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Okanagan Health &


OHW Magazine


Just Move It with three-time Ironman champion Melissa Spooner pg.15


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Winter 2013

Volume 1 Issue 1

NATURAL HEALTH 10 Rejuvenating Mind, Body and… Cells! Rejuvenation can come in many forms, but did you know your body can actually rejuvenate itself, all on its own?


Getting back to basics, and to good health, with Melissa Spooner

12 Detoxification: A Missing Link in Healthcare How removing toxins from your body can contribute to good health. 14 Don’t Let the Flu Season Get You Down Protect yourself from the flu–naturally!

FITNESS 15 Just Move It Retired three-time Ironman champion Melissa Spooner offers some words of wisdom to help keep you healthy this year–“just move it.” 18 Improve How You Move, and Reap the Results The Functional Movement Screen can help you move better.


Cosmic Cookies! Wow your friends and family with these healthy cookies




20 Healthy Eating ~ Healthy Weight The New Year is a good time to get your eating habits on track–if you know how. Dr. Sally Stewart says eating healthy can be easy, it just comes down to balance, variety and moderation.

24 Life in Balance Achieving balance, is it even possible? Maybe it’s more about the journey than the final destination. Psychologist Roxalyn Boldt Ginter explains.

28 Big Shoes, Big Fun Don’t let the cooler weather keep you indoors. Instead, get out in the snow and make the most of winter, in snowshoes!



26 Rejuvenating Your Older Dog Tips to help your old dog live life to the fullest

8 Your Questions Answered

22 The Not-so-sweet Facts About Refined Sugar Registered holistic nutritionist Lisa Kilgour explains the difference between refined and whole sugars so you can satisfy your sugar cravings without the ill effects.

30 Community Events

Winter ‘13 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine 3

OHW Magazine Okanagans Own Health & Wellness Magazine


PUBLISHER LMR PUBLISHING Leanne Christie EDITOR Maureen McEwan ADVERTISING SALES Melissa Spooner 250.550.0521 Leanne Christie 250.503.7472 OHW Magazine Proudly published by LMR Publishing four times a year. All rights reserved. No part of OHW Magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the expressed written consent of the publisher. The publisher reserves the right to accept or reject any editorial or advertising material. The views expressed in OHW Magazine are those of the respective contributors and not necessarily those of the publisher or staff. Although all reasonable attempts are made to ensure accuracy, the publisher does not assume any liability for errors or omissions anywhere in the publication or on the website. OHW Magazine reserves the rights to ads produced for advertisers. Publication Agreement #42490022 Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine is owned and operated by LMR Publishing. Return undeliverable to LMR Publishing, 5816 Tern Place, Vernon, BC V1H 1R2. Phone: 250.503.7472 Email: Website: Subscription: For your free copy send your mailing address to Printed by: Mitchell Press, Burnaby, BC Cover Photo by: Morten Byskov - Mel Spooner encourages us to “just move it” in 2013. Thank you Silver Star Resort for the great back drop!

Leanne Christie Publisher


Maureen McEwan Editor

elcome to the first issue of Okanagan Health and Wellness Magazine–we’re excited to introduce the magazine to the Okanagan and hope you find it entertaining, engaging and above all, informational. As we were putting together our thoughts and ideas for OHW Magazine, we knew we wanted to cover all the aspects of health and wellness–nutrition, fitness, mental health, natural and alternative health, even pet health; in short all the topics that pertain to mind, body and soul. When Dr. Sally Stewart, one of our contributors this issue, explained to us the Six Dimensions of Wellness, we knew it was the perfect “foundation” for OHW Magazine. The Six Dimensions of Wellness was developed by Dr. Bill Hettler, co-founder of the National Wellness Institute, one of the most well respected health and wellness organizations in North America. The Six Dimensions of Wellness focus on those areas that impact every individual’s overall health. They include physical health, social health, intellectual health, spiritual health, emotional health and occupational health. Each dimension is a necessary component for an individual to live a healthy life. As the NWI states, “By applying this model, a person becomes aware of the interconnectedness of each

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dimension and how they contribute to healthy living.” At OHW Magazine, we are trying our best to follow this model. By providing you with the relevant information, we hope we can encourage you to do the same. Our goal is to inspire readers to improve their wellbeing, achieve their goals and become their vision of the best they can be. And, with four issues–one for each season–we’re confident our articles will help you on your way to achieving all your health and wellness goals. With the theme being Rejuvenate for our first issue, we’re sure you’ll find the selection of articles will do exactly that. Mel Spooner, who is featured in our cover story, offers some good advice to help get you moving this year. And we’re hoping the other articles that cover the health and wellness spectrum will leave you feeling rejuvenated as we all try and start 2013 off on a healthy note. And remember, our spring issue, Renew, will be available in April, followed by Relax in July then Rejoice in October. So please, enjoy this first issue and watch for OHW Magazine quarterly. Together we are on the road to improved health and wellness; we think it’s going to be a wonderful journey. The OHW Magazine team

4 Winter ‘13 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine

Contributors Morten Byskov, photographer

Morten Byskov has been passionate about photography for many years and started his own business in 2002. His days revolve around business, real estate, portrait, wedding and sports photography, with some wildlife and travel photography on the side. He has taken his camera through Banff, San Francisco, Yellowstone National Park, Mexico City, Denmark, Florida and New York City. In addition to photography, Morten also does website and graphic design. More on Morten at

Rhonda Catt, NASM, CPT, BCRPA, CPT, FMS Certified, Level 2

Rhonda Catt has spent nearly two decades in the strength and conditioning industry helping athletes improve performance, reduce injuries and educate and train to be life-fit. Rhonda specializes in sport and movement performance and is part owner of Excel Fitness in Vernon, a premiere group training and sport performance facility. She is also the strength coach for the BCHL Vernon Vipers and her client list includes many professional and college athletes. With numerous credentials and a love for education, Rhonda strives to provide her clients with the knowledge they need to reach their goals. Visit Rhonda’s website at

Carole Fawcett, RPC, C. Ht.

Carole Fawcett is a Registered Professional Counsellor, a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist (certified also as a Hypnotist and Master Hypnotist), and freelance writer. She belongs to the Canadian Professional Counsellors Association, Canadian College of Psychotherapists and Professional Counsellors, International Medical Dental Hypnotherapy Association and the Professional Writers Association of Canada. Carole is also registered with BC Crime Victims Assistance and lives in Vernon with her dog Chloe, who has also been hypnotized. Carole can be reached at:

Roxalyn Boldt Ginter, MA, Registered Psychologist

Roxalyn Boldt Ginter is a Registered Psychologist and has a private practice in Salmon Arm. She has more than 15 years of experience as a psychotherapist and she specializes in individual, couples and family therapy. For more information, visit Roxalyn’s website at Women are not one-size-fits-all. Each of us is on our own unique journey. With different questions. And concerns.

Lisa Kilgour, Registered Holistic Nutritionist

Lisa Kilgour graduated from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition (CSNN) with top honours and is a certified CSNN instructor. Lisa has 10 years of experience in health and nutrition and was voted “BC’s Favourite Nutritionist” in 2010. She joined InspireHealth, which she says is “a wonderful place and an amazing program,” in September. Visit her online at www.

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Winter ‘13 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine 5

Contributors Dr. Britt Mills, DVM Dr. Britt Mills graduated from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree in 1989. She has also completed the Veterinary Acupuncture Course, the Canadian Animal Chiropractic Certification Program, as well as other programs in craniosacral therapy, applied kinesiology, prolotherapy and Tui-Na (a form of physiotherapy). Dr. Mills has the unique ability to combine the best of traditional and alternative medicine to provide the highest level of care possible for her patients. She can be reached at Mills Veterinary Services in Armstrong, at 250-546-8860 or online at Curtis Omelchuk, Owner and Manager of Sterling Centre Remedy’sRx, Vernon Curtis Omelchuk grew up in Vernon, graduated from high school in 1990, then attended the UBC School of Pharmacy. He graduated in 1996 and has since managed and worked for several pharmacies, both corporate and independent. He is now owner and manager of Sterling Centre Remedy’sRX in Vernon.

Dr. Brett Phillips, ND Dr. Brett Phillips practices in both Kelowna and West Kelowna, and he is a member of the Naturopathic Academy of Therapeutic Injection. In his family practice he sees patients of all ages and all concerns. He has a special interest in prolotherapy and pain management. He can be reached at (250) 860-8855 or visit his website at Dr. Travis Pillipow, DC Dr. Travis Pillipow focuses on specific postural correction of the spine, allowing maximum communication between the brain and the rest of the body, creating an optimal environment for health and healing. He takes a special interest in nutritional and lifestyle recommendations and is excited to change the way health care is delivered to his community. Dr. Pillipow and his colleagues hold monthly health makeovers and workshops to assist patients and their families towards true health from the inside out. For more information, visit Dr. Sally Stewart, PhD (Nutrition, Exercise Physiology, Health Promotion), CSEP Certified Exercise Physiologist, Academic Affiliate of Dietitians of Canada Dr. Sally Stewart is an instructor in Health and Exercise Sciences at the University of British Columbia, Kelowna Campus. She is also the director of the Nutrition Education Center on campus providing numerous resources and programs. Dr. Stewart has a passion for educating people about healthy lifestyles and is known for her dynamic presentation style at workshops. When she’s not out running, she can be found helping numerous athletes with their nutrition selections. Dr. Garrett Swetlikoff, ND Dr. Garrett Swetlikoff is a 1988 graduate of Bastyr University, where he obtained a degree in Naturopathic Medicine. A strong believer in science-based holistic health care, he has incorporated both traditional and progressive naturopathic philosophies into his practice. His interest in safe and effective alternatives for both the acute, chronic and severely ill has led him to specialize in what he calls interventional natural medicine. Dr. Swetlikoff has earned several board certifications and is the past president of the British Columbia Naturopathic Association. Dr. Swetlikoff can be reached at Laura Tucker, life and business coach Laura Tucker is passionate about helping busy people be well, something she knows a great deal about. In addition to working as both a life and business coach, Laura and her husband are also the owners of Snap Fitness 24-7 in Vernon. She is also a long distance runner and will be tracking her progress and sharing her thoughts on her blog as she progresses throughout the year. Visit Laura’s website for regular updates at

6 Winter ‘13 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine

Live well. Live organic.

Kamloops Kelowna Langley Penticton Vernon West Kelowna

LocaL · organic · Bistro · Produce · grocery · Vitamins · suPPLements · Beauty · HouseHoLd

Your Questions Answered

Q: A:

What is Clinical Hypnotherapy and how can it help me? Hypnosis is a deep state of relaxation that is used to slow down your brain waves, allowing access to the subconscious mind–your personal memory vault.

Q: A:

How do I keep my New Year’s resolution throughout the year?

Many people ride what I call the Resolution Rollercoaster, an annual cycle of good intentions and a burst of energy followed by a low period of frustration and disappointment. Make 2013 the year you break this cycle. Here are a few pointers for sustainable, rewarding results.

Determine your dream.

It is important to have a vision of yourself living your dream goal. What will your life be like? How will you feel? What will achieving this goal allow you to do that you can’t do now? Start with the end in mind and write it down. When old habits creep in, you will need your vision of your reward to pull you through.

Set smaller, achievable goals.

Smaller goals serve as signposts of success on your journey to living your dream. Celebrate all your successes, big and small. Feel good about what you are doing for yourself.

Invest in your outcome.

It’s important for you to “get some skin in the game.” Whether it’s an

investment of time, money or both, investing in your goals accomplishes two things. First, it communicates that you and your dream are worth it. Second, it’s much harder to say “no” to getting out the door or taking action when you are invested.

Share your goal with others.

By telling friends and family what you intend to do, you turn them in to accountability partners. If they doubt you, or think you’re crazy, it doesn’t matter. Remember, this is about you, not them.

Be kind to yourself.

If there is a large gap between where you are today and your dream goal, recognize it’s going to take some time. The best rewards do not come from instant gratification, but consistent action towards your goals and dreams. If you have a moment of weakness, forgive yourself and get back in the game. Don’t waste any time or energy beating yourself up. The only way to win is to stay in the game and play. Laura Tucker, life and business coach

A clinical hypnotherapist is both a hypnotist and a therapist and can help you work with fears, phobias, habits, anxiety, depression and much more. All hypnosis is selfhypnosis, as no one can be hypnotized nor controlled against his or her will. Anyone who wants to be hypnotized can be hypnotized. When stage hypnotists have people quacking like ducks, it is because those participants want to take part in the entertainment aspect of hypnosis. We pass in and out of “waking hypnosis” every day; when we daydream, or have no immediate recall on how we got from point A to point B when driving the car. Hypnosis is not the sleep state, but rather five seconds prior to sleep when both body and mind have slowed down and are in a totally relaxed state. One hour of hypnosis is the equivalent to eight hours of sleep. Clinical Hypnotherapy is a therapy whose time has come. It is faster, more efficient and very effective for many problems. Carole Fawcett, Registered Professional Counsellor, Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist

8 Winter ‘13 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine

Your Questions Answered


Do you have any advice, or tips, to help me quit smoking?


Any former smoker will tell you, it’s hard to quit. But it’s not impossible as legions of people are now smoke-free. Here are a few tips that can help you kick the habit and start the New Year off butt free.


Pick a “quit” day and mark it on your calendar.


down wanting to quit.





Ask family and friends for their support.


for a smoke-free life by making changes, such as no smoking in the house or your car.


a proven method for quitting, like joining a support group, seeking individual counselling, using nicotine replacement therapy or

prescription doctor.





Some people are successful going “cold turkey”–they just simply stop.

4Avoid people and situations where you will be tempted to smoke.


activity with friends who don’t smoke. If you’ve tried quitting before or you start now and slip up, don’t give up. Try again because each time it gets easier. It’s never too late to start. Curtis Omelchuk, Owner and Manager, Sterling Centre Remedy’sRx

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Winter ‘13 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine 9

Natural Health

Rejuvenating Mind, Body and…Cells! By Dr. Travis Pillipow, DC


hen asked about rejuvenation, many people think of a relaxing trip to Mexico with sun, sand, a slight breeze, a tropical drink and maybe even a day at the spa. To others, rejuvenation involves going to a yoga class, playing a round of golf, or, on the other extreme, base-jumping. And still to others, rejuvenation may involve using a cayenne pepper and lemon water cleanse to shock the body back into order! While some of these methods may hold some scientific validity, the truth to rejuvenation lies within every single one of us, and it’s in our cells. There is no magic potion or lotion that will create the kind of cellular change, turnover, and replication that your body does. While some of us understand that the body has all it needs already programmed inside, the majority of people, and our traditional health care model, neglect the true power that the body has to rejuvenate itself. This is why our model of health care is so preset on an outside-in approach to health. When part of the body is sick or diseased, the first step is to diagnose the pathology and deliver some form of treatment, whether surgical or pharmaceutical, to “cure” the disease or pathology. What this model of health suggests is that your body has no idea what it is doing, that the design is flawed, and that it needs outside help to maintain and regulate itself. This may seem true considering our society is being ravaged by diseases such as cancer and heart disease. However, we discount the bad foods, lack of exercise and the toxins we slather on our skin and ingest into our bodies as purely bad luck, bad germs and bad genes and not the cause of disease. The bad luck, bad germs and bad genes model of health care is, unfortunately, outdated and purely ignorant. While some diseases may actually have a small genetic predisposition (like 2 to 5 percent) all diseases including cancer and heart diseases are 100 percent related to your lifestyle choices and those of your parents. The ultimate connection What every single one of us needs to firmly grasp is that

on a very basic level, our bodies are made of approximately 70 trillion cells. Embryology is the study of cells replicating and dividing, from a sperm and an egg, to become a human being. No one programs this change, it just happens, and that’s the beauty of the human design–it is innately designed and controlled for life and health. As you change from two cells to 70 trillion, your cells, tissues and organs that develop are under the direct control of your brain. Your brain controls all life, all health and all programming in your body. The brain connects to your spinal cord via your brainstem, and from the spinal cord emerge your spinal nerves. It’s important to understand that your brain has the power to tell the cells of your body to turn into a kidney cell, a bone marrow cell or a heart cell. And, your brain has the capability to recognize a cell that is damaged; maybe too many French fries cooked in trans fats have created inflammation and cell damage in your colon. Your brain recognizes those cells and sends signals down the spinal cord, through the nerves to your colon,

10 Winter ‘13 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine

Natural Health mobilizing immune system mediators which kills those cells and replaces them with normal healthy cells. Every cell of your body has a direct connection to its source, the central nervous system (your brain and spinal cord), so the brain’s connection to the cells is critical for your health and rejuvenation. Good spinal posture means good health If we know that the spinal cord connects the brain to the cells, what happens if we lose that connection? Or, if your spinal cord was severed at the top, can anything below it work? The answer is always 100 percent no! The spinal bones protect your spinal cord, allowing for movement and stability. What happens if the spinal bones misalign, putting pressure on the spinal cord and spinal nerves supplying your colon cells? At first thought the answer would be pain, but pain is the least likely indicator of spinal cord pressure or spinal nerve pressure. In fact, if there is a 30 percent blockage of the nerves going to your colon, then the colon cells have lost 30 percent of their function. This means that potentially only 70 percent of those cells are functioning, or have life. A real life example is the late Christopher Reeves, who had a piece of bone wedged into the very top of his spinal cord, causing him to lose all function to his heart, lungs, bladder, etc. Those organ cells eventually died, as they had no connection to their source, the brain. That is an extreme example, but it helps us understand the science of chiropractic. So what happens when the spine shifts out of proper alignment, or for a better description, when the internal spinal posture (i.e., spinal, biomechanical and neurological posture) is abnormal? The posture of your spine dictates the health of your spinal cord, and therefore the health of your cells. Without proper alignment, your health will suffer. Scoliosis is a good example. In fact, scoliosis damages the spinal cord and the nerves supplying various organs. A loss of the normal neck curve has been linked to damage in the cervical spinal cord and lower brainstem, causing demyelination, a major finding in multiple sclerosis. Proper spinal posture and spinal curves allow for normal structure and function of the spinal cord and spinal nerves, allowing your body to maintain and turn over healthy cells. The key to rejuvenation for you and your body will never lie in some magic potion, in some lotion you rub on your skin, in how much cayenne pepper and lemon water you drink, and certainly not in pharmaceuticals. Your body holds all of the answers within itself, an inside-out model of health. If there’s a problem, you can’t only look at the part

that is diseased rather you must look at the whole body and what controls that part. Using specific postural, neurological and x-ray analysis for the internal posture and alignment of your spine, and specifically the upper two segments in your neck, chiropractors can detect and correct many postural and neurological distortions of the spine and spinal cord. These specific corrections allow the brain to communicate clearly with every single cell of your body, allowing your body’s built-in intelligence to get to work, repairing and creating cells within your body. Now that’s rejuvenating! n

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Natural Health

Detoxification: A Missing Link in Healthcare

By Dr. Garrett Swetlikoff, ND


ince ancient times, humans have used detoxification practices to cleanse both the body and the mind. Fasting, dietary modifications, physical treatments, herbs, teas, meditation and prayer have, to varying degrees, been used to “purify” our bodies. To this day, most cultures and medical philosophies, except that of Western society, continue such customs. In fact, Western medical thought not only discourages such behaviour, but also relates it to “quackery” with no rational scientific basis. However, when most people are asked how they feel after cleansing, the majority state they have realized significant benefits. What is Toxicity? A toxin is basically any substance that creates irritating or harmful effects in the body. Toxicity occurs when the body cannot effectively eliminate or neutralize the toxin. Dosage, frequency of exposure and potency of the toxin play a role in the overall negative effect. Toxicity occurs on two basic levels: internal and external. On the internal level, our bodies produce metabolic

waste and by-products through normal everyday functions. Cells generate a host of substances such as uric acid, lactic acid, carbon dioxide, free radicals, cellular debris and microbial remnants that are removed by the organs of elimination. These organs include the intestines, liver, kidneys, lungs, skin and lymphatic system. External toxicity can be acquired by breathing, ingesting, or having physical contact with toxins. According to the World Health Organization, hundreds of millions of pounds of chemicals enter the environment yearly. Industrial pollutants, smoke, pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, heavy metals, plastics, petrochemicals, drugs and more make their way into the air, soil and water. These in turn enter the food chain, our surroundings and atmosphere. Many believe that toxicity leads to an increased body burden and also causes eventual disturbances in DNA and the genetic blue print. Although the human body is quite hardy, eventually thresholds are reached

and decompensation ensues. Many speculate the dramatic increases we now see in allergies, autoimmune diseases, cancer, degenerative and mental illnesses are related to toxins. The Do’s and Don’ts of Detoxification Detoxification is a relative term. Anything that supports our elimination can be said to help us detoxify. Drinking pure water, eating organic fruits and vegetables, reducing processed foods, skin brushing, exercising and maintaining regular bowel movements are essential. Therapeutic detoxification under the supervision of an experienced physician may include specific techniques and prescriptions which are appropriate for someone’s condition and current state of health. It is important to choose detoxification therapies that are not too extreme or too subtle. If difficulties arise, adjustments to the program or stopping the program may be necessary. Detoxification is most effective when both body and mind are focused

12 Winter ‘13 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine

Natural Health and engaged with little or no added commitments or responsibilities. The fall and spring have historically been times to initiate these treatments; however it’s fine to follow your own natural cycle. Try to keep your body warm, comfortable and feeling as nurtured as possible. Rebuilding and

strengthening techniques must always follow cleansing. There are various contraindications and you must not go to extremes, which are unsafe and counterproductive. Women who are menstruating, pregnant and lactating; those with psychosis, wasting and end-stage

diseases; people with severe anemia or severe liver, kidney, digestive, heart or lung diseases; and those who have undergone recent surgery, or are using certain drugs, as well as the very elderly, are best to avoid detoxification or should proceed only under careful observation by a professional. n

Detoxification Reactions The body may initially react to cleansing in what is called a “healing crisis.” The healing crisis can last from several days up to three weeks, depending on the technique used and the baseline level of toxicity. In general, healing crises are welcome signs that the body is reacting and responding to the therapy. Some symptoms include fever, headaches, muscle and joint aches, fatigue, skin eruptions, gas and bloating, constipation or diarrhea, bad breathe and mood swings. Many patients incorrectly discontinue treatment at this point fearing they are getting worse or thinking they’re having side effects. In fact, the opposite is true and if they persist, eventually they’ll feel much better. The Gastrointestinal Tract “Death lurks in the bowels,” is an ancient saying referring to the significance the gut has on a person’s overall health. The stomach, small and large intestines are a source of many ailments and a cause of many symptoms humans experience. Restoring the shape, tone and function of the intestines, establishing proper pH and flora, removing excess mucus and inflammatory byproducts and normalizing bowel movements is crucial for success in all chronic diseases. Detoxification procedures for the bowels include supervised fasting, colon irrigation, enemas, cleansing herbs and teas, probiotics, bentonite clay, psyllium, activated charcoal, abdominal massage and strengthening exercises, visceral manipulation, and adequate water intake. Of course, a whole food, organic diet is mandatory. The Liver and Gallbladder The liver is responsible for more than 500 different functions and is second only to the brain in terms of complexity and importance. In this day of high toxic burden, the liver is being worked constantly. Liver cleansing can include a myriad of Western, Chinese or Ayurvedic herbs such as milk thistle, dandelion root and bupleurum. Castor oil compresses, coffee enemas (without cream or sugar) and the dreaded liver and gallbladder flush using lemon or apple juice, garlic and olive oil are stronger interventions. A variety of homeopathic remedies are also available. The Kidneys and Bladder The kidneys are an important avenue for elimination and should be kept healthy. Herbal detoxifiers include gravel root, parsley, dandelion leaf, poria, uva ursi, rehmania and goldenrod to mention a few. A ginger compress applied to the back is a useful technique to draw toxins out of the kidney area. Drinking one to three litres of pure water daily is essential to long-term kidney health. The Lungs Breathing is synonymous with life. High diary intake, smoking and air pollution contribute to excess mucus and lung disease. Lung cleansing therapies include the botanicals, lotus root tea,

ephedra, mullein, wild cherry, licorice root and fenugreek. Mustard plasters are also effective. Inhaled ionized oxygen, segmental neural therapy and acupuncture are other potent considerations. The Sinuses Chronic sinus congestion, infection and associated head pain is rampant in our society. Many sinus disorders are related to food intolerances, digestive dysfunction and lung problems and therefore improve when these underlying concerns are dealt with. Sinus lavage with salt, baking soda, homeopathic remedies or plain water is effective. A neti pot, an Ayurvedic container specifically used for cleansing the sinuses can be purchased. Essential oils, humidifiers, sinus neural therapy and acupuncture are other stronger possibilities. The Lymphatics The lymphatics are part of the circulatory and immune systems, and lymph nodes and vessels are strategically located all over the body. Lymph cleanses are particularly recommended during or after acute illnesses. Regular exercise like walking or rebounding is an excellent way to maintain lymph drainage. Deep breathing exercises, yoga, whole body massage, the Vodder Manual Technique and herbs like red clover, echinacea and thuja are further choices. The Skin Skin cleansing has been done for centuries using herbs, saunas and sweat lodges. The tissue below the skin can be a major depository for toxic substances especially if the other organs are not capable of processing and eliminating these compounds. Skin brushing with a natural bristle brush is a very potent cleansing technique. Five minutes twice daily is ample, be sure to avoid sensitive areas like the face and genitals. Baking soda, Epsom salt or hydrogen peroxide added to baths could be used one to three times weekly. The use of a sauna interspersed with cold-water showers is one of the best methods for cleansing the skin. An assortment of hydrotherapies can also be applied. Last but not least, exposure to adequate sunshine and fresh air is vital. The Mind Mental detoxification is also important. Relieving our minds of negative thought patterns and replacing them with positive ones helps instil greater mental clarity. Rest, respite, recreation, meditation and prayer can contribute to overall wellness. Many other strategies for detoxification exist such as chelation therapy, magnetic therapy, cupping, supplements and nutraceuticals. Detoxification methods can sometimes make the difference between an effective healing program and endless frustration. Be sure to speak with your naturopathic physician regarding the detoxification program that is best suited for you. n

Winter ‘13 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine 13

Natural Health

Don’t Let the Flu Season Get You Down By Dr. Brett Phillips


ith flu season in full swing, there are many things you can do naturopathically to protect yourself from being one of the casualties. After all, prevention is the best cure. The basics always apply, so remember to cover your mouth and nose when coughing, wash hands regularly and avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose. But if your immune system is compromised, the avoidance strategy is most likely not enough. You need to begin boosting your immune system, and now is the perfect time to start. When it comes to boosting your immune system, healthy eating habits and daily activity are absolute musts. Your diet should include at least five vegetables and three fruits per day, as well as healthy sources of omega-3 fats and whole grains. You should be drinking at least 1.5 litres of water

Available at the Okanagan’s finest health food stores.

per day, adding one glass of water for every caffeinated or alcoholic beverage you drink. Try adding freshly minced garlic to your diet; it’s a powerful antimicrobial that can be sprinkled on almost any food. Limit your intake of saturated “bad” fats and sources of refined sugar. Refined sugar suppresses the immune

system and feeds infections. And be sure to keep moving–exercise boosts the immune system and reduces overall stress. Regular exercise should include at least 60 minutes of combined cardio and strength training. Stress is another big factor in poor immunity. Try and determine what your sources of stress are, and the best way to deal with them. Dealing with stress effectively will improve your mental and emotional well-being and will also support healthy immune function and optimal health. As a general recommendation I suggest at least five minutes twice a day of belly breathing and positive affirmations. Several vitamins, herbal medicines and homeopathics can prepare the body to fight off invading organisms. You can never go wrong with Vitamin C, it is the body’s number one antioxidant and at high doses stimulates the reproduction of immune cells. Echinacea is one of the most wellknown herbal remedies for supporting a healthy immune function and for good reason. Complex homeopathics offer a powerful preventative and therapeutic efficacy. The key however is to start taking these remedies prior to getting sick. The idea is to be proactive–not reactive. For those who are at high risk of contracting the flu, or already have, consider Intravenous Nutrient Therapy. This is where various nutrients, some of which are mentioned above, are introduced into the body directly. They are injected into the blood in mega doses and in synergistic rations to optimize health and healing. Taking a proactive approach to good health is definitely worthwhile. These few simple tips may be all you need to ward off the flu bug this season.

14 Winter ‘13 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine

Cover Story

Just Move It By Maureen McEwan


elissa Spooner radiates healthy living. While I‘m convinced it’s because of her early morning swims and trail runs, I’m just as sure it has something to do with her being comfortable in her own skin. In fact, I think it’s safe to say she’s found her niche–and she absolutely loves it. Many know Mel as an endurance coach and a nutritionist. Some recognize her as the driving force behind Vernon’s recent Ironman bid, while others know her as the taskmaster of Vernon’s Masters Swim Club. Of course, for those who compete in or follow the elite world of endurance sports, they know Mel as a three-time champion Ironman athlete with countless races on her resume. As for me? I know Mel as someone who believes in uniting the community through activity, who believes in doing, not just talking, and who is living proof of the benefits of moving, every day. In fact, I think she could be the face behind a new Nike slogan, “Just move it.” Because as Mel says, “you don’t have to compete in an Ironman race, you just need to get out and go for a walk.”

And, that, perhaps, is the easiest way to sum up Mel’s thoughts on health. “I try to un-complicate it,” she says. And by that she means simplifying what it means to be active, what it means to eat well, even our own expectations on what we can realistically accomplish. “We seem to have a picture of what health should be, and that picture isn’t always true,” says Mel. She refers to our love-hate relationship with food, our thoughts on body types and

images, and finding a balance that promotes good health. “It comes down to accepting who we are instead of what people think we should be. What are we when we’re healthy?” asks Mel. “Really, [our health] comes down to cost, our habits, our commitments, a lot of things. That’s why we need to think back to the basics.” She likes to use goji berries as an example. These popular little berries

Winter ‘13 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine 15

Cover Story have been promoted for their health benefits but are grown in sub-tropical climates, like China and Mongolia. Healthy? Yes. Cheap? No. Mel’s suggestion: eat blueberries instead. They’re local, healthy, tasty, and they won’t make a dent in your pocketbook. “It seems to me that everyone is looking for the one magic thing to make us healthy, but we’re losing sight of the big picture,” she continues. “It’s the simple things–are you drinking enough water, are you eating your vegetables? Be realistic of your expectations, and respect your body and your time. It really comes down to balance.” Of course, finding that balance is different for everyone. When Mel was racing, which she did for 10 years, her life was about eating, training and sleeping, and at the time it was a lifestyle she loved. “When I was competing, I was an athlete and I was very focused,” says Mel, “but that’s why I’m not at that level now.” While she’s definitely goal oriented, she admits to being a multi-tasker and says she does better when she has more than one thing to focus on. “I raced better when I was doing a lot of other things, like going to school and working part time. When I focus that much on one thing, it doesn’t work as well for me, I know that now.” Not surprisingly, after retiring from the sport in 2004, And that, she says, is one reason why she wasn’t a Mel changed her focus from racing to coaching, which good professional athlete, a comment I have a hard time she had been doing off and on since 2000. After moving believing. In my mind, anyone to Vernon with husband Chris who competes in Ironman in 2006, she began coaching competitions for a living isn’t just with the Kalamalka Running a good athlete but an exceptional and Triathlon Sports club, better one. But she says when you’re known as the Kal Rats. She then competing professionally, that’s all helped form the Vernon Masters your life revolves around. “It was Swim Club, which now practices all about me for a long time,” says five days a week and takes part Mel, “and I needed it to be about in numerous competitions. Last someone else.” year, she ventured out on her own Which is one reason she made and started Endurance Health the transition from competitor and Fitness, where she offers her to coach. Although injuries also coaching and nutrition expertise played a role in her retirement, to those interested in training for Mel had the ongoing desire to an endurance sport. help others. Since she was young, “Some people like to train on she’d experienced firsthand the their own, and that’s fine if it works benefits of being involved in sport. for them,” says Mel. But she She knew she wanted others to thinks it’s a lot more fun to train have those same opportunities, as a group. “There’re not many Powering on the bike, regardless of their experience or things you remember about an Mel’s favorite discipline their goals. individual race or training session, 16 Winter ‘13 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine

Cover Story but what I do remember are the times when someone put their hand on my bike seat and helped me up a hill.” She credits her own success to many people who supported her throughout her racing career. But even before that, Mel says her husband Chris and many others were always there telling her she could do it. That’s why Mel warmly welcomes beginners to endurance training. She only asks that you’re committed to the cause, with a goal in mind, and that you’ll have fun getting there. “It has to have the fun factor and it needs to be a really positive experience,” says Mel, because in her mind, that is what sport is all about. She believes that fitness means freedom, which can be as simple as running to catch the bus or enjoying a hike with your dog in the park. And it’s about setting goals and achieving them–whether that goal is to run an

Cover of Triathlete magazine Oct 1999 Ironman or complete a 5-kilometre walk. “I think sometimes people need goals that are bigger than them. A step-by-step process so that when they cross the finish line, they know they’ve done it,” says Mel. “There just aren’t that many finish lines in life.”

While there are no foreseeable Ironman finish lines in her future, Mel still likes to run, bike and swim–it’s what she does. And she’s keen to complete another 50-kilometre trail run, having run one back in 2007. Says Mel, “I just like to get out and run–I don’t need to race any longer, I can just go out and do it.” So when I ask her if she’ll ever compete in an Ironman again, she responds, “I always say, ‘never say never.’” But I know now that winning Ironman races isn’t where her passion lies. She’d rather help someone else cross that finish line, whether it’s an Ironman or a 5-kilometre run. Because when it comes right down to it, I have to agree with Mel. It’s not the distance that counts; it’s about making a commitment to move. n

Winter ‘13 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine 17


Improve How You Move, and Reap the Results By Rhonda Catt


oo often we get caught up in the hustle of everyday life. We get stuck in our routines of work, errands and juggling family activities, and at the end of the day (if we even stop to reflect on our day) we discover several things that we missed. How many of you take a moment to reflect on how you felt during the day? How many of you take a step back, think about yourself and ask how you can make yourself better? There are many avenues to improve our mental and physical health, and both need equal priority. Unfortunately, some of us don’t realize the amazing machines our own bodies are and what we are capable of doing. But for those of you starting any kind of wellness program, you are definitely headed in the right direction. Your wellness program will contribute to personal growth and improved health, and there is never a downside to

improving yourself! But where do you start, or if you’ve already started, how can you do better? The answer is simple. Start by assessing your body’s movement. It may sound boring but without knowing how you move, how can you move better? The industry standard for assessment is the Functional Movement Screen, also referred to as FMS. The FMS is a system for recognizing asymmetries between the left and right side of the body plus it analyzes your body’s fundamental movement patterns. Why is this important? Movement is what allows us to participate in activities and sports. How well we move furthers our success in these activities and aids in injury prevention. The FMS recognizes what we need to work on to move and perform better. If you do not move well because of a dysfunction or asymmetry, you

are at a greater risk of injury. To the sport enthusiast, this means a higher risk of injuries that may shorten your season or reduce performance. To the individuals who’re trying to lose weight or gain muscle, this means increased fatigue before their goals are met. The FMS includes seven movements, or patterns, that reflect the positions your body uses every day. These positions determine specific areas of mobility and stability and include the following: 1. Squat pattern 2. Hurdle step 3. Inline lunge 4. Straight leg raise 5. Shoulder mobility 6. Trunk stability 7. Rotational stability

Left: FMS Squat The Deep Squat Screen can give a clear picture of mobility, pelvic and core stability and postural control FMS Straight Leg Raise The Active Straight Leg Screen identifies flexibility restriction through the hips plus stability of pelvis/core. 18 Winter ‘13 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine


FMS Inline Lunge

FMS Hurdle

The Inline Lunge Screen will show mobility and stability capabilities throughout the entire body.

Hurdle Step Screen shows proper coordination and stability and mobility between hips, as well as control of pelvis and core.

To make it easier to envision, let’s take a look at certain movements. We squat every day to sit down on chairs, get up off of toilets and move in and out of cars. Ankle mobility and core stability are just two things that will determine how easily you can, or can’t do, these movements. An athlete may blame a pulled or tight hamstring on a lack of flexibility. In actual fact, however, the straight leg raise assessment could show a lack of core and pelvic stability as the root of the problem. The main goal of our abdominals is to react and resist motion. All the crunches in the world won’t address a rotational stability weakness. Low back pain or poor transfer of power in sport can be the cause of low trunk and rotational instability. People who sit at a desk all day or drive daily for their job may notice a lack of mobility in their upper back. This can lead to reduced shoulder mobility and in turn, cause aches and pains in the shoulder. Unfortunately, the person who’s suffering from this often has no idea why. While we like to encourage regular exercise, the problem with traditional workouts is they mainly focus on individual muscles and body parts but lack movement patterns. We need to think of our body as one movement pattern. Bicep curls, for example, is

an isolated movement, and is not a pattern of daily life. In comparison, walking up the stairs is a pattern as it puts our hips into both flexed and extended positions, and requires us to balance on one leg. We need to focus on training patterns–training that uses the entire body and teaches our brain to recognize balance, stability, mobility and coordination. Please remember that the FMS is for individuals who’re not injured and who don’t have pain when moving. If you have pain, consult a qualified physiotherapist or your doctor. Otherwise, consider having an FMS and improve your movement, your health and your fitness results. n

Winter ‘13 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine 19


Healthy Eating ~ Healthy Weight

By Dr. Sally Stewart


A balanced mealweight containing 45to to 75 g of carbohydrates looks like this: hanging eating habits and losing tend be common resolutions made at this time of year. This is a good thing since, in addition to quitting smoking, healthy eating and regular exercise are the two factors at the top of the list of disease-prevention measures. Even better is that both these factors are within our control… just takes a bit of effort. However, Milk and alternatives Fruits the quick-fix1 fad diets and weight loss supplements that 1 serving serving we typically turn to don’t help us adopt healthy lifestyle habits, or maintain a healthy weight for the long term. Weight loss research consistently shows us that severe caloric and food restriction does not result in permanent Vegetables weight loss, let alone teach us about healthy eating on servings a 2 or more daily basis. There lies the reason why only approximately At least 2 different kinds 10 percent of people who begin a weight-loss program are able to lose the desired weight and only 5 in 100 are able to keep the weight off.(1) Successful and healthy weight loss and maintenance involves diet, behaviour modification and regular exercise. This year, instead of resolving to lose weight, how Meat and Starches about rejuvenating your eating habits to foster 1 to 3 servings lifelong alternatives making it more nutrient dense and less calorie dense. healthy eating and weight control? Here are a few 1thus serving A few other tips include: guidelines to get you started; they involve balance, variety • Engage in regular exercise……see other articles in the and moderation. magazine. Balance. We need to balance the energy we take in and • Ensure you get foods from the four food groups of the (2) the energy we expend to lose or maintain weight. Instead Canada Food Guide to Healthy Eating. These include Fats of focusing on “counting calories,” put your effort and vegetables and fruit, grain products, dairy and alternatives, 1 tothe 3 servings Canada Food Guide excitement into choosing good foods and watching portion and meats and alternatives (check size. The first overarching guideline is to choose foods in to see how many servings of each you need daily). When you don’t have measuring cups or scales available, you can use your hands or common items to their most natural state. This ensures you are getting the • Focus on portion size and if weight loss is a goal, then figure out reasonable portion sizes. most nutrients you can from food and there will be no, or decrease the portion sizes you are typically eating (see minimal, sugars, fats, preservatives, etc. added to that food, the picture as well as the Canada Food Guide for portion

Nutrition News Handy portion guide Use your hand to measure the size of your servings The tip of your thumb equals about 5 mL (1 teaspoon), or 1 serving of vegetable oil or margarine.

The palm area of your hand equals about 90 g (3 oz.), or approximately 1 serving of meat, poultry, fish or tofu.

Your thumb equals about 15 mL (1 tablespoon), or 1 serving of nuts or seeds.

A fist equals about 250 mL (1 cup), or 2 servings of starches, 2 servings of cut-up fruit or 2 servings of vegetables.

20 Winter4 ‘13 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine Item Amount One Serving

Nutrition sizes)….and use smaller plates, bowls and glasses! • Follow the What’s on My Plate chart to help you balance your meals. • Eat regular meals and snacks throughout the day. Don’t go much longer than three hours without eating; if you do, you’ll often feel over hungry and thus overeat when you do finally eat! Plan meals with a serving each of three to four of the food groups, and plan snacks with at least one serving from two of the food groups; this plan will keep you feeling full for longer and give you sustained energy throughout the day. • Eat breakfast; it really is the most important meal of the day. It kick starts your metabolism and gets your brain and body working, plus an energized brain can make smart choices about food intake. Remember, breakfast doesn’t have to be much; it can be a minimum of one serving from two of the food groups within two hours of waking. Variety. Having variety in the foods you eat helps you get all the different nutrients your body needs and keeps eating exciting and less restrictive. • Choose fruits and vegetables in a variety of colours. You’ll benefit from all the health-promoting properties of the phytochemicals in these plant foods that are “fighting” for your health! • Choose a variety of grains, dairy and alternatives, and meats and alternatives. Enjoy some vegetarian options and fish a few times per week to get your essential omega-3 fatty acids. • Take a grocery store tour (sign up at Save On Foods) or try the virtual grocery store tour.(3) Moderation. This is different, and much more positive than food restriction. Moderation means eating those less healthy foods only sometimes or in smaller portions, but it doesn’t mean completely eliminating them if you enjoy them. But do consider the following: • Eat animal fats less often than plant fats (try lower-fat dairy products and lean meats) and use canola, flax, grape seed, sesame, and olive oils more often than butter, shortening, and corn, sunflower, safflower, and tropical oils. • A low-fat food contains less than 3 grams of fat per serving. • Enjoy non-alcoholic drinks or, if you are drinking alcohol, have one per day if you’re female, two per day if you’re male. • If you drink coffee, enjoy two cups a day. • Limit salt (a low-salt serving of a food contains less than 140 milligrams). • Avoid trans fats. Any food label with the word “hydrogenated fats” in the ingredients list is indicative that the food contains trans fats. (3) • Limit your intake of foods with added refined sugar, such as sucrose, corn syrup, etc. And remember, these guidelines are easy to meet if you are following the overarching principle of eating foods in their most natural state.

Healthy eating is not just about eating healthy foods to nourish our body and keep it healthy and strong. Healthy eating is also about enjoying your food and that includes the taste as well as the social, celebratory, cultural, and comfort aspects of eating. Being able to enjoy foods this way is about having a healthy relationship with food. This, in itself, is key for healthy body weight control. Follow the 80/20 principle; aim to eat more healthy foods 80 percent of the time and enjoy some of your favorite, less healthy treats 20 percent of the time. This approach is more fun, healthier, and successful in terms of a healthy-eating lifestyle than those quick-fix diet approaches. Focus on making one change at a time. Trying to do it all will only be overwhelming and generally won’t lead to success, especially if you are trying to include exercise as well. Start with portion sizes, or choosing foods in their most natural state, or even just eating breakfast. One change will soon lead to another. And remember, you’ll nourish your body and your soul when you rejuvenate your eating habits. n Resources: 1. Hoeger et al. (2009). Principles and Labs for Fitness and Wellness. First Canadian Edition. Nelson Education, Toronto, Ontario. 2. Canada Food Guide to Healthy Eating food-guide-ailment/index-eng.php (There are many great healthy eating resources here.) 3. Dietitians of Canada Look under the tabs “Your Health” and “Dietitinas’ Views” for great resources such as the Virtual Grocery Store tool, Eat tracker, and label reading information.

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The Not-so-sweet Facts About Refined

By Lisa Kilgour, RHN


’m a sweet lover. I love everything sweet and for years my love of refined, sugary foods had caused many health issues. From body pain to foggy thinking, my love of sweet foods had been to blame. But over the years I’ve slowly changed my highly processed, highsugar 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 every day. 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. So 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 the body needs to digest them properly. As a result, 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. 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, so instead of grabbing a healthy snack we tend to choose 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, and whole, unrefined sugar affects the body very differently. Let’s take a look at the different types of sugar: Refined sugars White and 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. 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 yogurts, and seemingly healthy processed foods. HFCS has been linked to weight gain, diabetes and liver issues. Stay away from this sugar! Agave syrup: Most of the agave syrup

22 Winter ‘13 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine



on the market is highly refined and very high in fructose. The level of fructose is so high (up to 90 percent fructose) that it can easily cause weight gain and liver issues. This is not a sugar I recommend. All artificial sweeteners: Research is finding a link between these sugars and metabolic issues. They’ve even been linked to more weight gain then refined sugar! Be especially careful when these sweeteners are added to drinks. Healthy sweets Fruit: Our body loves fruit when it’s in its whole form. The fruit’s 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!

21⁄4 cups quick cooking oats 2 cups spelt flour or you can use 1 cup brown rice and 1 cup buckwheat 1 cup sunflower seeds 3⁄4 cup + 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds 1⁄2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut 1⁄4 cup ground flax seeds 1 cup granulated cane sugar

1 tbsp ground cinnamon 21⁄4 tsp sea salt 13⁄4 cups chocolate chips 11⁄4 cups raisins 1⁄4 cup water 1⁄4 cup blackstrap molasses 3⁄4 cup canola oil 1 cup soy milk or almond milk or rice milk 1 tsp vanilla

Pre-heat oven to 350o F. Line baking trays with parchment paper. In large bowl, combine dry ingredients, everything from oats to raisins. In a separate large bowl, combine wet ingredients, everything from water to soy milk. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix slowly at a low speed or by hand, until just combined. Do not over mix. Portion cookie dough using a 1/3 cup measure and place onto lined baking tray. Gently flatten cookies before baking. Bake for 24 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes 24 cookies

This recipe courtesy of Planet Organic Market Cookbook by Diane Shaskin (The 5 Best Desserts on Our Planet)

Coconut sugar or 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 where you can replace refined sugar with 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. n

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Winter ‘13 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine 23


Life in Balance By Roxalyn Boldt Ginter


alance–it’s a term that seems to imply psychological, physical, spiritual health. It’s something we can strive for but not something we can easily accomplish or achieve. But we keep trying, partly because our North American culture has convinced us that we need to achieve, and partly because balance is often an elusive goal. Let me explain. Sometimes there are tasks in our lives that require us to try, but we may never fully get to say, “I did it.” One of these areas is parenting. Parenting is something that continues throughout the lives of both the parent and the child. We continue to interact with each other and we continue to

make mistakes, and make attempts at amending these mistakes. We can likely never sit back and say we accomplished the parenting task completely. The benefit of knowing that something cannot be accomplished is that we can focus on the process. For example, we can direct our energy and focus our attempts on finding balance. We can notice when we feel a little “off” and we can notice when we feel happy. This, of course, takes awareness on our part. Not always an easy feat. Awareness means paying attention to your own signs of depleting energy and listening to your inner voice, or your gut feeling. To do this, you have to be aware of yourself, and you have to know who you are, at least to some

degree. That means you need to have some internal insight and you have to recognize what others want you to be. To sift through all of this, you have to have desire. People often don’t have this desire until something drastic happens in their lives….a crisis, the death of a loved one, a trauma, dissatisfaction with their lives, or perhaps they begin having nightmares. Here’s an example: You are in your early forties. You have worked hard to establish your career and you feel a sense of accomplishment. Finally you’re reaping the financial benefits of your hard work, and you’re married, with a family. Mostly you feel a sense of satisfaction and think you’re handling

24 Winter ‘13 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine

Wellness your various roles pretty well. You think to yourself, “I should be happy.” But then you wake up in the middle of the night with a sense of urgency. Must have been a bad dream, you tell yourself. So you put it away and go back to sleep. Then you begin having nightmares that startle you awake. You think about them, but file them away as well and go back to sleep. In the morning all is forgotten and you go about your day. But before long you notice you’re eating less (or more) and you wonder if there’s something wrong. But as is often the case, you push it aside and go about your day. Then you realize you haven’t gone out with your friends in a long time and what’s worse is you realize that you don’t want to. What you really want is to be left alone. So you stop returning friends’ phone calls and soon they stop calling you. Then your partner says, “you’re kind of grumpy,” or perhaps something even worse, and that makes you angry. Before long, the distance in your relationship is evident. You have less patience with your children and with people at work, and you’re feeling angry most of the time. Then, when you’re driving home from work, you wonder what would happen if you were no longer around? You are immediately shocked by this thought and feel a sense of panic. Finally you listen to yourself. Upon looking back, you realize that the last few months, or perhaps even the last few years, have been a downward spiralling process that you’ve never really acknowledged. But now you have, and it’s scaring you. Because you feel there are few people you can trust with this kind of information, you decide to call someone in the helping profession. You may talk to your doctor. The therapeutic process helps you begin looking at the steps that led you

to that last horrifying thought. In fact, it can take you all the way back to that first feeling of urgency you remember. Had you learned to listen to that inner voice at the beginning, you may have realized that something in your life was missing, and that most importantly, you were never really feeling very happy. That’s when you learn to value that inner voice, the voice of life–your life! You begin listening to that voice and realize some adjustments need to be made. These adjustments may be difficult but they will help you move towards happiness. Because of your scare, you now

live in awareness. This awareness is gold; it can both save and enrich your life. And this is what finding balance is all about. Being aware of you, of what happens in your life day in and day out. It’s about living and moving, making mistakes, amending those mistakes and feeling the entire range of emotions as they happen, and as you interact with others. Take a moment to reflect and to be aware of your inner voice. Listen to your thoughts, recognize your feelings and understand your needs. Finding balance is on-going, but the process is invaluable. n

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Winter ‘13 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine 25

Pet Health

Rejuvenating Your Older Dog By Dr. Britt Mills, DVM


any pet owners believe that the decline in mobility and the chronic health problems that can plague older dogs is an inevitable part of aging. What some people don’t know is that there are many safe and effective methods to ensure that your pet’s golden years are as comfortable and healthy as possible. Here are a few tips that I’ve found to be effective in my practice. Good nutrition is the foundation of good health. I have seen many older dogs significantly reverse signs of aging when their nutrition was improved. I recommend a grainfree diet with a nutrition profile similar to a dog’s ancestral diet. You can do this by feeding your own cooked or raw diet or going with a balanced grain-free kibble. If you decide to go with a kibble, be sure and read the label and avoid wheat, corn, rye and soy. The first ingredient should be meat or meat meal. If you want to make a more dramatic difference to your dog’s

health, it is my experience that fresh balanced whole food diets, which may be cooked or raw, are ideal. The key here is “balanced.” The unhealthiest diet for any dog is an unbalanced one, so feeding leftovers and the odd bit of meat is not recommended. Feeding your dog a home-prepared diet takes work, knowledge and commitment, but for those willing to try it, you–and your dog–will reap the rewards. Find a veterinarian familiar with these feeding protocols or pick up a copy of Dr. Becker’s Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats. A note about raw-food diets: while they are excellent for many dogs, you should get advice about using them with sick dogs or dogs with compromised immune systems, and avoid them if you have young children or immune-compromised adults in the house. Another good alternative is the commercial dehydrated raw diets which combine the benefits of whole food with the convenience and safety of kibble. Nutrition is

26 Winter ‘13 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine

a complicated subject so do get help from a knowledgeable professional before you make a diet change. As dogs age, it is common for them to develop problems with arthritis and stiffness. If your old dog has trouble getting around, there are lots of things you can do to help. First, have your vet look him over to rule out more serious problems. I have found regular acupuncture and chiropractic treatments to be of great help in managing chronic pain in older dogs. Herbal and nutraceutical therapy can also be helpful. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplements are a good start–aim for a supplement that gives you about 500 milligrams of glucosamine per 25 pounds of body weight. Ask your vet about injectable Cartrophen or Adequan to maintain cartilage health and slow down progression of arthritis. Many dogs show an improvement in their lameness when you increase their omega-3 intake with fish oil supplements. Look for good quality cold-water fish oil and feed about 20 milligrams of EPA and 12 milligrams of DHA per pound of body weight. I have found that krill oil, though more expensive, is more bioavailable than fish oil so it can be used at a lower dose. It also contains a unique antioxidant called astaxanthin which further reduces inflammation. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has strong anti-inflammatory properties and can be very helpful in arthritic dogs. Give 10 milligrams per pound twice a day. Try to get a preparation that is highly bioavailable, which usually involves emulsifying it in fat. Curcumin can decrease blood clotting so if you have a surgery scheduled, take them off it the week prior, and consult with your vet if your dog has a clotting disorder. A few changes in your older dog’s health management can mean big changes in his outlook on life! n

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Melissa (Mel) Spooner 250-550-0521


Big Shoes, Big Fun By Maureen McEwan


f you’re not a skier, winter in the Okanagan often seems like our longest and least active season. Cooler temperatures, low-hanging cloud and that annoying white stuff can make it challenging to get your body moving, particularly outdoors. But wait! Before you snuggle down in front of the fire, there is a way to get out and enjoy winter, and reap the benefits that come from exercising in cooler weather. Simply strap on a pair of snowshoes and head for the snow. Chances are you’ll fall in love with the sport, and with the feeling that comes when you experience the outdoors. You may even forget about the couch and the cup of hot chocolate that was beckoning only moments ago. Aside from the physical benefits of snowshoeing, and there are many, it’s an easy sport to learn. “If you can walk, you can snowshoe,” says Lyndie Hill, CEO of HooDoo Adventures. “It’s an easy sport to get

into and it’s inexpensive, although I’d recommend getting rentals first. That’s enough to try it out and see if you like it, and most people do like it.” Rentals are cheap, expect $10 or less a pair, and you can snowshoe almost anywhere–another benefit. If you’re nervous, take your first few steps in your backyard or head to a local park. Or, visit any of the ski hills and Nordic centres–they offer snowshoe trails so you can set off on your own, take your family or go as part of a larger group. Many of their guided tours are geared for beginners, and they’re a great way to get out and experience new terrain. “Trailhead” Ed Kruger, owner of Monashee Adventure Tours in Kelowna, says he’s had snowshoers as young as three and a half and as old as 92 participate in his tours. “The thing with snowshoeing is you can make it as easy or as hard as you want,” says Ed. “It’s a great activity for people and it’s getting to be very

popular, especially at ski hills with those who don’t want to ski.” Monashee Adventure Tours, like most snowshoe tour companies, uses the modern style snowshoes and not the traditional wooden models. Ed says the modern recreational snowshoes are easier to pivot in plus they are lighter, which makes them easier to maneuver through deep snow. As for the rest of the gear, both Lyndie and Ed recommend dressing in layers and wearing comfortable winter hiking boots. Large snow boots can work but they’re heavy and you won’t have as much control. Stay away from running shoes but do consider investing in a pair of gators, the plastic covers that slide over your shins and prevent snow from going down your boots. And remember to take a light pack with some water and snacks. Snowshoers can burn anywhere between 400 and 1,000 calories an hour, depending on conditions and speed. Expect to

28 Winter ‘13 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine


Where to go in the snow


s Clint Smith from the Larch Hills Ski Club says, you can snowshoe just about anywhere. If you do decide to go off the beaten path, take a few precautions before you leave. Know where you’re going, and let others know too, as well as your expected time of return. If you’d rather snowshoe on marked trails, or try a guided snowshoe tour (and they’re well worth every penny) then try the following locations. Salmon Arm The Larch Hills Ski Area is located just 15 kilometres east of Salmon Arm. Make a donation to the trail box before you go, or buy a membership for as low as $38. Snowshoe rentals are available at John’s Ski Shack on your way to the chalet. For more information, visit

marked snowshoe trails as well as tours, lessons and clinics. Snowshoe rentals are available for two hours or a full day, and snowshoe trail passes are available for the day or the season. Visit for more information. Just 5 kilometres past SLNC is Silver Star Ski Resort. Here, snowshoers can access 16 kilometres of trails, all clearly marked. Bring your own snowshoes or rentals are available– just purchase a trail pass before you go. If you prefer to take a guided tour, then contact Roseanne Van Ee of Outdoor Discoveries. Roseanne offers a variety of snowshoe safaris which can include fun additions such as bonfires, hot chocolate, fondues, sleigh rides and much more. For more information, visit www.skisilverstar. com or

Vernon Located approximately 20 kilometres from Vernon, up Silver Star Road, is the Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre, one of BC’s largest cross-country ski areas. It’s also a popular area for snowshoeing as it features several

Kelowna In Kelowna, contact Trailhead Ed of Monashee Adventure Tours and choose one of several guided snowshoe tours starting from Big White, Beaver Lake Resort, the Trans Canada Trail or various other locations.

use your quadriceps, hamstrings, abductors and adductors (hip muscles) and hip flexors. It’s low impact, which makes knees happy, and even at a nice leisurely stroll you’ll burn approximately 25 percent more calories than walking. For those who make snowshoeing a regular winter activity, benefits will include increased strength, endurance, coordination and balance. And, when using poles, you’ll also add in an upper body workout. “If you have any issues with stability, use poles,” recommends Clint Smith from the Larch Hills Ski Club in Salmon Arm. “Or, if you need help going up hills, poles will certainly help.” As to be expected, hill climbing is harder than walking on flat terrain, as is trekking downhill. And that, adds Clint, is just one more benefit of snowshoeing. “The great thing about snowshoeing is you can go anywhere. There are hundreds of kilometres of logging roads and if they’re not being used, they’re fine to snowshoe on. And there’re lots of mountain bike and hiking trails that work well too.” In a sense, snowshoeing is no different than any other sport; it just comes down to taking that first step and making a commitment to get moving. The next step is to put on snowshoes and go where there’s snow. And remember, you can always enjoy the couch and hot chocolate, without guilt, after you’re home. n

Ed will help you look for animal tracks while explaining the local flora and fauna. For more information or to book, visit www.monasheeadventuretours. com Penticton If you’re keen to snowshoe in Penticton, then contact Hoodoo Adventures for rentals, or book a guided tour. Starting in January, you can also join the New Year’s Resolution Snowshoe Program, which includes a group outing twice a week. Hoodoo Adventures offers a variety of tours suitable for all ages, leaving from the village parking lot at Apex Mountain Resort. Trails are well marked and vary in difficulty–perfect for first timers or snowshoeing enthusiasts. Visit for more information. The Nickel Plate Nordic Centre in Penticton also has marked snowshoe trails that will suit novice to advanced snowshoers. Trails range in length from 2.9 to 5.8 kilometres and daily passes or yearly memberships are available. Check out for more information. n

We Know Nordic! From playground to podium we’ve got the gear, knowledge and the passion for the sport to get you out in the snow!

From beginner to master skier, we are your one stop Nordic shop!

4823 Silver Star Rd. Vernon, BC V1B 3K3

250-542-4141 Winter ‘13 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine 29

Upcoming community events January 2013

Jan 25: Snowdays 2013 in Sicamous runs right through till March 3 and features numerous events, including a snowmobile winter fest, wellness spa night wine and cheese, snow sculpture contest, bonspiel and so much more! For more information, contact Pam at 250-515-1692 or by email at Or, visit the Sicamous Chamber of Commerce at www. Jan 27: Vernon Masters Swim Meet at the Vernon Recreation Centre, Vernon. For more information, contact Mel Spooner at or 250-550-0521. Or, visit www.greatervernonrecreation. ca/pdf/2013_Masters_Meet_Registration_ Info.pdf Jan 28: Kelowna Apple Loppet at Telemark Cross-County Ski Club, West Kelowna For more information, visit www.telemarkx-c. com or call 250-768-1494. February 2013 Feb 1-10: Vernon Winter Carnival. Hundreds of events take place throughout Vernon and area. For more information, visit: or call 250-545-2236.

Feb 2-11: Watch the excitement at the NorAm Downhill and Super G races at Apex Mountain Resort. Contact the Penticton Visitor Centre at 250-276-2170, toll-free at 1-800-663-5052 or by email: visitors@ Feb 10: The North Face Dirty Feet Snowshoe Fun Run at Big White, Kelowna. Visit for more information. Feb 10-11: The Okanagan Rhythmic Association hosts a competition at the Vernon Recreation Centre. Contact Susan Hamilton at 250-542-9991 for more information.

Feb 17: Nickel Plate Loppet-Classic 30-K Race at the Nickel Plate Nordic Centre in Penticton. Visit Feb 23: The North Face Dirty Feet Snowshoe Fun Run at Silver Star Mountain, Vernon. For more information, visit Feb 25: Kelowna Nordic Ski Club Loppet (Skate 30K) in Kelowna. For more information, visit the Kelowna Nordic Ski Club at, or call 250-764-4501 March 2013

Feb 12: The Starting Block 10K Run, Road Race Series 1 takes place at Lavington Elementary School in Lavington. For more information or to enter, visit

Mar 1-2: The 4th Annual OkanaganSimilkameen Healthy Living Fair at the Penticton Trade & Convention Centre, Penticton. For more information, visit

Feb 12: Harlem Globetrotters “You Write the Rules” at the South Okanagan Event Centre in Penticton. Doors open at 6 pm, show starts at 7 pm. Visit for more details.

March 1-2: The 31st Annual Physician Hockey Tournament in Vernon. Visit for more information, or call 250-545-3233 or 250545-2075.

Feb 14-17: Nor-Am Moguls at Apex Mountain Resort. For more information and to register, visit www.apexfreestyle. com/noram

Mar 1: Penticton Lakeside Resort 5K, Penticton. This race is part of the Interior Road Running Series. For more information visit Mar 2-3: The Vernon Body & Soul Wellness Fair at the Vernon Recreation Centre, Vernon. Free admission to see more than 60 vendors; register your business now. Contact Chris Madsen at 250-5581960 for more information, or visit www.

Do you have a body or a soul?

Come to the WELLNESS FAIR! FREE ADMISSION—over 60 exhibitors Body & Soul Wellness Fair Vernon Rec Centre 3310 37th Ave. March 2—3 Sat./Sun 10AM—5PM Do you have a wellness related Become an exhibitor at:

product or service? contact Chris Madsen at: 250-558-1960

March 6-April 27: Penticton Kiwanis Music, Dance and Speech Arts Festival. Visit www.tourismpenticton or www.pkmf. org for more information. Mar 10: Sovereign Lake Loppet at Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre, Vernon. Visit, or call 250558-3036. Mar 23: The Penticton Ramada Elevator Race starting at the SS Sicamous and finishing at Apex Mountain Resort, Penticton. For more information, contact HooDoo Adventures at 250-490-6084 or visit or www. Apr 7: Okanagan College Half Marathon, 10K and Relay Race. For more information, visit publicaffairs/events/Okanagan_College_ Half_Marathon.htl If you’d like to submit an event for our listing, please email us at:

30 Winter ‘13 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine

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Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine Winter 2013  

Welcome to the first issue of OHW Magazine! Our goal is to inspire readers to improve their wellbeing, achieve their goals and become their...

Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine Winter 2013  

Welcome to the first issue of OHW Magazine! Our goal is to inspire readers to improve their wellbeing, achieve their goals and become their...