Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween!!!


Monday, October 25, 2010

A lesson from Tom Green: Laughter and Testicular Cancer

Tom Green was in Toronto this past week as part of his North American standup comedy tour.

Having grown up in Ottawa, and listening to his late-night college radio show and then seeing him around downtown pulling hilarious pranks on unsuspecting bystanders for his Rogers' Cable TV's The Tom Green Show, was awesome.

I wasn't sure how he would do at standup, since I've been used to him doing performance comedy, pranks or hosting guests on his talkshows. I somehow convinced Aileen to come along to join the fun, but felt added pressure that Tom not resort to bringing out roadkill to hump on stage, or I would have a very disappointed wife.

After waiting in line in the rain for a good 20 minutes in front of the Phoenix, we were hoping for a really good show. The opening act was actually hilarious, and then Tom came running up from behind the crowd and didn't let up for a high-energy amazing performance. I couldn't stop laughing for the whole 90 minutes. Best part was that Aileen was busting a gut laughing as well. Phew...thought I would be hearing about "the *real* romantic night when Makoto dragged me to see Tom Green" for decades to come. Happy wife, happy life.

Anyhow, it's been a stressful and busy few weeks, and I think laughing our brains out was the best prescription we could have had. I think neither of us would have imagined anytime before that night, that Tom Green would actually be therapeutic. They do say laughter is the best medicine, and sometimes it's easy to forget when you are too busy to laugh. I have to remember to keep passing this advice on to others, and refer to Dr.Tom Green, Dr.Russell Peters, Dr.Chris Rock or one of the many other docs with mics.

Another lesson from Dr.Tom Green was about his survival through testicular cancer. He says "Sometimes I think about my battle with cancer, and think, I wouldn't trade if for anything...and then I think, well, I would trade it for my right testicle. Wouldn't mind getting that back!"

I recall his "Cancer Special" on MTV's The Tom Green Show in 2000 that tried to make light of his experiences dealing with doctors and surgery through his cancer treatment. Was great that he was educating the public through humour. He had a frank and serious moment in the show when he touched on this again, appreciating that he survived cancer, and reminding all the men to check their nuts.

So guys, don't forget to do a quick nut check every month in the shower.

There's not a lot of tissue to palpate (no matter what you want to believe), so it won't delay your morning by more than a minute or two. Ensure that there aren't any strange lumps or masses, and if there is anything you feel that is not normal, consult with your physician.

Prognosis is good if caught early, and main demographic is fairly young (20-35 yrs old), but can happen at any age. And, no, it does not make you any less manly if you see your doctor more than once every five years.

Thanks for the awesome time, Tom!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Amazing Olive Oil!! How to incorporate Olive Oil Into Your Life!

Those who know me are well acquainted with my obsession for olive oil.  I. Love. Olive. Oil.

Olive oil is an important source of monosaturated fatty acids...the good type of fat that helps to decrease LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (good cholesterol).  It also protects your heart, decreases the risk of colon cancer, helps to heal ulcers and keeps your skin glowing and moisturized! 

It also is SUPER YUMMY!!  My favorite is Kalamata Olive has an extra amazing fresh and fruity taste to it!

But...not all olive oils are created equally and it's a very fragile oil so here are some guidelines:
1.  ONLY buy Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) and it must be cold pressed.  Organic?  Even better.
2.  Stovetop - only heat olive oil at the 3 or 4 setting...maximum. 
3.  Oven - only heat olive oil to 350F...maxium. 

So basically, EVOO is best eaten in it's natural, raw state.  Here are some of my favorite ways to use EVOO:
1.  Pour it on toast.  Makoto and I pour Kalamata Olive Oil over toasted Dimpflmeier 7-Grain toast almost everyday.  Add a dash of sea salt and freshly ground pepper for a boost of deliciousness! (If you're feeling extra fancy and want to have a very Parisian lunch, top with chopped basil and sardines (yes...sardines...The French eat sardines the way us North Americans eat tuna...if you like tuna, you will love sardines).

2.  Pour it over pizza (yes...Makoto and I eat pizza!  Life would be so boring without pizza!  There are so many crust options (thin, gluten free) and topping options now!) - I learned this while visiting Italy.  The pizzeria's would insist on pouring fresh olive oil over my pizza.  At the time (I was 16yo), I was completely afraid of the added fat from the olive oil but now realize that olive oil is a form of GOOD fat that has many beneficial health properties and helps me to burn bad fat.  Try will never eat pizza again without pouring olive oil on top!

3.  Add a heaping tsp to your smoothie or yogurt - it blends instantly into your smoothie/yogurt and boosts your snack with a dose of antioxidants!

4.  Chop up all the leftover veggies in your fridge and spread them on a baking sheet.  Drizzle EVOO, fresh chopped up herbs, sea salt and fresh ground pepper over them and bake at 350F for 30-45min (or until veggies are tender). 

5.  Pour a 1/4c of EVOO into your next bath...add 20 drops of your favorite essential oil if you're feeling extra fancy.  Soak for at least 20min.  When you come out of the bath, towel dry and just massage the oil left on your body into your skin.....your skin will feel baby soft.

I even designed Sprout Botanicals Nipple Balm with olive oil as the main ingredients due to it's healing and moisturizing properties (

I heart olive oil forever!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

BEDBUGS! How to be proactive in preventing an infestation

Bed bug, Cimex lectularius
Seems like these days everyone's major fear for their home and personal comfort is a bedbug infestation. In the last few years, there have been huge increases in incidences and almost daily articles in the newspaper about new areas of infestation, including major sports stores, cinemas and high-end hotels. Most of us feel that there is not much we can do about this, but hope for the best... and in the awful case that we do get infested, get our home treated by an exterminator.

Aileen's natural baby care line has a natural outdoor spray, which contains essential oils that can function as a bedbug repellant, and can be ordered online or purchased at several health food stores, including The Big Carrot. Of course, nothing is a guaranteed prevention for bedbugs, but this helps in being proactive instead of feeling helpless.

You can visit the
Sprout Botanicals website for product information.

Below is what we recommend to patients regarding a bedbug prevention protocol and evidence that natural essential oils function to repel blood-sucking arthropods.


Following is a link to a 2006 research paper from the Journal of Medical Entomology, an article entitled "
Repellency of Oils of Lemon Eucalyptus, Geranium, and Lavender and the Mosquito Repellent MyggA Natural to Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae) in the Laboratory and Field."

The tested product contained essential oils of lemon eucalyptus, geranium and lavender and was tested on ticks which are blood-feeding arthropods, as are bedbugs. Repellancy effects were substantial.

Sprout Botanicals Outdoor Spray's ingredients are known to be effective in deterring mosquitoes and blackflies, should also logically function as a preventative measure to repelling bedbugs. It is not a guarantee to prevent bedbugs, but as evidence shows, does function as an effective repellent for blood-feeding arthropods.

Sprout's Outdoor Spray contains essential oils of eucalyptus, geranium and lavender, which not only smell great, but are also the same oils tested in the 2006 study. Although it is called an Outdoor Spray it is completely safe to use indoors and inhale as it is 100% chemical-free.

Bedbug prevention can be implemented in the following ways:

  1. Sprayed uniformly on mattresses (covers and sheets removed) every 2 weeks. Allow a few hours for mattress to air dry before re-covering with linens.
  2. Carried in your bag or purse to public places prone to bedbug infestations (theatres, cinemas) and sprayed on the seat before sitting down.
  3. Sprayed on your clothes after having been seated in a public place.
Good luck, and don't let the bedbugs bite!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Quick and Easy Lemon Lentil Soup

After a crazaaaaazy September, Makoto and I are happy to be spending most of our time in Toronto this month. We realized how much we love our house and we missed seeing our wonderful neighbors. We are dedicating our weekends to “winterizing” our house, cleaning up the garden and hosting a few dinner parties.

When things get busy, and especially when we’re travelling, we eat out 3 meals a day. So it’s time to get back on track and we decided to do so by making some easy to digest, high in protein soups.

I made this quick and easy Lemon Lentil Soup and it provided several hearty lunches…especially when had with toasted organic Dimpflmeier Sunflower bread (drizzled in kalamata olive oil with a dash of cracked black pepper). YUM.

Lemon Lentil Soup
(Adapted from The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook)
2 onions
5 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
2 cups red lentils, rinsed and drained
8 cups vegetable stock or water
5 cups of baby spinach, chopped
1 small handful fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Sea Salt to taste

1.  Chop onions and gralic and saute in coconut oil until soft (5-7min).
2.  Add the red lentils and vegetable broth/water.  Cover pot and simmer for 30min (or until lentils are cooked through).
3.  When lentils are cooked, add chopped spinach and parsley along with the lemon juice and sea salt.  Simmer on low for another 5 minutes.
4.  Cool soup and purree if you'd like but it tastes just as yummy as is :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Thanksgiving Apple Pie Smoothie

Tested out a great tasting smoothie after my Thanksgiving workout today.

And in the spirit of the holidays: thanks to our gym for being open on a holiday, and thanks to my Uncle Bob and Aunt Carol for giving me a huge bag of apples from their organic orchard after an amazing Thanksgiving feast last night, and thank you to the powers above for keeping Aileen and I, our friends and families, in good health and spirits.

Thanksgiving Apple Pie Smoothie

Two fresh apples (peeled, with guts removed)
A healthy dash of cinnamon and/or nutmeg
Thumb-sized piece of ginger
Frozen banana
Maple Syrup, to desired sweetness
Your choice of healthy protein powder (mine is brown rice protein)
1.5 cups Filtered water

1. Blend and enjoy.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, October 10, 2010



Thursday, October 7, 2010

Cool New Lab Tests: Functional Nutritional In-House Lab Tests

We've been excited about a series of new lab tests that we have been putting together at our clinic and are now offering to new or existing patients. The cool thing about them is that they can be done in-house, with results within a few minutes, and are cost-effective.

The information from the seven tests is useful to help guide you to understanding how well your body is functioning and if you have a healthy mineral status (calcium and zinc).

My favourite tests are the Urinary Indicans Test which reveals the health of your digestive tract (the degree of 'dysbiosis' or toxic bowel) and the Koenisburg's Adrenal Test, which helps to assess the state of your adrenal glands, which can be depleted if you are under chronic stress.

We can also help you determine your blood type and recommend a basis for your diet, that best suits your genetic makeup according to your blood type (ie. based on the theories in The Blood Type Diet by Dr.Peter D'Adamo).

Here is a complete list of the new functional nutritional tests we now offer at Zentai Wellness Centre:

Urinalysis: For the urinalysis test, you will provide a urine sample. A ten-patch test strip will be dipped into a urine sample. Within a couple of minutes, you will have results determining the following:

•Specific Gravity (concentrating & diluting power of kidneys)
•pH (acidity/alkalinity)
•Leukocytes (infection)
•Nitrite (significant bacteria)
•Ketone Bodies
•Blood and Hemoglobin

Zinc Sufficiency Test: Zinc is crucial for many possesses in the body, however many of us are deficient. By swishing a zinc solution for 20 seconds, you will find out your zinc levels.

Koenisburg's Test (Adrenals): With a simple urine sample, the results of this test will be able to provide information on the state of health of your adrenals.

Urinary Indican Test (Dysbiosis): Interested in the state of your bowels? This test, looking for indicans (resulting from incompletely digested protein, proliferation of harmful bacteria, and a permeable bowel wall) in your urine, can give you a glimpse of your level of toxicity (dysbiosis) or clear state of bowel health.

Sulkowitch Test: Serum calcium levels can be determined through a urine sample. Calcium is associated with many conditions such as osteoporiosis, osteopenia, arthritis, and hyptertension. Find out your calcium levels with the Sulkowitch Test.

Blood Type: Are you a universal donor or receiver? Find out your blood type with this quick blood test, using only a few drops of blood from your finger. We also offer Blood Type Diet consultations which helps you cater your meals to your specific blood type.

pH Test: Our pH saliva test, will determine the acidity/alkalinity of your body.

More info about these tests on our website.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sprout Botanicals - Now available at The Big Carrot!!

Sprout Botanicals is a natural baby skincare line that Makoto and I founded over a year ago.  I started to compound natural and gentle skincare products in our clinic compounding room for my pediatric patients that were struggling with sensitive skin. 

My first product that I made was Sprout Botanicals Soothing Balm....a natural, petroleum free alternative to Vaseline.  You can slather it on an irritated diaper rash, itchy eczema, dry lips and nose or mix a dollop of it into your favorite moisturizer for added hydration.

Sprout Botanical products are completely natural and free of harsh chemicals and preservatives.  They are safe to use on delicate baby skin but are also great for adults with sensitive skin including eczema, rosacea and psoriasis.

The newest store to carry Sprout Botanicals is The Big Carrot Natural Food Market.  For a more complete list of where to find Sprout Botanicals or more information about our entire product line, please visit
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