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19/Dec/2023

Hello, fellow health enthusiasts! Today, let’s hit a high note and delve into something that combines our love for rhythm and wellness – Music Therapy.

Now, you might be thinking, “Music Therapy? Is that just listening to Mozart while sipping chamomile tea?” Well, not quite! The American Music Therapy Association defines it as “the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional.” In simpler words, it’s using music strategically to improve your health and well-being.

Before you start frantically searching for your old recorder or tambourine, let’s tune into some of the incredible ways music therapy can strike a chord with your mental health.

1. Stress Relief: Researchers at Stanford University found that rhythmic music has a profound effect on brain function, acting like a natural stress-buster. So, the next time you’re pulling your hair out over your boss’s impossible deadline, maybe try drumming on your desk. Just tell your annoyed colleagues it’s for science!

2. Improved Mood: A study from the Journal of Positive Psychology suggests that people who actively engage with music through dancing or attending concerts report higher levels of subjective well-being. If you’ve ever belted out your favorite song in the shower or busted a move at a concert, you’ll know exactly what they’re talking about!

3. Better Sleep: Struggling with insomnia? A review of 10 different studies found that listening to relaxing classical music before bed significantly improves sleep quality. So, Beethoven might just be the sleep guru you’ve been looking for.

4. Enhanced Focus: A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience discovered that background music helps people focus on tasks, especially those that require constant attention. So, if you’re finding it hard to concentrate on this blog (I’ll try not to take it personally), maybe put on some Bach.

Working with a music therapist

Music therapy treatment sessions can be an enlightening and transformative experience. Under the guidance of a certified music therapist, these sessions generally begin with an initial assessment to understand the client’s needs and establish therapeutic goals. Following this, the therapist uses various music-based activities, which may include listening to music, creating music using instruments, singing, or moving to music.

The cost of music therapy can vary greatly depending on the therapist, location, and duration of the session, but generally, it ranges from $70 to $120 per session. Some health insurance providers may cover part or all of the cost, so it’s worth checking with your provider.

The course of music therapy is highly individualized and depends on the client’s specific needs. However, most people typically begin to see the benefits after 6 to 12 weekly sessions. It’s important to remember that the journey of healing and growth is different for everyone, and some may require more sessions to experience significant improvements.

Music therapy is a versatile therapeutic tool that can be used to treat a wide range of conditions, including depression, anxiety, stress, addiction, and even physical ailments like chronic pain. By providing an outlet for self-expression and a means to explore and regulate emotions, music therapy can enhance relaxation, promote emotional well-being, and facilitate personal growth.

Overall, music therapy is not just about the music—it’s about using music as a channel to open doors, heal wounds, and create connections. It’s a symphony where each note, each pause, and each crescendo is a step toward wellness.

Looking for a music therapist? Here is a link to the Ontario Association of Music Therapists

Incorporating music into daily living

Now, you might be thinking, “This all sounds great, but how do I incorporate this into my daily routine?” Well, here’s the beauty of music therapy – it can fit into every nook and cranny of your day. Listen to uplifting tunes while brushing your teeth, hum a calming melody during your commute, or even conduct a mini symphony while waiting for your coffee to brew!

The science is clear: music therapy hits all the right notes when it comes to boosting mental health. It’s like having your own personal health DJ, spinning tracks to help you handle stress, improve your mood, get better sleep, and enhance focus. So, why not give it a try? After all, in the wise words of Friedrich Nietzsche, “Without music, life would be a mistake.”

Alright, health-conscious maestros, it’s time to wrap up this symphony. Stay tuned for more exciting health revelations, and remember, always keep your mind sharp and your playlists sharper!

Click Here for more articles by Dr. Shawn Meirovici N.D.

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11/Dec/2023

When it comes to taking care of our health, there are many factors to consider, including diet, exercise, and stress management. One often overlooked aspect is heart rate variability, which is a measure of the variation in time between each heartbeat. While it may sound complicated, understanding heart rate variability is essential for improving your overall health and well-being. In this blog post, we will explore what heart rate variability is, how it affects our bodies, and what you can do to improve it.

What is Heart Rate Variability?

Heart rate variability refers to the changes in time duration between successive heartbeats. It is an important indicator of the functioning of the autonomic nervous system that controls many of our body’s automatic functions, including heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing. To measure heart rate variability, it is necessary to use specialized technology, such as electrocardiogram (ECG) or photoplethysmography (PPG) devices.

There are several popular wearable devices in the market that can measure heart rate variability (HRV). The Whoop Strap and Apple Watch are among the most recognized ones, with the former being lauded for their high accuracy in measuring heart rate and HRV. Garmin devices, particularly the Fenix 7 & Epix models, also offer this feature, as does the Oura Ring. Fitbit’s Charge model is another notable mention. Polar H10 is known as the most accurate heart rate sensor in Polar’s history, and other devices like Suunto Smart Belt, Garmin HRM-Pro, 4iiii VIIIIVA, Zephyr HxM Smart HR Monitor, and COOSPO H6 also offer HRV monitoring capabilities. These devices not only provide critical health metrics but also help manage health trends.

How Does Heart Rate Variability Affect Our Bodies?

Research has shown that heart rate variability is closely related to our health and well-being. A high heart rate variability indicates a healthy balance between the sympathetic nervous system (which activates the “fight or flight” response) and the parasympathetic nervous system (which activates the “rest and digest” response). On the other hand, a low heart rate variability is associated with stress, anxiety, and other health problems. Furthermore, low heart rate variability can also be a risk factor for several serious medical conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and depression.

How to Improve Heart Rate Variability?

Improving your heart rate variability requires a combination of lifestyle changes and medical interventions. Here are some strategies you can try:

  1. Mind-body exercises: Activities such as meditation, deep breathing, yoga, and tai chi can help reduce stress and promote relaxation, which in turn can improve heart rate variability.
  2. Exercise regularly: Exercise has numerous benefits for our health, including improving heart rate variability. Aim to engage in regular physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day.
  3. Get Enough Sleep: Sleep is essential for our physical and mental well-being. Make sure to prioritize getting enough quality sleep to ensure better heart rate variability. For more Naturopathic solutions for better sleep click HERE
  4. A healthy diet: Eating a balanced diet rich in whole foods and low in processed sugar and saturated fats can help promote healthy heart rate variability. For more articles on healthy lifestyle interventions click HERE
  5. Medical intervention: In some cases, medical interventions may be required to improve heart rate variability. These might include medications, such as beta-blockers, or treating any underlying conditions that might be contributing to low heart rate variability.

Conclusion:

Heart rate variability is a crucial aspect of our overall health and well-being, which can be improved through lifestyle changes and medical interventions. By taking steps to reduce stress, stay active, get enough sleep, and eat a healthy and balanced diet, you can help promote a healthy heart rate variability. Additionally, if you suspect that you have an underlying medical condition, consult with your doctor to develop a personalized treatment plan. Remember, making small but consistent changes to your lifestyle can go a long way in improving your heart rate variability and overall health.

Lear more about HRV HERE

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04/Dec/2023

Have you ever seen those circular bruises on the back of athletes’ shoulders and wondered how they got there? Chances are, they’re the result of a practice known as cupping. Cupping therapy is an age-old form of alternative medicine, originating from ancient Chinese and Egyptian cultures. The practice involves creating suction on the skin using cups, which pulls the skin upwards and increases blood flow to the area. This is believed to help mobilize blood flow, promoting healing and relieving muscle tension.

There are various types of cupping therapy, each with its unique benefits and applications. In this article, we’ll delve into three main types: flame cupping, vacuum cupping, and sliding cupping. We’ll explore their characteristics, benefits, scientific research backing their effectiveness, and the potential risks involved.

Flame Cupping

Flame cupping, also known as fire cupping, is the traditional method of cupping therapy. It involves soaking a cotton ball in alcohol, setting it alight, and then placing it inside a glass cup. The fire consumes the oxygen inside the cup, creating a vacuum as it cools, which causes the cup to stick to the skin and draw it upwards.

Research suggests that flame cupping can assist in pain management, inflammation reduction, and promote relaxation. A study published in PLoS ONE found that patients with chronic neck pain reported significant pain relief after undergoing flame cupping therapy.

However, there are risks associated with flame cupping, including burns, skin infection, and temporary skin discolouration. Therefore, it’s crucial to have this procedure performed by a trained professional.

Naturopathic Pain Management Cupping

Vacuum Cupping

Vacuum cupping, also called mechanical or suction cupping, uses a hand-held pump to create the suction effect instead of heat. This method offers more control over the amount of suction and will avoid the potential to cause burns.

Research indicates that vacuum cupping can be beneficial for conditions like fibromyalgia and chronic back pain. A systematic review in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that vacuum cupping significantly reduced pain in people with fibromyalgia compared to no treatment.

While vacuum cupping is generally safer than flame cupping, potential side effects include bruising, discomfort during the procedure, and minor skin irritation.

Slide Cupping

Slide cupping, or moving cupping, involves applying oil to the skin, creating suction in the cup, and then sliding the cup around the affected area. This technique is often used for treating large muscle groups and is particularly popular among athletes for recovery.

A study in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine reported that slide cupping could improve range of motion and decrease perceived muscle soreness in athletes.

Slide cupping shares similar risks with the other types, including possible skin irritation and discolouration.

How it works

The primary goal of cupping therapy is to enhance circulation, help relieve pain, remove “heat,” and pull out the toxins that linger in your body’s tissues. It’s believed that the suction from the cups lifts the skin and underlying tissues, leading to increased blood and lymph flow. This fresh influx of blood nourishes and repairs the targeted area, promoting healing and relaxation.

From a scientific perspective, cupping therapy may improve blood flow, reduce inflammation, and activate the immune system. The vacuum created by the cup stimulates the nervous system, which can increase blood circulation and reduce pain.

Conditions

Several studies suggest that cupping therapy may be beneficial for a variety of health conditions:

  1. Chronic Pain: A systematic review of 135 studies found evidence that cupping therapy can effectively reduce chronic neck and lower back pain.
  2. Cardiovascular Diseases: Some researchers suggest that cupping could help manage cardiovascular diseases by improving blood flow. However, more research is needed in this area.
  3. Respiratory Diseases: Cupping is traditionally used in the treatment of respiratory diseases like the common cold, pneumonia, and bronchitis. Scientific evidence supporting this use is limited but growing.
  4. Skin Diseases: Anecdotal evidence suggests that cupping may help with acne, herpes zoster, and other skin diseases. More rigorous studies are needed to confirm these effects.

It’s worth noting that cupping has been associated with some risks, particularly when done without proper training or hygiene. The most common side effects include bruising, skin irritation, and mild discomfort. More serious complications, such as infections or bleeding, are relatively rare but can occur, particularly with wet cupping. Additionally, cupping is not recommended for everyone, particularly pregnant women, people with bleeding disorders, or people taking blood thinners.

Check out more Naturopathic solutions to chronic pain Here

Conclusion

Cupping is an ancient therapy that has been used for centuries to treat a variety of conditions, but it remains a relatively mysterious and controversial practice in the West. While cupping has been associated with some potential benefits, including pain relief, more research is needed to fully understand its mechanisms and effectiveness. Additionally, cupping does carry some risks, particularly when done without proper training or hygiene. If you’re considering cupping as a therapy, it’s important to do your research and work with a qualified practitioner to ensure safety and effectiveness.

For more information on Cupping Click Here

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21/Nov/2023

As we age, our bodies undergo several changes that are influenced by various factors like diet, exercise, stress, and other underlying conditions. One such condition that requires continuous monitoring is blood pressure. High blood pressure or hypertension is a common problem among adults across the globe, and it can lead to several health complications that can be fatal if left untreated. That’s why it’s important to keep a close eye on your blood pressure readings. But how often should you check your blood pressure? Let’s find out.

Age Matters

Your age plays a crucial role in determining how often you should check your blood pressure. According to the American Heart Association, adults above 40 with a history of high blood pressure or other underlying health conditions like diabetes should check their blood pressure readings at least once every year. However, if you’re above 65, you should check your blood pressure every six months to a year. Monitoring blood pressure levels regularly can help you identify and manage any changes that could lead to severe health complications.

For more articles on healthy lifestyle Click Here

Your Health Condition

Apart from age, your overall health also determines how often you should check your blood pressure. If you have a history of high blood pressure or any underlying health conditions like diabetes, kidney disease, or heart disease, it’s important to monitor your blood pressure readings more frequently. You should discuss with your doctor about a monitoring schedule that’s tailored to your health needs and risks. Personally I like to recommend that patients check their blood pressure in the morning, afternoon and evening everyday for 1 week. They then take the average for all three times of day. This gives a very accurate sense of where your blood pressure is at.

Lifestyle Habits

Your lifestyle habits also play a crucial role in regulating your blood pressure. If you’re someone who’s prone to stress, consumes a high salt diet, or indulges in alcohol frequently, you may need to monitor your blood pressure readings more often. Similarly, if you have a sedentary lifestyle with little or no physical activity, you should check your blood pressure more frequently as well. In such cases, your doctor may advise you to monitor your blood pressure levels every 3-6 months.

Medications

If you’re taking blood pressure medication to manage hypertension, your doctor may advise you to check your blood pressure levels more frequently. Generally, doctors recommend monitoring blood pressure 30 minutes before taking your medication to determine its effectiveness. Afterward, you may need to take your blood pressure levels every few days or weeks, depending on your health condition.

Personal Preference

Lastly, your personal preference also plays a crucial role in determining how often you should check your blood pressure. If you’re someone who’s prone to anxiety or panic attacks, monitoring your blood pressure too frequently may cause more harm than good. In such cases, it’s important to discuss your monitoring schedule with your doctor and settle on a schedule that works best for you.

Conclusion:

Monitoring your blood pressure levels is an essential step in keeping hypertension and other health complications at bay. However, the frequency of monitoring your blood pressure levels depends on various factors like age, health condition, lifestyle habits, and personal preference. Speak to your doctor to come up with a monitoring schedule that’s tailored to your health needs and risks. Remember, high blood pressure is a silent killer, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

For more on Blood Pressure Monitoring Click Here

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29/Aug/2023

In this modern and fast-paced world, we often forget to stop and appreciate nature. We are always in a rush to complete our to-do lists, and we hardly have time to relax and enjoy the beauty around us. But what if we told you that taking a simple walk in the woods could make a significant impact on your mental and physical health? Yes, you read that right. It’s called “forest bathing,” and it’s a Japanese practice that involves immersing oneself in nature and engaging with all the senses. So, let’s dive into the world of forest bathing and learn why science says it’s good for you.

Shinrin-yoku

The idea of forest bathing (“Shinrin-yoku” in Japanese) began in the 1980s and focuses on mindfulness-awareness exercises that use trees and other natural elements to help people relax and recharge. According to research, trees and plants produce an organic compound called phytoncides that help protect them from insects, diseases, and other harmful organisms. When we breathe in these compounds, they enter our bodies, which could enhance our immune system, reduce stress, and improve our overall well-being.

Health Benefits

Apart from scientific benefits, forest bathing has many other advantages. Studies have shown that spending time in nature can lower blood pressure, reduce depression, improve sleep quality and cognitive function, and boost immune response. Moreover, sensory activities like meditating and practicing yoga in the woods, smelling the aroma of trees, listening to the sound of birds, and seeing the sunset through the branches, increase feelings of happiness, calmness, and contentment.

Doing it right

Forest bathing doesn’t have to be an expensive getaway or require any special equipment. It’s as simple as going for a walk in the park or a local trail. However, to fully experience the benefits of forest bathing, it’s best to unplug and be present in the moment. Leave your phone or camera behind, wear comfortable clothing, and let yourself wander aimlessly. Be curious and notice the shapes, textures, colors, and sounds around you. Touch the bark of a tree, smell the wildflowers, and listen to your inner voice.

If you’re thinking of trying forest bathing, it’s essential to follow some guidelines. Firstly, choose a safe and accessible place, preferably without many visitors. Ensure you have enough water and snacks if needed. Wear sunscreen and insect repellent, especially in the summer season. And lastly, be respectful of nature and avoid littering.

Don’t know where to start? Worried about getting lost? AllTrails is a great tool that will allow you to explore hiking trails all around the world with maps, guides, and tracking.

In conclusion, forest bathing is a natural way to improve your overall wellness. It offers various health benefits while allowing you to reconnect with nature and find inner peace. It’s a simple yet effective practice that can modify our daily routine. So, next time you have a stressful day or has been glued on your screen for hours, take a break, and go forest bathing. Challenge yourself to embrace the beauty of nature and see how it positively impacts your life physically and mentally.

Looking for something to read while out in the wilderness? Check my other blog articles especially the one on Training for a Clear Mind.

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08/Aug/2023

If you enjoy checking out the latest health craze on social media then you may have heard about the numerous benefits of borax. Borax, which is also known as sodium borate, is a white mineral compound that has been used for a variety of purposes for many years.

The “Borax Train”

The “borax train” is a recent trend that has emerged on TikTok, where users are claiming that consuming borax can help treat various health issues such as joint pain and swelling in the eyes and mouth. However, this trend is highly alarming and dangerous as borax is a cleaning product with no proven health benefits.

In fact, borax can be toxic and even lethal when ingested in high amounts. It can cause gastrointestinal issues, nausea, and other severe health problems. Despite these risks, some TikTok influencers are encouraging their followers to get on the ‘Borax Train’.

This blog will provide you with 5 reasons why you should not consume borax, as well as 5 perfectly safe uses for borax that you can start using today.

1. Borax is toxic:

Borax is a toxic substance that can cause serious health problems when ingested. Some of the symptoms of borax poisoning include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and headaches. It can also cause reproductive issues, damage to the brain and kidney, and even death in extreme cases. The dangers of borax only increase when it is consumed in large quantities or over a long period of time.

2. Borax is not a food:

Despite some claims that borax is a natural and safe food additive, it is not intended for human consumption. While it may have some uses in cosmetic and household products, it is not recognized as a food or supplement by any health organizations.

3. Borax can be harmful to children:

Children are especially vulnerable to the toxic effects of borax because of their smaller size and developing bodies. Allowing children to come into contact with borax can put them at risk for serious medical problems.

4. Borax can be dangerous when handling:

Borax is also a skin and eye irritant that can cause redness, swelling, and even chemical burns when it comes into contact with the skin or eyes. It is important to always handle it with care and avoid inhaling it or getting it in your eyes or mouth.

5. Health risks during pregnancy:

Borax can be harmful to reproductive health, especially during pregnancy. It can harm the fetus and lead to developmental problems. Women who are pregnant or trying to conceive should avoid the use of borax.

Safe Uses for Borax

Despite the potential dangers of borax, there are still many great uses for this compound. Here are five safe and effective ways to use borax in your home and personal care routine:

1. All-purpose cleaner:

Borax can be used as a natural cleaning agent to clean counters, floors, and surfaces in your home. Simply mix borax with warm water, vinegar, and lemon juice to create an all-purpose cleaning solution that is both safe and effective.

2. Laundry booster:

Adding a tablespoon of borax to your laundry cycle can help eliminate tough stains and odors, leaving your clothes fresh and clean.

3. Silver cleaner:

Borax can be used as a silver cleaner by mixing it with water and vinegar to create a paste. It can remove tarnish and give back the shine to your silverware.

4. Pest control:

Borax can be used to kill ants, cockroaches, and other household pests. Simply sprinkle it in areas where pests are known to congregate.

5. Carpet cleaner:

Sprinkle borax on your carpet before vacuuming to help eliminate odors and freshen up your carpet. Borax may have some great uses when handled properly, but it is important to remember that it is not a safe substance to consume. Always be careful when handling borax and be sure to keep it out of the reach of children. If you are looking for safe and natural alternatives to borax, there are plenty of options available that can help you achieve the same great results without putting your health at risk.


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01/Aug/2023

As we age, our bodies start to show signs of wear and tear. Our muscles weaken, our bones become brittle, and our metabolism slows down. However, there’s no need to accept these changes as inevitable. With the right strategies, you can become a bionic boomer – someone who defies the aging process and stays active, healthy and energetic well into your later years. In this article, we’ll explore the naturopathic exercise, diet and supplement strategies that can help you achieve this goal.

Exercise:

Exercise is crucial to maintaining a healthy body and mind, and it’s never too late to start. In fact, studies have shown that regular exercise can help to prevent and manage a wide range of age-related conditions, from heart disease and diabetes to arthritis and depression.

When it comes to naturopathic exercise, a combination of low-impact cardiovascular workouts, strength training and flexibility exercises is ideal. Some good examples include brisk walking, swimming, yoga and resistance band workouts. These forms of exercise are gentle on the joints, promote muscle strength and flexibility and improve circulation and cardiovascular health. Here’s an example of an approachable exercise routine to kickstart your bionic boomer body:

Workout Plan for the bionic boomer

  1. Warm-Up:
      • March in Place: 5 minutes
      • Gentle Arm Circles: 10 circles forward and backward
  2. Strength Training (2 times per week):
      • Seated Leg Extensions: 2 sets of 10 reps each leg
      • Chair Squats: 2 sets of 10 reps
      • Wall Push-Ups: 2 sets of 10 reps
      • Bicep Curls (using light weights): 2 sets of 10 reps
      • Overhead Press (using light weights): 2 sets of 10 reps
  3. Flexibility Exercises (3-4 times per week):
      • Seated Hamstring Stretch: Hold for 20-30 seconds each leg
      • Standing Quadriceps Stretch: Hold for 20-30 seconds each leg
      • Overhead Tricep Stretch: Hold for 20-30 seconds each arm
      • Chest Stretch: Hold for 20-30 seconds
  4. Cardiovascular Exercise (150 minutes per week, as recommended by the American Heart Association1):
      • Walking, swimming, cycling, or any other low-impact cardio activity that can be done safely and comfortably. Aim to reach the target heart rate.
  5. Balance and Stability (daily):
      • Heel-to-Toe Walk: 2 sets of 10 steps
      • Single-Leg Stands: Hold for 10 seconds each leg

Diet:

What you eat is just as important as how active you are when it comes to staying healthy and energetic in your later years. A balanced, whole-foods-based diet that’s rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats can help to reduce inflammation, boost cognitive function and promote heart and brain health.

Naturopathic principles recommend avoiding processed foods, refined sugars and artificial additives, and instead focusing on whole foods that are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Some good options include leafy greens, nuts and seeds, wild-caught fish, and high-quality grass-fed meats. Here’s an example of a dietary program for the aspiring bioic boomer:

Diet Composition for the bionic boomer:

  1. Proteins: They are essential for muscle repair and growth. Include lean meats like chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, and plant-based proteins like lentils, chickpeas, and tofu in your diet.
  2. Healthy Carbohydrates: Whole grains, fruits, and vegetables should be your primary source of carbohydrates. They provide energy and are rich in fiber, which aids digestion.
  3. Fats: Focus on healthy fats such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. They help with the absorption of vitamins and are essential for brain health.
  4. Calcium and Vitamin D: These nutrients are crucial for bone health. Dairy products, fortified plant milks, leafy green vegetables, and fatty fish are good sources.
  5. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These can help support joint health. Sources include fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts.

Meal Suggestions for the bionic boomer:

  1. Breakfast: Greek yogurt with mixed berries and a sprinkle of chia seeds.
  2. Mid-Morning Snack: A handful of almonds and an apple.
  3. Lunch: Grilled chicken salad with plenty of colorful veggies, dressed with olive oil and lemon juice.
  4. Afternoon Snack: Carrot and cucumber sticks with hummus.
  5. Dinner: Baked salmon with quinoa and steamed broccoli.
  6. Evening Snack: A small bowl of mixed fruit.

Eating Schedule: Aim for three balanced meals and two to three small snacks per day to keep your metabolism active and prevent overeating at meal times.

Coping with Cravings and Cheat Meals: It’s natural to have cravings. Instead of fighting them, find healthier alternatives that satisfy your cravings. For instance, if you’re craving something sweet, try having a piece of dark chocolate or a fruit instead of a sugar-laden dessert. Allow yourself a cheat meal once a week to enjoy your favorite foods in moderation.

Long-Term Maintenance and Lifestyle Changes:

  1. Regular Exercise: Incorporate both strength training and cardiovascular activities into your routine.
  2. Hydration: Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  3. Sleep: Ensure you get 7-9 hours of quality sleep every night.

Remember, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before making major changes to your diet, especially if you have any pre-existing conditions.

Supplements:

While a healthy diet is the foundation of good health, sometimes we need an extra boost in the form of supplements. A naturopathic practitioner can help you identify the supplements that are right for your specific needs, depending on factors such as your age, gender, medical history, and lifestyle.

Some popular naturopathic supplements for promoting vitality and wellness in later years include omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and antioxidants like CoQ10 and resveratrol. These supplements can help to reduce inflammation, improve cognitive function, and support brain and heart health.

Mind-body Techniques:

In addition to exercise, diet and supplements, mind-body techniques can also play an essential role in promoting wellness and vitality in later years. Practices like meditation, deep breathing, and tai chi can help to reduce stress, improve sleep, and promote mental clarity.

Conclusion:

Aging is a natural part of life, but it doesn’t have to mean a decline in health and wellbeing. With the right naturopathic strategies, you can unleash your inner bionic boomer and stay active, healthy and energetic well into your later years. By embracing a balanced, whole-foods-based diet, regular exercise, targeted supplements and mind-body practices, you’ll be able to reduce inflammation, improve cognitive function, prevent illness and feel youthful for years to come. So why wait? Start your bionic boomer journey today!


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25/Mar/2023

As parents, we all want the best for our children, and that includes making sure they’re getting the nutrition they need to grow up healthy and strong. Proper nutrition is crucial to a child’s physical and cognitive development, and it can be challenging to navigate the world of childhood nutrition. But don’t worry; I’ve got you covered. In this brief guide, I will discuss the essential nutritional requirements for kids.

1. Carbohydrates

One of the most critical components of a child’s diet is carbohydrates. They give kids energy, so it’s essential to choose the right carbs – complex carbohydrates are the way to go. These are found in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and they provide kids with long-lasting energy throughout the day. Avoid processed or refined carbohydrates, like white bread or sugary cereals, as these can cause an energy crash later in the day.
The amount of carbohydrates that kids need for optimal health depends on their age, gender, and physical activity level. However, as a general guideline, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children between the ages of 4 and 18 should get 45-65% of their daily calories from carbohydrates. For most children, this translates to about 130-200 grams of carbohydrates per day. Once again it is important to note that not all carbohydrates are created equal, and kids should focus on getting carbohydrates from nutritious sources such as: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes rather than from processed or sugary foods.

2. Protein

Growing children need plenty of protein, as it is essential for building and repairing tissues. Protein can be found in a variety of foods, such as meats, beans, eggs, and dairy products. You should aim to include a source of protein in each meal, but be mindful of focusing on lean sources, like skinless chicken, fish, legumes and soy to keep saturated fats to a minimum.
The amount of protein that kids need for optimal health varies depending on their age, gender, and physical activity level. However, as a general guideline, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children between the ages of 4 and 13 should get about 0.95 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, while children between the ages of 14 and 18 should get about 0.85 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.
Good sources of protein for kids include lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, beans, legumes, and soy products. It’s important to encourage kids to eat a variety of protein-rich foods to ensure that they are getting all of the essential amino acids that their bodies need for growth and development. In general, it’s best to focus on getting protein from whole foods rather than from powders or supplements.

3. Fats

It’s important to include some healthy fats in a child’s diet, as they provide essential fatty acids that the body needs for growth and development. Some good sources of healthy fats include nuts, seeds, oily fish, and avocados. However, it’s essential to limit saturated fats, found in things like cheese and fried foods, as they can increase the risk of heart disease later in life.
The amount of fat that kids need for optimal health also depends on their age, gender, and physical activity level. However, as a general guideline, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children between the ages of 1 and 3 years old should get about 30-40% of their daily calories from fat. Children between the ages of 4 and 18 years old should get about 25-35% of their daily calories from fat.
It’s important to note that not all fats are created equal, and kids should focus on getting their fats from healthy sources such as: nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocado, fatty fish, and dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt. These foods are rich in essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals that are important for growth and development. Trans fats and saturated fats, which are found in fried foods, bakery products, and high-fat meats, should be limited as much as possible as they increase the risk of heart disease and other chronic health conditions.
It’s important to also remember that fat provides more calories per gram than carbohydrates or protein, so portion control is key. Encouraging kids to eat a balanced and varied diet that incorporates healthy sources of fat is important for their overall health and well-being.

4. Vitamins and Minerals

Kids need plenty of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy and strong, and a varied diet should provide them with most of what they need. Encourage your child to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, as these are excellent sources of essential vitamins and minerals. It’s also a good idea to include a daily multivitamin specifically formulated for children, which can help fill in any nutritional gaps in their diet.

Common vitamin and mineral deficiencies in kids:

  1. Vitamin D: Vitamin D is essential for strong bones and teeth, as well as for overall health. Kids who get limited exposure to sunlight or who have a diet low in vitamin D-rich foods such as fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified milk may be at risk for vitamin D deficiency.
  2. Iron: Iron is critical for the production of red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body. Kids who don’t get enough iron in their diet may be at risk for anemia, which can cause fatigue, weakness, and other health problems. Good sources of iron include lean meats, beans, whole grains, and fortified breakfast cereals.
  3. Calcium: Calcium is essential for building strong bones and teeth as well as for muscle function and nerve transmission. Kids who don’t get enough calcium may be at risk for weakened bones and teeth. Good sources of calcium include dairy products, leafy green vegetables, and fortified products such as orange juice and tofu.
  4. Vitamin C: Vitamin C is important for maintaining a healthy immune system and for the absorption of iron from plant-based foods. Kids who don’t get enough vitamin C in their diet may be at risk for a weakened immune system and a higher risk of infections. Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, berries, kiwi, and vegetables such as peppers and broccoli.
  5. Vitamin A: Vitamin A is critical for healthy vision, skin, and immune function. Kids who don’t get enough vitamin A in their diet may be at risk for vision problems, skin issues, and an increased susceptibility to infections. Good sources of vitamin A include carrots, sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens, and fortified foods such as milk and cereal.
  6. Magnesium: Another common nutrient deficiency in kids is magnesium. Magnesium is involved in more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the body and is essential for healthy bone development, muscle function, and heart health. Good sources of magnesium include whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, leafy green vegetables, and fortified foods such as breakfast cereal. Kids who don’t get enough magnesium in their diet may be at risk for weaker bones, cardiovascular issues, and muscle weakness or cramping. While magnesium deficiencies are rare, kids who follow restrictive diets (such as vegan or low-carb diets) or who have certain health conditions (such as type 2 diabetes or gastrointestinal disorders) may be at an increased risk.

5. Hydration

Finally, it’s crucial to ensure that kids are drinking enough water. Children are more likely to become dehydrated than adults because they have a higher surface area to volume ratio, which means they lose more fluids through their skin. Encourage your child to drink water instead of sugary drinks, and make sure they’re getting enough fluids throughout the day, especially during physical activity.
The amount of water that kids need for optimal health depends on their age, sex, size, and activity level.

Recommendations:

  • Infants aged 0-6 months need about 1 liter of water per day, which is primarily obtained through breast milk or formula.
  • Infants aged 6-12 months need about 1.5 liters of water per day, which is primarily obtained through breast milk or formula and may be supplemented with small amounts of water.
  • Children aged 1-3 years need about 1.3 liters of water per day, which can come from water, milk, and other fluids as well as from the water content of foods.
  • Children aged 4-8 years need about 1.7 liters of water per day, which can come from water, milk, and other fluids as well as from the water content of foods.
  • Children aged 9-13 years need about 2.4 liters of water per day for boys and 2.1 liters of water per day for girls, which can come from water, milk, and other fluids as well as from the water content of foods.
  • Adolescents aged 14-18 years need about 3.3 liters of water per day for boys and 2.3 liters of water per day for girls, which can come from water, milk, and other fluids as well as from the water content of foods.
It’s important to note that these recommendations are general guidelines, and individual needs may vary based on factors such as temperature, humidity, and physical activity level. Encouraging kids to drink water and other healthy beverages throughout the day and eat foods with high water content such as fruits and vegetables is important for their overall health and well-being.

Conclusion

Nutrition is a vital component of a child’s health and wellbeing, and as parents, it’s our responsibility to ensure they’re getting the nutrients they need to grow up healthy and strong. The guidelines I’ve discussed here are just a starting point, and it’s always best to consult with a pediatrician, naturopathic pediatrician or registered dietitian to determine the specific nutritional needs of your child. By providing a varied diet that includes complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, healthy fats, and plenty of vitamins and minerals, we can help our children reach their full potential, both physically and mentally. So, go ahead and nourish your child’s body – and mind – with the power of good nutrition!

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04/Mar/2023

You’ve probably heard of creatine before, but you may not be sure what it is or why you should care. Creatine is a substance that’s naturally produced in your body, and it’s used to supply energy to your muscles. It can also be found in foods like red meat and fish. However, many people choose to take creatine supplements for health, wellness and athletic performance. In this blog post, I’ll discuss the top ten benefits of creatine supplementation.

1. Increased Muscle Mass

Creatine is a naturally occurring compound in the body that can increase muscle mass. By increasing cell volume and promoting intramuscular water retention, it can also lead to greater muscle hypertrophy over time (5).
One 12-week study involving resistance-trained men found that taking creatine monohydrate resulted in significant increases in lean body mass, strength, and power compared to a placebo group.
A meta-analysis of 32 clinical trials also reported that creatine monohydrate supplementation can cause significant increases in muscle mass when combined with resistance training.

2. Improved Athletic Performance

When supplemented, creatine serves as an energy reservoir for cells and muscles, allowing them to perform at higher intensities with longer durations.
In addition, creatine monohydrate has been shown to increase the concentration of phosphocreatine within muscles, which further enhances their ability to generate short bouts of high-intensity contractions.
Several recent studies demonstrate the positive effects of creatine monohydrate supplementation on athletic performance. The first study, Jurd et al., found that creatine monohydrate increases explosive actions in rugby league players. Participants received either 0.3 g/kg of creatine monohydrate or placebo daily for 28 days.
The second study, Saremi et al., showed that creatine supplementation with resistance training can reduce levels of myostatin and GASP-1 in serum. Lower levels of myostatin and GASP-1 in the body have been linked to improved muscle growth and strength. Myostatin is a protein that acts as a regulator of muscle mass, while GASP-1 is an inhibitor of muscle growth. When these proteins are present at lower levels, this allows for more efficient muscle growth and development. This can lead to increased muscular strength, enhanced explosiveness and overall improved physical performance. The participants took 5 g/day of creatine monohydrate.
Finally, Volek et al. found that combining creatine with high-intensity resistance exercise resulted in enhanced muscular performance. In this study the participants were given 0.3 g/kg of creatine monohydrate over a 5-day period.
Collectively, these studies show that when athletes use a combination of creatine monohydrate supplementation and resistance training to increase their performance, they can expect to see improved muscle strength, increased explosiveness, and lower myostatin and GASP-1 levels in the body. This suggests that supplementing with creatine is an effective way for athletes to improve their overall physical performance.

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3. Enhanced Brain Function

Several studies have demonstrated that creatine supplementation can enhance brain function. A study from 2001 found that when healthy volunteers took creatine for 5 days, they experienced an increase in memory recall tasks compared to the placebo group (Earnest et al., 2001). Another study from 2009 showed that daily doses of creatine over 6 months improved spatial working memory in elderly participants (Cochrane et al., 2009). Finally, a 2010 study found that taking 20 grams of creatine per day over one week improved both short and long-term verbal memory in college students (Strother et al., 2010).

4. Reduced Risk of Injury

Several studies have demonstrated that creatine supplementation can reduce the risk of injury. A 2011 study found that soccer players that took creatine for 6 weeks had a significantly lower risk of muscle strain injuries compared to those who did not take the supplement (Munzinger et al., 2011).
Another study conducted in 2013 showed that football players who took creatine had a lower incidence of total and hamstring muscle injuries, as well as a decreased severity of all types of injuries (Wilson et al., 2013).
Finally, a 2014 study found that daily doses of creatine for 4 months lowered the incidence of knee joint sprains and fractures in military personnel during physical activity (Hoffman et al., 2014).