They say March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb. This is the metaphor we hope to equate with chronic pain and lifestyle changes that can impact your overall quality of life. At Holistic Pain we want to ensure that all of our readers and patients get the comprehensive care they need and deserve. Treating just the physical symptoms does nothing to address the mental, emotional, or spiritual pain that can occur as a result of a chronic condition. This March we focused on sleep, cancer, nutrition, and obesity. Let’s take a closer look at the information we’ve shared.

Get Your ZZZZs During Sleep Awareness Week

In this post we looked at two topics: how much sleep you really need and its overall importance. We also reviewed a few studies about sleep produced over the last year that can help us make improvements in our own cycles. Sleep Awareness Week gave us a chance to look at the new recommendations for age groups and ways you can create a sleep routine to help you get better, more restful sleep.

Eat Right For Restful Sleep

Next we wanted to drill down to some more specific information about sleep. Everyone knows that caffeine before bed is a bad idea but most of us don’t know which foods actually promote better sleep. In this post we listed several recipes that use ingredients that can help you sleep well at night. We also looked at a few of the foods you should avoid in order to get a good night’s rest.

The Low-Down On Caffeine

To be even more specific we wanted to take a closer look at both the good and bad about caffeine during March. We recapped several studies that were conducted about caffeine over the last year including ones that demonstrated its worth in preventing Alzheimer’s disease and how it can make hot flashes worse in post-menopausal women. We also listed the best ways to use caffeine safely and how to avoid it when necessary.

Observing Colorectal Cancer Month

In the second week in March, we decided to tackle the topic of cancer just in time for Colorectal Cancer Month. Far too often people stay silent about colorectal cancer because the topic can be uncomfortable to discuss. However, it is essential that we talk about it in an effort to save lives. We looked at the signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer and the ways people could get involved in their own communities.

Eating Right To Reduce Cancer Risk

Following that post, much like our deeper look into sleep, we wanted to explore the foods that you should eat and avoid to reduce your risk of developing cancer. We created two lists to help you better understand which foods help reduce the risk and which increase it. We also looked into the way you prepare food and how that could affect it in regards to cancer.

Eat This, Not That: Eat Well To Prevent Cancer

Borrowing a popular feature on our sister site, we wanted to provide a catalog of healthier choices you could make when it comes to preventing cancer through diet. We provided healthier alternatives for fried foods, queso dip, microwaved popcorn, grilled steak, cold cut sandwiches, and mashed potatoes. Not only can you avoid foods and preparations that are known to increase cancer risk, but you can do it without sacrificing flavor.

What Is Mindful Eating?

In the third week of March we made a switch from cancer and cancer causing foods to look at how eating affects us overall. We shared Sandra Aamodt’s TED Talk about mindful eating and discussed how it worked and its potential benefits. The most important takeaway is that mindful eating can help you maintain you current weight and eat healthier. In some cases, people who eat mindfully also lose weight. The entire idea is to only eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full.

When Should We Eat Or Does It Matter?

Next in March, we took at a look at conventional wisdom and the science behind the best times to eat. There are several myths that are common so we wanted to find out if there was any proof to back them up. These include eating multiple small meals throughout the day and always eating breakfast. We did learn that eating late can negatively impact your diet. We also shared correlations between eating times and chronic pain that could be helpful to some patients.

How Much Should We Eat?

Many people follow the “calories in, calories out” method of dieting but it really doesn’t cover the entire picture. While a calorie is always the same measurement, different foods react differently with our bodies which can affect the way it burns those calories. Counting calories can be overly simple while a good diet should take into account a number of physical factors. Again we turned to the idea of mindful eating which can help you regulate your own food intake without relying on outside sources.

What Does Recent Research Say About Overweight and Obesity?

In March, we also shared some recent research about obesity and weight gain. We saw how weight management classes help overweight children regulate their blood pressure. We looked at the evolutionary tie between carbs and weight gain in some populations. A young researcher from Pennsylvania provided information about how we’ve been measuring mortality rates by BMI incorrectly. We also looked at how weight gain affects inflammation and how researchers may have found a way to treat obesity with a drug in the future.

Proven Healthy Ways to Lose Weight

Next, we took a closer look at six ways people could lose weight in a healthy way. Again we started with mindful eating. We also reviewed the Mediterranean diet and the Mayo Clinic diet as ways to change your food consumption. We also provided evidence that support groups, even in online weight loss programs, benefit users. We also discussed how inspiration rather than negativity can impact success. We finally encouraged people to cook more at home as families who do so consume fewer calories overall.

Our 10 Favorite TED Health Talks

Our last topic for March was a look at our favorite TED Health Talks that are currently available for viewing on the web. There were so many great ones to choose from. We settled on talks about chronic pain, how vision impacts exercise, the restorative properties of the brain, overcoming medical adversity, how genes can improve, the final thoughts of the dying, mindful meditation, crowdsourcing health, how to be the healthiest person in the world, and geomedicine.

What were your favorite Holistic Pain posts from March?

Image by Karen Neoh via Flickr


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