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Health + Wellness

We humans are ever evolving and dynamic individuals whose health needs change through every stage and transition in life. Find the help and support you need to make your journey to healthier you fun, easy and inspired!

Health + Wellness

WHAT’S IN MY PANTRY?

I started working with Holistic Nutritionist, Sabrina Virdee (@sabrinavirdee), a few months to help me get my nutrition and lifestyle back on track from what to eat and what not to eat.

One of her amazing tips to staying on a clean and healthy diet was to make sure my pantry was stocked with the essential staples. These are the foods that you can turn to over and over again and use in different ways and that will always be super nutritious and provide endless benefits to your body.

The following 8 things are essential to my pantry and help to keep me in check.

  1. Hemp hearts

Hemp hearts are a good fat (omega –3 and -6 and essential fatty acids) also high in plant based protein and fiber. Because they are packed with protein they are going to keep me fuller for longer and they are easy on the digestive system.

I usually add them to my morning smoothies or protein shakes or sprinkle on top of yogurt. Try sprinkling them on your salads as well!

  1. Chia Seeds

These seeds may be tiny but they totally pack a punch! Chia seeds are also packed with essential fats, protein, and fiber. Like hemp hearts they are also easy to add to foods and since their shelf life is extremely long I can buy them in bulk!

  1. Coconut Oil

Not only great for cooking, coconut oil can reach a high cooking temperature without denaturing. It can also be used in baking as a butter substitute. Its many other uses include using it as a mouthwash to reduce bad breath, a natural make up remover and relieves dry skin! It’s a multi-tasking miracle!

  1. Flax Seeds

I eat flax seeds on a daily basis and besides its multitude of health benefits, I love the effects they have on my skin, hair and nails!

I often grind my whole seeds which become easily broken down during digestion.   I often use a flax egg as an egg replacement in some recipes. Mix together 1 tbsp of ground flax and three tbsp of water and let sit to thicken for 5 minutes. This is one “flax egg” and can be used in baking!

  1. Almond Butter

I mean do we really need to talk about why this should stay stocked in your pantry. Besides being delicious…almond butter is an amazing protein and fat source and can be easily added to smoothies!

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Unpasteurized apple cider vinegar is amazing to have on hand! It’s one of my faves in dressings and sauces. I put a spoonful in my water to help aid in digestion, stabilizing blood sugar levels and balancing the body’s acidity.

  1. Maple Syrup

Being a Canadian, I hold this sweetener near and dear. I add it to dressings to balance acidity and to my breakfast items like oatmeal and yogurt. Look for dark maple syrup that is labeled Grade B – this type contains the most minerals and has a richer maple test.

Health + Wellness

3 Things I Wish I Had Known As a New Runner

This year I celebrated my 15 year running-versary! (The anniversary of when I started my journey into the world of running)

So basically, 15  years of countless early morning or late evening runs, heaps of races and a “handful” of injuries. Ok, maybe two handfuls.

Let’s be clear though, I haven’t run 15 years consecutively.  There have been periods of non-running along the way – after my daughter was born, when I was pregnant with my son and through some major injuries (plantar fasciitis being the more recent….ugh…)  And starting back on the journey after each of these events was so so hard.

As I look back over the the last 15 years, there are things I wouldn’t change at all and then there are things…well, let’s just say I could have done a bit better. I’ve made some bad decisions that resulted in overuse injuries, painful races and wasted effort!

I decided I would share with you some things I wish someone had told me when I first started running – let’s call them Lessons Learned (the hard way)!

Lesson  #1: It’s not just about “The Run”

Yes, running in itself is very satisfying and it costs almost nothing at all, however a strong cardiovascular system (lungs and heart) are only part of the equation.

Building core strength and muscular endurance helps prevent injuries and promotes an efficient running stride. Hip and core strengthening are crucial components to cross-training that help you overcome overuse injuries such as IT Band Pain (ouchy!) or Hamstring strains (double ouchy!) and Glute Weakness (poor weak glutes).

Lesson #2: Invest in a good pair of ‘kicks’! 

Non-supportive shoes or even over-supportive shoes (too much motion control) could lead to poor running biomechanics and possibly injury. It’s important to invest in a quality running shoe that helps support YOUR feet. Take the time to have a knowledgeable specialist (ahem, chiropractor!) look at your feet, your gait cycle and advise you as to which shoes will help support you while running. Having a great pair of runners can dramatically help your running and you’ll be able to become a more efficient runner.

Lesson #3: Success at running takes time…

A lot of time. Running comes with gradual training and consistency. Injuries happen. Learning to get back on the road the smart way is part of the game.

Dramatic increases in intensity/speed or mileage usually lead to injury. Remember to increase your speed OR your mileage gradually. Be patient. Take the time to achieve moderate increases over a longer period of time which will lead to sustained improvement in your runs.

Don’t get me wrong….running is awesome and with time it becomes second nature and a part of your life. Let’s just say it becomes slightly addictive . But for some, it can be a bit of a love/hate relationship and may come at a price (injuries, blisters, discomfort, etc).

It pays to learn how to run effectively and efficiently.

Take your time and in the meantime, just enjoy the ride…and the endorphins!

 

 

Health + Wellness

What is Acupuncture? The FAQs

You’ve probably heard of acupuncture and may have even thought about receiving a treatment – but if you’ve had acupuncture before, you know it’s more than just getting poked with needles.

Acupuncture is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that strives to stimulate the balance of energy (or Qi, “chee”) within the body. When the body is healthy, Qi flows smoothly through the channels (or meridians) of the body. When the flow of Qi is unbalanced or obstructed the body may be susceptible to disease or illness.

I recently visited my friend and Instagram star Zehra Allibhai, of The Fitnest, who agreed to have her very first acupuncture treatment filmed to share with all of you! (she’s amazing –> follow her here).

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Zehra had a few areas of concern she wanted me to look at and treat – check out the video below.

Here are a few frequently asked questions I often get asked about acupuncture.

Q. Does acupuncture hurt?

Probably the most common question asked about acupuncture, ever. Many people associate needles to pain. Totally understandable! However, acupuncture needles are similar in thickness to a cat’s whisker, and are virtually painless when inserted. The occasional patient may report a pinch upon insertion, but the discomfort dissipates relatively quickly. Many patients report feeling a very unique sensation varying from tingling to heaviness to warmth and sometimes nothing at all.

Each patient’s experience is different. However, if you do experience discomfort, let your acupuncturist know and they will adjust the needles accordingly. Communication with your acupuncturist is important so that you can relax during treatment. I’m a bit sensitive to needles myself and so I have developed a gentle needling technique over the years


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Q. What can Acupuncture treat?

Because the goal of acupuncture is to promote and restore the balance of energy, the benefits of acupuncture can extend to a wide range of conditions from musculoskeletal conditions (TMJ, neck and back pain, knee, ankle, elbow, etc) to emotional disorders (anxiety, stress, depression) to digestive complaints (nausea, IBS, reflux). It can also be used to treat degenerative conditions such as chronic pain or arthritis and inflammatory conditions such as sinusitis. Labour preparation, induction and fertility acupuncture is also effective and more information can be found on the Toronto Yoga Mamas website.

According to the National Cancer Institute, several studies show that acupuncture can help boost immunity and speed up recovery following cancer treatments.

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Q. Will Acupuncture help get rid of my problem?

Acupuncturist treat the root of the problem and not just the symptoms. Relieving pain and supporting the body’s ability to heal itself are the goals of treatment. Pain is reduced because the needles promote the release of endorphins, as well as increase the movement of blood, relaxing tissues and optimizing the nervous system.

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Q. What should I expect when I see an Acupuncturist for the first time?

Typically the first acupuncture visit involves a comprehensive health history assessment. The questions may seem unrelated to the chief concern or complaint, but they are relevant to the entire body’s interactions which are the key to diagnosis and treatment. Sometimes, the practitioner may ask to examine your tongue or feel your pulse to help determine energy flow and body’s state of balance.

After the consultation and assessment, a treatment protocol is devised. As an Acupuncturist AND a Chiropractor, I often include manual techniques into my treatment plan to help thoroughly treat the condition. The treatment plan varies patient to patient.

 

Q. What will I feel like after treatment?

After treatment you should feel calm, relaxed and maybe a bit sleepy. Some people feel more energetic. The responses vary depending on the type of treatment and your current state of health. The effects are cumulative and each treatment builds on the last. a typical treatment plan may look like this: 1-2 timer a week for 6-8 treatments followed by monthly maintenance treatments for a period of time, however this varies from patient to patient.

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Q. How do I find a qualified Registered Acupuncturist (R.Ac)?

Finding a qualified Registered Acupuncturist in your area is easy. Check the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario to find someone in your area.

An acupuncturist practices significantly different than an “acupuncture provider”.

Acupuncture providers are usually manual therapy practitioners such as physiotherapists, massage therapists and chiropractors who use acupuncture as an adjunct to their treatment of musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions.

Acupuncturists use the fundamentals Traditional Chinese Medicine to help address the whole body and treat a host of conditions including MSK.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at hello@draliya.ca

 

Enjoy the video:

 

Health + Wellness

5 Must Have’s from The Bump to Baby Show

 

As a health conscious mama of two tiny humans, I’m always searching for the best natural, eco-friendly, toxic-free products that are on the market today.

But now, I don’t have to look very far!

The Bump to Baby Show is happening this Saturday October 21st in Toronto’s east end and will host more than 40 of the city’s local health-conscious vendors that are committed to inspiring families to live healthier!

From healing baby balms to all natural teething remedies, this show is one you don’t want to miss!

To help you get the most out of your time at the show – I’ve put together a list of my Top 5 Must-Get Products from the Bump to Baby Show.

  1. Substance Baby Nappy Ointment

This nappy ointment is a staple in my diaper bag! It’s such an amazing balm to help soothe baby’s skin and isn’t super greasy or super smelly. I also use it for my own dry hands! Plus, it’s made with calendula. Win-win!

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  1. Green Beaver Green Apple Toothpaste

This natural toothpaste is a hit at our house especially with my picky toddler. It has a mild apple flavour and is safe if swallowed. She loves it because it’s not “spicy” (read: minty) like other toothpastes.

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  1. Genuine Health’s Organic Gut Superfoods+

This product helps keep my gut happy!   With its 22 plant-based superfoods and its “prebiotics” – it helps me control bloating and alleviates my tummy trouble.

Because mama needs a happy belly!

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  1. Boiron’s Camilia Teething Homeopathic Medicine

In our house, Boiron’s Camilia drops have super duper magical powers! They help to calm a fussy crying teething baby within minutes! And bonus, they’re all natural!

Must. Buy. All. The. Camilia.

Boiron also makes a wide range of homeopathic medicines and remedies including Quietude (for sleep) and Coryzalia (for colds).

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  1. Boogalu Baby Teethers

Speaking of teething, my littlest William will not let go of this wooden and silicone teething rattle. The texture of the wood combined with the suppleness of the silicone is great for his sore little gums!

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If you’re not into shopping (um, what?!?….) the Bump to Baby Show will also have a ton of activities for families including music classes, yoga sessions, wellness workshops and talks and more!

 

The Bump to Baby Show runs Oct. 21 from 9:30 a.m. -3:30 p.m. at The Riverdale Hub, 1326 Gerrard St. E. Tickets are $5 per person in advance, which guarantees you a cotton tote bag filled with great swag, or $10 at the door. The show is free for kids and grandparents.

See you there!

xo Dr Aliya

Health + Wellness, Uncategorized

My FAVE *New, Trendy* Exercise Equipment

October?! WTF?!?

It’s Fall and that means back to school (love!), routines (love!) and getting back into working out (meh…).  After having my second baby, it has been a bit of a struggle to get back into a regular exercise program/routine.

There are a few things that have helped me get started!

First of all, I’ve started working out from home.  I can get my workouts in and out of the way without leaving the comfort of my home!  Plus, nap times are great times to get a good sweat on!

Second, I go hard.  If only have 20-30 minutes, I make each second count!  This means, high intensity interval training (HIIT).  Honestly, 20 minutes of HIIT elevates my heart rate, and gets my body working and muscles toned!

And lastly, I try to focus on exercises that have the most bang for my buck!   I’m always looking for new ways to give my body an amazing workout.  Sometimes this means using different pieces of equipment that help to add some level of intensity and variation to my workouts.

Check out my latest video below where I share my fave fitness essentials that will help keep you workouts effective and fun!

 

Health + Wellness

My Morning Skin Care Routine

Mornings are super crazy at our house!

Between getting the kids dressed and putting breakfast on the table, I barely have time to put myself together. To keep things simple, I rely on these 3 awesome beauty products to help my skin feel nourished and healthy (even on 4 hours of sleep!).

Here’s what I use:

  1. Pure and Simple Sensitive Skin Face Wash – daily
  2. Wildcraft Buff Face and Body Scrub – every other day
  3. Wildcraft Regenerating Cell Face Serum – daily

Check out my video below for all the details!

xo

Dr Aliya

Health + Wellness

3 Acupressure Points for Stress Relief

Feeling stressed out?  Do you ever wish there were a simple way to ease your tension and stress?

Guys, there is!

It’s called Acupressure and it works wonders!   I’ve been teaching my patients acupressure points for years and it’s been a great tool to help ease a lot of common discomforts that you can do on your own.

Watch my video below to learn the 3 easy stress relieving acupressure points that you can start doing NOW!

Health + Wellness

5 Easy Exercises for Busy Moms

Guys!  It’s the beginning of the month and I’ve decided that this month I’m going to focus on being more active on a daily basis.  It’s super hard to juggle mommy-ing, work, household chores, errands, etc.  The to-do lists are endless!

But this month, I’m making myself a priority and taking an hour each day to do something active for me.  Not only will this help me physically, but it will definitely help me mentally as well.

To do this, I reached out to my friend, fellow mom and fitness expert Lara Marq.   Lara is a mom of 2 and specializes in pre and post natal fitness.  We sat down to discuss what it means to get back into working out regularly post-baby and she put together this amazing 5 exercise workout for me!

The beauty of this routine is that it literally takes less than an 30 minutes to complete and requires no gym equipment!  She based on my needs as a mom, cleared of any pelvic floor dysfunction and/or abdominal separation.  It also has a modified version for anyone getting back into working out after baby.  Check out the video below!

** Remember to always check with your health care practitioner before starting any new exercise routine, especially post-baby**

Health + Wellness

Celebrating Mamas Every Day for May – #MomADayForMay

If you’re new here, welcome!

This post is a bit of a summary of my #MomADayForMay series I did on my instagram feed (@draliyavisram).  Every day in May I highlighted a mom that I admired and respected.  Women who are game changers and who aren’t afraid to admit they’ve made some mistakes.  Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves that there are other mothers out there that are just like us.

So here they are!  My #MomADayForMay line up:

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May 1 Trisha Enriquez, @nottummymommy

My first #momadayformay is dedicated to the always humble, forever gracious and truly lovely Trisha of @notummymommy.   Trisha was one of the first mamas I met in this “instagram-world” and I was immediately inspired by her openness and her drive to help mamas feel better.  Trisha is a certified Nutrition Coach and Pre and Post Natal Fitness Specialist. She’s also a mama to the sweetest little mini.  Her 4 week fitness and nutrition program is so realistic and has really helped me in my journey back to getting fit and healthy post-baby.  She is one of the best people I know and sincerely believes in helping other women reach their goals.  Moreover, her superwoman ability to juggle work, family and her passion motivates me daily!   Thanks Trisha for being one fit mama!

 

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May 2 Farah Nasser, @farahnasserglobal
You most likely see her everyday on TV delivering the day’s news with style and ease.  But tome, she’s more than a news anchor. She is an amazing mother of two, an active member of our community, a leader in her field, a wonderful role model to so many young girls and I’m so proud to also call her my cousin. We grew up together and she always knew how to push the boundaries, even as a rebellious teen.  She makes wearing both the career woman hat and the attentive mama and wife hat lookeffortless and always manages to spend time with her close friends and family despite her crazy busy schedule. Farah is on a mission to change the world for women in media and I am so excited to see what she does next. I love you, Cuz!
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May 3 Cat and Nat, @catandnat
This dynamic duo has been on my list of “mom-spiration” from day 1 and so it makes sense to include them in my #MomADayForMay shoutout.  Cat and Nat are mamas that are keeping it real. They share everything that we moms are too afraid to talk about or even admit. Usually, at some point during the day while juggling the kids, household stuff and my career, I find myself in a situation thinking “What would Cat andNat do?” And inevitably the answer is always, “RELAX – as long as the kids are smiling or laughing – you’re doing good”. Their #momtruths are like food for my mommy soul and their unapologetic take on motherhood is so relatable. Thanks Cat and Nat for  your honesty, authenticity and for being so damn funny!
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May 4 Emily Weinmann, @ushappyfour
This lady is one of my favourite people of all time – not only is she a truly beautiful human (she has has two tiny beautiful mini humans) – but she is also the super mama behind the East Toronto Young Mothers facebook community of which I am fortunate to be a part.  The group provides an opportunity for parents to share advice, exchange resources and support one another through this  roller coaster ride called “parenting”. Honestly, it’s like asking advice from 4,000 of your closest friends who are going through it all with you.  It’s my village and Emily is at the heart of it. She is one of the most compassionate and kind-hearted people I know and I feel truly grateful to have met her.
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May 5 Lara Marq, @laramarq
It’s Friday (yay!) and I’ve always loved ending the week with a bit of sweat session before settling in to enjoy the weekend.  So it’s fitting that today’s #MomADayForMay is one of my fitness motivators – @LaraMarq.  Lara is all things health & fitness.  She’s a personal trainer, a spin and pilates instructor, a wellness advocate and a mama of 2 sweet babes.  And by the way she’s killing it!  She does it all and I can honestly say she gives me my daily dose of motivation to get the “job” (aka the workout) done.  She’s also one of the sweetest, most down to earth mamas around.  Keeping kicking butt lady!
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May 6 Tania Joy Antonio, @taniajoyantonio
My #MomADayForMay shoutout is the soulful mama behind the book The Affirmation Station.
This book belongs on every child’s shelf and I can’t believe I didn’t pick it up sooner.  Tania’s book empowers children and adults alike to think positively and compassionately and encourages affirmations as a daily practice.  I literally just started reading it and I’m astounded by the impact it’s had on my life already, especially as a mama.  I can’t wait to share this book with Rosie and Will and I know that it will empower them to love themselves, each other and others wholly and with gratitude.  I sincerely encourage everyone to pick up her book today! Life changed.
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May 7  Stacey Lipstein, @TinyHouseMama
You know that feeling when you meet someone and you instantly feel at ease talking to them about this, that and the other?!  Well, that’s the feeling I had when I first met Stacey – @tinyhousemama.   She’s the co-owner of the super stylish, super popular @fusshairstudio in #Leslieville and mama to the sweetest little boy.  Stacey is one of the funniest people I know and  manages to balance a crazy successful business with family life with grace, honesty and a lot of laughs.
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May 8 Zehra Allibhai, @zallibhai
She’s a mom of 2, a personal trainer, an advocate of family fitness & health and a confident, strong & inspiring Muslim woman so it’s not surprising that Zehra Allibhai is becoming a star in the fitness world.  She is my shout out for today’s #MomADayForMay, and honestly she has become one of my mama role models.  As a Muslim woman ( I don’t wear a hijab), I often find myself feeling a bit uncomfortable in the social media world.  Zehra sets a positive example for other women and she isn’t afraid to put it all out there.  She is doing some truly amazing things and she has easily become my insta inspo on a daily basis.
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May 9 Joy McCarthy, @joyoushealth
This woman is a true inspiration to thousands of people who have transformed their lives by reading her books, following her simple recipes and tips and being motivated by her positivity and warmth. Joy McCarthy of @JoyousHealth is my #MomADayForMay today and I can honestly say that she is my health and wellness guru. She is a certified holistic nutritionist, brilliant author of two successful books and mama to sweet Vienna.  Joy has this ability to make simple foods taste delicious with easy to follow recipes for the whole family!  Rosie loves her Strawberry Chia Pudding!  I am so proud to call her my friend.  Thank you Joy for inspiring us to eat well to live well!
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May 10 Vanessa Falsetti, @josephineacreativelife
Here’s the thing about this Insta world – it’s actually a lot smaller than you think.  Over the last couple of years, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many mamas that are doing some pretty creative and amazing things online. Vanessa is one of them!  She is a mama of 2, a writer, a teacher and the woman behind the prettiest lifestyle blog @josephineacreativelife. I kept meeting Vanessa at various “mama events” all over the city!  She supports so many women in this blogger world by just being present. She is the loveliest of mamas and she shares her tales of motherhood and parenting on a daily basis.
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May 11 Jessica Glaze, @jessicaglaze
Life is crazy with 2 kids – daycare drop offs, breastfeeding, nap schedules, bedtime!  But this lady makes having 3 kids look like a cake walk!  @jessicaglaze is my #MomADayForMay today and her littlest one is just a couple of months old. Jessica’s blog is true honest depiction of what being a mom of 2, then 3 is all about.  I love her mom hacks and her tips on home organization – they make my life’s chaos a bit more manageable. She’s also one of the sweetest mamas and her ease and style inspire me to take things day by day.  Maybe it’s true what they say…”3 is the new 2”?!?
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May 12 Tina, @mombossof3
Tina isn’t just a mom of 3 adorable little boys, but she’s also fearless leader of the “Marmy” (aka Mom Army).  She is a mommy vlogger who keeps things real by sharing her daily ups and downs with her followers and her videos are a hilarious depiction of true #momlife! I love her honest approach to motherhood!  We recently did a collaboration together and I’m so excited to share our video with you today….head over to my youtube channel (link in bio) to see the full video.
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May 13 My Mom, Yasmin
This woman has taught me what it means to be a strong, brave mother for my children. She has taught me to face adversity and how to rise above it with grace and compassion. My #MomADayForMay today is none other than my own mama – Yasmin. (She hasn’t found her way to Instagram yet). If you know our family, you already know how strong she is and what she has been through over the course of her life. The challenges and hardships that she has overcome in the last several years and particularly in the last year. And how she’s always managed to see the l light and positivity in every situation and circumstance. Mom – you are one tough chick and I feel so truly blessed to be your daughter and to have you in my life.
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May 14 – YOU!
Today’s #MomADayForMay shoutout is to YOU – all of the moms out there!  The messy hair, sleep deprived, spit up stained, carpooling, crazy busy moms.  To the moms who stay at home and to the moms who go to work.  To the grandmas, the stepmoms, the foster moms, the surrogate moms and the moms-to-be.  To the moms we’ve sadly lost and to the moms who’ve lost little ones.  And to the dads who are also moms.  My father used to say “Everyday should be Mother’s Day” – he was a very smart man!  Hope you have a very Happy Mother’s Day!
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May 15 Rebel Mamas, @therebelmama
The aftermath of Mother’s Day…cards have been read and displayed, flowers have been received, brunch has been eaten and moms continue to be moms.    Today seems like the perfect day to shoutout @TheRebelMama for #MomADayForMay (ah yes, we’re doing this for the whole month!).  The Rebel Mamas are a sisterhood of modern day mamas who aren’t afraid to say and do what they want.  They are out to revolutionize the way mamas “ought” to behave.   Just because we are moms doesn’t mean we can’t follow our dreams and have successful careers and fabulous adventures and FUN! Thank you Rebel Mamas for being straight up, hardcore, no bull sh*t b*tches!
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May 16 Ana, @bluebirdkisses
Although I haven’t met Ana of @bluebirdkisses in person, I feel like I already know her!  Her posts are so honest and real and come from the heart.  I often feel like she’s talking direclty to me which also makes her super relatable.   Also, her home is super swoon worthy and her 3 boys are super cute!
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May 17 Dr Sapna, @drsapna
She’s a businesswoman, a mom, an entrepreneur, a colleague and one of my besties. Today’s #MomADayForMay is a shout out to my dear friend @DrSapna.  Dr Sapna is one of the most driven and hardworking mamas I know.  She has created a full service health clinic in the downtown core where patients can receive a wide variety of health services all under one roof!   She’s also a mom of 2 sweet babes and has been one of my biggest fans throughout my career. Encouraging and supporting me since the day we met I feel so lucky to have this inspiring woman in my life!
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May 18 Taya Griffin, @tayagriffin
This woman played such a key role in my first few weeks as a mama that I had to include her in my #MomADayForMay shoutout.  @TayaGriffin is a lactation consultant, a homeopath and a mother of 2.  She has helped so many new mamas, giving them the skills and confidence to breastfeed their babies successfully.  Taya is so supportive and nurturing and her gentle guidance helped me find my maternal “groove” which helped me connect with my babies.  Above all, I love that Taya respects each mama’s nursing goals whatever they may be and has been and continues to be such a crucial lifeline in those early days in motherhood.
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May 19 Lydia, @fancy_gray
This mama is beautiful both inside and out and her feed is absolutely lovely. Lydia of @fancy_gray is today’s #MomADayForMay.  Mom of 2, Lydia is so inspiring yet so down to earth. From overcoming some pretty serious health challenge in her first pregnancy to designing her own unique jewellery line – Lydia is a true model of mama strength. (PS her jewellery is super pretty – you may want to check it out!)
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May 20 Angela Liddon, @ohsheglows
One of my favourite weekend activities is cooking with my little lady.  She’s a bit of a whirlwind in the kitchen (and outside of the kitchen) but she is a true lover of food!  A few years ago, I discovered a cookbook that changed my life and the way I prepared meals for my family.  My shoutout for today’s #MomADayForMay is @ohsheglows author, blogger and  mama of 2 – Angela Liddon.  The Oh She Glows cookbook is now a recipe bible in our house.  I knew it was a keeper when I made one of her vegan recipes and my husband (a meat and potatoes man) wolfed it down completely unaware that it was meatless.  Her recipes are super yummy, easy to follow and kid friendly!  Thanks Angela for an inspirational cookbook that has us eating well and feeling glowy inside and out!
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May 21 Dr Sue and Dr Sapna, @restoreintegrativehealth
These two lovely ladies are the co-founders of @restoreintegrativehealth clinic in Toronto.  Their vision to bring various health practitioners together to practice in a collaborative way provides patients with a holistic approach to health and I’m proud to be a member of their team.  Drs Sue and Sapna are compassionate naturopathic doctors, partners in business, busy mamas and health advocates.  They’ve created a warm and comfortable space that welcomes the whole family!
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May 22 Lynne Newman, @lynne.newman
You know that feeling when no matter how hard you try you can’t seem to keep your head above water? Like you’re drowning in a sea of to-do lists, chores, work, kids and life!  I’ve been there and @Lynne.Newman was one of my lifelines.  She is my #MomADayForMay today.  Lynne is an occupational therapist, a birth doula and mama to 2 little lovelies.  But to me, and to other mothers, she is much more than that.  She is my motherhood mentor, my parenting coach and my constant reminder to sloooow down and keep things simple.  Often, in our fast paced, busy world we forget to connect to the little moments in life that inspire creativity in our little people.  Thank you, Lynne, for allowing me an opportunity to create space within my life!
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May 23 Tracy Moore, @thetracymoore
This woman has been one of my female role models since before I even had kids so I’m excited to shout out @thetracymoore as today’s #MomADayForMay.  Tracy is the host of Cityline – a show I’ve watched from before I had Rosie.  Tracy’s down-to-earth, laid back style and her easy sense of humour instantly had me watching the show  on a daily basis.  She juggles motherhood (she’s a mom of 2), her career, a new clothing line she’s designed, various community volunteer roles and she also kicks butt in the gym!  Damn. I also love the fact that she started out as a CTV intern, then videographer eventually working her way up to the top!  Truly inspiring.
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May 24 Lianne and Emma, @MamasandCo
They say it takes a village to raise a child.  But know what?  It also takes a village to grow and run your business.  The many, many mamas that comprise the @MamasandCo community are my #MomADayForMay shoutout.  Mamas & Co is my tribe of entrepreneurial moms who support and inspire one another by sharing knowledge, resources and experiences.  The group’s leaders, Lianne and Emma organize various networking meet ups and business workshops to help women grow and succeed in business.  It’s women helping women and that kind of girl love is EVERYTHING!
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May 25 Peta Stinson, @saplingchild
She’s a mama of 3, holds a PhD (smarty pants!) and designs some pretty cute, eco-friendly clothes for tiny humans. Peta Stinson, founder of @saplingchild is my #MomADayForMay today!  Peta’s designs are fun and whimsical and her clothes are made from 100% organic cotton so they are super soft on baby’s skin. I absolutely love that her company is sustainable and ethical and in fact, each purchase from Sapling helps families and children in India through the company’s Giving Back program.  Love it!  She’s also one of the loveliest Aussie’s you’ll ever meet and we’re lucky that she’s found her home away from home in Toronto.
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May 26 Kelly Bourne, @kellybourne
This woman is my Parenting Guru and so she makes my #MomADayForMay list!  When Rosie is throwing down, and I mean really “throwing down!” I often  (maybe, not always) hear @KellyBourne’s voice in my head telling me to “check myself.”  To wait until the storm has passed before using reason and logic with my toddler.  Kelly’s website has a ton of resources and her tips are so easy to follow and remember during epic meltdowns.  The best part, she’s also a mom so she’s in the trenches right there with you!  Thanks for keeping me somewhat sane Kelly!
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May 27 Carol Belmonte, @carolbelmonte
Ok, so today’s #MomADayForMay shoutout is to a woman who is an “honorary” mama.  @CarolBelmonte is a godmother (to little Will), a new auntie, a sister, a wonderful friend and a baby whisperer (honest truth).  She’s also the owner of the wildly successful Belmonte Raw, which provides healthy whole foods, cleanses and juices to Torontonians for years.  Her juices are fresh, rejuvenating and basically make me feel like a new mama!
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May 28 Dara, @bellybootcamp
Dara is a mom of 3, a personal trainer and founder of @bellybootcamp – a team of personal trainers that specialize in pre and post natal fitness.  She’s been getting mamas strong for years and her experience, first-hand, helps to motivate busy moms and moms-to-be.  Not to mention, her classes are often set outdoors and are a great way for new moms to connect with one another.  Plus, you can bring your babe along for some added weight!
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May 29 Joanna, @nestingstory
Guys!  Only three more days until the end of our #MomADayForMay series!  So many amazing moms – and today’s mama is no exception!  Joanna of @nesting story is mom of four kids.  Yep, four – including twins.  She’s also an interior designer, blogger and content creator.  If anyone knows what its like to be a busy mom, it’s definitely her.  She shares her tales of motherhood, marriage and mayhem (4 kids!?) on her blog and youtube channel.  Her posts are an honest portrayal of life after four kids from date nights to DIY – she’s the real deal.
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May 30 Rebecca and Erin, @welldotca
Today’s #MomADayForMay shoutout is the dynamic duo behind the popular, easy-to-shop, mama go-to online wellness retailer @welldotca.  Rebecca (the CEO) and Erin (the CMO) are smart, savvy and busy moms (like us!) who have made shopping for detergent and baby wipes to strollers and beauty products super easy and affordable.  I love that they also support local, Canadian businesses and have an amazing selection of green and natural products.  Midnight online shopping got a whole lot easier!
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May 31 My Grandmother, Mariam
My last #MomADayForMay shoutout is to a woman who has been the pillar of strength for me and my family.  She’s been the glue that has kept our family close through all of the ups and downs of life.  She’s at the centre of every birthday, barbecue, wedding, birth and always shows up with a hug, a laugh and tons (and tons) of Indian food.  She is my “Mama” (grandmother) and she inspires me everyday with her generosity, her warmth and her unconditional love.  I love you, Mama.
I truly hope you’ve enjoyed this series as much as I have enjoyed putting it together!  If you have any comments, send me an email (hello@draliya.ca)!  I’d love to hear from you!
xo
Dr Aliya
Health + Wellness

The Do’s and Don’ts of Foam Rolling

You’ve just finished your workout and as you make your way over to the stretching area you notice a woman moving her entire body over cylindrical piece of foam. She’s writhing over it, using several expletives and you wonder what the heck is she doing?! And more importantly, why?!?

Welcome to foam rolling my friend.

Foam rolling became trendy years ago when athletes used to roll out tight muscles and fascia (more on fascia here). It’s a form of myofasical release (like a massage), you do to yourself – call it self-massage.   Basically by using the foam roller and your own bodyweight you are releasing tight muscles via trigger points and increasing circulation and blood to that particular area of your body.

Here are a few do’s and don’ts that will have you foam rolling like a pro in no time!

DO pick a foam roller that’s right for you! Foam rollers come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, some with knobs for added torture….I mean, relief.   To be honest, I always suggest a longer foam roller so it’s easier to use to roll out your glutes, ITB and back. Of course, if you are traveling, you may want to get a shorter one as well for ease of packing!

DON’T roll directly on a joint or bone.  Ouchy!

DO roll slowly and with even pressure, spending a few seconds on each area of the body.  Enjoy each and every sensation!

DON’T overdo it!  It is not an exercise in pain tolerance. Placing too much sustained pressure on one body part can result in damage.

DO expect a little bit of discomfort.  It should be a “good” hurt, but never unbearable. If an area is too sore or tender, try rolling on surrounding muscles first to help loosen things up.

DON’T try to foam roll your neck. It’s awkward for a reason. The neck is a very sensitive part of the body and a difficult area to position your foam roller. If you are suffering from neck pain, seek the help of a health professional (like your chiropractor, wink wink).

DO it often. Being consistent with rolling is key. It’s not enough to just roll when you are in acute pain. Try rolling every other day! You will notice a difference!

What is your favourite body part to foam roll?  Let me know!

Happy Rolling everyone!

xo

Dr Aliya