Episode 85: What To Eat? Nutrition Tips for Hormone Balance (previously released as Episode 10 on Mar 5th 2020)


This episode is an oldie but goodie. It was previously released on Mar 5 2020 (pre-pandemic!) but the nutritional information is timeless. Listen in to discover how to: eat healthy with minimal preparation and time; what foods should be on your plate; which foods may wreak havoc on your hormones; and how to eat to balance blood sugar levels, energy and hormones.

As perimenopausal mamas, it can be tough to eat healthy when life is busy. Preparation can be key, especially to help make it easier at the end of the day after working and running around picking up kids from school or daycare.

Quick tips for food prep:

  • Pick a day on the weekend to do quick meal prep for the week, make a grocery list and get your groceries for the week
  • Keep frozen veggies on hand to roast, steam or saute as an option for quick nutrient boost to meals

What does a healthy, balanced diet look like? Macronutrients found in food include:

  • Protein – animal and plant based
  • Fats – animal and plant based, unsaturated and saturated (avoiding trans fats!)
  • Carbohydrates – simple and complex including fibre

There is no one size fits all when it comes to a healthy diet! There is no one master diet that is the right way to eat for everyone and your nutritional needs can change depending on the stage of life you are in.

While a healthy diet can vary from person to person, there are some nutrition guidelines to consider:

  • Aim for covering half your plate in vegetables, especially colourful veggies and leafy greens
  • Eat more Brassica family veggies to support estrogen detoxification, including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and kale
  • Cover a quarter of your plate with healthy sources of protein like wild caught fish, organic chicken, grass fed beef, beans and legumes 
  • Complex carbohydrates like whole grains or starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, squash and beets can cover the remaining quarter of your plate
  • Add healthy fats like avocado, coconut and olive oil, ghee, nuts and seeds like almonds and walnuts

Start your kids early with healthy eating to avoid having to make more than one meal – see Episode 5 with Amanda Beatty for more tips!

Remember that your portion control and balance of carbs in your meals will most likely be different than your kids! Your kids may need more simple carbs in the form of fruit and grains. 

Read the label when you’re picking out processed foods and looking for healthy snacks. A snack may say gluten free or natural, but can still have a whole lot of added sugar in it in the form of evaporated cane juice, sucrose, glucose, fructose or other words that end with “ose”.

Are you eating enough protein? 

Protein is important for hormone balance for a number of reasons:

  • Acts as essential building block for hormones and enzymes
  • Supports muscle mass, which is metabolically active tissue that burns more calories!
  • Has higher thermic effect of food, which means that your body will burn more calories when digesting and processing food with higher levels of protein

Make sure you have a breakfast that contains protein with:

  • Eggs in scrambled, omelette, frittata or hard boiled form
  • Quinoa porridge with seeds like hemp and ground flax
  • Chia seed pudding 
  • Smoothie with nut butter, protein powder 
  • Adding in an extra scoop of collagen or protein powder to any of the above

Other goals to use your food as medicine can include:

  • Balance your blood sugar to prevent energy dips, insulin release and fat storage
  • Stay more full and satisfied with protein, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates and fibre
  • Get a mood boost with complex carbohydrates and tryptophan-containing foods like chia and sesame seeds
  • Avoid inflammatory foods like processed sugar and find out if your body is not happy with other normally healthy foods 
    • Common food sensitivities can include dairy, gluten, corn, soy, eggs and even almonds!
  • Avoid drinking too much water with your meals so that you’re not diluting your stomach acid which can impact your ability to digest and absorb your food properly

Today’s Mama Must Have:

Dr. Toni believes that every mama needs a go-to healthy snack to fuel yourself and your kids and her go-to snack is her hemp protein power balls. Here’s her recipe:

Dr. Toni’s Hemp Protein Power Balls:

  • ½ cup hemp protein powder (from Manitoba Harvest)
  • 1 tbsp organic cocoa powder (from Camino Cuisine or Rodelle)
  • ½ cup sunflower seed butter (from Nuts to You, or use almond/pumpkin seed butter)
  • 1 tbsp organic blackstrap molasses (from Wholesome)
  • ½ tbsp hemp seed oil (from Manitoba Harvest, or use MCT/flaxseed oil)

Optional:

  • Coconut flakes
  • Ground flaxseed
  • Dried cranberries (sweetened with apple juice from Patience)

Mix dried ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then add wet ingredients. Consider adding more oil if using optional ingredients. Roll into bite sized balls and store in the refrigerator.

Thank you for joining us today! 

Have any comments, suggestions or burning questions? Email us or connect with us on Facebook and Instagram. We’d love you to subscribe, leave us a review and a 5 star rating if you enjoyed this episode.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

Episode 84: Overcoming Your Child’s Picky Eating Challenges with Rebecca Oliver

In this episode, Dr. Lisa chats with holistic nutritionist, Rebecca Oliver, about how to: set up a system to ensure your kids are in tune with their nutritional needs; make meal-time fun and stress-free; and, to get those picky eaters to want to try new foods. Rebecca explains: why using bribery, pressure, and distraction doesn’t work in the long-term and how: the division of responsibility, the words you are choosing and exposure are all effective strategies to get your little ones to have more variety in their diet.

Rebecca Oliver is a mama of two and a kids yoga instructor, as well as founder of the Picky Eater Solution program. She provides an online virtual coaching course that helps to guide parents and caregivers to transform their fussy eaters to adventurous eaters without using the common tricks and gimmicks like pressure, bribing or distractions. Most importantly, she helps families create a healthy foundation for a positive relationship with food. She believes that there is a way to teach children how to like new foods and that with proper exposure and the right environment, children will thrive! 

In this episode, we cover:

  • How parents get stuck without the tools and resources to guide their kids through picky eater behaviour
  • Common strategies that you might use to get your kids to eat, such as
    • Pressure to eat another bite
    • Bribing
    • Distracting with a screen
    • Sneaking vegetables in food
  • How common tactics can cause stress in parents and can set your kids up with an unhealthy relationship with food
  • The importance of getting your kids relaxed and comfortable with eating and trying new foods
  • The division of responsibility for your meal times
    • Parent: what, when, where
    • Child: how much and to eat or not
  • How to take the cookie off the pedestal 
  • The importance of language, exposure and presenting new food with different sized spoons for your kids to serve themselves
  • How to get your kids involved in making healthy snacks
  • Quick healthy breakfast ideas your kids will love
  • The importance of letting go of expectations and using family meal time as a learning opportunity for your kids
  • The keys to having a battle free meal time
    • Learn the triggers to your kids’ resistance to food
    • Create excitement and giving your kids choices around meal time
    • Create a routine around meal time to make new the new norm

Connect with Rebecca via email at: rebecca@pickyeatersolution.com 

To learn more, you can register for the Picky Eater Masterclass. In this 40 minute training, you can discover the 3-step system that turns picky eaters into adventurous eaters without pressure, bribing or distractions. Register here:  https://www.pickyeatersolution.com/registration

Follow Rebecca on Instagram @pickyeatersolution

Today’s Mama Must-Have:

Rebecca uses the herb ashwagandha regularly for coping with stress and her overall well-being.

Dr. Lisa is a big fan of summer smoothies with frozen cauliflower, collagen and macadamia milk. 

Dr. Toni’s next HypnoBirthing info session for expecting parents looking to trust their instincts and their body during labour and birth is August 31. Join her at https://www.hypnobirthingcalgary.com/register

Dr. Lisa’s Wild Collective begins again in Fall 2021: get on the waitlist: wildcollectivetoronto.com

Email us or connect with us on  Facebook  and  Instagram

We’d love you to subscribe, leave us a review and a 5-star rating if you enjoyed this episode.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this presentation is not meant to replace treatment with a licensed health care practitioner. It is for informational purposes only. Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor or other licensed health care professional to determine which treatments are safe for you.

Episode 83: Why You Need More Magnesium: It’s Not Just for Sleep or Tight Muscles

In today’s episode, Dr. Lisa and Dr. Toni discuss what you need to know about magnesium. Magnesium is one of our favourite nutritional supplements because of its role in hormone balance, aging and mood. Are you experiencing symptoms of low magnesium? Find out why you might need to have more magnesium in your life!

Why is magnesium so important?

  • Involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions in your body
  • Found in your bones, cardiovascular system, nervous system and in every cell in your body – less than 1% of magnesium in your body found in your blood
  • Acts as a natural muscle relaxant
  • Calms your nervous system
  • Plays an important role for your energy production
  • Influences GABA for relaxation and melatonin for sleep
  • Influences your love and bonding hormone oxytocin
  • Supports your liver detoxification pathways to promote breakdown and elimination of excess estrogen, which is linked with breast tenderness, fibroids, heavy periods, endometriosis symptoms (see Episode 21 for more info)
  • Important for your thyroid function – research links magnesium levels with thyroid health (see Episode 42 for more info)
  • Low magnesium levels are linked with high oxidative stress and low grade inflammation associated with signs of aging like cognitive decline, wrinkles, etc.
  • Important modulator of your receptors in the brain like NMDA receptors which are involved in memory function and depression
  • Can protect you against calcium deposits in your soft tissue like calcium oxalate kidney stones or calcifications in your arteries
  • Supports your utilization of vitamin D
  • Helps insulin work to control your blood sugar

What are symptoms of low magnesium?

  • Low energy
  • Low mood, anxiety, panic (see Episode 81 for more info)
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Menstrual cramps, PMS, hormonal imbalances (see Episode 21 for more info)
  • Blood sugar imbalances (see Episode 45 for more info)
  • Osteoporosis
  • Sleep issues (see Episode 73 for more info)

Low magnesium has also been shown to worsen:

  • Hypertension and cardiovascular disease
    • A Harvard study of over 70,000 people found that those with the highest magnesium intake had the healthiest blood pressure numbers
    • studies showed a dose-dependent reduction of blood pressure with magnesium supplementation
    • A University of Minnesota study showed that the risk for hypertension was 70% lower in women with adequate or high magnesium levels
  • Migraines (see Episode 20 for more info)
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Osteoporosis

You are more at risk for magnesium insufficiency if you experience:

  • Gastrointestinal diseases like Crohn’s, Celiac, etc.
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Alcohol dependence or alcoholism
  • Reduced magnesium absorption and increased excretion as we age (oops, that’s everyone!)

Your levels of magnesium are depleted by:

  • Sugar – 1 molecule of sugar uses 30-40 molecules of magnesium
  • Insulin resistance
  • Medications like:
    • Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), antacids
    • Birth Control Pill
    • Diuretics
    • Antibiotics
  • Stress
  • Low stomach acid – can’t absorb minerals
  • Caffeine, alcohol due to their diuretic effect 

Severe magnesium deficiency is called hypomagnesemia, resulting in anorexia, nausea, vomiting, lethargy, weakness, personality change, tetany (eg. hyperreflexia), tremor and muscle fasciculations.

Laboratory Testing to Consider to Measure Magnesium:

  • RBC (red blood cell) magnesium

How can you get more magnesium in?

  • Foods
    • Pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, almonds, cashews, spinach, black beans, edamame
    • Dark chocolate – 70% or higher
    • Leafy green vegetables
    • Avocado, bananas
  • Epsom salts bath – magnesium sulfate
    • 1-2 cups in bath and soak for at least 20 minutes for absorption of magnesium through your skin
  • Topical gels, lotions, sprays
  • Liquid, capsules, powder
  • Intravenous (IV) nutrient therapy – bypasses digestive system

How do you know if you’re getting too much magnesium?

  • Loose stools/diarrhea
  • Watch blood pressure if taking blood pressure medication, could help to reduce dose of medication
  • very large doses of magnesium-containing laxatives and antacids (typically providing more than 5,000 mg/day magnesium) have been associated with magnesium toxicity

Tolerable Upper Intake Levels for Supplemental Magnesium:

Source: Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies

Age Male Female Pregnant Lactating

Birth to 12 months None established

1–3 years 65 mg 65 mg

4–8 years 110 mg 110 mg

9–18 years 350 mg 350 mg 350 mg 350 mg

19+ years 350 mg 350 mg 350 mg 350 mg

What are the different types of magnesium?

  • Chloride and Sulfate – often used in intravenous (IV) solutions
  • Oxide – 90% not absorbed, used as a laxative in small amounts
    • Form of magnesium most commonly reported to cause diarrhea, along with magnesium carbonate, chloride and gluconate
  • Citrate – often used for migraines, PMS, constipation – gentle osmotic laxative – often dosed up to 600mg per day
  • Malate – shown to be more bioavailable than oxide, sulfate and citrate in rats
    • Studies show reduced pain and tenderness in patients with fibromyalgia with oral supplementation for 8 weeks and 6 months
  • Bisglycinate/glycinate – elemental magnesium chelated to amino acid glycine
    • Allows for larger amounts to be absorbed more quickly and retained by your body
    • Shown to reduce pain from menstrual cramps and leg cramps in pregnant women
    • Can be more relaxing, often recommended before bed
  • L-threonate – Magtein: patented form of magnesium developed by scientists from MIT & Stanford U with metabolite of vitamin C
    • developed and clinically proven to pass through the blood-brain barrier versus other forms of magnesium
      • People with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease have lower levels of magnesium in cerebrospinal fluid
    • evaluated in a series of cognitive tests for executive function, attention, working and episodic memory and episodic memory, with significant improvement at 6 and 12 weeks
    • shown to reduce the effects of aging by 9 years
    • increases the synaptic density, which can decline with aging
    • has shown improvement in brain circulation and cognitive testing in a small sample of people taking the supplement for 12 weeks
    • more research currently for treating chemotherapy-induced memory deficits and cognitive impairment, anxiety, sleep, mood and other conditions of again

Today’s Mama Must-Have:

Dr. Lisa loves her Hella Hydrating Serum from Joyous Health with rosehip oil and hyaluronic acid, as well as her favourite brands of dark chocolate – Zazubean 80% or Giddy Yoyo.

Dr. Toni is a big fan of Epsom gel, as well as using her neti pot with saline and xylitol for reducing extra irritation from wildfire smoke.

Dr. Toni’s next HypnoBirthing info session for expecting parents looking to trust their instincts and their body during labour and birth is happening Aug 31st. Join her at https://www.hypnobirthingcalgary.com/register

Dr. Lisa’s Wild Collective begins again in Fall 2021: get on the waitlist: wildcollectivetoronto.com

Email us or connect with us on  Facebook  and  Instagram

We’d love you to subscribe, leave us a review and a 5-star rating if you enjoyed this episode.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this presentation is not meant to replace treatment with a licensed health care practitioner. It is for informational purposes only. Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor or other licensed health care professional to determine which treatments are safe for you.

Episode 82: Which Relationship Season Are You In? How to Thrive as a Couple During Challenging Times with Psychotherapist Allison Villa

In today’s episode, Dr. Lisa welcomes back Psychotherapist and Relationship Expert Allison Villa to discuss how The 4 Relationship Seasons™ can be used to keep your romantic bond strong during challenging times. Whether you’re coasting or just coping in your relationship with partner, Allison’s tips are simple yet powerful.

“How you love each other today, will live on through your kids, and in generations to come.” – Allison Villa 

Allison Villa is the creator of The 4 Relationship Seasons™, facilitator for the Couple’s Sandbox online membership and host of the Couplehood podcast. She specializes in keeping couples’ thriving throughout parenthood. As a wife and mother, she understands how raising a family affects the romantic relationship and the challenges that modern parents face. With Allison’s virtual therapy practice, and online offerings, this keepin-it-real-mama combines her personal and professional experience to teach busy couples to live with intention & to use simple time-efficient strategies to connect with each other. Allison has been featured on numerous podcasts, blogs, and media outlets, including Breakfast Television & CBC. 

Check out Dr. Lisa’s previous conversation with Allison on Episode 17: Keeping Your Relationship Strong – In Conversation with Allison Villa.

In this episode, we cover:

  • How the pandemic can magnify patterns in your relationship, both positive and negative
  • The importance of normalizing that you can have rocky moments in your relationship, go through challenging times and still be in love – no shame or blame needed!
  • How the 4 Relationship Seasons™ are like the weather and seasons of the year
    • Coping – when an external factor takes up the majority of your time and energy, eg. having a baby, starting a new job, loss of family member, pandemic, moving or renovation
      • Express how you feel 
      • Ask for what you need
      • Don’t assume – be curious about your partner
      • Carve out 5 minutes a day to check in with your partner during a high energy time in your day – keep talking!
      • Recognize that it’s less about the doing and more about being and acknowledging
    • Coasting – when you have come out the the Coping season and reintegrate as a couple, a bit of a danger zone if you’re not putting the time and energy into your relationship eg. empty nest syndrome
      • Carve out 5 minutes a day to check in with your partner – no talking about work, kids or the house!
      • Support each other’s self-care time
    • Connected – when schedule for self-care is set and you are getting clear on your family and relationship vision
      • Dream big!
      • Ask: 
        • What is your community?
        • What are your values?
        • Do you want to travel?
        • What is your spiritual vision?
        • Could you do things a different way?
    • Confident – when you know what vision you are working towards
      • Be more curious about your intimacy vision – intellectual, spiritual, emotional, physical, sexual
  • The importance of being aware how your childhood experience can impact your ability to be uncomfortable and not rush in to fix things
  • The importance of a good night’s sleep for emotional regulation
  • How having your own life allows your kids to realize that your happiness doesn’t solely rely on them and their behaviour
  • The importance of day dates
  • The epigenetic impact of your romantic relationship with your partner on your children – how we love each other lives on genetically in our kids

Connect with Allison on Instagram: @allison__villa

Check out her Quiz: What’s Your Relationship Season? 

Get Allison’s Self-Care Toolkit

Join her VIP community to get free relationship tools and weekly inspiration at: www.allisonvilla.com 

Today’s Mama Must-Have:

Dr. Lisa is a big fan of booking time off on Friday afternoon for time with Pete and checking out online concerts using the app Bands in Town. 

Dr. Toni’s next HypnoBirthing info session for expecting parents looking to trust their instincts and their body during labour and birth is happening soon. Join her at https://www.hypnobirthingcalgary.com/register

Dr. Lisa’s Wild Collective begins again in Fall 2021: get on the waitlist: wildcollectivetoronto.com

Email us or connect with us on  Facebook  and  Instagram

We’d love you to subscribe, leave us a review and a 5-star rating if you enjoyed this episode.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this presentation is not meant to replace treatment with a licensed health care practitioner. It is for informational purposes only. Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor or other licensed health care professional to determine which treatments are safe for you.

Episode 81: Anxiety in Perimenopause: How Hormones, Blood Sugar Imbalances and Inflammation Are Impacting Your Mood

In this episode, Dr. Lisa and Dr. Toni discuss anxiety in perimenopausal moms and reasons why more and more women are suffering during the pandemic. Discover: triggers of and aggravating factors for anxiety and learn about effective natural approaches to treatment so you don’t have to suffer. 

Did you know?

A research study that followed 3000 Canadian moms over 12 years showed that symptoms of anxiety and depression almost doubled between May and July of 2020 compared to levels between 2017 and 2019. 

Another study on the impacts of COVID-19 on Canadians reported that 24% of people rated their mental health as fair or poor compared to 8% in 2018. 88% of participants experienced at least 1 symptom of anxiety in the 2 weeks prior, with 71% feeling nervous, anxious or on edge, 69% becoming easily annoyed or irritable and 64% having trouble relaxing.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety refers to anticipation of a future concern and is more associated with muscle tension and avoidance behavior.

Anxiety disorders differ from normal feelings of nervousness or anxiousness, and involve excessive fear or anxiety. 

If you have 3 or more anxiety symptoms for a period of 6 consecutive months on an almost daily basis, you might be diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Consult with a licensed therapist for support and confirmation of diagnosis.

What are symptoms of anxiety?

Psychological or mental and emotional symptoms you might be experiencing can include:

    • Fear

    • Irritability

    • Restlessness, inability to relax

    • Difficulty concentrating

    • Decreased libido

    • Decreased emotionality

Somatic or physical symptoms you might be experiencing can include:

    • Arrhythmia or heart beat irregularities, increased heart rate or palpitations

    • Increased shallow or difficulty breathing

    • Nausea

    • Diarrhea, reflux or IBS

    • Sweating

    • Tremor

    • Increased urination

    • Increased appetite

    • Dizziness or vertigo

    • Increased sensitivity to pain 

    • Headaches 

    • Worsening of skin conditions like eczema, hives, psoriasis

Postpartum anxiety can happen even a year after giving birth. 

Symptoms of postpartum anxiety can include the above symptoms, as well as:

  • Feelings of worry or dread
  • Racing thoughts
  • Problems sleeping
  • Hot flashes

What are possible causes of anxiety?

  • Hormonal change and fluctuations in perimenopause
    • Your brain’s response to hormonal changes can impact if you experience anxiety
    • Women with a history of mental illness, including postpartum depression and anxiety, are more at risk, as well as women whose moods are sensitive to hormone changes and have experienced PMS and PMDD
    • About 18% of women in early perimenopause and 38% of women in late perimenopause experience symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • Life or situational stressors
    • Changes in work, home, family
  • Individual genetics
    • Your genes can impact your neurotransmitter balance eg. COMT
  • Drug-induced anxiety
    • Alcohol, cocaine, caffeine, cannabis (see Episode 80 for more info on cannabis)
    • Amphetamines
    • Corticosteroids
    • Anticholinergics including some antidepressants
    • Hallucinogenics
  • Thyroid conditions (see Episode 42 for more info on thyroid)
    • Hyperthyroidism and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis 
  • Hypoglycemia
    • Low blood sugar can increase stress hormone cortisol
  • Lung conditions like COPD
  • Heart failure or arrhythmia
  • Brain inflammation or encephalitis, eg. traumatic brain injury, concussion
  • Nutrient deficiencies
    • Vitamin B12
    • Magnesium
    • Iron
  • Trauma, chronic stress and Post Traumatic Stress (PTS)

What are the conventional medical options for dealing with anxiety?

Prescription medications used to treat anxiety include:

  • Benzodiazepines like clonazepam, lorazepam, diazepam
    • High risk of developing side effects, dependence and tolerance
    • Nutrient depletions can include melatonin and glutathione
  • SSRI and SNRI antidepressants
    • High risk of side effects including impact on libido
    • Potential of worsening of symptoms in first 2-3 weeks
    • Nutrient depletions can include sodium, folic acid

What laboratory testing can be helpful for determining the root cause or factors of your anxiety?

Blood work – Iron panel, thyroid panel, vitamin B12 and D

Urine organic acids and hormone testing eg. DUTCH

Beck anxiety questionnaire

What are some natural approaches to address your anxiety?

  • Reduce alcohol, caffeine, sugar
  • Learn your situational triggers eg. running late
    • Avoid the avoidable
    • Prepare for the unavoidable
  • Practice RAIN – work of Tara Brach
    • Recognize – name the feeling
    • Allow – lean into the feeling, let it be, breathe
    • Investigate – physical feeling, self-talk/beliefs, what do you most need right now
    • Nurture – talk to yourself like friend, direct self-compassion
  • Interrupting anxiety or changing your state
    • Breathing exercises or humming to activate the vagus nerve
      • Diaphragmatic breathing with long inhalation and longer exhalation, research study showed lowers stress hormone cortisol practiced twice a day over 8 weeks
    • Splashing or drinking cold water
    • Ground yourself in the present by checking into your physical body, using your sense including smell and sound
    • Journalling
  • Prioritize sleep – see Episode 73 for more info
  • Exercise and moving your body
    • Bonus if you go outside for fresh air and sunshine!
  • Practice mindfulness and meditation eg. loving kindness practice
  • Avoid multi-tasking to prevent:
    • Increased heart rate
    • Feeling wired
    • Reduction in cognitive function and emotional control
    • IQ dropping by up to 15 points
  • Balance blood sugar and reduce pro-inflammatory foods – see Episode 45 for more info
  • Prevent anxiety-like hypoglycemic symptoms
  • Reduce inflammation fuelling anxiety

Supplements to consider:

  • Lavender, lemon balm, kava, tulsi, chamomile, passionflower
  • Adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha, rhodiola, eleuthro, reishi
  • L-theanine, Lactium, taurine, 5-HTP, glycine, inositol, phosphatidylserine 
  • B complex
  • Omega 3 fatty acids
  • Magnesium 
  • Vitex for hormone regulation

Prescription medications to consider:

  • Bio-identical progesterone
  • CBD (also available without prescription in specific retail stores in Canada)

Other resources available:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Tapping or Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
  • Wellness Together Canada online portal: free mental health and substance abuse support

Today’s Mama Must Have: 

Dr. Lisa loves using her morning routine to set the tone for her day, including meditation, humming and chanting exercises

Dr. Toni highly recommends carving out some solo time for personal development and is currently enjoying the Living Passionately online seminar through Landmark Worldwide. It has made a huge impact on her mental health and helped to reduce the stress of the “should”s.

Dr. Toni’s next HypnoBirthing session for expecting parents looking to decrease fear and anxiety around labour and birth is happening July 12. Join her at https://www.hypnobirthingcalgary.com/register

Dr. Lisa’s Wild Collective in Fall 2021: get on the waitlist: wildcollectivetoronto.com

Email us or connect with us on  Facebook  and  Instagram

We’d love you to subscribe, leave us a review and a 5-star rating if you enjoyed this episode.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Disclaimer: The information provided is not meant to replace treatment with a licensed health care practitioner. It is for informational purposes only. Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor or other licensed health care professional to determine which treatments are safe for you.

Episode 80: Cannabis 101 with Jeananne Laing

In this episode, Dr. Toni is joined by registered herbalist and cannabis educator Jeananne Laing. More and more women are becoming interested in cannabis use, and yet there still is a stigma when it comes to using cannabis, especially when compared with other legal drugs.

Jeananne Laing is a registered herbalist, cannabis educator and integrative nutrition health coach. Jeananne is a founding member and past President of the Alberta Herbalists Association, as well as a past board member with the Canadian Council of Herbal Associations. Jeananne’s interest in the medicinal use of cannabis and other plants began at an early age. After being involved in the herbal industry for over 15 years, the time was right for Jeananne to focus on helping people understand and utilize cannabis as part of their health care protocol.  

In this episode, we cover:

  • The importance of the right time, place and dosage for cannabis products, like all things we consume
  • How cannabis is not just one product; it’s a category of products
  • The cannabinoid molecules found within the cannabis plant
    • CBD is psychoactive with no potential for impairment like how coffee impacts your brain, can sharpen your senses, can be calming
    • THC is psychoactive with the potential for impairment
  • The factors involved in how your body reacts to THC and CBD
    • Method of intake
    • Potency of product
    • Your individual genetics
  • The importance of experimenting with different cannabis products and timing to figure out the best product for you, since there is no one size fits all
  • The 3 main intake methods for cannabis products
    • Inhalation – breathing in cannabinoids released from plant through heat, quick acting with full effects felt within minutes, great for quick results for pain, anxiety, sleep, nausea vomiting or appetite stimulation, lasts for 2-4 hours
      • Smoking – least desirable due to negative impact of breathing in smoke
      • Dried herb vaporizing – easier on the lungs to breathe in vapor
    • Ingestion – your liver transforms cannabinoids and increases potency, lasts 4-12 hours for sustained results
      • Edible products include liquid with dropper, drinks, chocolates, gummy bears, popsicles
    • Topical – can be used on specific areas for local relief of menstrual cramps, digestive discomfort, joint and muscle pain
      • Includes creams, gel, patches
  • The regulation and testing of legal cannabis products market in Canada
    • Retail stores – provide pre-packaged products, unable to give you recommendations based on your health concerns 
      • Cannabis educators – can advise you on best products for your health concerns
    • Cannabis clinics – run by cannabis aware physicians to obtain medical authorization, often get supported by cannabis educator in addition to doctor, cannabis products ordered online and received by mail only
    • Grow your own for personal use
  • The potential for more scientific research on cannabis products
  • The safety concerns around products with THC for children and teens
    • Some children’s brains are more susceptible to damaging effects of THC when under the age of 25 
  • The use of products with CBD for children and teens to manage medical conditions like seizures, anxiety and appetite stimulation
  • Possible side effects you need to be aware of:
    • THC – Racing heart (tachycardia), sedation, confusion, short term memory issues, anxiety, increased hunger, slowed reflexes and impairment, lowered blood pressure
    • CBD – Lowered blood pressure, reduced appetite, blood sugar imbalance, wakefulness
  • The desire for the normalization of cannabis use especially for women

You can find and connect with Jeananne at http://www.jeanannelaing.com/

For more cannabis education, visit https://www.cannu.ca/ and  https://elevatedlearningacademy.com/

Today’s Mama Must Have: 

Jeananne is a big fan of using 10-25mg of CBD first thing in the morning with some fatty food to think more clearly, manage stress and reduce any aches and pains from inflammation. 

Dr. Toni loves documentaries, especially a new documentary called the Wisdom of Trauma featuring Dr. Gabor Mate online as I’m recording, go to wisdomoftrauma.com to see how you can view this fantastic film about trauma and addiction.

Dr. Toni’s next HypnoBirthing info session for expecting parents looking to decrease fear and anxiety around labour and birth is happening this summer. Join her at https://www.hypnobirthingcalgary.com/register

Dr. Lisa’s Wild Collective in Fall 2021: get on the waitlist: wildcollectivetoronto.com

Email us or connect with us on  Facebook  and  Instagram

We’d love you to subscribe, leave us a review and a 5-star rating if you enjoyed this episode.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Disclaimer: The information provided is not meant to replace treatment with a licensed health care practitioner. It is for informational purposes only. Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor or other licensed health care professional to determine which treatments are safe for you.

Episode 79: Listen to Your Body: Embodied Intuitive Movement with Sharmeen Abeysinghe

In this episode, Dr. Lisa talks with Embodied Intuitive Movement coach Sharmeen Abeysinghe about how to listen to your body and tap into your intuition so you can respond better to your emotions. Learn how the development of your nervous system is linked to how you parent and interact with your kids. They also discuss how to release emotions through movement and how to pause before reacting to your kids. Included is a 5-minute “movement snack” to get you grounded and focused.

Sharmeen Abeysinghe is the mom of 2 boys and an Embodied Intuitive Movement Coach for emotional resilience.  Her areas of focus are the interplay between the body, brain, emotional & energetic self; and how we can influence these through movement. Having experienced developmental trauma growing up, and complex trauma in adulthood, Sharmeen has a deep understanding of how trauma can shape your life.  While being an educator for nineteen years, she is adept at simplifying complex information so that it is not only easily digestible but fun as well! Sharmeen is an advocate of mental & emotional health for all and in herself finds this through movement.  

In this episode, we cover:

  • How emotional releases can happen through movement, since emotions and trauma can be held in your body
  • How you can tap into your intuition and listen to what your body is telling you
  • The importance of paying attention to your breath and sensations in your body
  • How you can retrain yourself to associate different body sensations with fun and excitement instead of anxiety and fear
  • How to observe your emotions and lengthen the pause to stay calm and collected instead of reacting and yelling at your kids
  • The link between the development of your nervous system and how you respond to your kids 
  • Different ways to inject play and movement into your day
  • A five minute movement snack

You can connect with Sharmeen at https://www.myalignedlife.ca/ and on Instagram

Find out more information about Sharmeen’s webinar at https://www.myalignedlife.ca/services/webinars/

This Week’s Mama Must Have:

Dr. Lisa is a big fan of cold water at the end of her showers for hydrotherapy.

Sharmeen loves to wear shorts with dresses so she can still move and feel comfortable while wearing what she wants.

Dr. Toni’s next HypnoBirthing info session for expecting parents looking to decrease fear and anxiety around labour and birth is happening on July 19. Join her at https://www.hypnobirthingcalgary.com/register

Dr. Lisa is one of the Experts speaking during the Mom Halo’s Body Talk Inside and Out event on tues June 29th at 7:30pm. Sign up link in her instagram bio and you can register HERE.

Dr. Lisa’s Wild Collective in Fall 2021: get on the waitlist: wildcollectivetoronto.com

Email us or connect with us on  Facebook  and  Instagram

We’d love you to subscribe, leave us a review and a 5-star rating if you enjoyed this episode.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Disclaimer: The information provided is not meant to replace treatment with a licensed health care practitioner. It is for informational purposes only. Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor or other licensed health care professional to determine which treatments are safe for you.

Episode 78: Natural and Effective Approaches for Rosacea with Joy McCarthy

In this episode, Dr. Lisa welcomes back holistic nutritionist Joy McCarthy to talk about her personal journey dealing with rosacea. They discuss how to address rosacea effectively using nutrition, natural skin care and more. Did you know that mites on the skin, histamine, food sensitivities, gut health, hormones and more can impact your skin? Listen in to find out more.

Joy McCarthy is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist and founder of JoyousHealth.com, an award-winning website focused on healthy living. She is a bestselling author of Joyous Health, The Joyous Cookbook and Joyous Detox, a World Gourmand Cookbook Award recipient. She is also the co-host of the Joyous Health Podcast (Dr. Lisa was a guest on Episode 51: A Natural Approach to Thyroid Disorders AND on Episode 36: Stressed, Tired and Ready for Change) . She runs a business program called The Joyous Health Business Program, has a line of organic herbal teas and natural beauty products as well as a line of children’s natural supplements in partnership with Genuine Health. 

Dr. Lisa was has been a guest twice on the Joyous Health Podcast (in Episode 51: A Natural Approach to Thyroid Disorders AND in Episode 36: Stressed, Tired and Ready for Change).

You can listen to Dr. Lisa and Joy’s previous conversation about detox at Episode 54

In this episode, we cover:

  • How common the skin condition rosacea is
    • Over 400 million people experience rosacea worldwide and most people don’t even realize that they have it
  • What lead Joy is realize that she had rosacea
    • Skin started to change with more redness, also had bumps and visible blood vessels, cheeks felt constantly irritated and was progressively getting worse
    • Always blushed easily, cheeks easily get red when hot or workout
    • Very common in white women from Celtic and Scadinavian descent aged 35-60
    • Can greatly impact self-confidence and self-esteem
    • Often confused with acne since it can change your skin texture
  • The importance of seeing a dermatologist for an official diagnosis
    • Conventional treatments can include:
      • Birth control pill
      • Oral antibiotics
      • Topical antibiotic cream
  • The potential causes and triggers of rosacea are different for each person and can include:
    • Inflammation triggered by specific foods:
      • Gluten, dairy, corn, unfermented soy
      • Sugar 
      • Spicy, hot foods
      • High histamine foods like alcohol, fermented foods (yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha), eggplant, spinach, avocado, banana, papaya, egg whites, chocolate
      • Rancid vegetable oils
    • Stress
    • Environmental exposure
      • Chemicals including in your household and skin care products
        • Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)
      • Sun exposure and past sun damage on face
    • Gut health, even when you have no digestive symptoms
      • Leaky gut
      • Microbiome imbalance including H. pylori
    • Skin microbiome imbalance (overgrowth of mites!) and compromised barrier
    • Hormone imbalance
  • Laboratory tests to consider
    • GI-MAP or Comprehensive Stool Analysis
    • SIBO breath testing
  • Natural treatment approaches to consider
    • Nourishing and calming foods
      • Lightly cooked cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale
      • Leafy greens like arugula
      • Turmeric
      • Healthy fats from salmon, mackerel, flax, chia, hemp, walnuts, avocado, olive oil
      • Green tea, white tea, nettle, moringa, rose, lavender 
    • Supplementation
      • Zinc can help to heal skin lesions
      • Borage oil as a source of GLA omega 6 fatty acid to improve skin moisture, barrier and elasticity
      • Collagen peptides to hydrate skin 
        • Consider bovine over marine sources
        • Can increase histamine response 
      • Saccharomyces boulardii to support microbiome balance
      • Vitamin C to support formation of skin barrier and collagen production
      • Astaxanthin to improve skin texture and prevent sun damage
  • Joy’s simple skin care regime to manage her rosacea
    • Fresh Face Cleanser with jojoba oil, comfrey root
    • Hella Hydrating Facial Serum with rosehip oil, hyaluronic acid
    • Jade roller to stimulate collagen and circulation, stored in freezer to cool cheeks
    • DIY Chin Serum with blue tansy oil, lavender
    • Bamboo washcloths with filtered water to avoid chlorine

You can find Joy @joyoushealth on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and on Facebook.

Joyous Health Online Shop: https://shopjoyoushealth.com/

Joyous Health Natural Skin Care: https://shopjoyoushealth.com/skincare/

https://www.joyoushealth.com/27515-blog-rosacea-how-i-care-for-my-skin-naturally
https://www.joyoushealth.com/27518-blog-rosacea-natural-health-supplements

Today’s Mama Must Have:

Dr. Lisa is a big fan of her hand held frother for mixing in electrolyte or collagen powder in tea and smoothies.

Joy loves the Four Sigmatic Ten Mushroom blend in her tea to feel energized and still calm.

Dr. Toni’s next HypnoBirthing info session for expecting parents looking to decrease fear and anxiety around labour and birth is happening on June 21. Join her at https://www.hypnobirthingcalgary.com/register

Dr. Lisa’s Wild Collective in Fall 2021: get on the waitlist: wildcollectivetoronto.com

Email us or connect with us on  Facebook  and  Instagram

We’d love you to subscribe, leave us a review and a 5-star rating if you enjoyed this episode.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Disclaimer: The information provided is not meant to replace treatment with a licensed health care practitioner. It is for informational purposes only. Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor or other licensed health care professional to determine which treatments are safe for you.

Episode 77: Dealing With Your Kids’ Feelings Using Gentle Mindful Parenting with Amen Kaur

In this episode, Dr. Toni is joined by author and mindful parenting advocate Amen Kaur to discuss how mindfulness practices can help our kids to decrease anxiety and develop emotional regulation and intelligence. Parenting can be hard and being a kid can be hard, especially during a pandemic. Having tools to manage anxiety in both ourselves and our kids are essential, now more than ever.

Amen Kaur has a BA in psychology and is a certified mindfulness facilitator, as well as an author and mindful parenting advocate. After several years of continued meditation, mindfulness, and self-healing practices, Amen was inspired by her son to write her book Dealing With My Feelings: An Essential Guide to a Child’s Well-Being and Prosperity during the 2020 pandemic period and co-founded POM Life Products, a brand focused on creating products serving Peace Of Mind. She is passionate about cultivating emotional intelligence and is committed to unlearning harmful generational patterns, while continuously working on healing so the next generation can do even better. 

In today’s episode, we cover:

  • How her personal experience with bullying lead Amen to her healing journey with meditation and mindfulness
  • The impact of the pandemic and the inspiration Amen experienced to compile resources for helping kids to manage emotions
  • The importance of being able to name your emotions, as well as having tools to help your kids manage their emotions
  • How mindfulness exercises can be used to help reduce anxiety and bring your child back to the present, instead of worrying about the past or the future
  • The importance of modeling self-compassion and emotional regulation to your kids
  • How mindfulness practices can help highly sensitive and empathetic kids become aware of the emotions of others and help them distinguish between the feelings of others and themselves
  • The importance of engaging your senses to shift your focus to the present and reduce anxiety
  • The ability to rewire your thinking and behaviour, no matter what your experience was growing up with your parents and family of origin 
  • How to deal with family members questioning your parenting style, especially when using gentle mindful parenting techniques

You can find Amen’s book at https://www.amenkaurbooks.com/ and connect with her on Instagram @mindfulgentlemama and by email at info@amenkaurbooks.com

Today’s Mama Must Have: 

Dr. Toni loves books that help foster her child’s emotional well-being like Amen Kaur’s book Dealing With My Feelings, which includes a number of actions kids can take to manage their emtions and meditations to practice together as a family.

Dr. Toni’s next HypnoBirthing info session for expecting parents looking to decrease fear and anxiety around labour and birth is happening on June 21. Join her at https://www.hypnobirthingcalgary.com/register

Dr. Lisa’s Wild Collective in Fall 2021: get on the waitlist: wildcollectivetoronto.com

Email us or connect with us on  Facebook  and  Instagram

We’d love you to subscribe, leave us a review and a 5-star rating if you enjoyed this episode.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Episode 76: Is Going Gluten Free Just Trendy or Can Gluten Be a Problem if You Don’t Have Celiac Disease?

In today’s episode, Dr. Lisa and Dr. Toni discuss the spectrum of how you can react to gluten, from celiac disease to non-celiac gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance. Gluten issues can cause more than tummy troubles if you are sensitive and needs to be considered whenever you are experiencing any kind of inflammation. Common reactions can include: brain fog, fatigue, skin rashes, joint pain, headaches, boating and more.

Gluten sensitivity is estimated to be 6 times more prevalent than celiac disease, which affects about 1% of the population, but about three quarters of people are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with other conditions. 

There are 3 major categories of gluten or wheat–related conditions: 

  1. celiac disease
  2. wheat allergy
  3. gluten sensitivity (aka non-celiac gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance)

Research by Dr. Fassano from Harvard shows that the frequency of common symptoms of gluten sensitivity:

abdominal pain (68%)

eczema or rash (40%) 

headache (35%)

“foggy mind” (34%) 

fatigue (33%) 

diarrhea (33%) 

depression (22%) 

anemia (20%)

numbness in legs, arms, or fingers (20%)

joint pain (11%). 

What is gluten?

Gluten is a mixture of proteins found in common grains like wheat, rye and barley. It provides a gummy consistency.

What is celiac disease?

Celiac disease is a multi-system autoimmune disorder that is triggered by the ingestion of gluten in genetically susceptible individuals. Autoantibodies can be produced in your body and can be tested in the blood, along with genetic markers.

If your antibodies are positive, the second step is a small intestinal endoscopic biopsy to look for atrophy of the villi along your intestinal tract. You have to be regularly consuming gluten for the test results to be accurate.

This inflammatory autoimmune condition breaks down your gut lining, manifesting digestive symptoms and/or extraintestinal symptoms. Celiac disease is a serious disorder, resulting in an increased risk for nutritional deficiencies and development of other autoimmune disorders.

The classical or typical symptoms of celiac disease include:

  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Malabsorption of macronutrients like protein, healthy fats and micronutrients like iron, vitamin B12 and other B vitamins, vitamin D and calcium
  • Weight loss

Other symptoms of celiac disease are often considered as non-classical or atypical:

  • Anemia, osteoporosis or osteopenia due to nutritional deficiencies, also dental enamel defects
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Oral ulcers and burning tongue
  • Skin issues like eczema or dermatitis herpetiformis (raised blister with intense itching and burning) 
  • Hair loss and brittleness
  • Liver enzyme elevation
  • Constipation, heartburn
  • Infertility (causes unexplained infertility in 5.9% of women), miscarriage, gestational diabetes
  • Migraines, joint pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, muscle aches and pains
  • Neurological problems like depression, anxiety, peripheral pain or tingling, balance issues

 Children with celiac disease can have:

  • Short stature
  • Irritability
  • Vomiting

Gluten sensitivity can be indistinguishable from celiac disease or wheat allergy based on your symptoms alone. Lab testing is needed!

Research suggests that gluten sensitivity may be linked with the activation of your innate immune response, which causes an inflammatory response without the damage to your intestinal tract that happens due to the specific immune response that happens with celiac disease.

See Episode 8 to learn more about leaky gut and your microbiome and how gluten and other foods may be impacting your health.

Research also links the high intake of gluten containing grains during pregnancy with an increased risk of type 1 diabetes in kids.

What are sources of gluten?

Gluten is commonly found in wheat, spelt, kamut, rye and barley. Other grains that contain gluten are wheat berries, spelt, durum, emmer, semolina, farina, farro, graham, khorasan wheat, einkorn, and triticale (a blend of wheat and rye). 

Oats are naturally gluten free, however commercially available oats often contain gluten from cross-contamination when they are grown near, or processed in the same facilities as the grains listed above. 

Gluten is also sold as wheat gluten, or seitan, a popular vegan high-protein food. Less obvious sources of gluten include soy sauce, modified food starch and personal care products like shampoos

There also may be cross-reactivity with other foods like oats and corn. 

How do you go gluten free?

 Gluten free grains include:

  • Quinoa
  • Brown, black, red, white rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Amaranth
  • Millet
  • Corn
  • Sorghum
  • Teff
  • Gluten-free oats

Gluten free doesn’t automatically equal healthy – check your labels!

It’s key not to rely on processed gluten-free foods that may be high in calories and sugar, and low in nutrients, such as gluten-free cookies, chips, and other snack foods. Consider gluten free grains as filler foods and focus more on getting your carbohydrates from vegetables. Listen to your body!

Other things you need to know about gluten:

A low gluten diet has been shown to increase the release of Peptide YY, which binds to your brain receptors to decrease your appetite and make you feel full after eating.  

Gluten is different in North America vs. Europe!

  • Faster processing of bread and pasta in North America
    • Overnight to allow enzymes in yeast to break down peptides in Europe; 2 hours in North America
  • Certain pesticides are not used in Europe
  • Traditional forms of wheat are used in Europe instead of more modern and genetically modified wheat in North America

Glyphosate is the core ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide sprayed on many crops, including gluten containing grains like wheat. Research on rats has found a disruption in beneficial gut bacteria at doses considered safe. Levels of glyphosate found in the human bloodstream have spiked by more than 1,000% in the last two decades!

Lab testing to consider:

  • Celiac screen – IgA tissue transglutaminase antibody (TTG), endomysial antibody (EMA) and deamidated gliadin peptide (DGP)
  • Endoscope and biopsy
  • Other antibodies – IgA/IgG anti-gliadin, IgE wheat
  • Genetic markers – (HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8 genes)
  • C Reactive Protein, Iron levels, vitamin B12 and D
  • IgG food sensitivity testing
  • Comprehensive Stool Testing with zonulin 

What do you do if you are diagnosed with celiac disease, wheat allergy or gluten sensitivity:

  • Eliminate gluten containing grains to lower antibody and inflammatory levels in your body
    • Can consider re-introduction to tolerable levels if you have gluten sensitivity
    • Re-test antibody levels if you have celiac disease to confirm you have not been exposed to gluten unknowingly 
  • Consider full hypoallergenic elimination challenge or food sensitivity testing
  • Support gut healing with bone broth, glutamine, NAG, aloe, probiotics, digestive enzymes, DGL, slippery elm, marshmallow, mastic gum
  • Consider immune support with vitamin D, fermented food, probiotics, prebiotics like arabinogalactans

Today’s Mama Must Have:

Dr. Lisa is a big fan of the gluten free bread by Slice of Life and Un-Bun, along with Glutenberg gluten free beer.

Dr. Toni loves her favourite gluten free pasta – black bean spaghetti by Explore Asian and Liviva, which is yummy, and higher in protein and fibre than regular pasta. 

Dr. Toni’s next HypnoBirthing info session for expecting parents looking to trust their instincts and their body during labour and birth is happening on June 21. Join her at https://www.hypnobirthingcalgary.com/register

Sign up for Dr. Lisa’s free sleep webinar on Monday, June 7th at 8:00pm to discover how to use Naturopathic Medicine, essential oils, yoga, meditation, osteopathy and massage to get those zzz…s!

Dr. Lisa’s Wild Collective in Fall 2021: get on the waitlist: wildcollectivetoronto.com

Email us or connect with us on  Facebook  and  Instagram

We’d love you to subscribe, leave us a review and a 5-star rating if you enjoyed this episode.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!