We live in a society of tired and worn out people. We run around from work to chores to home where we face more chores without the needed energy to accomplish these tasks.
We spend time wishing we had more energy. Some think that having that extra cup of coffee or chocolate bar or downing Red Bull energy drinks will keep us going, but it only works for a little bit and you back to feeling yucky again.
Fortunately, there are natural and effective ways you can combat fatigue and increase your energy and vitality.
Make sure there isn’t something physically wrong. There are several physical reasons why you might have chronic fatigue, from thyroid disease, anemia, sleep apnea, heart disease, to arthritis. The only way you can determine if any of these are the problem is to visit your doctor. Many can be treated or reversed so that you can gain energy back.
Exercise. There are times that I’ve to push myself to exercise because I feel tired, but I know that after exercising I get a boost of energy. Being physically active tends to boost your energy levels, not to mention maximize the function of many of your body’s organs. According to the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day. More than 80% of adults do not meet the guidelines for aerobic activity that is known to increase energy and vitality, especially as we age.
Keep from being dehydrated. Our cells and digestive system need water and when we drink more coffee than water, we’re depriving our cells of metabolic functions. Keep a water bottle filled and chilled for more energy by fighting dehydration.
Get enough sleep. The best way to get enough sleep is to go to bed early and get at least 7 hours of sleep. In one 2004 study, it was found that people who got adequate sleep were more vigorous and reported less fatigue. Naps are other ways to freshen up your energy level. Try for short naps, no longer than 30 minutes. Any longer than that and you will have difficulty sleeping during the night.
Try an Adaptogen. Watch this short video that explains what an adaptogen is and what supplements can help with fatigue.
Reduce Sugar. In 2014, the NHS responded to an alarming headline by UK newspaper The Daily Mail that claimed, “sugar is the new tobacco.” The NHS found that the link between sugar and obesity is indeed very real and is caused because sugar is loaded with empty calories (energy) that your body stores for later days. Only, the later days never come and eventually all that built-up energy is turned into fat. Not only that, sugar causes highs and lows during the day which impacts your energy.
Eat smaller meals. Large meals zap you of energy because the body needs to use a lot of energy to digest them. Think about a time you ate a buffet, where everyone naturally eats too much food, versus a meal that included a salad. More likely than not when you left the buffet you felt exhausted and wishing someone would wheel you out of there, versus the energy you felt after a raw whole food meal such as a salad.
Men who don’t even try to follow a strict, healthy diet (but exercise regularly) will lose weight faster than women that eat only healthy food and exercise even more.
If you’re a woman, then the good news is that you aren’t doing something wrong just because you are losing weight at a much slower pace. Actually, there are several reasons why men tend to achieve significant weight loss faster.
Men Have More Muscle
Men have a much higher percentage of lean muscle mass. A study that was published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that men have 33% more muscle mass in the lower body and 40% more in the upper body.
Men are genetically designed to have more muscle and less fat, which is mostly a result of the presence of testosterone in the body.
When you have more muscle, you will burn more calories. In order for women to increase their muscle mass, they need to start doing strength training at least two times a week.
Differences In Exercising
When women want to start losing weight, in most cases they start doing aerobic exercise – swimming, running, or brisk walking. If you do mixed forms of exercise, like most men do, you’ll lose more weight (especially around the waist). So, to make sure you achieve weight loss faster, make sure to add resistance training to your aerobic workout routine.
Tolerance For Exercising
A study that was published in the Official Journal of the American College of Sports medicine notes that men and women experience a different response to exercise by the pulmonary system. In fact, women have a reduced lung capacity, which definitely has an effect on their ventilation, airway responsiveness, and respiratory muscle work during exercise.
It can be harder for women to do vigorous workouts.
Even though men tend to lose weight quicker than women, this fact is not something that you need to obsess over. Just because it may take you more time to experience the same weight loss as men doesn’t mean that it is impossible to reach your goals.
The best thing that you can do is stop comparing yourself to others (no matter if they’re male or female), and start focusing on your own goals.
For many years, chocolate has been viewed as the ultimate comfort food and it has become one of the most popular foods in the world. However, due to the over consumption of this silky, dark, sweet food many health practitioners warn against it. They say that it’s calorie-laden and does little in the way of ‘real’ nutrition.
The question is: are there any health benefits to consuming dark chocolate?
Obviously, over-consumption of any food can have a detrimental effect on general health. Recent studies, however, have shown that consumption (in moderation of course) of dark chocolate has many health benefits. So eating about an ounce of dark chocolate every day is actually a good thing!
The first question that many may ask is: why dark chocolate, not milk chocolate?
Dark chocolate has more fiber and nutrients, but less sugars and cholesterol.
When purchasing dark chocolate, look for ones with a cacao percentage of 70% and more. A favourite is Lindt brand!
The Main Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
It improves your skin Dark chocolate contains lots of flavanols, which protect the skin against sun damage. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can do without sun screen! However, it does mean that the flavanols will reduce the damage on the skin due to the sun.
It’s nutritious Dark chocolate contains minerals such as iron, magnesium, copper and manganese, zinc, potassium and selenium. It is also a good source of fiber, containing about 11 grams.
Good source of antioxidants Dark chocolate also contains a vast amount of antioxidants, which are great for promoting heart health, decreasing risk of infection, and fighting free radicals in the body. The cocoa tree is one of the best source of antioxidants on the planet. This means that its fruits – the cocoa pods also have antioxidant properties. Many studies have shown dark chocolate to have a higher amount of antioxidants than blueberries or Acai berries!
Dark chocolate has 22% more iron, four times more fiber and 242 grams more theobromine (the alkaloid which reduces blood pressure) per half bar than milk chocolate. It becomes clear that dark chocolate has many health benefits.
It is also worth considering that dark chocolate has less carbs and half the sugar of milk chocolate!
Now go have an ounce of dark chocolate - just make sure you don’t over indulge!
Whether you’re an athlete, bodybuilder, fitness enthusiast, or simply someone looking to get more protein in their diet, you should consider trying whey protein. This supplement is widely regarded as a protein staple because it helps with lean muscle growth, muscle recovery, and overall health and wellness.
To understand this protein and how it helps your body and wellbeing, please keep reading this comprehensive guide to learn everything you need to know including the various benefits it offers.
What Is Protein?
Protein is a macronutrient, like fat and carbohydrates that is used in every single cell of the body. Hair and nails are mostly made of protein and the body uses it to build and repair tissues. Protein is also used to make hormones, enzymes, and other body chemicals.
Protein is an essential building block of muscles, bones, skin, cartilage, and blood. Unlike fat and carbohydrates, the body does not store protein to maintain an available reservoir, so it can only be obtained from food.
What is Whey Protein?
To understand what whey protein is we must first unpack the meaning of “whey.” Whey is a term that describes milk serum, or the liquid by-product that is created when milk is curdling. In animal milk, whey protein makes up nearly 20% of the protein content while the rest is roughly casein fractions.
In fact, whey proteins actually come in a variety of fractions like globulins, albumins, and more. However, for the purposes of this article, whey protein will simply refer to the whole variety of specific fractions that are found in cow’s milk.
Whey protein is also a complete protein source, which simply means that it provides all 9 essential amino acids, which are, in essence, the complete building blocks of life.
How Whey Protein is Made?
Whey protein can be produced from whey through a variety of different membrane filtration methods depending upon the desired protein content. Some filtration methods include microfiltration and ultrafiltration. Once done, the whey protein is spray dried in give it the desired powdered consistency.
Benefits of Whey Protein and Why You Should Add it To Your Diet
Protein is one of the key ingredients in muscle growth, development, and wellness. On the smallest scale, proteins are built up of amino acids which are needed for the construction of various bodily systems and tissues as well as other physiological functions. These include neurotransmission, brain metabolism, immune system function and strength, cardiovascular function, and energy production. Due to these dynamic building blocks, proteins then are important for building and maintaining strong muscles.
There are a number of benefits from consuming whey protein that are all directly linked to the biological roles and properties of essential amino acids. Due to its high amount of L-leucine, whey protein is an important part of muscle protein production and other functions.
The following are some of the whey protein’s main benefits:
It is quickly and easily absorbed and digested
It boosts insulin sensitivity which can in turn boost metabolism and result in weight loss
Improves and enhances the immune system (especially for physically active individuals)
Helps maintain muscle mass/prevent muscular loss as a result of aging
Whey protein can be found as a powdered supplement but it is also present in some dairy foods. These include:
Bread, crackers, cookies (other baked goods that use whey in production)
Dairy Butters and Creams
Animal Milk (goat and cow)
The best way to find out if a certain food naturally contains whey protein is to read the label! If you do not want to purchase powders or other whey protein supplements, you can easily add these foods to your everyday diet. It is important to remember, however, that too much dairy can result in some gastrointestinal problems (bloating, constipation, etc.), so remember to eat these foods in moderation.
Now That You Know...
Now that you have a basic understanding of what whey protein is and why it’s good for you, you may be motivated to add it to your diet. In addition to this power-protein, you may want to begin exercising and practicing other methods of self-care that can help bring your body and health into a new realm of well-being.
By combining the consumption of whey protein with proper eating habits, regular exercise, and getting enough sleep, you could begin to see the lean, healthy body you’ve always dreamed of forming in no time.
Ask us about whey protein that we have at Shanti Wellness Centre and get a sample packet for $3 only! Check out the following recipes below on how Zaheen uses whey protein in her morning smoothies.
A health and wellness oriented lifestyle is built by making healthy habits and choices part of your daily routines. You do not need to completely overhaul your entire life all at once. These changes can be made gradually.
The Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology (CSEP) Physical Activity Guidelines The Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology (CSEP) Physical Activity Guidelines published in 2011 recommends 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic activity per week for adults ages 18 to 64 years. Strength training for all of the major body parts,legs, hips, arms, shoulders, abdomen, back and chest is recommended at least twice a week.
If you are not already physically active, incorporating fitness activities into your life does not need to pose a major challenge. A wide range of physical activities meet the guidelines. Examples of moderate physical activity include dancing, brisk walking, bicycle riding and more.
Keep in mind, 30 minutes of moderate activity provides the minimum required to gain health benefits. More vigorous activities, jumping rope, rock climbing and swimming provide even greater health benefits. Extending the amount of time spent doing any physical activity also increases health benefits.
To successfully integrate physical fitness activities into your life, make them part of your daily schedule. Set aside time in your daily planner and add a reminder to the event on your phone or watch. The most important things you can do are show up for the activity and perform some level of physical activity. Even if it does not equal the full 30 minutes, you’re still building the habit of physical activity.
Keys to Success:
Start with an activity you will enjoy.
If you are a social person, join an exercise group or workout with friends.
Remember every little bit counts. If you exercise for 20 minutes twice a day or in 10 minute increments throughout the day, you can meet the requirement of 2 hours and 30 minutes per week around your schedule.
Block out your exercise time on your calendar.
Along with physical fitness, ultimate health and wellness hinges on a healthy and balanced diet. People who eat well experience a variety of health benefits, better weight maintenance, lower chances of developing diabetes or heart disease and lower instances of illness. As recommended by the 2007 version of the Health Canada guidelines, a healthy diet includes significant amounts of fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, lean proteins and unrefined grains. The recommendations also suggest lowering sodium, added sugar, trans fat, saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet.
Before you look to cut things from your diet, work on adding healthy choices to your meals and snacks. Take a proactive positive approach as you make changes to what you eat. Drink a non-carbonated beverage instead of a pop or soda; you can choose unsweetened herbal tea which still provides flavor, lemon water or plain water. Small changes add up to a complete transition to a more healthful lifestyle.
Keys to Success:
Choose one or two small changes to incorporate into your diet each month.
Experiment. Eating healthy needs to be enjoyable for you to make it a part of your lifestyle. Try foods and a variety of ways to prepare them and enjoy the ones you like.
Make sure to keep your daily menu varied so you don’t get bored with your food choices and go off track.
Our emotional state can affect our food choices, our level of physical activity and our ability to maintain positive social engagement. Foods high in sugar and fat satisfy the pleasure and reward centers in our brains. If we are stressed or unhappy, many of us reach for rich foods to make ourselves feel better. Sometimes this is a conscious decision; many times it is not. Also, feeling angry, unhappy or depressed saps energy, making it more difficult to exercise or pursue some other physical activity; we just don’t feel like it.
There are many ways to combat this cycle. Physical activities like yoga, pilates, tai chi and many others expressly cultivate a healthy mind-body connection. Each of these activities use movement tied to breath awareness to focus and calm the mind and the nervous system.
It is important to keep the body healthy and the mind in a state of equilibrium to experience a sense of well-being. Equilibrium does not mean you become an automaton. It simply means you do not experience unrealistic highs or debilitating lows (depression). Being even tempered makes it easier to deal with stress, adapt to change and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Keys to Success:
Choose a mind-body activity to include in your schedule which suits your lifestyle and temperament.
Practice it consistently for the best results.
It takes at least 30 days of consistent application to make a simple action a habit. More complex accomplishments like establishing an exercise routine, daily meditation and dietary changes can take significantly longer.
The rate of accomplishment for more complex changes can be highly variable; do not end your quest for ultimate health and wellness if you are not seeing immediate results. The key to changing established habits and acquiring new ones is consistency and persistence. You can reach your goal!
Interested in learning more about our upcoming online membership program?
Resilient Living – A Behaviour Modification Program for Healthy Weight Loss and Weight Management
Tuition fee: $20 a month for one year or $199 if paying in full
Enter your email so we can add you on our notification list when we launch. Once you enter your email, you’ll get this free guide on How to Stop Mindless Eating
I did not eat breakfast and then I’d make bad choices by mid-morning. Now, I intend to stick with having a proper breakfast.
I have not menu planned in the past. Now that I do, I can’t believe how easy it is to stay on track when you are prepared. I always used to figure out meals an hour before meal time and didn’t have the right ingredients so again...made bad choices instead. Planning ahead has been a life changing habit for me.
I do not get hungry mid-morning. I feel great and don’t feel bloated.
Human beings tend to seek comfort in certain things as an emotional response.
For example, a family member or friend’s death may cause one to never leave their house, or never want to be alone. Similarly, some people find their comfort in food regardless of their situation or emotional feelings.
There are indicating factors as to what triggers an emotional response and emotional eating is a result of such factors. Carol Cottrill, certified nutritionist, says “Emotional eating is when one eats for reasons other than actual hunger”.
Here are five signs that indicate you have an emotional eating problem.
You Eat Whether Happy, Sad, Bored, Stressed or Anxious
If your day revolves around picking up that soft drink or eating those tasty chips, then you are emotionally eating. Amie Valpone, culinary nutritionist and personal chef says that, “anxiety and stress tend to translate into emotional eating”.
Think about a time when you were stressed and the dopamine release from food made you feel relieved. Now think about a time when you were happy and you decided to dive into a piece of cake… see it’s all coming back to you now.
We must develop good habits and this starts with making a healthy eating plan and sticking to it.
What are methods to prevent this eating due to your different emotions?
Get to the root of the issue causing the emotions. For this you can work with a behavior specialist or hypnotherapist.
Change your habits so you go for the healthy snacks. This can take time but it works if you stick with it.
You Lack Self Control
Self-control will cause us to do things that we don’t necessarily want to do but we do them anyway because it just seems too easy not to do. Take a step back and understand yourself as a person.
In my health coaching practice, I ask clients in which area of their life do they have self-control? We all have self-control in another area of our life – whether it’s getting to meetings on time; spending only on certain items; keeping the phone away when working on important projects; drinking alcohol only at a social gatherings; cleaning; or anything else.
Why is it important to you to have self-control in that area? Now, can you cross over that kind of thinking and importance to your eating habits?
You Have Not Found Other Ways to Deal With Your Problems
Food can and does replace exercise, meditation and therapy for many people because it hits all the pleasure spots! We must learn to deal with issues in the way that they should be dealt with.
Susan Albers, Psy.D., supports “learning calorie-free coping skills”. This really is the best way to avoid overeating as it occupies the minds towards other things.
Many of my clients say that mindless eating is also a problem. Mindless eating occurs when:
You put something in your mouth before even considering whether you’re hungry or not. Just because it’s there, you’ll put your hand out like a robot, pick it up and stick it in your mouth.
You watch TV or play on the computer or text while eating. You’re not connecting your mind and body in the act of eating.
Making unconscious choices about food based on instant gratification.
Calorie-Free Coping Skills
Pick a hobby that takes your focus away from food. For example, play a musical instrument, learn something new by watching YouTube videos or take evening recreational classes.
Exercise – it clears your mind and even helps you cope with any problems you may be facing that is causing you to eat emotionally.
Seek help to deal with your problem whether it’s a coach, advisor, mentor or even a family member.
Create rules for yourself. For example, brush teeth after dinner to avoid snacking.
Your Environment and/or Culture
Where you grew up and how the people around you eat, could be an indicator of your emotional eating habits. In many cultures it is customary to always eat when offered food. This could lead to eating when not hungry. Friends and family may be over eaters and you’ve developed the habit from your environment as a way to not feel left out.
“A study from the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics” has confirmed that people will naturally (subconsciously) match the equivalent quantities of food as the people they are eating with. Be sure to pay attention next time you’re in this situation.
You Don’t Realize You Are Overeating
This is probably the most obvious and the most frustrating reason because the emotional habit has literally consumed the person at this point. There is just no realization and therefore no action taken to counter this issue.
At this point, help is very necessary, and one should not be ashamed to reach out in order to restore their self-image and detrimental habits.
The short and long-term side effects are simply not worth neglecting emotional eating habits. Take charge of your health!
With our complex lives in the 21st century, more and more people are suffering from stress-related conditions. The negative impact of stress can affect many areas of health. One area in particular that can be adversely affected is the adrenal glands.
The adrenal glands are located near the kidneys and produce the hormones that are needed for the body to function properly.
Stress adversely affects these glands because, when the body is under severe stress the glands start producing more hormones to help the body cope (this is the classic ‘fight or flight’ response). The main hormone is cortisol, which regulates metabolism and is a response to stress.
When stress is experienced over a long period of time, these glands weaken and this negatively affects the body and results in adrenal fatigue. So, what are the symptoms of adrenal fatigue?
5 Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
1. Excessive, unexplained tiredness
Adrenal fatigue makes a person very tired. This is because under stress the hormone levels are elevated, thus making it harder to sleep. Over time, the body’s cortisol levels are affected and this leads to the body being in an almost permanent state of alertness. All of this can affect the ability for a person to fall asleep or get a good night’s sleep. It could be that a person thinks he is getting enough sleep (the recommended 8 to 10 hours) but still wakes up feeling tired and fatigued.
In the fall of 2014, I (Zaheen) felt this way constantly for a full month and I knew something was not right because I always had energy to get things done, but I felt tired from the time I woke up to the time I went to bed.
My blood work showed that everything was normal – Vitamin B and Thyroid were at perfect levels. This is when my physician explained this phenomenon. I started taking Rhodiola Rosea and within 6 days I was back to myself!
2. Cravings for salty or sugary foods
One way that adrenal fatigue affects the body is its ability to lower the blood sugar level. When this happens cravings for energy foods increase and therefore a sufferer will eat more sugary foods. Foods high in sugar are also comfort foods and stress can cause a person to increase the intake of sugar-high foods. Adrenal fatigue can also result in cravings for salty foods. This is because the adrenal glands affect how the kidneys regulate mineral fluctuations. When we suffer from fatigue, the body releases more minerals in the urine. This in turn can increase the desire for salty snacks.
3. Heightened energy in the evenings
An adrenal fatigue sufferer could find that he/she is tired all day but then in the late evening experience a surge of energy. Usually cortisol reaches a peak in late morning and then reduces during the day.
4. Difficulty in handling stress
The normal body’s response to stress is to release specific hormones so that stress can be handled effectively. The two specific hormones are cortisol and adrenaline, and knowing how these affect the body helps us understand the relationship to stress.
Cortisol. Gives the body extra energy to cope with the stress, it increases memory function and lowers sensitivity to pain. It also increases glucose in the bloodstream and enhances your brain’s use of glucose. However, the body needs a rest period after cortisol has been released in a stress-related situation. If a person is suffering from adrenal fatigue and rarely gets to have the ‘rest period’, over time less and less cortisol is produced.
Adrenaline. Probably the most well-known stress response hormone. This gives us the initial burst of energy needed to respond to stress because it increases your heart rate and elevates your blood pressure. Once again, adrenal fatigue will affect the amount of this hormone and therefore the response to stress is reduced.
5. More infections.
Cortisol helps to regulate the immune system in the body and works as an anti-inflammatory. Too much cortisol over an extended period of time hinders the response of the immune system and this results in having more infections. On the other hand if the adrenal glands are so weakened that they produce too little cortisol then the body’s response is to over-react to infections resulting in certain autoimmune disorders.
3 Ways to Handle Stress
1. Start taking natural supplements that help in balancing your stress hormones. Here are three products we carry at Shanti Wellness Centre:
Rhoziva – Rhodiola rosea and its positive adaptogenic effects are well documented as being an effective way to assist in dealing with life's stressful situations. An adaptogen is a botanical that exerts a normalizing effect upon bodily processes, creating an ideal biological environment for the reduction of stress. $40.
Opti-calm - Helps calm you down without slowing you down. Its ingredients are associated with relaxed alertness (theanine). Adaptive and adrenal support for energy and stress management (rhodiola), and anti-inflammatory calming effects (Relora TM). Please read the safety instructions before you purchase. Price $40 for 90 capsules.
Ashwagandha Powder. $15 for 200 grams.
2. Create a healthy sleep routine and ensure you get at least 7-9 hours of sleep. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try Magnesium with melatonin or diffuse lavender essential oil in your bedroom. Grab either at Shanti Wellness Centre.
Turmeric is a commonly used spice that originates from the Curcuma plant. We most likely know it for its spiciness and use in dishes such as curry.
However, Turmeric has been extensively used within Chinese and Indian cultures, including as an anti-inflammatory. Turmeric is best consumed in its pure sense with some black pepper, rather than as a component of curry powder. Research has found that consuming black pepper (piperine) with curcumin increases its bioavailability.
As a child, Turmeric was added to milk and even made into a balm for sprained ankles!
However, the Western world has been slow to notice the health benefits of turmeric, some of which are outlined below.
Curcumin, the oil derived from turmeric, has been studied in numerous experiments, and has been shown to be equally as effective as typical anti-inflammatory drugs. The key difference is there are no side effects associated with curcumin oil. This is good news for those who suffer from joint conditions, such as arthritis, where inflammation plays a key role in exacerbating chronic pain.
Turmeric stimulates the gallbladder and increases bile production; in Germany, turmeric is prescribed for such problems.
Studies have shown that there is a protective effect of turmeric on the heart. Initial research shows that turmeric can help to reduce the build-up of plaque in the heart, a key contributor to heart attacks. Turmeric may help to prevent oxidized cholesterol, which is what damages blood vessels. Damaged blood vessels are a critical factor in many heart diseases, such as health attacks, strokes, and atherosclerosis.
Turmeric has been shown to have important antioxidant properties, which may help to protect cells against cancer. Turmeric can help to protect vulnerable cells against free radicals, which can be harmful to the body.
High cholesterol is a common disorder and has been linked to many different, some serious, disorders. One study conducted in rabbits fed a high-fat diet showed that turmeric appeared to lower LDL cholesterol levels and triglycerides, as well as preventing LDL from being oxidized. Oxidized LDL has been shown to contribute to the formation of atherosclerosis. The cholesterol-lowering effects of turmeric have remained consistent in these studies. Source.
Uses In Cooking
Turmeric in dried spice form can add loads of flavor to curries, stews, stir-fries and roasted meat and chicken.
Fresh turmeric is a root that looks much like fresh ginger. It can be juiced along with other fruits and vegetables. It can be added to smoothies.
It makes a great addition to a chicken marinade adding a bright orange color to the mix; it is a key ingredient in Middle Eastern chicken kabobs.
Use it to substitute saffron or mustard as it provides an equal yellow hue.
Everyone should seek medical advice before adding extra turmeric to their diet and sometimes it may actually have negative effects for some people, for example, its ability to slow blood clotting could be dangerous for anyone taking anticoagulant medication or going for surgery. If in doubt, speak to your medical professional.
Headaches can be extremely painful. Often times they can leave you down for the count. If you are one of the millions of people who suffer from headaches on a regular basis, this article is for you. Before you decide to reach for the medicine cabinet, try these all natural remedies the next time you have a headache. Here are the best non-drug remedies for the three most common types of headaches.
1. Tension Headaches
Of the three main types of headaches, tension headaches are the most common. With this type of headache the muscles contract and it feels like something is literally squeezing your head. The pain can run from one ear to the other and back around. Tension headaches are usually caused by a lack of sleep and/or stress.
Natural Remedies For Tension Headaches:
Fresh ginger can easily be found at your local grocery store. Crush up no more than an inch of ginger and put it in a pot of boiling water. This homemade remedy will help reduce inflammation and ease your headache.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint is a herb and the oil is known to be calming and numbing. It is believed that these properties make it helpful for reducing tension. Take the oil and apply it to your hairline. The cooling sensation created by the oil will help relax the muscles in your head and neck.
2. Cluster Headaches
Those who suffer from cluster headaches often describe it as an ice pack in their head. This is because the pain is very concentrated and it feels like someone is stabbing them in the head. Cluster headaches usually occur in a cluster of days, hence the name cluster headaches. They are most common in the winter.
Natural Remedies For Cluster Headaches:
Cayenne pepper is the main ingredient in Capsaicin cream. Put a dab on your finger and apply it to the inside of your nostril. Be sure to place it on the side where you are experiencing the pain. Once applied the cream will go to work. It works by blocking pain signals.
Chlorophyll is used by plants for photosynthesis in the process of turning carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrates and oxygen. Chlorophyll supplements promote the flow of oxygen to cells, while also protecting the cells from oxidation damage and can naturally help with cluster headaches. Placing ten drops of liquid chlorophyll concentrate on the tongue several times throughout the day and then drinking some water will help with these types of headaches and can also provide natural energy to get you through the day.
We have this supplement at Shanti Wellness Centre.
3. Migraine Headaches
Migraine headaches are very debilitating and can have you in bed, unable to move for extended periods of time. Migraines cause a throbbing pain to occur on one side of your head. As a result of this pain, individuals are usually sensitive to light and sound. It some cases it can even cause nausea.
Migraines can be genetic or hormonal and women are three time more likely to have them than their male counterparts. Many experts believe migraines are a result of nerve signals being misinterpreted by the brain. Instead of interpreting them for what they really are, they interpret them as pain.
Natural Remedies For Migraine Headaches:
Acupressure massage has been around for hundreds of years. It is an ancient Chinese healing method that centers around applying pressure to certain points on the body. The pressure is applied to help relieve pain. Doing this type of massage on yourself is very easy. Click here for instructions on how to do this.
Feverfew is an herbal supplement that comes from the sunflower family. It has been tested in clinical trials with great results. During these trials, Feverfew was shown to be a very effective treatment for migraines. It works by decreasing the amount of inflammation in the area where there is pain. When inflammation is reduced, it eliminates pressure on the nerves. As a result, the migraine starts to subside.
Changing Your Diet
As you can see, there are many different natural remedies for the various types of headaches. However, one remedy can be applied to all headaches no matter what type. That remedy is to simply change your diet because certain foods can trigger a headache.
Start paying close attention to the foods you consume on a daily basis. Keeping a journal and jotting down everything you eat for at least 7 days is helpful so you can track any specific foods that cause you to have an adverse reaction. Once you identify a pattern, you will know which foods should be removed from your diet.
Some foods that have been known to trigger headaches include:
Caffeine or the lack of it once one drinks it regularly
Headaches can also be a result of skipping meals. Anytime you skip meals your blood sugar levels drop. The best way to prevent this is to make it a point to always eat your meals on time and never let hunger lead to a headache.
Yes, it seems everywhere you turn health and wellness experts are telling you to eat more fruits and vegetables.
You totally get it.
Yes, they’re full, and I mean FULL, of nutrition (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, etc.).
Yes, people who eat more fruits and vegetables live longer, healthier lives. Not to mention protecting their bodies and minds from just about every chronic disease out there.
Yes, eating more vegetables can help you maintain a healthy body weight, and even lose some fat (as long as you don’t bread and fry them, or cover them with cream sauce).
Your question is not “Should I eat more fruits and vegetables,” but “How can I actually do it?”
Believe me, as a health coach I’m chock full of amazing, creative and delicious ways to help you eat more fruits and veggies.
And before we dive in, always start from where you are. If you’re not used to any fruits or veggies, try for just two per day. Build up from there. Don’t get overwhelmed thinking you need to overhaul your entire diet I one day. Wherever you’re at now, I challenge you to increase it by two per day.
Now, let’s dive into my helpful ideas on exactly HOW to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet!
SNEAK THEM INTO OTHER DISHES
OK, this one may be, shall we say, “sneaky,” but I’m all about your health, so hear me out.
Some dishes are super-easy to enhance with a bit of strategically placed produce. What do you think of these ideas?
Add ½ apple, a small handful of spinach, or extra berries into your smoothie.
Dice or shred up an extra bit of carrot, broccoli, zucchini or pepper into your soup.
Love sandwiches? Why not add an extra slice of tomato, lettuce or cucumber to it?
How about chicken, tuna, or salmon salad? Dice up a stalk of celery and throw it in.
Love to bake? How about substituting ¼ cup of the sugar for ¼ cup of unsweetened applesauce?
Used to having a small salad? Why not try a larger one?
Making tomato sauce? Add in some extra mushrooms or peppers.
MAKE THEM TASTE MORE DELICIOUS WITH A MEAL
Steam some frozen corn and add a touch of olive oil and your favorite herb or spice.
Use veggies as your sandwich “bread” by making a lettuce wrap.
Don’t be afraid to spice them up! Try sauteing them for 10 minutes with a drizzle of oil and flavor them with pepper, garlic, ginger or cumin.
OPTING FOR THEM AS SNACKS
Why not throw a banana, apple or a couple of clementines into your lunch bag?
Ditch the chips and dip - Instead try some carrot, celery, broccoli, cucumber or cauliflower with a dip like hummus, guacamole, or even your favorite salad dressing?
Love sweetened yogurt? Buy plain, and immerse it with fresh or frozen berries.
Take two of these suggestions and try them tomorrow. Just add two more fruits and veggies to the number you’re at today. Two more.
And if you’re not an instant fan, well, try again. Research shows that sometimes it takes our taste buds several tries before actually beginning to like a new flavor. Try it; you might just find some new faves.
How Much Exercise Do You Really Need to Get in Shape?
How much exercise do you *actually* need to get in shape?
Twenty minutes three times per week? Half-hour per day?
And how much is too much?
Do you need to sweat it out for an hour or more every day?
Let’s go over the (sometimes) mysterious amount of exercise that is ideal. Ideal for your health and wellness. Ideal for getting into shape.
Starting with the minimum.
WHAT’S THE MINIMUM AMOUNT OF EXERCISE?
Of course, you’re going to have to start from where you are right now. If you’re not already exercising regularly, there is no need to go overboard. In fact, trying too much too soon may derail your motivation, and become a reason you just throw in the towel.
So, let’s say you’re not that active (yet). What if I were to recommend “ten to twenty minutes every other day at a level you think you can do?” How does that sound as a starting point?
Pretty do-able, I’d say!
If you’re not training for a competition, you can absolutely get into great shape starting with this plan.
It’s going to get longer, I’m not gonna lie. But that time is going to pass anyway, so when the next season comes around wouldn’t you want to be proud of your improved strength and fitness?
Yes, I thought so!
HOW TO DESIGN YOUR EXERCISE PLAN
Now, there isn’t one answer for everyone. The main rule is to begin with where you are. Take note of your fitness level and your goals and increase and improve slowly. There really is no quick fix (at least no quick fix that will give you lasting long-term results).
Always consider what is reasonably sustainable for you, based on:
What is your long-term fitness goal?
What else is going on in your life (i.e. how much time do you really have)?
What is your current state of fitness?
But don’t stop there!
As you create a sustainable exercise habit, it will start getting easier. So, don’t forget to make it a bit more challenging as you go. Every week do something to push yourself a bit farther than you were before. If you’re strength training, do another repetition or grab the next heavier weight. If you’re doing cardio, go a bit longer, farther, and/or faster.
A great motivational tool is to log your workouts. A simple notepad or workbook (or app) will do! Just enter your reps, sets, and/or times each time you workout. This will not only help you to keep motivated to continue, but it will also help you see where you can squeeze in that extra challenge as you progress.
After several weeks you can stop and evaluate. Keep going the way you are, ramp it up, or change it completely. Eventually, you will find yourself getting stronger, and more fit!
DON’T FORGET YOUR NUTRITION
While exercise is very, very good for your health, wellness and longevity, it’s not the only thing to consider. What you eat is going to have as big, or bigger, impact on your shape.
Some of my favorite super-simple tips that give you the biggest “bang for your buck” are:
Eat more veggies
Swap the soda for soda water with fruit
Cut your treats and sweets in half (and hide half) before indulging
Reduce the serving size of your main meals (try using a smaller plate)
Eat slower and savor it more by chewing each bite of food more thoroughly
arry around healthy (unsweetened fiber-rich) snacks like nuts, fruit and berries
You don’t need to exercise like crazy to get into shape. I promise! But you do need to do the following:
Start from where you are, and don’t go overboard.
If you’re a beginner, that means 10 - 20 minutes every other day at an easy level.
Log your workout progress to track improvements and keep motivated.
Slowly increase the difficulty every week as you get stronger and fitter.
Don’t forget to eat your veggies, reduce your serving sizes (especially treats) and carry around healthy snacks.
Talk with your doctor before beginning any new exercise or nutrition program.
At Shanti Wellness Centre, we believe in providing high quality, natural, skin care product. With most of our shelves filled with the Eminence Organic Skin Care products, many customers may not be aware what they need for their skin type or what steps are required for healthy skin.
For basic essential skin care, you only require the following 4 steps:
Cleanse: Choose a cleanser suited for your skin type. Place a pea size amount on your hand, add water to activate and apply to face in a circular motion for 30 seconds. Remove with a damp cloth then rinse thoroughly. This action will remove dirt, pollution and impurities from the skin’s surface and prepare it for toning and moisturizing.
Tone: Toners are important to balance the natural pH of your skin and to infuse your skin with natural vitamins and minerals. Apply 1 to 2 sprays covering your entire face and leave on. Your skin will feel rejuvenated with each spray with the added aromatherapy benefit.
Moisturize: Choose a moisturizer suited to your skin type. Hydrate and soften the skin with a moisturizer suited to your skin type. Even oily skins need a light moisturizer to keep skin soft and supple. Apply a layer of moisturizer over the entire face and neck area and leave on. Using a small amount, spread over entire face and neck. For a lighter treatment add water.
Night Care: If you want to diminish the signs of aging, hydrate your with moisture-rich products that deeply nourish and support your skin’s natural renewal process while you sleep. By using active natural ingredients, you’ll wake up with a bright, radiant and more youthful looking complexion.
This routine takes less time than brushing your teeth. You can easily cleanse your face while showering, then add toner and moisturizer in 30 seconds!
If you’d like enhanced skin care then you require more products, and some do not have to be applied daily.
Enhanced Skin Care
Exfoliate: It is important to exfoliate your skin at least once or twice per week to help remove dead skin cells and dirt that can dull your complexion. To exfoliate, first cleanse the skin, then apply the exfoliant suited to your skin type and allow to stay on for 5 minutes. Use a face cloth moistened with lukewarm water to gently scrub off the remaining exfoliant.
Mask & Treat: Find a mask suited to your skin type or to the condition that you are treating. Emulsify a small amount of the mask in your hand with a few drops of water and apply evenly over the entire face and neck areas as well as the décolleté. Allow the mask to dry for 5–10 minutes. Use a face cloth moistened with lukewarm water to gently scrub off the mask using a circular motion. Rinse thoroughly with clear water, and pat skin dry. This step can be done once or twice a week and a mask helps to draw out impurities from your pores.
Prevent & Correct: Remedy specific skin care concerns, such as lack of firmness, acne or rosacea, with an active serum, booster-serum, concentrate or oil. Once you experience the benefits of this step you’ll want to continue to include this essential step in your daily routine. Apply your treatment after toner in a thin layer and leave on.
Eye Care: Using a gentle tapping motion, apply a small amount of eye cream to the contour area around the eyes, taking care not to tug the delicate skin around the eye area. This step could also be become part of your daily routine.
Book an express organic facial consult for $25 only and we’ll get you on board. When you purchase skin care products after the consult, we will reimburse the $25 towards the product.
What is Shatavari Powder and How Does It Help Hot Flashes?
Are you a woman who's going though menopause? Are hot flashes keeping you up at night?
We want to share with you some of the comments we’ve had from our clients about a herbal powder, Shatavari, which comes from asparagus. We’ve had few women add it in their smoothie and they claim within five to seven days, their hot flashes are reduced, if not completely eliminated and they can sleep better at night.
Benefits: • A healthy female reproductive system • Healthy levels of breast milk production • Could naturally balance female hormones • Supportive of male reproductive system • Soothing effect on the digestive tract • Healthy peristalsis of bowels • Promotes healthy energy levels and strength • Supports the immune system • Natural antioxidant properties
Who is it for? • Menopausal women • Women who are breastfeeding • Anyone wanting to boost their reproductive system
Contradictions? • Should not be used by anyone allergic to asparagus as it could have a diuretic effect.
Disclaimer If you have other health concerns, and you’re not sure if you should be taking a herbal supplement, please talk to your doctor first and let them know what this is about before you consume it.
I've teamed up with new friends at Reviews.com to share some helpful information about choosing the best yoga mat for you and your practice. Keep reading below for their top tips on choosing the right yoga mat. Then head over to Reviews.com to find out their top picks for 2017. They pulled together a team of over 100 yoga professionals to test 30 yoga mats, and they've posted their favourites HERE.
Choosing the Right Yoga Mat for You
Choosing a yoga mat simply comes down to your preferences, your needs, and your practice. As it should be, not all yoga mats are created equal, and there are variables you will want to consider before purchasing your own yoga mat. First things first, let’s start with the basics.
Do I even need a yoga mat? Sounds kind of ridiculous given the nature of the article, but with mat rentals available at just about every yoga studio, many may question the need in owning one.
The truth is, no, you don’t need a yoga mat to practice yoga. In fact, the whole phenomenon of practicing on a mat is relatively new. In today’s day and age, and when practicing in traditional studios, it’s advised to practice on a yoga mat, and one of your own for that matter. Yoga mats not only provide traction against sweaty palms, but also represent personal space. And yoga teachers agree, while mats are not mandatory, you should absolutely use one in class for safety reasons.
Yoga Mat Materials to Consider
The material the mat is made from dictates its stickiness, durability, comfort, texture, and whether or not it’s friendly for the environment. Yoga mat material is a matter of personal preference, beliefs, and how it reacts to your body.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC):This is the stuff that keeps slippage to a minimum, is durable, and provides the most “give.” A concern with PVC, without going into too much detail, is that it contains phthalates — substances that have been linked to health issues and negative impacts on the environment.
Cotton: A cotton mat helps to absorb sweat and can increase grip when wet, but doesn’t provide a lot of give. Recycled, natural rubber: It may not be as sticky as a PVC mat, but will still provide great grip. Those with a latex allergy, however, will want to avoid this type of mat.
Jute: Made from fiber of a jute plant, this stuff keeps you in place due to Polymer Environmental Resin (PER), a nontoxic material. Jute has the added bonus of having antimicrobial properties for those extra-sweaty practices.
Bamboo, cork, and hemp: These are some other natural fiber mats to consider.
Other Factors to Think About Before Buying a Yoga Mat
Aside from materials, there are a slew of other factors that go into choosing the best yoga mat for your practice.
Open- versus closed-cell structure There are two other factors to consider when it comes to mat material: closed-cell and open-cell structure. Open-cell mats absorb sweat and oils, which keeps grip even under wet conditions. This, however, also makes your mat harder to clean. Closed- cell mats don’t absorb moisture, which makes these great for cleanliness, but also makes slipping easier.
Density, thickness, & weight The density of a mat will determine your comfort level, the support of joints, and stability in balancing poses. If a mat is too thin, kneeling poses may not be comfortable. But if a mat has too much cushion and not enough density, the connection to the earth may be lost; balance poses may feel unstable; and wrists, knees, and hip joints may be distressed. Generally, the thickness of a mat ranges from 1/16 to 1/4 of an inch thick. The thickness and density of the mat determines its weight, and weight of a yoga mat can be under two pounds (making it easy to trek and travel with) and upward of 10 pounds.
Durability The durability of a mat will dictate whether it will withstand thousands of surya namaskars (sun salutations) for years to come with minimal wear and tear. Some mats, like the Manduka Pro and Manduka PROlite, offer a lifetime guarantee. Natural rubber and some eco-friendly mats will hold up well. However, lack of proper care (like failing to clean them or leaving them in a hot car), and using them in the outdoors or heated environments can cause the material to break down rather quickly.
Price Like many other things, you’re going to get what you pay for, and this certainly applies to yoga mats. The price of yoga mats range from $10 to over $100, which is a considerably wide margin. The lower price range can typically be found in big-name department stores, but it means you probably won’t be investing in a reliable, quality mat. The price tag increases with brand name and materials used. Just know that a quality mat is well worth the investment.
Yoga style & location Take into consideration the type of yoga and where you’ll most frequently be practicing before making the purchase, since the best type of mat can vary based on the style of class. For example, comfort and cushion may be a higher priority when practicing a more restorative yoga. For styles such as Bikram and other hot yoga classes, you won’t necessarily need a sticky mat, but you may look for a mat (or invest in a towel) that absorbs sweat and is easy to clean. For more vigorous styles of yoga, like power yoga and ashtanga, you’ll want to look for a mat with a no-slip grip to provide traction once you begin to drench yourself in sweat.
Length & size This one is pretty simple: You’ll want to make sure a yoga mat covers your whole body when lying down. If you’re buying a mat online, make sure to look at the measurements. If you’re in a store, ask if you can lie down on the mat to test it out.
What makes a good yoga mat?
The question isn’t necessarily what makes a good yoga mat, but what qualities in a yoga mat make you feel good in a practice designed to make you feel good. A good yoga mat is relative to the individual. If you want to invest in a high-quality yoga mat, I’ve outlined the most important features below.
The 8 Most Important Features
Durability and longevity —A yoga mat’s ability to withstand even the toughest of practices over time.
Comfort and support —Just enough cushioning for your joints can reduce squirming in kneeling postures and provide padding for impact, but not so much that it compromises support.
Stability —A firm, dense mat can help you feel stable throughout standing and balancing poses.
Portability —Consider how much travel you will be doing with your mat. A mat’s weight and size will dictate whether or not it is toteable. Since most people walk, bike, and travel to class, an easy-to-carry mat is an important feature.
Traction and stickiness —It’s important for a mat to provide traction both to keep you from slipping and in staying connected to the ground. The last thing you want is for your mat to function as a Slip N’ Slide.
Texture —Mats have different surfaces, but most yogis agree that it’s best to have a mat that feels most natural.
Environmental consideration —Buying an eco-friendly yoga mat is important to many practitioners. If this holds true to you, consider purchasing a mat made from all-natural materials.
Size —Your yoga mat should cover the length and width of your entire body. Not every yoga mat comes in various widths and sizes, so make sure to check measurements before purchasing.
Now it's time to head over to Reviews.com to find out their top picks for 2017. Namaste.
Are willpower and self-control the real solution to low energy and high weight?
It might actually be your (powerful) hormones.
And we’re not just talking about sex hormones here; we’re talking about the hormones that directly affect your blood sugar, metabolism, and appetite. Things that actually control your energy and weight.
Let’s go over a few of the critical links between your hormones, and how they affect your energy and weight. The links may be stronger than you think.
WHAT ARE HORMONES
Having healthy, happy hormones is all around the “health waves” these days.
And for good reason! Your hormones are part of the master control system of your entire body.
Hormones are compounds made by one part of the body that are used to communicate with another part. For example, insulin is made in the pancreas. When your blood sugar gets too high, insulin is released into the bloodstream. Then, it goes to your muscles and other cells to tell them to absorb that sugar out of the blood (and if there is still too much blood sugar, it signals to store it as fat).
Your hormones control not only your blood sugar, but also your metabolism and appetite (plus a host of other things). And you probably know that having healthy blood sugar, metabolism and appetite is a foundation for your optimal energy and weight.
So, how can your hormones get out of whack to zap your energy and pile up the pounds?
COMMON HORMONAL IMBALANCES
In optimal health, your hormones would work great, and you’d have ample energy and be a good healthy weight.
But often there are problems with this whole setup. One common issue is that there may be too much or too little hormone released to have the desired effect. This is known as hypo- or hyper- “hormone” (i.e. hypo- or hyperthyroidism).
Another common issue is that, even if the right amount of hormone is released, the cells they communicate with can start ignoring them. This is known as hormone “resistance” (i.e. insulin resistance).
As you can imagine, if your hormones have such critical jobs, including controlling blood sugar, metabolism and appetite, they can definitely cause issues with your energy and weight.
HORMONES AND ENERGY
Your metabolism is key for controlling your energy. Metabolism itself is basically how much energy (calories) you burn. One of the main players of this is...you guessed it! Your thyroid hormones.
Your thyroid releases hormones that affect the metabolism of all the cells in your body. If it’s too low and your metabolism goes down (hypothyroid), you may feel cold, hungry and tired. If it’s too high and your metabolism is too fast (hyperthyroid), you may feel hot, jittery and lose weight.
What you actually want is an ideal metabolism, ideal energy use, ideal temperature, and an ideal weight. Your thyroid hormones are the master controller here.
HORMONES AND WEIGHT
Your weight may be controlled by hormones more than you think! Insulin controls your blood sugar, and whether that sugar is going to be stored as fat or not. And when your blood sugar is too low, you may start craving sugar and carbs.
You also have hormones that control your appetite! How hungry and how full you feel are controlled by the hormones ghrelin & leptin. When those get out of whack, you may find yourself wanting to eat because your body thinks you’re hungry and not satisfied...even if that’s not true.
And craving food (especially sugary ones) and not feeling full are going to be huge drives for you to eat more. Even if your body doesn’t truly need it, the hormonal signals tell you that you do.
Also, remember that stress hormone - cortisol? When it’s too high for too long, it tells your body to store fat. And not just any fat - belly fat!
SUMMARY AND WHAT YOU CAN DO
Your body is very complex and uses hormones to control a huge number of functions. They control your blood sugar, metabolism, and appetite, amongst others. And these directly affect how much energy you feel, how much you weigh, and even where your body fat is stored.
Here are a few “hormone stabilizing” tips that might help you with your energy and weight:
Get regular exercise to use up excess blood sugar before your insulin has your body store it as fat
Try stress-relieving activities like deep breathing, meditation or even coloring to reduce your (belly-fat inducing) cortisol
Support your thyroid with iodine-containing sea vegetables, fish, legumes, or even an egg
Balance your blood sugar with extra fiber
Reduce blood sugar spikes by replacing your juice or soda with fruit-infused water
If you need some support with your weight, contact us for a free strategy session to see how we can help you
If you're on a low carb or ketogenic or even Paleo lifestyle then you'll love this quick recipe and substitute for rice. I grew up eating rice so I do miss it sometimes, but having the flavour of Indian spices in cauliflower, makes up for it!
When I found out I had breast cancer I felt like a fraud or imposter. I owned a wellness centre and taught others how to be well and heal, but here I was battling cancer. So many of my clients were supportive and thought I was insane to think this way, but this is how we bash ourselves up don’t we?
I decided to discard this imposter mindset and adopt a resilient mindset, and continued using natural health products, like essential oils, during my treatments because I know how powerful they can be when used aromatically and topically.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are in the plant and are extracted by distillation (steam, steam/water and water) or expression (also known as cold pressing). However, essential oils are constantly changing their chemical composition in the plant and helping the plant to adapt to the ever-changing internal and external environment. They are also known as the life force of the plant. Research has shown that plants produce essential oils for a variety of purposes:
Attract pollinators and dispersal agents.
To serve as defense compounds against insects and other animals.
To protect the plant by their antifungal and antibacterial nature.
Watch this interview with Dr. Alishia Alibhai where she explains very simply what essential oils are and how they help:
History of Essential Oils
“The way to health is to have an aromatic bath and a scented massage every day,” advised Hippocrates around 400 BC. He was referring to the value of aromatic plants in health and wellbeing.
The use of aromatic plants is the oldest form of medicine, but they were also used for overall health, beauty, and for spiritual practice. These products became the basis for ointments and healing balms in herbal medicinal traditions, as well as fragrant perfumes and incense.
I remember when I’d get a cold or cough, my mother would give me cloves or clove water. When I’d have an ear ache she’d add garlic oil inside my ear. When I got married, I had to sit in a room where I was pampered as if I was royalty in a Turkish bath infused with fragrant oils.
What I Used and When?
If you or someone you know is going through surgery or cancer, consult with your doctor because I’m neither a doctor nor a certified aromatherapist. I consulted with a certified aromatherapist who gave me instructions on what to use. I was so impressed with the healing properties that my husband and I decided to create our line of aromatherapy products called SHANTI. This includes essential oils, natural skin care for problem skin, and natural hair care.
I decided to have a lumpectomy (partial mastectomy), but I ended up going under the blade twice because they didn’t get the whole tumor out the first time. At my follow-up appointment with my surgeon, she was so impressed with the healing and asked what I had been doing!
I used Lavender essential oil on my wound every day after I showered.
LAVENDER is calming, pain relieving and anti-spasmodic. It is anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, antifungal, and antibacterial. It’s widely known for use on sunburns, scrapes, cuts and insect bites.
HELICHRYSUM oil has a powerful, rich, floral, tea-like scent that comforts, lessens the effect of shock, phobias and improves the flow of energy through the body. It helps promote
cell growth, heal scars and skin tissue.
Either of these work for healing wounds.
It’s normal to get anxious or nervous before chemotherapy. I used positive self-talk, law of attraction principles, talked to my supporters, but I also used an anxiety release blend to calm me down. I rolled the blend on my temples, my neck - fron and back, top of my forehead and wrists.
As I rolled the oil in these areas, I’d say the following affirmations:
I’m going to be fine during chemotherapy and will feel nothing as the medication enters through an IV.
I’ll have very minimal side effects, if any, and I’ll be able to deal with it.
After ChemotherapyI had four chemotherapy treatments every three weeks, and my symptoms were worst after the first one. I explain what symptoms I went through and what I did about them in this video:
The most common symptoms for anyone going through chemotherapy is nausea, fatigue and lack of appetite. I quickly learned after my first chemotherapy that I had to plan ahead to ensure the symptoms don’t get worse. I was grateful that after my second, third and fourth chemotherapy treatment, I only suffered lack of appetite, fatigue and loose bowels for 3-5 days.
I used the following essential oils in a diffuser to help build my immune system.
FRANKINCENSE is considered a “holy” oil, this ritual oil is often used during religious ceremonies and very effective at clearing up mucous and regulating its secretion. It’s known to be a great oil for use during labour and in cases of post-natal depression.
MEDIEVAL THYMES is legendary blend and considered to be antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial and antiseptic because it has a combination of oils:
Clove Bud - A strong, spicy and penetrating aroma. It has a positive and stimulating effect on the mind, alleviating depression. It also helps with sinusitis, asthma and bronchitis.
Lemon - A familiar fresh, clean fragrance used for calming the emotions. Stimulates mental activity, increasing concentration and memory. Excellent antibacterial/disinfectant properties that can be used to soothe throat infections.
Cinnamon - This familiar warm aroma is a great mind and body revitaliser, helping to alleviate exhaustion, depression and weakness. Assists in digestive issues.
Eucalyptus - A strong medicinal fragrance that aids concentration. Used in a number of respiratory remedies. Its antiviral properties help fight colds, flu and ease breathing, headaches, muscular aches and pains. Do not use if you have high blood pressure or are taking homeopathic medication.
Rosemary - This fragrance provides mental awareness and clarity. It strengthens the nervous system, stabilizes emotions and minimizes mood swings.
Thyme - The supportive and fortifying nature of Thyme is gently empowering, helping you overcome physical, emotional and mental exhaustion by improving clarity and memory. It clears the respiratory system of catarrh and helps digestion.
Myrrh - An ancient spiritual oil used in purification processes that was said to deepen one’s connection to the universe. Provides a sense of strength, stability and courage. This oil has a “grounding” effect on the psyche, easing fear.
My radiation oncologist suggested I use Glaxo Base after every radiation treatment, but I asked her if I could use organic creams and essential oils instead. At first, she was hesitant but after showing her my breast two weeks into treatment she was happy with the results.
I had a treatment daily for sixteen days, not including weekends. After each treatment, I’d use Eminence Organic Skin Care Rosehip & Lemongrass Soothing Hydrator.
My skin was fine until the last five treatments where it turned red. It didn’t hurt or feel burned, but it was tender. During this time, we had ordered a new product for our wellness centre, from our aromatherapy supplier, called Holy Grail. This blend includes Frankincense, Myrrh and Turmeric in Hemp Seed oil. The therapeutic oils in this ancient recipe have been used to help support health and wellness in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for more than 4000 years.
I decided to use the body oil on my breast daily and noticed a huge difference just within two weeks. I’m so impressed with this product that we’ve decided to bring it on-line soon!
Life will throw us curveballs, but it is our job to find the resources to cope so we can stay resilient. When my surgeon told me that breast cancer is 80 to 90% curable, I hung on to those words like a person being thrown a line when they feel like they’re drowning. I’m not sure why, but I reminded myself of those words every time someone told me how sorry they were that I had breast cancer. I reminded them that its 90% curable and I wasn’t going anywhere.
Being resilient is not only about coping, but its about building your inner strength so you can keep functioning when the tide is high and the current is sweeping you in another direction. I found the use of essential oils an important resource during my journey and it helped me cope tremendously.
Aromatherapy A Guide for The Use of Therapeutic Essential Oils by Colour Energy and Ashbury’s Aromatherapy The Beginner’s book of Essential Oils by Christine J Dalziel
During these cold winter months in Alberta, soups keep us warm. However, I find that adding starchy and sweet vegetables like butternut squash and sweet potatoes gives me that extra energy and satisfaction that I can't seem to find with broth soups.
I've added curry spices so it gives that aromatic flavour and little kick in the taste buds.
I usually bake the butternut and sweet potato the day before so its already cooled down in the refrigerator and easy to blend and whip up the next day.
Remember, you can always freeze the soup in batches and enjoy it for those quick lunches!