Community News
Book Club: Is Your Child’s Brain Starving?

By Michael R. Lyon MD and Christine Laurell, PhD

Michael Lyon went from overweight academic underachiever to graduating as the top male student in his high school a year later, thanks to a total change of diet and lifestyle. He ultimately became a medical doctor involved in research on nutrition. This book is an inspiring guide to better brain function through diet and lifestyle changes. The minor downfall is the promotion of supplements he has helped to develop, but it is still a valuable book for parents and has a good recipe section.

IQ and Nutrition

What if you could increase your child’s IQ with nutrition? Inhabitants of a tiny island off the coast of Japan have the highest IQ scores in the world and produce seven times as many geniuses as any other place in the world. Seniors living there don’t seem to struggle with cognitive decline either. The secret: DHA, an essential fatty acid found in fish, krill, squid and some algae. The brain is made mostly of fat, 60% of which is DHA. DHA is found in mother’s milk and has long been recognized as aiding IQ scores in children. Almost everyone nowadays is deficient in DHA. This may be one of the reasons for the increased rates of ADHD, learning disabilities and autism as well as increasing rates of Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related cognitive problems.

Live a Healthy Summer

The summer is here, and summer is about LIVING! Life is too short to not enjoy the fun things and the fun foods. BBQ’s and drinks outdoors around the bonfire are a part of what makes summer in Winnipeg. If you’re watching your weight and your health and don’t want to sabotage your efforts, make sure that 80% of the time you are sticking to a healthy eating regimen. This includes organic fruits and vegetables, and especially vegetables that are highly alkaline so that your body maintains a healthy PH balance. These include broccoli, kale, cucumber, kelp, parsley, spinach and green drinks. If your schedule is busy, make sure to opt for the powder version of your antioxidants and greens. I recommend a raw, whole food version which you can quickly add to water to make sure you are maximizing your nutrition through the active summer months. Enjoy the summer!

Angel Balichowski, The Organic Mommy, www.theorganicmommy.com

Debt Getting You Down?

Don’t hit the bankruptcy ‘panic button’ until you have to. Life’s pretty good at throwing curve balls. And whether it comes disguised as a lost job, a health problem or some other unforeseen calamity, all too often that curve ball comes wrapped in financial woe and worry. Suddenly, questions like “How are we going to pay the bills?” and “Do we keep the kids or the cat?” take on far greater relevance than they used to (okay, so not the second one – but you get the drift).

While indebtedness is for most of us a fact of life – how else could you afford that nice home and a new car? – There may come a time when, usually through no fault of your own, you find yourself overwhelmed by debt. And for an ever-increasing number of Canadians, the sinking feeling that accompanies the inability to pay their bills can mean only one thing: bankruptcy.

But before hitting the bankruptcy ‘panic button’, be sure to conduct an honest assessment of just how bad your debt problem is. It can be as easy as making a list of who you owe money to and how much (if possible, include details of interest rates, monthly payments, and the term). Be sure to check whether your credit history has suffered (services such as those offered by Equifax and TransUnion can provide the answer), and determine whether it can: a) be fixed, or b) be prevented from getting any worse. Only then can you properly begin to understand your options?

And while bankruptcy might ultimately be the answer, it shouldn’t be your first recourse. The following tactics are worth considering to avoid going that route:

– Start a budget: Knowing where your money’s going can be a good way to stop the bleeding, enabling you to identify problem areas while targeting (and cutting out) unnecessary spending. Yes, you’ll need to be disciplined, but for many it’s enough to make a positive change to your bottom line.

– Restructure your loans and mortgages: It certainly doesn’t hurt to see if you can free up cash by deferring a car loan or mortgage payment – most financial institutions are happy to help by pushing back one or two monthly payments (usually for a fee), which may be enough to help in the short-term. Alternatively, look into a lower interest / lower payment option that might spread the debt out over a longer period of time.

– Take stock of your assets: Document anything of value – be it land, your vintage 1962 Mustang, or that collection of Disney originals Great Uncle Walt gave you. Don’t be tempted to sell them until you’ve had your situation assessed. These assets could be used to fund a consumer proposal that may, in turn, save you from filing bankruptcy.

If, after all, this, you’re still not sure you can figure your own way out of your financial problems, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.

And remember: simply ignoring the problem won’t make it go away.

LCTaylor Licensed Insolvency Trustees, www.lctaylor.com

Pharmacy Budget

We know that the cost of prescriptions is often difficult to manage for patients. We want everyone to have access to good care and safe medication use – to accomplish this, a customized budget plan for clients. This allows you to remain on your medications and manage the expense throughout the year. Along with the budget, a visiting pharmacist will counsel you or your loved ones in the comfort of your own home on a regular basis. They will help you manage multiple or complex medications and collaborate with other members of your health care team to ensure your health needs are met. This gives you and your family peace of mind with the knowledge that this aspect of your life is taken care of and contributes to a positive quality of life. Better Health and Wellness can be achieved through medication management – call a visiting pharmacist to arrange a home visit.

Care at Home Pharmacy, www.careathomepharmacy.ca

Stress Often Leads to Disease

Little bits of ‘acute’ stress are normal, sometimes even healthy. It’s CHRONIC STRESS that often leads to disease. Headaches, fatigue, depression, anxiety, to name a few, are the first signs of ongoing chronic stress. These symptoms wreak havoc on our bodies and when coupled with an unhealthy lifestyle, exposure to molds, heavy metals, food intolerances, inflammation, infections and parasites within your body, this mixture is why chronic stress is linked to diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Get down to the underlying cause of your stress by having your stress hormones tested and by adopting these healthy lifestyle tips: 1. Practice some deep breathing techniques. 2. Get plenty of sleep. 3. Eat fish at least twice per week or take an Omega 3 supplement. 4. Drink water! Eight glasses a day. 5. Avoid junk food!

Stacie Rasmussen RNCP, Blossom Nutrition, www.winnipegnutritionist.com

Clean Eating: Almond Date Energy Bites

1 cup Medjool Dates (de-pitted).

1 cup raw almonds.

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut or rolled oats.

1/4 cup raw cacao.

¼ tsp cinnamon. Pinch of sea salt.

1/2 tbsp vanilla. 1/2 tbsp maple syrup.

1 – 2 tbsp almond milk.

1. Place dates in food processor and pulse until it forms a ball. Break up the date ball with a spatula and add almonds, raw cacao, coconut and salt. 2. Process for 3-4 minutes 3. Add vanilla, almond milk and maple syrup 4. Process until mixture forms a ball. Add more almond milk if the mixture is not forming. 5. Roll mixture into balls and dip in shredded coconut if desired 6. Can be stored in an airtight container or frozen.

Stacie Rasmussen RNCP, Blossom Nutrition, www.winnipegnutritionist.com

Help is Available

Professionals can help! If you have a mental health concern, deciding to take that first step toward reaching out to a professional can seem daunting and scary. However taking that first step can open the door to feeling better. Who do you go to if you have a mental health concern? Your doctor can be a great professional to turn to. They may even refer you to other professionals to ensure you get the care you need. There are many different types of professionals that can help us. For example, counsellors can help you work on relationship issues, past life events and many other topics. Financial planners can help you save money or reduce debt. Reaching out to a professional doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you, it means you’ve recognized a need for change and want someone to help you through it.

Canadian Mental Health Association, www.cmha.ca

Benefits of Cassiolamine

This multi-flavonoid compound helps in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and in the reduction of high blood pressure. Cassiolamine helps to maintain healthy blood vessels by reducing the adhesion (stickiness) of blood platelets, which promotes healthy blood flow. This important ingredient also serves as an anti-oxidant, which helps to maintain a healthy heart and improved immune system. What this natural legume-based extract is mostly known for is its powerful lipase-inhibiting features, which results in the prevention of fat absorption and an effective carbohydrate blocker.

Roma Stefanowich, Valentus
www.easygo.valentustour.com

Medication Timing

It is important to understand clearly when to take medications and how to take them. Some prescriptions have to be taken on an empty stomach while others are taken with food – check with your pharmacist to ensure you know what that means (how long before or after a meal do I have to wait). This helps with the appropriate absorption of the medication. Some medications should not be taken with other drugs as this can lead to reduced effectiveness. Timing of medications is also important in terms of when to take them – morning vs nighttime – to alleviate side effects. As well, it is key to follow the instructions on the number of times per day to take the medication. When receiving a new prescription, ask your pharmacist to fully explain the medication so you have a clear understanding of it. A full medication review of all your prescription drugs and over the counter products can further help you see how they work together.

Care At Home Pharmacy
www.careathomepharmacy.ca

Go DEET-Free With Essential Oils

It’s no secret that Manitoba is a mosquito haven. Quite frankly, our mosquitos can rival some small birds! While a lot of you still use traditional (and toxic) bug repellents, many of us want to know our alternatives. Lemon eucalyptus oil could be a much safer and more natural weapon against these little monsters. So what’s so bad about DEET, you ask? DEET toxicity can be blamed for skin irritations, rashes, lethargy, headaches, tremors, involuntary movements, seizures and convulsions. When applied to the skin a certain percentage of DEET is absorbed into the bloodstream. And the toxicity of the chemical goes up when it’s combined with isopropyl alcohol or freon, both of which are common ingredients in commercial bug repellents. In fact, DEET products are required to carry several child safety warnings. Studies have confirmed that lemon eucalyptus oil can be as effective as DEET in repelling mosquitoes. Other essential oils that mosquitos loathe are: catnip oil, neem and citronella!