Tag Archives: nutrition

Lifestyle Nutrition

3 Good Fats You Need Right Now!

you need healthy fats to lose weightFats have long been cast as evil and deadly, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. But no all fats are created equal. Your body really needs fats to survive, function, and thrive. Diets that restrict fat intake to lose weight can be dangerous to your health.

Eliminating fat from your diet to lose weight is harmful as certain beneficial fats are essential for your body to function properly.

For example, fats are critical for brain and nervous system function because the myelin (a sheath around nerve fibers that that electrical impulses are transmitted) is made of essential fatty acids.

Fats are also needed for producing hormones, blood clotting, skin and hair, as well as maintaining proper thyroid and adrenal function, and weight. Low fat diets that restrict fat to lose weight can actually slow down your metabolism as the body tries to hang onto calories and energy.

As a part of a healthy diet, these fats pack a nutritional punch by feeding your brain and your body, help you maintain a healthy weight, and keeping you feeling fuller longer.

  1. Flaxseeds or flax oil. Flax is a high source of one of the fatty acids the body does not synthesize on its own. Omega-3 fatty acids are not as readily absorbed as Omega-6 fatty acids, so getting more of this fat in your diet is necessary. Try flax oil in your homemade dressing and add flax seeds to your salad. A tablespoon or more of flaxseed in most baked goods increases this fat and fiber with little change to the end product. Add it to your smoothie, cereal, or oatmeal for a great way to start your morning.
  2. Walnuts are also a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids. They are also a rich source of heart-healthy monosaturated fats and l-arginine the amino acids. These awesome nuts also contain polyphenol antioxidants to prevent damage to cells. Try walnut oil in place of olive oil as a finishing oil because it doesn’t tolerate heat very well and can get bitter. Eating walnuts whole is the best way to obtain the antioxidants as they are mostly contained in the skin. Try adding them to salad, smoothies, parfaits, as well as in a granola mix for a snack.
  3. Avocados are a great source of a carotenoid, lutein, which protects your eyes from getting cataracts or macular degeneration. One of the reasons might be that carotenoids need fat to maximize absorption. Leafy greens and orange colored foods are high in carotenoids, but their absorption is greatly reduced without consuming them with a fat. Avocados are also high in fibre.

Good fats are as vital to a healthy body as protein and vitamins. The key is to balance these, as they are all necessary for healthy function.

If you’re struggling to lose weight and you’re not sure why, our Naturopathic Physician can help you discover the reason for your challenges. Whether you’re fed up that nothing is working, or just need some guidance, our clinic can get you on the right track. Contact us today for more information.

Lifestyle Nutrition

How To Keep Your Gut Happy On Your Summer Vacation

digestive issues - keeping your gut happy

Nothing ruins a vacation faster than having to spend all of your time in the bathroom. Severe digestive issues keep you stuck indoors and miserable for days after it’s ended. Then you spend the rest of the time wondering if it’s really over.

Keeping your gut happy is key, and it actually starts way before you even pack your suitcase.

  1. A healthy diet with plenty of dietary fiber and water will clear your digestive system and keep things regular. A few weeks before your vacation, you want to add some extra fiber to your diet. Oatmeal, chia seeds and celery are easy ways to naturally increase fiber, and as a bonus, they help lower cholesterol. Vacation often means fast food that’s high in fat and sugar, so keep that fiber in check to keep things moving.
  2. Probiotics will help to increase the amount of good bacteria to maintain healthy intestinal flora. We need a lot of good bacteria in the intestines to break down food. This ensures we absorb all the good stuff we’re eating. When there is a disruption in this system, things like fungus (candida) can flourish, causing bloating and other unpleasant symptoms. You can also add fermented foods, like pickles, sauerkraut, and miso to your diet daily to get the naturally occurring probiotics present in these foods.
  3. Eliminating dairy helps to reduce the body’s production of mucous. Mucous forms in your respiratory system and can cause infections, but it also forms in the gut. When it does, it prevents food from absorbing properly and can speed up the digestive system. Food is then eliminated before it is completely broken down, causing gas and bloating, as well as irritating the bowels.
  4. Drink bottled water and avoid iced drinks if possible. Ice is directly handled frequently and by numerous people where the weather is warm, and the tourists plentiful. Utensils and/or hands that are not clean frequently and can transfer food borne diseases easily. In countries where the water is not potable, ice should be avoided as there is no guarantee that the water is purified.
  5. Reducing stress is vital to gut health. Stress can wreak havoc on your digestive system, causing diarrhea and dreaded constipation. Balance getting enough sleep and being active to keep your digestive system moving.

If you end up getting sick, avoid over the counter anti-vomiting or anti-diarrhea medications. These only temporarily stop the symptoms, which is trying to physically purge the virus/bacteria out of your system. Resting and staying hydrated (even if it keeps coming up) will help your body fight off the illness.

Chronic digestive issues include frequent constipation, diarrhea, excess gas and bloating, acid reflux, and abdominal pain, especially after eating. There are many reasons for chronic digestive issues, like poor diet, frequent use of antibiotics and/or NSAIDS, inefficient waste removal or an imbalance in intestinal flora, just to name a few.

If you have chronic digestive or bowel issues, contact our Naturopath’s. They can help resolve these digestive issues.


Lifestyle Nutrition

Always Choose Organic for These 12 Foods

healthy dietChoosing organic produce is not always cost effective, and when you are on a budget, you want to make the best choices when it comes to diet.

Buying organic produce local and in season usually garners the best prices.

Even then, it can be difficult when the price difference between conventional and organic prices vary by so much.

Pesticide contamination is a real concern, especially when these powerful pesticides continue to linger in food (and inside of you) for a long time. Workers that handle pesticides for conventional growing can experience acute side effects, like dizziness, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and skin and eye issues. Some pesticides utilize heavy metals which are toxic to the body.

Some products remain contaminated for longer periods of times than others. Some products get natural protection from thick or hard skins.

So when does organic matter the most? Here is a list of 12 products to always get organic (in order from most contaminated):

  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Sweet bell peppers
  4. Peaches
  5. Strawberries
  6. Nectarines
  7. Grapes
  8. Spinach
  9. Lettuce
  10. Cucumbers
  11. Blueberries
  12. Potatoes

Here’s 15 produce items that are the least contaminated with pesticides that you don’t have to buy organic (in order of least contaminated):

  1. Onions
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Avocado
  5. Cabbage
  6. Sweet peas
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangoes
  9. Eggplant
  10. Kiwi
  11. Cantaloupe
  12. Sweet Potatoes
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Watermelon
  15. Mushrooms

If you’re concerned with pesticide contamination or heavy metal intoxication, please talk to one of our Naturopath’s.

Lifestyle Nutrition

8 Reasons to Change Your Diet Now!

chronic health issuesWith chronic health issues, the reasons might elude you because of how long they’ve been occurring. Many chronic issues stem from diet because food and beverages are a daily constant in our lives.

When you have chronic health issues, one of the first things our Naturopaths look at is the diet. The effects of unhealthy eating habits can literally weigh on you and be the result of years of nutritional neglect.

Changing your diet has immediate effects, and a long term lifestyle change with a commitment to healthy eating can have dramatic changes, even eliminating chronic health issues.

Here are 8 reasons to change your diet now:

  1. Whether you experience seasonal allergies or all year around, allergies are a sign that your body is hyper sensitive. Allergies can appear as respiratory issues, watery eyes and/or skin issues like eczema. Identifying allergens can help to ease and even eliminate allergy symptoms.
  2. Digestive Issues. Chronic constipation or diarrhea? Acid reflux or indigestion? Digestive issues are commonly relieved by a change in diet, and the changes can usually be felt quickly.
  3. Body Odour. Changes in body odour can be a result of an unhealthy diet. Fungus like candida, or yeast, thrives in diets with high sugar and gluten. So do the bacteria that cause body odour.
  4. Lack of Energy. Can you sleep for hours but still wake up feeling tired, sluggish or exhausted? Toxic build up from an unhealthy diet can keep you from being effectively using the energy in your body. Changes in diet can rev up your engine again.
  5. Sleep Issues. Without a balanced diet, your body might have issues managing your energy requirements properly. You might wake up at night due to hunger or late/difficult digestion.
  6. Depression/Mood Issues. Food acts as a fuel for your body, supplying it with the necessary items like vitamins, proteins and minerals to run efficiently. Without proper diet, your body could be missing key elements to keep your nervous system stabilized. Being deficient in certain vitamins can affect your hormones and even your mood.
  7. Chronic Pain. An unhealthy diet could be causing you pain. Certain foods can be deadly for joints. Frequent headaches are commonly associated with issues with diet.
  8. It isn’t just about calories! A balanced and healthy diet takes into account everything your body needs to run properly, including healthy fats. If you’re eating a healthy diet and you still aren’t losing weight, you might actually be missing something vital, or a seemingly healthy food might be disastrous for your unique needs.

To jumpstart a change in diet, a cleanse or detox might be beneficial.

Colon hydrotherapy can help to quickly ease some of the above chronic health issues, along with a change in diet.

Never attempt a cleanse or detox without advice from your physician.

Ready to feel better? Ask our Naturopath’s how you can change your diet now.

News & Events

Tired of Feeling Tired: Natural Treatments for Fatigue

bio pictureDr. Brian Gluvic will be speaking at the Aging Gracefully Lifestyle Show on June 27 2015.

WHERE:  Shannon Hall (Cloverdale Rodeo & Exhibition Fairgrounds)
6050-176 St (Cloverdale Fairgrounds), Surrey
Corner of 176th Street and 60th Ave, Cloverdale

TOPIC: Tired of Feeling Tired: Natural Treatments for Fatigue

Do you feel really tired late morning or mid afternoon? Are you dependent on sugar and caffeine to make it through the day? Do you often wake in the middle of the night unable to get back to sleep? Fatigue and sleep issues are often an accepted part of aging.

Fortunately, these issues do not have to dominate our lives as we grow older. Learn how simple dietary changes and nutrition can improve your energy and sleep and help you feel younger.

Dr. Brian Gluvic is a Naturopathic Physician at the Village Health Clinic. He provides family medical care with an emphasis on dietary and nutritional therapies, lifestyle counseling, and bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. He completed his medical training at Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington and received additional training in Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine at the International College of Traditional Chinese Medicine of Vancouver. Dr. Gluvic is an adjunct professor (Pediatrics) at the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine.

Latest Research Lifestyle Nutrition

Cold and Flu Prevention, Naturally

Are you getting the flu vaccine? It’s a common topic of conversation this time of year. Some of us may be forced to get it because of work. Others are concerned about the side effects? Many of us question its effectiveness.

A recent review of all the available studies (69 studies involving over 70,000 people) that compared the flu vaccine against placebo or no vaccine showed a very small effect on preventing the flu – about 70 people need to be vaccinated to prevent one case of the flu. These studies also showed no positive benefit in reducing work absences or hospitalizations. Similar reviews with children and the elderly revealed no benefit in preventing the flu. So why are we rushing to get the flu vaccine? I’m not sure. There are isolated smaller studies that do show small benefits in populations at risk, such as infants, the elderly, and those with health conditions, plus the small benefit mentioned above. Overall though, the evidence for the flu vaccine is not very good. Don’t get me wrong! I’m not against vaccines at all. Vaccination is an important tool for the prevention of illness – just maybe not this one.

What about the side effects? For the most part the side effects of the flu vaccine are minimal, harmless but common: mostly local soreness, redness and swelling at the injection site and flu like symptoms (fever and muscle aches). Considering the small benefit and common side effects, I am resistant to recommend this vaccine.

Fortunately, we have many proven and safe alternatives available that, in additional to flu prevention, prevent and treat the common cold. Nutrients such as zinc, vitamin C, vitamin D and probiotics have been shown by numerous studies to reduce the likelihood, length and severity of flu and cold symptoms. These nutrients do this with minimal or no side effects at all – they are extremely safe supplements. There are also lifestyle and dietary factors that reduce the likelihood of cold and flu symptoms. And for added and more immediate protection, when you are feeling vulnerable or just noticing a lot of illness around you, we offer an injectable version of these nutrients along with an injectable homeopathic alternative to the flu vaccine. To learn more about preventing the cold and flu naturally, schedule and appointment with your Village Health Clinic physician.


Jefferson T, Rivetti A, Di Pietrantonj C, Demicheli V, Ferroni E (2012) Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy children. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 8:CD004879. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD004879.pub4

Demicheli V, Jefferson T, Al-Ansary LA, Ferroni E, Rivetti A, Di Pietrantonj C (2014) Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 3:CD001269. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD001269.pub5

Jefferson T, Di Pietrantonj C, Al-Ansary LA, Ferroni E, Thorning S, Thomas RE (2010) Vaccines for preventing influenza in the elderly. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2:CD004876

Singh M, Das RR. Zinc for the common cold. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 6. Art. No.: CD001364. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001364.pub4

Hemilä H, Chalker E. Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD000980. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000980.pub4

Hao Q, Lu Z, Dong BR, Huang CQ, Wu T. Probiotics for preventing acute upper respiratory tract infections. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 9. Art. No.: CD006895. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006895.pub2

Latest Research Lifestyle Nutrition

Five Ways to Help your Children Prevent the Cold or Flu, Naturally

1)   Sleep. The research is fairly clear – reduced sleep results in impaired immune function. Sleep is the body’s way of maintaining and repairing the body and its functions, in particular the immune system. Because of their high metabolic rates, children are even more sensitive to the negative effects of sleep deprivation. During cold and flu season, stick to a regular routine and limit activities in the evening to allow children a reasonable bedtime.

2)   Fluids.  The body is made up of 70% water. Our tissues, including our immune system, depend on it to function. Fluid intake also helps the kidneys to filter out the toxic byproducts of infections from the body.

3)   Limit sugars.  The amount of sugar found in 2 cans of soda has been shown to significantly impair our immune cells’ ability to kill bacteria and viruses. Sugar’s negative effect on the immune system start within 30 minutes and last for up to 24 hours after consumption. Limit added sugars in your foods to <10 grams per serving and limit fruit juice consumption to less than one cup/day.  Ideally, eat fruit rather than drink it and consume more complex carbohydrates found in whole grains and vegetables.

4)   Nutrition. There are numerous studies showing vitamin C and zinc can reduce the severity and duration of cold/flu symptoms. Increase consumption of vitamin C with fruits and veggies and zinc with nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains. For children, consider a 500 mg chewable vitamin C and a 10 mg chewable zinc lozenge per day. Adults can easily double or triple these doses. Omega 3 fats such those found in fish and nuts and vitamin D from sunshine and fortified foods are also important for proper immune function. If you don’t think your children are getting enough of these fats, consider a chewable or liquid fish oil supplement with at least 500 mg of EPA and DHA daily. With Vitamin D, most of children and adults in our temperate climate do not get enough so consider giving your children 600 – 1000 IU day and 2000 IU for adults during the winter cold and flu season.

5)   Probiotics.  Recent studies on children have shown that beneficial bacteria like Lactobacillus Acidophillus not only reduces the severity and duration of cold and flu symptoms but also prevent infection. This beneficial effect is likely only achieved in higher dosed preparations containing billions of bacteria per dose. For children, consider a powdered probiotic supplement as this can easily be added to beverages, cereals or smoothies with little change to no change in the flavour.

News & Events Nutrition

How to Get Children to Eat a Healthy Diet

Join Dr. Brian Gluvic to learn more about Building Healthy Kids, specifically looking at how to get children to eat a healthy diet!

Date: Wednesday, October 22nd at 7pm

Overview: Dr. Brian Gluvic and Nutritionist Sonia Reed will discuss the current epidemic of childhood obesity and diabetes and its contributing dietary factors. The components of a healthy diet for children will be presented along with strategies to improve children’s dietary intake of healthy foods.

Location: Choices Markets South Surrey, 3248 King George Boulevard, South Surrey, BC

Registration: Please call 604-541-3902, Monday to Friday, 8:00am-4:30pm, or visit the customer service counter at our South Surrey store. $5 will be collected at the door with net proceeds going to charity.


Cranberry Oat Granola Bars

gluten Free | dairy free | low carb

Recipe by Kitchen Caleigh

Making homemade granola bars is a great way to pack some nutrients into your snacks (for your kids and for you!) Each bar is only 100 calories, but has 9g of protein making it the perfect snack for everyone.


1/2 cup gluten free quick oats
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup mix of shredded coconut, chia seeds, & flax
1/4 cup hemp hearts
1/4 cup sunflower seeds (raw, unsalted)
1/4 cup water
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp sea salt (finely ground)


Preheat oven to 325 F.

Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper.

Add all ingredients to a food processor.Pulse until ingredients are well combined and broken down into a granulated texture. Spoon the mixture into the lined baking dish and smooth it out evenly using the back of the spoon. Bake in preheated oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until the center is firm. Allow to cool before cutting.

Nutritional Info Per Granola Bar:

100 cals, 9g carbs, 6g protein, 6g sugar, 2 g fiber

Serving: 14 bars

Lifestyle News & Events

The 15 Day Detox Program

The 15 day detox program involves physician supervised colon hydrotherapy treatments. You will feel healthier than ever and experience relief from weight gain, bloating, indigestion, constipation, and fatigue. The package price of $395* includes an initial screening with a Village Health Clinic physician and five colon hydrotherapy treatments.

*Covered by most extended insurance plans