health

Simplified Caesar Salad Dressing

Finally, we are having some nice weather to enjoy all the summer things like barbecues and socials with friends and family. So, you know what that means…lots of salads loaded with store bought salad dressing!

Here are some reasons why you should ditch the bottled dressings and spend an extra 5 minutes making your own:

  • They are full of artificial flavours

  • They contain unnecessary sugars (like high-fructose corn syrup…who needs that on a salad… or ever?)

  • Bottled dressings are also made with tons of preservatives to prolong their shelf life … ever wonder why they don’t expire for 2 years?

  • These types of dressings are also loaded with trans-fat (the bad kind of fat!)

 All that being said, there are some bottled dressings you can buy with some clean ingredients and lower on the preservative side (these can be pretty pricey for a bottle though). The bigger picture here is that if you are making a dressing from scratch it’s going to 1. Taste better not only because its super fresh but also because you made it yourself (isn’t that always the way!) 2.  You don’t have to have 10 bottles of half used dressing in your fridge for years and years and years…you get the point. If you make your own, you can make as much as you need and there is no waste! 3. You can control the ingredients you put in your dressing, if there are any dietary restrictions or allergies this is the perfect way to know exactly what you are getting!

 The recipe for this salad dressing is a Caesar style dressing, its light, healthy and full of flavour!

 Caesar Salad Dressing:

Ingredients:

1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 clove of Garlic

2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar

1 tablespoon Tamari (or coconut aminos)

1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 tsp Dijon Mustard (I like to use an organic brand and make sure it is free of canola oil)

Sea Salt & Pepper to taste!

Directions:

Put all ingredients in a food processor, blend until smooth. You can also use an immersion blender or even a regular blender! If you don’t have any of those, make sure the garlic is minced well and whisk all ingredients together and let stand for a few minutes before using to make sure all the flavours come together.

Enjoy & happy BBQ’ing!

Sweat 'N' Play

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Sweat ‘N’ Play

4-week session

9:15am Tuesdays

June 4,11,18,25 $40

or $15 per drop-in

Hey Mom,

We know that these days, “you time” is hard to come by and we know that you know that taking care of your physical health has maybe taken the back seat since becoming a mother. We’ve collaborated with The Play Palace for the ultimate in exercise classes. Come get your sweat on with Dr. Jen while your child gets to play! The exercise class will focus on strength, endurance and mobility and the play portion will focus on fun!

There will be Play Palace staff on hand to keep an eye on your kids while you are keeping an eye on your health! Registration includes a 1-hour class with Dr. Jen and entry for one child (extra children are $5 per class). Registration is $40 for 4-weeks or $15 per drop-in.

Mothers must be at least 6-weeks postpartum. Children aged 6-months or older will be supervised by The Play Palace staff . Young babies welcomed, but will not be supervised by Play Palace staff.

Space is very limited! Please call The Play Palace at 902-217-2688 to register!

Bring a yoga mat if you have one, moms are welcomed to wear their children during the class and then stay and play afterwards. Refreshments are available for purchase after class.

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What's more important:

Weight loss or muscle gain?

Muscle mass is directly correlated with longevity and excellent health. Rather than trying to “lose weight”, people are better striving to improve body composition.  This means losing fat and building or maintaining muscle. The lean (non-fat) components of the body are denser than body fat. Therefore, the number on the scale isn’t always to best outcome measure, especially when it comes to health. A better predictor of health is body composition. A method to track your body composition at home (other than looking in the mirror) is measuring your waist-to-hip ratio (waist measurement divided by your hip measurement). As this ratio decreases, your abdominal (visceral) fat decreases, and so does your risk of all cause mortality.  So, it is actually possible for the scale weight to increase and your waist to hip ratio to decrease – and at the end of the day you will be healthier. 

Dr. Gabrielle Lyon calls muscle the organ of longevity.  “The stronger and healthier your muscle is, the more carbohydrates and fat your body burns”.  Healthy muscle mass improves metabolism and decreases risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.  Muscle mass is also a reliable protein reserve that is protective for people after prolonged illness (i.e. cancer)

There are numerous methods to lose fat – some more healthy than others.  There are only two basic ways to increase and maintain muscle mass: resistance exercise, and consuming protein. 

Resistance exercise is lifting heavy things a few times a week.  You could try body weight exercises like squats, push-ups and pull ups. I like a single set to failure using the rest – pause technique for bodyweight exercises.  You could lift weights in the gym or rocks in your yard. Compound movements are typically safest and the most effective for your effort.  My favorites are deadlifts, squats, bench press, shoulder press and a bent over row.  For these I prefer hierarchical sets i.e. 3 sets of 15, 8, and 4 reps – increasing the weight with each set.   

Protein is an essential macronutrient, necessary for all the cells of the body. It is needed for the structure, function, and regulation of all tissues and organs - especially for building and repairing muscle. Once consumed protein is broken down to amino acids.  Humans must obtain some essential amino acids from protein in their diet. Proteins also have a key role in immune function, building enzymes for metabolism and DNA repair, and building hormones and neurotransmitters.  High protein diets (45% of total calorie intake) have been shown to decreases blood pressure and increase HDL cholesterol. 

There is no conclusive evidence that a high protein diet can cause chronic kidney disease. Protein may be used as fuel in the absence of carbs and fat, however, excess protein is not stored as body fat and is excreted as urea via the kidneys. 

Protein should be prioritized.  It is nutrient dense and very satiating. Consuming a minimum 30 grams of protein per meal is needed to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. It is actually more important for sedentary people as they are not stimulating muscle growth with exercise and older individuals because muscle mass gets harder to maintain as we age.  Generally speaking, 30 grams of protein at each meal (3 meals a day) should be a minimum target. That’s 90 grams of protein per day. Up to 1 gram of protein per pound of desired body weight may be recommended for active people who want to maximize muscle mass.  

This is what 30 g of protein looks like:

•      7 thick slices of bacon

•      5 large eggs

•      4 ounces of ground beef

•      6 ounces of tempeh

•      1 scoop of whey protein

•      3/4 block of tofu

•       4 ounces chicken breast

 

References: 

1.    Srikanthan, Preethi et al. Muscle Mass Index As a Predictor of Longevity in Older Adults The American Journal of Medicine, Volume 127, Issue 6, 547 – 553.

2.    Srikanthan P, Seeman TE, Karlamangla AS. Waist-hip-ratio as a predictor of all-cause mortality in high-functioning older adults. Ann Epidemiol. 2009;19:724-731.

3.    https://drgabriellelyon.com

4.    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waist–hip_ratio

5.    https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/measuring-your-macros-what-30-grams-protein-looks-like.html

New Year's Resolution Reset

Health Goals

Dr. Jen was featured on CBC’s Mainstreet with Wendy Bergfeldt a couple weeks ago and they spoke about keeping New Year’s Resolutions.

Where are you with your resolution? If it’s time for a tune up, have a listen to this segment.

Womens' Wellness Expo

Live a healthier life!
Learn about what types of support exists in our community. 
This is an event mothers can attend with their daughters or grandchildren, sisters can attend with each other and entire families are welcome. 

Saturday, April 7th
Trade Show 9:30-3:00pm
Speaker "Woman's pelvic floor health" with Alana Coady Physiotherapist 10:00 - 10:30am
Cooking Demo #1 with Thyme Savour Take Away 10:30 - 11:00am
Yoga with Kim Lewis 11:00 - 11:45am
Cooking Demo #2 with Ann Marion Willis dietician from Superstore 11:45 - 12:15 pm
Speaker "Getting Healthy and Staying Healthy" 12:15 - 1:00pm
Meditation with Maritime Meditation 1:00 - 1:45 pm
Speaker "Foot issues" with Dr. Amy Welsh - podiatrist 2:00 - 2:30pm
Prize Draw 2:30

Confirmed trade-show attendees include:

  • Ashlee White TCM acupuncture,
  • Enso Float wellness,
  • Dr. Amy Welsh podiatrist,
  • Cabot physiotherapy,
  • Feit physiotherapy,
  • Thyme Savour take away food shop,
  • Ann Marion Willis dietician from Superstore,
  • Island Chiropractic & Family Wellness,
  • Deborah Monaghan RRT & Ayurvedic Reflexologist,
  • Maritime Meditation,
  • Kim Lewis, Yoga instructor
  • Thyme for Ewe Farm
  • CBRM recreation department,
  • CB YMCA,
  • Cape Breastoners dragon boat team
  • Baby Box Canada
  • Cape Breton Family Resource Centre

Volunteers from Our Lady of Fatima Parish will be offering soup and biscuits.  The first 25 people in attendance will receive a complimentary 8x10 portrait from Creative Isle Graphic Design and Photo.  There will also be a prize draw at 2:30 pm that participants do not need to be present for.  Admission is by donation.

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What do hockey players, gymnasts, skiers and cheerleaders have in common?

CONCUSSIONS & Chiropractors

·      Concussion is a brain injury caused by a blow to the head, or to another body region resulting in a sudden jarring of the head and neck.

·      You DO NOT have to get “knocked out” (lose consciousness) to get a concussion.

·      Symptoms are not just physical, but can also affect the way you think, memory, and behavior.

·      Usually results in rapid onset, short-lived neurological impairment that resolves in 7-10 days. 

·      X-rays, CT scans and MRIs rarely show any detectable injury.

What are the signs and symptoms of concussions?

**There is a wide range of signs and symptoms that may last only a short time (sometimes under 15 minutes).  Young athletes can have a delayed onset of symptoms and some athletes have a brief period of symptoms that resolve and then return hours/days later.

  • Confusion                   
  • Headache                   
  • Emotional changes
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Amnesia                     
  • Dizziness                   
  • Irritability         
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Disorientation             
  • Balance disruption     
  • Fatigue           
  • Sleeping less than usual
  • Vacant stare              
  • Nausea/Vomiting        
  • Anxiety           
  • Inability to focus
  • Visual disturbances
  • Sadness
  • Feeling as if “in fog”
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Delayed verbal and motor responses
  • Slurred/incoherent speech
  • Excessive drowsiness

Recovering from a concussion

·      See a healthcare provider

·      If the athlete has had head trauma, they do NOT return to play

·      Initial management should include total REST for a period of 24 hours – absolutely no reading, watching TV, playing video games, using a cell phone, playing games, going to school or work, or physical activity

·      Rest your mind and body

·      Focus on improving sleep hygiene – avoid daytime naps

·      Eat a balanced diet, increase consumption of OMEGA 3 fatty acids and vitamin D

·      Meditation / relaxation / visualization exercises have shown improve recovery time

·      The acute use of medication is to be avoided as it can mask the signs of worsening condition

·      The use of NSAIDS (ibuprofen) should be avoided acutely in case of intracranial hemorrhage

·      The athlete should not return to play until given clearance by their DC or MD.  Returning to play too soon can increase the chance of “second impact” syndrome – causing a worsening of the symptoms and suffering a more serious brain injury

Gluten Free, Dairy Free "Cheesecake"

Dairy Free "Cheesecake"

I've had my eye on this recipe for awhile and I thought Christmas would be the perfect time to try it out.  I can't even start to explain how good this "cheesecake" was!  Every single person that tried it said it was remarkable!  Here are what some people are saying:

  • "This is really really good -what is the crust made out of?" Keith (gluten intolerant)
  • "It was SOOOOOO good" Jen G. (supermom)
  • "DOOD" aka "Good" Ethan, (age 1)

I adapted the recipe from the Helmsley and Helmsley cookbook we got last year for Christmas.    It was the easiest thing on earth to make and it's jam packed with nutrients! 

Needed:

  • 1 cup pecans
  • 7.5 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 9.5 tablespoons cocao nibs (found them at superstore and at bulk barn)
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 9 tablespoons raw honey
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil (melted) for base
  • 5-6 ripe avocados
  • 3/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil (melted) for the filling
  • stevia to taste
  1. Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees F - When heated, toast the pecans and coconut on a baking tray for about 7-10 minutes, until coconut is golden.
  2. Line the base (and sides if you wish) of a springform or loose-bottomed 7 inch round cake tin with parchment paper.
  3. Put the pecans, coconut, cocao nibs, pitted dates and 3 tbsp coconut oil in blender/food processor and blend until mixture is crumbly but still holds together, keeping a little crunch is a nice touch.
  4. Fill the bottom of your tin with the base mixture and press it down tight with the back of a spoon - making sure it is even on all sides.  Let the base cool in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
  5. Put the peeled avocados, lime juice, lime zest, raw honey, 3/4 cup coconut oil, and stevia in the blender/food processor and blend until smooth and silky.  The more coconut oil you use the thicker your cake will become.  Check for taste and add more lime juice, honey or stevia based on your preference for sweet vs. tart. (to be honest I used barely any stevia when I made mine). 
  6. Pour filling in the cake pan, cover the top and return to fridge for at least 4 hours or let rest overnight. 
  7. Before serving carefully remove cake from pan - you may need to run a knife around the edges before removing cake. 
  8. Enjoy!

Ps - I thought a little bit of drizzled dark chocolate, or toasted coconut could make a nice addition to the cake - but it's pretty perfect as it. 

P.Ps - You could use this base for any other type "non-bake" cakes too - it was seriously that good. 

Free Class - Introduction to Meditation and the Mind Body Connection

Meditation and Chiropractic

Many of our patients have asked us about the benefits of meditation and are curious to try it, but are unsure of where to start.  We've organized an introduction to meditation workshop and everyone is invited to attend! 

Meditation Class, Mind & Body Connection

Join Lori Digou Westbury, a certified meditation and mindfulness instructor from the McLean Meditation Institute for a meditation class that will introduce you to a variety of meditation practices. Great for a beginner meditator, or someone who wants to restart their practice. We will use simple meditation techniques that allow for stress reduction as we explore the mind body connection. 


The program includes:
-An introduction to various meditation practices
- Discovering Mindfulness
- Understanding the effects of stress
- The 5 essentials for meditation
- Easy to use meditation techniques
- Meditation & Mindfulness Instruction
- Starting your practice at home

To learn more about Lori Digou Westbury and meditation - click here

Sunday November 27th - 9:00am - refreshments will be provided afterwards. 

Please register in advance at info@islandchiro.com or at 902-270-7022.

12 Hormone alternating chemicals and how to avoid them

Hormone alternating chemicals

When it comes to fruits and vegetables, many people are aware of the "Clean fifteen" and "Dirty dozen" but are you aware of other common chemicals found around the house and how you can avoid them?  

Here are 12 of the worst hormone disruptors commonly found in the house. Are they in your house? 

  • BPA
  • Dioxin
  • Phthalates
  • Organophosphate Pesticides
  • Glycol Ethers
  • Perchlorate
  • Fire Retardants
  • Lead
  • Arsenic
  • Mercury
  • PFCs

Follow the link to see easy ways to remove chemicals commonly found around the house that can interrupt the endocrine system.  

http://www.ewg.org/research/dirty-dozen-list-endocrine-disruptors

Many thanks to the environmental working group!

Lobster Coconut Noodle Soup

Lobster Coconut Noodle Soup

With Lobster season in full swing, here's a good way to use up your leftover lobsters (if there are any!).  It's a nice, quick and healthy option for those who always feel a little guilty with the full cream in traditional lobster chowder. Give this recipe a try, it might just become your new go to for lobster the next day!

Cooking time - about 20 minutes if you lobsters are cooked and shelled in advance.

  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • lobster Shells
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 400ml full fat coconut milk (1 can)
  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 1+1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 lime
  • 2 stalks lemon grass chopped (use the lower 1/3)
  • 2 chopped carrots
  • 5 quarterted mushrooms
  • 1 small handful of rice noodles - I used thick ones, but vermicelli type noodles would probably work well too
  • cooked lobster meat - I used 4 tails and 8 claws, in bite sized pieces 
  • cilantro 
  1. Bring the stock, garlic and shells to a boil. Reduce heat to min. Remove the shells and garlic
  2. Add 1 can of coconut milk, fish sauce and thai red curry paste, whisk for 1 minute.
  3. Add carrots and lemongrass.
  4. While that is cooking, in a shallow pan, boil water for noodles.  Once water is boiling, add noodles and let them boil only for a very short time (like less than a minute). Dump hot water and let noodles sit in cold water. 
  5. Add lime and mushrooms.  Increase heat to medium (not quite boiling)
  6. Add lobster and noodles.
  7. Serve with cilantro garnish.

With no Thai restaurants in Sydney, I modified a Tom Kai Gai recipe just a little, the results were fantastic!  You can opt for no noodles in this dish. When I make this the next time, I think I will add some celery and maybe some bamboo shoots.

There is quite a bit of salt in the stock, so you probably won't need to add any into the soup.  We were serving this to our little office manager, so it was less spicy than we would normally serve. You can add a small dash of scriacha if you want to liven things up - but give this a go first, it is a very flavourful soup as is.

You can opt to go with "lite" coconut milk, but I find "lite" to be very watered down and less flavourful. Live a little, go with the full fat coconut milk....

It's kinda sad that we needed a nice hot soup on such a cold day in July.  Oh summer, I feel like you are just playing games with us.... will you ever really show your face?

JMM

What will "back in my day" look like in 30 years?

Smartphone changing our genetics?

“Back in my day” seems to be a common phrase among baby boomers, in general it seems like everything was more simple back then.  Healthy eating and exercise were not fad diets or special gym training programs, they meant eating fresh foods that were cooked at home and getting outside to do yard work, chores, or play. 

Millennials and Generation Y groups are known as the “digitally savvy, easily influenced and media exposed” generations.  Typically they are a well-connected bunch and the use of smart phones and tablets is part of their daily, if not hourly lives.  The average adult glances at their smartphones 5 times a day compared to 109 times a day by Millennials.

With all the technology, there must be an impact on health?  It is only just recently are we starting to comprehend the influences such devices have on health.  While the true impacts will likely not bee seen for decades from now, there are some emerging trends that cannot be ignored.

  • Eyesight is changing.  A study published in 2015 found 90% of children in China had myopia (near-sightedness) as opposed to a mere 10-20% only 60 years ago.
  •  Couch potatoes are growing larger.  In 2009 the average American sat in front of a screen for up to 8.5 hours a day, and children were sitting in front of a screen up to 7 hours a day.  The decrease in physical activity and increase in screen time can be directly tied to the obesity and diabetes epidemic. 
  • “Texter’s“ neck is a real thing. The average human head weighs between 10-12 lbs and angling the head forward by 15 degrees while using a smartphone or tablet raises the weight on the neck to 27 pounds and angling forward by 60 degrees increases the weight on the neck to 60 lbs.  This increase in weight can cause pain in the neck, headaches, arm pain, and numbness.
  • Repetitive strain injuries, once common in factory workers, grocery clerks, baggage handlers, and frequent exercisers are now being seen in smartphone and tablet users.  Pain and inflammation are usually the two most common signs of a repetitive strain injury, which is usually caused by inadequate rest after a particular activity.  With the repetitive swiping action of the wrist, thumb and fingers, many people are now complaining of an ache of some type in their hands.
  • The use of smart phones is reducing the face-to-face communications skills.  One only needs to observe friends or family out at dinner to notice that the art of conversation is being replaced by the head down, face down position of smart phone usage.  Important communication skills will inevitably be lost with this decrease of human interaction.  

If each generation remembers the past as the good old days, what will the Millenials and Generation Y think of the way things are in 30 years?  With the use of technology changing our physical and social capabilities we are probably facing a society that has poorer life expectancy and quality of life than generations before it.  This is a scary thought, is it enough to make you put down that smart phone before it is all too late?

Chemical Stress and Your Health

Chemical Stress and Health

Stress can be good or bad.  Stressors can have positive or negative impact on cell function.  They may be physical, chemical, and psychological.  Good stress like exercise, or setting challenges builds stress resistance that is beneficial.  Bad stress such as poor nutrition, anxiety and worry can become overwhelming and is considered chronic stress.  Our focus today is on chemical stressors.

Chemical stressors on our body include alcohol, tobacco, drugs, environmental toxins, and food additives and preservatives.  Food can either enhance or suppress the immune system.  Most foods today contain additives and preservatives that tax the immune system.  Excess grains, sugars, trans and hydrogenated fats, alcohol, caffeine, and salt weaken the stress response.  Grains, sugar, and hydrogenated oils cause inflammation.  Caffeine triggers the sympathetic nervous system.  Salt increases blood pressure.  Stress depletes the body’s essential nutrients.

Psychological stress only compounds the problem.  Emotional stress can create poor eating habits like over/under eating, excessive dieting, and over consuming alcohol, caffeine, sugar, salt, and bad fat.   

To combat chemical stress develop good habits around food:

·      Eat real food, mostly plants.

·      Avoid processed food.

·      Avoid food with additives and preservatives.

·      Don’t binge or eat late at night.

·      Enjoy meals with friends and family.

We also have to consider other toxins in our environment.  Air and water quality are compromised in many environments.  We spend a lot of time indoors breathing recycled air and in traffic breathing exhaust.  We drink and bath in polluted water, and wash our skin and home with harsh cleaning products.  For green cleaning recipes check out http://www.davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/queen-of-green/recipes/.

 

 

 

 

Healthy Soup for Dinner!

Roasted Butternut Squash and Tomato Soup

Here's an easy and healthy option for dinner tonight!

  • 2 medium sized butternut squash
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes (fresh if you have them)
  • 1 small onion
  • 6-10 roasted garlic cloves
  • Bone broth (homemade if you can...) - amount depends on how thick you like your soup
  • Coconut oil or olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Dried basil
  1. Slice the squash and remove the seeds and place onto a baking pan
  2. Dice the onion and place into the hollowed squash, leave the garlic wrapped and place onto the baking pan with the squash and onions
  3. Using olive oil or coconut oil - coat the squash with oil and mix a touch of oil in with the onion
  4. Bake the squash, onion and garlic at 350-400 for around an hour (squash will be soft to pierce with fork)
  5. Remove the skins of the squash
  6. In a pan warm the coconut oil and sauté the tomato for 20 minutes then let cool
  7. Let the vegetables cool so that you can work with them without burning yourself. Mix all the vegetables in a blender and blend until smooth.  You may have to add 1/4-1/2 cup of bone broth  into the blender to help liquify the vegetables.
  8. In a large pot add the vegetable mixture and bone broth.  We added about 2.5 cups of broth, which gave us a soup with a consistency thicker than broth but thinner than baby food. 
  9. Bring pot to a gentle bubble, adding salt, pepper and basil to taste
  10. Enjoy!

This soup had a nice blend of sweet and savoury!

** A pinch of dried chillies might compliment this soup nicely.  We did not add any chillies as our little office manager will be eating this soup for the rest of the week!

The soup is pictured with a small glass of fresh-squeezed non-pasturized  orange/pineapple/raspberry juice and two small pieces of fresh baked olive loaf (both from Superstore... I wish I was that kind of supermom!!)

Do not use another lemon scented candle or cleaning product until you read this!

 

 

Chemical Pollution inside the home

A recent study looked at the air quality of houses using products such as cleaning agents and candles with the lemon scent, limonene.  The levels of VOCs (volatile organic chemicals) found within 6 houses in the U.K were examined.  As expected, in houses where lemon scented products and candles were found, the limonene chemical levels were exponentially higher than other chemicals. 

The problem occurs when limonene hits the air and mixes with other VOCs.  For every two molecules of limonene released into the air, one molecule of formaldehyde is formed.  Gaseous Formaldehyde levels as low as 0.1 ppm (parts per million) can cause some individuals to experience burning eyes, nose or throat, coughing, wheezing, nausea and skin irritation.  The international agency for research on cancer has classified formaldehyde as a human carcinogen.

Besides avoiding lemon scented candles and cleaning products in the home, you can get some plants that help clean the air of all VOCS.  

Some of the best plants to use in the home to clean the air include: spider ferns, lavender, guava, grub ferns, squirrel's foot ferns, Japenese royal ferns, snake plant, spider plant,  money plant/devil's ivy, big leaf hydrangea and sword fern. 

 

References:
Liu Y, My Y, Zhu Y, Ding H, Arens N. Which ornamental plant species effectively removes benzene from indoor air? Atmosphere Environment, Vol 41, Issue 3 2007. 
Papinchak H, Holcomb E, Best T, Decoteau D, Effectiveness of houseplants in reducing the indoor air pollutant ozone. HortTechnology 2009. 
Kruza M, Carslaw N, Lewis A. Investigating surface production reaction indoors using a detailed chemical model. Air pollution XXIII, 2015. WIT Press. 
http://www.cancer.gov
http://www.medicaldaily.com/chemicals-citrus-scented-candles-cleaning-products-cancer-risk-370736?rel=most_shared5

 

Should you supplement with fish oil?

Benefits of Omega 3 fatty acid

Do you have enough omega 3 fatty acids in your diet?

The evolutionary human diet had 1:1 omega 6 fatty acids to omega 3 fatty acids ratio.  Today most modern diets have a 10:1 to 30:1 omega 6 fatty acids to omega 3 fatty acids ratio.  So what?  Both fatty acids are essential to our diet and help regulate your body’s metabolic and inflammatory state.  Omega 6 fatty acids are much more inflammatory than omega 3 fatty acids and if the ratio is altered, the body’s homeostatic state is altered. 

Our ancestors ate real food like game meat, seafood, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.  They ate a variety of seasonal foods and had healthy habits around food.   Today we eat more processed foods, such as, grains, sugars, and unhealthy fats/oils.  Even the animals we raise are no longer fed their evolutionary diet.  Cows are meant to graze on grass but are fed grains, which increase their omega 6 fatty acids.  We also eat too much.  We snack all day and use food as a coping mechanism for psychological stress.

How you can get enough omega 3 fatty acids in your diet?

There are marine sources of omega 3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).  α-linolenic acid (ALA) is found in plant oils, most commonly flax oil.  While ALA is great the more benefical source is EPA/DHA.

The best source of omega 3 fatty acids (EPA/DHA) is oily fish like anchovies, sardines, herring mackerel, and wild caught salmon.  We need about 2-3 servings a week.  Avoiding processed foods in our diet will decrease our omega 6 fatty acids.  If you do not eat this much fish you should consider a quality fish oil supplement. 

Effects of fish oil on your health and longevity

Acute stress and inflammation is an important function of the immune system and the healing process.  However, chronic inflammation caused by poor diet, physical inactivity, psychological stress, and genetic function contributes to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and more.  Omega 3 fatty acids have a role in combating these chronic diseases.

Omega 3 fatty acids are responsible for proper functioning of the cell membranes of all the cells in your body.  The health of your cells determines the health of your brain and body.  Thus, omega 3 fatty acids play a role in all functions of your body including growth and development, brain and nerve function, digestion, immune function, hormone regulation, skin and bone health, regulation of inflammation and healing, blood triglyceride levels, cardiovascular function, vision, and emotions and behavior.

Canadians do not consume enough omega 3 fatty acids in their diet and supplementing may help prevent and treat disease.  It can be a simple step toward living your life!   

 

 

 

You've lost that sunshine feeling.....

Importance of Vitamin D

With fall in full swing, and winter just around the corner, it is time to start thinking about vitamin D supplements.  Usually we get our vitamin D from the sun (hence the name "the sunshine vitamin"), but as days get shorter we get less vitamin D (actually it has been found that Canadians in general do not get enough vitamin D).  

The new daily supplement guidelines published in July by the Canadian Medical Association Journal include supplements of 400 to 1000 IU for adults under the age of 50 without osteoporosis or conditions affecting vitamin D absorption.  For adults over 50 supplementation between 800 and 2000 IU is recommended.  

So why is Vitamin D important? Vitamin D plays many roles in the body some of them include:

  • Maintaining health bones and teeth
  • Supporting the immune system, brain and nervous system
  • Regulating insulin levels and assistance with diabetes management
  • Supporting lung function and cardiovascular health
  • Influencing the expression of genes involved in cancer development

When it comes to choosing supplements, keep these tips in mind:

  • Look for evidence about how well the product works in scientific studies from credible publications. Search for such studies in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) PubMed database: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed. You can also call the manufacturer and ask what published studies they have to back up their claims. It’s also a good idea to find out how they ensure the ingredients listed on the supplement label are actually in the bottle.
  • If a product claims it will “cure” a disease, is “all-natural,” or has a “money-back guarantee,” be on guard. Any supplement that sounds too good to be true likely is.
  • Choose brands labeled with the NSF International, US Pharmacopeia, or Consumer Lab seal. These verify that the product actually contains the ingredients that the label says it does, and that the product doesn’t have any potentially harmful ingredients.
  • Be wary of supplements made outside the United States or Canada. Many aren’t regulated, and some may have toxic ingredients.

We will be carrying the Ascenta professional line in our clinic. A product that we have been taking for years.  We strongly believe in vitamin D supplementation, so much that we started giving it to our son when he was days old and even give it to our dog Winston!  Come check out Ascenta the next time you are in the clinic!

Disclaimer
None of the information provided on this website should be substituted for medical evaluation, diagnosis, or treatment from a licensed healthcare practitioner. This blog is simply an extension of ourselves where we may express educated, opinions, values, thoughts and concerns.