Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Are You Consuming “The Dirty Dozen” ?

Chemical farming is on the increase, as farmers try to reduce pests and increase production to meet demands.  The wide spread use of chemicals and pesticides along with GMO’s are placing a dangerous toxic load on our bodies.  Pesticide exposure has been linked to cancers, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, ADHD, leaky gut, and birth defects.  These chemicals act overtime and the cumulative effects of all the chemicals we are exposed to increases our risks.  

The more we can do to decrease our exposure to toxic chemicals, the better.  One way is to buy organic foods.  Every year the Environmental Working Group puts out a list of the Dirty Dozen, and the Clean Fifteen as a guide to organic buying.

The Dirty Dozen is the list of produce items that contain the highest levels of pesticides and chemicals and should be bought organic whenever possible.  The Clean Fifteen are the produce items, which contain the lowest pesticide levels, and may be bought conventional if organic is not available.  Generally speaking, foods that have a thick outer skin, which is not consumed, are safer to buy conventional. Produce like avocados, and grapefruit fall into this group.

Whether organic or not always wash produce thoroughly prior to consuming with a fruit & veggie wash or a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water.

Download and print this guide or keep it on your food for the next you are grocery shopping and buy organic whenever you can!

Looking for help with the right diet for you, determining food intolerances, or weight loss?  Contact me through my website: and start your journey to a healthier you today!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Are You Getting Enough Magnesium?

Did you know more than 40% of Canadians do not get the daily required dose of magnesium? 

That is almost ½ of people that are not getting enough of this vital mineral! Magnesium (Mg) is needed by all your cells playing a part in over 350 chemical reactions, required for energy production, contributing to heart, muscle, and nerve health. 

Some signs of magnesium deficiency include:  Muscle weakness, cramps, anxiety, restless legs, high blood pressure, poor heart function, dizziness and fatigue.

Foods with decent Mg content: nuts, seeds, fish, spinach, cereals/grains – but levels are not as high as they used to be in food.  Overtime with years of intensive farming the soils have been depleted of mineral content.  Not to mention processing of food further depletes mineral and vitamins.

Supplements, what form is best? 
Mg Glycinate is bonded to the amino acid glycine, a neurotransmitter that also has relaxing properties.  This form has the highest absorption and bioavailability and is best for those trying to remedy a deficiency. 

Mg Citrate is most common found in supplements and is a good source of Mg.

Mg Oxide is least absorbed and has the highest percentage of elemental Mg per dose.

Topical Mg is also an option and can be especially beneficial for addressing muscle soreness.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Top 5 Health Benefits of Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a delicious and versatile spice.  But did you know that is has many health benefits as well? 

There are 2 varieties of cinnamon:
            Ceylon Cinnamon: This is true cinnamon.
            Cassia Cinnamon: This is the common variety found in most stores.
The Ceylon variety is lower in Coumarin, a compound which can cause liver damage when consumed in large doses.  If you can find the Ceylon variety it is a better option.

Here are my top 5 benefits:

1. Blood Sugar Balance
Cinnamon has been shown to reduce insulin resistance; a key to achieving proper blood sugar balance.  Cinnamon also lowers blood sugar levels by slowing glucose from entering the bloodstream.

The anti-diabetic effects of cinnamon can lower fasting blood sugar levels by up to 10-29%, when 0.5 – 2 teaspoons of cinnamon is consumed per day

Tip:  When eating sweet foods, add some cinnamon to slow the effect of the sugar on your system. 

Compounds in cinnamon have been found to inhibit the buildup of Tau proteins in the brain.  These Tau proteins are associated with neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinsons Disease. 

Inflammation is an underlying issue with all disease states.  Any tool to help lower inflammation is beneficial. 

Loaded with powerful antioxidants that protect the body from oxidative damage caused by free radicals.

Cinnamon has an ORAC value of 267536 umol TE/100g making it one of the top seven anti-oxidants in the world!  

The main active component of cinnamon, cinnamaldehyde, has been shown to be fight bacterial, fungal, and viral infections.  It is also effective in fighting tooth decay and bad breath.

Tip:  for a natural mouthwash, use 1-2 drops of cinnamon essential oil in a mouthful of water.  Swish and gargle in mouth for at least 1 minute then spit out.  You can also drink cinnamon tea at the first sign of a sore throat. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Struggling With Adrenal Fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue is one of the most common yet overlooked health problems.  It can be effectively assessed and treated through a naturopathic approach.

Do you find your energy levels crash around 3 or 4 pm and you need that caffeine boost?  Crave sugar or carbohydrates especially in the afternoon?  Need to eat every few hours or you feel light-headed?  Get a second wind of energy in the evenings then have trouble sleeping?  These can all be signs of adrenal fatigue.

Our stressful, fast paced lives, lack of routines, and constant worry- is the prefect recipe to burnout the adrenal glands. 

So what are your adrenal glands?  The adrenals are small organs that sit above the kidneys and are like the battery of your body.  They are responsible for regulating your flight or fight response and to help keep you going in times of stress.  But all too often we remain in these stressed states for too long, causing these “batteries” to burn out. 

Common symptoms of overworked adrenal glands include:
- Fatigue that isn’t relieved by sleep/rest
- Blood sugar imbalances
- Food cravings (especially for carbohydrates, salt, and chocolate)
- Lowered immunity or chronic infections
- Weight gain (especially around the mid-section)
- Mood changes  
- Decreased tolerance for stress
- Frequent colds/flus
- Low libido

Sounds like you?  Support healthy adrenal function:
- Eat regularly, maintain healthy blood sugar balance by including protein at each meal (especially breakfast!).
- Exercise gently (walking, stretching, or yoga) until your adrenals have healed and your energy has improved
- Sleep hygiene– keep your bedroom completely dark, quiet, and cool to allow your body to maximize rest and rebuilding during sleep.
-  Consider taking a B Complex to provide your adrenal glands with the necessary nutrients to make hormones like cortisol and DHEA.

Get your cortisol and adrenal function tested – Through salivary testing we can get a clearer picture of your adrenal health and I can develop an individual treatment plan to address your specific concerns.  Contact me to day to get started: , email: 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Recharge Your Brain!

Our brains are truly amazing, and plays a vital role in our thoughts, actions, and regulating our bodies.  Optimal brain health is critical throughout life and there are many things we can do to support this.

Healthy lifestyle choices are important including things like exercise, healthy nutrition, and even “brain games” like luminosity, crossword puzzles, or chess. Beyond these, there are many vitamins, herbs, and other nutrients that help support brain health and also prevent cognitive decline as we age. 

Nutrition is so important!  The foods I recommend to include in a daily diet to support brain health include: Coconut oil/MCT oil, Spirulina, Raw/unsalted nuts and seeds, Avacado, green tea, and blueberries.

Some of my favorite brain boosting supplements and herbs are:

Omega-3 Fatty Acids
            * Polyunsaturated fat high in fish, walnuts, flaxseeds, and algae (like spirulina).  We cannot make omega 3’s and must obtain it from our diet.  The EPA (eicosapentanoic acid) and DHA (decosahexanoic acid) are the active components of omega-3’s.  When choosing a supplement you want to look for a high EPA & DHA content. 
            What does it do?
            * DHA is particular is essential for brain function, especially in the developing brains of children.
            * EPA modulates inflammation, regulates mood and behavior and is important in cardiovascular health
            * Research in depression, and mood disorders has found improvements in patients supplementing with Omega-3 fatty acids
            How to get it? 
            Foods like: spirulina, algaes, nuts/seeds (chia, flax, walnut), fish
            Supplement:  Flaxseed oil, Omega-3 fish oils or Cod liver oil, Krill oil.
            *Caution if you are on blood thinning medication as omega-3’s can further thin the blood.

Vitamin B-12
            * A water soluble vitamin found mainly in meats and fish.
            What does it do?
            *Vital in the production and maintenance of nerves, cell growth and function.
            * B-12 can be difficult to absorb from the diet, or low in vegan/vegetarian diets as such deficiency is quite common.
            How to get it?
            *Food: meat, fish, and spirulina all contain B12
            * Supplements: sublingual or chewable B12 is better absorbed than supplements
            * Injections:  The best and most absorbable way to increase B12 levels is through injections.  These can be administered by your naturopathic Doctor on a weekly basis, as needed. 

            * 5-Hydroxytryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, a brain chemical important in regulation of moods, sleep, headaches and fibromyalgia.
            How to get it? 
            * Supplement:  L-Tryptophan, Griffonia, and 5-HTP are all options to increase serotonin.
            * Caution if you are taking any mood medications including SSRI’s, & MAOI’s.  

Gotu Kola
            What does it do?
            * Has been shown to slow cognitive decline in elderly and middle aged patients.  Reduces the breakdown of acetylcholine in the brain, increases GABA production, and acts as a brain antioxidant.
            How to get it?
            *Found in supplement, tea, and tincture form.

Ginkgo Biloba
            What does it do?
            * Preventative and protective against ischemia induced cerebral and cardiovascular tissue damage.  An effective vasodilator and and reduces blood viscosity. 
            * Has been shown to improve concentration and memory.
            How to get it?
            *Found in supplement, tea, and tincture form.

            *Caution if you are on blood thinners or have history of stroke.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Superfood Spirulina

Spirulina is a blue-green microalgae that is packed full of nutrients- in fact it is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet! At almost 70% protein, it is has the highest protein content per gram of all foods!

What makes it so nutritious?  It has a full spectrum of nutrients, including essential and non-essential Amino acids, healthy fats like GLA and omega-3’s, B vitamins including B12, chlorophyll, antioxidants, Vitamin A/K/E/D, and minerals.  

Why take it? Think of spirulina as an easily absorbed super multi vitamin that boosts energy, detoxifies, supports the immune system, reduces inflammation, and supports overall health.  Low energy, digestive concerns, immune dysfunction, allergies, liver concerns, and more can all benefit from high quality spirulina in the diet. 

How to take it?  Spirulina can be found in liquid, powder, and tablet form.  The powder and liquid forms can be taken on their own or mixed into smoothies or any other recipes.  Choose whichever form will work for your lifestyle.  While it has a dark green, almost black color, the flavor is mild and not overpowering when mixed into other foods.  If possible, purchase an organic form. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Tasty Turmeric Ginger Chai

A warm chai on a cold night sounds like the perfect combo and it is easy to make at home. 

Store bought Chai often contains a lot of sugar, artificial colors and chemicals.  This home-made recipe is not only natural and delicious but has many health benefits as well. 

Turmeric, ginger and coconut oil are anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial to help boost your immune system and keep you feeling healthy.  The coconut oil adds an extra boost to your metabolism as well.

Enjoy this chai anytime of day or night and enjoy often! 

Ingredients to make 2 cups of Chai :
- Fresh turmeric root or powder - ½ - 1 tsp
- Fresh ginger root or powder -  ½ - 1 tsp
- Cinnamon powder – ¼ tsp
- Fennel seeds – a pinch of seeds
- Cloves – a few cloves
- Nutmeg & Cardamon - a pinch of each
- Organic Virgin Coconut oil – 1-2 tsp
- Honey – ½ tsp or more to taste
- Almond/coconut/rice milk 1&½  cups

*The cloves/nutmeg/cardamon are for flavor and can be left out if you do not like these.  
*The quantity of the spices used is really up to your taste, adding more will increase the health benefits of the chai. 
*Fresh ginger and turmeric have the most nutrients and taste the best but if this is not easy to find the dry powder can be used.  
*Grate the ginger and turmeric finely so that you can drink it in the chai.

- In a small pot, bring 1.5 cups of your choice of non-dairy milk and ½ cup of water to a simmer
- add all the ingredients, allow it to simmer for about 5-10 minutes, cool then enjoy!
- You can strain it if you prefer, I like to leave it all in and drink the ginger and turmeric bits

Dr. Lindsey Jesswein, ND


Tuesday, September 30, 2014


 Have you heard about IV Vitamin therapy? While it is becoming more popular it has been in use by Naturopathic doctors for over 50 years.   

Here are the top 5 questions I often get asked:

What Is IV Therapy?
Intravenous or IV therapy involves infusion of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids directly into the blood stream for a 100% absorption rate.  The benefit of this treatment method is that we can deliver therapeutic doses of the nutrients, which bypass the digestive tract and are immediately available for your body to use.

A the IV Wellness Boutique we have specifically formulated IV’s to optimize your well-being and address specific health concerns.

What Are Some Common Uses For IV Therapy?
IV therapy is an excellent preventative and anti-aging therapy and it is also used to treat a variety of conditions and symptoms including:

- Boosting Immunity – whether it’s a chronic condition or an acute cold or flu

- Improving Sports Recovery and Athletic Performance

- A Hangover Cure – Our Hangover IV is packed with nutrients to have you feeling  better quickly and re-hydrate you

- Migraine Headaches and pain

- Digestive Issues such as Crohn’s, Celiac, IBS, and Colitis where digestion and absorption of nutrients is compromised

- Stress and Fatigue: To support your adrenal glands and boost energy

-Weight Loss: To get your metabolism going!

- Cancer Support: High dose Vitamin C IV therapy as a adjunctive cancer therapy

                        - View the menu offered at The IV:  IV MENU   

Is It Safe?
IV therapy is generally safe.  All of our IV’s are prepared and administered by licensed Naturopathic doctors to ensure patient safety.  IV therapy has been used for over 50 years, and was first developed by Dr. John Myers (“the Myers Cocktail”). 

Does It Hurt?
Our naturopathic doctors have lots of IV experience and do their best to make the experience as comfortable and easy as possible.  Most patients find the treatment quite comfortable and relaxing.  Some patients experience mild aching during the treatment or minor pain sensation during the needle insertion.  Heat packs can often alleviate discomfort. 

Do I Need To Do Anything Before Coming In?
For best results, make sure you drink plenty of water and eat prior to coming in for your treatment.

                                                  Interested in trying IV therapy? Come see me!
I am offering IV therapy at The IV Wellness Boutique on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays
  Tel: 604-974-8999, website:
Dr. Lindsey Jesswein, ND

Friday, September 19, 2014

Love Your Liver!

Our livers have to put up with a lot in this world!  They are our filtering organ for everything that goes into and out of our bodies and regulate many important processes, Some of the functions of this organ include:
1) metabolizing (altering in some way) proteins, carbohydrates and fats from our food; 
2) producing cholesterol (which is then used in bile acids and fat digestion); and 
3) producing proteins necessary for blood clotting and fluid balance in the body. 
 But the toughest job this organ may be responsible for is detoxification: this means alcohol, pesticides, herbicides, air pollutants, anything that is toxic to our cells. 

Foods for the liver can therefore benefit anyone, although those with a liver disease will benefit more profoundly. Since pesticides and herbicides are toxins that increase the liver’s workload, eating organic foods will be a significant help. The cost is often somewhat higher but the nutrition count is also higher, as is the benefit to the body. So whether it is a food or herb listed, always think organic first, and you’ll already be on the way to easing the load on your liver.


Ginger - increases bile flow, a liver tonic, promoting liver health in general.  Great in smoothies, as a spice in foods, stir-frys, soup, or tea.

Turmeric - Has antioxidant, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory properties.  It assists in increasing bile secretion, helps liver detoxification and regeneration.  Can be used in cooking, or smoothies.

Dandelion - This plant has blood-cleansing and liver-supporting properties. Dandelion leaves go well in a salad. The whole plant including the root provides the best benefit, and this can be ground up into juice, mixed with carrot or apple for example. Another alternative is to dry the root and grind it with chicory root for use as a hot drink.

Milk Thistle - The last herb mentioned here is not one that you will find in the spice department, but it is so beneficial to the liver, especially damaged livers, that it is worth mentioning.  This plant has been found to actually regenerate damaged cells and increase DNA synthesis in the liver.  One of the best ways that I have found to include this as a food in my diet is in a seasoning salt.  Milk thistle seeds can often be found in health food or herb stores.  Seaweed can be bought bulk or packaged in health food stores.

Milk thistle seasoning salt
You will need a clean coffee grinder for this, preferably one that is only used for grinding herbs. Coffee is hard on the liver, so you want to avoid getting any in your liver-loving seasoning salt.

½ cup milk thistle seeds
½ cup dried seaweed
1 cup of your favorite herbs (basil, oregano, dill, whatever you like!)

Grind the seeds first and put in a bowl.  Grind the seaweed next.  This is the trickiest part, and the drier the seaweed, the easier it will be.  It doesn’t matter if some of it is not entirely ground. Add the seaweed to the ground milk thistle seeds.  Next grind the herbs. Add all the ingredients together and mix well.  Keep this on the table where you eat, and sprinkle it on your food.  It can be added during cooking too.  The combination of milk thistle and seaweed is a dynamite one for liver health.


Foods are an source of vitamins and minerals that support the liver.  Bitter foods in general are supportive and detoxifying of the liver. Here is a list of foods that love the liver:

Leafy greens - collard greens, kale, swiss chard, mustard greens, kelp, arugula, spinach
Parsley & Cilantro
Vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, Onions, Garlic, brussel sprouts
Green tea
Seeds & nuts: pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts

Incorporating liver loving foods into your diet daily is an easy way to support your liver- one of the most important and hard working organs in your body!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Combatting Seasonal Allergies Naturally

It is that time of year again- sneezing, watery eyes, headaches, sniffles, and bloodshot eyes.  Yup, allergy season has begun.  While many reach for the over the counter allergy medication to stop symptoms, there are many non-pharmaceutical and natural options as well.

A naturopathic doctor, such as myself, can help guide you though the allergy remedies and what may work for you.  There are treatments to address the symptoms, but it is also important to have a treatment strategy that addresses overall health and balances the immune system.  For example, diet is a big part of this, eating a whole food based diet high in vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats and avoiding your food allergens can help your seasonal allergies as well. 

So what are some of the treatments that you can try for seasonal allergy relief?

Lifestyle changes
Avoiding exposures to pollens when they are at their worse – checking the pollen counts and plan to go for walks or runs when the counts are low, or in the evenings.  Most plants pollinate early to mid morning hours, so later in the day is better to head outside.
Take showers and change your clothes to reduce the pollens you are carrying on your self.  Change pillow cases every few days.

Spring cleaning
It’s also important to consider what, exactly, might be triggering symptoms inside your home, and then combat common offenders such as dust mites, pollen and mold:

Use a diluted bleach solution to clean and denature mold in basements and garages and on old patio furniture and the like, making sure to thoroughly dry all objects to prevent further growth.

Consider a good HEPA air filter and change it at least every two to three months to help prevent pollen and dander from being recirculated in your house.

Launder bed linens at least once a week in 130-degree water (which is what it takes to kill dust mite eggs). And bear in mind that the default “hot” setting on many washing machines doesn’t reach that temperature, so you may have to adjust your hot water heater.

Saline Nasal Rinses
Using a daily neti pot or salt-water rinse can really help to clear out the nasal passages and wash out the pollens.  If you make the salt-water solution at home, use filtered or bottled water as tap water can contain bacteria.

IV and Injectable Treatments
I utilize in office injectable and intravenous (IV) treatments that help seasonal allergy symptoms and also help the body to desensitize its reaction to the allergens for a longer term solution.

Myers cocktail and immune supportive IV’s containing B vitamins, Vitamin C, selenium, and other nutrients help the immune system better respond to the allergens.

Herbs and supplements
There are many herbs and supplements on the market that help to a minimize allergy symptoms.  Most of these do not have negative side effects such as drowsiness and headaches.  But it is best to see a Naturopathic doctor who can recommend which ones you should try. 

Vitamin C:  Strengthens the immune system and helps to fight off allergens

Quercetin:  It is an antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory, it helps to stabilizes mast cells and reduce histamine release- important players the in the allergic response.  

Magnesium: an important mineral that most people are low in, it can help wheezing by relaxing the bronchial tubes and is also important for the immune system.

Probiotics:  Supporting the gut and making sure there are high levels of good bacteria in the gut is key in sustaining a healthy immune response.

Nettles: Stinging nettle plant extract is a common herb used for allergy relief.  It helps to reduce the inflammatory response. 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids:  Getting a good, clean source of omega 3 fatty acids daily can help decrease inflammation in the body. 

With so many options, it is important to have a concise treatment plan that you stick to daily.  It is important to support the body continuously through the allergy season to best combat symptoms.  If you are interested in booking an appointment to have your allergies assessed and have a treatment plan customized for you, you can visit the website at or call 604-779-7869. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Spring Cleaning.....The Safer Way

Spring is finally starting to appear, and with the change in season comes a new fresh start.  Often a time of detoxing, changing routines, and household cleaning. 

While a clean fresh environment is great, cleaning products can expose us to many chemicals and unnecessary toxins.  There are easy switches we can make to reduce this toxin exposure.  

An average home contains up to 10 gallons of toxic materials in the form of household cleaning products.  These toxins linger in your home environment, you breathe them in and absorb them through your skin.

The good news is there and natural, safe alternatives to chemical cleaners that will not only save you money but also make your environment less toxic.  Many things that you already have in your home, such as baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and vinegar, make excellent cleaners for multiple purposes.   The following information and tips have been gathered with the help of  

Natural Cleaning Ingredients to Stock up on:

Baking sodaWhite vinegar
Lemon juiceHydrogen peroxide
Olive oilLiquid castile soap
Organic essential oils (optional)Mixing bowl/bucket
Coconut oilSpray bottles
VodkaMicrofiber cloths

DIY Cleaner Recipes:

All-Purpose Countertop/Kitchen Cleaner:  Mix equal parts vinegar & water in a spray bottle with a few drops of essential oil for a pleasant smell.  The vinegar can be replaced with vodka or rubbing alcohol as well.

Tub and Shower Scrub:  White Vinegar can be sprayed onto tiles/walls to clean mildew.  Let sit for 3o minutes and scrub/rinse off.  
For tougher jobs, sprinkle baking soda on the area first, then spray with vinegar and scrub clean.  

Antibacterial disinfectant:  Mix 2 cups of water with 3 tablespoons of castile soap and 20-30 drops of essential oil- tea tree oil or Thyme.  Spray onto surface and wipe off.

Carpet Deodorizer:  sprinkle liberally with baking soda, allow to sit 30 minutes or more then vacuum.

Coconut Oil:  can be used as a natural lubricant (where you would use WD-40), to remove gum from many surfaces including carpets, Moisturize and soften leather goods.  

The video below has lots of great at home cleaning recipes and tips:  

For more detailed information, more recipes, and more info on the chemicals contained in common household cleaners, see this article on