Happy Mother’s Day!

Surviving Mother’s Day

For any of my patients that are having difficulty conceiving, Mother’s Day can be an extremely difficult occasion. It is literally a day dedicated to the one thing my patients aren’t: Mothers. It often serves to highlight the frustrations and let-downs that couples have been experiencing. So how do you get through it and come out the other side with a modicum of sanity? I have a couple of suggestions.

For starters, if you are fortunate enough to still have a mother and/or mother-in-law in your life, then go and see them, or call them, or send them a message to let them know how happy you are that they are a part of your life, and how much you appreciate them. This will help you take your mind off of your own situation, and it helps by starting the day with a sense of appreciation and gratitude. I often encourage my patients to embrace gratitude, because it encourages us to start the day in a positive manner, and helps to get us out of our own head space and issues, and focus on the good things going on in our lives. So by taking some time to show some gratitude for having mothers in our lives, I believe it will help you to focus less on your current situation.

Then I would say to completely ignore the fact that it is Mother’s Day. Easier said than done, I know, but you are going to make it Couple’s Day. Often through the fertility process, it can be easy to forget how much your partner means to you. It can be easy to feel disconnected, when you are living your daily lives with your daily stressors, and also incorporating sex on command, or injections and fertility clinic appointments. It can be easy to take your partner for granted, and to get used to a sex life that is only focused on procreation. So I say, let this day be a chance to come together and reconnect. Leave the daily hassles and struggles to the side, and come together as a couple and enjoy each other’s company. Maybe that means taking a long walk together with the dog, or cooking a meal together and enjoying it, or taking a drive somewhere away from the Mother’s Day brunches and having a picnic, whatever it is, find some space to come together and be with each other. Maybe you will choose to be intimate for the sake of intimacy, and maybe you won’t, but go into it without any expectation of the outcome. Maybe you will make-out again like teenagers and it doesn’t end in bed. The important thing is to find your way to each other again, and remember all the reasons you love each other in the first place, regardless of your current fertility status. And voilà, the day can be so much more than a huge emotional roller-coaster.

Enjoying Mother’s Day…and Beyond

If there is one thing that never ceases to amaze me, it’s how important it is for us to take the time to take care of ourselves. Only when we are in a good place, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically, can we truly reach our fullest potential, and be all the things we want to be for those around us. I tend to find though, that of all the patients I see, my moms are the worst at doing this. They have chosen to completely self-sacrifice in the name of putting their kids/families/work first. Most of my moms are working full-time, and are mothers full-time, and are taking care of the house full time. I know you are saying to yourself there is not enough time in the day to have 3 full time jobs, yet most of my moms are doing it, and are finding it very hard to ask for help in any way, shape or form as well. And most of my moms are feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and underappreciated. And then they feel that they are not good mothers, wives, employees and daughters.

Mother’s Day is the one day where my moms feel they are entitled to have some down-time, and allow their families do nice things for them. By the time Mother’s Day finally rolls around, they are usually more than happy to take advantage of the rest and relaxation, and the appreciation they are receiving that day. I say, ENJOY! You deserve it! Take full advantage of all that Mother’s Day has to offer, and get the rest, relaxation, love and appreciation that those around you are doling out. But Mother’s Day is not enough. After Mother’s Day, most of my moms go back to their regular life of running around and feeling exhausted. My recommendation is to take care of yourself, nurture yourself all the time, so that you can be fully present and involved in every moment of everyday, and this will allow you to be the best mother/wife/employee/friend/daughter that you can be. Maybe taking care of yourself means getting any lingering health concerns taken care of. Maybe it means taking time to go for coffee with your friends. Maybe it means taking an hour a day to read or just watch some TV. Or maybe it’s playing an instrument, doing some meditation, exercising, or going to church. Maybe it’s asking for help, or ignoring the dishes one night. Or maybe it’s a combination of all of the above. Either way, when you nourish yourself, you will nourish those around you, because you will be in a better place, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. So enjoy this Mother’s Day, but treat every day like Mother’s Day, you deserve it!

In getting prepared for your daily smoothie, here is some information about essentials to have before you get blending

Here are some essentials to have on hand so you are ready to start enjoying your smoothies right on Feb 1st! Do a big grocery shop, and get blending!

SmoothieBlenders

A regular blender such as an Oster or a Hamilton Beach will work fine, but you may find you need to stop frequently and stir the ingredients to allow for better blending, especially if the ingredients are frozen. You may also need to add more fluid then suggested in the recipe to get a good blend

The NutriBullet is a good option to make blending easier, and isn’t overly expensive. The container is a little on the small side, so you may have to adjust ingredient amounts to fit, but otherwise will definitely get the job done

The Ninja is a very powerful and functional blender that is similar to the Vitamix without the same price tag. It will definitely get the job done without too much difficulty

The Vitamix is the Cadillac of blenders. It could probably blend a car if you needed it to! While it does boast a hefty price tag to go with the hefty blending, you can purchase it with payment plans from The Shopping Channel. You definitely won’t have any problems blending ice, frozen fruit, or any combination of ingredients we might slap together

Ingredients

Frozen Berries – You can use fresh, but the frozen kind add a nice texture and smoothness to your smoothie. If you purchase flash frozen, all the nutrients are maintained in the fruit

Frozen Mangoes – Mangoes are a pain in the butt to peel and de-stone, so this makes it quick and easy for rushed mornings. Plus, this way, they are always ripe!

Ripe Bananas – Bananas are often added to smoothies to give natural sweetness, they help the smoothie blend nicely, and add creaminess and thickness to the finished smoothie. To prevent them from going overripe, peel the bananas and cut into chunks and freeze. Then pull out the frozen bananas to use in your smoothie

Fresh Fruits – Whatever you like here. Oranges, kiwis, grapes, apples, pears, pineapple, melons – the sky is the limit! The recipes I’m giving you will often have only a few ingredients, but feel free to add any additional fruits or veggies

Fresh Veggies – Spinach, kale, cucumber, and lettuce are popular veggies to add to smoothies, and you will rarely be able to taste them. You can also add carrot if you have a blender powerful enough to blend them. As above, feel free to add extra veg to your smoothie, even if it’s not indicated in the recipe

Avocado – This can be a great way to add healthy fats to your smoothie, and it will make it smoother and creamier

Fluids – There is tons of variety that can be added here. Most of the time, the recipe will give you the fluid to use, but feel free to use your favourites. It could be plain water, rice or almond milk, coconut water, or a juice such as orange or carrot juice. For your juices, make sure there is no sugar added and they are not from concentrate i.e. Ceres, Simply Orange, Bolthouse Farms Juices, etc.

Protein Powder – This is definitely optional. Most of the recipes do not include a protein powder, but if you want to crank up the protein of your smoothie, feel free to add a scoop of your favourite protein powder to the blender. Be sure to blend up all your ingredients first, and then add in your protein and blend for just a few seconds to combine.

Nuts – Some smoothies may call for added nuts like walnut or almond, or nut butters such as peanut butter or almond butter. They enhance the flavour of the smoothie, make it more filling, and provide protein, healthy fats and fibres

Seeds – Some of the recipes will include flax seed, hemp seed, and chia seed among others. They often add a nutty flavour, but nutritionally they add healthy oils, fibre and protein. You can substitute for your favourites, and you can add them to any smoothie whether it’s an ingredient or not, so a good ingredient to keep around

Liquid Sweetener (NOT the artificial kind!!!) – some of the recipes call for some added sweetness to make it more palatable, to enhance the flavours, or to mask some of the veggie flavours. This is optional, you don’t always have to add something, and conversely, you can add some to smoothies that don’t call for it if you need the added sweetness. You can also substitute between the sweeteners if you want. Just remember that it will add some calories to your smoothie. Common options include honey, maple syrup, stevia, xylitol or coconut nectar.

Solutions to help you heal quickly from a winter cold

So you were doing everything you could to prevent getting sick this winter, but sadly, one of the plethora of viruses making the rounds this cold and flu season got ahold of you, and now you’re sick.  So now what do you do?  Below are a number of different solutions to help you heal quickly and reduce the severity of your infection.

  1. Cold and Flu Essentials Kit
    • This year, Dr. Cristina has prepared Cold and Flu Essentials Kits for both adults and kids and these are available for purchase at Sana Health Centre
    • There are supplements in the kits for the prevention of colds and flus, and to strengthen the immune system, but there are also botanicals and  nutrients in the kits that can be used to effectively treat an infection at the first sign of symptoms
    • Call Sana Health Centre today and speak with Dr. Cristina to see if the Cold and Flu Essentials Kit is right for you
  2. Natural Flu Shots
    • Many of you already know about using the Natural Flu Shot for prevention of colds and flus, and for strengthening the immune system, but did you know you can also use it to treat colds and flus?
    • I have seen great results with using the Natural Flu Shot in treating colds and flus in practice when patients call me when they are first seeing symptoms come up.  I have also seen lingering coughs etc. get better quickly when patients do an extra Natural Flu Shot
    • It is completely safe to do in between maintenance and prevention doses
    • You can’t overdose on it, so you can use it as frequently as necessary to get over your current cold or flu
    • And just as a reminder, the Natural Flu Shot is safe in infants, elderly, pregnant patients, and patients on medications.  It’s safe for everybody!  And, it’s done orally, so no need to worry about another needle prick!
    • Feel free to call Sana Health Centre for more information at 905-265-0144 or check out our Natural Flu Shot webpage.
  3. Drink Lots of Fluids
    • Fluids will help you stay well hydrated, especially if you are sweating a lot due to fever, or are experiencing diarrhea or vomiting and losing fluids that way
    • Drinking lots of water will also help to flush your system, and the bugs along with it!
    • Try making honey, lemon and ginger tea: slice some peeled, fresh ginger into a small pot of water, bring it to a boil, and allow to simmer, covered for 10-15 minutes. Add about a quarter of a lemon including the rind, and a teaspoon of honey. Drink as often as you like throughout the day.  Click here for reasons on how the tea helps.
  4. Watch Your Diet
    • You want to make sure you have a healthy diet rich in fruits, veggies and good nutrients so your immune system has all it needs to fight off infection
    • Avoid sugar as it will decrease your immune system function by 50% for the next number of hours, plus bugs love to use sugar as fuel to help them multiply
    • Garlic, onions, ginger, turmeric and cayenne are all warming, and are great anti-microbials
    • Consider the BRAT diet if you have diarrhea:  Banana, Rice, Applesauce and Toast
  5. Make Some Chicken Soupo-CHICKEN-SOUP-HEALING-facebook
    • While we’re on the subject of diet, Grandma was right:  make some chicken soup to help combat what ails you
    • Research has confirmed that the overall properties of chicken soup actually help your body heal from the common cold!
    • So make yourself a big pot, or bribe someone to do it for you, and enjoy!
  6. Warming Sock Treatment
    • While this may sound like slow torture, it’s incredible how well it works to pull out any congestion in the body, including mucous build up in the nose, sinuses, and lungs, as well as helping reduce headache and sore throat symptoms
    • Directions:  right before bed…
      1. Ensure your feet are warm prior to beginning treatment
      2. Take a very thin pair of cotton socks and run them under cool water
      3. Wring them out completely
      4. Put on this cotton pair of socks, and over top put on a dry, thick wool pair of socks
      5. Go to bed
      6. Don’t remove socks until the socks are dry and your feet are warm (this will actually happen, I promise!)
      7. If you feel you cannot wait this out, and you remove the socks while they are still wet and cold, ensure you warm your feet back up before going back to bed
  7. Get Plenty of Rest
    • Your body needs rest and relaxation for all that internal work your immune system has to do to fight the bugs, and recuperate afterwards
    • The harder you push, the longer it will take to get over your infection, and the worse you will feel after
    • Give yourself permission to take a few days off, get some good quality rest, and come back stronger than you were before!

Please remember that this article is for information purposes only, and is not intended to assess, diagnose or treat specific conditions. Please speak with your healthcare provider for how this information could apply to your overall health situation.

Its Summer Time!

I have been bad.  I have been delinquent.  I have been a slacker.  This is my first blog in about 2.5 months.  I’m so sorry.  I was trying to really make an effort to blog weekly, and somehow I managed to fall off the wagon.  But never fear, I am once again recommitted to blogging on a weekly basis and trying to provide all of you with some useful information, health tips and exciting news happening at Sana Health Centre.

And so, as a start, and to apologize for my lack of blogging (actually to be perfectly honest I was going to do this whether I started blogging again or not!) I would like to share with you our new and exciting Summer Promotion.  In honour of summer, and Sana Health Centre’s 1 Year Anniversary (yay!), all new massage patients will receive 20% off their first massage!  That’s basically like getting an hour massage for the price of a 45 minute massage!  And this will last from June 15th all the way to August 31st, 2013!  You don’t want to miss out on this opportunity to have a wonderful therapeutic massage with our Registered Massage Therapist, Laura Weglo.  With her years of experience in massage for pain management and relaxation, and additional training in Hot Stone Massage, Pregnancy, Pre-conception and Post-Natal Massage, and Infant Massage, there is truly something for everyone!  And don’t forget, having a massage with a Registered Massage Therapist may mean your appointment fees are eligible for coverage under extended healthcare plans.  Treat yourself this summer, and enjoy a discount on your massage on us!  Call Sana Health Centre today at 905-265-0144 to book your appointment.  Don’t forget to print this coupon and bring it to your visit so we can apply the discount for you.  We can’t wait to see you to celebrate summer and our 1 Year Anniversary!

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P.S.  Call us today at 905-265-0144 and ask about our new Referral Program for Massage Therapy.  If you’re not a new patient to Laura Weglo, RMT, there are still ways to receive a discount on your massage too!

The A, B, C’s, and DD’s of Breast Health!

Join us at Sana Health Centre on April 16th, 2013 at 7:00 pm for a fun, interactive and informative talk: The A, B, C’s, and DD’s of Breast Health.

We will be discussing things to look out for, ways to test breast health, and simple ways to prevent breast health concerns.

Coffee, tea and refreshments will be provided and there will be plenty of opportunity for Q & A and some casual mingling. Please RSVP at Sana Health Centre at 905-265-0144 by April 12th if you are interested in attending as space is limited. We look forward to seeing you there!

Advice from a Tree

My amazing receptionist Jenna came to me yesterday with a quote she had found on the web. She put it up on our chalkboard in the front of the clinic, and right away patients were expressing how much they liked it. So I thought it would be great to share this little quote with you, and hope that its simplicity speaks to all of you in the same way it spoke to us at the clinic. As far as I can tell, this is an excerpt from a poem of the same title by Ilan Shamir.

Advice from a Tree:

* Stand tall and proud

* Go out on a limb

* Remember your roots

* Drink plenty of water

* Be content with your natural beauty

* Enjoy the view!

We all get so caught up in the everyday, and sometimes it’s hard to remember what we need to do and how to get through this trip called life. Just a simple reminder of how we can approach the journey. Great words to live by!

Post-Grand Opening!

So I missed last week on my blog posts. But it is the first week I’ve missed since creating my resolution to get techy, so I feel I’m doing pretty good and I’m pretty proud of myself. As my patients know, I allow a little bit of cheating on healthy diets and supplement compliance every now and then, so I’m going to give myself the same leniency with cheating on my blog. Those of you that know me know I can be a bit of a procrastinator, so to have only missed one….I’m doing pretty good!And I actually have good reason: the Grand Opening for Sana Health Centre was last Thursday, so needless to say I was a little occupied.

Let me tell you, the event was a smashing success!

Despite the bad weather, we had great attendance, wonderful prizes, amazing food provided by my sister, Tania Verbeek, and her company Mini Bites (416-602-7742), a ribbon cutting ceremony by Peter Meffe (MPP candidate for Vaughan) and great media coverage. We also launched a promotion at the grand opening:

the first 15 people to call the clinic and book a massage appointment with Registered Massage Therapist Laura Weglo will receive an additional 15 minutes added on their massage absolutely free!Our Prize Table

There is still room available, but space is limited so call the clinic today at 905-265-0144 to book your appointment!

Check out some pics from the event here, on Facebook and on our website at http://www.sanahealthcentre.com and be sure to pick up SNAP Woodbridge, the Vaughan Citizen, and City Life for coverage of the event.

Thank you so much to all the people who helped make the event what it was:Our Staff

To all my friends and family who attended in the crappy weather and have always believed in me, my sister the chef for all the food, Jenna for all you do at the clinic, Peter for the ribbon cutting and the wonderful words of luck and success, Laura for being an amazing massage therapist and for taking a chance on a new clinic, Moe for all your work, support, encouragement and love, and of course to my loyal patients, without whom Sana Health Centre would never have existed beyond a dream. I am so grateful to all of you and I am thankful every day that you are all in my life.