Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Turkeyed Out? Try These Recipes!

So. Much. TURKEY!

The Christmas shrapnel is put away, your guests have left, time to unwind *sigh*. Then it hits you: What am I going to do with ALL that leftover turkey!?!?!? And some of you are planning another one for New Year's!

Turkey soup or stew is a standard 'go to' and most families have their own recipes. But let's add a few healthy reminders to update Grandma's recipe:
- most soup bases use heavily salted broth so be sure to pick up the No Salt Added or Low Sodium options
- to add flavour remember that fresh parsley, rosemary, and thyme are great and VERY flavourful options instead of the salt
- choose lower fat or milk alternative options if making a cream soup

Googling recipes is a great and creative way to utilize your leftovers but when making your shopping list take the few extra moments to make healthier (low sodium, organic, fresh) options instead of buying items by rote.

To get your creative juices flowing here are a couple of turkey ideas and recipes to help you through the next few 'turkey overload' days:

1. Turkey Tortilla Bowls: Have shredded turkey over a small portion of brown rice with black beans, fresh pico de gallo/salsa fresca, guacamole and other fresh, healthy toppings. A little zing will make your bland turkey fun!
2. Turkey Wraps: Have shredded turkey in whole wheat or coconut wrap with great fillings like spinach, various veggies and a little balsamic vinegar as your topping.

There are a lot of great slow cooker recipes using chicken and turkey but to have recipes for left overs when the bird is already cooked? Have no fear- the Slow Cooker Queen is here for you!

Slow Cooker Turkey & Barley Soup

While most classic chicken or turkey soup recipes have a cream base or a noodle and veggie combo, I like this one as it has a great basil and tomato kick to it.

1 cup celery, finely diced                                           2 tbsp. dried onion
1 carrot, finely diced                                                 1 tbsp. No/Low Sodium tomato paste
1/2 cup pearl barley (NOT the quick cooking kind)   1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp. olive oil                                                         1-2 cups shredded, cooked turkey
3 1/2 cups chicken broth *see our earlier Blog posts for a great home made recipe with your leftover bones or use Stock Exchange Chicken Bone Broth*           3/4 tsp. salt
3-4 Roma tomatoes, diced OR 14 oz. can No/Low Sodium diced tomatoes
1 tsp. fresh basil (dry works too)                              1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp. black pepper

1. In small pot on stove top combine tomato paste, garlic, olive oil, basil, celery and carrots. Cook for approx. 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to slow cooker.

2. Add the onion, barley, turkey, chicken broth, diced tomatoes, salt, bay leaf and pepper in the slow cooker. Stir and cover.

3. Cook on LOW for 4-6 hours, until the barley is cooked through.

A healthy, 'not your regular' and flavourful turkey soup!

Happy Cooking!

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Re-Introducing Your Slow Cooker

Staying on a Scheduled & Healthy Meal Plan During the Holidays

'Twas the week before Christmas
And all through the house,
Everyone was running around like crazy
Even the spouse!

It can seem almost impossible at this time of year to not only stay on a scheduled meal plan, but to have it healthy too?! Allow me to (re)introduce you to that wonderful kitchen appliance- your slow cooker!
As clinic "Slow Cooker Queen" we thought it was a great idea to share not only some quick, basic tips on this fantastic yet somehow underused & intimidating appliance, but also to pass along some healthy recipes that will save you time during this hectic period. A little pre-planning, sometimes as little as 7-10 minutes prep time in the morning or the night before and you & your family will stay on track and avoid grabbing food on the go!
So head down to the basement, dust off the box that has been sitting there since your bridal shower and pull our your newest friend- you'll thank me!

Slow Cooking 101

1. The Basics: Meat, vegetables/legumes, spices, some liquid: YUP, it is that easy!!! Whether making a stew, chili or a roast this basic recipe gets you through every time. Once you become a bit more comfortable you'll find this is literally what makes up any good meal.

2. Timing: Standard cooking times you'll see for recipes are 4 hours on high and 8 hours on low. These work great EXCEPT for white meat, especially boneless (i.e. chicken breasts, pork loin). I decrease the cooking time to 5 1/2-7 hours on low and 3-3 1/2 hours on high or else they get very dry.

3. Spice up your Life: Some recipes may look like they have a lot of spices but don't be afraid if you have a plainer palate. Don't forget that you are SLOW cooking for a long time so you need the flavour to be sustained.

4. Making Better Choices: A lot of recipes you'll see are the 'quick fix' for slow cookers i.e. using pre-made spice packets or "add a box of this, add a can of that" but beware: while this can give you the sense of scratch cooking don't be fooled, the sodium can be off the charts!  You can alter these and make them a healthier option: if you must add a can of something chose the 'no salt added/low salt' alternative and of course if you can grab organic all the better. 

5. Keeping the Flavour: If adding a large piece of meat such as a roast or large chops I find that searing all sides for 2-3 minutes each really helps to seal in the juices and keep it from drying out. Do this while prepping your vegetables and dinner prep can be as little as 10 minutes! For an added punch of flavour, any recipe that calls for onions, peppers etc... can be carmelized first before adding the slow cooker.

So there you have it. To get your feet wet I thought I'd start with that basic of basic slow cooker recipes. And what better way to welcome all of this snow? CHILI!

There are of course 1000s of ways to make chili so feel free to modify: remove the meat for a more vegan choice, add more beans or veggies of your choice, alter the spices etc...this is a great recipe for slow cooker newbies to play with and get more confidence. It also helps you start making better cooking from scratch or No Salt and Organic choices when at the grocery store instead of grabbing your regular items by rote.

Basic Slow Cooker Chili

1 lb ground turkey, chicken or extra lean ground beef                 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
5-6 freshly chopped roma tomatoes OR 28 oz. can No Salt Added/Organic chopped tomatoes*    
1 large onion, chopped                                                              1 tbsp. chili powder
1 green and red pepper, chopped                                              1 garlic clove, chopped
1-2 stalks of celery, chopped                                                    1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. paprika                                                                        1 pureed roma tomato OR 1/2 cup                                                                                                               Low Sodium tomato puree*
14 oz.each kidney beans, black beans and/or chick peas, soaked overnight OR 14 oz. can of No Salt Added/Organic of each THOROUGHLY rinsed*

* you KNOW which one is the better choice ;)

- brown the meat and drain/rinse off any excess fat
- rinse the beans as directed if needed (or soak overnight the night prior)
- while meat is browning chop vegetables and add everything to slow cooker
- stir very well to make sure all ingredients including spices are well mixed; add meat and beans and stir again
- cook on LOW for approximately 5 hours
- serve with salad

SUPER EASY I promise! And the prep time is maybe 12-15 minutes on a slow day...12-15 minutes! Only! For your family to have a healthy, filling meal AND leftovers that is satisfying and so much better than food on the go. Plus the bonus: you get to sit down as a family and enjoy- isn't that what the season is all about?

Happy cooking and stay tuned for more healthy options from your slow cooker during the busy holiday season and upcoming cold winter months. 

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Specialty Shops Gift Guide 


Uptown Waterloo 

We had so much fun doing our 12 Days of Local, Healthy Gift Guide, however, there are so many more than 12 amazing stores/products in Uptown Waterloo it was hard to choose! We tried to keep it to a 'general' gift theme, but we also didn't want to leave out some of the more 'specialized', local shops we have here in KW! So, this is our continued list of some of our favourite local specialty shops. This of course does not cover all the awesome shops we have in KW but hopefully it helps you (re)discover some of the great local places we are lucky to have here and if you are out and about, I am sure you will find even more than are listed! If you are still trying to figure out a gift for that hard to buy person on your list or if you still have those last minute gifts to buy- check out this list (and our 12 Days list) and get inspired to shop local this holiday season! (Oh, and if you didn't know King Street is open again!)

Channer's Men's Apparel & Shoes

At Channer’s, modern clothes, both business and casual, are their hallmark. Channer's has a great selection of men's must haves this holiday season from Saxx underwear, Stolen Riches dress and boot laces, beautiful cuff links, wallets and money clips, a wide array of watches and one of my favourite stocking stuffers: Robert Graham funky dress socks! Channer's is located in the heart of Uptown Waterloo, on King Street, Mark and the team will help you shop for that dapper man in your life! 

Store Hours
Monday- Wednesday 9:30am - 6pm
Thursday - Friday 9:30 am- 8pm
Saturday 9am - 5:30pm
Sunday 12pm -5pm


If cycling gear, bikes, apparel or products is what you are hunting for this holiday season you need to stop by Ciclowerks, on Regina Street behind Paul Punchers! This high end cycling boutique carries brands such as Cipollini, Argon 18, Pinarello and more. If a bicycle is a little big for under the tree no worries, you can get energy gels, fun printed jerseys, spare parts, gift cards or Chad's stocking stuffer Chamois Creme by Assos! Stop by, have an espresso while the bike junkie shops or get some great ideas from Paul and the team! 

Winter Hours
Monday - Closed 
Tuesday 12:00pm - 5pm
Wednesday 12:00pm - 6pm
Thursday - Friday 12:00pm - 7pm
Saturday 12:00 - 6pm
Sunday - Closed


If you have not visited Andie's uptown for the special ladies in your life, you must! They have beautiful, soft and cozy scarfs- which I have bought for many people already.  My staple bamboo undershirt tanks (which come in 3/4 length and long sleeves) and nearly 99 percent of my entire wardrobe. You cannot go wrong with something from Andie's! 

Store Hours 
Monday 10:00am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday- Friday 10:00am - 6:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday - Closed

Alexandria's Shoes

Alexandria's is a unique stop for women's shoes and accessories in Uptown. Here you will find one of a kind and always changing stock of casual and evening footwear.  If you want to make a statement and still be comfortable and fashionable, you need to visit Alexandria's. Mary and team can help you find the perfect fit or special gift for that special lady in your life! Gift certificates are also available! 
Store Hours
Monday- Wednesday 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Thursday-Friday 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Saturday 10:00am - 6:00 pm
Sunday 12:00 pm - 5:00pm

Tadpole Children's Shoppe

Tadpole Children's Shoppe has been a favourite shop of mine since my kids were born! Carrying only high quality products you can find almost every baby necessity (and so much more) here. Their selection from brands like Aiden and Anais, Bugaboo, Diono, Maxi Cosi, Stokke, Plan Toys and more, is amazing. Nimira, the store owner is also extremely helpful and knowledgeable- just last week she was able to special order a Children's Bedroom set for my daughter's Plan Toys doll house that I could not find anywhere! This is definitely a store you will have no problem finding something for that little person!

Store Hours
Monday- Wednesday 10:00 am-6:00 pm
Thursday 10:00 am-8:00 pm
Friday 10:00 am-7:00 pm
Saturday10:00 am-6:00 pm
Sunday 12:00 pm-5:00 pm

Dana Shortt Gourmet and Gifts

This is a place that has literally so many beautiful things you will go in for one item and come out with a bag. They have an olive oil and balsamic tasting bar with over 40 different items. They have a seasonal selection that changes on the regular (right now their Christmas selection is unbelievable). They carry local chocolatiers like Ambrosia, Reid, Saxon and my personal favourite Rheo Thompson (I mean, come on, Mint Smoothies...). All of this can be arranged into a stunning gift basket (they also have a huge selection of pre arranged baskets). And if that all wasn't enough to want to stop by, Dana Shortt used to do catering and now still does a selection of fresh (made daily) and frozen foods from entrees to dessert to apps. (Also a great place to keep in mind when you are just DONE cooking after Christmas...haha). Check this place out- you will not be disappointed! 

Store Hours
Monday- Friday 10:00am - 7:00pm
Saturday 9:00am - 5:00pm
Sunday Closed

We hope you enjoy this list, but it's only a small selection of the amazing local stores we have here in KW, so be sure to get out there and enjoy a stroll up King Street! Happy local holiday shopping!

~The Coach House Team~

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays

The holidays are here! This week for Wellness Wednesday we focus on some easy tips to help keep your diet and health on track while navigating all the holiday events and gatherings!

Tips for Indulging Sensibly:

  • Don't go to a party hungry- Cocktail parties and tonnes of apps are a common staple, but most apps won't be overly healthy and because they tend to be bite size, make it very hard to keep track of how much you are actually consuming. Eat a proper meal and have a few apps as a treat instead of going with the intention of making apps your dinner.
  • Don't stand next to the food table- This makes it way to easy to grab and eat mindlessly.
  • Use a plate and keep your proportions- Always use a plate. This allows you to keep track of the amount and what you are eating. Try to keep your plate to 2/3-3/4 filled with healthy, nutrient dense options (like veggies, meats, etc.) and save the rest of the space for indulgences.
  • Go easy on the dips- Dips are calorie pitfalls. Even seemingly healthy dips, like hummus, are not always the greatest choice. If it's a purchased hummus, it is usually made with unhealthy oils (like canola or soybean), high in sodium and contains preservatives. Even it if it homemade, hummus tends to be high in calories and high in starch with little protein so you don't want to over do it. Guacamole is similar- a great source of healthy fats, but also high in calories and can have extra sodium if store bought, so be mindful.
  • The Main Event- Similar rules apply when it comes to the main meal- try to keep your plate filled 2/3 to 3/4 filled with meat and veggies and save the rest of indulgences (like stuffing and cranberry sauce). Remember not all veggies are healthy options however. Green bean casserole made with cream soup is a common side dish but loaded with calories, unhealthy fats and sodium. Try sticking to roasted or steamed veggies if you have the option. Cranberry sauce is also pretty much just pure sugar so don't overdo it. However, by making your own you can at least control the amount of added sugar and type of sugar used. Homemade will also retain some of it's nutrients while the canned version is completely devoid. (Check out our recipes below).
Remember, it's fine to indulge once in a while, especially over the holidays but just because you indulge at an event one evening doesn't mean you need to continue that splurge into the next day. Stick to your normal, healthy diet the rest of the time and allow those splurges to be a treat in a healthy lifestyle.

Homemade Hummus Recipe

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas or 1 1/2 cups (250 grams) cooked chickpeas
1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice (1 large lemon)
1/4 cup (60 ml) well-stirred tahini
1 small garlic clove, minced

2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45 ml) water
Dash ground paprika, for serving
  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the tahini and lemon juice and process for 1 minute, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then process for 30 seconds more. This extra time helps “whip” or “cream” the tahini, making the hummus smooth and creamy. 
  1. Add the olive oil, minced garlic, cumin, and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the whipped tahini and lemon juice. Process for 30 seconds, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then process another 30 seconds or until well blended. 
  1. Open, drain, and rinse the chickpeas. Add half of the chickpeas to the food processor and process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl, then add remaining chickpeas and process until thick and quite smooth; 1 to 2 minutes. 
  1. Most likely the hummus will be too thick or still have tiny bits of chickpea. To fix this, with the food processor turned on, slowly add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water until you reach the perfect consistency.

For a delicious twist on the classic hummus check out this Sundried Tomato Basil Hummus.

Homemade Guacamole

2-3 ripe avocados
1-2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 limes, juiced

Cilantro, finely chopped - to taste
1/2  small red onion or 3 sprigs of Green onions, finely chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste

Cut and remove avocados from peel. Place in bowl, mash avocados to desired consistency. Add the rest of the ingredients into the bowl and mix thoroughly. You can adjust the amounts to your taste. If you prefer a spicier guacamole, add a dash of cayenne pepper or 1 small jalapeno. 
Enjoy with corn tortillas or cut up vegetables such as cucumbers, celery or peppers.

Easy Roasted Green Beans

Green Beans
Cherry Tomatoes
(amounts can vary depending on preference and serving size desired)
Olive Oil

Remove ends of green beans and cut in half. Slice mushrooms and halve tomatoes. Toss everything in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and toss again. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast at 415F for about 15 minutes or until done. Stir half way through to help evenly roast.

Maple Cranberry Sauce

From Canadian Living
3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries 
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick, broken
pinch of ground cloves and pepper
In a saucepan, stir together cranberries, maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon stick, cloves and pepper; bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 min.

On behalf of everyone here at the Coach House, we wish you and your families a wonderful and safe holiday season. We are so excited for the line up of Wellness Wednesday videos we have planned for you in 2017! 

Thank you so much for being part of our community! 

~The Coach House Team~

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Unique Hostess Gifts

'Tis the season for gatherings and social events, but what do you bring your gracious host? We have put together some unique gift ideas your host/hostess will love and are useful. Who knows these gifts might just be your ticket to another invitation next year ;) 

Homemade Jarred Goodies

Mason Jars are amazing. Easily dressed up and able to hold an assortment of goodies. Don't get me wrong a nice bottle of something, is a great staple when it comes to hostess gifts but a handmade/homemade hostess gift adds that little something extra. Here are some easy diy Mason Jar gift ideas:

  • Pickled Jalepeños: If you are attending a gathering and the host/hostess loves a little spice in their life, may I suggest some pickled jalapeños. Using the abundance of jalapeños I harvested this year, I decided to use a basic pickling recipe and save them for times like these or for a little spice on top of some homemade nachos. If you did not can any of your produce this year, you can find some homemade pickled goods at your local market or artisan show.  Simply wrap the pickled goods in a theme appropriate tea towel and tie with a bow. 

  • Homemade Vanilla Extract: This is actually incredibly easy and is BY FAR tastier than store bought vanilla. I made a simple vanilla cake for my daughter's birthday last year with RAVE reviews- when I said it was just a basic vanilla cake, the consensus was it must be the vanilla extract. I agree. Simple grab a few vanilla beans, open lengthwise, scrape out the bean pod and add the pod scrapings and pods to alcohol of choice (I used Smironoff vodka). Let the vanilla sit for 4-6 weeks before using. I just leave the pods in indefinitely as I use the vanilla which continues to extract vanilla into the alcohol. Yum! Cost Saving Tip- Vanilla beans are PRICEY, however, there are a lot of great online sellers who offer beans in bulk for a price that is much less per bean than the grocery store (Bulk Barn sells 2 beans for about $6, while online you can get 25 beans for about $35). Try Beanilla, Vanilla Food Company or World Class Vanilla Co. Also, for making vanilla extract, Grade B beans work fine!
  • Homemade Granola: This is a such a nice gift and super easy to mix up. Customize it with whatever additions you'd like- nuts, seeds, coconut, dried fruit, etc. I use one of two recipes from The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook, one which is grain based with oats (recipe here) or another which is grain free/paleo (recipe here).

  • Homemade Sauces: Mixing up some simple apple sauce, apple butter (sugar free recipe) or a cranberry sauce is another easy, quick, tasty hostess idea. Add to a mason jar with some ribbon or pretty fabric and you have a personalized quick hostess gift!

Hot Chocolate Gift 

When attending a winter party, there is nothing better than the gift of warmth and sweetness. This little hot chocolate package, chocolate spoon, (and optional mini baileys bottle) will help your host/hostess survive the holiday season! 

Coffee Cozy

Coffee, tea and hot chocolates are a great hostess gift staple. To make it extra personalized, add a homemade fabric coffee cozy. With some basic sewing skills you can whip up a cozy in no time at all. (Check out this easy tutorial). Make a few extra to keep on hand for a quick teacher gift or to add to a coffee gift card.

Amaryllis Bulb 

Give the gift of beauty to your host/hostess this year. An amaryllis bulb in a unique pot, which reflects your hostess' taste, is a lovely gift to receive this year. Each bulb will produce a 30- 60 cm tall stem with two or more funnel shaped flowers at the top. The flowers can come in multiple colours, such as deep red, red/white, pink/white, white etc, the flowers will be approximately 6 -10 cm in diameter. Simply have your pot, with holes for drainage on the bottom, fill it will moss and place the bulb in the centre, packing moss around it for stability. 
Tell the special recipient not to toss the bulb away once the flowers are done. Simply cut back and store in a dry dark place for next year. It may just come back to life next Christmas season! 

Holiday Stove-top Simmers
Fill your host/hostess' home with the smell of the holidays this year! This is an easy and chemical free scented gift to give to your host. Choose a bag/box to present your gift in such as a mesh bag, brown paper bag, box or anything you'd like. Next, you can dehydrate some oranges and cranberries, or any citrus or berries you like (or buy already dehydrated). Then add some spices. I chose anise stars, cloves, juniper berries, nutmeg nuts and cinnamon sticks. Finally add a twig of pine or cedar to the bag. You can customize a gift tag with the simple instructions to fill sauce pan with water and toss in contents of the bag. The colour combination is very appealing and the smell is heavenly.  

Paperwhite Bulbs

Another flowering beauty host/hostess gift! Fill a vase with some river rocks and place in the base of the bulbs. Paperwhites only need a little water for their roots to grow. The stems grow quite tall, approximately a foot in height with a cluster of white star like flowers at the top. The flowers bloom around Christmas and have a lovely, yet strong fragrance. Once the flowering is complete, the host/hostess can cut back the stem, remove the bulb from the water and store in a dark and dry place for the potential of next year the bulb coming back!  

Hopefully our list gives you a bit of inspiration this holiday season! 
~The Coach House Team~

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Keeping Healthy During Cold and Flu Season

Despite this recent 'heat wave', cold and flu season is definitely upon us! If you have children, you have likely already dealt with at least one snotty nose this season (we are currently blasting through the Kleenex at our house). But the best way to protect yourself and your family from falling victim to illness this season is through prevention. Here are some easy ways to help boost your immune system this season.

Load Up on Fruits and Veggies (and Healthy Proteins and Fats)

A healthy diet is your body's (and immune system's) best defence. Vegetables and fruits contain 100s of micronutrients- vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants- all of which helps to strengthen your immune system and ward off illness. Healthy protein sources are also needed for the immune system and it's normal function, as our healthy fats.

Ditch the Sugar

Some studies have actually shown that ingestion of sugar can actually suppress the immune system and that suppression can last up to 5-6 hours after ingestion. Reduce refined and added sugars as much as possible, and remember that this includes fruit juice which provides a sugar punch equivalent to soda.

Add the herbs

Various herbs and spices- like turmeric, oregano, ginger and garlic all possess immune boosting properties as well as antimicrobial effects. Garlic specifically is highly antimicrobial. If you do feel a bit of illness coming on, load up on the garlic which can help kill the virus you were exposed to.


Both Echinacea and Elderberry have immune stimulating properties that can help boost the immune system and keep you from getting ill. Elderberry has also been shown to help combat influenza. Many studies (here and here) have shown benefit with Elderberry. One in particular looked at a preparation of Elderberry syrup and found that patients who had flu symptoms that were given elderberry syrup had their symptoms resolve within 2-3 days, while those given placebo took 6 days on average. You can make your own Elderberry syrup (I use Wellness Mama's Recipe) or purchase a commercial version. Even adding something like Traditional Medicinal's Echinacea and Elderberry tea is an easy way to give yourself a little daily boost.


Supplements are another way of giving yourself that extra protection during cold and flu season and there are a few good basics that can be added to your daily regime, especially here in North America.
  • Vitamin D: During the winter months, our sun exposure (which is our main source of Vitamin D) plummets. This can lead to decreasing levels that tend to bottom out around March. Adding Vitamin D can not only help prevent deficiency, it's also a necessary component for a healthy immune system.
  • Probiotics: When about 70% of your immune system is actually found in your gut- it's important to keep that healthy. Our main source of healthy bacteria comes from fermented foods and our surrounding environment, like dirt. However, both of these sources tend to be lacking in the standard North American diet- we do not regularly consume natural fermented foods (no yogurt doesn't count) and we are generally pretty intense when it comes to sanitizing- both our foods and with hand sanitizer. Adding in a good probiotic is a great way of giving your micro-biome some needed support.
  • Essential Fatty Acids: Again, most people are actually deficient in EFAs (Omega-3s). Our ratio should be 1:1 for Omega 3s to Omega 6s, however, the standard North American diet is actually more like 1:20 Omega 3s to Omega 6s and that leaves us deficient. Our best sources are fish (hence fish oils) but we also can't consume too much due to heavy metal concerns. Beef is actually a source of omega 3s IF it is 100% grass fed, however, due to issues with our food system most beef is corn fed so the fatty acid profile actually shifts to a more inflammatory fat- arachidonic acid. Adding in a high quality fish oil is an easy way to ensure your intake of omega 3s.
Of course, check with your Naturopathic Doctor to discuss if these supplements (or tips) would be right for you and what dosing or brand is best suited to your needs.

We truly hope you are enjoying our Wellness Wednesday Youtube chHealth Tips, don't forget to subscribe to our Youtube channel so you never miss an episode!

~The Coach House Team~

Monday, 28 November 2016

Chronic achy muscles? Tried everything? What’s the missing link to pain free muscles?

I was at a chiropractic talk the other week and a phenomenon known as the thixotropic effect was discussed. As the presenter explained its relevance to us, I began to realize that this effect is something that should be conveyed to our patients/clients so they know how to contribute to their injury recovery.

The thixotropic effect states that a material will remain in a gelatinous (soft and gooey) or fixed state unless loading (shear, compression, traction, etc.) is applied to the material. After such loading, the material will become more pliable. It is a concept of modulation! Now, the question is how do we make this modulation stick? In respect to the human body, what we need to do is modulate the source of control of the tissues that often give us problems (muscles, tendons and ligaments) – all of which are controlled by the nervous system. Therefore, we can only make lasting physical changes if we modulate the nervous system.

What this means is that if you have tight, sore muscles, either from overuse or from chronic poor posture, your muscles will remain tight until enough force is put through them – the thixotropic effect. This force can be provided by a manual therapist or through exercise (stretching, weights, etc.).  The catch is, with only one of these strategies or the wrong method of these strategies, the perceived tension will reappear within 20 minutes to an hour. What we need is a strategy to neurologically modulate the areas of complaint in such a way as to help relieve the discomfort. A combination of the following is an excellent approach to training your nervous system to function more efficiently: 1) Electrostimulation to modulate the neural impulse affecting the targeted structures, 2) Lymphatic drainage to help remove metabolites prolonging the discomfort, 3) Isometric contractions to actively stimulate the tissue involved, 4) Acupuncture dry needling to target deep intramuscular regions, and 5) Dynamic movement to re-establish tolerance to functional patterns.

When it comes to learning how to use the nervous system in a new manner, the typical duration of rehabilitation is approximately three weeks after which point the brain has recognized and learned a new motor skill. This, however, doesn’t mean your rehabilitation is over. You’ll still need time to further ingrain this neurological conditioning so that it becomes second nature when that recruitment pattern is needed. If you are interested in learning more about this approach to your musculoskeletal complaints, I encourage you to book an appointment with me and I would be happy to discuss an individualized treatment plan with you. 

Friday, 25 November 2016

The 12 Days of Christmas Recap

And that's a wrap! 

We hope you've enjoyed our healthy, local gift guide as much as we enjoyed putting it together. It's amazing how many great little shops and local products there are right here in KW. I know my holiday shopping list shifted after checking out these shops for photos. Did you know Distinctly Tea has hot chocolate mix made with granulated honey and not corn syrup based? I searched everywhere for this last year and could not find it! I am currently on week two of my Sustainable Market order and loving it. And I will be checking out Wordsworth Books this week to pick up my children's Christmas books. 

Just incase you missed a day, we have recapped each day below. If you haven't had a chance to check out some of these shops before, now's the time! You won't regret it.

On The First Day Of Christmas: The Coach House Therapeutic Centre


Our clinic, The Coach House Therapeutic Centre, offers gift cards that can be redeemed towards massage therapy, physiotherapy, naturopathic medicine and chiropractic care. If you haven't checked out our beautiful facility now is the time! Give the gift of health this season with a gift certificate to your favourite health care clinic!

Visit The Coach House Therapeutic Centre Website to learn more about our team, services and facilities.

The Coach House Therapeutic Centre
150 King Street South Unit G, Waterloo, ON N2J 1P6

On The Second Day Of Christmas: Gifted

Gifted is a beautiful boutique shop in Uptown Waterloo that is like walking into an Etsy store. They have a huge selection of unique gift ideas- many of which are handmade by local artisans- it's hard not to find something for everyone. Gift the gift of handmade, local, artisan treats.

Check out Gifted's Website to learn more.

181 Park Street, Waterloo, ON N2L 1Y7

On The Third Day Of Christmas: Words Worth Books

Wordsworth Books is located in Uptown Waterloo and has a wonderful selection of quality books- from children's to adult's- and magazines, and actually specialize in hard to find books. They also carry a selection of adult colouring books and supplies. If you haven't popped in to Wordsworth before, now is the time! Give the gift of stress reduction this holiday season!

Words Worth Books Website

Words Worth Books
96 King St S, Waterloo, ON N2J 1P5

On The Fourth Day Of Christmas: Fearless Heart Yoga Studio

Fearless Heart Yoga offers an array of yoga classes that suit any fitness or experience level including specialty classes such as Prenatal, Mom and Baby, Kids, Sports and more. With amazing instructors and a beautiful facility this is definitely an Uptown location to check out- they are even hosting an Open House on Saturday, December 3rd from 3pm-6pm at their studio above Seven Shores Cafe. Give the gift of fitness.

Fearless Heart Yoga Website

Fearless Heart Yoga

10 Regina St N #3, Waterloo, ON N2J 2Z8

On The Fifth Day Of Christmas: The Truth Beauty Company

Truth Beauty Company is located in Uptown Waterloo and focuses on all natural, chemical free skin care, person care products and makeup. Carrying lines for everyone- men, women and children/babies, Truth Beauty Company carries a wide selection of amazing brands and products many of which are Canadian made. Give the gift of natural beauty.

The Truth beauty Company Website

The Truth Beauty Company
Lower level, 46 King Street North, Waterloo, ON N2J 2W8

On The Sixth Day Of Christmas: Cocoon Apothecary

Cocoon Apothecary is definitely a Coach House staff favourite. This amazing skin care line is super luxurious, completely chemical free, organic, eco-friendly and artisan made in small batches right here in KW. Though the Coach House carries a small selection of Cocoon's products, their main location (and site of their production) is well worth the visit. (There will also be a Holiday Shopping Party happening on November 26th from 11am-5pm with a few pop up shops). Boasting both a women's and a men's line, their products are perfect for anyone, and because they are chemical free, safe for young ones as well. Give the gift of chemical free skin care this holiday season and check out Cocoon Apothecary.

Cocoon Apothecary Website

Cocoon Apothecary
72 St Leger Street, Kitchener, ON N2H 6R4

On The Seventh Day Of Christmas: Distinctly Tea

Distinctly tea is beautiful store located in the Bauer Marketplace and carries a huge selection of both delicious teas, Matcha powder, hot chocolates, local handmade pottery, imported chocolate and loose leaf herbs. Check out Distinctly Tea and give the gift of a warm 'cuppa' this holiday season.

Distinctly Tea
187 King St S, Waterloo, ON N2J 1R1

On The Eighth Day Of Christmas: Death Valley's Little Brother

Did you know coffee is the biggest source of antioxidants in the North American diet? However, nutrient value begins to decrease after roasting which is why freshly roasted is ideal. Enter Smile Tiger Coffee Roasters and Death Valley's Little Brother which offer freshly roasted coffee right here in KW! Give the gift of a cup of happiness (and health) this holiday season!

Death Valley's Little Brother Website
Smile Tiger Coffee Website

Death Valley's Little Brother
84 King St N, Waterloo, ON N2J 2X4

Smile Tiger Coffee
100 Ahrens St W, Kitchener, ON N2H 4C3

On The Ninth Day Of Christmas: Relish 

Relish Cooking Studio in Uptown Waterloo offers a great selection of cooking classes with various instructors in a fun group environment. But it's not just cooking classes, Relish has an amazing selection of healthy cookware and kitchen gear including Le Creuset and cast iron pans. Give the gift of healthy cooking this holiday season.

Relish Cooking Studio
56 Regina St N, Waterloo, ON N2J 3A3

On The Tenth Day Of Christmas: The Sustainable Market


Did you know that in fruits and vegetables grown in North America can spend up to 5 days in transit before arriving at a distribution centre? If grown outside of the country it can be up to several weeks? All the while losing nutritional value like vitamins and minerals. Local produce is always the way to go. The Sustainable Market is an online farmers market focusing on local, chemical free and non-GMO farms that use sustainable farming practices. But it's not just produce, they also offer ordering from local bakeries like Golden Hearth and local coffee from Smile Tiger as well as dairy, meats and pantry items. They will also be holding their Holiday Market from November 25th until December 16th with some amazing local artisans- check out their website for more info! Give the gift of healthy eating this holiday season with a gift certificate to The Sustainable Market.

On The Eleventh Day Of Christmas: Fenigo

                                                                        Did you know often times BPA-free plastic actually leaches more endocrine disrupting chemicals then BPA containing plastic. Every time it is heated and cooled (think left in a car, put in the dishwasher, etc) more chemicals are released into the food or beverages it's containing. Fenigo offers an amazing selection of everything you need to go plastic (and litter) free! From mugs to water bottles, straws to utensils and even storage and lunch containers, you will find it at this little gem of a shop! Give the gift of chemical free this holiday season.

Fenigo Website

105 Lexington Rd, Waterloo, ON N2J 4R7

On The Twelfth Day Of Christmas: Ambrosia Pastry Co.

Let's be real, it wouldn't be the holidays without...Chocolate! Ambrosia Pastry co. in KW makes small batch, handmade, craft bean to bar chocolate completely from start to finish. Ambrosia sources Fair Trade Organic cacao beans from around the globe and choose the best roasting methods and percentages of cacao to highlight the beans characteristics. Need more reason to try these bars? A bar of dark chocolate with 70-85% cacao contains high amounts of fibre, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, selenium and antioxidants. Just remember to enjoy in moderation and give Ambrosia a visit. This holiday give the gift of a tasty treat!

Ambrosia Pastry Co. Website

Ambrosia Pastry Co.
150 Roger St, Waterloo, ON N2J 1A9

Happy holiday shopping!!!

~The Coach House Team~