Category Archives: Health goals
Optimizing nutrition when you’re an athlete (or even if you workout regularly) can make a significant difference in your health and performance on the court, field or at the gym.
Just like exercising your muscles through cardiovascular workouts or strength training is important, so is fueling your body properly through your diet. Unfortunately, when this doesn’t happen it can negatively affect performance, and in some cases, impair immune function.  
Increased Energy and Nutrient Needs
Focusing on some key nutrients can not only increase endurance in the athlete but also improve overall health by bolstering the immune system, improving bone health and minimizing oxidative stress.
Eating adequate amounts of micronutrients and vitamins is vital to muscle building and recovery from the physiological stress of intense activity or playing sports. Nutrient needs are increased when metabolic and biochemical pathways are taxed via exercise which is used to repair lean tissue.
Supplements can help but the idea is to make food your primary source of nutrients because your body utilizes food differently than supplements. 
Food also includes fibre, other vitamins and essential nutrients that work together to create energy and fuel cells. These important components in the diet are more depleted in athletes that don’t consume adequate calories and/or restrict or eliminate food groups.
The 6 Most Essential Nutrients For Athletic People:
Individuals who are athletic are especially susceptible to being low in zinc mainly because they aren’t eating enough rich food sources of this mineral.
Zinc plays a part in immunity, protein utilization, and metabolic efficiency as well as thyroid function, and all of these affect athletic performance in some way.
Foods that are high in zinc include meat and poultry, whole grains, oysters, milk and dairy, legumes and fortified breakfast cereals.
Those that are most at risk for a deficiency are vegetarians who don’t eat enough whole grains or meat. It must be noted that overdoing zinc supplementation can result in a copper deficiency. Be sure to consult your healthcare practitioner to discuss supplementation.
Iron is necessary for the metabolism of carbohydrates, protein, and fat as well as its capacity to carry oxygen. A deficiency may inhibit endurance as well as immune and cognitive functions.
Foods that are high in iron include red meat, fortified cereals eaten along with fruit or vegetables that are high in vitamin C. This vitamin will enhance iron absorption and improve iron status in an individual.
Calcium aids in muscle contraction and nerve impulses, as well as bone growth and increasing bone mass. Poor calcium intake can lead bone-related issues such as stress fractures.
Foods high in calcium include cheese, milk, yogurt, spinach, collard greens, almonds, sardines (with the bones!), fortified cereals and juices.
This vitamin is needed for adequate calcium absorption in the gut, to control serum calcium and phosphorus and to build strong bones. It also contributes to a well functioning nervous and skeletal system.
If a person lives in an area with little sunlight and they spend most of their time indoors, and because there aren’t many foods that contain vitamin D without fortification, they’re at a greater risk of having low Vitamin D – in this case, supplementation may be prudent.
The best sources are fatty fish like salmon, tuna or mackerel, and eggs. Fortified milk offers most of the vitamin D in the average diet with fortified orange juice beverages and certain cereals contributing a small amount. Again, supplementation is a wise choice!
Magnesium aids in more than 300 biochemical processes in the body that include:
- helps produce ATP, essential to the metabolic activities of every cell
- protein synthesis for muscle building
- relaxes muscles and nerves
- calms the mind
- aids in calcium absorption
- regulation of blood pressure & heart rhythm
All of which are concerns to an athlete!
Sources of Magnesium include green leafy vegetables, nuts, whole grains, seeds, meat and dairy. Some breakfast cereals are also fortified with Magnesium.
However, as we explained in “Nutrient Deficiencies: Why Nearly Everyone Has Them!”, the composition of what we eat and the quality of our foods has drastically changed over the past hundred years, and this has made it difficult to get enough of many key minerals, especially magnesium.
B vitamins all play a rather large role in energy metabolism and blood health along with building and repair of muscle tissue.
A deficiency can lead to fatigue, muscle soreness and apathy along with poor cognitive function. Meat, fish and poultry, as well as enriched grains, are good sources of B vitamins.
The bottom line on essential nutrients for everyday athletes:
Regular exercise and sports participation increases the turnover and loss of nutrients from the body, so greater calories, vitamins, and minerals are needed to cover these losses through the diet and in some cases supplementation.
Eating a wide enough variety of foods from all the major food groups is what is needed for proper functioning of muscles, a strong immune system, and optimal performance during athletic endeavours.
 Science Direct. Vitamin and Mineral Status: Effects on physical performance, Elsevier Volume 20, Issues 7–8 (July–August 2004)
 Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology. Nutritional Strategies to Minimise Exercise-Induced Immunosuppression in Athletes (2001)
 JAMA Network. Essential Nutrients: Food or supplements? Where should emphasis be? (July 2005)
What are the symptoms of SIBO?
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or SIBO, is just that – when bacteria (or other microorganisms, good or bad) grow out of control in the small bowel. Compared to the large colon, it should be quite low in bacterial count.
Colonization also ends up damaging the specialized cells lining the small intestine – a condition that has been coined leaky gut – or an increase in intestinal permeability, which further impairs the digestive process and can exacerbate nutrient malabsorption.
This can allow pathogens, toxins and undigested protein molecules to enter the bloodstream that, in turn, cause widespread inflammation, food sensitivities, autoimmune disorders, and other undesirable immune reactions.
The most common symptoms of SIBO are:
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Abdominal bloating or distention
- Abdominal pain or discomfort
- Acid reflux or heartburn
- Excessive gas or burping
- Constipation and/or diarrhea
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Joint pain and other inflammatory reactions
- Skin issues like rashes, acne, eczema and rosacea
- Depression, and other mental health disorders
- Restless legs syndrome
- Histamine intolerance
- Fatigue or lethargy
One of the biggest concerns with SIBO is that it can actually lead to malnourishment, whereby essential nutrients like protein, carbohydrates and fats aren’t properly absorbed. This can then cause a number of vitamin & mineral deficiencies like iron, vitamin B12, calcium as well as in the fat-soluble vitamins — vitamin A, D, E and K. 
Wondering why the symptoms sound curiously similar to IBS?
One of the most common conditions associated with SIBO is Irritable Bowel Syndrome. 
While they have similar symptoms and are often overlapping conditions, the association between the two still has some unknowns, according to scientists. They remain distinctly different in how they can manifest, how they are diagnosed, as well as how they are treated.
On the other hand, some studies have found that SIBO is concurrent in more than 50% of all cases of IBS, and successful elimination of bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine reportedly resolves symptoms of IBS as well.
But, what causes SIBO in the first place?
According to experts, the causes are not clearly defined but predisposing factors to acquiring SIBO can include:
- Diabetes type 2
- chronic pancreatitis
- Crohn’s disease
- injury to the bowel
- a structural defect in the small intestine called blind loop syndrome
- intestinal lymphoma
- immune system disorders like scleroderma
- recent abdominal surgery
- use of certain medications, including proton pump inhibitors (acid reflux medications) and immuno-suppressant medications
Celiac disease has also been found to increase the risk for developing SIBO, as it disturbs gut motility leading to poor functioning of the small intestine. 
Additionally, heavy metal toxicity, low stomach acid, inflammatory diets, and stress – are all thought to be contributors as well.
How can you treat it?
Generally, there are 3 mains goals when treating SIBO:
Most holistic health practitioners advise using some variation on the “SIBO diet” for at least 2 weeks – which may include any or all of the following:
- Herbal antibiotics like oregano oil
- Low FODMAP, GAPS and/or AIP diet – see explanations below
- Re-populating the gut with good bacteria using probiotics, and then “feed” them with prebiotics such as under-ripe bananas, asparagus and Jerusalum artichoke
- stress management – this is key in preventing and managing most, if not ALL health conditions
However, a prescription antibiotic may be needed, at least initially, in more severe cases to get the bacterial overgrowth under control.
By eliminating FODMAPS from your diet for at least 2 weeks, and then transitioning to the GAPS diet or AIP protocol, you can start healing the gut, and can begin to eradicate the microorganisms that are causing havoc in your small intestine.
What are FODMAPs?
These are Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols.
These are the foods that aren’t fully absorbed by the body and end up fermenting in the gut. This would include ones we would normally consider ‘healthy’ for us – like apples, pears, apricots, cauliflower, barley, garlic & onions.
What is GAPS?
The GAPS, or Gut and Psychology Syndrome diet, was created by Dr. Natasha Campbell- McBride, Neurologist & Neurosurgeon, in response to the dietary needs of her autistic son.
Foods eliminated by the GAPS diet:
Things like sugar, grains, starchy carbs & potatoes, conventional meat & dairy, and any processed foods including artificial chemicals and preservatives.
What is AIP?
The AIP or Autoimmune Protocol is considered a stricter version of the Paleo diet, which involves the elimination of foods that are considered gut irritants like grains, legumes, eggs, dairy, nightshades, nuts & seeds, and processed foods including industrial seed oils.
Additional eliminations are alcohol and NSAIDs like Ibuprofen. For natural, drug-free inflammation-fighting pain relief, try Curcumin-Pro with Bromelain.
The AIP can be very difficult for many people to follow, but sometimes it’s temporarily necessary to fully heal a very leaky gut, which goes hand-in-hand with the incidence of SIBO.
It may also be wise to supplement with the following when treating SIBO:
- Digestive Enzymes
- B Vitamins, especially B12 – sublingual, therapeutic dose
- Fat soluble vitamins – Vitamin D & K
- Minerals: Iron & zinc
Testing specifically for SIBO can be a bit tricky and it can be difficult to get a definitive diagnosis. So be sure to work with a Functional Medicine Practitioner or Naturopath to effectively test (often with a minimally invasive lactulose hydrogen breath test) and treat this condition, as well as address other underlying gut dysfunctions.
I think we can all agree that there are literally dozens of reasons why our gut health can become compromised. For even more tips on how to have a happier digestive system – READ THIS
Here at CanPrev, we are all about our community. Because without a platform to connect with individuals – we cannot learn, grow, educate, motivate or inspire. That’s where our ambassadors come in. These individuals are dedicated to living life to the fullest! They are continually learning and growing, sharing their knowledge and experience, in hopes to motivate another and let inspiration, by default, move more and more individuals forward.
For anyone who has thought about giving up on achieving better health – look to these individuals for inspiration in order to improve the quality of your life. Their collective goal is always to offer inspiration and to be a catalyst in spreading CanPrev’s healthy lifestyle vibe across the nation!
Today on the blog we are introducing Mike Levine – from the six!
Entrepreneur, post TBI – Fitness and Health Advocate, Traveler, Mentor, Menswear Stylist and full time Finance Coach – This Toronto based CanPrev Ambassador, continues to inspire us mentally, physically and emotionally. Learning about him and his lifestyle approach, will explain why!
Mike is working on becoming the best version of himself. Just over 4 years ago he suffered a traumatic brain injury, he has since worked to enhance every aspect of his life! Being diligent with nutrition and balancing activities with training routines, helps him stay focused on adding value to his life. Serious stuff! But the kind of stuff, that is truly inspiring and takes courage.
From The Minimalists
We asked Mike how he decides now, post injury, “what makes it to the top of your priority list?” “If I cannot say, Hell Yes! (taken from the Minimalists) to something on my calendar, then there is no time or energy for it”! Pretty gutsy words to live by. We like it!
Today, Mike fully embraces a healthy active lifestyle, both physically and emotionally, implementing mindful daily habits, whether he is at work or play. The emotional work is a necessity given his injury and the symptoms it came with. Rather than be discouraged, his outlook remains positive. He quotes George Mumford regarding his need to transform his lifestyle post accident – “my ass was on fire” and I had no choice. He mentions that his transformation has not moved forward without the support of CanPrev. We are thrilled for him!
When Mike isn’t training, reading or mentoring, he works as a financial coach. He enjoys assisting business owners and high net worth families preserve, grow and live a lifestyle that they worked so hard to attain. He equally enjoys helping others achieve both their financial and personal goals. Mike is grateful that his work is rewarding in this way; his entrepreneurial spirit grows and thrives with this group.
Words From Levine
As an ambassador, I love sharing my knowledge of the various CanPrev products! I have learned so much about the health and wellness industry and am becoming more informed and in tune when someone asks me to relate my experiences. I continue to feel the benefits from supplementing with natural health care products.
Electromag is definitely my number one! I find a positive effect with my sleep patterns. With the added magnesium – it’s great for muscle recovery! I use it during and after workouts for enhanced recovery, hydration and relaxation.
I regularly use a core group of CanPrev products which include: Synergy B, Electromag, Antioxidant Network, Adrenal support, Mind Pro, Omega 3’s, all of which enhance my performance at work and in fitness.
Hideouts in The Six
I really crave and have a fiery passion for health and fitness. You will find me training at the Academy of Lions in a Crossfit class or cycling with my Garrison Bespoke clients and friends; then resetting in a hot yoga class at Moksha Uptown. I recently discovered bouldering (rock climbing) at Joe Rockhead’s – what a blast! A super fun intense workout with friends.
In addition, I run weekly with the Lululemon run crew on Ossington. To accompany my mindfulness practice, I have also incorporated the Muse headband into my daily life (@choosemuse); I have committed to reading a book every 2 weeks for the next year and I love traveling to new exciting cities – all to stimulate my mind. And to add balance, I enjoy spending time at the family cottage in Haliburton; I am really excited to become a part of BIST, The Brain Injury Society of Toronto, where I will be writing for their blog and mentoring someone recovering from a brain injury.
My transformation and transition is improving and I hope – will continue! I remember to take some time be grateful everyday.
We are thrilled to have Mike be apart of our ambassador team! A truly dedicated soul to finding personal wellbeing, by choosing daily, no matter the obstacles – to live life to the fullest and have a blast doing it! Levine reminds us to listen to that voice in our heads. The one that is telling us to work at becoming our best self, on all levels! He reminds us that there is no time like the present to find positivity and to make doing what you love, a priority.
Find Mike @thescenelevine
Corporate Junkie Turns Fitness Guru
In this second part of our “CanPrev Ambassador” series, we introduce to you a Toronto native. Someone who truly knows the meaning of transformation and taking risks.
Meet Jessie Lam – Personal Trainer, Yoga Teacher, Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Thai Yoga Massage Practitioner, and Bellies Inc. Certified Core Specialist! Among all of these credentials, she also specializes in working with pre and postpartum mamas.
As a fitness and yoga guru,she strives to educate people in her own teachings to find better health. She teaches about understanding your own individual body and what works for you! Most importantly, she helps her clients learn how to find balance in achieving health goals – creating balanced lifestyles – not just a short-term fix. Jessie loves seeing the mental and spiritual transformations in her clients. These incredible transformations keep her motivated, personally and professionally!
You wouldn’t know it now – but Jessie admits her health journey started out after too many late nights and alcoholic beverages left her feeling “uncomfortable” in her own skin. Long ago she was a nine to five corporate junkie, binging on fried foods after work and regularly overindulging at happy hour.
After taking the “safe” route, post studying finance at the University of Toronto, she worked for 7 years in the banking and finance industry. Although she did work periodically at a gym during this time, she kept her fitness routine quite casual. She thought that climbing the corporate latter would eventually lead to feelings of success and happiness. In the latter stages of her finance career, she suffered greatly from a number of symptoms indicating sub-optimal health. A consistently high-stress environment doubled with poor nutrition, left Jessie suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome and a strong passion and desire to change her lifestyle!
Jessie finally took what would be the biggest risk of her life and left the corporate world to get healthy and pursue a career as a yoga teacher, trainer, and nutritionist! In the beginning, there were many unknowns and scary moments. But now Jessie says, she gets to work with and hang out with amazing people every day. Her clients, other entrepreneurs and other health and wellness professionals continue to inspire her.
Two is More Powerful than One
A particularly inspiring story, not only because Jessie herself decided to leave her high paying corporate job in order to follow her passion – but because her husband (former accountant) decided to also quit his job simultaneously! Together they pursued their passions and have been working ever since to build careers in the health and wellness industry.
It took time and it certainly wasn’t easy but years later Jessie explains, “Once we had found better living – we both wanted to help others live a life free of pain and illness. We wanted others to reach their full potential and heal from conditions that kept them from achieving their own life goals”.
Jessie and her husband both remain humble and grateful and admit that if they didn’t listen to their hearts and take big risks – they would not be where they are today. They continue to be busy health and wellness entrepreneurs in Toronto. In their spare time, they love to travel, hike, explore and continue to learn and grow as leaders in their field!
Not only is Jessie known for her busy practice in Toronto, she can easily be found on Instagram @Iamjessfit. With over fifteen thousand followers and a bold reputation, this guru isn’t afraid to show her stuff for the greater good. A must see for anyone online looking to learn, be inspired and entertained all at the same time! With almost fifteen years under her belt in the health and fitness industry, Jessie doesn’t plan on packing it in anytime soon. This yoga and fitness guru does just as much learning as she does teaching!
In Our Own Hands
We are proud to have Jessie on our ambassador team! Her brave and bold attitude towards taking health in your own hands is truly inspiring. and greatly resembles our mission! When we spoke with Jessie about what being a CanPrev ambassador means to her, she replied, “It means being a part of a family, sharing a common vision, passion, and drive. It’s about empowering one another and the rest of the world, to take health into their own hands. It’s about encouraging each other to take control of our lives”.
That is why we have created a community of CanPrev ambassadors – to encourage and inspire all individuals to take action towards finding your best health!
What’s Next For This Fitness Guru?
To connect with Jessie:
We all have physical, emotional and mental challenges to overcome. To do this, we find the courage and brave the journey against these obstacles, in search for optimal health and preventing dis-ease. ‘Taking charge of your own health’ and ‘you can prevent’- mantras that have sustained us, as well as motivated us, to do our very best. But we know the difficulties that can arise along the way. We know the hardships that one can face and feel and that is why we believe you shouldn’t have to tackle good health alone. That is why our CanPrev ambassador team was created!
Here at CanPrev, we are all about our community because without a platform to connect with individuals – we cannot learn, grow, educate, motivate or inspire. That’s where our ambassadors come in. These individuals are dedicated to living life to the fullest! They are continually learning and growing, sharing their knowledge and experience, in hopes to motivate another and let inspiration by default, move more and more individuals forward. For anyone who has thought about giving up on achieving better health – look to these individuals for inspiration in order to improve the quality of your life. In the upcoming blog posts,we will be introducing some of our ambassadors and sharing their incredible stories with you. Their collective goal is always to offer inspiration and to be a catalyst in spreading CanPrev’s healthy lifestyle vibe across the nation!
Meet Making Lemonade
In today’s blog, we introduce one of our west coast ambassadors, Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and Fitness Trainer – Krista Goncalves aka Making Lemonade!
We first met Krista a few years ago! She had been taking several of our products that assisted her with tackling some of her hormonal issues. Through a holistic diet and supplement protocol, she was able to regain her health and find hormonal balance.
‘Making Lemonade’ the name of her online business, launched when Krista started to experience her own severe hormonal imbalances, in her late 30’s. A starting point in Krista’s career was helping other women who also suffered silently with hormonal issues, like hypothyroidism and estrogen dominance.
Through adversity, Krista has figured out what it means to live a “healthy lifestyle ”. She felt it only natural, given her experience and love for turning ‘lemons into lemonade’, to allow her growing passion to spill over into her professional life. Finding success as an online health and wellness blogger, Krista has been able to help individuals, around the globe, find better health.
After dedicating 5 years to supporting women in their health journeys, Krista has recently transitioned into supporting women in other ways. She saw a distinct lack of digital business resources, for people like herself who were wanting to take their health business online. She now offers coaching for health and wellness entrepreneurs (Nutritionists, Dieticians, and Naturopaths) — helping them develop their own successful online businesses.
Krista very much enjoys practicing holistic health with her family and her husband Randy, a clinical pharmacist, who is also an avid runner and has been training hard for the Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) trail race series coming up. He’s been using Joint-Pro NEM as part of his training regime to keep his normally troublesome knee and hip joints pain-free, before and after long runs!
Krista’s shares with us her favourite CanPrev product, Adrenal-Pro! Without it, she says she would be one stressed out work-from-home Mom!
“When you find something that works, you really do want to shout it from the rooftops! This product provides the perfect balance of B-vitamins, thyroid-supporting tyrosine and stress-moderating adaptogens like Ashwagandha and Rhodiola.” – Quote from Krista
To connect with Krista:
Stay tuned for our upcoming ambassador blog post, corporate happy hour junkie – turns Instagram yogi guru!