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Marylene Vestergom

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Loving Yourself
Cover Story

Love Yourself Unapologetically

Shantelle Bisson’s journey from self-loathing to self-love. In her Amazon best-selling book, Loving Yourself Without Losing Your Cool, Shantelle Bisson reveals her own life demons, and by doing so, has laid out the journey other women will surely relate to. Her book aims to help women face the messiness of life and all the baggage that’s holding them back. The rawness and unplugged voice of Shantelle Bisson takes the reader on a personal journey where she shares her experiences to help others exorcise their demons. “I’m me, completely laid bare. Me as a human being, not Yannick’s wife (her husband is Murdoch Mysteries’ Yannick Bisson), not the mother of three daughters, not my mother’s daughter, not a friend, but just me,” says Shantelle. Through her experience, Shantelle helps readers analyze the lessons learned in each phase of their lives, going back to their past, addressing the things that made them

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Plant-based Nutrition
Healthy Recipes

Plant-based nutrition is good for you, your family, and the planet

By Marylene Vestergom Eating a completely plant-based diet, once rare, is becoming more common, especially among younger people. Once people start eating more fruits and vegetables, they reduce consumption of meat and dairy. The next step is to eliminate dairy and become a vegetarian. Finally, all animal products are eliminated, including honey from bees. Then they’re considered vegan. According to Leslie Beck, a Toronto-based registered dietitian and director of Food and Nutrition at Medcan, “the biggest dietary movement in Canada today is flexitarianism. People who eat a flexitarian diet eat a mostly plant-based diet but do occasionally eat meat.” As for the motivation to eat more plants, Beck points out, “Whether it’s a strict vegan diet or a flexitarian approach, the main driving force for most people is health.” According to Heart & Stroke Canada, vegetarian diets may lead to lower blood pressure, improved cholesterol levels, healthier weight and a

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Fitness

Balance Training Tips

The average person walks between 6,000 and 8,000 steps a day with each step absorbing two-to-three times their body weight — depending on your activity. Let’s face it — being sure-footed at any age can be a challenge, but you can take control by incorporating exercises to improve your balance and build strength in the intrinsic foot muscles. Dr. Benno M. Nigg, professor emeritus of biomechanics at the University of Calgary, advocates the bottom-up approach, which focuses on increasing the strength of the small muscles crossing the ankle joint. “Everything starts with the base,” says Nigg. “If you have weak ankle joints, you’re unstable at the base. If you’re unstable at the base, that has an effect up the body, and there’s evidence this contributes to injuries.” Nigg thinks we should start thinking laterally. “Train the foot and ankle joints in all directions. Consider if you were building a skyscraper

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Health

The heart-brain connection

For over 20 years, Calgary’s Tracey Delfs, owner of BalanceQuest has been expanding and sharing her expertise as a sought-after speaker, mental wellness coach, mindfulness teacher, and yoga instructor. Her passion has allowed her to travel the world to learn from Thich Nhat Hanh, the “Father of Mindfulness” at his retreat centres in France and Germany. Tracey has helped people learn to live a calmer, more focused and happier life. Adding to her toolbox, Tracey has been a strong advocate of HeartMath™ as a certified coach and trainer. “I feel my life’s purpose is to share these various practices; whether it’s meditation, mindfulness, yoga or HeartMath™, they’re all different roads leading to the same destination.” So, what is HeartMath™? Located in California, the HeartMath Institute is a global leader in emotional physiology and stress-management research, based on over 31 years of scientific research on the psychophysiology of stress, resilience, and

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Fighting Back Against Ageism
Cover Story

Fighting back against ageism

Ageism, discrimination based on your apparent age: how does it happen – and when? Ageism can surface overnight, or so it seems. Maybe it’s when a sales clerk compares you to her mother or when the cashier at the grocery store calls you ma’am, or maybe after years of carving out a successful career or two, you’re told you’re overqualified for a new role. Whether you label yourself or others do that for you, it seems ageism has raised its ugly head in these ordinary, everyday situations. “Ageism is the most widespread and socially accepted prejudice.” – World Health Organization According to William Chopik, assistant professor of psychology at Michigan State University and author of the recent study Cross-Cultural Comparisons in Implicit and Explicit Age Bias, “Older adults are one of the only stigmatized groups that we all become part of someday. And that’s always struck me as interesting—that we

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Featured

Walking your way to better health

There is no question, it’s been a tough couple of years. COVID-19 brought a lot of uncertainty, impacted our physical health and mental well-being and eroded our social connections. In the meantime, Canadians became more sedentary.  It’s time we hit the reboot button.  According to Greg Wells, Ph.D., a performance physiologist and a senior associate at SickKids Hospital in Toronto, “If you look at humans from an evolutionary perspective, we are designed to walk. And when we walk long distances, we get healthier. Our muscles and bones get stronger. Our spines function better, blood flows to our brain and bodies, and the benefits are profound. We also know that the risk of 13 different types of cancer decreases when you walk for as little as 15 minutes a day.”  If you’ve ever doubted the power of taking a walk, consider how you feel when you get outdoors in nature. Walking

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Mind

Train your brain like an Olympian

Jean François Ménard’s new book teaches us how to have an Olympian mentality at work. You’re training some of the country’s elite athletes. Within that inner circle, there is a technical coach, a strength and conditioning coach to train their body, a physical therapist, chiropractor, nutritionist, and a mental-performance coach. Being a part of that inner circle is a huge responsibility considering that when an athlete reaches an elite level, what separates the winners from the rest of the field isn’t their physical preparation but how well they build that brain muscle strength and call upon it when their performance hits a curve. Like any coach in this arena, you’ve put in the work and navigated your way successfully at various international competitions – World Cups, Pan American Games, Commonwealth Games, etc. Each event is getting you closer to the holy grail – the Olympics. For the first time in

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Longevity

The art of being slow

The positive in the pandemic is that it has forced us to re-evaluate our lives. This is the message of Dr. Greg Wells, a performance physiologist and senior associate scientist at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto. Wells’ latest book, Rest, Refocus and Recharge: A Guide for Optimizing Your Life, comes at a time when we could all use some help for living our best lives. INSTEAD OF MULTITASKING, THINK SINGLE TASKING. Take a step back from the manufactured and imposed busyness of our past experiences and embrace this opportunity to slow down, calm our brains and rejuvenate our bodies. “So, this idea of constantly pushing and having to be busy has been upended recently,” says Wells. “We now have an opportunity to reimagine the future and slow down.” How? By taming those electrical waves in our brain and shifting gears. There are four main categories of brainwaves. All four are active at

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