Immune Support Recipe from Natural Terrain Naturopathic Clinic

Boost Your Health with Garlic Soup!

We all know what time of year it is! Sniffling, sneezing, coughing, complaining and the general need to hibernate. Boost your immunity and kick your cold or flu to the curb! Have you ever tried Garlic Soup? Here is a great Garlic Soup recipe recommended by Dr. Chris Bjorndal from Natural Terrain Naturopathic Clinic Edmonton.

Garlic Soup Recipe 

Serves 4

  • 26 garlic cloves (unpeeled)
  • 
2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) organic butter (grass fed)
  • 
1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 
1/2 cup fresh ginger
  • 2 1/4 cups sliced onions
  • 
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 26 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 
1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 3 1/2 cups organic vegetable broth
  • 
4 lemon wedges

Preheat oven to 350F. Place 26 garlic cloves in small glass baking dish. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and toss to coat. Cover baking dish tightly with foil and bake until garlic is golden brown and tender, about 45 minutes. Cool. Squeeze garlic between fingertips to release cloves. Transfer cloves to small bowl.

Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions, thyme, ginger and cayenne powder and cook until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Then, roasted garlic and 26 raw garlic cloves and cook 3 minutes. Add vegetable broth; cover and simmer until garlic is very tender, about 20 minutes. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return soup to saucepan; add coconut milk and bring to simmer. Season with sea salt and pepper for flavour.

Squeeze juice of 1 lemon wedge into each bowl and serve.

Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

For more great health advice and recipes, visit the Natural Terrain Naturopathic Clinic website!

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!

______

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!