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Which diet trend works best for you?



Eat better. If this is your goal for 2019, you are not alone. In fact, ‘eat better’ tops the list of New Year’s resolutions year after year. And while the decision to munch on healthier foods is easy to make, the next steps can be overwhelming and confusing. For starters, what does it mean to eat better?

Your neighbour is noshing on veggies non-stop while your mother-in-law swears she feels amazing when she eats as much meat as possible. Everyone has a different opinion and your Facebook feed is buzzing with all of them! You scroll past vegan recipes and deliberate over invitations to join the latest Whole 30 challenge, then shut your computer off and grab some leftover holiday baking.

Eat better. Easier said than done when you aren’t sure exactly how to do it.

As much as it can feel like a challenge to make changes to your diet, I encourage you to consider this an exciting shift. It’s a commitment to trying something new that could leave you feeling more energized and vibrant. Chances are, after ‘eat better’, you listed a number of other goals you’d like to achieve this coming year. The truth is, when you are at your optimal health, it’s so much easier to attain anything else you set your mind to.

It’s no wonder that, as the awareness between food and mood increases, more of us are concerned about what we’re ingesting. And we now have a wealth of knowledge about the importance of the kind of calories we consume and what certain foods do for our bodies. While the number of trending diets can be tricky to navigate, it’s a nod to the fact that everyone’s chemistry is unique – and there is something out there that is wonderful for you.

Let’s explore 5 diets that got the most attention in 2018. I have personally tried each one of these so I can understand the commitment involved and have some concrete information to share with my clients. If you’re wondering why people choose to eat like cavemen or how someone can thrive on a vegan diet, read on!

5 Trending Diets To Explore With Your Naturopath

Paleo Diet

You may have heard this referred to as the ‘Caveman’ diet – only foods that were hunted or gathered by our ancestors are included, like meats, fish, nuts and seeds along with green leafy vegetables. This means no grains, sugar, dairy and processed foods. This is an especially good diet for someone who tends to be carbohydrate and sugar-heavy, has blood sugar irregularities or is looking to lose weight while putting on some lean muscle mass. These Maple Pumpkin Meatballs are a classic example of what you can eat on a Paleo diet.


Think of this one as ‘fat for fuel.’ This diet eliminates sugars and starches while placing a moderate emphasis on proteins. Without the carbohydrates and sugars for fuel, your body runs on its own fat stores. There is a huge emphasis on fats, such as avocado, coconut oil, bacon, cheese, fatty fish, medium chain triglycerides (MCT) oils, butter, nuts and seeds, and only low-carbohydrate vegetables like lettuce, spinach, broccoli, and asparagus. This diet provides rapid weight loss while supporting your lean muscle mass. It is currently used in medical settings for people with Alzheimers and epilepsy, and for professional athletes. Avocado Deviled Eggs might be on the menu for someone on the Ketogenic diet.

Whole 30

This program focuses on eating unprocessed foods for 30 days. On this diet, you can eat meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruit, healthy fats, and herbs. You avoid alcohol, legumes, grains, dairy and added sugars. It’s a 30 day commitment but if this trending diet is right for you, it could end up being a lifestyle change. The idea behind Whole 30 is also easier for most people to wrap their heads around; why wouldn’t we benefit from eating wholesome, real ingredients devoid of chemicals and artificial sweeteners? Trying out the Whole 30 diet? Try this Rustic Beef, Tomato and Cabbage Stew.


A vegan diet is high in vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes, root vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains, and plant-based protein sources such as soy. It avoids all meat, eggs and dairy. Due to rising social awareness of the animal and farming industry, veganism is growing in popularity. But what do people eat when they don’t eat any animal products? There’s a lot to learn for those who are newly committing to this diet. It’s amazing how many products exist that can replace animal products in baking and cooking. These Vegan Apple Banana Muffins make a great breakfast on the go, and use egg replacer instead of eggs.

It’s very important, if you choose to go vegan, that you consider your nutrient requirements and supplements. Most vegan females I see in practice suffer from a B12 and iron deficiency as those two nutrients are primarily found in animal proteins. Protein deficiency and omega 3 deficiency can also be a concern. Veganism can be a wonderful plan with the correct nutritional support. If you are on this diet and experience any weakness, fatigue, hair loss, brittle nails, pallor, shortness of breath or dizziness, please see a professional.

Plant Based or Vegetarian/Meatless Monday

This diet is a plant-based model in which foods are predominantly coming from fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains. However, it is not as restrictive as a vegan diet; you can consume eggs, dairy, fish and animal proteins on occasion. The emphasis is on whole foods from plants, however the option for animal-based proteins make this trending diet enticing and more sustainable for some. Be careful not to replace the proteins with carbohydrates. This can lead to weight gain. It truly can be the best of both worlds; vegetarian meals dispersed with animal protein can be an effective and healthy combination. This Vegetarian Skillet Chilli Topped with Cornbread, for example, is hearty enough that you won’t miss the meat!

Now that you’re armed with some information about each of these 5 trending diets, you can take some time to figure out what will work for you. The ultimate goal is to have a lifestyle change, and not a quick fix. So, your diet has to be sustainable and beneficial for you. Having a professional on board will not only ensure your nutritional and supplemental needs are met, but will get you one step closer to a successful ‘eat better’ resolution!

Bon appetit!

Get more great tips from Dr. Alanna Polo of Polo Health by following her on Facebook and Twitter, or check out her website at

Surrey604 is an online magazine and media outlet based in Surrey, BC. Through writing, video, photography, and social media, we secure an intimate reach to the public. We promote local events and causes.


How CBD Oil Is Being Used in the Vancouver Area and Lower Mainland BC



Since the legalization of cannabis and cannabis-derived products in Canada in 2018, products containing cannabidiol (CBD), a previously little-known compound that naturally occurs in the cannabis plant, have hit the mainstream in a big way.

Today, everywhere you go in the Greater Vancouver Area and across Canada, it’s easy to find CBD oil and other cannabis products. With a quick search, users can find several lists of shops in Vancouver that sell CBD oil, the big cities in each province of course have the most selection. That said, you can still find CBD products in Surrey of course.

CBD products are made using CBD oil, an extract from the cannabis plant which can be consumed orally as well as infused into other products. The potential health benefits of CBD oil are said to be wide-ranging, with many claiming the substance as an effective treatment for a variation of chronic auto-immune and anxiety-related conditions.

Read on for some of the most common uses for CBD oil in and around Vancouver, Canada.


One of the most common uses for CBD is in the treatment of chronic pain. The compound is thought to work by interacting with a cell-signalling system found in the human body called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is responsible for maintaining an equilibrium in a wide range of bodily functions, one of which is pain response.

Research has shown that sufferers of conditions related to chronic pain such as arthritis, fibromyalgia and neuropathic conditions have obtained significant relief from their pain symptoms by taking high doses of CBD. This discovery has been welcomed by an increasing number of chronic pain sufferers who are opting for CBD due to the fact that it has very few unpleasant side-effects when compared with other pharmaceutical pain medicine.


Anxiety is one of the most common mental disorders, affecting a high proportion of the population at one time or another. If you suffer from an anxiety-related disorder, you will know that it can be extremely debilitating and have a highly negative impact on your quality of life. In CBD, however, we may have stumbled on an effective natural treatment for reducing anxiety and its symptoms.

Although research into the capacity of CBD to reduce anxiety in humans is still very much in its infancy, the early signs are extremely promising. Several studies have shown that it can reduce anxiety responses to stressors in rodents. These findings will come as no surprise to residents of the Greater Vancouver Area who have been using CBD to alleviate symptoms of anxiety for years and swear by its effectiveness.


CBD has gained significant publicity for its use in the treatment of epilepsy. Medicines containing the cannabinoid have been approved by the FDA for use in the treatment of two severe forms of child-onset epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. This came after research showed that CBD may be able to dramatically reduce the frequency of the debilitating seizures that characterize the disorders.

More research needs to be done into the potential of CBD for use in the treatment of other forms of epilepsy. However, many sufferers of the other forms of the disease have begun to report favorable outcomes that have improved their daily lives.

Neurological Diseases

Another set of conditions that may be treatable with CBD are degenerative neurological diseases. CBD is thought to interact with the CB1 receptors located in the body’s central and peripheral nervous systems. Scientists are currently researching whether stimulating these receptors can play a role in both preventing the onset and treating the symptoms of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s.

While more research needs to be done, the potential of CBD to treat neurological diseases in a holistic and natural way has excited many people who had previously thought that their conditions were untreatable.

Skin Conditions

Since CBD reacts with the immune system to help reduce inflammation, it may be an effective treatment for sufferers of chronic skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. There is some evidence to say that applying CBD oil topically can eliminate the redness and soreness that commonly accompany these disorders.

CBD is also being used by sufferers of acne due to its antioxidant properties. It is thought to help to diminish the amount of sebum produced by the skin, an effect which helps clear away pimples. Taken orally, CBD may also help to prevent future outbreaks.

Go back five or ten years and it is more than likely that ninety-nine percent of people in the Surrey and Greater Vancouver Area would have never heard of CBD before. This has all changed in the last few years, of course, as CBD has gained traction as a treatment for an ever-growing array of health issues.

With new research coming out all the time attesting to the therapeutic and curative properties of the so-called ‘wonder drug’, we may only now be scratching the surface of CBD’s potential uses.

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Think Global, Act Local



How small actions and ‘conscious-consumerism’ can make a huge
difference in our local communities in the covid-19 era

Social-distancing, self-isolating, “wash your hands”, zooming, lockdown, quarantining, the ‘rona’… just some of the latest catch phrases and new verbiage of 2020. It’s true, the new decade didn’t get off to the ‘fresh start’ we were all expecting or hoping for, but it’s been a big bang nonetheless.

We by no means can see the finish line or the light at the end of the tunnel any time soon in this constant state of unknowns, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start reflecting now on what our lives post covid-19 era look like. In fact, we can start reflecting on how this life-changing experience can impact our day-to-day decisions at this very moment.

In self-isolating solo for nearly 3 months, I have taken the chance to heavily reflect on the consumer decisions I make in my daily life, and how such decisions impact the local economy, environment, and my overall well-being too.

When you are ‘stuck’ at home, you have a lot of time to reflect and think about your surroundings – and for me, that directly translated to my buying habits, and also the concept of “consumption” as a whole. Marie Kondo suggests only keeping things that ‘spark joy,’ whereas other renowned minimalists such as Joshua Becker suggest only keeping what is essential.

Now psychologically, the jump from hoarder status to professional minimalist is not for the faint of heart, so while you are mentally preparing for such ‘all or nothing’ commitment, I suggest you look at the root of the issue – consumption. We all consume – food, clothes, etc. this is true – but how we consume is something completely within our hands, and can assist us in minimizing and maintaining a more healthy and sustainable lifestyle overall.

Conscious consumption should be the number one catch phrase resulting from this seismic shift in the world, no doubt.

The 50th Anniversary of Earth Day this past April highlighted the theme of “Climate Action,” and it truly couldn’t have come at a better time – when the world literally stopped still. With this in mind, I chose to make some commitments for the year ahead.

These included: supporting local, small businesses to decrease emissions from international transport of products; choosing and consuming national food products whenever possible – preferably from local, organic producers; and finally, buying less clothing and being a conscious consumer with supporting local brands with sustainable fabrics and manufacturing techniques.

When you make a purchase, can you answer the following questions?

  • Where is this product coming from? And how far does it require to travel to get to you?
  • Where is it produced? By whom was it produced?
  • Can I buy the equivalent from a local small business or brand?

Even with the increase of delivery services or online purchases in the current reality we are living in (avoiding unnecessary face-to-face contact in taking precautions or ‘doing the right thing’) , there are ways for us to ensure that we are looking to support small businesses first and foremost. Take the time to research, make the effort to spread the word, and your communities and those around you reap the rewards!

Considering all of the aforementioned, this upcoming Sunday (and every Sunday following that), I challenge you to take to your social media accounts and participate in a new initiative which highlights your favourite local “small” businesses, and encourages those in your network to do the same.

On “Support Small Business Sundays” I highlight one local business that I am passionate about (and want to promote) while sharing their story, contact info, etc. and bringing light to those who are making a difference in my community.

Just don’t forget to use the hashtags #SSBS and #supportlocal so that we can build off of each other’s enthusiasm! You can even extend a challenge by tagging three of your friends/family in your post to encourage them to do the same and carry on the momentum!

Keep in mind that a little bit of reflection and research can go a long way for supporting local and being mindful of the environmental impacts of our buying habits as well. Let’s do our part in helping others in our communities and national economies during these challenging times, and we will leave the ‘rona’ season behind as stronger, more united, and aligned communities.

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TELUS Health expands digital home health monitoring to virtually support B.C. patients with or at risk of COVID-19



Home Health Monitoring technology enables health providers to virtually observe British Columbians who are at home while reducing exposure to the virus

Vancouver – Today, TELUS Health announced the expansion of its Home Health Monitoring (HHM) solution so that nurses and other healthcare providers in British Columbia can digitally monitor more patients remotely while they recover from COVID-19 Launched in partnership with the B.C.

Ministry of Health and local health authorities, this digital health dashboard enables healthcare providers to track the symptoms and provide medical help for more patients as they recover outside of hospitals in the comfort of their own homes.

“As we face the immense challenge of COVID-19, TELUS Health is committed to working alongside BC’s healthcare leaders to expand the use of technology solutions like Home Health Monitoring to support more British Columbians while recovering at home,” said Darren Entwistle, president and CEO, TELUS.

“By enabling clinicians to remotely observe the vitals of patients with COVID-19, as well as those who are vulnerable to the virus, and provide necessary interventions early, we can reduce exposure and also help to alleviate the pressure in hospital emergency rooms and clinics.”

Easily accessible through a mobile device, the program sends daily prompts to the patient to report their biometrics such as temperature, physical symptoms and overall health condition. This provides crucial information on the status of a patient’s health to their clinicians who are regularly and remotely monitoring their well-being through a digital dashboard.

HHM allows healthcare providers to view information for multiple patients simultaneously, enabling them to more effectively manage the vitals of a larger number of patients so they can quickly identify those patients in need of urgent care. Depending on the escalation of their symptoms, some patients may be advised to contact their doctor, or visit their nearest hospital emergency room, while others with improving symptoms may be told to continue recovering and isolating at home.

“Home monitoring is a significant part of our response to the ongoing pandemic. We are grateful for the technology and partnership with TELUS Health enabling our efforts,” said Lisa Saffarek, Clinical Director Virtual Care and Home Health Monitoring lead at Island Health. “With the Home Health Monitoring solution, we are able to stay connected with our patients, provide symptom support and ensure our patients who are quarantined or isolated at home are provided with safe and effective care. The monitoring solution has also improved clinical capacity for our Public Health team, the front line of our pandemic response.”

Home Health Monitoring by TELUS Health has been in use in B.C, since 2013 to remotely monitor thousands of patients in the province living with chronic conditions such as heart failure, diabetes and respiratory diseases. The TELUS Home Health Monitoring system is aligned with the Canadian Centre for Disease Control’s COVID-19 protocols for the monitoring of patients recovering from COVID-19 outside of hospitals.

“The B.C. Ministry of Health has partnered with TELUS since 2013 to implement and evolve a provincial remote patient monitoring service for patients with chronic conditions,” said Corrie Barclay, Assistant Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Management and Information Technology with the B.C. Ministry of Health.

“Our investment has enabled us to act quickly to monitor our patients in isolation while also providing them with peace of mind, knowing that they are being monitored daily by their healthcare teams. As well, our clinicians are given the assurance that we are keeping track of our vulnerable citizens.”

As healthcare professionals risk their lives every day, TELUS Health is working hard to provide the technology solutions needed to keep them safe. Building off of this successful initiative in B.C., discussions with other provincial health ministries are underway to provide HHM technology to even more Canadians during these unprecedented times.

About TELUS Health and Payment Solutions

TELUS Health is a leader in digital health technology solutions such as home health monitoring, electronic medical and health records, virtual care, benefits and pharmacy management as well as personal emergency response services. TELUS Health is leveraging the power of technology to improve access to care and revolutionize the flow of health information to create better outcomes for Canadians while facilitating collaboration, efficiency and productivity for physicians, pharmacists, health authorities, allied healthcare professionals, insurers, employers and citizens.

TELUS Payment Solutions complements our health solutions by delivering secure, industry-compliant payment and lending solutions that connect lenders, payors, insurers, extended health care providers and financial institutions to their customers across Canada.

For more information please visit: and

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City of Surrey online videos boost mental and physical health for all ages



The popular at-home classes and activities have been viewed over 15,000 times

While recreation centres and libraries across Surrey are closed to limit the spread of COVID-19, city staff have found a way to connect with residents online to ensure physical and mental health exercises are available for families at home during the pandemic.

“We have called on our residents to physically distance to limit the spread of COVID-19, and I want to personally recognize our community for rising to this challenge,” said Mayor Doug McCallum. “While we all follow the measures put in place, it is important that we continue to connect with each other. The videos we have launched ensure Surrey families have access to physical and mental exercises at home, and I’m pleased they have been so well received over the past 4 weeks.”

Led by certified instructors, the free fitness classes offer a range of exercises that do not require professional equipment, including yoga and body sculpt. For seniors, light stretching and low impact classes are available.

Surrey Libraries is offering virtual story times and singalongs for children to enjoy from home, featuring familiar librarians across the City. The popular Treehouse Storytime at Redwood Forrest is also available online, so families can connect with nature and enjoy craft making, puppets and songs. Parks staff take children on an educational walk through the forest, offering virtual ways to connect with nature from home.

“It is more important than ever that we continue to take care of our physical and mental well-being,” added Mayor McCallum. “In the coming weeks we will continue to add more videos for residents, and I invite you to check back often to make full use of the recreational, cultural and library services available.”

City of Surrey online classes can be found here.

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Emergency Response Centre opens at North Surrey Recreation Centre to support those experiencing homelessness



To reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19, BC Housing, City of Surrey and Fraser Health have established a temporary Emergency Response Centre at Surrey’s previously decommissioned North Surrey Recreation Centre (NSRC).

The NSRC Emergency Response Centre will provide up to 110 safe spaces in the recreation centre, separated amongst the facility’s two rinks. The Centre will be referral-only which will prioritize the support of people living on the streets, in shelters, or for people coming out of acute care who do not have a safe place to self-isolate if they have symptoms or test positive for COVID-19.

“By utilizing the decommissioned North Surrey Recreation Centre, we are providing our most vulnerable population with the most essential protective measure against COVID-19, which is the ability to physical distance,” said Mayor Doug McCallum. “We will continue to do everything we can to stop the spread of this virus within our community, and today’s establishment of the NSRC Emergency Response Centre is a crucial shift in our efforts. We thank BC Housing and Fraser Health for their collaboration and contributions in making this vital project possible.”

“It’s important for people who are street-entrenched or living in shelters to have a safe place to self-isolate and to physically distance. Combatting COVID-19 requires each person and community to work together and we’re proud to partner with BC Housing and the City of Surrey to ensure this vulnerable population has access to the support and care they need,” said Fraser Health president and CEO Dr. Victoria Lee

Referrals will be managed by Fraser Health to ensure those most at risk with the highest care needs are prioritized. This proactive approach will also help reduce capacity in nearby shelters in order to support physical distancing efforts.

BC Housing has appointed Surrey Urban Mission Society (SUMS) to operate and manage the centre, which will be staffed 24/7. Fraser Health staff will be onsite daily, supporting SUMS and providing ongoing health guidance.

BC Housing, with the support of City of Surrey, is continuing to explore opportunities to partner with local hotels to support frontline staff who are unable to go home during the COVID-19 outbreak, or for those who are unable to self-isolate due to living on the streets or in shelters.

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