Do You Want More Energy?

Most people will reply YES!

Since energy is in such high demand it’s important to explore where our body’s energy comes from so we can figure out how we can get more.

Where does energy come from?

Energy is produced by the trillions of cells in our body, therefore in order to gain more energy we need to address the health of our cells.

There are three essential components that determine how well a cell functions:

  1. Oxygen
  2. Water and
  3. Elimination of Waste.


Oxygen is the source of all energy in the body. Without oxygen our cells wouldn’t be able to do any work. All metabolic processes in the body such as assimilation (absorption), elimination of waste, respiration, circulation and digestion requires energy.

So how do we get more oxygen?

The answer is simple, we need to breathe better, and by this I mean real deep diaphragmatic breathing – commonly practiced in yoga and meditation. Deep Breathing is simple and just practicing 10 deep breaths twice a day is a great start that only takes minutes out of your day, yet leaves you feeling much more energized.

To help you learn how to breathe deeply you can pick up CD’s or take yoga classes. You can also look on the web for videos that demonstrate diaphragmatic breathing. There are two videos that I found to be helpful in getting you starting on diaphragmatic breathing.

The first video explains the location of the diaphragm in the body and how it moves in relation to other organs.

The second video is a one minute demonstration of diaphragmatic breathing.

In addition to giving your cells an essential ingredient to make energy, diaphragmatic breathing is an excellent way to relax and calm down the nervous system. When you’re feeling stressed or anxious you can stop and take 10 deep diaphragmatic breathes essentially anywhere – your office desk, your car, in the elevator and so on.


The second ingredient necessary for your trillions of cells to produce energy is water.

Water is the most abundant substance in the body. Up to 70% of our body is made up of water; furthermore 70% of our planet is also made of water, so it only makes sense that we need a substantial intake of water daily for optimal cellular function. Water is the medium in which all cellular reactions occur, thus if we are dehydrated even slightly it reduces cellular function, hence reducing our overall energy.

The recommended daily intake of water is one half your body’s weight in ounces. For example, if you weight 200 lbs, half your weight would be 100 lbs, thus you would need 100 ounces of water daily. There are 8 ounces in one cup of water, or 32 ounces in a litre. Therefore a 200 lb individual would need to drink 3 litres of water daily to stay well hydrated.

So how do we get more water?

The best way to tackle your hydration is by observing the colour of your urine. If you urine is clear or faint light yellow and odourless you are well hydrated. If you find your urine to be darker yellow and has an odour it’s a good indication that you are dehydrated.

If you find yourself thirsty it’s an indication that you are dehydrated. Don’t wait to feel the thirst to drink water. You body usually sends out thirst signals well after the fact of dehydration.

In addition to drinking water you want to consume approximately 75% of your diet in the form of raw uncooked food due to its high water content. This includes fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and cold pressed oils.

Use freshly cut lemon or lime slices to spice up your water, oranges slices are very zesty and work well too. Over the summer months you can increase your water consumption through the use of herbal iced teas. As a rule of thumb, half of your daily water consumption should be in the form of pure water and half can be in other forms such as herbal or green tea.


The last component to producing optimal cellular energy is the ability of the cell to eliminate waste, also known as Detoxification.

Every cell in our body produces a natural waste as a bi-product of the work it does, and in order for the cell to be able to continue function optimally it has to remove that waste to make room for future waste. One of the biggest obstacles to detoxification and waste removal is that in addition to the natural waste our body produces, it’s also faces with environmental toxins and toxins from the food we eat and the water we drink, making it twice as hard to keep up with the detoxification process.

One of the most important components to waste removal is our lymphatic system. Stay tuned for the next blog which will discuss the lymphatic system in detail.

In order to support detox you need to:

  1. Do a couple of really good cleanses each year with the fall and spring being the best seasons to embark on a cleanse.
  2. Be putting healthy cleansing practices into everyday use to keep up with waste removal.

Some quick and easy tips on daily cleansing include:

  • Increase green leafy vegetable intake (green smoothies are fantastic – check out Newsletter 14 for recipes on green smoothies)
  • Eating whole foods
  • Drinking lots of water
  • Daily movement/exercise
  • Hot Yoga or Infrared saunas
  • Good quality fats – fish, nuts, seeds or supplements with a fish oil

In addition there are several things you want to avoid that hinder detoxification:

  • Processed foods
  • Fried foods and unhealthy fats
  • Sugar
  • Toxic exposure – chemical products such as house hold cleaner & beauty products, toothpaste, deodorant etc…

In Summary

In summary, if you want more energy and you want to get more out of your day with better focus and more motivation you need to respect and support all the trillions of cells in your body by increasing oxygen supply, water intake and supporting the removal of waste through daily detoxification!

Boost Your Immune

Change of Season Soup

Over the last few weeks I have had  numerous patients coming into my office with the cold and flu; this is to no surprise because during the ‘Change of Seasons’ we are more susceptible to catching the cold or flu.  It’s important to boost your immunity during the ‘Change of Seasons’ and practice good hygiene such as washing your hands frequently to prevent the spread of germs.

For years I have been preparing for myself and prescribing to my patients a special soup called ‘Change of Season Soup’ to boost the immune.   It works like a charm, and patients will come back to me time and time again in owe by how well the soup supported their immune.

The ‘Change of Season Soup’ is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).   In TCM the lungs are responsible for the Wei Qi (Defensive Qi) that protects us from the cold and flu.  ‘Change of Season Soup’ is an immune tonic which can help balance the body during times of stress, and protects against the cold and flu.

The following recipe can be made on its own, or the herbs can be added to homemade chicken soup with other hearty vegetables like: shitake mushrooms, onions, garlic, potato, carrots and other root vegetables.  Drink 2 cups of ‘Change of Season Soup’ each day for about two weeks.  If acutely ill, wait until you have recovered to drink the soup.

Ingredients: equal parts of the following herbs, about 2 oz (60 grams) of each herb

  1. Codonopsis root: Strengthens Qi (energy), builds the blood to improve circulation and nourish body fluids
  2. Astragalus: Strengthens the Wei Qi; the immune defences, nourishes the spleen, and tonifies the bloods.
  3. Dioscorea root: Tonifies and balances the lungs and kidneys.
  4. Chinese lycee berries: Strengthens the liver and kidneys.


  1. Fill a large stock pot with 4-6 litres of water, and herbs and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for 2-4 hours to reduce the liquid to half.
  3. If liquid boils down before 2 hours add water as necessary.
  4. Strain out herbs.
  5. Makes 2-3 litres.
  6. Drink ½ litre (2 cups) per day as a tea or broth, or use it as a base for soups.
  7. Keeps in fridge for 4-5 days.

In addition, increasing your daily intake of Vitamin C (2,000-4,000mg per day) and taking a high potency probiotic daily (Metagenics for Seroyal brands) will help to keep your immune strong.

Spring is definitely in the air, but with the rapid and unpredictable weather changes it’s important to support your immune until the warmer weather is stable and here to stay!

Dried herbs can be found at: Natural Foods & More — Corner of Bridgeport and Devitt in Waterloo (cross from the Sobey’s plaza)

Warming Socks

As an acute treatment for the cold and flu try the ‘Warming Sock’ treatment.  It’s cheap and easy to do and anyone can do this – kids or adults.  The ‘Warming Sock’ treatments help to regulate circulation and boost the immune system.  It’s particularly helpful for symptoms of congestion, sore throat and fever.

All you need to get started is:

  1. 1 pair of ankle sport/cotton socks
  2. 1 pair of big warm wool socks
  3. Cold water
  4. Warm blankets


  1. It’s best to do this treatment over night while you’re sleeping.
  2. Before you go to bed, take the sport/cotton socks and soak them in very cold water, wring them out and take them out so they are wet but not dripping and take them to your bed.
  3. Place the wet soaks on your feet (this part is a little uncomfortable for only a few seconds until you get use to the feeling of the wet soaks), and place the warm wool socks over top.
  4. Wrap yourself in warm blanks or covers and go to sleep
  5. In the morning the wet socks will be dry
  6. Repeat every night until your symptoms resolve.

Often patients will look at my in disbelief that such a treatment would work, but his is by far the best acute cold and flu treatment out there.  It really works, it’s simple, it’s cheap and anyone in the family can do it!  Put it to the test next time you’re feeling under the weather.  This treatment is also great to do as prevention of the cold and flu during the early signs of the immune system weakening, for example sniffles, early signs of congestions or feeling worn down.

The Epidemic of Vitamin D Deficiency?

People are very confused about vitamin D, with good reason! For years it was thought of to be a very toxic vitamin that you shouldn’t to too much of. The recommended daily allowance was set at 400IU per day which was the amount necessary to prevent rickets (a brittle bone disease). Research is now showing that supplementation should be somewhere between 2000-4000IU/day depending on the health conditions and current vitamin D status.

It is my recommendation that everyone get their vitamin D levels checked. You can request this from your MD, and if they will not run it then ask us at your next appointment and we can order the test. While the test is not cheap ($75.00), it will provide invaluable information to preventing multiple chronic diseases including cancer and heart disease.

We all know that we require the sunlight to produce vitamin D in the body, and that while food supplies minute amounts of vitamin D it is really the sun that we need to reach optimal vitamin D levels.  So here is the dilemma, we know that sun exposure can increase our risk factor for skin cancer so we avoid the sun but we also know that low vitamin D levels will contribute to chronic disease. In fact, research has shown that people with skin cancer have the lowest rate of all other types of cancers. So what are we saying, you should get skin cancer…NO! We are saying that you need optimal levels of vitamin D!!

Dispelling the Myths

1)      We can get enough Vitamin D from the sun to provide us protection for the whole year

FALSE – Depending on when your vitamin D levels are taken will depend on what your status is. However, you need a constant level of vitamin D to be protective.  The amount of sun and the strength of the sun are equally important.  The equator is getting direct sun and all other latitudes are getting a less direct amount of sun. It has been found that the 35th latitude (around California) is the latitude that is required to have enough strength from the sun to convert vitamin D all year round.  For everyone else, the sun is not strong enough to cause a vitamin D conversion.  In fact, it has been found that people in Florida in the winter are vitamin D deficient.  In fact, the journal of experimental dermalotogy in 2007 stated that the recommendations regarding sun exposure need to be reevaluated in lue of the new research on vitamin D.

2)      Sunscreen does not block Vitamin D conversion

FALSE – it has been found that even SPF 8 will reduce vitamin D conversion by 92.5% and SPF 15 by up to 95%

3)      I drink fortified milk, so I am getting enough vitamin D

FALSE – Vitamin D is present in foods such as mushrooms, eggs, salmon, cod liver oil and milk. However the amount of vitamin D is a serving of milk is somewhere between 50-100IU and eggs 40IU and salmon 500IU. You can see that you have to eat a whole lot of these to get the required amount per day.  It has been shown that mushrooms contain a great amount of vitamin D, but you need to eat 5.9lbs of mushrooms per day to get enough to be protective.

30min of sun exposure will give you 10,000-20,000IU of Vitamin D (Williams & Wilkins, 2002)

4)      Vitamin D is Very TOXIC

FALSE – there are very few actual studies on the toxic effects of vitamin D. One of the most common studies was done from 11 people that were fed a meal that was made from vitamin D laced peanut oil (by mistake) and ended up taking in over 5,000,000IU of Vitamin D. Yes this wasn’t a typo…it was 5MILLION. So, 2000IU per day is completely safe.

In fact, studies have shown that the upper limit of vitamin D should be changed to 10,000IU (Am J Clin Nut, 1991)

5)      All Vitamin D Supplements are Equal

FALSE – First of all you need to take D3. Most pharmaceutical companies are producing D2 because it is cheaper, however it is less stable and can’t raise the vitamin D levels like the D3 version

Second, many companies will have things like lactose, gluten, magnesium stearate (coating that some people find hard to break down), sodium benzoate. You want to make sure that the company that you are using uses clean raw ingredients to produce their vitamin D.  The companies that we recommend are Thorne Research and Metagenics who have tight regulations and control on their products – both are distributed through health professionals.

6)      Vitamin D supplements are well absorbed

For the most part they are, however if you have been taking adequate levels of vitamin D and are deficient on bloodwork it may have something to do with absorption.  If you fall into this category, talk to us about checking your ability to absorb crucial vitamins and minerals.

What Protective Effects does Vitamin D have?

1)      Osteoporosis

One of the most widely known and well researched uses for vitamin D is in its protective effects against osteoporosis and fracture risk.  It was found that people that were deficient in vitamin D will only absorb about 10-15% of the calcium from the gut, whereas people that had optimal vitamin D levels were absorbing between 30-80%.  (NEJM 2007; 357-266-81)

2)      Myocardial Infarction

It has been found that men with suboptimal levels of vitamin D are 2.4X more likely to have a myocardial infarction than men with optimal levels. (Arch Int Med, 2008, 168 (11): 1174-1180)

3)      Inflammation

The inflammatory response seems to be very linked with Vitamin D status. Vitamin D levels were checked on people with chronic low back pain, and the majority of them were found to be deficient.  When supplemented for three months, 95% of people in the study reported they were pain free.

4)      Immune System

Antimicrobial peptides function in the human body to keep bacteria, viruses, and fungi in check. These peptides also act as immunomodulators, mediate inflammatory responses, bind bacterial endotoxins, and regulate adhesion molecule expression, and are regulated by probiotics, amino acids, and vitamin D.  Studies have shown that people that supplement with 2000IU of vitamin D through the winter have a 80-90% reduction in influenza compaired to people that don’t supplement at all (Alt Med Review, 2008)

5)      Cancer

  • 77% risk reduction of ALL cancer risk in postmenopausal woman that were supplemented with calcium and vitamin D (Am J Clin Nut)
  • 50% of colon cancer could be prevented by maintaining vitamin D blood levels of >34ng/ml (Nutrition Review, 2007)
  • Reduction by up to 50% of breast cancer risk for people who maintain a vitamin D level of >52ng/ml (Nutrition Reviews, 2007)
  • Reduction by up to 50% of type 1 diabetes in people who maintain a vitamin D level of >34ng/ml (Nutrition Reviews, 2007)
  • Reduction of 20% of ovarian cancer of people that maintain a vitamin D level of >40ng/ml (Nutrition Reviews, 2007)

**the amount to prevent rickets is 6ng/ml…clearly not enough to prevent these major diseases

Take Home Message

1)      We all need to have our vitamin D levels checked by either your MD or ND

Vitamin D Council is suggesting that everyone in Canada should have a vitamin D status of 50ng/ml (125nmol/ml)

2)      Everyone in North America should be supplementing with Vitamin D

  • Birth- 11years – 1000IU
  • 12yrs-adult – 2000IU/year during winter months. If you are spending great amount of time outside without sunscreen then you can reduce your summer intake to 1000IU

3)      If you have had breast or colon cancer, osteoporosis, type 1 diabetes or have a strong history of these conditions please talk to us as recommended levels can increase to upwards of 3800-5000IU/day

It’s Never a Glorious Rise to the Top!

You want better health, you want more energy and focus, you want to lose weight, you want to kick old unhealthy habits and create new healthier ones – Great!

We at Vibrant Living have exhausted the notion that there is not magic pill that will give you better health, but there is a ‘lifestyle’ change that will help you achieve a vibrant quality of life!  Unhealthy habits are hard to break and new habits take time and effort.

As you embark on your journey of Vibrant Living, it’s important to acknowledge that it’s never a glorious rise to the top!  In fact, we go through several stages and bumps in the road before we can achieve long term, stable change.

Below we’re going to go through the Stages of Change Model, or SCM.  SCM explains the mind/body stages we go through when we make changes in our life, weather it’s developing new habits or kicking old ones.   The SCM model has been applied to a broad range of behaviours including weight loss, overcoming alcohol, and drug problems among others.

The idea behind the SCM is that behaviour change does not happen in one step. Rather, people tend to progress through different stages on their way to successful change and each of us progresses through the stages at our own rate.  Moreover, each person must decide for himself or herself when a stage is completed and when it is time to move on to the next stage.  MOST importantly, this decision to change must come from the inside, and not because someone is asking us to change or wants us to change… as per the popular saying ‘We can’t change others but we can change ourselves!”

The Stages of Change

As we work through the stages of change I will use the example of starting an exercise program (new healthy habit) for the purpose of trying to lose weight

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Stage One: Precontemplation

In the precontemplation stage, people are not thinking seriously about changing and are not interested in any kind of help. People in this stage tend to defend their current bad habit(s) and do not feel it is a problem. They do not focus their attention on their bad habit and tend not to discuss their bad habit with others.  This stage is often referred to as the “denial” stage.

This person sees no problem with getting absolutely no exercise; this person will drive two blocks to the corner store because they wouldn’t even consider the idea of walking.

Stage Two: Contemplation

In the contemplation stage people are more aware of the personal consequences of their bad habit and they spend time thinking about their problem.  They are able to consider the possibility of changing and are weighing the pros and cons of quitting or modifying their behaviour. It might take as little as a couple weeks or as long as a lifetime to get through the contemplation stage. (In fact, some people think and think and think about giving up their bad habit and may die never have gotten beyond this stage).

Here the individual recognizes that if they don’t start exercising and losing weight they could die at a young age of a heart attack like their father did, or they may not be able to play with their kids because it’s too painful on their joints.  They may also feel it’s impossible to get back on track, or it’s too painful to even try, or perhaps they’ve tired before and failed and they don’t want to fail yet another time.

Stage Three: Preparation/Determination

In the preparation/determination stage, people have made a commitment to make a change. Their motivation for changing is reflected by statements such as: “I’ve got to do something about this – this is serious. Something has to change. What can I do?”

People in this stage are trying to gather information about what they will need to do to change their behaviour and what resources are available to help them make this change.

Now the individual is calling different fitness club inquiring about cost or programs. They may ask friends or family what they did to get back in shape.  They maybe are looking at their schedule to see when they could fit exercise into their day.

Too often, people skip this stage: they try to move directly from contemplation into action and fall flat on their faces because they haven’t adequately researched or accepted what it is going to take to make this major lifestyle change.

Stage Four: Action/Willpower

This is the stage where people believe they have the ability to change their behaviour and are actively involved in taking steps to change their bad behaviour by using a variety of different techniques.

This is the shortest of all the stages. It generally lasts about 6 months, but it can literally be as short as one hour! This is a stage when people most depend on their own willpower. They are making overt efforts to quit or change the behaviour and are at greatest risk for relapse.

Mentally, they review their commitment to themselves and develop plans to deal with both personal and external pressures that may lead to slips. They may use short-term rewards to sustain their motivation, and analyze their behaviour change efforts in a way that enhances their self-confidence. People in this stage also tend to be open to receiving help and are also likely to seek support from others (a very important element).

Here the individual is using their new gym membership. They are choosing to go to the gym right after work because they know that if they come home they will get distracted.  They find a reliable friend to go to the gym with so they have extra support, and they find ways to reward themselves for their hard work!

Stage Five: Maintenance

Maintenance involves being able to successfully avoid any temptations.  They are able to anticipate the situations in which a relapse could occur and prepare coping strategies in advance.  The goal of the maintenance stage is to maintain the new status quo. People in this stage tend to remind themselves of how much progress they have made and remind themselves what they are striving for is personally worthwhile and meaningful. Here people may have thoughts of returning to their old bad habits, they resist the temptation and stay on track.

This individual will be able get through the holiday season or go on vacation without gaining 10 lbs because they have anticipated the temptations involved and have set out strategies before hand, such as picking a resort with a gym, choosing one course of a dinner party to indulge in instead of indulging in the whole meal.


It is common to cycle through the five stages several times before achieving a stable life style change – thus, relapse is considered a normal part of change.

The risk with relapse is that it can really make you feel like a failure and give you little confidence to get back on track.  On the flip side, by analyzing how the slip happened, relapses can be an important opportunity for learning and becoming stronger by finding better coping strategies for the next time a high stress situation arises or one is faced with temptation.


Eventually, if you “maintain maintenance” long enough, you will reach a point where you will be able to work with your emotions and understand your own behaviour and view it in a new light. In this stage, not only is your bad habit no longer an integral part of your life but to return to it is not an option.

In Summary:

  • Precontemplation (Not yet acknowledging that there is a problem behaviour that needs to be changed)
  • Contemplation  (Acknowledging that there is a problem but not yet ready or sure of wanting to make a change)
  • Preparation/Determination (Getting ready to change)
  • Action/Willpower (Changing behaviour)
  • Maintenance (Maintaining the behaviour change)
  • Relapse (Returning to older behaviours and abandoning the new changes)
  • Transcendence (Bad habits are no longer a integral part of your life – returning to old ways is not an option)

As you progress through your own stages of change, it can be helpful to re-evaluate your progress in moving up and down through these stages. Remember relapsing is normal and don’t let it paralyze you!  Relapsing is like falling off a horse – the best thing you can do is get right back on again.

The Truth on Energy Bars

As many of you have already watched, I had the opportunity to do a segment on CTV news on energy and sports bars. Since the aired segment was short, I thought I would expand on what to look for and what to stay away from.

In preparing for this talk, one of the things that I found most interesting is where these bars are located. The bars that I consider “healthy” were found in the health food section of the grocery store…I knew where those were. However, I had to go on a hunt for the other sports bars. You will never guess where I found those…that’s right, the pharmacy aisles. To the average consumer this is very confusing, as how could things in the pharmacy section be THAT bad!

Here are the things that you want to keep in mind when eating these bars:


All of these bars use sugar. It is just a matter of what type of sugar they are using. The purpose of most of these bars is to act as quick energy for athletics, so they use sugar such as maltodextrin, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup and glucose to provide a powerful punch to the body and give it instant energy. The problem is, these sugars set off a cascade reaction in the body that causes inflammation and insulin levels to spike. So, while you may be getting a “punch” of energy during your workout, the question is…are you really gaining health?

What are these ingredients doing to your body long term? The answer is…nothing good!

Outside of athletics, the average person is using these as a snack thinking that it is a better choice than a chocolate bar. The problem is, the sugars in these bars are broken down and absorbed rapidly making it hard for the body to use all of this energy all at once. Instead, it conserves it for a later date…and it does so as body fat!

It has been shown that foods that contain high fructose corn syrup set off yet another hormonal cascade in the body that actually causing leptin resistance. Big deal! Well leptin is the hormone that is produced by your fat cell to signal your brain when it is full. So, these bars will actually make you feel hungrier causing you to want to eat more and more.

Look for these sugars in products – the are less inflammatory, have a lower glycemic index and send good messages to the body:

  • Dates, figs, raisins
  • Agave nectar
  • Organic brown rice syrup
  • Evapourated cane juice
  • Organic cane sugar
  • Honey


Most people know that hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats are not good for you. Long term use of these toxic and inflammatory fats has been linked to things like cardiovascular disease, obesity and high cholesterol.

Manufacturers have now become smarter, and have started using things called modified fats. While these may be better than the hydrogenated/trans fats, they are not much better and have still been linked to chronic disease.

Avoid anything that says – hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated or modified fats. 

Look for good fats – hemp oil, flax oil.


The old rule applies here…if you can’t pronounce something, you probably shouldn’t be eating it. Common additives on labels of bars are things like sodium benzoate which can cause skin rashes and aggravate asthma, and sulphites which are known to cause rashes, headaches, trigger IBS and aggravate asthmatic conditions. The other things to watch out for are natural and artificial flavours which are like the “mystery meat” of the additive world.


A typical snack should be anywhere from 180-220 calories. Most commercial bars are anywhere from 200-300 – so a snack would be ½ bar (**this depends on activity level, and if you are trying to lose or maintain weight). Keep in mind the calories, and how many serving sizes are in a bar (most calories are per bar…but just double check this).

I am not against the use of these bars, I just think people need to be aware what they are eating. Eating the right bar can provide you with a nutritious convenient snack but just make sure that you are eating good quality bars.

Examples of Nutritious Bars:

Lara, Vega, Elev8me, Luna, Gen Soy, Think Organic, Dr Weil, Perfect 10, Organics, Clif

Homemade Nut and Honey Energy Bars

This recipe was already posted, but it provides a great example of a homemade energy bar that can be made at home.

  • 1 cup oatmeal 300
  • 1 cup granola 300
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds 50
  • ¼ cup flax seeds 50
  • ½ cup wheat germ 100
  • ½ cup bran 100
  • ½ cup protein powder 20
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup maple syrup 400
  • ½ cup honey 480
  • 1 cup peanut butter 760
  • ½ cup pecans 400 
  • Optional ¼-1/2 cup coconut, raisins, dried fruit


  1. Grease pan, mix dry ingredients.
  2. Mix peanut butter, maple syrup and honey in a saucepan and stir until very hot, but do not boil
  3. Pour mix over dry ingredients
  4. Press into pan, and let sit 24 hours in the fridge
  5. Cut into individual bars, and wrap or store in container in fridge or freezer and the Enjoy!

Top 5 Ways to Get More Out of Your Day!

Stress is a growing problem in our society. A reported 43% of all adults in Canada suffer adverse health effects due to stress, 75-90% of all visits to family doctors are for stress related complaints, each day 1 Million people are absent from work due to stress and 25 billion workdays are lost annually are due to stress related factors.

One of the underlying factors that create stress in our lives is the feeling that we just don’t have enough time in the day to get everything done. We find ourselves scrambling between our jobs, our responsibilities at home and around the house, our commitment to friends and family, preparing meals, exercise and trying to find some time to have some fun in the mist of it all. This creates a lot of stress on a daily basis, and if we’re not managing our time effectively we eventually ‘burn’ ourselves out trying to get everything done, or we will put some important aspects of our life on the ‘back burner’ such as regular exercise.

Time, or lack thereof is one the #1 complaint I get in my office! It’s a big source of stress in our lives, and it’s also an excuse or rationalization used for why we aren’t able to make better choices in our lifestyle such as regular exercise and healthy eating.

One of the best ways to reduce our stress and to get more out of our day is to manage our time better!



Is it possible to get everything done in our 24hrs day?

Top 5 Ways to get more out of your day!

#1 Set Priorities!

Decide what is most important to you! There maybe several aspects of your life that you feel are really important – your work, your family, your social life, exercise and so on. Remember it’s important to have a healthy balance of work and pleasure. The priorities may change week to week. Decide what your top priority is and put most of your energy towards that. If possible address your priorities early in the day so they’re out of the way, this will help you start the day with a sense of accomplishment and reduce the weight on your shoulder for the reminder of the day.

#2 Organize Your Day

Plan ahead and anticipate what your day will look like! Make a list of the tasks that you would like to get done in a day. It has been proven that if we write things down and schedule them into our day we are much more likely to get them done! Better yet, make that list in the order that it needs to get done – be as specific as possible. Use your “NET” time wisely. “NET” time is pockets of time throughout the day that is often wasted, such as repeatedly pressing the snooze button in the morning instead of using the time wisely such as firing off some emails that need to get out or putting in 15-20 mins. on the treadmill or walking around the block to get your daily exercise in. Find pockets in your day that you usually waste, and schedule tasks into those pockets. Find efficient ways to run your errands, such as internet banking instead of having to make a trip to the bank to pay your bills or using your breaks at work to run errands or squeeze in some daily exercise. Now, no matter how well we plan ahead, we are bound to encounter surprises. So things won’t always turn out as planned. Keep a flexible attitude and be prepared to juggle your schedule for the surprises that keeps life exciting!

#3 Delegate What You Can

It’s important to recognize when you can delegate some of the workload. Whether at work or at home, share the responsibility! Communicate to those around you on when and what you need help with! When we are able to delegate tasks we leave opportunity for more time in the day to get to other things that are important to us done. Sharing responsibilities is an important way to build a healthy work environment and home. Much more gets done when everyone pitches in and it also helps to build a sense of unity.

#4 Don’t Over Schedule

Be reasonable about what you can get done in a day! This will help to reduce the pressure of time, and you’ll feel really great about yourself when you complete all the tasks you set out to complete in a day. Make sure you have a balance in your schedule! It does you no good working like a dog and leaving little time for enjoyment or rest or vise versa. Assign time for your job, family, and fun each day! If you are giving extra attention to work one week, make sure to balance that out the following week and do something enjoyable for yourself.

#5 Let Go of Perfectionism

As mentioned earlier, your day will not always go perfectly as planned and you need to keep a flexible attitude so you can deal with unexpected changes in your day. Some tasks may need a lot of detail other tasks could do without. Pick and choose what you want to spend more time on, and what can be done swiftly.

If you are feeling the pressure of time take a moment and see which of the 5 steps is most unlike the way you approach you day and start with that step to get more out of your day and reduce the stress of time!

Healthy Pet Food


My husband and I have a 8 year old Old English Sheepdog named Parker. Since he was little, we have raised him on premium whole dog food. He typically consumes Wysong or Fromm, but also likes the new food that Ellen Degeneras produced called Halo. Yes that is right…all the food that you shutter at when you get the bill at the cash register. The way I see it, I can’t feed myself well without feeding our 4 legged friend well too!!

So, the other night we were out at a friend’s house and Parker was there and we didn’t bring any food for him. So he had what I like to call the “McDonalds of dog food” … Caeser! Now he can typically switch between different brands of quality food all of the time and have absolutely no problem. But for 4 days after he ate the Caeser he had diarrhea. His diarrhea was so bad that he was waking me up all night long for 4 nights in a row. I finally had to feed him rice for 2 days to get it to calm down…the poor guy.

This experience just reaffirms why I pay the big price for quality food. It is the old saying, pay me now or pay me later!! He has been an extremely healthy dog, with very few health concerns and just like people – he is what he eats!!

If that is not enough to turn you around…keep reading (taken from 100 Year Lie by Randall Fitzgerald)

Four of the largest US pet food companies are subsidiaries of multinational corporations that also produce processed foods for humans. Americans spend almost $11 billion annually on pet food that has been made from scraps, rejects and wastes known as the 4D meat (dead, diseased, dying, disabled). It has been found that these meats are mixed with restaurant refuse, euthanized animals from shelters, sawdust, cooking grease and then mixed with colourings, preservatives and fat stabilizers.

Wet foods contain preservatives such as ethoxyquin, which allows the food to last for an eternity but has also been linked with cancer.

BHA and BHT are the most common stabilizers added to foods to prevent rancidity. These chemicals are known to cause liver, brain, reproductive and kidney problems. What about the food colourings added to these foods, since when does the dog care what colour his kibble is? Food colourings have been linked to a multitude of problems in humans from allergies to hyperactivity. It has been found that with respect to these chemical sensitivities…humans and animals are very similar.

If processed foods, hydrogenated fats and chemical additives are creating health problems in humans they are also affecting the health of our pets. I agree that the food is more expensive…but so are vet bills. Let’s start looking at preventative medicine for the whole family!! Your pet is worth it!!

Check out these local stores that carry great quality food

Bark and Fitz –
Global Pet Food –
Creature Comfort –

Grated Raw Beet Salad

This is a recipe that I received from my local organic food box from Re-Root Organic Farm. The recipe taste fantastic, and is a great way to incorporate beets into your diet which are great for your liver.


  • 4 medium beets, peeled
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp chopped shallots
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp finely chopped dill


  1. Put the grated beets in a large salad bowl.
  2. Combine the olive oil, vinegar, shallot, mustard, and garlic in a large jar.
  3. Shake the jar until the olive oil and vinegar are thickened.
  4. Pour the dressing over the beets and toss until well coated.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and let marinate for an hour in the fridge.
  6. Add dill and serve over fresh greens.
  7. Enjoy!!

Psyllium Breakfast Pudding … a “regular” original

This dish is hearty like porridge, but with a delicious lemon flavor. Set out 5 medium sized glass bowls or cups and add a couple scoops or slices of your favorite

Blend well:

  • 1 cup water
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ cup of honey or dates
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup almonds
  • ¼ lemon with peel, seeds removed

Add 4 tsp psyllium powder while blender is running. Quickly pour into the bowls onto fruit. You can make as many layers of psyllium and fruit as you desire. The pudding will solidify within minutes. Serves 5.