3 essentials for summer outdoor adventures!

Summer is here! Here’s a list of 3 essentials for healthy summer outdoor adventures:

1. A glass or stainless steel water bottle.  A re-usable water bottle helps the environment and keeps kids hydrated.  You will also avoid excessive bisphenol A (BPA) exposure from plastic water bottles that are left sitting in the hot sun for too long.  BPA is a hormone disrupter and linked to cancer.  Add some lemon, lime, cucumber or berries to your water to keep it fresh and tasty!

2. A natural sunscreen with zinc oxide as the active ingredient for preventing exposure to harmful UV rays.  Check out the Environmental Working Group’s 2015 Guide to Sunscreens to see where your sunscreen ranks in terms of safety and effectiveness.  Remember to reapply after swimming and don’t forget the ears, hands and feet! Check out my post on the ABC’s of Skin Cancer Prevention.

3. A natural essential oil bug spray.  Bug bites can lead to unpleasant itching and discomfort.  Prevent them with these Essential oils!

Image purchased from www.dreamstime.com

Image purchased from http://www.dreamstime.com

FREE health talk! How to manage stress and trigger the relaxation response

Kelly Sabara, Reiki Master and I are offering FREE health talks through the Ottawa Public Library!

Our goal is to teach you how to identify sources of stress in your life.

Once you figure out where stress lies, we’ll teach you practical strategies to help manage your stress such as nutritional changes, relaxation techniques, lifestyle changes, botanical medicine and Reiki.

To register for this program click HERE.

Please share with your friends.  We look forward to seeing you!

Ellen and Kelly

Natural remedies for ringworm

Sneak peak at my upcoming blog post for the Ottawa Mommy Club!

Ringworm is not actually a worm!

It is a fungal infection of the skin known as a ‘tinea’ infection, commonly contracted from close contact with others such as at day cares, swimming pools and the gym.

Tinea can occur anywhere on the body and starts off as red, raised, very itchy bumps.  Then it becomes dry and scaly as it heals from the inside out creating the appearance of a bright red ring, hence the common name ringworm.

How can you prevent a tinea infection?

1. Keep skin clean and dry.  Be sure to towel off thoroughly after a shower and to change wet, sweaty clothing as soon as you can.  Tinea thrives in dark, warm and moist environments.

2. Minimize sugar intake.  Often internal imbalance of yeast can manifest as tinea outwardly on the skin.  Sugar feeds the tinea and supports its growth.

3. Support a healthy immune system through a diet high in fruits and vegetables, ensuring your child has adequate sleep and exercise.  A strong immune system will deal with tinea exposure before it has a chance to manifest as ringworm.

Once my child has a tinea infection what can I do?

1. Avoid direct contact with others as much as possible to avoid the spread of tinea.

2. Mix 2-3 drops of tea tree essential oil into 1 tbsp of coconut or olive oil. Apply 2-3 times per day until the rash disappears and store the remainder in the fridge to use as needed.  Tea tree is anti-microbial, meaning it has the ability to kill fungus, bacteria and viruses.

3. Botanical tinctures of echinacea and goldenseal help support your child’s immune system so it can deal with the tinea infection.  Botanical tinctures are available at health food stores, be sure to use as directed based on your child’s age and weight.

4. Eat more raw garlic, raw onions and oregano.  These are natural anti-microbials and support the immune system to balance yeast levels from the inside out.

5. Incorporate omega-3 containing foods to the diet for their anti-inflammatory and skin healing properties.  Small fish such as anchovies, sardines and herring are super packed with omega-3 fatty acids.  Or you could add a tablespoon of chia seeds, hemp hearts or freshly ground flaxseeds into your child’s cereal, otameal or smoothie for a plant based omega-3 boost.

Feel free to share your experience or tips for other natural methods for resolving tinea!

Image purchased from www.dreamstime.com

Image purchased from http://www.dreamstime.com

3 nutrients that help with post-partum depression

Check out my latest blog post for the Ottawa Mommy Club!

3 nutrients that help with post-partum depression

Enjoy!

Image purchased from www.dreamstime.com

Image purchased from http://www.dreamstime.com

Do you have food sensitivities?

Do you have food sensitivities?

What health symptoms are associated with food sensitivities?

What is the difference between a food allergy and a food sensitivity?

How do you test for a food sensitivity?

Find out by watching my latest video blog on food sensitivities!

FREE health talk! Strategies to detoxify your body

This month I kick off a series of FREE health talks on ‘Strategies to detoxify your body.’

My goal is to increase your awareness of the negative health impact of toxin exposure.  I’ll provide  information on how to avoid environmental toxins in your home and work place.  You will learn practical tips on how to improve your body’s ability to detoxify using naturopathic medicine which includes clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture and lifestyle changes.

These talks are part of the Ottawa Public Library Program guide.

Click HERE to register for the program at the Sunnyside branch, Thursday, February 26, 6-8 pm.

Click HERE to register for the program at the Greenboro branch, Saturday, February 28, 2-4 pm.

Looking forward to sharing lots of great info with you!

A new year, a new you! 3 simple changes to improve your health

It’s a new year and time for a new you! Here are 3 simple changes which will give you a boost to achieve optimal health:

1. Drink a glass of warm lemon water when you wake up.  In addition to getting that extra cup of water, the lemon stimulates your liver to help your body release toxins, gets your digestive juices flowing, and stimulates a morning bowel movement.  Squeezing 1/4 a lemon into a glass of water is all you need to obtain this gentle daily detox.  Cutting up a lemon and storing it in the fridge ahead of time makes this lifestyle habit simpler to achieve.

2. Eat some berries! Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, cranberries, and raspberries are high in proanthocyanidins, important anti-oxidants which protect your cells from damage.  They have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and tissue healing properties which keeps our  bodies resilient as we age.

3. Drink a cup of green tea to replace one of your daily cups of coffee.  Green tea helps prevent cancer, heart disease and nervous system diseases like Alzheimer’s.  Components of green tea also assist your body in blood sugar balance, reducing cravings.  This is especially helpful in the new year when you are trying to fulfill your resolutions to drink less alcohol and coffee, quit smoking or reduce your sugar consumption.

There are an abundance of little changes you can make to optimize your health and prevent disease.

These are just 3 simple ones to get you started.  Remember every little bit counts and will have an additive effect on your overall health so why not get started today?

Happy Healthy New Year!

Image pruchased from www.dreamstime.com

Image pruchased from http://www.dreamstime.com

3 reasons to supplement with vitamin D this winter

Check out my latest blog post for the Ottawa Mommy Club!

3 reasons to supplement with vitamin D this winter

Enjoy!

Stock image purchased from Dreamstime.com

Stock image purchased from Dreamstime.com

Stay warm through the change of season with Chinese medicine

Autumn is the time of year when temperatures become cooler, the wind picks up and the air becomes dryer.  In Chinese medicine, autumn is the season of the Lung organ.  The Lung in Chinese medicine represents your breathing patterns, immune system function and your skin.

Has anyone every told you to wear a jacket and put on a hat or else you’ll catch a cold? If this has every happened to you it is because the Lungs  (ie your immune system) are  susceptible to being invaded by the external cold, dry and windy weather.

When you catch a cold, Chinese medicine classifies your symptoms as ‘Cold Wind Invasion of the Lung.” This pattern of imbalance characteristically manifests as fevers alternating with the chills, but the person is mostly chilly, headache, sneezing, scratchy throat, body aches, and stuffy nose with clear mucus.

In order to support the Lung during the fall season, it is important to incorporate seasonal warming foods into your diet.  The warmer your Lungs are the less susceptible they are to becoming cold by the exterior weather.

Here’s my list of the top 5 seasonal warming foods to include in your diet:

1. Pumpkin

2. Squash

3. Onions

4. Ginger

5. Sweet peppers

How about making a Pumpkin and Butternut Squash soup? Enjoy!

Healthy nut-free snacks for back to school

It’s back to school time and lots of parents are asking the question, “What nut-free snacks can I pack for my child?”.  Having a nut-free policy is essential to ensuring the safety of those children with nut allergies.  However, removing nuts can make it challenging to provide snacks that are high in protein.  Protein is essential for maintaining your child’s energy level and cognitive function.

Here are 5 nut-free high protein snacks:

1. Nut-free trail mix: Make a baggie of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pretzels, toasted soy beans and dried fruit.  Easy to prep and portion in advance.

2. Hard-boiled egg: To make this boring snack a little more interesting, provide turmeric, curry spices, cayenne, paprika, chopped dill or sage to sprinkle on the egg or to dip the egg into for extra flavour.

3. Edemame: These are whole soy beans in their pods.  Easy to find in the frozen vegetable section, they can be pre-boiled and portioned for the week.  Sprinkle a little salt on them them the morning of to enhance their flavour.  Edemame make a fun snack as kids love to pop the beans out of their pods.

4. Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt is high in protein and easy to find in pre-packaged containers for convenience.  For a healthier option, purchase pure, unsweetened, unflavoured Greek yogurt in a larger bulk container.  Divide into individual portion and add honey, cinnamon, berries, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds or hemp hearts for added flavour and protein.

5. Mixed bean salad: Mixed beans are readily available canned.  Be sure to rinse the beans thoroughly before use.  You can also purchase the beans you like in dried form and make your own personalized mix.  Dried bean require soaking and boiling before use so will add to your prep time. Mix all beans and flavour with olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper, ginger, garlic, chili flakes, balsamic vinegar, basil, dill, thyme, cumin, etc.  Bean salad is easy to make and you can basically flavour it however you like.  An even simpler option is to mix a vinaigrette salad dressing into the beans for flavour, therefore no chopping/crushing of herbs required!

Involve your children in the snack decision making and preparation to figure out what flavours and textures they like!

Image purchased from: www.dreamstime.com

Image purchased from: http://www.dreamstime.com