Early birds may be more active, but night owls can catch up

Being an early bird has long been associated with a go-getter attitude. Early birds, or those who tend to wake early and go to bed early, are people who naturally feel sleepy earlier in the evening and naturally wake early in the morning. For an early bird type, a 9 pm bedtime may be the norm, and rising at 5 am without an alarm clock feels relatively effortless.

Our internal clock controls more than sleep patterns

Being an early bird, or the opposite night owl, is usually not something that is thought of as being highly under our control. Some people seem to be hardwired to sleep early, while others get a second wind and tend to sleep late. This internal clock is called our circadian rhythm, each person’s unique internal timekeeper and the body’s own master controller of many functions. Most obvious is our sleep patterns; however, our internal … Read more

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Type 2 diabetes: Which medication is best for me?

If you are living with type 2 diabetes, you certainly are not alone. One in 10 people in the US has diabetes, according to the CDC. However, despite considerable progress in diabetes treatment over the past 20 years, fewer than half of those with diabetes actually reach their target blood sugar goal.

In part, this may be because doctors can be slow to make changes to a patient’s treatment plan, even when a patient’s treatment goals are not being met. One reason for this may be the overwhelming number of medications currently available. And yet, waiting too long to adjust treatment for type 2 diabetes can have long-lasting negative effects on the body that may raise the risk of heart and kidney disease and other complications.

What is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease where the body’s ability to use glucose or sugar as fuel … Read more

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It’s still true: Not all the news about COVID-19 is bad

I thought the pandemic would be over by now. And I’m not alone; there were sophisticated models predicting a dramatic drop in the number of infections by the summer. And while there was understandable worry about the second wave, re-infection, and the coming flu season, there was good reason to believe we’d have the worst of the first wave well behind us.

Now, that all seems like wishful thinking. Here we are, over nine months into the pandemic, with more than 224,000 deaths, and more than 70,000 new cases and 800 deaths every day in this country as of late October. There are new hot spots popping up in the US and all over the world. Herd immunity, whether due to infection or vaccination, is still many months or even years away — if it happens at all. Despite these challenges, we do have some good news.

Good news about

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Coping With IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be painful, annoying, and embarrassing. There is currently no cure for this complex condition, and managing its symptoms and flare-ups is tricky. So, coping mechanisms are a constant need.

What are the symptoms of IBS?

IBS is a gastrointestinal disorder in which your gut becomes more sensitive, and the muscles of your digestive system have abnormal contractions. People with IBS usually have abdominal pain along with frequent changes in bowel habits (diarrhea, constipation, or alternating between both). Other common symptoms include

  • bloating and gas
  • urge to move the bowels, but being unable to do so
  • incomplete bowel movements
  • urgent need to move the bowels.

Because no one knows what causes IBS, it is impossible to prevent it. Once you have been diagnosed, the goal is to focus on managing the condition. You can do this by identifying specific triggers of your IBS symptoms and then … Read more

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Defusing the “Benadryl challenge”: Discussing danger with teens

Let’s start with the bottom line: Parents of teens need to help them understand that just because they have been “challenged” to do something doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. But as simple as that sounds to us, it’s tough for many teens to grasp.

The latest challenge in the news is the “Benadryl challenge” that appeared on TikTok, a popular social media video platform. The idea was to take a whole lot of Benadryl (diphenhydramine, a common antihistamine) in order to cause a high, with hallucinations. While it’s true that diphenhydramine can make you high and make you hallucinate, when you take too much of it you can also have seizures, pass out, have heart problems, or even die. And indeed, emergency rooms across the country have treated overdoses of diphenhydramine, and at least one death has been attributed to the challenge.

Dangerous challenges appeal to teens

To TikTok’s … Read more

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Birth Of A Snack Food Brand… the Story of PeaTos with Nick Desai

Birth Of A Snack Food Brand… the Story of PeaTos with Nick Desai

Did you know that there are 92,000 Cheetos eaten a SECOND and that Cheetos is a 1.7 BILLION dollar business? AND that 48% of Americans have eaten one in the last year! And that Frito Lay is a 4.5 billion dollar business and that it takes up 60% of the snacking market share? Well, Nick Desai, Chairman and CEO, Snack it Forward  has a vision for Junk Food without the Junk and he is creating a massive and impactful disruption to the junk food industry. 

Nick believes that there should be a bridge option between JUNK and totally unprocessed natural foods and he is willing to risk everything to make an impact on the obesity epidemic while being honest with who they are. 

Today on Leveling up meet Nick Desai. He has been the Chairman and … Read more

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Talking to your doctor about an abusive relationship

When Jayden called our clinic to talk about worsening migraines, a medication change was one potential outcome. But moments into our telehealth visit, it was clear that a cure for her problems couldn’t be found in a pill. “He’s out of control again,” she whispered, lips pressed to the phone speaker, “What can I do?”

Unfortunately, abusive relationships like Jayden’s are incredibly common. Intimate partner violence (IPV) harms one in four women and one in 10 men in the United States. People sometimes think that abusive relationships only happen between men and women. But this type of violence can occur between people of any gender and sexual orientation.

Experiencing abuse can be extremely isolating, and can make you feel hopeless. But it is possible to live a life free from violence. Support and resources are available to guide you toward safety — and your doctor or health professional may be … Read more

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You Won’t Get There By Accident

You Won’t Get There By Accident

YOU WILL NOT GET THERE BY ACCIDENT. Are you super laser clear on what you actually WANT to create for yourself? If you are not clear on where you want to go you won’t get there ‘by accident’.

Kinda like getting in a car and driving without deciding where you are going! You’ll get somewhere but it’s random and you may run out of fuel figuring out the destination.

That’s how I spent the first 4 decades of my life… chasing, following, changing directions… not being super clear on where I actually wanted to end up and getting clear on what I wanted that to feel and be like once I arrived.

Here’s the cool thing about deciding and then declaring a clear “vision and destination” for yourself:

Anything is possible if you can dream it up. It does not matter where you are … Read more

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Intermittent fasting: Does a new study show downsides — or not?

Intermittent fasting (IF) is an approach to eating based on timing. The idea is that fasting for long enough allows insulin levels to fall low enough that our body will use fat for fuel. Growing evidence in animals and humans shows that this approach leads to significant weight loss. When combined with a nutritious, plant-based diet and regular physical activity, IF can be part of a healthy weight loss or maintenance plan, as I described in an earlier blog post.

Now, a randomized controlled trial published in JAMA claims that IF has no significant weight loss benefit and a substantial negative effect on muscle mass. News outlets picked up the story and ran headlines like A Potential Downside of Intermittent Fasting and An Unintended Side Effect of Intermittent Fasting.

But what did this study actually look at and find?

In the study, 141 patients were randomly assigned to … Read more

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Keeping your family safe this Thanksgiving

So much is different and hard during this pandemic — including planning for the holidays.

It’s understandable to want to gather with friends and family. We are all so worn out by the COVID-19 pandemic, and need some cheering up. And most of us have friends and family that we haven’t been able to really spend time with — or haven’t seen at all — for months.

But gathering with friends and family can bring real risks during the pandemic, especially with cases rising all over the country. All it takes is one sick person — who may not even realize that they are sick — to infect others and spread the virus even more.

The best thing to do, honestly, is to celebrate the holiday with just the people you live with, and to skip in-person sporting (or other) events, or in-person Black Friday shopping. That’s truly the best … Read more

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How To Build Muscle

How To Build Muscle

Grow muscles grow…

  • You will not look like a man.
  • You will not accidentally become a bodybuilder.
  • You WILL love what you become…

What more muscle means to YOU….

  • Your body (mass) takes up less SPACE (Muscle takes up less space than fat pound for pound)5 lbs of muscle and 5 lbs of fat BOTH weigh 5 lbs on the scale BUT the muscle takes up a lot less space than fat. So basically YOU LOOK BETTER, TIGHTER, SMALLER and MORE TONED
  • Your metabolism works better. The more muscle you have, the more calories you use at REST
  • You have less aches and pains. The more functionally fit you are , the more muscle you have, the LESS you feel pains in your joints

To build muscle:

  • DECIDE it is happening. Your AGE, your (insert whatever self imposed stop and belief you have here) are NOT going to get in
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Mind-body medicine in addiction recovery

As someone who struggled with a miserable opiate addiction for 10 years, and who has treated hundreds of people for various addictions, I am increasingly impressed with the ways in which mind-body medicine can be a critical component of recovery from addiction. Mind-body medicine is the use of behavioral and lifestyle interventions, such as meditation, relaxation, yoga, acupuncture, and mindfulness, to holistically address medical problems. Mind-body treatments can be integrated with traditional medical treatments, or used as standalone treatments for certain conditions. Mind-body medicine is now being studied by the National Institutes of Health and effectively used in the treatment of addiction, and it will likely play a role in addiction recovery programs in the future.

Mind-body principles are not new to the recovery movement

Mind-body principles have been around since the start of the recovery movement in 1937, and they are a big part of Alcoholics Anonymous. The 12 … Read more

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What your skin should expect when you’re expecting

Are you pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant? You’re probably prepared for morning sickness, weight gain, and an expanding belly. But did you know your skin can also undergo a variety of changes when you’re expecting? These changes are due to normal alterations in hormones that occur during pregnancy. Rest assured, most skin conditions that develop or worsen during pregnancy are benign, and tend to improve following delivery.

Darkening of the skin

A large majority of women experience darkening of their skin due to hormone shifts that occur during pregnancy. You may notice that the areas around your thighs, genitals, neck, armpits, and nipples darken. Many women also develop linea nigra, a dark line extending between the belly button and pubic bone. It is also not uncommon for women to experience darkening of their pre-existing moles and freckles. (If you are concerned that a spot on your body is growing … Read more

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