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Notice of Practice Closure

With mixed emotions, I wish to inform you that I will be closing my naturopathic practice at the Ottawa Health Group effective February 26, 2015 to embark on new professional endeavours in Calgary. I can finish up with treatment plans in progress and pending lab work until February 26, 2015.

Your naturopathic medical records will remain with the Ottawa Health Group who are actively seeking a compassionate and competent naturopathic doctor to continue care with you. Your records will automatically transfer to the incoming naturopathic doctor unless we receive written authorization from you requesting a transfer to a naturopathic doctor of your choosing.  Please contact the Ottawa Health Group for more information or refer to the Notice of Practice Closure letter sent to all patients.

Thank you for putting your trust in me as your naturopathic doctor. It has been a privilege to get to know you and work with you to reach your health goals. Best wishes for a future of living your best self.


Jacqui Klassen (Solowjew) BSc, ND



Cold & Flu Season: Are You Ready?

GIRL COUGHING-iStock_000010842575XSmall

Your immune stays strong and is able to fight off infection faster when you take good care of yourself.  How many immune-boosting factors do you have?  

Take Our Quiz to Find Out!

  • Most nights, I sleep for at least 8 hours and I fall asleep before 11PM
  • I avoid refined carbohydrates including anything made from flour or sugar
  • I eat adequate amounts of vegetables and fruit everyday
  • I wash my hands frequently
  • I regularly exercise (30 minutes of exercise at least 3 times per week)
  • On average, I’d rate my stress levels less than 6 out 10, if 10 is the most stress and 0 is no stress
  • My digestive system is working optimally
  • I take a high quality multivitamin
If you answered "yes" to 5 or more: Congratulations! Your immune system is likely ready to take on cold & flu season.
If you answered "yes" to 4 or less.  Consider seeing your naturopathic doctor for your personal Cold and Flu Prevention Plan.

Strengthen your immune system with these tips....


Wash hands often with soap and water, especially after a cough or sneeze.

Cough or sneeze into jacket/sweater of bent arm rather than into a closed fist or open hand.


Ensure you are getting adequate sleep. At least 8 hours per night and preferably before 11PM.  Our adrenal glands recover from the effects of stress in the early  hours of sleep.  Stress is known to weaken the immune system.

Participate in physical activity such as walking, stretching, biking, swimming or other mild-moderate physical activity to boost the immune system. 

If you feel sick, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to prevent the spread of infection.  Our body is smart, it’ll induce sickness to force us to stop and rest when we don’t have the capacity to stop and rest on our own.


Increase the consumption of vitamin C containing fruits and vegetables such as: oranges, lemons, grapefruit, strawberries, raspberries, back currents, peppers, spring greens, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.

Avoid refined sugars, and unhealthy fats (saturated and trans-fats).

Eat more raw garlic and onions which are immune boosting and have antiviral and antibiotic properties.

Increase water and herbal (non-caffeinated) tea intake such as green tea;

**If you are naturally susceptible to developing colds or flu’s or think your immune system might be lowered due to stress, lack of sleep, lack of physical activity or any other reason, please contact your naturopathic doctor for a personalized approach to optimizing your immune system.



The Benefits of Vitamin B12 Injections

Vitamin B12 is an important B-vitamin required for the formation and maturation of red blood cells and proper functioning of the nervous system, bone marrow, cardiovascular system and gastrointestinal tract. 

B12 Injection

How do I know if I'm low in B12?

You may experience one or more of the following symptoms..

  • Fatigue/low energy
  • Paleness, weakness, shortness of breath
  • Dizziness, rapid heart rate
  • Celiac Disease
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • Irritable Bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Poor digestion/food intolerances
  • Numbness, tingling, sciatica, post-herpetic neuralgia
  • Vibration and position senses alterations
  • Vegetarian/Vegan diet
  • Anxiety, depression or mood swings
  • use of proton-pump inhibitors for gastrointestinal reflux

* Please note that all patients must have at least one initial consultation with our naturopathic doctor including relevant assessments prior to initiation of a vitamin B12 injection protocol

What causes Vitamin B12 deficiency?

Vitamin B12 is found primarily in animal products which is why diets restricted in these often require additional B12 supplementation. In order to absorb Vitamin B12, the body also requires intrinsic factor, a substance that is normally produced in the lining of the stomach. Any condition that alters stomach acid levels or damage to the gastrointestinal lining can alter Vitamin B12 levels. These conditions may include long-term use of Proton Pump Inhibitors, Irritable Bowel Disease, Celiac disease, untreated food allergies/sensitivities, chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal system and infections of H.pylori. Liver conditions may also impact the storage of Vitamin B12.

How is Vitamin B12 supplemented?

Vitamin B12 can be supplemented orally or injected. In either instance, the best absorbed form is methylcobalamin. This is the only type used and recommended in the clinic. Injections are well absorbed into the body as they bypass the digestive system and the need for intrinsic factor. However, sublingual Vitamin B12 supplements are widely available and well absorbed by those without any clear digestive concerns. Both Vitamin B12 injections and oral supplements are available at the clinic.

Proper assessment of Vitamin B12 deficiency is important before ruling out other causes of symptoms. A blood test is available to determine Vitamin B12 levels. This is often done in conjunction with assessment of folate levels.

How much does it cost?

5000 mcg injections $15.00 each

1000 mcg injections $12.00 each




5 Compelling Reasons to Join Forces With a Naturopathic Doctor


Thomas Edison Quote

In honour of Naturopathic Medicine Week (May 12th-18th), it’s fitting to highlight several important benefits of teaming up with a Naturopathic Doctor (ND).  

Compelling Reason #1: We Will Review Your Previous Blood Work and You’ll Leave Knowing What It All Means

Do you ever get frustrated when your medical doctor runs blood work and you are left assuming everything was normal because “no news is good news, right?” Us too.  Which is why we will sit down with you and go over all your lab work (especially if it was done in the last year), teach you about the tests performed, what the numbers mean and interpret them for you.  Because we are concerned about optimizing health, we also look for “high-normal” and “low-normal” values and explain how they might be contributing to the way you feel.

Compelling Reason #2: We Act As Your Health Advocate

First and foremost, you are your biggest health advocate.  However, we know that often our patients need help navigating the complex and sometimes confusing world of medicine. If we think a medical intervention or investigation- outside of our scope- is in your best interest, we’ll communicate with other members of your health team (i.e. medical doctor, chiropractor, physiotherapist, massage therapist, etc.) or at the very least, we’ll direct you in asking for what you need. 

Compelling Reason #3: We Listen

I mean, really listen!  Most initial naturopathic visits are between one and two hours in length giving you ample time to tell your story.  We appreciate that you know yourself best so, we pay close attention to what you think is going on.  Chances are, you’re on the right track.

Compelling Reason #4: We Play House

We’re much like Dr. Gregory House from the hit T.V. series “House” without the poor bedside manner and drama.  In other words, if you don’t know what’s bothering you, we’ll work with you to figure it out.  NDs are comfortable with syndromes and symptom pictures that haven’t yet led to a clear diagnosis.  However, because we are trained to view the body/mind/spirit from both a Western and Eastern (Traditional Chinese Medicine) perspective, it’s likely we’ll be able to make sense of it all.

Compelling Reason #5: You’ll Have Your Own Personal Health Guide

Sure, the internet and Dr. Oz can be like the holy grail of health information, but how do you know what’s right for you?  For example, one source says it’s good to eat eggs, while another says it’s not.  Therefore, it makes good sense to avoid the stress of making decisions about your health by working with a naturopathic doctor who can co-design the best action plan for you.

Schedule your complimentary, 15-minute Well Woman Visit  with Dr. Jacqui during the month of May and receive her top strategies for optimizing hormones, boosting energy, and blasting the belly bloat.





Top 5 Tips for a Stellar Marathon Run: Train Smart, Eat Smart

30K around the bay

This post is dedicated to all the Runners out there (especially those at the Running Room).  You inspire me.  Train smart, eat smart. - Jacqui

1. When it comes to carbohydrates, variety is the spice of life.

Often, when runners think of carbohydrates they think pasta.  Carbohydrates are indeed important for fuelling our runs while replenishing are energy stores (muscle glycogen), but the type of carbohydrate you choose is important too.  Pasta, along with simple carbohydrates found in sugar and refined white flour  like breads, bagels, etc. tend to shoot our blood sugar to the moon, resulting in a subsequent sugar low.  These blood sugar ups and downs can mess with not only the consistency of our runs but effect how we feel between runs as well.  In addition, refined carbohydrates are devoid of any other benefits, offering you ONLY carbohydrates, but what about vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and fibre!?  Choose a variety of nutrient dense carbohydrate sources such as whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, spelt, kamut, rye, etc. as well as carbohydrate-rich vegetables.  My personal favourites are sweet potatoes (which I add to smoothies), squashes, beets, carrots, turnips, and parsnips to name a few.  Whole fruit also offers simple sugars with the addition of fibre to reduce the blood sugar spikes experienced when straight fruit juice is consumed.  The point is, if you have a continuous rotation of nutrient dense carbohydrates in your diet then your food goes the "extra mile" for you.

Note: during your runs, the "complex-carbohydrate" maltodextrin makes for an excellent fuel source because it is easily absorbed (ie. won't sit in your stomach and aggravate digestion) so you can excess the fuel quickly without it creating major spikes in blood sugar.  Some "natural" energy gels are made from dates which is also acceptable.

2. Post-run power protein.

After a run, have 30g of carbohydrate to 20g of protein.  Protein should be consumed within 2 hours of your work-out to keep muscles strong.  This is easily achieved if you keep a protein smoothie at the finish line.   Don't forget to get in your carbohydrate as well.

In general, you need to get AT LEAST 1g of Protein per Kg of body weight.  Therefore, a 60Kg person needs at least 60g of protein per day. For the vegetarians/vegans out there, your calculation is 1.2g of protein per Kg of body weight.

3. How you fuel and stay hydrated during a run matters.

Help ease the "hitting the wall" effect by reserving muscle glycogen stores when you refuel with carbs.

Less than 60 minute run: have only water.  Regardless of length of the run, drink 150ml-300ml of pure water every 30 mins.  (Fuel belts= 8 oz containers= 237mL= 2 bottles per hour) * mark larger bottles in 150mL increments to keep track

Longer than 60 minutes: take in carbs every 20-30 minutes for a total of 60 grams of carbohydrate per hour of intense exercise. (experiment with this, if the run is below tempo, you may not need as much). If refuelling carbs with a sports drink or gel look for one that will give you 4-8% carbohydrates (4g-8g per 100mL for drinks).  In other words, the label should read: each serving contains 15-30g of Carbohydrates- have this every HALF HOUR.

4. Carb loading does work, but more so for men.

Research shows carb loading is only beneficial for races lasting over 30Km.  Carb loading helps maximize muscle glycogen stores providing energy during a long run/race.  “hitting the wall” during a marathon is often a result of depletion of muscle glycogen stores.

Carb loading has been shown to help runners maintain race pace during the last part of a run.

For 2 days prior to your marathon (or run over 30K) you should be consuming of carbohydrate in addition to tapering runs (ie. getting more rest)

That means that a 60Kg person would need to consume roughly 480g of carbohydrate per day.  This is ALOT of carbohydrates which is why for the ladies, this is a hard feat to achieve.  Carb loading for the ladies, is only beneficial if you are willing to eat way more calories in carbohydrates than usual.

Best way to do this is eat 3 meals a day with carbohydrate rich snacks in between.  If you do choose to consume pasta, add fibre in the form of spaghetti squash or fibre and protein with beans or chickpeas.

5. Fat before a run is a no-no.

Although I am a huge lover of healthy fat- olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, seeds, fish and avocado- before a run (within 2 hours) it should be avoided.  Fat slows digestion which is the last thing you want when your heading into a race.  I haven't met a runner who enjoys the unpleasant sensation of food sloshing around in the stomach.  With that said, fat is a key energy source during anaerobic activity like hill running and sprints.  Healthy fat between runs is highly encouraged and a must for runners (and pretty much everyone else).

If you're still with me, here are some extra little running tid-bits.

Home made electrolyte replenisher (to use between runs)

Like Buckley's it doesn't taste the best, but it works.electrolyte drink

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tbsp honey (ladies, use black strap molasses if history of low iron)

1/2 c orange juice (high in potassium)

1 L of water


Running Juice (have before or after a run or add it to a smoothie). 

 This is adapted from the Juice Master: Jason Vale's "Marathon Juice"

Contains beets which promote nitric oxide (NO) production.  NO vasodilates blood vessels allowing more oxygen to reach the muscles which can be helpful to recover post-run.

1 × peeled lime 3 × apples (golden delicious pref) 2 sticks celery 3rd of cucumber 1 × bulb RAW beetroot

Run through a juicer and voila!


For a nice little snack idea (because runners are always hungry) presenting.....

Easy-to-make, raw, energy bars!

vegan energy bars

All you need is a food processor, some parchment paper, a baking pan/dish and a fridge!

note: these have a good dose of fat (from almonds) in the them so be mindful of having them too close to a run.

For the recipe, click here




28-Days to a Better You

We are now offering a medically-supervised 28-day detoxification program.  Medically supervised cleanses are more intense and rigorous than the typical detoxification you can purchase at a health food store or find on the internet.

Enjoying the sun

 What is Detoxification?

Detoxification is the process of either clearing toxins (unwanted or harmful substances) from the body and neutralizing or transforming them.  Poor digestion, colon sluggishness, sub-optimal liver function, and poor elimination through the kidneys, respiratory tract, and skin all increase toxicity.  Detoxification is a process which occurs naturally in our bodies – but due to the number of toxins and chemicals in our food, water, air and through processing/metabolism, these toxins build up over time. Detoxification involves dietary and lifestyle changes that reduce the intake of toxins while improving elimination.

Detoxification Benefits:

  • Boosts energy
  • Clears thinking and sharpens focus
  • Improved emotional balance
  • Optimizes digestion – less constipation, diarrhea, bloating
  • Weight loss
  • Glowing skin
  • Improvements in general medical conditions
  • A general sense of well-being

Components of Detoxification

There are three main components:

  1. Diet Modification
  2. Lifestyle
  3. Supplements

The Program Includes:

Current Naturopathic Patients New Naturopathic Patients
90-minute initial naturopathic consultation
30-minute initial detoxification consultation  60-minute initial detoxification consultation
15-minute mid-detox check-in (after week 2) 15-minute mid-detox check-in (after week 2)
15-minute post-detox review (after Day 28) 15-minute post-detox review (after Day 28)
Professional-grade detoxification supplementation and/or detoxification support Professional-grade detoxification supplementation and/or detoxification support
Support materials to help ease the process Support materials to help ease the process
Program Fee $328 Program Fee $573
This is a 35 dollar savings!

 When do I start?

You can start at any time.  Simply call the office at 613-564-900 to book your detoxification consultation.

Please note:  This is an intensive detoxification program. It is not appropriate for children, pregnant or nursing mothers.

If you are interested in the program and are taking medications or have a general medical conditions, please call the office (613-564-9000) or ask your ND if this program is appropriate for you.

Although this program does include a professional grade detoxification supplement, your Naturopathic Doctor may prescribe additional remedies/supplements in order to individualize care at an additional cost, when appropriate.



3 Heart Healthy Food Choices That You Probably Have At Home

Are you at risk for heart disease? Apple versus Pear.....

When it comes to heart health, where you carry your weight is just as important as how much weight you carry.

Your waist circumference is a good predictor of your risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type II diabetes

If you are close or are above the following cut-offs, work with your naturopathic doctor or chiropractor to lower your disease risk.

Caucasian/European, Sub-Saharan African, Eastern Mediterranean, Middle Eastern 102 cm (40 inches) 88 cm (35 inches)
South Asian, Malaysian, Chinese, Japanese, Ethnic South and Central Americans 90 cm (35 inches) 80 cm (32 inches)

*Reference: The Heart & Stroke Foundation

How to Check Your Waist Circumference

Find the top of the hip bone (the true top will be at the sides of the body, in line with your navel). Starting there, bring the tape measure all the way around. Make sure it’s not too tight and that it is parallel with the floor. Remember, don’t hold your breath and keep your abdomen relaxed.

Food as Medicine: Top 3 Heart Healthy Choices

  1. Almonds and walnuts- raw and unsalted. A handful of these little nutrient power-houses (approx. 12-16 nuts) provide ample amounts of mono- and poly-unsaturated fat that help to lower cholesterol (including the “bad” kind) and prevent diabetes. They are also a decent source of protein, vitamin E, copper and manganese. Sprinkle on your oatmeal or keep some at your desk for a quick snack.
  2. Oatmeal. The kind your mother used to make, not the instant stuff. Oats are chock-full of soluble fibre. When mixed with water, this type of fibre becomes gel-like which helps to regulate blood sugar levels, make you feel full longer and lowers cholesterol. Other major sources of soluble fibre include legumes, peas, psyllium, flax seeds and some fruits and vegetables
  3. Olive Oil. Eat it raw and never heat it. The best kind to look for is certified extra-virgin olive oil that guarantees polyphenolic content (check the label) in small, dark-coloured bottles. It’s pricer but the health benefits and taste can’t be beaten! Olive oil is unique for it’s high mono-unsaturated fat content (oleic acid) and polyphenols which help prevent blood vessel damage that leads to coronary artery disease and balances our cholesterol. Two tablespoons per day in replacement of other fat may help lower your heart disease risk.



5 Tips That Will Help You Achieve Your Resolution Goals

Ring in the New Year Right with my favourite goal-achieving advice. Enjoying the sun

Set a SMART goal: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.  It’s important to determine when the best time to start working towards your resolution is- January isn’t for everyone.  Are you still exhausted from the holidays? Give yourself time to recover and properly prepare.

Talk it out.  Tell a trusted friend or family member your New Year’s resolution to provide some encouragement and keep you accountable.  Better yet, achieve a goal together!

Check-in.  Plan out “check-points” along the way to assess how you’re doing and revise the plan, if needed. At the end of each week or month is best.

Take one day at a time.  It’s easy to get overwhelmed when looking at the big picture so stay focussed on the here and now.  If you get derailed, remember that tomorrow is a new day.

Accept the process.  The journey towards achieving health goals can take many different paths- some are straight, some are winding and some even backtrack.  This is okay.  Be kind to yourself along the way and don’t be afraid to stop and ask for directions.



Staying Healthy Through Colds & Flu Season

When it comes to colds and flus, naturopathic philosophy focusses on preventing infection and reducing recovery time by fortifying and boosting the immune system.  Because we consider each person as an individual, no one treatment plan will be right for all.  I encourage you to discuss your individual health concerns with your Naturopathic Doctor.


Symptom Common Cold Influenza
Fever none or mild fever (around 38oC/100oF almost always, often high, sudden onset, lasts 3-5 days
Chills rare almost always
Headache absent or mild common
Muscle Aches uncommon common, often severe
Fatigue/Weakness absent or mild, not enough to prevent daily activities often extreme, may linger for 2-3 weeks post-infection
Cough occasionally common, may become severe
Runny Nose common rare, may occur in later stages
Stuffy Nose common rare, may occur in later stages
Sore Throat common occasionally
Sneezing common especially in the initial stage rare


  1. Frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water is recommended especially after coughing or sneezing.  Sneeze into a tissue or if you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve.
  2. Wear a scarf.  Scarves cover up the back of the neck which in Traditional Chinese Medicine theory is where we are most susceptible to colds and flus.
  3. Avoid sugar and simple carbohydrates like juice, white bread, bagels and croissants.  Sugar suppresses the immune system and makes it harder to fend off and recover from infections.
  4. Sleep is sacred.  Aim for 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night.  If you are having sleep difficulties or do shift work it is important to address these issues, pronto.
  5. Move.  It could be walking, running, yoga, sports, etc but 30 mins of moderate activity per day circulates your immune cells through the body, flushes bacteria out of the lungs, raises body temperature temporarily to discourage bacterial growth and reduces stress hormones which wreak havoc on the immune system.  Best yet, it make you feel and look good



5 Tips To Soothe Your Teething Baby

You did it! You made it though your pregnancy, labour, and the whirlwind of the first few months as a new parent.  Enjoying each milestone in your baby's life is exciting and a true marvel.  Then comes baby's first teeth.  For many parents, a teething babe can generate worry and wreak havoc on the well-being of the entire family.  The most common age for the first tooth to present is around 6 months is usually on the bottom in the front.

Signs Your Baby May be Teething:

  • drooling
  • gum swelling and sensitivity
  • irritability or fussiness
  • biting behaviour
  • refusing food
  • sleep disturbance

There are tonnes of different baby teething devices on the market today, just ask any seasoned mom and she'll probably know a few.  As a general rule, make sure the teething toy is large enough to prevent swallowing and is made from a non-toxic material.  The following are some go-to tips for my teething patients.  Keep in mind, dosing and remedy selection is based on the individual and may not be appropriate for everybody or every age.

Five Go-To Teething Tips:

(Clean) Fingers Are Your Baby's Friends: when in doubt, let your babe chew on your finger.  Just make sure your hands have been thoroughly washed.  Babies like the pressure against their sore gums and will like the cuddles too.

Veg Out: For older babes 1 year or older, you can freeze large carrot sticks or celery sticks to let them chew on it. The cooling effect will help soothe their sore gums.

Calming Chamomile: in a formula like Boiron Chamilia Homeopathic Teething Remedy or as a single homeopathic remedy such as Chamomilla 200CH pellets. Dissolve in water and drop into baby's mouth.  Homeopathic remedies work well in children and are very gentle.  Homeopathic chamomile (as well as the plant version) are well indicated for a teething babe.

Teething Tincture: Clef des Champs teething tincture (glycerin base), massaged in the gums- follow labelled directions.

Tilia Calm: St. Francis Tilia Calm is multi-purpose botanical formula for calming a fussy babe- follow labelled directions

Ottawa Mom's:

Come join me, Jules and the Strollercise moms this Friday for Boomerang Kids Strollercise program in Kanata.  Starts at 10:15 sharp.  Walk, talk and learn!  It's a great opportunity to ask your health questions.



Who Wants to Be a Naturopathic Doctor? Resources for the Next Generation

I recently spent a morning at Greenbank Middle School's Career Day talking to students about becoming a naturopathic doctor.  This post is for all those interested in getting the down-low on naturopathic medicine.  As promised, I compiled some of the best, most accurate resources.  May these resources act like a breadcrumb on your life journey and inspire you to think outside the box in your career choices. p.s. These links are great for anyone who wants to be well-informed about the naturopathic profession, in general. 

Prospective ND Video: "The Mind of the Doctor and the Heart of a Healer"

Associations:                                                                                                                 Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND)

Naturopathic Doctors Ontario (NDO)formally the OAND

Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy-Naturopathy (BDDT-N):

The regulatory body in Ontario


Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (AANMC)

Council on Naturopathic Medical Education

Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM)

Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine (BINM)

For all accredited schools in North America:  Here

Naturopathic Doctors in the Spotlight (well, some of them...we get around :))

In the News:

Dr. Natasha Turner

(As seen on Dr.Oz and the Author of the Bestseller: "The Hormone Diet")

Dr. Joel Lee Villeneuve

Dr. Carol Morley "Delicious Detox"

Youtube Videos



3 Tips For A More Effective Spring Detox

A spring detox is a great way to jump-start our bodies for maximum warm weather enjoyment. A hypoallergenic diet aside, these tips set us up for the ideal conditions for optimal detoxing. Our body's elimination pathways (poo, pee, sweat) need to be functioning well for most effective detoxing. 

1) GET YOUR SWEAT ON: minimum exercise requirements during a detox is 30 minutes, 3 times per week. Exercise improves circulation, while sweating is a secondary route of elimination to help us remove toxins from the body.
Want to super charge your detox?
Infrared saunas help us burn up to 600 calories/hr and boost detoxing through sweating!! For more information:

2) YOU ARE WHAT YOU DRINK: Drinking plenty of water helps to flush out our body's toxins through our bowels and bladders. Drink half your body weight in ounces per day. For example, a 130lb woman would need about 65 ounces/day which is equal to approximately 2 litres of water per day.

Want to super charge your detox?
Add some fresh squeezed lemon juice to your water and drink it first thing in the morning to wake-up the body for a day of detox!

3) DE-CLUTTER YOUR DAY: gearing up for a detox is the perfect time to organize your life- clean out that dreaded closet, use that long-lost appointment book and plan out your week ahead of time. Avoiding unnecessary stress by getting organized can create calm and help us stay on track.

Want to super charge your detox?
Eating clean during a detox requires a little planning. Before you begin, plan out your daily meals and make everything you can ahead of time. Don't forget you can freeze food!



Nutrition Tips to Live By


These days it's easy to get caught up in the latest fad diet.  It's important to be reminded of what's really important when it comes to buying and eating nutritious fare.  If you stick to the basics, you'll never been confused again.  Plus,  following these tips might just take a load off the 'ol wallet.  You might just have a few bucks to buy that new kitchen gadget you've always wanted. *cough *cough vitamix??


- Eat from the colours of the rainbow
- Avoid the middle of the grocery store- stick to the outsides where fresh produce is kept
- Aim for 2 cups of leafy greens twice daily
- Eat more vegetarian and vegan meals- animal products are expensive, while plants are easy on the wallet
- Buy in bulk, avoid packaging- Bulk Barn and the bulk section of your local grocer will save you a pretty penny especially for nuts, seeds and gluten free flours/grains.
- Cook more, eat out less.  You will know exactly what's in your dish. Also, you can get multiple meals out of the price of one restaurant meal.
- Prepare more than you need to reduce cooking time and leaves you with plenty of leftovers.  
- Spend some of your spare time to cook for the week and freeze extras
- Buy in season and buy locally
- Take your leftovers to work for lunch
- Make your own tea/coffee
- Eat nutrient dense food- you’ll be less hungry.
- Order a produce basket
- Don’t throw out wilted veggies- boil them, strain out the veggies and freeze the veggie
  water in ice cube tray
- Avoid “ready-to-eat” foods. Buying basic food items will be cheaper and healthier



Put Your Tea to Work

If you are going to take the time to make yourself some tea, you may as well get some health benefits out of it, right?. Right. Tea is one of my favourite health boosters and often one of the first recommendations I make to someone.  While I was still a student, I had the opportunity to intern at two downtown Toronto health clinics serving low income populations.  Loose leaf medicinal teas were one the most accessible and cost effective treatments we could offer patients. Not surprisingly, patients loved it and they felt good taking it.  This might be because they knew they were doing something good for themselves or because the teas themselves were exerting an effect on their bodies.  I believe it is a combination of both.  When we make ourselves a tea, we first boil water, grab our favourite mug and sit down to sip the good stuff.  This simple act is in itself an act of self care.  Self care, in a world where we are constantly doing, rather than being, can be a powerful thing.  This act says, "I am intentionally going to do something nice for myself, right now."  And being nice to ourselves feels awesome.

Now, imagine that this intentional act of self care was paired with a warming substance able to make us physiologically feel better? Its a win-win!  So, instead of grabbing that cup of joe, consider making a tea, or two or three. p.s. caffeine free herbal tea counts towards your daily water intake- an added bonus.  The following are some of my go-to's and the times when they can really go that extra mile for you.  You can drink them as single herbs or find them in many combination products

Note: If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, always consult your naturopath before consuming herbal tea.  Even if your not, your naturopath can help you choose which one(s) are right for you.

DIGESTIVE UPSET: CHAMOMILE acts to prevent or decrease uncomfortable gas buildup in the gastrointestinal tract.  Best of all, chamomile is a nervine, meaning it can help us relax which will further aid digestion and/or prepare us for sleep.  If you have an allergy to ragweed, you may also react to chamomile.

FENNEL tea and PEPPERMINT are also helpful digestive aids.  Fennel has a lovely licorice flavour while peppermint is refreshing. If you have reflux, stay away from peppermint.

NAUSEA: GINGER tea made fresh from the root or dried in a tea bag can be used when we are feeling queezy and is used in pregnancy for morning sickness.

INSOMNIA/ANXIETY:  LEMON BALM, PASSIONFLOWER and VALERIAN all help us to relax in order to induce sleep.  You can often find these herbs in combination along with chamomile in Night-Time tea blends such as Pukka Night Time Tea or Traditional Medicinals Nighty Night Tea.  These herbs are particularly helpful when insomnia is due to anxiety.

IRON DEFICIENCY/CONVALESCENCE: If you are just recovering from an illness or are low in iron, NETTLE LEAF is very soothing, safe and nutritive.  It can help us feel well again as a whole body tonic.  Best of all, nettle leaf can be consumed in pregnancy and is great for recovery after labour and delivery.

LIVER DETOX: DANDELION ROOT tea is great when we are in need of a liver cleanse or when we are craving the dark, bitter qualities of coffee.  Dandelion root is often used in combination with chicory root and barley as a natural, caffeine coffee replacer (Dandy Blend is my favourite).  Although this product contains barley it is rigorously filtered and tested for gluten so it is gluten free.

Put your tea to work and see the difference this small change can make.


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Continuing the Healing Journey


After much urging from friends of mine, I have (finally) joined the world of blogging. The intention of this blog is to share my thoughts, ideas, resources and latest research as it relates to health.  As a Naturopathic Doctor, I am privileged to spend the amount of time I do with my patients.  My initial visits are usually around 1.5 hours in length with follow-ups lasting around 30-45 mins.  Even still, there always seems to be more I would love to discuss and share.  Plus, my other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn don't allow me to elaborate in order to give the whole story.  Because isn't that what it's all about? Holism in health? One of favourite roles as a ND is to educate, so here it is! 

Be well,


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