Lukert Chiropractic and Wellness offers the latest in nutrition counseling and expert wellness coaching from trained professionals.
Good health begins with taking care of our bodies and eating right. Foods with high nutritional content, coupled with appropriate portion sizes, provide the fuel we need to keep our energy high and our weight under control. When looking to optimize diet to meet the demands of athletic performance or just searching for a way to drop a few pounds, at Lukert Chiropractic & Wellness, we help patients find the right nutritional balance every day.
Dr. Lukert earned the prestigious status of Certified Chiropractic Wellness Lifestyle Practitioner (CCWP), one of a select group of doctors of chiropractic to successfully complete this comprehensive postgraduate educational program. This certification offers an extensive post-graduate curriculum of pertinent wellness lifestyle science and clinical research, patient care approaches and methods to maximize the clinical effectiveness of chiropractic care in the wellness paradigm. This program includes evidence-based information in nutrition and natural health, wellness-directed physical fitness and spinal hygiene, and state of mind and emotional health, as well as effective insights for generating and supporting wellness lifestyle changes. Doctors also learn advanced approaches to patient wellness assessment, clinical case management strategies for optimal wellness, and recent research findings on clinically relevant lifestyle choices.
Standard of Wellness participants undergo a structured program that includes testing, accountability milestones, and coaching sessions, tailored to meet the specific needs of the individual. A typical program will include
- Initial Consult
- Initial Evaluation
(includes BMI explanation, Body Composition and Print-Out)
- Pre- and Post-HRA Reporting
- Coaching Sessions
- Omegas and Catalyn
Eat Well, Move Well, Think Well®
Dr. Brett Lukert
Part 1 – Eat Well
Teaching people how to eat well, move well, and think well is one of the areas of health and wellness that I enjoy the most. These lifestyle recommendations are evidence based, and when people start implementing them into their lives and embracing this mentality for health, their outcomes are much more successful.
It is not only very gratifying when people start to “get it,” but it also makes me very thankful to be in the health profession. This month, we begin a three-part series discussing the importance and necessity of eating well, moving well and thinking well.
Eating well is not to be confused with eating abundantly. Eating well means eating clean, whole foods that are congruent with what our bodies genetically require for optimal health. It also means “cleaning out” the unhealthy food options, primarily the refined grains, added sugars, extra sodium, and unhealthy fats that are incongruent with optimal health.
Clean foods that we need to include regularly in our diet include whole foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Vegetables are loaded with vitamins, phytonutrients, heart-healthy fiber and antioxidants.
Since they are very nutrient rich and calorie deficient, we can consume as much of these as we want without affecting our waistlines. Whole grains (unlike refined grains) are not processed or stripped of their beneficial nutrients. Some of these grains include quinoa, steel cut oats and brown rice. Whole fruits are often nicknamed “nature’s candy” because they are naturally sweet and delicious. They are a much cleaner alternative for the traditional desserts that are often overconsumed.
Unclean foods that we need to minimize include processed foods, fast foods, junk foods and refined grains. In reality, these “foods” shouldn’t even be considered foods because of their toxic content and minimal nutritional value.
Processed foods and fast foods are full of sodium, sugar, and saturated fat and need to be avoided whenever possible. Junk foods, specifically candy, pop, and packaged baked goods, contain an abundance of sugar and artificial sweeteners, which cause inflammation in the body. Refined grains are stripped of their beneficial nutrients during processing. These include white flour, white rice and white pasta. All of the foods in this group are calorie rich and nutrient deficient. They are very “unclean” and should be avoided.
We recently conducted a six-week study in our office that focused specifically on educating, encouraging, and coaching patients to eat clean.
In an effort to simplify the study and to demonstrate the significance of nutrition, we did not include any fitness or other lifestyle changes during these six weeks. We simply asked them to commit to the clean eating recommendations that were discussed here.
Measurements of their weight, blood pressure, resting heart rate, cholesterol, triglycerides, HDLs, LDLs and body composition were taken before and after the study.
After just six weeks, the improvement was already significant. People lost an average of 10 pounds, blood pressure improved on average from 129/81 to 117/74, cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL’s were all lowered, and body composition was reduced more than 3 percent. This was all in six weeks — without addressing any other lifestyle variables other than nutrition.
You can imagine the outcomes that result when people start including consistent purposeful exercise and positive thinking in their lifestyles. This is what we will be discussing in the “move well” and “think well” segments the next few months. In the meantime, remember the food you eat at every meal is a choice… choose wisely!
Part 2 – Move Well
In part 1 of Eat Well, Move Well, Think Well, we discussed the importance and benefits of clean eating and the necessity of eating whole foods congruent with what our bodies require for optimal health. We also discussed the results of a recently conducted 6-week study in our practice that demonstrated the importance of nutrition. This study focused specifically on educating and coaching patients how to eat clean. In an effort to minimize the effects of other lifestyle variables, it did not include any fitness or other lifestyle changes. A commitment to clean eating (whole foods, fruits, vegetables, lean meats, nuts etc.) for 6 weeks was all that was asked. Avoiding toxic foods in the form of fast food, junk food, and processed foods was also required. Measurements of their weight, blood pressure, resting heart rate, cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL’s, LDL’s and body composition were taken pre and post.
After just 6 weeks, people lost an average of 10 pounds, blood pressure improved on average from 129/81 to 117/74, cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL’s were lowered, and body composition was reduced over 3%! This was without addressing any other lifestyle variables other than nutrition. You can imagine the outcomes that result when we start including consistent exercise and positive thinking in our lifestyles! The importance of moving well and the benefits of purposeful exercise is the emphasis for part 2.
Our bodies are designed to move and mobility is the key to longevity. This is a challenge with all of the conveniences that our technology-driven society offers today. We don’t have to move any more. We can basically accomplish all that we need to by sitting in front of our computer, television, or smart phone. We pay a price for this inactivity however, and that price is our health. Here is the deal…we are meant to MOVE, not sit, and because of these postural deficiencies and inactive lifestyle choices, we are seeing our health decline.
One of the big sources of our health problems is self-deception. At some point, we have to look at ourselves in the mirror and say “no more lies!” Walking is important, necessary, and required for optimal health, and if we don’t believe this, we won’t do it. We also have to understand the consequences of skipping our walks or exercise sessions. If we never learn that the pain of not walking is greater than the pain of walking, we won’t do it. Going for a walk is literally a matter of life and death.
Exercise is dose responsive, meaning the higher the dose, the healthier we are. We need aerobic activity every day and there is no substitute for walking. We also need anaerobic exercise at least twice a week. This type of exercise includes high intensity training, interval training, and weight training. Ideally it requires enough physical exertion and “taxing” effort
that our heartrate is high enough to make us stop and rest. This is referred to as maximal effort and is necessary to get maximal expansion of our arteries. Many heart attacks come from the inability to do a lot of work, which is why we need to push and prepare our hearts through anaerobic exercise. Always consult your health care provider before initiating high intensity exercise to make sure your body is adequately conditioned. In general, once we can demonstrate walking proficiency, we can start jogging, and in general, when we can jog a mile, we can start including more anaerobic exercise.
The importance of mobility also pertains to healthy spinal hygiene. Sitting to the spine is equivalent to what smoking is to the lungs, and sugar is to the teeth. A healthy spine is mobile, and is designed to move without restriction. Joint restriction causes inflammation, and elicits a stressful neurological response that creates pain. Most people don’t get neck and back pain because we have “overdone” it. Usually, we have just “underdone” it for years and have gradually become deconditioned to the point where we are vulnerable to injury. Chiropractic restores normal range of motion to the joints, which decreases inflammation, and decreases the stressful response that we identify as pain. Good mobility also slows down the degenerative process as we age. Therefore, the better our joints move, the better our spines function, and healthier our bodies will be.
In part 3 of Eat Well, Move Well, and Think Well, we will wrap up this series by discussing the importance of positive thinking and how we develop healthy belief systems. Until then, go for a walk and keep “moving” in the right direction!
Part 3 – Think Well
When it comes to the lifestyle factors most associated with optimal health and being “well,” it’s easy to immediately think of nutrition and exercise. These two factors are what we discussed in part one and two of this series.
What we most likely don’t know is that the importance of “thinking well” is just as important. If we do not understand the value of our health, the power of positivity, or how to develop healthy belief systems, it is highly unlikely that we will make any other lifestyle changes in regards to nutrition and exercise. Learning how to “think well” and develop healthy belief systems provides a foundation on which other lifestyle changes can be built. This will be the topic for the final part of this series.
Our attitude is huge when it comes to our health. Do we expect to be healthy or do we expect to be sick? Are we positive or are we negative? Do we have an attitude of gratitude, and embrace a glass “half full” mentality, or are we cynical, condescending, and self-deprecating?
There are hundreds of studies to document the healing powers of laughter and optimism, and just as many to document the detrimental health effects of anger, self-pity and pessimism. No matter the situation, it is not only possible, but congruent to focus on positives. Negativity is never congruent with unconditional love or enriching the lives of those around us.
There are two main variables that determine our behavior. One is our knowledge, and two is our belief system. Of the two, our belief system will be more influential than our knowledge. For example, if someone is asked, “Which is healthier — an apple or a doughnut,” it is fair to say that 100 percent of people will know that the apple is healthier. But if we ask which one he or she is going to eat, most will say the doughnut. Why? Because even though we all know the apple is healthier, we don’t really believe that the doughnut will hurt us or believe that the apple will help us. If we did, we wouldn’t do it.
This is happening every day with the current belief systems many of us have. Our knowledge tells us about the benefits of regular exercise and the importance of healthy foods, but we are still choosing to be sedentary and to eat poorly. Again, the reason is we don’t really believe that the one lifestyle will lead to health and the other lifestyle will lead to sickness. Unfortunately, overwhelming evidence from a variety of sources, including epidemiological, prospective cohort and intervention studies, links most chronic diseases seen in the world today (including cancer, obesity, heart disease and diabetes) to physical inactivity and inappropriate diet consumption.
Personal change can be challenging, because — frequently — we attempt to change our behavior rather than the belief systems that are the root cause of our behavior. Trying to change the behavior without changing the belief system does not produce lasting change. This is why diets and many workouts do not produce long term results… they are behavior focused.
The behaviors we exhibit are always congruent with our belief systems, so the key to change rests in establishing healthy belief systems. Belief systems are chosen and can be changed. For instance, if we believe exercise is horrible, it is. If we believe exercise is wonderful, it is. If we believe eating toxic foods is enjoyable, it is. If we believe avoiding toxic foods is enjoyable, it is. If we believe thinking negative thoughts is “realistic,” it is, and if we believe thinking positive thoughts is “realistic,” it is. We have the power to choose, and if we want to create better health, better lives and a better world, we need to create better belief systems.
As we know, life is unpredictable, and regardless of whether we choose to be positive or negative, we are going to be exposed to adversity. The difference is the chosen reaction to it. Adversity does not build character; it reveals it. Our character is built by the internal dialogue we choose to interpret the events in our life, not simply by the events we experience.
For example, two people can be exposed to the exact same event such as a minor injury slipping on an icy sidewalk. One can come away feeling grateful that it wasn’t debilitating, and perhaps even blessed and empowered by the event, while the other can come away feeling unlucky, cursed and disempowered. Which outlook do you think will produce a better outcome?
Responsibility really means “response ability.” We have the ability to respond however we choose to a situation, and it can be healthy or unhealthy. With practice, we can all become very good at thinking depressing thoughts or thinking happy thoughts. Habits are created by repetitive stimulation of pathways and the formation of synapses. Whether the habit formed is healthy or not depends on the choices of the individual.
I hope you choose to eat well, move well and think well. Life is short. Health is valuable. Choose wisely and live purposely!