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!)

 

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

Eggnog at ChristmasTis the Season!

This recipe has been featured on www.drjuliedurnan.com 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

Directions
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 Julie is Moving

After five wonderful years at the clinic, Dr Durnan is leaving PNC to open up a new practice closer to her home in North Vancouver. Dr Durnan is sad to say goodbye to such a fabulous team who has been like family over these past five years but excited at what lies ahead in her new office, closer to her family and children.

Dr Durnan’s new clinic, Restoration Health Clinic, is opening in January 2015. Her new clinic is located above the Lynn Valley Library in Lynn Valley Village.  For more information, please visit www.restorationhealthclinic.ca.

All Dr Durnan’s current patients are invited to see her at her new location and your files will be automatically transferred. If you prefer to continue your care in West Vancouver, please feel free to call Gill and although Dr Durnan would be sad to see you go, she wants to make sure you continue to get great naturopathic care. Please feel free to pick up supplements at PNC or to book a visit with either Dr Lange or Dr Deschatelats.

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 www.drdeschat.com.

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 (http://www.culturesforhealth.com/kombucha-tea-starter-culture.html)
  • 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.

DRINK and ENJOY!!

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.

 

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

2.REPLACE

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.

3. REINOCULATE

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.

4.REPAIR

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)

5. RELAX

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.