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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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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 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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Merry Stress Management

We’ve all been there. You’re standing in line at a crowded shopping mall, there aren’t enough cashiers, and the line is moving unbelievably slow. It took more than 15 minutes to find a parking spot and now you’re running late but it’s okay because the sound system is blaring Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas is you,” right?

For many, the winter holidays mark a festive but also difficult time. It seems like everything demands our attention. Work deadlines to end off the year, pressure to buy well-received gifts, financial stress, unwanted conversations with family and not to mention the regular regimen of eating healthy and exercising. It’s a unique time because after the holiday season, this stress will go away. It’s the same stress that is also a predictable stress that we have the power to manage. In a survey conducted by Healthline in 2015, 62% of people surveyed reported elevated stress levels during the holidays, while 10% reported no stress whatsoever. Great for that 10%, but what can the majority do to thrive this holiday season?

…62% of people surveyed reported elevated stress levels during the holidays…

1. Making a list, checking it twice

Whether you are naughty or nice, make a list of what needs to be done. By writing it down you effectively declutter your mind and ensures that you don’t forget key tasks. Having your to-do list swirl around in your head will inevitably ensure that random tasks will pop up at the wrong time when you are already doing a million things or when you’re trying to catch some z’s. While pen and paper works the best, you can also use a notes app on your smartphone.

it’s perfectly okay to not be in the Christmas spirit.

2. Channel kind Grinch vibes

The Grinch vibe is to say no. Despite what you are told, it’s perfectly okay to not be in the Christmas spirit. In plain terms, you can say no to obligations/responsibilities. Yes, it is possible to say no from a kind place, unlike the Grinch. Adding obligations to your plate might seems like a good idea to channel the holiday/Christmas spirit, however the spirit should not be draining you or stop you from doing the things that you truly enjoy. This time more than any other time you should protect your valuable time and energy.

Ways to say no:

  • “Thank you for thinking of me. I have this project that I am working on right now.”
  • “I am fully committed to doing this task before I can take on anything else.”
  • “Thank you for inviting me, unfortunately I can’t make it out to the Christmas party this year.”

3. Family time

If it’s uncomfortable to be around family because you may be avoiding some members and/or conversations, then keep in mind that the holidays are a time for families to get together and enjoy each other’s company. Stick to activities that you can jointly enjoy and/or areas of conversation that are of interest to both parties. Be mindful of your words and avoid combative language. Keep in mind that you can have a conversation someone without having the same perspective. Accept that you may not change the other person’s mind which will ease the tension in conversation. When all else fails, you can end a conversation before you see it turning hostile and change the topic to something you do agree upon.

For some people the holidays mark a sad time when there may be missing family members who have passed away. During this time, gift yourself some TLC without isolating yourself. While you don’t have to force yourself to be happy, you can take a walk, get some air, acknowledge your grief and talk to a trusted friend or family member.

4. Deck the halls with self care

Because the holiday season requires us to take on more responsibility than usual, our brain goes into overdrive. It may be acceptable for us to let go of personal health habits to complete other activities (ex: skipping exercise because of late working hours). Your daily routine is how you take care of your mind and body. It may include things such as physical activity, a cup of tea, journaling, getting to bed at a decent hour. Does it make sense to let go of your routine during the most stressful time of year? During the holidays you can keep your mental and physical stability by continuing your self care routine. Things may shift around a bit and you may skip some days but don’t toss your routine out of the window completely.

5. Presents under the tree

Are you also a well-deserving? YES! Be kind to yourself and give yourself a gift every day!

Self care gift ideas:
  • Take some time off of work to do something you enjoy
  • Sleep in for one day
  • Learn something new (ex: new recipe, new way to wrap presents, etc.)
  • Reminisce about good memories from the past year
  • Reflect on the passing year and make some goals for next year
  • Laugh! Watch a comedy show
  • Take advantage of your health benefits before the year ends

Stress around the holidays can come out in different ways. For some it can be difficulty concentrating, difficulty making decisions, feeling angry, irritable or out of control, experiencing headaches, poor energy, or body aches and pains. Pay attention to your stress signals and take care of yourself.

Happy Holidays!





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