Ontario allows testing of driverless cars on provincial roads, but there still needs to be a human operator with a valid driver’s licence who can take over in case of problems.
Driverless vehicles on the road will also need to carry $5 million in liability insurance. These vehicles will be allowed on all public roads in the province, including the 400-series highways.
Whether this is good or bad is up for debate.
Some of the reported benefits include:
Reduced collisions: Almost every car crash is the result of driver error — speeding, driving while drunk, distracted driving, and so on. A driverless car eliminates driver error and will almost certainly lead to fewer collisions.
Eases traffic congestions: Anyone driving around Toronto will appreciate the reduced congestion that will come with driverless cars. No more erratic driving, unexplained stopping or slowing. Further, with fewer or no collisions, no need for “rubber necking” by vehicles passing a crash scene.
Reduced need for parking: Once driverless cars are allowed to operate without a human operator, the cars could drop a person off at a destination and return to the starting place. Or, if the stop is short, continue driving around until the person needs to be picked up.
Increased productivity: In Ontario, the average person spends about 60 minutes commuting to work each day. A driverless car would not only likely reduce the overall commuting time but would also allow the person to be productive during the commute.
There are some potential drawbacks and concerns with the driverless car:
Potential for technology to go wrong: Everyone has experienced IT woes, when your computer should work but for some unexplained reason all you see is the “blue screen of death”. The consequences of a technology failure of a driverless car could be catastrophic, resulting in serious injury or death.
Difficult transition: If the driverless car catches on in Ontario, there will be a transition period with driverless cars sharing the road with human operators. Human drivers have established certain patterns that many of us rely on when driving. For example, very few vehicles drive at the 100 km/hr speed limit on the 400-series highways. The mix of driverless cars and human drivers could potentially lead to more problems.
Loss of privacy: Using a driverless car means a third party would have the opportunity to track all of your movements in the car. Because your driverless car would be receiving or communicating with data centres, your location would be potentially accessible to people or organizations who could hack into the network.
Loss of individuality: A car is more than just a means of transportation. Many people choose vehicles to express their individuality. The Google Car is plain and boring. If driverless cars become mandatory, we would lose the thrill of driving. I for one still choose to drive a manual stick shift even though an automatic is more convenient. A driverless car is one more step in giving up more control.
Overall, I welcome the initiative. I can see the massive benefits, particularly with reducing the number of injuries and deaths on our roads. But there is a lot of work that needs to be done before driverless cars will become mainstream.
Originally Published: January 4, 2018
As hardy Canadians, we should embrace winter and take advantage of the great outdoors. While many people recognize that shovelling snow is hard work, physiotherapists caution that shovelling can place severe stress on your heart, and cause stress and strain on your body. Every year, people sustain injuries such as pulled and strained muscles from repetitive twisting and improper lifting.
The Canadian Physiotherapy Association offers the following tips while shovelling:
Choose a shovel that’s right for you:
- a shovel with a curved handle and adjustable length will minimize painful bending
- a shovel blade made of plastic will be lighter than metal, putting less strain on your spine
- a smaller blade will not allow too much snow, and won’t be too heavy for your body to carry
Use proper techniques:
- whenever possible, push the snow rather than lift it
- always face forward, bend at the hips, squat with your legs shoulder- width apart, and keep your back straight
- lift with your legs and scoop small amounts of snow into the shovel
- keep the load close to your body to reduce the strain on your back
- step forward in the direction you are throwing the snow, in order to prevent twisting of the low back. This is the most common reason for back pain the next day
- if you have any concerns about your ability to shovel snow this winter, due to health concerns, injuries or inactivity, ask for help, hire a company to clear your snow or speak to a physiotherapist who can help prepare you for the winter ahead
- clear snow in two stages - skimming snow from the top, then removing the bottom layer
- take frequent breaks when shovelling-stand up straight, walk around periodically to bring your spine back to a neutral position
- do standing extension exercises by placing your hand in the small of your back, bending slightly backwards, hold the position for several seconds - repeating 5 to 10 times
Prevent slips and falls
- use a de-icing product on all stairs and walkways - it saves you shovelling and chipping ice unnecessarily
- wearing good winter footwear can avoid slips on the ice - boots with good traction or external grips can be very beneficial.
This winter, get outside and enjoy the fresh air and the fluffy white stuff. Canadians can still enjoy cardiovascular benefits from snow shovelling if they prepare themselves and listen to their bodies.
Originally Published: December 23, 2017
There’s more to “having a thick skin” than you may have thought. Figuratively, it helps you deal with a mean boss, but in a more literal sense, the thickness of your skin is related to your overall health.
The skin is the human body’s largest organ. It weighs about eight pounds and, according to National Geographic, the average adult has 22 square feet of it. The skin plays a key role protecting our bodies, which is why our skin barrier is so important.
Our skin is the mirror of overall health, and here’s why:
- It prevents bacteria and viruses from entering the body
- It protects our internal organs, muscles, nerves and blood vessels
- It produces melatonin to filter harmful UV
- It metabolizes and activates vitamin D3
- It regulates core body temperature
- It excretes excess salt and waste
- It retains fluids and moisture
- It impacts our psychological well-being
Every day, we’re bombarded with messages promoting the latest cream designed to protect our skin. But anyone suffering from an inflammatory skin condition, such as eczema or acne, knows that not all creams can prevent the external stresses often responsible for flare- ups. When stress pumps through our system, excess hormones (like cortisol) surge. Not only can this lead to weight gain, but these hormones affect our immune system and speed the aging process.
To truly understand skin health we need to start focusing on what’s upsetting the balance of our skin barrier. Whether it’s stress or food sensitivities, find out how to keep your skin barrier strong:
1. Reduce stress
Our skin releases chemicals called neuropeptides that protect us from infection. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) describes neuropeptides as, “the chemicals released by the skin’s nerve endings . . . the skin’s first line of defense from infection and trauma.” Dermatologist and clinical psychologist Richard G. Fried explains that stress can cause these neuropeptides to be released when they shouldn’t be and aren’t needed. This can lead to a vicious cycle where worrying about a skin issue can create more stress, thus worsening the condition. If you get a pimple the night of a first date, stressing about it can actually cause other reactions and inflammation in your skin because of the release of neuropeptides caused by the stress. Dr. Fried’s research explains that stress weakens the skin’s barrier. For this reason, it’s important to reduce stress and also reach for moisturizers that build up your skin’s barrier.
Bottom line: The AAD says it best: “Stress can make a person’s rosacea more red or acne lesions more inflamed and more persistent. It can worsen hives, fever blisters, psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis.” For this reason, visiting a dermatologist and understanding why your skin is irritated are paramount. A dermatologist can recommend the best topical option for you as well as figure out if there are any underlying stressors causing flare-ups. I recommend SkinFix to many of my clients as a front-line option for skin.
Tip: Take a photo of your skin condition when it flares up, and bring it to your doctor’s appointment.
2. Meditate to calm your mind and your skin
The U.S. National Library of Medicine found that a large number of skin diseases, including psoriasis, were largely affected by stress related to a specific event. Researchers focused on 27 students, and how their skin was affected in three different circumstances (two were low-stress vacations and one was the highly stressful exam time). When comparing the three time periods, it proved that under stressful circumstances the outer layer of their skin became very weak. The participants’ skin cells also reduced in size, allowing the skin to become vulnerable to harmful bacteria that could have lead to eczema or psoriasis.
3. Improve your digestion
Believe it or not, healthy skin starts in the gut. Improving your gut flora is essential for minimizing breakouts and skin flare-ups. One of my favourite remedies for acne is a high- potency probiotic mixed with Cenitol by Metagenics. The Cenitol is a stress relief formula that supports stable moods and is great for nervous system support which I find to be a stellar combination when combined with a good probiotic to assist with alleviating chronic acne.
4. Watch what you eat
Most people with food sensitivities don’t realize how bad they feel (or look) until the problematic foods have been removed from their diet. Suddenly getting out of bed is easier, and their energy, mood and concentration are improved. Joint pain, headaches, skin conditions and sinus congestion often disappear too. Eight common foods – milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, soy, wheat and shellfish – cause an estimated 90 percent of all food allergies.
A study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology confirmed a link between the skin barrier’s role and food allergies. Symptoms to food allergies are less intense, and typically appear within 12 to 48 hours after eating the offending food. In my practice, skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis are commonly connected to food intolerances and are greatly reduced when the key culprits are removed and proper topical products are used.
Bottom line: It’s no surprise that diet can play a large role in building a strong skin barrier. To get to the bottom of your symptoms, I recommend that you do a 14-day elimination diet where you remove the most common food allergens from your diet to give your body a break, alleviate stress off your immune system and detox overall. Slowly re-introducing each food after a 14-day break can allow you to connect particular symptoms with your food choices. If you don’t want to do a 14-day elimination diet like my Supercharged Hormone Diet Program, you can consider IgG food-allergy testing.
Originally Published: December 9, 2017
Dr. Natasha Turner, ND, Contributor and Founder & Director of Clear Medicine Wellness Boutique
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Dr. Natasha Turner, ND is a regular contributor to various publications and television programs as a natural health expert. Shows like The Dr. Oz Show, The Marilyn Denis Show, Canada AM, CP24, CTV News, Breakfast Television, Rogers TV, Shaw TV, and more have used her expertise to educate audiences. Print publications include SELF, ELLE, Glow, Canadian Business, Health, Today’s Parent, Lush The Magazine, Alive, National Post, Metro, Tonic, Vista, Fit Life, Cocoa, Viva, Healthy Living Now, Get Outside, and several websites, including a regular column for Chatelaine.com, Blisstree.com, and Huffingtonpost.ca.
Winter is a time for comfort food and home-cooked meals. The oven can be turned on once again, its warmth appreciated rather than riled. Delicious scents emanate from the kitchen as homes fill with familiar smells that simply make us feel good. The blustery and chilly days of winter often keep us indoors.
It may be a memory from a grandmother, a favourite chocolate brownie recipe or a pot of aromatic tomato and basil soup that ensures we gravitate to the kitchen; it’s about familiarity, feeling connected and the comforts of home.
Big stock pots of soup made from the bounty of fall simmer on stove tops, stews slowly bubble, cakes and cookies turn golden as they bake.
Crisps and crumbles made from the abundance of apples gathered in the fall can be baked, stored in the freezer and consumed all winter long, preserving the memory of a fun apple-picking day at the orchard.
Delicious baked spaghetti squash can be appreciated through winter; butternut squash adds substance to soups and stews. Winter eating can be healthy; vegetables collected in the fall are packed with nutrients and vitamins and many will store for weeks or months.
The importance of eating together cannot be underestimated. There is something very special about sitting down together with family and friends to share a meal, no matter how small or insignificant the offerings.
The warmth of a kitchen in winter, the gathering of familiar faces sees people gravitate to simmering soups, warming casseroles or bubbling sweet fruit pies.
Some families seldom experience the joy of sitting at a table with others to eat a meal together. Kids eat alone in bedrooms, while they are using the computer or perched in front of a television screen. It’s a learned behaviour. Once upon a time, families would sit together at the table for all meals.
The 21st century saw a move away from this most basic and important ritual as family members proceeded to eat different meals on different schedules. Life got busy, schedules became chaotic and technology came along invading our lives like never before as families simply drifted apart. Twenty-first century life has become disjointed and in our so-called connected world, families have become disconnected.
Eating alone all the time isn’t good for us. Eating together is therapeutic, even if it’s only for one meal a day. Eating at a table with others gives us a chance to talk to one another, discuss the day or the latest world event, share anxieties or celebrate something special. It’s quality bonding time. People need conversation and face- to-face communication. It’s a small but extraordinarily effective thing: getting back to basics, carving out meaningful slots of time to spend with family during mealtimes.
Family dinners build relationships and it is recognized that kids do better in school as a result.
Studies show that children who do not eat meals with family members are more likely to encounter absenteeism issues at school. They are also more likely to be overweight. Those who did eat meals with family showed in studies to be better off academically, were less likely to use drugs or alcohol and generally chose more healthy food choices.
Food doesn’t have to glamorous or fancy: even the simplest meal choices eaten together can have enormous benefits enhancing our quality of life.
In her book “A Book of Mediterranean Food”, Elizabeth David wrote in 1950 about how we eat rather than what we eat.
Many countries around the world embrace the act of meal preparation as a family where eating together is a ritual, something not to be rushed, but savoured and enjoyed. Even the poorest people living in the poorest countries globally make and consume food together no matter what the food is or how much (or little) they have to work with. Mealtimes in some cultures are respected and sacred as food is prepared and consumed in a slow, mindful and meaningful manner.
The experience of sitting down together at a table doesn’t have to include the formality of a linen tablecloth, fine china or fancy flatware. Enjoying food with others is about laughing together and the act of sharing time with others, immersing one’s self in conversation, exchanging the stories of the day.
Eating together can make us feel relaxed and content and is often associated with positive feelings and pleasant memories. It’s a universal experience. It’s even known to lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels and can help improve digestion. It has also been linked to reducing the likelihood of chronic disease, thereby increasing longevity.
“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art,” said 17th- century writer François de La Rochefoucauld. You just have to be motivated and willing to change old habits.
Sitting together at the kitchen table, a mother can bond with a child; a brother with a sister. It’s a learning experience for the child as new behaviors are observed. Go one step further and drag the kids along to the local farmers’ market. Get them to check out the produce with you and allow them to help with selection. Allow them to participate in the process and work in the kitchen preparing the meal. It is well documented that kids who are exposed to all elements of food preparation carry it with them through to adulthood. And while not necessarily a scientific fact, it’s often said that couples who eat together, stay together.
Passing skills onto the next generation, instilling a passion for cooking and the benefits that come with sharing mealtimes is vital. Restoring family traditions and having little ones make new traditions is the true essence of family life. Memories of grandma’s chocolate chip cookies or dad’s slightly-burned macaroni and cheese should be preserved and carried through the generations.
Eating together is about securing connections, developing social skills, establishing new traditions as old recipes are preserved and new ones are created. We all have to eat, so why not do it together and make mealtimes more meaningful.
Originally Published: December 4, 2017
Sharon Harrison, Contributor
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Sharon Harrison is a writer, editor and former intellectual property administrator and consultant. Whether editorialist, columnist or freelance reporter, Sharon is a storyteller, photographer, researcher and contributor to many lifestyle publications and media outlets including Grapevine, The Link, The Wellington Times and Countylive. When not hunting for the next interesting story or capturing the perfect photograph, Sharon has a penchant for nutrition and healthy living — and dark chocolate. A foodie, life-long gardener and art lover with a curiosity for mosaics, her inspiration for life comes from the picturesque beauty of Prince Edward County.
St. Francis Herb Farm – Stop It Cold® Throat Spray
It’s that time of year again; cold and flu season. Soothe your sore throat with Stop It Cold® Throat Spray. This wildcrafted and certified organic herbal spray is suitable for adult-use for sore throats associated with colds, flus and infections such as tonsillitis.
MaskerAide™ – “Let’s Face It” Purifying Cleansing Stick with Red Beet
Short on time? On the go? Or need to wash your face post lunch-hour workout? This portable oil-to-lather cleansing stick cleanses, removes make-up, balances & nourishes the skin, in one easy step! 100% naturally derived ingredients including beet root, pink clay, rose petals and citrus oil. Paraben free.
Saje Natural Wellness – 12 Days of Wellness Advent Calendar
Give the give of wellness and aromatherapy with this boxed set of eleven limited edition diffuser blends, from ingredients from around the world, plus ceramic diffuser. 100% natural, plant-based and vegan.
Old Navy – Printed Ponte-Knit Stevie Pants for Women in Red Buffalo Plaid
Get into the spirit with these fun and festive red plaid knit pants!
Moov Cosmetics – “True North” nail lacquer
Toronto-based Moov Cosmetics’ nail lacquer formulas are cruelty-free, vegan and formulated without parabens, phthalates, toluene, xylene, camphor, formaldehyde, resin, and animals. Using a 100% vegan brush. Wear the “True North” nail lacquer this holiday season inspired by the bright red in our Canadian flag.
OXO Good Grips® - Tabletop Spiralizer
Hailed as the must-have of tabletop spiralizers, this product makes the perfect gift for health & wellness nuts and foodies alike! With its stable suction cup base and three interchangeable stainless-steel blades, making veggie pasta, fruit chips, garnishes and more has never been easier. BPA-free and dishwasher safe.
Philips Hue – White and Color Ambiance Candle E12 single bulb
Add the new Philips Hue white and color ambiance candle bulbs to your Philips Hue system to experience endless dimmable colour and ambient lighting possibilities, for your candle and candelabra style fixtures.
Breville® Canada - the Risotto Plus™
Don’t let the name fool you... This advanced 4 Qt. multi-cooker is no one-trick pony. It specializes in stir- free risotto, fool-proof fluffy rice and quinoa, among other slow-cooked, sautéed or steamed meals and vegetables. Make all your favourite holiday sides and more with the touch of a button!
Seracon - Maple Syrup Tin Candle with a Wooden Wick
The quintessential candle and stocking-stuffer of the season! Enjoy the fragrance of sweet Canadian maple syrup, and the distinct crackle of the wood wick when lit. All natural, paraben free, phthalates free, with essential oils and an organic soy wax blend. Hand poured and made in Canada.
Originally Published: November 30, 2017
Dyan Perry, Lifestyle & Digital Editor and Founder & Registered Yoga Teacher at The Wellness Co.
+ Read Bio
From a young age, Dyan always had a passion for life. She attended post-secondary school for Fashion Design, but was later introduced to the world of public relations and magazine publishing as a luxury lifestyle publication's Special Projects Coordinator. Her interest and knowledge of luxury and the upscale demographic then secured her a position at Toronto's prestigious Bang & Olufsen Yorkville as Office Administrator and PR & Events Coordinator.
Later, moving home to be closer to family and friends, she pursued the magazine industry again as a Print & Digital Account Executive for Kingston Publications, a division of Sun Media Corp; where Dyan met Lori.
Upon moving back to the GTA Dyan accepted a position as Loyalty Marketing-Relationship Executive at SPC Card (Student Price Card). Then returning to Bang & Olufsen Yorkville as their Brand Ambassador that summer.
In 2013, Dyan became the Lifestyle Editor for Quinte-region based lifestyle quarterly "Healthy Living Now", working remotely from Toronto. And her passion for health and wellness has been growing ever since! Leading her to leave corporate, agency-life and pursue her dream of becoming a yoga teacher (and doing freelance social media marketing - to pay the bills).
After years of working for luxury brands, as well as in loyalty marketing and the communications & media industries, Dyan has accumulated a unique toolbox of skills to help build, better and market any brand she is working with. Having worked with clients as large as international telcos, retailers & CPGs to luxury hotels and restauranteurs; and from local or family-run businesses to non-profit organizations.
This winter issue of healthy living now magazine should grace distribution locations with little more than a month to go in 2017. It’s a great time to celebrate the year gone by, and to anticipate the year ahead!
Over the years, this publication has rebranded and streamlined. With it, we captured an audience that engaged with us each issue, and our contributor roster overflowed with local and national experts in their field.
For me, this past year felt like we were at a plateau. A smooth-sailing, financially-sound print publication with loyal advertisers - the backbone of any publication - with readers telling us that we crafted a beautifully-designed publication evoking excitement with each issue. Now is the perfect time to invest in our strengths.
After much consideration, we will be launching a sophisticated digital platform in 2018 with an increased social media presence. This winter edition will be our last printed issue.
If passion, fuelled by knowledge, is the heart of a great magazine, we know that our loyal readers will follow us by reading online at healthylivingnow.ca. We are choosing to move in this direction so we can continually strive to deliver relevant, timely, more frequent local and national health and wellness content.
For just over a decade, healthy living now has been independently owned. Our core mission was constant: connect local readers with local contributors who offer services in all aspects of living a healthy life, while featuring national and renowned contributors such as David Suzuki, Carson Arthur and Natasha Turner to complement.
We reach the end of our last printed publication with mixed feelings, but also a great deal of pride. Of course, none of this would have been possible without the people who were involved with the magazine, in particular past Publisher Amy Turcotte-Doyle and team who founded the publication.
Since taking on the magazine in 2013 as Publisher and Editor, I’ve loved every moment of the past five years, and twenty issues. It’s been a great run. I’d like to thank all of our contributors (who are all joining us on our digital platform) staff, and the teams who worked on the Healthy Living EXPO.
Lastly, thank you to our readers who enabled us to produce thousands of articles touching on all aspects of healthy living within the local environment.
We look forward to having the opportunity to grow our brand, offering you more frequent, relevant and timely content in the years ahead.
We will see you at our online launch in February 2018!
In the meantime, we encourage you to participate in our digital launch contest and sign up for our digital newsletter to be notified of the official launch date.
ENTER TO WIN HERE!
Wishing you all the best this holiday season!
LORI MITCHELL, PUBLISHER, EDITOR
Originally Published: November 27, 2017