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Five Reasons to Have a Naturopathic Doctor on Your Healthcare Team

With eight years of post-secondary education and a natural focus on identifying and treating the underlying cause of your health concerns, a Naturopathic Doctor can guide you to truly transform your health!  Here are some of the most common reasons you would benefit from adding a Naturopathic Doctor to your health care team:

1. You’re always sick and tired – If you find yourself feeling tired and depleted, it’s time to identify and treat the underlying cause.  A Naturopathic Doctor (ND) will assess whether hormonal imbalances, nutrient deficiencies, food sensitivities or chronic inflammation are leading to your fatigue and low immune function.  By specifically identifying the underlying cause of your symptoms, a targeted treatment plan can be developed for you to quickly regain your energy and vitality!

2. You’ve been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – If you experience bloating, constipation and/or diarrhea you may have been told you have IBS, which can be a frustrating diagnosis for many!  While IBS gives a name to the collection of symptoms you’ve been experiencing, most people leave the medical office without knowing how to resolve their digestive concerns.  As a Naturopathic Doctor I help my patients to identify whether food sensitivities, microbial imbalances, parasites, yeast overgrowth, digestive enzyme deficiencies or other imbalances are at the root of these often embarrassing symptoms.  By identifying the underlying cause of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, symptoms can quickly and effectively be resolved through a natural medicine based treatment plan.


The Gift of Commitment

The song on the radio was singing ”May all your Christmas  wishes come true.”

This brought me back to the Christmas of my 13th year. Under the advice of my mother I posted my Christmas list on the fridge and my friends and family divided up the list and I received everything on my list.

All my Christmas wishes come true.

This made me consider why Christmas was so impactful for me. What my friends and family were telling me by giving me those gifts was that I mattered to them, that they loved and cared about me reaching my goals. It was a commitment to me. Resulting in me having the best year.  It led me to ask the question…


Healthy Eating Habits


For many people eating healthy can seem daunting. From calorie counting to never eating out to not eating anything that casts a shadow; eating healthy just doesn’t seem worth it. Well I’m here to tell you that you can have nutritious meals without the calculator, you can enjoy meals with friends, and yes your food may be solid.

Growing up I always ate anything and everything with my family members telling me that it would eventually catch up to me. By the time I graduated, my whopper combo with three junior whoppers lunch special had certainly taken its toll on my physique and my health. But I was able to break my bad eating habits and lose the weight by following a few simple guidelines that I had made for myself based on various things that I had learned about macronutrients and the way our bodies use energy. I won’t say that it was easy to fight the cravings for fast food: after all, that stuff is designed to make us addicted. The key was to decide what I wanted more, and then stick to that decision. I had decided that I wanted to get in better shape more than I wanted that junk food. That decision was always guided by my first tip for eating healthy. Here are the suggestions that I can make for starting you on your path toward a healthier lifestyle:


The Fit Father

In case you haven’t already heard the term ‘dad bod’ yet I will explain it to you; the dad bod refers to a body that is mildly athletic at best, and cushy around the torso. I have already written about this, and if you’ve read that you know what my opinion is. Let me sum it up for you though: the acceptance or even reverence of the dad body is just wrong. This opinion doesn’t arise from an aspect of vanity. It doesn’t matter to me how a body looks, per se. What does cause me discourse is living in a society that would actually strive to live unhealthy, sedentary lives. The dad body has been praised for its evidence of enjoying beer and fried food; being unattractive, so as to not expect much from a partner; and enjoying the couch more than physical activity. Do fathers really want to be associated with such an image? Is this really the role model we want to be for our children? It certainly doesn’t have to be.

There are so many options for getting physical activity into your daily regimen that don’t include going to a gym or lifting any dumbbells. Just in case you might think I’m misleading you, here are a few examples:


The 'Dad Body'

If the term ‘dad body’ is new to you, don’t worry: I had only come to know this term a few weeks prior to writing this. Before we get into how I came to hear the term and the subsequent explanation complete with pictures and comparisons, I want you to imagine what the dad body would look like. Keep that image in your head; we’ll come back to that.

When I first heard the term my wife was at her computer chatting with some friends on a ‘mom’ forum. There was a poll with pictures of two men generated from various famous peoples’ features; for example one had the arms of So-And-So, the face of What’s-His-Name, the torso of Who’s-His-Face and so on. One was compiled by men who felt that that was how women wanted a man to look, and the other was a mish-mash created by women. The difference was surprising to say the least and portrayed something that tends to be overlooked or unmentioned: the effect that the entertainment and media industries have had on males’ expectations of their bodies versus what females expect a man’s body to look like.


Against the Wind: Part 2

Well, there have been a few developments since the last time I wrote about my new “favorite” hobby, running. When we last met, I was trying to get into running and I enrolled in a beginners’ running study at the U of C for motivation. The first thing is that I went through my baseline testing for the study. The session took about two and a half hours, and involved me standing on one foot while wearing sensor balls in front of bright lamps like some sort of CGI yoga star. (That’s not actually a thing, don’t Google it). I had to run about 10 feet, landing my foot in the same spot on the ground in the middle 20 times, which is actually more difficult than it sounds. I have a hard time controlling my speed, limbs, etc. She took measurements of my strength with a machine and then assigned me to a group. The Stretching Group. Sigh. I hate these stretches. Well, just the dynamic stretches. And hate is a strong word. But I hate them. I’m supposed to do them 5 times a week and run at least twice a week for 8 weeks. Which leads me to another development: I fell off the running wagon and signed up for a 5k in May (Because logic).


Unique, At-Home Body Weight Workout


Sensei Maeghen and The Five Elements

Maeghen from 5 Elements Martial Arts invited me to join her Adult Self Defense seminar a little while ago. After the class, I had a moment to sit down with this amazing woman and get to know her on a little bit of a personal level.

When Maeghen was a child, she was lacking in self confidence due to being the victim of bullies.  Like many others, she turned to sports to help her with both issues; however, she wasn't very good at the ones she had tried like dance and gymnastics.  Cheerleading, soccer and basketball weren't her strong suits either.  Maeghen was far too gawky and uncoordinated for those sports but luckily for her, there was a karate studio nearby.  She would begin her martial arts career at the young age of 8 years old.  Being the only girl in the classes didn't bother her.  She told herself that with enough hard work, she could achieve anything she set her mind to.  Maeghen fell in love with martial arts and knew from 8 years old that being an instructor was what she wanted to do with her life.  Eventually, she would open her own school at the age of 16.



Who remembers hours of bouncing on a trampoline as a kid? A favorite backyard pastime of kids of all generations is back. Back are bum drops, giggles and seeing the world with air under your feet.

But trampolines aren’t just for kids anymore. Rebounding on a trampoline stimulates all internal organs, moves the cerebral-spinal fluid and the aqueous fluid with the eyes (many people claim improved eyesight), and does wonders for the intestines. Jumping for 10 minutes is equal to 30 minutes of running, and for me 10 TIMES more FUN!!!



It’s CMHA Mental Health Week, and they’re encouraging us to Get Loud to improve mental health awareness. Some 33.1% of Canadians 15 or older will have a mental or substance use disorder in their lifetime, so this affects everyone. If you’re not the almost third of Canadians it directly affects, then you likely know and love someone afflicted. For something so ubiquitous in our society, we talk about it as often, and with as much understanding, as we do the 90’s boy band LFO. (I mean, really—what was happening there?). Recently there has been a groundswell of increased vocal support for bringing mental illness out of the shadows and into the open. Campaigns such as Bell’s Let’s Talk, and the #CHHSLetsTalk media campaign have attracted attention. I Will Survive is a Calgary organization committed to removing the silence and stigma surrounding mental illness. My husband and I had the opportunity to go with Ashton from FeelGood to the Music 4 Life Art Showcase organized by I Will Survive. The speakers we saw inspired me. Joy Pavelich, who lost her son to suicide, and Greg Duhaney, who, in detail, described the progression of his brother’s illness that led to his suicide touched me. Steve Leong from I Will Survive laments that,


Alignment, Compression & Sleep: Tips to Live Better

Recently, I had an amazing opportunity to head down to Hermosa Beach, California to attend a training camp with 2XU (pronounced "Two Times You" - multiply your performance!) alongside other winners of their “Heart Not Hype” contest from around the globe. I am so grateful I was able to represent Canada and have some incredible experiences like playing beach volleyball with Team USA girls, paddle boarding in ocean swells and swimming at night with my new friends and our Navy Seal coach! My biggest takeaways, however, included getting the basics of fitness, movement, and recovery stripped down and reinforced in my mind as an athlete and personal trainer.

The week included incredible coaches, trainers and specialists in the Southern California sunshine, and while it was incredibly fun, what would it be if I didn’t bring the information back and use it in my field? So, in an effort to share those lessons and tips with you, here are my top 3 take-aways from the trip:


The Laughing Fool

So this is a new one. When Ashton mentioned going to laughter yoga, I thought: “that’s a thing?” Who knew? And, being the crack blogger that I am, I did absolutely no research prior to going. I assumed that it was yoga with some forced laughter breaths while holding the poses or something. So I show up in my yoga clothes, with my yoga mat to the Sunalta Community Centre at 7pm March 18, 2015, and the two ladies there tell me that my mat isn’t needed, “we’re here to play!” Okay. You’re going to feel ridiculous, they tell me. We’ll start off forcing laughter and end up actually laughing because of how silly it is. Okay. More regulars start to show up, and they start giggling and guffawing in greeting. Okay. “We’re going to go to the door, and drop off our adult. We don’t need it for this class,” and we do. Everyone walks to the door to do so, and comes back to our seats. Okay. Sitting in chairs in a circle, we start clapping and chanting “Ho ho ho, ha ha ha, very good, very good, yay,” ending with hands in the air. Okay...


100 Happy Days

#100happydays is a social media phenomenon that started back in 2014.  Participants post a photo of something that made them happy during the day on their FaceBook, Twitter, or Instagram adding the 100happydays hashtag. The organizers have posted on their website that the reason they started the challenge was to help others appreciate the moments in life that most say they are too busy for.  It reads, “While the speed of life increases, there is less and less time to enjoy the moment that you are in. The ability to appreciate the moment, the environment and yourself in it, is the base for the bridge towards long term happiness of any human being.”.

The rules are simple, post a picture of anything that made you happy every day until you reach day 100.  The picture could be of your pet doing something adorable, a get together with friends, or your morning coffee (especially if it's a roll up winner).  So long as the subject of your photo made you happy, it counts towards the challenge.  That being said, your pictures are not meant for the purpose of bragging and it is not a happiness competition.  The challenge must be for yourself and nobody else.  “If you try to please / make others jealous via your pictures – you lose without even starting. Same goes for cheating.” reads the website.  I'm not quite sure how someone would be able to cheat at having a happy day, but I'm sure that the event organizers had to add that rule in because somebody found a way.


Sit Versus Stand: Incorporating Movement Into Your (Sedentary) Life

For most of us in North America, sitting what we do best. Think about it. We sit on the way to work (in our car or on transit), we sit once we get to work, we sit on the commute home from work and then we sit when we get home because we’re so tired from the workday. A little TV time or reading or dinner with the family…and a whole lot of sitting! It’s clear that we need to sit less, and this applies to the more than 15 hours of waking time not spent exercising (source).

Sitting, many have said, is the new smoking. It’s killing us! Even for those who work out three times a week (which is more than many people), we still sit too much (source). In fact, every single hour of television watched after the age of 25 reduces the viewer’s life expectancy by 21.8 minutes (according to a study through the University of Queensland). By comparison, smoking just a single cigarette reduces life expectancy by about 11 minutes, the authors said. That’s striking.

There are lots of stats out there. You could check them out, or you can take my word for it. The goal here isn’t to frighten you and hit you with fear about the dangers of sitting, but rather to remind you that there are ways that you can combat the diseases that can come from too much sitting. That’s the good news! And if the knowledge of what too much sitting can do to your body serves as a motivator to get you moving (or even just standing), then my work is done!


Against The Wind

I have decided to take up running. Why? Good question. I have never been a runner. Ever. I find it difficult, and I’ve been told I look funny doing it. So what am I doing? Well, as a newish mother, I have some baby weight to lose, and my fitness routine has taken a direct hit. I used to love a combination of spin class and boot camp classes, because I can’t seem to motivate myself at the gym. When the going gets tough, I get going. Home. To eat cookies. I have to force myself with peer pressure to workout.

But, now that I have my little bundle of joy, it is: (a) difficult to get to classes (or really anything with a set time), especially those without childcare, and (b) expensive. And running – which, I’m sure, could be as expensive as I choose – is relatively inexpensive. I already have shoes, and the Internet is full of people trying to help me start running. And I can do it any time. I don’t currently have a jogging stroller (definitely want to make sure I’m actually going to use it before I buy one), so I’m going solo.


Paintball: A True Game Changer

When someone first thinks about the sport of paintball, the typical thoughts encompass violent behaviour and guys with anger issues that just want to hurt people.  The truth is that most of the people I have met going to practices, and tournaments, are some of the best, most caring people I have ever met and not at all like paintball has a reputation for.  There are rules in place to ensure everyone's safety and enjoyment that are taken extremely seriously and everyone looks out for one another, regardless of team.  That being said, you will find people that use paintball as an excuse to be unsportsmanlike or mean spirited, and I hope that they will never taint the good nature of the sport for anyone.

My first time ever participating in the sport, I was going to a middle school birthday party.  A couple of years later, I would find myself spending a lot of my spare time at the local field with friends who played a version of the sport called Speedball.  Eventually, I would receive my own marker for Christmas, however, I wouldn't use it for more than the occasional target practice until a friend of mine invited me to come meet his Woodsball team.  After one practice with the guys, I decided that I would like to play with them on a more regular basis, and that was one of the best decisions I have ever made for myself.


Bonnie's Philosophy: One Step At A Time

Tree climbing, walking on the beach, laughing with friends, swinging kettle bells or swinging your hips in a Zumba class…anything can be fitness and movement is found everywhere! How do you view exercise?

My name is Bonnie Lang, and I’m a personal trainer in Calgary where I love helping others see fitness all around them. Looking back on my life, it’s clear that I always loved to move. I remember “training” for a sprint triathlon when I was maybe 11, swimming “laps” in our round, dough boy pool (which was maybe 1 or 2 strokes wide), then hopping on my bike for a lap around the block and a run up and down our cup de sac. We had a gang of kids in our California suburb who I would wrangle together and get to do obstacle courses in the backyard, and later I ran cross country and tried my hand at rugby for a year in university. I’ve always liked movement and now, years after my California days, I’m enjoying motivating people inside the gym so that they can live better outside the gym! In a nutshell, I am an ACSM certified personal trainer, a born motivator and a fun-loving adventurer.


The Four Agreements

The Four Agreements is a story told by Don Miguel Ruiz based on the beliefs of ancient Toltec wisdom of the native people of Southern Mexico. The Toltecs were “women and men of knowledge”, they were scientists and artists who formed a society to explore and conserve the spiritual knowledge of their ancestors. They came together as naguals (masters) and students at Teotihuacan, the city of pyramids outside Mexico City. It is known as the place where “Man becomes God”.  The Toltecs believed that all energy is derived and governed by the universe.

During our early lives we began making agreements. We were rewarded when we did what people wanted and punished when we didn’t. We learned behaviors and habits in school, church, from other adults and friends. The tools used to reward and punish us were mainly emotional, sometimes even physical. “. The impact of other people’s opinions and reactions to us became a very strong force in the habits we created”. During all of this, we created agreements in our minds of what we should and shouldn’t be, who we were and weren’t. We learnt to live our lives based on these agreements. During the domestication process we made choices based on the opinions of others versus our own.


Enlight Yoga & Wellness

I had the privilege of being invited to attend a Power Align Yoga with Tanya Lee at Enlight Yoga and Wellness. I had no idea what I was getting into so that I could provide you with an unadulterated review of my experience.

The Teacher

Tanya is an enthusiastic, engaging, and fun instructor. She takes the time with every move to explain it for beginners, intermediate, and advanced yogis. No one is left behind in her class; it was nice and refreshing not to be stuck in child’s pose for the more difficult movements.