Injuries are just one of the many facets that you have to be aware of, especially traumatic brain injuries cause by a concussion, otherwise known as a ‘concussion’.
I am a cold weather person, my wife however, isn't. So over the years I have put together some items that has helped her, and should help you through the tough months of winter. Yes, they do work, I promise. I have shortened the details of this list for your reading. However, if you have any questions don't be afraid to ask me. You might get a 16 hour lecture, but you will be informed!!!
Look, I know this seems obvious and quite ridiculous considering it will be grey for a couple of months. Oddly there are things you can do to consume light, one of them being hiking in the wilderness. Every storm we have there is often a bright spot, the clouds disappear and there is usually some light to be had. Seriously go outside, hike, walk, climb and find more of it. Setting on your couch and you will not get the benefits of photon phase energy from the sun that chemically shifts vitamin D into making you happy!
Read Here if you don't believe me.
Limiting Excessive Holiday Cheer
Look, I know, this is common sense. But seriously, just know that the combination of not being active and then drinking too much will get you sick and depressed. In the winter months this can take a toll on the immune system no matter how much you think it warms you up, it does not.
Comfort Foods Made Healthier
I know I am opinionated, but this one should be an alarm bell for those of you that 'diet'. There is no such relationship between a foods' calorie and how your body consumes that said food as fuel. I am serious; It is the worst, saddest, marketing joke ever played on humans. Now, you see why I hide and try to not be as 'social' as other people. I get very, sad and frustrated with people that don't use logic. So here is some logic. A calorie is: "The energy needed to increase the temperature of a given mass of water by 1 °C depends on the atmospheric pressure and the starting temperature".
That has nothing to do with how your body enzymatically processes your food - ever. The only relationship it will have is social hysteria. Just don't eat crap food and a lot of it. If you have a metabolic issue, then you should address it. Under no circumstances you should use calories as some emotional marker for your success, or your weight for that matter. It will get you into a psychological tailspin that will create more depression in the winter months. Agreed eating less 'calories' will allow to loose weight, however that is not the way to do it and you know it.
Now, that being said, do the simple stuff. Eat good meats, vegetables, cook them in crock pots ovens. Make sure to eat the fat. Consider soups for leftovers from the previous days meals. Consider drinking way more water and taking some base minerals to boot. I will get off that horse before it becomes a treatise.
Wake Up, Exercise & Cold Showers.
Waking up and exercising and following it up with cold showers. Yes, I said it, no joke. Both in combination, have been proven to produce 'brown fat' which literally burns itself. Yes, fat that burns itself, so do it. Calories, what a joke.
You can even loose weight in winter doing this. Imagine a world where you lose weight by eating fatty tasty things but you just have to take a warm shower followed by a cold shower and work out for 30 min. Well, it is real, and it is the one you're living.
Read more here if your curious.
Limit Social Media & Get Out There
Just stop it, get out and enjoy yourself. Find the sunshine. Share your love for being happy with others that don't know how to break out of the cycle.
Part I - The Basics
The idea that your kids need 'mental-hygiene' seems ridiculous. However, I would like to point out that our culture as Americans has dramatically changed within the last hundred years, producing a real gap between what we are and what we have to adapt in order to keep up with our daily activities. This evolutionary hurdle between how we are and how our world is now shaped, is yet another culprit in the behavior of our children and their behavioral issues. This article is written with the intent to give you, the parent, helpful tools and an overall awareness to improve your children life and in the long run yours as well.
Lets start off with the four 'big questions' regarding neurological development. Observe how they may have influenced the behavior of your children in the past and become curious in that moment on how you can in the future create positive change. Remember, being that 'curious fellow' is one of the most influential methods of showing your children that they can accomplish most anything. They just have to learn how to ask the basic questions surrounding any problem; The what, why, who, when, and the how.
- Does the brain have enough fuel?
- Are the neurons within the brain able to become plastic, making new connections and creating new thoughts?
- Does the neuron have the ability to rest and repair itself?
- Is the neuron being stimulated correctly, in-regards to its' chronobiological requirements?
Part II - Energy & Neurons
Sugar (in the form of glycogen) is stored in the liver. Your children have small livers. That is why they need to eat so often. Good, now I got all that cleared up, let me explain myself. Neurons are very different than other tissues, as they cannot make the fuel they need to survive. They are like helpless children waiting for some-one to deliver them food, sound familiar? Without a steady supply of fuel, your brain will slowly shut down as it cannot function without it. Now considering other tissues can make energy, even some adipose (fat) cells can make their own energy, having a child have low level neurological symptoms without the physical body having the same response is very logical. Please note: There is a way around not having sugar, it involves making it through another process, but that we can cover later.
It becomes an important thing to create a balanced regular diet, especially when your kids are reaching for quick sugar, usually fructose without fiber. Examples being soda, juice, or energy drinks. This cycle can produce bad habits, horrible learning behaviors, and this behavior has been known to change a mood or two.
My suggestion is for you to choose a complex sugar with protein and fat. Yes, I said it - fat. Like from a pig, or an olive, maybe even a cow or a lamb. If you have active kids, a mixture of complex carbohydrates, fat, and proteins, in general, is the best thing for them - every meal. It will allow for their systems to create a steady sugar supply for the brain and allow for an environment where, we will talk about later, it allow for neurons to make new connections and grow. Please avoid all vegetable oil. I usually don't like to make a blanket statement however please just eat fat from healthy animals and seeds. Remember, its' called 'rape seed for a reason', this book link is an automatic download link and yes it is safe, and quite educational.
I also want to touch upon another thing to think about, genetics and how they play a massive role in how your children grow, develop, and interact with their environment. I want you to think about a basic facts, so please do not take this as point to be racially provocative, I am talking about facts and how you can help you and your children's lives. Africans, specifically African Americans, have an amazingly significant risk factor to developing type II diabetes over the course of their lives. Is it their diet? Is it there genetics? Is it both? Studies have shown the risk is both. So, simply said, children with African heritage should not eat fructose, ever. Yes, I said it, ever. Please do not ignore the concept of anthropology and how it applies to your children. Again, that is a different topic that can be another treatise.
For now, lets go over the basics when it comes to that basic question: Does the brain have enough fuel?
- Eat regularly 3-5 times a day.
- Eat a combination of complex carbohydrates, fats, & protein.
- Know that your child has less stored energy so snacks can be key if your out and about.
- Do not eat fat that is crap; Anything listed as hydrogenated, rapeseed, canola, margarine, vegetable oil. etc...
To be continued... [part III, IV, & V]
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued the first set of guidelines allowing parents the information and tools they need to spot possible concussions from youth sport activities in their children. Between you and me, it's about time. That being said, let me start with going over some of the basics; A bit of Mansplaining (my wife's term not mine).
What is a concussion?
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Most importantly, they are the most significant cause of TBI's in Americas youth. These 'concussive events' in our youth sports occur through simple impacts of head and to some degree, any sizable impact that causes the brain to wiggle back and forth impacting the skull like Jello smashing up against a glass container. This is what creates a concussive event leading to a TBI. One thing that is important to remember when it comes to how hard an impact may or may not have been; There are no tools that allow medicine to determine a value or measurement of an impact and how it equates to the measurement of neurological destruction, every situation is different, every patient is different.
Why are concussions so harmful?
The major concern regarding any concussive event, is the sensitive nature of neurons. They are very sensitive to physical impacts. Making matters worse, any impact that ends up causing a neuron to die, initiates a protective inflammatory chemical chain reaction. As a result, this chemically induced cascade creates more and more neurological destruction.
The study of this reaction is in its infancy. However, what we do know is that a good clinical workup is the best choice to document what systems of the brain have been effected. Allowing clinicians to provide tailored clinical program that will certainly reduce the impact of a concussion. As a result, we can help reduce recovery times and any long term damage. The final and most important item to note, on average about 10,000 neurons die every day on their own regardless of any injury. The body recovers this daily 'die off' of neurons through the process known as neuroplasticity creating more complete and healthy connections. As a result, this plastic growth is responsible for creating who you are as a person that develops over time.
Why is knowing important?
Teens that play while healing from a lingering concussion have a much greater risk of having a more significant concussion with the same impact. Consequently, these repeat concussions are believed to be much more serious and affect your children over their lifetimes.
How can you keep your children safe?
Sports are a fantastic, healthy outlet for anyone, let alone your children. Similarly, I am not an advocate of hiding your children in room to keep them safe. I have had so many concussive events I can't even remember. Yes, that is supposed to be funny. Here are the direct recommendations from the CDC to help your children stay safe:
- Help Create a Culture of Safety for the Team.
› Work with their coach to teach ways to lower the chances of getting a concussion.
› Emphasize the importance of reporting concussions and taking time to recover from one.
› Ensure that they follow their coach’s rules for safety and the rules of the sport.
› Tell your children or teens that you expect them to practice good sportsmanship at all times.
- Signs Observed by Parents
› Appears dazed or stunned.
› Forgets an instruction, is confused about an assignment or position, or is unsure of the game, score, or opponent.
› Moves clumsily.
› Answers questions slowly.
› Loses consciousness (even briefly).
› Shows mood, behavior, or personality changes.
› Can’t recall events prior to or after a hit or fall.
- Symptoms Reported by Children
› Headache or “pressure” in head.
› Nausea or vomiting.
› Balance problems or dizziness, or double or blurry vision.
› Bothered by light or noise.
› Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy.
› Confusion, or concentration or memory problems.
› Just not “feeling right,” or “feeling down.”
How we can help!
At Flathead Chiropractic we offer the ability for your children to get the neurological evaluation needed following a concussive event, allowing your family to take a positive direction. This includes, many advanced clinical assessment tools and nutritional guidance intended to measure performance and improve the recovery rate. We will give your children the best treatment program possible helping them to get back to being themselves. Call into our office if you have any questions regarding our TBI Assessment Program or if you want to make an appointment please call our office at (406) 314-6314.
- It is the best snack ever.
- There becomes a moment when you realize that you are using chemistry as your ancestors did, allowing you to create a food product that is extremely healthy and safe to travel with.
- That sudden appreciation for the moment when you need more because it's so delicious and its all gone.
- A - Supply chunk of cow, lamb, elk, or venison meat. Preferably a cheeper cut if you're going to be being it as honestly it makes the toughest meat tender as a ribeye steak.
- A - Supply of rock sea salt
- A - Supply of fine ground sea salt
- A - Supply of whole coriander seeds
- A - Supply of whole black pepper seeds
- A - Supply of malt vinegar
Please note: Above when I listed an about as 'A - Supply' I am referring too the fact that there will be a ratio of each of these items and there are no real measurements, just guidelines. Yes, I said it you're going to be curing meat without a measurement, deal with it. That being said, it is safe as long as you go by these two basic guidelines:
- The use of salt, vinegar, coriander, and black pepper is not about tase, as much as it is about allowing the meat to dehydrate chemically at the same time of being able to resist the growth of pathogens.
- People have been curing meat with salt for thousands and thousands and thousands of years. Regionally, there are some variants especially considering any regionally grown anti-bacterial or fungal herbs. However they have one main ingredient; Salt.
- Take the chunk of meat, in this case it is a 'rancher steak' out on the counter and observe how you can cut in into as many 1 inch thick 6 inches long slices. Here is an example of what I just bought for $30.
- Once you have the slices cut you will notice that there will be some that are smaller slices, that is quite all right. The only goal is to make sure that you have them to an even thickness as shown in [Step 1B photo].
- Place slices of meat in a bowl with enough fine salt, malt vinegar, hand ground coriander & black pepper (you can do this in a spice grinder or a hand grinder as shown), covering all surfaces. This example to the right I placed the following ratio:
- 2 - Heaping table spoons of fine sea salt
- 1/2 - Cup of malt vinegar
- 2 - Heaping table spoons of ground coriander
- 1 Heaping table spoons of ground black pepper
- Place meat strips close together in a flat glass or food grade plastic bin as in the next photo for 24-48 hours .
- You don't have to cover the meat while it is in the fridge, if you don't however you will just have a fridge that smells like coriander and malt vinegar.
- Take meat strips out of plastic container, wash them down in the sink with the malt vinegar
- The goal here is to just make sure you are washing again anything that has even thought about growing off of the meat that includes some of the fine salt and some of the ground coriander.
- Take each strip set it on a clean flat pan or cookie sheet, douse it with the rock sea salt and ground coriander, don't use the black pepper.
- You can use the same container as the previous for the next step just wash it out and dry it off.
- The amount of rock salt and coriander will be comparable to the ratio above however remember rock salt is more salt per granule. I prefer to just use a lot, cause I like salt.
- Remember this is the last real stage that you will be handling the meat, just focus on the fact that it should look like the photo here . Please note that as long as you used a lot of salt in the first part and you follow the basic guidelines here after you should have a great product. You will get the hang of it in regards to the ratio of ingredients - everyone is different. I have had super, super salty biltong and I ok with it. Others thought that it was the best they have every had. It is all up to you!
- Hang the meat strips with a bacteriostatic hanging method (food grade plastic or a stainless steel hanger or wood that has been treated) in a location where you can clean the floor as the meat will drip for 24 hours or so.
- Notice in the photo I have of my pieces of hanging biltong over my kitchen counter for draining purposes.
- I am using non-food grade plastic paperclips and I am ok with it because I would know the signs of mold or other issues from experience.
- Traditionally biltong boxes are used to solve both issues I have pointed out above. However, if your just starting out you do not have to use one. Place a fan on low pointing in the general direction or place a light below witch produces airflow through something called a 'stack effect'.
- I have never seen mold or fungus growing in any piece of biltong. You will quickly know it from how it looks, grey or white, fury or flat growths. That usually happens because there is
- No air flow
- Biltong pieces are touching
- Wait until it is firm to the touch. Some like it a bit 'wet', some like it dry. I honestly am just a bit too impatient to wait a full 7 days for standard conditions. Every situation is different but I have had biltong cure in 4 days with thin cuts and a lot of salt in the summer time.
Grilled Spatchcock Chicken, sounds infamous, however it seems to be an unknown within our grilling culture. I can honestly say, any other method of grilling chicken on a bbq is completely worthless.
I know some of you may like to use a specific cut of chicken on a grill, example being a leg or thigh in a family pack. I do understand this to some extent, especially if you're trying to cook for a party of 10 or more. Just trust me, this is a better way. This recipe is inexpensive, easy, and consistent every time.
To add: If you admit to anyone that you only bbq the breast all by itself because you like it that way, stop reading now. You are not up for the challenge, I mean this, go away. Learn about a DIY method of cleaning your grass with a vacuum.
Special Facts About Chicken & Grilling
They are dinosaurs, they are not mammals. Histologically (study of size and structure of cells), chickens are organized differently than mammals . Taking this into account, you need to be ware of a few key concepts:
- Chicken muscle has less water than red meat. This can often lead to a very dry chicken if grilled incorrectly.
- Chicken fat has more connective tissue than red meat. This can lead to small fires in a bbq causing over charring. This is why you often see a bottle of water next to a bbq. Not cool, man.
- Chickens are lumpy objects. Grilling chicken evenly, can be almost impossible. However there is a solution, spatchcocking. Otherwise known as medieval butchering, [Old English: a fowl that is dispatched quickly]. It consists of two cuts with scissors, that is it. Watch below and just get it done!
- 1 Whole chicken
- 2 Tablespoons of salt
- 2 Tablespoons of freshly ground pepper
- 1 Lime cut in quarters
- 1 table spoon of chili powder
- Start BBQ 25 min before cooking, whether it's a coal or a gas at 350F. If you have neither, then get the oven started to 400F
- Spatchcock the chicken. Spread all of the salt and pepper on top of the chicken.
- Just watch the video, use more salt than pepper. Do not set the chicken out for longer than 20 min. This is a safety thing.
- Place 'spatchcocked' chicken breast side up over an even medium heat for 30 min.
- Be sure to cover bbq lid, try to almost suffocate the bbq of oxygen. This is a good way of dampening the possible flair-ups by the chicken fat melting on the flame or coals. If you are using an oven just leave it in a pan, I like to use vegetables cut in 1' squares as a base so the chicken cooks above its own fat.
- After cooking the chicken for 30 min, turn chicken over and cook it for 10 min.
- You will see that the inside of the ribcage of the chicken is now face up. It will hopefully be a bit chard and blackened, that is what you want as you don't want to eat that part. If you are using your oven just keep it in the oven for the rest of the time suggested for turn overs.
- Turn chicken back over, squeeze lime over top, dusting the chili powder to finish until the chicken is at a temperature of 165F.
- Please note: you can test one part and it may be 165F. However the part that you should test is the thickest, usually the part where the breast and the thigh connect.
This Golden Curcumin Tea recipe is the best anti-inflammatory tea ever. I mean this, it's inexpensive, easy to make and delicious!
Special Facts Regarding Curcumin
For those of you who are new to the subject, as my wife says, let me 'man-splain'.
Curcumin, is a chemical compound found in the root of 'Curcumin Longa', otherwise known as Turmeric. In the western world, intrigue into the health benefits of this compound started in the 80's by a research team (Jiang et al., 1983; Kuttan et al., 1985). In recent years the number of research studies has included over 5,600 studies from 2005-2015 alone. Today, the culmination of all this intrigue due to the potential procurement for business opportunities has skewed some scientists, natural medicine advocates, and drug companies to look past the basics. The problem being, the products they are selling are just too damned expensive, especially when there are known examples within many cultures that use this 'food ingredient' in their 'food medicine' for thousands of years and are very effective.
Honesty, why reinvent the wheel when you don't have too. If done correctly, this Ayurvedic recipe or 'method of preparation' can be easy and extremely inexpensive: $.25 / serving as opposed to some 'solutions' being $5.00 / serving. Providing you with anti-inflammatory, anti-cancerous, and overall a good tasting ingredient without having to buy an over priced 'miracle product' at a ghastly cost.
So, here is the honest to goodness best recipe EVER; Clinically, medicinally, and most of all deliciously.
- 1 heaping tablespoon of turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
- 1 teaspoon of almond oil (do not under any circumstances use any other oil you have this recipe needs a type of fat structure that is in almond oil specifically you can use coconut or no oil at all)
- 1 1/2 cups of full fat milk (skim milk is milk that is lying to you about being milk - don't do it. If you want to substitute because you do not like milk, you are welcome to use almond milk alone or with a half combination of oat milk - this tastes great by the way!)
- 1/4 cup of filtered water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Some type of sweetening agent: Honey is my preference.
- Add water, turmeric, cinnamon, and cardamum to a small pot. Turn the pot to a low heat and constantly stir until a paste is formed.
- The key here is to not burn the paste. You want to make a warm paste that has the consistency of soft toothpaste.
- Add oil to the paste and stir for 30 seconds keeping the low heat on.
- Remember this is an Ayurvedic recipe and there is a reason to everything. Adding the oil while paste is hot will allow the oil to absorb chemically the chemical substrate; Chemistry is amazing isn't it?
- Add milk or a milk like product and slowly heat. Take off of heat prior to boil.
- If you go to a boil you haven't ruined it, you just might be a bit constipated after.
- Use some sweetener to taste, stirring with cinnamon stick.
Dr. Borgardt's famous - Porterhouse Steak Recipe. Yes, it is finally spring here in Kalispell, Montana. I would like everyone who has a BBQ or a cast iron skillet to join me in cooking the best cut of meat, ever, the porterhouse steak. So lets get to it!
- One - 2 inch or so porterhouse steak (preferably however if you end up getting more of a T Bone that is just fine)
- Two - Table spoons of small grind quality salt (Preferably a salt that includes many salt types, usually Himalayan or sea salt is fine)
- Pepper grinder to taste
- Take the steak out on your counter, set on a rack and liberally coat it with all the salt you see. Yes, as Ron Swanson said "All". Let it set out for at least one hour. Unless you have flies or bugs hanging out in your house don't worry there is enough salt and not enough time for anything to start inoculating the meat causing any issues. If you do just put a bowl on top of it and give it an extra hour to come to room temperature.
- The preparation goal is to do two things get the meat to room temp and to allow the salt to pull out proteins that when seared create a crust.
- Start BBQ 20 min before cooking whether its a coal or a gas we are looking for degrees if possible of more than 800F. If you are using gas, that means turning your gas on full. If you have neither then get the oven started to 475F and start a cast iron skillet 10 min on full flame to imitate the act of heat from the BBQ.
- The goal here is to create a surface that will sear those proteins drawn out of the meat by the salt at room temperature.
- Sear both sides of the porterhouse steak over the hottest portion of the grill, covering the top for 90 seconds a side, no more, no less. In between the one flip that will occur - DO NOT TOUCH IT.
- If your using coals, set them an area that is concentrated allowing an intensification of the heat. This also allows you to reserve the other area of your bbq to act as an oven.
- The same concept is applicable for the gas, just turn off gas lines on the side where the steak is and turn down the one burner to medium / low to resemble an oven.
- Using a cast iron skillet make sure that you have that thing almost smoking hot it will again take 10 min. When it is done on the second side place in the oven.
- Now here is where the argument happens. I like my steaks bloody rare. I take them off the grill at this point setting them on a butchers block and let rest for 10 min. Generally additional cooking times are going to vary for their doneness. However, if you go by this guideline of letting them rest in their respective oven types they are all equal.
- 05 minutes of time in their respective oven type = Rare
- 10 minutes of time in their respective oven type = Medium Rare (most common however not the most nutritional)
- 15 minutes of time in their respective oven type = Medium (if you do this please don't show me a photo or talk about it to anyone you should be ashamed of yourself).
- Set on a wooden butchers block for 10 min. Do not use plastic. Plates and cookie sheets are acceptable.
- I know you have heard this before; DO NOT TOUCH IT FOR THE NEXT 10 MIN. This is a resting period. If you cut through the meat prematurely, it will be like other things that are labeled with the same adjective; Null and void.
Quality coffee is an important part of any good morning ritual. Now researchers have found that it is playing an important role in warding off abnormal lipid levels, hyperglycemia, and excess body fat. A plethora of studies recently have connected drinking a cup of 'bean water' as my wife says, with an improved metabolism for glucose, insulin, and being responsible for a significantly reduced risk for diabetes. Researchers have started to connect the dots so to speak. Showing that coffee's inverse correlation with diabetes seems to be associated with its antioxidant and the anti-inflammatory properties. Through the mechanism of chlorogenic acid, thought to directly reduce glucose absorption.
- Coffee in relation to incident type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review with meta-analysis: Arch Intern Med. 2009 Dec 14;169(22):2053-63. doi: 10.1001/archinternmed.2009.439.
Over the last few years It has become apparent that fermented foods of the past, however uncommon they may be now in our American diet today, were important aspects of our heritage affecting our metabolism, immunity, and brain health. A recent review of studies from Stony Brook University has demonstrated how microbes within your gastrointestinal tract influence neurodegeneration in your brain.
My favorite quote from the article:
The multidisciplinary nature of the processes by which our partner organisms influence our health suggests that we realize how little we know and recall the saying of James Clerk Maxwell, “Thoroughly conscious ignorance is the prelude to every real advance in science.”
Now I am not going to go on some treatise for a 500 word essay about ignorance and how we as a society think we can outthink the culture of food; However, what I will say is this: Here is a list of common fermented foods, we as Americans used to eat on a daily basis:
- Amazake - Fermented rice drink
- Atchara - Pickled vegetables
- Ayran - A cold milk yogurt beverage
- Bagoong - Fermented fish paste
- Boza - Fermented millet drink
- Beer - Fermented and good for you
- Cheonggukjang - A Korean chili paste
- Cocoa - Yes fermented and good for you
- Cod Liver Oil - Originally fermented with salt
- Creme Fraiche - Goes well with fruit
- Dhokla - My favorite non baked bread
- Dosa - My favorite South Indian food snack
I am stopping here for one reason. It is a long list and the only items you probably know are beer and cocoa, right? Give me a month and I we will work on making some fermented foods on our YouTube Chanel. Till then, eat some yogurt, sauerkraut, or kimchi to start off with. I promise it will help. For what I hope is obvious, if you end up choosing beer and chocolate as your only introduction, try to have some of the local brews within the Flathead Valley and dark chocolate.