Gluten-free granola goodness

I started making granola at home after becoming disillusioned with the cost of healthy cereal options for my kids.  I'm a savoury breakfast kind of person so I had never tried it before, but I knew I could make a granola that was gluten-free, high in fibre, and low in sugar. Here's my recipe.  It's a [...]

By | July 3rd, 2015|Kids, Recipes|0 Comments

Making a jewelweed succus

Early one morning I went outside to admire my garden (as I often do) and I noticed how much jewelweed (Impatiens capensis is the native to Ontario species) had taken over and was choking out the lady’s mantle. My kids had clearly done a great job last year of popping the seed pods. Possibly too good a job. There was a lot of jewelweed blocking my view of the lady’s mantle plants which had just started to flower. A little thinning out was needed, so I got to work weeding out the extra jewelweed plants. Naturally, I wasn’t about to waste all that jewelweed. Thankfully, I had a little time before my first patient of the day. In the past I’ve harvested jewelweed and created a mash or juice for immediate use on rashes, stings, bug bites, and especially poison ivy. Conveniently, it often grows right next to poison ivy on riverbanks and wet ground. But since I hadn’t recently been exposed to poison ivy, I decided to make a succus. […]

Fever: to treat or not to treat, that is the question

Fever is one of the most common childhood complaints seen by pediatricians and other healthcare providers. Fever, however, isn’t the real problem. Fever is just part of our natural, and actually quite helpful, physiological response to an infection. Rather than causing harm, fever actually benefits us by slowing the growth and reproduction of viruses and bacteria while increasing the production and circulation of white blood cells. (1,2,3) In generally healthy children (and adults too!), fever stimulates a stronger, more effective immune response. Research shows that fever actually helps the body recover faster, and may result in fewer complications with certain types of infections. (1,3) […]

By | January 17th, 2013|Health Research, Home Treatments, Kids|1 Comment

Happy and Healthy Hallowe’en

Knowing that there is virtually no sugar in my house, parents often ask me what I do with my kids at Hallowe’en. I confess to lying to my kids for the first couple of years. I told them that Hallowe’en was a holiday where people paraded up and down the street in costume and visited their neighbours. They were completely satisfied with my explanation. That is, until the other kids at school told them about the candy. Since then, we do go out trick or treating though we also employ several strategies for handling the vast amounts of high fructose corn syrup pouring into our house. […]

By | October 22nd, 2012|Kids|1 Comment

Colds and flus: prevention and treatment

The days are getting colder out there, and cold and flu season has officially started. In fact, just last week I was home (and still trying to get some work done) with two kids sick with viral, croupy coughs. Thankfully, there are lots of great strategies for preventing colds and flus as well as naturopathic treatments that you can do at home to help shorten the course of an illness once you are sick. So why did my kids get sick and I didn’t? […]

By | October 17th, 2012|Home Treatments, Hydrotherapy, Kids|1 Comment

Jewelweed, poison ivy, and me

Last spring, with the landscaping prowess of Small Spade Gardening, I transformed my front yard into a stunning display of medicinal plants indigenous to Ontario. Once everything was planned and planted, I realized I had forgotten to include one of my favourite native botanicals, jewelweed. A relative of the popular impatiens commonly found in annual flower beds, Impatiens capensis has a smaller more delicate flower on long succulent translucent stems. A couple of months later, as I was weeding and admiring the garden, I noticed my old friend jewelweed had found its place in my yard, filling in the spaces between the eastern hemlock bushes. Although it wasn’t the first time that I’ve invited a plant into my environment only to have it magically appear, it was still a welcome surprise. […]

By | August 18th, 2012|Home Treatments, In My Garden, Kids|2 Comments

Swamp Milkweed

Swamp milkweed, or Asclepias incarnata, is hugely popular with my kids for both its beauty and its playfulness. Gentle pink flowers cluster together like a choir of amazing singers and butterflies flock to drink the sweet nectar hidden inside. The seed pods however, are the parts that bring the most intense joy to the hearts of children and adults alike. […]

By | July 14th, 2012|Herbal Medicine, In My Garden, Kids|0 Comments

Gluten-free, Sugar-free Zucchini Loaf

Before I had kids, I never gave much thought to sugar-free baking. I rarely baked anyways, and sugar-free was a temporary lifestyle change I only associated with my twice yearly detoxes. All that changed after kids, as I resolved to provide them with a completely sugar-free existence until they were at least 1 year old. During that first year, I experimented, transforming the recipes I had previously loved with sugar into sugar-free favourites. Nowadays I’m more relaxed about sugar ingestion, letting the kids self-moderate at events where sugar is served, primarily at birthday parties and at other people’s houses. Not that they don’t over indulge when given the chance. But they are also the first to declare, “My tummy hurts. I think I ate too much sugar.” […]

By | May 8th, 2012|Health Research, Kids, Recipes|0 Comments

Vegetable Soup

Earlier this week while shopping at Fiesta Farms, my kids declared themselves chefs and started gathering vegetables for their version of “Red Pepper Soup.” Nevermind that they have always disliked all bell peppers, which I have long suspected is actually a food intolerance to Solanaceae, or nightshade, family vegetables (peppers, tomato, potato, eggplant). Regardless, they began dumping a variety of vegetables in the cart and teaching me how to make their recipe. I confess I made a few adjustments. I wasn’t convinced that sardines were a good idea, although I reserve the right to be wrong. Maybe they would have made the soup extra delicious. Anyways, I present to you my version of K & E’s recipe. (Sorry, I forgot to take a picture. Dinner at our house is often both busy and delicious. Instead, I offer you the cover of the book that likely inspired it all: Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert) […]

By | March 9th, 2012|Kids, Recipes|0 Comments

The Healing Power of Nature

A couple of weeks ago, I presented at the Ontario Forestry Association’s Annual Conference. This year’s theme was “Prescription for Nature: Healthy Forests for Healthy People”. It was an inspiring conference, with great speakers from the Back to Nature Network, Tree Canada, and the Kinark Outdoor Centre amongst others. I was asked to speak from a clinical perspective about the relationship between forests and human health, a topic I am very passionate about, as it speaks to the vis medicatrix naturae, or the healing power of nature. It was also a pleasure to present to a different audience than the usual naturopathic students I lecture to on a weekly basis. […]

By | February 23rd, 2012|Health Research, Kids, Nature & Culture|0 Comments