Tag Archives: North York Naturopathic Doctor

Do You Suffer from Beige Food Syndrome?

Are the foods on your plate all beige?  Are you, your spouse or children choosing colourful foods limited to rainbow-coloured skittles, fruit loops and ketchup?  If so, then you probably suffer from beige food syndrome.

Your naturopathic health tip: don’t save the best for last!  Fill your plate with salad before proceeding to other menu options.

Does your salad have at least 5 different colours?  If it doesn’t, dress it up!  Add liberal amounts of the following eight super food ingredients, which also happen to be terrific belly-busters!

1. Purple kale.

Kale

2. Baby bok choy.

Bok choy

3. Pomegranate seeds.

Pomegranate

4. Snow peas.

Snow Peas

5. Hemp hearts.

Hemp Hearts

6. Golden beets.

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

7. Edamame.

Edamame

8. Multi-coloured quinoa.

Quinoa Multicoloured

Need “cheat” tips keeping meal preparation easy?  Purchase prewashed mixed leafy field greens with herbs for your salad base.

How fresh produce savvy were you?  Could you identify all the produce listed, without looking at the names?  Don’t suffer another day from beige food syndrome and speak with your Naturopathic Doctor about how to incorporate healthier meals into your hectic schedule.

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Super Bowl Salads, Not Just for Super Bowl!

Today, I received a couple of grins in our local grocery store, while excitedly rummaging through the fresh produce section.  It made me think long and hard about how I could bring such an enthusiasm for healthy food cravings to my own patients.  I thought I would spare you having to wait another full year before sharing with you my love affair with salads, ahem, super bowl salads.  I encourage you to explore how the combination of different vegetables and fruits can add an exciting twist and an array of plant-based, nutrient-dense goodness to your diet.

Not sure where to start?  Your naturopathic health tip: make it a point to try a new vegetable or fruit each week!

Every week I make it a point to purchase something I have never eaten before.  This week it was kumquats.  In a nutshell, kumquats are about the size of a cherry tomato, and they have the refreshing taste of a mini-orange and contain high amounts of vitamin C.

Glorious Kumquats

This past week, I enjoyed them whole, munching on them between patients for my afternoon pick-me-up snack.  In the evening, I enjoyed both the colour and taste they imparted to my super bowl salad.

Try tossing together this refreshing red and green kale salad with a splash of sliced kumquats, which only takes a few minutes to prepare.

Ingredients
• 8 handfuls of organic red and green kale
• 1/2 cup hemp hearts
• 24 kumquats sliced lengthwise

Dressing
• fresh juice from 1 orange
• 2 tbsp orange rind
• 1/3 cup sesame or extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/2 cup brown rice vinegar
• 4 tbsp of hemp oil
• 1/2 cup fresh mint

Easy Peasy Preparation Instructions
Place all the dressing ingredients into a food processor and coarsely blend about 30 seconds.  Combine your salad ingredients of red and green kale into a large bowl, layer the hemp hearts and sliced kumquats, and toss with the dressing.  This makes 4 generous servings.  To your health!

Are you…?

sick n tiredIf you answered “yes!” to this question without missing a heartbeat, know that you aren’t alone.  This was a question I posed while visiting the lovely employees of the Manulife Financial Office with my amazing healthcare team.

You will benefit from making your Naturopathic Doctor part of your healthcare team.  As your Naturopathic Doctor, I can help.  How?  By investigating all your symptoms and getting to the root of your problem(s).

Not sure where to start?  Some important questions I posed to individuals who said they were healthy, but then struggled answering the following questions are:

1. How are your energy levels?
Energy Levels

2. How is your sleep?
sleep-well

3. Do you have regular bowel movements?
Bowel Movements

4. Have you noticed an increase in pesky weight that you just can’t shake?
Scale-Close-Up

5. How are your cholesterol levels? Blood sugar levels? Blood pressure?
Heart Health - Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar, Cholesterol

6. How are your moods?
Happy guys and girls expressing happiness

If your answers were tepid at best, come in for a thorough assessment to figure out what areas we can help you with.  Let me HELP YOU infuse your life with a renewed energy for healthier eating, a sense of peace, and help facilitate your health journey for sustainable life changes, one step at a time.

Book your complimentary 15 minute chat in-person to find out how I can help you get back on your path to health and wellness.  I look forward to speaking with you soon!

The Secret to Aging Gracefully, Revealed!

Chartwell LTC Residence - The Woodhaven

I had a delightful time visiting the residents and staff at The Woodhaven LTC Residence in Markham this past Friday.  My table in the lobby was visited by residents and staff who had thoughtful questions about their health, which I was pleased to discuss.

When asking one particularly vibrant 92 year old resident from Singapore about the secret for youthful skin, with a sweet grin and the twinkling eyes of a person who had acquired the wisdom of many years, she cheekily responded:  “patience and love”.  On that note, I fondly addand naturopathic medicine”.

Thank you for inviting me to your home Chartwell and for indeed, making people’s lives better.

Naturopathic Doctors Bridge the Gap in Patient Care

Naturopathic Medical CareThere is a growing recognition that complex patient populations benefit from an intensive case management approach. As your Naturopathic Doctor, we provide a continuity of health care support through your various life transitions and we are here to make sure you get the care and support you require to improve your quality of life and to encourage Ontario’s Aging at Home Strategy. As your Naturopathic Doctor, we work alongside Family Health Teams to provide integrated health services delivery.

Check out the article written here by a Naturopathic Doctor in response to the article published in the New York Times regarding the shortage of family physicians. In discussing your health care options, your Naturopathic Doctor is equipped to help you bridge the gap in patient care so that you get the support you require from our medical system.

Weekend Warrior Alert

Are you a weekend warrior?  Though I applaud your enthusiasm, perhaps it would be in your best interests to consider participating in more consistent moderate exercise, as muscle and bone strengthening at least 2 days a week are part and parcel of a healthy exercise regimen to minimize self-injury.  (My confession – much to my own husband’s chagrin, I too, have participated rather gleefully in some weekend warrior action of my own!)

Weekend Warrior

This brings us to the following question – just how much daily exercise should you be getting?

The Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology (CSEP) is the leading Canadian scientific authority on exercise physiology, health and fitness.  They are the governing body responsible for establishing the recommended exercise guidelines for all Canadians.  You can check out these exercise guidelines here.

To highlight some of the most relevant take home points for you:

Healthy adults between 18-64 years are encouraged to participate in a variety of physical activities above and beyond the physical activities accumulated in the course of daily living.

Just to remind you, exercise reduces your risk of premature death, coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, colon cancer, breast cancer, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis (to name but a few of the health benefits).  In general, more exercise = higher level of fitness = improved lean body mass composition = better moods and to boot, a better ability to handle stress!

The CSEP recommends healthy adults between the age of 18-64 accumulate 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous-intensity aerobic physical exercise each week for a minimum of 10 minute intervals.

Over the course of the week, that means investing approximately 22 minutes each day, which isn’t so hard in the grand scheme of the day.  I am sure if we were all completely honest with ourselves, we could each find 22 minutes everyday and swamp putzing around with more beneficial time on what I like to call “project save your knees“!

Worried this may be too much to start?  Don’t be.  For one, you can still reap benefits even investing less than 20 minutes each day.  (Some movement is definitely better than none!) Secondly, your Naturopathic Doctor can help you increase your duration, frequency and intensity as part of your comprehensive total health care plan.  We can discuss with you strategies to make incorporation of exercise both manageable, sustainable, and something that becomes routinely incorporated into your lifestyle.

Moderate Activity May Be Key to Saving Knees

I was recently reading about a presentation put forth at the North American Radiological Society by a Research Fellow at the University of California San Francisco, which you can find here.  Though this article concludes moderate activity may be the key to saving knees, this article also suggests that too much exercise led to early degenerative cartilage changes in the knees of healthy people aged 45 – 60 and in those at risk for osteoarthritis on examination of the structural changes of the knee using MRI over a period of 4 years.

mike-twohy-the-knees-are-the-first-thing-to-go-new-yorker-cartoonI would argue, however, that for the average Canadian, sedentary lifestyles are perhaps more problematic and more prevalent in our North American population compared to those who participate in too much movement as evidenced by the numerous accounts of the increasing weight epidemic and diabetes, or “diabesity” problem.

Before you jump to the conclusion that too much exercise indeed predisposes a person to early degenerative knee changes, in defence of the importance of exercise, it may also be important to know that population in this study were at high risk for knee osteoarthritis because of family history, obesity, and/or a history of knee injury or replacement surgery.

Reference

Lin, W. et al.  (2012).  High levels of physical activity are associated with greater cartilage degeneration over a period of 4 years as assessed with T2 relaxation time measurements – 3T MRI data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative.  Radiological Society of North America.