The Mediterranean Diet and Heart Burn (Gastroesophageal reflux disease)

The Study looked at the use of NSAIDs as a treatment for GERD and the Mediterranean Diet. The Mediterranean Diet is the most widely studied diet which incorporates healthy fats, fruits & vegetables, protein and even small amounts of chocolate.  There is a pyramid of what the Mediterranean diet is below. If you wish to read more about the what the Mediterranean Diet is please refer to this link:

There has been a wonderful study that came out in 2017. It took a look into the treatment of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD or commonly known as heart burn). Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI)s are the first line of defense in treating GERD. They have been prescribed for years. Some of the common side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, and intestinal infections1.This study may change the way PPIs are prescribed for GERD.

This study looked back at medical records of patients who were given PPIs or switched to the Mediterranean diet2. The study concluded that using the Mediterranean diet was just as effective as using PPIs2.  Dietary changes are a good first line treatment and PPIs should be used in complicated cases after dietary intervention2. This study is bridging the gap between diet and treating medical conditions. What we put into our bodies matters, and dietary interventions are now being scientifically recognized as effective treatments.


  1. Proton Pump Inhibitors. Retrieved April 11, 2018. Copyrighted 2018.
  2. Zalvan CH, Hu S, Greenberg B, et al. A Comparison of Alkaline Water and Mediterranean Diet vs Proton Pump Inhibition for Treatment of Laryngopharyngeal Reflux. JAMA Otolaryngogly – Head and Neck Surgery. Published online September 7 2017.

The Difference between Gluten Sensitive and Gluten Free

A lot of restaurants now a days are listing meals on their menus as gluten sensitive or low gluten. What does this mean? This means that their food is not considered gluten free. It means that the ingredients in that meal are gluten free, but the kitchen is not gluten free. There is cross contamination in the kitchen with glutinous ingredients. If you are celiac or Gluten free, you want to avoid low gluten foods. You want to make sure it is 100% gluten free.

Restaurants are jumping on the band wagon, and trying to cater to food sensitivities and allergies now. Unfortunately low gluten meals are not safe for Celiacs or other gluten free conditions. Some restaurants will guarantee that their food is gluten free. These are the restaurants that you want to visit. They have dedicated parts of their kitchen for gluten free preparation. They have separate fryers for fries, and chicken wings. They have dedicated pots and pans where they prepare your food. These restaurants will label their food as gluten free. These restaurants are safe for Gluten allergies.

When you go into a restaurant you will want to make sure that the meals are gluten free not low in gluten. This is a very important difference. You can also tell your server that you have a gluten allergy and they will make sure to be diligent about cross contamination. I also recommend you ask the waiter or waitress if they have a separate fryer for gluten free items on the menu. This will give allow you to gauge how serious they take food allergies.

5 Key Places to look when Reading Nutritional Facts


Nutrition Facts are required by the Canadian Government to be on every packaged product. There are 5 Key areas you want to check before buying the product.

1. Calorie Count:

The calories are how much energy the food is going to give you. The daily recommended calorie allotment is between 2000- 4000 cals/day. You want to ensure each meal is not over 35% of your daily calories. That means making sure each ingredient that goes into your meal is not too high in calories.

2. Serving Size:

Serving size is very important. Most of the serving sizes are smaller than the portions of food we consume. Cereal’s serving size, for example, is half a cup most people will eat three times the serving size for a meal. The calories listed are for a serving size. When you are calculating your calories for a meal you need to use how many servings you ate. In the cereal example you would have to multiply the calories listed on the Nutritional Facts by

3. Total Carbohydrates:

Not all carbs are bad for you. Fiber is a healthy component of carbs that you want to incorporate into your diet. It will help to regulate your digestive system. Sugars are another form of carbohydrate. This Is what you want to limit. Sugar is an additive in many prepackaged foods and is a major component in the obesity crisis. You want to make sure that the foods you are consuming are low in sugar but high in fiber.

4. Total Fats:

Fats are a healthy part of a diet. You want to make sure you eat full fat foods, and foods that are high in omega 3s. Not all fats are good for you. The nutritional facts will break down the “bad” fats for you. You don’t want Trans fats in your diet, you want to limit saturated fats, and a moderate amount of unsaturated fats.

5. Daily Recommended Value (%   Daily Value):

The recommended daily value is a great guide to judge if there is a lot of a nutrient in the food or a little bit. Less than 5% is low, and more than 20% is high. Depending on the nutrient you want it to be low, such as sodium, Trans fats, and sugar. Nutrients you want a lot of are fiber, Vitamins and minerals, and protein.

Top 3 Tips to Get through Halloween with Food Restrictions

Halloween is fast approaching. Chocolate and candy will be available everywhere you look. If you are struggling to stay away from peanuts, tree nuts, gluten, dairy, soy, corn, or eggs, this is a particularly hard time. We all know Chocolate tastes delicious, and it is loaded with sugar, soy and milk. Lindor has slipped gluten into their chocolate by adding Barley Malt extract. Children love to go trick or treating, and want to eat all the candy they collected. How do you stay true to your diet while participating in Halloween Activities?

GO Trick or Treating! Go through the Candy Haul before anyone gets to eat the candy.

Take your kids out with their friends to collect candy. It does not matter what they collect, it is about the experience. You will have to sit them down and talk to them about moderation and which candy they are allowed to have. Throw out any unwrapped chocolate or candy. Check the label of each type of candy; all the O’Henry bars are going to be the same. Make two piles, Food Allergens/Sensitivities and one that is fine to eat. You can supplement the candy that you have to discard with brands you know that are safe for your children, if you want to. The food allergen pile can he donated to children’s shelter or given to other family member that can eat it.

Teal Pumpkin Project

When you see a teal pumpkin outside a house, this means that they will give you non-food related fun products. The Teal Pumpkin Project is raising awareness for food allergies and sensitivities. Look for houses that have a painted Teal pumpkin or have FARE Teal Pumpkin Project flyer. For more information on the Teal Pumpkin Project visit this link:

Bring Food you know is safe to eat to any Halloween Party.

It is nice to help out the hostess/host by bringing something to the party. Make sure you are bringing something you can eat to the party. It is not fair to expect everyone at the party to cater to your needs, but you should be able to eat something. This is your responsibility. Another tip is to eat a small meal before heading to a party where you are unaware of the food choices that will be available to you. You will not go hungry and you won’t have to break your diet.

Teenage Acne Fixes


Teenagers are back in school now, and they are dreading picture day if they suffer from acne. Acne is skin conditions that can cause psychological damage. Teens feel embarrassed about their appearance in general just through puberty, without acne. Acne is a skin condition that is caused by numerous factors. Teenage acne is typically a mix of bacterial acne, hormonal acne and dietary acne. This is not the cause for every case of acne that happens in teenagers, but the vast majority. This is the form of acne, that you “will grow out of”.

Let’s get a few myths out of the way.

  • Eating chocolate or junk food is the cause of acne: Acne can be related to your diet, but it is not because you eat a lot of junk food. Dairy products are the number one food group that is linked to acne of any age. Cutting out Dairy can have drastic changes when it comes to acne. Food Sensitivities can cause acne. Other foods may be contributing to your acne. That is a case by case basis. If you are suffering from acne, then you may want to see a Naturopathic Doctor and get an IgG Blood test done.
  • People who suffer from acne are not hygienic This is one to address for bacterial acne. Most people who suffer from acne are more conscious and cleanly with their skin care regime than people who do not suffer from acne. This is not a hygiene issue. Acne Sufferers maybe washing their face too much, and tripping down the good bacteria and natural oils in their face. Over cleaning is more likely the cause of acne compared to poor hygiene. It should be said, if you are suffering from acne only in certain spots on your face, please wipe down your cell phone and/or clean your make up brushes weekly. There are a lot of bacteria on those items, that can be causing your acne.
  • Acne is Contagious: You cannot catch acne from someone who has acne. They are safe to be around.
  • You Shouldn’t pop a Pimple If your pimple has come to a white head, then it is ok to properly pop a pimple. This will actually help to initiate the healing process and remove the infective debris in pus that is found in the pimple.
  • Accutane is safe and should be used as an effective treatment for acne: There are many other ways to manage your acne. Accutane is a very harmful drug that causes a lot of internal damage in your Liver and Kidneys. This seems like an easy and great solution to clear your acne,  but the side effects outweigh the benefits.
  • You need to wash your face at least 3 times a day: You should only wash your face twice a day, if that. TCM practitioners believe that washing your face twice a day is too much. You only need to wash it once at night. If you are feeling oily, only use a gentle toner in the morning.

Now that you know those notions are nonsense, let’s talk about quick ways that can help you fix your teenage acne.

  • Effective topical treatments include: benzyl peroxide, salicylic acid, niacinamide, retinol, and some topical antibiotics. There are some draw back to the topical acne treatments. They are very drying to the skin and typically cause flaking, and the antibiotics can be absorbed through the skin which can cause a natural resistance to that antibiotic. The Dual Antibiotic and benzyl peroxide tend to stop working after a while, since you have developed a resistance to the cream. Here is where you will need to switch to another topical treatment.
  • Tea Tree essential oil is a great spot treatment for acne.
  • You need to exfoliate your skin about once a week, no more than twice a week.
  • Make sure you moisturize your skin after applying acne products. Extremely dry of skin will cause your acne to get worse and your skin to crack.
  • Make sure to wear sun screen everyday on your face. Your skin will be more sensitive to the UV rays, and will burn more easily.
  • Avoid all forms of dairy for 6 weeks to see if it makes a difference.
  • Acupuncture is an amazing treatment for acne, and Acne scars.

Acne is said to be a childhood condition. The fact is there are more cases of adult acne than ever before. If you learn to treat your acne in adolescence then adult acne will be manageable.

5 Tips for Back To School Meal Prepping

September is just around the corner, and we go back to our old routines. Our lives are full of juggling extra curricular activities, work, gym sessions, and everything in between. The easiest way to eat is drop by the grocery store to pick up ready made meals or go to the nearest fast food restaurant. This is not the healthiest way to eat, and leads to a lot of healthy problems down the line. What we put into our bodies matters. I hear patients saying to me, “I know it is not the healthiest, but it is better than starving myself”. This thinking is the problem. Yes, food is fuel and you need to eat. Not all food is the same. Healthy food is better fuel for your body. You have the ability to have healthy food quickly and easily all the time. It requires planning, and time to make it, but the positive attributes to meal prepping outweigh the time and planning it takes.

Meal prepping is a great weight to management, improves your energy, decreases stress, and saves you money. Once you start meal prepping you will have wondered why you hadn’t done it before. It frees up a lot of time through out the week, and provides healthy meals exactly when you want to eat them. It is faster than getting fast food through out the week. Here are 5 tips to help you start Meal prepping;

1. Choose 1 Consistent Day a Week and Commit to it.
Assign one day a week to meal prepping. You will form a habit, and know that the shopping and planning has to be done by this time. Meal prep days will not the entire day, but will take a few hours of it. I typically meal prep on a Sunday afternoon for the up coming week. If you have a day off in the middle of the week and want to do that, by all means take a day where you can commit 3 hours. 

2. Plan Your meals and make a Shopping List.
Thinking about what you are going to meal prep for the next few days can be the hardest part of meal prepping. This step is vital in sticking to meal prepping. Search google for healthy recipes if you are feeling uninspired, and remember to make them in bulk. Once you have decided what you are going to make, create a comprehensive grocery list. Make sure to include the amount of each ingredient you need for bulk cooking.

3. Invest in a slow cooker.
Slow cookers are life savers. They are easy to use, all the cooking is done through out the day while you are at work and you come home to a hot, delicious, home cooked meal. Place all the ingredients in the slow cooker, turn it on, and leave for work. That’s it. You can pick up a slower cooker at different price points anywhere where they sell kitchen accessories. I recommend getting a 4 qz or above. This way you can eat your dinner and have prepped other meals for the week or freeze them for another time to eat them. There are a lot of cook books our internet posts with slow cooker recipes. This is a staple for cooking healthy with a busy schedule.

4. Freeze Meals in a Properly Sealed Container.
Some people are not into eating left overs for 4 days in a row. They like to have variation, and don’t want to make 8 different meals on their meal prep day. Make the 4-6 portions of your food, but freeze 2-4 portions. Make sure you label when you put this in the freezer and what is in it. It will help you when you go to take it out of the freezer. Most food will thaw out during the day, and you just have to reheat the meal. This method will take a few meal prep days to build up a selection. Remember to add to this every time you meal prep, and take out some frozen portions to supplement the food you are freezing.

5. Meal Prep Your Snacks.
Don’t forget about in between meal snacks. Here is where people will go to the convenience store and pick up a bag of chips or a chocolate chip muffin. Account for your snacks on your meal prep day. These don’t have to be things you make. Snacks can be cut up veggies and hummus, or cheese slices with organic turkey pepperoni and grapes. Taking the time to have prepped the snacks will prevent unhealthy slip ups.

Therapeutic Order

Therapeutic Order is a philosophy I use to treat my patients. It allows me to work with your body to heal itself with minimal intervention. It produces long lasting effects that improve your health in every aspect. Therapeutic order is not only how I treat illnesses, but how I promote general wellness and prevent disease. Therapeutic order allows for an ND to individualize a treatment. Every level of therapeutic disorder is different for everyone. I work with my patients to identify and change those aspects that are causing disease.

The first level: Establish Foundation for optimal health. In today’s society there are many obstacles that inhibit our basic foundation for health. Our food is full of fillers, preservatives, hormones and GMOs. There is the highest prevalence of insomnia, anxiety and depression on record. Our atmosphere is full of pollution and we are connected to an online community that serves as a false sense of community and social interaction. In this stage I work with you to remove environmental toxins, ensure your diet and water intake is addressed, assess your sleep, anxiety levels and ensure you have a social support network. There is little supplemental intervention in terms of treatment at first, but this stage is pivotal to ensure your body is able to heal itself. We must remove these obstacles first or anything else we do, will not be as effective or have lasting results.

Stimulate the self healing mechanisms: This is where gentle intervention is implemented. The use of acupuncture, hydrotherapy and sometimes even homeopathy. These treatments promote the body heal itself. You can read about acupuncture and hydrotherapy under my services. Homeopathy is an energetic medicine using the essence of a substance. This is not well researched in North America, but it used widely in Germany. Children and animals respond incredibly well. Adults have mixed reactions. All of these interventions are simple, effective and don’t cost much.

Support and Restore Weakened Systems: after the other two steps are addressed then we will address the systems that have been weakened by existing disease. This is where there will be blood test done, and we look to see the extent your illness. Again we use all the different modalities; herbs, acupuncture, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, nutrition, etc. This is where these interventions become more specific to different organ systems.

Natural System Control: in other words address Physical Alignment. Chiropractors are a wonderful referral here. Spinal manipulation or medical acupuncture are used here to ensure your physical body is healthy. Spinal manipulation is useful for chronic chest colds or constipation. There are a lot of ailments that can be solved without supplementation and just ensuring your body is properly aligned.

Synthetic Symptom Relief: This is where herbal supplements, tinctures, and symptom relief comes into play. Sometimes ND just to quickly to hand you a supplement instead of taking care of the basics. It is important to make sure our patients are comfortable, but we need to make sure they are improving first before. I treat the root cause, not just provide temporary solution to make your symptoms disappear. The therapeutic approach can take a long time to have the full effect. This is another circumstance where symptom relief is needed.

High Force intervention: There are limitations to Naturopathic Medicine. Here is where I would refer you. Some conditions need a stronger intervention than I can offer. This is the last step in therapeutic order, but something that is screened at the beginning. Some conditions may need surgery or chemo. Therapeutic order can be used concurrently to help you heal. Co-management with another Doctor is something I am always interested in.

I hope this provided some insight to how Naturopathic Medicine operates, and how I treat. Therapeutic Order can be introduced in the first 2 treatments. The full effect may take a month or two, but it is worth it.

Choosing the right Naturopathic Doctor for you!

Naturopathic Doctors are always compared to Traditional Medical Doctors. NDs treat the root cause of your illness through natural means compared to our MD counterparts, who use drugs to manage symptoms. This is what most NDs seem to focus on. It is hard to describe what our profession is. Naturopathy incorporates a lot of different types of medicine and lifestyle changes. When you are talking to someone who has only been exposed to the Traditional medical treatment, the easiest way to define naturopathy is by making the comparison. We end up generalizing Naturopathic Medicine and Allopathic Medicine (traditional medicine) to get the major differences across between our professions. No one really discusses the individuals in our professions. We have 30 seconds to tell you what we do in a nutshell while holding your attention. Generalizing all NDs and making the comparison to MDs is the easiest way.

I need to say not all MDs do symptom management and just prescribe pharmaceuticals. I know a few who will prescribe drugs after trying some lifestyle interventions and monitoring your disease. They agree with the foundation of Naturopathic Medicine, but are not trained to utilize diet, exercise and herbal remedies. I also know some NDs who just prescribe a bunch of supplements to manage your symptoms. I refer to them as green allopaths. They love to manage their patients by making them comfortable and taking away their symptoms, but ignoring the underlying cause. It seems better because they are using natural means. In my opinion they are not different then their Medical counterparts who over prescribe. Everyone has a style within their chosen profession.

If you are not sure what Naturopathic Medicine is please refer to my about section and click on Naturopathic Medicine. This will provide you with a basis. Once you have decided that you would like to see a Naturopathic Doctor how do you find the right one?

Ask people around you if they know a good Naturopathic Doctor:

When someone recommends a ND to you, that means they think they are effective.  They have probably been to see them, and they have seen benefits from that ND’s treatment plan. This is where your search for your ND should start. Book in with that ND. Word of mouth is more valuable than a google search. You have someone who has evidence that this Doctor knows what they are doing.

There is no harm in booking a free 15 min consultation, or an initial appointment with that ND. The ND will be a great resource for you. If you live in a different city, contact that ND to ask if they would recommend a ND near you. Most NDs have no trouble referring patients to their colleagues. Our main concern is you get the help you want.

Take advantage of the free 15 min consultations:

Most NDs offer free 15 min consultations. Use this time to ask any questions you have about Naturopathic medicine and their treatment style. The reason I have set up free 15 min consultations is to see if Naturopathic Medicine is right for you, AND to see if my treatment style resonates with you.

All Naturopathic Doctors treat differently. We have different philosophies on what works with our patients. Some people love homeopathy, or acupuncture or clinical nutrition. Some NDs have specialized only in one area of medicine such as: fertility, sports medicine, or cancer. Personally, I specialized in Pain management during school, but found I was bored of the same type of cases. I opened a Family Medicine practice where I treat everything and anything under the sun. I love the variety. My patients are treated as individuals. A patient who walks in with a migraine is not going to be treated the same as my other migraine patients. I truly customize my treatment plans using your feedback, budget, and personal preferences.

The 15 min consultation gets you in front of the ND. You are able to tell if you feel comfortable with them, and like their personality. There is an ND out there for everyone, you just need to find one you like. Paying for initial consultations all the time wastes your insurance money and your valuable spare time. These consultations are provided for your benefit.

Ask a Naturopathic Doctor if they have a favourite modality:

NDs have many different modalities; acupuncture, traditional Chinese herbs, homeopathy, botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, supplementation, life style counselling are just a few. Some NDs tend to lean towards one type of modality over another. If the ND prescribes acupuncture for everyone because they know it is effective, but you are deathly afraid of needles, that ND probably isn’t for you. It is rare that an ND will only work with one modality, so ask them to adjust their treatment plan to avoid needles. Conversely, not all NDs use acupuncture in their practice. If you are going to an ND wanting acupuncture, make sure they offer the service.

I use all the modalities. I follow the therapeutic order for healing. AANMC has a great diagram explaining what therapeutic order is. I have attached it to this blog post for you to read.

I do love acupuncture, and I prefer the traditional Chinese medicine diagnoses. I will work with patients that do not want acupuncture. My job is to promote health, not traumatize my patients.  I have many tools at my disposal and my treatment plans always incorporate a full range of modalities.


As I said before, every ND is different. We have different educational backgrounds, treatment styles and affinities to modalities. If you have seen a naturopathic doctor in the past and were not happy, please try and find one that you like. I always say, “I may not be the ND for you, but I know there is one out there for you.” I am also happy to refer you to an ND that I think you will benefit from. I hope this was a helpful blog post, and if you have any questions about Naturopathic Medicine please visit my contact page 🙂