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Family Health & Life Premiere Issue Inside This Issue

Say Yes to

ISSN 1920-8855 May 2010


Aromatherapy Secrets Revealed

How Safe is Your Food ? Quinoa Supercharge Your Life and more......

April 2010

PM 42007514


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April 2010

April 2010


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April 2010

Family Health & Life Magazine Issue 1, Vol 1 May 2010

Welcome to Family Health & Life

Editors Note

Published by Agnitio Media Corporation Toronto Airport Corporate Centre 2680 Matherson Blvd., Suite #102, Mississauga, Ontario L4W 0A5

Dear Reader, I am extremely pleased to announce the launch of the Premiere Issue of Family Health & Life magazine. It has been quite an exciting task, right from conceptualizing the magazine to getting it together. As magazine readers we come across so many publications and its hard to keep track of what makes sense and what not. With FHL magazine our goal is to have a magazine that will be enjoyed by readers and at the same time spread the message of healthy living throughout our community. Our feature story in this issue is about how one woman from Brampton has changed the lives of hundreds of other people. A cancer survivor and a mother of two, her efforts to create a support group for cancer patients and their families is making a huge difference in the community. In addition, this Premier Issue of Family Health & Life has special sections on Yoga, Food Safety, Aromatherapy, Healthy Feet and much more. You can also join us on twitter and Facebook and stay in tune with what is coming up in our future issues. Visit our web site for more details. We all at Family Health & Life would love to hear your comments, suggestions and ideas that would help us make the magazine better ! Happy Reading & Healthy Living !

Tel : 905-486-0197 Publisher & Editor in Chief Ian Khan Creative Director Sabeen Syed Contributors Rayna Taylor, Melissa Reynolds, Victoria Anisman-Reiner, Diana Petrna, Alan Pereira, Sarah Maughan, Nancy Lowther, Guy Letts, Gurusevak Kasbia, Ashley Hain, Kendra Fleming, Christina Carew, Clint Ali ISSN 1920-8855 Circulation for Premiere Issue 5000 copies Controlled Letters to the Editor Advertising Inquiries

Ian Khan Publisher & Editor in Chief

Notice Agnitio Media Corporation and the people associated with it take no responsibility for any claims made by the advertisers & do not endorse any products or services advertised. The publisher takes no responsibility for any content that is published in this magazine. All articles are purely the opinion of the writers. No part of this publication may be reproduced in all or in part, without written permission from the publisher Canada Post Publications Agreement No 42007514

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in this issue Feature Story

Above & Beyond

Page 7

One womans true story of surviving Cancer and how she is helping others cope with the deadly killer

Health & Fitness Healthy Feet - Healthy Body

Page 9

Say Yes to Yoga Page 15 spring cleansing your body for better health

Page 22


Aromatherapy Secrets Revealed

Page 18

Page 23 Buying a Home in 2010 ? Page 24

Do you need a life coach ?

things to know before making the big decision Stretch your way into a healthy pregnancy

Page 26

Healthy Eating

How Safe is Your Food ? Page 13 Food safety and why it should be maintained

Supercharge Your Life Page 21 exploring different food types and their benefits

Quinoa-Exploring Superfoods Page 28 Family Health & Life |6

April 2010


FIGHTING CANCER One Mothers True Story of Fighting Cancer and How She Is Helping Others I thought it was the end for me. All I could see was my funeral. When the doctor told me I had cancer, it was like receiving a death sentence.” Nelia Junipero was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in January, 2002. The initial shock sent her reeling. “Cancer was not at all what I expected. All hope was lost.” she says. But that was eight years ago. The Nelia Junipero of today wouldn’t recognize that woman now. Words like “the end” and “hopelessness” are no longer welcome in her vocabulary. Nellie’s is a story of survival that goes above and beyond. Now, she fights with others, in their battle, and helps them believe in themselves. Her incredible positivity is the driving force behind Circle of Hope, a cancer support group in the greater Toronto area. What began with three friends sharing stories around a kitchen table, snowballed into something much bigger than Nelia could have ever imagined. Brampton native, Nelia Junipero, or Nellie, as she has come to be known amongst her friends, resides just north of the city, in quaint and quiet Caledon. She shares a bright, airy home with her supportive husband and their two vivacious young daughters. And by day, the basement of their home doubles as a spa, of which Nellie is the proud owner April 2010

and operator. With her business booming, Nellie is in the midst of moving the spa to a new, hip, downtown Brampton location, set to open this summer. With her hands full, juggling family and business, Nellie still has time, and energy, for her ever-growing cancer support group, Circle of Hope, based in Brampton. It all started over eight years ago, when her life was turned upside down at the news of cancer. In December, 2001, Nellie developed an abnormal cough that gave her two weeks of sleepless nights. When she consulted a doctor, a lump was discovered in her neck, but a biopsy revealed it was a benign cyst. A routine

lumpectomy was scheduled, but not sensing any real urgency, Nellie pushed the surgery back, until after Christmas. “I wasn’t prepared for cancer. It was

By Rayna Taylor

the furthest thing from my mind. I just thought I had a cyst,” says Junipero. After the surgery, the pathology report uncovered that Nellie had thyroid cancer. She remembers being in complete shock. “I was sitting in the doctor’s office all alone. I didn’t bring anyone with me. I thought it was a routine follow-up,” she says. “I didn’t even know what type of cancer I had. I just heard him say cancer.” Nellie was spinning. Her eldest daughter, Brittany, was only three years old at the time, and Corinne was just 18 months. Any future with her daughters seemed to disappear and all she could see was death. “You know when someone dies, and all the family gets together at someone’s house to mourn,” she asks, theoretically.

“Well, when I was diagnosed, all of my family came over and I felt like I was witnessing my own death, but I was alive.”


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took a few days for the news to sink in and the fire within her to push her to fight. Some of her faith was restored when Nellie met with Dr. Irish, an oncologist in Toronto. “He told me thyroid cancer was curable. For the first time, I had hope again.” she says. “I’ll never forget that feeling. I felt like I was drowning and he pulled me up.” The years that followed weren’t an easy fight. Nellie required two thyroid dissection surgeries, and was still forced to undergo radioactive iodine treatment, two years in a row. After a grueling two years, Nellie was completely cleared of all cancer. In the first year of Nellie’s battle, one of her spa clients was also diagnosed with thyroid cancer, Diana Le Piane, and then only 22 years old. Le Piane remembers being so scared and so young; she didn’t think this could ever happen to her. “A few days after my dissection surgery, Nellie and her friend who also had thyroid cancer, showed up at my house with a chocolate cake,” she recollects with a smile. “Nellie was always a support for me. I’d ask her about doctors, treatments, and what should I be doing next.” Diana recalls how it all just went from there, as she puts it. The three became each other’s support group, and close pals, who could confide in each other, feel comfortable asking questions and Family Health & Life |8

shed a tear when they had to. Nellie planned a dinner for the three, at a local Brampton restaurant, for the three to eat, drink, enjoy each other’s company and share stories and share tears. But much to her oblivion, this was the inaugural meeting of the Circle of Hope, and the start of what has become an institution in the cancer community. As it usually happens, word of mouth began working quickly, and patrons of Nellie’s spa were networking, to spread her message, and the domino effect took flight. When Nellie made reservations for dinner the next year, it was for nine, instead of three; eight women and one man, strangers, with only one thing in common at the time... cancer. As the years went on, the group grew in numbers. Nellie was receiving

phone calls and emails from people she didn’t even know, asking if they could attend her event. The guest list kept multiplying, and today, Circle of Hope hosts over two hundred people, whose lives have been touched by cancer, here in the greater Toronto area, spreading as far Kitchener and reaching relatives in Australia. One of Nellie’s biggest supporters is her younger sister, Liza De Sousa. De Sousa says Circle of Hope, for her, is a community that brings everyone together.

“It’s a place where people who have cancer, or who have survived cancer, can feel comfortable,” De Sousa says. “Survivors can open up and share their feelings about what they’re going through.” De Sousa is very proud of her sister, for bringing this resource to the cancer community. When Nellie was diagnosed, she received no direction from doctors for emotional support. De Sousa says she was her sister’s spiritual supporter. Now, through Circle of Hope, people living with cancer get spiritual support from people just like them, and no longer have to walk alone, on their journey. “Nellie is my inspiration. I think this happened for a reason. I believe Nellie was chosen to do this,” De Sousa says. “Look at what she has done. She had cancer, survived it, and now uses her experience to help others.” A small restaurant no longer accommodates the increasing crowd at the yearly gathering. The seventh annual Circle of Hope Get Together is happening this year on April 18, at the Century Gardens Recreation Centre in Brampton. Nellie ensures that all who come out can expect the same positivity, enthusiasm and support, as past years. “Circle of Hope has three main objectives, to celebrate, educate and remember,” Nellie says. “We celebrate life, the living and cancer survivors; we remember those who lost their battle, and we educate on cancer.” The Circle of Hope Get Together is a high energy party, where people go to forget their struggle and embrace living, even for just that day. “There are people at the event who have cancer, and they don’t think they belong there, because they’re not survivors,” Nellie says. “But, they ARE survivors! They’re still here TODAY! I remind them that they’ve survived one more day!” Whether they come for the music, the raffles, the food or the company, everyone leaves feeling empowered. Survivors are celebrated through a Circle of Hope dance, where a survivor circle is formed

continued on page 20 April 2010

Healthy Feet, Healthy Body

By: Ashley Hain, HBA, RMT


eet: the part of the body despised and shamed by many, and in my opinion, the most neglected body part. I find this ironic as the feet are so integral to the body. Not only do they provide you with an accurate reflection of your overall health status, but also by caring for your feet you are in essence caring for your whole body. If you rarely pay attention to your feet, perhaps now is the time to start doing so. I invite you to take a peak at how the feet relate to health, specifically using reflexology as the vehicle. Reflexology is defined as a holistic healing art which naturally, and without drugs, stimulates every part, gland, and organ in the body. By applying pressure to certain reflex points in the feet, the corresponding areas of the body are able to function more harmoniously Though introduced to North Americans in the early 1900’s, reflexology’s roots go as far back as 2,300 BC in Egypt. The main benefits are: decreased tension, increased circulation in the body, and an assisted retreat to the body’s natural balanced state. In determining what areas of the body are in distress, reflexology is a valuable aid. For example, a young woman came to my clinic recently with a very sore left shoulder, and while I was working on

her feet, not only was her left shoulder reflex point extremely painful to the touch, but also I felt bubble wrap-like popping as I worked on this point. This is a common indication of impairment to the corresponding body part. Having worked with reflexology for over five years, I have seen so many of these instances that it never surprises me. It goes without saying that getting reflexology sessions can definitely help you gain an accurate portrait of your health. Furthermore, they can help you improve your health. A study of 220 headache sufferers, at the School of Pharmacy in Denmark, concluded reflexology is effective in alleviating both tension headaches and migraines. After 3 months of regular reflexology sessions, 16% were cured, 65% stated that reflexology was helpful, 18% stated their headaches were unchanged, and 19% stopped taking medication.2 Given that not everyone has the time or money for consistent reflexology sessions, here are a few suggestions for foot to-dos sure to be of value:

1) Massage your feet. Routine self-massage to your feet will get the circulation flowing in your body – leaving you feeling more energized and joyful! Whether it is while you are watching television, working at the computer, or when ever you can create a few spare moments, I am encouraging you to commit to your feet.

2) Take a foot bath. April 2010

Uses for foot bathing vary

from alleviating insomnia to clearing a headache. Cold foot baths are best for inducing sleep, decongesting the head and chest, and clearing headaches. Warm ones are best for stimulating the immune system, warming up a chilled body, and menstrual cramping. I recommend either filling a large basin with water, or filling the bathtub and sitting on the edge. For cold baths, you only need 1-2 minutes maximum; for warm baths 5 – 20 minutes is recommended.

3) Treat yourself to one reflexology session. At the end of the session, ask the therapist to show you a couple of reflex points on your foot - ones that would be helpful specifically for you to work on yourself at home. It is important to recognize the beauty of the feet in their ability to give clues to your health status. Furthermore, in treating your feet, you are essentially treating your whole body. So why not take the time now and have a look at the condition of your feet? What do you notice? Carving out time to care for your feet can put you one step further to achieving optimal health and wellness. Eunice Ingham, the “mother” of reflexology, put it best when she said “if people would only realize the importance of taking better care of their feet, we would have less sickness in our land today.” Ashley Hain is a Registered Massage Therapist, certified in reflexology, and is currently practicing in Toronto, Ontario. Her sessions blend the science and art of massage, and always reflect the individuals’ needs at any given time. Email: relax@


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April 2010

Critical Illness Insurance Do We Really Need it ?

1 in 4 Canadians has some form of heart disease and 80% exhibit at least one risk factor for developing heart disease!

On an average 40,000 to 50,000 Canadians suffer a stroke each year and there are over 300,000 stroke survivors! 2 in 5 Canadians will develop cancer in their lifetime! Thanks to advancements in medical science, there is a very good chance you would recover from a serious illness. But recovery costs money. And the significant, usually unexpected costs often come at a time when your income is cut off or drastically reduced. Thankfully, there is a plan available to support your lifestyle if you get sick. It’s called Critical Illness Insurance and it’s designed to help you cover the unexpected costs spent treating and coping with a critical illness. Here is how Critical Illness Insurance can protect you:

Most policies offer a “return of premium” option on expiry or death. Critical Illness Insurance lets you purchase an option to recover a significant or full portion of your premium outlay, if your policy expires without paying a Critical Illness Insurance benefit. If death occurs prior to the expiry of the policy without a claim having been made, a significant or full portion of the premium will be returned. There are also provisions for partial payouts if you’re diagnosed with certain non-critical conditions. Always be sure to meet with a qualified agent who will review your financial and insurance requirements and then present you with options that best suit your needs. Alan Pereira is a Certified Financial Planner and a licensed Insurance Agent with The-Cooperators. He can be reached at 905 270 0041 or

Typically, Critical Illness Insurance should provide coverage for the following conditions. • Heart Attack • Loss of Limbs • Stroke • Loss of Speech • Life-threatening Cancer • Major Organ Transplant • Major Organ Failure on Waiting List • Alzheimer’s Disease • Aortic Surgery • Benign Brain Tumor • Blindness • Motor Neuron Disease Burns • Coma • Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery • Multiple Sclerosis • Occupational HIV Infection • Deafness • Heart Valve Replacement • Paralysis • Parkinson’s Disease • Kidney Failure • Bacterial Meningitis • Aplastic Anemia • Loss of Independent Existence

After being diagnosed with one of 24 or more specific critical conditions and after surviving a designated waiting period (30 days in most cases), Critical Illness Insurance can provide you with the funds you need to ease the burden of a lifealtering illness. Typically, your benefits are paid in a lump sum and can range from $25,000 to $2,000,000, depending on the coverage you choose. If you’re diagnosed with a critical illness, you deserve the best medical advice available. That’s why many Critical Illness Insurance policies also incorporate the Best Doctors® feature, providing you with rapid access to over 50,000 doctors recognized as the best by top specialists. April 2010

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Spring Forward By: Diana Petrina

Canadian winters have their benefits: they make us truly appreciate the fashion of other seasons. Spring fashion resuscitates your lingering wardrobe and brings the life back to your style. Take advantage of our top 10 picks for ladies and gents, and create lively outfits this spring.

Women 1. Pastels – This is no trend, this is mandatory. Every spring season calls for pastels like pale pink and nude tones. Don’t store your favourite navy items just yet but pastels definitely state winter is over. 2. Denim - A bit of a relief, denim is huge this season. Denim on denim? Even better. 3. Prints – As quickly as we say goodbye to colour blocking, we say hello to pretty prints. Pair your favourite floral pattern with tip #4 and you’re golden. 4. See-through – My favourite blouse from 2001 was a black, flowy, see-through number and blessed are the designers everywhere for bringing my baby back. This look works best with tights or a leather mini for a night out with the girls. 5. Boyfriend blazer – Of all the fashion trends for spring, this one takes the cake for versatility. Blazers are popping up everywhere in bright colours and cotton fabrics, making your work life and night life equally comfortable and stylish.

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1. Cotton or knit ties – This trend gives a much needed break to the standard silk tie but can appear a bit casual so you’ll love sporting it with a simple button down, kicks and your best jeans. 2. Military – Military jackets are a must for spring and work well into summer. If ease is your top priority, look no further than a grey or navy jacket over just about any outfit to complete your look. 3. Slim suits – Suits for 2010 merge classic tailoring and modern slim fits. More and more men are having their suits custom made to ensure a clean silhouette. Some details to keep in mind: two buttons works best with a slim fit, and wool in a lower thread count is the way to go for spring. 4. Stripes – Both vertical and horizontal stripes ruled the Lacoste runway for their spring 2010 shows.Polos and simple tee’s are great options for a casual work setting or for a weekend on the go. 5. V-neck sweaters – Commonwealth Utilities, available at Holt Renfrew, takes a stylish approach to a classic and often understated item in your wardrobe. V-neck sweaters are the perfect fusion of style and simplicity. April 2010

How Safe is Your Food ? By Gurusevak Kasbia

Food Safety is of major concern to Canadians. The 2008 an outbreak of Listeriosis; a deadly bacteria, tainted meat supplies and impacted the entire Canadian population. To add to this recent outbreaks of salmonella poisoning in imported salad based products and even peanuts have caused many Canadian consumers to be weary of what they are eating. So how can we as consumers be more careful with what we eat and decrease our chances of falling ill to food borne pathogens? There are some simple steps to follow which could save you a lot of potential suffering: 1) Cooking Temperature: The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada recommend that chicken products be heated to an internal temperature of 72 degrees Celsius when the bone is not in the meat and 82 degrees for April 2010

a total of 15 seconds. A food thermometer should be bought, and calibrated before use to determine this. Other meats such as Pork, Lamb, Veal and Beef (whole cuts), and Fish should be heated to 70 degrees Celsius for 15 seconds. Rare roast beef should be cooked for 15seconds at a tem-

perature of 63 degrees while eggs should be cooked at this temperature for at least 3 minutes 2) Cooking Surface: Vegetables and meats should never be chopped or cut on

the same surface unless they are wiped thoroughly and cleaned with an antibiotic cleaner. Typically different cutting boards should be used and thoroughly washed after use. Wood is not a recommended surface as often the grooves from knife cuts can house pathogens and if washed improperly can contaminate future foods (spores). Stone based cutting boards or hard grade plastic can be considered a good surface to cut on. 3) Avoid Temperature Abuse: Once you have cooked your meal, it is important to maintain the temperature of the food above 60 degrees Celsius, as between 4 degrees and 60 degrees is where bacteria love to grow. Even though the bacteria may not at that point be toxic it is critical to ensure that their numbers are controlled so that we minimize our chances of them become toxic in our bodies. This also includes reheating our foods so that they reach an internal temperature of 74 degrees for 15

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seconds. Conversely it is important when freezing foods to have them at temperatures of less than -20 degrees and held for several days at this temperature, while cold storage of raw meats should be below 4 degrees (preferably between 1.5 and 3 degrees). 4) Thawing Foods: Thawing should occur in a refrigerator, microwave oven (followed by immediate cooking), under cool running water or as part of the cooking process (i.e. adding peas to pea soup). Never thaw a product at room temperature, as this again puts foods in the temperature danger zone. 5) Putting a Chill on your Food: Cooling your leftovers after a meal must be done as quickly as possible, and cooled from 60 degrees to 20 degrees within two hours and then to below 4 degrees in the following four hours. Thus don’t clump all foods together and refridgerate but use smaller containers, smaller portions and use ice baths if necessary. You can even add ice into condensed foods.

Washing of Foods and your Hands

some people could be allergic. As well, organic meats are given space to roam and further are not fed antibiotics and are usually put on a diet of grains and treated more humanely than conventional factory based chickens. Organic free range eggs for example are given a certain amount of land to roam on and produce eggs with larger yolks.

When in Doubt throw it out If food in your fridge looks discoloured or meats have a slimy texture, it is best to throw them away. Certain bacteria upon multiplying will release unpleasant odours, or change surface colors of vegetables and fruits. Bread also experiences this type of problem as some moulds will feed on naturally occurring sugars (gluten) causing a small or large white spaces to appear on their surface. This is why if something doesn’t smell good or look appetizing it’s always a good idea to compost or throw it out. Check with your local green box program for items you can compost.

It is always a good idea to thoroughly wash foods, especially if they are coming from countries other than Canada. While many Canadian producers do use pesticides, some other tropical nations use different types and even stronger concentrations to reduce pests which can harm crops like mangoes for example. Thus 30 to 60 seconds wash using a strainer and a light toilette or sponge can help remove many surface based pesticides and even the wax coating that supermarkets use to “shine” our fruits and vegetables. When handling food it is always important to wash your hands between different types of foods. You can use any type of soap and make sure to wash for the length of the “happy birthday” song, both sides of the hands and especially underneath rings. In fact if you can remove your ring before cooking (remember to keep it in a safe place!), it is wise to do so.

Bacteria and viruses love to hide in places where there is warm moisture, including foods and even under rings and jewellery. Choose Organic

Organic foods may or may not provide more nutritional content, but they do not use the pesticides that are used on conventional farms and usually are not genetically modified. Some genetically modified foods contain genes from other plant or animal species for which Family Health & Life |14

Storage We may think that dried foods are immune from spoilage. This is far from the truth. Always keep tabs on your dried foods, as some may be more susceptible from others to spoilage. For example some foods if uncovered properly or if tainted (i.e. young kids getting their hands in the cookie jar) can be contaminated without us even realizing it. Microbes are all around us, and while so many are not harmful to us, they may act as spoilers to our food. Never keep dented tins as they can contain botulinic bacteria that can cause severe health problems. Following some simple do’s and donts can help ensure a better and healthier lifestyle when it comes to food safety. Gursevak Kasbia attended the University of Ottawa where he pursued his undergraduate in human kinetics. He is presently pursuing his true passion of public health at Ryerson University. Contact gursevak.kasbia@gmail. com

April 2010

Say Yes to Yoga Secrets To a Healthier Life

You may have tried pain relievers for a headache, anti-inflammatory medicine for arthritis or a hot bath for that aching back. What you may not have tried though is yoga. Yes, yoga, for all three of those health problems and many more. For years yoga has been considered therapeutic, a way to join the mind with the body and the spirit and keep all in perfect harmony. Yoga helps you to become more aware of your body’s alignment and posture as well as making the body more flexible. But above all else it can help you relax and give you a feeling of more energy, more peace and a better sense of yourself and your well-being. Another benefit that you may not know of though is the benefit it can have on your body’s health. Lauren Anastasi and Emma Prendergast, both certified yoga instructors with Esther Myers Yoga Studio in Toronto,, agree that yoga benefits the body by creating ease of movement and relaxation, greater awareness of breath and relief from stress, which is increasingly associated with poor health and disease. Looking for a remedy for what ails you? Look no further than a few simple moves.

By Melissa Reynolds Photos By Ami Hritz

pain is to get the fluid moving in the joints, reducing stiffness and pain, says Anastasi. “You want to gain mobility and re-build strength.” The Pose. Anastasi recommends the Reclining Big Toe Pose to gain mobility in the hips and legs. The pose is done by comfortably resting on the ground with one leg elevated in a strap and the other leg long on the floor. Gently circle the elevated leg, beginning with small circles and gradually expanding the circles slowly. The goal is to gently stretch the hamstrings while mobilizing the hip socket. Other poses for arthritis sufferers include neck, wrist and foot circular

motions while sitting. Cautions. Anastasi cautions that any movements done by arthritis sufferers should be done within a degree of comfort, slowly building up to more movement, especially during flare-ups.

Stress With work, family, money matters and personal relationships, who doesn’t have at least some stress in their day to day lives? Though more a state of mind, stress can play havoc on the body if we let it. Why Yoga? Both the controlled breathing and stretching involved in yoga help to induce relaxation. The Pose. “This pose is very calming, it changes the direction of your circulation and it’s grounding,” Anastasi says of the Legs up the Wall Pose. “When under stress, the body’s physiological fight or flight response to stress is to protect the vulnerable/vital areas of the body so we are curling up and hunched forward. This com-

Arthritis Known as a disease that causes inflammation or swelling of the joints in the hips, knees and hands, among other places, arthritis can cause it’s sufferers years of pain and discomfort Why Yoga? The goal of any yoga move to help with arthritis April 2010

presses the lungs and shortens the breath.” You want to lengthen out

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the spine and the breath. With your back on the floor and both your pelvis and head supported to create a neutral line, raise your legs to that they are up above you at a 90 degree angle. Focus on your breathing, the length, quality, clarity of the breath and the naturally occurring pauses or spaces within the breath cycle, with long breaths and pauses. Cautions. None known.

Weight Loss Most likely when you think of losing weight your thoughts turn to sweating it out at the gym, running or eating better. Despite its slow, calm appearance, yoga can be added to that list too. Why Yoga? When in a hunched over position, which many of us end up in throughout the day, the digestive system doesn’t function as well as it could. Stretching, moving the body even gently, brings fresh blood and oxygen to the lower organs giving them a boost to digest more nutrients, it also aids in eliminations and can boost the metabolism through circulation and stimulation of the glands throughout the body. The Pose. Anastasi recommends the Gate Pose, which “stretches out the spine, obliques and creates space and movement within the lower organs.” With this pose try breathing with awareness to calm the central nervous system which in turn improves the functions of numerous systems in the body including

digestion and elimination. Cautions. None known.

Insomnia When you don’t have a good night’s sleep, everything else in your body, and you day, can get thrown off course. Sometimes, some calm and relaxation is all it takes. Why Yoga? Sleep is about relaxation, and so is yoga. Yoga poses can enhance Family Health & Life |16

the function of the central nervous system that slows the heart rate, increases intestinal and gland activity, and relaxes sphincter muscles. The Pose. Child’s Pose is good for beginners, says Prendergast. “It promotes overall relaxation as well as relieving fatigue, stress and promoting spinal flexibility.” Begin on your hand and knees, and as you exhale ease your bottom back towards your heels. Let your forehead rest on the floor and your arms relax, elbows bent. You can relax for approximately 10 to 15 breaths in this

the Wind Elimination Pose, or Little Boat Pose which brings the legs up to the chest, stretching the spine and the hips. “It can help detoxify the organs such as the kidneys and liver and promote good digestion,” Prendergast says. If you’re comfortable doing this pose, you can even try adding a twist in by opening the arms wide at shoulder height and allowing the knees to rest to one side for a few breaths, then the other. You can place a pillow under the knees to create more relaxation in the pose. Cautions. Not to be tried on a full stomach, Prendergast advises.


pose. Prendergast recommends trying an extended exhale that is one or two counts longer than your inhale for added relaxation. Cautions. If you have any knee or ankle problems, try a modified Child’s Pose by sitting with knees bent, arms and head relaxed, being mindful of any strain in the neck, focus on breathing into the back of the body.

Whether you suffer mildly or more extremely, you know that either way depression can affect every aspect of your life. Yoga can help both quiet the thoughts in the mind and bring a feeling of calm to combat your depression. Why Yoga? Yoga can help enhance the function of the central nervous system, while bringing more blood flow and oxygen to the brain. This in turn affects the glandular system in the body which controls hormones that may be linked to depression. The Pose. Prendergast recommends

Gastro-Intestinal Whether it’s an upset stomach, gas or even diarrhea, everyone needs a bit of gastro help from time to time. But before you reach for the Pepto Bismol or Zantac, why not give yoga a try? Why Yoga? Yoga for gastro-intestinal issues can stimulate the colon and the small intestine, moving food through the digestive tract and re-energizing the area. The Pose. Prendergast recommends

the Downward Dog Pose to get the balood moving. “In some people, depression can bring about a lethargic feeling,” says Prendergast. “This gentle inversion is both energizing and rejuvenating.” Begin on your hands and knees, toes tucked under. Gently sit back on your heels and as you exhale lengthen your legs allowing the hips and buttocks to come towards the ceiling. Keep the knees bent if it’s more comfortable and focus on breathing deeply, lengthening the spine and the legs. Cautions. If you suffer from wrist problems, the pose can be done while resting on the forearms. If you have April 2010

Cautions. None Known.

lower back or shoulder issues please practice this pose under the guidance of a yoga teacher who can suggest ways to modify the pose for comfort and safety.

Menstrual Cramps

Melissa Reynolds is a Toronto-based freelance writer who has written extensively for several local publications and websites. Melissa has written for the likes of Viva, Partners, Green Solutions Magazine, and most recently Gallery Femme. In what down time she has, Melissa enjoys reading, chatting with friends, enjoying Second Cup Chocolate Chillers and relishing family time.

As any woman who has suffered will tell you, they will try anything to stop the pain. Well, why not a bit of yoga? Why Yoga? Relaxing and not strenuous, yoga is a workout that can help bring a fresh batch of oxygen to the lower organs and open up the pelvis. The Pose. Butterfly up the Wall is a variation of the Legs up the Wall pose, only the feet meet in the middle opening the pelvis and allowing energy to enter. April 2010

17 | Family Health & Life

Aromatherapy SECRETS REVEALED The Truths and Myths About the Word ‘Aromatherapy’ There are many perceptions about what this word means. These range from thinking it is a massage treatment offered at expensive spas that only the rich can afford, to it being products such as candles and air fresheners that you can purchase in the grocery store for scenting your home. (And given the cost of extracting pure essential oils from plants, the latter may well be made with synthetically produced aroma. But does this matter that the scent is not natural if it still gives you a sense of wellbeing?) Miller says “The ease with which we misuse the English language has no bounds. The coined word ‘aromatherapy’ has become a grand sweeping term that covers everything today from serious care to toiletries of questionable value. The misuse and abuse of the term aromatherapy is in great evidence in drug stores or large grocery chains where you see even dish washing liquids and hair treatments named as aromatherapy. The word is not protected, so it is open to abuse and consequent misunderstanding. The term needs to be clarified: aroma as therapy or better, change it to Inhalation Therapy”. Thus the word Aromatherapy becomes clarified as simply a treatment for general wellbeing. But until this becomes common knowledge, the difference between aromatherapy as complementary medicine (inhalation therapy) and aromatherapy for general wellbeing needs to be understood. Aromatherapy is for everyone. In other words a good smell should make Family Health & Life |18

By Nancy Lowther

one feel good whether it’s freshly baked bread or a fresh bunch of fragrant flowers. However, recommending therapeutic aromas to be used as complementary medicine (as is done in many parts of the world particularly Europe and China) requires extensive training and understanding of other disciplines to become an adjunct of medicine. Aromatherapy was in frequent use during the First World War and today formal aromatherapy is considered a comple-

under the rug’ by the early big pharmaceutical companies who saw the competitive edge and wanted to eradicate it. In recent years, hospitals in Canada have slowly opened up to the possibilities of research dollars being set aside for clinical trials to evaluate ‘aroma as therapy’ - driven in part by the demand by the public for something natural (organic).” As well, the dilemma for the open minded medical professionals in North America who want to embrace this, is finding properly trained therapists or nurses who have taken the extra studies in aromatherapy. Miller, in her training programs both here and in the UK, has taught specialty nurses in psychiatry, oncology, midwifery, pediatrics and specialists in hospice care, each with their own approach and needs for specific essential oils.


mentary medicine in Britain, France, Italy, and Germany to name a few. Thus it is accepted and recognized in Europe and the standards for it are high.

“Medicine in Canada today and in the United States has been extremely slow to revisit the value in botanical medicine as in aromatherapy. This is mainly because the old herbal knowledge was mainly European and was ‘shoved

he Mayo Clinic is an internationally renowned medical practice and medical research group. It specializes in hard-to-treat diseases, and is well-renowned for innovative and effective treatments for diseases that have gone undiagnosed or undertreated with other doctors. It devotes over 40% of its resources towards research (rather than just medical practice): What can be versus what is. On its web site, it states aromatherapy is “an alternative April 2010

cancer treatment that can’t cure your cancer, but may provide some relief from signs and symptoms. These include: nausea, vomiting, pain and stress”. This is because complementary medicine (inhalation therapy) is something that adds value to the patient’s medical treatment. As to aromatherapy being used for general wellbeing, this covers everything from a wonderful smelling bath to a massage to scented candles. For example, companies and stores are using scents to help their businesses, to bring a feeling of wellbeing to their workers and customers. They have learned that smell is interpreted by the area of our brain that is concerned with emotion. In the book The Owner’s Manual for the Brain (by Pierce J. Howard, Ph.D.) studies on the effect of odours on productivity are listed. “Robert Baron, a professor of psychology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute reported that pleasant fragrances cause people to be more efficient, increase their risk level, form more challenging goals, negotiate more agreeably, and behave less combatively. Shimizu Technology Center reported that keypunch operators improved 21 percent with lavender bursts, 33 percent with jasmine, and 54 percent with lemon. …..

Aroma-Sys Corporation has developed a scent diffusion system which is used by retail stores, corporate offices, beauty salons, spas, health care facilities, and numerous hotels. Their device takes a scent of your choice and emits bursts in your large air distribution system. …. However, many variables affect the influence of scents, including the nature of the work performed, competing aromas, a tendency to become accustomed to scents, and individual differences between customers and workers.”


nhalation Therapy As Complementary Medicine

Essential oils enter the body by breathing in the scent (inhalation). Inhalation is the method of transporting the aromatic molecules to the brain. This can occur through either aerial diffusion or direct inhalation. April 2010

Patricia Miller is dedicated to sharing the

Miller says, “Aerial diffusion is achieved by putting a few drops on an essential oil warmer or diluting it in a distilled water spray - to freshen the air. This is a broader and much more dilute aromatherapy generally used in public area where more that one person occupies or passes through the same space. The range of suitable essential oils for this application is small. Lavender, Niaouli, Bergamot and Sweet Orange are my preferred choices as they are received well by most ‘noses’ and age groups.


irect Inhalation occurs when, for example, a few drops of Lavender are sprinkled on a tissue that is then tucked in the pillowcase. This is aromatherapy at its simplest and safest – in this case, for improving sleep patterns. Niaouli is used for stuffy noses and sinus congestion applied in this same manner and offers a real aromatherapy solution. Or other essential oils may be sniffed from an open bottle to treat other maladies. The quality of the essential oil is important.” When it comes to a massage treatment, general wellbeing treatment, aerial diffusion and/or direct inhalation may be used. A well educated attendant will start your session by asking how you are feeling and about your health. They will also ask what the rest of your day involves. If you are very stressed out and want to relax or instead have a hectic day ahead of you and need help getting energized - your answers will allow them to choose the appropriate essential oils.

results of her research and clinical experience. In 1998, she wrote the syllabus for her Method of Aromatherapy and it was chosen and offered by Mohawk College, School of Nursing and Health Sciences, McMaster University Hamilton, Ontario. The course was designed primarily for nurses and healthcare workers. Her practical aromatherapy work resulted from a synthesis of all her formal studies in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine, Dr. Emile Vodder’s Method of Manual Lymph Drainage, Dr. Moishe Feldenkrais’s Awareness through Movement Technique and Madame M. Maury’s classic approach to Aromatherapy. Her workshops have covered Executive Stress and Health in the Workplace for such companies as Sony Music Corporation, 3M Corporation and Canada Life Insurance Company. Miller has also designed special workshops on anxiety disorders, palliative care and pregnancy.

Nancy Lowther offers in-home services – that third hand you often wish you had –– helping you with home organizing, gardening, cooking and entertaining, home and pet sitting. Contact lowthertraining@

The bottom line: Without education and ‘how to use’ pamphlets it is very easy to fail in one’s effort to feel good – and is not necessarily complementary therapy. 19 | Family Health & Life

and everyone else there walks around them. Although the celebration never stops, the event pauses for a moment, while Nellie lights a memory candle, to honour those who lost their battle. Guest speakers are invited to the event, to enlighten and educate. This year, Dr. Stephen Reingold, a medical oncologist in Toronto, will address the crowd. As well, two very special, and emotional, speeches will be delivered by two brain cancer survivors, both of which are remarkably, under the age of ten years old. Nellie’s sister Liza really enjoys this part of the day. “I work at a nursing home and I’m able to use some of what I’ve learned at the Circle of Hope Get Together, at work” she says. “I can share what I’ve learned with the residents, and understand my job a little more.” Other major cancer groups and charities will hold seats at this year’s dinner, including Wellspring Chinguacousy, thyroid cancer support group Thry’vors, and for the first time this year, Us Too will be at the event, a support group geared only towards men living with prostate cancer. The Canadian Cancer Society is also a very big supporter of what Nellie is doing. Niambi MartinJohn is the unit manager of the Peel/ Dufferin branch of the Canadian Cancer Society. She says there are many cancer support groups in Brampton, but none have accomplished what Circle of Hope has.

“It’s very hard to get people to speak about their cancer experience. A forum, like the one Nellie provides, gives a comfortable platform for people to share their stories,” she says. “We can always call on Nellie. It’s just another way we get to engage survivors, because survivors are such a big part of what we do.” Nellie is thankful for the success of Circle of Hope, but she owes a lot of its success to her friends and family, who are huge part of the reason why Circle of Hope is what it is today. So many of Nellie’s close friends have been there since day one, and have helped shape the Circle of Hope. Nancy Pickard is just one of those special people. Following in their mother’s footsteps, Nellie’s daughters Brittany and Corinne do their part to develop Circle of Hope. 2 years ago, the girls grew their hair out, long and healthy, only to cut it off again, and donate it to a good cause. Their hair was made into wigs, for children who had lost their hair through chemo therapy. In the weeks before last year’s Circle of Hope Get Together, Brittany and Corinne held a bake sale outside their home, to raise money for the event. “My mom baked a lot of the cookies, but we helped,” gloats 9 year old Corinne. “We rose over $500!” Some of the proceeds go to the Canadian Cancer Society, among other cancer charities, while, a portion goes toward paying for the hall rental, food, event decor, and above all, survivor gifts. But, sadly, sponsorship is down this year, and for the first time ever, survivors will not receive a parting gift. “I have not missed a year since the first one, and my husband and I are going again this year, and it’s not for the gifts.” Le Piane is amazed by what Nellie has accomplished, and looks back over the past eight years, as she watched Circle of Hope grow. “We just went for dinner one night, the three of us. Then there were nine, next

Family Health & Life |20

20, soon 50, and now over 200 people attend her event,” she says in praise of her friend. “Nellie is my hero. Is it too cheesy to call her my angel? No, it isn’t, not at all. She is my angel.” The Canadian Cancer Society and Statistics Canada estimate that 171, 000 new cancer cases were reported in Canada last year, and it was the cause of death for 75, 300. Based on current incidence rates, 40% of Canadian women and 45% of men will develop cancer during their lifetimes, and one of four Canadians will die of cancer. Research is expensive. A scientist who operates a research laboratory could spend between $50,000 to half a million dollars per year on equipment and salaries. The cost of purchasing enough cancer cells for just one experiment ranges from $300 to $500. Cancer research is also timeconsuming – it can take years for a single study to be completed. While people live with cancer in a time when there’s still no cure, it’s people like Nellie Junipero that makes their load a little lighter. Her very mature 10 year old daughter Brittany said it best, in words that couldn’t be spoken more eloquently by an Ivy League scholar. “You’ll never that you can survive, unless you try. And that’s why I think my mom is the best person in the world, because she knows how to survive and she knows how to help.”

Rayna Taylor started her journalism career as an on-air personality, with the provinces independent television station, NTV. When she’s not out chasing the days top news story, or researching for her next article, the 27 year-old spends time strumming her guitar, or enjoying the outdoors, no matter what the season. Contact taylor. April 2010

Supercharge Your Life

What foods will really help getting that energy back By Sarah Maughan RNH


t’s after work and you want to hit the gym but you haven’t eaten since lunch. Should you scarf down dinner or just go straight to the gym? These are common dilemmas for people who have day-to-day jobs and also try to maintain a healthy activity level.

To begin, it’s important to understand why all of the macronutrients (ie. Protein, carbohydrates and fat) play a role in keeping you active and energetic before, during and after your workouts. Quick background - Your body uses both an aerobic glycolytic (fuelled by carbohydrates) and an aerobic lipolytic (fuelled by fat) energy system to allow your muscles to maintain proper function and strength. Thus carbohydrates and fat are your bodies energy sources. Protein comes into play during the recovery period.

Carbohydrates are your most readily available energy source and fastest digesting food source which is why it is ideal to consume prior to a workout of any kind. Examples of good carbohydrates include whole wheat, oat bran, brown rice, millet, quinoa, buckwheat, chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, black beans, pears, apples, bananas, raspberries and blueberries. In moderation, using natural sweeteners such as Honey and Maple Syrup can also contribute to carbohydrate intake, but this should only be used to replace processed white sugar as any sweetener can still contribute to blood sugar fluctuations. Eating refined and high glycemic carbohydrates, such as white flour, pastries, cakes, cookies and white pasta, will inhibit your performance by releasing glycogen (stored carbohydrates) from your liver to rebalance your blood sugar April 2010

levels. When this is released, your body has less to use for quick bursts of energy or long duration activities leading to muscle fatigue and decreased energy. Fat comes into play after your glycogen stores have depleted – this is mainly for endurance activities such as Marathons and Triathlons or other low intensity long duration exercises. To ensure you receive and burn intramuscular (stored) fat efficiently, it is important to consume monounsaturated fats such as nuts, seeds, oily fish, flaxseeds and avocados. These are also good sources of Omega 3 Fatty Acids which aid in the anti-inflammatory response in your body for proper recovery and prevention of sports injuries during strenuous activity. Intramuscular fat should not to be confused with subcutaneous fat that is often deposited around your abdomen and thighs. Healthy fat is also important for brain health and satiety when consuming food.

Protein is important for building, maintaining and repairing muscle. When you participate in any activity whether it’s your local kickboxing class, weight lifting, running, or tennis you put a lot of strain on your muscles and the fibres will tear. This is not a bad thing but this is why protein is most important after your workout to help aid in this repair. You should not consume large amounts of protein before your workout because it does not digest very quickly and may cause abdominal pain and nausea. A pre-workout meal should be consumed 2 – 3 hours prior to exercise: - Wholegrain pasta and vegetables -Wholegrain toast with almond butter - Large salad with fruit and chickpeas

- Fruit -Yogurt - Bowl of oatmeal -Wholegrain granola bar As for hydration, it is important to be hydrated for proper muscular contractions. Again, if you have been skimping on water and it’s been a busy day, don’t gulp down 1L of water immediately before your workout. Aim to drink 1 cup of water on your way to workout and ½ cup every 15 – 20 minutes to avoid feeling uncomfortably full of water. Overall, the best times to consume carbohydrates are before and after your workout because they will be readily used. Protein comes into play after your workout for muscle repair and healthy fats should be consumed throughout your day to decrease any inflammation and keep your heart healthy for cardiovascular activities. So, if you haven’t eaten since lunch and you’re about to workout, avoid scarfing down an entire dinner and definitely do not workout on an empty stomach.


our best bet would be to grab a piece of fruit which will have the fastest digesting time, fuel you, and also help kill the hunger pains. Remember, food is THE source of energy for your body.

If you still feel like your performance is inhibited and feel this can be directly related to your current nutritional habits, it is best to receive individual guidance from a Registered Holistic Nutritionist. Sara Maughan is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist at totum lifescience www.totum. ca. She can be reached at

A pre-workout snack should focus on good carbohydrates and should be consumed 30 – 45 minutes before exercise:

21 | Family Health & Life

Spring Cleansing


Your Body


Better Health

By Victoria Anisman-Reiner, B.Sc., C.C.A.

irds are singing, the grass has started to grow, the sky is blue… and your body is begging for a cleanse.

If you’re blinking in confusion at that last item, that’s to be expected–most people aren’t aware of the benefits of spring cleansing. Spring is the ideal time of year to cleanse your body of toxins, chemicals, and extra weight–not only so you’ll fit into that cute swimsuit in a few months, but because the human body naturally begins purging toxins as temperatures warm and the world bursts into bloom. What is Cleansing? Cleansing is a natural process in which your body releases old toxins. The human body is constantly processing wastes from everyday air pollution, chemicals in our water, food pesticides, perfumes and cleaning products, and the byproducts of normal food digestion. These wastes are eliminated by your liver, kidneys, intestines, lungs and skin. Our bodies are able to handle

an amazing “workload” of chemicals, but the demands of the modern world stretch our detox ability to its limit. There are too many aerosol sprays, city air pollutants, artificial flavors and colors. Sometimes, the organs that handle toxins–especially the liver, colon, and skin–become stressed and need a bit of support. Cleansing gives your body a helping hand in removing toxins that have accumulated in the liver, colon, and fat cells. It also supports the digestive and eliminative organs so that they are less stressed, more efficient, and healthier. Everyone can benefit from a cleanse, but if you’re experiencing weight gain, fatigue, headaches, mental fogginess, acne or skin breakouts, then you are an ideal candidate to benefit from a spring cleanse. Safe, Simple Tips for Spring Cleansing 1. First and foremost, do your research. Consult an expert, like a naturopath or a holistic practitioner who can guide you to a cleanse that will be right for your body’s needs and warn you away from some of the bogus products out there. 2. Follow the directions precisely. Whether you choose to cleanse using a supplement or through changes in your diet, it’s important that you understand all of the steps of your cleanse and follow them exactly for the best results.

Family Health & Life |22

3. Take it slow. Cleansing too quickly is almost worse than not cleansing at all. If you experience worsening headaches, skin outbreaks, or any other reaction during a cleanse, don’t give up but do make the cleanse less intense. It may take longer, but it will be better for you in the end. 4. Drink lots of water. There is no greater aid to safe, gentle cleansing than lots of pure water to help flush toxins out, prevent headaches, and nourish the skin. Most people who try a spring cleanse will notice a boost in their energy, better mental focus, clearer skin, improved moods, and usually faster metabolism and weight loss as toxins leave the body. What better way to get a fresh start on the year as the long winter rolls into spring?

Victoria Anisman-Reiner is a freelance writer and natural health practitioner in Toronto, Canada. With a Bachelor’s degree in sciences, clinical aromatherapy certification and extensive training in holistic nutrition, Eden Energy Medicine, Native healing techniques, dowsing and energy psychology, she combines a grounded, scientific approach to health with spiritual and practical experience.

April 2010

Do You Need A Life Coach? ? The term coaching has cropped up everywhere over the last few years. Everyone and their cat seems to be a coach. Personal trainers call themselves coaches, chiropractors, naturopaths, nutritionists, as well as social workers and psychologists. The term is also used freely among businesses in terms of ‘coaching’ staff and clients. Add to that the explosion in ‘life coaching’ that ranges from business and executive coaching to teen and relationship coaching to health and wellness coaching, and the whole things seems rather daunting and confusing. Here are a few points to help you understand what coaching is, and what to look for in a coach. Coaching emerged out of organizational research, leadership training and motivational theory within the business sector, and was used to improve work behavior, leadership skills, employee accountability, teamwork, sales, communication, goal setting, and strategic planning. Coaching was created as a personal development method that facilitates an individual’s or group’s aim to achieve a specific goal or develop a specific skill.

moment and then moves you forward from there. Because coaching is action and solution-oriented, it provides you with the confidence to get unstuck and move forward. Think of coaching as a type of change facilitation that’s reactive and flexible, allowing for personal transition on an individual basis. There are no assumptions, judgements, prescriptions or instructions in coaching. Coaching is based on listening, empathy and understanding. A coach will help you understand yourself, where you want to be, and how best to get there. In this way, coaching is a drawing out process as opposed to putting in process. Coaching develops, reflects and enables rather than the traditional methods that impose, redirect and train.


Coaching continually empowers you through the understanding that you already know the answers to your questions, though the answers maybe concealed, obscured or hidden from you. Coaching, then, helps you discover your core values and what you already know.

hile coaching methods and techniques may vary, they all focus on getting you to your end goal. In other words, the basic principles of coaching are the same regardless of the type of coaching you’re engaged in. Coaching helps you identify your goals and then develop strategies to help to meet those objectives by looking at obstacles and barriers, keeping you focused and on track, providing motivation and support, and holding you responsible and accountable for your actions and commitments. Coaching is different from counselling and therapy which provide diagnosis and delves into the past. Unlike therapy, coaching is not about uncovering and healing, it’s about discovering and creating. Coaching examines who you are, and assists you in where you want to be. In this sense, coaching is forward thinking—it starts in the present April 2010

Many coaches specialize in particular areas such as ADHD, conflict, creativity or health coaching.When searching for a coaching practitioner, make sure you inquire about their background and credentials. Some of the larger coaching accreditation bodies are the Certified Coaches Federation and the International Coach Federation. Be careful, some coaches are self-proclaimed, or may have no background previous to coaching that would support a strong coaching foundation, such as postsecondary education or relevant work experience in their field.

they don’t have one By Guy Letts

then it’s time to move on.


sk prospective coaches about the services they provide and the methods they use. Most coaching is either face-to-face or over the phone. Some coaches offer group coaching as well. Coaches will employ various methods based on their schooling and philosophy. For instance, in my practice I use neuro-linguistic programming, affirmations, and relaxation techniques to help clients focus. Don’t be surprised either if your coach gives you tasks such as keeping a food log, or assigns you readings.

Make sure to inquire about their policies and fees. Ask if they offer a free preliminary session to see whether they are a good fit for you, and ask whether they have a satisfaction policy. Make sure you know the rates up front, and exactly what you get for those rates. Coaching can range from around $75.00 per hour to $2,500. Generally, less experienced coaches or those with less credentials charge less for their services. The average rate is around $100.00 to $125.00 per hour, and the frequency can be two hours to fours per month. Coaching is a great way to move you forward. Coaching can help you with a variety of issues such as time management and organization, stress management, career satisfaction and planning, relationships and parenting, health and wellness, spiritual and personal growth, and a host of other issues. Remember, life is about living to your fullest potential.

Guy Letts is a certified coaching practitioner and founder of New Leaf Personal and Professional Coaching Services. You can contact him at, guyletts@ newleafcoachingservices. com or visit his website at

Also ask about their code of ethics. If

23 | Family Health & Life

Buying a Home in 2010 ?

Things to consider The first step in purchasing a home is to decide how much you are willing and able to spend. Unless you have the assets to pay cash for a home, you will need to speak to a bank or other lender to find out how much they are willing to lend you on a mortgage. It is a good idea to obtain pre-approval on a mortgage before making an offer to purchase a home. This ensures that you know exactly how much you can afford to spend and eliminates the need to make an offer conditional on financing. Once you have arranged your financing, you can start looking for a home in your price range. If you are looking for a new home, you will probably deal directly with the builder. If you are looking for a resale home, you will most likely need a real estate agent to help you to find a suitable home. You should be aware that in most cases your real estate agent will earn a commission which is payable by the vendor on your purchase of a home. This creates a potential conflict of interest and there is legal precedent that the agent’s primary responsibility is to the vendor, not to the purchaser.

When you have decided to make an offer on a home, an Agreement of Purchase and Family Health & Life |24

Sale will be prepared

By Clint Ali

The deposit you pay is

by your agent or by the negotiable between builder. you and the vendor, but is commonly around This sets out the description of the property, the selling price, the amount of deposit, any fixtures or chattels included, 5%-6%. and the closing date for the transaction, along with a number of other legally significant clauses. In most cases for resale homes a standard form contract printed by the Toronto Real Estate Board or the Ontario Real Estate Agents Association will be used, although there may be a number of additional clauses written or type in. A builder will usually have their own

In the event that you are unable to complete the purchase you may forfeit the deposit to the vendor. You may also be liable for damages in addition to the deposit if the vendor is unable to sell the house for the same price you had offered. If at all possible you should obtain a survey from the vendor before signing the agreement. The survey can be attached to the agreement and form part of it through a reference in the description part of the main agreement. In many instances the vendor will not have a survey, or only have a very old survey. You should be aware that lenders will usually require an up to date survey before agreeing to advance money on a mortgage. If the vendor is unable to provide you with one, you may have to pay to have one prepared for you. This can cost anywhere from $700 to a few thousand dollars depending on the property.

Once the Agreement of Purchase and standard form agreement. Whether you are buying a new home or a resale, you should have the agreement reviewed by your lawyer before signing it.

Sale has been signed by both you and the vendor, you should take a copy of it to April 2010

your lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer

will need as much time as possible to conduct searches on such matters as title, zoning, building code compliance, taxes and hydro arrears. In addition to lawyer’s fees, you will have to pay for the cost of these searches, as well as the cost of registering your deed and mortgage. A significant additional cost will be for Land Transfer Tax which, depending on the selling price of the home, can

April 2010

amount to several thousand dollars. After the purchase has been completed, your lawyer will usually contact you and turn the keys to your new house over to you. This will most often be in the afternoon of the day set for completion of the purchase, so you should not plan on moving in until late afternoon or evening on the day of closing.

Clint Ali is a licenced paralegal practising in Mississauga, ON. He can be contacted at

Some major changes to Canadian Mortgage rules are expected to come in effect after 19 April 2010. Make sure you talk to your lawyer or realtor to know how the changes affect your buying decision.

25 | Family Health & Life

Stretch your way into a

Healthy Pregnancy! By Kendra Fleming

Many expectant mothers look for ways to keep healthy during pregnancy. While other forms of exercise can be too strenuous for the pregnant body, yoga can be a simple way to keep fit and feel great. Yoga is a gentle way to be active, stay in shape, and stretch and train the muscles used during childbirth.

The day to day stresses of pregnancy can take quite a toll on an expectant mother’s body, but yoga can be quite beneficial for pregnant women on a variety of levels. Prenatal yoga can help to ease many of the common grievances of pregnancy including nausea, backache, and muscle tension. Yoga is also a great instrument for battling the mental Family Health & Life |26

exhaustion that pregnant women face; combating fatigue by raising energy levels, releasing tension, and alleviating mood swings. Pregnancy and childbirth are hard work. Yoga helps you to get you through the next nine months by strengthening and toning muscles. Not only are you stretching your muscles, you are also stretching the tissues that surround your muscles, igniting your organ systems, and helping the circulation of blood and oxygen. Specific postures can improve body alignment, aiding in the reduction of aches and pain especially in the back. Gentle twists and forward folds can enhance digestive functions, one of the more annoying side effects of pregnancy. Yoga has also been known to reduce nausea and morning sickness. The breathing techniques learned in yoga may also reverse the physiological symptoms of stress by lowering the heart rate and blood pressure.


reathing and meditation techniques taught and used during a yoga practice calm the mind and body helping you to focus on yourself and your inner energy. Prana, the act of controlling this energy, provides much needed oxygen to the baby. Entering deep levels of relaxation enables you to delve into different levels of yourself, cultivating a sense of ease and calm. Meditation can be a

used to talk to your baby and tell him or her how you are feeling. A deeper mental focus can help you to develop a more profound relationship with your growing baby. Before she felt her babies first movements, Teresa Gagnon owner of Yoga Source in Newmarket used meditation to connect with her baby. “ I meditated on positive thoughts and set an ‘intention’ to have a healthy pregnancy as well as encouraged

the baby towards a healthy birth. I found the meditation part of yoga really helped me relax and the practice kept me in tune with the baby”. The practice of yoga can be a means to have a more meaningful relationship with your baby.

No matter what type of delivery you have planned, the learned practices of yoga can be extremely useful outside the walls of the yoga studio and in the delivery room. Yoga can be used to prepare the body for birth, enabling a quicker and less painful delivery. Postures like April 2010

pigeon and squat poses open the hips and tone the muscles of the cervix and pelvic floor. Poses can teach the body how to effectively use these muscles preparing them for childbirth. Women who practice yoga are more comfortable in their bodies and learn to rely on their own intuition, two powerful tools in the delivery room. The learned breathing and meditation practices help you to relax during labour and breathe through contractions. Your breathing will come more naturally, and focused breath will help you to remain calm and assist you in dealing with the pain more easily. Breathing exercises can also assist as you are pushing. “The breathe practice in yoga will help to prepare a women for her personal ‘primal sound’ which is very important for the release of the baby” says Gagnon. A centered breathing can guide the baby down the birth canal.

As with any new form of exercise, consult your doctor or midwife before beginning yoga to find out if it is a safe and recommended form of exercise for you. Furthermore, there are certain precautions you should take before you begin: • If you choose to participate in a regular yoga class as opposed to a prena-

If nothing else, yoga can be a wonderful time set aside for you and your baby. It is an opportunity to find peace and calm away from daily stresses. At the end of a class I guarantee that you will find you feel better and have more energy. If you are interested in trying a prenatal yoga class there are many studios that offer these classes through out the GTA. You can also consult your local community centers and recreation departments for yoga classes. Stay fit and healthy! Namaste.

Prenatal yoga can also help you to recover from childbirth. The constant muscle training will allow you to get back into shape quicker. Yoga enables you to help re-tone the uterus, abdomen, and pelvic floor. However, it is advised that you do wait six weeks, or until after your first postpartum check up before returning to a regular yoga practice.

One of the greatest joys of pregnancy is bonding with other women. To new mothers, pregnancy is such a novel and foreign experience that women seek the advice of others going through the same nine month adventure. Prenatal yoga classes can be a great bonding experience, providing an excellent support system to ask questions and discuss common symptoms. Classes become as much of a social event as they are a forum for exercise. April 2010

uncomfortable. • Be careful not to over do it. Take it slow and listen to your body. You may need to modify poses to suit your body as your center of gravity changes as your belly grows. • It is important to not over stretch, too. Your body is producing the pregnancy hormone relaxin, causing your ligaments and tissues to loosen thus putting you at a greater risk for strains and sprains. It is important not to go to deep into the poses to avoid injury. • If at any time you feel tired or nauseous, modify the pose by dropping your knees or take a break and go into a resting posture. Remember to go at your own pace. Yoga is a personal journey; make your practice your own.

tal class, inform the instructor that you are pregnant before you begin. A good instructor will be able to suggest modifications as there are specific poses that should be avoided in each trimester. • Steer clear of Bikram Yoga, otherwise known as Hot Yoga. The high temperatures could potentially endanger the health of the fetus. • Avoid poses (Asanas) on your back after the first trimester as they can restrict blood flow to the growing fetus. • Stay away from inverted poses such as headstands and shoulder stands. • Do not lie on your stomach after the fourth month of pregnancy. Stop stomach exercises sooner if you feel

Kendra Fleming is a freelance writer, who contributes to newspapers and magazines writing about yoga, health and family. She has a BA in Sociology with a minor in English and is currently working on her first children’s novel. She lives just north of the GTA with her family. Contact

27 | Family Health & Life

Exploring Superfoods

Quinoa My adventures with quinoa started innocently. I was never a fan of rice, I’d worked in an Italian restaurant for many years and had simply eaten too much pasta, and I was just tired of coming up with new potato recipes. My husband loves side dishes, so I thought I’d start experimenting and seeing what I could find that would suit both of our needs. His to be filling and delicious, mine to be healthy and easy. Our first experiment was with quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah).

What is Quinoa and where does it come from? I was surprised to learn that Quinoa had a history dating back more than 6000 years, yet, it was a little difficult to find in my local grocery store. I retrieved the one package that was tucked away on a shelf in the organic section. Since my initial discovery, I’m happy to reveal that I’ve also located quinoa successfully at the health food store and in the bulk store. First grown in the Andes in South America, over the last few decades the plants have also been successfully harvest in the Canadian Prairies and Colorado. The food is a staple alongside potatoes and corn in the South American diet, but has yet to become a pantry staple in Canada. Family Health & Life |28

By Christina Carew,ABC

Quinoa looks like a grain, but it isn’t a grain. It’s actually a seed, that is grown on the chenopodium (a.k.a. goosefoot) plant; which is most closely related to leafy green vegetables such as Swiss chard, beets and spinach. It’s often referred to as a grain because of its cooking characteristics. Most of the quinoa you will find is organic. Organic quinoa, wild and free of pesticides and chemicals, is actually pretty easy to grow, because the seeds have a natural bitter coating called saponins that keeps birds from nibbling on the seeds before they are harvested. Since this seed is so robust we haven’t had to genetically engineer or hybridized it, which means the quinoa you eat is as pure and wholesome as that grown 6000 years ago.

Why Is Quinoa Good For Me? To fit our criteria it has to not only taste good, but, actually do some good for us. Quinoa certainly measures up. It is gluten-free, high in protein, and one of the only foods that offers a balanced set of essential amino acids. (note: essential amino acids are ones that we need for survival but can’t be reproduced in the body, they need to be ingested through our diet). Essential amino acids can be found in meat, poultry, fish, milk and cheese, as well as quinoa, buckwheat, hempseed and amaranth. Amino acids are the building blocks of tissue development. Low in fat, quinoa is rich in omega-3 fatty

acids and magnesium, and is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates. Magnesium helps to relax constricted blood vessels so it offers some relief for people who experience migraine headaches as well as those who need to improve their cardiovascular health. It is rich with phosphorus and manganese, which help to improve bone strength. By increasing calcium, it also strengthens women during pregnancy and post-partum as well as builds healthier milk in nursing mothers. Other key benefits include: a high amount of lysine (which is good for tissue growth and repair), iron and copper (good for the formation of hemoglobin, the oxygen carrying component of the red blood cell), rich in Vitamins B6, Niacin and Thiamin. Compared to other grains, Quinoa is very high in protein content with ranges from 12-20% (depending on the variety), compared to other grains (rice: 7.5%, millet: 9.9%, wheat: 14%). Its protein quality is also superior to other cereal grains. A ½ cup serving of quinoa will provide a child their protein needs for a day. As an added bonus, quinoa has several medicinal uses, which include, grinding the seeds to a paste and applying the mixture to bruises or broken bones. It has also been used to treat motion sickness and appendicitis.

How Do I Prepare Quinoa? The first thing you need to do is check to see if the quinoa you’ve purchased is pre-washed (this should be indicated on the package) or not. This changes only April 2010

the preparation time, not the nutrition or taste. Dry quinoa seeds should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, similar to other grains. Unwashed: If you have unwashed quinoa a bitter tasting coating called saponins will coat the seed. It is easily removed by, soaking the grain for a few hours in some water; then changing the water and re-soaking the grain. Since the grain is so small its best to use a strainer or cheesecloth when straining so they don’t slip out and down the drain. Prewashed: If you have pre-washed quinoa it is good to rinse the grains before starting to cook to remove any powdery residue. Note the strainer reference from above.

How Can I Use It? I started by using quinoa as an alterna-

• Combine cooked, cooled quinoa with veggies and or cooked beans for a great cold salad


Sides and Mains • Substitute chicken or vegetable stock for water to increase the flavour • Dry roast in a pan or oven before cooking to give quinoa a toasted flavour • Add into soup instead of rice or barley • Use in a stir-fry by combining cooked quinoa with herbs, onions, spices and garlic and your favourite vegetables • Can be substitute for bulgur wheat in tabouli • Combine cooked quinoa with ground beef, and spices for stuffed peppers • Substitute for rice in cabbage rolls • Combine cooked quinoa with spinach, tomatoes, garlic and lemon juice • Mill into powder and cook according to basic directions for baby cereal • Cook with spinach and cheese (see recipe) this one is a favourite in my house

Baking Quinoa flakes/flour can be substituted in for wheat-based flour in recipes, providing a gluten-free alternative I’ll admit that I’ve been caught more than once with making too much (it really does seem so small in the beginning) so I’ve found an easy dessert you can make when you have too much cooked quinoa on your hands. tive to rice and couscous, but really I’ve discovered that the variations are only limited by your imagination. So I’ve got some ideas to start you off with some ways that I’ve tried: Breakfast Ideas • Add some (or all of the following) raisins, almonds, berries, cinnamon to cooked quinoa and serve with milk or honey

Sandwiches and Salads • Sprouted quinoa can be used in sandwiches and salads like Alfalfa sprouts. To sprout quinoa, soak 1/3 cup of seeds in a jar for 2-4 hours, drain and rinse seeds for 2 – 4 days. When the sprouts are 1-inch long, place near a window for chlorophyll to develop a vibrant green colour. April 2010

Christina Carew, ABC has been working on living a balanced lifestyle. In the last few years she has been taking courses in holistic nutrition because she is simply fascinating by food. She is in the midst of starting a food blog where she’ll be sharing additional food discoveries, just like this one, watch for the URL to be announced soon. Contact christina.

Quinoa with Spinach and Cheese 2 tsp olive oil 1 cup diced onion 1 tsp minced garlic 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well 2 cups chicken broth 2 cups chopped spinach ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese ½ tsp salt ¼ tsp ground black pepper Heat oil over medium heat, add onion and cook until soft and translucent. Add garlic and quinoa, cook for a minute longer, stirring occasionally (do not brown garlic). Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and similar for 12 minutes; mixture will be brothy. Stir in spinach and simmer, 2 minutes longer, or until grains have turned from white to transparent. Add cheese, salt and pepper. Service hot. Serves 6. Adapted from: The Biggest Loser Simple Swaps

Quinoa Pudding (a.k.a Rice Pudding without the rice) 2 cups quinoa, cooked (basic recipe) ½ cups raisins 
 3 cups milk ½ cup shredded coconut 
 1/3-cup honey 1 tsp vanilla 
 ½ cup ground almonds 3 eggs, beaten 
 ½ tsp cinnamon 1/8 tsp salt 
 1 tbsp butter Combine all ingredients. Pour into greased baking dish or greased individual custard cups. Bake in 350-degree oven until set, about 45 minutes. Serve hot or cold. Serves 4-6. 

29 | Family Health & Life

Puzzles and Games Crossword




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April 2010

April 2010

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April 2010

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