Mar 27

Upper Cross Syndrome

By Stephen Dahms Registered Massage Therapist

Upper cross syndrome is a combination of multiple muscular imbalances that causes pain or discomfort and reduced mobility around your upper back, neck and shoulders.

Pectoral muscles, upper fibre trapezius and levator scapula are short, tight and contracted, causing fascial and muscular restrictions. This is where that feeling of limited movement and pain comes from. Posterior neck muscles, like suboccipitals and splenii, are also tight, which can led to tension headaches, often felt at the base of the skull, along with reduced neck mobility.

Weak serratus anterior, lower fibre traps and rhomboids can cause instability in the shoulder, which can result in winging and separation of your scapula. This can also put strain on the rhomboids, which are trying to keep them together. This often can lead to that feeling of pain along the middle of your shoulder blade. Your deep neck flexors are used to show off your super attractive double chin, are also weak and lengthened. These neck flexors help stabilize the skull on the spine and help support your head.

How to fix it?! Reverse the effect!

Talk to your massage therapist. Releasing the fascial and muscular restrictions in your chest, upper back and neck will help to free up your shoulders, while strengthening your middle/low back and serratus anterior will help create scapular stability and get those shoulder back into a better position.

It’s all about self awareness 

Keep tabs on your posture throughout the day. Hold yourself accountable and make sure you aren’t slouching, learning your head forward or elevating your shoulders. Keep your posture straight but relaxed. Try and set up your workspace to give yourself reminders. Put a piece of tape or sticky note behind your computer screen. If you being to slouch and lose sight of that tape, it’s time to reset that posture!

For some great tips or advice to help correct your posture, reduce fascial and muscle restrictions in your neck and shoulders as well as increasing strength in your middle and low back, follow me on Instagram @StephenDTheRMT

Stephen is a Registered Massage Therapist who graduated from the Canadian College of Massage and Hydrotherapy and completed a Bachelor of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta. Stephen’s love of sport and his interest in learning about human anatomy led him to a career in massage therapy and his interest in working with athletes. He also enjoys working with people who have postural concerns, and chronic or actue musculoskeletal issues. He is very excited to join the IHI team and is looking forward to working with you!

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Mar 13

Retinoic Acid vs Retinol

Retinoids are not all created equally: Retinoic Acid vs Retinol our favourite skin doctor has the answers:

By Dr. Jen Newell Naturopathic Doctor

Do the active ingredients in your skin care actually have research supporting their use? I have recently been talking to patients about the value of research supported ingredients in their skincare. Many of my new patients initially come in unhappy with the results they are getting from their skincare products (even the natural ones) but don’t know what to look for to get the results they desire. Topical vitamin A is one of the most effective skincare ingredients to make your skin look smoother and younger, the key to success is choosing the right form.

Retinoids (a term for a variety of forms of topical vitamin A) help to stimulate the production of collagen, hyaluronic acid, and elastin; this helps to reduce the appearance of lines, wrinkles and large pores. They also aid in healing acne and fading hyperpigmentation. There are a number of different types of Retinoids found in skin care products including Retinyl Palmitate, Retin-A, and Retinol, but the question is will they yield the anti-aging result?

Retinyl Palmitate is not a bio available Retinoid and I do not recommend it.

Retin-A is the acid form of Vitamin A (go figure, right?). Prescription retinoic acid is patented because it is a synthetic derivative of Vitamin A. Retin-A can cause peeling, irritation, sensitivity, redness, discomfort and sun sensitivity in many people.

Retinol is the alcohol form of the vitamin A molecule, and is considered by many to be the purest and true form of Vitamin A. Retinol when used properly is not at all irritating or inflaming to the skin since the Retinol is slowly converted to retinoic acid. This is the form of vitamin A I recommend patients use for anti-aging purposes, to unclog pores, fight acne and fade hyperpigmentation from sun damage.

If using a retinol, I recommend finding a product that uses a Liposomal delivery system to ensure nutrients are absorbed into the skin. The liposomal nutrients are delivered directly to the skin by a lipid bi-layer similar to the body’s own cell membranes. These liposomes facilitate transport of nourishment into the skin. A liposome is essentially a tiny bubble made out of the same material as a cell membrane so they can deliver nutrients directly to the cells.

Natural products with Retinol include:

If you have questions, I would love to see you in clinic.

Dr. Jen Newell is passionate about helping people embrace health, feel amazing and easily incorporate “real” food into their busy lives. Her mission is to make health accessible and achievable, and to inspire patients to live an active, vibrant and healthy life.

Jen has a clinical focus on digestive health, food sensitivities and healthy nutrition; mental health and stress-related illness; women’s health, hormone balance and fertility; optimal aging; and dermatology. She focuses on integrating healthy foods into one’s diet in a medicinal and therapeutic capacity and providing individuals with nutritional support that is easy to incorporate into a busy day. Dr. Newell practices at the Integrative Health Institute in Downtown Toronto.

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Mar 6

When you’ve HIIT the wall.

HIITWhat to do when your training and weight loss programs plateau.

By Dr. Jennifer Tanner, Naturopathic Doctor

We’ve all been there. You’ve been super diligent and stuck to your New Years resolution. You are hitting the gym everyday, eating well and the scale doesn’t budge. The words “why do I bother” comes to mind. Frustrating, right?! Luckily, you have options! Instead of continuing what you were doing with no results, change it up! This is where we need to throw your routine a curve ball and keep those muscles on their toes!

If you are at the gym, reverse your workouts. Do a warm up, moving into free weights first and cardio last. By making this switch, your heart rate should be at a fat burning level by the time you step on the stair climber. The result – more bang for your buck. Flip your meals upside down too. Eat lunch for breakfast and breakfast for lunch. If you are really looking to cut, simultaneously reduce your caloric intake but make sure to maintain your good proteins and fats.

High intensity interval training or HIIT is a great tool to pull out when you’ve hit that wall. HIIT is a training strategy that alternates short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with mild to moderate recovery periods. These short, intense workouts provide improved glucose metabolism, insulin sensitivity, athletic capacity and conditioning. HIIT induces fat oxidation during and after exercise and results in a suppressed appetite. Meaning, you will burn fat even when you are not exercising! HIIT is more effective than regular cardio because you are increasing both your aerobic and anaerobic endurance and increasing your basal metabolic rate.

You can either join a class that specializes in HIIT or create your own HIIT program to mix in between your training. I recently went to a class. It was constant motion, changing moves every 60 seconds. Its intense, but so are the results. It burns calories and the more you put into it, the longer you will be at a fat burning rate!

It’s simple. After a warm up, move into a 30 second jog/walk then 30 second sprint. Repeat 4 times. Every other workout, increase by 1 or 2 intervals until you reach 11 reps. While I was living in San Diego I trained for a half marathon. I incorporated sprint intervals which improved my cardiovascular fitness and VO2 max (This is easy to do in perfect weather with trails surrounded by ocean!). The average HIIT workout only requires about 15 minutes which makes them easy to squeeze into busy schedules! You can be creative. Add in jumping jacks, squats, push ups!

After an 8-week cycle of HIIT three times per week, you will notice a change in your body composition and definition. Athletes will be able to maintain their endurance when others begin to fatigue.

Remember, with a HIIT exercise you should be working close to your maximum but careful not to push too hard too fast to avoid injuries and setbacks. Maintain your form and modify if you need to but always listen to your body. Sleep and rest are just as important for recovery. There are tons of mini HIIT program suggestions on line to suit your goals, whether it is sport specific or for weight loss. As always, it is important to pair your exercise with a nutrition plan. Book your appointment today with Dr. Jennifer Tanner, ND to develop your personalized plan.

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2991639

Dr. Jennifer TannerDr. Jennifer Tanner, has a broad, evidence based practice with a focus on sports and performance based medicine. Being a marathon runner and having been a competitive equestrian, an active lifestyle is important. Dr. Tanner uses a variety of tools including Acupuncture and Clinical Nutrition, putting an emphasis on “food as medicine” and addressing the root causes of inflammation . In conjunction with the Integrative Health team, Dr. Tanner is thrilled to help people achieve an optimal state of health and pursue their performance based health goals!

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Feb 27

Healthy Skin from Within

By Aly Shoom Nutritionist

Winters cold, dry air is tough on your skin. Using topical skin care is a great start, but to achieve optimal skin health itʼs important to look at your diet. Changing your diet can help heal the root cause of your skin issues. Here are 5 of my favorite ingredients for healthy skin, from within.

Lemon:

Lemons are loaded with vitamin C, which promotes radiant skin and collagen production. Lemons also contain enzymes that help regenerate liver tissue. Your liver is your main detoxification organ –the better it functions the more detoxified your body is, and the more radiant your skin will become.

Start your day with some hot water and lemon, or add a squeeze to your salads.

Kale:

Kale has become a buzzword and the picture of health, so thereʼs no surprise that itʼs good for you skin. Kale is an excellent source of beauty-boosting vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium and vitamins A, C, and E – all which promote anti-ageing, and new cell growth.

Tip: When consuming kale pair with a healthy fat, like olive oil. This allows your body to properly absorb and utilize all the nutrients.

Kombucha:

Making the switch from soda to kombucha is one of the best things you can do for your skin! Kombucha is a fermented tea thatʼs rich in probiotics. Probiotics are one of your biggest beauty weapons for clear, glowing skin. They encourage the growth of good bacteria in your gut, which helps keep your digestion on track and ensures better nutrient delivery to the skin. Avid kombucha drinkers report improvement of tone and clarity of their skin along with reduction of wrinkles, scarring, freckles, brown age spots and rashes.

Walnuts:

Walnuts contain a significant amount of healthy omega 3 fatty acids, which are great for anti-aging, making your skin more supple, helping lift sagging skin, andso much more. In severe cases, deficiency in omega 3ʼs can result in dry scaly skin and eczema.

Tip: to avoid added unhealthy and inflammatory oils buy raw or dry roasted nuts.

Matcha green tea:

Matcha contains catechins, a type of antioxidant proven to reduce inflammation. Reducing inflammation in the body will help with acne, eczema and other inflammatory skin conditions. Matcha also reduces free radicals, which delays skin aging.

Matcha comes in a powder, to make this powder into the tea we drink you whisk in a quick zig-zag motion (with a bamboo brush) 1⁄2-1 tsp matcha with about 2-3 oz. of hot (but not boiling) water until it froths. Then, add desired amount of water. If you donʼt have a whisk you can use a spoon to make matcha into a paste, then add the rest of your hot (but not boiling) water. To make into a matcha latte add 1⁄2 cup almond milk, frothed.

Let’s see if we will make a great team? Book your free 15- minute consultation here. Bring your questions and concerns and see if sheʼs the right match for you!

Aly is a Certified Nutrition Practitioner (CNP) who specializes in weight loss. Aly graduated top of her class from the Institute of Holistic Nutrition and holds a BA from Western University. Aly’s warm and approachable demeanor empowers her clients to take control of their health. Aly believes that eating healthy isn’t about being perfect, it’s about having a plan you can stick to that gives you energy while allowing you to eat the foods you love. Aly believes that with the right tools and guidance you can make positive lifestyle changes to enjoy a happier and healthier life!

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Feb 20

Hormone Harmony: Testing for Hormone Imbalances

Hormone Harmony: Testing for Hormone Imbalances

By: Dr. Lisa Watson Naturopathic Doctor

The importance of hormones for human health can’t be understated.  The over 50 hormones in the human body act as chemical messengers that control most major bodily functions – from hunger, stress, mood and emotions to reproduction.

The body maintains an intricate balance of hormones, a state called homeostasis.  When this delicate balance is compromised a wide variety of symptoms can occur – fatigue, depression, anxiety, weight gain, acne, insomnia, premenstrual syndrome, menstrual irregularities, and many many more.

When identifying an unbalanced hormonal state, hormone testing can provide valuable information that will allow you to take steps to restore your optimal hormone balance, resolve symptoms, and restore optimal health.

Hormone Testing

Three important factors need to be considered when seeking testing for hormone balance.

Timing of Testing

Time of day and time of month are important factors in getting valuable information from hormone testing.  For most hormones, testing should be done first thing in the morning.  An exception to this rule is cortisol, which is often tested at multiple points over the course of the day.

Time of month, or more accurately, time of the menstrual cycle, is also an important consideration for women.  Generally hormones should be tested about one week before an expected period, when levels are at their peak.

Testing Sample Type

There are three main ways to test for hormone levels – blood (serum), saliva or urine.  Each has it’s benefits and can be used, depending on the information needed.

Blood – a simple blood draw can give a great deal of information about thyroid hormones, insulin and blood sugar levels, vitamin D, prolactin, FSH and LH.  It’s a quick process with well established reference ranges.  However, it’s not considered the best test for steroid hormones like estrogen and progesterone, as levels in the blood stream do not accurately reflect free hormone levels available for action in the body.

Saliva – a home saliva test kit will provide excellent information about the free hormone levels of many steroid hormones: cortisol, estrogen, progesterone, DHEAS and testosterone. This test is often considered the most accurate reflection of hormone balance in the body.  The drawbacks to salivary testing are the less well established reference ranges and the lack of testing for hormone detoxification pathways.

Urine – a newer testing type for hormone balance, the dried urine test for comprehensive hormones (DUTCH), gives a good overview of the steroid hormones estrogen, cortisol, progesterone, testosterone, DHEAS as well as the metabolites produced when our body breaks down these hormones.

Balance Over Absolute Values

The last important consideration for hormone testing is that the results of your hormone test should be interpreted by a practitioner with a great deal of expertise in hormone testing and hormone balancing.  When looking at a hormone test the most important information is the balance between the different hormones, rather than the absolute values of each individual hormone.  A low normal progesterone with a high normal estrogen results in the same symptoms as a normal estrogen and a very low (or abnormal) progesterone.

Hormones are responsible for a vast variety of functions in our bodies, and their imbalance is an important (and common!) cause of symptoms.  If you suspect you may have a hormonal imbalance, book an appointment with your Naturopathic Doctor today to discuss your options.


Dr. Lisa Watson delivers health care that supports balanced and attainable health at all ages and stages of life. Of primary importance is health care that nurtures the body, mind, spirit, family and community. As a Naturopathic Doctor and mother, Lisa believes that health care and a healthy lifestyle are intrinsically linked and that each serves to support the other. Dr. Watson practices at the Integrative Health Institute in Downtown Toronto.

Check out Dr Watson’s blog: www.drlisawatson.com

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Feb 13

Condoms and Lubes – The Slippery Truth

By Dr. Jen Newell Naturopathic Doctor

With Valentine’s Day approaching, obvious thoughts turn to all things love, romance and sweet nothings. With that, in my practice come questions about chemicals and unsafe ingredients in condoms and lube and what natural options I recommend. This year I had the opportunity to attend W.E.L.L Summit in NYC and one of the breakout sessions was about the production and supply chain of condoms with Sustain co-founder Meika Hollender. I learned so much and couldn’t wait to come home and share it with my patients (and pretty much everyone I know).

Condoms

I had never given condoms much thought but after W.E.L.L Summit they seemed to occupy a lot of time in my mind. I was stunned to learn more about the supply chain involved in the production of condoms. Condoms are an $11 billion global industry and currently 3 brands (Trojan, Lifestyles, and Durex) control 95% of the market. Unfortunately, these brands do not put any emphasis on sustainability, fair trade practices or processing without carcinogens. Most latex collected from the rubber trees is cultivated in Asia and Africa and the majority of the rubber plantations use child labor and pay their workers below minimum wage. Another concern I have with condoms occurs when they are produced; conventional latex condoms often contain harmful carcinogenic chemicals that are introduced to the female body during use. Though the vaginal mucus membranes absorb only a small amount of nitrosamines and the overall risk of cancer from condom use is low, I would love to see all condom manufacturers eliminate the nitrosamines from their products. Check out this report about nitrosamines in condoms put together by the Reproductive Health Technologies Project. This all being said, the benefits of condoms far outweigh the risks and I am not discouraging their use.

What condom brands do I recommend?

If you are visiting the USA I recommend that you pick up Sustain Condoms (unfortunately, this brand is not yet available in Canada). Sustain is the first condom brand to use certified Fair Trade Rubber, ensuring that no child labor is involved in the collection of latex, and that plantation workers are paid fairly and that they and their families are provided healthcare and educational opportunities. Sustain is also free of nitrosamines so that both users and factory workers during manufacturing are not exposed to this potentially harmful chemical. Another unique feature of Sustain is that it is the first condom positioned for women and has a strong female sexual empower message and design.

Other brands that are nitrosamine-free (you’ll notice a number of these are non-latex condoms):

Lubricants

A few years ago I started researching the ingredients in sexual lubricants because a lot of my fertility patients were asking if it may contribute to their challenges getting pregnant. I was appalled by some of the commonly used ingredients in personal lubricant and wound up down the rabbit hole trying to find safer alternatives that would not compromise the users health.

Ingredients to avoid in your lube:
  • Glycerin

Glycerin is known to increase the risk of yeast infections and is definitely worth avoiding in any lube that is being used vaginally.

  • Parabens

I recommend that people avoid parabens in all personal care products including personal lubricants. There is evidence that parabens contribute to hormonal imbalances by disrupting endocrine function by mimicking estrogen.

  • Sugar

Sugars are not vagina friendly and can contribute to the growth of pathogenic bacteria and the development of bacterial vaginosis.

  • Propylene Glycol and Chlorhexidine

These ingredients can lead to tissue irritation and may causing burning.

Vagina-Friendly Lube:

Now that you are well equipped to make an informed choice about the condoms and lube you use, you might be wondering how a Naturopath can help with your sexual health. Did you know your ND can perform a gynecological exam and PAP? Also, there are many natural options to help with libido, family planning and hormonal balance so if you are struggling with exhaustion, low libido, or vaginal pain or discomfort check in with a Naturopath.

Works Cited

Reproductive Health Technologies Project – Nitrosamines in Condoms

http://rhtp.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FAQCondomsandNitrosamines.pdf

Sustain Naturals

https://www.sustainnatural.com

American Chemistry Society – Studies Raise Questions About Safety of Personal Lubricants

http://cen.acs.org/articles/90/i50/Studies-Raise-Questions-Safety-Personal.html2012

Berkeley University of California Wellness – The Slippery Facts About Lubricants

http://cen.acs.org/articles/90/i50/Studies-Raise-Questions-Safety-Personal.html2012

Dr. Jen Newell is passionate about helping people embrace health, feel amazing and easily incorporate “real” food into their busy lives. Her mission is to make health accessible and achievable, and to inspire patients to live an active, vibrant and healthy life.

Jen has a clinical focus on digestive health, food sensitivities and healthy nutrition; mental health and stress-related illness; women’s health, hormone balance and fertility; optimal aging; and dermatology. She focuses on integrating healthy foods into one’s diet in a medicinal and therapeutic capacity and providing individuals with nutritional support that is easy to incorporate into a busy day. Dr. Newell practices at the Integrative Health Institute in Downtown Toronto.

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Feb 6

Athletes – Sick, tired and slow? You are only as strong as your immune system.

Immune SupportBy: Jennifer Tanner, Naturopathic Doctor

Your alarm clock buzzes and you press snooze…again. You miss another work out but don’t care because they haven’t been that good lately. You finally get up and realize your cough is still there. Argh, what’s going on?

Poor performance, persistent fatigue, disturbed sleep, altered appetite / moods and frequent illness are all signs that your immune system is struggling. We need this defence against invasion of foreign microorganisms. Repetitive or chronic upper respiratory tract infections can be your bodies way of telling you it has been pushed too hard.

But isn’t working out healthy for me? Yes, but the two extremes of being sedentary or overtraining lead to increased incidences of illness. Lifestyles outside of the optimal zone may leave us vulnerable to viruses and bacteria for approximately 3-72 hours after prolonged, rigorous work outs. Psychological stress can be an additive factor to the effects of intense exercise on immune function. Sounds like its time to take a break! Optimal rest paired with a balanced training schedule lead to better performance.

Athletes can put a lot of pressure on their body. During lowered immunity, it can be tough to overcome this additional stress. Supplementing can balance your expenditure of nutrients and prevent you from feeling chronically drained. Here are few of my favourites to get athletes through the winter months:

* Green products such as spirulina not only give your immune system a boost but improve stamina.

* Probiotics could improve immune function, enhance recovery from fatigue and maintain a healthy GI tract, all of which could positively affect athletic performance.

* Did you know kiwis are packed full of Vitamin C? This mini powerhouse not only supports a healthy immune system but plays a role in reducing muscle damage markers.

* Astragalus is an adaptogen used to prevent and treat colds and upper respiratory infections by supporting the immune system.

* Zinc is a mineral that can be sweated out. Regardless of how sweaty you are, most athletes will still maintain normal levels. Short term dosing can be considered during times of illness.

Because inadequate nutrition can affect almost all aspects of your body, including the immune system, a well-balanced diet is important. Book your appointment today to find out what supplements you should be taking to support your system.

References:

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9129264

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3665020

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17618005

Dr. Jennifer TannerDr. Jennifer Tanner, has a broad, evidence based practice with a focus on sports and performance based medicine. Being a marathon runner and having been a competitive equestrian, an active lifestyle is important. Dr. Tanner uses a variety of tools including Acupuncture and Clinical Nutrition, putting an emphasis on “food as medicine” and addressing the root causes of inflammation . In conjunction with the Integrative Health team, Dr. Tanner is thrilled to help people achieve an optimal state of health and pursue their performance based health goals!

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Jan 31

30 Days of Awesome

Learn to Fuel vs Stressing and Starving

By Dr. Erin Wiley ND

We live to see others celebrating their health. My goal as a Naturopathic Doctor is to make lifestyle change simple and effective so that more people can live well and enjoy life. With 10 years of experience running an integrative clinic, working with some of downtown Toronto’s most dedicated health enthusiasts and balancing a busy family schedule, I have learned that the simplest solution is often the best solution. Breaking lifestyle change down into the most basic fundamental steps, that will have the biggest metabolic reward is the best recipe for long-term sustainable success.

For those of you looking to build lean body mass, improve your mood focus and concentration and generally feel awesome. Here are my top 3 fundamentals and tips for the Think Fitness Canary District 30 Day’s of Awesome Challenge:

  1. Decrease your exposure to insulin

Whenever we eat carbohydrates (sugar, starch, pasta, bread, potatoes, etc.) we make insulin. Insulin is often referred to as the “hibernation” hormone because is slows your metabolism, signals your body to store fat, and makes you feel tired and sluggish. In today’s modern world of easy convenient food, carbohydrates often dominate the market and unfortunately, from a metabolic perspective, whatever we are saving in convenience we are paying for with reduced energy and performance. My general recommendation is to follow a low carbohydrate or mediterranean style diet and  consume between 3-6 servings of carbohydrates per day, but this advice of course varies based on your own individual needs. Unlike carbohydrates, when we eat protein, healthy fat and green vegetables we do not make insulin and instead encourage our body to burn fat for fuel providing a consistent sustained release of energy.

Action Item: Implement a low carbohydrate breakfast to fuel your metabolism and encourage your body to burn fat for the day.

Examples:

  • 2 poached eggs and 1/2 and avocado
  • Sardines and kale salad
  • Green smoothie with protein powder
  • Smoked salmon and spinach salad
  • Hard boiled eggs or egg salad
  • Avocado salsa with cucumber slices

Bonus points for trying: Bullet Proof Coffee

2. Increase your exposure to micronutrients

Our bodies NEED the micronutrients found in plants and many of us are starving. Every great diet, from paleo, to mediterranean and vegetarian all have one thing in common, they are plant-based. Making energy, metabolizing waste and building healthy tissue is all dependant on our exposure to these powerful super foods, even our gene expression and the health of our microbiome can be modified by our exposure to vegetables. We need way more than we are getting.

Action item: Fill at least 1/2 your plate with greens at every meal

Examples:

  • Broccoli, rapini, broccolini
  • Zuccini
  • Kale, Cabbage, brussels sprouts
  • Spinach, lettuce, mixed greens, collard greens
  • Cucumber

Bonus points: Blend a green smoothie or green juice every day. Just be sure to minimize your exposure to sugar by limiting your fruit intake.

3. Build more muscle by prioritizing your recovery time as much as you prioritize your gym time.

Rest is actually very productive for your body. This is when your body repairs damaged tissue, grows new muscle, and forms new neutron connections. When my clients are pushing their exercise really hard but hitting a plateau it is often their recovery time that needs re-evaluating.

Action items:

  1. Always pack a post work out snack. This snack should be consumed within 15-30 minutes after your workout and should contain carbohydrates to replenish your muscle glycogen and protein to repair muscle damage.
  2. Practice good sleep hygiene for a deep restful sleep that optimizes your growth hormone production.
    • Sleep in a dark cool room to maximize melatonin and thermogenesis
    • Sleep naked
    • Go to bed before 11pm
    • Avoid eating food within 2-3 hours of going to bed to optimize your fasting time

4. If you are experiencing challenges with your health, have hit a plateau with your performance, have pain and inflammation, have digestive concerns that are limiting your nutrition, or any trouble sleeping. It is absolutely time to book with your Naturopathic Doctor.

Dr. Erin Wiley is a naturopathic doctor with a strong focus on preventative and integrative medicine. She is the Owner and Clinic Director of the Integrative Health Institute, an integrative medical clinic located in downtown Toronto. Erin has a strong clinical emphasis on stress related illness, anxiety, depression and hormone balance. As a naturopathic doctor, Erin is passionate about working with people to help them better understand their health and achieve their health goals.

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Jan 30

PMS and IV Therapy

integrative-092By Dr. Erin Wiley Naturopath

PMS, or premenstrual syndrome, is extremely common, in fact it is estimated that 3 out of 4 women will experience some form of pain, cramping, fatigue, and mood changes associated with their period. While these symptoms are not necessarily pathological, they are by no means normal and certainly not part of our quest for optimal health.

PMS symptoms occur most frequently in the time between ovulation and menstruation, and are often most severe the day before and day one of your period. This is when your cycle is going through the biggest shifts in estrogen relative to progesterone. The severity of your symptoms is related to your body’s ability to adapt to these changes.

Metabolizing your hormones optimally helps your body adapt to regular monthly hormone shifts that are part of a normal cycle. This metabolism requires nutrients such as B Vitamins and trace minerals. IV therapy offers the unique ability to replenish the body’s micronutrients when the limitations of oral supplementation and diet cannot achieve a therapeutic dose. While understanding all of the influencing factors on your hormone balance and metabolism are important, as is lifestyle medicine and a thorough diagnosis, IV therapy can be a very supportive adjunctive therapy that decreases symptoms and increases your ability not only to cope but perform at your best each month.

The standard course of treatment for PMS is two IV sessions per week in the two weeks before your period for 3 cycles. However, the best recommendation will be determined by your Naturopathic Doctor. IV therapy refers to high doses of micronutrients such as B Vitamins and Magnesium that are administered directly into the blood stream using a standard IV administration set. Most treatments last 30 – 60 minutes and can be performed in the comfort of our IV suite. The Naturopathic Doctors at IHI who utilize IV therapies in their practice have completed additional training and rigorous examinations prior to receiving a license to practice IV therapy.  While IV therapy is not without risk, it is a safe therapy with minimal side effects.  The most common side effect is irritation at the injection site.  Some patients may experience low blood pressure or lightheadedness after the treatment, but these typically last only a few minutes.

Coping with the pain, fatigue, low mood, anger and frustration of PMS can be extremely challenging and take days or even weeks of productivity away from your life each month. Let’s get started by booking your initial intake with a Naturopathic Doctor. If you have administrative questions about this therapy or our fee schedule please call our front desk team at 416-260-6038. We want to end your PMS! We look forward to working with you.

 


Naturopath TorontoDr. Erin Wiley is a naturopathic doctor with a strong focus on preventative and integrative medicine. She is the Owner and Clinic Director of the Integrative Health Institute, an integrative medical clinic located in downtown Toronto. Erin has a strong clinical emphasis on stress related illness, anxiety, depression and hormone balance. As a naturopathic doctor, Erin is passionate about working with people to help them better understand their health and achieve their health goals.

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Jan 23

Go Ahead and Ditch the Scale this year!

weightlossI know itʼs a strong word but I HATE the scale! The scale can be extremely misleading and discouraging. I have had too many clients come see me after a great week where theyʼve lost multiple inches, but their weight doesnʼt change. In this situation itʼs easy to get down on yourself and think your efforts have gone to waste. This is NOT the case!!! Here are some reasons why…

Water weight: Drinking just one 16-ounce glass of water before jumping on the scale can translate to 1 lb of weight gain. This is of course temporary but gives us a reason not to trust the scale. The reverse of this is true as well. If you weigh yourself after in intense workout the scale may say youʼve lost an extra pound or two. Unfortunately this is also just temporary

Constipation: Being backed up for a couple days can add anywhere from 1-4 lbs to the number on the scale. Again, this is just temporary!

High sodium: Eating high sodium foods are not ideal for health or weight loss but on top of that they skew the number on the scale. Salty foods can cause your body to hold on to water, which temporarily causes the number on the scale to go up.

High carbs: When you consume more carbs than your body needs they get stored in your liver as something called glycogen. Glycogen attracts water, so ultimately this has the same effect as the high sodium meal -temporary higher weight on the scale, due to increased water.

These are just a few reasons that the scale can be skewed, the list goes on and on! Donʼt let the scale bring you down. If youʼre clothes fit you better and youʼre feeling great, than keep doing what youʼre doing!

Aly ShoomAly is a Certified Nutrition Practitioner (CNP) who specializes in weight loss. Aly graduated top of her class from the Institute of Holistic Nutrition and holds a BA from Western University. Aly’s warm and approachable demeanor empowers her clients to take control of their health. She uses a unique approach, with an emphasis on hormonal balance to personally address your weight loss and nutrition needs. Aly believes that eating healthy isn’t about being perfect, it’s about having a plan you can stick to that gives you energy while allowing you to eat the foods you love. Aly believes that with the right tools and guidance you can make positive lifestyle changes to enjoy a happier and healthier life!

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