Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Buy Local Recap

It's All About Local

Today wraps up our local holiday gift guide! As an Uptown Waterloo small business, one of the things we love best is the community, the other small businesses and the unique Uptown atmosphere and experience. Here at The Coach House, we have made out own pledges to buy local as much as possible. We started our local holiday gift guide last year to help you discover some of the other amazing small business gems in Uptown Waterloo. There are so many reasons why shopping local is important for the community and economy.

"Going local does not mean walling off the outside world. It means nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources sustainably, employ local workers at decent wages and serve primarily local consumers. It means becoming more selfsufficient and less dependent on imports. Control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back into the community where it belongs.” Michael H. Shuman, author of the book Going Local 

Shopping local supports job creation, keeps money in the community, increases community investment such as charitable contributions, keeps the community unique, creates more consumer choices, reduces environmental impacts, support economic growth, provides better customer service, saves tax dollars and promotes entrepreneurship. (Michigan State University: Why Buy Local?)

So, let's recap some of the amazing Uptown Waterloo stores we featured in the gift guide. And remember, if you shop at any of these locations between now and December 12th, be sure to mention to gift guide or The Coach House to receive your ballots to enter to win the shop local gift basket!

And just in case you missed it....Here's the recap!!

The Coach House Therapeutic Centre

The CHTC was founded in the Fall of 2015 offering Registered Massage Therapy and Naturopathic Medicine. Since then we have grown to also offer Chiropractic care, Osteopathic Manual Therapy and Physiotherapy including Pelvic Floor.

Nimira and her team celebrated their 10th year in Uptown this past spring! Tadpole carries unique, functional and well-made products from around the world. With each item, we aspire to help children play, grow and imagine!
You can find the perfect gift for expecting mothers, babies and toddlers. The customer service and guidance makes anyone's shopping experience enjoyable. The team is there to help you find the perfect gift that they will cherish. Open 7 days a week

Ashley is the owner of the new shop Burrowed Goods which just opened September on Regina Street in Uptown Waterloo! This little gem sells new and re-purposed home decor, decorating accessories, pillows, picture frames, candles, accent furniture, scarves and light fixtures. The stock is always changing and you will never leave empty handed! Pick up pieces to transform into something unique or purchase things Ashley has created for you! Open Tuesday - Saturday for your shopping needs. 

Andies is located street level on King Street in the heart of Uptown! If you need a dress, work attire, casual wear or outer wear you go to Andies. The team is always willing to help you navigate their large selection of beautiful clothing and help you find something you look and feel great in. A new dress for the upcoming Christmas party or simply an excuse for a new every day outfit are always in order.
In case you missed it.... in Spring, Andie's will be offering a great selection of footwear!

Gifted is a unique shop located on Park Street. I can confidently say there will be something for everyone!
Sylvia brings in Canadian and locally made items to help support local production, which we love!
You must stop by to pick up a new tree ornament, decor, cookware, home decor and much, much more!

Cocoon Apothecary
Jessica Burman is the founder of Cocoon Apothecary, a Kitchener-based natural skin care company. She started it in her kitchen in 2003 with a passion for aromatherapy, skin care, and chemistry. What started out as simple remedies has turned into an international brand with over 40 skin care, bath, and men's products. Everything produced by Cocoon is made small batch with certified organic botanicals and their meticulous formulas are created for long term results. This is the perfect line to introduce someone to green beauty as the textures, absorbency, and scents are similar to conventional luxury brands but the performance surpasses them all.

Charmed Flowers and Gifts Inc. , is bursting with unique gift ideas, local merchandise along with custom handmade, heart felt and beautiful fresh arrangements.

Haley's design skills speak for themselves. The arrangements are unique and high quality.
Take a trip to Charmed today, order your Christmas arrangements for yourself or someone you love, pick up a potted plant and browse her great selection of holiday decor and ornaments.

Relish Cooking Studio is located on Regina St. and offers a fantastic selection of cooking classes with various instructors in a fun group environment. A gift card is perfect for your special someone to spend on a class because not only is it fun but they can take away skills and memories!
Yet, it's not just cooking classes, Relish has an amazing selection of cookware and kitchen gear including Le Creuset, tea towels, place settings, cast iron pans and much more.

Words Worth Books is packed with a wonderful selection of books, art, journals, colour books, children books and hard to find books! Located in Uptown Waterloo on King St street level you cannot miss it! Mandy and team are extremely knowledgeable and helpful! They can help direct you to the perfect book for anyone on your list! Nothing is better than curling up with a great book, a cup of tea and a fuzzy blanket during the cold months! If you haven't popped in to Wordsworth before, now is the time!

Death Valley's Little Brother is a personal favourite of mine! I get my java pick me up and I get to try new single malts from their large selection. The ambiance is exquisite here and they regularly host live music and whiskey tastings! The perfect stocking stuffer or a gift basket would have to include a gift certificate from DVLB or a few bags of their roasted coffee beans! Stop by today, get yourself a coffee and a delicious baked good and start adding some local love to your gifts this year!

Everyone loves chocolate and add the fact that it is handmade and local makes it even better. Esta Chocolates is a family business, founded by Abraham (Abe) Hacioglu, a master European Chocolatier and a third generation member of a Chocolatier family. They use the finest ingredients, most of which are imported from Europe, and the end result is a delicious truffle. Ebru and Abe combine experience, passion and inspiration to bring you the richest truffles at affordable prices. . Esta Chocolates maintains the same high standards for service and reliability. You can get individual truffles, beautiful boxes and even ball ornaments filled with truffles to give as gifts.

Loop Clothing is in heart of Uptown and if you have a man on your list that needs some new attire, this is the place! The exceptional quality of the products and the unique pieces will make anyone happy to receive a gift from here.
Alnoor, owner of Loop, has ensured the store remains at the forefront of the Street wear fashion industry by providing customers with friendly "down to earth" service and of course, exclusivity on many fronts.

Happy Holiday Shopping!!!

Thursday, 23 November 2017

November is Fall Prevention Month!​

Fall Prevention

Awareness of the prevalence of falls among older adults, as well as fall prevention strategies, are important for maintaining healthy communities. Falling and sustaining injuries negates overall health due to the impact of long term injury and loss of mobility.

Falls account for the majority of injuries to seniors
•50% seniors who fall obtain an injury
•Most common injury is hip fracture

Falls account for majority of hospitalizations to seniors
•Primary injury related hospitalization for seniors
•80% Hospitalization due to falls

Risk and protective factors for falls

Risk Factors for falling include:

• Poor balance
• Poor mobility
• Decreased muscle and bone strength
• Reduced vision or hearing
         • Anxiety about falling
         • Unsafe conditions in/around the home
         • Poor nutrition
         •  Multiple medications
*Women 65+ are at increased risk due to Osteoporosis

Risk of injury:

• 50% of Senior falls result in injury

• Previous falls and injuries increase risk for future accidents

• Osteoporosis increases risk factor for fractures

• Elderly women are at increased risk of hospitalization

• Elderly men are at increased risk of death

Strategies for falls prevention:
Stay Healthy!

Reduce Risks
- Wear proper footwear
- Salt/ De-ice side walks, driveways and stairs
- Reduce mess and clutter
- Use assistive aids as required (hand rails, canes, walkers etc)
Eat well
- Good nutrition and vitamin intake is essential to maintain bone and muscle health
Stay Hydrated

- Keeping up your water intake keeps muscles limber, reduces brain fog and reduces muscle pain intensity and frequency
One of the best ways to be healthy is to maintain your health. Preventative care is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. You can refer to our previous blogs for more information on different ways to bolster your health and practice preventative medicine:

An awesome local resource, Community Support Connections, is also talking about Fall & Injury prevention Training. Find out what courses and community resources they have to support fall prevention on their website.

Fall Prevention Talk

When: January 15th, 10am to 11am
Where: Forest Heights Library

This talk will explore the health effects that falling has on the senior population. The presentation, accompanied by a power point, will discuss how falling can impact systemic health. Exploring the risk factors for falling and injury allows us to better understand the effect of sustaining a fall on short and long term health.

Once we have created a basis for understanding fall prevalence and the relevance of preventative care, we will discuss effective prevention strategies. Fall prevention planning will cover methods of protective factors, effective ways of removing risk factors, and minimizing risk of injury should a fall occur.

Monday, 13 November 2017

It is that time of year again...

If you are like me, you have no idea where 2017 went, it feels like just yesterday you packed up your holiday decorations. Yet, the calendar doesn't lie and we are now into November where the stores are booming with holiday cheer. 

Here at The Coach House, we are strong believers and advocates for shopping locally, not only from an economical and environmental standpoint but also from a community and personal benefit. When you shop at an independently owned shop you get to know the person behind the store and become personally invested in the success of the business. This is great for our community to create a unique identity for Uptown.

These are the little extras that help make your shopping experience fun and relaxed when you stroll up King Street, down the side streets and end up on Regina. 

Another HUGE reason we shop locally is for the handmade, one of a kind gifts you get. Maybe the store you are visiting brings in locally made artisan items from people in your community and offers them a place to sell their goods, or maybe the shop owner hunts for the unique items that the big box stores oversee.

Last year was our first year of putting together a Shop Local 12 Day Holiday Guide featuring 12 small businesses from our community. We also added a blog of specialty stores if you needed gender or age specific gift ideas.

This year we are combining the two into the ultimate 12 Day Shopping Guide, featuring some old favourites and some new stores!

Many of us have made it our personal mission to buy everything possible locally when it comes to holiday shopping. So, to add a little incentive to help you make the same commitment, our participating stores have graciously made donations for a gift basket! For every $10 you spend at one of the local small businesses, you will receive a ballot to be entered into a draw to win! The draw will be held on December 13th. Just mention either The Coach House or The Gift Guide! That gives you the 12 days and an extra 2 weeks to shop locally and get you name in the draw. The more you spend the more ballots you get. Simple. Just say you saw the store featured on 12 Day Shopping Guide and the ballots will come your way. The more stores you shop at the higher your chances of winning this great prize!

Featured Stores

Meet The Owners 

Behind every small business, there's a story worth knowing. 

Tadpole Children Shoppe

Burrowed Goods



Cocoon Apothecary

Charmed Flowers and Gifts

Relish Cooking Studio 

Words Worth Books

Death Valley's Little Brother 

Esta Chocolates

Loop Clothing

We hope you explore new stores and support these fantastic people Uptown! Get the people on your list a unique gift with a wonderful story. 

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Top 5 Foods for Men's Health

November is all about men's health! So I am sharing my Top 5 Foods to add to your diet to boost your health, protect against prostate cancer and keep your hormones, like testosterone, rocking. Check out our latest Wellness Wednesday video below. (And keep reading for all the details below!)

Pumpkin Seeds

These little seeds are chalk full of nutrition and micronutrients. They are high in Zinc, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Copper and Iron. They also contain protein, Vitamin E and are a source of health omega-3 fats. Pumpkin seeds have been shown to help improve BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia), a condition that many older men suffer from that can lead to urination issues and discomfort. Because pumpkin seeds are high in Zinc they can also help improve sperm quality, fertility and support testosterone levels!

Flax Seeds

These are another seed that often comes up when discussion hormonal regulation in women, but they are also little powerhouses when it comes to men's health as well. A great source of fibre, omega-3 fats and lignans, these little seeds have been shown to help improve cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation which results in a reduction of heart disease risk. Studies also suggest that flax seeds can provide protection against prostate cancer and can even decrease tumour growth and proliferation!


Pomegranates and pomegranate juice are rich in polyphenols which are potent antioxidants. Research shows that pomegranate can hep reduce heart disease risk, protect against prostate cancer and support testosterone levels. Preliminary research is also showing that drinking pomegranate juice may slow the rate of tumour growth as well!


Tomatoes are high in lycopene which is the most potent beta-carotene antioxidant, it's what gives tomatoes that red colour. Lycopene is an incredibly important antioxidant when it comes to men's health and prostate cancer prevention. Multiple studies have shown an inverse relationship between tomato consumption and prostate cancer risk, meaning, the more tomatoes consumed, the lower the risk of prostate cancer risk. However, the same results were not shown with straight Lycopene supplement usage. It's likely that it's not just the lycopene that is helping but the combination and interaction of multiple nutrients and antioxidants in the tomatoes. Not a fan of tomatoes? Other red vegetables- like red peppers, red cabbage and carrots- also contain lycopene. 


The brassica family includes broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale and Brussel sprouts. These veggies are packed with nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Indole-3-carbinol is one such nutrient which has significant research showing not only cancer prevention, but also cancer treatment benefits. Most of the research is related to hormonally-driven cancers, like prostate cancer (or breast cancer), but there is also research showing benefit with other cancers and lowering cardiovascular, diabetes and obesity risk.

It's Not Just Skin Deep

In addition to these health boosting foods to put in your body, it is important to also be cognizant of what you are putting on your body, because it is ultimately absorbed and ends up in your body as well. 

Though the trend is changing, it is not uncommon for men to spend little time contemplating their personal care and personal care product routine. Using the Head and Shoulders that happens to wash down your face from your hair in the shower isn't exactly the best face wash option. Nor is the all-in-one hair/body/face wash. These standard personal care products area often laden with chemicals many of which, like phthalates, are known endocrine disruptors.

We often hear about endocrine disruptors and xenoestrogens in the context of women's health and female cancer risk, however, it's not just women who are susceptible. Males are just as susceptible. In the last 38 years there has been a 50% decrease in male sperm counts. Xenoestrogen contamination has been identified as a major source of deficient sperm quality. Animal studies have actually shown feminization occurring in aquatic wildlife after exposure to xenoestrogens.

The unfortunate truth is that we are so inundated with xenoestrogen exposure it is extremely hard to avoid it completely. Even our drinking water is contaminated with synthetic hormones due to the extremely common use of oral contraceptives (birth control). Unfortunately, these synthetic hormones are urinated out and our current filtration systems can't filter them out, one of the biggest causes of xenoestrogen exposure in aquatics. However, making changes where you can is one way to reduce your endocrine disruption exposure. Cocoon Apothecary is wonderful local KW skin care company that also has a dedicated mens line of clean personal care products. However, there are many great options on the market. Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep website is a great way to check the toxicity and chemical burden of your personal care products and find some better options.

Happy Men's Health Month!

Disclaimer: The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. This information shouldn’t take the place of seeing a Naturopathic Doctor or your primary care provider for individualized health recommendations.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

The Birds and the Bees

The Birds and the Bees

When it comes to fertility we always hear the stories about those 'immaculate' conceptions.

"It just happened on the first try!" "We weren't even trying!"

So, when it doesn't happen after the first month, or the second month, or the third month...many people (especially women) start to panic. However, it's actually not uncommon or even abnormal to take up to a year for conception to happen. Here are some of the facts:

Females hit peak fertility in their 20s and slowly declines into their 30s. Rate decline accelerates after age 35.

Male fertility also declines with age as sperm quality decreases and DNA fragmentation increases

A young couple at peak fertility only has a 25% chance at best of conceiving each month

Fertility issues are often 30% related to females, 30% to males and 40% have male and female related issues.

It is estimated that up to 15.7% of couples will experience fertility issues, and up to 20.7% of couples with a female partner aged 40-44 years old.

Before you let these stats get you down, there are a lot of things you can do to help optimize fertility!

All About the Egg

In our last blog post, we discussed menses and the common symptoms that actually indicate there could be hormonal imbalances happening. If your hormones aren't optimal (even if the blood work
says they are within normal limits), then fertility won't be optimal. Looking at all factors that can affect hormones can make a huge difference- ensure detox pathways are functioning well, stress and cortisol is low, diet is providing all the nutrients, etc.

In addition to the basic health factors, it can also be beneficial to rule out potential issues such as endometriosis, PCOS or functional issues like blocked fallopian tubes. This is why I will frequently refer patients to a fertility clinic for a thorough work up. Though it may seem contradictory, Naturopathic Doctors and Reproductive Endocrinologists (Fertility doctors) actually work extremely well together and combining both will often lead to better outcomes. If there is a diagnosable issue like endometriosis or PCOS, treatment can be tailored to see even more benefit.

Supplements can also benefit fertility such as improving egg quality. CoQ 10, Fish Oils and NAC have all been shown to benefit egg quality, though it does take 3 months to see effects as eggs take 3 months to go to full development. Even fertility clinics are recommending supplementation now to help improve conception.

Reducing stress through mindfulness or massage therapy can benefit fertility as well. Massage therapy is quickly becoming a standard recommendation for women trying to conceive or planning to undergo IVF treatments.

Acupuncture also has tonnes of research showing benefit with fertility, either through natural cycles or assisted cycles (IUI and IVF). Even Bowen has fertility specific moves to help improve conception!

Olympic Swimmers

It's pretty common to discuss only women's health when it comes to fertility and pregnancy. And though female health is very important, especially since that's where that baby will be growing and developing for 9 months, when it comes to fertility and conception, it's of course, 50-50. Male health is often a second thought when it comes to conception however, like the stats show above, fertility issues are related to male factors equally. Research has even shown that sperm counts have decreased by over 50% in less than 40 years in some parts of the world- North America, Europe and Australia. This is why it's important to also do a full work up including sperm analysis for the male as well.

Though it's sometimes not as obvious, men can have hormonal imbalances as well and all those same hormones that effect women, also effect men. When it comes to males, testosterone is probably the biggest player and many factors, including stress and diet, can affect it. Obesity has also been shown to increase estrogen while decreasing testosterone, sleep apnea and insulin resistance will also decrease testosterone. Fragmented sleep alone increases LH levels which decrease testosterone. 

When it comes to sperm health, diet and nutrition play an important role. Nutrients like folate and vitamin B12 are required for DNA, phospholipid and protein synthesis. Antioxidants, like those found in fruits and vegetables, can also help protect sperm's DNA damage. Healthy diets have also been shown to have positive effects on hormones such as testosterone!

Supplementation with various nutrients and herbs can also help target deficiencies, balance hormones
and even support sperm parameters. It's not just sperm count that matters, but also motility (how well they swim) and fragmentation and morphology (how healthy they are). For example, like with female support, CoQ10 has been shown to benefit males by increasing sperm concentration, motility and normal morphology and helps to balance hormones. 

Like for females, acupuncture has been shown to help improve fertility in males. Massage therapy can help reduce stress and cortisol to improve fertility as well.

The Big Picture

Though we often talk a lot about fertility in the context of female health, it's important to remember it 'takes two to tango' and the male is contributing 50% of the DNA for that baby. Often times, changes take time and supplements usually take a few months to see full effects (both sperm and ovules take about 3 mos to mature), so it's recommended to start boosting your health at least 3-6 months before trying to conceive. Taking an all around, holistic approach is often the best way to get you as healthy as possible. Everyone's ideal is to conceive on the first try, so don't wait until then to take action, start by boosting your own health early to ensure a smooth conception and health pregnancy and baby!

Disclaimer: The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. This information shouldn’t take the place of seeing a Naturopathic Doctor or your primary care provider for individualized health recommendations.