The Elements of Goal Setting

I recently attended a weekend meditation retreat where the key words of contemplation were “daring” and “gentleness”. I think these words are useful to keep in mind when considering goal setting. We want to dare ourselves to go outside of our comfort zone, to see our true potential as a human beings and hopefully create a change to bring more joy into our world. It’s also important, however, with goal setting to be gentle with ourselves. Far too often we push ourselves too hard to get to the finish line, where we may put the finish line ahead of the journey. We may end up doing more harm than good for ourselves, all for that trophy at the end. 

Our goals and future aspirations are constantly in flux, and will change as we change, and deserve frequent revisitation. The only thing that’s consistent about life is inconsistency, and being gentle with ourselves can help make this reality much easier on us. You are allowed to revise a goal, and this does not equal failure. You are truly winning when you listen to the wisdom of your heart and follow the ever changing, unpredictable nature of life with openness and kindness to yourself and others.

As you go about your spring I encourage you to set some goals to give some structure to your daily efforts. But remind you to enjoy the process. For example, if you are doing a cleanse, really enjoy the process of finding new recipes and cooking new nourishing meals. Even if you don’t fully succeed with your cleanse, you have now added several new and healthy ideas to your recipe repertoire, which is wonderful in itself.

In Ayurveda “the science of life” a traditional medical practice over 5000 years old, they discuss 4 main goals/aims of life. It can be helpful to contemplate these aims to get a broad view of what areas you may want to put effort into in the coming season/year/decade. In our society today we have a tendency to get wrapped up in short vigorous hard to obtain goals. Just look at how many 21 day challenges there are out there on the internet! I encourage taking a step back and assessing what will bring you more sustainable happiness for the long term.

The four goals of life according to Ayurveda are:

Dharma: Means living your life purpose. Being true to your heart and doing you! 

Artha: Means security. We need to have a healthy environment, body and finances in order to feel grounded.

Kama: Means pleasure. We require balanced play to replenish our energy. 

Moksha: Means freedom. Usually referring to spirituality and connection with the universe.

You may find it useful to journal about each of these areas to get a sense of which one is lagging in your life at the current moment. This would be a great place to focus on making some goals. When we find balance between these 4 aims of life, we find bliss.

Once you set out your goals it helps tremendously to know your Ayurvedic constitution: are you a Vata (air), Kapha (earth) or Pitta (fire) type? This can tell you a lot about your personality type and how you may struggle with goal setting. Once you’re aware of the areas of weakness associated with your dosha then you can start working on overcoming them with simple suggestions. Click here to fill out a survey to find out your dosha https://www.banyanbotanicals.com/info/prakriti-quiz/

Now that you know your constitution lets look at the best ways to motivate yourself to obtain your goals according to Ayurveda.

Vata Types: Are great idea people. However this can lead to a scattered mind and the inability to focus on one particular area. My tips for achieving goals would be: to limit social media, focus on no more than 1 goal at a time breaking it down into 3 or so smaller sections, create a vision board to maintain focus on the goal at hand, consider trying a productivity technique like Pomodoro and keep your goals to yourself.

Pitta Types: Are the goal crushers. However this can lead to burnout and competitiveness and even anger. My tips for achieving goals would be: to meditate on the bigger picture as in the 4 aims of life, be gentle with yourself and enjoy the process, be spontaneous, connect to the hearts intuition and veer of the beaten path if need be, consider joining a meditation group.

Kapha Types: Are the consistent ones. However this can lead to being stuck in ones way even if it’s unhealthy or non-serving. My tips for achieving goals would be: to focus on doing it for a loved one or shock yourself by watching a documentary on the topic, get a friend to check in with to keep you on track, consider joining a program to help kick start a goal as you do well with consistent encouragement.

With all this said, go forth and be daring with your goals but remember to be gentle with the process. Perhaps start off this spring season with a new journal and pen selected especially for this goal setting occasion. Light a candle, connect the pen to paper and see what comes…

In health and wellness,

Dr. Tara 

PS. Please share any experience you have with goal setting below or on Facebook Dr. Tara Lapointe https://www.facebook.com/dartmouthnaturopathic/

Perfect Plantain Pancakes

 Have you tried these yet? Plantain pancakes! My favourite breakfast : )  Take one plantain and 2 eggs in a blender with a dash of vanilla and cinnamon, blend.  Take your batter and fry it up in coconut oil into 4 medium pancakes. They turn out even better than grain based pancakes.  Top with a spoonful of canned coconut coconut milk, berries, and just a dash of maple syrup for a treat!  Quick, easy, healthy! High in protein, resistant starch (good for gut bacteria), fiber and full of minerals and vitamins.  GF, DF and paleo!   -Dr. Tara 

Have you tried these yet? Plantain pancakes! My favourite breakfast : )

Take one plantain and 2 eggs in a blender with a dash of vanilla and cinnamon, blend.

Take your batter and fry it up in coconut oil into 4 medium pancakes. They turn out even better than grain based pancakes.

Top with a spoonful of canned coconut coconut milk, berries, and just a dash of maple syrup for a treat!

Quick, easy, healthy! High in protein, resistant starch (good for gut bacteria), fiber and full of minerals and vitamins.

GF, DF and paleo! 

-Dr. Tara 

Quick Qia Breakfast

 As the temperature plummets outside its nice to have warmth in the morning. Try this simple gluten and dairy free paleo breakfast idea:  3 tbsp of Qia cereal (or a mix of buckwheat, hemp and chia)  ½ cup boiled water and let sit for 5 minutes, stir  2 tbsp canned coconut milk  Top with sliced banana, berries, nuts and seeds, cinnamon, and a bit of unpasteurized honey if desired.  Roibos tea with cashew milk is a great non caffeinated drink in the morning. Full of antioxidants and minerals to boost your day.  This breakfast is full of healthy fiber, protein, omega 3s, metabolism boosting MCT oil, vitamins, minerals and will definitely fill you up!   -Dr. Tara

As the temperature plummets outside its nice to have warmth in the morning. Try this simple gluten and dairy free paleo breakfast idea:

3 tbsp of Qia cereal (or a mix of buckwheat, hemp and chia)

½ cup boiled water and let sit for 5 minutes, stir

2 tbsp canned coconut milk

Top with sliced banana, berries, nuts and seeds, cinnamon, and a bit of unpasteurized honey if desired.

Roibos tea with cashew milk is a great non caffeinated drink in the morning. Full of antioxidants and minerals to boost your day.

This breakfast is full of healthy fiber, protein, omega 3s, metabolism boosting MCT oil, vitamins, minerals and will definitely fill you up! 

-Dr. Tara

 I’m so excited to be carrying this cookbook in the office. For anyone looking at taking care of chronic illness, especially autoimmune disease, this is a must have resource for an allergen free, nutrient dense diet.   

 This diet helped me immensely. Last winter I was diagnoses with hypothyroidism (which is an autoimmune disease in over 90% of cases) and was given a prescription for synthroid. However I avoided taking it by following a comprehensive autoimmune protocol which involved the autoimmune paleo diet. Thankfully my blood work slowly returned into normal range.  

 Let food be thy medicine! (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

I’m so excited to be carrying this cookbook in the office. For anyone looking at taking care of chronic illness, especially autoimmune disease, this is a must have resource for an allergen free, nutrient dense diet.

This diet helped me immensely. Last winter I was diagnoses with hypothyroidism (which is an autoimmune disease in over 90% of cases) and was given a prescription for synthroid. However I avoided taking it by following a comprehensive autoimmune protocol which involved the autoimmune paleo diet. Thankfully my blood work slowly returned into normal range.

Let food be thy medicine! (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

The key to optimal health: are you methylating?

MTHF Reductase & Methylation

What is methylation?

This is an important chemical reaction that happens in every cell and tissue in our body. It’s the process of adding a methyl group to a protein which will change how that protein works in the body. Enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, immune cells and even genes are proteins. In fact, methylating genes will either turn them on or off, having very far reaching health implications in our bodies. 

Methylation will also help us detoxify. It removed harmful homocysteine from the blood stream which is highly implicated with cardiovascular disease.

Many factors will affect our bodies ability to methylate including genetic mutation, environmental toxins, certain prescription medications such as methotrexate and over the counter medications such as antacids. Nutrients such as B12 will aid with this methylation process by donating the methyl group for the methylation of proteins.

What is MTHFR and why is it important to methylation?

MTHFR is the enzymes responsible for the metabolism of folate and homocysteine. Reduction in this enzymes will reduce your ability to methylate which affects all cells in your body including the expression of your DNA!

This enzymes can be tested for with a saliva sample. Your DNA will be sequenced and any small mutations in the gene that codes for the MTHFR enzymes and other genes involved in methylation will be discovered. If your genes predispose you to poor methylation it can be addressed with proper diet and supplementation counselling.

Mutations in MTHFR are quite common. 20-40% have one copy of the mutation while 4-14% will have 2 copies. However even if someone have 2 copies of the mutated gene this does not mean they will express illness. Our environment plays a large role in gene mutation as do other genes

How to test for genetic mutations in your methylation pathway?

At Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre patients are encouraged to test their DNA through an ancestry company called 23andme. Through this we get the raw DNA data to look for genetic mutations such as MTHFR among many others. 23andme also provides ancestry information which is fascinating for patients to learn about the origins of their DNA and connect with distant cousins if they choose to do so… you can even find out how much neanderthal DNA is in your genome!

What are symptoms of MTHFR insufficiency?

  • insomnia
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • ulcers
  • fibromyalgia
  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • hypertension
  • headaches
  • migraines
  • memory loss
  • brain fog
  • muscle pain
  • delayed speech
  • hand tremor
  • pre-eclampsia
  • recurrent miscarriages
  • decreased neurotransmitters such as dopamine and seotonin
  • autism
  • ADD/ADHD
  • depression
  • erectile dysfunction
  • cancer
  • alzheimers
  • parkinsons
  • raynauds
  • and many more…

How to treat insufficient methylation and MTHFR genetic mutations?

Nutrition and supplements are extremely important if you discover your methylation pathway is compromised. Getting more of following nutrients, among many others, via diet or supplement at varying doses may be considered by your health care provider:

  • Vitamin B12 in the methylcobalamine form
  • Folate in the 5-methyltetrahydrafolate form
  • Choline and Serine
  • Glutathione
  • Vitamin C
  • Selenium, Zinc, Magnesium and Copper
  • Vitamin B2, B3 and B6

-Dr. Tara

Perfectionism: the root cause of unhappiness?

Perfectionism: the root cause of unhappiness?

I recently attended a seminar put on by a leading researcher in the field of perfectionism, Dr. Simon B. Sherry. This was in hopes to offer some help to the many patients that come through my door struggling with the un-achievable… perfection.

I have had patients come in with extreme stress symptoms caused by their unwillingness for anything but perfection. I’ve seen many patients come into follow up visits, neglecting to recognize the many accomplishments they’ve had, feeling a sense of failure with their protocols and diets because they weren’t able to complete them perfectly. Then there are those who give up or procrastinate, because if it’s not perfect, it’s not worth doing. The dread and guilt that ensue from the perfectionists cycle leads to self defeat, and potentially mood disorders.

image

Conscientiousness vs. perfectionism.

Do we have to be imperfect to be perfectly happy? Not necessarily, when attention is placed on the process and not the end goal, more contentment ensues. As Emerson said “ Life is a journey, not a destination”. This is the difference between conscientiousness and perfectionism.

Perfectionism is not to be confused with conscientiousness, which is a healthy drive to be competent, self-disciplined, achievement-striving, dutiful and deliberate. A high amount of conscientiousness decreases risk of suicide, self-harm, mortality, disordered eating, depression and stress. It’s also associated with higher marital satisfaction, self-compassion and productivity. Perfectionism does exactly the opposite.

What “causes” perfectionism? 

On the biological side, those with perfectionism have an increased Error Related Negativity. What this means is that when making an error, say during a task, the brain shows greater negative activity on electrodes than with non-perfectionists. This is related to the motivational significance of the task, or the emotional reaction to making the error. In short, people with perfectionism are harder on themselves. This may be related to an error in dopamine signalling which will cause one to “feel” the events have gone worse than what’s expected. One particular genetic polymorphism, COMT Val158Met, may be at the root of this experience as those with this SNP have trouble regulating dopamine and have higher Error Related Negativity scores as well. We can test for this gene at the clinic, and those who are positive can do specific supplementation to help with dopamine regulation. Nutrigenomics is the treatment of genetic polymorphisms with diet and supplementation, and it can potentially play a role in treating perfectionism.

On the psychological side, several personality traits such as neuroticism give rise to higher degrees of perfectionism. Depression, with it’s apathy, will create decreased motivation, impeding goal striving. Giftedness fosters higher praise and pressure, those who are gifted will seldom evaluate themselves and others via normal standards.

On the social side, there are particular subcultures such as competitive sports or arts which encourage perfectionism. Insecure attachment and fear of abandonment can lead to one striving to maintain acceptance from others by being perfect. And of course, parenting style and high expectations will also play a role in creating perfectionism in an individual.

Perfectionist tend to have problems with self-definition including low and unstable self-esteem. A satisfied perfectionist is referred to by Dr. Sherry as a shooting star - something that is rarely seen and unlikely to last for long. Most perfectionists will suffer with dissatisfaction. As such their  perceptions of relationships tend to be skewed towards seeing others as disappointed in them. Their stress levels will also be higher: expecting the worst causes the stress response to last longer at a higher intensity.

Are you a perfectionist?

In Dr. Sherry’s lecture he identified several key characteristics perfectionists display. Take a read through the following statements and underline those you identify with. This is not an exhaustive list, but should give you a good idea if perfectionism may be playing a role in your wellbeing:

  • Perfectionists have a hard time playing nicely with others, they don’t appreciate the impact of their behaviour on others.
  • Perfectionists are often so paralyzed with fear of not achieving their perfectionist aspirations that they will act imperfectly, such as procrastinating. This can be painful as it’s the opposite of the perfect person they want to be
  • Perfectionists don’t always set high goals due to defensiveness. They often fail to follow through on goals of any sort.
  • Perfectionists have extreme cognitive distortions such as all-or-nothing thinking, catastrophizing, mind reading, emotional reasoning and if/then contingencies. It’s hard for them to challenge their beliefs.
  • Perfectionists who experience behaviours such as repeated checking, avoiding mistakes, and over striving may limit their life experiences missing chances for personal growth, social relations and meaning. 
  • Perfectionists unleash a torrent of self-criticism following a perceived mistake.
  • Perfectionists have a low frequency of rewards in their lives. Pleasurable, meaningful and reinforcing activities are few and far between.
  • Perfectionists avoid recreation and relationships in their ceaseless pursuit of perfection. Avoidance creates a space and place for self-criticism, guilt and anxiety.
  • Perfectionists are prone to unconstructive, repetitive thoughts such as brooding and ruminating, . 
  • Perfectionists are so hypercritical and unforgiving towards themselves it makes it hard to accept their experiences. 
  • Perfectionists have rigid beliefs of how things should and must be that they are at war with reality. 
  • Perfectionists often believe their self-criticism is motivating and helpful, but it’s probably the most destructive aspect of perfectionism. 

From these points above, the suggestion that perfectionists are hard on themselves is quite apparent. In fact, perfectionists are so good at attacking themselves, their lateral prefrontal cortex becomes over developed. This is the area of the brain involved with executive function, the ability to differentiate between conflicting thoughts. When a perfectionist learns to be more compassionate it increases the development a different pathway the insula, which fosters inner support and warmth as well as interpersonal experience.

Treating Perfectionism

It seems perfectionistic traits interfere with treatment of other psychiatric disorders. Take depression for example, where perfectionistic traits increase relapse after treatment with medications. Self termination of treatment increases even after CBT and interpersonal psychotherapy among perfectionists. Most perfectionists will feel controlled motivation, which is when their goals are driven by the feeling of guilt if they didn’t complete a task or the fear of another being upset with them if they didn’t complete the task. Many perfectionists feel greatly misunderstood, so much that just understanding the why’s and how’s during assessment can help them with their distress.

The following are just a sample of at home activities you may want to try at home to address perfectionism. If you believe you may be suffering with a high degree of perfectionism please consider seeing a qualified therapist to help you deepen your path of self discovery and healing. At the clinic, testing for genes associated with perfectionism and mental health is another useful tool to guide proper diet and supplementation therapy.

Treatment of Perfectionism can be broken into 3 areas:

  1. INTERPERSONAL: Social connectedness
  • Journal Exercise answer the following questions:
  • Self Definition: Who am I? (Try to develop a realistic, independent, positive, integrated, stable and mature self-identity)
  • Relatedness: How do I relate to others? (Try to develop the capacity for stable, mature, satisfying and reciprocal interpersonal relationships)
  • How have other responded to your perfectionism?
  • Is someone, perhaps unwittingly, reinforcing your perfectionistic behaviour?
  1. BEHAVIOURAL: Pattern-breaking
  • Have a sense of play. Your beliefs are not facts, they are assumptions which need to be questioned. Get out there and try something new, fresh and intimidating. Either debunk or confirm your beliefs. Exposing yourself to your fears fosters resilience and increases tolerance.
  • Activity monitoring: activity, mood, pleasure. Try to established more activities associated with positive mood and a regular routine & daily structure. Choose activities patient used to enjoy, what activities their values would match up with. Follow a plan not your mood. Activity breeds activity. Actions speak louder than moods
  • SMART goal setting: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely. 
  • Goals help to foster a sense of direction and help prioritize. They can be motivating by offering a sense of incentive. Goals are much more than an ends to a means, even if you don’t succeed at your goal it carves a path to propel you in life.
  • Write down your goals: Three for each the short term (next 3 months), medium term (next year) and long term (next 5 years).
  1. COGNITIVE: Compassionate acceptance
  • Mindfulness: This is intentionally bringing non-judgemental to you present moment  with willingness, curiosity, and acceptance of what is. Cognitions do not necessarily need to be challenged, merely responded to differently. Thoughts are only mental events, they are not facts and we are not truths. Do one thing at a time. 
  • Visualization: Picture your thoughts as leaves floating down a river, they come and pass. at times the river is raging and you may be tempted to jump in a float along with those thoughts. If this happens, that’s ok, but make your way back to the shore as a passive onlooker once you’re aware of drifting.
  • Consider joining a meditation group or starting a daily meditation practice.

Acceptance: This is a willingness to experience a wide range of unwanted/unpleasant internal phenomena without trying to avoid, escape or terminate them. Fostering non-judgement towards the self, others, and the world. Moving from absolute beliefs to flexible preferences.

  • Visualization: When a tough emotion, situation or decision comes up picture yourself jumping into it from a height. This is symbolic of willingness to let go an experience life without control. Controlling would be slowly stepping down and never fully committing.

Compassion: This is self kindness. 

  • Journal: Write down supportive statements, repeat self statements out loud several times daily.
  • Visualization: Visualize yourself walking hand in hand with yourself as a child. That vulnerable inner child will always be a part of you, and needs nourishment. 

Books on the subject

Perfectionism: Theory, Research and Treatment by Flett & Hewitt 2002

Overcoming Perfectionism by Shafran, Egan & Wade

When Perfect isn’t good enough by Antony and Swinson 

Resources

Lecture “Nobody’s perfect: Understanding, assessing and treating perfectionism and related problems” Simon B. Sherry, Ph.D. 2014

Pathway to disordered eating encompasses self critical perfectionism and genetic variations in DAT1 and COMT. Kyra Sarner et al.

 My recent trip to costco! There are so many great healthy options in bulk these days, below are a few of my favorite go to’s: 

 -organic coconut oil, olive and avocado oil 
-coconut flour 
-almond flour 
-shredded coconut 
-coconut/almond milk 
-non gmo sweet potato crackers 
-avocados and bananas 
-wild caught fish including salmon 
-true to nature gluten free granola bars 
-chia seeds and hemp hearts 
-Qia cereal 
-unsweetened jam 
-almond butter 
-frozen blueberries without pesticides 
-dried fig and mangos without sugar and oil  
-real pickles refrigerated  
-olives 
-organic coffee and tea 
-organic chicken (not free range) 

 Do you have any other favs!? 

 #dartmouthnaturopathic #spotted #healthyshopping #organic #costco #nutrition #dartmouth #naturopathic #halifax 



  (at Costco Dartmouth)

My recent trip to costco! There are so many great healthy options in bulk these days, below are a few of my favorite go to’s:

-organic coconut oil, olive and avocado oil
-coconut flour
-almond flour
-shredded coconut
-coconut/almond milk
-non gmo sweet potato crackers
-avocados and bananas
-wild caught fish including salmon
-true to nature gluten free granola bars
-chia seeds and hemp hearts
-Qia cereal
-unsweetened jam
-almond butter
-frozen blueberries without pesticides
-dried fig and mangos without sugar and oil
-real pickles refrigerated
-olives
-organic coffee and tea
-organic chicken (not free range)

Do you have any other favs!?

#dartmouthnaturopathic #spotted #healthyshopping #organic #costco #nutrition #dartmouth #naturopathic #halifax

(at Costco Dartmouth)

 Have you stocked up on Halloween treats yet? It can be tough to find healthy options to hand out. I found these freeze dried fruit packs at Costco that have no sugar or additives, they’re pretty tasty too! Another option to avoid GMOs and refined sugars for trick or treaters is to hand out mini toys, stickers, prizes, etc. Do you have any healthy treat ideas to share? 

 #dartmouth #naturopathic #health #ND #halloween #trickortreat #freezesdried #fruit #gmofree  (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

Have you stocked up on Halloween treats yet? It can be tough to find healthy options to hand out. I found these freeze dried fruit packs at Costco that have no sugar or additives, they’re pretty tasty too! Another option to avoid GMOs and refined sugars for trick or treaters is to hand out mini toys, stickers, prizes, etc. Do you have any healthy treat ideas to share?

#dartmouth #naturopathic #health #ND #halloween #trickortreat #freezesdried #fruit #gmofree (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

 Getting a dose of my own medicine today from my colleague Dr. Colin Macleod!  

 IV therapy is a safe and effective way to treat nutrient deficiencies or to provide a therapeutic benefit for those patients with fatigue, low moods, autoimmune disease, viral or bacterial infections, pain or headaches, allergies, cancer, chronic disease or to those who just want the boost! 

 Once you’re a patient at Dartmouth Naturopathic, IV therapy is accessible to you at any time, you may want to consider coming in for one or a series before your benefits run out this January 1st! 

 #IVtherapy #naturopathic #dartmouth #vitamins #fatigue #autoimmune #health #myers #b12  (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

Getting a dose of my own medicine today from my colleague Dr. Colin Macleod!

IV therapy is a safe and effective way to treat nutrient deficiencies or to provide a therapeutic benefit for those patients with fatigue, low moods, autoimmune disease, viral or bacterial infections, pain or headaches, allergies, cancer, chronic disease or to those who just want the boost!

Once you’re a patient at Dartmouth Naturopathic, IV therapy is accessible to you at any time, you may want to consider coming in for one or a series before your benefits run out this January 1st!

#IVtherapy #naturopathic #dartmouth #vitamins #fatigue #autoimmune #health #myers #b12 (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

 Cauliflower fried rice! I love this idea. Place roughly chopped cauliflower in a food processor until it’s chopped into rice sized piece. Stir fry onions, garlic and veggies in coconut oil and turmeric. Add the cauliflower “rice” with soy sauce or coconut sauce! 

 It tastes great, it’s free of grains and it packed full of cancer fighting/liver cleansing compounds which are found in the brassica vegetable family.  

 Paleo friendly, great for balancing hormones and autoimmune conditions, cancer fighting, and easy on the tummy. 

 #paleo #cauliflower #naturopathic #dartmouth #health #autoimmune #cancer 
 (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

Cauliflower fried rice! I love this idea. Place roughly chopped cauliflower in a food processor until it’s chopped into rice sized piece. Stir fry onions, garlic and veggies in coconut oil and turmeric. Add the cauliflower “rice” with soy sauce or coconut sauce!

It tastes great, it’s free of grains and it packed full of cancer fighting/liver cleansing compounds which are found in the brassica vegetable family.

Paleo friendly, great for balancing hormones and autoimmune conditions, cancer fighting, and easy on the tummy.

#paleo #cauliflower #naturopathic #dartmouth #health #autoimmune #cancer
(at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

 I set up my “green” shower this weekend. I connected a Santevia shower filter to an Eco water saving shower head.  

 Why filter shower water? Well it’s believe that more chlorine and volatile substances are absorbed during a hot shower than in drinking tap water during the day. Santevia systems filter out chlorine, heavy metals and sediment while softening water and  remineralized with tourmaline which is high in silica for hair & skin and provides grounding negative ions. 

 Why is chlorine of concern? We are ingesting more than 300x a safe amount every day. Research on this topic shows it increases the risk of cancer, birth complications, asthma, liver malfunction, and auto-immune conditions.  

 We carry Santevia products at the clinic, and they’re actually quite inexpensive!  

 #dartmouthnaturopathic #chlorinatedwater #autoimmune #shower #santevia #health #green (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

I set up my “green” shower this weekend. I connected a Santevia shower filter to an Eco water saving shower head.

Why filter shower water? Well it’s believe that more chlorine and volatile substances are absorbed during a hot shower than in drinking tap water during the day. Santevia systems filter out chlorine, heavy metals and sediment while softening water and remineralized with tourmaline which is high in silica for hair & skin and provides grounding negative ions.

Why is chlorine of concern? We are ingesting more than 300x a safe amount every day. Research on this topic shows it increases the risk of cancer, birth complications, asthma, liver malfunction, and auto-immune conditions.

We carry Santevia products at the clinic, and they’re actually quite inexpensive!

#dartmouthnaturopathic #chlorinatedwater #autoimmune #shower #santevia #health #green (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

 One huge green smoothie! After putting on a spring cleanse workshop at ALLYoga yesterday I’m taking a dose of my own medicine! 

 Ingredients: Swiss chard, carrots, cucumber, celery, mango, avocado, hemp hearts, matcha powder, ginger, lemon and water! 

 Note I have a vitamix which makes it much easier to blend up the tough veggies, you may need to scale things down if you have a standard blender.  

 Smoothie tip: add in healthy fat from avocados or coconut milk so that you are better able absorb all the nutrients found in your veggies!  

 #greensmoothies #dartmouthnaturopathic #naturopath  #halifax #health #paleo #cleanse #spring (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

One huge green smoothie! After putting on a spring cleanse workshop at ALLYoga yesterday I’m taking a dose of my own medicine!

Ingredients: Swiss chard, carrots, cucumber, celery, mango, avocado, hemp hearts, matcha powder, ginger, lemon and water!

Note I have a vitamix which makes it much easier to blend up the tough veggies, you may need to scale things down if you have a standard blender.

Smoothie tip: add in healthy fat from avocados or coconut milk so that you are better able absorb all the nutrients found in your veggies!

#greensmoothies #dartmouthnaturopathic #naturopath #halifax #health #paleo #cleanse #spring (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

 My new best friend for talking poo with patients…  

 The Bristol Stool Chart. What type are you? It’s best to have a type 4 1-3x daily with no pain, blood, undigested food or mucous. 

 With diet, exercise and lifestyle changes this should be obtainable for most. Some will require extra supplementation and other therapies to obtain poophoria! 

 #dartmouth #naturopathic #health #bristolstoolchart #poophoria  (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

My new best friend for talking poo with patients…

The Bristol Stool Chart. What type are you? It’s best to have a type 4 1-3x daily with no pain, blood, undigested food or mucous.

With diet, exercise and lifestyle changes this should be obtainable for most. Some will require extra supplementation and other therapies to obtain poophoria!

#dartmouth #naturopathic #health #bristolstoolchart #poophoria (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

 Putting together Ayurvedic tea blends for the waiting room. Looking forward to sharing these with patients and guests.  

 According to ancient Ayurvedic medicine we are all unique and are dominant in one or two main doshas, or constitutions. They are the energy that makes up  our body, mind, and spirit. 

 It’s important to stay balanced and bring your main dosha into harmony within yourself and with the outside environment.  

 One way of doing so is using herbs and teas to suite your personal dosha.  

 We also sell these blends at the clinic. Stop by for a sample today : ) 

 #dartmouth #naturopathic #herbs #halifax #health #tea #vata #pitta #kapha #ayurveda #waitingroom @mountainroseherbs 

  (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

Putting together Ayurvedic tea blends for the waiting room. Looking forward to sharing these with patients and guests.

According to ancient Ayurvedic medicine we are all unique and are dominant in one or two main doshas, or constitutions. They are the energy that makes up our body, mind, and spirit.

It’s important to stay balanced and bring your main dosha into harmony within yourself and with the outside environment.

One way of doing so is using herbs and teas to suite your personal dosha.

We also sell these blends at the clinic. Stop by for a sample today : )

#dartmouth #naturopathic #herbs #halifax #health #tea #vata #pitta #kapha #ayurveda #waitingroom @mountainroseherbs

(at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

 Happy world water day! To celebrate I set up the clinics new #satevia water filter! This will save on plastic waste, while producing remineralized alkaline water free from impurities like heavy metals and chlorine. 

 Remember today and all days how lucky we are to have clean water to drink. Treat your body to a good dose today, a rule of thumb is to take your body weight in lbs, divide that by 2 and drink that number in oz every day! 

 #worldwaterday #dartmouth #naturopathic #health #halifax #alkaline #water (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

Happy world water day! To celebrate I set up the clinics new #satevia water filter! This will save on plastic waste, while producing remineralized alkaline water free from impurities like heavy metals and chlorine.

Remember today and all days how lucky we are to have clean water to drink. Treat your body to a good dose today, a rule of thumb is to take your body weight in lbs, divide that by 2 and drink that number in oz every day!

#worldwaterday #dartmouth #naturopathic #health #halifax #alkaline #water (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

 Mango smoothies. Just slice up a mango, add 1-2 tbsp of cashew butter, 1 cup of unsweetened coconut milk and a pinch of cardamom. This drink is refreshing but also warming, great for a sunny end of winter day! 

 If you’ve never used cardamom much in the kitchen it’s worth a try. Its the worlds third most expensive spice, known as the queen of spice. Used to stimulate digestion especially bloating and gas, as an anti microbial, great for respiratory congestion, and is also an urinary tonic. It’s pacifying to all doshas.  

 #dartmouth #naturopathic #health #halifax #ayurveda #mango #cardamom #cashewbutter #smoothie #raw (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

Mango smoothies. Just slice up a mango, add 1-2 tbsp of cashew butter, 1 cup of unsweetened coconut milk and a pinch of cardamom. This drink is refreshing but also warming, great for a sunny end of winter day!

If you’ve never used cardamom much in the kitchen it’s worth a try. Its the worlds third most expensive spice, known as the queen of spice. Used to stimulate digestion especially bloating and gas, as an anti microbial, great for respiratory congestion, and is also an urinary tonic. It’s pacifying to all doshas.

#dartmouth #naturopathic #health #halifax #ayurveda #mango #cardamom #cashewbutter #smoothie #raw (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

 Sunday mornings & herbal coffee… take that, spring time change! 

 Here we have organic roasted dandelion root, chicory root, carob and maca! Great way to get a dark, bitter cup of warmth all while cleansing the liver, stimulating digestion, boosting energy and nourishing the adrenal (stress) glands.  

 The debate over real coffee beans being a health food still continues. Some pros are its antioxidant value (which you can get de-caffeinated btw), it reduces risk of diabetes, and it increases cognition. Some cons are its association with inflammatory markers in the blood, auto immune disease, osteoporosis, anxiety, and it’s laden with pesticides.  

 Caffeine and coffee are yang substances. They give a lot of energy in short bursts, but don’t replenish and rebuild, and may cause you to feel more depleted in the long run.  

 If your thinking of making changes my suggestion is focus on organic first, consider Swiss water decaf next, and then try herbal coffee and herbal teas… They are actually pretty tasty! 

 We carry this herbal blend at the clinic if you’re curious to try! 

 #coffee #herbs #dartmouth #halifax #naturopathic #health #maca #timechange #yinyang #ayurveda (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

Sunday mornings & herbal coffee… take that, spring time change!

Here we have organic roasted dandelion root, chicory root, carob and maca! Great way to get a dark, bitter cup of warmth all while cleansing the liver, stimulating digestion, boosting energy and nourishing the adrenal (stress) glands.

The debate over real coffee beans being a health food still continues. Some pros are its antioxidant value (which you can get de-caffeinated btw), it reduces risk of diabetes, and it increases cognition. Some cons are its association with inflammatory markers in the blood, auto immune disease, osteoporosis, anxiety, and it’s laden with pesticides.

Caffeine and coffee are yang substances. They give a lot of energy in short bursts, but don’t replenish and rebuild, and may cause you to feel more depleted in the long run.

If your thinking of making changes my suggestion is focus on organic first, consider Swiss water decaf next, and then try herbal coffee and herbal teas… They are actually pretty tasty!

We carry this herbal blend at the clinic if you’re curious to try!

#coffee #herbs #dartmouth #halifax #naturopathic #health #maca #timechange #yinyang #ayurveda (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

 Has the winter got you beat? Then eat a beet! 

 I just opened my first jar of homemade pickled beets thanks to @mitchoo and they were delish! 

 Beets are so full of bio available minerals and vitamins including iron that they help build blood and energy.  They cleanse the liver, are high in antioxidants, and in nutrients that lower cholesterol and protect the cardiovascular system.  

 Beets are great to eat during a change of season as try are very grounding. Wonderful for vata types, and if cooked pitta types.  

 #dartmouth #halifax #naturopathic #health #beets #ayurveda #pickles #nutrition  (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

Has the winter got you beat? Then eat a beet!

I just opened my first jar of homemade pickled beets thanks to @mitchoo and they were delish!

Beets are so full of bio available minerals and vitamins including iron that they help build blood and energy. They cleanse the liver, are high in antioxidants, and in nutrients that lower cholesterol and protect the cardiovascular system.

Beets are great to eat during a change of season as try are very grounding. Wonderful for vata types, and if cooked pitta types.

#dartmouth #halifax #naturopathic #health #beets #ayurveda #pickles #nutrition (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

 A standard protein shake: 

 1. Protein powder: I choose hypoallergenic protein from rice & pea. Together they make a complete amino acid profile. Look for something high in protein, ~20g, sweetened with stevia (a no calorie natural sweetener).  

 2. Antioxidants: mixed berries are high in antioxidants, and low on the glycemic index. Look for organic.  

 3. Fibre: I use 1 tbsp of chia seeds. You can also use freshly ground flax or psyllium husk.  

 4. Healthy fats: avocado, higher in potassium than bananas, very low in fructose, and full of heart healthy mono saturated fats! Usually ¼ will do.  

 5. Mix: I use unsweetened coconut milk, but almond, rice, non gmo soy etc will do.  

 6. Extras: matcha green tea, turmeric, maca powder found at bulk food stores, lecithin, greens powder or a handful of spinach or kale. All depends on taste and what type of support you want! 

 7. Winter tip: add warming spices to you shake like a pinch of cardamom or cinnamon. If you still find shakes too chilly first thing in the am. have them as midmorning snacks or after workout snacks.  

 Shake away, and enjoy! 

 #dartmouth #halifax #naturopathic #health #proteinpowder #smoothies #shakes #avocado #matcha #cardamom #berries #coconutmilk (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

A standard protein shake:

1. Protein powder: I choose hypoallergenic protein from rice & pea. Together they make a complete amino acid profile. Look for something high in protein, ~20g, sweetened with stevia (a no calorie natural sweetener).

2. Antioxidants: mixed berries are high in antioxidants, and low on the glycemic index. Look for organic.

3. Fibre: I use 1 tbsp of chia seeds. You can also use freshly ground flax or psyllium husk.

4. Healthy fats: avocado, higher in potassium than bananas, very low in fructose, and full of heart healthy mono saturated fats! Usually ¼ will do.

5. Mix: I use unsweetened coconut milk, but almond, rice, non gmo soy etc will do.

6. Extras: matcha green tea, turmeric, maca powder found at bulk food stores, lecithin, greens powder or a handful of spinach or kale. All depends on taste and what type of support you want!

7. Winter tip: add warming spices to you shake like a pinch of cardamom or cinnamon. If you still find shakes too chilly first thing in the am. have them as midmorning snacks or after workout snacks.

Shake away, and enjoy!

#dartmouth #halifax #naturopathic #health #proteinpowder #smoothies #shakes #avocado #matcha #cardamom #berries #coconutmilk (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

 Four day old broccoli sprouts ready to eat! Compared to full grown broccoli, these little guys are 20 times higher in sulforaphane, a compound that is highly anti-cancerous. 

 Try sprouting your own in jars or kits picked up at health food stores. It’s super easy,affordable, and fun to watch them grow (kids love them).  

 I place a little over soup, in salads or on sandwiches. They have a bit of a kick with a radish like taste.  

 #broccoli #sprouts #dartmouth #naturopathic #health #cancer  (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)

Four day old broccoli sprouts ready to eat! Compared to full grown broccoli, these little guys are 20 times higher in sulforaphane, a compound that is highly anti-cancerous.

Try sprouting your own in jars or kits picked up at health food stores. It’s super easy,affordable, and fun to watch them grow (kids love them).

I place a little over soup, in salads or on sandwiches. They have a bit of a kick with a radish like taste.

#broccoli #sprouts #dartmouth #naturopathic #health #cancer (at Dartmouth Naturopathic Health Centre)