Naturopathic Care

naturopath

If this post sounds familiar, it is because it is an updated version of one of my first posts, way back in January of 2012…

For about a year before the post, I noticed a significant decrease in my energy level and suffered from constant “brain fog”.  I could not seem to concentrate on anything for very long and became distracted very easily.  Most people I complained to shrugged and laughed saying “it’s just age” As I had just turned 50, I found that hard to swallow!

After a complete physical from my G.P. I was told my iron stores or ferritin levels were very low and I was put on an iron supplement, which constipated me but did very little for my ferritin levels.  My hormone levels were within the normal range; so I was classified as perimenopausal.  It was also suggested by two different doctors that I was suffering from depression. I also found that hard to believe, so I started digging deeper…

I found a naturopath online and went to see her.  Kandis Lock   Although I had to pay for this visit (my health insurance does not cover naturopathic treatments) it was well worth it.  She listened to my “story” and set up a plan.  She suggested testing for food allergies and/or sensitivities, again at my own expense. I had suspected for years that I am sensitive to many foods with frequent bouts of stomach cramps and diarrhea.  I had the option of eliminating foods from my diet to see if I felt different/better (which could take months or even years) or a blood test.   I agreed to the blood test and received results within two weeks: I am allergic to asparagus and wheat protein.   Now asparagus is pretty easy to eliminate from my diet, but wheat?  Wheat is in everything!  Luckily I am not allergic to gluten as many others are so my diet isn’t quite as restricted. Gluten free products (which means no wheat to me) are sold in most grocery stores these days.  I can eat barley, oats, corn, rice, rye etc. so have switched my pastas and breads to these grains.

Fast forward to almost three years later…

I feel more energetic, have less stomach cramps, and feel healthier.  At the time it was suggested that I undergo further testing to determine other foods (dairy, eggs etc) that I may react to that were not covered in the original testing panel. I declined that option at the time, preferring to deal with one major change at a time.  Now that I know how much eliminating wheat improved my health, I am thinking of undergoing more tests.   I do have another complete physical examination scheduled with my GP also, so will find out my current blood levels of ferritin, cholesterol, and hormones.

The moral of this story is recognize that your body is providing warning signals when you experience symptoms like stomach cramps, brain fog, lethargy, and low energy levels.  It is up to you to do something about it!

Gardens4u has Christmas Arrangements for Sale in Kanata

Christmas arrangements by Gardens4u are now available for sale in Kanata just in time for the holidays.  Most feature an amaryllis bulb which should be in bloom for Christmas.  These arrangements make wonderful gifts or festive table centerpieces in your own home.

Prices are as indicated on each picture.  Please contact me at gardens4u@mail.com or 613-791-9955 to purchase your favorite arrangement and arrange pickup.  Delivery is $5 extra, available in Kanata only.

Natural Alternatives to Supplements and Medications

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I love reading about the recommended supplements in Dr Connealy’s newsletters, especially when the suggested supplements are aimed at symptoms I suffer from.  As we age, we cannot help but notice the changes in our bodies.  Our skin loses elasticity, gains wrinkles and loses that youthful glow.  Our internal organs, our eyes, our joints and our brains do not work as well as they used to.

My problem is, every supplement I take gives me side effects that are often worse than the original symptoms of aging.  My solution is to research foods that provide or encourage the formation of the beneficial ingredient contained in the supplement. I then incorporate these foods into my daily diet.  I realize that these supplements provide a much more concentrated form of these wonderful ingredients, but I figure every bit helps.

For example, the newsletter referred to above describes the wonders of melatonin, a hormone produced naturally in our bodies. Melatonin is responsible for enhancing our sleep so our bodies can recharge properly.  Without adequate sleep we can suffer from brain fog, muscles aches, anxiety, weight gain due to increased appetite and a weakened immune system. Check out a previous post of mine about sleep deprivation.

Unfortunately, as we age the production of melatonin is reduced.  Our options to increase melatonin are to take a supplement or to increase our intake of foods that encourage the formation of melatonin in our bodies.  These foods include pineapple, bananas, oranges, walnuts, almonds, cherry juice and dairy products.

Another wonderful ingredient recommended by Dr Connealy is curcumin which is derived from turmeric root.  I have added ground turmeric to my soups, stews, tea, smoothies and stir frys for the past few months, ever since I read that it helps relieve joint pain. Another previous post describes the benefits of curcumin or turmeric.   I believe that I have noticed a reduction in joint pain associated with arthritis.  This is even more significant for me this time of year since the cold weather usually brings an increase in arthritis symptoms.

To see if I can increase melatonin production naturally, I plan to experiment for the next while, making myself a smoothie before bedtime using pineapple, banana, orange, almond milk, cherry juice and yogurt.  I will keep you posted!

Boosting Testosterone Levels

testosterone

Testosterone is a natural male hormone that plays a very significant role in the male reproductive system.  It also promotes predominantly male characteristics such as increased muscle and bone mass as well as the growth of body hair.  It is a scientific fact that after the age of 30, testosterone levels in men recede. Unfortunately, with this recession in testosterone levels comes a decrease in stamina, endurance, metabolism, muscle mass and libido.

There are many products on the market today called testosterone boosters.  These products do not actually contain testosterone.  Instead they contain natural ingredients that are proven to boost receding testosterone levels.  Some of the natural ingredients in these boosters are zinc, amino acids, vitamin D, aspartic acid, magnesium, as well as herbal and oyster extracts.  In addition some of these testosterone boosters contain agents to control cortisol and estrogen levels so they do not negate the extra testosterone production.  Results will vary depending on age, activity level and original muscle mass.  Results may include increased energy, stamina, concentration, motivation, and muscle growth with decreased body fat.

There are many claims to the best testosterone booster on the market.  Online research and shopping make the decision easier as information is readily available.  It is prudent yet easy to check out comments and customer reviews, taking both positive and negative feedback into consideration before making a purchase.

It is highly recommended that both men and women should primarily exercise regularly and eat well to delay the discouraging signs and symptoms associated with aging without taking supplements.  However, if bothered or discouraged by the effects of lower levels of testosterone in their body, men should look to increasing their testosterone levels naturally with a testosterone booster.  Testosterone boosters are certainly a much safer solution than the synthetic hormonal injections used in past years to help delay the natural aging process because they cause less of the negative side effects. If testosterone boosters can indeed improve concentration, stamina, and motivation as well as enhance the energy levels without any adverse effects on health, the improved physique is a bonus!

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It’s Beginning to look alot like Christmas!

It’s beginning to look alot like Christmas in my neighbourhood of suburban Ottawa. Colorful lights adorn rooftops and trees, shoppers are rushing from store to store and we had our first big snowfall…

As Christmas rushes towards us on the calendar, be sure to slow down and take a moment or two to enjoy the season!

Market Research

market research

Surveys and focus groups are used to gather data about potential customer and clients as well as the competition in the market your business is in.  There are many ways to gather this data and then analyze it to facilitate business decisions.  This process of gathering and analyzing data is called market research. Although it can be expensive, market research that is properly executed can greatly improve a business’ chance of success.  Market research can be broken down into primary research and secondary research.

Primary vs Secondary Research

Primary research is generally more expensive, and takes longer to conduct, but is more conclusive and is essential to get answers to specific questions.  Secondary research involves collecting data from reports already published by reputable sources.  This type of research is less expensive because it is easily accessible to everyone.  Magazines, newspapers, and computer websites are all examples of secondary research sources.

Qualitative vs Quantitative Research

Primary research can be further broken down into qualitative and quantitative research.  Qualitative usually refers to small target groups where the data gained provides direction but not predictions.  Quantitative research on the other hand provides a more statistical type of data that can then be analyzed to predict future trends and patterns.

Surveys

Surveys are a quantitative form of primary market research.  They are a simple way to collect data by phone, email or regular mail through a postal service.  To make a survey, be sure to use simple but specific questions, targeting a specific audience of potential customers or clients.  Survey costs can be minimalized by having a current employee design the survey and analyze the data.  Costs will obviously vary depending on the size and method of survey with email surveys the least expensive due to the lack of postage and printing costs.

Focus Groups

Focus groups are a qualitative form of primary market research, involving a small group of chosen people that meet specific criteria.  This pre-screened group are then asked to participate in discussions of relevant topics lead by a moderator who can record the discussion while guiding participants to share the reasons for their opinions.   The cost of focus groups can be exorbitant though, since it is advisable to use experienced, objective moderators and hold the focus group outside of the workplace.

Conclusion

Market research involving surveys and focus groups is necessary in today’s competitive business world.  The research can range from inexpensive, informal and simple strategies for small businesses to costly, time consuming, and complicated experiences for large conglomerates.  Regardless of the size and scope of the research, the methods are similar.

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Body Cleanses

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Cleanses are currently popular methods to detoxify the body to feel better, look better and possibly even lose weight.  Most cleanses are made of natural ingredients, so should not cause any adverse effects, if instructions are followed closely.

All disease is caused by toxins or contaminants that entered the body through the skin, drinking tap water, eating processed foods and even just from breathing air from the environment. After entering the body, harmful microscopic organisms such as viruses, bacteria, parasitic worm and yeasts live within the digestive tract, feeding off nutrients there.

The body is somewhat equipped to remove toxins on its own. The role of the liver is to recognize, and breakdown toxic compounds, removing them from the body through waste.  However, the liver can be overwhelmed and overloaded with toxins, at which time this natural detoxification process slows down or stops altogether.

Skin conditions such as eczema and many other health issues can arrive from the buildup of these toxins and contaminants capable of invading the body. To learn how to cleanse your body, ridding it of these harmful toxins, read on.

There are some things that can be done as safe body cleanse tips to reduce the number of toxins the liver is exposed to such as eliminating processed foods, sugar, alcohol and caffeine from the diet.  Instead, the diet should consist of a predominance of natural, organic produce and ingredients. Heavy exercise can also help rid the body of toxins through sweat.

The colon and kidneys also play important roles in the detoxification process of removing toxins and contaminants from the body. The colon expels the toxins from the digestive system removing them within bowel movements while the kidneys remove toxins from the blood system through the urinary system.

Natural herbal remedies can be helpful as a body detox as well.   Dandelion, turmeric and ginger root teas as well as organic apples, cranberries, grapes, garlic, sprouts, cucumbers and onions all help to detoxify the kidneys.  Apple cider vinegar or lemon juice added to water is effective as a colon cleanse and liver cleanse.

Although the above information describes how to detox your body naturally, the liver, kidneys and colon sometimes need help from available commercial detoxification products to remove the buildup of harmful toxins that have been stored in the body for many years.  Cleansing the liver, kidneys and colon will help restore their natural detoxification effectiveness.

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