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+ FOCUS: Canada’s Green Mayors




startfresh 10 steps to change your life Recipes for a happy heart I

I Easy tips for healthy habits

5 keys to digestive strength

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.

Why PGX Works People who are overweight are often affected by what we call “the blood sugar roller coaster” where blood glucose levels can rise and fall dramatically before and after meals, causing stress on many body systems and functions. Uncontrolled, the blood sugar roller coaster can lead to weight gain, insulin resistance, feeling exhausted and premature aging. PGX offers support for healthy weight loss by mixing with food and water in the digestive system and increasing food volume to slow digestion and reduce between meal cravings.

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Controls and balances blood sugar levels

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Contains no stimulants For more information, contact the PGX support center at


or email Available at natural health stores. , PGX Daily™, PolyGlycopleX®, and the unique two-toned PGX Daily UltraMatrix Softgel™ capsule are trademarks of InovoBiologic Inc. patent pending.

Dr. Castillo’s Clinic My very dear friends, I want to take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a very prosperous and healthy 2010. This is a year that we shall look forward to helping many more people regain their health and improve their quality of life. Happy 2010 and best wishes to all. Dr. Castillo 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 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.

The newly expanded Dr. Castillo’s Clinic is located in Tijuana, Mexico.

call 011.52(664)683.5700 • fax 011.52(664)683.6016 • visit For information contact Claude & Carole Marlow at 800.296.9881, e-mail Dr. Castillo is a recipient of the prestigious Honoris Causa award from the Global Organization for Excellence in Health.

Warm and tasty high-energy edibles to keep your stride strong.

110 Tasty ticker-friendly food features [TITLE]

4 hearty and heart-healthy recipes.

Towns and cities where they’ve seen the green.

116 Winter vegetables

22 The great Canadian cleanup

health [TITLE]

Delicious, heart-warming recipes take advantage of seasonal produce.

38 A New Year full of promise

122 Game night munchies

How to cross that resolution bridge with confidence.

Try these healthy snack alternatives during your next get-together.

46 A change will do you good 4 tips for a successful transition to healthy eating.

48 A balancing act Maintaining pH levels for optimum health.

51 Flu blues and crummy colds Practise self-defence with these immune-boosting strategies.

57 Happy belly, happy body 5 strategies to improve digestive health.

61 Weathering arthritis pain Complementary therapies to ease you through the damp and cold.

65 Too hot to heal? Medicinal plants face an uncertain future with climate change.

Stop Flu Faster. 81 Get unstuck

Tips from some successful life-changers.

88 Facingtwice up to winter Recover as fast with Sambucus Flu Care Weather the season with this cross-Canada skin guide.the dark berries of European black elder (Sambucus nigra L.) Forcare centuries have been traditionally used as a winter remedy. In recent years, medical 93 Ethics action researchers haveinproven its efficacy in clinical trials. Putting your money where your values are.

Nature’s Way® Bio-Certified Sambucus 96 Stress-busting exercises you go from stresselderberry junkie to Zenextract. master-inis To thehelpsuperior black


• Standardized, Bio-Certified extract with proven bioavailability 101activity Cross-country skiing and within the body for optimal effectiveness • From premium cultivar elderberries An Olympic sport for every athlete.with higher naturallyoccurring levels of BioActive® constituents • Full spectrum, solvent-free extraction process for maximum potency • Natural formula - no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives food [TITLE] • Gluten-free and Kosher certified 106 Cross-country skiing banquet

Available at Health & Nutrition Stores from Nature’s Way of Canada / 1-800-463-8412

contents JAnUARY 2010   issue no 327



22 FEAtures 22 The great Canadian cleanup Towns and cities where they’ve seen the green.

health 37 38 A New Year full of promise How to cross that resolution bridge with confidence.

46 A change will do you good 4 tips for a successful transition to healthy eating.

48 A balancing act Maintaining pH levels for optimum health.

51 Flu blues and crummy colds Practise self-defence with these immuneboosting strategies.

on the cover Canada’s green mayors............. 22 10 steps to change your life....... 38 Easy tips for healthy habits....... 46 5 keys to digestive strength...... 57 Recipes for a happy heart....... 110



57 Happy belly, happy body 5 strategies to improve digestive health.

61 Weathering arthritis pain Complementary therapies to ease you through the damp and cold.

64 Too hot to heal? Medicinal plants face an uncertain future with climate change.

64 5

JANUARY 2010  issue no 327

93 lifestyle 79 81 Find a fresh start Tips from some successful life-changers.

88 Facing up to winter Weather the season with this cross-Canada skin care guide.

93 Ethics in action Putting your money where your values are.

96 Stress-busting exercises To help you go from stress junkie to Zen master-in-training.

101 Cross-country skiing An Olympic sport for every athlete.


6 june 2008


116 food 105 106 Cross-country skiing banquet Warm and tasty high-energy edibles to keep your stride strong.

110 Tasty ticker-friendly food 4 hearty and heart-healthy recipes.

116 Winter vegetables Delicious, heart-warming recipes take advantage of seasonal produce.

122 Game night munchies


Try these healthy snack alternatives during your next get-together.


in every issue from the publisher..................................... 11 from our readers....................................... 16 ask the experts....................................35, 72 on the bookshelf...................................... 132 on display.................................................. 134 classifieds................................................144 the latest word.........................................146 7

Immuno Multi a day Canada’s natural health and wellness magazine

Publisher • Ryan Benn Associate Publisher • Rick Kroetsch Editorial & design

Executive Editor • Stuart Harries Senior Editor • Sandi Gauvin Editor and Creative Services Liaison • Ellen Niemer Editor and Marketing Liaison • 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

Operations Manager • Elaine Mavritsakis Digital Content Coordinator • Vince Yim Print Distribution Coordinator • Victoria Chan Shipping and Receiving • Rafael Rivera, Jagdeep Biring Sales

Director of Business Development • Jessica Malach ext 647 Advertising Account Managers • Karla Gursche ext 621, Noorani Ramji ext 622, Ellen Wheeler ext 619, Alexandra Guarascio ext 624 Bulk Subscription Sales • Irene Wong ext 641 Marketing

Marketing Specialist • Bronwyn Logan Academy

Academy Coordinator • Lynnel Neuendorf ext 614 Account Manager • Irene Wong ext 641

alive is published monthly by

keeps free radicals at bay! Immuno Multi™ is an advanced daily multiantioxidant and multi-vitamin formulation that dramatically enhances health by providing complex nutritional support and fully supporting the immune system with over 30 ingredients in therapeutic doses. The vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in Immuno Multi™ aid in gentle daily detoxification and cellular defence, contributing to a healthier body and a stronger immune system. Immuno Multi™ is the ideal, core natural health product for all adults. Ingredients (In 3 vegetable capsules daily) Vitamin A (acetate) 5000IU Beta carotene natural 5000IU Vitamin C (ascorbic) 500mg Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) 600IU Vitamin E (d-alpha-tocopherol) 150IU Mixed tocopherols (30%: α, β, γ, δ) 50mg Vitamin K (phytonadione) 40mcg Vitamin B1 (thiamine HCl) 30mg Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) 30mg Vitamin B3 (niacin) 50mg Vitamin B5 (calcium d-pantothenate) 30mg Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine HCl) 40mg Vitamin B7 (biotin) 300mcg Folic acid (B9, folate) 1000mcg Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamine) 100mcg Magnesium citrate (16% elemental) 200mg Zinc citrate (34% elemental) 36mg

Selenium yeast (0.2% elemental) 100mg Manganese citrate (20% elemental) 5mg Molybdenum (sodium molybdate) 40mcg Vanadium (Vanadyl sulfate) 30mcg N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) 200mg Green tea extract 95% polyphenols 200mg Resveratrol 20% (polygonum root) 600mcg Alpha lipoic acid 100mg Grape seed extract 95% OPCs 100mg Lycopene 5% (tomato) 60mg Lutein 5% (marigold) 2mg Zeaxanthin 5% (marigold) 2mg Sulforaphane 0.13% (broccoli) 200mcg Turmeric 95% curcuminoids 200mg Pomegranate extract 40% ellagic acid 100mg Quercetin 100mg

Subscription Information

Alive Publishing Group Inc. 100-12751 Vulcan Way, Richmond, BC V6V 3C8 Phone: 604-295-9333 Toll Free: 1-800-663-6580

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 or contact our Personal Subscriptions department for more information: 1-800-663-6580 ext 615 or Canada Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement No. 40011604. Advertising Policy

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.

GMO free, no binders, no fillers. Made and formulated in Canada.

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We acknowledge the financial support of Printed the Government of Canada through on Catalyst Paper’s Electracote, containing 100% certified the Publications Assistance Program wood fibre and produced in accordance with PricewaterhouseCoopers’ and the Canada Magazine Fund toward independent chain of custody certification standard. our mailing and editorial costs.

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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.

Printed on Catalyst Paper’s Electracote, containing 100% certified wood fibre and produced in accordance with PricewaterhouseCoopers’ independent chain of custody certification standard.

T o d a y ’s I r o n W o m a n

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Kim is flying through her work day... Mary is flying through her exercise routine... Jaya is flying through her growth phase...

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from THE publisher

Back to basics The New Year is the perfect time for reflection, planning, and change. At alive we’ve been planning a number of changes for our first issue of 2010. Most importantly, you’ll now be seeing a lot more of executive editor, Stuart Harries, as he takes on a more visual role in the magazine. Although I’ve enjoyed writing this letter each month, I’m far better suited to my publisher’s role—outside of the camera’s eye. Of course I’m not completely out of the picture! In the issues to come, I’ll still be directing, assisting, and generally keeping my publisher’s eye on everything the talented alive team does. I believe that expanding Stuart’s role to include this page is truly serendipitous. It was 20 years ago this month that Stuart first picked up an issue of alive magazine. That issue, with a focus on fats and oils, organics, and soy foods, changed Stuart’s life for the better. “I grew up with a farm-fresh diet. My mom never allowed processed foods in the house, and the food we ate was always fresh and healthy. She focussed on small meat portions with plenty of different vegetable options. “But that all went by the wayside once I got out on my own. Fast food became my go-to solution for most meals, and while I managed to stay fit, my diet quickly became an afterthought.” Thanks to that January 1990 issue of alive, Stuart put healthy nutrition back on his radar and began making the right choices at mealtimes. “It wasn’t a simple switch for me—I really battled the lure of quick and easy fast food. But I continued to read alive and sooner than later, health food stores became my regular haunts.” Today Stuart enjoys a health and wellness lifestyle inspired by the pages of alive magazine. “As I move into my expanded role with alive, I’m taking a “back to basics” approach. I plan to clearly focus articles on the best natural health and wellness solutions and to push the magazine’s editorial and design to be both topical and relevant.

“For instance, we’ll refocus our efforts to ensure readers are strongly encouraged to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables and to avoid excessive meat intake, unnecessary fats, simple sugars, and high sodium contents. “I’ll also concentrate on matters that directly affect natural health and wellness in Canada—such as the very confusing politics surrounding natural health product regulations. I’m also sincerely concerned about issues that directly impact the lives of Canadians—climate change, genetic modification of food, chemical residuals in consumer products, and so much more. The coming issues of alive will shine light on these important concerns.” I hope you’ll join me in welcoming Stuart to this page of alive. I’m excited to start the New Year in partnership with Stuart and I’m certain that his positive approach, endless energy, and fresh thinking will ensure that alive continues to be Canada’s most loved natural health and wellness magazine. Live naturally and live well,

Ryan Benn PUBLISHER 11

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All-natural iron: all the benefits. Are you tired? By the time you reach your third trimester, you have an 85% chance of being iron deficient, causing tiredness.1

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Bruce McDougall has written for

TIME, Canadian Business, Canadian Geographic, and Report on Business magazines. He has written or cowritten 17 books and has published short stories in Geist and subTerrain magazines. An honours graduate of Harvard College, he was an editor of the Harvard Lampoon.

Spatone delivers a much more absorbable form of iron than traditional iron supplements so you can prevent iron deficiency.2

Finally, an iron supplement that won’t cause constipation. Barbara Yaffe adopted Vancouver as her home after living across Canada while working as a newspaper journalist. Since the late '80s she has worked at The Vancouver Sun where she pens a national political column. Born in Montreal, a graduate of the University of Toronto and Carleton University, Yaffe’s favourite preoccupation is Dickens, her 10-year-old pup.

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Lisa Petty, ROHP/RNCP, is a nutritionist, wellness coach, journalist, and author of Living Beauty (Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 2005) who believes that health is simple. She shares this philosophy as host of Lisa Live, a radio program that helps her southern Ontario listeners walk the talk. Her show also streams online at

Timothy Hennessy, RHN, ROHP, is a graduate of the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition and the Stratford Chefs School. Along with writing, he works as a culinary instructor and manages a busy Kingston restaurant. With his vegetable garden sleeping until spring, he is using the down time to become certified in reflexology. 1. Gomez, Joan, MD, Anemia in women. 1998. 2. Prof Worwood et al. Iron absorption from mineral water .... Clinical and Laboratory Haematology, 1996; 18: page 23. 3. McKenna et al. Clinical and laboratory haematology 2003, 25 99-103. A randomized trial investigating an iron-rich natural mineral water as a 13 prophylaxis against iron deficiency in pregnancy. TCA/SPA063b


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Botanica Liver Support is a balanced formula that helps to normalize liver function. It tones, increases cellular regeneration, protects the liver from environmental toxins, and gently cleanses by increasing bile production for improved digestion of fats. Milk Thistle and Tumeric protect the liver from toxins and viruses as well as strengthening liver function. Dandelion and Watercress are tonifying and nourishing, and Blessed Thistle and Oregon Grape are bitters that enhance the liver’s cleansing process.

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ask lorna

Questions & Answers with Canada’s Leading Women’s Natural Health Care Expert,

PARTNERS IN EXCELLENCE 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 35-year reputation as Canada’s most trusted natural health and wellness resource.

Dr. Elvis Ali graduated

with a Bachelor of Science majoring in biology in 1979 and received his Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine in 1987. He has been in private practice for 23 years specializing in Chinese medicine, sports medicine, and nutrition. He has published papers, written and co-authored several books, and continues to lecture on various health topics.

Lorna Vanderhaeghe

How can I support my immune system?


Q: I have decided not to get vaccinated with any of the flu vaccines. How can I support my immune system?

A: If you tuned into any of the news outlets over the last few months, you have heard about the H1N1 virus, which causes 'Swine Flu' which has resulted in the World Health Organization raising a pandemic alert and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declaring a public health emergency. Your immune system is constantly seeking, recognizing and destroying, not only flu viruses, but also cancer cells, fungi, bacteria and other invaders that have the potential to cause disease. You need a strong, vigilant immune system as we are being assaulted by infectious agents every second of the day. The best defense against infection include the following: Wash your hands thoroughly with regular soap and water (avoid antibacterial soaps, which can create superbugs). Don't touch your fingers to your eyes, nose and mouth; they are direct entry routes into the body. Drink lots of water. Dehydration suppresses immunity. The protective fluid around the eyes, nose and mouth is particularly rich in immune factors. When you're dehydrated, the fluid shrinks and loses the ability to fight viruses and bacteria. Supplement with an excellent multivitamin/mineral like FemmEssentials® or Forward Plus®. Research has shown the elderly and those with compromised immune systems need a multivitamin to build antibodies, especially if they decide to get the flu vaccine. Avoid sugar. Did you know that one teaspoon of sugar suppresses immunity for up to six hours? Support a healthy immune system with ImmunoSense™ which contains an arsenal of research-backed ingredients to help your immune army stay strong, including astragalus, ganopoly mushroom extract, zinc and selenomethionine. Combined, they enhance the immune system's ability to fight invaders (viruses, bacteria) by increasing the number and action of the immune system natural killer cells.  You can read more about ImmunoSense™ at 15

from our readers

Letter of the month: LIFESTYLE




Caroline Fernandez

“Biologists routinely find cigarette butts in the stomachs of sick or dead birds, turtles, and even dolphins.”

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.

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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. 87

november 2009

If not for yourself … for the planet Dear Editor: Thank you for Caroline Fernandez’s article, “Smoke Print” in the November issue of alive [page 86]. If that article doesn’t encourage people to quit smoking, I don’t know what will! There are consequences to everything we do, including smoking. Until now, smokers have been persuaded to give up their disgusting habit with the promise of better health and a longer life. Photos on cigarette packages have become more graphic in an attempt to gross smokers out of smoking. The damage done by secondhand smoke has also been highly publicized. Obviously, the personal health approach doesn’t work for all. Hopefully, smokers will read your article and realize that their personal smoking habits have more far-reaching implications than their own or their loved ones’ health—they affect the health of our planet and all its creatures! Earlier this year I took part in a neighbourhood cleanup day. My friends and neighbours donned our work gloves and set out with garbage bags in hand, eager to rid our neighbourhood of trash. To our amazement, the fruits of our labours consisted mostly of cigarette butts. We picked up hundreds of butts from parking areas where inconsiderate smokers had dumped their car ashtrays. We picked up dozens more around picnic tables and park benches where children play and sparrows scavenge for crumbs. Now when I see a smoker toss a cigarette butt out of the window of his or her car, I’m outraged. It may be just one tiny butt, but each one adds up to billions of butts scattered all over our streets, parks, and beaches.

Perhaps Health Canada should take a cue from alive and force cigarette manufacturers to put photos of birds or animals onto cigarette packages. Perhaps if smokers can’t quit for personal health reasons, they can do so out of compassion for the birds and animals that we share our planet with. Jane Alstead New Westminster, BC

What about diesel? Dear Editor: Driving a car is always going to present a challenge to our environment. In return, the auto sector and the media have consistently hyped up the increasing range of hybrid vehicles. However, so often, as in the case of the article, “Green Motoring” [November 2009, page 83], the tremendous benefits of the turbo diesel engine are ignored. It is implied in this article that hybrid owners appreciate having a lower carbon debt. However, turbo diesel engines give off far less carbon dioxide than the gasoline that hybrids use. Additionally, this article fails to consider the additional carbon cost in manufacturing the hybrid battery pack. Furthermore, as for fuel efficiency, depending on where you live (rural versus urban), the Volkswagen Jetta turbo diesel is superior to all hybrids, save the most current Prius model. Approximately one year ago, a test was done by a leading car magazine to determine which car would get the best fuel efficiency on highway driving: a VW turbo diesel wagon versus the Toyota Prius (2009 model). Guess which one kept churning out the kilometres? LIFESTYLE

Green motoring Maintenance matters

Justin Pritchard

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 ( 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. 83

november 2009

“Turbo diesel engines give off far less carbon dioxide than the gasoline that hybrids use.”

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from our readers

We own a 2006 Volkswagen TDI wagon. We consistently get over 1,000 km on a full 55 litre tank of gas. This fuel efficiency deserves more recognition! Moreover, a turbo diesel does not require a battery pack that eventually needs to be disposed of. My intent in writing may come across as being anti-hybrid, yet my true motivation was to express my hope that future articles pertaining to the effects of vehicles on the environment examine the full spectrum of options available to the consumer. Matt Richter Port Sydney, Ontario

alive Awards of Excellence Dear Editor: I loved your alive awards section [December 2009, page 32] and found the information very helpful. I wonder, though, how the “best” products were chosen and if all natural health products were considered. Eileen Forde

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Dear Eileen, The annual alive Awards of Excellence celebrate the best products in the industry as selected by natural health retailers. Though alive considers every product submitted by product manufacturers for consideration in the awards selection, we recognize that not all products in the natural health marketplace will be represented, as only those entered can be considered when votes are tallied. The alive Awards of Excellence are judged by natural health retailers from those products submitted for consideration by their manufacturers, and alive shares these results as a service to our readers. Our hope is to provide one more tool to help make informed decisions about your health and well-being, but the information, as always, should be used in conjunction with professional advice. Editor

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Natural approaches worth exploring by David J. Wirth, MA

A surprisingly large number of people have arthritis: about one in every six Canadians age 15 years and over, according to the Arthritis Society of Canada. Joint pain and arthritis can be frustrating but the good news is this: Everyone who has it can take steps to improve their health and well-being. Even apart from medication, there are ways to take control and bring about pain relief. Arthritis varies widely in severity, and symptoms can fluctuate on a daily basis. Although medications are available to treat the disease and help control symptoms, more and more people are seeking ways to minimize their drug use and avoid potentially dangerous side effects.

 Supplement Spotlight There are many natural dietary supplements that have proven popular over the last decade, and for which research exists to validate their safety and effectiveness. Most people with joint pain have heard of, or have first-hand experience with, popular and proven remedies like glucosamine, chondroitin, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) and devil’s claw. Here are a few supplements you may not be so familiar with that also have a growing body of research supporting their use: Hydrolyzed Gelatin What is it? A protein produced by the partial hydrolysis of animal collagen. It is easily digestible and contains all the essential amino acids except tryptophan.

Uses & Research: Gelatin has long been used to fortify the hair, skin and nails, particularly in Europe. It has also been shown to be helpful for stomach ulcers. Most research,

however, has focused on the potential of gelatin to promote joint health. One study at Ball State University found that gelatin supplementation relieved knee joint pain and stiffness in athletes. In a similar study by Dr. Med Beuker, director of the Department of Sports Medicine at the University of Dusseldorf, Germany, athletes taking hydrolyzed gelatin had “clearly reduced” joint problems.

Turmeric What is it? A yellow spice ground from the roots of the turmeric plant and commonly used for colour and flavour in Indian cuisine. Uses & Research: As an arthritis treatment in traditional Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic medicine. In one study, researchers found a decrease in pain when people with osteoarthritis took turmeric along with boswellia and zinc. Two other studies found that turmeric, combined with boswellia, ginger and aswangandha, relieved the pain and inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

Bromelain What is it? An enzyme mixture derived from pineapples.

Uses & Research: Appears to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects. In one study, a bromelain supplement relieved pain and improved function in people with knee osteoarthritis. The effect was similar, in fact, to taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Many people find that taking a daily liquid formula containing these natural supplements is the perfect way to help alleviate their arthritis and joint pain. David J. Wirth, MA, is a freelance writer who’s been working in natural health for nearly 20 years.

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cleanup Six mayors paint their towns green Barbara Yaffe

22 january 2010

With climate change back in the public mind following the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen last month, we thought we’d take a look at some homegrown green innovators in cities across our country. Starting with Vancouver, the Olympic city, and working east, we’ve profiled some of the greenest mayors and their penchants for making green changes both in their own lives and in the lives of their citizens.

Vancouver, BC

Vancouver is aiming to become the greenest city on the face of the earth by 2020. Behind such lofty branding stands a politician who is staking his reputation on beating out some pretty stiff competition, particularly in Europe. Mayor Robertson

Mayor Gregor Robertson began building environmental credentials back in the eighties, when he got into organic farming as a prelude to establishing Happy Planet Foods, an organic juice and soup enterprise that is still going strong. Later, while serving as a New Democrat MLA, the 44-year-old Vancouver native chaired his party’s climate change task force. Robertson won the mayor’s job just over a year ago and immediately began making the environment a centrepiece of his civic administration, appointing a panel of environmentalists and economists to develop short- and longerterm actions aimed at taking Vancouver to the number-one spot on matters green. Says Robertson: “We’re in a time where we need big leaps and a paradigm shift, given the challenges we face.” Green plans

His Greenest City Task Force, which he co-chairs, puts it this way: “Green is no longer the colour of sacrifice; it’s the colour of money and job creation.” Green, in a city like Vancouver where environmentalism is so close to the hearts of voters, also happens to be the colour of political wisdom. Robertson believes his environmentalism is “an important part of why I got elected, and I will not let up on my goal to be the greenest city.”

Measures being contemplated to boost the city’s environmental standing include a plan for municipal operations to be carbon neutral by 2012. In July Vancouver became the first North American city to mandate that a set percentage of parking stalls in new apartment and condo buildings would require electric vehicle plug-ins, and in September the mayor unveiled a new organic community garden on the lawn of city hall. Robertson wants to see an expansion of community gardens throughout the city and more landscaping with native plants. He wants Vancouver to be the first municipality in the world to create an “edible landscaping” policy so people can nibble fruit, nuts, and berries as they stroll green areas. Vancouver hopes to expand the parkland that currently makes up 11 percent of the city to ensure 90 percent of citizens have access to public green space within 300 metres of their home. A plan is underway to introduce curbside composting, with regular pickups of Vancouverites’ composting material. Robertson favours greater urban densification and would like to see housing built along Vancouver’s vast network of back lanes. He wants a green procurement policy for city hall’s $1 billion budget, green building retrofits, and an LED traffic light project. Vancouver is making plans for a public bike-sharing system. Currently, just 3 percent of trips in Vancouver are by bike. The mayor, who owns a biodieselfuelled car but bikes almost everywhere including to meetings, favours a network

“Vancouver [will] be the first municipality in the world to create an edible landscaping policy so people can nibble fruit, nuts, and berries as they stroll.” of protected bike lanes in Vancouver such as a high-profile one unveiled in September on the Burrard Bridge into the downtown area. Next spring Vancouver will begin installing bicycle barriers on downtown streets. Vancouver currently has the highest growth rate of any major Canadian city when it comes to public transit and is proud to boast that car use has actually declined by 10 percent in the past 15 years. Just ahead of the 2010 Winter Olympics, an impressive new subway line has opened, linking downtown to the airport—a first for a Canadian city. How close is Vancouver to its objective? Robertson says the city already is the greenest in the Western Hemisphere, boasting the lowest per capita carbon emissions in North America. With its natural advantages—wilderness at its doorstep, no freeway in the city centre, access to clean hydropower, and a gungho citizenry—the Europeans had better watch out. 23

cochrane, alberta

In the tiny town of Cochrane lives a mayor with big ideas about the environment. Truper McBride, a transplant from London, Ontario, presides over his undulating Prairie community of 15,000 northwest of Calgary in foothills country. Mayor McBride

The 31-year-old mayor, a husband and father of two, has been called “a poster boy for the changing face of Alberta.” This, after all, is a province that, while being hydrocarbon capital of Canada, boasts a surprising number of green-minded citizens. “I think there’s a new and growing realization in Alberta that we need to work hard, perhaps even harder than others, to offset those (petroleum-related) emissions through other practices.” “Cochrane itself is a very progressive town,” asserts the mayor. “The environment is very high on the agenda.” McBride was elected to office in 2007 on a bright green platform and has a vision for the community that would change it from a bedroom suburb to a growing urban concern accommodating light industrial and knowledge-based businesses. He practises at home what he preaches on council. “We’re pretty avid recyclers and have retrofitted toilets and faucets to reduce water consumption.” McBride, who works in downtown Calgary for an information technology firm, would one day like to see a rail link to central Calgary, using existing CPR infrastructure. Right now, some 60 percent of Cochrane residents commute to downtown Cowtown, the overwhelming majority by car. “Trains are the future for Canada. We have to go that route,” says McBride. More immediately, he’s working toward 24 january 2010

developing a rapid-transit bus service that would connect with Calgary’s lightrail system. Green plans

Within town, McBride is encouraging bike and pedestrian pathways to woo drivers out of their vehicles. He notes Cochrane has grown out rather than up, and he’d like to see higher-density neighbourhoods. McBride is putting emphasis on creating parkland and boat launches instead of residential development along the Bow River that wends its way through Cochrane. The town is highly water conscious, with a website that boasts it is “a fully metered community.” Cochrane residents pay for water according to a three-tiered system based on usage. Back in 2004 Cochrane used 204 litres of H 2O per person daily; that has since been cut to 150 litres. A volunteer group calling itself Branches and Banks carries out tree planting that has left the town 30,000 trees richer than a decade ago. Under McBride’s leadership, the town developed its first sustainability plan last May that looks ahead 50 years, drawing on hundreds of questionnaires filled out by residents and a visioning process that involved some 500. Declares the plan: “At the heart of Cochrane we value our small-town atmosphere, distinctive big hills, escarpments, waterways, and unique opportunities.”

“There’s a new and growing realization in Alberta that we need to work hard to offset those emissions.”

This small Alberta town is determined to prove that oil indeed does mix with water—and with fresh air, natural habitat, and sustainable practices.

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Guelph, ontario

Back in April 2007 Mayor Karen Farbridge and her council threw down the gauntlet, committing to measures that will see Guelph use less energy in 25 years than it does today. This, in the face of projections that the quaint southern Ontario city of 114,000 will grow by more than 50 percent in that time period. The objective is to reduce the average Guelphite’s greenhouse gas emissions, currently estimated at 16 tonnes, by a full 9 tonnes per person. This would put Guelph, a city that claims to have invented the wire coat hanger and the jock strap, among the top energy performers in the world. Mayor Farbridge

Farbridge, born in England and serving her second term as mayor, is not a sudden convert when it comes to going green. She earned a doctorate in biology from the University of Guelph and taught environmental policy at her alma mater. Before getting involved in municipal politics, she was director of the Ontario Public Interest Research Group (Guelph), a nonprofit environmental and social justice organization. The wife and mother of a teenage son, who picked up the environmental bug as a youngster watching her European parents ration everything during wartime, walks the talk at home with her family. They compost, recycle, and were the first household in Guelph to install a green roof. They buy their meat and produce from local farmers. The family owns one car and, in good weather, Farbridge uses a motorized scooter to get around on city hall business. 26 january 2010

Environmentally, Guelph has much to protect. The historic downtown where buildings are clad in locally quarried, warm-hued limestone, is located at the juncture of the Speed and Eramosa rivers, and the city is blessed with creeks and rivers that create tracts of forested ravines. Green plans

The city intends to realize its goal of reduced greenhouse gas emissions by way of a three-pronged approach. All new buildings will be constructed to energy-efficient standards; renewable energy (solar panels, biomass) will be used wherever possible; and several small electrical generating facilities will be built right in the community so less energy will be wasted through the transmission process. It’s doable, says Farbridge, because the community has such engaged citizens. A late-eighties fight against a proposed incinerator in Guelph seeded their activism, she recounts. They defeated the project and then began brainstorming about the ways they could go green. “People are absolutely involved; our success has been the result of people stepping up.” And the achievements have been impressive. A water conservation program has resulted in Guelph using 17 percent less water than it did a decade ago, despite a 15 percent jump in population.

“All new buildings will be constructed to energyefficient standards; renewable energy (solar panels, biomass) will be used wherever possible.”

In 2004 Guelph had the best record in the province for waste diversion— 54 percent—through recycling and composting efforts. The city currently is aspiring to become home to North America’s first pollinators park for a declining bee population. About 100 acres in an old landfill site that is being rehabilitated will be reserved for plants and flowers that will attract bees. No question about it, Guelph has been stung by the green movement.










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pickering, ontario

Mention Pickering, and people are likely to think nukes. The Ontario city’s largest employer, after all, is the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station, operating for nearly 40 years. But Mayor Dave Ryan would quickly point out that Pickering happens to be the first Ontario city to establish an Office of Sustainability, in March 2007. And in 2008 his city received a prestigious award from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the Sustainable Community Award in Planning. For the record, Ryan is aiming to make his city the most sustainable in North America, and has set a city-wide per capita target for 2016 of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent. The city—60 percent of which is farmland, forested area and parks—has a population of 94,000 and sits just east of Toronto, about a 15-minute environmentally correct GO Transit trip from Toronto. It has a tranquil harbour reserved for pleasure craft on Lake Ontario’s shoreline. Mayor Ryan

The mayor, a 63-year-old former IBM manager, moved to the municipality in 1985 and currently is serving a second term as municipal head honcho. He, wife Anne, and daughters Laura and Colleen assiduously recycle and compost. Ryan currently is lobbying his fellow representatives in Durham region to establish a “red box” program similar to the blue box one, for curbside pickup of household hazardous materials. The family’s appliances have been upgraded for energy efficiency, and the attic in their home has been freshly reinsulated. Even before becoming mayor, Ryan—who at IBM had worked on 28 january 2010

environmental policy—was a member of the Pickering Waste Reduction Committee and active on a Citizens’ Task Force Against Dumps. He notes that, all too often, his community has been used as a service centre for the big-city behemoth on its eastern flank. For example, Pickering has a large transformer station serving Toronto and major electrical transmission corridors through its terrain. Plus, the city has done battle in the past to resist dump sites being situated within the municipality. Green plans

Due to its own industrial legacy, Pickering does have nuclear waste stored at the Pickering plant. But, says the mayor, none of this is stopping his community from being “proactively green.” Every report that gets tabled at council, he says, is required to feature a section on sustainability to ensure that environmental factors have been fully considered. While the nuclear station predominates the town’s economy, Pickering is enacting what it calls an “EN3 strategy” to attract green-minded companies to the municipality, ones that work in the engineering, energy, and environmental fields. It’s also trying to densify its downtown core. Mayor Ryan has not been afraid to start small. Pickering changed all the light bulbs at city hall, using ones that are more energy efficient, and municipal air-conditioning units in its recreation

“Too often, Pickering has been used as a service centre for the big-city behemoth on its eastern flank.” buildings have all been upgraded with non-ozone depleting refrigerants. The Pickering Recreation Complex has been newly insulated to control heat loss and solar panels, plus a green roof has been installed that uses grass material to retain storm water that is redirected for use. The city has even planted droughttolerant grasses on municipal property to reduce watering needs. Pickering also has purchased five hybrid cars and a street sweeper with improved emissions efficiency, and the city actively enforces its automobile antiidling bylaw. A project announced in September will see construction by 2011 of an enclosed pedestrian bridge over Highway 401 to woo commuters, linking the city’s GO Transit station with an office tower to be constructed in Pickering’s downtown area. The site will accommodate 500 parking spots, to get citizens out of their vehicles and onto energy efficient transit. Says Ryan, “It truly is a bridge to our sustainable future.”





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montreal, quebeC

Who would have imagined that Montreal, with its long, cold winters and mountainous terrain at its centre, would become the first major Canadian city to introduce a public bicycle-sharing program? BIXI became a reality last May and now features 5,000 bicycles and 400 bike stations. That it has become such a hit is a clear sign of the determination of this historic city to go green. Mayor Tremblay

Mayor Gerard Tremblay, a 67-year old lawyer, Harvard MBA, and former Quebec Liberal MP, recently won a third term, presiding since 2001 over the greening of the island city. Tremblay has introduced a transportation plan aimed at “reinventing Montreal” within a decade. It features plans for Metro expansion, bridge and highway tolls, and a reintroduction of electric streetcars that will link the Old Port with the downtown financial district by 2013. More bike paths are being created, and plans are in the works for a rail shuttle between downtown and Trudeau airport. “By making massive investments in the development of alternatives to the car ... the Transportation Plan is calling for a major change in travel habits and behaviour,” says the city. “Pedestrians [are] at the heart of Montreal’s priorities.” The council is also working on an energy retrofit of the city’s Biôdome and its Insectarium. 30 january 2010

Green plans

To encourage the island’s 1.8 million inhabitants, individually, to get involved in greening their neighbourhoods, the city sponsors “éco-quartiers,” or clubs that allow residents to give flight to their environmental activism. In the city’s words, the program is meant to promote “ecocivism.” Green roofs are being built on community complexes. Recycled plastic street furniture is finding its way onto city streets. An electric car was purchased in 2008 for city workers. Bicycles are also being made available for city employees. The city intends to remain literally green as well. A tree policy was adopted in 2005 to ensure protection of the city’s leafy motherlode. According to the policy, “Montreal’s trees are far more than decorative objects; they are living creatures that must receive protection and care.” Several wind turbines have been constructed around the city, generating small amounts of power used to power park lights and pathways, and even a recycling compound. The city is trying out a new, environmentally friendly grit to address icy road surfaces, which is less corrosive than traditional salt mixes.

“Pedestrians are at the heart of Montreal’s priorities.”

It also has banned wood stove installation in new and existing homes, to lessen winter smog. It’s not easy for a snowbelt city to be green. Kermit surely would be impressed.

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saint john, nb

When a city is labelled “The World’s Greatest Toilet,” you know its mayor has his work cut out for him. Mayor Court

Green plans

Ivan Court, elected mayor of Saint John in 2008 after serving a decade as a city councillor, is currently overseeing a longawaited cleanup of this Maritime city’s harbour, after $80 million-plus in federal, provincial, and municipal funding was approved for the task in 2007. Saint John has been dumping millions of litres of raw sewage into its harbour and streams daily, the contents of which comprise grit, debris, diseasecausing pathogens, suspended solids, decaying organic wastes, and 200 identified chemicals. While the Bay of Fundy city is not the only Canadian municipality to dump untreated liquid waste into its environment, Saint John is unique in that its outfalls flow into local streams, forming open sewers that run through the centre of the city. All of which has translated into third-world sanitation conditions in Canada’s oldest incorporated city. Gordon Dalzell, of the Saint John Citizens’ Coalition for Clean Air, recounts that the sewage has been emitting “an unforgettable sewage smell, equivalent to the contents of thousands of toilet bowls being flushed. The odour, which permeates the surrounding area of Haymarket Square, is nauseating.” Court, a retired high school teacher, in announcing commencement of the long-awaited project—a new wastewater treatment facility and additional pumping stations, declared last March: “This is momentous for our citizens.”

The harbour project is the most highprofile, but not the only initiative Saint John is taking to become greener. In fact, in 2008 the Federation of Canadian Municipalities gave Saint John a sustainability award for reducing its ecological footprint by 17 percent since 1996, and saving itself $5.1 million in the bargain. A new goal of 25 percent has been set for 2013. Saint John hired a special energy manager in 1998. Energy efficiency retrofits have been carried out on public buildings, and new construction is based on the highest green design standards. The city is designing a Green Thermal Utility to use waste heat from Irving Pulp and Paper, excess thermal heat from public buildings, and recover cold energy from Bay of Fundy waters. It has installed solar panels on its aquatic centre, heat recovery systems in city arenas, and energy-efficient street lighting that allows for dimming in the wee hours. An anti-idling policy has been implemented for city vehicles. Bus routes have been expanded to remove 400 cars daily from highways in and around Saint John. The city is adding bike lanes— where it had none before 2007. Last January Court was one of six New Brunswick mayors, along with the province’s environment minister, to participate in the Mayor’s Eco-Challenge 2009, a competition to raise public awareness about climate change. The politicians spent four months publicly

32 january 2010

“A new wastewater treatment facility and additional pumping stations is momentous for our citizens.”

recording ways they tried to minimize their carbon footprint. Saint John, its government, and its citizens are serving notice—they’re cleaning up their act. a

Barbara Yaffe is a veteran journalist who has lived and worked in all regions of Canada.

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Ask the experts Louise O’Connor is a certified naturopath who writes and educates on women’s natural health.


I try very hard to eat well, but I just can’t seem to avoid sugary treats. I know I would be much healthier if I could lose about 20 pounds, but regular diets only seem to work for so long. Are there any natural approaches to weight loss I might try?

Louise O’Connor: It’s universally accepted that to lose weight you have to burn more calories than you consume. And for most people this works. But this conventional diet wisdom doesn’t always hold up. The fact is, if your weight plateaus using regular diets, you could have an underlying health problem. So what is the answer to lasting weight loss? One thing’s for sure, too many sugary treats will prevent the weight loss you desire. Craving high sugar foods may indicate trouble with blood sugar control. Diminishing blood sugar regulation often develops alongside weight gain and is a direct response to eating too many processed foods stacked with sugar. Check the ingredient list on food labels next time you are shopping; it may shock you to see how much sugar is added to everyday foods. Sugary foods cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels. This is a problem; high blood sugar levels are harmful to your body, so careful monitoring is required. When sugar levels escalate, your body pumps out insulin to prevent blood sugar levels from spiralling out of control.

The hormone insulin is important for energy production. Insulin either moves the sugar into the cells where it is rapidly burnt for energy, or it’s converted to fat and stored as an energy reservoir. When there is an excess supply, your body does not use up all the available sugar. The consequence of this is greater storage of sugar as body fat. If this happens, insulin becomes an efficient fat-storing machine. I recommend that you avoid strict diets that limit calories. This approach can slow your metabolism to a crawl. The guiding principle is to consume nourishing foods that are as close to nature as possible. Eliminate all the high sugar, high calorie foods that lack vitality. Over time you will lose your sweet tooth and these foods will seem sickly sweet. I also recommend regular exercise; try walking or some form of cardiovascular activity for at least 30 to 45 minutes every day.

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resolutions 38 • CHANGE WILL DO YOU GOOD 46 • balancing ph 48 • cold and flu 51 • digestive health 57 arthritis 61 • global warming: Endangered plants 64

Less than 7 hours of sleep per night triples the risk of catching a cold. Find naturopathic treatments to boost your immune health on page 51.

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success is achieved by people who explicitly set goals than by those who don’t. Read our tips for making­— and keeping— healthy resolutions on page 38. 37


A New Year

full of promise Making and keeping healthy resolutions Brooke Broadbent, MA

“New Year’s resolutions. Nobody keeps them. They’re not worth making.” That’s the challenge my adult daughter Patricia flung at me when I informed her I was writing an article aboutNew Year’s resolutions. She has a point. Conventional wisdom tells us most New Year’s resolutions are broken. However, there is another way to look at resolutions, stated intentions, commitments, stated goals, or whatever you wish to call them. They are the pillars of a bridge spanning from where you are now to where you want to be in the future.

Life-changing in more ways than one I believe that resolutions, at the New Year or any other time of the year, can change your life. Not only is it the content of the resolutions, but also the way you create them, keep them alive, and follow through. The manner in which you handle New Year’s resolutions creates an opportunity for you to develop crucial life skills such as commitment, patience, integrity, and honesty. We seem to be hard-wired to seek personal improvement. That’s why 38 january 2010

we line up at bookstores to purchase personal-growth books, make New Year’s resolutions, and read magazines such as alive.

Remembering Dad’s wise words The words of my deceased father echo in my mind, “If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing well.” For if we succeed in realizing our intentions, we will experience the good feeling of success in our bodies, develop more self-confidence, embrace more resolutions, and keep moving forward. You won’t be surprised to learn that another of Dad’s favourite sayings was, “He who works conscientiously toward his goals succeeds beyond all expectations.” My dad’s dour Victorian aphorisms ring like crystal, but they are daunting. Do-it-right thinking can often inhibit playfulness, curiosity, and learning. Let’s consider a lighter perspective.

A modern modification

A New Age version of “let’s do it right” springs to mind: “A job that’s worth doing is worth doing less than well.” Yes, I did say less than well. In this iconoclastic remake of Victorian wisdom, the emphasis is on getting started and overcoming fear of failure. It focuses on learning to succeed by tracking what works and what does not work, and moving ahead by trial and error. This approach, combined with honest self-assessment, can lead us to a better understanding of what makes us tick.

Thoughts on autopilot?

As we gain self-knowledge, we increase our ability to know what holds us back from commitment and the other carrots I dangled in front of you at the beginning of this article. There is a good chance automatic thoughts are holding you back. Have you noticed that your mind trots out favourite stories in various situations? For example, your complaints about relationships are the same, but it’s always with a different person—or your bosses are all alike, and they cause you grief in the same way. It can be the same with resolutions. Does your mind tell you your resolutions are worthless, unachievable, or doomed for some reason? As the spiritual teacher Echkart Tolle tells us, our thoughts are not us. Thoughts are in our minds, and we are well-served if we don’t listen to them. When negative thoughts arise about your resolutions, you have choices. As a first step you can breathe in the negative thoughts and breathe out positive ones. Concentrating on positive ideas in this

way can set you up for success. If you determine that your resolution needs tweaking, you can do that from a positive perspective.

Great expectations

Have you ever made resolutions at New Year’s or other times about any of the following: What you eat, drink, or smoke? How much you weigh, exercise, or socialize? Have you resolved to eat organically, take supplements, or to use other natural health products? Have you solemnly declared you would make big changes in the way you behave with your parents, children, significant others, or colleagues? Have you watched your resolutions retreat, your dreams dive, your fun fizzle? Don’t despair.

It’s a gender issue

Perhaps the reason your intentions imploded is that you were not following the approach that works best for your gender. Professor Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at the University of

“Men are more likely to succeed when they set goals for themselves and focus on measuring their progress.” Hertfordshire in the UK, studied the New Year’s resolutions of 3,000 people in the UK and the US and uncovered that successful strategies are often gender-dependent. Using gender-specific methods recommended by Professor Wiseman, an additional 22 percent of men put true resolve in their New Year’s resolutions, and an extra 10 percent of women stuck with theirs. 39


Manly success

Men are more likely to succeed when they set goals for themselves and focus on measuring their progress. For example, a man who resolves to lose weight increases his chance of success by focusing on the health results of losing weight rather than the resolution itself.

“Women succeed if they are able to put one chocolate binge behind them and refocus on their resolution.”

40 january 2010

For women’s eyes only

Women accomplish their New Year’s resolutions in various ways. They use strategies such as writing down their resolutions, posting them in highly visible places, telling friends about their intentions, and being patient with themselves when they revert to old habits. For example, women succeed if they are able to put one chocolate binge behind them and refocus on their resolution. Remember, no one is perfect. When you do mess up, talk to a friend, get back on track, and move forward.

Finding group support

For over two years I’ve been part of a group of a dozen people who meet once a month, except in the summer. We are a hodgepodge of men and women from different backgrounds who have two things in common: we took a ninemonth personal growth program, and we decided to stay together. We do this by meeting monthly, stating our intentions, and writing them in a scribbler that we bring to every meeting. At our get-togethers, which include a meal and a good measure of informal socializing, we have a formal update period in which we each report on our personal successes and failures—or should I say, learning. For, one of the principles of the nine-month program states that when you are making big changes in your life you are bound to meet setbacks. These are not failures. They are learning opportunities and a respite to re-tune resolutions, strengthen strategies, and find ways to fast-forward our futures. 41


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In our meetings when we talk about our individual lives, our intentions, and our learning, we realize we are delving into the same challenges, or should I say opportunities, experienced by everyone present. We are all anchored in our heritage as members of the human race. This realization is comforting and freeing, helping us to feel close to everyone present and to create positive, healing energy. Our vulnerability and intimacy, as we share the details, constantly reminds us that we face the same hurdles as we endeavour to change our habits, manage our diets, and upgrade our relationships. Listening to each other breeds compassion for every member, for ourselves, and for others who are not part of our circle. At the end of one of our gatherings, I feel a warm glow in my chest and a deeper commitment to my resolutions. My friends seem to benefit also since they keep coming out and offering to host the evening get-togethers.

Using the buddy system

To support and strengthen the monthly support group encounters I’ve described, we have paired our members. Once a week we have a telephone conversation

with our buddy. In my case the calls last for 30 minutes, and we come away with a list of intentions for the week. Most weeks we develop a to-be list, as opposed to a to-do list. Our buddy calls keep the conversation alive between our monthly meetings. They also provide an environment in which we give immediate feedback on what has been achieved, acknowledge each other for our commitments, help each other tweak our intentions, and challenge each other when we are slipping.

Stay and be steadfast

The world is dynamic. At the micro level of physics, the keyboard I’m pecking at seems solid, but it’s composed of atoms in constant motion. In our lives we change jobs, homes, and relationships at a rate that would flabbergast our ancestors. In this dynamic world, personal steadfastness can be elusive. It’s tempting to launch into something new rather than to stay with our commitments, especially when resolutions get difficult to achieve. Our age of instant gratification undermines yesterday’s resolutions and draws us to join jazzy new journeys. New, in our advertising-dominated world, is quickly associated with improved. Newfangled is often not better. When we resist the temptation of new paths, we

Resolutions Every New Year, we reflect on the year that was and make resolutions to improve ourselves and the world around us. In the spirit of betterment, six of our alive experts share their New Year’s resolutions: » Natasha Turner, ND

“I want to spend more time with the people in my life who matter most and less time with my computer. I will plan a phone call, lunch, or any activity with a friend or family member three days a week.”

» Elvis Ali, ND

“I want to educate the public on natural products and complementary health care. I will get involved with communities, help those who are less fortunate, and teach them natural approaches to optimum wellness.”

» Allison Tannis, RHN

“I want to live in the moment more. I want to take the time to enjoy all the little things in the day instead of rushing through it. I will write this on the fridge to remind me.”

» Laina Shulman, DC

“I want to spend more time being thankful for the little gifts that are often overlooked on a daily basis. As I fall asleep, I am going to go over my day from beginning to end and notice all the simple moments that I am grateful for.”

» Serenity Aberdour, ND

“I will write out a list of all of my goals—making them challenging but realistic and attainable. Halfway through the year I will review my list to see if I am on track, and if not, then I will do my best to make the changes necessary to get back on course.”

» Brad King, MFS

“I plan on being in better shape—both physically and mentally—each year. To make this a reality, I have created an exercise program that incorporates resistance exercise with high-intensity cardio.” 43

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“The best goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-based.” learn what it feels like to stay and to be steadfast. We develop new habits that are available to us later in other situations requiring commitment, patience, integrity, and honesty. keeps free radicals at bay! Immuno Multi™ is an advanced daily multiantioxidant and multi-vitamin formulation that dramatically enhances health by providing complex nutritional support and fully supporting the immune system with over 30 ingredients in therapeutic doses. The vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in Immuno Multi™ aid in gentle daily detoxification and cellular defence, contributing to a healthier body and a stronger immune system. Immuno Multi™ is the ideal, core natural health product for all adults. Ingredients (In 3 vegetable capsules daily) Vitamin A (acetate) 5000IU Beta carotene natural 5000IU Vitamin C (ascorbic) 500mg Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) 600IU Vitamin E (d-alpha-tocopherol) 150IU Mixed tocopherols (30%: α, β, γ, δ) 50mg Vitamin K (phytonadione) 40mcg Vitamin B1 (thiamine HCl) 30mg Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) 30mg Vitamin B3 (niacin) 50mg Vitamin B5 (calcium d-pantothenate) 30mg Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine HCl) 40mg Vitamin B7 (biotin) 300mcg Folic acid (B9, folate) 1000mcg Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamine) 100mcg Magnesium citrate (16% elemental) 200mg Zinc citrate (34% elemental) 36mg

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Life coaching

For over four years I have held weekly 30-minute phone calls with a fellow coach. One week he coaches me and the next I coach him. We talk about anything that is an issue for us at the time of the call. Looking back, I see we have often talked about intentions as they relate to our health and relationships, as well as our work and volunteer activities. Coaching, like the buddy system, keeps resolutions alive by clarifying intentions, making public commitments, reporting on success (or lack thereof), acknowledging success, and in general, keeping our personal-growth conversation alive. Through the process of talking with a life coach, people learn more about their inner workings, and after a period of time they are able to coach themselves.

Taking personal responsibility I suspect we have all failed at the resolution game at least one time. There’s no sense in beating ourselves up and saying we can’t follow our resolutions. Rather, this is the time to look at why we did not keep our resolutions and to plan our next ones so that we do. The first step in planning is to recognize why we did not keep our commitments. This step requires us to fully acknowledge that we are in the driver’s seat of our lives. What kept us from meeting our resolutions was the result of our own decisions and choices.

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Strategies for success

Thanks to successful New Year’s resolutions, we can change our habits. The best goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-based. Here are some tips to get you started: » Consider New Year’s resolutions, stated intentions,

commitments, stated goals, or whatever you wish to call them, as opportunities to develop crucial life skills such as patience, integrity, honesty, and more. » Don’t let perfectionist values inhibit you. Embrace the

aphorism, “A job that’s worth doing is worth doing less than well.” This will help you to overcome fear of failure, and combined with honest self-assessment it will help you learn how you operate when stating intentions. » Concentrate on positive thoughts, not negative ones.

Identify your negative thoughts as your mind’s way of playing games with your true self. » Adopt gender-appropriate strategies for your resolutions. » Share your intentions with a group of people and set up a

plan for ongoing communication, feedback, and tweaking. » Look to a group of people to fuel your quest for personal

growth and compassion for others and yourself. » Use the buddy system. Pair up with another individual

seeking inner growth and support each other in a structured, ongoing manner. » Cultivate personal steadfastness, as it helps you to develop

habits of commitment, patience, integrity, honesty, and other virtues. » Keep resolutions alive by meeting with a life coach. » Accept that when you have not followed through with

resolutions it was because of choices you, not others, made. But don’t beat yourself up. a

Brooke Broadbent, MA, is a coach as well as an author and training consultant.

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A change will do you good 4 easy tips for a healthier you Brendan Brazier

A large component of peak mental health depends on the enjoyment of food—joy and eating are intertwined. Yet nutritional wisdom tells us the best foods for your body are plant-based, nutrient-dense, whole, and unrefined (not the modern definition of fun!). If you have to force yourself to eat these foods—just because you know they’re good for you—is eating them really doing you good? It’s unhealthy to strong-arm yourself into doing anything. Eventually the

battle will break you down. That’s why so many of us fail to make lasting change with our New Year’s resolutions. A gradual transition The answer is to gradually transition to

the diet that’s ideal for your body. By making the transition a gentle, long-term process—rather than an abrupt, drastic one—your appreciation of a healthier diet will develop harmoniously. Deprive yourself and it’s only a matter

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4 easy tips for success of time before the willpower to stick to your plan runs dry. Change your diet gradually and your digestive system will adapt, your liver will cleanse, and your taste will change so you actually crave foods that are ideal for your body. Make these changes at the pace that suits you—whether each step takes weeks or months is up to you. Move on as you feel ready, and soon you’ll forget about the not-so-healthy foods that came before. a Brendan Brazier, professional Ironman triathlete, best-selling author, and formulator of Vega, developed a free online program called Thrive in 30. His book, Thrive Fitness (Penguin, 2009) is now available.

To ensure your new way of eating becomes a lifestyle that won’t require willpower to maintain, I suggest incorporating the following four tips, one at a time.

> Focus on adding new whole foods to your diet—not removing less-than-ideal

ones—when starting out. Hemp, buckwheat, and Salvia hispanica L. (a variety of the chia seed) are excellent sources of fibre, protein, and omega-3s that will let you feel full, thus helping you lose weight while building muscle, promoting healthy cholesterol levels, and improving digestion.

> Set the tone for your day by having a nutrient-rich smoothie in the morning.

Blend fruit with whole food ingredients including hemp, chlorella, and maca. Chlorophyll from hemp and chlorella is highly alkalizing, helping the body to heal faster and preventing disease, while maca helps balance hormones naturally.

> Reach for fresh fruit and raw energy bars in place of the usual snacking fare.

Eating small portions of nutrient-dense whole food throughout the day keeps energy levels consistent while helping to fend off cravings for the salty or sweet empty foods that derail the average dieter.

> Have a large salad each day that’s packed with greens and sprouts. Greens

provide quality carbohydrates, fibre, and chlorophyll, while sprouted, raw foods are rich in health-giving enzymes and phytonutrients your body will love.

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A balancing act pH for optimal health

Sam Graci

We’ve all heard about the importance of eating a healthy diet, exercising, and taking time for ourselves. But what if there were a simple test to let us know how well we’re doing in our quest for health? That simple test is pH measurement. Maintaining a slightly alkaline pH (7.4) is a scientifically proven way to a healthier, more vibrant you. Maintaining a balance pH stands for potential of hydrogen. The body’s pH represents the balance of positively charged ions to negatively charged ions. When you eat a highly acidic diet, you force the body to steal alkalizing substances from various tissues—for example, calcium loss from bone.

48 january 2010

Different fluids in our bodies function optimally at different pH levels. Acidosis occurs when one’s urinary pH level ranges between 4.5 and 5.5. In initial stages of acidosis, one’s energy may still be excellent; however, over time the body will go into burnout mode as the aging process accelerates. On the flip side, if the pH level of your blood ranges between 7.45 and 8.0, it is too alkaline and alkalosis will occur. In this state, sluggishness and lethargy are common. A dramatically fluctuating pH level, from highly acid to highly alkaline, could be responsible for mood swings and sudden energy drops.

“When you eat a highly acidic diet, you force the body to steal alkalizing substances from various tissues.� While most of us follow a healthy diet, we tend to be more acidic than alkaline. This can be a result of consuming too many acid-forming foods such as poultry, eggs, meat, grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Cola drinks, alcohol, and coffee are among the most acid-forming beverages and should be avoided when possible. Strenuous exercise and regular stress can also contribute to an abundance of acidity. Testing for pH To find out what your pH level is, look for a pH testing kit at your natural health retail store. The test is relatively straightforward and will help you determine your acid/ alkaline balance. For the quickest and easiest way to become more alkaline and more energized, start the day with a green food supplement.

According to University of Toronto researchers using the potential renal acid load (PRAL) test, the leading green drink was found to be the most alkalizing food. It proved to be substantially more alkalizing than spinach, dark grapes, or raisins. When planning your meals, combine acid-forming foods with alkaline foods. This can include eating chicken with broccoli or tofu with dark green vegetables. By combining foods such as these, you can naturally promote a healthier acid/ alkaline balance, which in turn promotes a healthier, more energized body. a Sam Graci is the formulator of greens+ and the author of The BoneBuilding Solution (Wiley, 2006), The Path to Phenomenal Health (Wiley, 2005), and The Food Connection (Wiley, 2003).

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Flu blues and crummy colds Gillian Flower, ND

Naturopathic treatments for immune health With the ongoing concern surrounding the H1N1 virus, the importance of boosting our immune systems to fight off infection has never been more clear. Beating stress and supporting our health will help us stay strong through the rest of the flu season. 51


Colds, flus, and stress It’s no coincidence that we often get sick when we’re at our busiest, when we find ourselves saying, “There’s no way I can get sick right now.” Under stress, our adrenal glands, tiny but vital structures that sit atop our kidneys, work overtime making cortisol. In the past, this hormone helped us gear up to run from bears and tigers; today, it’s triggered by hectic schedules and financial worries. While cortisol undoubtedly saved many early humans from certain death, this protective hormone also suppresses our immune systems, ironically leaving us open to attacks by microbes. Reducing stress levels can directly affect the cells of the immune system, while botanicals such as Schisandra chinensis, Eleutherococcus senticosus, and Rhodiola rosea assist whole-body stress management, contributing indirectly to immune function. Better handling of our daily worries may be one of our smartest strategies for staying healthy.

“Reducing stress levels can directly affect the cells of the immune system.” Other basic yet essential factors in immune vitality include getting enough sleep at night, every night, and eating nutrientrich, unprocessed foods. Sleep and food are the fuel of our bodies and our immune systems; if we don’t have time to sleep or eat well, do we have time to get sick?

Probiotics for protection If immune-loving lifestyle choices aren’t enough to keep the sniffles away, probiotics and botanicals can fill in the blanks. A recent study found that children treated with probiotics had reductions in cold symptoms, absenteeism, and antibiotic prescriptions. Probiotics may not be the answer to every health problem, but fighting bad bugs with good ones makes sense. The flu vaccine Many people complement their natural immunity with annual influenza vaccines. Vaccination is a hotly debated issue, with supporters recommending universal vaccination and opponents claiming a link to autism. Potential risks and benefits must be considered to make the best decision for you and your family. Influenza can be life-threatening for the young, the elderly, or for people with organ disease and immune deficiency. Complications of the flu can include bronchitis, pneumonia, and even death. As the illness itself likely poses more risk to these 52 january 2010

Nature created 16 Omega fatty acids. Why just settle for 2 of the Omega 3’s?

Stress management for cold and flu prevention > Exercise strengthens immune function. > Laughter activates tumour-fighting cells. > Sex increases the activity of some white blood cells.

> Guided imagery has shown positive effects in breast cancer. > Adequate sleep fuels your immune system and makes it easier to handle stress.

individuals than the shot, vaccination can be life-saving. For healthy individuals, the benefits of vaccination are less impressive. The vaccines have some risk of failure, being manufactured annually using the three viral strains that are predicted to be most common the following season. In the past, strains causing illness have been absent from that year’s vaccine. And although unlikely, adverse effects— including Guillain-Barré syndrome, a neurological condition— have been reported. While vaccination can be life-saving to some, its benefits may be less apparent for those with strong immune systems. Let the games begin! Despite your immune-boosting efforts, your resources may be temporarily overwhelmed, leaving you feeling under the weather. Don’t give up: you can still fend off the intruders! Vitamin C can shorten the length of a cold, but it must be consumed regularly to gain these helpful effects. Echinacea spp. tincture should always be in your cupboard (barring allergy), whether alone or in combination with other immune enhancers such as Capsicum annuum and antimicrobials such as Hydrastis canadensis. Reduce all forms of sugar in your diet, including fruit juice, to prevent immune suppression. Hydrotherapy can be very helpful, including the somewhat counterintuitive warming sock treatment (see sidebar on page 55).

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Immune-boosting supplements Choose these supplements to fortify your immune system against colds and flu: Supplement

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vitamin D

• regulates immune function • reduces inflammation

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• boosts immune system • heals wounds

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• neutralizes free radicals • aids circulatory system

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• reduces toxic load • improves cholesterol metabolism

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• stimulates the thymus gland • improves T-cell function

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• revs up energy levels • regulates blood flow

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multivitamin & mineral

• combats stress • nourishes the nervous system

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• supports immune function • reduces oxidative stress

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SMART GINKGO increases mental awareness and improves memory.

Smart Ginkgo by New Roots Herbal is formulated to provide your brain with optimal conditions for peak performance.

Change of Season Soup

The flavonglycosides derived from Ginkgo biloba extract are powerful antioxidants that strengthen microscopic capillaries to improve oxygen delivery to the brain. Eleutherosides in Siberian ginseng help the body and mind cope with stress.

Older, traditional methods of immune stimulation include the Change of Season Soup, commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). The roots of Codonopsis pilosula, Astragalus membranaceus, and Dioscorea villosa are combined with Lycium chinense berries in a broth, to be taken daily in the spring and fall. The broth can also be used as a base for soup recipes.

The balances of the nutrients in Smart Ginkgo combine to improve glucose metabolism by the brain and improve mental clarity.

Adding medicinal mushrooms such as Ganoderma lucidum and combining with acupuncture is said to heighten the immune effect. Botanical tinctures made with these ingredients may help support health through temperature changes.

Smart Ginkgo provides your brain with “food for thought.”

To make the soup, add equal parts of each herb (2 to 3 oz/57 to 85 g) to a large pot filled with water. With lid on, bring to boil and simmer for 4 to 6 hours,adding more water if necessary. Remove herbs with slotted spoon and allow soup to cool. 54 january 2010 Pre ve nti on


C u r e

Warming socks for immune stimulation > Before going to bed, soak thin cotton socks in cold water. Wring out well.

> Bring socks to bed and put them on under a pair of thick wool socks.

> W ithin 5 to 10 minutes your feet should be warm. > In the morning the cotton socks will be dry. If not, use thinner socks and wring completely before wearing.

Alternating hot and cold water in the shower, or hot saunas and cold showers, can also help fight infection, but be sure to end with cold and towel dry briskly. Keep exercising as long as it feels good. Batten down the hatches … Once you’re sure you’re sick, sleep and self-care must top your priority list, even if it means taking some time away from work. Your colleagues will appreciate you keeping your illness to yourself! Keep up with the immune-boosting treatments above, and take care of your symptoms: > Steam inhalations with thyme or eucalyptus essential oil are both relaxing and congestion-busting. These antimicrobial oils can even be added to some humidifiers. > If you can breathe through your nose at all, a warm saline lavage helps clear the nasal passages. > Treat your throat with warm saltwater gargles, zinccontaining lozenges, and freshly crushed raw garlic in honey. > As your grandmother probably told you, drink plenty of fluids, but include sage or ginger tea in your repertoire. Most colds and flus can be treated at home, but if you develop difficulty breathing, a severe headache or stiff neck, or if you start feeling confused and disoriented, head to the hospital. See your ND or MD if you are frequently ill or if you have pain or fullness in your ear(s) after a cold. Although antibiotics are ineffective for colds or flus, they may be helpful for other conditions that can follow these illnesses, such as bronchitis or pneumonia. While there may not be a cure for colds or flus, we are far from powerless in the face of these infections. Managing our stress levels, supporting our immune systems, and respecting the needs of our bodies during illnesses can go a long way toward minimizing their impact on our lives. a Gillian Flower, ND, is a naturopathic doctor and writer, and Research Resident at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine.

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Happy belly, happy body 5 keys to better digestive health

Susan Biali, MD

Here are five tips that will go a long way toward improving When I was a child, I was your overall health and vitality. taught that the digestive tract was a relatively basic system 1 Eat well This probably brings to mind phrases like “eat your that simply existed to swallow, vegetables,” and “eat small, frequent, well-balanced meals throughout the day.” Eating high quality, organic foods will break down, and absorb the powerfully impact both digestive and general health. Pay close attention to your body’s signals and learn to food I put in my mouth. identify the difference between hunger and craving. Hunger Children of the future might be told quite a different story as scientists discover more about the importance of digestive health in relation to the health of the entire body—in ways we might never have imagined. If you’ve been feeling tired and run down, or would like to improve your general health, your digestive system is a perfect place to start (after seeing your health care practitioner, of course).

signals sound like “my stomach is growling; time for lunch.” Craving sounds like “I want chocolate.” Eat slowly and mindfully, taking the time to savour your food and chew it well. The enzymes in your mouth kick-start the digestive process, and breaking the food into smaller pieces with your teeth helps too. Relaxing while you eat will also make you less likely to experience indigestion afterward. 57


Why IsoProtein? Pay close attention to when you begin to feel full. Eating slowly makes you more likely to identify this point and prevents you from overeating. The famously long-living centenarians of Okinawa are known for their practice of hara hachi bu—eating until they are 80 percent full. Because It’s Cleaner!

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2 Choose plenty of high-fibre foods Fibre may not be as sexy as the latest superfood, but it’s still a nutritional superstar. According to experts at the Mayo Clinic, a diet high in fibre can prevent constipation and lower the risk of hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and diverticular disease (pouches that form in the large intestine). A diet high in fibre can help lower your cholesterol, control your blood sugar levels, and may even help you to lose weight. Fibre is also considered an anti-inflammatory food and may help decrease your risk of developing a variety of different chronic conditions. Fibre comes in two forms: insoluble fibre, found in whole grains, nuts, and vegetables, adds bulk and helps material move through your digestive system; soluble fibre, found in oats, beans, and apples, forms a gel when combined with water and lowers cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

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3 Supplement with probiotics I’ve raved about probiotics for at least a decade, and the evidence supporting their benefits continues to grow. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine of the National Institutes of Health in the US, there is encouraging evidence for the benefits of probiotics in treating diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and shortening the length of intestinal infection caused by C. difficile, a serious infection that can occur following antibiotic use.

A 2009 review published in the journal Current Pharmaceutical Design reported that probiotics can also improve certain components of our general immune response, reduce the risk of traveller’s diarrhea, and decrease the risk and severity of allergic disease. I’ve written about the latter before and consider it to be essential information in an age when we see so much allergic disease, particularly in children.

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4 Beat the bloat

Almost everyone has experienced uncomfortable gas and bloating, and some, particularly those with IBS, experience it more than others. Eating mindfully and slowly reduces air gulping. Being relaxed at meals and decreasing stress in general can do much to lessen the painful cramping and bloating of IBS. I used to think that I had IBS because I’d often experience painful bloating after meals. There certainly was an element of stress that was causing my symptoms, but I also found that taking capsules of mixed digestive enzymes with meals made a huge difference. Check with your health care practitioner before taking these, because in some conditions, such as ulcers, enzymes might do more harm than good.

5 use antacids with caution

Prescription and nonprescription antacid medications can bring substantial relief to people suffering from ulcers, acid indigestion, and heartburn but may come with potential risks. Several studies have found that patients taking proton pump inhibitors and histamine-2 receptor antagonists had an increased risk of hip fractures. The cause is unknown, but it may be that proton pump inhibitors decrease the body’s ability to absorb calcium. Another study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention reported that antacids were associated with an increased risk of cancer of the esophagus. If you have a serious condition such as severe heartburn or an ulcer, it may be necessary to take a prescription antacid medication, at least for the short term. However, drug-free lifestyle modifications such as avoiding smoking, caffeine, alcohol, and irritating citrus foods can make a big difference. If you’re experiencing any kind of digestive problem or new gastrointestinal symptoms, it’s important to see your health care practitioner for a proper evaluation. a

Susan Biali, MD, is a wellness expert and speaker and the author of Live a Life You Love! Seven Steps to a Healthier, Happier, More Passionate You (Beaufort Books, 2010).

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Easing arthritis pain

Complementary therapies enhance Western medicine Jason Bosher

What you don’t know can hurt you. Arthritis can strike anyone at any time and although researchers don’t know what causes arthritis, with early diagnosis and treatment therapies you can still enjoy an active lifestyle. Arthritis is a generic word that represents over 100 rheumatic diseases including: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, fibromyalgia, tendonitis, and lupus. The focus here will be on osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis The most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis (OA) affects one in 10 Canadians. Generally it appears in adults over the age of 45. OA is usually found in weight-bearing joints (hips, knees, spine, and feet) and in the hands. The disease is characterized by thinning of the cartilage and thickening of the bone underneath. Over time the cartilage breaks down, and the ends of the bone become rough and may develop spurs. Symptoms of OA include joint pain and stiffening. Swelling may develop, and a loss of range of motion in the joint may be experienced.

Rheumatoid arthritis In rheumatoid arthritis (RA) the body’s immune system attacks healthy joints, causing inflammation in the joint linings. The result is erosion of cartilage, bone, tendons, and ligaments in the area around the joint. RA sufferers may develop disabilities such as difficulty walking or using hands for routine activities such as dressing.

“Complementary therapies combined with mainstream health care were more effective in treating pain than using Western medicine alone.” RA is most common in adults from 25 to 50, but can appear in anyone—from infants to the elderly. RA can affect any of the joints in the body as well as tissues and organs.

Usually RA strikes symmetrically, so if you experience pain in your right wrist, you’ll also feel it in your left. Unlike OA, which can affect both men and women in the same ratio, RA affects two to three times more women than men. Apart from joint pain, RA symptoms vary for each person. You may experience flu-like symptoms, periods of flare-up and remission, or continual progression of the disease. Early diagnosis of RA is important to minimize damage and the risk of disability. What can I do to promote quality of life? Develop a plan

Working with your health care practitioner, you can devise a strategy for minimizing pain and maximizing mobility. This may include conventional treatment options and holistic or complementary therapies. 61

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“For both types of arthritis, exercise has been shown to improve quality of life.”


For both types of arthritis, exercise has been shown to improve quality of life. If you enjoy an exercise you are more likely to stick with it and reap the benefits, such as weight management, increased energy, and better sleep. While summer boasts the opportunity to get out and walk, cycle, and swim, winter conditions may seem less inviting. Look to similar activities in a more conducive environment. Gyms offer treadmills, stationary bikes, and elliptical trainers. Therapeutic pools have the benefit of heat in addition to the buoyancy of water and offer aerobic conditioning for people with arthritis. Holistic and complementary therapies

These therapies are based on the concept of energy flow (often referred to as chi) through the body. A block in the flow of this energy creates an imbalance. Over time this causes a breakdown in the physical body, resulting in an illness. Linda Turner, RN, worked for 25 years as a clinical pain specialist in Toronto, Vancouver, and in the US. She found that treating pain with medication wasn’t enough, but complementary therapies combined with mainstream health care were more effective in treating pain than using Western medicine alone. Turner acknowledges stress as a major contributor to illness. These therapies help to reduce stress and maintain balance in the body. For people with arthritis, Turner suggests stress-reduction courses that focus on breathing and meditation, which can also be effective in dealing with pain. Qigong uses breathing and movement to improve energy flow. Other therapies she recommends include yoga, tai chi, massage, energy healing, and even martial arts. Massage therapy can improve mobility and reduce pain. 62 january 2010

Get Jules Torti, a registered massage therapist in Toronto, says that massage therapists have specific treatments for those suffering from OA and RA. There are many ways that a massage can benefit arthritis sufferers, including increasing oxygenated blood flow to the joints, relaxing the digestive tract that may be upset from medications, and aiding in restful sleep.



If you experience any pain or inflammation prior to or during your treatment or exercise routine, refrain until you consult your health care practitioner. Does weather affect arthritis?

There is no conclusive proof that weather affects the disease, arthritis. At most, weather may affect the symptoms of the disease in some people. This may be due to the lower air pressure often present during cold and rainy weather. Lower pressure may allow tissue to expand in joints, and if a joint is already inflamed there may be an increase in pain. Other theories postulate that an individual’s pain threshold could be lower during winter months, or that mood could be affected by the cold, wet weather. Or it may be that because of the weather conditions you might be less likely to go outside and get the exercise you need to keep symptoms in check. This doesn’t mean that you should move to a warmer, dryer climate. People in these climates still suffer from arthritis pain. If you feel that going outside for exercise may aggravate your condition, consider indoor alternatives and complementary therapies that could improve the management of your arthritis and overall well-being. a


Jason Bosher is a freelance writer living actively with RA. 63


hot to too

HEAL? Medicinal plants face climate change Dawn Rae Downton

Bakeapples. The tart amber berries were the talk of Newfoundland last August, not the splendid summer weather or even the approach of Hurricane Bill, who blew in much earlier in the season than tropical storms normally do. ➤

64 january 2010 65



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Both the weather and the untimely storm were unusual, and either might have turned the talk to climate change. Instead, it was all bakeapples, all the time—just because there were none, or almost none. Where had they gone, and why? Newfoundlanders love their bakeapples, especially those from Labrador, since they seem to taste better “the colder you go.” Growing in northern and alpine climates around the world, they’re tough, weathering -40 C and beyond. They love sun and acidic bogs, but not drought. Bakeapples—elsewhere called cloudberries—look like golden raspberries. They’re stuffed with antioxidants, but they’re also a guilty circumpolar pleasure. In Norway they’re loaded onto waffles and ice cream and used to fill marzipan cakes. In Finland they’re downed with local cheese. To go with Sweden’s traditional Thursday pancakes, they’re made into hjortron chutney.

“Snow melts faster each spring, lakes brim, and gales are up, along with sudden storms and dizzying weather changes.” On the other side of the polar region, Alaskan Inuit eat them sugared and whipped up with reindeer fat. In Canada they’re brewed into beer and Quebec’s chicoutai liqueur. But Newfoundlanders have always just jammed their bakeapples, shipping parcels of bubble-wrapped jars to the diaspora in Toronto and Fort McMurray. Dr. Alain Cuerrier of the University of Montreal’s Institut de Recherche en Biologie Végétale doesn’t think Newfoundlanders should worry about their berries—yet. “Annual variations do exist,” he cautioned from his office last fall. “Hopefully, next year will be marvellous for bakeapples!” About the long run, though, he’s no optimist. Some biologists say that as our climate changes, they really don’t

know what to expect; there are too many variables. But when it comes to medicinal and aromatic plants, especially those in fragile ecosystems, many worry. These are the plants that could be hurt first—and hurt worst. Northern berries drying up Cuerrier has worked in northern Quebec since 2001, and lately he’s brought his students to Nunavut and Labrador as well to study what climate change is doing to plants whose berries are important sources of antioxidants and critical to the Inuit diet—shrubs such as blueberry, crowberry, mountain cranberry, and yes, bakeapple. The team simulates speeded-up climate change on these plants by rigging small greenhouses over them in order to track changes to chemical content as well as the altered growth patterns that result—which in the longer term will result under conditions of spontaneous warming. Cuerrier has taught himself rudimentary Inuktitut. The Inuit tell him snow melts faster each spring, lakes brim, and gales are up, along with sudden storms and dizzying weather changes. It all stresses plants, he says, and now the Inuit also say that “berries are drying up in the land.” Molecular modifications Some changes to the plants seem to be unfolding less visibly, at the molecular level. Under increasingly temperate conditions, says Cuerrier, the medicinal compounds plants make to protect themselves from cold (and also from stressors such as UV and prolonged sun) are taking a hit. That might be good news, in the short term, for the plants. But it’s bad news for anyone depending on them for antioxidants, for the essential oils of aromatherapy, and for antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and possibly anti-neoplastic (anticancer) compounds in those oils: terpenes, for instance, which Cuerrier thinks might alter glucose metabolism and therefore mitigate diabetes. Louise Bondo, a Danish specialist in building plant gene banks, has also collected northern medicinal and aromatic plants—thyme, angelica, and golden root, for instance. Her fieldwork has been in Greenland, and she emails from 67

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Scandinavia that warming could be good news and bad. While she doesn’t rule out medicinal species loss if warming continues, she thinks most species can adapt. All the same, because they’re usually scattered and isolated, Arctic species can’t easily hybridize (crossbreed); therefore, they’re less likely to host a flexible genotype and will have little of the genetic diversity they’ll need to adapt. The better news? Plants make metabolites for their own needs, not ours, she says, though some happen to help us. Climate change won’t necessarily decrease metabolites; it might even result in the production of others. Only genotypes highly and specifically adapted to deep cold (and producing metabolites against it) are at direct risk, she says, but the therapeutic compounds we rely on are made by other genotypes, too. Traditional healing skills threatened Four out of five people in developing countries depend on plants for therapy. A majority of Westerners do, too, and the business of traditional medicine is flourishing worldwide. We now visit traditional practitioners far more than we do primary care physicians. Even 10 years ago, Americans paid nearly US$3 billion for traditional therapies; currently, the world market for herbal drugs is around US$60 billion. Many Western medicines are, to some degree, herbs in disguise, too, since they’re often synthesized by copying plant chemistry. More than a third of them contain at least one plant component. But here’s the rub: as demand skyrockets, traditional healing skills are on the wane because many of the plants on which they’re based are now extinct or endangered. In the fragile ecosystems of cold climates, such as those in the Andes and the Himalayas and in the circumpolar north, the biggest stressor is warming.

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68 januaryReference 2010

Northern species lose to new competition Rogue storms, crazy weather shifts, dry snow—it’s all stressing northern berry plants, says Cuerrier. But the worst of it is that as temperatures climb, these plants will eventually be overrun by taller, more common shrubs as the northern edge of the treeline advances up into newly habitable territory to shade them out and block their snow. Golden root (Rhodiola rosea)—a proven remedy for fatigue and depression that might also protect the heart—is a plant he thinks could be out-competed just when it might become commercially valuable to the Inuit, who could cultivate it. And since it grows along the ocean, it could also be drowned by rising seas. Plants with lots of genetic diversity will be the best adapters, says Bondo. But we’re losing biodiversity in the north faster than anywhere else, says Cuerrier, and it’s a tragedy. Where will we find medicinal plants as useful as the ones we forced out?

Sore Throat? Put out the fire fast! “As demand skyrockets, traditional healing skills are waning because many of the plants on which they’re based are disappearing.” Far below Cuerrier’s stomping grounds, around Concord, Massachusetts, researchers have also been witnessing northbound “plant creep” as temperatures rise. Plant loss further south Boston University’s Dr. Richard Primack leads a team that has for several years dated the greening of plants in the Concord spring, comparing that data with dates recorded more than a century and a half ago by Concord’s most famous son, writer Henry David Thoreau. Many of the region’s medicinal plants—wormwood, feverfew, cranberry, St. John’s wort, and peppermint—now enter their spring start-ups about eight days earlier than they did for Thoreau. Some, consequently, have their precocious buds nipped by late frosts; some seed too soon; and some miss their usual pollinators (whose own body clocks may be reset by warming). Primack says the pollinator problem is still only a theory, a guess. But he’s sure of one thing: thanks to earlier springs, some Concord plant species are declining, even extinct. “A quarter of the species Thoreau talked about, we weren’t able to find, even though Concord is a highly protected landscape with 60 percent of the land undeveloped,” he said last fall from Boston. What gives? By mixing in another data set from Harvard’s Charles Davis, Primack’s team found that plants with inflexible flowering and, especially, leafing out times—sensitive species unable to adjust to warming—have declined most in Concord, having been outgrown and out-competed by other plants. Many of them— black birches, for instance—are medicinal. “What it means is that global warming is already affecting the plants of Concord,” Primack says. He extrapolates his results to Canada, since we share species including blueberry, marsh marigolds, violets, and buttercups. Are managed habitats the answer? Primack is part of what he calls “a big debate about how we should be managing our habitats” in the face of species loss. He’s all for “assisted migration” of southern “replacement”

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plants up into Concord, and thinks northern neighbours such as Vermont should likewise be planting species that do well, for now, in Massachusetts. Moved a little north, he says, rare plants such as wild ginseng and ramps (loved and protected in Quebec, and having all the benefits of the onion family to which it belongs) have virtually no chance of becoming aggressive or invasive, whereas their chances of disappearing in their own warming climates are very high. For Arctic and alpine plants, there is no “farther north,” and other researchers are trying to keep them in their place. Dr. Rainer Bussmann, director of the William L. Brown Center for Plant Genetic Resources at the Missouri Botanical Garden, says plants became “medicinally interesting” to the West in the mid90s. The Brown Center team studies them in northern India, east Africa, and Peru—all big producers. The Andes, for instance, are rich in calming valerians, in antibacterial plantains effective against UTIs and ovary inflammation, and in club mosses that mitigate psychosomatic illnesses. (Bussmann notes these are not well-treated or even validated by Western medicine). Beneath the Andes, the Amazon produces herbs such as chanca piedra, also known as stonebreaker, (Phyllanthus niruri), two of whose 36 species have been used traditionally to break up kidney stones. The rest are ineffective or toxic. “This is one way in which plant collections are invaluable,” Bussmann said. “They can identify species exactly by comparing them to a standardized collection.” Plant collections help mitigate species loss The Missouri Garden has a collection of 6.5 million plants of all kinds, with records for some going back to the 1800s. It hopes to identify and save many more, especially from overharvesting by ethnic populations in alpine regions. The problem is a warming effect in disguise, because as populations grow and mountains warm, more people “move up,” more disease is borne higher by more vectors such as mosquitoes, and more disease in more people needs more remedy. Thus the stripping of wild medicinal plants. Bussmann notes that seed banks such as Norway’s Svalbard “doomsday” vault don’t focus on medicinal plants. The world has many more of these than food plants, and no bank has the capacity to store them. Some medicinal seeds can’t be frozen or desiccated for storage and replanting in any case, and loss of their traditional habitats and the knowledge of how they grow best might mean, too, that they can’t be successfully revived. “They’re essentially unprotected right now,” he says. One solution is to establish cultivated, sustainable “ethnobotanical” gardens all over the alpine world. Under a new scheme called Sacred Seeds, Bussmann’s people work with locals to cultivate the mountain plants they’ve been wild-harvesting. 70 january 2010

“Himalayan and Andean glaciers are melting ‘at a crazy rate’.” Himalayan and Andean glaciers are melting “at a crazy rate,” he acknowledges, the treeline is advancing, the tundra is shrubby, and it’s all pretty daunting. But he thinks Sacred Seeds has a great future, as do the medicinal plants it collects and cultivates. “You can set up the garden exactly where you need it, produce exactly the plant you want, and you can also rely on the high interest the local populations have in maintaining them. Now, communities come to us.” Working with Colorado State University, the Brown Center next plans to take plant groups that are distributed in main mountain ecosystems—gentians, for instance, the large genus of

medicinal workhorses used worldwide and found “all over the place” at altitude—and compare the Andean, the Himalayan, and probably the central Alaskan versions to predict (by modelling) what will happen to them as they warm. Bussmann says that no one has yet sampled a genus from all the major mountain systems, and it’s time: we should do it before it’s too late. a Dawn Rae Downton, a Newfoundlander living in Nova Scotia, wrote Seldom and Diamond, (McClelland, 2002, 2003) and The Little Book of Curses and Maledictions for Everyday Use (Skyhorse Publishing, 2009). 71

Ask the experts


Serenity Aberdour, ND, is a naturopathic physician in Vancouver. She has a general family practice and is also involved in the research and development of natural health products.



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What are my nutrition and supplement options for helping me deal with seasonal affective disorder?

Serenity Aberdour, ND: According to the Canadian Mental Health Association an estimated 2 to 3 percent of Canadians suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This type of depression occurs during the fall and winter seasons and can include periods of low energy, carbohydrate cravings, sadness, sleep disturbances, apathy, and difficulty concentrating. The majority of research into natural interventions has focused on the use of light therapy, which involves exposing people with SAD to light boxes or other sources of bright light in order to improve their symptoms. Light therapy has been shown to be helpful in many cases and is worth discussing with your health care practitioner. Other natural therapies have had promising results. Vitamin D Lack of exposure to sunlight results in reduced blood levels of vitamin D. Some research studies have found an association between reduced blood levels of vitamin D and increased risk of mood disorder, including SAD, particularly among women.

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Melatonin Poor sleep quality is a common complaint in many forms of depression, including SAD. In one study, adults with seasonal depression took 2 mg of melatonin one to two hours before bedtime over a three-week period. This treatment was associated with improvements in sleep quality and vitality in those complaining of SAD. St. John’s wort This wellknown natural treatment for mild to moderate depression may also be helpful for those with SAD. Standardized extracts of St. John’s wort used over a period of four to eight weeks have been shown to help improve symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia, and loss of libido in those with SAD. While some supplements can be helpful for relieving SAD symptoms, keep in mind that a well-balanced whole foods diet, stress management, and quality sleep are the foundations of good health. Making sure these are in balance can only help when addressing any health complaint, including SAD. a

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80 december 2009


Find a fresh start

Embrace a new you Jenn Farrell

We all know the feeling. Maybe it’s waking up with job-dread every morning. Maybe it’s the relationship that’s going nowhere but shows no sign of ending. Or perhaps it’s that same bad habit that keeps hanging around year after year. Whatever it is—career, romance, lifestyle—we can all get “stuck” in situations where we don’t want to be. But what does “stuck” look like? And how can we get out? To determine if you’re one of the stuck, ask yourself these 10 questions. Then read on as we follow four individuals who found the desire and the drive to make lasting and positive life changes.

“Sometimes, the need to get unstuck comes up gradually, and the solutions can be equally slow to appear.”

Your stuck questionnaire Are you stuck? Think of a current life situation or issue with which you’re not happy, and answer the following questions with a yes or no. 1. Do you experience physical symptoms (such as recurring pain, sleep difficulties, loss of appetite) related to your situation? 2. Do you feel guilty, anxious, or hopeless about your circumstances? 3. Do you justify your present situation by saying, “it could be worse” and feeling as though you should just resign yourself to it? 4. Have your energy, inspiration, and zest for life left you—to the point where you don’t even feel like the same person?

5. Do you frequently talk about the negative aspects of your problem, but feel angry or defensive when others try to offer solutions or advice? 6. Do you feel envious or resentful of others who seem to have found success and happiness? 7. Are you putting off making changes because the time or situation is never ideal? 8. Do you frequently make promises to change to yourself or others, and then break them repeatedly? 9. Do you overindulge in food, alcohol, drugs, or other behaviours to avoid thinking about your problem? 10. Can you see that you need to make a change but feel overwhelmed at what seems like an impossible task?

If you answered “yes” to more than five of these questions, you are ready to make a fresh start! 81


Pushing past the comfort zone Sometimes, the need to get unstuck comes up gradually, and the solutions can be equally slow to appear. For Iyengar yoga instructor and mother of two Barb Deneka, the way out of her career impasse had been right in front of her. Deneka has a master’s degree in entomology, and was working for the federal government doing crop science research in Lethbridge, Alberta, when she met her future husband Greg, also an entomologist. They moved when Greg was offered a better job in Edmonton, and Barb left her old job behind and found employment with the provincial government. The new position, Deneka says, was “a grind”—she was earning less than before, the commute was long, and relations between staff and management were often strained. After her kids were born, Deneka was ready to continue working, “but that job just wasn’t good enough to go back to.” With very few part-time opportunities in her field, she was having difficulty finding other options that would be both personally and financially worthwhile. It was then that her yoga teacher approached her. “I had been doing yoga for about 20 years, and when my teacher asked me if I’d ever considered teaching, I thought I could never do that.”

Barb Deneka got unstuck when she realized she could turn something she loved—yoga—into a viable career as a yoga instructor.

Though she was experienced enough to begin instructor training, Deneka had never visualized herself in such a “revered” role. “I’d had such excellent teachers in my life and I never saw myself as being like them.”

“It wasn’t until she learned how to take care of herself that she truly became unstuck.” But with the support of her teacher, she enrolled in and completed the training program, and has now been teaching both in her home and in local community centres as her sole

Barb Deneka enjoys the physical and mental benefits—and the flexibility—of her new career as a yoga instructor. 82 january 2010

employment for the last five years. There are aspects of the work that Deneka still finds challenging. Since she doesn’t consider herself the salesperson type, it was initially difficult for her to promote her own classes. She decided that to be successful she would have to become more proactive about advertising and follow up on opportunities, even if doing so sometimes felt awkward. Now she can say that her job meets all those requirements she was looking for: she’s able to earn a good living while retaining a flexible schedule and enjoys working with her students. Best of all, part of her job is enjoying the physical and mental benefits of a regular yoga practice—something she had been doing all along. Visualizing success Rebekah McPhee, acupuncturist, counsellor, and owner of Goodlife Acupuncture in Victoria, BC, has spent her life helping others, but it wasn’t until she learned how to take care of herself that she truly became unstuck. McPhee worked as a paramedic with the BC Ambulance Service for 14 years, which she says “was about 10 years longer” than she should have.

Change—in a nutshell

If you’re looking for a little more help with a particular issue, there is no shortage of books, DVDs, websites, and therapists that can address specific roadblocks to change. <alive> took a look at the literature and found some common themes—many of them echoed by our own unstuck interviewees.

Defining the issue

Spend some time defining what you want as specifically as possible. What do you want to get out of this change? How will it make your life better? As acupuncturist Rebekah McPhee suggests, “Write down the dreams that you have, and dare to believe in those things. Picture how you will feel when you have achieved them.”

Defining success

Now break that definition of success down. What can you do to get started? What can you realistically commit to doing today, this week, this month? Michael McLean says, “You need to make a conscious decision and commit to it … but making changes doesn’t have to be hard. For exercise, find something you enjoy doing. With nutrition, making some small changes, like changing to whole grains from white flour, can add up to make a big difference.” Barb Deneka offers, “Whatever it is, you don’t have to make a radical change. Ease yourself into things. With yoga, for example, you don’t have to quit your job and join an ashram. You can start with 20 minutes in the morning and see where that takes you.”

I’d tell myself, you just have to make these calls; you don’t have to talk anyone into it. I would make myself a deal—today I’m going to make six calls and then I can have a chocolate or something like that. And then I would do the same thing the next day, and the day after that.”

Doing it now

Know that the “perfect” time to change will never come. Real life doesn’t stop so that we can make adjustments. Now is as good a time as any other.

Taking care of yourself

Be as good to yourself as you can. Eat well, get exercise and rest, and take time to relax and unwind during this process so that you’re at your best.

Letting go

Understand that letting go of the past and old habits can be tough, even when they weren’t good for us. Changing means embracing the unknown and letting go of the familiar, so don’t be surprised if you sometimes feel a little grief for what you left behind.

Accepting setbacks

Accept that slip-ups, obstacles, and setbacks are going to be a part of the change process. No one will ever be perfect or never make a mistake. Knowing that these situations will occur can help you learn from them and bounce back quickly, instead of throwing in the towel. Darcy Carroll admits, “I was naive about many of the business aspects, and how long everything would take. There were definitely times that I thought, ‘should I be doing this?’ Things didn’t always go easily, but things aren’t fair or easy for a lot of people.”

Believing in yourself

Finally, the hardest one of all: believe in yourself. Find ways to support, nurture, and encourage that person who dares to live their dreams. Just beginning a process of getting unstuck is cause for celebration!

Setting goals

Think about how to set goals and milestones for yourself and what kinds of rewards and motivation work best for you. Just make sure it’s something that will actually inspire you to keep going. When Barb Deneka was faced with the uncomfortable situation of promoting her classes, she says, “I had to break it down when I was faced with this long list of phone numbers. 83

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“Healthy habits are non-negotiable. It’s not something I have to fit in. It’s just a part of my day.”

Michael McLean was stuck in unhealthy habits until he started a new life as a bachelor, giving up alcohol, eating a healthy diet, and working out—and became 40 pounds lighter and a hundred times happier.

The job, with its many stresses, long hours, and heavy lifting, exacted a harsh toll on McPhee. “My menstrual cycles were thrown off from shift work, I had bad eating habits, and it became so stressful that at the end of the day, I would just go home and cry,” she says. In 2000, after returning to school to become a counsellor and still working in the Ambulance Service, McPhee needed to find relief from the physical symptoms she was experiencing as a result of her heavy workload. “One day,” she says, “I decided to visit the student-run clinics at the school of Chinese medicine here in Victoria, and I thought, I’ll just go in and have a treatment, even though I had never had acupuncture before.” Despite not knowing exactly what to expect, McPhee was pleasantly surprised. “It was deeply relaxing, and I felt better right away,” she says. She became a regular at the clinic, going in for treatments every couple of weeks and continuing to see improvements.

Gradually, she also introduced Chinese herbal formulas into her health regimen as well as the energy practice of qigong. It was then that McPhee had what she calls her epiphany—she could take all the benefits she had experienced through acupuncture and share them with others as her new career. So in 2001 she quit the Ambulance Service to focus on her new role as a student of Chinese medicine. “It was the first time that I really understood what it means to trust yourself. There were no doubts or ‘maybes’ about what I was doing.” From the outset, McPhee set clear goals and pictured meeting them through visualization. “I planned to have my own practice in my own clinic, so I put pictures of my doctor friend and I together up in my study room and envisioned us working together.”

“Write down the dreams you have, and dare to believe in those things. Picture how you will feel when you have achieved them.” Now, instead of feeling exhausted and stressed by her job, McPhee leaves her clinic each day feeling energized. “How much better can this get?” She sometimes wonders why she didn’t do it sooner, but then answers that question herself: “I couldn’t have done this before. I wasn’t ready, and I didn’t believe in myself enough in the past to accomplish this.” Making a commitment Michael McLean is an Ottawa-based software developer whose healthy, active lifestyle is easy to admire. Even more impressive are the hard truths he had to face to get there. McLean worked in the Canadian military through the 1990s until 2000,

Rebekah McPhee became unstuck by taking care of herself—she left a high-stress, physically demanding job to open her own clinic offering counselling and acupuncture.

when he changed employers and got married. Leaving the military routine behind meant losing the external discipline to which he had grown accustomed. “It was a much regimented lifestyle,” says McLean, “and then suddenly I went from needing to be certain places at certain times and dressing a certain way, to being on my own and nobody cared.” At first, he and his wife indulged this newfound freedom by going out for dinners and drinks. But their enjoyment soon turned into what he calls gluttony. “We were slugs—we ate in restaurants every night and drank all the time—and just became really lazy and apathetic people.” After five years, they were completely stuck in their unhealthy habits, had gained weight, felt terrible, and resented each other for their shared unhappiness. “Looking back,” says McLean, “everything just went to hell. Our personal lives, our work lives were garbage, and we were garbage.” What he calls his eye-opener moment came when the couple separated. Once, while confiding in a friend about his problems, McLean received a response he never expected. “I had been talking and thinking that none of this had been my fault. He told me that the two of us had been terrible together, and that I was just as much at fault for that as she had been.” Faced with the realization that he 85


his health. He signed up for an affordable gym membership through his workplace and began building a support system with a trainer and a nutritionist to help him set fitness goals. He discovered that exercise helped him deal with stress and gave him time to work out problems. Five years later, McLean runs, works out with a trainer four times a week, and eats a clean diet. He enters halfmarathons and other races for his own satisfaction, but also to get involved with charitable causes. He is 40 pounds lighter and a hundred times happier, and has made healthy habits a non-negotiable part of his life. “It’s not something I have to fit in,” he says. “It’s just a part of my day.” Darcy Carroll was stuck but overcame obstacles to open a successful acupuncture clinic that owes its success to its "collective energy and community feeling."

alone was responsible for his situation, McLean resolved to make some significant changes. The first was eliminating alcohol, and he knew he couldn’t go halfway. “Drinking was a problem for me, so I just cut it out completely—no social drinking, no wine at family dinners, none at all.” He also knew that his eating habits needed an overhaul, so he sought advice from another friend whose experiences with food sensitivities and reactions inspired McLean to become more conscious of refined flours and sugars. “I started looking at my moods, and by cutting out the sugars and the fried stuff, within a week I was feeling better.”

“You need to make a conscious decision and commit to it … but making changes doesn’t have to be hard.” Bolstered by those immediate improvements, McLean began looking for other ways he could take charge of 86 january 2010

Keeping the faith Darcy Carroll is the owner and operator of Poke Community Acupuncture in Vancouver. After earning her degree in Latin American studies, Carroll travelled and worked in sustainable living. She had always had an interest in social justice, but decided to return to the West Coast to learn a skill. She moved to Victoria and studied acupuncture, and while she enjoyed the work, she says she had a tough time finding her place. “I didn’t really know where I fit into the health care model,” she says. She knew most practitioners worked out of a clinic, but she wasn’t convinced that was the right choice for her. After doing some mobile-clinic acupuncture work with addicted youth, Carroll said that the seeds were planted for her to consider incorporating her interest in social change into her new field. “I saw a need for this style of treatment, and I felt a real urgency to change my approach.” It was then that Carroll discovered the community model of acupuncture, pioneered in Portland, Oregon, by Lisa Rohleder, which operates on a sliding payment scale, features an open treatment area, and puts power back in the hands of patients. Carroll says she

was instantly attracted to the business model, citing its “collective energy and community feeling.”

“Changing means embracing the unknown and letting go of the familiar.” There were many obstacles along the way in opening Poke, not the least of which was the long and difficult battle to secure a physical space for the clinic because of zoning and contracting issues. For Carroll, who had embraced the idea that “if things are supposed to manifest, there should be a lot of flow,” this part of the journey did not unfold with ease or grace. “It got to the point where there were a lot of obstacles and I just had to keep the faith.” She credits her family and friends with the support she needed to make her vision come to life. “I’m so incredibly blessed,” she says, citing her parents, cousins, her boyfriend, and friends who have all pitched in with Poke, from designing the logo, to doing the contracting, to helping at the reception desk. Since opening in August 2009, Poke has exceeded all Carroll’s expectations. “I believe that I’m really lucky to have a business—especially in this economy—that’s succeeding.” a

Jenn Farrell is a Vancouver writer, editor, and creative writing instructor who thrives on change—as long as it can be booked four to six weeks in advance.

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Green tea medicinal isolate EGCG has been proven to be effective in preventing breast, lung, mouth, stomach and prostate diseases by preventing cells from becoming sick, inhibiting growth of damaged cells and attacking or inducing death in diseased cells. 87


Facing up to winter

A cross-Canada skin care guide

Lisa Petty

Putting your best face forward means creating healthy skin all year round, no matter which part of Canada you call home. North, south, east, or west—find the skin care that suits you best.

88 january 2010

High and dry Whether you live high on one of Canada’s mountaintops or in the Far North, you know a thing or two about brisk winds and crisp, dry air. Before heading outdoors, be sure to slather on a natural occlusive moisturizer with beeswax or cocoa butter to reduce your skin’s water loss. Pull on gloves, wrap a scarf around your face, and keep the wind at your back to keep your moisture to yourself. Skiers, hikers, and other nature lovers should also remember the sun is as potentially damaging to skin in subzero temperatures as it is in the summer. Use protection. For a soothing treat at home, add hot water to a bowl and toss in a camomile tea bag. Sit with your clean face over the bowl, and tent a towel over your head to trap moist air. Follow with an emollient moisturizer, such as sweet almond or jojoba oil.

The wet coast While Vancouver doesn’t experience the chilling temperatures typical in much of the country, the arrival of winter should trigger some changes in your skin care routine. Although it may seem counterintuitive, Vancouver’s wet, cool winter can also lead to moisture loss from skin. Chapped lips and hands are common, and eczema can become worse. Skin colour can also become red or uneven. Soothe skin with oat extract, vitamin E, lavender, and rose. For a comforting pick-me-up, combine half a puréed cucumber with 3 Tbsp (45 mL) plain yogourt. Apply it to your face. Rinse with cool water after 15 minutes. Snow zones When you’re outside shovelling, be sure to stay wrapped up to keep the cold and wind from leaving you dry and

Because menopause has more than 21 symptoms,* Harmony® has more than one herb.

“At least 30 minutes to an hour before heading outdoors, apply moisturizer.” All-Canadian skin care tips ● Resist the draw of the loofah. Cold temperatures reduce blood flow to your skin, so stimulate circulation and exfoliate by cleaning with a cotton washcloth. ● At least 30 minutes to an hour before heading outdoors, apply moisturizer, particularly if it’s a product that contains a lot of water. Unabsorbed lotion can freeze onto your skin. ● Keep lips hydrated. Wear a lip balm containing ingredients such as jojoba oil, vitamin E and coconut oil 24 hours a day. Over-licking lips leads to chapping.

● Cut back on coffee, alcohol, and fizzy drinks, as they dehydrate the body. Sip a mug of hot water with lemon and cayenne pepper as a warming treat. ● Go gentle with that good towel. Excessive rubbing can irritate dry skin. Instead, gently pat skin to absorb excess water, then moisturize when skin is still damp. Remember your feet and elbows because socks and sweaters eventually have to come off.

some water and pour it into the pump bottle. While on the plane give your face an occasional refreshing spritz. If you don’t have a spray bottle, you can also splash water on your face throughout the flight. Either will help to reactivate ingredients in your skin products. Repeat on the way home. ● Keeping skin in top form in winter is important. Despite how it feels, the cold won’t last forever. Sandals and bare arms are merely a season away.

● When you travel, take a small, empty pump bottle in your carry-on luggage. Once you’ve cleared security, purchase

Available from leading Health Food Stores. * Not all women experience all symptoms. Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist consult your health care professional.

Confidence through menopause



“Pull on gloves, wrap a scarf around your face, and keep the wind at your back.”

feeling sensitive. When you finally head back indoors, remember that abrupt temperature changes are stressful, and don’t rush to melt your bones in front of a roaring fire. Skin sensitivity conditions such as eczema and rosacea can worsen in winter, so baby your skin with extracts of mallow, cucumber, or calendula. Use soap-free cleansing milks containing healing aloe vera and soothing camomile. Follow with a moisturizer containing nourishing essential fatty acids from primrose or borage oils. A winter desert Despite the precipitation, whether rain or snow, Canada is awfully dry in the winter. If it’s not the frigid temperatures, it’s the dehydrating indoor heat. Give your skin a fighting chance by keeping a humidifier in your bedroom. House plants also help to return moisture to the air. 90 january 2010

Avoid any skin care products containing alcohol and boost your skin cells’ ability to stay hydrated by taking omega-3 fatty acid in the form of fish oil daily. Remember to drink plenty of water, and when it comes to water temperature, turn down the heat. Although a hot shower might feel good when you come in from the cold, the heat melts lipids that act as a protective moisture barrier for your skin. Skin care to go By February Canadians dream of packing their bags in search of a sunnier outlook. While it’s good for body and soul to soak up some extra rays, an abrupt change of climate wreaks havoc on your complexion. Start saving your skin the moment you get on the plane. The air in plane cabins is extremely dry, leaving you and your skin parched before you land, and dehydrated skin is less able to protect

itself from those rays you crave. Apply an occlusive moisturizer such as coconut oil to trap water in your skin while you fly. Because of the heat and humidity, skin care products for the tropics should be lighter than the ones you left at home. Your skin will likely become oilier, as heat stimulates oil glands. Keep skin clean to avoid breakouts. Look for moisturizing products containing humectants such as hyaluronic acid to sponge moisture from the air. Remember to stay safe in the sun. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are natural sunblocks. Eat a diet rich in protective antioxidant vitamins A, C, E, and green tea. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and stay in the shade during the hottest part of the day. a Lisa Petty, ROHP/RNCP, is author of Living Beauty (Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 2005). You can hear her on her health talk radio show Lisa Live.

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Putting values into your money

Bruce McDougall

Canadians feel strongly about a wide variety of social and ethical issues, from human rights and diversity in the workplace to smoking and alcohol abuse. We also rank among the most concerned citizens in the world about climate change. Most of us express our concerns through charitable donations, fundraising events, and political activism. Now, by making ethical investments, a growing segment of Canada’s population is putting its money where its collective mouth is. Also called sustainable or socially responsible investments, ethical mutual funds and other financial vehicles allow individual Canadians to align their beliefs with their financial goals. Instead of focusing solely on potential profits, we can direct our money toward companies with social, ethical, environmental, and governance standards that correspond to our own values. And we can do this without jeopardizing the opportunity to increase the value of our nest egg.

Ethical investment trends The trend toward ethical investing began more than a decade ago and continues to grow stronger year after year. By 2008 Canadians had invested more than $609 billion in socially responsible funds, an increase of 21 percent since 2006. “Whether the goal is to promote improved environmental, social, or governance practices, or to protect the value of one’s assets, sustainable investing is moving from niche status to a broader-based acceptance,” says the Sustainable Investing Handbook, a 2007 report prepared by Guardian Ethical Management Inc. For socially conscious Canadians, ethical investing has become not just morally attractive but also financially 93


profitable. The Jantzi Social Index, for example, evaluates the performance of 60 Canadian companies founded on broadly based social and environmental standards. Since 2000 when the index began, it has performed at least as well as the S&P/TSX 60, which is conventionally used by investors to measure the performance of the Canadian stock market.

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Mutual funds Operated by companies such as RBC Asset Management, the Ethical Funds Company, and Investors Group, more than two dozen socially responsible mutual funds compete for the attention of Canadian investors. For example, Meritas Financial Inc. focuses exclusively on socially responsible investing through its family of seven socially responsible mutual funds. Other socially responsible mutual fund companies in Canada, such as Growthworks, are sponsored by organized labour and invest in growing small to mid-sized businesses. This enables investors to take advantage of federal and provincial tax credits while providing an opportunity for investment returns as well. Exchange traded funds Investors can put their money more directly into socially responsible companies by purchasing shares of an exchange traded fund (ETF) that follows sustainable guidelines, such as the iShares Canadian Jantzi Social Index Fund. Unlike mutual funds, which pool money from investors and charge a fee for investing it, ETFs trade on the stock exchange. Investors buy and sell them in the same way as they buy and sell shares in a company such as Bell Canada or Inco. Since it doesn’t require highly trained and highly paid professionals to administer an ETF, the fees are much lower than a mutual fund. If the ETF rises in value, investors will retain more profits. Whether you invest in a mutual fund, an ETF, or directly in the shares of a company that meets your ethical standards, you must do your homework before you can feel completely satisfied that you’ve made the right decision. Who is ethical? Individual investors might question the social responsibility of Alcan, for example, or Canadian National Railways. Yet both companies qualify for the Jantzi Social Index. In some cases, companies that seem the most questionable are doing more to address problems of ethics and sustainability than more socially acceptable organizations. Whether they’ve changed their values or not, oil companies and auto manufacturers, for example, have discovered the advantage of selling products that either alleviate climate change or, at least, fail to make it worse. Cynics may say some companies are simply jumping on the bandwagon to blow their own horns. However, they have the money to back up their promises, and they all seem to be

Ethical choices The following organizations belong to the Social Investment Organization, a national association that raises public awareness of socially responsible investing. It also educates and promotes socially responsible investing in the financial community. · Acuity Funds Ltd. · Desjardins Trust · The Ethical Funds Company · FONDAction CSN · Growthworks Capital Ltd. · Great West Life Investment Management · Inhance Investment Management Inc. · Investors Group · Mackenzie Investments · Mavrix Mutual Funds · Meritas Mutual Funds · Phillips, Hager & North Investment Management Ltd. · RBC Asset Management

making progress toward producing clean vehicles and clean energy to run them. Even cement companies, responsible for proportionately more CO2 emissions than any other industry, have jumped on the sustainability bandwagon. Generating 800 kg of carbon dioxide for every tonne of cement, the industry accounts for 5 percent of total man-made CO2 emissions. Yet our society cannot function without concrete. Companies such as Lafarge, whose shares trade on the TSX, have taken major steps to refine their manufacturing processes, reduce waste, and curb emissions. They can continue these initiatives only if investors continue to support them. Regardless of the way you put your values into action, you should never put all your eggs in one ethical basket. “Consider green investing a piece of your overall financial plan and diversification,” says David Bach, a financial planner and author of Go Green, Live Rich (Broadway Books, 2008). “A great place to start your research is at, which evaluates funds, their diversification, and their levels of risk.” In the meantime, if the pursuit of a more ethical society allows us to sleep better at night, it feels even better to make money while we’re doing it. With an ethical investment, Canadians have a chance to do both. a Bruce McDougall writes about business, finance, and investing and has written or co-written 17 books, including a biography of Ted Rogers.


Stress-busting exercises Stop, breathe, and stretch

PJ Wren

Stress, for many people, is something to dread. For others, it is the means to their existence. While stress is a natural occurrence, and our response to it has helped us evolve and survive through the centuries, too much stress on a regular basis can be detrimental to our health. Over 30,000 years ago the Cro-Magnon man needed his body’s response to stress to be swift, especially when hunting for, or being hunted by, large predators. Our Cro-Magnon guy needed this mechanism of his autonomic nervous system (what is termed the fight-or-flight response) to allow for important adjustments in the face of danger—in his case, to eat or to be eaten. Caught in the cycle Unfortunately, in today’s high-stress culture, the stress response is activated so often that the body doesn’t always have a chance to return to normal—resulting in a state of chronic stress. It is this perpetual stress that can make us susceptible to disease and illness. The effects of long-term stress are numerous. They include exhaustion, muscle breakdown, an altered immune system, a lowered thyroid function, cardiovascular stress, and alterations in blood sugar levels. 96 january 2010

Stress causes elevated levels of the hormone cortisol, which leaves us craving high-calorie, high-fat and high-sugar carbohydrates. This in turn causes weight gain, which then usually creates more stress. A very nasty cycle. Controlling chronic stress Can we completely avoid stress in our lives? Absolutely not! In fact, I am fairly certain that even the Dalai Lama gets stressed once in a while. What we can manage are our reactions to daily chronic stressors. We can also identify whether we are encountering real stress or just plain old simulated stress, compliments of our busy lifestyles and the urgent-seeming nature of many aspects of modern life. Next time you feel yourself getting a little worked up, try these three exercises designed to bring the mind back to the moment and help you go from stress-junkie to Zen-masterin-training.

Deep belly breathing


This exercise can be performed anywhere and in any position—seated, standing, in the car, or in bed. Breathing deeply not only gets your mind focused on something that you can control (and off what you can’t), it also provides extra oxygen to the blood and causes the body to release endorphins—brain chemicals that re-energize and assist the body in relaxation.

> Place your hands on your belly and, if you are able to, close your eyes. >U  sing your nose, take a deep inhalation for five seconds, filling all the way into the lower lobes of the lungs. You should feel your rib cage expand underneath your fingertips.

>H  old the breath for one to two seconds, then slowly exhale through a slightly opened mouth, this time feeling the rib cage deflate under the fingertips.

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>C  ontinue breathing like this for two to five minutes.

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neck stretch Most people hold their stress in their neck. Try the following two static stretches to help bring the shoulders down and relax and loosen the tight muscles running along the sides and the back of the neck. Both the neck stretch and side neck stretch should be performed two to three times.

>S  tand or sit up straight with the pelvis rolled under—do not arch your back.

>S  lowly drop your chin into your chest and hold. > Y ou should feel a stretch running down the back of the neck all the way down the spine.

>H  old for a few breaths and then bring the head and posture back to a neutral position.

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Side neck stretch

To neutralize the acid in 1 cup of coffee, you have to drink 16 to 18 glasses of water.

>S  tand or sit up straight with the shoulders relaxed.

>D  rop your left ear to your left shoulder, keeping the chin centre.

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> T urn your chin in toward the left armpit and slide your left hand on top of the head.

• Request a FREE pH test kit • Receive $2 OFF your next purchase! >A  pply slight pressure on the head, drawing the chin closer toward the left shoulder.

>H  old for a few breaths and complete the same steps for the right.

PJ Wren is a personal trainer and health and wellness writer who tries to not sweat the small stuff. 98 january 2010

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Cross-country An Olympic sport for everyone Matt Jackson

Certain Olympic sports are difficult to imagine myself trying: downhill ski racing, freestyle mogul tricks, or speed skating with those long slalom blades. For some reason these sports make me nervous. I picture myself at the sidelines in a crumpled heap after one small error leads to a spectacular wipeout. 101


There is another Olympic event, however, that seems a little more accessible to mere mortals like me. Make no mistake: to perform at a high level it requires every bit of the skill and finesse of other sports, but the barriers to entry are perhaps not quite as intimidating. I speak of cross-country skiing. There will be 12 cross-country ski events at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games starting next month in Vancouver. Four of them are relay races, while the others range from a classic-style sprint event to a 50 km endurance race for men and a 30 km race for women. Since there are two different styles of cross-country skiing—classic cross-country and skate skiing—these events alternate at every Olympics. For example, at the 2006 Torino Olympics the sprint event was a skate-ski competition; at the Vancouver Games it will be performed classic style. Classic versus skate skiing Of the two types, classic is generally the easiest for novice skiers to pick up. “Most people start with classic because there’s a track and it’s easier to learn balance,” says Andrea Dupont, a Canmore-based sprint skier who, at the time of writing, is working to qualify for the Canadian cross-country ski team at the 2010 Games. “There are four basic techniques that are used on different angles of terrain: the diagonal stride, double pole and kick, double pole, and the herringbone, which is used to ascend hills.” Skate or “freestyle” skiing looks very different from classic and in some ways resembles ice-skating. Skiers propel themselves forward with exaggerated pole plants and by pushing out and backward with the inside edge of each ski. There are numerous movement patterns for different skill levels and types of terrain, but in all cases learning to transfer weight from one ski to the other is essential in learning to skate ski. Equipment Classic cross-country skis are longer, narrower, and lighter than skate skis, and classic models have fish scales or utilize ski wax to provide grip when climbing hills. Fish scales are grooves in the bottoms of the skis that prevent skiers from slipping backward on an incline. Classic skis should be taller than you, but the precise length will depend on several factors, such as your weight, experience level, and the intensity with which you’ll be skiing. A rule of thumb is to raise your arms above your head and measure the distance from your wrists to the ground. That’s roughly how long your skis should be. Skate skis, on the other hand, are shorter and stiffer than classic models and the poles tend to be longer. Neither fish scales nor grip wax are used. Boots specific to skate skiing are 102 january 2010

“A 155 lb person will expend almost 500 calories per hour cross-country skiing with even a light effort.” more rigid than classic boots, as a wider range of motion is required. Skate skis should generally be 5 to 10 cm taller than you. As for cost, classic gear tends to be a little less expensive than skate equipment. To outfit yourself with classic skis, boots, bindings, and poles, you can expect to spend anywhere from $280 to more than $600 if you are buying new gear. A skate-ski outfit would cost anywhere from $470 to more than $900. If you’re on a budget, visit your local ski retailer and ask if they sell used rental equipment. Full-body exercise Cross-country skiing is the ultimate full-body workout. Every major muscle group in the body is used simultaneously to propel a skier forward, and no one muscle group is overstressed, which means movement can be sustained for hours. Even muscles that are not being “pulled” or “pushed” directly are being used for balance and coordination. Working every muscle group burns a lot of energy, so if you are looking to lose weight, cross-country skiing is a great choice. According to— a website that compares caloric expenditures for many different sports—a 155 lb (70 kg) person will expend almost 500 calories per hour with even a light effort. That same person would burn 1,000 calories per hour or more if they are racing competitively. Another benefit of cross-country skiing is the low impact it has on your joints. While many activities can strengthen one part of the body while damaging another, cross-country skiing is very low impact. There is no shock to your knees thanks to the gliding motion, and the fact that it’s also fairly unidirectional means there is less risk of pulling a muscle or tearing ligaments or cartilage.

Where to ski Cross-country skiing can be enjoyed in every province and territory across Canada. Not only are there hundreds of locations with groomed and trackset trails, but once you’ve gained some experience there are also thousands of off-trail opportunities. If you don’t want to purchase gear, a rental equipment package should cost $20 to $40 per day in most places, while daily user fees typically range from $10 to $25.

British Columbia Vancouverites may not experience winter like most Canadians, yet within sight of the city’s downtown stands Cypress Mountain and its 19 km trackset course that takes skiers to historic Hollyburn Lodge. At Whistler the Lost Lake trail system has 30 km of trails for skate skiers and 25 km of trackset for classic enthusiasts.




No list of crosscountry ski trails would be complete without the Canmore Nordic Centre, which was developed for the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary. Its 70 km of trackset trails are some of the finest in Canada, and they have played host to a pair of World Cups and many other international events since first opening.

There are hundreds of places to ski in Ontario, but the further north you go the more likely you’ll find snow. The Haliburton Nordic Trails can be found two and a half hours north of Toronto, and features more than 100 km of groomed skate-ski and classic trails. In nearby Algonquin Park, another 100-plus kilometres of trails (some trackset, some not) offer more variety. Fen Lake and Leaf Lake have skate-ski tracks.

The 363-squarekilometre Gatineau Park is home to Canada’s largest groomed ski trail network, with 185 km of skate-ski and classic trails. The park hosts Ski-Fest in January of every year, which features a free introduction to cross-country skiing for beginners.

Eastern Canada The national parks are some of the best places to ski in Atlantic Canada. Cape Breton Highlands National Park receives high marks for scenery and features more than 30 km of skate lanes and classic terrain. The Blow-Me-Down ski club in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, maintains 40 km of snowcat-groomed trails on a plateau above the city, including a 7 km course lighted for night skiing.

For details about more than 500 cross-country ski destinations in Canada, visit and click on “XC Ski.”


Matt Jackson is a freelance writer from Vancouver. 103

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cross-country lunch 106 • heart-healthy recipes 110 • winter foods 116 • game night 122

Every 7 minutes a Canadian dies from heart disease or stroke. Resolve to have a healthy heart. Try our heart-healthy recipes on page 110.

3 ounces

of carrots provide 3 g of fibre as well as beta carotene and vitamins B6 , C, and K. Warm up with our nutritious winter vegetable recipes on page 116. 105


Cross-country skiing banquet Warming food to go

Matthew Kadey, MSc, RD

Cross-country skiing is not only a chance to visit the forest’s quiet depths, but it’s also an opportunity to burn copious calories. If you’re heading out for a big day on the snow, you’ll need to pack high-energy edibles to keep your stride strong. A break for grub is the perfect excuse to stop and take in the peaceful winter wonderland. Herewith, everything you need to know about staying blissfully nourished out on the trail. Fuel your body Few forms of exercise recruit more muscles than cross-country skiing, says sports dietician Monique Ryan, author of Performance Nutrition for Winter Sports (Peak Sports Press, 2005). “This means eating and hydrating properly is critical to performance and overall enjoyment.” Stay strong by following these sage nutrition tips from Ryan. Gnaw on carbs—often

Carbohydrates are the main fuel source for working muscles, and you’ll be 106 january 2010

burning a lot of carbs. “It’s probably a good idea to aim for 60 to 80 g of carbohydrate per hour of skiing,” advises Ryan. Breads, pretzels, sports drinks, bars, dried fruit, and chili can all help you get there. To avoid visions of chocolate bars dancing through your head, take frequent breaks to fuel up. Preventing your energy tanks from draining helps keep you warm while cavorting out in the elements.

skiers drink 4 to 8 oz (125 to 250 mL) of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes. Sports drinks contain both the water and carbohydrates your body needs. “You can heat up these drinks beforehand and keep them warm in a Thermos,” she says. Apple cider, hot chocolate, and tea can also contribute to your fluid intake.

Chug liquids

Packing the right food can make the difference between a blasé outing and a superb one. Here’s an arsenal of salubrious recipes to power your glide and stoke your taste buds.

“Even though you may not see or feel the sweat, significant fluid losses can occur with cross-country skiing,” says Ryan. The cool, dry air and heavy respiration can further lead to dehydration. To keep hydrated, Ryan recommends

Trail cuisine

Game plan

When it comes to eating, cross-country skiing presents some challenges not seen in other outdoor pursuits sans snow. Here’s how to pull it off with style.

Get a comfortable pack

Choose a backpack to carry your food and drinks that sits well on top of your jacket and doesn’t cause you to overbalance. Consult with a professional at an outdoors store to find the right one for you.

Pack wholesome food

Use a Thermos to transport all sorts of still-steaming, satisfying dishes such as chili, soup, and stews. Label individual containers with tape and a marker, making it easier to identify which beverage or food is in each. In a pinch, extra-large insulated travel mugs can stand in for a Thermos.

Stay warm

Maple-Glazed Trail Mix

Stop to warm up and enjoy your picnic lunch at a ski hut. If one isn’t available, pick a lunch stop on the trail that protects you from freezing winds. If room permits, pack a blanket to elevate you off the cold snow when sitting.

Use your body heat This easy-to-pop snack will help you fuel up and keep moving. 2 Tbsp (30 mL) butter 1/2 cup (125 mL) pecans, halved 1/2 cup (125 mL) almonds 1/4 cup (60 mL) pumpkin seeds 1/4 cup (60 mL) maple syrup 1/2 tsp (2 mL) cinnamon 1/3 cup (80 mL) unsweetened shredded coconut 1/3 cup (80 mL) dried cherries, cranberries, blueberries, or goji berries 1/3 cup (80 mL) dried pitted prunes, chopped

In skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add pecans, almonds, and pumpkin seeds. Cook 3 minutes, stirring regularly. Add maple syrup and cinnamon to skillet, and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Toss in coconut and stir well. Remove from heat and place maple mixture in bowl to cool. Stir in cherries or other dried fruits and prunes; mix well. Makes 6 servings. Each serving contains: 321 calories; 6 g protein; 24 g total fat (8 g sat. fat,

Keep energy bars in a pocket close to your body to prevent them from becoming rock hard.

Keep liquids liquid

Avoid frozen water bottles by filling leak-proof bottles with very hot water before leaving home. Ice forms on top, so carry bottles upside down to prevent the opening from freezing over. The more space liquid has to move in the bottle, the better—moving water is less likely to freeze. Leave some of the bottle empty, and place it close to your body to keep water liquid. Insulated covers designed especially for water bottles or a Thermos will also hinder the deep freeze. Consider purchasing a hydration pack specially designed to withstand subzero temps. A caveat: remember to blow the water back into the bag. If you leave it in the tube it will freeze quickly and block the tube.

Be a green skier

Use reusable food containers and cutlery. Easy-to-pack, foldable bowls and cups such as those from Orikaso ( are very handy in the backcountry. Look for them at most outdoors shops. Use cloth napkins instead of paper. Leave only ski prints; pack out everything you pack in.


Follow your excursion with a nutrition-packed meal. A post-ski repast should contain a healthy amount of carbohydrates to replace energy stores and protein to mend worn muscles.

0 g trans fat); 27 g carbohydrates; 5 g fibre; 6 mg sodium 107

food Squash and Banana Soup

Each spoonful of this sumptuous soup will warm your bones. Add a pinch of cayenne if you like it hot. 1 ripe banana, unpeeled 1 butternut squash, peeled, cut in cubes (about 4 to 5 cups or 1 to 1.25 L)

Cashew Chili

Comfort food for a howling winter day; every bite is teeming with nutrients.

1/4 cup (60 mL) butter 2 Tbsp (30 mL) each brown sugar and honey

1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

1 tsp (5 mL) curry powder

2 celery stalks, chopped

1/2 tsp (2 mL) cinnamon

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 tsp (1 mL) nutmeg

1 tsp (5 mL) dried basil or oregano

1 cup (250 mL) coconut milk

1/2 tsp (2 mL) chili powder

3 cups (750 mL) vegetable broth or water

1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin

Juice of 1 lime

1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt and ground

1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt and pepper or to taste

black pepper 1 - 16 oz (455 mL) can diced tomatoes,

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Line baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Place unpeeled banana on one end of baking sheet and place squash on rest of sheet. Cut 2 Tbsp (30 mL) of butter into tiny bits. Sprinkle on squash, along with brown sugar and honey. Cook for 20 minutes; remove banana and set aside. Stir squash and roast 10 minutes longer. Melt remaining butter in large pan on medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic, curry powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Peel banana and add it and any juices to pan. Add squash, coconut milk, and 2 cups (500 mL) of stock. Bring to boil on high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. PurĂŠe in batches in blender until smooth. Stir in remaining stock until soup reaches desired consistency; add lime juice, salt, and pepper. Store in a spill-proof insulated container. Makes 4 servings.


Hot Chocolate Protein Shake

Enjoy on the trail or afterward to help speed muscle recovery. Reduce the chili pepper if itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s too hot for you. 2 cups (500 mL) milk or unflavoured soy or hemp milk 1 red chili pepper or 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) cayenne pepper 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise 1/4 tsp (1 mL) cinnamon

1 Tbsp (15 mL) red wine vinegar

1 1/2 oz (45 mL) bittersweet chocolate

1 bay leaf

1 scoop protein powder of choice,

1/2 cup (125 mL) cashew pieces

preferably plain

1/3 cup (80 mL) raisins 1 - 15 oz (425 mL) can red kidney beans

Heat oil over medium heat in large skillet. Add onion, red pepper, and celery. Cook until onions are translucent. Stir in garlic, basil or oregano, chili powder, cumin, salt, and black pepper. Add tomatoes, vinegar, and bay leaf. Continue cooking over low heat until mixture starts to boil lightly. Stir in cashews and raisins; cook for 10 minutes over low heat. Add beans and cook for an additional 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove bay leaf and store chili in a spill-proof insulated container. Makes 4 servings.

Split red chili pepper and remove the seeds. In saucepan, heat milk, chili, vanilla, and cinnamon to simmering. Continue to simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. Grate chocolate, and whisk into the hot milk until melted. Remove chocolate mixture from heat and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain and add to blender along with protein powder. Mix until smooth and heat through again if necessary. Place in a spill-proof insulated container. Makes 2 servings. Each serving contains: 258 calories; 23 g protein; 14 g total fat (8 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 20 g carbohydrates; 4 g fibre; 263 mg sodium


Each serving contains: Each serving contains:

225 calories; 8 g protein;

376 calories; 3 g protein; 24 g total fat

6 g total fat (1g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat);

(15 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 44 g carbohydrates;

40 g carbohydrates; 8 g fibre;

4 g fibre; 430 mg sodium

651 mg sodium

108 january 2010

Matthew Kadey, MSc, RD, is an Ontariobased dietician and nutrition writer. or 109


Tasty tickerfriendly food 4 heart-healthy recipes

Timothy Hennessy, RHN, ROHP

styling Irene McGuinness

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in adult Canadians, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. The good news about heart disease is that it is largely preventable. The heart is a muscle designed to circulate blood throughout our body. Like any muscle it benefits from regular exercise. A healthy and active lifestyle will help keep the heart strong. We can also have a huge impact on our heartâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s health by choosing foods that encourage circulation, are low in unhealthy fats, and reduce the amount of cholesterol circulating in our arteries.

Important contributing factors in the French diet included lower sugar intake, more portions per week of fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, less red meat, and lower incidence of between-meal snacks. The French diet also incorporated more portions of healthy foods such as legumes, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, eaten at a more leisurely pace at mealtime.

The French factor Several years ago the popular American television show 60 Minutes ran a segment about the â&#x20AC;&#x153;French Paradox.â&#x20AC;? How was it, they wondered, that France, a nation whose inhabitants consumed a diet much higher in saturated fats, could have a lower incidence of fatalities from heart disease than North America? A moderate consumption of alcohol, especially red wine with its healthy flavonoids including resveratrol and quercitin, was singled out. Initial studies on these compounds in the diet have been promising, and there are indications these flavonoids can help reduce blood pressure, increase coronary blood flow, decrease levels of unhealthy LDL, and increase levels of healthy HDL. It makes more sense, however, to compare overall diet and lifestyle between the French and North Americans than to pin it all on a single factor such as red wine consumption.

Key foods for heart health Certain foods are useful for improving blood circulation, hot peppers, for instance. Other circulation boosters include members of the Allium family such as garlic and onions; spices such as cinnamon, ginger, and cloves; and the Brassica family, including mustard greens, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, and collards. Soluble fibre is also very important for heart health, as it binds to bile in the intestinal tract so it can be eliminated from the body through normal digestion. In order for the body to make more bile, it must take cholesterol from the bloodstream thus keeping our blood levels lower. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, and oat bran are rich in soluble fibre and research has indicated that regular daily consumption could help lower LDL cholesterol levels. Try the following recipes to up your intake of heart-healthy foods.

Baked Wild Salmon Salad with Grapefruit, Avocado, and Lemon-Ginger Dressing

This luxuriously textured salad features wild salmon, an excellent source of omega-3s. These anti-inflammatory fats can help to lower LDL levels and reduce the plaque deposits in blood vessels that contribute to heart disease. Avocado is rich in heart-healthy potassium, folate, and oleic acid, while grapefruits add vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that aids in reducing cholesterol levels. Fresh, pungent arugula greens, a member of the mustard family, provide an extra helping of folate and, along with ginger in the dressing, an added circulatory boost. 4 - 4 oz (125 g) wild salmon filets 1 Tbsp (15 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 red grapefruit, peeled and segments cut out (reserve any extra juice)

110 january 2010

1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh ginger root, grated 4 cups (1 L) fresh baby arugula 1 avocado, peeled and sliced Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Place salmon filets on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until flesh is opaque in centre of filet. Set aside and keep warm. Combine lemon juice and reserved grapefruit juice with grated ginger. In large mixing bowl, toss arugula with dressing. Divide among four plates. Place portions of avocado and grapefruit on each plate. Top with salmon filets broken into large chunks. Season to taste as desired. Serves 4. Each serving contains: 298 calories; 8 g protein; 10 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 12 g carbohydrates; 5 g fibre; 22 mg sodium 111


steamed brassicas with Mustard, Capers, and Carrot

This recipe combines fibre-rich brassicas, including broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, with circulation-boosting mustard and heart-healthy extra-virgin olive oil. Steaming is a healthy and quick cooking method that preserves vitamin and mineral content in the vegetables. 1 carrot, coarsely grated 1 Tbsp (15 mL) Dijon mustard 1 Tbsp (15 mL) capers, chopped 1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil 1 tsp (5 mL) sherry vinegar 1 cup (250 mL) each small broccoli and cauliflower florets

Chickpeas with Sautéed Kale and Tapenade Sauce

This fast and satisfying recipe combines nutrient-rich green kale (which can help inhibit the transport of LDL to the bloodstream) with creamy-textured chickpeas, a healthy source of fibre and protein. Studies have shown consumption of legumes can reduce cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Tapenade is a purée of garlic, capers, and olives with a rich, salty flavour. Olives are an excellent source of healthy monounsaturated fats, while garlic is a nutritional powerhouse with proven ability to fight heart disease.

1/2 cup (125 mL) each red and white cabbage, shredded 1 cup (250 mL) Brussels sprout leaves

1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

4 cups (1 L) fresh kale leaves, washed and chopped coarsely 2 cups (500 mL) canned organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Combine first five ingredients in medium mixing bowl. Place broccoli and cauliflower florets on bamboo steamer rack. Put shredded cabbage on separate steamer rack, on top of first rack. Place racks over pan filled with an inch or two of lightly boiling water and cover top steamer rack with lid. Steam 4 to 5 minutes until veggies are slightly tender yet still crisp. Add Brussels sprout leaves to top steamer rack, and cook for 1 minute Add vegetables to ingredients in mixing bowl and gently combine. Season to taste as desired. Serves 4.

1 pinch hot red pepper flakes 1/2 cup (125 mL) tapenade Salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in medium-sized skillet on medium heat. Add kale, season to taste, and sauté 5 to10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and add chickpeas, red pepper flakes, and tapenade. Mix well until warmed through and serve. Serves 4. Each serving contains: 225 calories; 8 g protein; 7 g total fat (1 g sat. fat,

Each serving contains: 101 calories; 2.6 g protein; 6.6 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 9.6 g carbohydrates; 3.1 g fibre; 143 mg sodium 112 january 2010

0 g trans fat); 35 g carbohydrates; 7 g fibre, 532 mg sodium

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Some key heart-healthy foods that boost circulation include hot peppers, garlic, onions, broccoli, kale, and collards.â&#x20AC;? 113


â&#x20AC;&#x153;Foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and oat bran are rich in soluble fibre which, consumed daily, can help lower LDL cholesterol levels.â&#x20AC;? Brown Rice with Spicy Marinated Tofu and Chinese Broccoli

Combining the fibre-rich benefits of a whole grain such as brown rice with tofu, a good source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and minerals, is a heartsmart combination. The marinade lends a spicy element of circulation-boosting chili and ginger that livens up this dish. Add in a portion of sesame seeds toasted in a pan (rich in cholesterol-lowering phytosterols) and your tastebuds will be as pleased as your heart! Steamed gai lan (Chinese broccoli) with a splash of organic tamari sauce makes a wonderful complement to this dish. 12 oz (350 g) organic firm tofu, drained 1 in (2.5 cm) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and diced 1 Tbsp (15 mL) hot chili sauce 2 Tbsp (30 mL) tamari sauce 1 Tbsp (15 mL) sesame oil 2 bunches gai lan, washed, ends trimmed, thick part of stem peeled 1/4 cup (60 mL) sesame seeds, lightly toasted over medium heat until fragrant 1 cup (250 mL) cooked brown rice

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Cut tofu into 1/2 inch (1.25 cm)cubes. Place in dish with ginger, chili sauce, and 1 Tbsp (15 mL) tamari; mix well and let sit for 15 minutes. 114 january 2010

Place tofu on parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, turning occasionally. Bring pan of water to boil, place gai lan in steamer basket, and cook, covered, for 5 minutes until tender yet still crisp. Stir toasted sesame seeds into rice. Divide among 4 plates and top with tofu and gai lan. Drizzle with remaining tamari sauce and serve. Serves 4.

Each serving contains: 281 calories; 14 g protein; 16 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 25 g carbohydrates; 8 g fibre, 522 mg sodium


Timothy Hennessy, RHN, ROHP, is a Kingston, Ontario-based chef and frequent contributor to alive.

food headline

Winter vegetables Enjoy them while they’re here The case for eating more fruits and vegetables gets stronger almost daily. Research suggests that eating more of these gifts from Mother Nature can help lower your bad cholesterol, help maintain healthy blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and strengthen your immune system.

Adding a vegetable soup or salad to either your lunch or main meal is a great way to increase your consumption of those all-important, nutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables.

Mairlyn Smith

By replacing higher calorie foods with naturally lower calorie fruits and veggies you can even lose weight without feeling deprived. Winter can appear to be fairly bleak in the produce aisles, but by choosing abundant local in-season root vegetables, squashes, cabbages, and apples you’ll save money, support your local farmers, and reduce your carbon footprint.

Changing the constellation of our plates can lead to a healthier weight and a slimmer tummy by • increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables we eat • reducing the amount of animal protein to 3 oz (75 g) per serving • limiting potatoes, pasta, and rice to 1/2 cup (125 mL) per serving

116 january 2010

alive 327 p116-121 winter veg.indd 116

11/25/09 3:51:38 PM

Roasted Shallots

A great little side dish to pop into the oven the next time you’re roasting a chicken or baking a crisp. 2 cups (500 mL) whole shallots, peeled and cut in half 2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil 2 Tbsp (30 mL) balsamic vinegar 2 Tbsp (30 mL) fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped

Roasted Parsnips and Sweet Potatoes

Turmeric is a powerful antiinflammatory and helps stimulate apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells. According to David Servan-Schreiber, MD, and author of Anticancer (Collins, 2008) a combination of turmeric and black pepper allows the turmeric to be assimilated into the body. This great combo of antioxidantrich sweet potatoes and potassium-rich parsnips with the added goodness of turmeric and black pepper make these simple-tasting root vegetables exotic as well as powerfully good for you. Parsnips are an excellent source of folate and they are high in potassium, an important mineral that helps regulate blood pressure. And if that isn’t good enough, one large parsnip has a whopping 6 g of fibre.

4 cups (1 kg) parsnips, unpeeled,

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Place shallots in small metal pan lined with foil. Pour oil and vinegar over top. Sprinkle with rosemary. Cover with foil and roast for 40 minutes. Remove foil, toss shallots, and continue roasting for 15 minutes or until golden brown and soft. Makes about 1 1/2 cups (350 mL). Serves 4.

scrubbed well, and cut into chunks 4 cups (1 kg) sweet potatoes, peeled, scrubbed well, and cut into chunks

Each serving contains: 168 calories; 5 g protein; 6.8 g total fat

3 Tbsp (45 mL) extra-virgin olive oil

(1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 0.2 g fibre;

1 tsp (5 mL) turmeric

26 g carbohydrates; 16 mg sodium

1/2 tsp (2 mL) freshly cracked pepper

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Line a 9 x 13 inch (3.5 L) metal baking pan with parchment paper. In large bowl toss sweet potatoes and parsnips with oil. Sprinkle with turmeric and pepper. Toss well to coat. Place in prepared pan. Roast 1 hour or until soft. Makes about 6 cups, cooked. Each 1 cup (250 mL) serving contains: 212 calories; 3 g protein; 7 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 36 g carbohydrates; 7.3 g fibre; 64 mg sodium

Roasting vegetables in your oven during the cold winter months not only warms up your house—it warms up your soul.

Shallots are a member of the Allium family. They contain important sulphur compounds that help detoxify cancer-causing compounds before they cause havoc on your cells. 117

alive 327 p116-121 winter veg.indd 117

11/25/09 3:51:52 PM

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Nutritional Science January Ad.indd 1 alive 327 p116-121 winter veg.indd 118

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57:40 PM


Carrot Ginger Soup

This spicy carrot soup has a unique heat that comes from the combination of fresh ginger and Thai red curry paste. Choose your level of heat and either use 1 or 2 tsp of this amazing little condiment. 1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped 4 cloves garlic, diced 3 cups (750 mL) low-sodium chicken stock 1 1/2 Tbsp (22 mL) fresh ginger root, minced 4 cups (1 kg) thinly sliced carrots 1 – 14 oz (398 mL) can light coconut milk 1 to 2 tsp (5 to10 mL) Thai red curry paste 1/2 tsp (2 mL) lemon zest 1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh lemon juice 1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh cilantro, chopped

Heat medium pot over medium heat. Add oil and onion. Sauté till onion is slightly golden brown, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Pour in chicken stock. Add ginger and carrots. Bring to the boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes or until carrots are soft. Remove soup from heat. Purée soup using a hand-held immersion blender or transfer soup to a blender. Purée till smooth. Add coconut milk, curry paste, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Pulse or blend till smooth. Serve sprinkled with chopped cilantro. Makes 7 cups (1.75 L). Each 1 cup (250 mL) serving contains: 81 calories; 2.3 g protein; 3.9 g total fat

Family-Friendly Sweet Potato Soup

An all-around winner for the entire family, this sweet potato soup is slightly sweet with just a hint of spice. The addition of dried apricots makes this soup a beta carotene star, which helps stimulate your body’s immune system—a definite plus in the winter months.

(2.1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 8 g carbohydrates; 1.5 g fibre;

1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil

292 mg sodium

4 shallots, coarsely chopped

Heat medium pot over medium heat. Add oil and shallots. Sauté till shallots are slightly golden brown, about 4 minutes. Add sweet potatoes and pepper. Sauté for 2 minutes. Pour in chicken stock. Add apricots. Bring to the boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft. Remove soup from heat. Purée soup using a hand-held immersion blender or transfer soup to a blender. Purée till smooth. Serve. Makes 7 cups (1.75 L).

4 cups (1 kg) sweet potatoes, peeled and

Choose organic carrots; scrub well and leave as is. The skin contains valuable antioxidants that you don’t want to peel away.

coarsely chopped

Each 1 cup (250 mL) serving contains:

1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly cracked pepper

98 calories; 2.4 g protein; 1.9 g total fat

4 cups (1 L) low-sodium chicken stock

(0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat);

8 whole, organic, sulphite-free dried

16 g carbohydrates; 2 g fibre;


351 mg sodium 119

alive 327 p116-121 winter veg.indd 119

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Take a lesson from the pioneers’ root cellars: store root vegetables in a cool, dry place.

Winter Coleslaw

Recipe adapted from Ultimate Foods for Ultimate Health … and don’t forget the chocolate! (Whitecap, 2007) by Mairlyn Smith, PHEc, and Liz Pearson, RD. This is a great snack for after school or work; low in calories, high in flavour, it’s a wonderful way to get those extra servings of fruits and veggies into your diet. Cabbage is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables that contain potent anticancer components called indoles and isothiocyanates which can promote cancer-cell suicide. 1/2 medium purple cabbage 1/2 medium red onion 1 large apple, peel left on, scrubbed well

Dressing 1/2 cup (125 mL) apple cider vinegar 1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin oil 1 tsp (5 mL) honey

Optional bells and whistles 1/2 cup (125 mL) raw pumpkin seeds 1/2 cup (125 mL) dried cranberries 1/2 cup (125 mL) walnuts

To make your life easier, you really need to make this with a food processor. If you don’t own one, either thinly slice or grate the veggies, or ask for a food processor as a gift, or run out and buy one today. Let’s assume you own a food processor—using the thinnest slicing attachment, slice cabbage, red onion, and apple. Place sliced veggies and fruit in large bowl. Whisk together dressing ingredients: apple cider vinegar, oil, and honey; pour

over the veggies and toss well. Store in refrigerator for up to 4 days. To serve, either eat as is or add the optional bells and whistles. Makes 8 cups (2 L). Each 1 cup (250 mL) serving (without the bells and whistles) contains: 55 calories; 1 g protein; 2 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 10 g carbohydrates; 2 g fibre; 6 mg sodium


Mairlyn embraces every season along with its unique produce. This month she is serving up her favourite soul-warming root vegetable soups. 121

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11/25/09 3:52:14 PM

headline food

Are you looking for a way to breathe some life into a dull evening at home in the dead of winter? Quell the winter blahs by inviting friends and family to a game night where you can play board games, cards, or darts, and watch the competition heat up! As important as the games you play are the foods you serve. If a game night brings on memories of heartburn from salted potato chips and soft drinks, then we’ve got some delicious alternatives that will have your friends lining up to be on the invitee list. Catering a cozy game night is as much fun as playing the games. There’s nothing over the top or excessively time consuming, just great healthy grub: easy to prepare, easy to digest. Our ideas cater to three different age groups—from the youthful retiree to the Gen-Xer to kids. Your friends will want to jump on board to host their own night, but be warned: they’ll likely ask you to be the caterer. 122 january 2010

Healthy snack alternatives Irene McGuinness

Kids’ corner

Provide the kids with a variety of mini toppings that they can assemble. It’s fun and generally guarantees that they’ll eat what they make—unless they fill up on Power Balls! Mini Personal Pizzas for the Little Crowd

8 whole wheat English muffins 2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil 1 cup (250 mL) prepared pizza sauce 1 cup (250 mL) button mushrooms,

1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced 1 cup (250 mL) part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 450 F (230 C). Split muffins into halves along seams and place cut side up in a single layer on two baking sheets. Brush each muffin with a little olive oil. Spread each half with 1 Tbsp (15 mL) pizza sauce, almost to edges. Top each according to personal preferences or with equal amounts of garnishes, ending with grated cheese. Bake in bottom third of preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until muffins are crispy and cheese is melted. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Makes 8 servings.

thinly sliced 8 cherry tomatoes, sliced

Each serving (two halves) contains:

4 thin slices cooked chicken or turkey

239 calories; 11 g protein; 6.3 g fat

8 slices of vegetarian pepperoni,

(0.8 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 30 g

cut into strips

carbohydrates; 5 g fibre; 555 mg sodium 123


No-Bake Power Bars or Balls

1/2 cup (125 mL) large flake oats 1/4 cup (60 mL) unsalted raw peanuts 1/4 cup (60 mL) unsalted raw pumpkin seeds 1/4 cup (60 mL) raw sunflower seeds 1/4 cup (60 mL) flaked semi-sweet coconut 1/4 cup (60 mL) golden seedless raisins 2 Tbsp (30 mL) dried cranberries 2 Tbsp (30 mL) dark flaxseeds 1 Tbsp (15 mL) toasted sesame seeds 1 1/4 cups (300 mL) rice cereal 1 1/4 cups (300 mL) bran flakes 1/2 cup (125 mL) smooth peanut butter 1/2 cup (125 mL) liquid honey 1/3 cup (80 mL) corn syrup 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Lightly grease a 16 x 13 x 1 in (40 x 33 x 2.5 cm) metal baking pan or a large lasagna-sized pan and set aside. Combine oats, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and coconut in large shallow metal baking pan. Stir together to evenly distribute. Bake in centre of preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly golden. Remove from oven and bring to room temperature before continuing. Transfer to very large bowl. Add raisins, cranberries, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, and cereals. Stir to blend. Combine remaining 4 ingredients in small saucepan. Stir over low heat to blend. Remove and slightly cool. When peanut butter mixture has cooled, add to seeds and cereal mixture in large bowl. Stir to blend. Add a little more corn syrup if mixture isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t holding together. 124 january 2010

Transfer to prepared baking sheet and press mixture into an even layer. Use a rolling pin if needed to flatten the top. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm. Cut into bars using a pizza cutter. Alternatively, let mixture rest for 20 minutes in the refrigerator. Then, when firm enough to roll, rub hands with a little butter and roll mixture into 1 in (2.5 cm) balls. Cover and refrigerate until firm, preferably overnight. Balls or bars can be stored in the

refrigerator in a tightly covered container for several days. Makes about 60 bars or balls. Note: for a very crispy bar, bake in a 350 F (180 C) oven for 12 minutes. Each 1 1/2 in x 1 in (4 CM x 2.5 cm) bar or 1 in (2.5 cm) ball contains: 44 calories; 1 g protein; 1.8 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 7.3 g carbohydrates; 0.6 g fibre; 22 mg sodium

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The Gen-Xer

The Gen-Xer would likely opt for a vegetarian entrĂŠe such as our Roasted Red Pepper Ratatouille. The sauciness is great with coarse bread for dipping. For added protein stir in some drained, canned chick peas and heat through.

Roasted Pepper Ratatouille

1 large sweet onion, chopped 6 large garlic cloves, peeled 2 red bell peppers, seeded and julienned 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and julienned 1 green bell pepper, seeded and julienned 1/3 cup (80 mL) extra-virgin olive oil Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 lb (450 g) unpeeled eggplant, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch (1 cm) chunks 2 - 10 in (25 cm) zucchinis, coarsely chopped 1/2 cup (125 mL) vegetable stock or tomato juice (optional) 1 - 28 oz (796 mL) can diced tomatoes, including juice 1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh basil, chopped 1/2 tsp (2 mL) crushed red peppers 1/2 tsp (2 mL) fennel seed, crushed 1 cup (250 mL) feta, crumbled Arugula leaves

Preheat oven to 500 F (260 C). Position oven rack on top level. Lightly oil large baking sheet and set aside. Combine onion, garlic, and peppers in large bowl. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil and sprinkle with a little sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss to coat evenly and spread out in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake on top rack in preheated oven 126 january 2010

for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally for even roasting. (Be careful when opening the oven, as escaping steam from the roasting vegetables can scald.) Meanwhile, to release some of the bitter juices from the eggplant, toss with salt and place in a sieve. Cover sieve with a plate just small enough to fit snugly inside sieve. Place a weight on top, such as a 28 oz (796 mL) can of tomatoes. Set in sink to drain for 30 minutes. Remove plate. Rinse eggplant with cold running water and pat cubes dry with paper towels. Place in large, heavy saucepan along with oven-roasted vegetables, zucchini, stock, tomatoes, and seasonings. Cover.

Simmer over medium-low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until vegetables are done as you like. Serve immediately, or cool, cover, and refrigerate overnight for flavours to blend. Excellent served hot or cold with crumbled feta and fresh arugula. Can be refrigerated for several days. Enjoy with crisp toasted slices of whole wheat baguette. Serves 10. Each serving contains: 174 calories; 2.8 g protein; 11.6 g total fat (3.4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 11 g carbohydrates; 3 g fibre; 309 mg sodium

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The youthful retiree

For the youthful retirees in your group, prepare appetizers that beat the blahs and spice up the evening.

Eggplant Dip with Veggies

2 medium eggplants, about 1 1/2 to 2 lb (750 g to 1 kg) 1/4 cup (60 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice 1/4 cup (60 mL) tahini paste* 2 tsp (10 mL) toasted sesame seed oil 1 tsp (5 mL) light soy sauce 2 garlic cloves, very finely minced 1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh parsley, finely minced, + 1 Tbsp (15 mL) for garnish 3 whole green onions, finely minced, about 1/4 cup (60 mL) 1 tsp (5 mL) salt Freshly ground black pepper 1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil

*Tahini paste is a ground sesame seed paste found in a jar in the ethnic section of your grocery store. Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Slice stem ends from eggplants and prick eggplants all over with a fork. Place directly on oven rack and roast slowly in the oven until completely pooped, about 45 minutes. When sagging, wrinkled, and totally soft, you’ll know they’re ready. Remove very carefully from oven and wait until cool enough to handle. Alternatively, place eggplant on 128 january 2010

greased barbecue grill and grill, covered, over medium-high heat for 30 minutes. Turn several times with tongs until charred all over and pooped. Cut eggplants in half and scoop out the insides. Place in large bowl and mash with large fork until no longer chunky. Add remaining ingredients, except olive oil and 1 Tbsp (15 mL) minced parsley reserved for garnish. Blend together until it’s as smooth as you like. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Can be refrigerated overnight. Add more salt

and pepper to taste, if you wish. Just before serving, drizzle with 1 Tbsp (15 mL) of olive oil and sprinkle with remaining parsley. Serve with lots of crisp veggies such as broccoli florets, carrot curls, cucumber, bell pepper strips, and cubes of whole wheat baguette. Makes 2 cups (500 mL). Each 1 Tbsp (15 mL) of dip contains: 40 calories; 0.85 g protein; 7.5 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 0 g carbohydrates; 0.5 g fibre; 19.5 mg sodium

Baked Spinach and Potato Samosas

2 large potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch (1 cm) cubes, about 2 cups (500 mL) 1 Tbsp (15 mL) grapeseed oil 1/2 small onion, minced 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced 2 tsp (10 mL) grated ginger root 1 Tbsp (15 mL) curry paste 1/4 tsp (1 mL) each of ground cumin and salt 10 oz (300 g) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed 1/2 cup (125 mL) frozen peas, thawed 2 Tbsp (30 mL) cilantro, finely chopped 12 - 10 inch (25 cm) pesto or jalapeno flavoured flour tortillas Paprika Mango chutney (optional)

stir into onion mixture along with potatoes and peas. Fold in cilantro. Taste and add more salt if you wish. You should have about 3 cups (750 mL) of filling. Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut flour tortillas in half. Run half a tortilla through a shallow dish with water. Place on flat surface. Put 2 Tbsp (30 mL) filling near end of tortilla and roll up into a cone. Tuck in the bottom end and gently press seams together. Place seam side down on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortilla halves. Samosas can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight, if you wish. To bake, place samosas in middle of preheated oven and bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Dust samosas with paprika and serve with mango chutney and plain yogourt for dipping. Makes about 24 large samosas. a

Plain yogourt (optional) Each samosa contains:

Cook potatoes in pot of boiling salted water just until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain and allow to dry. Meanwhile, heat oil in skillet. Add onion, garlic, jalapeno pepper, and ginger; sautĂŠ just until onion is soft. Remove from heat and stir in curry paste, cumin, and salt. Squeeze as much liquid from spinach as you can, and

100 calories; 2.5 g protein; 2.1 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 6.3 g carbohydrates; 1.7 g fibre; 232 mg sodium 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. 129

company profile

Nature’s Way Natural through and through Tom Murdock, original founder of Nature’s Way, had no idea that he was about to create a successful company when he set out on a quest to keep his wife alive. She was gravely ill and he had exhausted every medical means available. Just when Murdock thought there was no hope for his wife’s recovery, he began to study how Native Americans used plants from the Arizona desert for their medicinal needs. Murdock began creating natural remedies for his wife. Not only did she become stronger with each passing day, she also lived an additional 25 years past her original prognosis. Word of Murdock’s success soon spread, and he quickly assembled a research team to find out exactly what was in the plants that acted so effectively. The newly formed Nature’s Way company started with eight products that were crude in their formulation, packaging, and marketing when compared to modern standards. Nevertheless, they became the model for what we know as the herbal supplement industry in North America today. Exciting changes These are exciting times for Nature’s Way. In October 2008, Schwabe Pharmaceuticals, one of the largest producers of phytomedicines in the world, acquired Enzymatic Therapy and Integrative Therapeutics, joining 130 january 2010

Nature’s Way as an integrated company in North America. Randy Rose, president and CEO of Schwabe North America, assures Nature’s Way fans that they won’t be seeing any changes to the product line whatsoever. “Nature’s Way will continue as it has in the past. It will merely become a more efficient operating platform that will make our products even more accessible to retailers and consumers.”

“Our newest product, Fortify, is the highest potency, most shelf-stable probiotic on the market right now.” Exciting products Cold and flu season is well underway and Nature’s Way has a variety of effective products to keep symptoms manageable. “Our well-known cold care brand, Umcka, is available in a new liquid sugar-free grape flavour and our Umcka chewables come in berry, cherry, orange, and mint-menthol varieties,” says Rose. “Our cough and cold products are clinically certified to shorten the duration and severity of cough, congestion, and sore throat symptoms.”

“Probiotics is an area that is really growing in consumer awareness and interest,” says Rose. “Our newest product, Fortify, is the highest potency, most shelf-stable probiotic on the market right now. Its unique packaging is one of the ways we’re able to preserve the product without refrigeration. The probiotic cultures are guaranteed at 8 billion plus!” Nature’s Way is also a leader when it comes to whole food supplements. Completia (called Alive in the US) is a whole food energizer built on a rice and pea protein base. Available in shake, effervescent, caps, liquid, or tablet form, Completia is a complete mix of superfoods that you can take in one go, saving both time and money. Nature’s Way has made incredible progress since its humble beginnings in 1969. It boasts over 500 premium nutritional and natural products and offers its customers a variety of herbs and herbal extracts, and a full line of vitamin, mineral, and homeopathic products. You can’t miss Nature’s Way quality products on your local health food retailer’s shelves. Just look for the trusted green leaf on the label. a


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featuring tasty non-vegetarian and vegetarian recipes for people with food allergies and food intolerances By Shirley Plant General Store Publishing House, 20 08, 237 pages, $30 ISBN: 978 -1- 897113 -56 -1

Reviewed by Renee Blackstone

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With the happy sounds of champagne corks popping, the New Year often brings hopes for a better, healthier you. For people with food allergies or sensitivies, resolving to stay healthy becomes even more critical because what’s on the plate can launch reactions that can range from mildly uncomfortable to seriously life-threatening. If you have a single food allergy or sensitivity, it’s relatively easy to avoid the offending substance. But imagine not being able to eat eggs, dairy, wheat, and refined sugar because of allergies and other health problems. That was the depressing

photo credits index Photos copyright: Shutterstock—cover, pages 21, 33, 38-41, 42, 46, 50-53, 55, 57, 58-59, 70, 73, 75, 106

Contributing photographer: Scott Yavis— pages 60-69, 76-87

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Sign up at for our free newsletter and you could win a copy of this book! menu killer that 15 years ago faced Shirley Plant, author of Finally … Food I Can Eat!. Plant, an Ottawa dietary consultant and personal chef who specializes in creating dishes for those with dietary sensitivities, spent years after her diagnosis munching on dry, tasteless rice cakes and muffins. “It certainly is no fun when you cannot eat your own birthday cake because you’re allergic to all its ingredients,” says Plant. After six years of extensive research on food allergies and sensitivities, together with constant experimentation in the kitchen, Plant has come up with a multifunctional book. Finally … Food I Can Eat! is a useful reference on natural food chemicals and commercial food additives that can trigger allergies. It’s a guide to help determine which foods you’re sensitive to, along with a helpful list of substitute ingredients. It’s also a cookbook with more than 140 recipes. Here you’ll find enough to keep you allergy-free and happily satisfied from breakfast to dessert and everything in between, including salads, soups, main dishes, and snacks. Each recipe notes the offending foods that are omitted, so it’s easy to see what suits your own dietary profile. Once you figure out which foods to avoid, the Allergen Avoidance Index chart at the back of the book tells you, at a glance, what each recipe does and does not contain, from wheat and yeast, to eggs and gluten, to nuts and soy. This makes menu planning a breeze. So, go ahead. Make that resolution to have your cake—and eat it, too! a Renee Blackstone is a freelance food writer who feels grateful she can eat most things.

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on Weight loss for the New Year Make 2010 a time of improved health

If your latest health resolution is to lose a few pounds, there are supplements or natural remedies that can help you achieve your goal. Here are a few guaranteed favourites for 2010.

134 january 2010


Hoodia extract

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a naturally occurring fatty acid and a promising dietary aid. In a 2007 study, 49 overweight but healthy adults who took 3 g of CLA a day for six months lost body fat and gained less weight during the holiday season compared to those who took a placebo. These findings echo other study results showing CLA to be helpful in promoting fat loss, even without diet and exercise changes.

African hunters have for thousands of years consumed hoodia plants to prevent hunger and thirst on long, food-finding trips. A 2004 animal study indicated that hoodia can suppress appetite by sending signals to the brain that the body is satiated. A second study published in the journal Phytochemistry (2007) supported this finding. The results of large, peerreviewed, human clinical trials are anticipated due to this encouraging preliminary data.

Turn over a new leaf— enjoy a cup of white tea. Research shows that it inhibits the production of fat cells while promoting healthy teeth and gums and stimulating bone formation.

Yerba maté Yerba maté, another popular ingredient in weight loss support, is indigenous to Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay. Commonly consumed as a tropical beverage in South America, its traditional use in combatting fatigue is in part due to its caffeine content. This caffeine also contributes to a thermogenic effect that, in studies, has proven helpful in weight loss. Yerba maté is also a source of health-enhancing potassium, magnesium, and manganese.

White tea extract In a study published in the online journal Nutrition and Metabolism (2009), researchers revealed that an extract of white tea effectively inhibits the creation of new adipocytes (fat cells) and stimulates fat mobilization from

mature fat cells. Potential anti-obesity effects of white tea have already been demonstrated in previous studies. White tea, which is unprocessed, contains high levels of catechins, which have been shown to reduce plaque in the arteries.

Gymnema sylvestre Gymnema is an Ayurvedic herb that has been documented to help balance blood sugar levels as well as to reduce sweet cravings by modulating taste. Combined with other ingredients such as Garcinia cambogia and chromium (also for balancing blood sugar levels), this herb is emerging as a weight-balancing superstar in clinical studies. Using these suggestions and asking for additional information at your local health food store can make 2010 your year for improved health and weight loss!

a 135

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Ionic Multi-Minerals 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: 800-463-0420

Margo Alive—Watch your hair grow Control hair loss and thinning hair caused by harmful follicle plugs that harden the scalp and hamper blood circulation to the root system. Margo Alive cleansing and nourishing system is a natural herbal choice! Men and Women! Maintain scalp cleansed and stimulated … And watch your hair grow!; 800-667-1022.

02 All-in-one weight loss All new REDUCE 7 helps you stick to your diet 7 ways. REDUCE 7 combines 7 of the most effective and clinically proven ingredient systems into one capsule. REDUCE 7 has taken the guessing game out of the equation by combining an all-in-one supplement in proven clinical dosages to support effective healthy weight loss.; 800-667-2011

136 january 2010

04 Meet Cleanwell. And say goodbye to germs naturally. CleanWell is an all-natural line of hand sanitizers, wipes, and soaps that eliminates 99.9 percent of germs and bacteria that spread from person to person but leaves out all the harmful chemicals and alcohol. CleanWell is a kid safe and earth friendly formula. Proven effective against MRSA, E-coli, and Salmonella. Learn more at

06 PGX Daily: Will change your life, even if you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t


Research has shown that taking PGX with food can reduce a mealâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s glycemic index by up to 50 percent, contributing to healthy blood sugar levels and improved insulin sensitivity. Incorporating PGX Daily into your diet can help you lose weight safely and gradually, even if you are not ready to make other positive diet and lifestyle changes.; 800-663-8900


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Slimmer System is a unique combination of the most effective weight-loss nutrients which work synergistically to help curb appetite; burn fat; and increase metabolism, lean muscle, and energy. Slimmer System contains 525 mg of pure EGCG, which increases metabolism, helps burn fat, reduces appetite, and has been proven effective in preventing breast, lung, mouth, stomach, and prostate diseases. 137


08 Sambucus Flu Care With the cold and flu season in full swing, arm yourself and your family with Sambucus Flu Care. Scientific studies have proven its effectiveness; Sambucus reduces the severity of symptoms, boosts immunity, and shortens the duration of influenza A and B. Nature’s Way™ Sambucus contains standardized black elderberry with no preservatives or artificial colourants. Available in Original or Sugar-Free Syrup.; 905-470-1069



Vega Complete Whole Food Health Optimizer

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The ancient seed, Salba, offers one of the richest plant-based sources of omega-3, fibre, and antioxidants found in nature. Clinical studies suggest Salba can boost energy levels, reduce blood pressure, improve heart health, promote balanced blood sugar by reducing glycemic response by up to 40 percent, support healthy weight management, and ease digestion. NonGMO and gluten-free.

10 SBT Seabuckthorn SBT Seabuckthorn is one of the most powerful natural sources of anti-inflammatories and antioxidants. This superfruit also contains omega-3, omega-6, omega-7, and omega-9. The bioactive compounds in our 100 percent pure nutritional products are the same bioactive compounds that you find in our skin care products. Super natural nutrition within and without.; 1-877-767-6101

138 january 2010

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GI-Pro™ Gastrointestinal provides relief from the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and indigestion. It works with the liver, gallbladder, stomach, pancreas, intestinal tract, and colon to improve the digestion process, settle the stomach, soothe the gastrointestinal tract, and help repair the intestinal lining. Contains L-glutamine, quercetin, artichoke leaf, angelica archangelica, bromelain, turmeric, and peppermint. For detailed information and to save $3:; 888-226-7733

ImmunExtra® is derived from Proligna®, a patented pinecone extract that supports and optimizes immune health. Proligna® has more than 20 years of positive human experience and published research on its benefits and is now available in a once-a-day vegicap as ImmunExtra®. This product is now available in Canada through Albi Naturals. Please visit for complete details and scientific data.

14 Plant Digestive Enzymes Plant Digestive Enzymes give your body what it needs to absorb more vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and healthy fats from the foods you eat. When foods are cooked and processed, natural plant enzymes are destroyed. Plant Digestive Enzymes help digest proteins, sugars, fibres, carbs, and lipids and converts food into energy rapidly. It prevents heartburn, gas, and indigestion and is perfect for vegetarian diets. 139




ENzymatic Therapy End Pain™ This formula contains highly effective, clinically studied ingredients to help you get back to your daily activities. End Pain™ combines a unique triple-action herbal blend of cherry fruit extract, boswellia, and white willow bark, which provides soothing comfort to energize you. Research shows you get immediate benefits that improve with continued use. For the relief of occasional muscle pain.; 800-663-3414


17 greens+ bone builder


A new study at the University of Toronto has shown that greens+ bone builder, a synergistic blend of bone-building antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals in a base of greens+, effectively stimulates the osteoblast (bone-forming) cells to stimulate bone growth in culture— up to 1,000-fold increase in the area of mineralized bone nodule growth versus control. Calcium alone only stimulated new growth area 250fold.



Be radiant

New Chapter’s Lycopom, a whole food blend of tomato, pomegranate, sea buckthorn, rosehip, rosemary, marigold, saffron, and turmeric, provides a powerful daily strategy to support cardiovascular, breast, and prostate health. One capsule delivers the equivalent of 15 whole pomegranates and is the highest source of naturally occurring punicalagins and lycopene as part of a symphony of nutrients as opposed to a single, isolated compound.

Feel alive, awake, and at the highest expression of vibrancy at any age with Flor•Essence: eight cleansing and rejuvenating herbs that work in harmony with your body to clear away toxins from cells, tissues, and organs. Experience more energy, a brighter complexion, deeper sleep, and improved digestion. Use Flor•Essence every day for deep, whole-body cleansing. Now available in 941 ml bottle.; 888-436-6697.

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Canada’s natural health and wellness magazine

Looking Ahead february 2010

We’re in the home stretch of winter and, in the February 2010 issue of alive, we’re celebrating matters of the heart—and the Olympics. In the next issue, we’ll tell you all about how to love your heart and keep it healthy—even following a heart attack—and explore the nature and many stages of love and relationships. And if you find yourself glued to your set watching the winter Olympics, dreaming about podium success, you can later turn to your February 2010 issue of alive to find out how to turn that dream into your own reality with exercises to unleash your inner athlete. We’ll also tell you about 10 mood-lifting foods perfect for shedding some of those midwinter blahs and offer you recipes for a love-inspiring meal for two—from sensuous appetizer to delectable dessert.

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alive 327 p143- looking ahead.indd 142

11/25/09 4:03:42 PM

Canada’s natural health and wellness magazine

Looking Ahead february 2010

We’re in the home stretch of winter and, in the February 2010 issue of alive, we’re celebrating matters of the heart—and the Olympics. In the next issue, we’ll tell you all about how to love your heart and keep it healthy—even following a heart attack—and explore the nature and many stages of love and relationships. And if you find yourself glued to your set watching the winter Olympics, dreaming about podium success, you can later turn to your February 2010 issue of alive to find out how to turn that dream into your own reality with exercises to unleash your inner athlete. We’ll also tell you about 10 mood-lifting foods perfect for shedding some of those midwinter blahs and offer you recipes for a love-inspiring meal for two—from sensuous appetizer to delectable dessert.

Visit for exclusive articles every month. 143

alive 327 p143- looking ahead.indd 143

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The following guidelines alllathers Please enclose the following with ENJOY smoother feelingapply waterfor that and rinses classified ads: your ad submission for our review off easier. Eliminate limescale deposits on sinks, faucets purposes: Our classifieds advertisers must not and shower compete with heads. health food stores’ 1. Catalogues, books, etc., if these sales under any circumstances. are offered for sale NO SALT, chemicals, plumbing or maintenance. Advertisements for Multi-level 2. Full curriculum, brochure, or Marketing and Direct Marketers are pamphlet outlining details of Lower water heating bills. not acceptable. Likewise, website courses, ­services, or therapies, advertisements offering ­supplements, DEALERS WANTED. for educational institutions, spas, vitamins, or any products available retreats, clinics, and practitioners in 1.800.387.1743 health food stores will not be • 3. Detailed product information for accepted. products being offered Classified Rates: Advertisements for therapeutic 1. Word Ads: $4.25 per word with a treatments areand limited to licensed, Health Services Health Wellness minimum charge of $85.00 (plus scientifically proven methods (e.g., 5% GST in Canada). Registered Massage Therapist, • Name, street address, tel/fax Chiropractor, etc.). numbers are counted as five Please Note: Every effort is made to words. ensure that typographical errors are 2. Boxed Ads: $180.00 minimum not made; however, alive magazine charge (plus 5% GST in Canada) is Water not liable in the event thatisthey Revitalization the do occur. • Larger type, logo, and black & restoration the physical white photos available in boxed Deadlines are asof follows: ads January 6, 2010offor the March 2010 properties spring water. • 1-inch min., 2-column max. issue #329 3. Coloured ads: One colour (same February 2, 2010 for the April 2010 as heading) may be added for an issue #330 additional $60.00 March 3, 2009 for the May 2010 Prepayment for ads is required. issue #331 Visa/MasterCard accepted. Please email inquiries to All advertisements subject to final or call approval. 1-800-663-6580 ext 615.

• For healthy, fresh, pleasantly soft water 145 • Better taste and absorption • Refreshing effect (shower and bath)

The latest word… on the newest research


Bisphenol A (BPA) is now being linked to aggressive behaviour in young girls whose mothers were exposed to it during pregnancy. Results of the study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives suggest that “if a woman is exposed to BPA early in her pregnancy, development of the baby’s nervous system might be adversely affected.”

In a recent US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) survey, one in nine respondents reported never getting enough sleep. The CDC issued a wake-up call for health care practitioners to routinely ask their patients about sleep routines given the association with “numerous physical and mental health problems, injury, loss of productivity, and mortality.”

Wolfing down food could make us fat. New research demonstrates there is a physiological process that signals satiety (fullness). In the study, participants who ate slowly had significantly higher levels of two satietysignalling peptides—YY (PYY) and glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1)—than those who ate quickly.


Fast vs slow

146 january 2010

1 in 9

0 gain Consider this new research before accepting that new job promotion: Any gains made by a higher salary and flexible schedule may be cancelled out by the increased stress levels that accompany that high-powered position. In a survey of 1,800 American adults, those in positions of authority reported significantly higher levels of interpersonal conflict at work, and work was much more likely to impact family and leisure time.

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alive #327, January 2010  

The annual alive awards issue.

alive #327, January 2010  

The annual alive awards issue.