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As November brings in the chill, we’re here to help you stay cozy and in the best of health. Inside, you’ll find the ultimate Wellness guide, crafted just for you.

Our team has curated a unique peek into the Metal Element of life, practical tips, and a mouthwatering recipe.

It’s our way of making sure you’re well-prepared for the season ahead. Plus, we want you to get to know the faces behind the scenes. Our team is more than just colleagues; we’re a growing family, and we’re excited for you to become an integral part of it. So, let’s dive into this healing journey together. 

Welcoming our newest member_ Patient Care Administrator
Sidney Kang

Hi, my name is Sidney, and I couldn’t be more honoured to be the newest addition to the What’s Good Wellness team. Growing up, my family always emphasized the value of good health and the significance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. These values have stuck with me, driving my passion for healthcare and my desire to extend a helping hand to our community, promoting healthy living.

This journey has led me to my current role as a Patient Care Administrator at What’s Good Wellness. Right now, I’m working closely with Sarah, our Senior Patient Care Administrator, assisting at the front desk and collaborating with Rayna, one of our fantastic Patient Care Technicians, on our social media efforts. You may see me occasionally floating around the back to help set up for treatment:). I’m genuinely excited to be part of your health journey and can’t wait to support you on your path to wellness.

Fun Fact: In my free time, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, playing badminton and trying out new recipes:)

The Beauty of Darkness_ Embracing autumn, the metal element & letting go

Hello Friends!

We’re deep into autumn and I have to say, it’s one of my favourite seasons. Sweater weather, pretty red, yellow and orange leaves, the return to routine.

This past weekend, I was having my usual weekend chat with my mom and she was lamenting about how sad she was to close up her garden.

“Child, I put the garden to bed and I’m feeling a little bit sad and depressed. It’s so chilly and dark out there,” my Mom shared.

(My mom calls me Child. Or First Born if she’s addressing me specifically when my two younger siblings are around. She’s so cute.)

It makes sense; the days are colder and greyer, nights seem longer. The decline of the sun, with all its warmth and joy, can lead to seasonal affective disorder (SAD) for lots of people. This occurs when people experience a decrease in their mood due to these weather shifts.

“I hear you Mumma. It is pretty cold. But actually I really love fall. It’s kind of like real life Adam’s Family… a little dark, witchy and moody… kinda like me”, I replied.

“Hayyyy Child. Don’t say that. You are bright and not dark or witchy!” she retorted. Oh my sweet Mumma, forever my number one fan and biggest cheerleader.

But guess what friends, I kind of, sort of am.

In Western society, we often deny or fear the darkness. I think it’s one of the reasons why a lot of people don’t like this time of year and have a harder time with the increased darkness and quiet of winter. We often forget that all of life begins in the dark. A fetus floating in the blackness of the womb. A seed germinating in the depths of the soil. Creative ideas that come to us in the recesses of our dreams.

According to Chinese medicine five element theory, autumn is ascribed to the metal element. It is the end of the cycle of the five elements. Unlike other elemental systems, only ours contains metal as an element. The organs of the metal element are the Lungs and Large Intestine.

Throughout human history, metal has captivated us with its enduring beauty, usefulness and intrinsic value. Metal’s crystalline structure, its capacity to hold form and to become malleable in the presence of heat and pressure, its capacity to adorn as well as shield and protect… these characteristics provide insights into both our inherent nature and the world that surrounds us.

Metal is about having the clarity and discernment to identify what no longer serves us and to let go of that to make room for inspiration and newness.

We can see this clearly in the functions of the Lungs and Large Intestine in the body. The Lungs serve the function of inhalation and receiving. The Large Intestine allows for letting go and descent.

Physically, in a state of imbalance, metal dysfunction can show up as challenges with the immune system being compromised, making it more likely for one to fall ill with viral infections, like colds and flu. There can be issues with elimination; constipation or incomplete bowel movements.

Energetic imbalance can impact the emotion of metal, grief. It shows up as rigidity, a clinging to the past, stubborn depression and persistent mourning that completely takes over a person’s life and fails to shift as time passes.

The gift of the healthy expression of grief is the acceptance of the inevitability of loss and therefore the preciousness of each moment. When we know that our time here is finite, that we may not have another tomorrow, it allows us to appreciate what and who we have. Here. Today. Now.

In a world that is over-focused on getting to the next step, next day, next obligation, with little to no margin for error or failure, it can be incredibly difficult to be present. Anxiety causes us to become worried about the future, while depression is often an inability to move on from the decisions made in the past. In either state, one is unable to be firmly rooted in the here and now.

Remembering our breath is a useful and accessible tool to return to the present moment and the sacredness of the body. A breath pattern of 4-2-6 is something I often teach to our patients at the clinic.

Breathing in and out through the nose.

Inhale for a count of 4.

Pause and hold for a count of 2.

Exhale for a count of 6.

If you can buzz out the exhale with a closed mouth and a humming sound, that even better!

The longer, slower exhale triggers the parasympathetic nervous system, which is in charge of rest of digest, the state we need to be in for healing. The buzzing that comes from the humming tones the vagus nerve. Repetition of this breath pattern improves heart rate variability, which is an indication of an increased capacity to respond and adapt to changing circumstances.

And when we can do that, we have a greater capacity to choose to respond to life, rather than to react, allowing us to let go of that which no longer serves us to make room for inspiration and new possibilities.

That is the beauty of metal, friends. Wishing you a witchy, dark and moody autumn season.

If you can buzz out the exhale with a closed mouth and a humming sound, that even better!

The longer, slower exhale triggers the parasympathetic nervous system, which is in charge of rest of digest, the state we need to be in for healing. The buzzing that comes from the humming tones the vagus nerve. Repetition of this breath pattern improves heart rate variability, which is an indication of an increased capacity to respond and adapt to changing circumstances.

And when we can do that, we have a greater capacity to choose to respond to life, rather than to react, allowing us to let go of that which no longer serves us to make room for inspiration and new possibilities.

That is the beauty of metal, friends. Wishing you a witchy, dark and moody autumn season.

Katrina Dollano, R.Ac, R.TCMP, RH
Don’t use it gingerly_ Tips to boost your immune system

Ginger is one of the most commonly prescribed Chinese medicine herbs. A good use of implementing ginger into your daily life is to add a slice of ginger to a cup of tea, or using it in cooking. What I often do is when I cook, I heat a pan and then add a slice of ginger to it with butter or oil, and it heats up with the pan to get the ginger juices into the oil/ butter.

It is an antioxidant, typically considered as a tonic to help build strength, maintain homeostasis, and boost immune system function. It is good for fortifying your system and replenishing blood. Additionally, it can be good for regulating high blood pressure, arthritis, and high cholesterol. Ginger can be taken with tea, or as a powder or in soups or stir frys.

It commonly comes in two forms, Fresh and Dried ginger.

Dried Ginger

Dried ginger is better for cases of feeling cold. It promotes the circulation of energy, bodily fluids, and regulating metabolism. It is helpful in being an antioxidant and being an analgesic for relieving pain. Additionally, implementing dried ginger can help with morning sickness.

Fresh Ginger

Fresh ginger is good for inducing sweating and opening the pores, while helping the disease or pathogen to be expelled. It’ll be good for boosting energy and enhancing body fluid movement. It is good for relieving poor appetite, and helping with treating moments of indigestion and feelings of vomiting. It’s quite useful in regulating the immune system and boosting its function to prevent flus and colds, while also providing anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

Benefits

  • Good for skin health, and prevents UV damage.
  • Helps inhibit inflammation and reduce oxidative damage to cells.
  • Helps with improving brain function, such as memory and mobility, in addition to relief for anxiety and stress.

Be wary of taking ginger with blood thinning medications, if you have low blood pressure, combining with diabetes medication, heart medication, if you are pregnant or lactating. Always speak to your practitioner before starting any new herbal medicine.

What's Good in the Hood November 2023: Community Highlights

Brrr, temperatures are dropping and we have to protect our skin during this cool season. As you know the cold can cause your skin to dry-out almost instantly once the cool air comes into contact with your skin.

A foolproof skincare routine

DIY Facial Sugar

A very simple and effective sugar scrub for your face and skin.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup of Raw brown sugar
  • ¾ cup of white sugar
  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons of honey

INSTRUCTIONS

Mix all together and apply to damp skin, gently massage the scrub into the skin and leave on for 5 minutes before rinsing it off.

A very simple and effective sugar scrub for your face and skin.

What's Good in the Hood November 2023: Community Highlights

Here, you’ll find a quick and easy meal to prepare for friends and family during this chilly Fall season. Our Executive Chef, Charleston has created a step-by-step recipe, high in fat and protein to keep you healthy and warm throughout the day. Don’t fret, the bite-sized frittata can be stored for later in the freezer, so you can get a head start on that meal prep for the week.

Recipe of the Month

12 – 15 PORTIONS
PREP TIME: 15-20 MINS
COOK TIME: 15 – 25 MINS

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs Olive oil
  • 1 Diced Red pepper
  • 1/2 Diced Red onion
  • 3 cups Thinly Sliced Cremini Mushrooms
  • 3 Garlic Cloves Finely Diced
  • 5 Green Kale Leaves (Julienne and Stems Removed)

Ingredients

  • 12 Large Eggs
  • 1/3 cup Full Fat Coconut Milk
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 1 tbs Butter
  • 1/4 cup Sundried Tomatoes (Julienne and Rehydrated)

Kitchenware

  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Large Bowl
  • Whisk
  • Muffin Tin
  • Casserole pan

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Cut all vegetables as stated in the ingredients list and set aside separately.
3. Preheat your skillet/frying pan on medium heat.
4. Add your olive oil/coconut oil to the skillet and sauté red onions until sweat.
5. Add red peppers, mushrooms, and garlic and sauté until desired tenderness is achieved.
6. Add green kale and stir into the vegetable mixture and set aside.
7. Crack eggs into a large bowl, whisking until evenly scrambled and season with salt.
8. Add milk to the scrambled eggs and set aside.
9. Rub butter on the bottom and edges of the muffin tin slots to minimize sticking.
10. Distribute eggs into slots along with flavourings.
11. Bake in the oven for approximately 15 to 25 minutes (check at the 7 minute mark) and serve!

*If you would like to save them for later, remove the frittatas from the tin and store in the freezer.

What's Good in the Hood November 2023: Community Highlights

Final Notes

We hope you’re able to incorporate some of our tips in you daily routine to enhance your health and overall lifestyle. If you have any further questions please feel free to reach out and make sure to ask Sarah about her favourite winter hobbies!

Get-to-know the Team_ Sarah Cheung - What's Good in the Hood November 2023: Community Highlights
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Nourishing life tradition (Yang Sheng)

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