+ celebrate National Health Food Month november 2009 I Issue 325 National health food month • HST: at what cost? • 5 tips to boost memory
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HST: at what cost to natural health?
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5 easy tips to boost memory Best foods for a radiant complexion It’s simple to drive green
What if …You could feel good about eating again? Can you imagine developing a compound which actually addresses the core reason why we gain weight, become insulin resistant, feel exhausted or age prematurely? Leading scientists have made what we believe may be one of the greatest discoveries of our time. Would you like to know what they have discovered? They have found that a unique combination of natural fibres can help people safely reduce appetite, as part of a program to prevent weight gain. As more and more people become aware of the health risks connected to excess weight, they are seeking natural ways to improve eating habits and control food cravings. When you can effectively control appetite, you can reduce food consumption and lose weight.
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Dr. Castillo’s Clinic Marie’s journey back to health My journey started 9 years ago, a few weeks after my 33rd birthday - May 2000. I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The doctors scheduled me for surgery and removed 11 lymph nodes around the breast area. April of 2003, I was scheduled for surgery once again, diagnosed with ovarian cancer. After the surgery, they found that the cancer had not reached the ovaries yet but there were precancerous cells in the tubes that lead to the ovaries. The bad news was that they discovered that I had Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. June of 2003, I underwent a bone marrow test and they concluded that the cancer was already in the bone marrow. The top lymphoma specialist at that cancer clinic told me, “Pretend that you don’t know this information and try to live your life the best you can!” Continued on page 92
Thousands of people die of chronic, progressive and degenerative diseases without knowing about alternative treatments. Our goal is to improve health by focusing on the patient and treating the cause of disease, rather than just its symptoms. We help our patients heal: • by using advanced world-wide recognized natural therapies that cleanse the body and build up the immune system. • by promoting the importance of preventative medicine. Visit www.drcastillo.com to experience real stories from survivors. Visit our clinic (a modern health facility with state-of-the-art equipment), meet our professional staff, and learn about alternative treatments.
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call 011.52(664)683.5700 • fax 011.52(664)683.6016 • visit www.drcastillo.com For information contact Claude & Carole Marlow at 800.296.9881, e-mail email@example.com Dr. Castillo is a recipient of the prestigious Honoris Causa award from the Global Organization for Excellence in Health.
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contents november 2009 issue no 325
FEAtures 22 Canada’s health food industry Well-educated consumers feed a large and growing demand.
CANADA’S NATURAL HEALTH AND WELLNESS MAGAZINE
26 Natural health A recession proof industry?
28 Not in harmony The harmonized sales tax and its impact on natural health.
health 31 33 Diabetes A natural approach to prevention and management.
39 I remember when… I could remember Keep your memory sharp with these helpful tips.
42 Great guggulipids! An ancient herb with promising health benefits.
44 Optimize your kidney function How to reduce the toxic burden on your body’s filtration system.
on the cover Celebrate National Health Food Month................................. 22 HST: at what cost?..................... 28 5 easy tips to boost memory..... 39 Recipes to warm up with........... 98
47 Beat winter blues Natural strategies and supplements to brighten your days.
51 Osteoarthritis Care and maintenance for achy joints.
55 Fibre A new look … at a basic dietary element.
47 alive.com 5
Going GREEN? Make sure you go green on the inside too. Perfect Food
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Already in the normal range.
november 2009 issue no 325
64 food 97 98 Winter veggies
Recipes to warm your heart and your tummy.
64 Watsu—water therapy
107 Grapefruit’s bittersweet reality Superfood with super health benefits— but not for everyone.
A unique healing experience for the body, mind, and spirit.
108 Carb balancing act
68 Get active!
112 A greener shade of coffee
Find your motivation, lose the excuses, and get exercising.
Investing in a good cuppa joe—and a good conscience.
72 Be flexible
116 Guilt-free comfort food
Learn how and when to stretch for best results.
6 old favourites with some healthy new twists.
74 Complexion tips
122 Beverages with a benefit
Dig into 5 foods for brighter face appeal.
Try fruit juices that add a nutritional punch to your drink.
79 Give dry skin the brush off Dry brushing keeps skin toned, circulation brisk, and energy boosted.
83 Green motoring Maintenance tips and simple driving habits to cut your carbon output.
86 Smoke print It’s not just your body: tobacco use creates an immense burden on the environment.
90 Coffee, tea, or … disinsection? Is your airline serving insecticides and pesticides?
92 Vacation without the spread Tips to avoid packing on the pounds.
Using the glycemic index makes it easy.
125 Whole leaf tea Steeped in aromatic goodness and herbaceous flavour.
126 Rice bran oil Can your body get better performance from rice bran oil?
in every issue from the publisher........................11 from our readers..........................16 ask the experts.......................21, 59 on the bookshelf.........................130 on display.....................................136 classifieds.................................. 144 the latest word........................... 146
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Canada’s natural health and wellness magazine
Publisher • Ryan Benn Associate Publisher • Rick Kroetsch Editorial & design
Executive Editor • Stuart Harries Senior Editor • Sandi Gauvin Editors • Ellen Niemer, Amanda Lee Editorial Intern • Kim Van Haren Senior Graphic Designer • Scott Yavis Graphic Designers and Illustrators • Keri Piechnik, Maja Wolnik Contributing Photographer • Scott Yavis Production
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Cover price is $4.50. Twelve issues published per year. Personal subscriptions are available to Canadian ($37 per year) and international destinations. Back issues are also available. Please visit alive.com or contact our Personal Subscriptions department for more information: 1-800-663-6580 ext 615 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Canada Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement No. 40011604.
“Overall, I think that the best supplements are cultured, whole-foods versions. Isolated USP nutrients might be better than nothing, but your body will better absorb and utilize the cultured, real-food versions. Some vitamins that use USP nutrients will deliver high doses of these nutrients; when you take them in cultured form, they are more bioavailable, and so mega-doses aren’t necessary.”
Every effort is made to ensure that the majority of advertised products will be available at health food stores. Products sold direct to consumer must not compete with health food store sales. Editorial Note
The information provided in this magazine is for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a qualified and licensed practitioner or health care provider. The opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of Alive Publishing Group Inc., its affiliates, or parent company. Different views may appear in future articles or publications. Articles in alive are copyrighted and must not be reprinted, duplicated, or transmitted without permission.
Dr. Aaron Katz, M.D. Columbia University, New York * Certified Organic by International Certification Services, Inc.
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Printed on Catalyst Paper’s Electracote, containing 100% certified wood fibre and produced in accordance with PricewaterhouseCoopers’ independent chain of custody certification standard.
Printed on Catalyst Paper’s Electracote, containing 100% certified wood fibre and produced in accordance with PricewaterhouseCoopers’ independent chain of custody certification standard.
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www.nakaherbs.com The information in this ad is intended strictly for research and educational purposes, not as a diagnostic tool or a prescription for any ailment.
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from THE publisher
Set a healthy goal ! This month offers Canadians a wonderful opportunity to refocus on healthy lifestyle choices as we celebrate National Health Food Month. Created nine years ago by the Canadian Health Food Association (chfa.ca), this annual event recognizes the importance of natural and organic products as an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. Of course this is something we do at alive every day. At alive I’m encouraging staff to celebrate National Health Food Month by choosing an area of their lives they would like to make healthier. I encourage you to do the same. Ultimately, I want to see staff and readers alike celebrate the completion of a healthy goal with friends and family. For some of us, our goal may be to simply eat healthier. Others may choose to eat only locally grown seasonal produce; take supplements; or join that yoga class we’ve always talked about. For others, environmental health may be at the top of our “to do” list as we look for ways to reduce our carbon footprint. There are limitless simple yet high-impact choices we can make to live a healthier life, and I look forward to hearing about your successes. If you’re like me, finding balance is a key ingredient in your daily commitment to better health. Making time for my family, friends, and exercise, along with work and other commitments, is always a tough undertaking. With this in mind, I recently decided to dust off my hockey skates and join a local hockey league. Although I’ve coached and officiated hockey, I haven’t played since 1997! I’m looking forward to weekly practices and games, giving me a chance to make new friends while disconnecting from my hectic workday routine, all while boosting my cardiovascular activity. Taking action for your health doesn’t end with small personal steps. We should also take action at the provincial and federal political levels. With the impending implementation of the harmonized sales tax (HST) in British Columbia and Ontario, many consumers fear the impact of rising prices on products that are already overtaxed.
Any natural product taken to prevent illness should be tax exempt, and we pay 5 percent GST on these products already. To learn more about HST and its potential effects on the health and wellness industry, turn to page 28. I’m encouraging you to make your voice heard, and we’ve provided you with government contact information within the article. As always alive wants to know how you, our reader, are doing in your daily quest for better health. I encourage you to share your health stories as you celebrate National Health Food Month with the alive team and all of our readers. And join us next month as we show you how to give the gift of health for the holidays. Live naturally and live well,
Ryan Benn PUBLISHER
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contributors Gillian Flower, ND, is a writer, gardener, and naturopathic doctor who writes about everything from mulch to menstrual products. Her adventures include cycling across Canada and hiking the Inca Trail. She divides her time between her practice in Oakville, her research work at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, and her garden in Toronto.
Jeremy Appleton, ND, is a licensed
naturopathic physician and certified nutrition specialist. He is the author of several books and hundreds of articles in the field of integrative medicine. He has worked for the last 11 years in scientific affairs and research in the nutraceutical industry.
Colon Cleanse & Super Colon Cleanse Get the relief that you’ve been waiting for with Colon Cleanse! Fiber and herbs provide safe and effective cleansing to promote
Justin Pritchard is a professional
automotive journalist and awardwinning automotive photographer based in Sudbury, Ontario. One of Canada’s youngest professional auto journalists, his stories can be read in numerous Canadian publications every week. Justin also produces an automotive radio feature and weekly television segment.
Irene McGuinness is managing
director of I.M. Marketing Ltd., a food marketing company that oversees food articles for publication, recipe development, food styling, and cookbook editing. She was associate food editor for Chatelaine and food editor for Ottawa Magazine and BC Woman magazine. Irene has written documentary scripts for the Food Network, including The World Pastry Cup, DV Cuisine winner of the 2003 James Beard Award.
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www.nakaherbs.com The information in this ad is intended strictly for research and educational purposes, not as a diagnostic tool or a prescription for any ailment.
EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD
PARTNERS IN EXCELLENCE
Questions & Answers with Canada’s Leading Women’s Natural Health Care Expert,
At Teldon Media Group, we are committed to providing our readers with the most current, relevant, and reliable information available. To help us maintain the editorial excellence and integrity of our publication, we have assembled a qualified council of dedicated experts and innovators in natural health to serve on alive’s Editorial Advisory Board:
Elvis A. Ali, ND Graham Butler, CNPA, RH Melissa Carr, DrTCM, RAc Nicole Duelli, CCH, RSHom (NA) Sam Graci Karlene Karst, RD Garth Owen Joey Shulman, DC, RNCP Nigma talib, ND Allison Tannis, MSc, RHN Sherry Torkos, BScPharm
With the help of these industry authorities, alive magazine offers fresh, timely, and accurate information about natural health and wellness. The Board members lend their expertise to the process of developing and commissioning our editorial lineup, and their postpublication review of each issue is invaluable in maintaining our 34-year reputation as Canada’s most trusted natural health and wellness resource.
Nicole Duelli is a certified classical homeopath and
naturopath (trained in Germany) who has been working in the natural health field for 16 years. She has written dozens of magazine articles and contributed to the Encyclopedia of Natural Healing (alive Books, 1998). In her private practice in Vancouver she encourages everyone to test the restorative powers of homeopathy. vancouverhomeopath.com
Safe, effective solution for vaginal infections!
Q: I continue to get vaginal infections even though I have used the one-time over-the-counter vaginal treatments from the pharmacy. What can I do?
A: You are not alone. Millions of Canadian women visit their doctors about vaginal infections each year and many of them experience them repeatedly. This is because vaginal infections are often misdiagnosed. Consequently, a shocking one-third of women don’t receive the correct treatment. There are actually three types of vaginal infections, yet most women are only aware of Candida yeast infections, which represent just 40 per cent of all vaginal infections. Yeast infections are caused by fungus that leads to itching or soreness in the vagina and sometimes causes pain or burning during urination or sex. Some women also get white odourless discharge that resembles cottage cheese. More common than yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis (50 per cent of vaginal infections) is caused by an imbalance of naturally occurring bacterial flora. Many things can disrupt your natural flora, including antibiotics, the Pill, IUDs, hormonal changes, pregnancy, menopause, douches, STDs, uncontrolled diabetes, stress and multiple sexual partners. Trichomoniasis, a bacterial infection, is the least common infection. It causes inflammation, greenish-yellow frothy vaginal secretions, itching and painful urination. Prevention of all three vaginal infections starts with a balance of healthy bacteria and a small number of yeast cells in the vagina—the two components of a healthy vagina. Probiostat® Vaginal helps keep this balance with its five strains of bacteria that help to restore healthy vaginal flora to prevent infection, while also working in synergy to treat existing vaginal infections. For even the most stubborn vaginal infections, Probiostat® Vaginal is the solution. Used preventatively, it can help break the vicious cycle of recurring infections. You can read more about Probiostat® Vaginal at www.hormonehelp.com alive.com 15
from our readers Why IsoProtein?
Letter of the month:
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Not just for kids Dear Editor: I was very thankful to see the wonderfully written articles on autism and ADHD [September 2009; “Autism: The science and the fiction”; “ADHD: Sorting through the hype”], but I must admit I was disappointed at the focus of these being solely on children. I can understand, with September being the time when parents are thinking about back to school, but what about the adults who suffer with these disabilities: where do they fall? It seems we don’t acknowledge that these are issues that affect adults, though these are children who once struggled—all grown up. I would really appreciate seeing a focus on the adults and college students who have these disorders and the various coping techniques and exercises. Please advocate on behalf of those of us who are children with autism or ADHD— all grown up. Belinda McKenzie Brooks, Alberta
Sorting through the
There are three primary subtypes of ADHD, each associated with different symptoms.
Joey Shulman, DC, RNCP
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ADHD symptoms typically appear in childhood, although teenage and adult ADHD does exist. ADHD symptoms may be difficult to diagnose because most young children (specifically boys) are highly energetic, easily distractible, and impulsive.
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A diagnosis of ADHD can be made by school or private psychologists, neurologists, psychiatrists, pediatricians, and other medical doctors. Only medical doctors can prescribe medication if it is needed. There are no physical findings for ADHD (no blood tests or scans to diagnose it) as of yet. Diagnosis is made according to criteria found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
instructions • has difficulty with organization
• avoids or dislikes tasks requiring
“Several research studies support the role of omega-3 in the treatment of ADHD.”
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These are initials everyone has heard, but many don’t completely understand. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, the leading childhood psychiatric diagnosis in North America, is a hot topic when it comes to childhood behaviour. What exactly is this disorder, and what is the natural approach to treating it?
According to the uS national institutes of health, “ADhD is a neurobehavioural disorder that interferes with a person’s ability to stay on a task and to exercise ageappropriate inhibition (cognitive alone or both cognitive and behavioural).” Someone diagnosed with ADhD may exhibit inappropriate levels of inattention, impulsivity, and
hyperactivity. these behaviours appear at school, at home, and in social situations while studying, performing tasks, or listening to people talk. Currently, it is estimated that the rate of ADhD in school-aged children ranges from 5 to 12 percent, with males outnumbering females approximately three to one.
Natural approaches there are several natural approaches to ADhD that have been researched and shown to be successful.
sustained mental effort
• is easily distracted • is forgetful in daily activities
ADhD—primArily hyperACtive/ impulSive type • fidgets with hands or
feet or squirms in chair • has difficulty remaining seated • runs around or climbs excessively • has difficulty engaging in activities quietly • acts as if driven by a motor • talks excessively • blurts out answers before questions have been completed • has difficulty waiting or taking turns • interrupts or intrudes upon others
supplement with omega-3 fatty acids
omega-3 is an essential fat that is critical to normal and healthy brain function. it is found in food sources such as coldwater fish, fish oils, flaxseed oil, walnuts,
ADhD—CombineD type meets both inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive criteria
Causes The specific causes of ADHD are unknown, although there does appear to be a hereditary (genetic) factor. Other potential causes (that have not been confirmed by research) may include: • alcohol consumption or cigarette smoking during pregnancy • brain injury • neurological disorder • sugar (though many studies have failed to prove this link) • food additives, refined foods • exposure to lead (plumbing fixtures and paint in old buildings) • lack of essential fatty acids or magnesium • television viewing • premature or traumatic birth It is important to note that problems in parenting or life situations may affect ADHD, but they do not cause the disorder.
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Electronic kids miss all the fun I read with interest your article “Electronic kids” in the September 2009 issue. It really struck home with me because of a recent experience with some young relatives. We recently attended the wedding of a close relative and were staying in a motel near the wedding venue along with several other out-of-town families. Among these families were two with children, ranging from nine years to 16 years old.
electronic kids Finding the balance
“Finished, Marcus? More?” Marcus’s mother, June, disappears into the living room and starts another episode of the childhood classic. early evening represents one of two short tV times that two-year-old Marcus is permitted each day, while donahue, a teacher, says she wouldn’t trade these quieter moments for anything. Still, she’s keenly conscious that, as Marcus matures, it may become more difficult to maintain a steady ratio of electronic-to-real life. in our world of television, dVds, and computerized toys, fascination with electronic media begins young. the lure of Dora the Explorer and Kung Fu Panda is contagious. children’s programming is increasingly sophisticated. in schools, laptops share space with hb pencils. On the one hand, tuning into the e-vibe is important. On the other, how much is too much? Mother of three and business owner lisa Stone agrees with donahue that finding a healthy balance is important.
“Feeneesh, Mommy, feeneesh!”
Over the final refrains of Sesame Street, Marcus Donahue’s voice drifts into the dining room, where a group of women share a platter of takeout sushi.
“The typical child spends five to six and a half hours a day in front of a screen.”
Get to Know Program The average youngster recognizes thousands of corporate logos— but fewer than 10 names of animal species in his/her local community. If famous Canadian wildlife artist Robert Bateman has his way, this will change. Appreciation for nature “couldn’t be more important,” he tells alive. “This is more important than any other single issue, and it has to start with little kids and the family.”
Tucks you in for a good night's sleep.
Bateman founded the Get to Know Program (gettoknow.ca) to foster youthful appreciation for all things green, including the wild animal species that he paints. During his public talks with children, he encourages them to ask their parents to go for a weekly hike. “It’s an easy thing to do, and healthy.” Bateman recommends Last Child in the Woods (Algonquin Books, 2005) by American author Richard Louv; it has hundreds of suggestions to avoid what has been coined “nature deficit disorder.” “Appreciation for nature can start at a very young age,” says Mary Krupa-Clark, Get to Know Program director. “Putting baby in a stroller or a tummy pack and going to a park is good.” The program has an online component, although it’s founded on the core belief that the best learning happens outside. “It’s multi-dimensional stimulation compared to linear stimulation from a computer,” says Krupa-Clark.
There was quite a different parenting approach among these two families: one set of parents involved their kids in exploring the local area, swimming in the motel’s pool, playing board games with them, and having conversations. The other set of parents had packed along their kids’ portable video games, the laptop computer, and their favourite DVD movies from home. Needless to say, these kids spent most of their spare time in their motel room—alone. The first set of parents let their kids know that the wedding and reception was going to be a wonderful experience that they’d enjoy—and expected them to participate fully. The second set of parents, on the other hand, told their eldest (a 13-year-old son) that Dad would drive him back to the motel immediately after dinner since he knew that he would be bored—no discussion at all. Well, as it turns out, the kids who stayed at the wedding all night had the time of their lives—chatting and laughing with other folks and dancing the night away. I can’t help feeling sorry for the poor 13-year-old who missed having a wonderful time because his parents assumed he’d be bored and gave him an easy out—out of all the fun.
• Relieves insomnia-related issues such as difficulty falling asleep, frequent and early morning waking. • Non-addictive and doesn't cause morning grogginess. • Sleep tight and awake feeling restored, invigorated and rested.
Louise Bernard, St. Catharines, Ontario
More than just eye candy
Telling someone “you are the apple of my eye” is a compliment to cherish. It may be because the apple is one of nature’s finest foods—in all aspects— from its vibrant fresh flavour to its countless health benefits and endless culinary uses. The apple is so beloved that every Canadian eats about 20 pounds of them each year. Now that’s something to feel good about! Varieties and uses Throughout the world there are well over 7,500 varieties of apples. A single wild apple tree yields a mind-boggling assortment of apples with varying tastes, textures, and shapes. One tree can produce apples of great sweetness, powerful puckery sourness, and even odd, vegetable-like flavours. Appearance can vary from giant red round orbs to plump yellow cherries and even tiny, dark olive look-alikes. However, our taste for sweetness and satiety has led to the domestication of the apple into those familiar favourites we find in grocery stores today. When shopping keep in mind that certain apples are better for eating out of hand while others shine as culinary stars. choosing and storing Use all your senses when selecting apples. Choose bright, richly coloured fruit that feels firm and tight. Avoid unsightly ones with bruises, holes, and soft spots. Give them a smell— you might discern subtle floral scents—but chances are if the apples are kept in a cooler, you may not smell anything. 130 september
BEST FOR EATiNG To keep their signature crisp crunch, apples are best stored in a cool, humid place. The crisper drawer of your refrigerator or a cold cellar is ideal. When stored at room temperature, they lose moisture and turn soft. For best flavour and aromatic enjoyment, bring apples to room temperature before eating. healthy to the core Apples have always had a history of good health. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” may have been the Prohibition era’s most brilliant PR slogan to sway people from the grip of drinking hard cider toward the health benefits of eating whole apples. Today there are countless studies and claims that maintain the apple does hold the keys to good health. apples contain a wealth of antioxidants
A 2004 study published in the New York Fruit Quarterly found that apples have the second highest level of antioxidant activity. That’s good news because antioxidants prevent cell and tissue damage caused by pesky free radicals, which helps lower the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. soluble fibres
Soluble fibres swell and form a gel-like mass that traps sugars and starches, slowly releasing them into the bloodstream. This slow digestion means blood sugar levels don’t spike and you stay fuller, longer. Soluble fibres also increase bulk in the intestinal tract making elimination easier and helping to lower cholesterol levels. Phytochemicals
ambrosia, Braeburn, empire, Fuji, jonagold, red delicious, gala, honeycrisp Why: Their clean, über-crisp flavours are
complex—a mix of sweetness veering towards refreshingly tart. The firm texture of the first bite offers a rich and creamy finish—pure goodness.
BEST FOR PiES northern spy, spartan, granny smith, Pippin Why: These have a mix of sweet-tart and tangy flavours which make any of them (or a mix) a perfect pie choice once the sugar is added. Texture is soft when cooked, yet the apples still hold their shapes and aren’t mealy.
BEST FOR APPlESAUCE Mcintosh, northern spy, Macoun, crispin, and cortland Why: These are softer in texture than other
apples and break down, but don’t collapse, releasing unrelenting juiciness that’s pleasantly sweet so you don’t have to add a lot of sugar.
BEST FOR COOkiNG ANd BAkiNG
These are non-nutrient plant chemicals that contain protective, disease-preventing compounds. Phytochemicals include catechins, quercetins, flavonoids, carotenoids, and phenolics. These may help slow the aging process and reduce the risk of diseases—including some cancers, osteoporosis, heart disease, cataracts, macular degeneration, and asthma. They may also speed up the healing of recurring heartburn.
northern spy, Braeburn, golden delicious, jonagold, honeycrisp, and rome Beauty
Vitamins and minerals
BEST FOR SAlAdS
Raw apples with skin left on contain a good amount of vision-enhancing vitamin A as well as vitamin C—necessary for iron absorption, tissue repair, and maintaining healthy teeth and gums. They contain minimal amounts of B vitamins—most notable is folate, which encourages the proper development of red blood cells—and also some vitamin E, an immune system booster and a natural sunscreen. Apples also contain calcium and phosphorus, both of which help build strong bones and teeth.
Why: These maintain their shape without going
mushy and fluff up like sweet, succulent pillows. despite the heat, they still maintain their snowywhite flesh.
cortland, Pink lady, red delicious, empire, and gala Why: Their sweetness plays well to a sharp, tart vinaigrette. Juicy and fragrant with a toothsome crunch, these are flavour boosters when mixed with mellow, leafy greens.
Feeling good about apples Dear Editor: Each month I look forward to reading alive. I don’t usually write to magazines, but I just had to let you know how much I enjoyed Jennifer Danter’s article on apples in the September issue [“The amazing apple”].
By the maker of Traumeel
from our readers
Living in the Okanagan, we are lucky enough to enjoy so many varieties of apples these days that I often don’t know whether an apple is best for eating or cooking. I’ve cut out your chart on apples so that I’ll know what varieties to look for and what to do with them. Thank you for providing such useful information. Joyce Murphy Penticton, BC
Seared Portobello MuShrooMS
These mushrooms are juicy and succulent with a crispy light batter and a hint of lime in each irresistible bite.
“Don’t overlook the wide va mushrooms; try the exotic of chanterelle, cremini, eno oyster, and porcini.”
3 1/2 lb (1.5 kg) portobello mushrooms, stems removed and gills scraped 2 tbsp (30 ml) freshly squeezed lime juice 1 1/2 tbsp (20 ml) vegan Worcestershire sauce 4 to 5 tbsp (60 to 75 ml) potato starch (or arrowroot powder or cornstarch) 3 to 4 tbsp (45 to 60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil Few pinches sea salt Few pinches freshly ground black pepper Sea salt (for finishing)
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Slice mushrooms into 1 to 1 1/2 in (2.5 to 4 cm) thick strips. In large shallow dish, combine lime juice and Worcestershire sauce. Add mushrooms and season with pepper; marinate for at least 20 minutes, flipping mushrooms halfway through. On large plate, combine potato starch and salt. In nonstick frying pan on high, heat 3 Tbsp (45 mL) oil. Coat marinated mushrooms in starch mixture, and lightly tap them to remove any clumps. Carefully add mushrooms to pan, searing one side for 4 to 5 minutes, until golden brown and crispy. Flip over and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes or until crispy, adding more oil if needed. If mushrooms stick together, separate with a heatproof spatula. Serve hot, sprinkled with additional salt if desired. If reheating is necessary, transfer to a lined baking pan and bake at 450 F (230 C) until hot. Serves 3 as side dish. a Dreena Burton is the author of Eat, Drink & Be Vegan and other best-selling vegan cookbooks. She thinks mushrooms are fun guys to cook with!
150 september 2009
A sticky issue Dear Editor: I have read many useful articles in alive magazine over the years that have shaped my decisions on health. Yet I have to shake my head sometimes when I read your magazine. On one page advice is given—in this issue for instance, to avoid nonstick cookware (on page 46)—and on another page an ad or a recipe—in this issue a recipe (on page 151)—walks a different talk. The recipe [for Seared Portobello Mushrooms] tells the readers to use a nonstick frying pan. How about being consistent, walking the talk? Thanks again for the good information. I will use my old cast iron frying pan for that recipe, and I am sure it will work just as well as a nonstick one. Marie Roulleau Victoria, BC
Dandelion precautions Dear Editor: I read your article in the May 2009 issue called “The top 10 healing herbs” and noted that under “Cautions,” none were listed. I currently take dandelion tea and on my package label there are several precautions listed. Perhaps you should point these out to your readers. Clifton Small St. John’s, Newfoundland
newrootsherbal.com Pre ve nti on
C u r e
Dear Clifton, Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Indeed, we did some further research and found that dandelion is generally considered safe, but there are some individuals who should use dandelion with caution. This information is provided by the University of Maryland Medical Center (umm.edu): If you have an allergy to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigold, camomile, yarrow, daisies, or iodine, you should avoid dandelion. In some people, dandelion can cause increased stomach acid and heartburn. It may also irritate the skin if applied topically. People with gallbladder problems and gallstones should consult a health care provider before eating dandelion. Possible Interactions: Dandelion leaf is a diuretic and may increase the excretion of drugs from the body. If you are taking prescription medications, ask your health care provider before taking dandelion leaf. If you are currently being treated with any of the following medications, you should not use dandelion preparations without first talking to your health care provider: Lithium—Animal studies suggest that dandelion may worsen the side effects associated with lithium, a medication used to treat bipolar disorder. Antibiotics, quinolone—One species of dandelion, Taraxacum mongolicum, also called Chinese dandelion, may decrease the absorption of quinolone antibiotics (such as ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin, and levofloxacin) from the digestive tract. It is not known whether Taraxacum officinale, also known as common dandelion, would interact with these antibiotics in the same way. As a precaution, dandelion should not be taken at the same time as these antibiotics. Antacids—Avoid antacids and other medicines that lower stomach acid. Editor
Correction In our On the bookshelf review, “The scoop behind the beans” about Coffee Doi Chaang (page 153, September 2009), the website to order copies of this book is incorrect. The correct website is doichaangcoffee.com.
What do you think? alive loves to hear your opinions. Drop us a line and let us know your thoughts about what you’ve read or about your experiences and successes with natural health products. Together we can build a healthier future.
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Get better faster with Umcka ColdCare ®
While most cough and cold medicines simply mask symptoms, Umcka® ColdCare® actually speeds your recovery. In fact, this all-natural Pelargonium sidoides root extract is clinically proven to shorten the duration and reduce the severity of upper respiratory illnesses such as sinus, throat and bronchial irritations. With Umcka® ColdCare®, you’ll be feeling like yourself in no time. Trust The Leaf ™ ™
Fast-A Acting Liquid Drops, Soothing Syrups and Hot Drinks & Chewables Avai Av aila labl blee at H Hea ealt lthh & Nu Nutr trit itio ionn St Stor ores es ffro rom m Na Natu ture re’ss W Way ay ooff Ca Cana nada da / 1-800 800-463 463-841 84122
Available at Health & Nutrition Stores from Nature’s Way of Canada / 1-800-463-8412
20 september 2009
Ask the experts Brendan Brazier is a professional Ironman triathlete, author of Thrive Fitness (Penguin, 2009),
and formulator of Vega. He has developed an online program called Thrive in 30. thrivein30.com.
What natural ingredients can I use for an immediate boost in athletic performance?
Brendan Brazier: Building the base of health with a diet comprised of nutrient-dense, plant-based, whole food is the key to ongoing gains in athletic performance. However, you can also take steps to obtain an immediate boost in athletic performance. A root called Rhodiola rosea, grown in cold mountainous regions of Eurasia, the United States, and Canada, is one of my favourite pre-workout energy boosters. One beneficial trait of rhodiola— helpful for those looking to boost athletic performance—is its potential ability to dilate blood vessels so that a greater volume of blood can flow throughout the body. This has several advantages. The first advantage is reduced strain placed on the heart; the heart rate decreases while the heart still pumps the same volume of blood around the body. A lower heart rate directly translates to greater endurance. Second, more nutrients are delivered to the extremities to fuel movement. Third, lactate (lactic acid) is removed from the extremities more quickly, allowing the body to function at a high level for a greater length of time, before a performance decline ensues at the hands of lactate saturation.
Have more health questions? ➤ visit alive.com
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And, since rhodiola is classified as an adaptogen, it doesn’t have a stimulating effect on the adrenal glands; rather it feeds them, which in turn promotes sustainable health. Green tea and yerba maté are also excellent pre-workout options that provide an immediate energy boost. They deliver steady energy over the course of hours without the jitters commonly associated with coffee. They may also help preserve glycogen stores by helping to burn fat as fuel, enhancing endurance, and contributing to the creation of a leaner body.
For a pre-workout energy boost, take: • 100 mg rhodiola root at 3 percent rosavins • 100 mg green tea standardized extract • 50 mg yerba maté standardized extract
Cold relief from new Umcka® Alternatively, drink a cup of green tea or yerba maté for a quick energy boost.
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natural health industry Charting its evolution
Twenty years ago a natural health aficionado typically frequented one-stop shops that sold everything—herbs, cosmetics, bulk foods, and a few trusted vitamin lines. But the past two decades have seen a major shift. Now organics are sold in major supermarkets, everybody seems to grow their own herbs, and almost 18,000 nutritional supplements have exploded into venues such as grocery stores and drug stores. “No longer do you expect to see just one multivitamin at a mainstream pharmacy,” says Penny Marrett, president and CEO of the Canadian Health Food Association. “Now the consumer expects to see a whole range of product. They walk in and start asking questions. They’ve done their research and may need more answers.” Natural health products (NHPs) — including vitamins, minerals, herbal remedies, homeopathic medicines, and traditional Chinese medicines—now represent a $2.5 billion industry in Canada. A more educated public,
22 november 2009
dissatisfaction with mainstream health care, and increasing acceptance by health care practitioners are three factors giving NHPs their modern thrust. Industry purists may yearn for the good old days, but Marrett says there are huge opportunities ahead in this stillgrowing industry. Purchase power According to a 2005 Ipsos-Reid study, 71 percent of Canadians use an NHP regularly, and 77 percent of Canadians agree that NHPs can promote good health. The latest industry statistics, released in July 2009, indicate that profits, exports, and the number of businesses involved in NHPs and functional foods—foods with added health benefits—have all experienced notable growth. NHPs and functional foods
generated $3.7 billion in revenue in 2007, $732 million was exported, mostly to the US, and $148 million was spent on research and development (R&D). Research based The science generated from R&D excites Marrett, who says this is part of why the industry is gaining credibility. Vitamin D is a good example. As a result of good research, many organizations including the Canadian Cancer Society now recommend it, a message that has been communicated well to the public. In turn, more acceptance and interest mean a greater political strength. “Our industry is gaining its voice on public policy and we need to strengthen that voice,” she tells alive. A strong voice is important, for example, in governmental matters. Currently,
â€œIndustry purists may yearn for the good old days, but there are huge opportunities ahead in this still-growing industry.â€? alive.com 23
the ongoing implementation of federal NHP regulations is a challenge that is creating additional cost and adding uncertainty. “We’re going to make sure that the regulations are implemented fairly, properly, and reasonably. We’re not there yet,” says Marrett. “But we’ll be there before five years are out.” The media factor The media is another factor related to the growing public interest in NHPs. “What’s going to sell next? I don’t know. A better person to ask is Dr. Oz,” jokes Lou Liberatore, owner of The Healthy Bug in Halifax. “Look at acai juice. We’ve carried it from day one, and it sold okay. But now that Dr. Oz mentioned it, it’s huge.” Since news of the swine flu hit the scene, many retailers report increased sales of products geared toward building immunity, although official health agencies point out that no natural products are approved to fight the virus. Immuneboosting vitamins C and D are just two nutrients sold everywhere, from traditional health food stores and whole food markets to corner supermarkets and big box stores. “Natural health retailers are one of the best places [to buy them] because they’ll have greater variety and choice than pharmacies and mass retailers,” says Marrett. They also have better informed sales staff to help consumers choose the right products for them. Consumer comparison For brands offered in both traditional and mass market stores, consumers have the luxury of comparing price. As to what makes one brand different or better than another, the advice to consumers is, ask. And if a particular clerk doesn’t know, find one who does or who is willing to find out for you. “It confuses people,” says Craig Walker of 1st Choice Health in St. Albert, Alberta, of overlapping brands and products. He notes that manufacturers have raised the question, “How premium can a product be if you can find it at a discount store?” 24 november 2009
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Economic pinch “It’s hardest for the senior community,” he adds. “Many of them are unfortunately stuck with what they can afford. They’re buying cheap products and not getting the results. Now we’ve created a person who doesn’t believe in the NHP industry. If there’s any kind of program that manufacturers should look into, it’s assisting seniors.” At the moment, however, it’s not only seniors who are feeling the economic pinch. Although there are no concrete statistics, Marrett says the industry has been affected in the sense that people are being more selective and cautious about buying. “I’m hopeful that as consumers feel more confident, they’ll go back to their purchasing practices,” she says. “I see a very strong, growing, vibrant, innovative industry that is responding to Canadians’ needs, Canadians who are seeking the best possible health for themselves and their loved ones.” Help near and far Walk into your corner natural health store and, guaranteed, most people have stories to tell about how their lives have been changed by some form of complementary alternative medicine. Whether the changes are small or large, that’s where this industry’s heart shines. Whether the changes are made one-onone or brought about through organized charity, it’s all about providing help. In 2008 the Health First Network, Canada’s largest association of NHP retailers, raised more than $46,000 for Vitamin Angels. This organization fights malnutrition, a condition responsible for one-third of childhood mortality worldwide. Their support extends to the violence-ravaged reaches of Third World countries where armed guerilla forces steal food from delivery trucks, but whether out of disinterest or divine design, they let vitamin supplies through. Giving may be nothing new to the NHP industry, but the scope of this giving is an example of how the industry has evolved—and continues to evolve—for the better. a
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Natural Health A recession proof industry? Michelle Hancock
Financial forecasts from many sectors of the Canadian economy have been gloomy of late. But to some in the natural health industry, the future is bright. “Our sales are up 30 percent from January to June 2009 compared to 2008,” says Lou Liberatore, who founded The Healthy Bug in Halifax in 2005. Prior to that, he worked in natural health product (NHP) sales for more than 14 years but wanted something with more security and stability. And, despite much doom and gloom from Ottawa, he’s found it. July 2009 was a record month, he says, explaining that the reason is surely multifactorial—a growing customer base, good staff, and good store policies. Yes, acknowledges Liberatore, some shoppers will price check and will buy at big box stores or online, but loyal customers come back because they want personal information and attention from people they can trust. Lifelong customers Building relationships is important—and will continue to be, agrees Dave Fuller of Ave Maria Specialties in Prince George, BC. Since his start in business 21 years ago, his original customers have brought their children and now bring their grandchildren. “Sales are flat,” he admits. “Consumers are looking for better deals. We’re trying to take advantage of sales from our suppliers and pass them along.” Fuller has seen trends come and go, from exotic fruit drinks to today’s popular gluten-free foods. He’s also seen many vitamin lines come and go, as he eliminates those from his store that don’t meet expectations. He and his staff tour most manufacturers’ facilities themselves “to make sure that what’s on the label is what’s in the bottle.” Quality health solutions This attention to quality is what he thinks will see retailers through current economic instability. “We have to know our products,” he tells alive. “We have to educate our staff to a higher level than that at a grocery store or pharmacy if we want to stay viable. It costs a lot of money, but we’re willing to do this.” “Why do customers come to us?” echoes Craig Walker of 1st Choice Health from St. Albert, Alberta. “Because we’re the 26 november 2009
ones customers perceive as having the education and knowledge to assist them in what they’re looking for.” Walker doesn’t sell products. He sells solutions. In his early 30s he developed a serious illness that lasted for years. Eventually, a naturopathic doctor tested him for nutritional deficiencies and gave him Earl Mindell’s Vitamin Bible (Grand Central, 1991), which, he laughs, wasn’t exactly an easy read. Nevertheless it started him on his road to lifelong wellness. Now, at 58, he’s healthier than ever and is ready to share what he’s learned. “It’s an interesting stage in life,” he says, “incredibly rewarding and frustrating.” It’s frustrating in the sense that many people are looking for a quick-fix solution whereas Walker’s message is one of long-term care involving cleansing/ detoxification, pH balancing, and nutrition. “Maintain your effort and change your life,” he says. “The key to health is that you have to maintain the effort for the rest of your life. Stop brushing your teeth every morning and see what happens.”
“Loyal customers come back because they want personal information and attention from people they can trust.” On the matter of the economy, Walker says, “We’re being affected by those customers who are economically challenged. We haven’t been affected by those who know the value of what they’re buying and how it’s made them feel better.” Like the Healthy Bug in Halifax, other health food stores are enjoying healthy profits. “Since the recession started, sales are up 30 percent,” says David Best of Green Door Vitamins, which he co-started 10 years ago in downtown Kingston, Ontario. “I’ve read that during a recession people hunker down to focus on family and health.”
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NHP concerns This increased focus on personal health seems to be the case for his supplement shop. At the moment, however, a bigger concern for him than finances is the potential effect of NHP regulations. “Everyone is concerned about these natural health product numbers [that all NHPs must have by 2010 in order to be sold],” he says. Many companies are finding their product license applications to the Natural Health Products Directorate stalled or rejected. The mainstreaming of natural medicine is a trend that Best says is inevitable and unending. “It’s business. You have to fight for your own turf.” Despite an engineering background, Best has explored many aspects of alternative and complementary healing, which he feels is a unique draw for many customers. Current popular sellers for him include products for arthritis and pain, which receive many referrals from local health practitioners, including doctors. Just last night, a local CBCaffiliated TV crew was in his shop filming a documentary about immunity and the pandemic of the day, swine flu. “Exposure to the mainstream populace has increased enormously. Years ago I wouldn’t have seen utility workers coming in asking for bowel cleanses,” he tells alive. “There’s still a lot of growth happening in the industry.” a
The voice of natural health
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As Canada’s natural health and wellness magazine, alive has been educating consumers about natural health products for the past 34 years. With timely, wellresearched articles, alive has chronicled the natural health industry’s phenomenal growth. alive has kept you informed about issues that affect the natural health industry, such as Bill C-51 and the Natural Health Products Directorate (NHPD), and we will continue to bring you the latest natural health news. For information on issues affecting the natural health food industry, visit the Canadian Health Food Association website at chfa.ca.
When Michelle Hancock isn’t writing, she can often be found browsing the shelves of her local health food store in Vancouver, BC. email@example.com
harmony The HSTâ€™s impact on natural health
Next July Ontario and British Columbia will implement a new tax that will apply to natural health products and a vast range of complementary and alternative therapies. Natural health advocates say the harmonized sales tax will punish people who practise and promote preventive well-being. The harmonized sales tax (HST) will combine the provincial, or retail, sales tax (which is 7 percent in BC and 8 percent in Ontario) with the 5 percent federal goods and services tax (GST). This will result in an overall tax of 12 percent in BC and 13 percent in Ontario, respectively. The HST will apply to natural health-related goods and services previously covered by the GST but not the PST, including vitamins, supplements, and herbs. This means 28 november 2009
a potential 7 or 8 percent price increase at the retail level. Consumers are sure to feel the pinch. The increase will also apply to certain complementary treatments such as traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), acupuncture, shiatsu, and homeopathy. Some health services, such as physiotherapy, chiropractic care, and psychological care are already GST exempt which means they will also be HST free.
A short-sighted approach Peter Wood, president of the Traditional Chinese Medicine Association of British Columbia, says that preventive health care saves the health care system money in the long run. “Preventive and holistic medicines such as TCM have been proven to save countless tax dollars in medical bills, hospitalizations, and sick days from work, not to mention their positive impact on people’s general sense of well-being,” Wood says. “This HST would be a great step backward in our medical system’s goal of becoming sustainable. A system reliant solely on pharmaceuticals and surgeries simply does not have financial or medical integrity.” Ron Rosenes, vice chair of the Canadian Treatment Action Council, which helps people living with HIV/AIDS, describes the move to tax health products as “counterproductive.” “I’m extremely unhappy about this going ahead at a time when we should be focusing on being proactive about our health. The HST only increases the cost of keeping people healthy, when the goal should be to encourage prevention,” says Rosenes. A double standard Prescription pharmaceutical drugs are not subject to the GST and will be HST exempt. Proponents of natural health argue that taxing goods and services that foster preventive well-being reflects the way complementary health has yet to be embraced by the medical establishment and the government. Penny Marrett, president and CEO of the Canadian Health Food Association, says that the CHFA questions why natural health products are taxed at all. “If natural health products are assisting people to stay as healthy as possible—and we know that’s true—why are we taxing them in the first place?” she asks. For proof of the benefits of natural products, consider some of Health Canada’s own recommendations. The federal organization recommends that all women who could become pregnant should take folic acid daily to prevent neural tube defects, for instance, while adults over age 50 should take a daily vitamin D supplement to enhance bone health. “Why are we in a position where these products are taxed?” Marrett says. “You also have to ask, isn’t the goal of the Public Health Agency of Canada to promote the importance of people keeping themselves as healthy as possible?” Cost savings HST supporters contend that the tax will save businesses money and increase their efficiency. Ottawa is offering billions of dollars in transition funds for governments that sign on. But while the government sees cost savings and efficiencies in tax collection, for consumers the jury is still out.
“The HST only increases the cost of keeping people healthy, when the goal should be to encourage prevention.” Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island, and Manitoba are considering switching to the HST but have expressed concerns about its effect on consumers. Newfoundland/Labrador, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick introduced the HST in 1997; however, the combined tax is said to have resulted in a lower overall tax rate. To stop the HST, Marrett is urging people to contact both their Member of Parliament and their provincial government representative to voice opposition. (See sidebar to find out how.) “We need to tell [the government] why it needs to turn this around, that these [products and services] should not be taxed at a federal level and therefore not taxed at a provincial level.” a
Stop the HST on natural health products If you want to let the government know how you feel about the proposed HST, email your elected representative. In Ontario »C ontact your member of provincial Parliament (MPP) at: www.ontla.on.ca In BC »C ontact your member of the legislative assembly (MLA) at: leg.bc.ca/Mla/3-1-1.htm Federally »C ontact your member of Parliament (MP) at: webinfo.parl.gc.ca
Gail Johnson is a journalist who specializes in health matters. gailjohnson.com
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diabetes 33 • memory helpers 39 • Guggulipids 42 • kidney support 44 seasonal affective disorder 47 • osteoarthritis 51 • fibre 55
of Canadians experience
the “winter blues” and an additional 4% suffer from seasonal affective disorder or SAD. Are you affected by the dark days of winter? Find out how to beat the blues on page 47.
Canadians are affected by osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease. Keep your joints healthy. Find out how on page 51.
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32 november 2009
diabetes Preventable and manageable Jeremy Appleton, ND, CNS
November is diabetes month. Many people know that the most common form of diabetes is preventable, but too many are not yet incorporating that message of prevention into their daily lives. There are two different types of diabetes mellitus: type 1 and type 2.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes
In this type of diabetes the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin—a hormone that helps us process sugar. Insulin removes glucose from the blood and transfers it to cells where it is used as fuel. For people with this disease, the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin (called beta cells) have been destroyed by the body’s own immune system.
This occurs when the body cannot correctly use the insulin made by the pancreas. Sometimes referred to as adult onset diabetes, type 2 diabetes is increasingly prevalent in children. Although family history and genetics play an important part in its development, the disease is preventable and is more likely to occur in those who are overweight.
Type 1 diabetes occurs most often in children and young adults. It requires insulin replacement therapy and is generally considered an autoimmune disease. There is presently no known cure; however, vitamin D deficiency may be a correctable, underlying factor.
Lack of exercise, poor diet, and excess weight (especially around the middle) significantly increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. The consequences of allowing it to go unchecked are grave and include amputation of limbs, blindness, heart disease, kidney failure, and death.
“Recent research suggests that exercise may be as good as diet and drugs at managing diabetes.”
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Eat more whole grains, fruits, nuts, seeds, and green leafy vegetables, and opt for low-fat dairy products. Research has shown that people who follow these guidelines are 15 percent less likely to develop diabetes than those who do not. Avoid soft drinks—even diet ones. Many people choose diet pop over regular soft drinks to avoid calories and weight gain, but recent research suggests that people who drink diet pop on a daily basis have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Regular consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks has also been found to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus in African American women.
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Recent research suggests that exercise may be as good as diet and drugs at managing diabetes. According to a recent study review, both aerobic and resistance exercise—and a combination of the two—are able to control glucose levels in ways similar to diet changes and insulin treatments.
An entirely NEW pH Self-testing Method With the Toxikator pH tester, it is now possible for the first time to carry out an accurate, fast, hygienic self-test. The Toxikator indicates the pH value of the skin with reliable and consistent results, contrasting greatly with unreliable litmus paper results that tests saliva and urine. Four simple strokes of the tester, are sufficient enough to determine the acid alkaline levels, as opposed to eight self-tests of the urine per day.
Herbs for diabetes Ivy gourd (Coccinia indica)
This plant appears to mimic the action of insulin in the body. In a randomized, controlled clinical trial, 32 patients with type 2 diabetes were treated for six weeks with powdered ivy gourd. Researchers reported significant changes in blood sugar control. While similar effects have been reported in other trials, more research is needed to confirm these encouraging results.
The Toxikator is extremely practical, being as small and compact as a tube of lipstick and, as a result, easy to use, even when on the move. Up to 120 tests can be carried out. For best results check your pH levels three times a week.
Know your body’s pH American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius)
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Several species of ginseng have been shown in animal studies to lower blood sugar. Some clinical trials in humans have examined the herb’s effects on patients with type 2 diabetes, reporting decreases in fasting blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c. Larger, long-term studies are needed to confirm the blood sugar-lowering effects of American ginseng.
Gymnema (Gymnema sylvestre) Gymnema leaves were first found to lower blood sugar in the 1920s. Research in animals and humans has found that gymnema leaves raise insulin levels, possibly by regenerating the pancreatic beta cells that make insulin.
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Other herbs A great many other herbs show promising potential to manage type 2 diabetes. The following are some important herbs used in the treatment of diabetes and should be considered under the guidance of a health care practitioner.
• • • • • • • • • • • •
arlic and onion (Allium sativum, Allium cepa) g holy basil (Ocimum sanctum) fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) bitter melon (Momordica charantia) fig leaf (Ficus carica) nopal (Opuntia streptacantha) m ilk thistle (Silybum marianum) gingko (Gingko biloba) Indian kino (Pterocarpus marsupium) a loe vera b erberine c urry
Nutritional supplements for diabetes Of the studies examining oral vitamin and mineral supplements for diabetes control, the best quality research is available on chromium, magnesium, vitamin E, vanadium, and alpha-lipoic acid.
Chromium is a trace mineral required to regulate blood sugar. Although most people with diabetes are not deficient in chromium, supplementation has been shown to help control glucose as well as weight, blood lipids, and bone density. Chromium is a part of glucose tolerance factor, which has been shown to increase the number of insulin
receptors, to enhance receptor binding, and to improve the action of insulin.
Although its precise role in controlling blood sugar is not known, magnesium deficiency can cause insulin resistance and worsen diabetes complications such as neuropathy, retinopathy, thrombosis, and hypertension. While at least one study has found that magnesium can reduce fasting blood sugar levels and increase post-meal insulin secretion, definitive results from clinical trials remain inconclusive.
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Although evidence from clinical trials is mixed, it is suggested that vitamin E supplementation could reduce complications of diabetes arising from the glycation of proteins and the oxidative damage that accompanies the disease. Vitamin E may also improve insulin secretion and the sensitivity of insulin receptors.
Vanadium is a nonessential trace element that may be helpful in improving the uptake and metabolism of glucose, the metabolism of lipid and amino acids, and enhancing insulin sensitivity. Vanadium acts primarily as a mimic of insulin.
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Alpha-lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant. Experimental research has shown it enhances glucose uptake in muscle and prevents glucose-induced protein glycation. In patients with type 2 diabetes who were given 600 to 1,800 mg per day, alpha-lipoic acid had positive effects on glucose uptake and insulin sensitivity.
Qualified advice All types of diabetes are serious and potentially life threatening. A qualified health care practitioner should manage them. Advice regarding natural therapies should be sought from a naturopathic doctor, nutritionist, or other knowledgeable practitioner. Health food store personnel may also be able to direct you to useful information regarding supplements to support healthy blood sugar levels. a
Jeremy Appleton, ND, CNS, is a licensed naturopathic physician and certified nutrition specialist. He is the author of several books, including MSM—The Definitive Guide (Freedom Publishing, 2002).
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I remember when... I could remember Boosting your mental power Chantelle Drobot, ND
Have you ever forgotten someone’s name right after she introduced herself to you? It’s frustrating and embarrassing, but minor memory loss happens to many people over the age of 40. Luckily, research indicates you can easily improve your memory. It shouldn’t come as a shock that a healthy lifestyle is imperative to maintaining a sharp memory. Healthy lifestyle A 2008 study defined a healthy lifestyle as a BMI under 22; a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole foods, and low in fats; daily physical exercise; a history of never smoking; and alcohol consumption of no more than four to 10 drinks per week. Researchers found that individuals who maintained a healthy lifestyle had significantly better memory performance than those who did not. Studies have also confirmed that omega-3 fats, specifically EPA and DHA which can be found in a healthy diet, can significantly improve cognitive function in older individuals with minor cognitive impairment.
TIP: Omega-3 fats are found in fatty fish such as salmon, herring, and sardines.
Exercise moves How many times have we heard about the benefits of exercise? Well now we have one more reason to remember to exercise. Studies indicate that moderate physical activity can improve learning and memory and may be able to delay or prevent the loss of cognitive function that is associated with the aging process. Don’t like the gym? No problem, a recent study showed that a simple 12-week home program which included story retelling, memory-enhancing games, and aerobic exercise resulted in cognitive benefits for those enrolled in the research project.
TIP: Health Canada recommends 30 to 60 minutes of moderate exercise every day to reap the benefits of physical activity. However, if you can’t fit in that much time, some is always better than none.
5 easy ways to get your omega-3s > E at fish twice a week (mackerel, > > > >
salmon, herring, trout, sardines, or shellfish). C hoose omega-3 enriched eggs. T ry fresh or frozen soybeans (edamame) as a vegetable alternative. A dd ground flaxseed to cereals and yogourt. A dd walnuts to baked goods and cereals, and sprinkle on salads.
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Water works Some experts recommend drinking eight glasses of water a day to maintain our weight and energy levels, but water is also important for healthy memory maintenance. Although examining the effects of hydration on cognitive function is a relatively new area of research, studies have suggested that even minor dehydration may affect memory and cognition, not only in adults but also in children.
TIP: What counts as water? Beverages such as juice, milk, and herbal teas are mainly made up of water, but water should be your main beverage. Food provides about 20 percent of our water intake, so be sure to always eat as many juicy fruits and vegetables as you can. Echinaforce Junior For prevention or relief • Gets their immune system ready for the cold and flu season. • Relieves their cold and flu symptoms. • Great orange flavor. • Chewable. • Lactose and gluten free. Experience. True Swiss. Available where natural products are sold! Guaranteed relief or your money back! www.avogel.ca • 1-800-361-6320
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Sweet dreams An increasingly large number of adults are having trouble maintaining a normal sleep pattern. Research confirms that sleep is one of the most influential factors in maintaining healthy cognitive function. Studies repeatedly show that sleep deprivation negatively affects mood, attention, working memory, and cognitive performance. A consistent lack of sleep adversely affects endocrine function and metabolic and inflammatory responses, suggesting that sleep deprivation may be unhealthy from a physiological standpoint.
TIP: For a good night’s sleep, get to bed before 11 pm, eat a small healthy snack before bed, sleep in a dark room, and don’t look at the clock should you wake during the night.
Herbal helper Finally, there is herbal help that has been proven to aid memory maintenance. Ginkgo biloba is a herb that acts as an antioxidant and increases circulation to the small blood vessels in the brain by decreasing blood viscosity (thinning the blood). Research has provided reliable evidence that consistent use of ginkgo may improve cognitive functions such as selective attention, executive processes, and long-term memory for verbal and nonverbal material. Studies have also indicated that ginkgo is safe to use and causes few side effects; however, because of its blood-thinning effects, those people on pharmaceutical blood thinners or those scheduled for surgery should consult their natural health practitioner before taking ginkgo.
TIP: Ginkgo is available in several forms: capsules, tablets, liquid extracts, and dried leaf for teas. Your natural health retailer can help you choose the form that’s right for you. a Chantelle Drobot, ND, owns and practises out of the Integrative Health Centre in Calgary. Her clinical focus includes female concerns, hormonal imbalances, digestive disorders, stress-related illnesses, and cardiovascular disease.
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an ancient herb with modern applications Graham Butler, CNPA, RH
Studies conducted on the herb guggul have yielded promising results in the treatment of high cholesterol. Recently, scientists have been doing an in-depth guggul search. Guggul has a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine. Its yellowish gum is harvested from the mukul tree (Commiphora mukul), a small, thorny plant native to northern India. Combined with other herbs, it has been used in the treatment of a wide variety of conditions, such as arthritis, skin diseases, obesity, and various forms of neuropathy. The Sushruta samhita, an ancient Sanskrit medical text, lists guggul as a treatment for medoroga, a form of obesity characterized by a variety of complications, including cardiovascular disease. Western herbal medicine generally uses guggul in the form of an extract called guggulipids. Applications in the West have focused primarily on cholesterol reduction, although other potential applications include weight loss, hypothyroidism, osteoarthritis, and cognitive decline. Modern science and guggul Modern studies have shown promising results. Used over a period of four to 12 weeks, guggulipids reduced bad cholesterol (LDL) by as much as 27 percent and triglycerides by as much as 30 percent in those with previously elevated cholesterol levels. It is worth noting, however, that a relatively recent study published in the Journal of the 42 november 2009
American Medical Association found no such benefits. Scientists at Baylor College in the US established that guggulipids block the activity of a receptor in liver cells resulting in reduced LDL cholesterol levels. Research into the benefits of guggulipids has gone beyond its cholesterol-lowering effects. Studies are looking at the extract in several other therapeutic uses. For example,
Drug interactions The active constituents of guggul, guggulsterones, enhance the body’s ability to break down many drugs. Guggul may interfere with a variety of medications, including: • cholesterol-reducing drugs • thyroid medications • c yclosphosphamide, a cancer-fighting drug • acetaminophen
Side effects Though raw guggul gum can be an irritant, guggulipids have few side effects.
chemically induced hypothyroidism was reversed in mice that received guggul, indicating a potential use for regulating thyroid function.
“Research into the benefits of guggulipids has gone beyond its cholesterollowering effects.” Scientists at the University of Southern California found that when patients with osteoarthritis were given guggulipids, they showed measurable improvements in pain reduction, stiffness, and overall physical function. No side effects were reported during the trial. In addition, preliminary studies indicate that guggulipids may be as useful as the herb Gingko biloba for memory enhancement. As always, see your health practitioner and make certain he or she does a guggul search before beginning any new treatment. a Graham Butler, CNPA, RH, is a registered herbalist and member of the Ontario Herbalists Association Board of Directors who practises traditional herbalism in the Toronto area. herbalists.on.ca
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Optimize your kidney function Detox with 4 herbal helpers Jodie Peacock, ND To maintain optimal health it is important to regularly cleanse our organs of detoxification—the kidneys, liver, intestinal tract, skin, and lungs. Often overlooked when starting a cleanse, most people are unaware of the important role the kidneys play in removing toxins from the body. The kidneys process about 166 quarts (189 L) of blood each day and remove about 1.66 quarts (1.89 L) of waste products and extra water which are converted to urine. Kidney disease or damage often goes undetected until serious symptoms arise. It’s therefore important to remember the kidneys when it comes to taking preventive health measures. Herbal helpers Listed below are several herbs that can help to cleanse the kidneys.
The kidneys always work hard to > filter the blood > remove toxins and byproducts > produce hormones that control blood pressure > produce the hormone erythropoietin that makes new red blood cells > convert vitamin D into its active form to help maintain bone health Juniper berry
Flavonoids in its leaves produce the juniper berry’s antiinflammatory and diuretic properties. Oil made from the berries has high antimicrobial and antibacterial effects. When taken as an oil or drunk as a tea, juniper berry supports healthy kidney and urinary tract function by removing waste and acidic toxins from the body. Cranberry
A study reported in the British Journal of Urology International demonstrated that cranberry juice can be used to help prevent kidney stones from recurring. Cranberry can also help prevent the recurrence of urinary tract infections. This berry appears to prevent uropathogens (for example, E. coli) from attaching to the epithelium in the urinary tract, thereby preventing infection. Meta-analyses confirm that cranberry is most effective for young and middle-aged women, reducing the recurrence of urinary tract infections by up to 35 percent over a one-year period. Corn silk
Historically, corn silk has been used to smooth the functioning of the urinary tract with its diuretic and detoxifying properties. Taken as a tincture or drunk as a tea, corn silk can be used to treat infections of the urinary system.
Using herbal support once or twice a year to ensure proper filtration by the kidneys may help reduce the toxic burden on our system and help the kidneys to work optimally throughout the year. a
An extract of pine bark called Pycnogenol contains bioflavonoids with great antioxidant potential. In animal and human studies, Pycnogenol has demonstrated a potent ability to scavenge free radicals.
Jodie Peacock, ND, is a naturopathic doctor and founder of the Root of Health clinic in Oakville, Ontario. Her practice focuses on women’s health, pediatrics, and sports medicine.
44 november 2009
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FOR COLDS, COUGHS AND FLU. You can still find medications to help your little ones feel better. Treatments you can trust for children under 6 years old. boiron.ca Available in pharmacies, ask your healthcare professional for advice.
46 november 2009
Keep a rosy outlook Jonathan Prousky, ND
Do you feel sad during the winter months and then feel better in the spring and summer? Do you find work less enjoyable as the days become shorter and the nights become longer? Have you been less sociable lately? Are you sleeping more than you should? Having excessive carbohydrate cravings? alive.com 47
health If you answered yes to the majority of these questions, you might be suffering from the winter blues, a less severe form of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD is characterized by fall and winter depression, excessive sleep (hypersomnia), increased appetite with carbohydrate cravings, and weight gain, which alternates with normal moods and behaviour in the spring and summer. Even though the winter blues is a lesser form of SAD, it can be debilitating. Without effective treatment many people find their day-to-day life unsatisfying and difficult to manage. There is an increased prevalence of the winter blues in areas of Canada that have a high proportion of rainy and overcast fall and winter days, affecting about 10 percent of the population.
speculated that sufferers have low serotonin levels during the winter months. Although more research is needed, increasing the brain level of serotonin has been shown to improve winter bluesâ€™ symptoms. What can you do to help yourself? See your health care practitioner and rule out low thyroid function (hypothyroidism), anemia, blood sugar disturbances, and viral infection. Your health care practitioner should also inquire about seasonal depression and other symptoms.
Find the cause The condition might be caused by a deficiency of bright light, leading to circadian rhythm disturbances. Our natural circadian rhythm helps us to feel sleepy at night and awake during the day. Sufferers of the winter blues have a disrupted circadian rhythm that causes them to feel sleepy during both night and day. Low levels of serotonin might also contribute to the winter blues. Serotonin is a feel-good brain chemical that has antidepressant, anti-anxiety, and anti-craving properties. It is
Turn up the light
Beat the blues There are natural approaches that can provide substantial relief in a relatively short period of time. Try to get as much bright light as possible, particularly in the morning. This can be accomplished by purchasing a light visor or a light box. The device should provide broad spectrum light, as this is very similar to natural light, and deliver 2,500 to 10,000 lux of illumination. (Outdoor light half an hour after dawn is approximately 10,000 lux). It generally takes from two days to a week to notice a great improvement. It is best to use these devices in the morning, as this has the added bonus of resetting
STOP FLU WHEN THE FIRST SYMPTOMS APPEAR. Available in pharmacies, ask your healthcare professional for advice. 48 november 2009
If exercising outdoors in the winter chill is unappealing, walk at a mall, climb stairs, join a gym, swim at an indoor pool, skate at an arena, or sign up for one of the many fitness programs offered by your local community centre.
5-HTP dosage > Start with 50 to 100 mg three times a day. > Increase to 200 mg three times a day if there are no noticeable changes within 4 to 6 weeks.
the circadian rhythm and stopping daytime melatonin secretion. Get outside
Hibernation may be tempting, but get outdoors to take advantage of any natural light that Mother Nature offers. Remember to warm up properly before exercising. Tight muscles are more susceptible to injury in the cold. Layer your clothing so the innermost layer wicks moisture away from your body while the outer layer provides a wind- and water-repellant barrier. Don’t remove your clothes immediately upon returning indoors. Allow your body time to adjust to the warmer temperature to avoid post-exercise hypothermia.
Raise your serotonin
A dietary supplement called 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) raises serotonin levels in the brain and is capable of alleviating many of the symptoms that characterize the winter blues. When using 5-HTP it is wise to be monitored by a health care practitioner. Side effects from 5-HTP are minimal, but can include hypomania, mild nausea, vomiting, heartburn, and other gastrointestinal problems, such as flatulence, feelings of fullness, and stomach rumbling sensations. Over the past 10 years, I have treated hundreds of patients with mood-related issues, including the winter blues. In the majority of cases, the use of natural treatments has successfully improved their quality of life. a
Jonathan Prousky, ND, is chief naturopathic medical officer of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. His private practice focuses on the naturopathic treatment of mental health disorders.
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Osteoarthritis Prevention, protection, and pain control Susan Biali, MD
November is the perfect time to talk about osteoarthritis— it’s that time of year when arthritis sufferers begin to feel the cold weather’s effect on their achy joints. Most people understand arthritis as being a single medical condition, but there are different types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, is the most common type. Signs and symptoms Osteoarthritis is a wear-and-tear
condition. The cartilage that cushions the joints erodes over time, eventually damaging the ends of the bones in the joint, resulting in painful, stiff joint movement. The symptoms develop slowly and typically get worse over time. Osteoarthritis most commonly affects the hands, hips, knees, and spine. Sufferers
experience joint pain during or after joint use, tenderness when touching the joint, loss of flexibility, swelling, and/or a grating sensation when moving the joint. Risk factors A number of factors in combination may be responsible for the development of osteoarthritis, including excess body alive.com 51
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weight, joint injury or stress, aging, muscle weakness, and genetics. Risk factors include being older, being a woman (experts arenâ€™t sure why), and having pre-existing joint injuries or disease. It is estimated that 85 percent of Canadians will be affected by osteoarthritis by age 70. Keeping joints healthy Steps can be taken to help prevent osteoarthritis. Maintaining a healthy weight is the best place to start, as being overweight significantly increases stress on the joints. Try to avoid activities that are excessively hard on the joints. Gentle exercise such as walking, swimming, or biking helps to maintain joint mobility and strengthen surrounding muscles. Managing osteoarthritis For those who already have osteoarthritis, gentle exercise is one of the initial means of treatment recommended to help painful joints (please check with your health care practitioner first). There are many other ways to control discomfort and prevent progression of the damage. Maintain good posture
Poor posture can further stress worn-out joints. Position joints to avoid excess stress
Use larger, stronger joints to carry loads. For instance, carry a shoulder bag rather than a hand-held one.
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osteoarthritis. For instance, people who work in a squat position over many years may be more prone to osteoarthritis of the knee.
“It is estimated that 85 percent of Canadians will be affected by osteoarthritis by age 70.” Talk to a qualified physiotherapist
He or she can suggest modifications to daily activities so they are less painful and easier to perform. Use hot and cold treatments
Use a heating pad, warm bath, or hot water bottle to apply heat to stiff joints and cool cloths or ice packs for cold treatments to soothe muscle spasms. (Caution: avoid applying cold if you have circulation problems or numbness in the affected area). Helpful supplements A popular natural therapy for osteoarthritis is the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate. Many studies have found benefits to using these supplements, while many others have produced unclear results. A recent review from the University of Southern California in the January 2009 issue of Arthroscopy reported that glucosamine and chondroitin “have individually shown inconsistent efficacy in decreasing osteoarthritis pain and improving joint function.” However, the reviewers point out that these two supplements have an excellent safety profile with almost no side effects; for that reason, they are still recommended as an initial treatment option. Acupuncture aid A 2005 study published in The Lancet suggests that acupuncture could reduce pain and improve joint functioning in the short term for people with osteoarthritis of the knee. While the effectiveness of acupuncture as a long-term osteoarthritis treatment is still unproven, it is a method that continues to be explored in clinical trials. Now be sure to bundle up and protect those joints before you head out into the November cold—a warm cozy pair of gloves or mittens goes a long way toward preventing stiff, aching fingers. a
Susan Biali, MD, is a wellness expert, speaker, and flamenco dancer. Her upcoming book is Live a Life You Love—Seven Steps to a Healthier, Happier, More Passionate You.
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fibre: a new look… …at a basic dietary element
Caroline Csiki, CHNP
Fibre is one of the most basic elements of a healthy diet. A major building block of plants, fibre occurs naturally in fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, and whole grains. If our diet includes a large proportion and variety of whole foods, it’s easy to maintain healthy levels of fibre intake. Unfortunately, living in a culture in which fast and processed foods proliferate, it’s all too easy to find ourselves fibre deficient. That’s why it’s essential to pay attention to this particular nutritional component that is not a vitamin, mineral, antioxidant, or a protein. Fibre’s good fight A high-fibre diet has been repeatedly shown to reduce the risk of diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. Perhaps most importantly of all, fibre is key to maintaining a healthy digestive system, which in turn is essential for the absorption of nutrients and the effective elimination of toxins and wastes. Additionally, fibrous foods help us feel more satiated and thus make weight control much easier.
Rich fibre sources Amount
1 cup (177 g)
kidney beans (cooked)
1 cup (172 g)
black beans (cooked)
1 cup (188 g)
lima beans (cooked)
1 cup (123 g)
1 cup (136 g)
1 cup (175 g) Swiss chard (cooked)
1 cup (100 g)
1 Tbsp (10 g)
1 cup (91 g)
“Having psyllium-bran cereal with milk could be constipating unless you remember to drink a big glass of water with this meal.”
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56 november 2009
P r e ve nti on
C u r e
Two types of dietary fibre Each play a role in our physical well-being. Insoluble fibre remains whole and absorbs water as it travels through the digestive tract, sweeping it clean of clinging waste material as it goes. Soluble fibre reaches the large intestine and once there is fermented and at least partially absorbed into the system. This fermentation is essentially a feeding of the gastrointestinal bacteria, creating short chain fatty acids which, once absorbed in the colon, reduce cholesterol produced by the liver and help regulate insulin production. These factors impart improved circulatory health and therefore a lowered risk of heart disease.
Feeding the gut Recently we have seen a host of mainstream food products jubilantly advertising the new addition of concentrated fibres, such as psyllium and inulin. While these products may up our daily fibre intake, they may not be as healthy as they appear at first glance. When looking at a popular bran cereal with psyllium, not only do we find a high fibre content (13 g per 1/3 cup), but also a significant amount of refined cane sugar and high fructose corn syrup (8 g per 1/3 cup), both of which undermine the benefits of the psyllium. Having a bowl of psyllium-bran cereal with milk could actually be quite constipating unless you remember to drink a big glass of water with this meal.
How much fibre do you need? Most Canadians eat only half the daily amount of recommended fibre. The daily requirements are: Children over 4 years of age Females Males
25 g 25 g 38 g
“Eating unprocessed, whole plant foods rich in cellulose is the best way to ensure a safe, nutritionally beneficial fibre intake.”
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While it is beneficial to include fibre in certain processed foods, many health specialists advise that eating unprocessed, whole plant foods rich in cellulose is by far the best and easiest way to ensure a safe, nutritionally beneficial fibre intake. a
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Caroline Csiki, CHNP, has been involved with natural health and nutrition since her teens. A lifelong yoga student, she lives in Toronto with her husband, children, and Senegal parrot.
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58 september 2009
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Ask the experts Mary Bamford is a registered dietitian at the Adelaide Clinic in downtown Toronto. She helps clients make the healthy choice the easy choice.
I’m interested in changing my family’s eating habits to improve their health. It seems overwhelming, and I’m concerned about the cost. Do you have any tips for getting started?
Mary Bamford: You are spot on with your question—changing their eating habits can definitely improve your family’s health. Three simple habits can have the greatest impact on your family’s health. The first is select wholesome foods that are naturally full of flavour; the second is have breakfast at home; and the third is sit together to share family dinner. Simple breakfast tips • Breakfast is not a battle when you set up a meal, snack, and physical play schedule so that you and your kids wake up hungry. • The most economical breakfast foods are whole grain hot cereals. Serve them several times a week. Change up your grains and toppings to keep your family interested. • Try a sweet beginning with oatmeal or quinoa topped with warmed cinnamon apple slices and topped with cool yogourt and a few walnuts. • Contrast that with a savoury fun start of pizza polenta—whole grain cornmeal
Have more health questions? ➤ visit alive.com
topped with tomato paste, fresh basil, and cheese. Family dinner tips • Balance the financial cost of organic, grass-fed, free-range meats by increasing your use of legumes. Serve vegetarian meals more often or serve smaller portions of meat and boost the protein in your meals by using legumes as side dishes. • When you need to make a meal quickly, vegetarian dishes fit the bill. Pasta, beans, and greens make an easy classic. Tofu can be seasoned and scrambled or grilled in minutes. • There are plenty of fall vegetables that offer great value. Get creative with cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, onions, leeks, squash, pumpkin, beans, beets, parsnips, potatoes, carrots, and mushrooms. a
ROBERT DADD Master Herbalist
Flor·Essence® is a traditional Ojibwa formula of eight herbs that work together as a gentle, whole body, deep tissue cleanse to help rid the body of accumulated wastes and toxins. The Ojibwa believed the herbs in Flor·Essence® joined to form a “unified spirit” to support the immune, digestive and eliminative systems and enhance the body’s natural healing mechanisms. Burdock root has long been used as a powerful and reliable blood cleanser and lymphatic. Sheep sorrel is a very nutritious herb that has diuretic, anti-inflammatory and bowel regulating effects. Slippery Elm bark contains soothing mucilage to help heal the digestive tract and relieve inflammatory irritation. Turkish rhubarb root detoxifies the bowels and helps normalize bowel movements. Red Clover has antioxidant effects with its specialized flavonoids that promote healthy cell proliferation. Blessed Thistle is a bitter that has a cascade effect of stimulating saliva, bile, gastric juices and bowel motility for proper digestion and elimination. Kelp is a mineral rich seaweed that promotes healthy bowels and proper immune function. Watercress is a nutritious herb in the Cruciferous family that is beneficial for liver detoxification. These herbs work together to flood the body with nutrients, boost immunity, prevent stagnation of the eliminative organs, provide antioxidant support and generally empower the body’s vital force to repair, renew, and refresh. Flor·Essence® is the detoxifier of choice for hundreds of thousands of people around the world.
59 www.florahealth.com alive.com | 888-436-6697
Why you should consider a liquid multivitamin supplement by David J. Wirth, MA
Like most adults looking to maintain good health, you faithfully take a one-a-day multivitamin tablet and assume you’ve covered the most important nutritional bases. Mission accomplished, right? Well, maybe not. Many experts now believe that consuming vitamin supplements in liquid form is substantially more beneficial than relying on solid pills – a belief that is supported by research studies. According to Gerhard N. Schrauzer, DSc, FACN, Professor Emeritus at the University of California, San Diego, “liquid supplements contain the nutrients in a more highly bioavailable form, are gentler to the stomach, and sometimes are more suitable than solid supplements, especially for children and elderly patients.”
No matter how good the quality of a multivitamin, that fact is many people may not be able to adequately break down a hard, compressed tablet and allow its contents to be fully absorbed through the digestive tract and into the bloodstream. The reason for this is two-fold. One, the vitamin tablet may be formulated using materials that interfere with proper
dissolution and absorption. Two, the person taking the vitamin supplement, especially if an older adult, may be lacking the digestive function necessary to effectively break it down. In cases where both factors are at play, the end result is an unfortunate waste of money and an unexpected shortage of needed nutrients. That is not to say that all supplements offered in tablets or capsules are necessarily a bad choice. Indeed, many reputable
manufacturers go to great lengths to maximize absorption from pills and will have conducted testing to ensure adequate
dissolution. While liquid formulations may be the format of choice, sometimes it just isn’t possible. The liquid advantage Fortunately, interest among both consumers and medical practitioners is now spurring the manufacture of quality liquid supplements here in North America. A liquid multivitamin supplement offers a number of benefits over solid forms for people of all ages, but especially for older adults or those with known digestive issues. Among the benefits are the following: L iquids
are quickly and readily absorbed, as they do not first need to be broken down. L iquids contain no fillers, binders or coatings that may interfere with proper dissolution. L iquids are fully dissolved upon ingestion, and allow for absorption of key nutrients along the entire gastrointestinal tract.
are a welcome alternative for people who have trouble swallowing solid pills, particularly children, the elderly and those who are ill or convalescing. D ue to enhanced absorption of nutrients, liquids may allow for lower general dosing than with solid pills. David J. Wirth, MA, is a freelance writer who’s been working in natural health for nearly 20 years.
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Watsu 64 • Fitness motivation 68 • stretching 72 • complexion tips 74 dry brushing 79 • green motoring 83 • tobacco use and the environment 86 disinsection 90 • healthy vacationing 92
$74.7 billion was spent on tourism in Canada in 2008. Vacation without packing on pounds. See our tips on page 92.
pounds of cigarette butts accumulate in lakes, oceans, on beaches and the rest of the planet annually.
Learn more about the environmental impact of tobacco use on page 86. alive.com 63
watsu water therapy For body, mind, and spirit
Gillian Flower, ND
Human history is filled with references to hydrotherapy and its role in treating myriad illnesses and conditions. In this age of modern medicine, we are still instinctively drawn to waterâ€™s healing power, seeking out ice for swollen ankles, therapeutic pools for exercise and rehabilitation, and steamy saunas for detoxification.
64 november 2009
Watsu, a term blending water and shiatsu, is a relatively new therapy in the long history of water-based treatments. Developed in 1980 by shiatsu-trained Harold Dull, Watsu facilitates the smooth and continuous flow of qi (in Japanese known as “ki”), or life energy, throughout the entire body using stretches, massage, and pressure point manipulation.
“While the focus of the treatment is on the physical body, Watsu can be an intensely emotional experience.” Why Watsu? What distinguishes Watsu from other forms of bodywork is that clients are held afloat throughout the entire treatment, cradled in the arms of the practitioner, buoyant in the warm water of the Watsu pool. With eyes closed and ears below the surface, the senses turn inward. The mind is stilled and quieted, the muscles are supported by the water, and the spine becomes loose and supple. In this safe, insulated, and therapeutic space, many receivers find they can let go, both physically and mentally, and be transported into a state of deep relaxation.
Who can benefit from watsu? It may help those who suffer from > a cute or chronic pain > fi bromyalgia > a rthritis > s oft tissue damage > s tress and anxiety > d epression >h eadaches > f atigue > s leep problems
The Watsu repertoire of basic movements and positions is extensive. The stretches and rotations in any given session are chosen to suit an individual’s current physical and emotional state. Aided by the buoyancy of the water, the practitioner swirls and rocks the client into positions that may be impossible on dry land. The rhythmic motions are performed with the harmonized breath of the receiver and practitioner, forming an intricate and graceful water dance. The emotional plane While the focus of the treatment is on the physical body, Watsu can be an intensely emotional experience. For many people, a safe, womb-like environment is created by simply being held and cradled, receiving nonsexual touch, and allowing another person to direct their body’s movements. Through the manipulation
of tissue and the stimulation of pressure points, emotions flow freely from the body and are carried away by the water. Others find that they experience Watsu in a deeply meditative state. As they allow their physical self to be completely supported by another person, their mind is freed of all responsibility and can become the internal focus of the treatment. Some describe achieving a higher state of awareness, while others drift in and out of sleep during the sessions, wholly entrusting their body to the healing hands of the therapist. Stress relief Even if spiritual enlightenment isn’t a feature of every session, the caress of the warm water on the skin, the release of muscle tension, and the gravity-defying feeling of floating leads to a profound sense of calm. Watsu is a powerful
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tool for stress reduction, engaging the parasympathetic nervous system, the unconscious message centre that tells the body to slow down and rest. The deep sense of relaxation that ensues during a treatment has very real effects on the body. The heart pumps more slowly and efficiently, blood pressure is reduced, and breathing deepens. These positive effects often continue after the session, resulting in better sleep, less anxiety, and improved digestive function. Healing with Watsu One of the most exciting applications of Watsu therapy is in the management of chronic pain conditions that may not respond well to conventional therapies. As the weight of the body is surrendered to the water, tired joints and muscles are relieved of their load, bringing pain relief
“Simple in its principles yet profound in its effects, Watsu is a uniquely healing experience.” and increased mobility to clients with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. Stretching and massage help to preserve and improve the function of the entire body, while the overall effect of relaxation provides a welcome respite from the stress of chronic illness. Published research is beginning to appear on the benefits of Watsu, showing promise in the treatment of neurological conditions. In a small study of stroke patients, Watsu was found to improve muscle function, calming the involuntary movements that challenge these patients.
The use of Watsu in treating Parkinson’s disease and cerebral palsy has been shown to soothe the spastic muscle contractions that are often associated with these conditions. Children with pain and neurological conditions are prime candidates for aquatic therapy. Floating in the arms of the practitioner, relaxed and calm, they can be temporarily freed from their restrictive illness. Watsu can also provide miraculous relief for women during pregnancy, relieving lower back pain and easing the load on aching joints and feet. Simple in its principles yet profound in its effects, Watsu is a uniquely healing experience. a
Gillian Flower, ND, is a naturopathic doctor and research resident at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine.
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get active! Find your motivation to exercise Madeline Kozak
We’ve all been there. Too tired, too busy, we skip the workout we planned. We know exercise is beneficial: it reduces stress, helps prevent chronic health conditions, manages weight, and increases energy levels. When excuses are all too handy, motivation is hard to come by. Exercise doesn’t have to be something we dread or something we resign ourselves to do simply because we know we should. Here is a simple guide to help you get and stay on the exercise track so that you can reap the many benefits of physical activity. Find a goal that excites you What motivates one person may not necessarily work for someone else. The first step in switching to an active lifestyle is reflecting on what drives you personally. People commonly cite losing weight or staying in shape as motivators to exercise. Yet these goals are unspecific and uninspiring. According to life coach Jey Wyder, a good way to motivate yourself to exercise is to tie exercise with a secondary goal—something that excites you and pulls you forward. To find out what kind of secondary goal might drive you, ask yourself: What do I enjoy doing? What am I passionate about? Maybe you are passionate about giving back to the community. You 68 november 2009
could try signing up for a charity run and raising money for a cause you care about. Perhaps you enjoy socializing. You could
“Be honest with yourself. If something doesn’t inspire you, it’s not worth pretending it does.” start a walking club with like-minded friends or join an exercise class. Are you a numbers person? Try using a heart-rate monitor. Competitive? Join a sports league or strive to beat your own fastest time. If you enjoy the challenge of learning a new skill try martial arts, ballroom dancing, or fencing. Whatever goal you decide upon, make sure it is something you like. Be honest with yourself. If something doesn’t inspire you, it’s not worth pretending it does.
Create conditions for success Becoming a regular exerciser is about changing habits. As we know, habits tend to stick. Yet change is possible. “If you change all of the parts [of your life] you are less likely to go back to your old habits,” says Wyder. When you want to change your habits, you must take into account four components of your life: your thoughts and emotions, your physical environment, your physical actions, and your network of support. To illustrate this, take the example of running. People who are trying to run regularly need to find a running goal that excites them (a change in thoughts and emotions); they need to find a running route they like (a change in physical environment); they need to get out and do the running (a change in physical actions); and they need to surround themselves with people who support their goal, for example, a running club (a network of support). Whatever your goal is, find ways to integrate it with all areas of your life.
â€œAdopt perseverance, not perfection, as a motto.â€?
to get yourself exercising
Make a date
Enlist a friend as an exercise buddy. It’ll be harder to skip a workout if you know someone else is counting on you to show up. This same principle works for sports teams: if you miss a game, you have a whole team of people annoyed at you.
Put down a bit of money
It’s amazing how motivated you can become when your money is involved. Even something as simple as paying a small race fee can help get you out training. If you are paying for something, you’re going to want to get your money’s worth.
Write it in your calendar
Set aside a particular time in the week to exercise and write it down. This helps you stay organized so that you can plan the rest of your life around your workouts and not the other way around.
Set up small incentives
Decide on a small reward for yourself if you fit in all your planned workouts for a specific period of time—say a week or a month. Your reward might be something like new exercise socks, a pedicure, or a self-indulgent hour at the spa.
Set aside your exercise gear
Laying out your gear ahead of time will help you save time and eliminate yet one more excuse not to exercise.
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70 november 2009 Reference
In doing so, you’ll find it more difficult to return to your non-exercising ways. Find something that works for you Everyone is busy. Lack of time is a common excuse for skipping exercise. Take a look at your life and find something that works for you. Perhaps a workout right after work is best for you. Or maybe a short walk in the morning before the kids are awake is what gets you active. Understand also that exercise will make you more effective in other areas of your life. Taking time out of work to go for a walk or take an aerobics, spinning, or yoga class might be just what you need to get your mind on track so you can meet that crushing deadline. Be easy on yourself Other common mistakes people make when starting an exercise program are going too fast too soon or being self-critical about slip-ups. Your goal is to become a regular exerciser, not to become the perfect exerciser. You may have bad days. You may have a whole week (or more) where you don’t do anything. The trick is not to beat yourself up about it. Adopt perseverance, not perfection as a motto. “If you can just show up [to exercise], and keep showing up, one day at a time, change will happen,” says Wyder. “Don’t expect perfection—in the class or the run or the game, whatever it is. Keep showing up, and every time you do, you are that little bit healthier than you were before.” The key then is to keep showing up. Even if you only exercise a little each time, you are moving in the right direction. Take advantage of community resources Starting an exercise plan does not necessarily mean laying down a ton of money. Local community centres are great resources for those looking for inexpensive ways to get active. You may also want to talk to your local health practitioner or check out your local health food store for information about inexpensive exercise events happening in your community. Running stores often host free running clinics in the evenings. These events can be a great way to connect with like-minded individuals and get involved in your community while exercising. Yes, it is possible to overcome the inertia that stops you from getting out there. Once you get going you’ll find that exercising becomes a new habit that you enjoy and look forward to every day. a
Taking the stairs is no longer a challenge STOP SMOKING mimics the effect of nicotine and reduces your urge to smoke.
• Makes the taste of smoking unbearable • Reduces tension associated with smoking cessation • Releases accumulated toxins • Works better than the patch, anti-smoking drugs and hypnotism
Madeline Kozak is a communications professional who finds exercise with friends the most motivating.
newrootsherbal.com P r e ve nt i on
be flexible Stretches to stay fit
I once participated in a fashion show at a shopping mall. My audience was full of elderly men with brown paper bags concealing bottles, as well as my friends from broomball (who had shown up for a good laugh). On my last turn down the catwalk, I showed off by doing the splits and touching my chest to the floor to the glee of the hooting crowd. I was hoping I wouldn’t get stuck when I heard what sounded like two rounds from a starter’s pistol. I’d strained both hamstrings, and the crowd witnessed me limping off the stage. I had committed a stretcher’s sin. I had stretched without sufficiently warming up. Benefits of stretching Stretching is an important part of fitness, and each stretch may be considered an exercise. Exercise physiologist Elizabeth Quinn lists several benefits of stretching: • improved circulation, range of motion, and posture • reduction in joint stiffness and muscle tension • possible improvement in performance • greater relaxation Stretching also provides time for mental training such as visualization. Two types of stretching Dynamic
consider static stretches here. Static stretching lengthens a muscle. If you point your toes, your calf muscles flex. If you flex for too long, you’ll develop a steeplechase-winning charley horse. Then you’ll need to stretch the calf muscle to relieve it. Standing up and forcing the heel to the ground does this. If a muscle flexes, another stretches. That’s how we move. Follow these instructions to increase your range of motion.
Stretching tips > Warm up before stretching to stretch effectively.
> Never bounce to intensify the stretch—you’ll end up shortening the muscle rather than stretching it. > Always stretch opposing muscles, and stretch both sides of the body. > Stretch slowly—hold each stretch for at least 10 counts.
Static stretching, in which a stretch is held, relaxes the muscles and should never be used to begin a workout. We will 72 november 2009
Here are a few opposing stretches for the arms and legs—body parts that often develop cramps.
1 I Triceps
Bend your left arm behind your head to touch your right shoulder blade. Use your right hand to gently pull your left arm toward your head.
2 I Biceps
Stand with your hands flexed at your side. Rotate the hands clockwise, and then counterclockwise.
3 I Quadriceps
Standing with a slightly bent left leg, bend your right knee, folding your right leg up behind you. Reach back and hold your right shin (not your foot.) To get the full benefit rotate your hip forward as well. This engages all four quadriceps muscles.
4 I Hamstrings
Dynamic stretching involves rapid movements, stimulates the muscles for action, and is good prior to exercise. Static
4 gentle stretches
Mike Broderick is a BCRPA-registered fitness instructor in the Lower Mainland and an employment specialist at the Neil Squire Society, where he finds jobs for people with physical disabilities.
In a standing position bend your right knee and extend the left leg, resting on your left heel. Feel the stretch in the back of the thigh. Include your calf muscles by pointing and flexing your foot.
EPS R IC
CEPS DR I A QU
R INGS MST A H
five face foods Allison Tannis, MSc, RHN
The foods we eat play a role in how our skin looks. Nutrients in food can help support skin, allowing it to glow with beauty. It’s true: we really are what we eat! Grab a fork and let’s dig into five foods that can brighten any complexion.
1. Brewer’s yeast Brewer’s yeast is an excellent source of B vitamins that give skin the energy it needs to create new cells. A youthful complexion is due to newer skin cells that are created by the dermis, the second layer of skin. B vitamins ensure these cells divide and grow, creating a glowing complexion. Brewer’s yeast is available at health food retailers and is most popular in powder form. The powder can be dissolved in juice or water. Adults can take 1 to 4 Tbsp (15 to 60 mL) per day. New users should start slowly and gradually increase to the maximum dose.
74 november 2009
drench your skin in moisture…
2. Cheese To keep that natural, youthful glow to skin, the dermis needs to keep growing new, healthy skin cells. Foods such as cheese contain vitamin A, a nutrient that supports the growth of beautiful new skin cells, providing a more radiant complexion. Some cheeses also contain probiotics, which help improve the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and can help reduce inflammation.
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3. Psyllium Psyllium can exfoliate skin from the inside out. Psyllium helps skin regenerate and slough off. Plus researchers in Germany have found that carbohydrates in psyllium can improve the way skin cells attach to each other. That means better cell-to-cell adhesion, leading to firmer skin. Psyllium fibre is most commonly found in cereals but can also be found in bulk powder. Recent reviews suggest that adding 3 to 12 g of psyllium to your daily diet may help lower bad cholesterol by up to 10 percent over four weeks.
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lifestyle 4. Mackerel Inflammation in skin can cause redness and blotchiness. Atlantic mackerel is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, one of the most potent anti-inflammatory nutrients on earth. Mackerel also contains seleniumâ€”a mineral that can help neutralize the free radicals that damage skin, making complexions dull, red, or blotchy. Of course fish such as wild salmon or halibut will also provide a healthy boost of omega-3.
5. Sesame seeds Sunlight and toxins can cause spots to form on skin, affecting the complexion. Sesame seeds contain vitamin E, a fat-soluble antioxidant that prevents free radicals from causing damage to the skin. These tiny seeds also contain copper, a co-factor needed to make the powerful antioxidant, superoxide dismutase. Sprinkle sesame seeds on salads and other mealtime favourites. Just one-quarter of a cup offers 74 percent of the recommended daily intake of copper. We are what we eat, and more accurately, we look like what we eat. Choose foods that are packed with nutrients such as vitamins A, B, and E; omega-3; and selenium to enjoy a beautiful, radiant, and bright complexion. a Allison Tannis, MSc, RHN, is a lover of healthy foods and the author of many books, including Feed Your Skin, Starve Your Wrinkles (Fairwinds, 2009)
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Give dry skin the brush off Restore your skin’s healthy glow
Mid-winter and my skin felt so dry and rough, I was starting to feel like an armadillo. For help with my scaly problem, I called Absolute Spa in Vancouver and was advised that a dry-brushing treatment was just what I needed. At the spa, aesthetician Tiffany Keslick explains dry brushing is a gentle treatment that not only removes dull, rough skin but also stimulates circulation and lymphatic drainage. It helps the body detoxify by removing excess dead cells that hinder our natural ability to eliminate waste through the skin. Dry brushing is more than just an effective way to keep skin toned and circulation brisk. Keslick says it helps to maintain alertness during the day and enhance sleep at night. Because the treatment is such an energy booster, she advises against brushing immediately before bed, as it may leave you wideeyed for most of the night. Treat yourself at home While going to a spa is a luxurious way to experience dry brushing, it’s easy to
make the treatment a part of your skin care routine at home. If you’d like to try it, there are a few things to keep in mind. As recommended by Keslick, dry brush in the morning before bathing. Avoid fragile areas such as the face and breasts, as well as any open or irritated areas. If you have a skin condition, check with your health care practitioner before dry brushing. Use the proper technique Purchase a soft brush with natural bristles—avoid synthetic bristles, as they can be too hard on the skin. Some brushes come with a long removable handle to help target hard-to-reach areas. Look for them in stores that sell health and beauty products. After body brushing, shower or bathe to rinse away all those loosened skin
cells. Gently towel dry, then smooth on a nourishing vegetable oil such as almond or jojoba. Landscaper Aymey Austdone has been dry brushing for over 20 years. Her outdoor work is especially tough on her skin. After a brisk body brush, Austdone retreats to the tub for a warm soak. Once she’s towelled off, she likes to apply a light splash of cold-pressed olive oil to her reinvigorated skin. “My muscles come back to life,” says Austdone. Back at the spa I discovered how wonderful a good gentle scratch really feels—something, I realize, my pooch has known for a long time. I left with glowing, tingling skin and my very own body brush in hand—no more armadillo hide for me.
“Dry brushing is more than just an effective way to keep skin toned and circulation brisk.”
Body brushing basics 1
Start with completely dry skin, and pass over each area two or three times. Always brush toward the heart to encourage proper blood and lymph drainage.
Begin with the soles of your feet; use smooth, gentle strokes, moving from the toes to the heel.
Carry on up the legs with long, upward strokes. Start on the inner calf and thigh, then move to the outer leg.
Continue brush strokes over the buttocks and lower back.
On the arms, start at your fingertips and continue to your armpit. (You may want to do an extra pass or two over the dry, often tough, knees and elbows.)
Over your abdomen, work in gentle clockwise circles.
Brush your back more easily with a little help from a friend. If you’re on your own, start at the nape of your neck and brush downward—this is where a long-handled brush comes in handy.
Continue over the shoulders as far down your back as you can reach.
Lastly, start just under the earlobes and brush down your neck to the front upper-chest area.
➝ Areas that may require an extra pass
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Josie Padro, a health and lifestyles writer, continues to practise dry brushing every day—that is, when she remembers.
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Green motoring Maintenance matters
The average family sedan can put 8 tons or more of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year. Such heavy emissions have environmentally conscious drivers thinking harder than ever about how to reduce their transportation-related impact on the environment. With hybrid cars boasting an almost compromise-free reduction in fuel consumption and emissions, a partial answer seems readily available. Hybrids employ an electric drive system to augment a conventional gas engine. This burns less fuel—especially in city driving conditions. Lower fuel consumption and the resulting decrease in emissions mean lower carbon debt for hybrid owners—in the neighbourhood of 15 to 30 percent. Price check Trouble is, hybrid technology isn’t cheap, and the vehicles that use it often command price premiums of thousands of dollars. From a strictly carbon standpoint, switching a family sedan or
minivan to a comparable hybrid model would reduce one’s carbon debt right away—but at a hefty cost. Rating check Drivers needn’t switch to a hybrid to do their part in reducing greenhouse gases, though. For instance, the US Environmental Protection Agency’s list of “SmartWay” designated models (epa.gov/smartway/vehicles/index.htm) helps shoppers choose a vehicle that is recognized as an exceptional environmental performer, hybrid or otherwise. Even in the Canadian market, asking about and understanding the EPA’s emissions rating system can guide shoppers toward a more atmospherically friendly vehicle.
Perhaps you’re not currently interested in a new car. If that’s the case, some simple tips and advice will help keep your older model from using excessive fuel and emitting excessive pollution. Tire pressure check According to Car Care Canada, maintenance is key. Something as easily overlooked as improper tire pressure can cause your vehicle to burn up to 15 percent more gasoline than it needs to. About 75 percent of the cars on the road have underinflated tires. Invest in a tire gauge and consult your owner’s manual to determine the proper pressure for your vehicle’s tires. Regular pressure checks can not only reduce fuel usage but also make your tires last longer. alive.com 83
> Ensure the fuel cap is tightened properly. > Avoid products that promise increased fuel mileage; they’re a waste of money. > Have the air conditioning system regularly checked for leaks.
> Fill up in the morning or evening when it’s cool, thus reducing evaporative emissions. > Use a block heater in winter. > Avoid hard acceleration; aim for gentle passing and merging. > Measure and record fuel mileage so you can guage how much your new driving habits are saving you in fuel costs.
Air filter check With your tires properly inflated, it’s time to check the condition of your air filter. Your engine requires a clean supply of outside air to run efficiently. Its filter will become clogged over time, starving the engine and causing it to work harder and burn more fuel. Check and replace the air filter according to the instructions in your owner’s manual. An air filter change generally takes about five minutes and requires few, if any, tools.
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Spark plug check Spark plugs need to be changed periodically. If they’re not working properly, your car will consume as much as 30 percent more fuel than needed. Spark plugs can be tricky to change, so if in doubt ask your mechanic to replace them as part of a full tune-up. You’ll save fuel, reduce pollution, and prolong the life of your vehicle at the same time. Driving habits check A few simple changes to lifestyle and driving habits will help your tank of fuel last even longer than with maintenance
alone. For instance, removing roof or tailgate-mounted carrying racks when not needed reduces aerodynamic drag and fuel consumption. Combining several errands into a single trip can help save fuel as well, as can leaving a few minutes early rather than speeding on the way. Proper and timely maintenance combined with a few common-sense changes to your driving habits can cut your fuel usage and carbon output by 30 percent or more. Incidentally, that’s right in the same ballpark as the savings offered by a hybrid vehicle—but for far less money. a
“About 75 percent of cars have underinflated tires— surprising given how easy it is to check and adjust tire pressure.” Justin Pritchard is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada. His work is read weekly in various Canadian publications. He hosts an online and televised video review segment.
The environmental impact of tobacco use
The “it’s my body and I can smoke if I like” case was extinguished by the recognition of the dangers of second-hand smoke. Now smokers are faced with another reason to quit smoking: a smoke print that has a massive worldwide environmental impact. According to a Health Canada report, domestic cigarette manufacturers produced approximately 41.3 billion cigarettes in 2002. Imagine, 41 billion cigarette butts. As butts are not organic, they do not biodegrade. They linger. One can find butts littered on streets, beaches—practically everywhere. The visual impact Those 41 billion butts paint an overwhelming image. However, this does not take into consideration the amassed waste from the byproducts of tobacco use—packaging, matches, and lighters. Smoking litter is known to create more litter. Cigarette butts socialize with gum wrappers and discarded pop cans in streets far and wide. It is called the “gateway theory”—once waste appears, more waste will follow. Tobacco product waste is a certainty, like death and taxes. 86 november 2009
The environmental impact Cigarette butts are made of cellulose acetate, which is not a biodegradable material. It can take up to three years or more for a cigarette butt to degrade. While a cigarette filter reduces the amount of tar and smoke inhaled into the lungs of a smoker, it also traps toxic chemicals. During the years it takes for the filter to break down, toxic chemicals leach into the ground and the waterways, creating devastating environmental pollution. The impact of cigarette butts on rivers, lakes, and coastal waters is detrimental to marine life. Animals and birds perceive the butts as food, not poison. The ingestion of butts causes unnecessary malnutrition, starvation, and poisoning. Biologists routinely find cigarette butts in the stomachs of sick or dead birds, turtles, and even dolphins.
â€œBiologists routinely find cigarette butts in the stomachs of sick or dead birds, turtles, and even dolphins.â€?
“An estimated 200,000 hectares of trees are cut for tobacco farming each year.” Lower down the food chain, the environmental impact is equally disturbing. Nicotine found in cigarette butts is lethal to zooplankton and crustaceans. The fragile balance of the aquatic ecosystem is in danger due to the careless disposal of butts. In many developing countries, the farming of tobacco is creating another crisis—deforestation. Wood is used to build curing barns and is also used as fuel to cure the tobacco leaves. An estimated 200,000 hectares of trees are cut for tobacco farming each year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Child and adult workers on tobacco farms in developing countries experience the human impact of tobacco farming. They may suffer from Green Tobacco Sickness (GTS). Absorbing nicotine through the skin from handling wet tobacco leaves causes this illness whose symptoms include weakness, dizziness, and nausea. It makes one wonder whether it is morally responsible to smoke. The atmospheric impact Of the 599 ingredients approved by the US government for use in the
Quit now! These resources can provide information to help you quit smoking: Canadian Lung Association— lung.ca Canadian Cancer Society— cancer.ca
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manufacture of cigarettes, there are a few components that jump off the recipe page. Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas. Arsenic is a metal found in insecticide. Phosphorus is a mineral found in laundry detergent, and ammonia is found in household cleaners. Over 4,000 chemical compounds are released into the atmosphere when a cigarette is burned. These chemicals pass through Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) into the outdoor atmosphere. ETS, also known as second-hand smoke, is emitted by the puffing of an active smoker and also by the smouldering tobacco between puffs. ETS rises to a certain height and then descends. This is because the particles and gases in ETS are heavier than air. Thus, the chemical particles loiter in the air, waiting to be breathed into the lungs. Despite these facts, smokers continue to light up. The World Health Organization projects that the number of worldwide smokers will rise from the current 1.3 billion to 1.7 billion by 2025 (partly due to population growth) if the frequency of tobacco use does not change. That is a tremendous number of smokers emitting ETS into the atmosphere on a daily basis. The argument, “it’s my body and my choice to smoke,” is a self-centred case. Tobacco’s smoke print creates an immense burden on the environment and the atmosphere. Smoking is a personal choice, but the impact of its smoke print is felt all over the global village. a
Caroline Fernandez is a Toronto-based researcher and writer. She is passionate about green living and parenting.
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Coffee, tea, or… …Disinsection?
If you have a long-haul flight coming up, you might get more than a glass of juice and a movie. You might also get a dose of pesticides. Disinsection is the term used to describe the spraying of aircraft with insecticide. The procedure aims to prevent the transport of mosquitoes and other bugs that could be carrying deadly diseases such as malaria or dengue fever. The World Health Organization deems the amount and type of chemicals used for disinsection to be safe. Not everyone agrees. Where it’s done As of August 2009, 49 countries worldwide required disinsection, with varying rules. Australia, India, Cuba, and Jamaica, for instance, require the spraying of all incoming international flights. Other destinations, such as Buenos Aires, Argentina, require disinsection if a flight originates in Chile, but not if it departs from Toronto. The UK enforces the rules for planes coming from malarial countries, Homeocan products can be found in natural health stores and pharmacies.
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90 november 2009
Switzerland requires spraying of flights from intertropical Africa, and the Czech Republic demands disinsection of flights from areas of contagious diseases. How it’s done There are three ways airlines kill bugs: • The “on-arrival” method takes place before passengers have disembarked and involves flight attendants spraying single-shot aerosol doses of insecticide throughout the cabin. • The “top-of-descent” method is the same as the on-arrival approach, except that it takes place just before the jet makes preparations for landing. • The “residual” method involves the spraying of an aircraft’s internal surfaces, except food preparation areas, when the plane is empty. The most common chemicals used are pyrethroids, synthetic nerve poisons also
used to eradicate head lice. Just before spraying, crew members must alert passengers, telling them to cover their eyes and nose if they wish. Why it’s done The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that although passengers and crew members have reported reactions to insecticides, including rashes, respiratory irritation, burning eyes, and numbness of the lips, “there are no data to support a cause-andeffect relationship.” The World Health Organization (WHO), meanwhile, claims that the insecticides have “no toxicological hazard” and are “safe to use in the presence of passengers and crew.” By not carrying out disinsection, WHO argues, airlines could introduce mosquito species, as well as diseases such as malaria in new countries. Planes that refuse disinsection can be denied disembarkation. According to Antero Aitio, medical officer for WHO’s International Programme on Chemical Safety, side effects of pyrethroids are “annoying but of short duration and without serious consequences.” However, he noted in a 2002 issue of the WHO Bulletin that “all chemicals are toxic” and recommended research into substances that have “far fewer adverse effects.” Why it shouldn’t be done The Washington, DC-based Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) has been documenting disinsection-related illnesses of its members since the early 1990s. In 2000 alone the AFA collected reports of health problems from staff on 230 flights with a single airline. Symptoms included sinus problems, swollen and itchy eyes, coughing, difficulty breathing, rashes, headaches, and fatigue. In more serious cases, people reported nervous-system and immune system damage. One pilot said he felt so sick after disinsection that he believed the safe operation of the flight was compromised.
“ One pilot said he felt
so sick after disinsection that he believed the safe operation of the flight was compromised.”
Canada’s disinsection requirements Transport Canada does not require the disinsection of aircraft arriving in or departing from Canada. However, Canadian-registered aircraft must comply with the disinsection requirements of other countries. Source: Transport Canada
Among other measures, the AFA would like countries such as Australia to modify their regulations so treatment would only be required on aircraft arriving from places that could pose a risk to public health or agriculture. For instance, it might not be necessary to spray flights originating in northern latitudes, particularly in the winter. The Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization wants WHO to explore nonchemical approaches to disinsection. Even some members of the US Congress have spoken out against the current practice. Nevertheless, the spraying continues. To find out if your flight is affected, speak to your airline directly or check its website, or contact Transport Canada (www.tc.gc.ca). a
Felicity Enderby is a journalist who specializes in health issues.
without the spread Avoid packing on the pounds
Vacations are often a time to kick back, soak up the rays, and unfortunately, sometimes gain weight. When you’re on a tropical cruise or frolicking between cafés in Provence, it’s much too easy to forget about your commitment to a healthy lifestyle and just give in to your new surroundings.
After a relaxed week or two of diddly-squat for physical exertion and too much “oh, I’ll just have a little of this and a little of that,” it’s no surprise that you return home unable to do up that top button. But it is possible to indulge in the vacation fudge without putting on the vacation pudge. So before you order another margarita at the swim-up bar, take heed of these simple strategies for a healthy vacation.
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Take a risk Instead of putting a lazy cruise on your plastic, try an adventure holiday. There are numerous outfitters ready to take open-minded travellers through remote jungles, over high mountain passes, and along glacier-studded waterways. Sure, 10 straight days of hiking can be challenging, but youâ€™re rewarded with a great sense of accomplishment and a leaner physique that might turn heads back at the office. Plus all that extra activity will allow you to sneak a few extra bites of sinful treats without paying the toll later.
Be multitalented Choose a vacation location that offers a wide diversity of outdoor activities such as kayaking, cycling, hiking, and rock climbing within easy reach. Donâ€™t forget your camera and your SPF!
Avoid restaurant Cipag / Dr. Castillo (NEW) meltdown
“Instead of relying on motorized locomotion, use your own two feet to wander through cities and villages.” Find the local yokel Markets can be a great way to scoop up healthy and exotic local offerings that are much lower in harmful fats and calories than what is offered in many restaurants and snack bars. This is a wonderful way to support the local farmers in the area you’re visiting.
Send new proof with corrections: Travelling often means eating ________________________________ out for most, if not all, of your ________________________________ meals. One poor menu choice Instead of getting stuck at an ________________________________ after another is sure to put an airport, bus, or train station with ________________________________ extra notch on your belt. Keep it your only available nosh options ________________________________ simple by opting more often for being an assortment of baked OR or broiled items as baked, grilled, goods whose calories can add Ad is approved as presented, please sign below. opposed to the creamy, fried, and up faster than snowflakes during crispy varieties. a blizzard, have a well-stocked arsenal of healthy snacks at your Date Name Search the menu for as many beck and call. vegetables as possible. Don’t be 325-Nov 09 afraid to ask questions and make Fresh and dried fruit and nutsIssue Signature special requests. Deprivation is are readily available in most Carefully and signyou’re aboveaway, to approve. noad fun when so the countries and can go a long way proof this Any errors not noted will NOT be the responsibility name of the game is moderation. toward satisfying a snack attack. of Alive Publishing. Note: option Production time will be A smart is to find Bring some wholesome energy charged required.that Thank accommodation hasyou. cooking bars from home for those times for any changes facilities, allowing you to prepare when you’re in a pinch and crave Fax back to Jessica more of your own meals. something familiar.
Dr. Castillo’s Clinic
Marie’s journey back to health (continued from page 3)
Bring your body back to health
The cancer clinic specialist said, “The tumors will start to form within 3-5 years and it is not until then that we can do anything for you except treat the tumors with radiation.” Basically I was told that at that point the quality of my life would be in and out of hospitals until the end. A month later, August of 2003, I found myself on a plane with my 13-year-old son, going to Tijuana, Mexico to see Dr. Castillo. It is March of 2008 and my blood work is picture perfect! My life since I have gone to Dr. Castillo’s clinic has been an absolutely wonderful journey. I have never felt better physically, mentally, or emotionally.
Marie St. Laurent with Dr. Castillo
I am forever grateful to Dr. Castillo and his fabulous staff. Getting “well” is deﬁnitely a journey and I believe the best place to start is at Dr. Castillo’s clinic. He is an Honest, Humble and Genuine human being and I can’t imagine anyone going to his clinic and not coming home with something very valuable. Marie St. Laurent Falher, Alberta, Canada
call 011.52(664)683.5700 • fax 011.52(664)683.6016 • visit www.drcastillo.com For information contact Claude & Carole Marlow at 800.296.9881, e-mail email@example.com 94 november 2009
Dr. Castillo is a recipient of the prestigious Honoris Causa award from the Global Organization for Excellence in Health.
Don’t be a lush
Get fit digs
Alternate your intake of alcoholic drinks with non-calorie beverages so that you stay hydrated and consume fewer calories. The sugar calories in those poolside kaleidoscope drinks can really add up. Consider choosing light beers and dry wines. Mix your drinks with club soda.
When reviewing hotels, consider selecting one with on-site fitness facilities. While you shouldn’t spend a sunny day in the Rocky Mountains on an indoor treadmill, this perk can allow you to get a quick daybreak pump before it’s time to sightsee. It also lets you sweat it up on those days when Mother Nature is not co-operating.
Take a stroll Bring a good pair of walking shoes and hit the pavement. Instead of relying on motorized locomotion, use your own two feet to wander through cities and villages. You’ll knock off a bunch more calories and possibly meet some interesting locals along the way.
Put your game on If you have a passion for running, mountain biking, or another endurance sport, consider choosing a location where you can enter a race. This is a great way to meet like-minded people and engage in your favourite sport in new and interesting surroundings while torching some serious calories. a
Lance Matthews is an avid cycler whose biking adventures span the globe.
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winter vegetables 98 • grapefruit 107 • gi foods 108 • coffee 112 • comfort foods 116 acai berry and pomegranite drinks 122 • whole leaf tea 125 • rice bran oil 126
88.8% vitamin C of the daily value for
is provided by kale, a hearty winter vegetable.
Cook up some local winter veggies. Check out our recipes on page 98.
Canadians suffer from diabetes, and the numbers are rising every year. Eating foods low on the glycemic index keeps insulin levels in check. Find out how it’s done on page 108. alive.com 97
Winter veggies Spruced up seasonal favourites
photos Scott Yavis
The humble winter vegetable is a new trendsetter, and it’s popping up all over the place in a whole new wardrobe. For many years it was sidestepped for brighter, tropical, trendier veggies. But today our homegrown bounty is fresh and tasty— not boiled limp like Mom used to do. Spurred on by global warming, the Slow Food movement, economics, or homeland pride, we’re seeing more and more in-season winter bounty taking charge of the dinner plate. And the driving force is not just our carbon footprint but the tremendous versatility of its cooking properties. Restaurants clearly are the forerunners igniting this trend as they whip up amazing new twists on gnarly roots and strong-tasting winter greens. There’s nothing like a little international fusion coming home to roost on local bounty— without destroying all those healthy nutrients. Boost your vitamin intake and kick up the flavour on winter veggies. Cook up some of our tried and true recipes featured here. Dress them up and take them out for dinner. You’ll love the results.
Spicy Carrot and Lentil Curry Not only a good source of vitamin A and protein, but it adds a little heat to the furnace. 1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil 2 cups (500 mL) sweet onions, diced 3 large garlic cloves, minced 2 Tbsp (30 mL) fresh ginger root, peeled and minced 1 Tbsp (15 mL) red curry paste 4 cups (1 L) organic vegetable stock 2 cups (500 mL) carrots, peeled and diced 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) crushed red pepper 1 cup (250 mL) dried red split lentils
Heat oil in large saucepan over mediumhigh heat. Add onion, garlic, and ginger; sauté for 5 minutes or until soft and translucent. Stir occasionally. Stir in curry paste and 1 cup (250 ml) stock to blend. Add carrots and crushed red pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook until carrots are crisply tender, about 5 minutes; stir. Add remaining stock, lentils, and edamame beans and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes until lentils are tender. Stir in cilantro, salt, and pepper. Spoon into individual serving bowls and serve with naan bread and sour cream, if desired. Serves 4 to 6.
1 cup (250 ml) frozen shelled edamame beans, thawed 1/3 cup (75 mL) fresh cilantro, chopped 1/2 tsp (2 ml) salt Freshly ground black pepper Naan bread (optional)
Each serving (based on smaller portion) contains: 232 calories; 13 g protein; 4 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 38 g carbohydrates; 14 g fibre; 604 mg sodium
Sour cream (optional)
Reduce your sodium
Use low-sodium vegetable stock to reduce the sodium content. 98 november 2009
Winter Greens Soup with Parmesan Garlic Croutons Here’s a cold chaser rich in vitamins A and C plus essential iron. 2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil 1 onion, diced 1 cup (250 mL) celery, diced 1/2 cup (125 mL) carrots, diced (about 1 large peeled carrot) 2 large garlic cloves, minced 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced 5 cups (1.25 L) vegetable or organic chicken stock 1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried thyme 4 cups (1 L) fresh kale leaves or Swiss chard, chopped (about 1 bunch)
Parmesan Garlic Croutons 3 Tbsp (45 mL) extra-virgin olive oil 3 garlic cloves, minced 5 slices sourdough or whole grain brown bread, cut into 1/2 inch (2 cm) cubes Freshly ground sea salt 2 Tbsp (30 mL) Parmesan, finely grated
Heat oil in large saucepan. Add onion, celery, carrots, and minced garlic cloves; sauté over medium-low heat, stirring often until onions and celery are soft, about 10 minutes. Be careful not to brown or scorch. Stir in diced potatoes, stock, and thyme. Rinse kale or chard and pat dry. Stack together and cut greens into very thin shreds and chop. You should have enough to lightly pack a 4 cup (1L) measure. Stir into stock and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until greens are tender. Purée in saucepan using a hand-held blender or purée in two batches in a blender or food processor until soup is smooth. Return to saucepan. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Combine olive oil and garlic together in a large bowl. Toss in bread cubes to lightly coat. Spread out on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt and Parmesan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until croutons are evenly golden and crisp. Sprinkle croutons on top of soup. Makes 8 cups (2L) or serves 8. Each serving (including croutons) contains: 295 calories; 10 g protein; 11 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 41 g carbohydrates; 4 g fibre; 419 mg sodium
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For a quick and simple way to tenderize kale, freeze it first, then add frozen to saucepan.
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Spaghetti Squash with Pumpkin Seed Pesto Loaded with folic acid, potassium, vitamin A, and beta carotene, spaghetti squash is an excellent low-fat alternative to pasta. 4 1/2 lb (2 kg) spaghetti squash 1/2 cup (125 mL) unsalted pumpkin seeds, toasted 1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh parsley, minced 1 large garlic clove, minced 1 Tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice, freshly squeezed 1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil 1/4 tsp (1 mL) sea salt Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste Grated zest of 1 orange for garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C). Prick squash all over with skewer so it wonâ€™t burst during baking. Place in shallow baking pan; bake for 1 hour. When cool enough to handle, cut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop seeds and fibrous strands from its centre. Gently scrape with the tines of a fork all around the edge of the spaghetti squash to shred the pulp into strands.
Simple Sesame Grilled Chicken In a large re-sealable plastic bag, combine: 1/4 cup (60 mL) seasoned rice vinegar 2 Tbsp (30 mL) tamari sauce
Pesto Combine pumpkin seeds, parsley, garlic, and lemon juice in food processor fitted with a metal blade. Whirl until processed to a paste, scraping down the sides occasionally. While machine is running, gradually add oil in a thin steady stream until blended. Add a little more oil if you prefer it a little thinner. With a few quick pulses add the zest. Add a little salt and fresh pepper to taste if you wish. Add pesto to cooked squash and toss together to evenly coat. Serve with a little freshly grated orange zest on top, if desired. Delicious served as a main course with sesame grilled chicken breasts (see sidebar). Serves 4 as a main course or 6 as a starter.
1 Tbsp (15 mL) each sesame oil and olive oil
Each main course serving contains: 207 calories; 3 g protein; 16 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans
Each serving contains: 340 calories; 56 g protein; 11 g fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 1 g carbohydrates; 0 g fibre; 657 mg sodium
fat); 17 g carbohydrates; 3 g fibre; 183 mg sodium
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground ginger 1 garlic clove, crushed 4 boneless, skinless organic chicken breasts 1 Tbsp (15 mL) sesame seeds, toasted 1/4 cup (60 mL) chives, chopped
Seal and shake to blend. Add chicken breasts and re-seal. Marinate in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Drain and grill chicken just until tender but still moist and no longer pink in the centre. Place on a platter and drizzle with a little lemon juice. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and chopped chives. Serves 4.
Beet Carpaccio on SautĂŠed Greens Beets are high in folic acid and potassium and are a good source of vitamins A and C. 4 medium gold coloured beets, crisp greens attached 1/3 cup (80 mL) flaxseed oil 2 Tbsp (30 mL) seasoned rice vinegar 1/2 tsp (2 mL) Dijon mustard 1/4 cup (60 mL) pine nuts, toasted 1 cup (100 g) shaved Manchego cheese
Trim beets, leaving roots intact. Set greens aside. Place in large pot of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and gently boil beets until tender but still slightly firm when pierced with a skewer. Drain and cool. Wash and spin dry leaves. Place in saucepan with a little water and steam just until wilted. Drain well and coarsely chop. Combine oil, vinegar, and mustard in small bowl and whisk to blend. Drizzle 2 Tbsp (30 mL) over greens and toss to coat. Using tongs, divide into 4 servings and place a mound on each plate. Peel cooled beets; thinly slice on a mandolin or with a small sharp knife.
Divide slices among 4 serving plates, fanning them over beet greens. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and shavings of Manchego cheese. Drizzle with remaining whisked dressing. Serves 4. Each serving contains: 354 calories; 8 g protein; 32 g total fat (8 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 11 g carbohydrates; 3 g fibre; 225 mg sodium
Irene McGuinness is managing director of I.M. Marketing Ltd. As a writer/developer she was associate food editor for Chatelaine and food editor for Ottawa Magazine and BC Woman Magazine.
Canâ€™t find Manchego cheese? No problem. You can substitute Pecorino Romano for the Manchego. 104 november 2009
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Superfood with a dark side Bryce Wylde, HD
The scientific classification given to grapefruit, Citrus paradisi, loosely translates as citrus fruit from paradise. Although papayas and mangos are better known as fruits of paradise, grapefruits outdo them with over 300 known therapeutic ingredients ranging from alpha-linolenic acid and limonene to calcium and phosphorus. The grapefruit is more than just a superfood. It is commonly used as an additive for flavouring and as a base in many beverages. It also works as an essential oil to improve mood, revive the mind, and stimulate the digestive system. The grapefruit offers a number of medicinal benefits, acting as an acne remedy or antifungal when applied topically. Grapefruit benefits In order to get the attention of a nutritionist these days, a superfood has to be loaded with antioxidants. It must also have a high oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC), which is the ability to absorb free radicals and dangerous disease-producing molecules, thus detoxifying the body. Grapefruits contain a very high ORAC value. They also flaunt high levels of vitamin C, folic acid, and lycopene while
containing few calories, no fat, and plenty of fibre. Grapefruit cautions Despite all of the known benefits of grapefruit, there are still some looming cautions. Unfortunately, the grapefruit and its juice have possible interactions with some prescription medications. These medications interact with grapefruit and grapefruit juice, causing the medication to become more intense. Grapefruits contain chemicals that interfere with the enzymes that break down certain drugs in the digestive system. This can result in excessively high levels of these drugs in the blood and an increased risk of serious side effects. Check with your physician or pharmacist to make sure grapefruit will not affect your prescription medications. Since weâ€™re discussing the sour side of grapefruit, preliminary research suggests
that consuming grapefruit every day may be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. This is a very preliminary study and more research is clearly needed. Despite this caution and some possible interactions with prescription drugs, grapefruit offers vitamins, minerals, fibre, flavonoids, and antioxidants that benefit us in a multitude of ways. Research shows that people with diets rich in the antioxidants found in grapefruit did better on standardized tests measuring brain function. This included language skills, logic, and memory. While caution is advised, the advantages outweigh the risks. Think pink! a
Bryce Wylde, HD, is the director of natural medicine at Torontoâ€™s Vaughan Medical Centre. drwylde.com
Carb balancing act The glycemic index makes it easy
For the last few years we’ve been at war with carbohydrates. We’ve been bombarded with the latest fad diets—from low-carb Atkins to protein-rich South Beach. Trying to eat healthy in today’s world of diet dos and don’ts is a minefield of contradictions. Making headlines today is something called the GI diet—a carb balancing act recommended by the Canadian Diabetes Association and the World Health Organization. GI explained The GI diet is more of a reference tool than a strictly regimented diet. It’s based on the glycemic index (GI), a numerical system that measures and rates the carbohydrates in foods according to how quickly they are digested and how greatly they affect blood sugar levels. The higher the number on the index, the greater the blood sugar response. To assign values, pure glucose (sugar) is given the score of 100. According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, high GI foods have a score of 70 plus, medium foods fall between 55 and 69, and low foods score 55 or less. The number indicates whether a food raises your blood glucose rapidly, moderately, or slowly.
Dilled Salmon Linguine Whole wheat pasta is best cooked al dente. Check package directions for timing, but taste for doneness 1 to 2 minutes before the suggested time. 1/2 of 1 lb (454 g) package whole wheat linguine 3/4 cup (175 mL) low-fat plain yogourt 1/4 cup (50 mL) each fresh dill and parsley or cilantro, chopped 1 tsp (5 mL) finely grated lemon peel 1/2 tsp (2 mL) sea salt 1 garlic clove, minced 1 cup (250 mL) frozen green peas
High on the GI Carbohydrates are the body’s source of energy. Through digestion, carbs end up as glucose in the bloodstream—it’s the fuel that keeps us going. What’s important is how quickly glucose enters the bloodstream, and that’s where the GI comes in handy. Highly ranked GI foods are digested quickly, raising blood sugar. This triggers the pancreas to release excessive amounts of insulin which brings the blood sugar back down by removing it from the bloodstream and then storing it as fat. As your blood sugar level dramatically drops, so does your energy level. You may recognize this feeling as an energy rush after eating sugary foods, followed by 108 november 2009
7.5 oz (213 g) can salmon, drained
Boil pasta until al dente. Meanwhile in a serving bowl, stir yogourt with herbs, lemon, salt, and garlic. Before draining noodles, add peas. Boil for 1 minute. Then drain pasta and peas. Add to bowl with yogourt mixture and toss to mix. Crumble salmon over top and serve. Serves 3. Each serving contains: 369 calories; 25 g protein; 6 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 52 g carbohydrates; 7 g fibre; 328 mg sodium
sluggishness and hunger. It’s probably no surprise that foods on the higher end of the index tend to be refined and processed. Yet the list of foods with a GI of 60 or higher also contains things we might consider good for us, such as whole wheat bread, baked potatoes, instant oatmeal, cereal bars, raisins, carrots, honey, mangoes, and bananas.
“The GI diet is more of a reference tool than a strictly regimented diet.” Low on the GI Foods that rank low on the GI are absorbed at a slow and steady rate, so there’s no panicky rush of insulin. End result? Your pancreas gets a break, you stay full longer between meals, and energy levels stay consistent. Low GI foods include whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, and low-fat milk products. These foods are naturally lower in fat, high in fibre, and contain essential antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Consuming low GI foods improves blood sugar control by keeping insulin levels in check—essential for diabetics. Low GI foods also reduce LDL (bad cholesterol), promote heart health, and contribute to weight loss and healthy weight management. Making GI work for you Man cannot live by lentils alone. It’s a conundrum to avoid bananas, cantaloupe, carrots, and other nutrient-dense foods just because they score high on the GI. But unlike fad diets, the GI is realistic for everyday eating because nothing is prohibited. Good and bad aren’t part of the GI vocabulary. It’s more about combining a variety of carbs to create the ultimate healthy meal. The Canadian Diabetic Association recommends choosing mostly from the low and medium categories of all the food groups. An easy starting place to include healthier carbs in your diet is to switch to whole grains such as brown rice instead of white. Try whole wheat pasta and pass on instant oats in favour of steel-cut oats at breakfast. Small steps to be sure, but increasingly important ones on the long and vital march to better health through healthier eating. a Jennifer Danter is a freelance food writer, recipe developer, and food stylist. Her work has appeared in alive, Best Health, Chatelaine, EAT, Oxygen, and Taste. 110 november 2009
Beef Stew with Sweet Potatoes and Orange With a score of 54 on the GI, sweet potatoes rank surprisingly low. Adding orange to this hearty stew further reduces its overall rating. 2 lbs (1 kg) organic stewing beef 1 Tbsp (15 mL) sweet smoked paprika 1 tsp (5 mL) each dried oregano and thyme 1/2 tsp (2 mL) sea salt 2 tsp (10 mL) extra-virgin olive oil 3 garlic cloves, minced 2 onions, thinly sliced 2 celery ribs, finely chopped 2 cups (500 mL) organic beef broth 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks 1 orange
Place beef in bowl and coat with dried spices and salt. Heat oil in Dutch oven; add garlic, onion, and celery. Cook over medium heat until softened. Stir in beef and brown. Add half the stock, cover and let simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Cut potatoes into big chunks. Using a vegetable peeler, skin 3 thick strips of peel from orange. Cut remaining peel from orange and discard. Slice orange cross-wise into thick pieces, then cut into quarters. When beef has simmered for 2 hours, stir in sweet potatoes, orange peel, and remaining broth. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until meat and potatoes are tender, about 30 to 45 more minutes. Stir in orange pieces. Serves 6. Each serving contains: 414 calories; 55 g protein; 12 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 21 g carbohydrates;3 g fibre; 558 mg sodium
â€œConsuming low GI foods improves blood sugar control by keeping insulin levels in check. This is essential for diabetics.â€?
112 november 2009
a greener shade of
Eco-labels and what they mean Matthew Kadey, MSc, RD
Coffee is popular in Canada: over 60 percent of adults consume the black gold daily. But on a bitter note, much of todayâ€™s coffee is produced using unsustainable social and environmental methods, from felling huge swaths of rainforest to meagrely compensating farmers who grow the beloved brew.
Thankfully, for those seeking a more responsible cup of joe, several organizations have grabbed the coffee bean by its roots to lead the charge in helping us sip on a feel-good choice. Hereâ€™s the FYI on the best certifications around. Fair Trade Translation
A Fair Trade designation goes a long way toward ensuring that coffee farmers are fairly compensated financially for their back-breaking work. Why care?
Because of a lack of bargaining power and knowledge of world markets, poor farmers in the tropical regions where coffee grows often receive little compensation for their beans. Fair Trade certification allows these vulnerable farmers to obtain a more secure income that can be better used to provide for their families and to invest in sustainable coffee-growing practices. The Fair Trade Certified label is a third-party certification administered in Canada by TransFair Canada (transfair.ca). It guarantees that your coffee beans were purchased directly from growers or their cooperatives,
Know What “Purified” Fish Oils Are Missing? A Whole Lot.
bypassing middlemen and paying a market-appropriate, fair dollar value. As a boon to Mother Nature, more than half of Canada’s fair-trade coffee supply is also certified organic. Bird Friendly
The 16 whole omegas, antioxidants and vitamins found in nature.
Sustainably Wild-Caught Salmon
If you take a “purified” fish oil capsule, you’re not getting what nature created in the first place. Wholemega is a whole-food approach to fish oil and an alternative to the fractionated, “purified” fish oils on the market today that require chemical and high heat processing. Wholemega is a sustainably caught, fresh-pressed, 100% Wild Alaskan salmon oil that delivers 16 vital Omega Fatty Acids including 3, 5, 6, 7 and 9s, as well as naturally occurring Vitamin D and Astaxanthin. It’s simple: you have to get Wholemega to get what nature intended.
Coffee stamped with the Bird Friendly seal is certified by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC) of the US National Zoo to have been grown under the existing canopy of bird-affable trees, preventing habitat destruction. Why care?
The most flavourful coffee is traditionally produced under the protective shelter of native trees where it obtains the correct amount of humidity, precipitation, shade, wind, and nutrients. However, in the name of increased yields and profits, much of today’s morning jolt is gleaned from full-sun plantations. According to the SMBC, over the past three decades more than half of the shade-grown coffee farms in Latin America have been converted to sun-grown coffee farms to increase production. Sadly, as the rainforest goes the way of the dodo, so does the kaleidoscope of indigenous birds and mammals that once occupied the forests that stood where these plantations now grow. The Bird Friendly seal is a step forward in ensuring that the world’s lungs stay vertical, monocultured (one-crop) sunplantation soil erosion is averted, and fewer chemical inputs are employed. All farms are subject to an independent, thirdparty inspection to determine whether they meet the SMBC’s strict shade-growing criteria. Farms must also meet organic certification standards to be eligible for this prestigious label. Companies that sell coffee with the Bird Friendly seal contribute about 50 cents per kilogram of sales to support the SMBC’s conservation programs which include educating coffee farmers on planet-friendly agriculture. Rainforest Alliance Translation
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Sustainable farm management is encouraged, including increased social, labour, and environmental responsibility.
“More than half of Canada’s fair-trade coffee supply is also certified organic.”
“Over the past three decades, more than half of the shade-grown coffee farms in Latin America have been converted to sun-grown coffee farms.” Why care?
To reduce the environmental footprint of coffee, the Rainforest Alliance works with the support of the Sustainable Agriculture Network, a group of international conservation groups, to ensure farmers go about their business in ways that protect the land and the rights of workers. In order to qualify for Rainforest Alliance certification, coffee farms must exercise soil, ecosystem, and water conservation; wildlife protection; fair compensation; and good, safe working conditions for workers (child labour is forbidden). As well, waste management, such as fertilizing the soil with coffee pulp, and developing strategies that promote community development are encouraged. This means that most of the coffee with this label is grown without synthetic chemicals and under shade-providing, monkey-inhabited trees. What about organic? Coffee crops grown without herbicides, pesticides, and synthetic fertilizers are an important alternative to those grown on plantations that are laced with chemicals. While chemicals can offer faster, bigger yields and easier farming, they can also harm wildlife, waterways, and eventually deplete the soil of life. Handing over a bit of extra pocket change for certified organic coffee not only benefits biodiversity, but it also protects the health of farm workers and their families by reducing their exposure to harmful carcinogens. On the downside, some cash-strapped farmers indeed grow their coffee organically because they simply can’t afford chemicals. As well they often can’t afford the costs associated with organic certification. As a result they do not receive an organic pricing premium. Since organic certification alone does not inherently address economic inequality or poor labour procedures, fair trade coffee with organic certification is the very best bet for that daily dose of black gold. a
Matthew Kadey, MSc, RD, is an Ontario-based dietician and writer. wellfedman.com alive.com 115
comfort food Six healthy twists on old favourites Stephanie Raymond
photos Scott Yavis
If mashed potatoes make you smile and chocolate cake melts away a stressful day, youâ€™re not alone. Researchers at McGill and Cornell universities have found that traditional comfort foods not only lift our spirits when we feel down but also intensify the positive emotions we feel when weâ€™re happy. Comfort food is generally defined as any food that creates a sense of well-being. The foods that individuals consider comforting can vary greatly. Unfortunately, for those who look to high-fat and sugary foods for solace, a study published in the journal Physiology & Behavior (2005), found that the feel-good effects associated with comfort foods are often diminished (especially in women) by accompanying guilt. But with a few tweaks, any comfort food can be enjoyed guilt free, says Zannat Reza, a registered dietician and nutrition consultant. By adding antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, substituting high-fat ingredients for low-fat alternatives, and cutting back on portion size, Reza puts a healthy spin on five feel-good favourites.
116 november 2009
Mac â€™nâ€™ cheese
Reza gives this classic comfort food a healthy makeover by using cancerfighting broccoli or cauliflower soup as the sauce base, adding tuna or salmon for a dose of heart-healthy omega-3, and upping the fibre content by opting for whole wheat macaroni over its refined white counterpart. alive.com 117
Replace regular potatoes with sweet potatoes. Low in fat, high in dietary fibre, and packed full of vitamin A, baked sweet potato wedges are a perfect alternative to trans fat-laden french fries. For added flavour, season the wedges with a little salt, pepper, and rosemary.
Eliminate the fat associated with mashed potatoes by using low-fat, skim, or soy milk or vegetable broth when mashing; season with a clove of minced garlic and/or 1 tsp (5 mL) of dried rosemary. A medium-sized potato contains almost 80 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C along with B6, zinc, iron, and magnesium.
If you find yourself craving the familiar warmth of chicken pot pie this winter, you can significantly reduce the amount of calories this comforting dish contains by simply cutting the crust off the sides.
118 november 2009
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Your Journey to Wellness
The key to enjoying this feel-good staple is controlling portion size. Don’t eat more than half a cup. If you’re counting calories, you might want to skip the ice cream altogether and opt for sorbet topped with antioxidant-rich berries instead.
Eating a square of dark chocolate a day is a resolution almost anyone can keep. Rich in antioxidants and flavonoids, studies have shown that when consumed daily, small amounts of dark chocolate (containing at least 70 percent cacao) can lower high blood pressure and reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. When indulging in this calorie-rich treat, splurge on the best quality chocolate. If you really taste every bite, you’ll find that a little goes a long way. a
Stephanie Raymond is a Toronto-based freelance journalist.
120 november 2009
Sambu Guard KNOCKS Out COld aNd Flu This season don’t lose the fight! Keep your SambuGuard up. Additive & PreservAtive Free • NoN-GMo • GluteN Free • Alcohol Free • Bottled iN GlAss
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fight back with SambuGuard. This great tasting original 4-in-1 potent immune boosting formula delivers a “knock out” punch when taken at the first signs of an ailment. Wild-crafted Elderberries and Elder Flowers: Traditionally used to combat germs and prevent them from multiplying while alleviating symptoms such as sinus and bronchial congestion 1
Vitamin C: and Acerola cherry fight infections and strengthen the immune system
Fresh-pressed Echinacea: Echinacea purpurea boosts the immune system
1 Willoughy, Martin J., and Simon Mills. The British Herbal Pharmacopeia (4th ed.), Great Britain. The British herbal Medicine Association, 1996.
Made in Switzerland
Beverages with benefits Antioxidants in every sip Jennifer Walker, BScNutr
It used to be that we drank water or tea when we were thirsty. But today, beverage choices seem endless, ranging from vitamin-enhanced waters to the increasingly available antioxidant drinks. These beverages are a quick and easy way to include the recognized health benefits of these nutrients in our diets. Most antioxidant drinks are nutrient dense, providing nutritionally meaningful quantities of fruit juices or teas, as well as of vitamins and minerals that meet daily recommended nutritional intakes. Many are made with 100 percent juice of one or a combination of superfruits such as apple, cranberry, and blueberry, as well as the exotic antioxidant fruits acai berry and pomegranate. These superfruits are all the rage and for good reason. Acai and pomegranate top the charts with their antioxidant strength.
122 november 2009
Because menopause has more than 21 symptoms,* Harmony速 has more than one herb.
Drink in moderation By bottling antioxidant drinks in large 20 oz (591 mL) containers, producers are able to provide nutritionally meaningful quantities of antioxidant fruit juices or teas. The downside is that consuming the whole beverage can lead to high intake of sugar and calories.
Pomegranate power While acai is higher in antioxidant potential, pomegranate is probably the most popular and widely marketed of the exotic superfruits. Pomegranate juice is rich in vitamins A, C, and E, as well as ellagic acid, gallocatechins, prodelphinidins, and other tannins. Look for pomegranate and acai drinks that are truly nutritious—containing 100 percent juice. Pure fruit juices may be a little pricey, but they are far better than antioxidant-fortified beverages made with water or apple or grape juice. Admittedly, some people find that acai berry and pomegranate juices taste too tart. Mixing the pomegranate or acai berry drinks with other fruit juices can make them tastier. Adding other juices can also boost the colour because pure antioxidant beverages can appear
An average 20 oz (591 mL) bottle of a typical antioxidant drink made with 100 percent fruit juice contains 85 grams of sugar and 400 calories. Onethird of one of these large bottles is a better daily serving size (8 oz/250 mL).
“Some find acai berry and pomegranate juices too tart—try mixing them with other fruit juices.” brownish in colour and undesirable to the eye. The brownish colour denotes a quality product, though, so don’t shy away from it. When you feel like drinking something other than water or tea, and when you want some flavour, but you also desire something healthy and satisfying, reach for an antioxidant drink. a
“Acai and pomegranate top the charts with their antioxidant strength.”
Antioxidant beverages contain nutrients that play a proven role in preventing heart disease, cancer, and other diseases, such as • vitamin C (ascorbic acid) • vitamin E • selenium • carotenoids • isoflavones • flavonoids
Always remember to read the label to find out what your beverage of choice contains.
Jennifer Walker, BScNutr, has worked in research and product development in the Canadian health industry for 15 years.
On top with acai Acai berry has the highest antioxidant effects of any fruit measured using oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) values. Acai berries contain many antioxidants, including vitamins C and E, gallic acid, epicatechin, anthocyanins, procyanidins, protocatechuic acid, and other tannins. Check out ORAC values at oracvalues.com.
Available from leading Health Food Stores. Confidence through menopause
* Not all women experience all symptoms. Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist consult your health care professional.
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The brewing basics
Joanne Carr, RHN
Tea is one of the most commonly consumed beverages, with more than 127 million people enjoying a cup or two every day in North America. Every household has its favourite way of making tea. But thereâ€™s more to your cuppa than just leaves and boiling water. The main difference between loose teas and bagged teas is the size of the leaves. Loose-leaf tea is not packaged in individual bags or sachets. The loose, unbound steeping of tea leaves allows them to fully unfurl during infusion, resulting in a richer, fuller flavour. Whole leaf versus tea bags Whole leaf brewing results in higher grade, better-tasting tea. The tea found in sachets is a very fine, small cut of larger tea leaves. The tea leaves are cut so that they fit into the bag; this offers a quicker infusion but does not allow the leaves to fully unfurl and release all of their flavour. Many tea lovers find the process of making whole leaf tea a vital part of the tea experience. They enjoy scooping out the fragrant leaves, having more control over the infusion process, and blending the various flavours of tea.
Health benefits Rich in antioxidants, tea fortifies the immune system and helps defend the body against the ravages of disease and environmental stress. Antioxidants may help prevent cancers of the mouth, stomach, pancreas, lungs, esophagus, colon, breast, and prostate. Cooking with tea Cooking with tea is as old as the history of tea itself. Dried tea leaves, particularly the young and green variety, add crunch and flavour to rubs for coating fish and garnishes for meat or poultry. Brewed tea can be used as a braising liquid or as a seasoning in marinades. Try adding a small handful of tea leaves to cream sauces for a lovely, herbaceous flavour. Whether you brew your whole leaf tea loose or in bags, drink in the full-bodied, antioxidant-rich infusion that is not only good for you but that also tastes great. a
Did you know? > The antioxidants in a single cup of tea equal those in one serving of vegetables. > Population health studies link drinking tea to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. > Tea contains one-third less caffeine than coffee or cola and is both fat and calorie free.
Joanne Carr, RHN, has 12 years of experience as a registered holistic nutritionist. She has lectured at natural health product seminars across Canada and contributes to various health publications.
Rice bran oil Finding favour in the west
Cheap, plentiful, nutritious rice appears in a staggering assortment of shapes, sizes, and eye-popping colours. And now this humble grain has produced an oil widely used in commercial cooking.
What is rice bran oil? Rice bran oil is the liquid fat that is pressed and extracted from the bran of the rice kernel. This oil is popular in several countries such as Japan, India, Korea, and Indonesia. It is just beginning to find favour in the West
smoke point (the point at which oil starts to smoke) of around 490 F (254 C), rice oil is an ideal choice for high-heat cooking such as stir-frying and barbecuing. Rice bran oil’s delicate flavour also makes it an easy addition to baked goods, salad dressings, sauces, dips, pesto, and marinades where chefs don’t want the flavour of the oil to overpower that of the other ingredients. Rice oil emulsifies well, so it’s great for making mayonnaise and creamy dressings that won’t separate when chilled. Its slight nut-like character also marries well with roasted vegetables and grilled fish.
Why is it so great?
In the body
In the kitchen
Rice bran oil is packed with a wealth of nutrients and compounds that may perform many good deeds. Several
There’s no doubt that cold-pressed oils are the most healthful; all other oils are refined using high heat and chemical catlysts that leave residuals in the oil. Unfortunately, cold-pressed oils cannot take the high heat of cooking and when you’re eating out, there’s a good chance that a refined oil such as rice bran has been used in the kitchen.
Chefs laud rice oil because it has a long shelf life and can take the heat. With a
studies have demonstrated the oil’s ability to reduce detrimental LDL cholesterol while simultaneously boosting beneficial HDL cholesterol levels, making it very ticker-friendly. Scientists surmise that high amounts of antioxidants found in rice oil are responsible for its cholesterol-improving and, possibly, cancer-fighting effects. These antioxidants include gamma oryzanol (a very unique mixture of plant sterols and ferulic acid esters) and tocotrienols, members of the vitamin E family. The primary fat in rice oil is monounsaturated fat, which many experts agree has favourable impacts on blood cholesterol and heart health. a Wilfred Mann is an Ontario-based dietician and food critic.
Some like it hot
Here’s how several oils rank for fat content and relative smoke points (the temperature at which an oil begins to break down resulting in both flavour and nutritional degradation).
Oil Saturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat Polyunsaturated Fat Smoke Point
520 F (271 C)
490 F (254 C)
450 F (230 C)
organic refined canola
460 F (238 C)
420 F (215 C)
320 F (160 C)
126 november 2009
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Martin and Pleasance Supporting health with integrity Martin and Pleasance has a
are available in Canada.
Expanding horizons “I began to broaden the scope of the business,” says Holyman. “Around that time there were more regulatory constraints coming into place here in Australia and in Canada, and we had to substantially change the fundamentals of the business; we couldn’t just be a white-coated homeopathic dispensary. It made a lot more sense to broaden the base of the business from homeopathics and tissue salts to [the] herbal and traditional Chinese medicine products that we manufacture today.”
“Martin and Pleasance was the first retail homeopathic pharmacy in Victoria,” says CEO Richard Holyman. “Of course in those days, the only pharmacies you had were homeopathic ones. They hadn’t yet developed medicine as we know it today. We don’t retail anymore, but many people know our name and what we’re about.” Holyman took over the business 20 years ago from Phil Pleasance, the last living relative of one of the original owners. It was then that Holyman implemented his own idea of what Martin and Pleasance would become while still keeping the original owners’ vision in mind.
Popular products Spatone, a natural iron supplement, is particularly popular with Canadian consumers. Flowing from natural Welsh springs, the iron-rich liquid in Spatone is tapped from the ground, put directly into sachets, packed, and shipped around the world. Scientific studies show that this form of iron has a 40 percent absorption rate, more than double that of most traditional iron supplements, with no side effects. “Schuessler Tissue Salts are a very traditional homeopathic medicine that’s had a fairly strong acceptance in Canada as well,” says Holyman. “There are 12 minerals that are the foundation of
long history. It was founded in 1855 by R.H. Martin and Charles Pleasance in Melbourne, Australia. Today it is the largest homeopathic manufacturer in Australia, and the company’s products
all the cells in your body. If you manage the health of those cells, the practice that follows is that you will be a healthy person.” Martin and Pleasance’s line of tissue salts are manufactured to treat a wide range of health concerns including muscle cramps, skin conditions, coughs, sore throats, and respiratory ailments. Made with integrity “The company has one word that it abides by, which is integrity,” says Holyman. “We still have people in our lab downstairs who hand grind minerals with a mortar and pestle. If the integrity of the product requires it to be hand ground or we need to macerate an herb over three months to extract the ingredients, so be it. We are very conscious that in the end, if someone buys one of our products and it doesn’t work, they won’t buy from us again.” A new Martin and Pleasance product called Zen has been specially formulated to treat arthritis pain. Zen will be available as an external liniment applied directly to joints or in tablet form and is due on store shelves soon. For more information on Martin and Pleasance’s complete line, please visit martinandpleasance.com. a alive.com 129
on the bookshelf
About Face Edited by Anne Burt and Christina Baker Kline Seal Press, 20 08, 256 pages, $19.50 ISBN: 978 -1580 052467
Reviewed by Crystal Auffray Dia-Pro Diabetality™ is designed to enhance health by helping the body maintain stable blood sugar levels, an important component of maintaining good health. It contains 13 of the finest all-natural ingredients that have been used medicinally for centuries. Scientific studies have shown that these key ingredients help maintain stable blood sugar levels and help reduce the risk of complications usually associated with high blood sugar levels. Ingredients (In 3 vegetable capsules daily) Gymnema sylvestre extract 25% gymnemic acid Bitter melon extract fruit, 1% charantins Vitamin C (absorbic acid) Jambolan extract seed, 4:1 Alpha lipoic acid Bilberry extract fruit, 4:1 Cinnamon extract 10:1 Banaba extract leaf, 1% corosolic acid Magnesium citrate (16% elemental) Zinc citrate (34% elemental) Lutein 5% (marigold) Vanadium (vanadyl sulfate) Chromium (polynicotinate)
450 mg 300 mg 300 mg 300 mg 225 mg 150 mg 150 mg 150 mg 45 mg 30 mg 3 mg 3 mg 75 mcg
GMO free, no binders, no fillers. Made and formulated in Canada.
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This anthology of 25 essays is an honest, reflective,
and witty take on what women really see when they peer at themselves in the mirror. Women aged 22 to 75 from North America, Europe, and Asia take a deeper look into how their personal experiences have shaped their identities. They also write openly about their struggles to embrace the natural beauty they were born with. Written with refreshing candour and insight, this examination of beauty on a deeper level is engaging, funny, and relatable. No topic is untouched—body image, youth, identity, culture, and aging are all explored, as the women delve into brave revelations, ultimately giving us just as much perspective about the world we live in, as they do about themselves. a
photo credits index Photos copyright: Shutterstock—cover, pages 31, 33-37, 39-451, 51-53, 55-57, 59, 63, 68-71, 74-76, 87, 90, 92-95, 97, 125, 126, 146 Contributing photographer: Scott Yavis— cover, pages 22-27, 64-65, 73, 79, 98-104, 108-111, 116-120, 122
Keep Cool. (fan included)
Deep Immunity: Understanding Your Body’s Immune System by Dr. Anthony Godfrey Tota Vita Books, 20 08, 103 pages, $14.95 ISBN: 978 - 0 -9739321-1-9
Reviewed by Kim Van Haren
Deep Immunity offers readers a thorough look into
the immune system. Anthony Godfrey, ND, helps readers understand the concept of immunity—the physiological makeup of the immune system, what compromises it, what restores its balance—and shows us ways to strengthen and maintain its health with herbal remedies. With its subtle psychological and spiritual undertones, Deep Immunity provides the information needed to achieve health and harmony. a
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02 SBT Seabuckthorn Soothing Salves—An all-natural choice Five all-natural SBT Soothing Salves to nuture and heal your skin. SBT Soothing Salves penetrate your outer skin for deep nutritional therapeutic relief. Heal your skin naturally. SBT Seabuckthorn—The Original Seabuckthorn Company seabuckthorn.com; 877-767-6101
03 An extra bounce in your step! Canadians finally have a way to supplement with carnitine. PreCar™ is the latest innovation from AOR and contains the direct precursor to carnitine—needed for the production of energy in the body and the perfect supplement for those feeling depleted and tired. Studies also show that carnitine is beneficial for the heart and kidneys. Exclusive to AOR. AOR.ca; 800-387-0177
04 Introducing new Pomegranate Bowel Buddy™ Bran Wafers from Abundance Naturally! Grab a snack that is the “all-natural’ way to go … and we do mean go! Bowel Buddy™ contains high sources of pea fibre, psyllium, and wheat fibre and now has the juicy goodness and tart flavour of pomegranate. Get your fibre and antioxidants anytime, anywhere with new Pomegranate Bowel Buddy™. For more info abundancenaturally.com or 888-481-8446
05 Herpanacine Skin Support Clear, healthy, beautiful skin ... naturally! Dr. Wayne Diamond’s award-winning #1 skin supplement works internally to prevent chronic skin outbreaks—from the inside. Amazing benefits and results! Immune boosting for renewed good health and flawless skin from head to toe. Millions have experienced this powerful healing formula which addresses the underlying causes— for an outbreak-free lifestyle. diamondformulas.com; 888-467-4200, Dept. AL9
06 Heart Smart Oils New Roots Herbal launches the Heart Smart family of oils with Extra Virgin Olive, Sunflower, and Safflower, all certified organic with 7 percent phytosterol content. These premium oils can play a vital role in regulating blood lipid profile. They can be taken by measured dose or integrated into cooking or baking. They are also excellent for vinaigrettes and marinades. newrootsherbal.com
07 Slimstyles PGX Ultra Matrix PLUS Smooth Digest™ SlimStyles PGX Ultra Matrix PLUS Smooth Digest combines PGX, a highly concentrated and effective form of fibre with three effective herbs (fennel, anise, and caraway) to help ease fibre digestion. PGX can reduce a meal’s glycemic index by up to 50 percent, contributing to healthy blood sugar levels and improved insulin sensitivity. Visit naturalfactors.com or call 800-663-8900 for more information.
08 Liquid Nutri BONE Help prevent osteoporosis and maintain healthy bones with liquid Nutri BONE from Naka. This great-tasting advanced liquid formula features collagen, calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, and more! Nutri BONE can help fight bone density loss and support connective tissue formation. Studies also suggest that vitamin D can help prevent major breast, colon, and ovarian diseases. Visit nakaherbs.com.
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Made with organic whole milk from Canadian dairy farms, Stonyfield organic yogurts are ultra smooth and rich tasting. They contain a unique mix of five active cultures and inulin, making them both probiotic and prebiotic. And Stonyfield donates 10 percent of its profits to help the environment. The world’s most popular organic yogurt for over 25 years. stonyfield.ca
Aztec Nopal is native to Mexico where it has been used as a food and medicine by the ancient indigenous civilizations. Primarily known for its positive effect on blood sugar because of its ability to normalize levels and increase insulin sensitivity. Its unique high polysaccharide fibre content has a positive effect on cholesterol and triglycerides, therefore beneficial for those with weight and digestive challenges.
134 november 2009
Size Matters. Canadaâ€™s natural health and wellness magazine
Looking Ahead December 2009
We all know what December brings: winter weather, the sniffles, an abundance of rich foods, and plenty of activity surrounding the holidays. The December issue of alive delivers strategies for surviving the cold and flu season as well as ways to keep your tummy out of trouble. And speaking of your tummy, get the holiday season off to a good start with recipes for soothing winter drinks, easy-to-prepare holiday foods, and wheat-free holiday treats. alive aims to make your holiday shopping a pleasant experience with helpful hints for eco-friendly gifts and a persuasive argument for regifting. Finally, look for aliveâ€™s December issue to discover which natural health products have won the distinction of receiving the 2009 alive Award of Excellence.
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on Supplements for diabetic support Reach into natureâ€™s medicine cabinet
Fortunately, we have weapons against this increasingly common affliction. Exercising regularly, eating well, and supplementing appropriately can promote regular blood sugar metabolism and stave off future health complications. Gymnema sylvestre
In clinical trials Gymnema sylvestre, an ayurvedic herb, significantly reduced blood glucose in type 2 diabetics; five of 22 patients in one study were able to stop standard medications and use gymnema to maintain healthy blood glucose (sugar) levels. In another study involving 27 diabetes patients on insulin, gymnema enhanced the bodyâ€™s insulin production and dropped serum lipid (fat) levels to almost normal.
This flavourful spice improves cellsâ€™ ability to uptake glucose and to utilize it more effectively. Cinnamon also enhances the levels and effectiveness of insulin which is released by the pancreas to shuttle glucose into cells. In one trial 79 type 2 diabetics took either a cinnamon extract or a placebo for four months. The cinnamon group experienced a 10 percent drop in fasting blood sugar level versus only a 4 percent drop for the placebo group. Cinnamon also slows gastric emptying and thus lowers blood glucose after eating by up to 29 percent, according to a 2003 study.
136 november 2009
This active component of turmeric has been shown in mouse model studies to reduce diabetes-related oxidative stress and to protect the kidneys, which is important because kidney disease and failure are common diabetic complications. Another animal study found that curcumin was protective against diabetic retinopathy, a major cause of blindness, by reducing oxidative stress and improving inflammation.
Diabetes has been labelled a modern epidemicâ€”it is a condition currently affecting over 2 million Canadians. By 2010 this figure is anticipated to rise to a shocking 3 million.
Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA)
Green and black tea
ALA has been found to ease the oxidative stress that exacerbates diabetes. A recent study of 14 patients with noninsulin dependent type 2 diabetes found that four weeks of supplementing daily with ALA not only significantly reduced oxidative stress markers but also improved HDL (good) cholesterol levels and slightly reduced LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
This powerful bioflavonoid is beneficial in cases of diabetes and diabetesâ€™ common unwanted partner, heart disease. Derived from pine bark, Pycnogenol is an antioxidant that prevents free radical damage and improves symptoms of diabetic microangiopathy, a circulatory disorder caused by congestion of fat and clots in small blood vessels. In one 2006 study in Angiology, 30 patients who took Pycnogenol for four weeks experienced significant microcirculatory improvements.
Several recent studies lend credence to green teaâ€™s effect on diabetes prevention. Researchers reported earlier this year that long-term green or black tea intake equalling about a cup and a half per day is associated with reduced prevalence of type 2 diabetes. Tea also lowered fasting blood glucose levels and has been shown to improve glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. Nature offers us no shortage of support in our fight for good health. Ask your health care practitioner about these and more supplements for diabetic and prediabetic support.
green tea alive.com 137
healthy Natural products to add to your next shopping list
The goodness of almonds
Ultimate Multi Maximum-Daily-Performance
The first refrigerated all-natural almond beverage, Almond Fresh™ from earthsown™ is a great alternative to milk. Made with real almonds, it is a source of vitamin E antioxidants, calcium, and vitamins A and D. The subtle nutty flavour of Almond Fresh™ makes it a perfect milk substitute in all of your favourite recipes. almond-fresh.com
Advanced vitamin/mineral supplement, Ultimate Multi Maximum-Daily-Performance, contains the most advanced, research-proven forms of nutrients that help reduce stress, support metabolism, manage glucose levels, modulate immunity, enhance cell renewal, and reduce free radicals. There truly is no other multivitamin/mineral formula like it. You can actually feel the difference! awakenyourbody.com
02 Ionic Multi-Minerals for your health ConcenTrace, essential full spectrum ionic minerals, is indispensable for nutrient assimilation and toxin and heavy metal elimination. It balances pH, improves enzyme function, and increases electrolyte activity and energy. Re-mineralizes distilled water. It is a proprietary seawater product; 99 percent sodium is removed through solar evaporation from Utah’s Great Salt Lake. Manufactured by MRI. Distributed by Monnol since 1992 • monnol.com • 800-463-0420
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When nothing else seems to work, Ultimate Flora does! A once-a-day 50 billion culture formula containing therapeutic levels of Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria. If you suffer from chronic intestinal problems, or just want the best probiotic product available, there is only one product to take: Ultimate Flora Critical Care creates a balanced intestinal environment in both the small and large intestine. renewlife.ca; 800-485-0960
“New studies are examining the link in populations where diabetes rates are high and where vitamin D levels are low.”
07 Naka’s Nutri Collagen softgels Help to regenerate cartilage, maintain healthy joints and bones, plus youthful, supple skin with Naka’s Nutri Collagen. This advanced formula features collagen (400 mg) and bromelain extract (50 mg) in easy-to-swallow softgel capsules to help you stay pain free, active, and youthful looking. Nutri Collagen is a natural choice for healthy living! Visit nakaherbs.com.
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Feel alive, awake, and radiant at any age with Flor•Essence®: eight cleansing and rejuvenating herbs that encourage your body to remove toxins at a higher efficiency than it would on its own. A potent invigorator, Flor•Essence helps your body achieve a new, vibrant equilibrium—more energy, a brighter complexion, deeper sleep, and improved digestion. Now available in a 941 mL bottle. florahealth.com; 888-436-6697
Inflammation is the systemic mechanism used by the body to react to infection, irritation, disease, and injury. Anti-Inflamma formula targets the COX-2 enzyme responsible for pain and swelling due to inflammation. Curcumin and quercetin scavenge free radicals with boswellic acid triggering apoptosis (death) of mutated cells. Two capsules daily with meals, not to be taken during chemotherapy. newrootsherbal.com
06 Wild Oregano C93—Higher purity oregano for better taste Origanum Minutiflorum contains the highest naturally occurring carvacrol-to-volatile oil concentration: up to 93 percent. This species’ higher purity reduces the bitter, harsh taste. Imported directly from the Mediterranean, steamdistilled, hand-picked, and chemical-free Wild Oregano C93 is an effective nutritional supplement for colds, flu, bacteria, viruses, and parasites. newrootsherbal.com
09 Healthy lungs Advanced daily multi-antioxidant designed for those exposed to smoke, pollution, and airborne allergens, Healthy Lungs Smokers-Pro™ is a perfect blend of the most potent natural antioxidants known to boost the immune system and help protect, strengthen, and repair the lungs. Used successfully to improve breathing and athletic performance. Each ingredient carefully selected based on extensive published scientific research. Learn more; save $3: canprev.ca; 888-226-7733
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140 october 2009
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Researchers have discovered a new role that vitamin C plays: it stimulates cells called fibroblasts to divide, then move in to heal wounds. Vitamin C may also help remove DNA damage caused by free radicals, leading to a potential role in preventing and treating skin lesions and fighting cancer.
10g of psyllium (a soluble fibre) rated better than 10 g of bran (an insoluble fibre) for providing relief from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms in a recent Dutch study. Psyllium was mixed with food, preferably yogourt, and taken twice a day.
plant and herb extracts recently tested contained beneficial properties, but white tea emerged the clear winner. It reduced the risk of inflammation that accompanies rheumatoid arthritis and some forms of cancer. White tea also stopped the breakdown of elastin and collagen, a process that creates wrinkles.
146 november 2009
Canadians experience at least one episode of back pain. Chronic back pain sufferers who practised Iyengar yoga for 24 weeks were able to improve function, decrease pain, and boost mood. They were also able to reduce their dosage of pain medication compared to the control group.
5 times more polyphenols are contained in apples, peaches, and nectarines than previously believed, a new study shows. Researchers used a technique that allowed them to extract polyphenols from the cell walls of fruit to provide a truer picture of the nutrients these fruits contain.
Stop Flu Faster. Recover twice as fast with Sambucus Flu Care For centuries the dark berries of European black elder (Sambucus nigra L.) have been traditionally used as a winter remedy. In recent years, medical researchers have proven its eﬃcacy in clinical trials.
Nature’s Way® Bio-Certified Sambucus is the superior black elderberry extract.
• Standardized, Bio-Certified extract with proven bioavailability and activity within the body for optimal effectiveness • From premium cultivar elderberries with higher naturallyoccurring levels of BioActive® constituents • Full spectrum, solvent-free extraction process for maximum potency • Natural formula - no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives • Gluten-free and Kosher certified
Available at Health & Nutrition Stores from Nature’s Way of Canada / 1-800-463-8412