Teens and Adults Both at Risk for Heart Disease

heart diseaseThe Heart and Stroke Foundation has warned the public of an impending “perfect storm” where young adults are now being diagnosed with heart disease. Coupled with the increasing number of baby boomers already suffering with heart disease, the so-called “storm” will continue to place an increased strain on an already bloated healthcare budget.

Currently, provincial governments spend approximately 30% of taxpayer’s money on sick care. With more and more young adults being diagnosed with heart disease, that number is expected to rise to 50% within the next decade. In the meantime, Canada already spends close to $22 billion annually on heart disease and stroke.

How can we fix this problem? As usual, politicians will call for more tax money, the medical profession will call for better drugs and the public will continue to hope that someone will jut “fix” them when they get sick.

Of course, no one will be talking about prevention. Sure, someone will suggest more tests and early detection as a solution however; medical tests can only tell you when you’re already sick and early detection is not prevention.

Everyone in healthcare knows that most heart disease is preventable with simple lifestyle changes like diet, exercise, not smoking, drinking less etc. We know that prevention is the key eliminating much of the sick care costs, yet there will be no mention of the drastic lifestyle changes which are truly required to prevent disease and illness.

Never mind the fact that the documented benefits of alternative healthcare systems will continue to be ignored by policy makers. For example, research has shown that people under regular chiropractic care reduce health care spending and medical visits by 31%. They take fewer medications and they have less sick days but you won’t hear anyone telling you to see your chiropractor, naturopath, massage therapist etc…

While policy makers are arguing over how to pay for this problem, I would suggest you take your health into your own hands: Learn to eat well, exercise everyday, manage your stress and take care of your body. If you don’t know how, consult an expert who can set you in the right direction. Yes it will be hard to change at first, however, the more you invest in your health and prevention now, the greater the returns later.

Wellness Wednesday – “Take Back Yor Power” Movie Night

take-back-your-powerMovie Night – Wednesday January 14, 2015 at 6:15PM
InTouch Chiropractic
555 West 12th Ave. Suite 580 East Tower
<CLICK HERE TO REGISTER>

Is your Smart Meter making you sick? What are “Smart” Meters?

The basis of the “smart” grid are commonly referred to as “smart meters.”  These are digital and (almost always) wireless utility meters that have the ability to harvest a vast array of personal information and transmit it to corporations and governments in wireless radiation bursts.  Though this issue at first seems innocuous, are set to have profound consequences for all aspects of our life and even nature.

Preview the movie here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXDFllquOMw

What’s happening in this movement, and why?

Utility customers around the world are choosing to take a stand against the installation of smart meters for the same reasons:

Cost increases: a) on utility bill; and b) massive taxpayer-funded government expenditures;

Privacy, and loss thereof;images.duckduckgo

Rights, and loss thereof;

Health effects of smart meter radiation

Grid vulnerability: entire power grid extremely hackable;

Fires & damage: more than 900 smart meter fires to date;

The Bigger Picture: A sense that corporations are now going too far in their quest for ever-greater control, at the expense of human freedom, basic rights and the entire planet’s ecosystem

How To Make New Years Resolutions That Last

vancouver chiropractorNew Year’s celebrations are an ideal time to reflect on our past success and challenges, as well as make new plans for the future.

Whether you resolve to make better health choices this year, change careers or begin that weekend project you’ve been putting off, New Years resolutions are essentially promises we make to ourselves to be better than we were last year.

However, many people will start the year out right with a new routine, motivation and a gym pass in hand only to fall back into same old routines and bad habits once the holidays are over.

In fact, the average New Years resolution will fail within a few short days of the start of the calendar year.

The reason for this is the difference between simply being motivated to change and being truly inspired to improve your health and subsequently, your life. In other words, if there is no purpose behind the change, other than a new calendar year, then chances of success are low.

How many diet/exercise/nutrition books did you read this year? Great information is exciting and can motivate you to make some changes in your life, but these changes are only temporary when there is no inspiration to continue.

How can someone get truly inspired to improve his or her health? Consider these statistics:

● Canada is the seventh most obese country in the world according to World Health Organization statistics.

● Diabetes rates have increased 70% since 1995. Type II diabetes is no longer called “adult-onset” because it now occurs in children as young as five.

● Heart disease and cancer are the top two disease killers, most of which can be attributed to lifestyle.

This year, instead of making the same old New Years resolutions, decide to make permanent, lasting, transformational changes for your family’s health.

Remember, change doesn’t happen overnight. It will take planning, research and commitment to make it happen, so stick with it!

Thankfully, there are plenty of resources out there to help you. Also, if you need some extra help, send me an email and I’ll be happy to point you in the right direction. Make it a great year!

Want to Live to 100? Follow these simple steps.

UnknownWhenever I would suggest that my patients develop a plan to live to 100 and beyond, it would usually elicit groans, complaints and sometime panic. After all, who wants to live to be 100 years old, sick, on tons of medications, and unable to live life to its fullest?

Fortunately, there is good news for those pessimists out there: New research is showing that living to 100 may be easier than you think.

Currently, we have a generation of baby boomers that have watched many of their parents’ retirement years be stolen away by chronic disease and physical injury. Their impression of growing old is one of suffering and disability.

For the most part, this has been true. Over 80% of the population will die of either heart disease or cancer. The average Canadian currently fills 14 prescriptions every year, while the average senior will fill even more than that. If you look around, you’ll see Canadians are living longer, but they are not healthier.

The secret to longevity involves a complex dance between lifestyle, environment, social structure and genetics. While many of the recent studies on centenarians -people that live to 100 and beyond – have focused on genetic factors, they have also revealed certain common traits among the longest lived people in the world.

One interesting fact is that they tend not to get sick as often and when they do they tend to recover very quickly. Also, they do not seem to suffer from the same lifestyle-related illnesses that plague modern society such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and dementia.

There are several common lifestyle factors among these centenarians. For the most part the did not smoke, they drank moderately, their diets were high in vegetable content, they had positive social influences, low stress and they were still active later on in life.

Researchers have also identified certain gene mutations that can predict longevity with some accuracy; however, it remains unclear whether these genetic mutations were hardwired at birth or epigenetic changes that occur as a result of those very same healthy lifestyle practices.

Here’s what the centenarians did to build incredible health and longevity:

Have a plan – Most centenarians had a daily routine for their diet, exercise and social activities. Surprisingly, they also regularly set goals for the future.

Eat real food – Centenarians rarely ate processed foods and consumed copious amounts of green, leafy vegetables, colorful fruits, good fats and lean healthy meats, especially oily fish.

Move – Any kind of exercise was better than none. Daily walking or other low impact activities combined with some resistance training (lifting weights) seemed to have the biggest impact on longevity.

Play – Staying mentally active whether through reading, learning new activities, puzzles, or even working beyond retirement, were also predictors of longevity.

Sleep – People that sleep 8 hours or more a night live longer and are less likely to develop heart disease and other illnesses.

The bottom line is, lifestyle plays a dominant role in living to 100 and beyond.

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There Is Hope For Digestive Problems

As the quality of the standard Canadian diet has continued to decline steadily, more individualsthan ever before are being diagnosed with digestive problems. Celiac disease, IBS, and Crohn’s disease are much more prevalent today and for some people, may lead to a life of chronic digestive problems and abdominal pain.

While it may be easy to criticize the “gluten free” movement as a fad, it is important to understand that these conditions are now quite common among adults and children today. There is even research to suggest that 1 in 20 people have some form of gluten reactivity, many just won’t show it.

The human digestive tract is essentially a long “tube” that starts at the mouth and ends at, well, the other end. It is the job of the digestive organs, such as the stomach, pancreas, liver, gall bladder and intestines, to extract and absorb nutrients from the foods that you eat. Digestive enzymes and fluids are secreted to aid in this process and when functioning normally, this system is very efficient.

However, if the digestive tract becomes irritated by sugars, gluten, processed foods etc., absorption of nutrients and movement of waste will slow down causing a variety of symptoms. All of these symptoms, whether its celiac, Crohn’s or IBS start with inflammation.

Constipation, diarrhea, pain, bloating and bleeding are all signs that something is inflamed within the digestive system. Some of these symptoms may require emergency care, which is why parents should never ignore “tummy aches” in children, especially if accompanied by a fever.

Fortunately, for many people suffering from these illnesses, there is new research that provides hope. Diets that focus on eliminating common foods that cause the inflammation, tend to produce the best results.

A wheat-free, grain-free, diet low in refined sugars and processed foods can give the digestive tract a chance to heal and repair, causing many of the symptoms associated with these digestive problems to resolve in a relatively short period of time.

For some people with chronic digestive problems, the solution may be as simple as introducing more water and natural fiber into the diet. Also, a diet rich in dense, plant-based fiber creates a “scrubbing” effect in the colon and has been shown to reduce inflammation in the small and large intestine.

Finally, you should consider a trip to your family chiropractor. Not only is he/she trained to provide you with nutritional counseling, we have found that chiropractic adjustments help normalize the nerves that control the digestive tract.

This was shown recently in a study of 57 Crohn’s Disease patients receiving chiropractic care. Proper nervous system function is always an important factor in nutrient absorption and colon motility and can make all the difference in world for individuals suffering with digestive problems.

Workshop: Stay Healthy During the Holidays

Wed Dec 10th @ 6:30pm – 7:30pm

InTouch Chiropractic – 580-555 West 12th Ave. Vancouver, BC

RESERVE YOUR SPOT FOR THIS VERY IMPORTANT WORKSHOP

Did you know that the average person gains at least one pound during the holidays? That is like tacking 16 ounces of shortening or four sticks of butter onto your frame. People who are already overweight tend to gain more than a pound… studies report some gain up to seven to ten lbs!

Join us at a life-changing health workshop that will help you restore sanity to the holiday season and keep the weight OFF! 

You’ll Learn:
•    How to avoid holiday weight gain
•    The dangerous effects of sugar
•    How to stay stress free during the holidays
•    How to avoid toxins

Click Here to reserve your spot

How to Survive the Holidays

holidaysWith the holiday season just around the corner, many people will struggle to maintain their health and manage stress during this most important time of the year.

While the holidays are supposed to be a time for rest and relaxation, reconnecting with family, and reevaluating what is truly important in life, for many people the holidays are the exact opposite experience.

With the added stress to complete work projects, holiday parties, excess alcohol and refined sugars, lack of sleep, and lack of exercise, is it any wonder why this most stressful time of the year is often called “cold and flu season?”

The fact is, when people are stressed-out and busy, the last thing on their minds is health and wellness.

Asked anyone in the fitness industry what their slowest time of the year is and they’ll unequivocally tell you it’s the two months before New Year’s.

Why? Is often very difficult for busy people to fit fitness and healthy living into an already jam-packed schedule. Now, throw in some visiting family members, some Christmas shopping, and vacationing kids into the mix and it’s easy to see how personal health and fitness become less and less of a priority during this time of year.

On the other hand, for some people maintaining a healthy lifestyle over the holidays is not difficult and is as much a part of their regular routine as going to work and spending time with family.

You’ll see them in the gym over holidays: The diehards. The regulars. These are the ones who never miss a work out, eat well, and manage their stress, even when they are busy.

For these people the old saying is true: “Right now, someone busier than you is working out.”

What is so different about these people? Are they superhuman? Crazy? Obsessed? No. They simply have developed better habits, better scheduling, and have made healthy living a priority in life. For them, health and wellness are not afterthoughts, they as essentials.Bittersweet_InfoGraphic_1

Healthy lifestyle is the invisible shield that allows them to not only survive the holidays, but to thrive during the holidays. They can still experience stress, have fun and celebrate like everyone else, and yet they won’t suffer the consequences for weeks and months afterwards.

Here are some simple steps you can take to help minimize the effects of holiday stress:

  • Take time everyday to exercise everyday. It doesn’t take much, only 20 minutes a day, even if tit is just walking at a brisk pace.
  • Reduce refined sugars and alcohol, try to resist overindulging this year.
  • Pack a healthy lunch instead of eating out.
  • Supplement wisely with Vitamin D.
  • Make sure you are getting enough sleep.

With a little planning and commitment, healthy lifestyles can be maintained even during the busiest times of the year.

FAT: Separating Fact From Fiction (Part 2)

fatIn part 1 of this series, we discussed how fat got its bad reputation. Experts have long touted low fat diets as the epitome of good nutrition, yet heart disease and obesity remain at an all-time high. Misinformation, politics and bad science seem to be the culprits in an ever increasing smear campaign against fat, particularly saturated fat.

In the past, health care providers and nutrition experts would rarely mention the benefits of fat intake or even make the distinction between good and bad fat. The party line was: All fat was bad. It clogs your arteries and makes you overweight. Period.

Let’s set the record straight: Fat is a basic building block of life. Every cell in your body has an outer layer made up of 50% fat. Fat is also the main component of hormones. Of particular importance in fat metabolism are the hormones ghrelin and leptin. These help your body burn or store fat as needed. In other words, the fat you eat fuels the hormones that help you metabolize fat.

Fat is the preferential fuel used to run many of your internal organs, like the kidneys and the liver. That is why our bodies store it for future use.

Fat is essential for a newborn’s survival. From day one, if you were breastfed as a baby, your diet consisted of around 80% saturated fat. Saturated doesn’t stop being an important nutrient as we age.

Saturated fat, particularly animal fat, is a great source of vitamins A, D and K2. These are heart healthy vitamins that have been shown to protect us against heart disease. Clearly our bodies are designed to thrive of this very important fuel.

If you chose to start adding more fat to your diet, it is important to be able to distinguish between good and bad fat.

Simply put: Good fat is from a natural plant or animal source that has not been over-processed or over-heated. Once you heat a fat beyond its “smoke point” it become rancid and can have negative effects on your health. Trans fats are a good example of heated, bad fats.

Good fats can be added to foods after cooking or used in the cooking process itself, provided they are not heated beyond their smoke points.

Good cooking fats include: coconut oil, palm oil, grapeseed oil, pastured butter, lard or rendered animal fat for higher heat applications. Olive oils and other cold pressed oils such as nut or avocado oils should not be used for cooking but should be drizzled on top of foods instead.

Beware of certain “heart healthy” seed oils that claim to be high in omega 3’s. These are heat extracted in their production and are rancid before ever being bottled and sold. Avoid consuming seed oils altogether for this reason.

Food sources of good fat include: wild caught, oily fish, grass-fed or pastured beef and bison, pastured dairy products (where available), omega-3 eggs, coconut and hemp products, to name a few.

You’ll find that adding good fat to your diet can be an essential part of a healthy nutrition plan at any age. As with any major changes to your diet, do your research, consult with experts and be open to new ideas. Always monitor your progress and make changes as appropriate.

Fat: Separating Fact from Fiction (Part 1)

FatFat has gotten a bad reputation over the years. Since the early 1970s fat, specifically saturated fat, has been demonized as the root cause of obesity and heart disease, and low fat diets have been touted as the solution. Initially based on a single flawed study of seven countries, which correlated fat intake and heart disease, the “lipid hypothesis” was born.

After studying the eating habits of each country’s inhabitants the author of the study, Ancel Keys, observed a problem related to fat intake – the more saturated fat one ate, the greater the risk of heart disease. Unfortunately, for some strange reason, Keys omitted the results from the 15 other countries he studied that showed no increased in heart disease related to fat intake.

He also ignored the findings of a fellow researcher at the time, John Yudkin, which found an even greater relationship between sugar consumption in these countries and heart disease. History is also rife with examples of pre-industrial societies that consumed diets as high as 80% saturated fat in which there are almost zero cases of heart disease, yet supporters of the lipid hypothesis often ignore these well-established facts.

Despite the misinformation, the damage was already done. Keys made the cover of Time magazine and it was decreed that eating fat would clog your arteries and lead to heart disease. As a result, low fat diets have been prescribed by healthcare providers and recommended by diet gurus ever since as the epitome of “good” nutrition and the solution to society’s health woes.

So how did these low-fat recommendations work out for us? Over the last 40 years, heart disease has sky-rocketed and remains one of the top disease killers worldwide. Also, obesity rates have jumped to previously unheard of levels, despite the recommendations of the Canada Food Guide and increased consumption of low fat foods.

You may be surprised to hear that fat is not only good for you, but an essential nutrient that your body can’t live without. Fat is the main component of your brain and nervous system. It is the preferred energy source of your internal organs. Fat is essential for creating hormones. Also, good fat in heart healthy and can also help your body burn stored body fat for fuel.

In Part 2, we will cover the benefits of eating fat and how to incorporate more good fat into a healthy diet.

Is Organic Food More Nutritious?

organic foodRecently, a group of Stanford researchers concluded that organic food was just as nutritious for you than conventionally grown produce. This caused quite a stir in the natural health community and had many people rethinking their choice to go organic in the first place.

For years, many people thought they were eating a more nutritious diet if they consumed exclusively organic produce.

While, there has been a lot of debate as to whether the more expensive, harder to find, organic fruits and vegetables are really worth it. Concerned natural health consumers are now unsure if they are really getting the biggest bang for their buck.

The results of this study are not new, in fact there have been several studies that have shown mixed results for nutritional value of organic produce. However, some perspective is needed when it comes to the term “organic.”

While the public’s perception of organic farms may be sprawling landscapes, rickety old barns and hand-picked vegetables, the reality of organic farming is quite different.

If you were to visit a large organic farm in Canada, it would probably look the same as a conventional farm. In fact, organic agriculture uses many of the same tools and practices as conventional agriculture. They are typically large-scale productions that use heavy machinery, with very little consideration for soil quality and biodiversity.

However, the Stanford study did point out one very important difference between organic and non-organic produce: There were significantly less pesticide residues found on organic produce compared with conventionally produced fruits and vegetables.

This is important because I believe this is the main reason people purchase organic produce in the first place. Nutritional quality may vary from farm to farm, or year to year, but because of strong regulation, organic food always contains fewer chemicals.

Considering these chemicals have been linked to neurological disorders, cancers and hormone disruption, it is far more important to purchase organic foods for this reason, rather than any perceived nutritional benefit.

While this may not prove to be the definitive study on the matter, there is still a heath benefit to consuming organic produce on a regular basis.