By: Elizabeth Parker, PhD, RD and Deb Taber
Packing healthy meals make you more energized and healthy. Eating healthy leads to a healthy life style and overall a better life!
To have a healthy diet there many different steps. There are several different portions of food to pack for lunch to be considered healthy. For example:
By: Gabriela Piedrahita
“The very best thing you can do for the whole world is to make the most of yourself” - Wallace D. Wattles
For some reason we have been programed to think being busy, exhausted, and sleep deprived equals being successful, so self-care becomes secondary. Some people consider it to be selfish or thoughtless to take time for oneself but really how exactly are we to perform our best if we aren’t our best? As to say, how are we to do if we can’t even be? Self-care takes another level when we realize it is NEEDED in order to be healthy and successful.
So, what is self-care? According to psychotherapist Emily Roberts, self-care is the practice of treating yourself with enough respect that you honor and fulfill your own needs. How many of you often make excuses to not do the things that you know are good for you because you don't have the time or money? Why is it most of us fall into the logic that putting others and their needs first is more important? Don't get me wrong, it’s beautiful doing things for others, but the reality is we cannot pour from an empty cup.
How long do you think your body will run on coffee, red bull, fat burning pills or junk food because you’re too busy to exercise, cook real food or even sleep? How is it you have time for everything and everyone but yourself? What makes other people and situations more important than you?
Helping others is always going to give us peace and joy, as long as we are helping ourselves first because if not, in the long run the psychological impact is not going to be positive. You see, when we always put others first, in some level we are telling ourselves that we are less important, that we are less deserving of our time, energy, attention and resources. Is that how you feel? Do you feel you’re less important? Think about that, self-care goes pretty hand in hand with self-love and therefore is fundamental in order to build and maintain a healthy relationship with ourselves and others.
You may argue “but I don't have time”, well we make time and PRIORITIZE what’s important, and let me tell you, you are important. Some of you may wake up with the best intentions to meditate or exercise even for a few minutes but then start writing an email and get to another until you realize morning’s up, and you have to get to work. So maybe, just maybe you’re not considering your self-care as a priority.
Here are some tips to start loving yourself more with little acts of self-kindness:
By Kelli Bethel, PT, C-IAYT, Director of Yoga Programs and Yoga Therapy
Yoga is a philosophy that began in India about 5,000 year ago. It is not a religion but a method for individual wellbeing. The term “yoga” means to “bind” and its goal is to alleviate suffering. Yoga has been used in Eastern medicine for centuries and only made its way across the seas to Western Culture in the last hundred and fifty years or so. While many in the US view yoga as a “workout” or that you need to be a contortionist, it is in fact far from that. Yoga practices can include breath work (known as pranayama), physical poses (known as asana), meditation and lifestyle (such as honor your body and where it is today). A yoga class may incorporate one or all four methods. In fact, some yoga may only focus on breath or mediation and may not have any movement. To participate in a yoga class, you don’t need to be able to get on the floor or have the flexibility of Gumby!
Research continues to demonstrate that benefits of a yoga practice. These may include:
Who is appropriate for yoga?
Well actually anyone and everyone! There are many different forms of yoga from hot power to slow and gentle to yoga nidra or sleep. It is important to choose a yoga program that is right for you, your body and your medical history. For those individuals with chronic medical issues or are currently in active cancer treatment a referral for evaluation by a yoga therapist to develop an appropriate yoga program for you and your needs is recommended.
The Therapeutic Yoga for Cancer Program at Maryland Proton Treatment Center is delivered by a Maryland licensed Physical Therapist and a Certified Yoga Therapist. Each client is assessed prior to treatment and an individualized treatment plan is created based on the assessment and the client’s goals. Treatment sessions are modified based on the participants day to day needs and goals. Sessions may include breath work, gentle active yoga pose and guided meditation. Read about some of our other Specialized Yoga Therapy programs at the links below.
By Kelli Bethel, PT, C-IAYT, Director of Yoga Programs and Yoga Therapy
Therapeutic yoga can be used as an adjunct to conventional treatment for cancer, for patients, survivors, and care givers throughout the treatment course. Many studies have been published on the benefits of yoga, specifically for cancer patients and cancer survivors. Yoga has been found safe to use with cancer patients in current studies.
Studies specific to Yoga and Cancer have shown:
By Kelli Bethel, PT, C-IAYT, Director of Yoga Programs and Yoga Therapy
As researchers continue to show the benefits of yoga, it is important to recognize that there is a difference from going to a yoga class for general benefit vs yoga therapy which is an individualized approach using yoga to address specific goals.
A general yoga class is an excellent way to learn tools and strategies to stretch, strengthen one’s body and mind. Yoga teachers can provide excellent instruction in breath work, physical poses and asana. Yet for those with chronic medical conditions a general yoga class may not be appropriate and is some cases contraindicated. An evaluation and treatment by a yoga therapist for these individuals is recommended.
In yoga therapy, clients work with the yoga therapist to get help with or relief from a symptom or health condition. The goal is to focus on the condition and empower the patient with tools and techniques that they can use to improve their function and/or reduce their symptoms. A Yoga Therapist meet with clients and completes an appropriate intake and evaluation. At the completion of the evaluation, the yoga therapist and the client work together to establish goals and develop an appropriate treatment plan. The treatment plan may include movement, breath practices and guided imagery.
The Therapeutic Yoga for Cancer Program at Maryland Proton Treatment Center is delivered by a Maryland licensed Physical Therapist and a Certified Yoga Therapist. Each client is assessed prior to treatment and an individualized treatment plan is created to based on the assessment and the client’s goals. Treatment sessions are modified based on the participants day to day needs and goals. Sessions may include breath work, gentle active yoga pose and guided meditation.
By Christine Barnabic, MS, RYT 200, Reiki Master
Yoga is a practice that involves mind, body and spirit. Yoga is for every BODY, regardless of age, gender, race, religion, size or shape. Whether you prefer to practice on your own or in a studio, there are options. Yoga is a mind-body exercise whose ultimate goal is to end suffering, be that tight hips, stress, anxiety or something else. The foundation of yoga is breath (pranayama), asana (physical poses) and meditation/mindfulness. It is not religious in nature and does not have to be physical, for example the practice of yoga nidra which simulates sleep patterns. Further research on Yoga benefits can be reviewed the Cochrane Library Collection of systematic reviews on yoga.
Yoga practice can be done sitting as well as standing and can be modified to get the most benefit with the least chance of injury. In fact, yoga can be done anywhere and anytime. Props can also be used such as blocks, bolsters, blankets and straps to aide in alignment and posture of poses.
In the day of technology and time restraints, you may prefer to do a practice on your own and/or online. If you are just starting to practice Yoga and prefer in the privacy of your own home this may be a great option for you. Try different videos with various instructors to find a person who may resonate with you and your practice. Using the online resources of YouTube and websites, there are a variety of options to choose from. Take time for yourself, click, practice and enjoy. It is recommended that beginners or those who are just coming back to the practice look for videos labelled “Beginner” and to check out the “How to” videos for certain poses you may need more guidance with practicing.
There are over 150 Yoga studios in Baltimore. It can be hard to narrow down which studio may work for you. The location, price, atmosphere, and teacher’s expertise, or other requirement are important aspects to find the experience you are looking for. Most studios/gyms have websites to explore their mission, class schedule and pricing. If you set aside some time to narrow down what you may want in a yoga practice you can explore their websites and look for reviews/testimonials. This website narrowed down studio options down with a brief description and link to their website. Yelp also reviews the Best Yoga studios, updated January 2019 by Yelp reviewers.
You may want to talk with friends or family to see if someone may want to join you and try out a yoga class. Having someone with you or even just encourage you is a great way to experience comradery and accountability in your yoga goals. There are even programs specific to health conditions, such as stroke, cancer and pain. Our Director of Yoga Programs and Yoga Therapy, Kelli Bethel, runs two that can be found here.
Yoga and You
Yoga is a practice of body movements and mindfulness. People choose to be physically active and choose things that make them feel good and keep them well. EveryBODY can do yoga and you decide how you would like to experience the practice. Please keep in mind that certain medical or chronic conditions, pregnancy, or seemingly benign conditions like arthritis require specific modifications. We recommend that you work with a knowledgeable practitioner/teacher. Below are some resources that give more information to help you find the best yoga for you.
For additional information, check out this article by Kelli Bethel, our Director of Yoga Training and Yoga Therapy, as well as these websites:
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NIH/NCCIH) - Yoga: In Depth
The International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) - Supports research and education in yoga and yoga therapy and serves as a membership-based, professional organization for yoga teachers and therapists worldwide.
Yoga Alliance (YA) - The largest nonprofit association representing the yoga community to promote and support the integrity and diversity of the teaching of yoga. Website contains bios of Registered Yoga Teachers (RYT), Yoga Teacher Training Programs and Continued Education in Yoga.
Free Baltimore Yoga – Free, studio quality yoga in non-studio spaces in Baltimore City.
MindBody – Search for Studios offering Yoga at locations near you.
Yogaworks – Offers memberships and community classes with drop in rates.
Movement Lab – Offers various levels/styles of yoga classes including Aerial Yoga and unique events and workshops.
M.Power – Offers heated and regular yoga classes. They also have a Yoga Trade program.
Yoga Gallery and Wellness – Offers various levels/styles of yoga classes in a nice studio space right off of 83/695 in Kenilworth.
May the light in me honor the light in YOU!
Why Namaste? The word is a way of greeting or showing respect originating in ancient India. Namaste spoken in a yoga practice is accompanied by holding the palms upright in front of the chest and bowing. The Sanskrit root word “namah”, means “salute or bow.”
About the Author: Christine Barnabic, MS, 200 RYT, Reiki Master
Christine is the Program Management Specialist at the Center for Integrative Medicine, part of University of Maryland School of Medicine. She received her Master’s Degree in School and Administrative Health from Towson University in 2010 including her Bachelor of Science degree in School and Community Health from Towson University in 2007. She taught Elementary health in Carroll County for seven years including staff health and fitness initiatives.
She has volunteered with the American Red Cross, Cupid’s Charities benefiting the Children’s Tumor Foundation, Fundraisers for the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Research, Safeminds support research and treatment for Children with Autism, Back on my Feet to combat homelessness and her own neighborhood association.
Christine is passionate about physical fitness and is active with health and wellness initiatives in Baltimore City. She is involved in the fitness group November Project and works out locally in the UMB Gym. She has been to many of the studio gyms and bigger gyms in Baltimore City. She has worked at Federal Hill Fitness and participated in a Yoga Trade program at M. Power Studio. She has completed trainings in Barre, Pilates, Yoga and is a Reiki Master. She continues her passion for all her activities teaching within the University of Maryland Systems.
By E. Blaine Guelde, CRNP, MS, AGACNP-BC
Welcome to 2019! Some of us are so happy that 2018 is over and are happy we made it through. Others are in a “good” place and might be anxious about what the new year will bring. Similarly, making resolutions works for some but not others. Instead of making a resolution this year, consider doing a self-evaluation to identify the things that are REALLY important to you followed by an evaluation of where your time is spent.
I recently did just that with the Living Values Questionnaire. The results were shocking. I’d been spending most of my time on values that weren’t actually very important to me. And the important values? They’d been neglected for a while, I realized. Before making your New Year’s resolution this year, consider completing the questionnaire and remember to keep the results handy. I found, rather quickly, that I slipped back into old habits without this reminder. A quick reference to the results was what I needed to keep me on track.
By Gabriela Piedrahita
Do you ever feel like each new year you start out extremely enthusiastic on your goals and by December you find yourself slacking out because you’re waiting for the next year that's “going to be the one”? Einstein used to say that doing the same thing over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity, so maybe there is something you need to change. Here are a few tips to make 2019 the year of breakthrough, the year you stop postponing your dreams and become closer to accomplishing them!
Define What Success Means to You.
When talking about the principles of success, the billionaire investor, hedge fund manager, and philanthropist Ray Dalio tells us we need to escape the conventions around us, decide for ourselves what to do and have the courage to do it. In other words we must define for ourselves what success is to us. Dr. Armando Sardi, Chief of Oncology Surgery at Mercy Medical Center defines success as “being able to accomplish the things that you want to accomplish while making a difference for the people around you”. He shares he truly believes that if you're going to be proud and happy and feel successful, it's not the money that you make, it's how you create a difference for the people or the world before you leave this life.
Choose Your Goals.
Now, what goals would make you accomplish that success? According to Dalio, the truth is an essential foundation for producing good outcomes so when choosing your goals you must work with reality as it is and not as you wish it to be. He believes having big dreams + embracing reality + having lots of determination = successful life. Many people stay stuck wasting all their energy fighting, loathing, or denying reality.
When asked about his goals Dr. Sardi states that every year he selects 10 goals based on 3 pillars: family, health and business, and determines specific actions that he’s going to take to accomplish them. He emphasizes that “You have to make a decision, you have to have a goal, because if you don't know where you are going, you’re never going to get anywhere.” Dr. Sardi also recommends looking at the goals through the year, maybe monthly or better yet daily! For example, he has them on his computer screen to see them regularly.
Be Consistent, Build Momentum.
Much like your car requires more gas to restart in every stoplight, so do you. If you manage to be consistent with the plan to reach your goals it will be easier! If however, you stop pushing even for a bit, you’ll slow down, eventually stop and will have to start at inertia again, which will require more energy and will get harder each time. So DON'T STOP, you have to be consistent to build up momentum, that force that multiplies your actions and allows you to accomplish your greatest dreams! It's not about big changes, if you have a 1% improvement in everything that you do in the area related to your goal, those small gains will add up to massive improvement. Don't underestimate the value of making small improvements on a daily basis; consistency and discipline are your best allies for creating this multiplying force. Remember this: stickability is the 95% of ability.
Guard Your Mind.
Much like now a days we’ve become very conscious of what we feed our bodies, we have to be aware of what we are feeding our minds. To achieve positive results you must protect your mind from absorbing negative things and feed it with positive things. So much like when we wear blue glasses we see everything blue, our mind works with filters as well, so stop for a second to think what filter is your mind creating? Are you creating a negative filter feeding your mind fear, bad news, self destructive thoughts, criticism and toxic relationships; or are you creating a positive filter, reading inspiring stories, talking kindly to yourself, always trying to see the bright side of things. Don't underestimate the filters you create for your mind, it literally determines the way you see the world and yourself.
Raise Your Standards.
The quality of your life right now is determined by your current standards. Huge success killer that happens to many: getting stuck in the routine. They get somewhere or accomplish something and then just stay there watching life happen. To seek success, you have to RAISE YOUR STANDARDS. Some people are pretty comfortable with their standards, “yeah let's be overweight, couch potato moms supported by our husbands” or “yeah I have a job that's killing me inside but at least it's only 9-5 and pays the bills” maybe NOT. You know what's different in successful people? They have something inside of them telling them to keep going, keep dreaming, keep being ambitious and never settle. So raise your standards, decide you will no longer conform with where you are and take some sort of action.
These are a few tips to make 2019 the year you start making a change! Know your goals and run after them, but keep in mind that what is best for you depends on your nature so you need to really understand yourself and know what you want to achieve in life. Also always remember that the biggest most important attribute you must have in order to succeed is BELIEF. The how to do it always comes to the person who believes he can do it. Why? Because strong belief triggers the mind to figure out ways and means to accomplish, belief triggers the power to do. So don’t let anyone else determine the size of your dreams, the most successful people on earth have changed the world because they believed they could do it. Think big, dream big, act big! As Robin Sharma says: no one will believe in you until you believe in you. Happy New Year everyone!
About the Author: Gabriela Piedrahita
Gabriela is a Research Fellow from Colombia who is currently interning at the Center for Integrative Medicine to complete her Bachelors in Psychology. She is also a Certified Nutrition Health Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York and has taken some Nutritional Psychology classes in the JFK University. With her mother and two sisters, Gabriela is part of Stamina in Action, a Mentoring and Coaching Firm targeted to women’s achievement of wholesomeness by activating their power to do good in their inner and outer world. She’s also done some research on the two most common mental illnesses of our time - depression and anxiety - and how these can be prevented and treated through nutrition, exercise and yoga/meditation practices. Gabriela is committed to making a difference in the world one person at a time, helping people achieve their best selves while she continuously evolves into the best version of herself possible.
By: Kayla Calhoun (Guest Writer/Intern from Towson University, Class of ’19)
Let me set the stage for you. I walk down to the first floor of the Center for Integrative Medicine (CIM) building, which is a part of the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine, and down the hallway off to the right of the main entrance until I make it to a sign that says, “Well Room”. The room is the size of a normal office, however, instead of a set of desk and chairs, there is a seated massage chair in the middle and yoga mats laid against the opposite wall. There is an aromatherapy diffuser emitting a soothing lavender scent, soft music coming from a speaker resting on a cabinet, and dim light, gently illuminates the area. I am standing in the doorway of CIM’s brand-new Well Room.
Massage Session Impressions
By Rebekah Frizzelle-Owens, LMT, BCTMB, CIMI, CPMT
Touch is an important part of life – it is part of what makes us human and makes us whole. Studies have shown that when someone doesn’t get enough caring touch in their lives, they can begin to psychologically wither and grow “touch starved.” Cancer treatments are life-saving, but can also leave patients feeling isolated, anxious, stressed, and more. Massage can help!
Video courtesy Maryland Proton Treatment Center.
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