By Dr. Rabia K. Meghji, Dr. Michelle Hagel & Dr. Alisha Rawji
Stress: Cortisol can be one of the most potent immune suppressants. Do your best not to let the small stuff get to you. Some basic tips to manage your stress levels include engaging in exercise (within your ability) and meditation.
Sugar: Spikes in blood sugar can suppress the immune system, limit your refined sugar intake.
Sleep: Sleep replenishes the body and allows the immune system to work properly. Ensure you are getting at least 8 hours of sleep on a regular basis, more if you are sick.
Diet/lifestyle – Try to ‘eat the rainbow’. Fruits and veggies have natural phyto-nutrients such as zinc and vitamin C, which can help support and increase our overall immune defenses.
Hydration: Keep hydrating, and drinking water throughout the day, with minerals and/or electrolytes if needed. It can help our energy, and help all of our body cells stay nourished and hydrated in order to carry out our immune defenses in the most effective manner.
Oxygen levels: Purchase a pulse oximeter and monitor your pulse ox. If your levels are going under 91-93, consult a doctor as you may need further medical support.
Nutrient supplementation: D, C, zinc, NAC, melatonin, Quercetin, Vitamin A, fish oils, turmeric/black seed oil can all be helpful supports but ask your ND for more detailed information and appropriate dosing.
Contact your Naturopathic Doctor as soon as you get symptoms, we are here to support you through this tough time.
By Dr. Michelle Hagel, ND
New Year Special: Get a Detox Consultation, Meal Plan, AND a Detox Kit for only $100.00
Happy new year, this is a great time to start the new year off with a detox. Detoxification starts with diet, the detox kit will support the organs of elimination to get rid of toxins that have built up in the system. Then breathing is also very important to get the emotional and physical toxins out of the system. So please remember to take deep breaths and really focus on exhaling any negative/toxic emotions. During the consult, we may also discuss injections or IVs that will additionally support the body’s detoxification processes.
I hope that this year you have some time to sit back and enjoy a good read. The mental health book recommendation I would like to make is The Mind-gut Connection by Emeran Mayer MD. This is a fascinating book, as most of my patients know I am always talking about the importance of the brain and gut connection. It is rare that I see chronic mental health concerns that do not manifest digestively or vise versa. It really is a chicken and the egg situation of which came first. They are so inter-connected and that is so important to consider to achieve optimal wellness. This book really gets into the complexities of the two and how they are connected. When you understand what you eat is going to affect how you can emotionally handle a situation, that is pretty powerful. It discusses addressing the good gut bacteria through fermented foods, probiotics, prebiotics. On this note, I will leave you with a favorite fermented foods recipe.
I have a lot of patients/friends and family (including myself) that are sensitive to dairy so this is a great way to get benefits of kefir without the dairy. This option contains very little dairy and is much simpler than using milk kefir grains. Use a Kefir Starter Culture in coconut milk, these are available at most health food stores, you just follow the directions.
The coconut Kefir can be added to a smoothie, cereal, porridge, whatever you like. I do not recommend heating kefir as you will kill off some of the beneficial bacteria.
By Dr. Michelle Hagel, ND
Cold and flu season is upon us, some of my favorite ways to support immune health are soups and stews. This recipe in particular is very warming, nourishing, and easy to digest. Providing great nutrients to help support your optimal health.
Curry Chicken soup
1 Yam (large, diced)
2 cups Chickpeas (cooked, drained, and rinsed)
1 tsp Cumin (ground)
1 tbsp Curry Powder
2 Garlic (cloves, minced)
2 cups Organic Vegetable Broth (or any type of broth)
8 oz Chicken Breast
Add all ingredients except chicken breasts to the slow cooker and stir well to mix. Then lay the chicken on top and season them generously with sea salt and pepper. Cover with lid and cook on low setting overnight or for 6 to 8 hours.
After 6 to 8 hours, remove the lid and lift the chicken out onto a plate. Use a fork to shred the chicken breasts and add them back to the slow cooker. Stir well to mix and let sit for 15 minutes.
Mango Lemon Smoothie
1 cup Frozen Mango
1/2 cup Canned Coconut Milk
1 1/2 tsp Ginger (fresh, grated or minced)
1 1/2 tsp Honey
1 Lemon (juiced and zested)
1/3 oz Collagen Powder
Blend all together and enjoy!
By Dr. Michelle Mountenay, ND
I’ve never been so excited to hear kids are going back to school than this year. I wish everyone a fun and healthy school year. A couple of my favourite recipes that are quick, easy, and healthy! These can be packed for lunches or prepared after school. The creamy peanut butter is almost a guaranteed favourite. Hope everyone enjoys!
Sweet potato Quesadilla
1/4 cup Water (divided)
1 Sweet Potato (shredded) – can use shredded chicken instead of course or ½ and ½
1 1/2 tsp Taco Seasoning
1 1/2 cups Baby Spinach
1 1/2 cups Black Beans (cooked, rinsed)
1 cup Salsa
3 Brown Rice Tortilla
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add half the water and then the sweet potato and sauté for one minute. Then add the taco seasoning. Sauté over medium-low heat until cooked through, about six to eight minutes. Add more water if needed to prevent any sticking.
Once the sweet potato is cooked through, add the spinach, black beans, and salsa. Stir to combine and cook until the spinach is wilted and the beans are warmed through. Remove from the heat and set aside in a large bowl. Wipe out the skillet.
Place the tortilla on the skillet over medium-low heat and spread the sweet potato filling over half the tortilla, leaving a slight border around the edges. Fold the tortilla in half and gently press down. Cook for two to three minutes per side or until browned and crispy. Let the quesadilla cool slightly and then cut into wedges.
Creamy Peanut Butter and Banana
3 tbsp Unsweetened Coconut Yogurt
1 tbsp All Natural Peanut Butter
1 Banana (ripe, cut into thick slices
In a small bowl mix the yogurt and peanut butter together. Serve with the banana slices for dipping.
By Dr. Michelle Hagel, ND
This is one of my favorite summer breakfast recipes, I make a batch and we eat them for a few days. I have a garden at home and use fresh basil and tomatoes from my garden and the flavor is amazing. They are so easy and so good I hope you enjoy them!
Balsamic Tomato and Basil Egg Cups
1 Tomato (medium, diced, juices drained)
1/2 cup Basil Leaves (chopped)
1 1/2 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
1/8 tsp Sea Salt
Preheat the oven to 350ºF (175ºC).
In a bowl, combine the eggs, tomato, basil, balsamic vinegar, and salt.
Scoop the mixture into lined (or greased) mini muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through.