Easy Home-made “Sweet Potato” Dog Treats

posted Oct 24, 2013, 7:20 PM by Heather Hawthorne   [ updated Oct 24, 2013, 7:54 PM ]

With yet another news report of pets dying from contaminated pet treats, I thought I’d post my recipe for super-easy dog treats.  They are nutritious, inexpensive, and my dog loves them!  And since you make them yourself from “people food” you'll know they are safe.

Sweet Potatoes are a Super-Food

  • high in fibre
  • high in antioxidants
  • rich in vitamins & minerals - Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium & more


Recipe for Sweet Potato Dog Treats

These are so easy – is this really a recipe?

Step 1 – Bake some sweet potatoes:

·         Wash the sweet potatoes, poke some holes in the skin, set on foil or parchment paper (they will leak a syrupy stuff that will make a big mess if you place them right on your oven rack).  Bake them until they are tender when you poke them with a fork.  I like to do about 5 at a time – this makes a batch that is easy to manage but big enough to last a while. 

Step 2 – Slice the sweet potatoes:

·         After the sweet potatoes have cooled, slice them and lay them onto dehydrator trays (if you have one) or cookie sheets (if you don’t).  You can slice them thicker if you want a chewier treat, thinner if you want a crispier treat.  If you have a small dog, you may want to cut the slices in halves or quarters.

Step 3 – Dehydrate the sweet potatoes:

·         If you have a food dehydrator – great – just follow the directions that come with it for dehydrating vegetables.  If you don’t – no problem – just lay all your pieces out on cookie sheets and place them in your oven on its lowest setting (140F-170F) with the door propped open with a folded towel (to allow air to circulate and moisture to escape).  Allow to dry for several hours, flip them over and dry some more.  When they are no longer sticky, pack them into a container and pop them in the freezer.

Helping Your Pets With Homeopathy:

The two common remedies to think of in the case of food poisoning are Arsenicum album and Nux vomica.  These are available at many health food stores.  If you have pets in your home that you would like to help with homeopathy, consider taking a course and getting yourself a kit.  http://www.wellwithin1.com/homeo2.htm


8 Simple Ways to Clear Your Head for Exams

posted Jan 5, 2013, 5:29 PM by Heather Hawthorne   [ updated Jan 6, 2013, 5:07 AM ]

Christmas break is over, and for many youth - January brings exams – lots of them!  Studying is only one part of the equation.  These simple steps can significantly improve brain function and clear thinking.

Water – Your brain is about 70% water and depends on water to do its job.  Even slight dehydration can cause fuzzy thinking, trouble with math, and difficulty focusing on what you’re reading.  Figure out how much water your body needs daily (about 1litre per 50 lbs of body weight) and make it a priority to drink plain water throughout the day.  The first few days you will notice increased urination – so get started well before exam day! 

Food – Food is fun, tastes and smells good, and is an important part of our culture.  But the bottom line is that food is the fuel for our bodies!  If we want our car to run optimally we make sure to put gasoline in the tank; not water, not alcohol or grape juice!  Same goes for our body.  Our body needs proper fuel – lots of fruits & veggies, lean protein, and healthy fats.  Coffee, donuts, fast food, and soft drinks may satisfy our taste buds, but they don’t fuel our body and brain.  Use every meal and snack as an opportunity to give your brain the nutrients it needs!

Sleep – Sleep is vital for optimum health and clear thinking.  Take some time at the end of the day to wind down, prepare for morning, turn off all electronics and distractions, and settle in for a good restful sleep. 

The Great Outdoors – We’re not able to measure and understand fully the positive impact of sunlight, fresh air, and nature on our bodies and our well-being.  Find a peaceful spot near your home where you can regularly enjoy a walk in nature.  This is a great way to de-stress and clear your head.

Exercise – Exercise offers numerous health benefits – including a smarter brain!  Research shows that youth who engage in plenty of regular exercise get better grades.  Make daily exercise during exam time a high priority!

Vitamins – While a good diet is the foundation of good health, even people who consistently eat a healthy diet can benefit from supplementing with superfoods, vitamins and minerals.  Healthy fats are vital for good brain function, and antioxidants play a key role in short and long term health.  Consult with a natural health care practitioner who can help you set up an individualized plan.

Homeopathy – Not to be confused with “holistic”, “home remedies” or “herbalism”, homeopathy is a distinct system of medicine based in natural laws and ancient principles.  Homeopathy is a system of medicine which involves treating the individual with highly diluted substances, with the aim of triggering the body’s natural system of healing.  Based on their specific symptoms, a homeopath will match the most appropriate medicine to each patient.   Homeopathy is a safe, gentle and effective approach to health and well-being and has much to offer children with learning challenges, and exam anxiety.  www.homeopathy-cures.com/html/learning_disabilities.html  and  www.homeopathy-cures.com/html/fears.html

Deal with Exam Anxiety – Learn a bunch of easy and effective strategies to tame exam anxiety with our one afternoon workshop on Saturday, January 12th in Leduc. Join us for a fun afternoon in a supportive group for girls only to learn about the power of positive *I AM* messages, breathing, mediation, and yoga, in preparing for your coming exams.  Girls in grades 6 through 12 are welcome.  www.choicepoints.ca/exam-anxiety


Healthy Ways to Overcome Exam Anxiety


4 Steps to Prepare for Breastfeeding Success

posted Sep 4, 2012, 6:50 AM by Heather Hawthorne   [ updated Sep 4, 2012, 6:51 AM ]


Taking a few simple steps during pregnancy is a great way to smooth your transition to an enjoyable breastfeeding partnership with your baby. In the hours, days and weeks after birth you will at times feel tired, overwhelmed and inundated with advice!! Spend some time during your pregnancy to focus on creating the breastfeeding experience you want, put a few plans in place, and a few phone numbers on your bulletin board.


#1 - Learn More About the Benefits of Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding provides the perfect food for your baby for many months, setting a firm foundation for lifelong health. We've all heard that breastfeeding is good, but specific information about the many benefits for mom and babe will inspire you through difficult moments. The links at the end of this article provide online information and book suggestions. When challenges arise you can remind yourself why you're doing this!

#2 - Get the Facts About Breastfeeding

The majority of breastfeeding difficulties arise and persist due to inaccurate information. The World Health Organization and the Canadian Pediatric Society both recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, with breastfeeding to continue for the first two years. Despite this many moms receive conflicting information about various aspects of breastfeeding. As you meet with "lactation experts", it's important to know who you're talking to, what qualifications they hold, and what services they're  able to offer you. When you are well informed with the facts you will be in a better position to evaluate information you are given.

#3 - Find Support That Aligns with Your Choices

A woman and her baby are in a very vulnerable place for many months after birth, and it is important to seek out people who will support your wishes. La Leche League is an international organization with many local chapters offering mom-to-mom support. La Leche League Leaders are volunteer mothers with personal breastfeeding experience and extra training in supporting other moms through any challenges that may arise. Attending at least one LLL meeting during pregnancy will allow you to figure out meeting times & locations and meet the leaders and other mothers. Having a Doula will help you with more than labor & delivery! Research shows that moms who receive Doula care have fewer breastfeeding difficulties, are more likely to be breastfeeding at 6 weeks postpartum, and are likely to breastfeed longer. Meet with a Doula early in your pregnancy to learn more about the benefits of this support! Homeopathic care is effective in a variety of breastfeeding problems that may arise. From mastitis to thrush and low milk supply, homeopathy is a safe and gentle medicine with no harmful side effects for mom or baby.


#4 - Join Us at Health Mamas!

Healthy Mamas is a great place to find supportive friendships and learn lots about the many wholistic health modalities in your community. Our gentle yoga class is a great time to reconnect with your body, and increase your energy to meet the demands of your busy days.



La Leche League - Find a Group 

The Doula & The Breastfeeding Family
Doula Association of Edmonton   

Canadian Society of Homeopaths 

Alberta Independent Lactation Consultants   

Alberta Association of Midwives 

Association for Safe Alternatives in Childbirth   

World Health Organization Breastfeeding Recommendations   

Canadian Pediatric Society Breastfeeding Recommendations   

Choice Points & *I AM* Girls in Riverbend Ragg-Times

posted Aug 29, 2012, 8:33 AM by Heather Hawthorne   [ updated Aug 29, 2012, 8:39 AM ]

A huge thank you to Kathy Malkin for featuring me in her regular Educating @ Home column in the August/September 2012 issue of The Riverbend Ragg-Times community newspaper!

newspaper article
You can click on the image above to read the article and visit the Riverbend Ragg-Times website to view the newspaper.

100 Sandwiches

posted Oct 7, 2011, 7:49 AM by Heather Hawthorne   [ updated Oct 7, 2011, 4:54 PM ]

Sandwich Making Night

Last night the *I AM* Girls had one goal – to make 100 sandwiches for the kids at the Youth Emergency Shelter. 

It started off with two turkeys and some basic math - based on what I think I know about a 5 lb chicken, I estimated that these two turkeys should make about 30-40 sandwiches.  I asked my son how many sandwiches he thought the turkey would make – his answer, “Well, more than 10 and less than 50.”  And that was about as accurate as it was going to get!  I got some ham, and hoped for the best. Some things even Google can’t tell you for sure. 

Sandwich Making Night

Finally after weeks of fruitless math, the turkeys were roasted, sliced and looking like a lot more than 40 sandwiches.  It was time to buy bread.  I eyeballed all the fillings, and bought plenty of bread, thinking we could always send extra loaves of bread back to YESS.  I counted the number of slices in each loaf of bread ….so how many loaves to buy?  White, whole wheat, butter crust?  In my math-fatigued state, I figured 13 loaves should be more than enough. It was the only item that could be accurately counted and calculated ahead of time.   So you’re getting the picture – enough bread to make 100 sandwiches possible, and hopefully approximately somewhere in the neighborhood of enough sandwich fillings - is really all we started with.  And an intention of course!

Sandwich Making Night

We know what happens on the physical plane when a group comes together to do some work.  We’ve all experienced “many hands make light work” - what would have taken one person hours, happens in minutes and inevitably turns into fun when a group works together.  It makes you wonder what is happening in the non-physical planes when a group comes together with a single intention and has some fun together?

As I said, we started our evening setting the goal for 100 sandwiches.  A nice round number, we had enough bread, why not?  The girls turned out to be experienced and efficient sandwich artists – turning buckets of turkey, cranberry sauce, mayo, lettuce, mustard, and ham, into sandwich after sandwich!! They were beautiful!  At first we tried to keep track….that’s 15 sandwiches, ….oh we’re up to 50,… but we soon lost count wrapping, labeling, and stacking….

Sandwich Making Night

After only half an hour, supplies dwindled and we shared the last of the condiments, used the last piece of lettuce.  And then suddenly, as quickly as we started, we were just done.  We had a big pile of sandwiches and a sense of satisfaction for a job well done.  Clean up was quick and easy – already the group has come together as a team.  The girls moved on to a group activity with Erin, and curiosity was getting the best of me.  How close did we come to our goal?  Even a variation of 10-15% would have been quite fantastic given the many variables.  Who knew there could be so many different ways to assemble a sandwich?

As it turns out…the girls made exactly 100 sandwiches.

Healthy Naturally Through Cold & Flu Season

posted Sep 22, 2011, 11:00 AM by Heather Hawthorne   [ updated Sep 22, 2011, 11:19 AM ]

Fall is here, school is in, and germs everywhere are breaking out their party hats!! It's their festival season!! 

There are many steps you can take to boost your immune system to prevent the onset of colds and flu, as well as a variety of safe, gentle approaches to decrease the duration and severity of a cold or flu.

Here is a collection of 5 articles that provide excellent information: 

National Centre for Homeopathy Free Guide to Treating Children's Earaches, Fever and Flu Safely With Homeopathy.  Six page, full color article from Homeopathy Today magazine available as a free download.

Homeopathy and Influenza: Real Research, Real Results by Dana Ullman MPH

Homoeoprophylaxis – a Proven Alternative to Vaccination by Dr Isaac Golden

Use of the remedy Influenzinum as a flu preventive was 90% effective in a French survey.

New Study Shows Only Half of People Infected with Flu Virus Actually Get Sick

Clients can pick up their "Healthy Naturally Through Cold & Flu Season" brochure in my office, and schedule an appointment to discuss strategies that meet the unique needs of their family.

Why A Girl's Group?

posted Jul 21, 2011, 8:23 AM by Heather Hawthorne

The question is, why does a homeopath and mother of two boys develop a program for girls?

For starters, most of my clients are women.   I also see children of women and sometimes husbands of women.  You get the picture.  Usually by the time I have the opportunity to meet and assist women and families with their health goals, a lot has gone on. 

And like it or not, women remain responsible for meal planning and preparation in the majority of households.   A woman’s health prior to and during pregnancy directly impacts her children.  Women make most of the decisions about household purchases including groceries, personal care items, and household cleaners.  Women are making key decisions daily that impact her health, and the health of her children, partner, and extended family.

As a homeopath I am passionate about empowering all kinds of people on their health journeys.  But I long to jump in sooner.  Maybe it’s my impatience, or my idealism. 

An important part of homeopathy, and any wholistic health care modality, is finding and addressing underlying causes for imbalance and symptoms.   What if we could prevent underlying causes?

I’ve seen firsthand the whole world of difference it makes for children whose mothers have adopted natural healthy living practices prior to conception.   

So what if a young woman had the opportunity to develop an interest in wholistic health long before she developed illness or was raising a family?  What could come of her understanding her power to change her world?  What could happen if she knew that she held a unique purpose that only she could fulfill?  What benefits would come to not only her own personal health and well-being, but to her family, to her community, to our planet?

What Is Homeopathy?

posted Jun 24, 2011, 3:26 PM by Heather Hawthorne   [ updated Jun 24, 2011, 3:31 PM ]

by Dr. André Saine, D.C., N.D., F.C.A.H.


"Homeopathy is the essence of the art of healing. When homeopathy is well practiced, it is the medicine of choice to recover one’s health from the great majority of acute and chronic problems.Homeopathy is a scientific method of treatment that is based on the application of the law of similars. For thousands of years, man searched for a method to promote healing which is efficient, gentle and permanent. Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician who lived between 1755-1843, pursued this philosophical and scientific quest by developing an ideal system of therapeutics which brought together a number of discoveries and reflections found throughout the history of medicine. After years of perfecting this therapeutic method, he called it homeopathy, by uniting two Greek roots, homoios meaning “similar,” and pathos meaning, “what one feels.” Homeopathy consists of treating sick people with remedies that, in crude doses, would produce in healthy people symptoms similar (homoios) to those of the disease needing to be overcome...."

Read article at Homeopathy Today:  http://www.homeopathytoday.org/2009/01/what-is-homeopathy-2/

Sunshine & Sunscreens

posted May 27, 2011, 8:18 AM by Heather Hawthorne   [ updated May 27, 2011, 8:26 AM ]

How much sunshine is good, how much is harmful?  What brand of sunscreen is better?  Who knew that going outside could be so complicated? 

The bottom line is that some sun exposure, and the resulting natural vitamin D that your body makes is beneficial.  If you are going to be outside for longer periods of time it’s important to seek shade, cover up, and choose a sunscreen wisely.

Click here to read Dr. Mercola’s free online Sun Exposure report

Click here to learn a LOT about sunscreens from the Environmental Working Group's Sunscreens 2011 report

Sunscreen brands that Planet Organic South Edmonton currently has in stock:

  • Aubrey
  • Green Beaver
  • Badger
  • Newco
  • Burt’s Bees
  • Alba

You should also be able find sunscreens that are rated well in the EWG’s Sunscreen's 2011 at your local health food store.


Water, Water Everywhere - But Are You Drinking Enough?

posted May 22, 2011, 2:51 PM by Heather Hawthorne   [ updated May 23, 2011, 2:46 PM ]

Most of us overestimate the amount we are drinking on a daily basis or we're just too busy to think much about it.

Each person's need for water will vary according to surroundings, weather, activity level, other foods/drinks consumed, and individual constitution.  A day in the dry environment of a mall, an exercise class at the gym, pregnancy/breastfeeding, or even a cup of coffee (diuretic) will all require us to drink more water.

In the March 2008 Alive magazine, Joey Shulman, DC, RNCP says, "I contend that dehydration is the root cause of several health conditions, including faulty digestion, fatigue, inability to lose weight, achy joints, and dry skin." 

How much is enough?  The eight 8oz glasses per day is considered the bare minimum, and may not be optimal.  Some sources suggest dividing your body weight (in pounds) in half, and drinking that amount of water in ounces (resulting in about 3 cups per 50 lbs of body weight).  Other sources suggest up to one liter per 50 lbs of body weight daily.

Once you start making water drinking part of your healthy habits, you will quickly learn how much you need to feel at your best.

Start by measuring out your water into bottles each morning.  This way you know how much you need to drink and it's ready to go when you are.  Keep a water bottle with you at all times, and sip regularly all through the day.
Frequent urination is common for a few days after increasing water consumption.  Start slow, and stick with it, this gets better! Aim for drinking about 1/3 of your daily allotment before lunch, another 1/3 in the early afternoon, and the remaining 1/3 in the late afternoon and early evening.  This should prevent frequent trips to the bathroom when you are trying to sleep.

If you feel hungry - try drinking water!  Our hunger and thirst signals can get mixed up.  If you feel drowsy - try drinking water!  Even slight dehydration can bring on low energy and fuzzy thinking.  Too tired to exercise today - grab a water and go - you'll be glad you did!

Staying fully hydrated is like taking a refreshing internal shower, it not only improves overall health, you will find your energy levels are higher, your skin is softer and smoother, and your thinking is clearer.


Seven Easy Ways to Add More Water to Your Diet

You're Not Sick, You're Thirsty

Are You Chronically Dehydrated?

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