All Posts Tagged: diet

Banish the Holiday Bloat! Tips from the Toronto Wellness Centre’s Naturopath Dr. Kate!

We have all been there, with an endless supply of wine and cheeses, family members encouraging thirds of Christmas dinner, or the cornucopia of decadent desserts, eventually your digestion system will tell you “enough is enough” and make it known its not too happy with what you are putting it through. Despite the endorphin release from indulging in your favourite foods, bloating, flatulence, excess abdominal fat and indigestion often ensue to help steer you towards more health conscious choices.

Here are few of the main culprits that can be behind your bloated belly and a few tips to help your body cope:

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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.

Kindly,

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!

Appetizer:

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!

Entrée:

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.

Dessert:

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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2017 Reset: 3-Part Mind-Body Self-Care Program

Join Dr. Kate McLaird ND and Psychotherapist Yasmeen Farrage MA RP for the 2017 Reset: a 3-Part Mind-Body Self-Care Program on January 16th, 18th, and 20th.

Space is limited – call 416-920-2722 or email to confirm your attendance. The lunchtime workshop is $30 inclusive of all days, and includes a 7-Day Diet Plan and Supplement!

For more details, click here to visit our Facebook event.

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Brain-Food for Back to School!

Help your scholar (little or big!) have the best year possible no matter their grade, avoid or decrease the number of sick days, support their emotional health when learning life lessons and optimize their healthy overall development with nutrient conscious foods choices!

The Research (in a nutshell)

Nutritional deficiencies, hypoglycemia, food allergies, high sugar consumption, caffeine, food additives, artificial ingredients, and low protein intake have all been implicated in childhood behavioural problems, most commonly characteristics associated with ADHD.

Let’s start with Breakfast

It’s been proven that children who eat breakfast perform better in school.

Most children eat breakfasts that are high in sugar and loaded with simple carbohydrates. These types of food provide energy quickly, experienced as a burst of energy, but also results in a “blood-sugar crash” or an extreme low in energy. Children and adults alike will often feel fatigued, irritable, unable to focus, dizzy, jittery or occasionally nauseated in this energy crash. Having said this, it would not come as a surprise if the child who eats a bagel for breakfast in the morning displays anger outburst, an inability to focus or forgetfulness by mid morning.

TIP: Make breakfast protein-rich and carbohydrate-poor
GOAL: Balance blood sugar levels through their school day

Try these quick protein rich breakfast ideas:

  • Homemade nut granola with milk and a piece of fruit
  • Yogurt / nut butter (if peanut, 100% peanuts with no added sugar) and an apple
  • Breakfast burrito: scrambled egg, black beans and salsa wrapped in a whole grain tortilla
  • Breakfast pizza: toasted English muffin spread with thin layer of marinara sauce, topped with a scrambled egg, light sprinkle of cheese and toasted
  • 1/2 toasted English muffin with a hard boiled egg (salt and pepper to season) and a bowl of berries
  • Scrambled eggs, a slice of cheese on a toasted whole grain toast
  • Fruit smoothie with small amount of protein powder (recipes upon request) and a toasted whole grain toast and avocado pesto mash spread

Extra Tip: Just as carbohydrates can spike your child’s blood sugar, you can just imagine what a dessert would do! Try to avoid all dessert during the school day and try to replace sweets with healthy nutrient dense alternatives.

Try these nutrient dense dessert ideas:

  • Whole grain toast with almond or peanut butter and fruit jam / ¼-1/2 banana sliced
  • Almond or peanut butter spread on apple slices
  • Nut granola with yogurt and drizzled honey
  • Homemade granola bars
  • Nut Energy no-bake balls

EXTRA TIP: If wanting a typical dessert, such as a cake or a pie – Aim to teach the importance of portion size to your children as well as baking desserts gluten free using nutrient dense flours such as almond flour, coconut flour, garbanzo bean flour, amongst others.

Lunchtime Nutrients
Getting your child involved in their lunch preparation is key! They will more likely eat what they take to school if they have a part in the decision making process. Studies have shown that children who help pick and prepare their meals are more likely to eat them.

Try these quick, easy and healthy lunch alternatives:

  • Brown rice bowls topped with meat and veggies
  • Whole grain / rice pasta salad with diced chicken
  • Hummus with veggies & whole grain crackers with almond butter
  • Burritos made with brown rice and black beans in a whole grain tortilla with tomato salsa and grilled veggies. Can be leftovers from a dinner a couple days before and can be heated or eaten cold.
  • Almond crusted chicken fingers (seems fancy, but super simple!)

KEY TO SUCCESS= Take a few hours on the weekend to shop, plan and prepare for next week’s meals.

Dr. McLaird is on Pinterest and Facebook!

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