Health Matters

Healing Mind, Body & Spirit

Often, declining health conditions that lead to illness may be linked to inadequate food nutrition and deficient emotional and spiritual nourishment. Stepping back onto the path of healthy living involves perceiving your illness as an opportunity to heal your mind, body and spirit by nourishing every level of yourself.

Throughout her career as a Nutritionist, Ara has successfully counseled many individuals suffering from disease and/or illness, some of which are briefly described below.

Cancer Prevention

The World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research issued a report in February, 2009 based on a review of nearly 7,000 scientific studies that questioned whether cancer is influenced by diet, obesity and exercise. Their report concluded that cancer is mostly preventable and estimated that about one-third of all cancer cases in advanced countries like Canada could be eliminated by healthy nutrition, regular exercise/movement and maintaining an appropriate weight.

Integrating healthy nutrition with protective foods specifically suited to healing your body may prevent cancer or, for the cancer patient, lead to recovery. Protective foods are fundamental to restoring health as they help the body to heal itself. Examples of protective foods include organic vegetables and fruits which contain vitamins, minerals

and phytochemicals (plant chemicals). Phytochemicals are biologically active compounds that stimulate the immune system, affect hormone levels, help to detoxify harmful chemicals and act as antioxidants.

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Heart Health

Your lifestyle may influence whether or not you will develop certain risk factors for heart disease. Nutrition, physical activity, and lifestyle habits are essential to reducing high cholesterol and symptoms associated with cardiovascular disease. Research has found that most heart attacks occur between 8-9 o’clock on Monday morning. Most people who suffered a heart attack on Monday morning expressed a lack of work fulfillment, unfulfilled dreams and feelings of powerlessness over their situation. Our Mondays are toxic because we internalize stress we feel in our life. Stress then morphs into negative thoughts and feelings that manifest through physical illness and disease. The pathology of heart disease reflects the narrowing of the mind, the dark thoughts, in that blood vessels feeding the heart become constricted thereby preventing blood flow.

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Type 2 Diabetes

Throughout North America, the incidence of type II diabetes has been spiraling upward for years. Many experts believe that the rise of this disease corresponds to pervasive consumption of unhealthy food resulting in excess body fat and harmful toxins that permeate our food, water and air. Type II diabetes affects the health of every cell in the body and, consequently, may lead to numerous complications. On a psycho-spiritual level, diabetes may result in being unable to appreciate and absorb the sweetness of life.

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Gastrointestinal Health

Digestive discomfort is largely a result of eating too much unhealthy food or food that is simply not compatible with your body. Digestive disorders are the primary causes of various symptoms and diseases. Learning to relax is essential to proper digestion since stress and tension may cause tightness and restrictions in blood vessels supplying body organs thereby preventing proper digestion.

Most of us assume our digestive systems are like garbage disposal systems; we expect our body systems to efficiently and effectively process the constant influx of all varieties of food, whether healthy or not. Of course, our body systems are not garbage disposals and there is a price to be paid for consuming unhealthy food. That price often presents itself as nausea, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, indigestion, gas, belching, bloating, ulcers, appetite disorders, allergies, mineral deficiencies and fatigue among other symptoms.

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Colon Health

A healthy colon is of vital importance. Many diseases prevalent today may be linked to a sedentary colon. The food that we eat directly affects the health of our colon, an organ that plays a significant role in keeping us vibrant and healthy. Related, bowel problems may be the result of nutritional deficiencies and autointoxification. Anxiety, control, perfectionism, wanting everything to be clean and tidy, holding back our emotions and retaining old grievances are some of the issues that are related to constipation or bowel disorders. Once we change our diet, confront life’s difficulties and learn to let go, then our bodies will do the same.

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Allergies, Sensitivities & Intolerances

Allergies are the body’s misguided and extreme response to an allergen. Just as the use of unnatural, inorganic food has been become ubiquitous in the North American diet, food allergies and intolerances have correspondingly increased with alarming speed. It has been estimated that close to 4 million Canadians, or more than 10% of the country’s population, now suffer from a food allergy or intolerance.

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Arthritis / Joint Pain

Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation in the synovial membranes of multiple joints in the body. It attacks the lining of the joints and often produces severe pain and inflammation, joint disfigurement, and loss of joint movement and function. Research has shown that hidden food allergies, weak digestion and heavy metal toxicity such as mercury, cadmium, and lead have been linked with rheumatoid arthritis. Sadly, some of these metals are found in our food chain and too frequently become part of an ordinary diet.
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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Individuals with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) often exhibit the markers of metabolic syndrome including insulin resistance, obesity and lipid disorders, which may lead to cardiovascular disease. Healthy dietary nourishment for individuals suffering from PCOS typically results in weight loss, which can improve symptoms of PCOS in obese clients, and a reduction of common symptoms such as acne, excess hair growth on face or body, and menstrual irregularities.
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Hypothyroidism or under active thyroid may slow the body’s metabolic rate, depress activity of other glands in the body and adversely affect all cells and tissues in the body. Adjusting food nutrition, including taking suitable supplements and reducing stress, effectively supports other measures implemented to prevent or alleviate this condition.

The Barnes basal body temperature test is an excellent way to determine thyroid function using basal body temperature (the body’s lowest temperature at rest). This temperature reading measures how much energy is actually being generated in cells. The body’s temperature will drop below normal while the body is at rest (sleep), but will rise to normal after activity and reach its highest temperature by the end of the day. The temperature will change with ovulation, emotional upset, illness or a restless night’s sleep. If the thyroid is overactive, your temperature will show 1-2 degrees above normal. If the thyroid is underactive, your temperature will show 1-2 degrees below normal.

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Prenatal Nutrition

Healthy nutrition is of the utmost importance for mother and baby during pregnancy. Focusing on nutrition and health before pregnancy helps to ensure optimal nutritional status for mother and baby thus minimizing the risk of developing an abnormality. It is essential not only to eat healthy food but also to avoid unhealthy food and lifestyle habits. Optimally nourished mothers produce healthier babies.

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Menopause is a time when significant transformation and life re-evaluation takes place on the physical, mental and spiritual levels. Those who have not been leading a healthy lifestyle on all levels before the onset of menopause will experience symptoms such as hot flashes, anxiety, depression, vaginal dryness, sweating, sore breasts, sleep disturbances, fatigue, decreased libido and headaches among others.
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Cosmetic Surgery

Undergoing cosmetic surgery requires that serious consideration be given to nutritional health. Optimal nutrition, both before an after cosmetic surgery, including proper nutrient intake and nutritional supplements, enhances results, speeds healing and reduces inflammation and bruising. Self care is the work you have to do to make it all worth it!