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Do You Have Any Food Sensitivities?  

For most, food allergies are something very familiar.  Many people don’t have any allergies at all, so they just assume they are safe to eat any foods they want. But what if you actually have food sensitivities? Some people, or even most people, may be eating foods every day that their body is sensitive to. These foods could unknowingly increase inflammatory responses that are causes a whole slew of side effects!  

What is a Food Sensitivity?  

Unlike a food allergy, a food sensitivity is not life-threatening and does not elicit an immediate, serious reaction. Food sensitivity reactions typically appear within 48-72 hours of eating the food(s) that caused the reaction. These are foods that your body is sensitive to and has trouble processing, which then triggers an inflammatory response and causes a variety of side effects that you may have been struggling with for years without knowing the true cause.  

How to Tell If You Have a Food Sensitivity 

food sensitivities

Identifying a food sensitivity can be challenging due to the delayed onset of symptoms. However, there are signs that may indicate the presence of a food sensitivity. Here’s how to recognize if you have a food sensitivity: 

  • Digestive Distress: Frequent bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, or stomach cramps after consuming certain foods could be indicative of a food sensitivity. 
  • Skin Issues: Persistent skin problems like eczema, rashes, acne, or hives that don’t respond well to traditional treatments might be linked to food sensitivities. 
  • Chronic Fatigue: Feeling consistently tired or experiencing energy crashes after eating specific foods may point to an underlying food sensitivity. 
  • Headaches and Migraines: Frequent headaches or migraines after consuming certain foods could be a sign of food sensitivity. 
  • Joint Pain: Unexplained joint pain or stiffness may be linked to inflammatory responses triggered by food sensitivities. 
  • Mood Changes: Mood swings, irritability, anxiety, or even depression could be connected to certain foods that your body is sensitive to. 
  • Respiratory Issues: Persistent congestion, sinus problems, or difficulty breathing might be associated with food sensitivities. 
  • Weight Management Difficulties: Difficulty losing weight or unexplained weight fluctuations could be influenced by food sensitivities affecting metabolism and inflammation. 

How to Overcome a Food Sensitivity 

Overcoming a food sensitivity, or multiple food sensitivities, can be very complicated and nearly impossible without professional help. A professional nutritionist can help guide you through an MRT (Mediator Release Test) test. An MRT test is a comprehensive test that will identify any food sensitivities your body has… even if you have not eaten that food! Testing is always the most effective and efficient way to know exactly what is going on in your body. Until you are able to seek professional help, here are some steps you can take to get the process started:  

  • Food Diary: Maintain a food diary to track your meals, snacks, and symptoms. This can help identify patterns between certain foods and your body’s reactions. 
  • Focus on Whole Foods: Shift your diet to emphasize whole, unprocessed foods. This can help reduce exposure to potential triggers and support overall health. 
  • Rotate Foods: If you identify mild sensitivities, try rotating your diet to reduce constant exposure to specific foods. 
  • Read Labels: Be vigilant about reading food labels, as certain ingredients may be hidden sources of trigger foods. 
  • Mindful Eating: Pay attention to how you feel after meals. Mindful eating can help you notice subtle reactions and adjust your diet accordingly. 
  • Holistic Approaches: Consider incorporating stress-reducing techniques like yoga, meditation, and adequate sleep, as stress can exacerbate inflammatory responses. 
  • Gradual Reintroduction: If you’ve eliminated a food, consider reintroducing it in small quantities to observe your body’s response. Following reintroduction, this can help determine your tolerance level. 

Nutrition Services at The Oxford Center

At The Oxford Center, our Functional Nutrition Therapy Practitioner (FNTP) and Restorative Wellness Practitioner (RWP) can help you discover all the possibilities nutrition and our program holds for improving your life and your health. We offer both individual and group classes tailored to what you need in your nutritional journey. Typically, our program will start with gut (GI) testing and food sensitivity testing. Following your tests, our nutritionist will sit down with you to discuss the results and cultivate a specific personalized plan that will work best for you and your body. Clients will find that it is empowering knowing that you can change and improve your health without needing help from anything else.   

Embracing Holistic Fitness: A Pilates Workout Works for Everyone

The perception of workouts has experienced a significant shift in the last decade or two. The days when exercise solely revolve around achieving a certain physical appearance through high-intensity activities are gone. Today, the fitness landscape has evolved to prioritize overall health and well-being, offering a diverse array of workout methods tailored to individual needs. Among these, Pilates has emerged as a rapidly growing phenomenon, captivating fitness enthusiasts with its comprehensive approach to exercise. With a focus on enhancing both physical and mental wellness, Pilates has gained immense popularity as an excellent all-around workout choice. 

What is Pilates?  

Pilates is a holistic exercise approach that focuses on improving strength, flexibility, balance, and body awareness. Developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century, this fitness method emphasizes controlled movements, precise alignment, and proper breathing techniques. Pilates exercises target the core muscles, including the abdomen, lower back, hips, and glutes, while also engaging the entire body for a balanced workout. 

History of Pilates 

The roots of Pilates can be traced back to Joseph Pilates, a German-born fitness enthusiast who developed the method during World War I. Pilates, originally known as “Contrology,” was initially used as a rehabilitation technique for wounded soldiers. Joseph Pilates believed that physical and mental health were interconnected, and he designed a series of exercises that focused on building core strength and flexibility. 

Over time, Pilates gained popularity and began attracting attention from dancers and athletes due to its transformative benefits. Joseph Pilates and his wife Clara opened a studio in New York City, where they trained students and instructors in the Pilates method. Since then, Pilates has evolved and diversified, with various schools of thought and styles of practice emerging worldwide. 

Benefits of a Pilates Workout

Pilates offers a multitude of benefits as a workout for both the body and mind. Through regular practice, individuals can improve core strength as the workout targets and strengthen deep abdominal and back muscles. Pilates also increases flexibility, with Pilates exercises promoting a full range of motion and increased muscle elasticity. Alongside improved strength and flexibility, Pilates helps enhance posture by emphasizing proper alignment and body awareness, reducing strain on the neck, shoulders, and lower back. The exercises work to tone muscles throughout the body, resulting in a more sculpted appearance and increased body awareness.

Moreover, Pilates contributes to stability and balance, reducing the risk of falls and enhancing coordination. It serves as a valuable tool for injury prevention and rehabilitation, aiding in the recovery process by strengthening weakened muscles and improving flexibility. Pilates incorporates breathing techniques and encourages mindfulness, reducing stress and fostering a deeper mind-body connection. The practice can also boost energy levels, leaving individuals feeling invigorated and revitalized. Overall, Pilates provides a holistic approach to fitness and well-being, promoting physical strength, mental clarity, and an overall sense of vitality. 

What is the Difference Between Yoga and Pilates?  

While Pilates and yoga share some similarities, they are distinct practices with different origins and objectives. Here are the key differences between the two: 

  • Focus: Pilates emphasizes physical conditioning, strength, and core stability, with an emphasis on controlled movement and alignment. Yoga, on the other hand, combines physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation to promote overall well-being and spiritual growth. 
  • Breathing Techniques: Pilates utilizes specific breathing patterns, such as lateral thoracic breathing and deep diaphragmatic breathing, to facilitate movement and engage the core muscles. In yoga, breath is a tool to connect the body and mind, promoting relaxation and mindfulness. 
  • Spirituality: While yoga often incorporates spiritual elements and philosophical teachings, Pilates is primarily a physical exercise system with a focus on anatomical alignment and functional movement. Pilates is a more secular and fitness-oriented practice. 
  • Equipment: Pilates exercises often use specialized equipment such as the Reformer, Cadillac, and Wunda Chair, which use springs and resistance mechanisms to challenge the body. Yoga typically requires minimal equipment, with practitioners relying on yoga mats and props for support. 

Pilates at The Oxford Center 

At The Oxford Center, we want to support you in every way we can as you embark on your health and wellness journey. For that reason, we are now offering Pilates at unbeatable prices, with an exceptional instructor, and state-of-the-art equipment. Discover the benefits of Pilates for yourself – increased muscular strength, improved posture, enhanced body awareness, and a renewed sense of vitality. Take the first step towards a healthier and more vibrant lifestyle today. 

Meet Our Functional Nutrition Therapy Practitioner!

We are excited to introduce Nicole Cunningham as our new Functional Nutrition Therapy Practitioner (FNTP) and Restorative Wellness Practitioner (RWP). Nicole is joining our team at The Oxford Center after a long journey with scientific research, fitness, wellness, and nutrition.  

At The Oxford Center, Nicole will be helping clients form a healthy relationship with the food they eat and to understand what foods are best for each client’s body and lifestyle. 

Why Nutrition?  

Nicole’s journey with nutrition began 10 years ago with the birth of her son, Cameron. Cameron was born with over seven true food allergies and about a dozen food sensitivities that caused his body to break out in rashes and made eating exceedingly difficult. Overall, Cameron felt miserable. A deep love for her son and a focus on improving his quality-of-life motivated Nicole to launch her journey in nutrition.  

After feeling frustrated about the lack of progress through traditional doctors, Nicole began a deep dive into researching nutrition. She sought to learn about and understand food. Nicole looked at how food interacts with the body and how that food was specifically affecting herself and her son. She spent countless hours poring over research, trying different foods, and tracking the effects different foods had on her and her son’s body.  

Eventually Nicole’s efforts paid off, and she eliminated all but one of her son’s food allergies. Nicole was able to rid him of rashes and eczema, and turned him into a thriving, healthy, and happy boy. Through this journey, Nicole discovered a passion for nutrition. She loves understanding the effects someone’s diet might have on their body and overall health. 

Nicole’s History & Background 

Growing up, Nicole always had an interest in fitness. She played every sport she could and worked as a gymnastics coach from age sixteen to twenty-three. In college, Nicole first received a Bachelor of Science in biology and began work researching for pharmaceutical companies. After some time, Nicole did not feel fulfilled in this job and knew this was not something that she wanted to continue doing for the rest of her life. When she got pregnant with her first child, Nicole pursued an MBA in business administration. Unfortunately, Nicole was still unsure of what she wanted to do with this degree and her career.  

Following her degrees and a passion for health, Nicole became a certified personal trainer. Nicole quickly became the head trainer of a gym in Ohio. She was always approached by gym clients for nutrition advice, so in 2020 Nicole pursued and graduated with a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, or FNTP, Certification. While Nicole enjoyed helping others on their fitness journey, she quickly discovered that her true passion lay in nutrition. She sought to help others understand food the same way she sought to after her son was born.  

Meeting The Oxford Center 

Our Functional Nutrition Therapy Practitioner joined The oxford Center as a patient first.

In 2021, Nicole was involved in a head on collision. In the accident, Nicole found herself with four fractures in her leg, unable to use or move her leg, bedridden for four months while losing muscle mass, developing a bone infection, going on antibiotics for six months, multiple surgeries, and a stomach infection. She was exhausted physically, mentally, and emotionally. She tried absolutely everything to help her heal but was repeatedly being told there was no more doctors could do. That is, until Nicole found The Oxford Center. Like we have for many others, The Oxford Center offered Nicole hope when she thought her options had run out.  

Nicole moved from Ohio to Michigan while she was a patient here at The Oxford Center. In Michigan, Nicole began working part-time as a fitness instructor and as the after-school director for her child’s school. Nicole was quickly approached about her qualifications as a Functional Nutrition Therapy Practitioner and nutrition expertise at The Oxford Center and devised an exciting new program centered around her true passion- nutrition!  

Nicole’s Program  

Nicole’s nutrition program is designed to help anyone who wants to learn what food is and how to take care of themselves. A client in Nicole’s program could be anyone wanting to understand more about food and their body or could be someone with a preexisting condition who has been recommended to seek help. 

This program is designed to uncover and correct the root problem rather than offering a bandage to mask symptoms. Nicole offers a way to look at food differently from others and has worked with all different types of people. She has personally gone through everything a client would go through and is here to help guide every client on their way to understanding food and their body and improving their overall quality of life.  

Clients have nothing to lose, but everything to gain from partaking in this program. They will gain a knowledge, understanding, and autonomy over their food, body, and health. Clients will find that it is empowering knowing that you can change and improve your health without needing help from anything else.