Many of our staff and faculty contributed suggestions for random acts of kindness that any of us can do throughout the day all year long. Below are a few of our suggestions. Additionally, we have some self-kindnesses listed to encourage self-care because it's difficult to take care of others if you don't take care of yourself.
Let's spread kindness!
By Lyssa Balick, MS
Insulin resistance is a condition where your body does not respond properly to insulin and as a result, your body cannot easily absorb glucose from the bloodstream. Over time, this can make it hard for your body to control glucose and may lead to type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Many people with insulin resistance have high levels of glucose and insulin circulating in their blood at the same time (1).
Both aging and lifestyle factors can affect the way your body produces insulin. Factors that lead to higher insulin resistance include:
While genetics and aging do have an impact, small changes in lifestyle factors can make a big difference.
By Katrina (Kat) Farber, LMT, BCMT
It is an undeniable truth that certain smells bring back some of our most treasured memories, and often make us feel more at peace and relaxed. We often enter a room or a space that brings us into an immediate state of tranquility due to scents in the air. We also attempt to recreate this peacefulness in our own living spaces for everyday life. We all know this feeling; we seek it out, sometimes with more success than others.
By Elizabeth Parker, PhD, RD
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015 recommends consuming a healthy eating pattern that includes a variety of foods, which includes a variety of vegetables and fruits. But did you know that most Americans don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables? On any given day, Americans over the age of 2 years consume less than 1 serving of fruit and less than 1-½ servings of vegetables, far below the recommended intakes.
Fruits and vegetables contain a variety of nutrients and fiber that helps your body stay healthy. In addition to providing key nutrients, eating fruits and vegetables while staying within your body’s recommended caloric needs, can help you control your weight.
By Lyssa Balick, MS
What is Spice MyPlate?
Spice MyPlate was a nutrition education concept co-developed by The Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and The Institute for Integrative Health in 2012 (1). The premise was to combine best practices for nutrition from the MyPlate food model with hands on educational experiences using spices and herbs to make flavorful meals and snacks (2).
In 2013, students from two Baltimore City High Schools learned about 12 core spices and herbs and how to incorporate them into their meals. They were compared with a control group who learned about MyPlate, but did not learn about spices and herbs or how to use them in their meals. The study showed that when students learned about spices in an interactive way that included meal prep and cooking, they were more likely to consume whole grains and protein foods and their attitudes towards eating vegetables were more positive compared to the control group(3).
By Termeh Feinberg, PhD, MPH
When envisioning this blog post, it was challenging to decide where to begin because digestion is such a complex function of our bodies; there is no one size fits all approach, and when we are able to pinpoint strategies (natural or otherwise) that work for us, we are often beset with disappointment when our tried-and-true approaches stop being so effective. The gut, composed of ever-changing networks of bacteria, has such an influence on our physiology and resulting digestive health outcomes. Negative changes to these bacteria and their respective relationships, including environmental changes, are factors which influence our gut health. These and other changes result in discomfort among some individuals. There are a number of natural approaches employed (each with varying degrees of evidence) for strengthening one’s digestion, including:
By Katrina Farber, LMT, BCMT
Arthritis is a commonly known chronic condition commonly associated with age. We often hear the phrase “Well, I’m just getting old. Everything is starting to hurt.” Arthritis is actually a general term used to describe over 100 different joint diseases, though, and can affect people of many age groups. It is not just a disease effecting older adults. Over 50 million Americans suffer with some type of arthritis, which makes it the #1 cause of disability in the country. The pain and discomfort related to arthritis can occur in any joint of the body, and can affect more than one area of the body. (About Arthritis, 2017)
Massage therapy is frequently used to assist with various types of pain management. Arthritis is one of the many conditions often recommended to seek out massage care. For instance, in a study of hand/wrist arthritis, patients were given professional massage care as well as taught self-massage for home care. After 4 weeks, these patients reported less pain and greater grip strength. (Field, 2007)
By Prof. Felice Jacka
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From the University of Maryland, Baltimore Graduate School: