My love for muffins goes waaaaay back.

Throughout my childhood my mom was known for frequently making batches of health-conscious but tasty muffins. I would come home after school and drop my knapsack to excitedly bite into warm guilt-free nourishment.  Even after moving from Toronto to Vancouver to go to the University of British Columbia, I’ll never forget how touched I was when a new friend brought me a basket of freshly baked berry muffins as a welcoming gift.

Muffins have come to be symbolic of comfort to me. There is nothing quite like spreading butter or ghee or seed/nut butter on a fresh hot-out-of-the-oven muffin and pairing it with a steaming cup of herbal tea.

Though muffins are synonymous with comfort food for many, too often store bought muffins or muffin mixes are unfortunately anything but comforting because they are loaded with sugar and highly processed ingredients. A cake mix with a bit of bran in it cannot be called a muffin. However, when made thoughtfully with nutrient-rich quality ingredients, muffins can be an easy make-ahead fibre-filled, nutritious and healthful snack…

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*Note: ‘Belly health’ is defined in this blog as encompassing the health within the entire pelvis, abdomen and gut including the reproductive organs, bladder and digestive system.

Have you ever had that experience when you learn something profound that changes the way you see things and you can never un-see or un-learn it again? 

I have.

In fact, I have had several pivotal and repeated teaching moments in my years as a naturopathic doctor that have made it abundantly clear to me that ensuring optimal belly health is an essential strategy to ensuring a person’s ultimate vitality.

Meaning that for women if her gut, pelvis, gynaecological organs or bladder are symptomatic this can actually derail her overall sense of wellbeing by impacting her immunity, mood, mobility, libido, fertility, proper digestive elimination, confidence conceiving, proper post-partum recovery, menopause experience and much more.

Furthermore in some cultures such as the Maya healing traditions from Belize, it is believed in fact that the health of the uterus is central to a woman's vitality. 

“The uterus is the woman’s core, if it is out of balance, her whole life is out of balance-physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.”

-Don Elijio Panti, Maya Shaman of Belize (Central America) who trained Dr. Rosita Arvigo about the ancient Maya technique of abdominal massage

On a Happy Note

If your abdominal, pelvic and uterine health are excellent, this can have an extremely positive ripple effect on your complete health status leading to excellent immunity, mental clarity, a calm clean gut, easier periods, optimized gynaecological health, supercharged fertility, conceiving with ease, empowered pregnancy, strong post-baby recovery and a smooth menopause.

So now...

I believe in prioritizing women's belly health and respecting the interconnections between all of the abdominal and pelvic health organs/structures with a holistic approach which has become the focus and passion in my practice as a naturopathic doctor.

My Big 'Aha"…..

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Have you ever had that feeling when you learn something that becomes so pivotal and valuable in your life that you feel super passionate about sharing it with others in case it could help them too?

That's exactly how I feel about the health benefits of the Arvigo®Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy (ATMAT) for women. Actually I think every women deserves to know about it because I have watched it lead to so many successes and wins in women's lives including easier periods, a calm clean gut, super-charged fertility, confidence conceiving, empowered pregnancy, optimized gynecological and pelvic health, stronger post-baby recovery and a smoother menopause. Phenomenal results.

And what is even more of an insight is that I have watched this technique empower women to reconnect with their bodies and literally put their health back into their own hands.

It's got a long name but it is truly a powerful and healing external massage technique that is applied to the abdomen and pelvis to decongest and realign vital organs to help resolve digestive, gynecological and pelvic health concerns and it can dramatically enhance fertility. Part of what makes this such a practical and affordable approach is that in addition to receiving a complete Arvigo®Massage from a trained Arvigo®Practitioner, you will be taught and encouraged to perform self-abdominal massage almost daily…

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While I am fully aware that "Green Smoothies" are all the rage these days (and I do admit I do enjoy a tasty green smoothie), I tend to be someone who likes to buck the trend and to be an early adopter or experimenter of new things. In the case of eating more greens, I have to be honest,  I sometimes prefer to simply keep my sweet and savoury foods separate. If I am eating my greens, I often choose to have them in abundance and in creative ways with my main meal as opposed to always also being combined with fruits in a smoothie. 

When it comes to my adoration for preparing real food for my family that is both nutritious and delicious this desire to be an experimenter could not be more true. Now not all my experiments actually work out such as the time I altered a gluten-free cookie recipe and the cookies were tasty but crumbled to pieces. But occasionally I fall upon a winning recipe that is full of nutrition and everyone gives it a thumbs up and then gobbles it up. This is true of the savoury green sauce recipe I am going to share with you that is affectionately and quite simply called “green sauce” in my house.

Reminder of why increasing “greens” in your diet is important

First of all research is showing now that increasing the amount of plant foods foods in general is beneficial........

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On a visit to my osteopath many years ago, I was amazed when I found out a very valuable insight about the inter-connection between the jaw and the pelvis.  

It seems initially surprising that when trying to resolve concerns in the pelvis, an osteopath will often treat the jaw (or vice versa) but this is because they know something we should all know.

The jaw and pelvis are physiologically connected and the alignment and relaxation of each deeply affects the other. This fact is definitely up there on my list of top ‘aha’ body awareness tips.

And for the many patients I share this concept with, it has shifted their body awareness forever by urging them to immediately ease up any tightness they’re holding unconsciously at these two major points in their body.

What is also startling is my clinical observation is that 90% (!!) of the female patients I see report having grinding, clenching or TMJ/TMD type concerns (and need to wear a night guard) while simultaneously seeking my support for pelvic health issues. This confirmed to me that the link between the jaw and the pelvis is real and more common than you’d think.

As a naturopathic doctor and Arvigo®Practioner who regularly administers external abdominal and pelvic massage techniques to women to decongest and align the pelvis, I always start each session now by reminding my patients to first release their jaw and remove their tongue from the roof of their mouth to make sure they can get the fullest benefit from the massage. 

Especially since I experience jaw tension too, I wanted to really explore and zoom in on more details about the fascinating connection between the jaw and the pelvis and share more helpful insights with you about what we can do to better understand this concept and how to keep both of these vital areas healthier.

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True story.

A few years ago the city of Toronto decided to name all the small laneways in my neighbourhood and assigned them official street signs.

I am fortunate to live on a street that does have a laneway which also happens to back on to a nice park with play structures and is connected to the back door of an amazing east Indian restaurant whose aromas waft deliciously out into the laneway.

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