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The Magazine For Life

balance your

hormones,

Balance weight your

Fit at

50+

Exercise for older adults

steps 5 to a healthier

you!

parenting in the

digital age

Markham/Stouffville | Volume 11, Issue 1 Âť 2014


PAIN

TREAT

HEAL

Advanced Healing Power. Cold Laser Therapy

Local Chiropractor adopts cutting edge technology that rapidly heals tissue and is clinically proven to eliminate pain. Dr. Christine Garrity, chiropractor, treats nerve, muscle and joint problems through adjustment as well as adjunctive therapies such as the Impulse iQ Adjusting Instrument, ultrasound, electrical therapy (IFC, MFAC), needle and laser acupuncture along with ergonomic and exercise counselling. Over the past year Dr. Garrity added the Theralase Laser (cold laser therapy, www.theralase.com) in her practice and the results have been outstanding. Theralase therapeutic laser treatments provide patients with a safe, effective and painless therapy that uses the body’s own natural healing pathways to relieve pain, decrease inflammation and repair damaged tissue as laser promotes cell regeneration. Over 2000 clinical studies worldwide have proven the success of therapeutic lasers in healing of neural muscular-skeletal conditions. Theralase has completed a blinded randomized control study on chronic knee pain proving the clinical efficacy of Theralase therapeutic laser technology and achieving FDA approval (September 2012). Theralase Cold Laser Therapy also known as “Low Level Laser Therapy” is a highly effective treatment option for sports related injuries and a whole range of acute and chronic conditions. Treatment time varies from 2 to 20 minutes. The total number of treatments required varies between 5-25 depending on the body’s natural healing rate and the severity of the condition.

Common treatable conditions include: • Knee Pain (FDA approved) • Arthritis • Low Back Pain • Tendonitis • Neck Pain • Sprains & Strains • Heel Pain • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome • Sports Injuries and more …

What our patients are saying: “For me, the Theralase has been a game-changer. After months of long and frustrating treatments for a painful hip bursitis, a few cold laser treatments have done what nothing else has succeeded - getting rid of the pain and promote healing.“ - Claude Forand, Markham ON “Major hip pain was successfully treated in only 3 treatments – being pain free was such a relief! The Theralase is also working great on the chronic tendonitis I have in my hands.“ - Debbie Smith, Locust Hill ON

Call 905-471-2225 to book your appointment with Dr. Christine Garrity, B.P.H.E., D.C. 22 Wootten Way North, Markham, ON L3P 3L8 • www.drcgarrity.com


contents

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14

Volume 11, Issue 1 Âť 2014

30

departments 5 upfront 8 new & newsworthy 14 fitness 21 healthy home 23 dental health 26 seniors

features 10 Balance your hormones, balance your weight By understanding how certain hormones work together you can regulate your waist size more effectively, Shawn Nisbet advises.

14 active living for older adults Lori Ferren explains how physical activity is key to maintaining independence as we age.

18 Awaken to Health,Confidence and the Power of You! Tiffany Moffatt shares five positive steps you can take towards having more confidence, energy and a healthy body.

g certain Inclu d in t yo ur d ie fo o d s in e c n bala can help ls, e v le r suga s and hor mone ht! yo ur weig

27 marketplace 30 recipe

21 Tips For Taming Winter Allergies – Inside Your Home! Joan Lehach, MD, shares 9 ways to decrease your exposure to powerful indoor allergens and keep cold and flu-like allergy symptoms at bay.

24 parenting in the digital age: the medium is the message When communicating with our family and friends, why do we choose the specific media that we use, and what are the implications of these choices? Samantha Kemp Jackson explores.

e d ia: m l a e t Dig i bri dg r o er t bar ri paren n e e betw ? child and

24

HL Markham/Stouffville | 3


from the editor

What A Great Winter! Now It's Time To 'Spring' Into Action!

Volume 11, Issue 1 Âť 2014 Publisher

Don Flynn 416.917.0986 don@healthylivingmagazine.ca Editor

Laurie Morissette laurie@healthylivingmagazine.ca

Despite all the storms and mountains of snow, this winter has been encouraging for many of us. It was really exciting to watch our Canadian athletes do so well in the Winter Olympics, and while closer to home, local drivers and commuters might not have welcomed the snow with such great relish, it certainly provided plenty of activity for skiers, snowmobilers and other outdoor enthusiasts. While exercise is well and good and recommended to maintain a healthy body weight, it is also important to find the right balance......as Shawn Nisbet discusses in her article about hormones. As the snow finally melts away, there is plenty to do to get ready for Spring, and plenty of ways to keep moving. And as Lori Ferren of Club Markham explains in her article, we are never to old to get into shape and make physical fitness an important part of our lives. The promise of outdoor activity, coupled with the extra sunshine that comes with longer days will also help us 'top up' our Vitamin D levels, which tend to get depleted over the winter months when most of us tend to spend more time indoors than outdoors. Until next time, enjoy this issue of Healthy Living, and remember to THINK SPRING! It's just around the corner.

Graphic Designer

Priscilla Di Carlo Contributing Writers

Marilyn Arthurs Lori Ferren Samantha Kemp-Jackson Ricky Kwan Joan Lehach Tiffany Moffatt Shawn Nisbet Paulette Pillersdorf Opal Rowe Distribution

Distributed in Markham, Unionville and Stouffville. Available at select local food stores, health food retailers, doctor and dentist offices, health clubs, community centres, fitness centres, drugstores, medical clinics and more. Healthy Living is published 4 times yearly by Lenmark Communications Ltd. 2920 Major MacKenzie Drive E., Suite 7029, Markham, ON L6C 0J1 Phone: 905.534.2324 www.lenmarkgroup.com Proud supporter of:

laurie morissette, editor laurie@healthylivingmagazine.ca Spring is nd jus t aro u er! the corn

Persons not in our free distribution area may subscribe. Canada: $19.78 for 4 issues. ($17.50 plus $2.28 HST) For subscription inquiries email: info@healthylivingmagazine.ca All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without the permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited. Information presented is compiled from sources believed to be accurate. However, the publisher assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions. The publisher assumes no responsibility for the claims in items reported or for the opinions expressed by our writers. The information in this publication is not intended to replace or substitute for medical, legal or financial advice. Always seek advice from your physician or other qualified health provider regarding any medical condition or treatment. We welcome your suggestions. Unsolicited manuscripts are invited, but will not be returned.

healthylivingmagazine.ca

4 | HL Markham/Stouffville


up front

It's Easy To Feel Great Once You Are Balanced Save The Date

Spring Forest Festival Saturday, April 26, 2014 10am – 3pm Eldred King Tract 16232 Hwy. 48 Whitchurch-Stouffville Celebrate spring by planting trees! Take a horse-drawn wagon ride, see birds of prey, get your face painted, take home a tree seedling to plant, and much more! Plus learn how to protect land and grow new forests. Don't forget work gloves and a shovel. york.ca.

Posture is the combination of habit, structure, muscles and movement. Finding symmetry through structure, alignment, and muscles, with repetition of movement patterns, allows your posture to evolve and change to a more functional posture that reduces tension, stress and risk of injury. For information about how pilates can improve your posture, flexibility, balance, strength and overall health, visit solpilates.com. And watch for more about the benefits of pilates in future issues of Healthy Living.

Signs of Hearing

Hearing loss frequently goes unnoticed and because it happens gradually, many people are in denial. They often stop communicating and withdraw from family, friends and social situations because they can’t understand what is being said. Here are some common signs of hearing loss:  Speaking louder than necessary in conversation  Constantly asking for words to be repeated  Straining to hear  Misunderstanding conversations, especially in noisy situations  Favouring one ear  Thinking that people always mumble For more information visit chs.ca.

York Region has a brand new radio station! 105.9 The Region offers local news, sports and weather, information on local community and entertainment events and updates on the Markham, Vaughan and Richmond Hill municipal governments. Hosts include Jim Lang, formerly of Sportsnet 590 The FAN and "Humble Howard" Glassman of the Humble and Fred radio show. The station broadcasts English-language programming from 6am to 7pm, then features a wide variety of multicultural programming in the evenings and weekends. Stream 105.9 The Region online at www.1059theregion.com.

Loss

 T urning the television or radio up louder than usual H  aving difficulty hearing on the telephone  Withdrawing from social contact  Ringing or buzzing in one or both ears  Appearing dull and disinterested, slow to respond, or just not quite “with it”

phar.ma.cy com.pound.ing \fahr-muh-see kuhm-pound-ing\, n.

1. an established tradition which allows a physician to prescribe a very specific medication, prepared by a pharmacist, for a patient's individual needs. Years ago, compounded medications provided the majority of prescription drug care. Today, the vast majority of medication are mass-produced by pharmaceutical companies. They aim to treat a specific medical condition for a large segment of people. Problems can arise when a patient has a medical condition that can't be treated by one of these mass-produced products, or they might be allergic to a dye or filler in a commercial tablet. Patients may not be able to take the medication if for example the capsule is too large, or the dose too high, which is common in pediatric cases. These are just some of the situations where a compounding pharmacist can play a vital role in helping the physician find an appropriate treatment. The Chemist Pharmacy is a compounding Pharmacy serving the Markham area. HL Markham/Stouffville | 5


up front

Markham Stouffville MS Walk Committee This year's walk takes place on Sunday May 4th. Last year's walk raised $76,771 and 50% of the funds raised stayed in our community to help those living with MS. The money helped with housecleaning, attendant care, yard work, snow removal and a variety of equipment used to enhance the lives of those living with MS.

DON'T FLUSH THIS! What have water treatment plant workers ever done to you? Make their jobs easier – and give the environment a break while you are at it. May we introduce...the "Unflushables."

 Tampons Despite what the commercials say, tampons AND applicators go in the garbage, ladies. Don't wait to change your ways. Omit disposables today!

 Condoms Gentlemen, you're not off the hook. Condoms are garbage too.

 Hair When did you last clean your hair brush? Hygiene aside, compost or trash that hair and everything else you rescue from the drain trap and prevent clogs.

 Floss Add a year to your life by flossing daily, just don't flush.

 Disposable "Wipe-y" Products There's a trio of common disposables –- baby wipes, mopping pads and cleaning cloths. All will block sewers or harm the environment. How about reusable cloths? For more information visit www.davidsuzuki.org.

Part-time Advertising Sales Representatives Healthy Living Magazine, the widely read community magazine, is looking for part-time advertising sales people. Now you can work the

hours and days you choose in your community. If you are self-motivated and have good communication skills, we want to hear from you. Positions are available throughout York Region. Email resume to: don@healthylivingmagazine.ca or phone 905.475.5222 ext. 221

6 | HL Markham/Stouffville

SPA SAFETY GUIDE Many of us go to the salon and spa to relax and get pampered. Most spas work hard to make sure that their clients enjoy a safe service. However, there are many ways that serious infections can spread if proper steps to clean and disinfect are not taken. Be aware that in York Region, salons and spas must pass a YorkSafe Public Health Inspection, just the same as food establishments. Your spa should post its latest approved inspection report in clear view. For more information and to check your salon or spa's latest YorkSafe inspection report, visit york.ca.


up front

5-Pin

Bowling:

uniquely Canadian eh?!

5 Pin was invented in Toronto in 1909 and the first 5 Pin league was formed in 1910! Bowling has many health benefits including burning up to 240 calories per hour of activity, strengthening and toning of arm, chest, shoulder and leg muscles, improving heart and respiratory fitness, speeding metabolism, and it is a social activity and could potentially improve your mental outlook. And, it can be enjoyed all year long by ALL ages!

Preventing and Managing Arthritis Pain Arthritis is a common condition affecting millions of people every year. But rather than being one condition, the term arthritis is used for hundreds of diseases and conditions of the joints and associated tissues. To prevent and manage arthritis pain, live a healthy lifestyle, get regular exercise, educate yourself on the condition and consider chiropractic care. For more information visit sniderchiropractic.com.

One Club ‘Fits’ All...

Seeing with New Eyes For more than four years, those living at the Unionville Home Society's residences have been offered painting classes. The classes started in 2009 with just eight clients from the Day Program. In 2010 a program was developed for six residents that were in the early stages of memory loss, a group that was identified as being articulate and physically able to participate in a class. The group grew in confidence and enthusiasm and eventually named themselves The Unionville Six Group of Artists. In 2014 three more programs will be running for clients with various stages of dementia and Alzheimer's. For information contact Diane Brown at Unionville Home Society. Email: edbrown5@me.com.

no other Club gives you more! 4 No INItIatIoN Fee * 4 group Classes

4 2 MoNths FRee * 4 zumba

Call today for a tour! *Limited time offer. Not valid with any other discount offer.

In the Hilton Suites Hotel 8500 Warden Avenue at Hwy #7 (Plenty of Free Parking)

905.470.2400

clubmarkham.ca

HL Markham/Stouffville | 7


new &newsworthy

1 PAWS N’SILK ™ ALL-NATURAL PET BEDDING AND APPAREL COLLECTION

HUMAN TESTED, PET APPROVED Paws n' Silk™ is an all-natural and all-season pet bedding and apparel product line. Launched in March 2013, each product is made of 100% breathable cotton and long stranded silk. The luxury pet bedding and apparel collection will help your pet live a healthier lifestyle. Each product works as a barrier to dust mites, allergens and pet dander. Paws n' Silk™ products are temperature regulating and soothing to hot spots and skin irritation. Machine washable and dryable for easy care. For more information, visit www.pawsnsilk.com or call 1-877-678-7455. Twitter: @pawsnsilk. Facebook.com/pawsnsilk.

bill natural sources Diamond X-Trim ™

natural weight loss Trim fat off with Bill Natural Sources Diamond X-Trim™, a high purity green tree extract, with more catechins and stronger antioxidants in a small easy capsule. Recent studies have found that EGCG catechin and caffeine in green tea work together to stimulate the central nervous system and accelerate fat burning in the body. A natural and effective way to lose weight without the risk of side effects.

2

For more information visit billbeauty.com or call toll-free: (866) 857-1228.

3

PASCOFEMIN

homeopathic help for hormone balance Suffering from symptoms of hormonal disturbances like hot flashes, headaches, sleep issues and mood swings? Pascofemin helps to naturally restore hormonal balance in women. This homeopathic remedy is indicated for hormonal disturbances and all those symptoms associated with menstruation and menopause. This product offers natural relief to women, with no side effects or contraindications. Available at health food stores.

8 | HL Markham/Stouffville


4 lanlay Zepa Spray

fight fatigue and muscle soreness naturally Increased stress levels often leads to our muscles becoming stiff and losing sensitivities. Lanlay Zepa Spray is made from various plant extracts and herbs that have been pre-treated for 6 months prior to making this product. Unlike prescription drugs or freezing sprays that mask the real symptoms of stress and further exacerbate muscle soreness and stiffness, Lanlay Zepa Spray contains agents that will relieve fatigue and diminish all sorts of muscle soreness naturally. Available online at www.lanlaygroup.ca.

5 joy mCCARTHY’S joyous health

eat and live well without dieting Joyous Health is a fresh new approach to eating that will change the way you think about food, what you eat, and it offers a simple and practical path to creating a healthy lifestyle. In just six weeks, holistic nutritionist Joy McCarthy will guide you through an easy-to-follow and flexible program. Joyous Health is available wherever books are sold.

HL Markham/Stouffville | 9


cover story

Balance Your

Hormones, Balance Your

Weight!

Hormones control almost every aspect of your physical and mental health. When one hormone is a bit off, all of your hormones are a bit off. If they are not balanced, it is almost impossible to control your weight – no matter how little you eat or how much you exercise. by Shawn Nisbet

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O

ur bodies produce dozens of hormones that control virtually everything we do: from how we think, eat, sleep and cope with stress to how clear our complexions are and how much we weigh. When levels of just one hormone fluctuate, that shift can have serious consequences for mental, emotional and physical health. It’s not simply ‘calories in’ versus ‘calories out’ that controls your weight. It’s all about balancing the food you eat, how your liver functions and how certain hormones – including insulin, thyroid, estrogen, serotonin, leptin and cortisol – determine whether you are lean or fat. By understanding how these hormones work together, you can regulate your waist size more effectively.

Hormones: Insulin and Cortisol Stress produces cortisol, which produces insulin – and insulin is the fat storage hormone. Many people deny being stressed, but if you commute to work, have small children, teenagers, or aging parents, if you do not enjoy your work, sleep too much, sleep too little, eat too much sugar, take pharmaceuticals, take too many or not enough supplements, if you don’t eat vegetables, if you don’t breathe deeply, enjoy your life or are worried about your health or weight, you are probably stressed. Also, there is a correlation between where you store your body fat and which hormones are unbalanced. Excess stored around your love handles could indicate an insulin imbalance; fat stored around your abdomen could indicate a cortisol imbalance. Most importantly, your body experiences the same hormonal changes whether your stress is actual or imagined! Insulin Insulin, produced in your pancreas, is essential to process sugar in your bloodstream and carry it to cells to be used. Your blood sugar level is the amount of glucose from the food you eat or from unbalanced stress levels. Glucose sugar circulates in your bloodstream to provide energy to your cells immediately or to be stored for future use. A well-balanced blood sugar level is crucial to your overall fitness and well-being, regulating your hormones, triggering your body to burn stored fat, and increasing your metabolism to help you lose weight. Too much glucose leads to high blood sugar levels which your body can’t break down so it gets stored as fat. Ironically, insufficient sugar can also lead to extra pounds. Eating too little glucose can lead to a low blood sugar level, causing your body to go into ‘starvation mode’: it burns your lean muscle instead of the fat – a double whammy to your metabolic rate. A diet rich in the following foods will help to balance your sugar levels, your hormones and your weight: leafy greens; lean protein such as eggs, meat, fish and chicken; whole grains such as quinoa and millet, plus nuts and seeds; beans and lentils; and healthy fats such as avocados, olive oil and coconut oil.

HL Markham/Stouffville | 11


increases blood sugar levels and the brain's uptake of glucose. While some stress can be positive, the problem is ongoing, chronic stress. Day-to-day demands, worry, tension and poor lifestyle cause your adrenals to fire constantly and cortisol levels to be released in excess.

What You Eat Can Make a Big Difference

Don't skip meals.

Stress levels rise as the demand for nutrients is increased but not met. Our bodies will lack the nutrients required to manage stress properly, and as a result, our health becomes compromised.

What causes insulin excess? Again, the list is long: too much nutrientpoor, carbs-processed food, sugary drinks, sodas, packaged low fat foods and artificial sweeteners; insufficient protein intake, inadequate fat intake, deficient fibre consumption, chronic stress, lack of exercise, over exercising, steroid-based medications, poor liver function and toxin exposure. Possible signs of excess insulin include age spots, sagging skin, skin tags, vision changes or cataracts, heart disease, poor memory and concentration, type 2 diabetes, sleep disruption or deprivation, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. The Cortisol Effect Cortisol is the stress hormone produced by our adrenal glands. How we react to each of our stressors determines how much cortisol we produce. Possible signs of excess cortisol include weight gain, hair loss, and infertility or absent menopause.

12 | HL Markham/Stouffville

Excess cortisol also interferes with serotonin, which can lead to clinical depression, anxiety disorders and insomnia. The long list of effects also includes mental clutter and poor concentration, breaking down of collagen and an acceleration of the aging process, heart palpitations and loss of muscle tone, increased blood pressure, blood clotting and cholesterol levels, and the sensation of feeling ‘wired’ at night. How to Decrease Cortisol All stress, actual or perceived, can cause a physiological response. The brain triggers the adrenal glands, which sit on top of the kidneys, to release the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline speeds up heart rate, increases blood pressure and boosts energy. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, shifts energy away from the digestive and immune systems to prepare for an ‘alarmed’ state, and

A poor diet can trigger stress. During periods of stress, our demand for nutrients increases, there is a faster turnover of protein, fat and carbohydrates to produce energy to keep up with the demands we place on ourselves, and vitamins B and C are rapidly depleted.  Stress-busting B-vitamins are essential in the production of our feel-good neurotransmitters. While B6 is especially important in terms of busting stress, it’s also the first to be depleted by stress. Foods rich in B6 include tuna, turkey, beef, chicken, salmon, sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds, spinach, raw cashews, red peppers and bananas.  Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, also helps curb large spikes in cortisol as a response to mental stress. Foods rich in Vitamin C include papaya, red peppers, strawberries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, pineapple, oranges, kiwifruit and blackcurrants.  Don’t skip meals. Stress levels rise as the demand for nutrients is increased but not met. Our bodies will lack the nutrients required to manage stress properly, and as a result, our health becomes compromised. Even normal stress begins to exact a toll.

How We Cope with Stress When the pressure is on, many of us don’t take the time to eat. When the stressful moment has passed or we finally have time to eat, we typically reach for a treat. By then we’re low in blood sugar, extremely hungry and need to eat NOW. This energy slump, typically at 3 or 4 pm, sets us up for poor food choices. While the concentrated shot of sugar found in soft drinks or sweet treats provides a quick energy boost, it’s short lived. We feel more tired and


irritable than before the sugar fix. When our sugar level increases from food choices or stress, this again increases our insulin levels, and remember, insulin is the fat storage hormone. These high levels of sugar are taken out of the blood via the production of insulin, the sugar converts to body fat, and our blood sugar levels decrease causing us to crave sweets again. Too much caffeine can also lead to stress. Caffeine increases anxiety, mimics the stress response and causes the body to lose B vitamins, necessary for vitality and energy, as well as calcium, important for muscle and nerve relaxation. It’s a vicious circle: stress affects mood; mood affects food choices; food choices affect mood which once again affects stress levels – especially if we are upset about the food we just ate.

Sleep Your Way to Weight Loss When it comes to weight control, never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. Getting enough sleep helps you maintain your weight, while sleep

loss goes along with an increased risk of weight gain. Why? Part of the problem is behavioral. If you’re chronically overtired, you might be less likely to have the energy to go for that jog or cook a healthy dinner after work. Why? Lack of sleep increases stress which increases cortisol levels which increase insulin levels. The other part is physiological. The hormone leptin plays a key role in making you feel full. When you don’t get enough sleep, leptin levels drop. Tired people are hungrier, and crave high-fat and high-calorie foods. Melatonin can also influence weight loss: without the release of melatonin, we have less growth hormone production, which repairs and maintains metabolically active muscle tissue while we sleep. The more muscle mass, the higher your metabolic rate which allows you to burn more calories even while sleeping.

Less Stress Equals Less Weight To control stress and its influence on your weight, try to diminish or

remove the sources of stress in your life. Scale back your commitments, learn better time management, become more assertive. Use exercise, meditation and yoga to cope with stress you can’t eliminate. Change your psychological responses. For example, if you tend to overeat when stressed, develop a list of non-food ways to handle the pressure. Learning to wait out the urge to eat – usually just 10 to 15 minutes – is a simple change that can make a big difference. Take a walk, breathe deeply, listen to music, read a book or do some yoga to decrease your cortisol levels so your insulin levels don’t increase. But don’t restrict your calories too much because a lack of calories can also cause stress to your body. Yes, it is a real balancing act! HL Shawn M. Nisbet, is a registered holistic nutritionist (RHN), yoga teacher and Nordic pole walking master instructor. Tel: 416.804.0938. Email: info@shawnnisbet.com. www.shawnnisbet. com; www.shawnsharesjuiceplus.com.

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HL Markham/Stouffville | 13


fitness

Active Living for

Older Adults

How physical activity prolongs independence Over the next 25 years, Canada will continue to see major growth in the number of adults over the age of 50. While many older adults may still be working and/or have a fitness regime, many more are inactive. Fitness director, Lori Ferren, explains how specialist trainers can educate older adults about the power of physical activity in maintaining independence. By Lori Ferren

‘You don’t stop exercising because you grow old; you grow old because you stop exercising.’

14 | HL Markham/Stouffville

There are many physiological aspects of aging, such as weight gain, body composition changes and body fat increases. The good news is that exercise can slow down these changes. After the age of 45, we lose 6.6 lbs of muscle mass per decade. This includes loss of fast-twitch muscles, reduced strength and power, and loss of antigravity muscles. A reduction in the size of muscle fibers, as well as the number of fibers and motor units, makes muscles unable to respond as quickly. Tendons

are stiffer, less pliable and unable to take stresses on the joints as they once could. According to the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines for Older Adults, “To achieve health benefits and improve functional abilities, adults aged 65 years and older should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate- to vigorousintensity aerobic physical activity per week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more.” Muscle and bone strengthening activities, at least two days per week, are also beneficial.


Being active for at least 150 minutes per week can help reduce the risk of chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease, as well as premature death. Such regular activity also helps to maintain functional independence and mobility, improve fitness, improve or maintain body weight, and maintain bone health and mental agility. The guidelines for older adults recommend increased endurance activities four to seven days a week, increased flexibility activities daily, and increased strength and balance activities two to four days a week.

Pushing Past the Fear Factor A number of issues can make older adults hesitant to start – or continue – exercising. Fear is a huge factor, and rightfully so. There is the fear of falling as many older people experience gait changes, a decrease in balance, poor posture, decrease in leg strength and joint mobility, lower activity levels and general instability. Some powerful psychological stresses can also challenge self-image and self-esteem. Fear of growing old and chronically ill, fear of becoming a burden, fear of financial challenges, fear of change, fear of loss of independence, and fear of death. A more active lifestyle can help to manage many of these fears. How? An active lifestyle can help older adults relax and sleep better, lower stress and anxiety levels, and enhance overall mood and emotional state. Activity can also postpone the decrease in central nervous system function and reaction time. It can postpone the decrease in motor skills and generate an overall better sense of well-being. On the social side, being active makes older adults feel empowered. Regular programs promote interaction with other people and create a healthy, social environment as new friendships are formed and old ones are strengthened.

Working Through the Challenges Of course, many conditions can challenge older adults as they strive

to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. Arthritis, for example, is a common condition involving joint inflammation. There are 406 joints in the body, 292 of which are susceptible to arthritis! The resulting redness, heat and pain can deter sufferers from pursuing various activities, especially when we consider that one pound of weight is equal to four pounds of pressure on the knees. Although there are times when exercise is not recommended for arthritis sufferers, there are also many benefits in terms of increasing range of movement, water exercise, stretching and cross training. These participants will need a longer warm-up, as it is harder for them to get going. They also benefit from shorter exercise duration, accumulating short sessions throughout the day. They should avoid high repetitions and high resistance. This is one example of programming for a condition, and precautions and benefits may differ between various conditions. With proper monitoring, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and diabetes can also benefit from exercise and activity. The overriding factor in the lives of older adults is maintaining independence.

How Specialist Trainers can Help A qualified trainer with a specialty in older adult fitness can provide individualized and highly specific training. We all age differently. Older adults who still work and/or already practise a fitness regime may require very few modifications. At the same time, active adults unaccustomed to exercising in a formal setting may need specific programming. On the other hand, inactive older adults may suffer from conditions related to aging and a sedentary lifestyle. They are usually getting little exercise and may need several modifications when they embark on a program. Specialist trainers can work with them on modifications to help reduce the risk of injury. They can also advise when to stop exercise and consult a physician, if necessary.

Before You Begin Here are some recommendations older adults should consider before starting an activity program. First, consult your physician for a check-up. Then make a list of activities you would like to try, set short- and long-term goals, make them realistic and reward yourself when you achieve them. Start slowly and treat exercise sessions as appointments to be kept. Check out the facility you want to join, including its accessibility, and check your options. For example, will there be a seated option in the class you want to attend?

Life itself is a workout. Just think how many activities are involved in daily living: carrying lifting  pulling (a door)  pushing  reaching  climbing  stepping  lunging  squatting  shifting weight (getting out of a car)  pivoting  balancing  bending  decelerating  accelerating  walking  twisting  hygiene activities   dressing activities  grooming actions  bathing  household activities (cleaning)  cooking activities  shopping  recreational activities  social activities  driving  gardening  hobbies  

HL Markham/Stouffville | 15


A trained OAS (Older Adult Specialist) can help with exercise programming for specific medical conditions, such as: Joint immobilization Range of motion restriction  Sensory disorders (hearing/visual impairments)  Balance problems  Arthritis  Osteoporosis  Cardiovascular disease  Diabetes  COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)  Abdominal restrictions (overweight)  Alzheimer’s  Immunological disorders (cancer)  Neuromuscular disorders (stroke, Parkinson’s)  Joint replacements  Fibromyalgia  Hernias  Disc herniations  MS (multiple sclerosis)  

Check out the staff and their credentials, and seek those with specific experience working with older adults. As an investment in your health, you might consider hiring a specialist trainer who can put you on a well-rounded program or joining a group program with professional older adult instruction. Find ways to fit in additional exercise, such as parking further away and using the stairs, depending on your level of mobility. Create a support network to ensure family and friends understand how important your healthy lifestyle is to you. Finally, as obvious as it may seem, invest in the right clothing, including shoes.

So Much to Gain! Beyond the physical benefits, active older adults meet new people, feel more relaxed, sleep better and are generally happier. The Can-Fit-Pro program suggests the benefits of regular physical activity are many

and varied: continued independent living; better physical and mental health; improved quality of life; more energy; the ability to move with fewer aches and pains; better posture and balance; improved self-esteem; weight maintenance; stronger muscles and bones; more relaxation and less stress. Being active reduces the risk of heart disease, falls and injuries, obesity, high blood pressure, adult-onset diabetes, osteoporosis, stroke, depression, colon cancer and premature death. So go ahead! What have you got to lose? Being active is very safe for most people. However, regardless of age, start slowly and build up gradually. Listen to your body, and respect it! HL Lori Ferren is Fitness Director at Club Markham Fitness, Squash, Swim at the Hilton Toronto/ Markham Suites Conference Centre and Spa. Her Can-Fit Pro certifications include FIS (Fitness Instructor Specialist), PTS (Personal Training Specialist) and OAS (Older Adult Specialist). Tel: 905 470 2400, ext 2810. www.clubmarkham. ca; torontomarkham.hilton.com.

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Heart-smart tips for a healthy ticker Over the last 60 years the death rate from heart disease and stroke has declined by more than 75 per cent, and now the vast majority of Canadians who have a heart attack, or stroke, will survive. The even better news is that up to 80 per cent of premature heart disease and stroke can be prevented. There are healthy behaviours all Canadians can adopt that can help to prevent a heart attack or stroke in the first place and can help survivors avoid another incident. The following tips can help all Canadians make health last:  Eat a healthy diet. Follow the recommendations in Canada’s Food Guide, including eating between five and 10 servings of vegetables and fruit each day.

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 Be physically active. Try to get 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each week – that’s less than half an hour a day.  Be smoke free.  Manage stress. Identify the source of your stress, talk to friends and family, and take time for yourself.  Limit alcohol consumption. Women should limit themselves to no more than two drinks a day, to a weekly maximum of 10, and men to three drinks a day, to a weekly maximum of 15. HL

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HL Markham/Stouffville | 17


Awaken to Health, Confidence and the Power of You! by tiffany moffatt

“To keep the body in good health is a duty…otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”

— Buddha

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Happiness, energy and vitality are not elusive goals, but a question of connecting with your physical well-being. The elixir of life, simply stated, is healthy living. Through exercise, healthy eating and life balance, you can live to your fullest potential. Keep reading to learn five positive steps you can take towards having more confidence, energy and a healthy body.

W

hy is optimum health so important? Without good health, we don’t have the energy to enjoy all the things that give us pleasure and fulfillment in life, such as our relationships, work and leisure. Everything extends from a healthy body, including a healthy state of mind, as well as our emotional and spiritual health. To be able to connect with a healthy state of being is essential to avoiding stress and disease, the pitfalls of not prioritizing healthy living. Think of a fit and healthy body as being your ammunition against illness and disease or as your assurance of a life fulfilled with unparalleled joy and energy. With such promise of happiness and fulfillment that comes from healthy living, why do so many of us procrastinate starting an exercise regime, neglect our nutrition, or overwork until our stress levels skyrocket? One reason is that we don’t make health a priority. Know that you and only you are in charge of your destiny. Now is the time to start making your health your number one priority. Another obstacle is that we perceive change as an insurmountable hurdle. The idea of beginning an exercise program or making changes to our diet can be daunting! With so much (often conflicting) information available to us we are not sure where to begin. It’s easier to maintain the status quo; after all, it’s human nature to resist change! Instead, imagine awakening to a life in which you have energy and vitality to enjoy every day, in which your state of mind is calm instead of harried, and the food you eat and enjoy fuels your mind and body. So, if you are looking to start the New Year with the goal of becoming healthier, let us show you how to live with health, confidence and energy. With the following simple steps, learn how to

springboard your plan towards a more fulfilling, stress-free life. The first step in creating a plan for change is to set an intention and define your goals. Without this important step, we are all good intention and no action. Canadian yogi Eoin Finn aptly phrased the importance of goal setting when he said,“Why bob in life when you can surf?” First, set an intention for 2014. Similar to setting a New Year’s resolution, an intention asks what you want to cultivate in your life. However, an intention is softer than a resolution. Instead of a “resolution” to loose ten pounds, set an intention to have a healthier relationship with your weight. An intention is more global than a resolution and honors our imperfections and humanity. Since 83% of New Year’s goal-oriented, guilt-fueled “resolutions” fail; an intention is something that makes your new journey more joyful and meaningful. You still have to do the work, but your focus shifts from sacrifice and self-control to one of acceptance.

Five steps towards

healthy living ➽1. Get Moving

“We were meant to move. And when we don’t, we increase our risk of virtually every known ailment,” says Bob Greene, author of “The Life You Want.” Illnesses associated with a sedentary lifestyle include diabetes, coronary heart disease, hypertension, osteoporosis and stroke among others. It is well documented that exercise strengthens the immune system in ways that can help fight everything from small infections to cancer. The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology recommends that adults ages 18-64 accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity per week (20 minutes per day) and include muscle

and bone strengthening activities using major muscle groups at least two days per week. Moderate activity is defined as walking or bike riding and vigorous activity is defined as jogging or crosscountry skiing. Many of us know what to do to get moving, but don’t have the motivation to stick to an exercise program. What is of utmost importance for your success is that you find a deeper emotional or psychological motivation to exercise. This is something that inspires you and only you, such as you want the energy to play with your children or grandchildren or you are always feeling low energy and it is impacting your work and relationships or you want to feel more self-confident. Get in touch with what your individual barriers are to exercise, such as “I don’t have time to workout,” or “I can’t afford a gym membership” or “I don’t know where to start” and counter your known objections with doable steps to overcome these “excuses.” Start putting yourself first, start scheduling exercise into your life and be consistent. Exercise is so vital to your health and happiness and if you can make this one change to your lifestyle, you will probably find that the other steps will easily follow suit. You will sleep better, be less stressed, more confident and you will want to fuel your body better and so you will naturally want to eat better, too.

➽2. Eat Better

Put aside all of your diet,“lose weight fast” books that you have collected over the years and instead get back to basics. Eating better and maintaining a healthy weight is about making healthy eating a lifestyle change. In the United States, spending on diets and self-help books is an average of $60 billion per year. Save your money because diets don’t work! In fact, 98% of diets fail. Instead, try changing your eating patterns by HL Markham/Stouffville | 19


attention to negative self-talk and turn any negatives into a positive, soulnourishing inner dialogue.

“You have the power to change anything, because you are the one who chooses your thoughts and you are the one who feels your feelings.” — Michael Bernard Beckwith including more unprocessed, whole foods and including Mother Nature’s healthiest offerings, such as whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables. This simple change will help create enormous improvements in your energy level, weight and health. “Having a healthy approach to food, and eating better is about achieving that sense of balance; lots of the good stuff, loads of variety, and the odd indulgence every now and then,” says Jamie Oliver, author of numerous cookbooks on healthy eating, including The Food Revolution. For more information on eating healthy, go to the Health Canada website, www.hc-sc.gc.ca, where you can find a link to Canada’s Food Guide, which offers information on food groups, portion sizes and how to read labels at the grocery store. Or, consider hiring a dietitian. To find a registered dietitian in your area, visit www.dietitians.ca/find.

➽3. Reduce Stress

According to Stats Canada, more than a quarter (27%) of Canadian working adults, roughly 3.7 million people, described their lives on most days as ‘quite a bit’ or ‘extremely’ stressful, meaning that they go through a regular day feeling a high level of stress. Stress is becoming a major health concern, responsible for a multitude of illnesses, including heart disease, high blood pressure and strokes. Stress also impacts our immune system, which protects us from many serious diseases. Sadly, stress is a known contributor to the development of alcoholism, diabetes, drug addiction, suicide and other harmful behaviors. The majority of us are living day to day in a constant state of low-grade stress, where adrenaline is constantly being released into our bodies and has become our main form of fuel. To keep

20 | HL Markham/Stouffville

up with our harried pace, we consume processed foods, sugar and caffeine. Living life in this state of “overdrive” is coming at a cost to our health and well being. Our current behavior, if not checked, will continue to result in a host of health related problems, unrestrained stress and resulting unhappiness. It’s time for a shift in our values and perspective, starting by slowing down! It is a conscious choice that many are adopting through exercise, yoga, meditation and deep breathing exercises. Giving yourself permission to check out and hang out in a hammock may be life changing. So, take time for life! Decide today that you won’t let work and stress overwhelm you.

➽4. Banish Negativity

Self-esteem and confidence are key to our happiness and yet 80% of American women are dissatisfied with their appearance. Americans had 11 million plastic surgery procedures in 2006 and 333, 000 of those were performed in the U.S. on women 18 years of age and younger! How did our definition of beauty get so warped? Today’s epidemic of plastic surgery is a barometer of women undervaluing their inner and outer beauty and it’s time for a change. We have it all backwards! Instead of focusing on plastic surgery and dieting to achieve a healthy body, we need to focus on healthy living. A fit and healthy body is a by-product of a balanced, healthy lifestyle. And, what happened to valuing inner beauty? Instead of trying to repair our broken confidence with this band-aid approach, we need to look deeper and search for personal strength and beauty within ourselves. Women need to return to a “girl state of mind,” meaning we need to be happy in our own skin, not influenced by the media and confident with our inner beauty. We need to pay

➽ 5. Creative Expression

According to psychologist Abraham Maslov’s hierarchy of needs, creativity, along with morality and spontaneity is among our highest human needs and leads us to self-actualization. To achieve happiness and tap into our deepest human needs, we need to express our creativity. Tapping into your creativity through art, photography, dance, writing or music can help alleviate stress and help you connect with your higher self. Think of an activity that allows you to completely lose track of time and this is probably your go-to creative pastime. For many, work may offer creative expression. Perhaps you are a marketer or entrepreneur, a writer or fashion designer and are doing what you love for a living. For others, choosing a pastime that allows you to rediscover your creative energy through wood working, scrapbooking or belly dancing class will go a long way towards bringing you joy, vitality and a sense of pride. It’s never too late to improve your health and well-being. The small steps you take today can become huge strides in protecting your health in the future. In not much time at all, you can lose weight, strengthen and tone your muscles, reduce stress, tap into your creative energy and improve your self-esteem. It’s a new year and a great time to begin making changes towards healthier living.“You have the power to change anything, because you are the one who chooses your thoughts and you are the one who feels your feelings,” says Michael Bernard Beckwith, minister, author, and founder of the Agape International Spiritual Center in the U.S. Try incorporating these five steps towards change and you will bring vitality, wellness and happiness into your life and awaken to health, confidence and the power of you! HL Tiffany Moffatt is a certified Personal Trainer Specialist, Fitness Instructor Specialist, Pre and Postnatal Specialist (Canfitpro certified) and freelance writer who has worked in the fitness industry for 25 years. tiffanysbeyourbest.blogspot.com.


Healthy Home

Tips For Taming Winter Allergies -- Inside Your Home!

Cockroaches, dust mites, dander and mold can trigger cold and flu-like symptoms. As cold temperatures and unusually snowy conditions continue to keep us indoors, prolonged exposure to four powerful indoor allergens can cause a variety of symptoms. If you experience continuous congestion, coughing, sneezing, watery eyes and nasal drip, there is a good chance that you are reacting to the presence of either dust mites, cockroaches, animal dander or mold somewhere in your home.

Ways to Control Symptoms  Mold Inspection The most common places to find mold in the home are on shower curtains, wallpaper, carpets and the sink. Mold also grows in the drain, which can be cleaned with bleach and detergent.

 Cockroach Hunt Cockroaches do not have to be alive to trigger respiratory problems. Dust containing molecules of dried cockroaches can still cause symptoms. Professionals should be consulted to discover and clean nesting areas.  Dry Up Dust Mites Keep your indoor humidity at 50% or lower. High humidity will breed dust mites.  Filter Out Animal Dander Vacuum often and consider purchasing an air purifier for each room to help prevent airborne dander from spreading throughout the house. Mice or other fur-bearing animals living under the house or in the attic must be searched for and removed.  Start an Immune Building Diet Eliminate foods that are weakening

By Dr. Joan Lehach, MD

your immune system, like packaged and processed foods, and start eating immune boosting allergy fighting foods like blackberries and blueberries.  Get Sufficient Sleep Our immune system is very 'sleep driven', and allergies are precipitated by weakened immunity.  Stay Hydrated Dehydration causes dry nasal mucosa, making it easier for allergens to enter your bloodstream.  Use the 'Hot' Setting Wash your bedding in hot water to properly neutralize allergens.  Wash Your Face and Hands If there is dander, mold or dust on your face or hands, chances are you will end up inhaling it. HL Dr. Joan Lehach, MD www.joanlehachmed.com.

HL Markham/Stouffville | 21


Could you be Dying

in your Sleep?

Most adults require six to eight hours of sleep every night. We usually take sleep for granted, as it is a basic necessity for life that allows our bodies to heal and be refreshed when we wake. The most common sleep disorder affecting Canadians is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). OSA occurs when a person stops breathing repeatedly during sleep because the airway collapses and prevents air from entering and exiting the lungs. It is quickly becoming a pandemic in our society with current research estimating that over 40% of adults may be affected, but of these fewer than 10% are diagnosed and only 1% are adequately treated. Most people who suffer from sleep apnea do not know it. Some of the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea are:  Snoring  Lack of Energy  Restless Sleep  Gasping or choking during sleep  Irritability  Depression  Memory loss  Excessive daytime sleepiness  Poor judgment or concentration  Falling asleep while driving  Clenching or grinding teeth  Obesity Medical research reveals a deadly link between OSA and many debilitating and life threatening diseases and conditions such as:  Stroke  Heart Attack  High Blood Pressure  Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)  Erectile Dysfunction  Depression

22 | HL Markham/Stouffville

 Kidney Disease  Cancer  ADHD in Children  Bedwetting in Children OSA can be tested by performing a sleep study where a medical recording device is used to record the respiration related functions that occur during sleep. A patient may be diagnosed as having snoring, mild, moderate or severe OSA. There are a number of treatments available for OSA but the most common options are Oral Appliances, manufactured by Dentists and C-PAP machines, prescribed through your Medical Doctor. Both of these therapies increase airflow available for breathing, improving quality of life and general health and well being. Previously the C-PAP machine has been the gold standard for OSA treatment but many patients cannot tolerate it. These machines may be cumbersome to wear as they require head gear, hoses and a mask. They are noisy, require the purchase of tubing and filters and may limit sleep positions. It is estimated that as high as 50% of patients that have been prescribed C-PAP therapy are non compliant. For these patients oral appliances are the best alternative treatment for OSA as they are effective, comfortable and convenient. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recognizes oral appliance therapy as a first line treatment for snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnea, as well as C-PAP. Oral appliances are also considered an alternative to C-PAP for severe apnea when patients do not tolerate C-PAP. If you suspect you or a loved one may be suffering from OSA and snoring contact a dental or medical professional for treatment. HL Paulette Pillersdorf, D.D.S. Ricky Kwan, D.D. Denture Specialist.


dental health

April is

National Oral Health Month More Canadians suffering from dental erosion Canadian dentists are seeing more and more patients with dental erosion. Dental erosion occurs when the hard part of the tooth wears away from direct contact with acid. Dental erosion can be caused by certain health conditions such as stomach acid problems and eating disorders, but eating and drinking foods high in acid such as sport drinks and soft drinks can also cause teeth to erode.

Three steps to preventing dental erosion

ď Ž Choose drinks that are low in acid. Carbonated soft drinks are high in acid, which can harm your teeth. ď Ž Do not swish or hold high acid drinks in your mouth for long periods of time or suck on citrus fruits. ď Ž It is best to consume foods and drinks high in acid at the end of mealtime while there is still plenty of saliva in your mouth to wash away sugars and acids. HL To learn more about dental erosion and other oral health concerns, talk to your dentist and visit the Canadian Dental Association website at www.cda-adc.ca.

We offer LASER dentistry.

HL Markham/Stouffville | 23


Parenting in the

Digital Age The Medium is the Message

Whether it’s with our kids, our family or our friends, we make a conscious choice in how we get our message across. Why do we choose the specific media that we use, and what are the implications of these choices? Read on for more insight. By Samantha Kemp-jackson

24 | HL Markham/Stouffville


A wise man once said that “the medium is the message.” Marshall McLuhan could not have possibly imagined how far and wide that message would go back in 1964 when he made his now-famous comment. Fast-forward to a digital world where the “message” is conveyed at warp speed, through a variety of media. The particular medium – whether it be an iPhone, laptop or tablet – is just one facet of the overall communication that is being sent. The medium is indeed the message as both are inextricably tied. A missive fired off via email takes on a decidedly different tone than a quick text message containing similar content. McLuhan felt that our electronic devices were an extension of our nervous system. How prescient he was. How many of us get the jitters and twitches when our iPhone/Blackberry/ smartphone buzzes, indicating another message? How many more of us twitch and jitter even more when we’re not able to address this seemingly important indicator? The societal change in the past 15 years or so has had a profound effect on the way we communicate. Like anything, our behaviour trickles from the top down, from the way we address and interact with our work colleagues to how we liaise with our family members. No one is immune to this digitally wired world in which we reside. The new world order is firmly ensconced in our daily actions and, accordingly, the way we engage with our children. Regardless of how much we may resist technology in our lives, how many of us can live without it? This is particularly the case with parents. On any given day, the following will occur, many times over:  A parent will text their child to make sure that the child got to school/returned home/arrived to a particular destination safely  A child will request the use of the family tablet, smartphone or computer

in order to connect with friends, watch video, download music and more  A parent will use technology as a “babysitter” of sorts, in order to occupy the children long enough to complete a particular task  A child will spend countless hours on their game console fighting aggressors, playing sports and/or digitally connecting with a virtual world of friends Love it or hate it, it is what it is. The technology of recent times is here to stay. The Internet was the stepping stone to bigger and better digital opportunities and our present world is a reflection of how far we’ve come. Technology is a critical part of our lives whether we like it or not. Whether it’s checking our email first thing in the morning, to downloading video and music, texting and more, we’ve reshaped our lifestyles in order to welcome the conveniences that technology provides. To this end, our children are just as adept – and in some cases, more so – than we are in their use of the latest digital tools. They, too, are emailing, texting, streaming and sharing in the digital reality in which we reside. This being the case, parents everywhere do their best to “speak the same language” in an effort to connect with their children. A quick text to provide an encouraging word; a Facebook post regarding an uploaded image or a Tweet showcasing one’s child looking sweeter than ever – these are all commonalities in today’s digital age. That being the case, these various methods of communication, both direct and indirect, make a profound statement about the relationship that we have with our children. A “Tweet” instead of a conversation. A “Like” instead of a verbal word of encouragement. This is the reality in many families. Of course there are varying degrees of these interactions but they exist, more so than ever. If the medium is the message – which I will say for the record that I

agree with this observation – what does this reality say about all of us as parents? How does a “tweet” stand up against a real conversation with your son? Sure, you may have “liked” your teen’s latest Facebook picture, but did you actually talk to her about where it was taken and who took the shot? That harried and hurried text message that proclaimed your love for your child… did that truly have equal value to what could have been a heartfelt, face-to-face proclamation to your son or daughter? The medium truly is the message. How we convey our thoughts and ideas says almost as much as what we are actually saying. This truism becomes even more salient when we introduce parenting into the mix. Ask yourself this question: how frequently do I communicate with my child or children via technology? Most of us would have to admit that we do it much more often than we realize. If we continue on with the conclusion that the medium is truly the message, then technology, while it has its good qualities, can often present a digital barrier between parent and child. Therein lies the problem. In some instances, the messages that we are sending are muted in their delivery as they are conveyed through the ether. In other cases, the messages’ importance and urgency are compounded by the ping or buzz of whichever gadget is providing the information. Don’t shoot the messenger. Instead, we must collectively look within ourselves as parents and examine whether or not we are truly just using technology as a convenience to interact with our children, or, ironically, using it to maintain a level of distance. In many cases, it may be a bit of both. HL Samantha Kemp-Jackson is a freelance writer, public relations consultant and parenting blogger based in Toronto. You can visit her website by going to www.multiplemayhemmamma.com.

HL Markham/Stouffville | 25


seniors

“Tea for the Sandwich Generation” An unfortunate, but common case study that could be your own … By opal rowe

It was after 5 p.m. and I had a meeting scheduled with a prospective client. As a full time employee, it was the only time of the day she could meet with me. We exchanged pleasantries, I offered her a choice of tea or coffee and waited with abated breath, hoping that she would say tea – I can’t make coffee to save my life.“Tea” she said,“that should help me to relax.” Shoot, I am not as prepared as I am normally – I had forgotten to put the kettle on before her arrival. There was no point going back and forth to the meeting room while the water boiled, so I stayed in the kitchen, while my visitor was in the meeting room – alone. Have you ever noticed how long water for two cups of tea takes to boil when you are waiting on it? With the tea ready, I was back in the meeting room. “That took a long time,” she said. Was it really a long time? I thought it was my imagination, now I felt badly. She proceeded to tell me that she couldn’t recall the last time she was left alone with her thoughts and how frightening it was. She couldn’t recall the last time she had a chance to really exhale – the time left alone, though scary, was like paradise. My prospect was only in her 30’s but she was one of many women commonly referred to as the “Sandwich Generation.” She was married, with three children, and was the primary caregiver for her mother. Four months prior to our meeting, she called to check on her mother one morning and after several unsuccessful attempts, called 911 for fear something was wrong. Her mother was found suffering from a heart attack and had been in the hospital since then. She was later diagnosed with a brain tumor. Her mother also had a stroke three years before, and it took another several years before she regained partial independence.

26 | HL Markham/Stouffville

This was the first time she was telling the story in its entirety. She had not had the time to sit and think about it, much less discuss it. Needless to say, she felt like she was drowning as she struggled to cope with her many different roles and she was now worried that her own health was at risk. She had come to us to find out how we could help her mother after she was discharged from the hospital. She had 101 questions, and had no idea where to find the answers. She was relieved to know that we provided free, no obligation consultation to people who are caring for the sick or the elderly. My heart went out to this woman, because she could have been my sister and not for a moment could I imagine what it would be like in her shoes. The sad fact remains however, that there is a growing number of women in this situation. I say women, not to imply that men are not caught between caring for two generations as well, but because it is a statistical fact that women are the primary caregivers for both children and the elderly. It is also a fact that women suffer from more stress induced illnesses than men. As an employer of mainly women who are providing care to people with mental or physical disabilities, I often tell my staff, “There’s no point caring to death, because when you are dead, you are no good to anyone.”To the many women who are also care providers, I say the same, “Take care of number one – YOU!” HL Opal Rowe, MSc, MBA, CPCA is Director of Living Assistance Services, GTA North.


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HL Markham/Stouffville | 29


recipe

trinidad chicken pelau This traditional chicken and rice dish gets its colour and characteristic flavour from browning the chicken in caramelized sugar. Serve with a creamy coleslaw to complete the island meal. Preparation Time:

20 minutes

at least 15 minutes Cooking Time: 45 to 50 minutes marinating Time: Serves: p er serving:

520 calories, 31 g protein, 14 g fat, 66 g carbohydrates, 6 g fibre

4

Preparation: In large bowl, combine chicken,

8 Ontario Chicken Thighs, bone-in and skin removed 1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh Ontario Thyme or 1 tsp (5 mL) dried 3 cloves Ontario Garlic, minced 1 tsp (5 mL) salt 1/2 tsp (2 mL) pepper 2 tbsp (25 mL) vegetable oil 2 tbsp (25 mL) packed brown sugar 1 large Ontario Onion, sliced 2 cups (500 mL) sodiumreduced chicken broth 2 Ontario Carrots, peeled and thickly sliced diagonally 1 cup (250 mL) long-grain rice 2 tbsp (25 mL) tomato paste 1 can (15 oz/425 mL) green pigeon peas,* drained and rinsed 1/2 tsp (2 mL) hot sauce (optional)

thyme, garlic, salt and pepper to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes or for up to 4 hours in the refrigerator. In deep, large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat oil over medium heat until hot. Add sugar evenly in centre of oil; cook until sugar is bubbly, frothy and dark caramel colour around edges watching closely, 2 to 3 minutes. Immediately add chicken and stir constantly with wooden spoon until coated; brown for about 3 minutes. Add onion and 1/4 cup (50 mL) of the broth; cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in carrots, rice and tomato paste. Add remaining broth, peas and hot sauce (if using); bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes or until rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand for about 10 minutes before serving. Note: Pigeon peas are available in the international section of the supermarket. Pinto beans can be substituted.

Photo and recipe courtesy of Foodland Ontario. For more info visit www.foodland.gov.on.ca.

30 | HL Markham/Stouffville


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Healthy Living Magazine Winter 2014