Exciting Announcement!!

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Meet the new providers at our Edina location!

I am beyond excited to welcome Dr. Brenda and Molly to our Edina wellness center. They are both so talented and come with many, many years of experience. Stay tuned for more exciting news coming in the next few weeks! We hope to see you soon!! ~ Dr. Katie

Brenda Higgins

Dr. Brenda Higgins, DC

Meet Dr. Brenda Higgins, an experienced chiropractor with a passion for finding the root cause of pain and symptoms. Dr. Brenda Kress Higgins, originally from Dubuque, Iowa, Utilizes spinal and/or extremity adjustments, muscle/ soft tissue work, and wellness care, she has seen great results with patients. Her expertise is in spinal correction, rehabilitation, and family wellness care. As a mom herself, she loves seeing babies and kids. Dr. Higgins thinks that educating people on the wellness and preventative aspects of how chiropractic can enhance their health and healing is the best part of being a doctor because of the adage, ” You are your own best doctor.” To stay true to what she advises, Dr. Higgins sees her own chiropractor at least weekly and checks her son regularly to maintain his health.

Spending time with her family and friends, especially her six-year-old son, Jameson, lifting weights, reading, cooking, and red wine are few of the things she loves.

Dr. Higgins is passionate about what she does and is excited to work with you. She is accepting new chiropractic patients at our convenient Edina, MN location. You can click here to schedule online.

Molly Pivec

Molly Pivec, CMT

Meet Molly Pivec our seasoned massage therapist. Molly’s holistic approach to massage and bodywork allows her to work with a wide range of clients. Whether you are looking for a relaxing massage, relief from chronic or acute pain, aromatherapy, reflexology, manual stretching or deep tissue work…Molly is the massage therapist for you! She tailors each massage to fit your needs by combining her passion for fitness and wellness and her knowledge of the human body to give you a truly unique experience. With her clients’ wellness in mind, Molly constantly seeks continued education and expands her depth of knowledge for her modalities and practices. Throughout the years, Molly has been a massage therapist at LiteSpa and Barre Bliss.

You can schedule your massage appointment with Molly Tuesday – Saturday at our convenient Edina, MN location. Click here to schedule online. We look forward to meeting you!

Seasonal Allergies

Road Sign

Most seasonal allergy sufferers are well-accustomed to the spring arrival of all the grasses and pollens that turn their peaceful world into a constant barrage of sneezing, itching, and wheezing. But did you know that seasonal fall allergies can be just as troublesome?

Just as you are ready to enjoy falling leaves, cozy sweaters, and all things pumpkin, you suddenly may find yourself wondering if it is April all over again. If you find that the switch from summer to autumn brings you itchy eyes and a scratchy throat, you may indeed have fall allergies.

Cold Fever

Many people quickly reach for an over-the-counter remedy such as Benadryl at the first sign of seasonal allergy symptoms. Some choose to suffer instead. At Balanced Care, we are here to help you find a healthy, natural solution that will give you relief so you can enjoy the lovely fall season.

Why Is My Nose Suddenly a Faucet?

Previously referred to as “hay fever,” seasonal allergies are just that: allergic reactions to something in the environment that occurs at specific times of the year. The host of symptoms that include sneezing and a runny nose is called allergic rhinitis in the medical world.

Spring allergies typically get all the attention, but for many individuals, fall symptoms are just as difficult to manage. Here are some likely autumnal culprits and triggers:

Ragweed: Ragweed is a flowering plant that grows easily through much of the world. The United States has 17 different species of ragweed and most bloom between August and November. The majority of allergic rhinitis cases are thanks to ragweed. It can lead to headaches, itchy eyes, and wheezing, along with nasal symptoms. For individuals with asthma, ragweed can make symptoms worse.

Extended warm weather: Although most people enjoy the lingering sunny days in the early fall, the warm weather does allow seasonal allergies to remain in full force. In areas with high humidity, or on days that are windy, mold spores are released and travel easily. With roughly 1000 types of mold in the United States, this allergy is tough to avoid. Since it grows both inside and outside, mold is particularly cruel to allergy sufferers.

School days: Believe it or not, the simple act of returning to school can be a problem for those with allergies. Older buildings may have poor ventilation, leading to problems with mold and dust. Industrial cleaners and maintenance products and the fumes they emit may cause symptoms to start. Some classrooms have pets that create a histamine response. Schools that have been painted recently may emit VOCs that can lead to headaches and respiratory problems.

Cold Fever

I Feel Like My Allergies Are Worse Every Year

If it seems like your symptoms grow more severe each year, you may be right. Unfortunately, the growth and spread of ragweed are increasing as climate temperatures rise. In a 20-year span, the average length of the ragweed season in parts of Canada and the US has grown tremendously. Some places are seeing an extra 20 or more days added onto a typical  seasonal allergy season.

Furthermore, ragweed species are spreading rapidly through Europe and other parts of the world that didn’t have them before. As a wind-born pollinator, ragweed is almost impossible to avoid during the fall allergy season.

As days and weeks and months trend toward warmer and warmer temperatures, pollens and molds have plenty of time to grow and spread, wreaking havoc on your eyes, ears, nose, throat, and lungs. So if you feel like allergens have the upper hand in your body, you may be right.

Remedies for Fall Seasonal Allergies

Your local pharmacy is likely to have shelves upon shelves filled with various allergy remedies in addition to the prescription medications that are available. Most of these have side effects, however, that you’d probably like to avoid.

Now, let’s take a look at how you can take back control over your health.

1. Close your windows. Although it feels nice to have some fresh fall air come into your house, that air is most likely carrying the very allergens that are making you miserable. Keeping doors and windows closed will help prevent a lot of your troubles before they start.

2. Skip the clothesline. Drying clothes on a clothesline has had a resurgence in popularity in recent years. But for seasonal allergy sufferers, it’s best to stick with drying clothes indoors. Everything you dry outside is probably going to end up with pollen or mold on it, so you would then be bringing all those allergens right into your house.

3. Wear a mask. Given the airborne nature of ragweed and the windy nature of autumn, those with seasonal fall allergies should consider wearing a medical mask when out and about. In particular, anyone with asthma should wear a mask to avoid triggering a respiratory emergency.

4. Try a neti pot. This ancient device from India uses a saline solution to cleanse the nasal passages. Although it is not necessarily the most comfortable feeling (think ocean water up the nose), it is effective. Proponents of the neti pot vouch for its ability to help alleviate allergy symptoms and sinus infections.

5. Eat anti-inflammatory foods. When your immune system reacts to allergens, this response triggers inflammation throughout your body. Sticking to a diet that suppresses this inflammatory response will help ease allergy symptoms. Ginger, garlic, onions, salmon, walnuts, and berries all contain properties that reduce inflammation.

6. Consider homeopathic and Chinese medicine remedies. If you are under the care of a knowledgeable practitioner, he or she may be able to guide you through the careful use of non-western treatments for allergy symptoms. There are many non-pharmaceutical options available, and your provider can guide you to the right choice.

Balanced Care Can Help

Allergy season can be unbearable for a lot of people, but you don’t have to suffer through on your own. At Balanced Care, we will work diligently to help build a plan for your overall health that will also give you relief from seasonal allergy symptoms.

Mustard Flower

Healthy School Lunch Ideas for Teenagers

Eating Sandwich

Sandwich

Teenagers today are facing hectic and busy schedules so we’re going to focus on healthy school lunch ideas for teenagers in our post today.

Between early starts to their school days, homework, sports, music lessons, and social time, well, eating healthy can quickly go by the wayside. These school days often mean teens are eating on the run and are often eating foods of convenience rather than foods that offer nutrition.

When you add in a fast food restaurant or coffee shop on every corner, it gets even harder to help teens stick to wise food choices to give their bodies everything they need. But in today’s busy, pressured world of screen time, media influences, and increasingly on-the-go meals, helping adolescents to make proper food choices is critical.

What do teens need for a health school lunch?

Nutritional needs for teens don’t vary drastically from those of adults, but they are very critical during this time of physical growth and brain development. (Yes, we promise, your teen’s brain is developing even if all evidence suggests otherwise!)

Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind for your teenager’s dietary choices:

  • Calories: This is the starting point for determining what and how much your adolescent should be eating. In general, teen girls need 1800-2400 calories per day, while boys require 2000-3200 calories. Active teens will need a caloric intake at the high end of these ranges.
  • Proper Protein: Protein is vital for the growth and repair of muscles and tissues. Teens need about 45-60 grams of protein each day. The important part, though, is to be sure the protein is coming through good choices.
  • Proteins that are high in saturated fats, such as cheeseburgers, are not suitable for the body. Lean meat, fish, nuts, and legumes are all excellent options for protein intake.
  • Proper Carbohydrates: This macronutrient is an energy powerhouse when delivered in the right form. Your teenager’s body needs carbs to have enough energy for her daily tasks and appropriate growth and development. But most of what teens reach for in the carbohydrate world are simple carbs – soda, juice, candy, etc.

What they need, as we all do, are complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, beans, fruits, and starchy
vegetables. These are the healthy choices that help with weight management and prevention of type 2 diabetes.

  • Proper Fats: Your teen’s body needs to get about 30% of its calories from fat, but it is vital that these calories come from the right sources. Saturated fats, those that are typically solid at room temperature, are dangerous for the body’s heart and arteries.

Animal products like meat and cheese often are high in saturated fats. Unsaturated fats usually come from plant products, such as nuts,                   olives, and avocados. These choices are healthy additions to your teen’s diet..

What happened to my child’s healthy habits?

As kids get older, busier and more independent, their food choices and healthy eating habits often fall by the wayside. They are away from home most of the day and have significant social and peer influences with them during that time. Your teen might be in classes, sports and work at a job all in one day!

Teenager’s eating habits can get off track in several ways; they can consume too many calories, too few calories, or the wrong calories altogether. Girls, in particular, are often drawn to fad diets that restrict their caloric intake or encourage them to skip meals, leading to many health concerns.

Social media and the entertainment industry clearly hold sway over teen food choices and body image issues. This influence is not a new phenomenon, but it seems to be ever-present now more than at any other time in history.

Eating Sandwich

Teen food habits matter . . . a lot!

Teens have a lot going on physically, socially, and developmentally. This is a critical time of growth and development, and proper nutrition is key to good health during these years.

Skipping meals is a common problem among teens, but adolescents who skip meals are likely to experience headaches, have difficulty concentrating, and often become irritable – as if these hormonal years don’t have enough of that!

It is essential that teenagers eat at regular intervals to maintain the energy and focus they need. But how do you keep a busy teen adequately fueled when they are always on the go?

Ideas for a healthy lunch plan

As school gets started again, this is a great time to plan out some healthy school lunch ideas with your teen. Here are some excellent food choices for your teen’s lunches and snacks. These will provide your growing kiddos with everything they need to stay nutritionally on target.

  1. Apple slices and whole grain crackers with peanut butter. This lunch option includes a lot of flavors, fiber, and nutrients for your child and can be surprisingly filling. And this is a lunch that is easy to make gluten-free.
  2. Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and granola. This choice gives your teen a good dose of calcium and, depending on the brand of yogurt, some beneficial probiotics as well. Store-bought granola can have a lot of added sugars, so use it sparingly or consider making your own.
  3. Salads are essential. Start with some greens, like lettuce, kale, or spinach. Add some protein such as beans, nuts, salmon, or chicken and then whatever veggies your child likes. Include a small container of salad dressing, again watching out for those added sugars and saturated fats, and your teen will have a tasty lunch that is high in fiber and protein. By choosing proteins and fats carefully, your salad easily can fit a vegan or vegetarian eating plan.
  4. Veggies and pretzels and hummus. Snap peas, bell peppers, celery, carrots, and cucumbers all go great with some tasty hummus. Made from chickpeas, spices, and olive oil, hummus is loaded with protein and flavor which often helps non-veggie eaters to be more willing to eat them. Wrap them all up in a tortilla, and your teen has a tasty, healthy wrap.

You’ve got this!

Feeding your teen can feel like a never-ending saga. Either they’re always hungry, or they’re refusing to eat because they don’t have time. But healthy lunches are easily within reach, even with limited time, and it is well worth the investment in your child’s health.

If you have any concerns about your teenager’s diet or eating habits, feel free to reach out to the doctors at Balanced Care today. We’d be honored to be part of your family’s health journey.