Category Archives: Lifestyle
As a woman, are you committed to living a heart-healthy lifestyle? While we might think of older men when we hear “heart problems”, research tells us it’s time for women to look after their hearts, too.
According to the Heart Research Institute, heart disease is the number one cause of death in Canada for women over 55. What’s more, Canadian women are 16% more likely than men to die from the result of a heart attack. One of our current problems when it comes to women’s heart health is that, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, 2/3 of heart disease clinical research focuses on men.
So what does that mean for you?
It means that, until more women-centered clinical research is completed, it’s essential that you educate yourself on natural, safe ways to care for your cardiovascular system and live heart-healthy every day. This includes keeping track of your cholesterol levels. Read on for what you need to know, plus our tips and recommendations to get you started.
Women, cholesterol, and heart disease
Heart disease is a women’s issue. Some research estimates that heart attacks are more deadly for women in part because our hearts are affected by the hormonal changes of the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause. Physiological differences also exist. For instance, women’s hearts and coronary arteries are smaller than men’s, with faster resting heart rate.
While there are many risk factors involved in heart disease in women, like high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, and obesity, cholesterol is a factor you need to monitor for heart health – especially once you reach menopause. That’s because, according to the NIH’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, high blood cholesterol levels raise the risk for heart disease, and menopausal women are at increased risk of high cholesterol due to the drop in estrogen production that happens at menopause.
Higher estrogen levels are associated with a rise in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, which offers protection against heart disease, along with a decline in total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, and triglycerides. (Confused about cholesterol types and what they really mean? We’re got you covered below, so read on!). To nurture heart health before, during, and after menopause, you want to keep your cholesterol levels within a healthy range.
Your cholesterol primer
Let’s dig into what cholesterol is, and more importantly, how it might affect women’s health. So what is cholesterol, anyway?
Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in every cell in the body. It’s both made by the body and absorbed from food. Cholesterol is essential because your body needs it to make important steroid hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and vitamin D. What’s more, the brain needs cholesterol and without enough of it, you might be at increased risk for depression, which is an independent risk factor for heart disease. Cholesterol is also used to make bile acids in the liver. In other words, cholesterol isn’t inherently bad.
But here’s the thing: excess cholesterol in the bloodstream can clog the arteries. These deposits (known as plaques) can result in atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries – which is a major cause of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems.
Your total cholesterol level is a measure of the amount of cholesterol circulating in your bloodstream, which is divided in two major cholesterol types along with triglycerides:
LDL cholesterol: LDL or low-density lipoprotein. This is known as the “bad” cholesterol, which contributes to plaque buildup in the arteries as it undergoes free-radical damage. LDL rises after menopause in many women.
HDL cholesterol: HDL or high-density lipoprotein. It has been called “good” cholesterol because research suggests it helps the body dispose of LDL cholesterol. Low HDL cholesterol might be a more important heart disease risk factor for women than for men. What’s more, low HDL in women is one of the first measure of insulin resistance (another risk factor for heart disease).
Triglycerides: Triglycerides are the most common form of fat in the body. High levels of triglycerides could be a greater risk factor for heart disease in women compared with men. High triglycerides might be caused by conditions like hypothyroidism and PCOS and are associated with excess abdominal fat and high blood sugar, because the liver stores excess glucose as triglycerides.
Women-specific tips for healthy cholesterol levels and heart health
A heart-healthy lifestyle can go a long way toward keeping cholesterol levels in check and preventing heart disease in women. Work with an integrative doctor to track your cholesterol levels and make appropriate changes to your diet and lifestyle if your total cholesterol levels are high, if HDL levels are low, or LDL levels are elevated. Diet-wise, choose healthy fats and lower cholesterol intake from foods by opting for plant-based swaps whenever possible. If you’re overweight, do your best to shed the extra pounds.
Try nutritional supplements like Healthy Heart. Talk with other women and let your emotions flow freely – all of these are pathways to a healthy heart.
Don’t Summer and BBQ’s just go hand-in-hand together?
Grilling just seems to make food taste better, no matter what you cook on the BBQ…meat, poultry, vegetables, even fruit! These foods all taste amazing when prepared on a smokey grill.
However, consuming grilled food too often in the form of muscle meat (beef, pork, poultry, and fish) can come with some risks.
When muscle meat is cooked at high temperatures, chemicals known as heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are formed.
These known carcinogens can cause changes in your DNA and, in turn, increase your risk of developing cancer if consumed in high doses, according to some studies.
Because barbecuing is usually hotter than other cooking methods, grilled food typically contains higher levels of these chemicals than food prepared using other techniques such as baking or broiling.
We’re going to offer up some best practices for your summer BBQ, as well as how to enjoy healthier grilled meat. But first…
Let’s learn more about HCAs and PAHs…
HETEROCYCLIC AMINES (HCAs)
HCAs are formed as a result of a chemical reaction that occurs during the cooking process – this is the creatine, amino acids, and sugars in muscle meat react to high temperatures.
Therefore, grilled meat is more likely to have higher levels of HCAs than meat prepared other ways, and even more so when meat is overcooked or charbroiled.
The following factors influence the formation of HCAs:
- Temperature (the most important – especially muscle meat cooked above 300°)
- The type of meat (carcinogens are typically formed in muscle meat)
- How long the muscle meat is cooked (the longer the food is cooked, the more HCAs are formed)
- How the muscle meat is cooked (grilling vs. roasting, stewing, and steaming)
POLYCYCLIC AROMATIC HYDROCARBONS (PAHs)
Exposing muscle meat directly to smoke is what contributes to the formation of PAHs.
PAH’s are also produced when meat is charred or blackened, or when fat from muscle meat drips onto the hot coals and the surface of the grill, which in turn forms PAHs in the smoke.
This smoke then infiltrates the food with PAHs as it rises. PAHs can also be found in other smoked foods, such as smoked meat & fish.
The following factors influence the formation of PAHs:
- Temperature (the most important – especially muscle meat cooked above 200°)
- How long the muscle meat is cooked (the longer the food is cooked, the more PAHs are formed)
- How the muscle meat is cooked (grilling vs. baking or roasting)
- The type of fuel used when cooking the food
- The distance between the food and the heat source
How to BBQ better and enjoy healthier grilled meat!
The case for meat as a cancer risk has been gaining momentum for years. A number of studies now show that people who report eating diets heavy in red (and processed meats) have higher risks of certain types of cancer, as well as heart disease and other chronic illnesses.
These findings certainly don’t bode well when you want to add barbecuing your meat on top of that!
However, it’s not all doom and gloom, and you still can enjoy the occasional meal that includes grilled meat.
There are plenty of ways you can reduce the levels of HCAs & PAHs in your food:
1. Flavor your food with herbs and spices – some herbs and spices can actually help prevent HCAs from forming due to the antioxidants they contain.
Recommended herbs and spices include:
– onion powder
Did you know that turmeric, an ancient spice that has hepatoprotective and anti-inflammatory properties contains beneficial polyphenols and offers powerful antioxidant support?
This is due to its high curcumin content and it works in both fat and water soluble tissues to protect the liver.
2. Cut off and discard charred pieces of meat before serving, as those pieces will contain higher levels of carcinogens. In addition, do not use meat drippings as gravy for your food, as there could be carcinogens in the meat drippings.
3. Certain types of marinades can reduce the levels of HCA and PAH – marinade serves as a barrier between meat and carcinogens.
Acid-based marinades that contain vinegar, lemon juice, lime juice, red wine, and yogurt can reduce the formation of HCA, while beer marinades (particularly marinades made with dark beer) can reduce the formation of PAHs.
You can also brush your food with a small amount of olive oil – just keep in mind, while this can help reduce HCA levels, the fat from the oil dripping on the grill can still increase PAH levels.
4. Use leaner cuts of meat for grilling – the less amount of fat that drips onto the grill, the less amount of PAH that will form.
Avoid grilling meat that is highly processed, such as sausage and ham, since they contain added nitrates and higher amounts of fat.
5. To shorten the cooking time of meat, cut meat into smaller pieces and cook it on medium to medium-high heat (do not cook on high heat).
Kabobs are a great way to utilize smaller pieces of meat and be sure to include some vegetable.
BONUS: vegetables do not create carcinogens, as they do not contain creatine and they lack fat, meaning there won’t be any flare-ups on the grill that result in smoke being created.
6. Clean your grill after each use with a quality brush (one where bristles won’t break off). This will help get rid of any residues from carcinogens that may have built up, and prevent them from being transferred to your food the next time you use your grill.
However, by using safer grilling techniques, you will reduce the number of carcinogens that infiltrate your food, making your grilled meat more safe to consume and effectively reducing your cancer risk.
 The Lancelet – Oncology, October 2015: Carcinogenicity of Consumption of Red and Processed Meat
 Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI), January 2017: Grilled, Barbecued and Smoked Meat Intake and Survival Following Breast Cancer
 Journal of Nutrition and Cancer, December 2012: Meat Consumption, Cooking Practices, Meat Mutagens and Risk of Prostate Cancer
 Journal of Cancer Science, 2004: Heterocyclic Amines: Mutagens/Carcinogens Produced During Cooking of Meat and Fish
Every woman needs these tips for better urinary health
In our daily lives, we take many steps to optimize our health and well-being.
For starters, you integrate that new mindfulness meditation practice into your mornings to revitalize your nervous system and invest in quality serums and lotions for your best skin health and natural glow.
Still, you rarely stop to think about urinary health—except when you’re struck down with a urinary tract infection, or UTI.
Most women will experience a UTI at least once in their lives, but for many others, urinary tract infections happen on the regular.
The great news is that you can curb your UTI risk naturally by following some simple daily habits, and when you do get a urinary tract infection, you can turn to natural remedies for symptom relief and treatment. How? Read on for our top tips to harness your best urinary health yet.
What is a UTI?
A urinary tract infection, or UTI, is a bacterial infection that commonly affects the urethra and bladder. The main symptoms of UTI include painful urination, a burning sensation while peeing, a pressure in the lower abdomen and above the pubic bone, and frequent urge to pee, even though little comes out when you do. When you have a UTI, you might be tired and need more rest than usual. What’s more, frequent and painful peeing might make you anxious about your daily activities, like going to work and playing sports.
What causes UTI?
A urinary tract infection is usually caused by bacteria. But other factors are also involved. For example, being a woman is a risk factor for UTI. And once you’ve had a urinary tract infection, you become more prone to a recurring one in the future. Finally, pregnancy can up your UTI risk, too.
Lifestyle habits linked with a higher UTI risk include sexual activity (from pressure on the urinary tract during sex, and more bacteria exposure post-intercourse), some forms of birth control (namely spermicides, and friction from condoms), and also wearing a diaphragm (for some women, it can slow urinary flow).
With proper treatment, a UTI will usually subside without further complications. But if you get regular urinary tract infections, you’ll definitely want to tweak your daily habits to hit reset on your urinary health. Read on for our healthful tips.
Daily tips to curb your UTI risk
To kick your risk of getting a urinary tract infection and to support better urinary health, up your daily intake of fluids. Drinking lots of pure water is the ultimate urinary health action plan because it helps flush out toxins and bacteria and maintain a healthy urine flow.
Keep hydrated by drinking pure water while also avoiding too much coffee, tea, and soda, which can be dehydrating.
Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes
While wearing tight-fitting jeans and nylon undies is fine for most people, if you’re prone to UTIs, you’ll want to swap them for cotton underwear and comfy clothes that let you breathe and don’t trap moisture. What’s more, you’ll want to avoid irritating, scented bath products and feminine hygiene sprays.
Boost your immune system
Supporting better immune health is your go-to approach to better urinary health and lower UTI risk. Fill nutritional deficiencies with a high-quality Adult Multi providing essential vitamins and minerals. Add an antioxidant Vitamin C boost to enhance immune function. Promote optimal pH balance in the body with pH Pro.
Diet-wise, choose natural and minimally processed nutrient-rich foods.
Address UTI symptoms now with these natural remedies
Snag some herbal remedies to help alleviate UTI symptoms. Try Dandelion leaf tea as a beneficial diuretic to help increase urine flow and flushing of bacteria and toxins. Find a Uva ursi extract as a urinary antiseptic, combined with mineral-rich horsetail. Another favorite plant remedy for UTI is pure, unsweetened cranberry juice.
Build your microflora
Restore optimal urogenital flora with probiotics, especially lactobacilli. Loading up on healthful probiotics helps lower risk of UTI while also helping you bounce back faster post-infection.
What’s more, probiotics are essential to restoring optimal flora if you decide to take a round of antibiotics for your urinary tract infection. Take a multi-strain probiotic in supplement form, or opt for live fermented and cultured foods like sauerkraut, kefir, or kombucha.
Rest and recover
When you’re fighting an infection, getting enough rest is crucial. Lower stress and anxiety by indulging in lots of quiet downtimes, restorative baths, and enough sleep. Don’t overbook your schedule, and give yourself time to heal. Learning to manage stress and be more mindful of your body’s needs will also help nix the chance of recurring infections in the long-term.
A holistic approach to preventing UTIs is the surest way path to optimal urinary health.
We do always recommend you work with a qualified healthcare practitioner before starting a new supplement or herbal medicine regime.
Meet Mia Noblet, CanPrev ambassador, Vancouver native and women’s world record slackline holder!
The CanPrev team was fairly new to the sport of slacklining before taking on Mia as an ambassador and we were curious to know more about the sport once she decided to come aboard.
So what’s slacklining all about anyway?
In short, it is the act of balancing or walking (or highlining) along with a suspended length of rope that is tensioned between two anchors. Similar in many ways to slack rope walking – a hobby popular amongst park loungers and circus performers.
We learned that there is more risk in the pre and post climbing routine than the actual walking!
Walks are performed at high peaks so the setup usually consists of long-distance journeys by foot or bike, uphill.
Afterward, great focus and precision are needed to securing the rope – ‘rigging’ it between two anchors. Anchors (in most cases the edge of two mountains) can be over 400 meters apart and usually, the rope is rigged too high up to measure!
Then enough energy must be saved for a safe descent back down to ground level after an un-rigging of the line. The logistics of securing the rope walked upon, requires one to be in top-notch shape no doubt!
One step, then another.
When Mia was 11 she discovered figure skating, a sport far from her family’s outdoorsy roots. She gave it a try and although skeptical about the dresses and makeup, she realized she enjoyed the athletic challenge.
From there, her competitive and tenacious personality grew along with her athleticism in not only figure skating but many sports.
In fact, in one interview Mia’s mom mentions that she was also a natural skier and her nature-immersed childhood probably had a lot to do with her love for other outdoor sports that she excelled in!
Mia made it to Europe in 2015 (Bern Slackline Fest, Swiss Waterline Tour and Monte Piana Highline Fest in the Dolomites Italy) but before then she had only done a bit of slacklining every summer in between other sports at nearby parks.
Her record holding status proves that Mia is not only a skilled athlete but a true lover of a good outdoor adventure!
World record holder.
Mia quickly gained popularity in the British Columbia Slacklife community, only a year after she started highlining full-time Mia set a new women’s world record holder walking 493m at Caselton (longest Highline).
In 2017 she set a new world record for longest Highline of 614m on April 21st in Brazil.
Read more at Mountain Culture a magazine representing the Kootenay coast region of Canada that outlines more of Mia’s journey into slacklining!
Words from Mia.
“I strive to push the sport of highlining to new places while exploring the outdoors further. I love sharing my passion and energy for the great outdoors by connecting with like-minded individuals.
‘Finding my best health’ to me means being able to do what I love longer and so I choose CanPrev products to help fuel my active lifestyle. These supplements have been a fantastic addition to all of my expeditions and travel, keeping my immune system up and recovery time down.”
Mia’s favourite CanPrev products include:
Where is Mia now?
Mia has traveled to China, Brazil, Switzerland, Utah, and Germany to perform the most amazing Highline walks.
From what we can tell her traveling schedule isn’t about to slow down. Follow Mia and her extraordinary adventures online: @mianoblet
Look closely at the banner photo and you will see Mia on a Highline in the mountains of Brazil!
Some photo credits go to Angelo Maragno @angelomaragno.
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)
Thomas Edison once said: “The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest patients in the maintenance of the human frame, in diet, and in the prevention of disease.”
Connecting with a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) as part of your health-care team is a great way to incorporate a more holistic approach.
ND’s can educate, empower and motivate their patients to take personal responsibility for their health by guiding them in how to adopt a healthier lifestyle, diet, and attitude.
Taking charge of one’s health means learning how to prevent disease rather than just popping a pill for any given ailment.
But, the truth is out. As a dedicated Health Practitioner, running a busy clinic or practice can sink your own health – and your sanity by times!
It’s great that you feel called to help so many other people to re-prioritize, get healthier, and practice self-care, and it’s incredibly rewarding work – that’s why you do it!
Take your own advice, take care of yourself
You may genuinely feel that all of your efforts have propelled you ahead in your business, but all of that “busyness” can sometimes come with lots of added stress.
How to not lose sight of your own health needs while building your practice
Think of it this way – if you’re not feeling your best (body & mind), your work will suffer. As a busy Health Practitioner, this means that your business will also eventually suffer. It’s as simple as that. So, let’s try to change our own health-diluting practices with a few simple tips:
Make self-care a top priority
Self-care is not selfish or an indulgence, nor is it even an option anymore in our daily lives. It is paramount to our well-being as well as to our success in a health-focused business.
It’s those activities that negate the impact of both emotional AND physical stressors. Things like fueling our bodies with health-optimizing foods, moving our bodies regularly (breaking a sweat!), restorative sleep, and “decompression-type” practices like yoga, meditation & breathing exercises.
Basically, all the things that you’ve been guiding your patients in!
Be sure to schedule these practices into your own day and show yourself that you are just as worthy (as the patients you dedicate so much of your energy to) of time and space that is all yours.
Stay as active as you can
There’s no doubt that you’ve started to feel the negative effects of sitting at your desk in front of your computer for longer and longer periods of time. Things like eye strain, headaches, low back pain, neck pain, and poor circulation.
Sitting goes hand-in-hand with being sedentary, and this deadly combo is associated with serious health concerns like obesity, high cholesterol, and metabolic syndrome.
The most serious damage to your body is when it is chronically in the same position with little or no movement for 60-90 minutes or more at a time.
Some practices to offset all of this prolonged sitting:
- Exercise daily – ever heard of Dead Butt Syndrome – or Gluteal Amnesia? It’s a thing! Focus on strengthening the posterior (back side) of your body – back, glutes, hamstrings and stretching the anterior (front side) – chest, pelvis and hip flexors.
- Take frequent and regular breaks – aim for once an hour or several throughout the workday.
- Invest in a stand-up desk – this will help you to become more aware of your posture and engage your core muscles.
- Consistent movement, whether sitting or standing – yep, you have permission to fidget while you work.
Get in the blue-free zone
In our highly digitized world, the amount of “screen time” we accrue is astonishing. In fact, children in North America are exposed to devices (phones, tablets and tv’s) for an average of 7.5 hours daily. WOW!
Adults aren’t that much better off as 91% of us rely on our smartphones for our everyday tasks from staying connected with people to online shopping to watching how-to videos on every subject imaginable.
While our screens are extremely helpful in daily life, they can also have a significant impact on our health. Of course, there are the ones we mentioned already, like eye strain, neck pain, and headaches. But, excessive screen time can alter our body’s natural circadian rhythm. Yikes!
For these reasons, you must cut down on the blue light exposure accrued from all devices.
A few ideas for “device detoxing”:
- Use the screen dimming function or night screen masking apps for your phone & tablet
- Blue light blocking (anti-glare) glasses to wear while using a computer or device
- A blue light blocker coating on your next pair of eyeglasses
- Set a defined limit of no screen work at least ONE hour before bed to allow your eyes and your brain to decompress and “detox” the blue light pollution – 2-3 hours is even better!
More ideas HERE in “The Day & Nighttime Blues” article over on the Orange Naturals blog.
Then, once you’ve finally got yourself into bed, there’s the sleep factor: good quality, restorative sleep is not only vital to functioning and performing effectively in our jobs but to our very survival.
Running a busy health & wellness business can be one of the hardest gigs out there because you’re trying to be the best possible health role model and key support person to so many others while trying to maintain your own health.
It’s imperative that you respect and honour your own health if you’re going to put your best body and mind forward in your practice – and in your business. Just like you would tell your patients – stay positive and be kind to yourself!
Water is the foundation and truly the lifeblood of our health.
It is essential to sustain life, and assists in everything from our digestion to brain function. But, there are a lot of surprising ways water can help us maintain our health that we’ve maybe never considered.
Here are 10 things to know about how water keeps us healthy and how you can keep our drinking water safe:
Say goodbye to 8 cups a day
So how much water do we really need to drink? Gone are the days of the “8 cups of water per day” rule.
In fact, the Dietitians of Canada recommend approximately 12 cups (3 L) for men over 19 and ~9 cups (2.2 L) daily for women over 19 years of age. However, this is the total recommended fluid intake which includes other beverages as well as high-water-content fruits and vegetables.
While this is a good guideline to start with, it’s also important to note that factors such as activity level and humid climates will increase our need for water.
As we lose more sweat with activity and in warmer temperatures, it’s important to replace the fluid in our body more frequently.
Drink up before you drive (water that is!)
It turns out that a hydrated driver is a better driver.
A 2015 study from Loughborough University studied the effects of dehydration on drivers. The conclusions were that dehydration significantly affected a driver’s cognitive and motor skills.
According to the study, when drivers were mildly dehydrated, they were more likely to make errors such as lane drifting and late braking.
Since our brain is primarily made of water, ensuring adequate hydration will help to keep it functioning at its best and as indicated by this particular study – help you stay safe on the road!
Some like it hot
Can the temperature of your drinking water really make a difference in your health? Some believe that it can.
Drinking your water tolerably hot can aid in digestion, improve circulation and even relieve nasal congestion.
Try drinking your water at a higher temperature, plus adding a little fresh lemon juice to it will give it an extra boost for your digestive health while keeping you hydrated.
Others like it cold
Just as the temperature of your drinking water is important, so is the temperature of your shower.
While it may not seem appealing to start your day with an ice-cold shower, the benefits may cause for pause!
Taking a cold shower touts significant health benefits including improved circulation, quicker post-workout recovery (think like an Olympian!), better sleep and a stronger immune system.
One 2015 study found that participants who took a cold shower had 29% less sick days than those who didn’t.
If you’re not ready to commit to a full cold shower, you can still reap some of the rewards by turning the temperature down just before you get out.
Are you bottled in or tapped out?
Is “clean” bottled water really all it’s cracked up to be? The bottled water industry really wants you to think so.
Bottled water manufacturers lead us to believe their water is coming from a pure mountain spring, when in fact, over 25% of the sources are using a municipal supplier.
Translation: it’s not a whole lot different than your tap water.
The other major concern with bottled water is the plastic packaging which often contains harmful chemicals such as phthalates; an endocrine disruptor that has documented negative effects on our health and hormones.
And while most bottles are recyclable, it is estimated that only 14% of bottles are recycled.
The bottom line on bottled water: Bottled water isn’t any safer than tap water. Save your dollars and use a reusable, preferably glass vessel to fill up and drink from, and to keep the environment – and your health safe.
Want to know more about the safety of bottled water? Read more in this CBC News Report.
Go alkaline – your bones will love you for it
Some swear that alkaline water is the key to health, while others say it’s not worth the hype. The verdict, however, is entirely dependent on your body’s unique needs.
At a basic level (pun intended), alkaline water has a much lower acidity than tap water and also contains a higher amount of essential minerals such as calcium, silica, magnesium, and potassium.
Drinking alkaline water is reported to have a positive effect for those with osteoporosis, as well as on pancreatic beta cells due to its higher mineral content and antioxidant effect.
You can go too neutral
While there can be significant benefits of alkaline drinking water for some, there can also be negative side effects for others.
Drinking water with a higher pH level changes the stomach’s natural acidity. This change of stomach acidity can lead to a condition called alkalosis. Side effects this condition can include nausea, vomiting, muscle twitching, and extreme confusion.
Check with your Naturopath to decide if alkaline water would be a helpful addition to your health routine.
Float your worries away
You don’t always have to drink your water to receive health benefits from it! Floatation therapy is a growing trend citing benefits from improved creativity to stress reduction.
A typical floatation therapy session involves entering a sensory deprivation chamber filled with water and an abundance of medical grade Epsom salts. Participants put in earplugs and then simply lie back and relax.
After a typical 60-90 minute session, participants report a significant reduction of stress.
A Swedish research study concluded the same, citing significant beneficial effects for those with sleep difficulties, difficulties in emotional regulation, and depression.
Our water sources are on the decline
It’s easy to take our drinking water for granted when we can literally just go to our tap and get fresh water on demand.
However, our water sources are becoming increasingly more limited and contaminated on a global level. Without change, we run the risk of relying on polluted drinking water that can make us sick.
We can do our part to keep our water safe by reducing or eliminating widely used chemicals such as fertilizer and toxic cleaning products in our homes.
Regular car maintenance can also eliminate oil and antifreeze leaks that run off into our water system.
Small changes to our lifestyle can help us maintain the safe drinking water that does so much to keep us healthy.
Stop the salt insanity!
Every winter, folks in colder climates salt their roads, sidewalks, and driveways to prevent slips and falls.
While this may be good for keeping us upright as we navigate the icy conditions, this salt doesn’t just disappear into thin air. It ends up in our lakes and streams AND our drinking water.
The consequence? High amounts of salt in our water can harm or even kill aquatic animals and plants which affects overall water quality. In addition to this, drinking water with a higher salt content can be dangerous for those with hypertension.
To reduce the harm to our water supply, use salt more sparingly if not at all. In cooler temperatures (-10C or lower) try switching to sand instead.
Hopefully, we’ve shed some light on all the ways water touches our life, our environment, and its health benefits.
Health Canada advises, along with many nutrition professionals, “that a healthy and balanced diet can provide most people with the nutrients essential for good health.” 
Does that mean that if we eat a “healthy and balanced diet”, that we’ll be meeting all the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) and we’ll be safe from nutritional deficiency?
Or do some of us follow this recommendation and still have a nutrient deficiency – and not even know it?
According to the latest Health Canada Community Survey (June 2017), Canadians as a population are not as well nourished as we may think.
Fruit and vegetables contain a range of beneficial nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, fibre, antioxidants and other phytochemicals. Consumption of at least 5 servings per day is linked with a reduced risk of various diseases, including cancers and heart disease. 
Therefore, fruit and vegetable consumption is considered a healthy behaviour, and a good indication of the overall diet and nutritional quality of a population.
However, in data from the 2017 survey, less than a third (30.0%) of Canadians aged 12 and older reported that they ate the recommended number of servings.
Given the rather significant shortfall in Canadians reaching their “5-a-day”, it’s not surprising that there are a number of nutrients reported to be lacking in our diets.
With the overall lack of adequate fruit and vegetable servings, along with soil depletion, over-processing of food, and treated water…well, it’s no wonder that many of us are lacking in a number of key nutrients that we once attained easily and ought to supplement.
For example, today you would have to eat 4 carrots to get the full amount of Magnesium available that was in just one carrot 80 years ago. Unfortunately, you’re not eating your grandmother’s carrots anymore!
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps maintain normal vision and keeps your immune system, skin, and eyes functioning at their best.
More than 35% of Canadians age 19 and over consumed vitamin A in quantities below the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR). 
Carotenoids, such a beta carotene, are converted into vitamin A in the body, and it gives fruits and vegetables their orange, red and yellow colour (such as pumpkin, carrots and bell peppers).
It is also found in dark green leafy vegetables; with liver, dairy, eggs, and fatty fish also being good sources of Vitamin A.
A nutrient that is commonly found in plant foods, but also commonly lacking in our diets, is Magnesium.
This multi-tasking mineral is involved as a cofactor for a range of biochemical reactions in the body including nerve and muscle function, protein synthesis and blood glucose control.
It is also involved in the structural development of bone and plays a role in nerve impulse conduction, maintaining a normal heart rhythm and muscle contraction.
Evidence suggests that 34% of Canadians over the age of 19 consumed magnesium in quantities below the EAR. 
Magnesium is found mostly in whole grains, legumes, nuts, and dark green leafy vegetables. Milk and yogurt contain some magnesium as well.
Calcium, the most abundant mineral in the body, provides the structure and rigidity of bones and teeth. It is also important for proper muscle function, hormone secretion, and nerve transmission. 
It was reported that there’s an increasing prevalence of calcium inadequacy with older age.
Calcium is found in dairy products, dark green leafy vegetables, fish with soft bones and fortified products.
Vitamin D is essential for the absorption of Calcium from the gut, and for supporting optimal bone health. It is also thought to play a role in immune function, healthy skin, and muscle strength.
While our bodies can make vitamin D from exposure to sunlight, during the fall and winter months, and in northern climates, where sunlight hours are limited, it can be hard to get enough of this critical nutrient, and vitamin D deficiency can become (and is becoming) more prominent.
While about 80% of the adult Canadian population are not getting the vitamin D they need from dietary sources , available clinical measures do not suggest widespread Vitamin D deficiency in the Canadian population.  
The major food sources of Vitamin D are foods that have been fortified or through supplementation.
So, how do we get all the nutrients we need?
We’ve always recommended, first and foremost, that people strive to meet their nutritional requirements through eating a varied diet with a foundation of whole and unprocessed foods.
But, as we’ve established, for various reasons it’s apparent that many of us may not be getting all the nutrients we need for optimal health.
Lack of nutrient bioavailability, poor dietary choices, restricted diets, food sensitivities, various health conditions (such as gastrointestinal disorders and poor absorption), some medications and age can all play a part in an individual’s ability to meet their recommended dietary intakes.
To determine whether or not you are at risk of a nutritional deficiency, it is important to discuss your concerns with a naturopathic doctor, a qualified nutrition professional or another healthcare provider.
In many situations, as we’ve discussed here, where diet alone is unable to meet your recommended nutrient requirements, therapeutic supplementation may be a good option.
Referenced Studies & Content
 Statistics Canada: Canadian Community Health Survey, June 2017 – Nutrition: Nutrient intakes from food and nutritional supplements
 Statistics Canada: Health Fact Sheets. Fruit and Vegetable consumption
 Health Canada: Do Canadian Adults Meet Their Nutrient Requirements Through Food Intake Alone?
 Health Canada: Vitamin D and Calcium: Updated Dietary Reference Intakes
 Health Reports, March 2010: Vitamin D status of Canadians as measured in the 2007 to 2009 Canadian Health Measures Survey
 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2011: The vitamin D status of Canadians relative to the 2011 Dietary Reference Intakes: An examination in children and adults with and without supplement use
With a new year now upon us, we might tend to feel more pressure to jump into the latest “cleanse” or “detox” fad that has hit the store shelves!
Our bodies are actually wonderfully designed to detox themselves. In a perfect world, of course. You see the 7 channels of detoxification (the colon, liver, kidneys, blood, lymphatic system, lungs & skin) are all powerful eliminators of toxins and the breakdown by-products of bodily processes.
If everyone maintained a “clean”, whole foods diet and avoided all inflammation causing foods, alcohol and other gut irritants, then the body would be well-equipped to stay physiologically balanced.
However, eating well all the time can be at times quite challenging to do – this may be a reason to bring a little extra nutritional support on board.
Here are 7 easy steps to get your health back on track – no harsh detox programs required
Be kind to yourself
Research indicates that showing self-compassion (and accepting the weight gain, if that’s also the case), will allow for a more successful implementation of lifestyle changes and habit that will set you up for success in many areas of your life – including your health routine.
You’ve heard it numerous times: restrictive, impossible-to-maintain diets don’t work.
So instead, strive for a whole foods eating plan to optimize nutrition and fuel your body well while keeping you satiated and regular.
As mentioned, our body is wonderfully designed to detox itself on a regular basis. If you want to do a more targeted cleansing-type regimen to help you achieve certain goals, feel better or correct an underlying issue, we recommend you work with a qualified healthcare practitioner who specializes in detox. If you already have a whole foods lifestyle then maintaining this during this time will continue to help support pathways of elimination and nutrient needs during a more intense detox.
Better with a buddy
Research shows that a person does much better with a buddy or an accountability partner. They don’t have to be following the same plan or routine as you, but so long as they’re in place for emotional support – that’s what matters most.
So, be sure to put it out there verbally to a few close friends or family members who you trust and who could also use the reciprocal support.
Move your body and break a sweat
Vomit-inducing exercising is not necessary, nor encouraged. What is encouraged, however, is daily exercise of some sort. Just move your body regularly in some fashion – preferably something that causes you to break a sweat. Aim for continuous movement for a minimum of twenty minutes 3 times a week.
Heading outside for your daily movement might give you a chance to catch a daily dose of Vitamin D (if the sun is shining) — enjoy how fresh air and sunshine can change how you feel!
Sleep, sleep, then sleep some more
Both your sleep hygiene and quality of sleep were likely derailed over the holidays — keeping up later hours as well as all the extra social events. But, now it’s time to get back to doing what your body does best: resting. Sleep is something that is still so underrated as a way to truly optimize your health!
Our health experts say that getting in 7-9 hours of deep, restorative sleep is a critical factor in such things as:
- decreasing stress levels
- increasing energy & athletic performance
- enhancing immunity
- stabilizing blood sugar levels
- maintaining an ideal body weight
- keeping mental focus sharp and mental/emotional health in check
“We all need between seven and nine hours of sleep in order to think clearly, and most of us just don’t get enough. One or two nights a week of decent sleep just doesn’t cut it.” says Registered Nurse and Homeopath Janet Neilson.
Get your nutrition and digestion back on track
Here are a few nutrition-specific ideas to implement into your routine to get you kick-started again, especially after a period of heavy indulgence:
- Drink lemon water
You’ve heard it many, many times – but one more time won’t hurt, because it’s just too simple, and effective NOT to try it: drink warm lemon water first thing in the morning before you do anything else.
Why? Freshly squeezed lemon juice is alkalizing to the body, antioxidant-rich and high in Vitamin C, and has blood sugar stabilizing + liver and kidney flushing properties.
Pure lemon juice is known to stimulate gastric juices and increase bile production. Combine this with room temperature or slightly warmer filtered water and you’ve got the easiest “cleanse” imaginable!
- Prolong the fast and eat protein + good fats for breakfast
- Shut the kitchen right after dinner, optimally by 7 pm. Then have nothing but water (or herbal tea) until breakfast, no earlier than 7 am the next day.
This allows the digestive system to have a much-needed break by “fasting” for at least 12 hours (but don’t worry, you’ll be sleeping for most of it), and then easing into the day with a high- protein, easily-digested meal.
Breakfast sets your day’s metabolic tone and with this in mind, your optimal first meal could be a plant-based protein shake. One that combines high-quality protein with healthy fats, green leafy veggies and slow-release high-fibre carbs to keep you full and focused all morning.
If you found that your digestive system went completely off the rails from over-consumption during the past holiday season, then you might need to give those juices a boost.
Gastric juices containing hydrochloric acid (HCl) that break down food in the stomach, are negatively affected by poor eating choices and habits like consuming large portions.
In addition, our digestive enzymatic activity slows down for those same reasons as well. This creates the perfect storm of burping, belching, trapped gas, heartburn, intestinal cramping and flatulence!
The natural bacterial flora of your digestive system will also likely have gone astray.
This is where therapeutic grade supplements can be especially helpful, so be sure to use a good quality probiotic to get your microbiome back in check and restore that “happy gut” environment.
Eating naturally fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir and kombucha are full of digestion-friendly probiotics as well.
7 easy steps and actionable ways
So, there you go, 7 easy and actionable ways to get your health back on track, holistically and without doing yet another harsh, restrictive detox or diet!
We at CanPrev hope your 2018 is already filled with much health and happiness!
If you’re looking for additional digestive support:
We do always suggest you work with a qualified healthcare practitioner, Naturopathic Doctor or Nutritionist before beginning a new natural health product regime.
Here are some suggestions for boosting the channels of detoxification and elimination, as well as warding off inflammation:
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!
Meet Joseph Cheung Registered Massage Therapist and Structural Integrator
At age 30, his father passed away from cancer. At the time he had been working as a corporate accountant for 6 years. He realized that life is too short to not do what you love — so he decided to take a leap of faith and pursue his passion for manual therapy and movement. He had studied many movement disciplines throughout his life such as martial arts, traditional strength training, and tai chi. But when he left the corporate world he traveled abroad to study structural integration (of anatomy) under the legendary Tom Myers, the originator of the Anatomy Trains Myofascial Meridians. This training coupled with his background in different movement modalities ensures his practice as a therapist today, is uniquely tailored to the individual.
Words From The Therapist
I am grateful to work with a fantastic team of fitness professionals and therapists at Myodetox and am grateful for the amazing clients I get to interact with and help daily. I feel blessed every morning I wake up – I truly love what I do and to add to that – I get to help others feel better!
Everyone has control over their lives and should take their health into their own hands. Without your health, nothing else matters. Living a preventative lifestyle is necessary for finding your best health — that is what CanPrev life is all about!
Why He Chooses to Live a Healthy Lifestyle
I love to move and practice Martial Arts. Watching my dad fall ill, and seeing my clients come in with different health concerns reminds me to take care of myself so I can be the best that I can be, and live a long, healthy life.
You Can Prevent
I love using Mens CORE a plant-based protein with a multivitamin and mineral component to it for extra support. I also love using Adrenal-Pro™. I see dozens of clients every week and I need to be able to interact with them, give them an amazing experience, but also let myself rest and recover. These products help me do just that.
My wife Jessie and I plan to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in January 2018, and we will definitely be packing some CORE travel packs with us and Adrenal-Pro! We will probably take along some Joint-Pro as well, to save our knees!
Meet other CanPrev ambassadors: