Guest Blog: Seasonal Allergies with Terry Vanderheyden, ND

Guest Blog: Seasonal Allergies by Terry Vanderheyden, ND

When we speak of allergies, we typically mean symptoms arising from sensitivity to airborne allergens like grass, pollen, dust and dander. Manifestations are known as rhinitis, and include sneezing, itchy and runny nose and irritated eyes and throat.

Allergies are an Immune Problem 

Immune function is a delicate balance between competing subsets of immune cells. Re-balancing these immune issues is at the heart of allergy remedies, and there are no better herbs for this than the traditional Chinese herbs, Astragalus and Reishi. Both are revered in Traditional Chinese Medicine for rebalancing immune function. Both have demonstrated effectiveness in clinical trials for allergies. The remaining herbal ingredients, nettles, schisandra, and prickly ash, all have their merits as allergy herbs, being especially good at restoring the health and integrity of the mucous membranes (especially for the nasal and sinus linings).

Homeopathic Ingredients

Homeopathic medicines are ideally suited for acute allergy symptoms.  Notable ingredients like the well-studied Galphimia glauca are comparable in effectiveness to conventional antihistamines, based on a number of clinical trials. 

St. Francis Herb Farm has created their Deep Immune for Allergies (DIFA) formula containing these herbs as well as Homeopathic Ingredients.  This makes for an ideal double-edged formula that on the one hand treats the underlying immune imbalance that causes allergy, while at the same time relieving acute allergy symptoms like sneezing, itching, and watering eyes. I recommend that allergy sufferers begin a program of DIFA use 4-6 weeks before their expected onset of symptoms and to do so consistently in the seasons that follow. Best of seasonal health! 

Terry Vanderheyden, ND

Terry Vanderheyden, ND is a 1994 graduate of the CCNM and has a practice in Barry’s Bay, ON. He also acts as a consultant to the botanical manufacturing industry, working in product development, regulatory affairs, and general medical consulting.  He is a board licensed ND with the College of Naturopaths of Ontario. His is a general family practice with a minor emphasis on cancer treatments. As well, Terry is a contributor to the Integrated Healthcare Practitioner magazine and is a peer review board member of that same publication.

 

Fenugreek & Blessed Thistle: Nature’s Answer to Lactation Deficits! By Terry Vanderheyden, ND

Fenugreek & Blessed Thistle: Nature’s Answer to Lactation Deficits!

By Terry Vanderheyden, ND

St. Francis Herb Farm

Fenugreek is widely recognized as a nutritive tonic for breastfeeding women and has been traditionally used throughout the world for this purpose.

A 2011 human clinical trial found a significant improvement in babies’ weight gain and in their mama’s milk supply after they consumed fenugreek tea (Turkyilmaz et al. 2011) Specifically, milk volume was significantly higher, while babies of fenugreek-supplemented mothers regained their birth weights more quickly and lost significantly less weight than the placebo group.

Since the 17th century, blessed thistle has been primarily recognized by herbalists as a remedy to enhance milk production in nursing women. It is an excellent digestive tonic for the anemic and weak and is especially good for lactating women with a low milk supply. The herb is thought to stimulate blood flow to the mammary glands (see Zapantis et al 2012).

A lactation specialist in Toronto, Dr. Jack Newman (his International Breastfeeding Centre is located at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto) writes about the effectiveness of blessed thistle and fenugreek when used together: “These two herbs seem to increase milk supply and increase the rate of milk flow.” (Newman 2009) He adds that their effects are additive: “fenugreek and blessed thistle seem to work better if you take both, not just one or the other.” Dr. Newman notes that mothers generally notice an increase in milk production within 24-72 hours after starting the herbs.

St. Francis has encapsulated a 5:1 extract of fenugreek/blessed thistle, in a convenient 2 capsule per day dose!

References:

1. Turkyilmaz C, et al. J Altern Complement Med 2011; 17(2): 139–142.

2. Zapantis A et al. J Pharm Pract 2012; 25(2): 222–31.

3. Jack Newman, Herbal Remedies for Milk Supply, Accessed online September 2, 2014 from http://www.nbci.ca/

Terry Vanderheyden, ND

Terry Vanderheyden, ND is a 1994 graduate of the CCNM and has a practice in Barry’s Bay, ON. He also acts as a consultant to the botanical manufacturing industry, working in product development, regulatory affairs, and general medical consulting.  He is a board licensed ND with the College of Naturopaths of Ontario. His is a general family practice with a minor emphasis on cancer treatments. As well, Terry is a contributor to the Integrated Healthcare Practitioner magazine and is a peer review board member of that same publication.

 

Guest Blog: How to be a Healthy in a Toxic World by Dr. Sara Celik, ND

How To Be Healthy In a Toxic World

Do you have stubborn unexplained symptoms? Are you feeling fatigued and run-down? Have you ever considered that toxins could be the underlying problem?

There’s no denying that we live in a toxic world— each day we slather chemicals on our skin, eat foods that lack nutrients, breathe in polluted air, and forget the importance of slowing down.

Today’s norm is demanding, taxing, and utterly exhausting.

With greater demands being placed on our detoxification organs, cleansing the body of toxins is more important today than ever before.

Dr. Sara’s Detox Tips: 

  1. Increase Water and Daily Fibre

The average patient I see is dehydrated. Rather than relying on caffeinated beverages and/or sugar-packed juices, choose detox water to help flush toxins from the body. Detox water is super easy to make — simply add lemons, limes, cucumber, ginger, or fresh mint leaves to purified, filtered water.

Inadequate fibre leads to constipation and creates a stagnant, sluggish colon. To get the most benefit from a cleanse, ensure 30–40 grams of fibre per day. Without adequate fibre, toxins are not fully removed via the bowels, which leads to toxins being re-circulated.

2. Opt for a Full Body Cleanse Program (7 day or 30 day)

A total body cleanse enhances the elimination of toxins from ALL 7 channels of elimination (liver, lymphatic system, lungs, blood, colon, kidneys, skin). Although cleanses often focus solely on the colon, a complete cleansing program will address the whole body and is a more holistic approach.

A variety of herbal ingredients such as burdock root, dandelion root, and milk thistle work to support liver detoxification. Red clover flower is an excellent skin cleanser, while mullein leaf is a soothing expectorant herb that reduces mucous and congestion. The key benefits of a total body cleansing kit are that it contains a variety of herbal ingredients designed to maximize detoxing from all 7 channels of elimination.

3. Deep Breathe, Rest Well, and De-Stress

In this fast-paced world, it’s easy to forget to slow down. Cleansing requires energy. The best way to supply the organs of elimination with the fuel they need is by getting plenty of rest. Rather than browsing the internet before bed, put all devices down and practice deep breathing — inhaling and exhaling through the nose.

Are you surprised that I didn’t tell you to stop eating carbs? Wondering why I didn’t mention following a strict diet?

Here’s why.

Drastic dietary changes can be overwhelming and are not necessary to reap the benefits of an herbal cleanse. Although I encourage eating nutritious foods — the more you eat, the better — the herbs will do their job regardless of what you are eating.

These three steps are most important when it comes to cleansing. If they seem too easy, remember, it’s the small steps we take that have the greatest impact on our health.

Happy Cleansing!


 

Dr. Sara Celik, ND


Dr. Sara Celik is a Naturopathic Doctor and Homeopathic Master Clinician with over 15 years of experience in the health and wellness industry. With her extensive clinical and educational background, she is a sought-after speaker and health expert that has contributed to various magazines and television programs. Dr. Sara serves as an authority on educating the public about digestive health, detoxification and an integrative approach to optimal wellness.

Guest Blog: Gut Health with Dr Sara Celik, ND

Gut Health with Dr. Sara Celik, ND

We’ve all experienced digestive discomfort at some point in our lives. Whether it’s gas, bloating, or heartburn, people often look for natural, non-invasive ways to treat symptoms.

Let’s review five steps with easy-to-find supplements that naturally address digestive issues and improve overall gut health:

  1. Re-Establish a Healthy Gut Environment with Probiotics

Daily stress, medications and a diet high in sugar can disrupt a healthy gut environment. To increase ‘friendly’ gut bacteria in the intestines, consider a multi-strain probiotic supplement. For best results, choose a high-potency formula (e.g. 50 billion active bacterial cultures) that has a delivery system such as enteric coating. Probiotic supplements that contain multiple strains are better for overall gut health – look for one that has a variety of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains.

  1. Ensure Food Is Fully Broken Down By Taking Enzymes Before Meals

Enzymes are necessary for optimal digestion and are naturally found in a variety of foods, such as pineapple and papaya. With the average diet being enzyme-deficient – containing too many overcooked vegetables and nutrient-depleted foods – digestion is often compromised.

A lack of digestive enzymes means food is only partially digested. With undigested foods in the intestines, bad bacteria thrive and foods are left to putrefy. This commonly causes gas, bloating and other uncomfortable digestive symptoms. A multi-enzyme formula before meals can enhance nutrient absorption and help ensure protein, carbs, fats, sugars, lactose, and fibre are fully broken down.

  1. Have At Least One Healthy Bowel Movement Per Day By Getting Adequate Fibre

We’ve all heard this before – Canadians are deficient in fibre. Although food sources are ideal – legumes, quinoa, oats, chia seeds, flax seeds, artichokes, apples, avocados and berries – most people are not getting enough fibre through their diet. The average person needs between 30-40 grams of fibre per day along with adequate water. The best way to ensure daily fibre needs are met is by adding a fibre supplement to your morning routine.

To find out how much fibre you are getting per day, use this free ‘Healthy Gut Cheat Sheet’ – http://www.renewlife.ca/pdf/en/brochures/healthy-gut-cheat-sheet.pdf

  1. Keep Your Colon Lubricated and Reduce Gut Inflammation with Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Since our waters are highly polluted and contaminated with heavy metals among other things, it is best to limit fish and seafood to three times per week. High quality fish oil supplements with a 5 star IFOSTM (International Fish Oil StandardsTM) rating have passed rigorous testing and help ensure daily essential fatty acids are safely obtained.

Consider a daily fish oil supplement that provides both EPA and DHA. These omega-3 fatty acids work together to reduce gut inflammation, lubricate the colon and support healthier bowel movements.

  1. Deep Clean When Needed with a Gentle Colon Support Formula

Gently cleaning the colon is necessary for optimal gut health. In my clinical practice, I use hydrating ingredients like the mineral magnesium hydroxide. I avoid habit-forming herbs such as Cascara Sagrada or Senna, which can irritate and weaken the colon.

Most Naturopathic Doctors prefer using gentle botanicals such as Cape Aloe Leaf, Chinese Rhubarb Root, Slippery Elm Bark and Triphala for occasional bouts of constipation and healthy elimination.

There’s no need to treat irritating digestive complaints with irritating ingredients. Taking a holistic approach is a better way to fix gut issues and put you on a path to better health.

Happy Healing!


Dr. Sara Celik, ND


Dr. Sara Celik is a Naturopathic Doctor and Homeopathic Master Clinician with over 15 years of experience in the health and wellness industry. With her extensive clinical and educational background, she is a sought-after speaker and health expert that has contributed to various magazines and television programs. Dr. Sara serves as an authority on educating the public about digestive health, detoxification and an integrative approach to optimal wellness.

Grassfed Butter 101

(Grassfed) Butter 101

Butter – known traditionally as “Nature’s Multivitamin” – is definitely in high demand at Health Essentials. We definitely put that s*** on everything ;).  But, like anything else amazing in this world… not all butter is created equal.  In fact, there is definitely a plethora of butter on the market today that is best avoided altogether.  Here, we’ll outline some of the major things to look for in a quality butter.

Why Grassfed?

Exactly how humans do better eating natural, whole-food derived diets made from seasonally available foods… animals that graze on pastures and eat the diet that they’re biologically designed to consume, have healthier, happier lives.  AND just how humans do best in healthy, natural environments, so do animals!  Grazing animals that live on pasture are allowed to eat the foods that their bodies NEED to thrive, and can soak in the environmental nutrients that keep them healthy as well – such as Vitamin D from the sun!  The nutrient level of the foods that we consume from animals (such as meat and dairy) are of higher quality when the animal’s lives are enriched and healthy.  Real, LIVE grass that grows out of the ground and isn’t treated with pesticides or chemicals provides animals with the nutrients that they need to thrive. Herbivorous animals (those who consume grass) have fermentation-based digestive systems that depend on grass, specifically, to fuel them and keep them healthy.  Ensuring that animals get what they need to be healthy helps to ensure that the dairy and meat we consume from them are full of nutrients as well.  Thus, the quality of the animal’s diet = the quality and quantity nutrients in the foods we derive from them.

Butter that is derived from grassfed cows is generally higher in nutrients such as butyrate, omega 3’s, CLA, beta-carotene, fat soluble vitamins – A, D, E & K, and antioxidants.  It also tends to be LOWER in toxins.  This is because toxins often accumulate in the fat tissues of animals, so the healthier the animal producing the milk, the less toxins to worry about!

Grassfed versus Seasonally Pastured

“Grassfed” is a term thrown around quite loosely in today’s food market.  Its meaning is rather straight forward, however, there are multiple levels of it.  Here’s why: As soon as an animal spends ANY length of time grazing on fresh grass, it technically qualifies them to be considered “grassfed”.  Like… that could be a day in their whole life, which in our books just doesn’t quite cut it on the quality side of things. So, what’s important to look for is the specification of TIME that the animal spends grazing.

(Real) Grassfed Butter

Provided that the farms who produce this butter are reputable and the sourcing is fabulous, this butter is generally the best of the best.  The cows who produce this butter are eating a wholesome and natural diet and their milk production reflects this.  

We carry two main Grassfed Butter Options:

Golden Ears Grassfed Butter:

Golden Ears butter is sourced locally in Maple Ridge, B.C. from a family farm.  This butter is cultured, meaning that it contains healthy bacteria that can improve the digestion of the butter.  This can help the digestion process in people who are sensitive to dairy.  With somewhat limited seasonal availability, we try to stock as much of this gold as possible so that everyone can enjoy it for most of the year! This butter has a very distinct yellow colour, and rich flavour due to the high beta-carotene content from the grassfed milk! #delicious

Kiwi Pure Butter:

Kiwi Pure butter is sourced from New Zealand dairy where there is plenty of grass to go around all year! New Zealand is actually known to have the best butter in the world, and this butter definitely stands up to that title! Kiwi Pure is consistently golden yellow all year, denoting both high beta-carotene content and high fat content! #yum

Seasonally Pastured Butter

Seasonally Pastured animals are grazing and consuming real grass for a minimum of 60% of their diet.  This means that for up to 40% of the time they can be consuming some form of grains to supplement their diet.  When shopping for seasonally pastured butter, it’s important to look for the “Organic” certification, and/or choose to buy that particular butter during “grazing” seasons.

We carry two great Canadian-sourced options for Seasonally Pastured butter:

Organic Meadows Butter

Organic meadows butter is sourced from Ontario, Canada.  It is an Organic Seasonally Pastured butter.  The cows that produce this butter are on pasture from April – November most years. It’s also a cultured butter, which is great for those who are a bit dairy sensitive.  A few times of the year, we’re able to get in this butter with a special badge on it denoting that it’s sourced from 100% pastured cows!!  We are sure to stock up on this butter at those times of the year to help ensure there’s enough to go around even into the off-season.

 

L’ancetre Butter

L’Ancetre butter is another seasonally pastured option.  The cows that produce the milk used for this butter graze for 60% of their diet on pasture.  The other 40% of their diet consists of Organic grains.  This 60:40 ratio is guaranteed at any time of the year, and since its produced in Quebec with a typical grazing season of April – October, this butter can be a great choice throughout the spring and summer months.

 

 

P.S. If you’re lactose or dairy sensitive, and you’d like to learn about an alternative, check out this post about Grassfed Ghee, which is clarified butter! 🙂

For more information on the butter options that we carry, or for clarification of any of the information in this post, please feel free to contact us! 🙂 Our phone number is 250-590-5524, and our email is hello@myhealthessentials.ca

 

Best Walks in Victoria


The Best Walks in Victoria, B.C.

We are so blessed to live in such an absolutely amazing part of the world.
There are SO many beautiful areas to explore right here in #yyj! We have
come up with a list of our very favourite places to walk in Victoria, B.C.

  1. Thetis Lake Regional Park Trail

     

    Thetis Lake Regional Park is a fabulous spot to go for a walk, swim, or run! There are two walking trail options, one “Lower Thetis” which is a shorter loop and the other “Upper Thetis” which is just about 5km around.  The path is nice and clear, and the walk is kid-friendly, with only a few short uphill climbs! Thetis is also very dog friendly, and there are even some off-leash beach areas that are time and season dependent.  Thetis makes for a fabulous walk all times of the year, and is especially nice in the summer, with the accessible option of dipping in the lake afterwards! 🙂

  2. The Gorge Waterway 

    The gorge is an extremely accessible walk for us at Health Essentials! It’s a beautiful 2km walk (one way) with the option of extending to approximately 3km with the addition of Kinsman Park across the water.  The walk is completely paved (but with the option of toes in grass most of the way, if you’re into that), and accessible for all ages and fitness levels!

  3. Island View Beach

    Though not necessarily a walking trail, Island View Beach is an amazing ocean-side walk, with a fabulous view and a vast choice of terrain.  We do find this walk is done better barefoot 😉 with toes in sand, or in a great pair of shoes for jumping log-to-log on the driftwood strip that borders the beach! The beach is also pet-friendly, with the exception of the summer-months from June 15th – September 15th.

  4. Dallas Road

    Dallas Road is a beautiful road with a fabulous walking trail that runs alongside the ocean.  The walk goes from Ogden Point, where the Breakwater is, and goes all the way along until your heart desires, right through to Beach Drive. The distance from Ogden Point to Clover Point is about a 3km walk one-way with an option of many different terrains along the way! There is a paved/gravel path that runs alongside the road, and there is a beach, that is at-times quite rocky that runs along the ocean.  The Beach along this walk doubles as a great swimming pit-stop, and the perfect destination for a Beach-Day come-summer… or winter, if you’re like Wim Hof ;).

     

  5. Elk & Beaver Lake Trail

    Elk & Beaver Lake Trail is a fairly well-known trail in Victoria.  It’s a 10km loop around both lakes, and it’s fairly flat the whole way!  Perhaps most commonly used for a perfect length 10km run for race prep or fitness, this trail is great for a long walk and is very dog friendly! The loop is long and borders the lakes for most of the distance, and you’ll notice it cuts through a vast array of differing greenery along the way. The thick tree cover also makes this a great option for a rainy-day walk as well! 🙂

 

 


 

Favourite Easter Treats

The Easter Bunny is on it’s way, and we wanted to share with you some of our go-to Easter Hunt Essentials. We have compiled a list of sweet and savoury treats that anybunny can appreciate!

  • Heavenly Organics Honey Patties

 

These sustainable, organic and ethically produced treats are full of delicious raw honey.  You can’t go wrong with the creamy dark chocolate coating and the sweet raw honey filling. #whatsnottolove They come in Mint, Almond Butter, Peanut Butter and Double Dark Chocolate varieties, all of which are DELICIOUS and made with 4 or less ingredients! We think that this is the ultimate sweet treat for all ages, and they’re also individually wrapped, making them easy for the Easter Bunny to hide!

 

  • Denman Island Chocolate Bunnies

Denman Island Chocolate Bunnies are definitely a crowd favourite when it comes to Easter time!! They come in the size pictured, as well as baby bunny size and are all individually wrapped :).  These sweet and creamy chocolatey treats are made with fine Organic cacao, and are a rich 63% dark chocolate.  They’re also made locally on Denman Island, B.C!

 

 

 

  • Terra Nossa Pasture Raised Eggs

 

If Easter Chocolates are just not all they’re cracked up to be for you…. You could always go for the old-school, extremely fun for the whole family, nutritious AND sugarless option – REAL eggs.  We carry a variety of different sizes of local, pasture-raised eggs from Terra Nossa Farm.  🙂 These babies can be decorated however you wish, and hidden for anybunny to have a blast finding as well!! #twicethefun

 

 


 

Keto-Friendly Jello

Keto Jello

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Bulletproof Collagelatin
  • 3 scoops Vega Electrolyte Hydrator
  • 3 & 1/4 cups water

Method:

1) In a mug mix 1/4 cup of water with gelatin until a solid “puck” forms.
2) In a sauce pan heat 3 cups of water.
3) Add gelatin puck and stir until dissolved.
4) Add electrolyte hydrator.
5) Pour into a glass container while hot & leave to set until firm  in the fridge. Enjoy!

5 Reasons Why We Love MegaFoods

5 Reasons Why We Love MegaFoods

  1. They source their ingredients from REAL food. For example… their Vitamin C is sourced DIRECTLY from oranges…. like… straight from them!!  The same goes for most of their vitamins and minerals. Hence, Farm to Tablet! 🙂
  2. They support local farmers with whom they have formed close friendships.
  3. They use a one-of-a-kind Slo Food Process to ensure all of the nutrients are fully processed & available to the body… Each batch takes over 236 hours!!!
  4. They believe in total transparency and have links to Live Webcams within their facility so you can actually see where your supplements are being made.
  5. They produce allergen-free, non-gmo, organic wherever possible, top quality, sustainable, AND highly absorbed vitamins to help us feel amazing! #yup #theyrekillinit #thatswhy