We are all feeling the impact of COVID-19 The unknown can be terrifying. Feeling like things are out of control, can leave us feeling powerless. I urge everyone to practice focusing on what they can control. Start by taking a deep breath.
As a society:
- Educate: focusing on the facts, from reliable sources (such as the World Health Organization – who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/events-as-they-happen). Stay away – or better yet: take a break from social media. Exaggerations cause panic. Don’t spread panic.
- Show empathy and caring for those around you when you are out.
- Wash your hands, regularly, effectively, as soon as you enter any building. Wash for at least 20 seconds, and scrub!
- If you are sick, minimize your exposure to others to avoid spreading illness. Although many young and healthy people will not experience the more severe symptoms of the disease, do your part for friends and neighbours by social distancing. You could become a vector of the virus and spread to those that are elderly, immune-compromised, or pregnant. If you are ill in any way and you spread this to others, they can become more susceptible. Be smart and limit social gathers and practice social distancing as much as possible.
- Be mindful of your hygiene practices Greet with a wave rather than a handshake.
- Stay connected to loved ones and to the community – if you’re out buying groceries, buy local and support your small businesses! Buy coffee from a local shop, bread from your bakery.
As an individual, there is so much you can do, to both minimize your exposure and boost your immune system:
- Clean your cellphone and surfaces you touch regularly
- Avoid touching your face
- Boost your immune system: berries, vegetables and fruit in every colour – contain lots of vitamins and minerals that our immune systems need
- Reduce sugar and alcohol intake
- Garlic, rosemary, oregano – these all have antiviral properties. Use them in cooking, make some tea, consume them regularly.
- Bone broth – helps to heal the gut, provides the body with nutrients that our immune system needs. Make some bone broth, using organic bones, and lots of garlic and vegetables! (Recipe below)
- Practice stress-reduction: practice yoga at home, mediate for 5 minutes daily. Increased stress can make us more susceptible to illness, as stress can lower the function of our immune system
- Sleep – our bodies need adequate sleep to properly respond to stress, and for our immune systems to work optimally. Aim for 7+ hours of sleep
If you have been in contact with someone with the corona virus; if you think you might have corona virus – call Telehealth: 1-866-797-0000 or Hamilton Public Health COVID-19 hotline at 905-546-2424 ext 7970.
As a healthcare practitioner, I will continue to keep my clinic space clean and a safe space for healing, working to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Hygiene is and always will be a solid and constant practice of mine. My goal is always to keep you safe, healthy, and informed.
- 2 lbs bones from a healthy source – organic, free-range if possible
- 2 chicken feet (optional) (I buy mine from Nature’s Emporium)
- 1 L water
- 2 stalks of celery
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 onion
- 2 carrots
- 1 head garlic (peeled)
- 1 bunch parsley (optional)
- 1 tbsp salt (optional)
- 1 tsp peppercorns (optional)
- 1 piece ginger (2 inches) (optional)
- 2 pieces fresh turmeric root (optional)
- herbs and spices to taste (optional)
- Bones: you can either buy bones to make bone broth, or buy meat and save the bones (for example, buying an organic chicken, chicken legs, cooking and keeping the bones for soup). If you are using raw bones, especially beef bones, it improves flavor to roast them in the oven first. Place them in a roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes at 350°F.
- Place the bones in a large crock pot or stock pot
- Pour cold water and the vinegar over the bones. Let sit for 20-30 minutes in the cold water. The acid helps make the nutrients in the bones more available.
- Rough chop and add the onion, carrots, and celery to the pot. Peel garlic and add.
- Add any salt, pepper, spices, or herbs, if using.
- Stock pot: bring the broth to a boil. Once it has reached a vigorous boil, reduce to a simmer and simmer until done. Crock pot: turn heat to low.
- Cook for 10+ hours
- If you are using bones that are not free-range or organic: while cooking, fat will rise to the top while cooking. Remove this with a spoon and continue cooking.
- During the last 30 minutes, add more garlic and parsley, if using.
- Remove from heat and let cool. Strain to remove all the bits of bone and vegetable.
- Store in glass jars, or freeze in ice cube trays and use whenever you’re cooking: stir fries, rice, quinoa, or use as a base in any recipe. You can also consume on its own daily: drink ½ cup daily.
Hearty Sweet Potato Slow Cooker Soup
Playing around with ingredients on hand lead me to discover the most delicious recipe! The best part was how much soup we had left over, when we felt like we’d already had 2 bowls each! (you’ll go back for at least a spoonful – we guarantee it, haha) The entire recipe only costs a few dollars and leftovers freeze like a dream! Full of nutrients and protein! We are big on colourful food here at OM! Give it a try and let us know what you think!
1 carton of no salt added chicken broth
1/2 cup uncooked lentils
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup dill (we don’t always add dill and its still delish)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 onions roughly diced
5ish stalks of celery
3 sweet potatoes (large) peeled and cubed
*ingredients are rough so that you can add more of the flavours you prefer
Add all of these ingredients to your slow cooker and fill the rest of the way with water. Cook on high for 3-4 hours.
Use a submersible handheld blender *remove bay leaves first!!* Garnish with a few squeezes of fresh lemon and sprinkle with parmesan cheese!
Naturopathic Medicine and Fertility
Naturopathic Medicine goes hand-in-hand with your fertility health. No matter where you are in your fertility journey- if it’s something that is starting to cross your mind, if you’re preparing to start trying, or if it’s something that has unfortunately and/or unexpectedly become a stressor in your life – naturopathic care can be a key addition, from preconception, throughout pregnancy, and post-labour.
Future fertility thoughts
If the thoughts of creating little ones has started to cross your mind, or if you’re looking to get pregnant in the next couple years. Now is the time to start thinking about your fertility. Often in the years before this time, our only thoughts of our fertility surrounds how NOT to get pregnant. Unfortunately many couples find that once they start trying, the pregnancy doesn’t come as easily as we were scared into thinking it would.
If you’re on or have been on birth control, if you experience painful periods, if you’re dealing with high amounts of stress, insomnia, fatigue, acne, hair growth or loss – it’s time to take a deeper look into making some adjustments in your health and to your life. These can all have an impact on your fertility.
Preparing to Try
Did you know that the cycle of the egg in preparation for ovulation is 90 days? During this 90-day period before an egg reaches full maturation, the eggs are changing and preparing for ovulation. What you do during this time period affects the health of your eggs! SO, in reality, if you’re trying, or preparing to try – you should be preparing AT LEAST 90 days in advance.
We can’t forget male fertility, if it’s a factor in your personal fertility journey. Men – you’re not left out of this. Men produce millions of new sperm every day, but these sperm also take 60-90 days to fully mature. They must also be kept healthy as they are subject to whatever conditions the rest of the body is exposed to.
Therefore- in the case of male and female fertility – both men and women should consider making changes to their diet and lifestyle if they are looking to increase the chances of conception. Once these healthy changes are made (such as quitting smoking, consuming caffeine and alcohol in moderation, exercising regularly, eating more fruits and vegetables and less processed foods), it takes approximately 90 days for these changes to appear in eggs and sperm.
For those who may have started to try with high hopes, only to have them dashed month after month – this can be devastating to mental health, adding stress, uncertainty, and questioning. Infertility is technically the inability to achieve a pregnancy after 6 months if you’re over 35 years old, or after 1 year if you’re under 35 years old. This means that a full fertility workup with your family doctor, or referral to a fertility clinic, is not made until after this time-frame. However, if you’re ready to start a family, you don’t need to wait this long to start digging into what may be going on.
Naturopathic medicine can help in optimizing sperm motility, morphology, overall counts, and DNA fragmentation rates. It can help regulate menstrual cycles, and improve egg quality. Naturopathic medicine can help get to the root of why you may be experiencing fertility issues, by investigating possible causes, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), misinformation surrounding the best time to conceive, thyroid dysfunction, effects of high stress, or luteal phase defects. Naturopathic doctors help to figure out the cause, all while educating you along the way. They key is to uncover what may be preventing a couple from conceiving, and addressing these underlying causes of infertility.
Fertility challenges can have large physical and emotional impacts on both men and women. The conventional approach is often frustrating and can leave people feeling confused, unsure, and like they have no control. Naturopathic medicine can help people face their fertility challenges head on, giving them knowledge, power, and allowing them to take back control over their situation.
Typically the naturopathic approach takes a minimum of three-four months – the time it takes for egg and sperm maturation – and utilizes a holistic approach involving nutritional and lifestyle counselling, herbal medicines, proper supplements and acupuncture. This plan will be based on who you are as a person, and where you are in your fertility journey. You can, and should, add in naturopathic medicine, no matter where you are!
Dr. Lydia Kovacs is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor passionate about mental health, mood, the optimal fertility journey, and healthy, happy digestion. She believes that at the center of many health concerns is stress and her goal is to help with the management and reduction of this in order to impact all other aspects of life: including hormonal balance, sleep, mood, digestion, and pain.
Dr. Lydia uses treatment methods such as nutritional counselling, supplementation, herbal remedies, acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine as well as motivation interviewing to provide a truly holistic assessment and treatment plan that works with you, for you.