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Naturopathic Eggnog: Dairy-Free, Egg-White-Free, Sugar-Free, Rich, and Delicious

Eggnog at ChristmasTis the Season!

This recipe has been featured on in the past, but it’s such a goodie, that we can’t help but share it again!

If you’re hoping to make some festive treats this year then you’ll love this recipe for Naturopathic Eggnog.

It’s free from common allergens like dairy and egg-whites plus it’s rich with coconutty flavour, and raw.

For those of you who are not usually fans of eggnog, please try this! The combination of ingredients is delicious. And please let us know what you think.

(Oh, and we’ll leave the addition of rum up to you!)

Ingredients (Serves 6)
4 cups full fat coconut milk
2 cups vanilla almond milk (or vanilla rice milk)
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon, ground

1 tsp nutmeg, ground or freshly grated
Optional: rum, 1/4 cup or more

In a Vitamix or high powered blender, combine all ingredients.
Blend until yolks are well pureed.
Serve chilled with a sprinkling of more fresh nutmeg.
Whisk the rum in, just before serving.

Enjoy!! Happy holidays to you and your family!

Love from all of us at Pacifica Naturopathic Clinic

Dr Nina is Expecting!

Many of you have noticed by now that Dr Lange is having a baby!

Dr Lange’s new baby is due on December 24th. We are all tickled pink (or blue!) and excitedly awaiting the arrival of this cute new addition to our PNC team.

It is with great pleasure and confidence that Dr Lange and Pacifica Naturopathic Clinic  welcome Dr Melanie DesChatelets who will be covering for the maternity leave as of mid December.

Dr DesChatelets has been practicing in her own busy family practice since 2010 and is looking forward to being available at Pacifica to allow for your continued naturopathic care during her locum here. Dr Deschatelats speaks English as well as French and is a bright, warm, supportive, and incredibly knowledgeable family naturopathic physician.

If you want to know more, please feel free to check out her personal professional website at

Please come in and meet Dr Deschatelats, get your winter immune boost vitamin injection and continue to come in for your followup appointments, acupuncture, injections, or for any acute issues that come up.  She will also be available to see any new patients that you may want to refer to the clinic to get their Naturopathic care started. She will take great care of you.  You can continue to pick up your supplements and book appointments by calling Gill as needed.

Kitchen Kombucha

Kombucha Recipe

7 Days to Natural, Organic, Homemade Kombucha Tea

Kombucha is a refreshing, effervescent tea drink rich in antioxidants and good healthy bacteria. And the best part – you can easily make your own at home!

It takes some preparation to get your supplies organized, but once you get a taste of this fizzy delicious drink, you’ll be making it on the regular.

Here is my first-timer’s recipe for 7 Day Kombucha. Enjoy!!

Yields: 4 litres

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup coconut or cane sugar
  • 4-6 tea bags or (4-6 tsp of loose leaf tea)
  • SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) Kombucha Starter Culture – you can grow your own SCOBY if you are keen, or for first timers, it’s easiest to buy a Tea Starter kit online (
  • 1 cup starter liquid – use 1 cup of fluid off the top of previous batch of Kombucha OR if this is your first time – use 4 Tbsp of white distilled vinegar plus 1 cup water
  • Purified or spring water
  • Kettle
  • 4 litre glass jar
  • Cloth cover
  • Large rubber band

How to Make Kombucha:

  1. Boil 1 litre water
  2. Add water and tea bags/leaves to glass jar
  3. Steep 5 minutes and remove tea bags or leaves
  4. Add sugar and stir until dissolved
  5. Add SCOBY and starter liquid
  6. Cover glass jar with cloth and secure around with rubber band
  7. Set pot aside in a dry, warm location away from direct sun
  8. Leave still for 7 days

After 7 days – add flavour if you wish.  You can add mint, raspberry, honey, ginger, or anything you like.


5Rs to Healthy Digestion

By Dr Julie Durnan

Your digestive tract, or as we lovingly like to refer to it at the clinic – your GUT, is the foundation for great health.

So it makes sense that in order to connect with health, we must first heal the gut.

There have been numerous articles written on the subject of the 4Rs of digestion – but in my practice, I’ve added an extra R. To find out what the 5th R is, please make sure to read through to the end of this article.

Here is my simple 5 step process to healing your gut and finding great health:

  1. REMOVESimply put – the first step involves removing the triggers that are aggravating your digestive tract so your gut can heal.This is done in one of two ways – by following an Elimination Diet for 3 weeks or by having a food sensitivity test (IgG ELISA blood test) done and eliminating only those foods that you are sensitive to.If you are following an Elimination Diet, this involves avoiding all common food allergens including:
  • Gluten
  • Dairy
  • Corn
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Soy
  • Peanuts
  • Shellfish
  • Citrus
  • All processed foods containing artificial ingredients or preservativesThese foods much be strictly avoided for 3 weeks to ensure that all the allergens have cleared from your system.

It takes some effort, but it’s healthy eating and most of our patients who have done an elimination diet report feeling better than ever. It’s well worth it!

If you choose to have the blood test done, this is a quick and easy test done in our clinic. The test starts at $275, and the cost depends on number of foods tested. If you go this route, then your removal phase will involve only avoidance of those foods found to be a problem for you on the test.

Your digestive system is your barrier between your internal body and the external world.

Your gut can be easily damaged by toxins, chemicals, and any foods that cause your immune system to overreact.

But the good news is that once you avoid the overall load of triggers, your gut can heal


Once you have removed all the aggravating food culprits from your diet, it’s time to boost your gut’s natural digestive abilities, by replacing enzymes and acid.

Start taking a good quality digestive enzyme with each meal.

Enzymes help you to digest food, they reduce inflammation in the gut, they neutralize bacteria and viruses, and they ensure that what you eat, you actually absorb.

Depending on your gut health, you might also require some added hydrochloric acid (HCl). Speak to your naturopathic physician to see if you are a candidate for this.


After you have removed trigger foods for 3 weeks and replaced with enzymes for one week, you are now ready for reinoculation of healthy bacteria.

What this means is that you are now ready to take a good quality probiotic supplement to optimize your healthy gut microbial balance.

 Healthy gut bacteria is one of the most essential components to a health digestive tract so this step is not to be missed.

Did you know that our natural gut bacteria becomes damaged when we eat food allergens, consume pesticides and food additives, and are stressed?

Gut bacteria is crucial not only to good digestive function but also to whole body health including fertility, prenatal health, cardiovascular health (heart health), mood balance, hormone balance, and immune system function. It is one of the most underestimated components of the human body and something we talk about at length in visits with our patients.

As a side note: a good probiotic supplement is something that you can take ongoing for great health.

Lactobacillus ramnosus is one of the most well-studied probiotic strains around. Look for this bacteria on your probiotic’s ingredients label. Aim to get between 50 to 100 billion colony forming units (cfu) per day when healing your gut. Maintenance doses can be less.

I also recommend reinoculating your gut bacteria by using food-based medicine. Fermented foods are a wonderful way to restore healthy bacteria in the gut and to maintain optimal bacterial balance. Foods such as kefir, saurkraut, miso, kombucha, and kimchi are all superfoods that can restore healthy levels of beneficial bacteria.


You have removed irritants, replaced with digestive enzymes, and reinoculated with nourishing healthy bacteria – it’s now time to repair that gut lining to truly heal your whole digestive system.

A few of our favourite gut healing remedies are:

 Turmeric: an anti-inflammatory herb that has been well researched and shown to quickly and safely reduce overall inflammation and heal the gut lining. Can be taken in powder form with a bit of pepper and olive oil, or in a supplement form. Aim for 1500 to 3000mg daily.

 Fish Oil or Algae Oil (vegan): this anti-inflammatory food powerfully reduces inflammation but also benefits heart health, brain function (memory + mood), skin, and more.

 L-glutamine powder: 5-10 grams of powder daily will help to feed those enterocytes (cells that line your entire digestive tract) to keep them strong and the lining healthy.

Soothing (demulcent) herbs:

  • Marshmallow root (Althea officinalis)
  • Slippery Elm bark powder (Ulmus rubra)
  • DGL (deglycyrrizinated licorice)


The last step of the 5Rs is crucial in maintaining a health digestive system. Relax.

If you are stressed or anxious, your gut health suffers. Period.

Blood is literally shunted away from your gut when you are under stress. In order to heal, it’s necessary that you relax, so that blood flow may return to the digestive system, bringing with it a healthy dose of nutrients and minerals for healing.

Take the time to rest, restore, to sleep, and to breathe. Your healthy gut will repay you a thousand times over.

The King of Bitters to Cure Your Cold – By Dr Julie Durnan

Winter Herb in Profile: Andrographis paniculata


This herb is not very well known in western culture, but in Ayurvedic medicine, it has long been used as a powerful tonic for the respiratory tract. It’s also one of our favourite herbs here at the clinic. If you’ve been in to see us for an upper or lower respiratory tract infection, you have probably already tasted this very bitter but incredibly powerful herb.

It’s officially called Andrographis paniculta but we usually just refer to it as ‘Andrographis’.

Clears mucous and phlegm
Aids digestion
Cleanses the liver
Boosts immune function

Active constituents: Andrographalides

Why we use it:
We have found clinically that Andrographis can literally stop a cold or flu in its tracks. If given at the correct dose, early enough after symptoms have started, Andrographis has been shown to reduce the severity of cold and flu symptoms and also their duration. Before you or your children get sick again this season, please ask us how to best use this herb safely at home.

Happy Winter 2014!

Happy Winter season to all of our amazing patients and your families!

We hope that the calendar and lunar new year have started off with health, peace and joy in your hearts.

As always, we are honoured to be serving you as your naturopathic team at Pacifica.

Whatever 2013 brought for you on your path, we hope that the lessons learned, the experiences gained and the changes made are all helping you to move forward through this new year. Looking ahead, may your goals for 2014 be grand; commit to your self and your dreams and you can achieve them. We are committed to helping to guide you along your health journey.

We also wish to thank everyone who so kindly donated to our food and gifts Holiday drive in December.  It was wonderful to be able to share with local families in need through The Harvest Project.  To Jayne W and family, a big congratulations on winning the prize draw!

We look forward to celebrating our five amazing years as Pacifica Naturopathic Clinic this year! It has been an exciting time of growing our clinic and we look forward to continuing as a part of your health care team.

Wishing you a blessed and fulfilling year,

From all of us at Pacifica Naturopathic Clinic


Healthy Inspiration from PNC

Inspiration Tiny Buddha

Here are a few of our favourite inspirational quotes these days…

“Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity”
–  Hippocrates

“Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t”

7 Steps to Happiness:
Think less, Feel more
Frown less, Smile more
Talk less, listen more
Judge less, Accept more
Watch less, Do more
Complain less, Appreciate more
Fear less, Love more

And some wise words that apply to even the way we speak to ourselves:

“Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates.
At the first gate ask yourself  ‘Is it true?’
At the second gate ask, ‘Is it necessary?’
At the third gate, as ‘Is it kind?’ “
– Sufi saying

Recipe: Easy ‘Dahl’s’ It!


This delicious protein and fiber rich lentil dish is traditional in India and Nepal. A simple yet abundantly nutritious and delicious dish!



  • ¾  cup split peas
  • ¾ cup lentils
  • 10 cups veggie stock
  • 2Tbsp coconut oil/ olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp grated coconut (toast a bit to bring out the flavour)
  • 2 tsp mustard seed
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp crushed chilies
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp tamari or Bragg’s liquid aminos
  • sea salt
  • 1 carrot (finely chopped)
  • 1 small sweet potato/yam (chopped)
  • 1 red pepper (finely chopped)
  • ¾ cup frozen green peas


Rinse and soak lentils and split peas for 1 hour (or more!)

Bring split peas to a boil in the vegetable stock then simmer for 15 minutes. Add lentils and carrot.

Heat oil and sear the mustard seeds until they pop. Turn off heat and add the chilies, cumin, coriander, turmeric and yam. Mix together and let stand.

Add the potato spice mix to the soup/lentil-pea broth and continue to simmer for about 30 minutes, until well cooked. You can cook until it thickens or leave it more like a soup.

Add toasted coconut, tamari, peppers and peas. Simmer for a few more minutes and serve over basmati rice, quinoa or naan bread.








Sleep: It’s the Best Kept Secret – By Dr Nina Lange ND

Sleepy WomanSleep is a basic necessity! If you already think that you aren’t getting enough of it, chances are that you are sleep deprived. Sleep allows essential hormones to be released and recovery to happen

So, what is “adequate” when it comes to sleep?  Most people require 7-9 hours/night, but if you are doing athletic training at higher volumes, going through a “stressful” emotional time or fighting an infection you may need up to 10 hours.

“Sleep debt” is a term that is used to refer to the cumulative effect of sleep deprivation over time. Think of it as a snowball effect…if you continuously get an hour less sleep than you need, the negative effects will increase exponentially. So, a sleepless night here and there, you can probably handle…but do this night after night and you will notice an effect on your health in terms of mood, strength, energy and productivity.

Not only the number of hours, but the timing and the quality are also important.

For better sleep try getting to bed at around the same time and getting up at the same time every day. The best times would be going to sleep between 9-11pm and getting up between 6-8am. You should feel refreshed and ready to start your day (without hitting the “snooze button” over and over or begging for “just 5 more minutes”).   Make sure your room is completely dark, get rid of all electronics in your bedroom and keep the temperature of the room a bit cooler for better quality sleep. If other things are interrupting your sleep, it may be good to figure out the root cause and get it sorted out….because you NEED your sleep!  If you have trouble falling asleep try a bath with calming lavender essential oil, meditation every evening, deep breathing exercises, Try lemonbalm, skullcap or rose tea (small cup around 30-60 minutes before bed). It is also beneficial to stop using any electronic devices an hour before bed.

If you are waking in the night, it may be due to hormonal imbalances or anxiety. If you do get up, try not to turn on too many lights as this decreases melatonin (sleep cycle hormone).  If you have tried breathing exercises, tapes, teas or getting up for a bit and doing something and you still are feeling sleep deprived then it is definitely time to get to the bottom of this. Resolving imbalances through acupuncture, homeopathic remedies and supplements have been shown to help with insomnia of all kinds as the root cause is treated.

What happens when you sleep? Sleep stimulates the release of Growth Hormone, without which muscle repair and building cannot occur properly. It also stimulates bone building and fat burning.  Your adrenal glands also build and release hormones with adequate sleep(these are responsible for estrogen, progesterone, testosterone production as well as adrenaline and cortisol, the stress hormones). Our nervous systems also also process our experiences, emotions, thoughts and energies during sleep.  Sounds pretty important, doesn’t it!?

Try committing to getting more sleep than you think you need or than you have been getting for 3 weeks and see how you feel.  If you need help with it, talk to your naturopathic physician about it.

Just imagine waking feeling refreshed and ready for the new day after a good night’s sleep….plus, it gives you more hours to dream !





Spring into Spring!

This is a time of transition and transformation. It is when we move from the slower, darker, quieter days of Winter into Spring, a time of fertility, renewal and fresh growth. Of course, we get some rains but that only helps Nature grow and it definitely makes us appreciate the sunny days so much more.  In the same way, as we each move forward on our journey through life, there will always be the bumps in the road. It is the knowing that with perseverance and commitment that we will continue to grow.  That being said, perhaps this is a good time of year to reflect on what your commitments to your self are in terms of your health. No matter how great the health challenge you may be facing, there is always something you can do for yourself and we are committed to helping you along the way.

Ask us about our PNC Signature Detoxification Program as Spring is an ideal time to do a Cleanse. This can stimulate your body to break down and eliminate stored toxins, jumpstart your metabolism and get you going with some new healthy habits.

It is with great pleasure that we would like to announce the addition of Ashley Giordano, Registered Holistic Nutritionist, to our team at Pacifica. Ashley joins us with a wealth of knowledge and a passion for helping you and your families with individualized meal plans, recipes and extensive nutritional support and information based on your dietary needs.

We are also excited to announce a few of our special clinics and seminar including our Fertility Workshop and a PAP Women’s Health Day.  For more information, please ask us.

Commit to yourself and take an active part in your transformation this Spring.

As always, we look forward to continuing our work together with you.

Happy Spring!
Dr Julie Durnan and Dr Nina Lange