Measles

Dare I even say the words…Measles Outbreak – the anti-vaxors vs the pro-vaccinators. It’s cut throat out there. Choose a side and FIGHT. It’s all over the media and many of you are wondering how we weigh in on the issue from a Naturopathic perspective here at the Stouffville Natural Health Clinic.

Yes, complications from the measles can occur. Yes, it CAN be more complicated for infants and elderly. But let’s reframe for a moment: Remember that measles is, and always has been a self- limiting, benign virus with symptoms ranging from cough, runny nose, fever and a rash. We mean not at all to downplay the more serious side effects that can occur but only want to help put facts into perspective. For instance, the complications from the measles (pneumonia, encephalitis etc) are also side effects of the common flu virus and are very rare.

So how do you reduce the risk for you and your family members? Keep your immune system high such that if you are exposed to the measles virus, you are better apt to fight it without complication. This involves eating healthy and limiting sugar (which lowers the immune system for up to 6 hours after ingestion!), taking a quality probiotic as over 70% of our immune systems reside in our gut and getting enough sleep (which allows us to better fight infection) to name a few. Sound too simple? It’s not. These are powerful tools for you and your loved ones to stay immune strong this winter and throughout the year. Here at the clinic we have a range of tools to get your immune system to its optimal level. We’re always ready to help and answer any questions you might have regarding vaccinations and measles etc. with compassion and facts so that you and your family can make a decision that you feel most comfortable with. This is always the right decision and we support your choices.

I recognize not everyone will agree and that’s ok. Visit us at Stouffville Natural Health Clinic for a vaccination visit, be informed (on both sides of the issue), be less frightened, boost your immune system and stay healthy. That is our hope for each one of you. Let’s make this winter an enjoyable one.

2015 Resolutions

newyearsI’m not a fan of ‘resolutions’ as they often fall quickly to the wayside as the routine and busyness of the new year settles in but I am a HUGE fan of new beginnings and setting realistic health goals. Why not make this the year of YOU!

Not to boast but our clinic offers a range of options to fit your health goals this coming year. From weight loss and anti aging programs to kick starting a more healthy way of living. We love what we do and it’s our pleasure to help!

Don’t shy away from the change you’ve been craving. Visit one of our health professionals for the encouragement, direction and motivation that will carry you through to be the best YOU in 2015!

~ Warmly, Dr. S

Winter Detox

Often when I suggest a winter detox to patients, they cringe. It might be the thought of increasing cold foods like salads and smoothies when the weather just begs for soups and stews but either way, as I explain to them that simple things can be done without the intensity of a ‘detox diet’, I can see them instantly relax.

What I’m talking about are spices. Warming spices that can be added to the diet to help eliminate sludge and toxin build-up from our bodies. These spices in Chinese Medicine, when added to foods, warm the Spleen (which allows for optimal digestion) and help us absorb nutrients from our food better.

Think about fennel, cinnamon, ginger, cumin, turmeric and cracked black pepper. These spices are anti inflammatory AND boost the immune system while they detox. Add cinnamon to your oatmeal, turmeric to the water you use to make brown rice (you won’t even taste it…promise) and ginger to your smoothie. Below is one of my fave’s – the kids even love it!

juiceCarrot/Pineapple/Ginger Smoothie

* 2 organic carrots
* knob of organic ginger
* handful of chopped pineapple
* clean water to reach the consistency you desire

Blend and enjoy (this can be quite fibrous and you could strain through a cheesecloth if you wish although I say, the more fibre, the better!)

Stay Warm, ~ Dr.S

Missing the sun today

sunI’m missing the sun today. It seems that there have been many days lately that are just, well, dull. And after a bit, I can find my mood a little ho hum. Inevitably I then remember what beats those fall/winter blues….Vit D!

This hormone (it’s not actually a vitamin at all!) is anti inflammatory, enhances muscle, builds bone and boosts the immune system along with improving mood. With less than 10% of Vit D coming from the diet, it’s essential that we take a supplement over the fall/winter to ensure optimal levels.

I prefer D3 (vs D2) for it’s absorbability and for adults, 5000IU per day has been shown to decrease the incident of colds and flus. For little guys, 1000IU will suffice. Take with food to increase uptake of this fat soluble entity. Either way, the whole family can benefit from this ray of sunshine. Happy Fall!

~ Dr.S

 

Have you heard of Thieves Oil?

oilsHave you heard of Thieves Oil? It appears to be my new favorite oil this fall. Composed of cinnamon bark, cloves, lemon and eucalyptus essential oils. The story goes during the time of the bubonic plague, thieves made this oil to use on themselves such that they could rob peoples homes and not get sick.

Either way, we love this oil in our house because of its wide range of uses both household and personal. It not only kills bacteria and prevents infection, but can be used to sanitize the home and kills mold too! Plus, it smells amazing!

I use it with my little ones to help keep them as disease-free during the winter months. Here are my two favorite uses.

For little ones: 1 drop Thieves Oil: 4 drops Carrier Oil (Olive oil works fine here although I love jojoba). Mix in palm of hand and rub on bottoms of feet, back of neck, low back and behind the ears to boost the immune system.

To Sanitize the Air (say, after your little one has a winter birthday party and sickness was EVERYWHERE): Diffuse 15-20 drops Thieves Oil in 1-2 cups water on the stovetop for 15min, 3-4x per day. This anti infectious method kills 99.96% of germs. YAY!!

Do you use essential oils in your home? What are your favorite ways to use them?

Bone Broth for Chicken Soup

Chilly is the word of the day. Fall is definitely my fave season but not necessarily when it comes with dampness – the kind that gets in your bones and won’t leave. I’ve had the luxury today to be able to be at home puttering; baking, organizing and chatting with some inspirational colleagues. And now, it’s lunch and all I can think of is making some bone broth for chicken soup – to warm my belly and boost my immune system.

I’m far from complicated in the kitchen and on days when I work in the afternoon, I love to pull out my slow cooker and get dinner started before lunch! Today I’ve gotten chicken bones from the butcher (just ask ahead and your local meat merchant can put them aside for you) and lemon…that’s it folks. Here’s the easiest bone broth ever!

Ingredients

  • chicken bones
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • filtered water

Place bones in slower cooker and cover by 2 inch with water. Add lemon juice (this is KEY – the acidity pulls out all the minerals our bodies need to stay healthy). Cook on low for 8-10 hrs or better yet up to 24hrs! The longer this simmers, the more nutrients are pulled into the liquid forming the broth. When times up, put liquid through a sieve (the bones will be very soft) and discard bones. Freeze broth or use in your favorite chicken soup recipe, as a water substitute for rice, to stir fry veggies or drink as a tea. The possibilities are endless and so healthful – Amazing for our bones, teeth, joints and immune systems!

Have you ever made bone broth before? What’s your favorite way to prepare it?

Stay tuned for my yummy chicken soup to beat cold and flu bugs and warm the soul.

Small steps lead to BIG changes!

picture

Everyone has something in their life that gets them all ‘fired up’ with energy, enthusiasm and positivity. Make this the week to think about what makes you happy that you’ve put on the backburner because life has gotten in the way. Then, make a conscious effect to reconnect with that something, if even briefly. Remember that feeling of joy it brought? Use that energy to help you make what inspires you a more regular part of your life, in whatever capacity you can. Small steps can lead to BIG changes! You won’t regret it. Have a energized week! 🙂

 

Oh Coffee! How I love thee and loathe thee

Oh coffee. How I love thee and loathe thee. Somehow on these chilly mornings, 1 turns into 2 or 3 I end up having an upset tummy with the jitters. Queue coming across my new favorite herbal ‘coffee’. Sub in one of these babies for your café and prepare yourself for balanced and sustained energy without the negative side effects of coffee! This concoction looks like this;

Cinnamon Vanilla Herbal ‘Coffee’

  •  1 tbsp Dandy Blend (blend of chicory root, barley, rye and DANDILION – YUM! – easily found at large health food stores, inexpensive and tastes like coffee. I swear!)
  • 1 ¼ cup boiling water
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • skant 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • coconut sugar/honey or sweetener of choice (no fake stuff here though please guys) to taste

Place all ingredients (minus the sweetener) in your blendtec or vitamix (an immersion blender works perfectly here too) and blend away! Pour into a large mug and sip!   Tip: feel free to adjust the dandy blend to your taste. Like a stronger coffee, use more. Prefer it weaker, use less.

~ Dr.S

Fall is Coming! Simple Carrot & Ginger Soup

Fall is coming! It’s the perfect time to amp up your family’s dinners to beat those flu bugs and keep everyone as healthy as possible. Try adding fresh organic ginger and/or garlic to your soups and stews – organic makes a difference here people. Trust me! You use less and get more of those bacteria and viral fighting components to stave off colds and flus. Tonight I’m making a super simple carrot and ginger soup…

  •  8-10 medium organic carrots (peeled and cut into rounds)
  • 1 small organic onionenough vegetable stock to cover the carrots/onions (my fave is GoBio Organic, Yeast Free Veggie Cubes)
  • knob of organic ginger

In large pot, cook onion and carrots until onion is translucent and carrots are tender crisp. Grate in ginger. Pour over veggie stock until all is covered by one inch of stock. Simmer 20 min. Immersion blender it and your all set.

ENJOY~     Dr.S.