The term holistic centres itself around the interrelationship of the mind, body and what one believes, otherwise known as spirit. These three factors are so interconnected that most of us overlook their relationship. We have disconnected the fact that what we put into and onto our bodies, directly influences how or what we do and even how and what we think.
As a Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant, I acknowledge that each person is biochemically distinct and has a unique set of nutritional needs in all three of these aspects. Backed with complete assessments and evidence-based research, I will take the guesswork out of a food-first approach for balancing your systems, and increasing your energy while setting your stage for life. This is not about counting calories, it is about empowering you with the tools for maximizing your optimal health potential, at any stage, through a dense nutrient profile, consisting of natural, alive, and good quality foods.
What my training will provide you is the following:
Identify your nutritional imbalance(s) and lifestyle habits without directly ordering tests, as this activity is reserved for licensed health care practitioners.
Work with other health care professionals, if applicable, in order to determine all nutrient and lifestyle-changing needs of the clients, including referring clients to other health care professionals as deemed appropriate.
Document the client's goals, needs, and plans.
Evaluate the client's lifestyle and overall feeling of well-being; - evaluate the client's use of dietary supplements;
Support the client's health goals by creating an individualized wellness program, which will include whole, nutrient-dense foods, naturally sourced supplements, and lifestyle modifications - including the use of non-toxic, environmentally friendly household/personal products.
Provide further guidance to the client, if necessary, by explaining food labels and by offering food preparation techniques and shopping tips.
Guide the client in the implementation of a long-term personal health plan, provide education when necessary, and offer ongoing assessments.
In short, I will empower you with your piece of nutritional PIE. Promoting, Inspiring and Educating you to reach your optimal health and thrive at any stage of life.
For 2023, lets’ get excited about empowering YOU to decide whether YOU are on a path to dis-ease or health, simply by what YOU put on your fork.
Call AST Willow Park @ 278-1405 to book your free consultation with Kira Greasley.
For chronic insomniacs, gentle herbal remedies like Chamomile, or targeted therapeutics such as melatonin, may not be the right approach. Here are some other common areas to investigate with your medical or naturopathic doctor:
Stress: Our stress hormone interferes with our production of melatonin. Many stressed patients will report feeling "tired but wired" - they put themselves to bed out of exhaustion but get a second wind as soon as they hit the pillow. Others will complain of restless sleep. Anxiety and caffeine can all appear as stress inside the body, so these areas should be addressed and stress management techniques be a focus.
Diet: We see many patients with food sensitivities that also report sleep improve after removing the offending foods. It appears that fighting to digest a food disrupts the quality of their sleep and I've noticed this effect particularly in children. Diet can also seemingly affect sleep quality via nutritional deficiencies, such as magnesium, healthy fats, adequate protein, or B vitamins. Often simple changes in the diet can create great improvements in sleep after a few weeks.
Hormones: Low progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone can all play a part in poor sleep. Thyroid disease can also create too little or too much sleep. Simple bloodwork can be an excellent starting point. Naturopathic doctors also perform private lab testing for hormones and stress, many of which can include melatonin or genetic information too.
Blood sugar: For those with sleep-maintenance insomnia, or trouble staying asleep, blood sugar levels dropping a little too low in the night can be a cause. If you know you cannot miss a meal without getting light-headed, shaky or irritable, having a protein and healthy fat-rich snack before bed can improve sleep quality. Due to concerns of gaining weight by eating too closely to bedtime, discussing options with your healthcare provider or nutritionist is advisable.
Caffeine & Alcohol: Both caffeine & alcohol are known to disrupt sleep. Between them, they have a wide range of negative effects on sleep hormone production, blood sugar control, hormone balance, and digestive health. Many patients feel a need to use them as the result of their poor sleep, but over time, these compound the issue. When patients tell me they love their coffee, I might ask them "does it love you back?" Often times, a reduction or short holiday is all that is needed. There are many areas to investigate with sleep, but be prepared to experiment and devote some time & patience to the process.
This blog is for educational purposes only and does not constitute a medical relationship. Please consult your medical doctor, naturopathic doctor, or pharmacist for advice that is right for you and note that this blog not substitute medical advice.
I acknowledge and honour that I live,work, and play on the lands of the Treaty 7 Nations (Siksika, Kainai, Piikani, Nakoda and Tsuut'ina) of Southern Alberta, and the Metis Nation of Alberta, Region 3 Member of the CNDA (College of Naturopathic Doctors of Alberta), CAND (Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors), Pediatric Association of Naturopathic Physicians (PedANP)
Please note that Naturopathic doctors can not provide consultation by email and email is not intended to replace a consultation or provide an assessment. Please schedule an appointment to discuss your health concerns.
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Supplements and Stress
By Kira Greasley, BA, CHNC
Did you know that a moderate amount of stress is beneficial! It can stimulate motivation and even protect the body from infection. However, chronic stress should not be ignored as it can contribute to cardiac, digestive, immune and mental health disorders. It is also important to keep in mind that how and what a person perceives as stressful is subjective to the individual. Getting to the root cause to assess and understand where your ‘Stressors’ are coming from and trying to eliminate or at least minimize your exposure to them will benefit you emotionally and physically.
One area that everyone has control over is the food you consume. Poor quality food is a very common source of the stress reaction in the body. This includes regularly ingesting foods you are sensitive to as well as consuming non organic foods (why? pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and fertilizers to name a few makes for a messy chemistry experiment in your body), processed foods, GMO foods, and high glycemic foods such as sugar, refined carbohydrates and flour.
So what can YOU do? One thing is, when it comes to food, I have this simple rule; stay to the outside of the grocery store and if it hasn’t had a life, it is not going to give you life. Secondly, since stress burns through many key nutrients such as B Vitamins, Zinc and Vitamin C, it could be important for you to supplement with the following:
B Complex: in short, your B’s are everything in your body. They are needed for energy production, synthesis or your neurotransmitters (one being serotonin or the “happy” chemical), hormone production, you name it they do it. Some Food sources: good quality meats and dark leafy greens.
Calcium and Magnesium: is needed for nerve impulses that are responsible for thought, perceptions & memories. Magnesium is also known as the “anti-stress” pill. Some Food sources: Calcium: dark leafy greens (spinach, chard, beet greens, kale). Magnesium: Hemp seeds, Dark chocolate (85% cocoa), avocados.
Zinc: is essential for balancing emotional behavior & mood disorders. Some Food sources: pumpkin seeds, zucchini, cooked, pasture raised chicken breast (free of hormones & antibiotics).
Vitamin D: helps absorb calcium, plays a protective role against oxidative stress which will assist the immune system, and plays a protective role against neuro inflammation in illnesses such as MS and Parkinson’s. Most people are Vitamin D deficient. Best source is the sun which can be difficult depending on where you live, sunscreen, and make-up. So the next best would be Vitamin D drops as they are better absorbed than a capsule. Some food sources: Wild cooked salmon, eggs, grass fed/finished beef ribs or roast.
Omega 3 with both EPA & DHA: helps improve mood disorders, & supports cognitive function throughout life by assisting with decreasing inflammation in the body. Best food sources are your oily wild fish (salmon, halibut, and trout).
Probiotics: help maintain a healthy balance of good gut bugs (yes you have bugs in your gut) and we want more of the good than the bad. A Happy gut = a happy brain. Clinical evidence supports the role of probiotic intervention in reducing anxiety and stress responses. Some Food sources: whole milk yogurt, kefir, raw unpasteurized sauerkraut.
L-Theanine: is an amino acid that promotes relaxation without reducing alertness. It has a calming effect that helps to reduce stress levels. Organic green and black tea are dietary sources.
Lastly, get your iron levels checks. Human studies have linked anxiety driven behavior to poor iron status.
When choosing a supplement, they should be 3rd party tested, contain no fillers or additives and be free of gluten dairy and soy. Expensive does not always mean better and cheap is just that. It is always best to speak to a knowledgeable professional at a vitamin & supplement store in your area.
**It is important to always consult your ND or MD/healthcare provider before starting anything new to ensure that the supplements are the right choice for you and will not interact with any medications you may be on.
**Supplementation is not intended to replace any current medications you may be on for anxiety or mood disorders. Again. It will be important to discuss these additions with your physician so that you may be monitored and medication doses adjusted as needed.