Tips to Help Keep Those Hormones Healthy and Happy!

This day and age we are bombarded with toxins in our food, in the air, and in our skin products, all this can lead to hormone disruption. Here are some tips to help limit that toxic load on our hormones.

  • Avoid plastic water bottles as much as possible. 

– The plastic used in the making of these water bottles contain xenoestrogens that will create unbalanced hormones in the body. We do not know how long the water has been in the bottles and the temperatures they were kept at so most likely the plastic has leached into the water, best to just avoid. 

  • Avoid the use of soft plastics used as packaging materials. 

– They are often treated with chemical compounds called phthalates, a xenoestrogen, to increase its flexibility. Plastic wrapped foods, heated in the microwave, contain some of the highest xenoestrogen levels. So do not heat food or water with plastic in the microwave. Avoid drinking coffee or other hot liquids in Styrofoam cups. And store your food in glass containers whenever possible!

  • Avoid all SOY products. 

– Soy is very high estrogen and mostly all genetically modified. This means no tempeh, soy sauce, edamame beans, tofu, soy milk, and any products containing soy. 

  •  Avoid aluminum cookware. 

– Any heavy metals will disrupt your endocrine system, cooking with a heavy metal will leach into the food you are consuming. Try to stick with cast iron, ceramic, and all natural cook ware.  

  • Avoid commercially raised meat and milk products. 

– These products contain bovine growth hormones that will set your hormones off balance. Look for pasture raised meats, organic, hormone free, grass fed, free range… 

  • Avoid heavy perfumed dryer sheets 

-Dryer sheets are loaded with xenoestrogens to make your clothes feel soft and fresh. These residual xenoestrogens can permeate your skin and go directly into your cells, avoiding your liver. Try useing a natural liquid fabric softener, ½ cup of baking soda in the rinse cycle instead or natural wool dryer balls scented with essential oils. 

  • Avoid Parabens in skin care products. 

–This means Shampoos, lotions, soaps, toothpastes, cosmetics and other personal care products that contain paraben or phenoxyethanol chemical compounds widely used by cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries as preservatives. Note that xenoestrogens entering the skin go directly to tissue without passing through the liver for detoxification. So they’re 100% absorbed by the body and can be 10 times more potent than those consumed orally. This is not a good thing for your hormones. 

  • Try to shop Dirty dozen and Clean 15 whenever possible. 

 – this will limit the herbicide and pesticides you will be consuming therefor lowering the negative effect on your hormones. 

About the author ...

Hannah discovered her love of food and nutrition working in the restaurant industry. Over the past 15 years, she has worked with all aspects of food, from creating meal plans, presenting it, purchasing it, knowing what it does to our bodies, understanding the environmental aspect of it, understanding what our bodies require, and cooking it. In these roles accompanied with her diploma in Holistic Nutrition she is ready to help all ages achieve their health goals and teach simple understanding of holistic nutrition.

Intro To Detox

Our bodies are exposed daily to a variety of chemicals and substances that can be harmful to our health. The air that we breathe, the food that we eat, the drinks we consume, the products we use on our skin, and the items we clean with. We require daily methods of detoxification to enhance our body’s natural ability to detoxify and renew. 

What is a toxin?     

Any substance that the body cannot use in a purposeful way, that requires energy to be removed, or that can cause harm in sufficiently large doses, qualifies as a toxin. Our bodies are incredibly resilient – but if we push too hard, it can break! Toxins can come from inside the body as a by-product of metabolism or from the external environment.  

There are 3 ways toxins can enter – 1) Ingested orally 2) Inhaling toxins 3) Taking toxins through the skin

Synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers are meant to help grow our food, but they can accumulate in our organs and our tissues. 

More than 80,000 chemicals are released into the environment every year, many in the form of gas. We cannot always avoid where we are breathing in air, but we can support our body to strengthen and handle it

Why is it important to detox?

 Our bodies build new cells and detoxify toxins on their own; however, our body’s ability to eliminate toxins is not limitless. Our bodies can become overburdened with toxins, and therefore, our body’s natural detox mechanisms could use a little help.

 The amount of toxicity in the body is dependent upon your genetic makeup, nutritional status, lifestyle, history of antibiotic or drug use, and emotional wellbeing.

Fat soluble toxins are stored in your fat cells, releasing toxins into your bloodstream. Abdominal fat secrets chemicals that can cause inflammation throughout your body. Affects your heart, and increases your risk of cancer, arthritis and stroke.

Common symptoms of toxic burden:

  • Fatigue, headaches, muscle and joint pain
  • Mood changes: anxiety, aggression & depression
  • Cognitive: reduced memory & brain fog
  • Immune: chronic infection/severe allergic reactions
  • Digestion: constipation, nausea, bloating, weight gain
  • Hormones: infertility, PMS, blood sugar imbalance
  • Skin: allergies, eczema, psoriasis, and acne

There are 4 main areas of the body where detoxification takes place:

Liver, Kidney, GI Tract, and Skin.

Liver– Our metabolic gateway. Our largest glandular organ. It metabolizes carbohydrates, protein and fat, vitamins and minerals. Regulates cholesterol and blood sugar imbalance. Creates bile to aid in digestion, breaks down red and white blood cells, regulates hormones.

Kidney–   Process about 200 litres of blood and eliminate waste and excess water as urine. They are responsible for keeping the composition of the blood stable. Every day the kidneys filter between 120 and 150 quarts of blood to eliminate waste through the urine. They also balance sodium and potassium levels in the body. Urine is excreted from the kidneys and stored in the bladder before elimination.GI Tract – Home to 100 trillion friendly bacteria. Aid in digestion and absorption of nutrients, prevent infections, and balance autoimmunity. 

GI Tract– The best sign of functionality in the GI tract is regular and proper elimination. Digestion problems likely mean you are not absorbing nutrients properly or detoxing efficiently. This is also home to 100 trillion friendly bacteria. Friendly bacteria aids in nutrient absorption, prevent infections and balance auto immunity. 

Skin– Serves as an important barrier that keeps many toxins from entering your body. Window to the digestive tract. Toxins become overloaded and are looking for a way out of the body. Skin conditions usually clear up with proper elimination. Sweat glands are housed in our skin (great for detoxification)

Recommendations for optimal detoxification:

  • Eat organic produce  
  • Avoid farmed fish and consume wild only
  • Eat grass fed, hormone and antibiotic free meat and poultry
  • Avoid sugar
  • Refrain from heating food in plastic containers
  • Use natural personal care products and cleaners
  • Stay hydrated with clean, filtered water  
  • Drink morning lemon and turmeric water
  • Physical exercise for a minimum of 20 minutes per day
  • Ionic foot bath – purifies the body through electrolysis of negative ions in the water
  • Infrared sauna – heats the body’s core temperature to deeply detox on a cellular level
  • Epsom salt bath – encourages the body to efficiently flush out toxins

About the author ...

Hannah discovered her love of food and nutrition working in the restaurant industry. Over the past 15 years, she has worked with all aspects of food, from creating meal plans, presenting it, purchasing it, knowing what it does to our bodies, understanding the environmental aspect of it, understanding what our bodies require, and cooking it. In these roles accompanied with her diploma in Holistic Nutrition she is ready to help all ages achieve their health goals and teach simple understanding of holistic nutrition.

Can you imagine yourself as a happy, healthy non-smoker?  

It seems to be the time of year when people are reflecting on their past year and thinking ahead about plans for the New Year. Maybe you are thinking about a new project, a vacation,  or a healthy lifestyle change such as quitting smoking. Let’s face it, the thought of standing huddled outside in the cold in January, trying to stay warm just to have a cigarette, is probably something that you could do without, for many reasons.

As there is a growing body of research showing evidence on the effectiveness of hypnosis and guided imagery, people are becoming more aware of hypnosis for smoking cessation.

Hypnosis has been found to be more effective than nicotine replacement therapy

Hypnotherapy is more effective than nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation: results of a randomized controlled trial.

Complement Ther Med. 2014 Feb;22(1):1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2013.12.012. Epub 2014 Jan 6.

A study smokers showed that after a two-year follow-up, patients that quit with guided imagery were twice as likely to remain smoke-free than the placebo-control group. 

Guided health imagery for smoking cessation and long-term abstinence. Wynd, CA. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 2005;37:3, pages 245-250.

You might think that smoking has done something positive for you such as:

  • allowing you to feel a part of belonging to a certain group of people
  • relieving stress, boredom, or helped you deal with uncomfortable emotions
  • keeping your hands busy
  • helping you maintain your weight, as you were smoking instead of eating

Through repetitive thoughts and actions, your mind has been programmed. Hypnosis helps people get into the learning brain wave state. In this state, people are open to learning new habits or behaviours.
With hypnosis people will not have to try not to smoke, they simply will not have the urge to smoke.
Hypnosis will help redirect your subconscious mind to achieve your goals in more positive and healthier ways.

Although it is recommended to have one or two follow up sessions to reinforce the changes habits,  many people get results from one session.

Hypnosis is known to be a quick, safe, and effective way to stop smoking permanently.

“Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.” – Earl Nightingale

About the author ...

Ginette Andress has a degree in Biochemistry from the University of Waterloo, a Bachelor of Education from the University or Toronto and has been passionately teaching secondary school science and mathematics for 23 years. She received her Certification as a Consulting Hypnotist with the National Guild of Hypnotists.

Eat Your Greens Detox Soup

detox soupThis recipe for “Eat Your Greens Detox Soup,” comes from The Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon.

This soup is great for cleansing and detoxifying your body, especially before or after the indulgent holiday season. It’s packed with immunity-boosting ingredients like broccoli, ginger, mushrooms, kale, nori, and garlic.

  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups sliced cremini or white button mushrooms (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli florets
  • Fine-grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1⁄2 to 3 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 large nori seaweed sheets, cut into 1-inch strips (optional)
  • 2 cups torn kale leaves
  • Fresh lemon juice, for serving (optional)

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent.
Add the mushrooms, carrots, and broccoli and stir to combine. Season generously with salt and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes more.
Stir in the ginger, turmeric, cumin, and cinnamon and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant.
Add the broth and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 10 to 20 minutes.
Just before serving, stir in the nori (if using) and kale and cook until wilted. Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, if desired.

About the author ...

Stacey Ayres, Osteopath Manual Practitioner, Registered Massage Therapist, is the owner of Better Health Clinic, She is a member of the Canadian College of Massage Therapists of Ontario as well as the Ontario Association of Osteopathic Manual Practitioners. Stacey has a particular interest in pediatrics, chronic pain, post trauma and surgery rehabilitation, and fertility.

Detoxing and Cleansing

March is Liver and Kidney Health Awareness Month!

Your liver and kidneys are vital organs.  They process and filter everything that you put into your body.  If your liver and kidneys are healthy, then you will be too.  Periodically, these organs need some extra support and a bit of a rest.

Let’s look at the facts and history regarding detoxing and cleansing.

Spring is the time to renew, refresh and do some spring cleaning.  In holistic and natural health, spring is thought to be a good time to detoxify or cleanse the body.  The concept is not new.  Historically throughout the ages, there is reference to fasting and cleansing.  Many cultures and religions observe periods of dietary change and elimination.  These days there are juice cleanses, herbal detox programs, cleansing diets, and much more.

The choices are endless and the information is confusing to many people and more information does not make the decision easier!

  • Is detoxing necessary for everyone?
  • Is detoxing safe for everyone?
  • Is a cleansing diet better than fasting?
  • Can detoxing or cleansing be harmful?
  • Are there any contraindications for individuals with health conditions or those taking medications?

Seek the advice of a professional who can assess your individual needs and help you with a plan.  I don’t try to assess and repair my automobile, because I am clueless in that area – I go to a great mechanic who is my auto expert.  A nutritionist is a body systems expert.  Consider booking an appointment so that we can meet and discuss your journey to “Optimal Wellness”.

About the author ...

Kathy Shackleton, is a Holistic Nutritionist and Health Educator practicing in Dufferin County Ontario. She is passionate about using food as medicine and medicine as food. In her spare time Kathy enjoys hiking, cooking, reading, yoga and volunteering with local groups and events such as Savour Fair which raises funds for students of agriculture and creates community awareness for local, clean food.