Stress Management

  • By Kayley Gamm
  • 23 Dec, 2016

 When we think of the components of a weight loss program, we most think of diet and exercise right? And those two things are very important. Changing your diet and increasing physical activity can help you have more energy, can improve your skin, can help you lose weight and can improve your health. But there is another factor to consider, a factor that is equally as important, that is stress management.

            When you become stressed, your brain shifts into a reward seeking state, so when you become stressed, you will crave whatever your brain perceives as a reward and are convinced that is the only way that you will feel better. A lot of time, these rewards are in the form of sweets or some other more harmful behavior.

            Some of the common signs and symptoms of stress include headache, muscle tension, chest pain, stomach upset and sleeplessness. Stress can also impact your mood, causing irritability, anger, frustration or sadness. It’s important to know when you are stressed and how it manifests itself in your body. For me, I feel stress in the form of stomach cramps and shoulder and neck tension. I know when I start feeling those symptoms, it is time for me to take a step back from any situation and practice some stress relieving strategies.

            Some of my favorite stress relieving strategies include reading a book, taking a bath, going for a walk and listening to music. I also help prevent stress by keeping a notebook by my bed at night, when I have a thought that threatens to keep me awake, I will write it down so it is out of my head and onto paper. I can sleep soundly and deal with it in the morning.

            Some other stress relieving strategies include:

    -      Diaphragmatic breathing- breathing in and out without moving your chest, breathing in from your diaphragm

    -      Meditation

    -      Investing time in a creative hobby

    -      Exercising

    -      Spending time with family and friends (unless they are the ones causing your stress)


            There are some foods that can actually help with stress relief as well. Here are some foods to snack on when you are feeling stressed:

    1.    Nuts- stress decreases your B vitamins, so eating a handful of nuts can replenish those vitamins, giving you a boost of positive        energy.

    2.  Red peppers- red peppers have twice the amount of vitamin C than an orange. Vitamin C will help boost your immune response and        aid in coping with stress.

    3.  Spinach- spinach is high in magnesium which helps regulate cortisol and blood pressure.

    4.  Oatmeal- helps with the release of serotonin, which aids in de-stressing.

    5.  Dark Chocolate- helps with lowering cortisol and the fight or flight hormones.

    6.  Drink Tea- those who drink tea tend to de-stress faster than those who don’t.


            So, at the first sign of stress, sit back, relax, drink a cup of tea and have a piece of dark chocolate!

News / Blogs

By Jengyu Lai 03 Jul, 2017

Whether you’ve fully adopted a plant-based diet or are simply dipping your toes in the water, there’s no doubt that wholesome food is at the center of one’s wellbeing.


Here we’ve rounded up five of our favorite cookbooks that are chock full of nourishing recipes and nutrition tips that are sure to assist in your healthy eating goals:


1.         Forks Over Knives – The Cookbook

If you watched the Forks Over Knives documentary (read more about it here , along with the rest of our top documentary picks), you know what FOK is all about – the concept that degenerative diseases afflicting so much of the U.S. today can be controlled and even reversed by rejecting animal-based and processed foods. This cookbook features 300+ plant-based recipes which place fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes in the lime light.


2.         The China Study Cookbook: Over 120 Whole Food, Plant-Based Recipes

This cookbook came to fruition thanks to The China Study; a book touting one of the most comprehensive nutrition studies ever conducted which reveals that a plant-based diet leads to optimal health and can halt or even reverse many diseases. The China Study Cookbook shares 120+ plant-based, nutrient-dense recipes that promote optimal health.


3.         The PlantPure Nation Cookbook: The Official Companion Cookbook to the Breakthrough Film

PlantPure Nation, yet another noteworthy documentary created by the same producers as Forks Over Knives, provides this trusty companion cookbook boasting 150+ plant-centric recipes. It’s also filled with tips, tricks, and grocery lists for people interested in a whole food, plant-based diet.


4.         Plant-Powered Families: Over 100 Kid-Tested, Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes

Inspire healthful, plant-based eating among the whole family with this must-have cookbook from Dreena Burton. From delicious school lunches to appetizing on-the-go snacks, this book supplies more than 100 kid-tested and approved recipes and serves as an excellent reference for parents raising young ones on a whole food, vegan diet.


5.         Crazy Sexy Kitchen

Don’t let the risqué title of this one deter you. Author and cancer survivor Kris Carr attributes her triumph over cancer to her lifestyle changes, most especially her diet. After embracing a diet made up of whole, plant-based foods, she soon discovered the transformative power of nutrition and felt better than she ever had. This cookbook offers 150+ recipes that includes everything from fresh-pressed juices to delectable desserts.


Also recommended: Oh She Glows, Minimalist Baker, But I Could Never Go Vegan


What are some of your favorite cookbooks? Share on our Facebook page !

By Jengyu Lai 28 Jun, 2017
Knee pain is hindering your daily enjoyment. It hurts to sit; it hurts to stand. And exercise is out of the question. You have tried injections and knee braces but nothing is working. What do you do? Now is the time to call Rochester Clinic.

You will receive a thorough assessment from one of our physicians. Our goal is to stop the pain, find the root cause, treat the cause, and maintain a pain free state. Rochester Clinic and your healthcare team will look at your diet, physical activity, medications, and health conditions including injury, disease, and weight. We take a conservative approach to healthcare before suggesting surgical interventions. We have an on-site clinical laboratory, Digital x-ray, and biomechanics laboratory for the best assessments and diagnostics.

Simple changes in lifestyle choices may alleviate much of your pain. You will learn exercises to strengthen weak muscles, increase flexibility, and safe options for weight management to reduce pressure on your joints. Interesting fact: The foods you eat can help or hinder joint inflammations.

The structure of your foot and knee may also be a cause for your pain. High arches, flat feet, pronation or supination of the foot will affect the pressure and development of the knee. Something as simple as the right footwear or custom orthotics would provide pain relief.

We have the tools to help you be on your way to living a healthy, active, and pain free day!

For more information on Rochester Clinic, the services and programs we offer, please give us a call at  507-218-3095, visit our website at , or e-mail to

We are happy to answer your questions and get you on your way to a healthy life!

By Jengyu Lai 13 Jun, 2017
Amy Blackstad, a recent graduate of one of our CHIP (Complete Health Improvement Plan) groups, is a true testament to the power of lifestyle medicine. Her health improvement in the nine months since she started adopting the CHIP principles has showed to be far more effective than the years of traditional medical consultations she had grown accustomed to.

We recently caught up with Amy to hear her inspiring story, and to share with you some of her tips and takeaways. Take a peek:

Rochester Clinic : What made you decide to sign up for the CHIP program?
Amy : I was curious to see if this could do anything for me medically and physically.

Rochester Clinic : How has adopting the principles of the CHIP program transformed your life?
Amy : Before starting CHIP, I was on 50-60 units of insulin a day and on oral medications to try and control my numbers. In total, I was on nine different medications trying to combat my various ailments. I was constantly fighting migraines and dealing with high cholesterol along with pain and overall ill-feelings daily. Kidney damage became evident years ago.
Now, since graduating from CHIP, I am down to one medication, daily insulin use is not needed, and I can’t remember when I last had a migraine -- and I use to get them every weekend without fail. My endocrinologist, who use to just shake his head at me and prescribe more medication, was very pleased at my last appointment and felt he didn’t need to see me anymore. He said he was comfortable with letting me just see my nurse practitioner to monitor my diabetes. I feel good; I now feel like I’m living, not just existing.
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