New Year Roboot: January Detox by Chris Miller, MD

December 28, 2018

It’s a new year, and a great time to reset healthy eating. Call it a reboot, or a detox, but if the holiday decadence leaves you with food cravings, weight gain, fatigue, headaches, joint pains, and basically not feeling your best, it’s time to reset your eating. I’m talking about a healthy detox, and here are a few of my favorite tips to get back on track:

1.  Add in a green vegetable juice or green smoothie daily to increase nutrient load—I like to make them with different greens, celery, carrots, cucumber, lemon, ginger and turmeric. They’re purposely not sweet, but tart with a kick, are hydrating and refreshing, and really help Quick read more or view full article jump start healthy eating. They are also helpful to break food cravings, which can be really ramped up after holiday extravaganzas.
2.  Enjoy lots of raw veggies and fruit from the color of the rainbow. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple. These will provide the needed vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants necessary to facilitate your liver and kidneys to optimally remove waste and reduce inflammation.
3.  Eat 1-2 cups cruciferous veggies—from the cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower family—every day. Also eat sulfur-containing veggies, such as onions and garlic. These provide necessary nutrients to facilitate the liver to ramp up detoxification and clear out chemicals and waste products.
4.  Drink plenty of water—at least 0.5-1 ounces of water per pound body weight, or 0.5-1 gallons per day. Our cells are bathed in water, and being well-hydrated will help clear waste products and toxins more efficiently.
5.  Exercise and move your body—this is important to get the lymph system moving, as waste is more efficiently picked up and excreted from the body. Walking 10-30 minutes per day is helpful; more intense workout even more so.  

Do we even need a detox?

It certainly can be helpful, as enduring a period of time where we eat less pro-inflammatory foods; reduce intake of food additives and chemicals; consume fewer overall calories; take in nutrient-rich, real whole foods; drink plenty of fluids; get proper movement and rest; and spend time in self-care can help increase cellular repairs, healing and rejuvenation. We can also end those food cravings and resume a healthier way of eating.  

Join us for our healthy “Detox Diet” event at the Plant-Based Recipe Swap on January 3, 2019, from 12-1pm at AVH.

We’ll be discussing top foods and tips for a healthy reboot, sharing favorite plant-based recipes, and supporting each other as we start the New Year on a healthy note.
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AVH Traumatic Brain Injury Program provides healing and hope

December 27, 2018
As an avid skier and mountain biker, Michael Hayes had suffered his share of concussions. So at first he wasn’t surprised when, after a skiing accident in February 2018, he began to experience symptoms such as disorientation and irritability. Images taken in the Emergency Department at Aspen Valley Hospital (AVH) soon after the accident hadn’t revealed any bleeding in Michael’s brain, and he was instructed to go home, rest and return to normal activity slowly. After more than a week, however, his symptoms were still debilitating.

“When I’d had concussions before, I had always returned to typical activity shortly afterward,” Michael said. “With this one, I wasn’t able to do much of anything. I wanted to sleep all the time, overstimulation put me into Quick read more or view full article a serious pain cave, I was disoriented, and I forgot conversations and entire events. I was a shadow of my former self. It was pretty scary.”

Growing Demand

For years, head injuries such as Michael’s have been a growing concern in the Roaring Fork Valley — especially for pediatric patients, as injuries to a developing brain can have significant, long-standing effects. So in 2010, AVH Occupational Therapist Krista Fox began exploring ways to improve the medical outcomes for these patients. “At the time, many people weren’t getting comprehensive follow-up care for a brain injury,” Fox said. “We just didn’t have a good way to manage them.”

All of that changed when AVH launched its Traumatic Brain Injury Program in 2014, allowing physicians, therapists, trainers and others to access best practices when managing adult and pediatric patients. Since then, the need for these services has only grown, and AVH’s program is one of most progressive and comprehensive brain injury programs on the Western Slope.

[Pictured: Krista Fox, OT, works with a patient at AVH using the state-of-the-art Bioness Integrated Therapy System (BITS) technology. The system is part of the progressive care offered at AVH which assesses the physical, visual, auditory and cognitive abilities of individuals with brain injuries, movement disorders as swell as competitive athletes.]

“Our Emergency Department now sees more than 2,000 visits each year for head injuries, largely activity-related but also caused by car accidents, falls and work injuries,” noted Kimber Kurr, a Physical Therapist with the program, who is also a board-certified pediatric specialist. “Fortunately, physicians and patients are much more aware of our ability to truly make a significant difference in recovery from brain injury.”

In addition to Fox and Kurr, the program’s staff includes Physical Therapists Amy Bumgarner and Ellen Barlow, Occupational Therapist Marissa Meinema and Speech Language Therapist Lizzy Ransbottom.

[Pictured below, left to right, members of AVH's Traumatic Brain Injury team: Amy Bumgarner, PT; Lizzy Ransbottom, SLP; Krista Fox, OT; Marissa Meinema, OT; and Kimber Kurr, PT.]

Highly individualized care

When treating brain injury, an aggressive, personalized approach is associated with improved long-term outcomes, with treatment starting within a few days of the injury. Care begins with a comprehensive assessment to identify the affected systems.

“Brain injury can be incredibly complex,” Bumgarner said. “We have to look at different types of impairments — visual, emotional, cognitive, balance, cervical or neck pain, sleep disturbances, changes in activity tolerance and so on — as well as more traditional focuses of rehab, such as general muscle strength.”

From there, the therapy team creates an individualized program that includes regular visits to the program’s home base at AVH, daily exercises at home and, typically, collaboration among the program’s different therapists, as well as other hospital and community resources.

Length of treatment depends on an array of factors, from the severity of the injury to how well the patient responds to treatment. Many patients recover from mild brain injury in a few weeks, while treatment for severe injury may continue for years.

Michael's journey continues

With his fiancé’s encouragement, Michael reported his symptoms to his Neurologist, Brooke Allen, MD, who encouraged him to contact the Traumatic Brain Injury Program.

Although his expectations were low — “I just wanted to feel some degree of normalcy” — Michael saw encouraging signs quickly. “From my first appointment until now, it’s been a slow and steady improvement process,” he said.

“I don’t want to sound like I’m proselytizing, but I am: Don’t mess around with a head injury. I feel incredibly fortunate to have the AVH team beside me to provide strong, evidence-based recovery.”

For more information, call AVH’s Traumatic Brain Injury Program at 970.544.1177. Read Less
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