Mel Juergens 5 quick questions
Written by Sean Cooney
Our dietitian Mel and I sat down to have a conversation about the early influx of GP and non GP referred patients that we tend to see in the months of January and February. Here’s some key take away points.
You say that a lot of people come into your consults after having visited their GP’s for blood work in the earlier months of the year, what do you think is behind this trend?
People seem to have that “New Year, new me” feeling. They’re wanting to start the new year fresh and kick start their health with an understanding of where they currently sit.
Why do they come to see a dietitian and what conditions are you seeing mostly?
Weight loss is a big one. Many have tried and failed at multiple diet fads or they’re after a long term solution and not a fad. They want to do it the right way.
For some they can feel it’s their last resort coming to see a diet professional. There’s a lot of confusing information out there online and they’re, well, confused. Others have regrettably tried the fad diets and failed to stick to it which has wound up resulting in weight gain as we now know research shows can often happen.
What else do you see at this time of year?
People with diabetes and cholesterol issues. Ultimately at this time of year there are just a lot of people wanting to focus on their health and they have the time to act as they haven’t got too busy at work just yet. They are in a better position to make time for their health.
How have dietetic patients presented post COIVD?
During COVID there seemed to be a lot of people just surviving, not necessarily thriving. Now there seems to be a different attitude. The people that I am seeing now are wanting to work on their health and get great, long term outcomes from learning good habit and diet behaviours.
What would one expect when seeing you?
What most might find surprising is that we only spend 10-15 minutes talking about what you’re eating. 40 minutes or more are spent on truly understanding the person and their dietary choices. We look to understand their upbringing around food, their family history and a lot about their work and life now. Once knowing their history and all the factors that will impact on their diet and food choices we begin to forge a plan around what is realistic for the person and where is the best place to start.
What else?GP’s wanting to know more about how our dietetics department, with Mel and Ash, are helping with general and more speciality based diet clientele please get in contact. We are always happy to arrange a visit to our clinics, come and visit you or set up a time to get on the phone (as we know how busy you are!).
Medicare’s Chronic Disease Management
Introducing NEW Personal Trainer Scott Lupi
Revitalise your Nutrition Course.After the success & incredible feedback from our Nutrition Course in November “Fundamentals of Diet and Nutrition” we are pleased to announce our next course hosted by Melissa Juergens will be kicking off on the 3rd of March and we would like to see you come along and be a part of it! Are you confused by the conflicting information about “the best” ways to eat? Are you wanting quick, easy meals that do not cost an arm and a leg? Are you sick and tired of feeling like every meal is an effort? Over a 5-week period you will learn from our expert Dietetics Team, the fundamentals of how to get back on track with our “Revitalise your Nutrition” course. Simple, easy, and delicious tips and tricks that can help you push your health in the right direction.
When: Starts Wednesday 3rd March.
Classes will typically be Wednesday lunchtime and Sunday evenings
Social ConnectednessConnecting with friends or loved ones is a great way to help improve your physical and mental health. Strong ties with family, friends and the community provide us with happiness, security, support and a sense of purpose. Being connected to others is important for our mental and physical wellbeing and can be a protective factor against anxiety and depression. “What we try and emphasise is community – whatever that might mean for you,” says Healthfix Senior Coach Mark Wilson. “Healthfix embodies that social connectedness as all members of our public, whether they’re doing rehab or working towards performance-based goals – come together and work in the same space. It also serves a good education purpose, in that no matter the ability, we’re all trying to be better and improve.”
Physical movementEven 20 or 30 minutes of daily exercise can have a positive impact on your overall sense of wellbeing and help improve your mood. WHO has identified a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes high intensity exercise per week to have a marked impact on how people are feeling physically and emotionally. This is thanks to the release of endorphins, a type of neurotransmitter that helps relieve pain and stress. Physical activity also stimulates the release of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, which play an important part in regulating your mood and improving sleep cycles. Regular exercise also helps balance your body’s level of stress hormones. Don’t know where to start? Try a brisk walk on your lunch break or opt for the stairs instead of the lift when you can. “It is important that people get the appropriate type of physical activity,” advises Mark. “If you’re not sure, keep it low intensity. Light physical activity is a great way to help improve wellbeing and prevent injury.”
NutritionBy adding wholesome ingredients to your plate, you’ll be taking steps towards a healthier you. The food we eat gives our bodies the “information” and the materials they need to function properly. For example, your immune function thrives on vitamins A, E and C, while your metabolism is affected by potassium, niacin and B6. “We are what we eat,” says Mark. “Nutrition is an absolute keystone to health and wellness – anyone can out-eat any exercise routine. It’s important to get the right foods in the right quantities, avoiding foods that might cause us harm.”
SleepSleeplessness and mood disorders are closely linked. And it can work both ways – sleep loss can affect your mood, and your mood can affect how much and how well you sleep. Your amygdala is the fear processing unit in your brain. The good news is that not only is it reset during the night under deep REM sleep, it also becomes less active following a good night’s sleep. Ask yourself: when was the last time you woke up feeling refreshed? Do you feel that you’re currently getting a good night’s sleep to energise you for the next day? Consistent bedtime practices can help get you a good night’s sleep. Avoid caffeine after 12pm, include quiet and calm activities before going to bed, and wake up at the same time every day – these are simple ways you can begin your journey towards becoming a successful sleeper.
MindfulnessDid you know that practicing mindfulness is good for the body and mind, helps with focus and also changes the brain? Take a moment right now to consider your own mind and how you are feeling. The more you tap into your own thoughts, the more you may become aware of how you react to stressful events. Healthfix’s integrative approach can help you achieve optimal wellness, particularly through its Wellness Coaching program, where Mark and team can work with you to find solutions to areas which are presenting as roadblocks to leading a healthier more bountiful life. “If you take the word wellness out, and replace it with whatever you personally want to work on – say, routine, lifestyle, healthy eating, sleeping, motivation, anything – that’s essentially what wellness coaching is,” explains Mark. “The coaching element remains constant, it’s just the goal that changes.” Healthfix utilises different methodology in its wellness coaching, including The Check Institute’s holistic health system, which focuses on the four-doctor principal: Dr Diet, Dr Quiet, Dr Happiness and Dr Movement. Contact us today to find out more.
Foam RollersWhat is a Foam Roller? Foam rollers essential look like large noodles but they can quickly become your best friend. There are many types nowadays of all shapes and sizes. They get used to loosen up before a match or training session as well as serving as a great homework tool to do some physio or trainer prescribed home exercises around mobility and flexibility. When making your selection about which one to use I always recommend that you get one that is practical to fit in your home/ room / home gym (they can be quite large and bigger isn’t always better) and get one that feels comfortable and inviting to use – it shouldn’t be used as a tool of torture. You’ll see these commonly now in Pilates and physio studios as well as commercial gyms and sporting environment including institutes of sport. ________________________________________________________________ What are Foam Rollers used for? They work on releasing soft tissue, relieving muscle tightness and soreness and they can also be valuable in helping to break down soft tissue adhesions and scar tissue after injury. They can stimulate blood flow and are really valuable in promoting neural down regulation (this is often why they can be sore to first get on but then this soreness eases with a lasting effect of relief of the symptoms that made you get on the roller). Effectively, any intervention that we put the body through be it a strong sports massage, Chiro or Osteo manipulation, hot / cold pack, dry needling, etc needs to be analysed and accepted by the body. Jumping on foam roller puts a lot of pressure to the area where the brain may be holding some tense muscles or trying to protect it with a pain response. So as you consciously lie on the foam roller, the brain can start to accept that you don’t want those muscles so tense or so much protection of the area and it relaxes; and then you can feel relaxed. ________________________________________________________________ Things to be aware of: – Make sure you understand and are confident with how you intend to use the foam roller. Our Physiotherapists, Exercise Physiologists and Personal Trainers can help a lot here. – Don’t push through pain for too long. The whole point is to feel relief so if you’re still experiencing strong pain after say 1 minute, take it easy on yourself and ease up. – Be aware of any “no pain no gain” or “go hard” on the foam roller commentary. Use your common sense and you’ll be fine. At the end of the day it’s a foam roller so it should never pose as a threat or tool of torture unless you’re trying to use it incorrectly or your body need a lighter intervention to start with. __________________________________________________________________ A couple of common and popular Foam Roller exercises: The ITB (great for runners, field sports players and gym goers) Iliotibial band (ITB) is a band of fascia on the outside of your upper leg, when it is tight it can cause knee and hip pain. – Lie side on with the affected side on the foam roller, rest your upper body through your forearm. With your unaffected leg, place over affected side and place the full surface of your foot on the ground. Start with the foam roller just above your knee and roll back and forth slowly for 30 seconds to just below your hip bone. For further pressure, place unaffected leg on top of affected side. _________________________________________________________________ The Quadricep (similar to above demographic plus people who kick in their sport like martial arts, kick boxing, football and AFL): Tight quadriceps can pull on your patella and cause some compressive pain at the front of your knee (most commonly). – lie on your stomach with the roller placed under your thighs. Hold your body straight and rest your upper body through your forearms. Roll yourself back and forth slowly from just above your knee to just below your hip bone. For further pressure bend your knees. If you like these exercises and want some more or you want to get some advice on which foam roller would be best for you please do not hesitate to get in contact with us, we offer them in our clinics and the team are always happy to help!
Healthfix Bundle and Save
Make 2021 the year where you focus on your health goals and achieve your greatest success yet! We have put together three incredible deals that represent not only great value but also have been created with you our customer in mind to get you started or continuing on your health journey.
Yoga & Pilates
We are really excited to announce that we have Yoga classes commencing in 2021! Starting the week of the 18th January, the classes will run twice per week on : Tuesday & Friday evenings at 6pm for 60mins. These will be led by our new Yoga teacher Jess Zabow who will go through a mixture of Ashtanga & Vinyasa flow. There are many benefits to Yoga including increased strength, balance, flexibility and breath control.Alongside this we also run mat Pilates classes multiple times per week based in our North Sydney clinic, online (you can zoom into them from home) and on Thursday’s outdoors at Clark Park in Lavender Bay. Click here to see our timetable of classes. Pilates is for everyone, if you are looking to increase your mobility & flexibility. Improve your movement patterns, stabilising strength, balance and core control.
If you are a member of our Health Club all these class options will be included in your membership, alternatively we have another option where you can look to purchase a Yoga & Pilates Class Pass.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….Yoga & Pilates Class Pass
10 classes – $200 ($20 per class)
15 classes – $ 285 ($19 per class)