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6 Tips for Weight Loss This Summer

Trying to lose weight this summer? Here are 6 tips for you to incorporate into your lifestyle:

1. Stop grazing. For most people, it’s best to stick to three meals per day.  Your digestive system needs a break to manufacture more enzymes to break down your food. It has been shown that fasting is more beneficial for weight loss than grazing every 2 hours. Try to keep your meals apart by 4 hours. If your meals are more than 6 hours apart, then incorporate a snack, such as nuts and veggie sticks (but not fruit).

2. Eat proteins with each meal. If you are famished 1 hour after your meal, it means you’re not eating the right foods during your meals. Aim for at least one palm-sized protein with each meal.

3. Eat grain carbs only for breakfast and around workouts. Grains are rice, pastas, bread, etc. Stay away from bread and try crispbread, which is easier for your body to digest. A serving of grain is ½ cooked rice or pasta.

4. Eat fruits with meals only. Fruits contain lots of antioxidants and vitamins, but if you are trying to lose weight, they can affect your blood sugar levels.  Never eat fruits on their own, always eat them with a meal or with some nuts. Berries and apples are lower in sugar, whereas bananas, grapes and pineapple are higher in sugar.

5. Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep contributes to elevated stress hormone levels (called cortisol), simply because you don’t get solid rest. Disrupted cortisol hormone levels has been linked to belly fat.

6. Take probiotics. Studies show that the digestive systems of obese individuals contain higher amounts of a bacteria group called Firmicutes (which also are correlated to higher levels of the inflammatory marker hsCRP in the blood and triggers insulin resistance).

Looking for some one-on- one help with weight loss? Call us for more information about Dr. Misa’s 8-Week Customized Weight Loss program! This program is covered with your Naturopathic Medicine extended health benefits.

May Lifestyle Challenge

Omega-3 is an essential nutrient that our bodies cannot manufacture on our own so we must get is through food.  Foods that are high in Omega-3 include fish, chia seeds, flax seeds (and flax seed oil), and walnuts (and other nuts).

Omega-3 has many health benefits.  It is an anti-inflammatory, has been shown to lower triglyceride levels and reduce heart disease.  Researchers are also looking at omega-3 and its importance in mental health.

I often get asked about concerns about mercury toxicity and fish.  Here are two great websites you can use to know which fish are safer options for you and your family: http://www.ewg.org/research/ewgs-good-seafood-guide and http://seafood.edf.org/….and, if I may plug my favourite fish people at Off The Hook Fish Market in Oak Ridges, Ryan there is super knowledgeable and has a wonderful selection of seafood 🙂

It can be difficult to consume enough fish per week to obtain the amount of omega-3 that your body needs, especially if you suffer from joint pain, arthritis or fatigue.  In these cases, it may be a good idea to take omega-3 as a supplement.

Fish oil or Krill oil (vs. flax seed oil) contains omega-3 in a form that is more bioavailable by your body (meaning able to be utilized right away) so it is the preferred form of supplementing omega-3.  Vegan or vegetarian? Then Sea algae oil is a great option.

In my practice I see my patients benefit a lot from taking omega-3 daily, such as improved growth of hair and nails, improved mental clarity, better exercise recovery and reduction in joint pain.  Feel free to come talk to me if you’d like to know what kind of omega-3 supplement is right for you!

Soooooo….this month’s lifestyle challenge is: Eat fish two times per week for the next 4 weeks!  Try some new recipes and toppings (salsa of any sort is always a great choice).  If you’re not used to eating fish, try a lighter tasting fish like rainbow trout or tilapia.
Good luck!
Dr. Misa

April Lifestyle Challenge

This month’s lifestyle challenge is to DRINK ENOUGH FLUIDS daily. Fluids include water and non-caffeinated herbal teas.

Fluid balance is super important for health. Did you know that as little as a 1-2% reduction in bodyweight due to water loss can lead to reduced aerobic and muscular performance? And thirst is sometimes a poor indicator of hydration status, because you don’t usually notice you’re thirsty until you’ve already lost that 1-2% of bodyweight, and by then its too late, your performance and mental clarity has already decreased.

We lose water through urination, bowel movements, sweat, and breathing out (expired air). We take in water from the food we eat and the beverages we drink. On average, humans get about 1 L (4 cups or 34 ounces) of water from the food we eat (depending on our food selections, of course).

So, how much should you drink?

There are several ways to determine how much fluids you need to drink:

1. Calculate half your weight (in pounds) in ounces. For example, a 180 lbs person needs about 90 ounces of fluids daily, plus more if he/she exercises that day. That’s about 2.7 litres. Subtract the 1L that he/she gets from food, and so that means 1.7 litres of fluid intake.

2. Another estimation method is to ingest 30-40 mL water for every kilogram of body weight. So a 180 lbs person is 81.6 kg. This means they need 2.5 – 3.3 litres of fluids per day. Again, subtract the 1L that he/she gets from food, and so that means 1.5 – 2.3 litres of fluids per day.

THE CHALLENGE:

1. Calculate your daily fluid needs using one of the above methods.

2. Consume 500mL of fluids about 30 minutes before exercise (it’s important to begin the hydration process before water is lost). You can add BCAAs to this if you like.

3. Consume about 250mL fluids for every 15 minutes of aerobic exercise (this is in addition to the calculation you did for #1). You can add BCAAs to this if you like.

4. Do this for consistently for 30 days and see how you feel!

Reference: Precision Nutrition: The Essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition, Second Edition. By John Berardi, PhD & Ryan Andrews, MS, MA, RD

Fight Inflammation With The Right Food Choices

Have you ever wondered if your chronic joint pain is being aggravated by foods that you eat in your diet?

Do you find that your recovery from general exercise or focused training is not as quick as before and you often feel more tired?

Are you having difficulty losing weight even though you are eating the right “macros” and exercising regularly?

Have you ever said to yourself, “I must be getting old” because you have these annoying symptoms, like muscles aches, digestive issues or random skin irritations?

Let’s not blame our age and give up. A lot of this is within our control. Now some inflammation is normal, such as shortly after an injury…but what does it mean to be “chronically inflamed”?

Well, it means the immune system is ramping up in some way, but in the wrong way, and this type of inflammation typically begins in the gut.

Take my patient, Sandy, for example (not her real name :)). Lawyer and marathon runner. When she started university and then law school, she began to eat out a lot more. She also began to have some difficulty sleeping because her brain was always thinking and she would survive on 4 hours a night. During her final board exams in law school, she developed psoriasis on the palms of her hands and her eyelids.

Now in her 40’s, she still follows a training schedule and runs 2-3 full marathons every year. She’s a busy mom and works as an in-house lawyer for an insurance company. But wow, is she ever starting to feel tired and achy after her training sessions, and can’t seem to reduce her belly fat even though she exercises so much. Gas and bloating after meals is pretty normal these days. Her psoriasis comes and goes, but definitely flares up if she’s had a stressful week and very little sleep.

So what’s going on with Sandy? Is this inflammation? You bet it is. And because 60-80% of the immune system is found within the lining of the gut, prolonged stress combined with poor food choices initiated a cascade of physiological reactions in her gut that lead to Sandy’s health problems.

If this sounds like something you’re going through, keep reading.

For Sandy, the first priority is to identify if there are any foods that her body has become intolerant, or “sensitive” to. This can be done two ways:

1. Through a blood test called the “IgG Food Sensitivity Test”, which tests for a delayed hypersensitivity (allergic) reaction with 120 foods. A delayed hypersensitivity reaction means that once you eat a food, you can show symptoms up to 2 days later, so it is difficult to pinpoint the inflammatory foods. The results show if you have a low, moderate or elevated reaction to these 120 foods. The foods that caused an elevated test results should be completely avoided for 3-6 months. Check here for a look at a sample test report.

2. The other way to identify foods is though an “Elimination Diet” such as the one here. I got this diet from the “Clear Change Program Guide”, which is a group anti-inflammatory detoxification program that starts at Meridian on April 18 (more about this further down ). For a minimum of 14 days, you remove the foods from the “Avoid” list, and then monitor your symptoms. You can continue even longer, for 4 weeks, until you see a significant change in your symptoms. At that time, you start introducing foods, one at a time, every 2 days. You will quickly be able to tell which foods are inflammatory for you body, as your symptoms return.

The next step is for Sandy to pay attention to how she reacts to stressful situations in her life. Routine is the best thing for this…going to bed at the same time each night, eating at the same times, eating in a calm environment (not in the car or in front of the computer).

Frequent eating or “grazing” is also not great for Sandy. She should allow her gut to take breaks between meals, and she should eat foods that are easy to digest and absorb for a little while, like cooked veggies and soups (think baby food :)). A palm-sized serving of protein with each meal is a must. Probiotics will also help Sandy’s small intestine absorb nutrients better.

Finally, Sandy needs to begin the healing process by helping her organ systems, especially the liver, do its job of removing inflammatory compounds from the body.

The best way to do this is through clean eating (you don’t want to add more toxins like coffee and alcohol and sugar to an already inflamed system) and supplements that speed up the process of eliminating this inflammatory “junk” from the body. The 10-Day Clear Change Metabolic Detoxification Program will do just that. (Our next Clear Change Program is starting April 18! :))

This program includes an eating guide, recipes and all the supplements you need to begin reducing the inflammation in your body and getting some energy back. And because it’s done as a group, you get the support of other members who are going similar health issues that you are. And I’ll be doing it with you too! You can email me as often as you like during the 10 days (during day time hours, I need to work on getting more sleep too ) so that you will be 100% monitored during the whole process.

By the way, Sandy’s feeling so much better. Her inflammation started over 15 years ago, so it will take some time to heal, but she is well on her way. The biggest things she’s noticed so far is that her joint pain and bloating are gone, and she’s waking up a bit more refreshed in the mornings.

I hope this article has given you some ways to tackle your own inflammation. And if you need support figuring out what foods are causing your symptoms, I’d be happy to help.

Don’t forget to call or email me for more information about our upcoming 10-Day Clear Change Program, which starts April 18. The cost is $190 (no tax) per person and you can use your Naturopathic benefits for the entire program.

Registration closes April 14th…call soon so we can reserve a spot for you.

Happy April!

Dr. Misa

Start Off The Fall Season In A Healthy Way!

ClearChangeMetabolicDetoxification

Make A Change That You Can Keep – Better Health & Energy In Just 10 Days!

Once September hits, time seems to escape us, and next thing you know the holiday season will be upon us. Fall is a great time to try a cleansing program so that your body, mind and spirit will feel your best as we enter the busiest months of the year.  Fall cleanses allow us to create some good habits so that we stay active and positive as the weather gets colder.  Avoid the fall & winter “blahs” that can weigh you down and leave you feeling less than your best…bloated, moody, foggy-headed, and just plain tired.  Get on track and join our Fall Detox Program that starts on September 26th!

Because Everyone Is Different…

We offer two very different Detoxification Programs to suit your individual needs.

ClearChange10 is a 10-day intensive program where the main focus is to improve liver and digestive function and reduce inflammation in the body.  It is a great cleanse for those who are generally healthy, trying to rev up their metabolism, and not taking many medications.  The main supplement is a medical shake, UltraClear Renew, which works on optimizing toxin removal from the body’s tissues, decreasing inflammation, plus heavy metal removal.  The shake will be consumed between 1-4X daily, with a 3-day fast where you consume mostly the shake for the 3 days.  The kit also includes AdvaClear for additional liver support, a shaker cup, and a booklet will full details of the timing of the supplements and the detox diet.  You may eat as much as you would like, but of course you will have to eliminate foods such as gluten, coffee, pop, sugar, dairy, eggs, and red meat for the 10-days.  Most people feel more energetic, improved sleep, improved digestion and “lighter” after doing the ClearChange10 Detox.

TotalDrainage10 is also a 10-day drainage program, but much gentler than ClearChange10.  Therefore it is good for people who have chronic illnesses, highly stressed, a high score on Detox Questionnaire, or are taking several medications.  The detox diet is the same as in ClearChange10, however it does not include a 3-day fast and you consume as much of the recommended foods as you need.  This cleanse focus on the liver, kidneys, digestive, and lymphatic systems.   The kit includes a Biotherapeutic Drainage Kit, Digest Plus (digestive enzymes), Lymphdiaral Drops (for lymphatic drainage), AFA-Gen (to alkalinize the body), and HMF Neuro Capsules (probiotics for gut health).  You will also receive a folder containing the detox diet and timing of the supplements.  Most people feel improved sleep, improved digestion, more energy, reduced inflammation in skin (e.g. dermatitis/eczema) after doing the TotalDrainage10 Detox.

Bring A Friend

The Clear Change Program is even easier when you have the added support of a friend, co-worker, or family member. You can share menu ideas, meals, and helpful tips while keeping each other on track. Plus, you’re helping someone you care about while you take care of yourself!

Ready To Register?

You may still have some questions.  Check out the FAQ & Questions document for more info.  Still have questions?  Feel free to book a free 10-minute phone chat with Dr. Misa to see if our Detox Program is right for you.

Once you’ve decided which Detox Program you would like to do, fill out the Detox Registration Form as well as the Detox Questionnaire and email (info@meridianspineandsport.ca) or fax (905-773-5847) them to us!

You can also come and pick up your Detox Kit anytime during office hours.  You will start receiving emails from Dr. Misa a few days before the official start of the detox on September 26th!