Author Archives: Dr. Stacey Richards

3 Simple Tips to Keep You and Your Family Healthy This Winter

on October 26, 2020 by: Dr. Stacey Richards 0 Comments

3 Simple Tips to Keep You and Your Family Healthy This Winter

Are you ready for winter? Here are 3 simple tips that will keep you and your family healthy this winter.


Sure, you have your snow tires, windshield ice scraper, that great down filled coat and those boots built for life in Antarctica but what about your health. Those winter blues, feeling tired and fatigued, that horrid cough that is going around and should we mention the dreaded flu. Here are some preventative measures to help you skip all that this season.



    1.     Vitamin D

This sunshine vitamin is hands down the solution to many health concerns. One of the most important role for vitamin D is to keeping your immune system strong. Several studies show that it protects us from cold, bronchitis and pneumonia by fighting viruses and bacteria.


Another important role is the protection against Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Low Vitamin D levels are linked to depression. Your depressed mood or seasonal depression could very well be a symptom of vitamin D deficiency.


If you are feeling tired and fatigued as the winter months role on. Guess what? You could be vitamin D deficient. A large study found a connection between low vitamin D levels and fatigue. 


    2.     Immune support

We’ve all been there, everyone around you is sick and you are hoping and praying to the flu gods to please spare you this season. You have too much to do and getting sick is not an option. You wash your hands constantly, carry around wipes and hand sanitizers. You may even get the flu shot.


An immune system on high alert is your ticket to making it through the cold and flu season with little to no infections. There are many ways to support your immune system – rest, stress management, bone broth, clean healthy foods, vitamin C – but my favourite is a product call Pascoleucyn. Plain and simple it works for preventing colds/flus. It is the mainstay for my cold and flu prevention program because it supports the immune system very well. Not only is it an effective preventative measure but should you get a cold or flu it will minimize your symptoms and help you feel better faster.


    3.     Probiotics

These are the good bacteria that are in your yogurt, kefir or sauerkraut. They are not only in your gastrointestinal tract (GIT) for optimal digestion but play a pivotal role in your overall health – mental emotional health, immune function and disease prevention to name a few.  The importance of good bacteria is extremely important and cannot be overstated.


More specifically, 80% of your immune system is in the gastrointestinal tract, for this reason supporting the GIT means supporting the immune system. Probiotics are known to enhance immune function and reduce the risk of getting the cold.



We spend more than $300 million a year on over the counter cold and flu treatments and prescription for antibiotics, which only treat symptoms. Researchers concluded that preventative measure would reduce colds and flu and lower health care costs significantly.

Cold and Flu Season is Here!

on October 25, 2020 by: Dr. Stacey Richards 0 Comments

How do you and your family prepare for the upcoming cold and flu season?


Did you know immune boosting strategies gives you the BEST protection against viral infections like the cold and flu? 

The fact is, the status of your immune system is the most powerful determinant of whether or not you’ll get sick this flu season… with flu or one of the hundreds of other flu-like illnesses going around.

SMRT Health is excited to offer a natural solution to cold and flu prevention. This boosts your bodies defences to help you fight all strains of the the flu virus as well as colds.

This product stands apart because:

  • it is well tolerated
  • help protect you against all the viruses and bacteria going around
  • been on the market for more than 60 years
  • increases recovery times from colds and flus
  • it is safe even for your youngest family members
  • highly effective even at the FIRST signs of feeling unwell
  • can also reduce the intensity and duration of your symptoms.
  • works even if you get the FLU SHOT 

The program includes:

  1. A 15 minute consultation with the Naturopathic Doctor
  2. An in office administered natural immune booster 
  3. A Cold and Flu information handout containing health tips and at home remedies

COST: $35

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


  • 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



  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


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! 

Sensational Summer Sangria Pitcher and Cups

Sensational Summer Sangria!

on July 3, 2018 by: Dr. Stacey Richards 0 Comments

This Tasty Tuesday, try our Sensational Summer Sangria!

Over the summer, we’ll be sneaking a peek into our picnic baskets to bring you all our favourite summer recipes. We’ve got sensational summer sangria for refreshments; popsicles to keep you cool; gluten free muffins to start your morning off right, and even more! 

To start the summer off right, we’ll dive right into our Sensational Summer Sangria recipes.

What is Sangria?

The word “sangria” comes from the Latin word for “blood.” It’s an alcoholic punch with Spanish roots. The reddish hue of the wine is what gave sangria its name. The current sangria trend can be dated back to the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City, however sangria has been around in various forms since the Middle Ages!

Red wine and chopped fruit are the most common ingredients in sangria. However some recipes allow for the addition of brandy, sparkling water, or even flavoured liqueur! 

One of the best things about Sangria is that you can tailor it to your own tastes. A number of recipes use a variety of fruits, but you can use as few or as many as you would like. Common fruits used include pineapple, peaches, berries, apples, or pears.

What kind of wine makes a Sensational Sangria? 

One thing to remember about red sangria is that it’s considered a rather strong drink. Which means the kind of red wine you use will have a great impact on the kind of sangria you make. 

Wines made from the tempranillo grapes in the Rioja regions of Spain are the classic choice for sangria. However you can choose pretty much any red wine that suits your palate! 

Garnacha wine has a great acidity and helps make rich, red fruits really shine when used to make sangria. Primitivo and Zinfandel are good for sangria when mixed with more jammy fruits such as strawberries or blackberries. But those are just suggestions – the beauty of sangria is you can make it with the wine you most prefer!

Look for reasonably priced dry red wines. Their simpler fruit-driven flavours and aromas are perfect for sangria.

Avoid older wines, tannic reds, and more complex wines as they are usually too delicate for mixing and can affect the taste of sangria.

Sangria Blanca

If red wine isn’t your style, Sangria Blanca may be the one for you!

Sangria Blanca is made with dry white wine for a slightly sweeter flavour. Wines such as Pinot Grigio, dry Riesling, or Sauvignon Blanc are ideal for Sangria Blanca. 

Since white wine tends to be more fruity, they can help showcase the flavours of the fruits in the sangria. But it’s a double-edged wine glass as the abundance of fruity flavours in white wine also make it more difficult to make the right sangria blend. If a sangria recipe calls for lemon, for example, you might want to avoid a citrus-based white wine as the overall acidity will affect the taste of the sangria.

Aim for white wines with scents and flavours that complement the fruits in your sangria.

Avoid heavily oaked wines, older wines, more complex wines, and wines with a high alcohol content as they can all affect the flavour of your Sangria Blanca.

What if I don’t like red or white wine?

Red and white wine aren’t for everyone. The good news is that you can use pretty much any kind of wine for sangria. 

Rosé wine, with its gorgeous pink hues, can help create some delightful colour and flavour combinations.  Berry fruits such as raspberries or cranberries are ideal lighter flavours and aromas of rosé. 

Sparkling wine can add a little bit of bubbly zest to your sangria. You can easily use it in place of white or rosé wines, but try to avoid older sparkling wines and always wait until you’re ready to serve to add the bubbles.

Dessert wines can be a bit trickier to use in sangria, but if you look for simple and fruity wines, you can create a sipping delight.

Stay away from fortified wines such as port and stick to off-sweet and lower alcohol content dessert wines for the ideal dessert wine sangria.

But is Sangria healthy?

Of course, we have to touch on the health aspects of all of our Tasty Tuesday recipes, otherwise we wouldn’t be doing a good job helping you stay healthy! 

Moderation is key for a lot of things, especially alcohol. But when it comes to red wine, it’s on the healthier side of things. A 5 ounce serving of red wine has as little as 125 calories and 4 grams of carbs. The high number of antioxidants in red wine make it a more healthy alcohol. Moderate amounts of red wines (and a few other alcohols) may help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke by slightly “boosting” the healthy cholesterol in your system. Red wine may also help reduce your risks of cancer, dementia, or depression when consumed in moderate amounts. 

In North America and Europe, moderate amounts of red wine are considered to be about 5 ounces a day for women and up to 10 ounces a day for men. This refers to total alcohol consumption, though, so if you also drink other alcohols in a day, that could push you over the limit, so to speak. 

High alcohol intake can increase your risk for heart disease, as well as high blood pressure and certain cancers.

Other wines such as rosés, whites, and sweet wines typically contain fewer antioxidants thanks to how they are made, so they don’t hold as many benefits as red wine. Try to stick with moderate amounts – or less – of these wines.

Wine-soaked fruits add vitamins – but only if you eat them!

The other healthy benefit of sangria is the addition of fruit and fruit juices. When you add things such as oranges or 100% orange juice (with no added sugars), you also add vitamin C to your drink. Depending on the types of fruits or juices you add, you could also be adding fiber and potassium or other vitamins. Of course, to actually take in those nutrients, you’ll have to eat the wine-soaked fruit – but who could turn down that level of delicious flavour? 

Some recipes call for added sugar, which can negate the healthy benefits of sangria. Be sure to avoid added sugar where possible! Try honey or agave nectar for healthier alternatives.

Bring on the Sensational Summer Sangria!

Enough about all of that – although if you have any questions feel free to let us know – let’s break out the recipes! For your summer refreshment and enjoyment, we’ve got a variety of options below. 

Red Wine Sensational Summer Sangria

  • For a healthy, no-sugar added delight full of pineapple, pears, oranges, strawberries, and oranges, check out the Healthiest Summer Sangria Ever !
  • Looking to keep your heart healthy this summer? Try this Heart-Healthy Sangria with lime, lemons, pears, oranges, and red wine, sweetened with a little bit of stevia!
  • Love raspberries and agave nectar? Then this Low Sugar Raspberry Sangria is your ideal refreshment!
  • For an extra chilly wine treat, check out this Frozen Raspberry Peach Sangria! Frozen raspberries, peaches, and agave nectar make this a healthier, boozey cocktail for those hot summer nights.

White Wine Sensational Summer Sangria

  • On the keto diet but don’t want to miss out on any summer fun? Let this Low Carb Sparkling White Sangria to tingle your taste buds without affecting your diet!
  • Oranges, limes, and lemons, oh my! This Easy Citrus White Wine Sangria features whine wine, vodka, and a dash of mint, to make an eclectic and delicious cool white wine summer treat!
  • Dive into perfect peaches and resplendent raspberries with this White Peach Sangria that uses honey as a natural sweetener!

Rosé Sensational Summer Sangria

  • A myriad of melons, with a dash of rosé and elderflower liqueur make this Summer Melon Rosé Sangria the perfect refreshment for your summer picnics!
  • Strawberries and peaches are the stars of this Rosé Sangria . Add a little bit of sparkling water just before serving for refreshing bubbles!

Non-Alcoholic Sensational Summer Sangria

  • Wine not your thing? Kids wanting a “grown-up” drink at your family picnics? Why not check out this Healthy Non-Alcoholic Sangria that uses grape juice (with no added sugar) instead?
  • Break out some white grape juice for this Vegan Non-Alcoholic Sangria. Full of blueberries, oranges, bananas, and peaches, you’ll be sure to get all your essential vitamins in one drink!

Enjoy your Sensational Summer Sangrias!

Sensational Summer Sangria is a delightfully refreshing cocktail you can easily add to your summer picnic baskets. With the added benefit of nutrient-dense fruit and the health benefits of red wine, it’s the perfect healthy summer treat. 

Check out the recipes above and be sure to let us know which ones are your favourites! If you create your own, let us know and we’ll feature it on our Facebook page!

Happy Sensational Summer Sangria making!