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Edmonton AB

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© 2023 by Dr. Amber McKinnon

 

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Blog

December 5, 2019

Photo by: Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Last week we learned all about causes of dry itchy winter skin and some options to help get around it. This week I want to share with you some of my favorite homemade recipes with you. I have personally used all of these and hope that you enjoy them as much as I do. 

The Recipes

If you have any known allergies or sensitivities, please avoid and/ or substitute these ingredients in each recipe. If you experience any reactions to your home-made products below consult your ND or MD. If you have a pre-existing skin conditions always consult your health care provider (ND or MD) before use of any new skin care products, homemade or retail.

                                             Photo by: Bee Naturalles on Unsplash

Oils

It doesn’t have to be complicated. You can moisturize your skin with just simple oils that you have in your kitc...

November 28, 2019

Photo by: Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Our Skin: a Quick Overview

The skin is our largest organ and plays a very important protective role. To better understand dry skin and the “winter itch”, let’s start with a quick review of skin anatomy. The skin is comprised of three distinct layers, the hypodermis, the dermis, and the epidermis. The Hypodermis is the deepest layer and contains primarily subcutaneous fat which provides structure and fullness to the skin, acts as a shock absorber, provides insulation to the body, as well as, acting as an energy store for skin cells. Next, comes the dermis which houses blood vessels, nerves, sweat glands, oil glands, and hair follicles. Finally, the epidermis forms the outermost layer. This layer functions as a protective barrier and is comprised of several layers of skin cells. The lower levels contain the younger living cells, which are pushed to the surface as they mature and die and are eventually sloughed off. This process takes about one month...

August 15, 2019

Why Sprout you ask?

Because it’s simple, inexpensive, delicious, nutritious and sprouts are packed with health benefits!

It’s not hard to understand why sprouts are so good for us when you think of it. It doesn’t matter what you are sprouting seeds, nuts, grains, legumes, really they are all the same thing…seeds.

Seeds that left outside in the right conditions would produce a whole plant. Think of all that potential!

All of these nutrients are trapped in this little package. This however, is just the beginning of the magic. There are a number of things that happen in the sprouting process that make sprouts even better for us.

So, what else does sprouting offer?

 Most things you might want to sprout are high in phytic acid. In addition to causing tummy upset for most of us this sneaky chemical also binds up the minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron or zinc in foods. As a seed is sprouting much of the phytic acid is broken down making all of the nutrients more available. As you might imagi...

March 6, 2019

Learn more about the pelvic floor and pelvic floor care from Dr. Candace Haarsma

December 13, 2018

A muscle spasm goes by many names; A cramp, charley horse, knot, or even a trigger point. It can take you by surprise any day, any time; waking you in your sleep, striking you while you’re out for a walk or run, or even sitting at your desk. Nearly everyone can share the experience of an unwelcome spasm, but the reason it occurs and the remedy is less obvious.

Causes

A spasm is an involuntary, and often painful, contraction of muscles. The causes vary and are worth becoming aware of as it may be an indicator of your health.  Following are some possible reasons you could be experiencing cramps:

  • Stress

  • Dehydration

  • Tight muscles

  • Tissue injury

  • Poor circulation

  • Lack of calcium, magnesium, vitamin D & E, and other nutritional imbalances

  • Pregnancy

  • Endocrine disorders

  • Certain Medications

  • Alcoholism or other recreational drug use

While often painful, not all spasms are bad; a spasm may even be doing you some good.  Muscles often contract in respon...

October 29, 2018

Carving jack-o-lanterns around Halloween is a fun way to use pumpkins. Besides this classic Halloween carving tradition, there are other ways to make use of pumpkin. Keep reading for 3 other uses for pumpkin and a bonus recipe.

A little bit about pumpkins…

Pumpkins fall under the category of winter squash, which also includes butternut squash, acorn squash and spaghetti squash. Winter squash vary in colour, size, shape and flavour, though they share common characteristics. The flesh of winter squash is often mildly sweet in flavour, and the texture is finely grained. The shells, which are hard and more difficult to pierce compared to summer squash, allow long periods of storage from one to six months. If you’ve had the experience of carving a pumpkin or cooking up another variety of winter squash, you’ve likely noticed the hollow inner cavity containing seeds.

Health Benefits of pumpkins

The flesh of pumpkins and other winter squash contains various healthful nutrients, including carotenes...

September 11, 2018

Summer is a time when schedules and routine become relaxed; kids may stay up later, watch movies at sleepovers right before bedtime, or eat more sweet treats. As summer comes to a close, new routines and schedules are formed in preparation for back to school. In the midst of this preparation, we can forget to pay attention to the fundamentals of our kids’ health. These fundamentals, such as diet, hydration and sleep affect their growth, development, focus, behaviour and performance.

To help give your kids a healthy start to the school year, here are some tips that will promote sustained energy levels, increased focus and attention and improve immune function for those inevitable colds.

Read all the way through for bonus recipes for homemade chocolate almond butter and a chocolate smoothie to get your kids fueled for the day or as an after school snack.

1.  The 3 F’s: Add Fibre and Fat and Forgo the sugar

Fibre

Getting enough fibre in the diet has numerous benefits. It helps maintain regular...

August 16, 2018

It is with heavy hearts and anticipation that we read updates about the wild fires in BC, now declared a state of emergency. The wildfires continue to burn out of control in both BC and Alberta, creating the unsettling haze that is causing symptoms in many and raising questions on how to protect our health. The smoke has affected everyone, but those most at risk are young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with chronic lung or heart diseases.

The most obvious symptoms you might be experiencing relates to the lungs, such as, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, wheezing, cough, phlegm, or a mild heaviness in your chest. This will be especially pronounced in those with asthma or COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). Others with allergies may be experiencing classic allergy-type symptoms in addition to the respiratory symptoms listed above, such as a runny nose, tearing, sneezing, itchy nose and eyes. What you might not expect is for many, the smoke can give sym...

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Scratching the Surface: How to Beat the Winter Itch PART 1

November 28, 2019

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