The 80/20 Rule for Holidays

Many of our patients have done an amazing job at changing their habits over the year. They’ve given up gluten, given up sugar, passed over the cheese, and have been hitting the gym. They are taking their vitamins and coming for regular maintenance treatments.

After years of suffering with IBS, chronic fatigue, joint pain and many, many other conditions, their symptoms are going away, or have completely gone, and they are finally feeling better. They can sleep, they have energy, their mood is balanced, and elimination is working–HURRAY!

Then Christmas happens.

Sugar, chocolate, shortbread, cheese. Hours spent eating with no time for exercise. Sleep? Who needs sleep? An extra glass of wine, another cup of coffee, and just keep going. It is a season that puts fear into the newly balanced body–and it should.

Our new habits are so easily run of the rails by the age-old traditions of the holiday season. Traditions that are focused on Christmas baking, potato latkes and booze instead of healthy eating and exercise.

Our advice? Don’t sweat it! Think 80/20.

In reality, much of indulgences over the holiday season aren’t every day, every meal. They don’t take up every hour of every day. If you really look at it, it probably works out to about 80/20, meaning 80% normal life and 20% Christmas crazy.

Enjoy your holiday traditions and fully be conscious in them. The rest of the time, say no to the sugar, make a green smoothie and squeeze in 30 minutes outside in the fresh air. It really will make the holiday season less scary.

Are You Taking New Patients?

9639288_sThis is a question we get asked often by our patients. It’s a common occurrence for the StoneTree waiting room to be full, and the clinic to be hustling and bustling with patient visits and treatments of all kinds.

When people see this, they often think that, like their family medical doctors, our practices are “closed”, with new patients being taken on very slowly and carefully. In fact, closed practices are very rare in naturopathic offices, for one simple reason: our patients get better!

Naturopathic medicine focuses on treating the individual and getting to the root of the problem, as opposed to only treating the symptoms. Chronic health issues are almost always about an imbalance in the body–getting to the root of the imbalance and helping the patient resolve it often helps fix the problem for good. Patients who get better don’t need to be seen as often so they make room for new ones to join the clinic.

Know someone with a chronic health complaint who might benefit?  Offer them a 15-minute complimentary meet the doctor visit. We love to help!

New Statin Drug Guidelines

12354003_sLast week the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology released new guidelines with respect to the use of statin drugs (cholesterol lowering drugs) for the management of heart and stroke risk.

The new drug, according to this New York Times article, divides people needing treatment into two broad risk categories.

If you are at high risk–you have diabetes, have already had a heart attack, or have LDL cholesterol levels of 190 or more–you simply  take the drug. The amount by which it lowers your cholesterol is irrelevant. You just need to keep taking it.

If you aren’t in the first risk group, you are to determine your 10-year risk. The risk assessor takes into account your gender, age, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and smoking. If you score greater than 7.5%, you will be recommended to take the drug regardless of your cholesterol levels.

A Better Guideline

Statin research has come under a lot of scrutiny in recent years. The argument in favour of statins is that they reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

In fact, there’s far better evidence to support that the following will decrease your risk of heart and stroke: Quit smoking, lose weight, exercise daily, get on an anti-inflammatory diet (by avoiding your food intolerances), manage your stress and support your adrenal glands.

The side effect of the drug? Muscle pain and liver damage (to name a few). The side effect of actually changing your risk factors? Better energy, better sleep, normal weight, better mood and self-confidence, balanced hormones and healthier body.

Taking a drug to manage risk might feel easier, but it sure isn’t better. Ask for help and make the changes to your life. You can do it!

What’s Happening to My Skin?

9796653_sShort days. Low light. Dry air. Pale skin. Less time outside.

Welcome to the time of year when we start to lose our healthy summer glow, and our skin seems to lose some of its magic, too.

Winter is hard on the skin. But it’s not just the weather–as you age, circulation to your skin decreases, and the resulting reduction of oxygen and nutrients hampers your body’s ability to flush out toxins & excess fluid (puffiness). This is what drives premature aging and causes the skin to develop a dull, ashen appearance.

Dr. Kendra has added a new tool called mesotherapy to her anti-aging services. It’s an effective, non-invasive treatment for facial rejuvenation, that ‘wakes up’ the body’s own healing response and stimulates microcirculation. It consists of tiny injections of small doses of medicines or homeopathic remedies into the mesoderm layer of the skin to nourish, rejuvenate, and promote the production of collagen and elastin.

It’s very effective for dull, aging skin, sun damaged skin, fine lines & wrinkles, acne scars and even alopecia (hair loss). After treatment, patients commonly describe their skin as looking glowing, rested, and firmer.

Mesotherapy can be used in addition to, or as an alternative, to many anti-aging regimens, including conventional treatments like botox, laser resurfacing, peels, topical creams and facelifts.

To learn more about how to look and feel younger in a safe, effective way, call the clinic at 705-444-5331 to book your 15-min complimentary consult with Dr.Kendra. You can also email, or book online!

28-Day Challenge Update

18349551_sWe’re mid-way into the second week of our 28-Day Challenge. Here are a few ups and downs over the past ten days or so.

On the sugar front: 

  • Kendra and Tara were both at parties, both drinking, and both putting sugar into our mouths. Oops! Man, does a glass or two of vino cloud the mind and shake the resolve.

On the exercise front:

  • With the time change, evening time walks are forcing our better-halves to get involved. A side benefit to the challenge: it’s getting our loved one more active (not sure our loved ones think it’s a benefit).

On the water front: 

  • Getting enough fluids is most challenging for Tara. As the most committed coffee drinker, she often starts her day off in the hole with respect to water intake. A 12oz glass right out of bed and drinking her breakfast, in the form of a green smoothie really helps.

What We’re Having For Lunch

10231931_sThe latest from the StoneTree lunchroom. Given our 28-Day Challenge, you know these options are at least sugar-free! Enjoy…:) – Tara

Shelby (Vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free)

  • Tofu curry over top fresh arugula (You can find the recipe, and many others, on Shelby’s website)

Kendra (Vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free)

  • Vegetarian Curry: Patak’s Tikka Marsala with mixed beans, broccoli, red pepper, peas and onions

Tara  (Vegetarian)

  • Falafel Salad:  Casbah falafel mix cooked in canola oil.  Served over mixed greens with cucumber, tomato, feta and roasted seeds.


Day 5 Challenge Update

18349551_sHere we are into day five of our 28 Day Challenge! In our efforts to exercise, drink enough water and eliminate refined sugar every day, we’ve already had some successes…and mistakes. 🙂

Strategies for getting it right:

For those of you joining us, here are a few things we’ve done to stay on track.

  • Dr. Kendra is using a 2 L jar that she fills with water every morning, and makes sure it is done by the end of the day.
  • Dr. Tara is using 9 pebbles on her desk to keep track of her 9 cups.
  • The weather this weekend did not make for easy outdoor exercise. Dr. Shelby and Dr. Kendra both did indoor yoga.
  • Cravings for something sweet? A great weekend for a nice warm herbal tea with HONEY. Warm, yummy sweetness AND a source of water intake.

Where it went wrong: 

  • Forgetting about the sugar in sauces and dressings. Dr. Tara was at a party with ranch dressing dip…yep, there is sugar in it.

Join us in the challenge! You can start anytime – the rules are simple!

28 Days of Health Challenge

18349551_sThe StoneTree Docs were sitting around discussing what three habits, if done every day, would have the most profound impact on health?

Here’s what we came up with: daily exercise, drink enough water and avoid refined sugar.

After we agreed on the three things, which took all of three minutes, we asked each other if we actually did them daily.

Ah, cruel reality.

Now, we’re pretty good at walking the talk here, but when push came to shove, we couldn’t truthfully say that we did all of these things daily.

Enter the 28-Day Challenge.

Starting Friday, Oct 25, 2013, for the next 28 days, Dr. Tara, Dr. Shelby and Dr. Kendra are committed to: 

  1. Exercising daily for a minimum of 30 minutes. This can be any type of exercise–walking, running, yoga, working out, classes, biking–so long as it is sustained. And no, you may not do 60 minutes one day and have it count for the next day. Each day is a minimum of 30 minutes.
  2. Drinking the appropriate amount of water daily. What is the appropriate amount of water? We’ll be using the benchmark of half of your body weight in pounds, in ounces. So if you weigh 150 pounds, you’ll need to drink 75 ounces. With 8ozs to a cup, that works out to 9.4 cups. For every cup of diuretic (aka caffeinated beverage) you need to add an extra cup.
  3. Avoiding processed sugar, which means refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Fruit is good. Honey is good.  Maple syrup, agave, stevia–all good. Just none of the nasty white stuff. Muffins? Not good. Pop? Nope. The little Halloween candies? Definitely not. If it has “sugar” in the ingredients list, it’s out. Period.

Want to join us? We encourage you to do so! Tell your friends, your mom, your hubby–take them all along for the ride and let us know how you do. Look for regular blog posts on our progress. We’ll be posting where we’re having trouble and tips for success along the way.

Just 28 days might be all it takes to create your new habit!

Conscious Eating for Thanksgiving

359273_sLast weekend I had to deliver an intense course to a large group of my peers. I had prepared for the event for several months, and I wanted it to be just right.

Part of that preparation was caring for myself properly during the week before. For those seven days I ate no sugar and drank no alcohol. I had regular, healthy meals, went to bed early, exercised every day and took my vitamins. As a result, when the day arrived I was full of energy, my brain worked great and I didn’t get the cold that every second patient was bringing into the office.

When the event was over, I drank a very delicious glass of pinot and ate a gorgeous dessert and, most important, I fully enjoyed every last bite. Did I get sick from it? No, I stayed well and have been all week.

Although many of us may disagree, food is not an enemy. Food can be a tool, a resource or a source of pleasure–all of which are valid. It’s being conscious of which choice you make, and how often, that matters.

In the week before my event, I used my diet as a tool to support optimum health and function of my body. Avoiding the sugar and booze allowed my immune system to function at its best, fighting off all of the bugs that came its way before my busy weekend.

In the day leading up to the event, I used food as a resource, fueling my brain and body for eight hours of speaking and being on my feet.

The night after my event, I used food as a pure, unadulterated source of pleasure and celebration. Experiencing food in this way resulted in a boost to my serotonin levels and a charge to my immune system.

As we head into a Thanksgiving weekend full of food, booze and fun, I encourage you to eat consciously and with intent.

My intent will be to ENJOY!

Learn Why IV Therapy is Going Mainstream

15888120_sIV therapy, or the administration of vitamins and minerals intravenously, is becoming a popular treatment of the stars and touted as an anti-aging remedy and a cure for low energy.

It’s great to see the one of our favourite treatment tools getting more mainstream attention–from B-vitamins for energy, to IV vitamin C for cancer, to chelation for heart disease, this treatment tool gets a lot of use by our naturopathic doctors here in Collingwood.

As with everything, though, it also has its misconceptions. Join Dr. Tara, on Oct 9, 2013, at 7PM at StoneTree Clinic and discover the health benefits and amazing range of intravenous vitamin therapy for a variety of chronic and acute health complaints.

Call 705-444-5331 or email to RSVP.

Event Details

Is IV Therapy for Me?

October 9, 2013 7:00 pm
StoneTree Naturopathic Clinic
200-115 Hurontario Street,
Collingwood, ON, L9Y 2L9