Body in Balance MN

Best Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork: injury treatment and prevention with relaxing massage for stress release


Answers to common questions about massage, common soft tissue conditions, best stretches for maintaining healthy soft tissue, corrective fitness, pain and inflammation management plus nutrition tips, healthy recipes,and more.

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The Scoop on Protein Powders

Posted by Katrina Koller on October 30, 2014 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Here is a complete updated guide on the best gluten-free protien powders:

Kale and Quinoa Salad

Posted by Katrina Koller on August 24, 2014 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (0)

I was thrilled to discover this salad.  I was tired of the same old Kale salad with dried cranberries and I wanted something savory.  Also, kale can be a bit rubbery and bitter and this salad calls for cooked quinoa which softens the sale making it so delicious!  My picky unhealthy-food-eating husband even at it - so it passed the ultimate taste test.

Kale and Quinoa Salad - Asian Style

1 cup quinoa (I use True Roots Sprouted Quinoa)

3-4 cups tightly packed curly kale (torn and despined) *

1 Tbsp coconut oil or olive oil plus

1/4 tsp sea salt (I usec pink hawaiin sea salt)

3 spring onions chopped (use primary the white and slightly greenish parts)

1 raw jalopeno (or more if you like it more spicey)

1 garlic clove (medium sized)

2 cups shredded carrots (4-5 medium carrots)

3 Tsp toasted sesame seeds

*curly kale is lighter in color and texture than the dark green lacinato or "dinasaur" kale.


4 Tbs orange juice (or to taste)

1 Tbsp olive oil

1-2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil (to taste)

1-2 Tbsp Tamari (to taste)

1-2 Tbsp brown rice vinegar (to taste)

1 Tbsp honey

1/4 tsp. sea salt (to taste)

Start by cooking your quinoa per package instructions.  On my gas stove, I put water and quinoa in a saucepan and set a timer for 18 minutes (start to finish).  While the quinoa is cooking, start de-spining the kale and tear it into smaller peices.  Place the kale in a large mixing bowl and with clean bare hands, massage 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil into the kale (add more later to your liking).  This is messy but an important step to having tasty tender kale.

Toast the sesame seeds in a shallow saute pan on medium to low heat (set timer so you don't forget about them!) for about 3-6 minutes or until aromatic and slightly brown.

While seseme seeds are toasting chop the spring onions, shred or process the carrots, chop the jalopeno and press or chop the garlic (optional) and add to the kale mixture.

Add toasted sesame seeds. 

When quinoa is finished cooking (water has boiled off but quinoa is still moist) add 1 heaping teaspoon of coconut oil or olive oil plus the sea salt or hawaiian pink sea salt and mix thoroughly.  Combine with kale mixture and add remaining ingrediants (tamari, rice vinegar and more salt if necessary to taste).

Serves 6-8

Stretches for stiff neck and shoulders

Posted by Katrina Koller on March 16, 2013 at 8:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Tightness in the side of the neck, back of the neck or between the shoulder blades results when the neck creeps forward and the shoulders become rounded.Below is a video demonstrating stretches for the chest and neck to counter pain and stress in the neck and shoulders due to forward head posture or "Upper Cross Syndrome" (poor posture, working at a desk or computer, reading, driving, talking on a cell phone, texting).

These stretches are generally safe for most chronic (gradual onset) conditions but if you are at all unsure, check with your Dr. before performing these stretches.  I recommend stretching for shorter intervals (holding for 3-5 seconds then relaxing for 3-5 seconds instead of holding for 30 seconds) than is recommended in the video, but do what feels best for you and remember, never stretch into pain!  If it hurts and you are unable to relax into the stretch, you have likely gone too far.

Good luck!

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Easy Almond Cashew Butter

Posted by Katrina Koller on February 26, 2013 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (1)

Almond Cashew Butter

1 cup RAW sprouted almonds* (regular raw almonds will do but I recommend the salted sprouted almonds).

1/3 cup RAW whole cashews

2 Tbsp MCT* (Medium Chain Triglycerides) oil (sunflower seed oil can be used)

sea salt (optional ifsalted sprouted almonds are used)

 * cashews add a bit of sweetness and creaminess to the almond butter. Use more for sweeter butter. Pure cashew butter can be a bit too sweet and rich, so I stay with using a 1:3 ratio of cashews to almonds.

Place DRY almonds and cashews in a food processor or high powered blender (regular food processors, Nutri-bullets and VitaMix’s all workwell) pulsing as necessary until nuts are completely blended into a course powder. Use the milling blade attachment if using a Nutri-bullet or VitaMix. Be sure not to add oil until nuts are completely blended dry.  Add oil and then blend until smooth and creamy.  The whole process should not take more than a few minutes.

Great on bananas, rice cakes, crackers, or on sprouted grain bread!

 *Sprouted almonds are raw dehydrated almonds.  They retain the sweetness and nutrition of a raw nut but have the texture of a roasted nut for great fresh flavor.  This worls well for nut butters and snacking. They can be purchased (salted or unsalted) at most organic food markets.

 Sprouting involves soaking the nuts for 24 hours causingthem to begin to germinate. The nuts are then removed from the solution andslowly dried at a very low temperature with low humidity. This slow dryingprocess destroys the enzyme inhibitors, releasing the full nutritional contentof the nut and allowing the body's natural enzymes to more easily digest the nuts.

 *MCT (Medium ChainTriglycerides Oil) are fats that are naturally found in coconut and palmkernel oil. MCT's are more easily digested and rapidly digested than othertypes of fats, as they require lower amounts of enzymes and bile acids forintestinal absorption. MCTs are metabolized very quickly in the liver and arereported to encourage an increase in energy expenditure, while decreasing fatstorage. Numerous studies suggest that substituting MCT Oil for other fats in ahealthy diet may therefore help to support healthy weight and body composition. It has benefits of coconut oil withoutthe coconut flavor or sweetness. It helps to create the smooth buttery texturefor nut butter. I haven’t yet found an oil that does the job quite as well as this one.  Sunflower seed oil is OK but will affect the flavor of the nut butter. Pure coconut oil can be used but seemed to overpower the nut butter in my opinion.



Cacao Super Food Balls- sugar free, gluten free

Posted by Katrina Koller on February 26, 2013 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (2)

Cacao Super Food Balls Recipe

 Made with “super” foods - and is super rich and delicious!

 total time to prepare: 10-15 min

1/4 cup raw cashew and/or raw almond butter – I like to use a couple of Tbsp each. Raw butters have a sweeter, richer flavor and are more nutritious than roasted butters and can be found at organic markets and Whole Foods.

1 cup organic Raw 100% Cacao powder (I use Navitas Naturals brand – can be found at most organicmarkets and Whole Foods)

2-3 Tbsp coconut oil or organic salted butter (I use both)

1/4 cup dried black currents

1/3 cup dried organic unsweetened coconut flakes (or more if mixture if to wet)

1/3 cup ground walnuts (I ground them up in my mini food processor or in my Nutri-bullet high powered blender with the milling blade).

1/4 cup raw sprouted quinoa (found at Whole Foods or an organic market)

1/3 cup (use less if you like it less sweet) 100% Pure Birch Sugar (made by the Ultimate Life - can be found at the Vitamin Shoppe or can be ordered directly from the company by calling 1-805-962-2221 OR 1 Tbsp or more of raw honey

1/3-1/2 cup or more of Unsweetened Original (not vanilla flavored) almond milk NOTE: do NOT use vanilla almond milk – be sure to use unsweetened original almond milk.   Mix in a little at a time. 

 Melt all butters on low heat and then mix in remaining ingredents with about 1/4 cup milk to moisten. Continue mixing and start adding small amounts of almond milk as necessary until mixture is smooth (the texture of a thick but smooth paste) and ingredients are combined well. When all ingredients are combined well, turn off heat. Allow mixture to cool for 20  minutes or place in refrigerator for 10-15 minutes.  Roll into balls between the palms of your hands and set on waxed paper to cool.  Note: balls will harden a bit when they cool completely. If mixture is still too sticky after it cool completely, more ground walnuts or  almond meal can be added to thicken the batter.  Recipe makes approx 1.5 dozen balls.  Keep refrigerated and warm to room tempurature before eating for best flavor.

 Note: raw cacao  is 100% pure unprocessed cocoa and is a natural stimulant.  It does not contain caffeine but it contains a caffeine-like stimulant (theobromine).  These superfood balls are very rich and are loaded with antioxidants.  Although the stimulating effects is not as quick as caffeine and are generally milder, they are best enjoyed in moderation - especially in the evening!  

To read more about the health benefits of raw cacao, click on this link:





Bone Density and Exercise - new research

Posted by Katrina Koller on February 10, 2013 at 3:45 PM Comments comments (0)

When it comes to exercise and building strong bones - it turns out not all exercise is alike.  This article explains why:

Cholesterol - Look Beyond the Numbers!

Posted by Katrina Koller on February 10, 2013 at 3:00 PM Comments comments (0)

This article on Cholesterol really spells it out. If you would like to understand your actual heart disease you need to look beyond your HDL / LDL numbers.  Yes, these numbers are indicators, but there is more to the picture.

Flu shots - Reassess your need

Posted by Katrina Koller on November 10, 2012 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Here is an objective article discussing new research on flu shot effectiveness.  If you're considering a flu shot this season, give it a read.

Coconut Oil and Alzheimer's Disease

Posted by Katrina Koller on June 2, 2012 at 1:15 AM Comments comments (0)

This is truly amazing and worth viewing.  A medical Dr. discovers that regular consumption of coconut oil is helping reverse the early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease.  Another reason to eat more coconut oil!

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