Happy Long Weekend!
Here are our holiday hours for Easter Weekend from April 14th – April 17th!
Here are our holiday hours for Easter Weekend from April 14th – April 17th!
Spring is in the air, and with the spring comes the ultimate time to detox your home! But, did you ever think that your cleaning supplies cupboard may need a little detox action as well?
The truth is that most commonly used cleaning supplies… just aren’t that clean. Yes, they’re designed to kill bacteria, but what they often end up leaving in its place is a toxic residue that can arguably be just as bad if not worse than bacteria build-up.
Here are just a few of the harmful ingredients commonly found in “conventional” cleaning supplies:
The truth is, that the discovery of bacteria that caused disease happened FAR before the use of harsh synthetic chemicals. The use of man-mixed, and bottled chemicals started their major climb in popularity and market saturation during the industrial revolution. They were a byproduct of booming production in many cases and just-so-happened to also work wonders at killing bacteria. The one, very overlooked problem with most of them… they also harm the good bacteria and cells and thus, harm the environment, humans and animals.
Prior to the use of these chemicals, man discovered many natural anti-bacterial agents that were not detrimental to humans, the environment or animals. Although it may sound far too good to be true, believe it or not, the earth is full of natural treasures. It’s almost as if mother nature wants to help keep the Earth’s inhabitants alive… like for real, not for money.
Here are a few healthy ingredients to look for in your cleaning products:
If there’s one story we tell and retell the most at Health Essentials, it’s the story of Bulletproof and its founder, Dave Asprey. It’s a fabulous story that many people in the Health world will have heard by now, but in case you have yet to learn how Bulletproof came to be, here’s how:
Dave Asprey, a once Silicon Valley Investor and technology entrepreneur, began his journey into the natural health and biohacking world over 2 decades ago. Since the start, he’s “invested” over $300,000 to “hack” or “optimize” his own biology. After a hard-fought battle with “conventional” weight loss techniques with little to no progress, Dave lost over 100lbs without excessively exercising, starving himself, or counting all of his calories! Now his amazing company focuses of producing products to help others easily achieve health, and spreading the message of this “unconventional” way of living optimally!
Dave founded Bulletproof in order to spread his message and make these simple, yet against the grain techniques and “hacks” accessible for less than the cost of a home ;). Some might say that Dave does the experimentation and research so that we don’t have to. The premise behind the amazing lifestyle that Dave advocates, starts with your morning coffee. Check out the video below to learn more about Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof coffee and lifestyle!
Have you heard of SierraSil? It’s a joint health formula made of a mineral-rich clay that has shown to improve cartilage and joint function as well as support gentle detoxification of the body – thus promoting overall health and well being. It’s clinically researched and guaranteed to show results, FAST!
At Health Essentials, we love learning about the who, what, where and why behind the products that we carry, and we thought the story behind SierraSil was definitely worth sharing!
The story goes: A prospector in search of gold in the Sierra Mountain ranges in Yosemite National Park, stumbled upon the discovery of a VERY mineral rich clay. Such clay was sought after by the wild animals in the region, who’s instincts drew them to the nutrients in the clay. The explorer observed the animals, and decided to harvest some of the clay to feed to his domestic livestock. He observed that the animal’s health steadily improved, and it wasn’t long before the clay was tested on humans. Now, SierraSil has helped MANY people achieve improved health and vitality, all due to the wisdom of the wild! Pretty cool hey?! Have you used SierraSil? What did you think? Let us know! 🙂
Seasonal allergies affect a large portion of the population in North America. Chances are you or at least one person you know suffers from a serious case of hay fever come spring time. It’s such a shame to not fully be able to enjoy the beautiful season of spring! Fortunately, there are definitely things you can do or take to help naturally treat the symptoms and underlying issues associated with seasonal allergies!
Have you ever taken the time to actually think about what it means to be allergic to something? Allergic reactions happen as a result of our immune system responding to a foreign substance that it does not deem as “safe”. Most of the time, these “intruders” are actually safe and there’s something else going on in the body that’s gone ignored.
Here’s what happens: The allergen comes in contact with the immune system’s white blood cells (B cells). These cells then release antibodies that work to fight against the “intruder”. The antibodies help to prep the body for attack by binding to them and warning them, particularly the “mast cells”. These mast cells release histamine which triggers major and FAST inflammation to slow the invaders and move immune cells to the area to help kill them off… thus an allergic reaction!
It is possible for your body to release histamine without actually triggering an allergic reaction. When the body is constantly bombarded by what it sees as “intruders”, the the total histamine level in the blood become so high that a reaction occurs.
Many health experts will use the analogy of a “histamine bucket” to explain the allergic reaction reasoning. Histamine is actually a molecule contained in many foods, and it’s released in the body quite often in varying amounts. It is when the immune system is forced to be “on edge” or over-reactive i.e. the histamine level climbs too high or the “bucket becomes too full” that we experience an allergic reaction.
Leaky Gut – Increased Intestinal Permeability
The gut is a major line of defence for the body. Many of our immune cells reside here to help keep us healthy. A lot of the nutrients we eat are absorbed through the intestinal walls, which act as a semi-permeable shield – allowing the good stuff in, and keeping the bad out. However, with increased and excessive exposure to bad, our shield can be broken down, thus allowing more bad through the wall and into the blood stream – yikes. This is called leaky gut. It is a major contributor to allergies as allowing “bad” into the blood stream launches one of the attacks from the diagram above. This increases the body’s histamine levels and can fill that bucket to an unmanageable level.
Yes. They indeed are. You are not doomed to be allergic to the outside world forever! Whoop! 🙂 There are things you can do to lessen your symptoms naturally, and in some cases even cure yourself of allergies completely.
Due to the prominence of leaky gut in allergy cases, especially hayfever, it can be a great idea to look deeper into the problem and find the real culprit. A fabulous way to do this is to do an elimination diet. This involves cutting your diet down into the very bare bone basics. Remove any potential allergens for at least 4-6 weeks, and slowly reintroduce.. Check out Precision Nutrition’s blog about how to do this and more information about the process.
Ki Hayfever Control Formula is a blend of immune boosting herbs astragulus, ginger, rhina, and magnolia with the antioxidant quercetin. All of these wonderful ingredients work together to prime the immune system so it’s ready to take on the hay fever season! Many people find that beginning Ki Hayfever Formula a few weeks before allergy season reduces risk of symptoms! 🙂
Immune 7 is a blend of 6 medicinal mushrooms that work to modulate the immune system. When someone has allergies, their immune system is over-active, which means it’s recognizing something that is not a threat, as a threat! Medicinal mushrooms can help to bring your immune system UP when it’s down, and DOWN when it’s over-active!
St. Francis Deep Immune for Allergies is a blend of unique herbs and homeopathic remedies that help to treat and relieve allergy symptoms! It’s a fantastic immune support that also takes care of the immediate allergic responses. The dual action involved in treating the underlying problem as well as the annoying symptoms, such as runny and itchy nose, sneezing, itchy eyes and congestion!
Immuno-Care contains plant sterols, that can be the answer to seasonal allergies. Plant sterols are the fats found in plants that we tend to be deficient in today, due to the harsh processing of plant-based foods that we consume. A clinical study was done that showed a decrease in basophil blood cells with use of Immuno-Care¹. These blood cells release histamine that is normally responsible for allergic reactions. There was also a reduction of interleukin-6, the cause of inflammation and pain¹! Immuno-Care has also proven to reduce the production of cytokines which cause inflammation in the body and can be attributed to allergy symptoms¹.
If you suffer from hay-fever, you probably have symptoms related to a runny nose, itchy nose or congestion. These symptoms happen due to excess mucous production and irritation by pollen or allergens. The symptoms can be prolonged if the allergens stay inside the nasal cavity, trapped in the mucous. Neti Pots come from ancient Ayurvedic practice and involve the use of salt water to rinse the nasal cavity. They can be extremely effective for relieving itchy or irritated nostrils, which is the ultimate dream of every person with hay-fever!
Sabalia is a homeopathic that is fantastic for helping rid of hayfever symptoms. It contains 6 different homeopathic remedies that work together to lessen the itchy& runny nose, itchy eyes, and itchy throat symptoms of allergies! It’s fast, effective and is non-drowsy, as well as non-stimulating. It can be taken any time of day!
Consuming local bee pollen or local raw honey daily pre-allergy season can help to “inoculate” your body and prep it for the pollen that can cause seasonal allergies. Taking one or the other daily has shown to reduce allergy symptoms come the dawn of allergy season! 🙂 We sell both Harmonic Arts Fresh Bee Pollen, and their Local Wild Raw Honey that is sourced from the Nanaimo area!
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with this green Matcha Latte with a little Irish twist ;).
Place all ingredients (except whipped cream) into a blender and blend until smooth and frothy. Top with Whip Cream if desired. Enjoy!
We’re always on the lookout for new ways to incorporate awesome nutrient dense and traditional foods into our meals! This awesome recipe by one of our teammates, Denby, has helped us do just that! We are so excited about it. These babies are gluten-free, dairy-free, keto-friendly, paleo-friendly and made with great ingredients that you can feel awesome about consuming!
1. Grind the pork crisps in a blender or coffee grinder &, set aside.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the eggs, stevia and coconut milk then add the ground pork crisps and cinnamon.
Mix well and set aside for 5 mins to thicken.
3. Heat your fat of choice in a pan over medium heat. pour the batter on the pan and cook each side for 1-2 mins.
4. Serve warm with melted butter & enjoy!
Do you have any awesome low-carb, healthy recipes to share? Let us know, we love new ideas! 🙂
Have you ever thought about how much time you spend on your bed in a 24 hour period? Like… a third of it. For most of us, the importance of how healthy our environment is on the daily, is rarely applied to our sleep environment. Even the few who do apply it regularly to their sleeping environment, rarely think about their bed as being “healthy” or “unhealthy”. It’s time to change that. Here are some pretty ugly truths about the very thing you spend a third of your life on.
The world of conventional beds is very comparable to that of conventional clothing, or even food. It’s just not made of the right stuff. Somewhere along the line cheap materials, cheap manufacturing and cheap point of sale became the main priority. Unfortunately, this just is not acceptable. Here’s why:
Not a huge fan of the conventional mattress ingredients? Neither were we. Fortunately, there are healthier options.
There are many different natural fibres that mattresses and sheets can be made of. Some of the top naturally antibacterial, and breathable materials are organic cotton, wool, and organic bamboo!
You may know that wool happens to be one of our very favourite natural fibres for clothing at Health Essentials. It’s also one of our favourite bed materials! Wool is naturally antibacterial, thermoregulating, flame resistant, and hypoallergenic. It’s also great for the environment when sourced from a premium farm! If you’re thinking: “WOW! That sounds like the exact opposite of synthetic materials!” Yup. You’re right. #yesplease Wool helps you to stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer, so it’s the ultimate duvet filling as well!!! Wool ventilates really well, and can absorb up to 30% of its weight in water without even feeling wet… so it’s ideal for humid climates…. AND sweaty sleepers. 😉 You can find wool mattresses and duvets on the market today! Check out some awesome sustainable & high quality mattresses at Shepherd’s Dream and Custom Woolen Mills 100% Wool Fill Bedding Duvets! #welovethem
Organic Bamboo can be a really sustainable, uber soft & comfortable option for natural sheets or mattress materials! Bamboo is also highly breathable, doesn’t want to hold onto bacteria and when organic, is free of chemicals & pesticides!
There are many organic cotton sheets and mattresses available in the market today! Organic cotton is also breathable, hypoallergenic and antibacterial. Check out Coyuchi Sheets which is a Californian company who sustainably and organically sources their materials!
Choosing a bed frame material is more important than one may think. Being sure to choose a bed that does NOT include box springs, metal, or chemically treated wood is of the utmost importance for your health and sleep quality! Here is what we have found to be the best option:
Slatted wooden frames allow for breathability through the mattress, provide natural support for the body, and don’t disrupt your body’s EMF. Look for a wooden frame that is sustainably sourced and free of chemical treatments!
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health illness affecting adults in Canada. At least one in four Canadians will experience an anxiety disorder in their life. Many of these people will experience social and occupational impairment due to the debilitating nature of the anxiety. 1 The treatment of choice for anxiety is typically pharmacological therapy, and to a lesser extent, counseling.
It is important for individuals to feel empowered when choosing the right treatment plan, and to have collaborative care amongst their healthcare providers. It is of the utmost importance that your primary healthcare provider does a thorough work up of your anxiety prior to initiating any treatment. Anxiety is not just a mental illness; there are also many physical conditions that can manifest as anxiety. Examples of this are thyroid irregularities, which are becoming increasingly more common, as well as blood sugar disparities. For more information on thyroid testing and treatment, Aviva Romm, MD has written extensively on this topic.
Dietary changes that can make substantial changes to your mood include limiting sugar, gluten and GMO products. A world renowned integrative psychiatrist, Kelly Brogan, wrote an in-depth article outlining these changes and why they may be harmful.
Apart from the conventional approach to treating anxiety with anti-anxiety medications, there are a multitude of nutritional options. The most safe and effective are vitamin D, magnesium, B vitamins and probiotics.
Vitamin D deficiency is rampant amongst Canadians due to the limited amount of sunlight exposure we have. Testing for vitamin D is not included within MSP in BC due to the assumption that everyone should be supplementing, but it is still a helpful test to run to know how much supplementation you should take to replenish your stores. Speaking with your primary healthcare provider about specific dosing is recommended, but typically minimal dosing is 1000-2000 IU a day up to 10,000 IU a day. When choosing a vitamin D supplement, ensure it contains vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), as this is the active form of vitamin D.
Magnesium supplementation can make dramatic changes in physical (e.g., muscle hypertonicity, constipation), as well as mental and emotional well being (e.g., insomnia and mood). Plasma magnesium levels have been demonstrated to be lower in patients with schizophrenia, depression, and mania as seen in bipolar disorder when compared to healthy controls. In this study, as patients achieved improvement in their symptoms, the plasma magnesium levels increased, suggesting that a magnesium deficiency contributes and potentially exacerbates symptoms consistent with these conditions. 1 Not all forms of magnesium are equivalent. When looking for a magnesium supplement be sure to choose magnesium bisglycinate if you are looking to improve absorption from the bowels and have a systemic effect.
B vitamins are involved in the production of neurotransmitters, myelin, DNA and RNA. They are also important co-factors in the production of cortisol, our primary stress hormone. Vegetarians and vegans are at particular risk of running a deficiency of vitamin B12, given that animal protein is the predominant source of B12. A good example of potential consequences of B12 deficiency is a published case study of psychiatric symptoms manifesting as a B12 deficiency. 2 When looking for a B12 supplement, choose methylcobalamin, as cyanocobalamin is a synthetic form of B12, that is not well utilized by the body. Discuss with your primary healthcare provider if a B vitamin supplement is right for you.
We have all heard of the gut – brain relationship and the importance of our microbiome. Recent research clearly outlines how gut integrity influences mood. A striking example of this has been demonstrated in animal research. To elicit a depressed state, researchers administered LPS (lipopolysaccharide) from gram-negative bacteria, which causes inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. The immune response that occurs as a result of this inflammation subsequently led to symptoms of depression. Using fluoxetine, a commonly prescribed antidepressant, the researchers were able to eliminate the neurobehavioural symptoms that had been induced by LPS after 3 weeks 3. We can therefore hypothesize that maintaining healthy flora within our gastrointestinal tract is fundamental to mental health. There are multiple strains of bacteria contained in some probiotics that have proven directly beneficial to mood, such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus in depression. 4 While some strains of Bifidobacterium can alleviate anxiety. 5 There are a surplus of probiotic options available on the market, so ensure the one you are choosing has sufficient amounts of colony forming units (CFU’s) for your condition, and requires refrigeration.
This information is provided as a general source of information only and should not be considered personal health advice. Please ensure you consult with a professional health care physician for your personal health concerns.
Stephanie Bayliss is a Naturopathic Physician practicing in Victoria BC at Acacia Health and is currently accepting new patients. Her practice has a focus on mental health, chronic disease and neurological conditions. For more information her website is www.drstephaniebayliss.com