How To Keep Your Child’s Immune System Strong For Back to School

2020 has been nothing short of an interesting year so far, and now kids are going back to school, whatever that may look like for every family. It’s important to keep the kiddos (and parents) immunity strong to help avoid not only the COVID virus but any pathogen that might make you feel under the weather.

Let’s face it kids will get sick and believe it or not it really is good for their immune system to get sick from time to time, that alone will strengthen it. But, with everything that is going on in the world right now even getting the common cold will be a stressful event so let’s be proactive with boosting immune systems so that kids don’t catch the sniffles weekly!

Here are my top 6 easy ways to boost children’s immunity and to keep it strong!

  1. Eating veggies and nutritionally dense foods! Of coarse diet is essential to maintain health, we are what we eat! Real whole foods are essential for proper immune function. These foods include fruits, veggies, healthy fats, whole grains, and healthy protein. Vegetables are some of the most nutritionally dense foods we can consume that contains most of our required vitamins and minerals. One of the best groups of fruits and veggies for immunity is Vitamin C, the best for this is, citrus fruits, including orange, lemon, and grapefruit, black currant, guava, green, and red bell pepper, pineapple, mango, honeydew, parsley. If you have a picky eater just focus on what your child likes and do more of it. The more vitamins and minerals you can get into your child the stronger their immune system will be. Don’t forget about the ones you might not think of as well like garlic, onions, and ginger.
  2. More Probiotics! Probiotics are good bacteria that help you digest nutrients that boost the detoxification of your colon and support your whole immune system. Digestion is key to a healthy immune system, and probiotics are a big part of having and maintaining healthy gut flora. You can get some good bacteria through supplementation or make probiotic-rich foods more apart of a balanced diet. These foods are – full-fat yogurts, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, miso, kimchi, and sourdough bread.
  3. Excercise. I know you have heard this one a lot but it really is extremely important to keep a strong immune system. Find an activity that your child enjoys and make it apart of the weekly routine. Even if your child only like to play video games, get them doing some physical movement video games, it is better than no movement at all!
  4. Minimize the consumption of added sugars and trans fats: These devilish items are found in foods like sweets, candies, and desserts as well as soda, juice, sports drinks, and sweet tea. Not only are these foods typically high in calories and lacking important nutrients, but they may also put kids at risk for tooth decay, weight gain, heart problems, and type 2 diabetes. Overall they serve the body very little purpose, they cause harm, especially in the long term.
  5. Positive Encouragement: This point can be a tricky one, but a very important one to add. Practice recognizing the best qualities that your child has to offer, try to not focus on any of their flaws. Show appreciation and respect for the good things that they do, and ultimately encourage them to seek out happiness for themselves. While it seems that encouraging your children is a selfless act, being motivating and kind to those around you actually has benefits for your own immune system and happiness too.
  6. Supplementation: If your child is extremely picky and maintaining a balanced diet is an everyday struggle for you, there are some amazing vitamins for kids that will fill the gaps from a diet lacking nutritionally dense foods.

These 5 suggestion will go along way to keep your Childs immunity strong.

Best Foods For Your Lungs

Food is medicine, and certain types of food will nourish different parts of the body. Choosing a few of the foods that are good for your lungs will decrease inflammation, improve breathing, keep airways strong, protect against pulmonary issues, and feed and nourish the body.

Here are 5 foods that are the best for your lungs:

  1. Garlic – specifically raw garlic – Garlic is very anti-inflammatory for the whole body but especially for the body’s airways, it does this by protecting the lung against oxidative stress.
  2. Wild Salmon – Salmon is full of omega 3 fatty acid which is very anti-inflammatory for the lungs. It is proven that heart-healthy fats like omega 3 fatty acids could help promote pulmonary blood flow and may be beneficial for certain respiratory conditions.
  3. Tumeric – Tumeric is one of the most inflammation-reducing foods you can consume. Which makes it one of the best foods for your lungs. Research suggests that the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric could aid in the treatment of several respiratory conditions, such as asthma, COPD, acute respiratory distress syndrome, lung injury, and pulmonary fibrosis.
  4. Avocados – Avocados contain one of the highest amounts of potassium in it. Potassium has been shown to help the lungs contract and expand, which helps with breathing. Avocados are also another amazing source of healthy fatty acids so they are great form lowering inflammation as well.
  5. Green Tea – Green tea is full of antioxidants and polyphenols that can be beneficial for lung function. Green tea has been shown to help suppress lung cancer cell growth in vitro studies. Green tea also has theophylline, which is a powerful compound that acts as a bronchodilator to improve airway function and ease breathing difficulties.

Eat these foods on a regular basis, or make sure they appear on your plate from time to time and your lung will be very grateful.

Zinc For The Dink!?

Zinc is a very important mineral found in food sources such as lamb, beef, shellfish, pumpkin seeds, cashews, chicken, turkey, eggs, salmon, and mushrooms. It is a fairly easy mineral to get from food but when your diet is lacking in good quality whole foods then you could be deficient in this very important mineral. Zinc will help a lot of body processes and keep things working the way they should. Here are a few reasons to keep your zinc intake at a healthy range.

Zinc is very beneficial for your immune system. Zinc mixed with an adequate dose of vitamin C is a super potent immune booster and can kick colds in the butt quickly! Also, to maintain a healthy immune system that will keep colds at bay.

Zinc is a great anti-inflammatory for the whole body. It mainly supports liver health. When supplementing with zinc it has shown a reduction in the incidence of infection and correlated with lower levels of liver damage, also reduction in inflammation in the liver.

Zinc will also affect protein synthesis in the body. It is required for the body to be able to use amino acids from foods. It’s also involved in the breakdown of carbohydrates from foods, which is one of the main sources of energy for the body. For this reason, deficiency in zinc can cause low energy levels and contribute to adrenal or chronic fatigue. Consuming enough zinc benefits ongoing energy and a healthy metabolism.

Zinc is an amazing and effective anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent. It helps fight oxidative stress and decrease the chance for disease development, including as a natural cancer treatment. Especially in elderly patients, zinc benefits include its ability to support healthy cell division, prevent cancerous cell mutation and stunt tumour growth. When researchers from the school of medicine at the University of Michigan studied potential zinc benefits from zinc supplementation on 50 adults, they found that levels of oxidative stress markers were significantly lower in the zinc-supplemented group than in the placebo group. This would greatly benefit anyone experiencing high stress, or even low stress for that matter.

Zinc will help with muscle growth and repair. It plays a crucial role in cell division and cell growth. So, zinc benefits muscle growth and repair by making it possible for the body to heal itself and maintain strength in the muscular and skeletal systems. Zinc also helps with the release of testosterone, growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), all of which build muscle mass and feed a healthy metabolism. Zinc will benefit muscle mass because it helps increase the amount of testosterone in the body. It will work optimally in the body with the following exercise –weight-training and high-intensity interval training, because it enhances the conversion rate of androstenedione to testosterone.

If all that is not enough of why zinc is great for you lets dive into why zinc is good for the dink! Zinc is very important for overall hormone health. As said above it helps with boosting testosterone, as well as increasing fertility because it plays an important role in natural hormone production. Every time a male ejaculates he loses most of his zinc stores in the body. Those little swimmers need an ideal liquid to help them wiggle their way toward their goal, zinc is that significant component. Most of the zinc for sperm comes from the prostate gland, which adds about 25% of the total liquid contained in ejaculate to the mix. So, zinc is a big component of healthy ejaculation. Even if you are not trying to conceive, it will benefit to make sure you are not deficient in zinc. The more a male ejaculates while maintaining a poor diet the more deficient in zinc he will be. If a male is consistently masturbating and not eating a balanced diet with food containing zinc then the chances are he will be deficient in this awesome mineral and will need to fix the diet or supplement.

In a study done by the Department of Internal Medicine at Wayne University, after 20 weeks of zinc restriction, giving patients zinc supplementation effectively increased serum testosterone in the majority of men. It also increased libido, performance, ejaculation amount, ejaculation time, and overall pleasure. Why wouldn’t you want zinc in your life!?

Fun fact, in one published case study rats, were receiving a moderate daily oral dose of zinc sulphate, and showed an increase in time before ejaculation and penile thrusting! Fun!

The main takeaway from all this is to make sure you are eating a balanced diet! Eating a balanced diet will ensure you are getting the right amount of essential vitamins and minerals in your body. Diet is first and foremost to health and maintaining overall health. Then comes supplementation when you know you are not able to get enough in your diet. Everyone is different so everyone will have different needs in the body. If you are curious or need guidance in regards to your diet check out my free 30min wellness consultation online here, and find out how nutrition can help you be the best you!

Fish oils for ADD and ADHD

Fish oils otherwise known as Omega 3’s are an essential aspect of every healthy growing kids’ diet (adults too for that matter!) You can recieve these essential oils from food but the problem is not everyone does. This is where supplementation comes in handy.

Fish oils contain EPA and DHA, which are 2 types of essential omega 3 fatty acids. The word essential means our bodies do not produce them so we must get them either by the food we eat, for example, sardines, tuna, salmon, mackerel, herring, bluefish, and black cod, or by taking supplements. Research shows that EPA and DHA, are essential for behavioral and mental wellness in children, but children are not meeting recommendations.

How can fish oils Help with ADD and ADHD?

Research shows that children and adults living with ADHD/ADD have lower levels of omega-3 in their bodies compared to people who do not have ADHD/ADD. This does not mean that having low levels of omega-3 causes ADHD/ADD or that taking an omega supplement will cure ADD/ADHD. However, research shows that taking a supplement can improve your ADHD/ADD symptoms, which is great news!

When there are low levels of omega-3 in the body, it may cause a variety of cognitive and mood problems some of which can be similar to ADD/ADHD symptoms. There is lots of evidence that shows fish oil can help improve ADD/ADHD symptoms. Some findings suggest that fish oil supplements may improve the mental skills of children with the disorder who are 8 to 12 years old. For instance, it may help improve a child’s ability to organize activities. A specific supplement of fish oil containing DHA and EPA was used in one study. The results showed improvements with hyperactivity, inattentiveness, ability to think clearly, and overall behavior in children with ADHD/ADD who were 7 to 12 years old.

There are many benefits to taking a fish oil supplement, here are some of them:

  • Improvement of ADD/ADHD symptoms such as improved attention, ability to focus and memory.
  • May contribute to a reduction in the symptoms of coexisting ADD/ADHD conditions, such as anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder.
  • Possible reduction in side effects from stimulant medication prescribed for your ADD/ADHD. As always check with your doctor before taking supplements.
  • Many women with ADHD suffer from PMS, and their ADHD symptoms are exacerbated. Taking an omega-3 supplement can reduce PMS symptoms.
  • Improve your general health. When you are living with ADHD it is easy to forget other aspects of your health too. Omega-3 can help with cholesterol levels, heart health and decrease asthma symptoms.
  • Also….
  • Omega 3’s will lower whole-body inflammation
  • Omega 3’s will lower joint pain and stiffness
  • Omega 3’s will help balance hormonal diruption
  • Omega 3’s will improve energy
  • Omega 3’s will improve brain function and fog

When looking for a good fish oil supplement make sure you talk to a health care professional to recommend a well suited supplement for yourself or your little one. Any question give Better Health Clinic a call, we will assist you with all your health questions.

back to school

Recipes for Back to School – A Day in The Life!

A healthy well-balanced lunch for kids of all ages should consist of a couple of servings of vegetables at least one serving of animal protein and some good fats wherever you can sneak them in! An example would be a creamy broccoli salad (that gets better the longer it sits) and paleo nut-free chicken fingers, that taste just as good cold as they do warm. This is fun to do the night before with the kids and if you make lots of the chicken fingers they are great to throw in the freezer for another day that week! Easy peasy!

Ready set go!!

Energizing Breakfast Smoothie
Creamy Broccoli Salad
Chicken Fingers

Back to School Healthy Lunch Ideas!

It’s that time of year again! Don’t get stuck with what to send with your little ones, I promise it can be healthy and EASY!

Lunches seem to be the most common meal people struggle with; finding something tasty, healthy, something your child will eat, and still keep it uncomplicated can be a challenge for many. I personally find breakfast and dinners easy to throw together. But lunches do feel a little more like a chore at times, especially when I have worked all-day and have a bunch of other chores to get to.

If you have kids, then you know the struggle of putting together a healthy packed school lunch that they have to take responsibility and eat on there own. Not to mention, finding something to pack that they will actually eat! So if you’re thinking “what the heck am I going to make my little one(s) for lunch”, I hear you loud and clear! This is why I’ve put together a couple of healthy lunch box ideas that are toddler/kid-approved!

Even if you have the pickiest eater on your hand and say that “there is nothing my kid will eat!” don’t stress, all of it is fazes they go through. Try to focus on the stuff they will eat and just make it a bit better. If this means your child is eating pasta for the 6th time this week, don’t worry about it! Try a rice-based pasta instead of gluten and just keep trying to introduce healthy foods and make sure they taste really good too!

Im going to focus on mainly finger food lunches. I find that finger food is always the easiest to pack and you can incorporate some really great things that are finger foods. Remember keep it simple! I also will add a few ideas for cooked lunch meals. Trust me you will find something in here that will work for you!

Finger foods:

  • sliced meats (look for nitrate-free lunch meats)
  • sliced cheeses (avoid Kraft single slices, look for smaller companies)
  • organic animal crackers
  • seed crackers (Mary’s)
  • olives
  • Pickles
  • cut-up fruit – grapes, melon, apples, mango, watermelon, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, kiwi, bananas, oranges…
  • sliced veggies – cucumbers, carrots, celery (with goat cheese instead of cheese wiz), broccoli, cauliflower, peas, baby tomatoes, mushrooms…
  • cubed roasted chicken, turkey, roast beef, sausages….
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • homemade dips and sauces – bbq sauce, mayo, hummus…
  • any organic/ good for you pre-packaged snacks that are nut-free

Cooked or prepared lunch ideas….. that are not sandwiches

Hopefully some of these ideas you can roll with and will help you get some healthy nutrious food into your wee ones.

Best kept secret to keeping sickness at bay this school season.

First thing first, food is number one and always will be number one to staying healthy and maintaining a strong immune system. This means make sure your kids are eating a healthy diet full of lots of colourful fruits and veggies, healthy fats and high-quality protein. These few things will make a world of difference in a healthy immune system. But, there is a but! Given the lack of phytonutrients, fibre, fermented foods and omega-3 fatty acids in our conventional foods and in kids’ diets today, its a good idea to get back up support from natural supplements. It is necessary to get what their little bodies require on a daily basis and to build resiliency and a strong immunity to prevent kids from getting sick. 

Boosting your child’s nutritional intake with a kid probiotic, a liquid vitamin D3, a high quality high DHA omega 3 fatty acid, and a well balanced green multi vitamin.

Keeping a Happy Body While Gardening

The good weather is here and with that comes the back-breaking work of making your garden bloom! Before you get those rakes and weed whackers out make sure to do some light stretches described below. Remember your body, like your garden, needs some care from time to time.

So, before you toil in the soil consider going for a quick walk, this warms up and loosens the muscles and then do the following stretches

Lateral stretch

With both feet planted on the floor put left hand on hip and raise the right up, slowly bend towards the left hand side without twisting your body forward, repeat other side

Standing forward and bend

Stand with feet together and knees slightly bent. Bend forward with arms behind back and fingers interlaced. Be sure your weight is evenly distributed between both feet. Relax the weight of your head, neck and shoulders. Lift arms overhead, bringing them in line with shoulders, breathe deeply

Cat pose

Get down on all fours. Place your hands shoulder distance apart and your knees at hip distance. Gently tighten stomach  muscles, pulling navel into spine and rounding the back from head to tailbone. Lower and relax head and neck as you exhale.

Cow pose

On all fours, drop your stomach toward the floor, arch your back and lift head upwards as you inhale.

*** Rotate between this position and the cat pose in a smooth fashion

Supine Twist

Lie on back with knees bent and arms out, palms up. Lower your knees to your left side while keeping shoulders on floor. Turn your head in the opposite direction of your knees. Looking out over your fingertips, inhale. Return to center. Repeat on the opposite side, exhaling as you lower knees.

Goddess Pose

Lie flat on the floor with feet together and knees bent. Gently lower knees toward the floor in opposite directions. Inhale and reach arms overhead, resting backs of hands on the floor. Touch thumbs and index fingers and press elbows outward. Relax body.

Make sure to drink lots of water, repeat the above stretches and treat yourself to a massage this summer, because you and your body deserves it!

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. 

How Can Seeing A Nutritionist Help You??

We all get stressed from time to time and life can be very busy, but your health does not have to suffer as a result. As a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, I help you bring YOU back into focus, not by using a magic wand (I wish!) but by guiding you through positive nutritional and lifestyle changes. That result in you being at your very best self. 

Nutrition and lifestyle changes have an incredible impact on your overall health and wellbeing, when you make small modification over time, not all at once. I have seen so many positive results from choosing holistic nutrition. I’ve guided clients to heal from digestive problems, woman be free of menstrual pains, men stop having to take over the counter medications for heartburn, anxiety and depression both helped without the need for medications. I’ve seen clients become energized and vibrant just by changing their diet to improve their sleep habits and the list goes on.

So, how can I help you?

1.Individualized weekly food and supplement plans based on YOU and your needs, lifestyle, and desires.  

2.Stuck in a life slump? Inspiration, motivation, guidance needed? It’s like having a food trainer instead of a personal trainer. A personal food coach to give you a gentle life changing butt kicking.

3.Get to the root cause of your main concerns such as, sleep problems, low energy, skin issues, hormonal problems, cognitive function, and proper digestion. All without resorting to meds – food is your best medicine for many health concerns.

4.Get Happy! One of the benefits of getting healthy is your mood improves! Learn how nutrition can greatly help with symptoms of depression and anxiety.

5.Learn how to eat to get rid of body imbalances, rather than learn to just manage the unbalanced symptoms.

6.Digestion, digestion, digestion! Get your gut on track! Learn that bloating, indigestion, gas, constipation, are not meant to be a common symptom of eating. 

7.Fertility and growing a baby – learn what nutrients are beneficial for getting pregnant, growing a baby and what nutrients they need when they pop out!

8.A holistic nutritionist makes it simple and teaches you a holistic model of health by providing not only dietary guidance, but lifestyle suggestions as well. 

9.No nonsense, get healthy over time, weight loss will be a side effect, as well as glowing skin, higher sex drive, better sleep, healthy bowel movements – yes! Who doesn’t love a healthy bowel movement? 

10.Feel at ease about supplements, learn how we cannot get everything our body needs through food alone, and when it is a good idea to supplement your diet with supplements. 

11. Learn new awesome recipes how you can cook healthy food that’s as high on taste as it is in nutrients and not spend all day in the kitchen! Also learn how to fill that kitchen with all the necessities you need to be a healthy happy you! 

12.Learn what nutrients you may be deficient in due to medications you are taking. Use food and supplements to replace what’s lost. For example, one of the most common depleted nutrients is CoQ10 from statin drugs. The very nutrient needed for heart health is being depleted by a “heart healthy” drug.

13.Do you know how to shop smart?  A Holistic nutritionist will not only talk to you about what is healthy food for you but, take you to the store and show you how to efficiently shop for them. 

These things are just some of the top things seeing a holistic nutritionist will help you with, set up a free 30 min session with me and we can discuss if I can help with anything else you may need.