Ep 15: Stress and its Impact on the Body – Alex Uding, PT, DPT, PN1

Co-Host Alex Uding and Host Kari Ginger discuss the effect of stress on the body and why knowing the sourcing of your food is so important for reducing stress and improving gut health.

Alex works with healthy and injured individuals alike, across the lifespan. She has special interest in orthopedic and sports rehab, women’s health, strength and conditioning, nutrition, and development of the female athlete. She is passionate about bridging the gap between rehabilitation and optimizing performance to promote a lifestyle of health and wellness through compassionate, person-centered care.

Alex has a Doctorate of Physical Therapy, is Precision Nutrition Certified, and is a Strength and Performance Coach. She works as a Physical Therapist and Performance Coach at Momentum Physical Therapy in Milford, MA.

Ep 14: Sherilyn Nicholas, M.S., CAGS – Clinical Therapist and Certified Personal Trainer

Clinical Therapist, Sherilyn Nicholas teaches host Kari Ginger about psychology and mental health. The two discuss handling stress, self-care and the role fitness and nutrition play in one’s mental health.

After the discussion with Sherilyn, Alex Uding, PT, DPT, PN1 continues the conversation with Kari to talk about lessons learned from Sherilyn and how they practice self-care in their life.

Sherilyn Nicholas, M.S., CAGS is a clinical therapist in Southeastern Massachusetts. She earned her Masters and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Mental Health Counseling from Suffolk University in 2013 and 2015 respectively. She is a Certified Personal Trainer, Group Exercise Instructor, Yin Yoga Instructor, and Mind Body Fitness Coach.

Nicholas is a former Division 1 Track & Field athlete who developed a passion for fitness, health and wellness. She turned to bodybuilding and became an OCB figure competitor and successfully placed in the top 5 of her figure class in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

You can reach Sherilyn via e-mail:

Ep 9: Julie Cutler, MSN RN – Lactation Consultant

Kari Ginger sits down with Julie Cutler, a registered nurse licensed in both Iowa and Illinois and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant for over 30 years. This mother-daughter pair discuss breastfeeding, baby friendly hospitals, nutrition, and Bytable Foods. Julie Cutler, MSN RN IBCLC RLC is a registered nurse licensed in both Iowa and Illinois and has been an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant for over 30 years. She possesses expertise in caring for obstetrical patients and premature infants. Her career has also included working as a visiting nurse, clinical instructor, university instructor, and researcher while working full-time at her local hospital. Recently, Julie was the project manager for the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative at Genesis Medical Center and Genesis received the Baby Friendly Hospital designation in February 2018. Her passion is to assist new families to get off to a good start in breastfeeding and to continue to support them.

Ep 8: Jarek Bakken and Dr. Alex Arguello, D.C. – Restoring Human

Jarek Bakken and Dr. Alex Arguello DC join Kari to discuss nutrition, fitness and their podcast Restoring Human.

The two hosts believe humans were designed to flourish and are helping people make intentional lifestyle decisions to return to an optimal state of health.

Jarek Bakken:
Jarek is a self experimenter when it comes to health. He was introduced to CrossFit and the Paleo diet in 2013 and hasn’t looked back since. After losing 60 pounds he has found a passion for helping sick and hurting people realize that change can in the realm of health just like it did for him. He is now a CrossFit Level 1 trainer and host of the Restoring Human podcast with Dr. Alex Arguello DC. The two believe humans were designed to flourish and are helping people make intentional lifestyle decisions to return to an optimal state of health.

Dr. Alex Arguello:
Dr. Alex Arguello, D.C., has a passion for helping people like you to live a high quality of life and feel your best at all times. Being a family man himself, he’s greatest passion is to see entire families be healthy together. Since 2011, Dr. Alex Arguello has helped hundreds of patients and their families get well from a wide variety of health issues, ranging from allergies to ADHD to migraine headaches to low back disc problems.

Ep 7: Madie Hart – Fitness, Nutrition and Marketing

Kari sits down with Madie Hart and discuss nutrition, fitness, marketing, and starting new careers. In Februrary 2018, Madie launched Social Butterflies, a Facebook page dedicated to teaching other female entrepreneurs how to ignite their business using social media marketing. She is also Bytable Foods‘ social media consultant.

Ep 6: Trauma’s Effect on the Body with Maggie Gehlsen

Kari sits down with Maggie Gehlsen, native of DeWitt, Iowa currently serving as Miss Muscatine. In June 2017, Maggie started her own nonprofit called “Trauma Queens,” which is dedicated to helping survivors of sexual trauma heal their bodies and minds utilizing holistic methods like movement and mindfulness.

Maggie is a 2013 graduate of De Witt Central High School and a 2017 graduate of the University of Alabama, where she earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Exercise and Sport Science.

Maggie has been a longtime participant within the Miss America Organization, which is dedicated to helping young women promote their own personal platforms through community service. In June 2017, Maggie started the nonprofit “Trauma Queens,”  and recently, Maggie represented Muscatine at the Miss Iowa Scholarship Pageant in Davenport, Iowa, where she received the lifestyle & fitness in swimsuit award, overall interview winner, and was named 1st Runner Up to Miss Iowa 2018.

Maggie has worked closely with several nonprofits to promote awareness for sexual assault education and prevention. Currently, she works with RAINN (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network) as a part of their Speakers Bureau, Family Resources, and EROC (End Rape On Campus). In her free time, Maggie enjoys hot yoga, writing, reading, and cooking.

Maggie currently lives in eastern Iowa and works as a personal trainer and health coach.

Ep 5: Krista DeGeest – Professional Volleyball Player by Know Better Live Best

Kari Ginger discusses nutrition, athletics and life lessons with Professional Volleyball Player, Krista DeGeest

Krista DeGeest is an All-American volleyball player from the University of Northern Iowa who has gone on to play professionally since graduating in 2013 with a marketing and management degree. She has competed in the Swedish, Romanian, and German leagues over her past 5 years as a professional athlete and will return to Germany at the end of August for her 6th season. During her summer months in the USA, Krista runs her own multi-aged volleyball camps for various high schools in the Midwest and conducts private lessons for local players. It is her mission to share her passion for the sport through her enthusiasm and drive, both on and off the court. She loves to travel and explore and strives to live each day to its fullest, with a smile on her face.

Ep 4: Cultivating Food Literacy in Children with Raintree School by Know Better Live Best

Kari sits down with chefs Katie Brown and Andrea Hediger at Raintree School.

Katie Brown was born and raised in St. Louis, MO. She cooked in a variety of restaurants and food-focused non-profit organizations for 8 years and studied Nutrition and Dietetics at St. Louis University before becoming head chef at Raintree School. She has been at Raintree for five years. While feeding students scratchmade lunches, she hopes to also foster in them a passion for food, where it comes from, and ways to enjoy it. When not in the kitchen she loves yoga, painting, gardening, and traveling.

Andrea Hediger’s love for cooking orignated from spending time in her grandmother’s kitchen at a young age. It was there where she learned the basics of cooking. To further her knowledge, she moved from her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri to Seattle, Washington and studied Nutrition and Culinary Arts at Bastyr University. While in the Pacific Northwest, she gained experiences in various kitchen settings and organic gardens. One year ago she became sous chef at Raintree where she gets to practice her passion by feeding young eaters. Her favorite thing about her job is witnessing the excitement that the children have about food.

Ep 3: Chase’n the Dream at QCAA with Chase Hollmer

Kari sits down with Chase Hollmer from the Quad City Athlete Acadamy.

Chase is originally from Iowa where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Movement and Exercise Science from the University of Northern Iowa. He later moved to Tampa, Florida where he completed his Master’s Degree in Exercise and Nutritional Science from the University of Tampa. While pursuing his graduate degree , Chase also worked in UT’s Human Performance Lab, one of the top human performance labs in the country. Since his time in Tampa he has worked with multiple professional teams and athletes including those in the NHL, NFL, MLB, and UFC. Chase’s experience also extends working with numerous fitness professionals and bodybuilders on their individual training, nutrition, and supplementation needs.
Chase is currently the owner and head coach of the Quad City Athlete Academy. Athletes that have worked under Coach Hollmer have received Div. 1 scholarships to every Power 5 conference.

Certified Sports Nutritionist (CISSN)
Certified USA Weight Lifting Sports Performance Coach

According to WebMD… I Have What?!

Think of a time you haven’t felt well. Let’s say you have a sore throat, dizziness, swollen glands, and feel achy all over. You are miserable and you just want to start feeling better. Unsure of what may be going on, you go to your phone and you type in your symptoms, yielding 66 results that say you have anything from the common cold, to strep, to cancer.

How do you use all the information that is provided? How do you narrow it down?

It isn’t easy. Navigating the world of health and wellness can be very challenging because it is chock-full of information. We are very fortunate to live in a time when information is more easily available than it used to be and advancements in medicine have given us a better understanding health and wellness – but with a tradeoff. Often it feels like it’s left up to us to make sense of it all.

Our ability to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions is known as health literacy. 1 However, with all of this information readily available, only 12 percent of adults have proficient health literacy, meaning the majority of people may lack the skills needed to manage their health and prevent disease.2

Why does this matter?

Health Literacy is critical to managing your health and living your best life! Our proficiency and understanding of it can:

  • Influence the way we work through the healthcare system and the services we seek out
  • Help us understand our own bodies, self-care, and preventative behaviors/choices
  • Improve our communication with health care professionals and providers
  • Assist with decision making and understanding of information
  • Help us seek out care in more timely and efficient manners

When you have a foundation of health literacy, it becomes much easier to understand what questions to ask about your health, who to talk to, and when to seek help. Having health literacy can literally save your life. But the road to understanding health is full of many twists, turns, and trap doors.

How can we improve our health literacy?

Determine what is important to you. Reflecting on what our priorities are can help direct how we seek out information and care. The following questions can be used as a guide:

  • What are the areas of health and wellness you feel are critical?
  • What are the important things you want to discuss or learn about?
  • What areas do you feel less confident in or want more information on?
  • What are your biggest concerns?
  • What are the barriers you are experiencing in your health wellness?

Answering questions like these can help you form a better understanding of your current knowledge base, encourage you to be a self-advocate for your health, and reveal gaps to fill in your health literacy.

Form a team. Find health and wellness providers who make you feel comfortable, communicate well, and provide you with the information you have reflected on above. There are a wide variety of experts in the various avenues of health and wellness – choose a team that supports your different areas of health. Some things to look for in a good health and wellness provider are:

  • Active listening
  • Asking follow-up questions to what you say
  • Providing perspectives in regards to their expertise
  • Guiding you to resources
  • Being an advocate for you and your health

Sometimes you may not find your team on the first try, and that’s fine! Finding a provider you trust and can understand will improve your health. One bad experience with a type of professional does not mean that should be a reflection on the whole field. Take the extra effort to find who you work well with and don’t be afraid to ask others to help you find your team – you are worth it!

Stand Up For Yourself! Health care should be treated as a partnership – the health care professional is the consultant, but you carry out the plan. You have to communicate to direct the health professional’s understanding and awareness to your needs and life. Make your care an active discussion, express fears and concerns, and always know you can speak up. Good health care professionals (the kind you want on your team) will respect you and listen. Take advantage of your time with them. In addition, if an interpreter is needed, please request one. Tell the medical provider prior to your first visit that an interpreter is needed and one will be provided. At the end of the day, you are the number one advocate for your health.

Repeat information back and ask questions. The information you get at your appointment is going to help you make informed decisions about what is best for you at the time. Having someone with you to take notes (or taking notes/recording the conversation yourself) can help you collect and recall information. If something is unclear, repeat back to the provider what your interpretation of their words are. This will help you both get on the same page. Prior to an appointment or between appointments, write your questions down. This can help you to recall important points you want more information on and can help make the visit more efficient. Sharing your questions with loved ones and other health professionals can help direct the visit, especially when decisions are complex. If there are lingering questions after, don’t be afraid to call your provider’s office. It is okay to ask for answers.

Develop a network of resources. A lot of good information is out there, but sometimes we need direction in knowing what we can trust. Ask your trusted professionals about resources they use. Every health professional has their own network, sites, journals, and fellow professionals they know and trust. Let professionals help you build your own network. Additionally health professionals often have colleagues nation- and world-wide – you never know who they can get you in touch with.

To get started on developing your network, here is a list  of health resources and professionals in performance, nutrition, mental health, and wellness.

Assess Your Information Sources

Remember, online information is meant to complement your knowledge – itt should not be the sole resource in your health decision making. But when you do seek knowledge online, keep in mind some of these considerations to help you to assess the accuracy of material you are reading:

  • Who wrote or created the site? What is their background? Are they credible?
  • What is the site promoting? Does it make sense? Does it seem possible?
  • How up to date is the research and resources? Are there citations?
  • Where is the information they are promoting coming from?
  • Is there a financial gain that can be made from the site? Are they trying to promote their product?
  • Can you communicate with the site? Are other professionals interacting with the site?

Inaccurate, conflicting, and confusing information can be a big barrier in health literacy. There is a lot of wonderful information available, but it is also important to know when more information may be needed.  Here is a resource that can help you better assess what you are reading and whether it is missing any essential information.

At Know Better, Live Best we want to help you live your best life. Navigating health literacy can be challenging, which is why we want to be part of the solution. We are dedicated to being a resource for you.If there a topic or question you want more information on, please reach out to us. We will do our best to find an answer or direct you to someone who can help. Together we can start creating a culture that is proficient in health literacy. Let’s make a culture of wellness the norm.

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