Naturopathic Doctors – Bedford, NS

Happy Healthy Halloween!

Halloween is always an exciting time of the year! However, keeping it healthy can be a challenge when sugar is a major ingredient in many treats. The good news is that, you can still indulge in all the flavors of the season whilst nourishing your body; The secret is in keeping it natural!

Both chocolate and pumpkin are staples in the month of October, but the key to enjoying these foods in a healthier way is to consume dark chocolate that is 75-85% cacao over milk chocolate, and to roast your own whole pumpkin over using canned/pureed forms.

Both dark chocolate and pumpkin offer a wide range of health benefits.

Dark Chocolate

  • Enhances Mood and Cognition: Dark chocolate causes the release of endorphins and contains the amino acid tryptophan that is used by the body to produce the chemical serotonin, that makes us feel happy. It is a good source of magnesium, which is something we can all us a little more of (talk to us to learn more)! Chocolate also contains a small amount of caffeine which can increase concentration, memory and alertness.
  • Improves Cardiovascular Health: Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants that are important for cardiovascular health, many studies have shown that including dark chocolate in the diet in the long run can strengthen the blood vessels, increase good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol, and lower blood pressure.
  • Protects the Skin: Dark chocolate contains many minerals and vitamins that nourish the skin and help in the regeneration of new cells. It also prevents the formation of wrinkles by protecting against UV rays and the breakdown of collagen.

Pumpkin

  • Boosts Immunity: Pumpkin is rich in vitamin C and beta-carotene (vitamin A) both of which help the immune system function more effectively, by enhancing cellular communication, growth and division, and prevention of damage caused by invading pathogens and inflammation. It is also a great source of fibre, which contributes to gut health and immunity.
  • Strengthens Eye Sight: Pumpkin is rich in antioxidants that decrease inflammation in the eye and prevent the onset of age-related eye diseases, such as macular degeneration. The eye also requires vitamin A, which is rich in pumpkin, to produce the proteins required for color and night vision.
  • Prolongs Aging: Pumpkins high vitamin and mineral content help in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses.

See a couple of delicious recipes you can try by clicking the link below and ENJOY!

Click here for the RECIPES

#1 Reason To See A Naturopathic Doctor

Naturopathic Doctors are primary care providers whose goal is to work with you to restore health and prevent illness

We want to help you get to the bottom of your health concerns so that you can experience optimal health. We are all unique individuals with specific health needs, and your healthcare should reflect that. Our aim is to work collaboratively to put the pieces of the puzzle together and help you reach your goals.

To find out more information, browse our website, give us a call, or stop by the clinic!

In health,

The Bedford Naturopathic Team

 

2 Breathing Exercises To Reduce Stress

Focusing on your breathing not only encourages you to slow down and take deeper breaths, it can also help bring you into the present moment and shift into more of a parasympathetic/relaxed state. Here are two examples of breathing exercises you can try, or check out these apps:

 

                

 

1. Deep belly breathing:

  • Take a slow breath in through the nose, breathing into your lower belly (for 4 seconds)
  • Hold your breath for 2 seconds
  • Exhale slowly through the mouth (for 4 seconds)
  • Wait a few seconds before taking another breath
  • Repeat as needed

 

2. Alternate nostril breathing:

  • Close your eyes and take a deep breath in and out through your nose.
  • Close your right nostril with your right thumb. Inhale through the left nostril slowly and steadily.
  • Close the left nostril with your ring finger so both nostrils are held closed for a brief moment
  • Open your right nostril and release the breath slowly through the right side
  • Pause briefly at the bottom of the exhale.
  • Inhale slowly through the right side
  • Hold both nostrils closed
  • Open your left nostril and release breath slowly through the left side
  • Pause briefly at the bottom of the exhale

3 Ways to “Green” Your Life

1. Ditch the plastic. Use glass or ceramics whenever possible to store food and water, avoid putting anything plastic in the microwave, and opt for a glass or stainless steel water bottle. How nice are these glass bkr bottles? 

2. Switch [at least] one of your body care products to a natural option that is free of phthalates, parabens, aluminum, etc. (examples include shampoo, conditioner soap, deodorant). This is my current deodorant and I must say, I love it!

3. I often get asked which foods we should be buying organic. I like to direct people to the Environmental Working Group’s list of “Clean Fifteen” and “Dirty Dozen”. If you currently aren’t buying any of your produce organic, I would start with this year’s heavy hitters; spinach and strawberries. Click on photo for the complete list:

 

*I have no affiliations with these products

4 Reasons to Drink More Water

We all know drinking water is good for you, but how often do we have days where we aren’t getting enough? Check out these 4 reasons to stay hydrated! Staying hydrated helps keep you regular:

1. Staying hydrated can help keep you “regular”. Having issues with constipation? Adequate water and fiber intake keep your bowels moving as long as there is no other underlying cause. 

2. Improved energy and concentration. Dehydration can leave you feeling tired and cause impaired memory and cognition. 

3. Better physical performance. Under even mild levels of dehydration, performance during physical activity can be affected and you can see reduced endurance, increased fatigue, altered thermoregulation, and lower motivation.

4. Can help lose weight. Not only does choosing water over sugary, high-caloric drinks help you lose weight, but drinking plenty of water can help you feel full and can also boost your metabolism. 

Tips:

  • Amount to drink: weight (lbs)/2 = # oz water/day
  • Start your day with 500mL of water
  • Add lemon, cucumber, mint, or berries to your water to mix it up
  • Drink herbal teas as they count as a form of hydration

5 Ways to Support Your Immune System

Although back-to-school can be an exciting time of year, it also means more exposure to illness and infections. Supporting your immune system is a great first-line defense during cold and flu season. Check out these 5 proactive steps you can take this year:

1. Reduce sugar intake. Having a diet high in sugar/refined carbohydrates can depress your immune system. Staying well hydrated and adopting a whole foods diet with limited sugar intake can help support you during cold and flu season.

2. Stress management. Increased cortisol levels can make you more susceptible to illness. Practice regular stress coping techniques to stay healthy this year!

3. Get adequate sleep. See 10 tips for better sleep posted on Monday

4. Support your digestive health. >75% of the immune system originates in the gut so maintaining a healthy GI tract is an important part of supporting your immune health. 

5. Come to our immune system presentation in a couple weeks (stay tuned for details)!

*Chat with your naturopathic doctor for more details!

6 Things To Do In The HRM This Labour Day Weekend

Enjoy the last long weekend of the summer! Not sure what to do? Check out some of these activities you and your family can do in and around the HRM. Click on the corresponding picture to get the low down on whats happening

1. Really get in one last beach weekend and join the sand castle building competition and BBQ

2. September is our favourite month for hiking in NS. Why not challenge yourself and join this one

3. Enjoy some of the lovely music at the Halifax Urban Folk Festival

4. Get muddy and learn how to go clam digging

5. Culture those kiddies and take them to TRUNK at the Halifax Fringe Festival

6. Enjoy an afternoon of make believe and fun at the “Welcome back to Hogwarts event”

7 Positive Affirmations

Affirmations can help break patterns of negative thought, boost self-esteem, improve mood, and work to set a positive tone for your day! You can start your day by saying them to yourself (out loud or in your head) and repeat as needed throughout the day. 

You can come up with your own affirmations that resonate with you, or to get you started, here are 7 Positive affirmations for your week:

1. I am patient and calm and looking forward to today

2. I am enough

3. I have unlimited potential

4. I am positive and optimistic

5. I am surrounded by love

6. I am grateful for all that I am

7. I believe in myself

 

Check out this Own Your Awesome affirmation deck:

8 Recipes for healthy lunches, snacks, and busy weeknights

Busy weeks shouldn’t force you to compromise on your nutrition. Here are some quick and easy favourites (click on the photos for recipes)!

 

1. Smoothies

 

2. Mason Jar Salad

 

3. Quinoa pizza bites

 

4. Bowls

These are one of my favourites for lunch or supper. There are so many different variations including burrito bowls and buddha bowls that you just don’t get tired of them.

 

5. Sweet potato toast 

There are tons of variations out there, but here is a simple one with avocado and egg to get started with.

 

6. One pan meals

Quick and easy, with minimal clean up.

 

7. Roasted chickpeas:

 

8. No-Bake Energy Balls

There are a lot of different recipes for these, this one is a carrot cake energy ball.

9 Ways to Stay Organized

1. Meal prep! Planning out what you are going to have for meals during the week and taking the time to grocery shop and do some prep can make such a huge difference in your weekly routine.

2. Pack your lunch and make sure your breakfast is ready to go the night before. I often recommend putting smoothie ingredients minus the liquid in the blender the night before and keeping it in the fridge, so in the morning all you have to do is blend and voila! Another grab-and-go option is overnight oats. Click on photo for a great recipe!

3. Pick out your clothes the night before, and iron anything that needs ironing. Nobody needs to be rushing trying to pick out an outfit in the morning only to find out it is too wrinkly to wear.

4. Organize your supplements into a pill container. As “uncool” as it may sound, it can help you stay on track, and it is a lot better than having several bottles lying around at the bottom of your bag. And if you are someone who has a hard time remembering to take them, set a daily reminder on your phone.

5. Block off time for exercise in your calendar the same time every week so that it becomes a consistent part of your routine. Aim for at least 30 minutes 3x/week.

6. Bullet journal. Although most things these days are digital, I personally still rely on a physical agenda. A bullet journal is a great way to combine your to-do-lists, schedules, ideas, and journal all into one! And you can use any old notebook to do it. Click the photo to learn more!

7. Delegate. When you look at your to-do list is there anything on there that someone could help you accomplish? Whether it be a spouse, a co-worker, a family member, or a friend.

8. Set boundaries for how often you check your email and set aside time in your schedule to respond to emails (during working hours)! This might vary from person to person, but refreshing your email every 5 minutes is distracting you from getting other things done.

9. Clean out your inbox. I’m a bit ashamed to admit, my inbox looks more like the one on the right than the one on the left. I have recently downloaded the app Unroll Me https://unroll.me/ to tidy up my inbox and unsubscribe to unwanted emails. Let me know if any of you have any others you would recommend!