Holiday stress, what holiday stress?

What holiday stress? You’ve got this. Now is the perfect time to find and commit to mitigating pre-holiday stress. This way, you can remain productive, energized and focused no matter what the holidays bring. Pilates at Simpatico, movement, breathing exercises, and meditation – these are a few examples of how you can put time aside for yourself and release tension.

The DailyOM,, said it well:

“We can improve our productivity and reduce stress by choosing to engage in activities that calm and energize us. Our sense of obligation about our tasks often causes us to push ourselves harder than necessary in an effort to be more productive. If we instead schedule time to release tension and energize our minds and bodies, we automatically improve our focus and give ourselves stamina to complete our work efficiently. We are then able to reduce our stress, improve our productivity, and retain a calm mind-set, all while still meeting our responsibilities and completing our work in a timely manner. By releasing your tension and consistently restoring your energy and focus today, you can make your work flow smoother and more productive.”

Nutrition Tips on Aging Well with Vitality.

Olive Oil

Four decades ago, researchers concluded that the monounsaturated fats in olive oil were largely responsible for the low rates of heart disease and cancer on the Greek island of Crete. Olive oil also contains polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that may help prevent age-related diseases.



In the 1970s, Soviet Georgia was rumored to have more centenarians per capita than any other country. Reports at the time claimed that the secret of their long lives was yogurt, a food ubiquitous in their diets. While yogurt has never been proven directly, yogurt is rich in calcium, which helps stave off osteoporosis and contains “good bacteria” that help maintain gut health and diminish the incidence of age-related intestinal illness.

Thirty years ago, researchers began to study why the native Inuits of Alaska were remarkably free of heart disease. The reason, scientists now think, is the extraordinary amount of fish they consume. Fish is an abundant source of omega-3 fats, which help prevent cholesterol buildup in arteries and protect against abnormal heart rhythms.

The Kuna people of the San Blas islands, off the coast of Panama, have a rate of heart disease that is nine times less than that of mainland Panamanians. The Kuna drink a beverage made with generous proportions of cocoa, which is unusually rich in flavanols that help preserve the healthy function of blood vessels. Maintaining youthful blood vessels lowers risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and dementia.



Nuts are rich sources of unsaturated fats, so they offer benefits similar to those associated with olive oil. They’re also concentrated sources of vitamins, minerals and other phytochemicals, including antioxidants.



Drinking alcohol in moderation protects against heart disease, diabetes and age-related memory loss. Any kind of alcoholic beverage seems to provide such benefits, but red wine has been the focus of much of the research. Red wine contains resveratrol, which may activate genes that slow cellular aging.



Compounds in blueberries (and other berries) mitigate inflammation and oxidative damage, which are associated with age-related deficits in memory and motor function.


Chia or Flax seeds

They both have omega -3 fatty acids and a high antioxidant level, take 2 teaspoons ground daily. The Chia seeds high oil content, and the richest vegetables source for the essential omega-3 fatty acid is what makes this such a power food.  The unsaturated fatty acids are the essential oils your body needs to help emulsify and absorb the fat soluble vitamins, A, D, E, & K.  Just like flax seeds, Chia seeds are rich in the unsaturated fatty acid, linoleic, which the body cannot manufacture. 


Onion, Apples and Blackberries

Onions, apples and blackberries all contain quercetin which strengthens your immune system and fights mental slippage. These foods along with garlic, tomato, asparagus and cranberries can aid in the protection against cancer and respiratory diseases.



Folate and phytochemiacals can aid in the prevention of hearing loss. These chemicals can be found in dark leafy vegetables and other fruits and vegetables.



Spinach, chard, broccoli, eye yolks and corn are all high in lutein. Lutein was found to be concentrated in the macula, a small area of the retina responsible for central vision. The hypothesis for the natural concentration is that lutein helps keep the eyes safe from oxidative stress and the high-energy photons of blue light. Several studies also show that an increase in macula pigmentation decreases the risk for eye diseases such as Age-related Macular Degeneration



Tumeric has curcumin to boost memory function and protects against Alzheimer’s. Tumeric is present in certain mustards (check label) a can be added to soups or rice dishes (careful the yellow color can stain easily) There is also circumstantial evidence that curcumin improves mental functions as well as acts as a free radical scavenger and potent antioxidant.



Fat’s Bad Rap

Year’s ago scientists’ assumed -based on the misinterpretation of a compilation of studies- that eating anything with fat would lead directly to obesity and heart disease. The misleading notion assigned the sole cause of our rising cholesterol, our clogging arteries, our increasing hips and thighs, and our ample buttocks to succumbing to the evil fat.  For years many of us avoided the culprit and began to eat low-fat and fat-free foods in the attempt to lighten our load. It turns out that fat aside, America’s obesity epidemic is still on the rise. What does that say about the delectable fat that we have deprived ourselves of for decades? We are no longer perplexed, when it comes down to it; fat is an essential nutrient just like protein and carbohydrates. Your body requires it for key functions such as absorbing fat-soluble vitamins, energy sources, and keeping your skin and hair healthy. The most recent research reveals that you can have your fats and be healthy, too. The hitch is choosing the type of fats you eat; all fats are not created equal. When you divide fat into three categories the concept of which fat to consume becomes much clearer. The good, the bad and the acceptable. Starting with the good fats: monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA’s) are found in plant foods like avocado, olive oil and poultry. MUFA’s can lower cholesterol which will, in turn, lower your risk of heart disease. The Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA’s) found in fatty fish will also lower your cholesterol therefore, your heart disease. In particular, omega-3 found in salmon, not to be confused with omega-6 found in meat and corn and soybean oil which American’s overeat. Our acceptable fat is the saturated fat found in meat and dairy products. This group, in particular has been on the do not eat list for years. We have been warned of its wicked ways of enticing us then raising our cholesterol levels. The most recent research has vindicated saturated fats. The latest research in a 2010 study was inconclusive in finding the link between saturated fat consumption and heart disease or stroke. For many of you knowing that your dark chocolate has been exonerated of its malevolence is a blissful thought. “The stearic-acid found in dark chocolate is clearly non-harmful” says David Katz, MD director of Yale University Prevention Research Center. The bad fat or trans fats found in fried food, processed foods, and commercial snacks foods (need I say more) is now banned from many restaurants. This antagonistic fat has been known to raise LDL cholesterol and lower your HDL cholesterol-the combination which puts us at risk for heart attach and stroke. When you limit these foods, you will significantly improve your health. The best way to approach fat is embrace the good, tolerate the acceptable and avoid the bad. Simple as that.

Summer’s Bounty- Add fruits and vegetables to your recipes for zing!

Summer provides a great time of year for buying seasonal produce. These fresh fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals and other key nutrients that will help you optimize your nutrition this summer. Adding interesting new ingredients to old recipes can add a little something to your summer dinners. Grilling chicken on the bar-b-que is delicious, change the recipe by filling skewers with chicken, pineapple, tomato and onion, and you now have a fresh and delicious summer meal.

Listed below are some fruits and vegetables packed with nutrients and a fresh new way to add them to your meals.

Blueberries: Blueberries are packed with antioxidants which may help counteract heart disease, cancers, and other types of illnesses. They peak late summer and are a delicious addition to your summer salad.

Pineapple: While this fruit is available year round, the peak buying season is between March and July. This is a fruit high in Vitamin C and it also contains an enzyme that relieves indigestion as well as inflammation. The enzyme called bromelain is found near the stem, so when adding pineapple to your skewers, leave it on!

Watermelon: Watermelon is a good source of vitamin A, C, iron and lycopene which has been extensively studied for its antioxidant and cancer-preventing properties. The peak time for watermelon is from mid-June to late August.  Try pairing your chopped watermelon with grilled pork chops and fresh spinach for a new twist.

Peaches and Nectarines: These fruits are a good source of Vitamin A and fiber (with the skin). A peach also contains some Niacin, a B vitamin, which is involved in the synthesis of DNA, and helps to maintain the normal function of your skin, nerves, and digestive system. These fruits are delicious without any additions, but for a scrumptious alternative, cut your peaches in half and bake them in the oven for 20 minutes. Once removed, add yogurt or ice cream for a new summer dessert.

Summer Squash:  Squashes contain an unusual amount of antioxidant nutrients, including the carotenoids- lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants are especially helpful in protection against age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Squash is delicious sliced into disks, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with herbs, sesame seeds and parmesan cheese.

Eggplant: The season for eggplant is August to October, though you can find it many other months of the year. Research on eggplant has focused on a phytonutrient found in eggplant skin called nasunin. Nasunin is a potent antioxidant and free radical scavenger that has been shown to protect cell membranes from damage. Grilled eggplant is a delicious and easy addition to any meal.

Tomatoes: Though they are the most delicious in July through September, you can find tomatoes year round in any market or produce stand.  The tomato is high in the antioxidant lycopene which is known for its ability to help protect cells and other structures in the body from oxygen damage. For a unique salad Chop mini tomato, cucumber and feta cheese drizzle with olive oil and pepper.

“I’m new….” The perfect place to start your Pilates Practice: Pilates Mat Work

Once Joseph Pilates immigrated to the US, he developed the mat version of Pilates to accompany his equipment-based program. This mat variation developed into an important component of the Pilates method and is the most appropriate place to begin one’s Pilates practice. The mat work introduces the body to key movements and breath patterns that are always used for Pilates.

These include:
Neutral pelvis- This is a position where your hip bones and pubic bone are in the same plane, which helps to correct many postural imbalances that exist today.
C-curve and spinal articulation- These movements help to free up tight back muscles and poor posture patterns.
Back muscle engagement- By learning to contract the large back muscles called the latissimus dorsi (other wise known as the “lats”) and relax the shoulder muscles, you are able to counter act the common hunched or rounded shoulder posture that is so prevalent today.
Abdominal muscle engagement- Making this connection can be one of the hardest elements of this work. By creating the mind/muscle connection with your abs you are able to develop the ability to actively, and subconsciously, use your abs for better support, stabilization and power- meaning flatter tummies, less injuries and better functionality in all activities.
Breath- Without it we die, and with it used to its full capacity we grow stronger, longer and leaner.

There are 34 standard Pilates mat exercises created by Joseph Pilates. They are all important for different reasons, challenging the body’s musculature in different ways. As Pilates has hit the main-stream and our knowledge  about physiology increases, these exercises have been adapted to include different tools such as the Pilates Circle, resistance bands and exercise balls.

What can you expect from making Pilates a regular part of your fitnes regime?
A longer. leaner looking physique, increased energy and stamina, and fewer aches and pains from the stresses of everyday life.
The concepts behind Joseph Pilates’ approach to physical and mental fitness can be employed for all ages, shapes and fitness levels. Once one learns these concepts they can be incorporated into everyday activities such as walking down the street or waiting in line at the market. And for the elite athlete, the improvements to their performance are tremendously rewarding.

What to Expect When You’re doing a Cleanse.

A cleanse is a kick-start to healthier eating habits. When you eat healthier, you give your body a rest which will, in turn encourage the effectiveness of toxin removal.  Our bodies naturally detoxify on a continuing basis; however, a constant exposure to toxins and stress can hinder us from doing it optimally, which can eventually affect other systems in the body. A cleanse aids our bodies by allowing the focus to be on self-healing, with that we can then begin to  stimulate digestive health, clear headaches, remove bloating, improve concentration and mood, and support our body in the aging process.

It is important to keep in mind that a cleanse might not be appropriate for everyone. It is intended to facilitate the body systems to run more competently while clearing obstacles which can be detrimental to balanced health. This program will not cure disease nor take the place of any medication prescribed by your physician.  For those of you who have pre-existing health conditions such as a terminal illness, anemia, diabetes, and kidney disease this cleanse is not recommended, as the risk can out weigh the benefit. In addition, pregnant or nursing women should also wait to participate in this program.

A free introductory talk will be held on June 19 at 5:30, at the Simpatico Studio, 1235 Coast Village Rd. Ste. I (upstairs), for more information please call 805-565-7591.

Let your spice cabnet be your medicine cabnet.

Certain spices have powerful antioxidant qualities. Here are some that you can add to your food to give your health a boost.

Garlic: Consuming half to one clove of garlic daily may reduce cholesterol by nearly ten percent. As an antibacterial, garlic is often used to treat minor infections.

Cinnamon: Many clinical studies have linked cinnamon consumption to lowered blood sugar as well as improvement in total LDL cholesterol. Cinnamon is also thought to detoxify the system and stimulate brain function. Its antiseptic properties give it the ability to help fight bladder infections.

Curry: Curry contains turmeric with an active component called curcumin. This substance is associated with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-tumor properties.

Star Anise: Star anise has been used in a tea as a remedy for rheumatism, and the seeds are sometimes chewed after meals to aid digestion.

Cardamom: Cardamom is the spice that gives chai tea its main flavor and is valued medicinally for its ability to increase circulation and improve energy. Considered an aphrodisiac in the Middle East, cardamom may also improve digestion, asthma, bronchitis, halitosis and even improve a bad mood.

Cloves: Clove has been used since ancient times in India to improve digestive function. You may chew on some to alleviate toothaches, sore throats, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.

Cumin: Cumin is thought to boost the immune system and also improve liver function, reduce flatulence, and aid digestion.

Fennel Seed: Fennel seeds help digestion in two ways: It stimulates the production of gastric juices and also soothes the nervous system, regulating the action of the muscles that line the intestine.

Ginger: Ginger may help relieve nausea, arthritis, headaches, menstual cramps and muscle soreness.

A word of warning: Always discuss with your physician before treating conditions with spices to avoid and adverse interactions and contr-indications.


Free Talk About Inflammation has a good turn out!

We enjoyed a funfilled evening with a curious and fun crowd. The talk was informative and and educational. Thank you Dr. Stauber, Karen and Joanne.

We hope to do more health talks in the future- stay tuned!


Inflammation- How to prevent and combat that pain in your neck, back, hip…

Inflammation and the pain it causes has its place in the healing and health of our bodies. However, all to often many of us experience chronic pain as a result of inflammed joints and muscles. We are offering the opportunity for you to hear from experts in the field about how you can be proactive in the management of inflammation.  Come learn about inflammation; what causes it and what you can do to combat it.

We have brought together health professionals from three different modalities including nutrition, Chiropractic and Pilates. Each speaker will address the challenge of inflammation and how you can control and prevent it in your own body.
April 19th, 5:30-6:30 ~ Antioxidant appetizers and beverages will be served.
1235 Coast Village Rd. Ste I (upstairs)
Call for more information.

Karen BarrancoKaren Barranco
holds her M.A. in Dance/Movement Therapy. She has been working as a classically trained Pilates instructor for over ten years.  Karen specializes in helping individuals manage and alleviate chronic back pain, using regenerative Pilates as a cross training tool. Karen has found her work as a dance movement therapist transformed her life, and acts as an inspiration to help others develop a sense of body awareness and personal empowerment.

In this workshop Karen explores the foundation of building bridges between the seemingly oppositional forces of muscle strength and joint flexibility. She will also provide you with information to take steps towards moving through the cycle of chronic pain focusing on arthritis symptoms and inflammation of the joints.

Joanne Bolduc

Joanne Bolducholds her Master of Science in Holistic Nutrition from Hawthorn University and a certification in Sports Nutrition. Joanne is committed to supporting the health of our community through the volunteer work she does as a nutritional educator in the Santa Barbara high schools, UCSB, Girls Inc., Cottage Hospital and the local chapter of the American Heart Association. Recently Joanne has worked for the Santa Barbara Athletic Club and Santa Barbara Dance Arts as a Nutritional Consultant and Educator. She is also currently working with the UCSB Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences as an educator in the local middle schools. (This is through a 4 year grant for nutrition and meditation.)
Joanne counsels individuals on dietary changes to best achieve health and wellness. Her focus is on educating clients to take an active role in their own health by making healthy, nourishing choices. Joanne believes in encouraging clients to make gradual changes over time so that new ways of eating become lifelong habits.

Joanne will discuss how chronic inflammation can be the result of a dis-regulated immune response, and how the best way to rid your body of unwanted inflammation is to offer it the tools to protect and clear away the unnecessary and harmful bi-products of the immune response. She will offer a proactive approach to managing inflammation through lifestyle choices and diet.

Dr. Aaron StauberDr. Aaron Stauber is a board approved licensed Doctor of Chiropractic, with extensive special training in Upper Cervical Methods. His unique approach to health and healing has been formed from his years of research and life experiences. Dr. Stauber has worked in multi-disciplinary clinics in the US and Canada. Working hand in hand with medical doctors, psychologists, social workers, and traditional native healers, he understands the importance of a balanced approach to peoples heath care. Because the body is so dynamic and ever changing, our approaches to facilitating its’ healing require constant adaptation.

Dr. Stauber will describe how poor neurological function can trigger inflammation in the body.   He will link the structural components as related to the spine and the inflammatory response that ensues as a result of misalignment to the upper cervical spine. He will discuss possible symptoms and explain how his work aims to correct the structural problems that lead to neurological complications and ultimately poor health and function.










Tired of Muscle Aches and Cramps: Something to Think About

I get a lot of patients that complain of just common muscle soreness and cramping; they often ask what can be done to prevent or alleviate this.  Magnesium is responsible for over 300 metabolic reactions in our body. 

Magnesium citrate is made from a combination of magnesium carbonate and citric acid. It is considered one of the best forms for high absorption into your body.  This essential mineral is involved in protein, fat and nucleic acid synthesis. If you think of Calcium as the mineral that contracts the muscle, magnesium is the counterpart and is used to relax it.  It helps the body use glucose (sugar), and it is a key player in the body’s energy transport system. Magnesium is needed to inhibit muscle contractions and blood clotting.  By inhibiting this contraction it allows the muscles to relax and speed up the recovery time.  Most people don’t get nearly enough magnesium. Headaches, fatigue, irritable bowel, and depression are all common symptoms of magnesium deficiency.

For more information on dosage please stop by and ask.  If you have other questions regarding magnesium or health concerns just ask, or call 805-258-8734 for an appointment.