January 12th, 2018

New Year, Healthier You: Wearable Tech to Improve Your Health

You’re ringing in the New Year with some new resolutions, but a lot of us get lost before we’ve even hit the ground running. Where do you start?
London Drugs Pharmacist, Agusha McGrath, stopped by Breakfast Television Calgary, with the 411 on how those popular gadgets some of us got under the tree can actually help reach your goals for 2018.

Catch the full segment here or read some highlights below.

If you plan on setting health goals for 2018, one of the best paths to success is to speak with a trained professional. Pharmacists are the most accessible health care providers in Canada. They can help you create a personalized plan to become a healthier you.

Wearable technology makes working towards, or maintaining a healthy lifestyle easy and fun. Set goals with your pharmacist and ask about what wearable device or monitoring technology is best for you. With the newest advancements, catching a health issue before it’s a major problem, or just being the best version of you, is easier than ever before.

Whether you’re looking for gadget to compliment an already established routine, or you’re just starting out on your journey and need a little assistance, London Drugs has the most popular health tech companions on the market.

Fitbit

Fitbits are some of the most popular devices for fitness tracking. Count your steps, measure calories burnt per workout, monitor your heart rate, and track how well you sleep. These can range from simple step counters to full featured smart watches, all of which are extremely user friendly. Join the Fitbit community and challenge each other, or just keep track of your personal goals.

Garmin vivofit3

Need to be reminded to get up and move? The Garmin vivofit will send your automated encouragement, and can monitor different activities, like walking, running, biking swimming, or using elliptical with Move IQ.

 

 

 

Oxywatch Fingertip Pulse Oximeter

A pocket friendly device for monitoring your blood oxygen levels on the go, while maintaining impressive accuracy. Store your data, set alarms, or replay results.

 

 

 

 

 

Abbott Precision Neo Meter

Accuracy meets affordability. Make 2018 your healthiest year yet by testing your blood glucose levels anywhere, anytime. No coding required, an easy high-contrast display, with a light user friendly design.



January 4th, 2018

5 Tips to Help You #KickSugar in 2018

Whether you’re climbing aboard the resolution train or not, a new year really does come with a fresh start feeling where anything is possible. If that anything for you is to reduce your sugar consumption – no problem, these five tips can help you stick with it.

Photo from @eatsmartsweets

For any lifestyle change or new habit, it’s all about making small changes. Any sudden, drastic moves to cut out sugar completely are often paired with some intense cravings that can make someone with the strongest of willpower give up altogether. And that’s not what we’re going for, is it?

Incorporate these small steps to help you on your #kicksugar journey even one per week and you’ll be crushing those new year goals in no time:

1. Stay Hydrated

Boring I know. Drink water? Heard it a million times before. But for real, this is key. Dehydration can cause the body to become sluggish and tired, craving foods it doesn’t even need including high-sugar foods. Keep hydrated by drinking water throughout the day in whichever form you like – on its own, with lemon, herbal tea – you name it, just drink it. Try to get at least 4-6 glasses in a day.

2. Sip Some Apple Cider Vinegar

This might seem like a strange one. What the heck does vinegar have to do with reducing sugar? Well let me tell you. Apple cider vinegar has countless benefits, one of them including balancing blood sugar. When blood sugar is unstable, up and down like a rollercoaster, this is when sugar cravings can come in strong and fast. Start with 1 tsp of ACV in ½ cup of water with meals to help balance blood sugar. You can even start with one meal and work up to taking it with all your meals.

3. Get Those Probiotics

You’d have to be living under a rock to not have heard the benefits of beneficial bacteria or ‘probiotics’ for overall and intestinal health (if you’ve been under a rock, please just Google it). The connection to sugar cravings is that the bacteria living in your intestinal tract can dictate the foods you crave. If there is an imbalance of bacteria in gut, sugar cravings can be fierce and steady. Support your intestinal flora balance by consuming fermented foods like raw sauerkraut and unsweetened yogurt and/or supplementing with probiotics.

4. Keep Low-Sugar Snacks Within Arm’s Reach

Photo from @eatsmartsweets

One of the toughest times to avoid sugary foods is when you’re out and about, haven’t eaten for too long and hunger strikes. Most convenient snacks include a shocking amount of sugar, naturally-occurring or not. Something like keeping a stash of your favourite nuts in your car or desk is great snack to tide you over to a meal. Having low-sugar treats around is also key. Just because you’re reducing sugar, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to treat yourself. SmartSweets Low-Sugar Gummy Bears are a total game changer when you feel like a sweet treat. With 2g or sugar per serving, you can get your sweet fix without falling off the wagon.

5. Check Your Mindset

I totally get it, been there. Reducing sugar can mean saying ‘see ya later’ to some of your very favourite foods. Which can even be slightly emotional. Instead, think of this as an opportunity to invite different foods into your life rather than saying goodbye to the higher-sugar ones. Adding in more variety and new foods you haven’t tried before can mean new favourite foods. Get creative, hunt for some new exciting recipes and get busy in the kitchen.

 

Remember, it’s all about those small changes. Be easy on yourself and have fun with it! Join the SmartSweets #kicksugar challenge by following @EatSmartSweets on Instagram and share how you’re kicking sugar to the curb in 2018.

Paige Webster
Registered Holistic Nutritionist



December 30th, 2015

What Time Should My Child Go to Bed? A Sleep Guide for Canadian Parents

Exactly how much sleep should your kids be getting? Check our handy chart below.

If this four-year old girl went to bed at 20:30 and rose at 07:00, did her growing mind and body get enough sleep? Afraid not. Check out our guide below.

In Canada, the shortening days are upon us. In the six months between the longest and shortest days of the year, Torontonians, Vancouverites, and Edmontonians lose six and a half, eight, and nine and a half hours of sunlight, respectively.

If you have children, you’ll know that a 9:00 p.m. bedtime, more than reasonable during the summer, means putting a kid down some five hours after the winter sun. Is he getting enough sleep? Who knows? When many Canadian parents factor in the back-to-school routines of dinner, bath, and storytime (and later, after-school activities, homework, and team sports), it’s hard to imagine getting kids to bed much before nine o’clock. READ MORE



December 1st, 2015

20 Best Full-Fat Foods for Losing Weight

The idea here—supported by a new report from Switzerland— is that North Americans have been on the wrong diet for 50 years. We’ve been avoiding natural, healthy fats—such as those found in red meat, butter and eggs—to disastrous effect.

Though generally condemned, many natural fats found in food have positive impacts on your body, including increased energy, lower rates of diabetes, and weight loss. Read on to discover the full-fat foods that help you lose from the waist by adding to the plate.  Your diet will never be the same.

  1. Grass-Fed Butter An excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids, grass-fed butter helps keep energy levels stable by slowing down the absorption of carbohydrates and sugar.
  2. Heavy Cream in your Coffee Unlike milk, heavy cream is a healthy fat that keeps blood sugars stable, helping to maintain energy and brainpower. It also has the added effect of neutralizing any negative consequences of caffeine consumption, like the jitters.heavy cream
  3. Whole Milk Although whole milk technically has more calories than its skim counterparts, it is much more filling and may actually crank up your body’s calorie burning centers. In fact, studies have proven that those who drink whole milk are less likely to be obese than other milk drinkers.
  4. Bacon A paleo hit, grab a few slices of full fat pork bacon to up your energy. Packed with protein and heart healthy monounsaturated fats, real bacon can actually be better for you in the long run than its low-cal competitors.
  5. Salad Dressing Skip the raw veggies and add a little dip! Studies show eating a moderate amount of fat with your vegetables helps your body absorb important nutrients like lycopene and beta-carotene, which can help fight cancer and improve heart health.
  6. Avocado  A power food, avocados pack protein, fiber, monounsaturated fats, and oleic acid, which stops you from feeling hungry. Be sure to limit yourself to a quarter or half of an avocado for proper portion control.
  7. Avocado Oil Good in any format, try avocado oil in your cooking to benefit from those same heart healthy monounsaturated fats!avocado
  8. 4% Yogurt  Loaded with protein, calcium, and probiotics, full fat yogurt is one of the best foods for health and weight loss. An added bonus, yogurts with higher fat content tend to have more protein and less sugar than their leaner versions!
  9. Regular Ice Cream  Besides having extreme levels of sugar, low fat ice creams can sometimes contain propylene glycol, better known as antifreeze. To avoid this toxic mess, choose a small bowl of regular ice cream to satisfy cravings in a natural way.Photo via Flickr user Austin Kirk
  10. Grass-Fed Beef  Grass-fed beef is proven to contain higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids and less calories, making it the tastier, and healthier, steak dinner option.
  11. Regular Mayo Use a little bit of regular mayo to spice up your sandwiches and avoid the added sugars, vegetable oils, and artificial preservatives that get substituted into its low-fat alternatives.
  12. Natural Peanut Butter Natural peanut butter is heavy in healthy monosaturated fats, and tends to have lower sodium and sugar content than non-natural spreads. Stick to the natural, full fat jars to prevent trading good fats for bad sugars.
  13. Coconut The high levels of saturated fat in coconuts are mainly caused by lauric acid, a unique lipid that actually battles bacteria and lowers cholesterol. Studies have found that diets high in lauric acid can even help remove stubborn abdominal fat!
  14. Olive Oil Not only is olive oil rich in cancer fighting polyphenols and monounsaturated fats, but it also helps increase levels of adiponectin, a hormone responsible for breaking down body fat.olive-oil
  15. Whole Eggs Eggs are the number one source of Choline, a nutrient found in lean meats and greens, which helps fight the gene mechanism that stores fat around your liver. Eating full eggs, yolk and all, can thus keep you looking slim and trim, inside and out.
  16. Dark Chocolate Dark chocolate contains pure cocoa butter, which is a source of digestion slowing stearic acid. As a result, eating just a few ounces of dark chocolate before a meal can actually help reduce your caloric intake by up to 17%!
  17. Walnuts While saturated fats like those found in baking cause weight gain, polyunsaturated fats reduce fat storage and improve insulin metabolism. With 13 grams of polyunsaturated fat per one ounce serving, walnuts are one of the best natural sources of these healthy fats.
  18. Walnut Oil Besides the obvious benefits listed above, a diet filled with walnuts and walnut oil can also help the body respond better to stress and keep diastolic blood pressure down.
  19. Salmon Everyone knows that salmon is loaded with heart healthy omega-3s. But did you know that just two servings of salmon a week can get you the total amount of omega-3s recommended by the American Heart Association?Photo via Flickr user jh_tan84
  20. Tuna Tuna is an excellent source of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), two fatty acids that are proven to regulate fat genes in the abdomen and keep fat cells from expanding. To lower your risks of ingesting mercury, go for smaller species of tuna like those found in light canned options, which are safe to eat throughout the week!

[More at Yahoo Health]



October 8th, 2015

4 Health and Wellness Gifts You’d Love to Get

They say in giving, it’s the thought that counts. It’s a sentiment doubly true of health and wellness gifts, which have the potential to rub people the wrong way. “Here’s a present to help improve your current condition!’’ Thinking in advance about the wants and needs of your giftee improves  giving accuracy, helping you avoid awkwardness and waste.

When it comes to health- and wellness-related gifts, it’s all about the lifestyle and aspirations of your giftee. Is he or she more about jogging or marathons? Swimming lengths or aquasize? Lifting weights using a workout torn from a magazine, or taking classes with a professional trainer?

Knowledge is power, and we’ve got a suite of helpful suggestions. Of these four people, we bet you have at least one on your gift list.

Your Best Friend

Your bestie Amy practices yoga at home and at the gym, wants to lose weight, and is careful about what she, and everyone else, eats.

fitness

A workout mat and a colourful yoga outfit is the perfect gift — the clothes can double as a “run-around-town” outfit for when she’s out with the kids.

Your Parents

Your mom and dad, who love you and want to be alive and healthy for a long time. They take a daily walk for exercise, occasionally ride bikes, and make delicious organic smoothies for everyone.

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 4.36.44 PM

A wearable fitness tracker. Mom and Dad are now fluent with their smartphones, and like to assist their exercise with a handful of apps. Take it to the next level with a Fitbit.

Your Brother

In addition to lifting weights with a trainer, your competitive brother Dan does cross-fit, runs a few kilometres each week, and loves his morning protein shakes.

healthtech

Prepared smoothie and shake mixes. Dan’s probably got strong preferences when it comes to protein powder, so do reconnaissance before you shop. If you’re not sure, Vega makes an excellent protein smoothie for early mornings short of time, or top-ups throughout the day.

Your Sister

Your sister Bella is naturally slim and fit, which is annoying, and she’s considering starting a “10,000 steps a day” program.

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 4.34.48 PM

New headphones will help divert Bella from the pain of her heavy duty workouts. And a Go Pro will give her something to upload to YouTube when it’s over.



October 6th, 2015

4 Healthy Getaways for Fall

Sometimes, you need to recharge. It can be hard to do in a busy life – work, family, kids, friends, hobbies, chores, errands…. So why not get away for a bit? Even a few days is enough time to rest, breathe, and get back at it. We’ve gathered a few therapeutic retreat options that might be just what you need.

lake louise wellness retreat

Image courtesy of Flickr user Stephen Liu

Yoga in Banff

yoga retreat alberta british columbia

Image courtesy of Flickr user Matthew Ragan

If you want to get away for some self-reflection but wilderness isn’t really your thing, this yoga retreat at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is for you. The retreat includes two nights’ luxury accommodation at the hotel, gourmet meals, and a selection of yoga & meditation classes as well as a few nature walks around beautiful Lake Louise. Worried about a retreat being too rigid? The schedule is entirely optional – attendees are free to join activities as they wish (meaning you can sneak away for a mid-afternoon savasana). Namaste.

READ MORE



September 27th, 2015

6 Surprising Foods That Will Help You Sleep All Night Long

It’s a commonplace of holidays: the turkey dinner concludes, your eyelids start to droop. You sneak away from the table to pour yourself into a comfortable seat and snooze the snooze of a thousand snoozes (at least until, ahem, the dishes are done).

The yawning doesn’t come over you because you’re lazy or full, although you may be both. Turkey contains an amino acid called L-tryptophan, which produces in the body two chemicals that make you want to get comfortably horizontal: melatonin and serotonin.

Interesting: Turkey, famous for its soporific effect, contains only modest amounts of tryptophan. A handful of other foods contain much higher concentrations of the amino acid. And all are cheaper and easier to prepare than a Christmas turkey.

More importantly, they’re easy to consume before bedtime, and will help you sleep more quickly and restfully. Who needs Ambien when Mother Nature’s on your side?

Toasted sesame seed bread

Sesame seeds are small, but they contain high amounts of tryptophan. Why bother with toast when you could simply throw back a handful, you ask? Bread’s carbohydrates increase your blood sugar, causing your body to produce insulin and, afterwards, the calming chemicals serotonin and melatonin—the ultimate drowsy combination. Sesame is the sleep superstar, but all kinds of seeds—pumpkin, squash, sunflower, in particular—are excellent before bedtime.

* * *

Raw Nuts

Before bed, a handful of nuts is just what the Sandman ordered. Almonds, pistachios, and cashews (their butters are also excellent, just steer away from the heavily salted or sugared) are very high in tryptophan. Bonus: Nuts also contain magnesium, a mineral that calms your muscles and nerves.

* * *

Fresh Fish

fresh fish

Fish are dense in tryptophan, in addition to being the best natural source of Omega-3s. Salmon is the champion, so definitely try it out. Whatever your choice, don’t neglect your Omega-3s. Research shows the fatty acids discourage intermittent waking through the night, and can add as much as an hour to your sleep.  Small surprise, really: If there’s one thing salmon know about, it’s going the distance.

* * *

Cherries

cherries

Cherries are so efficient at inducing sleep, they might have been manufactured in a lab. Where most soporific foods induce the body to produce melatonin by first introducing tryptophan, cherries leapfrog the first step and give you a straight shot of melatonin. This is rare. (Melatonin is the chemical that most strongly influences your sleep-wake cycles.) One caveat: before stuffing your mouth, make sure you’re not allergic. Treefruit like cherries are difficult on some people’s systems.

* * *

Cow’s Milk

milk

Experts don’t fully agree there is evidence that this age-old home remedy actually works. That’s because, like bananas, milk contains the amino acid L-tryptophan, which turns to 5-HTP and releases serotonin, which relaxes you. Milk is also high in calcium and magnesium, both known to have a relaxing effect. Milk alone may do the trick, but you’ll boost its effectiveness by taking it with a carb-rich oatmeal, granola, or toast.

* * *

Mozzarella Cheese

mozza

If you’re like me, you hear an echo of your grandmother telling you that cheese before bed will give you nightmares. Mozzarella is the exception to the rule. Pound for pound, mozzarella cheese contains twice as much tryptophan as the lean protein. May we suggest a piece of Silver Hill’s Squirrelly Bread with a single slice of tomato, laid over with fresh buffalo mozza or bocconcini, drizzled with balsamic vinegar, a few drops of olive oil, and freshly ground black pepper?

Now you’ve got the tools. Happy sleeping!



  • Join Us!

  • Tweets

  • Blog Archive

  • Categories

All Rights Reserved © 2018 London Drugs Ltd.