TouchStone Health Photo
TouchStone Health Photo
TouchStone Health Photo

Archive for the ‘nutrition’ Category

Have you been trying to get pregnant but only getting negative pregnancy tests? OR Are you thinking about growing your family?

Posted on: September 9th, 2020 by TouchStone Health

Preparing for Pregnancy e-Program!

Have you been trying to get pregnant but only getting negative pregnancy tests?

OR

Are you thinking about growing your family?

Written by: Alexandria Muirhead, R.H.N.

Preparing for Pregnancy e-Program is a self-paced, online program that helps you optimize your health and boost your fertility to help you get pregnant! This e-program also reduces your risk of miscarriages, corrects any nutritional deficiencies to ensure your baby has all the nutrients required to grow and helps you have a healthy pregnancy!

Alex Muirhead has created this online program to address all areas of your life that impact your fertility such as your cycle, sleep, movement, mindset, nutrition and more. It’s based on scientific research and her experience in practice.

Who is this e-Program for?

  • Thinking about getting pregnant in the next 12 months
  • Have been trying but haven’t been able to get pregnant yet
  • Worried about whether or not they can get pregnant
  • Worried about miscarriages
  • Have a pre-existing health condition/illness (IBS, autoimmune disease, diabetes, PCOS, endometriosis, etc)
  • Have irregular, short or long cycles
  • Have painful periods
  • Experience PMS
  • Have digestive issues (heartburn, gas, bloating, constipation or diarrhea)

This e-Program helps address any underlying health issue that interferes with your fertility. A body system that is out of balance and not functioning properly can have a really big impact on your ability to get pregnant. This e-program identifies if you have any imbalances and provides you with the proper tools to rebalance that system.

What does the e-Program Include?

  • 8 modules, each covering an important area for fertility
  • 3 bonus modules
  • Easy to understand information
  • Step-by-step guides
  • Worksheets
  • Resources
  • Personalized supplements 
  • & more!

Each module contains a video of Alex Muirhead educating you on that particular topic and a step-by-step guide to help you implement everything you learnt in that video! In addition, she has created specialized worksheets and compiled resources pertaining to that module!

Are you Interested in Learning More About the e-Program?

If you are! Then click HERE or follow Alex Muirhead on instagram, @alexmuirhead_RHN . She has lots of information about her e-program and why it works.

  1. Discount for Launch Week!!

The e-program is 25% off during launch week! 

When is launch week?? September 8th to 14th! 

Use the promo code LAUNCH at check out for 25% off!

3 Kitchen Item Swaps to Promote Hormone Balance

Posted on: September 3rd, 2020 by TouchStone Health

Written by: Alexandria Muirhead, Registered Holistic Nutritionist

Many say that the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where people gather to laugh and show love for others. It is one of the most important rooms in the house where we create meals to nourish ourselves, family and friends. There are many items that we use in our kitchen that we believe are safe but in reality they can have a negative impact on our health. These impacts can happen right away or happen over years. This phenomenon is called bioaccumulation and it can contribute to a whole host of health issues including autoimmune diseases and infertility. This is caused by chemicals and toxins that disrupt our normal body systems such as our immune system, hormonal (endocrine) system, circulatory system, nervous system and more. It affects all of our body systems and leads to symptoms such as fatigue, mood swings, irritability, digestive issues, gas, bloating, allergies, asthma, PMS, brittle nails, hair loss, and sleep troubles.

Please don’t panic or worry! Keep reading!

Just as your body accumulates these toxins and chemicals, your body can eliminate them once you have stopped exposing yourself to them! Our bodies are so amazing and fascinating. They want to be in homeostasis and have all of our systems working together flawlessly. In Holistic Nutrition, we know that once you remove what is causing you to feel unwell, support your body and give it time to rebalance, that your health will be restored! I believe this and know this to be true because I have personally experienced it. You can not heal in the same environment that you became sick in.

The top 3 kitchen item swaps that you can do to reduce your exposure to harmful toxins and chemicals!

  • Ditch the Non-Stick!

Yes, I know. This one was hard for me to do as well. Isn’t non-stick so convent and easy? Nothing sticks to it and it’s a breeze to clean. These are amazing qualities but they come with a price. Teflon coated cookware contain chemicals that over time leach out into your food and you consume it. PFC, PFOS and PFOA are three chemicals that bioaccumulate and disrupt your body systems. 1.They have banned PFOA from being used in teflon products since it has been shown to be carcinogenic to the thyroid, kidneys, testicles, ovarian and bladder. 2. There is growing evidence that states that PFOA are not the only chemical to have negative effects on our health.

Teflon manufacturers say that it can be safe, if used properly. We don use it the way the manufacturer recommended which exposes us to these chemicals. Proper use of non-stick pans including not heating it higher than 260oC (500oF), do use if coating is chipped or scratched and use for a maximum of 6 months. It has been shown that an empty pan or a pan with oil can heat to 500oF within 2 minutes. We have all done these things and I am included in this! I had the same non-stick pan for years with scratches and would place some oil in the pan to heat up and I am sure it got to above 500oF.  Those chemicals are released once these things happen and get into our bodies.

What to use instead!

Once I learned about the chemicals in non-stick pans I began to look into alternatives! It took me a while to come around since non-stick is so convenient but the health benefits are worth it! Instead you can use cast iron pans or stainless steel pans. Cast iron can take a little bit of maintenance but is an excellent option once you’ve gotten the hang of it. There are lots of resources online on how to use and care for cast iron! Stainless steel is another opinion! Food tends to stick which is why oil, broth or water should be used. You can find lots of resources on how to use and care for stainless steel pans with a quick google search!

  • Ditch the Plastic!

This is a big one since plastic has taken over the modern kitchen. There are plastic utensils (spatula, stirring spoon, slotted spoon, tongs, masher, whisks), plastic cutting boards, plastic measure cups/spoons, plastic mixing bowls, plastic strainer, plastic wrap, plastic food storage containers, plastic water bottles and the list goes on and on!

This is a really important one since all of these plastics contain chemicals called endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC’s) and exposes us to xenoestrogens. Xenoestrogens are synthetic chemicals that have the same chemical structure as estrogen and therefore binds to the estrogen receptors in our bodies. They have a very strong effect and contribute to hormonal imbalances, estrogen dominance, low progesterone, endometriosis, PCOS, and estrogen driven cancers.

How and what to use instead?!

I always recommend switching things slowly and doing this process gradually. First become aware of all the plastic you are using in your kitchen. Once something gets worn out and is in need of being replaced, buy the non-plastic option! This makes it much easier to do and does not create a large financial burden of having to buy everything at once.

Instead of… Happy Hormone Swap
Plastic Utensils (spatula, stirring spoon, slotted spoon, tongs, masher, whisks, etc) Wooden or Stainless Steel Utensils
Plastic Cutting Board Wooden Cutting Board (plastic cutting boards also harbor and allow bacteria to grow, wood is always best!)
Plastic Measuring Cups/Spoons Stainless Steel or Glass Measuring Cups or Spoons
Plastic Mixing Bowls Stainless Steel, Ceramic, or Glass Mixing Bowls
Plastic Strainer Stainless Steel Strainer
Plastic Food Wrap Beeswax Wraps
Plastic Food Storage Containers Glass or Stainless Steel Containers
Plastic Water Bottles Glass or Stainless Steel Water Bottles

Don’t feel overwhelmed by this change. It’s best to take it slow and do things one at a time. Use this knowledge as power and begin to switch over these items to reduce you and your families exposure to xenoestrogens. Stores like Winners and Homesense are great place’s to get some of these items at a lower cost.

  • Ditch the Toxic Cleaners & Soaps!

There seems to be a cleaner for everything these days, am I right? Every surface and area of the home seems to have a specific cleaner to clean it. Conventional household and kitchen cleaners are a major source of toxic exposure in the home. You can use The Environmental Working Group to see where you cleaners rank. They have a system that they use to tell you if your cleaners are toxic or not. I also believe that household cleaners are a big waste of money! You really don’t need a different cleaner for every surface and room. Homemade cleaners are the best and safest option and save you lots of money! Having one all purpose, natural cleaner will reduce the toxins in your home, save you money and reduce the clutter in your laundry room where you store your cleaners.

Your hand soap, dish soap and dishwasher detergent also contain chemicals that we want to avoid!

What to use instead?

Make your own! Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water. You can add essential oils to give it a natural smell if you wish! Vinegar is a very potent disinfectant and kills bacteria. That is why it is used in preserving, so bacteria and mold does not grow.

Natural Cleaners! You can use castile soap and dilute it to use all over your home. You can also visit your local Health Food Store and ask them about safe and non=toxic cleaning products they carry. Two of my favorite brands are:

Branch Basics  and Seventh Generation. Branch Basics is a really great company that creates safe and effective cleaning products. Their products are safe for humans and for the environment and are not tested on animals. Seventh Generation is a wonderful company that has cleaners, baby items, soaps, and dishwashing detergent/pucks.

Small actions everyday that are in alignment with your wellness goals is what creates sustainable change and allows you to achieve those goals!

Citation

https://www.ncceh.ca/sites/default/files/Health_effects_PFCs_Oct_2010.pdf

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/teflon-and-perfluorooctanoic-acid pfoa.html#:~:text=IARC%20has%20classified%20PFOA%20as,limited%20evidence%20in%20lab%20animals

What is the Gut Microbiome?

Posted on: July 31st, 2020 by TouchStone Health

Written by: Alexandria Muirhead, R.H.N.

The gut microbiome is a collection of good and bad bacteria that live in our digestive system with the majority being in our large intestines. There are actually more bacteria then there are cells in our body, approximately 10 bacteria for every 1 cell! They help us digest the food we eat, modulate our immune system, make vitamins such as vitamin K, B12, riboflavin and thiamine. Our gut microbiome affects our weight, our brain and when out of balance, is associated with autoimmune diseases such as Crohns, SLE, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, MS, fibromyalgia, etc. They even have an effect on our gene expression and activity. There are only a few of the things that the gut microbiome effectsIt is a super powerful part of us that we can have a positive effect on with some simple lifestyle, diet and mindset modifications.

Symptoms of Dysbiosis? (Unbalanced Gut Microbiome)

There are a wide range of symptoms since our gut is connected to our entire body. These symptoms can show up in our brains, nervous system and even our skin! Some symptoms include;

  • Bloating
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Brain Fog
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Upset Stomach
  • Gas
  • Acne
  • Eczema
  • Sore Joints
  • Allergies; environment or food

How can we Positively Change our Gut Microbiome?

We can begin to positively impact our gut microbiome which in turn affects our health on so many different levels.

  • Increase Fiber and Decrease Refined Sugar

We can do this by eating whole foods with fiber and reducing our consumption of refined sugar. Fiber is our friend and nothing to be scared of. It helps regulate our bowel movements and feeds our good bacteria. Vegetables, nuts and seeds are excellent sources of fiber! Sugar has a negative effect on our gut microbiome and the more processed and refined sugar we eat the more and more depleted and out of balance it gets. Switching to all natural sweeteners such as real maple syrup, raw & local honey, coconut sugar or date sugar will help to minimize the negative effects. This also means being aware of what you are consuming and how much sugar it has in it. Sugar is sneaky and can be found in things you would never think of like Windsor Iodized Salt! Sugar is the third ingredient in our table salt. Getting rid of the sneaky exposures to sugar will help you maintain a healthy gut microbiome balance. Anything you eat that has an ingredient list you should read the ingredient list and review it to make sure you want to be putting that into your body.

  • Daily Movement

Movement and exercise is linked to having beneficial effects on our gut microbiome. Studies are showing the connection between daily movement having an anti-inflammatory effect and balancing the gut microbiome. Any movement is better than no movement. Find what you love and what feels good to your body. It can be walking, yoga, biking, working out, running, jogging or any sport! If you find movement that you enjoy you will want to keep doing it every day!1.

  • Mindset

Our bodies and all of our cells are listening to what we are thinking and saying. Positive affirmations and gratitude are a wonderful way to help shape your gut microbiome. We live in a society that has a lot of harsh and strict judgements on what beauty is, leaving many people feeling less than beautiful. These beauty constructs are simply not ture and you need to begin to believe it for yourself and begin to love your body. This also incorporates believing your body can heal. Our bodies want to be in balance, it is called homeostasis. Our bodies want to heal and repair and be vibrant and in balance. Given the right conditions our bodies will begin to restore this balance!

I hope you have learned something about your gut microbiome! Please feel free to reach out to share your experience or stories with me!

Citation

Cook MD, Allen JM, Pence BD, et al. Exercise and gut immune function: evidence of alterations in colon immune cell homeostasis and microbiome characteristics with exercise training. Immunol Cell Biol. 2016;94(2):158-163. doi:10.1038/icb.2015.108

The Power of Gratitude!

Posted on: July 25th, 2020 by TouchStone Health

Written by: Alexandria Muirhead, R.H.N.

I’m sure you’ve all heard of gratitude but have you heard of a daily gratitude practice?

As a Holistic Nutritionist, I consider all aspects of a person when helping them achieve their health and wellness goals, including mindset! A daily gratitude practice has such a positive impact on your emotional health and physical health!

Our minds are so powerful and science has proven this with the “placebo” effect and the “nocebo” effect. The placebo effect is when someone gets the same positive benefits from taking a sugar pill as the people who are taking the medication. This is just once example. The nocebo effect is the same premise but the opposite. It is when you believe something is causing harm or making you sick, it will actually make you sick and harm you! Our minds are so fascinating and these two effects show us that our mind is extremely powerful! The good news… we are in complete control of our minds and thoughts! With some easy lifestyle changes you can begin to change the way you feel!

A study conducted in June 2020 looked at research data on gratitude and the resulting effect on a person’s physical health markers. The results showed that in the majority of the studies a person experienced sleep quality improvements when incorporating gratitude. Also, there were improvements in blood pressure, blood sugar, asthma and eating habits.1.

What is a Daily Gratitude Practice?

This is something super simple that you can do at any point of the day but the morning or evening are the two best times! The best way for a daily gratitude practice to have an impact and become part of your life is to make it into a routine and a habit.There are two main methods of a gratitude practice. The first is writing down 3 things you are grateful for and the second is telling someone 3 things you are grateful for. This is an easy practice that takes no more than 2 minutes.

My husband and I have a daily gratitude practice and it has been such an awesome addition to our health routine. Every morning on our walk with our dog, we share 3 things we are grateful for with each other. This usually leads to us sharing stories or talking about these things which further reinforce our gratitude for them. I love to start my day with our gratitude practice. I feel like it sets us up for a really wonderful day of work, errands, family time, friend time or whatever else we have on the go for that day!

How to Begin a Daily Gratitude Practice

Step 1: Choose the morning or the evening

Step 2: Choose whether you want to share it out loud or write it down

Step 3: Set a reminder in your phone to help remind you for the first few days until it becomes second nature!

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Citation

  1. Boggiss AL, Consedine NS, Brenton-Peters JM, Hofman PL, Serlachius AS. A systematic review of gratitude interventions: Effects on physical health and health behaviors. J Psychosom Res. 2020;135:110165. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2020.110165

We Welcome a Holistic Nutritionist

Posted on: June 25th, 2020 by TouchStone Health

Written by: Alexandria Muirhead, R.H.N

Hello everyone! I am so excited to be joining the team here at Touchstone Health. My goal as an R.H.N (Registered Holistic Nutritionist) is to create personalized protocols that suit you, your lifestyle and help you be successful. I take the work out of it for you and give you what you are looking for! I have two specialities that I am extremely passionate about: autoimmune diseases and maternal health.

Helping people with autoimmune diseases such as Crohns, colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac, Hashimoto’s, psoriasis, and multiple sclerosis is something that is very close to my heart. I am so passionate about helping you take your life back because I have an autoimmune disease that took over my life for many years. I was too sick to see my friends, do well in school, to be active and be me. This was something that consumed me since I was a child and was only diagnosed when I was in my early 20’s. My husband also has an autoimmune disease that took over his life. Through a personalized diet, lifestyle and supplement protocol, we are both in remission and living our best lives! I have been on both sides of an autoimmune disease. I know what it’s like to be sick and I also cared for a loved one while they were sick. Each side is difficult in their own ways. I have the perspective to help guide you through this difficult time. We are both walking proof that you can live the life you want with an autoimmune disease. Having an autoimmune disease myself means that I have tried and tested everything out there. I will give you honest and real feedback since I was in your shoes.

I am also extremely passionate about maternal health, preparing for pregnancy, prenatal, and post-partum health for women. There is so many simple things you can do to improve your fertility, your health and how you feel during pregnancy and postpartum. These simple things will also help improve the health and happiness of your baby. I am passionate about maternal health because this information is not readily available to women or families even though there is lots of scientific research behind them. Empowering and educating women on their bodies during this incredible phase of their life brings me so much joy! I want to be part of your journey to help you and your family be as healthy and happy as you can!  I help women prepare their bodies for pregnancy, optimize their health and mindset during pregnancy, prepare for post-partum and for recovery during post-partum. I help you organize and manage your time and your life to achieve all that you want to achieve during this very busy time! I have tips and tricks to nourish your body and your mind through each of these stages.

Holistic nutrition is so much more than just food. I look at everything in your life; the food you eat, your sleep hygiene, your lifestyle, your genetics, your community, how you move your body, and how happy you are. Each of these things play a role in how you feel and they all need to be addressed to help you be the best version of yourself! I am here to help walk you step by step through your journey.

I am very grateful and excited to help guide you through your health journey to achieve your goals!

Alexandria Muirhead, R.H.N

Ps. Here are a few of my favourite healthy recipes!

Healthy One Bowl Banana Muffins – DF, GF, Sugar Free

Blueberry Nut Smoothie – GF, DF, Vegan, Nut-Free Option

Anti-Inflammatory Vanilla Turmeric Elixir – GF, DF, Nut-Free, Sugar Free

 

 

Finding Balance

Posted on: April 5th, 2018 by TouchStone Health

This past season I have found it very difficult to find balance…something that I strive for and value deeply.  I can struggle with the cold weather, particularly if that cold weather makes it difficult to be outside and definitely if it involves a lack of sun.  It’s been a hard and long winter season for a variety of personal reasons too and with that comes thoughts and reflections about behaviours and patterns that I often do throughout the winter season that don’t always do a great job of creating balance.

Solitary Stool
If you’ve spoken with me before, you know I speak about the stool analogy when it comes to balance….the four legged wooden kind of stool, not to be confused with speaking about bowel movements, although that is an important and helpful discussion, as well.  I love this analogy, as many people understand it and often connect well to it. I often say, if you and your well being are the seat of the stool, you are held up by 4 legs – the mental leg, the emotional leg, the physical leg and the spiritual leg. Sometimes we make the stool a tripod, if that last leg is not a match for the individual.  And my job, as a Naturopath is to figure out why the stool is toppling. In this analogy, maybe one stool leg is extra long, making it topple over, or maybe one leg is incredibly short and thin. For some, the mental leg takes the brunt, for others it’s the physical leg. Regardless of what it is, I find it fascinating to see how we all work at doing our best to create balance amongst adversity and stress.

Many people come to see me for physical reasons and as we begin dialog, the focus is on the physical leg of the stool, but as we dive in deeper to the root cause of the problem, we often uncover other legs of the stool to be at the root of the problem.  Let’s use me for an example. In previous years I have created a wonderful habit of running almost each morning. I wake up early and run with my dog to clear my head, feel nature and get some physical exercise. I work at eating a clean diet…clean meaning no gluten and dairy for me with my specific health concerns and limiting sweets, even fruit as I love sweet food, but can struggle with insulin regulation.  Everything in my world feels and works better if I maintain exercise and clean eating. I physically feel great, emotionally am more stable and mentally am sharp….I love this place, as it’s me feeling something I adore, balance. But, at the end of January someone very close to me passed away when I had a few other stressful things happening at the same time, it felt like the emotional leg of the stool got yanked out from under me and I was flustering to achieve balance in the other legs.  The mental, spiritual and physical legs of the stool were doing their best to compensate to ensure I stayed upright but life changed. I stopped running as I didn’t have time/ability to do so daily, my clean eating went out the window as I physically couldn’t grocery shop easily or have energy to food prep and I started getting into old patterns of behaviour to compensate for my heart feeling broken.

As a culture, we are notorious for avoiding being present with difficult situations/pain.  We distract and numb ourselves through television, food, social media, etc. and all the while our emotional leg of the stool is not actually being nurtured while the other legs of the stool are suffering, desperately working at creating balance for the whole.  These distractions and changes in behaviour can have a time and a place, but the tricky thing is catching when the compensation becomes a pattern and then a habit. For me, this past winter, I started watching tv shows at night – positive, lovely shows but it was distraction from feeling what was real for me.  I stopped journaling regularly, as it was hard to be real with the hurt and I started baking often as this is a comfort for me. Even if my baking choices are raw vegan desserts and technically “healthy”, they are still desserts and connecting to a pattern I developed as a child, that when I was sad, food would numb the hurt.

The body is an amazing thing, always striving for balance or homeostasis, a medical term for essentially the same thing. I see many people in my practice where the physical leg of the stool is in rough shape – but if that’s happening for you, consider thinking about the stool analogy and what events got you to where you are today.  Yes, that physical leg of the stool will need care and support but as that leg gets stronger, the other legs can be nurtured and are often the real reason we are off balance in the first place.

For me, I know the warmth and sun of next week will help.  I have supported my adrenals the past few weeks which have helped give energy and motivation to consider cleaning up my diet and food patterns.  I have good supports that I have used to help sort out the past events and I have once again, run daily. My runs are slow and not super long, my diet could be even cleaner with better prep work, but I’m feeling more balanced and stronger again with an improved inner resilience.

This past season has been hard for many and this culture we live in, particularly, the culture of Kitchener-Waterloo is unbalanced.  We are driven, busy and stressed out people. See which leg of the stool in this analog needs nurturing for yourself and seek out that balance.  Whether it’s doing more social events, improving your physical exercise regime, taking up a creative hobby, clean eating, meditating, having alone time…work at creating the specific balance you need.  The journey is much easier when the stool is not toppling.

Hoping that you are able to feel supported and balanced into the coming season.

 Amanda Cressman, N.D.

Golden Milk

Posted on: November 13th, 2016 by TouchStone Health

IMG_4439

You may have heard about this in recent months/years but for some it’s new.  Golden Tea – or Turmeric Tea as it’s also known is a delicious (honestly, delicious) warm beverage to consider for this winter season.

I love warm drinks but sometimes grow tired of watery tea and want something more full and robust in flavour.  I secretly love hot chocolates and cafe mocha’s but need to drink on rare occasions as caffeine and I are not great friends.

So, why choose turmeric in your warm milk beverage?  Here are some reasons:

-it’s a strong antioxidant

-decreases inflammation

-supports liver detoxification

-aids in digestive function

-great for sports injuries

-it’s an anti-microbial

-cardiovascular support

-great at whitening teeth

So, it’s pretty fantastic and wonderful when used in a delicious recipe.  There are many recipes out there for Golden Milks/Lattes, etc but this is my favourite.  Turmeric Tea/Golden Tea Recipe from Wellness Mama

This tea may not be right for you, so always check with your Naturopathic Doctor before drinking (especially if frequently) to ensure it’s the right match for you, your health condition or medications you are currently taking.

Hope you enjoy.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this website is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice or instruction, it is provided for educational purposes only. This information shouldn’t take the place of seeing a Naturopathic Doctor on any matter relating to health or well-being.

Need Help Eating More Veggies? Spiralize!

Posted on: June 19th, 2016 by TouchStone Health

Have you been in a slump with finding new and exciting ways of eating more veggies?  I can fall into a pattern of eating the same vegetables, prepared in the same way and it can get boring.  I was recently given a spiralizer and have had a lot of fun discovering new ways to enjoy more vegetables.  For some reason creating noodle like cuts of vegetables makes them more exciting and fun to eat.  And not just for my kids…it seems to work that way for everyone.  We all love playing with the long noodle-like carrot/beet/cucumber/zucchini cuts of vegetables.

If you want to learn more about spiralizing, check out this website, Inspiralized with information about what vegetables to spiralize and cooking techniques.

And I’d like to share a great recipe that tastes fantastic and will help increase your vegetable intake while decreasing your grain consumption.  It’s fantastic and comes from Eat Yourself Skinny.   See what you think and let me know if it was a hit in your home too.

IMG_0662 IMG_0663 IMG_0666 IMG_0669

By: Amanda Cressman, ND. Naturopathic Doctor.

 

I’m Hungry…Or Am I?

Posted on: December 16th, 2011 by TouchStone Health

This is the time of year when food is abundance.  Work place counters are full of treats, parties offer tables full of goodies and Holiday Gatherings offer courses of food.  Generally when we leave these functions we end up feeling bloated, full and frustrated that we ate so much. Temptation can be difficult, especially surrounding Holiday Celebrations.

So what can be done to help?  I think the best place to start is asking a question, having an apple and a big cup of water.

Michael Pollan’s Book, Food Rules reminds us to ask a question when we are hungry…Am I Hungry Enough to Eat an Apple?  If the answer is yes…eat the apple, if not…you’re probably not that hungry at all.  Trying this out can be very interesting and very helpful.  It makes you really check in to see the true hunger level, what the body is craving and most importantly, why.

If the apple has been eaten and you are still hungry, try a glass of water.  The signals for thirst and hunger are so similar that it is hard to differentiate.  Try having a big glass of water before Holiday parties to fill you up and decrease the likelihood of a hunger pang striking.  Remember this isn’t to be juice, wine or water with any type of sweetener added, which increases your appetite…just pure, good old water.

Adding this trick before Holiday functions will hopefully have you feeling more refreshed and energized, able to really enjoy the Season.

If interested in learning more about Nutritional Health, please contact Dr. Amanda Cressman, N.D. at info@touchstonehealth.ca or 1-888-454-4667.

Eating with the Seasons

Posted on: September 27th, 2010 by TouchStone Health

Eating with the seasons is something that our ancestors have done, but as we have availability of produce from all over the world, at all times, this is changing. A balanced body will crave the foods of the season and experience healthier digestion because of it.

In the spring, we crave greens and lots of vegetables. Spring is notorious for the time of detoxification and removal of waste. The greens we crave help this process along. In the summer, we move toward cooling foods, especially fruits. Our body craves foods such as: peaches, berries, plums and melons, which help cool from the external heat. We also add ice to our water to keep from overheating. In the fall, we move toward warming foods and root vegetables. Squash, potatoes, carrots, beets are all wonderful foods to eat warmed up at this time of year. And for the final season of winter, meals are served hot using soups, breads and meats. Teas and hot drinks are served at this time of year to keep us warm and toasty.

Imagine eating a salad on a warm summer day, outside with the sun shining. After you are done, you eat a few slices of watermelon. What is your body feeling, how is digestion working?

Now imagine it is a cool fall or winter day and you have packed yourself a salad. You feel good with this healthy choice, but how is your body feeling and what is digestion like?

At this time of year, we naturally crave warm foods, as it helps the digestive process. Eating salads and tropical fruits when temperatures are cool usually results in bloating, gas and indigestion. But if we eat with the seasons and prepare our foods as our ancestors did, we will experience better digestion and overall health.

Ask your body what it wants as the fall season begins and temperatures dip. If you are craving fruit, perhaps warm it up. Make teas instead of ice water or refrigerated juices. Ensure your meals are served warm and connect with the foods of the season. If you are not sure as to what is in season, visit your local farmers market and you will quickly understand what foods are apart of the fall harvest.

And most importantly, enjoy. Food is meant to be satisfying but can also serve as a medicine, helping our body do the necessary work to keep healthy and free of digestive concerns.

564-572 Weber Street North, Unit 3A
Waterloo, Ontario
N2L5C6