This recipe is one of my favourite fall/winter lunch dishes! It’s easy to make, and will serve ~6 meals.
Ingredients: • 1 cup quinoa • 2 chicken breasts • 2 cups arugula • 3 large celery stalks • 1 bunch of green onion • ¼ cup chopped pecans • ¼ cup dried cranberries • ¼ cup olive oil • 1 lemon • 4 tbsp white vinegar • Salt and pepper Note: replace chicken with crumbled goat cheese for vegetarian option.
Directions: Bake the chicken breasts at 350°C for ~30 minutes. While the chicken is baking, cook 1 cup quinoa in 1 ½ cup water – heat to boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes. Finely chop the green onion and celery. For the dressing combine the olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice, white vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Once the chicken is done baking, cut into bite sized pieces. Combine the chicken, quinoa, celery, green onion, cranberry, pecans, and arugula. Drizzle with your vinaigrette-dressing, toss, and voila, you can now enjoy your delicious and nutritious meal!
Hormones are chemical messengers that communicate between different parts of the body. They are produced by glands and organs, and are secreted into the bloodstream to circulate. Hormones travel in the blood to specific organs and tissues to communicate their message. Only tissues that have receptors for the hormone in question will respond to that hormone. Hormones are one of the main tools our body uses to create balance or ‘homeostasis’ in the body. So, as you can imagine, if we have imbalances in our hormones, this stable environment will be shaken up, and we will not feel well.
The most common hormone imbalances I see in my practice are stress hormone imbalances, thyroid imbalances, and sex hormone imbalances (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone). This blog will specifically be focused on stress hormone imbalance, or what is known as ‘adrenal fatigue.’ In subsequent blogs I will address the issues of thyroid and sex hormone imbalances, so stay tuned!
What is adrenal fatigue? Adrenal fatigue occurs when our adrenal glands cannot keep up with the demands placed on them by the total amount of stress in our lives. The primary role of our adrenal glands is to produce and regulate our stress hormone cortisol. They also produce sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone and testosterone), neurotransmitters (adrenaline and noradrenaline), and a blood pressure regulating hormone (aldosterone). With acute or chronic stress cortisol imbalances are first to be seen. Over time adrenal stress can lead to other hormone imbalances including imbalances in insulin, sex hormones, blood pressure hormones, and even thyroid hormone.
We live in a very busy, stressful, on-the-go society. We work long hours while juggling the demands of family life, we sacrifice sleep, we rely on coffee to keep us awake, and reach for sugary foods for an extra energy boost. Over time these habits affect us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
When we engage in stressful activities our bodies enter into a ‘fight or flight’ response. Cortisol is released from our adrenal glands to provide us with a burst of energy in order to ‘survive.’ It does so by breaking down our carbohydrate and protein stores, increasing blood sugar, and suppressing the immune system to conserve energy. Over time high cortisol can lead to insulin resistance, weaken our immune system, and lead to muscle wasting, if not properly addressed. It can also impact our thyroid and sex hormone balance. Eventually our adrenal glands may not be able to keep up with the stress in our lives, and cortisol levels will drop, leading to chronic mental and physical fatigue.
What are the symptoms of adrenal fatigue? Symptoms of adrenal fatigue will depend on what type of cortisol imbalance you have, ie. whether you have high or low cortisol levels.
Weight gain around waist
Tired and wired feeling
Loss of muscle mass
High blood pressure
Shaky or lightheaded if a meal is missed
Loss of scalp hair
Aches and pains
Cold/low body temperature
Low blood pressure
Dizziness upon standing
Naturally we have the highest levels of cortisol in the morning, and throughout the day our levels will slowly decline, with cortisol being lowest at night. If we have low cortisol in the morning we’ll have problems waking and will generally feel sluggish. If we have high cortisol at night on the other hand, we may have problems falling or staying asleep.
How do you test for adrenal fatigue? In this stressed out world, I generally assume that most of my patients have some amount of adrenal fatigue. I listen to the symptoms and assess the lifestyle of my patients in order to determine whether or not they have an adrenal imbalance. In some cases I use salivary hormone testing to determine baseline levels of cortisol, and track treatment progress.
How do you treat adrenal fatigue? The best way to treat adrenal fatigue is to address the underlying cause: STRESS. I encourage you to examine your personal daily stressors, slow down, and take your health back into your own hands. If you suffer from adrenal fatigue, the most important thing you can do is to establish a routine. Below are some of my suggestions for establishing an adrenal friendly routine.
Go to bed at the same time every night, and get at least 8 hours of sleep.
Do something relaxing every day (deep breathing, warm bath, nature walk, yoga, meditation, massage, acupuncture, etc.)
Learn to say NO when you’ve reached your limit.
Eat protein with every meal.
Don’t over-exercise. If you feel fatigued, scale down the intensity, or take a day or two off to recover.
Avoid processed foods, simple carbohydrates (cookies, muffins, cakes, white bread, pasta) and sugar.
Decrease or eliminate caffeine.
Consider supplementation with adaptogenic herbs, a vitamin B complex, or intravenous nutrient therapy.
Adaptogenic herbs help the body adapt and cope with stress. My favourite adaptogenic herbs are Licorice Root, Ginseng, Rhodiola, and Withania.
Intravenous nutrient therapy (ie. the Myer’s Cocktail) is a solution of B vitamins, vitamin C and magnesium that is infused directly into a vein. These vitamins nourish the adrenal glands, boost energy and help the body cope and manage stress. For more information on the Myer’s Cocktailclick here.
If you’ve enjoyed this blog remember to SHARE it, LIKE it, and post any comments below! Dr. Meghan Stobbs ND Healing Cedar Wellness
Your best friend is raving about her new raw diet, so you decide to give it a try. But it doesn't work for you. Maybe it made you tired, or gain weight, or more health issues showed up suddenly. Why is that? Because your friend and you are completely different individuals.
Or perhaps, what worked for you in the past ten years, suddenly isn't. Why? Because each of us evolve, our body changes, our lifestyle changes, our jobs, or our location even. All of this plays a major role on our health and our body needs for nutrients.
So here's what you need to consider when it comes to YOUR diet:
What is your ethnic background?
Are you always cold? or always too hot?
Do you produce a lot of mucus and have greasy skin or hair? Or are you more on the dry side?
Where do you live? A damp place or a cold dry one?
What is your lifestyle? Do you exercise, or you sitting at work all day?
How is your health in general? Is your immune system okay?
Depending on your age, by now, you hopefully have figured out a few things that work, when it comes to your digestive system. Maybe you know certain foods give you heart burns, or diarrhea, or headaches. But you're still searching for a healthy diet that works for you. Try to aim for a diet that makes you feel energetic, clear minded and prevent you from getting sick. No matter what, the basic rule is to eat a wholesome real food diet, to buy local and in season.
Now, let's figure out YOUR best diet:
Your ethnic background will determine what foods suit you best. If you're from an asian descent, dairies will probably not agree with you, as the asian diet does not contain dairy. If you're from a danish or german descent, very spicy foods may not agree with your system. So look at your ancestors diet and stay close to it, for the most part.
Are you often cold, when others are just fine, do you live in a cold place? Avoid icy drinks and raw foods, add more warming foods instead. Are you hot all the time? Maybe menopause is playing havoc with your body, then avoid alcohol, and spicy dishes, add cooling foodsinstead.
If you're someone who has tendency to have excess mucus (nasal drip, stuffy nose, greasy scalp & skin, yeast infections, stuffy chest, cysts…), you may need to avoid all mucus forming foods for a while (i.e.: dairy, wheat, sugar). Add clear broth soups, lost of greens, asparagus, and kale. On the other hand, if you're dry (skin, stools, hair, dry mouth especially at night), then you may need watery foods such as cucumber, watermelon, apples, pears, and lubricating foods such as nuts and seeds, fatty fish (Salmon, halibut), and avocado.
Your lifestyle also can dictate what diet suits your body. For sedentary people (desk job, students, bus driver), eating small meals throughout the day is best. But if you're on your feet all the time (landscaper, hairdresser, delivery person), then have 3 sitting down meals/day.
And finally, look at your overall health, are you tired, do you get sick often, are headaches plaguing you daily? If your body is out of balance, you may need the help of a professional to get back into optimum health. Talk to your acupuncturist, naturopath, chiropractor, massage therapist or family doctor. You may need to tweak your diet, add supplements, and/or therapy in order to feel at your best again.
Life is a constant ebb and flow cycle. Adapting to change and listening to our bodies, will in the end benefit us tremendously. If you have any questions regarding this article, feel free to contact Healing Cedar Wellness or Clara via e-mail or phone.
Good food translates to good health. This is common wisdom. However, sometimes even good whole foods can make a person sick. When fresh strawberries cause hives, a glass of milk causes stomach cramps and diarrhea, or daily bread products cause fatigue and bloating; then it is time to talk to your health care provider to determine whether an ordinary food may be causing your health problems.
In my clinical practice I spend a lot of time with each and every one of my patients reviewing their diet, encouraging balanced diets rich in whole foods, and when needed testing for food sensitivities and allergies. This article will outline the difference between food sensitivities, intolerances and allergies, common symptoms related with these food reactions, and what to expect with food sensitivity and allergy testing.
What’s the difference between food allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities?
Food allergies are IgE mediated immune reactions that cause immediate and sometimes life threatening reactions in the body. Breathing difficulties, anaphylaxis, skin eruptions such as hives, and digestive problems are common IgE reactions.
Food sensitivities and intolerances are not life threatening and are delayed reactions that contribute to chronic health concerns. These reactions are typically divided further into digestive and immune concerns.
Food intolerances are digestive in origin and typically refer to the inability of the body to break down the offending foods. Digestive intolerance symptoms often include cramping, bloating, and diarrhea. The most common digestive intolerance is lactose intolerance, where digesting diary becomes a problem. Most people with digestive intolerances can correlate symptoms to the ingestion of the offending foods, and testing is not necessary. Some people will benefit from taking digestive enzymes with every meal. However, if this doesn’t help, I would recommend seeing a naturopathic doctor for additional support.
Food sensitivities are delayed IgG mediated immune reactions. Symptoms take hours or days to develop, making it difficult to determine the food cause without testing. With food sensitivities, symptoms are incredibly individual, and each person will manifest them differently. However, common food sensitivity symptoms include fatigue, digestive disturbances, chronic skin rashes, weight gain, headaches, joint pain, mood and memory disturbances, and behavioral problems.
Can you develop food intolerances and sensitivities later on in life? Food intolerances and sensitivities can develop at any point in life. A person who has never had any problems with food, may develop food reaction symptoms later on in life. Food intolerances and sensitivities can be triggered by many different factors. These factors include overconsumption of a particular food, genetic predisposition, poor digestion, environmental factors, and stress.
How can I get tested for food allergies and sensitivities? An allergist typically tests for food allergies, however here in BC naturopathic doctors are also licensed to test for these immediate immune reactions. To get an appointment with an allergist you will need a referral from your family doctor. An allergist will test for food allergies through a scratch test or blood test, which is covered through MSP. A naturopathic doctor on the other hand, uses blood testing only for food allergies, which may be covered through your extended health insurance.
Naturopathic physicians are the go-to health care providers for food sensitivity testing. The test involves a finger prick or blood draw. Once the blood sample is taken, the sample is sent to the lab for testing, and your naturopathic doctor (ND) will receive your results within 10-14 days. At this time you will be called to book a follow-up visit with your ND to discuss your results. The accredited medical laboratory company that I use for food sensitivity testing is Rocky Mountain Analytical www.rmalab.com.
What happens after I get my food sensitivity results? If you test positive for any food, taking those reactive foods out of your diet for 3-6 months is recommended. In my practice I give detailed handouts on alternatives to your food sensitivities to ensure that proper nutrition is maintained. I also recommend starting a probiotic to help heel the gut from damage created from years of eating those food culprits.
Overtime it is common that the foods that a person was once sensitive to become less reactive. At the 3-6 month mark, re-introduction of these foods will determine whether or not you will need to continue avoiding them, or are able to eat these foods in small amounts. This is different from a food allergy, where the offending food will have to be avoided long term (sometimes indefinitely).
What about celiac disease? Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine caused by eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, and kamut. Overtime, this immune reaction produces inflammation and damages the small intestinal cells which causes malabsorption of nutrients. The intestinal damage can cause weight loss, bloating and sometimes diarrhea. Anemia, loss of bone density, headaches and fatigue, joint pain, numbness and tingling, acid reflux and an itchy blistery skin rash (dermatitis herpetiformis) are other common symptoms. In children, malabsorption can affect growth and development. The intestinal irritation can cause stomach pain, especially after eating.
Your naturopathic physician or family doctor can test you for celiac disease. The blood test ordered is called tissue transglutaminase (ttg). If you have a positive ttg test, your doctor may refer you for a small intestinal biopsy to confirm the disease. The management of celiac disease involves strict life-long avoidance of gluten, and nutritional supplementation to heal the damaged intestinal lining.
What are the costs associated with food sensitivity testing through Dr. Stobbs? - Initial 1 hour naturopathic consultation - $165.00 ($140.00 for children) - 95 IgG Food Sensitivity Panel - $250.00 - 30 minute naturopathic follow-up to discuss results - $95.00 ($85.00 for children) - Additional follow-up visits may be recommended depending on patient case.
**Naturopathic consultations and testing fees may be covered under extended health care plans through your employer, please check with the details of your plan to see your level of coverage.**
You may have heard about intravenous (IV) vitamin therapies, or the “Myer’s Cocktail,” but are unsure of what this therapy entails, and if it will benefit you. Well, you are in luck! This article is designed to answer all your questions around this very beneficial therapy.
What is a Myer’s Cocktail? The Myer’s Cocktail is a very effective therapy that has been used by Naturopathic Physicians and other Complementary and Alternative health care practitioners for over half a century. This therapy was initially developed by Dr. John Myers MD, and further refined and popularized by Dr. Alan Gaby MD.
A Myer’s treatment is typically a combination of Vitamins C, B complex, B5, B6, B12, Folic Acid, Magnesium, and Selenium (blended with saline of sterile water). The amounts of these vitamins and minerals will depend on the patient and the particular health concern being treated. The nutrient combination is infused directly into the circulation, through a vein, generally over 10-20 minutes by a gentle “push,” or 30-45 minutes by “drip.”
Why give IV nutrients as opposed to oral? Infusing a nutrient solution directly into the blood allows for more thorough and rapid absorption and utilization of the vitamins and minerals. This is because adding a mixture directly into the circulation will bypass the digestive system, where most nutrients are poorly absorbed and mostly eliminated. Additionally, some side effects from high dose oral administration (for example loose stools from high doses of oral Vitamin C and Magnesium) are avoided.
Who can benefit from Myer’s Cocktails? Almost anyone can benefit from this therapy. This includes individuals who feel healthy overall but would like an additional boost in mood or energy. It may be useful in those that have higher needs for specific nutrients such as athletes, students, of professionals under high levels of acute and chronic stress. Those with lowered immune function, or would like to prevent the onset of colds and flus will also benefit from this therapy. Additionally, clinical improvement has been documented after administration of IV nutrients in people who suffer from the following health conditions:
Migraine and tension headache
Fatigue (including chronic fatigue syndrome and adrenal fatigue)
Acute muscle spasm
Muscle recovery from endurance
Upper respiratory tract infections
Seasonal allergic rhinitis
Depression, anxiety and the effects of acute and chronic stress
Poor memory and concentration
How often is a Myer’s Cocktail given? The frequency of treatments depends on the individual patient and what health concern is being treated. For acute health concerns, such as muscle spasms, sinusitis, or upper respiratory infections, only one to two treatments may be required. In anticipation of a high stress event (wedding, final exams, long hours at work), or in preparation for an athletic event such as a marathon or fitness competition, a Myer’s Cocktail may be given weekly for a period of three to five weeks or more. Frequency is tapered down when symptom improvement is noted. For ongoing chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic urticaria, or mood disorders frequency is assessed on an individual basis.
Are there any side effects? The most common side effect of a Myer’s Cocktail is the sensation of heat. This effect is caused by Magnesium, which is a potent vasodilator. Vasodilation can cause your blood pressure to lower, which can lead to light-headedness and syncope (fainting). During the therapy, Dr. Stobbs will watch for signs of heat, and low blood pressure, and adjust the infusion accordingly. These side effects are easily avoided with slower administration of the therapy. Other side effects may include redness or irritation at the site of injection, which resolves shortly after the treatment.
This is an easy to make salad, perfect for summer. It is full of nutrient dense vegetables, and can be enjoyed by meat or fish eaters, vegetarians and vegans alike. It is gluten free and dairy free. I always make a big batch as it keeps for a week in the fridge. Your family will love it!
Makes 5 servings as a complete meal
Ingredients: - 1 1/2 cup of cooked and drained chickpeas - 1 bunch of asparagus - 1 red pepper cubed - 1 orange pepper cubed - 2 cup of white mushrooms sliced - 1 bunch of cilantro chopped - Olive oil - Fig Balsamic vinegar (or regular balsamic vinegar) - Sea salt - Choice of the following depending on your preferences: 2 chicken breast, or 6 oz of salmon, or 8 oz of tempeh, cut to bite size.
Directions: Steam the asparagus until tender, then cut into bite size. Sauté the mushrooms, asparagus, and the meat, fish or tempeh, until tender with 2 tbsp of olive oil and 2 tbsp of fig balsamic vinegar. In a salad bowl, toss the red & orange pepper, the chickpeas, the cilantro, a dash of sea salt, and 1 tbsp each of olive oil & fig balsamic vinegar. Add the sautéed mixture and toss again. Voila!
I love Quinoa and what can be done with it. You can have it for breakfast with almond milk, walnuts and a dash of maple syrup or cinnamon (great on a cold winter morning), or for lunch as a salad. This recipe is easy, and I usually make a big batch on Sunday evening, so my husband and I can take it to work a couple of times a week. For the olive oil, I use our local supplier Tri-Cities tasters because their products are amazing, but if you don't live around Port Moody, then shop locally in your area for an infused chipotle oil.
Quinoa: 1 1/4 cup dried Asparagus: 1 bunch diced Mushrooms: 2 cups sliced Red pepper: 1 diced Green pepper: 1 of diced Wild Salmon: 6 oz
Directions: - Cook the quinoa in 2 1/2 cups of boiling water (always rinse before cooking), until the water is gone (about 15 minutes). - Bake the salmon for 15 minutes at 425 degree. Then flake it into pieces. - Sauté the asparagus, mushrooms and peppers with 2 tbsp of chipotle olive oil until tender, add the chill powder and cook for 2 more minutes.
Once everything is cooked, baked and sautéed, mix it all together, add the sea salt and 2 tbsp of chipotle olive oil. Voila! Serve warm and enjoy!
I assume you know what a nutritious diet consist of, so I won't talk about healthy nutrition. We are all aware of what's good and what's bad for us in terms of food (at least, I hope so). All we need is to be prepared.
Here are 3 tips to help you be prepared:
1- Meal Planning: this is the hardest one for people, but it pays off tremendously in the end. My husband and I spend our Sunday evenings cooking for the week (okay I cook, he keeps me company). We drink a glass of wine and have great conversations, our bonding time if you will. For about 2 hours, I cook our weekly meals. I make 3 to 4 different dishes (see below for ideas) and put them in containers. I hard boil eggs. I cook meat and fish which can be paired with a salad as a quick meal. We both bring our food with us to work. We eat real, nutritious food, and also save money!
2- Keep snacks handy: if you're hungry and you're away from home, the easiest thing to do is stop somewhere and grab food. Unfortunately, there aren't many healthy options around. Keep water with you at all times; have nuts or seeds handy (they make a quick, healthy and fulfilling snack, and don't need a fridge); and make your own trail mix, ensuring you keep a bag in your car or purse.
3- Eating out: you need to be mentally prepared for this one. There are healthy choices at most restaurants and coffee places. Not perfect choices, but at least options. Order foods that are wholesome, such as grilled and sautéed meat or fish, with vegetables, and with the least amount of sauce. No bread, no dessert, but enjoy a glass of wine if you wish. Remember, you're there to enjoy the people you're with. At the coffee shop, have a tea, coffee or any natural beverage, no food unless you brought some nuts to munch on. At the convenience store, fresh fruits and unsealed nuts or seeds are probably your only healthy options.
Here are some healthy menu planning ideas:
2 Brown Rice Cakes with almond butter, 1 apple & Green tea (this one is for people who just need a light start to their day);
1 Cup of cooked quinoa, with 1/4 cup of almond milk, chopped walnut, cinnamon & chia seeds (this is for people who have tendency to feel cold easily);
Smoothie with one avocado, an apple, 1 juice of a lemon, kale, spinach and celery with ground flax seeds (this is for people who have tendency to feel warm often);
1 omelete made of 2 eggs & 2 egg whites, chopped mushrooms & grilled asparagus, sea salt and pepper & green tea (for those who like some savory food upon waking).
Achieving balance in life is not always easy but it should be what we all thrive for. We all know what can impact our health, and what to avoid (i.e.: drugs, smoking, stress...), in order to stay grounded. Let's focus on what we can DO to prevent chronic illnesses and live a long happy life. Defining health: - Eating a wholesome non processed diet that suits you need. - Go play outside, get some fresh air daily no matter what the weather is like. - Exercise: whatever you enjoy, hiking, swimming, playing sports, yoga, tai chi. - Get some sleep, go to bed every night at the same time, practice deep breathing and let your body relax. - Having family and/or friends support is crucial to your wellbeing. - Do you have a purpose, a goal, a vision? Work on it daily. - Listen to your favorite music, dance, sing and fill your soul with harmony. - What are you passionate about? what makes you happy? what makes feel alive? - Use natural therapies for preventive measures: get massages, acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments regularly, talk to a Naturopathic doctor, use infrared saunas, talk to a counsellor...
Our fantastic team of practitioners contribute to our blog articles. Together we aim to restore balance within the body, educate each patient and guide them on their journey to optimum health. Our clinic offers natural health for the entire family, from babies to older adults and everyone in between.
Disclaimer Healing Cedar Wellness.com Terms And Conditions Of Use
All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owners of this site will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owners will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.This terms and conditions is subject to change at anytime with or without notice.