Making Successful Health Changes in 2010

If you’re a resolution maker, you know that it can be painful to make a commitment and not keep it. In fact, those with a trail of unkept resolutions behind them often find that they now resolve to…well, to never resolve again.

The problem, though, isn’t with the idea of making changes for the better in your life. The problem lies in how the changes are made.

Enter Leo Babauta of ZenHabits.net. In his Definitive Guide to Sticking to Your New Year’s Resolutions, he sums up the problems with resolutions:

New Year’s Resolutions usually fail because of a combination of some of these reasons:

  • We try to do too many resolutions at once, and that spreads our focus and energies too thin. It’s much less effective to do many habits at once (read more).
  • We only have a certain amount of enthusiasm and motivation, and it runs out because we try to do too much, too soon. We spend all that energy in the beginning and then run out of steam.
  • We try to do really tough habits right away, which means it’s difficult and we become overwhelmed or intimidated by the difficulty and quit.
  • We try to be “disciplined” and do very unpleasant habits, but our nature won’t allow that to last for long. If we really don’t want to do something, we won’t be able to force ourselves to do it for long.
  • Life gets in the way. Things come up unexpectedly that get in the way of us sticking with a habit.
  • Resolutions are often vague – I’m going to exercise! – but don’t contain a concrete action plan and don’t use proven habit techniques. That’s a recipe for failure.

Leo’s solution? Leo’s 6 Changes Method, which involves choosing one thing at a time to change, and making the changes very slowly. It’s about finding success by building habits in small steps, as opposed to one giant quit-smoking-lose-weight-eat-better-start-exercising-on-the-same-day plan that has a high risk of failure.

This approach of gradual, sustainable success is a great one that we’ve seen work time and time again for patients trying to make challenging lifestyle shifts. If resolutions are your thing, a quick look at Leo’s strategy, or his book The Power of Less, is time well spent.

And if your resolution is just to be happier? Pay a visit to Gretchen Rubin’s blog The Happiness Project for help. Her book by the same name hits the shelves this week – just in time to kick off 2010 the right way!

H1N1: Frequently Asked Questions

It’s been a busy week! H1N1 is top of mind, and based on the emails, phone calls and visits, many of you feel like you’re faced with a difficult choice.

We’ve added an H1N1 FAQ to the website with some of the most common questions we’re fielding here at the office.

If you have a question that’s not listed, feel free to email us at feelbetter@stonetreeclinic.com – we’ll answer the question and add it to the list. You can also use the online contact form.

Remember that prevention is still the best strategy. Our popular immune boosting program is now in full swing. It uses regular high doses of vitamin C intravenously as a natural anti-microbial, and can be a great preventative strategy. It can also be used at first sign of symptoms to stop an illness in its tracks.

Treatments are comfortable and relaxing. For more information, or to schedule your appointment, call us at (705) 444-5331.

If you have concerns about H1N1, read the FAQ’s – there are links to other resources there, too. And of course, as always, if you have questions just contact us. That’s what we’re here for! -Tara

Join Us For an Evening With Dr. David Suzuki

davidsuzuki1On Friday, November 13th, I’ll have the honour of thanking Dr. David Suzuki for his opening keynote at the annual convention of the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors in Toronto.

Dr. Suzuki is one of my heroes – this is a big deal for me. But it’s also a big deal for everyone who joins us – as part of his commitment to reducing his carbon footprint, most of Dr. Suzuki’s appearances are via videoconference. This is a rare opportunity to see him in person.

This presentation by Dr. David Suzuki will mark the opening of the OAND annual convention, which focuses this year on the connection between the environment and health. Dr. Suzuki will present his keynote address, “The Challenge of the 21st Century: Setting the Bottom Line”. It’s open to the public, and I thought some of you might be interested.

Ticket Information

Ticket’s are $36.00 +GST.  To make things even better, for every ticket sold StoneTree will donate $10 to our local Environment Network to put towards their “Outdoor Classroom”.

Tickets can be purchased in person here at the clinic, or the Collingwood Environment Network.  Or you can get them online here. If you’d prefer to buy online, but still want to make sure we make the $10 donation on your behalf, just email us at the clinic or call 705-444-5331 and let us know you bought a ticket and we’ll do our part. It’s the honour system all the way around. 🙂

I hope to see you there!

-Tara

Event Information

An evening with Dr. David Suzuki
brought to you by the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors

Friday, November 13, 2009
Doors open: 5:30 pm
Dr. David Suzuki: 7:00-9:00 pm
Naturopathic Medicine Marketplace: 5:30-7:30 pm

Toronto Congress Centre
650 Dixon Road
Toronto, ON M9W 1J1
Map and Directions

Recipes from our Open House

A big thank-you to everyone who attended our open house. We had some great feedback on the food, but we ran out of recipe cards during the evening so I thought I’d post them here for anyone who missed out. You can also check out Shelby’s recipe page for some others.

The green smoothies were the surprise hit of the night! We don’t have her recipes, but if you want more information on the delicious green smoothies created by Sarah Heipel of Good Energy, you can contact her here. Thanks Sarah!

Enjoy! -Tara

No-Bean Hummus

  • 2 zucchini, peeled and chopped
  • ¾ cup tahini
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 ½ tsp Celtic sea salt
  • ½ Tbsp ground cumin

Combine all ingredients in a food processor; blend until thick and smooth.
Serve with slices of cucumber, zucchini, celery or carrots.

Source: RAWvolution, by Matt Amsden

Marinated Tofu

  • 1 block firm or extra-firm tofu, chopped in to 1cm cubes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce/ tamari, Bragg’s
  • 1 tsp coriander seed, ground
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, crushed

* adjust amount of each marinade ingredient according to taste; these amounts are approximations

Combine marinade ingredients and pour over tofu so that all cubes are immersed. Store overnight in refrigerator.
Bake at 400degrees for 30 minutes, or until desired consistency.
Serve on own as a snack or as a protein topping to any salad.

Source:  Juice for Life, by Ruth Tal

Black Bean Dip

  • 1 15-oz can or organic black beans
  • ¼ C of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Sea salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tbs chili powder

First, sauté garlic cloves in olive oil.  Then puree all of the ingredients in a blender.  Serve with organic corn chips as a healthy, yummy snack!

You’re Invited: Our Open House!

Update: Thanks to everyone who joined us at the open house! We had a wonderful evening. If you’d like to try some of the great recipes we offered, you can find them here.

-Tara

Please Join Us…

If you’re curious about how naturopathic medicine works, or are wondering what happens at our Collingwood clinic, then this Thursday, June 18 from 4-7PM is the perfect time to find out. And if you’re already a patient, we’d love to see you!

We’ll be holding our 5th annual open house to celebrate health in our community. It’s become one of our favourite days of the year at the clinic! Bring a friend or family member on Thursday and enjoy:

  • Unique natural foods
  • Free body composition analyses
  • Clinic tours
  • Green smoothies
  • Fantastic recipes

The entire StoneTree team will be there to chat, answer questions, and enjoy spending time with friends old and new.

I look forward to seeing you!

– Tara

The Details:

Thursday, June 18, 2009
4-7PM
StoneTree Clinic – 115 Hurontario Street, Suite 200, Collingwood (map)

The Free and Easy Way to Health: The StoneTree Clinic Walking Club

Update: We’re no longer running the StoneTree walking club. If you’d like a referral to a great coach or personal trainer, though, please contact the office anytime at 705-444-5331.

 

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One of the greatest challenges to becoming more active is that for many people, fitness can be a lonesome, unappealing idea.  To help make it easier, we’re excited to announce that we’ve started our free StoneTree Walking Club. It’s fun, friendly way to add more activity to your life.

We meet weekdays, rain or shine, for a 45-minute walk on the trails and streets of Collingwood, led by one of the StoneTree team. The walks are free, and open to everyone  You don’t need to be a patient – bring a friend if you like!

We meet at the clinic in downtown Collingwood. No special skills or equipment required – just dress for the weather.

This is an easy way to get outside and get moving, and having someone to walk with always makes things more enjoyable.  I hope to see you there!

-Tara

 

The 3 Plants You Need to Clean Your Home’s Air

It may seem like life in the Collingwood area is full of fresh air. Ski hills in Thornbury, fresh winds in Wasaga Beach – they all make us think our air is clean, but that’s not always the case, especially in the winter, and particularly indoors.

It’s been so nice lately to have a day here and there to open the windows and get some fresh air into the house, and it’s got me thinking, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have this great indoor air quality all year ’round?”

This video from the TED talks just might be the answer.

Researcher and activist Kamal Meattle shows how an arrangement of three common houseplants, used in specific spots in a home or office building, can result in measurably cleaner indoor air.

Meattle’s done some amazing things in his New Delhi office, and you can replicate the results at home, which include increasing oxygen, scrubbing CO2, and removing toxins. The video is only 4 minutes long, so it’s a quick and easy watch. We’re going to test these out in our house and see how they do!

If you can’t see the video above, you can also watch it on the TED site, with some interesting links and commentary from viewers:
http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/kamal_meattle_on_how_to_grow_your_own_fresh_air.html

Recipe: Juliette’s Awesome Harvest Salad

This amazing salad was created by the equally amazing Thai Massage practitioner, Juliette Reynolds, of Creemore, ON.  Who knew kale and beets could taste so good!

Kale is remarkably good for you – it’s a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and manganese, among others. You can learn more about it at World’s Healthiest Foods. According to the entry:

Like broccoli, cauliflower and collards, kale is a descendant of the wild cabbage, a plant thought to have originated in Asia Minor and to have been brought to Europe around 600 B.C. by groups of Celtic wanderers.

Celtic wanderers? Who knew? You might not be wandering that much, but this salad is just as good sitting down. It’s also an excuse to use those great pan-roasted seeds we talked about last month. Enjoy! – Tara

Ingredients

  • A bowl full of mixed organic salad greens
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 bunch of beets
  • 1/2 cup goat milk feta
  • 1/2 cup seasoned, pan-roasted seeds

Directions

  • Cut the kale thin and sautee in sesame oil, crushed garlic, and salt to taste.  Let cool.
  • Cook beets in boiling water, cool and dice
  • Build salad in layers as above in a large, swallow bowl
  • Dizzle with any organic sesame and ginger dressing – Amy’s Goddess Dressing is very tasty.

Makes enough for a meal for one, or side salads for 2-4.

PS – Thai massage is very different from traditional massage. It’s often called “lazy person’s yoga”, and is done fully clothed, which some people prefer. You can reach Juliette in Creemore at (705) 466-5793. – T.

Before You Diet: What We’ve Learned About Weight Loss

It’s the time of year for change. With the new year comes a drive for renewal that seems to touch almost everyone in the form of resolutions, new commitments and a dedication to just get better.

That drive, of course, is often focused on our health, and in particular, our weight. Before you jump on the latest diet fad, though, here are a few tips and ideas we’ve discovered in our years of helping patients find their best bodies.

It’s About Gaining Health, Not Losing Weight

Despite all the focus on losing weight, the truth is that healthy weight loss is a side effect. It’s the result of gaining health – of pursuing a healthy mind and body, and making changes that are sustainable in the long run. To find your best body, you first have to find your best health. The right weight will follow.

The Scale Isn’t The Story

It’s easy to become obsessed with the number on the scale, but it’s only part of the picture. Your weight is just one measure of health, and it’s not an entirely reliable one. The number on your scale can fluctuate based on any number of different factors, and the scale never tells you the difference between fat and muscle, how much water you’re retaining, or whether your changing weight is helping you or hurting you.

You Can’t Do It Without Moving Your Body

Research on people who’ve successfully lost weight has shown that almost no one can successfully sustain weight loss without doing some exercise. Dieting without exercise is a sure ticket to a yo-yo roller coaster of loss and gain that will leave you less healthy and more heavy than ever. You may need to do other things to find your best body, but you can bet that exercise is a prerequisite.

Sometimes, There Are Hidden Roadblocks

Your body is a complicated piece of machinery. Really complicated. And there are times when a simple “eat less, exercise more” prescription just doesn’t do the job. Things like food intolerances and toxicity can affect your metabolism, your energy and your ability to burn fat. Sometimes, it pays to dig deeper into your own biochemistry to make sure you’re not missing a piece of the puzzle.

Too Much Change at Once is A Tough Job

No matter how you choose to find your best health and your best body, it’s going to require change, and change is often a dish best served slowly. Biting off more than you can chew – like trying to have a pristine diet and perfect lifestyle – can be an overwhelming and unsustainable prospect. Try to make small changes you can sustain, and gradually add more over time.

If you need help with your health goals, you can learn more about the StoneTree Sustainable Body Change program here, or call 705-444-5331 to book a complimentary appointment to discover our unique approach to weight loss.