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Category "Diet & Fitness"

23Apr

Daphne Bramham: What is Indigenous Canadian food? The answer might lead to more than good cooking

by admin


Award-winning Chef Shane Chartrand is on a journey to discover indigenous food in Canada. He’s one of the chefs featured in the six-part, web series, Red Chef Revival, available on STORYHIVE’s YouTube channel and on Telus Optik TV on demand. Chartrand’s cookbook, Tawaw: Progressive Indigenous Cuisine, will be released this fall by House of Anansi Press.


See Notes / Direction / PNG

It’s always a bit embarrassing when foreigners ask what Indigenous Canadian food is. After long, torturous pause, most Canadians might stumble out an answer like poutine, tourtière, bannock, Saskatoon pie or Nanaimo bars.

Of course, none of those is really Indigenous. They came with explorers and settlers who brought flour and sugar.

Yet, long before they arrived, Indigenous people had lived for centuries eating local plants and animals.

Initially, smart newcomers relied on their local knowledge to initially survive in this unfamiliar land. Others like Sir John Franklin and others tragically learned the folly of attempting self-reliance.

But because of colonization much of that knowledge has been lost along with other cultural practices and Indigenous languages.

“Even Indigenous people don’t understand what Indigenous food is,” chef Shane Chartrand told me when we talked recently. “We don’t know our own food. Powwow food is bannock, burgers, gravy and fries. That’s not Indigenous in my humble opinion.”

Recovering those foods, recipes and cooking techniques is something that Indigenous chefs like Chartrand are now in a position to explore.


Chef Shane Chartrand’s kale salad. Photo: Cathryn Sprague

House of Anansi Press /

PNG

In the style of Anthony Bourdain, three award-winning chefs fanned out across Canada to Indigenous communities that they didn’t know to help prepare and eat food that included unusual ingredients like cougar, bison tongue and seal.

Answering the question of what is Indigenous food is the premise of a six-part series called Red Chef Revival, available on the Storyhive YouTube channel and to Telus Optik TV On Demand subscribers.

Chartrand visited Nisga’a people near Prince Rupert and was served chow mein buns.

“I thought it was ridiculous. No way is it part of Indigenous culture. But they told me that along Cannery Row, there were Japanese, Indigenous and Chinese and they shared recipes so it becomes Indigenous,” he said.

“I don’t agree. But they think it is.”

He feels the same way about “powwow food” — bannock, burgers and fries with gravy.

But the seal stew prepared by Nisga’a fishing families in Port Edward fits Chartrand’s definition to the letter.

Not only did it taste really good — better, Chartrand said, than the other four ways he’s eaten seal — it’s sustainable and healthy.

One of the tragedies of lost Indigenous food and cooking is that it’s been replaced by sugar-, fat- and carbohydrate-laden diets that have contributed to skyrocketing rates of diabetes and heart disease.

(For the record, the chef is opposed to a commercial seal hunt. He supports sustainable hunting with every part of the animal used.)

The genesis of Chartrand’s personal journey of discovery is a desire to connect with the Cree culture denied him as a child. Taken into foster care at two, he was adopted by a Metis Chartrand’s family at seven.

His father taught him about hunting and fishing. But it’s only as an adult that Chartrand began learning about his own people’s traditions.

By then, he was already a rising star in the kitchen, having apprenticed at high-end restaurant kitchens. He’s competed on the Food Network’s Chopped and, in 2017, was the first Indigenous chef to win the Gold Medal Plates Canadian Culinary Championships and is the chef at the River Cree Resort on Enoch First Nation’s land near Edmonton.

This fall, Chartrand’s cookbook — Tawaw: Progressive Indigenous Cuisine — will be published by Anansi Press. It’s about his life, his travels and includes more than 70 recipes using traditional foods.

Top Chef finalist and Haudenosaunee chef Rich Francis seems less of a purist. While he acknowledges in the series’ first episode that bannock doesn’t really fit the definition of Indigenous food, Francis made both bannock and risotto on his visit to the Osoyoos band.

For the risotto, Francis used sage and cactus gathered on the Osoyoos lands that he described as “the Hollywood of rezs.” Both were cooked to accompany cougar seared over an open fire. The cougar was shot because it was deemed a threat to residents.

Like Chartrand, Francis isn’t promoting commercial hunting. But last year he

did threaten to sue the Ontario government for the right to cook wild game in his restaurant because government regulations are one of the many barriers to Canadians’ understanding, knowing and even tasting Indigenous foods.

Elk, deer, moose, bison, seal and the like can only be served at specially permitted events and not in restaurants. Only farm-raised meat can be served and that requires finding suppliers who can raise enough to guarantee a steady supply.

The idea of eating what the Canadian land alone can produce aligns perfectly with concerns about climate change and a sustainable food supply.

Rediscovering traditional foods with Indigenous chefs guiding the way seems a perfect way to learn how to do that.

Beyond that, there’s reconciliation. So many attempts at it are so earnest, so political and so difficult for some people to swallow, that sitting down and eating together may provide a new pathway because who doesn’t love a good meal?

[email protected]

Twitter: @bramham_daphne


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7Apr

Popularity of electric bikes growing on city roads and bike paths

by admin

At first, David Mallory thought riding an electric bike was the equivalent of cheating.

Things started to change when his wife Deb bought one about nine years ago. She decided it was the best way to conquer the hill to their home on West 10th in Vancouver.

As she zoomed up the hill, Mallory remembers pedalling on his 21-speed bike as fast as he could, trying to catch her. She won every time.

So he took her bike for a ride. When he engaged the motor, he felt like he was defying gravity.

Mallory was hooked.

“It’s hard to believe I’ve had an electric bike for that long — since 2011,” he said. “Not once have I gone: ‘I wish I hadn’t bought a bike.’ I would never go back to a regular bike. It’s just so much more fun.”

The experience Mallory and his wife have had with their electric bike isn’t unusual in Metro Vancouver. As the number of cyclists riding bicycles for commuting and recreation continues to increase, the kind of bikes they are using is also changing. More people than ever are riding electric bicycles, which also have functional pedals.

Both David and Deb are 63 and very active. Not only do they ride their e-bikes, they swim, play tennis and golf.

David has become particularly conscious of the importance of staying active as a way to keep his symptoms of multiple sclerosis at bay.


David Mallory has an electric bike that he rides everywhere he can with his wife Deb.

Francis Georgian /

PNG

This year, for example, he couldn’t wait for the snow to melt so he could use bigger panniers (a pair of bags or containers) on his bike to carry groceries. He estimates he has ridden 200 km this year — including a couple of trips to Richmond.

The Mallories have just upgraded their bikes to new German-made Kalkhoff bikes from Cit-E-Cycles. They bought them on sale for about $4,000.

“You see a lot of older people, a lot of seniors, riding electric bikes,” said Mallory, who retired five years ago on disability. “We ride as much as we can. We’ll ride to Granville Island to pick up something and come back. It’s really been a huge thing for us.”

The growth in the sale of electric bikes around the world is the “largest and most rapid uptake of alternative-fuelled vehicles in the history of motorization,” according to the Transport Reviews article E-bikes in the mainstream.

China leads the world in e-bike sales, followed by Netherlands and Germany. In 10 years, more than 150 million e-bikes have been sold worldwide.

The article concluded that since market penetration is low in most countries, there is little evidence to suggest that the sale of electric bikes will slow in coming years.

One example of the growth in e-bikes in Metro Vancouver is Cit-E-Cycles. Since opening its first location in 2011, the company has expanded to four outlets in Vancouver, Surrey, Langley and Victoria.

Doug Sutton, sales and service manager at the West Broadway store, said e-bike technology has improved in the past few years.

A big part of the market used to be conversion kits to adapt regular bikes to electric bikes. More recently, the location of motors has moved from the front or back wheels to the centre of the bike, which provides power to the wheel via the chain drive. Batteries have become more efficient as well.

The top price for an electric bike in his store is $10,000, although Sutton said he recently had a special order for a $20,000 bike. He said the sweet spot for most e-bike sales is between $3,500 and $5,000.

Everyone from grandparents to college students are buying e-bikes, he said. One growing segment is parents buying large, extended “cargo” bikes to pick up their children from school.

“Most people are looking for all-rounders,” he said. “They’re looking to ride to work, or ride on a gravel track, and people who are on a budget looking for the least expensive bike.”


Doug Sutton, a manager at Cit-E-Cycles, with a Riese and Muller electric bike in Vancouver. Cit-E-Cycles is one of the larger electric bike retailers in Metro Vancouver.

Arlen Redekop /

PNG

Erin O’Melinn, executive director of bicycle advocacy group HUB Cycling, said while e-bikes represent one of the fastest-growing segments of the transportation market, she knows of no systemic estimate of their share of the overall bike numbers in Metro Vancouver.

Between 2011 and 2016, the number of people cycling to work increased from 4.4 per cent to 6.1 per cent, according to 2017 statistics from the City of Vancouver. More people ride to work in Vancouver than any other major city in the country.

Overall, the 2017 report card on walking and cycling said that “56 per cent of Vancouver residents are interested in cycling more often.

“This marks a significant increase citywide in a short period of time. In 2014, only 30 per cent of Vancouver residents were interested in cycling more often.”

O’Melinn said research into electric bikes and other micro-mobility devices such as scooters, mopeds and electric skateboards is in its infancy.

“HUB’s members have indicated a strong interest in this area and we are ramping up our efforts to understand how such technologies may be effectively encouraged and regulated to increase access to cycling to a broader range of ages, abilities and trip types,” she said by email.

Lon LaClaire, director of transportation for the City of Vancouver, believes electric bicycles have huge potential to create more cycling trips.

“We’re seeing it already with goods movements,” he said. The worker co-operative Shift Delivery in East Vancouver, he said, uses e-bikes.

“For others who don’t have the strength or don’t want to get sweaty, an e-bike is an option that previously wasn’t practical for them. … We’ll be looking at ways to support e-bikes.”

[email protected]


Biking in Metro Vancouver

• The City of Vancouver has a bike lane and path network of 322 km, 25 per cent of which are classed as top-AAA, which means for all ages and abilities. The longest segment is the 31.5 km seawall.

• Mobi, the City of Vancouver’s bike share, started in 2016 with 250 bikes at 23 stations. It now has 1,250 bikes in 125 stations. The goal is 1,500 bikes at 150 stations.

• Bike sharing has spread around Metro Vancouver. Locations include Richmond, Port Moody, and Port Coquitlam, and soon in Burnaby. On the North Shore, the City of North Vancouver is part of an initiative with the District of North Vancouver and West Vancouver to introduce electric bike share by this June.


What is an electric bike?

In B.C., an electric bike is a two- or three-wheeled vehicle with a seat, functional pedals and an electric motor of up to 500 watts. It can’t be gas powered or travel faster than 32 km/h on level ground without pedalling. Anyone riding an e-bike has to wear a helmet and be 16 years of age or older.


Biking in Vancouver: By the numbers

The City of Vancouver maintains automated bike counters at 10 locations around town, and reports monthly volumes rounded to the nearest thousand.

Science World

July 2013: 167,000

July 2014: 187,000

July 2015: 195,000

July 2016: 193,000

July 2017: 227,000

July 2018: 239,000

Union and Hawks

July 2013: 101,000

July 2014: *

July 2015: 115,000

July 2016: 111,000

July 2017: 120,000

July 2018: 127,000

Burrard Bridge

Jan 2010: 46,000

Jan 2011: 41,000

Jan 2012: 35,000

Jan 2013: 35,000

Jan 2014: 54,000

Jan 2015: 62,000

Jan 2016: 53,000

Jan 2017: 40,000

Jan 2018: 47,000

* Data not available due to technical problems with counter

Data from City of Vancouver’s automated bike counters are available online


A move to fill ‘gaps in the map’

Burnaby’s decision to eliminate an unsafe bottleneck for cyclists is an encouraging move toward creating a connected bike network in the region, says bicycle advocacy group HUB Cycling.

HUB says safer bike routes will in turn persuade more people to start riding bikes.

The big change coming for cyclists in Burnaby is on the Gilmore Overpass above the Trans Canada Highway. Built in 1964, the overpass is one of 400 spots in Metro Vancouver identified by HUB as obstacles that discourage an estimated 40 per cent of people from riding their bike.

Burnaby council recently approved spending more than $2 million to add to about $900,000 from TransLink to build a protected bike path on the west side of the overpass by the end of the year.

Joe Keithley, a Green Party councillor, said Burnaby has been able to act quickly on the project because a plan for the overpass came before council more than three years ago but was shelved.

Keithley said he and Mayor Mike Hurley, both elected last fall, wanted to do something as soon as possible to encourage cycling and sustainable transportation in Burnaby.

“We have to get more north-south and east-west bike paths in Burnaby,” he said. “We’re way behind Vancouver.”

The permanent changes to the road mean restricting motor vehicles to one north bound lane to create a 3.5-metre-wide path for pedestrians and northbound and southbound bikes. The lane closure would stretch from Myrtle Street to Dominion Street.

Keithley said the city lobbied the province to replace the overpass, which has been hit several times by trucks since the Trans Canada Highway was widened, but Victoria said it wasn’t going to spend millions of dollars on a new overpass for another 20 to 25 years.

“We thought this would be an expedient and economical way to help people,” Keithley said by phone.

“If you want to encourage a generation of cyclists, start them early. If you want to ride with your kid or grandson, you’d feel totally safe with this new plan.”

Erin O’Melinn, executive director of HUB Cycling, said research has shown that unsafe spots, such as the one on Gilmore, are the top reason that people are discouraged from riding a bike.

HUB calls them gaps in the map — specific locations where bike routes end abruptly without any safe alternative for cyclists.

Citing data from TransLink’s trip diary survey, O’Melinn said many people want to ride their bikes but are held back by unsafe and disconnected bike routes.

“There are gaps all over the region where people do not feel safe and there is no reasonable way to get from A to B,” O’Melinn said.

“Imagine if there were streets for cars that ended abruptly and you couldn’t get to where you had to go, and had to get out and walk your car.”

“It happens all the time when you’re on a bike. When we ungap the map, the region will have safe, direct, paved bikeways that will allow people of all ages and abilities to get where they want to go.”

HUB Biking has an interactive map identifying gaps in the cycling routes in Metro Vancouver. People can adopt gaps in their neighbourhood by making a $50 contribution to help “ungap the map,” or commuters can tell a story about why the gap matters to them.

HUB’s recent successes in eliminating some of the gaps in the map include a one-way protected bike lane along 80 Avenue from 128th Street to 132nd Street in Surrey and a commitment from Langley Township to match TransLink’s $500,000 to expand commuter bike lanes to include Murrayville.


Source link

7Apr

Popularity of electric bikes growing on city roads and bike paths

by admin

At first, David Mallory thought riding an electric bike was the equivalent of cheating.

Things started to change when his wife Deb bought one about nine years ago. She decided it was the best way to conquer the hill to their home on West 10th in Vancouver.

As she zoomed up the hill, Mallory remembers pedalling on his 21-speed bike as fast as he could, trying to catch her. She won every time.

So he took her bike for a ride. When he engaged the motor, he felt like he was defying gravity.

Mallory was hooked.

“It’s hard to believe I’ve had an electric bike for that long — since 2011,” he said. “Not once have I gone: ‘I wish I hadn’t bought a bike.’ I would never go back to a regular bike. It’s just so much more fun.”

The experience Mallory and his wife have had with their electric bike isn’t unusual in Metro Vancouver. As the number of cyclists riding bicycles for commuting and recreation continues to increase, the kind of bikes they are using is also changing. More people than ever are riding electric bicycles, which also have functional pedals.

Both David and Deb are 63 and very active. Not only do they ride their e-bikes, they swim, play tennis and golf.

David has become particularly conscious of the importance of staying active as a way to keep his symptoms of multiple sclerosis at bay.


David Mallory has an electric bike that he rides everywhere he can with his wife Deb.

Francis Georgian /

PNG

This year, for example, he couldn’t wait for the snow to melt so he could use bigger panniers (a pair of bags or containers) on his bike to carry groceries. He estimates he has ridden 200 km this year — including a couple of trips to Richmond.

The Mallories have just upgraded their bikes to new German-made Kalkhoff bikes from Cit-E-Cycles. They bought them on sale for about $4,000.

“You see a lot of older people, a lot of seniors, riding electric bikes,” said Mallory, who retired five years ago on disability. “We ride as much as we can. We’ll ride to Granville Island to pick up something and come back. It’s really been a huge thing for us.”

The growth in the sale of electric bikes around the world is the “largest and most rapid uptake of alternative-fuelled vehicles in the history of motorization,” according to the Transport Reviews article E-bikes in the mainstream.

China leads the world in e-bike sales, followed by Netherlands and Germany. In 10 years, more than 150 million e-bikes have been sold worldwide.

The article concluded that since market penetration is low in most countries, there is little evidence to suggest that the sale of electric bikes will slow in coming years.

One example of the growth in e-bikes in Metro Vancouver is Cit-E-Cycles. Since opening its first location in 2011, the company has expanded to four outlets in Vancouver, Surrey, Langley and Victoria.

Doug Sutton, sales and service manager at the West Broadway store, said e-bike technology has improved in the past few years.

A big part of the market used to be conversion kits to adapt regular bikes to electric bikes. More recently, the location of motors has moved from the front or back wheels to the centre of the bike, which provides power to the wheel via the chain drive. Batteries have become more efficient as well.

The top price for an electric bike in his store is $10,000, although Sutton said he recently had a special order for a $20,000 bike. He said the sweet spot for most e-bike sales is between $3,500 and $5,000.

Everyone from grandparents to college students are buying e-bikes, he said. One growing segment is parents buying large, extended “cargo” bikes to pick up their children from school.

“Most people are looking for all-rounders,” he said. “They’re looking to ride to work, or ride on a gravel track, and people who are on a budget looking for the least expensive bike.”


Doug Sutton, a manager at Cit-E-Cycles, with a Riese and Muller electric bike in Vancouver. Cit-E-Cycles is one of the larger electric bike retailers in Metro Vancouver.

Arlen Redekop /

PNG

Erin O’Melinn, executive director of bicycle advocacy group HUB Cycling, said while e-bikes represent one of the fastest-growing segments of the transportation market, she knows of no systemic estimate of their share of the overall bike numbers in Metro Vancouver.

Between 2011 and 2016, the number of people cycling to work increased from 4.4 per cent to 6.1 per cent, according to 2017 statistics from the City of Vancouver. More people ride to work in Vancouver than any other major city in the country.

Overall, the 2017 report card on walking and cycling said that “56 per cent of Vancouver residents are interested in cycling more often.

“This marks a significant increase citywide in a short period of time. In 2014, only 30 per cent of Vancouver residents were interested in cycling more often.”

O’Melinn said research into electric bikes and other micro-mobility devices such as scooters, mopeds and electric skateboards is in its infancy.

“HUB’s members have indicated a strong interest in this area and we are ramping up our efforts to understand how such technologies may be effectively encouraged and regulated to increase access to cycling to a broader range of ages, abilities and trip types,” she said by email.

Lon LaClaire, director of transportation for the City of Vancouver, believes electric bicycles have huge potential to create more cycling trips.

“We’re seeing it already with goods movements,” he said. The worker co-operative Shift Delivery in East Vancouver, he said, uses e-bikes.

“For others who don’t have the strength or don’t want to get sweaty, an e-bike is an option that previously wasn’t practical for them. … We’ll be looking at ways to support e-bikes.”

[email protected]


Biking in Metro Vancouver

• The City of Vancouver has a bike lane and path network of 322 km, 25 per cent of which are classed as top-AAA, which means for all ages and abilities. The longest segment is the 31.5 km seawall.

• Mobi, the City of Vancouver’s bike share, started in 2016 with 250 bikes at 23 stations. It now has 1,250 bikes in 125 stations. The goal is 1,500 bikes at 150 stations.

• Bike sharing has spread around Metro Vancouver. Locations include Richmond, Port Moody, and Port Coquitlam, and soon in Burnaby. On the North Shore, the City of North Vancouver is part of an initiative with the District of North Vancouver and West Vancouver to introduce electric bike share by this June.


What is an electric bike?

In B.C., an electric bike is a two- or three-wheeled vehicle with a seat, functional pedals and an electric motor of up to 500 watts. It can’t be gas powered or travel faster than 32 km/h on level ground without pedalling. Anyone riding an e-bike has to wear a helmet and be 16 years of age or older.


Biking in Vancouver: By the numbers

The City of Vancouver maintains automated bike counters at 10 locations around town, and reports monthly volumes rounded to the nearest thousand.

Science World

July 2013: 167,000

July 2014: 187,000

July 2015: 195,000

July 2016: 193,000

July 2017: 227,000

July 2018: 239,000

Union and Hawks

July 2013: 101,000

July 2014: *

July 2015: 115,000

July 2016: 111,000

July 2017: 120,000

July 2018: 127,000

Burrard Bridge

Jan 2010: 46,000

Jan 2011: 41,000

Jan 2012: 35,000

Jan 2013: 35,000

Jan 2014: 54,000

Jan 2015: 62,000

Jan 2016: 53,000

Jan 2017: 40,000

Jan 2018: 47,000

* Data not available due to technical problems with counter

Data from City of Vancouver’s automated bike counters are available online


A move to fill ‘gaps in the map’

Burnaby’s decision to eliminate an unsafe bottleneck for cyclists is an encouraging move toward creating a connected bike network in the region, says bicycle advocacy group HUB Cycling.

HUB says safer bike routes will in turn persuade more people to start riding bikes.

The big change coming for cyclists in Burnaby is on the Gilmore Overpass above the Trans Canada Highway. Built in 1964, the overpass is one of 400 spots in Metro Vancouver identified by HUB as obstacles that discourage an estimated 40 per cent of people from riding their bike.

Burnaby council recently approved spending more than $2 million to add to about $900,000 from TransLink to build a protected bike path on the west side of the overpass by the end of the year.

Joe Keithley, a Green Party councillor, said Burnaby has been able to act quickly on the project because a plan for the overpass came before council more than three years ago but was shelved.

Keithley said he and Mayor Mike Hurley, both elected last fall, wanted to do something as soon as possible to encourage cycling and sustainable transportation in Burnaby.

“We have to get more north-south and east-west bike paths in Burnaby,” he said. “We’re way behind Vancouver.”

The permanent changes to the road mean restricting motor vehicles to one north bound lane to create a 3.5-metre-wide path for pedestrians and northbound and southbound bikes. The lane closure would stretch from Myrtle Street to Dominion Street.

Keithley said the city lobbied the province to replace the overpass, which has been hit several times by trucks since the Trans Canada Highway was widened, but Victoria said it wasn’t going to spend millions of dollars on a new overpass for another 20 to 25 years.

“We thought this would be an expedient and economical way to help people,” Keithley said by phone.

“If you want to encourage a generation of cyclists, start them early. If you want to ride with your kid or grandson, you’d feel totally safe with this new plan.”

Erin O’Melinn, executive director of HUB Cycling, said research has shown that unsafe spots, such as the one on Gilmore, are the top reason that people are discouraged from riding a bike.

HUB calls them gaps in the map — specific locations where bike routes end abruptly without any safe alternative for cyclists.

Citing data from TransLink’s trip diary survey, O’Melinn said many people want to ride their bikes but are held back by unsafe and disconnected bike routes.

“There are gaps all over the region where people do not feel safe and there is no reasonable way to get from A to B,” O’Melinn said.

“Imagine if there were streets for cars that ended abruptly and you couldn’t get to where you had to go, and had to get out and walk your car.”

“It happens all the time when you’re on a bike. When we ungap the map, the region will have safe, direct, paved bikeways that will allow people of all ages and abilities to get where they want to go.”

HUB Biking has an interactive map identifying gaps in the cycling routes in Metro Vancouver. People can adopt gaps in their neighbourhood by making a $50 contribution to help “ungap the map,” or commuters can tell a story about why the gap matters to them.

HUB’s recent successes in eliminating some of the gaps in the map include a one-way protected bike lane along 80 Avenue from 128th Street to 132nd Street in Surrey and a commitment from Langley Township to match TransLink’s $500,000 to expand commuter bike lanes to include Murrayville.


Source link

19Feb

Club 16 provides cross-training tips for Sun Run participants

by admin

If you’re not outside running, what kind of exercises can you do to help you prepare for the Vancouver Sun Run? We asked Alexander Klocek, fitness manager at Club 16 Trevor Linden Fitness in Coquitlam, to provide some suggestions on what you can do if you’re working out in a gym.

What kind of cross training can I do as a runner?

Any cross training that targets resistance training focused on the lower body is going to benefit a runner. Building muscle to support the ankle, knee, and hip joints is crucial for endurance in long distance running. It also decreases the potential damage to ligaments tendons, and cartilage.

For best results, we recommend a circuit style workout which includes some training to increase cardiovascular capacity for the long-distance run. Working with free weights, kettlebells, and machines is a great start for resistance training.

How does cross-training help me run faster?

It helps by increasing the muscular strength and endurance of the lower body which increases the cardiovascular capacity and delivery of oxygen to the muscles. The more oxygen that goes into muscles, the slower the fatigue. This allows a runner to increase the speed of the pace and sustain it longer.

Can exercise in the gym make my knees/hips/ankles stronger?

Yes. Working on functional movement patterns which include squatting, hinging, pulling pushing, rotation, gait, and lunging, improves the biomechanics of the movements which decreases the forces on the joints by running. The increase in muscle size provides extra support for the joints which further decreases the chance of injury.


Alexander Klocek, fitness manager, Club 16 Trevor Linden Fitness Coquitlam.

PNG

For a runner, what’s better: swimming or lifting weights? Why?

Generally speaking for running, weight training is a much more beneficial form of cross training. With swimming the VO2 max/cardiovascular capacity is largely different from that of running and will likely not cross over to increasing performance in running. It is largely an upper body dominant exercise and does not involve gait-like movements. Therefore, the transfer of ability of swimming to running is minimal. Lifting weights helps improve the specific muscles involved in running by increasing the strength, efficiency, and the cardiovascular capacity.

What kind of routine should I follow if I’m working out by myself in the gym?

If you do not know what kind of weight training you should be doing, we highly recommend getting a personal trainer to guide you through a proper workout for your body.

Everyone has a different body and different imbalances that may need to be addressed before you start weight training. This begins with working on functional movement patterns and focusing on the lower body. Types of exercises you can expect include squatting, hinging, lunging, step ups, leg presses, and hamstring curls.

The training format largely depends on the level of the client. Generally, one or two exercises in a row targeting opposite muscle groups would be a great start. If the client is a little more advanced, mixing this in with a short burst of cardiovascular activity such as a run, aerobic steppers, and side shuffles would be a great way to challenge the runner. You would want to minimally train lower body at least 1x a week and upper body to strengthen the core 1x a week as well.


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25Jan

Good sex is all in your head, says The Wellness Show speaker

by admin

The Wellness Show

When: Feb. 2 and 3, 10 a.m.

Where: Vancouver Convention Centre West

Tickets and info: From $12.50 at thewellnessshow.com


Now in its 27th year, The Wellness Show is once again offering up experts to help you do a better job at almost everything; from getting off carbs, getting your morning off to a good start, and, well, getting it on.

The latter on that list is the focus of the presentation: Mind-Knowing Sex is Mind-Blowing Sex: Using Mindfulness to Cultivate Sexual Desire(Feb. 3, 11 a.m.) as part of the two-day Women and Wellness Seminar Series.

Bringing that bit of Buddhism to the bedroom is University of B.C. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology professor and psychologist Dr. Lori A. Brotto, who is also the author of the book Better Sex Through Mindfulness.

Brotto’s book and Wellness Show presentation is the culmination of 15 years of incorporating mindfulness into her sexual health research and clinical work with patients.


Dr. Lori A. Brotto.

PNG

“It is just a powerful strategy for teaching people to be in the here and the now,” said Brotto.

“So many people with sexual problems talk about a disconnect with their body.”

Brotto’s accessible and interesting text — the book is not an expanded academic paper —  moves between hard research, anecdotal examples and practical exercises to help make the sexual experience more enjoyable and engaging for women.

Of course the big O (orgasm not Oprah) is a major player in the conversation about better sex.

“In every study we have done there’s been a significant improvement in ease of reaching orgasm and intensity. It makes a lot of sense,” said Brotto.

“What is orgasm? It is extension of arousal. Because in mindfulness you are really paying attention to the body sensations and really paying attention to when arousal is increasing and mounting and where in the body the arousal is. It’s completely logical then that orgasm would be a natural result of that.”

If you have been awake at all in the last few years you will have undoubtedly heard about mindfulness. The practice has surpassed its spiritual realm and set up shop in the mainstream.

“It (mindfulness) is not just something Buddhist monks do in a cave,” said Brotto.

“It’s hot Western health care, big time. Not just mental health care but also medical health care. Cancer agencies run mindfulness groups because of the data showing mindfulness slows tumour progression. Healthy heart programs run mindfulness  groups because of the affects of mindfulness on regulating heart patterns and arrhythmia, etc. So it has hit big time.

“I think one of the big strengths is that it isn’t just a passing fad because the science really stands up to the claims,” added Brotto.

“We have strong data that shows how it works and why it works and also where in the brain it works, too.”

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You know what else works? Talking about sex. But sadly we don’t do it enough as women. There still seems to be a shyness or shame factor that stops women from seeking out conversations about sex.

Brotto says data shows men who develop erectile dysfunction do not hesitate to ask their family doctor what’s up with their non-performing penis. She says, after all, “we live in a culture that prizes men’s erections.”

One of the reasons women may balk at talking with their doctor about bad sex is that women often just accept it.

“I think women do need to be a bit more intolerant of difficulties at least as far as talking to health care providers and saying: ‘is this normal? Is there anything I can do? Or should I just accept it?” said Brotto.

“We have so much more comfort having sex than we have comfort talking about it.”

Brotto hopes her book and public appearances will nudge women towards more open dialogues about sex and female sexual dysfunction. It really can be a big factor to enjoying a healthy, happy life, she says.

“The sex conversation is critical, because sex isn’t just this isolated thing that people do recreationally. It is so heavily intertwined with sense of self, mood and relationship satisfaction, fundamentally self esteem,” said Brotto.

“We know countless studies have shown that when there are problems sexually all those different domains start to take a toll as well. It is a fundamental aspect of quality of life, and so in the same way we take very seriously our physical health we have to pay attention to sexual health, too.”

While Brotto is encouraging more women to talk about sex, she says health professionals may not be giving enough attention to the topic of female sexual dysfunction. But she hopes that as more women take ownership of their sex life and  ask questions more doctors will look for answers, and conversations will occur.

“But what we are not seeing though is an improvement in doctors talking about it. Doctors getting trained in it,” said Brotto.

“Accessibility to treatment that’s what we’re not seeing. So that will probably be a downstream affect but definitely the conversation around this and also around agency is important. Women saying: ‘I value my sex life. It’s important to me.’ And consent and conversations around pleasure are very important. That is where things like the #metoo movement have really benefited that conversation.”

Brotto hopes attendees of her lecture at the Wellness Show, and those who pick up her book, will benefit from her research.

“Sexual desire, all of the science has taught us it is responsive,” said Brotto.

“It’s something that can be cultivated. It is something that can emerge. It’s not that you are born with a set level of desire and you’re just sort of stuck with that for the rest of your life and so if it goes down you just have to learn to live with it.”

Brotto says we need to get through our heads that desire, like happiness, can be cultivated. So if we really pay attention in the moment in a non-judgmental fashion we can make our desire more responsive to our environment.

Brotto is just one of 100 or so guest speakers/chefs/fitness demos that are on hand for show goers. The Convention Centre floor is also teeming with around 250 vendors.

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14Nov

Multiple sclerosis: Risk getting or have it? Load up on vitamin D

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While the MS Society of Canada recommends that those with MS — or at risk of MS — take between 600 and 4,000 IU of vitamin D daily, UBC neurologist Robert Carruthers said he advises his patients to take up to 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day.



While the MS Society of Canada recommends that those with MS — or at risk of MS — take between 600 and 4,000 IU of vitamin D daily, UBC neurologist Robert Carruthers said he advises his patients to take up to 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day.


Mark Lennihan / Associated Press files

Vitamin D deficiency is a risk factor for developing multiple sclerosis, and the MS Society of Canada now says that people affected by the disease should consume up to 4,000 IU per day to decrease the risk or to potentially modify the extent of the disease.

Vitamin D is acquired by exposure to sunlight or through ingestion of vitamin D3 supplements. Small amounts are found in foods like egg yolks, fortified dairy products and oily fish.

Numerous studies have shown an association between low levels of vitamin D in the blood and the risk of getting MS as well as having relapses. One Canadian study has shown that children with low vitamin D levels were more susceptible to developing MS, as are those who’ve had a virus called Epstein-Barr or a genetic predisposition such as a family history of MS.

Canada has one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis in the world with about 80,000 individuals diagnosed. MS is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system that attacks myelin, the protective covering of the nerves that helps transmit nerve impulses. MS symptoms include extreme fatigue, lack of coordination, weakness, tingling, impaired sensation, vision problems, bladder problems, cognitive impairment and mood changes.

Studies have shown that MS is generally more common in countries that are less sunny and farther from the equator. Studies have also shown that MS relapses occur more frequently in winter months when vitamin D levels in the blood are lower. Genetic studies have revealed that lower levels of the nutrient are associated with higher risks of being diagnosed with MS.

The new diet and supplementation guidelines are evidence-based, according to the society. After consultations with medical experts, the recommendations have been endorsed by The Canadian Network of Multiple Sclerosis Clinics and The Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers.


Dr. Robert Carruthers, neurologist, Centre for Brain Health, University of B.C.

Dr. Robert Carruthers, a neurologist in the MS clinic at the University of B.C. Centre for Brain Health, said that the recommendation from the society is sensible. While the recommendation is that individuals with MS — or at risk of MS — consume between 600 and 4,000 IU daily, Carruthers said he advises his patients to take up to 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day. (International Units, or IU, is a measurement of the potency, or biological activity of a product.)

“It’s cheap, safe, and has been shown to be helpful.”

Carruthers estimates that less than 10 per cent of patients coming to the UBC clinic for a new diagnosis are taking vitamin D supplements at the time of their first appointments. That suggests that a blanket recommendation like the one issued Wednesday is important, to get the message out more broadly.

“I encourage patients to take anywhere between 2,000 and 5,000 IU per day. We have to acknowledge we don’t exactly know the right dose but in some studies, doses as high as 10,000 units were used without any clear concerns about toxicity,” Carruthers said in an interview, adding that he also advises patients to quit smoking because it can worsen the course of the disease.

“With patients who have early or mild MS, you want those people to do everything possible to maintain that status, through modifiable risk reductions, including vitamin D3 supplementation and not smoking.”

Two ongoing trials will hopefully yield more definitive answers about the role of vitamin D as a treatment for MS. The Efficacy of Vitamin D Supplementation in MS (EVIDIMS) trial is a pilot study looking at the effects of high-dose vitamin D3 supplementation on brain lesions, inflammatory activity, disability progression and quality of life. Another study, the Vitamin D to Ameliorate MS (VIDAMS) trial, is examining the effectiveness of high-dose vitamin D3 in reducing the relapse rate and disease activity in the brain.

A recent study done at UBC by Dr. Helen Tremlett and her team showed that there may be some subtle signs of MS in the five years before people develop the first typically recognized symptoms.

Tremlett found patients eventually diagnosed with MS patients were up to four times more likely to be treated for pain or sleep problems, and 50 per cent more likely to visit a psychiatrist.

The researchers found that fibromyalgia was fairly common in people who were later diagnosed with MS, as was irritable bowel syndrome. Two other conditions with higher rates among those eventually diagnosed with MS were migraine headaches and any mood or anxiety disorder, including depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder.

The study was the biggest to document symptoms before individuals knew they had MS. It is useful for physicians so they can diagnose the disease earlier when disease-modifying drugs could potentially slow down the damage MS can cause to the brain and spinal cord.

The disease is usually confirmed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), tests on nerve impulses, or an examination of spinal fluid.

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27Oct

Janes chicken burgers recalled due to possible salmonella

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The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says Sofina Foods Inc. is recalling Janes brand Pub Style Chicken Burgers from the marketplace due to possible salmonella contamination, including one in B.C.

The agency says the uncooked breaded chicken burgers were sold across the country in 800 gram packages with a best before date of May 14, 2019 (UPC code 0 69299 12491 0).

In its recall warning the CFIA says Salmonella investigations led by the Public Health Agency of Canada have linked frozen raw breaded chicken products to 25 illnesses in nine provinces — one in B.C., three in Alberta, three in Saskatchewan, one in Manitoba, 12 in Ontario, two in Quebec, one in New Brunswick, one in P.E.I., and one in Newfoundland and Labrador.

It says two people have been hospitalized, though no deaths have been reported.

The agency, however, did not say whether any of the illness were directly related to the products being recalled.

It says the recalled items should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased.

Symptoms of Salmonella poisoning typically include fever, headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhea, but long-term complications can include severe arthritis.

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