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HEALTHY DIRECTIONS February / March 2012

CHICKEN DELIGHTS

12

Enrich and Empower Your Life • FREE!

WEIGHT-LOSS MADE EASY 24

VEGETARIAN LASAGNA 14

Fabulous, Quick Tips for Better

Heart Health

Aid and Prevent

Diabetes

TRAVEL & EXPLORE 18

10

Ways to Reduce Your Tax Bill


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HEALTHY DIRECTIONS FEBRUARY/MARCH 2012

20

In This Issue: HEART HEALTH Aid and Prevention 6

HEART HEALTH

A Naturopathic Approach 31

SATURATED FAT

An Essential Part of the Diet 34

FLAX SEED

Cardiovascular Support

WEALTH HEALTH

Money and Saving Tips 10

TEN WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR TAX BILL

FOOD PASSIONS 12

WALNUT & CHICKEN DELIGHTS

Blueberry, Watermelon and Walnut Salad with Chicken Walnut-Blueberry Oatmeal Energy Bites

Cash Saving Strategies

PET PERKS

Better Health for Your Pet 13 20

10

Igniting the Senses

JOINT DISEASE

GO NUTS FOR NUTS

A Healthy Choice for the Heart

Aid and Prevention

DIABETES

14

Stop the Highs & Lows 22

Mushroom, Artichoke & Spinach Lasagna Pumpkin Soup with Shrimp Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

FIND BLOOD SUGAR BALANCE

Avoid the Ups and Downs 15 27

Natural Strategies

Local and Exotic Adventure 18

ECO TOURING

Beauty from the Inside Out 24

EFFORTLESS WEIGHT-LOSS IN THREE STEPS

ORGANIC MEAT

HEALTHY STARTS

Join the Journey to Better Health 26

ENZYME DEFICIENCY

The Missing Link for Health & Wellnesss

Costa Rica

NATURAL BEAUT Y

12

Healthy for You and the Environment

DIABETIC NEUROPATHY

TRAVEL & EXPLORE

HEART WARMING CASSEROLES AND SOUPS

28

NATUROPATHY

Food, Mood and Health 30

HOMEOPATHY

How to Stop a Racing Heart

CLA, Green Tea and Chirositol 32

HEALTH BITES

Snack Solutions for the 9 to 5 Worker

4 5 29 32 33 33

EDITOR’S NOTE OUR CONTRIBUTORS NATUROPATH LISTING GUIDE COURSES AND EVENTS GUIDE HOT OFF THE SHELF CLASSIFIEDS

Healthy Directions February/March 2012 3


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EDITOR’S NOTE Editor ’s Note I

’m going to share with you a few of the monsters I was hiding while talking to my dietitian about my monitoring and diet plan for gestational diabetes. Maybe, you hide them too when it comes to your health and health issues. I'm not obese, haven't gained too much weight during the pregnancy, but I am 38 with a high genetic tendency for type 2 diabetes in my family, two factors which put me at higher risk. The first monster is resistance. (I don't want to test seven times a day. There's nothing really wrong with me. I already eat healthy foods. I like the food I eat and don't want to change.) You can beat this one. Get started. Monitoring results helps you make modest changes or additions that can add up to a big difference. See it as an opportunity to experience new foods and flavours to feel better. Often, you can still eat the foods you love. Monitoring blood sugar levels is complicated. The second monster is defeat. (When I'm following my diet, I'm losing weight. When I slip, I'm putting myself/and or baby at risk. Doing the blood test is like repeating the same test everyday, which can feel like it’s one you can never pass and can lead to feelings of failure or wanting to quit.) It takes time to figure out, but you will! Gradual improvements get you to the goal. If you take a break, it’s okay, start again. Seek dietary advice to avoid giving in to cravings or getting stuck in a monotonous diet with a lack of variety. Explore natural approaches to managing your health condition including exercise, meditation and natural products. It’s my genuine hope this issue offers you some inspiration and options to enrich, improve and empower your life! And, every once in a while eat the cookie, guilt free! Try the recipe for the Walnut-Blueberry Oatmeal Energy Bites on page 13. Yours in health and happiness,

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

Healthy Directions is an independent journal produced by Cousins Publishing, six times a year in Canada. All content is copyrighted by Cousins Publishing. ISSN 1488-6308 Important: Always seek the opinion of your medical or naturopathic doctor before starting

HEALTHY DIRECTIONS February/March 2012 Vol. 13 No. 1 Healthy Directions is dedicated to offering inspiring health and lifestyle information to enrich and empower your life. Editor Charleen Wyman char@healthydirections.ca Contributing Writers Eric Muradov, ND, Laura Stix, ND, Jodi Koberinski, Executive Director, Organic Council of Ontario, Sherri-Anne Clarke, BSc(Hons.), ND, Judith Finlayson, Timothy Chan, Mairlyn Smith, Franco Cavaleri, BSc, Nutritional Biochemist, Sandrine Briatte, B.Sc. Lorna Vanderhaeghe, MS, Jerry Zeifman, Benna Lun BScH ND, Chanel Cressman, BSc ND, Raisa Weisspapir, HD, DHMS, MD (Europe), Jillian Murphy, ND, Sherri- Anne Clarke, ND and Kin Yan Leung, B.Sc., N.D., CCT, CPCC Editorial:

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

Advertising Sales: Jon Cousins 1-877-276-1849 healthydirections@rogers.com Check out our website: www.HealthyDirections.ca Become a fan on Facebook for updates on coupons, contests, green flyers, free samples, store events, specials and more:

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.

Look us up as: Healthy Directions Magazine

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Healthy Directions Magazine


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

Sherri-anne Clarke, BSc(Hons.), ND is a naturopath practicing in the Burlington community. She has a general family practice with a special focus on women's health, pain management, weight management, anxiety/depression, and digestive concerns. For more information: e-mail: info@drclarkend.com, visit: www.drclarkend.com or call (905) 592-2277.

Chanel Cressman, BSc ND is a licenced naturopathic doctor with a private practice in Kitchener called Sage Naturopathic Clinic. Chanel has a strong interest in women’s and pediatric health. She has additional training as a Doula and is a member of the Pediatric Association of Naturopathic Physicians. Visit: www.thesageclinic.com or call: 519-573-6700.

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

raisa Weisspapir is a homeopathic doctor specializing in pediatrics and general family health problems. She is a member of the Homeopathic Medical Council of Canada and the American Academy of Environmental Medicine. Weisspapir is a European trained medical doctor with over 20 years of medical experience. She welcomes your questions by e-mail at: info@homeopathytoronto.com or call (416) 227-1485.

Solutions on

Health & Wellness flammation R educe In Reduce Inflammation Balance your your an andd Balance bblood lood ssugar? ugar? In 2004, 2004, TIME TIME In Maga zine ran ra n an an Magazine a stonishing article a rticle astonishing about chronic chronic about w infla mmation and a nd ho inflammation how oot it was wa s the the common common rroot it of just just about about every e ve r y of chronic condition condition or or chronic disea se. This This article a rticle disease. Roy Roy Kiss Kiss C.N. C .N. Certified C e r ti f i e d N Nutritionist u t ri ti o ni s t noted Chronic Chronic noted iinflammation nfla mmation ccauses au s e s a wide variety va riet y ooff ddisorders, stroke to to wide isorders, fr ffrom rom stroke a rthritis to to diabetes diabetes to to heart hea rt disease. d i se a se. arthritis Infla mmation arises more than tha n physical physica l a rises from fr from more Inflammation trauma and a nd repetitive repetitive motions. motions. The The body body is is trauma consta ntly assaulted a ssaulted by by dangerous da ngerous toxins toxins that t h at constantly a lter and a nd poison poison the the vital vita l fluid fluid that that surrounds surrounds alter our cells cells and a nd keeps keeps them them healthy, hea lthy, rresulting esu lting in in our infla mmation, pain pa in and a nd disease. d i se a se. inflammation, discover y that thousa nds that has ha s been been around a round ffo or thousands A discovery for of years ye a r s m ay be be the the answer. a nswer. The The healing hea ling of may of the the Nopal Nopa l Cactus Cactus also a lso known k nown aass pproperties roperties of the prickly prick ly pear pea r cactus cactus has ha s recently recently come come to to the llight. ight. Resea rch has ha s recently recently discovered discovered that that the the Nopal Nopa l Research cactus ffr onta ins aanti-inflammatory nti-infla mmator y aand nd ruit ccontains cactus fruit a ntioxida nt pproperties, roperties, tthanks ha nk s ttoo a rrare a re aand nd antioxidant potent nnutrient utrient ccalled a lled bbetalains. et a la i n s. N opa l ccactus ac t u s potent Nopal of fruit contains conta ins tthe he m ost cconcentrated oncentrated aamount mount of fruit most beta la ins found fo found in in nature. nature. As A s well well the the Nopal Nopa l betalains ruit has ha s bbeen een uused sed for ffoor centuries centuries by by Cactus ffr Cactus fruit cultures for fo for nutrition a ncient cultures nutrition and a nd well well - being. b e i n g. ancient It has ha s been ffeect been shown shown to to have have true true metabolic metabolic effect eff It serum glucose glucose levels levels and a nd balancing ba la ncing reducing serum reducing su g a r s . blood sugars. blood have inflammation, infla mmation, pain pa in or or suffer su ff ffeer from ffrrom a If you you have If condition you you will will want wa nt to to include include chronic condition chronic a ntioxida nts in in your your wellness wellness plan. pla n. Beta la in antioxidants Betalain properties The healing hea ling properties The Nopa l Cactus C ac t u s of the the Nopal of relied on on for fo for have been been relied have centuries by by ancient a ncient centuries cu ltures, and a nd they they are a re cultures, now available ava ilable in in Nopal Nopa l now Red Cactus Cactus juice juice by by Red Natura l Balance. Ba la nce. Each E ac h Natural 34 oz oz bbottle ottle of of Nopal Nopa l 34 Red Cactus Cactus Juice Juice Red bbrims rims with with the the health hea lth bbenefits enefits of of 100% 100% Pure P u re juice from fr from the the Fruit Fruit of of juice the Nopal Nopa l ccactus. ac t u s. the

Info call Natural Balance at 1.800.667.2011. Available at your local health store.

Healthy Directions February/March 2012 5

www.naturalbalanceproducts.ca


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HEART HEALTH A Naturopathic Approach to

Heart Health By Eric Muradov, ND Maintaining a healthy heart is one of the best ways to ensure fruitful, fun and satisfying years today and tomorrow. Promoting optimum heart health is greatly about reducing or eliminating as many of the modifiable heart disease risk factors as possible through diet and lifestyle changes. Adding supplements can also promote the wellbeing of your heart. Through a comprehensive natural approach, one can intelligently avert preventable heart related conditions. The central risk factors to address are: exercise, stress, blood pressure and cholesterol.

EXERCISE It’s no surprise that because the heart is a muscle, regular exercise can strengthen the heart so it works less to pump more. Accordingly, the Canadian Cardiovascular Society recommends 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise on most, if not all days of the week as a way to prevent cardiovascular disease, as well as reduce diabetes risk, blood pressure and to increase HDL “the good cholesterol.”. If you’re new to exercise, I often recommend 15 – 20 min of brisk walking as a great place for many of my patients to start. Check with your ND or MD to make sure you’re ready for vigorous exercise.

STRESS

CHOLESTEROL

Psychological stress is a major cardiovascular disease risk factor; so, do your best to reduce your day to day stress. Check out the “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” book series by Richard Carlson; it’s filled with great tips and tricks for beating stress. Also, adding in a daily vitamin b-complex and some vitamin C, can help reduce stress levels, as well as homocysteine levels in the blood (an independent heart disease risk factor).

In addition to exercise and weight loss, manipulating the diet is fundamental for maintaining healthy blood cholesterol levels. Therapeutic use of olive oil mildly lowers LDL “bad cholesterol” and triglycerides (fat in the blood) and increases the HDLcholesterol level. So try and get 2 tablespoons of raw extra virgin olive oil per day. Raw, unprocessed nuts and seeds should be eaten daily as the arginine content helps dilate blood vessels, while the unsaturated fat content can favourably alter cholesterol levels. Raw walnuts are particularly helpful; so, aim for 6 whole or 12 walnut halves minimum per day. Finally, fibre can be used to bind cholesterol in the bowel to ensure it will be pulled from the body. I’ve become recently keen on prescribing ground chia seed which has appreciable protein and omega-3 content in addition to its major fibre load. I ask patients to use 2 tablespoons of ground chia added to 2 cups of warm water in the morning before breakfast to ensure better bowel movements and lower cholesterol. And of course, restricting dietary cholesterol and saturated fat intake (particularly sources that have been cooked or processed and therefore oxidized) will certainly help prevent elevations in blood cholesterol and plaque formation. 

BLOOD PRESSURE When it comes to reducing blood pressure, weight loss and exercise are crucially important. I like to see patients from a dietary point of view add in a few “prescription foods” to reduce blood pressure. Onions and garlic are classic foods that are well known to aid the cardiovascular system through blood pressure reduction. Pure pomegranate juice has been clinically studied and has shown modest reductions in blood pressure with daily consumption, in addition to a few other heart related benefits due to its anti-oxidant functions. Daily consumption of celery in animal models reduces blood pressure and the human dose roughly translates to four to six ribs of celery per day.

6 Healthy Directions February/March 2012


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GENERAL DIETARY GUIDELINES Numerous population studies have demonstrated that a higher intake of dietary antioxidants reduces the risk of heart disease; so, it’s best to emphasize fruits and overemphasize vegetables on a daily basis to ensure a broad spectrum of nutrients. Also, everyone knows omega-3s are helpful for heart health. But how? It seems that fish oil’s constituents EPA and DHA have little effect on cholesterol levels but lower triglyceride levels, as well as reduce platelet stickiness, improve blood and oxygen supply to heart and exert a mild blood pressure lowering effect. Consume wild salmon, herring, sardines and mackerel at least a few times per week if not daily. Finally, consumption of 1 – 2 glasses of red wine per day can reduce heart disease risk because the alcohol itself at this dosage reduces blood pressure while the constituent resveratrol seems to stop the oxidation of cholesterol which is involved in the formation of plaques.

HEART HEALTHY SUPPLEMENTS Fish oil – in addition to the benefits mentioned above, taking fish oil supplements is associated with 32% reduction in death from cardiovascular causes even if you already have cardiovascular disease and 23% reduction in overall mortality. For these reasons (among others) I often recommend fish oil so that patients are getting about 2g of combined EPA and DHA where the content of EPA is a bit higher. Because fish oil can thin the blood, it’s best not to be combined with a blood thinner before consulting with your ND or MD. CoQ10 – this naturally occurring substance is involved in energy production around the body. In the context of heart health using CoQ10 can be twofold: firstly, it can help to reduce blood pressure (by about 11mm systolic and 7mm diastolic) increasing the elasticity of blood vessels at a dose of around 120mg per day. Secondly, CoQ10 can offset the “achiness” induced by some statin drugs. Pantethine – is a variation of the active form of vitamin B5. Multiple trials have confirmed that pantethine administration can greatly reduce total cholesterol, while raising HDL cholesterol within about 4 months. I love to use pantethine with my patients after we’ve done extensive dietary and lifestyle modifications and still need some assistance with cholesterol. There is some evidence that pantethine can thin the blood, so it’s best not to mix with blood thinning medications. Taking care of your heart involves a comprehensive diet and lifestyle approach that eliminates a broad spectrum of risk factors that impact the health of the circulatory system. Although not mentioned above, smoking cessation and diabetes control are also extremely important areas you may need to address with your healthcare provider. By considering stress, exercise, blood pressure, cholesterol, diet and potentially using cleverly chosen supplements, you can set yourself up for optimal cardiac health in the future. It’s been said that only time can mend a broken heart. However, natural medicine can prevent the heart from needing to be mended. Eric Muradov, ND is a licenced naturopathic doctor with a private practice in Edmonton. He runs a general medical practice and has a special interest in Multiple Sclerosis. He has been published and has lectured on Alternative Medicine and MS. Visit: www.drericmuradov.com or call 780 482 2788.


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WEALTH HEALTH

Ten Ways to Reduce Your Tax Bill

The holiday decorations are all packed away, the New Year's resolutions made, and spring is around the corner. Before you know it, tax season will be here. Before you start filing your taxes, here are 10 ways that may help you reduce your tax bill and may even land you a refund.

For Individuals

1. PLAN AHEAD

Make sure to gather your receipts and NETFILE code, register for My Account, and sign up for direct deposit before April 30. Submitting your income tax and benefit return before the tax-filing deadline means you can avoid having to pay late-filing penalties.

2. TAX-FREE SAVINGS ACCOUNT

A tax-free savings account (TFSA) is one great way to save money, since you don't pay tax on any income you earn from investments in your TFSA.

3. REGISTERED RETIREMENT SAVINGS PLAN

Any income you earn in a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) is exempt from tax, as long as the funds stay in the plan. RRSPs help you save for your retirement and get a break at tax time too. 10 Healthy Directions February/March 2012

4. PUBLIC TRANSIT TAX CREDIT

If you or someone in your family is a regular user of public transit then you may be able to claim a non-refundable tax credit based on the cost of eligible transit passes.

5. PENSION INCOME SPLITTING

If you are receiving income from a pension, you can split up to 50% of eligible pension income with your spouse or common-law partner to reduce the taxes you pay.

6. STUDENTS

Are you still in school? Students can claim the tuition, education, and textbook amounts. Have you graduated recently? You may be eligible to claim the interest you paid on your student loans.

7. CHILD CARE EXPENSES

For those who have children, you may be able to claim child care expenses that you or your spouse or common-law partner paid so that either of you could work, do research, or go to school.

8. HOME BUYER'S TAX CREDIT

If you're a first-time home buyer you may be eligible to claim $5000 on the purchase of your new home, which can save you up to $750.


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For the Self-Employed

9. HIRING AN APPRENTICE

Did your business employ an apprentice? A salary paid to an employee registered in a prescribed trade in the first two years of his or her apprenticeship contract qualifies for a non-refundable tax credit for the employer.

10. CREATING CHILD CARE SPACES

Did your business (which is not mainly a child care services business) create licensed child care spaces for the children of your employees? If so, you may be eligible for an investment tax credit for the child care spaces you created. More tips on how best to prepare your 2011 income tax and benefit return can be found online at www.cra.gc.ca/getready. www.newscanada.com

Saving in Retirement You've put in your fair share of time at work and now you can enjoy the fruits of your labour in retirement. Perhaps you've decided to keep working for a bit longer so that you can afford your retirement dreams. Whether you're receiving income from a pension or you're still working, there are several ways you can stretch your dollar both during tax season and throughout the entire year. Here's a small sampling: Many promotions have been designed specifically for seniors. Special discounts are available at restaurants, stores and businesses, even if only on a weekly or monthly basis. You may be able to split your eligible pension income with your spouse or common-law partner, allocating up to 50% of your pension to him or her. For those of you who have decided to keep working, keep in mind that there have been changes made to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). For those 65 or younger you must make CPP contributions; after 65 you can elect to stop contributing. If you do not make this election, contributions will be continued to the age of 70. More information on this topic is available online at www.cra.gc.ca/seniors. www.newscanada.com


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WALNUT & CHICKEN DELIGHTS FOOD PASSIONS

BLUEBERRY, WATERMELON AND WALNUT SALAD WITH CHICKEN INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

1 cup California walnuts, chopped Vinaigrette: 1/4 cup lime juice 1/4 cup olive oil 2 tbsp honey 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp ground black pepper Salad: 2 cups seedless watermelon, cubed 1 cup fresh blueberries 1 large yellow bell pepper, cut in bite-size pieces 6 cups mixed baby greens 4 4 oz (125 g) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, grilled or sautéed until cooked through

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). On a baking sheet, spread walnuts in one layer. Bake until just toasted and aromatic, about 8 minutes. Remove and let cool. Vinaigrette: in a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, oil, honey, salt and pepper. Salad: in a medium size bowl, combine watermelon, blueberries, walnuts and bell pepper. Add half of the vinaigrette; toss to coat. In a large bowl, toss greens with remaining vinaigrette. Divide greens among four plates, and top with fruit and walnut mixture. Slice each chicken breast diagonally and serve with the salad. Makes 4 servings. Tip: make a double recipe of the vinaigrette, and use half of it for marinating the chicken before grilling. Discard any vinaigrette used for marinating. Source: walnutinfo.com

12 Healthy Directions February/March 2012


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Go Nuts for Nuts!

By Laura Stix, ND What if you knew that those delectable nuts – that you have been trying to avoid since the over-indulgent seasonal festivities – are a super food not to be feared? While you still won’t live forever crunching away on nutty goodness, research shows they do offer various health benefits that help to promote longevity. Nut consumption is related to a decreased incidence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some forms of cancer. They have a stunning nutrient profile: rich in sources of healthy unsaturated fats in addition to several non-fat constituents such as plant protein, fiber, vitamins (eg: niacin, vitamin E), minerals (eg: copper, magnesium, manganese, calcium), plant sterols (AKA “cholesterol lowering constituents”) and phytochemicals. But, nuts are energy-dense, high-fat foods and, typically, the consumption of high calorie food is associated with weight gain and obesity. So it seems logical that nut consumption should equate to a larger waistline. Not so! Even researchers were surprised to observe that this calorically dense food does not add inches to the waistline as would be expected. In fact, nut consumers tend to be leaner than those who do not regularly consume nuts. Various trials involving nut consumption reveal that daily nut intake results in either: weight loss, no weight gain, or (rarely) less weight gain than predicted from the additional energy intake. Why? A few reasons: the high protein and fiber content in nuts, combined with the hormones released due to the crunchy chewing, stimulates a sense of fullness which may result in eating less calories from other foods; studies also suggest that nut consumption may boost metabolism and thereby increase energy loss. What else should make you nutty for nuts? Their wonderful nutrients can decrease inflammation in the body, increase antioxidants in the blood (gram for gram, many nuts are on par with broccoli and tomatoes!), prevent atherosclerosis, decrease total cholesterol, decrease “bad” cholesterol, and reduce the rise in blood sugar after eating carbohydrates. What’s not to love? Laura Stix, BSc(Hons), CCHt, ND practices family medicine in Guelph and Waterloo, Ontario. As a Certified FirstLine Therapy Practitioner and Clinical Hypnotherapist she develops personalized lifestyle medicine programs, addressing body and mind wellness. Visit www.doctorstix.ca. Want to quit smoking? Visit www.ready2quit.ca

WALNUT-BLUEBERRY OATMEAL ENERGY BITES INGREDIENTS 1 cup 1 cup 1 cup 1/2 cup 1/3 cup 1 tsp 1/8 tsp 1/4 tsp 1/2 cup 1/4 cup 3 tbsp 2 tbsp 1 tsp 2 tbsp

California walnuts pieces, toasted whole-wheat pastry flour uncooked oatmeal, regular or quick-cooking unsweetened shredded coconut maple sugar ground cinnamon ground cardamom salt TOASTING WALNUTS dried blueberries Baking: Preheat oven to maple syrup 350°F. Arrange walnuts on a olive oil cookie sheet in a single layer. butter Bake 8 to 10 minutes, checking baking soda frequently. boiling water

DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper, set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine walnuts, flour, oatmeal, coconut, maple sugar, cinnamon, cardamom and salt. Stir with a fork or whisk until completely mixed. Add blueberries and stir to combine. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the maple syrup, olive oil and butter. Stir until the butter melts. In a small bowl, add baking soda to the boiling water and stir to dissolve. Add to the syrup mixture and stir to blend; it will become very bubbly. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir vigorously to combine. Using a tablespoon and your hands, scoop pieces of dough and press them into walnut-sized balls. On the prepared cookie sheets, place dough about 2 inches apart (5 cm). With your fingers or the palm of your hand, flatten each ball slightly into a puck shape. Bake 10 - 12 minutes, until the cookies have spread slightly and are golden brown around the edges. Cool 5 minutes on the pan, then transfer cookies to a rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container. Makes 24 cookies. Source: walnutinfo.com Healthy Directions February/March 2012 13


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HEART WARMING SOUPS AND CASSEROLES

Mushroom & Artichoke Lasagna I love the unusual combination of flavours in this lasagna, which reminds me of a Provençal gratin. Requirements: one large (minimum 5 quart) oval slow cooker, greased.

INGREDIENTS 2 tbsp butter 1 onion, finely chopped 1 lb mushrooms, trimmed and sliced 4 cloves garlic, minced 31⁄2 cups quartered artichoke hearts, packed in water, drained, or thawed if frozen 3⁄4 cup dry white wine or vegetable broth 12 oven-ready lasagna noodles 21⁄2 cups ricotta cheese 2 cups baby spinach 21⁄2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese 1⁄2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese Extra virgin olive oil, optional

DIRECTIONS In a skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and garlic and cook, stirring, until mushrooms begin to release their liquid. Stir in artichokes and wine and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring, until liquid reduces slightly, for 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside. Cover bottom of slow cooker stoneware with 4 noodles, breaking to fit where necessary. Spread with half of the ricotta, half of the mushroom mixture, half of the spinach, one-third each of the mozzarella and Parmesan. Repeat. Arrange final layer of noodles over cheeses. Pour any liquid remaining from mushroom mixture over noodles. If top still seems dry, sprinkle with a little vegetable broth or water. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours or on High for 3 hours, until hot and bubbly. Unlike many recipes for lasagna, this one is not terribly saucy. As a result, the noodles on the top layer tend to dry out. Leave a small amount of the cooking liquid from the mushroom mixture behind in the pan, after adding to the slow cooker. Pour that over the top layer of noodles, particularly around the edges, where they are most likely to dry out. If it still seems dry, drizzle with a little olive oil.

Slow Cook and Savour! Excerpted from The 150 Best Slow Cooker Recipes, Second Edition by Judith Finlayson © 2011 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. 14 Healthy Directions February/March 2012


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The Health Benefits of

Organic Meat

Organically Grown, Close to Home “Quite simply, Yorkshire Valley Farms chickens look better at the grocers and tastes better on your plate. That speaks directly to the care taken at the farm.”

By Jodi Koberinski, Executive Director, Organic Council of Ontario

Taw k Shehata, Chef, Locavore & Organic Advocate Chicken Harira Recipe by Tawfik Shehata, Chef, Locavore & Organic Advocate 2 whole

The top three reasons people choose organic are environment, taste, and health. Organic livestock products are fundamentally different from their “mainstream” counterparts in significant ways. The same care and attention that go into raising your organic vegetables are given to grains and pastures that feed organic chicken, cattle, pigs, and other livestock. Soil is made healthy using organic fertility methods, and no synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides are permitted in organic feed production. Mainstream livestock feed contains GMOs, could contain pesticide and herbicide residue, and can also contain waste from other livestock streams. For example the “litter” or waste from the chicken barn floor is worked into cattle feed. We protect more land and water resources when we choose organic livestock products. It takes 2- 4 acres per year to feed one dairy cow. Organically-raised animals must also have outdoor access, weather permitting, and have access to sunlight and fresh air year round. Organic producers take extra steps to protect animal health and ultimately consumer health. No antibiotic use is permitted in organic products. Antibiotics are used in mainstream agriculture to lower costs of production and speed growth. The administration of antibiotics for growth is partially responsible for the low meat prices reflected today in North America – but this comes at a cost. According to the OMAFRA website, “non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in agriculture leads to the development of antibiotic resistance... Antibiotic resistance limits treatment options, delays recovery and costs more. (World Health Organization, 2003).” Choosing organic chicken is a great way to say “NO” to antibiotic overuse. Scientists report that hormone residues found in meat can disrupt the consumer's hormone balance, cause developmental problems, interfere with the reproductive system, and even lead to the development of cancer. Children and pregnant women are most susceptible to these negative health effects. Healthy soils, healthy feed, healthy animals lead to healthful food products. It just makes sense!

1 stick 2 tsp 2 tsp 2 medium 2 medium 4 ribs 6 cloves 1 pinch 1½ piece 4 Tbsp 2 cans (28oz) ¾ cup 3 eggs ¼ bunch 12 sprigs 12 pieces

Yorkshire Valley Farms chickens, each cut into 8 (2 legs, 2 thighs, breasts cut in half with wings still attached) cinnamon plus 2 tsps ground ground turmeric sweet paprika vegetable oil as needed cooking onions, diced carrots, peeled and diced celery, diced garlic, chopped saffron threads, if available fresh ginger, peeled and grated tomato paste organic diced tomatoes dried chick peas, soaked overnight, cooked in fresh salted water and drained beaten with juice from ½ of a large lemon, plus extra lemon wedges to serve fresh parsley, leaves picked and chopped fresh cilantro, leaves picked and chopped kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste medjool dates

Method: UÊ >Àˆ˜>ÌiÊ̅iÊV…ˆVŽi˜ÊœÛiÀ˜ˆ}…Ìʈ˜Ê̅iÊ}ÀœÕ˜`ÊVˆ˜˜>“œ˜]ÊÌÕÀ“iÀˆV]ÊÃÜiiÌÊ paprika, and a few pinches of black pepper. Do not add salt to the marinade as this will cause the chicken to dry out. UÊ i>ÌÊܓiÊÛi}iÌ>LiʜˆÊˆ˜Ê>Ê«œÌÊ܈̅Ê>ʏˆ`Ê̅>ÌÊ܈Êi>ȏÞÊwÊÌÊ>Ê̅iÊV…ˆVŽi˜Ê>˜`Ê the other ingredients. UÊ -i>ܘÊ̅iÊV…ˆVŽi˜Ê܈̅ÊܓiÊÃ>Ì°Ê7…i˜ÊœˆÊˆÃÊӜŽˆ˜}Ê>``Ê̅iÊV…ˆVŽi˜Ê>˜`Ê sear until a deep golden brown, this may have to be done in batches. Remove chicken and set aside. UÊ -Üi>Ìʜ˜ˆœ˜Ã]ÊV>ÀÀœÌÃ]ÊViiÀÞÊ>˜`Ê}>ÀˆVʈ˜Ê̅iÊÃ>“iʜˆÊ՘̈ÊÜvÌi˜i`Ê>˜`Ê slightly coloured, about 15 minutes. UÊ ``ÊÃ>vvÀœ˜]ÊvÀiÅÊ}ˆ˜}iÀÊ>˜`Ê̜“>̜ʫ>ÃÌi]ÊÃ̈ÀÊ̜ÊVœ“Lˆ˜i°Ê UÊ ``ÊV>˜˜i`Ê̜“>̜iÃ]ÊVˆ˜˜>“œ˜ÊÃ̈VŽ]ÊVœœŽi`ÊV…ˆVŽÊ«i>ÃÊ>˜`ÊÃi>Ài`Ê chicken. Turn heat up to medium-high. Bring up to a gentle boil, add a generous pinch of salt, stir, cover and transfer to 350°F preheated oven for 1 hour. UÊ ivœÀiÊÃiÀۈ˜}]ÊÀi“œÛiÊV…ˆVŽi˜Ê>˜`ʎii«ÊÜ>À“°Ê,i“œÛiÊVˆ˜˜>“œ˜ÊÃ̈VŽÊ and discard. UÊ *>ViÊ̅iÊ«œÌʜ˜Ê̅iÊÃ̜ÛiÊ>˜`ÊLÀˆ˜}ÊÃ>ÕViÊ̜Ê>Êȓ“iÀ]Ê`Àˆââiʈ˜Êi}}Ê>˜`Ê i“œ˜Ê“ˆÝÌÕÀiÊ>˜`ÊÃ̈ÀÊ܈̅Ê>Êܜœ`i˜Ê뜜˜°Ê>ŽiÊÃÕÀiÊޜÕÊÃ̈Àʈ˜Êœ˜iÊ direction at a consistent rate so the eggs form long strands. UÊ ``ÊV…œ««i`ÊvÀiÅʫ>ÀÏiÞÊ>˜`ÊVˆ>˜ÌÀœ°Ê`ÕÃÌÊÃi>ܘˆ˜}Ê>˜`ÊÃiÀÛiÊÜˆÌ…Ê dates and lemon wedges on the side. Serves 6 (with leftovers) AVAILABLE AT:

yorkshirevalley.com


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HEART WARMING SOUPS AND CASSEROLES PUMPKIN SOUP WITH SHRIMP & LIME Large (approx. 5 quart) slow cooker Blender or food processor

INGREDIENTS 3 leeks, white part only, cleaned and coarsely chopped 1 tbsp oil 6 cups peeled pumpkin, cut into 2-inch cubes Excerpted from “The 150 Best 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth Slow Cooker 1 tsp salt Recipes, Second Freshly ground black pepper Edition” by Zest and juice of 1 lime Judith Finlayson Pinch cayenne pepper © 2011 Robert Rose Inc. 1 cup heavy or whipping (35%) cream www.robertrose.c 8 oz cooked salad shrimp a Reprinted with 6 to 8 cherry tomatoes, halved permission. All 2 tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds, optional rights reserved. Finely chopped chives or cilantro leaves Extra virgin olive oil, optional

DIRECTIONS In slow cooker stoneware, combine leeks and oil. Stir well. Cover and cook on High for 1 hour, until leeks are softened. Add pumpkin, broth, salt, and black pepper to taste. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours or on High for 3 hours, until pumpkin is tender. Transfer to a blender or food processor fitted with metal blade, in batches, or use an immersion blender, and purée. If serving hot, return soup to slow cooker, add lime zest and juice, cayenne, cream and shrimp and cook on High for 20 minutes, until shrimp are heated through. If serving cold, combine ingredients in a large bowl and chill thoroughly. When ready to serve, ladle soup into individual bowls and garnish with cherry tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, if using, and chives or cilantro.

QUINOA STUFFED PEPPERS STUFFING

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C) 10-cup (2.5 L) covered casserole dish

INGREDIENTS 1 large orange bell pepper 1 large yellow bell pepper 1 tomato, sliced into four thick slices 1/4 cup dry white wine 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

8 oz extra-lean ground beef, turkey or chicken 1/2 small onion, chopped 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped 1 cup sliced mushrooms 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme 1 tomato, chopped 1 small zucchini, chopped 1 cup cooked quinoa 1/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Excerpted from “The Best Gluten-Free Family Cookbook” by Donna Washburn & Heather Butt © 2005 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. 16 Healthy Directions February/March 2012

DIRECTIONS Cut orange and yellow peppers in half lengthwise and remove core and seeds. Trim a thin slice off the bottom of each to allow them to lie flat. In the casserole dish, microwave peppers, covered, on high for 3 minutes, or until tender-crisp. Let cool to room temperature, covered. Drain and pat dry. Prepare he stuffing. In a large skillet, over medium heat, brown ground beef until no pink remains. Add onion, red pepper, mushrooms, rosemary and thyme; cook, stirring, until onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Add chopped tomato and zucchini and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Stir in quinoa, salt and pepper. In the casserole dish, arrange tomato slices and add wine. Set each pepper half, cut side up, on a tomato slice. Fill each pepper half with the beef mixture, mounding the stuffing. Cover and bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until bell peppers are fork-tender. Uncover, top with Swiss cheese and bake, uncovered, for 5 minutes more, or until cheese is melted.

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TRAVEL & EXPLORE

Costa Rica By Timothy Chan Costa Rica is the perfect backdrop for an eco-adventure. Regardless of ability, preference or budget, the region offers something for all types of travellers. It has fantastic tourism infrastructure, ideal for both novice and experienced globetrotters. For the adrenaline junkies, there are countless activities including waterfall rappeling, horseback riding, canyon trekking, river rafting, mountain biking, ziplining, diving, snorkelling and surfing. For the foodies, Costa Rica serves delicious coffee, a multitude of fresh fruit and tasty seafood. Those in search of serenity and relaxation can snuggle up with a book on one of many beautiful beaches. Costa Rica is also recognized for its rainforest and exotic and colourful wildlife. It hosts approximately 850 species of birds, more than 220 species of reptiles and 160 types of amphibians. Among the most popular are monkeys, frogs, turtles, sloths, whales and dolphins.

18 Healthy Directions February/March 2012

As one of the world’s most infamous eco-tourism destinations, Costa Rica provides travellers with a wide variety of environmentally friendly activities. Whether you’re an animal lover, tree hugger, nature enthusiast or have a green thumb, there’s no shortage of Earth-friendly activities.

COSTA RICA QUEST This action-packed nine-day tour of Costa Rica's highlights is perfect for the adventurer who wants to explore the region's diversity. Travellers get their adrenaline pumping with a variety of optional activities including rafting, waterfall-rappeling, horseback riding, biking and ziplining. Follow a trail to the base of a waterfall, melt away in thermal springs of Arenal Volcano, search for the elusive quetzal bird in the cloud forest, or bliss out on a beach. G Adventures' CEOs (Chief Experience Officer) will help travellers find the secluded spots only the locals know. For more information please contact Timothy Chan at G Adventures: 416-260-0999 x 1353; timc@gadventures.com or visit: www.gadventures.com


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Healthy Directions February/March 2012 19


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PET PERKS

Preventing Joint Disease in Your Dog

By Franco Cavaleri, BSc, Nutritional Biochemist Health is a choice; it depends on all the little choices we make daily. Diet, nutrition, activity level, breeding or genetics and emotional state all play significant roles in your dog’s health. Every choice you make effects these influences in small or big ways. No matter how small these influences may be they can add up in multiples to a significant positive or negative result. The control you have over your companion pet’s health starts from the time you decide on a breed that suits your lifestyle to the food and live nutritional supplements fed daily. A breed that does not fit into your life simply makes for a dog with underlying anxiety and lack of emotional and physical fulfillment. This sets the stage for disease as much as lack of quality nutrition can. Some cases of disease are purely genetic but even most of these can be mitigated in part or in full with proper nutrition and healthy lifestyle and this includes joint disease. Most of us surrender to the misconception that there’s little we can do about treating joint disease and intercepting hip dysplasia. However, nutritional and nutraceutical research has advanced so far today that nutrient-based treatments can offer therapeutic and preventive results that are as powerful, and in many cases, more effective than drug. It’s logical that a large breed like a Great Dane will be more vulnerable to hip and joint degeneration than a Chihuahua might be. However, we can use key nutrient-based compounds that are scientifically documented to activate collagen production and keep it active in the hip and other joints of that Great Dane. You can play an active role that reduces the rate of wear and damage that could otherwise progress prematurely. 20 Healthy Directions February/March 2012

SUPPLYING THE RIGHT FORM OF CHONDROITIN Supplying the right form of chondroitin, for example, earlier in life rather than later, prompts the chondrocytes in the joint tissues to stay ‘ON’ and work at full potential. These chondrocytes are the worker cells of the cartilage tissue building collagen as it wears to keep joints youthful and functioning. Oxidation and nitric oxide elevation can interfere with the ability for these cells to utilize glucosamine to rebuild worn joint tissue. If these chondrocytes shut down, no amount of supplemental glucosamine will be converted into collagen. Even small degrees of inactivity can amount to joint recovery rates one step behind the daily pace. Crude chondroitin cannot keep these cells in the ‘ON’ position; but supplementation with lower molecular weight chondroitin can. Antioxidant supplements like grape seed extract can join to add to the effects of this chondroitin protecting and preserving these worker cells; so, cartilage is maintained even in advanced age. In their functional state, these chondrocytes repair daily keeping up with your pet’s life pace.

GENETIC POTENTIAL We all have built in genetic potential for disease just like our pets do. We all also have codes that are designed to maintain health and vigor. The way these genes are expressed or biologically interpreted depends on the chemistry they are bathed in. The foods we eat, the antioxidants we supplement, the lifestyles we engage in, the toxins we allow into our life and the stress we are influenced by all manipulate this chemistry in each of the cells.


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Supplement the Love ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS Today we are exposed to more environmental pollution and oxidation than ever before. In order to allow our cells and those of our companion animals to function according to natural design we have to meet this incremental oxidation with a higher antioxidant level. Fortunately our cells and those of our companion’s have the capacity to manufacture endogenous antioxidants but these internally produced antioxidants are not enough to meet the unnaturally elevated environmental assault. In addition, as we and our companion animal’s age, this internal antioxidant production declines to make oral supplementation even more valuable for seniors. If we remain complacent doing nothing about these internal changes and external forces, inflammation simply increases unchallenged with age. In this vulnerable state joints break down prematurely, those worker cells of the joints - the chondrocytesslow down, energy is compromised, mobility is restricted and the mind is blanketed by a cloud. Age and the aged state of mind and body are not about a number or time. Age is a state of health that is independent of time. A supplement formulation that includes the right type, quantity and proportion of the extracts of boswellia serrata and grapeseed, vitamin C, low molecular weight chondroitin, glucosamine, and MSM can help regulate inflammation and maintain the chondrocyte in the ON position. Add a properly formulated Omega-3 supplement to the daily intake and this inflammatory regulation is further enhanced to improve again on that biological age. Prevention is the best cure; your dogs’ health is in your hands. Franco Cavaleri, BSc NB Nutraceutical Biochemist, is a graduate of UBC, who majored in Nutritional Science and Biochemistry. He has been the recipient of several awards Canadian Health Industry including nine formulation awards and is a bestseller author of a book derived from his thesis: POTENTIAL WITHIN–A Guide to Nutritional Empowerment. Franco is also the author of; YOUR DOGS HEALTH which provides detailed scientific references for the science and dietary choices discussed in this article. www.biologicnr.com

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Avoid the Ups and Downs

Find Blood Sugar Balance

By Sandrine Briatte, B.Sc. We are constantly reminded not to indulge in the sweetness of sugar (carbohydrate), less we end up overweight or having problems with diabetes in the long run. Unfortunately, we often forget that sugar plays an essential role: it's our vital fuel. Its regulation in the bloodstream feeds all our cells with a constant energy supply. So, we can’t just put it aside. But which carbohydrates should we focus on?

THE HUMAN BODY: A REMARKABLE MACHINE The energy that fuels our cells is created from the food we eat by means of biochemical and mechanical processes. During the digestive process, enzymes attack and break down food into more simple elements that are easier to assimilate: amylase (an enzyme found in saliva and the pancreatic juice) breaks down large sugar chains, like starch; glucosidase (an intestinal enzyme) comes into play in the last stage of carbohydrate transformation, which finally allows our body to use the glucose as an energy source. Other processes then take care of regulating its intake by cells: insulin and glucagon (hormones produced by the pancreas) will thus come to modulate glycemia (blood sugar levels). In general, blood sugar levels vary very little for healthy people during a single day. Following a balanced meal, there is a slight variation that may last for 2 hours. But following a heavy meal, this variation spikes and drops a lot more. Have you ever experienced an energy drop or felt like dozing away after a heavy meal? You might have thought it was your digestion going slowly. That was not the case. In truth, that was you blood sugar playing tricks on you. 22 Healthy Directions February/March 2012

FOODS AND THEIR GLYCEMIC INDEX The Glycemic Index of food (GI) represents its impact on blood sugar levels. Food is rated on a 0 to 100 scale according to how fast it increases glucose in blood. Foods with a high GI are quickly transformed and can increase blood sugar levels fast. On the other hand, low GI food is digested more slowly, allowing consistent blood sugar levels. This limits cravings and favours healthy intellectual and physical activity. Here’s a helpful point to remember. Food with a high GI will have it lowered if associated with lower GI food. For example, a slice of white bread with a GI of 100 associated with peanut butter, having a GI of 40, will end up with a GI of 70.

LOW GI (55 or less)

Oat bran bread, al dente pastas, chickpeas, lentils, white beans, green vegetables, unsweetened corn, green peas, oat flakes, muesli with no added sugar, grain bead, milk and yogurt, raisins, dry apricots, dark chocolate, raw carrots

AVERAGE GI (56 to 69)

Boiled potatoes, oat, pop corn, brown rice, basmati rice, semolina, crescent rolls, bananas, honey

HIGH GI (70 or more)

Mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, French fries, short-grain rice, corn flakes, crackers, rice cake, baguette, white bread, white bagels, cooked carrots, soft drinks


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HOW DO YOU GET DIABETES? There are mainly two types of diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the insulin producing cells of the pancreas are destroyed. It is mostly known to appear at youth and is not related to eating habits. Type 2 diabetes has nothing to do with insulin shortage, but the inability to deal with glucose appropriately. It is more pernicious and often appears with age. During our lives, there can be some food imbalances. Following a meal high on carbohydrates or fat, the body has to break down a lot of food with high glycemic index, which releases too much glucose in the bloodstream. The pancreas then produces insulin that holds onto its cell receptors and lets glucose go into the cells. This stabilizes blood sugar levels. The more often these food imbalances occur, the more badly the body reacts to all this rough treatment. The pancreas continues producing insulin to manage the blood sugar levels, but it doesn’t act as well as it used to on its receptors: this leads to insulin resistance. Despite the insulin, glucose does not flow into cells as much and starts building up in the bloodstream (hyperglycemia). The body then tries to compensate by producing more insulin… for nothing. After a while, pancreatic cells wear out and glucose intolerance sets in. This results is type 2 diabetes.

FRESH AND RAW FOODS, VEGETABLES, ACIDIC FOODS AND FIBRE How do you favour the right carbohydrates? There are several points to consider, but simply keeping some of them in mind will improve your quality of life. The more food is cooked or processed, the higher their GI becomes. Pastas are a good example: at Al dente, carbohydrates break down slowly and are to be favoured. Overcook them and their GI increases dramatically. Vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals and dietary fibres. It is recommended to pick those of bright colours (sweet peppers, carrots...). The GI for vegetables is usually low, with a few exceptions, like potatoes and cooked carrots. Best choices: green beans have lots of carbohydrates that are both complex and slow (GI 30); a cup of Brussels sprouts has over 4 g of fibre and a fair quantity of thioctic acid, a powerful sulfurated antioxidant capable of lowering blood sugar levels; raw onions have allyl propyl disulfide, a compound which can increase available free insulin. Acidic food, especially vinegars (as well as some fruits like grapefruit and lemon), help prevent blood sugar levels from rising up too fast. Taken a few minutes before meals, studies show that it can lower blood sugar levels by 30%. Eating a grapefruit at the beginning of a meal seems to have the same effect. Furthermore, adding acidic ingredients to food, like vinaigrette, tends to lower its GI. For example, potatoes (high GI) can become healthier if served cold, in a salad, with salad dressing. Fibres are already well known for helping the bowels work properly, but they also help bringing blood sugar to normal levels: they delay, if not reduce, the absorption of carbohydrates without provoking hypoglycemia. Soluble fibre supplements (flaxseed, oat seed, fenugreek, psyllium…) on their part reduce the increase in blood sugar levels after a meal.

DIABETES FIGHTING FOODS AND SUPPLEMENTS Some plants also do wonders: ginseng root lowers blood sugar levels, especially after meals; green tea, rich in catechin, improves insulin sensitivity and reduces risks of diabetes; alfalfa is also traditionally used to prevent hyperglycemia. Amongst nutritional supplements, some are worth mentioning. Recent studies have put forward algae, like brown algae extracts, because of their impact on carbohydrate assimilation as beneficial. Some of them are even capable of modulating blood sugar levels by inhibiting the enzyme activity responsible for digesting carbohydrates. In short, they eliminate excess sugar naturally without letting it enter the bloodstream. A real winning supplement if you think about regulating your blood sugar levels while providing a feeling of fullness. Biotin plays an important part in carbohydrate metabolism and is known for its hypoglycemic effect. Some trace elements have positive effects on sugar assimilation: chromium increases the number of receptors for insulin and potentiates its action; manganese modulates the action of insulin; zinc acts on the synthesis and delivery of insulin and improves the insulin sensitivity of cells; as for magnesium, its hypoglycemic effect cannot be ignored. Sandrine Briatte, B.Sc. Biochemistry, M.Sc. Biology, is a scientific director in research and development of natural health products. She currently works at Virage Santé in Quebec and offers her expertise by providing training for customers. For more information: www.viragesante.com or call 1-800-463-0944


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NATURAL BEAUTY

Three Steps to

Effortless Weight Loss Discover CLA, Green Tea and Chirositol By Lorna Vanderhaeghe, MS If weight loss were as simple as reducing calories and running the treadmill we would all be thin. There are many factors contributing to our expanding waist line and that is why diets generally don’t work. Most dieters gain all the weight they have lost and more within 60 days of stopping the diet. Weight loss can be effortless when we make small diet adjustments and add a few nutritional supplements that work fast.

(like a piece of cheese). Get a large ziplock freezer bag and fill it every morning with sugar snap peas, broccoli, celery sticks, carrots and more. Eat vegetables throughout the day – your blood sugar will be balanced and you will never feel hungry. Drink water flavored with ginger or fresh lemon. Drink herbal teas throughout the day. Add two clinically researched nutritional supplements to super charge weight loss and bust belly fat.

FOOD THAT FIGHTS FAT

CLA WITH GREEN TEA EXTRACT

Eat protein at every meal and eat only protein for breakfast - an egg, a chicken breast, a protein shake, protein powder in yogurt for example. To make it simple the piece of protein should be the size of your palm. Stop eating all white foods – white bread, white pasta, white sugar, white flour, white potatoes. If you have a doughy belly then stop eating all grains too. Women lose weight fast when they eliminate grains from their diet – sometimes several pounds a week. Grains are starches that convert into sugars. Don’t drink fruit juice. You would never sit down and eat 8 apples at a time but when you drink a glass of apple juice you drink the sugar and water of 8 apples without the fiber. Fruit juice disrupts blood sugar. Eat dark green vegetables at lunch and dinner with a palm sized piece of protein. Eat a snack in between and make sure it is protein

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a fatty acid supplement that literally melts fat. In a 90-day, double-blind, randomized, placebocontrolled study published in 2000 in the Journal of Nutrition, CLA users experienced fat loss with an average weight reduction of seven pounds and an increase in lean muscle. There was a 20 percent decrease in body fat. CLA also stops fat from coming back once dieting stops. Incredibly, CLA has also been found to help with weight loss even if people don't change the food they eat. In June 2009, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported on 45 postmenopausal women who were obese and who had type-2 diabetes. They took 8,000 mg of CLA per day with food for 16 weeks. The women were told not to diet or exercise any differently during the trial. The researchers found that CLA significantly reduced the women's body mass index (BMI) and resulted in a fourpound weight loss.

24 Healthy Directions February/March 2012


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GREEN TEA ENHANCES FAT LOSS One study revealed that participants who took green tea extract capsules daily increased their fat burning without accelerating their heart rate. The capsules safely melted fat away. A 2010 study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition involved 35 obese subjects with metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is the name for a group of factors that increase risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes; these factors include a large waistline, low "good" HDL cholesterol, as well as high blood pressure, high triglycerides (blood fats) and high blood sugar levels. At the end of eight weeks, the green tea group experienced significant decreases in body weight compared to the control group. Do not use de-caffeinated green tea as it is the caffeine along with the other constituents of the green tea that effectively enhances fat-burning, thus improving fat loss. Look for a supplement with the combination of CLA and green tea extract. Both are approved by Health Canada for weight loss.

TAKE CLA ALONG WITH CHIROSITOL Belly fat is a stubborn problem. No end of sit-ups and crunches make it disappear. We know there is a connection between our expanding waistlines and our hormones. The main hormone contributing to belly fat is insulin. Insulin is a powerful hormone that, when in excess, also causes an elevation in circulating male hormones in women, causing male facial hair growth and acne too. In men, elevated insulin results in a beer belly and breasts. Elevated insulin promotes weight gain, high cholesterol, diabetes and excess belly fat. Skin tags are an early sign of prediabetes. Thankfully, busting belly fat and normalizing insulin just got easier. The nutrient chirositol (pronounced "kur-au-sitol"), researched in over 30 studies at the Virginia Medical School, works for prediabetes and Type-2 diabetes. Chirositol has also been shown to reduce appetite and improve our happy hormone serotonin, which halts sugar cravings and controls appetite. But where chirositol really shines is in fighting belly fat in both men and women. Combine the fat burning diet, CLA and green tea extract along with chirositol and weight loss will be effortless. Lorna Vanderhaeghe, MS, is Canada's leading women's health expert. With Degrees in nutrition and biochemistry, she is the author of 11 books including, “A Smart Woman’s Guide to Weight Loss.” Visit: www.hormonehelp.com

Healthy Directions February/March 2012 25


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The Missing Link for Health and Wellness

Enzyme Deficiency By Jerry Zeifman My so called initiation into the world of natural health began a little over 20 years ago when I went from doctor to doctor complaining of digestive distress every time I ate. Something as simple as eating turned out to be a dreaded and sometimes torturous event. After many appointments I ended up at a live cell microscopist and left with a bottle of digestive enzymes. Much to my disbelief within the first few meals the pain was gone! I simply could not believe that a chronic issue that had been plaguing me for years disappeared with a few digestive enzymes. Most people don’t consider enzymes. There is no question that probiotics, essential fatty acids, herbs, mushrooms and green superfoods all play an important role in the wellness puzzle, but what if many of the issues bothering people today were caused by chronic enzyme deficiency in the body? Something as simple as an enzyme imbalance in the body may be the cause of certain disease states. Consider this quotation, “By 1982 some 1,400 diseases, each due to a defect in a single gene had been described in medical literature . . . For most of the diseases, the biochemical basis is still unknown. For approximately 200 of them, the disease is known to be due to a deficiency or malnutrition of a single enzyme.” These are the words of Arthur Kornberg from his book For the Love of Enzymes. He was the winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1959. Most people don’t realize enzyme therapy can help for issues such as acid reflux, candida, inflammation, blood sugar issues and allergies to name a few. Enzymes are often referred to as the “sparks of life.” They are a class of proteins that act as catalysts for all chemical reactions in the body. Without them we simply could not function. There are thousands of known enzymes and hundreds more that have not yet been discovered. Digestive enzymes are created by the body in order to break down the food we eat into smaller units in order to ensure optimal nutrient assimilation and utilization, while metabolic enzymes oversee thousands of biochemical reactions in the body from energy production to detoxification. All cells in the body produce metabolic enzymes for almost every function in the body. Both digestive and metabolic enzymes are fundamental for health.

26 Healthy Directions February/March 2012

I often hear people say that they do not need digestive enzymes. The truth of the matter is that most people are deficient in digestive enzymes and start borrowing from their metabolic stores. As we age our ability to produce digestive enzymes in the pancreas, stomach and small intestine decreases. Foods are not as enzymatically rich as they once were (soil depletion) and our diets have changed significantly to include much more cooked and processed foods. Digestive enzymes play a crucial role not only in aiding the digestive process, but more importantly in preventing enzyme deficiency. Enzymes are therapeutic and supportive when taken on an empty stomach away from meals. Taking various plant-based enzymes that can work in varying pH’s can have a positive effect on metabolic function. A high potency protease formula can for example provide support for the immune system by breaking down undigested protein. They have the ability to be absorbed in the blood where they bind to a large protein called Alpha II macroglobulin and are then able to break down viruses, fungal forms such as candida, bacteria and parasites. In cancer therapy proteolytic enzymes have the ability to digest the protective membrane known as fibrin around cancer cells thereby allowing the immune system to identity and destroy them. Certain proteolytic enzyme formulas containing Serratiopeptidase for example are effective in improving circulation, speeding tissue repair, alleviating joint discomfort, supporting cardiovascular health, relieving respiratory complaints and reducing fibrin in damaged capillaries thereby improving circulation. Taking an enzyme formula that contains the highest potency of lipases can help to improve hormonal imbalances, high cholesterol, dry skin, weight gain, gallbladder and liver distress. Lastly a high potency amylase formula may help address issues of sinus congestion, allergies, fatigue, blood sugar imbalance and frequent headaches. Everyday we should contribute to our depleted enzyme bank accounts, making us all the richer by optimizing our physiological functions and overall health.


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Aid and Prevent

Diabetic Neuropathy By Benna Lun BScH ND Some people experience it as tingling or burning; for others, it manifests as numbness or pain that may interfere with daily activities. Diabetic neuropathy is damage to nerves caused by high blood sugar that occurs in more than half of diabetics. You may have initially noticed it in your fingertips and toes, but it can also impair nerve transmission to your organs, including your bladder, heart and stomach. A healthy diet and regular exercise are key to keeping blood sugar levels under control, but other natural strategies are available to lower blood sugar and alleviate diabetic symptoms including neuropathy.

STRESS MANAGEMENT AND MASSAGE THERAPY As if sending your blood pressure sky-rocketing wasn’t enough, stress can also have the same effect on your blood sugar. Many people report that minor daily annoyances such as not being able to find your keys in the morning and poor time management are major contributors to stress, so make it a priority to organize your home and your schedule. Proper nutrition and good quality sleep will also change the way you perceive stress and allow you to cope more effectively with any curveballs thrown your way. Try breathing exercises, journaling, meditation, and visualization to relieve stress and keep you calm and collected in even the toughest situations. Poor blood circulation, neuropathy, and high blood sugar combine to form the ideal conditions for developing skin ulcers, and aggressive wounds and infections. Massage therapy improves blood circulation, nerve sensation, and lowers blood sugar and stress.

CINNAMON AND VITAMIN B12 Skip the bun but keep the cinnamon – less than a teaspoon per day has been shown to lower blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity. Sprinkle this delectable spice onto your morning cereal, blend it into smoothies, or stir it into your favorite hot beverage. If the flavour provides too much tickle for your tastebuds, ask your local supplement supplier about cinnamon capsules. Not only does vitamin B12 help with neuropathy, it’s also used to boost energy levels, lower heart disease risk, and quash stress. Supplements are available, but talk to your medical doctor or naturopath about B12 injections.

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ALPHA LIPOIC ACID Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is a potent antioxidant especially welldocumented for the treatment and prevention of diabetic neuropathy, and is an approved medical therapy for this condition in Germany. Additionally, it has been shown to protect the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas and lower blood sugar, and may improve cholesterol levels. Incorporating these simple solutions into your diabetes management plan will give you greater control over stubbornly high blood sugar levels and help to improve the symptoms and complications of chronic diabetes. Always remember to check your blood sugars frequently when implementing new blood sugarlowering strategies.

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NATUROPATHY A Dietary Approach to Better Health

Food, Mood and Health

By Chanel Cressman, BSc ND The phrase ‘what you eat is what you are’ has never been more true. Scientists today are continuing to show various connections between our food and everything from our bowel habits, to our brain function, to our skin health. A recent review on food and our mood, highlights how our daily diet choices can impact our quality of life Mood disorders are becoming one of the fastest rising conditions worldwide, with depression ranking one of the highest. Mood disorders are often linked to obesity, insulin intolerance, and other metabolic diseases. By regulating glucose and insulin levels in the body, we can help stabilize our mood while getting metabolic benefits. Who wouldn’t want to feel better, lose a few unneeded pounds, decrease their risk of cardiovascular events, and prevent diabetes all at the same time?

DIETARY STRATEGIES So how do we regulate our glucose levels to enjoy all these benefits? Consider these dietary strategies. Enjoy a snack every 3-4 hours. This will help manage your body’s ‘stress response’, decrease cravings and weight gain, and increase your energy. Avoid carbohydrate-only meals. These calories not only turn into sugar right away, but induce insulin resistance and can depress your overall mood. Never forget to include greens. Vegetables and the fiber they provide ,improves performance and mood; effects that can last up to 11 days later. Include a form of protein in every snack and meal. Proteins are the building blocks for our neurotransmitters, our enzymes, our chemical messengers and our cells. The structure and function of our brain, as well as our glucose tolerance, depends on these nutrients.

MAKE A MOVE TO KEEP YOUR MOOD HIGH Exercise can be one of the most difficult habits to fall back into. Close to half of all Canadians report being physically inactive. It’s no wonder that obesity is an epidemic and that depression rates are skyrocketing. Exercise is vital for maintaining a healthy weight, a healthy body, and a healthy perspective on life. Exercise directly impacts our hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis) affecting the production of cortisol, insulin, and 28 Healthy Directions February/March 2012

thyroid hormones. Cortisol is directly related to feelings of anxiety and depression and our thyroid function impacts our metabolism and feelings of fatigue. Therefore, by being active, you can actually change your own brain chemistry and feel better while doing it! Adding exercise to your day, takes more than just an idea. To make an effective change, you’ve got to make exercise a routine. Exercise has to become a lifestyle choice which includes work, sport, and recreation. When looking to add exercise to your lifestyle, remember to include both structured and unstructured exercise. This can include a 20-minute workout 3x/week, as well as making a pack to yourself to park your car away from the doors of your building so you have to walk 30 seconds extra each day. Make an after-dinner walk part of your night; you might find yourself breathing better, connecting with your partner better, and sleeping better.

CONTROL YOUR CRAVINGS When our blood sugar levels are imbalanced, we get cravings. Different foods will alter our blood sugar levels at different rates. Certain foods can cause our blood sugar levels to spike and subsequently fall, leaving us feeling tired, hungry, and craving carbohydrates and sugary foods. Whenever we have a craving, our body sends out a multitude of neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters strongly impact our behaviours and feelings causing addictive patterns. These patterns can become ingrained in us, working faster and stronger each time we experience a craving.

HOW TO MINIMIZE CRAVINGS Include protein in every meal and snack. Protein has a low glycemic index which means it is broken down slowly in the body, releasing energy continuously. Adding protein will help to stabilize your blood sugar levels and prevent you from entering the “starvation mode” which leaves us cravings carbs and sugary foods. Proteins sources include beans, legumes lentils, nuts, seeds, eggs, and animal proteins. You can also consider purchasing a protein powder to add to drinks and food. Have something to eat every 3-4 hours. Consuming several small meals throughout the day helps to regular blood sugar levels and decreases cravings.


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Avoid carbohydrate only meals. These meals not only spike the blood sugar and leave you hungry soon after, but they also dampen the central nervous system decreasing your desire for physical activity and dampening your mood. Bump up the fiber intake. Fiber helps to keep you feeling full longer and slows the release of nutrients into the blood stream, helping to normalize your sugar levels. Eat your veggies. Vegetables not only provide you with important nutrients do everything from regular bodily functions to fighting cancer, they also help regular your metabolism, decreasing your cravings. Eat good fats. Include omega-3 fats in your diet. These help reduce cholesterol, fill you up, and help regulate your blood sugar decreasing your cravings. Drink 2 glasses of water before meals and carry a water bottle with you during the day to ensure you are drinking about 2L of water everyday. Often times when we think we’re hungry, we are actually thirsty. Since our bodies are over 50% water, we need to drink a lot to keep our cells functioning properly. Most people are dehydrated and only consume coffee, tea, and pop. These fluids dehydrate the body inhibiting our cells ability to function properly. References:

1) Lytle, M. The Food for Mood Diet: A Literature Review, Highlight of Principles, and Initial Study Design. Naturopathic Doctor News and Review. 2011; 7(4):9-11. 2) Statistics Canada. Canadian Community Health Survey. 2005. 3) Grieb, L. Therapeutic Exercise. [class notes] 2009.

Chanel Cressman, BSc ND is a licenced naturopathic doctor with a private practice in Kitchener called Sage Naturopathic Clinic. Chanel has a strong interest in women’s and pediatric health. She has additional training as a Doula and is a member of the Pediatric Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

Naturopath Listing Guide Need Health Advice? Seek A Naturopath.

Naturopathic doctors are highly educated primary care providers who integrate standard medical diagnostics with a broad range of natural therapies. Find a naturopath in your area. Visit: HeathyDirections.com (Find a Naturopath)

Alberta

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EDMONTON Eric Muradov, ND

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Kin Leung, BSc, ND, CCT, CPCC

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Laura Anderson, BSc. (Hons.), ND

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KITCHENER Chanel Cressman, BSc, ND

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Make a booking in our Naturopath Listing Guide. Call 1-877-276-1849 or e-mail: healthydirections@rogers.com Healthy Directions February/March 2012 29


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HOMEOPATHY How to Stop a

Racing Heart By Raisa Weisspapir, Homeopath, MD (Europe) Normally we do not perceive our heartbeat. Sometimes a short spell of strong heart beats (palpitations) can be a normal reaction to fear, heavy exercise or excitement. Have you ever felt your heart pounding when you see someone you have a crush on? You have probably experienced at least once, skipped beats or felt like your heart is jumping out of your chest before an exam, presentation, or due to excitement when your favourite hockey team wins a game. However in some cases, palpitations can be a sign of an underlying problem like heart disease, anaemia or a thyroid condition.

COMMON CAUSES OF PALPITATIONS • Peri-menopause and menopause • Heavy physical exercise especially in hot weather • Anxiety, stress and fear, lack of good sleep • Excessive consumption of coffee and tea (black or green) • Food allergy and sensitivity • Overfull stomach, flatulence, and constipation • Cigarette smoking is a major cause of palpitations due to the stimulating effect of nicotine on the electrical conducting system within the heart • Insufficient level of magnesium, especially during pregnancy • Overactive thyroid, low levels of oxygen in your blood • Medications such as thyroid pills, asthma drugs, beta blockers • Heart disease

WHAT CAN I DO TO PREVENT PALPITATIONS? The heart is a fascinating organ. It sustains our life, yet we often take it for granted because we know it beats automatically using electrical impulses. In order to prevent palpitations, it is important to consider your general state of health, the level of your stress, your reactions to the environment and life situations. If it is necessary, your health care specialist will help to make some corrections in your life-style and your diet to rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit. Decrease your stress level (learn about deep breathing and/or relaxation exercises such as yoga, tai chi, or meditation). Smile! Exercise (ask your doctor before you start exercising). Avoid common stimulants like smoking, caffeine, and alcohol.

HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINE According to the nature of your personality, the origin of palpitations and other symptoms, a homeopathic doctor will select special treatment for each person individually. Homeopathy is a great help for balancing your emotional and physical health. Remember, your general emotions, your spirit and your physical state have a direct influence on your heart!

PALPITATION DIET Try to follow a simple diet of natural foods, with emphasis on fresh fruits, and raw or lightly cooked vegetables, and fish. New research shows that eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts help protect the heart and prevent diabetes. Magnesium-rich foods such as whole grains, nuts, and many fruits and vegetables are excellent dietary additions for healthy heart. This information is not to be a substitute for any professional medical advice. For more information visit: www.homeopathytoronto.com.

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An Essential Part of the Diet

Saturated Fat By Jillian Murphy, ND Saturated fat = BAD. Or does it? Is it possible that saturated fat may be good for us? We have all been taught that saturated fat is responsible for the increasing incidence of heart disease in our country, one of the biggest killers of both men and women today. It is a common understanding, a given, the zeitgeist of 20th century North America. So, why am I questioning that belief now? Why would I challenge such a forceful nutritional precept? Believe it or not, I’m not the first one to question the idea. In fact, I’m pretty slow on the uptake! There has been ample information available, for decades, showing that saturated fat is not to be feared. That it is, in fact, a necessary and beneficial component of the diet. If that is the case, how have we become so misled? Saturated fat comes from animals and tropical plants: meat, fish, dairy, eggs, palm and coconut oils. Prior to the 20th century, animal fat was a major component of our diet. In 1913 a researcher by the name of Ancel Keys published The 6 Country Study, demonstrating a correlation between high cholesterol consumption and increased incidence of heart disease. He later published The 7 Country Study, further supporting his findings. His study was preceded by research on rabbits fed high cholesterol diets. The Framingham Heart Study followed. Both supported the hypothesis. We were hooked on the idea that increased cholesterol → increased atherosclerosis → increased coronary artery disease and increased rates of mortality (in other words, if we eat more cholesterol we are more likely to die). This became known as The Lipid Hypothesis. Based on The Lipid Hypothesis, medical doctors began to recommend a “heart healthy” low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet. Mary Enig is just one of the many reputable scientists who have been refuting the low fat-high carb theory of “healthy eating” since the 70s. She has argued that cholesterol does not cause coronary heart disease. She has shown on numerous occasions that there is no data, whatsoever; to support the idea that saturated fat is bad for us.

CASE IN POINT The study on rabbits fed cholesterol was bogus. Rabbits are herbivores. We are not. Cholesterol may clog the artery of a rabbit but it does not clog the arteries of healthy omnivores. The 6 Country Study, omitted data from 16 other countries that would have complicated Keys’ results. Had he included the data from all 22 countries studied, Keys would not have been able to create a direct correlation between cholesterol consumption and rate of heart disease. In fact, the countries with the highest dietary saturated fat consumption had the lowest incidence of heart disease. The 30 year follow-up of The Framingham Heart Study found there could be no link between high or low cholesterol and the incidence of heart disease. The data showed that for every 1% mg/dl decrease in cholesterol levels per year there was an 11% increase in all-cause mortality.

NECESSARY FOR HEALTH Saturated fat is necessary for the health of cell membranes, the regulation of hormones, the protection of the liver, lungs, and optimal functioning of the immune system. Saturated fats, such as coconut oil and butter, can improve overall health and body composition. 99% of our evolutionary history has been spent eating a diet of meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds and berries. We need to return to our Hunter-Gatherer Diet (also called The Paleo Diet or The Primal Blueprint). Jillian Murphy is a registered, licensed Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, practicing at The Live Well Centre in Kingston, Ontario. Jillian is a professor at St. Lawrence College and author of the popular blog "Yippie!".

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HEALTH BITES

Snack Solutions for the 9 to 5 Worker By Sherri- Anne Clarke, ND Most of us snack at some point during the day. Eating a small snack gives us energy; lets us take a break to hang out with co-workers, and may even help with mood. Snacking can also be used as tool for weight loss, if done properly! Unfortunately, many of us reach for a bag of chips, or that yummy looking piece of chocolate. This leads to increasing your weight, and leaving you groggier than before. It is important to observe a few snacking rules, in order to get the most out of your mini-meal.

1. BALANCE YOUR SNACK WITH PROTEIN, FAT

AND FIBER.

This will curb your hunger in the long run, as well as boost your energy throughout the day. Try carrots combined with hummus, an apple with a piece of cheese, or yogurt and berries. Also, stock up on nutritious bars.

2. MAKE SURE TO SPACE OUT YOUR SNACKING.

Eat between your meals, and do not leave longer than 2 to 3 hours between meals without snacking. If you snack at the appropriate times, you are less likely to become hungry, and reach for an unhealthy snack.

3. DON’T KEEP FOODS HIGH IN UNHEALTHY FAT, AND CARBOHYDRATES, IN YOUR HOUSE!

Most people snack from 3pm, until bed time. This is usually because they are not very hungry during work hours, or they are very busy, and don’t think to snack. If you fall into this category, beware, and have a look at your cupboards. Do you see chips, chocolate, and ice cream? If you do, they are sabotaging your weight loss goals.

4. PREPARE YOUR SNACKS, THE DAY BEFORE.

If you have snacks on hand, like carrots and hummus, you are less likely to buy a snack lacking nutrient value, during the day.

5. KEEP A STASH OF PROTEIN BARS IN YOUR WORK DRAWER.

This will come in handy when someone brings in birthday cake, or doughnuts. Make sure that you are satiated with some protein and fiber, because it will help curb your craving for those sweets. Now, it will be easier to resist temptation. Clarke is a naturopath practicing in the Burlington community. She has a general family practice with a special focus in women's health, pain management, and digestive concerns.

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A face-lift without surgery! The chinmusclestonifier prevents or eliminates a double chin, tone neck and jaw muscles, soften the appearance of wrinkles and increase blood circulation and oxygen flow to give your skin a healthier glow.

Tone & strengthen chin and facial muscles with just 3 minutes of exercise each day! For more information call: (613) 741-8229 or 1-800-265-8117 for a free brochure or visit the web at: www.chinmusclestonifier.com Healthy Directions February/March 2012 33


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The Health Benefits of

Flax Seed

Flax Seed for Heart Health By Kin Yan Leung, B.Sc., N.D., CCT, CPCC Flaxseeds are highly nutritious seeds containing essential fatty acids known as omega-3, and are also rich in dietary fiber, and trace minerals. Flaxseeds contain a special phytonutrient known as lignans, which are also phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are a group of chemicals found in plants that can act like the hormone estrogen, and have shown to have antioxidant properties. Lignans can also be found in whole grain cereals, rye, legumes, seeds and nuts, berries, vegetables and fruits. Flaxseed lignans have health benefits for cardiovascular disease, and weight loss.

CARDIOVASCULAR SUPPORT Lignans have shown positive results in the treatment of cardiovascular disease. An article from the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism in 2002 reported that plant lignans reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease by improving blood cholesterol lipid levels. In the study, postmenopausal women were given ground flaxseeds versus a wheat-based supplement for control. They found that flaxseed supplementation reduced lipid profiles while the wheat base control did not. Another study from The American Society for Nutritional Sciences in 2002 also found similar results in 939 postmenopausal women. A high intake of plant lignans decreases cholesterol lipid levels, which decrease cardiovascular risk.

34 Healthy Directions February/March 2012

OTHER HEALTH BENEFITS Dietary phytoestrogens also have a beneficial role in combating obesity and diabetes. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published an article in 2002 that discovered plant lignans and isoflavones (phytoestrogen found in soy beans) improved glucose control and insulin resistance. The study also reported that test subjects experienced decreased body weight, blood lipid levels, and insulin resistance, further supporting its beneficial effects on obesity and diabetes. As with all supplements, it is important to always check with a physician, as there can be interactions with various medications. References:

1) Miriam J. J. de Kleijn, et al. Dietary Intake of Phytoestrogens Is Associated with a Favorable Metabolic Cardiovascular Risk Profile in Postmenopausal U.S. Women: The Framingham Study. 2002 The American Society for Nutritional Sciences J. Nutr. 132:276-282, 2002. 2) Sam J Bhathena and Manuel T Velasquez. Beneficial role of dietary phytoestrogens in obesity and diabetes. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 76, No. 6, 11911201, December 2002

Kin Yan Leung, B.Sc., N.D., CCT, CPCC completed his Naturopathic Doctor program at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. He has also received additional special training in clinical oncology and is a member of the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians. Kin specializes in cancer treatment and chronic degenerative conditions. Visit: www.naturopathicfundamentals.com


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36 Healthy Directions December/January 2012

Healthy Directions Feb/Mar 2012  

A Canadian Natural Health Magazine Enrich and Empower Your Life!

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