The Natural Anxiety Solution for Kids: Exercise!

By Dr. Kathleen Regan, ND

Back-to-school can create a lot of stress and anxiety for kids. Most parents are looking for natural ways to reduce their child’s stress. Exercise has long been linked to improved mood, reduced anxiety and increased self-confidence. Children need at least an hour of physical activity to achieve these benefits.

Feel less stressed
Feel better about themselves
Feel more ready to learn in school
Keep a healthy weight
Build and keep healthy bones, muscles and joints
Sleep better at night

The challenge is fitting exercise into the family schedule OR convincing your child to go! Here are some Toronto-specific suggestions to help you use fitness as a natural family remedy.  […]

Common ‘Myth-Conceptions’ of Naturopathic Medicine

By Dr. Kathleen Regan, ND

A large part of naturopathic medicine is empowering patients to recognize the valuable role they play in their own health by asking the right questions and staying informed. As a naturopathic doctor, I have been asked a lot of questions around what naturopathic medicine is and what it is not. Below are the most common & important ‘myth-conceptions’.

Myth # 1 – “My medical doctor doesn’t ‘believe’ in naturopathic medicine”.

Many patients worry that their doctor does not ‘believe’ in naturopathic medicine. This is an important conversation to have with your doctor– if you don’t ask, you will never know. BUT – most medical doctors and naturopathic doctors will communicate and exchange information to promote the best patient care possible. In fact, more and more, medical doctors and naturopathic doctors work within the same clinics.

If your medical doctor says they do not believe in naturopathic medicine than she or he probably has not read about the profession. Naturopathic doctors who are trained through the 7 accredited North American Schools practice evidence-based medicine with a primary focus on lifestyle counseling, nutrition, herbal medicine, acupuncture and homeopathy. Naturopathic doctors are trained to help you make the ‘health-style’ changes you need to promote wellness or complement conventional treatment. Naturopathic medicine has been found to take the burden off of the health care system and is a great addition to conventional patient care.  […]

By |April 18th, 2017|ND Editorial|0 Comments

3 Simple Steps to Weight Loss

By Dr. Kathleen Regan, ND

1. Choose a weight loss goal that is realistic for you. Bring into mind your ideal weight. Or, use a Body Mass Index calculator to determine your healthy weight. Remember that lasting weight loss occurs at about 1 pound per week. If this seems like it will take too long, plan your weight loss goals in steps. If your healthy weight is 150 and you are currently 200lbs – this could take 50 weeks. So set your first goal at 190 for 10 weeks and when you reach this goal – celebrate! Our best achievements in life do not happen all at once. They are the accumulation of many small victories.

2. Identify the habits that are holding you back BEFORE you choose a weight loss plan. Bad habits are one of the biggest barriers to weight loss. They say it takes 21 days to change a habit. Pick a habit that needs to change and work at it until you can maintain the routine for a month. Yes, this may delay your weight loss plan but it will make you more successful in the long run. ‘Slow and steady wins the race.’

What kind of habits are we talking about?

TIME MANAGEMENT. Eating well means planning well so that you can prepare meals at home or at least plan for healthier options. Taking some time on Saturday or Sunday to grocery shop & cook can set you up for the week. Or in today’s world, we have services like Grocery Gateway that bring the groceries right to you, or Blue Apron that bring you the prepped food for healthy meals. There are also healthy meal delivery services that provide you with healthy, cooked meals. […]

Keep Your Hand Out of the Cookie Jar this Holiday Season

The holidays are often a busy and stressful time. The fast pace can lead to an increase in stress hormones, blood sugar fluctuations, cravings and over-eating. The following are some simple strategies that can help you stay grounded and keep your hand out of the cookie jar.

Schedule Your Self-Care

Creating a self-care plan BEFORE the madness begins can help keep stress hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol in check! Stress hormones affect mood, blood sugar levels, appetite and food cravings – tempting us to overindulge in sweets, treats and alcohol.

Self-care is often something that is prioritized when we have time, but then let go when we need it most. Keep it simple and enjoyable! Examples may include taking time every morning to enjoy a healthy breakfast, a bath at the end of the day, an acupuncture session, a morning walk or going to bed early 1-2 nights per week. Your self-care should keep you in balance and help relieve stress. […]

By |November 29th, 2016|Digestion, ND Editorial, Nutrition|0 Comments

The Immune System Checklist

By Dr. Kathleen Regan, ND

 

Immunity is about harmony between the person and their environment that involves a complex web of interactions including those with other people, culture, food, work, weather…. Everything! One might say that the immune system is about relationships or how the cells of the body relate to the outside world. A person dealing with an immune issue whether it is frequent illness or autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus MUST consider the relationship between their inner world and the outside environment.

The Mind-Body-Immune System Connection

An increasing body of research supports the idea that the mind and nervous system are capable of modulating immune response. The term ‘psychoneuroimmunology’ comes from the growing understanding that our thoughts, moods and emotions affect our neurological and endocrine systems that affect our immune function. The immune system communicates with our neurological and hormonal systems to activate or inhibit immune function. Physical illness and immune system issues can also affect our mental and emotional well being. This relationship goes both ways.  […]

Fitness, Nutrition & the Menstrual Cycle

By Dr. Kathleen Regan, ND

When it comes to fitness and nutrition, women have different needs than men. Fitness-based nutrition programs & training schedules have long assumed that men and women are the same. Modern research has taught us that there are important differences between the sexes and understanding our uniqueness can help maximize female performance.

Female body composition is naturally higher in fat. The upside is that women use fat as their primary energy source. Women use dietary fats more efficiently than men but tend to lose fat less readily. How is that fair?! Estrogen seems to play a large role in this paradox. It has been shown that estrogen enhances fat use during exercise BUT reduces a woman’s ability to burn fat as energy after eating. Therefore, women may be better off to consume food before exercise but avoid food for 90 minutes after exercise to allow for the body to reach the maximum benefits of exercise induced fat burning.

Women’s bodies tend not to burn carbohydrates as fuel until they reach very high levels of exercise intensity (~80-85% max effort). Carbohydrate loading may not be appropriate for the female fitness routine unless she is training at max effort (80-85% VO2max). If a woman is carbohydrate loading during moderate exercise she may not utilize this macronutrient. Worse, these unused carbs are ultimately converted and stored as fat. Therefore, unless a woman is training at a regular high intensity, she will benefit from keeping carbohydrates more moderate or approximately 30% of daily nutrient intake.

The menstrual cycle and hormonal fluctuations women experience throughout the month influence their physical response to training as well as their metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. This mean that women need to vary nutrition and fitness schedules based on where they are in their cycle. Ignoring this important variable can lead to fatigue, delayed onset of muscle soreness, injury and ‘hitting the wall’ with a thud.

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Healthy Weight Loss

By Dr. Angelina Riopel, ND

 

Weight loss is a big business. It is confusing and we have been sold the idea of quick fix, dramatic weight-loss that is often not healthy nor sustainable.   Unfortunately this often leads to yo-yo dieting, dramatic weight-loss then the inevitable weight gain, and do it all over again.   So what is a healthy diet? How does one achieve a healthy weight?

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By |April 27th, 2016|Digestion, ND Editorial, Nutrition|0 Comments

A Holistic Approach to Cellulite

By Dr. Angelina Riopel, ND

 

It is estimated that approximately 90% of females over the age of 35 have been have some degree of cellulite. It does not just affect those that are over-weight, although excess body fat can make the appearance of cellulite worse. Many factors influence the development of cellulite. Female anatomy, hormones, blood and lymphatic circulation, diet and lifestyle factors all contribute to the formation and appearance of cellulite.

Contributing factors to cellulite formation and appearance:

1. Hormonal stimulation of fat cells, primarily by estrogen. Estrogen stimulates fat cell production and growth and fat cells make estrogen – its a vicious cycle. Exposure to environmental toxins and sub-optimal detoxification by the liver can lead to a build up estrogens, which is termed ‘estrogen dominance’.

Environmental exposure of estrogens is significant. ‘Xenoestrogens’ are a sub-category of chemicals called endocrine disruptors, which are known to alter the normal function of our hormones. Sources include plastic – bottled water and any food sold and prepared in plastic should be avoided. Skin care and beauty products, insecticides sprays, and many other products contain endocrine disrupting chemicals. The Environmental Working Group provides a comprehensive database of environmental toxin sources. (www.ewg.org).

Estrogen metabolism happens primarily in the liver. The liver breaks down estrogen, along with many other substances, so they can be eliminated by the body. When the liver is over-burdened or sluggish, estrogens are not efficiently eliminated from the body.

Our primary goals are:

Decrease exposure to environmental toxins
Keep liver function efficient. Consume plenty of green leafy vegetables, bitter greens and herbal bitters. The bitter flavor stimulates the livers production of bile improving digestion and releasing toxins through the bile.
Balance estrogen levels. Consumption of dietary fiber and phytoestrogens, help to keep estrogen levels balanced […]

By |April 6th, 2016|ND Editorial|0 Comments

7 Secrets of Successful Skin Aging

By Dr. Kathleen Regan, ND

 

Glowing skin is often interpreted as a sign of “well-being” and “health” in humans. Many anti-aging strategies target our desires to appear young and healthy. Aging is a complex process with different organs aging at different rates. Yet, it is the skin that shows the first obvious marks of passing time.

Aging skin is a normal process and ‘successul aging’ should focus on healthy and active participation in life. Preventative dermatology looks at delaying aging through a combination of methods. The goal is to achieve healthy, smooth, blemish-free, translucent and resilient skin OR to get the skin “looking better” but not younger per say. This is the realistic goal of anti-aging techniques that people need to understand. The following seven steps will help you to achieve your best skin and delay age-related changes.

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By |April 5th, 2016|ND Editorial, Skin Hair & Nails|0 Comments

Naturopathic Preconception Planning

By Dr. Angelina Riopel, ND

 

Preconception is an important, but often overlooked step, in pregnancy preparation. Naturopathic preconception planning can improve chances of conceiving and help ensure a healthy pregnancy, delivery and baby.

Ideally preconception work should begin one year, to a minimum of three months before desired conception. During this time the menstrual cycle and ovulation will be tracked, helping us understand when ovulation is occurring. Factors influencing the menstrual cycle will be addressed, along with general health and nutrition. A period of detoxification may be necessary for some.

The following is a detailed outline of areas that will be addressed during Preconception Planning: […]

By |March 1st, 2016|Fertility, ND Editorial, Nutrition|1 Comment