January 01, 2018

    A very happy, healthy, and wealthy New Year to everyone.  May all your wishes for the future bear fruition.  Make a commitment to yourself that you refuse to carry all the baggage of the past with you.  Indeed it will otherwise get heavier and heavier by the day. Commit to only focussing on the things that you personally can change in your life (with help if necessary).  Let go of the rest.  Invest time in your wellness on a daily basis.  Focus on the following 10 activities of wellness, namely; spirituality, exercise, proper nutrition, an active relaxation techni...

  • “Dignity” and Hope - World Mental Health Day

    October 09, 2015

    Mental illness will affect every single one of us.    As we progress through our life stages from pre-birth, to late adulthood and eventual death (1) every single one of us is vulnerable to mental illness or its effects.   While we may be personally spared the challenges of having a mental disorder, we may still be affected through a family member, a child, parent, grandparent, uncle/aunt/cousin/nephew; or through a member of our extended family.  Alternatively we may be affected by the experience of a traumatic event such as the 911 World Twin Towers disaster or t...

  • Caffeine - An Updated Series (Part II)

    September 03, 2015

     Key Points: 100% bio-availability Water and fat soluble Consumed either intravenously or orally (foods, drinks, capsules) Antagonizes adenosine receptors in the central nervous system Stimulates the central nervous system and neurotransmitter release High variability in response to caffeine  May depend on genetics, exogenous, or endogenous factors  Part II Caffeine Chemistry & Bioavailability   Figure 1. The molecular structure of caffeine and adenosine.   Caffeine chemistry: Chemical formula: 1, 3, 7-trimethylxanthine 5. Mole...

  • Caffeine - An Updated Series

    July 29, 2015

    Part I Key Points: Caffeine:  the most widely used naturally occurring substance in the world found in more than 60 plants Food/Drinks containing caffeine:   coffee, tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, chocolate/cocoa products Caffeine consumption is common in all parts of the world Coffee originated from Ethiopia (1000-1400 AD) Tea originated from China (750 AD) Cocoa originated from Mexico (1500 BC)   Figure 1. The most common dietary sources of caffeine; coffee, tea and cocoa.  Part I Caffeine Consumption       ...

  • Brain Development 101

    January 21, 2015

    Working in the field of mental health and addictions, we are inundated with new research, best practices, and information aimed at assisting us in the work we do with our clients. In the past 10 months I have had the opportunity to engage in some very interesting and ground making work around early brain development that I believe will have a huge impact on the way we interact with our kids, as well as the way we see stress in children. Through the Alberta Family Wellness initiative, I have found a way to illustrate and show what toxic stress can do to kids in a manner that is easy to understa...

  • Do I Take My Tea With Milk and Honey?

    April 29, 2014

    Originally introduced from China to Europe in the 16th and 17th Centuries, tea has spread to all corners of the world to become the second most common drink, after water.  The early Chinese communities drank green tea primarily for its medicinal properties, while the British brought black tea to England after being introduced to it by the Royal Family.  In Europe, namely France, Madame de la Sabriere is credited with having been the first person to add milk to black tea (1). However, the addition of milk and other substances, including sugar or honey, to black tea have resu...

  • Yoga for Insomnia

    March 23, 2011

    Are you punching your pillow and kicking your sheets, succumbing to the overwhelming frustration that results from an inability to sleep? You’re not alone! 3.3 million Canadians are suffering from insomnia ( That is 1 in 7 Canadians who are having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. For those individuals struggling to sleep and looking for an alternative treatment to medication, some researchers are suggesting yoga. In particular, Dr. Khalsa, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, has conduct...

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