Do you trip up the stairs?

You may have never heard the word proprioceptors but they play a big role in your life. From brushing your hair, eating your breakfast, to walking down the sidewalk.  You would not be able to move effectively without well functioning proprioceptors.  Proprioceptors are sensors that provide information about the joints, their angle, muscle length and tension, which in return gives the brain the information about the position of limbs in relationship to the body and the surrounding environment.

Definition:

Proprioception (PRO-pree-o-SEP-shən), from Latin proprius, meaning “one’s own”, “individual”, and capio, capere, to take or grasp, is the sense of the relative position of one’s own parts of the body and strength of effort being employed in movement.

Ok, I know what you are saying at this point. Thanks for the lecture professor Hess, but why are you telling me this? Well, have you ever fallen up the stairs? How often do you stub your toes? Would you consider yourself a bit of a klutz? If you answered yes to any of these you may want to pay attention.

Even if you believe you have the grace and elegance of a gazelle you may still want to pay attention.

 

Types of Exercises to Enhance Proprioception

There are a number of exercises that can be performed to help train your proprioception. It is always best to work with a physical therapist or licensed trainer to ensure that you are selecting the right exercises to help enhance your desired performance.

Balancing Exercises

Good exercises for proprioception development would be activities that challenge balance and equilibrium. Balance exercises help teach your body and brain to control the position of a deficient or an injured joint. A common example of a balance exercise that can help improve proprioception is the use of a balance board. You may need to begin holding onto the wall until you have gained a stronger sense of the intended use of the muscles in order to balance on the board.

Exercises While Closing the Eyes

As you become stronger, you can gain the ability to inform and trust your muscles to perform standing activities with the eyes closed. This enhances the communication between the brain and the muscles so that you are able to perform activities properly without watching the movement take place.

Strengthening Exercises

Knee strengthening exercises like leg presses, squats and lateral movements with the arms are examples of ways that you can help establish the connection between muscle fibers by building strength. As you build strength in the muscles, the brain begins to understand the request of this strength more and more. As strength builds, it helps improve proprioception awareness with the mind and body and also allows you to continue/hold a movement or action in place far longer with proper form.

Plyometric Movements and Drills

Exercise involving coordination and movement patterns can greatly enhance the kinesthetic awareness. Vertical jumps, running figure-eight patterns, change of direction drills and crossover walking are other routines that help establish the connection between muscles and nerves. As you are asking the body to perform certain movements, it trains the brain to respond to these movements. Over time, it becomes easier to perform these exercises without much thought as a natural connection becomes a part of the routine.

Proprioception Training Routine

Table Top

Using a mat to protect your knees, get on all fours on the floor in table top position. Make sure the back is flat and the neck is aligned with the spine.

While looking at the floor, raise and extend your right arm and your left leg at the same time. Keep a tight core. Hold for 3–5 seconds and repeat on the other side. Do 10 reps on each side.

Advanced: Hold for 20 seconds with eyes closed. Really focus on a tight core and perfect balance keeping the arm and leg parallel to the floor.

Single Leg

Stand with feet hip distance apart. Raise your right knee to a 90-degree angle and hold for 3–5 seconds. Return foot to the floor and repeat 5 times on each leg. You may need to hold onto the wall or a chair at first. Work towards not needing the extra support.

Advanced: Perform this exercise with eyes closed, no support and holding for 10 seconds, 10 times on each leg.

Crossover Walk (Karoake)

Stand with feet hip-distance apart. Begin walking to your right crossing your left leg over the right, then back to starting position. Continue stepping sideways in a constant motion for about 15 yards. Repeat in the other direction, 5 times each direction.

Advanced: The advanced option is the same but much faster and with a high knee raise as you cross over the leg, naturally twisting the hips back and forth while moving and crossing over in the same direction. Repeat in the other direction for 25 yards, 5–10 times each side.

Squat Jump

Stand up straight with your knees slightly bent and feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor by pushing hips back, keeping back flat and head facing forward — with weight on heels rather than the balls of your feet.

Immediately explode upwards, reaching as high as you can with your hands as your feet leave the floor.  Land in the same position you started in. Swing your arms back and jump again right away. Repeat 5–10 times on each side. (source)
Types of Proprioceptors

A system of receptor nerves, or proprioceptors, located within the muscles, joints and ligaments. These receptors function similar to how other receptors monitor pressure, sound, heat and light. These receptors pass this information along to the brain very quickly. So quickly it is referred to as a reflex rather than a reaction.

 Kinesthetic Awareness

Proprioception and kinesthetic awareness are often used interchangeably; however, it is important to note the difference. Kinesthetic awareness is a conscious effort to react to the situation, while proprioception is an unconscious or subconscious process. Ultimately, the brain sends the signal so fast that it is an automatic response.

However, the two work together to allow a smooth efficient and safe platform for everyday movement and athletic performance. A great example is when a skier acts subconsciously, through proprioception, to stay vertical yet the person’s mind, their kinesthetic awareness, processes what needs to happen in order to ski over slopes, moguls, around trees and anything else needed to make necessary adjustments to the body to successfully accomplish the motion at hand. Proprioception is an inner sense, the central nervous system, while kinesthetic awareness is an external sense, the body in space and time.(source)

Golgi Tendon Organ

Another type of proprioceptor is the Golgi tendon organ, which provides information about changes in muscles tension. When the muscle contracts, the collagen fibrils are pulled tight, and this activates the Golgi tendon organ. Because changes in muscle tension will provide different degrees of pull on the tendon, the Golgi tendon organ provides information about muscle tension to better assist the muscle in performing an action.

Muscle Spindle

The muscle spindle is also a type of proprioceptor that provides information about changes in muscle length. When the muscle lengthens, the muscle spindle is stretched triggering specific actions within the muscle fibers.
(source)

Exogenous Ketones

If you have been following the Keto lifestyle, you have heard the advertisements of Exogenous Ketones. If you believe the ads, these supplements are a magic cure to weight loss.

Exogenous ketone body supplements provide users with an instant supply of ketones. They raise blood ketones even if you’re not in a state of ketosis before ingestion.

It’s not fully understood what the long term effects are of combining a non ketogenic diet with exogenous ketone supplements.  Research is in its early stages and more data is needed.

Exogenous ketone bodies are just ketone bodies that are ingested through a nutritional supplement. Ketone bodies produced in the liver are more properly referred to as endogenous ketone bodies.

Exogenous = Originates from a source external from the body.
Endogenous = Originates from a source internal to the body.

 

What are ketone bodies?

Our bodies use ketones via our mitochondria to generate energy. They are an alternative fuel source to glucose.

Ketones are simple compounds because of their small molecular structure and weight. Specifically, they are organic (carbon-based) compounds that contain a central carbon atom double-bonded to an oxygen atom and two carbon-containing substituents, denoted by “R” (see chemical structure below).

In humans, there are 3 different ketones produced by the mitochondria of the liver. These are also often referred to as ketone bodies.

The three ketones are:

  1. Acetone
  2. Acetoacetic Acid
  3. Beta-Hydroxybutyric Acid (also known Beta Hydroxybuyrate or BHB). Other chemical names include 3-hydroxybutyric acid or 3-hydroxybutyrate.

BHB is not technically a ketone since it contains a reactive OH-group in place of where a double-bonded oxygen normally would be as you can see in the diagram above. Yet, BHB still functions like a ketone in the body and converts into energy.

What can we eat to help promote these Ketone Bodies?

The biggest question for most people will not be, what do they need to eat, but rather what they should avoid. If you are eating carbohydrates the liver will metabolize them first and the body will use the carbohydrates for energy. The fats will be stored for later. The process of converting a fat cell into a ketone body is more of a process than converting a carbohydrate into glucose. The body is good at choosing the simplest activity. Therefore, cut down on the carbs and increase your fats.

There are different types of fats, some quickly promote the production of ketone bodies, while others take the slow route.  Choosing fats that can get to the liver quickly and be converted to ketone bodies can be helpful.  Dr Jockers.com does a fantastic job of explaining this process. Rather then putting it in my own words, head over there for a minute. Don’t forget to come right back and finish up here.

A great blog describing why MCT oil should be used for elevated Ketone Bodies.

MCT Oil vs Exogenous Ketones

After reading this post I hope you have a better understanding of what a ketone body is, how we produce them and how they benefit our bodies.  Our liver is going to use exogenous ketones or it will create ketones endogenously from the stored fat.

What I am interested in is helping people effectively produce energy from ketone creation in the liver. Once adapted to ketones, the liver will turn more to the endogenous fuel source, i.e . your love handles.

In short, you can purchase and consume a very cost effective MCT oil and the liver will quickly create ketones and use them as fuel. Or, you can purchase expensive exogenous ketone supplements and your liver will take them and use them as fuel.

Either way I recommend you consume them when on a low carb diet.  Best of luck to you in your health journey.

 

Keto Cloud Bread

A friend sent a Pinterest article with this recipe and I had to try it.  The original blog post I read should win the award for the best photos and videography. They made it look simple and delicious.

I tried it, it was actually simple (once I got it right) and it was as delicious as I had hoped.

It is actually very simple.

First separate 3 eggs.

Whites in one bowl, yokes in another bowl.

Mix 1/4 teaspoon of Cream of Tarter with the egg yokes. This is where I failed the first time.
You must not get any yoke in this mixture. Also mix on high speed for about 4 minutes.  The first time I did this I mixed the whites for a bit, then I mixed the yokes for a bit and vice versa.

This is a no, no! Do not mix the ingredients until the whites are fully mixed and fluffed.

 

 

I continued to whip the whites and cream of tarter until the mixture was firm enough to spoon out of the bowl.

 

 

 

 

 

I had already mixed the yokes when I started over on the whites. Once the whites where ready I slowly mixed the two together with a spoon.

Mix the yokes with 3 tablespoons of softened cream cheese.  Mix until there are no more clumps of the cream cheese.

Once the two were mixed together I moved them to a cookie sheet that I had prepared with wax paper and olive oil.

 

Cook it for 20 minutes at 300.

Let it cool for a few minutes and then move to a cooling rack.

 

 

 

I made two dishes with this for my Sunday morning breakfast.

 

First I made a egg, cheese and bacon sandwich.  With a little mayonnaise this was delicious!

 

 

 

 

Then I made a sugar free jam treat.

This keto treat was fantastic.

Once again the level of success for me is measured by how much my kids like it. They love this and have eaten all of our first batch. We will need to make another batch for lunch and then probably more for lunches this coming week.

 

 

 

 

 

War on Sugar – Freakonomics

Anyone that knows me, knows I am a podcast junkie. One of the podcasts I listen to on a regular basis is Freakonomics Radio.

One of their recent episodes on sugar had an interesting interchange between Steven Dubner and an MD with the FDA.  He asked he a few pointed question about the stance of the FDA on sugar and I almost choked on the response.

“I’m not going to answer your question because my attorneys aren’t present”

 

Why can a medical advisor for the FDA not answer a medical related question with out an attorney if this is not simply a political game being played with the publics health.

One step closer to recognizing sugar as the main cause of our populations health decline.

I recommend you listen for yourself.

There’s A War On Sugar. Is It Justified?

Bone Broth

Bone broth is one of the essential foods everyone should know how to make.  My first batch was not very successful, however if you stick with it you will have a great process in no time.   Many websites state you should only use grass fed, organic  animals.  I use the meat department at my local Smiths, and I am sure I am still getting great benefit. Of course, if you have access to such animals, that should be your first choice. However, do not let this get in your way of making healthy bone broth.

Here are some reasons bone broth is so good for you:

  • Packed with electrolytes (magnesium, sodium and potassium)
  • Rich in other minerals (calcium, phosphorus)
  • Rich in gelatine and collagen (keeps your joints, ligaments, tendons and bones healthy and reduces joint pain. No need to buy expensive supplements for bone and joint health.)
  • Helps with muscle repair, muscle growth and injury recovery
  • Strengthens nails and hair – Thank goodness my nails look so great! 🙂
  • Helps heal leaky gut – Check out this site for more information on that
  • Fights infections (flu, cold)
  • Great for thyroid health and adrenal fatigue issues
  • Reduces inflammation (the main cause of heart disease, & loss of brain function)

Instructions for a quality bone broth:

Use bones as fresh as you can, with thick, pinkish-white looking marrow.

Remove the meat and place the bones in a large pot. Cover the bones with water and bring to a boil.  I also add about an 1/8 of a cup of Apple Cider Vinegar – this amount would be with 12 – 14 bones (the size of the bones you see in these images) Once it’s boiling, reduce heat, cover and simmer for a couple days.

I add more water after the first day to ensure the water level does not get too low, prior to having time to pull the good stuff out of the bones.  About 3 hours prior to pulling it off the heat I throw in the seasoning, carrots, celery and onions.

After the pot cools a bit, I strain the liquid into a dish and put it in the fridge. Once it has cooled in the fridge for a bit it should look like this picture. It will have a thin layer of solid oil on the top with a layer of gelatin like broth underneath.

Simply scoop some into a cup, warm and drink. Or add to other meals for flavor and nutrition.

 

At this point you have strained the liquid away and are left with bone, bone marrow and veggies.

I remove the bones and give them to my dogs. They love the new play toys.

 

 

 

 

 

I add salt to the remaining ingredients and enjoy a great tasting stew.

 

 

 

 

 

Try this process and let me know what you think. I would love to hear how consuming bone broth helps your health. I am specifically interested in hearing about those of you who have gut problems and if bone broth helps you gain better gut health.

Check out Dr. Axe for more information on the benefits of this broth.

Fat bombs – Chocolate & Peanut Butter

The best part is the taste! The second best part is how simple they are to prepare.

I first warm up the coconut oil until it is in liquid form. I put it in a glass measuring cup and microwave it for a minute.

I add all the ingredients to my blender and blend on low until it is smooth & creamy.

Then you simply pour the dreamy treat into whatever container works for you. I normally put it in the freezer for 30 minutes and then eat some. After that, I store in the fridge.

Enjoy!

 

2 TBS of Coconut Oil

2 TBS Butter

4 TBS Peanut Butter

2 TBS Cream Cheese

1 TBS Cocoa (I like mine dark, you can adjust until you find the right amount of coco for you)

1 tsp Vanilla

Add sweetener to taste (remember that all sweeteners have a different level of sweetness)

Vanilla Cheesecake Fat Bombs

I have been eating my chocolate fat bomb for the past year or so and this was a new welcomed teat.  Elene made this one for me.

I loved it, the rest of the family said it was not very good. They felt it tasted too much like artificial sweetener.

Ingredients

  • 1.4 packages of cream cheese softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Sweeten to taste – I used sweet and low (its what I had) (original recipe called for 60 grams of sweeter. We used about 1/3 of that)
  • 200 ML Heavy Cream

 

Instructions

Put the cream cheese, vanilla and the sweetener in a bowl and mix with a hand mixer on low speed until you get a smooth consistent texture.

Add half of the Heavy Cream and mix for another 2 minutes. Let the bowl sit for 3-5 minutes as the sweet & low needs extra time to dissolve.

Add the other half of the Heavy Cream and mix on medium speed for 3 minutes until the mixture is thick.

Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and pipe into mini cupcake liners. Set in the fridge for at least 1 hour before enjoying.

Breakfast Tacos

Breakfast tacos are a favorite in our home.  This makes for a great low carb meal and is a fantastic gluten free option.

Feel free to change this up and use all types of toppings. For this meal I used what I had on hand and the kids loved it.

First I prepared the toppings and shredded the cheese.

 

 

 

 

 

On a non-stick pan add a half cup of shredded cheese. Heat until the cheese is completely melted. The longer you heat the cheese the harder the cheese shell will end up being.

 

I took this picture off of another website.  I used the rack in-side of my oven and the picture revealed how nasty dirty my oven was so I was not allowed to use it.

I scooped up the melted cheese with a spatula, opened the oven door and placed the shell so that the sides drooped down and shaped a taco shell.  Once it cools you have a great tasting hard taco shell.

 I also just simply moved the melted cheese to a plate, added the toppings and wrapped it like a burrito.

Add your favorite hot sauce and enjoy!

 

 

 

I would love to hear your experience. How did it go for you? How did you change it up, and did you enjoy it? Please comment below.

Heaven in a BBQ Chicken Casserole

Sorry, I should have published this yesterday so that you could have heard of this lovely creation prior to Friday!!!!!

I think I have found my favorite food/dessert/snack!

  • Several Small Chicken Thighs
  • 12 Slices Bacon
  • 1 Medium jalapeños (De-seed if you aren’t a fan of spicy)
  • 16 oz. Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
  • A lot ofShredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

I started by cooking a batch of chicken thighs. I cut them up into smaller pieces on a cutting board prior to cooking.

I cooked them until they were brown. I did drain the liquid off several times. I also added about 1/4 cup of butter along the way. 

 

 

 

 

 

While I was cooking the chicken I broiled the bacon. I broil the bacon on a rack on broil .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I mix all of the ingredient. Frank’s, cream cheese. mayonnaise and regular cheese.  Once these are all mixed I place them in a oven safe bowl.

I cook the deliciousness for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes i add a layer of shredded cheese.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once the cheese has melted you can add the

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the most delicious dinner I have ever made in my life! ENJOY!!!!!!!

 

Breakfast Tacos

 

6 large Eggs

Veggies (I used bell peppers and Celery. It’s what I had…) ‘

Mayo and some hot sauce. (See below for brands)

Bacon

Avocado

Cheddar Cheese, shredded

Mozzarella Cheese, shredded

Salt and Pepper to Taste

1.  Start off by cooking the bacon. We also broil ours in the oven over a rack. This allows us to drain off the grease and use it for many other things later.

2. While the bacon is cooking, heat 1/3 cup of mozzarella in a medium pan.  This is going to form your taco shells.

3. Cook the cheese until it is browned on the edges (about 2-3 minutes). Slide a spatula under it to unstick it. This should happen easily if you’re using whole milk mozzarella as the oil from the cheese will prevent it from sticking.

 

4. Use a pair of tongs to lift the shell up and drape it over a wooden spoon resting on a pot. Do the same with the rest of your cheese, working in batches of 1/3 cups. I have found that putting the cheese over the (non-heated) over grate until cooled works well too.

5. Next, cook your eggs in the butter, stirring occasionally until they’re done. Season with salt and pepper. – If you have an issue with egg. Try just the egg yoke before you give up on eggs. Many people who have issues with eggs really only have issues with the egg whites.

6. Now simply add your toping to the cheesy taco shell and enjoy.

Some of ours turned out like nice tacos, like the one I have in the top image. Others no so much, these we turned into cheese burritos, rather than tacos…