Inner Core Exercise-Part 1

Weak core trunk muscle can certainly contribute to recurrent low back pain. Many people would try to strengthen the core by doing a bunch of sit ups. While sit ups and plank exercises are great to shape that 6 packs exterior, the inner core will remain weak unless you target that specifically. Here is a video to demonstrate how to activate the inner core muscle.

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Fall is here. Use food to maximize your energy.

Kids are settling back into their school routines and resuming their extra-curricular activities. They’ll need lots of nourishing foods to provide them with the energy for staying active and alert all day long. We’re also into the peak of the harvest season, the best time of year to serve fresh vegetables and fruits from local farms to your meals.

When preparing meals for your family each day, use food to maximize your energy!

Starting with breakfast the most crucial meal of the day, apply foods that will energize your cells, muscles and brain to function at its best. Those are proteins, healthy fats, fresh green vegetables and fruits. • Try a smoothie bowl loaded with greens, fruit, nuts and seeds or granola. High in vitamin C, Vitamin B’s and healthy fats.

Foods like sweet potato, kale, swiss chard and mixed green lettuce, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, coloured peppers, corn, peaches, apples and plums.

variety of fruits

Photo by Oleg Magni on

  • Have an egg on a bowl of grains or multigrain toast with avocado, greens and sliced peaches.
  • Have a bowl of soup with pieces of chicken or fish with a spoonful of rice or grain and fresh chopped greens on top.
  • If you’re stuck on oatmeal or cereals eat it in smaller amounts with a protein food and a healthy fat such as an egg, dollop of yogurt, chia seeds or hemp.
  • 3 tablespoons of Hemp equal one protein. Quinoa is also an excellent protein.
  • Breakfast is a great time to add your fibre for the day.

For lunch, it doesn’t have to be a major meal.

Add fresh cut vegetables or salad type foods with protein for maintaining energy. Include smaller portions of complex carbohydrate foods so you don’t feel sleepy after eating.

  • Enjoy hearty soups for lunch, vegetarian or chicken burgers, cauliflower crust pizza with assorted toppings and lots of fresh vegetables. Add in cut vegetables of carrots, celery, coloured peppers and cucumber.
  • Use this meal to eat raw vegetables as much as possible. Raw vegetables and fruit contain the highest density of phytonutrients, antioxidants and live enzymes.

When you mix colourful foods together you are getting that perfect mix of vitamins and minerals!

abundance agriculture bananas batch

Photo by Pixabay on

• Include quality proteins such as tofu, tempeh, feta (goat or sheep) cheese, tuna fish (use Rainforest brand, no chemicals or heavy metals), chicken (non-antibiotic and hormone free) and other meats that are grass fed or from free range sources.

Snacks are ideal for maintaining activity throughout the day boost your energy and not feel sluggish. Select fresh whole foods of fruit, vegetables and protein dips to get you through those lulls.

Dinner is the relaxing meal of the day where complex carbohydrate of grains or starchier vegetables (sweet potatoes or corn) are the reward for calming down from the day’s events. Proteins maybe in smaller portions and buy quality proteins with your whole foods.

Enjoy these recipes for breakfast, lunch or dinner and two delicious snacks:
Breakfast:                                                                                                                                Blueberry Smoothie Bowl with Granola
Lunch or Dinner:
Everything Soup
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burgers                                                         Best Cauliflower Pizza Crust and Toppings
Hummus 3 ways
Apricot Squares

Eat the best food of the fall season loaded with colourful variety of fresh vegetables and fruits.

Questions, comments or ideas, please contact Rani at
Rani Glick is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, (CNP) and Registered
Orthomolecular Health Practitioner (ROHP). She has followed her love of food to nutrition and applies its healing properties with better health.

Her mission is to inspire 5,000 people to choose real food and enjoy a healthier happier life every day. Food, physical activity, and relaxation unite the mind and body to create long-term health.

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The True Story About Sugar!

Did you know that in the 1940’s we consumed 30 grams of sugar a day. Today, we have an average of 135 grams of sugar a day. Wow.. that’s right.

High amounts of sugar can wreak havoc on your immune systems, hormones and digestion. Some of  the negative effects are: premature aging, weight gain, fatigue, bone loss, mental fatigue and  depression. That’s only half of the story. (more on the full article)blood-sugar-blood-test-close-up-207381

Balance your carbohydrate intake with more vegetable, fruits. proteins and healthy fats.


Your food plate should look like this:

  • 65% vegetables and fruits
  • 15% protein
  • 10% whole grains
  • 20% fats
  • 8 c. water


You can contact Rani at or

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Fall is here! How to Protect Your Immune System

Fall is here. Temperature changes rapidly, cool morning, warm afternoon and cool evening again. We are more susceptible to getting a cold around this time of the year.

fall-2255303_1920Here are some tips from The Wellness Wagon on how to protect our immune system.

  • Eating fresh whole foods is essential to keeping your immune system well stoked. It’s recommended to eat 60-80% alkaline foods to keep you system in balance.
  • Good fats (Omega 3’s, oils, nuts (raw), seeds (raw),
  • Vitamin C – Ascorbic acid – the most basic and essential! Take 3000 mg a day or between 3000-6000 mg when feeling under the weather. There are also these immune booster Vitamin C powder packets that are easy to get and mix with water or juice. There is also Buffered Vitamin C with bioflavonoids that are also good but you’ll need to take more of them to get the full effect.
  • Probiotics – select one that works for you that is around 6-10 million organisms with a variety of strains of probiotic bacteria (There are many variations). Take more when sick (25 billion to 50Billion if you’ve been on antibiotics or through surgery (depends on situation, ask healthcare professional)
  • Adaptogens are good for energy, coping with stress, normalizing hormonal regulation and supporting the immune support. (if a person has an auto-immune disease they should not take an adaptogen – speak to healthcare professional). (You can take them up to three months but then take a break). Here are a few:
  • Echinacea – often used as anti-microbial for colds, infections bacteria or a virus.
  • Astragulus –used for a chronic problem with the immune syste
  • Siberian Ginseng- is also used for deeper treatment for (there is Chinese or American Ginseng supports different areas)
  • Vitamin D – select a good organic brand and a daily dosage of  1000 -3000 IU a day. I’ve read some labels that is best away from food and others with food so check that out.

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Exercise for Migraine?

(HIT) High Intensity Training reduces migraines. For many years, I have shared the benefits of high-intensity interval training (HIT) to patients. Now here is one more benefit to  HIT.

A new study reported at the 18th Congress of the International Headache Society 2017 suggests that high-intensity training resulted in significant reduction in the frequency of migraines.

Compared to moderate continuous exercise such as running for 45 mins up to 75% of your max heart rate, this study shows that HIT improves the following:

  • reduces migraine attack (# of migraine days per month)
  • improves cerebrovascular health and
  • maximize oxygen uptake

How often do I need to HIT exercise?HIT exercise

Twice weekly for minimum of 12 weeks. HIT consists of 4 consecutive sets of running exercise for 4 minutes at 95% of maximal heart rate followed by 3 minutes at 75% of maximal heart rate, for a total exercise time of  ONLY 28 minutes per session.

Why does HIT exercise work?

After a high-intensity training, it creates an “afterburn effect” which is not observed in moderate exercises.  This afterburn effect is more officially known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). Basically, the more intense the exercise, the more oxygen your body consumes afterward.

If you don’t exercise on a regular basis, I would recommend building up your fitness level. This research seems to suggest that HIT exercise is better for health in long term at a shorter duration.

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What Really Makes Us Happy?

The Online Therapist

happy-person-jumping-happy-person-5I had a very interesting conversation recently on just this subject. My discussion partner was, at the time, pontificating about money. His argument went something like “Many people are only interested in the accumulation of wealth but once they have it, they are still not happy. It is not how much money you have but what you do with it that counts”. This set my mind working and it countered his rhetoric with the notion that this could well be applied to many other aspects of our lives. What if “it is not how much you have but what you do with it” could be looked at in relation to relationships, free time and so on. Could this be a basis for general happiness?

As humans, we are always striving for that extra that we think will make us happier… more money, a better relationship, better career, bigger house or…

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Does computer brain training really protect against dementia?

There are many different kinds of computer brain training games and apps in the market nowadays. Do they really help? Do all the games help or only some of them do? Is it just a waste of time or money? Is it just overhyped?

IMG_9088 (1)A 10-year randomized controlled trial study with healthy elderly adults (average age 73.6) shows that brain training can cut the risk for dementia nearly by 50%. This study was presented at Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2016 by Dr. Edwards of the School of Aging Studies and Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute, University of South Florida, in Tampa.

Are all the training the same?

There are different programs and games. Some target the memory, some target reasoning, and some target speed-of-processing.

Memory testing is self-explanatory.

Reasoning training focused on the ability to solve problems that follow a serial pattern, such as identifying the pattern in a letter or number series or understanding the pattern in an everyday activity.

What is speed-of-processing? This is about the speed and accuracy of visual information processing while expanding the visual area over which a person could pay attention and make rapid decisions.

After 10 years, only individuals in the speed-of-processing demonstrated a statistically significant effect on cognition. This study gives some strong evidence that at least some types of cognitive training can indeed protect people from cognitive decline.

So what’s the real-world benefits?

  • quicker overall reaction times
  • safer on-road driving, reduced at-fault crashes, and maintenance of driving ability with age,
  • improvements in everyday functional performance,
  • protection against depression
  • and better self-rated health etc

It is not actually all too surprising that the speed of processing via the visual information processing has more impact on cognition. The majority of our daily sensory processing is through our eyes. In fact, visual examination is an important part of concussion testing. Perhaps there this type of speed of processing can also be used as part of concussion baseline testing.

The speed training used in the study is is available as an exercise called Double Decision. It is one of the exercises in BrainHQ ( ).

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Secrets for Keeping Active in Aging Men. What to do?

Many aging men are asking the question: how do I stay active? I have male patients, in their mid-60s and 70s, who are still going to the gym, skiing and playing basketball. Regardless of the exerci…

Source: Secrets for Keeping Active in Aging Men. What to do?

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Include eye test screens as part of Concussion screening

As concussion awareness rises, more parents and sport teams are doing baseline concussion screening. Many of these tests include balance and/or cognitive testing. Only some of them include eye test screening as well.


Photo credit: killy via BY-NC-ND

A brain injury is often only identified when moderate or severe head injuries have occurred, leaving mild cases undiagnosed and untreated. A mild head injury accounts for approximately 80% of reported trauma brain injury according to US department of defense statistics. That’s why it is important to develop simple tests that can identify mild cases. Tests that can also be done on field as well.

4 simple eye tests have been used by José Capó-Aponte, OD, PhD, from the Department of Optometry at the Womack Army Medical Center in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, as an effective screening tool for acute mild traumatic brain injury.

“Since approximately 30 areas of the brain and seven of the 12 cranial nerves deal with vision, it is not unexpected that the patient with traumatic brain injury may manifest a host of visual problems, such as papillary deficit, visual processing delays, and impaired oculomotor tracking and related oculomotor-based reading dysfunctions,” Dr Capó-Aponte pointed out.

The following tests were used by Dr Capó-Aponte and his team to identify reliable biomarkers of mild traumatic brain injury. The team looked for subtle visual changes that could be measured in the office or in the field.

  • Testing Pupil using a monocular infrared pupillometry:
  • near-point convergence
  • saccadic eye movement function with the King–Devick Test
  • Visual symptoms were assessed with the Convergence Insufficiency Symptom Survey (CISS).

These tests are used because patients with mild traumatic brain injury had significantly higher near-point convergence scores (receded near-point convergence) than control subjects, longer times to complete the King–Devick Test, and more symptoms on the CISS. The pupil test also revealed that average constriction velocity, average dilation velocity and time to 75% recovery of dilation were significantly different between mild traumatic brain injury and control subject.

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A Decrease in Muscle Strength in Aging Men, leads to an Increase Risk of Slips and Fall Incidents.

Dr. Ayse Zengin, PhD, Medical Research Council, Human Nutrition Research, Cambridge completed a study in the UK, looking at the relationship between muscle strength as men age and their risk of fracture and

Here are some highlights of the study:

  • A total of 301 men over the age of 40 years were involved in this study.
  • Lower limbs muscle force and power were measured by having the participants to perform a jumping mechanography, which involves a single two-legged jump on a ground reaction- force platform.
  • Why study men? While there are many studies done on bone and muscle strength in women,. there are relatively fewer studies of bone health in older men.
  • The Consequences of a Fracture in Men are Worse than in Women. Even though men have fewer fractures than women, they have increased mortality following a fracture.
  • As men grow older, their muscle strength drops, and this can serve as a significant predictor of bone fractures.
  • Muscle power is strongly associated with fall risk. An increased risk of falls is associated with decline in muscle power (a factor that reflects how fast someone can produce force)
  • Muscle Force and Power. Not Muscle Mass Alone. There is a far more rapid decline in muscle strength than muscle mass as men age. Younger and older men can have the same muscle mass, but older men cannot perform functional tests.

In another study conducted, in Australia

  • Mortality increases after hip fractures in women and more so in men. Little is known. 

These studies suggest that physical training involving strength and power in the lower limbs, may help to improve bone strength and decrease the risk of falling. Training should always involve some types of balancing as well.

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