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  • HOW TO MEAL PREP FOR A WEEK TIPS

    how to meal prep for a week

    Knowing how to meal prep and when and where to start with the process can be daunting. Studies show that up to 80% of us…yes 80%…don’t know what we’re having for dinner by 4pm the same day. What?! It’s because a lot of people don’t know how to meal prep for the week. But that’s okay! (more…)

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  • HOW TO REDUCE HOLIDAY STRESS

    how to reduce holiday stress

    Welcome to the holiday season — the whirlwind time of buying gifts, having too many holiday parties on the calendar, and facing unhealthy food options galore. If you’re more stressed out than usual during this time of year, you’re not alone. But don’t despair! We have good news and tips for how to reduce holiday stress so you can maximize the fun this season!

    LET’S TALK ABOUT THE NERVOUS SYSTEM

    Did you know that there are two different parts of your nervous system? (Yes, you’ve heard us talk about it before!) One is your sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the other is your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS).

    The SNS is also known as our “fight or flight mode.” It’s what we tap into when we’re stressed, overwhelmed, and our body is just trying to find a way to survive. Back in the day when our ancestors experienced life-threatening situations, like being faced with a saber-toothed tiger, they relied on their SNS. When it fires up, our heart rate and breathing speeds up, stress hormones like cortisol start pumping through our bloodstreams, preparing our body to face a threat.

    Our parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), on the other hand, helps us thrive. It’s what helps us rest, relax, digest, and reproduce. When the parasympathetic system is dominant, our breathing slows, our heart rate drops, our blood pressure lowers as the blood vessels relax, and our body is put into a state of calm and healing. Acupuncture is a fantastic way to get us into our PNS!

    A FUN FACT ABOUT ACUPUNCTURE

    Studies show that acupuncture stimulates the release of oxytocin, a hormone that signals and regulates the parasympathetic nervous system. Acupuncture also addresses the side effects of stress, like high blood pressure, elevated blood glucose levels, and insomnia. At TMB, our clients have coined a term for the physiological effects they experience post-treatment…acu-stoned! Get in touch with us today to book an appointment!

    So step one to combat holiday stress, get yourself to an acupuncture appointment to help you relax. No time for an appointment? That’s okay! The good news is that holiday stress is only temporary. We know when it will begin and end, so we can set the intention for how to reduce holiday stress by calling in tools we know will support us.

    7 TIPS TO HELP YOU LEARN HOW TO REDUCE HOLIDAY STRESS

    Here are some tips you can try to help reduce holiday stress before it begins so that the fun can stay festive and bright!

    HOLIDAY TIP 1:  Make time for deep breathing

    Deep breathing exercises are scientifically proven to have health benefits, some of which include increased clarity, a stronger mind/body connection, better sleep quality, lowered blood pressure, enhanced mood, and reduced stress! Find yourself overwhelmed over the holidays? Take a few deep breaths.

    HOLIDAY TIP 2:  Prioritize sleep

    Along with nutrition and exercise and other important lifestyle factors, sleep is a key pillar for our mental and emotional health. In fact, sleep is when our bodies repair so we can be ready for whatever the following day brings! So while late nights over the holidays may sound like fun and games, a good night’s rest will help you better reduce holiday stress.

    HOLIDAY TIP 3:  Get out in nature

    A walk or hike in nature is a great form of moving meditation and exercise. Being exposed to nature has been shown to increase memory, boost mood, reduce stress, improve productivity and naturally give you a boost of energy! The benefits also include decreasing cortisol levels in the body, naturally boosting your immune system, and helping you tame your sympathetic nervous system.

    HOLIDAY TIP 4:  Set boundaries for yourself

    Believe it or not, we don’t have to say “yes” to every holiday party invitation! It can be down right uncomfortable to enforce our boundaries when we’re with friends or family– after all, we tend to prioritize the comfort of others over our own. However, saying no to a triggering conversation or another helping of food/wine is one way to honour your values and goals first.

    HOLIDAY TIP 5: Delegate

    Where there’s a will, there’s a way! And there’s always a way to reduce the items on our to-do lists. From ordering your groceries to hiring a cleaning company or organizing catering, empower yourself to lighten your workload and ask for help when you need it.

    HOLIDAY TIP 6: Conscious alcohol consumption

    The holidays are infamous for overindulgence (another rosé, anyone?) Now, we’re all about enjoying the holiday season and the treats it has to offer, however, in the case of alcohol, overdoing it can be dangerous to our bodies. It’s always important to remember quality over quantity. Create some healthy drinking habits for yourself. You can drink, but drink the good stuff. We recommend opting for an organic/biodynamic wine or a gluten free liquor.

    HOLIDAY TIP 7:  Supplements

     

    We know you’re busy as ever, but try to keep up with your supplement routine. Stay on top of nourishing your body so you can feel optimal. We recommend Vitamin C and Vitamin D for vitality, our Insomnitol Chewables for a guaranteed restful sleep, and NAC (a fan favourite) for preventing those nasty holiday hangovers!

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  • 5 BENEFITS OF HIRING A HEALTH COACH

    holistic health coach

    You might’ve heard the words “health coach” or “holistic health coach” Toronto, right? It’s thrown around in your social circles or on the online wellness blogs your read. But what exactly does a holistic health coach do? And more importantly, how can they help us to keep our health on point?

    What is a holistic health coach in Toronto?

    There has been an alarming increase in the number of people developing chronic health issues. More and more of us are starting to understand that in order to take control of our health, it’s essential to find and address the root cause. While many of us know that our current lifestyle habits might not be supporting our health, the problem is that we often don’t know where to even begin making changes. This is exactly where a health coach comes in!

    The role of a health coach is to walk you through how to overcome the challenges your facing. A good health coach will motivate you, hold you accountable and support you every step of the way. Think of it this way: there are personal trainers who help support us with our fitness goals, right? Well, health coaches are like “trainers” for other areas of life, such as stress management, supplement routines, nutrition habits, and sleep patterns.

    Many of us want to make healthy changes, but we just don’t know where to start. Imagine having a guide who would help you create a roadmap for your goals and stick to a sustainable plan that works! Here are some of the other benefits of health coaching:

    A health coach works one on one with you

    Conventional doctors rarely spend more than ten to fifteen minutes with their patients. As a result, more times than not, they end up prescribing patients a Band-Aid for their symptoms. A health coach gives you the time of day. They take the time to understand your goals, needs, preferences, anxieties and challenges. This allows them to help implement the personalized plan of action and protocols prescribed by your functional medicine practitioner.

    A health coach’s philosophy is based on bio-individuality

    Health coaching is a personalized approach. Everyone has different bodies and needs, which is why a one-size-fits-all way of thinking doesn’t work when it comes to our health. One of the benefits of coaching is that you get to work one on one with someone who understands that you are a bioindividual. In other words, the focus is on you!

    A health coach empowers you

    In conventional medicine, the system is passive and patients aren’t actively involved in changing their health habits. When you work with a health coach, you are encouraged and empowered to show up as the expert in your own life, make the right behaviour changes for your own body, and take control of your health!

    A health coach offers accountability

    Do you have trouble sticking to your wellness goals? A coach is an accountability partner who will support and encourage you even when you feel like you’re about to quit. Calls with a coach can provide you with ongoing support and encouragement to continue making strides toward achieving your goals, even when there are obstacles in the way.

    A health coach helps work through your roadblocks

    Just when you think you’re out of resources and feeling like you want to give up, a health coach will encourage and inspire you to keep moving forward. Diet and lifestyle changes can be hard, but with a coach, you’re not in it alone. When you’re faced with a challenge, a coach will cheer you on and help you stick to your plan.

    DR.BHAT DISHES ON TMB’S 1:1 FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE UPGRADE PROGRAM

    Interested in working with a functional medicine practitioner and holistic health coach Toronto? Contact us today to book a free consultation! We’re also available for virtual consultations!


    dr shalini bhatTMB WELLNESS STARTER KIT

    Don’t miss out on getting FREE advice from Toronto functional medicine practitioner, Dr.Bhat! Get started with FREE monthly wellness action items for some effective results right away!

    What’s inside? Bio-hacks, incredible recipes, functional medicine wisdom and personal letters from Dr. Bhat that you DON’T want to MISS!

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  • IMMUNE BOOSTING RECIPES: BONE BROTH RECIPE

    immune boosting recipes

    Did you know that bone broth is one of the most beneficial foods to restore gut health? Since up to 80% of our immune system lives in the gut, it’s extremely helpful when it comes to boosting out immunity too – AKA it’s a delicious way to show a cold or flu who’s boss! You could say that bone broth is one of the easiest to make immune boosting recipes!

    Bone broth contains collagen, gelatin and amino acids that help seal openings in the gut lining and support digestive and tissue integrity.

    Other benefits of this immune boosting recipe…

    • Boosts immunity (as we just mentioned!)
    • Protects joints
    • Maintains healthy skin
    • Supports detoxification
    • Aids your metabolism

    Ingredients:

    • Leftover turkey carcass (the whole thing, including the wings!)
    • 10 cups water
    • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
    • 1 onion
    • 2 carrots
    • 2 celery stalks
    • optional herbs/pieces to choose from: sage, thyme, bay leaf, parsley, turmeric, ginger, garlic

    **feel free to add it any other raw veggies you have on hand!

    How to make this immune boosting bone broth:

    1. Chop the onion, celery and carrots.
    2. Combine all ingredients in a large pot.
    3. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to med-low.
    4. Let simmer for 8-10 hours.
    5. Discard the solids and strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer into a large container.

    Note: When it is left in the fridge it will become gelatinous, but not to worry, this is the good stuff! It will become liquid again when you reheat!

    **If you use an instant pot/slow cooker, pressure cook for 2 hours.

    Want more healthy immune boosting recipes, tips and biohacks? Sign up for our newsletter and mailing list on the homepage of our website or follow us on Instagram!

    About The Movement Boutique in Toronto – Pilates, Chiropractic, Functional Medicine

    TMB The Movement Boutique Located on Yonge Street in Toronto, The Movement Boutique serves the areas of Summerhill, Rosedale and Yorkdale with Pilates classes and much more. Our philosophy is centred on a holistic, multimodal approach to health, grounded in the latest therapeutic techniques and clinical research. Our approach: Optimal health cannot be attained through a single therapeutic lens; injuries are often the result of a constellation of lifestyle issues, including dysfunctional movement patterns, trauma, nutritional deficiencies or destructive habits of mind.

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  • 6 TIPS TO BEAT JET LAG

    how to beat jet lag

    Jet lag is basically our body’s own way of letting us know that it’s out of sync with local time. And it can be a real pain in the you know what when you’re trying to embark on a lovely holiday. After all, planning a vacation is stressful enough without worrying about how to beat jet lag too. Between coordinating everyone’s calendars, packing, planning excursions and booking hotels, we don’t want to throw jet lag in the mix on top of it all! We want to make sure that jet lag doesn’t get in the way of you enjoying your next holiday!

    Why does jet lag happen?

    Jet lag happens when the body’s natural circadian rhythm doesn’t match up with the external environment. This happens as a result of travel across time zones. Essentially, jet lag happens when changes in our environmental cues (such as light, temperature and meal times) conflict with our body’s existing patterns. In a way, it’s our body’s response to something unnatural. Sure, it’s common these days to hop on a plane and travel long distances, but that doesn’t mean it’s normal to our physiology. When you think about it, we’ve only had the opportunity to travel across time zones via airplanes for a few decades. This means that humans haven’t evolved to be able to adjust quickly to these rapid changes in time. Even a quick trip across one time zone can cause jet lag and affect our body!

    Jet lag can show up in many different ways. It can mess with our sleep, hormones, appetite, energy levels, immunity, stress, digestion, sex drive and more. Changes in our sleep cycle can also throw off our circadian rhythm, aka our internal body clocks!

    Here are some tips for how to beat jet lag when you next travel:

    1. Practice sun training

    Research has shown that light exposure before, during, and after you fly can affect your ability to sleep. As a result, this impacts the severity of our jet lag. To optimally synchronize our body clocks when we arrive at our destination we should stare at the sun when it’s rising, have it directly above our head at 12pm each day, and watch the sunset. Watching the sunset while on vacation? Is there anything more relaxing anyway? Doing this is actually strategic, as it sends the correct signals to our brain, thus alerting our body that it’s either time to be awake or asleep.

    2. Adjust your sleep hygiene

    Sleep hygiene refers to the things you implement to promote a healthy sleep. In preparation for our new time zone, we want to make sure that we’re not exposed to light during night time in our new destination and are awake in the morning of our new destination. Since light exposure at specific times can help regulate our circadian rhythm, we can slowly start to train our body’s a few days before our travel plans. This may look like staying up a little later or go to bed a little earlier. We can also do this on the plane ride over. To help us sleep, we recommend doing things like getting a sleep mask and ear plugs, avoiding blue light (aka staring at a screen) a few hours before you plan on going to bed, and practicing relaxation techniques.

    3. Stay extra hydrated

    Ever notice how on a plane you tend to get dehydrated? Dehydration can worsen the symptoms of jet lag. Dehydration is very common while traveling by air, so make sure to stay adequately hydrated when you travel. Moreover, try to avoid caffeine and alcohol before, during and after your flight. Contrary to popular belief, alcohol actually disturbs our sleep. And since you might be adjusting to a new sleep schedule, caffeine will also keep you awake, in addition to dehydrating you! Our favourite way to take our hydration “to go” is by using a Berkey water bottle to filter out any impurities from the water fountains at the airport. PLUS, it saves us from buying the over-priced plastic bottles!

    4. Upgrade your melatonin supplement

    Many people, especially frequent travelers, take melatonin to support their sleep in order to beat jet lag. If you’re not familiar with it, melatonin is the hormone in our body that is released at night to help us sleep (that is, if our circadian rhythm is in check). For an external temporary sleep support, we recommend Insomnitol Chewables to support a deeper, restorative sleep. These tablets also contain vitamin B6, inositol and l-theanine to further help calm brain activity to help you fall asleep and STAY asleep.

    5. Switch up your eating habits

    When traveling to a different time zone, changing the time we eat and the amount of food we eat is important. Try planning your meals to coincide with your new time zone as much as possible. In the first few days of traveling, we recommend sticking with smaller meals – It’s important to avoid having large meals because our digestive enzymes, which help break down and digest food, are also on a circadian clock so our digestive system might not be primed to digest a huge portion when our body thinks it’s the middle of the night.

    6. Practice grounding

    Another great idea for how to beat jet lag is grounding. Grounding, also known as “earthing”, refers to making direct contact between your bare feet and the ground. According to many wellness experts, the benefits include helping you soak up the earth’s negative charge. This in turn is known to reduce inflammation, refresh our mind and body, promote better quality sleep and even help with jet lag. So needless to say, if you’re going somewhere warm, going for a barefoot walk on the beach is a good idea! If you’re not traveling any time soon, don’t worry! There are other grounding techniques like eating root veggies or listening to relaxing, calm nature sounds such as waves crashing or birds chirping that have similar benefits!

    If you implement any of these tips, let us know how it goes!

    About The Movement Boutique in Toronto – Pilates, Chiropractic, Functional Medicine

    TMB The Movement Boutique Located on Yonge Street in Toronto, The Movement Boutique serves the areas of Summerhill, Rosedale and Yorkdale with Pilates classes and much more. Our philosophy is centred on a holistic, multimodal approach to health, grounded in the latest therapeutic techniques and clinical research. Our approach: Optimal health cannot be attained through a single therapeutic lens; injuries are often the result of a constellation of lifestyle issues, including dysfunctional movement patterns, trauma, nutritional deficiencies or destructive habits of mind.

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  • 5 REASONS YOU NEED TO DETOX

    Have you thought about joining a “detox” but weren’t sure if it was a hoax or the real deal? We totally get it. The term “detox” sometimes gets mixed reviews, because it’s often associated with things like juice cleanses, calorie restrictive diets and quick fixes that promise to help you magically look like a celebrity goddess. The truth is detoxification is one of our body’s most important processes when it comes to maintaining optimal health. In fact there are a lot reasons you need to detox the RIGHT way with scientifically based functional medicine protocols.

    First things first: What is detoxification?

    Our body is like a factory. True story. It has to take in materials like food, water, sunshine and oxygen to keep our system running. However, there are also extraneous substances that may serve their purpose, but then need to transform into something else so that the body can eliminate them. This is known as detoxification. Detoxification is our body’s natural (and essential!) process of removing toxins and unwanted materials.

    What unwanted materials? Heavy metals, pollutants and UV radiation to name a few. There are also endogenous materials that the body produces internally, like hormones and neurotransmitters. All of these materials eventually need to be eliminated from the body by the body’s built in detoxification system. And it’s happening all the time!

    That’s right! Natural detoxification actually occurs 24/7, 365 days a year. There are lots of reasons you need to detox to help this natural process, which we’ll get to in a moment.

    So how does detoxification work?

    The primary detoxification organs are the gut, liver and kidneys. Our bowels and urinary tract are also important, because they help excrete toxins through our bile and urine. Skin helps eliminate toxins through our sweat. In addition, our lungs are important for mainly expelling CO2. In a nutshell, these are the organs involved in our detoxification pathways.

    When it comes to detoxification our liver is our body’s primary filtration system. It’s the star of the show. The liver works day after day to cleanse our blood, excrete waste and metabolize nutrients. It also helps us store vitamins, support immune function, produce proteins and remove dietary and environmental threats to avoid toxic accumulation.

    With the help of our kidneys, the liver is our detoxification workhorse. Whether it’s one too many cocktails, a non-organic diet or a round of medication, the liver helps filter and detoxify any materials that aren’t supposed to circulate in our body. There are a few steps to this process. The first step involves using enzymes and oxygen to prepare toxins for removal. The second step is when our body actually eliminates them through bile, stool or urine.

    The kidneys are equally essential to these processes, as these little bean shaped organs help regulate proper mineral balance, support hormone excretion, flush out urinary bacteria, support a healthy pH and more.

    Why is it so important to detox? Are there reasons you need to detox?

    While a healthy body uses those organs to naturally detoxify, we live in an increasingly toxic world. As a result, our detoxifying organs aren’t always able to keep up at optimal levels. Let’s put it this way; picture a water filter that is constantly used. Day after day for years and years, this filtration system is running, but it’s never cleaned or maintained. This would lead to blockages and an overabundance of toxic substances. That’s what’s happening to our detox pathways!

    5 REASONS YOU NEED TO DETOX

    We clean our homes on a regular basis – wiping the counter, sweeping the floors, cleaning the bathrooms and doing the dishes – and we need to be doing the same for our bodies. There’s no quick fix when it comes to our health, but there are things we can do to set ourselves on the right path to upgraded wellness.

    Here are 5 reasons why you need to detox, or at least why you should consider a detox:

    DETOX BENEFITS #1: Our toxic burden is heavier than ever

    The challenge we face today is that the volume of toxic burden is greater than it has ever been. According to the Environmental Working Group, studies show that that the average newborn baby has 287 chemicals in their umbilical cord blood. These are little humans who have picked up a toxic burden without even physically living in the world yet! If this is the case, just imagine how many chemicals we’ve been exposed to in our lifetime that are BIOACCUMULATING. Now imagine the impact that might have on our long-term health. Yuck, right?

    DETOX BENEFITS #2: It can set the stage for healthier habits

    A worthwhile detox is one that involves implementable habits and actionable tools that you can incorporate easily into your daily life. Sure, you can drink green juice for 3 days, but what happens after that? You likely fall back into old habits. In TMB’S 21-DAY CLEAN GUT DETOX PROGRAM, we include a variety of easy nutritional guidelines, healthy recipes, an extensive grocery list, fascial release exercises, daily workouts and more to help you implement a long-term approach to living a life full of vitality!

    DETOX BENEFITS #3: It can help you feel better

    Picture a dishwasher in a restaurant. Dirty dishes are loaded in and come out clean on the other side. But when the restaurant gets too busy and there are too many dishes to be cleaned, the dish-washing process will slow down. The same thing happens to our detox pathways when we’re exposed to too many toxins. The result? We can feel moody, sluggish, achy, fatigued, bloated and more. Many of us don’t connect what we eat to how we feel. Detoxing can make a world of a difference when it comes to healing our symptoms and feeling better.

    DETOX BENEFITS #4: It can curb cravings

    Sugar is addictive. Period. If you experience a daily sweet tooth, you’re not alone. Many say that sugar is the new nicotine. In fact, studies suggest that sugar is even more addictive than cocaine! Although there’s usually a period where you might experience some withdrawal symptoms, a detox can help you unhook yourself from sugar cravings and other hyper-palatable foods. You’ll start to realize just how GOOD you feel replacing inflammatory foods with nutrient-dense options. A GREAT detox will TEACH you important things like what’s contributing to your food cravings and how to recognize true hunger from emotional hunger so you’re better equipped the next time that craving strikes!

    DETOX BENEFITS #5: It can help balance your hormones

    Our liver helps break down and remove excess hormones, which helps to keep our hormones balanced naturally. If you’ve ever heard the term “estrogen dominance” you know what we’re talking about. When our liver is overburdened, it can contribute to the re-circulating of hormones (that should have left the body) creating imbalances that cause a wide range of symptoms. These symptoms can include hair loss, mood swings and painful periods. Detoxing can give our liver and our hormones the reset that they need!

     

    TMB CAN HELP YOU DETOX EFFECTIVELY AND HAVE FUN!

    Ready to take your health to the next level? Join us for TMB’S NEXT 21-DAY CLEAN GUT DETOX PROGRAM! But don’t just read about about — Dr. Shalini Bhat is here to tell you all about our transformative program, what to expect, how it’s different from other detox programs and, most importantly, how it can benefit you!

     

    About The Movement Boutique in Toronto – Pilates, Chiropractic, Functional Medicine

    TMB The Movement Boutique Located on Yonge Street in Toronto, The Movement Boutique serves the areas of Summerhill, Rosedale and Yorkdale with Pilates classes and much more. Our philosophy is centred on a holistic, multimodal approach to health, grounded in the latest therapeutic techniques and clinical research. Our approach: Optimal health cannot be attained through a single therapeutic lens; injuries are often the result of a constellation of lifestyle issues, including dysfunctional movement patterns, trauma, nutritional deficiencies or destructive habits of mind.

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