Thursday, November 28, 2013

Immune Boosting Soup

With the cooler temperatures approaching and cold and flu season upon us, why not warm up and stay healthy with this great immune boosting soup!  Here is the recipe:

1 astragalus root strip (available at most Chinese supermarkets)
1 burdock root
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp sage
6 cups of vegetables cut into bit sized pieces (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery, green peppers, parsley, potatoes, squash, string beans, zucchini)
1 cup of cooked barley

1)  In a glass or stainless steel pot, simmer the astragalus and burdock in the water with the thyme and sage for about 20-30 minutes.  Strain out the herbs and use the water as a broth for the soup.
2)  Add the vegetables and barley to the broth and cook.  Allow to simmer slowly for 1 hour.
3)  Serve warm.  The soup can be strained and served as a broth or served with all of the vegetables.  Make 6 servings.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fats and high blood pressure

         Essential fatty acids are fats that our bodies cannot produce themselves and must be obtained through the diet.  These are used to produce factors called prostaglandins that influence blood pressure, keep blood vessels elastic and influence platelet stickiness.  Increasing linoleic acid from vegetable oils has a profound blood pressure lowering action.  Good food sources of linoleic acid are raw (not roasted), unsalted fresh walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and flax seeds.  Saturated fats from animal fat/meats/dairy products, trans fats from fried foods, food cooked in oil, processed food and hydrogenated margarine, shortening and oils should all be avoided.  The unhealthy fats contribute to atherosclerosis and high blood pressure and compete with healthy fats for absorption.  Oils should be cold-pressed, fresh and kept refrigerated as they easily turn rancid if exposed to light and heat.  They should be used cold, drizzled over salads or vegetable and not used for cooking as the heat degrades the oil.  Increase omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid foods:  salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, raw walnuts, almond, sunflower seeds, pecan, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts and avocadoes.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Take control of your stress before it controls you

Are you feeling overworked, stressed and burnt out?  Then likely your adrenal glands (stress glands) are exhausted and not functioning optimally.  Your adrenal glands release your stress hormones – adrenaline and cortisol.  Under mild to moderate amounts of stress, small amounts of these hormones are released, which is normal.  However if you suffer from chronic and severe long-term stress, the adrenal glands are releasing large amounts of these hormones and eventually they are overworked and then shut down.  That is where stress management is extremely important.  Exercise, deep breathing, meditation and massage are just a few stress management activities that are beneficial.  Eating a healthy diet and ensuring you get enough B vitamins are also helpful.  Some supplements that are great in supporting the adrenal glands include ADHS by Biotics, TAD+ by Genestra and Cortrex by Thorne.  These supplements contain a combination of herbs and nutrients that are formulated to directly target the adrenal glands.  Even though these are natural supplements, it is best to check with you healthcare provider to ensure that they are right for you as they could possibly interact with medications or other supplements you are taking. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Saliva Hormone Testing with Labrix

What is the benefit of saliva hormone testing?

Testing hormones through the saliva is an easy, non-invasive way of assessing hormone levels.  For certain hormones, it has been shown to be a more accurate method of addressing hormone imbalance.

Who would benefit from hormone testing?

  • Anyone who has experienced chronic, long term stress or short periods of intense stress
  • Women who suffer from irregular periods
  • Women who experience PMS
  • Peri or post menopausal women who are concerned with an estrogen/progesterone imbalance
  • Men and women who are concerned with changing hormone levels as a result of age
  • Anyone experiencing the following symptoms:  weight problems, insomnia, fatigue, acne, blood sugar imbalance and decrease immune function

Which hormones can be tested?

  • Estrogen – is the main female hormone and if imbalanced it can contribute to menstrual disruption in cycling women, unpleasant symptoms for menopausal women and possibly cause certain female cancers.
  • Progesterone – is required to balance estrogen levels
  • Testosterone – is a hormone that is essential for both men and women
  • DHEA – is needed for energy production and blood sugar balance and is required to produce other hormones such as testosterone.
  • Cortisol – this hormone level changes throughout the day and it is necessary for stress management, blood sugar metabolism, energy production and anti-inflammatory effects.

What is the process?

If you are doing the complete hormone assessment and you are a cycling female, then the test needs to be done at a certain time of the month.  Your naturopath can discuss with you when the right time would be.  Otherwise, the saliva collection is done any day, and 4 saliva tests are required – first thing in the morning, mid day, mid afternoon and evening. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Natural Sunscreen Recipe

6 tbsp of coconut oil
2 tbsp almond or grapeseed oil
2 tbsp finely powdered zinc oxide (or less if you want a less white sunscreen)
3 tsp shea butter
2 tsp beeswax pellets

Combine the ingredients, in order listed, in a thick glass jar or measuring cup.  Create a bain marie, with a pot of shallow water and place the vessel in the water, being careful that the water doesn’t get into your ingredients.  Let it simmer until the ingredients have all melted together.

Mix thoroughly with a hand blender to ensure the zinc oxide is distributed evenly throughout.  Let cool before applying.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Case Study On A Patient With Chronic Pain

A 28-year-old female came to see me with the primary concern of chronic, whole body pains. Before coming to see me, she had been suffering from these pains for 5 years.  She did numerous blood tests and everything came back normal.  She had been taking painkillers for years, which were no longer effective. 

At the first visit, I recommended that she do further bloodwork (to rule out rheumatoid arthritis, Lyme’s disease and fibromyalgia) and I had her do a food allergy test.  I also recommended fish oils (to reduce any inflammation) and had her do a specific detoxification that focused on inflammation.

A month later, she reported a slight improvement, only 15%.  We discussed the food allergy results and I had her remove all foods that she was reacting to.  I also had her take one supplement that balanced hormone levels.

She came back 3 months later and was very excited to discuss her health status.  Her body aches basically went away, maybe slight aches during her period.  She was very happy with the improvements.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Risk Factors for Osteoporosis

Many people are under the assumption that the only group of individuals that are at risk for osteoporosis are women of post menopausal age.  This is certainly not the case.  Although this age group is at a higher risk due to the estrogen deficiency, there are life style factors that put people at risk as well. 
  • Chronic, long term high stress - stress leads to elevated cortisol levels.  Chronic stress leads to impaired bone building because of the cortisol production
  • Insufficient physical exercise - weight bearing exercise are recommended 3x a week
  • Low calcium intake - even though dairy provides a good amount of calcium, many people have dairy allergies or sensitivities.  There are many other foods that contain calcium such as green leafy vegetable, almonds, sesame seeds and soy products
  • Low Vitamin D - the best source of vitamin D is from the sun and since this is not always a viable option, supplementation is beneficial
  • High phosphorous intake - meat and carbonated drinks are high in phosphorus which can inhibit calcium absorption
  • Low stomach acid - as we age, stomach acid can decrease and this affects how nutrients are absorbed

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Acupunture Has Been Proven To Reduce Hayfever Symptoms

A recent study was done on 422 people with grass and pollen allergies.  Results showed that regular acupuncture sessions reduced severity of symptoms and less anti-histamines were required.

For more information, view this link:

Thursday, March 14, 2013

5 Nuritional Tips for Balancing Your Blood Sugar

  • Choose carbohydrates with a low glycemic index (examples of low gyclemic foods include blueberries, barley, broccoli and hummus while white bread, chocolate and potatoes are high glycemic foods)
  • Get adequate protein
  • Avoid fats from meat and dairy products (saturated fats)
  • Increase the good fats (fish and olive oil)
  • Increase fiber consumption (fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Are you Zinc deficient?

Zinc is a mineral that is required for many organ functions.  It is needed for liver function and for serotonin, insulin and immune cell production.  It stabilizes histamine responses and prevent free radical  damage (or overload) in the body.

A zinc deficiency can show up in the following ways:
  • diabetes
  • food allergies or sensitivities
  • recurrent infections
  • delayed wound healing
  • arthritis
  • hair loss
  • eczema
  • infertility
  • depression
  • insomnia
  • behavioral disorders
 How do you know if you are Zinc deficient?  There is a simple test that can be done at my office, called a Zinc Tally test.  It takes about 2 minutes and the results are immediate.