Jul 6

Does Effort = Results? (In The Gym)

gymfailBy Dr. Marc Bubbs, ND, CSCS

A common scenario I see with clients is that when they achieve poor results in the gym, they assume they are not training ‘hard enough’. They always think ‘lack of effort’ is the underlying cause of their training plateau, inability to lose weight, or failure to add lean muscle and size.

Does effort in the gym really translate into results?

I would say that most people in the gym, no matter what their level, are determined to get fitter, leaner, and healthier. You could even argue that the less fit you are, the more effort you often put in. I am not a skilled swimmer… I know I put forth a lot more effort into a 30 minute swim than my friends who used to swim in university. More effort, less results. What is going on here?

There are two general tendencies at play; genetics and a properly developed plan. Your genetics play a large role in your ability to lift heavy weights, perform in certain sports, and even lose weight. A recent article in Men’s Health highlights this point to a tee, some people are just born ‘bigger, stronger, faster!’

So, should you be taking advice from people – trainers, strength coaches, friends – whose genetic and hormonal profile predispose them to success? If you look at the hormonal profiles of top athletes, they all tend to fall into a certain category, a level above the rest of us.

The answer is no, you shouldn’t follow a personal trainer’s advice just because they are big or strong. But, if they have experience and expertise in their field and can outline  a safe and effective plan for you (with short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals) to help you achieve your goals… absolutely!

Effort only gets you so far. Most people don’t need to train more, they need to train smarter. Your training intensity (how hard you are working) as well as your training density (how much work you can do in a specific amount of time) are two critical factors for helping you achieve your goals of a better body and better performance.

You don’t need more hours in the gym… find the right plan and you can get better results in less time. For most people, this is the ultimate goal!

Have a great week,


Dr. Marc Bubbs, ND, CSCS,
  is a Naturopathic Doctor, Strength Coach, Author, Speaker, and Blogger practicing in Toronto, Canada. He believes that diet, exercise, and lifestyle factors have the most profound impact on your overall health and performance. Marc is the author of The Paleo Project – A 21st Guide to Looking Leaner, Getting Stronger, & Living Longer and currently serves as the Sports Nutrition Lead for Canadian Men’s Olympic Basketball Team.
Dr. Marc Bubbs ND, CSCS

 

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Jun 29

New Regulations for Naturopathic Doctors, and What That Means For You!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ministry of health and long term care has made the official announcement, on July 1, 2015 the Naturopathic profession will move from operating under the Drugless Practitioners Act to the regulatory umbrella of the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 and the Naturopathy Act, 2007. As well, the College of Naturopaths of Ontario will now be in place to regulate the profession in the public interest.

This is an exciting advancement for our profession. With proclamation, Naturopathic Doctors are joining a community of nearly 300,000 health care professionals in Ontario who fall under the RHPA. Being an official part of this community will provide the opportunity for more integration and improved interdisciplinary care.

New regulation will also offer Naturopathic doctors the opportunity to obtain prescribing rights to a list of therapeutic substances including drugs like bio-identical hormones. Access to these substances is something our clients have been advocating for and will increase our ability to provide our clients with the best quality care. New regulations mean a new set of regulatory examinations. Our team is looking forward to the opportunity and will be working hard to complete all necessary examinations and so we can work with our clients to the full scope of our practice and their full health potential.

For our clients who receive Intravenous Micronutrient Therapy (IVMT), new regulation means that we will be working though some short term changes to our IV schedule. We will be working with our neighbours at Pace Pharmacy, who will be compounding our IV formulas. IV appointments will be available on Mondays from 2p-6p, Wednesdays from 10a-2p, and Fridays from 2p -6p. Our reception team will be contacting our IVMT clients with more information and will be happy to answer any questions you might have.

We sincerely thank all of our clients and community members who advocated to their MPP’s and the Ministry of Health to expand and maintain the Naturopathic scope of practice. Your letters and contributions have gone a long way to expand the proposed access to lab testing and therapeutic substances for Naturopathic clients. For that we are sincerely grateful.  We will continue to help our clients make empowered choices that support their values, in the pursuit of living an authentic healthy life.

Sincerely,

The IHI Team

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Jun 22

Movility and Creativity

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By Corinne K.

We’re often taught that having our nose to the grindstone is the best route to productivity. And while a strong work ethic is certainly an important factor in achieving success, sometimes the best thing we can do is move away from our work. New ideas and fresh perspectives will come easier when we can walk away and take a look at things from another angle.

Some of the world’s greatest minds understood the power of movement in getting their creative juices flowing. Rather than sit around, banging their heads against the wall when they got stuck on an idea, they knew that getting into their bodies was the best way to invoke their muse.

Steve Jobs was known for conducting his most important business meetings while walking with collaborators, crediting his greatest a-ha moments to these moving meetings. Darwin, Nietzsche, Dickens and Beethoven also found that their most creative moments came during their regular walks.

Getting into our bodies has been scientifically proven to increase creativity. A 2014 study published by the Journal of Experimental Psychology explored the level of creative thinking sparked by participants observed while sitting versus walking on a treadmill. The study concluded that walking increased creativity for 81% of participants while also increasing their creative output by an average of 60%. They also found that the thoughts that were generated by walking weren’t far-fetched or random but instead, were innovative and practical.

So what is it about walking that triggers our creativity? It all begins with the change to our chemistry as we begin to move. As we walk, our heart rate increases, circulating more blood and oxygen to the muscles and organs including the brain. Many experiments have shown that during and after exercise (even mild exertion) people will perform better on tests of memory and attention. Walking regularly also promotes new connections in the brain and helps slow the inevitable decline in brain tissue as we age.

When we’re stuck at our desks staring at a computer screen, hoping that inspiration strikes, we’re likely to find more of the same stagnation that we’re hoping to overcome.

Have you ever had the experience of desperately searching for something where you turn everything upside down? You search high and low only to find that what you’ve been looking for was right in front of you the whole time. It was staring right back at you but somehow you just didn’t see it. Typically we only see what we’re looking for right when we’re about to give up. When we’ve resigned ourselves that it’s lost forever – there it is. This is the point where we let go of the fixation of finding something.

This hindering fixation happens in other instances as well. It happens when we’re forcing an issue, trying desperately to fit it into a box of our understanding of something, even when it’s clear that we need to find another solution. This happens when we’re blocked creatively and stare at a blank page, canvas or computer screen and are trying to force a spark of inspiration.

The more we can get moving and walk away from these situations, the more we’ll find ease in our pursuits. So the next time you get stuck on something – stretch those legs and go for a walk instead! Allow the answers to come to you in a natural flow.

Corinne K.
Soul Healer. Change Catalyst.
Corinne works with stressed out, busy and driven women. She helps them slow down and feel better physically and emotionally. She guides them to get real about what they need to feel more free, inspired and empowered. Check out her website for more details and her June 2015 promotion.

w: www.corinnek.ca
e: hello@corinnek.ca
c: 416.844.0804

 

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Jun 15

Confessions of a Naturopath: I hate working out.

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By Dr. Shannon Vander Doelen, ND

In honour of MOVILITY month at IHI, I have a confession to make – I hate working out. Yes you read that right – I’m a naturopathic doctor that hates working out. In high school I played on a number of sports teams and worked part time as a lifeguard and swimming instructor – I was a pretty active teenager! Off to university I went, and the concept of “going to the gym” was introduced to me. Every semester I paid for the membership that allowed me access to the weight/cardio rooms and classes (Oh, the classes! They sounded so fun!) And every semester I would learn after a week or two that I had wasted my money (and in my 4 years at Guelph I think I went to just 4 Zumba classes). I spent 8 years in post-secondary education going through mostly the same drill – buying gym memberships, trying to get myself to go work out, and being disappointed in myself when I didn’t follow through on my expectations. By the end of Naturopathic College, I wasn’t in the best shape, and what was worst is that I was feeling pretty lousy about it. How was I supposed to go out into the world and tell people that they should be exercising when I couldn’t even commit to it myself? Fast-forward to today – and I believe I’m in the best shape of my life. What’s changed? I stopped worrying about working out and just started moving.

I have tried to be as open minded as I can to trying new things – I have learned to play squash and tennis, I started riding my bike again (something I hadn’t done much of since high school) and despite being a bit nervous, I use it as my main mode of transportation around the city. I regularly go for walks with my husband, friends or family. We explore new neighbourhoods and parts of the city that we’ve never been to. This summer I’m playing on a softball team, and I’m hoping to get out of the city a few times to hike, swim, canoe, and experience nature in cottage country. I also use the gym in my condo from time to time when the weather isn’t cooperating or I feel like I just want to move my body! To me, not one of these things ever feels like working out, but the benefits to my physical and mental health would tell you that they are. The pros of movement are no secret to any of us – we’ve talked lots about them on this blog in fact. But what I’ve come to realize is that movement, in any form, is what I want to preach to my patients. Yes, this might take you a bit out of your comfort zone, but that’s where all the change happens! I know it can be challenging, intimidating, and downright scary. To help you get started, here are my top 5 tips for incorporating movement into your life.

  1. Do something you enjoy. Maybe you love classes at the gym, awesome! But remember that it’s okay if you don’t. Did you use to play a sport or do an activity as a teen that you enjoyed? Is there something you’ve always wanted to try? I can almost guarantee that there are other adults out there doing it too and would be happy to have you join them. (Also, don’t get me wrong, I love a good Zumba class. My sister is even a Zumba instructor, family dinners can get a little rowdy.)
  2. Add it in to your routine. There are things that you do every day right? Think about how you can incorporate a bit of movement into some of the tasks you are already doing on a regular basis. Get off the subway a stop sooner, park your car in the back of the parking lot, stand up and walk around each time you are on the phone, do wall or counter push ups when you are waiting for your coffee to brew, or do some squats during each commercial on TV. Every little bit counts.
  3. Move everyday. Sometimes this might take a bit of forethought, particularly during busy times. I often suggest to those who work a desk job to set an alarm on their phone to go off every hour to remind them to get up and move. Go to the washroom, grab a glass of water, do a loop around your office, or go up one or two flights of stairs and back down. There is a great video by Dr. Mike Evans from the University of Toronto who pleads of us all to limit our sitting to just 23 ½ hours per day – do you think you can do it?
  4. Think about function instead of the number on the scale. I view movement as more than just losing weight or achieving a certain figure. Movement, and in particular functional movement, is going to allow our bodies to remain active for longer. Whole body movement rather than isolated muscle strengthening is best for increasing our lean muscle mass and decreasing our fat mass, thus improving body composition, allowing us to move pain-free, and gives us the ability to move independently despite aging (think about things like getting in and out of a chair, or climbing up stairs).
  5. Get yourself a coach or cheerleader. If you are looking to move more but don’t know where to start, consider taking a lesson, joining a class, or finding a friend to help support you! There are lots of cool apps you can download that also guide you through how to move and coach you to keep going when you feel like giving up. Sometimes there is something else going on that is preventing us from moving – pain, injury, fatigue and even our mood can stop us in our tracks despite our best intentions. Your Naturopathic Doctor can also be a great help, and can give you individualized support to achieve your goals.

In honour of Movility, what steps are you going to take to move more? I’m looking forward to hearing from all of you!

 

IMG_2905_2Shannon will work with you to help you live your healthiest and happiest life. Since this means something different to everyone, she is excited about exploring your individual needs and working with you to create a treatment plan that is unique and sustainable for you and your busy lifestyle. Shannon is passionate about health and happiness and believes that the two go hand-in-hand.

Clinically, Shannon practices functional medicine. She maintains a general family practice, with a special interest in managing fatigue, stress, anxiety, and depression; digestive health; skin health; irregular or painful menstruation; and endocrine/hormonal disorders.

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Jun 15

Movility Turmeric Latte

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Ingredient benefits:

Turmeric:

  • Mediates chronic inflammation. Inflammation can trigger metabolic disorders such as insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes
  • Curcumin can prevent fat deposition and promotes fat burning

Hemp seeds:

  • Reduce appetite
  • Provide fats and proteins to reduce cravings to sweets and carbs
  • GLA (an essential fatty acid) activates metabolism and encourages the use of stored fat for energy

Cinnamon:

  • Supports balances blood sugar values
  • Reduces inflammation

Ginger:

  • Promotes optimal digestion
  • Thermogenic effect promotes fat loss and also boosts metabolism

Protein:

  • Promotes muscle growth and development and improves body composition

Have an awesome day!

 

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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Jun 8

Exercise – The Best ‘Pill’ You Can Take!

Marathon runners on the run in city

By Dr Marc Bubbs, ND, CSCS

The idea that exercise is the best ‘pill’ you’ll ever take to promote a healthy heart and blood vessels is consequently gathering steam in the medical community.  World leaders in cardiovascular medicine gathered last summer at the 2010 European Society of Cardiology Congress Conference in Stockholm, Sweden.  The main topic of discussion was the impact that moderateexercise can have on not only preventing cardiovascular disease (CVD) but reversing CVD in patients with existing damage.  This is a profound statement as according to the American Heart Association we currently spend 475 million dollars annually treating CVD. The scientific data presented supports the notion of exercise as a ‘first line’ therapeutic medical intervention – not just a token preventative option – for patients with cardiovascular disease.

A very interesting study at the Conference entitled “Exercise: from leisure activity to therapeutic option,” was presented by Dr. Denis Clement, highlighting the relationship between low peak VO2 and poor prognosis in post-myocardial infarction – or post-heart attack – patient outcomes.  These results outline the relationship between poor aerobic fitness and poor outcomes after heart attacks.  His investigative group concluded that aerobic exercise should be a ‘first line’ therapeutic option when treating CVD patients.  That is to say Dr Clement’s medical team view exercise as the most important treatment option for cardiovascular patients due to its overwhelming positive impact on cardiovascular health.   His team has also seen benefits using interval aerobic training on Metabolic Syndrome or Syndrome X, a growing epidemic in North America.  Metabolic syndrome is defined as a combination of elevated triglycerides, elevated blood pressure, elevated blood sugar or insulin levels, decreased HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol, and increased body fat levels or body mass index (BMI).  Dr. Clement’s preliminary work shows the power that one single intervention – interval aerobic training – can have on changing all five disease-markers!  Not even the best drug in the world can have this wide reaching beneficial impact.

Another study presented in Stockholm, by Dr Francois Carre, discussed the beneficial impact that weight training can have on cardiovascular health.  Dr Carre, an expert anesthesiologist, believes that properly executed weight training targeting large muscle groups has a multitude of profound heart healthy benefits.  His team’s research observed positive correlations between increased strength and improved cardiovascular health. This is incredible evidence that weight training can prevent cardiovascular degeneration and drastically reduce the incidence of CVD. Dr Carre’s reserach  demonstrates that the benefits of exercise far outweigh the risks for CVD patients, however he does suggests patients be evaluated by a physician first before starting a new exercise regime and be given a personalized program to maximize their results.

We often think if we are not losing weight after hours of training at the gym that we are not getting results, that our efforts are inconsequential.  The studies presented at the Cardiology Conference in Stockholm tell a different story.  They provide gold-standard scientific evidence that exercise is improving the structure and function of your heart and blood vessels, setting up the foundation for optimal health.   Dr Rainer Rauramaa of the Finish Institute of Exercise further supports the use of resistance training as a therapeutic tool.  He has stated…” that moderate resistance training exercise should be considered the ‘cornerstone in the treatment of hypertension’. He made this conclusion after presenting research highlighting the positive impact of moderate resistance training on blood pressure and vascular disease.  His investigative team discovered “a clear anti-atherosclerotic effect” – or plaque reducing effect – in blood vessels due to strength training, regardless of whether or not the patient lost weight. This point is especially important. Even if you don’t lose any weight in the gym, you are improving your cardiovascaular health tremendously, and fighting off degeneration and disease.  Best of all, there are no negative side-effects! Actually, one could say the side-effects of resistance training are increased energy, vitality, immune and digestive function, and better sleep! Sounds like something we all could use a little bit more of.

The overwhelming message from the Cardiology Conference was that traditional drug therapy is really only a ‘palliative’ or ‘band-aid’ therapy and did not address the underlying causes of the disease.  Dr Rainer Hambrecht of Germany was so impressed with the results of his study that he concluded, “I would be happy if I could convince everybody with coronary artery disease to participate in a moderate exercise program.” He presented material highlighting the positive impact that 12 months of exercise had on myocardial perfusion – or blood supply to heart muscles – and the symptom relief it gives patients suffering from angina or chest pain.  His data showed that exercise was just as good as the leading cardiovascular drug on patient outcomes.  However, exercise was the only thing that improved endothelial function and slowed the progression of disease, due to its holistic and overall impact on the body.  This is a profound testimonial to the powerful positive impact of exercise on heart health.

Get started on an individualized heart healthy protocol of exercise, diet and supplementation. Need help getting started? Contact us today to find out more.


Dr. Marc Bubbs, ND, CSCS,
  is a Naturopathic Doctor, Strength Coach, Author, Speaker, and Blogger practicing in Toronto, Canada. He believes that diet, exercise, and lifestyle factors have the most profound impact on your overall health and performance. Marc is the author of The Paleo Project – A 21st Guide to Looking Leaner, Getting Stronger, & Living Longer and currently serves as the Sports Nutrition Lead for Canadian Men’s Olympic Basketball Team.
Dr. Marc Bubbs ND, CSCS

 

References:

1)     Clement DL. Treatment of hypertension in patients with peripheral arterial disease: an update. Curr Hypertens Rep. 2009 Aug;11(4):271-6. Review.

2)     American Heart Associtation, [www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4475] Jan 2010

3)     Corra U, Carre F et al.  Secondary prevention through cardiac rehabilitation: physical activity counselling and exercise training: key components of the position paper from the Cardiac Rehabilitation Section of the European Association of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation. Eur Heart J. 2010 Aug;31(16):1967-74. Epub 2010 Jul 19.

4)     Laukkanen JA, Mäkikallio TH, Rauramaa R, Kurl S.  Asymptomatic ST-segment depression during exercise testing and the risk of sudden cardiac death in middle-aged men: a population-based follow-up study. Eur Heart J. 2009 Mar;30(5):558-65. Epub 2009 Jan 23.

5)     Clement, DL. “Hypertension and Peripheral Disease”.  2010 European Society of Cardiology Congress in Stockholm, Sweden.

6)     Carre, DL. “Exercise Modalities for Cardiovascular Patients”.  2010 European Society of Cardiology Congress in Stockholm, Sweden.

7)     Hambrecht, R. “Training Away Angina”. 2010 European Society of Cardiology Congress in Stockholm, Sweden.

8)     Rauramaa, R. “ Exercise As Treatment Option for Hypertension.” 2010 European Society of Cardiology Congress in Stockholm, Sweden.

9)     Gielen S, Hambrecht R, Schuler GC.  Commentary on Viewpoint: Exercise and cardiovascular risk reduction: time to update the rationale for exercise? J Appl Physiol. 2008 Aug;105(2):771.

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Jun 1

Pilates: An Approach to Movement

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By Yvette Marcek

Pilates: An Approach to Movement

I have a well seasoned client at the age of 63 who has a great sense of humour and an attitude to match. Over the last few years he’s gone through two knee replacements. He travels the world and travels around Toronto, either walking, cycling, or on the TTC, and keeps further active and well, with some moderate strength training at the gym. He’s far from being pain free, but you can’t keep him still. He says to me, “listen Yvette, motion is lotion.” This gentleman’s daughter is a professional dancer – this is her mantra, and the mantra of all her dance friends. What’s your ‘lotion’? Pilates is one of my favourite ‘lotions’, because that’s what it feels like. Am I right Pilates fans?

Physical movement is vital for our wellbeing: not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally. Maybe you’re already hitting the gym, an avid runner, doing yoga, playing a sport, running after your kids, dancing, walking, cycling, or taking care of your household. Or maybe you used to be active, and you’d desperately love to get some activity back into your life. Or maybe you haven’t ever done much physical activity in the past, but you are ready to give it a try. Whatever stage you’re at, Pilates has a place. Yes, even if you have no history of physical activity. The main goal is just to get moving because Pilates has many modifications that are adapted to each person’s ability.

Pilates is more than a series of exercises. It’s an exercise practice and an approach to movement. It isn’t meant to be the only thing you do, rather a foundation to do everything else better, from sitting to the flying trapeze. The exercises have various therapeutic targets. For example muscle activation, joint mobilization, stabilizing challenges, sequencing, coordination and endurance objectives. The main purpose of Pilates is to restore optimal function to the body by focusing on the core stabilizers which provide support to your body’s center. This is your source of power, balance and movement. The ultimate goal is then to integrate core strength with flexible limbs and joints, not only on the mat, but transferring into your day to day life. With your increased body awareness, you will gain a better understanding of how your body moves and shakes, fostering a sense of connection with your body, and nurturing your mind/body relationship, so you can consciously move throughout the day with better overall support for your precious body. As Joseph Pilates says, “it’s the mind itself which shapes the body.” Instead of being an exercise regime that you simply follow along, it’s an intelligent way to exercise and it is great lotion for motion.

 

Integrative-017-199x300Yvette Marcek is a Registered Massage Therapist, Pilates Practitioner and Reiki Practitioner; she often incorporates each of these modalities with her clients. Recognizing that each person who comes in the treatment room has unique requirements and goals, her priority is to create a therapeutic environment that is safe, healing, and positive.

Despite viewing laughter as the best form of medicine, Yvette sees the healing of massage therapy and touch as an international language, spoken without barriers and greatly benefiting anyone. She is particularly passionate about increasing body awareness, believing that consciousness of our physical body and the world around us is an integral part of maintaining our health and happiness.

You can email Yvette for more info on her Pilates classes, Reiki or her RMT practice here

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May 25

What are Microbeads Doing to our Environment?

microbeads

By Dr. Jen Newell

The Ontario government is considering passing a motion to ban microbeads from personal care products. Environmental crusaders and concerned citizens have been warning about the environmental threat that these tiny petro-particles pose as they slip past wastewater treatment plants and into the Great Lakes.

What are microbeads?

Microbeads are tiny (<1mm) balls of plastic made of polyethylene, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate, polymethyl methacrylate or nylon. They are used in many personal care products such as scrubs, body wash and toothpaste to aid exfoliation. These microbeads are becoming an increasingly significant source of pollution throughout the marine environment because they are too small to be retained by the filters used at water treatment facilities and they do not biodegrade.

What are microbeads doing to our environment?

Marine species are unable to distinguish between food and microplastics and therefore indiscriminately feed on microplastics. In an overview published for the Convention on Biological Diversity, it was shown that over 663 different species were negatively impacted by marine debris with approximately 11% of reported cases specifically related to the ingestion of microplastics.

The petroleum in the plastic serves as a magnet for other pollutants in the environment like DDT, PCBs, flame-retardants, and other industrial chemicals. Because these microbeads easily attract and absorb toxins, the beads are potentially toxic to any wildlife that eats them. The toxins from the beads can also accumulate in fish and wildlife, even potentially reaching humans who eat wildlife around the Great Lakes region.

The American non-governmental organization (NGO) 5Gyres, found a large number of microplastics in the Great Lakes and estimates that one single care product (Neutrogena’s Deep Clean) contains 360,000 microbeads. Beginning in 2012, a research team that included scientists from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Fredonia and The 5 Gyres Institute began sampling the Great Lakes to better understand plastic pollution in our most treasured resource. The recent research to collect data on the prevalence of plastics in the lakes is showing alarming results. Lake Michigan had an average of 17,000 microbeads per square kilometer. The levels were much lower in Lake Huron and Lake Superior, but Lake Erie and Lake Ontario had much higher concentrations. Lake Ontario’s levels are highest, with counts of up to 1.1 million plastic particles per square kilometer.

What can we do?

Support the ban on microbead use and avoid products that use them for manual exfoliation. There are a number of natural, sustainable alternatives to microbeads, such as enzymes, sugar, and jojoba beads, which can be used in personal care products. Put your consumer power behind companies using more environmentally friendly ingredients and let the government know your position by writing a letter to Glen Murray, Minster of Environment and Climate Change.

 

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.

Resources:

Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel—GEF (2012). Impacts of Marine Debris on Biodiversity: Current Status and Potential Solutions, Montreal, Technical Series No. 67.

L.S. Fendall, M.A. Sewell, ‘Contributing to marine pollution by washing your face: microplastics in facial cleansers’, in: Marine Pollution Bulletin, 58 (8) (2009), pp. 1225-1228.

  1. Lithner et al., ‘Environmental and health hazard ranking and assessment of plastic polymers based on chemical composition’, in: Science of the total environment 409 (2011), pp. 3309–3324.

http://5gyres.org/how_to_get_involved/campaigns/

http://action.environmentaldefence.ca/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=13213

(Image: Pierre Bourrier/Getty Images)

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May 18

Say “No” to Aveeno

oats

By Dr. Jen Newell

Jennifer Aniston has pioneered a number of epic fashion statements – who didn’t have “the Rachel” haircut? That being said, I can’t get behind her promotion of Aveeno skincare products, which masquerade as “natural” products. This is really deceiving and confusing to customers looking to make smart choices for personal care products.

 

Aveeno’s Claims:

Our mission to help every woman feel naturally beautiful in the way she looks and in the way she lives her life. So we strive to inspire you to discover natural beauty and wellness, and we work hard to provide products made with the most natural and effective ingredients.

The makers of AVEENO® only select the finest ingredients found in nature with powerful benefits to become ACTIVE NATURALS® ingredients, and turn them into innovative, effective skin and hair care products. In fact, these formulas are so effective, they’re recommended by dermatologists, pediatricians and beauty professionals across Canada.

AVEENO® products can help you achieve healthier looking skin and hair, so you can look and feel more beautiful too.

 

What’s in Aveeno:

AVEENO® Daily Moisturizing Lotion (interestingly enough the full ingredient list was not available on Aveeno’s website; the only ingredient mentioned is colloidal oatmeal):

Active Ingredients: Dimethicone (1.25%) (Skin Protectant)

Inactive Ingredients: Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Flour (Oat), Benzyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Distearyldimonium Chloride, Glycerin, Isopropyl Palmitate, Petrolatum, Sodium Chloride, Water

 

What are all these ingredients?

Dimethicone – man-made silicon polymer that gives products a silky, easily spreadable sensation. While Dimethicone is considered safe and low hazard risk according to the Environmental Working Group; I caution against its regular use as it creates a plastic-like barrier on the surface of the skin and prevents the skin from its normal activities.

Avena Sativa Kernal Flour (AKA colloidal oatmeal) – this is not considered one of Aveeno’s active ingredients but it is one of the least concerning ingredients in the products which is probably why it’s the only one mentioned on their website. This ingredient is created by finely grinding oat kernels; It is often used to relieve minor skin irritation and itching.

Benzyl Alcohol – benzyl alcohol is a naturally ocurring and synthetic ingredient used as solvent and preservative; has been associated with contact allergy.

Cetearyl Alcohol – mixture of fatty alcohols, consisting predominantly of cetyl and stearyl alcohols and is classified as a fatty alcohol. It is used as a emulsifier and helps prevent oil and water containing products from separating.

Distearyldimonium Chloride – found in many skin creams because of its moisturizing and smoothing properties.

Glycerin – used as a moisturizer to treat or prevent dry, rough, scaly, itchy skin and minor skin irritations.

Isopropyl Palmitate – binding agent that lubricates the skin. Isopropyl palmitate has been known to cause acne, blackheads, whiteheads and clogged pores if overused.

Petrolatum – Petrolatum is mineral oil jelly (i.e. petroleum jelly). It is used as a barrier to lock moisture in the skin in a variety of moisturizers and also in hair care products to make your hair shine. The European Union classifies petrolatum a carcinogen and restricts its use in cosmetics. Petrolatum comes from crude oil, and as such is not a renewable resource.

Sodium Chloride – salt.

 

My Thoughts:

Based on the ingredients, Aveeno is far from natural and does not qualify as a skin-nourishing product. I advise patients to steer clear of it and opt for actual natural alternatives that will heal and nurture the skin as part of a comprehensive skincare regime.

Not only do I dislike the ingredients used by Aveeno; I also think they should be held accountable for their false claims of being a natural product. Unfortunately, there are no regulations about the use of terms such as “natural”

 

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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May 11

Why YOU Should Drink Green Tea!

greentea

By Dr. Marc Bubbs, ND, CSCS

Green tea has been used for thousands of years throughout India, China, and Japan as a panacea for longevity and health. Green tea is a member the Theaceae family of plants and contains numerous key nutrients that can help sedentary and active people improve overall health, lose weight, and fight inflammation.

Green tea is a wonderful tonic for overall health and has an amazing array of health promoting benefits. It contains some of the highest concentration of powerful anti-oxidants, which help protect the body’s DNA and cell membranes. It lowers total cholesterol levels and increases good ‘heart healthy’ HDL cholesterol. It also inhibits cancer cell growth and is protective against breast, ovarian, and prostate cancer. It’s amazing that one plant can have such a profound impact on so many systems of the body.

Green tea also contains epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG, which helps increase fat burning in the body. Fat is an important fuel for exercise, increasing your endurance and therefore your overall performance. EGCG can trigger the release of stored body fat to be used as fuel for movement and exercise. This is a great way to accelerate weight loss and reduce risk a chronic diseases.

The benefits of green tea don’t stop there. It contains naturally occurring caffeine that inhibits a very important enzyme called COMT. When this enzyme is inhibited it prolongs the fat burning effect of EGCG due to the presence of the naturally occurring caffeine in green tea. This synergistic effect is why it’s important to actually drink green tea, rather than simply take supplements.

Green tea is also a powerful anti-inflammatory, containing over fifty-one anti-inflammatory compounds. One in particular is especially potent. Apigenin, a citrus bioflavanoid, is an active inhibitor of the enzyme cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2). The ability to inhibit the COX-2 enzyme is the same mechanism used to stop inflammation by the popular over–the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Advil or Ibuprofen. These drugs have many side-effects, including stomach ulcers, liver and kidney damage, and have been shown to cause intestinal hyper-permeability or leaky gut.

Inflammation is thought to be the root cause of many chronic diseases. Green tea blocks the formation of uric acid, another important and well-recognized medical marker for systemic inflammation. Green tea not only reduces inflammation and but also contains over 50 anti-ulcer compounds.

Add a cup of green tea to your day to start reaping the many health and performance benefits of green tea. If you are an avid coffee drinker, try substituting your afternoon coffee for green tea. You’ll not only boost your antioxidant levels, but your overall health as well!


Dr. Marc Bubbs, ND, CSCS,
  is a Naturopathic Doctor, Strength Coach, Author, Speaker, and Blogger practicing in Toronto, Canada. He believes that diet, exercise, and lifestyle factors have the most profound impact on your overall health and performance. Marc is the author of The Paleo Project – A 21st Guide to Looking Leaner, Getting Stronger, & Living Longer and currently serves as the Sports Nutrition Lead for Canadian Men’s Olympic Basketball Team.
Dr. Marc Bubbs ND, CSCS

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