Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cinnamon Buns

I recently came across a cinnamon bun recipe in a magazine, and tailored it to up the fiber. These came out great, and were even gobbled up by my husband who supposedly 'doesn't like cinnamon buns'. Kids LOVED them, and they are low in sugar, so they make a great snack. You can even play around with the type of flour you use - next time i'll try spelt and buckwheat I think. These are great to have on a cold day!

Cinnamon Buns

Dough:
2.5 cups Whole Wheat flour
1 cup whole oats
¼ cup ground flax seeds
1 TBSP baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup cold butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup almond milk (or other milk alternative)

Filling:
¼ cup brown sugar
4 TBSP melted butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup raisins or mix of chopped dried fruit
½ cup chopped pecans (optional)

Mix dry ingredients together. Cut in cold butter until crumbly. Add milk (may need to add a few more TBSP. if it’s too dry). Transfer to floured surface. Knead with floured hands gently until it’s pliable. With a floured rolling pin (or hands) work into a 10x16 inch rectangle. Spread the topping over entire surface except a 1 inch border along the length. Roll into a long log, sealing the seam. With serrated knife cut into 1 inch rolls. Transfer each roll (lay flat) to a buttered 8 inch square pan. Bake at 400 for 40 min.

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND.
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Vitality for Life is an integrative health clinic in Barrie, Ontario. We offer the services of a Naturopathic Doctor, Chiropractor and massage therapists.

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Sale and Gift Ideas

Just a reminder that we are having some great sales at VFL for the month of December. Some are listed in our newsletter, but you can always pop into the clinic to pick up your stocking stuffers for those health-conscious individuals on your list. Some great ideas include:
-Olive Baby Gift Basket
-Health related books from our Toonie bin ($2 books)
-Massage therapy gift certificate
-Soaps and skin products

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Vitality for Life Healthy Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!

Busy Time of Year

I've been meaning to blog but the last few weeks have seemed particularly busy, so I've been putting it off! I thin part of stress management is prioritizing, so I've had to put my time and energy elsewhere, even though I've had many great ideas for blog topics.
My own life right now is really hectic - we just put our house on the market, and between a pregnancy and 2 small kids life seems really busy right now. It's been a reminder for me to take extra good care of myself. One of the things I've managed to do during this hectic time is to make sure i'm still exercising - even just 30 min. three days a week seems to keep me feeling good. There are days when getting out for a walk seems like the bottom of my priority list, but once I get out there I'm really thankful for doing it - the fresh air and natural daylight is immediately uplifting. I am also careful to make sure i'm meeting my nutritional needs, at least 80% of the time. Every day I think about my veggie intake, healthy fats, and protein for energy. Knock on wood, I'm surprised how great I'm feeling, even as I enter my eighth month of pregnancy.
As as a side note, at the clinic we recently obtained a pregnancy pillow which we use for massage and chiropractic work on pregnant women. I have had a massage in it, and it was heaven to lay face down. Last week I had my first chiropractic adjustment in it, and once again it made the experience so much better. Even just laying down on it seemed to relieve some of the tight muscles in my lower back, and Dr. Sarah was able to access my trigger points more effectively. I encourage any pregnant woman to come it and try it out, it's fabulous.
Ok, that's it for now, I hope everyone is managing their stress during this busy time, and remember to not over-book yourselves to get the most out of your holidays! Read our December newsletter for more tips on stress management this holiday season!

Dr. Anna Falkowski, HBSc, ND
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

VFL in SNAP magazine!

SNAP recently visited our clinic during our Fall Open House and did a small write up and photo for the event.
Here it is:
http://www.snapbarrie.com

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND.
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Vitality for Life is an integrative health clinic in Barrie, Ontario. We offer the services of a Naturopathic Doctor, Chiropractor and massage therapists.

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Olive Baby at the Baby/Toddler Show

This past weekend was the Baby & Toddler expo at the Molson Centre - I just wanted to thank everyone that stopped by to say hello at our booth! It was lots of fun, and it was great to get feedback from mom's that we met at last years event and have been using the Olive Baby products for the past year. Lots of great stories were shared!



Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND.
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Vitality for Life is an integrative health clinic in Barrie, Ontario. We offer the services of a Naturopathic Doctor, Chiropractor and massage therapists.

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Baby& Toddler Show this weekend!

If you're in the Barrie area this weekend, come and visit us at the Baby & Toddler expo at the Molson Centre (October 16 & 17). There will be great entertainment for the kids, lots of giveaways and much more. This is a fun way to spend a few hours on the weekend with the whole family. Olive baby will have a booth, and we will have a great sale on several products ONLY this weekend as a show special. Come try our samples and pick up our newsletter!
I hope to see you all there!

For more show info visit:
http://www.mbmshows.com/baby_toddler_expo.html

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND.
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Vitality for Life is an integrative health clinic in Barrie, Ontario. We offer the services of a Naturopathic Doctor, Chiropractor and massage therapists.

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!

Monday, September 20, 2010

We are Hiring!

Vitality for Life is looking to fill our position for an Office Manager, and we wanted to share this opportunity with our patients and any of their family or friends that may be interested!

This individual should have great customer service/people skills, and be a responsible and organized person with enthusiasm. They should be able to use basic computer programs such as microsoft word/excel (we will train them on our accounting software); should be able to type proficiently and know their way around a computer.
General duties will include booking appointments, receiving phone calls and maintaining inventory.

This person will work full days Mondays-Thursdays.

If you are interested in this position or know of someone that would be a great addition to the VFL team, please pass on this information!

All resumes and inquiries should be directed to anna@vitalityforlife.ca

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND.
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Vitality for Life is an integrative health clinic in Barrie, Ontario. We offer the services of a Naturopathic Doctor, Chiropractor and massage therapists.

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Non-invasive support for Flu-Season

Here we are again - kids are back in school bringing home their nasty viruses to the whole family! Fall is generally a busy time for people with a huge change in routine, less sunlight, and a compromised immune system. It's time to start thinking about boosting your immune system for the winter months ahead.
A good start is the basics of good eating habits, taking your supplements (include vitamin D if you're not on anything else!!), lots of rest, better hygiene and staying hydrated. In addition, it's time to book your homeopathic flu support (in gargle or injectible form). We recommend taking one dose per month for 3 consecutive months starting October or November. Gentle enough for children and pregnant women!

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND.
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Vitality for Life is an integrative health clinic in Barrie, Ontario. We offer the services of a Naturopathic Doctor, Chiropractor and massage therapists.

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Picking your own Apples & Plums

Every fall we enjoy going to our local apple orchard as a family to pick apples. The boys love running in the orchard and sampling the different varieties. This season our favorite local organic orchard didn't have a crop, so they are closed for the season. Boy, you take these things for granted until they're gone! Anyway, we went on a quest for another orchard - we had to drive somewhat further, but we found the perfect orchard in the collingwood area, near the rolling hills of the scenic caves. It's called Oaklane Orchards, owned by a lovely couple that was very happy to help us out (it was a rainy and windy day, and we were the only ones brave enough to pick our own!). We were also pleasantly surprised to see that they had pear and plum trees.


We picked a bunch of plums - as you can see by this picture of my little guy, the boys enjoyed themselves despite the weather! When we got home I made several jars of plum jam, and it was quite tasty! (I added 1/2 tsp of cloves, which I think makes it extra yummy). Anyway, for anyone in the area in the same predicament, here is the contact info for the farm we went to:
Oaklane Orchards, RR 2 Clarksburg, ON N0H 1J0, Clarksburg
phone: 519-599-5841
email: oaklane@georgian.net

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND.
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Vitality for Life is an integrative health clinic in Barrie, Ontario. We offer the services of a Naturopathic Doctor, Chiropractor and massage therapists.

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!

Monday, September 6, 2010

IronMan Canada - Our Return

I just got back from our trip to Penticton B.C. for Ironman Canada, and my head is still spinning! It’s hard not to be affected by such an intense journey. Being surrounded by 2800 ironman athletes and their support crews (families/friends/coaches) for a week was an incredibly inspiring experience. It’s difficult to put into words but I’ll try. Behind each athlete I saw the year of intense dedication and training that it took to get them to that one event. Behind each athlete I saw their family’s dedication as well. I saw the hours of training, the injuries, the mental & physical fatigue that I’m sure each one endured, and of course the belief in themselves. Behind each one there was a ‘story’. The athletes came from all walks of life and from all over the world. They were young, they were old. They were mothers, fathers, grandparents and everything in between. This is what is fascinating about the sport – there is no limit to ‘who’ can become an ironman, there is just the drive they all share to become one. After some lengthy conversations with Carlos about what it had meant to do the Ironman, I realized for HIM it was not really about the swimming, biking and running – it was about the challenge of seeing what your body is capable of, and the mental obstacles (and will-power) to accomplish these goals. That is what makes an Ironman. Over the course of our stay in Penticton we had the opportunity to meet some of the other athletes and families and many of their stories were incredibly inspiring. There were athletes there that were doing the race for loved ones that they lost this past year, and this was the most heart-breaking of all.
This was Carlos’ first Ironman, and we did not know what to expect. Upon arriving to BC the preparation started almost immediately – bikes had to be re-assembled (and in our friend Peter’s case fixed!), registrations needed to be completed, supplies for each transition area had to be gathered, and there were daily ‘short’ training sessions and meetings with coaches leading up to the event. This was during the 3 days prior to the race. Race day was a long and draining day for both athletes and spectators. We were up at 4am to prepare for the 7am swim start. There were THOUSANDS of people at the starting line, and I couldn’t catch a glimpse of Carlos over the crowds – I just saw a huge swarm of athletes running for the water when the gun went off.

I was hoping he was ok – last year a swimmer drowned. I didn’t see him again until he completed an amazing 4km swim (out of the water in 1 hour) and was on his bike speeding down main street. I would not see him again for 6hrs! During the 180km bike course the athletes were caught in an unpredictable extreme weather condition up in the mountains – heavy rain and winds posed a huge challenge for them. Carlos said he was freezing cold, and the drops of rain were painful at 80km speeds coming down the mountain. We had no idea how they were doing up there, and therefore it was a stressful 6hr wait! When I finally caught sight of him finishing his bike ride I was hugely relieved. At this point many of the athletes didn’t look so well!

Carlos was off for the last 42km run, and I was at least hopeful that he wouldn’t be injured in an unpredictable way (there was still the risk of the body shutting down, kidney failure, fainting, and of course muscle strains).

In this second picture you can see me and my son Jordi trying to run alongside Carlos, but that didn't last long - we couldn't keep his pace!

He completed the marathon portion in 4hrs and 20 min. His final time to complete the ironman was 11hrs and 50min. This is great for a first timer. I was incredibly proud and relieved to see him. He felt ‘ok’ at the end of it (aside from the general fatigue, stiffness in his legs, and blood seeping through his shoes
Many athletes were stumbling across the finish line completely incoherent.
We are still in the post-ironman ‘cloud’, coming back to reality. Carlos is eating non-stop and I told him we have to support his adrenals through this post-ironman fatigue. I am still in awe of what he accomplished, and how we came together as a family to help make it happen. It has been a strengthening and bonding experience for us, one that pushed us to the extremes. It made me appreciate how a family unit has to function together, and all need to support each other towards specific goals (whether it be to eat healthier, run a 10km race, or lose 20lb – it’s always easier when everyone is on board).
Lastly, I have to say a huge thank you to our support team (family and friends who were there with us through this journey – your kind words of encouragement have been much appreciated), and Carlos’ coach Sara Gross (http://www.mercuryrisingtriathlon.com) who was an integral part of this last year. Her knowledge, support and friendship helped Carlos achieve his goals through her hundreds of emails. Sara actually coached Carlos mostly online – through daily workout assignments, analysis of his training, and nutritional advice. Her experience was invaluable and pushed Carlos beyond his comfort zone to achieve new heights in his training. He is truly thankful for all that she has done, and I know that seeing her along the course in Penticton gave Carlos strength.
If you’re interested in hearing the details of the race from Carlos himself, you can read his blog post here http://carlostriathlon.blogspot.com/2010/09/ironman-canada-2010.html?spref=fb
In summary - go after your dreams with the same dedication of an Ironman – I now believe that anything is possible!

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

IronMan Canada - Our Journey!

Some of you already know that for the past year my husband has been training for IronMan Canada. It has been a huge goal of his, and as a family we made the decision that he would do it this year. For those of you who are not familiar with this event, it is a long distance Triathlon race organized by the world triathlon corporation consisting of a 4km swim, 180 km bike ride, and then a marathon (42km run). It requires a LOT of training and dedication for an athlete to build up their endurance and stamina to accomplish such an event, and it can be a daunting undertaking. For the last year, I have watched my husband train relentlessly - swimming, biking and running crazy distances, often more than once a day. I have been in awe of his undying motivation. Once he set his mind on the goal, it was like there was nothing that going to get in his way. He just did the work. He put in the time. He never let his daily emotions, mind set or over-all well-being determine whether he would do a work-out...he always seemed to keep the big picture in mind, and didn't miss work-outs (except when he was truly sick). He put to rest many of my own doubts about what a person is capable of. He taught me that it really is just a mental state - you have the choice to make excuses (i'm tired, it's raining, I rather watch tv, I rather sleep in) or to make yourself a priority.
If you had asked me 4 years ago whether he would be here today - i would have said 'no way'. Carlos was not 'built' to be a runner. He was facing the daily go-train commute to toronto back then. Leaving home at 7am, coming home at 7pm. He was mostly sedentary. Our life has changed greatly since then. When we had our first son, Carlos left his job and took the leap of starting his own website consulting and design business. We just believed that it would work out, and we have made it work for our family. We are extremely fortunate to have the flexibility in our jobs to allow for such extreme workouts, but I think most people can fit in 'something' into their daily lives (it doesn't have to be the IronMan!). Carlos first started with short-distance triathalons several summers ago, and gradually got more and more into it. I watched his body completely change over the last few years, it was quite remarkable really. He lost a lot of weight without completely changing his diet (a few modifications were made, mostly with the change in career!).
For the IronMan, Carlos made the decision to workout on his own time - he woke up at 5am to go swimming, and would do his other workouts during his work time, or early on the weekends. Our kids think it's normal that their parents exercise, and they too love riding their bikes, and doing running laps of the playground pretending they are in a race. It has had a very positive effect on them. Anyway, this year has been an incredible journey for our family, and in 2 days we leave for Penticton, BC for the big day - IronMan Canada. I am extremely nervous and excited for Carlos, and hope to write more about the big day upon my return - I feel I have so much to share, but don't have the time to write about it all!
Good Luck Carlos!!

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND.
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Vitality for Life is an integrative health clinic in Barrie, Ontario. We offer the services of a Naturopathic Doctor, Chiropractor and massage therapists.

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mung Bean Soup

Yesterday I winged a mung bean soup (adapted from Delicious Detox) because i didn't have all the ingredients necessary for the exact recipe. It turned out great. A note about Mung beans - because they're small, they're more digestable.
Ingredients:
3 cups mung beans
2 medium onions
3 stalks celery
2 carrots
3 cloves garlic
1 large sweet potato diced
water
oregano, basil, bay leaf, salt and pepper and Bragg's liquid seasoning to taste

Soak your mung beans in hot water for 3 hrs, rinse and strain. In a large pot use a little olive oil to sautee the onion, celery, garlic and spices. After a few minutes add the mung beans, sweet potato and enough water to cover the whole soup by about 3 inches (the mung beans expand). simmer for 30-40 min, puree with a hand blender and adjust the seasonings to taste.
I served mine with a dash of tobasco and a spoonful of my plain home-made yogurt. Yummy!

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND.
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Vitality for Life is an integrative health clinic in Barrie, Ontario. We offer the services of a Naturopathic Doctor, Chiropractor and massage therapists.

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!

Monday, August 16, 2010

My Farmer's Market Inspiration




Saturday morning we headed to the farmer's market before our busy weekend had started. I was inspired by all the beautiful colors of veggies, fruits and flowers that were available this time of year. After talking to some of the farmers about their favorites, I packed up a variety of new veggies that I hadn't tried before. Part of healthy eating is exploring new flavors, keeping an open mind and not being intimidated by new things. If you have never cooked something before, ask! I received lots of tips on the farmer's favorite way of preparing some of these varieties.
As you can see from the pictures, I went home with blue potatoes, pattypan squash, golden beets, a rainbow of various other larger beets, red lettuce, turnip, a rainbow of carrots, a variety of plums (from Niagara)and our favorite local honey (Lavender Hills).
So this week I will be trying lots of new recipes, but also really keeping it simple. On saturday we were heading out to a BBQ, and I was bringing a salad. I made the salad from the red lettuce, red onion, peppers, cucumber and the golden beets (these I peeled and boiled in a salted water like you would a potato - they were tender in about 10 minutes or so, but a larger beet would take longer). I cooled the beets, sliced them and put them on the salad. They looked beautiful! I also ate the rest of them while they were still warm with a pat of butter - the flavor was amazing. My little guy shared them with me.
I made a simple dressing for the salad - olive oil, balsamic, salt, pepper, honey.
It tasted great and looked colorful. I look forward to more fresh produce today!

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND.
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Vitality for Life is an integrative health clinic in Barrie, Ontario. We offer the services of a Naturopathic Doctor, Chiropractor and massage therapists.

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Making your own fermented Pickles

As many of you know I'm a fan of fermentation for reasons I've already explained in previous posts. Recently I made several batches of traditional Polish pickles, which happen to be fermented! So my old family recipe actually has many health benefits, which is awesome.
Here's what you need:
1 basket of baby cucumbers
6 or so long stems of dill
6 or so cloves of garlic
whole black pepper
water
Pickling salt

This will make approximately 3 large jars. Prepare your brine stove-top. Fill a large pot with enough water to cover the jars you'll be using, and add approximately 2 Tbsp salt for every jar you'll be using (the saltier the brine, the slower the fermentation but less likely chance of molding).Bring to a boil and then take off stove.
Wash your cucumbers. Into the bottom of each jar put 2 slices garlic cloves, a few pepper kernels, and if like spice, some dried chili peppers. Next put 2 whole dill stems (just fold them to fit them into the jar), and stuff the jar with as many pickles as possible (they can't be loose or they'll float to the top, causing molding).
Top each jar with enough hot brine to cover the pickles by at least 1/2". Cover and store put aside in a warm part of the kitchen, but away from sunlight. Let sit at least 5 days, and transfer into the fridge once the pickles are as tangy as you like them! They seem to get better every day, and make a wonderful snack!
For more details, this is a link to a great site on fermenting!

http://www.wildfermentation.com/resources.php?page=pickles

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND.
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Vitality for Life is an integrative health clinic in Barrie, Ontario. We offer the services of a Naturopathic Doctor, Chiropractor and massage therapists.

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!

Make your own Organic Yogurt!

Since reading the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle I've been inspired to hit the kitchen more than normal! I have had this yogurt recipe for months but finally just decided to try it. Patients often complain about the cost of organic dairy products, so this ones a sure hit for those watching their pocket books. I made this recipe yesterday and had my home-made organic plain yogurt with granola for breakfast this morning. It was yummy. It tastes the same, just a bit more liquid than the store bought stuff (but they often use fillers or gelling agents to thicken it).
Here's what you need:
2 L of organic milk (2%)
1/3 cup plain organic yogurt (as a starter)
cooking thermometer
crockpot
ice

Set your crockpot on low or medium to warm it up while you prepare your milk.
Warm the milk in a large pot on your stove-top up to 185 degrees (stir constantly so it doesn't burn), then pour into a glass bowl, which you'll immerse into a sink full of cold/icy water. Cool the milk to 110 degrees (takes about 5 minutes).
Pour the milk and 1/3 cup yogurt into your crockpot, stir, cover, wrap your crockpot in a towel and UNPLUG it. Wait 8 hrs, then stir the contents. It's technically ready to be moved to the fridge, but you can wait 2 more hours or so to thicken it up (it will get more tangy the longer you wait). Transfer to opaque containers, and move to your fridge. It's ready to eat once it's cooled!

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND.
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Vitality for Life is an integrative health clinic in Barrie, Ontario. We offer the services of a Naturopathic Doctor, Chiropractor and massage therapists.

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Welcome Mark McAllister, RMT!

We are pleased to welcome another addition to the VFL team, Mark McAllister RMT. Mark is now accepting new and existing clients, so make your appointment today!
Having two Registered Massage Therapists offers our clients a greater variety of massage styles and techniques to choose from, so try them both!
To learn more about Mark, visit www.vitalityforlife.ca and read his bio.

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND.
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Vitality for Life is an integrative health clinic in Barrie, Ontario. We offer the services of a Naturopathic Doctor, Chiropractor and massage therapists.

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Beach time and Exercise!

This weekend we headed to the beach to spend a relaxing morning together. I packed a small picnic for the kids, and brought their sand toys and water stuff. My husband Carlos is training for Ironman this August in BC, so on most days he does some sort of training. We found a great way to incorporate a workout for both of us while enjoying the beach. He started by doing an open-water swim, followed by a run while I played with the kids, and then we swapped. I normally wouldn't do this sort of swim (in a wetsuit in the deeper waters of the lake), but it was amazing, and a great workout - my first 'real' swim in my new wetsuit, which takes some getting used to. I then did a short run as well. I felt great after, and the combined cross-training left my body feeling completely spent.
We then spent the rest of the afternoon just enjoying being outdoors. When planning such an active family outing, don't forget to bring extra water and nutrient-packed snacks, especially not such hot and sunny days as we've been having.

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND.
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Vitality for Life is an integrative health clinic in Barrie, Ontario. We offer the services of a Naturopathic Doctor, Chiropractor and massage therapists.

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!

Eggless French Toast

On the weekends when we get a chance to have a nice breakfast I try to make something like gluten-free egg-free pancakes, but I wanted something different this past sunday. My 4 year old Jordi is sensitive to eggs, so we avoid using them. At first I thought french toast would be impossible, but then I found a simple recipe that doesn't require using eggs, and it was delicious!
For the liquid ingredients, blend the following in a food processor or hand blender:
1 ripe banana
2-3 oz. of almond milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla

soak your bread in this mixture and cook like you normally would your french toast, just don't turn your heat up too high because the banana sugars tend to burn quickly!

Enjoy!

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND.
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Vitality for Life is an integrative health clinic in Barrie, Ontario. We offer the services of a Naturopathic Doctor, Chiropractor and massage therapists.

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
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Monday, July 12, 2010

Maternal Vitamin D levels

I was just reading an interesting in the Integrated Health Care Practitioners Journal about Vitamin D levels in women who are pregnant or nursing. They estimate that pregnant women at latitudes similar to those of southern Canada are roughly 42% deficient at the time of delivery.
Studies show that "higher levels of maternal vitamin D have been associated with improved fertility, lower risk of gestational diabetes, lower risk of cesarean section and improved birth outcomes such as birth weight and early growth"
In infants studies show that higher levels of supplementation can help reduce the risk of adult diseases, as well as the risk of Type I Diabetes.

All great reasons to continue with the vitamin D!

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND.
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Vitality for Life is an integrative health clinic in Barrie, Ontario. We offer the services of a Naturopathic Doctor, Chiropractor and massage therapists.

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Ear Infections and Food Sensitivities

As Naturopaths we have always preached the links between children's diets and the prevalence of ear infections. I typically recommend an IgG food allergy test for my pediatric patients who come to me with a history of recurrent ear infections, eczema, asthma or lowered immunity in general. It's always nice to read a study that supports the link between underlying food sensitivities (typically cow's milk, wheat, dairy, peanut, corn or sugar) This one comes from a clinical journal called the 'Annals of Allergy'. Here are the findings in summary:

OBJECTIVE. The purpose of the present study was to examine the prevalence of food allergy in patients with recurrent serous otitis media. METHODS. A total of 104 unselected patients (age range 1.5 to 9 years, mean 4.6 years) with recurrent serous otitis media were evaluated for food allergy by means of skin prick testing, specific IgE tests, and food challenge. Patients who were allergic to food(s) underwent an exclusion diet of the specific offending food(s) for a period of 16 weeks. A non-double blinded food challenge was performed with the suspected offending food(s). Their middle ear effusion was monitored and assessed by tympanometry (Welch Allyn Model 23600) during the pre-elimination, elimination and challenge diet phases. RESULTS. There was a significant statistical association, by chi-square analysis, between food allergy and recurrent serous otitis media in 81/104 patients (78%). The elimination diet led to a significant amelioration of serous otitis media in 70/81 (86%) patients as assessed by clinical evaluation and tympanometry. The challenge diet with the suspected offending food(s) provoked a recurrence of serous otitis media in 66/70 patients (94%). CONCLUSIONS. The possibility of food allergy should be considered in all pediatric patients with recurrent serous otitis media and a diligent search for the putative food allergen made for proper diagnostic and therapeutic intervention.

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND.
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Vitality for Life is an integrative health clinic in Barrie, Ontario. We offer the services of a Naturopathic Doctor, Chiropractor and massage therapists.

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

July Specials at the Clinic

For the month of July receive 25% off Olive Baby Skin-saver...great for your beach bag to comfort wind-burn and sun-burned skin!

Also, don't forget to pick up a tube of Badger Sun Screen for the kids!

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND.
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Vitality for Life is an integrative health clinic in Barrie, Ontario. We offer the services of a Naturopathic Doctor, Chiropractor and massage therapists.

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Are you Happy? It's all in your hands!

I was reading an interesting article yesterday about the fact that happiness is an active process. There is a field of science called 'positive psychology' and they have studied individuals who have ranked themselves as the happiest of the population, and they have gathered the commonalities between these individuals. Turns out, these happy individuals make it happen for themselves with some very concrete and specific actions.
One suggestion made was that we all have a list of the things that make us feel happy inside - a phone call to a friend, playing with the kids, a cup of coffee, a warm bath, listening to happy music. Whenever you're having a bad day, you refer to the list and deliberately take actions to implement one of your 'happy inducing' activities!
Sounds simple enough!

Have a Happy Day!

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND.
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Vitality for Life is an integrative health clinic in Barrie, Ontario. We offer the services of a Naturopathic Doctor, Chiropractor and massage therapists.

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Gluten-free Egg-free Rhubarb pie!


This weekend we dropped into Barrie Hill Farms and picked up some beautiful fresh asparagus, but I also grabbed some rhubarb to make dessert. I wasn't sure what I was going to make and sort of winged it. I stewed the rhubarb in a touch of water, 1/2 cup of strawberries and a few Tbsp. of sugar. About 20 min (it fell apart at this point).
I then proceeded to make up a recipe for a gluten-free egg-free tart crust. Here's what I used:
1.5 cups all-purposed gluten-free flour (a blend of rice, tapioca, buckwheat, chickpea and arrowroot flour).
1/2 tsp xantham gum
2 Tbsp sugar
6 Tbsp cold butter
5 Tbsp cold water
1/2 tsp salt

I used a butter knife to crumble the butter into the dry ingredients, and eventually it became crumbly. I transferred it into a glass pie plate and packed down the dough to form the tart
I baked the crust for 20 minutes at 375, then poured in the rhubarb mixture. Bake for 20 minutes more. Let cool before serving. Turned out delicious!

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND.
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Vitality for Life is an integrative health clinic in Barrie, Ontario. We offer the services of a Naturopathic Doctor, Chiropractor and massage therapists.

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!

Welcome to our New RMT- Now Booking Appointments!

We are very excited to welcome the newest addition to our VFL team – Dawn Martin, RMT

Dawn is now booking appointments for new and existing clients starting June 1st. As an introductory offer, when you book your first 45 minute massage with Dawn, we will add an additional 15 minutes free! This is a great opportunity to meet Dawn and become familiar with her approach to massage.

To learn more about Dawn, please read the bio below - we will be updating our website shortly! Dawn is looking forward to meeting all of you.

Bio: Dawn Martin, RMT
Dawn Martin was born in Toronto, however, spent most of her years growing up in Barrie. After graduating from Barrie North, she headed down south to St. Petersburg College in Florida where she received a full athletic scholarship in basketball. She spent two years there and graduated with an Associate Arts degree geared to science.
After returning to Barrie in 2004 she enrolled in the Massage Therapy program at Georgian College as she had developed a passion for a non-medicated approach to healing. In April 2007 she graduated with honours and received an Academic All Canadian award. By July 2007 Dawn became a member of The College of Massage Therapists of Ontario. She spent her first few years practicing in a chiropractor clinic where she helped clients relieve pain, reduce stress, heal injuries while providing home care instructions and educating them about their condition.
Dawn is confident that her knowledge and dedication to the health care profession will more than meet your Massage Therapy needs in a safe and comfortable environment, and is looking forward to meeting you in the near future.

Education

Advanced Diploma in Massage Therapy from Georgian College

Associate and Arts Degree from St.Petersburg College

Specialty

Treatment oriented and relaxation Massage

Pregnancy

Deep Tissue

Athletic injuries

Board Certification-
OSCE (Practical Exam)
MCQ (Written Exam)

Member of:
CMTO (The College of Massage Therapists of Ontario)

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND.
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Vitality for Life is an integrative health clinic in Barrie, Ontario. We offer the services of a Naturopathic Doctor, Chiropractor and massage therapists.

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!

Monday, May 17, 2010

My 12 minutes of Reflection



One of my favorite places is the back viewing deck at the Algonquin Visitors Centre. It overlooks a winding river and endless forests – no cabins, electricity poles, roads or evidence of human intervention. It is a beautiful scene that always makes be feel peaceful inside. While at the visitors centre, my husband took the kids into the theatre for a 12 minute film on the history of Algonquin Park. I stayed on the viewing deck, enjoying a rare moment to myself (coffee in hand).
I thought back to the last couple of weeks. I had been feeling a lot of stress in my life recently, and had started to feel physical symptoms from it. My immune system crashed and I ended up sick. This is no surprise to a Naturopath! Normally I pride myself on having a really balanced life – I know when my body needs rest, exercise, good nutrition, time with a friend or when I need to be alone. But sometimes stressful situations can have such momentum that it is difficult to stop the situation once it begins. Sometimes it’s not ONE thing, but many small things happening at the same time (as was my case). I am lucky to have people in my life who step in and offer help in various ways – a pep talk, a kind email, help with the kids or a meal, or just words of support. Everyone should have these people in their life – they contribute to your health in a huge capacity even in very subtle ways.
Sometimes getting away from the daily grind is enough to help you see the light and give you a better perspective on things. For me, these 2 days away from home with my family made everything feel more tolerable. Enjoying the fresh air, hikes on the Algonquin trails, seeing the Moose along the road, visiting the logging museum and the various wildlife brought things into perspective.
It is still ‘low-season’ in Algonquin and I was able to stand on the viewing deck alone, which is rare. It was just me and the great unknown. It was grounding. In that 12 minutes I refilled my cup and re-charged my batteries. Without effort, happiness filled my cells.

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND.
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Vitality for Life is an integrative health clinic in Barrie, Ontario. We offer the services of a Naturopathic Doctor, Chiropractor and massage therapists.

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Delicious Detox Dinner!



This weekend with the nasty weather we had it put me in the mood for cooking! For dinner I made 2 of the recipes from Carol Morley's new book 'Delicious Detox'. We made the 'Quinoa Tabouleh' and 'Mango & Mung Bean salad'. Both were delicious - the layering of flavors was amazing, and is sure to please every family member. I also baked a batch of gluten-free egg-free banana muffins (inspired by my son Jordi, who we recently diagnosed as being sensitive to both eggs and gluten using the IgG food allergy test). Looks like i'll be using more of Carol's recipes since they're all good options for Jordi as well as the rest of the family!

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND.
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Vitality for Life is an integrative health clinic in Barrie, Ontario. We offer the services of a Naturopathic Doctor, Chiropractor and massage therapists.

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Where does your food come from?

This weekend I finally got the opportunity to watch the movie 'Food Inc.' I've been wanting to see it for a LONG time and CBC finally aired it, and it's now available for viewing on their website (for those of you interested). It was an eye-opening depiction of the actual sources of our food - especially animal products. It exposes North America's industrialized food system and its effect on our environment, health, economy and workers' rights. It made me cringe. On Saturday morning my husband and I were inspired to go to our local farmers market, which we haven't attended in a long time.
The farmer's market experience was amazing - we actually saw the people who grow/make our food and had the opportunity to speak to them about their process. These local and environmentally responsible food sources not only taste better but are more nutritious because they are not mass-produced. My son talked to the bee-keeper who gathered our honey. Another lovely lady shared her process for baking the gluten-free brownies I purchased for my son. Another farmer was passionate about the different varieties of breads him and his wife baked for that day. It was a wonderful opportunity to pick the 'best' of what was available (each vendor had his specialty after-all). We vowed to do this on a regular basis and buy as much as we can from these local sources - not just for the health of the community but the health of our family as well. The food was enjoyed by all!

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND.
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Vitality for Life is an integrative health clinic in Barrie, Ontario. We offer the services of a Naturopathic Doctor, Chiropractor and massage therapists.

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Fermenting to Heal the Gut!

Recently my (Polish) friend Carol and I were talking about how we remember our mothers fermenting things like cabbage and sour milk in jars on the kitchen counter-top. We couldn't recall exactly how they did it, so I had to do a little investigating. I've always been interested in trying it because of all the wonderful health benefits to fermenting (the various lactic acid bacteria that ferment your food are wonderful for restoring a healthy gut flora, which as a Naturopath I know to be the foundation for good health and a healthy immune system).
I tried a very easy recipe for fermenting cabbage. Shred 1/2 to 3/4 of a cabbage (i used red) into a glass bowl. Sprinkle with 2 TBSP pickling salt (not iodized, which kill the bacteria). Pound the cabbage slightly to release the juices. Place into clean mason jars (pack it in tight). Cover with filtered water, leaving 1 inch at the top. Close the jars and let sit 4-7 days on your counter. Be careful opening the lid once fermentation has taken place because it will fizzle over and the lid may pop off from the gases! Eat a few TBSP/day, or add a few TBSP of the liquid into your fruit smoothies (great way to get the kids to eat it). This is a powerful probiotic, and wonderful for kids suffering from ear infection, allergies, or those who have taken Antibiotics and now have a disrupted gut flora.
Here's a couple websites for more info!
http://www.rawmom.com/raw-mom-blog/archives/1079
http://www.healingcrow.com/ferfun/ferfun.html

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND.
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Vitality for Life is an integrative health clinic in Barrie, Ontario. We offer the services of a Naturopathic Doctor, Chiropractor and massage therapists.

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!

Monday, April 12, 2010

'Delicious Detox' finally on the shelves!

I have been waiting for a book that I could confidently recommend to my patients to help them on their quest to good health and as a support during their Detox. My good friend Carol Morley has finally published this much awaited book called 'Delicious Detox - Fast and Easy Recipes to Boost Energy and Improve Health'.
It will help anyone that wants to eat delicious meals during their detox, or simply to change their eating habits. It is complete with shopping list, weekly menu plan, and really user-friendly recipes! Carol is one of the best cooks I know, and I've tried many of her meals - they're always healthy and delicious!
I will be recommending this book to anyone doing a cleanse or wanting to increase their healthy recipe repetoire! It will be on Vitality for Life's shelves for $24.95 - but during the rest of April, as a detox promotion, you will receive $2.00 off!


Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND.
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Vitality for Life is an integrative health clinic in Barrie, Ontario. We offer the services of a Naturopathic Doctor, Chiropractor and massage therapists.

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Olive Baby Spring/Summer Newsletter is Here!

If you haven't already signed up for our Spring newsletter, you can do so now on the bottom right hand side of the Olive Baby homepage (www.olivebaby.ca).
You don't want to miss our upcoming issue which which contains the following articles:
-Staying Healthy on Vacation
-Onion Poultice instructions
-Benefits of Olive Oil
-Facts about Calendula
-The Fertility Anti-Nutrient

Happy reading!

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND.
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Vitality for Life is an integrative health clinic in Barrie, Ontario. We offer the services of a Naturopathic Doctor, Chiropractor and massage therapists.

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Banana Bread

Yesterday I was in the mood for baking, so the kids and I made this delicious and healthier version of Banana Bread. I love that it has tonnes of fiber (from the flax seeds) and is not overly sweet or dense. There were a few steps that the kids were able to help with, like mashing the bananas and mixing it all up, which was fun for them, and not overly messy for me! I've done both the egg and egg-free version, and don't notice a real difference.

Anna's Banana Bread
3 or 4 ripe bananas – mash with fork
1/3 cup melted butter
¾ cup brown sugar
1 egg (OR 1 TBSP oil & 1 TBSP water)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 ½ cup whole wheat flour (or alternative flour like rye, spelt, barley or kamut)
3/4 - 1 cup ground flax seed
Optional:
½ cup raisins
½ cup chopped walnuts or almonds

*if you find batter too dry, you can add applesauce, soymilk or water

Preheat oven to 350 F. With wooden spoon mix butter, sugar, egg, vanilla and salt into mashed bananas. Add flour, baking soda and any of the optional ingredients, mix. Pour batter into 4x8 inch loaf pan lined with parchment paper. I like to sprinkle whole flax seeds and/or raw sunflower seeds on top. Bake 1 hr. Cool before slicing. Enjoy!

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!

Fun for the Kids, Great workout for you!

This past weekend was such a beautiful and sunny one that we realized the snow will soon be gone. We took advantage of it by getting outdoors and enjoying some last minute tobogganing at our favorite hill! As I was climbing the hill after each run, dragging the sled (with 4 year old attached), I realized what a great workout I was getting. My heart was pumping, my legs and gluts were burning and I was sweating! I was thinking that it would make for a great 'Biggest Loser' challenge - how many times can you make it up an icy hill dragging a 50 pound child on a sled! Anyway, for those of you struggling to find time for exercise, get outside with your kids and get creative. There's many activities like toboganning that serve double purpose - the kids are having a great time and you're getting your daily exercise. Climb the monkey bars, chase a soccer ball, play tag, ride a bike, run with the stroller. It's all the little things that add up!

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Roasted Beet Salad

I know, I'm Polish and therefore should eat a LOT of beets. I do love them, but I leave the cooking part to my mom - I just find them too difficult to peel. That being said, i recently discovered a very easy way to make them, and I think it's going to open the beet horizon for me! Beets are so good for you - they are full of iron and are considered a 'liver' food, which supports the liver in detoxification.
So here's what I did - wash them and place them on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet (cut off the greens first of course). Drizzle in olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt,pepper, and rosemary (optional). cover with the foil to create a sealed pouch. Bake at 400 for 1 hour or until tender. Let them cool, then put on some rubber gloves and push the peels off (or use a knife if they're not falling off). Cut them into wedges, and put in a bowl with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss. This can marinate for a few days and you can use as needed. I was using them for lunch for 3 days straight - I served them over a bed of organic baby spinach, a handful of raw sunflower seeds, and a TBSP of goat cheese. DELICIOUS!!

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Delicious Quinoa Chocolate Cake

This weekend we were all craving something a little chocolatey, and I came across a great recipe from the Planet Organic cookbook. This turned out to be a really moist chocolate cake and was a hit with the kids.
Chocolate Quinoa Cake

This healthy cake brings together the chocolate of the Mayan empire with the protein-rich Quinoa of the Aztecs to create a rich, yet delicate treat.
Ingredients:

1 cup Quinoa, rinsed
2 cups Apple cider or juice
3/4 cup Butter
2/3 cup Fair trade cocoa powder
3/4 cup Rice syrup
3/4 cup Pure honey
1 tsp Pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups soy milk
3 Eggs
2 cups Quinoa flour
1 cup Unbleached white flour
1 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp Sea salt
1/3 cup Hazelnuts, toasted and ground fine

*I substituted the rice syrup/honey with ½ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup honey and ¼ cup agave syrup. I also used 3 cups dark rye flour instead of the quinoa flour and white flour. You could use any variation of flours (spelt, kamut, rice etc). I also used pecans instead of hazelnuts.
Method

Preheat oven to 325°F. Prepare quinoa by rinsing under water for one minute. Drain. In a medium-sized sauce pan, bring the apple juice to a boil and add quinoa. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered for 20 minutes or until all juice is absorbed and quinoa is soft. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork and set aside.

In a mixer, cream butter, cocoa, rice syrup, honey and vanilla. Add eggs and mix until combined. Combine flours, baking powder, salt and nuts and add alternately with milk, stirring by hand until well combined. Fold in cooled quinoa and spread batter into a greased or lined baking pan.

Bake 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool completely before icing. Use the Chocolate Glaze recipe on page 21 for an added touch of flavour.

Yields 10 servings.

Enjoy!

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Discounted Cloth Diapers in Barrie & Chickaboo!

Yesterday while shopping at Lotus Natural Living Boutique on Dunlop st. in Barrie I noticed that
all of the Happy Heinys Cloth diapers were 40% off! This is a great deal - Denise (the owner) wants them all gone to make shelf space. There is a great selection of prints and colors. They're fabulous for any mom of young children or as a gift for someone expecting.
While you're in the store, check out the Chickaboo line of organic baby clothes - they were created by another friend and colleague of mine, and the 'yoga baby' prints are especially adorable.
Happy shopping!

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Grilled Veggie & Chickpea salad

The other day I made a fantastic and easy grilled veggie meal. I used my panini maked (a grill with 2 pieces that 'sandwich' whatever you're grilling). I sliced sweet potato, red pepper, portabello mushrooms and red onion and brushed with olive oil. I grilled these until tender. When you pull the veggies off the grill, slice into bite sized pieces.
In a bowl I mixed a generous amount of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and 2 cloves of crushed garlic, salt and pepper. Add 1 can of chickpeas (rinsed). Add the veggies and mix to coat. Serve on its own of over a salad of baby spinach. The longer it sits, the better the marinated veggies taste.
Enjoy!

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!

'Cheesy' Popcorn

The other day I made some popcorn as a snack for my kids. They asked if I could make it 'cheesy' (they've tried smartfood brand in the past and loved it, but of course it's really not that healthy for you). My naturopathic solution was to add 2 Tbsp of nutritional yeast sprinkled overtop of the popcorn. This is a trick I learned from a nutrition professor several years back, and it's really a tasty treat. Nutritional yeast (not the leavening yeast you use in baking) has a nutty/cheesy flavor and is packed full of vitamin B12, minerals and protein. This makes for a great supplement for individuals on a vegan diet which can be low on B12.
Anyway, my kids loved it, and I was happy that they had a healthy boost from their snack!
Nutritional yeast can be found in the health food section of your grocery store.

Dr. Anna Falkowski, HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Onion Poultice for Earaches!

This weekend my 4 year old got his first earache. He was complaining of the pain, and it was coming at intense intervals every few minutes. I didn't have my otoscope at home but assumed it was an ear infection. I started to give him a botanical tincture that I keep at home, but I also wanted to get at the pain quickly. An onion poultice is something I commonly recommend, but had never had to use on my own kids! I was amazed at the results. After one treatment, the pain in his left ear never returned. Later that evening the right ear started to hurt. My son was in tears. I did the poultice over that ear right before bed, and again, it never returned and he slept through the night. I was reminded about the healing power of nature. Normally, antibiotics would have been advised, and anytime you can avoid them, it's best to do so!

This is a simple traditional remedy for earaches due to inner ear infections or even swimmer’s ear. The onion can help kill the infection while the heat is soothing an provides instant relief for children complaining of an earache.

Instructions:

Cut an onion in half. Heat a little olive oil in a pan and place the onion (cut side down) on the olive oil. Cover with a lid. Heat over medium heat for a few minutes until the onion is heated through and becomes softer. Place the onion in a clean dishcloth, and cool for just a minute so that it will not burn the skin. Have your child lay down and place the onion over their ear firmly for 10 minutes. Some of the oil will seep through. The oil is healing. The onion fumes will enter the ear and soothe the ear drum.


Dr. Anna Falkowski, HBSc, ND

Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director

Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Olive Baby for After-Sun Care

On our recent trip to Cuba I was sure to pack a jar of Olive Baby Body Butter. It came in handy for the whole family. We used to for the chaffing my son got after wearing wet shorts all day at the beach, to help soothe red skin after too much sun, and to help stop the itching of the bug bites we all got on our legs. I also used it for the dry skin we got after too much exposure to sand and ocean water!
I had read somewhere that moisturizing your hands stops the transmission of bacteria that you may come into contact with (they prefer dry skin), so I was sure to moisturize during our travelling days where the airplane air is particulary drying.
Now that we're back, our tans are becoming dry and itchy, and I'm finding that a little bit of Body Butter after showering helps stop the skin from peeling.
I've had patients take it on holidays as well and said it worked as a multi-purpose skin soother.

Dr. Anna Falkowski, HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
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Saturday, February 6, 2010

From Cuba to Winterfest!

We recently came back from a week in Varadero Cuba - our first family vacation somewhere warm since the kids were born. I was SO apprehensive about the entire experience, and nearly made myself sick with worry leading up to it. I must say it turned out to be a fabulous experience! No one got sick thankfully (I was sure to give probiotics and Allimax garlic pills daily), and the weather was fabulous. I can't believe the difference in mood and health from a good dose of vitamin D!! As Canadians i'm convinced that we are all at alarmingly low levels, which of course affects our moods and immunity.
Travelling with kids is certainly a different experience - you give up the fancy dinners and lazy cocktails on the beach, but you replace it with fun in the sun, swimming, dancing, and kids shows! The best part was the un-interupted family time (no emails to answer, no telephone calls, no distractions). It was the best family bonding experience. I watched my kids bloom - Jordi tackled some of his fears of trying new things, and Lucian started to communicate much better stringing several words together at a time. My other concern was how we would all sleep in the same room for the week. This was one of the most amazing revelations to me. We pushed two of the beds together (I think they were slightly bigger than twins, but not quite doubles), and I slept with Jordi on one side and Lucian on the other (he was on the wall side so that he wouldn't fall off - at home was still sleeping in a crib). Carlos slept on a cot. Anyway, it took one night for everyone to find their groove, but the rest of the week I was amazed at how peacefully I slept with my kids. Normally at home we have such different schedules that we wouldn't be going to bed at the same time, making co-sleeping difficult. Surprisingly, neither of them woke up at night the entire week!! Maybe that's the answer for kids who don't sleep the whole night through - they just need the security of having their parent with them, which is a natural instinct. Anyway, it was a great learning experience for all of us.
We got home just before the Barrie Winterfest, so this morning we dressed up and ventured out into the cold to enjoy some more family time. It was really great this year, and once again the kids had fun (minus the cold hands).

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
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Friday, January 22, 2010

Inspirational thoughts for 2010

In May of 2009 my childhood friend Alyson was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. She approaches her journey as a cancer survivor with strength and optimism that her treatment will be successful, and her story will be an inspirational survivor story. Alyson created a website to help chronicle her journey. I am constantly amazed by her insight and strength. She has been an inspiration to all who know her during this journey. Alyson recently posted an amazing entry about her New Years Resolutions, and I would encourage everyone to read it:

http://alysonwoloshyn.com/resolving-to-have-smart-character/

Please feel free to pass along Alyson's website to anyone you know who may be going through a similar journey or would benefit from Alyson's wisdom.

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
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Monday, January 18, 2010

Detox Day 14 – A Sweet Ending!

Today I feel great. I feel calm, peaceful and content. I feel a sense of accomplishment, and I feel stronger. Not only physically better, but stronger mentally – like I said, a cleanse is really 90% mental. It’s a big goal for people and a great mental reward when they achieve it. Today doesn’t feel at all like a struggle. We took the kids for a walk on lakeshore, and popped into Second Cup to warm up. The sweet aroma of coffee definitely smelled appetizing, but it wasn’t a big deal (knowing I’ll get one tomorrow helps). The kids had their hot chocolates and on we went. It was a nice family outing for a bit of fresh air.
Breakfast – Mediclear smoothie with strawberry, banana and water. Green tea. Oatmeal with cinnamon and raisins.
Lunch – leftover Asian Soup and some Halibut from the other day.
Dinner – We treated ourselves to a night out for sushi. Technically sushi is ‘ok’ as a detox food, however I wouldn’t do it ‘during’ the cleanse because of how many restaurants add some ‘bad’ stuff to it. I knew soya sauce contains wheat, but my friend Carol told me some facts I didn’t know – they add mayo to most rolls, and food coloring and preservatives into wasabi. Well, we still ate pretty clean. Our kids had some chicken teriyaki but stayed away from meat and had the vegetarian and fish based rolls, and some seaweed salad. What a nice meal! I’ll be drinking some more greent tea this evening.

We all do cleanses for different reasons. Many of my patients do it to kickstart a weightloss program, others do it for more energy, some do it to figure out their gastrointestinal issues (it’s a good way to get people off allergenic foods and then wean them back in slowly while watching for old symptoms). Whatever your reason, you will experience many benefits, and I encourage everyone to do one big cleanse every year, and then a few mini ones seasonally. For myself, I did it to prove a point to myself (because it has been a while) and to be a good example to family, friends and patients (who rely on me for health information). A cleanse can be a daunting task, but with the right planning and support it’s absolutely an attainable goal. And like anything else in life, it takes practice to get good at it – at first it may be a struggle, and will ALWAYS be a challenge (no matter how many you do).
As a note – if you are looking for weightloss with the cleanse, you can’t go too heavy on the grains. For myself that wasn’t a goal so I didn’t watch portions (I just listened to my body to let me know when I had eaten enough) – but I did still let go of the few holiday pounds that I had put on. Carlos as well lost around 7 pounds, even though he ate a lot and didn’t let himself get hungry (he ate quite a bit of carbs – rice, crackers, dates etc). He also maintained his strength and was able to continue his strict workout program, which even I was fascinated to see!
I remember when I did my first cleanse over 10 yrs ago the feeling of wanting to cram all the ‘bad’ foods back into my diet as soon as I was off the cleanse. I don’t feel like that anymore. I would urge anyone doing a cleanse to slowly incorporate things like dairy and wheat. Watch for how you feel with each introduction. You may be surprised to see how lethargic you become, or the headaches that may come back, or how ‘full’ and bloated you start to feel, or constipated, or the insomnia that starts back up. You’ll notice how that cookie tastes so sweet all of a sudden. Learn from this experience, and make a mental note of how food makes you feel. That is the true learning experience!


Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Detox Day 13 – I’m seeing the light!

Today was much better mentally than yesterday. I know that tomorrow is the last day, and I can handle that. People are often tempted to quit a few days early – there’s always a good ‘excuse’. But I urge you to hang in there and use this opportunity to test your mental endurance! You will have an amazing sense of accomplishment by sticking with your intended cleanse duration, and it will make your future cleanses feel more realistic and doable! I’m feeling pretty good about myself today, knowing I’m in the home stretch, and that I had an amazing detox with NO bad food.

Breakfast – Mediclear smoothie (mango, strawberry, water). Green Tea. Oatmeal with raisins, cinnamon and almond milk.
Lunch – Asian Soup: sautee 1 onion, 3 celery, 3 carrots, pinch of chilli peppers in olive oil. Add 2 cloves garlic (minced), 2 L water, Bragg’s liquid seasoning and tamari to taste. Let simmer for 20 min. Add rice noodles (I used very thin vermicelli ones) and several handfuls of baby spinach. Cook 1 more minute and remove from heat. Before serving add 2 Tbsp lime juice and 2 Tbsp sesame oil. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
Snack – green tea, strawberries and pomello.
Dinner – This was a mish mash of stuff: guacamole, hummus, red peppers, celery and carrot sticks, rice crackers.
Snack – chamomile tea and papaya.

Oh, and I didn’t get that cold I felt I was getting. I do feel a little more tired than normal, and something may be lingering, but so far I’m doing ok. Everyone around me is sick, so I’m sure my body is trying to fight an infection.

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
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Friday, January 15, 2010

Detox Day 12 – Am I done yet?

Today wasn’t fun in terms of the cleanse. I definitely was feeling ‘done’. Being this close to the end I feel like I want to race to the ‘finish’ line, but the days of course are just as long! It’s just that monotonous feeling of not being able to enjoy the old favorites, especially since we’re starting the weekend. I’m feeling mentally tired, like I don’t want to think about it anymore, and just unwind. My husband is great at cheering us on, and today he mentioned that there’s only 2 more days and it’s no big deal. I guess he’s right!
You may be feeling that way as well, so don’t be discouraged. It’s normal, and old habits die hard. For me, being away from the house and out with a friend took me out of routine, which can cause a problem for people. I was in Toronto longer than expected and was starving – the nuts and fruit are great as a snack, but not as a lunch! I should have brought more food or came back home earlier.

Breakfast – Mediclear smoothie (mango, strawberry, water). Green Tea. Rice-millet cereal with almond milk
Snack – raw almonds and pecans. Banana. Green tea. Caramel Rooibos tea (it sounds decadent, but it’s not when you don’t put anything in it!).
Lunch – Rice tortilla with hummus, spinach, onion, orange peppers. Small bowl of black bean soup.
Snack – peppermint tea
Dinner – Halibut, mashed sweet potato, peas
Snack – chamomile tea

I feel like I may have a cold coming on, so I’ll be going to bed early tonight – I’m feeling worn down. I’ll also be garling with salt water, loading up on vitamin C and zinc and doing my botanical tincture. Hopefully I’ll wake up healthy!



Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Detox Day 11 - Food makes us feel good!

Yoga was fabulous last night – I felt the best I ever had during a class – I had great energy and I was well hydrated. I was thinking what a great companion hot yoga is for cleansing, as the sweating intensifies the process, and brings an inner awareness to the body (which is already heightened during a detox).
I have to admit that I’m missing coffee. It’s clearly not a physical response, since any true ‘addiction’ to it would have been broken in the first few days. I’m just looking forward to that little pleasure in my day again! I was thinking about food and how it plays some an emotional role in our lives – certain foods are associated with happy memories, our childhood, relaxation, dinner parties, picnics and so on. Going 2 weeks without a reliance on these comfort foods is a big deal for people, and it’s usually the source of stress during a cleanse. Like with many other things in life, it’s good to challenge these ‘addictions’ and beliefs surrounding foods, and see what you might discover about yourself. You’ll hopefully come out of it with fewer food hang-ups and realize what’s truly important and what you can do without in your diet. For me, I know I can do with fewer night-time snacks during the week (maybe save them just for movie nights), I can drink more green tea, I can have less wheat, I can eat more avocado. But I won’t give up my cup of coffee!

Breakfast – Mediclear smoothies with mango, strawberries and water. Green tea. Bowl of rice-millet cereal, raisins and almond milk
Snack – hummus and 5 rice crackers.
Lunch – brown rice and stirfry (from last night) – I threw a handful of chopped red cabbage in there for extra color.
Snack – plum
Dinner – Mediclear & water. Large salad with romaine, carrots, celery and white kidney beans. Dressing was olive oil, balsamic vinegar.
Snack – guacamole & rice crackers and a few slices of papaya. Chamomile tea.

Tomorrow I’m meeting a friend in Vaughn and will be gone for several hours, so I’ll need to make sure I bring something with me – It’s doubtful that I’ll find anything decent to eat at the mall!



Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Detox Day 10 - feeling balanced

I’m loving this time of year. No, not the weather, but the change in pace. December was very hectic at the clinic and at home, but now things have slowed down and are allowing me a much needed breather (especially during a cleanse). It’s nice to catch up on paperwork and finally finish (most) of my ‘government stuff’ for 2009 in preparation to see my accountant! I find I’m more relaxed and more patient these days, which is how it should be all the time!
I’m feeling really good at this point. I was thinking that I no longer wake up thinking that ‘I’m on a cleanse’. It actually feels like any other day, except for the fact that I wouldn’t willingly start my day off with a cold smoothie in the middle of winter! Aside from that, I can’t believe how ‘normal’ this all feels. Another example of how adaptable the human body is. Actually, my body not only feels like it’s adapted, but like it’s thriving.
If you’re doing your first cleanse, or if your diet was very different from the foods you’re eating on mediclear, you may not feel this way, so don’t feel guilty if you don’t. It takes some long-term change or at least a few cleanses under your belt before you reach a comfort zone in this area. What I love to hear from my patients is that the cleanse ‘really wasn’t that different from how I normally eat’. That would be the ultimate goal – trying to eat 80-90% of a whole foods clean diet. At that level you should really feel a difference in your overall health, and when sustained for several years, you will actually feel like a different person (on a cellular level – the body takes about 7 years to completely regenerate every cell).
Breakfast – Mediclear smoothie (mango, strawberries, banana, water), Green tea, then rice-millet cereal with raisins and almond milk.
Lunch – hummus and rice crackers. Strawberries. Grapes. A Big salad with all sorts of veggies and red cabbage – the colors are magnificent. The dressing was olive oil, rice vinegar, tamari, sesame oil, pepper. This was all eaten over the course of 4 hrs or so, not all at once! Another green tea.
Dinner – mediclear with water. I stirfried sliced portabello mushroom, garlic, and a whole head of beet greens in olive oil. Served on brown rice. I will eat this after Yoga tonight.
Before yoga I will have a snack of some raw almonds and a peach.

I’m very excited because tonight I’m heading off to Hot Yoga again (this time with a friend) for another 90min class. I can’t wait to feel the difference of doing 2 sessions in one week – this is such a luxury for me because of the distance (studio is in Vaughn). Off to sweat out the rest of the toxins!

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Detox Day 9 – This year I will ‘do’ less

I had a great night sleep last night. The first one since I started the cleanse. I didn’t talk much about this, but starting the second day into the cleanse, I had several nights of insomnia between the hours of 1:30-4:30, usually lasting 2 hrs. It was very frustrating, and I figured it had to do with the cleanse, but I don’t remember having that symptom in the past. After speaking to my colleague, she confirmed that she too had experienced it in her practice. From a Chinese medical perspective, ‘liver time’ is between 1-3am. This is when the liver is most active going through it’s many functions and regenerating. It makes sense that during a cleanse, which is geared for our livers, you may be awake during the livers busy time! Isn’t the body incredible?? Well anyway, it finally passes a few days ago, but I was up with my sick son, so didn’t reap the benefits of a good nights sleep until last night. What a difference!
Breakfast: Mediclear smoothie (strawberry, mango, banana, water). Green tea. Millet-rice cereal with raisins and almond milk.
This morning I stopped at starbucks on my way to work and ordered a venti Zen tea – apparently they’ve switched their Tazo teas to a full leaf tea in a silk tea bag, which is supposed to be more flavorful (and also costs more, ha ha). Anyway, I enjoyed that during a busy morning in the clinic, had some blackberries, strawberries and peach slices for a snack and then for lunch I had leftover spaghetti squash and roasted veggies.
Mid afternoon snack – rice pudding
Dinner - Mediclear drink (I was at work so just mixed it with water – not delicious). Black Bean soup (see previous blog for recipe).
Tonight for a snack I think we’ll have some fresh papaya.

I have enjoyed almond milk so much during this cleanse that I’m definitely switching over. We’ve always used organic soy milk as a family, but recently I’ve become convinced that it’s just too controversial to use just soy, and I can’t be entirely certain that It’s not having a negative impact on my boys, so It’s peace of mind just to make the switch. I will continue to use soy milk for the occasional latte (because it’s creamier and froths well), and for baking. I’m not concerned about using it in small amounts.
Exercise – Yesterday Carlos did a swim and a run, and then another swim this morning, and he said he didn’t feel a negative impact from the detox on his training (although he still feels the symptoms of his cold, but they’re all above the neck, and everything below the neck he said feels great!).
Comment: Looking back at this cleanse, I probably would not do it at the peak of winter. Although technically it’s a great time to do a cleanse because the holidays are so indulgent, from a bigger perspective, in Canada it’s WAY too cold to be eating too many raw veggies and fruits at this time of year – I was cold the entire cleanse! It’s too bad, but the reality is, energetically it’s not great. I had to be creative, and as you’ll have noticed I didn’t eat many (if any) raw salads, but focused more on roasted veggies, soups, and adding veggies to my grains. If you were to pick one time of year to do a cleanse, it is said that end of March/early April is the best time energetically because it goes along with the earth’s changing energy and the shift into Spring, which is a time of cleansing. That being said, some people need it more often, so it’s just important to still adjust the diet according to the season!
My other insight is the following – I was reflecting on 2009 and realized how much stuff I ‘did’. I’ve always been a person that looks ahead, tackles new projects and fulfills my need for creativity and growth. I am thankful to have had a year that fulfilled those needs, but my hopes for 2010 are that I will not ‘do’ as much. I would like to enjoy my accomplishments by not moving on to the next ‘project’ or idea, but rather develop and nurture what already exists, both at home (my family) and professionally. It reminds me of something I once heard - that a person who is not truly thankful for what they already have, cannot be given more in life. This is the year I will count all my blessings, and enjoy them!


Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
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Monday, January 11, 2010

Detox Day 8 – Strictest Diet today

Today marks the height of the cleanse with one day of nothing other than veggies, grains and fruit, and 3 Mediclear smoothies. So no dietary ‘proteins’- all come from the mediclear.
Today I’m feeling the effects of yesterday’s yoga – my body is gently hurting everywhere. Not a bad feeling, just a realization that I have muscles on various body parts that I’m not normally aware of! I was also really thirsty all day yesterday. Last night was a terrible night for us because my older son was up with a cough and fever, so we’re not feeling rested today. We’re just laying low today because Jordi is still not feeling well, which works out great for allowing some rest on my part.
Breakfast – mediclear smoothie with banana, strawberries and almond milk. Green tea. 30 min later I had oatmeal with 1 Tbsp molasses (for iron and sweetness), raisins, almond milk and chia seed.
Mid-morning I had a few strawberries and blackberries.
Lunch – mediclear smoothie (mango, strawberry and water). 30 min later I made the following:
Roasted veggies – peel and cut into large chunks: sweet potato, beets, carrots, onion. Drizzle in olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake at 425 for 45-60min (until tender).
Spaghetti Squash – cut in half, discard seed. Lay face up on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, 2 cloves minced garlic, salt and pepper. Bake at 425 60min. use a fork to scoop out the center (will look like spaghetti). Serve the roasted veggies on a bed of the spaghetti squash. This was a delicious, hearty and warming lunch.
Another Green tea.
Snack – a little of the leftover rice pudding from last night.
Dinner – Mediclear smoothie. I’m not very hungry for another full meal. I’m going to do the guacamole and rice crackers again, and then a new batch of rice pudding for tonight as a snack. I’ve been really cold, and that’s what I’m craving.
Tomorrow is back to 2 smoothies and re-introducing legumes, which is great. Today wasn’t bad however – the biggest challenge was fitting in 3 smoothies!
Ok, so here’s a brief comment about exercise while on a cleanse. It’s good to do something to help the effects of detox (improves circulation, flushes the liver and kidneys not to mention sweat glands). Intense exercise may not feel good during your cleanse – listen to your body. The detoxification process itself is taxing and fatiguing, so don’t overdo it. I was going to use my husband as a guinea pig to see what he felt like during his training while on detox (he is currently training for Ironman Canada in August); however he developed a cold the night before our detox, so has had to modify his workouts to be less intense than normal. So far he has not complained about not having enough energy for working out, but like I said he’s doing far less then normal. I certainly have felt a little below normal in terms of capacity for an intense workout. I didn’t push the speed on the treadmill (although I did a decent amount of time).


Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Detox Day 7 – Hot Yoga, and Relationship Detox!

We decided to celebrate the midpoint of our cleanse with an excursion to Hot Yoga (Moksha). We did a 90 min class, and boy was it tough. On any given day Hot Yoga is an intense mental and physical feat, but on a detox it’s certainly amplified. You sweat out every pore, and every cell in your body vibrates with the intensity of the postures. It was incredible. When attempting hot yoga it’s important to hydrate BEFORE class, and to drink at least 1-2L during the class. Even though we were hydrated (and even added Emergen-C to our water), we both said we felt faint at the end of the standing series. In this case you just go into child’s pose until you feel ready to re-join the class. I love this style of yoga because it doesn’t compare to ANY other exercise I’ve done in my life in terms of a whole body work-out. I also feel that many of the poses help connect me with my years of rhythmic gymnastics. Not to mention the stillness of the mind that yoga requires – today it certainly was a challenge to keep the mind in the present, and not let it drift off into the past or future. Our instructor was great about reminding us to come back into the present.
At one point I found myself thinking about a conversation I had with a patient this week. We are both moms of young kids, and she made the point that in our generation, our kids only stay with us for a brief period (unlike past generations where children often lived with their parents until they married, and sometimes even created multi-generational homes). She went on to say that now more than ever it’s increasingly important to nurture our relationship with our spouses, because before you know it, our kids are gone and you’re left with your life-partner. If you don’t make a point to spend some time together, you may very well disconnect over the years and be left with someone you don’t even know. This is very true. I have several patients in their 50’s struggling with their relationships and dealing with ‘empty nest syndrome’. I have never seen myself as someone who will struggle with her kids leaving home (I guess we’ll see!), but I also don’t want to be questioning my marriage in the future. What I’m trying to say is that as much as it may not seem important or a priority, you need to make little efforts to be a couple. Today during my yoga class I was thankful that it’s an experience I can share with my husband, who luckily shares my passion for health and wellness. Our 45 min drive to and from yoga was a wonderful opportunity to catch up outside of the everyday chatter about the kids and work. So, this detox is also about cleansing relationships!
On the same note, at this point in the cleanse it’s mostly mental. My friend and colleague Carol has always said that a cleanse is 10% physical and 90% mental, and that’s true. We’re not fighting cravings, it’s just about endurance now. We’re reflecting on our day to day choices, asking ourselves what healthy habits we can continue to incorporate, what will we compromise on, and what are our long term priorities. It’s like a lifestyle over-haul, particularly if you’re able to do the cleanse with your partner. We certainly understand that our choices are seen by our children, and they model our behaviors. It’s important to me that my kids value their health and wellness, so it’s my job to teach that to them.
Here’s my day:
Breakfast – Mediclear smoothie with strawberry and banana, then millet-rice flakes, raisins and almond milk. Green tea on the way to yoga.
Big mistake – didn’t pack snacks for after yoga, we were ravenous by the time we got home!
Lunch – quinoa from yesterday served with baby spinach with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Jasmine green tea after lunch.
Snacks – Mediclear smoothie (mango and almond milk); pomegranate and some other fruit
Dinner – I wasn’t very hungry so ate guacamole (1 avocado, diced onion, lime juice, salt and pepper) and a handful of rice crackers. Carlos at the leftover quinoa dish.
For a snack this evening I made the rice pudding from the Mediclear recipes – I sampled it and it’s amazing.
I’m very tired this evening probably because of yoga. I won’t be up late!

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Detox Day 6 – Weekends can be tough

It’s Saturday and when I woke up this morning I longed for my cup of coffee while my kids watched cartoons. Notice I said ‘longed for’, not ‘craved’. At this point it’s not cravings, it’s more a mental game. It’s the ‘routines’ we’re used to, and adapting a new way of doing things. Once I actually had my morning shake and settled down on the couch with a warm mug of green tea, I found myself to be really content. I dreaded this weekend, knowing it’s usually a time of either social eating, or simply a movie night with my husband in which we may make some of our favorite snacks and enjoy a glass of wine. I don’t intend to give that up, and that’s not what a cleanse is about. It’s more about giving the body a break, learning about your body and how it functions, trying new healthy recipes, re-training your taste buds, and exploring ultimate health. My energy is awesome. I have not had the mid-morning or mid-afternoon lows that are normally experienced when eating gluten or drinking coffee. Digestion – fabulous (I won’t give details). My stomach is feeling much better today – yesterday I overdid it by consuming hummus, lentils, black beans and chick peas all in the second half of my day. The peppermint tea did the trick.
If you asked me what’s the toughest part of the cleanse, I’d hesitate to answer. In a way, the first 4 days are the toughest with the change in routine and the physical symptoms of detox. Once you get through that, you get a momentum going that makes things simple. On the other hand, for some people the second week is tough because it takes more energy to be so diligent with planning and executing healthy meals all day long. It DOES get easier the more cleansing you do, because you find tips and tricks to get you through it.
Cravings – I’m going to be honest – none. Like most people, I expected sugar cravings, but they were not an issue at all. Having a date or a bit of honey in tea is OK if you get them, and the chromium in the Mediclear helps your body be more sensitive to insulin anyway.
My sister-in law asked me to include some pictures of the foods and portion sizes in my blog. I will do my best, but It’s tough getting THAT organized! Portions – for rookie cleansers, I don’t worry about portions. Listen to your body, and eat what you need without stuffing yourself. Don’t deprive yourself – that’s not the point. Your body will be burning through the food more efficiently anyway because it’s such a clean diet, so weightloss is normal. If you’re looking for extra weightloss during the cleanse, just don’t go as heavy on the grains/crackers/pasta – do more veggies!
Breakfast – Mediclear shake with mango, strawberries and almond milk, then green tea. Then I had 2 rice cakes with almond butter, banana slices and honey.


Snack – a split a mango with my kids
Lunch – brown rice and curry from yesterday
Dinner – Second Mediclear smoothie with strawberries and almond milk. 20 min. later I made Quinoa pilaf: bring 3 cups water with 3-5 Tbsp Bragg’s seasoning to a boil. Add 1 cup rinsed quinoa, 2 cloves crushed garlic and simmer 20min or until almost soft. Meanwhile cube a sweet potato, drizzle in olive oil and bake at 425 25 min. Add broccoli florets, can of chickpeas (I used red kidney beans because I was out), and sweet potato. Cook until broccoli is soft and quinoa is cooked. I also made a side of grated carrot, grated apple, olive oil, salt and pepper and l tsp lemon juice.
I think we’ll watch a movie tonight, and will have a cup of tea and maybe guacamole with rice crackers, or a mango.
I want to touch on exercise, but I may do it tomorrow when I have more time. Today was a good day. Off to put the kids to bed!



Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
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Friday, January 8, 2010

Detox Day 5 – Busy day, a true test

Today was somewhat crazy for me – I felt like I was on the go from the moment I got up until the evening. It’s a challenging day to be on a cleanse, but it was fine in the end.
Breakfast – mediclear shake with mango, strawberries and almond milk. I worked out shortly after – 37 min on the treadmill, mid-intensity walk/run, 520 cal burned.
I ate oatmeal with pecans and raisins shortly after my workout, and then took the kids to the pool, which is exhausting at this age (especially in the winter!).
Lunch – black bean soup from yesterday, veggies and hummus. Finally a green tea!
Dentist appointment, then a cup of vanilla rooibos with almond milk
Dinner – 2nd Mediclear shake, then real food - brown rice with a curry. Sautee 1 onion, 2 minced garlics, 1 tbsp curry. Add 1 head of cauliflower florets, 1 cup water, I can coconut milk, 1 cup red lentils and Bragg’s seasoning to taste. Cook until cauliflower is soft and lentils are cooked and add 1 cup frozen peas and a large handful of baby spinach. Cook a few more minutes until heated through. Really tasty!
I had some papaya and berries for dessert. We ate dinner early tonight, so I may make some guacamole with rice crackers as a snack this evening, and peppermint tea.
Today my stomach felt the effects of having so many bean products – this is something I usually advise patient to work up to, or it can become painful. Peppermint tea helps!
Ok, off to unwind!

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor & Clinic Director
Vitality for Life Health Center
www.vitalityforlife.ca

Dr. Anna Falkowski HBSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, Clinic Director
info@vitalityforlife.ca
www.vitalityforlife.ca
Twitter: @NaturoDoctor
We're On Facebook!