Mosquito Mayhem!

July 15th, 2010

It seems like I can’t even enjoy my garden without the constant slap and scratch of my dear friends the mosquitoes.  Now I’m a nature girl.  I like getting out in the woods.  I can look for the purpose in mostly pesky bugs, but I can see no purpose to mosquitoes but to bug me!  Luckily Mother Nature gave us some gifts to help us cope with these menaces.

Essential oil of lavender is a Godsend this time of year.  Not only does it act as an insect repellent, but it also is a great itch reliever.  It’s lovely aroma makes it a pleasure to wear.  Lavender is a key ingredient in one of my favourite essential oil combinations, Solvarome by Unda (sold in Canada by Genestra).  In a 1:3 ratio with water it makes an easy to apply spray repellent (shake well first).  But even more remarkable is a single drop on the most annoying of bites will bring down swelling and itching.

There are many other nature cures out there.  So I open it up to you.  Share your ideas.  What gift of Mother Nature do you use to cope with our national insect, the mosquito?

Nutrition Tips from my talk at The Running Room

July 13th, 2010

Special thanks to Heather Weber for inviting me to share some nutrition tips with her 5K and 10K walking groups last Friday evening.  I thought I’d take a moment to share this info with the rest of you.


Never workout on a full stomach.  Wait at least 3-4 hours after a large meal, 2-3 hours after a small meal or 1-2 hours after a snack. 

A good pre workout snack should be small (100-200 calories), easy to digest,and carbohydrate based (add protein if muscle training).  Some examples would be:

1) A smoothie made with plain yogurt, fresh berries and a little maple syrup (mmmm, the best milkshake ever!)

2) A whole-grain, low sugar cereal bar.  I like Kashi granola bars for their high fibre content, low refined sugar levels and great taste!


A 30 minute to 1 hour workout requires no other replenishment than water.  However, electrolytes are still important if activity is longer than one hour.  This means a drink containing minerals that are important for the body such as sodium, potassium and chloride.  Low levels can be dangerous for the muscles including the heart.  Most common electrolyte replacements are high in sugar and food dyes, so consider a natural product from your local health food store or try this simple recipe from common household ingredients:

1 litre of boiled water

1 tbsp peppermint leaves

1 tbst fennel seeds

1/2 tsp table salt

1/4 baking soda

1/4 tsp potassium chloride (also called No-salt or Nu-salt, a salt substitute)

2 tbsp sugar (can use honey or maple syrup instead)

Prepare in advance and serve chilled


Recovery foods should be eaten within 30-60 minutes after exercise.  Once again a small, carbohydrate rich snack (see Pre workout) and water or an electrolyte replacement for rehydration.  If you are weight training, don’t forget to add some protein to help build those muscles.  A great snack in this case would be a piece of crispbread, such as Ryvita, with almond butter on top.  If your workout is short, you only need a post workout snack if your next meal is more than an hour away.  Most importantly, if weight loss is your goal, make sure your snack calories don’t exceed those you just burned in your workout.

Dandelions: Menace or Medicine

May 18th, 2010

Since expanding Aqua Vitalis last month, my duties as “Chief Naturopathic Officer”  have extended to many non-medical things, but still very Naturopathic.  On Tuesday my job of the day was digging dandelions.  And when I say digging, I mean digging.  Green medicine extends to the garden you know.

I must say I found this experience strangely rewarding.  There is something inspiring about being in the garden.  You begin to look at weeds in a whole new way.

Have you noticed the sudden explosion of dandelions?  Their bright yellow colour seems to blanket our boulevards here in Whitby.  Not that most people would find them inspiring or beautiful.  Most people think of them as a menace.  But did you know that dandelions are medicinal?  And I wonder if the sudden population explosion is Mother Nature’s way of providing us with something we really need.

The dandelion, or Taraxacum officinale, is a common and useful botanical medicine with many beneficial properties.  The bitterness of the leaves makes them a great digestive aid and when made into a tea acts as a diuretic (that’s a fancy way of saying it makes you pee more).   A tea of the roots affects the other route of elimination, having a laxative effect.  Taraxacum is also known as a liver herb, aiding in detoxification and bile flow.  In Traditional Chinese medicine, the liver is looked at from both a physical and emotional perspective.  The emotion of the liver is irritability, making one wonder even more about this herbs sudden abundance in our stress-driven society.

So next time you feel stressed out, instead of stopping to smell the roses, maybe you should stop and dig dandelions instead!

Colonial Retirement Home Health Fair

May 18th, 2010

Join us as we support our friends at The Colonial Retirement Home for their first Health Fair. 

We will be there from 10 am – 2pm on Wednesday May 26th, 2010. 

The Colonial is located at the corner of Brock and Manning in Whitby.

See you there!

Thanks for a great welcome!

May 18th, 2010

Thanks to all for the great turn out to our Grand Opening!  We especially appreciated the participation of our dignitaries.  Our mayor, Pat Perkins, shared a wonderful welcome.  Reflections shared by Tina Dezsi and Lia Bandola definitely brought a smile and a tear to my eye.   Thanks also to Pastor Derrick Nichols for offering a Prayer of Dedication.  It truly set the tone for what I hope to be a place of peace and healing for many.  As always the support of everyone from the Whitby Chamber of Commerce made the event one of ease.  And we can’t forget Steve from SNAP Whitby for his coverage of the event.  Please check out the June issue for pictures – 

Please check back as our pictures will go up shortly.

I also wanted to share with you an excerpt from my musings about my journey over the last 6 years.  Even if you couldn’t attend on the 7th, these words were also intended for you:

I look out and see a group of clients, colleagues, family, but what I really see is a group of friends who have been my encouragement and support in this journey.  Some of you I’ve just met and some of you I’ve know my whole life. 

I wanted to take this moment to thank you all.  To my clients, thanks for your trust I me as your doctor, your willingness to be an active part of your health and to share your success with others.  To my Networking colleagues, thank you for your belief in me and the wisdom you have shared over the years.  To my family and friends, I thank you for your love and believing in my dreams as much as I did and all the hours of physical labour put into making it a reality.

I could say this is a dream 6 years in the making, but this dream started way before “Naturopathic Doctor” was added to the end of my name.  Like most young girls dream and plan out her future wedding, every first year Naturopathic Student has a “dream clinic” planned out in his/her head.

That takes us back 10 years, but I think the first dreams were started way back when I was 3 years old, with my cat in my high chair trying to get him to open his mouth and say “ahhh”.

Yes, it’s been quite a journey and I know it is only just beginning again.  I look forward to travelling with you all.

Thanks again!

Dr. Erika

Aqua Vitalis Grand Opening!

April 16th, 2010

All are welcome to the Grand Opening Celebration and Dedication on Friday May 7th from 6pm-8pm.  Ribbon cutting to take place at 6:30 pm with speeches from local dignitaries.

We looking forward to meeting you and sharing with you in this celebration of Health and Wellness for Durham region.

Light refreshments will be served.

Please RSVP:  (905) 666-3826

We’re moving!

March 9th, 2010

On April 5, 2010 we’re moving from our Green Street location to our new larger facilities at 712 Dundas Street West, Whitby.

Give us a call at our new phone number…