Life Sustainers Natural Health & Nutrition Market

Life Sustainers is a Natural Health/Nutrition Market- Holisitc

We just don't have a Sweet Tooth

Weight Loss, Stress, Metabolic Balance, Mental Health, Depression, Digestive Issues, Digestive TractKaren SmithComment

We just don’t have a sweet tooth,

 Damn, we got a sweet belly?

sweet tooth sweet belly.jpg

Sugar and carb cravings sabotage any well-meaning promises to eat better on the daily!

I know even myself, a Certified Nutritional Practitioner can fall prey to carb cravings.  Carbohydrate cravings aren’t always a behavioral problem or lack of will power, but instead have genuine, biological causes that can be helped with various strategies and natural high quality supplements. 


What drives the sugar cravings??


1.   Candida overgrowth can cause extreme cravings for sugar and simple carbohydrates. Candida is a type of yeast that is naturally present in everyone’s digestive tract; however if your immune system is weak and your digestion is poor, Candida levels can get out of control. Grapefruit Seed Extract, Caprylic Acid, Undecylenic Acid, Berberine, Garlic, Horopito, Saccharomyces boulardii, Clove oil, and Coconut Oil are some natural ways to help kill Candida overgrowth. 


2.   Altered gut flora, new studies show that certain gut bacteria, require different substrates for different strains, to grow and reproduce. for example, Bacteroidetes grow with fats as a substrate while Prevotella grows best on a carbohydrate source. To help, substitute sugar with Manuka honey as it provides antimicrobial benefits to the gut, which help to promote the growth of bacteria that are good for your gut health while reducing cravings. High quality probiotic supplements also will help with sugar cravings, aim for 10000. Several strains of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus have been shown to improve anxiety- and depression-like behavior, which also tend to alter eating behaviour.


3.   Insulin resistance - Supplementing with a high-quality multi-vitamin is also beneficial toward reducing your sugar cravings and balancing blood sugar levels through improved insulin sensitivity. A daily vitamin ensures you meet recommended levels of minerals like zinc, chromium and magnesium — all of which are involved in maintaining healthy blood sugar and insulin levels. Myoinositol and D-chiro Inositol have been shown to reduce insulin increase. Researchers at the Linus Pauling Institute have identified a compound from Hops that significantly improve markers of metabolic syndrome and reduced weight gain,  Gymnema tincture - Gymnema helps our cells take in sugar more effectively (hence not needing more), and improves sugar metabolism. Have a few drops on your tongue before you eat and help your sugar cravings lessen - it literally blocks the sugar receptors on your tastebuds. Cinnamon is also beneficial for help maintaining blood sugar. Eating Fibre, Protein and Quality Fats also help to regulate blood sugar. 

4.   Hormonal Imbalances; For women who feel worse around their menstrual cycle, try taking vitamin B6 (200mg) or P5P, its more bioavailable form. This helps ease the deficiency of the "feel good" hormone prostaglandin E1 (when this hormone is low, irritability and sugar cravings can result). If mood swings accompany the sugar cravings, it could be from excess sugar thats blocking your ability to turn a substance called GLA (gamma linoleic acid) into the DGLA (dihomo-gamma-linoleic acid) needed to produce prostaglandins that improve mood. Eveing Primrose Oil provides GLA, as does Borage Oil. Chastetree also helps PMS. 

For those whose sugar cravings increase when they enter perimenopause in their 40s, estrogen and progesterone deficiency may be driving sugar cravings.These supplements are helpful, B complex, Vitamin D3, and Omega3’s, Magnesium, Fiber, Liver Detox supplements and don’t forget a great quality Probiotic. Magnesium takes a big dip in menopause and we need magnesium for mood, relaxation and sleep. Herbals that help perimenopause are, Maca; Black Cohosh; Dong Quai; and Angelica Root,

For men, testosterone deficiency associated with andropause can also cause sugar cravings. D-Aspartic Acid. D-Aspartic acid is a natural amino acid that can boost low testosterone levels. Vitamin D, Tribulus Terrestris, Fenugreek, Ginger, DHEA, Zinc, Ashwagandha. Naural Bioidentical Hormones may also be helpful.

5.   Depression or a bad mood can mentally and physically affect cravings too. Sugar consumption increases serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, appetite, memory, and social behavior. Because sugar boosts serotonin, you feel happier, temporarily, so your brain craves this. Oh serotonin also is made in your gut, so you need great gut health to produce your own serotonin. St. John’s wort, SAMe, 5-HTP, Omega-3, Vitamin Bs, Vitamin D, Saffron, Kava Kava are used to help combat depression. This article is not meant at medical advice, please consult a licenced Natural Health Practioner for guidance.

6.   Stress If you have cravings and are under stress, feel anxious much of the time, or you have insomnia, it can be related to your adrenal function, specifically a type of imbalance that can lead to exhaustion. You may notice that you need caffeine to wake up, and you crave sweets, salty foods, and more caffeine during the day — then carbohydrates or alcohol at night. If your adrenals are totally shot, these well meaning strategies don’t even cut it because you still feel run down, lethargic and no amount of sugar peps you back up. This only leads to a vicious cycle. There are many adrenal support supplements that help your adrenals combat stress. Aswaghanda, Rholdiol, Holy Basil Leaf, Licorice root, Curcumin, and Phosphatidylserine (PS) are excellent for supporting adrenals. Stress also causes the hormone cortisol to flood your body, releasing glucose from your liver, which in turn raises your blood sugar. The same list that helps adrenals also helps to reduce cortisol levels with the addition of Cordyceps, and Bacopa.

7.  Poor quality sleep , When we sleep poorly or go for long periods of time without sleep, our bodies make more ghrelin. Ghrelin is a hormone that controls our cravings for carbohydrates and simple sugars. In one study, participants went from getting eight hours of sleep to five hours of sleep. This reduction led to a 15% higher level of ghrelin in their bodies. As Ghrelin increases so does sugar cravings.  Leptin is produced by our fat cells. It influences our satiety or feeling of fullness. When we are inadequately rested, we tend to produce less leptin, making us want to eat more. Again, when we are tired, we resort to more quick energy foods, simple carbs to keep ourselves awake. In the same study mentioned above, the sleep-deprived subjects demonstrated a 15% lower level of leptin, leading them to eat more. To help eas you back to more restful sleep, there is Melatonin, Hops, Passion Flower, Valarian, 5HTP, Tryptophan, L-Theanine, and Glycine.

8.  Mineral deficiencies might be another reason for your cravings. An iron deficiency will zap your energy, leaving you feeling fatigued, weak, and spurring cravings to perk you up. Calcium, zinc, chromium, and magnesium imbalances can manifest themselves as sugar cravings too. so here again, a high quality vitamin helps supply you with the nutrients you cannot get from food alone.


Other alternatives for natural sweeteners include maple syrup, coconut sugar, monk fruit and xylitol, (which also provides dental benefits) 

Eating well with whole foods to supply necessary nutrients is a part of the answer that helps combat food cravings. Of course avoiding the overly processed junk foods is also a must. Getting proper sleep, adequate exercise also factor in to help curb sugar cravings. Many of the supplements mentioned above also come in formulas specific to the issue. Keep in mind this is not an exhaustive list, but it is a great start for you to consider adding these supplements if you have never tried any before. The right quality nutrients and supplements will help maintain your body and stop your sweet belly from growing out of control! In fact all these great tips could help shrink your sweet belly!



101 uses for Coconut Oil

Karen SmithComment
Wonderful coconut oil!

Wonderful coconut oil!

The fats in coconut oil are known as medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). The fatty acids are shorter than most other fats (1). These types of fats, will go straight to the liver, where they are used as a quick source of energy or turned into ketones. Ketones can have powerful benefits for the brain, and are being studied for helping symptoms of epilepsy, Alzheimer’s and other conditions.

While coconut oil has been recently been given a bad wrap in USA, in other parts of the world, where it is consumed regularly people have thrived on its many beneficial properties. Two groups of Polynesians used to eat over 60% of their calories from coconuts. The study done in 1981 showed low rates of heart disease and were quite healthy (2).

Another study conducted on the Kitavins who also consume a great amount of coconut were also in excellent health. Stroke and ischaemic heart disease appear to be absent in this population.(3).

Another awesome benefit to coconut oil is that the medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil can increase how many calories you burn compared to the same amount of calories from longer chain fats. That is why you will see MCT in so many Sports Nutrition products as well. Here are the many wonderful uses of coconut oil summed up, in well, a rather long list! 

Coconut Oil’s Internal And External Uses And Benefits:

  1. It contains Lauric acid and MCFA which helps boost metabolism.                                                                        
  2. Add to baking, stir-frys or as a dairy free replacement to butter.                                                                                
  3. Some studies show that ingestion of coconut oil can help prevent or reverse Alzheimers.
  4. A great brain boosting snack for kids added to homemade treats
  5. An energy booster added to your Smoothie.
  6. 3-4 tablespoons a day (+ Vitamin D) helps to increase milk supply and nutrients for nursing moms.
  7. Helps digestion and may even kill intestinal parasites or yeast
  8. A TBSP mixed with a TBSP of chia seeds is great for an all-day energy boost (but NOT at night!).
  9. Helps improve insulin levels.
  10. Oil pulling (swooshing in the mouth) with coconut oil and a drop of oregano oil helps improve gum health.
  11. Can help improve cholesterol ratios.
  12. Add to your hot tea to help speed recovery from cold or flu.
  13. As a replacement for vegetable oils in any recipe.
  14. High heat point makes coconut oil a better cooking oil than olive or vegetable oils.
  15. An immediate source of energy when eaten and isn’t stored as fat.
  16. A basic skin lotion.
  17. Add to homemade lotion bars for sofert, smoother skin
  18. Add to homemade deodorant recipes
  19. An eye-makeup remover.
  20. A safe diaper cream (just rub on baby’s bottom) especially for cloth diapers
  21. Age spots lightener
  22. Prevents stretch marks during pregnancy.
  23. To help increase sun tolerance and avoid burning.
  24. A natural light SPF 4 sunscreen.
  25. Add to homemade lotion recipes.
  26. For Cradle cap on baby- just massage in to head, leave on for a few minutes and gently rinse with warm water.
  27. With apple cider vinegar as a natural treatment for lice that actually works                                              
  28. Topically to kill yeast or yeast infections.
  29. A fragrant tropical massage oil.
  30. No more frizz applied to ends of hair.
  31. An intensive nighttime facial moisturizer.
  32. A body scrub when mixed with equal parts sugar (use in the shower).
  33. A lip moisturizer
  34. Helps heal skin heal faster after injury or infection.
  35. Directly on the perineum to help heal after birth.
  36. Intensive natural conditioner - apply to hair and leave in under a hair cap
  37. For athlete’s foot or toe fungus.
  38. Nipple irritation of nursing mothers in place of lanolin (also great for baby!).
  39. Helps to sooth psoriasis or eczema.
  40. Clean and shine shoes and boots
  41. A great ingredient for Homemade Sunscreen.
  42. Apply to inside of nostrils to help alleviate allergy symptoms.
  43. Add to homemade Natural bug repellant formulas
  44. Helps to reduce appearance of varicose veins.
  45. After initial heat is gone, can help speed healing of sunburn.
  46. A natural personal lubricant that won’t disturb vaginal flora.
  47. As a naturally antibacterial skin cream.
  48. In natural homemade diaper cream.
  49. As a natural shave cream and after shave lotion.
  50. When used consistently on skin it can help get rid of cellulite.
  51. To season cast iron skillets                                                                                                                       
  52. Anti-itch for mosquito bites.
  53. Can help with acne
  54. Stimulate hair growth when rubbed on scalp
  55. Help to speed ear infection healing.
  56. On split ends to de-frizz.
  57. A small amount can be rubbed into real leather to soften and condition (shiny leather only… test a small area first).
  58. By itself as a great tanning oil.
  59. Mixed with salt to remove dry skin on feet.
  60. Can help speed weight loss when consumed daily.
  61. Can help improve sleep when taken daily.
  62. Helps to heal fungal infections when taken internally and used externally.
  63. A tablespoon melted into a cup of warm tea can help sooth a sore throat.
  64. To help sooth the itch of chicken pox or poison ivy.
  65. It has been shown to increase absorption of calcium and magnesium.
  66. Helps remineralize teeth used internally
  67. Some studies show that the beneficial fats in coconut oil can help with depression and anxiety.
  68. By itself as a natural deodorant.
  69. A natural whitening toothpaste combined with baking soda.
  70. For pets struggling with skin issues when used externally.
  71. Some evidence suggests that the beneficial fats in coconut oil are helpful for those with Autism.
  72. In homemade vapor rub.
  73. As a safe cooking oil for deep frying.
  74. To remove sticky labels
  75. Can be taken in warm ginger tea to sooth heartburn or nausea.
  76. As a completely natural baby lotion.
  77. On hands after doing dishes to avoid dry skin.
  78. Mixed with catnip, rosemary or mint essential oils as a natural bug repellent.
  79. Can be used on mom’s nipple and baby’s mouth to help treat thrush.
  80. Many use it as an anti-aging facial moisturizer.
  81. Add shine to hair
  82. Can be used internally and externally to speed recovery from UTIs.
  83. When taken regularly, it can help fight candida.
  84. When taken regularly, it can boost hormone production.
  85. Can relieve the pain of hemorrhoids when used topically.
  86. Can boost circulation and help those who often feel cold.
  87. On cuticles to help nails grow.
  88. Rub into elbows daily to help alleviate dry, flaky elbows.
  89. Add to smoothies to give them a nutritional boost
  90. Internally during pregnancy to help provide baby necessary fats for development (especially when taken with Fermented Cod Liver Oil).
  91. In any recipes where vegetable oils are used.
  92. Whipped with shea butter for a soothing body balm.
  93. Taken supplementally for daily energy
  94. It has been called Brain Octane
  95. As a coffee creamer when emulsified into coffee, have you tried Bullet Proof Coffee?
  96. To support healthy thyroid function.
  97. In homemade Mayo without the high PUFA vegetable oils.
  98. Season your wooden cutting board
  99. Naturally clears up cold sores.
  100. Ingesting coconut oil daily can help with allergy symptoms.
  101. Ingesting coconut oil daily can increase mental alertness  

So there you have it, Pick up your coconut oil today at Life Sustainers!  

photo credit: Copyright: <a href=''>belchonock / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

CoQ10 heart healthy

Cardiovascular, Cardiovascular Disease, Life Sustainers products, Big PharmaKaren SmithComment

If you want to know about CoQ10 and heart health, you might want to listen to what Dr. Gifford Jones has to say about this vital nutrient. After all, his heart is ticking strong at 90+ years old. 

Here is his article, "10 Facts You Should Know About Coenzyme Q10"

Mark Twain once remarked, "Get your facts first, then distort them as you please!" Facts are easy to distort in medicine, particularly when talking about coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). So here are 10 vital things to know about this important enzyme. And what unintended consequences occur when humans start playing God.


One: What is CoQ10? It's often referred to as the "sparkplug of our motors." Cars run on gas. Our 37 trillion cells get their energy from ATP (adenosine triphosphate), but we cannot make ATP without CoQ10.

Two: Studies show that our body has the highest amount of CoQ10 during our 20s. But then it starts to decrease. Several medical problems may result, such as fatigue, muscle cramps, weakness, emotional troubles and hypertension. Dr. Karl Folker, one of the early pioneers of CoQ10, says that a 25 per cent deficiency in CoQ10 is sufficient to cause illness, and a 75 per cent loss can result in death.

Three: The heart is a remarkable organ as it beats 100,000 times every 24 hours and 2.5 billion times by age 70, without a single holiday. Consequently, it requires a huge amount of energy. So nature has placed more CoQ10 in the heart than any other organ for this reason.

Four: Today millions of North Americans are taking cholesterol-lowering-drugs (CLDs). But this poses a problem. CLDs work by inhibiting an enzyme that produces cholesterol. But this same enzyme is also required for the manufacture of CoQ10, so by taking CLDs, less CoQ10 is produced. It's worrying that CLDs rob the heart's muscle of up to 40 per cent of CoQ10!.This is the best example I know where humans, by tinkering with nature, trigger unintended consequences. Beta blockers for blood pressure and antidepressant drugs can also decrease CoQ10 levels.

Five: Some researchers believe that by robbing the heart of CoQ10 year after year, CLDs may be setting the stage for an epidemic of heart failure. Currently, heart failure is the fastest growing cardiovascular problem in North America, partly due to an aging population and possibly an unintended effect of CLDs.

Six: 25 per cent of cholesterol is located in the brain as it, too, requires a good supply of energy. The use of CLDs results in another unintended consequence as CLDs pass through the blood brain barrier. This delivers a double whammy to the brain by affecting cholesterol metabolism and decreasing CoQ10. This explains why some people on CLDs complain of emotional problems. In rare cases, it has caused total amnesia, cured only by discontinuing this medication.

Seven: In my travels I've found that large numbers of people on CLDs are not taking CoQ10. If you are one of those, you should discuss this matter with your doctor. Remember, today there's a tendency for physicians to prescribe increasing doses of CLDs, and the greater the amount, the more need for CoQ10.


Eight: Studies show patients with heart failure have low levels of CoQ10. Fortunately, CoQ10 supplements can increase the strength of cardiac muscle in patients suffering from this problem. And a report in the American Journal of Cardiology, showed that a daily dose of 150 milligrams of CoQ10 decreases the incidence of angina by 50 per cent.

Nine: 50 per cent of overweight patients have low levels of CoQ10. Speeding up metabolism with Co Q10 is a safe way to help weight loss. CoQ10 is also a good antioxidant and some evidence shows it may be helpful for those with macular degeneration and diabetes. A lack of antioxidants has been associated with aging.

Ten: Remember, it's energy that makes our world function day after day, and without it, civilization as we know it will quickly end. Since CoQ10 is the body's main source of fuel, the more we know about it the better. It's available in health food stores.

As Benjamin Disraeli, Britain's prime minister, counselled, "As a general rule, most successful people are ones who have the best information".

So I hope Mark Twain would be pleased with these non-distorted facts.

Original article appears Dr. Gifford Jones website! 

Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10 has a more advanced form called Ubiquinol. It is the form in your body that needs to be converted from CoQ10 to be used for cellular energy. 


Puffball, a North American Indigenous delicacy

Haudenosaunee foods, RecipesKaren SmithComment

Tonight my friend Floretta posted a picture of her puffball. This sparked an idea to share more about the Puffball. She allowed me to use her picture.

When locating a puffball in the bush, open field or even on your lawn, you first want to ensure the area that you found it has not been sprayed with pesticides. Then you want to make sure your puff ball is the edible kind. That is easy to determine by slicing it. A fresh puff ball is going to be white with a pure white spongy flesh as seen in Floretta's picture below. No gills, no spikes or no pores should appear as you may have the deadly Amanitas instead. The poisonous Amanitas is like a white sack that appears to have a mushroom growing inside, and that is why you cut them open to reveal the type you have, edible or poisonous. An edible Puffball's flesh inside starts to yellow as the it matures, and then is no longer edible.

A perfect puffball!

A perfect puffball!

Preparing puffballs to eat

Remember, ensure a nice white colour, for freshness, Check first for worms, little tunnels and cut that part & any discoloured part away, DO NOT soak or rinse in water. Peel away the outer skin, as this can cause digestive upset. Puffballs can be sautéed, broiled, or the classic way is breaded and fried with a flour/egg/breadcrumb method. The flour can be gluten-free or cornmeal flour as well, and can be seasoned with sea salt & pepper. Ensure a nice caramelized or golden brown colour.

You can also freeze it, grill and freeze, or dehydrate to make a puffball flour that will be great in many dishes, soups and bread.  Simply slice thin and place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, oven on lowest setting and dry overnight or place in a dehyrdrator!

The coolest way is to make a puff ball pizza, simply use your grilled, breaded slices in place of the pizza dough. There are many other great ways to serve puffballs! With a little google search, you will find many recipes. 

Here is a link to a PDF explaining the many uses of Puffballs by Indigenous North American peoples.

Pumpkins scary but sexy, for male libido

Cardiovascular, Life Sustainers products, HormonesKaren SmithComment

Sure, it is pumpkin carving time, pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice latte time, but if you are carving your pumpkin you might want to save those seeds! 



Why? To spice things up in the bedroom! 

Pumpkin seeds and their oil are great for male libido, virility, and the prostrate. Pumpkin seeds are a powerhouse of nutrients ranging from phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper plus zinc and iron. They are a good source of protein. They have some vitamin content as well, E, D, K and the B's. 

Pumpkin seeds or pumpkin seed oil for libido   

Pumpkin seeds or pumpkin seed oil for libido


It is their high phosphorus, magnesium and zinc content that benefits the male prostrate. Together, Magnesium and Zinc, help increase testosterone, and subsequently sperm! 

Pumpkin seeds are known for their high Zinc content. For men, the highest zinc concentrations in the body are found in the prostrate.  Pumpkin seed extracts and oils have long been known to be helpful with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, or enlarged prostate). Pumpkin seeds also contain phytosterols, and lignin also beneficial to the male prostrate. There have been studies to shows that pumpkin seed oil can prevent prostate enlargement — a major health issue for men over 60. Not only is pumpkin seed oil a preventative, it is is also been shown to reverse prostrate enlargement. 

Besides Magnesium a key component for optimum sexual function…  it’s also necessary in supporting prostate health.

Phosphorous helps maintain healthy erections strong libido. Phosphorus is also necessary for strong bones. Phosphorus is also necessary for pH (acid-base balance) in the body and generates and utilizes energy.

A man's prostate is like the command and control centre for how much sperm he releases when he ejaculates. It also regulates the power of his urine output.

So proper maintenance of the prostrate with the necessary nutrients is absolutely vital. 

Pumpkin seeds contain an added source of support as they are also an excellent source of the amino acid Myosin, This amino acid is supports strong muscular contractions and energy.



Let's not stop there, Pumpkin seeds or pumpkin seed oil support men and women in these ways. 

  • Pumpkin seed oil may help with hair loss. Male pattern baldness (as well as hair loss in women) is sometimes associated with overly high levels of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). One of the phytochemicals in pumpkin oil, beta-sitosterol, has been found to block the conversion of testosterone into DHT. DHT is a conversion of testosterone that you do not want to see too much of.
  • Pumpkin seed oil may help to heal your digestive tract. The high fatty acid content of pumpkin oil can balance out excess inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, helping to soothe uncomfortable symptoms.
  • Some of the same nutrients, like Magnesium and phytosterols certainly are beneficial for heart health. 
  • Pumpkin seed oil aids bone health as previously mentioned from the phosphorus, but also the other minerals and vitamins A and K. They help to build strong bones and help to prevent fractures and post-menopausal bone loss.
  • Another organ supported with pumpkin seed oil is the liver. The healthy fats and antioxidants, support liver health.
  • Pumpkin seeds can resemble the shape of eyes. and they protect them as well. Pressed pumpkin seed oil contains high levels of zeaxanthin, an antioxidant that has been shown to protect your eyes from UV and blue light damage.
  • Women may get some postmenopausal relief with the use of pumpkin seed oil. Their natural phytoestrogens in pumpkin seed oil help to lower blood pressure and provide relief from symptoms like hot flashes, headaches and joint pain.
  • Bladder support is another benefit of pumpkin seed oil. Irritation of the bladder lining and incontinence are a concern especially women post-childbirth and post-menopause . Pumpkin oil may help strengthens the muscles that support the bladder which can help to prevent prolapse and stress incontinence.  It can also help to soothe bladder irritation, reducing urge incontinence.

The best way to get the most benefit of the pumpkin seeds are to eat them raw. The World's Healthiest Foods org, suggests to eat the whole seed for maximum zinc intake. Just below the shell is an endosperm which contains a good portion of the zinc content. It is difficult to shell and maintain the endosperm, thus the reasoning for eating the whole shell. "Whole roasted, unshelled pumpkin seeds (cream colour) contain about 10 milligrams of zinc per 3.5 ounces, and shelled roasted pumpkin seeds or pumpkin seed kernels (green colour) contain about 7-8 milligrams. also recommends that if you are going to roast them, do so in a single layer on a cookie sheet and only lightly roast them in a 160-170°F oven for 15-20 minutes so as to not denature the beneficial fat content. If you do purchase from a store, ensure they are not old, stale, or rancid producing fungal mycotoxins. Organic pumpkin seeds are preferable to eliminate contamination with pesticides. 

Nuts and seeds also have phytic acid, an anti-nutrient.  This can make the important nutrients less bioavailable when eaten. What reduces the phytic acid is to soak or sprout them. Then they can be dehydrated in the oven, or dehydrator.

INSTRUCTIONS for sprouting and dehydrating

  1. Place the nuts or seeds in a bowl, and add the salt. Cover with filtered water by at least 1½ inches. Soak at least 7 hours or overnight.
  2. DRYING IN THE OVEN. Make sure your oven has a setting of 170 degrees or lower. Use the lowest setting possible. Rinse the nuts or seeds thoroughly, and drain in a sieve. Place them in a single layer on baking sheets.
  3. Dry for at least 12 hours in the warm oven, until completely dry and crispy. Stir a few times during the drying process.
  4. DRYING IN A DEHYDRATOR. Rinse the nuts or seeds thoroughly, and drain in a sieve. Place them in a single layer on the dehydrator trays. Excalibur makes dehydrators and Life Sustainers can order them for you. 
  5. Dry at 100 degrees for 24 to 36 hours. The timing varies depending on the nuts and seeds.

If you want the benefit of pumpkin seed oil in powerful dosages, you might want to try Genestra's Pumpkin capsules or Styrian Pumpkin seed oil. Styrian Pumpkin Seed Oil is unrefined and grown and processed in the southern region of Austria. You can see the difference in it's very dark green colour as the pumpkins are from a special variety of pumpkin that only grows in a small area--Styria. They possess the highest anti oxidation effect!

Pumpkin capsules

Pumpkin capsules

    Styrian Gold, available at Life Sustainers

    Styrian Gold, available at Life Sustainers

    AutoImmune Diseases and Low Dose Naltrexone

    Lyme, Liver Disease, Autoimmune DiseasesKaren Smith3 Comments

    I have blogged before about my Mother's illnesses. She had 2 diseases that were AutoImmune Diseases. Sometime in the early 90's, she was diagnosed with Primary Biliary Cirrhosis which targets mainly middle age women. This required her to be put on a transplant list. She had the transplant successfully in 1995. She did remarkably well, for the next 15+ years. She was a tried and true believer in Western medicine and her transplant Doctor who advised her to never take any natural remedies. In fact he and her other medical team did not even recommend a change in eating habits. Sometime in 2011, she was next diagnosed with the autoimmune disease Scleroderma. In my research I did discover, that these 2 diseases sometimes, go hand in hand, wreaking havoc on people. Since my mom was adamant about continuing with Western Medicine we continued to go to Specialist, upon Specialist. There was no successful answers, nor treatments for her condition and she continued to decline. There was certainly some symptom management, but nothing that really alleviated or stopped the progression of her symptoms. In fact some medications may have made her condition worse and I blogged about that here:

    Back when I was caring for my mother, my research on these conditions and possible alternative treatments never turned up, this LDN treatment, which has been around since 1985. This is when a Dr. Bernard Bihari, MD first began experimenting with it. Normally in higher doses, Naltrexone was used to help heroine addicts.  However Dr. Bihari found that using a low dose helped those affected by HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. In the mid-1990's, Dr. Bihari used LDN with Lymphoma and Pancreatic Cancer patients with dramatic results. Then he tried it with those who had an autoimmune disease, like Lupus with great improvements.  His colleague, and childhood friend, David Gluck, MD who specializes in Internal and Preventive Medicine continued to promote the awareness of LDN, as Dr. Bihari unfortunately died in 2010. Dr. Gluck continues to promote the awareness of LDN, Low Dose Naltrexone and it's ability to help so many diseases via this website:

    With many anecdotal trials and other research, it has been shown to help many other autoimmune diseases, central nervous diseases, other Cancers and Lyme. The list of diseases are numerous:


    • Bladder Cancer

    • Breast Cancer

    • Carcinoid

    • Colon & Rectal Cancer

    • Glioblastoma

    • Liver Cancer

    • Lung Cancer (Non-Small Cell)

    • Lymphocytic Leukemia (chronic)

    • Lymphoma (Hodgkin's and Non-Hodgkin's)

    • Malignant Melanoma

    • Multiple Myeloma

    • Neuroblastoma

    • Ovarian Cancer

    • Pancreatic Cancer

    • Prostate Cancer (untreated)

    • Renal Cell Carcinoma

    • Throat Cancer

    • Uterine Cancer

    Other Diseases

    • Common Colds (URI’s)

    • Emphysema (COPD)

    • HIV/AIDS

    • Depression (Major; and Bipolar)

    • Lyme Disease (LATE Stage)


    • ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease)

    • Alzheimer's Disease

    • Autism Spectrum Disorders

    • Hereditary Spastic Paraparesis

    • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

    • Parkinson's Disease

    • Post-Polio Syndrome

    • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

    • Primary Lateral Sclerosis (PLS)

    • Progressive Supranuclear Palsy

    • Transverse Myelitis

    Other Autoimmune Diseases:

    • Ankylosing Spondylitis

    • Behcet's Disease

    • Celiac Disease

    • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

    • CREST syndrome

    • Crohn's Disease

    • Dermatomyositis

    • Dystonia

    • Endometriosis

    • Fibromyalgia

    • Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

    • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

    • Myasthenia Gravis (MG)

    • Nephrotic Syndrome

    • Pemphigoid

    • Primary Biliary Cirrhosis

    • Psoriasis

    • Rheumatoid Arthritis

    • Sarcoidosis

    • Scleroderma

    • Sjogren’s Syndrome

    • Stiff Person Syndrome (SPS)

    • Systemic Lupus (SLE)

    • Ulcerative Colitis

    • Wegener's Granulomatosis

    My mother also had Sjogren's Syndrome also listed above. She was told it was a symptom of the Primary Biliary Cirrhosis. Also I did not know this, but my mother was on Synthroid. I was not aware of this until I became her primary caregiver and was tending to her medical care. Synthroid is a drug used to treat hypothyroidism. Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is in the autoimmune diseases also listed above and is also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, which often leads to an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism). Hashimoto's disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism. When the thyroid is being attacked it also leads to other autoimmune diseases. Were the autoimmune diseases my mother had a progression from her thyroid issue? I really did not know how many years she was on Synthroid and I did not make this connection until it was too late.  I still looked for other ways to help her though as I said before, she was reluctant to try the alternative treatments that I did find (like nutritional supplementation and dietary changes).

    My own health issues lead me to the path in Holistic Nutrition. I took the Institute of Holistic Nutrition's program while my mother was still living. My mother made her transition to the spirit world in March 2015. However, as I said previously, I did not come across this LDN treatment until just recently. I listened to Dr Izabella Wentz's Summit, "The Thyroid Secret" streamed online in January of this year. She also blogs about LDN, and Hashimoto's and you can check that out here: and here:

    Another article about the scientific research for LDN is listed here. The little (R)'s in the article are links to the research. 

    Dr Wentz, provides a list of Dr.'s that are aware of her protocols. Here is a list of those in Ontario. They may have knowledge of LDN and would possibly prescribe it. It is medicine, that is only made available through prescription and only a compounding pharmacy can compound the low doses considered for these treatments for these specific diseases.  

    Provided by Dr. Izabella Wentz, your Thyroid Pharmacist

    Provided by Dr. Izabella Wentz, your Thyroid Pharmacist

    I did not find this information in time to see if it would have helped my mother. Hopefully, it can help someone else affected by Autoimmune and other diseases listed above. I provide this for your information, please do your own research on your diagnosed disease. 

    Low Dose Naltrexone.jpg

    No GMO Potatoes in Canada!

    No GMOsKaren SmithComment

    Thank goodness there will be no GMO potatoes grown in Canada 2017.  

    No GMO Potatoes in Canada, Not Today!

    I choose Michelle Dobyne, because she is a strong fierce woman, and she was going to do her all to protect her babies from fire!

    We need to do all our all to protect our babies from GMO's

    Simplot Plant Sciences, the company that developed the "Innate" potato which bruise less and have less black spots than real potatoes 


    Doug Cole, director of marketing and communications, said the company is holding off allowing commercial growth of Innate potatoes in Canada until there's a proven market for them.  

    Let's Make sure there is no proven Market for them in Canada, not only today, this year, but continually!

    "There is strong interest from the grower community and retailers are also interested. But it's a very involved purchase decision," said Cole. 

    He said there are about five acres of test plots on P.E.I. this year.

    However on the other side of the Colonial made border: the U.S. market is growing

    There are now 6,000 acres, and the potatoes and are sold in about 4,000 supermarkets across 40 states. 

    More on GMO potatoes in the USA and the concerns presented:

    Simplot Plant Sciences has test plots in Ontario and Manitoba

    Cole said the company expects the company's Gen2 potato that is blight resistant will be approved by the CFIA and Health Canada by the end of this summer. 

    "That potato will require 50 per cent less pesticides, which he thinks both farmers and consumers will be interested in."

    So this is just temporary! 

    If you do not want GMO potatoes in Canada in 2018 and beyond, then it is best to write letters to your grocer, and tell them you absolutely do not want GMO potatoes or any other GMO vegetable or fruit on this side of the colonial border, in Canada. This was already done this year and proven to halt the introduction of GMO potatoes in Canada. Here are some suggestions as to where to send your letters:

    Information obtained from:

    Original video credit:

      Metabolic Balance Special $100 off for Aboriginal Diabetes Awareness Day - May 6, 2017

      Metabolic Balance, Weight LossKaren SmithComment

      Have you tried countless times to control your Diabetes or lose weight to be proactive as Diabetes runs in your family, only to be unsuccessful?  Then you are just like me? Diabetes and Obesity is no stranger in my family lines!  I have also been told that I have fatty liver and I wanted to quit fattening it up and even de-fatten it if possible!  I found out it is possible with the Metabolic Balance program and I had such success with it, that I became a Metabolic Balance Coach. Not only can it reverse Fatty Liver, it also has helped many folks, the world over to successfully get off Diabetes medications and lose weight! 

      Does Diabetes and Obesity keep you sidelined from fully enjoying life?&nbsp;

      Does Diabetes and Obesity keep you sidelined from fully enjoying life? 

      National Aboriginal Diabetes Awareness Day is May 6, 2017 so for a limited time I will be offering $100. off my already introductory reduced price to help those reach their weight loss goals. That's right the price of $999.00 will be reduced to $899.00 for a LIFETIME weight loss program with Metabolic Balance. You might think that is a lot of money for a weight loss program, but think of the money you have already spent on countless fad diets that did not work.  I will not only providing this weight loss program at a reduced rate, but I will also be doing it in group format to provide that extra support needed for successful weight loss. Though this weight loss program will be done in a group format, it is still very much an individualized tailored program because it is based on over 30 of your own blood values. It also takes into account your likes, dislikes and food sensitivities. Even better, is that your local grocery store and farmers market can easily provide all the wholesome nutrient rich foods listed on your personalized nutrition plan. No buying expensive pre-packaged processed foods. 


      "I went to my family doctors yesterday, he checked my blood tests,  everything is normal, I don't have fatty liver anymore! I am very happy!!!! Metabolic Balance is the best decision in my life. Thank you very much!"

      "I was young and fond of food very much.  But slowly my Diabetes got worse and soon I was put on Insulin. My Blood Pressure starts getting uncertain, high and low.  So, I am put on other medication. My weight starts increasing.  My Insulin starts increasing.  My other medication starts increasing. It’s a ripple effect and a downward spiral. My Doctors never advised me that I will be off Insulin ever. I think that this is it, this is my life, full of medicine and Doctors and ill-health. I was on the following medicine:

      • Metformin, 500MG, 2 tablets 2xdaily
      •  Metoprolol-tart, 50MG, 1/2 2xdaily
      • Lisinopril/HCT20, 12.5MG, 1 tablet daily
      • Amlodipine, 5MG, 1 tablet daily
      • Teva-Rosuvastatin, 10MG, 1 tablet daily
      • Lantus (Insulin), 33 units evening dose
      • Humalog (Insulin) Morning Dose - 17 units, Afternoon Dose - 13 units

      My daughter, who had finished her course in Holistic Nutrition, had advised me to go on the Metabolic Balance Program. 

      Over the period from September 21, 2015 to February 2016 I have lost 65lbs and my wife has lost 25 lbs.  My waist line has reduced from 38 inches to 32 inches.  All my 78 units of insulin has been reduced to ZERO.  All my other medication I have stopped.  Without any medicine I feel so engaged and good.  My body starts producing the insulin it requires naturally."

      This man has been an insulin dependent Diabetic for 42 years, since he was 28 years old. He is 70 years old now! If you want results like this and weight loss, than don't delay. 

      "Two days have passed now since I have received my blood work results... I started MB on January 7... I remember the day because I found out I was allergic to magnesium and I thought this MB wasn't for me, BUT with the help from you I stuck to it and now I find my Diabetes has been reversed by at least 7 YEARS... yes my blood sugar hasn't been this good in 7 years, and I've stopped taking insulin... meaning 4 shots a day... gone from my everyday routine!!! Yes in JUST 3 MONTHS!!! I don't know if there are any diabetics in this group but I hope so.. My family doctor was amazed and said keep up the good work.. wanted to know what motivated me and well she had lots of questions about MB and actually googled MB while I was in her office. and just maybe she will tell other diabetic patients... I still have issues with fibromyalgia and pain associated with that condition, but I am confident that in months ahead this too will change for the better. I just know it.. I can feel it!!!

      If you want to change the trajectory of your Diabetes on your health, than sign up for this group today. This offer only stands until May 6th, that is 6 short days to get in on this awesome weight loss Metabolic Balance program! 

      What this 3 month group includes is:  

      • Comprehensive Medical Blood Lab Testing,
      • Individualized metabolic balance® food plan
      • 1 1/2hr Private Introductory Consultation
      • Email, phone and text support
      • Colon Cleanse Supplement
      • Private Facebook Group Inclusion
      • Website links to recipes
      • Group Coaching Program - meeting once a week first month, bi-monthly 2nd and 3rd month 

      Must register and pay in full, May 6th, and Individual sessions will take place the month of May, and Group will begin on Monday June 5, 12, 19, 26, and July 10 and 24, Aug 14 and 28. Go to the link below and fill out the form, payment in full must be received you May 6, 2017 and I am only accepting 8 participants! 


      Weight Loss and Stress Do Not Mix Well

      Metabolic Balance, Digestive Issues, Mental HealthKaren SmithComment

      Day in and day out we have stressors, and sometimes we just get bombarded. Life happenings sometimes leave us drained, strained and even harebrained! Whatever the life challenges - relationship issues, workload, financial hardships, school deadlines, parenting struggles, caring for an elderly or ailing family member, traumatic experiences, etc. they all cause physical, emotional, mental and physiological responses. Unfortunately increased hunger and weight gain can be among these responses. 


      So here is the shake down. Increased stress causes the adrenal glands to release more stress hormones, adrenalin and cortisol. This is known as the “fight or flight” response.  This happens so the body can provide the extra physical energy and strength from stored carbs and fats needed to get the fight or flight done to save ourself. Though we don't have to run from lions, tigers or bears any too often, this physiological response to stress is hardwired within our make-up. The modern day stressors have us responding in the same way. Really it is a design of resiliency and a built-in protective mechanism. Increased cortisol levels also result in an impaired response to leptin, the hormone that makes us feel full. The poor response to the satiety hormone keeps us shovelling in the food.

      With prolonged elevated levels of cortisol, our signals tell us we continually needs extra fuel. This extra fuel gets stored as fat around the abdomen, AKA, belly fat. Much to our dismay, so begins this vicious cycle. When we have long term stress, both insulin and cortisol remain elevated in the blood, and the extra glucose is stored as fat–mostly in the abdomen. Now what keeps this cycle going as that fat cells actually have special receptors for the stress hormone cortisol. A knewly learned fact is that there are more of these cortisol receptors in our abdominal fat cells than anywhere else in our bodies. It's like belly fat can be a living, breathing, growing monster!

      What also factors in, is that when we are in "fight or flight" mode, we can not be in "rest & digest" mode. These two systems are supposed to be a balancing act, but when the "fight or flight" switch is constantly turned on there is no chance of the other to kick in.  Our body says, "Hoolah, we need all energy available to us to get the freak out of danger, digesting can wait." What is the fall out from that?  Stomach acid production and pancreatic enzyme secretions are decreased, resulting in poor digeston. This enables larger food particles lower in the digestive tract. Prolonged stress also leads to a breakdown of the small intestinal lining. The tight junctions become loose junctions within the intestines, AKA - leaky gut. This in turn results in food sensitivities. This can even occur with foods that previously caused no issue with you. Nutrient deficiencies also occur with the impaired digestion.

      So with all this going on, what can be done about being in the throws of constant stress?

      Be kind to yourself, don't get down on blaming yourself. How does this serve you? It does not! Recognize that you need extra care at this time and be easy on yourself. 

      There are some things that we just have no control over. Take time to ask yourself "what is within my control and what is not?" When you can see what you do have control over, then you can work on adjusting these things things. 

      Can you put aside some tasks, can you just let go of some things? Ask yourself, "How important is it right at this moment?" Can you ask for help? Most of us may find this difficult, as we are used to handling our own stuff. We are put on this earth in a family circle, a neighbourhood, a community, not on an isolated island, ask or at least accept help. Go for a massage, a reiki session, an infared sauna or any other rejuvenating alternative therapy, Go for a nature walk, meditate, listen to relaxation music. Of course, do seek emotional/spiritual support, a shoulder to lean or cry on, an extra ear or two to listen to and support you in your wows. Inquire about all available resources with your particular situation. 

      When our adrenals are overtaxed, fatigued or flatlined, strenuous exercise is not a great idea at this time. Weight lifting, cardio can put added stress on the already comprimised adrenals. Instead opt for the nature walks, some yoga, or light stretches. Whatever you decide to do,  keep your heart rate under 90 beats per minute. A walk to get some fresh air after a meal is helpful.

      If you normally do not take supplements, you may want to when you are facing some adversity in your life. There are herbals and certain minerals that help the adrenals replenish. Adaptogenic herbs, the B vitamins, Magnesium, Potassium, Niacinamide and adrenal glanulars are all helpful support. Taking a quality mutlivitamin is also essential as reduced adrenals also impact immune function, so you want to to be filing your tank. This is generally just an all around good practice in today's hectic world, as there are reduced minerals in our soil and added toxins in our environment. Life Sustainers has some excellant adrenal support supplements both in the store and available for home delivery on the Dispensary

      Quality sleep is also key in coping with stress. Cortisol can remain elevated at night when it is supposed to decrease.  The unfortunate result is wakefulness, restless sleep, tossing and turning or waking and then being unable to get back to sleep. It is important to to get at least 8 hours of restful, deep sleep regularly. Cortisol blocks melatonin so it might be beneficial to take a melatonin supplement. There are some awesome herbals that help promote quality sleep. You may not need it normally, but during stressful life situations, assistance with getting better quality sleep helps you face the next day's events.  

      Though you might be reaching for the caffeine, sugar or other vices, they only serve to deplete the body and add to the vicious cycle. Whole foods, organic foods help the body refuel with optimal nutrients.

      I am a Metabolic Balance Coach, so this awesome plan helps to balance blood sugar and hormones. Metabolic Balance includes whole foods and helps people to lose weight. So if it the ususal everyday stress you are having to contend with, Metabolic Balance is an idea plan to help you eat healthily, balance hormones and blood sugar so you are better able to handle those daily stressors. When experiencing a full blown stressful life event, the last thing that you might be considering is how to lose weight. Metabolic Balance, is however, something to keep in mind when the storm calms and you are looking for a sure way to help rebalance your body and acquire a healthier status. 

      Treat Meal with Metabolic Balance

      Metabolic BalanceKaren SmithComment

      I was so happy to learn that once I am on the Metabolic Balance program after 5 weeks, I could enjoy a treat meal once a week and to top it off, it could be whatever I wanted. I was sticking strictly to the plan. I think the anticipation of having the treat meal as a reward helped me to stick to the plan that much easier. 

      So after my first 5 weeks on the plan, I went to a gala, where they had a 5 course meal. The first course was the bread. Well I have not ate regular wheat bread in 14 years, so that was easy to pass on. Then came out pastas, about 3 different pasta dishes. Again, I have not had regular pastas since 2005, another pass. Since that time I have enjoyed gluten-free breads and pastas from time to time, however they still spike blood sugar. so they are not included in the initial phases of the Metabolic plan. except for 100% rye bread, yeast-free. Anyway back to the 5 course meal. they brought out a salad so I added that to my salad plate. Then came the main course, roast chicken and shaved roast beef. That was accompanied with potatoes and roast vegetables. I enjoyed this, with only a few small roasted potatoes. So with the exception of the potatoes, I pretty much stayed with the Metabolic Balance plan for my main meal. Dessert was a different story. They brought out an apple crisp with whipped cream. When I took my first bite, I did think it was too sweet, however I ate it anyway. Within a half an hour, my tummy hurt so much. So my first treat meal was not such a treat after all. 

      I have also had other opportunities to have desserts with my treat meal and some have been okay, like a tiny sliver of pumpkin pie. 

      I have also tried, believe it or not, fish and chip Friday.  Bleh, that was another tummy upset. Sometimes even hearing the name of a certain food has turned my stomach, as well as the aroma of other foods, These are foods that at one time I used to enjoy, despite been nutritionally void. Now I know better. Growing up on a reserve, we have been accustomed to the sub-par fast food take-out and carb heavy meals. Now it just does not have the same wow factor, it has the opposite factor! 

      I one time did try chicken wings with a caesar salad and that was okay. Since being on the Metabolic Balance plan, I automatically have more portion control as well. I am happy with a little bit of something. I am happy to indulge in an occasional treat, and historically eating was that way. Our ancestors did not have the availability of fast food and sweet treats at every meal, plus snacks in between! What an incredible overload on our pancreas, liver and other organs that work their hardest to keep us alive. 

      I have enjoyed my own organic popcorn and Kombucha at the movies.. Don't tell the movie theatre that I sneak this in. 

      Another treat meal has been an organic beef burger patty, with corn on the cob, then a homemade gluten-free cacao birthday cake muffin with coconut whipped cream.

      I made these for my daughter's birthday!&nbsp;

      I made these for my daughter's birthday! 

      So now my latest treat meal was a night out at the Keg!  Wow it was amazing. I enjoyed a Caesar salad, a 6oz top sirloin, with a double baked potato, and roast vegetables, Sorry the picture is not the greatest as the ambiance was dark. I ate half my baked potato and 3/4 of my steak. I enjoyed the green beans, but swapped the roasted red peppers for my daughter's asparagus pate. I just not stuff myself past full as I had done previously. I was able to save room for dessert. It was a free Billy Miner pie, which is a Mocha ice cream on a chocolate crust with hot fudge, caramel and almonds. They brought extra forks so I could share it with my family and I was able to do just that. I didn't have to try to stab them with the fork for dare touching my pie! 

      Top Sirloin Dinner

      Top Sirloin Dinner


      So you see with a few simple rules to abide by, the day of enjoying your treat meal, you do not have to feel deprived of some of the succulent pleasures of great tasting meals.  Like me, though you may find some of your favourites, are no longer your favourites and there is just no going back to them. 

      That was an awesome birthday present, a night out with family, however I think another one of the greatest gifts, I gave to myself, it is - the Metabolic Balance plan.  Some people might think it is too expensive, and initially I thought that myself. Living the healthiest I can be is so worth it! It's an initial investment, however, free the rest of your life! 


      Mental Health - Orthomolecular Impacts for First Nations

      Karen SmithComment

      Mental Health –Orthomolecular Impacts for First Nations

      The Indigenous Peoples of Canada have caught the attention of headlines in these recent months.  The current Prime Minister pledged better relations with and subsequently won many votes from the Indigenous People as record number of them turned out to the polls.  His government has agreed to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  Pimicikamak Cree Nation, known as Cross Lake and Attiwapiskat caught national attention for a State of Emergency issued in their communities due to the high incidence of suicide and attempts. 

      First Nations people have higher rates of suicide, about 6x the national average. Though the communities mentioned above, are northern communities, Indigenous communities in the south are also plagued with suicide.  In my lifetime, I know about 20 people who have taken their own life in my southern Ontario situated reserve. I would think that the average non-native person might say they know 1-3 people within their own close circle that have committed suicide. What is also disproportionate is the number of very young peoples in Aboriginal communities that suicide or attempt to. Suicide or attempted suicides of eleven year olds and even younger occur in First Nations communities. So dire circumstances like this impacts the whole community. Imagine when many of your family members, friends and community members are committing suicide, how this has a rippling effect of sadness. That has a very stressful effect on everyone in the community. Stress also impacts cortisol levels and which in turn affect mental wellness. Indigenous people have been in flight of fight states for too long. 

      So aside from the more talked about and obvious historical factors affecting Indigenous peoples,  
      (such as the impacts of attempted genocide, stolen lands, broken treaties, forced relocations to barren lands, residential schools, the 60’s scoop where many native children were taken from the families, forced Christianity, laws forbidding indigenous people to practice their customs and ceremonies, forced language loss, long standing land claims still unsettled.) 
      I will also focus on the impact of nutrition of First Nations peoples and how that affects mental wellness.

      These historical treatments of Indigenous People certainly offer a vivid backdrop to the present day reality of Indigenous life which include poverty, lack of employment, inadequate housing, lack of clean water, higher rates of other diseases and physical and sexual abuse, missing and murdered Indigenous women.  Many Indigenous people still live in third world conditions here in Canada. All these accumulative issues can wreak havoc on a person’s psyche.  Certainly it is easy to see, the despair that so many First Nations people feel. 

      Bruce Lipton talks of cellular memory in his book Biology of Belief, and this is essentially has to do with how memory is embedded in cells.  Cellular memory also has to do with how this memory gets reproduced in offspring.  Given these theories, the cellular memory of Indigenous people consists of a lot of downloaded trauma through the generations.  This is compounded with the continued oppression and racism that still occurs. 

      Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is also widespread in Indigenous populations. The Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, just the other day issued an official apology for the brutalities that occurred in the residential schools, also citing “that the residential schools are only one example of systemic, intergenerational injustices inflicted upon Indigenous communities throughout Canada.” The last residential school closed in 1996.

      With the arrival of the lost and malnourished settlers to this land, the Indigenous people shared their incredible knowledge of food and medicine with the settlers to save them from impending death. They nourished the settlers back to health with medicinal teas like pine, cedar and other nutrient rich foods. One of the common food practices of Indigenous people was to plant three times the amount of food needed. This was in case there was a food shortage, to save some for seed, to save some for the animals, and to have enough in case others needed to be fed. It was only their custom to share their food and so they did just that.

      Once back to health, the settlers’ mission became to claim the land for their own and needed to rid the Indian from existence. One of the settler’s genocidal tactics was to destroy the Indigenous people’s crops and food stores. This is well documented in history. 

      When the settlers confined the Indigenous People to reserves, they also made it illegal for them to leave the reserves without permission. In this way they limited their hunting and foraging practices. They also limited their ability to trade or sell their goods, so if they were farmers, their produce would rot before they were allowed to leave to sell it. Their once healthy diet from hunter/fisher/gatherer then became replaced with staples provided by the missionaries and the government Indian Agent. Some of these staples became known as the 5 whites – white flour, white sugar, white salt, white milk, and white lard. These were given in rations at times as a method of control and getting the Indigenous people to do as told.  The high carbohydrate diets introduced to the Indigenous people have had devastating effects on their health. Indigenous people have the highest rates of Diabetes. Some research suggests that their metabolism was not equipped to handle the diet. However their once nutrient rich diet was just replaced with nutrient poor food. 

      Another blow to the Indigenous people were the nutrition studies.  They were used as guinea pigs as discovered by a food and nutrition historian, Ian Mosby at the University of Guelph.  He extracted these words from a study he found in the records. "It is not unlikely that many characteristics, such as shiftlessness, indolence, improvidence and inertia, so long regarded as inherent or hereditary traits in the Indian race may, at the root, be really the manifestations of malnutrition," the researchers concluded in a preliminary report on their study in March 1942. "Furthermore, it is highly probable that their great susceptibility to many diseases, paramount amongst which is tuberculosis, may be directly attributable to their high degree of malnutrition arising from lack of proper foods." These studies involve deliberate withholding of certain nutrients to groups of children on remote reserves and within at least 6 residential schools. This occurred over a 10 - year period. One has to wonder if there were more studies unaccounted for. 

      A residential school within my own traditional territory, the Mohawk Institute was nicknamed the Mush-hole.  So aptly named as the children there were made to work the lush gardens, and orchards but were not allowed to eat the food. They were instead given mush on a daily basis. My grandmother told me of a story of how she used to give her cousins food through the fence, as they were often hungry. 

      Even today, many Indigenous people still live in poverty. They are not able to afford quality nutrient rich foods. Many reserves in Canada are also under a water boil advisory, and this has been long standing.  Many reserves are near contaminated soils and waterways, given industrial factories are often located near reserves. Lead poisoning and mercury contamination are well documented in some native communities.  All these affect the mental health of Indigenous peoples. Heavy metal toxicity and nutrient deficiencies are most likely an important factor in mental health status of Indigenous peoples but is not even being addressed.

      This is the reason as a Certified Nutritional Practitioner, my immediate thoughts were to see if the people in the remote northern community of Attiwapiskat could be given donations of supplements like Vitamin D, Multivitamins, Omega 3, Magnesium, 5HTP, protein powders and bars, chlorella, hemp, seeds etc. I was already aware that some ideas were suggested to help them with greenhouse gardening but since I now look through the orthomolecular lens, I thought supplementation could possibly help with mood and depressive states. It is well documented that lack of Vitamin D can help Seasonal Affective Disorder, a type of depression more common for anyone living north of the 42nd parallel. Omega 3 is vital for optimal brain health. Niacin is also shown to benefit depression. Magnesium is a champion in combating stress and helps to promote relaxation. These are just some supplements known to help depressive states. 

      When Attiwapiskat became national attention, there were frequent rumblings that “they should just move.” Yet when Fort McMurray was burning, the sentiments were “we could help them re-build.“

      Sadly when I sought donations, only one generous supplement company was willing to donate.  One kind area representative purchased supplements with her own money to donate.  One popular supplement company responded to the request by saying “it was just not in their budget to be able to help Attiwapiskat at this time.”  However one week later they were sending out emails stating they would donate 25 cents for every supplement bottle purchased to Fort McMurray. I certainly was not expecting an equal scale donation, but a smaller scale as Attiwapiskat is but a few thousand people.  This is just another way that Indigenous people’s lives in Canada matter less to the broader society.

      Our Indigenous footwear – the moccasins tread lightly on Mother Earth. We are the caretakers of Mother Earth, we are the eyes, and ears of our Earth Mother. Our heart beats in unison with her and when her heart hurts, we hurt. When we partake in the destruction of Mother Earth we feel the guilt. When we cannot do our duty as caretakers, this weighs heavy in our hearts and minds. This impacts our mental wellness. 

      As we look to solutions for the wellness of Indigenous people, we are seeing a resurgence of the Indigenous diet and herbal wisdom across this country and south of the border. It is amazing that in my studies in Holistic Nutrition, the hunter/gatherer diet and herbals were frequently receiving accolades and are indicated in optimal health and wellness. Many of these herbals come from Indigenous knowledge, yet this knowledge was historically suppressed and frowned upon by the dominant society. 

      Will we see a change with the Canadian government signing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples? Will the renewed relationship that the young Prime Minister vowed to create help with the insurmountable issues Indigenous Peoples face today including their mental wellness? Let’s hope that the cellular memories can be replaced for much more optimistic ones. Let’s hope that Indigenous Peoples lives will really matter, and they can fulfill their duties as stewards of Mother Earth. That’s a win - win situation.