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Friday, November 28, 2014

Food And Aging

By Dr. Karen Gilman

Let’s face it, aging is part of life and how we choose to age is within our control. What you eat can make a huge difference on how you look and feel.  Here are a few common age-related diseases and some tips on which foods can help reduce your risk of developing them.

To help prevent basic cell damage: Colourful fruits and vegetables offer up loads of antioxidants that help stop free radicals from damaging healthy cells. Include leafy greens, deep red tomatoes, blueberries and carrots to help prevent cell damage.  At each meal fill about half of your plate with fruits and vegetables.

To help with macular degeneration: Three particular antioxidants; vitamin c, zinc and beta-carotene help protect your vision from macular degeneration which is the leading cause of blindness after age 65.  Choose spinach, kale, collard or mustard greens or bright-coloured produce to ensure you get a good supply of these antioxidants. 

To help with heart disease or cancer: A powerful antioxidant in grapes and red wine, called reservatrol may help lower your odds of getting heart disease or cancer.  Beans and lentils are also loaded with fibre and plant-based protein so they are a good age-protecting alternative to red meat.

To help with Type 2 Diabetes: Eating whole grains high in fiber like oats, quinoa, barley and brown rice may help lower your chance of developing type 2 diabetes. A healthy diet that contains whole grains also keeps blood vessels in peak condition.

To reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s: Omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish offer many anti-aging benefits; they help protect your heart, lower your odds of having a stroke and may even help guard against Alzheimer’s disease.

To reduce your risk of high blood pressure and help lower high cholesterol: The fats in nuts are among the healthiest. Snacking on nuts may cut your risk of high blood pressure and control high cholesterol. To get the benefit, eat ¼ oz of nuts or about 4 almonds.

Not only should we add foods for healthy aging but we need to limit some foods that may harm the body:

Go easy on high-fat meat, high-fat dairy and baked treats. The saturated fat found in these foods can lead to clogged arteries and heart problems.

Don’t add sugar. Eating too much sugar can send your blood sugar levels on a roller-coaster ride of ups and downs. Over time, excess calories may cause insulin resistance, which can lead to Type 2 diabetes.   Sugar also suppresses the immune system.

Eat less salt. Too much salt can raise your blood pressure which over time, can damage other parts of your body including brain, arteries and kidneys. Limit daily sodium intake to 2,400 milligrams or about 1 teaspoon of table salt.

Dr. Karen Gillman is dedicated to healthy eating for more than 25 years, Karen Gilman is passionate about helping others eat well and love what they eat. Karen graduated from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in 2011 where she received a diploma in Natural Nutrition. Karen is also a certified food handler and a member of the Canadian Association of Holistic Nutrition Professionals.
You can make an appointment at the Pinewood Natural Health Centre with Karen Gilman by emailing



Phone: (416) 656-8100 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

May You Live To Be 120 Years Old!

There is an ancient Hebrew blessing, "May you live till 120".  I have to admit, as I reached another 'mile-stone' birthday this year, the significance of these simple words crystallized a bit more for me . Yes, I want longevity for my family, my patients and myself because there's soooo much more we all want to see and accomplish in the coming years; but I don't want just quantity, I demand quality too. As 50 becomes the new 40 (heck why not the new 30!) and so on, I'm being asked by my patients what chiropractic's role is in keeping us feeling and behaving young right into old age.

To understand why 120 might seem so unrealistic we need to understand what might be keeping us from it. From a purely 'engineering' standpoint, science says we might very well be built to run for 100+ years. But we don't treat ourselves to ideal conditions, and thus struggle to get there. Many of us take our cars in for more regular maintenance than we do ourselves. Our mechanics check that all moving parts are in proper alignment to prevent wear-and-tear and premature aging - when was the last time you had an expert on bio-mechanics do the same for your body? We give our machines proper fuel that's customized precisely to the ratio of ingredients required for optimal performance and yet give our bodies food chosen for convenience, cost or comfort rather than for nutritional value (and often we skip putting fuel into ourselves at all because we're too busy to stop for a proper meal). We've all experienced what happens to a motor when it's left too long without movement - parts seize. Moving parts need lubrication, be they animate or inanimate. We have built-in 'motor oil' between all of our moving parts called synovial fluid, but it only gets spread around when our joints are in motion.

A good mechanic - as in this instance I'm claiming a Chiropractor is - looks at the cause of breakdown as well as the result. Chiropractic looks at three causative stresses - trauma, toxins and thought. Trauma can occur on macro or micro levels. We all acknowledge the damage of collisions and sports injuries, etc. but many of my patients forget about repetitive stress, sleeping postures or bad ergonomics. To return to a car analogy, think of what happens when you bump a curb or drive through a pot-hole. No immediate damage might be perceived, but the alignment shifts just a little bit. And driving many miles on that bad alignment causes premature wear to all the moving parts that are slightly askew. Months down the road you notice a squeal that shouldn't be there - parallel to the ache that 'appears' out of nowhere and gets worse, which my patients often seek my help to relieve. Toxins were already discussed - the less than adequate food we put in our bodies, the less than clean air that we breathe, and the other-than-water we drink. The contribution of thoughts to better or worse health is an emerging field of understanding that I look forward to diving into with readers of this newsletter at a later date. Suffice it to say that our thoughts are a bath that we are immersed in 24/7 and may very well be the largest contributor to our feelings of wellbeing (or not) on a moment to moment basis.

Drs. Hoffman and Porter, in their recently published book, Your Flourishing Brain, relate all of these forms of stress back to the toll they take on our health and on premature aging, and discuss how chiropractic can play an integral role in mitigating the effect. They say, "All forms of stress cause brain stress. When the brain is stressed, it goes out of balance, and unfortunately, the body always follows and goes out of balance as well. This shows up as illness, disease, behavioral problems, loss of vitality, and rapid aging. The chiropractic adjustment rebalances the brain and when the brain is balanced again, fortunately the body will follow and heal."

Dr. Alisa Blumberg is proud to be bringing her passion for holistic, natural, self-directed healing to the north-Toronto area through her work at Pinewood Natural Health Centre.

As a Chiropractor and Master level B.E.S.T. Practitioner, Dr. Blumberg's mission is to educate and empower patients of every age, symptomatology and health goal on their unique journey towards optimal health and absolute wellness.
You can book an appointment with Dr. Alisa Blumberg by calling (416 ) 658-8100.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Detox 101

by Karen Gilman

Registered Holistic Nutritionist

Why detox?

The basic idea behind a ‘detox diet or cleanse' is that the modern world puts so much stress on our bodies that the natural detoxification mechanisms in place in our bodies cannot keep up the demands.  "Detoxing" refers to taking extra measures to ensure that your body rids itself of this ‘toxic load’.

What is a toxin?

"A toxin is a chemical or poison that is known to have harmful effects on the body. These toxins can come from food, water or the chemicals used to grow the food or even the air we breathe. Our bodies process these toxins through the liver and kidneys and eliminate them in the form of sweat, urine and poop."

A ‘toxic’ food is one that is processed or genetically modified and contains additives, refined sugar and flour, food dyes and artificial sweeteners.

The body itself produces toxins or waste through biochemical and cellular activities and eliminates them through everyday functions.  These toxic substances are called free radicals and an accumulation of them in the body is considered a common factor in disease.

What to avoid when detoxing:

Processed foods that contain additives or sugar that can interfere with metabolism and blood-sugar levels.

Common allergens like dairy, eggs, soy, shellfish and nuts.  Also avoid less common allergen foods like the nightshade family of vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers and eggplant as they may have an inflammatory effect on the body.

Gluten grains such as wheat, spelt, barley and rye may have an inflammatory effect on some people and should be eliminated for a few days. 

Caffeine, alcohol, drugs or over the counter medication that place additional stress on the liver.

For more information on which foods to choose to help your body detox consider a consultation with Karen Gilman at the Pinewood Natural Health Centre.

Dedicated to healthy eating for more than 25 years, Karen Gilman is passionate about helping others eat well and love what they eat. Karen graduated from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in 2011 where she received a diploma in Natural Nutrition. Karen is also a certified food handler and a member of the Canadian Association of Holistic Nutrition Professionals.
You can make an appointment at the Pinewood Natural Health Centre with Karen Gilman by emailing



Phone: (416) 656-8100 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Healthy and Active Program Summarized by Pinewood Doctor Audrey Sasson

by Dr. Audrey Sasson

We all know that the key to sustaining a healthy body is a combination of both a proper diet and physical activity. One without the other usually results in regression to your start point.  We often look for quick weight loss solutions usually resulting in severe caloric restrictive diets to reach our target weight and forget that we actually have to get up and start moving to sustain our goals. The German designed program, Healthy & Active, brings to light these two concepts by creating a program specifically tailored to you. Each profile is created based on your own blood chemistry, providing an inclusive list of foods that are optimal for your body. While most plans usually focus on what we cannot eat, Healthy & Active focuses on what you can!

The beauty of the program is that both diet and physical fitness are embedded within and its profile is created based on your body’s capacity to extract nutrients of selected whole foods in order to restore optimal health. No need for costly supplements and complicated shakes - we choose food! Call us to learn more about Health & Active and how it can help you reach your optimal health.

7 tips to boost your metabolism!

  • Don’t eat late at night- try to stop 3 hours before bedtime
  • Build muscle mass- will help you burn calories even when you aren’t working out
  • Never skip breakfast- include healthy proteins like eggs and antioxidants like berries. Awaken your metabolism from its overnight fast
  • Early morning intense exercise- can be a quick 5min run in place
  • Eat spicy foods- try cayenne, cumin, curry, ginger, turmeric to heat things up and start burning calories!
  • Keep your thyroid healthy- include minerals like zinc, selenium, iodine
  • Drink lots of water- helps to rev up metabolism

Dr. Audrey Sasson is committed to optimizing her patient's well being and quality of life by presenting her patients with customized treatments tailored to their lifestyle and wellness goals. Dr. Sasson is a naturopathic doctor who provides comprehensive family practice. 

For an appointment email us at:


Phone: (416) 656-8100