Why I'm Taking a Month Off

Healthy Living Now, Healthy Living Now Magazine, Healthy Living Now Spring 2017, Healthy Living Now Magazine Spring 2017, Wellness, Career Mistakes: Do we see ourselves as others do, Sharon Harrison

Written by Dr. Michelle Durkin, ND

Healthy Living Now, Healthy Living Now Magazine, Healthy Living Now Spring 2017, Healthy Living Now Magazine Spring 2017, Wellness, Career Mistakes: Do we see ourselves as others do, Sharon Harrison

Have you ever gotten back from a week’s holidays and thought, “that just wasn’t long enough.”? I know I have.

Even though I’m good at relaxing and letting go of work once I’m on vacation, I do always feel like I am still connected to it in a subtle way. I always have my phone with me. I usually check it twice a day in case there are any emergencies that need to be attended to. I tend to be rushing to get things done before I leave, and then I’m rushing to catch up when I get back.

For better mental health, and at the recommendation of more than one person I see to keep myself healthy and balanced, I needed a longer break from my self-imposed workaholic tendencies. So, this upcoming four-week holiday has actually been eight months in the making.

I believe the exact words of advice that were given to me were: “If you keep going at this pace you will burn out in two years.”

Talk about a reality check.

So here are five reasons I am taking an extended vacation and why you should consider it too. You don’t have to jump into the deep end like me, but your vacation should be longer than what people expect and longer than what is comfortable for you, in order for it to be effective.

1. It’s a priority for my long-term health

I became aware that helping more patients become healthy isn’t going to make me healthy unless I walk the talk in all areas, not just the ones I’m good at. I want all patients, including myself, to avoid getting sucked into the culture of cortisol. So, instead of giving myself a raise, I’m giving myself more time off.

2. Parkinson’s law

Originally, Parkinson’s law is the adage that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. For me, even though I love my job, I don’t want work to become the most satisfying thing in my life. I need to make space and time for the “fun stuff” or before I know it another year will have gone by.

3. We all need a “deloading” phase in life

Taken from the world of exercise physiology, it’s a concept that can be applied to other areas of life. In the sports world, it’s a back-off week, or a planned reduction in exercise volume or intensity. The whole point of this week is to prepare the body for the increased demand of the next phase or period of training and more importantly mitigate the risk of overtraining. For me, this means avoiding burn-out!

4. It’s OK to say no sometimes

I have a quote that many patients have seen on the filing cabinet in my office that reads, “You can be a good person with a kind heart and still say no.” Up until this year, I have planned my vacation around other people, other events, less busy times of year, etc. Instead of having my own agenda, it was determined by default, dependent on everyone else’s agenda. I realized that this was rooted in the limiting belief that saying no was somehow a bad thing. I’m slowly learning to say no when it conflicts with my priorities.

5. The most important thing is usually the most uncomfortable

Being away from my office for a month is kinda scary, not just uncomfortable. My mind immediately started to go to the worst-case scenario when it was first suggested to me. Now that I have had six months to get used to the idea and plan for my absence, it’s getting a little less uncomfortable. I keep reminding myself of the quote from Neale Donald Walsch – “Life begins just outside your comfort zone.”

Now, I would love to hear from you! Which of my reasons for taking an extended vacation resonated with you the most? Leave a comment on my blog at quintenc.ca/blog!


LIKE OUR BLOG?

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive our blog posts directly to your inbox!

Turmeric Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie

tumeric smoothie.jpg

Written by Natasha Turner, ND

Healthy Living Now, Healthy Living Now Magazine, Healthy Living Now Spring 2017, Healthy Living Now Magazine Spring 2017, Wellness, Career Mistakes: Do we see ourselves as others do, Sharon Harrison

If you wanted to create the perfect smoothie with anti-cancerous properties, potent anti-inflammatories, as well as antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal constituents, look no further than adding turmeric. This is also the perfect post - workout shake to aid healing and muscle growth with the high-GI fruit combined with whey protein!

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup hemp or coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple (contains natural anti-inflammatory bromelain)
  • 1/2 fresh banana
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (add 1 teaspoon for more benefits)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1 or 2 scoops of Protein Powder

Instructions:

In a blender mix all the ingredients and blend fully.

For added protein add your favourite protein powder once all ingredients are blended.

Don’t over blend the protein powder!

I made this on the weekend and loved its creamy and delicious flavour.

Natasha can be reached at drnatashaturner.com


LIKE OUR BLOG?

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive our blog posts directly to your inbox!

Tips for Staying Healthy on the Road

Healthy Living Now, Healthy Living Now Magazine, Healthy Living Now Spring 2017, Healthy Living Now Magazine Spring 2017, Wellness, Career Mistakes: Do we see ourselves as others do, Sharon Harrison

Written by Carolyn Coffin

Healthy Living Now, Healthy Living Now Magazine, Healthy Living Now Spring 2017, Healthy Living Now Magazine Spring 2017, Wellness, Career Mistakes: Do we see ourselves as others do, Sharon Harrison

There is perhaps no greater test of how committed you are to your health habits than travelling. Being out of your regular routine, eating

in restaurants and socializing with others — all without the comforts of home — can be a perfect storm for eating junk food, skipping workouts and staying up way too late.

If this sounds like you, please know you’re not alone! Maintaining good eating, moving and sleeping habits while on vacation or away from home is one of the biggest stumbling blocks I hear about from clients. And I’ve experienced it, too.

Luckily, there are some creative ways to feel well on the road. Pack a cooler and utensils. It may sound obvious, but access to healthy snacks can either make or break your experience. Fill it with whole foods that travel well like raw veggies, muffins, pancakes, energy balls, hard-boiled eggs, jerky, apple chips, cheese, Greek yogurt, trail mix, fruit and dark chocolate. Throw in some condiments like guacamole, salad dressing, mayonnaise and salsa for ready-made meals or snacks on a moment’s notice.

Eventually you will have to eat at a restaurant. Do not panic. There are always healthy options, even if it means having to ask for them.

Here are my favourite “special requests” at restaurants.

  • Can the kids please order off adult menus? (Let’s face it, grilled cheese sandwiches, pizza, chicken fingers, spaghetti and fries that comprise nearly every kids’ menu don’t exactly scream nutrient density!)
  • Can you please hold the breadbasket? Ditto for croutons?
  • Is it possible to have a grilled chicken breast instead of the breaded one?
  • Do you have oil and vinegar dressing? And could I please have that on the side?

As for staying active, try these tips.

  • Get a hotel with a pool. Particularly for those with young children, this tip will keep you active for hours!
  • Check out your hotel’s exercise room for a brief, high-intensity weight workout or long, slow cardio session.
  • Discover your surroundings. Is there a mountain to climb? A trail to jog or hike? A beach to sprint or toss a flying disc? A lake to swim in? A park to chase your kids around
  • Checkout the city on a bike or on foot. Most cities now have affordable bike drops that allow you to do your own exploring on wheels powered by you. Or kick it back old school with a comfortable pair of walking shoes. It’s always surprising how much ground can be covered on foot.

    Once you know a few simple tricks of the trade, you’ll be able to return home from stints away feeling just as amazing as when you left.

Road Trip Recipe 101

Primal-Poppers-800x800.jpg

PRIMAL POPPERS

Prep time: 15 mins

Total time: 15 mins

Serves: 3 dozen

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup sunflower seed butter (or almond butter if no nut allergies)
  • 1.5 cups unsweetened coconut, shredded
  • 8-10 figs or dates
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 1-2 scoops protein powder (chocolate or vanilla)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

INSTRUCTIONS

Mix all ingredients in food processor until paste forms. Form into bite-sized balls.
Eat immediately or freeze to make them last longer!


LIKE OUR BLOG?

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive our blog posts directly to your inbox!

Yellow Dock

Healthy Living Now, Healthy Living Now Magazine, Healthy Living Now Spring 2017, Healthy Living Now Magazine Spring 2017, Wellness, Career Mistakes: Do we see ourselves as others do, Sharon Harrison

Written by Tamara Segal, Registered Herbalist

Healthy Living Now, Healthy Living Now Magazine, Healthy Living Now Spring 2017, Healthy Living Now Magazine Spring 2017, Wellness, Career Mistakes: Do we see ourselves as others do, Sharon Harrison

Autumn has arrived--the season for harvesting roots! From root vegetables to the roots of medicinal herbs, the fall offers us gifts from beneath the soil. At this time of year, plants send their nutrients and energy down into their roots for winter storage, enriching them with nourishing and healing elements.

One of my favourite local wild roots is yellow dock (Rumex crispus). Also known as “curly dock”, this dock family biennial is easily found throughout our region. It has leaves that are longer than they are wide (up to about one foot long), with white-reddish midribs and a long stem. The leaf edges have a curly or wavy appearance and come up in a basal rosette formation. In its second year of growth, yellow dock shoots up a tall flowering stalk with a cluster of tiny whitish-green flowers. When it eventually develops seeds, the whole stalk, seeds included, turns a reddish-bronze hue and remains that way throughout the winter. Beneath the ground, yellow dock’s long tap root has flesh that is an unmistakable shade of yellow—hence the name!

The yellow roots indicate an important signature of this plant: it effectively promotes bile production and movement.

The liver and gall bladder are largely supported by yellow dock root. When yellow bile flows freely through the digestive tract, it helps us to break down and absorb fats, allowing further nutrient absorption while also carrying out wastes and toxins so that they don’t build up and burden our organs of elimination. Thus yellow dock root is an excellent herbal digestive aid, helping us to absorb the nutrients we need while clearing out toxicity, keeping us healthy and energized.

Yellow dock also has a strong affinity for the skin, helping to clear eczema and other rashes and irritations that sometimes stem from an inhibited or overburdened liver’s challenged ability to clear toxins. When toxins or immune by-products build up in the system and the liver can’t easily clear them, they will often be cleared through the pores of the skin, causing various skin irritations. Yellow dock root helps to relieve these conditions by working from the inside out.

The deep tap roots accumulate iron, making yellow dock a choice supplement for iron deficiency. The root, infused in apple cider vinegar will readily secrete iron and other trace minerals into the vinegar, which can be strained after three to four weeks, and safely taken daily (one to three teaspoons) until iron levels increase. While many iron supplements tend to cause constipation, yellow dock has mild laxative properties, supporting proper elimination while supplying the needed iron.

All this aid in clearing away wastes and toxins helps to prevent infections, while also freeing up the immune system to stay on strict guard against any potential invading pathogens— thus yellow dock root strengthens immune function too.

This wild plant is so hardy that it is often found breaking through pavement or thriving in neglected, compacted soil. It also comes up as a “weed” in fields and gardens, where it can be dug in the autumn of its first year. The cleaned, sliced root infused in cider vinegar or dried and stored for use as a tea, is an invaluable addition to anyone’s herb cupboard, and should stay viable for two to three years. With all this in mind, in root harvest season...I dig yellow dock!

Tamara Segal is a Registered Herbalist and wild foods enthusiast. She runs an herbal clinic called Hawthorn Herbals at her farm in Prince Edward County. She also teaches classes and gives plant identification walks and workshops throughout the Quinte area.

Tamara can be reached at hawthornherbals.com


LIKE OUR BLOG?

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive our blog posts directly to your inbox!

Fall Garden Clean-Up

fall leaves.jpg

Written by Carson Arthur

Healthy Living Now, Healthy Living Now Magazine, Healthy Living Now Spring 2017, Healthy Living Now Magazine Spring 2017, Wellness, Career Mistakes: Do we see ourselves as others do, Sharon Harrison

The snap in the air signifies more than just the arrival of autumn; it also means that it’s officially time to clean out the perennial beds. This can be a challenge even for the most experienced gardener because we always forget the specific treatment for any new species or plants that we’ve added to beds.

For the novice gardener, you have a few options. You can travel around the garden with your smart phone and look up every plant before you deal with it...or...use these general rules when deciding if what’s above the ground should stay or go.

1. Small steps

Make a complete list of everything that you need to do outdoors and break the jobs down by small, medium and large. It may seem redundant to make a list instead of just getting outside and starting, but if you don’t make a list, it’s very easy to get sidetracked on the multitude of little tasks that can derail you. With your list, try to make sure that you mix up the size of jobs so that you get a sense of accomplishment when you’ve actually checked the completed box. Nothing is worse than feeling like you’ve wasted a day and accomplished nothing.

2. Go in order of importance

Grass, trees and weeds all grow... some faster than others. When planning your jobs for the day, gauge the impact of how things will look if you leave them to the end of the list. For example, I always cut the grass first because a freshly mown lawn not only looks great, but also if left too long it can take double the amount of time to complete. Next, I tackle the weeding. It’s my least favourite job in the yard but if left too long, the weeds can outgrow the perennials. I always leave the pruning for last. Most trees and shrubs only grow at the beginning of the year. Unlike grass and weeds, they won’t look worse the longer you wait.

3. What should go and what should stay is crucial to maintaining your garden.
Yellow leaves and mushy stems are a definite sign that a plant is done for the year. When the leaves turn yellow, it means that they are no longer producing food for the plant. Referred to as being ‘chlorotic’, this yellowing of the leaves can happen for various reasons including lack of iron, cold temperatures or even disease. Seeds and dried flowers are up to you if you want to keep them or not. Many plants that spread via seeds can take over a garden bed if left unchecked. However, birds rely on these seeds as a food source throughout the winter.

4. Throw your hands up and bring in the professionals
There is absolutely nothing wrong with admitting that you are in over your head and hiring a yard maintenance company for a couple of days just to get you back on your feet. When it comes to our outdoor spaces, we all have different comfort and skill levels. Paying for an expert is completely acceptable versus trying to muddle through and making some mistakes that will cost you more in the long run.

Gardening is all about trial and error.

You are going to make mistakes... we all do. By learning some of these simple basic rules when it comes to fall clean-up, you have a better chance of making less of them and that’s all anyone can really ask. Remember, this is your property and your home. What works for your neighbours may not work for you. Instead of letting the panic of a never-ending backyard full of work consume you, find a system that fits your lifestyle and make the most of your available time and energy.

Carson can be reached at carsonarthur.com


LIKE OUR BLOG?

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive our blog posts directly to your inbox!

Bicycles - Still the most efficient and beneficial form of transportation we have

AdobeStock_138072925.jpeg

Written by David Suzuki with contributions from David Suzuki Foundation Senior Editor Ian Hanington

Healthy Living Now, Healthy Living Now Magazine, Healthy Living Now Spring 2017, Healthy Living Now Magazine Spring 2017, Wellness, Career Mistakes: Do we see ourselves as others do, Sharon Harrison

Two hundred years ago this month, an environmental and fuel crisis inspired one of our greatest inventions — a device so simple, efficient and useful that it’s turning out to be part of the solution to today’s environmental and fuel crises.

As a Treehugger article explains, the eruption of Indonesia’s Mount Tambora in April 1815 spewed so much ash and sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere that it blackened skies, and 1816 became known as the year without summer in much of Europe and North America. The largest volcanic eruption in recorded history led to widespread crop failure and famine. Livestock died because there was little to feed them, and they became food themselves. The costs of fuel for horses, mostly oats, soared.

German forester Baron Karl von Drais needed a way to inspect tree stands without relying on horses. In June 1817, he built a simple wooden two- wheeler, without pedals, that he called the Laufsmaschine, or “running machine” — although it came to be known as a draisine. His invention led to the first conflicts between cyclists and users of other transportation modes, including pedestrians. Carriage ruts in unpaved roads made manoeuvring on two wheels difficult, and cyclists started riding the brake- less bikes on sidewalks, which led to widespread complaints and bans in some countries, including Germany. Many people were simply opposed to the newfangled devices and their riders.

These conflicts diminished popularity of the early two-wheeler. The later pedal-powered penny farthing, with its huge direct-drive front wheel and small back wheel, suffered a similar backlash. But technological advances — such as rear chain drives, ball bearings, pneumatic tires and freewheels — eventually made bicycles a more viable transportation mode.

Today, technologies like lighter frames and better gearing, as well as electric bikes and share programs, are making cycling accessible to more people.

Bikes and their riders still face backlashes — in part because so much urban infrastructure has been dedicated to motorized vehicles and, to some extent, pedestrians, leaving cyclists to compete for space. As civic leaders and citizens gain a better understanding of the benefits of getting people out of private automobiles — reduced pollution and climate-altering emissions, less gridlock and more human- centred urban design among them — municipal governments and supporters are working to create more, safer spaces for cyclists. Many cities, including my hometown of Vancouver, are expanding separated bike lane networks, and some employers and businesses are providing encouragement through better parking and showers for cyclists.

The benefits of increased cycling go beyond reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Riding a bike is good for your physical and mental health. Bicycles can move more people with less space and are far more efficient than cars. Most of the fuel used to power a car is either lost or used to propel the massive vehicle, whereas fuelling a bike’s engine — that’s you — requires only a healthy diet. You can also save a lot of money on fuel, parking, maintenance, insurance and purchase.

Costs to society — and taxpayers — are also lower. Bikes are easier than cars on infrastructure such as roads, help reduce health care costs and can alleviate poverty as people spend less on vehicle-related costs. Streets become more human- centred, and businesses along bike lanes can benefit.

Cycling isn’t possible for all people at all times, especially during harsh winters. But as more people get out of their cars, those who need motorized transportation — whether private automobiles, taxis, emergency vehicles or transit — will experience less gridlock and competition for parking, along with greater safety.

In cities where traffic is heavy, cycling is often faster than driving. It’s even more energy- efficient than walking!

Those who fear risking injury or even death from cycling have valid concerns. Collisions with larger vehicles or even other cyclists, breathing pollution from cars and getting caught in inclement weather are all possible. But many of those risks are reduced with better cycling infrastructure, such as separated lanes, and proper clothing, lights and repair kits. Studies have also shown the health benefits of cycling outweigh the risks.

Two centuries after their invention, bicycles are still the most efficient and beneficial form of transportation we have. Get out and ride if you can! It’s good for you and the planet.

David can be reached at davidsuzuki.org

 


LIKE OUR BLOG?

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive our blog posts directly to your inbox!

Bringing Home the Spa - Recreating the benefits of hydrotherapy spas at home

AdobeStock_118043664.jpeg

Written by Kelly Gillis, ND

Healthy Living Now, Healthy Living Now Magazine, Healthy Living Now Spring 2017, Healthy Living Now Magazine Spring 2017, Wellness, Career Mistakes: Do we see ourselves as others do, Sharon Harrison

When you think of a trip to the spa, it conjures up images of facials, nail treatments, body wraps and massages. But spas weren’t always havens for simply the beautification of the physical body.

Traditionally, they were places people would go to “take the waters”; to immerse, cleanse and bathe themselves in healing waters meant to rejuvenate the body, mind and spirit. The use of water in this healing way is called hydrotherapy.

And this is how we can bring hydrotherapy home. There are many ways to use water in your own home that will bring about the same responses in the body, and effectively stimulate the same healing and relaxation.

Hydrotherapy has been shown in recent years to benefit a vast number of conditions including: improving cholesterol levels and high blood pressure, promoting quality and duration of sleep, reducing stress and anxiety, pain management (especially osteoarthritis), improving immune function, boosting metabolism, and supporting overall feelings of wellbeing, among others.

Given the wide range of possible benefits, it’s easy to see why the therapy is enjoying a resurgence with the success of such hydrotherapy- focused spas and resorts as Nordik, Body Blitz and Scandinave Spa. 

Typically located in beautiful, outdoor, natural settings, spa-goers are encouraged to spend long hours languidly transitioning through a series of pools, saunas, and rest stations of varying temperatures.

This simple transition from very warm (some steam rooms can be close to 100 degrees Celsius) to very cold water (often just a few degrees above freezing) is the true secret behind hydrotherapy; the drastic temperature change creates a number of complex physiological and biochemical changes within the body. Cycling through alternating hot and cold water stimulates these cellular and chemical changes, which are responsible for the benefits that we expect from hydrotherapy.

And this is how we can bring hydrotherapy home. There are many ways to use water in your own home that will bring about the same responses in the body, and effectively stimulate the same healing and relaxation.

One of the simplest and most effective home practices is the alternating shower. For this treatment all you need is your standard home shower. Simply turn the water temperature up so that it feels very warm to hot (but not so hot that it is uncomfortable). Stand in the water for up to three minutes, and then abruptly change the temperature to as cold as you can tolerate (this will feel like a bit of a shock!) Stand under the cold water for no more than one minute, and then return the temperature to hot. Repeat this cycle three to five times, ending with a cold stream.

You can use a similar technique to enjoy the benefits of hydrotherapy at home in a number of different ways, such as a simple foot bath, or (carefully) jumping in and out of the backyard hot tub to get sprayed down with the garden hose.

However you choose to practice hydrotherapy at home, there are a few key principles to keep in mind to maximize your hydrotherapeutic benefit. The first is that the warm phase should always be longer than the cold phase by a ratio of about 3:1; for example, if your hot phase only lasts one minute, the cold should last no longer than 20 seconds. The second is to always end on cold - this leaves the body a little bit cool, which then demands that it warm itself once again, increasing metabolic rate and blood flow. And, as with any new practice, don’t overdo it, especially at the beginning. If the extremes of temperature seem like too much to tolerate, work your way up to it by starting with warm-cool transitions, and build up to hot-cold.

Dr. Kelly is a naturopathic doctor practicing in her hometown of Belleville, Ontario at the Belleville Integrative Health Centre. She trained as a naturopath at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto, Ontario and prior to that, completed an honours undergraduate degree in Health Promotion at Laurentian University. She is licensed and registered with the College of Naturopaths of Ontario, and is a member of the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors and the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors.


LIKE OUR BLOG?

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive our blog posts directly to your inbox!

Chocolate Cravings? You might be low in magnesium (the miracle mineral)

AdobeStock_118043664.jpeg

Written by Natasha Turner, ND

Healthy Living Now, Healthy Living Now Magazine, Healthy Living Now Spring 2017, Healthy Living Now Magazine Spring 2017, Wellness, Career Mistakes: Do we see ourselves as others do, Sharon Harrison

It’s that time of day again, when your craving for chocolate presents itself and nothing else will do. But with your fall health routine beginning to pairing back after summer– what can you do about it?

Although cocoa is touted as healthy because of its antioxidant properties, most of us experience guilt or frustration when we give in to our cravings for rich, delicious chocolate. Well, feel guilty no longer, there may be a solution for you—and it’s as simple as a magnesium supplement that has no calories at all. But pay attention to your cravings! They are a very good sign magnesium is just what your body needs since chocolate is, in fact, one of our richest dietary sources.

Studies have found, and my clinical experience has confirmed, that chocolate cravings and PMS symptoms improve with daily magnesium supplements. But that’s not all this mineral can help you with.... keep reading to discover the many benefits of magnesium.

Beats fatigue

... chocolate cravings and PMS symptoms improve with daily magnesium supplements.

For a long time now, it has been suggested that chronic fatigue syndrome is related to persistent magnesium deficiency, which may improve with magnesium supplements. Magnesium is a wonderful mineral that is involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. When we are magnesium deficient, our bodily functions slow down at the cellular level, causing everything to become sluggish until eventually physical or mental fatigue eventually ensues.

Eases anxiety, improves sleep and stabilizes mood

Individuals with anxiety have been found to have lower levels of magnesium. This may be linked to the fact that a magnesium deficiency causes the release of adrenalin. Also, other studies have found that magnesium supplements reduce the release and effect of stress hormones on the heart, which is an indirect measure of the mineral’s effect on the brain.

In the elderly, magnesium supplements were found to improve sleep by decreasing the release of the stress hormone cortisol, which is known to cause sleep disruption. Magnesium glycinate (400 to 600mg) at bedtime is my favourite starting place for most cases of sleep disruption, for all ages.

Reduces muscle cramping

Ever get those irritating little twitches in your eyelid? Or maybe painful muscle cramping, waking you at night or ruining your workout? These are both possible signs of magnesium deficiency since it is closely involved in proper muscle relaxation and contraction. Try taking 200 to 600mg of magnesium at bedtime and you may be surprised at how quickly these symptoms may respond to your efforts.

Athletes can be especially prone to magnesium loss from sweating. Meanwhile, an athlete prone to loose stools will have an even greater risk of deficiency. I once treated an adventure racer with this exact condition. He used to develop cramps so severe his teammates would have to carry him during competitions. I fixed his digestive issues, supplemented minerals and he was back in action in no time. I recommend mineral supplement containing magnesium and foods high in the mineral-like seeds, nuts and green leafy veggies to all of my athletes to maintain their performance.

Magnesium and blood pressure

Evidence suggests that magnesium may play an important role in regulating blood pressure, due to its natural muscle relaxant ability. When blood vessels are relaxed there is less resistance to the flow of blood and as a result, lower blood pressure.

Diets that provide high sources of potassium and magnesium— such as those that are high in fruits and vegetables—are consistently associated with lower blood pressure.

The DASH study (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) suggested that high blood pressure could be significantly lowered by consuming a diet high in magnesium, potassium and calcium, and low in sodium and fat. In another study, the effect of various nutritional factors on high blood pressure was examined in over 30,000 U.S. male health professionals. After four years of follow-up, researchers found that a greater magnesium intake was significantly associated with lower risk of hypertension. The evidence is strong enough that the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure recommends maintaining an adequate magnesium intake as a positive lifestyle modification for preventing and managing high blood pressure.

Magnesium and heart disease

Magnesium deficiency can cause metabolic changes that may contribute to heart attacks and strokes, while higher blood levels are associated with a lower risk of these conditions. There is also evidence that low body stores of magnesium increase the risk of abnormal heart rhythms, which in turn may increase the risk of complications associated with a heart attack.

Magnesium and osteoporosis

Calcium isn’t the only mineral we need for strong, healthy bones.

It appears a magnesium deficiency may also be a risk factor for osteoporosis. This may be due to the effect of magnesium deficiency on calcium metabolism and the hormone that regulates calcium balance in the body. I normally recommend 600 to 800mg of magnesium along with 1000 to 1200mg of calcium daily to all adults to treat and prevent bone density loss.

Magnesium and diabetes

Magnesium is important to carbohydrate metabolism. It may influence the release and activity of insulin, the hormone that helps control blood glucose levels. Elevated blood glucose levels increase the loss of magnesium in the urine, which in turn lowers blood levels of magnesium. This explains why low blood levels of magnesium are seen in poorly controlled type 1 and type 2 diabetes. These low levels of the mineral may also contribute to hypertension commonly found with many diabetics.

Okay, if, after all of this fantastic news about magnesium, you just can’t get past your chocolate craving, then at least choose the best chocolate. Look for a minimum 70 percent or more cocoa solids. It’s the healthiest way to satisfy a craving for chocolate, without consuming all the sugar and saturated fat common with milk chocolate.

Natasha can be reached at drnatashaturner.com


LIKE OUR BLOG?

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive our blog posts directly to your inbox!

Is Intermittent Fasting for You?

AdobeStock_135150597.jpeg

Written by Natasha Turner, ND

Healthy Living Now, Healthy Living Now Magazine, Healthy Living Now Spring 2017, Healthy Living Now Magazine Spring 2017, Wellness, Career Mistakes: Do we see ourselves as others do, Sharon Harrison

Our fasting bodies change how they select which fuel to burn, improving metabolism and reducing oxidative stress. Today’s intermittent fasting regimens are easier to stick to, and proven to help excess pounds melt away. Studies have clearly shown that our bodies respond to fasting by boosting glucagon, adiponectin and growth hormone - the hormone that helps build muscle. A scientific review in the British Journal of Diabetes and Vascular Disease suggests that fasting diets may also help those with diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Intermittent fasting involves avoiding food intake for one day per week. During your cleanse day, you should drink at least four quarts of warm or cold herbal teas to support the cleansing process. I recommend a combination of herbs with anti- inflammatory and diuretic effects, such as ginger, lemon, blueberry, hibiscus, dandelion, green tea, and parsley. Alternatively, you can use an intermittent fasting support mixed into four quarts of water to drink throughout the day. If you feel overly hungry, you can consume one or two hard boiled eggs in the morning or a serving of nuts in the afternoon, but try to last the day.

You can also try your cleanse day by first consuming breakfast and then embarking on the cleansing drinks for the next 24 hours. Alternatively, you could fast all day and have a high protein meal in the evening. Lots of good options!

The benefits of fasting extend beyond just the 24 hour period, and it does get easier with time and experience. You can do this once every seven to ten days, or even more than once a week if you want to accelerate your plan. I recommend doing your cleanse days on Tuesday or Wednesdays. If you have your cheat meal on the weekend as so many of us do, this will give you a day or two of clean eating to get your insulin back in balance, lessen cravings and steady your appetite.


LIKE OUR BLOG?

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive our blog posts directly to your inbox!

Escaping the Worry Whirlpool

Healthy Living Now, Healthy Living Now Magazine, Healthy Living Now Spring 2017, Healthy Living Now Magazine Spring 2017, Wellness, Career Mistakes: Do we see ourselves as others do, Sharon Harrison

Written by Alexandria Barker

Healthy Living Now, Healthy Living Now Magazine, Healthy Living Now Spring 2017, Healthy Living Now Magazine Spring 2017, Wellness, Career Mistakes: Do we see ourselves as others do, Sharon Harrison

Have you ever been caught up in a whirlpool? Everything spins so madly you don’t know which end is up and fighting against it leadsonly to exhaustion. A worry whirlpool is much the same. Something is causing incessant worry, making your head spin. The resulting negative thoughts cause stress and anxiety, and fighting it only draws you in deeper.

Not only that, but because thoughts become things, your worrisome thoughts are vibrating out and matching up with other equally undesirable thoughts, conversations and situations, until it seems your whole life is turned on its head.

If you can’t fight your way out, how do you escape this downward spiral?

The obvious solution is to stop thinking those thoughts, but this is much easier said than done because the Law of Attraction is keeping them coming. It’s much easier to distract yourself by taking a nap, watching a movie or visiting a friend. This will give you the mental space necessary to begin thinking different thoughts. You won’t shift directly from worry to happiness, but you can bridge your worrisome thoughts by repeating phrases such as, ‘things always work out for me’ or ‘I don’t have to think about that right now’ to break the cycle.

Think of a well-worn path in a field. It’s easy to keep going down that path because the weeds have been trampled down. You don’t have to think about where you’re putting your feet, it’s become automatic. When you make the decision to take a new path, it’s difficult initially but gets easier each time you use it, while the old path grows over and is forgotten.

It’s the same with your thoughts. Each time you choose the new path it becomes easier and strengthens your resolve. You are creating new patterns of thought that serve you while simultaneously releasing the negative ones that don’t.

You can take things further with the ‘tell a new story’ process. As the worrisome situation shows what you don’t want, what you do want becomes clear. I recommend sitting with pen and paper and imagining it unfolding exactly as you’d like. You don’t have to know how it can be resolved or even the precise results you want. Just write how happy everyone is with the miraculous solution, holding the feeling in your heart while picturing their happy faces.

If worrying about a loved one, remember we are eternal beings who chose certain challenges each lifetime for the learning it will provide. What we think is a bad thing may be just the experience needed for their spiritual growth, leading to much happier circumstances for them.

If that doesn’t bring relief, consider that worrying gives more energy, thus power, to unwanted things. It is essentially praying for what you don’t want, and robs you of the ability to help. Your best defence against worry whirlpools is to shine your light as bright as you can. This will uplift those you were worried about, and anyone else lucky enough to be around you.

Alexandria Barker is an Infinite Possibilities Coach specializing in freeing you of limiting beliefs, enabling you to live the life of your dreams. Connect with her at AlexandriaBarker.com


LIKE OUR BLOG?

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive our blog posts directly to your inbox!

Have Vision, Will Travel: Redefining the Desire to Roam

Healthy Living Now, Healthy Living Now Magazine, Healthy Living Now Spring 2017, Healthy Living Now Magazine Spring 2017, Wellness, Career Mistakes: Do we see ourselves as others do, Sharon Harrison

Written by Sharon Harrison

Healthy Living Now, Healthy Living Now Magazine, Healthy Living Now Spring 2017, Healthy Living Now Magazine Spring 2017, Wellness, Career Mistakes: Do we see ourselves as others do, Sharon Harrison

After a summer spent relaxing, taking vacations or visiting family and friends, autumn seems an odd time to be thinking about travel. For some, it is the best time of year to take up the challenge as fall travel options can offer more flexibility. The weather is often more agreeable, accommodation and flights cheaper, the price of gas magically goes down, the kids are back in school and things are generally a little more relaxed.

The German word “wanderlust” first used circa 1850 is defined as “a strong, innate desire to rove or travel about”.

The travel bug can take hold sometimes without warning, and for some it is a call they must answer. Others will wander and discover, seeking out new things for a few years, but once it’s out of their system, the pull for adventure subsides as life gets busy. Sometimes, the need for exploration resurfaces once family has grown and flown, and desire and finances allow for greater opportunities.

 

Travelling doesn’t have to be a visit to a far and distance land. The desire to roam could mean driving an hour from home to explore a new place. The destination need not be a thousand miles away; it could just as easily be one hundred miles or less from base.

Whether you decide to rove far or near, for some a trip of a lifetime, often to an exotic locale, is a must-do on their agenda. It could be a bucket list item or a way to mark a significant milestone. The trip may be a solitary one, perhaps to forget a bad relationship or simply to allow thinking time away from everyday schedules. It was Julia Roberts who showed women everywhere just how this can be achieved in Elizabeth Gilbert’s book and cinematic adaptation of Eat Pray Love.

Travel in its many forms can be many things to many people. It can teach the intrepid traveller new things, educate us, change our outlook on life; make us more creative, inspire us, fill our minds with extraordinary ideas, exposing us to different cultures, showing us different places and perhaps most importantly, introduce us to people who we may not get to interact with on an average day. Travel can broaden horizons and the mind, allowing us to grow and develop as individuals. Going on a jaunt can mean pressing the reset button as it may even alter the path and direction we may take going forward.

Not everyone has the opportunity to discover new and extraordinary lands because adventure isn’t always a possibility. But what about virtual travel? Online browsing has never been easier to access: almost every town in the world is there, right at our fingertips waiting to be discovered and explored. While knowledge was once gained mainly through books and in libraries, thanks to people, the internet, Google Street View and more, we can view almost any place from almost any location on the planet.

Why not stay home, pick a country or a town at will from a map, insert a place name into a search engine and see where it takes you? Or grab a few travel books or magazines from the library or bookstore. Call it travelling without travelling as we allow ourselves to be transported to the other side of the world in a few clicks of a mouse or from the pages of a book. Some call it desktop travelling, others virtual touring, but why not allow your computer or device to take you far and wide while you redefine what travel means to you? Check out local hotels, the city’s art galleries, places of interest and the sights and sounds of a random place without ever leaving home as you embark on your unique journey.

Travelling should always about the journey rather than the destination and can be a reminder of what we can achieve as individuals; it refocuses the mind, and if we glean nothing else from it, it allows us to dream of adventure and exotic places, people and food, and maybe even love. It’s about connecting, stepping outside our comfort zone and satisfying a need.

Embarking on an excursion can make you feel good, filling you with wondrous thoughts, providing you with new ideas to pursue. And while travelling can be an exhausting experience, it also has the ability to replenish energy stores and renew our enthusiasm and zest for life.

Would you have the courage to travel alone to places unknown?

While planning is key for any adventure, not least because it can save you time, trouble and money, simply taking off, spontaneously following paths unknown is greatly encouraged as you let the road map your way. Whether it’s defined as wanderlust or something else entirely, the desire for discovering new places, the lust for a change of scenery, or the need to simply wander maybe just what the doctor ordered.

Travel is good for brain and heart health. Known to decrease depression, increase happiness, lower stress levels, help with anxiety and improve mood, travel can expand the mind, expose you to new people, new places and new situations. Taking time off can make you more productive at work and improve personal relationships, and the benefits to our mental health and self-esteem are extensive and long lasting.

Next time you decide to stay home rather than take a trip, even a short one, consider this: those who make travel a part of life can generally expect a longer life expectancy. And what better way to celebrate United Nations World Tourism Day which falls annually each September 27th.


LIKE OUR BLOG?

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive our blog posts directly to your inbox!

Publisher's Letter - Fall 2017

 

The Beauty of Autumn

Sometimes, daily life gets the better of all of us. The routine can sometimes become a grind, even with exercise and a healthy diet, you start to feel tired and uninspired, and you find your energy levels dropping with each passing day. Stress, finances, relationships, work and raising kids can all be contributing factors.

If you ever feel like this, a road trip could be the perfect solution. Wherever your own internal compass leads you, I think (or hope at least), we’ve all experienced the need to get away at some point in our lives.

Like life itself, a good road trip is never about the final destination, but the twists, turns and experiences in getting there. At its heart, a road trip is a journey of discovery, and it can be the perfect way to take a break and re-energize. For me, it has the same effect as meditation. A chance to breathe, relax and tone down a busy mind.

You don’t need to go far to experience the spirit of the road. A tank of gas can go further than you think and just remember, it’s not the destination that matters, so take your time, and if your plans change along the way, great, embrace it. The moment an idea jumps up and grabs you out of nowhere could be the best idea you’ve ever had.

You learn a lot about yourself when you are alone without anyone else for company. This is especially true when you are on the open road, and there is no one else for miles and miles. People often go travelling in order to “find themselves”, and at the end of your journey you will have almost certainly made some discoveries about yourself, some of which may be surprising.

Travelling with a companion or a few friends might just show you a different side to someone you thought you knew well. It’s a chance to open up about yourselves; share your fears, your current situations and feel a sense of joy that perhaps was missing in your life.

If you want to escape the everyday routine and enjoy something different, embarking on a short journey may force you out of your comfort zone. When you go exploring, you will get involved in adventures without even seeking them, and when you return, the challenge will have revived your senses.

Adventures are not just “for others”, or for those who are fitter or who have been training all their lives. Or for those who don’t have to balance work and family: adventure is for everyone.

I don’t know yet where my internal compass will lead me, but I try to keep an open mind, and look to the people who inspire me, and to things I wish I could do, but discarded as impossible.

I can’t think of a better season than autumn to enjoy its beauty, and hit the open road.

 

LORI MITCHELL, PUBLISHER, EDITOR

Healthy Living Now, Healthy Living Now Magazine, Healthy Living Now Summer 2017, Healthy Living Now Magazine Summer 2017, Healthy Living Now logo, Healthy Living Now Magazine logo

Like our blog?

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive our blog posts directly to your inbox!