Q & A

You Ask – We Answer!
...your road map to health & wellness.

HAVE A QUESTION? LET US HELP!

We are here to help you with any of your health-related questions
– nothing’s too big or too small!

Our professional expert panel will do our best to provide you with
information, suggestions, and resources.

Please keep all questions reasonable short and we can not guarantee all question will be answered. Any inappropriate questions will result in removal of memberships. If your question is a time sensitive issue or if it is of a serious urgent matter, please seek medical attention immediately or contact your local doctors, naturopath, hospital, or walk-in clinic.

 

Our Q and A Manager

This column is hosted by our Q and A manager Cindy Atkinson.

   

Cindy is passionate about health. Cindy is a Certified Rolfer ®, which is a type of deep tissue manipulation that realigns the body into it's most functional shape and form. Cindy learned about the body and it's cellular structure first while obtaining her Bachelor of Science in Genetics and Cell Biology at Washington State University. Cindy has been involved in the health food industry since 2003 and was head of the Vitamin Department for 2 years. She has continued her education on the body and it's systems being certified as a Sports Nutrition Adviser as well as a Digestive Care Aid. Cindy enjoys sharing her knowledge of all things healthy and finds the greatest joy in helping people make positive changes in their lives.  

OK In Health’s Professional’s Expert Panel     

Cindy Atkinson -
Certified Rolfer®  
   Dr. Tamara Browne - ND
Naturopath 
  Dr. Sarah Tremblay DC BPHE - Chiropractor   Dr. Travis Pillipow DC BSc -Chiropractor
Sara Fitzharris –
Homeopath
  Shannon Larrett-Bliss, CNP,  ROHP  Nutritionalist   Maria Carr -
DSA, CCSRI
  Linda Buhler  -
Holistic Pet Practitoner
 Chad Genereux -
Cert. Fitness Trainer
  Joanne Gagane -
Cert. Fitness Trainer
Carole Fawcett -
Psychotherapist  & Counsellor
Barb DuTot -
Herbs and Herbal Remedies
Sonya Patrick - 
Cert. Fitness Trainer
  Sheila Kamaraus,  -
Cert. Fitness Trainer
  Michele Harshenin -   Beth Hynes -
Cert. Pilates, A.C.E
Nora Donovan-Ward -
Reflexologists                  
  ... and selected
OK In Health members
   

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QUESTION:
Hello OK In Health eMagazine
I was wondering about some health tips for my pets during the holidays? I have a 5 year old cat and also a 18 month old dog who is inclined to get into everything. I also heard that dogs shouldn't eat chocolate and certain plants are dangerous. Do you have some healthy tips for our furry little friends during this busy family time.
From Dee, Calgary


ANSWER:
Hello Dee,
Thank you for this great question and especially at this time of year. Holiday hazards abound at Christmas time for pets and now is a good time to warn you of what to be careful of. You are the guardian of your pets and you are shouldered with the responsibility to protect them from harm, including harmful behaviour. The more obvious hazards include chocolate, tinsel and electrical cords, but there are others. Below is a summary of what to watch for, what to avoid and what to do if you suspect a problem.

Christmas Holidays and Pets - December 2011 By Dr. Moira Drosdovech
http://okinhealth.com/articles/Christmas-holidays-and-pets
      November 17, 2020

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Questions:
What do you suggest we do with all our fall leaves?

Answer:
Compost them as it is as Easy as 1,2,3... Wouldn't you prefer to see your garden grow instead of local landfills? Composting can reduce your household waste by more than 30%. Composting not only helps to reduce the amount of waste going to local landfills, but by adding compost to your garden, flower beds, lawn and trees you improve soil fertility and texture and reduce watering. Gather up your leaves and place in your compost or spread around your garden beds. Best of all, your plants will love it!
      October 23, 2020

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QUESTIONS:
I am often very tired in the afternoon and wonder if a nap would be a good idea or not?

ANSWER?
For some people eating a high carb lunch can cause afternoon fatigue or drinking to much coffee or caffeine drinks in morning. For some people a nap is like giving your body a chance to re-charge itself.
Here are four research-based benefits of naps, especially helpful.

1. Help you learn new information - sleep helps transport information stored in the hippocampus (where fresh memories are temporarily stored) to the brain's more permanent storage area in the neocortex.

2. Make you more productive - when you are sleep deprived, a 30 minute or shorter nap can help you make up for lost time.

3. Give you a jolt of creativity - when napping, your brain does a kind of "housecleaning".

4. Make you more pleasant to be around - a nap has been found to have the mood elevating powers of coffee.

The Mayo Clinic cites the negatives of taking a nap - sleep inertia (the groggy and disoriented feeling you have after waking up from a nap) and nighttime sleep problems (insomnia or poor sleep quality may worsen these problems for some, and long naps may interfere with nighttime sleep).

The best time to take a nap is generally between 2 and 3 pm for 10 to 30 minutes only. You might consider taking naps for new fatigue or unexpected sleepiness, to prepare for times when you need to stay up longer than usual, or as part of a daily routine.
      September 2, 2020

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QUESTION:
What are some summer time tips for meal planning?

ANSWER:
Summer is the best time for no-cook meals, such as salads. Chop up a beautiful array of fresh vegetables and herbs, and heap them atop leafy greens. You can turn salad into a full meal by adding canned lentils, chickpeas or tuna; leftover cooked chicken; or some cheese cubes. Add some whole-grain crackers on the side (or use them as croutons) and dinner is done.
Using your slow-cooker is also a great way to keep your home cool during the Summer heat. See this month's recipes.
      August 1, 2020

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QUESTION:
What are some summer time tips for meal planning?

ANSWER:
Summer is the best time for no-cook meals, such as salads. Chop up a beautiful array of fresh vegetables and herbs, and heap them atop leafy greens. You can turn salad into a full meal by adding canned lentils, chickpeas or tuna; leftover cooked chicken; or some cheese cubes. Add some whole-grain crackers on the side (or use them as croutons) and dinner is done.
Using your slow-cooker is also a great way to keep your home cool during the Summer heat. See this month's recipes.
      August 1, 2020

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QUESTION:
What are some ways to Help protect myself during Flu season

ANSWER:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the following to help prevent the flu. Avoid close contact when someone is sick. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Help protect yourself from germs, wash your hands often. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. This reduces your chance of picking-up unwanted germs.

Clean Hands Keep the Doctor Away
Did you know that washing your hands is the most effective way to stop the spread of illness? Washing hands properly and thoroughly is very important. An effective hand washing technique is to wet your hands with warm water; soap and scrub for 20 seconds-it helps to sing Happy Birthday (under your breath) twice; rinse under clean running water; and dry completely using a clean paper towel or cloth.

Boost Your Immune System
Throughout our lives, our immune systems are under assault from environmental toxins. Living in crowded cities, traveling frequently in airplanes, and spending time in day care centers and schools all expose us to many more germs than people had to deal with in the past. We can protect and strengthen our immunity by eating right, getting enough activity and rest, practicing stress reduction, and cultivating healthy emotional states. There are also several herbs, such as astragalus, that can help enhance immune function. Obtained from the root of Astragalus membranaceous in the pea family, astragalus has a long history, where it is used to ward off colds and flu.

Vitamin D aids in the absorption of dietary calcium which is essential for bone health. Recent research even finds that it can help fight infections. The body also makes it after exposure to sunlight. If you feel you might not be getting enough vitamin D, or if you are thinking of taking a supplement, consult your physician, naturopath, local health store, or a dietitian.

Vitamin C is critical to good health. It helps keep your teeth and gums healthy, aids in absorbing iron, supports wound healing, and plays a role in immune system health. Registered dietitian recommends consuming at least one vitamin C rich food each day. Good choices include green peppers, strawberries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, and broccoli. A serving or two of 100% orange, grapefruit or tomato juice is also a quick, easy way to boost vitamin C intake.

      February 27, 2020

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Questions:
I am interested in Breastfeeding my baby when born and I wondered what some of the reasons to consider breastfeeding?

Answer
There are many great reasons to breastfeed, if you are able to do so:

1. Mother's milk is the perfect nutritional food for newborns; your baby receives important nutrients from you.
2. Breastfeeding promotes a strong bond between mother and baby.
3. Breastfed babies have fewer serious infections of the ear and chest, and have fewer allergies.
4. Women who breastfeed have a decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
5. Breastfeeding causes the release of hormones that help the mother's body to lose weight more easily.
6. Children who were breast fed show a higher IQ than those given formula.
7. Being breastfed during infancy may reduce the risk of obesity in children up to age 6.
8. Breastfeeding helps to reduce the risk of asthma and eczema, particularly in cases where there is a family history.
9. Breastfeeding can save a family more than C$1,140-$3,780 a year in formula costs.
10. Breastfeeding contributes to your baby's emotional and social development.
11. Breast milk provides a great balance of nutrients and antibodies for your baby.
12. Breastfeeding is environmentally friendly.
      January 29, 2020

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QUESTION:
Can you recommend any tools that will help me stay motivated to stay on my eating plan?

ANSWER:
These are a few that you might find quite helpful:

* Continue to remind yourself of the benefits of reaching your goal. It may be looking good in those summer shorts or having more energy to keep up with your kids. Put up notes to remind yourself if necessary.
Weigh yourself weekly and give yourself a NON-FOOD reward. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It could be giving yourself a candle-lit bubble bath or a back-rub from your spouse. Get creative.
* Continue to focus on health and wellness. Read books and articles that are motivating. Also, avoid environmental triggers that stir up your cravings such as watching food-related TV shows, meeting your friends at your favourite pastry shop, etc.
Keep graphic records of your accomplishments. Watching that line on your weight graph go down or the line on your exercise graph go up can be quite motivating!

Answered by Maxine Smith, RD, LD. Ms. Smith has more than 20 years of experience as a registered, clinical dietitian and currently works in the department of Nutrition Therapy.
      January 20, 2020

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QUESTION:
Can you recommend any tools that will help me stay motivated to stay on my eating plan?

ANSWER:
These are a few that you might find quite helpful:

* Continue to remind yourself of the benefits of reaching your goal. It may be looking good in those summer shorts or having more energy to keep up with your kids. Put up notes to remind yourself if necessary.
Weigh yourself weekly and give yourself a NON-FOOD reward. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It could be giving yourself a candle-lit bubble bath or a back-rub from your spouse. Get creative.
* Continue to focus on health and wellness. Read books and articles that are motivating. Also, avoid environmental triggers that stir up your cravings such as watching food-related TV shows, meeting your friends at your favourite pastry shop, etc.
Keep graphic records of your accomplishments. Watching that line on your weight graph go down or the line on your exercise graph go up can be quite motivating!

Answered by Maxine Smith, RD, LD. Ms. Smith has more than 20 years of experience as a registered, clinical dietitian and currently works in the department of Nutrition Therapy.
      January 20, 2020

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QUESTION:
Are Short Workouts Worth It?

ANSWER:
Yes. Longer is better, but you can get by with quick bouts of activity when that’s all you have time for. The CDC suggests 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week (like walking or biking at a medium-fast pace), plus two sessions of muscle-strengthening exercise. Several 10- minute bursts of exercise each day can get you to this goal and help keep you fit.
      December 2, 2019
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