Seven Pillars of Wellness
“THE ONLY ROAD TO GOOD HEALTH”
Every person can improve their overall health by following our Seven Pillars of Wellness Guaranteed. You are Unique, and so is your Health.
HolistiQ7 is a health program based on over two decades of scientific research that is guaranteed to help you improve your health and maintain your overall wellbeing. Our research is approved by Health Canada and the FDA. It includes a synergy of nutritional supplements, herbalism, behavioral change, exercise protocols, and more! Tackle any health condition from losing weight to building healthy bones. With the help of our experts, you’ll have the ability to overcome any health concern you may have.
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1. Nutritional Counseling
Nutrition is a vital key to good health and is the most important element when looking to optimize your wellbeing. Working with our certified Health Coaches you will be able to learn what foods to eat and what to avoid in a personalized meal plan. However, general recommendations still apply and everyone can benefit from the HolistiQ7 protocol.
Our goal is to educate our clients on how to create the best version of themselves. We can start by looking at Canada’s Food Guide, created by expert dietitians, to guide us in daily eating habits. They suggest allocating half (50%) of your plate to vegetables, a quarter (25%) for proteins, and the rest (25%) to eating healthy whole grains. Also, we would like to encourage our clients to limit their calories to avoid the consequences of obesity and weight gain. Adults should consume between 2,000 and 2,800 calories a day, depending on their age, sex, and level of physical activity.
In addition, our Naturopaths encourage clients to focus on eating a whole food, preferably organic, nutrient-rich diet, while also avoiding processed foods, added sugars, and industrially-produced oils. These processed foods are pro-inflammatory and rich in Omega 6 fatty acids, which means they cause your immune system to go on high alert as a way to protect your cells from damage. The major problem with inflammation is that it is the underlying cause of most chronic diseases and must be avoided at all costs. An easy tip to remember is, if it comes from a box, don’t bother eating it.
Limiting the number of refined carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, cookies is also especially important. Eating a diet rich in healthy fats, such as olive, flax, and avocado oil, as well as including nuts and seeds is a great way to maintain brain and cardiovascular health as they are rich in anti-inflammatory Omega 3 fatty acids. Focusing on a variety of vegetables and including plant sources of all the colors of the rainbow is an easy trick to make sure you are getting all the vitamins you need. Our gut is lined with a beautiful colony of good and bad bacteria. This is what we call the microbiome.
Our good bacteria allow us to digest the food we eat, absorb/create our nutrients, and even protects us from harmful microorganisms and regulates our immune system. When the bad bacteria outweigh the good bacteria (gut dysbiosis) it leads to inflammation and leaves us vulnerable to intestinal infections. Probiotic-rich foods such as sauerkraut, yogurt, kombucha, and kimchi allow us to nourish the good bacteria of our microbiome. Prebiotics such as soluble fiber further supports them by feeding them with delicious sources of nutrients. It also keeps us regular which minimizes the risks of developing colon cancer. Not only is what you what important but also how you choose to prepare your food.
Try using an Air Fryer to avoid excess oil in deep-fried foods. Slow cookers will allow you to preserve the nutrients as many are susceptible to high heat. Even steaming vegetables instead of boiling them, as this will allow you to preserve as many nutrients as you can. Many vitamins are water-soluble and will seep out into the water when cooking. Overall, it is important to cook with low heat and a small amount of healthy oil with a high smoke point, such as avocado oil. Drink plenty of water as this allows you to flush out bacteria from your bladder, helps you digest your food, and helps normalize blood pressure.
It is also important to be mindful of when you are hungry and full. Listen to your body and try not to overeat. It is equally important to take your time when eating, plan your meals for the week and cultivate home cooking skills as this will allow you to take your personal nutrition journey to the next level!
- Avoid unhealthy partially hydrogenated oils such as canola or vegetable and eliminate all trans fats.
- Use healthy sources of fat such as extra-virgin olive oil and avocado oil
- Enjoy a diet rich in fiber such as Canadian oats, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
- Avoid eating processed foods like sugary drinks, white bread, fruit juices, premade boxed food, chips, candy, fast food and processed meats.
Benefits of an anti-inflammatory diet:
- Helps you control your blood sugar
- Reduces inflammation in your body
- Improves your cholesterol levels
- Reduces your blood pressure
- Help you maintain a healthy weight
- Balances your hormones
2. Natural Health Products & Supplementation
Herbal and nutritional supplements allow us to heal and recover from different health conditions. It is also a great way to maintain health by filling in the nutritional gaps in our everyday diets. Supplements should be viewed more as a health insurance plan rather than a crutch. Although there is no replacement for a healthy well-balanced diet, supplements can help you address nutritional deficiencies and health problems.
An example of this is how most Canadians suffer from a Vitamin D deficiency. This is because of the lack of sunlight we are exposed to during the long dark winter months. A Vitamin D deficiency can include depression, fatigue, osteoporosis, and more. As Vitamin D is created mostly from sun exposure, it is beneficial to take a natural health supplement.
A great supplement is cod liver oil or even just Vitamin D softgels. This way you can be certain you are getting exactly what your body needs. To safely use supplements, it is always best to speak to your doctor or health care professional, to be sure that you are taking them right.
Natural health products are not one-size-fits-all. If you are struggling with health problems, Biogenique’s experienced team of Naturopaths and Health Coaches will help you address any health concerns you may have. Natural health products are an amazing way to achieve optimal wellness and live your best life.
- There are many supplements that will help you optimize your health.
- Always consult an experienced health care advisor prior to starting any protocol.
3. Physical Exercise
Physical exercise is essential for optimal health. It has countless benefits such as improving mood and concentration, making you more productive, and giving you lots of extra energy to get you through the day. Even if exercise may feel tiring at first, eventually you will feel more energized and ready to face the world. So, you might think exercising more must be better, right? However, successful training must involve a little overload combined with adequate recovery.
Too much exercise without enough recovery can lead to feeling more tired, having mood swings or irritability, hormonal imbalances, having trouble sleeping. It is also a great way to manage overall stress. “Exercise produces a relaxation response that serves as a positive distraction,” states Cedric Bryant, chief exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise. Numerous studies show that exercise is a great treatment for mild to moderate depression due to the release of endorphins in the blood.
Furthermore, it can boost your immune system and help you fight off coughs and colds. Its effects on the cardiovascular system cannot be understated. Exercising regularly will decrease your chances of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Try aerobic exercises to strengthen your heart and circulatory system. Running, dancing, swimming, hiking, and cycling are great exercises for optimal heart health.
Setting aside even 20 minutes a day to jog on your treadmill while watching YouTube, is a great way to carve out some time for your self-care wellness routine. Exercise even reduces your chances of developing cancer. Other exercises such as strength training will help you maintain and develop muscle mass. In turn, this stabilizes your joints, reinforces your bones, and increases your overall strength. As we age, we lose muscle strength which makes us weak, fragile, and prone to developing osteoporosis.
This is why it is important to integrate strength training into your weekly workout routine as well. If you have a busy schedule and you struggle to find time to exercise, not to worry. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a great way to get in a complete workout in less than 15 minutes, allowing you to activate your cardiovascular system, tone, and build muscle, all at the same time.
It even activates your metabolism and improves your overall body composition. Check out free YouTube videos on how to learn these sequences. One of the biggest advantages of exercise is that it affects your waistline, which reduces your risk of developing obesity and keeps you lean and strong. Your Biogenique health coach will set you up with the equipment you need and will design a personalized fitness protocol to help you on your journey towards physical wellness.
- The Mayo Clinic recommends 150 minutes of modernate physical activity per week.
- Do not overstrain your body.
- Combine aerobic exercise with stretching.
- Begin with a warm up in order to minimize the chances of injury.
4. Healthy Sleep
Due to the challenges of modern life, sleep deprivation has become an epidemic. So why is sleep important anyway? Well, sleep is the primary way that our bodies heal and repair themselves. It has numerous effects on the body’s physiological systems. The lack of good sleep increases the chances of getting sick and weakens our immune system. Without it, you are at greater risk of developing health problems, like stroke, heart attacks, type 2 diabetes and obesity. Studies show that adults who sleep less than the recommended 7-9 hours per night are 55% more likely to develop obesity.
The hormones gherkin and leptin typically regulate our hunger, satiety and cravings. However, they can become imbalanced when we are sleep deprived, causing us to eat more than necessary. Sleep also regulates the overall health of the good bacteria in our gut, which makes it incredibly important for our digestive system. When it comes to our brain, sleep is a no-brainer. It is an absolute must-have for optimal functioning.
It allows us to focus, remember information, and enriches our learning experiences of the world around us. Without it, we cannot recall details nor learn new skills. Good quality sleep means that you typically fall asleep fast, sleep soundly through the night, awaken no more than once, and fall back to sleep again quickly. Studies found that being sleep deprived can be just as impairing as alcohol intoxication, making sleep that much more important. During the day deposits of proteins called amyloid plaque accumulates in the brain’s grey matter.
This build-up is toxic to neurons. During sleep, the plaque is washed away by cerebral-spinal fluid. That is why if we do not get enough sleep, we cannot properly remove this waste, making us at risk of developing Alzheimer's. There are lots of issues that contribute to low sleep quality, such as stress, unstable blood sugar levels, late-night meals, and more. So, what can we do to help us sleep better at night? Well for starters, we need to make time.
Giving ourselves an 8 to 9-hour window in bed will increase our chances of getting enough rest. Sleeping in a cool room with warm covers will also encourage deep sleep. The use of a white noise machine to drown out environmental noise is also a great way to increase the chances of falling and staying asleep. Essential oils such as lavender and chamomile can help activate the parasympathetic nervous system making us feel calm, relaxed, and ready to catch some Zzzs.
Natural herbs such as valerian, passionflower, hops and magnolia bark as also very effective in supporting a night of healthy sleep. If your circadian rhythm (sleep cycle) is off, then try 3 to 5 mg of melatonin to help you get back on schedule. If you feel too stressed to sleep, try several rounds of slow breathwork in bed, as slow breathing will help you feel calmer and ready for rest. Another major factor is our exposure to blue light from our electronic devices.
This blue light prevents us from properly releasing melatonin: the sleep hormone that tells us it's time for bed. Try avoiding your phone, tablet, computer, or tv for at least one hour before bed. It would also be helpful, to avoid all caffeinated beverages after 2:00 pm, avoid eating heavy meals and avoid any stimulating physical activity late in the evening.
- Create a sleep ritual for yourself and keep to a consistent schedule
- Avoid blue light from electronic devices for at least 1 hour before bed
- Try various relaxation techniques such as aromatherapy, breathwork & herbal supplementation
- Create the perfect environment for rest
- Avoid heavy meals, stimulating activity, and caffein
5. Environmental Toxicity
Our exposure to toxic chemicals is everywhere in our environment. What we eat, drink, breathe and put on our skin has a major impact on our overall well-being. As consequence, we are constantly in the process of detoxifying these built-up toxins through one very special organ: the liver. As more and more scientific studies shed light on this issue, we’ve learned that environmental toxicity is strongly associated with cardiovascular disorders, obesity, cancers, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, reproductive health abnormalities, and chronic diseases.
This is due to a wide range of chemicals developed for commercial use that can be found in everything from our groundwater to the polluted air we breathe. Herbicides such a RoundUp contain a harmful chemical called glyphosate and is the most widely used pesticide in all of Canada. In 2015, the World Health Organization declared it most likely a toxic carcinogen for humans. Yet despite this, most of the non-organic produce we purchase is riddled with it. That is why it is so important to purchase organic when possible.
If this is not within your means, then try washing your produce thoroughly under luke-warm water and apple cider vinegar. So, what else can we do to avoid environmental toxicity? Many skincare and cosmetic products that we use daily contain very harsh chemicals as well. Your skin is the largest organ in your body. It is also a highly permeable barrier, meaning it absorbs around 64% of topical chemicals it comes in contact with. These chemicals can then travel into the blood and the lymphatic system where it can cause a great deal of harm. The only way to eliminate them is through one very important process: detoxification. When shopping around for skincare products, always read the ingredients label.
Try to avoid ingredients like fragrances and parabens. Parabens are a synthetic preservative that extends the shelf life of many products. Studies show that it also likely causes breast cancer and disrupts the hormonal balance in the endocrine system. A quick tip when shopping around is to look for the label ECOCERT. This is a certification body that oversees high standards for organic non-toxic skincare. Many commercial sunscreens contain oxybenzone, an endocrine disruptor that also destroys coral reefs.
In addition to beauty products, are occupational hazards that are difficult to avoid. Some people are simply more prone to toxic exposure due to their line of work. Then once we arrive home, we are further exposed to harmful chemicals around us. Many household cleaners contain ammonia & bleach which is highly irritating for the lungs and skin. Plastic found in children’s toys, food packaging, and household products is riddled with BPAs which disrupts our reproductive health and can contribute to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. From an environmental standpoint, it also contributes to the vast global problem of microplastic pollution.
Try a “zero-waste” low impact lifestyle to avoid plastic as much as possible. Other toxins include heavy metals which can be absorbed by the body through our amalgams, water, and some food. That is why it is best to always drink filtered water and purchase small wild-caught fish low in mercury. A toxic burden needs to be addressed at the source.
This is why eliminating as many contaminants as possible is so important. However, we can also support our detoxification processes by ingesting healthy liver support supplements that make it easier for us. Always seek the advice of our Naturopaths as they will be more than happy to guide you on how to promote detoxification and rejuvenate your body. Herbs such as milk thistle, dandelion, and cilantro help support your liver and remove toxic build-up.
- Drink filtered purified water.
- Eat organic foods, free of herbicides and pesticides.
- Eat small wild-caught fish that is low in mercury.
- Use skincare items free of parabens, phthalates, fragrances, and oxybenzone.
- Use cleaning products free of ammonia, bleach, etc.
- Avoid plastic packaging as much as you can. Try a “zero waste”.
- Detox regularly: Use herbs, chlorella, and charcoal
- For household cleaners visit www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/ or try healthy DIY recipes
- See your dentist about amalgams.
- Avoid exessive exposure to fluoride if you have thyroid issues.
- Use an air purifier at home.
- Use ‘clean’ beauty product.
6. Stress Management
Our bodies have strategies in place to help us deal with stressors and maintain a state of balance that is necessary for the body’s proper functioning. However, when we are exposed to constant excessive stress of any kind, it can lead to a vast array of health issues. Stressors can come in many forms such as being mentally overworked, emotionally stressed, physically injured, stick, exposed to toxins, poor lifestyle choices, and more.
As we become overburdened with the goal of recovering from stress, our bodies might not be able to cope. This is when stress might play a role in the development of many chronic disorders. It can even have detrimental effects on our mental health leading to anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Long-term stress can increase blood cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, and blood pressure.
This is largely due to the liver releasing lots of sugar into the blood when we are in a stressed-out state. This sugar gives us energy and prepares us for action. However, it can also cause obesity and contribute to fat accumulation, especially around the mid-section of the body. It can even affect our immune system, making us more prone to catching a cold or other types of infections. Considering stress is everywhere and hard to avoid, making regular use of stress coping skills is an important factor in maintaining health and your sense of wellbeing.
These skills can include exercise, meditation, yoga, breathwork, sex, being with nature, and tai chi. Even spending time laughing with loved ones can help lower stress hormones such as cortisol, epinephrine, and adrenaline. These hormone causes your heart to race, makes your breathing rapid and shallow and even prepares your muscles for action.
This is what we call the ‘fight, flight or freeze’ response and it is an infamous survival mechanism that has been very valuable for most of our evolution. If a tiger appears out of nowhere, we need will automatically be prepared to run. However, if a stressor like a deadline appears, our body will react in the exact same way. The only difference: one is within the mind. Nonetheless, it still has drastic consequences on our health if you remain in that ‘fight, flight or freeze’ state for far too long.
Adaptogenic herbs are also a great resource for those living with chronic stress. Adaptogens such as ashwagandha, rhodiola, and reishi are a type of healing plants that help our body maintain balance. They do that by helping improve our resistance to stress and normalizing bodily functions. They calm you down and boost your energy at the same time without overstimulating you. Always consult a health practitioner before starting any supplementation protocol.
- Make time every day for stress management.
- Integrate activities such as aerobic exercise, yoga, and breathwork into your routine.
- Try out guided meditation apps such as Insight Timer.
- Spend time with people that make you laugh.
7. Coaching Techniques & Behavioural Change
Changing our habits is difficult. This is why at Biogenique we try to understand the psychological profile of our clients and learn what motivates them. True sustainable, long-lasting changes happen in the mind and well as in our daily actions.
There is a profound mind-body connection that we cannot overlook. It defines our habitual patterns and what we instinctually do when we are on autopilot. Sitting down to collaborate with your Health Coach is a great way to find motivational techniques that work for you. Goal setting is the first place to start your transformation, in order to make behavioral changes that last. Envisioning these goals through visualization can also help you on this journey.
Understanding and facing limiting beliefs that may hold you back from accomplishing your goal will affect how you choose to relate to your health and lifestyle habits. That is why it is important to recognize negative-self talk and maladaptive coping mechanisms. Using the acronym SMART, we use various coaching techniques to help you accomplish your health goals. This stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Based. We are about finding personalized strategies to create long-lasting habits that help you achieve and maintain overall wellness. This power is in your hands.
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