Health

Making Friends with Salad

Posted by on Feb 4, 2013 in Featured, Health, How-To's, Recipes | Comments Off on Making Friends with Salad

Making Friends with Salad

(Image: ‘Fresh Salad’ by rakratchada torsap / FreeDigitalPhotos.net) My life’s sometimes a roller coaster with regards to maintaining good eating habits. It’s easy to get caught up in the challenges and difficulties in eating well all the time. Really though, the creative opportunities are abundant and all around! Take salad days, for instance, an easy and enjoyable way I’ve found to get my raw veggie fix for the day. The ingredients are as follows: find one (or more) participating co-worker(s) and choose the salad day of the week. On that day, each person brings in a couple of items to toss into the communal salad. Take turns assembling or do it together. The result: a delicious and always unique creation. What I have discovered in doing this: – Lunch is always huge, delicious, and cheap – The salad is always different, allowing for variety & satisfaction – It’s really easy to grab a few items to bring in the morning than to have a prepared lunch to take – I am encouraged to eat better the other days – I’m held accountable to eating well because someone else is counting on me for their lunch too – It’s a lot of fun and there is a lot of camaraderie in doing this with other people – I get new ideas for different salads – It’s contagious – other people want to join in or create their own salad day alliances How easy is it? The options are endless! I usually bring what I have in the fridge or interesting leftovers. 4 items or so apiece works nicely. Some handy ingredients, beyond the typical lettuce, mixed greens, spinach, cukes, tomatoes, could be (and have been): – Leftover roasted/grilled vegetables – Can of beans – I like chickpeas, romano, black or a combination – Goat’s or any other kind of cheese – Nuts & seeds – hemp hearts? Sunflower seeds? Tasty! – Sprouts – many possibilities here: radish, alfalfa, broccoli, mung bean, etc. – Grilled tempeh or tofu cubes – Olives – Avocado – Hard-boiled egg (or other animal protein, if you are so inclined) – Cooked quinoa or other grain The possibilities are many and a lot of fun. We’ve had some odd salad combinations here but they were all great. It’s usually easy enough to keep a bottle of lovely olive oil (unrefined, cold-pressed please) or sesame and balsamic (or apple cider) vinegar & salt & pepper. You could easily keep a bottle of ready-made salad dressing around but playing with your own concoction is much tastier. I really enjoy adding a tasty fat to my salad. Avocado and lemon juice provide a really nice combination. Or try my new favourite: tahini dressing! Mix tahini, fresh lemon juice, salt & pepper, a minced clove of garlic and a dash of sweetener (I like agave or maple syrup). Taste and adjust as to desired consistency and taste. If it’s too thick add water and adjust seasonings, if needed. This can keep well in the fridge for several days. See – you can too make friends with...

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Celebrate Life

Posted by on Jan 24, 2013 in Featured, Health, Quotes & Thoughts, Short Entries | Comments Off on Celebrate Life

Celebrate Life

(Image: Trees_and_Shrubs_g75-Sunbeam_In_The_Forest / FreeDigitalPhotos.net) As we kick off a fresh new year and make new resolutions after all the holiday parties of 2012 have come to an end, let’s take a moment to ponder and celebrate this wonderful thing called life. Life, ah yes, a word to describe our vibrancy, motivations, births, deaths, daily happenings and special occasions.  A daydreamer myself, I often have fleeting thoughts on the purpose of life that captivate me for seconds before my mind is entranced by other thoughts… So what do you want from this life?  Are you living to your full potential?  Are you taking time to enjoy the wonders of nature?  Are you thankful for all the blessings you have?  Are you taking care of your body like a temple?  Are you striving for your goals and dreams?  Do you love what you do?  Are you doing something for YOU every single day?   Life is so short.  Enjoy every moment.  Keep your head up and smile bright. And always, always remember to express your love for others and especially love for yourself!   Wishing you a very happy, extraordinarily captivating and amazing new year ahead. Yours in health, Dr. Anita Rajan p.s. Need some help with your New Year’s or Life resolutions?  We’d love to help you get started on those here at Source Centre...

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Resolution vs Evolution

Posted by on Jan 18, 2013 in Featured, Health, How-To's, Quotes & Thoughts | Comments Off on Resolution vs Evolution

Resolution vs Evolution

New Year’s Resolutions can be a fantastic way to create change for some people. For the almost 90% of people that are not successful with such resolutions, I would like to offer some insight. Making any type of change can be challenging because there are many forces acting upon us that have the potential to direct our freedom of choice. In life there are internal and external forces. If we think of this as a ship sailing on the sea, there are forces that affect the course the ship will take. The captain of the ship can steer the ship in any direction that she/he chooses, she/he is the internal force that sets the course. External forces such as the waves and the wind have the potential to push the ship off course. We may not be aware that external forces are often driving the choices that we make in our lives. External forces can be overwhelming and sometimes overpower our internal drive and motivation, especially if our internal forces are not developed enough to stay on course.   When we are connected to our bodies and their innate wisdom, the external forces in our lives have less effect on our direction and choices. I believe that connecting with our inborn intelligence is the most powerful source of change. When we connect more deeply with ourselves our body can help us to deal with external forces and guide us in our life choices. When we renew connection, we have the internal motivation to more easily and naturally make changes to move towards greater health and wellbeing.   This year if you make a resolution consider the source of your motivation. Are you simply making a resolution because you think you should (external force), or is it deeply motivated from within (internal force)? Instead of making a huge resolution that you know you can’t keep consider making a resolution that will help you connect to your body and the intelligence within. Any small change that you make can have a huge affect on your wellbeing. Consider that if the captain changes the course of her/his ship by only one degree, across the span of an ocean, she/he could end up on a completely different continent.   Whatever you choose this New Year, devise a plan with realistic and achievable goals. Be gentle with yourself and remember that you are human like the rest of us. Consider making choices that will create evolution for yourself to create lasting and sustainable change.  There are endless ways that we can access the potential inside of us and facilitate the flow of energy and information through the body. This New Year at Source Centre we are offering a New Year, New You opportunity to help you facilitate the process of change for yourself. You can also visit my December blog to find some ideas of how to connect to your body and innate wisdom. I know for myself that when I put my focus here, that it is the best investment in change that I can make for myself. I wish you love, happiness, and self expression in the New...

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Vitamin D to the Rescue! Your Secret Weapon During the Cold & Flu Season

Posted by on Jan 8, 2013 in Featured, Health, How-To's | Comments Off on Vitamin D to the Rescue! Your Secret Weapon During the Cold & Flu Season

Vitamin D to the Rescue! Your Secret Weapon During the Cold & Flu Season

(Image: “sunflowers” by Exsodus / FreeDigitalPhotos.net) We have been hearing more and more about the impressive benefits of Vitamin D intake. In particular, we are now finding out that Vitamin D can help boost your immune system to better ward off colds and flu, especially important for Canadians during the winter months. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is actually more like a precursor to steroid hormones. It is made by our skin from exposure to UV light from the sun. Decreased exposure to sunlight in the fall and winter months in Toronto means that our bodies are producing less Vitamin D naturally. There are multiple forms of Vitamin D, but the one that is best used in the body is Vitamin D3. Recent research supports the theory that low sunlight exposure and secondary deficiencies of vitamin D underlie susceptibility to colds and influenza. It turns out that the anti-microbial cells that line the respiratory tract are dependent on Vitamin D. As a result, by acting on these immune cells, Vitamin D prevents lung infections associated with influenza. So how to do you make sure that you’re getting enough Vitamin D? Individual Vitamin D requirements can vary considerably so it’s best to have your Vitamin D levels tested through a simple blood test done by either your Naturopathic or Medical Doctor. The best lab test is 25-hydroxy-Vitamin D. Based on your blood testing and medical history, your Naturopathic Doctor can assess and make recommendations to meet your individual Vitamin D needs. Once you have determined your Vitamin D status, there are several options to increase your levels. These include sunshine exposure, food sources and supplementation. Most people meet at least some of their Vitamin D needs through sunlight exposure. UV radiation penetrates the skin and is converted to Vitamin D. The amount of Vitamin D made by your body can depend on the level of cloud cover, sunscreen use, time of day and season. It has been suggested that for the average person, without an existing Vitamin D deficiency, 30 minutes, 2-3 times per week of sun exposure between 10am and 3pm leads to adequate vitamin D synthesis. In addition to sunshine, fortified foods tend to provide most of the Vitamin D in the Canadian diet (milk and margarine are fortified by), but the best natural food sources are fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel) and fish liver oils. Small amounts can also be obtained from beef liver, cheese, egg yolks and mushrooms. In some cases, food sources and sunshine are not adequate and supplementation with Vitamin D3 may be required. There a number of good Vitamin D3 supplements available. The dose can range from 2000IU to 5000IU per day. Drop form is more convenient and slightly better absorbed than capsules or...

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Healthy Habits for Travel, Office and Home

Posted by on Jan 4, 2013 in Featured, Health, How-To's | Comments Off on Healthy Habits for Travel, Office and Home

Healthy Habits for Travel, Office and Home

In my previous two posts [ post 1 | post 2 ], I wrote about my amazing experience of Beijing. I still think fondly of my 45 degree climb up the Great Wall of China. Reconnecting with family on our walking tours and over meals was wonderful and rejuvenating. Sharing meals with my new friends made the trip even more joyful. And practising simple healthy habits made it possible to enjoy the experience and feel energetic, happy and relaxed. On my previous post, I mentioned regular Network Spinal Care, daily yoga and healthier food choices were 3 ways that I stayed healthy on my trip. With NSA, I arrived in Beijing with a healthy nervous system and a healthy spine. Daily yoga helped me limber up and start my day with more energy. Healthy meals provided clean-burning fuel to sustain my well-being. The key to health was to continue practising my daily healthy habits and modify them to suit my day. Without further ado, the last of my healthy habits during my Beijing trip!   Early to bed Our days usually started with rising early at 6:00am. I typically need 8 hours of sleep nightly to feel refreshed the next day which meant I was in bed by 10:00pm. This was not the easiest goal as we would return to our hotel room as late as 8:30pm. I got to bed quickly by cutting down on the electronics: namely the television and cell phone. This helped me to maximize my time to wind down from the day with a nice slow shower and personal care. Stay hydrated Experts say that we need at least 2-3 litres of water every day to stay properly hydrated. When counting your intake, remember that beverages and foods are both sources of water. Our tour guide and bus driver provided bottled water during our trip which was very considerate in light of Beijing’s questionable drinking water safety (http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/722561.shtml). A combination of bottled water and lots of fruits and vegetables – both water-rich foods – made it easy for me to stay hydrated.   Keep moving, especially when seated! Do you know what children do after they sit for more than a brief moment? They get restless and move around! This is a perfect reflection of our body’s intelligence to keep tension under control. Every few minutes on my trip, I would lean from one side to the other. Then I’d slouch forward for a few minutes, and then sit upright. I would twist one way, and then twist the other. And of course, if I could safely stand and move around I would do that too. Moving around is important to manage tension. Whether it be on vacation, at home or at the office, if you sit still for more than a few minutes certain tissues in your body will start to compress, stretch and strain. The only way to counteract the load is to switch positions regularly so that the strained tissues get a break and share the load with other parts of your body.   SRI SRI stands for Somato Respiratory Integration (click to read more) and is an incredibly effective tool for enhancing the breath and releasing built-up tension. It’s so simple and that anyone could learn it in a single session and enjoy right away the benefits of regular practice. I used it to help me to sleep each night as well as whenever I felt tension build up. There are 12 different stages of SRI that can be practised, and the simplest and most frequent stage I practice is stage 1. See below...

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When It Rains It Pours

Posted by on Dec 10, 2012 in Featured, Health, How-To's, Quotes & Thoughts | Comments Off on When It Rains It Pours

When It Rains It Pours

I have personally been dealing with a lot of potentially stressful challenges  lately.  Now, the reason I say “potentially” is because nothing is actually stressful until it is perceived by the nervous system as stress.  That said, I have also noticed that many of my clients and friends have been experiencing an abundance of potential stressors recently.    The expression “when it rains it pours” comes to mind in these situations.  It is interesting how this can often be the case in our lives where challenges are concerned.  They can often pile up leaving us feeling overwhelmed, helpless, anxious or drained of energy.  The cumulative effect of compounding experiences can have a significant impact on our health and wellbeing and on our ability to manage our stress  When I have a lot to deal with, I am especially grateful to be able to call upon the strategies I have learned in my body and life through my process of healing.     What I know about stress in the body is that if we want to be able to handle stress and actually process and learn from our experience of it, we need to create an environment of peace within the body.  When the body is at ease then it has the chance to be able to process stress.  If the body is in a state of overwhelm, this capacity is significantly diminished.  It is also very difficult to process things with only the mind.  When we can use the whole bodymind to process we have much more capacity.  This is why choosing actions to help us move into our bodies at times like these are especially valuable.   When I am faced with a lot of potential stress, it is vital for me to choose actions that will help me stay present and connected to myself and my body, which takes me out of thinking and worrying and into feeling and processing.  Here are some strategies I use for connecting with my body and processing potential stressors:    Increase my frequency of Network Chiropractic Entrainments Increase my frequency of Somato Respiratory Integration Exercises Doing whatever actions are necessary to deal with the practicality of my situation(s) Practice other body centered techniques I have learned (i.e. meditation, focusing, body scan, pelvic awareness, grounding) Practicing faith, trust and surrender Exercise Yoga, especially restorative yoga Journaling Spending time in nature Connecting with family and friends and sharing my situation and feelings with them Dancing Playing guitar Doing anything creative Getting good rest Eating clean and healthy food   Certainly, there can be times when I am so overwhelmed that I feel like I don’t have access to any strategies.  This is when it is the most difficult to take actions like I am suggesting above because when we are in overwhelm, or fight or flight, we do not think clearly.  However, when I choose to utilize my strategies I am more able to harness the pouring rain and use it to nourish my healing process to allow myself to...

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