IMPACT Magazine's November 2020 Edition

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to warm you up

WORKOUTS with Canada’s Top Fitness Trainers

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Olympic qualifiers





to warm you up

WORKOUTS with Canada’s Top Fitness Trainers

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Olympics & Life





to warm you up

WORKOUTS with Canada’s Top Fitness Trainers

Follow us



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Inside Every Issue NEWS & VIEWS 18 First IMPACT

The Scoop on Masks 19 First IMPACT

The Five-to-One Fibre Rule 86 Final IMPACT

Your Brain on Exercise WORKOUT 20 Longer Lasting Legs 24 Build the Foundation for a Better Workout RUNNING 28 Winter Is Coming FITNESS 30 Aging and Exercise AT H L E T E S W I T H I M PAC T 44 Dr. Matthew Galati

Running to Recovery 46 Keith Ashton

HIKING 48 5 Top Hikes Near Calgary & Vancouver L I V I N G H E A LT H Y 52 Building an At-Home Yoga Studio SPORTS MEDICINE 70 Innovative Approach to Treat Depression 71 Making Movement Part of the Workday FOOD & NUTRITION 72 Amp Up Nutrition 74 Nutrition for Anxiety RECIPES 76 Killer Crispy Latkes with Sour Cream & Chives 78 Coconut Corn Dumpling Soup 80 Lazy Cabbage Rolls 82 Cauliflower Chick Pea Curry & Quinoa with Smoky Fermented Cilantro Cream 84 Vegan Zucchini Pistachio Cake



Features 32 Olympic Mindset

Haley Daniels opens up about her battles, successes and advocating for mental health


Defying Age & COVID-19

36 Getting Back On Track

Sam Effah is running with it — taking advantage of life lessons 40 Scoring Sweet Perspective

Kate Wright shares her journey to the Olympic qualifiers, her heartbreaks & life lessons


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DIGITAL EDITION VOLUME 30, ISSUE 1 A leader in the industry for 29 years, IMPACT Magazine is committed to publishing content provided by the best experts in their fields for those who aspire to higher levels of health, fitness and performance.




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The opinions expressed in IMPACT Magazine are the writers’ and not necessarily those of the publication. IMPACT Magazine advises you to consult your physician if you do not follow a regular fitness program. All content is the property of IMPACT Productions Inc. and cannot be reproduced in any form without written consent of IMPACT Productions Inc.


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BRIAN HARDER & TRUDIE LEE Cover photography, Haley Daniels and Sam Effah After 30 years of working independently, Brian Harder and Trudie Lee wanted to see more of each other so they joined forces. Now they see too much of each other. But they also see a tonne of photography assignments! Their work has appeared in countless magazines, websites, billboards, posters and advertisements in Calgary and across the country. WWW.HARDERLEE.CA



TY MCKINNEY Option to Treat Depression Relies on Innovative Approach Ty is completing his PhD at the University of Utah on brainwave technology in mental health assessment. As the Research Director for Branch Out, Ty promotes the impact of neuroCAM science and sharing this insight with the community. Ty is also the co-founder of 8-Bit Cortex and consults for Consiousworks. When not thinking about the brain, Ty can be found getting creative in the kitchen or exploring nature. TYTHENEUROGUY


JESSICA POWER CYR Your Brain on Exercise Jessica is the Therapeutic Services and Lifestyle Director at The Glencoe Club and Faculty Instructor at Mount Royal University in Calgary. She works closely with industry leaders at Mount Royal University, University of Calgary, AFLCA and CSEP to provide the latest research on health, physical activity and exercise that is safe and effective. JESSICAPOWERCYR



LAUREN TOYOTA Vegan Zucchini Pistachio Cake Lauren Toyota, creator of hot for food, is one of North America's most celebrated vegan creators, television personality and YouTube sensation. Named as one of IMPACT Magazine's Top Vegan Influencers, she is the bestselling author of Vegan Comfort Classics: 101 Recipes to Feed Your Face and will be releasing her second cookbook — hot for food all day — on March 16, 2021. WWW.HOTFORFOODBLOG.COM




CONTRIBUTORS Danielle Arsenault-Ketch, Dr. Jonas Eyford, Zuzana Fajkusova, Dr. Michael Greger, Danyael Halprin, Yana Hempler, Louise Hodgson-Jones, Emily Johnson, Catherine King, Ashley Leone, Leigh McAdam, Doug McNish, Philip Ndugga, Nadia Moharib, Ocean Robbins, Chad Sarno & Derek Sarno PHOTOGRAPHY Danielle Arsenault-Ketch, Nicole Axworthy, Matt Cecill, Eva Cosmas Flores, Dave Holland, Yan Huckendubler, Peter Kaczan, Darina Kopcok, Ronald Lee, Graham McKerrell, Denise Militzer, Lauren Toyota, Candice Ward, Katy Whitt 14  November 2020

IMPACT Magazine


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e work with people of all shapes and sizes but we love working with clients who want to fight ageing every step of the way,” says One on One owner Sandra Bueckert. “Age is the great equalizer and at 54, I’m a part of the resistance.” “I chose One on One many years ago as I wanted to gain muscle and become stronger,” says Elizabeth Walsh, a 20-year client.

“I knew the best way for me was to be with experts and to have appointments I would not miss.” There are no fads or gimmicks at One on One. It’s the home of sweat equity. Workouts for clients looking to reach their goals online or in-person are by appointment only. “Every client has different goals and different issues to consider. We get it. We understand,” says Sandra. If you’re ready to expand your path to physical and mental health, maybe it’s time to give Sandra and her team a call at One on One . Photo: Sandra Bueckert, Owner One On One Personal Fitness Instruction Inc.

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Returning and Resetting


020 hasn’t been quite the year I anticipated. It has proven to be the most challenging, and frankly excruciating year for both the fitness and publishing industries - both of which I am passionately part of. Health clubs and recreation centres were temporarily closed and then re-opened with restrictions, and some closed again. Globally, thousands of print magazines were either put on pause indefinitely, or cancelled permanently due to COVID-19. The uncertainty was, and is still palpable. After a brief sojourn to publishing digitally only, how exciting it is to be back to print again with this edition. Our readers have expressed how important our print publication is to them – to touch, feel, and escape from the long hours in front of a screen is very much needed right now. This gave us the encouragement to be strong, work harder than we’ve ever worked, to come back to tell stories, share invaluable health and fitness information and support the businesses that we all care about. It has been a labour of love from my team, my industry, my clients, and my family. The focus for this issue is mental health. No one is immune to the struggle. A global pandemic has pushed many of us to our limits, and the more we can discuss this subject openly, educate ourselves and increase our knowledge of mental health issues, the safer and healthier we will be. Empathy, acceptance and understanding are crucial during these times. I’m honoured to be featuring three outstanding RBC Olympians as our cover athletes this issue – Haley Daniels, Kate Wright, and Sam Effah who each share their personal and inspiring stories. It wouldn’t be IMPACT without our characteristic, quality fitness, workouts, health and food contributions from some of the best experts in their fields; we hope you love what you discover within the following pages. I would like to acknowledge and thank this issue’s Guest Editor, Nadia Moharib. Nadia is an established journalist and long-time crime reporter with the Calgary Sun, with work published in Postmedia and dozens of magazines covering everything from architecture to crime, pets, politics and trail running. She has worked as a dog trainer, police recruit constable and as the Alberta Cancer Foundation’s content writer. A self-proclaimed ‘serial dog owner,’ she believes a long bike ride is better than a bottle of wine, and that volunteering and curiosity are good for your health. Indeed! Along with her cover-to-cover editing tasks this edition, Nadia also wrote all three athlete cover stories and interviewed and produced all of the content for our annual Top Docs & Medical Champions feature. As always, and especially now – thank you to our advertisers who continue to support and trust IMPACT. I encourage everyone to please support these businesses as we all work together to rebuild, reclaim and fall back to the future. Elaine Kupser, Publisher & Editor-In-Chief

D I G I TA L E D I T I O N Didn’t get your hands on a favourite edition of IMPACT? Or maybe your best friend secretly borrowed it from you? No worries. Subscribe to our FREE newsletter and digital edition online at

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IMPACT Magazine

STAY STRONG. STAY FIT. STAY HOME. The Lebert Equalizer is a high-quality functional fitness station perfect for full body bodyweight resistance exercises such as dips, push and pull ups, L-sits, knee and leg raises, st stretches and more.


The Scoop on Masks H E A LT H & W E L L N E S S

W O R K O U T S A F E LY, E F F I C I E N T LY & PROTECT THE EARTH Disposable, non-medical face masks are everywhere these days, including cluttering up our garbage cans and littering our streets. Easy to find and cheap to buy, one-use masks have become a go-to option for many. But because they cannot be recycled, once discarded they pose not only a potential health threat but also risks for wildlife and the ecosystem. If every person in the United Kingdom wore a disposable mask daily for a year, that would create 66,000 tonnes of contaminated plastic waste and pose ten times more climate change impact than opting for reusable options, according to findings by the Plastic Waste Hub . The Hub’s study also found waste can be lowered by 95 per cent if reusable masks are used.

18  November 2020

Canadian emergency room physician, Dr. Peter Rawlek, knows a thing or two about masks. And he says reusable ones, (the layered cloth variety,) are just as good, if not better than disposable ones — without the ecologic impact. “There is no excuse for someone not to wear a mask,” he says. “Wearing one is a message that says, ‘I care about being socially responsible and protecting others from my secretions.’” The app developer says making masks part of any gym kit can help limit the spread of COVID-19 and it can also kick a workout up a notch by requiring just a bit more effort by wearers. “All the studies show there is not a decrease in the amount to oxygen you get. But if you have a perception that it does,

look at it as a way to have an increased training effect,” Rawlek says. “Consider it saving the drive to go up to the top of the mountain to train.” Some reusable masks come with special filters but Rawlek says not to bother. “Unless you are working in a gymnasium where there are noxious fumes, you don’t need it and then you better have goggles on, too,” he says. Make sure you wear your mask properly with a snug fit over the nose, which usually entails some built-in wire and a good fit along the rest of the face. Don’t touch it once it’s on and if you need to wipe sweat off your face or readjust your glasses use a towel dedicated to that task rather than your hands. Wear it, wash it (in soapy hot water), hang to dry and repeat.

IMPACT Magazine


The Five-to-One Fibre Rule H E A LT H & W E L L N E S S

D O T H E M AT H T O E N S U R E YO U R FOOD HAS ENOUGH FIBRE A SIMPLE 5:1 RULE TO MEET THE DAILY REQUIREMENTS AND, AHEM, KEEP YOU REGULAR Most people think constipation when they think fibre. And it’s true. Dr. Michael Greger, an acclaimed international speaker who specializes in clinical nutrition, says if most Americans ate just the minimum recommended daily intake of fibre-containing foods, it would add up to $80 billion in savings from the effects of coping with constipation alone. But getting enough fibre in your diet is important for other reasons, too. Accumulating evidence indicates that greater dietary fibre intakes reduce risk for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, weight gain, obesity, and diverticular disease. We know whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes are fibre-rich foods. As fibre intake goes up, the risk of metabolic syndrome appears to go down,

with less inflammation and an apparent step-wise drop in obesity risk. It’s therefore no surprise that greater dietary fibre intake is associated with a lower risk of heart disease: There is a 9 percent lower risk for every additional 7 grams a day of total fibre consumed, which is just some rice and beans or a few servings of fruits and veggies. Here’s how the 5:1 rule works. Simply look at the ratio of grams of carbohydrates to grams of dietary fibre. Divide the carbohydrates by the dietary fibre. You want a 5:1 ratio or less. For example, Multi-Grain Cheerios sound healthy but have a ratio over 7. However, Nature’s Path Granola is a better option. When you take its 15 g of carbs and divide it by its 4 g of fibre, the ratio equals 3.75.

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November 2020  19


Longer Lasting Legs Get your legs revved up for winter sports

BY PHILIP NDUGGA – One of IMPACT Magazine’s Canada’s Top Fitness Trainers; Personal Trainer, Repsol Sport Centre & Glencoe Club in Calgary, AB NDUGGAOFFICIAL

Location: Repsol Sport Centre

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skiing by turning them into the fitness engine they are supposed to be. This will help you ski better, stay out longer and have more fun! As with any physical activity, a warmup is of paramount importance as it helps to gradually rev up the heart rate and circulation. This will loosen the joints and increase blood flow to the muscles, help reduce muscle soreness and lessen risk of injury.

WARM -UP 5 – 10 minutes: Skipping rope, jog in place, kickbacks, light run, stationary bike, easy stretching of lower body. B Beginner I Intermediate A Advanced

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re you one of those skiers who hits the slopes really hard the first week of ski season only to hobble around afterwards? Well, this year step up your training before the lifts open! By adding these strength training exercises to your fitness regimen you’ll be ready to take on mountains with confidence. Here are a series of preseason exercises designed to condition and strengthen the muscle groups most commonly used for



20-30 count hold B/I Lean agianst wall A Lean against ball Stand sideways against a wall with feet shoulder-width apart. Bend the leg closest to the wall 90 degrees at the knee. Press leg against the wall while maintaining a neutral spine and make sure the standing-leg knee is in alignment with the second toe. B/I




15 reps per side B Bodyweight, with hands on back of head I One dumbbell A Two dumbbells Stand on one leg while the other foot is slightly touching the ground for balance. Hinge forward keeping a neutral pelvis and straight back. Gently rise up while thrusting hips of straight leg forward. A



15 reps per side B Bodyweight I One dumbbell A Two dumbbells Stand tall with dumbbells in each hand. Slowly elevate one leg behind on the bench. Keep core tight and spine neutral. Slowly lower until rear knee is two inches off the floor or until front thigh is parallel to the floor, then rise up and repeat.


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15 count hold or 15 reps B Elevate hips and hold position for 15 counts I Leg curls using both legs (15 reps) A Single leg curls (15 reps per side) Lay on your back with heels on the ball and hands on the floor. Elevate your hips, keep neutral spine and squeeze glutes. Extend legs out and curl heels back using hamstrings.




15 reps B Bodyweight I One dumbbell A Two dumbbells Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand. Hold with neutral grip. Descend into a squat while pushing glutes back until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Jump up and land on your feet.


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IMPACT Magazine

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Build the Foundation for a Better Workout The key to a great workout is a great warm-up

BY CATHERINE KING – One of IMPACT Magazine’s Canada’s Top Fitness Trainers in Vancouver, B.C. WCCONDITIONING


Location: YWCA Vancouver, B.C.



he secret to this no-equipment home workout is in the warm-up which features low intensity and high volume. This potentiation warmup is the brainchild of Matt Wenning, a three-time world champion powerlifter and coach. It's a highly effective way to build work capacity, increase functional muscle mass, address imbalances, increase fitness level and improve recovery and body composition. It includes exercises that are noncompressive, address common weaknesses and will prepare you for the main workout. Muscle groups that tend to be weak include core, hamstrings, glutes, triceps, scapular muscles and rotators.


4 sets of 25 reps Complete as a circuit within 12 to 14 minutes performing 100 reps total: Unloaded squat, pushups on knees (close hand position to emphasize triceps, if you are advanced perform from toes), glute bridge. The warm-up should feel uncomfortable and challenging. Push through the fire and you should feel energized when completed. The amount of rest between the warm-up and workout should be minimal. If you were doing a heavy strength or power workout you would need a much longer rest period.

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B 1–3 sets,

hold for 10–20 seconds I/A 3–6 sets, hold for 10–20 seconds Start on your stomach on the floor, place elbows under your shoulders, keep fists apart, have your knees bent and feet relaxed in the air. Set your head and shoulders in a neutral position. Take a breath into your belly and brace. Lift your pelvis up and tighten your fists. Lift one knee and plant your foot back into plank position. Lift second knee and plant your foot. Drive your elbows and toes towards each other, irradiating your entire body. Light everything up like the Las Vegas strip. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds and repeat for 3 to 6 sets.





1–3 Sets of 6–10 Reps Start on your stomach on the floor placing a folded towel under your forehead for comfort. If you lack the ability, or experience pain with this exercise, move arms into a T or W shape instead. Place hands on the back of your head with fingers interlocked. Extend arms out into a Y shape keeping arms locked out and hands high. Move arms down into a T, rotate hands so thumbs are pointing down. Move arms into the A shape. Bend elbows bringing hands behind your back keeping hands high. Rest hands on low back, letting elbows go down to the floor. Reverse the movement and return to start position.

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November 2020  25

5 3




2–4 Sets of 8–15 Reps Lie on your stomach on the floor. Place hands under your chin or extend arms out into a Y or I for more challenge. Raise your chest off the floor while keeping a neutral head position. Return to start and repeat.



B 1–3 sets of 8–15 reps I/A

3–6 sets of 8–15 reps Stay low keeping at the same level for this version of a walking lunge. If it is too challenging, perform a split squat or reverse lunge. If not challenging enough, add load and stay really low.




B 1–3 sets of 8–15 reps I/A

3–6 sets of 8–15 reps Root one foot into the floor and think about pushing back through your hip, keeping your pelvis level. Hinge at your hip keeping your back in a neutral position and chest spread open. Elevate one foot until you attain a horizontal position with a straight line from your head to your ankle. Drive with your hip to return to a tall standing position. If you have trouble balancing place your arms in a T position, or place the toe of your elevated foot on the floor, slightly back from your rooted foot. If you are adding load, the weight will rest below your shoulders within your centre of gravity. Repeat on both sides. To increase the challenge add resistance with weights or a band.

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f l t y n GYMVMT.COM



Winter Is Coming What to know before you get out there

BY YANA HEMPLER – Personal Trainer, Running Coach, Fitness Writer, Wellness Consultant in Victoria, B.C. YHEMPLER




other Nature is not always kind to runners and in many parts of Canada, winter is fast approaching. This means snow and ice will soon cover your favorite running routes, temperatures will dip below zero, cold winds will blow in your face and days will get shorter. Whether you run before work or after, you will need to prepare for the cold, windy and dark days that lie ahead. Winter running does not have to be a miserable experience. And if you dress properly and think positively, you can learn to love it. Getting out for a run in the winter, even when you want to stay in, will give you a huge sense of accomplishment and pride. It will force you to get outside your comfort zone and make you a stronger runner. Furthermore, it will be easier for you to handle other adversities in life. Let’s look at how you can thrive when running in the winter.

PROPER LAYERING Without a doubt, you need to layer up to feel comfortable running in cold temperatures. However, it’s equally as important not to overdress or you could get sweaty underneath all your clothing. If that happens, your sweat can freeze as you begin removing layers, causing extreme discomfort and heat loss. • Wear a light, long-sleeve technical, moisture-wicking shirt as your base layer, which is closest to your skin. Avoid wearing cotton as your base layer because it retains moisture if you sweat, which can be pretty uncomfortable. • Your mid-layer, which goes on top of your base layer and plays a vital role

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• •

in keeping you warm, should be a comfortable fleece jacket. The top layer should be light, breathable, windproof and waterproof. Ideally, it has zippers that allow you to vent heat. Fleece-lined tights that don’t restrict movement are ideal for your winter run. Cover your head and ears because you can lose a lot of heat if you don’t. Wear a moisture-wicking headband if it’s not too cold or a running toque in harsher temperatures. You may also need to wear a breathable, moisture-wicking neck buff. Consider investing in high-quality running gloves to help prevent frostbite on the fingers. Wear moisture-wicking merino wool socks to keep your feet from getting cold and wet. If it’s icy, consider traction aids - spikes that attach to your shoes and help prevent falls during icy conditions.

ADDITIONAL RUNNING TIPS Warming up is important for injury prevention. During your warm-up, start slow and perform some ankle rotations, leg swings, as well as arm, head and trunk rotations. When you finish your run, change into warm, dry clothing as soon as possible. The coronavirus pandemic has created other unique challenges for runners. Therefore, it is important to maintain at least a six-foot distance from other runners and wear a moisture-wicking face covering if you are in crowded areas. Keep your running group small. With a few small changes to your wardrobe and routine, you will learn to embrace winter running and emerge as a much stronger runner when racing returns.

SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS Don’t blend in. When running outside, it’s important to make sure motorists can see you, particularly during the dark, winter months. Bright, reflective clothing, as well as lights will make you stand out and fluorescent yellow or bright red are great colours for your top layer. Go slow. You may need to run slower to avoid slipping on ice. If it’s very icy and you have to do speedwork, it is best to do that indoors on the treadmill and do your easy runs outside. Be vigilant and always assume drivers can't see you. If it's slippery, a motorist may not be able to stop quickly enough to avoid you.

IMPACT Magazine


3 . W H O L E B O DY W O R K O U T S

Engage all your major muscle groups – arms, chest, back, abdominals and legs – at least twice a week. Sports like swimming or cross-country skiing will give most of your major muscle groups a good workout. For the most targeted engagement, join a strength training class or follow a video at home. If you don’t have weight training equipment, use household items like jugs of laundry detergent, juice or canned goods. You could also fill water bottles with rocks or sand. Aim to use a weight heavy enough that you can complete up to 15 repetitions before needing a break. The last three repetitions should be difficult to complete.


Aging and Exercise

Moving matters if you want to rewind the clock BY EMILY JOHNSON – Founder and Creative Director, StrongerU Senior Fitness STRONGERUSENIORFIT




or centuries people have searched for the secret of staying young. Turns out, it might be as simple as staying active and getting regular exercise. More and more research shows that many diseases often associated with aging – cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and arthritis – can be influenced by poor lifestyle factors such as lack of physical activity, poor nutrition, excessive drinking and smoking. These diseases lead to a loss of independence and a decrease in overall quality of life. Kind of takes some of the shine off the golden years, doesn’t it? Here’s the good news. A recent study published in Science in July 2020, found that after exercise the liver secretes a protein called Gpld1. Levels of this protein in the blood correspond to improved cognitive function. Research also shows exercise may decrease certain hormones known to trigger some types of cancer. And regular workouts benefit your immune response which can help to fight cancer and is especially essential at the

30  November 2020

moment as we’re living in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that we’re clear on the benefits of getting active and the consequences of inactivity, here are some ways to incorporate some moderate to vigorous activity into your life about two-and-a-half to five hours each week.


Aim to do cardio workouts lasting 30 to 60 minutes. You can choose activities like walking, hiking, cycling, pickleball or dancing – pretty much anything that gets the heart and lungs going. To see the greatest benefits, you should be working at an intensity level of five to seven on a scale of one to 10. 2 . B A L A N C E A N D C O O R D I N AT I O N

Within your activities, include movements that maintain and enhance balance such as cycling and yoga. Find activities that require coordination like pickleball and ones that promote range of motion like tai chi and qigong.

Anyone 65 years and older is commonly considered an older adult, but there are huge variations in physical ability among people as they hit the higher years. Instead of relying on age as a factor in planning your workouts, it’s more accurate to look at ability and activity levels.

ACTIVE OLDER ADULTS For this group, age is just a number. You may have been active all your life or recently recommitted to a healthy lifestyle and are in the best shape of your life. Be sure your fitness regimen or active lifestyle adheres to the three guidelines.

MODERATELY ACTIVE You may have been active when you were younger, but at some point, life got in the way. Or maybe you’re finally making fitness a priority. While striving to meet the guidelines above, start by aiming for 30 minutes of activity and increase the amount of time as your fitness level increases. Be sure to find activities you enjoy. If you don’t enjoy it, you’re less likely to stay with it.

NON-ACTIVE, BUT MOBILE Start by speaking to your doctor about your plans to begin a fitness regimen. They may recommend programs or activities that suit your current level of fitness. Just like the active and moderately active older adult, you’re also going to strive to meet the guidelines listed above. Start slow and aim for bouts of 10-15 minutes. If you feel sore at first, that’s normal. It will get better with time. Drink water and rest. Your muscles should recover within two days.

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November 2020  31

Tokyo 2020, which due to the global pandemic has been rescheduled to 2021, Olympics hopeful, Haley Daniels, looks for opportunities in


everything in life.

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Olympic Mindset Haley Daniels opens up about her battles, successes and advocating for mental health BY NADIA MOHARIB


ollyannas often say the tough times prepare you for the rough times. For Olympic hopeful, Haley Daniels, that isn’t just a saying. “You have to have highs and lows and mediocres,” says the Tokyo 2020 Olympic hopeful in canoe slalom. “Being happy all the time is not the goal you should strive for. Everyone has ups and downs. It is important to reflect because when you are in those deep dark moments, when you crawl out of them it feels so damn good.” That sort of realism, wrapped in positivity, rolls off the Calgarian’s tongue and it’s not just lip-service. For 16 years, Daniels has dedicated herself to paddling, these days training up to 25 hours a week. She’s working on post-secondary studies, written a vegan cookbook and taken every chance she can to encourage others. Along the way, she has slammed into roadblocks, battled through injuries and faced disappointments. But none have taken her down. Instead, the woman who looks for the opportunity in everything, pushes on. “I haven’t had a typical pathway. I’ve chosen to be a high-performance athlete and on top of that I’ve chosen a sport that wasn’t in the Olympics. We had to fight for our gender,” says the senior national team member with Canoe Kayak Canada.

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“There’s all these barriers but all of those have given me so many opportunities. To represent a global issue of gender equality, to help other young girls to recognise their dreams. That is what has made me who I am.” She was instrumental in the push for paddling to be recognized as an Olympic event, which it was in 2016. But Daniels says she was simply following her values by recruiting others to share their stories and, in a unified voice, pressure the International Olympic Committee to do away with old traditions in favour of gender equality. “Whether I make it to the Olympics or not, I can proudly say I have been pioneering this legacy and been a big part of where we are now,” she says. It takes grit to get to where Daniels is, an accomplished young woman poised to make her Olympic debut in a sport that has yet to see women make it to the podium. And at 29, she wears her resilience like a gold medal, relying on it like a backstage pass to navigate the rapids. But not long ago, the woman who can traverse rough water, like few can, found herself cast adrift by the revelation of a family secret when her father came out as transgender. “When my dad first told me, I was not okay with it. It’s not that I wasn’t supportive, I just didn’t know how to be around it,” Daniels says.

So she turned to her sports psychologist, she journaled, she meditated. And she struggled. If Daniels thought she was aptly handling the upheaval in life as she knew it, her body told her she was mistaken. Bad skin, trouble sleeping, junk food cravings and dark thoughts. She had them all. “I started getting hives on my arms when I was driving and thinking about what I had to do that day. It would go away once I would start breathing,” she says. Proud of her father, and protective, Daniels with the support of her mother, Karen, and brother, Hayden, chose to go public on social media announcing her father’s seismic shift from Duncan to Kimberly. During Calgary Pride Week, they shared their story. “I only get one dad, one family, I’ve got to find a way to be okay with it and I wanted to control our narrative,” she says. And she didn’t want her father, who was a judge at the 2016 Rio Olympics and qualified as one in Tokyo, to have that incredible experience tainted. “I didn’t want to get to the Olympics and have people saying they don’t want a transgender at the side of the river judging me,” she says. “Yes, I don’t have a normal family. But screw normal. We are breaking down barriers and we are struggling through it because there is no manual for mental health and that’s something that I realized very viscerally but at the same time if you are optimistic and you have a support system and coping mechanisms it eventually becomes your new normal and your new easy.”

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Support for the choice to expose something so private offered affirmation of how powerful it can be to be vulnerable and how important, as a public figure, it is to be an advocate. It’s one of the reasons Daniels loves being part of the RBC Olympians Program. Intended as a way to help prepare elite athletes for life after sport, by giving them real-world experience, it also allows Daniels to pay it forward as a public figure through motivational speaking engagements. While Daniels will spend much of the winter training with her sights set on Olympic trials in the spring, she knows the day will come when she will shift focus and put her paddle away. “Deciding what’s next is really hard. RBC helps us bridge that gap,” she says. “It’s probably one of the best jobs for athletes out there.” But the healthy mindset she has earned as an athlete has given her real-life resources she relies on for every aspect of life. “You have to get your head figured out for the start line,” she says. “As athletes we are really lucky. We are taught these ways to manage stress for racing and it translates into my personal life.” It could be stopping for 30 seconds

34  November 2020

to take in the sunrise before a busy day, connecting with nature, leaning on friends or seeking support. It is frequent check-ins with her wellworn journal, its pages filled with D3’s, (the daily three things Daniels is grateful for,) and worry lists she works out. What if I miss my start time? What if I forget my bib at home? What if my paddle breaks? “It’s cathartic,” she says of the healing power of putting pen to paper. “As I write, my shoulders go down and I start to breathe.” One of Daniel’s main mantras, ‘Get To’ is printed on stickers she has put on every one of her boats. “You don’t have to do anything,” she explains. “You get to. You don’t have to wake up but you have the opportunity to get up and use your legs today. It’s looking at your privilege and ability. If you reframe it, then you start to realize how fortunate you are. It’s so simple but it’s so impactful.” Right now, however, nothing compares to the living-in-the-moment slam dunk delivered by hitting the water. “I call paddling my church,” Daniels says. “It’s a spiritual thing.”

As for the unexpected break brought on by a global pandemic, it made Daniels better prepared for Tokyo 2020 which is currently set to unfold in 2021 due to the pandemic. “It sucked going through an Olympic year and then doing it again,” she says. “I’m not young. Now, I am going to be 30 when I go to my first Olympics. I wanted to settle down and have a family – life after sport for me has been put on hold.” Always seeking the silver lining, Daniels found one. “I look at everything as an opportunity,” she says. “I look at that with sport, my family, what you are dealt.” “Although it was a setback it has given me time to sort my head out and be in a calm place and look at what’s ahead. I’ve had my own struggles and have come out strong. Now, I know exactly what I want, who I want to be and where I want to go. It’s almost like it was meant to be,” she adds. “Even if I don’t do the Olympics, I really feel like I’ve left this legacy for future canoeists, future young athletes and I want to enter the second stage of my life as inspired and motivated as I have been in the first. Whatever I do, (after sport,) I want to love what I do and feel like I’m making a tangible difference.”

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I’ve had my own struggles and have come out strong. Haley Daniels

Athlete Highlights Reigning Canadian National Champion

2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019 1st Place

Rutherford Open International ICF Ranking Pemberton BC, Canada 2020 31st Place

World Cup #5 La Seu d’Urgell, Spain 2018 1st Place

Pan American Championships Turrialba, Costa Rica 2017 Bronze Medal

Pan American Games Toronto, Canada 2015 10th Place

Tokyo Test Event Tokyo, Japan 2020 6th Place

Australian Nationals Penrith, Australia 2020 28th Place

World Cup #3 Tacen, Slovenia 2019

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November 2020  35

Always looking for the lessons in life Sam Effah talks about his life-changing



36  November 2020

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Getting Back On Track Sam Effah is running with it — taking advantage of life lessons BY NADIA MOHARIB


n a good day, Sam Effah runs 100 metres in about 10.2 seconds So when the elite Canadian athlete found himself barely able to make his way across the room as he recovered from hip surgery, it was not his best performance. The young athlete, named ‘Fastest Man in Canadian University History,’ made an impressive return to his sport many painful months later. And six years after that, Effah was ready for the 2020 Olympics. But those dark days left him a changed man. “I have a whole new appreciation for training and competing. Now, every day is a bit of a blessing,” he says. “I’m now that guy who is 20 minutes early for training and I’m excited and I’m in my own zone and I don’t take it for granted.” That brutal blow in 2014 was just as hard on his psyche as his body. “In that moment, I realized that could be it. You need your hips to run. Your career kinda crashes before your eyes. It could be taken away from you in seconds,” Effah says. Key to his comeback, was the mental shift required to redefine himself. “Of course, I wanted to be on the track

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again. But mentally, I needed to be OK with who I am. As an athlete we get identified so heavily in our sports sometimes that we forget who we are outside of it,” he says. To get back on track, Effah had to dig deep into what he valued beyond sport. He had just graduated with his Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Calgary, was training for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and was one of the lucky few Canadian athletes hired into the RBC Olympians Program when the doctor told him he was about to be sidelined. “The world was in my hands but at the same time, I couldn’t do what I loved, so that was very scary and there was a lot of deep reflection,” he says. “If I’m not a track athlete, what am I? And if I do get back on the track, how am I gonna use this opportunity to not only better myself but impact people?” The 31-year-old says he was looking for something meaningful as he went from crutches to running when he signed up with the Classroom Champions Mentor program which recruits elite athletes to guide students. But the youngsters turned the tables on him. They called Effah out on what they saw as bravado, a front behind which was a man struggling to be what he claimed to be.

“The funny part was these kids were inspiring me and pushing me to get back on my feet, telling me they believe in me and the dream I have. And if I am gonna teach them to have perseverance then I have to have it myself,” Effah says. “They helped me believe in myself.” One day Effah made a surprise visit to one of the schools to meet the students he mentored via the virtual program. And it was life-changing. “One kid – this young black kid who looks just like me - was hugging me and saying, ‘Because of you, I believe I can be a runner. Because of you, I believe I can go to university,’” he says. “It was at that moment that I realized it is not just about being on the podium but using those experiences to impact your community.” “When I was growing up, there were not a lot of black speakers coming to my school, so if I can be that for people who look like me or people who don’t look like me then I know I’ve done my job.” Effah says the struggles are part of the story. “I want them to see athletes are human. We have a tonne to give back in terms of mental resilience and strategies to get back on our feet. It’s one thing to see people on the podium. It’s another thing to see them go through the trenches,” he says. Effah has been with the RBC Olympians Program for five years – an opportunity which prepares him for life after sport but also offers a platform where he can show others how hardship can be a gift. He is also teamed up with RBC Future Launch where he works with the Youth Strategy and Innovation team to empower young Canadians to reach their goals. “You need to be OK with losing, with injury and need to kind of have this muscle called resiliency. If you don’t have that, the sport can be very unforgiving and that’s just like real life. It’s not about winning. It’s about having the skills to be successful,” he says.

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“One of my favorite sayings is, ‘We don’t rise to the occasion, we fall to the level of our training.’ You’re not just gonna show up and make it to the podium.” Effah looks for the lessons in life. And he has had plenty. His first international competition put him on the track beside Usain Bolt – an eight-time Olympic gold medalist widely seen as the greatest sprinter of all time. Effah could have gone into it assuming he’d lose. But he refused to see it that way. “He broke the world record the day I raced him … but you have to push and ultimately believe in yourself,” he says. “It was obviously nerve-racking but either I can fail before I get to the line or I can give it a shot and I didn’t want to let all of my training be in vain.” Effah placed third and qualified for the next round. The lesson? “In terms of mindset, even outside of the track, don’t put limits on your own abilities. Everybody started somewhere,” Effah says. That goes for trying new things. Effah will be the first to say he is the least likely contestant for Amazing Race Canada – “afraid of heights and never camped in my life” – but he applied

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because he liked that they were looking or someone with a story, someone resilient and committed to community. He got in and along with Canadian hurdler, Sarah Wells, took runner-up in Season 7 of the race last year. Many false starts have taught Effah, (who was awarded $10,000 USD by Global Sports Development for his work with non-profits, volunteering and speaking engagements worldwide a few years ago), that diversifying isn’t for dummies. Now, he invests not only in his pursuit of an Olympic dream but other aspects of life. “You can’t put your life on hold,” says Effah, who is working on his master’s degree in Management, Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University. But don’t count him out for the Olympics, either. The athlete who will tell you he was too short for basketball and didn’t opt for football because he didn’t want to get hit has found his passion and he’s taking it as far as he can. “I think right now, my biggest fear is not being able to reach my full potential,” he says. “I’m so glad I am able to keep pushing to get there.” Earlier this summer, when he learned the Olympics might go sideways he was just

weeks away from the qualifiers. It was a Friday the 13th and another reality check of how easily life can change in a split second. “We had an amazing training session and I was thinking back to all the setbacks and successes. I’ve got three world championships, three World University Games, two Commonwealth games and this is the one thing I’m missing,” he says. “I thought, in two to three weeks things will be good. But things never opened up. It was hard to accept that after being so ready.” But disappointment was replaced with something more important. “I’m doing a privileged sport. And the fact that I’m able to run and compete and do things internationally is amazing but at same time people are dying and going through a global pandemic so you’ve got to see the bigger picture,” Effah says. “It’s not about me. People are losing their jobs, I have friends and their families who are sick and, if anything, I’m thinking of the nurses and doctors working overtime and here I am focussed on running in a straight line. A big part of it was about perspective.” Effah is now training to qualify in June 2021 for a spot in the 2020 Olympics which are delayed a year due to fall-out from the COVID19 outbreak.

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Olympic hopeful, Sam Effah, is ready to make his run for the podium.

I think right now, my biggest fear is not being able to reach my full potential Sam Effah

Athlete Highlights 2-Time

Canadian 100m Champion Competitor

3 World Championships Competitor

2 Commonwealth Games 13-Time

Canadian national track and field team member

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November 2020  39

Sticking with It RBC Olympian, Kate Wright remains



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IMPACT Magazine

Scoring Sweet Perspective Kate Wright shares her journey to the Olympic qualifiers, her heartbreaks & life lessons BY NADIA MOHARIB


he’s an elite athlete with something to say. But Kate Wright, the Canadian women’s field hockey team captain since 2014, concedes her story might not follow the typical formula. “In my experience, every time I hear someone speak there is a lot of success and it ends on a happy note,” says Wright, an RBC Olympians’ speaker. “My audience never expects what actually happens. I have taken them through hours and hours of training and our successes, to a two-game qualifier in Ireland and then I take them to a suddendeath shoot out and us needing nine seconds when we only had eight.” “Most of the time, the audience is in tears by end of it and I have to compose myself not to be in tears, too. Oh, we were so close.” It’s easy to stick to a strong mental mindset when everything goes your way. But that winning attitude can be derailed quite quickly when it doesn’t. Wright teetered at that precipice when she inadvertently began her athletic career. “It’s been quite the journey for me. I’ve been on the team for 13 years, almost half my life, and had a lot of setbacks and disappointments,” she says. Wright made up for lost time despite a late start at age 14.

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She made the senior field hockey team in Grade nine, probably the first time anyone at the school could say that, and from there everything pretty much fell into place. That same year, she made the provincial team. Three years later, the coach of the Canadian women’s field hockey team would cement Wright’s trajectory towards becoming an elite athlete by inviting her to Vancouver for a month-long trial. Far from the comforts of home, with friends and family back in Ontario, Wright’s mental health journey began. “As a kid growing up, I was pretty good at sports, so I never had the mental battle of not making a team or not being one of the best players,” she says. “My career was looking pretty good until 17 and I was the youngest by far when trying out for the national team.” Living in her grandmother’s friend’s daughter’s house, Wright continued her studies by correspondence. Most of her time, however, was spent struggling out on the field up against girls who were older and armed with skills she had never seen. Even the ground beneath her feet was unfamiliar. “It was my first time playing on Astroturf. I was out of my league,” the

31-year-old says.“It was pretty tough. I definitely had a lot of tears. I was homesick and had never trained that hard before. It was completely exhausting and I felt a bit behind the eight-ball in terms of skill and presence on the field.” But the girl who had long loved scoring goals and running fast had role models to lean on, a father who played in the NHL and a mother who competed for Canada in track and field. For a while Wright was the kid running up and down the field chasing a ball she could barely touch – but in time, her nevergive-up approach and persistence paid off. “I wanted to perform and be the best I could be. It just threw me for a loop when it didn’t come so naturally. I knew if I worked hard enough I would get there,” Wright says. “Even though I might not have been the best or most skilled, I was so competitive and I think my coach realized I was willing to do whatever it took to be on the field.” When she was finally named to the team in 2007, Wright wasn’t quite living the dream. Instead, she was chosen to play for just five minutes during the Olympic qualifier in Victoria. In the midst of that slow and painful climb, her father put it all into perspective in a way that has helped ground her ever since. “He sat me down and told me to make that my game. In five minutes, do whatever you can,” Wright recalls. “That really resonated with me and has stayed with me from the moment he said it.”

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“I really value being on the field. To this day, as captain and the highest-capped player in field history, I’m still nervous that I’m not going to be selected.” The last six years have seen Wright and her team make impressive strides and suffer some incredible setbacks. A new coach, believing in their potential, pushed them to be positioned to compete on the world stage with the team moving up to 14th position internationally. But last year, they lost in that sudden-death shootout. During what is probably the most attended women’s sporting event in that country’s history, as thousands and thousands of fans screamed support for Ireland so loudly the Canadian team couldn’t hear one another, their hopes to achieve an Olympic dream were dashed. It was a defeat which broke their hearts and took their breath away. “In the same breath, it showed us how close we were,” Wright says. Forced to put her story down on paper as she prepared for speaking engagements as

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part of the RBC Olympian Program shifted Wright’s perspective. “Our story is definitely one of resilience and bravery, and courage and strength and no end result will change that,” she says. “Really, it’s all about the journey. You really have to respect the journey and reflect.” The team returned to Canada for Christmas break in 2019. And for Wright, who has spent years travelling around the world to compete, being home with her husband, Philip, was exactly the place she needed to be. “I was supposed to go back for the second half of the season but had some surprise news,” Wright says as her newborn son, Charlie, chatters in the background. “We are obviously thrilled and it was a pretty good year to be pregnant. I didn’t miss a single game and I think, for my mental health, it was probably pretty important.” “Being oldest on the team, I felt like a mother in a lot of ways,” she adds. “Having your own child - it’s indescribable. Both my husband and I want to make him

proud and be good examples for him in everything we do.” Wright says her career has given her lessons she will lean on for the rest of her life. “The Olympics, in my mind, was the be-all and end-all. But I realize I can’t summarize my entire career by one game,” she says. “It’s easy to see my journey of being on the national team is just as important and I’m really proud of that. It’s really important to celebrate the journey. We have so much to be proud of – the most success the women’s team had (achieved) in over 30 years.” These days, Wright’s workouts are versions of mom n’ me classes via Zoom. She’s not retired, although she also doesn’t know what’s next. “We don’t know what international hockey looks like especially for us here in Canada. The girls only got back on the field six weeks ago and were six feet apart,” she says. “I’m always hungry for more and we were not satisfied with that result so it pushes us to keep competing.”

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Game face. Kate Wright leads her team into battle for Canada versus USA - semi final match, Pan American Games 2019, Lima, Peru.

I can’t summarize my entire career by one game. Kate Wright

Athlete Highlights Canadian Field Hockey Team Captain

2012 – present all time cap leader Commonwealth Games

2018, 2014, 2010 Pan American Games

2019 Silver Medalist 2015 Bronze Medalist 2015 Torch Bearer Pan American Elite Team

2013 Field Hockey Canada Female Athlete of the Year


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edicating years to sport is an all-consuming endeavor for Canada’s elite athletes. But when they are done chasing Olympic dreams, an entire world of new opportunities awaits. “We recognized an elite athlete probably started their sport at an early age and their entire life was dedicated to that sport,” says Jerilynn Daniels, RBC’s Regional Director, Community Marketing and Citizenship (Alberta & Territories). “In many cases when they are set to retire at the ripe old age of 20 whatever or 30 whatever, many don’t have a lot of real-world work experience.” In 2002, RBC launched its Olympians Program to help athletes better prepare for life after sport. Olympic and ParaSport athletes, recruited to work as ambassadors, get work experience and connections that will serve them in their next career. “It takes an incredibly strong person to endure the tireless training and approach each day with resilience and mental fortitude in these uncertain times,” said RBC Regional President Jeff Boyd, Alberta & Territories. “These athletes have given their lives to sport and train so diligently to represent our country on the world stage. I’m confident our RBC Olympians have the strong mental endurance to overcome new challenges and prepare for a whole new competition in Tokyo.” Key to its success, is the recognition that transitioning to life after sport can be tough even for individuals with the mental fitness required to achieve athletic goals on the world stage. It requires preparation which the Olympians Program provides through boots-on-ground experience and

opportunities to, essentially, repurpose the very skills that made them champions in sport into whatever will see them excel in occupations they pursue after they hang up their skates. It builds the tools and confidence required to make the mental shift from living in the Olympic realm to something, perhaps, a bit more ordinary. Athletes hired into the program work with RBC’s sponsorship and marketing teams and represent the corporation at community events, including speaking engagements which are mostly virtual these days. Their sports commitments are priority with the program working around training and competing schedules in a way few, if any, employer would. The program is as much an investment in an athlete as it is a gift to Canadian communities with the Olympians uniquely positioned to share experience on everything from fitness to strategies on goal setting and the moxie it takes to achieve a winning mental mindset. “They bring a level of conversation many of us can’t imagine. What does it feel like to walk into an Olympic stadium and represent your country? What did it feel like to win a gold medal or what did it feel like to miss it by 1/100th of a second? They teach us a lot about resiliency,” Daniels says. The Olympians Program is just one way RBC is committed to young Canadians. With RBC Future Launch, it is investing more than $500 million over 10 years into preparing youth of today for the future, mental health being just one component of the initiative which is the largest commitment to a single issue made by a corporation in Canadian history.

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Running to Recovery One man's remarkable step-by-step comeback from a brain injury BY DANYAEL HALPRIN DANYAELHALPRIN

44  November 2020

all enhancing cognition, mood, and overall on the effects of the intensification of well-being. High impact sports like soccer rehab on recovery. would put Galati at risk, so he had to find As his condition improved, he other ways to get aerobic exercise. He researched ways to ameliorate his started running five kilometres every recovery, learning the importance morning, a new distance for the former of creating new brain cells and then high school sprinter. imprinting them with meaningful Six months later, Galati scored higher information. “Neuroplasticity is the ability on the neuropsych evaluation than the of neural networks in the brain to adapt, brain-injured population as well as the heal, change, and create,” says Galati. standardized population for the same “The more you do things over and over, age and education level. He returned the stronger those relevant connections to medical school at the University of become in your brain and the better you Western Ontario and graduated in 2016. become at the task.” Today, he has a family medical To stimulate his mind, he began practice in Scarborough, Ontario, and reviewing his notes from med school. he’s a hospitalist in rehab medicine at He picked up the guitar to refine his fine Runnymede Healthcare Centre. Building motor control and played golf for gross upon Green’s work, Galati is researching motor control. He even played video games the effects and the optimal dose of aerobic on his PlayStation to sharpen his problemexercise in combination with intensive solving skills. cognitive exercise necessary to heal a Because he had to relearn how to speak brain. spontaneously in conversation, Galati’s In 2019, with the ongoing support of rehab also involved socializing. Although his family, Galati founded the non-profit he understood what they were saying and organization Brain Changes Initiative what he wanted to say in reply, he couldn’t (brainchanges on Instagram) which put it into words. “I had to spell out raises funds for traumatic brain injury everything in my brain before articulating research at Toronto and then speak Rehabilitation in very short Institute and provides sentences,” he says. education and support The main pillar for survivors and of his recovery DR. MATTHEW GALATI families. Every Sunday, was cognitive 20 to 30 runners who stimulation are now mission ambassadors meet for in combination with aerobic exercise. a group run in Toronto, wearing black Whether it’s a healthy brain, an injured T-shirts with the mantra that Galati has brain, or a mild developmental disability, tattooed on his arm: aerobic activity increases the flow of blood “They said I couldn’t, so I did.” and oxygen to the brain, creates new brain cells, and raises levels of neurohormones,

I was deemed catastrophic.

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oronto’s Dr. Matthew Galati ran 30 kilometres in August and you’ll be gobsmacked to learn the journey he’s travelled to complete this distance. While driving in the early morning of January 28, 2013 to his medical school class in Windsor, Ontario, Galati’s car hit black ice, careened off the road, spun out of control, and rolled up and down a tree. A bleed started in his head, and Galati fell into a three-day coma. When he woke up, he couldn’t talk. “The prognosis was very poor,” says Galati, 31. “A score of consciousness is given at the time of the accident and I was deemed catastrophic.” The doctors thought he would need occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech language pathology and a slew of other supports for the rest of his life. Recruited at the age of 14 to play semi-professional soccer in England and a second-year med student just days prior to the accident, people were now questioning whether he’d ever be able to cross the street on his own. Many of his doctors had doubts and set limitations for his recovery. Says Galati: “My injury occurred at a time when there was little understanding of the brain’s ability to heal. The thought was that the brain cells you’re born with are what you die with, that there’s no real potential to create new brain cells or for the brain to reroute itself.” But Galati believed in potential and limitless possibilities and diligently followed the rehab regimen at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. He was also enrolled in a study conducted by the Canada Research Chair (II) in traumatic brain injury by Dr. Robin Green, focusing

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November 2020  45


Defying Age & COVID-19 Senior marathon runner undeterred after virus setback




Clothing and footwear courtesy Frontrunners/New Balance

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Ashton discovered running quite late in life. Although a cross-country runner at school in Manchester, England it wasn’t until he emigrated to Canada in 1967 with his newlywed wife, that he took up running. Living in Medicine Hat, Alberta meant many miles on the treadmill but on moving to Victoria in 2006, he joined the Frontrunners First Steps / Next Steps Clinic. There he met Robertson who saw his potential. “He claimed the name ‘Rabbit’ as he was always fast out of the gate and then ran out of steam.” So it was Robertson’s job to keep him in check making sure he was on pace and he had his hydration and nutrition. After completing an 8 k and 10 k he started to train for a half marathon under Robertson’s guidance and the group Happy Feet was born. In June 2019, Happy Feet – all 15 of them – decided to train for the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon but Ashton would only train on condition that Robertson would run it with him. She did and they came over the finish line hand-in-hand together. (That finish also ranked him number 1 in Canada for his age group in the Abbott World Marathon Majors). Ashton is determined to run another marathon and on May 1, 2021 he will be running 42.2 kilometres to help raise money for critical care as part of a $7 million campaign for a new High Acuity Unit at Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital. Calling his run ‘Run with the Rabbit’ it’s his way of giving back to the health-care workers who cared for him. When asked what he likes so much about running, Ashton says, “It’s the social part of it. Even though I don’t talk a lot I like people around me and it doesn’t feel right if I don’t have that. Everyone says I am an inspiration but those around me are my inspiration.”



he tears of joy and emotion were for all to see at the finish line of the 40th Annual GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon in October 2019. He had done it. Keith Ashton at 80 years was not only the oldest runner in the marathon last year but he had completed his first marathon in 5:08:09. Friends gathered around to congratulate Ashton who took it in stride and was very modest attributing this achievement to his ‘Happy Feet’ running group, his wife Andrea, and his mentor and run leader, Connie Robertson. He started planning his future races setting his sights on the BMO Vancouver Marathon in May 2020, but in March the pandemic hit causing race cancellations and his world crumbled when, after a trip to the UK, he collapsed and was diagnosed with COVID-19. “We got back on a Tuesday and then decided to go for a run on the Friday but I just couldn’t make it,” he vividly recalls. “I just thought it was a bit of jet lag.” On the Sunday he passed out and for the next three days was ‘out of it.’ Although he wasn’t in intensive care he was on oxygen overnight. “By the fourth day I was recovering but they kept me in isolation as my levels were coming up slowly. My red blood cell count before was 143 and it had dropped to 93.” Happily his levels are nearly back to normal which is attributed to his fitness. “Two of my doctors are runners and they said the results weren’t commensurate with an 80-year-old. When I told them I was a long distance runner one of them said to get back to running as soon as I can.” Three weeks after being discharged he was back taking tentative steps, running a block, walking a block and seeing his running family. He set himself a goal of running a half marathon by the end of the year, a feat he achieved easily by the end of September!

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November 2020  47


Top Hikes Near

Calgary & Vancouver

Leave the City & Climb our Favorites BY LEIGH MCADAM



he pandemic has imposed a staycation of sorts for most of us. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still get out and enjoy some magical spots close to home. Fall is a terrific time to be out hiking but with changeable weather, it pays to be prepared with the right gear, the 10 essentials (find these at and an easy-to-access can of bear spray.

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IMPACT Magazine



You can get to the top of Sulphur Mountain three ways; via the Banff Gondola, the steep one-way hike beneath the gondola or via the long but beautiful 8.5-kilometre, one-way hike along the Cosmic Ray Road starting from the Cave and Basin parking lot in Banff. It’s pretty in the fall, particularly with some snow on the ground. Much of the hike is out of the trees so views are vast and plentiful. Top out on Sanson Peak where you can admire a jaw-dropping panorama that includes the Banff townsite along with six Canadian mountain ranges.



Because Revelstoke is located in a unique temperate inland rainforest, you will find hikes leading to some truly spectacular waterfalls. The Begbie Falls trailhead is only a 10-minute drive from downtown. Approached from the Begbie Bluffs climbing area parking lot via the Bluff Trail, this 5 kilometre round trip hike follows Begbie Creek and delivers stunning scenery en route. Once you have reached the falls, make sure to continue down the trail to the Columbia River for beautiful views across the valley towards Revelstoke Mountain Resort.



In just three hours you can drive from Calgary to Fernie. That drops you into a landscape of mountains and trees. Experience both on a hike up Mount Fernie Ridge, easily accessed from town. Start hiking in dense forest that gives way to avalanche chutes with views of the Three Sisters Peaks. At the three quarters point marked by a bench, the trail noticeably steepens and the trail becomes rockier. Many people turn back here. Continue for panoramic views of the valley, ski resort and wilderness backcountry. It’s an 8-kilometre round-trip hike with 910 metres of elevation gain.



Need a hiking fix but don’t want to drive too far? Head for the Barrier Lake Trailhead in Kananaskis, about an hour from Calgary, to do the Prairie View viewpoint–Jewell Pass loop hike. It won’t wow you like a traditional mountain hike but it does offer superlative views of Barrier Lake and Mount Baldy along with a pretty forest walk on the descent to Barrier Lake via the Prairie View and Jewell Pass trails. You’ll hardly see a soul once you start down on the west section of the loop. Take ice cleats if there’s snow on the ground.

5 Left The Prairie View Viewpoint.

IMPACT Magazine

The 16-kilometre loop hike around Upper Kananaskis Lake in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park is perfect in the fall. People are few and far between and the varied landscape is compelling no matter what direction you choose to hike. You’ll get a great workout, even though you never climb more than 60 metres above the lake. Allow five hours to do the full loop, more if you stop at one of the scenic waterfalls. Make the side-trip to Rawson Lake or laze on a driftwood-covered beach admiring the majestic mountain views. Dress for cool winds on this largely lakeside hike.

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Just 40 minutes from downtown Victoria, experience exceptionally pretty forest walking on a 3.8-kilometre loop hike around Matheson Lake near Mechosin. Ramble through temperate rainforest interspersed with great views of the lake, especially at the high point on the hike. For a 90-minute outing there’s a surprising amount of variety including a short section on the Galloping Goose Trail, a small waterfall that requires a quick sidetrip, a fantastically green understory and a beach should you want to finish with a swim. Extend the hike by exploring the network of trails in neighboring Roche Cove Regional Park.

The strenuous hike up Mount Gardner, the highest point on Bowen Island, starts and ends with a scenic 20-minute ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay. The starting point, the Hiker’s Trail Road Trailhead, is a 3-kilometre drive or walk from the Snug Cove ferry terminal. From there allow five hours to do the 11-kilometre return hike, with an elevation gain of 719 metres. The reward, apart from peek-a-boo views on the way up and peaceful forest hiking, is the exceptional panorama from the summit, including Mount Baker, Howe Sound, the Sunshine Coast, West Vancouver and Burrard Inlet.



The 5-kilometre return hike to tiny but beautiful Whyte Lake above Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver is a delight. To get to the Whyte Lake trail start with a steep hike up a gravel access road from the Westport exit. Once at the water tower, the grade moderates and the hike gets interesting. Continue up through a mix of second growth and old-growth forest, passing some massive Western redcedars and Douglas-fir trees. Listen for wrens in the lush green understory, filled with ferns and moss-draped trees. At the lake, there’s a dock, a bench and a pretty boardwalk.



While there are no grand vistas on the hike to Norvan Falls, the wonderful 30-metre tall waterfall is the reward for a 14-kilometre out-andback hike in Lynn Headwaters Regional Park. Start at the Lynn Creek Bridge and follow the easy trail for 4 kilometres to Third Debris Chute. Stop to enjoy views of Goat Ridge and Mount Fromme before continuing on the quieter, muddier and more difficult Headwaters Trail. You know you’re getting close when you hear the sound of rushing water. One short final climb puts you at a viewpoint, the perfect spot for lunch.



The 10-kilometre Buntzen Lake loop trail is a popular one. With just 110 metres of elevation gain, it can usually be hiked in any direction over three to four hours, but with COVID-19, follow the one-way signs and get to the parking lot early. Visitor numbers are limited. Along its length, enjoy sections of scenic forest walking, multiple lake access points, a couple of beaches and frequent viewpoints. There’s also a 50-metre long suspension bridge at the north end of the lake. If you hike counter-clockwise, note the numerous bridges you cross are alphabetically named for plants and trees.

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10 essentials for hiking 1. Water 2. Food 3. Warm clothes 4. Sun protection 5. First-aid kit 6. Shelter 7. Knife 8. Fire 9. Navigation 10. Headlamp Check trail reports before you leave in case of any last minute closures.

IMPACT Magazine


Building an At-Home Yoga Studio


e at IMPACT Magazine created our dream at-home yoga studio at the beautiful Shane Homes Showhome in Calgary, AB. With a small office space (78 sq. ft.) as our starting point, we wanted to show our readers that you don’t need a massive space to create your own little slice of yoga heaven at home. Our cozy, comfortable, fully-equipped yoga studio has all of the accessories a yogi needs for a well-supported practice, all within a few square metres. Our studio is complete with a snack and beverage station for a pre- or post-practice tea, coffee, juice, or bite of dark chocolate. We added a few succulent accents to bring nature to you, and don’t forget to light a fabulous candle or burn some stress-melting palo santo before rolling out your mat! The beauty is in the details, and the quality of the practice materials you choose can help you take your at-home practice to the next level. Throw on your favourite online class or cue up a calming playlist and enjoy deepening your yoga practice from the comfort of your own home. Here are a few of our favourite products to help get you set up.

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Location: Shane Homes Show Home in the Hamptons Find more products: 1 5 7 10 15 18 21

B Yoga B MATs, $52-$96 2 Halfmoon Crescent Meditation Cushion, $90 3 AC Yoga Bolsters, $75-$110 4 Harmonious Traditions Copper Moscow Mule, $30 Wild Harvest Botanicals Palo Santo, $20 6 Body-Mind Workouts Poly Foam Yoga Blocks, $20 — Items 1 to 6 courtesy of Yoga MCC Dr. Dri’s Takeaway & Tabletop Hand Sanitizer, $9; $18 8 Dr. Dri’s Everyday Surface Spray, $15 9 Lolë Venture Crop Top, $59 Lolë I Glow Water Bottle, $33 11 Lolë Mini Towel, $22 12 Lolë I Glow Yoga Mat, $45 13 Lolë Yoga Mat Strap, $15 14 Milk Jar Candle Co. Candles, $27 Bewildher Crystal Vase Run Wild Tights,$118 16 Inspirati Beautiful Linen Throw, $299 17 Neal’s Yard Remedy to Roll - Meditation, $19 Neal’s Yard Organic Aromatherapy Reed Diffuser, $69 19 Neal’s Yard Midnight Pillow Mist, $35 20 Rviita Energy Tea, 10 for $50 or 20 for $95 All produce, food items and succulents courtesy: Linas Italian Supermercato

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Left: Kristin Jostad, owner Passage Studios




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November 2020  53

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TOP DOCTORS — 2020 —


A look at top local doctors and medical industry professionals who are passionate and dedicated to improving the health and lives of others by giving extraordinary care. Your passport to better health begins here.

54  November 2020  –  Top Doctors & Medical Champions

Written by Nadia Moharib Photography by Ronald Lee & Graham McKerrell


Aeon Future Health

330 - 333 24 Avenue SW Calgary, AB T2S 3E6 403.454.8477   @aeonfuturehealth   @aeonfuturehealth

Leading-edge innovation to help you look, feel and perform your best PHOTO: Lisa Krzyzewski, Founder


isa Krzyzewski suffered with migraines for years. And she endured months waiting to get into a pain clinic and many more going from one pharmaceutical treatment of symptoms to another – all with little relief for the chronic, agonizing episodes. The Calgarian knows what it is to want other choices. As the founder of Aeon Future Health, she is bringing both hope and biohacking - the process of using leading-edge technology, science and other tools to improve your biology and become the best version of yourself - to clients looking for proven alternatives to compliment traditional medicine. Aeon is the first Canadian facility to offer a comprehensive package of leading-edge, evidence-based, high-tech options for clients to be as healthy as possible for as long as possible.

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Its medical staff, including naturopathic doctors with an integrative anti-aging medicine focus, work on fitness, pain and regeneration, sleep and stress management as well as longevity and optimization. “Our mission is to measurably reverse your biological clock, leaving you feeling and performing at your best, now and into the future,” Krzyzewski says. She says it can take decades for “wellestablished, research-based technology to become part of the conventional system” but some people don’t want to wait to access that kind of edge. Now, they don’t have to. Cutting-edge technology and innovation many high-performing athletes take for granted is available to clients including a red light bed for anti-aging, automated lymphatic drainage and treatments in the IV lounge customized by naturopathic doctors

to reduce inflammation, boost immunity or manage stress. A stationary bicycle and strength machine in Aeon’s gym are specially designed and powered by artificial intelligence to collect and retain a user’s biometrics to then personalize workout intensity making sessions shorter and more efficient. Aeon opened in September 2020 but is already attracting a fanbase. Three-time Olympian, Michael Smith is one of them. “As an Olympic athlete, I was always on the leading, bleeding edge of safe and natural ways to enhance my day-to-day training and competition,” says the decathlete. “I spent tens of thousands of dollars 20-plus years ago and I am excited to see similar world-class modalities and technologies available to any and all high performers at a fraction of the cost at Aeon Future Health.”

Top Doctors & Medical Champions  –  November 2020  55


Antosz Vincelli Orthodontics It’s about trust LEFT TO RIGHT: Dr. Mark Antosz, DMD D. ORTHO; Dr. Robert Vincelli, DMD, FRCD(C)


rthodontic treatment that is well done is a key part of having healthy teeth and jaws. It is the best way to prevent a lot of dental problems that come with age. But orthodontic treatment is not a commodity and buying into an apparent bargain now could see you pay later. When done poorly, orthodontics can be a waste of time and money and even make matters worse. To complicate things, it has never been easier to do poor orthodontic treatment. You don’t have to be an

orthodontist, you don’t even have to be a dentist - you can just do-it-yourself. So it becomes an issue of, “Who do you trust?” Patient education has been the hallmark of our practice for the last 32 years. It is our belief that when our patients and families understand their problems and treatment it makes the whole orthodontic process more pleasant and predictable. We believe honesty is important. Sometimes in more complex cases it’s not what people want to hear. But to pretend

56  November 2020  –  Top Doctors & Medical Champions

406 - 4935 40 Avenue NW Calgary, AB T3A 2N1 403.247.3250 215 - 333 Aspen Glen Landing SW Calgary, AB T3H 0N6 403.720.0044   @markantosz   @antoszortho   @antoszortho

that everything is easy does a disservice to the patient and will only create bad feelings later on down the road. We are not a hard sell, high-volume operation. We provide the right treatment at the right time because we know if you offer good orthodontic treatment it will help that person for decades to come. So back to the question, “Who do you trust?” If your orthodontic team is open and honest and makes the effort to educate you and help you understand – we’d say that’s a great place to start.

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Ascent Health & Sport Therapy

1904 - 20 Avenue NW Calgary, AB T2M 1H5 403.764.1200   @ascent_health   @ascenthealthandsporttherapy

Empowering resilient lives that conquer mountains LEFT TO RIGHT: Ricki Fisher, Clinic Owner; Dr. Scott Fisher, DC, Clinic Owner; Additional Ascent practitioners include: Dr. Roger Menta, DC; Dr, Ryan Boyd, DC; Dr Zach Morcom, DC; Helen Lo, PT; Jessie Dalton, PT; Chelsea Darrach, PT; Hamilton Cordeiro, RMT; Samantha March, RMT; Kristine Karlsen, RMT


hat’s your mountain? It’s a figurative question posed to patients at Ascent Health & Sport Therapy as a motivational approach to help them identify and achieve their goals. Regardless of their age or specific objective – whether it is to get rid of pain, improve mobility or, literally, climb a mountain – the /Ascent /Approach is the same. “Patients are putting a lot of trust in us and we want to make sure what we are providing them is both comprehensive and the best (care) possible,” Ascent’s clinical director, Dr. Scott Fisher says. Fisher says Ascent breaks the mould when it comes to treatment. Appointments are longer than industry standard and every aspect of care, including where it is

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delivered, is part of the tailored plan. “We believe people are affected by the physical space around them,” says administrative director, Ricki Fisher. Every detail of the northwest boutique sports therapy clinic is designed to create a highend and welcoming experience. “From the moment patients are trying to book to the moment they are leaving, we want it to be a well-curated experience.” A diverse team, which includes chiropractors, massage therapists, physiotherapists and on-site strength and conditioning coaches, guides patients through and beyond issues which brought them to Ascent. “People typically come in because there is an injury or pain that is keeping them from doing what they want to do,” says Scott Fisher.

“Our approach is a break from the status quo of traditional physio and chiropractic treatment. We focus a lot on movement and active care. Yes, we make people feel better and get out of pain but more importantly we give them the tools they can incorporate into their own routines to help build injury and lifestyle resiliency. We don’t just get them back to where they were but give them the tools to progress and become stronger.” Ascent also specializes in concussion management, pelvic health and Functional Range Systems, and is home to one of Calgary's few Sports Specialist Chiropractors, Dr. Roger Menta. Sky-high expectations? No problem, the team of experts at Ascent wants to meet and exceed them.

Top Doctors & Medical Champions  –  November 2020  57


Anti-Aging Medical & Laser Clinic

2200 W. 4th Avenue Vancouver, BC V6K 1N8 604.261.9121   @antiagingvan   @antiagingvan   @antiagingvan

Tapping into medical and cosmetic advances to reverse signs of aging LEFT TO RIGHT: Dina Wang RN; Dr. Gidon Frame, MD, FCFP, ABAARM; Nadine Frame, BAFA (Hons), CEO


lthough some of their work is skin deep, medical science is the foundation for everything at AntiAging Medical & Laser Clinic as it brings the most innovative techniques and safest procedures to patients. The preventative health-care clinic combines anti-aging medicine with cuttingedge, non-surgical cosmetic treatments. For Dr. Gidon Frame, a family physician who opened the private clinic with his wife, Nadine, in 2003, it’s a perfect blend of his expertise and passion. “In 1990, Botox hadn’t even been invented for cosmetic use. Non-surgical interventions, like lasers and injectables were not around,” says Dr. Frame who graduated from medical school in South Africa in 1986. “Preventative aging is not just how the organs function but how you feel about yourself and it is related to how you see

yourself - the link became very clear to us.” While some patients know exactly what they want, most simply want to learn what the team, which includes two other medical doctors, a nurse specializing in injectables and experienced medical estheticians, can offer. “Our job is to help our patients identify what the age determinants are in their face or body and help them find interventions that improve that. When people feel well and are healthy, they also want to look well, so aesthetic medicine becomes part of the preventative medicine,” Dr. Frame says: “I love making people happy with themselves and making happy people happier.” Patients have come to expect the latest and greatest at the clinic. Earlier this year, Health Canada approved the Silhouette Instalift, a procedure which sees the insertion of special thread under the skin to smooth wrinkles and lift jowls

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and folds that come with age. The microsuspension technology with its subtle but stunning results takes about an hour to do, with results lasting up to two years. Another innovative option now offered at the clinic is platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy to treat erectile dysfunction. For the past decade, the clinic has offered PRP - where plasma is extracted from a patient’s blood and injected into the body to regenerate collagen on the face or grow new hair on the scalp. Clinic CEO, Nadine Frame, says: “our preventative medical program approach can reveal underlining health issues like cancer or heart disease. Optimizing health and appearance leads to a better quality of life or improved self-esteem.” Using her background as an artist, Nadine, is the architect behind the offerings of treatments including injectables, lasers, and radiofrequency devices.

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Beacon Dermatology

201 - 3110 17 Avenue SW Calgary, AB T3E OB2 Medical: 587.392.SKIN (7546) Cosmetic: 587.391.3665

Building a centre of excellence around light & hope


LEFT TO RIGHT: Elaine Dupuis MD, FRCPC, DABD; Danya Traboulsi, BSc., MD, FRCPC; Andrei Metelitsa, MD. FRCPC, FAAD; Lauren Lam, BSch., MD, FRCPC, FAAD; Susan Poelman, MSc., MD, FRCPC


eautiful sunlight fills almost every corner of the stunning 12,000 sq.-ft space that is Beacon Dermatology. And it’s not by accident. The clinic was designed to incorporate natural light because it is optimal for examining the skin. Beacon Dermatology is a state-of-the-art medical, surgical, cosmetic and laser centre with five board-certified dermatologists. “We wanted to build something that no one has ever done,” says founder and codirector, Dr. Andrei Metelitsa. “We probably have the biggest assembly of devices and treatments in one centre in the country.” Each dermatologist specializes in their

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own niche of difficult-to-treat skin conditions which means, as a collective, they give patients access to expertise in areas ranging from skin cancer to psoriasis, adult acne, pregnancy-related skin conditions, eczema, hair disorders and pediatric dermatology. The centre is unique in its focus on clinic research which allows patients to be treated with exciting, new dermatological medications and therapies, prior to those options even hitting the market. “We have 16 clinical trials ongoing as we speak,” says Metelitsa. Using the FotoFinder, a specialized photography system, doctors at the centre can tap into mole mapping technology

which monitors moles on a patient’s body over time using the same applied science NASA uses to find stars. Dr. Metelitsa stresses he and his colleagues are “physicians first” but says being experts in cosmetic medicine means that when there is an intersection of medical with the aesthetic in a patient – they can offer both. Beacon Dermatology also has a number of subclinics: Urgent Skin Cancer Clinic, Women’s Dermatology Clinic, Acne Clinic, Hair Loss Clinic and Wart Clinic. It also offers cosmetic medicine options for patients which include Botox®/filler, CoolSculpting for fat reduction and truSculpt Flex for muscle sculpting.

Top Doctors & Medical Champions  –  November 2020  59


Bioscan Wellness Centre

32 - 15300 105 Avenue Surrey, BC V3R 6A7 604.716.4530

Data-driven health solutions


PHOTO: Sammy Oh, DNM, BNMDP, Board Certified Biofeedback Specialist, American Association of Drugless Practitioners, Certified Nutritional Endocrinology Practitioner (Cand.); Missing in photograph: Jyoti Mander, Board Certified Holistic Nutritionist; Lienne Loh, Board Certified Nutritional Practitioner, Certified Biofeedback Technician (Cand.)


r. Sammy Oh has conducted more than 250,000 high-tech bioscans on patients since 2005. The technology, imported from Europe to her Surrey-based clinic, helps the holistic doctor pinpoint the cause of a patient’s issues and create personalized plans to address them. A few years ago, she reviewed data collected from patients over more than a decade and it gave her key insight into ways to help women between ages 40 and 60 experiencing issues arising from the brain/ hormone connection. “The biggest problem for women’s health that I found from the 250,000 scans is thyroid, specifically hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s disease and spectrum,” she says. “We found some patterns that are very common for people who have chronic issues like fatigue or anxiety and the pattern

is the brain and hormone connection.” At Bioscan Wellness Centre, every assessment starts with the team creating a baseline, reviewing lab tests and taking into account the patient’s subjective evaluation of symptoms. Next, patients are given a health-recovery program which often includes a personalized meal plan created by certified holistic nutritionists along with natural medicine ranging from minerals to herbal medicines and Swiss biological medicine. Patients are scanned every two to three weeks over three months. “During this time, we fine-tune the program based on what we see,” Oh says. “If brain chemistry responses are not improving but the hormones are then we focus more on brain chemistry. If the thyroid response is improving but adrenal is not then we focus more on the adrenaline responses.”

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She takes pride in a deep understanding of how the body works and the quest to identify the cause when it does not. While the focus is often on healing, at times it is on prevention given the ability of scans to test organ functions long before disease or other conditions appear. “When there is true assessment it is almost like a mirror reflecting from a problem,” Oh says. “And then treatment can become efficient. Not because I’m the greatest, but because I can see more.” The majority of patients arrive “sick and tired of guessing” what their problem is, receiving ineffective treatments, pharmaceuticals with side-effects or being dismissed, says Oh. “Often many patients claim they have tried many things and nothing seems to work,” she says. “People like data driven by technology.”

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Clayton Heights Sports & Therapy Center

105 - 18640 Fraser Hwy Surrey, BC V3S 7Y4 604.579.0105   @claytonphysio   @claytonheightsphysio

Pushing past plateaus that take people away from their lives


ometimes it is a quick fix. Other times it takes hard work. The team at Clayton Heights Sports & Therapy Center always partners with patients to address whatever brings them in – giving them a key role in making progress happen. “It takes hard work to get better,” says owner, David Balfour. It’s something Balfour can relate to after recovering from a head-on collision which left him undergoing nearly two dozen surgeries and enduring years of therapy which included him learning to walk again. “I’m an empathetic ear,” he says. “I like when I am able to see patients make progress in their recovery, to become pain free, stronger and back to their previous activities.” Balfour also knows what he was missing

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in his treatment plan as he struggled through those difficult days, vowing to create a place where patients would get the type of care they need under one roof. Clayton Heights, which opened with one part-time physiotherapist more than a decade ago, now has 21 practitioners including massage therapists, physiotherapists, chiropractors, kinesiologists and Chinese medicine practitioners. They each have impressive resumes and unique areas of interest - physiotherapists specializing in pediatrics and geriatrics to sports injuries, hand therapy, concussions and strokes as well as a yoga instructor, weightlifting coach and professional soccer player among their therapists. To say the team is diverse is an understatement.

But Balfour says that’s what makes the clinic work. Instead of simply booking patients in, the goal is to assign them to the ideal practitioner who will deliver one-on-one care. “It’s not a generic treatment plan for everybody,” he says. And it’s not just one therapeutic approach, either. “When I was going through my recovery, it wasn’t one modality or treatment that worked. It was a combination of treatments that helped me get better faster,” Balfour says. “We are known as a clinic to come to when your treatments aren’t working. If you are plateaued and only treating symptoms you won’t get better. Treating the root cause is necessary.”

Top Doctors & Medical Champions  –  November 2020  61


Divergent Health Clinic Dream team combines expertise with cutting-edge technology to deliver solutions

240 - 8835 Macleod Trail S Calgary, AB T2H 0M2 403.909.8111   @divergenthealth   @divergenthealth

LEFT TO RIGHT: Danny Truong RMT, RAPID Specialist; Abegail Bondoc Patient Coordinator; Dillon Abel Bkin, MSc Physiotherapy; Dr. Jason Nanda Clinical Director; Alejandra Pereira CPHR, Head of Public Relations; Missing in photograph: Dr. Tarn Athwal MD; Aman Gill LPN

Many patients who visit Divergent Health Clinic arrive looking to it as a last resort. And that’s exactly where the full-service, multi-disciplinary team excels, setting up programs to finally extricate patients from chronic pain or nagging injuries. “We like to stay in the forefront of innovation and research. So, a lot of our protocols are evidence-based,” says chiropractor and clinical director, Dr. Jason Nanda. “We work with a highly-educated team of doctors and practitioners with a combined history of more than 20 years experience.” Divergent’s medical director, Dr. Tarn Athwal, takes on urgent cases and specializes in regenerative injection therapies which are effective for treating everything from tendinopathies to muscle

sprains and strains, repetitive stress and postural injuries. “It induces an acute response in the affected area which triggers the body to begin reconstruction of damaged tissue,” Nanda says. A key treatment tool at Divergent, complementing a nurse, massage therapist, kinesiologist, exercise therapist and two doctors, is its collection of state-of-the-art technology. It is the only clinic in Calgary, for instance, to offer Focal BTL Shockwave which is 100 times more powerful than traditional shockwaves and can be paired with ultrasound guidance to pinpoint the area of concern. Need help to resolve chronic pain or a long-standing injury? Do it now, Nanda says. “Early treatment is critical in procuring an

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optimal prognosis and restoring function. The longer you wait, the more likely it will lead to a longer-term dysfunction and a chronic situation,” he says. Left untreated, the body often goes into a protective state which is helpful in the shortterm but leads to loss of functionality and a chronic cycle which can be tough to break. “It’s our job to create as much controlled disruption to the affected area as we can to get it out of its protective, chronic state and back into a more acute regenerative phase. Sometimes the damage is so deep that you are unable to create disruption manually and that’s where our technology comes into play,” Nanda says. “We have a reputation of making our patients happy and getting them back to doing the things they love.”

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Jeffrey C. Dawes Plastic and Dermatologic Surgery Transformations that go beyond skin deep Dr. Jeffrey C. Dawes, MD, FRCSC, to remove the excess skin.


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Calgary Mohs Surgery Centre Rockyview Health Centre Two 120 - 1016 68 Avenue SW Calgary, AB T2V 4J2 403.252.0266  @jeffreycdawesmd  @jeffreycdawesmd  @jeffreycdawesmd

LEFT TO RIGHT: Calgarian Josie Balka lost 130 lbs and then underwent a body lift procedure, done by

r. Jeffrey C. Dawes braced himself for the inevitable slump in his practice when the pandemic hit. But it didn’t happen. “There is a phenomenon, I guess, where there was a spike in interest in aesthetics both for injectables and for surgery and I’ll tell you, it was surreal,” says the Calgary-based board-certified plastic and dermatologic surgeon. Perhaps, he says, that underscores a healthy shift in perspective prompted by fallout from COVID-19. “One lady said, ‘Well, I can’t go to Italy, so I’ll book plastic surgery,’” Dawes says. “Maybe people were getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life and then they had the opportunity to sit back and look in the mirror a

Main Office 102 - 47 Sunpark Drive SE Calgary, AB T2X 3V4 403.571.3141

little bit more and maybe focus more on self.” Dawes’ work is split between reconstructive procedures and a diverse aesthetic practice which includes everything from Botox and fillers to breast augmentation and gynecomastia surgery to remove breast fat tissue from men wanting a more chiseled look. Oh, and Brazilian butt lifts. “If they want really large breast implants, I’m not their guy,” says the surgeon who pursues natural-looking results. “The vast majority of my cosmetic patients are women between ages 25 and 45 who have had their children and are just looking to restore what they had.” “This is not about perfect people coming in to be more perfect. This is about imperfect people not looking to stand out or

get attention but to make a positive change and feel better about themselves. I’m honoured to be part of it.” He also cares for skin cancer patients and is one of only two plastic surgeons in Canada fellowship-trained in Mohs micrographic surgery – a technique to eliminate the cancer cells while sparing the greatest amount of healthy tissue. Some of his most satisfying work is with patients who managed to lose a significant amount of weight only to be burdened with excess skin on their newly-found figures – which Dawes removes from areas like the belly, breasts, legs and arms. “It’s always a good story,” he says. “I have never seen a group of patients more grateful for what we have done.”

Top Doctors & Medical Champions  –  November 2020  63


K Wellness Creative

403.988.3860  @kwellnesscreative   @ kwellnesscreative

An unorthodox approach to wellness and healing PHOTO: Kirsten Toth, BA Kinesiology, Certified Athletic Therapist, Craniosacral Levels 1 & 2, SER Therapy Level 1, Reiki Master


everal years ago, Kirsten Toth saw herself in a career helping high-level athletes but the Certified Athletic Therapist says the universe had other plans. And she’s so glad it did. “Over the last few years I have very much recognized myself as a healer,” says the K Wellness Creative owner. “I am innately drawn to help people and guide them.” Toth’s work involves therapeutic and holistic practices, focussing on the mind-body connection and how it can be harnessed to help address issues. Seeing herself as both a healer and a coach, Toth relies on the science of kinesiology and her base of athletic therapy which she often blends with the energetic

practices of reiki and craniosacral therapy to achieve “true and deep healing.” Sessions might include anything from the more traditional approaches like range of motion testing to something less so, like an energetic scan. “I love to create an open space for clients to become more aware and connect with themselves on a deeper level; whether it is to help heal a physical injury, relieve chronic pain, heal past trauma or align energetic and emotional imbalances,” she says. Clients don’t always know exactly what ails them, sometimes showing up at the inner-city studio because of an overt physical symptom, like a headache. More often than not, that red flag is simply a sign of something more complex.

64  November 2020  –  Top Doctors & Medical Champions

“My job as a practitioner is to guide them to seeing the full picture,” Toth says. “I think it’s important to understand what’s going on internally.” Toth, whose clientele includes many from the yoga, arts and music communities, feels fortunate to do the work she does. That’s especially true now, when good health and wellness is so essential to weathering the stress and challenges associated with the ongoing pandemic. “I believe it is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on what we value, where we put our time and energy and how we ultimately view ourselves. It is my goal to help clients connect and navigate through these unknowns while guiding and supporting them in their healing journey,” she says.

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Primary MD/ Sublime Wellness

220/240 - 815 17 Avenue SW Calgary, AB T2T 0A1 403.266.5585   @sublimewellness   @sublimewellness

Taking healthcare to the next level Photo: Dr. Kathryn Dundas, M.D., C.C.F.P, CEO & Medical Director; Missing in photograph: Bonnie Jones and Kathryn Thompson, RN, BN; David Dennis, Lab and X-Ray Technician, Registered Acupuncturist; Tammy Oak, Kinesiologist, BA Holistic Health Sciences, Nutritional Therapist


hen Dr. Kathryn Dundas was in premature labour with twins she rushed to the hospital, only to be turned away without seeing a doctor. But the physician who had given birth before went right back in and three hours later welcomed two newborn daughters at just 27 weeks. That experience nearly two decades ago, along with many months that followed at a neonatal intensive care unit, proved to be a major life pivot for Dundas. Being a patient positioned her to be a better doctor and pursue new ways to provide care. “People are not being listened to and it’s not because staff didn’t care, it is because they didn’t have time,” she says. “It opened my eyes.” Over years working as a rural physician in Sundre, caring for patients at both the ER

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and her family practice, Dundas acquired a broad range of experience. In 2004, she sold her practice and launched something completely different. Blending her personal experience with her professional skills, she founded the first private medical clinic in Canada, Primary MD. Clients, seen by referral, are given unparalleled, personalized medical care and coaching with Dundas and her team complementing care through the public system with an integrative approach to heal with mind, body, spirit with traditional medicine and holistic alternatives. “I become their primary care advisor,” Dundas says. “Their asset manager.” While some of the care is covered through provincial healthcare, Dundas’ clients are those wanting to invest in their well-being by taking it to the next level.

Primary MD clients have access to a global network of experts and in-house professionals who can offer everything from V02 max testing or functional movement assessments to acupuncture, prolotherapy pain injections or investigations into nutrigenomics. In 2007, Dundas opened the adjacent Sublime Wellness to offer some of those integrative medical options to others, as well as traditional spa services and procedures like laser treatments for antiaging and hair removal and injectables. Dundas loves being able to focus on prevention and dig deeper to help heal clients. “From my experiences, I vowed to always listen to my patients,” she says, “that is the healing art. Primary MD and Sublime give me the space and resources to do just that.”

Top Doctors & Medical Champions  –  November 2020  65

Ryan C. Frank Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery

RYA N C . F R A N K P L A S TI C , A E S TH E TI C A N D R E CO N S TRU C TI V E S U R G E RY 300, 333 - 24 Avenue SW Calgary, AB T2S 3E6 403.245.1228   @ ryancfrankmd   @ryanfrankmd   @ryanfrankmdplasticsurgery

Finding beauty in opportunities to transform lives LEFT TO RIGHT: Wayne Perron, MD, FRCS(C); Lana Nielsen, R.N; Ryan C. Frank, MD, FRCS(C,) MBA; Shona Heffernan, Office Manager; Carol Carruthers, R.N., B.N.


hether it’s surgery to reshape a child’s skull or cosmetic procedures for adults seeking change – Dr. Frank sees his work as a thing of beauty. That’s because the plastic surgeon considers it a blessing to have the skills to improve the lives of his patients, young and old. “It’s sounds cheesy but it’s true. I feel passionate about the opportunity to help people feel better about themselves,” the 42-year-old Calgarian says. “I feel like I’m good at it and I care.” When he’s not working at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, Frank offers a select number of cosmetic procedures which are done in his office. Patients rely on his expertise for a variety of reasons – to correct birth defects or disfigurements caused by an accident, injury or illness or to alter the appearance

of facial features they have been unhappy with for years. Some opt for procedures to improve the aesthetics of the face, breast and body. Over the years, Frank found his niche by narrowing his focus to areas of speciality which include rhinoplasty, breast surgery for both men and women, tummy tucks and otoplasty (ear surgeries). His mentor and now senior partner, Dr. Wayne Perron, helped him refine his skills as a plastic surgeon over the last decade. Frank’s late father, Cy, an orthopedic surgeon named a member of the Order of Canada for his contributions to advancing orthopedic health-care services in Alberta and for scientific contributions to bone and joint repair, inspired him to become a doctor. His work in pediatric plastic surgery, sees Frank performs ear pinnings, mole removals

66  November 2020  –  Top Doctors & Medical Champions

and repairs to cleft lips and palates. Some of his pediatric cases are more complex and intense than others where Frank works with a neurosurgeon, spending several hours in the operating room, taking on the delicate task of reconstructing craniofacial deformities. “A lot of parents are sad and scared but very reasonable. Fortunately, most things go very well and there are a lot of happy patients. It can be very stressful but very rewarding,” he says. While Frank’s expertise transforms many lives close to home, he has also taken on international medical missions to bring life-changing care to underserved areas of the world including Cambodia, Haiti and Guatemala. Wherever he sees his patients, Frank always appreciates it as a means to make a difference. “I feel really lucky,” he says. “This is my calling for sure.”

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Versa Movement Collective

210 - 7460 Springbank Blvd. SW Calgary, AB T3H 0W4 403.727.0802  @teamversamc  @teamversamc  @teamversamc

Integrative team of experts puts the motion into medicine LEFT TO RIGHT: Evan Baldwin, M. ScPT, M. Sc, SFMA, Cert. Acupunture, Gunn IMS, Spinal Manipulation; Andrea Ginter, BScKin, MScPT, Cert. Functional Dry Needling; Mathew Thompson, M.ScPT, BA Sport & Exercise; Lindsey Witzel, Adv. BA Psychology, Cert. BCRPA Group Fitness, Pre + Postnatal Fitness


ake two pods and hit the pavement. Analysing how clients run is one of many ways the Versa Movement Collective team helps clients with everything from healing injuries to working on strength and conditioning or getting professional coaching to improve performance. But how they do it, is where they are different. Wearable technology to capture a client’s running data in mere millisecond snapshots showcases the unique outdoor advantage some Versa clients love. With two RunScribe pods attached to their sneakers, clients go for a threekilometre run, returning to a physiotherapist who downloads data detailing everything from step rates to how much energy a runner is putting into the ground and getting back. The cutting-edge technology offers a

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deeper dive into how a runner’s body is working when it’s in motion. “It just gives us more information,” Versa co-owner, Evan Baldwin says. For many years, the idea of opening a physical therapy clinic where clients could see a comprehensive approach to address issues and, in many cases prevent injuries from recurring or happening, was a pipe dream between friends. But two years ago, the veteran physiotherapist and Business Developer, Lindsey Witzel, created a collective of professionals, with a varied skill set to offer clients that interdisciplinary approach. “I just feel like physiotherapy is more than what we typically provide as practitioners on the table,” says Evans. “Injury prevention is a huge part of our model. To truly put it into practice you have to have services and personnel to do that.”

Versa also caters to avid golfers, including many who simply want to put work in during the winter to try to avoid injuries during the sporting season. “They go from doing very little all winter and are playing up to 50 or 60 times in a summer,” Baldwin says. “It’s hard to get better when you can’t play.” Those who visit the smaller, private clinic can be assured they will still receive the same excellent care. They will also be safeguarded with protocols introduced as a result of the pandemic which include therapists only seeing one patient at a time with no overlap and staff going above and beyond to adhere to all cleaning and sanitizing procedures. Due to pandemic protocols, Versa introduced virtual appointments. Although about 80 per cent of its clients come in for appointments, some like the virtual option so much it is now a permanent option.

Top Doctors & Medical Champions  –  November 2020  67


Wayfound Mental Health Group

630, 999 8 Street SW Calgary, AB T2R 1J5 403.850.6711 1.855.946.7792   @wayfoundmhg   @wayfoundmhg

Champions of innovative mental health and wellness LEFT TO RIGHT: Dr. Megan McElheran, R.Psych., CEO & Chief Clinician; Dr. Ravinder Bains, M.D.; Dr. Milena Spasojevic, M.S., Psy.D., R.Psych; Dr. Lawrence Deck, R.Psych


t Wayfound, improving the health and wellness of one individual, family, co-worker or neighbour can improve and strengthen the greater community. This is why our entire team works tirelessly to innovate, connect, train and research all aspects of mental wellness. While maintaining physical health is widely accepted as a daily priority, for many of us, taking care of our mental health is far less routine. "There is so much about our emotional life and our psychology that we are not taught a whole lot about - we have to find out by trial and error, oftentimes, through difficult experiences,” says Dr. McElheran, Wayfound's CEO and Chief Clinician. Today, global rates of mental healthcare utilization are higher than ever. The team at

Wayfound, while seeing a surge in clients reaching out compared to pre-pandemic days also strives to improve upon the need for better and more accessible mental healthcare for all. “There is a revolution going on or about to happen in the mental health industry and we are excited to be on the vanguard of that,” McElheran says. “It will look specifically at using innovative technology to help people gain better access to healthcare and look at much more emphasis on prevention versus solely on reaction and only treatment.” Wayfound, which is headquartered in Calgary, offers general and specialized services, including child and adolescent treatment and trauma treatment for first responders. McElheran says addressing

68  November 2020  –  Top Doctors & Medical Champions

mental health proactively is very important and often beneficial. “Mental health is not about being happy all the time but about seeing the world clearly and yourself clearly,” she says.” For some that might require reaching out for professional help. Our entire team is highly trained, compassionate and caring. Ultimately, the team at Wayfound hopes to facilitate and lead a wider push for making the treatment and maintenance of mental health a top priority for everyone. "Taking care of our mental health should be no different than taking care of our physical health", says McElheran. Assessing how we are doing mentally and emotionally is something we all deserve and we hope to normalize this.  For more information on services or to get help now, visit us at

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Western Laser Eye Associates A team focus on tailored eye care LEFT TO RIGHT: Dr. Nana Boadi, BSc, OD; Dr. Ellen Anderson Penno, MD MS, FRCSC, Diplomate ABO;

627 Bowness Road NW Calgary, AB T3B 0E6 Laser Vision Correction 403.547.9775 General Ophthalmology & Optometry 403.247.1477 Twenty 20 Eyewear 403.247.2020   @westernlasereyeassociates

Dr. Ugo Dodd, MD MS, FRCSC; DR. Regan Nowlan, BSc, OD


very patient who visits Western Laser Eye Associates is there for their vision. But owner, Dr. Ellen Anderson Penno and her team, tailor their approach to each individual’s needs. “I like to say to my staff, ‘The eyes are attached to a person,’” says the ophthalmologist and laser vision correction surgeon. While the practice will always have its wholistic approach to eye care and laser eyesight correction, the shut-down at the start of the pandemic made it easier for an in-house expansion which increases options for patients who don’t qualify for or want corrective procedures. Twenty 20 Eyewear, which is located

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inside the clinic, is the first optical for the community of Bowness and a convenient resource for patients who need glasses. “It’s a business-within-a-business,” says Penno. It’s also another example of how Western Laser Eye Associates, and its team of two ophthalmologists and three optometrists, is hardly a one-size-fits-all operation. The clinic is also now equipped with the only VisuMax laser system in Calgary which means even better delivery of established techniques and the opportunity for patients to choose Small Incision Lenticule Extraction (SMILE) laser vision correction. The procedure for those with nearsightedness involves laparoscopic, no-flap

laser surgery which is less invasive, more comfortable and quicker to heal than more common options. “We are the only one that has that technology at the moment but we are creating a cooperative so there will be other surgeons who have access to that laser,” Penno says. With all the safety protocols in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, things look a little different these days but the same care is still there. "I am so proud of our staff who have really stepped up with extra cleaning, masks, and social distancing where possible so we can keep caring for our patients through this pandemic," Penno says.

Top Doctors & Medical Champions  –  November 2020  69


Innovative Approach to Treat Depression

Alberta a leader in delivering magnetic brain stimulation technology BY TY MCKINNEY – Director, Research at Branch Out Neurological Foundation. BRANCHOUTNF




eing pitched into a pandemic has shown many of us what it’s like to live with uncertainty, to have our dreams dashed and be confronted with barriers to authentic human connection at a time when we could really use it. Some of us put on a brave face but beneath it we are struggling. For some people, wearing a mask in uncertain times is nothing new. Almost one in eight Canadians struggle with depression. If left untreated, depression doesn’t simply go away. Instead, it can rob people of precious opportunities and lead to missed work and increased health-care costs. Even for those who do seek treatment, there is often no quick fix. Sadly, as many as 21 per cent of depression cases are classified as treatment resistant because first-line pharmaceutical and therapy options do not relieve symptoms and lead to recovery. This means people can do all of the right things and still be burdened with depression limiting their potential to live rich, fulfilling lives. Frustration and hopelessness have led people to look for better options. And some have found success with an innovative depression treatment called repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or rTMS. Using extremely safe, focused magnetic

70  November 2020

pulses, rTMS gently stimulates and rewires brain networks implemented in depression. Dr. Frank MacMaster, a University of Calgary associate professor in the department of psychiatry, provided teenagers with treatmentresistant depression the opportunity to try rTMS as part of his research. While anti-depressants and therapy did not help these youth, over 50 per cent of those in the study saw incredible progress after just three weeks of treatment. Following 15, 40-minute sessions, those youth were able to re-engage with family, friends, school, work, and community activities. As researchers continue to refine this technology, they are also studying its potential to treat other mental health conditions including PTSD and Tourette Syndrome. MacMaster is now partnering with local organizations like Branch Out Neurological Foundation and the Rotary Club to get this exciting technology out of the lab and into the doctor’s office so it is available to more people. While there are several private rTMS clinics across Canada (not covered by provincial healthcare) Alberta is the first province to develop a publicly-available rTMS program with clinics in Edmonton and Calgary. Those interested can discuss the treatment option with their psychiatrist.

IMPACT Magazine


Making Movement Part of the Workday How your posture and moving during the day impacts your performance WITH DR. JONAS EYFORD – Chiropractor, consultant, and author of The Healthy Hairstylist in Toronto, ON DRJONASEYFORD


bout a decade ago, experts dubbed sitting too long as the new smoking. And the fact remains, being sedentary isn’t good for your health. Anyone who has had a long day at the desk knows it can end Is your posture getting worse because of the way you sit? with neck pain, back problems and headaches. Research links long Probably. Is this affecting the way you run or lift or compete or periods of sitting to health concerns including obesity, increased taking on any sport? Almost certainly. The answer, however, is not blood pressure and excess body fat around the mid-section. to sit all day with better posture but, rather, to According to the Mayo Clinic, an analysis of 13 move more. The good news is that improving studies found being bottom-down for more posture might be easier than you think. than eight hours a day with no physical Building more movement into your day activity translates into a risk of dying similar is more effective than the never-ending to those posed by obesity and smoking. struggle of trying not to slouch. Making these And any damage done by the sitfew changes can not only cure your slouching down work day isn’t undone by exercise, DR. JONAS EYFORD habit, but keep you injury-free and help says Dr. Jonas Eyford, who launched athletic performance. “It’s like smoking a cigarette and eating a salad,” he says. “It’s not going to MIX IT UP undo the effects.” Create three positions to work in - sitting, standing and lounging With pandemic protocols shuttering many workplaces, sending with your feet up on the couch, for example. Change positions employees home to do their job, good posture and adequate every hour if you can. That way, you cut the strain of any work movement is more essential than ever. Sitting back on the sofa or posture down to 33 per cent of its original impact. lounging in bed while working might have seemed like a good idea early in post-pandemic life. How is it working for you now? WORK IT IN We asked Dr. Eyford to weigh in on how posture impacts • Combine activities with work tasks. Go for a walk when you are performance and ways to accommodate the demands of your boss on a call, stand up for a video conference and relax on the sofa to and the needs of your body. write emails. We spend about half of our waking hours working. Our bodies • Fidget away. Fidgeting is the body’s way of telling you it wants to start feeling the strain of any one position after 40 minutes and move. ligaments start loosening after half that time. The posture we hold • Stay hydrated. It leads to more bathroom breaks and more while we work shapes our bodies and the way we move. Sitting for movement. long periods can shift alignment in the neck, shoulders and hips. • Build in micro-rehab. Use a lacrosse ball to roll out a tight upper The longer you sit, the more your body feels it. In terms of back when you are on phone calls. Raise your monitor and metabolic function, as minutes shift to hours of uninterrupted stretch your hips. sitting, your body starts getting signals it doesn’t need to process • Set goals. You can fit 10,000 steps into a workday without energy as much. It starts to condition itself to save energy for later, breaking a sweat. basically slowing metabolism.

It’s like smoking a cigarette & eating a salad.

71  November 2020

IMPACT Magazine


Amp Up Nutrition

Sideline your training plateaus BY ASHLEY LEONE – Sports Dietician & Owner of Gazelle Nutrition Lab in Toronto, ON GAZELLENUTRITION




aybe you’re the runner who is not getting faster or your workouts designed to gain muscle are simply not working. If all that effort isn’t pushing you to achieve your fitness goals, it’s likely you need to switch up your strategy – in the kitchen. Hitting a training plateau can be tough, especially for a dedicated athlete, but revisiting your nutrition will position you to perform at your best. When I began running marathons two decades ago, I didn’t initially know how to fuel my body. I sort of guessed. And I guessed wrong. Despite all my training, I wasn’t getting a better time and was feeling really awful during and after races. That’s because I had hit the dreaded plateau. When I learned how to better hydrate my body and the importance of planning to have carbohydrates regularly to top up my fuel during the marathons, the races were enjoyable and more successful. Fine-tuning your appetite for good nutrition will help you break through a training plateau. Follow these nutrition tips to rejuvenate your game.



Eat adequately to meet training demands by choosing athlete-sized portions of nutrient-dense foods. Low energy availability hinders performance by resulting in hormone and metabolic changes. Fill half your plate with colourful veggies and the rest with protein and high-fibre carbohydrates respectively. Choose larger portions of starches and protein rich foods around tough workouts.



Avoid running on an empty tank. Space your food intake throughout the day, ensuring you have a good source of protein at each meal and snack. Optimize muscle building by spacing your protein intake every three to four hours in 20 to 40 g increments.



Proper hydration is key to performance. Re-evaluate your hydration by keeping tabs on your total fluid intake each day, as well as how much you drink during your workout. Depending on factors like body size and temperature, for every hour of exercise, drink about two to three cups of fluid. Water is best for training sessions that last less than an hour. For exercise lasting longer than an hour, consider a sports drink.

IMPACT Magazine



Eat and hydrate soon after practice. Choose meals or snacks that include grams of carbs and protein in a 2:1 ratio. For example, two cups of chocolate soy milk provide 38 g of carbohydrates and 18 g of protein. In addition to improving post-workout fueling, sleep is essential to recovery. To improve sleep quality, avoid caffeine before bedtime and choose a light magnesium-rich meal in the evening.



Here are a few examples of nutrients that may supplement healthy eating to enhance your results. Individual results vary, so try these strategies in practice. Also, supplements are not necessary for performance gains and are not recommended in adolescents. For specific information about dosing, check out the International Olympic Committee consensus statement on supplements: CAFFEINE

Caffeine reduces perceived effort and fatigue and improves focus for many athletes. Use caffeine about 60 minutes before exercise or during the latter part of a competition to get results. N I T R AT E S

Nitrates can improve performance by increasing breathing efficiency, particularly for high-intensity efforts. To harness the benefits of nitrates, regularly include foods like beets and arugula. C R E AT I N E

Creatine supplements increase muscle creatine stores and enhance short-term, high-intensity exercise. Benefits include enhanced muscle building, exercise recovery, injury prevention, and concussion recovery. Conquering a fitness plateau is not easy. Amp up nutrition to reinvigorate your training!

November 2020  72

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November 2020  73


Nutrition for Anxiety Make sure you are not feeding that feeling BY OCEAN ROBBINS – CEO Food Revolution Network FOODREVOLUTIONNETWORK


This article is reprinted by permission of the Food Revolution Network.


hat you eat directly affects the structure and function of your brain and, ultimately, your mood. When it comes to addressing mental health, it’s important to examine your brain on food. It turns out that the adage ‘You are what you eat,’ extends to your mental and emotional experience — not just your physical body. There is a demonstrated link between nutrition and mental health. Patients suffering from mental disorders often exhibit a severe deficiency of important vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids. Here are some of the most well-researched nutrients which are key to addressing anxiety and depression.


Vitamin D plays a critical role in optimal brain development and is a key ingredient in the production of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is associated with motivation, reward-seeking and pleasure. O M E G A - 3 F A T T Y A C I D S

Researchers theorize an imbalanced ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids (specifically getting too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3) can negatively affect brain function and heighten the risk of several mental and psychological issues. Several studies show supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids can reduce symptoms of anxiety. S E L E N I U M


Your nerves and brain need iron. A severe iron deficiency in young children can cause irreversible cognitive damage that can lead to delays in development. It can also cause and exacerbate many kinds of psychiatric symptoms. Sometimes iron deficiency presents as anxiety, depression, irritability and even poor concentration and general restlessness. B V I T A M I N S

B vitamins, such as vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and vitamin B9 (folate) are especially important when it comes to anxiety. These vitamins help produce and control brain chemicals and influence mood and other mental functions. Vitamin B6, known as pyridoxine, is also necessary for the formation of two neurotransmitters: serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), both of which can reduce anxiety and restore calm. 74  November 2020

Selenium is crucial for brain health and mood. Studies show adequate selenium may improve mood and diminish anxiety. In one study, researchers noted that the less selenium study participants had in their regular diet, the more frequently they experienced episodes of anxiety. Z I N C

A 2011 study showed people with anxiety had lower levels of zinc in their bodies than matched controls who did not suffer from anxiety. In addition, the anxious group reported fewer symptoms after a course of supplementation with zinc and antioxidants. M A G N E S I U M

Magnesium may play a role in regulating the nervous system to reduce symptoms of anxiety. While more research is needed, a 2017 meta-analysis showed a correlation between low magnesium levels and increased anxiety, as well as some data suggesting that supplementation could help. IMPACT Magazine

TOP FOODS We know certain nutrients are helpful in preventing or even reversing anxiety but where do you get them? And the answer is (drumroll please): from food. Here are some of the top foods to add to your diet if you want to cultivate an anti-anxiety diet and lifestyle.

B E A N S & O T H E R L E G U M E S

Both beans and legumes are great sources of magnesium. And they’re a great source of the prebiotic fibres that feed good gut bacteria. They’re also a healthy source of plant-based, non-heme iron. F E R M E N T E D F O O D S

These are rich in magnesium as well as tryptophan, an amino acid that the body converts into the neurotransmitter serotonin. Brazil nuts and sunflower seeds, in particular, are high in selenium.

Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchi, kefir, miso, and kombucha are rich in probiotics and may improve gut health by feeding good gut bacteria. Believe it or not, your gut health plays a major role in overall health, including mental health, and well-being (ever heard of the gut-brain connection?)



Berries are fibre-rich. And they’re also antioxidant powerhouses which can help protect against stress and anxiety. Evidence shows the antioxidant flavonoids found in blueberries and other fruit are associated with a decreased risk of developing depression in young adults and children. Plus, just thinking about blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries may even lift your mood. They’re not just good for you; they’re pretty to look at too.

Several types of edible mushrooms can strengthen the immune system and increase resistance to stress. These include medicinal mushrooms like reishi, lion’s mane, and cordyceps. Lion’s mane, in particular, has anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce anxiety symptoms.

N U T S & S E E D S


Adaptogens are herbs and plants used to help the body adapt to many of the problems of modern living: low mood, stress, anxiety, depression and a compromised immune system. These include ginseng, goji berry, astragalus, ashwagandha and certain mushrooms.


Green tea is a rich source of the amino acid L-theanine, which has links to lower levels of anxiety. In a 2017 study, researchers gave green tea or a placebo to a small group of students. The study found students drinking the green tea reported lower subjective stress. Many herbal teas that help with anxiety, and may also fight stress, include chamomile, peppermint, lavender and passionflower. A S P A R A G U S


See, there’s some good news here. Dark chocolate, with minimal added sugars, can improve mood and lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. Chocolate also contains magnesium and non-heme iron. And some varieties may include small amounts of B vitamins, including vitamin B6 and B12.

While all vegetables are welcome additions to a healthy diet, asparagus in particular appears to have specific anti-anxiety effects. The Chinese government actually approved the use of asparagus extract as a natural food supplement to relieve anxiety. A V O C A D O


Let’s face it, leafy greens are good for just about everything. Anxiety is no exception. Dark greens, such as spinach and Swiss chard, are high in magnesium and antioxidants, both of which may be beneficial in fighting anxiety. IMPACT Magazine

Avocados are rich in B vitamins, healthy fats and lots of antioxidants. Antioxidants in avocados work to eliminate oxidative stress. Although it may naturally occur as part of the aging process, chronic psychological stress can exacerbate and increase oxidative damage. November 2020  75


Killer Crispy Latkes with Sour Cream & Chives As a terrific breakfast or brunch item, nothing beats these flavourful potato pancakes! BY DOUG MCNISH – One of IMPACT Magazine’s Canada’s Top Plant-Based Chefs; author & entrepreneur CHEFDOUGMCNISH


veryone loves potatoes, and everyone loves pancakes, so these “potato pancakes” are perhaps one of life’s true joys! Potato pancakes are so diversely delicious that many cultures have their own savoury and sweet versions, from the Jewish holiday staple called “latkes,” a Korean kind called “gamjajeon,” and the traditional Irish “boxty.” The trick to making the perfect latke is removing as much of the starch as possible, and making the potato as dry as possible before cooking. Serve them hot with my sour cream and feel free to get creative with your toppings, though I suggest a classic sprinkling of chives. Makes 24 Latkes

INGREDIENTS Latkes • 2 ½ lbs. Russet potatoes, skin on • 2 Tbsp. ground, golden flaxseed • ½ cup finely diced white onion • ½ cup all-purpose flour • 1 Tbsp. sea salt • 2 tsp. chopped, fresh thyme leaves • Vegetable oil for frying Garnish • ¼ cup chopped fresh chives • ½ cup sour cream (see below)

76  November 2020

DIRECTIONS 1. Using a food processor fitted with the shredding attachment, or a box grater, grate the potatoes. If using a food processor, cut the potatoes to fit through the feed tube. 2. Fill a deep, large bowl with cold water. Add the grated potatoes to the water. This will help remove starch from the potatoes. 3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flaxseed and hot water until well combined. Set aside to let soak for 10 minutes so the flaxseed can swell and absorb the moisture in the water. 4. In a medium frying pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the thyme and cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside to cool. 5. Using your hands, squeeze the water out of the potatoes until they are completely dry. You want to remove as much water as you can from the potatoes, so your cooked latkes will be nice and crispy. Place the potatoes in a medium bowl. Add the flaxseed mixture, flour, sautéed onions, and salt. Mix until well combined. 6. Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (you might need two baking sheets).

7. Using a ¼ cup measuring cup, divide the mixture into 24 equal portions. Using your hands, shape each latke so they are roughly 3 inches in diameter. In a large frying pan, heat enough vegetable oil so the bottom is covered and the oil comes up the sides of the pan about ¼-inch over medium-high heat. Taking care not to crowd the pan, in batches, adding more oil as necessary, fry the latkes until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and place the latkes on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until cooked in the middle, 4 to 5 minutes. 8. Serve garnished with chopped chives and sour cream.

TIPS These are perfect to make ahead of time and reheat in the oven at 400˚F (200˚C) on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 8 to 10 minutes. Substitute an equal amount of brown rice flour for the all-purpose flour in this recipe for a gluten-free version. Nutrition facts per serving Calories 79; protein 3 g; fat 3 g; carbs 11 g. NICOLE AXWORTHY


IMPACT Magazine

Sour Cream Makes 2 cups

INGREDIENTS • 1 ½ cups firm vacuum-packed tofu, cut into small cubes • ¼ cup raw cashews, soaked and drained • 3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice • 2 Tbsp. water • 2 Tbsp. deodorized coconut oil • 1 Tbsp. + 1 ½ tsp. unpasteurized apple cider vinegar • ½ tsp. sea salt

DIRECTIONS 1. In a high-speed blender, combine the tofu, soaked cashews, lemon juice, water, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, and salt. Blend until smooth and creamy. You will need to stop the machine once or twice and use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. It will take a bit of time to blend until smooth (especially if you are not using a high-speed blender), so blend for as long as needed, up to about 5 minutes. 2. Serve immediately or transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to one week.

TIPS To soak the cashews, place them in a small bowl with 1 cup (250 mL) hot water for at least 1 hour or overnight, covered, and stored in the fridge. Drain and rinse, discarding the soaking liquid.

Excerpted from The Classics Veganized: Over 120 Favourite Comfort Food Recipes for a Vegan Lifestyle by Doug McNish. Copyright © 2020 Doug McNish. Published by Penguin Canada ®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

IMPACT Magazine

November 2020  77


Coconut Corn Dumpling Soup Sweet, spicy and bursting with flavour

BY CHAD SARNO & DEREK SARNO – Chefs & innovators at Wicked Healthy Food in Austin, TX & London, England, respectively. WICKEDHEALTHY

6-8 Servings

CORN DUMPLING INGREDIENTS • ¼ cup raw cashews • 2½ cups fresh corn kernels or frozen sweet corn • 3 Tbsp. plant-based butter • 1 clove garlic, peeled • ½ cup freeze-dried corn • ¼ cup thinly sliced green onions • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh lemongrass • 1 tsp. minced or thinly sliced red chili • 2 tsp. sea salt • Freshly ground black pepper • 1 to 1½ packages (12 oz. each) round eggless dumpling skins, about 3½-inch diameter • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch • Spray oil for steaming, or cabbage leaves or bamboo leaves • 1½ to 2 cups Coconut Corn Broth (see sidebar) • Chili oil, for garnish • Several small Thai basil leaves or more • Sliced green onions, for garnish

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DIRECTIONS 1. To make the filling, soak the cashews in water to cover at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours. Drain and rinse. You’ll add these later to the filling. 2. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Set up a bowl of ice water. Drop the fresh or frozen corn in the boiling water and blanch for 30 seconds. Use a spider strainer to transfer the corn to the ice water. Let cool for a minute or two, then transfer 2 cups of the corn to a blender (set aside the remaining ½ cup kernels). 3. Add the butter to the blender and blend until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the drained cashews and garlic and blend until smooth. The puree should be thick. Scrape it into a mixing bowl. 4. Grind the freeze-dried corn in a clean spice mill or coffee grinder to a somewhat-coarse texture, similar to cornmeal. Add to the cashew cream in the mixing bowl along with the reserved corn kernels, green onions, lemongrass, chili, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly. 5. To assemble the dumplings, set the bowl of filling, a small cup of water, your dumpling skins, and a baking sheet on a work surface. Scatter some cornstarch over the baking sheet (to help keep the dumplings from sticking to the pan).

6. For each dumpling, mound about a tablespoon of filling in the center. Dip your finger in the water and moisten the entire edge of the dumpling skin. For a shumai-style fold, bring all the sides up to the top and twist gently to make a small round purse. Pinch just under the top opening of the purse to gently close it. You should have enough filling to make 30 to 40 dumplings. 7. These dumplings are best steamed: Spray a steamer basket with oil or line with cabbage leaves or bamboo leaves to prevent sticking. Put the dumplings in the steamer in batches, place over simmering water, cover, and steam until the dumplings are tender, about 3 minutes. 8. Gather 6 to 8 small serving bowls and place 4 or 5 dumplings in the center of each. Pour about ¼ cup broth around the dumplings in each bowl so a little broth comes up the sides of the dumplings. Anoint each bowl with a few drops of chili oil and a couple of basil leaves (or sliced green onions).



his beautiful soup with Thai flavors will quickly become one of your favourites this season! Sweet, sour, spicy, salty, minty, gingery, garlicky…the broth’s got it going on! And honestly, who doesn’t love dumplings? Nestle these dumplings in a small bowl of broth with a few drops of chili oil and some Thai basil leaves, and they make a sensual little starter.

IMPACT Magazine

BROTH INGREDIENTS • 6 large ears corn, preferably organic and in season, shucked • 3 quarts water • 1 can (14 oz.) coconut milk or coconut cream • 1 jalapeño, halved lengthwise (remove seeds for less heat) • ¼ cup thinly sliced fresh ginger • ¼ cup garlic cloves (8 to 12 cloves), crushed with the flat of your knife • 10 fresh mint sprigs, stems and all • 1 bay leaf • 1 star anise, optional • 1 tsp. sea salt • ½ tsp. ground white pepper • 1 lime, juiced

DIRECTIONS 1. Snap or cut ears of corn in half. 2. Bring the water to a boil in a large stockpot over high heat. Add the corn and everything else except the lime juice. Cut the heat to medium, then bring the liquid to a slow simmer. Let it simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. 3. Remove the corncobs and cut the kernels from the cobs. Return the naked cobs to the broth along with the lime juice. Continue simmering gently over medium heat for another 30 minutes. The liquid will reduce in volume by about one-fourth, which is fine. Shut off the heat and let everything cool down a bit in the pot. Strain the warm broth through a finemesh strainer into quart containers, then use immediately or refrigerate for a week or two before using. Nutrition facts per serving: Calories 217; protein 4 g, fat 14 g, carbs 19.

IMPACT Magazine

November 2020  79


Lazy Cabbage Rolls

Serve up this one-skillet fall favourite in no time flat! BY ZUZANA FAJKUSOVA – Personal wellness coach and author in Vancouver, B.C. ACTIVEVEGETARIAN



o you love the taste of classic cabbage rolls, but don’t have the time to make them? This meat-free cabbage roll casserole can be made in a fraction of the time, and delivers the same great flavors of stuffed cabbage with very little effort. So tasty and easy! 3 Servings

INGREDIENTS • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

1 Tbsp. coconut oil 1 medium-size onion, chopped 2 large carrots, diced 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 tsp. oregano, dry or fresh Pinch of thyme 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. pepper 5 large tomatoes, diced 1 (8-oz can no-sugar-added tomato paste ½ lemon, juiced 1 Tbsp. molasses 1 cup filtered water 1 small head cabbage, chopped 1 cup yellow split peas, soaked and drained ½ cup uncooked brown rice, soaked and drained

1. In a deep-dish skillet, warm the coconut oil over medium-low heat. 2. Add the onion, carrots and garlic, and cook for 5 minutes, or until softened. 3. Stir in the dried herbs, salt, pepper, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, lemon juice, molasses and water, then bring to a low boil. 4. Mix in the chopped cabbage, and stir to combine all ingredients. 5. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. 6. Stir in the split peas and brown rice. 7. Cover and cook over low-medium heat for approximately 30 to 35 minutes or until cooked and thickened. Enjoy! Nutrition facts per serving Calories 300; protein 10 g; fat 5 g; carbs 45 g.

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IMPACT Magazine



Calgary's first full-service vegan restaurant is open in the historic George Stanley home in the Beltline

Photo: Cottage in the Woods Photography

Vegan Street was born out of a passion for the vegan lifestyle, and a desire to bring plant-based cuisine to the mainstream dining culture in our city. Pull up a seat, enjoy a cocktail, and indulge in the foods you love, made entirely from plants.

Photo: Curiocity Calgary

Photo: Oliva McFarlane


Cauliflower Chick Pea Curry & Quinoa with Smoky Fermented Cilantro Cream Rich in fibre and protein, and quick and easy to make RECIPE & PHOTOGRAPHY BY DANIELLE ARSENAULT-KETCH – One of IMPACT Magazine’s Top Vegan Influencers, Raw food chef and author of Pachavega Living Foods Education from Vancouver Island, B.C. & Ometepe, Nicaragua. PACHAVEGA



you have 20 minutes, you can whip up this delicious meal for the whole family. Even though we try to limit our use of canned foods in the whole food, plant based lifestyle, a few cans are generally accepted as a healthy alternative (and timesaving) to the fresh version - these include: organic coconut milk and all kinds of organic beans (chick peas, black beans, navy beans, pinto). If you're cooking your own beans at home, add a 3-5" strip of dried kombu (sold at Japanese supermarkets) to a pot of cooking beans (you can also use a pressure cooker to half the time needed to cook the beans). The kombu will eventually disintegrate when stirred and leave behind an extra boost of vitamins and minerals. Serves 4

INGREDIENTS Curry • 2 Tbsp. veggie broth (or coconut oil) • 1 medium head of cauliflower, chopped into medium florets • 1 small onion, chopped • 2 cloves garlic, minced • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped small • 1/2 serrano pepper, minced • 1 can of chickpeas (rinsed and drained) • 1 can of coconut milk • 2 Tbsp. gluten-free tamari • 1 Tbsp. fresh ginger (minced) • 2 tsp. cumin powder • 1 tsp. coriander powder • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder • 1 tsp. of each: maple syrup, pink salt and apple cider vinegar to give it a final pop of robust flavour! 82  November 2020

DIRECTIONS 1. Heat a large sauce pan to medium hot and add broth or coconut oil, spice powders, ginger, serrano, onion, garlic and salt. Sauté for a few minutes. 2. Lower the temp to medium low, add the cauliflower and stir. Let simmer and stir every 3 minutes until the cauliflower is golden brown. 3. Add coconut milk, tamari, chick peas, tomatoes and stir. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. You want a simmer, not a boil, which should be around low to medium-low heat. 4. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. At this time, taste and adjust the flavor of the broth as needed. Add an extra teaspoon of maple syrup or apple cider vinegar — or both to balance the taste. 5. Serve as is, with quinoa or add a scoop to your next salad. 6. Garnish with something fermented, something sprouted and some seaweed. Here we have fermented smoky cilantro cream, sunflower sprouts and dulse flakes. 7. Store leftovers in the refrigerator up to six days or in the freezer up to six months. Reheat in a sauce pan by adding extra coconut milk and tomato. This curry is quick and simple and super delicious. Perfect for the whole family! Nutrition facts per serving Calories 138; protein 6 g; fat 5 g; carbs 16 g.

Smoky Fermented Cilantro Cream INGREDIENTS • • • • • • • • • • • •

2 cups cashews 1 cup water 1 Tbsp. lemon juice 1 probiotic capsule 3 cups fresh cilantro 1 cup kale ¼ cup olive oil 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar 2 cloves garlic 1 Tbsp. sauerkraut juice 1 tsp. liquid smoke ¼ tsp. Himalayan pink salt, more to taste

DIRECTIONS 1. Make the fermented cashew cream first by blending the ingredients on high until smooth and creamy. 2. Transfer to a mason jar with a lot of room left in the jar and leave in a warm place for 24 - 36 hours or until you see bubbles forming in the cream. The temperature of your space determines how fast your ferment goes. 3. Pulse remaining ingredients (except the cashew cream and garlic) in the food processor until well chopped but not a homogenized paste (keep some texture), then empty into a large bowl. 4. Add chopped garlic and fermented cashew cream, mix by hand then transfer to a storage container. 5. Keeps fresh for 2 weeks in the fridge (because it's fermented).

IMPACT Magazine

IMPACT Magazine

November 2020  83


Vegan Zucchini Pistachio Cake Treat yourself to a slice of decadence

BY LAUREN TOYOTA – Author of Vegan Comfort Classics: 101 Recipes to Feed Your Face, creator of the Hot For Food Blog in Toronto, ON & Los Angeles, CA HOTFORFOOD




his simple recipe is slightly spiced and has the added health benefit of zucchini. Actually adding the zucchini gives this cake an awesome moist and fluffy texture. The added nutrition is just a bonus! Makes one 6-inch cake (about 8 pieces)

INGREDIENTS Cake Batter • ¼ cup shelled, salted pistachios • 1 Tbsp. golden flax meal • 2 Tbsp. water • 1 cup all-purpose flour • ½ tsp. baking powder • ½ tsp. sea salt • ¼ tsp. baking soda • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg • ½ cup (1 stick) vegan butter • ½ cup granulated sugar • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar • 1 tsp. vanilla extract • 1 zucchini (about 7-inches long x 1 ½-inches wide)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 6-inch spring form pan with parchment paper, and grease the sides with vegan butter. 1. To make the cake batter, first grind up the pistachios in a spice grinder or small food processor into a fine flour or meal. 2. In a small bowl, combine flax meal and water and set aside to thicken. 3. In a large mixing bowl, combine allpurpose flour, ground pistachios, baking powder, sea salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. 4. In another bowl, melt the butter in the microwave or over low heat in a saucepan. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract and the thickened flax mixture and whisk until well combined. 5. Shred the zucchini on a box grater. You should have about 1 ¼ cup shredded. Using a nut milk bag or fine mesh sieve, strain and squeeze the zucchini of excess water. Once strained, it’s about ¾ cup of shredded zucchini. 6. Add shredded zucchini to the flour mixture and break it up, tossing it around in the flour to coat. Add the melted butter and sugar mixture, and fold together with a spatula until combined and no dry ingredients are visible, but ensure you do not overmix the batter. 7. Pour the cake batter into the springform

pan. Spread evenly out to the edges. Place in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 8. Remove the cake onto a wire rack and allow it to cool for at least 30 to 40 minutes before removing the outer ring of the springform pan. Ensure you cool the cake completely before frosting. 9. To make the frosting, combine cream cheese, confectioners sugar, lime zest, and lime juice, with a spatula or hand mixer until smooth. Spread the frosting on top of the cake in an even layer. It should just slightly drip over the edges and hold its shape without dripping all the way down the side of the cake. Sprinkle chopped pistachios all over the top. Allow the frosting to set for about 30 minutes before serving. 10. Leftovers should be stored in the fridge. Before eating, it’s best to let the cake sit out and reach room temperature. Nutrition facts per serving Calories 376; protein 3 g; fat 16 g; carbs 55 g.


Lime Cream Cheese Frosting • ¼ cup plain vegan cream cheese • 1 ½ cup sifted organic confectioner’s sugar • zest of 1 lime (about 2 tsp), plus a few drops of juice • 1 Tbsp. shelled, salted pistachios, finely chopped as garnish


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IMPACT Magazine

IMPACT Magazine

November 2020  85


Your Brain on Exercise

The mental health benefits of exercise

BY JESSICA POWER CYR – Lifestyle director at the Glencoe Club and Faculty instructor at MRU in Calgary, AB JESSICAPOWERCYR




et’s be honest, we are not the same person we were going into quarantine. Quarantine has affected us all differently. For some this was a well-needed recharge, and for others this was devastating. I know I’ve questioned my mental health more in the last six months than I have in my entire life, but overall I have remained positive and happy. What really made a difference in my mental health journey was participating in regular physical activity and exercise. It gave me a boost of energy when I was feeling down, allowed me to process my emotions and it gave me sense of control over my situation. As a certified exercise physiologist, I understand the psychological and physiological benefits of exercise and my goal is to share with you why participating in regular physical activity and exercise can boost your mental health.

HOW EXERCISE DIRECTLY AFFECTS THE BRAIN • Helps the body fuel the production of endorphins and eukephalins. These are your happy hormones; they can help make problems seem more manageable. The focus on completing the exercise session can provide a distraction and/or coping mechanism which can help decrease our stress levels and provide us with a sense of control. • Increases the body’s temperature which is known to provide comfort and a state of balance. This provides an opportunity for mastery and competence, which can build one’s self-esteem. A strong self-esteem creates a link about how we feel about ourselves which can boost our mental health. • Encourages social connections. Those connections increase our feeling of belonging and purpose. Belonging is a primal need and is fundamental to our happiness and well-being. We are social animals who thrive in networks of people. • Improves dopamine receptor sensitivity over time, signaling the brains reward system. Our brain recognizes something important is happening and it’s worth remembering and repeating, so we end up looking forward to the next exercise session because it’s rewarding.

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• Regular exercise strengthens the cardiorespiratory system providing more blood to the brain. Better blood supply improves the health of the neurons (neurons transmit information throughout the body) by feeding them oxygen, nutrients, neurotrophic factors, and neurohormones. This supports the neurons the ability to create connections and grow. Neurotrophic factors support the growth and survival of neurons while neurohormones transport chemical messages throughout the body. So how much is enough to see the psychological benefits of exercise? Honestly, almost any movement is better than nothing. Research does show that moderate-to vigorous exercise will provide the most psychological and physiological benefits to the body. With the quarantine not looking like it’s coming to an end any time soon, maybe this is the year to try something new. Consider trying outdoor activities that allow for physical distancing and fresh air such as snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing/snowboarding, ice skating and even winter hiking. However, if you want specific guidelines, the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) recommends that adults participate in 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity a week plus muscle strengthening activities using major muscle groups twice a week. They also recommend several hours of light physical activity such as standing and walking on a daily basis as the average Canadian adult is sedentary 9.5 hours a day. To find more information on Canada’s Physical Activity guidelines visit to see the most up to date research on Physical Activity and Exercise.

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