Upcoming Workshops: Cancer Care, Sleep Habits

Cancer Care: Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Approaches

Tuesday, September 25, 2018
6:00PM-7:00PM
FREE
Call or email the clinic to register

Join Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Ehab Mohammed ND to learn about the best evidence to support the use of complementary intervention in the care of those with cancer. Whether you are engaging in conventional cancer care or not this open session will be of value to you.

Dr. Ehab spent over 20 years practicing and researching oncology at the University of Cairo as a medical doctor. He is now training and licensed as a Naturopathic Doctor and is passionate about the integration of complementary and conventional care.

Learn more about Dr. Ehab here.

Healthy Sleep Habits For Kids: A Workshop for Parents

Wed, 3 October 2018
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM EDT
FREE
Register here

Join Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Bronwyn Hill ND and Jessica White, a Certified Integrative Sleep Consultant, to learn how to create lasting changes in your house that will positively affect your family’s sleep.

Enjoy and informative session to learn the latest on sleep science, nutrition, and take home strategies to help children ages 3-10 get their recommended sleep hours for optimal health.

Learn more and register for your spot here.

 

Food as Medicine: Sauerkraut

Humans have been fermenting foods for thousands of years. Fermentation made our food last longer and made it easier to digest, which in turn helped us stay healthier. Along the way, however, we also ended up creating foods that taste great and have excellent health benefits!

Sauerkraut is one of those great fermented wonders. It’s a superfood that’s full of vitamins, probiotics, enzymes, and other nutritional components, and has been connected to many health benefits including increased immune function, decreased heart disease, weight loss, and even cancer prevention.

Here at the clinic, we recommend it regularly for our patients with gut issues, and for those who just want to eat foods that are naturally high in probiotics. According to one study, sauerkraut was shown to contain up to 28 distinct bacterial strains. (When it comes to our digestive tracts, the more strains the better.)

Not all sauerkrauts are created equal. Many supermarket brands have been pasteurized and have added preservatives, which has the unfortunate side effect of killing all the beneficial bacteria–make sure you read the labels. You want a sauerkraut with 2 basic ingredients: cabbage and salt. Some will have added spices or other veggies added, like carrot, but make sure to avoid the brands with added sugars. The natural sugars in the cabbage itself are more than enough food for the little critters to do their magic.

We recommend Bubbies Sauerkraut all the time and it is delicious–you can find it here at the Pantry.

Want to make it yourself? It’s easy! All you really need is cabbage, salt and some time. Let Brad from Bon Appetite show you how.

Bubbies Sauerkraut available in the Pantry at StoneTree Clinic. Drop by anytime!

Dr. Maggie’s Family is Growing!

If you’ve been to the clinic lately, you may have noticed Dr. Maggie’s growing belly! Her family is looking forward to welcoming their newest member this fall.

The rest of the StoneTree Clinic team is thrilled to have another STC baby about the clinic, but, as always, we’ll be sad to see one of our team members go on mat leave.

Dr. Maggie’s last day is Friday, October 4th. For all of you who need to see her before then, you can book here. She is expected back in May 2019.

In the meantime, we’re so pleased that Dr. Bronwyn will be caring for Dr. Maggie’s patients during her absence. Both these great docs graduated in the same year from naturopathic college and have worked together since they were interns there.

You can check out Dr. Bronwyn’s profile here.

Back to School Advice from the StoneTree Naturopaths

It’s that time again! We asked each of our ND’s for their best tips for a successful school year. Here’s what they had to say.

From Dr. Bronwyn:

My tip is to be thoughtful about how much sleep your kids need (depending on age anywhere from 8-11 hours per night), and get to an earlier, consistent bedtime by working back in increments of 15-20 minutes per day/every few days.

Include a consistent pre-bedtime routine that does not include screens, rather quiet activities like reading/stories/coloring.

From Dr. Kendra:

No sugar cereal or juice for breakfast (replace with eggs or oatmeal and a green smoothie) and get back on your vitamin D supplement!

From Dr. Candice:

Ditch the plastic! Plastic containers can leach toxic chemicals into our food especially when heated. Use glass or stainless steel to pack lunches, snacks, and water for the day. Additionally, BPA (a known hormone-disrupting chemical) is found in the lining of many canned food items; when buying lunch supplies look for cans that say BPA free, cook your own legumes at home, and/or buy foods packaged in glass jars.

From Dr. Shelby:

Mornings are busy enough… pack lunch boxes/bags after dinner! Always include 2 colours of veggies (Eg cherry tomatoes, green beans, carrot sticks, sliced cucumber &/or red pepper, etc.)

From Dr. Maggie:

As tempting as it can be, don’t over-schedule your kids. Keep at least a few days/week free from scheduled activities to let them engage in creative play, activities of their choosing, or simply rest. And remember that September is overwhelming for everyone, especially school-aged children, so keep activities and extra-curriculars to a minimum at the beginning of the school year as they adjust to their new routines.

Have a great and healthy September!

Air Quality: How to Protect Yourself

This summer’s high heat and humidity have been great for those vacationing by the lakes, but it has created the perfect storm for poor air quality. Forest fires and the hot, heavy air that traps pollution from industry and cars have made air quality a real health risk.

What to do?

1. Prevention – limit your overall exposure

  • Avoid the outdoors when pollution is highest, especially heavy outdoor exercise
  • Get out of urban environments and into nature
  • Quit smoking and avoid second-hand smoke

2. Improve your indoor air quality

We have written lots about this before:

3, Support your body’s ability to detoxify

Many pollutants are “fat soluble” toxins, which means they are detoxified through the liver, where they become water soluble so the kidneys can dispose of them, or they are emulsified in the bile of the liver and removed through the bowel. Either way, supporting the kidney and liver to get rid of those nasty chemicals is worth doing. Here are a few strategies:

  • Drink LOTS of water. This is important in the heat, but also in helping the kidneys flush out toxins.
  • Eat lots of FIBER. Fiber will bind the bile and its toxic components to ensure you don’t recycle this garbage out to your liver.
  • Eat LOTS of broccoli. Broccoli is a member of the brassica family, which also includes kale, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. This family of plants supports your liver’s detox systems, especially those pathways associated with environmental pollutants.
  • Work with your ND to develop a more aggressive detoxification plan. The first day of fall is around the corner and the change of season is a great time to support your body!

When Your Oncologist Says “No”

A cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming. On top of the stress and worry is a near-endless supply of internet advice, and tips from well-meaning friends and family. Almost everyone seems to have a story about how the chemo killed Joe’s sister’s, brother, or how some natural product saved the day.

A large percentage of patients explore alternatives, doing their best to sort through the stories, rumours, and research. When they feel they’ve found a solution, however, they check with their oncologist only to be told “no” because the treatment doesn’t work, or worse yet, it will interfere with their current treatment.

Sometimes the oncologist is right. There are many ineffective approaches, and many other powerful ones that will indeed interfere with conventional tools.

But sometimes the oncologist is wrong, too.

This isn’t for lack of knowledge, mind you, but lack of specialized knowledge. Oncologists know their tools and how they work; they don’t necessarily know the research around alternative and complementary approaches. That makes it far easier to say, “Don’t do anything,” than to dig through the evidence. They are simply erring on the side of being cautious.

There are two problems with this, and they’re big ones:

  1. The patient decides to engage in “alternative medicine” for cancer treatment without telling their oncologist. If they are getting their advice solely from Dr. Google or their neighbour’s cousin, it really could be interfering with their conventional therapy. Cowboy cancer care is risky.
  2. The patient doesn’t engage and misses the real benefit of complementary therapies which, when applied properly, can increase quality of life, decrease side-effects, increase the efficacy of conventional care plans and/or prolong life in conjunction with conventional care plans.

What to do?

The Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre, or OICC, is a not-for-profit regional centre of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. It’s a registered charity providing education and research in naturopathic and complementary medicine since 1978.

They have put together research monographs for some of the best studied complementary cancer treatments. These are easy to read and are in patient-centered and doctor-centered formats. Patients can do their own reading, but they can also share research with oncologists who simply won’t have the time to go digging for it.

Knowledge is power. As our patients who are dealing with cancer know, the more information that they have to feel strong and centered in the treatment plan they choose, the better their outcomes can be.

StoneTree Clinic is happy to have Dr. Ehab Mohammed, ND on our team. Dr. Ehab brings with him over 20 years as an oncologist and researcher at the University of Cairo. In his new career as a naturopathic doctor here in Canada, he employs the best evidence to use complementary therapies in conjunction with conventional care plans to maximize treatment efficacy while minimizing treatment side-effects. You can book a free appointment to have all your questions answered here.

Sleep: The New Science of Slumber

As our patients head out on their summer holidays, one of the things we hear most often is, “I can’t wait to sleep.”

If you’ve found yourself feeling the same way and are wondering why, this month’s National Geographic has a long article about sleep that is very much worth the read.

Some interesting and important takeaways:

  • The average American gets 7 hours sleep. That’s 2 hours less than a century ago.
  • The WHO has described night shift work as a “probable human carcinogen”.
  • When the circadian rhythm breaks down there is an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and dementia.
  • Blue light at night is bad for sleep. Red light is better. Blue light at night comes from things like screens.
  • If you can fall asleep anywhere anytime, especially if you are under 40, that’s a sure sign you are sleep deprived.
  • Our brain cells shrink bring sleep, allowing space for the cerebral fluid to wash away the waste products, including beta–amyloid, a protein associated with Alzheimer’s.

There’s plenty more in the article, but the biggest takeaway is that sleep is wildly important to our overall health. It is worth doing, and worth doing well. Reclaiming it as an important part of your overall health regime–as important as eating right and exercising.

::Sleep: Inside the new science of slumber

Calling All Teachers!

Dealing with kids can put a real tax on stress glands and immune systems–it’s the kind of thing that can lead to constant colds and flu, sleep and mood issues, or that overall “tired” feeling that is so tough to shake.

For our patients who are teachers, the hustle and bustle of the school often has them completely worn out by the end of June. They rely on summer to rest and recharge.

The magic of summer, however, isn’t just in recovery. It’s in building a strong base for the coming year. Prevention really is the best medicine, and for teachers, summer is the best time to put that in place. Supporting the stress glands and boosting the immune system before school starts almost always makes for a healthier school year.

Simcoe County teachers have a wonderful extended health plan for naturopathic medicine, and the benefits restart at the start of their new year, which is September. Getting in during the summer months prepares you for the upcoming year, but also ensures you maximize the coverage you are entitled to.

We now make it even easier for our teachers to access care with direct billing to your extended health plan. This ensures you can come in without having to worry about cash flows during the summer months.

We love working with teachers and keeping them healthy and well during the school year. Teaching our kids is important work–please pass this on to the teachers in your life!

Book your appointment online here, or call the clinic at 705-444-5331.

Natural Solutions for Summer Kid Challenges

Summer is in full swing. and what a summer it is turning out to be!

Lots of sun and heat make for great cottage or beach days, but they can also bring little health annoyances that can ruin the fun for kids. Here are some natural solutions to a few of summer’s nagging problems.

Sunburn

  • Prevention is the best medicine here. Cover up or look for shade, and avoid the sun from 11AM-3PM.
  • For a look at the best sunscreens, check out the Environmental Working Group’s top picks.
  • Eat foods containing lots of antioxidants like berries, watermelon, peaches, and citrus. This can help little bodies deal with the oxidative damage of the sun. And if little ones do get burned, aloe gel applied often and liberally is soothing and helpful!

Bug Bites

Prevention is difficult here without staying indoors or using toxic chemicals, but here are a few suggestions to manage bug populations:

  • Drain sources of stagnant water sources
  • Plant marigolds around your yard.
  • Install bat boxes

For natural repellents, you can try Dr. Mercola’s list, which includes: Vick’s Vaporub®; cinnamon leaf oil; clear liquid vanilla extract mixed with olive oil; citronella soap and 100% pure citronella essential oil; catnip oil.

When the bug bit happens we love Orange Naturals Bites + Stings cream. It works great!

Swimmer’s Ear

Lots of swimming means lots of opportunities to collect water in the outer ear canal. Add that to the heat-driven increase in the number of critters growing in the ponds, lakes, and pools kids swim in, and the conditions are ripe for a case of swimmers ear. Some tips:

  • Prevent swimmers ear with a couple of drops of part rubbing alcohol part vinegar after swimming.
  • If an infection has already taken hold we love St. Francis Ear Oil. This lovely natural remedy combines the herbs mullen, St. John’s wort, and garlic. It’s anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and provides pain relief–great for getting on top of swimmers ear.
  • More info for treating this naturally check out Dr. Axe’s guide.

If ear symptoms persist for more then 3-4 days, it’s best to have a regulated health professional have a look to make sure things aren’t getting out of hand and antibiotics are not needed.

Athlete’s Foot and Other Fungal Infections

This summer’s heat is making lots of sweating a given–the perfect environment for fungal infections. Again, prevention is the best medicine:

  • Always wash hands and feet after playing.
  • Change sweat-stained clothes frequently during a day.
  • Make an anti-fungal spray of diluted apple cider vinegar. Spritz it on clean, dry feet (or other areas) and allow it to dry. Fungus hates acid and will die off.

Dehydration

Kids are so in the moment. They’re just so happy playing around they forget to drink! Dehydration is a pretty common problem, so remind them to drink regularly during the heat waves. If you want to avoid Gatorade or other sugary electrolyte drinks, try all-natural coconut water. It’s delicious and full of electrolytes without all the sugar of a Gatorade. You can even make your own sports drink!

For more serious concerns, remember that Dr. Bronwyn is StoneTree Clinic’s resident child health guru, with a love for treating all things kid-related!

Food as Medicine: Chia Seeds

These tiny little nutritional powerhouses were prized by the Mayans for providing them with “sustainable energy”. In fact, the word chia is the ancient Mayan word for strength!

Check out what’s inside just two tablespoons of these little seeds:

  • Fiber: 11 grams
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are Omega-3s)
  • Calcium: 18% of the RDA
  • Manganese: 30% of the RDA
  • Magnesium: 30% of the RDA
  • Phosphorus: 27% of the RDA

They also contain a decent amount of Zinc, Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Potassium, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and Vitamin B2.

The calcium content is particularly impressive. A whopping 18% of the RDA in a single ounce! Gram for gram, this is higher than most dairy products.

Happy Guts!

Chia seeds are one of the foods being showcased here at The Pantry in the month of July when we are focusing on gut health.

Chia seeds can absorb up to 12 times their weight in liquid. When soaked, they develop a mucilaginous coating that gives chia-based creams and beverages that distinctive gel texture. This gel-forming action is due to the soluble fiber in chia seeds, and it can work as a prebiotic that supports the growth of probiotics in the gut.

Get this yummy, gluten-free, high protein, high fiber seed into your diet daily!  Your gut and bones will love you for it. Here’s a great recipe to start you off. 🙂

Chia Pudding

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut, almond or cashew milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup, honey or sweetener of choice (optional)
  • blueberries and strawberries, for topping

Instructions

  • In a bowl or mason jar, mix together chia seeds, milk, maple syrup and vanilla. If you’re using a mason jar, you can put the lid on and shake the mixture to combine everything.
  • Once the chia pudding mixture is well combined, let it sit for 5 minutes, give it another stir/shake to break up any clumps of chia seeds, cover and put the mixture in the fridge to “set-up” for 1-2 hours.
  • You can also prep your pudding the night before and let it sit in the fridge overnight if that’s easier. When ready to serve, divide the mixture between two bowls, top the pudding with berries and enjoy.

Enjoy!

Recipe and image courtesy of Eating Bird Food