Spring Party Tooth Sensitivity Tips

I have officially decided spring is upon us. I am also choosing to ignore the dire warnings for this week where I live of potential snowstorms and instead focus on the season that is just begging to fully arrive any moment…really, any moment now….how about now? Nope, not yet huh?

Alright, what we’ll do instead is plan ahead and daydream about the parties we’ll attend, and the treats we’ll have…and enjoy with some tips from my friends at ProNamel. I felt it important to go to the experts for us so we’re all set for maximum enjoyment.

Multi-Action

I do, in fact, have sensitivity as a result of enamel loss and am a very long-time user of  Sensodyne and ProNamel. ‎At the bevvy of parties and fun gatherings a multitude of cocktails and assorted beverages make an appearance, from wine to hot apple cider and hot chocola te (still in season and lovely). What are ‘better’ choices and ‘less than ideal’ ones that might put a sour note on the event?

Beverages that are often served at parties like red wine, white wine, apple cider and hot chocolate are high in acidity and have the potential to cause long-term erosion and tooth wear. Other beverages that are high in acid include soft drinks, coffee and tonic water.

Interestingly enough, a recent survey conducted by GSK revealed that Canadians rank coffee and wine among their favourite beverages but the majority don’t realize that these beverages are acidic.

I try my darndest to eat a lot of fruits and veggies at  parties to offset a couple of treats. Are there any in particular I, and others like me, should avoid or gravitate towards in order to not eat too many of those craved sweets?

Fruits and vegetables like broccoli, cucumber, avocados, bananas which are many of our favourite foods are low in acid.

Fruit like blackberries, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, grapes, grapefruit, lemons, limes, pineapples, pomegranates, raspberries and strawberries are high in acidity.

But you don’t have to give up on your favourite appetizers. Canadians can still enjoy the foods they love without compromising the strength of their teeth. Utilizing proper oral hygiene techniques and using a toothpaste specifically designed to help protect against the effects of acid erosion can help to mitigate the harm done by acidic foods. Toothpastes such as ProNamel help strengthen and re-harden acid-weakened enamel making it healthy, stronger and better-protected so it’s more resistant to enamel loss and future Acid Wear, which could lead to sensitivity.

Chocolate? Cookies? Brittle candy? Cakes? Which are better ‘not so great’ choices?

Apart from the issue of introducing sugar to the teeth, the sweet items mentioned have other damaging effects.  Most of us are well aware of the benefits that cocoa provides.  However, chocolates may also contain caffeine which can exacerbate acid reflux for those suffering from the condition.  Therefore, for those people, eating chocolates in moderation would be the key to reducing acid challenges on the enamel.  Candies and cookies that are of hard consistency can introduce micro fractures in the enamel.   Furthermore, enamel that is already weakened by acid can fracture or simply chip away small portions at a time.  For this reason, hard foods such as brittle candies, nuts and hard candies should be avoided at all times.

I’ve heard that sometimes straws help with beverages, is that an option? Difficult with some drinks for sure, but perhaps with others it might work?

To help reduce the risk of enamel wear there are many things you can do. You can try reducing the amount of time that acids are in contact with the teeth. To minimize swirling, swishing or holding acidic drinks in your mouth, you can use a straw.

In addition to this, there are a few other tips to help protect against Acid Wear:

  • Make an appointment to see the dentist. They will be able to look at your teeth for early signs of Acid Wear and assess levels of risk likely from your diet and brushing habits.
  • Try not to brush your teeth immediately after eating or drinking acid foods and beverages, and make sure you’re using a soft bristled brush. Ideally wait 30 minutes before brushing.
  • Encourage children and teenagers to brush twice a day with a toothpaste like ProNamel to encourage good brushing habits and prevent future acid challenges.

Enamel loss is caused by acids acting on the tooth’s surface. In fact, as few as four acidic exposures a day can put tooth enamel at risk of Acid Wear. Each time teeth are exposed to acidic food or drinks, the acids can weaken the enamel as it loses minerals, making it easier for the enamel to wear away.

If enough of the enamel wears away the dentin layer becomes exposed and the nerve in the center of the tooth becomes susceptible to stimuli, resulting in a short, sharp pain caused by certain triggers, such as hot and cold foods and beverages.

ProNamel toothpaste builds up a protective barrier and insulates the nerve (with twice daily brushing) so you can keep enjoying hot and cold beverages.

Visit www.pronamel.ca for more information on Acid Wear, its effects and its causes.

Thank you to my friends at ProNamel for these wonderful tips and tricks to maximize our return to gatherings in warmer temps…which are coming…the groundhog said so…right? 😉

Spring Cleaning your Palate with Becel

Spring and Cleaning usually mean vaccuuming, dusting, sorting and tossing right? Well, it’s also a great time to try out new recipes and foods. I have noticed a distinct change in my palate for sure and am back to my yummy salads and fresh veggies, and I’m all over trying out some new recipes to keep me on-track and healthy.

I run, though I still find the title of ‘runner’ hard to get my head around some days. In order to be successful in my time and distance goals I am learning more and more about eating right, but also enjoying my food and its fresh flavours.

My friends at Becel Canada have given me some great tips, and recipes to try out to help me and to share with all of you too! Check the Facebook page too for the recipes. Yumminess may ensue ;).

Good Fats

The unsaturated fats in Becel® margarine are good fats – which can also be found in avocados, nuts, seeds, vegetable oils and fish. Becel® margarine is a source of Omega-3 polyunsaturated fat. Replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats from vegetable oils helps lower cholesterol.

Shake the Salt

As part of an overall healthy diet, nix that salt shaker. How, you ask?

  • Cook from scratch to control the amount of salt and sodium in your meals.
  • Experiment with salt-free seasonings. (Ginger, garlic, black pepper, lemon juice, herbs and spices are tastier anyway.)
  • Check Nutrition Facts tables on similar products and opt for the one with the lowest amount of sodium.

Get Your Vegetables On

Head to your nearest farmers’ market and load up on fresh veg!

  • Artichokes offer fibre and potassium, make for a great pizza topping, and always pair well with chicken.
  • Asparagus is jam-packed with nutrients including potassium, magnesium, selenium and iron. Roasted or steamed, it’s delicious in an omelet or a standalone side dish.
  • Kale is an excellent source of Vitamin C and is filled with beta carotene – both can help you maintain a healthy diet this spring.

Smart Snacking

It’s simple, really:

  1. Limit saturated fat and eliminate trans fat from your diet.
  2. Opt for fresh or frozen vegetables and fruit with no added salt, sugar or fats.
  3. Increase the amount of fibre in your diet — especially soluble fibre!

Happy Heart Healthy Spring Eating 🙂

Staying Healthy March Break with Sunkist

March Break is here and with it comes travel or at least visiting new places and being exposed to new people.

It’s also still cold and flu season, and with airports and sporting and fun venues comes germs and the potential to get sick. We all look forward to spring and March Break (if you have kids), no one wants to spend that time at the doctor’s office or under the weather in general.

Sunkist has come up with some great ideas using the power of citrus (which I admit I am a big fan of) for keeping us in top form so we can be on our game for the arrival of spring.

Cold and flu season is in full swing, and this year opt for a natural remedy rather than a drugstore dose. It’s common knowledge that citrus fruits — including oranges, lemons and grapefruits — are praised for their cold-fighting abilities.  And what a natural coincidence that these fruits reach their peak during the virus-prone winter months. This winter forget the apple and choose an orange a day to keep the doctor away!

Being that I had the flu 3 times in the fall, I’m beyond on-board with these tips so I can stay flu-free.

Did you know:

  1. When juiced and stored in the fridge, grapefruit juice will retain 98% of its Vitamin C for up to a week
  2. Add fresh lemon juice to tea to help increase the absorption of antioxidants
  3. Start your morning with hot water and lemon juice to neutralize acid in your body and stimulate the immune system to fight infections
  4. 1/4 of a Pomelo contains over 100% of your daily Vitamin C
  5. Relieve a sore throat by combining lemon, honey and ginger into hot water

How about a delightful salad guaranteed to get us in the mood for spring and perk us up?

Sunkist® Grapefruit Panzanella Salad

Recipe developed by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

This is an excellent salad to serve as a starter or alongside grilled steak or roasted chicken.

Makes 6 to 8 servings 

Toasted Bread

4 cups 1-inch-cubed rustic French or Italian-style bread

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic

3 tablespoons grated high-quality parmesan cheese

Salad and Dressing

1 Sunkist® grapefruit

—————————————

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper

——————————————

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

1 large tomato, diced

1 large fresh mozzarella ball, diced

2 cups gourmet greens or arugula, washed (optional)

1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. 

To make the toasted bread: In a large bowl, toss the bread with olive oil, garlic and parmesan cheese. Spread on a baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven for about 6 to 8 minutes or until lightly crisped and golden. Let cool.

To serve the salad: Cut the top and bottom off grapefruit, then with a small paring knife cut the peel and white pith off the sides of the grapefruit. Slice the grapefruit and then dice. Set aside.

Right before serving, in a very large bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Then add the grapefruit, veggies, cheese, greens, basil and (cooled) toasted bread. Toss together to coat ingredients well. Serve immediately.

Sunkist Twists:

  • Top salad with diced avocado.
  • Substitute the Sunkist® grapefruit for a Sunkist pommelo.
  • Try with baby spinach instead of arugula.

Sounds divine to  me! I’ll also be sure to post a couple other delightfully fun recipes on the NonMom Facebook page to help bring a little bit of summer into your diets, and keep away that nasty cold and flu that no one wants to get.

A Race Abroad…One for the Bucket List

Last week I snuck away. It was only for 9 days, but I filled those days let me tell you.
As a gift from my Grandmother who passed away earlier this year I was able to take my husband and I away overseas to London. I love London, but due to circumstance, hadn’t been able to visit in 10 years. It was an easy decision to go, but what to do while there and how to make it memorable and a proper thank you to my grandmother was a challenge, one that I was absolutely up for.
We know I am a runner. Words I still can’t believe sometimes apply to me, but I am. Once London was established as our destination and our hotel was booked, I took a serious look at where we were going to be. Across the street from Kensington Gardens, a most lovely park, also home to Kate (more on that later though). I decided my running gear was coming with me.
Then I made a random web search and found something even better, a race! In Hyde Park! It would be a 5K for me (still recovering after all and I would have a week of walking ahead of me) for Stroke Association UK.
After landing just 24 hours prior I was still a little stiff but put on my colourful running best (one must dress for a race after all and being abroad wasn’t going to change that for me) and of course my tiara headband (THANK YOU JACKIE!!!!!!!!!!!!) and hubby and I headed over to the start. Thankfully the starting area was easy to spot as I really had only a vague idea of where I was going.
It was a cool morning for sure, but I was cool with that, this was Hyde Park…in LONDON. My dream come true!
I managed to get a little too excited and forgot to set my Garmin watch so in all honesty, I didn’t start with the masses…but that probably helped me as I was worried about my pacing and going too fast at the start like I had a week prior.
Soon enough I was off and what a beautiful course! Breathtaking, and not just because I was running either. I couldn’t help but keep smiling the whole route soaking in where I was and how wonderful that was for me.
And yes, I did my ‘Royal’ wave as I crossed the line too ;). Click here to see.
My public goal for the race: Sub 40. My private goal: Sub 35.
I finished with a 34:13. WOO HOO!!!!!
The last part of the fun, taking my medal to show Kate…I’m hoping she saw me ;).
London 2014 004

Give Good Energy with Starbucks Refreshers this Summer

Summer is so short and we have a lot to pack into it don’t we? I know my weekends are almost booked up already…and summer doesn’t officially launch until this Saturday! Wowzers!

To keep our energy levels up (in a natural way) so we can maximize our fun, Starbucks has brought their Refreshers to stores just in time! They have an improved flavour and are made with real fruit juice, B vitamins and naturally occurring caffeine from green coffee bean extract. For the calorie conscious (including myself) they have 90 per can, which I’m good with. Also the price, $2.99, not bad. Offered in Raspberry Pomegranate, Strawberry Lemonade (my fave so far) and Blueberry Acai, there’s sure to be one to suit your taste.

 

Starbucks RefreshersBut that’s not all that Starbucks is up to this summer!

The campaign is ‘Give Good Energy’ or #GoodEnergy, and the purpose is to engage Canadians with positivity every day. We all need that in our lives and it really does make a difference to hear positive words. I know that on MANY occasions when I’ve felt a little down, simply smiling or being smiled at makes a massive difference to me.

To further this Starbucks is encouraging Canadians to follow their Starbucks Refreshers Give Good Energy board on Pinterest which will be full of inspirational quotes and such. There are some good ones on there, I checked ;).

There’s also an automated weekly boost of Good Energy that you can subscribe to via text. I did. Simply text GOOD to 39393 (POSITIVE in Quebec), and on Mondays at 3pm you’ll get an inspirational text sent to you. Let’s face it, we all need that on a Monday, myself included.

And to help us along with this, Starbucks and myself are having an inspirational, energizing giveaway!

The “Starbucks Refreshers Good Energy On-The-Go Gift Pack” (approximate value $150) includes a variety of must-haves for a daily dose of inspiration and good energy on-the-go, such as:

·               All three flavours of Ready-to-drink Starbucks Refreshers™

·               Personal Journal

·               Yoga mat

·               Inspirational quote tote

·               Refreshing body mist

·               Lip balm

·               Portable cell phone charger

·               Moist towelettes

·               Ear buds

·               And much more!

Want to win it? Simply leave me a comment here and tell me what inspires and motivates you or how you perk up when you’re needing energy. Open to Canucks only, the winner will be randomly drawn by Nonmom on June 22nd and notified by email.

Here’s one to get your started, my personal mantra is to put one foot in front of the other and you will get there. It has served me well and continues to. Let’s inspire each other!

Cheers!

#Running Redemption Achieved

As you read last week, running has been a struggle for me of late and it was something I needed to get over and quick since I had signed up for Oakville’s Run for Women on June 1st.

Plagued by injuries and strains etc. I was past frustrated with myself and my patience was gone. But I knew this race was coming up and I was going (unless it was monsooning out, then umm no, been there, done that, no more monsoons) to do my best and hope for a decent result.

Last week I trained smart and my last time out was on Thursday night where I upped my interval from 3:1 to 4:1, but kept the distance low to not wreck anything. Coach Jeff recommended it so I figured try it. It was a great run too, I actually really genuinely enjoyed it. The confidence was coming back.

Friday I was tied up with an event and Saturday I ran a couple of errands, and for me at least, did my best to relax and rest up.

Carbs were also involved. I love carbs. But I digress.

Everything was planned out, I need that, I’m a planner, and when my alarm went off at 6:30 on Sunday I was up, dressed and doing my warm-up routine and eating my pre-race food. And best of all, I was actually smiling. That hasn’t happened before a run in a while.

Hubby drove and we got to our friends place where we parked and dropped him off his coffee. I geared up, finished a few extra stretches and, donning my sparkle skirt and tiara headband I headed over to meet my friend and her friends at the event.

IMG_20140601_074949

I got to the start area and was immediately at ease. This was what I needed. A smaller scale than previous and perfect weather. I met up with my friend Terri and her friends, talked strategy and then we were pretty much off!

I did something I’ve never done before with this race, I triple-stinted my running for the start. I felt great, I figured why not? I had it in my head I wasn’t doing this for time, this was simply to get my confidence back. And it worked too. I maintained my pace and kept to my 3:1 intervals and kept going. I loved it, I smiled the whole time!

When I got to the 8th km I decided that whenever my walk interval ended once I passed km 9 I was going to just run the rest.

I saw my hubby on the corner near the finish to cheer me on. Well, he cheered in his way, by being there, and my smile grew. I love making him proud of me :).

RunforWomen_edit

I got to the final corner, saw Terri and her friends and poured it on, a matter of meters to go I sprinted to the finish.

My goal for the race was simple: Have fun, love it again, and if possible, get a 1:15.

I got a 1:11:38. I took 3:23 off my best 10k time. Go me!

IMG_20140601_105504

New goal: Since I run 3:1’s (Run 3 mins, walk 1), and since my triple-stint experiment went well, by the end of the summer I want to be able to run 5km (this race was a 10) straight. Time is irrelevant, I just want to be able to do it.

Conclusion: I love this again :).

Getting my #Running Groove Back

I admit it, since the half-marathon running just hasn’t been something I love. And that’s upsetting for me since I was really really enjoying this new activity in my life.

Since race day I’ve suffered from lead legs, hips out of alignment, the wrong muscles firing and the right ones not and feeling all twisty and ‘off’. It hasn’t been pleasant. I’ve been seeing my trainer/coach and we’ve been working through it but until last week, I just couldn’t find my ‘bounce’.

When I am running and enjoying it, I feel all light and, well, bouncy on my feet. I grin from ear to ear, wave and smile at my fellow runners and walkers and enjoy every moment.  I pace to my music and it’s my ‘me’ time. Something we all need.

I guess I’m a bit impatient too. I knew by doing what the doc was telling me things would get better but it seemed like one roadblock after another and to be blunt, the weather wasn’t helping my enthusiasm either.

Last week I started my new routine of stretching and pre-race exercises and when I went out for a run on Saturday with my friend (who is an Ironwoman incidentally, OMG, I totally ran with an Ironwoman!!!) it was the best I had felt in months! The bounce was back. Even without my playlist on that particular outing.

I was able to rekindle my love of this activity and it’s perfect timing too since, umm, this is race week. Yes, I signed up and debated not going, but am now determined and remotivated for the Run for Women 10K. I can do this. Will it be a PB day? If I’m lucky. Does that matter? Nope. I just wanna run!