Lunches... Ugh!

Lunches… ugh.

Whether you’re packing for yourself or packing for kids, preparing lunches can become a redundant pain in the you-know-what. Who knew that feeding yourself (and/or others) was going to become such a draining process as you got older? I certainly underestimated the work my mom did to keep me well fed while I grew up; packing healthy lunches for myself has truly become a chore – and for those of you packing for kids (picky or otherwise) you certainly have your work cut out for you.

We’re here to help! We’ve searched high and low and chatted to our health professionals to come up with this list of easy to pack lunches and healthy snacks that everyone in the family can enjoy. I won’t lie, a lot of these options are used throughout our own office – massage therapists are specialists at preparing healthy snack options that they can have between clients, requiring them to be quick and easy.

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1. Homemade hummus

Don’t be discouraged by the workload related to “homemade.” Hummus is a simple thing you can whip up on a weekend and use throughout the week as a healthy snack and a great way to get some extra protein and brain food for yourself or your kids. It’s really quite simple, and add some rice cakes, plain crackers, pretzels, pita wedges or even vegetable sticks to dunk in to it, and it’s a super filling snack to get you through your afternoon! Pinterest has a lot of simple recipe, check them out here -- > https://www.pinterest.ca/thesneak50/hummus-recipes/

You can play around with adding different seasonings (or seasoned oils drizzled on top) to keep it interesting and exciting for everyone. If making your own hummus seems like a challenge for a later date, there’s also individual size servings available at most grocery stores that are a great option.

2. Weekend prep

Preparing snacks on the weekend for the entire week can be a game changer and a great way to save time. Cut up vegetables and cube cheese. Pre-wash fruit and put them in serving sizes that are quick to grab and go. Hard-boiled eggs, jerky and pepperoni are fun ways of adding in protein to the snacks/meals too (though always be aware of sodium content.) Pre-cutting cubed cheese, pepperoni and a stack of crackers makes a great homemade lunchable kit your kids (or yourself) will find fun – throw in a pickle to make them really happy! If you’re making kids’ lunches, get them involved. Having them do age-appropriate tasks associated with prepping will make things easier for you down the road – have them put a few slices of vegetables in ziplock backs or Tupperware containers after you’ve washed and cut them. Having little bags or containers of precut and washed vegetables, fruits or proteins in the fridge not only make it easy to toss them in to a lunch bag in the morning, but they also make a great after-school/after-work snack!

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3. Protein and fruit cups

My mom always made these as snacks for me when I was growing up and I loved them – today, they continue to be a great breakfast or mid-morning snack. Yogurt with fruit for breakfast, or cottage cheese with fruit. A homemade yogurt parfait is so easy to make, and it’s easy to add frozen fruit to make a year-round tasty breakfast or snack. Adding something like granola, bran, or chia seeds is an easy way to add a grain that can change the texture. Cottage cheese is a great source of protein, and adding in sliced grapes, peaches or nectarines is a perfect way to make a healthy snack super tasty!!

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4. Random tips and alternatives:

a. Deli-wraps instead of sandwiches. Use a low sodium deli-meat to wrap cheese and vegetables. Variety of cheese with cucumbers, onions, bell pepper and other thinly sliced healthy foods are a nice change from the over-popular sandwiches.

b. Trail mix – store bought or mix your own with your favourite nuts and dried fruits. This is something easy to keep safely stored in your office for those times you’re looking for an afternoon pick-me-up that isn’t a cup of coffee.

c. Homemade granola bars – a lot of people still use store bought and popular brands but there’s some talk about how healthy they are. Making your own is the easiest way to control what you’re getting, and they’re pretty easy to make. Pinterest has a large variety of recipes, but we love that this way you can put exactly what you want in there! Check out these fun options: https://www.pinterest.ca/cancergran/homemade-granola-bars/

Bonus - breakfast to go:

Need easy breakfast ideas? A quick, on the go option – eggs. Make a simple egg sandwich with an English muffin and premade eggs that keep in the freezer. Using a muffin tin to get a nice, round, baked egg works well. Add bacon, onion, mushrooms, spinach, cheese, anything that you’d like, and bake the eggs and freeze them individually. You can even premake the sandwich with a cheese slice and English muffin and freeze them wrapped in wax paper so you can pop them in the microwave to grab and go!

Use these tips and tricks to make lunches less of a battle for you and your family. What tips have you found helpful over the years? Let us know on our social sites: FB and IG links.

 

5 Tips to Help Relieve Tension Headaches

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Have you ever experienced a band of pressure that wraps around the forehead, especially during an increase in stress? If so, then you might be experiencing a tension headache. They are one of the most common types of headaches and can affect all age groups. A tension headache can last 30 minutes to a whole week.

Tension headaches can be related to an increase of muscle tightness in the neck and restricted joint motion in the spine. Lifestyle changes and treatment by a chiropractor, can be the best method to help reduce the symptoms of tension headaches. Here are some simple tips you may want to incorporate to reduce and prevent headaches:

1. Relax your muscles – there is an association between tense muscles and tension headaches, so find a method to help reduce that tension. Seek out a massage therapist or try to gently massage your own muscles. Maybe try using a lacrosse ball to loosen up those pesky knots! A warm bath or compress could also do wonders.

2. Try to maintain better posture – let’s face it, good posture is not always the first thing on our mind. However, being aware of your posture throughout the day can make a big difference in muscle tension. A jutting head forward or looking down along with slumped shoulders, can really increase the strain on the muscles in your neck and upper back. Make time in your day for posture breaks. When standing, your head, shoulders, hips and ankles should line up, one comfortably above the other. When sitting, take a break by sitting at the end of your chair and putting your legs shoulder-width apart. Drop your arms out to the sides and draw your shoulder blades down and back. Gently bring your chin straight back and maintain this position for at least 10 seconds.

3. Exercise regularly – exercise is a great way to relieve stress. Exercise helps to increase the release of your body’s natural stress reliever called beta-endorphins, which can help reduce tension in your muscles. It can also help reduce the intensity and frequency of tension headaches. Exercise can be a great method to help take frustrations and transform them into motivation!

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4. Keep a headache journal – tracking your day during the onset of a headache can help you determine if there are potential triggers. What events were occurring before the headache started? Maybe it was a stressful event that could have been avoided. Even tracking the days you are headache-free can help you notice factors that may contribute to a good day.

5. See a chiropractor – chiropractors are experts in musculoskeletal conditions. Tension headaches are one of many conditions that can improve with chiropractic care. A chiropractor will perform a thorough history and exam prior to treatment, to ensure it is safe for treatment or if a medical referral is necessary. If treatment is appropriate, a chiropractor will utilize a certain type of treatment that is best for you. A common treatment utilized is the chiropractic adjustment. An adjustment helps to restore the motion of restricted spinal joints which can also help decrease muscle tension and improve mobility. Our chiropractors will also give recommendations and advice on what you can do at home for headache reduction and prevention.

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Best Morning and Bedtime stretches

Best Morning / Bedtime Routine Stretches

1. Reach for the sky! Standing on your tippy-toes reach your arms above your head (with your thumbs pointed backwards). Reach as high as you can go. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 3 times. You should feel some lengthening of your armpits and slight compression in your shoulder. Why is this important?? By compressing your shoulders every day you teach the rotator cuff tendons to stretch and compress. This keeps them supple and more resistant to the ever dreaded “rotator cuff tear”. Bonus, by standing on your tippy-toes you are working on your balance and calf strength as well!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwnCOBTTiJA

2. Cat / Cow This one starts on the floor on your hands and knees (with your shoulder and hips over hands and knees respectively). Start by drawing in your abdominals (suck in your gut!) as you arch your back to look like a Halloween Cat. Hold for 5 seconds. Slowly release your tummy and let it all hang out as you reverse your spinal curve into “cow” position (commonly referred to as a “sway-back”. Gently look up and stick your butt out like a skunk. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat back and forth 5 times each way. This stretch sequence will help rid your body of unwanted tension from your tail bone up to your neck. It also can work as a gentle core strengthening exercise.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqnua4rHVVA

3. Snow Angel Laying down on the floor on your back with your hands by your sides (palms facing the ceilings). Start by opening your chest and connecting the backs of your shoulders to the floor. Slowly with straight arms drag the backs of your hands and arms up the floor until you feel a stretch in your chest (front of armpits). Stop if your arms or hands are unable to stay connected to the floor. Rest at this end position for 5 seconds. Slowly return to the start position and repeat 5 times. This is a great front of body “opener” stretch. It works towards maintaining an open chest posture and is great for neck and shoulder health.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJaC0D1VEkw

Cravings! What do they mean?

Cravings!

We all get them, but why? What do they mean? How can you mange them?

Cravings can have a number of sources, from nutritional needs, to psychological or emotional urges, to physiological requirements.

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Here’s a few examples:

Chocolate - Likely reason: magnesium requirement.

  • What to do instead: Eat more magnesium rich foods like leafy greens, nuts, seeds. Consider a supplement. Or use dark chocolate (not sugary milk chocolates).

Salt -Likely reason: adrenal dysregulation/excess stress/NaCl requirements.

  • What to do instead: Implement relaxation and stress management strategies like diaphramatic breathing, meditation etc.

Sweets/sugar – Likely reason: blood sugar dysregulation.

  • What to do instead: Choose a protein containing snack. Decrease sugars and refined foods in the rest of your diet to minimize blood sugar fluctuations that lead to cravings.

Something at the end of the day, a reward, especially fatty foods (chips, nuts, cheese, alcohol) – Likely reason – Dopamine low.

  • What to do instead: other enjoyable activities, deep breathing and relaxation.

It’s common for cravings to not even be about food at all. When a craving hits, try to understand it. Ask yourself a few questions:

  • Am I actually hungry? Am I thirsty? Am I bored? Am I stressed? What is going on around me?

You can then identify patterns and hopefully you can intervene appropriately.

And if you’re having a hard time connecting the dots, try this routine:

  • Drink a glass of water, do 10 jumping jacks, take a few deep breaths, eat a few cut veggie sticks.

  • Often that craving can pass. If you still have it after all that, then maybe you indulge this time. But keep digging into the “why” and you’ll be able to override these cravings with time.

Summer Drinks!

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The days are getting hotter, make sure you are getting your drink on!

I’m sure we all get reminded one way or another to stay hydrated this summer. But why is hydration so important? Staying hydrated with water helps you stay healthy and energized. It also:

·         Controls your body temperature

·         Aids digestion

·         Carries nutrients around your body

·         Cushions organs and joints

·         Gets rid of waste

·         Keeps your bowels regular

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It is also important to remember that water is not the only form of fluid that helps aid in hydration. However, you should always choose water as your main fluid throughout the day. Other fluids like tea, juice, milk, and coffee count towards your daily intake. Keep in mind that it is best to try and avoid soft drinks and limit caffeinated drinks to 3 cups per day. Coffee, tea, and soda act as diuretics which can further deplete the body of fluid. Consider adding fruits and vegetables with high water content to your diet. These include cabbage, spinach, squash, watermelon, citrus, cantaloupe and strawberries. Here are some extra tips to help keep you hydrated this summer:

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·         Drink a glass of water upon waking each morning and before bed

·         Carry a container of water with you throughout the day

·         Drink water before each meal and a fluid during your meal

·         Add fruit to your water to make it taste more refreshing

·         Don’t ignore thirst! If you’re thirsty, then drink some fluids!

 

So, what is the recommended daily fluid intake? Well that depends on a lot of different factors including age, gender, and activity level. It’s crucial that intake increases as the weather gets hotter and as activity increases! General rule of thumb: 3 Liters (12 cups) for men and 2.2 Liters (9 cups) for women.

 

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Dehydration is no joke. If you start feeling and noticing signs of less frequent urination, dark-colored urine, fatigue, dizziness, confusion, or headaches, that is your body begging for water! Don’t ignore the thirst this summer. 





Preventing Back Pain - What can you do?

Back pain is such a common issue for a variety of people... It affects people of different ages and activity levels, and it's such a debilitating issue - if you suffered back pain once, it seems like it's just around the corner. It's important to know which treatments are effective for relieving pain once it's struck, but treatments can be used to manage and maintain a healthy back, too. 

But what can YOU do to prevent back issues? As we head in to gardening and landscaping season, we thought we'd share some simple tips to keep your back healthy so you can enjoy all the things this season has to offer! 

Our chiropractor Dr. Tiffanee McArthur has these FOUR tips for a healthy back to share with you!

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1. Walk it out

With or without back pain, you should get up and take a walk! Movement, as simple as a 10 minute walk, can help relieve back pain and even reduce your risk of low back pain in the future. Many people work sedentary jobs so it is important to change up your position throughout the day. Take frequent breaks to change it up. Sitting all day? Find the time to stand and add movement. Standing all day? Take the time for sitting breaks. Just move!

2. Lift with your legs

Lifting improperly can take a toll on your back. Become more mindful of how you lift objects in order to save you from that pain in the back. Make sure the object your are about to lift is close to your body. Get it a squat position by bending your hips and knees. Do not bend forward! Straighten your legs and keep your back straight as you lift. It is also important to avoid turning or twisting as your are lifting that object. If you think the object is too heavy to lift on your own, ask for help!

3. It’s all about your core

Your core is not just the ab muscles, it consists of your back and side muscles too! The core musculature is essential in supporting your spine and reducing the risk of injury. Dr. Stuart McGill developed core exercises to help support your core, increase endurance, and protect your back. Click the link below to learn more about the McGill Big 3.

https://www.chiropractic.ca/blog/3-easy-core-exercises-to-support-your-low-back/

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4. Yoga, Pilates, or Tai Chi

These are forms of exercise that focus on body awareness, breathing, and building a strong foundation. Yoga and Pilates provide a variety of purposeful poses that focus on many parts of the body at once. The poses also help to improve balance which may help to prevent falls and injuries later in life. Participating regularly has been shown to decrease back pain. Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art that is meditative with a focus on deep breathing and slow movement. This focus helps to improve mobility and balance. Improving pain and function within the body while also decreasing the risk of chronic pain are few of the many health benefits of Tai Chi. All 3 forms of exercise are considered “safe” for both healthy and injured individuals.

Keep these tips in mind while you get out and enjoy the weather... no one wants a bad back slowing them down.

East Meets West at the Home and Garden Expo 2019!

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Home and Garden starts today!

If you’ve been curious about any of the services we offer, pop by our booth and say hi. We’ll have people from every department rotating their time between the office and the show, and we’re there to answer YOUR questions.

Want to know if acupuncture hurts? And if it truly helps with infertility? Come ask us! 

Want to know the best time of year to get cosmetic laser treatments for hair removal or the treatment of sun spots? We’ll tell you all about it! 

Want know why someone would get an IV if they aren’t sick or in the hospital? We’ll give you the deets!!! 

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Honestly, we love providing people with information and insight in to the services we offer - so if you’re going to the show, stop by and say hi and ask us what’s been on your mind!!

We also always have great special discounts for people who schedule appointments at the event, so ask us about our deals (or stay tuned on our social accounts and see what’s going on!) 

We’ll see you there!! 
Wednesday 1-8
Thursday 1-8
Friday 1-8
Saturday 10-5

#yqlhealth #itsattheex #acupuncture #massage #hgexhibition#medicallytrainednaturallyfocused #naturopathicdoctor #shockwavetherapy#digestivehealth #infertility #chiropractic #plantarfasciitis

Cold Weather Therapy!

“We’re gunna start your massage with some cold therapy...” because my hands are icicles. So sorry. 
An ongoing joke with our massage therapists in office right now. Especially first thing in the morning, it's hard to keep our hands warm! Mittens just aren't cutting it in this cold snap. And don't even get me started on those cold steering wheels!

Don’t worry, we do our best to warm them up. Between warm water, hydrocollator packs and laundry fresh out of the dryer, we turn those icicle fingers in to moderately cool appendages. And once we start massaging, the blood flow does the rest for us. But thank heavens for those table warmers! No one likes crawling on to a freezing cold massage table. And did you know we offer hot packs for no additional charge? You can request your therapist to add that in to your treatment if we aren't already hooking you up. It's pretty easy for us to add one to your back while we work on your lower body. Then your muscles are all warm and relaxed by the time we need to dig in there!

Better yet, a hot stone massage will warm you up even more. We currently have 6 massage therapists trained in therapeutic hot stone massage. The best part about these treatments is that the heat from the stones relaxes and soothes your muscles and makes them more pliable for us to dig in and work out those tight spots. Plus, it just feels amazing. Hot stone massages are exceptionally nice this time of year.

No one likes being chilly - but we do our best to warm you up after you've ventured out into the cold. And we're so grateful that you're braving the cold weather to make it to your appointment with us! Looks like this cold snap is going to last a little longer, so remember to take care of yourself despite the unpleasant weather. And if that means coming in for a massage, we'll make sure you're toasty and warm!

Healthy For The Holidays

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December already?  How did that happen?

 In no time at all it’ll be 2018.

So with the whirlwind that is December, let’s take moment to glimpse into the future.

Holiday parties, school concerts, treats and baking, laughter and family, family and fighting, shopping, mall traffic, travel…

This time of year can be a lot of fun, but it can also be extremely draining. A bit more demands, a bit less time. A bit more indulging, a bit less sleep.  Its pretty common to start feeling the burnout by the end of the month.

Remember to take care of yourself. The busier you are at this time of year means the more attention you need to take to rest, repair and recover.  Try not to let the urgent and exciting displace what’s really important – for your health, and happiness. That definitely doesn’t mean you don’t indulge or take part in the spirit of the season, but don’t be afraid to say “no” to some things, so that you can say “yes” to the really important things.

Keep the basics in mind: Get good sleep. Eat good food. Move and exercise.  Wash your hands often.

Self-care. Maybe that means bubble baths with scented candles or making time for a massage. Maybe that means turning off Netflix so you can get an extra hour of sleep, or waking up early to fit your workout in. Maybe it means a bit of extra meal prep so you can still eat healthy while the busy-ness increases. 

At East Meets West Health Centre, we want to help you out too. Come in for a massage to relieve tension, acupuncture to unwind, or IV nutrient therapy to boost energy and immunity. This can be a difficult time for a lot of people and counselling may be helpful for those that have suffered loss around the holidays or otherwise. 

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Maybe give an early gift to someone who's not be taking time for themselves and treat them to a massage.  We’ve got a variety of options – from full body relaxation, to cupping, to hot stone, reflexology, and more.

Come with a friend or two for replenishing IV nutrient therapy. Or make it a Date Night.  

We’ve also got gift certificates and other gift options – from foam rollers, water bottles, and bath flakes.

And don’t forget to use up you extended health benefits. It’s a great time of year to get started on some health goals you’ve been putting off. If you haven’t used any benefits so far this year, you’ve essentially got twice the money over the next 13 months.

With all that in mind we at East Meets West Health Centre wish you happiness and health for the holidays.  

Team-Based, Patient-Centered Care

Team-Based, Patient-Centered Care

What makes East Meets West Health Centre different? We're all about our patients and clients, building a team of skilled practitioners around your needs and goals.