The start of a new year brings excitement, anticipation and hope that this year will be different.  According to a recently published study “Lose Weight” is again the number one New Years Resolution for 2016.

But some of us have had a “get-healthy-type-resolution” on our list for so many years in a row that it has become a bit of a joke.

Some people even make bets about how long their friends’ resolutions are going to last.

The truth is, each year we analyze the things about ourselves and our life that we want to change, and we think, “What better time to begin than the start of a new year?”

So why do we keep falling short?

Is it even worth making the New Years Resolution in the first place?

Redefine the Word Resolution

The first step to making a New Years resolution you will keep is not to make aresolution at all.   You see, a resolution requires no preparation.  You can simply think of how you’d like life to be and say it out loud.  No one is even holding you accountable (including yourself.)

But a goal, requires specific action steps.  It requires you to work backwards from the big, broad life you’d like to have to the first action step you must take today.

Below are a few action steps that if taken one at a time (and integrated into your daily life) will lead to a more healthier you.

Don’t Subtract… Add.

Instead of denying yourself a bag of chips or soda, start by adding a serving of vegetables and 2-3 glasses of water to your diet every day.

Water actually fills you up so that you are less likely to over eat. 

Eat the rainbow – Add some color to your meal, and you’ll be full long before you’re thinking of dessert. Eventually, these healthy additions will leave you too full for those unhealthy extras.

Bring a few healthy snacks to keep with you throughout your day.  Almonds, individual sized cheeses, a handful of crackers or a piece of fruit will be ‘on the ready’ when you’re forced to take a late lunch, and they’ll keep you from over-eating when lunchtime finally arrives.

Schedule a Meeting with Exercise

At the start of the month, plan out when and where you want to exercise.  Put it on your calendar – scheduling a meeting with your health.  Once it’s on the calendar, you’ll be much more likely to go.

And don’t get stuck thinking that exercise only happens in the gym.

Here are a few ways to sneak in exercise:

  1. Park in the farthest parking space at the store so you get in a few more steps.
  2. Return your shopping cart all the way to the storefront.
  3. If you work in an office building with stairs, take them every time.  Skip the elevator at the airport or the mall.  Train yourself that every time you see an elevator to take those stairs.
  4. Take your dog for a walk.  It will do you both good to have fresh air every day!

Eat Breakfast

Don’t skip one morning.  Research shows that people who skip breakfast are 10 times more likely to overeat later in the day.  Don’t like breakfast?  Try starting with a smoothie or even a couple of pieces of fruit.  You’ll train your body to crave the nutrients you need to start the day right.

Cook at Home

Remember the kitchen?  Refrigerators weren’t originally designed to just hold our leftover take-out meals.  The beauty of cooking your own meals is that you have more control over the ingredients you use and the health benefits of the meal.  Whatever your level of cooking, set a goal to cook one or two more meals at home per week.

Need some healthy meal ideas?  Check out our Pinterest board.

And packing your lunch the night before not only saves you calories, but it will make a big difference in your budget, too.  Since your meal is decided ahead of time, you’ll be less likely to be tempted to eat something else.

Stop Multitasking… at least when it comes to eating

It’s tempting to check out Twitter or Facebook while you chow down on our lunch, especially if you’re eating alone.  With no one to talk to, what else can you do?  For starters, stop to enjoy your food.  Taste and enjoy every bite.

Take in your surroundings – or even “people watch.”  When you pay attention to what you’re eating, you make better food choices and realize when you’re full.

Bo Bennet said, “The discipline you learn and character you build from setting and achieving a goal can be more valuable than the achievement of the goal itself.”  

Set your goal.

Break it down.

And this year, you’ll win.

Your Chiropractic Team at Monarch Chiropractic specialize in establishing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  They treat headaches, back pain, neck pain and sciatica.

It’s About that time of year. Take advantage of what we have to offer here at the office for the price of a simple community service! read the flyer below to find out how you can have a free adjustment or even a Chiropractic Exam for a new patient (includes consultation, exam, and x-rays) for the price of only 2 grocery bags full of non-perishable canned goods. Perfect time to get family members and friends who have been wanting to start chiropractic.

Being pregnant is a beautiful thing and so can labor and delivery. Everyone’s pregnancy is unique and the more we take care of ourselves and our body the easier your body can move and function properly, so we can help the process of pregnancy and labor.

Approximately 1/2 of all pregnant women complain to their doctors or midwives about back pain. In a three-part study performed by Joan M. Fallen at Yeshiva University, 65 women were used as subjects. All of the subjects received chiropractic care from at least their 10th week of pregnancy through labor and delivery. Their average labor times were recorded and compared to those of a local midwife/ obstetrician practice. in the second part of the study a questionnaire regarding the levels of back pain was given to determine any changes that might result due to the chiropractic adjustments.

The study found that “chiropractic care significantly reduces labor time!” “The labor time was decreased 24%-39% (as compared to national averages). The study also revealed a significant reduction in back pain with chiropractic care. Each woman reported at least a 50% reduction in back pain and some as high as 100% reduction in their pain as a result of the Chiropractic care.

If you or a loved one were pregnant wouldn’t you want to experience less pain and discomfort through your pregnancy? Wouldn’t you want to decrease your labor time by hours? Since nearly all medications can be harmful to the health of your baby, chiropractic becomes the obvious choice. Wellness chiropractic is the natural choice for a quicker and less painful delivery. We use gentle adjustments that are specific to each person and tables that support pregnant women. It is safe and effective!

Chiropractic could benefit your pregnancy and delivery.

Please feel free to reach out with any questions or thoughts about how chiropractic can benefit you.

~Dr. Monica Egan

Monarch Chiropractic 250 Bel Marin Keys Blvd. Suite D-1 Novato, CA 94949~ 415-612-4300

Every winter season, there are moms who tell me about how they had to start a round of antibiotics for an ear infection their young child just acquired.  Since becoming a mother myself a few winter seasons ago, this has compounded even more being around mother’s groups, kid’s groups, daycares, preschools, etc.  I have always known about this common problem, but I never knew just how many parents were so quickly (even automatically) resorting to powerful chemicals in their young children.  I believe the answer to this lies in a lack of information in tandem with many one-sided sources.  The health field may be my profession, but to millions of other parents out there, their passions and work lives are not in the same field.  It is for this reason I have decided to write this article to help educate and show the risks involved, a few of the numerous options available, and most importantly, the different choices you have!  Did you know that eight out of ten children have had or will have an ear infection?  As discomforting as it can be, ear infections are a very common thing for children to experience.  Many parents believe that ear infection equals antibiotics, period.  In most cases however, it is exactly the opposite.

Upon the first signs of symptoms, a common place a lot of parents I know go to first for answers is WebMD.  However, when I looked at WebMD, I saw that “60% of childhood antibiotic prescriptions are for otitis media (ear infections).”  Looking deeper, my research into this topic got even more real:

In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a report regarding the trouble of unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions for kids. The CDC found that doctors were unnecessarily prescribing antibiotics for children more than half (50%!) of the time, most cases being for upper respiratory infections (colds, coughs, ear infections, sinusitis, and sore throats).

Erroneous antibiotic prescriptions are the main cause of antibiotic resistance, which is a world-wide public health dilemma. Further, medical science is beginning to realize that pediatric antibiotic exposure is not benign, and leads to asthma, eczema, and the development of inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease in later years.

Other ordinary therapies prescribed for common kids’ infections, for example, Tylenol and ibuprofen carry the probable risks for more serious side effects, such as the development of asthma and even gastrointestinal bleeding. The over-usage of Tylenol is among the top causes of liver failure in America. While antibiotics and other meds can save a life when needed, when over-prescribed and misused, the consequences can be heart stopping (literally).

It is proven that antibiotics are many times handed out unnecessarily for common infections because doctors believe that parents expect these meds.  Another reason doctors prescribe antibiotics so quickly is because they are afraid that if a rare or misdiagnosed infection comes up, litigation will be waiting for them around the next corner.  There are also other common problems here.  To begin, parents are accustomed to doctors prescribing the antibiotics. Additionally, these parents worry, and they do not want to stand by and witness their children suffering.  No parent wants to see that.  It is for these reasons and others, I’ve convinced many parents not to follow through with antibiotic prescriptions, and the results could not have been better.

“Approximately 80% of kids with acute otitis media (ear infections) get better without antibiotics!”

Here is the truth:

Now, all of this is not just a natural healer’s perspective.  

Around the same time as the CDC release, the American Academy of Family Physicians and American Academy of Pediatrics published new “watching and waiting” guidelines for doctors involved with non-severe cases of otitis media (ear infections) since the risks, side effects, and problems involving antibiotics in most cases outweigh those of a common ear infection.

I am by no means downplaying the seriousness of an ear infection in your child.  Nor am I suggesting you ignore your child’s ear infection or simply “watch and wait.”  In fact, the Mayo Clinic says:

“Long-term problems related to ear infections – persistent fluids in the middle ear, persistent infections or frequent infections – can cause hearing problems and other serious complications.”

So what is a parent to do?

Left unchecked, ear infections can cause permanent hearing damage in your child for the rest of their lives among other serious complications.  But, with the treatment of antibiotics, Ibuprofen, and Tylenol, comes a whole host of other side effects, risks, and dangers such as: diarrhea, rash, fungal diaper rash, oral thrush, vomiting, asthma, eczema, development of inflammatory bowel diseases, ulcerative colitis, and even later in your child’s life, Crohn’s disease.  So again, what is a parent to do?  Make a choice between permanent hearing damage in your child or gastrointestinal bleeding?

The most important thing is that a parent knows about the choices they have and the right to make those choices for their family.

It is my strongest opinion that there is a place and time for antibiotics with children.  The moment a child develops a common ear infection is probably not the place or time yet.  Letting an ear infection fester unchecked would also not be a responsible approach.  The clear answer with the least amount of risk to the health and well being of the one you love is an active natural approach with the oversight of a professional.  A great resource called Pathways says:

“Regardless of the choices you make, the chiropractic approach will improve your child’s inherent ability to function. Doesn’t it make sense to have your child function at an optimal level for healing no matter how (or if ) you choose to treat? We will assess your child’s spine, make the necessary adjustments to improve nerve system function and offer lifestyle suggestions to reduce nerve system stress for your child. We will also support any decision you make in your choice to treat the infection or not. This is your right as a parent, and we stand behind informed choice.”

In addition to full functionality with chiropractic, natural essential oils (in this case, basil oil mixed with a carrier oil and rubbed into the external portion of the ear) can have a profound impact on a child fighting an infection like this.  There are also dozens of other natural remedies that have very powerful, safe, and sometimes instant results in a child.

Navigating an unfamiliar area like “natural remedies” can seem daunting while dealing with work, school, and an ear infection with your little one, but this is my passion and profession, so ask me about it.  Whole Foods and other local stores even have entire sections dedicated to this with people (who know what they are talking about) on standby to help you.  It’s an easy, safe approach that works the high majority of the time in children (and adults).

In the very rare cases where this approach isn’t working, that is usually the right time to nuke your child’s biotics.

Remember, the biotics in the body are a healthy thing.  Probiotics are an extremely healthy thing.  When a person is sick, some of the biotics in the body turn bad.  A fever kills off the bad biotics leaving you healthy again, but antibiotics destroy ALL biotics in the body, good or bad.  In a health sense, antibiotics are the nuclear option in wartime—a last resort to win, not a first one.

Thanks for reading!

~  Dr. Monica Egan
Monarch Chiropractic
250 Bel Marin Keys Blvd. Suite D1
Novato, CA 94949

~  To learn more about chiropractic, click here

~  To learn more about essential oils, click here

Seven Prevention Tips:

 Here are seven helpful ways I found to help prevent ear infections in children:

1. Chiropractic care

It is proven that chiropractic adjustments to the skull and neck can improve middle ear drainage and decrease ear infections. Chiropractic is also known to reduce the number of ear infections, if they are continuously reoccurring.  In some cases chiropractic can put a complete stop to the reoccurring ear infections all together.

2. Eat more raw fruits and vegetables

These can greatly boost your child’s immune system to help fight off and prevent infections.  Juicing raw fruits and vegetables is another yummy approach and a great interactive way to get your kids to enjoy getting those important nutrients they need.

3. Minimizing side effects of antibiotics

These side effects are listed in the above article.  Try to avoid all of these side effects.

4. Keep the nose clear

When a runny nose and cold start, do your best to keep the nose clear by using steam, saline nose drops, and suctioning.

 5. Breastfeeding

There is no doubt whatsoever that prolonged breastfeeding lowers your child’s chances of getting ear infections.

6. Echinacea

This is an herb which can safely and effectively boost the immune system.

 7. Feed your baby upright

Lying down while bottle-feeding can cause the milk to irritate the Eustachian tube which can contribute to ear infections.


Ear Infections

Jan. 21, 2016 – Bel Marin Keys, Grand Opening prize winners

For the last six years, helping others transform their lives through chiropractic has been a genuine personal passion of mine and a calling into the profession.  It is what I profoundly love to do, and 2016 is a huge leap forward for that passion.  With the Grand Opening of the new Monarch Chiropractic office located at the forefront of Bel Marin Keys in South Novato, CA, the opportunity to transform lives has just blasted off to a new level.  The attractive single level office has a notable amount of room, a beautiful parking arrangement under the tall oak trees just outside the office door, and a warm environment just across the street from the Marin County Humane Society.  Monarch Chiropractic has started out with all new furniture including brand new adjusting tables, resting chairs, and a High Definition Digital X-Ray room.  And, since this is a family office, it is also accompanied with an engaging children’s play room. This truly healing atmosphere is designed with your health and family in mind.

Aside from the power of Upper Cervical Adjustments, which releases pressure caused by bones and muscles pressing against the nervous system (a physical approach), an overall move toward optimal health and great wellness is underway.  With the support of N.E.T. (Neuro-Emotional Technique), Palmer package techniques, and education in regards to healthy (and yummy) nutrition and a balanced and chemical-free lifestyle, nearly any physical health issue can be improved and in very many circumstances, eliminated.  Whether it is just a simple sleep problem, headaches, allergies, or something more serious such as high blood pressure, diabetes, autoimmune diseases and other serious health matters, an Upper Cervical Chiropractic touch in tandem with the other approaches mentioned can be an incredible health transformation.  For starters, just read the Testimonials page.  Something as simple as bringing better sleep into a person’s life can completely change them in regards to their family, work, and beyond.

I’m excited to now have my office located in my own Novato neighborhood, I’m excited to meet new neighbors and build new relationships, and I’m even more excited to help you Transform Your Health in this new future at Monarch Chiropractic.

-Dr. Monica Egan

Monarch Chiropractic

Our passion is to serve you and your loved ones! Dr. Egan and her team are here to assist you in reaching your goals. Enhance your quality of life with us!

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