Treatment for Long-Haul COVID Symptoms

Long-haul covid is a new term that is being used to described persistent, lingering symptoms experienced after one or multiple diagnoses of covid virus.  Symptoms are ongoing past six weeks from initial diagnosis and can last for months even when the virus is no longer detected in the body.

 

Individual symptoms will undoubtedly vary and can be intermittent in nature.   This is especially true when a person has contracted different variants of the virus.  The theme of covid symptom awareness is so diverse and top of mind, that almost any symptom we experience we are wondering if it is covid.

 

Common long-term symptoms may include:

  • Extreme fatigue, both physically and mentally that does not improve with rest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Change in voice, smell and taste
  • Impairment of mental cognition, focus and sleep
  • Weak immunity
  • Menstrual cycle irregularity
  • Muscle, joint and nerve pain/inflammation
  • Heart conditions and fluctuations
  • Emotional PTSD
  • Spine/back pain and sub-occipital/cranial pressure

 

A closer look at the above indicators reveals a multitude of bodily systems that may be singularity affected or a cumulative load applied upon multiple organ structures.  The symptoms can alter our respiratory system, immune system, reproduction system, and cardiovascular system to name a few.  As well, physical ability along with mental and emotional confidence can impede our activities of daily living.  The organs are taxed, and the vitality in the body is reduced.

 

Long-haul covid can be all consuming, and life altering.  So where do we start with treatment? I believe a diversity of treatment options is the best, with each treatment addressing a specific system.

 

  • See your Doctor. Medication, blood work, imaging and further referrals may be necessary.
  • Are you working full-time? Reduced work hours or being off work may ease the stress burden on your body and allow time for healing.
  • Physical treatments:
    • Osteopathy shines in the role of restoring vitality at a local organ level and systemically throughout the whole human structure. Cranial treatments to relieve pressure on the cranium and vagus nerve are key.
    • Massage Therapy is advantageous to reduce muscle and nervous system tension.
    • Physiotherapy clinics are offering 6-12 week clinical programs specifically designed for long haul covid patients. These programs can be partnered with Occupational Therapy.
    • Chiropractic is wonderful for improving spinal movement.
    • Acupuncture speaks for itself, to improve nerve conduction and energetic flow through the body.
    • Exercise as indicated. If you aren’t familiar with what to do and how often, there are professionals who can give insight into an exercise program.
  • Naturopathic Doctors have a plethora of insights and offerings to assist the human body in its natural trajectory toward healing.
  • Counselling and mental therapy are vital in addressing depression, anxiety, and trauma.
  • Yoga, meditation and sleep therapy. Avoid sensory over-stimulation.
  • Nutrition, and drinking more water to nourish the cells.
  • Diaphragmatic breathing exercises

 

I am seeing patients in my practice that have long-haul symptoms.  Each case is individually assessed, with common areas for assessment and treatment being:

  • A detailed case history intake and conversation
  • Rib articulations, due to excessive coughing
  • Spleen and liver, organ inflammation with the immune response
  • Diaphragm, weakened breathing patterns
  • Cranial, sub-occipital, and vagus nerve pathways
  • Throat and cervical spine, coughing and voice changes
  • Back/spine pain, compromised posture with recovery

 

A diversified team approach to long-haul covid symptoms is a strategic approach that will ideally show incremental improvements for the patient.  Each professional will offer treatment in what they do best.  Ask for a referral or recommendation to continue your varied healing journey.

The Only Fudgesicle Recipe that you’ll Ever Need (GF/DF)

Who doesn’t crave a cooling treat on a hot summer day? Years ago when my partner and I lived in Vancouver, we embarked on a friendly competition called “The Fudge Off.” We were competing to create the creamiest and tastiest homemade fudgesicle; a way to distract ourselves from the sweltering Vancouver sun and our teeny home that had no air circulation and no air conditioning. I tried many, many different strategies to get the creaminess right; dates, avocado, cream, coconut cream, milk, oat milk, different cans of coconut milk (full fat, half fat), dates AND coconut milk, different ratios of liquid to powder and on..and on it went. We ultimately did not succeed that year in creating the most perfect homemade fudgesicle but we had lots of fun trying.
A few years later, I claimed victory. I would like to say that I was a good competitor – friendly and humble – but I was too excited and perhaps on too much of a sugar high to be gracious. It is equal parts creamy and delicious and – you know me! – it also has some good ole botanical medicine infused into the final product. I would like to say that it was my genius idea to add in arrowroot powder to thicken it but, alas, I found that tip online. Whether or not I confess that to my competitor…we’ll see! And now, I present to you the recipe of all fudgesicle recipes:

Creamy Mushroom Fudgesicles
Makes ~5-6 popsicles depending on your mold.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup 5 Mushroom Chocolate Powder from Harmonic Arts
1 tbsp arrowroot powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups mylk – I use Aroy-D coconut milk
1/2 cup honey – my favourite is Keller’s

Steps:
Combine the mushroom powder, arrowroot powder and salt in a bowl.
Heat up the mylk in a small sauce pan and then add the dry ingredients in
Add honey
Simmer until it thickens
Pour into molds
Freeze for at least a few hours and then enjoy!

WATER you Waiting For? Stay Hydrated this Summer

Yes – School is done and summer has officially arrived.  Now is the time for Fun in the Sun and I wanted to share a few important reminders about staying hydrated this season.

First a few fun facts:

  • Did you know on average, the body is made up of 60% water?
  • Water helps regulate your body temperature
  • Keeps your mouth, eyes, and nose moist
  • Keeps your joints lubricated and moving smoothly
  • Helps flush out toxins and waste from the kidney and liver

So, water is VERY important to keep our body functioning properly.  Everyday we lose water by simply breathing, sweating, and using the bathroom facilities and we need to replenish those losses PLUS a little extra to keep all our major body systems working correctly.

It is recommended that you drink 0.5-1 oz of water per pound of weight.  Therefore, a 150 lb woman should drink between 75-150 oz (3.5-4 L) of water per day!!.  Yes, it does sound like a lot and how many of us actually reach that goal…I would guess, not many.

To help you reach your goals here are a few tips to make it more fun and enjoyable:

  1. Get a water bottle with hourly increments as reminders to keep hydrated
  2. Add fruit or herbs to your water (blueberries, blackberries, cucumber, mint, lemon)
  3. Add carbonation or sparkling water to add a bit of fizz, especially for the kids to replace soda and sugary drinks.

Remember, signs of hydration are not always what we think. If you experience these signs and symptoms, reach for a glass or water.

  • Feel thirsty, dry mouth, headache
  • Change in mood, tired
  • Hungry
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Dark yellow urine
  • Constipation

And remember, stay in the shade, wear sun protection, and take frequent breaks from activity.

Have FUN this SUMMER and DRINK your WATER.

Dana Clay, NP

Becoming Adventurous in the Kitchen for Optimal Health and Longevity!

If you have been a patient of mine, you probably are familiar with our chats about the importance of quality and variety when it comes to your food, especially in regards to animal proteins. If we haven’t had a chance to have this talk, be prepared… as we will soon enough! I am becoming ever more passionate about exploring different traditional foods – and more specifically, organ meats.

 

As a society of indulgence and caloric excess, but we have never been so nutrient deficient and restricted! Recent studies have shown that up to 60% of the average American’s caloric intake is from ULTRA processed food. This is the largest quantity of fake food devoid of nutrients our society has ever consumed, and it is due to access, convenience, and the addictive nature of these foods. We are also subject to taglines like “fat free” which do more harm than good. Without the actual building blocks to support our hormones and organ systems, the risk of disease is not a matter of if, but when. With proper education and access to these other options we will be able to flourish in the kitchen and use a wide variety of food items to better nourish our families. It is never too late to change your diet and improve your health. For example we now know we can alter the microbiome of the gut within just a few days dramatically impacting the state of our immune health, hormonal regulation, and much more! That is the miracle of food – it is the real medicine and will produce the most dramatic results.

 

As intimidating as bringing liver or chicken hearts into the kitchen may sound, many Traditional cultures prized organ meats for their ability to build reserves of strength and vitality. Organ meats are rich in vitamin A and D (which are difficult to obtain in whole food form), as well as fatty acids, and the whole gamut of macro and trace minerals. They are some of the most nutrient dense foods you could have in addition to herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Various cultures around the world regularly incorporate this rich food source into their diet – especially to optimize fertility.  Mothers are also fed various organ products to support a healthy pregnancy, and the first thing some native African tribes feed their babies is liver! Another interesting fact: wild animals eat the organs of their kill first, and in the absence of access to organ meats big cats in particular cannot reproduce in captivity. These organs are nutrient dense game changers!

 

Take liver for example, its high quantity of vitamin C, B vitamins, and iron are the perfect nutrient combination for supporting healthy red blood cell formation to avoid the risk of iron deficiency or anemia – there is no other food or supplement quite like it!

 

I highly recommend looking into the resources provided below to learn more about how to prepare, cook, and best utilize these perplexing products in the kitchen! I will provide the recipe for chicken heart stew below that I personally really enjoy, but my journey isn’t quite over! I plan to try chicken foot stew and fish eggs next. The more I learn, the more I feel this is crucial for improving our health while also supporting regenerative farming practices, reducing waste, and building community while learning ancestral practices and spending time together cooking.

 

If this all seems too daunting, I would encourage eating different cuts of meat for nutrient variety. If you are used to having chicken breast for most meals, I challenge you to switch it out for chicken thighs! Don’t worry about the increase of certain macronutrients like fat and focus on all the wonderful micronutrients you will be ingesting.

 

**Next up in this kitchen adventure series- fermented foods and herbs…

 

Good luck and enjoy!

 

Resources:

 

Local animal products:

  • Pineview farms
  • Dad’s Organic Market
  • Bodyfuel organics
  • Box H farms
  • Coolsprings ranch

 

Chicken Heart and Sweet Potato Stew

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds grass-fed bison stew meat
  • 1 pound grass-fed beef heart
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 3 cups celery, diced
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium sized sweet potatoes or yams (you could also use approx. 2-3 cups of cubed butternut squash)
  • 2 quarts beef stock
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 8 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary leaves
  • 1/8 – 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3-4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp-ish each sea salt and course ground pepper
  • coconut oil

Instructions

  1. I use my big dutch oven for this, but a large soup pot will work fine.
  2. Cut all of your meat (heart included) into bite sized pieces and set aside. I like to place my meat in a colander to let it drain out any extra juice that is lingering.
  3. Chop your onions, celery, and sweet potatoes (or yams, squash, etc.) into bite sized chunks and set aside (keep your sweet potatoes separate from the other veggies).
  4. Mince your garlic and add to the onions and celery.
  5. Mince your parsley and set aside.
  6. Heat a couple tablespoons of coconut oil over medium heat and add some of your meat. You want to make sure not to overcrowd the pan, because you want to get a good browning on the meat. This really helps develop the flavor of the stew.
  7. Turn the meat several times, so that it can brown all the way around. Tongs are handy for this.
  8. Remove the meat from the pan and place on a separate dish. Repeat until you have all of your meat browned. You may need to keep adding a little coconut oil for each batch.
  9. Once all of the meat is browned and removed from the pan, add your onions, celery, and garlic and cook until the onions are slightly caramelized.
  10. Add the meat back in, as well as your chopped sweet potatoes, yams, or whatever starch you are using.
  11. Deglaze the pan with the balsamic vinegar and then add the salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, and cinnamon sticks. Stir.
  12. Pour your beef stock over the mixture and bring to a simmer.
  13. Lower heat to low and cover. Let simmer for 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are done. Stir in your parsley and remove from the heat. Done!
  14. This stew freezes and re-heats nicely, so I like to make double and sometimes triple batches and stock up the freezer!

On Slowing Down

A week ago I found myself on a small island with limited cell service, an outdoor shower and an ocean view minutes away in each direction. For many people, this sounds magical. I had them at “no cell service” and each additional detail brings about an even deeper sense of peace. And even though the environment itself was conducive to peace, there was another component that was much more subtle: The tempo of the island was slow, thoughtful and intentional. This can be an abrupt contrast to any city life. It is nearly maddening at first to be operating at such a high “speed” and to be surrounded by people, places and nature that are slow and deliberate. However, once you allow the nervous system to settle into this tempo, well…that’s when the real magic begins.

 

We end up stuck operating at a higher-than-necessary tempo for many reasons. Typically, we get asked to up-level our capacity due to fleeting life circumstances; we have a busy week ahead, our partner is travelling for work so now we are responsible for all things related to home life, we have family to care for or a busy work project. Let’s also not forget that there is external pressure from society to work harder and produce more. We value overwork. We devalue rest. The ability to function at this level serves us and it often initially gifts us with praise and progress. Once our spell of busy-ness is complete, some folks can relax back to their own original rhythm. However, it is very easy to get stuck there; doing more and more while being less and less. We begin to believe that if we stop to rest, we will stop entirely and succumb to our body’s cries to slow down. And then what would happen? We cannot risk the thought. I couldn’t risk the thought.

 

Fortunately after spending many days in seclusion while learning a deeply energetic and profound modality, my rhythm slowed. In my silence, I had the capacity to observe the contrast between my usual tendencies and my new-found slowness. The space in between them was sobering. My tendency to overwork propelled me through school and beyond. It served me very well and now here it was, at the shoreline, asking me to please just stop and rest. I obliged.

 

As we approach the yang season of summer, it can be quite challenging to slow down. There are lots of plans, vacations and social obligations. It is only natural that our energy will match that of nature as she blooms and lengthens the sun. However, if you would like to join me, I am committed to carving out time for rest. To slow down this summer, I will be doing the following:

  • Taking more time off and going on my first vacation in years.
  • Taking a social media hiatus to mitigate the constant pressure to create content.
  • Spending entire days reading great books (I have a pretty amazing line up!)
  • Being present with food from selecting ingredients to preparing to cooking to eating.
  • Focusing more on restorative and yin yoga.
  • Carving out more time in my day to slow down my breathing pattern and connect to my body.

 

Your turn…what will you do to slow down this summer?

Mind Your Feet

Our long-awaited summer is here!  Warmer weather, lighter clothes and of course, many different options for shoes.  The change in season brings a welcomed change of wardrobe and footwear to match the outfit or activity.

So, function over fashion, or fashion first?  Well, that depends on purpose and duration of activity.

I really enjoy summer flip flops, slides, sandals, sneakers and of course, bare feet whenever possible.  This variation in footwear can cause an abrupt change to the feet and the ascending postural gravity lines causing issues with the knees and low back.

Your gait and waking cycle will be altered based upon the footwear you choose.  Sneakers and running shoes afford a longer stride, while sandals may limit the stride length and cause the plantar fascia on the bottoms of the feet to work a little harder due to the construction of the sandal and perhaps less support.  Kicking around a campsite in 5 year-old, past-their-prime sandals is fine for a short duration, but nowhere near sufficient for a 3 km hike.

Our feet can swell significantly in warm weather, leading to foot discomfort at the end of the day.  When trying on a sandal in the store, be mindful of your cool foot vs. a hot and swollen mid-afternoon foot and the sizing available. Soaking your feet in cool water is a great way to reduce inflammation; cue: hanging your feet off the dock into the lake water!

A few other tips for your summer feet:

  • Calluses are protective, but don’t let them get out of control.
  • Pedicures are helpful for a refresh of summer feet.
  • Epsom salt soak + foot file scrub every few weeks.
  • Apply a healing cream/ointment for the heels. Cracked heels are painful.
  • Stretching the calves and hamstrings. Try the yoga pose downward facing dog for a great lower leg stretch.
  • Go barefoot when possible. It can strengthen your feet.

 

Choose your footwear wisely.  An overworked foot due to a poor shoe choice can take 4-6 weeks to resolve.  Enjoy your summer by keeping your feet happy. So, fashion vs. function?……I lean to the side of appropriate function.

10 Habits of Health

Spring is a fantastic time to take a pause and evaluate what old, unhelpful habits you might have slowly developed over the winter, and get clear on what new, life-giving habits you might want to develop.

 

Our brains are designed so that we cannot just stop doing something.  If we have been in the habit of doing something: drinking wine every night with supper, getting lost in Netflix after a long day, having dessert each evening, then we cannot just decide one day to stop doing it, and expect to be successful.  Maybe some people can, those with iron-will and incredible discipline, but I am not one of those people.  Plus, anytime I have been successful through these means, I am maybe successful for a few months, if I am lucky, but in those months, I am miserable, and every ounce of my effort is consumed trying not to walk down that habitual path.  So eventually, I get tired and worn down and give up, falling back into the comfort of the familiar habit.

 

What works best is for us to be able to turn to a new habit that directly replaces our old habit.  If we have something to distract our brains, and we do this repetitively in the place of doing the “old thing”, eventually we form a new neurological pathway, which becomes our brain’s version of the new habit.

Take a moment to determine what old habits you might want to do away with, and then perhaps peruse the list below to determine if one of these Habits of Health appeals to you and seems it could be a doable new habit for you.

 

What follows are 10 things that if we all did these things every day, we would feel amazing.  Trust me, I know!  I am living proof.  I want to emphasize that, yes, being healthy takes work.  It takes discipline, some sacrifice and effort.  That being said, when these practices come from a place of self-love and worthiness, that is to say, when we see these practices as gifts we are offering ourselves as means to achieve good energy, a balanced mood, a healthy body, then they feel much less onerous and much more joyful.

A powerful reframe for me, around terms such as “discipline” and “sacrifice”, as these can often also conjure up feelings of onerousness, is to think of the roots of these words: “discipline” from the Latin for disciple.  And to become a disciple unto one’s Self.  When we are dedicated to our own health and well-being, we can become our best selves and serve others: our family, friends, workplace and community from a place of fullness.  Serving ourselves, serves others.  And “sacrifice”, to make sacred.  We make our lives sacred as we gift ourselves healthy food, healthy rest, healthy movement, to name a few.

In any case, please read on for these 10 Habits and see what you can commit to incorporating today and every day.

 

  1. Optimize your digestive enzymes: sit down when you are eating, chew your food 10-20 bites per mouthful, set down your fork in between. You can also include 1 Tbsp. of apple cider vinegar in a little water before you eat and be sure to heap 2-4 Tbsp. of fermented foods onto your plate.
  2. Practice deep breathing. 10-15 mindful breaths 3x/d, a great breath practice is the “box” breath: inhaling for a count of 4, holding for 4, exhaling for 4 and holding for 4 and repeating. This is incredibly effective for balancing the nervous system, optimizing brain chemistry, and downregulating stress hormones.
  3. Promote regular healthy elimination: add at a minimum of 2 Tbsp of fiber on top of your regular dietary intake daily and add 1-2 capsules of probiotics. I love ground flax seeds, aiming for 2-4 Tbsp. per day, along with 25-50 billion CFUs of good bacteria.
  4. Dry brush your skin before showers and baths. At the end of your shower or bath do 3 cycles of hot/ cold (warm/ cool) water to end, finishing with cold water.
  5. Focus on daily detoxification: Start your day with a mug of warm lemon water and drink 2-3 L of water and herbal teas daily.
  6. Emphasize rhythm in your life: Ensure you are going to bed at the same time every night (ideally between 9:30 and 10 PM) and waking around the same time every morning (ideally between 6 and 7:30 AM); and that your meals and snacks are consumed at roughly the same time each day, on a schedule of every 3.5 to 4 hours, with a minimum 12-hour overnight fast. The body loves rhythm!
  7. Make a commitment to eliminate sugar, processed foods, caffeine, alcohol, non-organic meat, and non-organic dairy products from your diet. Work to clean out the chemical-based cleaning, cosmetic and lawn care products from your home (dispose of safely – never down the drain, and call poison control if uncertain).
  8. Take your recommended supplements daily, including your 1 Tbsp (heaping) of greens powder daily (to give you the nutrients found in 8-10 servings of vegetables.) Or commit to 4-6 cups leafy greens, or best yet, do both! Put either into a smoothie for a quick, easy, and nutritious morning meal. Protect and balance the nervous system and adrenal glands – 1 Tbsp of liquid Calcium: Magnesium or straight magnesium and 1 tsp of high-quality liquid fish oil daily.
  9. Exercise – At least 30 minutes per day – walking, stretching, weight training, swimming…anything goes! Find something you enjoy doing and stick with it.
  10. Work on your self-worth – surround yourself with positive energy, seek support, read books that enhance your self-belief, let go of beliefs that no longer serve you. #1) practice self compassion and GRATITUDE.

 

Please don’t get too overwhelmed by this list.  Pull one or two things from it to start with and incorporate them, the ones that feel doable and that you feel you could be successful at.  Once they become part of your daily habits and you can do them without much extra effort, pick another one or two.  This is truly the way we become proficient at living a healthy life.

If you would like to learn more about these habits, please listen to the interview I had with Sherry Lee earlier this winter.  My full series can be found at http://www.drzepp.com/in-the-media.html, and you will find the interview to the 10 Habits in the 7th Segment that aired January 25th, on physical health.

‘Sign…Sign…Everywhere a sign.’ Are you Paying Attention to the Signs your Body is Sending?

This month signs of various forms have been bringing me messages.  Crocuses popping up indicating spring is truly here.  Ducks literally walking down the middle of the road reminding me to slow down.  An oriole pecking at my window, then my front door reminding me to get outside and put bird food out 😊.  Other messages have been more obvious in the form of letters – ‘now that you’re 50 you are eligible for breast screening’.   ‘Just a reminder you are due for your routine Pap test’.  The most important ‘signs’ or signals are blatantly obvious or subtle.  Are you paying attention to your signs?

Women are often the last to take care of themselves or pay attention to the body signals begging for attention.  For breast and cervical health, screening exams are important to keep up to date.  I always ask patients ‘Do you know your breasts?‘ Blush, squirm, giggle….it’s a valid question.  No-one should know your breasts more than you.  You or your partner often are the first to notice subtle changes…a little lump, a dimple, skin color change, unusual discomfort, nipple discharge.  These are signs that need to be investigated – early detection is key.

The same goes for vaginal health.  Do you know what is normal for you?  If there are any changes with discharge, odor, discomfort during sexual intimacy, or pelvic pain in general, please get it assessed.  No question is off limits…no question is embarrassing.  And keep up to date on your PAP test.  Cervical cancer is preventable  – 15 minute examinations are way easier to tolerate than perhaps a lengthy illness or hospitalization or worse.

So please pay attention to the ‘signs’ your body is sending you.  I am happy to provide women’s health assessments/Pap tests to anyone that does not have a provider.  Please contact the office to book an appointment or if you have further questions.

Resources:

www.knowyourlemons.org for information on signs of breast cancer

www.choosingwiselycanada/paptests.org for more information

In service,

Dana Clay, NP

Freshness of Spring Recipes

Spring is finally here!  With warmer temperatures comes the excitement and desire to spend more time outdoors. This beautiful season is rich with the growth of plants and offers us a wider selection of fresh foods.  One of my families favourite Spring things to do is spend time on our backyard patio BBQ’ing and enjoying the freshness of what Spring has to offer.   I’d like to share some of my favorite Spring-time recipes with you. Enjoy!

 

Honey Mustard Chicken Kabobs

(from Real HouseMoms)

Ingredients

Kabobs

  • 1-1/2 lbs chicken cut into 1-1/2” cubes
  • 1 lb red potatoes cut into 1-1/2” cubes
  • 1 large red onion cut into 1-1/2” chunks
  • 2 medium zucchinis cut into ¼” slices
  • Salt and pepper

Honey Mustard Marinade

  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon Tamari
  • 1 teaspoon EACH parsley, paprika, garlic powder and salt
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  • Whisk all the marinade ingredients together EXCEPT olive oil (“Reserved Marinade”)
  • Remove ¼ cup marinade to a large freezer bag or shallow dish. Add chicken and 3 tablespoons of olive oil and turn to coat.Marinate in refrigerator for 4-6 hours.
  • Add potatoes to a large microwave safe bowl.Add 2 tablespoons of water.  Microwave covered, 4-5 minutes or just until fork tender; drain.
  • Add zucchini, onions, 3 tablespoons of reserved marinade, 2 tablespoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper. Toss until evenly coated. Refrigerate.
  • All the remaining unused Reserved Marinade will be used for basting.
  • If using wooden skewers, soak for at least 30 minutes in water before grilling.
  • When ready to cook, thread chicken and veggies onto skewers.
  • Grease grill and heat to medium-high heat.Grill chicken kabobs for approximately 8-10 minutes, rotating a few times until nicely browned and slightly charred on each side and chicken is cooked through, basting halfway through cooking.

Nectarine, Pistachio and Goat Cheese Salad

(from Vanilla and Bean)

Ingredients

Salad

  • 8 cups fresh tender mixed lettuce greens such as read leaf, romaine, beet greens, spinach, bibb
  • 3 nectarines cut into wedges
  • 2 oz goat cheese crumbled
  • 6 tablespoons pistachios roasted and salted; shells removed

Dressing

  • 1-1/2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons champaign vinegar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon poppy seeds
  • Pinch of fine sea salt

Instructions

  • Add all dressing ingredients into a lidded jar.Shake until well mixed.
  • Add greens to a large bowl.
  • Arrange the nectarines on the salad and top with goat cheese and pistachios.
  • Toss with dressing just prior to serving.

 

Frozen Yogurt & Berry Ice Cream Pops

(from Clean Eating with Kids)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups coconut milk yogurt
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 cups of your choice of mixed berries (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, black berries, cherries)

Instructions

  • Add yogurt, berries and honey to blender and blend until smooth.Stop halfway and scrape down the sides if needed.   It’s nice to leave chunks of berries.
  • Pour into popsicle molds.
  • Freeze for 3 hours until firm.
  • Remove from mold and serve.

Benefits of Hydrotherapy or “Water” Therapy

Although it may sound like a simple, basic approach to healthcare in the midst of fancy, complicated, expensive technologies, we constantly find ourselves resorting to the important role water has as a treatment for optimizing our bodies functioning.  It is a foundational and necessary piece of the puzzle for optimal health.

Just as the quantity & quality of water we ingest is paramount to properly influencing all the biochemical processes that go on inside our bodies, why not play around with the temperature of the water we subject ourselves to externally?

I am a sucker for a warm bath or a warm shower. The heat can do wonders for promoting relaxation and relaxing tight musculature. However, have you tried cold water therapies??

Influence of cold external temps on our body system:

  • Decreased inflammation and pain regulation related to various chronic diseases
  • Increased brain activity and alertness due to increased oxygen intake, & increased heart rate
  • Regulation of autonomic nervous system
  • Decreased uric acid and increased glutathione levels
  • Supports the immune system & reduces oxidative stress
  • Increases brown fat – metabolically favourable tissue that can generate heat by burning fat supportive for optimal body composition
  • Improves circulation due to the constriction of distal blood vessels in the limbs increasing the circulation rate of the blood in the deeper tissues to maintain ideal body temperature.
  • Improves skin complexion due to tightening and constricting blood flow which gives your skin a healthy glow
  • Closes and strengthens your hair cuticles and doesn’t dry out the sebum layer

Something to try…

Daily Hot/cold contrast shower challenge:

Try 30 seconds cold, 1 minute warm water; alternate three times and end on cold.

Give it a try and enjoy the benefits!

Some of the other ways I like to incorporate water therapy into my patient’s protocols:

  • Evaluation of quantity & quality of drinking water- bodily water quantity can be assessed by results recorded after a full body composition analysis which I offer complimentary in office
  • Optimizing electrolyte intake
  • Contrast water showers with or without breathing exercises
  • Ice baths
  • Warming socks for kids during illness
  • Heating packs
  • Foot baths
  • Epsom salt baths
  • Cold plunge outdoors
  • Hot/cold plunges

I usually incorporate at least one of these techniques into my client’s protocol, but the reality is that all of these things CAN be used to optimize our health in general. It just may be a bit overwhelming to do them all at once each and every day so we may try to prioritize the tool with the biggest effect depending on our specific health goals. The health benefits of water therapy are endless and crucial to our wellbeing.

Just like the great Bruce Lee once said… “Be like water, my friend.”