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Everyone needs to




WELLNESS Published monthly by Jennifer Reed, R.H.N. Discover Wellness is a monthly newsletter published in Quesnel, B.C., featuring various health and wellness articles from local (B.C.) professionals and enthusiasts, delicious recipes from holistic nutritionists and a professional directory showcasing our many local health and wellness leaders. Want to advertise your business in Discover Wellness? For more information about distribution, features and benefits, contact Jennifer at 250-255-2449 or email To subscribe online please visit: The opinions expressed within are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Spiral Health. Those with health concerns should seek professional advice from a healthcare provider as all content found in Discover Wellness is for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for professional healthcare advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Celebrating the Holidays Without Sweets

For some people, eating sweet foods makes them literally sick. It’s no wonder obesity and diabetes are becoming an epidemic, sugar is in EVERYTHING! From condiments such as ketchup, barbecue sauce and salad dressings, to household staples such as breads, cereals and granola bars. Ok, so you’re not about to throw out all of your condiments and start making them from scratch (although it would be awesome if you did!) but maybe it’s time to consider changing up a few unnecessary occasions where sugar consumption is at an all time high. Yep! The holidays! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I went grocery shopping early in the morning on November 1st. Santa’s little elves must have been working hard Halloween night to stock the shelves and aisles with chocolates, cakes and cookies for the holiday season. These days, the junk food of each occasion just rolls into the next and with its strategic and convenient placement in our stores, it’s truly difficult to give it the cold shoulder and let will power take the win! What will we see January 1st? Valentine’s Day chocolates no doubt and then Easter chocolates after that. When does it end? Well, it doesn’t so it’s up to us to make a change. But how can we celebrate the holidays without chocolate, cakes and cookies? By starting new traditions with family, friends and coworkers. I guarantee not everyone will be on board but you’ll feel great when you inspire even just one other person to take action! Here are a few ideas to get you started. Bring a fruit or veggie platter to the office for everyone to nibble on instead of a box of chocolates. Skip the yogurt/whipped cream dip. Fruit is plenty sweet and you know everyone will still chow down. Try hummus or guacamole for the veggie tray and avoid the sugar loaded ranch dip. Ask Santa to hold off on the sweets and fill the stockings with useful and creative toys and items for the kids such as flashlights (I’m pretty sure every kid loves flashlights), their own set of wooden spoons and spatulas to help mom and dad in the kitchen, or items to start building on their own tool, tackle or sewing box. If you’re thinking of throwing a party, make water readily available. Use a clear countertop dispenser and load it with cucumber and strawberries to keep with the colours of the season. Most people will be drawn to its simplistic beauty and will drink water where they might not have had it not been on display. Many of us find we constantly nibble at parties due to social awkwardness. It’s a way to keep our hands busy. Something fun and creative to try is having tactile items available for your guests such as Play-dough, stress balls, Rubik’s Cubes and other such toys. It will definitely strike up conversation, keep your guests entertained and reduce the amount of needless snacking that goes on. OR you could have a healthy food party. There’s nothing wrong with a veggie platter with homemade dips, fruit salad, apple and almond butter sandwiches, homemade meat balls and free-range chicken bites. I challenge you to start one new tradition this year that will reduce your intake of sweets and tap into the creative being that you are!

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is an 8­week evidence based group program designed to minimize difficulties associated with mild to moderate forms of depression, anxiety and the effects of stress. Mindfulness, when combined with cognitive therapy is effective in shifting how we relate to distressful thoughts and emotions by exploring with curiosity, gentleness and kindness. Each week is designed to support the learner in deepening self­awareness through guided meditation practices, educational content and experiential learning. The Centre for Healthy Mindspace is now accepting applications for the Winter 2017 program. Start Date Tuesday, Jan. 24th from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm Investment $180 8 weeks = 16 hrs of class time 


Mindfulness: Cultivating Resilience Program Cultivating Resilience is an 8­week evidence based group program which aims to support in the development of mindfulness and self­ compassion, known links between heath and resilience. Learners explore how self­doubt, judgement and fear limits the fullness of relationships, work life and personal goals. During each session we explore mindfulness based teachings, guided compassion based practices and educational content that support a different way of relating in the present moment. If you're looking to transform or improve key relationships both personally and professionally, you may find the learning and information in this program to be of particular interest. The Centre for Healthy Mindspace is now accepting applications for the Winter 2017 program. Start Date Wednesday, Jan. 25th from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm Investment $250 8 weeks = 16 hrs of class time

BELONG Christmas is fast approaching, and there is nothing like the holiday season to force us to confront our sense of belonging and our connection to other people. If we are not as connected as we would like to be, Christmas can be a lonely time. The need to love and be loved, to belong and feel connected to others, is the strongest of the basic psychological needs. When we feel unloved and alone, we are often sad. Some people may even feel depressed, especially this time of year. Our need to belong is deeply connected to our evolutionary history and is closely linked to our survival. Despite how fundamental our need for human love and connection is, we vary on how much connection we need. Some people are content with only a few people in their lives while others enjoy a very active social life. Sometimes we confuse what is right for us, with what we think is “normal.” There is no right amount of connection so let go of any preconceived ideas you have about how many people you “should” have in your life and focus on what seems right for you. However, if you feel lonely and disconnected, it is safe to say you have too little connection to meet your emotional needs. So what does this mean to those who nd themselves alone at Christmas? Being alone at Christmas, either because of separation, divorce, estrangement, or distance is merely a fact. The meaning we attach to this fact is what is signi cant. Someone who thinks an absence of family or a partner means they are unlovable, a loser, or worthless, and/or that they are always going to be alone is going to feel far worse than someone whose belief is more realistic. If someone believes “This is only my circumstance at the moment. It is temporary and in no way determines my worthiness,” they will be better equipped to deal with a Christmas spent alone. Likewise, a person who exaggerates their situation by telling themselves, “I’m all alone, I have no one who loves me, no one who cares about me,” is going to feel far worse than the person who tells themselves, “I may not have a partner right now, and my family may be hundreds of miles away, but I still have a few good friends and people at work who care about me.” If you and yourself not as connected this year as you would like to be, it is possible to reach out to people. Few of us are completely alone although it’s true that many of us aren’t as connected as we would like to be. Too often we feel alone because we put too much emphasis on having a partner in our lives, or

at Christmas time, too much emphasis on having a loving, supportive nuclear family. Take a look around you. There are many ways to belong and connect with others. We can connect with people at work. We can connect through a church or friends, or just from being a part of the community and engaging in community activities. We can connect through social causes that we believe in, and through volunteer work to make the community and the world a better place. We can connect by offering to go for coffee with someone or by phoning a neglected friend or family member. It will help to ease your feelings of aloneness if you focus on ways you are connected rather than focusing on the ways you are not. Often our feelings of disconnection come from our thoughts more than from reality. If you tell yourself “no one likes me, I don’t t in,” you are going to feel more alone than someone who tells themselves that they are a likeable, worthy person. If you want to feel more connected but lack friendships in your life, the easiest way to make a friend is to focus on people you already know. It’s far easier to deepen an acquaintance or casual relationship, or re-establish an old, neglected relationship than it is to meet a complete stranger. Look around you. People are everywhere. Reach out, extend an invitation, and focus on being connected with people in the moment. Let go of “needing” a partner and focus on enjoying those around you. Work on your negative self-talk, particularly if you know that you fear and expect to be rejected. For those of you who are connected, look around and see who may be struggling this season. As Ronald Reagan said, “You can’t help everyone but everyone can help someone.” What a lovely thought this holiday season. If you are struggling with feeling disconnected and alone, seek out a counsellor to assist you in making the changes that are necessary, both in your thoughts and in your behaviour, so that you can appreciate what you may already have, while developing relationships that have meaning for you.

Article courtesy of Walmsley Counselling - Wellness - Organizational Services

gift guide This Christmas, give those special people in your life a gift that will uplift their spirits and improve their overall well-being to help them take on the New Year feeling energized and positive! Give the gift of essential oils! For The Worry Wart We all have that one friend or family member who seems to worry about everything. For this unique person in your life you want an essential oil that will help to calm an anxious mind, helping this person to feel relaxed and at ease. Lavender essential oil or chamomile essential oil are the oils of choice for this person, as they have natural sedative effects and will help to soothe and ease a worried mind. For The Nature Lover The nature lover prefers to be outdoors, even when it’s cold out and all you want to do is warm up inside by the fire. For the nature lover in your life you want to gift them with an essential oil that will bring nature indoors to them. Scents that inspire the outdoors and are reminiscent of a walk in the forest include pine, fir needle and cedarwood. For The Stressed Out Workaholic We all have that workaholic in the family who always has their eyes glued to their laptop, waiting for an important email. Help this person to let go a little this holiday season by giving them an essential oil that will reduce their stress levels and bring them into the present moment. When ylang ylang essential oil is inhaled or massaged into the skin, it helps to strengthen the immune system, reducing stress on the nerves. Tension will simply ebb away leaving the person feeling relaxed and happy. For The Glam Girl The glam girl loves floral, fresh and clean scents that compliment her femininity. Scents for the glam girl include rose, which will help to uplift the spirits and relieve depression, as well as the bright citrus notes of sweet orange and pink grapefruit. For The Man In Your Life Men love nice scents too, but often shy away from too sweet or floral scents, preferring to leave those for the glam girls. For the man in your life surprise him with spicy, grounding scents such as sandalwood, allspice or bergamot.

Organic essential oils are available from Green Sisters at the following locations: Green Tree - Quesnel Ave Maria - Prince George Hobbit House - Williams Lake Higher Ground - 100 Mile House

sugar, sugar

REFINED SUGARS White & brown sugar (sugar cane or sugar beet) – These sugars have been fully refined and stripped of all nutrients. Brown sugar has been refined as well, but some of the molasses removed in the processing is added back in. Sugar beet is also highly genetically-modified.

by Lisa Kilgour, RHN I’m a sweet lover. I love everything sweet and for years the refined, sugary foods in my diet have caused many health issues. From body pain to foggy thinking, I knew my love of sweet foods were to blame. Over the years I’ve slowly changed my highly processed/high sugar diet into one full of healthy whole foods. But, I haven’t removed all sugars. I’ve simply switched my favourite refined sugary treats for better sugars and my body thanks me everyday. Gone are the blood sugar crashes, digestive issues, pain, and grumpiness. I can think clearly, I feel great, AND I get to eat sweet things.

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) – This highly refined sugar is made in a lab behind closed doors. Very few people know how this sugar is processed, and due to its very cheap price it has been added to all sorts of foods; from drinks to yogurt, and seemingly healthy processed foods. HFCS been linked to weight gain, diabetes, and liver issues…stay away from this sugar! Also known as glucose/fructose and corn sugar.

But why is refined sugar so hard on the body? White sugar and high-fructose corn syrup have been stripped of all of their trace minerals that the body needs to digest them properly, and so they use the body’s nutrient resources to break down these sugars. In particular they steal B vitamins and magnesium from the body… nutrients needed by the adrenal glands to handle and manage stress. Through this adrenal stress, high sugar intake can increase feelings of anxiety and leave us feeling overwhelmed.

All Artificial Sweeteners – Research is finding a link between these sweeteners and metabolic issues. They’ve even been linked to more weight gain than refined sugar! Be especially careful when these sweeteners are added to drinks.

Refined sugar is usually mixed with low-fibre refined flour and this potent combo can cause a spike in your blood sugar...leading to a blood sugar drop a few hours later. A drop in blood sugar ramps up our craving for sweet foods, which creates another spike…and another drop, and so on and so on. Many of our food choices are made during these blood sugar drops, and instead of grabbing a healthy snack we tend to need something fast, easy, and sweet right away. It’s a hard cycle to break, particularly if your first sweet treat is in the morning. But, not all sugars are the same; whole, unrefined sugar affects the body very differently. Let’s take a look at the different types of sugar:

Agave Syrup – Most of the agave syrup on the market is highly refined and very high in fructose. The level of fructose is so high (up to 90% fructose) that it can easily cause weight gain and liver issues. This is not a sugar I recommend.

HEALTHY SWEETS Fruit – Our body loves fruit when it’s in its whole form. The fibre slows down the release of the naturally occurring fructose and it’s full of vitamins and antioxidants. Honey – Raw, local honey is a very healthy and healing food. Unprocessed and low in fructose, it won’t cause the liver issues agave and other fructose sugars can. It also has anti-viral properties and is works wonderfully on a stubborn cough. Maple Syrup – This whole sugar is wonderful on oatmeal and other breakfast whole grains, and contains all of the trace minerals needed to be properly digested. Sucanut (unrefined cane sugar) – This is a great substitute in any recipe that calls for white or brown sugar. Same flavour, but unrefined! Coconut Sugar/Palm sugar – New on the market and quite popular, this sugar is easy to use in all recipes and won’t cause blood sugar fluctuations. Life can be sweet! Take a look at your diet and find anywhere you can switch refined sugar for whole sugar. Put sugar in your coffee? Try honey instead! Like brown sugar on your oatmeal? Maple syrup tastes fantastic! You’ll feel better, have steady energy, and you won’t even think about going back to refined sugar.

Lisa Kilgour, Registered Holistic Nutritionist from, loves to help others find balance and be happy.



Winter Stew Recipe created by Hillary Shearing Certified Holistic Nutritionist My Awesome Foods

1 large grass-fed steak 1.5 tbsp. of organic non bleached flour 1 tbsp. of Italian seasoning ½ tbsp. of garlic powder 3-4 cracks of pink salt ¼ tsp of pepper ½ tsp of coconut oil The Veggies: 2 cups of potato (cut into 1” cubes) 1 small butternut squash (cut into 1” cubes) 2 cups of sliced mushrooms 4 celery stalks (cut into 1” pieces) 4 medium carrots (cut into 1” pieces) ½ a yellow onion diced 3 cloves of garlic minced 1.5 cups of green beans (cut into 1” pieces) For the Flavour: 1 cup of mushroom or vegetable oxo 2 cups of water ½ tbsp. of Italian seasoning ¼ tsp of pink salt ½ tsp of pepper 1 tsp of Tamari or Braggs soy sauce Optional: 1 tsp of Tarragon

1. Cube your steak and toss in a bowl with your flour, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Then brown in a pan with your coconut oil. **Only brown to seal in the flavour – do not over cook** Then set aside. 2. Cube, slice and dice all of the remaining veggies and toss into your crock-pot (ALL EXCEPT THE BUTTERNUT SQUASH) -topping with your browned beef. 3. In a bowl whisk together your flavour ingredients and pour into your crockpot, mixing everything well.

This Christmas, give the gift of

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4. Turn Crockpot onto low for 9-10 hrs or high for 6-7. 5. Place your butternut squash in after 2 hrs. This isn’t a “MUST” but it does tend to be a bit mushy if you put it in right away. **HINT** if your stew appears too “watery” turn your lid sideways - leaving a few inches on either side open – allowing the stew to reduce and become thick.

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