The cold weather and holiday season is fast approaching. Picturing yourself in front of the fireplace? Wrapping yourself in warm blankets while holding a mug of hot chocolate? Have you imagined yourself skating at the ice rink or putting on the skis? To make the most of winter, try these 11 tips to stay healthy, energetic and connected.
1. Moisturize - we all know to moisturize our hands and face in the colder drier weather, but did you know to moisturize the inside of your nose? Moisturizing your nose with vaseline or another non-absorbing moisturizer can protect your nasal membranes and keep you from catching a cold virus.
2. Take Vitamin D – Unless you live below the 50th parallel, you don’t get enough sunshine from October to April to keep your Vitamin D in a healthy range. It’s safe to take 2000 IU daily of Vitamin D. It’s an important vitamin that is good for a healthy immune system, healthy bones, energy, and more. Read more about the health benefits here.
3. Take Vitamin C – I’ve caught the cold virus a number of times this year and was able to fight it off with high doses of Vitamin C. I’ve taken as much at 2500mg with each meal, 3 times a day just when I started to notice symptoms and have been able to bounce back overnight.
4. See your chiropractor – As the temperature dips, it’s more likely for our joints and muscles to ache. Chances are your nervous system is under stress too. Regular visits to a Network Spinal Analysis Chiropractor can do wonders to teach your body-mind to release tension and experience greater vitality.
5. Learn something new – Spending time outdoors may be scarce these days, so why not use the extra time to learn a new activity or skill? This is your chance to exercise your mind and body and prepare yourself for the new year.
6. Be with friends and family – Health is more than mind and body. It’s the quality of your friendships and family ties. Spend time celebrating the season with your loved ones and notice how alive you feel when you’re surrounded by those you love and those who love you back. Bonus points for meeting new people, making new friends or starting a new relationship!
7. Practice your faith – Do you believe in something greater? Ever wondered if you had a life purpose? Spending time in meditation, prayer or worship can be rejuvenating and help you with gain focus, direction and certainty in life.
8. Break a sweat - The colder months make it easier to stay inside and away from the gym. This is your chance to practice Tip #5 Learn something new. Make this season your opportunity to have a new winter activity or sport. Maybe it’s living room yoga? Perhaps it’s your existing outdoor activity but with a twist…
9. Bundle up and Layer up – If this is your very first winter of outdoor physical activity, consider an investment in warm clothing. Modern day outdoor active wear has really made it possible to manage heat, cold and moisture while you move around!
10. Breathe - The holidays can be a stressful time of year. Somato Respiratory Integration is an effective way to breathe mindfully and get connected to the peace and strength within. It’s easy to learn and can quickly bring down tension and stress.
11. Enjoy the change - How monotonous would it be if we had no change in seasons? I don’t know about you, but I like bringing out the warmer sweaters, boots and scarves. You wouldn’t want to wear the same clothes all the time, so why would want the same weather all the time? The changes in the seasons is a great chance for us to experience a different way of living and a different dimensions of ourselves.
If you found these tips helpful, please share with your friends and family by clicking the social media links below.Tweet Share
Whether you have been told by a practitioner, or simply heard the recommendation on a TV advertisement, it is likely that you are not consuming enough fibre in your daily diet. The average North American does not consume enough fibre in their diet. The recommendation is to consume roughly 28 grams of fibre per day, but North Americans tend to consume just half that.
Too little fibre in the diet can cause digestive problems as well as more serious problems if levels are consistently low. There are two basic types of fibre, insoluble and soluble. Insoluble fibre adds bulk to your diet and aids in normal bowel movements and colon health. Whole grains, bran, nuts, fruits and vegetables are good sources of insoluble fibres. Soluble fibre is found in oats, beans, peas, apples and other fruit, and berries. It has been shown to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Fibre’s effects have also widely been studied in what is termed the “second meal effect” of dietary fibre. The second meal effect states that consuming a fibre rich meal not only increases satiety at the time of consumption, but it also has the potential to decrease the blood glucose response in the next meal. This is to say that consuming fibre will make the body more responsive to insulin in a subsequent meal, therefore clearing blood glucose (sugar) from the meal more readily for efficient usage.
There are some simple ways to increase your fibre consumption. Read food labels to see whether or not the food has added fibre benefits. Chose whole grain breads, and add vegetables to your meals. Top salads with beans and nuts. When consuming more fibre than normal, it is important to consume plenty of liquids in an effort to minimize gastrointestinal discomfort.
Looking for some help in getting on track with your nutrition? A nutritionist can help.
Holiday season is fast approaching and for some of us this means traveling. Looking to keep eating healthy while traveling? It’s not as difficult at it may seem at first. We’re pleased to have guest blogger , Cole Millen, share his experiences and insights in this blog. Thanks, Cole!
Avoiding Airport Dietary Disasters
Whether you’re traveling for pleasure or business, if you’ve established a healthy diet, the last thing you want to do is ruin it. Unfortunately, airports are a smorgasbord of tasty but unhealthy foods designed to tempt hungry people with little time to spare. When faced with everything from sugary lattes to fresh-baked cinnamon buns, it can be a challenge to resist such indulgence. Fortunately, by taking the proper steps, you can reduce the temptation and maintain your health and figure. Here are some of the ways that you can avoid airport dietary disasters.
Eat Before You Leave
Going to the airport hungry is a lot like going to the store hungry – it’s not a wise decision. Hunger drives impulsiveness, making you much more likely to eat things you know you shouldn’t. It’s always better to eat before leaving for the airport. If you’re really pressed for time before your trip, consider preparing something the night before. Anything you make at home is virtually guaranteed to be healthier and more satisfying than anything you’ll find at airport restaurants.
Bring Your Own Food
If you’re on a long-haul flight, you’re probably going to get hungry at some point. While most airlines provide meals and snacks for such trips, they’re not usually the healthiest fare. For this reason, it’s recommended that you bring your own foods that fit your dietary needs and preferences. Sandwiches, salads, cereal bars, nuts, dried or fresh fruit, jerky and yogurt are all fantastic options.
Do Your Homework
Once you’ve found out which airport you’ll be departing from, do a search online to see what kinds of restaurants it harbors. Also learn about the restaurants and hotels in the nearby area. You never know when you are going to be stuck over night on a layover. I had a flight cancelled recently while I was in Boston after a Red Sox game and thought I was in a trouble. I did a quick search and found a great list of hotels and restaurants in Boston that could cater to the health conscious. Researching everything is extremely important. By doing this, you’ll be better able to gauge the availability of health-conscious menu items. Steer clear of places serving junk foods, barbecue, fried foods and other health nightmares. You’re much better off with places that serve Mediterranean fare, salads, soups and lean meats.
Drink Plenty of Water
Many people don’t realize that thirst can be mistaken for hunger, and they eat needlessly as a result. Meanwhile, what your body really wants is water, so it’s important that you stay properly hydrated on your trip. Unfortunately, recent security measures forbid you from bringing more than three ounces of liquid through the terminal gates. To make matters worse, you can expect to pay an obscene amount of money for a bottle of water once you’re on the plane. That said, there is one way around this problem. Simply bring an empty bottle and fill it in the restroom or from a water fountain once you’ve gone through security.
Get Some Exercise
Sitting around waiting for your flight can drive you to eat out of boredom, which is the worst dietary mistake you can make. Instead of sitting there and snacking needlessly, get up and walk around. Taking a stroll keeps you preoccupied so you’re less likely to eat for amusement. Furthermore, it has the added benefit of helping you burn off some extra calories. You can increase the physical benefits by bringing your luggage along with you.
At our October 9th VIP Event, Health & Wellness Made Fun & Easy, I had the idea to make meatballs that would be yummy for meatatarian, vegan and the gluten-free diets alike. The meatballs had big shoes to fill: they had to be moist, tasty, filling AND nutritious. Were the meatballs a success? Yes indeed, they were a hit! Many asked for the recipe, and I’m more than happy to share it here on this post.
Vegan Gluten-Free Meatball Recipe
- 2 cups uncooked brown rice
- 2 cups dried red lentils
- 3 cups butternut squash, cubed
- 1/4 cup dried basil
- 1/4 cup dried oregano
- 1 large onion, minced
- 5 cups cold water
- 1 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 cup of other fresh herbs, finely chopped
- Salt , pepper, chili flakes
- Pasta Sauce or Salsa
- 6 litre stock pot
- Baking sheets
- Immersion blender (optional, can substitute slotted spoon or potato masher)
- In a large stockpot add rice, lentils squash, onion, dried herbs and water. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and stir regularly.
- Cook mixture for at least 30 minutes or until rice is cooked.
- Blend with immersion blender. If no blender is available , use a potato masher, slotted spoon or fork to mash the squash.
- Consistency should be similar to mashed potatoes. If too thick, add water. If too runny, continue cooking until thickened. Turn off heat.
- Add fresh herbs, salt, pepper and chili flakes to taste. Incorporate evenly into mixture. Allow to cool slightly.
- Oil baking sheets. Heat oven to 400F.
- Form mixture into 1-1.5″ balls and place on baking sheets. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until balls are lightly browned.
- Serve with pasta sauce or salsa. Enjoy!
Makes 40-50 meatballs.
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On Saturday, November 23 we are co-hosting a full day healing intensive event called a Clear Day. Clear Days are the most transformative and powerful healing events I have ever been a part of and an incredible opportunity to bust through old patterns and step into something new. Having hosted 7 Clear Days to now, I am still amazed, inspired and thrilled about what happens for people at the event and beyond.
Clear Days happen at a location external to our regular office environment. We spend a full day in a community of like minded, open hearted people focused on healing and growth. Doing healing work in community is a powerful way to create growth, far faster than we can do one-on-one. We share both consciously and unconsciously with others in our healing process; just think about how you often get more out of doing a group yoga class, meditation, or exercise.
Clear Days are inspired by the work of Dr. Donald Epstein who gave us the wonderful gift of the chiropractic technique called Network Spinal Analysis and the body/breath technique called Somato Respiratory Integration (SRI). At Clear Days we have 3 “entrainment” sessions interspersed with SRI and other body centered workshops to enhance the process and add to the learning. An “entrainment” is the word we use for the chiropractic care we provide which is designed to help your body connect and release it’s own tension and generate alignment and self healing. At the upcoming Clear Day we will have 5 chiropractors working at once during the entrainment session with up to 15 people on the tables at once. The group effect of doing this entrainment together provides a powerful synergy to help people create healing and learning that is not available day to do in the office.
Throughout the day we will go on a journey through the “Seasons of Wellbeing”. Our first entrainment focuses on the strategies of the season of “Discover”, where we can be authentic with ourselves, learn where we may be running from pain or problems in our lives and we get more connected to our bodies and emotions. In the second entrainment we embrace the season of “Transform” where we can claim our personal power, commit to making changes in our lives and move into action. The final entrainment embodies the season of “Awaken” where we move into heart space and experience expansiveness, gratitude, joy, and acceptance to inspire us to be all that we can be in our lives.
This Clear Day’s theme is “Get into Your Groove”. Our theme is designed to help you learn more about what groove you are living in your life at this time, where you want to be and how to get into your groove and flow of your life day to day by living in the moment and being authentic with yourself and your life. We want to help you find your groove and groove with your life and with others in a way that feels, effortless, fun and enlivening.
If you would like to learn more or get involved please call our office at (416) 923-4325. Come groove with us!
I greeted the fall season in California this year. Yes! California! I went to do an intensive training for a practice I’m newly unrolling in November at Source Centre called the Art of Feminine Presence (more on that in a future post) and then I spent a couple of days in West L.A., a place called Venice Beach.
I am always so enriched by, and grateful for, opportunities to explore myself in different environments. I spent many hours by the Pacific ocean just absorbing her roaring beating heart…letting the sun stroke my skin (this is a different sun, I tell you)…drinking in the salty air…taking in the extraordinary beauty of the horizon and the hills and the sky. I took precious time feeling my feelings and grounding my energy.
Whenever I go somewhere I can come back and write a novel of my experiences, the details, and the way I felt and the things that opened up and transformed for me. It’s truly one of the gifts of our time to be able to visit faraway places with relative ease and expense. I stayed at the most beautiful spot, made some new friends and had an amazing time exploring myself through time and space in unfamiliar terrain.
And I came back a different person than I was when I left. In truth, don’t we go to bed each night a different person than the one who awoke that morning? What’s our degree of awareness around it? Do we search it out and welcome it? It can seem a scary thing but so, so worth it.
To be continued…
Health & Wellness
Made Fun & Easy
VIP Event – You’re Invited!
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
5:30pm – 8:00pm
At Source Centre for Health & Wellness
326 Adelaide Street West, Suite 202
Mark your calendars, you’re invited to Source Centre’s VIP Event: Health & Wellness Made Fun & Easy!
Join us for healthy and delicious refreshments, we’ll have a sampling of our services on offer, draws for great prizes, specials on services and great health and wellness talks and demonstrations.
Meet our Expert Health Panel and learn how you can:
- Feel Young
- Lose Weight
- Optimize Health
Highlights of the event:
- Complimentary health checks, massages and acupuncture.
- Gain valuable advice from our health talks.
- One-night only special offers and prizes
- Healthy snacks and refreshments
Can health and wellness be fun and easy? Come join us and find out. Limited seating is available so please RSVP by October 4, 2013 to reserve your spot.Tweet Share
As humans, we are blessed with the ability to sense the exterior world through our 5 senses. How does this really work? Can we train or sharpen our senses to enhance and improve the way we experience our day-to-day life? Or is it maybe that some of us are gifted with special sensory talents?
While it’s true that some of us have a better musical ear or a more sensitive palate able to discern many flavors, I believe with some practice and attention we can all sharpen our senses and enjoy a richer, fuller life.
All we need to do is to practice. Sound simple? Well… it is.
For example, when practicing yoga we learn how to breathe and how to lead our breath to a targeted area in our body. While meditating we learn how to train our mind and clear our thoughts. We learn how to let thoughts go when they arise, rather than holding on to them.
Sensing is a practice pertaining to the heart. When the heart is involved in even little and seemingly banal actions, life can become more meaningful. Teaching the heart to be open and clear can allow us to feel and sense the world in an entirely different way. When giving our full attention to our senses, hearing becomes listening, looking becomes seeing, smelling becomes experiencing, tasting becomes nourishing, and touching becomes communicating. Our senses become embodied and emotional. To feel and be emotional is to be alive.
In physiology, as described by ancient Chinese medicine, each one of our senses passes through an internal meridian in the heart before being processed in our body and our consciousness. When we actively operate this channel, we can feel the external world and become united with it. We can then feel truly connected and at one with everything.
Last month, I went to the Om festival in Collingwood . For one week, a temporary community camps in a beautiful forest, and works cooperatively to create the event. Everyone who attends is required to participate in the collective vision. Even meals are communal.
Spending 5 consecutive days in the forest with nothing to do but be is complicated. As in other years, I grappled with the absence of urgency and purpose my urban existence demands. Without the ceaseless waves of doing pushing and pulling me in a tidal frenzy, I am left feeling sore, vulnerable, and at times lonely. Yet, day by day, the barriers built up by city living peel off; at times, whole walls collapse into a shivering heap of ash at my feet. And the forest, in its infinite presence and murmuring silence, holds the space for this opening, this deepening of connection with self.
A literal understanding of “spending time in nature” is to dwell within one’s own nature. Being in nature is not simply the act of wandering through a park, it is about wandering through oneself. The so-called natural world invites this connection because it exists in perpetual presence. Trees dwell in their nature, as do flowers, squirrels, raccoons, bumblebees, and blue jays. Nature is not something that happens somewhere outside the confines of our houses, streets or cities; nature is within us, it is what we are.
My invitation to you is to spend time in your nature. This can mean being in a presence-ful environment such as a park, or beach, or forest; practicing prayer, or still or moving meditation; singing; dancing; even laying down in a quiet room and simply feeling your feelings. Exploring and becoming intimate with the world within you ultimately opens you to the world around. Spending time in your nature brings you home to the deeply interconnected reality of life.
Unfortunately not, at least not long-term. Diet pills rarely lead to permanent weight loss, as they do not actually “train” your mind to eat better and exercise more. The best method for weight loss is simply eating well and getting plenty of exercise. If you find that snacking is your weakness, try to get in touch with your hunger and appetite instead of relying on supplements. Often times we think we are hungry, when in actuality, our minds are playing tricks on us based on advertisements, scents, or anything else. It is recommended to eat meals made up of foods that satisfy hunger and control appetite. Include sources of lean proteins, and snack on healthy high-fibre foods such as fruits and vegetables. With the growing market of diet supplements, buyer beware and do your research!
A popular supplement currently on the market are raspberry ketones and they come in a variety of products. Some versions are sold at health food stores, with less obnoxious health claims, and are often combined with green tea, vitamins or other herbals. When sold in combination with other nutrients, the health claims are often associated with the green tea, resveratrol and the like, with the raspberry ketone added as a flavouring or colourant. These products can also be purchased at pharmacies and are readily available on the internet.
Lacking scientific research suggesting that raspberry ketones aid in weight loss, one might wonder how they are sold on the market with such claims. Health Canada acknowledges raspberry ketones to be a flavour enhancer added to other supplements, so sales are permitted. However, supplement stores and online websites are readily claiming the raspberry ketone to be a bioactive in helping the body to metabolize fat. When people see claims associated with a new product on the market, they jump to the conclusion that the claims are being made about the raspberry ketones themselves, when in actuality, the claim has been around for years for the actual bioactive nutrient.
They seem to be the newest rage in the ever growing weight loss market. Dr. Oz claims them to be a “Fat Burner in a Bottle”, backed up by seemingly real science. However, what the general public is not made aware of on the Dr. Oz website, is that there no sound scientific evidence suggesting that raspberry ketones do anything more than add flavour. Like any other product on the market, Dr. Oz, amongst other weight loss pill endorsers, say that it works when accompanied with healthy lifestyle habits. So is it the raspberry ketones that are making people lose weight…or is it the fact that people taking them are more likely to take conscious decisions when it comes to exercise and food choices? Probably the latter.
Websites designed for the sale of raspberry ketones state that the product is completely natural, and all the ingredients are good for you to consume, so therefore there are no side effects. Just because something is natural does not mean that there are no dangers in consuming the product. Any product that contains a bioactive ingredient, as the raspberry ketone is claiming to be, poses some risk to the consumer. The various websites advertising raspberry ketones are laden with spelling errors and grammatically incorrect sentences. If this doesn’t blatantly show that there is a lack of credibility in the product, then I’m not sure what does.
Overall, the evidence to suggest that raspberry ketones are beneficial in weight loss and weight management are null and void. Buyer beware. Celebrity endorsements may make a product seem like a magic bullet, but science doesn’t lie. This just goes to show how important it is to research a product before ingesting it into your body. So kick the ketones to the curb, and eat some fresh, delicious, real, and natural raspberries instead.
 The Dr. Oz Show. (2012). Raspberry Ketone: Fat-Burner in a Bottle. Retrieved from The Dr. OZ show: http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/miracle-fat-burner-bottle
 Raspberry Ketone. (2012). Retrieved from TheRaspberryKetone: http://theraspberryketone.com/