Tag Archives: lifestyle
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
That time of year is here, when the cold bite of winter weather finally seems to be behind us, flowers are slowly starting to bloom, the birds & the bees are all atwitter and, oh yah – pollen also starts to fill the air!
Are you experiencing itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, blocked sinuses, sneezing and headaches? Love Springtime but loathe allergy season?
If only there were something you could include in your daily diet to help alleviate these symptoms or ward them off altogether…drum roll please!
Eat whole foods instead of relying on allergy medication
Although there are many different OTC medications available to relieve those tell-tale allergy symptoms, sometimes just small tweaks to your diet can also provide you with some much needed relief and even a measure of prevention – more naturally.
Top 7 items that your grocery cart should come in contact with this Spring:
Researchers have discovered that broccoli could help to protect you from respiratory inflammation. In fact, all cruciferous vegetables contain a compound called sulforaphane, which appears to have a very beneficial effect for fanning the flames of inflammation.
Other cruciferous veggies containing this key compound are kale, brussel sprouts, cabbage & cauliflower.
Studies have also shown that getting in at least 500 mg of Vitamin C a day can ease allergy symptoms, and just one cup of raw broccoli packs about 80 mg.
Citrus fruits are considered ‘super allergy fighters’ because they contain higher levels of Vitamin C and bioflavonoids, both of which are natural antihistamines that may reduce allergy symptoms.
Bioflavonoids enhance the health benefits of Vitamin C, including stronger immunity, detoxification, eye and skin and health. This makes citrus fruit a powerhouse in fighting allergies as well as in overall health optimization. Oranges, lemons and grapefruits are rich sources of Vitamin C with naturally occurring citrus bioflavonoids.
However, if considering a supplement – look for a buffered form containing mineral ascorbates as well as bioflavonoids for better absorption.
Quercetin, a flavonoid found in apples, is believed to help reduce the inflammation associated with allergies. Studies indicate that this component prevents immune cells from releasing histamines, or better known as an allergic response.
Garlic, onions, berries, cabbage, cauliflower and most caffeinated teas also contain quercetin.
The skin of red grapes is very high in antioxidants and resveratrol — a well-studied anti-inflammatory compound. Eating red grapes will also help protect the cells from oxidative damage that may cause many diseases such as heart disease and high blood pressure.
Be aware that grapes (and apples) are on the EPA’s ‘Dirty Dozen’ list of highest pesticide residues, so buy organic when possible and wash your produce well.
Omega-3 fatty acids in seafood have natural anti-inflammatory effects that boost the immune system — in turn, improving your body’s ability to fight off allergies which are basically a sign of excess inflammation.
In fact, anything you can do to reduce inflammation in the body has widespread benefits, including easing seasonal allergy symptoms.
Some studies have even shown that eating upwards of six ounces of wild-caught salmon twice a week can be just as effective as taking allergy medication.
While your Healthcare Provider may not be writing you a prescription for salmon any time soon, this recommendation is certainly worth a try, considering all of salmon’s other health benefits. Try wild caught Alaskan caught salmon for a lower risk of contamination of organic pollutants and pesticides.
Not keen on seafood, or have a food allergy to it? Some good vegan sources of Omega-3’s are walnuts, flax seeds, hemp hearts, chia seeds, spirulina (fresh water algae) and sea vegetables like wakame.
You could also consider choosing a high quality Omega-3 supplement.
Collard greens, and other dark leafy greens like kale contain phytochemicals – specifically carotenoids. This component is well known for easing allergic reactions.
To help your body absorb their nutrients more readily, eat collard greens along with a healthy fat. Sautéing them in extra-virgin olive oil or virgin coconut oil is a great, and tasty – way to go.
Be aware that many greens are on the “dirty” list too, so go organic (and local), when possible.
Fermented Foods & Probiotics
I know, you probably didn’t expect this one to be on the list, but according to research, eating probiotic-rich foods such as naturally fermented (not pickled) foods like sauerkraut and kimchi, as well as supplementing with good quality human-strain probiotics can significantly ease allergy symptoms.
Happy allergy fighting this Spring!
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!