All Stressed Up For The Holidays

stressed out

The mere suggestion of holiday stress evokes memories of the past and anxiety of what’s yet to come, robbing us of our health and what should be a happy holiday season.

When we think of stress, we think of the emotional kind that comes from too much to do and so little time to do it.  But that’s only one form we need to be aware as there are three types that can keep us from showing up as the best version of ourselves during the holiday season.

Physical Stress

Physical demands simply multiply during the holidays. With long days on our feet shopping the malls, wrapping, lifting and running around.  Add to that, sitting at a computer all day and perhaps being overweight which all contributes to weakened postural support.

Chemical Stress

Probably the greatest holiday stressor – you’re eating habits.  Overindulgence in food and drink.  Smoking and excess alcohol.  High blood sugar levels… and what about the medication you take to settle all that discomfort.  The ongoing exposure to chemical stresses over the holiday season wreaks havoc and “wear and tear” on your entire body, right down to the cellular level.

Emotional Stress

Now we’re talking;

  • Meeting deadlines
  • Relationships
  • Memories
  • The perfect gift for that special someone
  • Credit cards stretched to the limit

And on and on…

Click here to learn,”5 Natural Solutions For Coping With Stress!”

types of stress

How Can We Handle It All?

The best way to cope is first be aware of the three forms; physical, chemical and emotional.   Learn how they can affect your health and how to respond to them.  Don’t let it leave you dis-empowered.  Be disciplined and take control by striving for optimal physical, mental and social well-being.  Particularly over the holiday season when temptations lurk around every corner.

The Effects On Our Body

All three forms of stress affect your nervous system.  It will show up where we are most vulnerable.

  • Our neck
  • Our low back
  • Tightness between the shoulders

Stress can also increase the frequency of headaches and compromise our sleep.

Chiropractic care, with its purpose of reducing neurological stress, can be helpful.  Of course chiropractic care can’t eliminate it, but it sure can improve your ability to tolerate it.

Regular chiropractic care now, especially with holiday stress around the corner, could be a wise investment for a healthier version of you.

From all of us at Family Health Advocacy, we wish you a happy and healthy holiday season.

Adrenal Fatigue? 7 Tips to Fight Back Naturally

adrenal fatigue

Everyone has felt stress at some point in their lives.  That feeling of being so overwhelmed and overworked that you can’t eat or sleep.  Unfortunately, stress has become ingrained in our culture.  We associate it with hard work and success, assuming that we can’t have one without the other.   Though some stress is necessary, we often bite off more than we can chew.  We fail to realize that the more stressed we are, the less efficient we are.  We ignore the negative effects stress has on our bodies but unnecessary stress can lead to a multitude of symptoms including:

  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Exhaustion
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep disturbances

.

adrenal glands

What Are Adrenal Glands And What Do They Do?

The adrenal glands (also known as suprarenal glands) are the triangle-shaped endocrine glands that sit on top of your kidneys.  The adrenal glands are hormone producing glands similar to ovaries, testicles and the thyroid.  They are the regulators of your body as they’re responsible for regulating stress responses and play an important role in the maintenance of a healthy immune system.

Adrenal glands are key contributors to:
  • Proper thyroid function
  • Balance of hormones
  • Maintaining one’s ideal weight
  • Stabilizing emotions
  • Controlling cravings

Multiple studies have proven that the health of the adrenal glands will dictate the health and recovery of many types of chronic illnesses.  Since chronic stress is the main cause of overactive adrenals, it’s important that we find a way to control and eliminate stress.

Click here to read, “CFS – Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms & Natural Solutions”.

Moreover, proper nutrition, adequate rest, and exercise is also very important. Unfortunately, an astounding amount of people suffer from adrenal fatigue due to lifestyle factors that are often overlooked.

What is Adrenal Fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue is a common side effect of stress and has three phases:
  1. The Alarm Phase – when the body is acknowledging stress
  2. The Resistance Phase – when the body is trying to fight stress
  3. The Exhaustion Phase – when the adrenals become tapped out.

Depending the phase a person is in, the levels of cortisol (produced by the adrenals) will range from high or low at different points in the day.  Cortisol levels should be at their peak in the morning.  So, when we wake up we feel refreshed and ready to go.  Alternatively, they should be at their lowest at night when it’s time to go to bed.  Any variation of these levels will affect a person’s well-being.  Especially if stress is experienced for long periods of time.  Hence the last phase being exhaustion.

Click here to read, “Bedtime Woe’s? – 5 Simple Tips For Blissful Zzzz’s”.

Other than exhaustion, additional symptoms of adrenal fatigue include:
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Cravings for salt
  • Chronic infections
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low blood sugar
  • Muscle twitches
  • Lack of libido
  • Light headed
  • Poor concentration
  • Sleep disturbance (typically waking up between 2-4 am)

So what can you do?  There are numerous natural ways to support the adrenals.

adrenal fatigue

Are Your Adrenals Fatigued?

I see the following scenario regularly in my practice.  A busy mom with a demanding career comes in complaining of;

  • Hot flashes
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of libido
  • Inability to lose weight
  • Feeling low

For the last 15 years she has been dealing with;

  • Work deadlines
  • Kid’s sports
  • Homework
  • Cooking
  • Cleaning

She goes from morning to night with little sleep.  Her adrenals are tired but she pushes through the chronic fatigue and insomnia.  She notices other symptoms such as headaches, inability to lose weight, and mood swings.  This common scenario is what many natural health professionals refer to as, “adrenal steal”.

Unable to function properly due to years of stress, the adrenals are forced to steal key hormonal building blocks from other hormones like:

  • Progesterone
  • DHEA
  • Estrogen
  • Testosterone

Hence contributing to hormonal imbalances and a slew of side effects that come with them.  Keeping the adrenal glands in check is the best way for women to avoid fatigue and keep their hormones happy.

How to Fight Adrenal Fatigue

chiropractor

See a Chiropractor – Chiropractic care plays a crucial role in adrenal health.  Physical, chemical or emotional stressors can cause stress on the spine and nervous system.  The goal of chiropractic care is to balance and optimize the entire nervous system contributing to healthy adrenal function in addition to a multitude of other health benefits.

early to bed

Go to Bed Early – You should be sleeping 7 to 8 hours and preferably going to bed before midnight.  Make sure you allow some time to wind down and relax to help your cortisol level lower before bed.

clean eating

Eat Clean – Avoid processed foods and sugar.  Focus on good fats, moderate protein, and tons of veggies that are phytonutrient rich.  You are what you eat, so feed your body the right fuel.

vitamins

Take an Adrenal Support Supplement – Consuming whole, organic foods rich in phytonutrients is great for adrenal support.  However, supplementation is sometime needed to support proper adrenal function.

Beneficial supplements Include:
  • B complex
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Omega 3 fatty acids

Also beneficial are botanical adaptogens.  They can be taken to help support the adrenal glands throughout the stress response process.

Examples of botanical adaptogens include:

  • Ashwagandha root
  • Rhodiola rosea extract
  • Suma
  • Schisandra chinensis berry extract
yoga, meditation

Exercise – Regular exercise is known to combat stress, which helps to improve adrenal function.  But be aware that if your adrenals are exhausted, intense exercise may be more detrimental than beneficial.  Try yoga or meditation.

Click here to read, “Put A Little Namaste In Your Life”.

cortisol saliva test

Get Tested! – Measuring cortisol levels can help determine adrenal health.  The Cortisol Saliva Test also know as the Adrenal Stress Test, has become the preferred way of evaluating cortisol levels.

A newer test, the DUTCH test, is another method one can use.  The test involves a urine steroid hormone profile.  This measures hormones and hormone metabolites (called conjugates) in a dried sample.

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) technology used by chiropractors, is another way to evaluate stress.  It measures and tracks a patient’s autonomic nervous system state.

Think your adrenals are suffering from adrenal fatigue?  Start by taking an inventory of your life stressors and see which ones you can kick to the curb following the 7 tips above.

5 Natural Solutions For Coping With Stress!

coping with stress

Stress is often the result of daily life experiences and can negatively impact women’s bodies, minds and emotions.  But, what exactly is Stress Syndrome?  Stress Syndrome is often the result of chronic stress due to the effects of modern-day life or poor work-life balance.  As such, it causes the body and the mind to begin demanding rest.  Coping with stress can be a challenge but is doable.

Life is filled with positive and negative challenges.  Your mindset, past conditioning and beliefs can determine how you perceive these experiences.  Click here to read, “How Our Perceptions Affect Our Pain”.  In addition to what level of stress they may cause.  However, all stress is not bad stress.  Click here to read “Effects Of Stress – Stress Can Be Good For You?!”  

How Do Stressors Activate the Stress Response?

When stressors like long work hours, family responsibilities or toxic relationships compound, the stress response is activated.  The amygdala in the brain sends a distress signal causing the hypothalamus to send signals.  This is done through the autonomic nerves to the adrenal glands, which in turn, activates the sympathetic nervous system.  Click here to view “Four Types of Stress You Have to Know About and How to Avoid Them”.

The adrenal glands respond by pumping the hormone epinephrine (also known as adrenaline) into the bloodstream.  Several physiological changes occur as epinephrine circulates throughout the body.

Be Aware Of The Symptoms

Most people are unaware of these ongoing, subtle changes.  They can become physically and psychologically drained over time by a chronic stress response.  As a result, your body will begin to exhibit general, biochemical, emotional, cognitive or behavioral symptoms.

Examples of these include:
  • exhaustion
  • insomnia
  • irritability or anger
  • headaches
  • panic disorder
  • hypertension
  • pain
  • sadness
  • anxiety
  • nervousness
  • decreased memory
  • poor judgement
  • poor appetite
  • inability to focus
  • frequent colds or infections
  • weight gain or loss

Stress Syndrome is not just the result of a stress response, but it more frequently is a result of adrenal fatigue.

Is Adrenal Fatigue The Underlying Cause?

Over time the adrenal glands, which sit on top of your kidneys, become depleted due to stress.  They are responsible for releasing hormones to regulate energy function, your immune system and muscle.  However, adrenal fatigue occurs when these glands are so exhausted they cannot respond to high stress levels.

The hormone production of DHEA and testosterone decreases.  Therefore, resources needed to produce these sex hormones are diverted to production of stress hormones like cortisol.  After months or years of chronic stress, these hormones become so low that the adrenals become severely depleted.

Women most often experience extreme difficulty waking up in the morning.  Also, high levels of exhaustion throughout the day.  Dark circles under the eyes, dizziness when standing and a weak immune system.  Also, uncontrollable cravings for salty foods.  Click here to read “Adrenal Fatigue? 7 Tips to Fight Back Naturally”.

Natural Techniques & Remedies For Coping With Stress

1.  Be Physically Active

Exercise is known to increase release of the ‘happy’ brain neurotransmitters called endorphins.  Regular physical activity also increases self-confidence, relaxation and can help reduce anxiety.  If you haven’t exercised for some time or are just beginning a new exercise routine, consult your doctor if you have health concerns.

2.  Healthy Eating Makes A Difference

Make sure to eat lots of dark green leafy vegetables, fermented foods, berries, nuts and seeds.  Sugary, starchy and processed foods can increase stress.  A great tip to bring the thyroid and adrenals back into harmony is to include non-soy collagen protein blended with a handful of berries and a pinch of salt.  This combination will calm the nervous systems and stabilize blood sugar.

3.  Calming Music Calms Your Mind

Studies have shown that listening to music modulate anxiety levels due to the experience of stress.  As such, music has also been shown to beneficially affect stress-related processes of the mind and emotions.

4.  Biofeedback Brings Back Balance

Biofeedback is a method to measure the body’s physiological responses in real time, using computers or machines.  The tools and process of biofeedback help to eliminate problematic symptoms and return the body and mind back to homeostasis.  It does this by regulating a person’s stress response and increasing relaxation.  Often deep breathing, visualization and meditation techniques are utilized.  Click here to read how to “Put A Little Namaste In Your Life.”

5.  Take Your Supplements

A daily dosage of B-complex is beneficial.  These vitamins, including thiamin, niacin, biotin and folic acid.  Each play a key role in brain and nervous system function.  B5 and B6 are food sources for the adrenals and B12 supports energy production.  Also, add to your diet a liquid trace mineral.  Up to 10 drops per day and a probiotic help to improve mood and protect the gut.

Healthy and stress-free living IS possible.  The first step to coping with stress is to take a holistic approach to eliminating stressors.  Diligently committing to incorporating techniques and lifestyle changes that will boost your adrenals, relax your body and calm your nervous system. Fight stress syndrome naturally and reclaim your life.  For further information click here to read “9 Steps To Heal Adrenal Fatigue Naturally”.

Effects Of Stress – Stress Can Be Good For You?!

stress can be good

Yes you read that right! Stress can be good for you!  As a Naturopathic Doctor, I spend a lot of time talking with patients about stress.  Usually, we’re talking about how to best manage and reduce stress as it tends to be an aggravating or even causal factor in so many ailments.  But what if the solution to managing stress is actually stress itself?  I know, it sounds counterintuitive right?  How can you reduce stress with more stress?

Acute vs Chronic Stress

Well first, I want to make an important distinction between acute stress and chronic stress. Acute stress is the body’s short-term response to something stressful.  For example, if you were going to an important interview or giving a big presentation, acute stress would be that heart-racing, sweaty palms, nervous feeling you might have before or during the presentation.  This happens because your sympathetic nervous system is activated and your body goes into fight-or-flight mode.  However, once the presentation is over, things calm down and your parasympathetic nervous system is activated allowing your body to rest and recover.  This is your body’s normal response to stress and usually doesn’t cause any long term issues.

However, issues arise when your body is not given time to rest and recover.  This is where we get into chronic stress.  Chronic stress happens when you are repeatedly exposed to stressful situations.  For example, an overburdening work schedule or a stressful home environment.  This is the stress that lends itself toward many of the health issues that have been associated with stress.  Click here for more information on Stress Symptoms, Signs, and Causes.

Acute Stress Can Make You Cope Better

It turns out stress is not necessarily a bad thing.  It’s more about how we cope with stress that affects our health.  Research has shown that experiencing tolerable levels of that acute stress we talked about can actually lead to an improved resilience to stress overall.  What does this mean?  It means experiencing small stresses that don’t harm us can actually make us better able to cope with the inevitable stress that life may throw our way.

For example, choosing to do more things that force us out of our comfort zone.  Like giving that presentation or going to that interview that makes us nervous, can make us better able to cope with bigger life stresses.   The stress of a loved one falling ill or the stress of losing a job.  The key is to make sure we’re giving our bodies time to rest and recover in between stressful events.

What Can You Do With This Information?

Build your resilience to stress!  Try stepping outside of your comfort zone once in a while. Maybe make it a goal to try one new thing that makes you a little nervous every day. Challenge yourself while remembering to take time to rest and recover.  Click here for 5 Tips You Must Know to Destroy Stress Today!

Check out this month-long “Step outside your comfort zone!” calendar for ideas.

calendar

Sources

1. Oken, B. S., Chamine, I., & Wakeland, W. (2014). A systems approach to stress, stressors and resilience in humans. Behavioural brain research, 282, 144-54.

Top Tips To Manage Your Emotions

anxiety

For most people the holidays are a time to take a break from the hustle of every day life and a time to spend with family and friends.  It is a time that people observe special religious festivities and a time of gift giving and merriment.  A great many of us will make new year’s resolutions to either give up something that is detrimental to our health or add something to our regimen.  Like something that will help cope with things like depression and anxiety and bring us closer to health and happiness.

But now it’s January.  You’ve just realized you have overeaten, overdrank, overspent, and indulged in a great many behaviours that you normally wouldn’t have if it was any other time of the year.

When it comes to spending habits in Canada, one in three Canadians said they ended up spending more than they meant to last year.  (1) It’s easy to fall into despair, disarray as well as frustration and fear as a result of our actions during the holidays.

According to motivational speaker Tony Robins, “Gratitude is the solution to anger and fear.”  (2) In other words, you one cannot hold feelings of anger/fear and gratitude simultaneously.  This is good news if we are searching for methods to cope with the aftermath of the holidays when all festivities have concluded, all the gifts are opened, and perhaps some anxiety about our credit card bills start to arrive making us ever so reluctant to pay a visit to our post office box.

For more on Tony Robbins, click here for THE 5-STEP PLAN TO AN EXTRAORDINARY YEAR.

How To Manage Your Emotions

Here are some tips you can use to manage your emotions and transform your state of being into a healthy and positive state.  This exercise is the HeartMath Institute’s Heart-Focused Breathing® Technique and I would like to share it with the reader as it is entirely possible to calm both our nervous system and our overactive mind.  In other words, attempt to turn down the frantic fight or flight sympathetic nervous system and turn up the parasympathetic system.

Over activity of the sympathetic nervous system will cause our breathing and heart rate to increase as well as release stress hormones like cortisol into our bloodstream to help prepare us for a fight or flight scenario.  This is innately programmed into our nervous system as a protective mechanism. By calming the sympathetics and shifting to the parasympathetics, which control our resting, relaxation and digestive responses, we can put ourselves in a state of ease. The good news is that we can do it relatively easily with this simple exercise.  Click here to read about A Scientific Validation Of Your Emotions.

Step by Step Instructions:

Start with sitting in a quiet place, in an upright posture and begin breathing through your nose and exhale out through your mouth.

Focus:

Focus your attention on your heart area, and breathe a little deeper than normal, in for 5 or 6 seconds and out 5 or 6 seconds.

Breathing:

Imagine breathing through your heart.  Picture yourself slowly breathing in and out through your heart area.

Remember that you are not breathing from upper chest region that uses more accessory muscles and body part and is usually the pattern of breathing of someone suffering form anxiety or anxious state but rather from the heart.  There is a difference.  If this is difficult to visualize try diaphragmatic breathing where your belly expands as you draw oxygen in.  It’s ok if it looks funny and makes the belly look larger than usual.  Nobody is watching remember you’re alone?  Hehe.

Feeling:

Activate a positive feeling as you maintain your heart focus and breathing. Recall a time you felt good inside and try to re-experience the feeling. Remember a special place or the love you feel for a close friend, relative or treasured pet. The key is focus on something you really appreciate.

Conversely, you can attempt a more meditative method and practice NOT thinking about anything other than your breath.  I’ve found both methods effective.  The key is to make sure your exhale is slightly longer than your inhale.

Practice this for at least 5 minutes and observe your mood change in short matter of time.  Click here for 4 Tips to an Abundant, Joy Filled Life

Yes folks, it is literally that easy.  You are in complete control of your mood and emotions.  The mind is a powerful entity and each of us has the capacity to alter our state of well-being should we choose to.  Harness the feelings of gratitude and appreciation.  Appreciate yourself and others.  Be grateful that you are alive.  My wish for you is that this exercise will help you reduce emotional stress and improve your health.  Blessings to you all.

Reference:
https://globalnews.ca/news/4671068/2018-black-friday-canada-holiday-spending/
https://medium.com/thrive-global/tony-robbins-gratitude-is-the-solution-to-anger-and-fear-c3fa819825c
E-mail newsletter: Heart Math Institute, A 3 step exercise to better health.

How Do You Know If Your Baby Is Ready For Solid Foods and What to Start With

How Do You Know If Your Baby Is Ready For Solid Foods and What to Start With

Introducing solid foods to your growing baby’s diet is a huge milestone for both you as a parent, and your child. Up until now, meal preparation and consideration has been fairly straightforward. The options were limited to breastmilk or formula. 

Now, the idea of introducing solid foods to your baby’s diet can be a daunting task because of conflicting information and the fear of developing severe food reactions or allergies. 

Being armed with solid information on how to best introduce solids to your baby’s diet will alleviate some of the worry and concern and will hopefully allow the transition to be smooth and rewarding.

How Do You Know If Your Baby Is Ready For Solid Foods?

There are several milestone markers that you will start to notice that indicate that your baby is ready to start introducing solid foods in their diet.

Most often these milestones begin to present themselves when the child is around six months of age, however every child will be slightly different.

It is crucially important that your baby can hold his/her own head up and can sit upright in a highchair before ever considering the option of solid foods. 

They will also need to have developed the ability to move their tongue in a way that would allow them to move the food to the back of their mouth and swallow. 

Finally, you may have noticed that your baby takes interest in what you are eating and reaches out to touch or smell your food.

Once you feel that your baby has reached all of these milestones, it is time to think about what solid food to feed your child first.

My Doctor Is Recommending That I Start My Baby Off With Rice Cereal (Pablum). Is That Really The Best Option?

Let’s think for a moment about the most vitamin and nutrient dense food groups.

Do processed grains come to mind? No, of course they don’t.
So then what food group should we be looking to? Fruits and vegetables, of course!

One of the simplest and most nutrient dense options to introduce as a first food is avocado. It requires no preparation whatsoever. Just cut it open, remove the pit, mash up the flesh (much like you would mash a banana) and serve. It can also be easily mixed with a bit of breast milk or formula to change the consistency and make it easier for your baby to consume.

Solid Food Quick Tips

  • Introduce one food at a time with a couple of days in between foods to watch for potential food reactions and to allow your baby’s palette to develop.
  • Hold off on introducing sweet fruits and vegetables until your baby has developed a palette for the more bland fruits and vegetables.
  • Keep a food diary for the first month to record likes, dislikes, reactions, etc so you have a record to look back on.
  • Be patient. This is a learning curve for both you and your baby. If your baby loses interest don’t force the issue. Maintain your regular breastfeeding/formula schedule and slowly introduce solid foods as a supplement to their diet.
  • Take the stress out of meal times. The attitude you have during feeding times will stick with your baby for life, so maintain a positive approach and don’t get frustrated.

Cancer hates it when you know these facts…

Cancer

There is an abundance of information all over the web with suggestions about how to eat, what to think, what herbs and supplements to take and not to take. It’s confusing especially if you or a loved one is now battling a life-threatening illness.

It’s not knowing exactly what to eat to fight disease or create healing that is important. It is knowing how and why to change where you are at currently, to a healthy eating plan, make it stress-free, and a lifestyle change that is sustainable forever. However, here are some vital facts that apply to health and healing that are absolutely necessary to know. These are absolute truths, and apply to anyone, at any age, at any stage of health or disease, regardless of what treatment that individual may be receiving.

There are thousands and thousands of nutritional products, plans, diets, and advice out there that are accessible to anyone if you search for them. However we do understand that there are indisputable truths that are pertinent when it comes to creating better health and healing from within. There are nutrients and factors that are absolutely necessary to improve immune system function prevent disease and allow the body to Flourish. 

We start our nutritional planning with one simple philosophical understanding: We don’t get sick because we have cancer,… We get cancer as a result of being sick.  

Cancer is simply an opportunistic disease. It is the body’s natural response to adapt to an unhealthy environment. Although there are genetic factors involved, it has been largely proven that lifestyle plays a much bigger role than previously thought and a much bigger role than genetic factors ever will.

Therefore since the body created the disease as a result of an unhealthy environment, our first response is to change the environment by making it healthier to therefore stop, or reverse the progression of the disease. 

We need to change the body’s metabolism from that of sugar burning for energy to a fat burning machine. This can be done completely with dietary changes. Cancer feeds on sugar. Sugar compromises a natural immune response. Fat cells are a storage locker for toxins.

Immune system function becomes week and damaged when the body’s environment remains in an acidic state. Our nutritional goals need to revolve around changing the pH of the body to that of alkalinity instead of acidity.

Most diseases proliferate in an environment that is lacking in oxygen. An effective plan should be designed to provide nutrients and decrease toxins that deprive the body of an oxygen-rich state.  

Over the years, myself and our team have been extremely successful in helping people that have been diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses achieve a much better state of health and success in beating those diseases and building a better quality of life.

No matter what medical or invasive procedures the patient may be experiencing or have undergone previously there is always a way to improve the body’s innate ability to heal through natural methods. 

When my sister was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 44, I immediately sat down and talked with her about improving her lifestyle choices. Her life up to this point was full of poor Nutrition, no exercise, and a great deal of stress. She had poor posture, and poor nervous system function because she never visited the Chiropractor.

She agreed that a change was necessary. Although she was very receptive, her and her husband made decisions to receive intense medical treatment including surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Within two weeks of her first diagnosis she had surgery to insert a colostomy bag to her lower intestine. I know that fear was a major contributor to her decision.

Within weeks she was well into a process of radiation and eventually chemotherapy treatment. My sister became very ill as a result of the treatment and her quality of life went downhill very fast. She quickly lost her freedom and spent most of her days lying in a hospital bed.

I continued to watch my sister’s health decline rapidly and knew that we were losing hope. 

Within two years of her initial diagnosis my baby sister lost her fight passing away at the age of 46. I know in my heart that things could’ve been different and I know that some of the choices that she made in her lifestyle including the aggressive medical treatment that she received accelerated the process eventually leading to her death.

The question that you need to ask yourself now is “If I were diagnosed with Cancer tomorrow, what changes would I make in my diet and lifestyle to help overcome the illness and improve my function?”

If change is necessary, do it today before you get the diagnosis. Disease like Cancer needs to be attacked proactively not reactively.

____________________________________

Guest Blog by Dr. Colin Elkin

Dr. Colin Elkin“Chiropractic is my life. The Principle of Chiropractic has changed the person who I used to be. The way I think, the way I care for myself, the way I care for my family, the way I eat, and the outlook that I approach every day with.

The major premise of Chiropractic states that there is a Universal Intelligence that exists in all matter. This is the basis on how I mange my life, my business, my patients, my wealth, and my future.

I love caring for my patients and sharing this principle with them. I have a deep desire to attract and care for those people afflicted with life threatening illness, especially Cancer diagnosis.

I have a beautiful, intelligent, and strong wife named Kim and 4 healthy, unsubluxated, unvaccinated boys, Austin, Carter, Harrison, and Curtis. My family has given me the privilege of becoming involved in many activities, sports, hobbies. When I am not in the office caring for patients, you can usually find me at the hockey arena playing or coaching, at the dirt bike track cheering on my son, or at home jamming on the guitar.

I owe Chiropractic my life. I suffered a near fatal motorcycle accident in 2013, that caused 4 severe cervical fractures. It was only by God’s grace that the surgeon who cared for me understood that the only reason I survived and had no permanent neurological injury was because my spine was in perfect alignment before the accident. The normal cervical curvature was able to withstand the impact and prevent any fractured bone from shifting and severing or damaging my spinal chord. Thank God for Chiropractic. Over the following year I have returned to full function and I am as strong as I have ever been and have my spine adjusted regularly…and yes, including my neck.

I am truly blessed to be part of Maximized Living. This is the future of health care in the world. My mission is to see this model gain world-wide acceptance during my lifetime.”

You can find Dr. Colin Elkin in Brantford, Ontario
https://www.facebook.com/elkinnaturalhealth/
(519) 751-1154
www.elkinnaturalhealth.com

How many times per day do you shut down your laughter?

How many times per day do you shut down your laughter?

I’ve heard it said many times in life that “laughter is the best medicine”.

Do you know that it’s impossible to frown, be sad and in the state of stress at the same time as smiling and laughing? Even though this makes perfect sense, how many of us actually take the time to leave our stress behind in favour of the free life-giving, health-promoting joy that is available to us in smiling and laughing in the moments of our daily lives.

While sitting at my desk in front of my computer, contemplating what health subject to write about for this article, my little 6 pound maltese-poodle-chihuahua is barking at me incessantly while the baby is upstairs having a nap.

Like most mothers who see naptime as precious as gold, my initial response is stress… stress that I only have so much time to write this article, stress that her barking will wake the baby up from her much needed nap and I won’t get this done and that I’ll have an overtired cranky baby. If she doesn’t stop barking, mama’s gonna get really mad if she wakes the baby up!!

I decided to get up to see what all the barking was about and my annoyed scowl turned to a smile and my stress turned to laughter as the little yappy barking machine proceeded to play her favourite game of chase around the basement. I take a step in one direction and she runs around the sofa at mach- speed until she almost bumps into me again and then quickly runs the other way in the opposite direction. This game continues until I decide to walk away or until the dog is so tired she collapses, usually it ends because of me. This time I couldn’t help but laugh and smile as I realized that she just wanted to play. My mood changed in an instant.

How many of these free joy-giving moments are we letting pass us by in life in favour of stress?

The stress response in our bodies leads to the release of cortisol, our natural anti-inflammatory made in- house. Too much cortisol leads to the breakdown of our cells and tissues and is not good for our health.

Life insurance companies know that the effect of negative stress in a person’s life destroys health more effectively than almost anything else. What do most people do to deal with stress? Usually dis-engage from life through the use of alcohol, drugs, anti-depressants, overeating, TV, computers, and a multitude of other addictions.

What are you doing to deal with your stress? I challenge you to see the situations in your life from a different perspective. I could’ve continued to get annoyed with the fact that my little loving dog wouldn’t stop barking. Instead I played her game for a while, laughed and smiled, then picked her up and put her on my lap. Now she’s keeping me warm, the baby’s still napping and my article is finished.

I hope you can find something to laugh and smile about today and every day. Don’t believe me? Try it.

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Blog by Guest Author:

Dr. Bernadette VecchioDr Bernadette Vecchio, DC
Dr Bernadette Vecchio is a Chiropractor in Collingwood alongside her husband, Dr David Vecchio. In practice she is passionate about serving families and helping restore their health through Corrective Chiropractic care. Currently on maternity leave, Dr Bernadette is enjoying raising their daughter and getting to know the other new moms in the Collingwood area.

Find Dr. Bernadette and Dr. David at www.innerharmonychiropractic.com and https://www.facebook.com/Inner-Harmony-Family-Chiropractic-790997060930616/

How Processed Sugar Destroys Your Body

How Processed Sugar Destroys Your Body

How much processed sugar sneaks into your diet in a day? You may be surprised at how many grams of sugar you are consuming without even realizing it.

For example, a quick visit to Tim Hortons for breakfast, lunch or snack with a fairly routine order can tip the scales of sugar content at over 30 grams!! That is a lot of sugar for your body to process all at once, especially when the sugars are all processed, accompanied by equally processed foods around it.

A Tim Hortons Cinnamon Raisin bagel (11 grams) with plain cream cheese (2 grams), Double-Double Coffee (18 grams) = 31 grams of sugar

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Centre advises that women should consume no more than 25 grams of sugar per day, and men should consume no more than 37 grams of sugar per day.

So after one stop at Tim Horton’s you’ve maxed your entire daily recommended sugar intake in just one blow! Think about the rest of your day… how will that look? A sandwich for lunch? A granola bar for snack? Pasta for dinner? Your processed sugar intake is adding up to look mountainous.

So what is the problem with sugar?

Sugar is an anti-nutrient. It causes your body to leach nutrients in its attempt to clean up the damage that sugar leaves behind. It also directly feeds cancer cells, and causes serious inflammation.

Inflammation is the cause behind almost every single illness and condition, and sugar continues to fuel inflammation rather effectively once it has started. Because of its oxidative effect on the body, it can contribute to a whole host of conditions and issues that may be misdiagnosed as other illnesses or causes, but in actuality, the cause is actually the over consumption of processed sugar.

How can processed sugar affect your body?

According to Nancy Appleton, Ph.D., there are over 146 reasons that sugar is ruining your health. Here are the worst offenders, and if you’d like the full list and references, head over to http://www.rheumatic.org/sugar.htm

• Sugar can suppress the immune system.
• High intake of sugar increases the risk of Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.
• Sugar can cause a rapid rise of adrenaline levels in children.
• Sugar can cause heart disease.
• Sugar can cause appendicitis.
• Sugar can cause multiple sclerosis.
• Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.
• Sugar causes food allergies.
• Sugar can cause cataracts.
• Sugar can increase kidney size and produce pathological changes in the kidney.
• Sugar can cause myopia (nearsightedness).
• Sugar increases the risk of gastric cancer.
• Sugar can cause depression.
• Sugar can adversely affect school children’s grades and cause learning disorders..
• Sugar feeds cancer.
• Sugar can exacerbate PMS.
• Sugar can slow down the ability of the adrenal glands to function.
• Sugar can increase the risk of stomach cancer.
• Sugar can cause low birth weight babies.
• High sugar intake can cause epileptic seizures.

These are very serious conditions and illnesses that are completely preventable! Reduce your processed sugar and processed foods intake by increasing your whole foods intake. Crowd out the bad foods with lots of delicious, colourful produce! Focus your diet on lots of leafy green vegetables, smoothies with berries and healthy fats, fresh fruits and vegetables, raw nuts and seeds, legumes and if you choose to eat meat or eggs, be sure they are from organic / grass fed / free range / wild sources.

With Sources from:

https://www.timhortons.com/ca/en/pdf/TH_Nutrition_Guide_CE_2013_-_FINAL.pdf

https://www.mdanderson.org/publications/focused-on-health/may-2015/FOH-cancer-love-sugar.html

http://www.rheumatic.org/sugar.htm

Do You Want to Kill Your Stress Once and For All? Do This.

Kill Stress Once and For All

Stress has become an epidemic in our society. When someone asks “How are you?” the majority of people now answer “stressed”.

This is now a normal, accepted answer to which the reply is a nod in understanding, “Yes, me too.” It’s like we’re keeping up with the Jones’ to see who can be busier and more stressed out.

This has got to stop!!!!

There are obviously major reasons why we would feel stress, and this is our body’s way to kick on our adrenaline processes and potentially our fight or flight so that we can get through a trauma, injury, major life change or passing of a loved one.

But the daily stresses that are climbing and adding up need to be seriously revised.

The first problem is not having enough time to get everything done that life demands. The answer is that you need to ask for help.

Your children can be a great source of your home stress, so ask them to help you. Depending on their ages, give them special tasks to complete to help out around the house.

There is no reason your teenagers should hit the couch when they get home from school. They can help to start dinner, get their lunches ready for the next day and help to care for their siblings.

This is not taking away their freedom and childhood, it is giving them life skills and responsibilities that I promise, they will thank you for in the future. (What student wants to get to college or university, away from home for the first time and have absolutely no idea how to feed themselves? Let’s give them a chance!)

The most important thing you can do is to live in the present moment.

Right here in this moment (the only moment we actually have) there is no stress. We are consciously present. We are just working on this one task. There is no worrying about getting it done in time, ohh I only have 2 more hours, etc. because that is not living in the present moment. The stress arrives when we think about the future and think about how something will affect us when it arrives. But if we try to stay just in the moment we have, your stress will diminish drastically.

The other important thing you need to do is to detach from outcomes.

Put no weight or importance on the outcome of any event. This is again, living in the present moment. For many things, we literally have no control over many situations and worrying about them can make us crazy. The outcome will unfold over time and we will deal with whatever happens at the time. Because we will be practicing being present in each moment and taking things minute by minute.

We must begin to consciously decide how our lives want to look and feel.

I’m sure that you are in agreement with me, we’ve all experienced enough stress for the rest of our lives just in the past few years. It’s time to let go of the panic of worrying about the future and fretting about the past and choose, decide today, to make every moment one of joy and contentment.

It’s so much nicer to live in a mindset that you actively choose, rather than to be sucked into the societal pressure of being stressed all the time. Your health will be so much better, and your personal and family life will be much happier. Share this new mindset with your family and friends to help them reduce their stress. Obviously it takes some time to train your mind to stay present but over time it will get easier and you will have a much more serene life.