My Top 10 for 2016

Proper diet and exercise not only help in recovering from illness or injury, but can also help prevent cancer, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and many other common conditions. 

Kinesiology places a strong emphasis on prevention and enhancement, and utilizes exercise and improved movement to achieve a better quality of life for individuals.

As a Registered Kinesiologist, I am classified as a Regulated Health Professional in the Province of Ontario, Canada.

Please enjoy my Top 10 list for 2016 and enjoy a healthier 2016 as a result.

For more information on the practice of kinesiology in Ontario, please visit The College of Kinesiologists of Ontario and/or The Ontario Kinesiology Association

10. Cod Liver Oil – Good old fashioned fish oil that grandma forced mama to take when she headed out the door to walk several miles to school in the blistering cold and snow of the eastern coast of Canada. Cod Liver Oil has historically been taken because of its high vitamin A and vitamin D content.

Vitamin A is involved in immune function, vision, reproduction, and cellular communication. [National Institutes of Health, 2013]

Vitamin D is produced endogenously when ultraviolet rays from sunlight strike the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis, so during the long cold and dark Canadian winters where sunshine is scant, supplementing in Vitamin D is a necessity.

Vitamin D also promotes calcium absorption in the gut and maintains adequate serum calcium and phosphate concentrations to enable normal mineralization of bone and to prevent hypocalcemic tetany. Vitamin D sufficiency prevents rickets, osteomalacia and together with calcium, vitamin D also helps protect older adults from osteoporosis. [National Institute of Health, 2014]

TAKE HOME MESSAGE: Cod Liver Oil is an often cheaper alternative to more expensive fish oils and with its naturally high Vitamin D content, there is little need to supplement with additional Vitamin D.

* Daily upper limits of Vitamin A are over-reached by 36% in one tablespoon of Cod Liver Oil. A high intake of cod liver oil by pregnant women is associated with a nearly fivefold increased risk of gestational hypertension. Therefore, if you are pregnant, nursing or if you have concerns about your Vitamin A levels, it is recommended that you talk to your doctor first before taking Cod Liver Oil.

9. Sleep 8 hours every night on a regular schedule. Sleep deprivation adversely affects the brain and cognitive function and causes weight gain.

Chronic dysregulation of sleep leads to weight gain, impulsivity, slower thinking, and other physiological and behavioral changes in mice, similar to those observed in people who experience shift work or jet lag. Several studies including this one continue to support the regulation of sleep for improvement of conditions such a bipolar disorder.[National Institute of Health, 2012]

People experiencing short-term sleep restriction process glucose more slowly than individuals receiving a full 8 hours of sleep, increasing the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes.

Beware that you may not know you are experiencing short-term sleep restriction if you have a condition called Sleep Apnea, for one example. Sypmtoms of Sleep Apnea are excessive daytime sleepiness and fatigue. Chronic snoring is a great indicator along with a proper diagnosis that includes:

  • being male, overweight, obese, or over the age of 40
  • having a large neck size (greater than 16–17 inches)
  • enlarged tonsils, enlarged tongue, small jaw bone
  • gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
  • allergies, sinus problems
  • family history of sleep apnea, or deviated septum causing nasal obstruction
  • alcohol, sedatives and tranquilizers also promote sleep apnea by relaxing the throat

Also notable, in two studies [Wikepedia – Sleep Deprivation[59][60]], a sleepless week down-regulated 444 genes, and up-regulated 267. Genes that were affected are related to circadian rhythms, metabolism, inflammation, immune response and stress.

TAKE HOME MESSAGE: Do everything you can to ensure a regular good night’s sleep. Move out that bedroom TV. Turn off your devices and completely cover any LEDs. Invest in blackout curtains and/or a quality eye mask.

8. Reduce EMF (Electromagnetic Field) Toxins. This is a relatively new area of research focusing on the toxic by-products of power lines, televisions, household electrical wiring, appliances and microwaves. EMF toxins come in all forms including those from cell phones, cell phone towers and wireless Internet connections.

Electromagnetic fields (EMF) have been shown to influence a range of bodily functions. The intermittent recommendation (until more research is complete) is that the public should follow the precautionary principle and limit their exposure as much as possible. [Advances in Biology, 2014]

Here are some helpful tips to reduce EMF toxins:

  • Children should always avoid using cell phones
  • Reduce your own cell phone use
  • Use a land line at home and at work
  • Reduce your use of other wireless devices, such as tablets
  • Use your cell phone only where reception is good
  • Avoid carrying your phone on your body
  • Don’t assume one cell phone is safer than another
  • Use safe headset technology

TAKE HOME MESSAGE: Reduce your wireless and electronic usage.  You may like to invest in a Himalayan Salt Crystal USB Lamp for your computer. The lamp may help reduce toxins. You may also like to try a MAS Mat treatment to counter balance your exposure at Ontario’s very own Grail Springs Spa located in Bancroft.

7. Compassion for not only others but for oneself. The origination of the term compassion is of Latin decent, and translates to co-suffering. More involved than simple empathy, compassion commonly activates one’s will to alleviate another’s suffering.  However, in eastern culture and Buddhism, compassion is taught specifically as co-suffering with one’s own self as well as with others.

In North American culture, we often don’t give our own selves a fighting chance. Over-working and depriving ourselves of sleep and noticing the negative consequences is all too common, e.g. weight gain and moodiness is one example.  Not feeding ourselves well enough with nourishing healthy food and experiencing ill health and a weakened immune systems is another common failing.  Not exercising our bodies regularly and ending up with debilitating joint problems and other chronic disabilities is yet another.  Overindulging in gossip, negative self-talk, alcohol and stimulants such as coffee and energy drinks are in this category as well. Adjust your ability to know why you need to indulge and ask yourself what it needs to heal.

TAKE HOME MESSAGE: Starting now, please begin to pay attention to how compassionate you are toward your own self. You will reap the rewards and — others will too, as it is also well known in Buddhist culture that the one who’s heart centre whom is not nurtured is not ready to take care of another’s. Once you have nurtured your own self, you are ready to take on the world!

6. Cold Showers. Hydrotherapy (water therapy) has a scientific evidence-based effect on various systems of the body. [National Institute of Health, 2014] Hydrotherapy is the most basic method of treatment used in the system of natural medicine, which includes water therapy, aquatic therapy, pool therapy, and balneotherapy (therapeutic bathing in mineral water). Bathing in water in various forms and temperatures can produce different effects on different system of the body.

One study showed that “regular winter swimming significantly decreased tension, fatigue, memory, and mood negative state points with the duration of swimming period; significantly increased vigor-activity scores; relieved pain who suffered from rheumatism, fibromyalgia, or asthma; and improved general well-being in swimmers” [International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 2004..

TAKE HOME MESSAGE: New Year’s Day Polar Dips are not only fabulous fundraisers, they are good for you! There are several Polar Dips in the Greater Toronto Area. Mark yours on the calendar now.

5. Find your Dr. Quiet. “The best doctors are Dr. Quiet, Dr. Diet and Dr. Merry”, Chinese Proverb. 

Dr. Quiet is simple quiet time. Yes, there is meditation, but for now let’s just focus on quiet time. Turn off the tv, the phone and the lights. Enjoy the sights, sounds and smells around you — whatever they may be. Of course, all of these may be more fruitful if you are on a mountain ridge out in nature, but you can make the most of your own dwelling.  Aromatherapy and visualization may be helpful. Investigate which scent(s) pique your fancy at stores like Sage Natural Wellness.

Find an image of a beautiful place you have been or wish to go. Keep both with you and when you need a break — a visit with Dr. Quiet, find a suitable place to settle for a few moments. Pull out the photo and the scent and away you go. Dr. Quiet may make you smarter. “Not only can meditation prevent brain cells from dying, which typically happens as we age, it can boost a person’s brain size in several crucial regions. Furthermore, researchers have concluded that meditation can actually make a person more intelligent.” [Psychology Today , 2013]

TAKE HOME MESSAGE: Finding your Dr. Quiet may make you smarter!

5. Don’t diet. I mean it.  Dr. Diet doesn’t want you to starve yourself or avoid whole food groups. Dr. Diet wants you to take care of what your put in your body. Learn to nourish yourself to bring your body back into balance, naturally.

Once your body has everything it needs, the cravings will cease and your weight will stabilize. I highly recommend working with both a Naturopathic Doctor and Nutritionist with regard to Dr. Diet.

A Naturopathic Doctor can help to identify specific food allergies and/or sensitivities. He/she can also specifically address nutrition as it relates to your current medical condition(s) and prescribed medication(s).

A Nutritionist can more precisely put together both a mirco and macro eating plan for you to follow on a day-to-day, month-to-month basis with individual progressions or regressions depending on your goals and condition(s).

TAKE HOME MESSAGE: “Everything in moderation” is not cliche. Diets create imbalances.  Yo-yo dieting slows your metabolism.  Learn how to bring your body into balance naturally. Start by moderating just one indulgence today. Re-evaluate in 28 days and if you were successful, add another. If not, it is time to consider booking an appointment with your local Naturopathic Doctor or Certified Holistic Nutritionist.

4. If it hurts, move it! Of course, this is to your primary physician’s discretion. But the current trend in research is to keep moving.  Sometimes this means to move through some pain. Here is a great online resource, “10 Exercises for People in Pain”.

A review of literature regarding chronic pain found that “patients who believe they can control their pain, who avoid catastrophizing about their condition, and who believe they are not severely disabled appear to function better than those who do not”. [Pain, 1991]

Another later study on chronic low back pain noted “exercise therapy that consists of individually designed programs, including stretching or strengthening, and that is delivered with supervision may improve pain and function in chronic nonspecific low back pain” [Annals of Internal Medicine, 2005].

TAKE HOME MESSAGE: Keep moving! Find a registered professional  like me, who can help you understand your condition better to ensure proper technique/recovery.

3. Reduce or avoid alcohol. You are best to consider reducing or avoiding alcohol especially if heart disease or osteoporosis runs in your family.

Significant magnesium deficiency occurs with chronic alcoholism [Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, 1986.] This significant magnesium deficiency may contribute to the increased incidence of osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease seen in this population [Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, 1994].

With concern to chronic pain and magnesium research, should you suffer from chronic pain, it is worthy to consider reducing or avoiding alcohol altogether as well. Magnesium blocks your brain’s receptors of glutamate, a neurotransmitter that can cause neurons to be hypersensitive to pain. Therefore, if you are lower in magnesium, this may be why you are experiencing more pain.[Kaplan, DO., Dr. Gary. Total Recovery. A Revolutionary Approach to Breaking the Cycle of Pain and Depression]

From a purely preventative point of view, I recommend moderation. Never drink alone. Try to keep your alcohol consumption to at least 3 alcohol free days per week. Mark your consumption on a calendar to see your progress.

TAKE HOME MESSAGE: The human body understands alcohol as poison. You are best to moderate your intake. Learn more about healthy limits.

2. Practice mindfulness.  So I spoke of Dr. Quiet.  And yes, he and mindfulness are distant cousins of sorts.  Compassion and mindfulness also compliment each other very well. So what exactly is mindfulness, and how does one practice it?

By definition, mindfulness is described as “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.” [Google Definition, 2015]

How do we practice mindfulness?

  • Breathe and smile. Relax. Take a moment to let go and just be. Enjoy it.
  • Do standing meditation, while waiting in line for a movie, bus or train. Just stand there, breathe, and awaken.
  • Whenever you sit down or stand up, stop and appreciate a moment of change, of freedom.
  • Whenever you cross a threshold, go through a doorway, or enter a room, see it as entering a temple and do so with empathy.
  • Walk barefoot in the grass or thick carpet and feel fully each sensation with your toes and soles.

*The above excerpts are copied herein directly as they read in Lama Surya Das’ book Awakening the Buddha Within: Eight Steps to Enlightenment”. I highly recommend this book.

TAKE HOME MESSAGE: Try just one of the above mindfullness exercises and see what happens.  The here and now is a beautiful place.

1. Dr. Happy. Exercise your belly without doing crunches. 

Laugh! Smile! Fake feeling good for no reason at all! Revisit watching those old favourite comedies from years gone by. Browse through your local bookstore, library or your very convenient online book retailer’s selection of joke books.  Find a few simple items, such as photos or comic strips that make you chuckle. Then copy them and keep them with you or hang them up at home or in your office.

According to the Mayo Clinic:

  • Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air and stimulate many organs such as your heart, lungs and muscles, and it increases the feel-good chemical endorphins that are released by your brain.
  • Laughter activates and relieves negative responses to stress.
  • Laughter soothes tension.
  • Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.
  • Laughter can improve your immune system by boosting positive thoughts that actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.
  • Laughter can relieve pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers. Laughter may also break the pain-spasm cycle common to some muscle disorders.
  • Laughter can make it easier to cope with difficult situations. It also helps you connect with other people.
  • Laughter improves your mood and can help lessen your depression and anxiety and make you feel happier.

TAKE HOME MESSAGE: (Please see cartoon below.)

one-last-treatment tickle

Happy New Year everybody!  All the best for a most healthy, happy and prosperous 2016!

Always check with your doctor first before taking any new medication, reducing or going off any medication, embarking on new fitness program, or when adding or changing the does of any natural supplements in your health plan.


All material on this website are provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgement available to the author, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.


My Top 10 for 2015

P1070556As a Registered Kinesiologist, I am classified as a Regulated Health Professional in the Province of Ontario, Canada.

The scope of practice of kinesiology, as defined by the Kinesiology Act, 2007, is as follows:

“The assessment of human movement and performance and its rehabilitation and management to maintain, rehabilitate or enhance movement and performance.”

This definition reflects the idea of kinesiology not just as rehabilitative, but preventative and promoting general wellness. Kinesiology places a strong emphasis on prevention and enhancement, and utilizes exercise and improved movement to achieve a better quality of life for individuals. Proper diet and exercise not only help in recovering from illness or injury, but can also help prevent heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and many other common conditions.

I care deeply about health. Enjoy my top 10 list for 2015 and enjoy a healthier 2015 as a result. For more information on the practice of kinesiology in Ontario, please visit The College of Kinesiologists of Ontario and/or The Ontario Kinesiology Association

1. Get hydrated. Give up pointless other beverages for plain old water.  It does the body good and it is FREE.  Water

  • Keeps your temperature normal. So, if your metabolism is slow, you may just need more water.
  • Lubricates and cushions joints, and as such plain old water may be helpful to those with arthritis.
  • Protects your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues. If you suffer from back pain, good old water may be just what you need.
  • Gets rid of wastes through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements. If you are regularly constipated you may just be dehydrated.

Shoot for at least 2 litres per day. Especially if you are active.  Aim for closer to 3 litres if you are a bigger person or a very active person, closer to 2 litres will do if you are smaller and less active. Aim  for more if you drink a lot of coffee or tea (including Green Tea). If you are not near drinking 1 litre of water daily now, progress slowly by increasing one more 250 ml glass of water into your present regime every few days until you reach your desires amount.

2. Get more sleep. And if it is regular sleep (going to bed at relatively the same time every night) – all the better. You’ll be more alert and therefore more effectively productive.  You will also get all of the human growth hormone output your body needs to be the optimally best you. On the contrary, depriving yourself of adequate sleep wreaks havoc on your hormonal system and stress levels and as a result directly causes weight gain, mood swings and unnecessary food cravings for sugar and fat to say the least.

3. Get more fibre.  Time and time again I hear folks wanting to shed pounds, get healthier and get fitter.  But instead of seeking more fibre they want to drop carbs, perhaps depriving themselves of vital nutrients their bodies need – or they seek to add more protein – often the animal kind which causes the body to become more acidic.  Take the easy route to a slimmer, fitter and healthier you and start adding chia to your morning cereal, smoothies, lunchtime salads and soups. In “Fat Flush for Life,” certified holistic nutritionist Ann Louis Gittleman, Ph.D., names chia seeds as one of the world’s most fiber-rich foods. Unlike dietary fiber from cereal grains, the soluble fiber content of chia seeds takes more time to travel through the intestinal tract, which helps add bulk to the stool and provides a slower rate of glucose absorption making it great for diabetics. Soluble fiber can also reduce the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream

4. Spice it up. Move over salt and pepper. ** Spices like turmeric, ginger and cayenne have a lot to offer and are easy enough to add to soups, stews, salads and smoothies – adding flavour without the drawbacks of adding too much sodium.  Turmeric has been researched as having powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. Current research on ginger possesses numerous therapeutic properties including antioxidant effects, an ability to inhibit the formation of inflammatory compounds, and direct anti-inflammatory effects – including alleviation of gastrointestinal distress like gas and bloating. Cayenne, is a powerful compound with many uses in alternative health practice, that may include: boosting metabolism, neutralizing acidity, reducing inflammation, aiding digestion, and migraine headache relief to name a few.

5. Lift heavy.   At some point in your 30s, you begin to lose muscle mass and function, a condition known as age-related sarcopenia or sarcopenia with aging. People who are physically inactive can lose as much as 3% to 5% of their muscle mass per decade after age 30. Even if you are active, you will still experience some muscle loss. Adding more weight to your lifts can also help you remove more fat from your body.

6. Get outside. Exposure to green space improves well-being both immediately and over time. In other words, don’t eat lunch at your desk every day. You could also decorate your office with plants which has been studied as having similar effects as getting outside on improving overall well-being of office workers.

7. Meditate. When we think of meditation, we think of relaxation and de-stressing.  However, one study has gone further into unfolding the many benefits of meditation.  A range of disease-fighting genes were active in relaxation practitioners that were not active in the control group in a study by Dr Herbert Benson, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. After two months, the meditator’s bodies began to change: the genes that help fight inflammation, kill diseased cells and protect the body from cancer all began to switch on. More encouraging still, the benefits of the relaxation effect were found to increase with regular practice: the more people practised relaxation methods such as meditation or deep breathing, the greater their chances of remaining free of arthritis and joint pain with stronger immunity, healthier hormone levels and lower blood pressure.

8. Exercise every day.  I mean it.  Every day. I once had a client argue with me that this could not possibly be safe.  Our bodies are built to move.  I am not asking you to play vigorous tennis or football daily, but to get moving enough to break a slight sweat every day has many benefits from boosting your mood, stabilizing your blood sugar, protecting you from disease, to improving your sex life. Do some dips during commercials today and some push ups before heading out the door tomorrow.  Ab work is great before bed.  Prop your feet up and crunch away! Park your car far and take the stairs instead of elevators and escalators.  Give up online shopping for a mall walk.

9. Detox. Not just with juices, fasting and sweating – although these may be great on their own, but be sure to include along with your physical detox a detox of your mind, negative thinking, redundant habits, clutter and excessive chatter. I recommend keeping a daily “Gratitude Journal”, which is best done first thing in the morning.  Simply open up a page in a notebook and start a sentence with “I am grateful for” and let the rest flow.  Some days you might just be grateful that you got out of bed without pressing the snooze, other days you might find more to be grateful for. What the “Gratitude Journal” does is it sets the tone for positive thinking throughout your day, which many studies have shown to be beneficial for overall health and wellness.

10. Well they say if you want to get your point across,
keep it simple, emotional, truthful, real and valid. To say it, say it again and then repeat it at the close. So hear I go, with my most simple, emotional, truthful, real and valid of my list. Drop the booze.  This will ensure you get through 1-9 with sheer ease. Dropping the booze or in the least reducing your intake to at least 3 alcohol free days per week will insist you be more hydrated as alcohol is a diuretic. Alcohol is known to disrupt sleep. Alcohol has no essential nutrient content whatsoever and it is only a sad cousin to the well known evil “sugar”. Alcohol may be spicy at times, but on the contrary to ginger, turmeric and cayenne it causes cancer, increases inflammation and causes the body to be overly acidic – making it easier for you to get a host of diseases. Alcohol is empty calories and as such causes unnecessary weight gain. Alcohol is a depressant and may make you housebound and unmotivated to get outside and move your body in a healthful way. Lastly, your body sees alcohol as a poison, or at least as something it doesn’t actually want inside it. Limit your intake and like I said, 1-9 will be as easy as 1-2-3.

Happy New Year everybody!  All the best for a most healthy, happy and prosperous 2015!

*Always check with your doctor first before taking any new medication, reducing or going off any medication, or when adding any natural supplements to your health plan.

**This is not a reference to mega dosing with spices and is only suggesting to a sprinkling an appropriate amount of spices on your food throughout the day. If in doubt of allergy or food-medication interaction or contraindication to any of the spices I mention herein this article, please check with your doctor.


All material on this website are provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgement available to the author, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any logo smaller