Things That I Love

Stuff I Love ♥

Over the years, I have come across some products and tools that I have found really helpful and I want to share them with you. The books and podcasts I have found very educational and have led me to where my thought process is today. I have also listed some supplements to help with healing and products I use at home. Hopefully you will find them just as helpful.

Books

  • Mind Over Medicine by Lissa Rankin, M.D. – This was probably the first book I read that introduced me to the idea that healing is more than just taking a pill. I often recommend this book to my patients.  It includes worksheets to help you determine what could be hindering your healing. She talks about really looking at your life and being honest with yourself to determine what stressors are delaying your healing. A must read!

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book 3

 

  • You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hayes
    – This self-help book discusses how you can heal yourself using your own mental capacity based on how you look at a situation. The author states how she was able to cure herself from cancer in part by using the techniques from this book. Worth a read, it helps with changing your mindset and can help with overall well-being and healing.

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  • Move Your DNA by Katy Bowman- A book about how your body’s ailments may be caused by how you move. She asks the question if our DNA really predetermines our health as much as we think.  She talks about movement and lifestyle programs to improve in order to heal yourself.

book 2

 

book

 

  • How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy! by Paul Chek – This book begins with a quiz so can you assess your level of health in a variety of levels including what you eat, how you sleep, and how stressed you are. It then goes into how you can improve your health based on your diet, sleep patterns, stress, and movement.

paul chek

 

Podcasts

  • Balanced Bites – This podcast probably started me on my nutrition journey. The two women that host the podcast (Diane Sanfilippo and Liz Wolfe) are very knowledgeable and fun to listen to.

balanced bites

 

  • The Paleo Women Podcast – Similar to the above podcast but deals a little more with fertility, hormones, and PCOS. These 2 women that host (Stefani Ruper and Noelle Tarr) have entertaining banter, and they’re also knowledgeable about nutrition and exercise.

paleo women podcast

 

  • Fearless Rebelle Radio with Summer Innanen – Great podcast dealing with body image and body positivity. Includes some great exercises you can do to help change your mind-set and feel great about your body.

podcast summer

 

  • Katy Says with Katy Bowman – Katy is a biomechanist and discusses all about natural movements or as she calls it ‘nutritious movements’ vs. ‘junk movements.’ Also informative and gives you an excuse to play around and roll on the floor.

katy says

 

  • Move Forward Radio – This podcast is produced by the American Physical Therapy Association and features interviews from various physical therapist on different topics.

move forward

 

  • Only Human – This podcast is produced by WNYC and supported by Hospital for Special Surgery. Deals with interesting topics related to healthcare and current research going on today.

podcast only human

 

Supplements to Help with Healing and Overall Health

(Always consult your PCP first before adding supplementation to your diet)

Desiccated Liver Capsules
-Liver is absolutely a super-food, it contains vitamins A, B, essential fatty acids, and iron. If you like to eat cooked liver, I first recommend that, but if you are like me and can’t stand the taste of it, these are the next best things. Liver is one of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat.

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Vital Proteins Pasture-Raised, Grass-Fed Collagen Peptides
– This is a powder that you can mix in water. Collagen helps with so many things in your body, including healing of bones, joints, tendons, and cartilage. It’s great for your nails and hair health. Also, it helps with your digestion and healing leaky gut. Collagen is also in bone broth, which is another natural source of this nutrient.

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Vibrant Health – Field of Greens
– A good way to get your greens in everyday. This powder has every green you can think of. I have had it in just water or almond milk, but you can also add it to your smoothies.

green powder

 

Green Pasture’s Blue Ice Royal Butter Oil / Fermented Cod Liver Oil Blend
– Another way to get your vitamin A and D is with this. This is also a super-food. I got the Cinnamon Tingle flavor and I don’t think it tastes bad at all. Since I’ve been using this, I haven’t gotten sick! Also, my skin looks great.

cod liver oil

 

Other Products I Like

Moist Heating Pad Digital Electric
– This one is nice and big for your whole back and you can just plug it in. You can also automatically set the timer for how long you want it on for. Moist heat is great for muscle tightness, chronic injuries, and to promote blood flow. It can also help you relax.

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Thera Cane Massager
– As mentioned in another post, self-torture device…I mean self-massager. A way to get out some of those adhesions in muscles.

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Squatty Potty® Toilet Stool – Yes, I have one at home and it definitely helps you go. You may have to try to believe it. Squatting is considered a natural movement, and is the best biomechanical position in order to eliminate without added stress.  

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Disclaimer – I am an Amazon affiliate so all the links are through them. I personally love Amazon, but if you do not wish to purchase through them, of course you can purchase them anywhere.

 

 

 

 

11 Common Exercise Mistakes (that drive me crazy)

11 Common Exercise Mistakes (that drive me crazy)

1.) When stretching, make sure you are warm first. Don’t come into the gym when you are cold, and go straight into a static stretch. Your muscles aren’t warmed up yet and you could pull something. Work up a light sweat first, either by doing some light cardio or just trying to ‘lubricate’ your joints up with arm swings or hip swings. You can do your nice long stretches that you are holding at the end of your work-out.

cardio pic r

 

2.) Hamstring stretch – Don’t stretch with a stretchy strap! Stretchy straps such as thera-bands and other elastic bands are used to provide resistance in order to strengthen your muscles, not stretch. If you are stretching with the help of a strap, that is fine, but make sure it’s not working against you. It should be a material that doesn’t stretch too easily like a towel, belt, or dog leash. That way when you pull on it, it doesn’t serve as a counter force, but rather an extension of your hand.

stretch pic 1 revised  WRONG- Don’t use stretchy strap to stretch

hss 2 r CORRECT – Use a towel or strap for stretching

 

3.) Upper trap stretch – When stretching your neck, side-bend away from the side of the neck you want to stretch– just make sure you keep that shoulder down. Otherwise, you are not effectively stretching your neck muscles. It may help to use a strap or towel to keep your shoulder down if you are having difficulty with this, or use a mirror for visual feedback.

UT stretch 2 revised WRONG -Opposing shoulder is elevated

UT stretch 1 revised CORRECT -Keep the shoulder down

 

4.) Gastroc stretching on a stretch board – I always notice people leaning forward from their hips. You will get a better stretch if you keep your body in a straight line, so you are just hinging from your ankles, not your hips. Think of your belt buckle coming forward as you stretch.

gastroc stretch 1 R WRONG – Don’t lean forward from the hips

gastroc stretch 2 R CORRECT – Hips stay in a straight line

 

5.) Squat -When performing a squat, there are several things to remember. 1.) I hate seeing someone squat with their knees coming past their toes –bad!! Make sure your knees stay over your foot/ankle when you squat down. 2.) Also make sure your knee is tracking over your feet. Don’t let your knees roll-in. When I see this, I know there is some hip/glut weakness going on. 3.) Make sure you are sticking your butt out when you squat down. I know if feels funny, but doing a squat correctly isn’t about feeling proper here, it’s about protecting your back. You should have a small arch in your low back. Stick your butt out like you are going to sit in a chair.

squat pic 1 revised     WRONG – Knees are tracking too far over toes

squat 2 w2  WRONG – Don’t let your knees fall in

squat 3 rCORRECT – Keep knees over toes/ Stick your butt out

 

6.) Ankle thera-band exercise – When performing a thera-band exercise for your ankle, especially when you are moving in ankle inversion/everison (toes in and toes out), make sure just your knee isn’t moving. I often see people moving their knee and rotating their whole lower leg in and out, but it’s important to isolate the ankle movement.

ankle pic 1 revised   WRONG – The knee is rolling in

ankle pic 2 revised  CORRECT – Keep your knee straight

 

7.) Pelvic tilts – Often a difficult exercise to understand if you are not used to engaging your deep abdominal muscles. I instruct people to think of pulling their belly button in and pressing their low back into the floor. Remember to breathe! I always teach this by telling patients to exhale as you go into your pelvic tilt. You are less likely to hold your breath this way. Also, make sure your ribcage is dropped down, sometimes people like to splay their ribcage out.

Same thing applies when doing a plank–which you should be performing your pelvic tilt in. I thought it would be easier to see this with a plank than simply a pelvic tilt.

plank 2 r WRONG -Hips up in the air

plank 1 r CORRECT -Pelvic tilt engaged

 

8.) Tabletop Abdominal Exercise – Any time you are performing an exercise on your back with your legs at 90/90 or tabletop position, in order to effectively work your deep abdominals, make sure your knees aren’t pulled too closely into your chest. When your knees are too far into your chest, your abdominals are not engaged.

tabletop position 2 revised WRONG -Knees are drawn too far in toward chest

tabletop position 1 revised CORRECT – Hips are at a 90* angle; abdominals on!

 

9.) Heel raises – Make sure your weight is between your big toe and the second toe and your ankles are straight. I often see people shifting their weight to the little toes and this makes the outside of  your ankles stressed.

heel rise 2 r WRONG -Ankles rolled outwards

heel raise 1R CORRECT – Ankles stay in a straight line

 

10.) Lat Pull Down or any shoulder exercise – The first step should be to make sure you shoulders are down and scapulas engaged. If not, you are not effectively working your shoulder stabilizers. When working on good posture or any shoulder pain or injury, this step is really important. Make sure your shoulder blades are set in place first –you will feel this in your upper back!

lat pull down 2 WRONG – shoulder are up, back is not engaged

lat pull down 1 revised CORRECT -scapulas are set and shoulders are down

 

11.) Straight leg raise – As the name indicates, keep the working knee straight. This is true whether you are performing this exercise to the front, side, or back.

A common mistake I always notice when doing your straight leg raises to the side, (or as I call them, my Jane Fonda exercise) make sure you are not flexing in the hip. Your leg will be further behind you then you think. It should form a straight line all the way down your leg. Otherwise you are overworking your psoas (hip flexor) and tensor fasciae latae (the muscle part of your IT-band). Instead, you should be targeting your gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus.

slr 2 r WRONG – Hip is flexed

SLR 1 r CORRECT – Hip is in neutral