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Catherine’s 4-Step Bone Broth Recipe

Happy National Soup Month!

In honour of National Soup Month, I am excited to share my bone broth recipe with you!

Bone broth is an incredibly nourishing substance and can be used as a base to enrich your soups with both a lovely punch of micronutrients and flavour, as a super nutritious elixir, or to add in small amounts to all of your meals.  

The Benefits of Bone Broth

Bone broth is highly concentrated with nutrients such as collagen, gelatin, glycosaminoglycans, glycine, proline and glutamine.  This means that it is beneficial for skin health, metabolic health, cardiovascular health, muscles, bones, joints, gut health, digestion, eye health, brain health, moods, sleep and immune function.  As you can see, bone broth has an incredible wealth of benefits for your body to feast upon!

The use of bone broth also has a rich history within the practices of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).  The ancient physicians saw it as such a potent medicinal that they claimed that it bolsters a person’s basic constitution.  They also found that it helps to strengthen a person’s digestion, brain health, bones, joints and immune function. It is always fascinating when modern medicine echoes the wisdom of ages past!

The Four-Step Recipe

Here is my simple chicken bone broth recipe boiled down into 4 easy steps:

Step one

Take 2 chicken carcasses with the chicken stripped off and place in a pot. Sometimes I purchase more chicken bones from the local butcher to make a bigger batch. Cover the bones with cold water and add a generous splash of apple cider vinegar. This helps to extract the nutrients from the bone. Soak for 1ish hour.

Step two

Simmer bones for 12-48 hours in the same water you soaked them in. After the bones have simmered for about 10ish hours, pull the bones out and cut them into small pieces to unleash the marrow. Usually I simmer the bones until the odours released are tantalizingly delicious, and use that as my gauge for when it is complete. Generally, I simmer them for 20-40 hours, although some people simmer them for up to a week, so it is really up to you!

Step three

Strain all of the excess material out of the broth and transfer the hot broth in the pot directly into the fridge. This helps it form into a jelly. Once it is cold it is easy to scoop the excess fat off of the top.

Step four

Voila!! You now have a beautiful batch of chicken bone broth to drink as a snack or to cook soups with! Enjoy!

Feel free to substitute turkey bones instead of chicken bones.  The only difference is that you will need to boil it for a little longer in order to soften the bones to crack them open.  

Have you made lots of bone broth? Do you make it differently?

For more nutritional tidbits and recipes, follow us on Instagram @wholefamilyhlth for our Foodie Fridays Posts

Contact Us now to book your free 15-minute phone Q&A with one of our natural health experts.

How To Stop Our Horse-Powered Minds

What To Do How To Be In The New Year

The new year brings opportunity for beginning anew. It’s a returning, where ending meets beginning and we have a chance to take inventory on what has come to pass. We can examine what has worked and what has not worked. We can reflect on what we wish to thank and bid adieu to. We can recognize what seeds we wish to plant and grow in the coming year.

It’s a time for resolutions and setting intentions. In the past, I’ve made resolutions to read more, do more yoga, ride my bike to work, go to bed early, stop eating gluten, floss every day, and the list goes on… I have had some success, but I’ve also put a lot of pressure on myself with these long lists of expectations…

This year I am going to keep it more simple. The last thing I need is one more thing to do. So I am going to try to remember to be.

Where Are We Going Going Going in Such A Hurry?

It happens more often than I would like. When I find myself hurrying into a room and suddenly wondering, “Wait, why did I come in here?”

There is an ancient Eastern story about a person on a horse. The horse is galloping speedily and it appears that the person is on their way somewhere important. As they pass another person standing on the side of the road, this bystander asks, “Where are you going in such a hurry?”  And the person on horseback replies, “I don’t know! Ask the horse!”

Mindfulness meditation teachers explain that this is like many of us. We are going, going, going, we don’t know where we are going, and we can’t stop.

The horse is our habit energy, pulling us along and we are powerless. We keep going and running and struggling and it has become a habit.

Stop The Horse:

1.    Stop to breathe

They don’t call it horsepower for nothing. The horse, our habit energy is strong. Its running is part of our primitive brain’s functioning and has been critical for survival as we have evolved. The threat of danger is different now though. It’s no longer a sabre-toothed tiger, but our day to day social and financial stressors.

Our breath is an anchor: an autonomic bodily function that is always happening, whether we are aware of it or not. When we are attentive to our breathing, our mind is reunited with our body. At the same time, we are also flexing our brain’s muscle for concentration and higher cognitive thinking. It’s the part of our brain that can take control of the reins, to calm and to stop the horse.

Imagine walking around with a dumbbell all day and flexing the bicep whenever remembering to do so. That bicep, over time would build, becoming strong and ready to support and stabilize us in the midst of any adverse event.

The pre-frontal cortex is the same. Breath awareness actually makes this part of the brain grow bigger, giving us the ability to maintain self-regulation and control in the face of strong habit energies and emotions. It allows us to tame the horse.

2.    Stop to calm


Once we have practiced with stopping to breathe, we can practice with stopping to calm our body and our emotions. It is impossible to calm down without stopping first.

When our horse is spooked and caught in an emotional storm, it cannot see clearly and it can kick, trample, and hurt itself or those around it. Similarly, when we are having a strong emotion, we lack the clarity that we need to stop ourselves from making rash decisions or taking action that we later regret.

When our ability to stop and breathe is strong, we are able to stop and calm ourselves as we practice recognizing and accepting our strong emotions. It’s not about denying these difficult emotions, it’s about making space to calmly accept and be with what is coming up for us in the moment.

When we are calm enough, we are also able to look deeply into the roots of these difficult emotions and understand what has brought them about, rather than be carried away by them.  More often than not, the strong feelings are a function of how we are perceiving things.

When we have the space to look deeply at all of the various causes and conditions leading to our difficult emotions, we are able to view the situation from more perspectives. This allows us to have the insight to know what we can do or stop doing in order to move through the difficult situation.

When we are able to stop and calm the horse, there is increased capacity to view the landscape to better lead and direct the horse.

3.    Stop to rest


After calming ourselves and the horse, we must take rest. Calming allows us to rest, which is a precondition for healing. When animals are wounded, they find a place to lie down and rest, sometimes staying there for days.

When our minds or bodies are wounded, we tend to want to make the issue go away. Our habit energy is to resist uncomfortable situations.

We must practice to rest in order to allow our bodies and minds to be with and heal these wounds. Resting and healing is not something that we ‘do’. We tend to want to attain, so when we want to rest, we might go on vacation perhaps to the beach or to the mountains. But sometimes we return from holidays more tired!

Taking rest is to stop doing and to be. It shouldn’t be a struggle or an attainment, nor should it be tiring. Our bodies and minds have the innate capacity to heal themselves, so when we stop, calm and rest, we are making space for our bodies to take good care of our wounds.

4.    Stop to internalize the positive


Our minds are made up of our experiences. The flow of our experience shapes our brain, our mind and who we are.

Unfortunately, our brains have a negative bias. The brain has evolved to preferentially scan for unpleasant threatening experiences, because it helps to protect and preserve us from danger.

What this means is that even if our positive experiences outnumber our negative ones, our negative memories pile up faster.

The remedy? Well it isn’t to suppress or even avoid negative experiences, but to pay extra attention to positive ones.

If we stop and take a moment to be really present with our pleasant experiences, they get integrated into our implicit memory and become a permanent part of who we are.

How To Cultivate The Positive

First.

Don’t let the good stuff go unnoticed. Look for it – kindness, wonder, something beautiful or gratifying, a pleasant sensation, whatever it may be … open up to it and take it in.

Second.

I mean really take it in and savour the experience, focussing on your emotions and body sensations.

Dwell in the experience for at least 5-20 seconds. The longer it is held in your awareness, the more emotionally stimulating it is, the more neurons will fire and wire together, creating a stronger memory.

Third.

Imagine the experience sinking deeply into your mind and body, like the warmth of the sun.

Stop, breathe, calm, rest and relax your body so that the experience can be absorbed and integrated in the form of emotions, sensations and thoughts.

Stop And Be And Take It In

I have enough things to do on my list already!

So basically, my New Year’s aspiration is to invite moments of remembering to Stop and Be.

An act of non-action.

They don’t have to be big moments. They can be small and simple everyday moments. A flutter in a breeze, the warmth and aroma of my tea, the sound of someone’s laughter…

Stopping to take a breath, to invite calm and rest and to internalize the nourishing stuff that is around and available to me in every moment.

To take in life’s beauty and wonder and to make room for it to grow in me.

What are some of life’s beautiful experiences that have touched you and that you have welcomed to become a part of yourself?

Book in for a free 15-minute phone Q&A to learn more about how we can help you with stress and your racing mind.

The Wonders of Black Garlic

Did you know that black garlic is regular white garlic that has been fermented?

If you have never tried black garlic, then you should definitely add this to your list of foods to try! It has a sweet flavor compared to regular garlic and has 1/3 of the odor!

The truly amazing thing is that the fermentation process decreases the smelliness of garlic and helps to increase its natural antioxidant properties 10 fold!

Health Benefits of Black Garlic

  • Antioxidant support: it is loaded with antioxidants which help to prevent cancer, heart disease, cell damage (including egg and sperm damage)
  • Cardiovascular support: decreases blood pressure because it relaxes blood vessels 
  • Gut health: Fermented foods are probiotics which keep the gut healthy & happy 
  • Mental health:  because of the brain-gut axis, a healthy gut means a happy mind
  • Immune support: wards off colds and flu 
  • Liver Health: prevents fatty deposits on the liver, supports liver function and metabolism capabilities 

I hope you give this super delicious and nutritious ingredient a whirl! You won’t regret it. 

Check out Chef Blair’s recipe from our Men’s Mindful Eating Cooking Class with RGE RD – it includes a black garlic coulis!

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The Benefits of Lymphatic Drainage Therapy

Since winter is upon us, it would seem that it’s a great time for massage.

Did you know that we have lymphatic drainage specialists on our team?

What is the Lymph System?

The lymph system is part of our immune system. It is made up of a vast network of tissues and organs that carries infection-fighting fluid and cells throughout the body. It helps the body to filter and eliminate toxins and waste.

What is Lymphatic Drainage Massage?

Lymphatic drainage massage is a gentle form of massage that supports the body’s fluid balance, blood circulation and immune system. The lymph system helps to filter out waste from the body.

Lymphatic massage involves a light rhythmic series of movements to stimulate the lymphatic system to allow the lymph to move easily through the tissues and lymph nodes.

Lymphatic Drainage for Detox and Immunity

Lymphatic drainage is a great way to restart the lymph system.

Our massage therapists can also add basil, thyme and oregano essential oils to your treatment to further support the immune system.

Lymphatic Drainage for Injuries

Lymphatic drainage also helps to decrease congestion and pain to injured areas, which helps to also decrease pain and promote healing.

Lymphatic Drainage for Pregnancy & Postpartum

Lymphatic drainage is helpful for water retention and swelling, which can particularly be an issue in the legs and feet during pregnancy. It can also be helpful for blocked ducts and sore tight breasts in nursing moms.

Lymphatic Drainage for the Skin

Lymphatic drainage can also help to reduce skin puffiness, for example around the eyes as well as fine lines on the face. It’s great for brightening and smoothing the complexion in general!

Lymphatic Drainage for Support with Serious or Chronic Illness

Lymphatic therapy has also been shown to help with illnesses such as breast cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.

Contact us for a free 15-minute phone consult or to book an appointment.

WFH on Global TV

We are floored by Edmonton’s response to the Mindful Eating for Men Cooking Class that we will be co-hosting on Dec. 1st with Chef Blair Lebsack from Edmonton’s popular farm-to-table restaurant RGE RD.

Check out yesterday’s conversation with Kent Morrison from Global:

https://globalnews.ca/video/6215189/mindful-eating-for-mens-health

First of all, men’s health is a topic dear to us. Because we specialize in reproductive health, we come across a lot of interesting data. Canadian men die on average 6 years earlier than women, and research shows that sperm counts have decreased by 50-60% in the last 40 years. This rate of decline is steady and research also tells us that sperm are a biomarker of overall health.

So because none of us women at Whole Family Health can grow a moustache, we wanted to create our own ‘Mo’ment’ in honour of Movember. We also know the way to any person’s heart is through their belly – so we teamed up with RGE RD and our Mindful Eating for Men Cooking Class was born!

It has been a delight teaming up with RGE RD to talk about and to plan this event. Together, we have sparked so many delicious conversations about bringing awareness into our relationship with food and cultivating connection with our food.

We’ve been exploring the benefits of knowing and appreciating where our food comes from, what has gone into bringing it onto our plates, how to intentionally prepare it and then how to really really savour it.

So although we love looking at the research to inform us WHAT foods to incorporate and eliminate for disease prevention, we also want to empower everyone to think about WHY we’re eating, HOW we’re eating, WHEN we’re eating and WHERE we’re eating.

Basically this all translates into enjoying our food, rather then restricting our food.

Eating mindfully also involves savouring our food and being present with it through all of our senses – textures, flavours, smells, visual beauty and even sounds! Research shows that avoiding distraction increases the body’s absorptive capacity.

We have had the delight and honour of engaging with numerous media outlets on the topic this month.

Check out yesterday’s conversation with Kent Morrison from Global:

https://globalnews.ca/video/6215189/mindful-eating-for-mens-health

Antioxidants For Men

Men! Let’s have a real conversation about your diet. This should not induce stress, and if it does… Then good! This means you know you can do better! Let’s talk about antioxidants in relation to your diet.  

What Exactly Are Antioxidants? 

We hear this buzz word used constantly, but do we actually understand the science of it?

An antioxidant is a molecule that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that can produce free radicals, which leads to chain reactions that damage cells. In short, antioxidants prevent cellular damage.

When our bodies can’t keep up with the number of free radicals that are accumulating, it enters a state of oxidative stress. Over time, this can cause a lot of harm and eventually lead to things like cancer, heart disease, cataracts and even autoimmune disorders.(1) Some Factors that can contribute to oxidation include, stress, smoking, alcohol, pollution and poor diet.

What Can We Do To Combat Oxidative Stress?

Well for starters we can eat more antioxidant foods that will kick butt against free radicals. They say to eat the rainbow, because the phytochemicals that are responsible for the pigmentation in colourful plants are also highly antioxidant. Some examples of foods high in antioxidants include: (2)

  1. Tomatoes
  2. Green Tea
  3. Blueberries
  4. Dark Chocolate
  5. Artichokes
  6. Raspberries
  7. Kale
  8. Beans
  9. Beets
  10. Goji Berries

The Tomato & Its Super-Antioxidant Powers

I love Italian Cuisine and want to touch more on tomatoes. They are versatile, they have amazing flavour and they have the potential to help prevent cancer.

Tomatoes are part of the carotenoid family and contain lycopene, which is what gives the tomato its red pigmentation. Research shows that this colour molecule is what also gives the tomato its cancer fighting properties.

Tomatoes are specifically beneficial for addressing prostate cancer (3) and recent reviews correlate 9-21mg/day of lycopene to a 9% increase in prostate cancer prevention.(5) Another recent study links high levels of beta carotene in tomatoes with tumor supressing effects in prostate cancer.(4)

What more incentive to include these juicy red balls of joy into your life?

It’s empowering to think that we can have a direct affect on our bodies and boost our bodies’ abilities to fight diseases like cancer. Although more and more research is always needed, it’s definitely exciting that current studies are finding positive results with this red fruit. Tomatoes are very accessible and easy to incorporate into salads and sauces.

Empower Yourself with Colourful Veggies

The take home here is that we want to include antioxidant rich foods. I have outlined the tomato, but variety is the spice of life to your health. Remember to eat the rainbow, as all colourful vegetables are highly antioxidant.

November is Men’s health awareness month. The more we continue to talk about cancer, diabetes, infertility, depression and other common men’s health diseases, the more awareness we bring to these issues and the more we can advocate for their prevention.

We can positively lower our risk of disease through increasing our intake of antioxidant foods. So eat your tomats and talk to your peeps. Keep eating all those healthy colourful antioxidants!

Join us for our Mindful Eating for Men Cooking Class on Dec 1st with Chef Blair Lebsack from RGE RD. All proceeds go to Movember!

Check out our Events Page for more info or Call to Register today.

  1. Pham-Huy LA1, He H, Pham-Huy C, 2008 Jun;4(2):89-96, Int J Biomed Sci. Free Radicals, antioxidants in disease and health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23675073
  2. Monica H Carlsen, et al. 2010; 9: 3. Published online 2010 Jan 22. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-9-3.The total antioxidant content of more than 3100 foods, beverages, spices, herbs and supplements used worldwide. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2841576/
  3. Graff RE et al. 2016 Mar;103(3):851-60. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.115.118703. Epub 2016 Jan 27.Dietary lycopene intake and risk of prostate cancer defined by ERG protein expression. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26817504
  4. Gong X1 et al. 2016 Oct;14(10):966-975. Epub 2016 Jul 12.Mitochondrial β-Carotene 9′,10′ Oxygenase Modulates Prostate Cancer Growth via NF-κB Inhibition: A Lycopene-Independent Function. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27406826
  5. Chen P, et al. 2015, Medicine Baltimore. Lycopene and risk of Prostate Cancer: A Systemic Review and Meta- Analysis. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26287411

Mindful Eating Tips

Practicing Mindful Eating can be intimidating so you can start simple. It’s a practice, and sounds relatively easy but can certainly prove to be more of a challenge. It could be as simple as stopping to enjoy a cup of your favourite tea or even just the first few sips of it, and the effects of slowing down for no matter how short a period of time helps to cultivate a healthy practice of self awareness.  

Mindful Eating Tips

  1. Simply eat. Avoid multi-tasking while you’re eating.
  2. Chew thoroughly. Make sure each bite is well-chewed before swallowing it. Aim for 25-30 bites.
  3. Find a quiet and relaxing spot. Maybe even consider eating in silence, even if it’s just for the first 2 minutes of your meal.
  4. Routine. Set a particular time aside each week to truly savour a few sips or bites, or a favourite beverage or meal.

Canada’s Food Guide also offers the following Mindful eating habits:

Think about the last meal or snack that you had. Can you describe:

How you ate?
            Did you eat slowly?
            Were you distracted?
            Did you eat with others?

Why you ate?
            Were you hungry?
            Was it offered to you?

What you ate?
            What food and drink did you have?

When you ate?
            What time was it?
            How long had it been since the last you ate?

Where you ate?
            Were you in a space meant for eating?

How much you ate?
            How much food and drink did you have?

In support of Men’s health during the month of Movember, we are co-hosting an event with Chef Blair Lebsack, owner of Edmonton’s popular restaurant Rge Rd. Come and join us in learning how to make a mindful meal that is healthy and easy to prepare.

Check out our events page for more info.

Call to register 780-756-7736

Space is limited!

WFH on 630CHED: Mindful Men’s Health!

Last Wednesday morning I had the delight to speak with Chelsea Bird & Shaye Ganam on 630 CHED about our Mindful Eating for Men event coming up on December 1st.  We are SO excited to be teaming up with Range Road to bring this cooking class to Edmonton men, with all proceeds being donated to Movember. 

Did you know that men tend to be in worse health than women?  In honour of Movember we are campaigning to bring awareness to this gender health gap and teach local men how easy it is to prevent illness through the act of Mindful eating.

Please tune in below to listen to our interview with Chef Blair from Range Road as we discuss mindful eating, the nutritive and flavourful benefits of fresh and local ingredients, as well as the event we are pleased to be cohosting on December 1st!



Foods To Improve Mental Health

Mental Health is a Men’s Health Issue

During Movember, discussions are typically focused on cancer and physical well being, but did you know that there is also a mental health component?Raising awareness about men’s mental health is just as important.

According to the Canadian government (1) men are 3 times more likely to commit suicide compared to women, as well as less likely to report depression or anxiety. 

I get it, mental health issues can be hard to talk about. Coming from my own personal experience, sometimes I feel like I am lesser of a person if I admit that I’m having a mental health problem. However, I have learned that there is a certain kind of strength that comes from owning my issues. Which enables me to take better control, ask for help and even make necessary changes, like eating right.


The Gut-Brain Axis

One of the most interesting things I have learned in relation to mental health is that what we put into our bodies really does affect our mental well being.

This is because research is uncovering a correlation between gut health and mental health.  Evidence shows that the communication between the brain and the gut is mediated by the gut-brain axis, which entails the enteric and central nervous systems.

Clinical findings are showing a strong correlation between inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and the disruption of balance to its healthy microbiome. This imbalance in turn leads to symptoms of disease throughout the body and the mind (2). 

It’s difficult to determine whether it’s stress that causes this disruption or if the disruption causes the stress, anxiety and/ or depression. But we do know that poor diet disrupts the GI’s microbiome. 

The good news is that there are foods that contain probiotics and prebiotics that help keep our GI tract happy and healthy, which in turn helps keep our minds happy and healthy as well!

Probiotics

Probiotics are the beneficial live bacteria that are naturally created in the process of food fermentation. They aid in digestion, immunity, and the stomach’s production of serotonin.

Probiotic Food Sources

  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Sauerkraut
  • Tempeh
  • Kimchi
  • Miso
  • Kombucha
  • Pickles
  • Traditional buttermilk

Prebiotics

Prebiotics are indigestible fibres from plants that ferment in the GI tract, where they help feed and proliferate probiotics. They increase the body’s ability to absorb minerals, strengthen the immune system and improve bowel regularity.

Prebiotic Food Sources

  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • Asparagus
  • Bananas
  • Barley
  • Oats
  • Apples
  • Seaweed
  • Flaxseeds
  • Dandelion greens 
  • Artichokes 

Asking for help

As I stated before, it is also important to ask for help if you are suffering from mental health issues. Break the stigma by speaking to partners, family or close friends about what you are going through.  The people in your life are there because they care. That said, if you are not comfortable with that, that’s ok too.

I urge you to then at least find a psychologist that you are willing to speak to. It is especially important to seek help if you are having suicidal thoughts by contacting crisis support. They truly are there to help in times of need. 

We are teaming up with Chef Blair from popular Edmonton Restaurant RGE RD to create a Movember ‘Mo-ment’. Join us for a Mindful Eating for Men Cooking Class at Rge Rd. All proceeds go to Movember.

Check our Events page or call 780-756-7736 today to register.
Space is Limited!

References

  1. Government of Canada. Suicide in Canada: Key Statistics (Infographic). August 1, 2019. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/healthy-living/suicide-canada-key-statistics-infographic.html
  1. Mayer EA, Knight R, Mazmanian SK, Cryan JF, Tillisch K. Symposium: Gut Microbes and the Brain. The Journal of Neuroscience. November 12, 2014;34(46):1549015496. http://www.jneurosci.org/content/jneuro/34/46/15490.full.pdf

Join our ‘Mo-vement’ with RGE RD!

We are teaming up with Blair Lebsack, owner of popular Edmonton restaurant RGE RD, to show men how easy it can be to improve their health through mindful eating!

Research shows there is a worldwide gender health gap. Men tend to be in worse health than women. Education and prevention strategies are vital in tackling men’s health issues including prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health/suicide prevention.

Chef Lebsack and Whole Family Health will be teaching local men just how easy it is to prevent illness through the act of mindful eating. We will co-host a men’s health food event on Dec. 1 to mark the end of Movember, where participants will learn a simple recipe and mindful eating tips in accordance with Canada’s new food guide to apply to the everyday choices they make about their food.

100% of ticket sales from the Mindful Eating event will also be donated to Movember. 

Look our for our series of “Mindful Eating for Men’s Health” blog posts that we will share throughout the month.

EVENT DETAILS:

Location:
RGE RD
10643 123 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5N 1P2
Date:
Sunday, Dec 1st  4-6pm
Cost: $50
all proceeds go to Movember

To Register Call 780-756-7736
Space is limited!

Ticket price includes an appy, a cooking class demo by Chef Blair, a taste of the mindful meal, tasty beverages and the recipe. Our team will explain the health benefits.



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