: it’s a chocolate lover’s paradise. We’re not talking about highly processed, sugar-laden chocolate that will make you feel sick for days. We’re talking about ground cacao beans rolled into pure chocolatey goodness, just like what you will find at Srsly Chocolate in Taylor.

#7 – Spend a day in nature.

Speaking of paradises, Williamson County is teeming with nature parks and sights to see in the great outdoors, from the Lake Park Trails in Hutto to swimming and fishing in Granger. Celebrate your mind, body, and spirit’s connection to nature by taking a day trip on Galentine’s Day with yourself or some girlfriends. Everyone will benefit from a burst of vitamin D and decreased levels of anxiety while simultaneously giving the immune system a boost and falling back in love with the beauty of Mother Earth. Galantine’s Day is her Day too!

Galentine’s Day was officially coined by Amy Poehler’s character on Parks and Recreation, Leslie Knope. In Knope’s words, “Every February 13, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies are celebrating, ladies.” For these ladies, this Gals-only holiday is as simple as a breakfast tradition. See? You don’t have to do anything crazy to celebrate.

What’s most important is that you celebrate in whichever way brings YOU the most joy.

 
 

7 Successful Intermittent Fasting Benefits Everyone Should Know

Intermittent Fasting WilcoWellness

 

Happy February! It’s National Fasting February Month!

which is an entire month dedicated to goals associated with transforming health resolutions into healthy habits and lifestyles. In this month, we’re celebrating the benefits of intermittent fasting and its effects on metabolic and overall health. Let’s get started!

Fitness gurus always seem to always be raving about intermittent fasting as one of the world’s most popular health and fitness trends, and with good reason. People who fast this way use it for weight loss, improve overall health, and simplify their lifestyle. Studies Reports by Science Direct, suggest that intermittent fasting has powerful effects on the brain and body, including living a longer life.

Please continue to read to learn more about intermittent fasting and its benefits.

What is Intermittent Fasting (IF)?

When a person eats in cycles between patterns of eating and fasting, known as Intermittent fasting (IF). It’s not what foods you eat; it’s when you eat them. In this respect, IF is not a diet in the conventional sense but more of an eating pattern. Some of the most common IF cycles are 16-hour and 24-hour fasts, two times a week. Fasting is becoming a popular practice due to its overall health benefits.

Fasting is not a new trend or a fad diet. It’s been around throughout human evolution. In fact, ancient human gathers couldn’t go to the local Piggly Wiggly and stock their fridges. Food wasn’t available year-round, meaning sometimes they couldn’t find something to eat.

Due to evolution, humans are able to function without food for longer periods of time. In fact, eating 3-4 (or more) meals per day is more unnatural than fasting.

What are some Intermittent Fasting Methods?

If you search the internet, you will find several different ways of doing intermittent fasting – all of which involve splitting up your day into eating and fasting periods. During the fasting time zones, you eat nothing at all or very little. Some of the most popular methods are:

  • The 5:2 diet: Consumer 500-600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week, but normally eat the other five days.
  • Eat-Stop-Eat: Once or twice a week, fast for 24 hours. For example, don’t eat breakfast one day until breakfast the next day.
  • The 16/8 method: Also known as the Leangains protocol, this method involves skipping breakfast and restricting meals to an 8-hour window, such as 12-8 pm. Then you proceed to fast for 16 hours in between.

What is the most popular intermittent fasting method?

People tend to find the 16/8 the easiest and most functional intermittent fasting method. This method is sustainable and doesn’t disrupt everyday life (too much).

Pro-tip: Don’t eat more during your ‘eating” periods. All of these methods should result in weight loss should there be a reduction in daily caloric intake.

How does IF affect cells and hormones?

There are several things that happen to your body, on a cellular and molecular level, when you fast—for example, adjustments to hormone levels. The body will adjust hormones to make it easier to use stored body fat for burning calories.

An essential cellular repair process is initiated by the cells and will change the expression of your genes.

Some changes within your body:

  • Gene expression: Gene functions change in relation to longevity and protection against particular diseases.
  • Cellular repair: When you’re fasting, the cells in the body initiate a cellular repair process. Including autophagy, where cells will digest and remove old and dysfunctional proteins that build up inside cells. (Source)
  • Insulin: Fast improves insulin sensitivity, and insulin levels tend to drop dramatically. Lower levels of stored insulin help make body fat more accessible.
  • Human Growth Hormone (HGH): Levels of HGH will soar, increasing nearly as much as 5-fold. This benefits the person looking to gain muscle and lose fat. (Source)

The health benefits of intermittent fasting lie within these changes in hormone levels, gene expression, and cell function.

What are the health benefits of intermittent fasting?

It’s crystal clear that intermittent fasting in humans and animals has its benefits. Several studies show it can have powerful benefits like weight loss and better the health of the brain and body. It quite possibly can help you live longer.

Some of the main benefits of intermittent fasting include:

#1 Brain Boost: Due to IF, the brain hormone BDNF will increase and help with the growth of new nerve cells. It may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease. (Additional sources, sources)

#2 Here’s to Heart Health: Intermittent fasting may help reduce heart-related health issues like high blood pressure and high cholesterol. (Source)

A few other risks to consider are:

  • Bad LDL cholesterol
  • Blood triglycerides
  • Inflammatory markers
  • Blood sugar
  • Insulin resistance 

#3 Inflammation: Inflammation is a key driver in many chronic diseases. Some studies suggest that IF will lower the markers of inflammation.

#4 Insulin resistance: Reduce insulin resistance, lower blood sugar, and protect against type 2 diabetes.

#5 Weight loss: As stated above, Intermittent Fasting can help reduce belly fat and lose weight without the need to reduce calories.

Note that intermittent fasting is not always meant for everyone. If you have a history of eating disorders or are underweight, you should not start IF without consulting a doctor first. In these cases, intermittent fasting can be harmful.

What are the side effects of intermittent fasting?

The main side effect of intermittent fasting is the feeling of being hungry. Also, you may feel weak, and your brain might not perform as you’d prefer. This may all be temporary, as it takes your body a bit of time to adapt to the new eating schedule.

If you have a medical condition, we highly recommend consulting with a doctor before starting this fasting methodology. More in particular if you:

  • Are underweight
  • Have low blood pressure
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding
  • History of amenorrhea
  • Attempting to conceive
  • History of eating disorders
  • Take medications
  • Have issues with the regulation of blood sugar

With that being said, intermittent fasting can be safe. If you are overall healthy and well-nourished, intermittent fasting should not be dangerous for you to choose.

Live a Healthy, yet Simple Lifestyle

We understand that eating healthy can be simple but yet a challenge. A majority of people may start a diet as quickly as they end it. This may happen because of all the work that goes into preparing, cooking, and cleaning up. And of course, nobody likes doing dishes!

With intermittent fasting, you don’t need to prepare meals, spend hours cooking, or clean up afterward. For this reason, intermittent fasting is well-known as a life-hack and quite popular. People love the health benefits such as weight loss and a boost in brain function. All in all, it’s helps keep things simple while amping up your overall health and well-being.