Community News
Be Stress-Free with Reflexology

Stress is definitely something that we all deal with. Chronic stress affects us in so many ways and influences our healing on an emotional and physical level. For most of us, stress is caused by work situations, home situation, parenting, lack of money, car problems, loss of a loved one, or other possibilities like health issues or post-traumatic stress. Our sympathetic nervous system provides the fight-or-flight response to stress. Sympathetic nerve stimulation increases the heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate. The gastro-intestinal tract is affected, blood sugar can have fluctuations, and the adrenal glands become weakened and eventually exhausted. When you have a reflexology session, the parasympathetic nervous system is improved, and the body is brought back to a normal, relaxed functioning. When our body is relaxed and rested, this is when the healing happens.

Rositha Jeanson, Balance and Harmony, www.rositha.ca

Clean Eating: Gingerbread Coffee

2 Tbs Cinnamon, ground

1 Tbs Ginger, ground

1 Tbs Cloves, ground

1/2 Tbs Nutmeg, ground

1/8 tsp Salt

Instructions:

1. Add spices and salt to a jar and shake well.

2. Add about 1/2 teaspoon (or to taste) of the gingerbread mix to your regular or decaf coffee grounds before brewing.

This recipe is adapted from Kristine’s Kitchen. These spices are among the richest in wrinkle and disease-fighting antioxidants. Coffee cheers to that!

Lisa Kehler, www.offyourplatenutrition.ca

Dare NOT To Diet!

Make 2017 the year you jump off your plate and into your life! Dare not to diet. Make a radical shift from being “good” (dieting) to feeling good (living vibrantly)! It’s natural to want to have more energy and vitality! And want to move with ease and feel good in your body. But a diet won’t deliver. Not long term. Simple, enjoyable mindful eating, plus a shift from “have to be good” to “want to feel good,” CAN deliver a good thing! Here are a few shifts to consider for January 1: “I have to go on a diet, I feel gross” to “I have more energy and feel better in my body when I eat the foods I love with balance on my plate.” “I have to work out every day” to “I feel better, sleep better and move better when I’m active. I’m going to find an activity I enjoy.”

Lisa Kehler, www.offyourplatenutrition.ca

Book Club: Year of Yes!

How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person, by Shonda Rhimes. Shonda was an expert at declining invitations others would leap to accept. With 3 children at home and 3 hit shows on TV, it was easy to say that she was too busy. But in truth, she was also afraid. Shonda’s introvert life revolved around burying herself in work, snuggling her children, and comforting herself with food. Shonda’s sister muttered something that was both a wake-up and a call to arms: You never say yes to anything! The comment sat like a grenade until it detonated. Then Shonda knew she had to embrace the challenge: for one year, she would say YES to everything that scared her.

Clean Eating: Banana Quinoa Breakfast Bars

1 cup steel cut oats

1 cup quinoa

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon, a pinch of sea salt

3 large ripe bananas, mashed

2 tbsp ground flaxseed

3 tbsp natural nut butter

1 tbsp coconut oil

2 tbsp pure maple syrup

Optional: 1/4-1/2 cup add-ins like chocolate chips, coconut, chopped dried fruit.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray or grease a 9 x 9 baking dish with coconut oil. In a large bowl combine oats, quinoa, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add in bananas, flax, peanut butter, coconut oil and maple syrup. Stir until well-combined. Sprinkle with optional add-ins. Let batter sit for 10 mins to let flax absorb some liquid. Add batter to baking dish and spread out evenly. Bake for 25 mins or until edges are crisp and center is cooked through. Let sit for 20 mins before cutting into 9-12 squares and allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for longer.

4 Things You Should NEVER Feed Your Dog

All pet owners are aware of the dangers of chocolate. But have you heard of these ones? Suprisingly, only 30% of dog owners know these facts! Keep your pup away from the following: 1. Onions – Plants of this family, including chives and garlic, are not suitable for dogs. Eating these could cause your animal to develop anemia, weakness, rapid breathing and reddish or brown urine. 2. Grapes or Raisins – This fruit can cause severe liver damage and kidney failure. It’s been proven that even a few grapes can potentially be fatal for your pet. 3. Xylotol – Is found in gum, baked goods, and anything else that is sugar substituted. It is extremely toxic to dogs, and it can cause seizures, liver failure and possibly even death. 4. Salt – Eating salt will cause excessive thirst and urination. If they managed to eat a lot, it could cause vomiting and diarrhea, hyperthermia, depression, tremors, seizures, and death.

Lisa Tustin, Professional Pet Sitter

Boost Your Mental Health This Winter

Winter months can be difficult for those experiencing a mental health challenge or illness, especially during and following the holiday season. There are, however, a myriad of evidence-based ways to boost your physical and mental well-being. One important tool is vitamin D. Research clearly shows the benefits of this powerful vitamin for improving body and thereby brain health. Our bodies synthesize this nutrient through exposure to the sun. However, during reduced daylight months we are unable to get what we need from our solar source. Because low levels of vitamin D are associated with depression, it may be beneficial to add vitamin D through your diet, light therapy, or a supplement. If taking a supplement, choose the “D3”version and consume with a fatty meal. Be sure to speak with your doctor before starting a nutritional supplement program. If low mood persists, contact your healthcare provider or local CMHA for additional information and resources.

Sean Miller, Canadian Mental Health Association, mbwpg.cmha.ca

6 Toxic Chemicals in Your Laundry Detergent

The laundry detergent you’re using may contain a cocktail of potent chemicals. Not only can these chemicals wreak havoc on your health, but they also are contaminating our waterways and harming the environment. Because laundry-care product manufacturers are not required to list all laundry detergent ingredients on packaging, it can be difficult for consumers to make informed choices. There are 7 toxic chemicals likely found in your store-bought detergents, according to the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep. Cosmetic Safety Reviews, research studies show that the chemicals in detergents link to allergies, irritation of the skin and eyes, organ toxicity, developmental/reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, ecotoxicology, and biochemical or cellular changes. Do your research as you may find out that it’s your laundry detergent that is causing your skin irritations or allergies.

Kevin Shale, Low Environmental Impact Technologies, leit.ca

Clean Eating: Squash That Apple Pie!

Squash for dessert? This is how to eat your veggies! Fast, healthy, easy, low-calorie and gluten-free – perfect to round out holiday eating. Ingredients: 1 medium cooked spaghetti squash, 2 apples chopped or sliced, 3 eggs, 1/2 cup brown sugar (or sweetener of choice), 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1 Tbsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/3 cup raisins or dried cranberries. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Spray an 8×8” baking dish with cooking spray. Whisk eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice. Chop cold squash into rice-size pieces. Add squash, apples, raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix well. Add mix and distribute evenly in dish. Bake on middle rack for 45-60 minutes. Drizzle with maple syrup, sprinkle with toasted nuts and serve with plain Greek yogurt. Adapted from Cara Lyon’s Sweet Spaghetti Squash Kugel with Apples and Raisins, carascravings.com.

Lisa Kehler, www.offyourplatenutrition.ca

Don’t Worry About the Scale

When starting a new exercise program or upping the intensity of your current plan, don’t worry about what the scale says! – As your body adapts to the new demands placed on it, the volume of blood in your body can increase up to 1 1/2 litres — to carry more oxygen and nutrients to your muscles. Muscles that are being worked regularly respond by storing more glycogen and water, increasing their work capacity. If you are doing any work with weights, you will likely be adding lean muscle tissue — lean muscle is denser than body fat. Weight loss from decreasing body fat can be offset by these factors. Trust the tape, the mirror, and how your clothes fit. Slow and steady is the best way to get lasting results. Eating a balanced, clean and moderate diet, and exercising regularly (incorporating some form of strength training into your workouts) will yield the best results.

Todd Dennis, www.NorthStrongFitness.com

Natural Remedy for Thick Hair

Did you know that regular use of castor oil might stimulate and increase hair growth, reduce and prevent breakage, and condition and moisturize the hair and scalp? Castor oil is a humectant, meaning it attracts and retains moisture to the skin and hair. The antibacterial and anti-fungicidal properties of ricinoleic acid in castor oil protects the scalp against hair loss, while making hair stronger, smoother, and less frizzy. To use, dilute the castor oil with another oil (think argan, coconut, or sweet almond). Castor oil is very thick, which can make it hard to apply. Warm the oils and start with damp, but not wet hair. Massage your head with your fingertips using small, circular motions. Use your fingers to comb your hair; this helps distribute the oil. For best results, treat yourself to castor oil twice a week.