• 16-11-2016

    Meal Planning + Why You Should Throw out This Diet Rule

    Dr. Polo has written two articles that now appear online at HuffingtonPost.com.

    In the latest article, Dr. Polo gives you a refresher course in meal-planning and how it can help you manage a busy winter schedule. Many families find themselves running from activity to activity in the winter. It is also a time when we can become less creative around breakfast and packed lunches, after months of using up our energy there. 

    Here is an excerpt:

    Whenever possible, cook more than you need at dinner time so you have easy to grab lunches the next day. Casseroles and soups can be toted to school in a thermos and extra grilled meat is perfect for a rice bowl or ploughman's lunch. Extra rice can be rolled into seaweed for sushi. Moving your lunch prep to dinner time will also smooth out the hectic school routine.

    Jot down a few tips when you read this article

    In another article, Dr. Polo is sharing weight loss strategies based on her work in-clinic helping hundreds of patients each year shed substantial amounts of weight. One myth she confronts often, as it is ingrained in her patient's belief system, is that breakfast must be eaten immediately upon rising. Dr. Polo challenges you to consider what you need over when you eat, saying our food choices and listening to our own bodies is more important. This is a must-read for anyone who is currently facing weight loss or maintenance challenges, or really a primer for anyone on the way habits and associations govern us.

    Here is an excerpt:

    If you are trying to lose weight, intermittent fasting may be helpful and valuable, too. In this case, and if your body responds well, I suggest aiming for a 12-hour period in which you abstain from food. What does this look like? The exact timing depends on your individual body -- for some this might mean ceasing food at 6 p.m. and not hitting the breakfast table until after 6 a.m., but for those who eat dinner later, this might mean 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., or even 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. The key is to find YOUR ideal schedule, and this isn't something a health-care provider or diet book can tell you.

    Read the article here.  

    Read all of Dr. Polo's articles on Huffington Post. 

    Do you have a topic you want Dr. Polo to address in her articles? Please reach out with your idea.

    • 24-03-2016

    Inflammatory Foods to Avoid

    We hear about foods like strawberries being a super food and yet for many people, they are causing inflammatory conditions in the body that leads to health concerns: arthritis, bursitis, colitis, conditions that can affect your joints and gut. These kinds of inflammations in the body need an anti-flammatory diet. Dr. Polo was on The Jill Bennett show on CKNW to talk about an anti-inflammatory diet, including what foods to avoid, for how long and how to re-introduce the food.

    You should avoid these foods for a good 3-6 weeks before you see a hint of improvement. Most people see improvement within a few weeks. Does this mean you have to always avoid those foods? It depends on the condition. You might notice that bringing the foods back in will create symptoms again. Pay attention to that concern and decide whether it is a food you can continue to eat.

    In this radio clip, Jill Bennett also asks about gluten. Most people that have inflammatory concerns do find an imporovement when gluten and dairy is removed. The key is to experiment. 

    For more information on foods to avoid in an anti-inflammatory diet, and how to go about removing these foods and potentially re-introducing them, listen to Dr. Allana's interview on the Jill Bennett show.

    Listen here.

    • 08-07-2015

    3 Embarrassing Summertime Problems

    As health professionals, we've heard it all. There isn't a question that hasn't been asked, or a way you can make us feel squeamish. There is no reason to be embarrassed to come with all of your questions, about chafing, gas and all perfectly normal bodily processes.

    Dr. Allana Polo shared a post on Huffington Post recently that features solutions to three common (and often embarrassing) summertime problems. Be sure to check out her tips for dealing with gas, chafing and foot odour.

    Read: How to Manage 3 Embarrassing Summertime Problems



    Photo Copyright: jannoon028 / 123RF Stock Photo

    • 19-03-2015

    Eat Healthy During Your Workday

    By Jess Pirnak, Registered Dietitian

    Eating 9 to 5 is this year’s theme for nutrition month, and what an important topic. Since most people spend the majority of their day at work, we might as well eat our best while we’re there! Despite how well you’re doing, that 3:00pm slump can still hit hard and our heads think an extra cup of coffee will get us through the afternoon. But coffee doesn’t have to be the answer.

    Too much caffeine can make you lose sleep, cause jitters, upset your stomach, and increase your heart rate, so Health Canada recommends that adults have no more than 400 mg of caffeine a day. Two cups (a total of 500 mL) of coffee a day actually puts you right at this amount, and a lot of people drink that for breakfast alone! So, what else can you grab instead of a caffeinated beverage?

    Snacks that contain lots of fibre and protein can keep you satisfied, regulate your blood sugar and provide you with some much-needed energy! Try:

    ·         Hummus with added hemp seeds and a variety of crunchy veggies like carrots, celery, cucumber or zucchini;

    ·         Variety of nuts or seeds;

    ·         Dried fruit like figs with peanut butter (sounds weird but it’s delicious);

    ·         Smoothie with almond milk, flax seeds and a banana.

    Even perking up your packed lunch with some tasty energizing options can make a difference to your energy levels in the afternoon. Try these quick, simple, and tasty make-and-take lunches from Dietitians of Canada:

    ·         Layer black bean dip, avocado and peppery arugula on a rustic whole-grain baguette for a simple sandwich with big flavor;

    ·         Pack hard-boiled eggs, cheese, fresh veggies, a few olives and whole grain crackers for a super snack-like lunch;

    ·         Mix lentils, roasted sweet potato and red peppers, quinoa and a drizzle of lemony dressing for a protein-packed salad bowl;

    ·         Toss light tuna, snow peas and grape tomatoes with leftover whole grain pasta, basil-filled pesto and a pinch of chili flakes – this dish is great cold or heated.

    Not only will these changes get you over that 3:00 hump, but you’ll also have more energy to take the kids to the park after work or hit the gym for some ‘me’ time.

    You might also like to read about preparing for the work week through Sunday meal prep.

    Photo Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo

    • 09-02-2015

    Why Sweating is Good for You

    We’ve been sharing the secrets to a healthy detox, from prepping for the week with healthy food to what to eliminate from your diet to stay well. We’ve got more up our sleeves as we roll out the top advice for making you your healthiest yet. Now, let’s focus on sweat. Yes, it may make you nervous in an important meeting - do I have sweat stains under my arms? - but sweating is an important part of your body’s processes. Here’s why, and here’s how to get your sweat on.

    Why Your Body Needs to Sweat

    Your body’s way of releasing toxins

    Sweating is your body’s way of releasing toxins, such as heavy metals you are exposed to in the food that you eat, and chemicals that get in through the air that you breathe. This study showed a high concentration of heavy metals in the perspiration of research participants (compared with urine), suggesting sweat as a means for reducing the body’s toxic load.

    Sweating also helps clear the lymphatic system, which supports your immune system. It helps ensure there aren’t toxic blockages in the lymph nodes, which can affect your overall health.

    Opens up pores

    In spite of your rigorous cleansing, your skin’s pores are holding on to dirt and grime. Sweating is an amazing way to open up the pores and deeply cleanse the skin towards greater skin tone and clarity (goodbye acne).

    Sweat is a natural antimicrobial

    Getting sweaty from head to toe actually makes you a superhero, with the superpower of fighting germs so they don’t enter your body. Yes, research shows that sweat is a natural antimicrobial. Sweat contains dermicidin, an antibiotic that has been shown to fight tuberculosis and other dangerous bugs.

    So now that we’ve convinced you that sweat is good for you, what are the best ways to get your sweat on?

    • You should be moving to produce a sweat at least 20 minutes, 3 times a week;

    • Hit the sauna - our infrared sauna is a therapeutic way to get sweaty;

    • In a pinch, allow the face to sweat by filling a basin with boiling water and hang your head over top with a towel draped around you.

    Sweating is a natural part of ridding your body of toxins, and is therefore essential to any detox plan. Let us know when you want to jump in the sauna!

    Photo Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo

    • 30-01-2015

    Eating Well on Super Bowl Sunday

    The Super Bowl is synonymous with chilli and cheesy nachos, sausage rolled in wheat and other fried and not exactly healthy foods. So how can you survive the day without going overboard and packing on the pounds? I’ve got a few tips to share with you.


    Balance Alcohol Consumption with Water

    Beer and football go hand in hand. No matter what your choice of alcoholic beverage, balance your intake with water to stay properly hydrated (alcohol can dehydrate you) and to keep your system well-flushed. Water can also fill you up just a little bit more, so you tend to eat less.

    Bring Your Own Healthy Option

    If you are attending a party, you can probably expect a great spread of fat-filled, unhealthy treats. Bring something you can share with everyone that offers a nice alternative. You can reach for this instead when you want something to snack on. Some healthier options include,

    Eat Before Arriving So You Aren’t Starving

    When our bellies are empty, we are more likely to make poor choices, as our body naturally just wants us to get food in there fast. Eat a healthy, protein-rich snack before you head out to the party, or start the game. You are less likely to overeat and more likely to choose consciously.

    When You Do Indulge, Detox

    When you do overeat and overindulge the important thing is to not beat yourself up over it. Recognize it wasn’t your finest hour and then move on. The next day you can mitigate damage by having a detox day. Our blog has great resources for how to do this, but a detox day might include drinking tons of water (with lemon would be great!), some light fasting, saying no to white sugar, white flour and white rice, steering clear of alcohol and caffeine and focusing on eating a lot of protein and vegetables.

    Photo Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo

    • 29-01-2015

    The Benefits of Colon Hydrotherapy

    Susan Kinross, one of our Certified Colon Hydrotherapists, would love to talk with you about how amazing Colon Hydrotherapy is. And it is an integral part of your detox process. Have you been following along as we talk through the 7 pillars of a healthy detox? We've talked about the importance of being prepared, and the foods you need to eliminate to be successful in this process.

    Now Susan is here to share with us the benefits of Colon Hydrotherapy. We'll include a link to more information on our site, and of course to book - because you'll feel inspired!

    Hello Detoxers and Cleansers!

    In my experience for myself and in working with others, colon hydrotherapy is a fantastic aid to cleansing - before, during or after a cleansing diet.  It’s a gentle yet powerful detoxification treatment.  So as your body is going through a time of detox with your cleansing diet – your organs and cells are letting go of toxins through the various channels of elimination from the body.  The colon is a major channel of elimination.  Although ideally the colon would always move all of its toxic waste out of the body, the reality is that it is very common for fecal material and toxins to become stuck and congested, accumulating in the pockets of the colon.

    Having a colonic (short term for colon hydrotherapy session), or a series of them, during your cleansing diet helps to ensure that those toxins that you are eliminating from your organs and cells are getting out of your body!

    Of course you can only know the benefits if you try it for yourself!  Once you try a colonic and experience the results, you will know what a gift this is to you.


    Susan Kinross

    Certified Colon Hydrotherapist


    Photo Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo

    • 14-01-2015

    7 Pillars of a Great Detox: #1 Prepare with Soup Recipe

    Have you joined our detox challenge? And are you following along on Facebook as participating practitioners share what they've been up to, and how they are coping with the challenge of ridding the body of excess toxins, and cutting the crap? Last night we held our information night and Dr. Andrea introduced the concept of "detox" to all who attended. If you missed it, don't worry!, we'll be sharing resources on the blog all month long!

    We'll cover the 7 Pillars of a Great Detox .. that's right; we've boiled it down to the top 7 things to do or keep in mind when taking on the detox challenge, and we will share resources on how to support these 7 topics as we go along.

    So without delay, what are the 7 pillars of a great detox? 

    1. Prepare;

    2. Eliminate;

    3. Cleanse;

    4. Sweat;

    5. Rest;

    6. Move;

    7. Transition.

    First up, prepare....

    On a detox program you need to fuel the body with foods that heal and nurture, and eliminate those foods that are toxic, counter-productive and hard for your body to process. When switching to a new diet, or starting a new habit, the hardest part can be process of learning how to integrate new practices into your daily life. So when you can't reach for your regular sugar-fix at 3pm, what do you reach for instead? We might shout: "Carrot sticks and hummus" from the rooftops, and you might respond, "Who has time to cut up carrots and to make homemade hummus?" Well, you do! Here's Dr. Polo's secret for always having healthy food on hand.

    Every Sunday morning (well, almost) I head to the grocery store and pick out fresh fruits and veggies, as well as kitchen staples and meat. I stock my fridge and freezer with only nutritious food, so I am never tempted to eat anything that isn't the best for me. I prepare a big bin of fresh cut veggies, for snacking all week long, and then make sure to have a few other dips and meals on-hand for busy nights.

    I also pack a lot of meals - sometimes I eat lunch and dinner at the clinic. While it is always tempting to get take-out, I know that I can stick to my healthy eating goals if I make food at home that is just as good, and just as portable, as take out.

    I make up big salads, grill chicken breasts, hardboil a few eggs (makes a quick protein-rich snack) and set aside small portions of nuts and seeds. Another thing I love to make in batches is soup! And to prepare for this detox I made a big batch of detox soup.

    I don't have a recipe, because I make it up as I go, but here are the ingredients for you to mix and experiment with!













    And gluten free chicken broth

    Added 1 cup of quinoa.

    Let cook for a few hours and purée it!


    Do you prepare meals and snacks in advance? What do you like to make?

    • 09-01-2015

    Take the Polo Health Detox Challenge!

    January is a popular time to set health goals and to start new weight loss or healthy eating programs. But so many of us approach the new year confused about how to get started eating better, cleansing the body (inside and out!) and moving toward wellness.

    At Polo Health + Longevity Centre we have decided to challenge each other to a little workplace fun! Several of our practitioners have all decided to embark on a detox program. And we hope you will join us; it is a great way to learn more about lasting lifestyle changes! A detox is an opportunity to be kind to your body, to cleanse from the crap you may have consumed over the holidays and to start your new year with a fresh mind, and feeling great. 

    So just what is a detox? 

    Our bodies are built to naturally remove impurities and foreign junk via the liver but also the kidneys, intestines, lungs, lymph and skin. But our exposure to toxins (in food in the form of pesticides and preservatives, in plastic products that leach into our food or water, and all around us in the air) can sometimes load up our body and make it hard for the liver and other organs to keep up. A detox is a way to help the body better eliminate the stuff that invades it, towards a better and more vibrant system all around. By following detoxification principles, you can...

    - Kick start weight loss, or move stubborn pounds;

    - Improve the tone and clarity of your skin;

    - Enjoy increased energy and a brighter mood;

    - Overcome pain and inflammation;

    - Experience stress relief;

    - Fix chronic digestive problems.

    A detox can take many forms and some popular (even ancient) forms include:

    - Fasting;

    - Eliminating certain foods;

    - Juice cleanses;

    - Supplement protocols;

    - Sauna, hot baths, steam;

    - Colon hydrotherapy.

    Our program at Polo Health will include a couple of different components - including giving up certain foods, adding in key supplements and taking advantage of our Infra Red sauna and colon hydrotherapy. If you want to join us, come to our info night happening January 12 at 6pm at 711 Columbia Street. Click here for more info. And follow along on Facebook, and here on the blog, as we share resources.

    Anyone can detox, anytime. But it is best to seek medical guidance when embarking on one, and when finishing a detox. We can help you smoothly transition, while making lasting lifestyle changes.

    Photo Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo

    • 08-01-2015

    5 Foods that You May Think Are Healthy, But Are Not Actually that Good For You

    Clever marketing by big business food manufacturers may have tricked us into thinking that a lot of their products are good for us, when in fact they offer very little in terms of nutrition, or serve up too much sugar or sodium. At this time of year, when so many people are turning to “low-fat” or “diet” alternatives to try and shave off a few pounds, it is even more important to know how to make healthy choices. Here are 5 foods that you may think are good for you, that are in fact on my no-no list.

    Fat-Free Sugar-Free Yogurt

    Remember the ‘90s?! That decade was huge for the “fat-free” trend and it seems a lot of this mentality still lingers with us. First of all, as I teach my patients, fat is not bad for you in fact your brain needs fat in order to function properly. You just need to know which fats fuel your body, and which ones are to be avoided. The thing I hate about fat-free, sugar-free yogurt is that when you take out the fat and sugar, you need to add something else in to make it tasty. Manufacturers want you to keep buying it so they add artificial sweeteners. You shouldn’t eat anything “artificial” and certainly not substances that are currently being researched for their harmful effects on the body.

    Instead try …. Plain Greek Yogurt, with a little fat in there, or for a dairy-free alternative try Almond Yogurt or Coconut Yogurt.

    Power Drinks and Mineral Waters

    This is another source for artificial sweeteners or plain old sugar. People think that sports drinks are healthy for them because marketing encourages them to consume them after working out. They do contain electrolytes, which are important to replace after a tough workout and water-loss, but they also contain food dyes and sugar. Avoid. Avoid. Avoid.

    Instead try …. Coconut Water! Mix it with a little maple syrup and lemon or lime juice if you like added flavour. Coconut Water is a great electrolyte-rich drink which really replenishes you after or during a workout. You can also make it the base of a protein-packed smoothie.

    Protein Bars

    Again, people see ads with bodybuilders eating these bars and they assume they must be healthy! A lot of these bars contain added sugars, even high fructose corn syrup and other mystery ingredients I can’t even pronounce!

    Instead try … If you need a source of fuel to get you through the 3pm slump, or after a tough workout, turn to dates and date-based protein bars. Lara Bars are an example of one on the market that contains dates and other all-natural ingredients. You can also make your own bars or balls. We have a great recipe on our Facebook page for Polo Health. Crystal, is this true?

    Dried Fruit

    It is easy to get swept up in the idea that the dried mango you are munching on is fruit, so it must be good for you. While I agree it is better than a pack of licorice, there are a few things to know about dried fruit. These pretty apricots actually contain sulphur dioxide, which makes them look nicer and last longer on the shelf. Sulphites can be dangerous for people with asthma or who show a sensitivity to sulphites. I encourage my patients who like dried fruit to stick with sulphur free versions of their favourites. Also avoid added sugar. People love craisins and think they are eating well with them. There is a lot of added sugar in these. Look for those fruits that haven’t been sweetened. 


    I have a thing with cereals! I encourage my patients to think outside of the box at breakfast time; a bowl of cereal just doesn’t fill you up enough, then you succomb to late afternoon snacking. Plus, a lot of cereals contain added sugars, and just plain don’t deliver much nutrition because they use highly processed grains. But cereal marketing is so big! All of these companies want you to believe their product is healthy!  If you want to have cereal, as a meal or snack, I recommend a more natural version like this one. Also, steer clear of store-bought granolas which contain a lot of added sugars and bad fats. Make your own so you can control what goes into it: coconut oil, wheat-free oats, walnuts or almonds, unsulphured and unsweetened dried fruit. 

    Dr. Allana was on Global TV recently talking about this very topic!