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Ways To Get A More Restful Sleep!

Healthy sleep habits can make a big difference in the quality of your life. Follow these sleep practices on a consistent basis to achieve a more restful sleep!

  1. Stick to a sleep schedule of the same bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends. This will help regulate your body’s natural alarm clock, and has also been shown to help you fall asleep (and stay asleep) throughout the night.
  2. Create a relaxing bedtime ritual. A relaxing pre-bedtime routine will help allow your body to wind down and welcome in the time for rest. This routine can include staying away from bright lighting and opting for a rock salt lamp or dim lamp instead, turning on a diffuser with lavender-scented essential oil, a warm bath, reading a good book in bed, or a cup of cozy chamomile tea.
  3. If you have trouble falling asleep, avoid naps! Power napping may help you get through the day, but can deter you from falling asleep at nighttime and throw off your natural sleep schedule/internal clock.
  4. Exercise daily for a more restful sleep. Exercising will help you expend any extra energy and allows you to release any built-up negative thoughts in a positive outlet, leaving you in a more relaxed state. If cardio and weight-lifting aren’t your style, try yoga classes. A deep-stretch or flow class would be perfect to get your body relaxed before bed.
  5. Check the temperature and noise in your room. Studies show sleeping in a cool room provides for a better night’s rest. Temperatures between 60 – 67 degrees are optimum for the best sleeping conditions. Your bedroom should also be free from any noise that can disturb your sleep (this includes your partner’s snoring.) Consider ear plugs, humidifiers, fans, or “white noise” machines.
  6. Keep it dark! Block out light with black out curtains and an eye mask.
  7. Sleep on a comfortable mattress and use a comfortable pillow. Make sure your mattress is supportive; mattress life expectancy is about 9 – 10 years. It’s important to invest in a good mattress, since you’ll be using it nightly!

Sources: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-tools-tips/healthy-sleep-tips

Mindfulness Tips

Make mindfulness a part of your everyday life with these simple tips & tricks!

  1. Increase your awareness. Engaging your senses can help you become more aware, which will also help you on your path to mindfulness. You can do this by giving yourself a hug, playing with a pet, smelling a flower, or taking a relaxing bath. If your mind and body feel really out of line, then choose to do something bigger such as swimming, going for a nature walk, or even touching something extremely cold to give yourself a jolt back into your body and out of your head.
  2. Make gratitude a part of your daily routine. Turn your Instagram feed into a visual gratitude diary, create a gratitude jar, or make a list of 10 things you are grateful for each morning (or night.) Practicing gratitude keeps you aware of what is making you happy and/or what you’re grateful for in that moment, which supports the idea of being present.
  3. Take 10 minutes to do nothing. Andy Puddicombe, meditation and mindfulness expert, explains the present moment as, “Not being lost in thought, not being distracted, not being overwhelmed by difficult emotions but instead learning how to be in the here and now; how to be mindful, how to be present. I think the present moment is so underrated. It sounds so ordinary and yet we spend so little time in the present moment that it’s anything but ordinary.” Give your brain a 10 minute timeout so you can refresh your mind and keep it working at its best.
  4. Check out the Headspace app, created by Andy Puddicombe. The app allows you to work mindfulness into your everyday life. Watch this short video for more information on Headspace. https://youtu.be/kEpOF7vUymc
  5. Watch the world go by. There’s something pleasant about people-watching; sitting in a cafe, watching people go by, imagining who they are, their hobbies, or what they do for a living. Taking time out of your day to people-watch is an activity rooted in mindfulness. You are taking a step outside of yourself to observe other people in that exact moment in time.
  6. Take control of your thoughts. Mindfulness means appreciating each second and giving yourself entirely to the exact moment you’re currently in. Experience each moment and enjoy it.

Information sourced from: https://www.bustle.com/articles/113549-7-tips-to-practice-mindfulness-reasons-why-you-should

Healthy Pumpkin Pie Recipe!

With Halloween right around the corner, curb treat cravings with this delicious Healthy Pumpkin Pie recipe! Only 141 calories per serving (room for seconds anyone?) Yum!

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
  • 1 (13.5 oz) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp ground flax
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • Pinch of pure Stevia (or 2 tbsp extra brown sugar)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 F. Blend all ingredients together until smooth, then pour into a prepared pie crust (view recipe below) in a 10-inch round pan. Bake 27 minutes (it will still be underdone after this time, which is okay!) Let it cool, then refrigerate at least 5 hours uncovered for the pie to thicken and “set.”

Crust Recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar of choice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2-4 tbsp water

Preheat oven to 200 F. In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Add oil and stir. Add water as needed until it just sticks together but is not gummy. Press evenly into a 10-inch pie pan. Put the crust in the oven and immediately increase the temperature to 350 F. (The crust will rise, just press the pie crust back down afterwards.) Bake 15 minutes. Let cool.

Calories per serving: 141

Recipe sourced from: https://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2013/11/04/healthy-pumpkin-pie-recipe/

Tips for a Safe Halloween!

With Halloween right around the corner, browse through these tips to ensure a fun (and safe!) Halloween for all.

  • Make or purchase costumes in a light material for better visibility.
  • Place strips of reflective tape on the front and back of costumes.
  • Dress for the weather, add layers if needed.
  • Bring a flashlight and cell phone.
  • Carry a white bag or pillowcase for candy, and attach reflective tape as well.
  • Always travel in groups.
  • Use the sidewalk as much as possible.
  • Don’t eat any treats before you get home and can check them out in good lighting.
  • Leave on the outside lights for visitors.
  • Remember that some children have allergies; stickers are a great alternative!

Pumpkin Spice Trail Mix!

Adding pumpkin to just about anything screams “fall is here,” and trail mix is a great way to munch on the good-for-you squash. After you’ve whipped up this treat, divvy it into servings for a perfectly portable snack.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Sucanat or whole cane sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup unsalted whole almonds
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsalted pecan halves
  • 1 cup roasted salted pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tbsp all-natural apple juice
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cup raisins

Directions:

Preheat oven to 250°. Mix Sucanat, cinnamon, paprika, and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl. Set aside. Place almonds, oats, pecans, pepitas, and walnuts in large bowl. Mix together pumpkin puree and apple juice; pour over nut mixture and toss until nuts are evenly coated. Sprinkle with spice mixture, tossing to coat well. Spread evenly on two baking pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, stirring halfway through cook time. Cool completely. Stir in cranberries and raisins. Store in airtight container. Delish!

Recipe via: https://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/snacks/healthy/fall-snack-recipes/

October Don’t Get Sick Challenge

Don’t Get Sick Challenge

Happy October 1st! For the month of October, join us in our Don’t Get Sick Challenge. We will be posting daily tips and reminders to avoid getting sick as we head into the colder weather. Keep healthy with us, as our Naturopathic Clinic staff will be participating as well.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Get moving! Your immune system responds to exercise by producing more of the blood cells that attack bacterial invaders. And the more regularly you exercise, the more long-lasting the changes become. Research shows that people who exercise moderately 5 or 6 days a week catch half as many colds and sore throats as people who don’t.
  • Stay away from sugar! Just 10 teaspoons of sugar, the amount in two 12-ounce cans of pop, impairs the ability of white blood cells to deactivate or kill bacteria. Instead opt for a natural sweetener, such as one made from the stevia plant to boost the immune system.
  • Make room for mushrooms!  Experts explain the rare Reishi mushroom fungus stimulates the production of T-cells, white blood cells involved in protecting the body from infection. It increases levels of substances that strengthen the immune response. It also promotes sleep and reduces stress by suppressing the production of the stimulant hormone, adrenaline.

Ways To Relax (5 minutes or less!)

Ways To Relax (in 5 minutes or less!)

  1. Sip green tea – Herbal green tea contains a source of L-Theanine, a chemical that helps relieve anger.
  2. Meditate – All it takes is five minutes of peace to reap the benefits of meditation. Find a comfortable spot in a quiet place, concentrate on your breath, and feel your anxiety disappear.
  3. Remember your breathing – Slow, deep breaths can lower blood pressure and heart rate.
  4. Rub your feet over a golf ball – Get an impromptu foot massage by rubbing your feet back and forth over a golf ball.
  5. Nosh on chocolate – A square of dark chocolate can help calm nerves, regulate levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and stabilize the metabolism. (And it’s delicious.)
  6. Drip cold water on your wrists – When stress hits, head for the sink and drop cold water on your wrists & behind your earlobes. There are major arteries right underneath the skin, so cooling these areas can help calm the entire body.
  7. Find the sun – If it’s a sunny day, head outside for an easy way to lift your spirits.
  8. Stretch – Take a few minutes to stand up for a quick stretch, which will help relieve muscle tension and relax your body during a busy work day.
  9. Write it down – Putting our emotions on paper can make them seem less intimidating. Try journalling to get your thoughts out.
  10. Try aromatherapy – Drip some lavender, tea tree, or spearmint oil into your palm and inhale. The soothing scents help quiet anxiety and stress by stimulating smell receptors in the nose that connect to the part of the brain that regulates emotions.

 

Courtesy of: https://greatist.com/happiness/40-ways-relax-5-minutes-or-less

Back To School Immune Boosting Tips

Back to School can mean opening ourselves up to colds, the flu, and feeling run down. It’s important to keep our immune systems boosted as we head into the colder months. The following tips will help you stay healthy and combat upcoming flu season.

  1. Boost your immune system by adding nutrient-rich foods such as citrus fruits, garlic, ginger, chicken noodle soup, sweet potatoes, yams, tea, and mushrooms.
  2. The changing seasons calls for changes in our sleep patterns as well. Increase the number of hours of sleep you get per night to strengthen your immune system.
  3. Decrease caffeine intake to avoid insomnia, nervousness, irritability, and digestive issues. Caffeine also affects the adrenal glands production of cortisol, and increased cortisol can lead to a compromised immune system.
  4. Take Vitamin-C, a common immune-booster, which will help fight off infection and speed up recovery.
  5. Drink herbal teas infused with Echinacea Root or Elderberry to help ward off colds.
  6. Use eucalyptus oil in a diffuser or add a few drops to coconut oil and rub into the back and front of chest. Eucalyptus helps with chest and sinus congestion.
  7. Remember proper hand-washing for effective cold prevention!

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PRESCRIBING RIGHTS FOR NATUROPATHIC PHYSICIANS:

Dr. Alison Vandekerkhove and Dr. Cathryn Coe are  now licensed to prescribe scheduled drug medications. This prescriptive authority allows patients of Naturopathic doctors access to controlled medicines that are dispensed through pharmacies. This service will be important for many of the people in our community who use Naturopathic doctors for their primary care, as they do not have a family medical doctor. Naturopathic Physicians who are licensed to prescribe will not be able to prescribe federally controlled substances such as opiates, benzodiazepines, and amphetamines.