No One Knows Anything

I came across this video on YouTube. The hero in this story was told for years that he would never walk unassisted again. Over 15 years he gained more and more weight, and become increasingly disabled and unhappy.

Then one day, everything changed. He decided to begin a journey of healing. Over ten months he lost 140 pounds and was not only able to the walk but run! His transformation is remarkable.

Beating the “odds” isn’t that uncommon in health care. A person given six months to live with cancer, is still alive six years later. Someone told by doctors that he has no hope of surviving an operation, walks out of the hospital and back to a normal life. A lung transplant patient completes an Ironman triathlon.

The truth is, no one knows anything. Not for sure. The human body is capable of unbelievable healing and the human mind is capable of believing and striving for untold victories.

Don’t like the prognosis you’ve been given? Ask someone else. Don’t like that answer? Keep talking to people till you get the answer you want. The only one who can really find out what you’re capable of is you.

Why I Don’t Get Sick in Winter

icytara The other day Dan asked me, “When was the last time you got a cold where you couldn’t breathe at night?”

The question got me thinking. When was the last time?

I really couldn’t think of when it was. And not only has it been years since I had a winter cold that left me really congested, I’ve never missed a day of work in 12 years as a naturopathic doctor.

Why is that? I’m exposed to literally dozens of people a week who are coming into the clinic with colds and flus. If anyone is going to get sick often, it should be me. But I rarely do. Once in a while, but not for long.

There could be some luck there, but after more than a decade I think most of it is by design. Wellness is no accident. If you give your body good food, clean water, fresh air, sunshine, exercise and sleep it will usually give you back good health.

In the winter time I eat lots of veggies, and make sure the protein is there and in good quantity.  I exercise outside almost everyday and I sleep like a hibernating bear. If I eat well and exercise every day, I feel almost bulletproof.

When I do start to feel like I’m fighting something, I slow down even more, eat even healthier, drink lots of fluids and I enthusiastically use my tools – Echinacea, goldenseal, vitamin C both by mouth and by IV, to name but a few.

Viruses are everywhere. You can’t avoid them. We’re all exposed constantly. But it’s not about the viruses–it’s about what your body does when exposed to them.

Is your immune system strong because you move your circulation daily, hydrate yourself and fill your body with good food?

Or, is your immune system struggling with a diet filled with sugar and inflammatory foods, and a fluid intake of pop and caramel macchiato? Was Thanksgiving weekend the last time you took a breath of fresh air ?

Winter isn’t a recipe for sickness. We’ve been led to believe that getting sick is part of winter, but I think it’s not that simple. You might not get to avoid every cold, but you definitely get to choose how vulnerable you are. Get mildly sick once in a while for a day, or get knocked down for days at a time? That choice is up to you.

Collingwood and the Georgian Bay area give us such great opportunities to be well. So go eat some soup and get outside!

5 Weeks to a Happy Stomach (Food Intolerance)

All doctors love when their patients get better, and as naturopathic doctors, we often get the joy of seeing people with long-standing symptoms heal.

A 55-year old man recently came into the clinic with symptoms of severe phlegm in his throat every time he ate.  His stomach was always uncomfortable, he was sensitive to his environment, and he couldn’t swallow properly. Years of appointments, tests and discomfort had finally led him to our office.

A simple lab test helped us diagnose a severe food intolerance to dairy, eggs and gluten. After five weeks of maintaining a diet free of those foods, all his symptoms resolved.

These were symptoms he had lived with for years. They were also symptoms that, according to conventional medicine, had nothing to do with food. But as we’re all discovering, food is medicine, and sometimes our chronic, longstanding health complaints are as simple as changing what we put in our mouths.

There’s really a simple 3 step process at work when it comes to a suspected food intolerance:

  1. Get a food intolerance test. The cost is reasonable, and while you can easily experiment on your own with adding and removing foods from your diet, the test narrows the field so you’re not randomly eliminating foods for months and months.
  2. Do an elimination diet. Remove any suspected foods for 4 weeks. Dairy, wheat, gluten, sugar, eggs, yeast are the most common culprits.
  3. Reintroduce the foods slowly. If you’ve eliminated multiple groups, you’ll need to reintroduce them one at a time. Watch your symptoms closely.

Once the body balances, some people are able to eventually tolerate foods they once couldn’t. Others may have to avoid them permanently. The end result in both cases is the same, though: a much happier stomach! 🙂


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.