Garden Fresh Recipe Round Up

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Tuck Clinic’s first annual CSA program with Glade Road Growing is in full swing and we couldn’t be more pleased with our shares so far! We’ve received everything from carrots to sugar snap peas, rainbow shard to turnips.
The most important part of taking advantage of our CSA program is knowing how to use all the veggies we may not have used before. Here are a few ways our doctors are eating better with garden fresh vegetables.

Spiralized Zucchini

(Courtesy of Dr. Anna Flynn)
If you do not have a spiralizer, you can use a peeler.
Ingredients:

  • 2 zucchini, spiralized
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1tsp. olive oil
  • 2 Roma tomatoes roughly chopped
  • Bunch of basil chopped
  • 1tsp. parmesan cheese
  • A splash of white wine
  • Squeeze fresh lemon
  • Kosher salt

Sprinkle zucchini with about 1-2T kosher salt and let sit for about 15 minutes till they sweat. Rinse, and dry in a dish cloth. 
Sauté oil, garlic, tomatoes for a couple of minutes, add the zucchini, cook an additional 5 minutes on medium heat, add the splash of wine, squeeze of lemon, and fresh basil mix for another few seconds. Place on a plate and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. 
You can add more oil to sauté with, more cheese to top it off, but this is 2 Weight watcher point value for the whole thing. Serves 2.

Farmer’s Market Quinoa Salad

(adapted by Glade Road Growing from BonAppetit.com)
Ingredients

  • ½ cup raw pistachios
  • 1 medium summer squash or zucchini
  • 4 ounces sugar snap peas
  • Kosher salt
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh tender herbs (such as parsley, chives, basil, tarragon, and dill)
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 small or 1 large head of broccoli, florets chopped (about 1½ cups)
  • 2 cups pea shoots (tendrils)
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (from about ⅓ raw

Preheat oven to 350°. Toast pistachios on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing once, until golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop.
Meanwhile, cook sugar snap peas in a pot of boiling salted water until no longer raw but still very crunchy, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl of ice water and let sit until cold, about 3 minutes. Drain, pat dry, and thinly slice into bite-size pieces.
Saute sliced summer squash/zucchini in a hot skillet with a little oil until just starting to caramellize.
Blend herbs, oil, vinegar, mustard, and 2 Tbsp. toasted pistachios in a blender, adding water by the tablespoonful if dressing is too thick, until smooth and the consistency of heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper.
Toss squash, peas, broccoli, pea shoots, quinoa, and remaining toasted pistachios in a medium bowl to combine. Drizzle salad with dressing and toss again to nicely coat everything; season with salt and pepper.

Cashew Ginger Bok Choy

(as seen in Glade Road Growing’s Weekly Newsletter)

Cashew Ginger Bok Choy

  • ¾ pound Bok Choy
  • 3-4 Green Garlic shoots
  • 2 T. minced ginger
  • Coconut oil or Sesame oil
  • ½ cup chopped cashews
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped Cilantro
  • optional red pepper flakes

Heat frying pan with oil and add in garlic shoots. Saute for about a minute then toss in bok choy and ginger, and sprinkle with salt and red pepper flakes if desired. Cover and Saute in pan for three to four minutes until bok choy is bright green. Stir and cover again. Cook until tender another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat. Toast cashews in a separate pan until fragrant then sprinkle onto bok choy along with chopped cilantro. Serve over rice or another starch of your choice.

More from Tuck’s Test Kitchen

In 2017, we launched a blog series with other healthy, flavorful recipes in Tuck’s Test Kitchen. Check out some of our favorites:

If you’d like to learn more about Glade Road Growing and receive more recipes, sign up for their newsletter!

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Hydration and Spinal Health

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hydration and spinal health

Proper hydration is critical to overall spinal health and wellness.

Hydration and Spinal Health

Much like driving a car fueled by gas, our bodies can’t function properly without water. Without proper fuel, a vehicle’s engine will break down or become unreliable.  Our bodies are made up of 70% water, and without proper hydration, our ability to function is diminished substantially.
Since childhood, we’ve been told to drink water so accepting this reality comes easy. However, if you look further into this, you’ll find that water is more important than you may realize. Water is key to regulating body temperature, transporting nutrients, and lubricating joints. Without proper hydration, the body is unable to function optimally. The health of the spine, in particular, relies heavily on proper hydration.

How Does The Spine Work?

As crucial as the spine is within daily activities, it is important to understand its mechanics. At its core, the spine is home to vertebrae, rows of bone that align vertically. Wedged between each bone is a disc which works to absorb shock when bending, twisting, or flexing. Discs between the vertebrae ensure the bones do not rub together, therefore, reducing shock.
Within each disk of the vertebrae lies a nucleus pulposus. The nucleus pulposus is mainly made of water and provides movement as the spine rotates and moves in various directions. From the loss of hydration in discs, the adult spine is capable of losing height daily. Without proper rehydration, disc height starts to gradually reduce creating other medical issues.

Spinal Issues Resulting From Dehydration

Dehydration deeply affects spinal health as discs become compressed or unable to refill. Unable to refill, discs that lack proper hydration remain compressed leading to potential spinal injury. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, water loss causes discs to collapse between vertebrae resulting in injury. Injuries like spinal stenosis, degenerative disc, and herniated disc can arise from a core of dehydrated discs within vertebrae. This creates an immediate need for treatment and subsequent preventative measures.

How Can The Spine Rehydrate?

As your entire body relies on proper hydration, it is important to not only drink plenty of water, but eat foods that hydrate, as well. Not only does direct water consumption hydrate but incorporating fruits and vegetables into your diet also aids in hydration Watermelon, cantaloupe, lettuce, tomatoes, or strawberries are made of more than 90% water and also contain essential nutrients. Eating and drinking things that hydrate will help your spine function more efficiently.
There is a lot of question about the right amount of water to drink in order to ensure proper hydration. Common wisdom is to drink eight glasses (8 ounces each) per day but this general rule isn’t always the right amount for everyone. For example, if you are active or have a propensity to sweat a lot your needs will increase beyond this. We found a cool calculator to help determine your water needs based on things such as your age, size, and activity level.
While hydrating is a great starting point, water replenishment may not fully heal spinal injuries or back pain. Chiropractic care to include spinal manipulation or adjustments is recommended for those with injury in relationship to the spine.  We offer extensive varieties of treatment, to include herniated disc treatment. We believe in positively impacting your health and wellness and know that chiropractic care and proper hydration are two keys to this.

Putting It All Together

Just as you keep fuel in the gas tank of your car, maintain appropriate hydration for the health of your spine and overall wellness. Proper hydration through daily water intake and a diet rich in fruits and veggies will keep you feeling and functioning at your very best. Remember: if the spine becomes dehydrated, chances of spinal injury increase. A combination of tailored chiropractic care and hydration through both food and water are key to repairing and preventing such injuries.

Feel Better. Live Better.

Whether you are suffering from pain, or are interested in learning how to live a more healthy lifestyle we invite you to reach out to the clinic location that is most convenient to you and begin to reap the positive benefits of chiropractic care.

About the Writer

3 Ways to Approach Wellness As A Family

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Just like everything else in life, the stages of a family ebb and flow. From the first moment, you realize you’ll have a little newborn in 9 months to the moment you drop your kids off at their first high school team tryout. There are times when getting up and getting active won’t be ideal. Those late night feedings or nightmares don’t exactly encourage you to get up early to make a healthy breakfast. The days when you feel like you’re always on the go, running from one errand to the next, make you feel like it’s impossible to slow down and spend time with your family.
While your kids might seem to have boundless energy and exercise, are they learning the right habits to channel it? Will their vibrancy and strength continue as they grow? It’s important to instill a healthy lifestyle into your children as early as possible. By feeding off their energy, you might even get a pep back in your step too! Here are a few ways to approach wellness as a family.

Make Mealtime a Priority

Healthy eating habits are the first step to living a healthy lifestyle. Beginning and ending your day with the right nutrition will support your mood, long-term health, and ability to expel energy in ways that contribute to your overall wellbeing. A study completed in 2011 concluded that exposing children to healthy foods and eating habits at a young age will encourage a positive predisposition towards a healthier diet and lifestyle as they grow up.
Invite your children into the kitchen with you and allow them to have input in their food options. Start with a healthy base of choices and work from there. Not only will it teach them the skills they’ll need later to compile their own diet, but it will help you in your efforts towards a healthier lifestyle, too. After all, you want to be a healthy, active grandparent when your little ones grow up to have kids of their own, don’t you?
A few simple rules to live by at mealtime:
1. Try to cook meals from scratch to avoid preservatives and unknown additives.
2. Eat more fruits and vegetables!
3. Find healthy snack foods that everyone can enjoy.

Fewer Screens, More Scenes

In 2009, Nielsen Co. reported that children between the ages of 2 and 8 spend an average of 28-32 hours watching TV or videos through a phone, computer, or tablet. The Kaiser Family Foundation found that children between the ages of 8 and 18 spend a minimum of 4 1/2 hours a day watching various screens.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with spending a little time in front of the TV to catch your favorite show. However, it does contribute to a sedentary lifestyle. If too much time is spent sitting and watching a screen, that means you’re spending too little time being active. Living in Southwest Virginia means having a natural landscape to keep your senses far more stimulated than a screen ever could!
Spending time together being active provides an opportunity for family bonding as well as getting your heart rate up! Find an activity everyone in your family can enjoy. Even if it’s as simple as taking your golden retriever, Ralph, for a walk every evening, it’s away to come together and get moving. If you’re looking for something a little more exciting, there are endless options in Southwest Virginia. From hiking trails on the Appalachian Trail or Carvins Cove to biking on the Greenway. If outdoors aren’t your thing, there are plenty of great facilities around the region that will help you have fun and get active!

Set And Reach For More Goals

Maybe you want to drop a few pounds and run in a local 5k this spring. Maybe Bobby wants to make the JV Baseball team next year. Whatever your goals are, try to approach them as a family. After all, your family should be your number one support system.
When you sit down together to set goals as a family, you can discover new ways to support one another. Whether that means more time tossing the baseball around the yard, or taking Ralph just a little bit further on your next run, every effort you make will put you one step closer to reaching your goals. When you do reach your goals, you have a group of people to celebrate with, too!
It’s important to remember that wellness and a healthy lifestyle look different for every family. Everyone has unique schedules and circumstances. Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses. Try to find what works for you and your family and embrace it!

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Tuck Test Kitchen: 3 Recipes with Avocado

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We have cooked up three delicious recipes in the Tuck Test Kitchen, all containing the same ingredient: avocado! In a previous post, we talked about how this superfood not only tastes good, but is good for you. The health benefits from avocados range from eye health to cardiovascular health. Avocados are a healthful alternative to several foods including mayonnaise, butter and sour cream.
Avocado omeletBreakfast: Avocado Omelet
Every super food needs a sidekick, right? Let us introduce you to eggs! This breakfast favorite is high in protein and incredibly nutritious. They also raise HDL, sometimes referred to as the “good” cholesterol. The healthy traits of both avocados and eggs makes them the perfect pair (some might say they are the new peanut butter and jelly!)
You will need:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 avocado (slice as much as you want)
  • Your omelette must-haves such as: ham, peppers, tomatoes and cheese.
  • Salt & pepper
  • Butter

Start by whisking eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a bowl until thoroughly mixed. Lightly coat bottom of a non-stick pan with butter and pour in the egg mixture. Cook until mixture has thickened, then add remaining ingredients (ham, cheese, AVOCADO, etc…) to one side of the omelet. Fold the omelet over and it’s ready to serve!
Avocado toastLunch: Avocado Toast
When it comes to lunch, it is easy to pull into a drive-thru since so many of us are constantly on the move. What if we told you that making your own lunch could be just as easy AND healthy too? Thanks to avocado toast, it is! You might be thinking: “that’s not going to satisfy my hunger.” Well, avocados contain fiber, which helps you feel full longer. This makes it the perfect lunchtime choice because it will help reduce the chances of pre-dinner snacking.
You will need:

  • 2 slices of bread
  • ½ avocado
  • Pinch of salt

Start by thinly slicing the avocado, then mash the slices in a bowl until it becomes a creamy, spreadable consistency. Toast two slices of bread until brown. Spread the mashed avocado onto each slice of toast with a pinch of salt and you’re done!
If you’re looking to add a little more bulk to this meal, consider pairing your toast with an apple or banana.
Chicken tacos with avocadoDinner: Crock Pot Chicken Tacos with Avocado
Just like lunchtime, it’s easy to get lost in your evening plans. Instead of getting dinner out, consider making an easy and healthy meal at home using a Crock Pot. You can set the Crock Pot to start cooking in the morning and let it cook all day so when you get home, it’s ready to eat!
Check out this tasty chicken taco recipe to get started! Substituting healthy and creamy avocado in place of shredded cheese adds fiber and reduces calories in this easy, everyday recipe.
You will need:

  • 8 Corn Tortillas
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Jar of your Favorite Salsa
  • Cilantro
  • 1 Ripe Avocado
  • Salt and Pepper

Special equipment:

  • 1 Crock Pot

Start by cutting up your chicken breasts into manageable pieces. Add them in your Crock Pot. Cover the chicken with your favorite salsa. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4 hours.
Your chicken will shred apart in your Crock Pot. When you’re ready to eat, dice onion and green pepper. Add olive oil to a skillet. Add the diced onion and green pepper to the skillet over medium heat. Saute until barely tender. Salt and pepper to taste.
Heat your corn tortillas in the stove or toaster oven. Add the chicken mixture and vegetables.
Slice up your ripe avocado and add the slices on top of the chicken and vegetables. Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately. Enjoy!
While eating right is crucial to overall health and wellness, it is also important to stay active and visit your doctor for annual check-ups. If you need support on your wellness journey, contact us today. Our goal is to help you feel better and live better.

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Fall Fresh Fruits and Veggies

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Fall Fruits and VegetablesFall is known as a time of harvesting. The local Farmer’s Markets are full of delicious fall fruits and vegetables this time of year! If you’ve kept up with our blog, you know we like to emphasize the importance of nutrition and spine health in overall wellness. Let’s “dig-in” to some fruits and veggies that are at their best this time of year AND contain nutrients that will help your spinal health. These key nutrients include: Calcium, Magnesium, Vitamin D, Phosphorus and healthy fats.

  • Swiss Chard: A delicious, leafy green that is packed with magnesium and calcium. An easy way to enjoy: replace your spinach with Swiss chard in your next omelet.
  • Pumpkin Seeds: Not only do pumpkins add delicious flavor to your Pumpkin Spice Latte, but their seeds provide a healthy dose of phosphorus. While carving your jack-o-lantern, make sure to keep those seeds. To roast them: toss seeds with a little olive oil, just enough to coat, then roast for 30-45 minutes in a 350o Try a variety of seasonings like cinnamon and brown sugar or cayenne pepper for a kick. Yum!
  • Mushrooms: This tasty little fungus provides us with some much-needed Vitamin D. There are many varieties of mushrooms that are available in the fall, and many that can be found year-round. Sauté up a few mushrooms in a high heat pan with a little olive oil and add to any dish for added texture.
  • Sunflower Kernels: Delicious nutrition packed into a tiny little kernel. Fun fact – the edible part we consume is not a seed at all, it is technically a kernel. Nonetheless, they offer magnesium and healthy fats. They can be eaten just as a snack or used to top off a salad. Sweet or savory, there are many ways to work these into your diet.
  • Avocados: Full of healthy fats and no cholesterol, the avocado (also known as the alligator pear) has become popular in recent years because of its mild flavor and ability to add creaminess to dishes. You can replace mayo on your next sandwich with mashed guacamole for a healthy twist. Or just eat avocado toast because that’s the new thing, right?

Are you hungry yet? This is only a small sampling of the delicious seasonal fruits and vegetables available during the autumn season. Take a trip to your local farmer’s market or grocery store and see what new recipes you can come up with.
Remember that a balanced diet, exercise and proper hydration are all key factors in spinal and overall wellness. And, of course, visits to your local Tuck Clinic for your adjustments, pain relief, and more. We have 12 experienced doctors and 9 convenient locations where we provide countless treatment methods to help you live better. Visit one of our locations or send us a message for more information on how we can help you.

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Zucchini Pizzas | Tuck Test Kitchen

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This Tuck Test Kitchen recipe is very simple and quick. It is a great alternative to traditional pizza. You only need 3 ingredients:

  • Zucchini Squash
  • Pizza Sauce
  • Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese

Start by slicing zucchini in even slices, about 1/4 thick. Next arrange the zucchini on a cooking sheet in a single layer. Broil the zucchini for about 3 minutes, then flip the zucchini. Broil again another 3 minutes.
Next, top the zucchini with a spoonful of pizza sauce and part-skim mozzarella cheese. If you are feeling fancy you can also top these pizzas with fresh basil sliced thin or Italian seasonings.
Place your zucchini pizzas back in the oven to broil until the cheese has melted. And just like that, you have a tasty dish! Consider serving it as paired with a lean protein.
Using zucchini as the base of this pizza reduces the calorie count, as compared to a flour-based crust. It is also a gluten-free alternative for those who have a gluten sensitivity or intolerance. Zucchini also has a “rich nutritional profile,” to include vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and manganese.
We also love this recipe because once all the slicing is done, it is very kid friendly! You can sit them at the table and ask them to spoon on the sauce or sprinkle the cheese. Not only will it be a fun way to spend time together, turns out teaching them how to cook and involving them in the meal process may encourage more healthy eating habits.
Remember the importance of nutrition in your overall wellness. Wellness is multi-faceted and includes all areas of your life from nutrition to exercise, mindfulness to work-life balance, and maintenance care of your body.  We encourage you to take small steps to pursue wellness. The first small step may be coming in for a chiropractic adjustment or it just might be making zucchini pizzas. Regardless, we want to support you as you strive to feel better and live better.
 

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Hydration and Spinal Health

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hydration and spinal health

Proper hydration is critical to overall spinal health and wellness.

Hydration and Spinal Health

Much like driving a car fueled by gas, our bodies can’t function properly without water. Without proper fuel, a vehicle’s engine will break down or become unreliable.  Our bodies are made up of 70% water, and without proper hydration, our ability to function is diminished substantially.
Since childhood, we’ve been told to drink water so accepting this reality comes easy. However, if you look further into this, you’ll find that water is more important than you may realize. Water is key to regulating body temperature, transporting nutrients, and lubricating joints. Without proper hydration, the body is unable to function optimally. The health of the spine, in particular, relies heavily on proper hydration.

How Does The Spine Work?

As crucial as the spine is within daily activities, it is important to understand its mechanics. At its core, the spine is home to vertebrae, rows of bone that align vertically. Wedged between each bone is a disc which works to absorb shock when bending, twisting, or flexing. Discs between the vertebrae ensure the bones do not rub together, therefore, reducing shock.
Within each disk of the vertebrae lies a nucleus pulposus. The nucleus pulposus is mainly made of water and provides movement as the spine rotates and moves in various directions. From the loss of hydration in discs, the adult spine is capable of losing height daily. Without proper rehydration, disc height starts to gradually reduce creating other medical issues.

Spinal Issues Resulting From Dehydration

Dehydration deeply affects spinal health as discs become compressed or unable to refill. Unable to refill, discs that lack proper hydration remain compressed leading to potential spinal injury. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, water loss causes discs to collapse between vertebrae resulting in injury. Injuries like spinal stenosis, degenerative disc, and herniated disc can arise from a core of dehydrated discs within vertebrae. This creates an immediate need for treatment and subsequent preventative measures.

How Can The Spine Rehydrate?

As your entire body relies on proper hydration, it is important to not only drink plenty of water, but eat foods that hydrate, as well. Not only does direct water consumption hydrate but incorporating fruits and vegetables into your diet also aids in hydration Watermelon, cantaloupe, lettuce, tomatoes, or strawberries are made of more than 90% water and also contain essential nutrients. Eating and drinking things that hydrate will help your spine function more efficiently.
There is a lot of question about the right amount of water to drink in order to ensure proper hydration. Common wisdom is to drink eight glasses (8 ounces each) per day but this general rule isn’t always the right amount for everyone. For example, if you are active or have a propensity to sweat a lot your needs will increase beyond this. We found a cool calculator to help determine your water needs based on things such as your age, size, and activity level.
While hydrating is a great starting point, water replenishment may not fully heal spinal injuries or back pain. Chiropractic care to include spinal manipulation or adjustments is recommended for those with injury in relationship to the spine.  We offer extensive varieties of treatment, to include herniated disc treatment. We believe in positively impacting your health and wellness and know that chiropractic care and proper hydration are two keys to this.

Putting It All Together

Just as you keep fuel in the gas tank of your car, maintain appropriate hydration for the health of your spine and overall wellness. Proper hydration through daily water intake and a diet rich in fruits and veggies will keep you feeling and functioning at your very best. Remember: if the spine becomes dehydrated, chances of spinal injury increase. A combination of tailored chiropractic care and hydration through both food and water are key to repairing and preventing such injuries.

Feel Better. Live Better.

Whether you are suffering from pain, or are interested in learning how to live a more healthy lifestyle we invite you to reach out to the clinic location that is most convenient to you and begin to reap the positive benefits of chiropractic care.

About the Writer

Chicken Caprese Recipe | Tuck Test Kitchen

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The Final Results: Chicken Caprese with Roasted Brussle Sprouts


We love interacting with our patients, friends, and followers over social media. Over time, we’ve developed a sense of community and have had some really meaningful interactions. Recently, we put out a request for nutritious recipes, so that the Tuck Test Kitchen could give something new a try.
We lucked out, a recipe suggestion was left that was really easy, really good, and really healthy. It was suggested that we make Chicken Caprese. While there are many versions of Chicken Caprese out there we liked this option because it uses fresh ingredients and everything is cooked in one pan.
Beyond the benefits that come from cooking in only one pen (hello, less dishes to wash!), this dish offers great nutritional benefits. The fresh tomatoes are nutrient-dense, specifically they are a great source of vitamin A and antioxidants. The chicken in this dish provides lean protein. “Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood,” (WebMD). Protein is a macronutrient, meaning the body needs a lot of it, but the body is unable to store excess amounts. Therefore, including lean proteins in your daily diet is important. Now that you understand the nutrition within this delicious recipe, let’s get cooking!
To make this recipe you need the following:

  • 2 Teaspoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 1 1/2 Pounds Chicken Breast Tenders
  • 2 Cups of Cherry Tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 8 oz of Mushrooms
  • 1 Teaspoon of Diced Garlic
  • 1/4-1/2 Cup of Balsamic Vinegar
  • Fresh Basil
  • Fresh Mozarella Cheese
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

First, prepare your vegetables and basil. Once you start cooking this recipe moves quickly. Slice your tomatoes in half, dice your garlic, slice your basil thin. You can leave your mushrooms whole, as they will shrink during cooking.
Begin by heating the EVOO in your pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the chicken breast tenders and season them with salt and pepper. Cook until they have a pretty golden brown color on both sides, and are cooked thoroughly. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
Next, add the garlic and mushrooms to the pan. Cook, while stirring, a few minutes to soften the mushrooms. They will continue to cook as the recipe continues, bear this in mind so you don’t end up with overcooked mushrooms. Next, deglaze the pan with balsamic vinegar. Start with 1/4 cup and increase the amount as necessary. You will want a little bit of excess liquid so there is a sauce component.
Add the chicken back to the pan, also add the fresh basil and tomatoes. At this point, your kitchen will smell amazing and your taste buds will be doing jumping jacks. Cook until the cherry tomatoes are softened, while you spoon the sauce over the mixture in the pan. When the tomatoes are softened, add pieces of fresh mozzarella on top of the chicken. Cover the pan with a lid and let the cheese melt. You’ve done it! You can now enjoy this amazingly tasty and healthy recipe.
You certainly could serve it with pasta, as chicken caprese often is. However, we challenge you to serve it with a veggie side dish that will pair this already healthy dish with a healthy side. One of our favorite go-to side dishes is roasted brussel sprouts. You simply cut them in half (or buy them already cut in half!) drizzle them in a little EVOO, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast them. They do all the work while you fix the main dish–it’s a great solution for a simple side.
We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did. We are always on the lookout for healthy new offerings that support the big picture view of wellness. Remember, wellness isn’t a destination and it’s not only about eating right. Consider how your nutrition, activity level, and care for your body all come together to make you the very best version of yourself. If we can support you in your wellness journey, please let us know.
 

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4 Positive Changes to Better Your Health

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What do you think the most predictive characteristic for low back pain chronicity and future disability is?  Obesity?  Prior back surgery?  Type of injury? What would you say if we told you multiple studies have shown the most predictive factor for progression of low back pain from acute to chronic are psychological factors like depression, fear avoidance, and poor outlook? 
You may have never considered a possible link between health, pain, and attitude. While it may be difficult to stay positive during all situations in life, there are positive steps you can take to enhance your overall health and wellbeing. And that’s why we’re here — to discuss four positive lifestyle changes that are simple but come with the potential to improve your health.

1. Stay Active

When your body is in pain, relaxing on the couch may seem like the easiest thing to do. After all, you don’t want the pain to get worse. We’re going to stop you right there. The reality is getting your body up and moving could actually be the first step to feeling better! In fact, a recent study revealed physically active adults had lower pain perception than those who were not physically active. This can be as simple as going outside and taking a quick walk. So if you’re feeling stiff, or your back is starting to give you trouble, challenge yourself to get up and get moving. Going through the motions, in a literal sense, could be the first step in feeling like you can take on just about anything.

  2. Be Aware of Your Attitude

Emotions such as anxiety and depression can worsen pain perception. However, there are ways to combat those feelings. Activities like yoga, meditation, and positive thought reinforcement have been linked to reduced pain intensity and better overall health. Yoga and meditation have also been linked to decreased stress and better cardiovascular health. Make a conscious effort to be more aware of your mental attitude. If you are facing a difficult situation, don’t dwell on it. Challenge yourself to consider the positives that may come from the situation.

3. Surround Yourself with Positive People – this includes your doctors!

You’ve probably heard the saying “surround yourself with people who are going to lift you higher.” That saying holds true when it comes to family, friends, and even doctors. Partnering with a chiropractor or physician who is fully dedicated to helping you feel better can give you the confidence you need to take on the pain that has been bogging you down, or a surprise diagnosis that has left you in a rut. Choose a chiropractor or physician who you feel connected to and who has a plan to get you back on the road to a healthy life.

4. Don’t Dwell on Your Age. After all — it’s just a number!

Did you know feeling older than you actually are is a health hazard? Something that should be celebrated – the beauty of living life – could be causing people health problems. That’s hard to believe if you ask us! Reflect on the positive things happening around you. Consider getting involved in clubs or volunteer opportunities in your local community, or pick back up on your favorite from a few years back. Don’t let another year around the sun rain on your parade! And that brings us to our next, and final, recommendation…

From time to time, life can throw you a curveball. It’s important to maximize your chances of coming out on top, and recognize the key role positivity and lifestyle play in this. We encourage you to examine your life and determine how you can apply these simple tips. Starting with small changes to your approach to pain and positivity will help you experience big results.  

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Sweet Italian Sausage and Kale Soup

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The “Tuck Test Kitchen” is at it again. We started with this recipe we found on Southern Living because let’s face it, our clinics are located in Southwest Virginia so we can get behind recipes themed around this amazing place we call home. We added our own Tuck twist, which resulted in, “Sweet Italian Sausage and Kale Soup.”
When we first stumbled on this soup we thought it sounded amazing but a bit heavy. We decided to reduce the amount of oil from ¼ Cup to 2 Tablespoons. We also opted for a sweet Italian turkey sausage instead of a spicy pork sausage. Those two swaps lightened the caloric and fat content of this recipe. This is also a gorgeous bowl of soup when it is done cooking. As a general rule, a colorful plate (or bowl in this case) is a sign that you are on track with your nutrition.
The chef behind this test recipe also detests celery in soup, so it didn’t make the cut when it came time to give this one a go. Rather, extra carrots were added. We do want to encourage you to be choosey with the chicken broth you purchase for this recipe. There are low-sodium options that are flavorful without adding excessive amounts of salt. We also suggest you wait until this recipe is complete before salting since the chicken broth will contribute salty flavor.
We used an app to calculate the basic nutrition information for this recipe. We learned a one-cup serving of this soup will contain about 350 calories, 21 grams of protein, 9 grams of fiber, and lots of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and iron.  Key contributors to this great nutritional content include
Kale: If this superfood has intimidated you thus far, this is a great recipe to get you used to cooking with this leafy green. Kale is low calorie, fat-free, high in fiber, packed with vitamin K (amongst others) and iron.
Chickpeas: Also known as garbanzo beans, these little protein powerhouses also offer a high amount of fiber, manganese, and folate.
Carrots: Your mom was telling the truth when she told you eating carrots will improve your vision, this is thanks to vitamin A. They also contain vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, iron, and copper–the health benefits of carrots are extensive.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 pound sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup chopped carrots (about 2 large carrots)
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (15-oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), drained
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 cups of kale, chopped

Instructions:
Get a large soup pot ready to go. Add the 2 tablespoons of EVOO and garlic to the pot and cook over medium heat, until the garlic begins to brown. This should take between 5 and 6 minutes. Once it browns, remove the garlic.
Next, add the sausage to the pan and cook until browned and crumbled. Be aware, the oil from the pan may get excited when the sausage lands in the pan, watch out for splatters of oil. After the sausage is cooked remove it from the pan and set it on a plate lined with paper towels. This will remove some of the oil. Next, add the onion, carrot, and celery (if you’re into that) back to the pan and cook the vegetables until they begin to soften. This should take about 5 minutes. Then you will add the chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, chickpeas, black pepper, and sausage all into the pot. Stir it all up to combine and allow it to simmer for 20 minutes. Lastly, add the kale and stir it until it is wilted, which will take about 5 minutes. Now, you are ready to enjoy a comforting bowl of soup that not only tastes delicious but also gives your body great energy.
Remember, eating well is about much more than the number on the scale or the size of pants you wear. When you eat well you are giving your body necessary fuel that can help it perform at it’s very best—that is, if you eat well-balanced meals focused on nutrition. We know that living well encompasses many things and can’t be isolated to just eating well. There are many factors, that all need to compliment each other, in order to achieve optimal wellness. If you’d like to get started on pursuing a better lifestyle we invite you to give this Sweet Italian Sausage and Kale Soup a try—and reach out to us.

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