Natural Immune Boost for Cold and Flu By Dr. Mason-Wood

Start now and protect yourself from the flu with Dr. Mason-Wood and Dr. Haarsma

  • New Patients, 30 minutes, $128.50
  • Existing patients, 10 minutes, $40.00

This Immune Boosting shot incorporates natural medicine used in Europe for decades. This is a great alternative for those who either cannot take the ‘flu shot’ or choose not to.

NEW! Book online for your Immune Boost shot!

Why boost your immunity rather than take a flu shot?

Taking a flu vaccine is an individual choice. Vaccine proponents claim that it protects against influenza infection and if contracted, lessens the severity of the illness. However, there are concerns about this approach, such as:

  1. There are over 500 different viruses that can cause flu-like symptoms and these viruses are constantly changing. The vaccine is formulated from the three most common strains seen in the previous year which may not be specific for the current year’s flu;
  2. Vaccines contain many ingredients including a preservative – either egg protein or Thimersol (a mercury containing compound which is toxic) and formaldehyde. Allergic reactions can occur to these ingredients; and
  3. It takes about two weeks after the flu shot to develop enough antibodies to protect yourself from the influenza virus. These antibodies start to lose their effectiveness within a few months.

I find in today’s society, many people fear getting sick. The reasons they give vary from not having enough time to get sick to looking at any form of illness as an inherent weakness within themselves. What they don’t realize is that getting sick is actually a good thing. Why? Because it gives your immune system a chance to work.

Your immune system is intricately designed as a “policing” system to distinguish between foreign and internal “invaders”. By “invaders” I am referring to bacteria, viruses, fungi, and cells within our body that are no longer functioning properly, such as cancer cells.

If you never get sick, then how will you know that your immune system is working for you as it should?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating that you run out and contract deadly forms of viruses just to challenge your immune system. What I am saying, however, is getting a benign cold or flu every couple of years is not a national emergency. It allows your body to form the natural defenses or immunity that it needs so that the next time it comes into contact with the same virus, it knows exactly how to take care of it. Plus, it gives you the added reassurance that your body is working as it should, naturally.

It is important to be aware of whether you have sub-optimal immune function. The table below lists several factors that could put you at risk for having depressed immune function.

  • You frequently (more than 4x/yr) get acute infections (e.g. cold, flu, ear infections)
  • You have a persistent infection (e.g. candida, parasite, athlete’s foot, Epstein-Barr virus, herpes, warts…)
  • You have cancer or you are at risk of cancer
  • Your wounds heal slowly
  • You have unexplained fatigue
  • You eat a lot of sugar
  • You eat foods you are allergic to
  • You are under excessive stress
  • You don’t get enough sleep
  • You are overweight
  • You have silicone implants
  • You exercise excessively
  • You regularly take aspirin or acetaminophen
  • You are on cortisone or chemotherapy
  • You have taken many antibiotics
  • You have had many vaccinations
  • You have recently had an accident or surgery
  • You have been exposed to mercury (dental amalgams, contaminated fish), lead (old paint, copper water pipes), cadmium (cigarettes), and arsenic
  • You are exposed to pesticides (in nonorganic foods, on lawns and houses)
  • You are exposed to organic solvents (paint thinners, petroleum distillates, carpet cleaners)

If several of the above statements ring true for you, then you may be working against your immune system.

The good news is there are many herbs and supplements that you can take to compliment the effectiveness of your natural immune system.

So, how do you protect yourself, naturally?

Firstly, eat a diet that is low in sugar, caffeine, fat and alcohol as these reduce immune system function. Focus on eating 5 – 10 servings of fresh fruit and vegetables daily and include garlic, onions, thyme, cayenne, ginger and oregano in your cooking to boost your immune system and fight off viruses. Balance your activities and work – the effects of stress decrease our immune system’s ability to protect us against bacteria and viruses.

Often, we get sick because we don’t take the time to care for ourselves when we are well. If you develop flu-like symptoms, stay home, limit exposure to others, stay well-hydrated, get plenty of sleep and allow your body time to recover. Lastly, do not touch your mouth, nose or ears without washing your hands, as these are portals of entry for viruses

The cold and flu viruses are constantly mutating and dividing to form new strains. Our bodies have never seen these strains before and as they say in sports – the best offense is a good defense. Therefore, in order for your immune system to operate optimally, it needs certain nutrients that can be provided either from food or food supplements. When you support the natural processes of your body, you bounce back and recover quickly from any cold or flu virus that you may contract. There are many natural treatments available to boost your immune system, such as Vitamin C (with bioflavonoids), Zinc, Vitamin A, garlic, probiotics, essential fatty acids and herbal and homeopathic remedies. Nutritional supplements are important, but are only one aspect of health. A positive mental attitude, healthy diet and managing stress are critical to achieving and maintaining good health in the long run.

Written by Dr. Mason-Wood
www.naturalterrain.com

Academy of Learning: Tips for Writing Emails

How many of you struggle when formatting a letter, email or basic correspondence? You are not alone! Many of us have never had any formal training when it comes to what to say, the information necessary to include and how to make your writing clear, concise and diplomatic. Here are some tips for letter/email writing.

Know your audience. Who are you writing to and why? If you jot this down first, this note to self will keep you on track when providing details, questions, and concerns.

Do not enter the recipient’s email address until you have re-read your email or asked for a second set of eyes to look at your work. This will eliminate the risk of accidentally sending an email before it is complete.

When beginning your letter/email always try to have a specific address and person to direct it to. This means doing your homework. Call the office and ask what the manager’s name is. Also, Google the correct, full mailing address and include this under the date on the left hand side of the page. If you know the manager’s name, include “Att:” and their name under the full mailing address.

Avoid using “To whom it may concern,” as this illustrates you have not taken the time to learn about the company, staff, or person to where the letter/email is directed.

In order to present your ideas clearly, take the notes you jotted down before starting and look at them again. What is it that you need to say in order to make your point clear? Should you provide a couple sentences that demonstrate why you are contacting them and how they can help you? Are you trying to relay necessary information and is this information better if listed in point form?  This is where knowing your audience is important. It will help you determine how to present your information.

Make sure that your paragraphs do not run on. Clear and focused writing is key as you do not want to waste anyone’s time (including your own). Sometimes writing a point form outline of the items you want to get across will help you determine what to write in each paragraph.

Try not to make your letter/email long. The more specific and detailed you can get, the better. “Sum it up in the least amount of words possible,” is what I always say to my students!!

Read your letter/email out loud to yourself. If there is a word or phrase that just doesn’t sit right, re-write it. Look for wording or phrasing that could be offensive even if you don’t mean it that way and again, re-write it.

Don’t use emojis, “LOL,” any short form or acronyms that your audience may not understand. When in doubt, eliminate it.

Conclude your letter/ email by thanking that individual for their time and with the details of how that person can contact you. Including both email and phone number is great as most individuals will have their own preference.

If you are looking for more information on how to increase your writing skills, we would be happy to help you at the Academy of Learning Edmonton West located at The Marketplace at Callingwood. We have many short courses you can take that will teach you the finer points of creating documents, punctuation and writing skills as well as grammar. We are here to see you be successful!

We look forward to seeing you soon. Call us today at 780-496-9428.

Farmers’ Markets Rock!

There are just so many reasons to shop at a farmer’s market, it’s hard to put them all into one list. I’ve done my best to scale it down to a list of 10!

  1. Farm fresh foods: Unlike fruits and veggies in the supermarket, you know that the produce at the farmer’s market is fresh picked – likely within 24 hours!
  2. Organic and non-GMO foods: Farmers’ markets feature the finest of locally grown, fresh, non-GMO, organic produce and meats which is better for the soil, the environment, and your body!
  3. Seasonal foods: Seasonal eating is believed by many scientists and nutritionists to be much better for your body, because the human body is meant to eat foods in season, near where they live as have our ancestors. Also – eating produce in season only makes sense with lighter fruits and vegetables available in the spring and summer, and heartier winter vegetables like squash and parsnips providing sustenance for the cooler fall and winter months.
  4. Ripeness: Farmer’s market produce is generally picked at the height of ripeness when the plants’ natural sugars are at their peak – making the food not only taste better, but it also providing the best nutrition possible.
  5. Affordability: Farmer’s market produce is an excellent value for the nutrition. Supermarkets generally charge a premium for organic fruits and vegetables however at the farmer’s market, they are typically not much more expensive than conventionally grown produce.
  6. Variety: Unlike larger, more industrial farms that supply large supermarket chains, smaller, local farms tend to offer a larger array of produce. Remember what they taught us in school – eat the rainbow!
  7. Support for local economy: Most vendors at a farmer’s market are local and grow their produce within 100 miles of it. This means that the farms are a source of local jobs and likely to spend money they make on their produce in the local economy.
  8. Fuel economy: Most supermarkets receive their produce from hundreds or thousands of miles away which involves significant use of fossil fuels for shipping on refrigerated trucks and rail cars. Farmer’s market produce doesn’t have far to get from the farm to your table which can quite significantly reduce the use of fossil fuels. Since they typically operate in the outdoors thus not requiring electricity or heating, this also lowers the environmental impact. Everyone is talking about reducing their carbon footprint these days – heading to a local farmer’s market is a great way to do just that!
  9. Social: Did you know the famous Canadian children’s singer, Raffi frequents his local farmers market in BC? It’s true – if you follow him on Twitter he often writes about his days spent there. The farmers market is a wonderful way to meet people and engage with neighbors and friends – you just never know who’ll you might run into!
  10. Promotes Fitness: Not only is the farmer’s market an excellent way to engage with and meet new people, but it’s a wonderful way to get moving! Strolling through the market is a great way to add steps into your day! At Callingwood Farmers’ Market, they even have a free fitness program running every Wednesday at 1pm with classes including Zumba and Circuit Bootcamp for all ages and levels. Visit their website for a full list of classes.

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Laura Barr is the owner of BloomWellness. She is a Registered Massage Therapist, Certified Personal Trainer, Holistic Nutritionist and Therapeutic Exercise Specialist. Her clinic is based in Leduc, and serves clients from Edmonton, Beaumont, Leduc and Nisku.  She is an avid outdoor enthusiast, animal lover and most importantly, she is a busy mom to her energetic 6 year old daughter!  Visit her blog. 

Connect with Laura Instagram or Twitter! 

 

Free fitness programs promote health and community connection!

Spring is finally here and after such a long, grey, (did I mention long?) winter, I just can’t contain my enthusiasm for warmer weather any longer. I’m guessing many of you are feeling just the same with our glorious upswing in temperatures. Less bundling up equals more reason to get out and get active!

Not only is outdoor physical activity an amazing way to increase your fitness level, but did you know that spending more time outside being active can:

  • Decrease risk of Alzheimer’s’;
  • Promote mental health;
  • Increase community building;
  • Increase energy and possibly immunity;
  • Decrease the risk of certain disease such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer?

Not to mention for kids can:

  • Decrease symptoms of ADHD;
  • Increase vitamin D, helping to prevent certain illness; and,
  • See distances better & reduce risk of nearsightedness?

(Source: Alberta Health Services, www.myhealth.alberta.ca.)

Coupled with the beautiful weather, that is more than enough motivation to get me outside and active with others, not to mention the physical benefits and the socializing (that’s actually my favorite part)!  Community programs can also keep us accountable when trying to achieve a fitness or health goal.

The great news is, you needn’t spend much, if any money as there are many places in our fine City that offer low-cost or no-cost ways to get healthy.

One amazing program, starting May 17 and happening every Wednesday throughout the season, is Fitness at the Farmers’ Market presented by Callingwood Farmers’ Market and Jamie Platz YMCA. A variety of classes such as Zumba and Circuit Training will be held in the covered courtyard area of the Market from 1 to 1:45 pm. These classes will be suitable for all ages and all levels, so even if you are just getting into the swing of things, come on down! Bring the kids to join in the fun and move with you – you can even wear your baby!

Do you need even more motivation? These drop-in classes are free. Yup, that’s right folks, amazing outdoor fitness classes in your favorite Farmers’ Market for zero cost! What’s even better is you’ll be able to stroll the vendors before or after the class as the Market runs from 12-5 pm Wednesdays and features more than 30 vendors! This year marks the 33rd annual Callingwood Farmers’ Market – an Alberta Approved Farmers’ Market and one of Edmonton’s most beloved summer markets and its guaranteed to be a great year – so come on out and bring the family to enjoy!

Classes will kick off with a Zumba dance party on May 17 at 1 pm – I hope to see you there!

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Laura Barr is the owner of BloomWellness. She is a Registered Massage Therapist, Certified Personal Trainer, Holistic Nutritionist and Therapeutic Exercise Specialist. Her clinic is based in Leduc, and serves clients from Edmonton, Beaumont, Leduc and Nisku.  She is an avid outdoor enthusiast, animal lover and most importantly, she is a busy mom to her energetic 6 year old daughter!  Visit her blog. 

Connect with Laura Instagram or Twitter! 

Becoming an Educational Assistant is a Rewarding Career Choice!

Are you looking for a career that is flexible? Would you like to be free during the summer months and have your evenings and weekends to yourself? Do you love children?

Well, look no further! Working as an Educational Assistant, you will find that this career path is a very rewarding and flexible. Many schools are looking for Educational Assistants that will facilitate student learning and give them the opportunity to have more one-on-one assistance than teachers alone can provide.


Educational Assistants are hired by school boards, early intervention programs, after school care, summer camps and day programs, and various other local community centers. There are numerous opportunities to apply the skills of this program to various job opportunities right here in Callingwood.

At the Academy of Learning, Edmonton West, we offer you short term training to help you secure a position as an Educational Assistant. Our 44 week program offers you the flexibility of training on your terms and during the time of day when it most suits you!

You will cover, in depth, the topics of Child Psychology and Teacher’s Aide Instructions along with the hands on development of your computer skills so that you can assist in the classroom with confidence. We start your program with the basics so you don’t need to worry if you can’t type or know nothing about computers. Getting you started from scratch means that when you graduate, you are fully prepared for your future endeavors. This program also includes a one month practicum, so you will leave here with “real-world” experience, which is a critical part of finding gainful employment.

We offer daytime or evening classes and will work together with you to ensure your success. Our courses are self-paced to ensure that you retain the information and hone the skills most necessary to your personal development. The team here at Edmonton West wants to make that dream you have become a reality.

Call us today at 780-496-9428 or read more about this career opportunity here.

 

 

Callingwood Professional Centre Renovation

Spring is a time for fresh beginnings! We’re excited to announce the Callingwood Professional Centre lobby is getting a well-deserved facelift! Renovations began on April 17 and will take approximately four weeks to complete.  Please note that the north entrance will be completely closed from April 17-May 6, and access is through the east door. After May 6, the north doors will reopen, and the east doors will be closed off.

Please excuse the noise and the dust during this time and we appreciate your patience during construction. Our businesses will be open during the renovations and look forward to seeing you!

 

Callingwood Farmers’ Market launching New Wednesday Hours

The Callingwood Farmers’ Market is gearing up for its 33rd season supporting local Edmonton and area growers and artisans. The Farmers’ Market aims to cultivate community spirit by offering a warm and welcoming place to support our local economy, learn about new and unique products and socialize with peers.

The season opens on Sunday, May 7, 10am-3pm and Wednesday, May 10 – with brand new Wednesday hours, 12-5pm. Many vendors and shoppers are excited about the new hours as they are designed to reach people who have varying schedules.

The Callingwood Farmers’ Market is home to over 100 vendors throughout the season. The Farmers’ Market is situated in the covered courtyard and part of the parking lot in front of Safeway at The Marketplace at Callingwood Shopping Centre. The Marketplace at Callingwood offers over 70 retail shops and professional services.

Getting a Tune-up at the Market

Father’s Day was also Bike Day at the market, and the rain was trying to win the battle to keep people indoors. Fortunately, the rain eased and bikes arrived for their annual free tune-up from Edmonton Bicycle Commuters Society. From about 11am onward, a line-up began to form and remained steady until the end of the market. Apologies go out to those who were turned away due to lack of time. Please come again next year! A special thanks to everyone who brought a bike for a tune-up and to the mechanics who worked tirelessly for the duration of the market. See you next year!