Do you really need to detox?

Originally published in the White Rock Sun, Dec 2015. Detoxification diets aim to cleanse the body of food that is often “contaminated” by various unnecessary, potentially harmful ingredients. This includes processed sugars and other highly processed foods, trans-fats, added salt, food colourings, pesticides, preservatives and other chemicals. Common sense should tell us not to eat these foods. Yet we do. And then we think a "detox diet” is going to fix in and get to the root of the problem. Nope. Detox advocates claim a toxic sludge or mucoid plaque builds up in the colon, making it a breeding ground for parasites, yeasts like Candida, and even “rope worms.” But a "build-up" of mucoid plaqu

Smart Meters: Better safe than sorry

Originally published in Personal Health Newsletter, April 2013 and The White Rock Sun, Feb 2013. The World Health Organization has reclassified radio frequency electromagnetic fields (EMF’s) as a Class 2B carcinogen risk, possibly carcinogenic to humans. They claim high levels of exposure to electric and magnetic fields in frequencies of up to 100 kilohertz can affect the nervous system, resulting in acute health effects. The frequencies emitted from Smart Meters (approximately 60 kilohertz, say some sources) coupled with several other items we use daily (cell phones, cordless phones, computers, etc.) put many of us at higher than the ‘safe’ exposure limit of EMF’s. We should be concerned wi

Say no to CFL bulbs

Originally published in Personal Health Newsletter, July 2011 and The White Rock Sun, May 2011 Curly, compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL’s) are marketed as being long-lasting, cost effective and environmentally friendly. Some users find an inconsistency among manufacturers in how long the bulbs actually last (not very long, for some brands). But a bigger concern is; are they really friendly to the environment and our health? All CFL’s contain mercury and must be disposed of at designated recycling centres. In a society where people don’t pick up after their dogs, do we really think everyone will dispose of CFL’s properly? And what about remote communities where there are no CFL recycling d

Surprising calcium sources

Add a new, high calcium food to your diet: Little-known as a calcium source, Poppy seeds provide 126 mg calcium in one tablespoon. You can find them in any health food or grocery store (check the baking aisles). Alternate poppy seeds with other seeds you may be currently using – flax, sesame, chia, or hemp. Sprinkle them on your fresh fruit or mix into yogurt. Add them to your salads or your cooked, whole grains. Incidentally, don’t worry about the opium alkaloids, such as morphine, in poppy seeds. You’d have to eat them in large amounts for it to affect your nervous system. But it’s still wise to be sensible with your intake as they are high in fat. One tablespoon is a serving. And always v

Tips to lower chlorine in tap water

Originally published in The White Rock Sun, Feb 1, 2016 and The Peace Arch News, Feb 12, 2016. For those not comfortable drinking chlorinated tap water, here are some tips that may help ease any worries. If you have the budget, look into installing a whole-house water filtration system. Costs can run up to $1,500 (or more). That doesn’t include the replacement filters that last up to 6 months. Single-tap counter top or under-counter water filter systems average from $150 to $500, but the filters need changing more often. Ultraviolet Light (UV) is also effective to remove chlorine from water supplies. Whole-House UV Light Sterilizers start at about $500. Another option is self-standing water

Cutting back on eating bread

I’ve always believed bread is just another highly refined food. And that’s why I won’t eat any type of 'bread.' I prefer to cook the whole grain on the stove (similar to cooking rice) and eat it this way – before it becomes 'flour.' I don’t force or expect anyone to follow my eating habits and beliefs, but I do help coach my clients to try and reduce the amount of refined (or changed) foods they eat, like bread and anything else made of flour. However, some find it challenging to change the habit of wanting to “hold a sandwich.” Here are a few tricks I used, when I was weaning myself of sandwich-eating over thirty years ago . . . Thinly-slice the non-seed end of a butternut squash (shown at

Make the best choices for good health

Make the best choices We were sitting in a café, a new friend and I, having a late afternoon visit. “I’m going to try a new product that’s just come out – it’s got ginseng and ginkgo biloba in it,” she said to me, as she added sugar to her coffee. “Why are you wanting to use it?” I asked. “I’m so tired all the time and lately I haven’t been able to think clearly. This product is supposed to perk you up and make you more alert.” My friend sampled her coffee, made a face, and then added more sugar. “Often just a few changes to the diet improves energy levels,” I suggested. Usually, I avoid giving advice when it’s not asked for (it tends to offend some individuals) but I felt obligated to at le

Practise variety in food choices

HEALTH TIP . . . Choose from a wide variety of foods. If you always eat the same things at each meal, every day, you risk limiting the many nutrients you need to keep you alive. Practise variety: Each time you grocery shop, "change up" a few of the foods you normally buy. Choose something different than you did last time. For example, if you bought salad lettuce last week, buy spinach this week, or another type of lettuce; if it was apples and grapes purchased on your last shopping trip, buy oranges and kiwi this time. Another tip: Introduce a new food on your shopping list whenever you can. Have you tried jicama, starfruit, sorghum (a whole grain), or fresh coconut? And give those foods tha

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