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Chia- What’s all the fuss about?

 

What makes chia a superfood?

Chia is considered one of the “Superfoods”. According to experts like Diane Allen, MS, CNS, a health writer and holistic clinical nutritionist and author of the book Chia Seeds, superfoods offer more than functional foods. To quote Allen “they are nutrient-dense and packed with antioxidants and other powerful health-promoting substances. As a rule, one needs to eat only a small amount of a superfood to get a big benefit.”

Some of the key features of Chia include:

  • Chia seeds have more omega-3 fatty acids than any other natural source.
  • Chia contains high amounts of antioxidants, calcium, protein, fibre as well as many other vitamins and minerals.
  • Chia is very high in soluble fiber with approximately 10g per serving (2 tbsp.)
  • Chia is energizing and stabilizes the blood sugar levels in the body. The combination of complete protein, vitamins, minerals and blood-sugar balancing all work together to provide steady and sustained energy.
  • Unlike flaxseeds, which are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, fibre and minerals, chia seeds do not need to be ground in order to obtain their nutrient or egg- replacement benefits.
  • The outer layer of chia seeds swell when mixed with liquids to form a gel. This can be used in place of eggs to lower cholesterol and increase the nutrient content of foods and baked goods. To make the egg replacement, mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and let it sit for 15 minutes.
  • A study published in the "British Journal of Nutrition" showed that chia seeds as a dietary fat source can lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels while increasing HDL or "good" cholesterol.

Written by Cobi Slater — November 25, 2016

Did you know.... Body Odor

 

Body odor can range from daisies in a spring meadow to Oscar the grouch's garbage can! There are many things that influence a person's natural scent. Foods such as garlic, onions, spicy peppers and caffeine can cause quite a stench! Simply changing your diet to avoid those offenders and including "green" foods such as chlorophyll and wheat grass can help you to smell fresh. 

 

Natural deodorants are a much safer and aluminum free way to keep yourself smelling fresh!  

 

 

 

Written by Cobi Slater — November 25, 2016

Holiday Survival Guide!

 

 

It is the time of year when many people feel the spirit of indulgence coming upon them. If you are wondering how you are going to survive and would like to wake up Jan 2nd feeling great about your choices rather than feeling the need to “start over” then this Holiday Survival Guide is just what the Doctor ordered!

In so many ways the Holiday Season is a wonderful delight but there are also challenges that people may face in regard to staying healthy while still having fun. Here are Dr Cobi's Top Tips to SURVIVE AND THRIVE this Holiday Season:

  1.  Stress-This is the most common issue that many people face during the Holiday season. It is of utmost importance to support your body during this increased time of stress so that you do not end up depleted and exhausted by January. Give your body the "stress protection" it needs by taking a Vitamin B Complex and supporting the adrenal glands. See Dr Cobi’s Top Picks for the most popular Stress Busting remedies listed below.

  2. Weight Gain-The general attitude around the Holidays is "anything goes". This can be fun while it lasts but when January comes, so does remorse! Why not make this year different? Snack before going out to ensure that you do not arrive at a Holiday function starving and more prone to poor nutritional decisions. Bring your own healthy food to share and then you can rest assured that there would then be at least one healthy choice to eat.  Load up on veggies at Holiday buffets and shy away from higher fat and sugar containing foods.  Remember that alcohol lowers your "food inhibitions" and makes you more prone to regretful decisions. Wake up happy with yourself!

  3. Digestive Distress- This is all too common after indulging in seasonal treats and party foods. Prevent the "aftermath" by taking some Digestive enzymes and Probiotics to keep your digestion in top form.  If you are aware of your food allergies, then do not cut yourself some slack by consuming allergenic foods because the result could likely prevent you from enjoying the Holidays. See Dr Cobi’s Top Picks for the favorite Digestive Aids listed below.

  4. Travel- Many people travel during the Holiday season and end up taking a "holiday" from their regular healthy regimes. People will often skip vitamins and supplements as well as consuming foods they do not normally eat. Sleep patterns all too often fall to the wayside as well. If you are travelling, try to stick to your regime as best as you can by taking your supplements with you and making the best nutritional choices that you can. This will ensure a much more enjoyable holiday. If you are travelling outside of normal time zones, melatonin is a proven remedy to prevent jet lag. Take 1-3mg a few days before you leave, while you are away and a few days after you return. The results are un-deniable.

  5. Hangover- Many people use alcohol during this time of year as a coping mechanism or as a means of celebration and sometimes it can go too far! Alcohol depletes Vitamin B1, adds excess stress to the liver and dehydrates the body.   Some of the best hangover "cures" are more in the prevention. By taking sublingual B12 and a liver protecting formula as well as stocking up on coconut water, you can actually decrease the negative effects of alcohol on the body. Take these 3 remedies daily during the Holiday season or as needed when the time arises. See Dr Cobi’s Top Picks for the best Hangover Cure Remedies listed below.

  6. Immune Health- There is nothing worse than getting sick during the Holiday Season but it is a very common occurrence. One reason is the increase in virus exposure this time of year.  In addition, once the body is allowed to relax, it has this innate ability to recognize that now there is time to be sick. Boost your immune system to prevent this from sabotaging your Holiday fun! Avoid excess sugar which depletes the immune system, pay close attention to hand washing and supplement with 5000 IU of Vitamin D3, 3000mg of Vitamin C and 50mg of Zinc to protect yourself.  See Dr Cobi’s Top Picks for my favorite Immune Boosters listed below. 

  7. Exercise- This is no time to pause your exercise regime. There is so much additional stress that exercise is crucial during this time so you have an outlet for excess stress. Many people think that they will get back on track in January but why put off tomorrow what you can do today. Exercise your way through the Holidays and January won't be so dreaded!

  8. Sleep- A lack of sleep is the downfall of so many. A good night's rest is crucial for stress management, healthy hormone balance, clear thinking, energy and prevention of food cravings. If you have difficulty sleeping. See Dr Cobi’s Top Picks for some great Sleep Aids listed below.

  9. Healthy Gift Ideas- If you are stressed by gift giving then let us help! Give the gift of health. We have many great healthy gift ideas for a variety of budgets including infrared sauna sessions, skin care specials, 100% Pure Body Care Products, healthy gift packs and if you are still unsure, we also have gift certificates! See below for exciting Christmas Deals just for you!

  

Dr Cobi’s Top Holiday Season Picks

 

Stress Busters

Stress B Complex- Thorne

Adrenomend- Douglas Labs

Relaxeze- Enzed

 

Digestive Aids

BPP Digestive Enzymes- Thorne

GI Digest- Douglas Labs

Ultra flora Balance Probiotics- Metagenics

 

Hangover Cures

B12-Mehtylcobalamin- AOR

LVDTX- Liver Detox-Douglas Labs

 

Immune Boosters

Liquid Vitamin D3/K2-Thorne

Immucore-Metagenics

 

Sleep Aids

Melatonin Prolonged Release-Douglas Labs

Brain Calm-Douglas Labs

Written by Cobi Slater — November 25, 2016

How can I eliminate my sugar cravings?

 

 6 Quick tips to eliminate sugar cravings:

 

1.       Consume protein at breakfast- Consuming protein in the morning sets the stage for the day for blood sugar stabilization. Starting your day with carbohydrates on the other hand can leave you craving more sugar all day.

 

2.       Just a pinch of Cinnamon- This blood sugar stabilizing spice helps to cut cravings dramatically. Add Cinnamon to your smoothie, hot drinks or steel cut oatmeal each day to maintain blood sugar levels.

 

3.       Eliminate ALL forms of processed sugar including artificial sweeteners. Going cold turkey is the most effective way to successfully cut out sugar for good. The cravings will be gone in as little as 3 days!

 

4.       Consume good fats- Sources of high quality good fats lead to a sensation of fullness and satiety. Add 1-2 tbsp. of coconut oil into your daily diet as well as other sources of good fats such as raw nuts and seeds, avocados and cold pressed extra virgin olive oil.

 

5.       Sleep- Inadequate sleep can lead to a hormone disruption between leptin and ghrelin which are produced while you sleep. Leptin tells your body when you are full and ghrelin stimulates appetite. Sleep deprivation causes massive sugar cravings due to inadequate leptin. Aim for 8 good quality hours of sleep per night.

 

6.       Hydrate- Chronic dehydration can feel like hunger to most people. Often when afternoon cravings strike for something sweet, it is actually your body telling you to drink some water. The goal is to consume half your body weight in ounces of water each day.

 

7.       L-Glutamine- If the cravings are fierce, combine ½ tsp. of the amino acid l-glutamine with 2 tbsp. of water and swish in the mouth for 30 seconds and swallow. The cravings will be instantly gone! Repeat as needed. 

 

Written by Cobi Slater — November 25, 2016

DID YOU KNOW…. Manuka Honey has amazing healing properties and here is why….

The benefits of medicinal honey have been known for over 4,000 years after the Egyptians started to apply honey on wounds.

All honey contains a natural occurring enzyme which produces hydrogen peroxide which is a known antiseptic with proven antibacterial properties.  However, hydrogen peroxide loses most of its healing power when it comes in contact with body fluids or open wounds. In addition, all healing qualities of common honey are lost in contact with heat or direct light.

Studies on the benefits of Manuka honey have shown that it is a special type of mono-floral honey which contains an ingredient with powerful antibacterial, anti-microbial, antiviral, antioxidant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. This ingredient in Manuka honey was originally named UMF®or Unique Manuka Factor.

Manuka Honey is produced by bees that collect nectar from the Manuka Bush or Tea Tree (also known as Leptospermum Scoparium) indigenous only to New Zealand. 

Bees gather the nectar from the flowers of the Manuka Tree.  In the hive, they add an enzyme called glucose oxidase to the nectar in order to preserve the honey. When Manuka Honey comes into contact with body fluids, the glucose oxidase enzyme slowly releases the antibacterial hydrogen peroxide. The levels of hydrogen peroxide released are not high enough to damage tissue but sufficient enough to affect bacteria.

Most Common Uses of Manuka Honey

1. Gastritis

2. Stomach ulcers

3. Tonsillitis

4. Sinusitis

5. Skin ailments such as eczema, hives, rosacea and rashes

6. Building the immune system

7. Facial masks

8. Common flus, coughs and colds

9. Cuts and burns

 

Written by Cobi Slater — November 25, 2016

Curried Chicken, Potatoes and Peas-Serves 4

 

 

 

Curried Chicken, Potatoes and Peas-Serves 4

From The Ultimate Gluten and Dairy Free Cookbook- coming soon

 

All mixed up in a coconut curry sauce. This is a one pot wonder for sure!

 

Ingredients

 

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (sliced 3/4 inch thick)

  Himalayan sea salt and pepper (to taste)

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1⁄2 cup onion (chopped)

1 tbsp. fresh ginger (minced)

1 tsp. jalapeno (minced)

1 tbsp. sweet curry powder

1 cup chicken stock

1 red potato (peeled, cut into small chunks)

1 can coconut milk

1⁄2 cup frozen peas

2 tbsp. cilantro (chopped)

 

Instructions

 

  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Cook the chicken until cooked through and lightly browned.  Remove from the skillet and keep warm.

 

  1. Return the skillet to heat, adding a teaspoon of olive oil if needed, and add the onion, ginger and jalapeno.  Sauté until the vegetables soften and then add the curry powder and sauté for another 30 seconds.

 

  1. Pour the chicken stock into the skillet and add the potato and 1/2 tsp salt.  Simmer and cook, partly covered until the potato is tender, about 7 minutes.

 

  1. Add the coconut milk and peas.  Simmer a few minutes until the sauce is a bit thickened. 

 

  1. Add the chicken to the sauce, toss to coat and serve sprinkled with cilantro.

Written by Cobi Slater — October 31, 2016

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

 

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a common disorder in women of reproductive age that is characterized by the cyclic recurrence of physical, affective, and cognitive (or performance) symptoms.

 

The symptoms typically occur in the second half of the menstrual cycle, resolve after the period begins and are often absent during the early phase of the menstrual cycle. As many as 85% of menstruating women experience one or more symptoms of PMS. Approximately 5% to 10% of women have symptoms severe enough to be debilitating.

 

PMS affects women of all cultures and socioeconomic levels but types of symptoms and levels of discomfort vary from woman to woman and may have cultural influences. More than three hundred symptoms have been associated with PMS. 

 

Among the most prominent and consistently described symptoms are depression, anxiety, irritability, craving for sweet or salty foods, headaches, weight gain, fluid retention, breast pain and swelling, abdominal bloating and acne flare-ups on the face and shoulders.

 

Some of the other commonly associated symptoms include:


  • Abdominal bloating
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Accident proneness, coordination difficulties
  • Acne, hives
  • Aggression, rage
  • Alcohol intolerance
  • Anxiety, irritability, suicidal thoughts
  • Asthma
  • Back pain
  • Breast swelling and pain
  • Bruising
  • Confusion
  • Depression, withdrawal from others, emotional lability
  • Edema
  • Exacerbation of pre-existing conditions (e.g., lupus, arthritis, ulcers, herpes)
  • Fatigue, lethargy
  • Fainting (vasovagal syncope)
  • Food binges, salt cravings, sweet cravings
  • Headache, migraine
  • Heart palpitations
  • Insomnia
  • Joint swelling and pain
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Sex drive changes
  • Sinus problems
  • Sore throat
  • Urinary difficulties

1.The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. ACOG News Release. Accessed April 5, 2004 from

http://www.acog.org/from_home/publications/press_releases/nr03-31-00-1.cfm.

2.Halbreich U. The etiology, biology, and evolving pathology of premenstrual syndromes.

Psychoneuroendocrinology 2003; 28(3 Suppl):S55-S99.

 

Causes of PMS

The exact cause of PMS is not fully understood and may be related to a number of factors. The current theories on the underlying causes focus mostly on levels of sex hormones (e.g., estrogen, progesterone) and neurotransmitters (i.e., brain chemicals that control mood), dietary influences and emotional factors.

 

Dietary Factors Influencing PMS

  • Diets high in animal fats have been shown to increase prostaglandin (PGE2) production and aggravate PMS symptoms.
  • Increased alcohol consumption during the premenstrual phase interferes with the liver’s ability to detoxify excess circulating hormones.
  • Nutritional deficiencies such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin B6, vitamin E, and essential fatty acids contribute to PMS.
  • Increased caffeine consumption causes an imbalance of cortisol and blood sugar and further inhibits the liver's ability to balance serotonin, estrogen, and progesterone, leading to breast tenderness and swelling.

 

Many factors can contribute to or trigger PMS by causing hormonal changes in the body, including:

 

  • High consumption of dairy products
  • Excessive consumption of caffeine (soft drinks, coffee, chocolate)
  • Excessive consumption of high glycemic foods
  • A relatively high blood level of estrogen
  • A relatively low blood level of progesterone
  • Diet that leads to increased levels of the hormone prostaglandin F2
  • Excess body weight
  • Low levels of vitamins C and E
  • Magnesium and/or Selenium deficiency
  • Lack of exercise

 

PMS has been divided into four categories according to specific sets of symptoms.

Top 5 Strategies for PMS

 

 

  1. Complete Hormone testing- Available through Dr Cobi @ Essential Health Natural Wellness Clinic- Contact Us for more information
  2. Liver detoxification
  3. Optimize nutrition through a whole food diet
  4. Eliminate sugar and caffeine
  5. Supplement with 5-HTP (100mg 1-3 times per day- do not combine with pharmaceutical anti-depressants), Evening Primrose Oil (3000mg per day for 4 weeks then 1000mg per day), Vitamin E (400-800IU per day), Vitamin B6 (50-100mg per day), Magnesium (150mg per day), Vitex (225mg per day) and DIM (125mg per day).

Written by Cobi Slater — October 31, 2016

Spaghetti Squash Primavera-Serves 4

Spaghetti Primavera without the spaghetti? Fantastic!

Ingredients

1 spaghetti squash (halved lengthwise and seeded)

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 onion (diced)

2 cloves garlic (minced)

1⁄2 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)

1⁄4 cup fresh basil (chopped)

1⁄2 cup asparagus

1⁄2 cup red bell pepper (diced)

1⁄2 cup goat feta cheese (optional)

 

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Place spaghetti squash cut side down on a baking sheet.  Bake for 30 minutes or until a knife can easily be inserted.  Remove the squash from the oven and set aside to cool.

3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Sauté the garlic and onion for 2-3 minutes.  Add the asparagus and peppers and sauté for another couple of minutes.  Add the tomatoes and cook for 1 more minute.

4. Using a large spoon, scoop the stringy pulp from the squash and put in a medium bowl.  Toss the spaghetti squash with the vegetables, feta cheese, if using and basil.  Season with salt and pepper if desired.

Written by Cobi Slater — August 22, 2016

5 Steps to Detox for Weight Loss in Menopause

Are you overwhelmed by weight gain in Menopause? If so, this information can help give you the boost you need to get on the right track. Hormonal imbalances are often the underlying cause of ongoing weight gain in menopause and these imbalances can be due to an accumulation of toxins in your system.

Researchers have now identified several ways that toxin overload can be a cause of obesity. When the buildup of toxins blocks your liver’s detoxification pathways, unwanted weight gain can result. Here is a snap shot of what can happen:

  1. Normally our detoxification pathways are open so that we can eliminate toxins and prevent weight gain.
  2. When we are continually exposed to toxins from sources such as pesticides, plastics, toxic foods, pollution and chemical laden body products, the detox pathways become too burdened to work efficiently and weight gain occurs.
  3. These toxins can cause weight gain because they mimic our own hormones and alter fat deposition. They also alter the way that we metabolize sugar and worsen hormonal imbalances in menopause.

Wondering if you are toxic and need to cleanse your body? Here are some telltale signs:

  • Weight gain despite not over eating
  • Caffeine and/or alcohol consumption on a daily basis
  • Sluggish bowel movements (2-3 times per week)
  • Medication sensitivities
  • Sinus congestion and/or post nasal drip
  • Poor nutrition choices
  • Skin conditions such as Rosacea/Eczema/Acne and/or Psoriasis
  • Headaches
  • Ongoing fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Digestive upset (gas and bloating)
  • Frequent colds/infections

The following are five steps that you can take to detoxify your body:

  1. Remove processed foods from your diet.  You may want to start slowly and eliminate one group at a time or jump right in and do an overhaul on your nutrition. Either way the most toxic foods are sugar, alcohol, caffeine, non-organic dairy, gluten, artificial sweeteners and additives and packaged foods.
  2. Increase your consumption of detoxifying foods such as alfalfa sprouts, flax seeds, artichoke, apples, turmeric, beet root, brown rice, dark green veggies, lemon, garlic, gluten-free oats, millet, root vegetables. These all boost your body’s ability to get rid of toxics and extra weight.
  3. Move your body! Think of the difference between the water in a clear, running stream and a stagnant pond covered in pond scum. Our bodies are the same. If you don’t move your body daily the “pond scum” will accumulate! Going for a 30 minute walk once daily is enough to encourage detoxification and greatly promote circulation.
  4. Detox your house! Getting rid of harmful cleaning products, air refreshers, body care products, plastics, perfumes, laundry detergent and dryer sheets is a great way to decrease your daily exposure to a massive amount of toxins. The chemicals found in these common household products are hormone disruptors and build up in our bodies!
  5. Add herbs and supplements. First, be sure your body is getting its basic needs met by finding a high quality multivitamin and a pure Omega 3 fish oil and Vitamin D. Then you can include herbs like milk thistle, kudzu, turmeric and dandelion to boost your natural detoxification pathways.

Here are Dr Cobi’s Favourite Products for Detox! BioLixV, LVDTX, Fibermend, DIM and Estrovantage

Written by Cobi Slater — August 22, 2016

Grilled Chicken with Citrus Salsa- Serves 4

You'll love the fresh Zip and Zang of this chicken. Great for a hot summer’s night. 

Ingredients

1⁄4 cup lime juice (divided)

3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (divided)

1 jalapeno pepper (diced)

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  Himalaya sea salt and pepper (to taste)

1 orange (peeled and cut into small pieces)

1 pink grapefruit (peeled and cut into small pieces)

4 green onions (thinly sliced)

10 cherry tomatoes (halved)

1⁄2 fresh orange (zested and juiced)

1⁄2 lime (zested)

1⁄4 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)

2 tomatillos (diced)

4 cups salad greens

 

Instructions

 

  1. Preheat grill.
  2. In a shallow dish, combine 3 tbsp. lime juice and 2 tbsp. olive oil.  Rub the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the marinade.  Marinate for at least 20 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the citrus fruits, green onion, tomatoes, remaining 1 tbsp. lime juice, olive oil, orange and lime zest, jalapeno, cilantro and tomatillos.  Mix and set aside.
  4. Remove the chicken from the marinade.  Cook on a hot grill on each side until cooked through. 
  5. Remove from the grill and let stand a few minutes. 
  6. Divide the salad greens among 4 plates, slice the chicken and arrange on top of the greens.  Spoon salsa over each salad and serve.

Written by Cobi Slater — July 25, 2016

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