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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 build up 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 to 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 tell tale 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 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. 

Be Well,


Dr. Cobi 

Written by Cobi Slater — June 27, 2015

Fantastic Fish Tacos


1 1/2 lbs Halibut, cod, mahi mahi or tilapia (cut into 1-2 inch chunks)
2 Limes (juiced)
3 Garlic (minced)
1 Jalapeno pepper (finely chopped)
2 Tsp Cumin
1 Tsp. Seasoning salt (such as Herbamare)
2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Cups Napa Cabbage ( thinly sliced)
1 Cup Fresh Salsa 
1 Cup Sprouts
4 Gluten free tortillas or lettuce wraps


1.  Place the fish in a shallow dish.  

2.  Place the next 5 ingredients into a food processor and blend for a minute.

3.  Pour the marinade over the fish and marinate for at least an hour.  

4.  Heat the oil in a large skillet and add the fish.  Sauté for about 4 minutes.  If needed, cook the fish in two batches.  

5.  Serve on the tortillas or in lettuce cups with the cabbage, sprouts and salsa.  

I love topping these with diced avocado! 


Nutrition facts:  317 calories, 12 g fat, 16 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 37 g protein

Written by Cobi Slater — July 26, 2015

The 15 Most Common Symptoms of Perimenopause & Menopause


Many women often wonder if what they are experiencing is related to fluctuating hormones during perimenopause and menopause. The following is a list of the most common symptoms that women may experience during this stage in life:

  1. Anxiety, irritability and moodiness : As hormones dramatically fluctuate during perimenopause, outbursts of anger, anxiety and moods that swing from one moment to the next can occur.

  2. Digestive discomfort: Hormonal changes can even affect the digestive system resulting in bloating, gas, diarrhea and a change in bowel movements.

  3. Easily overwhelmed: As stress levels compound, the body and mind can become incapable of dealing with anything! Even the slightest increase in stress can feel completely overwhelming in some cases.

  4. Fatigue: Many women notice a change in overall energy and a level of fatigue that can be debilitating.

  5. Food cravings: Cravings can often become intensified as the adrenal glands or stress glands struggle to keep up with the demands on the body. Cravings for carbohydrates and/or salt are often a sign that cortisol is out of balance.

  6. Forgetfulness or fuzzy thinking: One of the most alarming symptoms for many women are memory changes or fuzzy thinking. As estrogen levels wildly fluctuate and then eventually drop in menopause, many women struggle with all aspects of memory.

  7. Hot flashes and night sweats: Hot flashes can occur anywhere from once a day up to every few minutes. This causes intense flashes of heat and sweating along with increased heart rate, dizziness, headache and even claustrophobia or the feeling of being trapped.

  8. Irregular periods: As sex hormones shift in perimenopause, cycles can become irregular. Specifically, cycles may increase or decrease in frequency, flow along with associated symptoms.

  9. Joint discomfort /stiffness: Estrogen is responsible in part for lubricating joint spaces. Menopausal arthritis commonly occurs as estrogen levels drop below normal ranges and joint pain and inflammation ensue.

  10. Low libido: Imbalances in Progesterone or Testosterone can diminish the sex drive. Vaginal dryness can also be a contributing factor to low libido.

  11. PMS symptoms: Women will often say that they only have one good week of the month! PMS symptoms such as cramps, bloating, breast tenderness, headaches or moods intensify in frequency as progesterone decreases and estrogen dominates the cycle.

  12. Sleep difficulties: Insomnia is often caused by a progesterone deficiency in perimenopause or menopause. Falling asleep is less of an issue than staying asleep. Many women will wake frequently or be awake for hours in the night.

  13. Thinning hair or hair loss: Imbalances between estrogen and testosterone can cause thinning hair and hair loss.  Many women start to notice handfuls of hair in the shower during menopause or perimenopause.

  14. Vaginal dryness: At least 50% of women in perimenopause and menopause experience vaginal dryness, itching and pain that can affect their sex lives, activities and even the clothes they wear.

  15. Weight gain: Hormonal changes can cause insulin to become desensitized and this results in weight gain or alterations in the shape of the body. Shifting hormones tell the body to store fat in the abdominal area, even if you’ve never had a weight problem before. Many women describe a new “thickness” to their midsection.

Although these symptoms are very common in menopause, the challenges women face cannot only be prevented but also treated naturally. Understanding where the imbalances are occurring is the first step and this can be done through a Comprehensive Female Hormone Panel. The information that this type of testing offers is often life changing! Treatment plans are then individually designed depending upon your imbalances. Most women report feeling a dramatic change in how they feel very quickly, often within 4 days! Contact our office to book your test today. 

Be Well, 

Dr. Cobi

Written by Cobi Slater — July 24, 2015

Ask Dr. Cobi: Cut the Sugar!

 I really want to get off sugar but need some healthy natural alternatives for the occasional sweet treat. What are the best natural sweeteners to use?

The sweetener market is confusing and manipulative with many people being completely unaware they are making a detrimental decision when purchasing sugar alternatives. Fortunately there are many great choices.




Here is a list of my top 4 picks:

1. Xylitol 

Xylitol is extracted from birch trees and corncobs. It contains 40% fewer calories than sucrose and has no negative effect on blood sugar levels as well as actually helping to reduce sugar cravings. It has a very similar taste to sugar with no bitter or unpleasant aftertaste and can be used in baking, drinks and can also be added to meals and cooking. ½ cup of xylitol is equivalent to 1 cup of sugar.

Bonus- Xylitol actually helps to reverse dental decay and protect tooth enamel. Try Xylitol chewing gum as a great alternative to aspartame and sugar gums.


2. Stevia

Originally native to South America, stevia is an herb that produces naturally sweet leaves that can taste 300 times sweeter than sucrose. It is available commercially for use in a liquid, powder, capsules, tablets and loose leaf that can be used in cooking and added to food and beverages.  

Stevia is a green leaf plant and should only be consumed in it's most natural form. When choosing Stevia it should be green in colour and organic. The white version of Stevia is extremely concentrated and has been chemically processed with chemicals like Hexane, Chloroform and aqueous Ethanol! 1 tsp of Green Leaf Stevia is equivalent to 1 cup of sugar.


3. Lo Han Kou 

Lohan is the sweet tasting fruit of the Siraitia Grosvenori plant, which is native to Southern China and Northern Thailand. The fruit is collected green and mashed to form the basis of a concentrated fruit juice or puree. Further manufacturing isolates the sweet components of the Lohan and is found to be up to 300 times sweeter than sucrose.

Traditional use of Lohan in Southern China is to promote healthy ageing as well as utilizing its healing properties for colds, coughs, sore throats and as a blood cleanser.

Lohan is commonly found in a powdered and liquid extract form and is very low on the glycemic index. 2 tbsp. of Lohan is the equivalent to 1 cup of sugar.


4. Raw, Unfiltered Honey 

Raw, unpasteurized honey straight from the hive is one of nature's most potent antibiotics. It is also alkalinizing, immune enhancing and is great for reducing allergy symptoms. Topically it can be used to enhance wound healing and helps to treat burns. 2/3 of a cup of raw honey is the equivalent to 1 cup of sugar. 


Be Well, 

Dr. Cobi 

Written by Cobi Slater — June 27, 2015

Did You Know? Broccoli is Amazing!

Like other cruciferous vegetables, broccoli contains phytonutrients which have significant anti-cancer effects, namely indole-3-carbinol. Research on indole-3-carbinol shows this compound helps to deactivate cancer causing cells, while at the same time increasing cancer protective cells.

Indole-3-carbinol has been shown to suppress not only breast tumor cell growth, but also cancer cell metastasis (the movement of cancerous cells to other parts of the body).

All of this is done by a potent detoxification process that occurs as the enzymes of our bodies come into balance and can then disarm free radicals and toxins including cancer causing cells. Knowing this, how could you not eat broccoli?

Be Well,

Dr. Cobi 

Written by Cobi Slater — June 27, 2015

Did you know there are different types of food allergies?

Immediate response food allergies occur within 30 minutes of consuming the allergen and the symptoms are often severe and even life threatening. Only 5% of people with food allergies have this type. Scratch testing is how these allergies are detected.

Delayed response food allergies occur usually in longer than 30 minutes and up to 4 days! The symptoms can be anything from headaches and digestive issues to eczema and chronic colds. 95% of people with food allergies have this type. Delayed onset allergies can only be detected through a blood test called an ELISA Food Allergy Test. The top food allergy symptoms are as follows:


  • Eczema- A recent study showed that100% of people suffering with itchy and bothersome eczema have some type of allergy. Identifying and eliminating the underlying allergy resolves most eczema cases completely!
  • Headaches- Many people with chronic headaches suffer from them for years with no permanent relief. Whether or not you have migraine headaches, tension headaches, sinus headaches, or an undetermined form of headache, it is very possible that you are suffering from food allergy-induced inflammation. Recent research on migraines indicates that food allergies mediated by IgG-type antibodies are specifically to blame.
  • Weight Gain- Antibody-allergen complexes which occur in food allergies cause inflammation, which then leads to fluid retention and weight gain. To fight the inflammation, the body releases a chemical called ghrelin, which also happens to be an APPETITE STIMULANT. Thus, IgG food reactions can cause weight gain in two ways: fluid retention and increased appetite!!!
  • Mood disorders- Researchers have discovered that the deposition of antibody-allergen complexes in nervous system tissues may contribute to hyperactivity, depression, anxiety, inability to concentrate and other mood disorders. There is also compounding evidence that eliminating IgG food allergens improves attentiveness in children.
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome- Conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) have been linked to IgG food allergies. Certain foods produce inflammation and irritation in the digestive system. This inflammation results in symptoms like gas, bloating, cramping, diarrhea and/or constipation. Studies have shown that elimination of foods producing an IgG reaction can alleviate IBS symptoms
  • Joint Pain- When the immune system overreacts to certain foods, the increased histamine in joint tissue causes inflammation and irritation. The inflammation of the joint tissue causes swelling, which places excess pressure and stress on the joints, leading to pain and arthritis symptoms! Eliminating the allergenic foods dramatically decreases the pain!
  • Acne- Food allergies are the number one cause of acne, and the worse the acne, the more likely food allergies are involved. Eating a food to which the body is allergic leads to a continuous toxic reaction. In such a case, the immune system fights the food as if it were an invading organism. This can cause inflammation in the skin resulting in acne.
  • Ear Infections- Food allergies are common especially in the first three years of life. As many as 79% of children with recurrent ear infections get them because of allergies. The most common foods that children may be allergic to are:
    • Dairy
    • Soy
    • Eggs
    • Wheat/Gluten
    • Fish
    • Peanuts


The allergic reaction can cause the tube connecting the ear to the throat to swell. When this happens, fluids that normally contain bacteria in the throat get trapped in the ear. The warm, dark tube in the ear is a perfect place for bacteria to grow. This can cause an ear infection.


  • Bed Wetting- In childhood bed wetting, spasms chronically constrict the bladder muscles, which actually leads to smaller bladder volume and less ability to hold urine, especially overnight. One researcher measured bladder volume in bed wetting children by threading a balloon into the bladder and inflating it to measure the volume. After the offending food allergies were eliminated, not only did the bed wetting disappear, but when he measured the bladder volume again, he found that it had increased by as much as 50 percent (and even more in some cases).


  • Sinus Conditions- Chronic sinus congestion, infections and pain are a common result of food allergies. Ingesting allergenic foods causes the sinus passages to inflame and produce mucous. Elimination of the offending allergenic food leads to clear passages and easy breathing!


Be Well,

Dr. Cobi  

Written by Cobi Slater — June 27, 2015

Gluten Free Power Bars (Approx. 15 bars)

My husband was asking for a bar that he could take with him to work that had very low sugar and high protein- but still tasted good. He needed something for energy as his job requires him to ride a bike for up to 10 hours per shift! Challenge accepted dear husband! I threw these together based on what I had in the pantry and he was thrilled, making me a good wife today!!

Prep time- 15 minutes


3 cups gluten free rolled oats

1 cup sun butter or almond butter

3 oz. vegan protein powder (I used Thorne Vanilla Vegalite)

1 tsp. aluminum free baking soda

2 eggs (or flax eggs- 2 tbsp. ground flax mixed with 4 tbsp. warm water)

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

¼ cup sunflower seeds

¼ cup dried organic cranberries

¼ cup organic dark dairy free choc chips

½ cup dried coconut

¼ cup hemp hearts

½ cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk



  1. Pre heat oven to 350° F
  2. Combine sun or almond butter, eggs or flax eggs, protein powder and milk into bowl. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Add rolled oats and remaining ingredients and mix into batter like consistency.
  4. Line an 11x15 baking tray with parchment paper or coconut oil.
  5. Place mixture into tray and press down firmly to evenly distribute the mixture.
  6. Bake for 15-18 minutes depending upon oven.
  7. Let sit for 15 minutes and cut into bars. Store in fridge.


Written by Cobi Slater — July 13, 2015

Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast is made from a single-celled organism,Saccharomyces Cerevisiae, which is grown on molasses and then harvested, washed and dried with heat to kill or "deactivate" it. It is inactive and therefore does not froth or grow like baking yeast does so it has no leavening ability.

Nutritional yeast is packed with nutrition, particularly B-vitamins, folic acid, selenium, zinc and protein. It is low in fat, is gluten-free and contains no added sugars or preservatives.

The vitamins and minerals are a definite bonus but the real star factor of nutritional yeast is its flavor, which has been described as cheesy, nutty and savory. Just a tablespoon or two can add richness to soups, gravies and other dishes. Larger amounts can make "cheese" sauces and eggless scrambles taste cheesy. It is also great on non-GMO popcorn. The most popular brand in health food stores is Red Star Flakes. 

Be Well, 





Dr Cobi 

Written by Cobi Slater — June 27, 2015

Achieve Clear Skin Naturally!


Many patients that I see are suffering with skin problems such as acne that range from the occasional blemish to chronic cystic acne that can result in scarring. These patients can range greatly in age but are equally frustrated by the relentless breakouts that occur.  Fortunately there are several very effective ways to treat skin conditions naturally and quickly! Read on to find out what the underlying causes of acne are and what you can do to clear your skin....

Acne is a chronic inflammatory skin condition characterized by skin eruptions on the face, chest, back and shoulders. Acne vulgaris, the least severe form, is a superficial disease that affects the skin's oil-secreting glands and hair follicles and manifests as blackheads, whiteheads and redness. Acne conglobata, a more severe form, is characterized by the formation of pustules and cysts with the potential for subsequent scarring. Both forms are more common among males than females with onset typically at or shortly after puberty but can also occur much later in life as adult acne.
The underlying causes of acne can vary in nature, but some of the most common causes include:
  • Hormonal shifts during puberty. During puberty, increases in levels of testosterone cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge and produce more sebum which results in acne.
  • Poor intestinal health causing excess toxins to be absorbed by the intestines can lead to severe acne.
  • Food allergies are the number one cause of acne, and the worse the acne the more likely food allergies are involved. Eating a food to which the body is allergic leads to a continuous toxic reaction. In such a case the immune system fights the food as if it were an invading toxin. This can cause inflammation in the skin resulting in acne.a continuous toxic reaction. In such a case the immune system fights the food as if it were an invading organism. This can cause inflammation in the skin resulting in acne. Eliminating the allergenic food completely clears the skin in most cases!
  • Poor liver function can cause the skin to attempt to take over the detoxifying aspects of the liver which then causes outbreaks like acne to occur.

  • An overgrowth of yeast called Candida can cause an imbalance in the sebum production in the skin leading to acne.
  • Hormonal imbalances can occur in males and females in adulthood in the testosterone levels which also creates an environment for acne production

The top recommended tests to uncover the underlying cause include:


  • Food Allergy Testing. This is done through a blood test which tests for a large variety of food and/or environmental allergens often implicated in acne.
  • Hormone Panel. This test is done through a combination of blood and saliva to uncover imbalances in certain hormones such Cortisol, DHEA, Estradiol, Progesterone, Testosterone and Thyroid hormones (TSH, T4, T3 and TPO).

  • Digestive Function Test. This is done through a stool and saliva test and helps to identify any potential digestive imbalances including Candida and other yeasts, digestive enzymes, pH, parasites, worms, bacterial overgrowth, inflammation, immune function and digestive intolerances.
The best treatments for acne elimination is treating the underlying cause. Food allergy elimination is the most common and effective source of treatment. Certain nutrients such as Vitamin A, Zinc, Omega 3's, Vitamin B5/6, Probiotics and liver cleansing herbs also are very beneficial for achieving clear skin.
Be Well,
Dr. Cobi

Written by Cobi Slater — June 27, 2015

It's All About The Kids!

For the months of July and August we are on a mission to help kids feel great! Food allergies are a very common cause of many childhood ailments and we want to help you discover if your child has food allergies.

Common signs that your child is suffering from food allergies:

  • Chronic ear infections
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Eczema, acne, psoriasis, rashes and hives
  • Digestive issues (constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating and tummy aches)
  • Fatigue
  • Behavioral issues
  • Insomnia
  • Bed wetting
  • Chronic sinus congestion
  • Frequent illness
  • Headaches

For a limited time only we are featuring our 94 IgG ELISA Food Allergy Panel. This test is done through a simple finger poke and will test the blood for reactions to 94 of the most common foods. Book your child (17 and under) in for a blood test, fill in a patient history form and come for a results appointment 3-4 weeks later (all included in the price).

Call Essential Health to book your child’s appointment 604 467 9554

Regular price $466.50       

Special price $346.50 SAVE $120!

(Only available until August 31st, 2015)

Written by Cobi Slater — June 28, 2015

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