What You Ought to Know About Menopause and Weight Gain
Many menopausal women will discover that low estrogen and low progesterone amongst others hormones, are negatively impacting their sleep, mood, energy, and health - not to mention their waistlines.  Over the next decade, one in six women in Canada will hit menopause, according to projections by the Canadian government. 

Menopause can start as early as age 40, with many women experiencing symptoms related to peri-menopause as early as age 33. Contrary to popular belief this is not only due to a decline in estrogen.  Other hormones such as progesterone, testosterone, DHEA and thyroid hormone also dry up along with hair, skin, brain function, memory and libido.  
So many women come into my office frustrated with the changes in their body and mind during this phase of their life, especially the growing waistline.  They will often report hot flashes, night sweats, sleep interruptions, heart palpitations, poor memory, irritability, vaginal dryness, and urine incontinence or urgency.  Changes in the appearance of their skin and hair also occur. 

As a mother, daughter and sister, I understand how these changes can bring on feelings of depression and being unhappy in our own skin.  One of the best tips and recommendations I provide include dietary changes, herbal support and a regular yoga practice.  Not only have I personally experienced many health benefits but so have my students and clients.  It all starts by taking one step at a time. 

Here are 3 few tips to get you started:
  1. Replace your morning java with herbal tea.  Coffee raises the stress hormones triggering hot flashes.
  2. Focus on one task at a time.  A yoga practice encourages us to stay present by focusing on our breath, quieting our mind and calming our burdened nervous system. 
  3. Pomegranate.  Many women report improvement in depression and hot flashes when they eat the seeds of pomegranate or drink the juice.

To learn more, join me and a small group at my upcoming workshop - Yoga for Menopause.

If you haven't heard about the healing benefits of bone broth, I highly encourage you to read on. This is an incredibly nutrient dense traditional remedy that is making a its way into main stream holistic protocols and paelo diets for good reason.  

Bone broth is a staple in most traditional diets with the exception vegan and vegetarian. Its just like what it sounds like.  A broth that is made into a healing soup stock that can be added to stews, for cooking grains, stir fry, risotto and really anywhere stock is required.  But there is so much more to this type of broth than typical commercial boxed or canned versions.

Bone broth is rich in minerals calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, and sulphur that our body can easily absorb.  Touted for its ability to reduce joint pain and inflammation due to the gelatin, proline, glycine, chondroitin and glucosamine that is extracted from cooking the bones, tendons and cartilage of chicken or beef.

When consumed regularly, bone broth can be used to heal the digestive tract, leaky gut, smooth skin, enhance immunity, improve mood, increase energy, and reduce inflammation and joint pain.

How to make bone broth:

Bone Broth
 2 lbs bones, from grass fed beef or organic chicken
1 onion with peel, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 tbsp Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
1 litre pure water (not tap)

Roast bones in oven for 30 minutes (improves flavour).  Then place bones in large stock pot and add vinegar and water.  Let sit for 30 minutes.  Then add vegetables and bring to a boil.  Simmer on low for 48 hours for beef or 24 hours for chicken skimming off any foam and discard.  Strain and discard bones.  May add fresh black pepper and celtic sea salt and fresh parsley for flavour.  

Drink 1 warm mug a day on empty stomach for 30 days. 

 Learn more at http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/broth-is-beautiful/

Have you been drinking bone broth?  How has it helped you?  Please share your story below.

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes
Oh so deelishish! 

1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
2 whole eggs, beaten
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted, (more for cooking)
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tbsp unsweetened coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1 tbsp coconut flour
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup chopped pecans

  1. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, eggs, coconut oil, maple syrup, coconut milk and vanilla.  Combine together using a whisk.  Add in remaining ingredients - brown rice flour, coconut flour, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, pecans and sea salt.  Stir until all ingredients are incorporated. 
  2. Heat a griddle or non stick skillet over medium heat.  
  3. Melt 1 tsp of coconut oil coating the surface evenly.  Pour 1/4 cup of the batter on heated skillet to form a small pancake.  Use 1/2 cup for larger pancakes.  Allow to cook on one side for 3-4 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden brown.  Using a spatula, very carefully flip the pancakes over to cook the other side.  These break easily, so be sure the bottom surface is cooked well before flipping.
  4. Repeat with remaining batter.
  5. Serve with 1 tbsp plain greek yogurt on top with a 1tsp of maple syrup. 
Freeze any leftovers, if that's even possible.  Give these a try and let me know what you think.

I usually top my pancakes with plain greek yogurt for extra protein.  What do you use?
Our skin is the largest organ of detoxification and by adding one simple step to your morning routine, you can greatly improve you’re the quality and texture of your skin as well as your overall health.

When the pores in our skin are clogged with toxins or dead skin cells, dry skin brushing can be invaluable.  It’s simple, inexpensive and offers many other health benefits including:  improved Vitamin D absorption, circulation, more energy, smoother radiant skin, and better health.

Choosing a Dry Skin Brush:

·    High quality dry brush made from natural materials.  The bristles should feel slightly stiff, but not overly.

·    Choose long handle brushes which are best to help you reach your entire back and other hard to reach spots

When to Dry Skin Brush:

·    Try to incorporate into normal daily routine before morning shower for best results. 

·    Avoid before bed as it may leave you feeling energized.

How to Dry Skin Brush:

1.     Begin at your feet always working towards your heart. 

2.     Apply gentle but firm pressure in circular motions working towards your heart which is best for circulation and lymphatic drainage.

3.     Work your way up your legs, get behind the knees, front and back of arms, armpits, chest and back – all towards your heart.

4.     Avoid genitals or any areas with irritations or abrasions including varicose veins.

5.     An average dry skin brushing session may last 2 minutes up to 20 minutes.  Skin should be pink but not red or painful.

6.     Hop in the shower as usual ending with a short burst of cooler water.

If you like the benefits of this technique, feel free to pass this email on to friends and family.

PS – Are you struggling with low energy, joint pain, belly fat or food cravings?  In just one week the Fall edition of the Better Health Nutrition Bootcamp classes begin.  This is not an exercise program, but focuses on eating real food for real people.

Pre-bootcamp Better Health Assessments have begun….but there’s still time for you to claim your seat. 

Claim your seat by emailing me by midnight, Monday, September 22nd.  There are only 2 spots available with registration closing in 24 hours.

Click Here>>  nutrition@i-zoom.net  to claim your seat now!

There is no doubt that stress is a major factor in our overall health and well-being.  But could it also be making you fat?  Cortisol is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands that when in balance aids in blood pressure control, reduces inflammation and supports our ability to adapt during stressful situations.  However, when cortisol is secreted on a long term basis, it can adversely affect our health and lead to increased visceral or belly fat.  High levels of the stress hormone cortisol can also disrupt blood sugar balance, increase cravings and disrupt estrogen and progesterone balance.  Adaptogenic herbs are a unique class of healing plants that can help balance, restore and protect the body especially during times of long term chronic stress.  Rhodiola is an herb that been around for thousands of years and has been long known for its ability to regulate blood sugar and enhance the transport of serotonin into the brain.  When combined with Relora, it can have a positive effect on stress related fatigue, food cravings and provides a sense of satiety.  Satiet-ease is a professional formula that combines these two powerful herbs that support healthy body fat distribution, positive mood, physical and emotional well-being.  

Pure Encaps Satiet-ease, 90 caps $39.00 Dosage: 1 cap, twice daily on an empty stomach. Not to be combined with an SSRI. For more information, please email nutrition@i-zoom.net.
Canada's Dara Howell took Gold in freestyle skiing in Sochi last week.  But when it comes to our digestion, slow and steady wins the race.  Much of the reason for poor digestion is how we eat.  We eat too fast.  Our digestive system relies heavily on digestive enzymes which begin in our mouth.  When we chew, we secrete saliva and amylase the enzyme that helps to break down carbohydrates.  This is just the start of a journey through our gastrointestinal tract, the tube that begins at the mouth and ends at the rectum.  I often say “our stomachs do not have teeth,” and our digestive system relies on us to chew our food well into a pulp.  When we take our time to chew thoroughly and avoid drinking iced beverages with our meals, we can minimize uncomfortable bloating and gas often associated with poor digestion.  This can lead to an overgrowth of bacteria in the gut and poor nutrient absorption as well as constipation.  At your next meal, try chewing your food at least 20 times, sip on room temperature water if needed and savour each bite.  For optimal digestion, I recommend Digestive Enzymes Ultra by Pure Encaps taken during meals which helps break down food, reduces bloating, improves nutrient absorption and may alleviate constipation.  The added bonus is, taking a digestive enzyme actually helps us to make more enzymes thereby speeding up metabolism and supports healthy weight loss and hormonal balance.

Pranayama, one of the Eight Limbs of Yoga, can be translated as “to extend the vital life force.”  it’s a practice that can have a profound effect on your health and life.  

Simple breathing exercises can help everyone, regardless of your experience and enjoy benefits such as reduced anxiety and stress, increased focus and a more restful sleep.  Here is a practice that you can try right now:  

Nadi Shodhana or Alternate Nostril Breathing

1. Hold your right thumb over your right nostril and inhale deeply through your left nostril.

2. At the peak of your inhalation, close off your left nostril with your 3rd and 4th fingers, then exhale smoothly through your right nostril.

3. After a full exhalation, inhale through the right nostril, closing it off with your right thumb at the peak of your inhalation.

4. Continue for the next few breaths, following the same pattern.  Your breathing should be effortless, with your mind gently observing the inflow and outflow of breath.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, you may be thinking about how this holiday meal will fit into your health and wellness goals.  I love the holidays and especially love to eat all the yummy food that go along with it. 
If you find yourself slumped into a heap on the sofa with a button undone you may be experiencing a food sensitivity or other digestive upsets. White flour and wheat do not sit well with me at all, so I have adapted this apple pie recipe to satisfy my palate and tame my tummy.  You can make it ahead of time and serve with your holiday meal this Thanksgiving.     

Oat Crust:

1 1/2 cups gluten free all purpose flour
1/4 tsp xanthum gum
1/2 cup large flaked oats
2 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup or so, water

Apple Filing:

6 apples, peeled, cored and cut into even pieces
1/2 cup honey, warmed so its liquid
3 tbsp all purpose gluten free flour
1 tbsp ground cinnamon

Creamy Maple Topping:

1/2 cup greek yogurt, vanilla flavor
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  To make crust, whisk flour, oats, coconut sugar, salt in a large bowl.  Add olive oil and combine well.  Begin to add some of the 1/2 cup water until the mixture begins to form a ball.  Kneed to gather up all the crumbs and bits.  Add a drop or two of water if needed. Divide the dough into 2 balls evenly.  

Place one ball on sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle with a bit of Gluten Free All Purpose flour.  Flatten with back of hand to form a disc shape.  If too crumbly - try chilling the dough for a bit.  Continue to flatten and roll gently to a little larger then pie pan. Carefully lift parchment paper over pie pan and gently lay dough down to cover evenly.  Form to shape using hands as needed.  If it breaks apart, simply fill in the pieces by pressing together.  When it bakes, it all comes together nicely.

Repeat same for top layer and set aside or chill until ready.

For the filling, in another bowl toss apples with flour, honey and cinnamon.  Pour apple mixture into pie shell.

Carefully cover with top layer and pinch close the sides to seal using your fingers. Poke 4 vent holes in top crust for steam to escape.  

Place pie on bottom rack in oven and bake for 60 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Mix together Vanilla Greek Yogurt with maple syrup and serve over warm pie. Deelish!



    Nancy Este is a Registered Yoga Teacher and Certified Nutritional Practitioner.  She is here to share with you over 17 years of experience in the Alternative Health field. It is her hope to help save you time, money and stress when it comes to regaining your balance in life.


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