How-To’s

11 Tips to Make the Most of Winter

Posted by on Nov 24, 2013 in Featured, Health, How-To's | Comments Off on 11 Tips to Make the Most of Winter

11 Tips to Make the Most of Winter

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,...

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Eating Well While Traveling this Holiday Season

Posted by on Nov 11, 2013 in Featured, Health, How-To's | Comments Off on Eating Well While Traveling this Holiday Season

Eating Well While Traveling this Holiday Season

(Image: ‘Airport’ by africa/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net) 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...

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How much weight do I need to lose to gain health benefits?

Posted by on Jul 18, 2013 in Featured, Health, How-To's, Uncategorized | Comments Off on How much weight do I need to lose to gain health benefits?

How much weight do I need to lose to gain health benefits?

(Image: ‘Measuring Tape Around Apple’ by nixxphotography / FreeDigitalPhotos.net) Have you ever wondered if the basic lifestyle changes you are committing to will benefit your well being in the long run? It can often be challenging to maintain a diet and exercise regime because the changes that occur can seem so insignificant. However, not all the changes are going to be visible right away and any lost weight is going to be beneficial. People often complain about working out and eating well for weeks, yet they are not losing the weight that they had imagined. Committing to a healthy lifestyle is the first step in achieving health benefits of weight loss. The benefits of a healthy lifestyle will be observed throughout the body, but the changes often begin internally. Health benefits are observed when any amount of weight is lost, especially when it is done so in a gradual manner as opposed to crash dieting. Crash dieting will trick the body into thinking it is being starved. This will effectively decrease the body’s metabolism and cause weight gain, or inconsistent weight loss, in which an initial period of weight loss will be followed by weight re-gain. Another issue with crash diets are the persistent cravings. When you starve your body of required nutrients, the body will respond by craving foods that are high in fat. This is an innate coping mechanism of the body in order to maintain energy levels for basic bodily functions. Crash diets and speedy weight loss are not going to benefit the body, and any weight loss achieved will be short lived. Make small changes in eating and physical activity routines that can be sustained over time. Your body will lose weight gradually and more permanently. So, to get back to the question: How much weight loss is recommended to see benefits? If you are overweight, losing as little as 5% of your body weight can help improve blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugars and blood triglyceride levels. This equates to losing 8 pounds for someone who weighs 175 pounds. Losing this amount of weight can be easy, and getting assistance from a nutritionist and/or sports trainer can help you achieve your goals in a healthful manner for long lasting results. A practical caloric restriction of only 250-500 calories a day will allow you to lose half to one full pound in a week, as 1500 calories is equivalent to one pound. Simply saying no to whipped cream topping on a drink can curb an astonishing 120 calories! Reducing 250-500 calories a day is manageable, and can be done in increments throughout the day. Losing small amounts of weight can improve your health and slowly help you reach a healthier weight.  Any amount of weight loss is beneficial if you are overweight. The moment you commit to a healthy lifestyle is the moment your body will begin to gain the benefits of weight...

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Make the Best of the Outdoors – 5 Easy Tips

Posted by on Jun 13, 2013 in Featured, Health, How-To's | Comments Off on Make the Best of the Outdoors – 5 Easy Tips

Make the Best of the Outdoors – 5 Easy Tips

I think of myself as someone who takes good care of my health. I eat nearly 100% vegan and mostly whole foods. I ride my bike to and from Source Centre on a daily basis. I get adequate rest. And I have regular Network Spinal Care. What more could I do? I was in for a shock when I stood in front of the camera lighting for a video shoot to answer frequently asked questions about Network Spinal Analysis. I squinted as my eyes adjusted to the brightness. Partway through the filming, I was fanning myself because of all the heat and perspiration! Most shocking though was how I felt standing in front of the lights. Yes, I was nervous, but I was much more alert than usual. I felt energetic and ready to take on anything. How could I feel so much more alive standing in front of these bright lights? How could I, unless I’ve been missing something? Maybe sunshine? Like many of you, I spend a lot of time indoors. Between all the responsibilities of running Source Centre and caring for my patients and practice members, I have limited opportunities to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. I look for easy ways to maximize the benefits of being outdoors. Here’s my advice: Any time outside is better than none. Get outside even if you can only spare 30 seconds. Getting off your chair and away from the computer will give your body a break from the strain of sitting. Look for some green space near your office and home. Being surrounded by green multiplies the benefit of being outside. Being on grass rather than a sidewalk makes a world of difference. Being surrounded by tree and plants is much more calming than being around buildings. Studies show that time spent in parks ease stress and frustration. If you live or work near Source Centre or the Toronto Entertainment District, there are quite a few options nearby for green space. My top picks include: David Pecaut Square behind Metro Hall and Roy Thompson hall. Consider coming for Wednesday morning yoga starting July 2013. St. Andrew’s Market and Playground on Adelaide and Brant. Grange Park on John north of Queen. Clarence Square on Spadina and Wellington. Bike to work. It’s a great way to get exercise, fresh air, sunshine, and to reduce the stress of your commute. Expose your skin. Roll up you sleeves and wear short or skirts. Skin that normally doesn’t see the sun will generate more vitamin D. Get out in the middle of the day. The sun is the brightest between 11am and 3pm. How do you get the most of the outdoors? Share your ideas by leaving a reply. If you found these tips useful please share this blog with your friends, family and co-workers.    Tweet...

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NanoWorkouts in May

Posted by on May 3, 2013 in Featured, Health, How-To's | Comments Off on NanoWorkouts in May

NanoWorkouts in May

Not enough time to fit in a full workout? I find a lot of people are in the same situation. 10 hour days at work. Meals. Commuting. Family. Chores. School. Is it exhausting to even imagine this? Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day, so how can we fit in some activity and make a difference to our health and well-being? Joakim Christoffersson a busy professional himself saw the need for quick easy workouts in his life and created Nano Workouts. Nano Workouts are small micro workouts that we can do at the office, during our commute and at home. They’re quick exercises that stretch and strengthen our bodies. Pick and choose based on the situation you’re in. Take joy, no equipment is needed.  “A small amount of exercise many times becomes a lot when added up,” say Christoffersson. For the month of May, Source Centre is featuring Nano Workouts and sharing different workouts each week. Come by our centre to get your next workout! For more information, visit http://www.nanoworkout.com.   If you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook. Tweet...

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The Power of Our Thoughts

Posted by on May 2, 2013 in Featured, Health, How-To's, Quotes & Thoughts | Comments Off on The Power of Our Thoughts

The Power of Our Thoughts

(Image by audfriday13 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net) I’m sure you’ve probably heard about the power of positive thoughts and how they can attract the things we wish for in our lives.  It definitely seems like a great idea to turn our thoughts into motivators and harness them as good energy to fuel our days.  But it can sometimes feel like a challenge, especially when the weather is gray or things are not going our way.  What can we do when we are are going through these times and it’s hard to see the brighter side of things? A daily meditation ritual has been show to focus our minds and soothe our souls.  Try these beginner meditation tips. The more regular that you are with a meditation practice, the greater the effects and ability to create positive thinking.  I myself have experienced this.  I sit down every morning for 5-10 minutes (or more) on my little meditation cushion and observe my thoughts.  I let my mind be still.  It is amazing how I feel starting my day on a calm tone.  I really notice the difference if for some reason I don’t get a chance to do my morning meditation.  My day feels a bit off and more nervous energy can set in.  When this happens on the rare occasion, I remember to stop and take a few deep breaths to re-balance and allow myself to function at a more tranquil frequency.  My mom told me something so insightful and lovely the other day during a phone conversation. She relayed this great analogy of how every one of us has a small lighted flame deep within us and the way to nourish this flame is with positive thoughts that act like pouring oil onto the flame.  Just picturing that image in my head helped me to see how powerful good thoughts can be.  So to generate some positive vibes and thoughts, try meditating. Here’s a simple exercise from Gaiam Life to help you get started and it takes  less than  five minutes, I promise! How to meditate: Simple meditation for beginners This meditation exercise is an excellent introduction. 1. Sit or lie comfortably.  2. Close your eyes. 3. Make no effort to control the breath; simply breathe naturally. 4. Focus your attention on the breath and on how the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. Notice the movement of your body as you breathe. Observe your chest, shoulders, rib cage and belly. Make no effort to control your breath; simply focus your attention. If your mind wanders, simply return your focus back to your breath. Maintain this meditation practice for 2–3 minutes to start, and then try it for longer periods.  My very best wishes,  Dr. Anita Rajan...

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