All Posts in Category: Lifestyle


The Heart of the Matter

We go to physicians to examine our bodies; dentists to inspect our teeth; chiropractors to explore the curvature in our spines – but what about our hearts?  When was the last time your heart had a check up?  When I speak of heart, I’m referring to the centre of you as a person; the space where you express and experience emotion, affection, enthusiasm and spirit.  It’s an important question, as it is only when there is a healthy flow within our hearts that we can truly be at our best.  Let me explain, when our hearts are healthy, we have space for our emotions to flow with ease; energy for the things that matter most; and perspective to appreciate the lives we have.

​The flow within our hearts helps determine our ability to be present in relationships, focused at work and responsive to our mental, emotional and physical needs.  However, for many of us, having a healthy flow can be a daily struggle.  Throughout life, we experience betrayal and regret, frustration and anger, sadness and loss – many of which are normal parts of life.  However, when such experiences remain unresolved, we risk creating a ‘build up’, which blocks the flow of our hearts.  As such, genuine feelings of love and happiness are difficult to experience because we’re clogged with lingering resentment, anger,guilt and fear.  This lack of flow can stifle our most important relationships with our partners, families, colleagues, and most importantly, ourselves.

If this is something you relate with, please know you are not alone.  All of us experience chapters in our lives in which we feel our hearts are blocked.  And the good news is that there is so much you can do to get your heart flowing as it is meant to.  Connecting with a therapist, joining a support group or spending quality time with those closest to you are great ways of mending your heart. As a therapist, my work is to help individuals safely explore the contents of one’s heart, including both your strengths, as well as those areas that are in need of restoration. Remember – your heart is the most central part of who you are, so do take the time to check in, and give it the attention it so deserves.


Amy Deacon is currently accepting new counselling clients at the Toronto Wellness Centre. Please call 416-920-2722 or send us an inquiry to schedule your therapy appointment.

This blog was originally published on Toronto Wellness Counselling.

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Say Yes to September

Say Yes to September – 3 Wellness Service Package

We’re all sad to see the summer winding down, but here at the Toronto Wellness Centre we want you to Say Yes to September! It is an amazing time to make a change, and to help, we’re offering a 3 Wellness Service Package to jump start your health and lower your stress before Autumn hits Toronto!

The Say Yes to September Package gives you an Initial Chiropractic Appointment with Dr. Jonathan Cartile DC, 1 Thirty-Minute Massage with Nick Furgiuele RMT or Almarielsa Cansino RMT, and an Acute Naturopathic Medicine appointment with Dr. Kate McLaird ND. For just $150, this gives you a 25% savings!

Call 416-920-2722 for more information, or book your first appointment online.

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Activated Charcoal: Setting the Facts Straight About the Charcoal Trend

With each year, certain health products surge in popularity, and activated charcoal is one of the top hits in 2017. It has even started to be incorporated into food items around the world including Ikea hot dogs in Japan, Ice cream in Toronto, and cold-pressed charcoal juices in the UK, to name a few.

First and foremost, it’s important to note that activated charcoal is not charcoal used in your barbecue! Barbecue charcoal is packed with toxins and chemicals, and should never be consumed. Activated charcoal is available as a supplement within a health food store that has be manufactured from coconut shells and ideally does not have added sorbitol which can cause diarrhea.
How does Activated Charcoal work?

The charcoal is considered “activated” due to its electromagnetic charge, which will stimulate a binding-reaction to drugs, chemicals, supplements, and even bacteria of the opposite charge. Due to the substance being bound to the charcoal, absorption into the body is diminished.

This “new detox ingredient” has actually been used since the 1800’s, within emergency rooms to stop certain cases of acute poisonings or overdoses! This speaks to the fact that activated charcoal can be dangerous if used inappropriately and should be used in certain contexts under the supervision of a naturopathic and/or medical professional.

Natural is not necessarily safe.

One of the main concerns is the high likelihood of drug interaction when taken together – since the charcoal may bind to the drug decreasing the dose received by the body. There have been several drugs proven in research to interact with activated charcoal; however, if you do not see a certain medication on this list, I would still remain cautious.

Interactions may also depend on the amount of activated charcoal consumed, but I would always ensure a time buffer of 2 hours before and after medication avoid interaction possibility. This would include common prescriptions such as the birth control pill, iron supplements and anti-histamines – until further research can solidify safety.

Activated charcoal can also bind compounds from your food!

When charcoal is being incorporated into “black ninja hot dogs” as seen in Japan, this may be a positive benefit since it will help to bind the nitrates; however, unfortunately this does not counteract the carcinogenic effects of hot dogs (for those looking for an excuse to justify hotdogs!). On the other hand, adding activated charcoal to a healthy juice, for instance, may prevent the absorption of the beneficial vitamins and mineral content.

On a more positive note, despite the important considerations you need to make when using activated charcoal, it does in fact have several health benefits. I would recommend you seek professional guidance in order to ensure accurate timing, duration and dosing to achieve your health goals without any side effects.

Some of these health benefits include: oral health, gas & bloating discomfort, “hangover help”, ameliorates detoxification withdrawal symptoms, and topically to aid in acne treatment. I commonly use activated charcoal in conjunction with a comprehensive treatment plan to address the root causes of my patient’s ailments.
If you have any questions further about activated charcoal or how naturopathic medicine can help improve your health, please do not hesitate to contact me! I would love to meet you.


Dr. Kate.


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A Heart-Healthy Meal for Your Valentine

Guest Blog by Office Manager Margaret Craig

Valentine’s Day is coming up: a day for celebrating romance and affairs of the heart! So what better day to treat your loved one to a meal that is is both romantic AND heart healthy?

If you are looking for a special February 14th date-night menu, you’re in luck! Using Naturopathic doctor Dr. Kate McLaird’s guidance, we’ve planned a meal sure to impress!


Start your Valentine’s evening off with some Beet Hummus and fresh vegetables such as carrot sticks and heart-healthy celery. The vibrant Beet Hummus looks beautiful for the Holiday, and contains cardiovascular-friendly ingredients such as garlic and walnuts!


Wow your partner with beautiful Baked Wild Salmon, full of Omega-3 fatty acids and delicious flavor. No need to be intimidated by cooking fish, it couldn’t be easier when you use your oven! Pair the salmon with a lush Kale salad, with crunchy toasted almonds and filling quinoa.


No Valentine’s meal would be complete without a show-stopping dessert. There is no need to sacrifice the heart-healthy theme of your menu when it comes to the temptation of a little something sweet for your sweetheart. Luckily for all of us, Dark Chocolate (70% Cocoa content and higher) is decadent, delicious, and a great choice when keeping your heart in mind. We recommend nibbling on deceptively fancy and tantalizing Spicy Orange Hazelnut Chocolate Bark while you cuddle up this Valentine’s. It is just the thing to wow your date and spice up the end of your evening!

Want to learn more about how you can improve your cardiovascular health naturally and safely? Schedule a 15-minute complimentary consultation with Dr. Kate McLaird here at the Toronto Wellness Centre. Remember: the best gift you can give your Valentine is many years together in happiness and good health!

Don’t miss your chance to win a free relaxation supplement in our Valentine’s Day Facebook Giveaway!

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