Long been recognized as a supplement with many benefits, omega-3 fatty acids are a good choice for brain health in both adults and children. Fish oil is perhaps the best known – it is an oil that is high in omega-3 fatty acids, in particular eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) – both long chain fatty acids. Other sources of omega-3’s are other cold-water fish, shellfish, krill, algae, plant and nut oils, walnuts and flax seeds. Flax seeds are higher in alpha-linolenic acid, which is a short chain fatty acid. While still providing omega-3s, and still being of health benefit, they are less potent than the fatty acids found in seafood products. [Read more…]
The general consensus on exercise for most stages of pregnancy is “do during pregnancy what you were doing prior to pregnancy”. Of course there are limits to this – I would not recommend a pregnant woman do marathon training, even if she ran a marathon the year prior to her pregnancy. That might be a little extreme!! But nor should she really start running during a pregnancy if she wasn’t doing any regular exercise prior. So the idea is start now so that once you are pregnant, you will be able to be more active, experience less fatigue, and continue an exercise regimen that can help you during the pregnancy and especially during labor. The owner of the pilates studio I attend did regular pilates throughout her pregnancy and her labor was 3 hours in total, and she pushed the baby out in two pushes. Isn’t that what we would all want? [Read more…]
More and more people are realizing that gluten is not the best thing for them, and adopting a gluten-free diet. Subclinical gluten intolerance is a huge deal – it’s very prevalent, and often undiagnosed. One does not have to be full blown celiac to be intolerant to gluten, and testing may or may not show up gluten intolerance.
I think part of the problem is the genetic modification of grains – as grains get further and further from how they exist in nature, it’s naturally harder and harder for us to digest and metabolize them. It’s not just digestive issues that come from gluten intolerance – it can cause neurological issues, profound fatigue, emotional imbalance, hormone issues – and many other symptoms that don’t seem to be related to the digestive system. [Read more…]
The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness
by Jeff Olsen is one of the best books I’ve read recently. The premise is that instead of success, wealth, great health, (insert any desire or goal) being some big sudden thing that happens as a result of some huge event or happening; the actual path to success (as you define it) is simply a series of small steps that you do every single day. According to The Slight Edge, the difference long term is that one extra bite that you either could take or not take; the extra block you might run when you just don’t feel like it; the extra 10 minutes you get from the snooze button when you could sleep more instead. Olsen states that the difference between success and “failure” (or lack of success) is a culmination of small, seemingly inconsequential, daily decisions – that at the time seem like they wouldn’t make any difference at all.
I try to apply The Slight Edge. In fact, just yesterday in our recent heat and humidity, I cut my run short, and I knew for the rest of the day that I’d taken just that little bit away from my fitness goals.
Here’s my latest and greatest Slight Edge application. We have started a piggy bank for Valentina. Today I started a bank account for her. Every time we accumulate loose change, we put it in the piggy. Every time I get a single $1 note, I put it in a special tin for her. Sometimes I put some $5’s and $10’s in there too.
Today, I counted her singles and we have $100, and another $80 in $5 and $10 notes. I went to the bank to start her own savings account. I also set my “keep the change” (a savings feature offered by Bank of America where they round up all my purchases on my checking account, and deposit the difference in my savings account) – to dump into her account and not mine. [Read more…]
Essential oils have been used for centuries for their aromatic properties and health-giving benefits. Essential oils can make a significant contribution to one’s health, and have become a popular modality in both my medical practice and my home.
Essential oils can be used to support the body in many different ways, allowing it optimal healing potential. They can support immune function and help overcome infection, reduce inflammation and discomfort, promote healthy digestion, assist in healthy sleep patterns, moods, cognitive function, and so much more.
I started incorporating the highest quality essential oils into my practice after hearing experiences of people who had utilized them in their own health care regimens. Now I can’t remember life without them, nor do we want to know life without them!! There are oils to support every system of the body – helping to strengthen the body so that it can heal itself. Essential oils are more potent than herbs since they come from the aromatic oils of the plant – they are very concentrated for that reason are highly efficacious. Also because of that potency, a small amount goes a long way! [Read more…]
I wonder if people think I have a different experience of being a mother because I’m a doctor. There are certainly things I know from my medical background that help. But mostly, as a first time mom, I learned along the way just life everyone else. In fact, I joined some mommy groups on Facebook and purposely never mentioned anything about my medical background because I wanted to be able to ask any question I had without for of someone thinking “hey, shouldn’t she know these things if she’s a doctor”! Yes, I know that sounds pretty silly, but it was how I felt about it. It was nice for me to have separation of doctor and mom, in fact, it was crucial, especially in the beginning. It was fun for me to allow myself to be a new mom and not have expectations that I should know everything. So I still posted and asked – ‘what were your babies first finger foods?’, ‘hey this just happened what does it mean?’, or ‘check out this rash what do you think it is?’ [Read more…]
Hi and welcome to the first Fertile Fridays blog post! Fertile Fridays are going to be about topics related to fertility and preconception health care. In my practice, I have worked with mamas-to-be on getting their health in tip top shape prior to pregnancy – not only to make themselves healthier, but to encourage quick and easy conception, and then a healthy pregnancy and baby.
The fertility part of this blog is also fueled by our current path to trying to have another child ourselves. Valentina is 21 months as I write this, and we’ve been trying for over a year, in fact, we never “not tried” since she was born. With my 43rd birthday having come and gone this week, I’m definitely feeling some pressure and anxiousness around it (which I know, doesn’t help, but it’s hard to just magically make disappear!). [Read more…]
Hi and welcome to my first ever blog post on The Naturopathic Mama. This is a place where medical knowledge combines with mama experience to bring you knowledge, wisdom and empowerment on how to support your family, naturally.
I’m Nicola Ducharme, historically Nicola McFadzean. I guess to be proper I’d say Nicola Ducharme nee McFadzean.
I was born in England (hence the need to be proper much of the time). My Dad is English, my Mum is Australian. If push comes to shove, I do call myself half Aussie and half Pom, but if asked “where are you from?” my reflex response is “Australia”.
I have lived in the Unites States for coming up on 20 years, which when I think about it is longer than I lived in Australia. I’ve definitely become Americanized to some extent – I consider the U.S. home, I love it and the opportunities it has provided me, and my husband and daughter are both U.S. citizens (enough reason to keep me here!). I am a permanent resident but haven’t applied for U.S. citizenship yet, not because I don’t want to, simply because I haven’t made it that far down my to-do list. I’m busy getting my daughter her social security number, and that alone has been procrastinated for a couple of months now. Given some recent political goings-on, it might become a pressing issue, but since a green card holder has pretty much the same rights as a citizen, short of voting, I just haven’t made it top priority. [Read more…]