Now Carrying Ozonated Olive Oil

Made in-house, we now carry ozonated olive oil!  Ozonated olive oil is made by bubbling ozone gas produced by a medical grade ozone generator through extra-virgin olive oil.  The ozonation process causes changes in the chemical composition of the oil, which gives it biological properties making it an extremely valuable topical product for health.


Benefits of Ozonated Olive Oil


  1. Natural Antibiotic

Ozone is a powerful antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal.  Ozonated oils treat superficial bacterial, viral and fungal skin infections. It is an effective treatment for ringworm, herpes, cold sores, toenail fungus and chronic skin infections that have become resistant to antibiotic treatments.


  1. Anti-Inflammatory

Ozonated oils become an ultra-pure source of oxygen through the ozonating process. Applying the oil topically, increases the tissue oxygenation.  Well- oxygenated skin is more effective at reducing inflammation and thus helps to treat dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.


  1. Promotes Would Healing

Ozone stimulates the growth of new skin cells, which helps to promote wound healing.  Use of ozonated oil has been shown to accelerate the skin’s natural healing process.


  1. Potential Acne Treatment

Ozone’s ability to lower treatment and combat bacterial overgrowth makes ozonated oils a potential option for individuals with persistent acne and may help get rid of acne scars.


Use of ozonated oils has been shown to effectively eliminate Cutibacterium acnes, the bacterial strain responsible for most acne vulgaris cases.


  1. Anti-Aging Effects

Due to its skin cell regeneration and enhanced oxygenation effects, ozonated oils help to increase the elasticity of the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

A Fall Reading List

As we settle into the season of cozy, I wanted to share some book recommendations with you. I tend to be a non-fiction kind of gal so you’ll find some beautiful thought-provoking reads listed below.


  1. How We Show Up by Mia Birdsong – A truly wonderful book for those who are interested in creating more community.
  2. The Care We Dream Of by Zena Sharman – A read for everyone but a great book for those of us in healthcare. A chapter in this book ponders what healthcare might look like if we had healthcare practitioners who were truly landed in their own bodies before they tend to the bodies of others and that’s when I was hooked!
  3.  Losing Eden by Lucy Jones – A compilation of research and personal stories reflecting on the important connection between us and nature. If you have any doubt how much we rely on nature, please do consider reading this book!
  4. Rest Is Resistance: A Manifesto Hardcover by Tricia Hersey – I can’t think of a better book to sink into as we reach the season of slowing down.
  5. Belonging by Toko-pa Turner – I reread this book every winter and every time, I find a new gem. It is a balm for the soul. I recommend it especially if you are feeling a little lost [aren’t we all from time to time?]


If you’re looking for more, head here to my website to check out my ever-evolving resources page. I also have a podcast playlist that I add to regularly. Feel free to share any of your current favourite reads with our community in the comments below.


Getting Away, to Get Inside

About 10 years ago, on a late Friday afternoon, after a long day of work, and a long week of life as a working mom with two small (at the time 5 and 2), I wearily drove myself out to Lumsden to attend a my first in-person overnight retreat, at a beautiful retreat space in the Qu’Appelle Valley.

It was all I could do to not burst into tears as I checked in with the assistant who was helping run the retreat, assign rooms and hand out keys.

With a choked voice, barely holding back my fragility, I asked him if it would be ok if I skipped the first session, hoping to get some extra time all alone in my room.  I knew I could not interact with anyone in those first few hours, I was just so depleted from life.  And if I did, I would either be snappy and irritated, phony and forcing myself to be upbeat and cheery, or just a blubbering mess.

I stumbled over the threshold of my simple and humble room, collapsed onto the small twin bed, felt grateful for the unadorned nature of this basic room.  Desk, chair, bed, beside table and table lamp.  A shelf and a few hooks for clothing.  A stand for a suitcase.  An adjoining small private bathroom.  Nothing but the basics.  And everything I needed.


You see, I was so exhausted from working so hard.  Trying to please everyone: my at the time husband, my kids, my friends, my patients, my staff, my community.  I thought I engaged in self-care, I exercised every day.  It really was the only way I maintained my mood and sanity through all the busyness, I am sure.  And I am grateful and proud that I had this strategy.  I also ate well, for the most part.  Nourishing smoothies and salads.  But not always enough.

I have since come up with a simple equation for health.

Health = Deposits > Withdrawals.


And it really is that simple.  We can regain, and sustain health provided we constantly have more deposits going into our health ‘account’ than we have withdrawals being made.  Our system can only handle so much.


For me I was making some really great deposits back then: movement, nature and nutrition.  They kept me going for sure.  However I wasn’t as good at getting the “soul care” time that I have since learned is also vital for my well-being.


The quiet times, the naps, meditation, breath work, collapsing into tears, asking for help, letting someone else take care of something! anything!…  taking off my super-heroine cape of “doing”, and being all things to everyone.


When I collapsed onto this small simple bed, in this small simple room, I vowed to do more collapsing in my life.  Setting it all down, so I wouldn’t be so exhausted from retreat to retreat (as I simultaneously vowed to do this again within the year!!  within an hour of being away from my life, I already felt a million times better!).

I vowed to refill my bucket more often, doing things that gave me great joy and were also nourishing.  Simple things, like a nap in the sun; resting with a cup of tea in the mid-afternoon; having a good cry on a good friend’s shoulder; more time in the bathtub.

I realized that so many of what I did I could argue did bring me joy: taking my kids to the park; doing crafts with them; sitting with patients; going for a run; hosting a workshop… which is incredible to live life doing things that one loved!

However I also needed to appreciate that all of these things TAKE energy, and were for others as much as they were for me (aside from the run).

I also needed to appreciate that not everything I did brought me joy all the time.

If my intentions were ‘off’ and I was coming from a place of martyrdom, vs. service, I would be more depleted, as I was likely falling into a people-pleasing, tending to others at my own expense sort of patterning.

These lines are all so fine, and it is not always easy to determine where we are leading from when we are taking action.  Hence another reason why my soul-time, particularly spent journaling, in meditation or in prayer is so helpful.

It helps me distinguish the subtle differences.


In any case, this retreat provided me with such an opportunity for clarity, renewal, connection, sleep, rest, insight, safety, and feeling heard/ held and loved.

I left feeling so restored, lighter, more connected to my Soul Self than I had felt for a long, long time.  And that was only two night away!

I missed my family, but in a different way, a less responsible and guilt-ridden way.. more in a simply missing them way.

I made some commitments to myself to maintain several of the practices I had connected with over the weekend, in order to fill my buckets on a daily and weekly basis.


And so it was, my journey to shifting the balance on my own deposits/ vs withdrawals, and it didn’t take long, a few years, of attending retreats as a participant, before I felt resourced enough to consider actually holding space and offering my own.

I knew the gift that all of the retreat leaders I had had the pleasure of connecting with had given me: comfort, safety, compassion, and the opportunity for renewal and awareness.


It became my honour and pleasure to hold space for others when I started leading my own retreats in 2015.  I have since hosted dozens of women on multiple occasions, and have been witness to some incredible transformation, in only days.  One woman truthfully, unbeknownst to me at the start of the retreat, had been actively making plans to end her life, as life all felt way too much for her, came on the retreat as it was paid for by someone else and guilt wouldn’t let her cancel – and thank God it didn’t – as by the end she was hopeful, reinspired, she had found her laughter again, her lightheartedness, her ability to connect with others and be held.

Stories like that are numerous, and are oxygen that fans my flames of wanting to create these opportunities that can save so many of us.

I know my first retreat did that for me, I was on a fast track to burnout before falling into that weekend.


As such, I remain committed to hosting regular retreats in convenient, close-to-home locations so they are affordable, and accessible, and women just like myself can take advantage of the restorative opportunities to be with like-minded and like-hearted individuals, finding themselves again.


If you are a healthcare professional, or someone working in a helping profession of any sort, you know what it is like to pour forth your energies onto others, and perhaps it is time to be on the receiving end of healing energies for an entire weekend!


If this resonates with you, do consider checking out my upcoming retreat:


To be held in Canmore Alberta this October, from the 20 – 22nd.  Myself and three colleagues are hosting this event, the second annual such gathering, and we hope you can join us!

Embracing the Cold: How Scandinavians Thrive in Chilly Climates and the Immune-Boosting Benefits of Cold Exposure, Heat Shock Proteins, and Immune Health


When you think of Scandinavia, images of stunning fjords, picturesque snowy landscapes, and the mesmerizing Northern Lights often come to mind. However, these countries in Northern Europe are not just known for their natural beauty; they’re also renowned for their unique ability to acclimatize themselves to the cold. In this blog, we’ll explore how Scandinavian nations embrace the cold and discuss the importance of implementing practices like cold showers, ice baths, sauna therapy, snow baths, winter swimming, and outdoor naps for immune health, as well as the remarkable benefits of heat shock proteins (HSPs).


The Scandinavian Cold Adaptation

Scandinavia comprises countries like Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland, where winter temperatures can plummet to bone-chilling levels. Despite the harsh climate, the people of these nations have learned not just to survive but thrive in cold conditions. Here are some key ways in which they adapt:


Outdoor Activities and Diet:

Scandinavians don’t shy away from outdoor activities in winter. They ski, skate, and engage in other winter sports, which not only keep them physically fit but also help them become more cold-adapted. A hearty diet rich in fatty fish, whole grains, and root vegetables provides essential nutrients and keeps energy levels up during the cold months.


Sauna Culture:

Saunas are an integral part of Scandinavian life. Regular sauna sessions help increase blood circulation, relax muscles, and improve overall well-being. Sauna use is often followed by a quick plunge into icy waters or a roll in the snow, which is invigorating and helps build resilience to the cold.


Sauna Therapy: The Magic of Heat Shock Proteins (HSPs)

Sauna therapy is an excellent complement to cold exposure practices, and it comes with its own set of unique benefits, including the activation of heat shock proteins (HSPs).

Heat Shock Proteins (HSPs): HSPs are a group of proteins that play a crucial role in cellular health. When you subject your body to the intense heat of a sauna, it triggers the production of these remarkable proteins. HSPs act as molecular chaperones, helping to repair damaged proteins and maintain cellular homeostasis.

Here’s how sauna therapy benefits from the activation of HSPs:


  • Cellular Health: The production of HSPs helps protect cells from stress and damage, contributing to overall cellular health and longevity.
  • Detoxification: Saunas induce sweating, which is one of the body’s natural ways to eliminate toxins. The increased circulation and sweating in the sauna can help rid your body of harmful substances.
  • Cardiovascular Benefits: Regular sauna use has been associated with improved cardiovascular health, including lower blood pressure and reduced risk of heart disease.
  • Relaxation and Stress Reduction: Saunas promote relaxation and stress reduction, which can have a positive impact on mental health and well-being


Cold Exposure Practices: The Immune-Boosting Secret

One of the most intriguing aspects of Scandinavian cold adaptation is the practice of various cold exposure techniques. These practices, though intimidating to many, offer a range of health benefits, particularly for immune health:


Snow Baths and Winter Swimming:

Scandinavians often take “snow baths” by rolling in freshly fallen snow or lying down and making snow angels in the freezing powder. This practice may seem extreme, but it has several benefits:

  • Improved Circulation: The intense cold of the snow causes blood vessels to constrict, which temporarily reduces blood flow to the skin’s surface. When you warm up again, your blood vessels dilate, causing blood to rush to the skin. This process helps improve circulation and can leave you feeling invigorated.
  • Stress Reduction: The shock of the cold followed by the sensation of warmth can trigger the release of endorphins, promoting stress reduction and an overall sense of well-being.
  • Mental Toughness: Snow baths are as much about mental resilience as they are about physical health. They teach individuals to embrace discomfort and build mental toughness, which can be applied to various aspects of life.

While winter swimming in frozen lakes is a time-honored tradition in Scandinavia, it’s not something everyone may feel comfortable doing. Swimming in icy waters can be risky, and it requires specific precautions and training.

If the idea of winter swimming seems too extreme, a safer alternative is to experience the benefits of cold exposure through ice baths. Ice baths allow you to control the temperature and duration of your cold exposure while still reaping the rewards for your immune system and overall well-being. This practice is an excellent way to start your journey into cold adaptation without the risks associated with open-water swimming in frozen lakes.


Outdoor Naps, Even in Winter:

Another striking Scandinavian tradition is the practice of letting babies nap outdoors, even during the coldest winter months. This practice might seem unconventional, but it has its roots in the belief that fresh air and exposure to natural elements are essential for a child’s well-being. There are several benefits to this practice:

  • Enhanced Sleep Patterns: Babies who nap outdoors tend to sleep better and longer, possibly due to the quiet and natural environment.
  • Boosted Immune System: Exposure to cold air is believed to strengthen a child’s immune system, making them less susceptible to illnesses.
  • Mental Resilience: Just as with snow baths, exposing babies to the outdoors in various weather conditions can help build mental resilience from a young age.

It’s important to note that while outdoor napping can be beneficial, it should always be done safely and with the child’s comfort in mind. Adequate clothing, including warm layers and protective outerwear, should be provided to ensure the child stays cozy and safe. If you’re not comfortable with the idea of leaving your baby outside to nap, simply taking them for a walk in reasonable winter weather can offer many of the same advantages, allowing your child to experience the outdoors while staying snug and secure.


Cold Showers:

Contrast showers, alternating between cold and warm water, are an accessible way to introduce cold exposure into your daily routine:

  • Start with a warm shower for about 1-2 minutes to prepare your body.
  • Then, switch to cold water for 30 seconds. It might be uncomfortable at first, but focus on deep breaths and gradually acclimatize.
  • Repeat the cycle of 30 seconds cold and 1-2 minutes warm water two more times.
  • Finally, end your shower with 30 seconds of cold water. This final blast of cold can leave you feeling refreshed and invigorated.

Ice Baths:

If you’re feeling more adventurous and have access to a cold-water source or a dedicated ice bath, consider these guidelines:

  • Fill a tub or container with cold water, ideally around 50-59°F (10-15°C).
  • Enter the water slowly, and immerse yourself up to your neck if possible.
  • Stay in the ice bath for 2-5 minutes, depending on your tolerance.
  • As with contrast showers, focus on controlled breathing and relaxation.
  • Afterward, warm up gradually with blankets and warm clothing. You can also follow up with a warm shower or sauna session.

The Immune-Boosting Power of Cold Therapy

As we delve deeper into the fascinating world of cold exposure and its impact on our health, it’s essential to understand the specific ways in which these practices benefit our immune system.

Strengthening Immune Response: Cold exposure, whether through cold showers, ice baths, or winter swimming, has been shown to stimulate the production of white blood cells, which are key players in our immune system. White blood cells help identify and eliminate harmful invaders like viruses and bacteria, making your immune system more robust and efficient.

Enhanced Immune Function: Exposure to cold temperatures also prompts the release of cytokines, small proteins that regulate immune cell communication. This communication is crucial for coordinating immune responses, ensuring your body can effectively combat infections and illnesses.

Reduction in Inflammation: Cold exposure has anti-inflammatory effects, which can help prevent chronic inflammation that is linked to various health issues. Chronic inflammation can weaken the immune system over time, so reducing it can enhance overall immune function.

Adaptation and Resilience: Embracing the cold helps your body adapt to stressors more effectively. This adaptation extends to your immune system, making it more resilient in the face of environmental challenges.


So, when you step into a cold shower, immerse yourself in an ice bath, or take a brisk winter swim, you’re not just testing your resilience; you’re actively boosting your immune system’s ability to defend against illnesses and stay strong. These practices, inspired by the Scandinavian way of life, offer a holistic approach to health that combines the benefits of both cold and heat exposure, ultimately leading to a more resilient and robust you.

Haskap Berries – The Fruit of Longevity and Vision

For the first time this summer I was introduced to the Haskap berry, also known as Blue Honeysuckle and Honey Berry. My neighbor has large very fruitful Haskap bushes, and she so kindly handed me over a bowl full of berries to try.  These delicious, tangy but refreshing berries, are the color of blueberries with an oval shape.  They have a very juicy inside flesh, which gives the fruit a “melt-in-your-mouth” quality.  Curious about the health benefits, I did some research, and this is what I found.


Haskap berries have been consumed by the indigenous Ainu people from Japan for centuries and are thought to contribute to their life longevity.  They refer to Haskap berries as the “fruit of longevity” and the “fruit of vision” due to the following benefits.

  1. High in Anthocyanins

Rich in antioxidants known as anthocyanins, Haskap berries help to reduce risk of diseases like diabetes, cancer, chronic inflammation, infection, and cardiovascular disease. Anthocyanin-rich berries also benefit eyes are and associated with good night vision.


  1. High in Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also an antioxidant, helps to form and maintain connective tissue like skin and bones.  Additionally, vitamin C is an important nutrient for improving immune function.   100 grams of Haskap berries contains 60% of your daily recommended vitamin C intake.


  1. Excellent source of Vitamin A

Vitamin A is important for normal vision, immune system, reproduction and growth and development.  Vitamin A also helps your heart, lungs and other organs work properly.


  1. Excellent source of Potassium

Potassium is an important electrolyte that helps maintain fluid levels inside your cells.  Potassium also helps muscles to contract and supports normal blood pressure.


  1. High in Fiber

Fiber helps to regulate blood sugar and improves gut health by improving the microbiome (millions of bacteria essential for digestion and immune system).  Ensuring adequate amounts of fiber in your diet reduces your risk of chronic disease.


If you are doing some landscaping this summer and need something to plant, or if you are at the farmers market and are interested in trying something new, why not give Haskap berries a try?  You may find a new favorite fruit, and you’ll get to reap some pretty cool health benefits in the meantime!

Unlocking the Benefits of Cod Liver Oil: A Look at Weston Price Foundation Products now available at Prairie Sky!

When it comes to natural supplements, few can match the rich nutrient profile and health benefits of cod liver oil. Packed with essential vitamins and fatty acids, cod liver oil has long been praised for its potential to support overall wellness. One organization that stands out in providing high-quality cod liver oil products is the Weston Price Foundation.

Cod liver oil is renowned for its high content of vitamins A and D, which are crucial for maintaining optimal health. Vitamin A plays a vital role in supporting vision, immune function, and skin health, while vitamin D is essential for bone strength, immune system function, and overall well-being. Cod liver oil also contains valuable omega-3 fatty acids, such as EPA and DHA, which promote heart health, brain function, and inflammation reduction.

Scientific research has shed light on the numerous health benefits associated with cod liver oil. Here are some positive findings:

  1. Bone Health: Studies have shown that the combination of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids in cod liver oil can contribute to better bone health. These nutrients play a role in calcium absorption, promoting strong bones and reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
  2. Heart Health: Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA found in cod liver oil, have been linked to improved cardiovascular health. They help reduce triglyceride levels, lower blood pressure, and decrease the risk of heart disease and stroke.
  3. Mental Well-being: Research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids play a crucial role in brain function and mental well-being. They are believed to support cognitive function, mood regulation, and may even reduce the risk of depression and anxiety disorders.
  4. Immune Function: The combination of vitamins A and D in cod liver oil is beneficial for the immune system. Vitamin A helps maintain the integrity of the skin and mucous membranes, acting as a barrier against pathogens, while vitamin D supports immune cell function and enhances the body’s defense mechanisms.
  5. Inflammation Reduction: Omega-3 fatty acids have potent anti-inflammatory properties, which can help alleviate symptoms of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, asthma, and certain skin conditions.

The Weston Price Foundation’s commitment to providing high-quality cod liver oil products ensures that consumers can benefit from the potential health advantages of this natural supplement. Their emphasis on quality sourcing, traditional processing methods, and transparency in product information inspires confidence in their offerings.


One of the remarkable aspects of cod liver oil is its versatility, as it can be safely taken by individuals of all ages. From infants to the elderly, cod liver oil offers potential health benefits for everyone. For parents seeking to provide their children with the advantages of this supplement, cod liver oil can be administered using droppers specially designed for precise dosage.


It’s worth noting that the taste of cod liver oil may be an acquired preference for some children. Mixing it with a small amount of juice or incorporating it into food can help mask the flavor and make it more palatable for them. However, if children start supplementing young, most children seem to enjoy their drops of “medicine,” and look forward to it each day. We currently have the plain and orange flavour available at the clinic.


Additionally, it’s important to note that the dosage of cod liver oil should be prescribed by a qualified healthcare professional, such as a naturopathic doctor, to ensure it aligns with your specific health needs and goals. A naturopathic doctor takes into consideration factors such as your age, weight, overall health, and any existing medical conditions before determining the appropriate dosage.


In conclusion, cod liver oil remains a valuable addition to any wellness routine, thanks to its impressive nutrient profile and the potential health benefits it offers. Scientific research supports its positive impact on bone health, heart health, mental well-being, immune function, and inflammation reduction. When choosing a cod liver oil product, the Weston Price Foundation’s dedication to excellence and adherence to traditional practices make their offerings a reliable and trustworthy option. By incorporating high-quality cod liver oil into your daily regimen, you can unlock the remarkable advantages this natural powerhouse has to offer.

Welcome to Patio Season: The New Alcohol Intake Recommendations

Although conversations about alcohol use have always been lurking around the doctors office, it is a topic that is getting more and more attention post-pandemic. Not only has alcohol intake increased but amongst primary healthcare providers, there has been some confusion around who exactly should be screening for alcohol intake. Sadly, the result has been increased alcohol intake under the guise of the once well-touted “a glass of wine per day is great for you!” with no one to properly screen and then be the bearer of bad news: No alcohol is actually the best way to improve your health.

In the blog to follow, I’ll share some spark notes of the new 2023 guidelines so that you can make an informed decision regarding your alcohol intake. If you think that perhaps you should be drinking less then I’ll share some tips and tricks to get you started.


TLDR; How much should I be drinking?

Let me first respond with everyone’s least favourite response – it depends! It depends on your risk factors, your personal health history and your health goals. Before we get into the nitty gritty numbers, let’s define what a serving of alcohol actually is.

A standard drink (1 serving) is defined as:

341 ml or 12 oz of beer, cooler or cider (5% alcohol)

142 ml or 5 oz of wine (12%)

43 ml or 1.5 oz of spirits defined as whiskey, vodka, gin etc. (40%)

As previously mentioned, the most current guidelines would indicate that the “safest” intake would be none.

  • At zero drinks per week, not only has cancer risk decreased (more on that later) but you’ll likely also sleep better and experience overall well being.
  • If that simply does not fit with your lifestyle, then fret not because 1-2 servings per week likely does not influence your health too negatively depending on your personal health history.
  • At 3-6 servings per week, your risk of developing at least seven different types of cancer including breast and colon increases.
  • At seven or more servings per week, not only has your cancer risk increased but so has the risk of heart disease. Each drink beyond this limit radically increases the risk of negative health consequences. If you are a cis-female, these risks are automatically higher. This is a byproduct of enzymes, genetics, body weight and size, organ function and metabolism. Evidently, cis-females in this bracket of consumption are at increased risk for breast cancer and liver disease and/or failure.


What about binge drinking?

Binge drinking is defined as consuming five or more standard drinks in one setting for cis-males and four or more standard drinks in one setting for cis-females. Binge drinking is a well-known risk factor for death from any cause (i.e. injuries, violence, heart disease, etc) and alcohol dependance.


Looking to decrease your alcohol intake? Here are some tips to get you started!

First, it is helpful to know how much you are actually drinking. You can refer to the chart above or you can check out this website. Once you have your number, come up with a realistic goal. If you have a health care provider and/or mental health provider, it can be helpful to create a plan together. Some examples of a goal might be:

  • I won’t have any alcohol before 5 PM at the cabin this summer.
  • I won’t have any alcohol without a meal.
  • I will drink socially and have 1-2 drinks only. I won’t drink alone.

A gentle reminder that all goals should not be too daunting but this is particularly true when it comes to alcohol intake. Create goals that decrease your alcohol intake but that are still within your comfort zone. As you reach your goals, you will build confidence and get closer and closer to your happy spot with alcohol use.


Since it is patio season, let’s chat about some delicious alcohol-free options:

  1. Kombucha – All of the fizz without any of the booze. There are so many different options these days but I’m a big fan of Good Spirit Kombucha.
  2. Soda water – A great fizz and a versatile base. You could add simple syrups, citrus, berries, fresh herbs, fruit juice, etc. I’m a fan of lime and mint or lemon and lavender.
  3. Ginger beer – If you’re looking for a fun fermentation project, creating aginger bug is really easy to do and will gift you delicious ginger “beer” all season and beyond.
  4. If you end up with a surplus of beets, don’t forget aboutthe beet kvass.
  5. Water kefir is a great probiotic-rich option that is caffeine-free. My favourite is the Kevita Lemon Cayenne found at SuperStore.
  6. Drinking vinegars come in a lot of different flavours and can also be a nice lil’ digestive boost.

And, of course, there are always mocktails available at our great local restaurants.


I’m wishing you the best patio season filled to the brim with whatever you determine should be in your cup. If you need further support determining your risk and/or you have concerns about your alcohol use, please do reach out to your primary care provider and/or naturopath. We are here to support you! For those who are interested, there is a free alcohol support program offered through the U of R.


To look at the 2023 guidelines referenced above, click here.

For more information on current treatment options in the province of Saskatchewan, please contact Saskatchewan (HealthLine, Ministry of Health) 811 or 1-877-800-0002.

Natural Mosquito Repellent Ideas: Banishing Bugs the Eco-Friendly Way

With the arrival of warm weather, the pleasant ambiance of outdoor activities often comes with an unwelcome guest—the mosquito. These tiny yet relentless creatures can turn a peaceful evening into an itchy nightmare. While commercial mosquito repellents are readily available, many of them contain potentially harmful chemicals. Thankfully, nature provides us with a wide array of effective and environmentally-friendly alternatives. In this blog post, we will explore several natural mosquito repellent ideas that will help you keep those pesky insects at bay while maintaining a sustainable lifestyle.

1. Citronella Oil:
Citronella oil is perhaps one of the most well-known natural mosquito repellents. Derived from the lemongrass plant, this essential oil has strong mosquito-repelling properties. To create your own citronella-based repellent, mix a few drops of citronella oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or jojoba oil, and apply it to exposed skin. You can also burn citronella candles or use citronella-based outdoor torches to create a protective barrier against mosquitoes.

2. Essential Oils:
Various essential oils possess natural mosquito-repelling properties. Some of the most effective ones include lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, and tea tree oil. Create your own DIY repellent spray by combining a few drops of these oils with water in a spray bottle. Shake well and apply it to your skin and clothes before heading outdoors. Remember to patch test any new essential oil on a small area of your skin to ensure you don’t have an allergic reaction.

Source: Trongtokit, Y., Rongsriyam, Y., Komalamisra, N., & Apiwathnasorn, C. (2005). Comparative repellency of 38 essential oils against mosquito bites. Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association, 21(1), 80-83.

3. Neem Oil:
Derived from the seeds of the neem tree, neem oil is a powerful natural insect repellent. It disrupts the mosquito’s feeding and reproductive cycles, making it an excellent long-term solution. Mix neem oil with a carrier oil and apply it to your skin. You can also add a few drops to your body lotion or moisturizer for added protection. Neem oil is safe for both adults and children but should not be used on infants under the age of two months.

Source: Kumar, V., Prakash, S., & Kirti, S. (2012). Mosquito repellent activity of neem (Azadirachta indica) oil. Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association, 28(2), 136-139.

4. Garlic:
While it may seem surprising, garlic is an effective mosquito repellent due to its potent smell. Consuming garlic regularly can make your body produce a scent that deters mosquitoes. Additionally, you can create a homemade garlic spray by crushing several garlic cloves and mixing them with water. Let the mixture sit overnight, strain it, and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray it around your outdoor living areas to keep mosquitoes at bay.

Source: Rajkumar, S., Jebanesan, A., & Pushpanathan, T. (2005). Garlic and neem oil as effective mosquito larvicides. Indian Journal of Medical Research, 121(4), 885-889.

5. Natural Herbs and Plants:
Several herbs and plants have natural mosquito-repelling properties. Planting them in your garden or keeping potted versions on your patio can help create a mosquito-free zone. Some examples include basil, lemongrass, rosemary, catnip, and marigolds. Not only will these plants repel mosquitoes, but they also add beauty and fragrance to your outdoor spaces.

Source: Maia, M. F., & Moore, S. J. (2011). Plant-based insect repellents: a review of their efficacy, development, and testing. Malaria Journal, 10(Suppl 1), S11.

When it comes to protecting ourselves from mosquitoes, there’s no need to rely solely on chemical-laden commercial repellents. Nature provides us with a wealth of natural alternatives that are both effective and eco-friendly. Whether you opt for citronella oil, essential oils, neem oil, garlic, or natural herbs and plants, these natural mosquito repellent ideas will help you enjoy the outdoors while keeping those pesky bugs at bay. Embrace these natural solutions and bid farewell to chemical-laden repellents, knowing that you’re doing your part for the environment and your well-being.

Here’s a simple and effective recipe for a natural mosquito repellent spray using essential oils:

• 10 drops of citronella essential oil
• 10 drops of lavender essential oil
• 5 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
• 5 drops of peppermint essential oil
• 2 tablespoons of witch hazel
• 1 tablespoon of pure vegetable glycerin (optional)
• 1 cup of distilled water
• 1 spray bottle

1. Begin by preparing your spray bottle. Make sure it is clean and sterilized to avoid any contamination.
2. In the spray bottle, combine the witch hazel and vegetable glycerin. Witch hazel acts as a dispersing agent and helps the essential oils mix well with water, while glycerin helps the spray adhere to the skin for a longer-lasting effect. If you don’t have vegetable glycerin, you can omit it from the recipe.
3. Add the drops of citronella, lavender, eucalyptus, and peppermint essential oils to the mixture in the spray bottle. These oils have strong mosquito-repelling properties and will create a potent repellent blend.
4. Gently swirl the spray bottle to mix the ingredients together.
5. Fill the rest of the spray bottle with distilled water, leaving a little space at the top to shake the mixture before each use.
6. Close the spray bottle tightly and shake it well to ensure all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
7. Your natural mosquito repellent spray is now ready to use! Before heading outdoors, give the bottle a good shake and spray the solution onto exposed skin, clothing, and any areas prone to mosquito bites.
Note: It’s always a good idea to perform a patch test on a small area of your skin before applying the spray to ensure you don’t have any allergic reactions to the essential oils. If you experience any irritation, discontinue use.
Remember to reapply the spray every few hours or as needed, especially if you’re sweating or spending an extended period outdoors.
Enjoy your time outdoors with this natural and effective mosquito repellent recipe!

How to Choose a Naturopathic Doctor

When you first begin your journey with naturopathic care, you will need to find someone that you want to work with. There are many different factors to consider when making this decision; do they have experience with my condition? Do they like treating my condition? What is their approach? Do they do testing? Do I want testing? This post will provide guidance on the most and least helpful ways to build your healthcare team.

Let’s start with the least helpful ways to choose an ND:

1.The busiest schedule. 

It’s not uncommon for patient’s to request the ND that is booking the farthest out. The rationale? They must be good if they are that busy. The flaw in this thought? Not all NDs work the same hours. We are self-employed which means we are free to set our hours. Some NDs work only one day per week while others work five days per week. Those who work less days in a week see less patients in a week which means it takes longer to see them. Those who work more days have more available hours which means it is faster to see them. However, there is not necessarily a difference in their experience. They are simply just working the hours that best suit their individual lives.

2.Testimonials & Reviews (including Google Reviews)

You likely did not know this about me but I sit on the regulatory board of Saskatchewan Naturopathic Doctors. This means that, in my spare time (haha!), I volunteer to keep the practice of naturopathy safe for the community. An important part of keeping folks safe is ensuring that reviews are kept to a minimum*. I know that probably seems really odd. But here’s the deal: NDs are not permitted to ask for and/or post reviews of any kind. Why? The answer is simple. We cannot know if those reviews are coming from actual patients or friends of the ND. In other words, there is a chance that the reviews that you are reading to determine whether or not you should see that ND are not true reviews from patients. Further, NDs are not permitted to respond to reviews as this breaks patient confidentiality. Since the regulatory board is here to protect the public, we simply cannot allow reviews without knowing if it is truly a patient (and also not a friend with bias) and we cannot know this because of patient confidentiality. Whew, right?

*Google reviews are a grey area because – at this time – they cannot be turned off and they cannot be deleted. However, NDs are still not permitted to ask for Google reviews. Since they cannot be deleted, it may also happen where providers will receive negative reviews from folks who never actually enter the clinic. They are highly unreliable.

Okay, so then….what should you consider?

I always tell potential patients: You need to choose someone who provides an approach that resonates with you. Period. If you love biohacking, find an ND who offers biohacking protocols. If you like evidence-based medicine and research, find an ND who offers evidence-based medicine. If you adore homeopathy, find an ND who offers homeopathy. If you want IV therapy, find an ND who provides IV therapy. If you know that you want to do advanced testing, find an ND that offers it. We have a wealth of practitioners with different approaches in our community. Look at their websites, ask your friends or family for feedback and if you want to know if they have the experience to treat your condition, call the clinic and ask.

And if it is helpful, here is how I source my healthcare providers as someone who is a healthcare provider:

1.I ask around. And then I ask some more. Some questions might be:

What do you like about them?

Were you able to follow through on their recommendations?**

Did you feel comfortable to ask questions? Were you given space to ask questions?

** I’ve come to realize that this question is a very important one. People will often say “it did nothing for me” however, upon questioning, you might realize that they didn’t actually implement any changes. Or they might have tried a couple of things and then never went back. Healthcare is an ever-evolving journey. It truly requires dedication, depth and effort. For this reason, I always ask folks about the long game. 

2.  I look at their website and social media if they have it. 

I’m not really interested in their credentials unless I am looking for a specific modality. Rather, I want to know what kind of person they are. Could I jive with them? Would I feel comfortable with them? I ask these questions lightly knowing that building rapport takes time.


If you are in the market for an ND, I hope the above will help you find one that suits your needs. Since the definition of health and wellness can vary for every single one of us, it is ideal that you craft your unique team that will help you meet your wellness goals. We truly have a diverse and talented crowd of NDs in the province of Saskatchewan. I wish you all luck in building the healthcare team of your dreams!

Cleaning Out Your Pantry

“The best way to serve our unique nutritional needs is to empower ourselves with knowledge, listen to our bodies and respond with healthy, nourishing choices.”

~ Terry Walters

With the change in season comes the desire to make goals, make changes, live better and feel healthier.  An area we can have a significant impact on is what we choose to nourish ourselves with.  With the rising amount and availability of processed and convenience foods, our nutrition has veered too far from the nutrient dense, whole foods.  As a result, diseases such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancer, autoimmune and mental illnesses are on the rise.  Each item of food we choose to eat should serve a single goal of nourishment to our body, allowing the body to live to its healthiest and fullest by providing the very essence for work and play. 

Cleaning out the pantry by replacing foods that hinder health with life giving, nutrient rich foods can help you create healthier patterns, feel better and prevent disease.   

1. Begin by getting rid of any foods containing:

White and Brown Refined Sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup
Canadians consume, on average, 110 grams of sugar a day, which is equivalent to 46 teaspoons. Refined sugar has been overly processed, essentially voiding itself of any nutrients. As a result, consuming refined sugar does not provide any nutrient value to the body and is only a source of empty calories.  When sugar is consumed, excess amounts are stored in the liver and eventually are returned to the bloodstream as fatty acids, which ultimately end up as fat. In addition to contributing to diabetes and obesity, consumption of refined sugar has been linked to a weakened immune system, yeast infections, hyperactivity, ADHD, mental and emotional disorders and chemical imbalances in the brain.

Sugar is hiding in many different food items; therefore, when trying to get rid of foods that contain processed sugar, label reading is essential.  Sugar can be identified as glucose, sucrose, fructose, sucralose, dextrose, maltose, maltodextrin and high fructose corn syrup, to name a few. Some common food items that sugar can be lurking in are cereals, crackers, bread, candy, pasta sauces, salad dressings and condiments.

Trans Fats and Saturated Fats
Trans fats are synthetically derived fats that are identified as hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils.  Saturated fats are solid at room temperature, such as margarine, red meat, and shortening.  Consuming foods high in trans and saturated fats increase inflammation in the body and are the number one leading cause of heart disease.  These unhealthy fats can be found not only in butter and oils, but also in chips, cookies, cereals, breads and just about any highly processed food item.

Oils to have on hand include  olive, flax, avocado and sesame oils. Even though it is a saturated fat, coconut oil is also good to have on hand because it can be safely heated at high temperatures.

White flour/Pasta
Food products containing white flour such as pastas, crackers, breads and cereals are simple carbohydrates that adversely affect health.  White flour begins as the whole grain; however, through processing it is stripped of its vitamins, minerals, fibre and enzymes, which leaves a product with no nutritional value.  As a result, like sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, white flour products elevate blood sugar levels, contributing to diabetes, weight gain, fluctuating energy levels, mood swings and decreased immune system.

Regular Table Salt

Regular table salt is mined from underground salt deposits and more heavily processed to remove minerals and tends to have additives to prevent clumping.  Sea salt, on the other hand, is made from evaporated seawater and contains other trace minerals, which offer many health benefits such as thyroid support, muscle and immune health.

Anything That Has More Than 3 Unrecognizable Ingredients
The Rule of 3 is a great way to prevent consuming food items that contain unhealthy ingredients.  If you read a label of a food product that has more than 3 ingredients that you do not understand, get rid of or do not purchase it.  Get your children involved! They love being detectives and can have a lot of fun with this.  Include them while cleaning out and restocking your pantry.

2.  Replace the items with healthy options:

Throw Away: White/brown processed sugar; high fructose corn syrup; cookies and snacks sweetened with them, and sweetened peanut butter.

Replace With:  Coconut sugar, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, honey and stevia, cookies sweetened with any of this list or evaporated cane juice (Kashi and Made Good are good brands), all natural peanut butter or almond butter.


Throw Away: Margarine and shortening and regular potato chips that are high in unhealthy fats.

Replace With: Olive, flax seed, sesame, coconut and grape seed oil, rice chips, vegetable chips and kale chips.


Throw Away: White flour products including pasta and crackers.

Replace With: Spelt, buckwheat or brown rice pasta, rice chips/crackers, brown rice and quinoa.


Throw Away: Regular table salt and products containing high sodium (canned soup, salad dressings and sauces).

Replace With:  Sea salt, homemade salad dressings using olive oil and balsamic vinegar or lemon juice.

100 Days of Real Food is a great resource for switching from processed to whole foods.

Keeping the goal in mind that each item of food we choose to eat should serve as a source of nutrients to the body can be helpful when making the lifestyle change to clean out your pantry and restock it with healthy foods.  The nutrients gained from our food acts as the foundation for the rest of our health.  If we provide our body what it needs to function properly, health and vitality will result!