Whole Food Spring Detox

The change of season from winter to spring is the ideal time to detoxify. During the winter months your body has accumulated toxins due to immune challenges, poor diet choices and the mental/emotional as well as physical stresses of the long cold season.

Following this daily nutrition regime for 14 days will result in the safe and gentle assistance of your liver to process the toxins as well support your urinary tract, lymphatic system and gastrointestinal tract in the elimination of the toxins.

1) Start your morning with a nutrient dense smoothie that includes: 15 grams of a high quality rice, hemp or pea protein powder, 1/2 cup almond or rice milk, 1 banana, 1/2 cup blueberries and a large handful of spinach or kale. For added support include 1 tbsp of coconut oil and 1 tbsp of ground flax seeds.

2) Mid morning choose a piece of organic fruit and 10 almonds or 1 tbsp of almond butter.

3) Lunch includes a protein like beans and lentils, organic chicken or turkey or wild game like bison or elk served with brown rice, quinoa or sweet potatoes and an abundance of vegetables. This can be served in a variety of ways for example cold as a salad with an oil based salad dressing or warm as a stir fry seasoned with garlic and ginger.

4) Mid afternoon choose raw vegetables like carrots, peppers or celery and 3 tbsp of hummus.

5) Dinner is similar to lunch. To keep things interesting make soups or stews that follow the same guidelines of a protein, gluten free grain and lots of veggies. Also ensure that you add healthy fats to each meal like avocado, roasted nuts and seeds, goat cheese and/or different salad dressings and sauces.

6) If you are hungry at night choose a brown rice cake with almond or cashew butter and honey.

7) Finally drink at least 2 liters of water and replace coffee with green tea.

For an advanced detoxification program please contact Sage Wellness to book an appointment to assess your level of toxicity and to obtain a specific and individualized protocol.

Dry brushing and contrast showers

I often recommend dry brushing and contrast showers to my patients. It’s fantastic for daily detoxification, boosting metabolism and even strengthening immune health.

You will need a dry brush with natural bristles or a loofah. Before you get in the shower, brush your skin in a circular motion starting at your feet and moving up the legs, torso and arms. Every action is towards the heart. Once you’ve finished dry brushing which should take about 15 seconds you can do your contrast shower. You will do about 2-3 minutes of warm and then a blast of cold trying to do at least three blasts of cold ending with cold.

Guest Post: Birth Doula Q&A

1. What is a birth doula? What kind of services do they offer?

The word doula comes from the Greek word meaning “woman’s servant” or “slave.” The modern day doula is someone who provides emotional and physical support to a woman and her family during the childbearing year including labour and postpartum.

A doula’s services include 2-3 prenatal appointments during which a relationship of trust and understanding is formed. During these consultations, the mother and her partner are encouraged to ask questions about pregnancy, express their fears and or concerns about the labour, and make decisions about the type of birth they would like to experience. The doula will also offer unbiased information regarding the risks and benefits of the procedures, interventions and possible complications during pregnancy, labour and delivery.

Doula’s are on call a few weeks before the due date, meaning that they become available for support 24 hours a day. Once the mother starts experiencing positive signs of labour, her doula will meet with the mom and her birth partner at their home or chosen birth place. During the labour the doula may provide massage, counter pressure, aromatherapy, and homeopathy, breathing exercise, labour positions, emotional support and encouragement. Doulas also facilitate communication between the labouring woman / couple and the birthing staff to ensure that they have all the information needed to make confident and informed decisions about their birth. Above all, the doula is present to help the labouring woman and birth partner feel amazing and empowered by their birth experience. In some cases the mom has no birth partner, in which case the doula becomes her primary support.

The doula also visits the family in the week following the delivery to provide post-partum support including breast feeding support, baby care tips, and referrals to community services.

2.  What are the benefits of hiring a doula?

The support provided by the birth doula results in improved outcomes for both mother and baby. Having a doula present during birth:

  • significantly decreases the rates of C-section
  • shortens the length of labour
  • decreases the risk of the newborn baby being admitted to special care
  • decreases the risk of being unhappy with the birth experience

3.  What inspired you to become a doula?

My mother was a practicing midwife and, as a result, I spent my childhood regularly witnessing the beauty and power of natural childbirth. When I became pregnant with my first child I was fascinated by my pregnancy and upcoming birth. I was fortunate enough to have a natural birth with my mother as my doula. She even caught my baby! I felt incredibly empowered and enlightened by my birth experience. When I started talking to other women and asking others about their own experiences I was surprised at just how much birth trauma exists in our society. From that moment on I knew that I wanted to become a birth worker.

4. What training does a doula have?

To become certified each doula must take a birth doula course. The course covers everything from the study of anatomy and the physical process of birth, to nutritional advice, specialized massage techniques and support of clients through VBACS (vaginal births after C-section). Additionally, the doula apprentice must attend four certifying births following which both the mother and / or the attending doctor or midwife write written reviews of the doula’s work. The apprentice must also write a final exam.

5. What is the difference between a doula and a midwife?

Midwives provide the clinical and medical care during pregnancy and childbirth. Doulas shine when it comes to non-clinical support. We connect, educate, nourish, encourage,  guide, hold space and love.

6.  Are doulas covered by medical care?

Doula services are not covered by provincial health care plans. However, a few private insurance plans are starting to offer coverage. Many doulas offer payment plans or sliding scale services to ensure that their services are accessible to those of all income levels. It is important that we value and support doulas to do what they love most, make a positive impact upon our birth culture and support women to become powerful labouring women and empowered mothers.

Julia Davie

Julia is a Birth Doula, Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Registered Yoga Teacher, and graduate of Trent University. A perpetual learner, Julia spends her down time reading and researching all things birth, health and wellness. Julia is also the mother of two beautiful children.

Learn more about Julia at Julia Davie Nutrition.

Q&A with Dr. Lewis – Health goals

Patient: My resolution for 2017 is to eat well and exercise regularly. I was motivated for the first 2 weeks but I am now back to my old habits. Do you have some tips to help me stick to my health goals?

Dr. Lewis: To successfully change old habits takes time, planning and motivation. Here are 5 tips to help you reach your health goals.

1. What gets planned gets done! Write down each goal and create a plan. This can include a schedule, a to-do list, a not to-do list, any obstacles or triggers, your support team, recipes, workouts, etc. Review and edit your plan regularly to keep you motivated and accountable. An example of a goal and plan could be as simple as follows.

Goal:  I will exercise more regularly

Plan: 

  •  make a schedule note the kind and length workouts
  • research different workout routines
  • track your steps or workouts
  • find a workout buddy
  • join a gym or exercise class
  • buy new workout clothes and shoes
  • have some equipment at home to eliminate excuses
  • find some online workouts to do at home

2. Have support. Share your goal with as many people as you can so that they can support you and keep you accountable. You can also encourage people to join you. It’s much easier to achieve a goal when the people around you are striving to do the same. Blogging your journey can also help with accountability and inspire and motivate others who might be on a similar path.

3. Remember your motivation. Think about your motivations. Why are you doing this? What will keep you going? Write these down in your plan.

4. Remove the obstacles and triggers. For example, if your goal is to eliminate sugar, don’t have sugary foods in the house.

5. Don’t give up. We are not perfect and most habits are hard to change so if you feel you failed, don’t give up. Remember your plan and your motivations and start again.  Reset your resolve, and don’t look back.

7 natural ways to relieve constipation

Constipation is generally defined as fewer than two or three bowel movements a week. However, you should aim to have one to three good bowel movements a day. Being regular is important for your overall health because it helps rid your body of excess toxins, hormones and cholesterol.

Many factors can cause constipation such as:

  • Being dehydrated
  • Poor diet that lacks fiber
  • Poor thyroid function
  • Lack of healthy gut bacteria
  • Lack of digestive enzymes
  • Low stomach acid
  • Food intolerances
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Magnesium deficiency
  • Iron supplements
  • Ignoring the urge to go
  • Irritable bowel syndrome

Here are some tips to keep you regular:

1. Eat more fiber. Aim to get at least 24 grams of fiber per day. Fiber increases the bulk of your stool to and it feeds good bacteria in the gut. To add more fiber to your diet add 1-2 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds to your food and read Fiber is crucial to your health where you will find tips and a list of high fiber foods that you can download.

2. Eat prunes which are high in fiber and contain dihydroxyphenyl isatin, which stimulates the bowel, as well as sorbitol, a natural sugar that has a laxative effect.

3. Avoid the following foods: sugar and processed foods, dairy, gluten, and soy.

4. Take supplements.

Magnesium pulls water into the intestines to increase stool volume and make it softer, which encourages peristalsis, or contraction and relaxation of the intestines. Be aware that taking too much magnesium cause diarrhea, so it’s important to start slowly. Taking it at night will help you have a good bowel movement the next morning.
Please note that people with kidney or severe heart disease should only take magnefish oilsium under a doctor’s supervision.

Fish Oil is one of the highest food sources of omega 3 essential fatty acids. Natural oils provide lubrication to your digestive tract to help the stool pass through your colon.

5. Stay hydrated to help soften and move the stool through the digestive tract. If you are not sure how much water you should be drinking per day you can use this equation as a guide line:

Your weight (lbs) ÷ 16 = Daily intake (cups) _______________ lbs ÷ 16 = _______________ cups.

Drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach will help wake up your digestive system by increasing the release of hydrochloric acid and can help with intestinal peristalsis to encourage a bowel movement.

6. Squat first thing in the morning, maybe while you are having your warm water. Squatting relaxes the muscles that allows the rectum to easily eliminate.

7. Exercise to help stimulate circulation and intestinal function.

If you have tried the tips suggested above and are still experiencing constipation it would be a good idea to seek help from your medical professionals to find and address the root cause.