Are you Listening to your Skin?

skin doctor

The skin is your body’s largest organ and it plays so many roles when it comes to function and health. Obviously the skin’s primary job is to cover the body and contain the organs, bones and muscles of the body.

It also acts as a protective layer from ultraviolet radiation from the sun, prevents dehydration, and aids in temperature regulation of the body.

The skin also plays an important role in detoxification and excretion of wastes created by the body or toxins that have been ingested.

Taking a good look at the health of your skin can provide insight as to how your body is functioning on the inside.

dark under eye circles

Dark Under Eye Circles

Do you have dark lines under your eyes that make you look like you haven’t gotten a good night’s sleep in months?

As we age, our skin naturally becomes slightly thinner and more fragile, allowing for the dark circles to appear more predominantly.

But if you are a young, “healthy” woman, chances are those dark circles are trying to tell you something.

Dark circles could be caused by lack of hydration (it’s not just about how much water you are drinking. Remember that caffeine and alcohol work to reverse the benefits of drinking water. For every coffee or alcoholic beverage, you need to increase your water intake by at least 8 ounces).

Dark under eye circles could also be indicating that your diet is in need of some help. Focus on eating a diet that is high in nutrient dense fruits and vegetables and work on eliminating processed foods.

Finally, those dark circles could just be telling you to get to bed early and get a good night’s rest. Adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night to give the body a chance to rest and rejuvenate.

Click here to read, Ten Tricks To Get The Best Sleep EVER !

dry, cracked lips

Dry, Cracked Lips

During the winter months, most commonly, dry lips are caused by harsh weather conditions. However, if you find that your lips are dry year round it could be caused by a reaction to the lipgloss, lipstick or toothpaste you are using.

Conventional products contain harsh chemicals and toxins that can wreak havoc on your delicate lips. Instead, only purchase products from your local health food store that are free of chemicals and that are not drying to the lips.

Click here to read, Natural DIY Self Care Product Recipes .

skin irritation

Skin Irritation

The skin is also a very good indicator of food intolerances.

Skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis, rashes, acne, and chronically itchy skin may all be indicators that your body is not tolerating something in your diet.

With the increase in food additives, pesticide use, genetically modified organisms, and processing, food is not what it used to be.

The most common foods that are linked to skin irritation and intolerance are;

  • Dairy
  • Gluten-containing foods
  • Eggs
  • Soy
  • Alcohol
  • Sugar and artificial sweeteners
  • Caffeine
  • Chocolate

The best way to identify if one of these foods is the culprit of your skin irritation is to remove the items that you believe to be an issue from your diet for a period of three weeks. Then re-introduce the foods one at a time and watch for reactions. If a reaction occurs, eliminate that food from your diet permanently.

Click here to read, Do I Always Have to Buy Organic ?  Here’s What You NEED to Know !

Dangers Of Vaping

E-Cigarettes Found to Have 10 times More Cancer Causing Ingredients than Regular Cigarettes

Recently the dangers of vaping has been all over the news and social media. Vocalizing the hidden risks after reports of numerous deaths and illness that incurred to seemingly healthy individuals.

Where It All Started

There have been many products developed over the years to help people quit smoking.  In fact, vaping was initially introduced for that exact reason. However, recent reports are stating that;

e-cigarettes will impose similar long-term cardiovascular and pulmonary risks as those associated with conventional cigarettes.

How Vaping Works

E-cigarettes are designed to deliver nicotine to a user in the form of vapour. Typically via a rechargeable battery-operated heating element. Hence where the word vaping came from.

The cartridges filled with nicotine and chemicals inhaled by the user are replaceable. However, the FDA has not evaluated e-cigarettes for their safety.

Dangers Of Vaping

Originally, E-Cigarettes became popular because of their ability to provide a hit of nicotine. Supposedly without the worry of added chemicals and toxins found in regular cigarettes. However, vaping cannot be considered risk free.  Reports are now surfacing stating that vaping can cause harm to the lungs and attribute to disease including COPD.

Furthermore,  there was a CDC study published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research;

“More than a quarter of a million youth who had never smoked a cigarette used electronic cigarettes in 2013. This is a three-fold increase from 79,000 in 2011 to more than 263,000 in 2013.”

Here at Family Health Advocacy, we’re all about living the most healthy lifestyle that you can. Eating well. Enjoying movement. And eliminating toxins.

vaping

Are You Ready To Quit Smoking & Vaping?

Follow these tips:

1. Stop Buying Them!

They are harder to get your hands on if they’re not in the house. Also, the inconvenience of going to purchase them may allow you enough time to convince yourself not to buy them!

2. Load Up On Fruit & Vegetables

I know this sounds lame.  However the vitamins and minerals your body has lost from smoking must be replenished.  Helping yourself to reduce cravings.

For further information, click here to read, “Nutrition and Smoking: Foods to Help You Quit!”

3. Antioxidant Diet

According to research, eating a diet high in antioxidants, especially those found in tomatoes can help to repair lung damage caused by smoking.

4. Talk To Your Natural Health Practitioner

Your natural health practitioner can put together solutions customized specifically for you. There are many herbs and natural remedies that can support your body through this difficult transition.  Although natural, they are also very powerful to help you quit smoking.

Try these solutions for yourself.  Avoid the dangers of vaping, smoking, JUULing. QUIT TODAY!

How To Encourage Children To Eat Vegetables

Getting your kids to eat their vegetables can be one of the greatest daily struggles for parents.  Building healthy eating habits takes a lot of effort for parents to sometimes battle it out with their children.

Start Small & Tackle One Meal At A Time

First, start off with breakfast and work on getting sugary cereals, pastries, and dairy off the menu.  Substitute cereals for oatmeal and fruit.  Pastries for homemade muffins (recipe below), and dairy milk for almond or coconut milk to use in smoothies.

First and foremost, parents need to set the example to their children on how to eat properly.

Children easily pick up on the habits of their parents and will gravitate towards the eating style presented at home.  Take a minute and think about the kind of example you are setting for your children.  Ask yourself the following;

  • Do you make meal time a priority?  Preparing regular healthy meals as a family?  Or are you picking up takeout on the way home from work because you are exhausted?
  • What is your attitude towards food and your body image?
  • What messages are you consciously or unconsciously sending your children?
Encouraging your children to take care of their health is one of the greatest acts of love a parent can give their child.

Mindset around meals and snacks can easily be shifted to a more positive experience.  Involve the family in weekly meal planning and grocery shopping for the ingredients that will be needed for those meals.

Older children and teens can also take part in meal prep by washing vegetables and helping to prepare dinner.  Giving children a voice around their meal choices will help with encouraging healthier eating habits.  Provide your children with a choice of what vegetables they are going to eat each day.  In addition, add one wild card vegetable to the menu each week that they may not like, but are willing to try.

Click here to read, “Are You Eating Enough Colour?”

Tips & Tricks To Add Vegetables To Every Day Meals

green pineapple smoothie
  1.  Throw a handful of spinach or kale into smoothies.  Yes, the smoothie will be green, but the flavour and texture of the spinach is masked by all the fruit.

For a a fantastic green pineapple smoothie, click here to read, “Happy St. Patrick’s Day Recipes”.

cauliflower rice

2. Use the food processor to turn cauliflower into the texture of rice.  Sauté the cauliflower “rice” in a tablespoon of olive oil and season to taste.

zucchini noodles

3. Use a spiral slicing tool to turn zucchini into noodles.  It will resemble pasta and can be topped with your favourite sauce and veggies.

Grilled spaghetti squash

4. Use spaghetti squash instead of pasta to make traditional spaghetti with meatballs (remember to use grass fed beef for the meatballs).

Click here for “The Ultimate Guide For How to Cook Spaghetti Squash”.

fruit salad ideas

5. Rather than ice cream for dessert, serve a plate of fresh fruit.

Almond-Berry Muffin Recipe

As promised, below is a recipe for healthy muffins that freeze well and are easy to serve as part of a healthy breakfast.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw almonds, ground
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen berries (raspberries, blueberries)
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 12 muffin liners

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Grind raw almonds until fine.
  3. Mix eggs, coconut oil maple syrup, vanilla and apple cider vinegar in a bowl. Add ground almonds and baking soda. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Fold in berries and sprinkle with chocolate chips.
  5. Evenly distribute batter between 12 muffin cups.
  6. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes.
  7. ENJOY!!

Also, try this recipe breakfast muffins. It’s another great healthy breakfast idea that you can prepare in advance!

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.

What Meat Do You Eat?

What Meat Do You Eat?

Are you a meat eater? On the paleo diet? Low carb diet? Atkins? A Carnivore?

If you choose to eat meat, there are several things to consider when you weigh your options for the best choice to consume.

Obviously, we want to choose a source of meat that is the least processed – that you can still see fat or bone present – such as a steak, ribs, pork chop, chicken leg or even the whole raw chicken.

Steer clear of the processed meats, such as hot dogs, deli meats, cold cuts, pepperoni, bacon and anything else that you know has undergone some sort of processing to get to its current state.

But when choosing the best meat for you and your family, it goes much deeper than just finding what is available at your grocery store that is the least processed.

Let’s consider for a moment the animals and animal products that we are consuming.

They have taken months or possibly years to get to their full size before slaughter. This gives them plenty of time to eat and eat and eat to grow large enough to be sent to market.

This also gives the animal plenty of time to gather up toxins in their bodies from the food supply they are given to eat when they are conventionally grown. Often, they are being fed genetically modified corn, soy and mixed feed that has been sprayed generously with many doses of pesticides. These pesticides are accumulated in the bodies of these animals and passed on to us when we eat them.

The animals are generally kept in tight quarters with several hundred other animals and can easily pass germs around to one another. This means that there is often antibiotics added to their food supply to control illness among the population. This is also passed on to us when we eat them, not to mention into the ground water supply from their excretions.

For these reasons and many others, it is important to choose meat that has been naturally raised to ensure that your family is getting a high quality product. When animals are raised in their natural environment and eat their native diet, they naturally produce meats that are higher in minerals, essential fatty acids and vitamins. 

Look for labels such as:

• organic
• grass fed
• free range
• pasture raised
• wild caught
• antibiotic free
• GMO free

The best place to find the highest quality meat for your family are directly at organic farms, Farmer’s Markets, and health foods stores in your community. Talk to the famers, the producers and associates to purchase humanely raised, and as-organic-as-possible animal products. 

Including animal products in your diet can add variety to your diet and provide you with essential vitamins and minerals if you are mindful of selecting high-quality products. Pairing meat with a salad and lots of colourful vegetables can make a great meal filled with the nutritious fuel your body needs to function at its best.

Victoria Day BBQ Recipes

Victoria Day BBQ Recipes

It’s that time of year! Summer Barbecue season is here and it’s time to fire up the grill!! But with so many choices of what to cook, it’s easy to get stuck in a hot dogs and hamburgers rut that don’t offer many nutrients.

Here are some taste-bud blowing recipes that will make your mouth water, but are also packed with nutrients to fuel your body for summer fun!

Zucchini halves stuffed with minced meat and vegetable

Zucchini Boats

Find the largest zucchinis that you can. Slice longways down the middle and scoop out the largest seeds.

Cook hamburger meat in skillet.

Cook onions, garlic, peppers and mushrooms in another skillet and add 2 handfuls of spinach when it’s almost done cooking. Add hamburger meat to skillet once it is cooked and mix together.

Fill zucchini boats with mixture and barbecue until the zucchinis are softened. Top with your favourite herbs and spices.

Chicken Kabobs

Chicken Kabobs

Slice free range, organic (if possible) chicken breast into chunks fit for a kabob skewer. Keep them fairly small so they don’t take a lot longer to cook than the vegetables also on the grill. Slide the chunks onto the skewer and sprinkle with pepper.

To other skewers, add a mixture of fresh mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, chunks of pepper, celery, zucchini, onion and pineapple. Add a very light brushing of extra virgin olive oil before they go on the grill to help them get a bit crispy.

(I like to keep the meat and veggie skewers separate due to raw meat juice contamination, and they tend to cook at different speeds).

Grill and Enjoy!

Grilled Corn on the Cob

Grilled Corn on the Cob

There are two ways to do this, so experiment and see what you like best…

#1 – Grill with the husk on – just throw it on the barbecue and turn it often. The result is more of a steamed corn and just a little grilled-ness. Should be cooked in 10-15 minutes, or when you feel that a knife easily pierces the kernels.

#2 – Husk the Corn and then grill it. This creates a much more grilled effect, where the kernels become darkened and absorb more of the grilled flavour. Turn them often, and they are cooked in about 10 minutes.

You can drizzle with a little bit of garlic butter and salt for added flavour. Or lime and hot sauce. Or your favourite topping!

Refreshing LemonadeRefreshing Lemonade

Grab your high speed blender and fill with 1 L of water.

Cut the rind off of a lemon, leaving the white pith. Put the whole lemon into the blender and blend until smooth.

Strain the lemon-water mixture with tiny mesh strainer into a pitcher. This will catch the small pieces of seeds, etc that didn’t break down in the blender.

You don’t need to add anything to sweeten it, it is not sour, just pure flavour! Serve over ice and enjoy! 

Detox Now: 287 Industrial Chemicals Found in Umbilical Cord Blood

Detoxify or Die

I was 22 years old, wearing a white lab coat in Colombo, Sri Lanka, with an acupuncture needle in my hand, I was trying to steady my hand because it was shaking a lot!  I was about to stick this needle into a patient’s eye!!  Ok, not really their eye, but just below their eye, but above the eye socket bone.  You may be asking, Why?  Because this was one of the acupuncture points that I had to needle for this patient, who apparently had a tumour in her brain that was putting pressure on one of the nerves in her brain that was affecting her vision.  Who told me to use this acupuncture point?  It was the great Dr. Anton Jayasuriya, who was by far the greatest and smartest person that I had ever met by that point of my life.  I was a second year chiropractic student and had come to Sri Lanka with some fellow classmates to learn acupuncture from this famous Dr., who was a Board Certified Medical Doctor and Rheumatologist as well as a Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Master.  We would come to his class every morning to learn about acupuncture and in the afternoon, we gained experience treating patients in his clinic.  And there was no shortage of patients!  They were lining up to see him from the early morning until late at night and they would come from all parts of the country!  It was an amazing experience!

The reason I tell this story is that there is one thing he said to us while we were learning there that I still remember today.  During one of our classes, we asked him to predict the future of medicine and to guide us by telling us what to focus on in terms of patient care.  He said the next major shift in medicine would be towards something called “Environmental Medicine”.  We all looked at each other and wondered what he meant.  He explained that the world today (and this was back in 1994) was full of toxic chemicals and pollution and that it would cause an epidemic of health problems and diseases that would be impossible to treat. 

Since then I have thought about what this great man said and looked at my own life to see how I could eliminate toxins. 

• I changed my toothpaste to a natural one without fluoride
• I changed my under arm deodorant to one without aluminum (and yes, I still smell ok!)
• my family and I invested in a home water filtration system that helps to remove chlorine from the water (it’s been found that we can absorb a lot of chlorine through our skin when we take a shower!!)
• we buy organic produce to avoid the harmful pesticides sprayed on our vegetables and fruit
• we switched to organic and grass fed meats to avoid meat from animals that eat genetically modified grains that are heavily sprayed with an especially toxic herbicide called Glyphosate as well as to avoid meat from animals that were given hormones and antibiotics during their life.

From the book, Detoxify or Die by Sherry A. Rogers, M.D., I read something really scary, it was the results of a research study by the Environmental Working Group that looked at blood taken from the umbilical cord of 10 babies born in the US in 2004 which found 287 industrial chemicals and environmental pollutants including pesticides, mercury, fire retardants, consumer product ingredients, teflon chemicals and waste from burning coal, gasoline and garbage!!! 

Of the 287 chemicals found, 180 of them have been found to cause cancer in humans or animals!! 

I thought to myself, if all these chemicals are found in the blood of newborn babies, who knows how many chemicals are found in you and me!! Dr. Rogers also wrote about how industrial smokestacks disseminate into the air chemicals like dioxins and PCBs (the most potent cancer triggers known to man) and then clouds carry these chemicals to every continent and every body of water around the world!! 

As I think back to my time in Sri Lanka, treating that woman with cancer and remembering what Dr. Anton said about “Environmental Medicine”, I can’t help but think he had a magical crystal ball because we are living in a world where diseases like Cancer are so prevalent and even childhood cancers are at an all- time high as it is the number one cause of death by disease in kids ages 1-15!!

So as a Chiropractor, you may ask, why do I talk about toxins and the need to detoxify?  Well if you look back to the founders of our profession over a 100 years ago, they discussed the concept of removing subluxations from the spine so the body can get well.  They also discussed 3 causes of subluxation which are emotional thoughts, physical traumas and chemical toxins!!  That is amazing that more than 100 years ago they mentioned chemical toxins!  So let me ask you, what are you doing to detoxify???

_________________________________

Guest Blog by Dr. Suhill Samji, D.C. DABCN

Dr. Suhill Samji DC, DABCNDr. Samji has been in practice for over 20 years. He completed 2 years of his undergraduate degree at the University of British Columbia, after which, based on his academic performance was bestowed the honor of admission to the prestigious Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (Canada’s only English speaking Chiropractic college). Dr. Samji is a member in good standing with the B.C. College of Chiropractors which is the sole regulatory authority in British Columbia. Dr. Samji further expanded on his thirst for knowledge and higher education by immersing himself in a 3-year postgraduate study of the subspecialty of Chiropractic Neurology.

Dr. Samji is a Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Neurology Board (www.acnb.org) having studied under Professor Carrick of the Carrick Institute in the USA (www.carrickinstitute.org). The DACNB designation (although not recognized by the B.C. College of Chiropractors) earned by Dr. Samji, is one he shares with only 600 professionals worldwide. Dr. Samji has also undergone extensive training for the treatment of children and expecting mothers (www.ICPA.com) and can skillfully adjust the spine with his hands or gently with the use of an instrument. Dr. Samji’s office is conveniently located on the northwest corner of East Broadway and Commercial Drive. His clinic offers Chiropractic, Physiotherapy, Registered Massage Therapy, Acupuncture, and also has a Pain Medicine Specialist M.D. When not at the clinic, Dr. Samji can be found spending quality time with his wife and young son, and of course the 2 dogs, or playing soccer in North Vancouver’s Men’s League or practicing Yoga.

Find Dr. Samji at:

[email protected]

www.physiomedvancouver.ca

www.physiomed.ca

Finally Quit Your Sugar Addiction With These Top Tips

Finally Quit Your Sugar Addiction With These Top Tips

Do you feel like sugar rules your life? Is it all you can think about? Do you just get finished eating one meal and you can’t stop craving something sweet to finish off the meal?  Some call it a sweet tooth, others call it a sugar addiction. 

Luckily, there are ways to eliminate sugar from your diet and get the addiction under control before it wreaks havoc on your health and weight.

So why do sugar cravings tend to kick in just after a meal? The balance of sugar and fat in the body intricately impacts your cravings. Think back to the last heavy meal that you ate. Maybe it was a greasy burger or a steak and potatoes, or a high-fat, creamy pasta dish. Almost immediately upon finishing the meal, did the sugar cravings kick into high gear? But why is that? Well, consuming meals that are high in fat tend to create an immediate craving for sugar. In comparison, a healthy salad, or lower fat content meal usually doesn’t create the same wicked sugar cravings.

Eating frequent high sugar meals or snacks can also create a cycle of sugar cravings that recur throughout the day. For instance, you eat a sugary cereal for breakfast, and then mid morning, your energy crashes and you are craving something sweet, so you eat a granola bar or donut, or drink a high-sugar beverage. Then, again mid-afternoon, your energy crashes, so you reach for a chocolate bar. Breaking this cycle is key to getting a sugar addiction under control.

Break the Sugar Addiction

The best way to get your cravings under control is to break up with sugar. Easier said than done, I know. But with these tips, you’ll be on your way to getting a handle on the sugar addiction.

  1. Identify what food sources your sugar consumption comes from. Beverages can be one of the worst culprits of sugar.  Focus on drinking lots of water and eliminating (or at least limiting) the consumption of coffee, specialty coffee drinks, tea, pop, juice, alcohol, milk and energy drinks.
  2. Stop buying sugar laden foods. Things like cereal, granola bars, yogurt, processed foods, and baked goods are all extremely high in added sugar. Although many of these foods are touted as healthy options, the added sugar content dictates otherwise.
  3. Substitute with fruits and vegetables. Although fruits and vegetables naturally contain sugar, they are much more easily assimilated by the body and utilized for energy.
  4. Change your routine. If you tend to move right from dinner to dessert without a breather in between, it may be time to change up your routine. Take a walk, do the dishes, prepare your lunch for the following day, meditate, or sit outside and enjoy the fresh air. Give yourself a minimum of thirty minutes between dinner and dessert. Usually during that time, the sugar cravings will have subsided.
  5. Identify why you gravitate towards sugar. Is it a coping method that you use to combat stressful situations? Do you use it as a reward after a long hard day at the office? Changing your relationship with food will allow you to mentally distance yourself from it.

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.

Healthy Summer Recipes

Healthy Summer Recipes

Summer is on its way – can you feel it? I certainly can. That warm breeze pouring in my windows has me on the edge of my seat for summer salsas, delicious salads and refreshing mocktails.

These are my favourite recipes right now!! I’ve personally created them and tested them with many family members, and they’re all a huge hit!

Here is your It’s-Almost-Summer-Let’s-Celebrate Recipe Compilation…

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I Feel Like I’m at the Beach Tropical Mocktail

To your high speed blender, add…

3 peeled oranges (leave them whole)
2 cups frozen pineapple chunks
5 large frozen strawberries
1 frozen banana
1.5 cups water
6 ice cubes

Blend and serve!! Enjoy this kick of immune boosting vitamin C, fat busting bromelain and packed in nutrients from these superfoods!

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Sweet and Spicy Summer Salsa

To a medium sized bowl, add…

1 chopped mango
2 chopped roma tomatoes
1/2 red onion chopped tiny
1 chopped avocado
1/2 chopped jalapeño pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt sprinkled over it
Then add juice of 1 lime (which will disperse the salt throughout)

Stir well and enjoy as a side to barbecued chicken, with as-healthy-as-you-can-find-or-make nacho chips or as a dip for vegetables.

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Summer Spinach Raw Vegan Caesar Salad

To a large bowl, add…

1 bunch shredded organic baby spinach
1/2 head of red leaf lettuce (or romaine – choose your favourite! This adds texture and different green nutrients)
1 sweet pepper – choose your colour and chop
1 roma tomato – chopped
1/2 cucumber – chopped
1 bunch of grapes – sliced in half

Raw Vegan Caesar Dressing

(Ditch the store bough chemicalized, food-like dressing and make your own!! This literally tastes IDENTICAL to Caesar dressing, it’s SO delicious!)

To a high speed blender, add…

1/3 cup raw cashews
2/3 cup water
2.5 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp garlic powder
10 shakes sea salt
6 shakes pepper

Let this soak for 15 minutes before blending to allow cashews to soften and make the recipe creamy. Pour over your salad bowl, mix and enjoy!

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