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I Wish I'd Taken My Own Advice

I was a vegetarian and then a vegan for over 10 years. My mental health took a nosedive. I gradually became more and more depressed!

It started in university when I realized that if I didn't buy meat, chicken, fish, eggs, milk, butter, or cheese I would save A LOT of money. I managed this for the last two and a half years of university and continued it for years afterwards.

What I wasn't aware of were the years of declining mental health and my significantly difficulty with mood regulation, focus, concentration, and memory. I couldn't see any of this because I was standing in it!

 I slowly added meat when I finally understood how significant my depression was and that it was really affecting my ability to run my sport medicine and rehabilitation centre and work with my seven employees.

 Adding animal products back into my diet felt like someone turned the lights back on in my brain! I began feeling SO much better in just days. Clearly I was suffering from a range of...

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Vegetarian or Vegan?

It's a sticky topic - one involving much debate, controversy, and discussion about ethics and morality. Holistic nutritionists support a plant based diet composed of whole foods.

Based my assessment, I could tell whether a client was following a sustainable vegetarian or vegan diet, or if they should consider adding a few servings of meat, poultry, fish, or eggs to their meal plan. Some clients appreciated this advice, while others decided not to work with me because my recommendations did not align with their values. And it's all ok.

 So - 'plant based' could mean a diet composed entirely of plants or it could mean that you consume animal protein perhaps only at dinner.

When I explained it to people this way, they realize that they could eat say, five to seven servings of meat per week, and they would be eating mostly plants. Done.

The next thing we discuss is the number of servings per week each of meat, poultry, and fish. Can they try to...

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Getting Started With A
Well Designed Exercise Program

How To Begin

There are many kinds of exercises, put together into a variety of exercise programs, for many different reasons. The key is understanding what your ultimate goal is and to integrate complementary exercises in a way that achieves your objective.

Are you trying to recover from an injury? Prepare your body for surgery? Want to get strong? Train for an athletic event? Improve your balance and stability? Stand up from a chair on your first try? Get ready to have a baby? Rebound after cancer treatment?

 

The Purpose of a Well Designed Exercise Program

Regardless of your reason for needing a well designed exercise program, there are common goals that every exercise professional understands and will implement for every one of their clients.

Your fitness coach will work with you to design a personalized program that will:

  • Teach proper abdominal activation and pelvic/trunk stabilization with a neutral spine;
  • Help to move the scapulae and the pelvis without moving the...
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Dysbiosis, ‘Leaky Gut Syndrome’, and
Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

What is Dysbiosis or 'Leaky Gut Syndrome'?

The upper part to the small intestine is designed to be almost free of bacteria. When bacterial levels increase and this bacteria (microflora) chemistry is altered, toxic compounds are produced by the bacterial breakdown of food. This has been shown by Russian scientist Elie Metchnikoff to cause a wide range of degenerative diseases.

“Alterations in the bowel flora and its activities are now believed to be contributing factors to many chronic and degenerative diseases. Irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis have all been linked to alterations in the intestinal microflora.

The intestinal dysbiosis hypothesis suggests a number of factors associated with modern Western living have a detrimental impact on the microflora of the gastrointestinal tract.

Factors such as antibiotics, psychological and physical stress, and certain dietary components have been found to contribute to...

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Navigating Care for People
with Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease

Community Care for Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease

Navigating services for a loved one who has been diagnosed with dementia, Lewy Body Dementia, early stage Alzheimer’s, or Alzheimer’s can be scary and feel overwhelming. In reality, when accessing support for our clients, we found that navigating the care in Toronto is quite simple and the people we spoke with were very understanding and helpful.

 

Connect with a Care Network

In Toronto, this network is the place to start:

Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN - pronounced 'Lynn'): (416) 506 – 9888

 Contacting the LHIN or a similar health network in your area would be your first step to accessing care.

When you call this group, an assessment coordinator will arrange to send someone directly to your home to do an assessment. The purpose of the assessment is to find out the needs and the support required at this time.

The Ontario government has plans to reorganize community care with a...

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Constipation, Nutrition, and Supplementation

Constipation, Nutrition, and Supplementation

The best way to improve bowel movement frequency is to have 8 to 10 cups of water per day.

We should also aim to have a diet high in fibre – for example, dark leafy greens, green vegetables, apples, carrots, and celery would be a good start. Supplementing the diet with a wide variety of nuts and seeds and healthy sources of saturated fat such as coconut oil, olive oil and avocados would also be very helpful.

Probiotic foods aid in improving digestive health. Examples of these foods, added at each meal, would be olives, sauerkraut, kimchi and tempeh (fermented soy).

Avoid foods that have a laxative quality such as caffeine (in black and white teas, coffee, and chocolate) and psyllium husks which can aggravate the digestive tract.

Foods that can have a negative effect on bowel health and promote a ‘leaky gut’ leading to constipation are: refined sugar, simple carbohydrates, caffeine, alcohol, genetically modified foods...

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Gut Health and Digestion
The Emotional Connection

Gut Health and Digestion – The Causes and Emotional Connection

Ideally, we should all have at least one to three bowel movements per day. Allopathic medicine diagnoses constipation when bowel movements occur three times or less per week.

According to holistic health practitioners such as naturopaths, Chinese medicine physicians and holistic nutritionists, if we have any less than one bowel movement per day we are constipated!

Within 30 to 60 minutes after eating, we should have a bowel movement. Eating stimulates the entire digestive system. The transit time of the bowel, or the time it takes for one meal to travel through the digestive tract, is approximately 18 hours.

Make it your habit to routinely sit on the toilet within 30 minutes to an hour after eating breakfast to train your body to relax the bowels and have a bowel movement. Your bowel movement should be soft and easy to pass with clean up being quite easy!

 

Use a 'Squatty Potty'

Consider adding a foot stool...

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Healthy Bellies, Exercise, and Self Care

Relaxing Self Care for your Digestive System:

After a flat belly with no bloating, nausea, cramping, or gas? Aren't we all! The key is to make sure that your gut is a cleaned out as much as possible every day.

Another benefit of a cleaned out intestinal tract? It's one of the simplest ways of improving mental performance - whether that's memory, focus, or concentration. 

This means that full and complete bowel movements (something no one really wants to talk about!) are happening at least once a day.

Ideally, within an hour after eating each meal, you should have a full, soft bowel movement that sinks to the bottom of the toilet bowl!

In other words, at least three bowel movements every day that are easy to pass without any significant time sitting on the toilet, is ideal.

There are many ways to relax the intestines and promote better and more frequent bowel movements:

1) Deep breathing: Inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. Try focusing on this breath as...

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