Fall Favourite Lunch Ideas!

Fall Time

At Health Essentials, we’re huge fans of eating seasonally! With fall approaching, we’re looking forward to eating all of the west coast autumn foods! Here are some ideas!

Snack: Rice Cakes or Apples with Nut Butter

rice-cake-with-almond-butter

‘Tis the season of local apples! ūüôā A really easy and nutritious¬†snack idea is sliced apples & nut butter.

 

You can sub out the apples or add some variety by spreading some nut butter on healthy organic rice cakes as well!

Here are some of our favourite ingredient options:

 

Almond Butter:

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Almonds, regarded as the “King of Nuts” for their amazing nutritional profile, are full of protein, healthy fats & minerals such as iron, manganese, magnesium & vitamin B2.

Our favourite is Nuts To You Organic Almond Butter! This amazing almond butter is made with organic almonds that are grown in California and processed in Ontario, Canada. ¬†It has no harmful additives, and is gluten, dairy & GMO free! ūüôā It’s easy to spread and is SO delicious!

 

 

Rice Cakes:

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Plum M Good Rice Cakes are our favourite variety of organic rice cakes! They’re made fresh to order in Richmond British Columbia. They are super crunchy & full of whole grain goodness :).

 

 

Meal: Hot Soups in a Thermos!

bone broth

 

Bone broth doesn’t necessarily have a season as it is something that we definitely consume all year… But, it tastes best when the weather turns damp and cold. ¬†It is such a versatile & nourishing food.

A great way to have bone broth in the fall is as a base for a root vegetable & meat stew. ¬†It’s also great blended with squash to make a creamy comforting fall soup!

 

Pre-Made Bone Broth:

Maybe you don’t have a slow cooker, or the time to let homemade bone broth summer… If you’d rather, you can buy pre-made bone broths that are packed full of the same amazing nutrients and are already done for you!

beef boned

 

A great pre-made option is BC made Boned Broth! Boned makes their broth with pasture raised, hormone and anti-biotic free bones, and have chicken or beef available. The beef variety has an amazing protein content and is simmered with tons of herbs and vegetables to enhance the flavour profile. It is SO delicious!

 

 

 

Yogurt Parfait

parfait

 

A simple & nutritious treat that you can pack quickly in the morning and mix up whichever way you like, is a yogurt parfait! You can mix in granola, berries, chia seeds, or healthy nuts.

When made with organic and quality sourced ingredients this delicious treat is full of nutrition! Below are a few of our favourites.

 

 

Yogurt:

Yogurt has a fantastic nutritional profile and is especially nutritious when made with organic and/or grass-fed dairy! Yogurt is a great source of healthy fats, calcium, vitamin D & probiotic cultures. Being sure to choose a yogurt that is sourced locally from animals that are grazing on pasture will ensure that it is the most nutritious option.
We have a few favourites when it comes to grass-fed yogurt.

wb yogurt

 

McClintock’s Farm that is located in the Comox Valley, makes an AMAZING Water Buffalo Yogurt. Water buffalo milk tastes a bit sweeter, despite¬†a low sugar content, and it also has¬†58% higher levels of calcium & 40% more protein than cow’s milk. ¬†We have found that its well digested by most people, too.. even those who have a slight dairy sensitivity!

 

 

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If you’d prefer a more traditional dairy option that comes from cow’s milk, that’s okay too! We love Tree Island Greek Yogurt! It is super rich and creamy, has a high protein content & comes from healthy, local grass-fed cows :).

 

 

 

 

Chia Seeds:

chia

 

Organic chia seeds are full of healthy fats & fibre!

Organic Traditions Dark Chia Seeds are organically grown in Mexico, and are non-GMO & gluten free!

 

 

 

 

Granola:

hazelnut

 

Granola King, one of the best granola’s! ¬†It’s made on the mainland¬†in¬†North Vancouver, B.C.¬†:). It has an amazing hazelnut flavour, and is sweetened with honey. It is made with organic rolled oats, sunflowers seeds, dried fruit and other wholesome ingredients!

 

 

 

 

 

 

We hope that these fall favourite suggestions are helpful for you! We love learning about new ideas, so let us know if you have any easy & quick autumn themed recipes to share :)! 

Healthy Hair Care Essentials

healthy-hair-care

Healthy Hair Care Essentials

Ask anyone… Having healthy hair is extremely important. ¬†It’s not always easy to come by, however, especially in the day and age we live in. ¬†Good news is, there are some extremely vital things you can do to ensure that your hair¬†stays healthy, no matter what length or type of hair you have!

Avoid Chemicals – Go Natural:

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Did you know that the average woman is exposed to over 100 chemicals everyday before she even leaves her home?! Many of the hair care products available on the market today, contain harmful chemicals such as sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens & polyethylene glycol.  These chemicals can cause extreme disruption to the endocrine system, irritate the skin, and are known to have cancer causing properties. These chemicals can also damage and fry your hair. It is a great idea for so many reasons, to avoid them.

The good news is, that there are plenty of clean & chemical-free shampoo and conditioner options available! A few fantastic brands that we love are Phillip Adams, Sukin, Curelle & the Victoria made, Sunstone Aromatherapy.

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Brush your Hair Regularly:

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Brushing the hair and scalp is beneficial for stimulating blood flow in the scalp, avoiding severe matting of the hair, and getting rid of dead hair and skin! Not all brushes are created equal however, and some may be too harsh or irritating to the scalp, and rip through the hair. ¬†It is important to look for a brush that does not “scrape” at the skin on your head, and doesn’t simply rip its way through tangles.

Some¬†of our newest products, and perhaps the best hair brush options available, are Olivia Garden’s¬†Eco-Friendly Bamboo Brushes. ¬†Made of extremely renewable bamboo, these extremely durable and literally “healthy” hair-brushes are great for your hair AND the environment. What makes them so great?

olivia-garben-bamboo-brushes

Balance Your Hormones:

balance

Our endocrine system works hard to balance itself everyday. This important system is responsible for the regulation of a large portion¬†of our bodily functions, including hair growth. The many different hormones (chemical messengers) that act within the system are affected by various¬†aspects of our everyday lifestyle. ¬†Nutrition, stress, exercise, sleep, physical health, and emotional well-being are all factors that can directly effect the endocrine system. ¬†Finding balance within this system can be tricky for some, and it can be beneficial to seek professional help from a Naturopath, especially if you’re experiencing mass hair loss.

There are some key foods and lifestyle techniques that can help to keep the body on track.  Here are some of the major ones that you can do NOW virtually cost & risk free!

  • Ensure adequate dietary needs are met (more details coming up in next section).
  • Get your body moving daily.
  • Reduce stress…. easier said than done, we know. ¬†Check out this post to learn more about how you can do so in your life.
  • Ensure proper sleep – most people require 7-9h of sleep per night! Are you getting this much?
  • Avoid chemicals – as stated above, the chemicals in many products on the market today can seriously disrupt our hormonal system. It’s best to go natural when choosing shampoos and hair care products!
  • Avoid “the pill” or “Hormonal IUD’s” as your method of Birth Control… This one can be tough and it’s best to speak to a health care professional about alternative options!

Ensure Adequate Nutrient Intake:

fresh beef soup ingredients in large pot

Our hair cells are produced INSIDE our body.   Our hair is structurally made up of collagen, keratin and elastin.  To have healthy hair, you must have the ability to produce these three key proteins.  The ability to naturally do so decreases over time, and is greatly affected by the nourishment our body is receiving.

Eating a healthy diet rich in collagen protein, healthy fats and generally high levels of vitamins & minerals¬†can help keep your body’s hair cell production strong. Here are some foods rich in the different nutrients and minerals necessary for healthy hair!

  • Be sure to add healthy fats into your diet – such as avocado, coconut, and butter!
  • Ensuring an adequate intake of healthy Omega-3 Fats
  • Take in collagen!! Bone broth (recipe below) is a fantastic and DELICIOUS source of collagen.
  • Enjoy foods rich in fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E & K, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C and minerals such as iron, magnesium and zinc!

Supplement your Body

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Another option is to take a supplement that promotes the production of the 3 key proteins! One of the very best at doing so is BioSil. ¬†This unique supplement stimulates your own body’s ability to produce healthy hair, skin, joints & nails.

BioSil Hair Skin Nails contains a clinically proven formula that is specifically formulated to restore your body’s 3 key beauty proteins (collagen, keratin & elastin) to healthy, youthful levels!

 

 

How Health Essentials Moves at Work

How We’ve Created a Dynamic Workplace

movement-1

At Health Essentials, we believe that there are many aspects that comprise the premise of living well as a human. ¬†We believe in the importance of “Cultivating Extraordinary Lives” in a very holistic way. An important part of what it means for us to cultivate an extraordinary life is to¬†consciously move in a way that allows our bodies to express our human¬†animaly-ness*. ūüėČ Afterall, we’re not couch potatoes and we’re not quite monkeys… what we are, however are HUMANS. ¬†So we need to act as such. ¬†Here are 5 of the things WE DO¬†that help us increase natural movement¬†in our work environment!

* Animalyness – a (made up) word that describes one’s¬†state of being as an animal. ūüėȬ†

  1. Walk to (and from) work!!

     

    Walking is a really great way to start off and end a work day. ¬†It’s a built in system¬†to add a potential hour or two of moving to your day!

    Tips to add more walking into your work days:
    РStart with a small accomplishable goal of one day a week or every second day.
    –¬†If you live way too far for your general walking tolerance…¬†park your car somewhere along your route to cut the walk down a little!
    – Wear comfortable attire¬†and pack your business¬†clothes so you don’t have to worry about sweating up a storm in the clothes you’ll be wearing all day.
    – Walk outside on work phone calls! After all, it’s not like our phones are connected by a cord anymore!
    –¬†Walk on your break! If you have an extra 15-20 minutes after you’re done eating, or before you eat, get outside and move a bit before returning to work!

     

  2. Stand up at work!

    stand-up
    If you’ve peeked behind the desk at Health Essentials, you may have noticed that we don’t have any chairs on which to sit throughout our work day. ¬†We instead have 2 “stand-up” style computer set ups! At first this took some getting used to for some of us, but now… we just don’t sit. And since we don’t have the option, we don’t miss it! We don’t even want to sit!!

    Tips to convert your work space into a non-sitting one:
    – Get a stand up desk or a VariDesk (like we did!)
    – Build a stand up desk out of boxes or the perfect height furniture (works slightly better for at home-offices ūüėČ ).
    – Kneel on a cushion or mat. It’s not quite standing, but it’s also not sitting in a 90 degree hip & 90 degree knee flexion position all day.
    Note: you can also begin by easing your way into the transition with a “stand up desk” or “kneeling mat” you can easily adjust or remove to sit part of the day.

  3. Dress to move properly!

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    A lot of the changes that we have made to create a functional work space that we can move optimally in go hand-in-hand or are subsequent of one another. ¬†Now that we don’t sit at work, we move a lot more and we stand all of the time. Now that we move a lot more and stand all of the time, we feel the necessity to wear functional clothing and shoes that allow for ease of movement, more often!
    P.S. Not to mislead you… we didn’t send all of our more restricting wardrobe items out the door… of course there are the odd days where looking amazing > moving functionally… but, we’re far more conscious now because we have to be!¬†

    Tips to choose apparel & footwear that lets you move:
    РPick clothes that let you move in a natural way, and allow your body to breathe! One of our very favourite apparel lines is Icebreaker Merino Wool.  Natural wool fibres are extremely breathable, and their styles allow for functional movements!
    – Wear shoes that have a wide toe box and a zero heel drop to optimize your whole body alignment! These styles also help prevent¬†your feet from getting sore if you’re standing or walking all day!

    РAt Health Essentials, we carry 3 amazing styles of barefoot shoes. They are Vibram Fivefingers, Vivo Barefoot & Luna Sandals.  If you work in a strict dress-code workplace, Vivo Barefoot makes dressier styles that look amazing!  

  4. Spend breaks on yoga mats.

    yoga-mat-breaks
    Since we don’t sit during the day, it’s nice to get off of our feet for a little bit during our lunch breaks. But, since we’re all pretty aware of the fact that sitting in chairs is not so fabulous for our bodies… we like to opt for yoga mat breaks. This doesn’t necessarily mean we hang out in downward dog or work on our headstands the entire time, but it does mean that we’re moving¬†a lot more throughout our break… try sitting on a hard surface¬†in the exact same way for a whole 30 minutes! ¬†Sitting on harder surfaces, your body is reminded to adjust positions more frequently! ¬†Remember what the best posture is… the one that is constantly moving, yes fidgeting is good for you!

    (Tip for ladies: sometimes a great idea to pack a pair of shorts or pants you can put on under a dress or skirt ūüėČ )

  5. Equip your office with a chin-up bar!  

    hanging-bar

    Recently, we brought a chin up bar to work – you know, those doorway fitting ones. ¬†Hanging isn’t just for kids!! We should all have the strength, mobility & endurance to hang from a bar. ¬†Unfortunately, we tend to lose that skill soon after elementary school in most cases. ¬†It’s time to bring it back!! Hanging is a great way to build up arm strength and stretch out the¬†whole body.

    It’s important to relearn the proper alignment for hanging before you get started, though! Check out the video below from Biomechanist Katy Bowman, on the right way to hang.


We hope that this information was helpful for you when it comes to adding movement into your work day! There are of course many other ways that might work better for you in your workspace, but these are just a few to get the ball rolling! ūüôā ¬†Do you have any tips and tricks that you use in your work place to add more movement into your days?? Let us know, we would LOVE to learn of more ways we can increase our movement everyday!

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: ‚ÄúThese two herbs seem to increase milk supply and increase the rate of milk flow.‚ÄĚ (Newman 2009) He adds that their effects are additive: ‚Äúfenugreek and blessed thistle seem to work better if you take both, not just one or the other.‚ÄĚ 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‚Äď142.

2. Zapantis A et al. J Pharm Pract 2012; 25(2): 222‚Äď31.

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‚Äôs no denying that we live in a toxic world‚ÄĒ 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‚Ää‚ÄĒ‚Ääsimply 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‚Äď40 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‚Äôs 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‚Ää‚ÄĒ‚Ääinhaling 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‚Ää‚ÄĒ‚Ääthe more you eat, the better‚Ää‚ÄĒ‚Ääthe 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 ‚Äėfriendly‚Äô 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 ‚Äď containing too many overcooked vegetables and nutrient-depleted foods ‚Äď 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‚Äôve 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 ‚Äď 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 ‚ÄėHealthy Gut Cheat Sheet‚Äô – 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! ūüôā

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! ūüôā 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! ūüôā

  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 ūüėČ 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! ūüôā