May
05

Did you know that May 6th is World AS Day? I will admit that I didn’t know but I’m glad that it was brought to my attention. True Story: I received an email about this important campaign right after an appointment I had with a massage therapist.

I’m hoping that this blog will help build awareness of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) during the month of May!

Lower back pain is a common health problem, often a result of everyday activities, such as sitting at a desk or lifting a heavy box. As a sales rep, I’m in my car a lot and have days where lower back pain is an issue.  Luckily for me, I’ve only been in mild discomfort. However chronic back pain lasting longer than three months could be a sign of a more serious condition.

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic inflammatory disease, and form of arthritis of the spine, affecting approximately 300,000 Canadians. AS occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy joints in the spine, causing stiffness and pain. While many associate arthritic conditions with old age, AS most commonly strikes people aged 15-40 – in the prime ages of their lives.

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I had the opportunity to interview Deborah Campbell who was a busy young mother and avid runner when she was diagnosed with AS at the age of 38. After being diagnosed with the debilitating condition, her mobility was so limited she was confined to a wheelchair for a time. Today, Deborah has found a way to control her disease through a combination of medication, nutrition and exercise. She continues to run and this summer, she’s entering the Canadian Death Race as a solo participant to raise awareness for AS.

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Question: How long did it take you to get properly diagnosed?

Answer: It took 3-4 months

Question: What type of doctors did you consult with during that diagnosis?

Answer:  I was very fortunate to have a General Practitioner who had a lot of knowledge in the area of Rheumatology. He sent me immediately to a rheumatologist, I was in to see her within a month. Had my MRI within 2 weeks.

Question: What type of advise would you like to offer to anyone with chronic back pain?

Answer: Get in to see a health care practitioner as soon as possible. Also, for me, I needed to keep stretching the best I could. Don’t get stuck in the mindset if I can’t do things. 

Question: Tell me how nutrition has helped you feel better?

Answer:  Nutrition has always been an important part of my life. I’ve been a runner for over 15 years. I know now what foods trigger flare ups. The better I fuel my body, the better my body responds to my physical activity and to my treatments.

Question: Do you also swim? I’ve heard swimming is great for people who suffer from lower back pain.

Answer:  No I don’t swim. It has been recommended to me time and time again. It would be a great training tool along side my running for sure. I have to tell you though, I don’t like public pools, and I don’t like being cold. It’s just one of my weird quirks. I will keep you posted once I make it to a pool. 

Question: Tell me more about the Canadian Death Race!

Answer: Ah, the Canadian Death Race. I have been wanting to do this event solo for over 14 years. It’s a 125 mountain adventure race that has over 17000 ft elevation gain. It’s held in Grand Cache, Alberta. You have 24 hours to finish. There are 3 cut off points along the course and 5 transition areas. It is a tough course. I’ve been fortunate enough to have already done 2 stages of this event as part of a relay team twice now. I’m doing it solo to bring awareness to AS, as well as to give a new definition to what someone can do with this disease . I’ve always said that I was going to define it, I didn’t want the disease to define me. I’m monitored by my doctors and they are excited to see how I do. I run because I can. I run for those who can.

It occurred to me as I write this blog post, that I personally know quite a few people who suffer from chronic back pain and I know it’s not been an easy road to recovery.

Here’s to May 6th and raising awareness about World AS Day.  If you’ve had back pain for more than three mhttp://www.standuptobackpain.caonths, it could be a sign of inflammatory back pain like AS. To learn more about AS, visit: www.standuptobackpain.ca. 

Disclosure: I was compensated for this blog post however all opinions are my own.

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Mar
27

A few weeks ago I received an email about a new clinic called West End Mamas. I clicked on the link and had one of those moments where I said to myself – “Wow! What a great idea”. I immediately replied that indeed I would be happy to blog about this clinic as I’m always excited to share creative and entrepreneurial initiatives!!

This clinic is founded by Dr. Sarah MickelerCanada’s leading expert on prenatal and postnatal chiropractic care. The mission of the clinic is to is to provide total wellness for motherhood. 

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When you click on the website (which I hope you do)…you will find that this clinic offers everything a new mama would need for total wellness. There’s a wide range of services being offered at West End Mamas. For example: Chiropractor Care, Acupuncture, homeopathy, registered massage therapy, nutrition and dietician counselling, naturopathic medicine, doula services, pelvic floor physiotherapy, lactation and postpartum support and more!!

I have no doubt that each and everyone of these health care professionals, were carefully selected!

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Two of their staff really intrigued me. The first is Allison Martineau, who believes in helping families cook and eat for health throughout the entire motherhood journey – something any parent knows can be a struggle, especially in those early days. I couldn’t help but think how valuable this would be for expectant moms trying to navigate a nauseous pregnancy while eating well!
The other is Tanya Smith. We hear a lot about reproductive health and technology these days, but not a lot about holistic solutions. Tanya is an acupuncturist and Chinese herbal medicine practitioner, with specialized training in supporting clients through their fertility treatment in partnership with a fertility clinic.

I also loved that this clinic offers child minding, lockers for your strollers, water in the waiting area, and a really easy to use website! Not to mention the location of this clinic is on the subway line.receptionIn their beautiful, light-filled 400 sq. ft. studio, they offer classes such as prenatal and postpartum yoga, childbirth preparation, breastfeeding and lactation support, and parenting skills such as Introducing Solids, Baby Wearing, and Mother Wellness.studioI really wish there was a clinic like this back in 1996 and 1999!! #LeSigh

Last week I took the subway and went to check out their space and to enjoy a massage. I was really impressed with the warm welcoming staff and the comfortable space they have created.  Not to mention that my massage therapist was skilled and asked all the right questions to ensure that I was comfortable and a happy client.

For more information: 

Website: www.westendmamas.ca

Address: 2477 Bloor St. West (2nd Floor) at Jane St. Toronto, Ontario

Phone: 416 960 5656

Email address: hello@westendmamas.ca

Disclosure: I was compensated for this blog post however all opinions are my own.

 

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Feb
21

21 Days….


I’ve just completed a 21 day challenge with Jamieson Vitamins. They made it super easy for me to participate in this challenge by providing me with this cool “Advent” style calendar.

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For the last 21 days, I took daily vitamins (thanks to this calendar). I’m not kidding, the calendar was a great reminder to commit to better health!

jamieson - 4 pills

Did you know that 44 per cent of Canadians are unsure if they are taking the correct vitamins and supplements to suit their needs and a whopping 31 per cent do not take them at all for this reason?

Also, 61 per cent of Canadians agreed that when it comes to taking supplement they wish someone would clearly identify what they needed to take.

Jamieson Vitamins has a great website that takes the mystery of taking vitamins. For example, if you aren’t sure what to take then you simply click on the reason that you would like to take a vitamin.

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Jamieson’s team of experts have done the work for me and identified Multivitamin, Omega-3, Probiotics and Vitamin D as the four products Canadians should take every day as a foundation for healthier living.

I really enjoyed this challenge which helped me achieve my goals to a healthier me! Still trying to exercise daily (loving my Yoga app too), eating better and getting enough a sleep. It’s definitely a challenge but I know it’s important!

For more information on Jamieson Essentials visit www.jamiesonvitamins.com.

Disclosure: I was compensated for this blog post however all opinions are my own

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