When we think of eating healthy, we think of choosing foods that are fresh, local and organic, perhaps even eating more vegetables and fruits, getting enough protein and other beneficial macro and micro nutrients. All these things are important in bringing us vital nutrients and optimal health; however, there is another step that is often overlooked. We can eat the best foods available but if we are not digesting and absorbing our food efficiently and completely we are doing our body a disservice. Some simple steps can help improve the quality of your digestion, one bite at a time. Try introducing some of these ideas:
Abdominal bloating, pain, and acid reflux are some of the most common concerns that bring patients to a Naturopath’s office. The most common question I receive from patients experiencing regular digestive discomfort, is: “What food am I allergic to?” Well… What if it’s not about the food?
I’d like to share with you a youtube video I recently watched on the website of one of the labs I use frequently. It’s an interview with Dr. Stephanie Seneff, an MIT Research Scientist who found herself researching glyphosate in her quest to understand the growing prevalence of Autism in North America (about 1 in 66 children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Canada). Glyphosate is the primary chemical in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup and is considered by many accounts to be the most popular herbicide globally.
Allergy and asthma sufferers everywhere are ever looking for relief from their annoying symptoms of runny nose, watery eyes, allergy related asthma, nasal congestion, and itchy throat especially during this time of the year as we enter Spring and allergy season. Some of us have had allergies for as long as we can remember while others have developed it gradually over time.
Have you heard of the “Dirty Dozen”? It’s a shopping list of the fruits and vegetables most exposed to high concentrations of pesticides and it can help you decide how to most effectively spend your fresh produce budget. The list is prepared by the American-based Environmental Working Group whose agenda includes educating people about the toxic state of our environment so that subsequent political pressure might have a real impact on environmental policy. Your decision to eat organic and support a local CSA contributes to the big picture of encouraging much-needed changes to these policies. It also benefits you directly by reducing your exposure…
Change is stressful, especially when it’s unexpected change. But even planned, positive change can put you on your toes!
People have a general tendency to fear the unknown. Oftentimes, we’d rather stick with what we know because it’s familiar and, well, let’s face it, the familiar is comfortable. When we look into a future of unknowns it tends to feel largely out of our control, and this lack of control is what tends to make us feel stressed. So, when we think about starting something new, we might hesitate, make excuses, or save the change for “one day when…”
How is it, then, that you can stop procrastinating and actually make change happen?
“Providing our body with nutritional and environmental support is crucial in allergy maintenance and symptom reduction. By gaining knowledge and applying what we learn everyday, we can successfully reduce allergy response. Imagine going through “allergy season” without all of those annoying symptoms that you usually experience every year! What would that be like? How would you feel?…”
As parents we want nothing more than to see our child healthy and succeed. We strive to protect them from the dangers life throws their way and to provide them with healthy food, a loving home, positive environment and plenty of opportunities for them to grow into their greatest version of themselves. As you know, circumstances don’t always go according to plan and children don’t always cooperate. I am a parent as well, who understands how you feel; I’ve been there and have struggled too. What if you had a program that would help provide you with a framework and a solid foundation of health for your child in which you could build upon?
What is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist?
In simple terms, a holistic nutritionist solves problems with food. We help access the body’s natural ability to recover and restore itself to a thriving and nourished state. When we prioritize nutrition and eat according to what the body needs at a cellular level, we start to see tremendous improvements in our energy levels and quality of life. A holistic nutritionist is a professional who has been educated in the subject of Natural Nutrition and complementary practices. They specialize in supporting the body through whole foods, balanced lifestyle, environment and a positive mind-body connection.
Hi! I’m Courtney O’Connor the newest addition to the KIHC team. I am a Registered Holistic Nutritionist who has a passion to see people fulfill their highest health potential. I am very excited to have the opportunity to serve and to assist you in reaching your health goals through a holistic approach. When our bodies are healthy, balanced and working in harmony, we are free to enjoy life to the fullest. We can focus on sharing our unique gifts and talents with the world and to be of greater service.
Holistic Nutrition is a modality in which client’s health is addressed from a whole person perspective; mind, body, and, spirit, using whole foods and complementary therapies. The mind, body and spirit are all connected and we aim to thrive in each area for optimal health.
As the cold and flu season encroaches on us it is nice to have a few treatments options at your disposal. This recipe is easy and uses simple ingredients found at home, but the best part is, it really helps! Brew this tea at the very first signs of a tickle in your throat and if your throat is feeling sore. It is especially effective for strep throat symptoms. Drink at least 4 cups a day for relief.
WARNING: This drink is potent. The garlic (a key ingredient) can kill most forms of bacteria but leaves your breath strong enough to ward off vampires. I think this is fine – you are getting sick and this isn’t the time to be a social butterfly. Curl up with a good book and sip away on this tea- you will thank me in the morning.
Dr. Angela Hunt ND
For a while now, we in the north have known that vitamin D deficiencies are common in our society. It is recommended that all Canadians take 600 IU daily of the sunshine vitamin to maintain general health[i]. Health Canada also stopped screening for vitamin D deficiencies in the general public because everyone was showing up to be deficient[ii]. However, as our society works to keep their vitamin D levels up, another common vitamin deficiency could be going under the radar. Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that plays a key role in nerve function, energy, memory, and thought processing. As important as Vitamin B12 is, our screening methods in Canada could be missing most deficiencies.
These no-bake protein balls are a great “grab n’ go” option for busy summer days. They are nut free, dairy free and gluten free- which means they are safe to take to school. I usually make a big batch (doubling the recipe) and then put them in the freezer. They freeze beautifully and then you can just take out a couple as needed. The cranberries and dark chocolate chips are a favorite in my home but you can switch it up with any dried fruit.
These muffins are delicious, hardy and so versatile! The blueberries and walnuts can be substituted for any fruits and nut combination. This weekend I decided to use the rhubarb from the garden (1/2 cup) and strawberries (1 cup) the results were so yummy! The added greek yogurt gives these muffins a protein boost and they can easily be converted to gluten free. Remember if you are avoiding eggs the egg in the recipe can be replaced by 1 tbsp of freshly ground flax seed pulsed in 2.5 tbsp of water. This will also give you the added benefit of extra fibre.
As a Naturopathic Doctor, weight loss is probably one of the most common reasons people venture into my office. Many of us struggle with maintaining a healthy weight and a multi-million dollar weight loss industry can give of us poor advice. There are so many expert opinions and fad products floating around, it is hard to know what is useful and what is simply a myth. At times you can be making all the right choices but still not losing weight, suggesting some physiological roadblocks. Here are the myths, the roadblocks and the game changers when it comes to building natural weight loss wisdom.
Extreme low calorie diets are necessary for weight loss.
Will you lose weight from going on an extreme, reduced calorie diet? Absolutely. Will you keep the weight off when you return to your typical diet?
Connecting Farmers and Eaters through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Programs to maintain a healthier lifestyle.
by Suszane Neimanis-Klug, Roots Down Organic Farm
When we first began working our farm in 2005 we quickly realized that we were going to have a hard time funding our operation. It is very difficult for a mixed vegetable farm of this small a scale fit in to a category of small business loans and we needed to build up some infrastructure and employ farm hands in order to produce enough veggies to even begin to support ourselves. We were familiar with other farms using the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model as a solution to these problems but this concept was relatively new to the Kingston area. With this model, we would find individuals that would be willing to support our farm’s endeavors by paying ahead for veggies that they would receive throughout the growing season. We would deliver their veggies
By Dr. Holly WhiteKnight, ND
As per the Food Climate Research Network’s most recent report put it: “The relationship between health and environmental sustainability can best be viewed as an arranged marriage, rather than a love match.”
As North Americans we need to think about the way that we eat, not just for the health of our bodies but also for the good of the planet. With all of unfolding research regarding climate change, it’s no surprise that food security is such an issue. Unpredictable weather patterns and drastic extremes provide challenges for farmers and their crops. “Fad” superfoods deplete the local resources for the native population, driving the prices up so high that their chance for maintaining it as a staple in their diet is no longer financially attainable, as is the case with Quinoa in South America. People are becoming more detached from what it means to eat locally, with whole foods as the center focus of their diet.
Sustainability comes in many faces. Some factors to consider when making sustainable food choices could include:
Dr. Sonya Nobbe, ND
Moving into winter, I find it challenging to eat enough veggies. I’ve discovered that blended soups are the perfect solution for my family. They are quite forgiving when you need to substitute ingredients or eyeball quantities. They freeze well, so that you have a quick work lunch or dinner side-dish when you’re short of time. Better yet, they work well for families with food allergies, since they are so often naturally free of dairy, gluten, egg, and nuts.
I prefer to make these with a hand blender over a processer or blender, because the texture is lovely and the clean-up is incredibly quick.
Celery Apple Soup
Dr. Sonya Nobbe, ND
Are sugar alternatives safe? Most of us are aware of the negative health consequences of sugar, but what about their chemical replacements in the variety of “sugar-free” food choices? A recent study by Washington University researchers published in the journal Diabetes Care, suggests that ingestion of sucralose (Splenda) may increase insulin levels by up to 20%, thereby promoting diabetes and weight gain. Aspartame is another common sugar alternative with known health risks, such as migraines and seizures, when consumed in high quantities or by sensitive people. Fructose can cause a diabetes-like disease in the liver called “fatty liver”. The science that links both sugar and its replacements to chronic disease symptoms is quite extensive. Here are some practical tips to help you reduce these ingredients in your daily routine, without going on a diet!
1. Stevia is an herbal sugar replacement (i.e. not artificial) that is chemically dis-similar to sugar. This means that it’s metabolized safely by other mechanisms that don’t disturb normal sugar metabolism and weight management.
2. Add a bit of salt! Salt can actually enhance your perception of the sweetness of some dishes, and if you balance this with addition of high-potassium foods, the dish is far less likely to affect blood pressure. (See our article on blood pressure and salt, here.)
3. Enhance the natural sweetness