Top 5 reasons to use your benefits!

Your company may provide you with extended health coverage, a health spending account or both!

Are you using it to its potential?

If you don't use it, you lose it! Benefits do not get carried foward!

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Vitamin D-The Sunshine Vitamin

 Did you know that Vitamin D is produced in our body by the action of sunlight on our skin?  It is a group of fat soluble prohormones that play a critical role in regulating calcium and phosphorus levels in the body, recognized as a "hormone" because of this reason.

So in order to utilize Vitamin D, we must be exposed to it daily.

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Let's get OUTSIDE!!!

fishcreek4

 

Hey Calgarians,

 Even though our calanders are saying it's spring it sure doesn't look or feel like it outside, does it?

But the warm weather will come soon enough....  When that happens let's jump into spring without any wasted time. 

Here are a few ways to get outside....

 

Spring has sprung-time for SAD and NDD to go away

Heard the term “Nature-Deficit Disorder”? No, it’s not a medical “diagnosis”, simply an observational term quoted back in 2005. In this article the author discusses in more detail the importance on getting outside. Great read for everyone!

 

http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_to_protect_kids_from_nature_deficit_disorder

How can we get outside?

There are ‘free’ ways to go outside such as go to your local municipal park and have a picnic. Bring your children and an item from home then can play with in the park, a ball, a bicycle, a doll, a friend, a dog! Or find a bench and enjoy a beverage while just relaxing, without your phone! Relaxing, yes…no phone, just people watching, sky watching, watching your children, whatever. Maybe you do yoga in a studio, try it outside! Some beautiful parks in Calgary in various quadrants are on the city of Calgary website: http://www.calgary.ca/CSPS/Parks/Pages/Locations/All-city-parks.aspx

Another park found in the city- but is actually run by the province is Fish Creek Provincial Park. It is a large park with lots of outdoor area to enjoy as well as some programs it offers (some are free, some require payment). For more information https://www.albertaparks.ca/fish-creek.aspx

There are often local non-profit environmental clubs that offer free outdoor activities such as Nature Calgary: https://www.naturecalgary.com/field-trips/before-you-go/

And there are probably more opportunities in the city, that you may be aware of. Some communities have a special park for the residents of that community, that may offer swimming, skating or other water sports depending on the season. If you live in one of those communities, taking advantage of those amenities must be better than a day in front of the computer, right?

This is just a start in our local Calgary Community, and there may be similar opportunities where you live. So let’s all get outside!

Life Expectancy to reach 90

Life expectancy in developed countries are projected to continue increasing, with women's life expectancy surpassing 90 in South Korea by 2030, according to a study published in  The Lancet.

The study predicts life expectancy is likely to be highest in South Korea (90.8), France (88.6) and Japan (88.4) for women, and in South Korea (84.1), Australia (84.0) and Switzerland (84.0) for men.

The researchers emphasize that people living longer will have major implications for health and social services. Countries will need to adapt and have policies to support healthy aging, increase investment in health and social care, and possibly change their retirement ages.

This means that a lifestyle based on prevention is ore important then ever, and that starts with the food you eat every day and the exercise you do each and every week!

Ref:

http://thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(16)32381-9/fulltext

Scientists discover master regulator of cellular aging

 

Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute report the discovery of TZAP, a protein that binds the ends of chromosomes and determines how long telomeres can be.

This will make keeping your health as a top priority even more important as our lifespan increases, the ability to enjoy it at an advanced age is primarily due to good health!

 Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in the U.S. have identified a protein that fine-tunes the cellular clock involved in aging. This novel protein, named TZAP, binds the ends of chromosomes and determines how long telomeres, the segments of DNA that protect chromosome ends, can be. Understanding telomere length is crucial, because telomeres set the lifespan of cells in the body – dictating critical processes such as aging and the incidence of cancer.

 “Telomeres represent the clock of a cell,” said TSRI Associate Professor Eros Lazzerini Denchi, corresponding author of the study, published yesterday in the journal Science. “You are born with telomeres of a certain length, and every time a cell divides, it loses a little bit of the telomere. Once the telomere is too short, the cell cannot divide anymore.”

 Naturally, researchers are curious whether lengthening telomeres could slow aging, and many scientists have looked into using a specialised enzyme called telomerase to “fine-tune” the biological clock. One drawback they’ve found, however, is that unnaturally long telomeres are a risk factor in developing cancer.

 “This cellular clock needs to be finely tuned to allow sufficient cell divisions to develop differentiated tissues and maintain renewable tissues in our body and, at the same time, to limit the proliferation of cancerous cells,” said Denchi.

 In this new study, the researcher found that TZAP controls a process called “telomere trimming”, ensuring that telomeres do not become too long.

 “This protein sets the upper limit of telomere length,” explained Lazzerini Denchi. “This allows cells to proliferate – but not too much.”

 For the last few decades, the only proteins known to specifically bind telomeres were the telomerase enzyme and a protein complex known as the Shelterin complex. The discovery of TZAP is a surprise, since many scientists in the field believed there were no additional proteins binding to telomeres.

“There is a protein complex that was found to localise specifically at chromosome ends, but since its discovery, no protein has been shown to specifically localise to telomeres,” said study first author Julia Su Zhou Li, a graduate student in the Lazzerini Denchi lab. “This study opens up a lot of new and exciting questions,” said Denchi.

Ref:

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2017/01/11/science.aah6752

WEEK THREE OF MEDICLEAR CLEANSE PROGRAM

Week Three:

Day 15- Had lots of vegan leftovers, so makes it handy for dinner. This is an introduction to meat back this week, so I defrosted a chicken noodle (pea protein noodle) soup for lunch. It was mostly chicken broth, noodle and veggie soup, there was probably only 1 oz of chicken in it!

Day 16- Made a yummy vegan stir fry with coconut aminos substitute for tamari or soy sauce. I’ve heard this works, I was suspicious it would just taste like coconut, of which I’m not a huge fan, but it was good.

Day 17- More vegan leftovers!

Day 18- First real ‘meat’ day. Had BBQ chicken, delicious, but also had a lovely bottle of red wine with it, oops!

Day 19- This day pretty much ended my cleanse. My horse suddenly collapsed and sadly had to go to horsey heaven, it wasn’t really expected and I was devastated. I am a pet parent and put my heart and soul into my critters. Dinner was cheese and wineL

Day 20- Tried to rally back and made a lovely vegan dinner, but I was still sad and went to comfort food of popcorn later at night, not a great decision in hind sight.

Day 21- Felt kind of ‘popcorn’ hungover, since I added butter, so it was a reminder to me about when and what to eat. Unfortunately, had another stressful day of another horse, young, got very sick. Spent hours with her and the vet, so was very happy to see my hubby had prepared a raclette meal when I got home. That was the official end to the 21 days, and it was delicious-bread, cheese and all-but I did portion control it much better than I would have!

-Carole

Like any other program it takes up to 21 days to make changes and keep them going! Now that week three has come and gone I’m feeling inclined to keep it that way!! Animal protein was added back in by week two, but only minimally. I found that my dark chocolate craving has lingered so I decided to make gluten-free, protein powder cookies with  “fake” chocolate chips and that seemed to help curb my craving! And all the ingredients fit within the program. BUT, I won’t lie; I HAVE sneaked a piece or two in within the last 2 weeks. Most of my fatigue and acne has subsided so I know that my system is getting cleaned up and I’m super excited about that!! I actually enjoy the MediClear powder so much that I am going to keep having a shake in the morning. Reintroducing food has me a bit worried because I know I have a sensitive gut and I know that certain foods will most likely need to be avoided indefinitely. Bloating has gone down as well except when I ate more legumes during the vegan week, but that I knew would happen. Digestive enzymes to the rescue! Now ready for week four!!

-Cheryl

I am happy to say I have finished the MediClear Program! I can’t believe I actually completed the program. The first week felt a little long and difficult, but the other two weeks were quick and much easier. I have more energy in the morning and when I go to the gym. My skin is clear. My mood is much better too. I think the hardest part of the program was finding new meals. I get tired of the same thing, so I was often trying to create different meals. I am excited to reintroduce eggs and tomatoes. I am nervous to reintroduce caffeine. I am not exactly sure if I want to go back to coffee or just try tea. I am interested to see how my body will react when I slowly reintroduce all of these foods again.

-Erin

Week Two of MediClear Cleanse Program

Week Two

Day 8- Started Veggie week. I’ve been having cinnamon/clove tea in the morning and it’s quite nice, especially on cold winter days. Make it with ½ cinnamon stick and 2 cloves in a tea ball

Day 9- Woo Hoo lost 4 lbs in 2 weeks! Trying to exercise, but still feeling super sleepy, getting in light yoga, skating, horse-backing riding, treadmill, when I can.

Day 10- Made a black bean wrap with savoy cabbage as the wrap. Added in some rice, avocado, cilantro, hot peppers, onions, the roasted red pepper as a substitute for salsa and kiwi! Kiwi? You ask. Yes, I like hot and realized some of the commercial hot sauces use kiwi or a bit of strawberry in them, and it really helps the flavors.

Day 11- Had a colonic today, feeling very clean. Spaghetti sauce with spinach pesto, for dinner, pretty yummy.

Day 12- Getting tired of the chopping, but I love eating vegan, just wish I had an assistant to chop veggies!

Day 13- Saturday night, cheated with a bit of wine again, because- well-Chia egg is NOT a substitute for egg when trying to cook a cauliflower crust pizza, don’t believe them. But wine is vegan and fermented, isn’t fermented food good? Maybe balances the negative of alcohol and my frustration at my lousy attempt at a vegan pizza crust?

Day 14- DINNER AT THE COUP! Calgary’s best veggie restaurant in my opinion. No chopping and had a meal that fit into the MediClear program.

-Carole

It’s already week two and I have to admit I’m still pretty tired! I am not hungry by any means, just running low on energy. My body definitely feels like its cleansing and my face is starting to show acne around the chin area.  I know it’s said you will feel worse before you feel better so I’ll keep telling myself that!! I do miss my odd coffee in the morning and my pieces of dark chocolate at night. The minimal amount of caffeine I was taking in and now not having is having an effect on me so that’s a little surprising. I decided to attempt 3 weeks without meat, eggs or dairy. I have only cheated twice for a quick bite!!  Two weeks left and I'm feeling ready and motivated to continue!!!

-Cheryl

I have now completed week two of the MediClear Program and I feel great. I only have one more week to go! I don’t crave sugar as much anymore. However, I do still crave coffee. I am hoping to only drink one cup a day after the program. I was drinking 3-4 cups of coffee before the program. I have noticed my skin really starting to clear now. I have been waking up before my alarm and noticed an increase in my energy throughout the day. The program is easier now that I am starting to notice changes. I am excited to see how I will feel at the end of the program!

-Erin

 

Seven Scientific Reasons to Meditate

It Boosts Your HEALTH

1 - Increases immune function *1

2 - Decreases Pain *2

3 - Decreases Inflammation at the Cellular Level *3

It Boosts Your HAPPINESS

4 - Increases Positive Emotion *4

5 - Decreases Depression *5

6 - Decreases Anxiety *6

7 - Decreases Stress *7

Here is an easy 5 min Breath Meditation you can do almost anywhere.

Find a relaxed, comfortable position. You could be seated on a chair or on the floor on a cushion. Keep your back upright, but not too tight. Hands resting wherever they’re comfortable. Tongue on the roof of your mouth or wherever it’s comfortable.

Notice and relax your body. Try to notice the shape of your body, its weight. Let yourself relax and become curious about your body seated here—the sensations it experiences, the touch, the connection with the floor or the chair. Relax any areas of tightness or tension. Just breathe.

Tune into your breath. Feel the natural flow of breath—in, out. You don’t need to do anything to your breath. Not long, not short, just natural. Notice where you feel your breath in your body. It might be in your abdomen. It may be in your chest or throat or in your nostrils. See if you can feel the sensations of breath, one breath at a time. When one breath ends, the next breath begins.

Be kind to your wandering mind. Now as you do this, you might notice that your mind may start to wander. You may start thinking about other things. If this happens, it is not a problem. It’s very natural. Just notice that your mind has wandered. You can say “thinking” or “wandering” in your head softly. And then gently redirect your attention right back to the breathing.

Stay here for five minutes. Notice your breath, in silence. From time to time, you’ll get lost in thought, then return to your breath.

Check in before you check out. After a few minutes, once again notice your body, your whole body, seated here. Let yourself relax even more deeply and then offer yourself some appreciation for doing this practice today.

References

*1 http://www.psychosomaticmedicine.org/content/65/4/564.short
*2 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3090218/
*3 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889159112004758
*4 http://www.psychosomaticmedicine.org/content/65/4/564.short
*5 http://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/B:COTR.0000045557.15923.96
*6 http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/acm.2006.12.817
*7 http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/str/12/2/164/

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