Allergies and Sensitivities: Trust your body

How do you know you have environmental allergies or sensitivities to common products and even foods?   Listen to and trust your body!  I have learned the validity of this simple piece of advice over the years.  

For example, this is my evidence that I have personally compiled and learned to listen to.  How many of these (or similar reactions) apply to you?

  • sneeze when walking past the highly scented laundry soap and fabric softeners in a grocery store?
  •  sneeze or cough when popular (Febreeze comes to mind) room deodorizers or air fresheners are used?  
  •  cough when adding soap to your sink or dishwasher?
  • get an instant tightness in your chest when walking by a house whose dryer vent is on spewing the scent of Bounce into the air? 
  •  get the same reaction from yards sprayed with fertilizer and or weed killer, from blocks away?
  • have to open the windows and turn on vents before cleaning bathrooms?
  •  get an instant headache walking through the fragrance department of a store?  (why do they have to place those right at the entrance to the store?)
  • get an instant headache from the different perfumes in a crowd?  For example, I dread going to the NAC (National Art Center here in Ottawa) because each elderly lady there seems to have an entire bottle of perfume on.  The blend is not pleasant!
  •  get stomach cramps and diarrhea after eating some foods.
  •  get skin rashes after eating certain foods.


I saw an article recently about cancer causing ingredients in many common dish soaps.  The offending products include:

  • Cascade
  • Legacy of Clean
  • Finish
  • Sunlight
  • Palmolive
  • Dawn
  • Simple Green Naturals
  • Mrs. Meyers
  • Seventh Generation
  • Method
  • Green Works
  • Bon Ami Dish Soap

I must admit I have never heard of many of these brands of dish soap, but do know Dawn, Palmolive, Sunlight, Finish and Cascade are on my avoid list as they bother me. I used to have to leave the room when running the dishwasher.

These reactions that I have experienced are the reason I use Melaleuca products in my home. They are all natural, many with tea tree oil (from the Australian melaleuca plant) as a main ingredient. By using these products, I have reduced my contact with ingredients that aggravate my allergies and sensitivities. I no longer have to open the bathroom window when cleaning, and can run the dishwasher while working in the kitchen.

allergies and sensitivities
Melaleuca Products

If you have similar reactions to any products or foods, trust and listen to your body. You may have allergies and sensitivities too. Then get proactive to improve your health and the quality of your life. Remember, you are in the driver’s seat!

Signs you are gluten intolerant

Any of the following symptoms could be signs that you are gluten intolerant.  If any of these signs apply to you, get yourself checked out; you will be glad you did!  I did years ago after suffering through many of the symptoms listed below; see this previous post to read about my story…

  1. Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea and even constipation.

  2. Keratosis Pilaris, (also known as ‘chicken skin’ on the back of your arms). This tends be as a result of a fatty acid deficiency and vitamin A deficiency secondary to fat-malabsorption caused by gluten damaging the gut.

  3. Fatigue, brain fog or feeling tired after eating a meal that contains gluten.

  4. Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Lupus, Psoriasis, Scleroderma or Multiple sclerosis.

  5. Neurologic symptoms such as dizziness or feeling of being off balance.

  6. Hormone imbalances such as PMS, PCOS or unexplained infertility.

  7. Migraine headaches.

  8. Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia. These diagnoses simply indicate your conventional doctor cannot pin point the cause of your fatigue or pain.

  9. Inflammation, swelling or pain in your joints such as fingers, knees or hips.

  10. Mood issues such as anxiety, depression, mood swings and ADD.

Gluten intolerance can affect many of the organs in your body, not just your stomach and intestines.  Get informed today!

Chiropractic Care: How the Nervous System Controls the Body


Chiropractic care relies on the fact that the nervous system is the master controller of human bodies. The human body can heal itself when the brain within the nervous system communicates with the injured organs or tissues to correct problems by advising the injured areas to build new tissue.  However, this can only happen if there is no interruption or interference in the flow of nerve impulses to the injured areas.  If there is an interruption or interference, the injured area cannot receive the message from the brain.

An interruption in this flow of nerve impulses, which by the way have been reported to travel at three hundred miles an hour, caused by a misalignment of the spine due to injury, mistreatment, or improper care, is called a sublaxation. Subluxations are caused by tension in the body as the result of physical, emotional or chemical stresses which are all stored the same way, one treated no different than the other.  When a sublaxation lasts for a while, various symptoms occur within the patient, depending on which part of the body is affected.  Because the energy in nerve impulses travel from the brain, down the spinal cord, dispersing through the vertebrae to all areas of the body, a sublaxation can occur anywhere in the body that the nerves are located.  Sometimes patients experience pain, tingling or numbness, yet other times the patient appears to be pain free, but claims to tire quickly, be very susceptible to colds, or simply exhibits poor posture.

Chiropractors treat patients by correcting these sublaxations or misalignments in the spine with gentle adjustments of the spine.  Results are usually felt quickly and last much longer, often permanently, compared to the temporary relief provided by prescription or over the counter medication.  These medications are discouraged as they can also cause negative side effects, sometimes worse than the original injury or complaint.

Common symptoms experienced when a sublaxation is present are low energy and excessive fatigue, sciatica, fibromyalgia, indigestion and heartburn, neck or shoulder pain, back or knee pain, vertigo, decreased joint mobility, headaches and more.

Good health should not relate to the absence of negative symptoms, but should instead be considered a state of physical, emotional and mental well-being.  Chiropractors treat patients by recognizing the lifestyle changes necessary to improve overall better health, recommending these changes to provide clients with individual health goals.  They will also provide support, motivation and inspiration on an ongoing basis.

Find a chiropractor in your neighbourhood by searching online for and visiting websites that provide valuable educational information as well as their contact information.  Or, ask around, many of your friends, family, or coworkers may have already done the homework for you and found a chiropractor they are comfortable with.


picture courtesy of google



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 Chiropractic Care for Families


Holistic medicine is based on the scientific fact that the body has a natural ability to heal itself given the correct environment and lifestyle.  This is due to the fact that the neurological system controls every function of the human body.  Many chronic medical conditions can be prevented and corrected with knowledge and simple lifestyle changes.

A chiropractor can help identify these simple lifestyle changes and help achieve overall better health by sharing knowledge and expertise as well as providing support, inspiration and motivation.  They believe people are ultimately responsible for their own wellbeing and optimal health, but are willing to provide the members of the community they work in with the chance and instructions on how to achieve their personal health goals.  Chiropractors can provide education and personalized recommendations for individual health goals so clients can take control of their lives, living to their full potential.

Chiropractic care can also correct the causes of many painful chronic symptoms and conditions through corrective adjustments of the neurological imbalances they identify in individuals visiting their wellness offices.  When the underlying cause is corrected through chiropractic care, patients see results much faster and more consistently than treatment with pain medication which can only provide temporary relief, not to mention possibly aggravate conditions creating even more undesirable symptoms.

Chronic symptoms and conditions treated by chiropractors include decreased hip mobility, headaches, neck and shoulder pain, heartburn and indigestion, ear ringing, fibromyalgia, vertigo, sciatica, as well as fatigue and low energy.

From the brain nerve impulses travel down the spinal cord and then branch out between the vertebrae to all areas of the body. If the vertebrae are unable to move properly due to injury or improper care, pressure is placed on the nerves causing pain.  When this happens, all of the potential energy carried by the nerve cannot reach the organs and tissues that it should.  Adjustments to the spine by a chiropractor can re-align the vertebrae and relieve the pressure on the nerves permitting increased flow of energy to the affected organs and tissues resulting in pain relief.

Chiropractic care within the community can be beneficial for sports injuries, children, pregnant moms and even corporations wishing to cut back on time missed due to medical reasons.  A chiropractor can be found through their websites which can provide very valuable information, educational videos, contact information and even blogs to communicate and share experiences with staff and fellow clients.

A chiropractic clinic I have dealt with and would highly recommend is the Britannia Chiropractic Clinic, located on Richmond Road in west Ottawa.  Dr Ken Dick from this clinic has treated the boys (and parents) on his son’s hockey teams for years, dealing with both the acute and chronic symptoms we bring to his attention.  His professional and compassionate demeanor and knowledge of sports injuries have attracted many of us to his chiropractic service.

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I knew sooner or later the symptoms of menopause would hit me; having reached the dreaded age of 50 a few years ago, my days were numbered, as menopausal symptoms typically wreak havoc on the lives of women between the age of 45 and 55 years.  Unfortunately my mom passed away long before I was interested in discussing menopause and its effects on my body.  I do have two older sisters, but they live so far away that when we do talk (thank heavens for email and facebook) there always seems to be more interesting things to chat about.

Menopause refers to the end of a woman’s fertile stage in life with the cessation of her menstrual cycle.   One year after your last period you are categorized as menopausal.  The perimenopausal stage is before that when the annoying symptoms plague your mind and body, sometimes lasting for years.  From what I have learned from the invaluable internet, menopause affects all women differently, although there are many common symptoms many of us experience.  Common symptoms include fatigue, dry skin, poor concentration ability, erratic periods, weight gain, memory problems, anxiety, hot flashes, depression, decreased sex drive, insomnia and more.

These symptoms are caused by changing hormone levels, so it makes sense that every woman will experience symptoms differently as their hormone levels will recede at different rates. Our ovaries stop producing estradiol and progesterone, the hormones that make reproduction possible.  Testosterone and estrogen levels decrease as well, but fluctuate while decreasing causing the mood swings and hot flashes.  Skipped ovulations caused by depleted ovarian follicles result in erratic periods, excessive clotting and long episodes of spotting.

Apparently many of these symptoms dissipate at the post menopausal stage; something to look forward to as you struggle through the perimenopausal cycle.   So far, the hot flashes I have experienced have been quite enjoyable as I am always cold.  I am looking forward to the increased heat throughout the upcoming cold winter months here in Canada.

Sleep Deprivation: Its Causes and how it Affects your Health…

It seemed appropriate to talk about sleep deprivation today, after we lost one hour sleep by setting our clocks ahead one hour this past weekend in honor of daylight saving time.  I find it simply amazing that one single hour can affect our lives so drastically.  When my children were small, daylight saving time would really send them for a loop, affecting their nap times and altering their internal clocks.  I thought adults would adjust better, but apparently there are a lot of people out there who do not adjust well, with shift workers at the top of the list.  I just heard on the news that within the three days following daylight saving time there are significantly more heart attacks reported.  On the flip side, in the fall when our clocks fall back and we gain one hour of sleep, there are significantly less heart attacks reported…

Sleep deprivation can be caused by hormone imbalance, sleep apnea, snoring, room temperature, stress/anxiety and sleeping conditions.  It is a known fact that sleep deprivation is the most common cause of many health issues affecting both adults and children, and yet I have the same argument with my teenaged son many school nights, about taking his cell phone to bed with him.  His argument is that the phone actually helps him to fall asleep.  I, on the other hand, believe electronic devices of any kind keep the brain stimulated, delaying and preventing a restful sleep.  Sleep deprivation is caused by many things, but I am sure stimulation by electronic devices is way up at the top of the list for many teens and adults.

If you are not getting an average of eight hours (more for children and teens) of restorative sleep a day,  your long term good health may be at risk.  In fact, it is now being suggested that sleep deprivation can be worse for you than lack of exercise….

If you research the causes of many illnesses or conditions including ADD/ADHD, (both childhood and adult forms) anxiety, depression and other psychiatric illnesses, heart problems, type II diabetes, obesity, brain fog, difficulty focusing and/or concentrating, poor/slow reaction time, memory loss, lethargy, irritability, headaches and loss of energy, just to name a few, you will find sleep deprivation at or near the top of the list.

Every part of our bodies need sleep to function properly.  Our cells rejuvenate and grow, our energy levels are boosted, our brains refuel with energy and reboot our memories, our aching joints and muscles repair and strengthen, and our organs release essential hormones, all when we are asleep.

This research has tired me out, I think I will take a nap to rejuvenate!

If you Suffer from Low Energy and Brain Fog, you may be Dehydrated…

Did you know many common symptoms such as lethargy, low energy levels, brain fog, muscle weakness, light-headedness, muscle cramps, nausea, dry skin and lips, and even increased breathing and heart rate can be attributed to dehydration?

A whopping 75% of our body consists of water, which is present in our cells, between our cells in body tissue, and in our blood vessels.  When this percentage drops,  caused by more water leaving the body than coming in, we suffer the consequences.  By the time we actually feel thirsty, we are dehydrated.

Water loss happens routinely when we sweat during exercise or when we have a fever, when our bodies eliminate waste in the form of urine and bowel movements, and even when we breathe.

To replace this routine water loss from our bodies, we should drink six to eight glasses of water (depending on your body weight) daily.  Water is also present in large amounts in fruit and vegetables, so increasing your daily intake of these items will help as well.   Also be aware that alcohol, coffee and other caffeinated drinks are dehydrators, so add a glass of water to your daily requirements for each serving of these items you consume.  You can include herbal tea in your daily requirement of water, it is actually hydrating.

Drinking water does not have to be inconvenient or expensive; in fact up to 25% of bottled water comes from municipal sources and not from glaciers or springs as many people believe.   Simply turn on your tap, fill up a water bottle, and take it with you, whether  you are at your desk working, running errands in your busy life or relaxing at home.  I often add a tiny amount of unsweetened pomegranate or blueberry juice to my water bottle to spice up the flavor.

Lorieb is the mother of three sons, residing in Kanata, Ontario, Canada.  She is the proud owner of GARDENS4U, and spends most of her time designing, planting, and restoring gardens.  Her other hobbies include reading and writing.  Please check out her website at