Dr. Leena Athparia, ND

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Naturopathic Awareness Week May 12-17

This week, the power of Naturopathic medicine will be celebrated across North America.  Naturopathic doctors across Canada will be highlighting the value of naturopathic medicine, healthy living, and disease prevention in their community.
At Yuri's Village, Naturopaths - Dr. Yuri Murakami ND & Dr. Leena Athparia ND will be offering a variety of workshops & seminars to the public to showcase some of the benefits and variety naturopathic medicine has to offer and how you can apply it to your daily living.
Join us & get inspired !

*5 things Naturopathic Medicine can help your child's wellness* (free)

English: Tuesday, May 12 @ 10:30am-11:30am
Japanese: Wednesday, May 13 @

* Vegetarian Cooking Class*

Thursday, May 14 @ 11:00am-12:30pm

Join our hands-on cooking workshop where you will learn how to prepare simple, nutritious dishes for your family ! Dishes will have an Indian touch and you will learn how to use medicinal spices in your cooking !

* Intro to Naturopathic & Ayurvedic Medicine* (free)

Saturday, May 16 @ 9:30am-10:15am
Learn more about what is Naturopathic medicine in Canada, how it is practiced, what it covers and how it can help you in primary care treatment. We will also include Nutrition, Homeopathy, Supplements, Chinese Medicine, Herbs & Ayurveda.

* Naturopathic First Aid*
Saturday, May 16 @ 10:30am-11:30am
From cuts, burns, bruises & bites, learn natural & effective tips to help you and your family in acute situations to heal fast !
*Treating Autism with Naturopathic Medicine* (free)
Saturday, May 16 @
Autism can be challenging for families - learn how Naturopathic Medicine can help and how it has helped numerous autistic children improve their condition.

Pre-register here or call: 416-466-5773
*All workshops are $25, except the Vegetarian Cooking Class which will be $35 and includes materials & lunch afterwards.

Location: 663 Greenwood Ave, Toronto, ON

Tip: Did you know that lemon added to a glass of water in the morning can help with detox, cleanse your liver & alkalize your body?

Friday, 10 April 2015

Make your own Almond Milk

Nut Mylk: Healthy Milk Alternatives

Dr. Leena Athparia, ND

Dairy products are increasingly becoming a source of concern with the current state of the dairy industry.  Many of us simply cannot digest milk or experience health concerns that range from digestive upset, cramps, eczema, mucous and more.
Recently there has been a surge of alternative nut-based "milks", also known as 'nut mylks' to cater to the growing demand of dairy alternatives. These are made from sources such as almond, sunflower, soy, hemp, coconut and cashew.
However, store-bought nut milks may contain preservatives, sugar and other additives, so it's best if you can make your own.  It's not that difficult once you get practice, and it is cheaper. I personally like almond milk and am including a recipe here. Almonds are a great source of calcium & protein, have a sweet, pleasant taste and are easy to digest.
Make your own Almond Milk:

1. 1/2 cup almonds - soak overnight
2. Rinse & peel (if you're really tight for time, you can skip peeling)
3. Blend in the blender with 2 cups of water - it can be cold water or hot water if you want warm milk (best in a glass blender)
4. For extra taste try adding a pinch of: 
    - Cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, or cocoa powder - and blend again.
5. Sweetener - maple syrup, honey, maple syrup, dates if desired
For an Indian twist - try heating the almond milk with a pinch of saffron, and then add honey at the end for an evening drink.

No need to strain unless you prefer a smooth texture.
(Best made fresh, but may be kept in the fridge for a few days)

Enjoy hot or cold, or use as a base for smoothies !
For more tips on nut milks & healthy breakfast ideas, join our workshop:
"Smoothies & Superfoods" - April 24th @ 6:30pm
Register here by April 15  --->  WORKSHOP


Sunday, 5 April 2015

Experiencing Ayurveda at Vaidyagrama

A True Ayurvedic Healing Village in India

Dr. Leena Athparia, ND

There's so much talk about 'Detox' these days, it's hard to know how & when to start detoxing or if it's really needed.

With spring slowly peeking around the corner, people want to burn off the winter fat & sluggishness, and regain their energy. I've recommended and customized many detox programs for patients and have tried a few myself - all with different degrees of benefits. Some range from changing or removing certain foods in the diet for a period of time, and other involve herbal teas or capsules.

However, after visiting a beautiful Ayurvedic Center in South India, I realize there is nothing quite like the Ayurvedic approach to detoxification !

Abhyanga massage & treatments done - time for lunch 
Ayurveda is an ancient system of medicine that dates back to over 5,000 years.  It is an ancient, time-tested system which has studied the human system in much depth. Though our modern technology & medicine have brought many benefits, the mechanics of the human body & mind have not changed much over thousands of years.  Ayurveda, which has parallels with Traditional Chinese Medicine & is a sister science to Yoga, identifies imbalances in a person and attempts to re-establish balance through the 5 elements, herbs, lifestyle, nutrition, massage, exercise, meditation, and other treatments.

During my visit at Vaidyagrama between Coimbatore & Palakkad, India, I had the opportunity to experience Ayurveda first-hand under the care of excellent Ayurvedic Doctors. Though I did not specifically intend to do a detox, four days of simple diet & treatments at the center did wonders & left me wanting to come back for more !

 Balcony - overlooking garden
My accommodation was a simple but beautiful room, with a large balcony opening onto a tropical garden.  Built with natural materials and following the principals of vastu shastra, Vaidyagrama strives towards being as environmentally friendly as possible, utilizing concepts of renewable energy, solar energy, wind energy, bio-mass, waste water recycling and management.  The center is an blend of authentic Ayurvedic tradition in a modern context.

 Vasta shastra & environmentally friendly techniques used 
The Doctors and the staff were really the ones that brought the whole place to life with their dynamism and passion.  Running around gracefully from patient to patient, giving undivided attention to each person, they definitely had huge responsibilities - however, not a moment went by where you saw that they were stressed or didn't want to be there.  You could tell their heart was fully into their work, and many of them live there with their families.  I enjoyed my interaction with the Doctors and especially found it refreshing to 'switch roles' - from being the Naturopathic Doctor to the patient.

My treatments consisted of:
  • Initial consultation by 1-2 Ayurvedic Doctors
  • 2-3 follow ups daily in my room
  • 3 wholesome Ayurvedic meals (vegetarian, mostly cooked with mild spice & salt)
  • Herbal teas & fruits for snacks
  • Herbal medicine: kashayams (herbal decoctions), fermented herbal drinks & porridges
  • Abhyangas: daily full-body oil massages with warm, constitution specific oils
  • Time with nature and following the natural rhythms of the day and seasons
  • Meditation & yoga at certain times of the day as well as self-reflection.

Treatment room (photo courtesy of Vaidyagrama)
Though I was not going for any specific issue or treatment, my general assessment and treatment recommendations by the Ayurvedic Doctor allowed me to experience the possibilities of Ayurveda.

I began to notice significant improvement in my digestion and energy, in addition to increase joint mobility and general flexibility.  Speaking to the other patients that had come for treatment, I realized many of them were there for more serious concerns - neurological, auto-immune or for panchakarma which is an intense 21-day cleansing program.

  Ayurvedic meal served at lunch (rice, roti, carrot curry, lentil, squash & buttermilk)
More than the herbal drinks and medicine given, it was the natural setting, care of the Doctors and therapists and the opportunity to let the body tune into the healing power of nature.  It was one of my first experiences staying in an Ayurvedic Centre, and it was far beyond what I had initially expected.  It was touching to see the dedication and passion of the Doctors working there - not as a job, but as something they are truly dedicated to. This undoubtedly allows patients to recover quickly, and regain hope on their healing journey.  It was also reassuring that they have attempted to keep the spirit & tradition of such a rich healing tradition alive within the context of modern times.

Checking out the Ayurvedic pharmacy with one of my colleagues
I look forward to my learning & healing journey in Ayurveda, and hope to share it with many more people. 

For more information on Vaidyagrama - A True Healing Village, visit: www.vaidyagrama.com