The Smith Clinic Newsletter - November 2019
Dear Friends,

November is a time when we're called to give thanks for blessings in our life. Seasonally, it's a time of harvest, and the feast of Thanksgiving traditionally represents the bounty of the fields. But it's not always easy to abound with gratitude, especially if life doesn't seem to be going your way in this season.

Irving Berlin wrote and Bing Crosby sang the classic “Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep)” for the 1954 movie, White Christmas. While it has become a song that is associated with Christmas, we think it is more appropriate for Thanksgiving. There is some wonderful advice contained in these lyrics: “If you’re worried and you can’t sleep, just count your blessings, instead of sheep, and you’ll fall asleep counting your blessings.”

Did you know studies have linked gratitude with a variety of positive effects? In fact, studies show that grateful people tend to be more empathetic and forgiving of others. Grateful individuals demonstrate less envy, materialism and self-comparison. Thankfulness improves self esteem, enhances relationships, quality of sleep and longevity. In short, if gratitude came in pill form, it would be deemed the miracle cure!

Don’t wait until Thanksgiving to count your blessings - write them down daily! Some days you may have to look deep for the "good" instead of focusing so much on the “bad”, but there is always something to be be grateful for. As Paul says in Philippians 4:4, 11-12:

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! ...11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."

So, wherever or with whomever you spend your Thanksgiving, enjoy your day and count your blessings...and know we count each of you as one of our biggest blessings!
Congratulations Corey and Analise!!
It is with mixed emotions we announce that Corey and Analise will soon be leaving The Smith Clinic in order to further their careers as physical therapists. While we are absolutely thrilled for them and their bright futures, will will miss them dearly and are so grateful for the time they have spent at The Smith Clinic!

Read on below to find out where Corey and Analise are headed, in addition to what their time at The Smith Clinic has meant to them. Congrats, Corey and Analise!!
"I'm going to South College in Knoxville, Tn.  They're Doctor of Physical Therapy program is two years!  We're fortunate that my inlaws live there, because we're going to need help with the little guy.  I've been advised not to work during this and studying is my new job.  I've been waiting a long time for this opportunity.  Four and a half years ago, I was very lucky to have found a place like The Smith Clinic.  I will miss everyone: my coworkers and owners, the patients, and everyone I train."  
"Beginning in August 2020, I will be attending Belmont University's Doctorate of Physical Therapy program in Nashville!
My time at The Smith Clinic has taught me so much! I’ve learned a whole lot from everyone, and I’ll take those lessons with me as I go through my time at school and as a future physician. Michael, Angie, and everyone who is a part of the clinic have really cultivated such a caring and positive environment for patients who are hurting to come and be taken care of and know they are loved. It’s very special, and I’m really thankful for my time working here!"
The Smith Clinic is excited to announce we will soon be
kicking off a special service project, in hopes of giving back to our community this Christmas Season. Be on the lookout for details coming soon with ways you can get involved!
How to Avoid a Food Coma This Thanksgiving
As you’re organizing your Thanksgiving menu, making your grocery lists and checking them twice, we wanted to offer some advice on how to “survive” the holiday that revolves entirely around food. Actually, when really when you think about it, this one day somehow turns into the start of a five-week free-for-all until it’s time for the New Year resolutions.

That said, Thanksgiving doesn’t mean your good nutrition habits have to suffer or go completely off track. The traditional elements of a Thanksgiving dinner, when paired together, can be a balanced—turkey, buttery green beans and sweet potatoes—but add the crusty bread, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, marshmallow salad and candied cranberries and things have quickly gotten out of control. With that in mind, below are some tips to keep in mind as you head out to, or host your own, feast.

1. No such thing as “saving room”
Please don’t skip eating all day before the big mea. That plan to “save room” always backfires. Imagine how hungry you’ll be once the appetizers come out. You’ll be tempted to eat everything in sight! Not just that, but not eating all day will cause your blood sugar to dip and make you cranky, which doesn’t make for a fun Thanksgiving. The best advice is to start your Thanksgiving Day with a balanced breakfast. Later, right before guests arrive or before you head out to the Thanksgiving meal, eat a balanced snack—such as a meatball for protein, ½ cup of carrots for the carbohydrate and olives for a fat—to ensure your blood sugar is stable and you’ll be less likely to have cravings and overeat. 

2. Off limits
We suggest avoiding anything laden with sugar, refined flours and trans fats. All these artificial foods are very addicting and can be hard to resist once you’ve started. It’s not a lack of willpower that makes you reach for roll after roll; it’s your brain chemistry thrown off from all those artificial ingredients. Give your brain a break and know that certain things just have to be off limits.

3. Look for homemade
There are just so many hidden ingredients in store-bought foods. Try to avoid those processed goods (loaded with the hazardous trans fats, sugars and refined flours we mentioned above) and stick with the homemade items. At least you know homemade was crafted with real ingredients.

4. Bring your own
If you’re invited to a gathering, offer to bring a dish, the perfect opportunity to add some real food to the day’s events. You’ll know that if all else fails you’ll have your dish to snack on. For instance, swap out a Chex™ Mix appetizer for a variety of olives and nuts. Green, black, Kalamata and garlic-stuffed olives not only look festive, but they taste delicious. Bonus, the fats in the olives and nuts are healthy and sure to keep your blood sugar stable. Balanced blood sugar means clear thinking, vibrant moods and good energy. Bringing your own beverage to share also helps you avoid high-sugar drinks. Plus, staying hydrated helps curb cravings.

5. Balance your plate
We alluded to it earlier, but by balanced we mean consuming a quality protein, good fat (butter, avocado, nuts and olives for example) and healthy carbohydrates (mostly non-starchy vegetables) at every meal and snack. This trifecta is the optimal mix to help balance your blood sugar, keep your metabolism moving, your mood stable and give your body the nutrients it needs to function. Fortunately, when it comes to a Thanksgiving buffet, there are a lot of real food options to make balancing your plate easy.

For instance, turkey is a great protein. (A rule of thumb for protein serving size is to look for cuts of meat roughly the size of your palm.) With the protein covered, look for quality fats and carbs for the rest of your plate. Thanksgiving staples like green beans, sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts are perfect options. Better yet, they’ve likely been cooked in butter giving you a quality fat as well. If they haven’t, grab a pat of butter and put it on top of any veggies you add to your plate.

One last piece of advice: don’t get mad at yourself! At the end of the day, Thanksgiving should be enjoyed with loved ones, not stressing about food. Mistakes happen. If you goofed on Thanksgiving, don’t give up on all healthy eating until 2020. The morning after Thanksgiving, get right back to your healthy habits and you'll be no worse for the wear.