Posts

Top 3 Tips for Relief from Arthritis Pain: No medication needed!

I’ve got a quick story for you, about a client who suffered from arthritis. She had been feeling achy, chronically stiff, and had pain in her joints that was starting to radiate through her limbs. Ouch. When she was diagnosed – she was shocked, thinking “I’m 23 years old – how is this even possible?” Well, with autoimmune arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), your immune system attacks the lining of your joints – at any age! 

She looked for alternatives because she didn’t want to be on arthritis medication for the rest of her life. And I don’t blame her! Some of these intense anti-inflammatory medications used for osteoarthritis treatment and RA can be really hard on your vital organs — even causing prolonged nausea, headaches, fatigue, and brain fog. Many RA medications also drastically reduce your immune system placing you at higher risk for infection, drug-related cancers, and in rare cases even death. No thanks!

The good news is that there is an alternative to medication! One important thing to note about joint pain is that typically the more you move, the better you will feel. I know, I know – it sounds counterintuitive. But, think of it like this. The motion involved in moving your joints actually creates lubrication between your joints, making it easier and much less painful to move. Remember, motion is lotion…for your joints! 

This client worked through progressive yoga and physical therapy-based mobility exercises with me, and quickly experienced amazing results – as long as she keeps up with her mobility work she experiences no more chronic pain and has yet to go on arthritis medication! HUGE WIN! 

Here were the three most important things I shared with her…which I will now share with you!

#1 If you have any form of arthritis, especially osteoarthritis, it is so important to stay mobile. Even the most gentle movements will go such a long way to increase your mobility and level of comfort. Yoga-based mobility is great for this, because you can work your whole body and isolate certain joints that need more TLC. 

However, with Rheumatoid Arthritis, specifically during times of flare up, it is advised that you avoid intense stretching and exercising as this may be more detrimental to your joints and create more damage than good.  It’s not to say don’t move at all, rather modify your intensity and be gentle on your body as you move through your day or attempt a light mobility practice during a flare up.  Once it resolves, you can continue your regular strength and mobility practices.

#2 Practicing balance poses and core strengthening with mobility work or gentle yoga practice will improve your flexibility and balance. This will increase your long term strength and endurance, which will in turn support your joints and overall stability for a lifetime. 

#3 One of the most common things I would see as a Physical Therapist Assistant were people who experienced gradual muscle deterioration, aka “sarcopenia” – because getting moving again with arthritis was causing them too much pain. So, in addition to rebuilding muscle strength and endurance, you also want to ensure that you keep up with your strength and mobility work! This requires just a few minutes of daily movement – if you don’t use it, you lose it! So be sure that you stay consistent! As I always say — CONSISTENCY IS KEY! 

Arthritic pain and stiffness can be present at any age, whether it is simple osteoarthritis from “wear and tear” and the aging process, or Rheumatoid arthritis which is a systemic inflammatory disease process that attacks your joints.  

Your body is unique and so will be your journey if you have arthritis.  Not every person requires medication, though some may eventually or intermittently from time to time.  However, EVERY BODY can benefit from healthy mobility practices, yoga, whole body strengthening and balance training to protect your joints.

With arthritis you do want to make sure you work progressively – start simple and gentle and go from there. Need some help with this? Not sure where to start? Check out Chair Yoga for Joint Healing, which is the perfect “done-for-you” place to start! 

If you need ongoing support, get on board with the Yoga Prehab™ Membership – for just 0.60 cents per day, you’ll get the very best at-home Physical Therapy-based healing guidance, easy-to-follow yoga mobility programs, and more!

The 5 Best Ways to Prevent Knee Pain

What is one of the most used – and overused – parts of the body? 

If you guessed your knees, you are correct! Because this system of muscles, joints, and ligaments get used all the time for almost every movement you can think of, it is at an increased risk for injury, stiffness, and chronic pain. 

There is A LOT of information out there about how to keep your knees feeling their very best. To be honest, not all of it is good information. That’s why I put together this list of the best ways to prevent knee pain. 

You know me – I like to help you take prehabilitative and preventive measures to ensure that you stay in the best shape and live your most comfortable life! 

Don’t let knee pain stop you – get ready for an active, adventurous summer! 

  1. GET MOVING: I have said it before and I will say it again – motion is lotion! Achey, shaky knees are often craving some movement. Gentle movement – please do not go run a half marathon! Warming up the muscle group around your knees stimulates joint fluid and actually works to lubricate your joints. This makes movement more comfortable and less painful. Which is exactly what you want!

  2. USE ESSENTIAL OILS FOR NATURAL PAIN RELIEF: Did you go on a super long walk? Good for you, get those steps in! If you’re feeling soreness in your knees afterward, try this. Add a few drops of peppermint or eucalyptus oil to coconut oil or other carrier oil and rub on your knees. Eucalyptus and peppermint have properties that reduce inflammation and ease pain, making it the perfect natural remedy for stiffness and aching knees. It will be easier to get up and moving again in no time!

  3. CHECK YOUR SHOES: Make sure that your shoes are providing you with adequate support. Are your arches caving in? Do your heels feel supported? You are likely putting extra strain on your knees if your shoes are not supporting your feet. Without proper support, every step you take, every move you make will cause knee pain for you..! All joking aside, your feet need to be balanced in order for your whole body to remain balanced. When you’re imbalanced, it causes your knees to overwork or overcompensates, leading to that annoying aching feeling.

  4. A HEALTHY DIET IS THE BEES KNEES (pun-intended): Try to stick to an anti-inflammatory diet. Less bleached grains, more vegetables and fruits that have vitamins, C, D, and E – all of which combat inflammation in the body. If you eat fish, try to choose those high in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, mackerel, and tuna. Use turmeric, which is high in curcumin and proven to reduce inflammation, to spice up your cooking. I actually think turmeric is amazing on potatoes – par-boil, add to a pan with coconut oil or avocado oil, salt, turmeric, onions, garlic – fry it all up!

  5. INCREASE YOUR WATER INTAKE: Your body is never functioning at its best if it is lacking proper hydration.  The body is made up of 70% water and most of your joint fluid is comprised of water.   Actual liquid helps keep everything operating smoothly in your body, from digestion to detox systems, to muscle and joint movement.  Aim for at least 8 glasses of water a day.  Start every day first thing with a glass of water in the morning.

I hope this wellness wisdom helps you navigate and resolve some of your daily aches and pains. I am dedicated to providing the best service to each and every Yoga Prehab member. 

Every level of skill, every level of fitness, everyone from every walk of life is welcome – that’s why I made sure to keep this program so affordable…

Personal training, physical therapy, and chiropractic visits add up fast! Plus, I know that for some people, going to doctor’s offices, gyms, and in higher-risk spaces is just an option right now. 

Yoga Prehab is engineered to keep you out of the doctor’s office and doing more of what you love – for much, much less at ONLY $19.99 a month. 

Plus, if you sign up for the whole year, you save even more!! Annual membership is $199, saving you $40 – that’s like getting 2 whole months of Yoga Prehab completely free!

5 Myths About Core Training

Some trends may come and go, but core strength is always in! The core is such an integral part of all body movement, and as a result questions about core training are common in the fitness and physical therapy industries. Unfortunately, there is also a lot of misinformation swirling around. No more! I’m here to bust the most common myths about core training and give you the real deal about how to perfect your core strength, bulletproof your body, and help prevent some of the most common injuries and strains. 

Myth #1: The Abdominals Make Up Your Core.

Well, not quite.  The abdominals are just one piece of the puzzle.  Your true core is made up of multiple groups of muscles that attach to the pelvis, hips, and spine, not just the abdominals. This includes the diaphragm, pelvic floor, deep abdominal muscles, and deep spinal muscles. 

Myth #2: Crunches are the BEST Core Strengthening Exercise.

Nope!  Sure, crunches have their place in fitness.  However, crunches only target the superficial muscles of the abdominal group.  To truly engage and train the entire core, exercises like planking are FAR MORE effective.

Myth #3: If I Have Chiseled Abs Then My Core Is Strong.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but that is false.  Congrats on the aesthetics because that’s no easy feat!  However, just because you have muscle definition does not mean there is actual stability built in the deep core.  

More often than not, the emphasis is placed on the abdominal muscle group than challenging the core to stabilize your spine correctly —  leading to muscular imbalances in the posterior chain aka your back.

Myth #4: Core Isolation Exercises Are The Best Way to Strengthen My Back.

Isolation exercises serve their purpose, however, your core is designed to brace and support your spine as you perform movements like walking, running, bending over, pushing, pulling, and rotation/twisting.

The BEST way to strengthen your back and engage your core is to focus on your breathing as you exert effort during movement. Strong and intentional exhalation during movement activates your pelvis floor and balances your intra-abdominal pressure to stabilize and protect your spine while you move.

Myth #5: You Should Train Your Core Daily

Not a good idea.  Just like any other muscle in your body, core muscles need time to rest if you’ve been targeting them consistently.  Here’s the thing, your core is ALWAYS active, however, over time it can get sluggish and weak — leading to other muscle overactivation to cover the loss of stability.

Aim to train your core 3-4 times a week for optimal results.

The most important thing with core strengthening work is to keep it up! You’ll likely feel the results before you see them. And like I said, core strength and abdominal definition are two totally different things. The amazing results you’ll see and feel will be better posture, enhanced stability, and stronger movement throughout your whole body. Definition in your entire core will come with time. Stick with it each week and you will see the results pay off!

Need more core training guidance? Get in on the Yoga Prehab™ action this month with Restore Your Core, which is completely targeted at regaining strength, stability, and definition in your core. This whole month I’ll take you through gentle, at-home exercises, that engage the entire core so you’ll see the best results!

Hot or Cold? How to heat treat pain points

Hot or cold? Warm or chilly? What temperature treatments are best to resolve aches and pains? Temperature can in fact be an excellent way to warm up or cool down muscles, soothe or invigorate different areas of stiffness or lingering pain. But, which is best – and when?

All good questions, and important ones to ask as you continue on your quest to keep all your muscles and joints happy and healthy. My training as a Physical Therapy Assistant allowed me to learn and apply some very important practical knowledge about hot and cold treatments for injuries and pain points. 

First off, always practice caution with any sort of temperature remedy. Using a remedy that is either way too hot or way too cold can leave you with a burn, only making life more uncomfortable. Not a fun time!

Also, if you have any sort of sensation impairments, be extra, extra cautious with temperature modalities. For example, someone who is diabetic may experience impaired sensation in their limbs and would not feel the degree to which ice may be too cold or a source of heat may be too hot. And, always keep a layer (or two) between your skin and the source of heat or cold! This protects your skin, while still allowing the temperature remedy to help out your muscles. 

Secondly, there are a lot of opinions about using hot and cold remedies, but I have always found this methodology below to be helpful, especially in terms of recovering from an injury, healing, soothing inflammation, or battling stiffness. 

For tightness and stiffness, think heat. Easy to remember because you can think about the warmth penetrating your muscles and warming them up for an activity. This is what you want – your muscles to be “unfrozen” for comfortable movement and activity. For pain and inflammation, opt for cold – using ice or a cold compress to help decrease any swelling and minimize any pain you might be feeling. 

PRO-TIPS

  1. If you’re working to loosen up a chronically stiff area, you can utilize heat before your mobility and movement work for about 10-15 minutes. 
  2. After you are done with your stretching, strengthening, and mobility work in that area, you can then use ice or a cold compress for about 15-20 minutes. This will aid in decreasing any possible inflammation or soreness after your exercise and movement. 

Any questions? Let me know how I can you out and be sure to connect with me on Instagram for even more wellness and workout tips and tricks!

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. Content provided above is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease, injury, or other medical issues. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Tristan, Tristan Gatto, his heirs, beneficiaries, associations and partnerships from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Tristan’s negligence.

 

Soothing Self-Massage for Shoulder Pain

Sore shoulders make me want to run and get a massage more than anything else! Tightness spreading across your shoulders, feeling knots (AKA “adhesions”) – not fun for anyone at any time

But, not everyone can just hop over to a brilliant massage therapist as we please (sad, but true). So, what is the best option to work through shoulder pain and get relief from aches and pains?

Thankfully, there are some great options for shoulder pain remedies that you can do in the comfort of your own home. I actually developed an entire course based around self-massage techniques (check out Issues In Your Tissues if you’re interested in even more amazingly easy home massage methods) and have included the entire shoulder myofascial self-massage section right here for you! 

Myofascial you say? Sounds…complex and otherworldly? 

I promise you, it is a very simple concept that has been proven to work wonders in maintaining muscular health and wellness. Myofascial release is a form of therapy used to treat skeletal muscle immobility and pain. The treatment works by relaxing contracted muscles, improving blood and lymphatic circulation, and stimulating the stretch reflex in muscles and muscle groups. 

And while myofascial release and therapy are used in Physical Therapy offices around the globe, there are luckily a lot of myofascial techniques that you can do right at home, starting with this one. Designed to help you release shoulder tension and overcome pain, this self-massage is easy and requires zero props or tools. Perfection! 

Give it a try right now and soothe those shoulders!

Useful for:

  • Stiff, tight or painful upper shoulder musculature.
  • Can help to decrease adhesions (“knots”) in the upper shoulders.
  • May decrease upper shoulder pain and discomfort.
  • Before and after workouts or sports activities.
  • After prolonged sitting, frequent overhead reaching, or holding the neck in one position for a long period of time or very frequently.

Instructions:

  • Can be used every other day.  You want the tissues to rest a day in between.
  • Can be performed lying down (more pressure) or against a wall (less pressure).
  • Apply deep, SLOW pressure. (It’s going to be very tender!)
  • Can be applied for up to 5 minutes at a time.
  • Back off on pressure if too tender or uncomfortable (it will start off this way until the tissues are used to it!)
  • If you experience tingling, burning, or sharp shooting pain, please discontinue.  I advise you to seek evaluation from a healthcare provider should you experience these symptoms.

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. Content provided above is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease, injury, or other medical issues. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Tristan, Tristan Gatto, his heirs, beneficiaries, associations and partnerships from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Tristan’s negligence.

3 Tricks to Relieve Painful “Text Neck”

Do you know what your neck looks like when you’re scrolling through your phone? If I had to venture a guess, I would say it is probably at some sort of an angle, positioned downward to better stare at your device. This phenomenon is leading to more and more cases of “text neck” as I like to call it – which is stiffness and pain in your neck (and upper back) due to increased, chronic straining (AKA scrolling through news feeds, email, websites, etc across all of our super convenient devices). 

I know that I’m not immune to this problem! Practically every day I catch myself tilting my head in some weird way while absorbed in something on my screen. Today, it’s a normal and common problem, but it shouldn’t be something we all just accept as appropriate and healthy posture. All evidence points to this sort of posture creating really problematic stressors and strains on the spine. Over time, this can only lead to problems and pain. Consistency and commitment to taking care of your neck is key, as is adjusting your posture when you are on your smartphone or other devices.

In a study conducted by Dr. Kenneth K. Hansraj, Chief of Spine Surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, it was found that as the head tilts forward the force place on the neck dramatically increases. When we hold our head in a healthy, neutral position, the forces to the cervical spine are about 10-12 pounds and evenly distributed, which is normal. But as we tilt our head forward the force increases:

Repetitive forward head posture and frequently hanging your head may lead to all sorts of neck problems, including early wear and tear, degeneration, nerve root impingement, herniation/bulges, and possibly the need for surgery. Imagine having a consistent force on your cervical spine that is the equivalent of 30-60 lbs? The results from that long term force cannot be good for anyone.

This graph from the study described above shows the effects of the tilt that accompanies cell phone use.

Be sure to use these best practices to decrease the strain you are putting on your neck and spine:

1. Be aware of your head and position

As shown above, even just a slight tilt away from a neutral spine practically doubles the force your cervical spine is feeling. Good posture isn’t just “shoulders back,” in this day and age we all need to be sure we are keeping our chins away from our chest and maintaining a healthy, neutral spine. 

2. Use simple neck stretches throughout the day

Even just gentle, slow, alternating ear to shoulder movements can stretch each side of your neck to prevent stiffness and cramping. This is even useful for those of you sitting in desks and around conference tables during the workday. Or students in lecture halls and classrooms! Just as you might get the urge to stretch your legs, be sure you are giving your neck some much needed time for gentle stretching throughout the day. 

3. Practice yoga poses that target neck and shoulder mobility

Naturally, as a yoga teacher, I am a huge proponent of yoga (shout out to my Yoga Prehab™ tribe!). But only because it actually works

In today’s busy world, I find that the countless clients I have worked with over the years really do have time to invest in their health and well being, even if that means just practicing a few minutes of yoga per day. 

My favorite poses (asanas) to target problematic neck and shoulder stiffness are the much-beloved downward facing dog and the ever-popular, super stretchy cat-cow. These help to stretch out and relax the neck, shoulders and even provide tension relief for both your upper and lower back. 

Pop into these even just for a few minutes when you feel that text neck tension creeping up on ya’ – bye text neck!

For a proven method to release, stretch, and strengthen these problem areas and heal from “text neck” once and for all, check out my course The Text Neck Fix. Better to spend a few minutes a day with me, than to need weeks of expensive rehab for nerve damage, disc issues, or other neck, shoulder, and cervical spine-related issues.

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. Content provided above is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease, injury, or other medical issues. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Tristan, Tristan Gatto, his heirs, beneficiaries, associations and partnerships from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Tristan’s negligence.

Why So Tense? The TOP 2 EASIEST Ways to Combat Painful Body Stiffness

Want to guess what one of the best ways to prevent body stiffness is? It is actually by moving. Seems a bit counterintuitive, but I swear to you, it makes perfect sense. 

Think about it like this – if you aren’t moving (or grooving) and your muscles and joints are just hanging out with nothing to do, they will very likely get stiff. And with stiffness, sometimes follows soreness. And then discomfort. So, the key is to keep some movement and mobility – even just a little – into each and every day. 

An easy way to break it down is to remember that motion is lotion – no joke! If you are stiff and sedentary at work or during your commute, it is extra important to get more mobility into your daily routine. The more movement and mobility you are able to do, the better lubricated your joints will be. This means easier movement, less stiffness, and less pain. If you are not moving, your joints will not be as supple, and you’ll likely experience tightness, soreness, and discomfort. 

The good news is you do not need to have an intensive exercise routine that you adhere to daily. The solution to these issues and the prevention of pesky muscle and joint pain is not hours of laborious work and training. The effort you put in each day – even just 10-15 minutes – can dramatically improve your health, comfort, and wellbeing. Over time and with consistency, you’ll experience more comfort and less pain. 

This is the whole concept behind Yoga Prehab™, which I developed to help your muscles and joints stay healthy. Before falling victim to rehab due to injuries and chronic pain, I help people take preventative action to actually strengthen their muscles and joints in order to prevent injury. Makes sense, right?

So, over time and with a dedication to movement and mobility — stiffness and discomfort will decrease. In situations where you need some immediate relief for sore and stiff spots, try this Super Soothing Shoulder Cure! It’s quick and requires only 2 minutes, 2 ingredients, and 2 simple steps!

Super Soothing Shoulder Cure

  • A couple of drops of Peppermint essential oil 
  • 1 or 2 tbsp Coconut oil (or other mild body oil of your choice such as almond or jojoba)
  1. Mix your ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. Rub the mixture onto your shoulders and experience cooling, soothing relief for tight, sore muscles!

See? Easy, right? Peppermint has anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties, making it a great solution for aches, pains, and muscle spasms you might be feeling in your shoulders. (and you won’t smell like grandma’s Bengay cream)

Did you give the Super Soothing Shoulder Cure a try? Let me know how you liked it!

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. Content provided above is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease, injury, or other medical issues. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Tristan, Tristan Gatto, his heirs, beneficiaries, associations and partnerships from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Tristan’s negligence.

 

Essential Tips: How To Make Your Own Custom, Healthy, Aromatherapy Room Mist in Just 2 Simple Steps

A few weeks ago I wrote about aromatherapy and easy ways to use essential oils to improve your mood and how helpful essential oils can be (when diluted with carrier oils, of course). 

In terms of using essential oils to elevate your yoga practice, I think a great way to accomplish this is to use a room mist. A mist or spray provides you with a gentle, refreshing scent of your choosing, that is healthy and totally customizable if you make your own. 

You can spray in your space before your yoga and mobility practice, using a scent that is either calming or invigorating to get you in the mood for whatever mobility work you are about to embark on. 

Making your own unique blend of essential oils, or even just diluting your very favorite scent into a room spray is beyond simple. I’ll walk you through how its done, right now!

First, you’ll need your essential oil or oils you want to use. You’ll also need distilled water. 

Water and oil do not mix, so you’ll need to pick a third ingredient that will also emulsify, or combine, all your ingredients into one, nice, easy to spritz liquid. Sea salt, aloe vera juice, alcohol, and witch hazel all work, although salt is probably easiest for everyone and has no real smell. 

  1. Combine the below ingredients into a 4oz spray bottle, adding in your water last:
  • 2 tsp of sea salt** (you can even use Himalayan sea salt if you have)
  • 20-30 drops of your essential oil(s) of choice
  • 4oz distilled water

**I also love using witch hazel as it keeps the water from going stale and smelling musty!

Only add as much water as is needed, you might find it ends up being a bit shy of 4oz after all is said and done, which is totally okay! Don’t fill to the very tippy-top; leave some space as you’ll want to fit the spray nozzle apparatus in without your newly created potion overflowing and making a mess. 

  1. Shake it all up, and you are ready to spritz your new scented room spray around your abode. 

Sometimes you’ll find the scented mix will intensify a bit in smell over the course of a few days, which is normal. Keep out of direct sunlight so your new mixture doesn’t bake! 

Diffusers can be another good option, but if you are at all sensitive to scent, I find you have much more control over the scent saturation and can achieve a more mellow essential oil ambiance overall with a room spray. Sometimes the diffusers are really potent, which some people love and for others, it may not be their thing. 

Plus, creating your own essential oil mist for your home, car, and general surroundings is really very economical in addition to being super easy. Aside from acquiring the 4 oz spray bottle and using a few drops of each of your chosen essential oils, the minimal amount of your emulsifying ingredient and the distilled water you probably already have or are cheap and easy to find.

It’s fun to spritz your spray bottle too – a little spritz around your couch, your rug, your pillows – helps freshen things up without the toxicity of aerosol or other at-home conventional sprays! 

Healthy? Less expensive? Totally simple and attainable? 

What are you waiting for!? Be sure to share your essential oil room mist creations with me and the rest of the tribe on Instagram!

Do It For The Culture: How Fermented Foods Can Heal Your Gut

Gut function is a pretty complex process when you really think about it. Typically food is broken down in your digestive system over the course of 12 to 48 hours. As the food is broken down, the nutrients and minerals make their way to different systems and organs in the body in order to support healthy functions.

Weird to think that your small intestine is 11 feet long, but it’s true! Most nutrients and water are absorbed through that organ, keeping your body hydrated, regulating your bowels, and even having an impact on hormones, and levels of stress.   

Boosting prebiotics and probiotics in your gut can help keep it healthy. Strengthening the lining of your intestinal walls and ensuring you have healthy villi (which are like little sensors lining your small intestine) will help keep things moving along the 11-foot road. 

Probiotics promote the growth of good bacteria in your gut. Good bacteria in your body are needed for the healthy functioning of the digestive system, which directly benefits other systems and organs. When you have a healthy gut, you also have a healthy immune system, allowing you to fend off additional bacteria and viruses that you may be exposed to. 

You can take probiotic supplements, but there are also so many delicious ways to get more good bacteria into your gut. 

Fermented, or cultured foods are one of the best ways to get extra flavor and happy gut helpers into your body. Beverages like kombucha and other fermented teas are low in sugar, but super high in probiotic content. Fermented veggies like sauerkraut and kimchi pack a powerful punch of probiotics. Even pickled carrots, garlic, onions, ginger, and other plant-based items can give your body a solid probiotic boost. Yes, pickles are powerful!

Miso also includes cultured probiotics and has the added benefit of being pretty filling, widely available, versatile and inexpensive. You can get really creative and add to salad dressings, roasted veggies, and of course soups! 

Yogurt has long been a source of probiotic content. I would recommend going for yogurts with low sugar content. And if you don’t eat dairy, there are a lot of non-dairy, cultured yogurt alternatives. I think my favorite is coconut yogurt!

Prebiotics are sources of nutrients that feed the probiotics, or good bacteria. Keeping the good bacteria in your gut healthy and active requires “feeding” them the prebiotic sources to keep them happy. Prebiotics are typically carbohydrates that are full of fiber, such as leafy greens, apples, beans, onions, garlic, spinach, and cabbage. 

Getting in probiotics is great, but you also want to be sure that your newly ingested good bacteria is being supported and kept healthy by prebiotic fibrous, food sources.

To get access to even more valuable wellness info, tips + tricks, you should seriously consider my Yoga Prehab™ Membership, where everything is focused on optimal health, well being, and mobility. The easiest, least expensive way to start living pain-free and healthier – today!

The Best Food for Magical Muscle Cramping Relief

This isn’t some fancy, difficult to acquire food or ingredient. Nothing you have to search tirelessly for around your nearest health food store. You probably even have it sitting on your counter or in your freezer right at this very moment… 

I’m talking about bananas! This fruit is used worldwide to soothe stomachs, balance digestion, and provide necessary amounts of potassium and magnesium that the body needs to function. 

Potassium and magnesium are essential for keeping muscles, ligaments, and joints healthy and lubricated. Creaky, squeaky joints can be helped tremendously by ensuring the correct amount of magnesium and potassium are getting into your diet. Potassium helps treat muscle soreness, part of the reason why it’s never a bad idea to reach for a banana after you’ve worked up a sweat or done some mobility training. 

The glycogen contained in bananas also helps to rebuild and regenerate muscle, making it useful for muscle growth and recovery, while diminishing muscle aches post-workout. 

Bananas make an excellent post-workout recovery option. And, even more apeel-ing (see what I did there?) bananas are so versatile – eat with your favorite nut butter, add to oatmeal, whip up a smoothie – you can do almost anything with fresh or frozen bananas. 

My recipe for a delicious Post-Workout Muscle-Hydrating Smoothie is super simple: 

INGREDIENTS

1 ½ cup coconut water

1 ripe banana

1 cup pineapple (frozen or fresh)

1 cup mangoes (frozen or fresh)

1 lemon wedge (with skin)

1-2 scoops protein powder (I use Dr. Forest Organic Raw Cold Pressed Vegan Plant Protein Powder)

  • Add all ingredients to blender and mix until you’ve reached your desired consistency. If it’s too thick, add more coconut water and blend more. Enjoy!
  • Best for after workouts to rehydrate, replenish, and repair muscles.

 

Do you have a favorite style of banana consumption? Share your best banana recipes and snacking tips with me and the #yogaprehab community on Instagram!

Want to receive even more exclusive wellness wisdom? I update my tribe weekly on all the latest and greatest tips & tricks!