February 18th, 2018

5 Reasons Curling is Awesome (and So Canadian!)

Haaaaaaaaaaaaard! If the games in PyeongChang have re-awakened your interest in curling, you aren’t alone. Curling clubs see membership increase every four years, as wider audiences are exposed to the drama and fun of this very Canadian sport.

Curling was invented in Scotland, but long, cold Canadian winters have driven generations of Canadians into curling clubs where community is built with every end played. Here are 7 reasons curling is awesome, and so, so Canadian!

1. Anyone Can Curl

Certainly at the elite level, curlers are in top shape. The fields at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts (Women’s Canadian Championship) and the Brier (Men’s Canadian Championship) train like crazy and are incredibly fit and strong athletes, but this may not always be the case down at your local club. Wonderfully, curling is a sport that players of all ages and fitness levels can succeed at. This inclusivity is a Canadian ideal, and we’re incredibly proud of it.

2. Curlers are Mild-Mannered

Canadians don’t love the stereotype that we’re all too polite (sorry!), but in curling, it’s kind of true. The way curlers talk about the game with each other, even at the highest level, in the most intense situations, is as if they’re two buddies deciding whether or not to go for Italian or Vietnamese food tonight. One curler will mildly express an opinion on the type of shot to take: “Let’s do an in-turn tap to the four foot.” The other curler’s response? “I don’t mind that.” You must understand that “I don’t mind that” is curler-speak for: “This is the best idea I have ever heard and if you do it we’re going to win the Canadian championship.” It’s utterly refreshing to watch nice people play sports with respect for each other. And it’s so Canadian.

3. Curling is Chess on Ice

The strategy involved in a curling game is fascinating. Shots that are made at the beginning of a 16-rock end often come into play in the very last shot, and the great curlers are the ones who manage the house and their rocks throughout. What makes it fun for the viewer is that we get to hear everything the teams are discussing as they weigh their options. The commentators play a huge role in translating the curling jargon for the home viewer, and as you learn the basics, you will start to see the different strategies paying off for the teams. The mental focus and planning that great skips need to bring their teams to victory is something to behold.

4. Curlers Make Crazy Shots

Along with the thoughtful strategy in a curling game, you’ll also get to see some big weight shots that get 3, 4, or more rocks scattering around the house. Check out Glenn Howard’s shot for 3 at the 2009 Brier. Or this one from Jennifer Jones, simply called “The Shot,” to win it all the 2005 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. Or here is a compilation of 10 great shots from the Canadian Curling Trials in 2010. Totally crazy shot-making from the best in the world, who just happen to be Canadian.

5. Curling Creates Community

Life in Canada can be tough in the winter months. It’s no wonder that people in towns across the country take to their community curling clubs for some shelter from the elements and good times with friends and neighbours. Camaraderie is baked into the sport, with players wishing each other good luck or “good curling” before the game and usually sharing a table up in the clubhouse after the game as well. These clubhouses also capture the spirit and history of the curlers and community members that have come before, through memorabilia, photographs, and stories. Drop into a curling club for a glimpse at the people who have made their Canadian community what it is today.



January 23rd, 2018

How to Set Smart Health and Wellness Goals for an Awesome 2018

smart health and wellness for 2018

It’s that time again – New Year’s Resolution season. Let’s admit it: we always start off strong with motivation and enthusiasm to eat healthier, exercise more, get more sleep and take better care of ourselves, but come mid-January, that enthusiasm starts to wain. Sometimes we just need that little extra spark to keep the fires of motivation burning, and we’ve got some super-handy tech gadgets to add some fuel to your smart health and wellness fire.

Eat Bettersmart health and wellness for 2018

Prep It: Of course preparing your own meals is far healthier than take-out or pre-packaged food, but cooking at home takes extra time and creativity that we don’t always have. Luckily,  The Panasonic Steam Microwave will make your meal prep even easier with easy, oil-free dishes that taste great. The steam function can also be combined with microwave, grill, and convection cooking to give you limitless options for making “healthy” synonymous with “delicious.”

Kick Sugar: Everyone snacks. It’s inevitable—that yawning chasm of time between lunch and dinner will find you eventually. In fact, healthy snacking can actually be good for you, as it fends off swings in blood sugar and prevents binge eating when you’re reaaally hungry. Unfortunately, most store-bought snack foods have a shocking amount of sugar in them, so we’ve got some easy tips for cutting down on sugary snacks here.

Move More

smart health and wellness for 2018

Pump It: The perfect playlist can make or break an intense workout. If you’re addicted to the energy that music gives you, make sure you’re taking full advantage of your tunes with a great set of headphones. Skullcandy’s XTFree Wireless Sport Headphones eliminates the hassle of cords and and keeps you free to pump it up. The lightweight buds have a tight comfortable fit, and you’ll get up to six hours of battery life on a charge to keep you going longer.

Get Up: New studies have shown that there’s a direct relationship between time spent sitting and your risk of early mortality. Doctors suggest that for every 30 consecutive minutes of sitting, standing up and moving or walking for five minutes at brisk pace will reduce the health risks from sitting. If you work at a sedentary job, a standing desk is a great way to avoid sitting for long periods of time. Our Certified Data Standing Desk easily changes from sitting to standing position and has a large surface area to accommodate all of your work activities.

Get Down: Fitness is more fun when it’s a family affair! Get the whole gang grooving with Just Dance, available for Nintendo Switch, PS3 & PS4, Wii & Wii U, and Xbox One and 360.  

Track It: Some people need a little bossing around to stay on track with their fitness. If you don’t want to hire an expensive personal trainer, go for some wearable tech to keep you accountable. London Drugs has a wide range of Fitbit fitness trackers in lots of different styles and price ranges that can help you reach your goals. With the Fitbit app, you can track your daily steps, caloric intake and output, heart rate, sleep habits–all while looking sleek and stylish.

Get more sleep

smart health and wellness for 2018

Light It: Everyone knows that getting enough sleep is essential support for good health: it helps our bodies repair damage, clean out waste products, balance hormones, renew cells, and so much more. New studies have even shown that a good amount of sleep helps you form memories, solidify learning, reduces your risk of depression, increases fitness levels, and helps to avoid weight gain. If the thought of trying to get more sleep seems intimidating, there is some great technology available to help create optimal conditions for a good night’s rest, like the Sleepace Nox Music Smart Sleep Light. It can help you fall asleep easily with soothing light and sound and wakes you up naturally with a smart light alarm. It also collects data from your bedroom environment that impacts your sleep quality and makes smart suggestions on how to improve your sleeping experience.

Hear It: If you like to listen to music or podcasts as you fall asleep but wake up in a tangled mess of headphone wires, the Furo Bluetooth Sleeping Mask helps you rest in comfort while listening to whatever sounds are needed to take you to dreamland. A soft micro-fibre sleeping mask with built-in Bluetooth speakers and a 6-hour battery life will give you a comfortable, tangle-free sleeping experience.

More self-care

smart health and wellness for 2018De-Stress: Ideally, we’d all have a live-in massage therapist to help us work out the knots after a stressful day or a hard workout, but alas, most of us aren’t so lucky. The next best thing could be the Homedics Neck & Shoulder Massager with Heat. This invigorating vibration massager adds heat to soothe tense muscles, and the portable design flexes and shapes to your body, providing the perfect fit for the perfect massage. Makes you want to let out a big “ahhhhhhh” just reading that, doesn’t it?

Breathe In: It’s amazing how scent can affect your mood and well-being. Just ask any of your friends who have jumped on the therapeutic essential oils bandwagon recently: lavender can help you sleep, pine can alleviate stress, citrus can help you feel more energized, and peppermint may boost concentration, just to name a few. An aromatherapy diffuser will help fill your home with whatever scent and mood you crave.

Hopefully, with a little help, we can all stick to our goals for the year (and stay off the road that they say is paved with good intentions), and make 2018 into twenty-GREAT-teen!



January 23rd, 2018

Want to quit smoking? London Drugs pharmacists can help

London Drugs pharmacist counsels a patient about over-the-counter smoking cessation aids.

Research shows quit medication combined with professional counselling provides the greatest chance of success

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to quitting smoking but there are many evidence-based ways to increase your chances of quitting success.

Research demonstrates the strongest approach to smoking cessation is to combine quit medication with quit counselling.

As part of National Non-Smoking Week, we are encouraging smokers to take advantage of complimentary smoking cessation counselling available at our pharmacies.

Pharmacists are available to advise patients on selecting a nicotine replacement therapy as well as provide advice by developing personalized quit plans to help people stop smoking.

To learn more about how your pharmacist can help a person quit, visit or call your local London Drugs.

 

Support for Smokers in B.C.

In B.C., London Drugs has joined forces with QuitNow, a provincially-funded program delivered by the BC Lung Association, to support British Columbians in their efforts to quit by providing free informational resources and coaching.

Eligible BC residents can also receive government financial support through the BC Smoking Cessation Program which covers 100% of the cost of nicotine replacement therapy (specific nicotine gum, lozenges, patches, inhaler), or contributing to the cost of specific smoking cessation prescription drugs.

 

London Drugs Certified Tobacco Educator Penny Lehoux, and QuitNow Health Promoter, Tracey Jirak.

Quit Coaching Clinic Co-Hosted by London Drugs & QuitNow

 As part of National Non-Smoking Week, London Drugs and QuitNow are co-hosting a Quit Coaching Clinic next Wednesday at the Coquitlam Centre location.

Quit Coaching Clinic

  • Wednesday, January 24, 2018 – 5:30pm to 8:30pm
  • London Drugs Pharmacy
  • Coquitlam Centre (2929 Barnet Hwy #1030)

 

During the Quit Coaching Clinic, London Drugs Certified Tobacco Educator, Penny Lehoux, and QuitNow Health Promoter, Tracey Jirak, will be:

  • Conducting CO breathing tests, a quick and easy way to demonstrate the impact that smoking is having on your body.
  • Discussing practical tips to help you reduce your smoking and providing info about free services available online through Quitnow.ca.
  • Developing personalized quit plans.
  • Offering information about the B.C. Smoking Cessation Program for nicotine replacement therapy.
  • Answering questions about smoking cessation products available over-the-counter and by prescription.


January 16th, 2018

The Candy That Will Help You Kick Sugar: Smart Sweets

Smart Sweets founder, Tara Bosch (image via Facebook)

This post marks the first in a series of product profiles that we plan to publish on the London Drugs blog, exploring the talented people producing some of the exciting Canadian products on our shelves. 

22-year-old founder Tara Bosch launched the confectionary company Smart Sweets in 2016, and in doing so, shook up the candy world. If you picked up a bag of her treats at your local London Drugs, you may have wondered in fact whether you were getting candy or a health product.

You’re getting both.

Bosch set out to create a treat that wasn’t loaded with the usual amount of sugar. Where a 56-gram bag of Skittles contains 43 grams of sugar, Smart Sweets contains just 2 grams of sugar per 50-gram pouch (not to mention 24 grams of fibre and 5 grams of protein). It’s a sweet snack that you can feel a little better about enjoying.

An up-and-comer in the business world, Bosch has already been on the popular TV program Dragons’ Den (earning praise from all the judges) and has been honoured in the Pitch for the Purse contest as well as in the most recent BCBusiness 30 under 30 issue.

“It was amazing to see and hear the stories of how people’s lives have been impacted by sugar. There is no better time to be part of the wellness​ industry in Canada as more and more people are realizing the impact that food, specifically sugar, has on our body and are eagerly waiting for options to be innovated so they can make smaller, smarter choices in their daily lives,” says Bosch.

“It was so cool to see people who watched our episode reach out and share their stories about how they are kicking sugar, too. Smart Sweets has the opportunity to make a massive impact in people’s lives. At the end of the day, it’s about being able to feel good about enjoying the foods we love, and life’s too short not to be able to eat candy everyday.”

When asked where Bosch sees Smart Sweets going from here, the entrepreneur doesn’t balk. “Smart Sweets is revolutionizing candy consumption. Tackling one of the largest and most concerning problems hidden in our everyday foods, we are driving innovation through creation of the first candy products that kick sugar naturally … We want to empower people to live their best lives by giving them the choice to kick sugar.”

Bosch’s dream of seeing Smart Sweets take up space on shelves across the world–including shelves at London Drugs, of course–just may become reality. We wish her the best.

Smart Sweets is currently available in stores across Canada, including London Drugs. The product will be launching in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2018.



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



June 7th, 2017

How to Wake Up Happier and More Energized

With summer coming to an end and the days getting shorter, we all want to feel as energized as possible as we wake up. When it comes to waking up fresh, happy, and ready to tackle the world, there are a bunch of tricks to try. Start your morning feeling more rejuvenated and centred with these tips.

Maximize your beauty sleep

Beauty Sleep to Wake Up with Energy on the London Drugs Blog

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