May 30

Pee a little when you run?

Peeing a little when you run is a very common symptom. While the severity can range for an annoying, possibly embarrassing, inconvenience to a huge obstacle in participating in your favourite sport. As a Naturopathic Doctor I care about health promotion and am invested in the quality of your health. For me, running is a wonderful tool for a health promotion and disease prevention and when I hear clients are “peeing a little” I get concerned. Not only because I want you to be happy, healthy and running freely but mostly because “peeing a little” is a sign of pelvic instability, putting you at increased risk for other injuries.

Supporting our pelvic floor and internal organs isn’t something we tend to think about…until things go wrong.  New moms, post surgical patients and those suffering from constipation are just a few who may be suffering more than others.  During delivery, the muscles of the pelvic floor are stretched and can be weakened.   Possible bruising, tearing and residual pain can contribute to incontinence and as well as prolapsed organs. The chronic downward pressure from years of constipation can also wreak havoc on this region.  What does that mean?  You might pee a little when you run!

Medications and surgical procedures are available for over active or weak bladders but are generally reserved for more severe cases and do not often fully address your risk of injury or love of running.  There is often a huge gap in prescribing therapy and without the right medical advice, we might feel we are left to accept the fact that we have to manage peeing and running, and for me this is unacceptable.

As with any condition, it is important to understand your options and address why you may be suffering.  In regards to incontinence, your practitioner needs to know, are your muscles too weak and you need to support your pelvic floor? Or are these same muscles too tense and in a constant state of contraction?  For some, the root of their problem might stem from a mental emotional platform, or even be attributed to certain foods or bladder stimulants commonly in the environment.  A thorough diagnosis and assessment should be complete and pelvic instability should not be ignored.

Treatment options are available and we believe an integrative model provides the most comprehensive support. Your options might include pelvic physiotherapy, nutrition advice to decrease stimulation from irritation or constipation, and even acupuncture.

In fact, studies show acupuncture is a safe and effective method of reducing the amount of leakage we may experience.  Whole-body benefits are received with acupuncture in which other ailments and imbalances such as post partum depression and constipation can be addressed at the same time.  Often patients feel relaxed and refreshed post treatment.  Four or more weekly acupuncture treatments have been shown to significantly improve symptoms.

Rest assured it certainly is OK to “pee a little” but it’s not ok to settle when you have options and your future running self is at risk. Regaining bladder control is empowering and can reward us with the confidence to maintain an exercise program and active lifestyle.  Naturopathic Doctors are trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture.  Making use of your extended health care insurance can help you live the life you want!

For more information on how to support your pelvic floor, sign up for this months complimentary seminar and Pelvic Floor Program!

Dr. 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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May 14

Marathon Mom ~ No limits

Marathon mom, can you have kids and run too?

Some may say it’s just not possible. Despite best intentions it is easy to have an endless array of excuses.  The most common of those is, “I just don’t have the time”.  I agree, there is no doubt, training for something like a marathon take up large chunks of your week.  Having children of course, is an entirely different marathon of its own!  Take it from this Naturopathic doctor and mom of 3 awesome kids, with a little flexibility and creativity in your life, these two worlds can merge and any goal can be accomplished! Seriously you can do it, and your body will thank you.

When I first started training, I was with my three children 24 hours a day.  The older two had started school and the youngest was like a Joey Kangaroo, attached to me all the time!  If I can make it work with an additional appendage, so can you! The best part is that taking care of your needs and supporting your running, actually gives you more fuel and builds resilience in your passion for parenting.

My advice, turn training into a family event.  But how do you do this you ask? My toddler can’t run to the end of the street without being distracted by the shiny rocks on the sidewalk (most beautiful rock in the world)!  Participating in what you love makes children happy too. This invitation to participate makes them feel included in their family unit.  Small people are creatures that love exploring and would jump at a chance to go on an adventure, they key is to adjust your expectations and let go of perfectionism in favour of overall efficiency.

If your kids are young, put them in a running stroller.  Be sure to bring some snacks, water and something for them to touch – like a book.  Play games like “I Spy” along the way or take the opportunity to teach them about nature and the changes of seasons.  Expect to make potty and stretching pit stops along the way.  Even planning for a picnic in the forest would be a welcome break for the both of you.  This is where the flexibility comes into play.  If you need to abort mission because of a massive temper tantrum, that is ok.  Don’t throw your training schedule out the window.  Simply try again another day, possibly taking a different route or choosing a different time of day (like having them nap in the stroller!)

If your children are old enough to ride a bike, have them bike beside you while you run. Go on trail runs to make it exciting for the kids. If your kids are teens, they can run with you.  It is ok if you don’t make your usual pace, at this point it is about getting the miles in, not so much the speed.

Cross training can be fun for the family too. Pop a lifejacket on them and hit the pool, cycling with the chariot or finding mommy and me classes in your neighbourhood.  My youngest would join me at boot camp and climb on my back for an additional weight during push ups and crunch times.  The quality of your workouts might be a bit different now but the closeness and opportunities to bond are more than worth it . Plus, you will be sure to get a few good laughs in and the gains in your health pay dividends.

As Naturopathic Doctors our job is to promote health.  Studies show that two hours of sunlight and Vitamin D exposure a day can prevent autoimmune diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis.  In today’s world of electronics and boxed food, instilling an active, outdoor lifestyle in children who are inspired by nature is priceless.

If you are a marathon mom and you want to enjoy physical activity but are struggling with mood changes, fatigue, poor sleep quality and lack of motivation. I want to work with you to break down those obstacles, to address your hormone balance, optimize your sleep and set realistic expectations that will put you on the path back to running or help you run better. Let’s build some momentum together.

Dr. Jennifer Tanner, has a broad, evidence based practice with a focus on sports and performance based medicine. Being a marathon mom 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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May 1

I’m Not A Vending Machine. You Deserve More Than A Cheap Snack.

I would like to extend a sincere ‘thank you’ to all of the patients who have pushed me to be better and inspired me to look beyond.

Yet this is challenging as we are at an interesting time in our history. With unprecedented resources and technology to access information we have become very self-reliant in acquiring ‘expertise.’ As everything becomes more complicated with the speed of change and the pace of life, there is a false sense of knowledge that the smartphone bestows upon us that is causing us to make errors with a false sense of certainty. The instantaneous nature of our society makes us beautifully, wonderfully dissatisfied with the speed of nearly everything, including our healing and recovery.

We all strive to be better and constantly evolving, but part of that process is getting rid of our thought viruses. As a chiropractor and clinician, I try to be malleable and not attached to a technique or a dogma, despite the pigeon-hole that is often associated with what a practitioner with my designation ‘should’ do.

One of the greatest achievements of evidence-based medicine is the knowledge that we achieve maximum outcomes if our interventions are biopsychosocial.

Simply stated:

You are not just your back pain, but rather, a sophisticated individual that is juggling more than you could ever imagine with the gravity of pressure that is physically and emotionally expensive to manage.

(P.S. You sit too much, as a result your glutes are not activated and you have a stiff ankle and a tight calf).

As you search for treatments, there will be many paths and many traps along the way, so be cognisant of the fact that quality care is not about chasing symptoms, but rather looking at the drivers of pain and dysfunction. I acknowledge that I may not know the whole answer but, as a patient-centric care-giver, it is my goal to provide the most appropriate care to the best of my current understanding.

Yet this is also a reminder to myself to not use other experts in my life as a vending machine. Unless it’s an organic, paleo vending machine with kale chips and perfect posture—and a dash of Tito’s vodka. ‘Cause that would be amazing.

Dr. Tabrizi is a chiropractor, osteopath and a passionate member of both the local and scientific community, whose goal is to teach that the pursuit of optimal health and wellness is much more than being symptom-free. His practice is rooted in the philosophy of treating the person rather than just treating the illness or ailment. As a result of his interdisciplinary training, Dr. Tabrizi has developed a neuroscience-based therapeutic education approach to treating his patients, focusing on healing illness from a wider perspective, placing equal responsibility on patient as well as practitioner. Dr. Tabrizi aims to educate his patients and provide them with the tools and framework needed to integrate pain management and healthy living into the fabric of their everyday lives.

This is what his clients have to say about his approach:

“After seeing Dr. Tabrizi I had almost immediate relief from my pain. After a terrible pregnancy, I have been struggling to walk with sore feet and imbalances in my core.

His suggestions for exercises are simple and easy to do, tailored to what I need, and have made an almost immediate difference in the way I walk and feel. I am standing up straight and learning to walk again!

He explains to me how to correct things in a way I can understand yet is based in scientific evidence. After my first visit, I left IHI with four simple exercises to practice at home. 

His approach to treatment is holistic, personalized, empathetic yet empowering. 

After my second treatment I felt incredible. I have seen so many doctors and felt like they were very disconnected with how I would feel after a treatment – that they just wanted to get their money and see me next time. Sometimes I would be in pain from the treatment, other times I wondered if it did anything at all.

Dr. Tabrizi listens and is giving me the tools to help heal myself.

By doing the simple exercises I have already seen a big difference in not only my body and have less pain but also positive effects in the way I view my injuries and a renewed hope in my ability to heal myself. “ ~ N. Stewart April 28, 2017

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Apr 17

When Miscarriage Strikes…

By Lauren Berger, MSW, RSW

For as long as women have been getting pregnant, they have been having miscarriages.

It is estimated that approximate one in every four to five pregnancies end in miscarriage – no small number.  However, many women consider miscarriage to be a point of shame.  They feel it is something to hide, not to be discussed, and they are therefore left to suffer the loss alone.  Losing a child, unborn or not, is an unbearable pain.  I know because three years ago I lost identical twins when I was five months pregnant.

To say I was devastated would be a gross understatement.  I felt like I had a treasure ripped from my hands, and there was no satisfying reason why.  I wondered what I had done wrong; not in my pregnancy, but in life, to deserve such a loss.  A sense of guilt is a very common response to miscarriage.  So is shame.  To me, that is the most important thing to dispel.  Most of the time, miscarriage occurs because of a medical complication.  We rarely feel shame for a broken leg or contracting the flu, so why with miscarriage?  In discussing this idea with others, it seems that many feel inadequate; they had not been able to carry the pregnancy to term, so something must be wrong with them.  They also feel a sense of failure, not only regarding themselves but that they have failed their partner and other family members.  Some even feel that because a pregnancy has to do with the reproductive organs and sex, there is an inherent shame surrounding the issue.

The loss of my twins came as a shock.  During an ultrasound, we were made aware of a small problem that would likely be able to be resolved with a procedure, but by the time we had another test done, it was too late.  With the wind still knocked out of me, it was necessary to arrange a time to be admitted to hospital to deliver my babies. Once the birthing ordeal was over and we were given privacy to spend time with our daughters, the gravity of loss fully hit.  Here were two girls, tiny but beautiful, that will always be loved, but will never grow. We named them, had a very small funeral ceremony, and they were gone.  Even my belly went down immediately, as if it didn’t want to remind me of what had been there only 24 hours earlier.

While I can’t tell you how to feel about a miscarriage, what I can tell you is you are absolutely not alone.  You could say that I was fortunate – I was surrounded by incredible support.  I never had to be alone if I didn’t want to be.  My friends let me tell my story over and over again because it made me feel better to process it than to keep it inside; never mind that is was sad or hard for them to hear.  What I found most surprising is how many people came out of the woodwork to share their story with me as a way to comfort and tell me I wasn’t alone.  Everyone from close family members to near strangers that work at my dental office offered a hug and the knowledge that they had been through the same.  No one wants to be part of this club, but the members are caring.

Through my experience, and the experiences of those around me, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to help ease the pain of miscarriage.  While everyone mourns differently, and there is no right or wrong way, here is a collection of things that seem to help:

  • Tell your story. Whether you want to share it with a friend, an online forum, or your journal, getting your story off of your mind can make you feel less alone and help you move forward.
  • Whether you were one day or nine months pregnant, your loss is valid. Some women seem to preface their story with, “I know it was really early, but…” as if they are supposed to brush off the importance of their loss.  For most women, the moment the test turns positive she begins falling in love with her baby and fantasizing about everything from what colour eyes the baby will have to it’s high school graduation.  A new life is created and connected to immediately.  Therefore, at any stage, it is a significant loss to have those hopes, feelings of love, and plans for the future taken away.  Make no excuses for why you feel the way you do.
  • No, not everything happens for a reason. This is a personal pet peeve comment.  While I think they are trying to offer comfort or an explanation where there isn’t any, when a well-meaning friend says “Everything happens for a reason”, it may feel like she has just said that you were meant to lose your baby.  Again, this is nearly always coming from a very loving place, but the phrase offers little comfort.  Do not take it to heart but rather try to understand that your friend is trying to offer you words of comfort (whether it comes across that way or not).
  • Mourn and remember in ways that are meaningful or helpful to you, not what others think you should do. Some may not understand why you choose to hide out on what would have been your due date or why you visit your baby if he or she was buried at a cemetery.  I’ve had close friends of mine suggest that I should try to forget about special dates or cannot believe that I chose to hold my babies after I delivered them.  The fact is, if it feels right to you, it doesn’t really matter what others think.  Everyone mourns differently and we should not place judgement on anyone’s choice of how they move forward, remember, or ease their pain.  Do what feels right for you.  There is no right or wrong.
  • Time does heal all wounds, but there is often a faint scar. You will not feel the Day One fresh pain of loss after a year.  As time goes on, most women accept their loss and move forward with their lives.  They often go on to have other children or make satisfying choices in their lives.  These new endeavors, however, are not exactly a replacement for what they have lost.  Some things are irreplaceable.  And that’s okay.  You can go on, be happy, live your life, and still remember the baby you lost.  Several years later, there is still a song on the radio that reminds me of when I lost my twins, and I always change the station when it comes on.  But, now that time has passed, it no longer makes me cry.  Take notice of how things evolve over time – things that may have led to devastating emotion will likely be easier to tolerate or not bother you much at all.  Take comfort in that as a sign of your healing and ability to move forward.

Like any other devastation in life, we have choices on how to handle it.  If you process, mourn, and take your time, you’ll continue to live your life and find your happiness again.  If this seems easier said than done, perhaps you would benefit from additional support.  Never by shy or embarrassed to ask for help, whether from a loved one or a professional.  There are so many resources available to you, and you deserve the care (self-care and the care of others) to help you go forward.  You are not alone.

**Disclaimer:  The advice in this article is for informational purposes only and does not replace the diagnosis/treatment of a licensed medical or mental health professional.**

Lauren Berger is a Registered Social Worker providing counselling and psychotherapy at IHI.  Check her out at, drop her a line at, follow her on Twitter: @LaurenBergerMSW, or sneak a peek at her Instagram: laurenberger_msw.



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Apr 10

When to start your race training for running.

The weather is nice and we Canadians are peeling off the layers!  We all have the urge to get outside and move.  Motivation tends to be high this time of year. As a Naturopathic Doctor I want to help you capitalize on this momentum and help you plan your spring and summer race training for running programs.  If you want to achieve a goal it is important to set a milestones, be objective and keep yourself accountable.  My best advice is to choose a running event that will challenge you, but still fit into your schedule and respect your health limits. It is important to push yourself, to encourage changes in body composition and mental emotional states, but we also need to respect injury potentials.  If you are new to the sport, I recommend googling the races near you to get a better understanding of all your options.  Start with the long term goal in mind and choose the distance for your ideal event. Running goals can vary in distance, starting from 1km-10km, to a marathon or even and ultra marathon!  If the idea of long term training sounds tedious, don’t let it detour you,  from a health promotion perspective it is so worth it!  The long runs give you time to ponder life.  Once you cross the finish line, not only will you be empowered by your accomplishments but you will be loving your toned muscles, gleaming skin and strong heart!

A well structured training program is essential. For example, if you are training for a full marathon, you will need to start your program 16-20 weeks before the event.  If you are local and planning to run Toronto’s Scotia Bank Waterfront Marathon that is held in October. This would mean you would need to start your training in May or June. It is important to give your body enough time to prepare for the event to prevent injuries.  If those injuries do occur, your Naturopathic Doctor can assist you in your recovery process.

As a Naturopathic Doctor I want to see you succeed, not only to achieve your goal but also to help you live your best life, by fighting and preventing chronic disease.

Here is a check list of how I support clients who want to run.

  • I will evaluate your training program to assess for your risk of injury and ensure it is matched to your goal. If you don’t know where to start, I will help you find a program that is right for you.
  • I will help you set up an optimal “recovery plan” that includes support for sleep, nutrition and digestion, and immune function. So that you get the most value from your workouts, build strength, avoid injury, and work efficiently.
  • If you have hit a plateau in your training and performance or are suffering from a chronic injury. I will help you understand how to adapt your environment. When you are meeting your body’s needs, you will build strength, modulate inflammation and promote tissue healing.
  • I compliment the support of your physiotherapist, chiropractor or conditioning coach and my services are covered under most health insurance plans.

Participating in a marathon is a bucket list item that anyone with sneakers can accomplish and I want to help you get there.  Usually we toy with the idea for awhile until we finally gather up enough courage to sign up!  If a full marathon isn’t your cup of tea, start at a level that feels comfortable for you, maybe that’s a 5km.  Accomplishing your goals will boost your confidence and your health and you will be quickly looking for your next event!

Dr. 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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Apr 3

Is your granola bar healthy, or is it just dressed up junk food?

By Aly Shoom Nutritionist

Granola Bars are often disguised as healthy but are usually just dressed up junk food. Granola bars often claim they’re a good source of fiber, but most of them really only contain 1-gram -we need AT LEAST 25 grams per day!

Traditionally, granola bars were just pressed granola, which was made from oats, nuts, and spices. Now, granola bars contain some of these ingredients, but often are filled with chocolate, marshmallows, sugar, and artificial ingredients. These ingredients lead to weight gain and feeling sluggish.

What to look for when choosing a granola bar:

-No added Sugar
-No refined grains
-At least 3g of fiber

-No more than 8g of sugar
-And, my rule of thumb for anything…If a child can’t read the ingredient list, stay away!

For a healthy option, make your own! Aly’s Granola Bites:


1 cup oats
1⁄2 cup natural nut butter (or seed if you can’t have nuts) 1/3 cup raw honey
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1⁄2 cup ground flax
1⁄2 dried fruit of choice (optional)
2 tbs. chia seeds (optional)
1tsp. vanilla


Mix all ingredients together.
Let recipe chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes, then roll into balls. Enjoy!

Aly’s hosting her semi annual Kick Sugar program this April. Chick here to register.

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. 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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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.

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.


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 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.


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 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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