Well-being tips for 2018!

2018 - A few tips for staying healthy in the New Year.

Practical and Easy to follow. This goes without saying...

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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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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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Let's get OUTSIDE!!!



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!



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!

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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!



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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.



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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!


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!!


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.


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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.


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!!!


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!



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Week One of MediClear Cleanse Program

Week One:

Day 1-Started with a kale smoothie with the MediClear Plus powder. Had a bean salad for lunch, turkey/rice soup and salad for dinner and second scoop of powder. Snacked on some rice cakes later. Overall, I am sleepy, sleepy, but probably because it’s minus 20 something crazy, and I was outside for over 2 hours in the that cold and it’s so dark, it’s January after all!

Day 2- Not much appetite today, had the powder and a kiwi for breakie, more bean salad for lunch and some rice noodles for dinner. Still sleepy…

Day 3-Super bloated and gassy, thought it was the MediClear powder but in hind sight, I was eating a LOT of bean salads, and I realized I was only supposed to do 1 serving a day of MediClear to start not two. Made a bunch of homemade dressings from “Whole Life Nutrition” and “Nourishing Meals” cookbooks for upcoming salads and meals.

Day 4- No beans, 1 serving MediClear, took a digestive enzyme just in case. Feel much better. Craving chips already. The guide says Taro chips are ok. I could only find Parsnip chips or Sweet Potato Chips by Hardbite so far. I made an executive decision that that was similar enough and they were delicious.

Day 5- Made a homemade cream of mushrooms soup thickened with cashews, coconut flour and almond milk, yummy!

Day 6- First cheat, WINE! Does it count that I was sort of run off a back country road into a ditch and was 3 hours before I got out? I deserve wine, no guilt on that.

Day 7-Boring and uneventful cleanse day. Prepped for upcoming vegan week.



I’ll be honest, I wasn’t completely ready for this cleanse.   There was food in my fridge that I wanted to eat as I don’t like wasting, but I wasn’t able to do that!! I also had to go to Edmonton for work and even though I brought healthy snacks, I wasn’t able to control what went into my food at restaurants. Unfortunately, most restaurants don’t have hormone free chicken, wild fish, and normally don’t use healthy oils. So you can see it was a bit of a pickle! Having said that, I did the best I could under the circumstances. I do find that as soon as you are restricted from something, you want it even more and coffee WAS and IS my nemesis! So that part is eye opening as it’s more mind over matter. I feel like the rest of the cleanse should be okay as long as I stay focused and prep accordingly. Fatigue is starting to kick in but I know that’s part of the detoxing process. I also find the meal and shake plan has been a huge help!



I have completed week one of the MediClear Program without cheating! No caffeine would have to be my biggest struggle in week one. I have gone weeks without coffee before, but still drank black/green tea. The first few days I was exhausted. I now have more energy and I feel good not relying on caffeine. I have learned you must always read the label. Many products have ingredients you would not expect! I have noticed a slight change in my skin. I think this will take a longer. I am feeling great and I am really enjoying the MediClear Program! The drinks are filling and there is still a variety of other foods I can eat. I never feel hungry!



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MediClear Program

MediClear Program


Fish Creek Naturopathic Medicine employees are attempting the MediClear Program! Carole (owner), Cheryl (Colon Hydrotherapist), and Erin (receptionist) will be following the program and blogging their progress. “The MediClear program is designed to last three weeks and is intended to help your body detoxify by providing essential nutrients and botanicals you need to support efficient cleansing.* The program also gives your body a break from the potential allergens you consume on a regular basis, as well as alcohol, caffeine, and refined sugars.” (Thorne Research, 2016) If you wish to join the program stop by the clinic and grab your MediClear Plus and Patient Guide for only $89.90.

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Laxatives vs Colon Hydrotherapy

Person sitting on toiletsmallWhy WE choose Colon Hydrotherapy vs Laxatives?


What happens when you don’t take the garbage out for a week? Confused

We've all seen it, we've all smelt it!!  It starts to STINK, BULGE, and eat away at the garbage bag!  Sounds gross doesn’t it?  It’s the same idea with your colon (large intestine). We ALL retain old fecal matter (poop), dead red blood cells, excess mucous, parasites, and yeast in our colon.  Whether we’re having 1 or 3 bowel movements a day, "garbage" can get trapped in there.  What goes in must come out and a lot of the time we don't see the balance of the two.  If you're only having one bowel movement a few times a week, imagine what you’re storing in there, what it’s doing to your gut lining and how it's effecting your health?

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Can't beat the summer HEAT?

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We all look forward to SUMMER months in January when there's heavy snowfall, and it's -30° outside.  Ugh!!  But let's get real for a second, shall we??  Is this weather a little TOO HOT for you? 

Most would agree that 30° in any city, surrounded by buildings and pavement is TOO dang hot!! I'm sure there's a few who are reading this, shaking their heads saying "STOP COMPLAINING"!  In reality, we are not accustomed to this kind of heat for long periods of time. After all, we are true Canadians; we may not like the cold but thats what we're use to.

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Parasites Are Not Just From Sushi

This week’s news reports of a man who had worms from sushi alarmed the public. Here is just one news report for those of you who haven’t seen it: http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/calgary-doctors-find-worms-in-stomach-of-man-who-ate-raw-salmon-1.2747222

Yes, it is disturbing, but not as uncommon as you would think (or hope). There are different types of nematodes, commonly called worms. Pinworms, roundworms, tapeworms, hook worms, just to name a few. For those of you familiar with livestock or have experience in veterinary medicine or animal shelters, you’ve probably seen worms at some point in the feces of an animal. And if you haven’t, you’ve likely ‘wormed’ your animal so they don’t catch them.

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Want One Simple Tip to Help Calm Anxiety, Enhance Sleep and Increase Digestive Health?

A woman taking a moment in a field to relax and connect.The Relaxing Breath exercise – better known as the 4-7-8 breath as taught by Dr. Andrew Weil. It’s free, simple, and when done consistently can really make a difference to your health. We’ve provided the link here and hope you give it a try. It’s awesome!

Be sure to watch the video the whole way through to find out how to properly incorporate this relaxing breath exercise into your life, and for all the benefits it can offer.

To your Best Health,

Dawn Byford
B.Com, C.H.N. ™ Certified Holistic Nutritionist

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Male Hormonal Health – keys to your vitality!

thumb exhausted businessmanHi guys – we helped out the ladies last week but we didn’t want to leave your health out of the picture – hormones really matter for you too! Every man can identify with testosterone and how important it is for a man’s physical features, muscle mass and sex drive. But did you know that there are actually 4 main hormones that work together to keep you a happy, healthy, strong, and energetic male? Testosterone, Estrogens (estradiol, estrone, estriol), Cortisol, and DHEA’s all must synchronize, and when any one of them are imbalanced it can lead to frustrating or even debilitating health issues .  These are symptoms we see men struggle with on a regular basis  – you are not alone.

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Is Cadmium toxicity affecting your health?

Mineral toxicities are often overlooked as a contributor to chronic health issues. Environmental exposures to toxic elements can have a profound impact on your health. An example is cadmium, which can be found in many imported jewellery products as well as in household and industrial chemicals.

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Feeling crazy? … It could be your Hormones!

Ok ladies…

Hormone can drive you crazy - Fish Creek Naturopaths can help!

we ALL know what hormones can do to us, and how our days and lives can fluctuate because of them.  But not only do hormones help regulate our moods, they are fundamental to our overall health and well-being.  There are 5 major Hormonal players that all work synergistically, which means ALL of them are important to our body.  They are: Estrogens ( estradiol, estrone, estriol) , progesterone, cortisol , DHEA’s, and testosterone. Here are a few symptoms that may indicate one of more of them are out of balance:

  1. Sleep Disturbances
  2. Weight gain
  3. Hot flashes
  4. Bone Loss
  5. Depression/Irritabily/Difficulty coping
  6. Breast Cancer

If you can identify with any of these, it is worth checking into. Long term, undiagnosed hormonal imbalances can be very damaging to your overall Health.

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4 New Year Resolutions that will Dramatically improve your Health in 2016

Healthy New Years Resolutions from Fish Creek Naturopathic MedicineOkay – so we all make New years’ Eve resolutions ….. and we all break them.  But if you can manage to introduce one of these tips into your day ( or even a couple times/week!),  2016 could become your most fabulously healthy year EVER!  Usually we would suggest doing a cleanse of some sort, but let’s face it, winter is always not the best time to cleanse as we need energy to stay warm. So instead , we’ve suggested a few simple tips to that can help you do sort of mini-cleanses throughout your day and week. We’ve kept it short and sweet – being healthy does not have to be complicated . Here they are:

#1: Eat Whole Foods – sounds simple enough, but how many packages or boxes are in your freezer?  Whole foods are the best way to get and stay healthy, and your body won’t have nearly the amount of chemicals and toxins to cleanse if you try to eat mainly whole foods, and mostly plants. Ideally 80% of your diet should be coming from fruit and vegetables. Take it at your own pace though – try one day per week or one new meal you’ve cooked from scratch.  Easing into change can make it much easier and more likely you’ll stick with it in the long term. Our favourite whole foods cooking book at the clinic is the Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre, MS,CN.  And Here’s a great little link on how to shop the grocery store by Michael Pollan, food writer. www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgG7kOj81p8

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Managing Stress and Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal Fatigue and Stress -  How Can Fish Creek Naturopathic Medicine Help?Adrenal fatigue results from an accumulation of all your various forms of stress. These include physical, environmental, psychological, infectious and combinations of these. In an ideal situation your system should be able to adapt to to every level of stress regardless of the source. Stressors may be cumulative, as in prolonged work or relationship stress, or acute as in an automobile accident.

There are many chronic conditions that affect, and in turn are effected by, your adrenal status. Common conditions associated with adrenal fatigue are:

  • recurring respiratory infections
  • asthma
  • allergies
  • fatigue
  • low sex drive
  • weight gain
  • digestive complaints

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