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Thinking of Doing a Cleanse This Fall? A Few Things to Keep in Mind

As the seasons change, many of us have this natural inclination to switch things up and introduce some changes to our routine. Some of us feel drawn to the idea of doing a cleanse or a detox as a way preparing for the environmental changes that are about to take place around us.   But what is the real purpose of a cleanse? The whole point of doing a cleanse should be to give your digestive system and your body a break. Think of your digestive system as your car… if you were to drive your car constantly without ever turning off the engine, would it get exhausted? Probably… so it makes sense to give it a break and do a little maintenance every once in a while.   Now,...

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Oil And Flowers

The Many Benefits of Castor Oil

Recently, after we ran out of castor oil once again, Dr’s Clare and Sarah had an enthusiastic chat about their favorite uses of castor oil. Both agree that it is one of their favorite products for its flexibility, its ease of use and its cost. It’s a staple in both their home medicine cabinets and is almost always on the shelf at the clinic. What exactly is castor oil? A vegetable oil obtained from the castor bean (or seed) grown predominantly in Brazil, India and East Africa. Documentation of its use dates to ancient Egypt but has been used throughout the ages in both the health and beauty industries. Although very safe for use from head to toe, both doctors caution to not use it internally due...

Woman-In-Flowers

Re-thinking New Years Resolutions and Our Health Goals

I love the feeling of a new year and the possibilities it brings! And while I don’t set New Years resolutions anymore, I have a natural inclination to go inwards and think of aspects of my life around which I want to reflect upon and make some changes throughout the year.   As human beings, we naturally want to reach higher and sometimes a challenge is exactly what we need to discover just how much we’re actually capable of. While I’m all for supporting people in setting goals for themselves, I find many of us simply set goals that are unrealistic. This eventually takes us back to square one, yet with a greater sense of frustration, disappointment and failure. This is particularly common among those of us...

Woman out for a jog

5 Tips to Get Back on Track after the Holidays

If the Holiday Season left you feeling sluggish and heavy, know that your body is resilient and can get back on track sooner than you think! As we start a new year, many of us feel the temptation to go into extremes: diets that emphasize deprivation, harsh workout routines and severe calorie restriction… but before you jump into the next regime, give yourself and your body a few days to get back to normal.   Try the these 5 simple tips to get back on track after the holidays and see how you feel:   1- Mix 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar in 1 little pure water and sip throughout the day: this does wonders to help balance blood sugar levels helping tackle the post-holiday cravings. 2- Avoid weighing yourself for...

christmas tree

A Holistic Nutritionist’s Tips to Feel Your Best this Holiday Season

The holiday season is a time to enjoy ourselves in the company of loved ones and food is certainly at the center of many of our celebratory traditions. All those parties and gatherings with friends, co-workers and family, time off from work, trips and delicious meals are great way to break the routine, something that many of us embrace. But for many of us, the holiday season can also create a lot of excess, especially with food and drinks.       I am a huge proponent of enjoying the beauty of this season in a balanced way, this means we need to break the all-or-nothing mentality and ditch deprivation, especially when it comes to food.   In my personal and clinical experience as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, I notice that when...

Essential Minerals Series: All About Zinc

Zinc is a mineral that we talk about often in our practice, and is the first mineral in our Essential Minerals Blog Post Series by Dr. Clare Sullivan.   Why is talking about zinc so important? Because it is the 2nd most abundant essential trace mineral. It is absorbed in the small intestines and excreted in through the kidneys (urine), skin (sweat) and bowels. It was first discovered to be essential only 50 years ago but since then has been found to be required for optimal health. Some of the roles of zinc in the body: Immune function Protein synthesis Reproductive health Wound healing Brain function Thyroid health Sense of taste and smell Production of stomach acid Stimulates apoptosis – programmed cell death What are the signs and symptoms...

Fad Diets: Why They Only Offer Short-Lived Solutions

Aside from a description of their health concerns and goals, one of the most common things I hear as a Holistic Nutritionist, is that people are confused and overwhelmed with all the food advice circulating out there. Women will say to me: “I just don’t know what to eat anymore, I am so confused and overwhelmed”. I typically smile and nod in agreement. I get it, I’ve been there myself. It appears we have all forgotten how to eat to nourish our bodies.   It only takes a quick trip to your favourite social media platform or local bookstore to understand why we’ve become so confused around food. While the list of books that promote and teach balanced and sustainable approaches to eating is shrinking, the number of...

Why You Should Do A Cleanse Twice A Year

Have you ever done a whole body cleanse? A cleanse, also known as a detox, is a good way to give your detoxification organs a bit of extra help. Your liver, kidneys, and digestive system are always working to remove toxins from your body. However, sometimes your body just needs a bit of help to get through the accumulating toxins. There are many different ways to conduct a cleanse or detox. One thing you should keep in mind is that when your body can’t process toxins fast enough, it pushes them mainly into your fat tissues. Cleanses that are too drastic may take the toxins out of fat tissues faster than your body can eliminate them. When toxins cannot be eliminated properly, they circulate in your body,...

Understanding your IgG Results: How to Avoid Yeast

Getting your IgG blood test results back from your ND can, at times, be overwhelming.  In my experience, results fall into a few categories: Strongly suspected food intolerances Surprise food intolerances No reaction People belonging to the first group often feel frustrated because they do not want to admit that they are reactive to their favorite foods and cannot imagine living without them. The second group often feel a huge sense of relief because now they know for sure that the symptoms they have been experiencing can be attributed to certain foods. Test results that reveal no or minimal reactions can be a little more frustrating, both for the patient and the practitioner.  When test results come back inconclusive, or without much to go on, it’s back to...

Are Food Sensitivities Causing your Health to Suffer?

As an ND I am often asked about food allergies and food sensitivities in practice.  What is important is to help patients understand the difference between food allergies and sensitivities and how they are affecting their health. Food Allergy – IgE reaction – Immediate These are the reactions diagnosed with a skin prick test.  The reaction is quick and can be life threatening in the case of anaphylaxis.  Other common reactions include hives, eczema, breathing and digestive problems. Because they are immediate they are much easier to diagnose. Allergen → Body releases IgE → Triggers release of histamine → Allergic reaction Food Sensitivity – IgG reaction – Delayed reaction can take 24-72 hours to develop In food sensitivities, the body is exposed to an allergen and releases IgG antibodies which...