Author Archives: Nina

Salted Freezer Caramels

These sweet little treats are oh so yummy and take just minutes to make. You won’t believe they’re dairy, gluten, refined sugar and nut free.

I sincerely apologize for not including a photo of the finished product. I forgot to take photos as soon as I took these out of the mold and by the time I realized they were all gone.

All you need to make these is coconut oil, honey, any seed or nut butter, vanilla and salt. If you have a silicone candy or ice cube mold, great! If not, a regular loaf pan lined in parchment paper will work just as well.

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Recipe:

1/2 cup sunflower butter (or any other nut/seed butter you have on hand)

1/2 cup coconut oil

just less than 1/3 cup honey

1 tsp vanilla extract or seeds from 1 vanilla bean

coarse salt to taste

 

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Instructions:

  1. Pour nut/seed butter, coconut oil and honey in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat

IMG_46452. Stir or whisk together until everything is melted together

3. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and a bit of salt (optional)

IMG_46494. Pour mixture into an un-greased silicone ice cube tray or small parchment-lined pan (a standard bread pan is the perfect size)

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5.  Sprinkle a bit of coarse salt over the top of the caramels

6.  Now is the time to let your freezer do all the work. Place pan as level as possible in your freezer and allow to solidify for 1-2 hours.

7.  Pop the caramels out of the pan and enjoy! These become very soft if left at room temperature so make sure to store them in your freezer

 

We hope you love this recipe!

If you’d like to start planning for our summer recipe you can start shopping a popsicle mold. This one is our favourite for children!

 

Exciting News at Pacifica!

We are very happy to welcome Dr Amy Rolfsen to Pacifica!
She comes to us with a passion for naturopathic medicine and a desire to help her patients achieve healthy freedom. We wish her a successful practice and welcome her with open arms to Pacifica as a part of your health care team. She will be accepting new patients and starting with us as of January 2016.
Please see her website www.amyrolfsen.com

September Health Tidbits

 

Hello and Happy September…

Remember that September is the time of seasonal change and a great time of year to encourage your body to detoxify and get ready for the cooler seasons. There are so many options for a Fall detox/cleanse of varying degrees of intensity, depending on what you and your body can handle. Let us help set you up with the right one for you!

Now is also the time to start really focusing on your immune system, to strengthen it before all those bugs, colds and flus come around… come in for your immune booster injection and talk to your doctor about being on a good immune system strengthening plan!

A good start is to step up your diet again – just start with some small changes and the rest will follow…eat clean, drink lots of fluids and make sure you are getting out for fresh air for even just 20 mins/day!

I would recommend to get started, just commit to 3 things that are quick and easy and will start you detoxing and strengthening your immune system daily:

1.Lemon water: juice of 1/2 lemon in a glass of warm water every morning

2. Fresh air for 20 mins daily

3. start to eat at least 2 fruits and 4 vegs daily (smoothies/juicing make this easy!)

 

Probiotics in the Spotlight

By Dr Nina Lange

Why probiotics? There are so many reasons we prescribe probiotics to populate the digestive system with good bacteria. Here is a list of just some of what they can do for you. Make sure you use good quality probiotics both in supplement and food sources.

*Improves the integrity of the intestines which in turn improves absorption of nutrients from food you eat.

*Outcompetes yeast and harmful bacteria so it naturally helps to get rid of problematic overgrowth of these organisms that can cause yeast infections, gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation.

*adequate levels of beneficial bacteria in the colon prevent the reabsorption of harmful estrogens and toxins

* a healthy gut can produce proper levels of certain antibodies that are required for better immune system function

* Help control appetite by increasing hormones leptin and grehlin that make us feel satiated.

*Decrease cortisol (adrenal stress hormone) and inflammatory cytokines(inflammation) in the body

*new research shows that various strains of probiotics have an effect on different neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine.

Lactobacillus and bifidobacterium can secrete GABA.  A deficiency in GABA is linked to depression, insomnia and anxiety.

Bifidobacterium infantis releases serotonin, the feel-good hormone

Lactobacillus reuteri increase oxytocin, which improves overall mood, appearance and feeling good.

Lactobacillus acidophilus increases canabinoid receptors in the spinal cord which help to regulate pain

* Probiotics populate the vaginal canal and assist in innoculating the baby’s gut as it descends during the birth process.

 

Raising Progesterone Naturally

By Dr Nina Lange

Progesterone is one of the key hormones in a woman’s body. In proper balance with Estrogen and Testosterone, it functions to regulate menstrual cycles, improve fertility, ease menopausal transition and PMS, promote sleep and feeling calm, speed up metabolism and generates a general sense of wellbeing.

Without adequate levels, we see signs such as insomnia, bloating and water retention, PMS, irregular cycles, menstrual cramping, fibroids/PCOS, infertility, and anxiety.

As Naturopathic physicians we often test the levels of these hormones through a salivary hormone panel and make a plan for optimizing your levels of all of these hormones. Because we live in a society where Estrogen tends to dominate due to the use of pesticides, plastics and chemical hormones we more often see low Progesterone.

So what do we do to raise this incredibly important hormone?

1.Treat the adrenal glands:  This is another way of saying “help your body adapt better to stress”.  Because Progesterone is produced in both the ovaries and adrenal glands (that also regulate your stress responses) these important glands need to be strong. Reducing chronic stress by taking even small steps to support the adrenals through lifestyle changes (sleep, diet and moderate exercise) and supportive herbs and nutritional supplements will help to optimize their ability to produce adequate levels of Progesterone.

2.Detoxify the liver: the liver metabolizes hormones so in order to ensure proper ratios of Estrogen to Progesterone, support the liver on an ongoing basis. We also suggest talking to your ND about whether doing a detox/cleanse is right for you.

Along with some herb/supplements, consider a simple step such as a glass of warm water with lemon every morning to start stimulating the liver’s detoxification processes.

3. Herbs and Nutrition: Along with food sources, use supportive herbs and nutritional supplements in doses that are prescribed specifically for your needs.  Although there are many herbs and nutrients that can assist in bringing up Progesterone, some of our favourite ones include

I3C: broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, brussel sprouts

These help to reduce the load of harmful Estrogen in the body, which in turn increases the ratio of Progesterone to Estrogen

Vitamin B6: walnuts, beans, bananas, spinach, potatoes, lean red meat

Helps liver detoxify Estrogen

Zinc: shellfish, beef, pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, wheatgerm

Stimulates Progesterone production

 Magnesium: beans, pumpkin, whole grains, nuts, spinach

Supports adrenal glands in is useful in every enzyme reaction in the body which in turn helps produce hormones

Chaste tree: a herb that has a potent effect on the pituitary gland and is useful in directly stimulating the body’s production of Progesterone

Licorice Root, Rhodiola, Ashwaghanda, Shisandra: these herbs help to strengthen the adrenals allowing them to help produce and release sex hormones.

Evening Primrose Oil/Borage Oil: high in the fatty acid, GLA, these oils help to provide compounds for the body to make more Progesterone. Always balance these with fish oils or flax (omega 3s).

4.Regular sleep and meals: Make sure you get adequate sleep and at regular times. Ideally, going to bed between 9-11pm and waking between 6-8am, ensuring 7-9 hours sleep nightly, will assist the adrenals and pituitary gland in the brain in regulating the production of Progesterone

Eat meals that include protein at regular intervals to keep blood sugars stable. Eating erratically or having blood sugar spikes and lows will further stress the adrenals.

Decreasing the stress of inadequate sleep and blood sugar imbalances will unburden the adrenals, allowing them to release adequate levels of the hormones necessary for proper hormone balance.

Take charge of balancing your Hormones today! You can find out if your Progesterone is low and treat it! Proper hormone levels make a world of difference as they affect all aspects of your sense of wellbeing.

 

Healthy Summer Tips from Pacifica Naturopathic

Happy Summer!

We can’t believe how quickly the first half of 2014 has flown by already!

It is a good reminder to make the most of every moment, every day and to appreciate our accomplishments so far and look forward to what is to come for the second half of the year.

Summer is a time of Abundance – lots of ripening fruits and vegetables, sunshine (we hope!) and time with friends/family. We hope you get to healthily enjoy this time and wish you a season rich in joy, health, energy and harmony.

Get out to enjoy the warmer weather fresh air every day if you can, even if just for a quick walk around the block!

If you aren’t feeling great or need to tune up your programs, want to make some lifestyle changes over the next few months or just have general health concerns or updates, call and book in to see your ND!

For PNC’s own health and a bit of time with our families and friends we will be closed from August 19-September 2nd so we can all start the Fall refreshed! If you need to stock up on anything before the holidays, please call and place your orders as soon as possible,so we have what you need on hand.

Summer is a great time to work on fresh nutritious meals, getting fresh air and exercise and healing and strengthening your systems.

 

Wishing you sunshine in your hearts and skies,

 

From all of us at Pacifica

Bee Propolis: All the Buzz – By Dr Nina Lange, ND

  • Natural product that bees make to hold their hives together. This strength makes it a very powerful natural remedy!
  • Antibiotic, antiseptic, antiviral
  • Contains flavonoids, phenolic acids, terpenes, benzoic acids, amino acids, vitamins and minerals that aid in wound healing, decrease inflammation and increase immune system activity
  • Stimulates white and red blood cell production increasing immune system function and energy
  • Can be used internally and topically on minor wounds, burns, infections, sore throats, strep throat, herpes outbreaks, shingles, gingivitis (tooth/gum infections), canker sores
  • Helps with asthma, coughs, sinusitis, urinary tract infections, flu, food poisoning, preventatively before/during a plane flight
  • Study showed antibacterial activity against antibiotic resistant strains of potentially fatal E.coli and MRSA bacteria
  • Several studies have shown its anti prostate, breast and colon cancer activity by interrupting blood supply to cancer cells
  • Available in tinctures, sprays, lozenges, powders
  • (Caution use in people with a honey or bee sting allergy)

With so many good actions, use a good quality bee propolis if you have any infection or just to strengthen your immune system and BEE HEALTHY !

Vitamin Injections: A Boost for Your Immune System – By Dr Nina Lange ND

We are often asked about these Vitamin injections (Meyer’s Cocktail) and suggest you ask your ND if this may be a good option for you!

*Intravenous injection allows for vitamins, minerals and specific amino acids, homeopathics or trace minerals to be infused straight into the bloodstream so they get right to the cells and organs where they are needed. Prevents the need for absorption from the digestive tract.

*Higher doses of anti inflammatory, antioxidant, immune boosting supplements can be given this route than through the GI tract

*Can be taken at regular intervals as determined by your ND or as needed if you are exposed to more viruses (think of your kids bringing germs home from daycare!), will be traveling on a flight, are feeling run down or stressed, or have any digestive issues that may decrease vitamin and mineral absorption

*Advised for all athletes who are training or racing as the body’s vitamin and mineral requirements will be higher

*In pregnancy, aids in mother’s immune system health

*Highly recommended before and after plane or cruise ship travel

*Can be tailored to suit your body’s needs

Detoxing: Spring Cleaning for Your Body By Dr Nina Lange ND

Want to feel revitalized, energized, clear headed, calm and balanced??

No matter how healthy you are, taking the time to “cleanse” is essential to maintaining optimal vitality.

Stress, poor diet, food sensitivities, environmental pollutants, medications, lack of exercise, alcohol, caffeine and poor water quality all contribute to toxin accumulation in our bodies. Even if we try to do everything right we are bombarded with toxins on a daily basis.

Signs and Symptoms of Toxicity
Stress, anxiety
Bloating
Recurrent infections
Fatigue
Gas
Rashes
Headaches
Diarrhea, Constipation
Sinus congestion
Joint pains
Allergies
Nausea
Depression
Acne
PMS

Although the body is continually “detoxifying” (essentially a word to describe the breakdown of substances that are harmful to our bodies), Spring and Fall are transition times in the year when it is optimal to give your body a “Cleanse” or “Detoxification”. This is a time to make an intentional effort to support the body’s detoxification process. It is important to understand the value of undertaking these cleanses under supervision, especially if you are doing a more intensive detoxification. When you start to detoxify the system the main eliminatory organs of the body are burdened if they are not properly supported. These main organs are the skin, the bowels, the liver, the lungs, the lymphatics and the kidneys.

The liver, your main detoxification organ requires certain supportive vitamins and minerals in order for the 2 phases of the detoxification to function properly. Let’s take a moment to understand that process. In Phase 1 of the liver’s detoxification process toxic substances are broken down into intermediate metabolites. In Phase 2, these are further broken down and then eliminated. You can imagine now that if the liver is not functioning optimally, and Phase 1 does not efficiently break down the toxins, they will back up in the bloodstream. There are also a variety of substances that can slow Phase 1, again leading to toxin buildup in the blood and eventually the tissues. If Phase 1 is accelerated due to certain substances, the bottleneck of toxic intermediates between Phase 1 and 2 again leads to toxin accumulation. It is important that the Phase 1 and 2 are in proper balance to achieve optimum results. This means avoiding certain foods, adding certain supplements and foods and involving other supportive therapies.
Not only the liver, but also the kidneys, lymphatics, bowels, respiratory system, and skin need to be supported in order to achieve the full effect of a Cleanse. Of course, supporting these organs all the time with a healthy lifestyle is optimal, but when you are undertaking a Cleanse it is imperative that you support them so that you will safely experience the benefits. These benefits include increased energy, improved digestion, clearer mind, decreased anxiety and tension, decreased pain and improved sleep. Now who wouldn’t want that?!

The key is to know which supportive therapies, foods, and supplements are required to make these systems most effective and functioning optimally. Acupuncture, saunas, hydrotherapy, supplementation with key support minerals and vitamins, dietary modifications and stress reduction can all benefit the process. Talk to your Naturopathic physician at PNC to set up a Detoxification Program that is designed for you personally!

Supplement in Focus: L-Glutamine for Sports Nutrition By Dr Nina Lange ND

So, what’s the big deal with l-glutamine supplementation? A little 101 on the benefits to encourage you to take it, especially for anyone who is training regularly or at higher intensities. Besides being an essential recovery aid, L-glutamine benefits the immune system by supporting the health of the intestines.

Glutamine is an essential amino acid, one of the building blocks of protein. Although the body can synthesize glutamine under “normal” conditions, it cannot meet the requirements under higher stress such as intense training, infection or other higher physical demands.

It is the most abundant amino acid found in the muscle and blood and is necessary for many key functions in the body:

Maintain muscle mass as it is fuel for muscle cells
Assists in glycogen storage (needed for your next workout!)
Helps produce the antioxidant glutathione
Maintains health of intestinal tract
Assists in balancing pH of the body
Maintains immune system health by preserving integrity in the intestinal walls, your major first line of defense against bacteria, viruses.

People who have any gastrointestinal problems, are training hard, suffering any muscle wasting, are experiencing poor recovery from workouts, are getting lots of flus, colds and other infections may be lacking adequate glutamine.

Depending on your body size and training levels, supplementing between 3-10g of L-glutamine daily to prevent muscle breakdown and ensure sufficient level for muscle building, is a general dosage. And, to help your body produce its own glutamine beside the supplement, take vitamins B3 and B6 as these are required for the synthesis.

Get the Glutamine advantage!

*Although it is a very safe and useful supplement for most people, please note that if you are on medications for or suffer from bipolar disorder or seizures or if you have a severe allergy to monosodium glutamate(MSG), please ask your naturopathic physician for advice*