Spring Clean Up!
Written by: Dr. Kathy van Zeyl, Naturopath
Spring is right around the corner! With the melting of snow and break-through of new buds, what a great opportunity to do some “spring renewal” of your own starting with a fresh, clean diet!
Clean eating involves simple, wholesome, nutritious foods that nourish your cells from the inside out and give your body the opportunity to heal itself. It takes a minimum of three weeks for digestive cells to renew, and there are many variations of “cleansing diets” including Paleo, Mediterranean, Blood Type Diets, etc. The basic tenets of all of these are mostly the same: whole foods, plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, clean proteins and clean water to hydrate and flush out the system. So what should you really be focusing on in order to maintain a balanced, clean diet?
Whole Foods – Whole foods are foods that often come straight from the field or ground and can be consumed almost immediately. They have not been processed, packaged, or modified in any way. With industrial advances, we’ve unfortunately developed a culture based on heavily processed, nutrient-deficient foods that are loaded with additives, preservatives, artificial colours, flavours, MSG, nitrates, and substances that degrade our nutritional status have no positive value on our health. Whole foods include fresh fruits, veggies, proteins, grains and oils that have not undergone heavy processing.
Fruits and vegetables – A clean diet should include a wide variety of these in a wide variety of colours. Focus should be especially on dark leafy greens (such as kale, spinach, arugula and lettuces), orange/yellow produce (carrots, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, string beans, zucchini and squash), and red/purple/blue fruits (berries, eggplant, red onions) in order to get a full complex of nutrients.
The Dirty Dozen – Many fruits and vegetables are heavily sprayed with pesticides and herbicides, and the “Dirty Dozen” is a guideline from the Environmental Working Group outlining the key produce that should be consumed organic to avoid these. Most often they are fruits or vegetables where we consume the outer skin or peel. This list includes: apples, celery, strawberries, blueberries, leafy greens (lettuces, spinach, kale/collard greens), peaches, nectarines, grapes, bell peppers and potatoes.
Clean Protein – Protein is used to generate new cells and repair old ones. It’s a key component of the immune system and enzyme signalling, and helps to regulate blood sugar, appetite, and stress-related hormones. Clean proteins include beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and organic, free-range animal products including eggs, poultry, wild fish and grass-fed beef. Protein should be a central component to each meal of the day in order to allow cells to repair themselves and send signals to different parts of the body.
Clean Fluids – With 60-80% of your body composed of water, fluids are crucial for maintaining proper health! The “gold standard” of clean water is reverse osmosis filtered, but a carbon or mineral-based filter such as Brita or Santevia is a good starting point. Other healing fluids include herbal, green and white teas, unsweetened/unsalted juices, and coconut water.
To learn more about clean eating or how to implement a medical “cleanse” or “detox,” talk to our Naturopath for more information.
Getting Ready For Spring with Massage
Written by: Ashley Rocheleau, RMT
As the weather gets warmer, we become more active, and begin outdoor activities, such as running, biking, swimming, etc. It is easy to want to jump right back into the swing of things and pick up where we left off in the fall. Problem is, many of us tend to hibernate over the winter, and during that time the muscles we use to exercise during the warmer months are not being used nearly as much. If we start strenuously using a muscle that has been more or less dormant for the last few months, it can be disastrous if we’re not careful.
That’s why it is always a good idea to gradually get your body ready for the new burst of physical exercise in the springtime. Massage therapy can help in this regard. Your RMT knows the ins and outs of the musculoskeletal system, and can work with you to help warm up slightly atrophied muscles, and even help set you up with a warm-up plan to let you gradually work up to where you would like to be. A massage not only helps ignite the body’s muscular capabilities but can also help to boost your immune system naturally. The healthier one’s body is, the less susceptible one is to allergens and pollutants, and even viruses in the air – a big help during the spring! Getting a massage can also help to correct your posture due to muscle imbalances that may have occurred over the winter season. These imbalances can lead to pain and can make you more susceptible to injuries in the future. So think ahead – be proactive and start your spring activities with your health and personal well-being in mind. It is always a good time to take care of you, no matter what the season.
Book with one of our Registered Massage Therapists today!