SFHF Optimyz December 2023 DigestionThe Westin Nova Scotian Wellness

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Resonance

Lost in the funhouse

Remember when you were a kid and your parents took you to the local amusement park or the county fair? The merry-go-round, a small Ferris wheel, games of skill and chance, a clown or two, cotton candy and a hot dog? Your eyes lit up. It was a magic world. In my case, in smalltown Nova Scotia, it was the Bill Lynch Shows and the annual fire department fair. Once there was a small circus on the edge of town, with a modest high wire act and a brief glimpse of a raging black panther confined in a small cage. When we lived in Massachusetts our family went to Boston to see the Moscow Circus. This was the real thing: acrobats, clowns, bears riding on motorcycles, elephants standing on their forelegs, a lion tamer. We also saw the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey circus. These circuses are becoming a thing

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Health

How to understand proteins

Protein is an integral part of any healthy diet. Every time we exercise, our muscles are damaged. In order to repair them and make them stronger for our next workout, we need protein! Not to mention, protein is one of the most satiating macronutrients, and helps keep us full between meals and snacks. WHAT IS IT? AND WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT? Protein is made of amino acids, and there are 22 of them. Your body is able to make 13 of them on its own, and are called “non- essential” amino acids. The other nine are “essential” amino acids, meaning you can get them from food, and food only. These amino acids are broken down and literally make you, you! They are rearranged in order to build and maintain your muscles, bones, blood and other organs. Protein makes up roughly 20% of our body weight, and is considered the second

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Fitness

Importance of sleep and wellness

Sleep is an often overlooked aspect of wellness but its benefits are endless. Now, there is research to show that sleeping better could improve your health in the decades to come. A brand-new study done in the journal of Nature Communications shows that getting more sleep in middle age can decrease your risk of getting dementia. Participants who reported less than six hours of sleep consistently, were around 30 percent more likely to develop dementia in their seventies. Wondering how to do it? We’ve got you covered. INCLUDE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IN YOUR DAY Including physical exercise into your daily routine is one of the most well-studied ways to improve your sleep. Exercise can reduce the time it takes to fall asleep by around 50%. PUT YOUR DEVICES AWAY! Your smartphone and tablets emit large amounts of blue light, which tells our bodies that it’s time to wake up! Not exactly what you

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Healthy Recipes

Sweet Potato Pancakes

Perfect for refuelling after a workout or a big outdoor adventure anytime of the year! So delicious! Sweet potato pancakes Ingredients: 6 oz cooked sweet potato 2 ounces of JUST egg or similar vegan egg alternative 1 oz vegan egg whites ½ tbsp coconut flour 1/8 tsp cinnamon ½ oz whey protein  1 oz blueberries ½ tbsp coconut oil 2 tbsp 100% pure organic maple syrup To prepare Peel sweet potatoes and cut in chunks. Boil until soft (I prefer to cook enough sweet potatoes to last the week to save having to do this step every time). Pre-heat non-stick frying pan on medium heat with coconut oil. Combine all ingredients in the blender–except coconut oil, syrup and blueberries. Blend on high for 30 seconds. Pour batter in the frying pan and add blueberries. Cook until one side is done, flip and cook the other. Top with maple syrup and

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Fitness

Fuelling your body to exercise

Meet Karen Graham, a registered dietitian and a certified diabetes educator. Karen shares her tips in how to properly fuel your body. In a Zoom interview Karen explains about healthy eating into their exercise routine. “I think what’s really important is to have regular meals and snacks. So for snacks, you may not want to have snacks, but regular meals and snacks, if you wish, and that’s the basis of your healthy eating and then your exercise, you build in around that. But you still maintain that regularity in terms of the time, because we know that for people who maybe they’re trying to lose weight or just eat healthier, that having a regular schedule is very important. So I think establish your schedule first.” She further explains, “So really it’s, what’s going to work with your schedule. The most important thing is that you build that exercise into your

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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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Fitness

DIY Yoga mat cleaner

This cleaner recipe is from our sister magazine OptiMYz. As a fitness enthusiast, you likely use your yoga mat for yoga, home workouts or even stretching. Maybe you roll it out regularly at home, at the studio or even your local park, but how often do you actually take the time to clean it? In a study conducted by ABC13 News they sent a series of mats from local gyms and studios to a lab. The findings were surprising. One of the mats had a form of staph on it, while a few others had yeast build-up and even fecal matter (GROSS!). Basically, just like your sweaty workout gear, your mat should also get a good cleaning. Here is a DIY yoga mat cleaner with two simple essential oils: tea tree and lavender. Tea tree essential oil is antibacterial and antifungal, while lavender essential oil has antibacterial properties paired with a

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