DIY Castor Oil Packs

A castor oil pack can help with a variety of ailments like constipation, pms, detoxification, inflammation.
You are going to need castor oil which is available at any health food store, a piece of white fabric, a plastic bag and a heating pad.
Apply a 3-5 of tablespoons of castor oil to your fabric.  Place the fabric in the microwave 5-7 seconds.

For an abdominal castor pack place the fabric on your abdominal area under your ribcage right down to your pelvic bones. Then place the plastic over top and then apply your heat. Rest for at least 30 minutes. Once you take it off if, put the castor oil on the fabric into the fridge. When you take it out of the fridge for your next use go through all of the same steps and apply more castor oil each time. I recommend a castor treatment 2-3 times per week.

Workshop: Take your health to the next level

Join our wellness workshop for women!

For the fitness enthusiast, experienced athlete or anyone in the health/fitness profession. And for those who are ready to adopt a healthy lifestyle, this full-day of wellness workshops is for you! Guaranteed action, reaction, education and relaxation.


Date/time: Sunday October 15, 2017 from 9 AM – 4:30 PM

What to bring: water bottle, wear comfortable clothing for outdoor walks/yoga

Where to go:  Pioneer Village is at 3700 Wilhaven Drive

Where to park: Free parking onsite

Venue: Maskimming Outdoor Education Center


9 – 9:20am – MINDFUL WALK with Tanya Robertson

This is a meditative, silent, group walk. Our focus will be on observing nature around us and practicing being part of a group, enjoying each others energy in silence.

9:30 – 11am – FALL DETOX with Dr. Kristi Lewis

This workshop is designed for women who are interested in learning about a whole body approach for a safe and effective detoxification program. By attending this event you will receive:

  • A basic understanding of the body’s detoxification pathways and elimination processes
  • Information about the signs and symptoms associated with an overburden of toxins in the body
  • Practical nutrition, lifestyle and supplement tips to support a safe and effective detoxification program

11:00 – 11:30am – FITNESS & YOGA BREAK with Tanya Robertson

This will be outdoors, some basic fitness exercises and yoga poses to work your body from sitting in the workshop.

11:30am – 12:30pm – LUNCH
Enjoy a delicious and nutritious lunch, and maybe go for a beautiful walk, enjoy nature. Please bring your own lunch and snack. We have two refrigerators to store food in.


The cool, crisp days of autumn invite us to prepare for the coming winter by nourishing our bodies, supporting the immune system and getting more rest. Join herbalist and wildcrafter Amber Westfall to explore some of the wild foods and herbs that we can incorporate at this time of year to honour the season and transition into fall with health and vitality. Learn about wild plants such as burdock, yellow dock, elderberry, hawthorn, New England aster, yarrow and others.

2:30 – 4pm – FERMENTING: BASICS FOR BEGINNERS with Kathryn Scott

Learn how to make lacto-fermented vegetables and drinks with basic equipment available in any kitchen. The fermenting process will be demystified, giving you the confidence to begin your own microbial adventure.

4:00 – 4:30pm – SONIC GONG MEDITATION 
Sit back, relax and let the sound take over. The gong is a powerful musical instrument used as sound therapy that can help lift and shift your internal vibes and bring them back to a less chaotic and natural rhythm. Basically, you’ll feel super relaxed and it will calm you right down.


Guest blog: Tips for cleaner beauty!

Kristy and Violet

Kristy’s beautiful natural look made with Beautycounter cosmetics

1. What you put on your skin matters. Our skin is our largest organ, and we absorb what we put on it in seconds. Look for companies that are transparent with their ingredients and intentionally ban ingredients that are harmful see Never List(pdf).

2. Keep it simple. Less is more. Buy products that are high quality and effective. The average woman uses 12 products a day, containing 180 chemical ingredients. Some chemicals interfere with hormones and disrupt normal development at very low doses. Chose products with a 0-2 score on Skin Deep

3. Avoid synthetic fragrances and chose products scented with essential oils.  My favourite product is the Number 2 Face Oil from Beautycounter. I only use a few drops of this hydrating oil pressed into my skin or mixed into my moisturizer, It is scented with Jasmine oil.

4. My favourite summer products include: Caramel Blush on cheeks and lips, lengthening mascara and Glow Shimmer Oil for a natural glow.

Source: Not Just a Pretty Face, The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry, Stacy Malkin,


Nathalie Gagnon is a speech language pathologist and yoga teacher. She became a consultant with Beautycounter as she felt compelled to be part of their movement of “Getting safer products into the hands of everyone”. As a mother of a teen daughter who loves makeup, she wanted to find safer products,  educate her friends and family and advocate for more health protective laws.

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.