Thursday, 10 January 2019

Travelling tips

If you are planning on escaping this winter, take a few minutes to read over some tips and tricks so you arrive to your destination healthy and happy. 


When flying, drinking adequate water is important. You are spending a long period of time in a confined space with recycled air, reduced oxygen and low humidity. This will seriously dehydrate you. As you know, your body requires water to perform properly. If are trying not to drink water, because you do not want to use the tiny bathrooms, you might pay a heavy price dehydrating yourself. Being dehydrated will worsen the physical symptoms of jet leg, trouble sleeping, fatigue, irritability, headaches, tummy upset and trouble focusing. 

It is also a good idea to avoid liquids that might further dehydrate you, such as caffeine and alcohol, and overly salty and processed foods/snacks. 

So take home message, drink plenty of water before you board the plane, during and after your flight. It will help you fight jet leg, lessen muscle cramping and keep your skin hydrated. 


Packing healthy snacks that you are used to eating in your every day diet will help you, and your gut, during the trip. You want to avoid overly salty and sugary snacks which will dehydrate you and lower your immune system. 

Instead focus on snacks that will give you the energy boost without the sugar. Look for snacks that are high in protein and contain healthy fats. This will keep you satisfied longer. 

Some great options would include;

  • Trail Mix- build your own with your favourite seeds, dried fruits and nuts. 
  • Protein Bars or Balls- Look for bars with low sugar such as Lara bars or Vega Bars. Avoid just fruit bars as they will not give you the fats or proteins you need, just a sugar spike..and then crash. Protein balls are quick and easy to make as well. Check out chocolate protein balls and cookies and almond cups

  • Granola Clusters- Homemade packed with seeds, sunflower (or nut) butter, spices and some dried fruit. I have made two varieties from Oh She Glows and they are both delicious snacks and additions to smoothies. 


The noise and lights are very distracting and unavoidable when you are trying to catch some zzzzz's  and pass the time. 

Make sure to pack a sleep mask, to block out the over head lights and give your eyes a break from the blue light devices. 

To tune out the noises around you, pack some ear plugs or noise cancelling head phones. This way you can have some downloaded guided meditation, sleep music or calming sounds to help transport you out 
of the air plane cabin. 

Bringing along a natural sleep support like melatonin to help you rest up during the travels can also be helpful, especially if you are changing time zones.  


A lot of germs are crawling around the cabin and the last thing you want when you arrive at your destination is to fall ill. 

Making sure you wash your hands pre boarding, on the plane and when you get off is key when trying to eliminate exposure to germs. Some other methods to keep the bugs at bay would be to;

  • Pack your carry on with some natural boosters like Vitamin C or a combination like St. Francis Deep Immune. This will help combat anything that might try to latch onto you. These can both be started before travel and after to help keep your immune system strong.
  • When traveling to a country with foreign foods or if you are planning on eating foods out of your 'norm', bringing along good quality probiotics is a great idea. This will help protect your gut so the experience is more enjoyable. Probiotics can survive at room temperature for a few days but when you arrive you want to make sure you put them in the refrigerator.  

  • Finally, a golden rule when flying is when you get to your destination you want to shower, to scrub off any microbes,  and strip off all your travel clothing to go right into the laundry for a wash. 


Sitting for a long time can cause discomfort and cramping of the muscles along with possible risk of blood clots. You want to make sure you do some movements, especially for your lower legs, when you are on the plane. 

Consider wearing compression stockings for part of the flight to help with blood circulation and decrease swelling and stiffness in your feet during your journey. 

Another easy thing would be to do some mini exercises such as calf-raises, toe gripping and ankle circles. Getting up and walking the aisle is also a good way to get the blood pumping and stretching out your entire body. 

We hope you find these tips helpful in staying healthy during travel so you fully enjoy your well deserved time off. This list does not replace individualized health advice. You should talk to your healthcare provider before travel.

A Naturopathic Doctor can provide you with high quality supplements and know your medical history to find out what plan is right for you.  

Making sure your body is also ready for the journey ahead is a great de-stresser idea so that you leave the aches and pains behind. Booking in for your massage therapy, osteopathic, physiotherapy or chiropractic appointment prior to taking off ensures your body is ready. Your team of practitioners can re-align your body, de-stress and loosen your muscles for the journey and the activities ahead. They can also give you individualized stretches to do on route or when you land. 

Have a safe and happy holiday!

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Resolution & Good Intentions


It's that time of year again where we take stock of the last year and start to look towards our goals and resolutions for the new year. It's a great time to reconnect to your values and decide which direction you want to focus for the coming year.  Have you ever set a resolution you haven't achieved? We are all guilty of what I call 'The new year resolution dilemma'. It happens when we set ourselves lofty, and somewhat, unrealistic goals. How we set up our goals is just as important as the goals we choose. Here's a few things to consider while you plan for the year ahead:

Set realistic goals - Real change comes from small and sustainable changes. If you are looking at changing your diet or exercise regimens or learning a new hobby its helpful to keep in mind that these are lifestyle changes and should be a part of a balanced life. Be mindful of your language as you set goals - they are meant to prop you up and support your growth not to tear you down! 

Plan for real-life - There will be days when you are short on time, feeling sick, having a bad day or even on vacation. Have a backup plan for the days when life is happening so you can do a little something every day towards your goal. Did you get derailed? That's okay - life isn't about being perfect it's about being resilient. Have a plan for how you will keep yourself accountable when you have stopped making progress towards your goals. Don't let yourself get stuck in the shame spiral -setbacks happen and the best way to overcome them is having a plan! 

Have check in's - The best way to know if you are on track to meet your goals and keep your motivation flowing is to have check-ins along the way. Make sure your goals are measurable and revisit them frequently. I like to review my goals monthly as this allows me to notice where I'm doing well and what I have been neglecting before too much time passes and I lose momentum. 

Good intentions

Generally, new years resolutions are made for changes we want to make but often we focus more on end results or vague, sweeping resolutions instead of how we are going to get there or why we want to make the changes we do. It is also common to fall into the trap of making New Year's resolution from a negative place, instead of positive intentions.

For example, probably the most common New Year's resolutions is losing weight. Great, but what does this really mean and why are you making it your goal. When it comes to weight loss goals, think about why you want to lose weight. Is it because you want to feel better, have more energy or just be healthier? Instead of focusing on the number on the scale, focus on why you want to achieve this goal and changes that need to be made to reach those goals. This is also the important part of setting resolutions from a positive place instead of a negative- if the focus is on feeling better and how you are going to achieve that, it's a much more positive mindset than, "I weigh too much I need to lose weight."

Rome wasn't built in a day and neither are lifestyle changes. It has actually been shown to take any where from 2 to 8 months to form a new habit (not the often quoted 21 days). So, set small changes and focus on those one at a time to ensure a lifestyle change vs a crash course that doesn't last. 

Try setting smaller, monthly changes that combined will help you reach your end goal. In the case of weight loss, for example, instead of vague "I want to eat healthier", quantify it. Maybe it's I want to eat 5 servings of vegetables a day, or I want to only have treats on the weekends or even I want to have only 1 cup of coffee/day. Focus this one goal for the entire month before adding another change.

Don't throw in the towel if things get off course or you mess up. Studies have also shown that “missing one opportunity to perform the behavior did not materially affect the habit formation process.” Building new habits is not an all or nothing situation, it's a process.

Remember there are many factors that affect any resolution. If we look at the weight loss example again, yes, diet and exercise are the most common things that people think of, but there are other factors that will affect this goal- stress reduction, sleep, caffeine intake, water intake- just to name a few.  All of these are just as important when it comes to sustainable lifestyle changes and reaching your goals.

The new year is definitely the most common time for people to set goals and plan to make changes, but remember every day is a new opportunity. Even if you veer off course, you can recommit any day of the year!

Happy New Year and here's to reaching whatever goals you are hoping for in 2019!

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Looking After Yourself

It is not a surprise that during the holidays our already maxed out adrenals go into super overload because now we are hosting, cooking, shopping, travelling and doing it all with a smile on our faces. 

We can read and agree with everything out there about decreasing your stress during the holidays, incorporating self-care routine, not falling off your health and wellness routine and setting boundaries but nothing will work unless you take serious steps to ensure they do. 

This month, along with others prior to December, we talk about different avenues on how you can look after yourself. We have talked with local 'experts' in the field to ensure we are getting the correct information and providing you with resources to further pursue that avenue if you so choose to. 

Finding healthy ways to help manage your stress, not just in December but year round, is critical for your wellness. The added demands that come in December brings this issue into the spot light and creating boundaries is especially important now. 

We sat down with Tammy from Bliss Counselling and talked specifically about holiday stress which you can watch here. Learn from this month but take these strategies and implement them year round.

Remember : It's okay if you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed and anxious

It is not okay to ignore or push these feelings deeper inside. Acknowledge and deal with them. You are doing the best you can and it is okay to feel this way, be gentle with yourself. 

Some ways to decrease the stress can include; 

  • Exercise. Sweat. It. Out. This method will not only help burn off those delicious baked goods but it is also a mood booster. Last year we talked to  Kim Holmes about ways to stay active and healthy during the holiday season. Check out her great advice here . 

  • Yoga. This is the perfect strategy to help you slow down and be present. Yoga helps calm our minds and release tension in our bodies. We have many fantastic yoga studios surrounding us so pop online to see their holiday schedules. Here are a few if you do not have your favourite studio; Modo Yoga Waterloo , Fearless Heart Yoga , Big Bliss, Amma Yoga and Queen Street Yoga 

  • Guided Meditation. This is an easy one to incorporate into your day. You can find a multitude of free, or low cost, meditation apps that can help give you imagery and direction if you are new to this form of stress reduction.  This type of mindfulness has been shown to improve mood, decrease stress, improve, boost the immune system, even improve fertility. Studies are also showing there are huge benefits in children as well. We have summarized a few that you can read about here

  • Breathe. It sounds simple and it is. We just need to pay attention and slow it down. Breathing practices can help support a positive mental and physical state of health. If you practice this slow breathing techniques after a meal, it helps facilitate parasympathetic mode to put your body into 'rest and digest' mode. Follow along with Megan Prenty by clicking here

  • Sleep Hygiene. We know that lack of sleep has a long list of health implications and it is even harder to get a good rest when you are stressed! It is so important to have a routine before bed that takes you out of the sympathetic, go go go phase to a slower parasympathetic state before hitting the pillow. Dr. Jessica goes through the roller coaster of stress and some sleep hygiene tips

  • Pamper Yourself. Set some time aside to have those beautiful social media moments of #selfcaresundays. Where you have lit some candles, put on your favourite Spotify playlist, fill the tub with epsom salts/bath bombs/ bubbles and submerge yourself in the wonder. A warm soak helps 
    • reduce stress
    •  improve your sleep since your body temperature drops after getting out of the bath
    •  helps reduce body aches and paints
    • improves detoxification by drawing out lactic acid. 
The dim lighting also helps calm you and if you use lavender, sweet orange or a relaxing blend essential oil into your bath water, or scented bath bombs your senses will sure to go into relaxation mode. 

  • Spend Time In Nature. Getting outside into the fresh, maybe brisk, air is great for us. It helps ground us and makes us slow down and enjoy the view. Your body will automatically become more at peace when you are trecking through the trails. This is not a social media moment, keep your phone in your pocket and take it all in with your eyes. 

Too many of us feel guilty about sitting down, saying no or scheduling 'me time'. Think about how crazy that is! Self-care is never a waste of time and it is never too late to make some lasting changes. Make this holiday season about the moments, memories and the times together rather than the gifts and the Martha Stewart table placements. Shift your mindset and enjoy the holiday season. 

Happy Holidays 

From Your Friends at The Coach House

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Giving Back This Holiday Season

Each year we find a local organization that the clinic can donate to. We love our city and want to give back to the community. 

  This year we have decided to adopt a family through Family Children Services. Many smaller charities do not have a large marketing funding pot, so we did some research to some of the smaller organizations making a big difference! Of course it is not limited to the list we have put together, but we tried to hit the 3 large subgroups, people, animals and plants and as local as we could get. Two resources we found useful while looking for charities that use majority of your donations to the cause were Charity Intelligence Canada and Canada Helps

We encourage you to do the same this year. Most of us don't need more stuff, but we do need to help the less fortunate, the ones without a voice and our planet. 



If you haven't heard of HopeSprings, it is an organization who works with individuals diagnosed with cancer. They work on improving the individual's life emotionally, physically and spiritually during such a devastating time. Here you can find a safe space with information and support to help you work through it. 
Each year, HopeSpring's Cancer Care Coach, Anne, provides over 450 hours of 1 on 1 cancer care coaching sessions to their members. This service is free of charge to the recipients. The sessions provide valuable tools and coping strategies to those affected by cancer in Waterloo Region. 
This year, consider donating to Hopesprings and help support their work along with the 1 on 1 coaching sessions. Visit their website to find out other ways you can get involved year round. 

Kitchener Public Library

A place to gather, learn and grow. The library accepts donations which gets put towards funding priority needs not covered by your tax dollars and make a difference for everyone coming through the doors of the library.

You can also donate your time to the library. At Kitchener Public Library, they have 554 volunteers who generously donate 11,000 hours each year and participate in over 25 different opportunities!

The volunteers take books to at-home readers, run English Conversation Circles, read with young children, tutor students, assist with programs, offer well-maintained book collections, provide résumé coaching, tune instruments, and give much needed assistance.
Every day, they play a vital role in welcoming our community to engaging spaces where people connect, ideas flourish and lives are transformed.
To learn more about our volunteer program, visit their website


Lutherwood is a progressive, not-for-profit health and social service organization that strengthens people's lives by providing mental health, employment and housing services to more than 14,000 people annually in Waterloo Region and Wellington County. 


Since 1905, the YW has provided essential programs for women and families. Today, we provide programs in the areas of early learning and childcare, homelessness and housing, girls’ recreation and leadership, and employment training, and we speak out on issues affecting women and families. The YW is a community-based, charitable organization governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. We are a member association of YWCA Canada, the largest women's multi-service organization in Canada. Through YWCA Canada, we are a member of World YWCA, the oldest and largest women’s rights organization in the world.

Monica Place

Monica Place is a registered charity that provides support to pregnant and parenting youth. 

Their vision is to collaborate with the community where pregnant and parenting youth are safe, supported and valued.
Located in Waterloo, this non-profit organization provides services such as the Chaplaincy Program, Childminding Program, Circle of Security, Counselling, Parent and Child Residential Program, Prenatal Health Program, Prenatal Parenting Program and much more. 

Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region operates two emergency shelters for abused women and their children: Anselma House in Kitchener and Haven House in Cambridge. They also operate a regional Outreach Program. Being the only agency of their kind in Waterloo Region, your help is greatly appreciated and needed. They strive to help empower women to move beyond abusive and violent relationships. For their health and the wellness of their children. 

This is another organization that could use volunteers. There are opportunities for everyone from high school to professionals who have the hours to give. Visit their website for more information. 

Sleeping Children Around the World

Though not exactly a local charity, this is an organization that was recently brought to our attention. Sleeping Children Around the World is a 100% charitable organization that

Each $35 donation provides a bedkit that consists of a mat or mattress, pillow, sheet, blanket, mosquito net, clothes outfit, towel and school supplies. Bedkit contents vary from country to country depending on local needs. Bedkits are manufactured or purchased overseas, and assembled in the country of distribution to not just eliminate shipping costs but to stimulate the local economy. 

The bedkits are also distributed by volunteers who travel overseas and donate their time and expertise to the cause. 

provides bedkits to children in developing countries. 

Sanguen Health Centre

Sanguen is a not-for-profit, community-based health care agency. Sanguen provides education to everyone. Understanding drug use and creating an inclusive community is really difficult if we’re uncomfortable talking about drugs and harm reduction. Sanguen’s team provides educational workshops and presentations on a variety of topics - including harm reduction, substance use, hepatitis C, overdose prevention, naloxone/narcan and many other issues that may impact people who use drugs. All the presentations are focused on what is happening in our community and includes resources.

It can be difficult for people to access reliable information, support and medical care - for a lot of different reasons. Sanguen dedicated Outreach Workers, but the entire team also provides service in addition to outreach at their clinic and community spaces!

A volunteer-based LGBTQ+ community venue that is sustainable, supportive, positive and a safe space for people of all ages in Waterloo Region. SPECTRUM is Waterloo Region’s first LGBTQ+/Rainbow Community Space providing information services including events, resource directory, library (books & film), history, survey/map of gender-neutral washrooms. Support groups for transfolk, older adults, relatives & friends, immigrants, refugees and newcomers. Recreational and social including games, crafting, hiking, reading circle and more! SPECTRUM will work together with allies to ensure a strong and inclusive community.

oneROOF Youth Services

oneROOF Youth Services is committed to providing for the safety, support and overall well-being of youth who are experiencing homelessness, and youth who are at-risk of homelessness aged 12-25 in Waterloo Region. oneROOF provides hot meals, food hampers, clothing, hygiene products and advocacy to youth who frequent their services. oneROOF Youth Services provides youth with the opportunity to acquire life skills training, anger management workshops, recreation and sports opportunities, crisis counselling, family mediation, substance abuse education/referral/treatment/aftercare, emergency shelter and more.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Waterloo Region

Many children and youth in Waterloo Region struggle with societal barriers and face adversities in their lives like detrimental living conditions, family violence, risk factors for mental health, school issues and identity challenges. These circumstances have nothing to do with the value of who they are or who they can become, but because of these situations, children and youth risk not having the opportunity to live up to their full potential. Even worse is the possibility of continuing cycles of poverty and crime or developing mental health issues.
This comes at a cost to the young person, and to society. With the guidance and support of a mentor, these risks can be reduced or even avoided, and youth are reminded they can be anything they dream of being.

CMHA provides a full care system for those with addictions, mental health or developmental needs. Serving everyone from children to adults to seniors, all under one roof. CMHA has programs to help individuals and families to lead lives filled with meaning and promise. CMHA works to build a community in which everyone has what they need to live meaningful lives. Building human connections that make it possible for people to achieve their greatest potential. CMHA inspires and supports people in achieving the quality of life they desire.



Grand River All Breed Rescue  

Grand River All Breed Rescue is a foster-based animal rescue group based in Cambridge, Ontario. They do not operate a shelter – the animals in our program live in home environments with foster owners until they are adopted to a permanent family.

Grand River All Breed Animal Rescue has many roles from rescue animals from humane societies, help temporarily foster animals, help with people in crisis keep their pets and trap/neuter and release feral cats. 
They are in need of any financial or item donation! No donation is too small or too big. If you are interested in buying items, they also have a wish list.

The Animal Guardian Society (TAGS)

Their mission is to provide re-homing and medical care to displaced companion animals and to support the community in areas of humane education, behaviour counseling, the promotion of responsible pet ownership, and the needs of animals.

TAGS is a charitable non-profit organization and does not receive any government funding. We are entirely reliant on public donations for funds. Other than monetary donations, TAGS needs other pet care items like good quality dog food, dog beds and blankets, leashes and collars, winter coats, dog toys, etc. We also need other items like building materials and services.
How We Use Your Money
100% of your donations goes to helping the animals in our program as we have no paid staff. TAGS’s largest expense by far is the veterinary bills. We want to be sure that all our dogs are healthy, and sometimes this means expensive medications or surgeries that cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. In addition, all TAGS dogs are spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped prior to adoption. While TAGS is fortunate to receive some donations of dog food, we also spend money purchasing quality dog food to feed to our dogs in foster care. Other expenses include the production of training, educational and promotional material.

Pet Patrol Cat Rescue

Pet Patrol is an entirely volunteer-run, non-profit organization in the Waterloo Region area. They began in 1996 in recognition of the overpopulation problem of felines in our community. Giving cats a second chance and an opportunity for a full life as they are a NO KILL rescue. Pet Patrol helps cats that have been abandoned, ill or homeless, to find new homes. 

Pet Patrol also help feral cats with their TNR (Trap Neuter Return) Program, colony feeding programs and helping to find hobby farms for the less socialized cats so they can roam freely but will still receive annual vet care, daily food and water and a warm, dry place to sleep.


Donkey Sanctuary

Located in Puslinch on a 100 acres you will find the Donkey Sanctuary. Where they provide a lifelong home for donkeys, mules and hinnies who are unwanted, neglected, abused, or whose owners can no longer care for them. They promote the responsible stewardship of all animals through humane education. 

The Sanctuary is a working farm and to keep the cost down (and all profits going towards the animals) they only have a few staff members. 
There is always a lot of work tending to the animals, giving medication and cleaning barnyards. If you are interested in being a hands-on volunteer, you need to visit their website to find the next orientation session. This is a 1 day training course that is required in order to volunteer with the animals. 
You can also do non- animal related events that require volunteers such as their Open Days event. 

World Wild Life Fund

We have heard of them and maybe even seen some of their heart wrenching commercials but did you know you can donate and get the perfect gift!? You can adopt and animal, receive information on that animal, a certificate and a stuffed animal. They also have the new 'Wild Card' option where more money goes towards the animals and you receive a wildlife card only.

By symbolically adopting a specie, you will help conserve wildlife and the future of our plant for generation. There is over 30 different species to choose from that you are bound to find the perfect match for the special person on your list. 

EVAH is a Humane Alliance-partnered ‘High Volume Spay/Neuter Clinic’ dedicated to providing comprehensive preventive medicine services, including spay/neuter/vaccination/microchipping/anti-parasite treatments, as well as general out-patient medical and surgical services for pets cared for by low-income individuals, those on social assistance, animal rescue groups, humane societies and municipal shelters in a 12 county region surrounding Kitchener and London.


Seeds Of Diversity Canada

Seeds of Diversity Canada is a non-profit network of gardeners and farmers, promoting biodiversity of food crops through conservation, documentation, and use of open-pollinated plants. Their mission is to teach and encourage seed-saving of vegetables, fruits, and grains suitable for the diverse climates of Canada. 

Community Gardens

The community gardens in Waterloo Region are part of the Waterloo Region Community Gardening Network. The Network is composed of garden organizers, gardeners and representatives from community agencies that promote healthy and inclusive communities.

The Ministry of Education sees school gardens as a tool for promoting well-being. 

 Learn more about Gardens for Healthy Schools from a recent scan of school gardens in Waterloo Region. 


Rare Charitable Research Reserve is an urban land trust and environmental institute in Waterloo Region. Their first four locations are protecting almost 1000 acres of highly sensitive land. 

Rare works with their team and members of the community to discover the most inclusive practice and find answers to environmental issues for ecological integrity and future generations. Their emphasis is on education and engagement of the community. 
The research informs restoration practices and educational programs through Chain of Learning that is geared towards young learners in a program called Every Child Outdoors (ECO). This model promotes active, hands-on, problem- based environmental learning in the great outdoors. 
Visit Rare's website for more information on how you can participate 

Elora Environmental Centre

Their mission has been to deliver cost-effective programs and services based on leading-edge business and technology skills that will conserve energy, reduce water usage, optimize resource use, promote recycling and creative re-using, and minimize waste. 
As land development increases we loose some of our tree canopies. Neighbourwoods is a branch of the Elora Environment Centre, and a registered Canadian charity, working to rebuild the community tree canopy through tree planting, stewardship, public education and advocacy about the need for, and value of trees.

As a non-profit organization we can offer independent and unbiased advice with a clear dedication and commitment to the environment.

The holidays are a time of year that we need to remember to be charitable to the ones without a voice and less fortunate than we are.
Let this holiday season inspire you to make it the year of change. Try donating or volunteering at one of a few of these organizations. They are making a big difference in our community and always welcome help.
'Tis the season of giving !

Happy Holidays.
Love, The Coach House Team