Wellness 101 - First World Problems and Solutions

Wellness 101 - First World Problems and Solutions

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Description: Last year, I married my best friend, racing partner, and father of our two fur babies. Life is a constant adjustment to the oscillating balance of love, work, health, finances, friends, family, and happiness. Unfortunately, we live in a society that makes it increasingly difficult to live an optimally balanced life.

My goal today, is to briefly discuss these challenges and demonstrate simple viable ways to achieve balance, and thus: OPTIMAL WELLNESS. .

Author: J Celeste Ruland PhD ND LMT CPT (Senior) | Visits: 507 | Page Views: 855
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Wellness 101
First World Problems & Solutions!

Dr. J. Celeste Ruland, ND, LMT, CPT


April 11, 2015
Last year, I married my best friend, racing partner, and father of our two fur babies. Life is a
constant adjustment to the oscillating balance of love, work, health, finances, friends,
family, and happiness. Unfortunately we live in a society that makes it increasingly difficult
to live an optimally balanced life. My goal today, is to briefly discuss these challenges and
demonstrate simple viable ways to achieve balance, and thus: OPTIMAL WELLNESS.

First World Problems


…& Solutions!


“Wellness” = balance of all
life factors






Relationships (social, work,
home, family, romantic)



Health (symptoms, diseases)

Standard American Day/Diet
Wake up to an alarm, before sun rises, get ready, leave the ones we love, quickly
make breakfast, put some coffee in a cup of sugar and milk, filled with hormones,
chemicals, etc. Go sit in a car behind other cars, in stressful traffic, only to get to
work to sit down in front of a computer to deal with deadlines and more stress.
Finally get out 8 hours later (if you’re lucky), pick up kids or go straight home to
cook or eat dinner, sit and watch TV drinking a beer or wine…
• Get to bed by 11pm, toss and turn until 11:30, snore, wake up feeling like you just
got to sleep, just to do it all over again.
• If you fit in the gym before or after work, or maybe take a walk during “lunch”, you
are the minority, but thank you.
• Now this is not meant to depress you. It is meant to open your eyes. Is this you?
Is this partly you? Can you relate at all, or maybe hear it from your significant
other, friends, family? This is not healthy, for so many reasons.
• There are options! You can change, you can improve. You just need to prioritize,
be patient with yourself, not expect a miracle, but expect to make different
sacrifices. No, you don’t think you have time, no it is not easy, but it is POSSIBLE.


Let’s start out talking about exercise, we will get to diet…

World Map data
for Sedentary
Darker the color,
the more minutes
of daily activity

According to
another paper in
the Lancet,
insufficient activity
has about the
same effect on life
expectancy as


Sedentary Lifestyle

A sedentary lifestyle is defined as a type of lifestyle where an
individual does not receive regular amounts of physical activity.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states that an individual
should participate in a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate
exercise (30 min x 5 days weekly), or 75 minutes of a more vigorous
regimen (~20 min x 4 days weekly) AND 2 days of weight training all
muscle groups!

Walking 10,000 steps a day (approximately 5 miles) is an ideal goal
to set for improving health and reducing the health risks caused by
inactivity. Not enough…

• 2008

Physical Activity
Guidelines for
• http://www.cdc.gov/
• According to the World
Health Organization
(WHO), 60 to 85% of
the population
worldwide does not
engage in enough
activity. Insufficient
physical activity is 1 of
the 10 leading risk
factors for death

Sitting Problems - who has pain?
inflammation, insulin resistance, blood flow

Upper body:

headaches, neck and back pain, forward head. straining
cervical vertebrae - may lead to permanent imbalances
affecting the rest of the kinetic chain.
greater risk of herniated lumbar disks

Lower body:

swollen ankles, poor circulation, possible blood clots

Muscles: (use it or lose it) stand or sit up strong.

gluteals: limp

abdominals: mushy from slumping

hips: tight. all of the above will negatively affect posture.
calorie burning drops to 1 kcal/min.

Internal Organs:

Pancreas - produces insulin, if muscles are idle, less
sensitive to insulin, increased pancreas work for more
insulin production , may lead to diabetes and other
diseases. After 24 hrs Insulin sensitivity drops 25%.

Heart - HTN, HChol, CVD -after 2 hrs, HDL drops 20%

Cancers - colon, breast, endometrial - case unclear but
possibly due to excess insulin, decrease antioxidants due to

Brain, Bones:

osteoporosis due to lack of activity - need weight bearing.

Brain function slows down when blood flow decreases due
to lack of muscle pump

Mood - physical inactivity may lead to increase anxiety/

PubMed search for “prolonged sitting”= 755 articles


Sitting Solutions

Take breaks

Set up your desk,
chair, computer,

Standing desk

Treadmill desk



Desk Stretches

Mobility over
Move muscles while foam rolling.
Reduce adhesions to improve
mobility and function.
Find a tender spot, roll on it. 1-2 min/
muscle group, total 5-10 minutes
before and after each workout.


Movement Solutions
1. Modify based on prior medical
2. Give yourself 2 hours to digest food
3. Take off shoes socks and belt if
4. Listen to your body and use
common sense (don’t stand on a
rolling chair).
5. Just 5 minutes of standing for every
30 minutes of sitting can help
prevent the muscle breakdown that
occurs from prolonged sitting.
6. Drink more water = get up more


Quick workouts

No one has time…

You have to MAKE time






TABATA timer/minute workouts

park further from entrance, squat while
brushing teeth, walk while on phone,
add exercises during commercials/
shows. etc.


Stress (chronic) - performance, deadlines, hours, co-workers, promotions, security, etc.
BODY and MIND reacts to stress:

increased BP - leading to damaged arteries and plaque formation, atherosclerosis.

decreased immunity/auto immunity/dyregulated immune system (< RA, MS, Thyroid).

Stress and Health: Psychological, Behavioral, and Biological Determinants. in Annu Rev Clin Psychol.2005, 1:607-628

increased abdominal adiposity (belly fat)

fatigue, loss of mental energy (“burnout”), memory loss (cortisol shrinks hippocampal
region of brain, memory area.)

sleep deprivation, caffeine, and alcohol all increase Cortisol.

chronic diseases (autoimmune, listed above, obesity, CVD, cancer)

supplementing a lack of sleep with multiple cups of coffee/energy drinks actually
reinforces the negative effects of the stress response.

stress levels rest largely on our own behavior and decisions and that we can optimize our
bodies’ responses to stress based on how we live our daily lives.


Work Productivity
Stress & Sleep
Studies have repeatedly shown that employees suffering from high stress levels
have lower engagement, are less productive and have higher absenteeism levels
than those not working under excessive pressure.
Stress and sleep are closely related. If you chronically get less than 5 hours of
quality sleep nightly, there is significant reduction in your work and life productivity,
as well as increased reports of stress. “Stress prevents sleep. Sleep deprivation
increases stress and its consequences.”
Promoting healthy sleep habits through sleep disorder screening and employee
wellness programs, offering nap rooms, and encouraging employees to unplug
more during evenings, weekends and vacations can be a starting-point for tackling
the culture of sleep deprivation in corporate America.
- Huffington Post, 7/23/2013

Stress isn’t ALL bad. Stress
within your comfort zone can
help you perform under
pressure, motivate you to do
your best, and keep you out of
danger if needed. Stress is
detrimental when it becomes
overwhelming and chronic.



Stress Solutions

Find cause(s) of stress

Time management

take personal time, even 10
minutes a day to “recharge”
and “ground” yourself.



Professional Counseling/Therapy

Sleep/Relaxation time/Meditation

Set reasonable standards for
yourself, for your job, for others.


Less sleep = more stress = less
productivity = decrease
immunity = increased weight

“Sleep deprivation leads to deficits in cognitive functioning, whether it’s reaction time, decision-making, or

Sleep is essential for beyond just what’s going on in your brain, too. “Sleep is involved in the repair and
restoration of the body. The rest that happens during sleep really rejuvenates your body for the next day,” says

“Sleep deprivation leads to deficits in cognitive functioning, whether it’s reaction time, decision-making, or

Sleep is essential for beyond just what’s going on in your brain, too. “Sleep is involved in the repair and
restoration of the body. The rest that happens during sleep really rejuvenates your body for the next day,” says

“When you’re stressed, your body tries to produce serotonin to calm you down. The easiest way to do that is
by eating high-fat, high-carb foods that produce a neurochemical reaction,”

“When you’re sleep deprived, the mitochondria in your cells that digest fuel start to shut down. Sugar remains
in your blood, and you end up with high blood sugar,” says Breus. Losing out on sleep can make fat cells 30
percent less able to deal with insulin, according to a study in Annals of Internal Medicine.

When you’re wiped out, your hormones go a little nuts, too, boosting levels of the ghrelin, which tells you when
you’re hungry, and decreasing leptin, which signals satiety. In fact, sleep-deprived participants in one small
study of 30 people ate an average of 300 more calories per day, according to research in The American Journal
of Clinical Nutrition. And a larger study of 225 people found that those who only spent four hours in bed for five
consecutive nights gained almost two pounds more than those who were in bed for about 10 hours, over the
course of a week.

Numerous studies have connected inadequate sleep to chronic diseases and shortened lifespan.

Sleep Solutions

Muscle Aches/Pains: If sleep is difficult because a shoulder or a hip on one side of the
body hurts, use a tennis ball, place in pocket or rolled into pants during sleep to deter
you from lying on that side. MASSAGE can also help

Loud Sleeping Partner: First, rule out sleep apnea, wear earplugs, use white noise
during sleep. Use vibration app for early alarm time. (fibit, jawbone, sleep cycle
(iphone), sleep as android. Many other sleep info apps available as well. http://dailyburn.com/life/

Racing thoughts: essential oils, chamomile tea, warm baths, white noise, meditation,
journal by bed. Avoid any form of caffeine (coffee, tea, chocolate) after 3pm. Avoid

Sleep Environment: make sure room is dark, cool, quiet (from disturbing noises, can
use white noise, black out curtains, turn off electronic devices/clocks/TV. avoid too
much light an hour before bed. Amber lenses (to block out blue light).

Irregular sleep patterns: count 8 hours before your morning alarm time, be consistent.


“My Plate”…

In June 2011, the traditional “Food Pyramid”
was replaced with a new icon, named
“MyPlate,” which restructures the
recommended amounts of different food
50% fruits/veggies
25% whole grains
? milk?

…might not be good enough for
“Your Plate”
Here is what the Healthy Eating Plate recommends:
• Make half your meal vegetables and fruits. Go for variety.
And keep in mind that potatoes and french fries don’t
• Choose whole grains whenever you can. Limit refined
grains, like white rice and white bread, because the body
rapidly turns them into blood sugar.
• Pick the healthiest sources of protein, such as fish,
poultry, beans, and nuts; cut back on red meat; avoid
bacon, cold cuts, and other processed meats.
• Healthy oils (like olive and canola oil) are good for you.
Don’t be afraid to use them for cooking, on salad, and at
the table.
• Drink water, tea, or coffee. Milk and dairy are not musthave foods—limit them to 1-2 servings/day. Go easy on
juice. Avoid sugary drinks.
• And stay active!
MyPlate recommends milk or dairy at every meal, even though
there is little evidence that high dairy intake protects against
osteoporosis and substantial evidence that consuming a lot of
milk and dairy foods can be harmful. It says nothing about
healthy oils, which are good for the heart, arteries, and the
rest of the body. And it is shockingly silent on sugary drinks,
which provide far too many empty calories.
The federal government has been in the food icon business
since 1992, when it unveiled the Food Guide Pyramid. It was
built on a shaky foundation, influenced more by the food
industry and agriculture interests than by science. MyPlate
continues this unhelpful trend.
The Healthy Eating Plate is based on nutritional science and is
not influenced even a smidgeon by commercial pressure.

Quiz time!

What are the recommended amounts of added sugar
intake daily for men and women? 
Recommended: 9 teaspoons for men/6 teaspoons for women. 

What is the average American daily sugar intake?
Average intake: 21 teaspoons


Small Daily Improvements

Start where you are today and look toward
guidelines as goals. If you are eating one
serving of vegetables a day right now,
increase to two or three. If you are not
exercising at all, start with a few 10 minute
bursts of exercising and stretching daily. Take
baby steps. Be consistent.

It helps for many to be held accountable - tell
all of your friends and family, join a Facebook
group, or invest in personal training sessions,
or nutrition and health counseling.

Stop obsessing over calories… a calorie of
food does NOT equal a calorie of energy this is oversimplified and overused.

Be aware of the calories in different kinds of
food, but don’t get obsessed counting them.
Knowing general serving sizes, filling your
plate mostly with the watery vegetables and
lean proteins, so it is filled with colors.

How to Minimize Sugars in The Diet


Avoid these foods, in order of importance:
1. Soft drinks: Sugar-sweetened beverages not only
have heaping amounts of sugars, but also contain
unhealthy preservatives, colorings, and leach
minerals. But if you google uses for Coke/Pepsi,
there are many, but I wouldn’t recommend
ingesting it (on a regular basis).
2. Fruit juices: This may surprise you, but fruit
juices actually contain the same amount of sugar as
soft drinks!
3. Candies and sweets: You should drastically limit
your consumption of sweets.
4. Baked goods: Cookies, cakes, etc. These tend to
be very high in sugar and refined carbohydrates.
5. Fruits canned in syrup: Choose fresh fruits

Dunkin Donuts “regular”
(cream and sugar, large iced, no extra
flavors): 270 calories, 100 calories from
fat, 7 g, 35% saturated fat, 35 g sugars,
3 g protein…(3 MILES?!)

6. Low-Fat or Diet Foods: Foods that have had the
fat removed from them are often very high in sugar.
7. Dried fruits: Avoid dried fruits as much as
Drink water instead of soda or juices and don’t add
http://www.hammernutrition.com/knowledge/146-reasons-sugarsugar to your coffee or tea.


Instead of sugar in recipes, you can try adding other spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, almond extract,
vanilla, ginger, or lemon.
Just be creative and use google to find recipes. You can eat an endless variety of amazing foods
even though you eliminate sugar from your diet.
A natural, zero-calorie alternative to sugar is Stevia or Xylitol. Avoid other fake sugars.
The best way to cut back on sugar is to simply avoid processed foods and satisfy your sweet
tooth with fruits instead.
Other tips on how to avoid sugar:
• Know the many different names for sugar: Sugar, sucrose, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS),
dehydrated cane juice, fructose, glucose, dextrose, syrup, cane sugar, raw sugar, corn syrup,
malt, as well as more natural sugars: agave, honey, organic cane sugar, coconut sugar.
• If a packaged food contains sugar in the first 3 ingredients, avoid it.
• If a packaged food contains more than one type of sugar, avoid it.
Warning: You MUST read nutrition labels! Even foods disguised as “health foods” can be loaded
with added sugars.
Real Protein foods: Real creatures fed real food – Meat, including all parts of an animal, fish and seafood (especially oily) and eggs (and
anything else you care to eat, grubs, insects, etc…)
Real Carbohydrate foods: fruit and vegetables, fresh from plants in the ground, not processed.
Refined grains, such as white bread and white rice, act like sugar in the body. Eating too many refined grains can raise the risk of heart disease
and type 2 diabetes.
Real fats: Fish and seafood oils (omega 3), grass fed and wild meat fats (crack open some bones), plant fats and fresh pressed high
monounsaturated plant oils; olive, macadamia, avocado, coconut.


Amount needed daily ~ 1.5-2 grams/kg of ideal body weight.

~1-2 palms of protein food per meal is pretty close to this amount.
Eat mainly unprocessed meats, and include also lentils, beans, legumes,
quinoa for some diets.

Fruits & Veggies

Fruits should be limited to highly colored fruits like berries, and fruits are most
useful post-exercise to refuel liver glycogen stores.

1-3 servings daily

1/2 cups (10 g carbs)
Vegetables Starchy (instead of “my plate” grains) vs Non-Starchy
• Starchy - 100 grams daily (highly active requires more like 150g daily). Fist size
at each meal, addition post workout. 1 cup ~ 30 grams carbs. i.e.: squash,
sweet potato, root veggies.
• Non-Starchy - Fill the rest of your plate, after protein and starch, with at least 1
cup per meal. Variety between bright colors, green veggies, and sulphur group).
Sulphurs: Brassicas – cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, and related
vegetables. Alliums – onions, shallots, garlic, leeks.


Eat about a thumb size at each meal
• 2-3 tsp of added oil/fat
• 2-3 Tbl of nuts
• 1/4 avocado

Additional healthy edibles

Spices/Herbs - use liberally

Probiotics foods - use daily
(kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut,
kombucha, pickled foods).

Additional resources:

• The Paleo Solution by Robb
• The Primal Blueprint by
Mark Sisson.
• Perfect Health Diet by Paul
and Shou-Ching Jaminet
• The Whole 30 by
Melissa and Dallas Hartwig.

The Whole30 Program Rules
Yes: Eat real food = Eat meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats
from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients,
or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re totally natural and unprocessed.
No: Avoid for 30 days.
Omitting all of these foods and beverages will help you regain your healthy metabolism, reduce systemic
inflammation, and help you discover how these foods are truly impacting your health, fitness and quality of life.
• Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar,
coconut sugar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc. Read your labels, because companies
sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.
• Do not consume alcohol in any form, not even for cooking. (And it should go without saying, but no
tobacco products of any sort, either.)
• Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur,
sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa.
This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ,
starch and so on. Again, read your labels.
• Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava,
etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy –
soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
• Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft),
kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee. (See below for
• Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of
your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.
• Do not try to re-create baked goods, junk foods, or treats* with “approved” ingredients. Continuing
to eat your old, unhealthy foods made with Whole30 ingredients is totally missing the point, and will tank
your results faster than you can say “Paleo Pop-Tarts.” Remember, these are the same foods that got you
into health-trouble in the first place—and a pancake is still a pancake, regardless of the ingredients.
- See more at: http://whole30.com/whole30-program-rules/



Vitamin C


Fish oil


Bone broth (collagen/glutamine)

Essential oils (caution with pets
and false information about
ingestion). lavender!

P-knot/foam roller!