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Archive for the ‘naturopathic medicine’ Category

A Naturopathic Perspective on Postpartum/Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders

Posted on: June 4th, 2021 by TouchStone Health

by Dr. Melanie Reidl, N.D.

The postpartum period can be a transformative, beautiful experience for new parents, however, it is not without a dark side for many. I personally experienced both the euphoric stage of new motherhood, as well as the anxious and depressed state that many women experience. 

Perinatal/postpartum mood and anxiety disorders (PMAD) affect approximately 15 to 20% of new mothers. This may underestimate the prevalence of PMAD; the signs and symptoms may be missed and attributed to being a ‘normal’ part of motherhood, or, mothers may resist acknowledging the signs because of stigma or societal pressures. 

If prolonged and untreated, PMAD’s can be detrimental to maternal health and the child’s development. As such, is important that we work to improve our screening/identification and treatment approaches for this group of women. 

Naturopathic Medicine, with its emphasis on treating root causes and viewing health more holistically, is well suited to support women with PMAD’s. There are many factors or root causes that may be involved in the development of a PMAD, including but not limited to the following: personal history, family history, social support, birth experiences/trauma, stressors, nutritional status, and thyroid/hormonal factors. 

In my experience, the most overlooked factors are nutritional status, stress levels, and thyroid/hormonal imbalances. First, is not uncommon for women to be undernourished during their pregnancy and when a new baby enters the picture. She may have forgotten to take her prenatal multivitamin, have pre-existing nutrient deficiencies, or feel like she doesn’t have the time or energy to nourish herself properly.  

Elevated stress hormones are also common in this group of women. The stress hormone, cortisol, may high be due a variety of factors, including but not limited to: birth trauma, lack of support, financial challenges, relationship stress, and lack of sleep. 

Further, the risk for developing hypothyroidism (an under active thyroid) is greater in the postpartum period. Hypothyroidism may develop due to nutrient deficiencies, prolonged elevation in cortisol levels, and hormonal and immune system changes associated with pregnancy and postpartum. Hypothyroidism is a common cause of depression, anxiety, and fatigue, and must be ruled out in all cases of PMAD.

In my opinion, the treatment approach to PMAD should be collaborative in most cases. Involvement of the woman’s G.P., a Psychologist or Social Worker, and an N.D. would address several facets of the PMAD. In moderate to severe cases medication may be necessary for a period of time. Counselling or CBT is also important to develop healthy coping strategies and to re-frame negative thought patterns. 

My approach as a Naturopathic Doctor would begin with a comprehensive screening of thyroid tests and nutrient levels (ie. Vitamin B12, Iron status, Vitamin D3) in these women in order to better identify and treat any possible physiological underpinnings. Following a careful assessment of patient history and blood work, I work with women to optimize their nutritional status and provide dietary counselling, I encourage healthy lifestyle factors such as exercise, self-care, and mindfulness practices, and provide individualized nutritional or herbal supplement recommendations. 

As an ND who has seen many women with PMAD, in addition to my personal experience, I have developed a deep understanding and empathy for this group of women. They deserve a thorough assessment of their physical, mental, and emotional health, as well as an individualized treatment plan to help them cope, overcome their PMAD’s, and improve their well-being so that they can be more present mothers for their babies and be their best selves.

We Can do Hard Things and Everything is Figureoutable

Posted on: September 14th, 2020 by TouchStone Health

by: Dr. Amanda Cressman, N.D.

I’m always so grateful when the right book comes along at the right time. I’ve had this happen recently when I read Untamed by Glennon Doyle and Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo.

For many people, this year, at this time, in this season is bringing about very hard things where perspective can be lost. These words have helped restore that for me.

In my house, I have a few select quotes that are hung up in rooms as I try to instil these thoughts into my children but also into myself. In my children’s playroom I have this framed quote, “Everything is Figureoutable”. This quote comes from Marie Forleo and her book named just that. Marie is a life coach, an enterpreneur and many other things. She is an example and a reminder that we can define who we are and how we experience things with our attitude and perspective.

A week into having this quote up and framed in our house, I was doing some computer work where I was needing to learn a new system which is one of my least favourite things to do. My youngest daughter saw me sigh, looking defeated and stressed and said, “mommy, you know everything is figureoutable…you can figure this out.” I had put up this quote in their playroom that very week and shared the concept with them, bringing it up when they were frustrated, teaching them that they have the ability to figure things out. When my daughter said this, it made me smile large, seeing that a 5 year old had locked these words in as a belief in a few short days where I obviously had more work to do. I repeated it in my mind

I love this phrase because it’s playful, it’s positive and it’s powerful.

And it’s been very helpful in this peculiar year, in this precarious season as we all have no idea what the next bit of time will be for us all.

But Marie reminds us that everything is figureoutable. I just need to get my mind out of the way to make room for solutions and ideas. If you like this phrase and feel as though it could benefit you, please feel free to download this image.

The second book that has been helpful is Glennon Doyle’s, Untamed. It is a powerful piece of work. It’s raw, it’s real, it’s courageous and it’s important. Glennon shows up authentically on each page and if you have the audio version of her work, she’s as good of an orator as a writer, which is saying something.

Out of many of the highlighted quotes from her book, this one has landed the strongest for me….“We can do hard things.” We are all continuing to experience changes with uncertainty of the coming months, but her words, “We can do hard things” is inspiring and instills in me, “yes, I can do hard things, I’ve done a lot of hard things before and life brings about hard things….I can do this, my kids can do this…we all can do this.”

It’s why I love Naturopathic Medicine, because my job is to help people figure out why they are experiencing what they are experiencing and how to get back to who they wish to be. And sometimes that work is hard. Asking people to look at their lifestyle, to change patterns or behaviours that are blocking them from health is hard stuff.

For me as a person, as a parent and as a Naturopathic Doctor, resilience is what I strive for. Resilient people can weather the season changes of life with grace and and with perspective.

This coming season of life is a big one for us all. It is asking us to be flexible, to be conscientious, to be considerate and to be patient.

For whatever is going on in your life, I hope these words from these two extraordinary women will be helpful…knowing you can figure things out and you can do hard things.

If you like this phrase and feel as though it could benefit you, please feel free to download this image.

I Don’t Want to be that Person….

Posted on: August 24th, 2020 by TouchStone Health

Written by: Dr. Amanda Cressman, N.D.

That’s a powerful phrase and it’s something I hear often in dialog with those that I work with.  I don’t want to be that person.  There is a lot of weight that comes with those words.

I think what is so interesting about that phrase is the inherent judgement of it.  Judgement of ourselves, the judgement we fear from others and the judgement we place on the thing we desperately don’t want to be.

Here are some examples of what I have commonly heard and still hear in my practice.

“I don’t want to be that person who eats differently from others, who has to ask, ‘What’s in that…is there gluten or dairy in that dish?’”  Insert eye roll here.
or
“I don’t want to be that person who can’t relax and not worry about what is going on…I’m on edge all the time and I hate it.”
or
“I don’t want to be that person who has health issues.”
or
“I don’t want to be that person who has given up on themselves and has stopped caring about their body.”

It can mean a lot of different things. But the commonality of all those phrases is a struggle with where we are actually at and where we want to go.

Since COVID came and ripped up so much of what I knew myself to be, of what I thought I could count on to be stable and steady, I have thought a lot of this phrase.  I have thought a lot about asking myself the opposite, of finally asking the question, who do I want to be?  What does that new me look like?  If I can figure that out, is it even possible?

When your world has been changed so dramatically as all of ours has, there exists an opportunity for reflection…to see more clearly and to gain clarity from the contrast.

For me, it’s created much needed time to realize a lot of the life I was living was something I hadn’t consciously chosen….or perhaps I did, in a way but it was no longer working for me.  I am many things but amongst them, I am driven and filled with a sense of duty which created a Wired but Tired version of myself that was productive and successful but was also exhausted and burnt out.  COVID threw me and my nervous system around and I fought hard to keep the old me present but the last 5 months won and what has emerged is surprising.  I have learned that who I want to be and what I want to do is different from what has been.

This is hard and takes courage to really see it.

For so many of the people that I work with, this has been a common experience that has been accentuated in the past 5 months where our modus operandi has been tweaked, challenged and altered.

Who do you want to be?  Who is the person that is most aligned to what you want and where you want to go?  What does it look like?  For me, it’s no longer being a Wired but Tired, go-getting, on the go, showing the world I can do it all type-of-person.  It’s someone who checks in first with herself instead of checking in with others to see if what she’s doing is ok.  It’s taking time to rest even when the floor needs some serious vacuuming because really, no one else cares or if they do…can I really be bothered to worry about their opinion?

So many of the people I work with are Wired but Tired…a tricky combination that is a by-product of high levels of stress that have been prolonged and accentuated by a desire to keep producing amongst having minimal, to nothing left in their tank.  It’s a tricky combination of exhaustion yet difficulty with getting or staying asleep, lack of motivation yet anxiousness and brain fog, cravings yet lack of appetite and weight gain.  It’s burnout that comes in a different package where many would never know what’s really going on because the individual is looking successful in the world yet not feeling that.  So many people have been taxed with all that COVID has brought.  And it’s been different for us all.  It has brought with it clarity, in learning our values, our fears, our priorities.  It’s stripped so many of us down and people are struggling with the aftermath of 5 months of this change and of the unknown of what September and the coming winter season will bring.

So, who do you want to be in these unprecedented times?  Or who don’t you want to be?  What do you need to get there?  How do you fill your tank to build back resiliency that has been lost?  Building back physical and mental resilience is possible but takes time and isn’t something that happens overnight.  It can come in many different ways and my hope is, that you are being supported in your journey, filling yourself up with the pieces that build you back.

Showing Up Authentically

Posted on: May 22nd, 2020 by TouchStone Health

by: Dr. Amanda Cressman, N.D.

This post is looooong overdue.  It has been 10 weeks from today that I had been seeing patients in clinic when COVID-19 had changed our lives.

It’s been such an interesting time and for anyone who knows me, you know I love the word interesting as it is a great umbrella word for a variety of experiences.  What’s so bizarre and difficult to wrap my head around is the variance of experiences in the past 2.5 months.  How this virus can be life threatening to some and not to others, how the isolation has been horrendous for some and absolutely welcomed and enjoyable for others and the financial implications for so many people and businesses.  The only thread of consistency is that we are all connected in this, that this experience has affected us all and that among the variances, we are in it together.  We all know that life will never be quite the same hereafter- how businesses will run, how we interact with each other and ultimately how we perceive others.

With so much disruption, it is jarring, especially for those who are wired similarly to myself.

The reason I called this post Showing Up Authentically is that I ask people in my practice to do this.  I value authenticity and to ask it of others, which means I need to always ask it of myself….especially when it’s hard to do so.

When stress happens we often do one of three things.  We fight, we flee or we freeze.  My response when all this began was to fight.  My nervous system was spun.  Sleep was altered with the dreaded 3 am wakeup where my mind racing, the wired but tired feeling throughout the day was present, causing great levels of anxiety, the change in appetite and cravings were not great, to put it politely and the overall heaviness of this new and very unwelcome reality was felt.  But with time, the fight died off and the freeze took over, a feeling very new to me – numbness, fatigue, lack of motivation and deep sadness.  Collective grief was spoken about a lot in that time and was a great analysis of what we were all experiencing.

But like all things, there is a season, thank goodness there are seasons in nature and in life…as that fight and freeze response had passed to the present reality of acceptance and even finding joy with the changes that have come from all of this.

The point of this article is to remind you that you are not alone and that whatever season you are presently in – whether that be fear, joy, uncertainty, anger or ambivalence…you are not alone.  It’s been an honour to connect with people over the last few weeks and months, hearing their experiences, sharing in their story and supporting them…as it’s been really hard for many.  There is so much information out there, that many of us are in mental overdrive.  It’s hard to digest it all, knowing what to trust, wondering when things will change and how it will all look.  With all the mental chatter, it takes work and effort to connect with ourselves on an emotional level, really listening to what we need and giving space to feel it.  For me, as a health care practitioner, I’ve struggled with feeling some of these not so pleasant feelings and grateful to have given room for them to be felt.

Everything has a season and this has been one of the most bizarre seasons of my life.  I think many can relate to that.  The more we share, the more we open up about what is honestly going on in our lives, the more we remind others that we are in this together.  Showing up authentically is easy when things are great but not when things are tricky.  I hope however you are feeling, wherever you are at, that you are remembering your goodness, your worth and that you are not alone.

 

Great Gluten-free Recipes

Posted on: May 1st, 2020 by TouchStone Health

Written by: Amanda Cressman, N.D.

If you are like most people I have spoken with in the last few weeks, eating balanced meals that are healthy has been tricky.   There are so many reasons for this – less access to grocery stores and fresh foods, the sheer stress of shopping and the emotional eating that can occur from the stress and sadness of all the changes to our lifestyle.  Even just being home all day, everyday, where the kitchen is central to the home, it’s easy and understandable as to why many are eating more frequently than we need to.

When stress levels are high, blood sugar changes occur, whereas the body is needing to provide glucose to support the stress response.  Sugar cravings can increase and with chronic stress, weight changes then happen, specifically around the midsection.

For many, the past few weeks have been one of the most stressful experiences that they have gone through.  Supporting your stress response is of vital importance, not only for mental health but also for maintaining the daily habits that keep us grounded and supported in ourselves.

Even though it may not seem to be connected, eating balanced meals and choosing healthy food options supports our stress response.  Avoiding known food sensitivities is also helpful to ensure the body has no additional stress responses occurring.

So, I wanted to share some recipes/resources to hopefully inspire and surprise you with how easy and tasty they are.  They are all Gluten-free and some are also Grain-Free , supporting a variety of dietary plans in this time.  I have no affiliation with any of these sites, just happy to have found recipes that are easy to make and that support gluten-free and grain-free eating.

See what you think and I hope these recipe ideas taste great for you and support all the changes going on in your world.

Breakfast Ideas

Grain-free Berry Granola – Healthful Pursuit

Banana Oat Blender Pancakes – Kitchen Treaty

Coconut Flour Chocolate Crepes – Healthful Pursuit

Sweet Potato Hash – Healthful Pursuit

Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal – Oh She Glows

Soft and Chewy Sugar Free Granola Bars – Oh She Glows

Almond Flour Pancakes – Comfy Belly

Fluffy Coconut Flour Pancakes – Comfy Belly

Quinoa Granola – Comfy Belly

Blueberry Syrup – Nourishing Meals

Gluten Free Raspberry Scones – The Roasted Root

Mochaccino Chia Breakfast Pudding – Joyous Health

Lunch Ideas

Spiralized Thai Salad Recipe – Against All Grain

Sea Salt Rosemary Zucchini Chips – Joyous Health

Veggie Summer Rolls with Peanut Sauce – Avocado Pesto

Soft Gluten Free Sandwich Bread – A Little Insanity

The Life-Changing Loaf of Bread – My New Roots

Instant Pot Carrot Ginger Soup – Cook with Manali

Low Carb Irish Soda Bread – Elana’s Pantry

Tahini Glazed Carrots – Elana’s Pantry

Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing – Detoxinista

The Best Quinoa & Black Bean Salad – Detoxinista

Raw Apple Cider Vinaigrette – Detoxinista

Honey Balsamic Dressing – Detoxinista

Easy Lentil, Sweet Potato & Coconut Curry – Detoxinista

“Cheeseburger” Salad with Special Sauce – Eating Bird Food

Paleo Chinese Chicken Salad – Paleo Running Momma

Dinner Ideas

Coconut Cauliflower Rice – Healthful Pursuit

Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl – Minimalist Baker 

Spicy Buddha Bowl – Crazy Vegan Kitchen

Sweet Potato Pizza Crust – Blissful Basil

Cauliflower Pizza Crust – Detoxinista

Curried Cauliflower Soup – Cookie and Kate

Dessert Ideas

Black Bean Chia Brownies – Joyous Health

One Bowl Jumbo Chocolate Chunk Cookies – Oh She Glows

Raw Chocolate Cheesecake – Comfy Belly

Real Deal Chocolate Chip Cookies – Against All Grain

Fudgy Chocolate Tarts – Against All Grain

Banana Bread – Comfy Belly

Flourless Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins – Running with Spoons

Flourless Banana Bread Muffins – Running with Spoons

Fudgy Paleo Beetroot Brownies – The Roasted Root

Raw Tiramisu – Unconventional Baker

Chocolate Avocado Pudding – Pop Sugar

Cassava Banana Bread – Paleo Running Momma

Pumpkin Bread with Chocolate Chips Paleo – Paleo Running Momma

Sweet Potato Brownies – Paleo OMG

Healthy Carrot Cake – Detoxinista

Paleo Pumpkin Pie – Elana’s Pantry

Snacks

Chocolate Gelatin Bars – The Healthy You Project

Crunch Raw Protein Balls – The Healthy Family and Home

Homemade Gummy Candies – Healthful Pursuit – Use a juice of your choice

Date Energy Balls – Detoxinista

Mint Chocolate Truffle Bites – A Virtual Vegan

Easy Paleo Snack Bar Recipes – Beaming Baker

March Return & My Less-Than-Perfect Maternity Leave

Posted on: February 25th, 2020 by TouchStone Health

Written by: Dr. Melanie Reidl, N.D.

I’m feeling excited and energized about my return to Touchstone in March. After 6 months of maternity leave, it’s feeling right to step back into a career that brings me joy, challenges me, and allows me to help others.

In this post, I wanted to share a little bit about my time away from Touchstone. The honest truth about this maternity leave is that it’s been HARD. And it hasn’t been because of my beautiful baby girl, as you would expect it to be.  Since our sweet girl entered our lives in September, she has brought more joy, fulfillment, and love than we could have imagined. She’s literally been my sunshine on cloudy days.

Starting in November, my family was presented with several challenges and difficult news. In summary; Our family dog became very ill and we had to let him go, my grandfather’s cancer returned and he passed away, and I faced unexpected complications related to a past injury that required multiple visits to my orthopaedic surgeon, a surgery, and, during that time, left me extremely anxious about my health.

We’re all doing well now and I’m certain we’re through the worst of it. However during those difficult weeks I couldn’t help but wonder, ‘why is this happening?’ and ‘why all at once?’  Now that I’m through it, I feel that it was meant to be a test of my strength and resilience. It also forced my husband and I to work more as a team to care for our girls, to reach out for support from family, and to really APPRECIATE our blessings.

I am more grateful than ever to have my health, my two healthy babies, my husband, and my incredibly supportive family and friends.

I feel more motivated than ever to help you, my patients, through health (and life) challenges when I return to practice in March. If you’re currently facing a health challenge (or other life challenge), I am here for you, I will be present for you, and I will provide the most compassionate care that I can. 

New Year’s Resolutions

Posted on: January 9th, 2020 by TouchStone Health

 

New Year’s resolutions… Believe it or not, I’m not a huge supporter of the concept of making goals and resolutions in January.  I would much rather see my patients (and myself) make changes and improve themselves on an ongoing basis, moment to moment. It’s great to have a vision for your new year, however I believe it’s essential to be flexible and continually reassess and modify our habits & goals throughout the year, as it unfolds. Nonetheless, here are three general principles I’m committing to for 2020.

1) BEING MORE PRESENT, MINDFUL & INTENTIONAL.

2) BEING MORE GRATEFUL.

3) BEING MORE POSITIVE & RESILIENT.

The reason I chose these three ‘resolutions’ for 2020, is that they can apply to all aspects of my life: family, community, career, and extra-curricular. I want to focus on living by these three principles so that I can enhance each aspect of my life in positive ways. They are SO essential for our mental health as well, and I will expand on this in a future post. These three guiding principles will be my compass as I navigate the successes and challenges that 2020 will inevitably bring!

Tips for Restful Sleep and Improving Energy & Mood This Winter

Posted on: November 25th, 2019 by TouchStone Health

Dr. Nevena Jovanovic, N.D. & Dr. Melanie Reidl, N.D.’s Tips for Restful Sleep and Improving Energy & Mood This Winter

Do you struggle with maintaining your energy and a positive mood thoughout the fall & winter? Do you have trouble falling or staying asleep?

Here are our top 5 recommendations to help with these common concerns.

1) Serotonin-Boosting Foods – Foods that contain the amino acid, tryptophan, help the body produce more of the hormone serotonin. Serotonin is important for energy, sleep, and mood. Eat salmon, chicken, turkey, eggs, nuts and seeds, and spinach to make more natural serotonin!

2) Sunlight Exposure Daily (and Vitamin D3!) – Getting daily exposure to sunlight, especially in the morning, can support your serotonin levels and sleep-wake cycle. Also, make sure to take a Vitamin D3 supplement to get its energy supportive benefits!

3) Exercise – Regular exercise stimulates the release of the hormones serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These hormones support energy, sleep, and a more positive mood.

4) Supplements that Increase Serotonin or Lower Cortisol – There are several vitamins and herbs that support serotonin production or lower the stress-hormone, cortisol. These include: vitamin B6, magnesium, St. John’s Wort, Ashwaghanda, and other adaptogenic herbs. We can help you choose the best ones and correct dosages for your body.

5) Nervous System Support – Other therapies and practices can positively impact your energy, sleep, and mood hormones. These include: acupuncture, meditation, yoga, and mindfulness practices. We hope you have a healthy, happy winter season. Dr. Nevena Jovanovic, N.D. would be happy to see you to help with any energy, sleep, or mood concerns that present.

Foundations of Health…Healthy Food Choices

Posted on: October 27th, 2019 by TouchStone Health

Written by: Amanda Cressman, N.D.

This time of year holds a lot – a lot of excitement and anticipation for festivals, parties, celebrations and events.  Amongst all this, there can be many who are feeling overwhelmed and stressed from the expectations placed upon them by others and most importantly, by themselves.

This past week has been an interesting one for myself and for many that I’ve spoken with.  The changing of the season to real Autumn weather has been hard – many have colds and coughs, the reminder that a new season is now here, where the nights are quickly dark, the wind is sometimes harsh and the temperatures are dropping, making it a little less easy to be outside.

This is a wonderful time to come back to centre, back to self and remember some key things you can do to support your health for a healthier and more comfortable winter season.

This week we are talking about healthy food choices, but I want to take a moment to highlight some key foundational pieces to health that will be highlighted in the coming weeks.

Healthy Food Choices
Digesting your Food/Choices
Digesting your Emotional Experience
Detoxifying your World
Giving your Body the Rest it needs
Inspiration/Breathing
Moving Stress Out
Being Understood
Belonging/Connection

Although these may seem obvious, they are surprisingly hard to do and even more surprisingly have been forgotten by many amongst our busy world.  I’m always amazed at how many of us, myself included have forgotten simple truths, such as – ensuring you are outside, daily…even for a few moments, taking at least one deep breath in a day, ensuring you are eliminating your food regularly, having a daily bowel movement, letting yourself feel emotions when they come up or at least soon after to honour what has been, sweating regularly, doing something you enjoy every day, remembering your body needs to sleep and loves routine of familiar bedtimes, etc…the list goes on and on.  When things are off in our health, it can be a great opportunity to reflect and reassess priorities and goals for oneself. For many of us, we know what to do but the doing can be difficult. Like Dr. Seuss said, “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”

So, today’s focus is healthy food choices.  This is one that we are all confronted with daily, yet continues to be hard to accomplish in a world where food prep takes more time than what most people have and the convenience of prepared foods is becoming easier and more affordable.

So, I don’t like to cook.  It doesn’t come naturally, I’m not super good at it and I just haven’t ever enjoyed it.  I don’t enjoy grocery shopping and find it always just takes way more time than I allot for it and thinking about new and exciting foods is stressful for me.  I am working at changing this because when healthy food choices don’t work out, the following takes place.

BAD FOOD CHOICES = IMBALANCED BLOOD SUGAR = INCREASED CRAVINGS FOR CARBOHYDRATES = INCREASED INTAKE OF CARBOHYDRATES = LACK OF DRIVE/AMBITION = MOODINESS = SHAME AND SELF LOATHING FOR BAD FOOD CHOICES.

Obviously, not a great place to be but one that many experience, sometimes daily.  And it can be avoided but it takes looking at your day/week honestly and prioritizing healthy food choices to ensure blood sugar is balanced, helping mood, mental focus, digestion and all the other systems that are positively supported when good foods come in to your body.

I could go on about the benefits of eating local or in-season or organic or non GMO foods…that is all great, but first, looking at the foundations of health, I think it’s important to focus on eating regularly and to do so with whole foods…ideally foods that you or someone you know have prepared.

There are many ways to do this.  In our house we have a weekly menu chart with foods picked out for each day and the designated cook who will make it.  This ensures all foods are purchased for the week on Sunday, as coming to Wednesday night and seeing no vegetables left in your fridge is a sure fire way to eating poorly and generally thereafter feeling poorly.  When we do this, everything is easier and less stressed when it comes to food choices.

Many apps are available to help with this and luckily we live in an era of phenomenal online recipe bloggers, creating new and healthy recipes for all different types of dietary plans and preferences.  I am so grateful for this as I need real recipes and real advice to ensure I can serve something that is edible and delicious.

One thing we enjoy doing at TouchStone Health is putting together meal plans to help with this.  Melanie Reidl, N.D. and myself put together meal plans for those wanting support. We can put together plans for various dietary needs, health or weight goals.  My favourite parts of the plan are knowing it’s all figured out for the week, so no extra mental work is needed trying to be creative mid-week. And the best part is the shopping list, knowing all that is needed before the week begins is purchased or available, brings peace to my mind.  I’ve attached below a 3-day Paleo Plan to show how it works. Please use it, hoping the recipes are easy to work with, delicious and create a more peaceful experience in the kitchen, even if just for 3 days.

We can put together these plans for existing patients, with more information about the meal plans, here.

Even doing just this – ensuring you are eating Whole, healthy foods is a major piece in the bedrock of your foundation of health.  Your body, your mind and your emotional health will all benefit…helping you digest the rest of this busy world we live in more easily.

3 day meal plan

Fall Immunity Boosting Secrets

Posted on: October 11th, 2019 by TouchStone Health

By: Melanie Reidl, Naturopathic Doctor

With the start of fall, there is so much beauty to enjoy. However, along with fall colours and apples, cold and flu season has begun.  To help you avoid your Kleenex box, I will share my top 5 tactics to aid in avoiding cold and flu viruses!

1)  Sleep + Minimize Stress –  I’ve seen it time and time again, those who skip on sleep and go through stressful weeks end up sick.  Stick to a regular sleep schedule as much as possible, and incorporate stress reducing activities and mindfulness into your daily routine.

2) Avoid Sugar, Refined Carbohydrates + Alcohol – Sugar and high glycemic index foods cause a depression in white blood cell count within 12 hours of consuming them. This means you’re more likely to fall sick since your body doesn’t have the same defences.

3) Eat Foods with Protein, Zinc, Selenium, and Vitamin C – Each of the nutrients listed has an important role in immunity. A mindfully planned whole foods diet will include them, however if you’d like more direction with this, we can create a meal plan for you that includes the right immunity super foods!

4) Supplement with Vitamin D3 in Therapeutic Doses – With less sunlight and lower UV exposure in the fall/winter, it is important to supplement with Vitamin D3 at a therapeutic dose that will give your immune system what it needs.

5) Keep Your Gut Healthy – Eat probiotic and prebiotic foods, avoid sugar, and supplement with specific probiotic strains to keep your microbiome healthy. The healthier your gut/microbiome is, the better your defences will be against viruses + bacteria.

***If cold/flu symptoms do come on, there are lots of amazing natural remedies that can expedite your recovery and have you feeling better!  Schedule to see Dr. Nevena (who is covering for Melanie’s maternity leave) if you need some naturopathic support to fight a cold/flu or to prevent recurrent infections this fall. 

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