Community News
Garden Tips – Grow Your Own Food

Growing your own food is a great way to help you eat healthy, stay in shape, save money and enrich your life in many other ways. The main question that every gardener asks themselves is “How can I grow more food?” Here are three tips to help you plan your garden this year: grow vegetables like pole beans, vine tomatoes, and cucumbers vertically up fences and trellises to help save space for other plants. Some vegetables benefit from being grown near each other; such as beans and lettuce, tomatoes and basil, and peas and carrots. This is called companion planting. Adding flowers to your garden will also help to improve yields in your garden. Flowers not only attract pollinators, they also feed predator insects like hoverflies and ladybugs. These insects help protect your garden by consuming pests like aphids and beetles.

Brian Prince, Farmer, Prince Acres CSA

Psoriatic Arthritis: Supplemental Treatment

Approximately 14% of psoriasis sufferers (a chronic skin condition that causes red patches on the body) will develop psoriatic arthritis, a form of inflammatory arthritis. The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis range from mild involvement of the fingers and toes to burning, stiffness and pain in the lower spine and sacrum. When the joints of the toes and ankles are involved deformity may occur which results in pain when weight bearing and discomfort wearing footwear. Custom insoles (orthotics) and extra-depth footwear may offer improved foot comfort by relieving high-pressure areas on the soles of the feet and toes. In some cases, orthotics can be designed to correct joint alignment to reduce ligament strain.  As well, there are shoe modifications that are available to improve shoe comfort or ease walking stress. Ask your doctor for a referral and make an appointment with a Pedorthist to see how orthotics and footwear can relieve your foot pain.

B.D. Mitchell Prosthetics and Orthotics

Compassionate Help for Seniors

Did you know that most seniors fear losing their independence and that they struggle with their own loss of capacity to manage their day?   On your last visit to Mom’s house, did you noticed that it was not as spotless as it used to be, there were bills marked “FINAL NOTICE” and that food was going bad?  Perhaps Mom admitted that, since Dad passed, she finds it hard to manage the household and she is really lonely; but says “Don’t worry, I am fine!”  Of course you do worry and feel guilty that you cannot always be there for her. Arranging to have someone make a home visit for companionship and provide support with tasks in the home is a perfect solution.  Managing the household and keeping your Mom engaged in normal activities can be all that is needed to keep her at home. Help is available to develop your family plan. Having a plan in place will provide peace of mind for family members who know that Mom is no longer isolated and alone.

Zel Hopson, Home Help

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Juice Cleansing

Juice cleansing, also known as juice fasting, is a fasting method or a detox diet where a person will consume only fruit and vegetable juices to acquire essential nutrients while abstaining from consuming food. Is juicing really as good as it is cracked up to be? Benefits: 1) You can easily reach your daily dose of fruits and vegetables; 2) Your body can easily absorb the nutrients; 3) Reduces product wastage. Drawbacks: 1) You most likely won’t lose weight; 2) Too much natural sugar can lead to blood sugar spikes; 3) Your body doesn’t actually need a juice cleanse or detox (your body naturally detoxes everyday); 4) It can get very expensive; 5) You are not getting the fiber. Best option: consume whole foods, and try blending them into a smoothie rather than juicing.

Sheldon Lee, Vios Nutrition

Water Yourself to Grow Your Health

When it comes to healthy beverages, water has no equal. This tasteless, odorless thirst quencher is essential to your every physiological process and makes up approximately 45-80% of our body mass. Because we lose water as we age, it becomes increasingly important to stay hydrated, a task accomplished by both drinking and eating. Two-thirds of our body’s water volume is found within our cells, making them like mini water balloons. When adequately filled, they are effective in alleviating headaches, improving memory, flushing out toxins, regulating body temperature, hydrating skin, lubricating joints, and – importantly – reducing inflammation which is believed to be the root of nearly all illness and disease including mental illness. If you are looking for an evidence-based and cost-effective way to improve your physical and mental health, look no further: water is truly a life source.

Canadian Mental Health Association,

Clean Eating: Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Soft, creamy, sweet and chocolatey – this plant-based, gluten and dairy-free pudding will surely satisfy.

All you need is:

1 and a half ripe Avocados, peeled and pitted

1/3 cup of 100% pure cacao powder

1/3 cup pure maple syrup or honey

1/4 cup coconut milk

2 tsp vanilla essence

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Serve immediately, and enjoy!

Hip or knee pain?

Look to your feet for relief. When not experiencing foot pain, few people think about their feet when their hips or knees hurt. They may be told it is arthritis or cartilage damage and do not consider how the alignment of their feet and ankles may be contributing to their discomfort. As we age, many people become more sedentary and see an increase in body weight. The arches of the feet can become flatter over time due to excess pressure from above and weakness developing underneath. As arches flatten, they fall inwards too. This causes the leg to rotate inwards. This rotation puts the knees and hips out of alignment. Depending on the amount of arch collapse, the foot may require a significant amount of correction to ease the hip or knee pain. Deep-cupped corrective foot orthotics have been found to work wonders at alleviating pain in joints further up the body.

Diane Calder, BSc KIN, CPed(C), Pedorthist
B.D Mitchell Prosthetics and Orthotics

Rightsize on Your Terms

Once you have decided to move or de-clutter your home, the next decision involves sorting through your belongings and determining where they go. This is an important step for you to take in the moving process. The joy of uncovering a precious item and sharing its history with your family is a tie that binds you together. After the sorting, many people feel more ready for the move. They have made the decisions rather than burdening their family with them, and their families appreciate not being left with a house of Mom’s and Dad’s stuff to sort through. The biggest regret of people who had to move suddenly was that they never got to say goodbye to their home or belongings, rich with memories. If they could give you a few words of advice, they would tell you to rightsize on your terms!

Marian Remenda, Professional Organizer, Rightsize Your Home

bc211 Help Line

Funded by United Ways across BC, bc211 is here to help transform lives. In British Columbia, the 211 information and referral service is operated by the 211 British Columbia Services Society, a charitable non-profit organization funded by United Ways and contracts with various partners. Every hour of every day, people need help finding services for themselves or their loved ones. From finding a homeless shelter, to securing daycare for a child, to home care supports for an aging parent. With bc211, accessing help is now only a phone call away.

Ivanna Law, Communications & Marketing Officer
United Way Central and North Vancouver Island

Suffering with Muscle and Joint Pain?

Muscle and joint pain associated with sprains and strains can be very frustrating indeed, especially when striving to maintain an active lifestyle. Certain essential oils from specific companies have been approved by Health Canada as Natural Health Products (NHP’s) for use to help with relief of pain associated with sprains, strains and rheumatoid arthritis.

Essential oils can be used one at a time or combined into blends. They can be mixed with a carrier oil and massaged directly onto muscles and joints, or mixed with Epsom or other salts (Himalayan, or Dead Sea) and added to a warm bath. They can be diffused, or added to a poultice and placed on affected area. You can even benefit from smelling them directly out of the bottle!

The list of oils approved for use on muscle and joint pain include the following: Angelica, Black Pepper, Cedarwood, Celery Seed, Citronella, Clary Sage, Clove, Cypress, Eucalyptus Globulus, Fennel, Ginger, Helichrysum, Laurus Nobilis, Lavender, lemongrass, Lime, Marjoram, Nutmed, Peppermint, Pine, Rosemary, Sage, Vetiver, and the blends Deep Relief and Aromaease. With a list this long it could be a challenge to know which one is the best option, but the amazing thing about essential oils is that their individual chemical compositions provide different effects. Some oils have a calming, relaxing effect, while others can be energizing, refreshing, or uplifting. 

Knowing a little bit about each oil can help you chose the best option. If, for example, you are looking for something to add to a bath to help relieve muscle pain, as well as relax you before bed, oils with calming properties are best. Some examples would be Marjoram, lavender, helichrysum, Angelica, Clary Sage or Laurus Nobilis. If you are looking for joint pain relief prior to heading out for a walk or other exercise, opting for more uplifting and energizing oils like Rosemary, Pine, Eucalyptus Globulus, Lemongrass, Black Pepper or Peppermint might be a better suit. Premade blends are a fantastic option, as they take the guess work out of what to combine! Deep Relief and Aromaease are two examples of blends specifically formulated to help relieve muscle and joint pain. You can simply add a roller ball onto the end of the bottle and roll them directly onto the areas that need it!


Pre-event Sports Rub:

2 Tbsp coconut oil, 3 drops each: Peppermint, Lime, Black Pepper. Combine together and rub on calves, legs, shoulders and chest prior to your workout.

Post-event massage oil:

2 Tbsp oil (fractioned coconut, olive, apricot kernel, avocado), 3 drops each: Eucalyptus Globulus, Marjoram, and Pine. Massage into tired achy muscles or add to bath water and soak.

Ankle Sprain Wrap:

To a cool wet cloth, add 2 drops each Helichrysum, Lavender and Lemongrass. Wrap around ankle and rest with ankle supported for 10 minutes. (can be used on knee, wrist or hand as well.)

Having natural options for muscle and joint pain provides peace of mind, just be sure the essential oils you choose are not topped up with synthetic additives and preservatives. Look for high quality oils from reputable suppliers. Reputable suppliers back the purity of their essential oils with a guarantee. They scrutinize every step of the process, from seed selection, to cultivation, gentle distillation and rigorous testing to be certain that the oils they bottle are the purest possible, nothing added, nothing removed.

Disclaimer: Author is not a doctor. Any oils discussed are specific to Young Living Essential Oils, and the information is not meant to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please speak with your doctor or health care professional before starting to use essential oils, and learn how to use them safely. Please do your research before choosing any essential oil.


Denise Mackinnon, Independent Distributor for Young Living Essential Oils.
Distributor number 2122587


Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

Also known as a weekly farm box program,  CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture) are an excellent way for you to become better connected to a local farm. Your produce will never be fresher than when it’s harvested and directly received by you, with minimal transportation. This allows your food to maintain its high nutrient content. CSA’s help farmers to plan their seasons; to know how many people he/she will be growing for therefore help define crop production; and make important early investments in infrastructure and maintenance. When buying a share of a farm’s crop you can expect the varieties of produce to be seasonally oriented, the way people throughout history have always eaten. Becoming a member is easy and rewarding. Simply purchase a share from the farmer, and as the growing season begins come down to the farm or pick up location each week to receive your bountiful basket of fresh farm goods.

Brian Prince, Farmer