Advice for Life, December 10, 2015

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Living Gluten Free (Part 3)

Eating gluten free healthily - If you are newly diagnosed, don't sweat too much. Things have been moving to make it easier. There has always been rice noodles and bean noodles are higher in protein and surprisingly delicious. It's healthier to think of different meals than to try to replace bread. Think stir fry’s, casseroles, slow cooker, lentils and rice, rice/corn/flax wraps, hearty rainbow salads. Restaurants that tend to be gluten free are Thai, Indian and Ethiopian.  


Tell your friends you are fine without the gluten free baking. Most family members try to help you out by buying cookies and everything they see that looks good gluten free. Though that is nice of them, the additional sugars/fillers in the cookies and breads aren't always the best. These foods are trying to get the same flavours or textures as non-gluten free items. This is great for the texture, but not necessarily helping with the nutritional value of the food.

Remember food if your best medicine or a slow poison. 

If you are thinking of going gluten free. It might be beneficial for you to get tested first. By avoiding gluten you are reducing the effects gluten is having on your body. The reaction your body has, is what is needed for most tests. Celiac Disease testing can be done via blood tests, breath tests and biopsy is the gold standard. There is blood testing for gluten sensitivities using about 5 drops of blood from your finger. You can also get tested genetically, which isn't looking at the reaction, but the likelihood that you will get Celiac Disease or react to gluten (either now or in the future).

To get your testing done or if you would like an appointment to discuss this further with Dr. Greg Sikorski ND ate Grand Avenue Pharmacy, call 403-981-2505

Advice For Life, December 2, 2015

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Living Gluten Free (Part 2)

Last week I talked about the difference between Celiac Disease, gluten allergies and sensitivities. This week I’m talking about health benefits, health concerns and some tips with going gluten free.

Health benefits of going gluten free - It is good way to lose weight and have it stay off, if you do it properly. For those with thyroid conditions, it may help maintain a healthy thyroid. Since gluten is a depressant, avoiding it can help you feel better mentally. Gluten is also inflammatory.


Health concerns with going gluten free – There can be a lack of folic acid, fibre and b vitamins. You will have to eat additional greens such as leeks, spinach, and kale. Get your fibre through flax seed, chia seeds, and apples. B vitamins are found in eggs, meats and bee pollen. People tend to look for more gluten free “bread items.” This means you are still eating unhealthy sugars and potentially processed foods.

For those with gluten allergies or sensitivities it is quite important for them to avoid foods with gluten. Here’s some helpful tips for family members who want to feed them. The ones most people aren't aware of are soya sauce (and other sauces), some meats (especially processed), grain alcohols, soups (such as beef stock/bouillon or creamy soups). Be wary with fries which are often coated with a wheat derivative to make them crispy or are deep fried. The fryers tend to be contaminated with breaded foods, such as wings or chicken fingers. Anything with malt in it is not gluten free. So if you are grabbing sushi, ask for your sushi to be made without malt vinegar (usually standard) and not to contain imitation crab, which also contains wheat. That being said, many of these items can be found in gluten free versions, so please read labels carefully. For more information: Stayed tuned for next week with part 3 and/or book an appointment with Dr. Greg ND. Ph: 403-981-2505



Advice for Life, November 26,2015

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Living Gluten Free (Part 1)


Many people are asking me about going gluten free. Is it just a fad? Is there a difference between allergy and sensitivity? Are there actual health benefits to it? So and so felt better going off gluten, should I? Can you help me explain to my partner, parents, family, coworkers, waitress, etc. why I need to stay off gluten?


Celiac Disease is an inherited disease where your body reacts by attacking the villi (finger like protections that help you absorb food in your intestines) on which the gluten molecule has attached decreasing the absorption of foods, vitamins and minerals. Even though a person with Celiac Disease may not have a visible reaction to food that has been served with a small amount of gluten in it, it can damage their intestines and gut absorption. This can cause anemia, osteopenia and osteoporosis, migraines, abdominal pain, weight loss or weight gain, rashes, hair loss and infertility. It also increases the likelihood that they will develop cancer (lymphoma).


There are about 4 different type of gluten allergies or sensitivities. IgE reactions tend to be anaphylactic producing respiratory distress and severe skin reactions. Your body over reacts to a normal molecule that isn't a pathogen. Food sensitivities are just another type of allergy (IgG or IgA or IgM) but instead of reacting in seconds to minutes (like IgE), they tend to be anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 days later. This makes it harder to pin point without allergy testing. These reactions tend to be less severe than IgE reactions, but that doesn't make them any less aggravating for the individual with them. 

If you think you have a gluten allergy or sensitivity, please get tested before you decide to avoid gluten. s. Gluten sensitivity/allergy and Celiac testing looks at the reaction your body is having to the gluten protein. So if you are avoiding gluten, you are no longer having any reaction, therefore the test won’t be able to pick anything up. Stay tuned for next week for part 2 and/or book an appointment for allergy/celiac testing with Dr. Greg ND. Ph: 403-981-2505

Advice for Life, November 19, 2015

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Over the past couple of months we have been very busy updating our social media presence and are happy to announce our revamped website www.grandavenuepharmacy.ca has been launched. We hope you find it easier to navigate and utilize – you can now readily order your refills online, make a clinical appointment, contact us, and view store promotions and coupons. There is plenty of information regarding our store services and links to health related sites you may be interested in. Be sure to check out our Wellness Menus with over 10,000 pages of health information including:

  • Health library
  • News features
  • Healthy recipes
  • Health tools
  • Drug information
  • Ingredient glossary
  • Drug interactions

We are also on Facebook where you will find regular features such as Travel Tip Tuesday, Wisdom Wednesday, and health and wellness news and information. Take the time to like our page and you will be entered to win an Apple TV package! Share our page and you double your chances! Our weekly e-mails have a new look also that better fits your cell phone and provide information and promotions happening at the store each week. Join our email list and you are eligible to win the Apple TV package as well as monthly draws for a dinner out in Cochrane. As long as you remain subscribed you are automatically entered to win any draw or prize offered at the store.

Christmas has officially arrived at Grand Avenue so I invite you down to take a look at our exciting selection of “comfort & joy” gift ideas with a focus on wellness, warmth, peace, and nature. Watch for all our exciting promotions both in The Eagle and through our online communications.

Advice For Life November 12

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When was the last time you got your vitamin D status looked at?
Calgary Lab Services no longer offers routine vitamin D testing. Clinically, it was recommended that having the general population increase vitamin D intake from 1000IU to 2000IU a day was sufficient and testing was not necessary. But is 2000IU enough? Being in Cochrane, we are further from the equator than most of the locations in the Vitamin D studies. This means our levels may be lower than previously thought, and require us to have higher than the recommended daily amount (RDA).
Why is it important to test?

Advice For Life Oct 29

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The truth is…
human bones are active living tissues that, like our cells, are constantly being created and then broken down to maintain optimal health and function. This process of breaking down old bone and building new bone is called bone remodeling, and it begins at birth and continues throughout our entire lives. In fact, we remodel our entire
skeleton every seven years—that’s a complete new set of bones in about 2,500 days. This process can begin to slow down with age. In addition, if calcium levels in the body are low due to insufficient dietary intake, calcium is taken from our bones and used by the body.

Advice For Life Oct 22

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There are many ways to help your body fight off colds and flus. Knowing your body is capable of fighting is the first step. But how does one maintain their body to remain in good health? Let’s boost the Immune System.
The first step in Naturopathic treatments, is reducing the sugar levels you are eating. 1 tablespoon of sugar can reduce your immune system in half for up to 6 hours. Everyone knows about pop and doughnuts, but many aren’t aware that this includes fruit juices. Even though many are “natural, with no sugar added” most people don’t realize that in the liquid form they are mostly sugar. Without the normal fibers and enzymes from the actual fruits, the “natural” sugars are absorbed exceptionally fast and are simply just sugars at that point.

Advice For Life Oct 8

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It is influenza season in Alberta and time to have your yearly immunization. Grand Avenue Pharmacy is offering seasonal influenza immunizations to anyone over the age of 9 with a valid Alberta Healthcare number commencing Tuesday, October 20. Call 403-932-2500 to book your appointment today – be sure to bring your Alberta Healthcare card and wear short sleeves. Avoid standing in long lines for walk-in clinics by booking your appointment. We will be running multiple clinics each day as long as there is demand and we do offer walk-ins but wait times may vary.
Why is immunization important? Immunization is the single most effective means of preventing influenza infection and illness and to reduce transmission of illness.
Who is eligible for influenza immunization in Alberta? All Albertans over 6 months of age are eligible to receive the influenza vaccine, free of charge – Grand Avenue Pharmacy supplies injectible or intranasal vaccine to people 9 years of age and older.

Advice For Life Oct 5

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What else can you do to support your body this Cold and Flu season?


The Immune Booster uses vitamins and herbs to help improve your body’s fighting capability
- To be taken once in October/November and again in January/February
- It works well alone for those averse to the influenza vaccine or in conjunction with the flu shot to help improve your body’s natural defence mechanisms
- You can take additional shots if your immune system is particularly low
- The cost is $30.00
Book with Dr. Greg ND for your immune boosting shot. Available to people over the age of 12 years old and options for those that are under the age of 12. If you have an allergy to Echinacea or have auto immune disorders, you may need to discuss other alternatives.

Advice For Life Oct 1

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SugaVida translates to mean “Sugar of Life” and is 100% pure, unrefined nectar of Borassus flabellifer (Palmyra tree). SugaVida is the only superfood sweetener found in nature and the only plant based bio-available source of Vitamin B12, making it essential to any vegan, vegetarian and those lacking Vitamin B12. Used as an alternative to sugar and other sweeteners in drinks, cooking, baking and anywhere you would normally use sugar, SugaVida can help you and your family achieve optimum wellness in your quest for staying healthy and active.Traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine for over 6000 years in maintaining respiratory, digestive, blood and eye health. SugaVida has been known as “sugar for diabetics” in India due to its low glycemic index of 40, helping support normal insulin functions, as well as the fact that it is only 3% fructose making it far safer for diabetics than agave nectar, rice sugars or any other natural sweeteners out there.

Advice For Life Sep 24

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Two building blocks of good health for children are long chain fatty acids and multivitamins and today’s column will focus on two of my favourite products “just for kids.”
Omega-3 and omega-6 nutrients, particularly DHA, EPA and AA, play an important role in helping to maintain brain and eye function. Ensuring an adequate dietary intake of these 'good fats' will support aspects of brain and visual function including learning ability, concentration and co-ordination. Clinically-proven Efalex is a unique formula of long-chain fatty acids confirmed helpful for enhancing your child’s problem-solving abilities, concentration and focus, manual dexterity, balance and coordination, and visual acuity. Efalex also works because it helps relieve some symptoms of learning and behaviour disorders including dyslexia, dyspraxia, and attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD).

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Grand Avenue Pharmacy - Cochrane Alberta

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