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We consume oils all the time and yet we pay the very little attention to what oils we are eating, and how they may impact our long term health. Removing unhealthy, rancid and heavily processed oils is one of the most important healthy habits you can make in your diet to avoid diseases such as cancers, heart disease and intestinal disorders and to reduce fatigue, inflammation and free radicals! Understanding what oils are unhealthy and what oils are safe to eat will help to reduce those risks. Adjusting your habits at home, at the grocery store and when eating out will go a long way to making the change you may be longing for in your overall health!

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Avoid eating rancid oils!

Unsaturated oils such as canola, olive, peanut, or vegetable oil don’t last on the shelf as long as you think since they are incredibly sensitive to heat, light and oxygen and actually go rancid in a very short time. You may not notice the off taste and it may not make you feel sick, however the increasing levels of free radicals can elevate the risk of developing diseases such as cancer and heart disease in the long term. Flavoured oils containing low-acid vegetables such as garlic or herbs and spices can cause botulism due to the rotting vegetables when they turn. Throw these old oils out!

The length of time an oil lasts depends whether it is unopened and sealed off from oxygen, how it is stored and what kind of oil it is. You can see this list for specific times www.eatbydate.com/other/condiments/how-long-does-oil-last. Most oils do not last longer than two years, even unopened. An open oil not kept in the fridge may only last 3 months. You can tell it has gone off since the oil may taste bitter, stale or “off” and there is often that noticeable rancid smell. Check the expiry dates, store oils properly either in the fridge or a cool pantry, and do the smell test. Good oils can be expensive so avoid buying large amounts if you know you won’t eat it before it expires. It will be too tempting to use it even if it is old and as I mentioned, bad oil can lead to health complications later on.

 

Unhealthy oils are a health risk, but marketers want you to think otherwise

1. The danger with soybean oil, grapeseed oil, cottonseed oil, corn oil, safflower oil, and the very ubiquitous “vegetable oil” is they are all mainly composed of polyunsaturated fats, and that means they are the most prone to oxidation and increased free radical when exposed to heat, light and oxygen. Often these oils are made from waste seeds and in the case of canola, from a non-edible rapeseed plant that was bred to contain less of its naturally forming erucic acid. The current amount is considered to pose no health risks, although studies have found that high erucic acid levels may cause heart damage. It is interesting to note that before processed oils such as Crisco and vegetable oil became more popular on the market in the 1920’s, heart attacks were very rare. Canola is my least favourite oil and I avoid it as much as possible.

2. Grapeseed oil is very popular due to its smoke point for high temperature cooking and purported health benefits. However, it is usually heavily processed and has a very high omega-6 content. An imbalance of low omega-3 and high omega-6 in the diet means an extremely unhealthy fatty acid ratio and this has a big impact on heart health. Why does this matter? One reason is that mega-6 oils have a pro-inflammatory impact on the body while Omega-3 oils are anti-inflammatory. When our intake of omega-6 and omega-3 is imbalanced, as it most definitely is in the modern, processed diet, the more we have to worry about long term chronic disease. Read up on your favourite oil and make a more informed decision when you purchase your next oil.

3. So what about the processing of cheap cooking oils like vegetable, canola and grapeseed? Most of the non-hydrogenated or expeller pressed vegetable oils are actually heavily refined and contain trans fats due to the extremely high heat, solvents, and pressure they are exposed to during the refining process. The high heat and high pressure processing along with the use of hexane solvents and bleaches to improve the colour can also mutate the oil and create what are known as MegaTrans fats. These particular fats can actually damage cell membranes and chromosomes, and create massive inflammation in the body. Nowadays, MegaTrans fats from vegetable oils are found in most of the processed packaged foods we buy as well as most restaurant fryers. No wonder fat has developed such a bad reputation.

Why do they market canola, grapeseed and vegetable oil as healthy? Look at the marketing genius behind margarine. Margarine became incredibly popular in the 1980’s due to aggressive marketing tactics and misinformation. We now know that margarine is not as healthy as its natural counterpart butter, and that ‘fat’ was never the bad guy that scientists and marketers tried to convince us it was. In fact healthy monounsaturated fatty acids in foods like butter and coconut oil are seen as necessary for proper blood cholesterol levels that actually decrease your risk of heart disease. They also benefit insulin levels and blood sugar control, and provide energy for the brain and help your body absorb some nutrients and produce important hormones.

If you are going to use oil, choose a healthy oil

Here’s the order of the type of fat from least stable to most stable under heat and light:

  1. polyunsaturated
  2. monounsaturated
  3. saturated

Tropical oils such as coconut oil and animal fats such as lard and butter are best for cooking since they have very little polyunsaturates and contain mainly saturated fats which are the least reactive to heat and light and the least inflammatory. Olive oil, preferably extra virgin, is good for lower cooking temperatures as it’s mostly monounsaturated and so moderately stable. Avocado oil and macadamia nut oil are also mostly monounsaturated and relatively stable for cooking. A guide to use is:

  • Virgin Coconut Oil for med-high temperatures
  • Real Butter for low-mid temperatures
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil for low temperatures

Even though it costs more, choose your oils carefully. Always try to get the organic, cold pressed, solvent free brands. Stick to the organic, unsalted and yellow butters, North Americans add way too much salt to their butter. Grass fed butter that is fresh also has a high amount of Omega-3 fatty acids as an added bonus. This is what we used to eat before massive food manufacturing and processing, grass fed butters, lard and meats and much fresher foods and this is the reason our Omega-3 and 6 are so out of balance now. It is important to also stop buying foods from the grocery store that contain canola, vegetable and other unhealthy oils. Read the product labels and follow your instincts. You will quickly discover that most processed food is undermining your health due to the use of cheap oils. Thankfully, as more people demand better oils, there are more and more products that you can choose from. Understand that most restaurants are probably using unhealthy oils so ask the server questions, avoid the deep fried choices and skip the salad dressings. Start eating at restaurants that take healthy oils into consideration.

Why do we use bad oils when they are so bad for us?

If you have not already noticed, the oils I recommend to use are not cheap. Canola, vegetable oil and margarine though are very cheap. That is the reason they are in everything, food manufacturers love the low cost to purchase them. The food industry has been shifting slowly since the 1920’s to producing and manufacturing food that is cheap to produce and tasty for consumers. We all know the dangers of added sugars and salt, and we hear how unhealthy fats make food more palatable. Well oils are part of that paradigm.

It is up to us to change our habits to improve our health and longevity. Looking more closely at oil is one of the ways to do this. As I shifted my choices and purchases to exclude the oils I know are causing damage to my cells and creating inflammation I have noticed I feel better, I have more energy and am sure to reduce my risks of cancer, heart disease, inflammation and other chronic diseases. When I eat a ‘crappy’ fat now I feel it right away. It might take time, big changes in our lifestyle always do, but it will be worth the effort!

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Do you have a hard time going number 2? 

According to the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases, constipation is one of the most common digestive problems and affects up to 13% of people in the US. It is defined as having hard, dry bowel movements or only going fewer than three times a week. I know I am typically constipated according to this definition as I don’t go every day. However, when I do go it is a easy and all is fairly normal, but that was not always the case. This is in part due to my constitution and partly because of some of the factors listed below.

Common factors that contribute to increased constipation:

  • A diet low in fibres and/or reduced liquid intake
  • Having a sedentary lifestyle, sitting most of the day with not much physical activity
  • Women, and especially pregnant women, are more prone
  • Being elderly and/or a decreasing vitality
  • Taking calcium/iron supplements and general overuse of medications
  • Medical conditions such as diabetes mellitus, spinal cord lesions, hypothyroidism and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Improper position of bowel sphincters when seated on the toilet

 

For general constipation that is not linked to specific health problems, lifestyle, diet and excess medication use, improper position on the toilet is the easiest and fastest way to improve constipation. Changing how you sit on the toilet can make going number 2 easier in all ways!

The natural position to fully and properly eliminate the bowels is in fact the squatting position. We are not physically designed to sit at a 90 degree angle on a chair while we go to the bathroom! In the image below you can compare the 90 degree angle and the ideal 35 degree angle of the legs to the torso that allows for the sphincters of the rectum to become fully open and the angle of the rectum to be best aligned for complete elimination.

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Image from the Squatty Potty website. http://squattypotty.ph

Using a modern toilet compresses our colon, and fecal matter can get stuck in the ridges of the colon due to this unnatural compression. However squatting prevents straining and reduces prolapse, hemorrhoids and risk of heart attack and stroke. It also allows the bowels to fully empty, which prevents constipation, bloating, and gas. This all can help keep your intestines clear and healthy and in turn, keep your tummy flatter.

“In the squatting posture, the bend [the anorectal angle] straightens out and defecation becomes easier. Squatting is the natural way to achieve easier and more complete elimination. Research shows that squatting relieves the kinked effect. Also, the pressure of the thigh muscles against the lower abdomen helps with exertion and elimination.” Squatty Potty

How to start squatting for relief of constipation?

Use a safe stool for squatting. Never squat directly on the seat of the toilet as this can lead to injury or an accident. There are several official squatting stools online, however I find anything can do the trick as long as it is the right height and is stable enough that you can be comfortable and well balanced while you go.

 

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Finally I found the ideal squatting stool!

Some of the benefits of squatting?

  • A squatting position allows fecal matter to come out much easier.
  • Colon cancer is much less likely to occur in people who squat during elimination.
  • Hemorrhoids can be eliminated since we have fully eliminated the fecal matter in the colon. Any postponed bowel movement can end up being painful and unpleasant and will cause some tension of the rectum.
  • Improved urination for women since squatting tends to ease the tension on a woman’s bladder.
  • It is also good for going #1. Squatting will result in more urine being eliminated from the body.

 

Squatting is a must for anyone who wants to improve their health! It is easy and free to do.

In the case that squatting does not ameliorate problems with constipation, homeopathy can be helpful. For a chronic or constitutional condition, it is best to consult a professional homeopath. If it is an acute case, as in it came on suddenly due to an external factor, you may find some relief with squatting and one of the following remedies.

Nux Vomica
If there is insufficient stool with ineffectual urging and stool is unsatisfactory and seems incomplete. There may be abdomen pain and a sedentary lifestyle. This remedy can also effectively treats piles from constipation.

Bryonia
Constipation with dry, hard, stools in lump form. The stool is actually very dry, as if burnt, and is passed with much difficulty. There may be headaches associated with the constipation.

Alumina
When there is no urge to pass stool for days at a time. The intestines feel extremely sluggish and there is excessive straining to pass stool even when the stool is soft. The stool only passes when there is a large accumulation of fecal matter in the intestine. This is an important remedy for children, infants, bottle-fed babies and elderly persons that suffer from constipation.

Lycopodium
With the constipation there is also flatulence and a bloated abdomen. This remedy is common for constipation in elderly people and for those with irritable bowel syndrome.

Silicea
Here there can be an odd situation where the stool is soft and there is straining, but it recedes back into the rectum after being partially expelled. The anus feels constricted and it can seem exhausting to pass the stool. It may also be associate with a burning, smarting pain. Also for constipation that arises before and during menses.

Antimonium Crudum
Constipation along with a soreness of rectum, anal itching and mucus piles. When there is alternating constipation and diarrhea in the elderly.

Podophyllum
There is alternating constipation and diarrhea, gurgling in bowels, prolapse of rectum. The stool is clay coloured or greenish and has a highly offensive smell.

Natrum Mur
When the stool is passed on alternative days, and there is constriction in the rectum with a smarting, burning or tearing pain at the anus.

 

Trade your expectations for appreciation and your whole world changes in an instant.

– Tony Robbins.

Photo by Drew Hays on Unsplash

Photo by Drew Hays on Unsplash

This is great advice, however this also assumes a person can change by simply trying or working at it, or by fixing themselves because we assume that the way they are or the way they think is flawed. The message here is, “It is your fault, and you have a maladaptive response to stress!” It is fine to apply this logic to machines and computer code, but this is not a humane way to deal with human resources. What we can’t do is try to fix our own self, or another’s self. It is more helpful to get to know who we are essentially so we can let others know what we are motivated by, and how we get connection and fulfillment. Can you see what most moves you at the workplace in the following sets of meaning and motivation?

  • Belonging – inclusion, acceptance, feeling a part of the tribe, social relationships
  • Security – systems, structures, consistency, rules and fair play
  • Freedom – autonomy, independence, taking risks, making decisions, making one’s own mark
  • Significance – need for quality and excellent work, making progress, achieving great results, climbing the ladder
  • Meaning – purpose, legacy, the greater good, changing the world (1)

If you are mostly in one of these movements, you may not understand the motivations of someone who is in an entirely different set. So any attempt to solve, fix or inspire may be coming from a false judgment or bias that is not accurate to the actual needs of the person you would like to help. A fair amount of talk therapy falls into the same trap of giving advice, or telling someone how to think or feel in a more positive way. This approach rapidly becomes very complex given how different everyone can be.

The star employee will often be the most susceptible to burning out. Success requires a driven state. This is wonderful quality to see in an employee and they can bring so much to the company. Until it gets unhealthy, and then they will be trying to do and think so intently and persistently that they lose balance, perspective, and ability. Not surprisingly, depression has more to do with the experience of not meeting the high expectations of our self than with failure, and the expectation is usually a matter of perception rather than of fact.2

Innovating with Holistic health practitioners
It is known that stress, especially chronic stress, takes a toll on our health and will often lead to chronic disease conditions. One of the most valuable aspects of providing Holistic support is prevention. A Holistic practitioner can be put in place well before there is even the necessity for lengthy talk therapy, medical interventions such as pharmaceutical medications, and ultimately for drastic health treatments like surgery. Many other interventions require a diagnosis or testing before any kind of support can be offered.

A Holistic practitioner can work with a person who says, “I feel off or I feel something is wrong with me,” and still offer a complete and effective Holistic treatment. Any of the Holistic practitioners that are part of our group are also fully capable of dealing with long term chronic health issues or mental health concerns. The process is focused on solutions that restore a quality of life and health, while assisting a person to establish their personal potential. The Holistic health method will always focus on prevention, exploration, and personal growth. When working with a person, a Holistic practitioner offers a collaborative, non-judgmental, unbiased space that remains confidential and transpersonal. 3

Holistic practitioners offer the affordable, efficient, and sustainable method that innovative and profitable companies are seeking. Sustainability equals profitability in the modern economy.

References

  1. How to fix an exhausted brain, Brady Wilson
    2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOU2ubWkoPw
  2. On the Maintenance of Expectations in Major Depression – Investigating a Neglected Phenomenon by Tobias Kube, Winfried Rief, and Julia A. Glombiewski
    2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5241292
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transpersonal

Sustainability is basically a better way to make profit. Just ask Texas.

A recent report found that the U.S. states most quickly embracing renewable energy are not who we would expect. While California has some of the most pro-environment laws on the books, the state that produces the most renewable energy in terms of sheer quantity is … Texas. They set renewable energy goals back in 1999 and again in 2005, and they had far surpassed them by 2017. Texas now produces more wind energy than most countries. Why did they do this? Because it is more profitable. 1

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash
Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

While some organizations have attended to social, environmental and economic performance for decades, it is traditionally economic performance that receives consideration. Sustainability is actually a revolutionary business model that elevates social and environmental performance to the same level of economic performance, unlocking a vault of hidden opportunities. 2

Sustainability has become one of the most important current issues today, both on a global and a personal scale. Our person and the environment are not two separate entities but are deeply connected, and what affects one will ultimately affect the other.

Green Medicine
One of the tenets of Holistic medicine is the treatment of the person as a whole and seeing them physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually inclusively. It’s not enough to merely address the symptoms of a problem. Instead a Holistic approach enquires further to the root of what the symptoms stem from, whatever that may be. Picture the analogy of cleaning the pollutants out of a river to temporarily clean it up, yet leaving the actual source of those pollutants. This would have to be altered in some way to prevent further ongoing contamination of the river! One is a stopgap measure; the other makes long lasting change possible. 3

“Homeopathy, as a form of energy medicine, is toxin-free and works to enhance the body’s natural healing capacity, leaving no harmful trace on either your body or the environment: a perfect example of sustainable medicine.” Dr. Stephen P. Weiss. 3

It is part of the task, to find a method that is sustainable in its practice and supports sustainable ways of achieving balance of one’s mental and physical health.

Learn more at Birdsong Holistic.

References

  1. The future of renewable energy is in Texas by Irina Ivanova
    2017, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/texas-is-leading-the-way-in-renewable-energy
  2. ​Turn over a new leaf in 2015. Green Enterprise Movement
    2014, http://greenenterprise.ca/GEM/category/sustainability
  3. The Greening of Medicine by Dr. Stephen P. Weiss
    2013, http://www.ecology.com/2013/08/13/greening-medicine

You might be asking how can a Holistic health method possibly help improve employee engagement and all the various problems that can occur in the workplace?

Holistic approaches to health and wellness always consider all aspects of a person. Since it is a whole person approach it does not require many different types of practitioners or therapies to address various health issues. In one session it is possible to explore insomnia, heartburn and IBS, to explore jealousy of fellow co-workers, to explore feelings of insecurity and a lack of confidence while speaking at meetings, or even a combination of the three. It can cover issues of mild stress and anxiety related to performance, or a more severe situation where the employee is unable to come into work most days of the month for various reasons.

Using naturopathy and homeopathy, many of a person’s health issues can be explored and naturally resolved. Naturopathy is suggested to support the person with herbs, whole foods, super foods, supplements, as well as with meditation, mindfulness, body awareness and following natural principles regarding sleep, diet, habits, movement and exercise. Homeopathy is used when these preventative measures are not enough. Given the high levels of stress and stressors on our health, most people benefit with the additional homeopathic support.
One of the most common, immediate results of homeopathic sessions and taking homeopathic remedies is a reduction in anxiety, stress and fatigue. Homeopathic remedies can also help to transform perceptions that are leading to ill health. This does not require months of weekly therapy, years of chemically based medications, or immersion in self-improvement programs. Once the ‘body’ has new information and signaling to respond to, then the whole person has a newly discovered potential for adaption and change and can return to homeostasis. (Homeostasis is the tendency towards a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements, especially as maintained by physiological processes.) “Homeopathy holistically supports the realignment and renewed coherency of the Vital Field, restoring the body to its natural state of homeostasis and health,” writes Judyann McNamara, master homeopath and physicist. This is allowed to happen naturally, without force, and at the pace the person is comfortable with.

“I feel better than before for sure. The storm is passed. The remedy I took gave me a certain distance and I got very creative with finding solutions for my life. I feel less stuck or trapped.” ~ Alexandra

“I have been really less anxious since my first treatment. I have been able to finish books I had started. I am so very peaceful generally, I can’t remember the last time I felt that way.” ~ Kate

Learn more at Birdsong Holistic.
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Stress and burnout is widespread in the 21st century workplace

This not only affects employee performance, but also company performance. Ongoing studies of employee engagement conducted by Kronos and Future Workplace found that 95% of HR leaders agree that employee burnout is sabotaging workforce retention. 1

Why does burnout and employee engagement matter so much? The bottom line is that work organizations in the top half of employee engagement scores have double the odds of success than those in the bottom half, and those in the very top percentile of engagement have four times the success rate. 2 Finding modern strategies to improve engagement and reduce burnout will directly influence success.

Innovative companies are looking for affordable, efficient, and sustainable methods to:

  • Improve employee mental health and engagement
  • Improve emotional health and morale in the workplace
  • Reduce work place stress, apathy, disengagement,
    absenteeism and related health issues

There is a growing body of research suggesting effective ways to do this. One approach is to focus on employees’ personal growth and development. More and more companies are working with health and wellness contractors to improve employee health. They understand that employee mental health and wellbeing is part of a whole package of sustaining a healthy and productive workplace. 3

An Employee Assistance Program can include a Holistic health method that encompasses stress management, work-life balance, physical and emotional health, and even spiritual health. This is where we come in. Holistic health practitioners have so much to offer companies and leaders when the issues are burnout and low employee engagement.The most common, immediate feedback to the type of treatment we offer is reduced anxiety and stress, increased energy and less fatigue, and better sleep. Part of the innovative key is to enable each worker to express what they need by better understanding themselves, and what energizes them and drives them to come to work each day. The results we see in the long term can touch every aspect of a person’s health and wellbeing. Holistic methods are an affordable, efficient, and sustainable solution.

Learn more at Birdsong Holistic.
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References

  1. The Employee Burnout Crisis: Employee Engagement Series Study
    2017, https://www.kronos.com/about-us/newsroom/employee-burnout-crisis-study-reveals-big-workplace-challenge-2017
  2. How Employee Engagement Drives Growth by Susan Sorenson
    2012, http://news.gallup.com/businessjournal/163130/employee-engagement-drives-growth.aspx
  3. Help Your Team Manage Stress, Anxiety, and Burnout by Rich Fernandez
    2016, https://hbr.org/2016/01/help-your-team-manage-stress-anxiety-and-burnout

dialogue and non-violent communication

How many lives have been re-routed by a simple insect bite while enjoying a trip to the countryside? So many Canadians don’t even know why they feel so terrible, and this can go on for years. Doctors in most countries have yet to provide reliable testing to give a certain diagnosis, if they believe that Lyme exists at all. Many don’t and they will actually tell patients it is all in their head and they can’t offer them any treatment. One Concordia alumna reveals her story of going from a young, passionate writer to a confused woman suffering from Lyme and an undiagnosed stroke. Her life was almost taken away, but she found treatment with Homeopathy and Reiki!

“I was bitten by the creative bug at an early age. I always knew that I would use my love of writing not only to make a living but also try and make the world a better place. I figured I could combine my passions to try and right/write the wrongs of the world and help create a more just place.

Unknown to me, however, was that I was bitten by another kind of bug as well — a tick — when I was around 10 years old, at my grandfather’s cottage in the Montpellier, Que., region.”

Lyme is similar to Syphilis, which develops through the bacterium Treponema pallidum while Lyme through the bacterium borrelia burgdorferi, both being spirochetes. Like syphilis, Lyme symptoms will vary depending on which of four possible stages it currently expresses, either primary, secondary, latent, or tertiary. The latent stage can be a long period of dormancy with few symptoms, developing later into tertiary as symptoms progressively worsen over one’s lifetime. Another reason for so few accurate diagnoses is that people often forget or never noticed the original tick bite, and the symptoms during the primary and secondary stages can be misdiagnosed for so many other diseases or infections.

 

“I consider myself extremely lucky to have found a doctor who took the time to get to know me and my case, and who had me take the necessary immunology tests.

Thanks to that doctor I not only found out that I have Lyme but also discovered that I had experienced a stroke, which explained why I was having such a tough time remembering things and, most importantly, writing.”

[…]

There are no doctors in Quebec considered “Lyme literate” by the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society. I’ve therefore had to rely on myself since getting my diagnosis. So far homeopathy and Reiki treatments have helped me the most, as well as trying to eliminate as much stress as possible from my life. Becoming a freelance writer allows me to pursue my passion without being bound by the daily grind of a regular job.

I still want to change the world, though, as well as make it a better place. I envision a book about my personal struggle with the disease in my future and, if I’m lucky enough to make it happen, I’ll have writing and everything I learned at Concordia to thank.

Homeopathy offers many resources and tools to support Lyme disease, and Syphilis as well although not as many people are catching that as they once did.

Read Ursula Leonowicz’s full article at: http://www.concordia.ca/cunews/offices/vpaer/aar/2018/01/31/bitten.html?c=alumni-friends | January 31, 2018|By: Ursula Leonowicz, BA 97 Source: Concordia University Magazine

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