Marinated Kale Salad

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Dr. Deirdre O’Neill, ND

I have reaped the rewards of many days of sunshine in my garden this year. Kale is a favourite around here, from kale chips to sautee to fresh salads. Here is a raw recipe that is delicious and nutritious. Kale boasts the benefit of being rich in antioxidants and calcium and works as a great food to support the liver’s detoxification process.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch curly kale, triple-washed, ripped into small 1-2 inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1-3 tbsp sesame seeds

Directions:

1. Place prepped kale into a large bowl.

2. In a separate small to medium bowl, whisk together sesame oil and tamari till emulsified/combined nicely. Whisk in garlic and ginger.

3. Pour sauce over kale and massage sauce into the kale (this will help ensure all pieces of kale are covered.

4. Add sesame seeds to the kale

5. Store in an air-tight container. NOTE: You may wish to make your kale salad the night before you want to eat it so it has time for the flavors to combine.

6. Enjoy!


Tailored Detoxification

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Dr. Deirdre O’Neill, ND

Exposure to toxins is part of life. How our body handles these toxins is the other side of the equation. If our body is in balance, we are able to process the toxins efficiently and completely through our detoxification organs, the liver and kidneys. As exposures creep up or our ability to detoxify goes down, our tissues gain the burden of storing these unwanted chemicals.

Before jumping for off the shelf detox plans, two simple tests can help you to individualize your detox needs and treatment. One is to assess your detoxification pathways and the other is to measure levels of toxic metals.

A hepatic detox profile is a valuable measure of the two phases of liver detoxification. It is a simple test that requires only a first morning urine collection. The test can assess chemical exposure and impaired liver function, prior to presence of elevated liver enzymes. Knowing the capacity of one’s phase 1 and 2 detoxification enzymes enables tailoring of a treatment plan toward accentuating the enzymes that need a boost.

Urine toxic metals are measured in urine from a 6 hour collection period after a chelation agent is administered. Chelation agents have the ability to grab onto toxic metals in the tissue space and move these metals to the kidneys for urine excretion. This urine test can help uncover toxic metal retention that can affect physiological function and be a contributing factor toward disease. Common metals uncovered in this urine test are lead and mercury that affect energy levels, fertility, cognition and neurological function.

Speak with your naturopathic doctor at Sage Clinic to determine which type of testing is best for you and to design and detoxification plan that is appropriate for you.

 


Estrogen Dominance

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Dr. Heidi Lescanec, ND

We are all fairly aware of the how environmental toxins contribute to climate change and the disruption of the delicate ecosystems on our planet.

We may be less familiar with the fact that these same chemicals in our environment  (air, water and food) and common household products can mimic our body’s natural hormones and cause endocrine disruption in our body’s finely tuned systems. These synthetic chemicals/toxins are called xenoestrogens. Overtime, an accumulation of xenoestrogens (from the common everyday sources below*) will upset our body’s balance of important hormones like our natural estrogen and progesterone.  Toxins do this by blocking or binding hormone receptors in our tissues. The balance of our reproductive hormones is essential for normal functioning of sensitive tissue like the breast, uterus as well as the immune and reproductive system in both women and men.  The disruption of hormone balance and function can result in a condition of estrogen dominance.

Estrogen Dominance occurs when the body does not have enough progesterone to balance out the influence of estrogen.  We see this condition of estrogen dominance commonly at the clinic.  Women experiencing PMS, difficulties with fertility, fibrocystic breasts, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, breast cancer, ovarian cysts, and menopausal symptoms often have estrogen dominance.  For men they often present with problems concerning fertility (low sperm count), prostate, testicular and other reproductive health issues.

How do we encounter xenoestrogens?

*The common everyday activities listed below can increase our exposure to xenoestrogens:

  • using antibacterial soaps and wipes (parabens)
  • drinking unfiltered water (industrial pollutants: eg: atroxine, perchlorate, arsenic and  pharmaceuticals in the water supply: eg.  birth control pill hormones, HRT -Hormone Replacement Therapy)
  • drinking and eating from plastic bottles, containers and cans (BPA- Bisphenol -A),
  • eating food grown with pesticides, herbicides and in contaminated soil (organophosphates, perchlorate, dioxins)
  • eating milk products and meat treated with growth hormones
  • eating  food with added flavours or colour (FD and C Red Dye #9) and preservatives (BHA)
  • using cosmetics and skincare (parabens, acetone, phthalates etc. )
  • using sunscreen (4-MBC- 4-Methylbenzylidene camphor and benzophenones)
  • using  conventional cleaning products (glycol ethers)
  • using non-stick pans and having upholstery, electronics as well as automobiles and furniture treated with fire-retardants (PBDE)

How do xenoestrogens accumulate?

The liver is one of the key organs designed to clear toxins from the body.  The liver is also responsible for metabolizing hormones.  However, when there is heavy load of chemicals challenging the liver OR a detoxification and elimination pathway is blocked a toxic burden piles up that is greater than the body can remove.  An accumulation of toxins occurs and an imbalance in the form of estrogen dominance ensues.

What are the symptoms of estrogen dominance?

Fatigue, breast tenderness, water retention, weight gain (especially hips and waist), headaches, heavy or irregular menstrual bleeding, disrupted sleep, mood swings, irritability, hot flashes, decreased libido, thinning of scalp hair, and poor concentration are some of the symptoms of estrogen dominance.

How to prevent estrogen dominance?

There are many ways to prevent estrogen dominance. These include:

1)    Avoiding xenoestrogens in your environment (see list above)

2)    Managing stress (high stress hormone “withdrawls” can steal your progesterone building blocks!)

3)    Maintain healthy weight (toxic chemicals are stored in our fat cells),

4)    Supporting detoxification pathways (lighten the chemical load)

5)    Supporting your endocrine (hormone) system.

Naturopathic Medicine is well- equipped to provide evaluation and guidance here for stress and weight management, cleansing/detoxification and endocrine support. We do this with diet and lifestyle counseling, nutrients (supplements, minerals, vitamins) and herbs, and if indicated through testing, bioidentical hormone supplementation.

How do we assess estrogen dominance and hormone status?

The most effective way to assess hormone status is to test saliva for the appropriate hormone levels.  Saliva is the best method for testing “functional” or “active” tissue levels of hormones.  At Sage Clinic, we work with a number of labs that provide this testing and can determine which panel of tests is most suited to each individual situation.

Doing a proper individual evaluation of your unique hormone levels before embarking on a supplementation program is most advantageous.  The naturopathic doctors at Sage Clinic specialize in this type of testing and prescribing designed to effectively treat individuals who are experiencing conditions that arise from estrogen dominance.


Strawberry Almond Smoothie

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This recipe is from the www.NourishingMeals.com website and is a variation of some smoothie recipes that appear in the cookbook we carry called Nourishing Meals by Tom Malterre and Ali Segersten.  Given the abundance of fresh organic strawberries recently this is a simple, lovely option any time of day.

1 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight (8-10 hours) (cover the almonds with water and rinse in the morning)
1 1/2 to 2 cups water
2 to 3 cups fresh or frozen organic strawberries
1 whole vanilla bean
1 tablespoon raw honey (optional)

Place the almonds and water into a high-powered blender (such as a Vita-Mix) or a blender fitted with a sharp blade. Add water and blend until very smooth, about 30 to 60 seconds. Then add the berries, vanilla bean, and honey, blend again until smooth. Serve immediately. Source: www.NourishingMeals.com


The Hormones of PMS

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Dr. Natalie MacIsaac, ND

Although we have all heard of PMS we still have a limited understanding of the complexity of hormonal interactions that create the long list of symptoms that women can experience each month – some with more drama than others. The signs can be mild to severe – from weight gain and cramps to depression and insomnia.  If you suffer from any signs of PMS, you may want to take a close look at your hormones levels.

Each hormone in our body has signs associated with deficiency or excess and many of those symptoms can overlap.  An example of this is fatigue: it is a very common PMS symptom that can be due to too much estrogen, not enough estrogen, too much DHEA, not enough thyroid hormone, etc…it can get complicated.

Feeling healthy and balanced each month is possible once you determine the cause of the imbalance. This is where naturopathic medicine excels.  Our goal is to find why the imbalance happens and then treat the individual with the most effective and least invasive solutions.  Ask your naturopathic physician about hormone testing and treatment, and say good-bye to PMS.

Common causes of PMS:

  • Overwork
  • Imbalanced sleep
  • Constipation
  • IBS
  • Thyroid imbalance
  • Dietary deficiencies – healthy fats, fiber, magnesium, etc
  • Dietary restrictions
  • Emotional stress
  • Inflammation

Common PMS symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Bloating
  • Cramps
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Emotional
  • Anxiety/depression
  • Acne
  • Weight gain
  • Food cravings – salt, sweet…
  • Temperature changes
  • Faint or dizzy spells
  • Libido changes
  • Yeast infections