The Silver Bullet for Diabetes Prevention

November 14th was World Diabetes Day, celebrated in over 160 countries around the world. It’s most certainly a global problem, but diabetes has plenty of local presence, too: over 900 000 people have been diagnosed in Ontario alone.

Diabetes affects our ability to get sugar from the blood into the cells where it’s needed to run our bodies. In Type I diabetes, there simply is no insulin to do the sugar transfer job. The pancreas is supposed to produce it, but it doesn’t.  In Type II diabetes, the pancreas produces insulin, but the cells just don’t respond to it – they’ve become “insulin resistant”.

Here’s the thing, though: Type II diabetes accounts for 90% of all diabetes cases, and it’s largely preventable.

You’ve heard that diabetes is genetic, but that’s not the entire story.  Your family may have given you susceptibility, but that’s it. The real trouble starts when you put that susceptibility in a high calorie, high fructose corn syrup, overweight environment.

But here’s the good news: if you’re heading down the genetic pathway to diabetes, you can change direction.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, clearly outlined the power of lifestyle change.  In this study, 523 people with pre-diabetes (their blood sugar was off, but not at diabetic levels yet), were given the following goals:

•    Reduce body weight by 5%
•    Reduce total dietary fat to <30%
•    Reduce dietary saturated fat to <10%
•    Increase dietary fiber to 30g/day
•    Walk 30 minutes/day

If the person did not achieve any of these goals, their chance of developing diabetes was approximately 30%.  Of the people who achieved 4-5 of these goals, however, not a single person went on to develop diabetes.  Not one.

The study points to one empowering result: we really do have the power to change our genetic destiny!


Recipe: Black Bean and Mango Salad

This recipe comes from the unlikely source of the label on a can of Unico black beans. Like Jackie’s Bean Salad, this one is surprisingly delicious considering how good it is for you. 🙂

It’s also fast – you can make enough for a week’s lunches in about 5 minutes!



  • 1 can (540mL/19 fl oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 mango, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 sweet red pepper, diced
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro


  • Combine the beans, mango, red peppers and green onions in a bowl
  • Whisk together lime juice, vegetable oil, soy sauce and red pepper flakes
  • Add the cilantro and toss lightly

Serves 4-6, or lunch for a week for just you!

Recipe: Pan Roasted Seeds

These seeds are simple, delicious and great source of protein, vitamin E, zinc, copper, magnesium and lots of other good stuff. Perfect for having on hand to add to any salad, a stir fry or rice and rice dishes.

Because they’re peanut-free, they also make an excellent snack for school lunches for kids.

Total time: about 12 minutes, half of which is watching them cool off so you can eat them… 🙂

Enjoy! – Tara


  • 1/2 cup hulled pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup hulled sunflower seeds
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • Put everything in a pan (if you’ve got a cast iron one, all the better – they’re a good source of iron!)
  • Heat gently over low heat, stirring occasionally until the seeds are heated through (about 5 minutes or so)
  • Remove from heat, and leave to sit for another 5 minutes or so (stir a couple of more times if you’re using cast iron)
  • Let cool, and use as needed. I often make a batch and store it in a jar in the cupboard.

Bonus trivia:

Sunflower seeds were one of the first plants ever cultivated in the U.S. They are thought to have originated in Mexico and Peru. (From The World’s Healthiest Foods by George Mateljan.)

Detoxification: Why it Works and How to Do It

Hi all,

This is an article we wrote for the Fall 2008 issue of Body Magazine – I thought you might find it interesting!


Feeling Better Through Detoxification

Inside this complex organism we call “you”, a remarkable set of organs and processes works vigilantly to deal with unwanted and unneeded substances that find their way from the outside of your body to the inside.

The system works quite well. At least, it used to work well. Your natural detoxification organs – things like your bowels, kidneys, liver and skin – weren’t designed to deal with the excesses of modern life. Some unnecessary food, nutrients, and bacteria? Sure. Food additives, environmental toxins and modern stresses? That’s another matter altogether.

This toxic load builds over time, and can lead to an array of chronic problems like skin conditions, digestive and bowel complaints, allergies, fatigue, and headaches, to name just a few. In order to level the playing ground for your struggling system, additional forms of detoxification can be used to help your body “take out the trash” more regularly and effectively.

There are many ways to detoxify:

  • Diet regimes reduce the intake of toxicity from your food, and increase fiber and water intake to help flush your system.
  • Colon hydrotherapy gently cleanses the colon to improve bowel function and detoxify the liver.
  • Supplements can stimulate the detoxification systems of the body, and provide them with the vitamins and minerals they need to operate effectively.
  • Saunas induce sweating to help remove toxins via the skin, liver and kidneys.
  • IV Chelation uses substances intravenously (vitamin C, for example) to bind to toxins and flush them from the body.

Each detoxification strategy has its unique characteristics, and may be used in combination or alone depending on the ailment and your health history. To learn more about how detoxification can help you, contact us anytime at 444-5331.

Recipe: Dr. Steve’s Breakfast Smoothie

Breakfast shakes are an easy (and tasty) way to get a full complement of fruits and vegetables into your diet. Because the sweet flavour of the fruits is so strong, you can add vegetables and still get a great, rich taste. It makes smoothies a particularly good option for people who aren’t enthusiastic vegetable eaters.

This recipe comes from our friend Dr. Steve Rallis, DC, president of Healthscore. Dr. Steve’s recipe gives you an unbelievable 10 full servings of fruits and veggies!


  • 1 cup fruit juice (apple, orange, pineapple) -not from concentrate. Fresh squeezed is better.
  • 1 banana
  • ½ cup strawberries (frozen and organic are suggested)
  • ½ cup blueberries (frozen and organic are suggested)
  • 5 cups of baby spinach


  • Put the fruit and juice in the blender.
  • Start blender and then slowly add the baby spinach.
  • Blend until smooth, adding water if necessary to change consistency from thicker to thinner.

Adding 1 tbsp of olive oil or flax seed oil is also a great way to add your essential fats to the smoothie. Protein can be added, too, and if you don’t have the juice, just use fruit and add water or soy milk!


Please Join Us For Our Grand Opening!

Mark Your Calendars! We’d be honoured if you could join us for the official Grand Opening of our new clinic this Friday.

Date: Friday, June 20th

Time: Drop in anytime from 3-7PM

Location: StoneTree Clinic
115 Hurontario Street
Suite 200
Collingwood, ON

Stop by anytime between 3-7PM for:

  • office tours, including our new colon hydrotherapy and IV suites
  • some great food and refreshments
  • a chance to meet the entire StoneTree team, and ask any questions you may have
  • an opportunity to join us in celebrating the start of summer!

We’d love to see you there!

Yours in good health,
Tara Gignac, ND

Map and Directions

Colon Hydrotherapy Comes to Collingwood

It’s finally here! We’re pleased to announce we’re now offering colon hydrotherapy treatments in our Collingwood naturopathic office. We’re now booking appointments for new and existing patients in our modern hydrotherapy suite.

Colon hydrotherapy (also called colonics, or colon irrigation) is a painless, safe and effective method of removing dried fecal matter and restoring the colon to optimal health and function. It’s one of many treatments used by licensed naturopaths to help:

  • restore and/or regulating bowel functions and routines
  • reduce the need for laxatives
  • reduce toxins built up in the colon
  • detoxify the liver and lymphatic system
  • prepare for medical procedures that require bowel preparation with laxatives
  • enhance the elimination of barium following barium studies

To learn more about how colon hydrotherapy works, visit our colonics page on our website, or call 705-444-5331 to book your appointment.

Success Stories: IV Therapy

Quote - IVThis letter arrived recently from one of our clinic patients. As a naturopath, I think these are some of the best moments. Thanks B for the kind words, and for finding such great health! -Tara

I write you today in appreciation and acknowledgment for your warm reception, constant care and outlook for my health and well being.

I have been coming to you now for more than one year. I can honestly say that I owe it to you and your staff for my healthy lifestyle, encouragement when needed, and overall well being. The IV therapy has assisted in getting me back to the person I knew I could be. I exercise more regularly, walk without becoming winded and have fewer migraine headaches. My cholesterol levels are lower and blood pressure is good.

When I had a cold and chest congestion in the spring, after several weeks of antibiotics nothing seemed to shake it. I used your inhalation therapy three times along with a special IV, and it cleared up quickly.

I stopped taking the IV therapy for a month and can honestly say I seemed to get tired quickly. I’m back on schedule and appreciate my good health. I am recommending you and your services always.

Thank you.

Collingwood, Ontario

Would you like to inspire someone to feel better? You can tell us a few words about your experience at StoneTree here. We keep all personal information confidential.

Success Stories: Children’s Health

Quote - KidsThis 11 year old patient recently prepared a speech for school about his experience at our office, and how he was able to improve his focus, mood and body. Way to go! We’re all very proud of you – thanks for letting us share your story. -Tara

Dear Ms. M. & Fellow Students:

My life without “junk food”. It all began two years ago when I was nine years old. I constantly craved sugar, sugar, chocolate and more sugar.

I was tired, cranky and gaining weight. My Mom and Dad did not know why I gained so much weight when I played hockey, soccer, baseball and I swam all the time.

My Mom suggested we talk to a naturopathic doctor, our friend Tara. On our very first visit, Tara asked me all kinds of questions, here’s some: How was my focus in school, was I tired, how did I sleep, and what did I crave?

We decided that I should stop eating certain foods for one month to see how I would feel. Tara promised I would be allowed one treat every month.

It was a huge challenge! I stopped eating all foods such as chocolate, Cheez Whiz, KD, ketchup, cheesies, chips, microwave popcorn (DEATH IN A BOX), gummies, hot dogs, Gatorade, ice cream, fast food such as Pizza Hut and Wendy’s and cereal (and guess what – this means Cheerios!) My family removed all foods with preservatives, dyes and artificial flavors from our house.

We learned that if you can’t say it why you would put it in your body: Monosodium Glutamate, Carrageenan, Propylene Glycol, Acesulfane-Potassium, Tricalcium Phosphate, all Artificial Colors and Flavors added. We became experts at reading food labels, even Dad!

After three months, I began to feel “gnarly”. I replaced most of the foods that I love with organic or homemade. My Mom has become an expert at finding foods with no “crap”. She found organic nachos and salsa, ice cream and yogurt, organic pop, who knew that “root beer” was really white. My friends love to visit, there’s always a ton of fruit at our house and my Mom makes amazing “smoothies”, “pancakes”, French Toast”, and homemade chocolate sauce, to die for.

Two years later, how do I feel now? I feel tremendous. I’ve lost weight. Tara takes my body mass index (BMI) at every visit. She puts sticky pads on my toes and hands and hooks me up to a machine. My body fat has dropped and my lean muscle has increased. I have tons of energy. I am like a freight train at hockey, lots of speed and agility. I actually love to run during soccer, major change for me. My focus, well, it’s okay most days – just ask Mom and Ms. M.

I love healthy food, fruit, cheese, whole grain bagels, veggies and dip, yogurt parfaits, but I got to admit, those little “Ferrero Roche” chocolates, they still get me.

Would you like to inspire someone to find their best health? You can tell us a few words about your experience at StoneTree here. We keep all personal information confidential.

Travel and International Volunteering: Tara Speaking in Craigleith

Tara 2Tara will be speaking to the Craigleith Probus Club on Mar 25, 2008, where she’ll share images and stories from her naturopathic health care mission to Paraguay, SA. Tara will also be discussing the opportunities for travel that volunteering provides, and offering advice for those interested in international work and travel.

You can learn more about Tara’s book Escape 101 at .

Details: March 25th, 2008 – Craigleith Community Centre, 7-9PM