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FREE! Dec/Jan 2011



Winter Health

• Cold & Flu Aid

and Prevention • Vitamin D, Zinc & Probiotics


A Naturopathic Approach to Arthritis Pain


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Mighty Magnesium - Are You Getting Enough?


he reason why I have entitled this article Mighty Magnesium is because I believe after years of research and reading about this amazing mineral that magnesium is the most important nutrient that your body needs. According to Dr. Carolyn Dean MD, ND, author of The Magnesium Miracle and Dr. Mildred Seelig M.D., author of The Magnesium Factor, magnesium activates 325 enzymatic processes in the body. My journey into understanding its importance started many years ago when I worked as a Director of Nursing. The doctors would prescribe magnesium intravenously when patients came into hospital with heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, seizures, migraines and toxemia. Studies indicate that if the magnesium was given within 3 hours of the onset of the stroke or heart attack that it would help to reduce the incidence of death by 50%. However I really didn’t understand how important magnesium was until it changed my sister’s life in 2004. Debbie had suffered with severe migraines,averaging 3-4 a week since the age of 12. When she was 46 she discovered a powdered magnesium supplement that became ionic in hot water and started taking it twice a day every day and it reduced her migraines down to one every 5 weeks. I started researching the benefits of magnesium at that time and began taking the powdered magnesium for insomnia, fibromyalgia and bone density issues and the product helped all three health issues very quickly. Dr. Dean states that while it is difficult to diagnose a magnesium deficiency with a blood serum test (because only 1% of magnesium is found in the blood), you can determine if you have a magnesium deficiency by looking at symptoms of deficiency. There are over a hundred magnesium deficiency symptoms or cofactors that can lead to deficiency. These are listed in the first chapter of her book. Many people today talk about the importance of getting enough calcium through diet and supplementation. According to Carolyn Dean, 80% of the population in North America are magnesium deficient and have a very unhealthy (10:1) balance of calcium to magnesium. So how does this unhealthy balance occur? Many North Americans eat a diet that contains large amounts of dairy and animal protein. Dairy contains a ratio of 10 calcium to 1 magnesium, animal meat contains 5 calcium to 1 magnesium and many of our processed foods are fortified with calcium. Magnesium is found naturally in leafy greens and unrefined nuts, grains and seeds but it is almost impossible to get enough of this important mineral in our foods because our soils are so deficient of minerals. Caffeine, alcohol, sugar, processed foods, stress, perspiration and too much calcium will contribute to magnesium depletion. Calcium and magnesium both play a very important role to help keep us healthy but an imbalance can lead to many health problems. Let’s look at the roles that these two minerals have in the body:

Calcium tenses and excites muscles and nerves while magnesium relaxes them. Calcium constipates the bowels and thickens blood while magnesium is a gentle natural laxative and it helps to keep our blood thin. Calcium builds up in the body while magnesium is depleted every twelve hours. When you look at the list of magnesium deficiency symptoms in the table of contents in Dr. Carolyn Dean’s book you can understand why the depletion of this significant mineral can wreak such havoc on our overall health. Some of the health issues she states are caused by magnesium deficiency include anxiety, depression, insomnia, high blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease-including heart palpitations and heart attacks. Magnesium plays such an important role in balancing blood sugar levels and preventing insulin resistance. Dr. Dean has two chapters dedicated to pregnancy, safe labour and delivery, women’s issues such as PMS, dysmenorrhea, menopause, infertility and miscarriage. Her list also includes osteoporosis (magnesium is responsible for activating two hormones involved in preserving bone structure and suppressing bone breakdown), and a chapter on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Magnesium is also important for energy production. Magnesium activates Vitamin D to help our bodies absorb and assimilate calcium. When our bodies are not getting enough magnesium it can lead to health issues such as hardening and narrowing of the arteries, gall stones, kidney stones and calcium deposits in the joints and muscles (one of the contributing factors to arthritis and fibromyalgia). This amazing mineral also activates melatonin, our sleep hormone, serotonin, our ‘happy hormone’, our B Vitamins which help to reduce stress and balance the output of our adrenal hormones and activates Omega 3’s which are necessary for brain function and inflammation. As the owner of Natural Calm Canada and a woman in her fifties I have come to understand how important it is to get the right balance of a healthy lifestyle with lots of exercise, nutritious food and the right type of supplementation. Our Natural Calm products provide an effective and absorbable source of magnesium and calcium through our ionic powder that dissolves in hot water and through our transdermal magnesium chloride oil –which is sourced from sea water. For more information about our products go to All profits from the sale of our products go to help orphans in Africa via Organics 4 Orphans ( or call 1 (866) 854 2256 Combining organic farming and natural medicine to help orphans in Africa

Linda Bolton, Owner Natural Calm Canada

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Health Tips for Colder Days 8


A Naturopathic Approach 12



The Sunshine Vitamin 14


Bugs that Beat Bugs 15


Immune System Support


Tips for Joint Health and Repair 16



Nine Proven Strategies



Join the Journey to Better Health 15





Stopping Hair Loss

Healthy Living in Enviro Harmony 36


Harmful Hidden Chemicals



Finding Balance, Joy & Happiness 30



How to Be Happy



A Ray of Hope for Winter Blues

Which is better for my Pet?

Beauty from the Inside Out


A Secret Source

Better Health for Your Pet 20


White Bean Vichyssoise Spanish Tortilla with Lentils January Salad



The Health Benefits of Legumes

Lifestyle and Supplements



Woodland Health Wonders




Igniting the Senses


Listening to the Body’s Messages of Wisdom


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EDITOR’S NOTE Editor ’s Note As Canadians we brave winter boldly in woolen sweaters

and padded parkas. We climb and ski down mountains, snowshoe the plains and tundra, and shovel snow coast to coast. However, even the strongest of the windshield scrapers often turns into a whimpering, sniffling, blanket-hidden hibernator when cold or flu takes them down. For many hibernators that means lost pay, weeks of feeling tired and lousy, and a lustreless winter season. This issue, I challenge the view that sleeping a cold or flu off is really the only thing you can do to get better and stay healthy. In some parts of the country, your vehicle won’t start unless it’s plugged in during colder temperatures. The immune system also needs extra support in winter to keep the body running well. This Winter Health issue offers some great articles on how to keep you and your loved ones healthy and happy this sparkly snow season. Don’t let arthritis and joint pain slow you down this winter either. Naturopath Eric Muradov has natural options for not just masking the pain, but for reducing inflammation and joint repair. We’ve also included some nutritious and warming winter recipes from Canadian cookbook divas, Mairlyn Smith, Julie Van Rosendaal and Sue Duncan. If your New Year’s resolution is attaining a healthy weight, Naturopath Meaghan McCollum offers some proven strategies. You can put the joy back into winter!

HEALTHY DIRECTIONS October/November 2011 Vol. 12 No. 5 at Healthy Directions we offer researched information that contributes to living a healthy life in mind, body and spirit, as well as a more Earth-friendly existence. Editor Charleen Wyman Contributing Writers Colin Race, MSc, ND, Doug Cook, RD, MHSc, Sandrine Briatte, B.Sc, Sherri-Anne Clarke, BSc(Hons.), ND, Ryan Boland, Eric Muradov, ND, Mairlyn Smith, Franco Cavaleri, BSc, Nutritional Biochemist, Julie Van Rosendaal & Sue Duncan, Lorna Vanderhaeghe, MS, Christina Bjorndal, ND, Cherie Carpenter, CLSC, AdvCBP, CBAT, CBI, Meaghan McCollum, ND, Raisa Weisspapir, HD, DHMS, MD (Europe), and Laurie Diwakar, BA Editorial:

Yours in health and happiness,

Written contributions and photos are welcome. However, all content is subject to editorial review.

Charleen Wyman, BA Journalism, BA English Editor, Healthy Directions Healthy Directions is an independent journal produced by Cousins Publishing, six times a year in Canada. All content is copyrighted by Cousins Publishing. ISSN 1488-6308 Important: Always seek the opinion of your medical or naturopathic doctor before starting any complementary health program. Any information contained herein is intended towards that purpose; thus “Healthy Directions” and its contributing writers will not be held liable should this advice not be followed.

Advertising Sales: Jon Cousins 1-877-276-1849 Check out our website: Become a fan on Facebook for updates on coupons, contests, green flyers, free samples, store events, specials and more: Look us up as: Healthy Directions Magazine




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Healthy Directions Magazine

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OUR CONTRIBUTORS Lorna Vanderhaeghe, MS, is Canada's leading women's health expert and has been researching nutritional medicine for over 30 years. With degrees in nutrition and biochemistry, she is the author of eleven books including A Smart Woman’s Guide to Hormones and A Smart Woman’s Guide to Weight Loss. Her website: has over 4,000 pages of helpful nutrition information.


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For a breakthrough in healthy Weight loss Doug Cook, RD, MHSc is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist in private practice in Toronto. He uses an integrative approach providing science-based guidance on food and diet along with nutritional supplements where appropriate. He has also co-authored Nutrition for Canadians for Dummies (Wiley 2008).

mairlyn Smith, a multi-talented home economist, teacher and actor, Mairlyn Smith loves to add a dash of comedy to her cooking. Born in Vancouver, Mairlyn always loved the view of the mountains from her parent's kitchen window. Mairlyn lives in Toronto with her son and her partner Scott who is the only person aside from herself who has eaten everything in her books seven times. She is the author of Healthy Starts Here!.

Eric muradov, ND is a licenced naturopathic doctor with a private practice in Edmonton. He runs a general medical practice and has a special interest in Multiple Sclerosis. He has been published and has lectured on Alternative Medicine and MS. Visit: or call 780-482-2788.

Colin race, MSc, ND practices family medicine in Calgary, Alberta. He is proud to welcome patients to Vive Integrative Health Group, a clinic where real caring and compassion combine with education and experience to provide the best in integrative care. His purpose is to engage and empower patients, exploring the causes of disease and complementary strategies to restore health. He has advanced training in the treatment of injury and chronic muscle and joint pain. Visit:

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A Naturopathic Approach to

Cold & Flu Prevention

By Colin Race, MSc, ND

Our perception of microbes is often skewed. Television commercials and magazine ads instil fear through their portrayal of viruses and bacteria as little monsters with sharp claws and pointed teeth. Should we really be afraid of these little “monsters”? Not at all! In fact, these microbes are plain, inconspicuous little things that should really be much more frightened of us. Why? Because we have immune cells trained to identify and eradicate these microbes. They have scary names like natural killer cells and killer t-cells because they tirelessly search, identify and kill those invaders that would otherwise make us sick.

WHAT MAKES US PRONE TO INFECTION? In the winter months, we come into contact with innumerable cold and flu viruses. Only about one in five people will catch the flu, while the average person will catch four or five colds over a winter. 

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Recent studies have shown that many people do not receive enough vitamin D in their daily lives. Our bodies can make vitamin D3, but only when our skin is exposed to sunlight under the proper conditions. This production is dependent on the season, where we live and the time of day. Even using sunscreen drastically reduces the body’s production of vitamin D. Medical studies continue to show the importance of adequate vitamin D intake for good health. Carlson vitamin D soft gels are available in 400 IU and 1000 IU strengths. These easy-to-swallow soft gels are a great way to ensure that you and your loved ones receive the vitamin D you need.


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The only question is who is stronger: you or the virus? Just like us, viruses will hang out where they are comfortable. If our bodies provide a hospitable environment for a virus, it will make itself at home, and eventually make us sick. Of course we know that regularly washing our hands and disinfecting our environments will help reduce the spread of viruses, but sooner or later we will be exposed to something, despite our diligence. Our immune systems offer a powerful defence, but these defences can be easily weakened. Stress, inadequate sleep, poor nutrition, antibiotic use and a lack of exercise are just a few factors that can wear us down. Addressing these will strengthen our immunity and help us feel better in numerous ways, but often we need more to boost our immune defences.

STRATEGIES FOR PREVENTION Natural immunity is the natural ability of our immune systems to defend. It is the innate strength our own bodies possess to effectively battle the microbes we are continually exposed to. Strengthening our natural immunity can be as simple as taking vitamin D, probiotics or herbal combinations. Most naturopathic doctors will have developed proven programs for cold and flu prevention. These may include special in-office “immune boosters” combined with specific products used at home to further the momentum of the immune booster. Ample evidence exists for the recommendation of vitamin D to support immunity against influenza and other viral and bacterial pathogens. One well-conducted study showed a significant preventive effect against flu viruses, as well as asthma attacks (Urashima et al, AJCN, 2010). Probiotics are the focus of more and more research in a variety of fields. Specific types of probiotics have demonstrated effectiveness in preventing colds and flu primarily in children. Our experience suggests these results can be generalized to adults as well. In our clinic, we welcome discussion about the flu vaccine. The first point we make is that while flu shots may be prudent for higher risk individuals, they only offer a very narrow scope of protection against seasonal illness. We explain that researchers developing each year’s vaccine use a system of educated guesses to predict which viruses will be most common in an upcoming flu season. This is a difficult process, and may result in only modest protection against the flu. It is also important to recognize that the flu shot provides no protection from cold viruses, which are much more likely to cause illness, though less likely to have serious consequences. A thorough discussion with your naturopathic doctor can help you decide if a flu shot is right for you. In a healthy individual, prevention strategies that boost natural immunity give us the best chance at thwarting illness and preventing its spread to others. We can beat these bugs, and as we have seen, these microbes really are nothing to be afraid of! A healthy lifestyle will further benefit our immune systems and most importantly, make us happier and healthier individuals! Colin Race, MSc, ND practices family medicine in Calgary, Alberta. He is proud to welcome patients to Vive Integrative Health Group, a clinic where real caring and compassion combine with education and experience to provide the best in integrative care. He has advanced training in the treatment of injury and chronic muscle and joint pain. Visit:, 403-984-3538

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Dietitian Advice on

Vitamin D


FACT: Canadians don’t get enough vitamin D in winter

By Doug Cook, RD, MHSc It seems you can’t turn on the TV or open the newspaper without being hit with another story about the wonders of vitamin D. It has essentially been touted as a panacea for most of the chronic diseases that afflict humanity: diabetes, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, breast, colon, breast and prostate cancer, autoimmune diseases, influenza, colds and North America’s number one killer, cardiovascular disease. While there is a lot of information available; there is also some confusion as well.

WILL THE REAL VITAMIN D PLEASE STAND UP For the purpose of general nutrition, the term vitamin D is used to refer to either D2 (ergocalciferol) or D3 (cholecalciferol). D3 is what’s produced by the skin upon exposure to sunlight (adequate UVB), found in some foods (mostly fatty fish), and in supplements. D2 is the vegetarian version (mainly from mushrooms) and it’s widely accepted to be less potent than D3. D2 is used to fortify non-dairy beverages like soy, almond and rice. Vitamin D is not a vitamin; it was misclassified as a vitamin when it was discovered in 1922. It is a pro-hormone. Almost all cells and tissues throughout the body are capable of converting vitamin D into its active hormone form. There are 2700 vitamin D binding 12 Healthy Directions December/January 2012

sites, on our DNA, near genes that are involved in nearly every known chronic disease. It is because of this that vitamin D has such a wide, positive impact, on overall health.

DOES SPENDING TIME OUTDOORS IN WINTER HELP WITH GETTING ENOUGH D? The primary source of vitamin D is the sun. There are a couple of caveats. Only UVB can produce it. Anything that blocks UVB will block vitamin D production, this includes windows, smog, clothing, sunscreen, complexion and age (older adults are not as efficient at producing it). In Canada, due to a lack of UVB from the beginning of October to the middle of April, we cannot make any vitamin D from the sun; however, most of us don’t have the chance to make enough until June when we can wear shorts and a t-shirt.

WHAT IS THE IDEAL BLOOD LEVEL AND DOSE? Experts suggest that the answer to ‘how much vitamin D should I take’ is this: what ever it takes to raise your blood level to optimize health. Great debate rages over what the ideal blood level of vitamin D should be but some basic facts point the way. Using bone health

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Sources of Vitamin D Sunlight

D3 (cholecalciferol)

Fatty fish

D3 (cholecalciferol)


D2 (ergocalciferol)


D3 (cholecalciferol)

as a guide, maximum calcium absorption is reached at 80nmol, and significant suppression of parathyroid hormone or PTH (responsible for bone turnover), really kicks in at 100nmol. Some experts suggest similar levels of those living in sunrich countries; 125-150nmol. Of note, those groups of people tend to maintain those levels year round, because they are making 5000-10,000IU from the sun everyday. Contrast that to Canadians who end the summer with levels typically between 3050nmol, a level at which bone loss is occurring. The majority of health professionals agree that the absolute minimum level is around 75nmol. Vitamin D experts on the other hand say in order to reduce the risk for most chronic disease, the evidence points to higher levels of 125-150nmol.

SO, WHAT’S THE BOTTOM LINE? Specialists in the field suggest testing vitamin D might not be required because deficiency (below 75nmol) is the norm and not the exception. Judicious sun exposure, when there is enough UVB, will most likely only satisfy those with fairer complexions. Food sources are simply not enough to consistently raise blood levels to where they should be. Supplementation is really the only viable option. Health Canada has set the new Upper Level (UL) to 4000IU per day for those over 9 years of age. This will ensure that 98% of the Canadian population will achieve a blood level of about 100-125nmol promoted by experts. Vitamin D is extremely safe and there has never been a reported case of toxicity from supplement use up to 10,000IU per day. In fact 10,000IU per day is the No Observed Adverse Effect Level, or NOAEL set by the Institute of Medicine and Health Canada, a level where there’s never been a concern of toxicity. The UL of 4000IU allows for a large safety margin, meaning you can take that amount every day confidently knowing it is perfectly safe.

DOES VITAMIN D DELIVER? At the end of the day is vitamin D living up to the hype? In many ways it is. The vast majority of research has shown, and continues to show, its ability to reduce the risk for many of the chronic diseases of aging. Future research will simply help to give a better idea of the degree of benefit. Doug Cook, RD, MHSc is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist in private practice in Toronto. He uses an integrative approach providing sciencebased guidance on food and diet along with nutritional supplements where appropriate. He also co-authored “Nutrition for Canadians for Dummies” (Wiley 2008).

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Probiotics for Winter Health

Probiotics protect against flu By Sandrine Briatte, B.Sc. Here comes winter and with it, the possibility of more easily contracting cold, flu and infectious diseases. But, we can actually help our body fight against these risks. Indeed, we now know that probiotics can positively influence our intestinal immune response. The Bifidobacterium longum BB536 probiotic is one of the most scientifically well documented. Recent clinical studies have been done with the elderly. Since immune function decreases with aging, seniors have been known to be more susceptible to various diseases. Studies have shown that BB536 helps protect them against influenza infection. Moreover, the results suggest that continuous intake of BB536 enhances NK cells and neutrophil activities (which are immunological markers) and significantly decreases the number of subjects affected by influenza or having fever. But, that is not all, we already know this strain is of great interest for promoting gastrointestinal health and regularity. Today, we can confirm that its efficiency goes beyond that. A new clinical study (spanning 2 years) has been done on over 200 patients treated with pelvic radiation. The results confirm that standard doses of a probiotic (a combination of BB536 and Lactobacillus acidophilus LAC361) can significantly reduce radiation induced diarrhea in these patients. Knowing that most of our immune cells are located in our intestines, you can understand the great potential of such a product. So, aim for 'intestinal regularity’ and ‘modulation of our immune system’: two key targets to keep good health this winter. Sandrine Briatte, B.Sc. Biochemistry, M.Sc. Biology, is a scientific director in research and development of natural health products. She currently works at Virage Santé in Quebec and offers her expertise by providing training for customers. For more information: or call 1-800-463-0944 14 Healthy Directions December/January 2012

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The Power of Zinc By Sherri-Anne Clarke, BSc(Hons.), ND Zinc is a mineral that is involved in over 100 enzymatic processes. It also plays a role in wound healing, immune system function, protein synthesis, DNA synthesis and cell division. It also supports growth during pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence. Zinc has also been shown to be beneficial for upper respiratory tract infections, acne, and blood sugar regulation. The adult recommended daily amount (RDA) for zinc is 8 to 11 mg daily. Many people are often able to reach this amount through diet, but sometimes supplementation is needed in order to reach the RDA. People with certain conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, macular degeneration, common cold, and diabetes, may need more zinc than what is obtained through diet. Symptoms of zinc deficiency include; loss of smell and taste, hair loss, frequently colds and infections, problems with growth, weight loss, depression, and diarrhea. It is common to find that older adults may have a zinc deficiency due to a lack of proper diet. The NHANES III study found that 35-45% of adults over the age of 60 are not reaching the present RDA. People who frequently incorporate leafy green vegetables, sea vegetables, spinach, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds yeast, beef, and lamb, broccoli, peas are more likely to reach the RDA for zinc.

IMMUNE SYSTEM FUNCTION When zinc is deficient, it is hard for your body to mount a strong immune response. Zinc increases the amount of white blood cells in your blood stream, which is important because white blood cells go directly to the site of infection, and help to eliminate viruses that cause disease.

WOUND HEALING People with skin ulcers, or other wounds seem to heal better when they have an adequate amount of zinc. This is especially important for diabetics who develop skin ulcers, because people with diabetes seem to excrete higher amounts of zinc through urine.

COMMON COLD Research has shown that zinc lozenges may be able to shorten the duration and severity of the common cold. This may be due to the fact that zinc is able to help your white blood cells attack the rhinovirus – the virus that causes the common cold, while the lozenge is in your mouth, near your throat and nose.

SUPPLEMENTATION OF ZINC It is important when supplementing with zinc for longer than three months, to take a zinc supplement that is combined with copper, since zinc can deplete copper over time, and cause a copper deficiency, which may look like an iron deficiency. Also, when supplementing with zinc, do not go above the upper limit, which is 50 mg daily.

Reference: 1) Office of Dietary Supplements.

Sherri-Anne Clarke, BSc(Hons.), ND is a Naturopath practicing in the Burlington community. She has a general family practice with a special focus in women's health, pain management and digestive concerns. Visit:

Things you didn't know about Gilligan's island . . . By Ryan Boland, Graphic artist and Researcher As some of you know the S.S. Minnow washed ashore on a western pacific ocean island and that is why this island became famous. "The Professor" was hiking around this island with the "skipper" and found, on the shore line a single cell slime algea (heterotrophic). Evidence has shown that this marine algea was the beginning of the food chain. The algea was then turned into omega-3 oils for vegeterians and vegans. This island (okay, it’s not Gilligan’s island but somewhat of a trademark secret) is the only place in the world where this oil rich algae grows. Omega-3 oils are essential for brain, heart health, and inflammation relief. Seek companies using super critical technology, which requires less heat and very little proccessing. These formulas are highly concentrated and precise, and have minimal environmental footprint. Courtesy of Sandy Freeman and Trophic Canada Ltd. Ask about Minami Vegan DHA. Healthy Directions December/January 2012 15

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Naturopathic Management of

Arthritis and Joint Pain By Eric Muradov, ND Arthritis is a common concern seen in practice. Usually the term “arthritis� is used to refer to osteoarthritis (OA), the most common type of arthritis. To some degree, most people are affected by osteoarthritis by age 70 but it often becomes problematic much earlier. Osteoarthritis results from a breakdown and loss of cartilage around the joints which results in inflammation, new bone growth and subsequent pain. Typically large weight bearing joints (e.g. hips, knees, ankles) are affected and usually manifests as aching pain with joint use, and stiffness after resting. The standard medical approach focuses primarily on pain relief using nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The naturopathic approach integrates diet, lifestyle, supplements and herbs to not only reduce pain but to prevent further degradation and even promote cartilage regeneration.


Reduce knee pain to enjoy an active lifestyle 16 Healthy Directions December/January 2012

Removal of tomato family of foods (tomato, potato, peppers and eggplant) can benefit some suffers of osteoarthritis, as well as removal of allergenic foods (most commonly dairy, wheat, eggs, soy and beef). I always recommend a fiveweek exclusion diet to see if these foods plays a role in my patients inflammation with each food added in, one per day, starting week six to see if there is an aggravation. If you have a family history of osteoarthritis, you can start to prevent its progression by adding supplementary vitamin C, vitamin D, as well as a quality multivitamin-mineral preparation (primarily for manganese content) as these nutrients all play roles in cartilage formation. Weight loss plays a crucial role in lessening the load on the affected joints, therefore, appropriate dietary and exercise measures should be used with the intention of weight loss. Exercise such as Tai Chi, stretching, and aquatics can increase range of motion, strengthen and lessen pain while not aggravating painful joints.

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GLUCOSAMINE, CHONDROITIN AND MSM These are well known, easily available and well priced supplements for osteoarthritis. Each has shown efficacy in reducing pain, by acting as precursors to and helping to rebuild the joint cartilage. When choosing a glucosamine, glucosamine sulfate seems to be the best supported by the evidence. I use these in combination as a foundation for all osteoarthritis treatment plans. The effects of these can take up to a few months to be felt, which is why I often pair them with pain reducing herbs at first.

TYPE II COLLAGEN Collagen is a component of cartilage, and type II collagen is the primary form found in cartilage. A clinical trial put type II collagen head to head against glucosamine and chondroitin and after 90 days the collagen group had over twice the amount of pain reduction. I always add collagen, if the response to glucosamine and chondroitin is not substantial enough (which is often the case).

EGGSHELL MEMBRANE This is one of the newest and lesser known developments in treating osteoarthritis naturally. Eggshell membrane contains primarily type 1 collagen, but also has small quantities of glucosamine and chondroitin and hyaluronic acid (another component of cartilage). A recent clinical trial evaluated the response of three different formulations of eggshell membrane over 30 days. Even after 7 days, patients noted significant pain relief and substantial relief after 30 days. The results of this study are impressive and eggshell membrane is certainly something to keep in mind if results with other supplements are less than optimal. Eggshell membrane should not be taken if an egg allergy is present.

SAMe SAMe is a metabolite made in the body that reduces inflammation and promotes cartilage rebuilding. In multiple clinical trials, SAMe has shown to be as efficacious as NSAIDs in osteoarthritis treatment without the side effects associated with NSAIDs (e.g. gastrointestinal bleeding). It is also helpful for depression, but it should not be mixed with anti-depressants or other drugs that modulate serotonin. SAMe tends to be quite costly, so I usually reserve it for more difficult cases or if there is concomitant depression.

CURCUMIN, BOSWELLIA AND DEVIL’S CLAW Curcumin is an extract from turmeric, boswellia is a tree that produces an antiinflammatory resin and devil’s claw is a plant whose roots can reduce inflammation. These are my preferred osteoarthritis herbal extracts whose effects become evident within a few days. Devil’s claw and curcumin should not be mixed with warfarin and other blood thinning medications. Each extract can be used solely. However, I combine all three together, by using a moderate to low dose of each. Also, I prescribe phospholipid bound “phytosome” curcumin to ensure adequate absorption. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis affecting our aging population. Applying a comprehensive approach encompassing diet, lifestyle, as well as supplementary measures can help make your later years much more comfortable. Consider visiting a naturopathic doctor, if you feel you need extra help with your osteoarthritis or any other aspect of your health. Eric Muradov, ND is a licenced naturopathic doctor with a private practice in Edmonton. He runs a general medical practice and has a special interest in Multiple Sclerosis. He has been published and has lectured on Alternative Medicine and MS. Visit: or call 780 482 2788.

Distributed by Monnol Tel.: 1 800 463-0420

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Woodland Health Wonders

Photo by Mike McColl, from Healthy Starts Here


The only vegetable source of vitamin D By Mairlyn Smith Mushrooms may be little balls of fungi, but they carry a lot of clout. Four or five mushrooms contain a legion of B vitamins plus the minerals selenium, copper, potassium, iron, and zinc. Those same four or five mushrooms, depending on the variety, even offer 1 to 2 grams of fibre. Mushrooms are the only vegetable that contains vitamin D, and the winner in this category is the shiitake mushroom. One serving of shiitakes supplies 48% of the recommended daily value for this important sunshine vitamin. Mushrooms also contain antioxidants, those fearsome fighters against disease. The antioxidant specific to mushrooms is called Lergothioneine. (Try saying that one fast four times in a row.) Shiitake, maitake, and oyster mushrooms have the highest levels of this powerful antioxidant, followed by portobello and cremini (brown) mushrooms, then white or button mushrooms. Most supermarkets have a dizzying array of mushrooms available these days. Here are some of my favourites. 18 Healthy Directions December/January 2012

WHITE (A.K.A. BUTTON) These are those cute little mushrooms that everyone’s familiar with, and a good choice for the rookie mushroom eater. They have a mild, woodsy flavour and can be sautéed, used in side dishes, or added to soups.

CREMINI Sometimes described in stores as brown mushrooms, and usually about the same size as button mushrooms, these fungi are very popular. They have a rich, earthy flavour, and are delicious sautéed, baked, or added to rice, pasta, stews, or soups.

OYSTER Oyster mushrooms are light grey in colour, with a velvety feel. They’re extremely delicate and have a very mild flavour. Serve as a side dish rather than using them as an ingredient.

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PORCINI With their deep, rich flavour and a hint of smoke, these mushrooms are used mostly in Italian-style dishes, and are fabulous in a risotto. Look for dried porcini in larger grocery stores.

PORTOBELLO These are the really big mushrooms that look like small Frisbees. They have a deep, rich, earthy, meaty flavour and are great grilled or baked.

SHIITAKE This is the superstar of the mushroom world. Shiitakes have a definite woodsy flavour and can be sautéed, stir-fried, or added to rice or pasta dishes. Cook only the caps because the stems are very tough. Save the stems for making soup stock. Shiitakes are also available dried.

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BUY IT, STORE IT Gills aren’t just how fish breathe. Gills on a mushroom are the darker-coloured, fan-like strands on the underside of the mushroom cap. In white and cremini (brown) mushrooms, the gills shouldn’t be visible. For all other types of mushrooms, tight gills are the key. The more open the gills, the less fresh or firm the mushroom will be. Pick out mushrooms that look and feel firm, not mushy, and that are dry and free of spots. Most stores offer brown paper bags for loose mushrooms. The paper allows the mushrooms to breathe, unlike plastic, which acts as a slime accelerator. Mushrooms also come in pre-packaged containers. Check them out as best you can. If you’re buying packaged mushrooms, leave them in the package until you use them. Once you open the package, store any leftovers in a paper bag. Store mushrooms in the fridge and eat them within a couple of days of purchase. Depending on how fresh they are, they can last up to one week. The great mushroom cleaning debate still rages. To wash or not to wash, that is the question. Tons of foodies will say don’t wash mushrooms. But after talking to many mushroom experts, I wash them lightly under cold running water, let them drain in a colander, and then pat them dry. But I only do this just before I’m going to use them. Remember that “lightly wash” doesn’t mean drowning or soaking them in a sinkful of water. All you really want to do is get the surface dirt off. Excerpted from Healthy Starts Here by Mairlyn Smith (Whitecap Books). Mairlyn Smith, a multi-talented home economist, teacher and actor, Mairlyn Smith loves to add a dash of comedy to her cooking. Born in Vancouver, Mairlyn always loved the view of the mountains from her parent's kitchen window. Mairlyn lives in Toronto with her son and her partner Scott who is the only person aside from herself who has eaten everything in her books seven times. She is the author of “Healthy Starts Here!”.

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Raw Food & Pet Supplements

IS SUPPLEMENTATION REALLY NECESSARY, IF I’M FEEDING RAW PET FOOD? By Franco Cavaleri, BSc, Nutritional Biochemist The label of your pet`s dry bagged food may list a wide array of nutrients but your pet`s body might not be able to extract them, leaving his or her cells gasping and vulnerable to premature aging and illness. Processing and long term shelving of these foods inevitably compromises their nutritional value. Even though most of us are aware of these nutritional limitations, we still default to accepting bagged food as a staple for the sake of convenience. Fortunately, more of us are doing something about it to give our pets the chance they deserve for a fuller, longer and richer quality of life Of course, whole raw food is the healthiest way to feed our pets as long as it’s properly formulated to supply the highest bioavailable nutrient density. Bioavailability refers to how well the ingredients and all of the nutritional components are absorbed and used by the body. Feeding a fresh raw diet; however, is not an option for all of us. Dry kibble and canned wet food are so convenient that they are 20 Healthy Directions December/January 2012

easy for most of us to justify. Convenience, not nutritional value, is the primary reason these products are popular today. Supplementing meals that are made up of dry food can help pump some life back into your pet. Unfortunately, supplementing these processed dried foods doesn’t free our pets from the metabolic interference caused by intense food processing. Ultimately, feeding a raw diet is the first big step toward providing healthier nourishment, void of the unwanted by-products created from processing oxidation. The process of making dry kibble and canned wet food; for example, the high heat, oxygen exposure and vigorous mixing of grains and meats, alters the beneficial nutrients in the food. The nutrient damage has been irrefutably documented for decades. The ailments and diseases that we see today at epidemic levels are frequently linked to unnatural man-made levels of toxins in our

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Supplement the Love

human- and pet-intended convenience foods. As much as whole raw foods are the best source of nutrition, we face another manmade challenge that has also chipped away at this source of nourishment. The nutritional profile of the meat derived from domesticated livestock is dependent on man-made feed. Meat sources from animals in the wild have a different nutrient profile that might include higher mineral, vitamin, and even antioxidant levels. They also generally have higher levels of naturally occurring creatine, a specialized amino acid that supplies the vital energy to every cell in our pets. Domestic meat sources provide different fatty acid proportions which may not be as healthpromoting as the fatty acid profiles found in wild meat sources. This is most evident in farmed salmon versus wild salmon food stock. Fruits and vegetables are also nutrient-compromised due to today’s commercial practices. They are grown in faster growth cycles, in chemically fertilized plots and picked earlier in their maturation phase to ripen during transit across the continent and globe. This reduces the nutrient potential of our fruits and vegetables. The supplementation of any diet with vitamins, minerals, phytoantioxidants, as well as a blend of polyunsaturated fatty acid, increases nutrient density and the health potential of any food we choose for our pet. This includes raw. This increased health potential that supplementation can offer is not only required because of food-borne limitations. The assault by environmental toxins is escalating as well. When we impose the environmental pollution on our pets as well as these nutritional limitations, their bodies simply cannot cope. These deficiencies amidst the new age stress from our fastpaced lifestyles set the stage for premature aging and skin disease and they contribute to joint degeneration and other common ailments.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT SUPPLEMENT FOR THERAPY OR PREVENTION Our pets’ digestive system is shorter than ours; it runs faster than our own and functions at a different pH level. Using tablet forms of these supplements is not the best way to deliver bioavailable nutrition. Powder or liquid forms are more efficiently absorbed and utilized by our companion animals, while the binders associated with tablet formation are a hindrance to their faster moving gastrointestinal tract. Additionally, these nutrients MUST be provided in the correct proportions for their specialized metabolisms. Human supplements are designed for our own metabolic needs and are not best suited to treat and maintain our pet’s health. Your companion's health is in your hands. It's up to you to take a proactive role. Supplementation with vitamins, minerals phytoantioxidants and essential fatty acids is necessary today if maximum health is desired and quality of life is to be maintained in your pet’s senior years. Franco Cavaleri, BSc NB Nutraceutical Biochemist, is a graduate of UBC, who majored in Nutritional Science and Biochemistry. He has been the recipient of several awards Canadian Health Industry including nine formulation awards and is a bestseller author of a book derived from his thesis: POTENTIAL WITHIN–A Guide to Nutritional Empowerment. Franco is also the author of; YOUR DOGS HEALTH which provides detailed scientific references for the science and dietary choices discussed in this article.

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Spilling the Beans


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The Health Benefits of Legumes By Julie Van Rosendaal & Sue Duncan, excerpt from “Spilling the Beans” Beans. We know them well, but as familiar as they are, a huge number of us don’t have a clue what to do with them once we get them home to our kitchens. Give someone a chicken or pound of ground beef and dinner ideas immediately come to mind, but the same does not seem to apply to chickpeas or lentils, particularly in their dry state. It’s amazing that legumes, which have been around for centuries, are still such a mystery even to skilled cooks. The process of soaking and simmering seems daunting, even though it requires less culinary skill than cooking rice or pasta. The combination of grains and legumes is one of the oldest known culinary pairings, common in cuisines on every continent and arguably the most inexpensive source of protein on the planet. All legumes – beans, chickpeas, peas, and lentils – are high in fibre, protein, and other essential nutrients. They’re low in fat, cholesterolfree, versatile, environmentally friendly, and cheap. They could very well be the world’s most perfect food. With a long shelf life (whether dry or canned), beans are the ultimate in healthy convenience food. And as people come to recognize the environmental impact of meat (a 2006 report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that global livestock production is responsible for one-fifth of all greenhouse gases—more than transportation), beans have become a more environmentally savvy choice for those fighting climate change at mealtimes. A sustainable crop that’s easy and inexpensive 22 Healthy Directions December/January 2012

to grow and store, legumes naturally fix nitrogen in the soil, improving its fertility and reducing fertilizer costs for farmers. As two omnivorous home cooks interested in incorporating more beans into our diets for these very reasons, we consulted each other for inspiration. We both love to spend time in the kitchen (together, whenever possible), love good food, and tend to use meat in smaller quantities, more as a condiment than the main event. Once we delved into the world of beans and learned what could be done with them, we decided to become their cheering section, to familiarize the not-so-bean-savvy with the lowly legume, and ultimately help restore its place on the dinner Beans (and their good buddies, whole grains) of all kinds are good for your body, your schedule, your pocketbook, and the environment. So let’s eat. Warming winter legume recipes on page 24-25. Julie Van Rosendaal is in high demand for her knowledge and love of good food. She is the host of “The Calgary Eyeopener” on CBC Radio One, cohost of TV’s “It’s Just Food” and a regular contributor to many newspapers and magazines. She is known for her expertise in making health-conscious versions of high-fat foods. She currently lives in Calgary, Alberta. Sue Duncan grew up in Calgary, cooking and eating at every opportunity with her best friend Julie. She now lives with her husband and daughter in the Okanagan Valley, where she acquires far too much produce at the farmers’ market but manages to eat it all anyway. Reprinted with permission from “Spilling the Beans” by Julie Van Rosendaal & Sue Duncan. ©2011 Whitecap Books.

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Choose Life

Grow Young with HGH From the landmark book Grow Young with HGH comes the most powerful, over-thecounter health supplement in the history of man. Human growth hormone was first discovered in 1920 and has long been thought by the medical community to be necessary only to stimulate the body to full adult size and therefore unnecessary past the age of 20. Recent studies, however, have overturned this notion completely, discovering instead that the natural decline of Human Growth Hormone (HGH), from ages 21 to 61 (the average age at which there is only a trace left in the body) and is the reason why the body ages and fails to regenerate itself to its 25 year-old biological age.

in the blood at the same levels HGH existed in the blood when we were 25 years old.

There is a receptor site in almost every cell in the human body for HGH, so its regenerative and healing effects are very comprehensive. Growth Hormone first synthesized in 1985 under the Reagan Orphan drug act, to treat dwarfism, was quickly recognized to stop aging in its tracks and reverse it to a remarkable degree. Since then, only the lucky and the rich have had access to it at the cost of $10,000 US per year.

The next big breakthrough was to come in 1997 when a group of doctors and scientists, developed an all-natural source product which would cause your own natural HGH to be released again and do all the remarkable things it did for you in your 20’s. Now available to every adult for about the Modern medical science now regards aging as price of a coffee and donut a day. a disease that is treatable and preventable and that “aging”, the disease, is GHR is available now, just actually a compilation of various in time for the aging Baby diseases and pathologies, like a rise Boomers and everyone else in blood glucose and pressure to from age 30 to 90 who diabetes, skin wrinkling and so on. doesn’t want to age but All of these aging symptoms can be would rather stay young, stopped and rolled back by beautiful and healthy all of maintaining Growth Hormone levels the time. Like a picked flower cut from the source, we gradually wilt physically and mentally and become vulnerable to a host of degenerative diseases, that we simply weren’t susceptible to in our early adult years.

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GHR is a natural releaser, has no known side effects, unlike the synthetic version and has no known drug interactions. Progressive doctors admit that this is the direction medicine is going, to get the body to heal itself instead of employing drugs. GHR is truly a revolutionary paradigm shift in medicine and, like any modern leapfrog advance, many others will be left in the dust holding their limited, or useless drugs and remedies. It is now thought that HGH is so comprehensive in its healing and regenerative powers that it is today, where the computer industry was twenty years ago, that it will displace so many prescription and non-prescription drugs and health remedies that it is staggering to think of. The president of BIE Health Products, stated in a recent interview,“I’ve been waiting for these products since the 70’s”. We knew they would come, if only we could stay healthy and live long enough to see them! If you want to stay on top of your game, physically and mentally as you age, this product is a boon, especially for the highly skilled professionals who have made large investments in their education, and experience. Also with the state of the health care system in Canada which appears to be going into serious decline, it’s more important than ever to take pro-active steps to safeguard your health. Continued use of GHR will make a radical difference in your health. HGH is particularly helpful to the elderly who, given a choice, would rather stay independent in their own home, strong, healthy and alert enough to manage their own affairs, exercise and stay involved in their communities. Frank, age 85, walks two miles a day, plays golf, belongs to a dance club for seniors, had a girl friend again and doesn’t need Viagara, passed his drivers test and is hardly ever home when we call - GHR delivers. HGH is known to relieve symptoms of Asthma, Angina, Chronic Fatigue, Constipation, Lower back pain and Sciatica, Cataracts and Macular Degeneration, Menopause, Fibromyalgia, Regular and Diabetic Neuropathy, Hepatitis, helps Kidney Dialysis and Heart and Stroke recovery. For more information or to order call 1-877-849-4777 ©copyright 2000 Healthy Directions December/January 2012 23

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There are few foods more consoling than soup and potatoes. Leek and potato soup gets a fancy name, vichyssoise, when it’s served chilled – but we like to call it by its fancy name even when it’s hot. If you have some fresh tarragon kicking around, it goes very well in this.

INGREDIENTS 2 medium leeks Canola or olive oil, for cooking 1 Tbsp (15 mL) butter 1 small onion, chopped 2 to 4 garlic cloves, crushed 1 lb (500 g) potatoes (russet or Yukon Gold), peeled and chopped 2 cups (500 mL) cooked white beans, or a 19 oz (540 mL) can, rinsed and drained 4 cups (1 L) chicken stock Salt and pepper to taste ½ cup (125 mL) half-and-half or whipping cream Thyme for garnish (optional)


White beans add a twist to this classic favourite

Cut the leeks in half lengthwise before you wash them – sand and grit tend to work their way in between the layers, so wash them thoroughly. Thinly slice the white and pale green parts crosswise and throw out the green tops. Drizzle some oil into a soup pot set over medium-high heat, and add the butter. When the foam subsides, sauté the leeks, onion, and garlic for about 8 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the potatoes, beans, and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the potatoes are very tender. Purée the soup in a blender or food processor, or use a handheld immersion blender right in the pot. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the cream. Serve hot, at room temperature, or put it in the refrigerator and serve it chilled. Garnish with thyme before serving. Excerpted from “Spilling the Beans” by Julie Van Rosendaal & Sue Duncan ©2011 Whitecap Books. Reprinted with permission.

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Serves 2 as a hearty meal, or you can cut it in to 6 to 8 wedges for a buffet or side dish. A Spanish tortilla is a first cousin to the Italian frittata. The preparation time is longer than for many egg dishes, but it can be done ahead – even a day or two ahead and kept in the refrigerator until close to serving time. Serve warm or cold; halfway between the two might even be best. Try with salsa or chutney; it’s also great unadorned.

INGREDIENTS ½ cup (125 mL) dry green, brown, or du Puy lentils 1 garlic clove, whole 1 bay leaf Olive oil, for cooking 1 medium red or yellow potato, thinly sliced (peeling is optional) 1 medium onion, thinly sliced 5 large eggs Salt and pepper


For the salad, swish the arugula in a clean sink of cold water to make sure there isn’t any sand or dirt clinging to it. Place in a salad spinner and spin-dry (or pat dry on paper towels). Place arugula in a large bowl and set aside. Scrub the grapefruit and oranges. Peel the fruit and cut into segments. Set aside. Mince the shallot and set aside. For the salad dressing, whisk together the orange juice concentrate, oil, vinegar, honey, and mustard in a small bowl. Pour the dressing over the arugula and toss well. Divide the arugula evenly among 4 large plates. Top each portion of arugula with one-quarter of the grapefruit and one-quarter of the orange segments. Sprinkle each salad with one-quarter of the minced shallot.

In a medium saucepan, cook the lentils in 2 cups of water with the bay leaf and whole clove of garlic until soft but not mushy, about 30 to 40 minutes, adding more water if needed. Drain. Discard bay leaf and garlic. Heat a splash of olive oil in a medium skillet (about 8 inches across the base) over low-moderate heat. Pat the potato slices dry with a clean tea towel or paper towel. Add the onion and potato to the hot pan, seasoning well with salt (about ¼ tsp) and black pepper to taste. Keep the heat fairly low: you want everything to cook before it becomes too brown. Add more olive oil as needed. When the potatoes are nearly fork-tender (about 20 minutes), add the cooked lentils with another drizzle of olive oil, and place a lid or piece of tin foil over the pan for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice. When the potatoes are tender and the lentils are heated through, taste for seasoning, add a little more oil if required, and turn the heat up to give everything a little colour, another 3 to 5 minutes. Meanwhile, break the eggs into a large bowl and season lightly with salt and pepper. Empty the potato mixture into the egg bowl and toss everything well to coat. Give the skillet a quick wash if there are any bits stuck on; if not, just return it to the heat. Add a splash of olive oil to the pan, bring it back to moderate heat, and tip in the egg mixture. Cook on low-moderate heat until the egg is barely set in the centre of the pan, 15 to 20 minutes. Slide a large plate over the pan and carefully invert the tortilla onto the plate. Slide the tortilla back into the pan (now upside down), just to finish cooking the egg through, another 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the tortilla rest a bit before sliding it onto a serving plate.

Excerpted from “Healthy Starts Here” by Mairlyn Smith ©2011 Whitecap Books. Reprinted with permission.

Excerpted from “Spilling the Beans” by Julie Van Rosendaal & Sue Duncan ©2011 Whitecap Books. Reprinted with permission.

JANUARY SALAD SALAD 4 cups baby arugula 2 red grapefruit 2 large oranges 1 small shallot

HONEY-MUSTARD DRESSING 1 tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed 1 tbsp canola oil 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar 1 tbsp honey 1 tsp Dijon mustard


Healthy Directions December/January 2012 25

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Stop Hair Loss for

Gorgeous Hair Low iron & low thyroid affect your health & hair By Lorna Vanderhaeghe, MS You can’t open a newspaper or magazine without seeing advertisements for hair loss solutions for men, but very few options are offered to women who are losing their hair. Over two-thirds of women suffer hair loss, and hair loss can be quite extreme – from thinning to bald patches. Thankfully, few women go totally bald like men do, but there is nothing more distressing than watching your lovely locks fall out in abundance. Topical solutions for women rarely reverse hair loss. And the drugs that are available have been predominantly researched in men and do not address the underlying reasons for hair loss in women. The three main reasons for hair loss in woman are: low iron, low thyroid and not enough minerals in the diet.

LOW IRON AND HAIR LOSS One of the least known causes of hair loss is low iron. You do not have to be anemic to lose your hair. Your doctor may advise you that your iron levels are normal, but we know that low normal levels of iron will cause huge hair loss. We see this in women after childbirth and in women during the perimenopausal years when heavy periods may occur. Simply being a woman of childbearing age automatically puts you at risk of low iron. Up to 60 percent of women have low iron and it is often undiagnosed. Due to higher iron requirements as a result of menstruation, women need 20 milligrams of elemental iron daily yet most of us are only getting 8 mg per day from our diet. Now that we are not eating as much red meat, even post menopausal women and seniors are suffering from low iron. Common symptoms of low iron: no energy/fatigue, pale skin, breathlessness upon even minor exertion, dark under-eye circles, dizziness, thin, brittle or peeling nails, restless legs and cold hands and feet. 26 Healthy Directions December/January 2012

DON’T BELIEVE A NORMAL IRON TEST If your doctor tells you your iron is normal, ask for the test results. There are two iron blood tests: hemoglobin and ferritin. For hemoglobin, the test range suggested as normal by your doctor is 117160g/L for women. Yet we know that a hemoglobin below 140 g/L will cause significant hair loss. Ferritin, which is your iron storage, has a suggested test range of 15-160 ug/L; but to prevent hair loss and ensure thick hair, your reading should be above 40 ug/L. Hair follicles contain ferritin. When ferritin stores decline in the hair follicle, it affects the ability of the hair to grow causing nonpigmented fine hairs to develop. These hairs are often mistaken for androgenic alopecia. Low ferritin also causes the hair to change structure, become dry, not hold the curl or color well and break easily. Hair loss can be gradual, a general thinning out over the years, or it can be sudden and startling. Iron supplements represent another challenge because you will want an iron that does not constipate or cause digestive distress but is effective and fast-acting. When choosing iron, you will want a liquid iron. And, better yet, choose one in a liposomal technology. A liposomal iron is one where the iron is trapped in a protective bubble that guides it through the acidic digestive tract to the intestine, where it is absorbed effectively and swiftly. Tests conducted on liposomal iron have found that, two hours after ingestion, its absorption is five times greater than ferrous fumarate, the standard doctor-prescribed iron in tablets. And after 12 hours, the total absorption of liposomal iron was double that of all other forms of iron tested. You will need 13 teaspoons of liquid liposomal iron (10-30 mg of elemental iron) for fast results. Most women notice hair regrowth in as little as 6 weeks with this type of iron.

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LOW THYROID AFFECTS UP TO 23% OF WOMEN Like low iron, hypothyroid or low thyroid hormone is an undiagnosed epidemic in Canada. Twenty-three percent of women are currently taking thyroid medication and up to 30 percent of women may also have subclinical or mild hypothyroidism whereby their thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is within the “normal” range, yet they still experience symptoms. Thinning hair, hair loss and loss of eyebrow hair are common symptoms of low thyroid. A deficiency in these hormones may also result in some of the following symptoms: constipation, dry skin, weight gain or difficulty losing weight, sensitivity to cold, menstrual problems/heavy periods, fatigue or lethargy, and headaches. It is important that you ask your doctor what your TSH test result number is because although it may be “normal,” research has shown that if it is greater than 2.0 IU/mL, chances are it is low thyroid that is contributing to your hair loss. There are many things you can do to support your thyroid. Read my free online book, An A-Z Woman’s Guide to Vibrant Health under the Low Thyroid section at In addition, for those who are either on thyroid medication or who have low thyroid but are not on thyroid hormone, there are key nutrients that can help support thyroid function: potassium iodide, tyrosine, ashwagandha, gugguls and pantothenic acid. Once the underlying low thyroid is resolved and the TSH drops below 2, hair starts to grow back in six to eight weeks.

MIND YOUR MINERALS It is a rare Canadian who eats the recommended seven to 10 half-cup servings of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. On top of this, the modern lifestyle is rampant with “nutrient robbers” – e.g. stress, medications, the birth control pill, smoking, alcohol – that further deplete our nutritional stores. As a result, deficiencies are rampant. Zinc, silicon and selenium are critical to hair growth yet most people do not get enough. Everybody should be on a multivitamin with minerals to prevent the nutritional deficiencies associated with not only hair loss but also chronic disease. A good quality multivitamin with minerals is a nutritional insurance policy and should contain 15 mg each of zinc and silicon and 100 mcg of plant-based selenomethionine. Start today with liquid iron, a thyroid-support formula and a great multivitamin with minerals and your hair will start to regain its youthful bounty. It is not normal to look down at the bottom of the tub and see nothing but hair swirling around the drain. Investigate these three common causes and your plumber will be as thrilled as you are with your thicker, fuller hair.  Lorna Vanderhaeghe, MS, is Canada's leading women's health expert. With Degrees in nutrition and biochemistry, she is the author of books including her newest, “A Smart Woman's Guide to Hormones.” Visit and sign up for her free monthly e-letter.

Healthy Directions December/January 2012 27

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A Ray of Hope for the

Winter Blues

Steps to Prevent & Alleviate SAD

Food, Sleep & Vitamins

By Christina Bjorndal, ND Winter has always been my favorite time of year – with the trees losing their leaves, the crisp cool days, the first snow fall and excitement of ski season. The turning back of the clocks at daylight savings time, however, brings the turning back of moods for many people. With exposure to less sunlight, especially in communities in Northern Canada, it can be more difficult to motivate yourself. My husband grew up in the Yukon where there is very little sunlight during the winter and he never had a problem with seasonal affective disorder (SAD). However, many people do. If you're like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and may continue into the winter and spring months, zapping your energy and making you feel depressed. It is helpful to know what the signs and symptoms are and once you understand the SAD picture, it is equally important to know what you can do to help yourself.

ARE YOU SUFFERING FROM THE WINTER BLUES? Seasonal affective disorder is a pattern of major depressive episodes that occur and remit with changes in seasons. The most recognized form of seasonal affective disorder, "winter depression," is characterized by at least five of the following symptoms that are present during the same two-week period, nearly every day, and represent a change from previous functioning. At least one of the symptoms is either (1) depressed mood or (2) loss of interest or pleasure. Not everyone with SAD has the same symptoms, but common symptoms of winter depression include the following:

• •

A change in appetite, especially a craving for sweet or starchy foods Weight gain

28 Healthy Directions December/January 2012

• • • • • • • • • • • •

A heavy feeling in the arms or legs Fatigue or loss of energy A tendency to oversleep or difficulty getting out of bed Diminished ability to think or concentrate Irritability Increased sensitivity to social rejection Avoidance of social situations Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy Ongoing feelings of hopelessness or helplessness Headaches and stomach aches Recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.

Symptoms of SAD keep coming back and tend to come and go at about the same time every year. The changes in mood are not necessarily related to obvious seasonal stressors (like being regularly unemployed during the winter). To be formally diagnosed with SAD, you must have experienced the symptoms for the past 2 years. If these symptoms ring true for you, a friend or loved one, the following suggestions are a good place to start.

STEPS TO PREVENT OR ALLEVIATE SAD There are many effective self-help treatments for SAD. The first priority is to increase your daily exposure to natural sunlight by getting outside for a walk or regular exercise during the day. Be sure

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to expose your eyes to the light and remove your sunglasses. You can also try sitting next to a south-facing window at your home or office. In some cases, the addition of light therapy to daily exposure is necessary to ensure adequate vitamin D production. In the winter months, we do not produce enough vitamin D because we are not outside for long enough in cold temperatures nor do we have much skin exposed when we are outside. Research has shown that vitamin D plays many key roles in the body – and improving mood is one of these. Light therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment for seasonal affective disorder. Another lighting suggestion is to replace commonly used light bulbs in your home with full or broad spectrum light bulbs. While more expensive than regular light bulbs, these bulbs provide light that is similar to natural sunlight. To help prevent SAD, a regular sleep schedule is extremely important to maintain. It may be helpful, for instance, to have your bedroom lights on a timer to turn on a half-hour before you wake. This may help in waking at a regular time every morning when it is still dark outside in the winter months. Foods have a significant influence on the brain's behaviour. A poor diet, especially one high in junk food, can contribute to depression. The levels of brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) are controlled by what we eat. These neurotransmitters regulate our behaviour and our mood. An important neurotransmitter implicated in depression is serotonin – which plays a role in mood, sleep, and appetite. Low levels of serotonin may result from diets too high in simple sugars/ carbohydrates (e.g., white sugar, white flour, sweets, processed foods) and leads to depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances. Diets high in complex carbohydrates (e.g., vegetables, whole grains, legumes/beans), on

the other hand, help to increase serotonin and elevate mood. If none of these suggestions seem to help your depressive symptoms after a few weeks, please consult a naturopathic doctor, psychologist or medical doctor who can further assist you. Don't be afraid to talk about this condition with a professional, it's nothing to be ashamed or afraid of. With a little effort, the winter blues can be beaten.

Christina Bjorndal, ND is a graduate of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. Bjorndal has obtained additional training in Gestalt psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Compassion Focused Therapy and Orthomolecular Medicine. She is an avid outdoors and exercise enthusiast and has completed three marathons and Ironman Canada. She believes in a holistic approach to health with nutrition and lifestyle counseling as the foundation in maintaining an optimum balance in our overall well-being.

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Colin Race, MSc, ND Vive Integrative Health Group Family Medicine, Chronic Pain, Integrative Cancer Treatment Call: (403) 984-3538


Christina Bjorndal, ND Optimum Wellness Naturopathic Medical Clinic Fertility, Women's Health, Sports Medicine, Mental Health (depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder)

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Seeking New Clients for Your Growing Practice? Make a booking in our Naturopath Listing Guide. Call 1-877-276-1849 or e-mail: Healthy Directions December/January 2012 29

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Listening to the Body's Messages of Wisdom By Cherie Carpenter, CLSC, AdvCBP, CBAT, CBI Your body has remarkable innate healing wisdom. When you cut your finger or sprain your ankle, healing takes place automatically. What if you could communicate with this wisdom when symptoms of more complex illness and disease appear? Or imagine effortlessly alleviating symptoms of allergies, anxiety, insomnia, back pain or fibromyalgia? Quantum physics has helped us understand that every cell, organ, endocrine, body part and system within the body is in constant communication with each other in an attempt to maintain optimal health. However, daily exposure to stress on physical, mental, emotional, environmental, and spiritual levels overload our natural lines of communication, causing them to break down. When you think about how much work our body does without our awareness, it's easy to see how we underestimate its unique intelligence! A healthy body is a magnificent, smoothly running piece of machinery! It is wise beyond all measure. For instance, it digests food and converts it into energy to keep us moving. Every day the body eliminates what we can’t use and it

stores toxins and fat. And then this brilliant body of ours shuts down for several hours while we sleep and repair. At least, it does this most of the time. Sometimes, like any piece of machinery, breakdowns happen. A symptom is our body’s way of getting our attention! And our body becomes less efficient as it tries to repair and adapt to these breakdowns. Eventually, as a last resort, the body will create symptoms or it invites injury. Often it requires more than rest to correct and restore itself. It needs help to re-connect internal lines of communication. Symptoms of all sorts – some very subtle – disappear as the body responds to some TLC. In what I do, for example, a refined muscle reflex technique (neuromuscular biofeedback) is used. This means the body identifies its own healing priority and sequence; its cry for help is heard. When internal lines of communication are re-established the natural flow of healing energy brings the body back into balance. It’s a simple, sensible and safe way to function at our best. People are always interested in finding out how natural healing can take place so

effortlessly. One of the key components is based on ancient yogic traditions. A light tapping procedure on the head and sternum – often with exaggerated breathing to help the body locate and target the corrections – can also help accelerate the body’s healing process. Relief from a wide range of conditions – including acute virus, fear, stress, arthritis, or any emotional, mental or digestive disorder to name just a few – can be obtained in this manner. An increasing number of people are beginning new careers in holistic health care. Established Canadian health care professionals are integrating energy medicine into their practices: medical doctors; chiropractors; naturopaths; massage therapists; psycho-spiritual therapists; and yoga instructors. They are delighted to see gentle and profound results in healing and a rejuvenated sense of wellbeing in their patients and clients. When the body cries for help, listen to your body’s message of wisdom. Cherie Carpenter, CLSC, AdvCBP, CBAT, CBI Advanced Certified BodyTalk Practitioner, Trainer and Instructor, 1-877-884-1767,

“When the body talks to itself it can heal itself. Healing really is that simple.” BodyTalk is a revolution in health care. It works gently to restore the body’s innate ability to heal, and this simple approach has proven to be so effective that BodyTalk is the fastest growing health care system in the world today.

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Top Nine Strategies to

Attain A Healthy Weight 2) MANAGE STRESS Stress causes the release of a hormone called cortisol. Chronic release of cortisol leads to weight gain. In addition to this, when under stress, individuals tend to reach for unhealthy food options that are generally higher in sugar and unhealthy fats.

3) DON’T SKIP MEALS Skipping meals results in a greater release of cortisol. This leads to poor dietary choices as well as weight gain.

4) EAT GOOD FATS Fat is essential for a healthy body. Low fat diets usually lead to higher a carbohydrate intake and are ineffective in providing sustained weight loss. Focus on omega-3‘s, such as fish oils, flaxseed oil, nut and seeds. Fish oils are not only anti-inflammatory, but have been shown to improve body composition as well as decrease cortisol levels.

5) EAT WHOLE FOODS, AVOID SUGARS/CARBS Whole foods contain fibre, fat, and protein, which help provide sustained energy. Eating whole foods also decreases intake of refined carbohydrates such as sweeteners, refined flours, breads, and pastas. Sugar, excessive carbohydrate and excessive fruit consumption cause a rapid increase in blood glucose and a subsequent decrease in blood sugar below normal levels. This is stressful on the body’s ability to secrete and regulate insulin and overtime it causes insulin resistance. For many people weight loss can be as easy as cutting out all refined carbohydrates from their diet. Make sure to read labels, as sugars are added to most packaged foods.

By Meaghan McCollum, ND


The number of Canadians who are obese or overweight continues to climb. Statistics Canada reports that in 2010, 52.3% of adults over the age of 18 were either overweight or obese. Overweight/obesity increases the risk for numerous health complications: high blood pressure, insulin resistance, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, increased mortality from certain cancers, sleep apnea, gout, and degenerative joint disease. What is stopping us from losing all this weight? There are several compounding factors to weight loss difficulties. Here are some naturopathic strategies to attain a healthy weight and stay there.

It goes without saying that exercise is essential. Find something that you love doing. Find others who like the same activity and make yourself accountable to them.


Numerous environmental toxins are stored in fat cells. Some evidence suggests weight gain may occur to accommodate the exposure of environmental toxins. Eating organic and local foods, using natural body care products and spending time in nature can help decrease your toxin exposure.

Dieting has been shown to be ineffective for long term weight loss. Permanent lifestyle change is required to achieve sustainable weight loss. Focus less on the scale and more on overall health. Establishing healthy habits, such as exercise and good nutrition will over time lead to weight loss. 32 Healthy Directions December/January 2012

7) CONSIDER HORMONAL IMBALANCES Calories in do not always equal calories out. If you are exercising like crazy, eating a low calorie diet and still not losing weight, you may have hormonal interferences. Elevations in cortisol, imbalances from menopause or thyroid dysfunction can all contribute to excess weight.


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9) PATIENCE, PERSISTENCE & HARD WORK Weight gain doesn’t happen overnight. Similarly weight loss takes time to occur. Like most great things in life, there is no shortcut, but the reward is well worth the effort.

Meaghan McCollum, ND received her naturopathic medical training from the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine in New Westminster, BC. She also holds a degree in nutrition from the University of British Columbia. Now located in Calgary, her practice focuses on sports medicine, nutrition, hormonal disturbances and pain management.

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How to Be Happy

Beating Depression By Raisa Weisspapir, HD, DHMS, MD (Europe) Homeopathy is a very beneficial and effective natural way of helping patients suffering from depression. Anti-depressive drugs can give you a false sense of being okay when, in fact, they just mask remaining problems. Besides that, the side effects and withdrawal symptoms can be very difficult to handle. Homeopathy gently initiates the healing process that can literally transform your life. Old hurts, griefs, anxieties, injustices, jealousies, and obsessions can be put in their proper perspective and released.

WHAT IS DEPRESSION? Many of us experience “the blues” at various points in our lives. Facing the loss of a loved one, high levels of stress, a bad relationship, money troubles or job problems – we can feel a sense of hopelessness about the situation. But if you or your loved ones are having "the blues" that last for a long period of time and interfere with day-to-day life, it could be a sign of depression. Please do not wait. Ask for professional help as soon as possible! Remember, you are not alone.

HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU ARE DEPRESSED? You might feel tired or have low energy, cry easily, feel sad, be unable to concentrate or irritable, lose interest in your job or feel lkie life doesn't seem fun anymore. You may also feel guilty or worthless, sleep too much or too little, lose or gain weight or have various aches and pains, such as, headaches and digestive disorders.

RECOGNIZING TEEN DEPRESSION With teenager depression on the rise, it's important to recognize the signs at an early stage. Depressed teens may exhibit increased irritability rather than a despondent mood, or they may complain of physical ailments, such as headaches or stomachaches. Some teenagers reveal their depression through behaviour problems such as fighting or having trouble at school. Also, if a formerly outgoing teen is very quiet now and withdrawn, he might be suffering from depression.

PRACTICAL TIPS Improve your sleep. Sleep and mood are intimately related. Some studies show that insomnia may be a cause of depression. Stop negative thoughts. Did you know that habitual negative thinking can lead to depression? Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help to alter common patterns of negative thinking. Exercise for joy. Studies show that regular exercise is one of the most effective ways to improve mood. Staying physically active is essential to achieve and enhance a good mental disposition. A combination of homeopathic medicine, a balanced diet and an active healthy life-style can offer renewed hope and help develop brighter spirit, more energy, improved physical health and release the emotional pain of traumatic memories. For more information visit:

Healthy Directions December/January 2012 35

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The Serious Dangers of

Disposable Diapers By Laurie Diwakar, BA

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Young or old, most people will use diapers at some point in their lives. Among diaper users are millions of babies, handicapped people, truck drivers, casino goers, surgeons, and the elderly. This totals around 40 million users of diapers in North America alone. With all the consumer safety guidelines it seems that if they are available for sale they must be safe, right? Everything on the market is so heavily regulated for safety and contents; however diapers seem to have escaped any real scrutiny. Almost every medical, baby and health product on the market is licenced, tested, regulated or controlled in some way. It seems that every year numerous products are recalled from the shelf. Each product has detailed ingredients and content information so that consumers can discern what the purest and cleanest products are for their loved ones. This includes food, cosmetics, textiles and even baby wipes. However, there is one gaping hole in this type of disclosure and that is with disposable diapers. There seems to be no disclosure as to what is in the standard disposable diaper and this includes "flushable," and "eco-friendly" alternatives. It is high time a little of this information is brought to light.

Chlorine is also found in disposable diapers. It breaks down bacteria, oils and is a skin irritant. It's even been associated with skin rashes like eczema. Several studies have also linked chlorine and chlorinated by-products to various forms of cancer. Unfortunately, the list does not end here. Dioxin, a highly toxic pollutant, is a by-product of the paper bleaching process which uses chlorine gas and is present in disposable diapers. This is how they obtain their super bright white colour. Dioxin is among the most toxic chemicals known to science. It is a well-known cancer causing carcinogen. It has been especially linked to testicular cancer. The EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency) lists it as the most toxic of all cancer linked chemicals. According to the EPA report, there appear to be no safe level of exposure to dioxin. Even in small quantities dioxin causes birth defects, severe reproductive and developmental problems. Dioxin has been banned for environmental use in the U.S. since 1976 and is among the "dirty dozen" toxic chemicals named for global phase-out under a United Nations Convention signed by the US.



The wonder of disposables lies in a chemical called sodium polyacrylate. This powdery chemical instantly absorbs water upon contact and turns into a crystal like gel. The long term effects of these gels are unknown. This has somehow translated to claims of safety. Unfortunately, this may be far from the truth. As with most single use items, diapers are designed to hold up for a few hours and are constructed of thin layers of materials. This means the absorbent gel rarely stays contained within the diaper. It can often make its way onto the skin. It looks like sugar and is often mistaken as excrement. This gel has been linked to allergic reactions, severe irritation, asthma, oozing blood from the perineum and sacral areas, fever, vomiting and staph infections. It was banned from use in tampons in 1985, due to its link to toxic shock syndrome. It is toxic to digest. People in factories who manufacture these diapers suffer from many complaints. Slow healing, fatigue, weight loss top the list. 36 Healthy Directions December/January 2012

The next chemical is TBT (Tributyltin). TBT compounds are considered highly toxic chemicals which have negative effects on humans and the environment. TBT is a highly persistent organic pollutant. It is best known for its contamination to marine life which has caused irreversible damage. TBT has also been liked to obesity in humans, as it triggers genes that cause the growth of fat cells. You know the old saying that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Disposable diapers happen to fall into this category. The chemicals are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the long term impact of disposables. Laurie Diwakar, BA is a mother of three with more than 11 years of experience in the natural health industry. As a motivated entrepreneur she has committed the last five years to developing and testing products that work for you, your family and the environment. Get some washable gear for Rearz! For more information on cloth diapers visit or

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C 38 Healthy Directions December/January 2012


HDDecJan2012_HealthyDirectionsTemplate 11-11-21 1:48 PM Page 39

Natural Calm Canada~Business With A Mission~


ale and Linda Bolton were not looking for another career. For three decades, Dale had been a pastor, both in Canada and in developing countries, and Linda had worked as a director of nursing and a pastor.But in 2004, their lives changed. It began when Linda, who struggled with sleep problems, fibromyalgia and bone density issues, discovered the magnesium supplement Natural Calm. Linda knew magnesium was used in hospitals to treat heart attack, stroke, migraines and high blood pressure,but she had not considered it as a health supplement until her sister,who had been helped by the product for severe migraines,recommended it. She decided to give it a try, and the results amazed her. Right away, Linda began to sleep better,and within a week much of her muscle pain from fibromyalgia was gone. Not only that, but her next medical test came back showing higher bone density for the first time in 10 years. Soon after, the Bolton’s visited Malawi, Africa and were astounded by the scale of the suffering they witnessed there. Dale and Linda had done a number of projects in Haiti, but they were overwhelmed by the need they saw in Africa. The AIDS pandemic had left about 40 million children orphaned, and Dale and Linda felt they couldn’t turn their backs. When they returned to Canada, Dale and his son Jason did a house renovation to raise the funds to help build an orphan home, but the family realized a problem this big required new kinds of solutions. The answer they were looking for came from Linda’s business success with Natural Calm. The American company’s supplements were not available in Canada, so Linda began importing them, initially just for family and friends. Then she began approaching retail health stores. The products sold so well she was given the exclusive distribution rights for Canada. Dale and Linda decided to work together and turn Natural Calm Canada into a social enterprise, meaning that all the profits after expenses go to help orphans in Africa. At first, donations went to the organization Hope for the Nations in Kelowna, BC. The money was used to build orphan homes and schools and to drill water wells. Linda and Dale also began visiting Africa twice a year and taking others with them to see the difference they could make. However, the Bolton’s felt there was more they could be doing to make real, lasting change where it was needed most. Dale, who grew up on a farm, noticed that none of the orphanages had gardens and that kids were struggling with health issues because of their low-nutrient diet. He learned that food production all over Africa had plummeted because of the spiraling costs of chemical fertilizers, fuel, pesticides and genetically modified seed.

Dale spent a month at an African organic agricultural college which taught trainers how to make their own fertilizers and pesticides and to save their own seeds. One of the teachers there was keen to help grow better food for orphans, and that was the beginning of Organics 4 Orphans, an organization created to help improve the food security, health and self-sufficiency of children and their communities. Natural Calm Canada covers all the overhead for Organics 4 Orphans. This means that 100% of donations go toward the projects. To date, Organics 4 Orphans has reached more than 120 orphanages and communities in four countries with its fiveday Grow Biointensive workshop. For every project created, there are three more communities asking to be taught the secrets of organic growing. The work of Organics 4 Orphans doesn’t stop with teaching optimal growing methods. The second phase of each project involves a five-day natural medicine course developed by Anamed International, an organization that specializes in the identification of indigenous African plants with high medicinal properties. Between improved natural medicine knowledge and access and improved nutrition, the incidence of diseases in participating communities has been reduced by up to 80%. The third phase of Organics 4 Orphans projects focuses on growing surplus food to create income and teach skills that will be useful to children in the future. The aim is for the orphanages or communities involved to be self-sufficient by this point. It is incredible how inexpensive it is to create change with the Organics 4 Orphans model. Forty-two dollars a month can provide an orphanage or a struggling community with tools, fencing, seed and 10 visits from an organic trainer. Even in very dry areas, the resulting gardens are able to grow food for around 50 people after one year. This works out to a cost of just $10 a year per person. The Bolton’s could not be more excited. Even though they’re not far from retirement age, they can’t imagine stopping this work. In fact, they are still expanding the reach of Organics 4 Orphans. The latest addition to their list of programs is a one-year organic farming/natural medicine internship program in Africa, for which several Canadians have already signed up. Many young people want to work for Natural Calm Canada because it is a social enterprise. Several Canadians also are planning to volunteer for Organics 4 Orphans’ one year organic farming/natural medicine program in Africa ( To find the benefits of magnesium supplementation and where to get Natural Calm health products go to Go to to find out how anyone can transform their lives through organic growing and natural medicine.

Profit from the sale of Natural Calm Canada’s Family of Products goes to support Organics 4 Orphans or call 1 (866) 854 2256

HDDecJan2012_HealthyDirectionsTemplate 11-11-21 1:48 PM Page 40

40 Healthy Directions December/January 2012

Healthy Directions December / January 2012  

A Canadian Natural Health Magazine

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