blue sky with some clouds and a sign that says CLEAN AIR

Breathe Smrt and Clear!

on August 9, 2018 by: Dr. Stacey Richards 0 Comments

Breathe Smrt and Clear This Summer!

Wildfires. Vehicle emissions. Chemicals in the air. Smoking. Changes in the weather. So many different things affect our air quality daily that it’s hard to make sure you’re breathing in clean air. Which might leave you wondering how can you Breathe Smrt and Clear?

What is clean air?

Clean air is air free of harmful pollutants or free of dangerous levels of harmful pollutants. Even things you might not think were harmful can affect the air you’re breathing. Everything from car exhaust and cigarette smoke to dust and pet hair to wildfires happening provinces away – it all negatively contributes to your air quality. And we don’t always notice it!

When our air isn’t clean, it can do simple things like irritate your eyes, nose, or throat and cause shortness of breath. But the longer you’re exposed to poor air quality, the more likely it is to cause allergies and asthma. It can also contribute to things like cardiovascular disease.

Tips To Breathe Smrt and Clear!

There are plenty of ways to stay healthy, even when the air quality is poor. Our first tips to Breathe Smrt and Clear are specifically for when you’re indoors.

  • Double check your home. See if you have any air pollutants that might be affecting you and if you can do without them any of them. These include things like:
    • Cleaners and disinfectants
    • Bug repellants
    • Air fresheners
    • And more!
  • When it comes to a lot of the above, you can make some easy changes to your indoor air quality by switching to more natural cleaning products. We’ve got some examples below for you!
    • Water, vinegar, a hint of lemon juice, and a dash of lemon essential oil in a spray bottle makes for a very simple and more natural cleaning solution for your counters, sinks, tiles, and bathrooms.
    • Water and vinegar alone are great for cleaning windows without extra chemicals!
    • Have some stubborn, stuck on stains? Some water, vinegar, and castile soap (a soap made from vegetable oil. One popular brand is Dr. Bronner’s) will have those stains gone in no time.
    • Need to clean the oven? All you need is some filtered water, baking soda, and castile soap and your oven will be sparkling clean!
    • You can eve make your own bug spray with some essential oils, rubbing alcohol, witch hazel, and water or vinegar! (Check out this recipe here for one that works wonders!)
    • If you have the money, an essential oil diffuser will quickly replace your need or want for an air freshener – plus, they smell better too! You can also invest in some potpourri or fresh plants to make your place smell lovely!

Plant the Seed for Healthy Breathing!

You can also boost the air quality in your home by adding some air cleaning house plants.

  • Air cleaning house plants are plants that do exactly what it says on the label: they help filter the air around them and keep it just a bit cleaner than it would have been without them.
  • Such plants include:
    • Boston Ferns
    • Spider Plants
    • Chinese Evergreens
    • Bamboo Palms
    • Weeping Figs
    • Peace Lillies
    • English Ivy
    • And many others!

IMPORTANT: Some of air cleaning house plants are known to be toxic to pets. Be sure to research the best plants for your home!

  • For those of you born without a green thumb, have no fear! Plants like the Cast Iron Plant, Janet Craig, and Mexican Ponytail are all low-maintenance air cleaning house plants!
  • You can also think about investing in a HEPA-certified Air Purifier to help you breathe Smrt and Clear!
    • HEPA-certified Air Purifiers are also especially good for times when forest fire smoke is at its worst!

Breathe Smrt and Clear While Out and About!

Of course, we can’t spend all our times indoors! What do you do when you’re out and about and the air quality is incredibly poor? Well, we’ve got a couple ideas for you below:

  • One key strategy for breathing Smrt and Clear is to exercise during “Off” hours. If you’re exercising outdoors, aim to exercise either in the early morning or later in the evening to avoid the heaviest pollutant hours.
  • Be sure to treat the symptoms of smoke exposure – this especially key during times when forest fires are raging at their peak.
    • If you’ve got a sore throat and are coughing, treat it with more natural things like hot water and lemon or homeopathic cough syrups.
      • Important: If you suspect more severe illness such as lung infections, always see a doctor ASAP!

    • Do you have asthma or other lung conditions? Ensure you have an up-to-date plan for dealing with these conditions. A majority of those with asthma should be taking some form of corticosteroid medication.
      • If you’ve got questions about dealing with your lung conditions, be sure to schedule an appointment with your doctor and with our naturopath, Dr. Stacey Richards, so you can build a plan that’s right for you and your lungs!
    • Irritated and dry eyes? Treat that issue with some simple saline eye drops.
      • For more chronic dry eyes, make an appointment with Dr. Stacey Richards and she’ll help you even more!

 

Breathe Smrt and Clear All Summer!

So, there’s some excellent ideas to keep you breathing smart and clear all summer long! If you’re worried about more in-depth health issues, especially regarding your breathing and air quality, be sure to book an appointment with Dr. Stacey Richards today!

Important: In the event of a medical emergency, be sure to go to the ER or to a doctor ASAP!

Delectable Blueberry Delights!

on July 31, 2018 by: Dr. Stacey Richards 0 Comments

Delectable Blueberry Delights!

Sweet and slightly tart, blueberries are a refreshing fruity treat in the heat of summer. What’s even better is that blueberries have been proven to help maintain and boost bone strength, mental health, and blood pressure. Blueberries can even help protect against heart disease and certain cancers! Join us below as we talk about Delectable Blueberry Delights.

Blueberries and Nutrients Galore!

Let’s take a moment to get “technical” about blueberries. While we mostly know them as a delicious round bite of fruit, blueberries are a little bit more than that. They’re full of anthocyanin – a natural antioxidant that gives blueberries a majority of their nutritious benefits.

That’s not all they’re full of though! They’re also rich in such nutrients as iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin K, vitamin C, and zinc! Not to mention fiber, potassium, and vitamin B6.

But what do all of these nutrients packed into such a tiny package do for you and your health?  Below are just a few examples of what blueberries can do for you!

  • Skin health

    • Collagen is the skin’s support system and little supports collagen as well as Vitamin C. One cup of blueberries can provide up to 24% of your daily Vitamin C intake, which also boosts your collagen. Together, they work to help enhance your skin texture, prevent skin damage from things such as the sun, and help smooth out wrinkles in your skin.
  • Lower Blood Pressure

    • Blueberries are sodium free so they won’t increase your sodium intake and can even help maintain or reduce blood pressure.
  • Heart Disease Protection

    • Everything in a blueberry – the fiber, the vitamin C, the vitamin B6, the folate, and more – all contributes to heart health. Fiber helps to reduce cholesterol in the blood; Vitamin B6 and folate prevent homocysteine build-up, which in turn prevents blood vessel and heart problems.
  • Antioxidants Galore

    • The mix of vitamins and nutrients in blueberries all comes together to work as powerful antioxidants that can help protect cells against diseases. Some research suggests it may even help inhibit tumor growth and decrease inflammation in the body!
  • Mental Health Boost

    • Some studies have shown that eating a proper serving of blueberries can help slow down cognitive decline – especially in older women! They’ve even been shown to help improve short term memory and motor coordination.
  • Digest Away

    • Due to the high fiber content of blueberries, they’re excellent as helping prevent constipation. Dietary fiber, such as the fiber in blueberries, has also been linked to weight loss and weight management.

One important thing to note is that blueberries are high in Vitamin K. If you are taking any kind of blood thinners, consult your doctor before you increase or add blueberries to your diet as Vitamin K is important to blood clotting and could affect your blood-thinning medication.

Time to eat Delectable Blueberry Delights!

Today we’re making muffins! More specifically, we’re making gluten-free and dairy-free Cinnamon Apple Blueberry Muffins!

Muffins aren’t always the healthiest option, but with our modifications, these muffins are at least a bit healthier than the ones you get at the store – and they’re tasty to boot!

CINNAMON APPLE BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

Cinnamon Apple Blueberry Muffins

Cinnamon Apple Blueberry Muffins

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup of unsweetened soy milk (or other non-dairy milk of choice)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup unpasteurized honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of all-purpose gluten free flour
  • 1 cup of whole wheat gluten free flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries (if frozen, do not thaw)
  • 1 apple, cored, peeled, and diced

 

STEPS

  1. Heat oven to 400℉. Spray 12 regular-size muffin cups with cooking spray or line muffin tin with paper baking cups.
  2. In small bowl, mix brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside for later.
  3. In large bowl, beat milk, coconut oil, honey, and egg together. Stir in flours, baking powder, and salt – only stir until flours are moistened.
  4. Gently fold in blueberries and apple pieces.
  5. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups (fill about ⅔ of the way full).
  6. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon mixture on top of unbaked muffins.
  7. Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Remove from pan and cool.
  9. Enjoy a delicious fruit-packed treat!
Cinnamon Apple Blueberry Muffins

Cinnamon Apple Blueberry Muffins

DELECTABLE BLUEBERRIES ABOUND!

Now, the above recipe may be delicious, but there’s a myriad of other things you can put blueberries in to enjoy them throughout your summer.

Those are just a few ideas! There’s so many things you can make with blueberries – throw it on your oatmeal, in your yogurt or smoothie, or just eat them plain. No matter what, you’re sure to be getting delectable blueberry delight packed full of nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants – and there’s nothing better than that! 

watermelon slices

Wickedly Wonderful Watermelon

on August 7, 2018 by: Dr. Stacey Richards 0 Comments
watermelon slices

Wickedly Wonderful Watermelon

Wickedly wonderful watermelon delights and enriches your summer!

From seed-spitting contests to delicious treats, watermelons are the perfect addition to your summer picnic basket. Today we’re gonna dish on the healthy secrets of Wickedly Wonderful Watermelon.

Watermelon Nutritional Facts

One of the first things to know about watermelon is that they’re almost 92% water. So they can easily help you reach your water intake for the day and with wickedly wonderful watermelon flavour! The high water content give watermelon a low calorie count – about 30 calories per 100grams!

Watermelons have a ton of vitamin A, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. They’re also high in lycopene, antioxidants, and amino acids. 

What does that mean for your health? 

Quite simply, it means wickedly wonderful watermelon is a nutrient packed delight. But if we were to delve a little deeper, we can explore just what those nutrients do for your body and its health. 

We all know that vitamins do the body good. And when it comes to vitamin A, one of the best things it does for your body is help keep your skin and hair moisturized and healthy by encouraging collagen and elastin growth. A cup of watermelon has nearly a quarter of your recommended daily dose of vitamin A.

Vitamin C is also good for stellar skin and hair. But vitamin C also promotes your iron absorption, aids in the maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth, and boosts your immune system. 

Another vitamin good for your skin is vitamin B6. Beyond that, though, vitamin B6 helps support eye health, improves cognitive function, and enhances blood vessel health. It’s also been shown to help detoxify the liver and relieve mood swings. So, the next time you’re feeling grumpy, reach for a bite of wickedly wonderful watermelon to help you smile! 

Beyond Vitamins

Lycopene is a naturally occurring nutrient usually found in fruits in vegetables. It reacts with the human body to “trigger” healthy reactions and gives the red colour to things like tomatoes and watermelons. 

Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that helps with heart and bone health. It’s even been linked to prostate cancer prevention. 

In order to get the most lycopene (and other antioxidants in watermelon), be sure to let your watermelon fully ripen. The more red your watermelon is, the more nutrients are available in it.

Amino acids are, simply put, the building blocks of protein. Every bodily function uses protein, so eating foods high in amino acids are an excellent way to boost and maintain your healthy functions. 

Health Benefits

  • Wickedly wonderful watermelon has been shown to help lower the risk of heart disease as it can help improve blood flow. 
  • Lycopene is an anti-inflammatory and, so, watermelon might help reduce inflammation in your body. 
  • We already mentioned it, but it’s worth repeating: hydration. The high water content in watermelon means it will help you stay hydrated throughout the day. The juice is also full of good electrolytes and could possibly help prevent heat stroke on a hot day!
  • Fiber in watermelon means it can help boost your digestion. 
  • The abundance of antioxidants in watermelon means it may help prevent cancer. 

Are there risks?

There’s always risks in life. But the key with food – wickedly wonderful watermelon included – is moderation. Eaten in reasonable amounts, watermelon poses no real health risk for most people. 

However if you eat too much of it, you may find you’ve taken in too much lycopene or potassium (watermelon contains a small amount of potassium) which can cause things like nausea and indigestion. 

Another thing to be aware of is watermelon’s sugar content. Yes, it’s a naturally occurring sugar and therefore a “better” sugar, but sugar is still sugar and too much of it can be excessively bad for you. 

SMRT Health recommends eating watermelon in moderate amounts. Make sure to switch it up from day to day so you get a variety of fruits and vegetables! 

Wickedly Wonderful Watermelon Treats!

Now that we know all about how good watermelon is for us, let’s eat! Below you’ll find some of our top picks for healthy summer recipes. 

Wickedly Wonderful Wrap-Up

Watermelons are delicious, refreshing, and full of vital nutrients to get your healthy body through the summer heat. Be sure to eat watermelon in moderate amounts and soak up all the benefits that come with the vitamins and nutrients in each bite. 

Be sure to let us know if you try any of the above recipes – or if you’ve got your own recipes you’d like to share! 

We’ve Got Injection Fever!

on June 18, 2018 by: Dr. Stacey Richards 0 Comments

It’s Injection Fever at SMRT Health!

No, none of us actually have a fever, promise! But we’ve do have Injection Fever! We’re super excited to talk about how our injections can help you maintain healthy and happy hormones. 

When a substance is pumped into the body via needle, it’s an injection. The injection may contain vitamins, nutrients, or even a diluted plant-based formula. 

Injections help to prep your body for a multitude of different health challenges.  Challenges can include things like flu or allergy prevention. Sometimes injections just give your immune system an added boost to power through the flu season. Injections can also help give you a bonus supply of certain vitamins or hormones that your body may not be producing enough of. 

But what kind of injections are there?

There’s many different kinds, but let’s just stick to what’s available here at SMRT Health. 

We’ve got: 

  • B12:  A solution full of all the B-12 your body needs to function at peak levels, improving your sleep, energy, mood, and metabolism all in one go.
  • ALLERGY BUSTER: This injection is full of vitamins and minerals that help your body prep and fight off allergies throughout the allergy season.
  • LIPO-B: An injection designed to increase your metabolism, boost energy, improve mood, and encourage weight loss.

And a few more! Be sure to book in with Dr. Stacey Richards today to get your cure for Injection Fever!

 

Healthy Hormones, Healthy You

on June 11, 2018 by: Dr. Stacey Richards 0 Comments

Healthy Hormones, Healthy You

They’re something we all have – little chemical messengers zipping around our systems to help maintain and control our bodies. These chemicals are called hormones and they play a key role in pretty much everything your body does. 

Feeling hungry? Whether your stomach feels like it’s going to eat itself if you don’t eat in the next two minutes or you just need a tiny little nibble to get you through the next little bit, it’s all your hormones working to keep you fed and full.

Can barely keep your eyes open? Body heavy and desperate to fall into bed for a good snooze? Once again, it’s your hormones! This time they’re reminding you that sleep is vital to your health.

Stressing out about that big project at work or an upcoming final? Bouncing with excitement because summer is here and you love the sun? Feel like crying because life has got you down?

Every single one of those things – and more – are because of your hormones! 

Some more specific examples of hormones that are in your body are things like: 

  • Cortisol: 
    • Produced in the Adrenal Cortex,
    • Helps to do things like regulate blood pressure, suppress the immune system, and regulate blood glucose.
  • Serotonin: 
    • Found in the digestive system, blood platelets, and the central nervous system,
    • Acts as a natural mood stabilizer and also helps with things healing wounds, simulating nausea to push toxic things from your body faster, and helping you sleep or wake up.
  • Vitamin D: 
    • Found in the small intestine, kidneys, and bone cells,
    • Encourages your body to absorb, maintain, and release calcium throughout the body.
  • Estrogen:
    • Produced in the breast and uterus,
    • Accelerates metabolism, promotes development of female sex characteristics, regulates menstrual cycles in the uterus, and assists in maintaining the maturation of sperm in the testes. 
  • Testosterone:
    • Produced in the testes or ovaries and, in small amounts, in the adrenal glands,
    • Works to regulate fertility, fat distribution, red cell production, and bone mass. 

Those are just a few of the hormones in your body. There’s countless others and they’re all working together to keep you going each and every day! 

So how can you keep your hormones happy and healthy in return? 

Keeping active, eating a balanced and healthy diet, sleeping regularly, drinking enough water. All of that will help keep you – and, by extension, your hormones – very happy indeed. 

Sometimes we need a bit of help, though, and that’s where our Healthy Hormone Program comes in. 

The Healthy Hormone Program is…

a program designed to help you take a deeper look at any imbalances that might exist within your body. Through saliva testing and blood testing, we can work to identify which nutritional/vitamin factors are missing and which hormones may be lacking.

Our goal is to help restore the function back to your tissues so that your body can carry out all its natural functions – smoothly and efficiently!

What does that mean for you? 

There’s so many different things it means. It means your hormones will finally be delivering the messages they were always meant to deliver throughout your body. 

It could mean you find yourself with more energy than you had before. You’ll be able to keep up with your kids again or run that marathon you’ve been dreaming about running or any number of fun things you felt you were missing out on.

Or that you’re happier and find yourself smiling more and more as you finally get the serotonin you’ve been missing. 

Maybe your period is finally back, or it’s finally regular and less painful. There’s so many possibilities when you take the steps towards happier, healthier hormones.

But there’s one thing we can say for sure: healthy hormones mean you’re able to achieve your optimal health…from the inside out.

Spring (And Pollen) Are In The Air

on May 31, 2018 by: Dr. Stacey Richards 0 Comments

Spring (and pollen) are in the air (and summer is on its way)

 

…which means it’s the perfect time to talk about allergies! Especially seasonal allergies.

An allergy is the damaging response an immune system has to an allergen such as dust or pollen. There are many different kinds of allergies. For the spring season, we’re going to focus on seasonal allergies and what you can do to combat them.

 

Seasonal allergies

 

…are specific to things that only pop up during certain times of the year. Spring, for example, is when the trees burst back into life with new leaves. As much as we all love a lovely spring breeze, every time it passes through the trees, it brings a fresh wave of new pollen just itching to irritate your seasonal allergies.

 

Another springtime allergy culprit

 

…is snow mold, especially in places where snow runs rampant in the winter. Snow mold is a sneaky little thing that hides under the snow for the majority of winter, only to become active and aggressive as soon as the soil beneath it gets moist as the snow melts away.

(Tip: some ways to try and prevent snow mold is to avoid mulching your lawn in the fall, raking up fallen leaves before snowfall, and keeping your grass cut shorter.)

People walking over the grass, breezes, and more can cause the snow mold spores to be released into the air and trigger seasonal allergy symptoms.

 

When summer hits

 

…you’re in for another round of completely different pollens floating through the air. This fresh flight of pollen is typically caused by grasses and weeds, making an escape from seasonal allergens nearly impossible.

 

People with seasonal allergies can expect to experience a variety of symptoms, including (but not limited to) the following:

 

  • Sneezing,
  • Itchy and/or watering eyes,
  • Itchy throat, sinus, and/or ears,
  • Runny/stuffy nose,
  • Ear congestion,
  • Postnasal drip.

 

Some people with seasonal allergies even experience things like wheezing, shortness of breath, and coughing. Seasonal allergies can also trigger asthma attacks for people with asthma.

 

What can you do to lessen the symptoms of seasonal allergies?

 

One surefire method is to just avoid all the possible allergens – keep your windows and doors shut, avoid outdoor activities, etc. 

 

But where’s the spring and summer fun in that?

 

There’s also antihistamines – always a good idea (or necessity) for people with more severe allergies. Keeping a clean house – i.e. dusting and sweeping multiple times a week – will also help cut down on your allergy symptoms. 

 

But what about those times you’re outside, soaking up the sun or tending to your garden? Or those days on the beach, carefree and fun? When you’re at your child’s ball game, where all the running kids are kicking up pollen and other allergens with every move? When you’re camping in the mountains and surrounded by all kinds of allergens you can’t even see?

 

What do you do to curb your Seasonal Allergy symptoms then?

 

It’s time to give our Allergy Buster Injection a shot at relieving those pesky allergy symptoms!

 

The Allergy Buster Injection

 

…is administered via needle by Dr. Stacey Richards and is a saline substance that is chock full of nutrients and plant-based formulas. Everything in the Allergy Buster Injection is designed to help relieve and ease your Seasonal Allergy symptoms.

 

Smell the blooming flowers without sneezing; go for a morning jog without a wheeze in your lungs; and experience a summer where your biggest concern is when to have your next ice cold glass of lemonade.

 

Book in for your Allergy Buster Injection today!