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Cold & Flu

Covid Curves: 6 Tips to Jump Start Spring

Over the past several months most of us have experienced a “Home Life” comparable to Groundhog Day.  In the beginning of CoVID, you may have felt the desire to kick-start a new healthy eating plan, or tackle those in home workouts with a vengeance.  However, as time has waged on, the motivation may have started to dissipate and your daily exercise consists of a multitude of trips to the fridge to check if the light is still working (FYI: It is.) Then throw in fashion consisting of daytime and nighttime stretchy pants with no buttons or zippers, and it is safe to say most of us are experiencing a CoVID 15lb weight gain. But it’s not all our fault. When we are faced with a stressful situation our bodies release the hormone called cortisol. This reaction causes our blood sugar levels to rise resulting in a craving for foods high in fat, sugar and salt in order to replenish the glucose. Yet now as we prepare to go back out into our “New Normal” we are finding our skinny jeans are not so skinny anymore; our shorts from last year must have shrunk and with little chance of a new wardrobe on the horizon, weight loss is something we may need to seriously consider for our healthiest selves. However, we know diets do not work, restriction leads to binging, and truthfully finding balance in an unbalanced world seems impossible. So what can we do right now that will get those buttons done up and bring some consistency back into our days?   Here are 6 Weight Loss Tips you can start implementing today to deal with the COVID 15lbs.  Tip #1: Make a Plan:We technically all know what we should be doing, drinking those 8-10 glasses of water a day, choosing lean protein, whole grains, healthy fats, high fibre, and nutrient dense foods. Start reading the ingredient profiles of the foods you buy, aim for food lower in sugar and refined carbs. Making choices that support your goals is essential. However, when faced with the plethora of tasty treats, we can often forget our commitment to removing the new curves we have adopted. So the next time you make a trip to the grocery store, be prepared and take a list. On that list write your health and wellness goals on the top and plan out your meals for the next couple days. Then if you hear the box of cookies calling your name you can remember your “Why.” And maybe instead of buying a box of 24 deluxe chocolate chip cookies, head to the bakery section and settle on one or two. Even better, pick yourself up an antioxidant rich, dark chocolate bar. As you cruise the store stay on the perimeter and avoid the inner aisle that mostly consists of packaged, processed foods. Remember, a healthy immune system relies on both the Macro (protein, fats and carbs) and Micro (vitamins and minerals) but we must make sure we choose the right kinds.   Tip #2: Am I Really Hungry?How many times have you caught yourself elbow deep in a bag of chips or pint of ice cream only to realize that you can’t remember when you started. Often when we find ourselves mindlessly eating it is important to stop and ask  “Am I REALLY hungry? Or am I bored, lonely, upset?” Finding comfort in food is common and refereed to as emotional eating. Given the current state of the unknown, food can easily become our comfort and friend. The best way to start connecting to your hunger cues is to start being mindful of when you are eating, why you are eating, and how your food tastes. Take the time to savour your food and enjoy each bite.  There is no prize for she/he who finishes first.  Another way to bring mindfulness to your hunger cues is first thing in the morning. If your morning schedule is to eat first thing, hold back a bit and wait until you feel a little hungry. Then enjoy your first meal.  The purpose behind this is to set the tone of the day by honouring what you need. Start the day by tuning in to what your body needs and then responding to it.  As the day progresses continue to pay attention if you are hungry or looking for comfort. This is not about restriction but about connecting.    Tip #3: Use Your Hands:Now, we all know our parents have told us to use our utensils when we eat so this concept may throw you off but one issue I have seen time and time again is portion control. And with serving sizes becoming increasingly larger it is no wonder our waistbands are following.  Make a point of serving your food on plates and dishes; stop snackin ...

The 5th Season: How to Outsmart Cold + Flu

The 5th Season: How to Outsmart Cold + Flu Mother Nature may have plotted out only four seasons, but our modern calendar includes a few more than that – and we are now barrelling full-steam ahead into cold and flu season! Fortunately, there is plenty you can do to stay ahead of the impending storm. Sleep With the shortened daylight hours, sleep comes easier for some – and that’s a good thing. Research shows that during sleep, your immune system releases protective proteins called cytokines which need a boost when you have an infection.[1],[2] For example, research shows that interleukin-6 plays an important role in the protection against influenza virus infection.1,2 So, how much sleep is necessary? Adults benefit from 7-8 hours of nightly sleep. School-aged children (even your teen!) need ten or more hours of sleep because they are both growing and defending their bodies against pathogens.[3] Stress less With back-to-school activities, Hallowe’en and the approach of the holiday season – another season Mother Nature didn’t plan on! – you might be burning the candle at both ends. A recent review shows evidence that psychological stress has been linked with dysregulation of the immune system.[4] Plus, when we’re stressed, we might choose coping mechanisms like carb-bingeing or daily alcohol consumption. When possible, chop your to-do list by car-pooling with other parents, suggesting pot-luck for get-togethers and agreeing to holiday activities only if they excite you. Despite your best efforts, though, stress is going to happen, so try strategies like gentle exercise and quiet time to support your body through it. Skip sugar Speaking of Hallowe’en, it’s likely not a coincidence that we get more colds and flu as we dip into fun-sized candy bars at this time of year, and then it’s a slippery slope to those sugar-laden holiday buffets. Filling up on those sugary treats means you may not be eating foods that provide the antioxidant vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy. Aim to eat 7-10 servings of fruits and vegetables every day before you allow yourself a sugary snack. Stop a cold in its tracks Perhaps you know it’s coming because of the tell-tale tickle in your throat. Or maybe you recognize the pressure in your sinuses as a warning signal of what’s to come. However it hits you, there are some important nutrients that can help you get in front of an impending cold or flu, and to reduce its hold on you: Echinacea purpurea is traditionally used in Herbal Medicine to help relieve the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection, to help relieve sore throats and to maintain immune function to support health.[5] Ginger is traditionally used in Herbal Medicine to help with cough relief and as an expectorant to help relieve bronchitis as well as coughs and colds. 6 Vitamin C stimulates immune cells but is rapidly used up during stress and infection.7,8 Because it is a water-soluble antioxidant, Vitamin C must be consumed daily. Zinc research shows that deficiency of zinc impairs innate immunity by reducing the activity of natural killer cells, macrophages and neutrophils.9 Supplemental Support with Cold Fighter For simple support when you start to feel under the weather, reach for Jamieson’s Cold Fighter. You can enjoy this one-a-day blend of echinacea, ginger, vitamin C and zinc in soothing, chewable tablets or as an easy-to-swallow softgel. [1] Imanishi, J. (2000). Expression of Cytokines in Bacterial and Viral Infections and Their Biochemical Aspects. Journal of Biochemistry, 127(4), 525–530 [2] Majde, J. A., & Krueger, J. M. (2005). Links between the innate immune system and sleep. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 116(6), 1188–1198. [3] National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep. Accessed October 23, 2019. https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Understanding-Sleep [4] Morey, J. N., Boggero, I. A., Scott, A. B., & Segerstrom, S. C. (2015). Current directions in stress and human immune function. Current Opinion in Psychology, 5, 13–17.    5 Health Canada. Echinacea purpurea Monograph. Accessed October 23, 2019 http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/atReq.do?atid=echinacea.purpurea&lang=eng 6 Health Canada. Ginger Monograph. Accessed October 23, 2019 http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/atReq.do?atid=ginger.gingembre&lang=eng 7 Padayatty, S. J., Doppman, J. L., Chang, R., Wang, Y., Gill, J., Papanicolaou, D. A., & Levine, M. (2007). Human adrenal glands secrete vitamin C in response to adrenocorticotrophic hormone. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, (1), 145.5 8 Wintergerst, E. S., Maggini, S., & Hornig, D. H. (2006). Immune-enhancing role of vitamin C and zinc and effect on clinical conditions.  ...

Turmeric Latte Recipe

You may not know it, but it’s never too late to find out what all the buzz is about. Move over Coffee, move over Matcha Lattes, mover over Morning Tea…..there is a new boss in town and it brought all the healing and loving power that Turmeric has to offer. Turmeric Lattes are here and they are every bit as amazing as you may have heard. There are countless benefits of skipping your morning coffee and replacing it with a Turmeric Latte. From the ingredients being loaded with antioxidants, helping reduce inflammation and joint pain and protecting against heart disease, these are just a few of the reasons to jump on the Turmeric Latte bandwagon. Below we will guide you step by step on preparing and creating the very best turmeric latte your heart could desire. Ingredients: 1. Fresh Turmeric: 4 inch piece peeled 2. Fresh Ginger: 3 inch piece peeled 3. Black Pepper: pinch of freshly ground 4. Coconut Milk: 2 1/2 cups 5. Cinnamon: 2 sticks 6. Water: 1 1/2 cups 7. Nutmeg: a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg 8.Cardamom Seed: 5 seeds  9. Coconut Oil: 1/2 teaspoon cold coconut oil Method: 1. Start by bringing your water to a boil and adding your freshly peeled Turmeric and Ginger . Reduce the heat to a simmer and let the roots soak. 2. In a second pot, bring your coconut milk, cinnamon sticks, cardamom seeds and grated nutmeg to a boil and instantly reduce heat to a slight simmer. The trick with this is time, the longer you let it simmer, the longer the flavors of the cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom immerse themselves into the coconut milk. Make sure to reduce heat to low after it reaches a boiling point. 3. Grab your blender and pour in the water, turmeric and ginger. Blend on high until you have created a golden liquid. Remove the now blended concoction by pouring over a strainer into a bowl or container to capture the liquid. What should be left in the strainer is a paste of sorts that consists of the ginger and turmeric that was blended leaving behind a silky smooth yellow milk. 4. Remove the cinnamon and cardamom from the simmering coconut milk and pull off the heat. With your blender readily available, combine your golden milk, simmered spiced coconut milk and cold coconut oil. The idea behind the coconut oil is to give it a thicker froth when blending. After combining everything in the blender, go ahead and blend thoroughly. 5. Our last step is pour into your favourite mug, add freshly ground black pepper ( Important to add the black pepper due to the fact that it helps your body absorb the healing powers that turmeric make available.) We all have our own taste buds and we encourage you to add or subtract to fit your taste. Turmeric is a gift from mother nature and can be enjoyed in many different ways. This just happens to be one of our favourite. Create your own favourite variation of the Turmeric Latte and show us your masterpiece by tagging #HealthyPlanetBreakfast on your Instagram page. Looking forward to seeing all the different variations.

Healthy Planet New Year Resolution

Tis the season to embrace your family and loved ones. Your time is occupied by holiday parties, friend's gathering and surrounding yourself with family. It’s a chance to immerse yourself into the holiday spirit and leave behind the stress of daily life and the issues that come with it. While we mask the not so positive parts of ourselves during the holidays to keep up a positive and festive mood around others, doing so can lead to increased stress and anxiety. This can make way for excessive eating and sometimes deepen an already depressed state of mind. Taking care of your mind and body during the holiday season is of utmost importance not just for you, but those around you as well. With the New Year quickly approaching, we all know what comes when the big hand strikes Midnight. A laundry list of how we are going to improve our Health and Wellness in the upcoming year. Resolutions like increased time in the gym, adapting to an organic diet or making a pact to spend more time with nature are popular with the health and wellness lifestyle. Healthy Planet is here to help assist you in being the best version of yourself.Here is a list of some of our favourite New Year Resolutions and how we can help reach your goals! Digestion Health: Change of Diet Resolution: We an all overindulge in food and sweets over the Holidays. Here are some of our favourite products that will help realign both your gut health and digestive health for the New Year. Genuine Health Probiotic Gut Health - Benefiting both skin health, digestive health and immunity. Start your New Year building a defense in your gut against bloating and weak digestion. New Roots Digestive Enzyme - Get more energy from your food while helping increase vitamin and mineral absorption from foods. Helping with digestion, boating and gas, give a little love to your Gut Health with the arrival of the New Year. Traditional Medicinals Eater's Digest Peppermint Tea- This Kosher, Non GMO, Organic, after dinner tea is perfect for occasional indigestion and soothing a full belly. Let’s be serious, who doesn’t love a cup of tea after dinner. Dry Winter Weather: Spend More TIme In Nature Resolution Spending more time in nature can bring a sense of calmness following the busy holiday season. Dedicating more time walking and exploring the outdoors can be a fun way to enter the New Year feeling invigorated and fresh. Earth's Care Dry and Cracked Skin Balm - Winter months can be harsh and cold. Increased time spent exploring outside will leave you cracked and dry. Absorb the benefits of Shea Butter, Arnica and Cajaput Oil. Dr. Bronner Lip Balm Peppermint - Keep your lips from getting chapped with a classic. Support proper moisturizing of your lips over the cold months into spring. All organic and all love, Dr. Bronner should be a staple for everyone this New Year. Traditional Medicinals Throat Coat Lemon Echinacea Tea - Heating up with a warm and comforting Tea after enjoying a walk in the park in the Winter months is the perfect treat. Organic, Non GMO, Kosher and Fair Trade. Gym Supplements: Joining Gym Resolution One of the top New Year Resolutions is joining the gym. We always promote self care and improving your body at Healthy Planet. Allmax ISONatural - Gluten free and formulated with probiotics to improve intestinal microflora, Allmax protein technology is a great addition to any training regiment. Vega Sport Pre-Workout Energizer - Go into your workout fully energized and ready to build your best self empire. Increase your endurance while raising your menta focus and recovery time. Amazing Grass Green SuperFood - Complete raw food with powerful antioxidants, Organic, Raw, Gluten Free, Natural, support your body while you train it to be the best it can be. Going Organic: Going Organic Resolution The Organic movement has made huge strides in the last few years. With the public understanding the importance of healthy and pesticide-free produce and products, trading in your processed foods and items for Organic will be an easy transition. Organic Traditions Sprouted Quinoa - Full of protein and incredibly versatile in the kitchen, quinoa is one of the easier proteins to fuel your body for the New Years challenges. Organic Traditions is one of our favourite Organic brands on the market. Prana Organic Cashews - Known to reduce inflammation, improve metabolism and lower the risk of diabetes, Prana Organic Cashews are some of the best Organic nuts on the market. Manitoba Harvest Organic Hemp Hearts - An easy way to add omegas, protein and fibre straight into your diet, Manitoba Harvest Organic Hemp Hearts are free of any additives or preservatives. A healthy and organic addition to your New Year Goals. Going Cruelty Free: Cruelty Free Beauty Self Care Resolution One of the most popular and fastly growing New Year Resolutions/Movements is jumping on board the Cruelty Free Cosmetics and Self Care. We are proud to carry all Cruelt ...

Spring Cleaning Your Home & Body for Allergy Season

Many of us are excited to have springtime in full-swing and the weather steadily heating up. But with new grass and budding flowers just around the corner, there comes a dreaded time for approximately 10-30 percent of the population. That’s right, it’s almost allergy season. Over-the-counter medications like Claritin and Reactine can work wonders in many allergy sufferers. Natural remedies such as quercetin and Petascites hybridus (or butterbur) can do the trick for runny noses, itchy eyes and sneezing. But what else can we do to proactively calm the body’s immune system and lower our allergy burden? A good place to start is by looking at our homes and our bodies. Here are some tips and tricks to consider for your house and your diet as we enter the allergy season: Purchase an air purifierIt has been proven that indoor air actually has more pesticides, solvents and chemicals vs. outdoor air. Although pollens and fresh-cut grass tend to be out in the yard, we bring those allergens inside with us on our clothes and on the soles of our shoes. Many people with asthma, allergies and sinus concerns will benefit dramatically from using an air purifier in their bedroom or main area. For the best results, ensure that your air purifier has a charcoal filter and a HEPA filter. Do a thorough house cleaning and dustingThis may be an obvious tip but be sure to clean those hard to reach places that often get missed like the baseboards, above the fan blades, behind the headboard of the bed, on top of the fridge and high-rise appliances. Further, avoid toxic cleaning products, opting for the less harmful vinegar based solutions. Consider removing your wall-to-wall carpetingCarpeting is a haven for allergens, dust and chemicals. Whether you live in a new or old home, stop debating the benefits of carpet removal. It’s time to replace your carpets with hardwood or laminate flooring and alternately use decorative  throw rugs that you can easily wash or shake out. Don’t permit smoking inside your home or carThe chemicals and toxins in cigarettes are well known to seep into walls, carpets and household materials. This means that even if you are not the one smoking, you’re getting exposure and your immune system, liver, sinuses, lungs and all other systems are carrying that extra burden. Reduce your cosmetic exposure, or find toxin free makeup brandsMost cosmetics are riddled with chemicals that can negatively impact your hormones and your overall health. When it comes to allergies, if you are using excessive amounts of cosmetics then your body will be busy focusing on detoxifying these chemicals and balancing hormones rather than fighting off allergens. These chemicals have names like parabens, pthalates, sulfates, FD&C and D&C (synthetic colors). Avoid perfumes, scented laundry detergents and fabric softenersThe same goes for air fresheners with solvents like toluene, or shampoos and soaps with parabens and sodium lauryl sulphate. If you want yourself and your home to smell fresh, consider essential oils or all natural candles instead. If you have visible mold, have a remediation company get rid of itThis can be costly depending on the extent of mold exposure, but it may be one of the best investments you ever make for your allergies and for your overall health! Mold exposure is linked to dozens of health symptoms including sinus congestion and allergy control. Start with the obvious mold that you can see and also places that would have lots of water exposure (such as the shower or the basement). Increase your consumption of raw broccoliRaw broccoli contains a highly potent antioxidant compound known as sulforaphane. This compound is one of the best natural ingredients known to stimulate liver detoxification abilities, meaning that it allows your liver to better fight off and eliminate the allergens that come through your system. Keep in mind, though, that the broccoli cannot be cooked because this kills the enzyme myrosinase which is responsible for activating sulforaphane. Consider switching key produce items to organicAccording to reports from www.ewg.org certain fruits and vegetables are well-known to be highly pesticide-laden. This is just more work for your liver to handle and is, once again, increasing your body’s toxic burden. Common examples of the most pesticide-laden foods include strawberries, apples, spinach, grapes and tomatoes. If you follow these steps now and continue them throughout allergy season your body will be in a much better place to fight off the allergens and recover quickly when you do have exposure. As a side benefit, these changes will benefit your hormones and energy levels, meaning that your overall health will skyrocket! Many of these changes will improve the health of your family and house members, too! Let us know if you have any natural tips and tricks that have made your allergy season more ...

Probiotics: A Novel Way to Fight Colds & Flus

Our friends at The Natural Path have again extolled the virtues of supplementing with a great product. Our Ultimate Probiotic is 100% BB536 and is a great, shelf stable probiotic, so you can travel without worrying about needing to refrigerate. BB536 has now also been proven to help boost your immune system on top of it’s other virtues. Read on about a study that was conducted! Many of the most famous vitamins, minerals and herbs–like echinacea, vitamin C and zinc lozenges–won their fame by knocking out the cold and flu. Well, here’s a new supplement that prevents colds and flus. . . . Stress is known to weaken the immune system and increase the risk of catching a cold or coming down with the flu. So, researchers gave 581 students who were stressed due to exams either a placebo or various kinds of probiotics for six weeks. Over the six weeks, the number of people who suffered one or more colds or flus was significantly lower amongst students who took the probiotic Bifidobacterium bifidum. They had a greater number of healthy days, and, when they did succumb to cold or flu, their symptoms were less severe. Earlier research has also shown that probiotics help fight colds  (Adv Ther Respir Dis 2010;4:271–8). So, in addition to all the other reasons for taking probiotics, they also may help you to stay healthy this winter.  This article has been provided to you by Preferred nutrition blog. 

DEFEND YOURSELF AGAINST COLDS AND FLU

As the saying goes, the best defense is a good offense. With the arrival of cooler weather, many of us are bound to get stuck at home with yet another case of the sniffles. Prepare yourself to fight cold and flu bugs this season with these helpful tips: Good hygiene is important for preventing the spread of viruses. Wash your hands frequently and avoid rubbing your eyes, nose or mouth. Sneeze or cough in a tissue or the crook of your arm.  Drink lots of fluids. Dehydrated cells offer an easy path for viruses to enter your system and cause infection. The Immune Enhancer. Echinacea can help minimize the duration of cold and flu symptoms and alleviate sore throats. Echinacea works by increasing the production of infection-fighting cells, leaving your body better prepared to fight off cold and flu viruses. Try: Jamieson FluShield™ - A potent strain of Echinacea augustifolia, Jamieson FluShield™ is the result of 12 years of research and selective breeding for the purest and most powerful species of this native North American wildflower. The Echinacea angustifolia found in FluShield™ is a premium and uniquely bioactive botanical extract that was chosen from among 40 plants for its high concentration of immune-boosting properties. With FluShield™, Jamieson has taken the purest natural source and used state-of-the-art science to produce your best defense for the cold and flu season. Stock up on nature’s best remedy. Vitamin C is among the most popular supplements during cold and flu season. Shown to reduce the duration of viruses and the severity of their symptoms, vitamin C supports a healthy immune system. Try: Exxtra- C 500 mg or 1,000 mg – an advanced timed-release delivery system that provides superior absorption and bioavailability of vitamin C over a 24 hour period.  Let the sun shine! The reduction in sun exposure during fall and winter months means our bodies produce less vitamin D at a time of year when we are more likely exposed to viruses that can cause infection. Research shows that a vitamin D supplement may help fight off winter colds and flu by boosting the body’s own immune system. Try: Chewable Chocolate Vitamin D 1,000 IU – a delicious all-natural chocolate-flavoured chewable tablet with no artificial colours or flavours. Made with Quali™-D, the world’s purest Vitamin D3 and the same form that the body naturally produces when skin is exposed to sunlight. Probiotic supplements can give you natural immune protection. More than 400 species of bacteria live in your digestive system and the good ones are known as probiotics. Their role is to keep your intestinal tract healthy. Try: Advanced 4-Strain Probiotic - Provides four probiotic cultures to help maintain and restore the intestinal balance of good bacteria. For a convenient, on-the-go formula, try Jamieson’s Probiotic Sticks – a delicious plum-flavoured powder that dissolves directly in the mouth. This probiotic formula is also perfect for travelling as it requires no water or refrigeration. Need more anti-flu remedies?Stress can also weaken your immune system, so pack a B Complex like Jamieson’s Timed Release Vitamin B100 Complex to help restore these stress-depleted nutrients necessary for energy production. If you feel a scratchy throat coming along, grab some Honey Lemon Zinc Lozenges with Vitamin C and Echinacea to soothe your throat and boost your immunity.And remember, a healthy immune system depends on good nutrition, adequate sleep and regular exercise. Be sure to make time for all 3 no matter how busy your schedule. This article has been provided to you by Jamieson's blog. 

SQUASH THE COLD AND FLU THIS SEASON

As the snow begins to fall and the fears of holiday stress is upon us, one thing is for certain: that November is the peak season for winter squash. Both sweet enough to eat, and packed with immune boosting nutrients, just as the name implies, it’s the best time to enjoy this seasonal item—and for good reasons, too. You may have seen these oddly-shaped squash while walking through the supermarket. Winter squash comes in many varieties including, but not limited to, acorn squash, pumpkin, butternut squash, delicata and spaghetti squash. All very easy to prepare, nutritious and readily available right now, they serve more benefits than making for a lovely decorative table arrangement in the Fall. Colourful Eating Foods that are naturally bright in colours such as winter squash have been shown to be higher in antioxidants. Antioxidants have been shown to boost our immune system, which is essential to shielding our bodies during the cold and flu season. Nature has this incredible ability to give us what we lack during certain times of the year and winter squash meets those needs by providing us with those beneficial nutrients commonly missing in our diets during the chillier and shorter season. The colours give winter squash its high concentration of powerful phytochemicals beta carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin, known for their high antioxidant potency,  and vitamin C which has been shown to help strengthen the immune system. And, while the nutritional concentration in each squash varies, this alkalizing fruit (yes, squash is a fruit), is also high in potassium, folate, magnesium, thiamine and dietary fibre making squash dishes a great choice for winter immunity and overall health. The seeds found in the winter squash are high in zinc and iron, and also contain omega-3 fatty acids, necessary for moisturizing and fighting dry skin. The seeds can be incorporated into daily recipes or roasted for a healthy, protein and fibre-filled snack.  Easy Roasted Spaghetti Squash Recipe Need some suggestions? The popular spaghetti squash can be served as a main course or as a simple but attractive side dish great for any diet.1 cup of spaghetti squash is equal to about 40 calories and 10 grams of carbohydrates, making it a wonderful low-carb, low-calorie and high-fibre alternative to traditional pasta and it’s a great way to fill up your plate with rich nutrients. Try tossing up this immune-boosting recipe into your meal tonight: 1 large spaghetti squash 4 tablespoons olive oil 4 tablespoons minced parsley Sea salt Freshly ground black pepper 2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 medium shallot, finely chopped 3/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano cheese Preheat oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Brush the flesh with half the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the squash halves cut-side down on a baking sheet and roast for 50 minutes, or until you can easily slide a knife through the squash. Remove the squash from the oven and let it cool enough until you can handle it. Scrape the flesh with a fork to make long strands; set aside. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallot, salt and pepper, and cook about 3 minutes. Add squash and parsley and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, add cheese and add salt and pepper to taste. This recipe is provided to you by Jamieson's blog. 

COLD AND FLU SEASON "MUST-HAVES"

The first cold snap hits, and you walk into a pharmacy or health food store with the goal of buying vitamins that will help get you through the winter season unscathed by colds and flu. Here’s a shopping list of simple, effective and safe formulas — to keep you feeling your best this year. Best Jamieson Picks: Vitamin D: Good things come from the sun. Well known for its role in supporting calcium absorption to maintain strong bones and teeth, vitamin D also boosts the immune system to help prevent major diseases. In addition, vitamin D increases seratonin, which will help thaw your frosty winter demeanour. For maximum benefit, go for a high dose of 2,000 IU daily from September to April.  Vitamin C: Taken daily, vitamin C supports a healthy immune system and offers superior prevention of and treatment for colds. This classic vitamin influences many vital functions, making it an important nutrient for everyone in your family. Studies show that people feel energized after taking 1,000 mg of effervescent or powdered vitamin C in a glass of water.  Omega 3: Omega-3 oils offer many metabolic benefits. They help reduce inflammation, improve mood, alleviate dry skin, reduce the symptoms associated with stress and increase mental clarity and neurologic function. If you are eating fish more than once a day, your dietary intake may be adequate, but you may be exposing your body to marine toxins. The smarter approach is to take a 1,000 mg daily dose of purified fish oil or krill oil. These provide a safe, clean and healthy source of omega nutrition. Magnesium: A magnesium deficiency affects the health and vitality of every area of your body. Yet North Americans are chronically deficient in this important mineral that helps : maintain strong bones, support healthy heart function, lower elevated blood pressure and increase the production of enzymes that boost energy and promote cell repair. If you experience muscle tension and disrupted sleep — the first signs of magnesium deficiency — take 200 mg to 300 mg daily. Vitamin B: From managing stress and fueling energy to strengthening your immune system, the B vitamins support optimal health. This complex family works together to regulate a variety of vital body functions and must be replenished daily, especially during times of physical or mental stress. If fatigue is your main complaint, take a B complex or a multivitamin containing a high dose of vitamin B (50 mg to 100 mg) each morning. Echinacea: Of all the echinacea species studied to date, only one — Echinacea angustifolia —has been proven effective in preventing colds and flu due to the purified extracts from the plant roots that show potent immune-boosting properties. I recommend taking a proprietary formula, such as FluShield, throughout the winter season.  Probiotics: Half of the body’s immunity comes from a healthy lower intestine. A probiotic formula not only boosts the stomach’s “good” bacteria to help digest food, but it fortifies the healthy balance of microflora so you can naturally fight infection. Stress and excess consumption of alchohol and caffeine can inhibit these important allies to immune-defense, so be sure to boost your body each day with a multi-strain probioitic supplement. And before you buy, follow these important tips: Always select products manufactured by a reputable manufacturer who ensures quality, potency and raw-ingredient traceability Get ahead of the season by increasing your supplement intake At the first sign of a scratchy throat, gargle with warm salt water, which serves as an astringent to help clear mucous Open up your nasal passages and breathe easier with periodic treatments of gentle steam inhalation Oregano oil is a natural anti-viral — gargle first, then swallow Soothe virus symptoms by adding a couple of spoonfuls of honey (the darker the better) to a hot drink before bed to help reduce coughing at night This article has been provided to you by Jamieson's blog.  

NATURAL COLD AND FLU REMEDIES

The cold and flu season has arrived and that means many will suffer the notorious  symptoms of sneezing, coughing, congestion and runny nose. Cold and flu are actually the most common infections that affect Canadians. Children typically get 9 to 12 infections per year and adults have about seven per year. Aside from making you feel miserable, these infections are the leading cause of lost work and school days. Staying healthy this fall and winter means being prepared. Now is the perfect time to adopt some strategies to cut your risk of getting sick this season. Washing your hands frequently, getting adequate sleep and regular exercise, and eating a healthful diet are important lifestyle measures to follow. There are also certain supplements to consider taking this time of year to support your immune system and overall health. Here is my list of top three supplements for fall and winter: Vitamin D This nutrient has many important functions in the body: it regulates calcium and phosphorus levels and promotes the absorption of these minerals for healthy bones and teeth; it plays a role in cancer prevention; it regulates blood pressure; and it modulates immune function. Research has found that a deficiency of vitamin D can compromise immune function and increase the risk of viral infections. Our skin produces vitamin D upon exposure to sunlight and we get a small amount through foods such as fortified milk. However, numerous reports suggest that the majority of Canadians are deficient during the darker fall and winter months. Given the vital role that vitamin D plays in immune and overall health, taking a supplement is critical this time of year. Probiotics Probiotics are beneficial bacteria, often referred to as microflora, that are important for intestinal and immune health. They aid digestion, improve nutrient absorption from the intestine and play a role in preventing infections. Probiotics are normally present in our gastrointestinal system but levels of these vital organisms can be depleted by stress, travel to foreign countries and use of antibiotics. A good probiotic supplement can help to keep your system on track and in a good position to fight off germs. Echinacea This herbal remedy has been used for centuries for supporting immune health. Recent research has found that echinacea can help to prevent cold and flu and reduce symptom severity and duration if you do get sick. Echinacea can be taken by those aged two and above for prevention during the cold/flu season. It can also be taken at the first sign of illness. However, it works best when taken preventatively. What to do if you do get sick? Here are a few natural remedies that can help manage cold symptoms: For a sore throat • Gargle with warm salt water.• Suck on zinc lozenges. Zinc has antiviral properties and research suggests it can help lessen cold symptoms and speed healing. To clear sinus congestion • Try a neti pot or nasal wash. For young children, look for nasal sprays or drops with saline (salt water).• Run a vaporizer in your bedroom at night to keep the air moist. To calm a cough • Try a teaspoon of dark amber honey. Honey contains various nutrients with antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. It is soothing and can help coat the throat and calm a cough. Don’t give it to children less than one year of age due to risk of botulism. Keep in mind that a cough is the body’s way of clearing mucus from your airway and while it is annoying, it is part of the healing process. Sherry Torkos is a holistic pharmacist and author of The Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. www.sherrytorkos.com This article has been provided to you by Jamieson's blog.   
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