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Greens and Vegetables
Delvin Farms is a family owned and operated Certified Organic Farm in College Grove, TN with three generations of family living and working on the farm. They have wonderful farm products and are available all across the state.
Flying S Farms is in the small town of Woodbury, TN in the hills of Cannon County. In 2003, Ben and Catherine Simmons started with just a small garden plot. Now the Simmons’ Flying S Farms has grown into a 6-acre sustainable farm, growing a wide variety of open-pollinated produce. They are the kindest couple you’ll ever meet and their vegetables are nothing short of delicious
Norton Family Farms started out to support their family’s love for fresh vegetables. Jim with his Plant Science degree couldn’t get enough and grew the farm to more than they thought possible. They have thousands of square feet of greenhouses so you can get fresh greens through the winter as well.
Paradise Produce grows just about everything. They are dedicated to producing the highest quality and nutrient-rich food through the care of the soil. They use homemade compost to create ideal conditions for nutrient dense vegetables.
These are just a few of so many deserving farmers who work day and night to give us the most delicious and nutritious vegetables. Remember, the closer you are to the source the closer you are to the freshest and most nutritious products possible.
Protein: Chicken, Eggs, Beef
River Cottage Farms is a small family farm producing beef, lamb, veal, dairy, chicken, and eggs. All of their animals roam freely with constant access to all the grass, bugs, and clean water; a dream life for any animal. Brayden Apple never uses hormones chemicals and has a strict soil maintenance program. It starts with the earth and you begin taking care of everything from there all the way up. This ensures nutrient-rich and delicious proteins for everyone. They also do amazing private farm to table catering events.
Peaceful Pastures prides themselves on their dedication to producing the best meats possible naturally, pasture raised and ethically cared for. All of their sheep, goats, and cattle are 100% grass-fed and finished. Jenny and Darrin Drake offer beef, pork, lamb, goat, chicken, duck, and turkey and all are absolutely delicious and wonderfully good for you.
Bear Creek Farm raises grass-fed and grain finished all-natural Angus beef. They are some of the best when it comes to genetics and humane practices in the beef world. Some of their best beef is dry aged in their own facility created a truly unique and delicious flavor. Their beef is nearly always rated Prime, but always delicious and good for you.
Other Great Finds
Esstar Krista’s Healthy On-The-Go. Krista Anderson has an amazing story on how she fought off cancer with determination, faith, and a healthy diet. She noticed that for those who are always on the go, with little time to go to specialty stores, it was extremely difficult to eat healthily. So now, at small convenience stores across the country, you can look for a special rack labeled “Krista’s Healthy on the Go” full of snacks and quick bites that are guaranteed Organic, Non-GMO, Gluten Free, Kosher and Vegan.
Brother’s Health Foods – Bone Broth and Elderberry Syrup. Former Herban Market and Warren’s Post Chef, Tyson Ford, started Brother’s a little under a year ago. He makes nutrient dense Bone Broth for gut health that boosts your protein intake and provides great saturated fats. This is a Keto Diet essential. He also creates elderberry syrup which supercharges your immune system and is a great all-natural alternative to allergy medicine. Nearly everything he uses is procured locally and you can taste the quality.
Short Mountain Cultures. Hendersonville Produce at Herban Market in Franklin, Tenn.
Fermented foods are a necessity when it comes to gut health. They contain powerful bacteria that aid in digestion, boost immunity, and help maintain a healthy weight. The potency and quality, however, all depend on who creates the culture. Short Mountain is one of the best! They always use organic, all-natural, local ingredients, and they take the time and care necessary for wonderful products.
by Grady Cash
Summer is a great time to be outdoors, but the heat does pose challenges, specifically sunburn and heat illnesses that can be serious if not treated promptly. Here’s how to recognize these summer problems before it’s too late.
Recognize Heat Illnesses
It’s a good idea to increase fluid intake in hot weather to avoid dehydration, but if you’re constantly drinking water and still feel thirsty, it could be the onset of hyponatremia, an electrolyte imbalance caused by drinking too much water that may lead to organ failure or death. First aid for hyponatremia is to reduce fluid intake, take an electrolyte solution, and seek immediate medical attention.
Excessive heat can also result in heat exhaustion or heatstroke. These common heat-related illnesses are difficult to diagnose because dehydration, hyponatremia, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke have common symptoms: headaches, confusion, and nausea. However, there are some subtle differences. Profuse sweating and clammy skin are signs of heat exhaustion, but when sweating stops and the skin becomes dry, it could be a sign the problem has progressed to potentially life-threatening heatstroke. If symptoms are serious or persist after a half hour, seek medical attention. By recognizing the early signs of these illnesses, you can take preventive steps — get out of the sun into a cool place, wear a cap, use ice packs on your neck, and only drink fluids with an electrolyte solution, like a sports drink.
Here are some strategies to cope with hot weather.
One simple solution is to do your workouts indoors during extremes of hot or cold weather. I’m a member of three different fitness centers: Vanderbilt for its indoor 300-meter track, Boost FitClub for its indoor soccer field, and a third fitness center with equipment not available in the other two.
Of course, sometimes, we don’t have a choice. We might be doing a group run or an outdoor competition where the heat can’t be avoided. Here’s how to beat the heat in those situations.
Microclimates are regions with significantly different temperatures than nearby locations. One microclimate only a few minutes from downtown Nashville is Percy Warner Park, which can be 10° cooler than Vanderbilt. Shaded fields or trails near lakes, rivers, or forests are other examples of microclimates.
Wear loose-fitting, light-colored, sleeveless tops that cover the shoulders. If the top is long, get it hemmed to just below the waist so you can leave it untucked to provide more ventilation. This is amazingly effective. I just use scissors to cut off the top to the desired length. Wear a white cap with lots of mesh. Make sure there’s adequate room to allow air to flow between the cap and your hair. Use a nongreasy sunscreen. Oily sunscreens hinder sweating’s cooling effect.
Shave Your Legs
This may sound radical to guys, but hair is just a layer of fur. You don’t need fur in the summer! Many male swimmers and cyclists routinely shave their legs. It’s amazingly cooler. Try it. If you don’t like it, the hair will grow back in a couple of weeks. A beard trimmer is fast and effective.
Have Summer Socks and Shoes
We wear sandals in summer and boots with thick socks in winter, yet most runners wear the same shoes and socks all year around. After a hot summer run, I weighed my socks. They had soaked up over five ounces of sweat apiece! Gross! Plus, every added ounce of shoe weight slows your pace by one second per mile. The solution is to wear thin socks and shoes with lots of mesh in summer and thicker socks and shoes with very little mesh in the winter.
As your body gets hotter, blood flow diverts to capillaries near the surface of the skin to help you stay cool, but that adversely affects performance. Last year, at the National Senior Games in Alabama in July, I knew heat would take a toll over the three-day competition, so I stayed in the shade while my competitors stood in the sun. I wore a long sleeve, white compression top and put ice cubes on the inside of my elbow and wrists. I also periodically held ice cubes against the side of my neck where the blood vessels are closest to the skin. I wore a white cap until immediately before my events started. Then, I poured ice water over my hair and neck. Not only is this cooling, but the wet hair also acts as a wick to evaporate water and keep the head cool. If your hair is going to be wet with sweat by the end of the workout anyway, it doesn’t matter if it’s wet at the start!
These steps, plus drinking fluids with electrolytes, can help you beat the summer heat!
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by Alexandria Bydalek
There is a reason the discussion on inflammation is a hot topic. Chronic inflammation is the culprit of many life-altering diseases such as stroke, respiratory illness, heart disorders, cancer, obesity, and diabetes. It’s both good and bad news that your daily lifestyle choices contribute to the cause. Our routine decisions may be at the root of activating the unhealthy side effects caused by inflammation, but our daily health-conscious decisions can also be the source of healing those same issues, plus many more. Take some time to commit to your body, how it is feeling, and if inflammation could be the source. We can discover almost anything through education and action.
Inflammation is a naturally occurring defense mechanism during moments the body encounters immediate stress and injury. The inflammation process exists for our internal entities to protect itself from perceived danger. When this response is prolonged (or chronic) due to factors such as stress, poor diet, infections, or a sedentary lifestyle, it weakens your immune system. This leads to chronic inflammation as it is continued over time, causing issues such as hormone imbalance and improper digestion. Key signs your immune system could be compromised include joint pain, swelling and water retention, bloating, gas, diarrhea, hair loss, exhaustion, and fatigue. Any of these sound familiar? We’re going to kick off this journey by balancing nutrition, fitness, lifestyle, and wellness to reboot your body and give it a fighting chance to heal from the inside out.
It’s All About Food
Let’s start here because proper and specific nutrition choices are key to reducing inflammation. Eating a whole-food, anti-inflammatory diet can prevent digestive problems like leaky gut, small intestine bacterial overgrowth, candida overgrowth, and the body’s inability to heal. A diet filled with inflammatory foods like sugar, dairy, processed meats, and gluten can tear their way through your digestive system and essentially create holes in the lining of your intestines and stomach. This allows partially digested food to seep into your body. Since the food in your digestive system is broken down and acidic, white blood cells try to attack the “leaked” foreign, rotting food, leading to an inflammatory response by the immune system. Healing your gut lining and the microbiota inside (what fights to maintain balance in your intestines) by stabilizing the “good” and “bad” bacteria with probiotic supplementation is fundamental to combat this process, mostly because the gastrointestinal tract houses 70 percent of your body’s immune system.
Eating a diet filled with healthy fats provides the nutrients for the body to heal. These include olive oil, nuts and avocados, omega 3’s and omega 6’s (essential fatty acids), whole grain and gluten-free carbs, fruits, vegetables, proteins found in hormone-free meat and cold water fish, and plant-based proteins such as legumes and seeds. The more you diversify your diet with brightly colored fruits and vegetables the healthier your gut microbiota will be. Drink green tea, take a shot of apple cider vinegar in the morning and load up on spices such as turmeric and paprika to reduce inflammation and support a healthy gut.
A combination of high-intensity interval training, low impact stretching, and strength training is a must for regulating your body’s function. Exercise allows your body to produce a more diverse microbiota, balancing the bacteria in your gut. High-intensity interval training assists in stabilizing hormones that regulate appetite, reduce stress, boost your metabolism, and increase energy levels. Low-intensity activities such as yoga, barre, and pilates help to clear your mind, promote well being, strengthen and lengthen muscles, which improve your respiratory, digestive, and circulatory systems and reduce stress, which also helps to regulate cortisol.
Cortisol is important because the wrong doses at the wrong time can wreak havoc on your body and dramatically reduce the overall functions of your immune system. A study published in 2014 suggested that people who performed two and a half hours of moderate exercise every week for 10 years lowered inflammatory markers by at least 12 percent.
Reducing toxins in the household such as cleaning products, smoke, alcohol, and personal care products will also help to control your inflammatory response. Go natural whenever possible on products in order to limit immune system reactions. A recent review of 34 separate studies concluded, “Mind-body therapies [such as meditating at least 5 minutes a day, soaking in the sun, massage, or spending time with friends and family] reduced markers of inflammation.”
Gut health plays a major role in your mental well being. Scientists sometimes refer to your gut as your “second brain” because there are over 100 million brain cells in your gastrointestinal tract. If the microbiota isn’t balanced, it has been shown to lead to a variety of mental issues, such as anxiety, depression and chronic stress. And we all know that too much stress can be detrimental in numerous ways. Your overall happiness and taking care of your body is integral to healing and overall function. People who smile more often live longer – this has been studied and confirmed.
Get Stronger While You Sleep
Wellness practices including adequate hydration, reducing stress, and getting enough sleep are obviously vital to your health. You know getting seven to nine hours of sleep at night is critical. But how often can you attest to that? Those who get under six hours of sleep per night, store up to 32 percent more fat, as opposed to someone who sleeps at least eight. Sleep is the key to living a truly well-balanced, happy, productive, and stress-free lifestyle.
In addition, drinking at least eight glasses of water a day is imperative for your body to rid itself of toxins and inflammation. Furthermore, 26 percent of the American population that suffer from inflammation driven joint pain is caused by dehydration. Water is a critical component to healing these issues since any source of pain triggers a response by the immune system.
Living an intentional, healthy life will dramatically reduce chronic inflammation and protect you from the mentioned diseases and many more. Here is a simplified call to action to keep inflammatory issues under control.
Fitness: Get out and move at least three times a week and be intentional about daily efforts and routines. Try a new yoga class, or at the very least, spend your time on a phone call walking instead of seated at your desk.
Nutrition: Add green leafy vegetables to every meal and reduced processed foods. If it has more than two or three ingredients, don’t eat it. Try switching one of your cups of coffee a day to green tea.
Lifestyle: Attempt meditation with an app (try Headspace) and replace household cleaning supplies and personal products with ones that are natural, or free and clear of chemical ingredients.
Wellness: Make sleep and hydration a priority in your life. Always have a bottle or glass of water near you. It will lead to a happier, healthier, leaner, less stressed and more productive lifestyle.