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Posts tagged ‘Healthy Tips’

We’re Ba-a-a-c-k-k-k…

sleeping-bear_5Dear Friends of Stony Creek Wellness:

Sorry for the long time since the last post. I was hibernating!

Actually, I was really missing my daughter Mariella’s help pushing me to get my blogs done! She has moved to the other coast to pursue graduate school in Speech Pathology, and hopes eventually to work with children and adults with autism. I am very proud of her and I will  just have to push myself harder to get my blogs done!

Well, though we’re still having night temperatures in the 40s in CT, it’s Memorial Day weekend, and we finally all can at least start thinking about fun, fun, fun in the sun.

 

We All Scream For Sunscreen

1 oz sunscreen

Unless you have a history of melanoma, vitiligo, or other contraindication, you should try to get at least 15 minutes of sun without protection between 11 and 3, to help raise your vitamin D level. Here is a link to more detailed information about vitamin D and sun exposure (important for vegans!):

http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400732/How-Much-Sun-Exposure-for-Vitamin-D.html

If you stay in the sun longer than that, you need to protect your skin not just from UVB rays that cause sunburn in the outermost layer of the skin, but from UVA rays, which penetrate deeper into the skin and increase WRINKLES AND PHOTO AGING as well as promoting increased skin cancer risk.

Most people don’t apply enough sunscreen, don’t apply it often enough, or use the wrong kind!You need to apply a shot-glass sized portion (1 ounce),  every 2 hours.

Use a 15 to 30 SPF sunscreen. Most sunscreens with ratings higher than 45 and above do NOT provide additional protection against UVA rays and may actually PROMOTE skin cancer if you think you can stay in the sun longer than 2 hours without another shot! Also remember many of the claims “waterproof” and sweat-proof” are unreliable. Just reapply!

As you know, I believe it’s prudent to avoid unnecessary toxins. Here are two ingredients in sunscreen you may choose to avoid:

  • Oxybenzone: It’s a hormone imitator. It acts like estrogen. Men, need I say more? You don’t need it and you can find many sunscreens without it.
  • Retinyl palmitate: A vitamin A analog. OK to use at night for wrinkles, but in a sunscreen it could ACCELERATE the development of skin cancer ! It has no proven additional benefit for skin cancer protection, so save it for your night cream.

Safe for you and for Jaws too!

baby shark

Human use of sunscreens may be damaging the delicate and vital ecology of our coral reefs.

http://www.ioseaturtles.org/headline_detail.php?id=871

In Mexico if you go snorkeling you can only use biodegradable sunscreens, such as those with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Here are some coral- and human-safe types:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dbeauty&field-keywords=coral%20reef%20safe%20sunscreens

Here is my go-to site for sunscreen info. While some might find the EWG too alarmist, you will get accurate information about the ingredients and you can make your choice.

http://www.ewg.org/2015sunscreen/ 

Have a ton of fun in the sun!!

custom-sand-imprint-flip-flops

Dr. Nolfo

We KNOW how to BURN FAT!!!!

We just got a great new tool here at Stony Creek Internal Medicine & Wellness: a state-of-the-art body composition analyzer! It is going to help us help our patients and wellness clients track their percentages of lean muscle mass, body fat and body water. It even differentiates upper vs. lower body muscle mass. This machine is no bigger than a bathroom scale, yet it super-charges our ability to help our patients formulate individual goals for health. You don’t even need to get undressed, just take off your socks and shoes and socks! Just today I used it to help a patient make a decision about whether to start testosterone. 

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Here are some things it can do:

1) It will help me tell me when some of my older patients lose or gain weight if it’s water loss or muscle they’ve lost. 

2) I can help my athletic patients with their goal of safely putting on more muscle.

3) Our Ideal Protein patients sometimes have a week with no weight loss, but body measurements and now percentage muscle mass will show progress in other and maybe even more important ways. 

Here’s a chart showing healthy body composition by age:

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Once we calculate your baseline, how can you increase lean mass and decrease fat?

There are many ways

Exercise can increase your muscle mass and it also causes the release of adrenaline, that will promote lipolysis (breakdown and metabolism of fat). A low carbohydrate, low fat diet that puts you in even mild ketosis will cause your body to use its stored fat as fuel. But you definitely need to have high quality protein on such a diet so your body doesn’t break down muscle for fuel.  That is how our Ideal Protein program improves body composition.

There aren’t really fat burning foods per se, but certain foods will promote fat burning (a little) and they WON’T HURT:

Caffeine can (transiently) accelerate metabolism. 

Green tea can help increase fat metabolism (a little) due to a compound called EGCG .

Hot peppers (jalapenos, etc.) contain capsinoids that may help metabolize fats (a little). 

Coconut oil has medium chain triglycerides that may enhance fat burning.

So while there may be no miracle fat burning foods that defy the laws of physics, adding the above might help! So:

This weekend hit up a farmer’s market for some local hot peppers.

http://www.localharvest.org/farmers-markets/

Live near my office in Branford CT and want exercise? Go to the Hammonasset Festival this weekend and see the Native American dancers! There’s usually audience participation.

Visit http://www.friendsofhammonasset.org/

Whatever you do, enjoy life this weekend!

Dr. Emily Nolfo

Weekly Inspirations: Engineer The Habit of Change

I was never a fan of New Year’s Eve resolutions.

Short, cold winter days are a tough time for me to get super-motivated. But in late September, when the weather starts to get cool at night, the sugar maple leaves start to turn crimson, and Macoun apples are at the farm stands, I feel inspired to clean up, clear out and make positive changes.

Maybe this is because it’s the time of year when the new school year starts. In New England, maybe it’s a helpful natural instinct that helps us rake up the leaves and get out the fall clothes. So, when we want to make a change, like losing summer pounds or quitting smoking  – what strategies can help us make the change happen and last?

I found a great blog on “engineering” successful change, by roadblocking the easy excuses and reducing the pain of the hard work you are trying to do. I’ll share some of it here, but it’s worth reading the whole of it. I am already using some of these strategies.  In my own life, I’m in the process of losing 10 pounds that sneaked up on me this year. I’m also trying to exercise more.

(See! I just used one of the Zen strategies: I  made my “goal” public, so I’ll have to let you know if I succeeded!)

Here is my favorite snippit From the blog ZenHabits:

“Engineer the habit change …Think of it from an engineer’s point of view: When negative feedback outweighs positive feedback, habit change fails. To make the habit change successful, positive feedback has to outweigh negative feedback. The solution: increase positive feedback and/or decrease negative feedback until the ratio favors the habit change. Think of it this way: if you want to take a certain path in the snow, put obstacles along all other paths so that it’s difficult to go anywhere but the path you want to take … and have the path you want to take shoveled, so that it’s easy to take that path. You can engineer your habit change so that it’s harder to quit than to do the habit. You have four options in your custom engineering solution. In each, I’ll give some ideas, but you’ll have to come up with ideas of your own to fit whatever habit you’re trying to change… 3. Increase negative feedback for not doing the habit. You want to make it hard not to do the habit. As hard as humanly possible. So to do that, you need to put all kinds of negative feedback on yourself for not doing the habit. Some ideas: If you join a forum or a real-world group or give people you know regular updates, or update your blog readers (see ideas in #1 above), you will face the embarrassment of having to tell people you didn’t do the challenge. Get a partner or coach or trainer, or your spouse, to make sure you do the habit, and to nag you if you don’t. If you’re trying to develop the reading habit, remove all other temptations. If you’re trying to exercise, get rid of the TV and Internet and make your house uncomfortable, until you do your exercise. Once you exercise, get your cable TV box or Internet modem back from your neighbor who was holding it for you. If you’re trying to quit smoking, tell your kids not to let you smoke. I’m sure you can think of many others — get creative!”

The homework assignment for all my followers out there is to read and absorb this entire article! I truly believe it puts in perspective perfectly the ways in which we can take control of our habits to help endure a healthy – and most importantly, happy, lifestyle.

As always, have a fabulous weekend!!! And stay tuned! We have lots of great things in the works for my readers, patients and clients….If you’d like to join our practice, click the “Get A Free Consultation” link above.

Remember: you DO NOT have to be from Connecticut to join our wellness program!

Thanks,

Dr. Emily Nolfo

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