Author: Rachel

5 Ways to Reduce Bloating Naturally & Effectively

5 Ways to Reduce Bloating Naturally & Effectively

Who doesn’t get bloated? Either you ate too much, ate something that disagreed with you, maybe you have no idea why you are bloated or maybe you are suffering from chronic bloating! Whatever the reason, bloating can be severely uncomfortable and frustrating. The good new […]

30 Days Vegan – 6 Reasons Why You Should Give This Diet a Try

30 Days Vegan – 6 Reasons Why You Should Give This Diet a Try

Yesterday I began my 30 day vegan kick. I’m not eating dairy or eggs or meat. I’m focusing on eating whole grains, fresh fruits & vegetables, nuts & seeds and legumes. I’ve cut out coffee and am trying to avoid sugar in any form. I’m trying to reduce […]

9 Tips for Overcoming Burnout

9 Tips for Overcoming Burnout

Burnout is word that I’ve been hearing a lot about lately, not only because I am currently working through my own burnout, but because it seems that our society continues to think working until you are completely exhausted, sick and defeated is an acceptable way of living. Unfortunately, we have bought into the lie that we should be available 24/7, emotionally ready to deal with everyone else’s concerns at any moment, and that our personal boundaries are not as important as our job’s demands or friend’s and family’s needs.

Despite having knowledge that can set us free from experiencing burnout we continue to create unhealthy patterns that contribute to poor overall mental, emotional and physical health.

Over time, your body’s ability to respond and deal with stress is reduced, especially if you are not dealing with the emotions you are feeling or if you continue to function in a state of high stress with little support of your body and mind. This can eventually lead to burnout and possibly even severe health issues including hormonal problems, chronic fatigue syndrome, anxiety, digestive issues, insomnia and frequent colds.

Although there are various types of burnout (from emotional to physical) these 9 suggestions will help you on your journey to wellness no matter what type of burnout you are experiencing. Some signs of burnout include frequent colds, anxiety, irregular periods, insomnia, emotional instability, feeling that things you once could handle or too much, depression, lack of emotion or loss of happiness especially for things you once felt joy, constant & severe fatigue – to name just a few. If you are wondering if you have burnout you can check out this article here.

9 Tips for Overcoming Burnout
  1. Sleep – Go to bed! The most important thing you can do when dealing with burnout is sleep. If you can’t sleep: REST! Try to sleep regular hours on a consistent basis. Practice good sleep hygiene. Get into bed by 10:00 pm allowing your body time to heal itself naturally; each organ in the body has specific times it heals itself and losing precious sleep time will prevent restoration to different parts of your body.
  2. Eat a wholefood diet. Focus on fresh fruits & vegetables and whole grains. Eat high quality fats daily such as avocados and coconut oils to support healthy hormone production. Try to incorporate legumes with wild-rice for protein. Stay away from red meats and pork; and if you do plan on continuing to eat meat aim for grass-fed, organic lean meats like turkey, bison and chicken or wild fish like salmon or trout.
  3. Support your liver. The liver has been linked in Chinese medicine to emotions such as anger, frustration and resentment. Given that burnout feelings often include these feelings a great way to heal your body is to support this important organ. Eat foods such as kale, brussel sprouts, grapefruit and dandelion greens. Drink lemon water, burdock leaf and/or dandelion root tea. A healthy liver is better able to process all those good foods, supplements and adaptogens that you will be taking to heal your body.
  4. Baby those adrenals. Your adrenal glands are your body’s stress managers. Hence, they are extremely important to support when dealing with the adrenal fatigue that is present in burnout. Start taking adaptogens (they help your body deal with physical and mental stress in healthy ways). These include herbs like ashwaganda, ginseng, licorice root, holy basil, and cordycep mushrooms. They come in handy little bags and you can add the recommended amount to a fresh smoothie beverage.
  5. Stay away from stimulants and alcohol. That means NO coffee, caffeinated or decaffeinated. Alcohol also places stress on your liver, can depress mood, as well as cause blood sugar fluctuations which can also affect energy levels and mood. Coffee stresses your adrenal glands which is definitely the last thing you want to place more stress on. Instead drink herbal teas, distilled water and fresh-pressed juices to get the maximum amount of nutrients.
  6. Support your body with nutrients/minerals. Unfortunately a whole food diet does not completely restore diminished vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Especially when you’ve reached the stage of burnout you are long past the low level stage and are most likely running in the depleted stage. Taking a high quality multi-vitamin is a great way to support your body through this period. Try for a wholefood multi from brands like MegaFood or New Chapter.
  7. Set personal boundaries. This is an extremely important part of healing your body. It’s not just your body that needs to recover: it’s your mind and emotional capacity that need space. If you continue to function in a state of stress your body will not be able to recover no matter how much you feed it the right things. Boundaries may need to be set in personal/family relationships or in your work environment. Try turning off your phone for an hour over lunch and after 8 pm. You may need help from a counselor or psychologist in recognizing where you need better boundaries and giving you effective strategies.
  8. Listen to your body. I saved this one for last because I believe it is the MOST HELPFUL tip for overcoming burnout. You may have pushed your body so far that you no longer recognize the signals your body sends you, including when it’s tired physically or emotionally or if you are overwhelmed or even thirsty for a big glass of water! Learning to listen to what it needs may be challenging – but it is especially necessary because your body knows what it needs to heal itself it you just start paying attention! Stopping and resting are the first step to listening to your body. Until you take that first step you won’t have the space to give an ear to your body.

If you put these into practice give yourself time to heal. It can take several months to return to a state of wellness and even longer to return to a place where your physical energy, emotional capacity and ability to manage stress in a healthy way is back to your level of normal. Patience is key.

Visiting a qualified health professional or nutritionist to support you on your wellness journey can reduce the stress that may come with figuring out how to make health and happiness possible again. To schedule a nutritional visit with me click here.

5 Ways to Support Your Body as You Come Off Birth Control

5 Ways to Support Your Body as You Come Off Birth Control

Increasingly I find that the people I see in my practice are wanting to come off the birth control pill after many years of taking it and they are finding that the experience is not as easy as they had hoped it would be. From […]

Tired all the time? 7 things that might be contributing to your fatigue and what to do about them.

Tired all the time? 7 things that might be contributing to your fatigue and what to do about them.

Do you find that you drag yourself through the day? Do you sleep 7+ hours and still wake up tired and groggy? Do you find yourself more tired even after drinking 2 cups of coffee? Do you have troubling concentrating or focusing at work because […]

Try out homeopathy this summer! From bee stings, to sunburns, to heat stroke. Homeopathy for the beginner!

Try out homeopathy this summer! From bee stings, to sunburns, to heat stroke. Homeopathy for the beginner!

Summer is a great time to try out a homeopathic remedy or two and see just how powerful and effective homeopathy really is! Homeopathy is a natural and safe to treat a huge variety of different health issues. It is cost-effective, works well and safe to use for every age group and is easy to take wherever you travel. When you are away on vacation it is so nice to carry with you a homeopathic first aid kit because it can save you a lot of hassle and give you the ability to handle a lot of different situations! The first time you see a remedy work – you’ll feel SO good!

Homeopathy works when the symptoms that you are experiencing as closely resembles the symptoms of the remedy. For example, the stinging sensation, redness and swelling you get after a bee sting matches the symptoms of the remedy Apis. Matching the symptoms is an important thing to grasp because if the remedy doesn’t work it is most likely because your symptoms did not match the symptom picture of the remedy! BUT DON’T WORRY! – Even if you have given the “wrong” remedy there is absolutely no harm done! You will not even experience any side effects from the remedy unlike typical medications you might purchase at the drug store.

Below is a list of the 20 top common “first aid” remedies. I’d suggest buying them in a 30C potency. Make sure to store them in a dry place away from sunlight and strong odours.

20 top common “first aid” remedies
  1. Aconite napellus (Acon.) – For symptoms of “shock” – sudden onset of symptoms such as fear, panic and anxiety with or without hyperventilation.
  2. Arnica Montana (Arn.) – Think injury – bruising or recent injuries such as a broken bone or sprain to reduce the amount of swelling and bruising. Helps to speed the rate of healing, reduce bruising and swelling after injuries or even after dental work!
  3. Apis mellifica (Apis.) – For bites or stings! – You will see swelling, redness (or whiteness) and heat at the site often with a stinging sensation. Feels worse from heat and better from a cold compress.
  4. Arsenicum Album (Ars.) – This is great for food poisoning! Vomiting & diarrhea accoompanied by chills and restlessness.
  5. Belladonna (Bell.) – Heatstroke or heat exhaustion – the person will present with high temperature, redness or flushed face, glassy eyes and dilated pupils.
  6. Calendula officinalis (Calen.) – For your lacerations & superficial cuts Calendula is wonderful for promoting quick skin healing and reducing infection.
  7. Cantharis (Canth.) – Great for sunburns, 2nd & 3rd degree burns and scalds of the skin (even wasp stings!). The area will feel a stinging sensation and will feel better with a cold compress.
  8. Cocculus indicus (Cocc.) – A great motion sickness remedy when also feeling faint and you may not have slept well.
  9. Euphrasia officinialis (Euph.) – This remedy is wonderful for symptoms where eyes are streaming tears and are irritated. This is a wonderful remedy to have on hand for pink eye (conjunctivitis) or when a foreign body gets caught in the eye.
  10. Glonoinum (Glon.) – Suits heat stroke when head is hot & pulsating. The head may feel congested and pains pulse upwards to the head.
  11. Nux Vomica (Nux-v.) – Another great remedy for upset stomach from overindulgence in food, sweets, alcohol. Can also be used for food poisoning when there is constant need to run to the toilet.
  12. Phosphorus (Phos.) – Suits nosebleeds. Blood is bright red and gushing.
  13. Rhus toxicodendrum (Rhus-t.) – This remedy made from the poison ivy plant is for symptoms of allergic skin reactions where the skin forms blisters and is red and itchy.
  14. Silicea terra (Sil.) – For foreign bodies likes splinters or thorns. This remedy encourages the body to push the object out.
  15. Ruta Graveolens (Ruta) – For sprains and strains especially of the wrists and ankles. Any injury to tendons can be given ruta.
  16. Symphytum officinale (Symph.) – To speed up the healing of broken bones ONLY ONCE THE BONE HAS BEEN SET. If it has not been set give arnica to reduce swelling, pain and inflammation.
  17. Ledum Palustre (Led.) –  For puncture wounds, bites and stings, and even a twisted ankle. The affected area will be cold and mottled and feels better with cold compress.
  18. Hypericum Perforatum (Hyper.) –  An incredible remedy for injuries to nerves (think finger caught in the door) or nerve rich areas. Give after dental work when shooting nerve pain is present.
  19. Tabacum (Tab.) – A wonderful remedy for motion sickness. Symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, chills and sweating may be present. The smell of tobacco smoke may worsen the symptoms.
  20. Urtica Urens (Urt-u.) – For burns and scalds where pain continues to be burning or stinging.
“Quick reference guide”

Anaphylaxis: Acon.,  Apis.

Bee stings/bug bites: Apis, Canth., Led.

Broken Bones: Arn., Symph.

Bruising/Sore Muscles: Arn.

Burns or scalds: Apis, Canth., Urt-u.

Cuts/lacerations: Calen.

Food poisoning: Ars., Nux-v.

Hangover/Indigestion: Nux-v., Ars.

Heatstroke or heat exhaustion: Glon., Bell.

Motion Sickness: Tab., Cocc.

Nosebleeds: Phos.

Poison Ivy – Rhus-t.

Shock: Acon.

Sprains & Strains: Ruta, Arn., Led.

Sunburn: Apis, Canth.

Splinter/Foreign Bodies: Sil., Led.

Dental Work: Arn., Symph., Led.

Injury to Nerve rich areas: Hyper.

How to take:

The golden rule with homeopathy is to take the remedy until symptoms start to improve – once this happens stop taking the remedy and only redose if the symptoms start returning.

The frequency with which you take the remedy depends on the severity of the situation. In cases where there is extreme urgency (like a nosebleed, shock, injury to nerves, excruciating pain) I recommend taking the remedy every 3-5 minutes. If you have taken the remedy 3 or 4 times with no change or improvement of symptoms stop taking the remedy because it will probably not work.

For less severe situations (such as food poisoning, sprains, heatstroke) I recommend taking 1 dose and waiting 15 minutes before taking a second dose (unless after taking the first dose there is immediate improvement). If another dose is required sooner because symptoms become more severe or start returning don’t hesitate to take another dose.

So, to end it all – the key now is to practice! If you get it wrong the first time, try again the next time!

Remember that seeking the advice of a medical professional is important for serious injuries and in serious situations.

Treating Lyme Disease Naturally & Effectively

In the past few years there has been an increase in interest and concern related to the increased numbers of ticks being found in Ontario and the subsequent rise in the number of people being diagnosed with and treated for Lyme disease. It is not […]

The Art of Paying Attention

The Art of Paying Attention

I never could really relate to people with anxiety, panic attacks, irrational thoughts, and constant anger and sadness. As a nurse with several years of experience in different settings, I had come across many people in many of these situations and although I felt empathy, I […]

The bottom line: Autoimmune diseases in Canada and is there hope for you?

The bottom line: Autoimmune diseases in Canada and is there hope for you?

I recently attended a workshop about autoimmune (AI) disease and I was blown away by the statistics I heard and so I would like to share a a bit about autoimmune diseases because people need to know! Why? Because the struggles faced by those suffering from autoimmune diseases and those struggling to get a diagnosis are massive and the numbers keep increasing!

At a very basic level an AI disease is when your own immune system goes haywire and starts to attack itself. Autoimmune diseases include endometriosis, celiac, hashimoto’s, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus, crohn’s diseases, type 1 diabetes, scleroderma, pemphigus, bipolar disorder, depression, sarcoidosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, myasthenia gravis and Lyme’s, to name just a few. In fact, there are way more autoimmune diseases that are still not fully ‘recognized’ because they are just not understood or are very rare.

The hard part is that the treatment of these diseases by conventional medicine is very hard on the body and is quite limited in scope because doctors just don’t understand them! In addition, our health care system is not organized in such a way to deal with the complexity of autoimmune diseases. What this means is that if you have an AI disease that spans multiple areas you are forced to see different specialists (e.g. your eyes and with your skin you must see an eye specialist AND and dermatologist). From the get-go, your health concerns are not seen holistically but as separate entities. THIS IS NOT HELPFUL because your body functions as a unit and separating it from each other can be very confusing, frustrating and disheartening and lead to a very disjointed treatment experience which really affects your ability to manage and treat AI diseases effectively!

Statistics show that AI diseases are on the increase and women have it the worst: 80% of those diagnosed with autoimmune diseases are females in their childbearing years.  In addition, most people suffering with AI diseases often develop several autoimmune diseases in the long-term. As per the Canadian Journal of Public Health, there was found a 900-percent increase from 1996 to 2010 in female Ontarians aged 25 to 34 with RA. Canada has the world’s highest rates of MS. These statistics are very disheartening and indicate a real need for our health care system to make some decisions! Currently most people are familiar with treating AI diseases using conventional medicine (your family doctor and specialists) and possibly adding in some dietary changes. However, there is a wealth of other effective treatment modalities that are used by AI sufferers that are available on your own doorstep. Not only that, but these therapies are safe and may even allow you to experience a drug-free life with the potential of long-term cure!

It has been shown that genetics and environment play the biggest role in the development of AI diseases. What does this mean for you? Just because AI disease runs in your family DOES NOT mean that you will get an AI disease or even the same type of disease as your family member. Lifestyle, nutrition and environment seem to have a large impact on your tendency to develop an AI disease. In addition, it is possible to address the underlying triggers and causes of an AI even when those root causes remain unclear. You may wonder how this is possible?! READ ON!

Did you know that it generally takes 4.6 years and 5 doctors to get diagnosed with an AI disease? I recently wrote an article about receiving treatment without a diagnosis. My hope is that those who are dealing with undiagnosed (and diagnosed!) AI diseases realize that there are health professionals out there who are equipped to deal with the complex web of AI in a holistic way with or without a diagnosis. My own health issues and inability to get a diagnosis led me to seek out alternative treatment and it has given me results and hope for a better future (read my bio). If you are in the midst of the struggle of getting diagnosed or have been diagnosed with an AI disease there is hope for you!

If you are interested in learning more or setting up a consultation with me don’t hesitate to contact me!

Why choose homeopathy….(vs. naturopathy or other complementary medicines)

Why choose homeopathy….(vs. naturopathy or other complementary medicines)

I think the most common question I get from people is why would they should choose to do homeopathy rather than naturopathy (or other types of alternative medicines). This is a very valid question – especially considering the fact that most people have some sort […]

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