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    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.


    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!

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    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.




    how to get child to eat vegetablesIt’s safe to say that the majority of adults understand that eating vegetables is good for our health. But when it comes to little ones, who wildly prefer candy to broccoli, making that connection can be trickier. So how do you get your child to eat vegetables and more plant-based foods?

    What does plant based really mean?

    In many cases, the term “plant-based” is used as a marketing tool to trick us into thinking that particular food products are healthy. If it says “plant-based” on the label, then it must be healthy right? Think again. Foods that are “plant-based” can still contain inflammatory oils, sugars, sodium, additives, artificial flavours and so on. True “plant based” simply means that most of the food on your plate contains plants. In other words, it means you’re eating whole, nutritious, local, anti-oxidant rich foods to fuel your body. This contributes to your vitality. You don’t have to be vegan or vegetarian to follow a true plant-based diet. In fact, there’s actually a NON plant-based way to be vegan. Think about it, you can eat only white carbs, like pasta, and still be vegan, but that doesn’t mean your diet is fulfilling all of your nutritional needs. Right?

    There’s no doubt that having lots of fresh veggies, fruits and whole foods in our diet is good for us, but sometimes it can be tricky to get our kids to buy into it! It’s really important to teach our kids about the importance of plant-based foods when it comes to our health. And at the end of the day, we’re the ones who are putting food on the table for them. However, it can be easier said than done. Here are a few easy ways to boost plant-based eating in your family — aka tips for how to get your child to eat more vegetables!

    1. Sneak veggies into smoothies and popsicles

    The ultimate answer to the question, “How do you get your child to eat more vegetables?” is a sneaky one. You sneak them in, literally! Smoothies are great place to add in extra veggies and plant-based foods. Try adding 1/2 cup spinach or some frozen zucchini next time you’re whipping one up for breakfast. They won’t even taste it! Another smoothie-hack is to cut down on sugar content. One easy way to do this is to use 1/2 the amount of fruit you would normally use (i.e. 1/2 banana instead of a full one). If your kids aren’t into smoothies, you can also sneak them into homemade “popsicles” and even baked goods!

    2. Get them involved

    Studies suggest that when kids are involved in the grocery shopping and meal preparation process, they are more likely to feel inspired and excited about the foods they eat. Having them tag along to the grocery store or farmers market, for example, can be a powerful way to connect them to the source of their food. When they feel more connected, they’re more likely to think positively about what’s on their plate. Plus, they can have a better understanding of what makes LOCAL foods important for our health. For a fun summer activity, you can take them berry picking and maybe even head back to the kitchen to make your own homemade jam!

    3. Lead by example

    Let’s be honest, kids are smart and they will pick up on your own eating habits, which is why it’s important to lead by example and make healthy food choices ourselves. Monkey see, monkey do, right? So if you’re trying to figure out how to get your child to eat more vegetables, take a look at your own eating habits. As parents/adult figures, we have an essential influence on our kids, grand-kids, nieces/nephews etc. when it comes to how they view fruits and vegetables and everything else on their plate. If they see us trying and enjoying local, seasonal plant-based foods and making an effort to prioritize our health, they’ll be more likely to follow our lead.

    4. Make plant-based foods available

    Let’s face it, if all you’re serving for dinner is processed meats and take-out, that’s what your kids will be eating. If it’s not there in the fridge or on the menu, they can’t eat it! Try swapping out these foods with healthier alternatives. Some nutrient-dense, kid-friendly plant-based snacks include healthy fats like avocado or nuts, veggies with hummus, or smoothies. If they don’t like what you’re serving them, perhaps you can try preparing it in a different way! For example, if they don’t like steamed veggies, you can try stir-frying them in avocado oil. If they don’t like spinach salad, try sneaking it into a smoothie. If they don’t like avocado, try homemade guacamole. Our rule here is to have your kids try a food 7 different ways before you rule it out!

    5. Teach them about the benefits

    Although it’s fun sneaking veggies into kid-friendly foods, ultimately it’s important to introduce health/wellness concepts to them and explain why eating plant-based foods will benefit them. Remember, building these healthy habits in childhood is a great way to set our kids up for success in adulthood. If they understand the benefits, they’re more likely to care as they get older. To drive the point further, you can even try making a small garden at home if it would help them learn/understand why local, plant-based foods are better than processed foods. Plus, they will be sure to taste the difference between something picked from your own garden vs. something bought at the store!

    If you want to learn more about how to make dietary changes to UPGRADE your health, check out our 21 Day Clean Gut Detox program that covers topics like inflammatory trigger foods, nutrients to boost health, bloating, diet, sleep and more!

    Already know you’re ready to take your health to new heights? We are currently accepting NEW PATIENTS for TMB’s functional medicine program. To book a free 15 minute consultation, contact us today!

    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.