Archive of ‘Guest Blog’ category

Frequently Asked Questions about Walt Disney World

Guest Blog Written By: Clara Power of Clara Power TPI

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Travelling to Walt Disney World is such a wonderful and exciting experience!  There is so much to see and do there and such a wonderful way to create long lasting memories with your family.  As a travel agent that focuses on All Things Disney, I have many clients who come to me completely confused and overwhelmed with the whole planning process – and I don’t blame them – IT’S COMPLICATED. Here are a few FAQ that can help make the whole planning process a whole lot easier!

1. When is the best time of year to go in terms of: A) getting the best deal B) not having the worst crowds?

This is such a big question that every client asks and I always answer the same way – the least busy times to go is outside of any school or national holiday. Christmas, New Years, March Break, Easter, July & August etc. are peak times, so if you are looking for times that are not as busy, plan to visit outside of those times. The best rates are usually outside of the peak times as well.

2. How many days should I plan to spend at the park?

What many people don’t know is the Disney World in Orlando Florida consists of 4 separate theme parks: Magic KingdomHollywood StudiosEpcot and Animal Kingdom. I believe all first time visitors should visit all 4 parks at least once, as they all have so much to offer. If time permits, I also encourage clients to visit Magic Kingdom twice, since it is such a large park and there is so much to see and do there. If time is limited and only 1 park is possible, definitely Magic Kingdom. 

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3. What time of day should I get there? Is morning better before the crowds or will I be missing out if I am not there for the evening parade/fireworks?

The earlier the better! If you can get to the theme park as soon as it opens, you will have the opportunity to go on many of the busiest attractions before the lines become too long. It’s also one of my favourite times to be there, as you can see the park without the throngs of people. I recommend you get to the park right at rope drop time and get some of the most phenomenal pictures as there will be no one blocking your view. When traveling with young children, I encourage my clients to head back to their resort after lunch for a rest or some pool time and then return to one of the parks in the evening that is having fireworks or parades. This way you get refreshed and ready to take it all in again. As the children get older, spending the full day at the park ensures that you don’t miss any of the action.

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4. Can I use these passes at other theme parks or do I have to purchase each park separately?

Disney offers a ‘More you stay, the less you pay’  Disney has a number of different theme park tickets ranging from 1 day to 10+ days, and with each additional day purchased, the per-day price does decrease. You can either purchase a base ticket which allows you to visit 1 park per day or a park hopper ticket that allows you to visit as many parks per day as you wish. The Waterpark add on also allows visits to the 2 Disney waterparks – Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon.

5. How do Fast Passes work? Is there a charge?

Fast Passes are FREE and they are so worth using. When staying onsite these can be booked 60 days in advance and those staying off property they can booked 30 days in advance. All guests are entitled to 3 Fast Pass selections per day and they allow you to by-pass the queue for the ride or attraction you have selected. Once you have used your 3 Fast Passes, you can retrieve additional Fast Passes while in the Disney Park using the Disney App. Definitely a great time saver.

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6. Is it worth it to stay on site? What are the benefits?  

Without question! Staying on site offers so many benefits including extra magic hours, complimentary transportation throughout WDW, magic bands, early Fast Pass reservations etc. Staying onsite ensures that you get the full Disney experience and you never have to leave the magic! For more details on this, ready my post about the all the benefits of staying at a Disney Resort Hotel.

7. Are there any secrets that I should know about to book ahead (like the Bippity Bobbity Boutique or meals with the characters for example). 

Best piece of advice is to book early! For the best prices and the best options, booking early is always the way to go. Dining Reservations open 180 days prior, and some of the hottest and most popular restaurants book up very early. Does your daughter want to have breakfast in Cinderella’s Castle with some of her favourite princesses? This is one of the most difficult reservations to secure if not booked at the 180-day mark. Other popular restaurants include Be Our Guest and Chef Mickey which are also some of my personal favourites. When booking a resort stay, Disney only requires a $200USD deposit with final payment due 30 days before arrival. If the price drops from the day you booked until final payment day, the booking can be adjusted making booking early a win-win situation.

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8. Can I bring my own food and drinks to the park? 

Guests are permitted to bring food items such as snacks or foods that do not require heating into Disney theme parks. Inform a Security Cast Member of any food items when you enter the park. Foldable, soft sider coolers are also permitted, but be sure that any items package are in plastic not glass containers, as those will be confiscated. If bringing food, it’s beneficial to have a stroller to carry it in, but remember wagons are not permitted either.

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9. A family of 4: 2 kids 2 adults, with airfare and a healthy amount of park time, what’s the average budget you recommend (CAD or USD).

When staying at a Disney property, the prices can vary significantly depending on the time of year and the type of Disney accommodations selected. I have sent clients to a Value Resort for 7 days including the meal plan and a 5 days base ticket for as low at $2800 USD. When staying at a Deluxe property, prices will increase depending on the resort, type of room, view (theme park views are most expensive) and there are special room categories including club level or overwater bungalows. Flights to Orlando can also vary and from Toronto – anywhere under $500 per person round-trip is good. With extra planning and good advice, Disney can be affordable for everyone.

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10. Are there any big ‘don’ts’ for going to Disney? What should you avoid, what are expectations that are most often disappointing?

What I always like to remind my clients is that going to Walt Disney World is a vacation – you are supposed to enjoy it! Planning is key, but over-scheduling is not going to benefit anyone. Plan based on your children and what they can or can’t handle. If they are easily stimulated, plan lots of down time as a meltdown isn’t going to make a memorable experience.

Include your children in the planning process. Get them excited about what’s to come so they can be mentally prepared and if possible try to enjoy a resort day with no parks to rest your feet. Use the services of a professional who can help navigate and make sure you get the most value for your dollar by planning special VIP tours, specialty dining and unique experiences.

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For those who are interested in visiting, right now Disney is having a great promotion –  get a FREE dining plan. Click below for more info.

For more from Clara Power TPI be sure to check her out online
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Why Meditate?

Guest Blog Written By: Dr. Jen Cisternino Naturopathic Doctor

More than ever before, people today are looking for an alternative way to help them cope with everyday stresses and health concerns. We are awakening to the realization that we have more power over our health than any doctor. Old beliefs have it that a doctor will heal you and you must seek their help when you are not feeling well. New concepts, actually not new to ancient medicines at all, are emerging which challenge that very notion. 

What are doctors doing for us? If you ask a doctor, they say they are saving lives. How? Through early detection, diagnosis and treatment. What role then do YOU have in your health? Do you rely on doctors to find what is wrong with you and wait for them to “fix you”? News flash! No one can fix you but YOU. You need to realize that you play a role in your health. You have the most control over your risk of disease, prevention, detection and treatment.  How do you play a role? Through your thoughts, behaviours, lifestyle habits, emotions and overall perspective. 

Most people do not “check in” with themselves on a daily basis to see how their body feels and how their mind is thinking. They do not spend time addressing their thoughts and emotions in a healthy way. Instead, this fast paced world has them reaching for more food, cigarettes, medications or marijuana for a quick fix.

What can you do to help yourself? MINDFULNESS MEDITATION. This is a practice of stilling the mind to bring your awareness to the present moment. Why would we need to do this? Because the present moment is the only moment we have control over and it determines our future moments. 

When we still our minds, we gain access to a deeper awareness about our bodies and mind. This information can help us make changes to better our health and lives. When we are still and focusing on our breathing, we are also creating a calming, peaceful place in our body where healing can occur.

You can think of meditation as transforming the mind. Creating a happier perspective and releasing limiting beliefs about one self and others. Research has shown that daily meditation can improve:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Stress and Overwhelm
  • IBS
  • Anger
  • ADD/ADHD
  • among many others conditions

If you have never meditated before or are not sure where to start, simply sit or lye down in a quiet room and start counting your breathes in and out. Do this for 5 minutes. As thoughts come into your mind, simply let them go. You can image them floating away in a balloon. If you get restless, this is normal. It takes practice and commitment. You didn’t learn how to walk in one day! It takes effort to still the mind and develop a greater sense of peace and calm within.

I offer one on one consulting to help you quiet your mind and find inner peace. I help all my patients gain a deeper understanding of their state of health and how their mental and emotional state greatly influences the physical body.

Much love and peace!

For more from Dr. Jen Cisternino Naturopathic Doctor
and to book a free 15 min consult be sure to check her out online,
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Let’s talk Running With Violet…


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Today I am featuring an interview with the two creators behind the hot new web series “Running With Violet,” which they describe as a cross between “Thelma and Louise” and “Fargo”…but with a toddler! Hope you mamas will check out this series written and produced by ladies!

Marie-Claire: So partner!

Rebecca: Howdy!

Marie-Claire: So can you give Chic Mammas a sense of our story?

Rebecca: Absolutely! Running With Violet centers around two small town women who take off for a girls’ weekend with a toddler in tow but then get caught up in a small town meth ring. So they think they’re escaping their responsibilities and problems, but end up encountering a host of even bigger problems!

Marie-Claire: That’s always annoying!

Rebecca: Haha! Yes, after writing the series, I definitely never want to get caught up in a meth ring!

Marie-Clarie: Good point, me either! Hm…okay. What are a few facts about our series that ChicMamma.ca readers might find interesting?

violet and me on side of roadRebecca: Well, the toddler in the show is actually my toddler!

Marie-Claire: That’s definitely interesting! Indeed, it was a crazy ride shooting with a toddler for 14 days, wasn’t it?

Rebecca: Not to mention my own toddler. Definitely up there as one of the hardest things I’ve done.

Marie-Claire: Are we nuts for attempting it?

Rebecca: A bit! Though I have to say leading up to the shoot, I blocked out the realities of what our days on set would look…like how I was going to stay on top of my lines (my actor job), keep the show running smoothly (my producer job), all while keeping Violet happy and safe (my Mamma job).

Marie-Claire: So are you saying it was harder than expected?

Rebecca: YES!

Marie-Claire: But we did come up with some fun strategies, didn’t we?

Rebecca: Yes, we got very creative on set as we navigated shooting with Violet! In fact, we stopped using her name whenever possible so we wouldn’t draw attention to her and freak her out. Instead, we started calmly saying, ‘little pinkie is approaching the set.’ And then instead of calling action we would say ‘let’s fry some potatoes!’

Marie-Claire: That actually worked!

Rebecca: Yes, we fried a lot of potatoes! It’s some good frying we did!

Marie-Claire: So many fries!

RWV Still_Jolene&Miranda (1)Rebecca: Do you think the ChicMamma.ca readers will like Running With Violet?

Marie-Claire: I think so! There’s lots of humour—more than you would expect considering the dark scenario.

Rebecca: It’s true, we find ways to bring the funny. For example, even when things get really serious, Violet still needs to pee and she can’t be without her screen time! And your character can be a bit ridiculous!

Marie-Claire: She can be a bit clueless. She starts off the series as an isolated housewife with an abusive husband–

Rebecca: –until she takes matters into her own hands!

Marie-Claire: In fact, some of the themes of our show include escape, finding freedom…

Rebecca: Finding freedom with a toddler!

Marie-Claire: That’s hard!

Rebecca: Yes, it is! I hope we’ve enticed you, Chic Mammas!

Marie-Claire: Please visit us over on our youtube channel to watch our episodes. The episodes are under ten minutes, so hopefully you can fit them in on a bathroom break—

Rebecca: Or when you’re hiding in your closet for some ‘me’ time.

Marie-Claire: What?

Rebecca: You do what you have to do, MC! You’ll see!

Marie-Claire: Okay!

Rebecca: Please watch and subscribe and tell your friends! We hope you love the show!

For more from Running With Violet be sure to
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3 Things No One Tells You About Postpartum Recovery

Guest Blog Written By: Denise Chiriboga of FitTritious

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You’ve heard it said before “if I knew what I know now….”
For me, it’s about my postpartum recovery and returning to fitness.

Here are three things I wish I knew about postpartum recovery before I had my children. If I knew what I know now, things would have looked A LOT differently.

ONE. I wish someone would have told me that my midwife’s 6 week postpartum checkup releasing me from her care DID NOT mean that I could go back to the same exercises I was doing before I got pregnant, or when I was pregnant.

If I had known, I wouldn’t have gone balls to the wall back to running and kickboxing and would have saved myself from embarrassing leaky bladder episodes every time I jumped, sneezed, laughed, or coughed.

TWO. I wish someone had told me that the body’s spontaneous healing happens in the first 8 weeks after birth.

If I had known, I would have helped my body heal by wearing my belly wrap Every. Single. Day.

THREE. I wish someone would had told me that it’s NOT normal for my belly to grow throughout the day making me look 6 months pregnant 5 months after I had my baby.

If I had known that this is a sure sign of abdominal separation, (aka mummy tummy) which is an actual condition called diastasis recti abominus, I could have gotten help earlier.

If I had known that all of these issues were not ‘just normal after having a baby’ and instead had known the signs and symptoms of core and pelvic floor dysfunction, I would have seen a professional right away.

And by professional, that brings more questions. Exactly what type of professional am I talking about?

Is it your family doctor?

Or that medical clinic that is promoting the latest fat freezing or tummy tuck procedure?

Or is it that hardcore ‘no pain, no gain’ bootcamp trainer at the gym who’s riding your @$$ like crazy?

The answer is none of the above.

The right medical professional to see is a pelvic floor physiotherapist, as well as a trained fitness professional like myself who is knowledgeable and educated in helping moms heal from the inside out. We’re talking strengthening the core and pelvic floor. Don’t forget that you’re baby was sitting and moving all over your womb; your organs were displaced, and everything doesn’t just snap back to the way it was. Even if you feel like everything is ok down there, you don’t want to do anything in the gym that will make you take a few steps backward in your healing process (like I did).

So I urge you, if you are pregnant, and haven’t yet seen a pelvic floor physiotherapist, go see one (you can find one near you by visiting http://www.collegept.org/Home). And if you’re a new mom and experience any of the issues mentioned above, or even if you haven’t experienced any of the above symptoms, it doesn’t mean you’re home free – get checked out, and make sure if you engage in any fitness classes, that they are safe for postpartum moms – meaning there is no high intensity training (ie: no bootcamps, no jumping, or running or jumping jacks, and definitely no crunches) and ensure that the focus is on re-training the core and pelvic floor. You can be sure of this if your trainer or instructor is Bellies Inc. Core Confidence certified like myself. Find out more about my postpartum Strong Mom classes here http://www.fittritious.com.

 

Bio: ChicMamma.ca Vendor Denise Chiriboga, aka The FitTritionist is a personal fitness trainer and registered holistic nutritionist specializing in everything fitness & nutrition for pre&postnatal moms. She’s the founder of Strong Mom fitness classes and takes great care in helping moms heal postpartum issues such as urinary incontinence, mummy tummy, and back pain with fitness, nutrition and functional movement. To find out more about Denise’s classes and get The Flat Belly After Baby Guide visit http://www.FitTritious.com

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Learn to Love your “Woman Cycle”

Guest Blog Written By: Dr. Jen Cisternino Naturopathic Doctor

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The menstrual cycle is such a beautiful time for a women if she tunes into her body. This extends to her emotional, mental and spiritual body.  We are all aware that our hormones orchestrate our menstrual cycle. For example; if your hormones are out of balance then you may miss a period or have several symptoms like breast tenderness, mood changes, acne, sleep disturbances etc. Most women will see their medical doctor for these imbalances and most are prescribed the birth control pill. Essentially, the pill is masking the underlying imbalances which are there to get “your attention”. We are not meant to “suppress” symptoms but instead listen to the innate wisdom of our bodies and do something to HEAL ourselves.

Let’s look at a common complaint- dysmenorrhea (cramping and pain with periods). Pain with menses can be quickly remedied with Anaprox or Advil. Have you ever wondered why you have pain and why some months may be more painful? Have you spent the time wondering if stress or poor diet had something to do with it? I do IgG food allergy testing in my office and essentially you can find out which foods cause inflammation in your body, which can translate to menstrual pain. Something else to consider is “blocked pelvic energy” a 2nd chakra issue. This energy centre in our body is affected by our relationships with men, sex, our feminine nature, our needs and wants and how they may be influenced by cultural needs and wants.  Have you assessed these relationships? They might be telling.

Another common complaint are mood changes- anger, irritability, sadness or anxiousness.  If people have told you that you morph into a different person then there is something there to explore.  Are you holding everything in and then using that time to give yourself “permission” to explode. What are you not expressing day to day?

I always urge women to look at the cyclical nature of their moods, and try to figure out what their minds and bodies are telling them.  Maybe you need a diet change, a relationship change, need for more exercise, an emotional release, more yoga, meditation or reiki.

During the week before your menses and even into your period-your body, mind and soul naturally want to relax, renew and recharge. Even though you can’t see how much your reproductive organs are working, you have to believe that putting more stress on your body is not helping.  Do not over exert yourself during this time and be sure to be extra loving and kind to yourself. Each menstrual cycle is designed to help you start new and fresh. Believe it or not, most post menopausal women come into my office saying how much they miss their menses. They didn’t realize how good it felt to be “cleansed”.

I want this blog to relay a simple message to you. Your menstrual symptoms are sending you a message that there is imbalance in your body and most likely your life. You are in control of your hormones and you are being called to make a change to help yourself.

For more from Dr. Jen Cisternino Naturopathic Doctor
and to book a free 15 min consult be sure to check her out online,
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Three important ways to get your resume noticed

Guest Blog Written By: Holly of It’s Personal Branding

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Mammas, I get it.

We’re often head of the household (either formally or informally) and we have TONNES on the go at any given time. Not only do we have to take care of ourselves, but we are responsible for EVERYTHING to do with our littles.

It feels like there’s just no time.

But, part of being so responsible means looking out for our own opportunities to grow professionally – for intellectual stimulation, added challenges and to provide even better for our families.

So, when was the last time you updated your resume?

In case it’s been a while for you, I’ve put together some ways you can revamp your resume to get noticed, in between all of the caring and coping and craziness of motherhood.

Ready?

# 1: Make sure your professional summary actually summarizes your key qualifications for the position.

I often see resumes with vague and generic professional summaries. Things like:

Key Qualifications:

  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Detail oriented with the ability work under pressure
  • Report writing

 This summary does a poor job of differentiating the applicant from the others. And worse yet, it usually appears at the top of the resume so that it’s the first thing the reader sees.

Now consider this professional summary:

Key Qualifications:

  • Greeted customers and managed the return and exchange process for a busy retail store.
  • Wrote summary reports on board meetings including capturing the findings and developing insights.

You have only a few seconds to grab the reader’s attention, so instead of listing generic skills, describe your qualifications that the hiring manager is actually looking for.

The aim of your resume is to stand out from the other applicants and communicate your unique value.

But how do you communicate your uniqueness?

# 2: Use quantitative accomplishment statements in your resume.

Quantitative statements incorporate numerical values to convey your accomplishments in a way tangible way. It helps the reader get a clearer understanding of what you did AND what you can contribute to the new organization.

Consider the following two statements. The first one is a duty-focused statement and the second one is a quantitative statement.

  1. Organized several external conferences.
  1. Planned and coordinated three conferences for over 400 guests including staff, stakeholders and global management.

Which one sounds more impressive to you?

By adding numbers like “three conferences” and “400 guests” it helps bring the accomplishment to life so that the reader can feel the benefit.

Which brings us to the last step.

# 3: State the benefit of your accomplishments

Businesses usually have at least one of three main reasons for wanting to hire:

  1. To make money
  2. To save money
  3. To solve a problem

So, if you can tie back your accomplishments to how they created a benefit for the company (or client or patient), then you end up showing a direct link to how your work provides benefit – without relying on the reader to make assumptions about the results.

Here are some examples of tying in the benefit with your qualitative achievement:

  • Assisted with planning and execution of seven national and international trade shows
    in a one-month period, adding 150 prospective clients to the list.
  • Greeted and consulted with up to 100 customers per shift, sharing product knowledge
    and assisting in purchase decisions.
  • Followed up with trade show prospects to provide product details and arrange on-site product trials, leading to 50+ purchase orders.

Bonus points for making the benefit quantitative too.

These are three important ways you can distinguish yourself from other applicants. Focus on writing statements that are unique to you, that no other applicant could write and have them be true.

Holly Hagan is a professional resume writer and LinkedIn profile writer for her business It’s Personal Branding. She is passionate about helping people shine to receive opportunities they deserve.

For more info on It’s Personal Branding be sure to check them out online,
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Do NOT Make These 5 Weight Loss Mistakes

Guest Blog Written By: Dr. Jen Cisternino Naturopathic Doctor

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The weight loss industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. The reason for this is because people are being misguided. Most people who are overweight agree with the following statement. “When I am sad or stressed, I eat a lot. When I am happy, I eat well.” Why then are people so focused on FOOD when it comes to weight loss? It has been my experience and reality that addressing the underlying emotions that influence food choices is most essential.

Let’s discuss some of the reasons why you are not losing weight and keeping it off.

1. You don’t do a good job at nourishing your emotions. It’s not completely your fault. You may have been raised in a family where your emotional needs were not met. From a young age, you might have realized that when you were sad or anxious, no one was there to comfort you or listen to you and so you turned to food. This pattern of emotional eating to help you cope with your emotions stays with you and the habit strengthens as you get older. Unless you make the connection and tend to your emotional needs in other ways, you may always struggle with excess weight.

2. You are too stressed out. Most people I see in my office are overwhelmed with life. They work full time jobs, try to juggle family, friends, relationships, everyday stresses etc. People today fill their days with a “to-do” list that only superwoman can accomplish. What are you accomplishing if you are stressed, unhappy and overweight? When you set out to lose weight and change your habits, you need to make yourself a priority. It involves you freeing up time for yourself and saying “NO” to the things that get in your way.

3. You lack self-love. “How can I love myself when I have a lot of fat on my hips and belly?” says my patient. “Why not? You are more than your flesh”, I say. Once you learn to love yourself unconditionally (that means no matter your size), you can begin the healing process. Here is the reality, only good can come from self-love. It is a process that takes time and some hand holding, but when you have love for yourself, all your decisions reflect that love. For example; a woman who loves herself will not stuff her face with chocolate and ice cream. A woman who loves herself will want to move her body, address her emotions and eat healthier food. Alternatively, a person who hates themselves is more likely to have negative thoughts and negative emotions which lead to poor eating habits. Make sense? Why wouldn’t you choose love?

4. You think FOOD is the problem. Food is part of the problem. More importantly, it is your relationship with food that is the problem. Food is quick, easy and accessible, especially under stressful times. It seems way easier to eat pizza and chips than to express your emotions to a friend. It might be easier in the short run, but very damaging in the long run. You don’t need another fancy diet plan that tells you to avoid gluten and wheat and dairy (unless of course you have an allergy to them). You need to assess the relationship you have with food first and fix it.

5. You keep looking outside yourself for help. So many people are looking for quick fixes, drugs, diet pills, diet plans, personal trainers, nutritionist, doctors, to “fix” them. Asking for help is great, but a lot of people don’t fully understand that they hold all the answers to their problems. I want you to feel empowered in your weight loss journey. I want you to understand that healing starts when you look within yourself to address your feelings, wants and needs. One size does not fit all when it comes to losing weight. You hold the key to your weight loss success. I just help you unlock your potential.

Why am I so passionate about this topic? For many years, I struggled with my weight and was desperately searching for ways to lose it. I tried all sorts of diets and seeked out all kinds of help with no success. When I began to look within, I realized what I needed. It wasn’t pills or strict diets. It was self-love, respect and emotional balance. I started an exploration within myself which involved addressing my emotions, negative thoughts, limiting beliefs, and poor self-image. Through a process, I ultimately created a healthier environment within myself. My outer reality began to reflect my inner loving self. Weight loss happened almost immediately and effortlessly without much concern about food. It truly was a remarkable experience and I can’t begin to tell you how freeing it is. I wish the same for you.

For more from Dr. Jen Cisternino Naturopathic Doctor
and to book a free 15 min consult be sure to check her out online,
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5 Steps to Decrease Allergies: A Naturopathic Approach

Guest Blog Written By: Dr. Jen Cisternino Naturopathic Doctor

Allergies are on the rise in North America.  According to stats, 30% of adults and 40% of children are allergy sufferers.  According to The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, an “allergy” is an overreaction of the immune system to substances that usually cause no reaction in most individuals. So why are people reacting to substances like dander, creams, pollen, foods and mold?

SYSTEM OVERLOAD!

Our immune system is tasked with the role of reacting to things that are life threatening-like a virus or bacteria. When the body is overloaded with poor food choices, stress, chemicals in the environment, products used on the skin, medications etc, the immune system can no longer keep in check what it had kept in check for so long. This is when I see patients in my office complaining that their allergies have worsened or a new rash has formed.

What to do if you have allergies-known or unknown.

1. Remove the Allergen. If you know what you are reacting to, then do your best to avoid exposure as best as you can. Allopathic allergy shots are created to help you become “desensitized” to the allergen. There are many side effects with this and it can be very time consuming. I offer an all natural Allergy Shot to help your immune system find balance.

If you do not know your allergens, then 1. See a Naturopath and get a Food Sensitivity Test to see if something you are eating is triggering a reaction and 2. See your Allergist to get tested for environmental allergies/medicines/chemicals.

2. Detoxify your Liver/Kidneys/Colon. All three of these organs help to eliminate waste from your body. If any organ is not performing it’s duty, then the build up of allergens and toxins can start to show symptoms like hives, rashes, runny nose, sore throat, puffy eyes, headaches, brain fog etc.

3. Clean up Your Diet: Eating fresh whole foods and eliminating sugar and processed foods is sure to help with your allergies. Ensure you get tested to see which foods are best for your immune system. Ensure you are drinking lots of water to clean out your system.

4. Supplementation with Fish oils, Vitamin C and Zinc can help modulate your immune system.

5. Manage Stress: This is super important! Most people do not know how much they are stressing their mind and body until hives appear or allergies worsen. Try to implement deep breathing, yoga, meditation, Reiki, Acupuncture or counselling for your stress.

For more from Dr. Jen Cisternino Naturopathic Doctor
and to book a free 15 min consult be sure to check her out online,
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The Best 6 Ways to Balance Hormones

Guest Blog Written By: Dr. Jen Cisternino Naturopathic Doctor

hormones

Our hormones dictate how we feel, think, eat, sleep, respond, urinate, defecate, menstruate, lose or gain weight….might I go on….They are essential to life! Hormones are the messengers within us that make things happen to ensure we stay alive! Now I might add, most people today are walking around hormonally imbalanced. How can you tell? Here are a few clues that signal hormonal imbalance:

  • Weight Gain
  • Hair Loss/Thinning
  • Facial Hair Growth in Women
  • Development of Gut/Breasts in Men
  • Acne
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Constipation
  • Brain Fog
  • Anxiety
  • Sugar Cravings
  • Lack of Energy
  • PMS
  • Irregular Menses
  • Short tempered/Irritable
  • Low sex drive   etc……..

So what can you do about it?

Here are 6 lifestyle modifications that you can start tomorrow! If you follow these steps, you will feel happier, healthier and more energetic for sure!

  • Get moving. Exercise has been shown to help with weight loss and also getting hormones balanced. It does not matter which are out of balance, as exercise is a fantastic way to help balance many. Choose an activity you enjoy and stick to it. It must be consistent exercise at least 4-5 times a week for 30 minutes.
  • Get sound sleep. When we sleep, this is when our body comes back to homeostasis, if we allow it. Disconnect from your TV, phone, email and anything that can affect melatonin production at least 45 minutes before bed. Limit caffeine after 2pm as this can affect sleep. Create a zen space for sleep and make it a priority and protect your sleep hours. They are necessary for hormonal balance. Aim for 7-9 hours. When you dream, this is a good sign of deep sleep. If you can remember them, even better!
  • Enjoy a High Fibre Diet: This includes mostly fruit, vegetables, nuts/seeds and legumes.  This type of diet is very high in fibre, which gets the bowels moving and helps flush out excess estrogen levels.
  • This is a must, especially if cortisol (your stress hormone) is elevated. Choose any form of meditation and stick to it. This has to be a consistent practice. Aim for 20 minutes a day to find inner peace and hormone balancing.
  • Do a Liver Detox twice a year. Our liver recycles hormones and when it becomes “sluggish”, hormonal imbalances results. If you are unsure which one to do, reach out as I have the perfect cleanse aimed to target liver, kidneys and colon.

Remove sugar, dairy and high fat foods/meat from your diet. This is a MUST! If you need help with sugar cravings reach out. Keeping a food journal is a great way to become conscious of what you are eating, when and why.

(Get the scoop on your hormones by clicking here to fill out Dr. Jen’s “Hormonal Questionnaire”)

For more from Dr. Jen Cisternino Naturopathic Doctor
and to book a free 15 min consult be sure to check her out online,
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The Benefits Of Cold Pressed Juice

Guest Blog Written By: Michael Appugliese “mike fresh” from Freshouse Juicebar

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The Benefits Of Cold Pressed Juice

If you haven’t already heard, drinking cold pressed juice can be the most natural and raw way to increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables.

What is Cold Pressed Juice?

Cold pressed juice is a method of extracting juice from produce. It involves two steps.

  • Pulverizing
    • The produce is first pulverized by a blade and turned into pulp. This process breaks open fibers and frees up nutrients and enzymes to be released.
  • Pressing
    • The newly made pulp is placed inside a cloth type bag and squeezed at high amounts of pressure using a hydraulic press. The strong action of the press squeezes out the most juice that can be squeezed out of the produce, better and more efficient than any other form of juicer on the planet.

What is the difference between cold pressed juice and regular juice?

download-1The juice that you find at the supermarket can take up to 12 months before it hits the shelf. Regular juice is: 1.Juiced 2. Pasteurized 3. Stored 4. Shipped

Pasteurization is the act of heating up the juice to extremely high temperatures to kill off the bad bacteria. The problem is that vitamins, enzymes and good bacteria are also heat sensitive, so you also destroy the good bacteria. Chemicals are also added to the juice during this process before it is bottled.

Cold press juice is simply the pure juice from the produce, with no type of processing done to it at all. The juice is extracted and bottled. Because of its natural nature, cold press juice must be consumed within 3-5 days (depending on the juice) from the day it was pressed. Just the way nature intended it to be!

Why Drink Cold-Pressed Juice?

Maximum Nutrition
– Regular centrifugal juicers use a blade that creates heat, which causes the juice to oxidize and lose nutrient value. The hydraulic press removes the juice from the pulp without adding any heat and yields a highly concentrated juice full of nutrients.

Fastest Absorption – once the pulp has been removed, the digestive system is able to absorb all of the nutrients immediately. The digestive system does not have to work on breaking down anything. As soon as the juice enters the small intestine, the nutrients are absorbed immediately and enter the bloodstream.

Freshest juice – Real cold press juice is never pasteurized or processed in any way. The shelf life is only 3-5 days, guaranteeing a fresh product. Always watch out for cold press juice that has been HPP’d (High pressure processing). This juice claims to be cold press, but has been processed to extend the shelf life from 3 days to 30 days! Makes you wonder if this can still be considered natural??

downloadWe are all supposed to eat fruits and vegetables everyday, the problem is that in today’s fast paced society people find it difficult to stop and take a bite of the apple, or eat that piece of broccoli. A high majority of Canadians do not take in anywhere near the recommended 8-10 servings of fruits and vegetables. Cold press juice is a convenient way to stay healthy and guarantee your absorbing high quality nutrients, while getting in all your servings of fruits and vegetables.

“The juices extracted from fresh-raw vegetables and fruits are the means by which we can furnish all the cells and tissues of the body with the elements and nutritional enzymes they need in the manner they can be most readily digested and assimilated.”
Dr. Norman Walker

For more information on Freshouse Juicebar be sure to check them out online
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