Now that you know from my last article how how poor working memory can affect reading comprehension, the ability to decode words and even read fluently, it's time to address what can be done to change that. The first step is to make it clear to your child that difficulty decoding or reading has little … Continue reading 6 Ways to Improve Working Memory for Better Learning, Attention & Reading Comprehension
When I explained working memory to a ten-year-old last week, he said, "I get it. It's called working memory because it's the memory you need to do your work." He said he now understood why he wasn't very good at 'working' in class. When working memory is weak your child can appear careless, unfocused, lazy … Continue reading The Role of Working Memory in Learning Disabilities
You have heard thousands of times how movement is good for circulation and heart health, but many parents are surprised to hear about the significant impact that movement--specific movements--can have on improving their child's ability to stay calm, focused and to effectively learn. Problems with Fine & Gross Motor Skills Poor coordination, balance, fine motor … Continue reading Using Movement So Your Child Can Better Learn & Behave!
If your child struggles with learning and behaviour then they likely have weak connections in a higher brain level called executive function—the brain's CEO. Children, like adults, require executive function to accomplish a multitude of daily tasks like getting ready for school, focusing in class and homework completion. This mental skill set is responsible for … Continue reading How a Disorganized Brain Can Contribute to Learning & Behaviour Challenges
The high incidence of picky-eating among children with learning and behaviour disorders is no coincidence and has been reported by researchers since the 1940’s. I see it my office everyday--and it is practically a hallmark of autism spectrum. Picky eating can not only be the result of imbalances taking place in the body but can … Continue reading 5 Ways to End Picky-Eating by Addressing the Cause!
It seems every parent I talk with is having struggles with mealtimes and picky eating. It's not uncommon to hear that a child won't eat anything except four or five select foods. I've come to realise that parents today have a cultural phobia of previous generations' "clean your plate" approach to eating. Unfortunately, the permissive … Continue reading 8 Tips to Curb Picky-Eating for Better Learning & Behaviour
Nutritional deficiencies are often overlooked when addressing childhood disorders like dyslexia, ADHD and other brain disorders. The idea that certain key vitamins, minerals or fats could wreak such havoc on your child may seem preposterous. Yet extensive research over the last several decades has revealed irrefutable research that certain nutrients are crucial for brain function. … Continue reading Is Your Child Lacking Brain Nutrients? Learn the Signs
The Short Cut to Improving Learning and Behaviour If your child is struggling with learning or behaviour, it does not mean they have a ‘bad brain’. Contrary to popular belief, ‘star students’ are not born—their brains have strong connections in areas of the brain that enable successful learning. School struggles can simply indicate your child’s … Continue reading The Short Cut To Better Learning and Improved Behaviour
'Super Mom, Super Wife, Super Tired' OR SUPER Bunch of B.S. In my last post I talked about how your child's health is reflective of your health as a mother and why it is so important for moms to practice self-care for their sake and their family's. Around mother's day I started receiving sponsored ads … Continue reading The #1 Secret to Help Your Struggling Child
The sudden and steep increase in childhood disorders in recent decades has the attention and concern of everyone: from parents of struggling children to their teachers to doctors to grandparents. Dyslexia, ADHD, autism spectrum and other learning disabilities is heartbreaking for both you as a parent and your child. You likely find yourself asking what … Continue reading Why Childhood Disorders are on the Rise
I was moved yesterday as I scrolled through my Facebook feed and saw all the Mother's Day memes describing mom as 'super mom', 'super-human' and 'self-sacrificing'. It is true that there really is nothing like a mother's love and it is reassuring to know that as a culture we recognize the lengths that women go to for … Continue reading The Super Mom Myth—Enough Already! Your Children Need You Healthy!
After I went on a clutter purge, I felt incredibly vulnerable. I was shocked that discarding could have the emotional charge that it did. I had all sorts of phrases circulating around my mind that were all filled with "what if...", "but maybe...", "suppose I need to..." and the all-pervasive "what if I regret it?"
As Within, So Without My last post was about the impulse to fill emotional voids with the physical: be it food, shopping or not being able to let go of possessions we have acquired. In my experience, being able to let go of what no longer serves us is directly linked to being able to … Continue reading The Mind-Body-Space Connection: How a Clutter-Free Home Can Shape Your Eating
In a previous post I wrote about the benefits of gently detoxing our body each spring by eating nourishing foods that places less stress on our digestive system and that also supports detoxification. The increase in energy, stable mood, improved sleep and overall feeling of vitality are all indications that a cleanse is working.
In my last post I talked about how courage is a vital ingredient in achieving sustainable weight-loss and restoring health. Rising above the health and weight challenges we face involve growing into ourselves--and that usually requires a moderate dose of courage.
I have been working closely with both fear and courage in the past year. My outward intention for 2015 was to focus on how good my body feels when I exercise; my inward intention was to be true to myself. I was aware that I was taking on quite the task since at the heart of being true to yourself likes the paradox of courage: the terror and the liberation.
I mentioned in my last post, that each of us has our own unique cooking style. Many of us find ourselves in the 'mood' to cook one day and other days we'd rather do anything but be in the kitchen. If we are unknowingly creating conditions that go against our cooking style, then we might … Continue reading What’s Your Cooking Style? – Learn to Love Time in the Kitchen
Confession time. I was doing a consult with a woman the other day, explaining that in my opinion one of the most imperative, and often over-looked, requirements to eating healthy is getting back in the kitchen. To this she said, 'yes, but it's easy to eat healthy when you love cooking.' I looked behind me, … Continue reading The Joy of Cooking … or An Acquired Taste
The Canadian Food Guide has come under much scrutiny in recent years for being too high in dairy, red meat and insensitive to cultural differences. Thankfully, the Food Guide has gone through many modifications in the last decade. Many of the Food Guide's limitations, both in the past and today, is largely due to pressure upon politicians by the Wheat, Dairy and Meat industries.
I have written plenty in the past year on mindful eating and how one can learn about their relationship to food—why they are eating and how they use food other than for physical nourishment. As I have described in previous posts, determining why we are eating and checking in while eating to determine our level … Continue reading True to Yourself Eating- Learning to Eat Mindfully, Joyfully and Skillfully
In the first part of this article I talked about the importance that acknowledging our feelings, journalling, gratitude and socializing plays in our mental health. Below are some other tools and habits. Of course trying to incorporate them all at once would be contrary to mental health. Ask yourself which ones might create more meaning … Continue reading Mental Health – Tools for the Emotional Body (continued)
I have been excited to write this post for awhile. In the last few months several people have shared their New Year’s Resolutions. Most of the resolutions I have heard are centered around diet, weight-loss and fitness. Is it any surprise that the most common New Year’s resolution is to diet? Many of us hold in mind those inspiring people who were a weight loss success and hope for the same ourselves this year.
1) Ditch Poverty Mentality - In my last post, I talked about using skillpower instead of willpower to eat well. We may be tempted to want to eat a lot during the holiday season because we fear missing out on such great food that isn’t around every day of the week, but is that really … Continue reading Skillpower to Wrap Your Mind Around Holiday Eating
My last post, Eating Well During the Holidays - Getting to the Root of the Matter, described how to address the underlying triggers of overeating during the holidays. Now that you are aware of emotional and stress eating and their triggers, you no longer have to be hijacked by your emotions and cravings--you can choose. … Continue reading Eating Well During the Holidays – Skillpower Not Willpower
Despite the positive associations that the media portrays about the holiday season, the holidays can be an incredibly stressful time. Between the shopping, spending and socializing with loved ones, as well with those who rub us the wrong way, the holidays can bring out our worst. While most of us manage not to ‘act out’, … Continue reading Eating Well During the Holidays – Getting to the Root of the Matter
As the research grows, researchers are finding that both mental and physical illnesses are a result of unaddressed emotional wounds or trauma. Several pain syndromes that lack medical explanation such as chronic back pain, fibromyalgia and IBS-- to name a few, are associated with chronic stress and emotional traumas. Often it is not the situations … Continue reading Mental Health – Tools for the Emotional Body
It is important to know that while anxiety and depression are both undesirable states, anxiety is in fact considered the opposite of depression. Anxiety is a high energy, wired state while depression lacks all motivation and energy. Some individuals experience both, but many others are more prone to one or the other. According to mental … Continue reading An Anti-Anxiety Tool Kit – A Holistic Approach
Managing anxiety and depression with diet is gaining increasing awareness as people are becoming more aware of the mind-body connection or what I like to refer to as 'yes your head is attached to the rest of your body'. You really can't fully understand how much your diet impacts you mentally until you try it … Continue reading Eat Your Anxiety, Starve Your Sadness
In my last two posts I talked about how underlying conditions such as glandular problems and gut imbalances in the body can greatly affect your mental health. While the previously discussed imbalances may be factors to be considered, mental health experts are finding that lifestyle is one of the most significant factors that affect our … Continue reading Managing Mental Health with Lifestyle
I was over the moon excited to write this post because the recent discoveries on how the gut affects our mental health is so incredibly hopeful and refreshing. Let's face it--for most people, mental health has been a revolving door and for many it has been that case for years, even decades. The idea that … Continue reading Your Gut, Your Second Brain – Mind Altering Bugs to Beat Anxiety and Depression
Deepak Chopra describes anxiety perfectly when he says, “The best use of imagination is creativity. The worst use of imagination is anxiety.” Nothing could be closer to the truth. When anxiety or depression creep in, there are no boundaries to where our minds will go. When I look back on past worries, I can now … Continue reading Mental Health – It’s Not All in Your Head
Serves 12 Cup Cakes: 1 cup canned pumpkin or pumpkin puree 1/2 cup coconut oil 6 eggs 1/2 cup coconut flour 2 tsp pure vanilla extract 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice 1/4 cup raw honey or maple syrup 1/4 cup chocolate nibs or carob chips 1/2 tsp aluminum free baking powder Icing: 1 package cream … Continue reading Clean Cupcakes
This recipe was inspired by Sarah Wilson's Raspberry Ripple. It is great for satisfying a craving for dessert while giving you the good fats that are essential to hormone balance and mental health. Ingredients: 1/2 cup blueberries 1/2 cup shredded or flaked unsweetened coconut 1/2 cup coconut oil 5 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons cacao or … Continue reading Coconut Blueberry Bark
1) Protein - Protein needs to be eaten at every meal in order to curb cravings. In fact, missing protein at even one meal is one the main contributors to carb binges in the evening. Protein creates a feeling of fullness that lasts much longer than carbohydrates. Protein helps to dull the insulin response and … Continue reading Curbing Carb Cravings
Mind-Body Eating – Dig Deep and Get to the Root Mind-Body eating seeks to re-establish the mind-body connection so that you can use your own inner-guidance system to listen to your body and direct your food choices. You are the author of your eating. I am not the guru or the expert–you are. In my … Continue reading Mind-Body Eating – An Introduction to Developing a Mindful Eating Practice – Leave the Diets Behind
In light of the upcoming Father's Day weekend, I thought I would share this hearty, mouth-watering salad that, I am willing to bet, even the 'meat-and-potato' dads will want to eat. Ingredients: 1 head of romaine lettuce 2 medium size, sirloin steaks 1 cup goat cheese, crumbled 2 red peppers 2 carrots, shredded 1 English … Continue reading Dad’s Steak Salad
Ingredients: 1 can full-fat coconut milk ½ cup honey ½ tsp sea salt 1 tbsp ½ tbsp vanilla extract Instructions: Heat the coconut milk, honey/maple syrup and salt in a pot over medium-high heat. When mixture has boiled, lower the temperature and allow sauce to simmer. Simmer for 30-40 minutes, stir frequently and scraping the … Continue reading Paleo Caramel Sauce
I adapted this recipe from Danielle Walker's Against All Grain recipe book. It certainly passed the skeptic test. Even my dad loved it which is a testament in itself since he normally refuses anything remotely touted as heath food. Ingredients: 4 large eggs, room temperature 1/4 … Continue reading Black Forest Paleo Cupcakes
Don't let that leftover pumpkin go to waste! Use leftover pumpkin or canned pumpkin to make some delicious grain-free muffins. Cup Cakes Ingredients: 1 cup canned pumpkin or pumpkin puree 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted 2 eggs (make sure eggs are room temperature so that they do not solidify the coconut oil) 4 flax-seed eggs … Continue reading Pretty Pumpkin Muffins
These are great for curbing sugar and carb cravings since they are super filling. Often when we crave carbs we actually need protein. Ingredients: 1 cup dry oatmeal or substitute with added seeds and/or shredded coconut 2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut 1/2 ground flax seed 1/2 cup dried fruit, nuts, seeds, carob chips, chia seeds, … Continue reading Coconut Energy Balls
Plantain pancakes are a great substitute to traditional pancakes because they are packed with protein rich eggs, and don't cause blood sugar spikes because they are sugar-free. They still have a sweetness from the plantain, but only contain the slow release carbohydrates from the plantain and coconut flour. Additionally, they are a good source of … Continue reading Plantain Pancakes
I adapted this recipe from a paleo pumpkin muffin recipe because the recipe called for 6 eggs which I found too 'eggy' tasting for a muffin. Instead of 6 eggs, I decided to try 4 flax-meal vegan eggs with only 2 organic free-range eggs. The muffins no longer had an egg flavour and they had … Continue reading Pumpkin-Blueberry Decadence
The crisp autumn evenings and shorter days call for hearty and grounding dinners. This root vegetable stew is perfectly warming as you begin to journey inward and settle down from the frantic energy of September. The added bonus is that both the vegetables and the broth in this stew is packed with the vitamins and … Continue reading Slow Cooker Autumn Root Vegetable Stew
These breakfast muffins are great for those first, busy back-to-school mornings when you're trying to get back into the swing of packing lunches and getting everyone off to school on time. Make the muffins the day before and you have a healthy, gluten-free ready-to-go breakfast. Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups rolled oats 1/2 cup almond flour … Continue reading Gluten-Free Back-to-School Breakfast Muffins
In Eastern Ontario we have been blessed with a hot summer. It's almost September and we're still expecting to enjoy mid-summer heat for the next week. These three ingredient coconut-pineapple pops are a no-fuss way to enjoy a tasty and cold treat minus the dairy, refined sugar and additives. They also make a great … Continue reading Super Simple Coconut-Pineapple Pops
Ingredients: 2, 400 ml cans of full fat coconut milk 4 tablespoons coconut oil 1/4 cup cocoa or carob powder 2 egg yolks 1/2-2/3 of a cup pure maple syrup 1 tsp vanilla extract 1/4 cup cocoa nibs 1/2 cup walnuts Method: 1. Over medium heat in a saucepan warm maple syrup, coconut milk … Continue reading Coconut Milk Maple Ice Cream
This recipe is from Diane Sanfilippo's book 'Practical Paleo'. They are make are a high protein meal and are low on the glycemic index. So delicious and super-satisfying! Ingredients: 2 six-ounce cans of wild salmon, drained 2 eggs, beaten 3 tablespoons minced shallots 1-2 cloves garlic, minced and grated 2 tablespoons green onions, minced 2 … Continue reading Paleo Salmon Cakes
Ingredients: 3 medium onions, chopped 1 red pepper, chopped 1 16 oz can of mushrooms 2 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped 1 19 oz can of diced tomatoes 1 680 ml can of roasted onion and garlic organic spaghetti sauce (by Eden) 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning 2 tablespoons of real bacon bits 1/2 teaspoon paprika … Continue reading Chicken Spaghetti Sauce and Squash
This recipe is not only Paleo, but also GAPS and Candida Cleanse legal. Enjoy! Ingredients: 6 eggs 4 tbsp coconut oil 1/2 tsp sea salt Sweeten to desired sweetness with stevia (or leave it out entirely) 3/4 cup blackberries (chopped into smaller pieces) 3/4 cup coconut flour 1/2 tsp aluminum free baking powder 1/2 tsp … Continue reading Paleo Coconut Blackberry Muffins
It's that time of the year to turn to hearty, comforting food like pumpkin, squash and baked apples. This smoothie is a tasty, sugar-free treat packed with all the vitamins and minerals you need to keep you energized and healthy this fall. Ingredients: 2 bananas 1 cup roasted or canned pumpkin 1/2 tsp vanilla 3/4 … Continue reading Pumpkin Spice Smoothie
Ingredients: 2 large ripe avocados 1 ripe banana 1/2 cup cocoa powder 1 pinch cinnamon 2-4 tbsp honey or maple syrup 1 pinch of sea salt 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract 1 tbsp cocoa nibs Mash avocado and banana in a small mixing bowl. Next combine all other ingredients and mix by hand or in … Continue reading Raw Avocado Cocoa Pudding