The Silent Killer

Isn’t it unfortunate that in our society we almost brag about how busy, tired and overwhelmed we are? With that said, now take a minute and ask yourself if you suffer from any of the following:

-Sleepless nights
-Anxiety or irritability
-Low mood
-Fatigue
-Muscle or back pain
-Feeling overwhelmed
-Ongoing infections (such as cold or flu)
-Upset stomach or heartburn
-Feeling “burned out”
-Headaches or migraines
-Hormonal imbalances
-Stress-eating patterns
-The need to smoke or drink in order to cope

Stress is essential for survival. The chemicals it triggers help us cope with difficulty, but how much stress is too much and affecting to our health. Many of us are driven to attain that next promotion, a bigger house, fancier car and basically living our lives running on empty. The pressures and demands of daily life can start to take a toll. Slowly and silently, chronic stress can deteriorate our health, from weakening the immune system to increasing the risk of heart attack. The harmful effects of chronic stress often go unnoticed until they manifest in mental or physical burnout, compromised health and disease. This “silent killer” is no joke, below are some of the detrimental conditions that chronic stress may lead to

 

Depression and Anxiety
Chronic stress is connected to an increased rate of depression and anxiety. Research examining stress (specifically, occupational stress) indicates low reward and job insecurity as major factors for depressive disorder.

Heart Disease
Stressed out individuals have an increased risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.

Asthma
Stress can worsen asthma, even possibly affecting ones own children. Research indicates parental stress may increase the risk of children developing asthma.

Diabetes
Stress increases the likelihood of unhealthy behaviours, such as excessive eating, alcohol abuse and lack of exercise. Stress also raises blood sugar and prevents the release of insulin in those with type 2 diabetes.

Gastrointestinal Problems
Heartburn, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Stomach Ulcers can all be caused by too much stress. Stress can even disrupt the micro flora balance in the gut, which is crucial to immune and gastrointestinal health.

Accelerated Aging
Oxidative stress and inflammation, the result of long term chronic stress, accelerate the aging process by shortening telomeres, the protective end caps of DNA strands. As telomeres become shorter, their structural integrity weakens, causing cells to age faster and die younger.

Insomnia
Stress raises levels of the hormone cortisol, which, if elevated in the evening, can contribute to frequent waking and poor sleep quality. Poor sleep decreases the ability to cope with stress during the day, leading to a vicious cycle of compromised sleep.

Burnout
Chronic stress contributes to imbalances of the stress hormones cortisol and DHEA. Imbalances in these hormones can contribute to fatigue, reduced mental clarity and compromised health.

 

At Papillon we want to help you live your best life possible. We preach the importance of taking care of your whole self: mind, body and soul.

The good news is several lifestyle modifications and natural solutions are available to help you regain control and reverse the effects of stress. It is a relief to know that chronic stress does not have to be a part of your daily life. Our doctors will work with you to help identify key triggers and symptoms in your life. We may begin by testing levels of your body’s stress hormones, cortisol and DHEA in order to identify how your body adapts to stress. Then following an assessment of your specific needs, a comprehensive program will be developed to help you recover. The ARK stress recovery program may include nutrition, supplements, exercise, sleep and tools all to work together to reduce your stress.

We want to hear and understand your story and become a part of your journey to your best self. Our functional medicine doctors cant wait to meet you.

 

Are Food Sensitivities Just a Trend?

As a Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant, I hear a lot of questions, and a lot of doubt, about food sensitivities. It seems as though so many people have become more and more sensitive to new foods over the past decade, but along with the increase in awareness comes an increase in doubt over the validity of the issue. Many people see this concern as trendy, as something that has been created by those in the natural health world in order to profit on allergen-free products. There is definitely more to it than that, but there needs to be more conversation around the topic in order to fully understand it.

One of the most common questions that I get is “What is a food sensitivity?” Or, “What is the difference between a sensitivity, an intolerance, and an allergy?”. If you have an allergy to a certain food, your immune system will produce what is called IgE antibodies. If you are exposed to that food, your body will go through an immediate immune response, which can be very dangerous and even life-threatening in some situations. An intolerance or a sensitivity, on the other hand, can show up as delayed reactions. The reason behind these reactions can vary; sensitivities can be caused by an underlying issue in the gut, like intestinal permeability or a bacterial imbalance, for example. In this scenario, your body will produce IgG antibodies, which can result in a reaction up to 3 days after ingesting the food. An intolerance can also be the result of insufficient enzyme production, such as lactose intolerance, which stems from the absence of lactase (the enzyme responsible for breaking down and digesting lactose). The delayed reactions and the variety of possible causes of the reaction make a food sensitivity or intolerance very difficult to narrow down.

So why are these issues suddenly so common? There is not one cause that we can apply to everyone that is affected, but there are some common contributing factors that many of us are exposed to. First of all, there are many ingredients and types of foods that are widely used in the production of processed foods. For those of us who eat a diet rich in pre-made and processed items, we are continuously exposed to foods like corn, soy, dairy, and canola without even realizing it. Many of us are also nutrient-deficient due to a heavily processed diet, which can alter the body’s ability to function optimally. We are also under more stress than ever before, and this, combined with other factors like a sedentary lifestyle, can contribute to inflammation in the body and damage to our digestive systems over time. As is the case with many health issues, food sensitivities are often an accumulation of small issues over long periods of time.

With the rise in popularity of sensitivity-free food options, it has become much more common for many of us to cut certain foods out of our diet. But should we all be gluten-free? Or dairy-free? Or *fill-in-the-blank*-free? Not necessarily. Identifying and eliminating food triggers can be very beneficial when it comes to dealing with symptoms like digestive issues, brain fog, headaches, anxiety, and many others, but it is not necessarily a long-term solution. As I previously mentioned, food sensitivities are commonly a symptom, not necessarily the root cause. By addressing the root cause, it is quite common for trigger foods to be re-introduced back into the diet after a period of time with no issues.

It is not enough to make the assumption that foods should be removed from the diet, because we’ve heard that they’re a common allergen. If a sensitivity or intolerance is suspected, it is often best to go through a process called an elimination diet in order to see how the body reacts once that food is removed. After that process is complete, it’s important to remove the burden from the immune system by avoiding any trigger foods for a period of time and to continue with gut healing measures in order to work towards a point where your body is no longer reactive and can handle those “problem” foods.

In the meantime, there are also supplements that can assist the body in properly digesting and absorbing the food that we eat, which can cut back on some of the reactions associated with a sensitivity. Two products that I would recommend would be probiotics and digestive enzymes. Probiotics can help to restore the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut, which assists in digestion and helps to boost the immune system. Digestive enzymes can be extremely helpful if it is an intolerance that you are dealing with, as this is often due to your body’s inability to produce specific enzymes. Taking a digestive enzyme with your meal can drastically reduce digestive symptoms like bloating, gas, and acid reflux.

In conclusion, food sensitivities are not just a trend, but they’re not necessarily a life sentence either. Targeting the root cause of a food sensitivity is the best way to get your body back into balance, and back to a place of food freedom.

 

By Jen Ruel

Food with Purpose Event

The Event

At Papillon, we believe that looking and feeling your absolute best begins with what you put into your body. Have you ever started your path to wellness and healthy eating, but felt overwhelmed and short for time? We are here to help you learn how to nourish yourself and those you care for. By cutting diet and nutrition info overload and by offering practical skills in the kitchen, you will be educated, inspired and empowered to create vibrant, everyday meals.

We have teamed up with the best of the best to bring you an event the first of its kind in Calgary. Functional Medicine Doctor Stella Jansen van Rensburg, Red Seal Chef Michael Christen and Nutritional Consultant Jen Ruel collaborated on a menu and program that focusses on foods that can be prepared quickly, taste yummy and will have us glowing from within. We are so excited to share our passion with you. This event will arm you with confidence, knowledge and of course a full tummy.

The night will start with some mingling, browsing, wine sipping and introductions with our functional medicine doctor Dr. Stella Jansen van Rensburg and holistic nutritionist Jen. We are then seated for an interactive cooking demonstration with Chef Michael. We will learn all about efficient shopping lists, the clean 15, the dirty dozen, sexy fibre, how to cook once and eat twice, then finally some prep skills.  Next up our dinner full of nutritional goodness will be served. Enjoy good company while Jen, Stella and Michael answer questions, provide assurance and get to know you too.

We finish off the night with one last browse through the shopping selection, our door prize draw and you will not leave empty handed either. We have rounded up a gift bag full of goodies, recipes and shopping lists so you leave feeling confident to do this on your own.

The Venue

We found the perfect venue in The Loft, by Amanda Hamilton. The space offers an intimate, modern yet beautiful background to the seminar. The Loft is a mixed-use space that provides the opportunity to inspire education, encourage exploration and create a sense of community. We can kick back with a glass of wine on the couch, all while taking in all the valuable information the seminar has to offer. Not to mention, most all of the décor is for sale and is absolutely gorgeous.

 

 

The Tickets

This one of a kind event will sell out quickly and we kept the tickets limited to keep the evening intimate. Tickets are $70 and will cover your food, wine, gift bag and nutrition seminar.

The Facilitators

Dr. Stella Jansen van Rensburg is the Founder and CEO of Papillon Medical. She graduated with her Bachelor Degree of Medicine and Surgery from the University of Pretoria, South Africa in 2001. Her practice consists largely of Preventative and Regenerative medicine. She believes that you can look and feel your best at any age. Her drive for educating clients to gain control of their health and wellbeing, and being an active part of their journey to optimal vitality makes her practice exciting and unique.

Michael is a Certified Health Coach and a classically trained Red Seal Chef who has spent his cooking career both in North America and in Europe. His vision now is to educate people on how to live a better quality of life through food choices. This inspired him to complete his schooling to become a Certified Holistic Nutritionist at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. You can also find him on local television, teaching in schools, doing demos at the Farmers Market and doing custom classes in clients homes.

Jen Ruel completed the Natural Nutrition Diploma program at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in Calgary, Alberta, where she graduated as a Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant™. Afterwards, she carried on to complete the Professional Plant-Based Certification course through Rouxbe culinary school. She believes that it is never too late to make a change. Small, sustainable, and consistent changes can equal huge benefits. Many people know that they aren’t feeling their best, but aren’t sure how to change or where to start. Jen has been there, she gets it, and now she’s here to help.

The How

We cant wait to see you there.

 

Click here to register online

 

 

Bone Broth

With cold and flu season in full swing, many of us at Papillon turn to home remedies to kick that cold to the curb. I have memories of my mom making homemade chicken noodle soup when that first chill or throat tickle came on. Something about it is so comforting and it always made me feel better in the end. Well it seems like there is actually some science and truth behind the remedy, but not just for when we are sick. You see bone broth has risen in popularity lately for good reason.

Bone broth is primarily made from simmering animal bones in water with herbs and vegetables. It has been around for centuries and is a part of many cultural diets. But in the last few years, nutritionists and health food nuts have been promoting bone broth for its nutritional properties. It can be a relatively cheap, easy and low calorie way to get some essential nutrients. Now Im not talking rushing off to the grocery store to buy a pack of those little “stock” cubes you see in the soup aisle. Those are usually artificially produced just for flavour and are not necessarily even made from bones. I think the best broth comes from my slow cooker, some beef bones, apple cider vinegar, fresh herbs and some veggies. Essentially you are simmering the bones enough to allow the marrow to be cooked down and the minerals released. Also, if you are a vegetarian there are “Vege” versions of a broth similar to that of a bone one.

According to Charlotte Anderson and Shape magazine, here are a few reasons why you should be jumping on the bone broth train:

  • Its good for your gut – Bone broth has high levels of the amino acid glycine, which aids digestion by increasing production of stomach acid. Another amino acid found in bone broth, Glutamine helps keep the intestinal wall strong and healthy. A strong and healthy tummy prevents a number of autoimmune issues that can be set off by a leaky gut.
  • Protects your joints – Bone broth naturally contains glucosamine and other aliments that keep your joints happy, healthy and pain free.
  • Look younger – Bone broth is a great and plentiful source of collagen, which can help plump our skin, nails and hair. We have always said a glowing complexion starts from within.
  • Immune Support – Mark Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint, actually calls bone broth a “superfood” thanks to the high concentration of minerals. He says that the bone marrow can help strengthen your immune system (Andersen, 2014).
  • Stronger Bones – Minerals that keep our bones strong such as phosphorus, magnesium and calcium are plentiful in a well made broth.

This trend is not going anywhere and I encourage you to try it yourself with your favourite ingredients. At Papillon we believe, how you feel and look on the outside starts from the inside.

You can drink the broth, use it in your spaghetti sauce or even cook your quinoa with it. If you are short on time, I enjoy the brand Bo and Marrow which can be picked up at Blush Lane Market locally.

Or here is a recipe from Hemsley and Hemsley that looks yummy. Bottoms up

Hemsley and Hemsley Bone Broth

Ingredients

Serves 3–4 litres depending on your pan size

  • 2–3 kg beef bones, chicken carcasses, lamb bones
  • 2 handfuls of any onions, leeks, carrots or celery ends
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • A few dried bay leaves

Optional

  • A big splash of apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice (this can help to extract the minerals from the meat bones)

Directions

  1. Place the bones and any additional ingredients into a large stainless steel cooking pot and cover with cold water. The water level should cover the bones by 5 cm whilst still leaving room at the top of the pan.
  2. Cover with a lid and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, lid on, for at least 6 hours for chicken and 12 for beef or lamb, skimming off any foam that rises to the top. The longer the bones simmer, the more nutrients are released. We like to boil the chicken carcass for up to 12 hours until the bones begin to crumble and keep beef bones going for 24 hours until they look as if they were washed up on a beach.
  3. Fresh chicken carcasses from the butcher usually have a fair amount of meat on them. We tend to poach the carcasses for 20 minutes, then pull off the meat (and save it for another meal like a chicken salad or chicken pho) before returning the carcasses to the pot and continuing to simmer to make broth.
  4. Strain the liquid, using a fine mesh strainer for poultry. Use immediately or leave to cool before storing (preferably in glass/ceramic rather than plastic). Bone broth will keep in the fridge for several days or up to a week if you leave it undisturbed, as a layer of fat will form on the surface and keep it sealed from the air.

Notes:

You can also make Bone Broth using a slow-cooker. Just turn to high and cook for 12 hours or more.

Broth will happily keep in the fridge for up to a week. Divide your batch between 2 containers. This will allow you to use up one jar over the first few days while the second forms a fat layer which will keep it good for the second half of the week.

Beef Bones produce a lot of nutritious fat – (skim some of it and save it for roasting vegetables). Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to three days or freeze the stock in a glass container.

References

-Andersen, Charlotte Hilton. “8 Reasons to Try Bone Broth.” Shape Magazine. N.p., 2014. Web. 19 Oct. 2016.

-“Bone Broth – HEMSLEY HEMSLEY – Healthy Food and Living.” HEMSLEY HEMSLEY Healthy Food and Living. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Oct. 2016.

-Image from www.hemsleyandhemsley.com

Glowing Skin and Dairy

Happy Monday beauties, we hope you enjoy our new site as much as we do. As a dermatology clinic that works with functional medicine, we believe that we need to work together with our diets to get that beautiful glow from within. So many people spend a lot of time and money on what they put on their skin, but maybe we should all start thinking more about what we put into our body as well.

For example, is acne troubling you? Milk products might not be doing your skin any favours. Some experts (including the American Academy of Dermatology) believe there is a connection between milk products and clear, glowing skin. In short, the correlation seems to be related with the hormone levels in dairy that leads to inflammation, aging and acne.

As someone who loves herself a good latte, this is a tough one for me. But after some research and taste trials, there are still lots of yummy dairy free alternatives. So my fellow latte lovers, don’t fret you can still enjoy your daily cup of heaven with the alternatives suggested below. Just make sure you are getting enough calcium and vitamin D elsewhere in your diet.

Here are a few dairy alternatives our nutritionist loves:

Milk Alternatives-

  • Nut or seed milks
    • Almond, cashew, hemp, or sunflower milks are common. If you are making them at home you can make them from any nut variety you choose!
    • If you buy this from the store make sure to buy the unsweetened variety.
  • Coconut milk
  • Full-fat (canned) coconut milk is a great alternative for coffee creamer. Buy the canned coconut milk, and blend it up to mix the separated parts. Then store in the fridge!
  • Avoid soymilk. It is extremely contaminated with chemicals and pesticides from the way it is manufactured. It has the ability to disrupt your endocrine system as well with mega doses of chemical estrogens.

Yogurt Alternatives-

  • Coconut milk (from a can)
    • Throw it in a blender for a few seconds to make it frothy.
    • Put can in the fridge and the cream will thicken.
  • Homemade nut milk can be made thicker by adding less water to be added to granolas for extra texture.
  • Coconut yogurt can be bought from health food stores.
    • Purchase the unsweetened kind.
    • If you need, sweeten it yourself with a small amount of honey, or fruit topped on it.
  • Making a Chia / Oat pudding can act as a great yogurt replacement.

Cheese Alternatives-

  • If it is not an allergy:
    • Goat cheese is a better option
    • Unpasteurized raw cheese
  • If it is an allergy or elimination
    • Try Cashew cheese – Great brands are: Kite hill, Spread-em, Myokos
  • Nutritional yeast can be used in sauces to get a “cheesy” flavour.
  • Check out “This Cheese is Nuts” Recipe Book
  • Parmesan Cheese – blend sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds + nutritional yeast.
  • Blended cashews or avocados into “pasta” sauce to give it a creamy texture.
  • Mac and Cheese: Butternut squash and rosemary and coconut milk as a sauce.

Examples of what to switch to in snacks

  • Cheese and crackers: avocado or nut butter smashed onto whole grain crackers.
  • Vegetables sticks with turmeric or babaganoosh (eggplant) dip .
  • Cheese in salads: try adding nuts, seeds, and tahini garlic olive oil dressings for increased flavour! These flavours and fats will satisfy what you’re looking for. Or add some cashew cheese!
  • Cream cheese spreads: use tahini or hummus instead. Or check out the recipe book above, or brands suggested.
  • Add flavour in new ways with hummus spreads, sprouts or pesto.