Individualized Nutrition, Pharmacy and Healthy Living


  • Digestive Health Series: A Natural Approach to Food Allergies and Food Sensitivities

    by Paula Gallagher | October 15, 2014

    food-allergiesA food allergy is an adverse reaction that occurs from the ingestion of food or a food ingredient such as a coloring or preservative. When an allergenic food (antigen) triggers an antibody immunoglobulin E (IgE) response, IgE binds to white blood cells (mast cells and basophils) and causes the release of histamine, which leads to swelling and inflammation.

    Most symptoms of food allergies occur within a few minutes to an hour of consuming food. A food allergy can initially be experienced as an itching in the mouth or difficulty swallowing and breathing. Then, during digestion of the food in the stomach and intestines, symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain can arise.

    When allergens are absorbed and enter the bloodstream they can reach the skin and induce hives or eczema, and when they reach the airways, they can cause asthma. As the allergens travel through the blood vessels, they can cause lightheadedness, weakness, and a sudden drop in blood pressure. Anaphylactic reactions can occur and can be severe even if they start off with mild symptoms, such as a tingling in the mouth and throat or discomfort in the abdomen. They can be fatal if not treated quickly. Known food allergens should always be avoided.  Read more

  • Delicious Fall Recipe for Chai Ginger Apple Cider

    by Paula Gallagher | October 14, 2014

    apple-cider-ginger-chaiChai ginger apple cider is a delicious warming beverage that is the perfect end to a crisp fall day. The ginger is a great digestive aid and the aromas from immune-boosting chai spices will make your whole house smell like you have been baking all day. Chai tea is a traditional Indian tea made from black tea with spices added to it, such as cinnamon. It’s certainly delicious, but make sure when choosing it that you opt for a traditional healthy variety, rather than one with added sweeteners or syrups. Organic tea is best, if you can get it.

    - 6 cups apple cider
    - 2 chai tea bags (regular or decaffeinated)
    - 1 inch slice of fresh ginger, peeled and left whole

    In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup apple cider to a boil, then add the chai tea bags and ginger. Remove from heat, cover, and steep for 45 minutes.

    In a large saucepan, combine remaining 5 cups of apple cider with prepared 1 cup chai tea-infused cider. Bring to a gentle boil. Remove from heat. Serve with a cinnamon stick!

    Recipe care of Hyhope Farms.

    Photo from here, with thanks.

  • How to Change Up Your Boring Fitness Routine, Get Noticeable Results

    by Paula Gallagher | October 13, 2014

    reading-at-gym-aIf you find that you have a boring fitness routine, here’s how you can easily change things up – and get noticeable results!

    Your Boring Running Routine

    If your running has become routine and boring – try changing the route you take. Something as simple as a change of scenery can be so inspiring! Throw in some sprints, run with a fitness friend or even use different music from your playlists for different days of the week. It’s all about keeping it interesting, and with just a few changes, your workout can be a lot more fun and motivating.

    The Chip Clip Trick

    You can even change up the experience by taking your running routine indoors. Use the time to watch your favorite shows or movies – even read using the “chip clip trick.” To use the chip clip trick, just put your book or magazine on the reading rack of your cardio machine (you can also get Lucite reading racks that fit right over the front of your machine). Next, put a chip clip (you know, those big plastic clips made for keeping chip bags closed, or binder clips that you can find in an office supply store) on the left and right pages of your book. Read more

  • Digestive Series: Taking a Natural Approach to Candida

    by Paula Gallagher | October 8, 2014

    candida-anxietyCandida is a yeast that occurs naturally in the human body, but can be problematic. The problem occurs when something upsets the balance of bacteria in your body and this allows the yeast organism to proliferate and take over all the healthy microorganisms. The most common causes of this overgrowth are the use of antibiotics (which kill off the healthy flora that keep candida in balance), chronic stress, compromised immune system, and a diet that is high in sugar, white flour, pastries, etc.

    It’s been estimated that up to 80% of the U.S. adult population has some form of candida overgrowth, which is also one of the most widely misdiagnosed conditions. Candida resides in the intestinal tract, mouth, throat and genitals; however it can burrow holes in the intestinal tract, enter the blood stream, and then make its way into any organ of the body. It emits over 70 different toxins into the body. Taking a natural approach to candida can help many with addressing this condition.  Read more

  • Dinner Tonight: Kale Salad with Cranberry Dressing

    by Paula Gallagher | October 7, 2014

    kaleThis coming weekend is always a little bittersweet. Here in Canada, our family celebrates Thanksgiving, but we also close down our cottage for the winter every year at this time. For us, this is the true marker of summer end, and the beginning of cold weather.

    But it is also usually the nicest weekend to be at our cottage. Crisp cool mornings, beautifully colored leaves, no bugs, and the best part... Thanksgiving dinner!

    We have a very rustic, yet fairly traditional Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, stuffing, potatoes, corn, and this year, kale salad with cranberry dressing. I had this at a friend’s house the other night – it was delicious and the perfect complement to a traditional meal.

    Kale is a winter collard and at only 36 calories per cup, it provides a boat-load of nutritional goodness. Every serving of kale provides:

    • Over 10% of our RDA for calcium and copper
    • 25% manganese
    • 88% vitamin C
    • 192% beta carotene
    • A whopping 1,325% vitamin K (required for blood clotting)

    It also offers good levels of B vitamins, vitamin E, potassium, tryptophan, essential fatty acids, dietary fiber, and carotenoids such as lutein, that contribute to eye health.

    Combined with cranberries, which are also nutrient-rich and packed full of disease-fighting antioxidants, this salad is not only super healthy, but also super delicious.

    Kale Salad

    • 6 cups of kale (take off stems and tear into small bite-sized pieces)
    • 1/4 cup roughly chopped pecans

    Dressing

    • 1 cup fresh cranberries
    • 1 cup chopped onion
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
    • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
    • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
    • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/4 tsp sea salt
    • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

    In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine all dressing ingredients, except olive oil. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Transfer mixture to a mini food processor or blender and add olive oil. Pulse to combine, leaving dressing slightly chunky for texture. Cool completely.

    To prepare salad, in a large bowl, gently squeeze the torn kale leaves (this breaks down the fibers, making it easier to eat). Mix in chopped pecans. Toss with 1/2 cup of dressing (or more to taste).

    Enjoy!

    Photo from here, with thanks.

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