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Avoid Overeating This Thanksgiving!

With Thanksgiving just a week away, these are the tips I am adhering to, and sharing with my lovely patients, to avoid overeating.

Even as a mindful Naturopathic Doctor, it can also be way too easy (and common) to indulge during holiday feasts, particularly if culturally, celebrations are not quite complete without numerous wonderful dishes able to literally feed a community.

It is one thing to overeat during holidays, but what happens when it doesn’t stop there?  And we find ourselves overeating on regular days?  Or at regular meals?  Or All. The. Time?

The following are hopefully tips that will turn into habit with some dedication, and *gentle* prodding from your Naturopathic Doctor!

Tip #1: Start with Water

When your stomach is growling and you smell amazingly delicious food it’s too easy to fill a plate (or grab some samples with your bare hands) and dive into the food.

But did you know that it’s possible to sometimes confuse the feeling of thirst with that of hunger? Your stomach may actually be craving a big glass of water rather than a feast.

Some studies have shown that drinking a glass or two of water before a meal can help reduce the amount of food eaten. And this super-simple tip may even help with weight loss.

Not only will the water start to fill up your stomach before you get to the buffet, leaving less room for the feast, but drinking enough water has been shown to slightly increase your metabolism.

Win-win!

Tip #2: Try Eating “Mindfully”

You’ve heard of mindfulness but have you applied that to your eating habits?

This can totally help you avoid overeating as well as having the added bonus of helping your digestion.

Just as being mindful when you meditate can help focus your attention on your breathing, being in the present moment and mindful when you eat, can help focus your attention on your meal.

Do this by taking smaller bites, eating more slowly, chewing more thoroughly, and savouring every mouthful.  Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture.  Breathe.

This can help prevent overeating because eating slower often means eating less.

When you eat quickly you can easily overeat because it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full.

So take your time, pay attention to your food and enjoy every bite.

Dr. Ancheta’s Pro-Tip!

Eat at a table (not in front of the screen), off of a small plate and put your fork down between bites.

Tip #3: Start with the Salad

You may be yearning for that rich, creamy main dish.

But don’t start there.

(Don’t worry, you can have some…just after you’ve eaten your salad).

Veggies are a great way to start any meal because they’re full of not only vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and health-promoting phytochemicals, but they also have some secret satiety weapons – fiber and water.

Fiber and water are known to help fill you up and make you feel fuller.  They’re “satiating”.

And these secret weapons are great to have on your side when you’re about to indulge in a large meal.

Take Home Message to Help Avoid Overeating at Meals:

1. Have your glass of water.
2. Eat mindfully.
3. My favourite tip – start with your salad!

Click here for some of my favourite ideas to “dress up” your water this Thanksgiving and beyond!

References:

https://authoritynutrition.com/7-health-benefits-of-water/

The Science Behind Mindful Eating: What Happens to Your Body During a Mindful Meal

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Dress Up Your Water

If you’re not much of a plain water drinker or need your water to be more appealing to your senses, here are five delicious (and beautiful looking) fruit combos to add to your large glass of water:

● Blueberries & raspberries
● Chopped pineapple & mango
● Slices of apple & a cinnamon stick
● Slices of strawberries & orange
● Slices of lemon & ginger

Dr. Ancheta’s Pro Tip!

Buy a bag (or several bags) of frozen chopped fruit and throw those into your cup, thermos, or mason jar in the morning. They’re already washed and cut and will help keep your water colder longer.

Educating the Public In Our Community

 

 

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Educating the Public about Naturopathic Medicine’s Role In Our Current Health Care System

I was pleased to have been approached by a graduate student from George Brown College who wished to interview me about my views as a Naturopathic Doctor.  The questions posed were centred on understanding what I perceived to be the most important aspect working in the healthcare sector in my capacity as a Naturopathic Doctor, and also about the greatest challenges encountered.  Here was my response from our interview:

Thank you kindly Kathleen for asking me about my opinions.

I consider patient-centered care the most important aspect working in the health care sector.  When we place patients and their families at the centre and take the time needed to sit down and actively discuss what their health concerns and goals are, reviewing treatment options and their care plan now and 3-, 6- and 12-months down the road – it is hard to not develop a positive and healthful patient-provider relationship.

The patient-provider relationship is important in helping motivate patients to comply as best as they are able with treatment recommendations, to see the positive outcomes they are hoping for, and to be able to honestly discuss ongoing feedback in their care as their treatments progress.  As a patient’s healthcare provider, nothing brings me more joy than to see this positive feedback loop where patients do their best to adhere to recommendations, see improved results and report a higher quality of life that not only affects the patient, but positively impacts their family members and friends as well and certainly affects workplace productivity.  When patients report they feel listened to, are receiving the support they need to improve health, we see a correlation between positive outcomes.

Health is a habit and one that we can all benefit from working on, on an ongoing basis.  When care is centered on the needs of the patient and their families which dis-ease affects, as healthcare providers we are able to positively influence and encourage patients to be their best advocate for their own health.  Patients and their families are vital components of their healthcare team, and I have found that recognition of this leads to the best outcomes and a sense of reward as the healthcare provider helping them with sustainable, manageable solutions to help facilitate health.

In my opinion, efforts to increase opportunities for Naturopathic Doctors to participate in interprofessional collaborative patient care is something that I hope we will see in future healthcare reform, particularly as Ontario Naturopathic Doctors have moved under the Regulated Health Professions Act as of July 2015.  In my opinion, it will improve patient outcomes and experiences, especially given the document HealthForceOntario put together discussing strategic interprofessional care implementation in Ontario.  Here they have defined interprofessional care “as the provision of comprehensive health services to patients by multiple health caregivers, who work collaboratively to deliver quality care within and across settings”.  I find the proposed strategies inspiring as it centers on the patients’ best interests, recognizing interprofessional care as the ideal standard of care.  I hope the Naturopathic Medicine profession will be able to engage in this worthwhile endeavor.

Furthermore, I hope that Naturopathic Doctors too will also be able to bill the Ontario Health Insurance Plan, similar to our esteemed medical counterparts so that patients who arguably could benefit the most from our care, would be able to receive the care provided by the naturopathic profession.

Burnout Prevention and Treatment

Make Your Naturopathic Doctor Part of Your HealthCARE Team

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Rejuvenate Your Health

How Your Naturopathic Doctor Can Help You Rejuvenate Your Health