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In Canada, the second leading cause of death is cardiovascular disease. The prevalence of heart disease is high, and Canadians need to be aware of the causes as well as prevention methods. Keep reading for everything you need to know about how to prevent cardiovascular disease.

What is Heart Disease?

A heart disease is a condition that affects the heart’s ability to function. Specifically, one of the most common heart diseases is cardiovascular disease in which the arteries or blood vessels stiffen or become blocked by plaque. As a result, the narrowing of the arteries and blood vessels can lead to stroke, angina, heart attack, and death. 

What Causes Cardiovascular Disease?

There are numerous risk factors that can cause someone to develop cardiovascular disease. They fall into three categories: lifestyle, genetic, and medical conditions. 

  • Risk factors associated with your lifestyle include smoking tobacco, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, unhealthy weight, and stress. 
  • Some genetic risk factors include being male (men are twice as likely as women to suffer a heart attack), being an older age, and having a family history of heart disease.
  • Medical conditions that put you at risk for heart disease include having high blood pressure, diabetes, and pre-eclampsia. 

To see how serious your risk for developing heart disease is, take this test on the Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada’s website. 

What Are the Symptoms of Cardiovascular Disease?

Since there are multiple types of heart disease, there specific sets of symptoms for each condition. Some of the most common symptoms across the board include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest discomfort, tightness, and/or pain
  • Increased or decreased heart beat

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, women commonly experience heart attacks and heart disease without any pain or discomfort in the chest. It’s important for women to be aware of other symptoms, such as extreme fatigue, lightheadedness, and upper back pressure. 

How to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease

There are several ways you can reduce your lifestyle risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease. In fact, if more Canadians reduced their lifestyle risk factors, we could prevent over 80 per cent of premature heart disease cases.

So, here are some of the ways you can prevent heart disease:

1. Eat a Nutritious Diet

Your heart’s health depends on your diet being full of nutrients and minerals. Focus on lowering your cholesterol levels, controlling your triglycerides, and maintaining a healthy weight. For instance, the Heart and Stroke Foundation recommends eating 7-10 servings of vegetables per day.

2. Engage in Regular Physical Activity

You don’t have to spend hours at the gym each day to prevent heart disease. However, getting 30 minutes of physical activity each day is key. That could mean going for walks, runs, bike rides, dancing, doing yoga, stretching, or any other physical activity you enjoy. 

3. Reduce Your Vices

Not all vices, just smoking tobacco, drinking alcohol, and living in an overly stressed state. In addition to quitting smoking and limiting your alcohol consumption, be mindful of your stress levels. Consider learning mindfulness techniques to help you cope with stress. 

Take Care of Your Heart

Wildflower Health and Wellness cares about your heart’s health. Some of the ways we can help you prevent heart disease are with our naturopathic services. Managing stress, hormones, and eating a balanced, nutritious diet benefit all your organs, not in the least your heart. 

Get in touch with us today to learn more. 


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Meet patient T, who recently shared this with me:

“I know my doctor, friends, family all tell me I look fine, but I don’t feel fine on the inside. Something feels off and my GP doesn’t seem to have answers for me anymore.”

Patient T is your parent, your sibling, your friend, you, me. Patient T is all of us.

Imagine a doctor’s visit where your appointment time is respected and while you wait you enjoy something to drink in a comfortable space. Your appointment is long enough to discuss your health concerns and you aren’t rushed out of the room before you have finished speaking.  Your treatment plan is explained to you in a way that allows you to understand your body. 

This approach to health is exactly what naturopathic medicine takes.

 


 

At Wildflower Health & Wellness, there are a few guiding principles that allow us to make the best decisions possible for your health goals. 

Finding the best version of you

No two bodies are the same and therefore, no two people are treated the same. While certain conditions will have typical recommendations based on science and traditional knowledge, the combination of those medicines will be unique to your needs and preferences. Your one-of-a-kind body will respond differently based on your genetics, physiology, emotional health and lifestyle factors. Trust that we will ask the right questions when it comes to helping you discover your best health. 

 

 

 

A ‘less is more’ approach

We believe that health doesn’t come from the quantity of pills you take, but rather the small, simple, sustainable life habits that keep your body/mind well. Health works best when it’s simple for you to commit to – day in and day out. You will not find us selling unnecessary supplements or services because we believe in the tools we use to work on the people we recommend them for. 

 

We know seeing a new doctor can be exciting and a little scary; we closely work with you during the crucial first steps in your journey so that you never leave our office overwhelmed. As your health continues to improve, our check-ins will become less frequent. Don’t forget to come by and say hello while you’re out there living your absolutely best life! Once we’ve hit your goal, trust that you will be maintaining those results for the years to come.

 

Making the time for you

Your health is important to us and we take the time to deep dive into your current health concerns, your past medical history and what your best health would look/feel like. Your appointment time reflects the efforts we take in exploring your symptom presentation, assessments, laying out the course of treatment and an explanation of what’s working and what isn’t. You will soon find that your burning questions are answered and you are equipped with the tools in developing your best health. 

 

Looking long term

You might find us asking questions that don’t quite make sense to you, however, our approach to health is comprehensive. Even though you may be in the office for a particular concern, we feel that it is our job to ensure that we check in on all aspects of health, not just one body system. Naturally, we want to help you with your pressing health concerns but also your long term health. Why wait until you have a disease if we can see the early signs and symptoms either on your blood work or through physical exams. Your current health goals will be taken care of, as well as, your future health.

 

The best of both worlds

You don’t have to choose between seeing a naturopath and your family doctor. We believe in a collaborative approach to health. Oftentimes the best clinical outcomes occur when you have multiple eyes on your case where each practitioner views your health from a different perspective. Your family doctor ensures that your health is up to par, while your naturopath will ensure that your future health is being protected and provides you with the most effective natural solutions. We work easily with family doctors and specialists for the benefit of your health and peace of mind.

 

You have a seat at the table

While we are the experts of health, you are the expert of your body. Everyone has different levels of commitment to their health and we recognize the importance of acknowledging that. During your time with us we will give you our best professional advice based on current evidence and your past experiences. Our treatment plans are flexible to suit your needs and preferences. You may like working more with a diet & lifestyle approach or you may prefer a supplemental approach or maybe even a combination. The bottom line is that you get to make an informed decision on the options that best fit your lifestyle. Our job is to give you professional advice and you do the heavy lifting when it comes to follow through, as such, you deserve an opinion in your treatment plan. 

Have a seat at our table, and let’s talk about how we can create a plan for your life-long wellness.

If accepting the phrase “you’re fine” isn’t good enough then you should consider the naturopathic approach to health. If our values on health resonates with you, then we’d be honoured to help you with your health concerns.

Call us at your convenience at (905) 951 7134. We’ll be glad to hear from you! 

You can book a complimentary “discovery consult” visit by calling the clinic or booking online. You’ll be able to ask questions, find out how we can help, and see if there’s a comfortable fit with your naturopath.

 


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How sharp is your mind, how balanced is your mood, how consistent is your energy, how happy are you – and what, if anything, do these qualities have to do with what you eat?

There are some sobering stats which involved 37,000 people. Here are the proportion of people that reported suffering ‘frequently’ or ‘always’ from certain conditions:

    • Become impatient quickly 82%
    • Have low energy level 80%
    • Energy is less than it used to be 76%
    • Feel have too much to do 67%
    • Become anxious or tense easily 64%
    • Have PMS/PMT (women only) 63%
    • Easily become angry 53%
    • Suffer from depression 44%
    • Have difficulty concentrating 43%
    • Become nervous/hyperactive 38%
    • Have poor memory/difficulty learning 32%

Does this sound like anyone you know? Does this sound like you?  Welcome to the 21st century.  Despite improvements in diet and better standards of living, the average person is exhausted, among other things.  So, what’s going wrong?

Our minds and bodies have been shaped over millions of years of evolution. Diets have changed radically in the last 100 years, along with our environment.  When you consider that the body and brain are made entirely from molecules derived from food, air, and water, and that simple molecules like alcohol can fundamentally affect the brain, isn’t it unlikely that changes in the diet and the environment have had no effect on our mental health?

I believe that most of us are not achieving our full potential for mental health, happiness, alertness and clarity because we are not achieving optimum nutrition for the mind.  I also believe that significant proportion of mentally unwell people are suffering from a chemical imbalance brought on by years of poor nutrition and exposure to environmental pollutants.

As Einstein said, ‘the problems we have created cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.’  We need a new way of thinking about mental health that includes the role of nutrition and the chemical environment and how these affect the way we think and feel.

Mind and body are not separate

One of the most limiting concepts in the human sciences is the idea that the mind and the body are separate.  Try asking an anatomist, a psychologist and a biochemist where the mind begins and the body ends.  It is a stupid question, and yet that is exactly what modern science has done by separating psychology from anatomy and physiology.

But it’s not just the scientists who live by this false distinction.  It’s us.  When you’re having difficulty concentrating, when your mood is low, when you struggle to find a memory, do you consider that you may be poorly nourished? Why not?  Every one of these states – your thinking, feeling, mental energy and focus – happens across a network of interconnecting brain cells, each one of which depends on an optimal supply of nutrients to work efficiently.

Optimum Nutrition and psychotherapy work wonders

Of course, as I’ve mentioned, improving our mental health isn’t only about nutrition.  While some therapists may ignore the role of nutrition and the brain’s chemistry in how we think and feel, let’s not make the same mistake. I believe the solution to the mental health problems that plague our society lies in a combination of optimum nutrition and good psychological support, which includes having a place you can call home, being treated with respect and dignity, and counselling.  

Certain kinds of counselling are highly effective for depression, for example, but far too infrequently prescribed or available.  The combination of optimum nutrition and psychotherapy works wonders for a wide variety of mental health problems, from depression to schizophrenia – and may work better than drugs.  Most of the psychiatrists that I have spoken to find that while drugs can be life-saving in the short term, they become unnecessary when people are receiving the right combination of nutrients and psychological support.

We need a radical new approach based on science

With mental health problems rising at such a pace, we need a new way of thinking about the state of our minds.  As Marcel Proust said, ‘the real act of discovery consists, not finding new lands, but in seeing with new eyes.’  We need to wake up to the realisation that poor nutrition and chemical imbalances probably underlie the majority of mental health problems.    While psychotherapy can make a positive change, you must also address deficiencies in essential fats, vitamins, minerals, and other key brain nutrients.  We must think our way out of the box and get to grips with the fact that chemistry directly affects how we think and feel.

This means a new basis for both diagnosing and treating problems, and a new way of living and eating that supports our mental health, rather than eroding it.  I believe we already have solutions to most forms of mental illness.  We just have to look with new eyes.  

Summary:

We can now say with confidence that:

  • Most people are achieving well below their full potential for intelligence, memory, concentration, emotional balance and happiness.
  • The right combination of nutrients may work better than drugs, and without the side-effects.
  • Psychotherapy (and other forms of therapy) works best if you’re optimally nourished.
  • Most mental health problems can be relieved with the right nutrition together with the right psychological support and guidance.

Niki Vlachou-Puzzo is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist at Wildflower Health and Wellness – Learn more about her on her website and follow Niki on Instagram


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What your naturopath is doing right now.

 

I’m not sure about you, but for me the days blend together and it all actually feels like 1 long day. The world feels dangerous and the threat is invisible. 

We’ve all had our lives affected by COVID-19 and the fallout is going to continue for some time. Uncertain times, such as now, can always trigger the difficult feelings of worry, nervousness and panic. It can feel as if you are spiraling out and the result is feeling a lack of control; that in turn, sets off the emotional and mental alarm bells causing what we call anxiety.


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 Is a detox a great way to feel confident in your bikini or a recipe for disaster?

Detoxing in my experience is considered extreme, and for lack of a better word, ‘fringy.’ But in the past few years, the word ‘detox’ has taken on a whole new meaning. Now, it seems to be a catch-all term to describe some sort of intervention that gets the junk out and helps restore the body to a better state of balance. It seems as if everyone is jumping on board!

What Counts as a Detox Diet?

Detoxes can be relatively basic, from simply cutting out alcohol, caffeine, and processed stuff (white flour, sugar, artificial ingredients, etc.), to downright extreme, like liquid-only regimes.

Advantages of Detoxing

The main advantage of a basic detox is that it eliminates things you should be trying to limit or avoid anyway. Committing to “banning” certain foods can be a great way to allow your body to experience what it feels like to take a break from things like alcohol and sugar. While you may not drop a lot of weight on a basic detox, you’ll probably feel lighter, more energized, “cleaner” and motivated to stay on a healthy track.

When Detoxing Can Become Dangerous

More extreme detoxes on the other hand, especially those that eliminate solid food, are a different story. Because you won’t be taking in enough carbohydrates, you’ll deplete your body’s glycogen stores, the carbs socked away in your liver and muscle tissue. That alone can cause you to shed 5 to 10 pounds in just a few days, but that loss won’t be body fat, and it can come right back as soon as you revert to your usual routine. Another big problem with liquid cleanses is they generally don’t provide protein or fat, two building blocks your body needs for constant repair and healing. Consuming too little of these key nutrients can lead to muscle loss and a weaker immune system. Psychologically, the quick weight loss can be a real high, but eventually the lack of nutrition may catch up with you, usually in the form of an injury, catching a cold or flu, or just feeling run down and exhausted.

Do What’s Right for You

So my bottom line advice on to detox or not to detox: don’t feel like it’s is something you should be doing just because it’s popular. But if you could really use a clean slate and you decide to try one, follow these two basic rules:

  1. Think of a detox as a transition period or jump start to a healthy plan. It’s not a long-term “diet” or a way of making up for every overindulgence. Getting into a cycle of continuously overeating then detoxing isn’t healthy physically or emotionally.
  2. Listen to your body. You should feel light and energized, but a too-strict detox can leave you feeling weak, shaky, dizzy, cranky and headache-prone. If you don’t feel well, modify the plan to better meet your body’s needs.  Ultimately, any detox should feel like a stepping stone to a healthier path, not a punishment.

 

What’s the Deal with Detox Diets?

It seems everyone is talking about “detox” or considering a “cleanse.” Detox diets often are misunderstood, especially since your body already comes equipped with a detoxification system. Understanding how detox works may help clear up some confusion.

How the Body Naturally Detoxifies

Detoxification is a process that the body performs around the clock utilizing important nutrients from the diet. It’s the process that transforms toxins so they can be removed from the body. They fall into two main categories: toxins that are made in the body during regular metabolism, and those that come from outside the body and are introduced by eating, drinking, breathing or are absorbed through the skin.

Toxins that are produced in the body include lactic acid, urea and waste products from microbes in the gut. External toxins may include pesticides, mercury in seafood, lead from car exhaust and air pollution, chemicals in tobacco products and drugs or alcohol.

Detoxification also us the process by which medications are metabolized and removed from the body. Because toxins are potentially dangerous to human health, they need to be transformed and excreted through urine, feces, respiration or sweat. Each person’s ability to detoxify varies and is influenced by environment, diet, lifestyle, health status and genetic factors, suggesting some people may require more detoxification support than others. But if the amount of toxins to which a person is exposed exceeds his or her body’s ability to excrete them, the toxins may be stored in fat cells, soft tissue and bone, negatively affecting health. This is the rationale behind the use of practices that support the body’s own detoxification capabilities, but more research is needed.

Most detoxification programs recommend removing highly processed foods and foods to which some people are sensitive, such as dairy, gluten, eggs, peanuts and red meat. They also recommend eating mostly organically grown vegetables, fruit, whole non-glutenous grains, nuts, seeds and lean protein. Other programs recommend fasting, a potentially risky practice for some people, which may actually suppress detoxification pathways in the body. This is why many health practitioners advise against this practice.

Many non-credentialed people claim to be experts in detoxification; however, there is a lack of research at this time to support its use. Plus, detoxification programs can vary widely and may pose a risk for some people (such as people with health problems, those with eating disorders, those who take multiple medications, and pregnant or breast-feeding women).

 

8 Ways to Support Your Body’s Natural Detox

Detoxification support doesn’t need to consist of a rigorous plan; doing some or all of the following can support your body’s natural detoxification:

  • Stay hydrated with clean water.
  • Eat five to nine servings of fruit and vegetables per day.
  • Consume dietary fiber each day from vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and whole grains to help maintain bowel regularity.
  • Include cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli and brussels sprouts, berries, artichokes, garlic, onions, leeks and green tea. These support detoxification pathways.
  • Consume adequate amounts of lean protein, which is critical to maintaining optimum levels of glutathione, the body’s master detoxification enzyme.
  • Consider taking a multivitamin/multimineral to fill any gaps in a healthy diet, since certain vitamins and minerals enable the body’s detoxification processes to function.

Eat naturally fermented foods such as kefir, yogurt, kimchi and sauerkraut — or take a high-quality probiotic — to help promote a healthy gut.

If you have questions about your eating style and its role in supporting the body’s detoxification, check in with me.

By: Niki Vlachou, RHN

 


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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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