Archives for category: Health Tips

This little sweetheart of a snack is right on point with maple syrup season here in Ontario.

You might be experiencing a bit of a sweet craving and looking for a healthy choice, or finding that you need a nutrient dense snack to help you sail through the afternoon.

Enter Maple syrup almonds. Yes, they contain sugar in the form of Maple syrup (and so, sadly not suitable if you are on a candida cleanse diet), but they are also loaded with health fat, protein, fibre, calcium and magnesium.

You can stick with straight up almonds, as in this recipe or you could substitute roughly 1/3 of the almonds with raw pecans or walnuts. Still need more variety in your snack? Mix these with 3-4 squares of 70-80% dark chocolate (I like Zazubean Nudie) and/or dried organic blueberries or cranberries and/or raw or roasted pumpkin/ sunflower seeds.


Maple Syrup Almonds

Preheat oven to 335 degrees F.

Toss 3 cups raw almonds with 1/3 cup real maple syrup.

Add 1 Tbsp melted coconut oil and toss to coat almonds.

Spread coated almonds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (FSC certified/ unbleached and chlorine-free).

Bake until roasted and syrup has thickened, approximately 18-20 minutes (stirring every 5-7 minutes).

Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle to taste with Himalayan pink salt.

Cool completely, and transfer to glass jars. (Jars in the picture are repurposed from Riviera yogurt containers, with matching lids. Jar size is approximately 1/2 cup.)

Store in refrigerator until ready to devour!

IMG_9639.JPGIf you aren’t already enjoying bone broth, now is the perfect time to bring health boosting and incredibly delicious and soothing broth into your life!
Did you know that bone broth supports proper digestion, heals leaky gut -thus improving food sensitivities and auto-immunity, improves connective tissue, reduces joint pain and inflammation (thanks to chondroitin sulphates, chondroitin and collagen supporting nutrients), contains important amino acids such as glycine (supports nervous system, detox, digestive health and wound healing), proline and arginine, contains nutrients important for health bones such as calcium and magnesium, promotes health hair, skin and nails, supports your immune system and inhibits infection (yes, chicken soup for a cold!) and promotes heating throughout your body!
Broth can be made of any type of bones that you like; chicken, turkey, beef, bison and wild game, lamb and fish (including fish heads) – seek bones from organically raised, pastured or grass-fed animals, and include collagen-rich choices such as chicken feet and turkey necks.
You can use leftover bones or get bones from your butcher or a local farmer.
  • Place bones in a pot. (roasting bones is optional, but will improve flavour)
  • Add 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar and enough water to cover bones.
  • Let stand for 20-30 minutes so the vinegar can leach the minerals from the bones/joints.
  • Optional; add 2-3 stalks celery, 2-3 carrots, 2-3 onions and 3-4 bay leaves for enhanced flavour and nutrition.
  • Bring to a boil, **skim the scum from the top and discard.
  • Reduce to a low simmer in the pot (or transfer to a slow cooker) and cook for roughly 18-72 hours. (chicken/turkey bones – 18-24 hours, beef/lamb/bison bones- 24-72 hours, fish bones – 8 hours)
  • If cooking in a pot, can turn off heat, keep covered and let sit overnight, then turn it back on and let summer all the next day.
  • During the last 10-3- minutes of cooking add herbs as desired. (ginger root/turmeric root/ fresh garlic – roughly 20-30minutes, fresh parsley/thyme herbs – roughly 10-15 minutes)
  • Let the broth cool slightly and strain.
  • Store in glass containers in fridge for up to 5 days and in freezer for up to 6 months (leaving a few inches empty in glass container to allow for expansion in freezer)

Enjoy 1-2 cups of health boosting broth daily, especially during fall and winter.

  • heat with Himalayan pink salt and drink from a mug/thermos
  • heat with ginger root (or add a ginger tea bag) and Himalayan salt for a warming and soothing ginger broth
  • heat with sliced ginger root/ turmeric root/ black pepper and Himalayan salt (and strain) for an anti-inflammatory powerhouse broth
  • warm with fresh parsley, lemongrass or any herbs of choice
  • use to make soup/stew or rice/quinoa pilaf (or replace in any recipe calling for broth)


“Social relationships, or the relative lack thereof, constitute a major risk factor for health—rivaling the effect of well established health risk factors such as cigarette smoking, blood pressure, blood lipids, obesity and physical activity” Read the rest of this entry »

IMG_8997I love the holiday season – spending time with family and friends and feeling all of that holiday love.

But sometimes enjoying all of this holiday love has us burning the candle at both ends- leaving us susceptible to viruses, colds and flu.

How do we show our immune system love, amid all of the holiday cheer?

  1. Sleep. Get your zzzs.
  2. Breathe. Stretch. Relax. Paint! Snowshoe! Anything that reduces stress for you.
  3. Keep up those good eating habits! Be sure to include a rainbow assortment of veggies (think Vitamin C and Beta Carotene!), fresh herbs, nuts and seeds, extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil, homemade bone broth(!) – and remember to include a protein source with each meal.
  4. Check your Vitamin D level and consider supplementation through the winter if indicated.
  5. Do include a probiotic supplement or probiotic containing foods – Sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, kefir and miso all fit this bill!
  6. Do include immune boosting foods such as onions and garlic, ginger, turmeric, raw honey (only if not pregnant) and mushrooms.
  7. Did I mention rest?
  8. And enjoy!

Wishing you all the very best for this holiday season and beyond!



Top 3 Nutrients Every Man Needs

Short version?

Tomatoes from the garden
+  Oysters for Happy Hour
+  Salmon grilled on the bbq
= One happy (healthy) man.tomato, fish oil, pumpkin seed


Maximize health and minimize the work? Sounds like a plan! While tips and tricks for exercise, nutrition and stress reduction are all over the web, let’s boil it down something you (or your male friend) can easily grab onto.


An anti-oxidant that gives fruits and vegetables a red colouring. Tomatoes are one great source that most of us Canadians have in our gardens.  Anti-oxidants reduce oxidative damage that naturally occurs in all our cells as we age.  To super charge your overall diet, men and women should increase the colour and brightness of their foods – choose fresh local fruits and veggies of all colours.

Although research on the positive effects of lycopene and prostate cancer are mixed, most studies agree that for men with a family history of prostate cancer, having lycopene in foods regularly will reduce the risk of developing this men’s cancer.


Practically a wonder drug, zinc does it alloyster-on-ice – supports hair growth, improves testosterone levels, boosts immune system health, supercharges sperm and refines taste buds.  An essential element at the cellular level, zinc-based receptors allow your cells to grab testosterone and transmit the hormone message, including producing more testosterone. This ‘manly’ hormone allows both men and women to more readily build and maintain muscle mass. Looking for easy to eat zinc sources? Raw pumpkin seeds, oysters, lean beef – enjoy!

Often used in fertility treatment, zinc is required for sperm production and semen formation.  You can easily have your functional zinc levels tested with your naturopathic doctor with a simple in-office test.


Omega-3 essential fatty acids… (aka fish oils)
The Standard North American Diet, firmly rooted in animal meats, processed foods and few fresh vegetables  (this is not a good thing), leads to a low omega-3 fatty acid level and a high omega-6 level.  Corn is the primary source of omega-6 fats and most of our animals that we eat for dinner have themselves been fed of corn products. Remember the adage ‘You are what you eat’, well that includes what your dinner ate.  Indeed over the last 40 years, omega-6 consumption has sky-rocketed 250% while omega-3 levels have fallen 40%. This imbalance is problematic to good cardiovascular health, cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

Where enjoying fish at least once per week in your diet along with nuts, seeds and avocados is a great basis for increasing omega-3s, most adult men need to look into a quality omega-3 supplement.  Supplementation with these healthful fats has been shown to reduce triglycerides and increase HDL-cholesterol (the good kind) therefore improving your cholesterol profile leading to a reduction in risk of cardiovascular incidents.

The frustrating thing is that not all supplements are made the same and this is especially true of fish oils. As a general rule consult with your naturopathic doctor to get the right dose for you and shop where professional brands are sold such as your NDs office or health food store. In Ottawa?  Ask your ND or visit reputable places such as NutriChem Pharmacy, Watson’s Pharmacy, Mother Hubbards or the Natural Food Pantry.
Want to really get more out of your body? Visit your naturopathic doctor to maximize your health, energy and stamina. Life is short, so take advantage now – and tomorrow!

6831216930_54b6acd3a7While I do believe strongly in the importance of an annual or bi-annual whole body detoxification program in order to maintain optimal health and prevent disease, there are few simple things you can do daily all year round to support your liver and keep your colon healthy.

1) Squeeze 1/4 lemon into 250 ml warm water, add a pinch of cayenne pepper and 1/4 tsp maple syrup.  Drink 15 minutes before breakfast to jump start your metabolism, support the liver detoxification pathways and decrease inflammation.

2) Add 2 tbsp of ground flax seed to your morning breakfast.  Ground flax seeds act as bulking agent and assist in removing toxins through your bowel movements.

3) Include 5 tbsp of kefir (a fermented milk source) to your daily diet.  Kefir yields an extremely high amount of probiotic, up to 5 billion per tbsp.  Probiotics are an essential component in maintaining healthy gut flora and are required for effective elimination, immune health and detoxification.

4) Start each day with a nutrient rich smoothie with ingredients like frozen blueberries, banana, almond milk, rice or hemp based protein powders.  For additional benefits include greens like spinach and kale.  This is a great way for you to get powerful antioxidants, fibre as well as assist in the balancing of your blood sugar levels.

5) Finally, practice contrast showering.  This involves cycling through hot and cold temperature changes during your shower, always ending with a cold.  This will stimulate metabolism and promote healthy circulation and lymphatic drainage.

To learn more about daily detoxification practices or to discuss a more extensive and advanced program contact a Naturopathic doctor at Naturally Well who will offer effective and supportive information that is individualized to your needs.

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wool socksThis amazing at home treatment acts by increasing the circulation and decrease congestion in the upper respiratory passages, head, and throat. It has a relaxing action and many patients report that they sleep much better during the treatment.  Warming socks is effective for pain relief and has been shown to speed the healing response during acute infections.

Sore throat or any inflammation or infection of the throat, neck pain, ear infections, headaches, migraines, nasal congestion, upper respiratory infections, coughs, bronchitis, and sinus infections.


1 pair of thin white cotton socks
1 pair of thick wool socks
warm bath or warm foot bath

1. Warms your feet first – this is very important as the treatment will not be as effective and could be harmful if your feet are not warmed first. Warming can be accomplished by soaking your feet in warm water for at least 5-10 minutes or taking a warm bath for 5-10 minutes.
2. Dry off fee and body with a dry towel
3. Take a pair of cotton socks and soak them in cold running water. Wring the socks well so they do not drip.
4. Put the cotton socks on your feet while sitting on your bed. Cover with the wool socks and go directly to bed so as to avoid getting chilled.
5. Keep the socks on overnight. You will find that the wet cotton socks will be dry in the morning.

For best results repeat this for three nights in a row, or as instructed by your Naturopathic Doctor.

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