8 amazing benefits of barre

8 amazing benefits of barre

One of the hottest fitness trends right now is barre. Barre's history stems from move that are based on classic ballet (as if the ballet barre didn't give that away!) and it's no surprise that barre was developed by a ballerina back in the 60s. Since then barre instructors have branched off and developed many different styles and variations of the workout. The barre trend has definitely heated up in the past 10 years - and it's no longer a class just for ballerinas. 

While the class definitely has it's roots in ballet, you do not need any dance experience whatsoever to reap the benefits of this fitness trend. The ballet barre is mainly used as a prop to help you support your body weight and target your legs and muscles in a way you haven't before!

So what's the difference between barre and your typical strength training class?

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how to change your health in just minutes a day

how to change your health in just minutes a day

More and more frequently the conversation of stress and our stress hormone, cortisol, comes up with patients. Patients are concerned about the effects of stress on their every day lives, and as their naturopathic doctor, I am concerned about the effects cortisol is having on their health and future health. Your body is hard wired to react to stress to protect you against threats from predators (ie. lions, tigers and bears!). These threats are super rate today, but that doesn't mean that life is free of stress. Each day we face multiple stressors (ie. trying to get your toddler to eat their breakfast or tackling that deadline at work while thinking about what's for dinner). Your body doesn't know the difference between day to day stressors and the lions, tigers, and bears! As a result, your body can stay in a state of what's called "fight or flight."

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6 reasons why women need prenatal yoga

6 reasons why women need prenatal yoga

Pregnancy is a time of change... 9 months (which can sometimes feel like an eternity) of change. Beginning as soon as day 1 of pregnancy, hormone levels start to change. These hormone shifts bring along both physical and mental changes for mama-to-be. While pregnancy is of course a very exciting time, pregnancy can occasionally be tough for mom (and the rest of the family) to handle. Most pregnant women choose to pay closer attention to their physical health - focusing on eating a healthy diet, taking their prenatal vitamins and getting enough rest. But it is also just as important to put some focus on your mental and spiritual health as well. This is one of the reasons why pregnancy is the ideal time to either start or continue with your yoga practice.

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4 health benefits of eating more protein (+ a special bonus!)

4 health benefits of eating more protein (+ a special bonus!)

Protein, protein, protein!

If any of you have seen me as a patient... you will have heard this word MANY times (maybe a few more than you'd like?). But if you've been for a visit with me then you also know how important it is to ensure your getting enough protein in on any given day. 

Our bodies are MADE from proteins - our organs, muscles and HORMONES - all made from proteins

We know it's essential to get enough protein our foods in order for our body to develop, grow and basically function properly. (ie. things start to shut down if we're not getting enough protein - hello fatigue!)

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8 lifestyle changes to make 3 months before trying to conceive

8 lifestyle changes to make 3 months before trying to conceive

According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention about 20 percent of women are diagnosed as infertile without a specific reason why. A number of these women end of seeking alternative or naturopathic medicine when their medical doctor is unable to explain why they’re having a hard time getting pregnant. What I often tell these patients is that just because their MD can’t explain what the problem is – doesn’t mean that there isn’t something we can do to help with their fertility struggles. On the other side of this spectrum is women who have a diagnosis that is contributing to their fertility struggles – most commonly PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) or endometriosis.

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the gut-brain connection: how to feed your brain

the gut-brain connection: how to feed your brain

Yes, it's true. Your gut is considered your "second brain." There is no denying it anymore.

And because of the new scientific discoveries about the vagus nerve, the enteric nervous system, and the amazing influence your gut microbes can have, it's no wonder what you eat feeds not only your body but can directly affect your brain. I find it amazing (but not too surprising).

What exactly is the "gut-brain connection."?

Well, it’s very complex, and to be honest, we’re still learning lots about it!

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let's talk 'postpartum' - what it actually means and where to find support

let's talk 'postpartum' - what it actually means and where to find support

We're going to talk about the dreaded "10 letter word" - postpartum. So what EXACTLY does postpartum mean? We hear it thrown around time and time again - maybe a few friends, family members, or colleagues have mentioned that they've suffered from "a little bit of postpartum."

Postpartum WHAT exactly?

When we hear the word postpartum, we often associate it with depression. (Or maybe they meant postpartum hemorrhoids, or hair loss, or acne? - oh the joys of new motherhood!)

But the TRUTH is - postpartum is not a noun

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Q&A with your barre instructor - zosia

Q&A with your barre instructor - zosia

1. What sparked your interest with health and fitness?

Growing up I was always intimidated by the gym setting, and like most people in high school, university, & beyond, I was extremely self-conscious about the way my body looked. As I began to learn more about nutrition through self-study while I was at King’s, I started to take an interest in the connection between mind, body & spirit, and how they all have such a profound effect on the other. When I realized this, I knew I had to start treating my body better & I’ve only grown in my dedication toward living a healthy lifestyle & wanting to share what I know with others. 

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O BARRE 101

O BARRE 101

WHY ALL THE PULSES!?

So your sitting in chair pose at the barre, your legs are trembling and shaking like a leaf and your instructor shouts "one last set of pulses!" Whether it's your first or 100th barre class your shouting in your mind - why all the pulses!? No, this isn't some form of barre torture - we promise. There is a reason for all the pulses. Let us explain.

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foods to reduce night time hot flashes

foods to reduce night time hot flashes

Do you get hot flashes? Are they mostly at night? Do they set the bed on fire (but not in that way)? Let's get you some solutions! Before we do that, just some quick info on why hot flashes occur so we can try to effect the root cause of these hormonal symptoms. What causes hot flashes? As you can imagine it's all about hormonal balance (or imbalance). During the menstruating years your estrogen allows for your ovaries to respond when “luteinizing hormone” (LH) says to release those eggs every month.

When it gets to the point where your estrogen levels start dropping (i.e. perimenopause) those ovaries start to simply ignore the LH. And guess what your body's response to this is? It releases adrenaline!

This causes your body to heat up for a few minutes until it cools itself back down.

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a natural approach to insomnia

a natural approach to insomnia

If you knew me before I had my son Walker - you would know how much I valued my sleep. 10 hours of undisturbed sleep per night and no problem napping for an hour in the afternoon on a Saturday…. Well all of that has changed and up until recently I was lucky to get 3 hours in a row. I know what it’s like to wake up in the morning and still not feel rested… relying too heavily on caffeine to get me through the day. I also know about how important sleep is for our overall health and wellbeing. 

While you might not have an adorable little boy waking you up every 3 hours (or maybe you do!), difficulty falling or staying asleep is a relatively common concern. 

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3 supplements to take if your over the age of 45

3 supplements to take if your over the age of 45

Yes, while I always say that it's better to get your nutrients from food first sometimes supplements are necessary. Unfortunately there are just some all-too-common nutrients that we simply don't get enough of.  And they're absolutely critical to optimal health and wellness.  Especially as we age. Here I sifted through the supplements that are available on the market and boiled them down to three that can have the best effect for us.

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what's wrong with my metabolism?

what's wrong with my metabolism?

You may feel tired, cold or that you've gained weight.  Maybe your digestion seems a bit more “sluggish”. You may be convinced that your metabolism is slow. Why does this happen?  

What can slow my metabolism?

Metabolism includes all of the biochemical reactions in your body that use nutrients and oxygen to create energy.  And there are lots of factors that affect how quickly (or slowly) it works.

But don't worry – we know that metabolic rate is much more complicated than the old adage “calories in calories out”! 

In fact it's so complicated I'm only going to list a few of the common things that can slow it down.

 

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can't get through the day without a cat nap?

can't get through the day without a cat nap?

Have you said “bye bye” to sleeping through the night?

Are you feeling exhausted or “running on stress hormones” all day?

Do not fear, I have some great tips (and an amazing recipe) for you!

The science of sleep is fascinating, complicated and growing. Sleep is this daily thing that we all do and yet we're just beginning to understand all of the ways it helps us and all of the factors that can affect it.

Lack of sleep affects just about everything in your body and mind.  People who get less sleep tend to be at higher risk for so many health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer; not to mention effects like slower metabolism, weight gain, hormone imbalance, and inflammation. 

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