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You want to eat healthier, but you’re super-busy. 

You eat out several times a week because that’s what you have to do. That’s what works for you and your family (when it comes to time and convenience). But you probably realize it’s not working great when it comes to your health and fitness goals.

You want better health. You want to eat better. You don’t want the extra calories, fast food and junk food as much anymore. And you DO want to save time and money.

 

I get it!

So, as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, I am here to help you. I have a simple strategy that I’m more than happy to share with you. It will help you to plan and prepare healthy meals for the week.

Now, you don’t need to completely abandon your regular meals out. You can use my strategy to help you eat out just one or two fewer times per week. It’s up to you.As with any lifestyle change, start gradually so you can build consistency. The key here is to make it easy, doable and rewarding enough to do again and again.

Let me walk you through my simple meal prep system, and how this can work for you.

 

PLAN MEALS FOR THE WEEK

I prefer to do this on the weekend. I’ll flip through my recipes and choose a bunch to make that week. I’ll even pick which days to have which meals if I’m feeling overly ambitious, but that’s not necessary if you’re new to this. I’ll bookmark the pages and write my chosen recipes down in a notebook or even a sheet of paper to put on my fridge. I like to have at least one crock pot meal each week because they’re so easy, and dinner is ready and waiting when you get home. 

Then I create my grocery list. I take a quick look in my fridge, freezer and pantry, and list the recipe ingredients that I need to buy.

Pro Tip: If you’re not sure you have enough of an ingredient already, consider buying a “backup” one just in case. I’ve had times where the tomato sauce I planned to use was a bit short of what I actually needed. Having to run out in the middle of meal prep can be very frustrating.

Another thing to consider is doubling the recipe(s), so you can prep and cook once, but have twice the meal at the end. The extras can be taken for lunch, or frozen to pull out the night before a busy day, so you just need to heat it up when you’re ready. 

Pro Tip: If you’re doubling a recipe, don’t forget to double the amount you buy from the grocery store.

Once you have your handy-dandy grocery list ready, hop on over to the store and pick up your essentials. If you don’t have enough food storage containers for your meals, now’s the time to pick up some of those too.

Pro Tip: If you’re not a fan of washing and chopping produce, then consider buying them already pre-washed and pre-chopped, or even frozen. You can make your meal prep even easier if you don’t mind spending a couple of extra dollars.

 

PREPARE MEALS FOR THE WEEK

Since you’ve already chosen your recipes and have your groceries, let’s get started on prepping some of the ingredients.

I like to book off 2-3 hours one afternoon for this. Get your recipes ready, clear off your counter, and play some music (if you’re so inclined). This is a great way to get your water intake in, have a glass of water, perhaps in a “fancy” glass and sip away (or your beverage of choice).

At this point, depending on time, I’ll either prep the ingredients, or pre-cook the entire recipe. Sometimes just washing and chopping produce and putting it in containers is a huge time-saver for weeknights. Or, you can go through and make a whole meal, and divide it up into portions and refrigerate or freeze. It’s really up to you, because the more you do now, the less you’ll have to do when you’re hungry.

 

AWESOME MEAL PREP TIP

There is one meal that is easiest to plan and prepare in advance. It’s one that’s also often the most difficult to eat at home if you’re busy. 

That’s breakfast. 

Planning some overnight oatmeal is a great start to any day. Simply place ½ cup rolled gluten free oats, ½ cup your choice of nut milk, 1 tbsp chia or flax seeds into a container (or make 5 for the whole week). Then place the lid on, shake them up and put them in your fridge. In the morning you can quickly heat them up or even eat them cold (the oats will have absorbed the nut milk). Top with berries, chopped fruit, cinnamon, nuts or seeds and enjoy.

With a little planning, you’ll be able to eat healthier while you save money and calories. 

This may take some getting used to, so if I can be of help, please reach out and let me know!


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You can hear the morning bell ringing in your head. September is getting closer each day, and your stress is starting to build. If only there was a way to maintain your vacation zen all year round. Staying stress-free in September is a mighty goal, but is it possible? The resounding answer is yes, if you start working on your wellness now. Everything from your diet to your sleeping habits can affect your ability to show up energized and focused. Luckily, you can find a naturopath in Caledon at Wildflower Health & Wellness to make it easy for you. Learn how to boost and maintain your wellness so you can have a stress-free September; here is the ultimate wellness checklist for teachers.

 1. Plan Your Physical Activity

Getting active in the summer is much easier than during the school year. You have the time and flexibility to work out at different times of day in different locations. One day you’re jogging at the cottage, the next is late-morning yoga. Staying active is crucial for your energy levels. If you want to feel energized and alert in class, maintain a physical activity routine. 

While it’s still summer, start experimenting with different types of workouts. You could try kickboxing, swimming, weight-lifting or even tai chi. The only thing you need to make sure of is that each option has is a time slot that works with your school schedule. Will you be waking up extra early to work out or going straight from school? Find a workout facility that’s near your home or near the school you work at. Ensure they have classes at the times that suit you or an open gym all day. 

 2. Improve Your Sleeping Habits

Inadequate sleep is one of the top reasons you might lack energy during the day. In the summer it’s not a big deal, especially when you can sleep in and go to bed as late as you like. Come September, that switch could be intense. It’s best to start working on your sleeping patterns now so you’re prepared for the first day of school.

Address whatever’s preventing you from getting a good night sleep. Is it your stress and anxiety? Are you restless and uncomfortable? Do you fall asleep easily but have trouble getting into a deep sleep? These are all common sleep concerns facing teachers. Slowly get back into the schedule of going to bed on time and waking up when you need to for school. Then, learn how to handle the causes of your restlessness. For many teachers, lifestyle counselling is an effective way to figure out the underlying cause of their sleepless nights and learn how to fix it. Consult a naturopath in Caledon for lifestyle counselling and solutions to your sleeping troubles.   

 3. Address Your Low Energy

Sometimes it’s not just your lack of sleep causing you to have low energy. It could be a myriad of things relating to your health. If you want to be on your toes and keeping up with your students, consider getting the following tested: reproductive hormones, food sensitivity, and your digestive function panel. 

When your reproductive hormones aren’t balanced your metabolism is affected. For women, this can cause severely heavy periods which cause low energy and fatigue. In either sex, there could be an imbalance in your thyroid hormones which causes fatigue as well. 

Food sensitivity testing can show you which foods you have intolerances to. When your body consumes certain foods, it could become fatigued as a result of your sensitivity.  

If you’re experiencing signs of malabsorption, you should have your digestive panel assessed. Fatigue and low energy are sometimes the results of essential nutrients from your food not getting absorbed. Consult your naturopath in Caledon to know which of these tests is best suited to your unique circumstance.   

 4. Start Meal Planning & Prepping

The last thing you want to worry about during the school week is what you’ll be having for dinner. Take that burden off your plate by meal planning and prepping. It’s crucial that you get a balanced and nutritious diet as a teacher. Relying on fast food and processed foods will result in energy crashes and serious tiredness. 

On the weekend, research meals that are both delicious and nutritious. Do your grocery shopping and prepare your meals for the week. That could mean cooking a big pot of stew for your lunches or pre-cutting vegetables for your mid-morning snacks. The idea is to get as much of the legwork done on the weekend so your school nights are less hectic. Plus, if you have a plan for each dinner of the week, you’ll be less tempted to get fast food or a different unhealthy option.    

5. Decrease Your Stress

There are tons of ways to decrease your stress as a teacher. The top way is staying organized and prepared for the days ahead of you. When you fall behind, your stress levels go through the roof. Many teachers find calendar blocking helpful when trying to get everything done. Assign each hour on your calendar to a task, some of which are for preparation and organization.

Make sure you also assign time for your health and wellness. If you don’t make yourself a priority, the students will sense it; they’ll spot your tiredness and stress. Be the best teacher you can be for them and for yourself. That could mean getting weekly acupuncture sessions or B12 injections. Take time to do things you enjoy outside of teaching, like singing karaoke or walking your dog. The key is to schedule those things in like you do your work tasks so that you’re more likely to do them. 

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Are You Ready to Start Checking Off Those Wellness Boxes? 

Don’t let the end-of-summer blues get you down. You can have an amazing school year if you prioritize your health and wellness. Staying energized and focused during the school year is a challenge for all teachers, but it doesn’t have to be. Start working through the ultimate wellness checklist for teachers above. Then, consult a professional and experienced naturopath in Caledon to make the most of each step.

Wildflower Health & Wellness is the top naturopathic clinic in Caledon, Bolton, Tottenham and Kleinburg. Our talented practitioners specialize in helping teachers get prepped for the stressful school year ahead. To learn about our services, send us a message or give us a call at (905) 951-7134.


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When working with women at Wildflower Health and Wellness, many women, young and mature, inevitably ask about at the naturopathic perspective on what a healthy pregnancy looks like. Long before the sperm meets the egg, the underlying health of the woman’s body (and the man’s) determines the health of the pregnancy. Realistically, it’s never too early to start planning for pregnancy, as a healthy pregnancy relies on the optimal health of moms- and dads-to-be. It is also something to consider as half of all pregnancies are not planned and baseline health becomes quite important.

An astounding fact that women don’t realize is that once they are pregnant, they are not only carrying their son/daughter but they are also carrying their potential grandchild.

Every baby girl is born with the eggs for their lifetime.

Imagine the impact of your health choices as you are pregnant on what we call generational health.

A healthy pregnancy aims to prevent childhood illnesses such as asthma, allergies, eczema, and autoimmune disease by improving the health of mothers-to-be.

Laboratory Testing

At the very least the following should be tested:

  • Vitamin D – mother’s levels have been correlated with outcomes of many chronic diseases
  • Complete blood count – looks at the health of your red and white blood cells
  • HbA1c – looks at the your blood sugar levels over the past 3 months
  • Ferritin – looks at your iron storage reserves
  • Vitamin B12

These markers should be tested by either your medical doctor or naturopathic doctor. Obviously there are many other tests that are important, such as STI testing, Hepatitis B and C, etc. Not surprisingly, these are typical blood tests that are run at the doctor’s office when going for an annual check-up.

Absolutely Essential Nutrients

For a healthy pregnancy these are the essential nutrients to consider:

  • Iron
  • Methylfolate (bioactive folate)
  • Methylcobalamin (bioactive vitamin B12)

It is also important that it have as many active forms of the nutrients as possible to give your body the best chance to absorb the vital nutrients.  

These nutrients protect the baby from neural tube defects, miscarriages, and ensures proper growth and development. They are also commonly found in good quantities in prenatal formulas..

Other Very Important Nutrients

From a naturopathic perspective, there some additional nutrients that is of great importance when it comes to maintaining a healthy pregnancy. Those being vitamin D, Omega-3 fats, probiotics and magnesium. The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) longer covers vitamin D testing for the average person. Research by Health Canada suggests that there is a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in Canadians and that supplementation does improve levels. Health Canada has also fortified some of our foods such as milk and dairy products with vitamin D, however,  many women experience the ill-effects of dairy consumption either digestively or hormonally.

Omega-3 fats are another essential nutrient that is needed in preparation of pregnancy. Most people are not eating fatty fish three times weekly, and as such, supplementation becomes important. For vegetarians or vegans, there are good quality, plant-based Omega-3s available.

With the declining quality of our agricultural soil, our foods do not contain magnesium as they once did. As a result, even with eating a healthy diet it is common for the average Canadian to be magnesium deficient.

Probiotics have a growing role in our health as more and more studies come out. They are important when preventing childhood illnesses of asthma, allergies, eczema and autoimmune disease.

The reason I consider these additional nutrients is because it can be difficult to get an adequate amount from diet. Nonetheless, a balanced diet plays a large role in determining the health of mom and baby.

In the case of male infertility, the most important nutrients to consider are a group of nutrients called antioxidants. Nutritional antioxidants are zinc, CoQ10, lycopene (a form of vitamin A) and selenium.

Weight Management and Why it’s Important

It’s surprising the amount of women that say, “I’m going to become fat during the pregnancy anyway.” As mentioned previously, the health of the mother-to-be is very important in determining the health of the baby. Women who carry excess weight are more likely to develop gestational diabetes and have C-sections themselves. Their babies are also at a greater risk of conditions such as eczema, allergies, asthma and obesity.

Maintaining regular physical exercise prior to pregnancy and during the pregnancy can support a healthy metabolism, pelvic floor, blood flow and energy/mood.  

Recent studies have also shown that exercise and regular activity during pregnancy reduces complications at birth.

Overall, maintaining a healthy and balanced diet while supplementing with additional nutrients for baby is optimal in a healthy pregnancy. Don’t stray away from being active, either!

Please see your local ND for further support.





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