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FREE! FEB/MAR 2009

GET HEART HEALTHY

HERBAL CLEANSES

Feed your Skin for

NATURAL BEAUTY The Top 10 Foods

YOUR HEART WILL LOVE Ease STRESS and Increase HAPPINESS

FEEL GOOD RECIPES


HEALTHY DIRECTIONS FEBRUARY/MARCH 2009

In This Issue: H E A R T H E A LT H

Living a Heart Healthy Lifestyle

20

10

T H E TOP 10 FOODS YOUR HEART WILL LOVE

Cold Water Fish, Ground Flax, Tomatoes and More 18

“EGGZACTLY” THE RIGHT FACTS ON FATS

Need a Fast, Fat Fact Update? 20

SEEKING HEART HEALTH?

Prevention Solutions at Your Fingertips 22

HEART FRIENDLY FRUITS

Resveratrol and Plant Sterols 36

BE STROKE SAVVY

Samba with Fewer Risk Factors

NATURAL BEAUT Y Look and Feel Your Best 54

FEED YOUR SKIN, STARVE YOUR WRINKLES

Foods for Beautiful Skin 57

MAKIN G A NATURAL C HOICE

Not All Products are Really Natural or Organic

FIT FOR LIFE

54

Fitness Routines and Inspiration for All Ages 40

DEVELOPING MENTAL TOUGHNESS

Training for Peak Performance 42

S P E C T A C U L A R STRETCHING

Aid Performance, Prevent and Relieve Pain

MAKE IT NATURAL

Make Your Own Natural Products 46

AROMATIC DELIGHTS Make Your Own Body Products

8 9 61 65 67

36

EDITOR’S NOTE OUR CONTRIBUTORS HEALTHY OPTIONS SHOPPING GUIDE COURSES AND EVENTS GUIDE CLASSIFIEDS


ECO LIVING

Healthier Living in Environmental Harmony 58

STRAWBALE HOMES AND SHEDS

An Attractive Ecological Option 66

EARTH TALK

Reduce Your Home Heating Bill 68

G R E E N E A R T H ECO EVENTS

Join the Green Movement

F O O D PA S S I O N S

Igniting the Senses with Foods and Recipes 12

14

NUTRITION FACTS

Almonds Help Support Healthy Fat Levels 32

H E A R T H E A LT H Y RECIPES

French Roast Salmon Creamy Sweet Potato Soup Layered Tomato Salad 34

C R U N C H C R AV E R S

Almond Lover’s Maple Granola Crispy Allergy-Free Cinnamon Cookies 35

A VALENTINE’S DAY GIFT TO SHARE

Caramelized Ginger & Almond Snack Mix

H E A LT H Y S T A R T S

Join the Journey to Better Health 14

HERBAL CLEANSE

Detox for Weight-Loss and Better Health 28

DIABETES AND HEAVY METAL TOXICIT Y

Are Heavy Metals Affecting Your Health? 39

MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR MULTI

Absorption is Essential 52

CALM ASSURANCE AGAINST COLD AND FLU

32

Reach Your Hand Out with Conf idence 62

HOMEOPATHY

Understanding Ear Infections 69

AROMATHERAPY

Can Scents Really Affect Health? 70

WELCOME TO MENOPAUSE

Hang on for the Ride

T H E PA T H T O H A P P I N E S S Finding Joy and Inner Peace 31

COPING WITH STRESS

Food, Supplements and “You” Time 48

OPENING THE SACRED HEART

Ojas, Life’s Nectar 50

TURNING WORK INTO PLAY

A New Perspective for Joy and Productivity

10


Editor ’s Note “Inspiration may at times seem elusive. Of Greek origin, the word inspiration translates literally into meaning “breathed in”. When the clouds come in, inspiration can seem lost behind anxiety about: the economy, relationships, a smaller bottom line, health issues, losing a job or making ends meet. While we can feel inspired by great art or the words of great writers, here’s a breathtaking realization. Inspiration is everywhere, all around us, for everyone. Perhaps, it is tapped into most easily in silence. Maybe there is a clue in the literal meaning of the word itself to finding it. In a moment’s deep breath, exhale the thoughts away and inspiration can suddenly appear in a child’s smile, a new innovation, a cat’s purr, or a row of frost covered pines. Breathe some life into others by offering a helping hand to those in need by volunteering. Who knows? You just might even inspire others. Learning or trying something new can also give you a lift and lead to new joys and opportunities. Simply indulging in one or two of life’s little luxuries like a cup of tea, or a relaxing bath can also be the catalyst needed to help change your perspective and find solutions. So, take a deep breath of life. It is through inspiration, that we can make needed changes, see the beauty around us, find the strength to start again, or find the strength to keep going. What are you holding your breath for? This issue we offer some inspiring ideas on how to: live a more heart healthy lifestyle, ease stress, ease pain, improve work performance and joy, herbal cleanse, as well as, feel and look your best.

Feb/Mar 2009 Vol. 10 No. 2 Circ: 100,000 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 char@healthydirections.ca Contributing Writers Doug Cook RD, MHSc, CDE, RoseMarie Pierce B.Sc.Pharm, Cara Rosenbloom RD, Claude Gallant PhD Microbiology, Michelle Honda PhD, Mark Schneider, Certified Nutritional Practitioner, Thomas Nissen, Lisa Carlini, Joel Thuna, Norm Danniels, Jason Selk M.Ed., LPC, NCC, Anne Clossen, Thai Massage Practitioner, Trish Green, Matthew Remski, Kevin Carroll, Tom Stokes PhD Biochemistry, BSc, Allison Tannis BSc, MSc, RHN, Lyn Bosman, Russell Scott, Raisa Weisspapir HD, George Shurepa N.H.C, H.T. and Dini Petty Editorial: Written contributions and photos are welcome. However, all content is subject to editorial review.

Yours in health and happiness,

Advertising Sales: Jon Cousins 1-877-276-1849 healthydirections@rogers.com Check out our website: www.HealthyDirections.ca

Charleen Wyman BA Journalism, BA English Editor, Healthy Directions char@healthydirections.ca

Become a fan or start a live discussion: Look us up at Healthy Directions Magazine on www.facebook.com.

Healthy Directions is an independent journal produced by Cousins Publishing, six times a year. All content is copyrighted by Cousins Publishing. ISSN 1488-6308

IMPORTANT : Always seek the opinion of your medical 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.

8 Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009


OUR CONTRIBUTORS Doug Cook RD, MHSc, CDE is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator who currently works at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, and as a nutrition consultant. He practices a holistic and integrative approach providing science-based guidance on food and diet along with nutritional supplements and natural health products where appropriate. He recently co-authored Nutrition for Canadians for Dummies (Wiley, 2008). In addition, he has served as the nutrition expert for the Ministry of Health’s website: healthyontario.com. Visit his website: www.wellnessnutrition.ca.

RoseMarie Pierce BScPharm is a holistic pharmacist with more than 40 years experience in both conventional and natural medicine. Currently, she counsels and lectures on holistic health, specializing in hormonal balance and mind/body vitality. Pierce began her interest in natural medicine during her university studies in pharmacy at Dalhousie University. Her enthusiasm for phyto-pharmacy, nutrition, and the use of vitamins and minerals to support the healing of the human body defined her early pharmacy career. For more information on this popular writer, lecturer and hormonal health specialist, visit her website at www.sunstreams.ca.

Kevin Carroll is the acclaimed author of Rules of the Red Rubber Ball and What’s Your Red Rubber Ball?. He travels around the globe speaking to businesses and to young people about the importance of sport and play in life. Kevin Carroll’s blog is at: www.kevincarrollkatalyst.com and The Red Rubber Ball at Work web site is: www.rrbatwork.com. He is an advisor to many organizations that use sports and play as a transformative tool including: Nike, Disney/ESPN, Gap/Old Navy, Mattel, Proctor & Gamble, and Capital One, and he has spoken at the United Nations.

Allison Tannis MSc, RHN is a nutritional scientist and author of the best-seller Probiotic Rescue (Wiley, 2008). and Feed Your Skin, Starve Your Wrinkles (Fairwinds, 2009). Tannis is also a registered holistic nutritionist practicing in southern Ontario. Visit allisontannis.com.

Michelle Honda PhD practices at Renew You Holistic Health in Ancaster/West Hamilton. In addition to her doctorate, she holds an advanced degree in nutrition (RNCP), is a Master Herbalist and an IIPA Certified Iridologist. Clinic: www.renewyou.ca (905) 304-0111 Blog: www.michellehonda.com

Matthew Remski is a certified Ayurvedic Health Educator (advanced level) through the American Institute of Vedic Studies. He runs Canada's only Ayurvedic Health Education Certification program, is co-director of Yoga Festival Toronto, teaches at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CE), and is co-owner of Renaissance Yoga and Ayurveda in downtown Toronto.

Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009 9


The Top 10 Foods

YOUR HEART WILL LOVE By Doug Cook RD, MHSc., CDE Making heart-healthy food choices is a very important part of the overall strategy when it comes to preventing or at least delaying heart disease and minimizing the impact of existing disease. Diet can help to lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and to raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the two most important diet-related risk factors, but diet can also help to prevent heart disease by reducing other risk factors, such as, high blood pressure, overweight and obesity, reducing the incidence of insulin resistance, and helping to manage existing diabetes (all of which increase the risk for heart disease).

Diet can help to protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation making it less atherosclerotic, and antioxidants can help to maintain and improve blood vessel health.

1

COLD WATER FISH

2

GROUND FLAX AND CHIA

Sardines, salmon, herring and mackerel are by far the best sources of the heart healthy omega-3 fats: EPA and DHA. While white fish, such as, halibut or cod is better than not including any fish, the rule of thumb is, the fattier the fish, the better. Omega-3 fats have been shown to reduce the risk for heart disease and stroke. They help to reduce inflammation and to help keep the blood ‘thin’ so that it can flow through the arteries and veins more easily. Aim to have at least 3oz of fish, three times a week.

These seeds are a great source of fibre which can help to keep blood cholesterol and blood sugar balanced in a healthy range. As a bonus, the fibre helps to promote regularity. These foods are also a great source of the plant-based, omega-3 fat called alpha-linolenic acid or ALA. ALA is an essential fat needed to optimize health and flax and chia are also a great source of antioxidants which help to reduce LDL oxidation and oxidative damage of the blood vessels. Aim to have 2 – 3 tablespoons per day.

10 Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009


3

TOMATO PRODUCTS

Cooked tomato products, such as, paste, sauce, and juice are a great source of highly absorbable lycopene; a carotenoid like betacarotene. Higher intake of carotenoids have been shown to protect against coronary heart disease. Lycopene, one of the strongest carotenoid-antioxidants, reduces LDL oxidation. Oxidation is responsible for making LDL cholesterol more ‘sticky”, enhancing atherosclerosis. Include tomato products weekly and/or at least four half cup servings of tomato juice or vegetable cocktail a week.

4

KALE, SPINACH & COLLARD GREENS

Dark leafy greens like these including Swiss Chard are the best sources of lutein, another carotenoid. Lutein, like all carotenoids, is a powerful antioxidant, but research is showing that lutein has the unique ability to reduce the thickness of blood vessels which is the result of cholesterol build-up within the artery walls. Something referred to as intimal thickness is the technical term for plaques. In simplest terms, lutein helps to reverse some of the narrowing of blood vessels. Aim to have at least three half cup servings per week.

5

DARK CHOCOLATE

Dark chocolate contains cocoa. Cocoa is a source of phytochemicals called polyphenols. Some 4000 different types of polyphenols have been identified in nature and they are also abundant in tea, apples, berries, olives, olive and hemp oils, grapes and red wine. Cocoa polyphenols have been shown to increase blood flow, reduce platelet aggregation (think less sticky), are powerful antioxidants and like lutein have been shown to reduce intimal thickness. Just 40g of 70% dark chocolate a day will do. I prefer 85% dark chocolate for more bang for your buck.

6

COLD-PRESSED EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE & HEMP OIL

These oils are a great source of monounsaturated fats which help to raise HDL cholesterol and both the green colour and astringent taste are due to the high levels of, you guess it, phenolic compounds [more polyphenols]. Hemp is unique that it is also a source of gamma-linolenic acid or GLA, a heart healthy fat with anti-inflammatory properties. 1-2 teaspoons a day is a good start. Remember not to heat these oils in order to get the most benefit.

7

GREEN TEA

8

BERRIES

All tea has more of those awesome polyphenols but green tea has the most. Matcha green tea is even better. This is what’s used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies. The dried green tea leaves are ground into a fine powder and because the whole tea leaf is consumed, the amount of polyphenols one gets is enormously more than that of bagged green tea. Drink daily.

Dark, richly coloured berries and fruit, such as, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, as well as, purple grapes, acai and pomegranate are rich in antioxidants which have been shown to reduce LDL oxidation and reduce inflammation – key to reducing the risk for heart disease. Aim to have one half cup serving daily.



Food can be an ally against heart disease. Diet changes can help lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol. Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009 11


9

RAW NUTS AND SEEDS

By keeping them raw, nuts and seeds: maintain higher amounts of vitamin E and the heart healthy oil MUFA, and are not degraded or altered. Nuts and seeds are also a great source of phytochemicals and magnesium, a mineral that helps to relax blood vessels, opening them up for greater blood flow. These are high in calories; so, the amount one can eat, depends on one’s energy requirements, but almost everyone can afford to have a quarter cup each day.

10

WHEAT GERM & WHEAT GERM OIL

Wheat germ is the best food source of natural vitamin E. Try to use raw wheat germ where possible, vitamin E is heat sensitive. Vitamin E helps to reduce LDL and blood vessel oxidation. Wheat germ oil comes as supplements. Wheat germ can be sprinkled on salads, stirred into yogurt, smoothies or oatmeal. Aim for 2-3 teaspoons per day. Doug Cook, RD MHSc CDE is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator who currently works at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, and as a nutrition consultant. He practices a holistic and integrative approach providing science-based guidance on food and diet along with nutritional supplements and natural health products where appropriate. He recently co-authored Nutrition for Canadians for Dummies (Wiley, 2008). Visit his website: www.wellnessnutrition.ca.

NUTRITION FACTS

Eating Almonds Helps Support Healthy Fat Levels American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Reports Almonds’ Impact on Triglycerides The Almond Board of California, www.almondsarein.com, maintains simple changes in one’s diet can help overcome dietary challenges. One way to improve heart health is to make dietary choices that reduce triglyceride levels, an established risk factor for developing heart disease. With an invested interest in heart health over the course of nearly two decades, the Almond Board funded its most recent study to investigate heart health risk factors, namely high triglyceride levels. During the study, human subjects consumed muffin products made with pieces of whole almonds, compared to those made with oil. Researchers witnessed a delayed release of fats from the almonds into the body, which resulted in a lower rise in triglyceride levels. “This new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, expands upon previous cardiovascular research by investigating not only how the plant cell wall may impact how 12 Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009

fats are absorbed into the body, but also the potential impact on acute changes in triglyceride levels,” noted Dr. Sarah Berry, Nutritional Sciences Division, Kings College London, United Kingdom. “The data suggests an intact plant cell wall, as found in whole almonds, may impact on how much and how quickly fat is released into the blood, contributing to a lower acute rise in blood triglyceride levels.” Researchers at King’s College in London discovered that the increase in plasma triglycerides levels was lower after eating a meal that included muffins made with pieces of whole almonds than muffins made with oil-based fat sources, like almond oil and sunflower oil. “These findings further indicate that almonds play a vital role in supporting a healthy heart,” said Gina Sunderland, a Registered Dietitian at the Action Physiotherapy & Wellness Clinic in Winnipeg, Manitoba. “With the new year upon us, Canadians will be focusing on resolutions, such as, achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Incorporating almonds into a balanced diet will help with achieving that goal.”


DO YOUR NEED TO DETOX? If you answer “yes” to three of more of the following questions, you could benefit from a detoxification treatment:

• Are you overweight? Do you

Herbal Cleanse to

REJEUVENATE

overeat or crave sugar?

• Do you suffer from constipation, indigestion, bloating or gas?

• Do you have recurring colds or flu, excess mucous or congestion?

• Do your often suffer from headaches, fatigue or poor memory?

• Do you have food or environmental allergies?

• Do you suffer from itchy, flaky skin or scalp?

• Do you often eat instant foods, fast foods or fried foods?

• Do you often take prescription or non-prescription drugs?

Detox Aids Weight Loss!

HOW TO CLEANSE By RoseMarie Pierce B.Sc.Pharm Keep your first detoxification experience positive by making it fairly short in duration and not too drastic a change from your usual lifestyle. Start by eating a cleansing diet for up to seven days, this will lighten the digestive system’s load and help start the detoxification process. A cleansing diet usually includes foods that are antioxidant and mineralrich which helps to neutralize acid waste.

14 Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009

Do you need to shed some extra body clutter? Body clutter is not just about weight issues and the accumulation of fat! Toxins are stored in the liver and in fat cells; acids and cellular waste can build up in tissues and organs causing swelling and edema. The intestinal tract, especially the large colon can accumulate vast amounts of fecal build-up adding 25 extra pounds of weight or more around the middle. By consuming poor quality, low in fibre, refined and even toxic food the digestive system is weakened. Food will not be digested properly, leaving remains that attract parasitic, pathogenic micro-organisms. Stress and drugs make the situation worse. The intestinal wall becomes inflamed and weakened, allowing toxins and partly-digested food into the blood. This can provoke immune system reactions and even exhaustion of the liver. The organs of elimination can be overwhelmed. Following the excesses of the holiday season, many people become aware that they need a good detox or clean-out. 


CLEANSING GUIDELINES • Avoid starchy vegetables like white potatoes, corn, and mallow. • Minimize soy milk, dairy products and avoid cheese. • Go organic, or wash pesticide residues with a veggie-wash. • Eliminate all sugars, saturated fats, salt, additives, caffeine, alcohol, refined foods, and packaged or processed foods for one week out of the month. • Avoid animal protein in favor of vegetarian protein, good choices: beans, soy that is fermented, hemp protein and sprouted ancient grains - quinoa, millet. • Avoid heavy carbohydrates like bread, pasta, crackers, chips - consume more whole grains: brown rice, kamut, spelt. • Use olive oil and omega-3 oils (flax seed and fish) and cook with coconut oil. • Drink eight to 14 glasses a day of pure water and herb teas. • Fill up on green vegetables, sea vegetables and colourful fruits they contain: soluble fibre, alkalizing minerals, chlorophyll and a wide variety of detoxifying antioxidants – fortify with green-food powders. • Include nutritious smoothies with berries or berry powdered extracts. • Enjoy the juice of one-half lemon each morning. • Chew slowly (as good digestion begins with the enzymes in your mouth) and take a good quality, plant-based digestive enzyme with each meal. • Boost your body’s cleansing ability with cleaning herbs or a detox kit that supports the colon and the other organs of elimination. If interested in clearing the internal clutter out of the body and achieving real, permanent weight-loss, take one week out of every month to focus on cleansing. Include a gentle exercise routine to help increase blood and lymph circulation. Consider, adding a gentle herbal detox kit to your cleansing diet to support the organs of elimination. 

HOW THE BODY DETOXIFIES Normally, the body has its own internal de-cluttering system, continually detoxifying, pollutants, cellular byproducts, harmful chemicals and toxic waste. Here’s how.

KIDNEYS The kidneys eliminate fluid wastes, maintain electrolyte balance and purify the bloodstream by detoxifying medications, free radicals and toxins found in the blood.

LIVER The liver is our most important detoxifier, as it neutralizes poisons. What it cannot render harmless, it stores protecting the rest of the body from harm.

COLON The colon eliminates solid wastes and absorbs water from foods.

LUNGS

For more information on the value of cleansing, see: www.recleanse.com. The following link contains references to yoga and healthy movement activities to help promote a balanced and enjoyable cleansing experience, http://www.yogadirectorycanada.com.

The lungs act as a site of blood filtration and eliminate toxic gases with each respiration.

RoseMarie Pierce, B.Sc.Pharm, is a holistic pharmacist with more than 35 years experience in both conventional and natural medicine. She is a highly respected lecturer, writer, and media personality within the natural health industry. Currently, she counsels and lectures on holistic health, specializing in hormonal balance and mind/body vitality. RoseMarie acts as a catalyst for individuals who wish to improve their health, experience vitality and realize their potential. For more information visit her website at www.sunstreams.ca.

SKIN As the largest eliminative organ, every pore of the skin is an escape route for waste material.

A QUICK, DAILY CLEANSING RECIPE For ongoing cleansing support on a daily basis, incorporate the following morning routine upon rising.

INGREDIENTS one-half lemon 16 oz of pure water 1 ounce aloe vera juice a pinch of high trace mineral sea salt sweeten with pure maple syrup

DIRECTIONS Squeeze the juice of one-half lemon into 16 oz of pure water. Add an ounce of aloe vera juice and small amount of high trace mineral sea salt. Sweeten slightly with pure maple syrup. Shake vigorously and drink.

Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009 17


“Eggzactly” What You Need to Know about Fats! By Cara Rosenbloom RD If your knowledge about dietary fat comes from the same era that introduced neon legwarmers, breakdancing and Jane Fonda’s Workout, then it’s time to update your information. In the 1980s, health professionals recommended low-fat and cholesterolfree diets for optimal heart health. In the 25 years since then, our knowledge about fat has changed, but some people still rely on outdated information. This primer on fat will update your knowledge about this important nutrient.

FAT IS ESSENTIAL Scientists have long known that fat is vital for a healthy diet, but recommendations on the type and amount of dietary fat have changed over the years. In 1982, Canada’s Food Guide encouraged people to “select foods with limited amounts of fat.” Since then, emerging science has taught researchers that while fat intake should be 20-35% of total daily calories (50-80 grams/day in a 2000 calorie diet), it is the type of fat and not only the amount that impacts overall health. Data from Statistics Canada shows that Canadians currently eat about 30% of calories from fat, so; we’re already in line with the recommendations regarding quantity. The trouble is that many people still choose the wrong types of fat. Fat can be “good” or “bad” depending on the effect it has on heart health. Studies show that choosing more “good” monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats instead of “bad” saturated and trans fats can help decrease the risk of developing heart disease. In the 2007 Food Guide, Canadians are encouraged to “include a small amount – about 2-3 tablespoons - of unsaturated fat each day,” a radical change from the 1982 advice. 18 Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009


STUCK IN THE 80s?

Get the New THE TIMES HAVE CHANGED We should leave most of our 80s-learned fat and cholesterol knowledge in the past, along with hair-sprayed bangs and acid-washed jeans. However, it seems that most Canadians aren’t ready to let go just yet. In the recent Tracking Nutrition Trends survey conducted by the Canadian Council of Food and Nutrition (CCFN), it was found that 63 percent of Canadians still erroneously believe that the amount of cholesterol they eat is the major factor that affects their blood cholesterol levels. This nutrition myth, which was held as gospel in the 80s is untrue. In fact, dietary cholesterol has little effect on blood cholesterol levels. Blood cholesterol is raised by diets that are high in saturated and trans fats, not by eating foods that contain cholesterol. And, eggs are okay to eat! Dietary advice in the 1980s suggested a cut-throat elimination of eggs, since it was believed that the cholesterol-containing yolk was a major cause of high blood cholesterol. This is another myth. A recently published study followed people over a 20-year period and found that regular egg consumption (seven eggs per week) did not increase cholesterol levels or the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

TRANS FAT FACTS In 1984, consumer advocacy groups campaigned against the use of saturated fat in fastfood restaurants and, in response, most fast-food companies begin using trans fat instead. This was thought to be a perfect solution since trans fat, which is made from oil, was considered “unsaturated.” Fast forward 25 years, and we now know that trans fat is even worse for heart health than saturated fat, since processing oil to create trans fat changes its structure and health profile. CCFN’s Tracking Nutrition Trends survey showed that 80 percent of Canadians try to select foods that are low in trans fat, though less than one third knows that trans fat is as bad as saturated fat (or worse). Education in this area is still needed, and CCFN’s 2009 mandate includes continued consumer education about good and bad fats.

BOLDLY INTO THE FUTURE Fat is not the enemy we once thought it was, and you can now confidently leave your 1980s fat knowledge in the past. You can still listen to Duran Duran cassettes or watch reruns of Family Ties, but now you’re armed with the knowledge that you should eat more unsaturated fats, limit saturated and trans fat, and enjoy eggs for breakfast once again (the omega-3 enriched kind, of course). 

FAT FACTS FAST! BAD FATS Excess intake can raise blood cholesterol levels and increase heart disease risk. • Saturated fat: found in dairy products (cream, butter, cheese), meat, poultry skin • Trans fat: found in foods prepared with partially hydrogenated oils, such as, donuts, fries, packaged foods

GOOD FAT Eating “good” fats can help reduce blood cholesterol levels and lower heart disease risk • Monounsaturated (omega-9): found in olive, safflower and canola oils, avocado, nuts (particularly almonds, pecans, hazelnuts) • Polyunsaturated (omega-3 and omega6): found in sunflower, soy and flax oils, walnuts, fatty fish • Omega-3 fats are particularly heart healthy, since they can help lower blood pressure and triglyceride levels, two risk factors for heart disease.

Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009 19


Seeking Heart Health?

The Answers for Prevention at Your Fingertips By Claude Gallant PhD Microbiology A majority of women (over 60%) think that breast cancer is the biggest threat to their health where in fact heart disease is the number one killer of women by a large margin. Heart disease is caused by a buildup of plaques (fats & cholesterol) on artery walls, narrowing them (called atherosclerosis) and slowing blood flow to the heart. As arteries age, they harden, lose elasticity and narrow. Plaque narrows them further, preventing blood, oxygen and nutrients from getting to your heart. Severe partial blockages and full blockages lead to heart attacks, causing permanent damage to your heart muscle. Other heart diseases include high blood pressure, stoke and rheumatic heart disease. Women tend to have heart attacks in their fifties which is almost a decade later than in men. In addition, most women that sustain 20 Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009

heart attacks report different symptoms from men, such as, fatigue, sleep disturbances, shortness of breath, back pain, indigestion and anxiety whereas only 30% of woman have the typical male heart attach symptoms (chest discomfort, sharp chest pain). Because they are typically older when they occur and they don’t recognize the symptoms (and seek immediate treatment), women have a lower survival rate then men after heart attacks. Over 80% of Canadians lead a lifestyle with risk factors for heart disease or stroke (smoking, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, obesity, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, high sodium diet, high fat diet). Personal behavior and lifestyle modifications can dramatically lower your risk of heart diseases.




AVOID TOBACCO USE Avoid tobacco use and second-hand smoke because smoke damages your arteries. Prevent and control high blood cholesterol (Adults should have their cholesterol levels checked regularly). Control your blood pressure (women with high blood pressure are four times more likely to have heart disease than women with normal blood pressure). Achieve and maintain a healthy weight (over 50% of Canadians are overweight and almost 25% are obese). If you are overweight, lose weight by increasing your physical activity and reducing your caloric intake.

EAT A HEALTHY DIET Eat a healthy diet with fresh fruits and vegetables (nutrient dense foods, not calorie dense foods), rich in nutrients and antioxidants, generally the brighter the color, the better antioxidant, vitamin and mineral content. Cut the salt. We eat too much salt (sodium). The average North American eats almost twice the safe level each day. Packaged, processed foods are a significant source of sodium; so, be careful and read labels before you buy. Fill up on omega-3s. Omega-3s, specifically EPA and DHA reduce triglycerides (fats in your blood), increase “good” cholesterol levels, and are also anti-inflammatory, helping reduce plaque buildup. Bulk up on fiber. Virtually all Canadians are fiber deficient. It helps lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, improving circulation and reducing the risk of stroke and heart disease. Experts suggest a daily intake of 25-38g of fiber daily, but a typical Western diet only provides about half of that. Add fiber supplements to your foods to boost your intake.

Don’t forget your coenzyme Q-10. Also called CoQ10, ubiquinone, or ubiquinol. CoQ10 helps reduce your risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease by improved energy production in cells, inhibiting blood clot formation. Additionally, it is an exceptional antioxidant. Drink your green tea. Numerous trials show that regular consumption of green tea reduces risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease. Tea lowers your total cholesterol and raises your “good” cholesterol. Forget your breath, eat garlic. The active component found in garlic is a sulfoxide called alliin which is further converted to allicin and other active metabolites when the bulb is ground. Many studies have shown reductions in total blood cholesterol and particularly “bad” cholesterol with the regular consumption of garlic, particularly in those who regularly consume it raw.

OTHER FACTORS TO CONSIDER

HELPFUL FOODS AND SUPPLEMENTS

Manage your diabetes. People with diabetes have a much higher risk of heart disease. Don’t drink too much alcohol. Drinking excessively increases your risk to have high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. Even a single binge is dangerous. Reduce your stress level at home and at work. Calm down, you’ll live longer. Remember that heart disease is a silent killer, you may not know you have it until it is too late. Have regular check-ups and blood tests with your health care provider and make sure you check all your numbers (weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels). Achieving a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Everyone can start by introducing small changes in their daily habits. Follow a sensible, realistic plan to help you reduce your chances of having a heart attack and keep you in good health. Every risk factor you reduce is one step forward and you are the healthier for it!

If you are deficient in vitamin D, then you are twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke. Adequate vitamin D also facilitates absorption of some forms of calcium, vital to women all throughout their lives.

Claude Gallant holds a Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Calgary. She also has post-doctoral training in Molecular Biology and Bacterial Pathogenesis. She published research papers in well-respected international journal in the field. Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009 21


Heart Friendly Fruits The Health Benefits of Resveratrol & Plant Sterols

By Michelle Honda PhD Studies abound today on the health sustaining compounds that plants have to offer. Receiving a great deal of attention are the phytosterols (plant fats) and resveratrol (an antioxidant), in the area of their enormous cardiovascular support. Resveratrol is a phenolics compound possessing strong antioxidant properties. Some plants produce resveratrol in response to environmental stressors involving injury, fungal and insect infection. Resveratrol is a fat soluble compound, first noticed by scientists when its presence was found in red wine. Speculation rose among researchers wondering if this was the key element as to the explanation of the “French Paradox” in the area of cardiovascular disease. In addition to being cardio protective, intense interest of this antioxidant prevails following significant studies for its anti-aging 1 and anticancer properties.

BENEFITS OF RESVERATROL Resveratrol inhibits vascular cell adhesion. Atherosclerosis is now viewed as an inflammatory disease directly associated with myocardial infraction (heart attack). One of the precursors to developing atherosclerosis is the accumulation of inflammatory white blood cells, adhering to the arterial wall by “vascular cell adhesion molecules”. Resveratrol has been shown to inhibit the manifestation of adhesion molecules in studies and assists in preventing blood vessel damage.2 22 Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009

INHIBITS PLATELET AGGREGATION Platelets are part of our blood matrix, essential for the clotting process when blood vessels are ruptured or their lining is injured. However, when they group together and form a mass this is one of the first steps in the formation of a blood clot that can obstruct a coronary or cerebral artery, resulting in myocardial infraction or stoke. Resveratrol has been found to inhibit platelet aggregation.3

REDUCES HOMOCYSTEINE LEVELS Research indicates a definite risk factor of a heart attack surrounding high levels of homocysteine. Homocysteine is an amino acid derivative found in our body, but too much of it can generate free radicals associated with injury to arterial walls, accelerating oxidation and increases the cholesterol levels in the blood vessels all of which set the stage for cardiovascular disease and stroke.4

PROMOTES ARTERIAL RELAXATION An enzyme (eNOS) that initiates the formation of nitric oxide (NO) by vascular endothelial cells is required to maintain arterial relaxation (vasodilation) and consequently lowers blood pressure. When nitric oxide is inhibited or a decrease occurs, we then become susceptible to impaired vasodilation, associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.5


CARDIAC FIBROSIS Research at the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine and Ohio State University indicates that resveratrol has direct inhibitory action on cardiac fibroblasts and may inhibit the progression of cardiac fibrosis.6

FOOD SOURCES Resveratrol is found in the acai berry, Japanese knotweed, grapes, wine, grape juice, raspberries, plums, peanuts and berries of the Vaccinum species including: blueberries, bilberries, lingonberry and cranberries.7

PLANT STEROLS, CHOLESTEROL AND CORONARY HEART DISEASE Plant sterols and stanols (plant fats) are a promising intervention when incorporated as part of a regular dietary regime aimed at lowering cholesterol and reducing risk of heart disease.8 Phytosterols and stanols are natural compounds found in the membranes of plants. These constituents are present in fruit, seeds, nuts, legumes, vegetables and other natural extracts. Plant fats resemble the structure of animal cholesterol. Cholesterol is naturally manufactured by our bodies through liver synthesis. Plant sterols and stanols are obtained though dietary sources. For more than fifty years, studies have taken place on the cholesterol lowering benefits of plant fats in the diet. Studies suggest that when plant sterols are present, the body absorbs less cholesterol. These lipid constituents compete with cholesterol for absorption in the body. In addition to the ability of plant sterols/stanols to block cholesterol absorption, there are special proteins that line the small intestine called “ATP cassette transporters�. These proteins reduce cholesterol by pumping absorbed plant fats back into the gut. The absorption rate of plant sterols in comparison to dietary cholesterol shows direct contrast. Less than 5% of dietary phytosterols are systemically absorbed compared to 50-60% of dietary cholesterol.9 A typical protocol for people with high blood cholesterol levels is to consume a diet high in fibre and low in saturated fat along with a safe exercise program. Although this advice can be affective in some cases, often times other interventions may be needed including natural cholesterol lowering supplements and/or the addition of phytosterols/stanols to the diet.

HEART DISEASE HEALTH CLAIMS Foods containing at least 0.4g per serving of plant sterols, eaten twice a day with meals for a daily total intake of at least 0.8g as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.10

NCEP RECOMMENDED In the Unites States, the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) suggests the use of plant sterols in conjunction with other lifestyle changes produces positive effects on cholesterol levels achieved through dietary means. The NCEP is a branch of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

 Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009 23


24 Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009


PLANT STEROLS IN CONJUNCTION WITH CHOLESTEROL LOWERING INHIBITORS (STATINS) The results of controlled clinical trials suggest consumption of 2-3g/d of plant sterols or stanols by individuals on statin therapy may result in an additional 7-11% reduction in LDL cholesterol which is an effect comparable to doubling the statin dose.11 Many studies across the board show the benefits of incorporating resveratrol and phytosterols into a daily eating plan. Their combined cholesterol lowering capabilities and powerful antioxidant action will not only enhance our quality of life through disease prevention but also extend our longevity. Michelle Honda PhD is a holistic practitioner practicing at Renew You Holistic Health located in Ancaster, Meadowlands. In addition, to her doctorate, she holds an advanced degree in nutrition (RNCP), is a Master Herbalist and an IIPA Certified Iridologist. Visit her websites at: www.renewyou.ca and www.michellehonda.com. Call: (905) 304-0111)

References: 1) Boocock DJ, Faust GE, Patel KR, et al. Phase I dose escalation pharmacokinetic study in healthy volunteers of resveratrol, a potential cancer chemo preventive agent. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2007;16(6):1246-1252. 2) De la Lastra CA, Villegas I. Resveratrol as an anti-inflammatory and anti-agent: mechanisms and clinical implications. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2005;49(5):405-430. 3) Kirk RI, Deitch JA, Wu JM, Lerea KM. Resveratrol decreases early signaling events in washed platelets. Blood Cells Mol Dis. 2000;26(2): 144-150. 4) Dixion JB. Dixon ME. Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien PE. Reduced plasma homocysteine in obese red wine consumers: a potential contributor to reduced cardiovascular risk status. Eur J Clin Nutr 2002 Jul;56(7):608-614 5) Duffy SJ, Vita JA. Effects of phenolics on vascular endothelial function. Curr Opin Lipidol. 2003;14(1):21-27. 6) Olson ER, Naugle JE, Zhang X, Bomser JA< Meszaros JG. Inhibition of cardiac fibroblast proliferation and myofibroblast differentiation by resveratrol. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 2005 Mar; 288(3):H1131-8. 7) Rimando AM, Kalt W, Mages JB Dewey J, Ballington JR. Resveratrol. pterostilbene, and piceatannol in vaccinium berries. J Agric Food Chem. 2004;52(15):4713-4719. 8) FDA Letter Regarding Enforcement Discretion with respect to expanded use of an Interim Final Rule about Sterol/Stanol Esters and Reduced Risk of Coronary Heart Disease.www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/ds-Irt30.html. Accessed October 4, 2006. 9) Von Bergmann K, Sudhop T, Lutjohann D. Cholesterol and plant sterol absorption. Recent sights. Am J Cardiol. 2005 Jul 4;96(1A):10D-14D. 10) Title 21- Volume 21, Food and Drugs Chapter 1- Code of Federal Regulations, Revised as of April 1, 2008, Cite:21CFR101.83 11) Thompson GR. Additive effects of plant sterol and stanol esters to statin therapy. Am J Cardiol, 2005;96(1 Suppl):37-39

Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009 25


Healthy Blood Pressure Naturally By Mark Schneider, Certified Nutritional Practitioner It goes without saying that maintaining heart health and a strong circulatory system are vital to a healthy body. Scientists and doctors agree that diet and exercise are the most important factors, and each stress preventive measure today are preferable to invasive treatments tomorrow. One of the major cardiovascular challenges is hypertension, or high blood pressure. It is the number one risk factor for stroke and a major risk factor for heart disease, so it is very important that it is properly managed. High blood pressure currently affects one in five Canadians, yet 43% of Canadians with hypertension donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even know they have it because there are no symptoms. Thankfully, it can be controlled, and nature has provided us with an array of herbs and foods that have important cardiosupportive effects.

HAWTHORN FOR CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH Hawthorn has been used for generations to support cardiovascular health. In a German placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind study, 30 patients were given hawthorn leaf and flower extract at a dose of 160 mg per day for eight weeks. The hawthorn group showed a statistically significant advantage over the placebo group in all parameters, including exercise tolerance, improvement of complaint scores, and changes in heart and arterial blood pressure. Both systolic (heart contraction) and diastolic (heart relaxation) blood pressure were reduced. No adverse reactions occurred. In another randomized, controlled trial, English researchers studied the effects of hawthorn supplementation on type 2 diabetics with hypertension. After 16 weeks, patients taking the hawthorn supplement had a significant reduction in mean diastolic blood pressure compared to the placebo group. Although most of the participants (71%) were on high blood pressure medication, no herb-drug interactions were reported.

26 Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009


MOTHERWORT AS A RELAXANT Another herb of note is motherwort, which has hypotensive, cardiotonic, and antispasmodic properties. It is an effective relaxant and has been used safely as a daily tonic in patients who have neuropathic cardiac disorders and cardiac complaints of nervous origin. The Commission E approved motherwort for nervous cardiac disorders and as an adjuvant for thyroid hyperfunction. Alkaloids in the plant depress the central nervous system and lower blood pressure in preliminary testing, and are considered responsible for this herbâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s benefits.

GRAPE SEED EXTRACT Grape seed extract appears to be especially valuable for reducing blood pressure. Polyphenolic compounds in grape seeds are potent antioxidants that cause a nitric oxide-mediated relaxation of blood vessels. Preliminary research on a patented grape seed extract demonstrates its ability to relax blood vessels after 4 weeks at 150mg per day. Both systolic and diastolic blood pressures were significantly reduced after 4 weeks and plasma antioxidant levels demonstrated a significant short term increase. This extract also significantly decreased cholesterol and LDL cholesterol by 12 and 16% in high cholesterol subjects, while normal subjects did not show any change in lipid profiles. This study strongly suggests that grape seed extract protects vascular function, which plays a pivotal role in modulating heart disease.

PROBIOTICS FOR BLOOD PRESSURE Probiotics and probiotically-cultured foods are well-known for supporting digestive and immune health, but perhaps not so wellknown is their ability to support healthy blood pressure levels. Interestingly, recent research indicates that inactive whole bacterial cells and their metabolites provide unique health-promoting properties that live probiotic cells lack. For instance, certain inactive Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria cells and the metabolic substances formed during their fermentation have the unique property of being able to inhibit angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) activity. The primary function of ACE is to help regulate arterial pressure by converting angiotensin I to angiotensin II. Angiotensin I by itself is inactive, but when converted by ACE to the active form, angiotensin II, it causes narrowing of the small blood vessels in tissues, which results in increased blood pressure. High ACE levels in the bloodstream generate more angiotensin II, which makes it a marker for cardiovascular and respiratory disease. Angiotensin II also stimulates the hormone aldosterone, which is a cause of hypertension. Research reveals that the ACEmodulating peptides (linked amino acids) in a vegetable-based fermentation medium from Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus provide a modulating effect on both blood pressure and CETP, a key blood factor in maintaining healthy HDL cholesterol levels. For years weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been advised of the right things to do for healthy blood pressure; getting regular exercise, quitting smoking, avoiding trans fats, eating more potassium-rich fruits and vegetables and less sodium-laden processed foods. Good recommendations all, and now we can add the right herbs and probiotic formulas to our list of heart healthy strategies. Mark Schneider is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner(C.N.P) in the Greater Toronto Area. Call: 1-800-304-1497 x.104. www.advantagehealthmatters.com. Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009 27


DIABETES &

Heavy Metal Toxicity Test for Heavy Metals.

By Thomas Nissen Diabetes – for many, the word brings to mind needles, insulin, lancets and blood-glucose meters; for many, the disease was one you heard little about growing up. Much has changed over the years – risk factors, treatment, awareness. Most of us now know the disease to be a growing health issue; perhaps, you even know of someone who has diabetes in one form or another. The Canadian Diabetes Association reports that diabetes is the world’s 4th leading cause of death and now affects an estimated 246 million people worldwide. If a further 7 million people develop diabetes each year as expected, the world total will hit 380 million by 2025. There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a temporary condition afflicting pregnant women. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and adolescents and is the type most often thought of at the mention of the disease, yet it accounts for just 10 per cent of diagnosed cases. About 90 percent of diagnoses today are for type 2 diabetes. Type 2 is most often linked to heredity, race, age, weight, 28 Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009

lack of exercise, and pre-existing health issues. Did you know that environmental pollution is also a contributing factor? Although rarely discussed, heavy metal toxicity is a risk factor directly related to both the cause, and to the treatment, of diabetes.

HEAVY METALS INCREASE YEAST GROWTH Heavy metals – in particular mercury – set the stage for the overgrowth of yeast and fungus (candida) within the human body. Metabolic waste or so called mycotoxins released from fungus inhibit the absorption of insulin, thus may contribute to causing diabetes. In recent studies, some subjects with type 2 diabetes were able to recover from their symptoms by treating their yeast infection. We know diabetes is linked to body sugar – patients control their symptoms by regulating their sugar intake. When you control the sugar in your diet, you control the yeast; you control the illness. What many people don’t know is that if you deal with the heavy


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metal toxicity which may have led to the yeast problem in the first place, then you have a chance at actually reversing the illness. If you read about diabetes, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll discover many people have the disease and donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even know it. The same is true for heavy metal toxicity.

SYMPTOMS AND CAUSES OF HIGH HEAVY METAL LOAD People with high heavy metal load suffer from headaches, allergies, depression, brain fog, irritability, digestive issues, weight gain, fatigue and pain, just to name a few. We are exposed to heavy metals, including lead and mercury, through the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. The pollution of decades passed has taken a toll on our environment and our bodies. And, if that isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t enough, we continue to expose ourselves to mercury via amalgam fillings and vaccines. As early as 1974, the World Heath Organization suggested that at least 80% of all chronic diseases can be attributed to environmental pollution in one way or another. Of all environmental pollutants, heavy metals pose the biggest threat to our health. Dr. Sherry Rogers, MD, and author of the book Detoxify or Die states â&#x20AC;&#x153;It no longer matters what you call your disease. The label your doctor gives you is meaningless. What matters is what caused it. The lowering of huge amount of hidden heavy metals has turned around the worst heart diseases, improved memory, mood and IQ. It is one of the most important decisions of your life.â&#x20AC;? Certainly then, anyone at risk of diabetes, or any other health issue for that matter, should be concerned about heavy metals.

TESTING IS AVAILABLE So, how do you find out if you are heavy metal toxic? Get tested. Ask your naturopathic doctor or medical practitioner to test you for heavy metals. Or, test yourself using a heavy metal screen test. A heavy metal screen test allows you to quickly and painlessly test yourself for heavy metal toxicity. Then, take control! Take measures to eliminate heavy metals from your body, prevent further exposure and treat the fungus (candida). Seek help from your health practitioner and educate yourself on metal toxicity treatments.

TOXICITY TREATMENT PROTOCOLS â&#x20AC;˘ Take 3-5 tablespoons of essential fatty acids daily (ex. sesame oil, hemp seed oil) to increase bile flow â&#x20AC;˘ Take an anti-fungal, anti-parasite supplement â&#x20AC;˘ Take an oral heavy metal chelation product to get rid of the heavy metals â&#x20AC;˘ Take probiotics to promote intestinal health â&#x20AC;˘ Take trace minerals â&#x20AC;˘ Take a zinc supplement 15-50mg/day â&#x20AC;˘ Take a whey protein supplement â&#x20AC;˘ Ensure good elimination and drink a high amount of low mineral water. (ex. reversed osmosis, distilled water) â&#x20AC;˘ Reduce your carbohydrates References: Canadian Diabetes Association Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Doug A. Kaufmann, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Infectious Diabetesâ&#x20AC;? World Health Organization, Florence (Italy)1974 Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009 29


Coping with

By Lisa Carlini Stress is like our shadow – it follows us wherever we go. Every day we are bombarded with ‘normal’ activities involving work, family, eating, and trying to squeeze everything else possible into our hectic schedule, which all puts a certain amount of stress and anxiety upon each one of us. Although a small, temporary amount of stress is okay, in today’s fast paced and hectic world, we’re in the complete opposite situation. Those short bouts of anxiety are replaced with long extended periods of stress. If allowed to escalate and continue, that non-stop mental, emotional, and or, physical strain can and will lead to deteriorating health at a rapid rate. So, what can we do to alleviate or cope with stress in general? Three simple and effective ways: diet, supplementation, and ‘you’ time.

FOODS CAN TRIGGER STRESS IN THE BODY There are foods that trigger stress in the body and add to that already established strain and then there are foods that can reverse the damage that stress has on the body and strengthen the body’s defenses. First things first, avoid stimulants like caffeine which can worsen anxiety symptoms and depletes the body of B vitamins, which are needed to cope with stress. Processed, refined foods loaded with chemicals puts a strain upon the body, taxes the immune system, and upsets neurological functioning, leaving you feeling more tired and lacking energy. And be aware, during times of mental strain, the first thing we usually reach for is not the healthiest. Usually, it’s something sweet and loaded with sugar due to the simple fact that our bodies are craving carbohydrates to counteract the effects stress has on the body and supply itself with energy. However, the simple sugars loaded in junk food will deplete the body 30 Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009

of nutrients and leave us feeling more drained and unable to cope with the feeling of being ‘burned out.’ Eating a toxic-free diet is the first step to coping with stress and gaining better health in general. Foods that are a definite yes when it comes to high bouts of anxiety are plenty of raw antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, whole grains, omega-packed fish, and nuts and seeds. When your body is under stress, free radicals wreak havoc on the entire being leading to numerous health problems. Antioxidants will counteract the cycle of free radicals and protect your body’s defenses from oxidative stress. The nutrients found aplenty in raw fruits and vegetables will feed every cell in your body exactly what it needs to function optimally and thrive. Whole grains, such as, brown rice are packed with stress-busting B vitamins that will soothe the nervous system and enhance mental stamina, as well as, feed your body the proper kind of carbohydrates needed for an energy boost. Essential fatty acids found in nuts and seeds and the ever so important omega-3s found in fish will help pick up your moods as touched on more below. So, make it your aim to have a colourful diet full of healthy choices and make sure to avoid the nutritional no-no’s.

SUPPLEMENTATION IS SUPPORTIVE A clean, nutritious diet is very important, but supplementation is key to ensuring that your bodies receive the adequate help needed to combat the ill-effects of stress. Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for all of us, especially when under mental strain. Fish oils are the most potent in supporting mental health and offer endless benefits to the body. Consuming fish oils on a daily basis will help release a hormone-like substance called prostaglandin that will have a calming effect on the body, especially effective in fighting against stress. The main reason why


Stress

EFA’s are so necessary to supplement with when under stress is the fats EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) present in Omega-3s help maintain healthy serotonin levels, which affect emotional states for the better and create a general overall sense of wellbeing in the body. Simple nutrients, such as, vitamin C will help the functioning of the adrenal glands while helping to protect your immune system from the damage stress can create. Taking a B vitamin complex is essential, as well as, vitamin D. Taking a calcium-magnesium supplement is very important. Calcium will act like a natural sedative, and magnesium is the most critical mineral for dealing with stress. Herbs such as valerian, passion flower, oat straw, and chamomile will be helpful. Flower preparations can also be useful in relieving stress. Remember when using herbs to follow the dosage on the label and not to exceed the duration of use recommended.

FINDING ‘YOU’ TIME TO RELAX Being on the go, go, go in itself can tire you out to the point of exhaustion. Having an optimistic viewpoint and trying to be positive is always helpful. Set aside fifteen minutes a day (even just five, if that’s all you have) to quiet your surroundings from the outside world (including your disquieting thoughts). This short time of pure relaxation including deep breathing and visualization can be effective in reversing the feelings of stress. Pick up a relaxing hobby, a sport, a favourite book - anything to keep your mind off of the anxieties of the day or anxieties of tomorrow. Go for a walk – better yet, exercise. Exercising will help you to properly vent out frustrations while releasing those ‘feel good’ hormones throughout your body. Remember that we all have limits and can’t push ourselves beyond our means. Yes, stress follows us like our shadow but with proper diet, supplementation, and taking time out of our hectic schedules for ourselves, we can overcome the detrimental effects stress can have on us. Just like your shadow – realize stress is wherever you go, but remember that you can always put it behind you!  Lisa Carlini is a colon therapist and a natural health advocate. She specializes in diet, nutrition, and holistic healing. For any questions or for more information, contact Lisa at: lisacarlini@live.ca.

KAMA A harmonious mind in a balanced body Kama is a high quality combination of adaptogenic herbs that aid the body in coping with stress from work, home or daily life. It has a calming, non-sedative effect on the body.

Available at natural health food stores across Canada. Distributed in Ontario by CLM Health: 905-828-8004

www.kamicanada.ca Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009 31


HEART HEALTHY RECIPES

Salmon is a source of heart healthy omega-3 fats. FRENCH ROASTED SALMON ON A BED OF SNOW PEAS This quick but sophisticated entrĂŠe is great for dinner with friends or for a family occasion. The salmon is cooked on high heat, a no fail method of cooking fish. Our recipes are shellfish-free, but if fish is an issue for you, then replace with boneless, skinless chicken breasts, which should bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until juices are no longer pink. There are enough vegetables with the salmon to use as a side dish. If you have herbes de Provence in your cupboard use them instead of the rosemary and thyme. If fresh herbs are available use 1 tbsp of each. Recipe courtesy of EpiPen and Canadian food writer Lucy Waverman. She has created a selection of easy-to-prepare recipes which omit some of the more common allergens, including peanuts, milk products, eggs and shellfish. More allergy-free recipes can be found at: www.EpiPen.ca. 32 Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009

MARINADE INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

1 tsp dried thyme 1 tsp dried rosemary 1/4 cup olive oil 2 tbsp chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes 1 tbsp Dijon mustard 1/2 tsp chilli flakes Salt to taste

Combine thyme, rosemary, olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes, mustard and chilli flakes in a mini-chop (or by hand) and process until combined. Mixture should have a chunky texture. Spread marinade over salmon and season with salt. Preheat oven to 450 F (230 C). Place tomatoes in an oiled oven-proof baking dish large enough to hold the salmon fillets. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove dish from oven and toss tomatoes with snow pea pods and green onions. Place salmon on top. Bake, uncovered, for 12 minutes or until white juices appear and salmon is just cooked through. Serve salmon fillets with some vegetables and any juices. Serves 4.

SALMON DISH INGREDIENTS 4 6-oz salmon fillets, skin-on 2 oz snow pea pods, cut in half on the diagonal 4 green onions, cut in 2-inch pieces 6 cherry tomatoes, halved and seeded


HEART HEALTHY RECIPES CREAMY SWEET POTATO SOUP This healthy, creamy, mildly spicy soup can be served as a main course with toasted baguette slices or in smaller portions as a first course before an elegant dinner. Recipe courtesy of EpiPen.

INGREDIENTS 2 tbsp vegetable oil 1 cup chopped onions 1 cup chopped carrots 4 cups peeled, chopped sweet potatoes 1 tsp chopped fresh ginger 1 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp ground coriander seeds 1 tsp mild Indian curry paste 4 cups chicken stock 1/2 cup coconut milk Salt and freshly ground pepper 2 tsp lemon juice 2 tbsp chopped coriander

DIRECTIONS Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 2 minutes or until beginning to soften. Add carrots and sweet potato and sauté for 5 minutes more. Add ginger, cumin, coriander seeds and curry paste and sauté for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add chicken stock and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat to low and simmer for 18 to 20 minutes or until vegetables are very soft. Puree with an immersion blender, or food processor until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir in lemon juice and coriander. Find more allergy-free recipes at: www.EpiPen.ca.

LAYERED TOMATO SALAD The great thing about this dish is that you can’t use the wrong Ontario Greenhouse tomato; use the tomatoes you like the most. Serves four. Courtesy of Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers. Visit www.ontariogreenhouse.com

INGREDIENTS 1 Ontario Green house heirloom tomato 1 Ontario Greenhous beefsteak tomato 2 Ontario Greenhouse roma tomatoes 4 leaves of romaine lettuce 4 balls of bocconcini cheese, sliced 4 white asparagus spears 2 tbsp (30mL) aged balsamic vinegar 1/4 cup (50 mL) avocado oil

DIRECTIONS Cut romaine lettuce into 5 pieces. Thinly slice the tomatoes and cheese, and julienne the asparagus. Combine avocado oil and balsamic vinegar and marinate the asparagus while you assemble the rest of the salad. Layer the lettuce first, then follow with one type of tomato. Continue this process using the different tomatoes and one layer of bocconcini cheese. Top the salad with the asparagus. Refridgerate for two hours and garnish with fresh herbs and balsamic dressing. Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009 33


CRUNCH CRAVER RECIPES ALMOND LOVER’S MAPLE GRANOLA INGREDIENTS 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 3/4 cup maple syrup 2 tablespoons honey 2 cups oats 1/2 cup slivered almonds 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots 1/4 cup roasted and salted sunflower kernels 1/4 cup roasted and salted pumpkin seeds

DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 350°F and line a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper. Combine butter, maple syrup and honey in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until butter is melted, but not boiling. Remove from heat. Combine the remaining ingredients in a mediumsized mixing bowl. Pour in the butter mixture, and stir to combine. Spread onto the prepared cookie sheet, bake for 12 to15 minutes, stirring after 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool. Enjoy as a snack or with yogurt and fresh fruit. Store in an airtight container. The Almond Board of California administers a grower-enacted Federal Marketing Order under the supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. Established in 1950, the Board’s charge is to promote the best quality almonds, California’s largest tree nut crop. For more information on the Almond Board of California or almonds, visit www.AlmondsAreIn.com.

CRISPY, ALLERGY-FREE CINNAMON COOKIES These crispy cookies are wonderfully quick and easy to make. Japanese gyoza skins are dumpling skins that do not contain eggs. If eggs are not an issue, use a regular dumpling or wonton skin.

INGREDIENTS 1 package gyoza or wonton skins Vegetable oil for frying 1 cup sugar 1 tbsp cinnamon

34 Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009

DIRECTIONS Separate gyoza skins and cut in half. Heat one inch of oil in a wok or deep skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is very hot (about 350˚F 180˚C on a candy thermometer or when a cube of bread turns brown within 15 seconds) add gyoza a few at a time and fry for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add cookie or cups and toss with sugar mixture while still warm. Makes about 60 cookies. Recipe courtesy of EpiPen and Canadian food writer Lucy Waverman. More allergy-free recipes can be found online at www.EpiPen.ca.


A VALENTINE’S DAY RECIPE AND GIFT CARAMELIZED GINGER & ALMOND SNACK MIX INGREDIENTS 3/4 cup sugar 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely minced 1/2 teaspoon salt 3 cups whole natural almonds, lightly toasted 1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seeds 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 cup dried banana chips 3/4 cup dehydrated strawberries

A Truly Heart Felt Gift!

DIRECTIONS Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; lightly grease the paper and set aside. In a saucepan, combine sugar with just enough water to moisten. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a slow boil and registers at 240ºF (110°C) on a candy thermometer.* Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice, ginger, salt, almonds and sunflower seeds. Return to heat and cook, stirring continuously, until sugar becomes shiny and caramelizes, about three minutes. Stir in butter. Spread mixture on a sheet pan to cool. Once cool, break nut mixture into pieces and combine with banana chips and dehydrated strawberries. *To test for this stage without a candy thermometer, drop a small amount of the sugar into cold water, being careful not to touch the hot sugar. Once in cold water, the sugar should be firm enough that it comes together to form a soft, pliable ball between the fingers. Courtesy of The Almond Board of California. Visit: www.AlmondsAreIn.com.

Heart healthy almonds make a perfect Valentine’s Day gift. Research shows eating whole almonds contributes to a lower acute rise in blood triglyceride levels. Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009 35


Be Stroke Take some healthy steps towards prevention By Joel Thuna

Strokes are “brain attacks,” the cutting off of blood, nutrients and oxygen to your brain, which causes brain cells to die. Most people in Canada don’t realize that cardiovascular diseases (strokes and heart attacks) are the leading cause of death for both men and women, with more women dying from strokes than men. About 80% of strokes are caused by blood clots. The buildup of plaque (fatty and scar tissue) is involved in most strokes. How well and if you recover from a stroke depends where and how severe your brain damage is, your age, and your health before the stroke. While 85% of people will survive a stroke, 50% have moderate or severe impairment. More than 50,000 strokes occur in Canada each year. That’s one stroke every 10 minutes.

THE RISK FACTOR, RUMBA Everyone has some stroke risk factors, the greater the number, the more likely you are to suffer a stroke. Some stroke risk factors are beyond control, such as, being over age 55, being a man, being AfricanAmerican, having diabetes, or having a family history of stroke. However, with diet and lifestyles changes some risks can be reduced. 36 Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009

Dance to the Beat of Life!

High blood pressure

Diabetes

Also called hypertension, this is by far the most potent risk factor for stroke. If you have high blood pressure, your blood is pumping harder than it should, which puts unnecessary strain on the vessels of the circulatory system.

Diabetes causes destructive changes in your blood vessels, including those in your brain. If blood glucose is high at the time of a stroke, then brain damage is usually more severe and extensive than when blood glucose is well-controlled. Treating diabetes can delay the onset of complications that increase the risk of stroke.

Smoking Smoking has been linked to the buildup of fat in the main neck artery supplying blood to your brain. Blockage of this artery is the leading cause of stroke. Also, smoking raises blood pressure, reduces the amount of oxygen your blood can carry to your brain and makes your blood thicker and more likely to clot.

Heart disease Common cardiovascular disorders (i.e. artery disease, valve defects, irregular heart beat, arteriosclerosis, and others) can result in blood clots that can block vessels in or leading to the brain.

Warning signs or history of stroke Having had a stroke or mini-stroke in the past, it’s important to reduce your risk of a second stroke. Your brain helps you recover from a stroke by drawing on body systems that now do double duty. A second stroke can be twice as bad.

Obesity Being overweight or having a body mass index (BMI) over 25 is a risk factor for strokes, as well as, multiple stroke risk factors (diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure).

ALL THE RIGHT MOVES FOR PREVENTION Know your blood pressure High blood pressure is a leading cause of stroke. Have your blood pressure checked at least once each year – more often if you have a history of high blood pressure. Increase your use of spices and use a natural low sodium, high potassium salt to reduce your sodium intake. Eating a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables as a high portion of your diet will reduce fat intake.


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SAMBA WITH FEWER STROKE RISK FACTORS

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Know Your Blood Pressure If you Smoke, Stop Drink Alcohol in Moderation Know Your Cholesterol Include Exercise in Your Daily Routine Keep Weight in Check Enjoy a Lower Sodium (Salt), Lower Fat Diet

If you smoke, stop Smoking doubles the risk for stroke. If you stop smoking today, your risk for stroke decreases immediately.

Drink alcohol in moderation Drinking a glass of wine or beer or one drink each day may lower the risk of stroke (provided there is no other medical reason to avoid alcohol). Alcohol is harmful if taken in large doses and can interact with drugs.

Know your cholesterol Actively work to reduce cholesterol levels. Ensure your diet is low in saturated fats and has no trans-fats. Your diet should also be high in both types of fiber, but particularly soluble fiber. Try adding a soluble fiber supplement (the tasteless kind) to foods and drinks to ensure you get enough.

Include exercise in your daily routine A brisk walk, swim or other exercise activity for as little as 30 minutes a day can improve your health in many ways, and reduce your stroke risk.

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Enjoy a lower sodium (salt), lower fat diet By cutting down on sodium and fat in the diet, you may be able to lower your blood pressure and, most importantly, lower your risk for stroke. Try using spices or a natural low sodium, high potassium salt to help reduce added sodium.

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More than 50,000 strokes occur in Canada each year. That’s one stroke every 10 minutes. Vitamin D People with low vitamin D have a higher risk for heart attack, heart failure and stroke. The risk is particularly high among those with high blood pressure. Those with low vitamin D levels have about a 60 percent higher risk of heart attack, heart failure or stroke compared to those with higher Vitamin D, even with well-known cardiovascular risk factors such as diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure taken into account. The risk for heart attack, heart failure or stroke is double in people with both high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, and vitamin D deficiency.

DHA & EPA The effects of EPA & DHA (the bioavailable omega-3s) on heart, brain and nervous system health are well documented. Studies show significant reduction in the risk of stroke with DHA & EPA. Studies have also confirmed that DHA & EPA can offer up to a 31% reduction in stroke mortality. When researching the effects of omega-3s on stroke risk, researchers discovered something they didn’t expect. They found that participants who ate between 20 and 35 grams of fiber each day reduced their risk of stroke. For stroke sufferers they also found that the more fiber they ate, the less severe their stroke and the greater the chance they could resume everyday activities. Fiber’s greatest benefit may be that there are no downsides to increasing fiber intake. Live a long, happy and healthy life! 

References: 1) Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada Statistics www.heartandstroke.com 2) Besanger, A., et al . Dietary Fiber Intake Predicts Acute Stroke Severity and 6-month Functional Outcome. Stroke 2008;39;527-729. 3) Ebbing, M., et al . Mortality and cardiovascular events in patients treated with homocysteine-lowering B vitamins after coronary angiography: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2008 Aug 20;300(7):795-804. 4) He, K., et al. Fish consumption and incidence of stroke: a meta-analysis of cohort studies. Stroke 2004 35: 1538-1542. 5)Larsson, SC, et al . Folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and methionine intakes and risk of stroke subtypes in male smokers. Am J Epidemiol. 2008 Apr 15;167(8):954-61. 6)Mozaffarian, D., et al . Fish consumption and stroke risk in elderly individuals: the cardiovascular health study. Arch. Intern. Med. 165(6):683, 2005b. 7) Wang, T., et al . Vitamin D Deficiency and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease. Circulation. 2008;117:503-511


Making the Most of Your Multivitamin

By Norm Danniels The multivitamin has long been the cornerstone of many nutritional programs and rightfully so. However, getting the maximum benefit from a multi requires more than just taking a onea-day tablet. Our understanding of nutrition is constantly being rewritten, with old approaches changing to make room for the new advances that are continually being discovered. The way multivitamins are taken must now be re-evaluated as new information directly contradicts what was once believed to be the best method. There is no question that a high quality multivitamin should form the foundation of any supplement program. What we should question is how often a multivitamin is taken, what form that multivitamin should be in, and what can be done to ensure that our bodies properly absorb the nutrients that it holds. Mounting evidence suggests that despite its convenience, a high potency tablet taken once a day is no longer our best option. The old ‘one-a-day’ approach presents a huge disadvantage: a single dose is incapable of any flexibility. This one tablet is intended to satisfy the individual nutritional requirements of everyone that consumes it, which is impossible. Men and women have very different nutritional needs. Those requirements change further as we age, and again if we have an active lifestyle. For example, postmenopausal women don’t need additional iron, yet a typical multivitamin tablet contains iron. Not only is the consumer then getting a nutrient they don’t require, but valuable milligrams are being taken up in the multi that could be devoted to other components that would be of benefit. As well, men over 50 need more nutrients that strengthen heart function and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, while more active people have to worry about reducing free radical damage and minimizing recuperate time after exercise. The list of examples is endless. A single formulation simply cannot satisfy the unique nutritional requirements of everyone. In addition, our bodies aren’t designed to utilize nutrients in a single large dose once a day. Research has proven that eating smaller, more frequent meals allows for better utilization of the nutritional value of our food. The same principle applies to vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C, for example, is a water-soluble vitamin. Your

body has very limited means of storing it and its lifespan in your system is relatively short. This limits the effectiveness of a one-a-day multi and ultimately leaves you unprotected much of the time. To complicate things further, tablets present a problem. Unfortunately, because of the hard, compacted nature of tablets they can have a lengthy digestion time. This means that the window of opportunity for optimal nutrient absorption in your digestive system is often missed. Some vitamins and minerals are therefore left unabsorbed, and in some cases the tablet travels through the intestinal tract almost completely in tact. Capsules offer the solution. With a faster and more thorough digestive rate encapsulated nutrients tend to be utilized much more efficiently by the body. It’s what you absorb and assimilate from your multi that counts, not merely what it contains. Capsules don’t miss the window of opportunity; so, your body has a much greater chance of absorbing every nutrient. Also of note is the benefit of pure vegetable based hard shell capsules. While capsules in general offer greater absorption, vegetable capsules eliminate the concern over the potential impurities associated with traditional beef and pork based gelatin capsules. With the unfortunate erosion of the nutrient content of our food supply, as well as, our increased knowledge of how the human body takes on the challenges that it faces, it’s clear that a multivitamin provides an important edge. However, choosing the best multivitamin requires a bit of thought. Does it take into account things like your age, your gender or how active you are? Is it designed to be taken in divided doses? Is it available in capsules, ideally vegetable-based capsules? Does it contain high quality ingredients that are readily utilized by the body? Ask yourself these questions before you make your next purchase and do your best to make the most of your multi. It will only do you good. Norm Danniels has over 25 years experience in the natural products industry and has lectured across Canada on a variety of wellness and active lifestyle related topics. Norm is considered one of Canada’s leading sports nutrition specialists. Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009 39


Developing Mental Toughness

By Jason Selk M.Ed., LPC, NCC Consider this quote by NFL Pro Bowl kicker, Jeff Wilkins, “When there are two seconds left on the game clock and the difference between winning and losing rests on your ability, it truly takes mental toughness to perform at your best.” From a mental standpoint, pressure makes it very difficult to maintain focus and concentration, in fact research posits that it is literally impossible to perform at your best without an effective mental training plan. If a person wanted to get physically stronger, they would consult a trainer and the trainer would provide them with a strength program that included a concrete and proven method of getting physically stronger. The strength program would be something like 3 sets of ten of this exercise, 3 sets of 12 of that exercise and 3 sets of 8 of another exercise and so on and if the person follows the program they can’t help but get stronger. However, when it comes to developing mental toughness most individuals do not know where to begin. Whether you are trying to enhance performance in sport, business or everyday life, the following “mental workout” is a proven method of developing mental strength. It takes three minutes and forty seconds to complete and works best if completed one time per day with a minimum of 3 times per week. 40 Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009

STEP 1 CENTERING BREATH Take a fifteen second deep breath where you breathe in for six seconds, hold for two seconds and breathe out for seven seconds. This will teach you to physiologically control your heart rate and better deal with pressure.

STEP 2 PERFORMANCE STATEMENT Say to yourself a personally tailored self-talk statement that reflects what is needed for a successful performance. For example, one of the major league pitchers I work with has this as his performance statement, “Weight back, arm on top, follow through.” To develop your performance statement, think about all the tasks you complete over the course of a normal week and choose the single most important task you do that produces the greatest results. For the major league pitcher, his single most important task is pitching. Once your single most important task is identified think about the top three things you need to focus on when completing this


task to ensure success. Be sure to avoid using the words don’t, not, or stop in your performance statement. This will help keep your mind focused on what to do, rather than what not to do.

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STEP 3 PERSONAL HIGHLIGHT REEL Complete three sixty second mental video clips (visualizations) in which you first remember about sixty seconds worth of highlights from your last best performance, another sixty seconds imagining highlights of how you would like to perform in an upcoming important performance, and a final sixty seconds imagining highlights of how you would like to perform in today’s practice or performance. Be sure to do all visualizing in actual speed and emphasize what it feels like emotionally and physically to perform well. It will also be helpful especially when imagining how you want to perform in the future to visualize in first person, or as if your eyes are the camera lens.

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STEP 4 IDENTITY STATEMENT Repeat to yourself a statement that reflects your greatest strength and what it is you ultimately want to accomplish. For example the previously mentioned pitcher’s identity statement is “I am strong and confident. I am a dominant major league pitcher.” Even though when this pitcher began completing his mental workouts he wasn’t necessarily strong, confident or dominant, continually repeating his identity statement helped him to develop his self-image as such. In a short amount of time the pitcher’s desire to be confident and dominant increased and he started to work harder at making it a reality.

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STEP 5 CENTERING BREATH Take another 15 second deep breath where you breathe in for six seconds, hold for two, and breathe out for seven seconds to insure that your mind is suited to deal with the pressure of the upcoming performance. By completing this five step mental workout daily you will actually teach yourself how to deal with pressure and improve consistency. You mind will become more able to maintain focus and concentration whether you’re pitching in front of eighty thousand fans or doing a presentation for eight of your co-workers. Remember, that which you focus on expands. Completing mental workouts trains your mind to stay focused on solutions and avoid getting lost in the problems. The real key is to get yourself into the mental weight room as often as possible – in doing so, you will undoubtedly begin to develop your mental toughness.  Jason Selk M.Ed., LPC, NCC is the Director of Sports Psychology for the St Louis Cardinals, Author of “10-Minute Toughness” and President of Enhanced Performance. He can be found on the web at: www.enhancedperformanceinc.com.

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FIT FOR LIFE

Stretching to Prevent and Relieve Pain

By Anne Clossen, Thai Massage Practitioner We never insist enough on the benefits of a good stretching routine. With our society focusing on how to obtain the perfect body, we seem to dedicate more time, energy and money on how we look rather than how we feel. And one day, we find ourselves aching, stiff and unable do all the movements we took for granted. Our health always seems much more valuable after we lose it; the same goes with our flexibility. Stretching is not new. It is actually one of the most natural impulses. Animals, cats, dogs even birds stretch. We stretch as we get out of bed. We stretch after sitting at our desks. We stretch when we feel stressed, tired, relieved or even happy. We stretch because it feels good. With our busy schedules and lifestyles, we are becoming more pressured, and stressed, and we forget about the great benefits of stretching. Aging doesn’t help neither. As we get older, we build tight armors protecting our rigid bodies against all the mental, emotional and physical stress in our lives. All of us know that stretching is an important part of training in any sport, yet many of us still ignore the rule. Traditional Thai massage is a lot about stretching. In my Thai massage practice, many people come to me who have been weight training for years and cannot lift their shoulders any longer. Their muscles have got bigger 42 Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009

but shorter and they feel tight. They can no longer sit on the floor with a straight back, or bend to tie their shoes without having to sit. They decide often very late that they definitely need some help with their lost flexibility. Why do we seem to forget or skip our basic human and natural need for stretching? Perhaps, because unlike body building and weight training it does not seem to sculpt our body to perfection. Most aerobic and strength training programs cause our muscles to contract and flex. For proper balance and long-term health, we need to stretch those muscle fibers back. Even for those of us who don’t like to commit to a sport, our muscles get tighter with aging. This unfortunately is a natural and normal process. We get up out of bed feeling achy and sore with stiff neck and shoulders and a tight lower back. Our bodies are screaming “do something for me, something good …stretch me.”

EXPANDING YOUR POSSIBILITIES There are many ways to stretch. Stretch on your own, at a gym, or at home. You can attend a stretching, yoga or pilates class or you can get a personal trainer to help you with your stretching. You can also try a thai massage therapist who will first release muscle tensions using particular techniques, and then will stretch you.


CREATE A CHAIN REACTION IN YOUR MUSCLES On the physical level, stretching increases your flexibility. Flexible muscles not only improve your daily physical performance but will help you with tasks, such as, bending to tie your shoe laces, lifting packages, or hurrying to catch a bus. Stretching improves your range of motion in your joints. It keeps you in better balance and less prone to injuries, especially from falls as you age. Stretching improves posture. Weak muscles are strengthened and tight muscles are lengthened. Stretching increases circulation and blood flow to your muscles, which speeds up muscular recovery, improving cleansing, lubrication, nourishing and rejuvenation. Stretching releases scar tissues (fibrotic tissues). Stretching keeps your body aligned and in balance. Stretching enables energy to flow freely through your body and spine, and meridian lines. Stretching helps realign muscle fibers, nerves and fascia (connective tissue surrounding muscles, bones, and joints). Stretching helps with insomnia and nervous legs syndrome, especially if you stretch in the evening. Stretching does have an esthetic effect on how you look! Stretching helps elongate muscles (think of ballerinas, their amazing strength in their muscular but long and elegant legs). It straightens a poor posture by elongating the pectoralis major, elongating your neck and bringing your shoulders down.

Essentials for Self-Stretching •Warm up! Walk, jump or bicycle your legs up while lying down on a hard surface for 10 minutes. • If you are not used to stretching start with dynamic stretches by moving into the stretch (no bouncing) and coming back. • Start with just a few stretches and build up. • Get a good start with information from a physiotherapist, massage therapist, or chiropractor. • Try a Thai massage session and get connected to your body. Experience what a good stretch can do for you and get a sense of which body parts need stretching most. • Buy or borrow a book/videotape on how to stretch. Keep it simple first. • Never bounce into your stretch. • Start with gentle stretches. • Isolate and feel the particular muscle you want to stretch, the rest of the body should not be aching.

STRETCHING WILL HELP YOU FEEL • Clear and calmer • Lighter • More grounded • Fully alive

• Don’t lock your joints. • Stretching should not hurt. You should feel the stretch but be able to keep it. Otherwise, back off.

Stretching facilitates focusing less on your aches and pains and limitations and gives you a sense of freedom and empowerment.

• One side is always tighter than the other. Don’t worry, with your efforts your body will balance itself.

THE PROBLEM OF SCAR TISSUES

• Maintain the stretch for at least 30 seconds or 4 deep breaths.

Scar tissue can develop because of acute trauma to the tissues or repetitive stress injuries. Scar tissue formation is a normal response to injury, but excessive scarring reduces function and contributes to chronic pain and limitation of movement. Injured muscles usually heal by forming scar tissues at the injury site. The final scar is often dense and inflexible, limiting pain free motion. To restore pain free motion, the scar tissues must be modified in some way. Many physical therapists will still rely on treatment, such as, ice, heat, ultrasound, and electrical muscle stimulation. These approaches are often effective in the early treatment of trauma but can do nothing once the scar tissues have fully formed. Some type of manual therapy like massage or myofascial release is often necessary to effectively reduce the scar tissues and restore pain free motion. In that case soft facilitated stretching used with manual soft tissue therapy will increase the likelihood of safely and effectively restoring motion to injured tissues. Note that stretching and soft tissue massages can only be given during the chronic phase. During the acute phase, the best advice is to take the time to let the injury rest.



• You don’t have to stretch in the morning. I recommend stretching in the evening: you have more time, your body is already warmed up from the day’s activities and stretching will facilitate relaxation, get rid of the tensions and stress and induce a good sleep. • Never roll your neck, especially if you are older. • Don’t overdo. You’ll lose all the benefits. • Keep breathing during your stretches. I encourage my clients to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth as I find it more stress releasing. • Honor your body while you stretch. Stretching is not a competition against your will or to please your facilitator or therapist. • The day after stretching you may feel sore. This is OK. Keep stretching. • You will notice results in about a month or up to 3 months, if you have never stretched before or if you are 50+.

Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009 43


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EXAMPLES OF IMPORTANT STRETCHES It is important to focus on your hips and legs (to help the knees), which are the two largest and most important and vulnerable joints in your body, to prevent injury. Stretching these joints is a great alternative to high impact aerobic exercise that often can put too much stress on the hips and knees. The psoas muscle is a muscle that attaches to the lower spine. It is often ignored and can create many aches and pains in the lower back and the groin area. The piriformis is also a very important muscle to stretch. It is a flat muscle almost pyramid in shape that lies almost parallel to the gluteus medius beneath the gluteus maximus muscle. When it gets too tight, it irritates the sciatic nerve that runs in that area, causing pain in the buttocks and along the sciatic nerve. Approximately 15% of the population is prone to developing this type of sciatica. Many strength and aerobic exercises specifically focus on the buttock area but few people are aware how much they need to stretch the piriformis muscle. Many people stretch incorrectly, believing in the adage no pain, no gain. Stretching must be completed comfortably to be effective. If you stretch until it hurts, the bodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s natural response will be to tighten up to prevent any more lengthening and possibly injury to the muscle being stretched. I advocate stretching the muscle up just to the point at which you are able to feel some resistance to further stretching but no big discomfort. Remember that flexibility varies from day to day and from joint to joint. It is important to remember that stretching is not a contest against your body. Honour your body. Take each day as it comes and stretch as best as you can. We cannot measure improvement in flexibility daily but we are better off looking at our gains over the long term. Last and not least, you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to be flexible to stretch! Stretching will make you feel wonderful, and beautiful. 

Stretching the abductors and pririformis

Stretching the quadriceps

Easy piriformis stretch on a chair

Stretching the psoas

Anne Clossen is a licensed Holistic Practitioner in Toronto. She is a certified Traditional Thai Massage Practitioner, Holistic Practitioner and Reflexologist. She is fascinated by body mechanics and likes to help her clients become actively and fully aware of their body, and the body/mind connection. Anne can be reached at: 416- 939-2570.

Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009 45


Make Your Own Body Products

Aromatic Delights â&#x20AC;&#x153; The way to health is to have an aromatic bath and a scented massage every day.â&#x20AC;? - Hippocrates By Trish Green Today more and more of us are seeking simple, safe, natural alternatives. From health care to cosmetics, aromatherapy is a down to earth, hands on approach to self-care and healing. The Greek physician Hippocrates, considered the father of alternative medicine, advocated the use of essential oils in the bath and in a massage every day for good health. Now, you can make your own bath and massage products with a few simple tools and basic ingredients. They are safe and simple to use for adults, children and seniors. Essential oils have wonderful restorative properties, which can calm stress and anxiety, soothe aches and pains, and increase vitality. Before making your own products, there are a few things to consider. First of all, always take care when buying essential oils. They are not all created equal in terms of quality. Ultimately, the quality will affect the aroma and therefore the outcome of your product. Make sure they are pure, natural, not a fragrance and are undiluted. Better quality oils are in dark bottles and have droppers inserted in the cap for easy dispensing. As all essential oils are highly concentrated, they cannot be used directly on the skin. A second consideration is what type of base to use. When applying essential oils to the skin, the best choice is a white moisturizing cream base suitable to your skin type. For a body product, again an unscented cream, lotion or oil will do nicely. Aromatherapy suppliers usually carry a good selection of base products for you to choose from. Baths and massage oils do however require a little bit of a different approach. In the bathtub, because oil and water do not mix well, the base agent is still required. My personal favorite is to use milk, cream or honey. After all, Cleopatra loved it! The easiest choice is to use sea salts and Epsom salts. With this base product 46 Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009

larger amounts can be made and stored very well in an apothecary jar by the side of the bathtub. The last type of base product to consider is organic, cold pressed vegetable oils. There are a variety to choose from, each one with its own therapeutic properties. Selections may include grapeseed, avocado, sweet almond, calendula, peach nut or jojoba oils. Again these are preferably in dark glass or plastic bottles as they are light sensitive. Having made your choices you are now ready to make your products. Do take the time to familiarize yourself with the oils of choice as they do change over time and even more so when you blend them together.

Valentineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Blend 1 pound of coarse sea salts 14 drops of Neroli 15 drops of Ylang Ylang 6 drops of Patchouli Mix the essential oils into the sea salts, stir well, shake if required. Store in a tightly sealed apothecary jar. Add three heaping tablespoons to the bath.


Carrier Oils GRAPESEED Light and easily absorbed as a massage oil. Very good for face blends for acne skin.

Moisturiser For Normal to Dry Skin 3 drops Sandalwood 3 drops Geranium 3 drops Rosewood 1 drop Ylang Ylang Stir the drops into 50ml of base cream and apply a small amount morning and night. DOSAGE The recommendation for a healthy adult is a maximum of 3% of essential oils in any carrier solution, vegetable oil, unperfumed shower gel, shower gel or moisturizer. This is equal to 12 drops of essential oil in 20 mls of liquid. So, for example, if you are using three essential oils in a recipe, the total amount would be 12 drops. For face creams use 2% of essential oils. Therefore, use 20 drops in 50 grams of cream. If an extra drop or two should fall into the recipe simply add a little more of the base product to dilute it again. Last but not least, sometimes it is better to purchase a ready made blend of pure oils made by a professional company. They are usually economically priced versus purchasing four or five individual oils. For instance, with Valentine’s Day coming close, a romance blend that is ready blended for you could be used in a bath, in a diffuser and put into a massage oil for a relaxing massage.  Trish Green, a Homeopathic Practitioner is the director of Education at the Balnea Institute in Burlington. The school is a registered private career college offering many courses in holistic health, specializing in clinical aromatherapy.

Headache Blend 5 drops of Lavender 3 drops Eucalyptus 4 drops Peppermint

AVOCADO Thick, luxurious and excellent for very dry facial skin, dry cracked feet or body massage. SWEET ALMOND A commonly used massage oil. Recommended for skin that is dry due to climatic change. CALENDULA For very sensitive skins that suffer with eczema or psoriasis. Rich, nourishing and healing. JOJOBA Jojoba has a thicker consistency, is nourishing and healing. Recommended for many skin types and conditions.

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Put the oils into 20mls of base cream and apply to temples or neck as required. Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009 47


Opening the Sacred Heart

By Matthew Remski The Ayurvedic tradition says that in the innermost chamber of heart reside eight radiant drops of a substance called ojas, a Sanskrit poeticism which translates to something like ‘life’s nectar’. The old books say it glows like honey and ghee and wafts a sandalwoodvanilla scent throughout the body and mind. Ojas is said to be the distillation of our nutrition, the source of our vitality, and the fuel of our immunity. It is squeezed out of the pith of experience by a happy digestive system processing a diet of loving whole foods, regular cleansing of bodily systems, the application of rejuvenative substances, worship of the day’s rhythms, intimacy with the earth and others, pleasure in the spiritual journey, and ethics that make relationships clear and easy. The more of these things you’ve got going for you, the stronger your ojas tap is running. 48 Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009

Can you feel the light of ojas within you? Or if you don’t, can you remember a time when you did? Does the mind ever glow? When was the last time you felt that confused riot of love within the upper chest, and feel it rise up to press tears from the outer corners of the eyes? This is ojas – the juice of life, overflowing. Perhaps, as you’ve aged, you’ve noticed that such emotional openness has wilted at the same rate as your bodily vitality. This is in the order of things – ojas does not issue from an endless fountain. It wears out. It gets used up. It is fatigued by exertion, blocked by toxins, and destroyed by rage. Its fragility mirrors the fragility of our flesh, and its radiance mirrors our radiance. You can build it. This strange substance, responsible for so many functions across so many categories of experience, begs a question: is ojas an actual physical reality? Will it drip out onto the table during a triple


bypass? Can it be transfused? But modern questions will always be met with ancient silence. Ayurveda speaks materially and esoterically at the same time, surely agreeing with Emerson in “Nature” that “every natural fact is a symbol for a spiritual fact,” but going even further to say: “every spiritual fact is the projection of a natural fact.” And so we understand several things at once when we see an icon of Jesus with his heart exposed and encircled with flame. Love comes from the heart. The heart is a fiery organ. Fire and love expand from the centre to the periphery in search of the fuel of life. Passion flows through this heart, and the interweaving of passion with wisdom and wisdom with compassion makes the heart incorruptible and enchanting. Physical heart congestion begins on the emotional level with the incapacity to allow authentic (as opposed to indulgent) feelings to flow freely. Unresolved thought obstructs energy, and obstructed energy clogs the channels along which the elements flow. Conflicted emotions directly reduce the circulatory capacity of the heart. These include: an inability to give or receive love, a grievance held in the breast, righteous anger that is suppressed because of social convention or a sense of powerlessness, apathy, grief over loss…. All of these create subtle toxic tensions within the heart that over time accumulate into the nervous, lethargic or irritable arrhythmias of one not at peace with the world. The heartbeat should sound a deep, slow, steady commitment to the wonderment and joy of living. Simple acknowledgement of your feelings allows their storm to pass quickly, and with little resistance. A suppressed feeling is literally toxic in the Ayurvedic book – a failure of digestion on the level of emotion and it can grow and metastasize into a chronic psychological blockage. What is a tumour but a denser version of this? Indeed, suppressed emotions are a key cause of such complex disorders as cancer. Let’s end with an inevitable fact. You can nurture the heart’s warmth. You can purify your blood. You can cut down on alcohol, give up on meat, and stop exercising to the point of exhaustion (if you leave a workout with less energy than you brought to it, you’ve taxed the heart and depleted ojas, according to Ayurveda). And, you should do all of these things – your

heart is a miracle deserving of utmost tenderness and respect. But for all of your heart-care, for all of your work to expand its warmth, for all of your ripening in love, this heart of yours will definitely break. Life itself will break it. A pregnancy will fail, a child will become ill, a child will move away, a friend will become distant, a friend will perish on the highway, a brother will fall on hard times, a species will go extinct, a parent will lose her faculties, a parent will die. There may be a divorce, or a longing for an intimacy that never flowers. And between these darker events, a

thousand times over, the heart will break with joy. Whatever the fate: you can’t protect yourself. Life will break your heart. If some higher part of you rejoices tenderly as it happens, your heart’s healing is assured. Matthew Remski is a certified Ayurvedic Health Educator (advanced level) through the American Institute of Vedic Studies. He runs Canada's only Ayurvedic Health Education Certification programme, is co-director of Yoga Festival Toronto, teaches at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CE), and is co-owner of Renaissance Yoga and Ayurveda in downtown Toronto.

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For a limited time with your purchase of a Seaweed Bath you will receive a Seaweed Anti-Wrinkle Mask Treatment. Benedetta (blessed in Italian) is a Holistic Skin Care System formulated to Purify, Balance, and Rejuvenate. Each one of the Benedetta Aromatherapeutic products is generously activated with Certified Organic botanicals and formulated in a synergy considering their curative aspect, as it pertains to a particular skin condition. All of our products are created using raw materials as close to their earthly source as possible. Benedetta preparations are consciously formulated with reverence and respect for the intended user. Carefully handmade in small batches, you will not find a more vibrant, “fresh” line of skin care that not only meets a conscious standard for purity, but will also deliver youthful results.

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Turn Work into Play

“The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and play…”- James Michener By Kevin Carroll Think back to your childhood and to the years dominated by playtime, when there were endless hours to fill and the only agenda was to be captivated in the moment, to have fun. But playtime was also productive time, even if as kids we did not realize it. What we thought was entertaining was also instructive. Activities we called tea party, kick-ball, finger-painting, hide-andseek, daydreaming, and tag were also exercises in planning, strategy, design, decision-making, creativity, and risk-taking. In play we did not avoid obstacles, we looked for them by voluntarily challenging ourselves. We eagerly tackled insurmountable odds—height, speed, lack of money—to make our desires reality. Using imagination, we climbed Mt. Everest, competed in the Super Bowl, conquered the world, made a house out of a cardboard box, ran a restaurant. We voluntarily tested ourselves and accepted failure as part of the play. We ran, stumbled, and got up to run again. When we lost a game we simply started a new one. When something did not pan out as intended, we came up with a new solution until we were satisfied. When faced with an enemy or new challenge—be it a competing team, a broken toy, or our friend playing a cop to our robber, an ogre to our princess—we figured out how to win, remedy the malfunction, or flee the imagined danger. Far from frivolous time, childhood activities were constructive because they strengthened our resolve, as well as, our skills. Play gave us courage and instilled confidence. No doubt about it, the many forms of play—board games, sports, pretending, arts-andcrafts, exploring, building—required us to invent, analyze, innovate, socialize, plan, and problem solve. 50 Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009

These are among the very same skills required of us at work. Why, then, do play and work seem so contradictory? Why, as adults, do we relegate them to separate spheres, and why do so few workers and companies value play as a means to effective work? Perhaps, it is because we are brought up to believe that the two cannot coexist. At school, teachers insert play in between class time; play becomes something we do after chores and homework. Over time, our instinctual play behavior is slowly replaced with institutional processes and boundaries, such as classes, test taking, and structured activities, like sports and music that we practiced rather than indulged. By the time we enter the workplace we have effectively relegated play to weekends and vacations. Worse, competition and deadlines further stifle our ability to exercise many of play’s most productive instincts, such as creativity and imagination. It’s sad that as adults we push play to the margins of our lives, forgetting that play is not frivolous at all, but highly productive. We do not have to live this way. Adult responsibilities do not mean there is no place for child-like joys. Delight and productivity can coexist, and it is possible to tap what I call the genius of youth; so, that the most engaging, entertaining, and even educational aspects of play co-exist with our labor. Dr. Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute for Play, points to the fact that we all have a “play history” (think: what was your favorite form of play as a child?) that has helped to shape many of our social and problemsolving skills that we use in our adult pursuits. Dr. Brown truly believes (and I do too) that everyone has the ability to play at work.


As another childhood expert puts it, “We never outgrow play, we just have to change what we call it.” In other words, if playing capture the flag requires problem solving – “How can I outwit my opponent?” – then why don’t we view problem solving on the job – “How do I out sell my competition?”– as a form of play? After all, both activities engage the mind in similar challenges. I believe that you can want to work just as you once wanted to play. The result: jobs that feel more like fun than like drudgery, workplace satisfaction, increased employee retention, and, ultimately, more innovative, successful companies.

WHY PLAY?! Play is not just about having fun, it is serious business. Research has shown that play – particularly unstructured, spontaneous games vs. scheduled activities like music lessons and football practice – is a powerful force in human development. Play experts such as Dr. Stuart L. Brown, early childhood professor and author Vivian Gussin Paley, and Yale research scientist Dorothy G. Singer believe that spontaneous play and fantasy play help children learn about the world, cope with life’s pressures (like change), and process negative emotions, such as, fear, anger, even worry. They have found that role-playing prepares us for real-life situations, allowing us to practice, for example, making decisions under pressure, leading a group, or thinking abstractly. Group play teaches us to socialize and to cooperate. Play also encourages creativity. Says Edgar Klugman, Ed. D. and author of Play, Policy and Practice, “Good make-believers are often better at imagining things,” and a good imagination is hardly reserved for childhood.

PLAY IS SERIOUS BUSINESS! In my search for how play and work can co-exist, I heard from dozens of thought leaders and successful men and women about their play backgrounds and current work. Almost always, a theme emerged that linked those two worlds. Play was not narrowly defined for any of the individuals during their childhood. In fact, many different activities were enjoyed, a variety of skills were developed, and a cluster of eclectic experiences were accumulated and stored away only to be summoned forth later in life for a completely different purpose other than for play for play’s sake. My hope is that the readers of this short piece will be inspired to take a moment and reflect back on your own childhood, take a fresh look at your working life, and recognize how opportunities to incorporate play already exist in your job or can come to exist. It may be as simple as isolating the core mental activities that stimulated you as a child – were you a planner, an organizer, a leader, a problem solver, an analyzer, a writer – and finding ways to further incorporate them into your current role. Reawakening the kid-within-you can have a positive, productive purpose in your life. If the info in this article isn’t motivation enough, then maybe this will work...I Triple-Dog-Dare YOU! Kevin Carroll is the acclaimed author of “Rules of the Red Rubber Ball” and “What’s Your Red Rubber Ball?!” He travels around the globe speaking to businesses and to young people about the importance of sport and play in life. Kevin Carroll’s blog is at: www.kevincarrollkatalyst.com and “The Red Rubber Ball at Work” web site is: www.rrbatwork.com. He is an advisor to many organizations that use sports and play as a transformative tool including Nike, Disney/ESPN, Gap/Old Navy, Mattel, Proctor & Gamble, and Capital One, and he has spoken at the United Nations.

Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009 51


Calm Assurance Against

COLD & FLU

Project Trust, Cold Free! REACH OUT YOUR HAND WITH CONFIDENCE, COLD FREE. DONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;T LET LOST DAYS FROM COLD OR FLU DURING BUSINESS TRIPS OR HOLIDAYS DRAG YOU DOWN. By Tom Stokes PhD Biochemistry, BSc A true cold and flu formula should go beyond just boosting the immune system, it must also address the specific symptoms associated with colds & flu. Most cold and flu formulas are largely designed to enhance the immune system and have little or no direct effect on colds or flu. Although a strong immune system is key to keeping us healthy and less susceptible to cold or flu and helps to shortening the duration of such, choose ingredients and products that will benefit both the immune system and the associated symptoms.

52 Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009

SAY HELLO TO N-ACETYL-L-CYSTEINE N-acetyl-L-Cysteine (derived from the simple amino acid cysteine) is a safe natural ingredient that plays an important role in boosting immune response. N-acetyl-L-Cysteine is a precursor of glutathione; that is, it raises glutathione levels. Llymphocytes (small white blood cells) depend on glutathione for proper function of the immune system. In addition to playing an important roll in fortifying the immune response, N-acetyl-L-Cysteine helps break down mucus, thereby relieving that stuffy pressure feeling in the head, chest and sinuses.


PEAK PERFORMANCE WITH BETA GLUCANS To fortify the immune response further, no formula should be without beta glucans. These are likely the single most important consideration for boosting the immune response to germs, viruses, bacteria and other pathogens. The immune system has two components, the innate immune response and the acquired immune response. In the innate immune system, beta glucans bind with macrophages (a type of white blood cell whose job it is to detect intruders and coordinate the body’s defense against them). When activated by beta glucan, macrophages go on high alert and their ability to identify and destroy invading pathogens is intensified. Research shows that macrophages fortified by beta glucans are better able to rally the body’s defenses. The health and strength of your immune system directly affects your body’s ability to protect itself. Beta glucan will support your immune system and help it achieve peak performance.

BEST SOURCES OF BETA GLUCANS What then are the best sources of Beta Glucans? Two equally valid schools of thought support beta glucans sourced from either yeast or fungi (mushrooms). This of course begs the obvious question, which yeast source is best and which mushroom source is best? The short answer is baker’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and Agaricus blazei mushrooms. The beta glucan content in baker’s yeast is higher and superior to brewer’s yeast. Baker’s yeast has both the 1,3-D1,6 branching, whereas, brewer’s yeast lacks the vital 1,6 branching. The Agaricus blazei mushroom (ABM) originally from Brazil and now transplanted in Japan has long been known for it’s immune boosting properties and superior beta glucan content.

ZINC, SELENIUM AND THE COPPER CONNECTION It is well documented that zinc and selenium are two of the most important minerals for enhancing a healthy immune system. These two minerals are also a must have in your immune boosting formula. Keep in mind that zinc tends to deplete the body’s supply of copper. It would be advantageous to supplement with copper or look for a cold & flu formula that already has the correct amount of copper added to it.

KEEP ON THE GO WITH GINSENG Ginseng is also known for it’s immune fortifying properties. The root of North American ginseng (Panax quinquefolium) is superior and by far the most effective ginseng to fortify the body’s immune response. What about echinacea, vitamin C, pinecone extract, andrographis, arabinogalactan, etc? These are all good secondary choices to consider taking along with zinc, selenium, beta glucans, North American ginseng and n-acetyl-l-cysteine (N-acetylcysteine) for cold & flu and immune system enhancement. Remember prevention is always better than treatment; consider taking a good immune fortifying formula during cold and flu season before your catch something and particularly if you are traveling abroad or before you go on away on holidays or a business trip.  Tom Stokes, PhD Biochemistry, BSc. is a natural products researcher. For more information about Ah-Choo visit: www.therapeutx.info.

THE COLD FACTS A 2007 Decima Research poll found 79 per cent of Canadians surveyed reported going to work sick during the last year. Statistics Canada estimates Canadians call in sick an average of 9.2 days a year. Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009 53


Feed Your Skin For

NATURAL BEAUTY By Allison Tannis MS RHN Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s true â&#x20AC;&#x201C; you are what you eat. The foods you eat are the only resource your skin has to help it fight signs of disease and aging. The entire body needs nutrients in order to work properly and your skin is no exception. Stress, eating processed foods and sunlight cause your skin to age faster, and increase the risk of developing skin conditions, such as, acne and psoriasis. Fight back against those undesirable lines and bags around your eyes by eating right. Arm your skin with all the nutrients it needs to fight and enjoy beautiful, glowing skin.

FEED YOUR SKIN Eating the right foods can help your skin have a youthful, plump, radiant, glowing appearance. Researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to discover whether what you eat affects the way your skin looks. Those who ate higher amounts of bad fat and processed carbohydrates (like white bread and candy) had more pronounced wrinkles. Those who ate a diet rich in vitamin C had fewer wrinkles later in life; proof that food has a lot to do with the beauty of your skin.

Let Inner Beauty Shine Through 54 Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009

TAKING A BEATING Being the barrier between the body and the environment the skin is subjected to a lot of abuse. Ultraviolet rays from the sun and tanning beds, cosmetics and cleaning products interact with the skin, drying it out, causing injury, making it red, inflamed and unattractive. Eating foods that are high in antioxidants can help protect your skin from these damaging daily elements. Antioxidants are found in high amounts in bright coloured fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts.


SPOTTY APPEARANCE Redness and blotches are another common skin complexion problem. These areas of redness are caused by inflammation. Your skin has become irritated or damaged. Fight back against inflammation with foods like fish, yogurt and berries. These foods are all helpful in the battle against inflammation and can help you ditch your concealer for good.

A LITTLE DULL Is your complexion looking a little dull? It could be because you have too many dead skin cells on the top layer of your skin. The epidermis (outermost layer of your skin) is made up of dead cells. They slough off over time. Eating certain foods can help encourage your skin to slough off dead cells faster and grow new, more beautiful cells too. Psyllium is a great food to include in your diet as it naturally encourages the skin to exfoliate. Vitamin A, found in red/orange fruits and vegetables like sweet potatoes, is one of the nutrients that support the growth of beautiful new skin cells. Folate and vitamin B12 are also needed for cell division and they can be found in Brewerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s yeast, mushrooms and wheat germ. Ditch your need for makeup with a diet rich in nutrients that can turn your complexion from dull to radiant.

BITE BACK AGAINST ACNE Acne is thought to be caused by a poor diet. In 2006, the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology compared the differences between young students who had acne to those who did not. They found that those with acne were more likely to consume soft drinks and chocolates. Ditch the bad diet and fight back against acne. Acne is a skin condition that involves inflammation. If inflammation can be controlled and prevented than acne can be treated. Foods like fish can help reduce inflammation. Fruits and vegetables such as lemons, grapefruit, raspberries and eggplants are rich sources of antioxidants which stop free radicals from causing damage in your skin that triggers inflammation.

 Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009 55


WHAT ABOUT CHOCOLATE? The Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported in 2005 that chocolate has a bloodsugar regulating effect. Chocolate may help control blood sugar levels which affect sebum production (a cause of acne). However, research supporting the use of chocolate to help fight acne did not use conventional chocolate bars. Chocolate bars are high in refined sugar and saturated and trans fats. Rich, dark chocolate is the best chocolate to help in the battle against acne.

STARVE YOUR WRINKLES Lines and sags are common place on our face. Win the battle against wrinkles by first identifying the enemy: ultraviolet radiation, free radicals and hormones. Go farther than protecting your skin with a broad-brimmed hat and start fighting back from the inside out. Can food really make a difference? In one of the most amazing studies to date, researchers investigated people over the age of 70 to see if their diets had influenced the youthfulness of their skin. The subjects were from all over the world: Australia, China, Greece, Japan and Sweden. Scientists examined the diets of 2000 people through a questionnaire. 56 Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009

The researchers reported that the elderly Swedish subjects had the least skin wrinkling and the Australian’s the worst. Eating vegetables, legumes, fish and olive oil were associated with younger-looking skin. These foods include good fats that help maintain your skin’s moisture barrier and reduce inflammation. These foods also contain antioxidants which protect your skin from the damage that causes redness, sagging and imperfections in your skin. Vitamin C is an ultimate antiwrinkle antioxidant. The strength and rigidity of your skin is thanks to collagen and elastin which are made using vitamin C. Changing your diet to include foods that support healthy skin is easier than you think. Discover how the skin is built, how it works, what causes skin problems and ultimately what nutrients help your skin look beautiful. Allison Tannis MS RHN is a nutritional scientist, lover of food and, author of many books including “Probiotic Rescue” (Wiley, 2008) and “Feed Your Skin, Starve Your Wrinkles” (Fairwinds, 2009). Allison is a Nutritional Consultant with a practice in southern Ontario. Visit allisontannis.com for more information.


NATURAL BEAUTY

Natural Choices for Make-Up, Hair and Body Products

CHECK YOUR INGREDIENTS, NOT ALL PRODUCTS ARE REALLY NATURAL OR ORGANIC. By Lynn Bosman Hundreds of new internal cleansing formulas have entered the market in the last decade. Most people are on the body cleansing bandwagon. Magazine articles and media reports on the effects of body cleansing and detoxifying have woken up a whole generation. Yet, we forget to treat the skin the same way. The beauty business is worth billions and in growing demand by most women. The media has played a vital role in promoting gorgeous looking woman, many with layers of coated chemicals in the name of beauty. The beauty industry has now come under scrutiny however for the amount of chemical components it is utilizing in its finished products. This has brought the word natural, widely used for generating sales, under similar scrutiny. Those who now understand that ‘natural’ can really amount to nothing if the bases of most cosmetic products are 90% derived from chemicals. Celebrities and some movie stars have begun to add their voice, with some reporting their awareness of the amount of chemicals used in the makeup they had to endure during film shoots or events. Another ‘sister’ word, ‘organic’ has also surfaced in the cosmetic industry – powerful ‘ad words’ that accelerate the selling of chemically-based products with an add on organic ingredient. Chemical components, such as, parabens, pthalates, formaldehyde, urea, propylene glycol, and iso propanal are just a few of the common chemicals used on a daily basis in the makeup of most women. Some synthetic colors also contain heavy metals, such as lead, which can put an extreme burden on the organs and the neurological system. Molecular chemical components found in

certain products can be absorbed by the skin and end up in the users blood stream and/or organs. A few years ago researchers indicated that some hair dyes can be a contributing cause of bladder cancer. Since ancient times tribes of Africa and Egyptians protected their skin with natural occurring clays and earth minerals. This is now becoming hugely fashionable and trendy in western society. Natural oxides and micas can now color the eyelids as in eye shadows and/or add color to the cheeks as in blushers. Annatto, beet powder, alkanet and indigo are natural occurring plant colors and are often used in combinations with other natural plant extracts to obtain the desired colors for all over natural beauty of the body. The newest in truly natural makeup technology is currently surfacing to replace the so called fashion concept of covering the imperfect skin. Mineral makeup contains a number of natural earth minerals such as zinc oxide, silica, magnesium stearate, titanium dioxide, a natural sun protector, iron oxides, and micas. It contains no parabens, no phthalates, no lead, no artificial dyes, lakes or FD&C colors. With these hot new products we cannot go wrong to beautify naturally without the worry of toxic elements entering the body from the makeup that we use. But consumers be aware that not all mineral make ups are created equally. Some brands still contain questionable ingredients, like bismuth oxychloride and others.  Learn to make your own natural-make-up and body products. Call Lynn Bosman 905-822-5094 e-mail: info@aroma.net or visit www.aroma.net.

Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009 57


STRAWBALE CONSTRUCTION By Russell Scott With colder temperatures upon us, many of us wonder if there is a warmer home to live in. Other than moving to a hotter country to find one, turns out there is… and it’s more natural, as well. It’s called a strawbale house. A strawbale home is built with straw bales stacked in alternating courses, much like bricks, to form the walls. The bale walls are then plastered with 2 inches of cement stucco or a lime/earth plaster on either side to finish the walls. When finished a wall of exceptional strength, beauty and thermal mass is created. There are two types of strawbale structures: post and beam, or load bearing. With post and beam homes, the straw bales are used as “infill” to form the outside walls and the posts and beams provide the structural frame. In load-bearing homes, the strawbale walls are pre-compressed with tensioned cables and then once plastered, the stucco-skin on the outside becomes the load-bearing component. 58 Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009

HIGH R-VALUES There are many advantages to this type of building. Stawbale homes have high R-values. R-value is a measure of thermal resistance used in the building and construction industry. The bigger the number, the better the building insulation's effectiveness. Studies by Canada’s Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) have shown that strawbale homes use 25-40% less energy to heat. Rvalues can be as high as R60 where most modern homes are R20.

FIRE-RETARDANT CMHC found that strawbale walls exceeded the standards for fire retardancy and in fact gave them a rating equivalent to an industrial firewall.


NO OFF-GASING Because the walls are made of a natural material, there is no concern for the effects of vapours from resins, glues and paints used in the building, polluting the interior air.

ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE Since straw bales are a natural material harvested near the site, these homes use substantially less embodied energy to build and therefore contribute less to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Embodied energy is the energy required to manufacture and transport building materials.

ADAPTABLE Unlike other alternative building methods, straw bale walls are easily integrated into modern construction practices as only the walls are different and, as such, the walls are easily adapted to all kinds of conventional foundation and roof building methods. Strawbale homes can look like any other stucco home and fit well in any neighborhood.

AESTHETICALLY PLEASING Strawbale homes can be very beautiful with large window wells, round-corners and many possible available exterior tints used in stuccoing. Because bales are malleable they lend themselves to homeowners creating unique beautiful spaces.

NO MOISTURE OR INSECTS When built properly, there are no moisture or insect problems. In addition, when you buy straw bales you will feel good about contributing to the income of the local farming community, using a renewable resource and saving 25 to 40% of your energy costs every year.  Russell Scott is the owner of True Source Seminars specializing in Selfactualization and ecological awareness seminars. For more info: e-mail him at: info@TrueSourceSeminars.com and request a free copy of the booklets â&#x20AC;&#x153;Blueprint for Green Livingâ&#x20AC;? or â&#x20AC;&#x153;Living from the Inside Outâ&#x20AC;?. For more info: read: â&#x20AC;&#x153;More Strawbale Buildingâ&#x20AC;? by Chris Magwood and Peter Mack, New Society Publishers. Or click on: www.strawbalebuilding.ca. For workshops contact: www.TrueSourceSeminars.com.

ECO HOMES Strawbale homes, barns and sheds are attractive, adaptable, have high R-values are fire-retardant and are environmentallly responsible.

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Every kitchen has a place for these compact, beautifully designed electric stone mills. Whether it is barley, oats, millet, corn, rice, rye, spelt or wheat, these amazing grain mills transform 100 gm of grain per minute into the finest flour. Get healthy and create your own freshly milled grains.

This 6-step air purification with medical HEPA, activated carbon, UV-light disinfection and two layers of gas absorption media uses computerized electronic controls and infrared motion detectors to monitor air quality, airflow and volume. Doctor recommended and laboratory tested to provide air that is: *Chemical Free *Allergy Free *Odour Free *Germ Free

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ALL STAINLESS STEEL JUICE EXTRACTOR Juicing has just become juicier with the introduction of the revolutionary Super Angel Juicer. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s simple to use and simple to clean. The powerful 3 HP grinding force 2-stage twin gear system extracts more juice than other juicers. Low speed juicing gears ensure your juice is full of vital nutrients and enzymes. The Super Angel is the answer to all your fruit and vegetable juicing needs. For more information call 1-888-887-8822 or visit us at www.YoureTheCure.com

LIGHT THERAPY BRIGHTS UP WINTER Sunshine is Exhilarating! Researchers have discovered when the brain gets the right type of light, it produces hormones that make you feel good. Light Therapy is Mood Therapy. The proven natural alternative for: SAD, seasonal depression, sleep disorders, jet lag, fatigue and food cravings. For more information call 1-888-887-8822 or visit us at www.YoureTheCure.com Naturally Empowered Inc. Great prices and no PST.

Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009 61


Homeopathic Medicine For Ear Infections By Raisa Weisspapir HD, DHMS, MD (Europe)

Children with acute or chronic middle ear infections greatly benefit from homeopathic medicine. A recent trial in Washington found that children between the ages of 18 months and 6 years recovered more quickly when homeopathic remedies were given.

WHAT IS “GLUE” EAR? Children who have had repeated ear infections are more likely to develop “glue” ear (a chronic condition in which catarrh builds up in the middle ear causing some hearing loss), which might require grommets – minute plastic funnels which are inserted into the eardrum; so, that the fluid can be drained. Afterwards, there can be a risk of infection from water getting into the middle ear, and the need for repeated operations to have those tubes put back in if they fall out. However, neither antibiotics nor surgery solve the main problem.

SEEKING SOLUTIONS HOLISTICALLY Viewing each child individually and as a whole, homeopathic medicine considers the roles both physical and emotional factors play in relation to health issues.

A Natural Alternative For Fungus-Free Nails Are your toenails brittle, turning white or brown? You may have what is commonly called nail fungus. After many experiments, we at Emery’s Health Products have successfully eliminated the fungus (onychomykosis) from nails that were infected for years. In some cases 30 years! We proudly present this amazing new herbal remedy, which is applied to the nail with a Band-Aid for approximately 10-14 days. Old chronic infections may take longer. The cure rate since November 1999 is 100%. Results are clear – healthy nails.

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SCHOOLS AND PRODUCTS Repeated ear infections indicate that the real problem lies much deeper. Perhaps, your child’s immune system is not strong enough to fight viruses and bacteria and is asking for help. Homeopathic medicine can help strengthen your child's natural defense systems; so, that the pattern of repeated sickness will stop.

HOW EMOTIONAL STRESS CAN AFFECT A CHILD Have you ever heard about any medicine helping a child to cope with the stress when a new sibling was born in the family? For example, when a child is experiencing a feeling of jealousy, it in turn can cause physical symptoms such as involuntary urination at night, earache, stomachache or eczema. A carefully chosen homeopathic remedy can help resolve those problems. Moreover, careful observation of your child’s behavior can help to understand how physical symptoms manifest emotional distress or vice versa.

WHAT IS IMPORTANT? Emotional stress can lower immune function. However, the most common causes of ear infections are: an allergy (food allergy, allergy to animal dander, pollen, cigarette smoke or house dust), a nutritional insufficiency, an infection of the respiratory system, a nasal congestion, or excessive mucous production. Knowing the cause of your child's illness can help us to choose the right homeopathic remedy. For example, if your child gets an earache after being out in a cold wind, then you can help him by giving the homeopathic remedy aconite. Chronic ear infections can be successfully cured by constitutional homeopathic treatment.  Visit www.homeopathytoronto.com to learn how homeopathy can help during flu epidemics or for more information about homeopathy. This information is not to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your health care provider with questions or if symptoms persist.

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64 Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009


COURSES & EVENTS GUIDE SCHOOLS & PROGRAMS CANADIAN HOLISTIC THERAPIST TRAINING SCHOOL & MISSISSAUGA SCHOOL OF AROMATHERAPY Established 15 years - See satisfied students comments at: www.aroma.net COURSES AND WORKSHOPS: NEW!!! ALL NATURAL MINERAL MAKEUP WORKSHOP Feb. 7th/March 9th Make extra CASH in your pocket by retailing to your clients. Learn how in our workshop. ALL NATURAL BODY / BATH PRODUCTS WORKSHOP Feb. 8th - combine the two and receive a 10% discount INDIAN HEAD MASSAGE One day workshop, March 14th. HOT STONE HEALING CERTIFICATION Feb. 21/22 ALL NATURAL BEAUTY SPA CERTIFICATION Feb. 13-16 ACUPUNCTURE DIPLOMA IRIDOLOGY/HERBS/NUTRITION AROMATHERAPY PRACTITIONER CERTIFICATION REFLEXOLOGY /FOOT SPA THERAPY CERTIFICATION Call: 905-822-5094 e-mail: info@aroma.net web: www.aroma.net web: www.greengoldnaturals.ca Classifieds and Courses Guide word ads are $2.50/word. Send to: healthydirections@rogers.com Call: 1-877-276-1849

YOGA TEACHER TRAINING KUNDALINI YOGA TEACHER TRAINING Guelph, February 2009 200 hours certification program. Contact Nirmal 416-929-9369, www.thewellnesspath.ca

INNER INSIGHTS HOLISTIC SCHOOL & SPA 11 years of Holistic Health In gratitude, 15% off all services until March 7th. www.innerinsights.com 1866-236-SPAS GODDESS RETREAT 8TH ANNUAL Aug 14-16, Dream Weekend

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EVERY CHILD NEEDS A SAFE WAY TO RELEASE THEIR ANGER & FRUSTRATIONS! New What Really, REALLY Bugs Me …Sometimes© artistic journal for children allows them to do just that. 905-371-3818 VentingCreatively.com

HOLISTIC THERAPIES HEALTH BENEFITS CENTRE Holistic Therapies and Teachings London, www.healthbenefitscentre.com 519-657-0245 Certification for: Aromatherapy, Reflexology, Raindrop Therapy, Aromatherapy Spa, Indian Head Massage, Hot Stone, Chinese Fire Cupping

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LIVING OFF THE GRID WORKSHOP Learn what the experts know about alternative energy systems for the home. In Orangeville, 519-942-8339 or Info@TrueSourceSeminars.com

Increase the strength and flexibility of your body and mind with the Iyengar System of Hatha Yoga. Ease the stress of daily living as you learn yoga postures designed to help you progress gradually to achieve the precise body alignment that will enable harmony and balance of body, mind & soul.

AROMATHERAPY DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE CERTIFICATION Pregnancy & Infant Midwife outreaches, D.V.D's, Aromatherapy Cards, Clinical & Examinations, Certified Instructor for Aromatherapy Instructor Stephie Cyr is a Massage Therapist, Nutritionist, Herbalist, Business Marketing Graduate. Runs triannually. NATIVE HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONER 6 holistic courses, 6 workshops, Goddess Retreat, Sept-Apr. Government recognized, we encourage exceptional standards in holistic industry. BBB members, Inner Insights offers seamless spa services to many distinguished London hotels, wineries, golf courses.

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INTRO TO AROMATHERAPY: The Science and Magic of Essential Oils! Practical hands on workshop covering common oils - tea tree, chamomile, eucalyptus and more. Take home your own blend. Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 6:30-9:30, $65 + gst. To register call: 905-631-7147 or e-mail: donna@balneacanada.com

“When the body talks to itself it can heal itself. Healing really can be 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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Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009 65


EARTH TALK

Reduce Your Home Heating Bill

Dear EarthTalk:

This winter is shaping up to be one of the coldest in recent memory where I live. What can I do to reduce my home heating bill now and in the future? -- Eric Lenz Whether global warming is somehow to blame or not, much of North America is getting walloped this winter. Besides the cold, another challenge this wintry weather presents, especially during such trying economic times, is higher heating bills. Heating typically accounts for about 28 percent of the average North American home’s energy use. Homeowners who take a few simple steps to make their homes more weather-tight, though, just might be amazed to see their heating bills go down while they languish inside their toasty and warm homes. If you’re a handy person and your draft issues are minor, you might want to go around and assess just where cold air seems to be coming in – and then caulk, putty or insulate to your heart’s content. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC’s) green-living oriented simpleSteps.org website, small gaps around windows, light fixtures and plumbing are easy to cover with caulk. 66 Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009

Large drafty areas that are protected from moisture and sunlight can be covered with expanding foam sealant, while a little weatherstripping around door jambs goes a long way. Beyond these easier fixes, adding or updating insulation can pay dividends on your utility bills. NRDC says that if you do it yourself, be careful not to cover or close up attic vents, as proper air flow is key to keeping indoor air quality good. Replacing single pane windows with sealed double or triple pane windows will also improve your home’s energy efficiency significantly. Other tips include insulating heating ducts and your hot water tank, and upgrading to a programmable thermostat which allows you to heat your home when you’re there and lower the temperature when you’re sleeping or at work. Switching ceiling fans to rotate in a clockwise direction will help circulate warm air throughout your home. Older, inefficient furnaces can also lead to large heating bills. New models which qualify for the federal government’s Energy Star program will use far less gas or oil and reduce your utility bill handily. 

GOT AN ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTION? Send it to: EarthTalk, c/o E/The Environmental Magazine, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881; submit it at: www.emagazine.com/earthtalk/thisweek/, or e-mail: earthtalk@emagazine.com. Read past columns at: www.emagazine.com/earthtalk/archives.php.


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INVESTMENT INVE$T GREEN SmartGreen Financial Planning Your guide to ethical investing choices Call 416-873-2915 or e-mail: adil.sayeed@utoronto.ca www.smartgreenfinancial.blogspot.com

SPIRITUAL RETREATS AWAKEN YOUR HEART & REJUVENATE! Inclusive Retreat Package Brochure Call Eagle Heart & Spirit 1-866-221-9167

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Spirituality, Dreams, Meditation, Reincarnation, Holistic Health, the Body, Mind, Spirit connection. For free catalogue of books and natural health products call 1-866-322-8209 or see www.edgarcaycecanada.com

LIVING OFF THE GRID WORKSHOP Learn what the experts know about alternative energy systems for the home. In Orangeville, 519-942-8339 or Info@TrueSourceSeminars.com

YOGA TRAINING

“WE ARE ONE” Readings with Trance Channel Deborah Hannaford. Speak with Angels & Spirit Guides. 705422-1215 www.innersearchcentre.com weareone@rogers.com

KUNDALINI YOGA TEACHER TRAINING Guelph, February 2009 200 hours certification program. Contact Nirmal 416-929-9369, www.thewellnesspath.ca

DREAM INTERPRETATION Lucid dreaming, By donations 416-760-3413 Classifieds and Courses Guide word ads are $2.50/word. Send to: healthydirections@rogers.com

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Get Healthy Water in your home! New Improved Models!

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Eco Events ECO FARM DAY WHEN: February 27-28, 2009 WHERE: Cornwall, ON

Eco Farm Day is hosted by the Canadian Organic Growers, Ottawa Chapter. This is a call for presentations from educators, researchers, suppliers, farmers, practitioners, and anyone else with a good educational subject or experience to share with organic farmers. There is excellent research happening in organic agriculture in Canada. There are also many lessons learned on farms as operators improve their performance. www.cog.ca/ottawa

Green Earth HOW TO START A COMMUNITY GARDEN WHEN: Sat. Feb. 7th to Sat.

Mar. 14th, 2009 WHERE: Toronto, ON Learn how to start a community garden workshop in this exciting 2-day workshop! Facilitated by the Toronto Community Food Animators. NORTH YORK Saturday Feb. 7 and 14 SCARBOROUGH Saturday Feb. 21 and March 14 Space is limited. Lunch is provided. Please contact Amanda to register: 416-652-7867 ext. 236 amanda@thestop.org

SOWING GOODNESS: WHY WE SHOULD VEGETABLE GARDEN

HALTON ECO FESTIVAL

WHEN: Wed. April 1, 7:30p.m.

WHERE: Oakville, ON

2009

Glen Abbey Rec Centre on Third Line

WHERE: Toronto Botanical

Garden Celebrated horticulturist and author Jack Staub pays tribute to the virtues of keeping a home vegetable garden, not only for the good of body and soul, but for the good of the planet and our local farm economies, as well. Classic techniques and educated tips that can turn any humdrum vegetable plot into a thing of beauty. www.torontobotanicalgarden.ca Phone: 416-397-1362

WHEN: Saturday, April 18,

2009. 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

A free to attend, environmental family fair for sustainability at Oakville’s Glen Abbey Rec Centre. • 90 trade show exhibitors • 20 educational speakers • supervised kids eco fun area • good food • celebrate Earth Day with us For more information visit: www.haltonecofest.ca

FOR A MORE COMPLETE LISTING OF ECO EVENTS VISIT WWW.PLANETFRIENDLY.NET

“It’s so easy to take a bath now, I just open the door and step in!” “I really used to enjoy having a bath, but I realized as I got older that the fear of slipping, or the effort of pulling myself up after I had finished was becoming a real problem.” “What a joy it was to be able to open the door, step in without any worry of slipping or falling and bathe in comfort. Premier Bathrooms has helped me to regain my independence.”

For Further Details or to Receive a Free Brochure, Call Toll Free:

1-888-596-4909 AS SEEN ON TV CANADA 68 Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009

U.S.A.

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Aromatherapy Can Scents Really Effect Health?

By George Shurepa N.H.C, H.T. Think of it this way. Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s say that you live next door to pig farm. Some days a light breeze will blow the odour into your open summer window. After a month your good mood might be somewhat strained, perhaps even greatly irritated. The constant distress would begin to effect your physical health. On the other hand, say you lived next door to a nursery where roses, wisteria and a variety of other fragrant flowers bloom. A soft summer breeze would blow the elegant fragrances through your window. You would inhale deeply as you smiled and comment on how those scents are so wonderful. The constant elation would improve your physical health. The nose is packed with sensitive receptors called olfactory hairs which determine whether foods are fresh or full of bacteria, objects are safe to handle, diapers need to be changed, etc. Some believe that a person's soul mate can be determined if their body odour is overly pleasant. Scent marketing is on the rise. GM recently announced adding scent to their leather seats to amplify the new-car smell. Many grocery stores have implemented bakeries that emit freshly baked bread odours into the rest of the store. When you smell a flower, the nose is detecting molecules of volatile essential oil found in the plant. These oils have a physical effect, soothing, stimulating and relaxing, which is why herbs and flowers can also change your mood so effectively. Herbal fragrances that have been proven to help eliminate migraine headaches are: lavender, peppermint, marjoram and chamomile. Herbal fragrances that have been shown to sooth aches and pains are eucalyptus, wintergreen, cinnamon and clove. Fragrances that are generally more pleasing to women are citrus, such as, bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, orange, as well as, sage,

jasmine and rose. Most men like the smell of sandalwood, frankincense, pine, juniper and patchouli. Aromatherapy is another area that can greatly determine good health. Surrounding yourself with natural scents and fragrances is not only a pleasurable endeavour but a healthy choice as well. George Shurepa is a Natural Health Consultant and a Herbal Scientist with over 30 years experience with healing herbs and is President and CEO of ECG Naturals.

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Hang on for the Ride, Welcome to

Menopause By Dini Petty Marion Marshall, fabulous woman, brilliant herbalist and yours truly have done about one hundred seminars across Canada on menopause, over the last four years.

A ROLLER COASTER OF SYMPTOMS The following is a list of menopause symptoms: night sweats, hot flashes, fatigue, depression, mood swings, low libido, vaginal dryness, irritability, anxiety, vulnerability, incontinence, urinary urgency, memory loss, forgetfulness, confusion, joint pain, dizziness, palpitations, poor skin tone, low energy, restlessness, and bad sleeping patterns.

WHAT A HEADACHE!

Stop the Ride! I want off.

70 Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2009

Another thing we have heard a lot from women experiencing menopause was the onset of headaches. Although not listed as an official menopause symptom, they seem to be common. Some lucky women get a few symptoms but many of us, including me get most of them and find that it not only takes over your life but devastates it. When there are younger women in the audience, I explain menopause as a bad day of PMS, which I figure most of us understand. The only difference is that for some women menopause never quits. It can be like someone takes a hammer and starts smacking you over the head with it 24/7 until, you curl up in a ball on the floor crying, because you can't take it anymore. That's exactly what happened to me and in my travels across Canada, I've met women who were just like me, or worse.

THE ULTIMATE SWING STAR The prize, so far, goes to a lady I met in Calgary at a drugstore event. She came to thank me for relief from her misery cause when menopause hit her she started crying 24/7 and raging at the same time. Needless to say people started avoiding her as quickly as possible. One day she got on the longest street in Calgary and lost it. She was driving like a maniac while raging at anyone who crossed her path. She scared herself so badly, that when she got home, she didn't go out for three weeks.

STOP THE RIDE! I WANT OFF! Two things to remember, most likely an alternative product will work for you but you have to give it time. Yes, you can expect improvements within the first two weeks, but it takes twelve weeks to rebalance your system. Then, you can try reducing your daily dosage. Unfortunately, nothing works for everyone and often those who have the hardest time are women coming off long duration use of HRT and that's because your adrenals have been doing nothing for so long, it takes time for them to wake up and get back to work. So, don't give up, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a tough hill to climb but for most of us there are alternative products that will work. Dini Petty is a well known broadcaster in Canada. Marion Marshall is a medical herbalist working in private practice in St. Catharines, ON. For more information about Nutrafem contact the distributor at 1-866-535-8474 or visit www.nutrafem.ca.


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