It’s Here! The Pantry at StoneTree Clinic

We are so excited to introduce the newest service here at StoneTree Clinic!

The Pantry at StoneTree is a food resource for our patients who need to make diet changes, and for anyone who wants to find healthy food ingredients and pre-made meals that they can trust.

Improving nutrition is one of the cornerstones of what we do as Naturopathic Doctors. We almost invariably use diet change with our patients, and it’s great to see that the popular opinion is shifting to the realization that food is indeed medicine.

Of course, the idea of diet change is simple. But actually doing it? It’s one of the hardest things we ask our patients to do. Ask anyone who’s done an anti-inflammatory diet, or gone gluten- or dairy-free for any period. It’s not easy.

To help, we wanted to give our patients a resource to help make diet change a little easier.

The Pantry at StoneTree is a food store where ALL the things for sale are gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free. In addition to cooking ingredients and snacks, there are pre-made freezer meals that have all been taste-tested and are delicious. Now, you can have a week of meals ready to go that are filled with the right ingredients to get you started on your diet change.

Drop by the clinic to watch The Pantry grow, to try some delicious and healthy food, and to give us ideas for new foods. We’ll be adding new products all summer, filling the shelves with helpful ways to support your healthy changes!

Happy Birthday Canada!

We have a lot to celebrate!

  • Canadians are living longer than ever with an average life expectancy of 82 years.
  • Almost 90% of Canadians reported feeling in good to excellent health—the highest proportion of people among G7 countries.
  • 70% of Canadians considered their mental health to be either very good or excellent.
  • The proportion of Canadians who smoke is decreasing overall. Just under 4 million Canadians currently smoke – in 2002 there were 5.4 million.
  • More Canadians are completing their high school and post-secondary education than ever before—in 2015, 90% finished high school and 66% were a post-secondary graduate.

For this and so much more we are grateful to call this great country home.

Keep up the great work!

June 3rd is National Health and Fitness Day!

Let’s make Canada the Fittest Nation on Earth!

We write an annoying amount a lot about the many health benefits of exercise.

It really is one of the most important things to do for our overall health, so when we became aware of the Canada’s National Health and Fitness Day we just had to share.

The first Saturday in June, National Health and Fitness Day (NHFD), is an initiative to mark one day to promote Canadians getting out and getting active in any way they wish.

Springboarding off the spirit of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, former MP John Weston and Senator Nancy Greene Raine have worked to involve the 338 MPs and 100 Senators to encourage their local communities to proclaim the day and mark it with local events. Hundreds of communities have already proclaimed the day and the National Health and Fitness Day Act, Bill S-211, became law in December 2014!

Our community is hosting a MOVE walk/run, and a MOVE showcase of booths, demos, and activities. It all shakes down this Saturday, June 3rd from 9 AM to 1 PM at Central Park in Collingwood. Get all the details here!

Maybe you can use this to jump start a year of exercise. It’s the best 30-minute daily investment you can make!

Free Meditation Night at StoneTree

The team at StoneTree is excited to welcome Lanee Brown for an evening of mindfulness and meditation.

Mindfulness has left the fringes, and gained incredible traction in recent years. Research has shown that meditation can:

  •  Improve mental focus and increase short-term memory
  •  Reduce the risk of heart disease and lower blood pressure
  •  Improve sleep and reduce anxiety
  •  Increase self-confidence and self-esteem

Many of these benefits seem to be associated with how meditation changes the brain–something that’s now well-researched.

Please join us at the clinic this Wednesday, April 5, 2017. from 4-6 PM.

This evening is an opportunity to discover a taste of what mindfulness meditation offers. There’s no charge, and no experience required. Here are a few details:

  • 4-5PM – arrival, tea, talk and gentle movement in preparation for our meditation
  • 5-6PM – meditation & discussion
  • Doors will be locked at 5PM sharp as we will start the meditation at that time.
  • There will be some chairs available, but you may want to bring a cushion if sitting on the floor isn’t comfortable for you.

Please RSVP and let us know if you will be joining us by calling the clinic at 705-444-5331, or emailing feelbetter@stonetreeclinic.com.

 

 

2 Health Issues for International Women’s Day

March 8th is International Women’s Day. The intention of this day is both to celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women, and to be call to action for increasing gender equality.

On this wonderful day of “girl power”, the StoneTree team wanted to empower our patients around two important health care issues that affect women.

1. Heart Disease

Some 27% of female deaths in North American are a result of heart disease. This is far more then breast cancer. Add another 8% due to stroke, and another 3% related to diabetes, both of which are related to the same lifestyle issues as heart disease, and this should really get our attention.

Women do not experience symptoms of heart attack quite the same as men, so they tend to get care later then men. Also, when they do get care, they tend to be treated less aggressively than men. The result is a women is twice as likely to die within a month of having a heart attack compared to a man.

What to do? First, you can begin by assessing your risk here. Next, you can focus on preventing the heart disease in the first place with the following five things:

  • Quit smoking. No explanation needed here. If you still smoke, please get help and stop.
  • Exercise daily (Yes, daily.). Try this for a little motivation.
  • Eat a Mediterranean diet. Lots of veggies, fruits, legumes, anti-oxidants and good fats.
  • Get enough sleep. It matters.
  • Keep on-top of your blood work. Not only is it important to know what your cholesterol is doing, but what about your blood sugar? Your inflammatory markers like hs-CRP? Knowing what these numbers are and acting before they become a problem is the best way to prevent the outcomes of heart disease.

2. Women’s Reproductive Health

The screening recommendations for women’s health in Canada have changed in recent years. The Canadian Task Force on Preventive health care looked at the evidence and made recommendations around screening tests and exams and this what they came up with:

In asymptomatic, non-pregnant women with low risk:

  • No pelvic exams
  • No clinical breast exams
  • No teaching of self-breast exams
  • Mammography only after age 50 – every 2-3 years
  • Pap smear only after age 25 – every 3 years

If you’re like many of our patients, you read this and gasp. It is quite a departure from what we grew up with–a full physical exam including PAP every year.

You may also be wondering why. The logic behind the recommendations are two-fold:

  • One of the outcomes of “preventative screening” is that you find things. And sometimes, you find things that would never have turned into a scary disease at all. For example, breasts can be normally lumpy and bumpy. Doing a self exam or clinical exam would find lumps that then need to be tested to make sure they are not cancerous and most of them won’t be. So the screening leads to tests and interventions that cause undue stress and harm to the patient receiving them.
  • All of this testing costs money. In a publicly funded system, we need to make sure that the money we are spending is positively effecting the most people and is not wasteful. Spending money on tests that are mostly benign can be seen as wasteful of a public resource. Another way of looking at this is that when the recommendations change to do a PAP on asymptomatic women from every year to every three years, we know we will miss some cervical cancer (in fact, 3 in 100,000). It’s just that it is less expensive to deal with those three women with disease then it is to screen all women every year to catch those three.

This isn’t necessarily the logic that helps people sleep at night, but it’s the reality of health care in a system with limited resources.

International Women’s Day is about women empowering themselves. If you’re concerned about these recommendations, or would like more frequent screening, talk to your health care professional. Naturopaths are trained and licensed to perform regular Pap smears, and pelvic and breast exams. Our unique Well Woman Visit offers a warm, caring environment for reproductive health screening at the frequency you decide with your doctor.

StoneTree Clinic and the Coldest Night of the Year

The Coldest Night of the Year is a super-fun, family-friendly walking fundraiser that raises money for the hungry, homeless and hurting in 100+ communities across Canada. It’s been going on since 2011 and has raised over $12 million.

The walk is held on Saturday, February 25th, 2017. Participants can choose to walk 2, 5 or 10 km. The idea is to feel a small hint of the discomfort and challenge homeless people face, particularly in the winter.


The Collingwood event information is here.

You can support or join the StoneTree Team here.


Walks start at 5:15 PM at Trinity United Church and ends there with a light meal for all walkers and volunteers.

The StoneTree Clinic team has entered a team with the goal of raising $500 for Home Horizons.

Here’s How You Can Help

  1. Donate to the cause. You can do it right now, right here.
  2. Join us! Everyone is welcome to walk, and we’re happy to have you! Join on the same page, here.
  3. Spread the word. Tell your friends…and better yet, bring your friends!

This is a small thing, and an easy thing, and a good thing. Thank you for your support!

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy is Here!

One of our most popular blog posts from this year was Dr. Tara’s Best Menopause Advice. It’s a real-life account of our own Dr. Tara’s peri-menopausal adventures, ending in some solid naturopathic advice: eat right, exercise regularly and deal with your adrenal glands.

Sometimes, however, the peri- and post-menopausal hormonal situations need more than the basic approach. And while many women have pursued conventional hormone replacement therapies like Premarin, many more are scared off by the side effects and possible cancer link.

That’s where bioidentical hormone replacement comes (BHRT) comes in.

BHRT is about restoring normal hormone balance using hormones that are identical in their molecular structure to the ones in your body, allowing for lower dosages and fewer side effects.

Local Area Access to Bioidentical Hormones

Through the years, many of our patients have been frustrated by their inability to access BHRT in the Collingwood area. Things like natural progesterone cream, desiccated thyroid and “biest” estrogen replacement were treatments you could read about but not easily get your hands on.

Historically, ND’s in Ontario couldn’t access these substances, and local family doctors, without extra training, did not feel able to prescribe them. Our patients would have to make the trip down to clinics in the city to get access to these effective, natural alternatives.

In 2016, Ontario ND’s were granted prescribing authority with limited access to natural hormones. That means we ca now prescribe natural thyroid and some hormone creams, but not always enough to get the job fully done. Off our patients go to Toronto again.

With this in mind, StoneTree Clinic is happy to welcome the newest member to our team, Dr. Gervais Harry, MD.

Dr. Harry brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience. He has been a practicing physician for over four decades, with training in Family Practice, Obstetrics Gynaecology, Neurosurgery, Pediatric Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Nephrology, General Surgery, and Urology. He was a Urological surgeon for 25 years and has worked in family practice for 15 years. We’re very fortunate to have him with us!

Dr. Harry’s true passion, however, is Bioidentical Hormone Restoration Therapy, and it’s what he’ll be bringing to the StoneTree Clinic team starting in January. No more drives to Toronto!

Dr. Harry is offering complimentary 15-minute “meet the doctor” visits if you would like to learn more. You can book online, or by phone at 705-444-5331. Please note that Dr. Harry’s services at StoneTree are not covered by OHIP, but are fee for service.

Holiday Hours

Hi All,

A quick update on clinic hours for the next couple of weeks:

  • This year, the clinic is closed from Friday, Dec 23rd through Monday, Dec 26th
  • We’ll also be closed Monday, Jan 2nd, 2017. 

Otherwise, clinic hours are the same as usual. All our docs are here, and there are IV’s available every day that we’re open.

If you need care, or are trying to use up your benefits before year end, you can book online, just call the clinic at 705-444-5331.

Remember that it’s Doctor Tara’s last month of seeing patients before her two-year leave.

Happy Holidays!

The StoneTree Team

Tonight’s Be The Change Film: Minimalism

Minimalism: A Documentary about Important Things – Tickets here.

Some of the happiest times in my life have been while living out of a backpack, carrying my house, my kitchen, my bedroom and few good books from place to place. Those were times of travel as a young woman, before the responsibilities that I have now as a mom, wife, doctor and business owner. Why wouldn’t they be happy times?

As I settled down into a more “adult” life, the draw of a bigger house, a better car, more furniture, the next big thing was sometimes overwhelming–after all, that’s what you did. The quantity of your stuff was a measure of your success, and it was so very easy to get sucked into the quest for more.

But does more stuff make people more happy? Beyond basic needs, I see no evidence in my life to support that. In fact, in all the places we have traveled and lived in the world, some of the happiest people I have met were in countries where they had the least.

Tonight’s Be The Change film series documentary, Minimalism, explores the consumerism and its impact on our lives, our health, and our environment. You should go.

Join us at the Simcoe Street Theatre today! Tickets are still available for the 5PM show. Watch the trailer here if you can’t see the video above.

The Teal Pumpkin Project

Halloween is around the corner! It’s a holiday that all kids love and many parents hate. 🙂

A night of dress up? Great fun.

Walking around the community and connecting with others? Fantastic.

The gong show of candy eating, candy hiding, and sugar-infused candy fighting among siblings because “Someone stole my last Kit-Kat”? Not so much.

Sugar highs aside, Halloween is a lot of fun. But it’s a little less fun for kids with food allergies and intolerances, and can be downright nightmarish for their parents. So many of the treats that get handed out at Halloween are not safe for these kids–they’re full of nuts, dairy, and gluten.

Enter the Teal Pumpkin Project.

Houses that have a non-candy treat or a healthy, hypo-allergenic treat can put out a teal-coloured pumpkin sign for kids who are more at risk but want to have fun on this very spooky night. If you want to participate, you can find downloads for signs, stickers and more at the Teal Pumpkin Project website.

StoneTree Clinic will be putting out a teal pumpkin and handing out organic juice boxes to our little ghosts and goblins. Stop by on Monday evening and give us a scare!