HOW TO HAVE A HEALTHY SUMMER BBQ

Image from the Huffington Post BBQ Chef Ben Ford

Image from the Huffington Post BBQ Chef Ben Ford

Summertime and BBQs are basically synonymous. The weather is great and we all want to be outside enjoying a tasty meal with our family and friends.  However, over the years, more research has revealed the dangers of barbecuing from the carcinogens that are created when meats get charred when cooked at high temperatures (HCAs – heterocylic amines), to the toxins in the smoke created from burning fat drippings that have fallen through the grill (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons – PAH’s) to broken wire bristles from the grill cleaning brush getting into the barbecued food. Grease fires and food poisoning from improper food handling can also be added to the list. The good news is that there are ways to enjoy your favourite barbecued foods and protect your health. Read on to find out how. (more…)

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THE ARTS: LUXURY OR NECESSITY?

Image from paintingfoto.blogspot.ca200904unbelievable-art.html

Image from paintingfoto.blogspot.ca200904unbelievable-art.html

What do actor Tim Daly (Wings, Madam Secretary), author Thomas Moore (Care of the Soul, Soul Mates) and genius physicist Albert Einstein all have in common?  They have/had an understanding that creativity and the arts are essential, not only in our individual lives but in our society and the world. Einstein is quoted as saying, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we know and understand now, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” Our lives have all been touched in one form or another by actors, dancers, writers, painters, singers, songwriters, sculptors, photographers, gardeners and landscapers. In this article I want to talk about how by being artists in and of our own lives, we can be happier, healthier and see a deeper meaning in the events that happen to us. I also want to share the importance creativity can have in our society by helping people to heal from illnesses, assisting youth in staying out of the criminal justice system and by contributing to a prosperous economy.  (more…)

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JUNE IS NATIONAL ATHLETIC THERAPY MONTH

In Canada, June is National Athletic Therapy Month. As many of you know, I’m both a Certified Athletic Therapist and a Chiropractor.  Some people still think that athletic therapists only treat elite athletes like professional hockey players or Olympic gymnasts. However, Athletic Therapy is for Everyone!  In my articles about exercise, I always recommend seeing a Certified Athletic Therapist before starting an exercise program or to help deal with any acute or chronic muscle and joint problems. I’ve included a video that helps explain a bit more about athletic therapy and how it may be able to help you. Being active and healthy is a great way to Go From Your Stressed Self to Your Best Self™!

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GIMME SOME SUGAR…OR NOT

Image from blog.fittabodies.com

Image from blog.fittabodies.com

Who didn’t grow up being given candy or a cookie as a “treat”?  Desserts, donuts, and ice cream cones all fell into the “You’ve been a good boy/girl” or the “Let’s celebrate” category.  The majority of us have this belief that sweets are a positive thing associated with being rewarded and feeling good. It’s literally imprinted in our brains.  However, the reality is that there can be too much of a good thing.  According to the Canadian Sugar Institute (Yes, there really is such a place), Canadians consume on average 51-53 grams of added sugar per person per day which works out to be 12.75 – 13.25 teaspoons.1 Added sugar refers to the sugar beyond that which is naturally found in whole foods like fruits and vegetables. This includes the sugar, corn syrup, maple syrup and honey that we add to our food or are in the processed foods we eat.  In the US, it’s even worse with the average American ingesting 88 grams or 22 teaspoons of added sugar per day.  With the American Heart and Stroke Association recommending that women shouldn’t really be eating more than 24 grams/6 teaspoons of sugar and men, 36 grams/9 teaspoons, both Canadians and Americans are way over the mark.2 This is what is contributing to the overweight and obesity epidemics and the serious health issues like diabetes and heart problems that usually go along with them. In fact, in March, 2015, even the World Health Organization released a statement with sugar guidelines stating that our sugar intake should not be more than 25 grams per day.3 I recently started looking at how much added sugar I was eating and was surprised at how easy it was to go over the 25 grams per day limit, even while eating a healthy diet.  In this article I’m going to help you become aware of where some sneaky sugars like to hide. We’ll also look at some healthy sugar substitute options.   (more…)

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SUMMER RESOLUTIONS

Image from the cascadehighlands.wordpress

Image from the cascadehighlands.wordpress

Back in January, did you make any New Year’s Resolutions?  Have you been able to stay on track with the goals you set out for yourself?  If you’re like most people, exercising for health and weight loss was probably on your list.  However, when was the last time you actually looked at your list?  I recommend revisiting your goals every 3 months, so as we roll into June, it’s a good time to take stock and see if you’re still on course.  If you need to get back to an exercise routine or are looking for activities to help you stay on task with your fitness goals, in this article we’ll look at some fun ways to burn calories all summer long. You may be surprised at how many calories you can burn when you are outdoors.  Also, June is National Athletic Therapy month in Canada. If you’ve got a current injury or an old chronic one that is keeping you from some of your favourite activities, it may be time to see a Certified Athletic Therapist. Athletic Therapy is for Everyone. Also, be sure to check out the YouTube video posted on my web site to help you learn more about Athletic Therapy.  (more…)

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ARE YOU A COMPLACENT CONSUMER?

Image from www.timeforcake.com

Image from www.timeforcake.com

I was driving to work the other day, listening to the radio, when I caught a news snippet about the money that people waste.  Whether on purpose or not, many people are too lazy or too stressed to care that they are throwing money away on everything from cell phone plans to groceries.  The woman being interviewed called them “Complacent Consumers”.  The term stuck with me and inspired me to write this article. I got thinking not only of the times I have been a complacent consumer, but also of how much money I have saved by checking into different options for a variety of products and services. Are you a complacent consumer? In this article I’ll cover some major cost saving tips you can take advantage of, plus take a look at how being overwhelmed by stress affects our money management and vice versa.  (more…)

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CARDIO FITNESS: IS IT ENOUGH?

Image from worldskillsuk.org

Image from worldskillsuk.org

Everyone knows that cardio fitness is a great way to burn calories and whittle away the fat.  According to 2008 Canadian statistics, approximately 37% of adults were overweight and 25% were obese, which was an increase from 2005. In 2011, the stats for youth aged 12-17 weren’t great either. The BMI (body mass index which takes into account your weight and height) was recorded for boys and girls. The results revealed that 24% of boys were either overweight or obese with 17% of girls being either overweight or obese.1 With these rates continuing to rise, there’s been a lot of focus on cardio workouts being a great way to lose weight. Indeed, whether you’re walking or running outdoors, swimming, using a treadmill, an elliptical or taking in a Zumba class, cardio workouts help to burn calories, improve your cardiovascular health and decrease stress.  However, is cardio enough?  In this article I’m going to show you 3 other important aspects of fitness that you may be missing.   (more…)

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