The SierraSil Story

The SierraSil Story

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 Discovery of SierraSil

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! 🙂

Fight Inflammation

“Fight Inflammation” Free Seminar with Charity Parkinson

Inflammation is associated with a wide range of health conditions from joint pain and arthritis to heart disease and psoriasis. In fact it is known as the silent killer because it has been linked to almost every single chronic disease in North America today.

We had the pleasure of hosting the amazing Charity Parkinson, ClH for a super informative talk on fighting inflammation.  In this talk, Charity goes into the causes of inflammation, the signs to look for, and different methods and techniques you can implement to assist your body in living pain-free!

About Charity Parkinson:



Charity Parkinson is a Clinical Herbalist and a Holistic Nutrition Coach.  She is very passionate about natural medicine and has been studying in the field for over 15 years, with experience in health food retail, sales, herbal education and clinical consultations. Her belief in achieving and maintaining whole body wellness, comes through finding and supporting one’s unique balance between the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual aspects of self.

Check out the video below and be sure to contact us if you have any questions about anything covered. 🙂 We are happy to help!


How to Transition to Vibram Fivefinger Barefoot Shoes


The Vibram Bikila:  What makes it the Ideal Transitional Shoe into Vibram Fivefinger Barefoot Shoes?

Vibram Fivefinger Barefoot Shoes has a wide selection of footwear which have specific features, for specific types of activities.  All Vibram Fivefingers, however, are great for casual wearing and walking.  The best part about Vibram Fivefinger shoes is the feeling of NOT wearing shoes.  If you’ve never tried on a pair, imagine wearing a mitten your entire life and trying on a glove.  Fivefingers allow you to articulate & spread your toes! They let your feet act like feet! 

Due to the design of, for lack of better term, “conventional” shoes, our bodies have generally been maladapted from their natural biological state of being.  Our heels are meant to be on ground level, and our toes are meant to be able to spread – it’s actually extremely important for optimal balance and whole body alignment!! Unfortunately, a lot of the “conventional” shoes, even the high end ones, are designed exactly opposite to this. They have lifted heels, and narrow toe boxes.  I know right?? WHAT THE HECK!

barefoot shoes vs shoes

Injury, intuition & education are some of the many reasons people are making the switch to more barefoot style shoes. Vibram Fivefingers are one of the best barefoot options available, and they let your feet do their thang!! Although it is a fantastic idea to switch to barefoot shoes, if you haven’t already… it must be a gradual transition.

Preparing for the Transition

If you’re like the average person, you’ve probably spent at least 60% of your life in shoes that have a lifted heel and narrow toe box.  This shoe design forces your body to use a particular set of muscles in a particular alignment that walking, running, or jumping “barefoot” does not.  You’ll need to prepare by strengthening your lower leg muscles, increasing the flexibility in your feet & working the lower-leg in a completely different way! A great way… but, it may take time.

Ease Your Way Out of Shoes


A fantastic way to prepare your body for barefoot shoes, is ditching shoes wherever possible.  Even if just around your home! Kick off those slippers, take off your socks, & let your feet breathe! Don’t try to do anything too strenuous, just try to hang out without shoes whenever it’s available.  Even go out in the yard and walk in the grass – trust us, it feels AMAZING.

Start by Wearing your Vibram Fivefinger Barefoot Shoes 10% of the Time

The Vibram Fivefinger Barefoot Shoes

Vibram recommends that you start by wearing your new Fivefingers only 10 percent of the time. Then, you can slowly increase that number over the course of a few weeks. Likely, your feet have  been in a “cast” most of their life. Which means they’ll need time to strengthen the muscles and joints that haven’t been in use while in conventional shoes!

There are particular styles of Vibram Fivefingers that are the best “transitional” styles, which will help you with the switch.

The Vibram Bikila Evo

mens Vibram Bikila Evo

  • This is an ideal running shoe for those making the transition from traditional footwear to a more minimalist approach.
  • With a total sole thickness of 8.5mm, this style offers a little more protection than some other Fivefinger styles, while still allowing you to feel connected to the ground, spread your toes, and keep your body in proper alignment!
  • Featuring a soft, perforated upper to maximize breathability, this model is extremely comfortable!
  • Bikila Evos are extremely lightweight & their thin sole construction lets you feel your run, connecting you to the true barefoot running experience.

At Health Essentials, we are proud to say that we carry the largest selection of Vibram Fivefingers on the Island!! Come in and check out the styles of Vibram Fivefingers that we carry, and have a chance to try on these game-changing minimalist shoes!  


Your Grandma was a Genius – Benefits of Bone Broth
with Dr. Christian Brix



We have an amazing seminar coming up on October 22nd with Dr. Christian Brix! He’ll be coming to enlighten us on all of the wonderful benefits of bone broth. Bone broth is a fantastically nourishing superfood that has been part of ancestral diets for centuries. Bone broth is rich in a protein called collagen, which makes up a large portion of our own bodies. Come and learn the history of bone broth and the importance of including it in your diet today!

Dr. Christian Brix is a Chiropractic Doctor who works out of Kelowna B.C. He is also the co-founder of a homemade/premade bone broth company called Boned. Christian’s knowledge of both the human body, health & nourishing foods is astounding, and his charismatic personality makes him so engaging to listen to. We cannot wait to be hosting Christian for this wonderful talk! 🙂

For more information on this talk:

Visit our events page at:
or our Facebook Page at:

Please RSVP to reserve your spot to or by phone at 250-590-5524. 


Stay tuned for more information on our Digestion Series Talks happening right now! 


Luna Sandals – THE Ultimate Adventure Shoe

Luna Sandals

At Health Essentials, we’re crazy about the outdoors. Whether it’s super sunny outside like it has been this August, or it’s crazy rainy like it tends to be from time to time on the Wet West Coast 😉 … We just can’t get enough fresh air!  Perhaps as much as we love being outside, we love spending time barefoot, which is why Luna Sandals are one of our year round footwear essentials.

It can be hard to navigate on some outdoor terrains without a little protection for our soles, especially since most of us are so used to having worn shoes our whole lives.  Luna Sandals are the perfect medium between protection and freedom.  

What are Luna Sandals?

manuel Luna

Luna Sandals were created by a man named Ted MacDonald – aka: “Barefoot Ted” – whose journey of learning how to run pain-free led him to the concept of barefoot running. Running and moving without the impeding modern day “technology” of conventional shoes can have amazing benefits for our body, and actually reduce risk of pain and injury. Our bodies were meant to move – just not the way most modern day footwear forces them to.

Luna Sandals were inspired by traditional cultural styles of sandals, much like those in the Tarahumara natives of Mexico. On a trip to run a 50-mile Ultra Marathon in the Copper Canyons, Barefoot Ted became friends with a man named Manuel Luna, who made him his first pair of “huarache” sandals out of tire rubber and rope (see above). And thus, the name Luna Sandals came to be – inspired by and named after a true Tarahumara native.

Why we LOVE them.

We find ourselves regressing back to what our ancestors did and how traditional cultures lived again, and again when it comes to virtually all aspects of natural health and wellness. Allowing our bodies to express their natural biology seems to be the key to human vitality. Humans were created to move like humans, and Luna sandals allow our natural movement to be expressed to the fullest, while still providing protection.

Luna Sandals are a line of highly durable, adventure sandals that allow your ENTIRE foot to feel like it’s free!

This sandal is amazing for the heat – letting your feet fully breathe.
They are also fantastic for rainy weather – allowing water to wick away from the foot and rubber sole of the shoe.. puddle free!

There are different styles available for all types of weather conditions, terrain and preference, but they all keep the same simple concept in mind: Allowing your feet to act like the strong foundational bases that they are, allows your body to be aligned and supported properly.


One of our very favourite, and perhaps one of the most versatile Luna Sandal styles that we carry is The Leadville PacerEquipped with a 9mm Vibram rubber sole, and aggressive tread that is designed to help you navigate any terrain, this sandal is perfect for even the most adventurous types.





How to make Electrolyte Hydrator Gummies!

Electrolyte Hydrator Gummies Recipe


Electrolyte Hydrator gel-o gummies are a PERFECT treat for anyone, anytime of day.

… even kids LOVE them. They are an easy way to add collagen into your own diet, or the diet of your potentially picky young ones!  Rich in collagen, these treats are great for your hair, skin, joints & nails. They’re an ideal snack and a great alternative to sugary filled candy or jel-o.

Not only do these snacks taste AMAZING, but they’re also made from extremely nutritious ingredients that will leave you feeling energized & satiated, while helping to silence your inner sweet tooth – guilt free!


Step One: Choosing your ingredients.
This recipe doesn’t require many ingredients, but it is important to choose each of them wisely!

Here is our list of recommended brands & sources:

The gelatin that gives these gummies their firm, gel-like texture is made up of collagen protein… it’s the same protein that “glues” and makes up our joints, skin, hair, nails and gut lining! The animal from which the gelatin comes from determines the quality of the gelatin itself!
We chose Bulletproof Upgraded Collagelatin, because it is sourced from grass-fed cows who lead happy & healthy lives, so you can feel better consuming it – emotionally, and physically!

Electrolytes are vital for proper hydration & are important for many functions in the body.
We chose Vega’s Sport Electrolyte Hydrator because it contains clean ingredients, and is packed full of other refuelling aids that are important for athletic recovery & also make you feel amazing. This powder also tastes delicious, and is sweetened naturally with stevia.

Lemon is amazing for keeping our digestive systems healthy, helping cleanse our filtering organs & keeping our bodies alkaline!
For this recipe, we used Lakewood’s Organic Lemon Juice because it is cold pressed – so important vital nutrients are still intact, it’s organically sourced & it is unsweetened. Note: You could also squeeze your own organic lemon juice for this recipe if you have lemons available!

Raw, organic & unpasteurized honey is full of live enzymes & nutrients. It is naturally sweet and has antimicrobial properties.
We chose Harmonic Arts Raw Honey, because not only does it meet all of those requirements, it’s also local to us & sourced from wild bees that live a regular, unaltered happy, bee-life!

Step Two: Make sure everything is ready to go & measured.
Since this recipe requires a rapid pace to get all the ingredients mixed in,
it’s helpful to have all of your ingredients measured out before beginning the process!

Step Three: Mix the electrolyte powder with water.
In a container, or a shaker cup, mix the electrolyte powder into 2 cups of water.

Step Four: Add the lemon juice & honey.
Add the lemon juice first, mix it until fully incorporated, and then add in honey if desired.
Some people prefer it to be less sweet, and contain no sugar whatsoever. The Hydrator powder
adds a little bit of sweetness, so if you’d prefer a sugar free version, you can skip the honey!

Step Five: Make a gelatin puck.
In a small cup or container, mix 1/4 cup of water with the gelatin powder and stir quickly until it becomes firm.

Step Six: Add gelatin to mixture.
You can spoon out the puck (should come out all together) and add it into the saucepan.
Stir until it is completely dissolved – there should be no sign of the gelatin anymore!

Step Seven: Pour into molds or tray.
While still hot, pour your mixture into whatever container or tray you’d like. Gummy molds are
fun for kids (of all ages) & make these treats easy to eat, but if you don’t have them, not to worry!
You can pour this mixture into muffin tins or a cake pan.

Step Eight: Leave to set.
Once the mixture has been poured into its container, cover it and stick it into the fridge to set.

Step Nine: Remove & enjoy!
You’ll know that your gummies are ready when they’re firm and no longer a liquid.
You can now remove them from their molds, or cut them into squares or shapes in their pan!

Enjoy :)!


Gel Electrolyte Recipe card

If you have any questions at all about this recipe or
if you have any requests for recipes you can call us (250-590-5524)
email us (, or come by the store
(101-300 Gorge Rd. W, Victoria, B.C.) at any time & we’d be happy to help! 🙂

The Problem with Modern Footwear: Strengthen Your Feet, Strengthen Your Body

Are you confused about what the best footwear is for you? Have you ever been told that the optimum shoe has a snug fit, arch support and cushioning? If you have you’re not alone. At least 10 years ago we started looking at the impact of what has been termed by biomechanists as a foot “cast” . Much the same as if you break your arm and are put in a cast, a conventional shoe keeps your movement restricted, your toes in one spot, often has your arch supported which leads to weakening of the muscles in the foot. Your muscles don’t have to do the work anymore they are supported by the shoe so they atrophy (weaken) . Modern day shoes typically have lots of cushioning, which actually causes more joint impact because your foot isn’t getting the biofeedback (brain body connection) from the surface it is on. Lets break it down:

Your feet have 7000 nerve endings, 33 joints and 28 bones held together by more than a hundred ligaments and muscles. There’s a lot going on in there! The way we use are hands can be compared to the way our feet (are supposed) to be used. Feet really have a huge impact on the way our bodies move. Feet create the foundation for your whole body. Some foot experts say the typical North American’s feet is only functioning at 30%


Effect of Elevated Heels

Originally designed to create a longer stride, the elevated heel shifts our body forward. Our eyes will auto correct our posture to the horizon (which they always do automatically) . When our eye line shifts the shoulders follow, then the pelvis and completely destroy the natural stance we were meant to have for our bodies to function properly. An elevated heel can changes how your foot strikes the ground, making you land further back on your foot instead of landing on the padded forefoot. Wearing shoes with an elevated heal can cause the achilles shorten over time tightening the calf. Every time your foot steps down it tries to use more force to stabilize the body. Kinetic analyses shows that even on hard surfaces, barefoot runners who forefoot strike generate smaller force than heel strikers.


What is proprioception?

Katy Bowman explains it as ‘the ability for one part of your body to know where it is relative to the other parts”. It is a system that gives your body a sense of what is internal so you can subconsciously make informed decisions on movement based on the biofeedback from your environment. Proprioception determines body position, and focuses on the cognitive awareness of the body in space. It senses limbs, trunk, effort, force and heaviness. So what does that mean for us? When we pad our shoes we cut off the bodies natural movement and dull the senses confusing our bodies into moving in an irregular way. Being barefoot (or as close as possible) is giving your body the best chance to move effectively based on your environment.


Having a tight fitting shoes /compressed toe box):

Your toes were meant to move independently just like fingers. Compressed toe boxes lead to toes that are overlapping or with indentations in them. The strength of the individual toes is compromised as well as the ideal base stance. The toes are meant to be the anchor and pivot for the foot. A person can learn to spread their toes over time and can have a more solid and connected base that supports natural movement. Can you move each toe independently? 

How to transition gently to barefoot shoes

Listen to your body. Some people can transition in a week, some take a month or longer. As soon as there is muscle pain back off. You can start at home wearing your shoes for short periods of time. Give your feet some exercise experimenting with different surface types. Stretching and maintaining mobility are important for overall well being and it is especially helpful to continue this practice as your body gets used to a new way of moving. If you have more questions, come and visit us at the store and experience the freeing feeling of wearing a barefoot shoe.



Natural Pain Killer: Life Choice DMSO

Wanting to try something new for pain? DMSO works surprisingly well and is great to have on hand for injuries!

DMSO is a sulfur containing organic compound derived from MSM. It goes way back and was first synthesized in 1866. It has many uses but is most known for being a natural pain killer and transporter. It enters the bloodstream by osmosis through capillary walls and is distributed throughout the circulatory system. It can help with injuries such as fractures, sprained ankles, sore muscles, and sore joints. DMSO can also help with detoxification and immune system activity. We have both a liquid and gel from Life Choice that can be used topically. Here it is on our website too!

Here is a video with some more information:

On Ad: Theracurmin

In our flyer this month we have double strength Theracurmin on for $33.98 / 60 caps PLUS a $2 off coupon and a free book all about curcumin!

Theracurmin has the most double-blind trials than any other curcumin product and is the most bioavailable compared to all the other leading forms of curcumin. The difference is Theracurmin particles are ground using a wet-grinding mill, making it 100x smaller than regular curcumin powder. The microscopic particles are suspended in a natural colloidal suspension that is absorbed into the blood faster and stays there longer. Amazing stuff!

Can’t make it into the store? Find it here!