19 FOR 19 

Look­ing for new ways to build a healthy mind, body or life? Check out these ideas brought to you by the edi­tors of Best Health. Some pamper you, some push you — but all of them help move you a lit­tle closer to to­tal well­ness.

Best Health - - CONTENTS -

Our edi­tors have rounded up their favourite health and well­ness ideas to make this your best year yet

MORN­ING GLORY

If you aren’t using a fa­cial serum yet, this is the year to start. The beauty of a serum is that it de­liv­ers a high con­cen­tra­tion of an­tiox­i­dants to help slow down ag­ing and im­prove skin’s tex­ture and bright­ness. One to try? Alu­mierMD EverAc­tive C&E ($179/3-month sup­ply). This brand has cre­ated unique packaging that en­sures fresh­ness. You ac­ti­vate the serum by push­ing a but­ton at the top of the bot­tle that re­leases the vi­ta­min C crys­tals into the serum. No muss, no fuss, but po­tency guar­an­teed.

JUST BREW IT

A morn­ing pit stop at your lo­cal cof­fee haunt can feel like a treat, but brew­ing at home has end­less ben­e­fits. Be­sides for­go­ing sug­ary baked goods, con­sider the sav­ings: If you spend $3 on cof­fee per day on av­er­age, you’ll be sav­ing nearly $100 a month. Hate the has­sle of home brew­ing? The new Keurig K-Mini ($89) takes up min­i­mal counter space (less than five inches wide) and brews di­rectly into your travel mug. Use the My K-Cup Uni­ver­sal Reusable Cof­fee Fil­ter ($20) and your fave fair-trade beans for eco (and wal­let) bonus points.

BERRY IN­TER­EST­ING

Move over, açai; there’s a new, eas­ier-to-pro­nounce berry in town. Meet maqui (pro­nounced “mack-ee”), a pur­ple berry from Chile that has long been a part of the diet of the na­tion’s in­dige­nous peo­ple, the Ma­puche. The berries make a great ad­di­tion to smooth­ies, as they are high in an­tiox­i­dants and have been touted for ev­ery­thing from re­duc­ing in­flam­ma­tion to boost­ing en­ergy. An­other way to use them? In your skin­care. Try Sk­inOwl’s Maqui

Berry Beauty Whip ($85 at thedetox­mar­ket.ca) for a boost in soft­ness and a more even skin tone.

NA­TURE’S CALL­ING

Winter of­fers beau­ti­ful land­scapes, no doubt, but the frozen tun­dra doesn’t do much for con­nect­ing us with the heal­ing power of plant ther­apy. At Best Health, we love the idea of har­ness­ing botan­i­cals for well-be­ing, and one easy way to make that hap­pen is with es­sen­tial oils. Use them to boost your im­mune sys­tem or re­lieve stress. A dif­fuser is an easy way to ex­per­i­ment. Two com­pa­nies that of­fer great se­lec­tions are saje.ca and es­cents.ca.

UP­GRADE YOUR SKIN­CARE

…with a fa­cial treat­ment that’s a to­tal keener: the Hy­draFa­cial. Whether its to deep clean, re­fine pores or hy­drate, this three-step fa­cial is se­ri­ously sat­is­fy­ing. First, any block­age is re­moved from the skin using a light lac­tic and gly­colic acid serum ap­plied with the sig­na­ture wand (a feel­ing ac­cu­rately de­scribed “as the lick of a cat’s tongue”). Then, the wand sucks dirt and de­bris from pores for a deeper clean. Fi­nally, the wand re­plen­ishes skin with a cock­tail of hy­drat­ing ac­tive in­gre­di­ents, like hyaluronic acid. The re­sult? A plump, clear, ra­di­ant face. Book one at northmed­i­calspa.com ($165 per treat­ment) or your lo­cal medispa.

TRAVEL IN HEALTH

It’s easy to talk yourself out of ex­er­cis­ing when trav­el­ling, whether for work or plea­sure. Our reco to stay on track? Book yourself into a ho­tel that makes well­ness a pri­or­ity. The Westin of­fers cool pro­grams that help you stay the course, in­clud­ing these, avail­able at Westin Cal­gary, Westin Har­bour Cas­tle (Toronto) and Westin Ot­tawa. • RunWestin

Guests can choose to ven­ture out on their own using the ho­tel’s cus­tom­ized RunWestin run­ning map, which of­fers five- and eight-kilo­me­tre routes, or join the RunWestin

Concierge for a guided group run.

• WestinWork­out

Guests can main­tain their fo­cus on fit­ness with 24/7 ac­cess to state-ofthe-art equip­ment.

• Work­out Gear Lend­ing On-site gear lend­ing pro­grams of­fer a se­lec­tion of New Bal­ance ap­parel to use dur­ing your stay.

SMARTEN UP YOUR SKIN­CARE ROU­TINE

Save your skin by in­vest­ing in a mul­tipur­pose skin­care de­vice. The Clarisonic Mia Smart ($229) has four func­tions: cleans­ing, firm­ing, re­duc­ing puffi­ness and ap­ply­ing makeup. Clin­i­cally proven to cleanse skin six times bet­ter than hands alone, this takes face­wash­ing to the next level. It’s also com­pat­i­ble with an app that can no­tify you when it’s time to change your brush head and rec­om­mend cleans­ing rou­tines for your com­plex­ion’s spe­cific needs.

DRINK BUB­BLY

Drink­ing more wa­ter is never a bad thing, but it can be a hard thing. Af­ter glug­ging six to eight glasses a day for a week or so, it’s easy to be­come bored with it, which usu­ally leads to feel­ing less mo­ti­vated to keep it up. We’ve been using a So­daStream Fizzi One Touch Sparkling Wa­ter Maker ($180) for the past few months and it def­i­nitely lev­els up the wa­ter game. Avail­able at ma­jor re­tail­ers, this sleek kitchen aid turns ba­sic tap wa­ter into car­bon­ated bliss with the press of a but­ton, let­ting you add flavours for more fun. We also like to squeeze in a bit of citrus for a hit of vi­ta­min C.

SUP­PLE­MENT SAVVY

The best way to get your quota of vi­ta­mins and min­er­als is through your diet, but we’re the first to rec­og­nize that’s not al­ways pos­si­ble. A mul­ti­vi­ta­min can top you up on days when you can’t meet your nu­tri­tional needs through food alone. We’ve been pop­ping Cen­trum Mul­tiGum­mies Multi + Beauty ($19 at se­lect mass re­tail­ers). It’s the first multi that in­cludes a blend of nu­tri­ents (vi­ta­mins A, C and E and bi­otin) to help pro­mote health­ier hair, skin and nails, in ad­di­tion to the reg­u­lar support that a mul­ti­vi­ta­min of­fers for the im­mune sys­tem, bone health and me­tab­o­lism.

FO­CUS PO­CUS

Eat­ing with in­ten­tion may save you some calo­ries. A 2018 study from the So­ci­ety for the Study of Inges­tive Be­hav­ior asked a group of peo­ple (rang­ing from av­er­age weight to obese) to choose a fo­cus be­fore de­cid­ing on their por­tion sizes for lunch. The op­tions? The health ef­fects of food, the ex­pected plea­sure or stay­ing full un­til din­ner time. An­other group chose their lunch por­tions with no in­struc­tion. The group that was asked to eat mind­fully chose smaller por­tions over­all, and those who chose to think about their health went for the small­est por­tions, re­gard­less of their weight.

RE EVENT YOURSELF

Feel­ing bored with your work­outs? It hap­pens. That’s why Brent Bishop, a per­sonal trainer and founder of Think Fit­ness Stu­dios, likes to have clients sign up for a new fit­ness event four times a year. “This al­lows you to cre­ate se­ri­ous mo­men­tum with fit­ness and gets you out of your com­fort zone,” says Bishop. He asks you to choose one you’re gen­uinely in­ter­ested in, like a race, a char­ity bike event or even a des­ti­na­tion event like hik­ing Kil­i­man­jaro or fin­ish­ing an en­durance jun­gle eco-chal­lenge. “The ex­pe­ri­ence of cross­ing that fin­ish line or reach­ing that moun­tain peak is some­thing no one can take away from you,” says Bishop. “The jour­ney lead­ing up to this ac­com­plish­ment is al­ways worth it. Once one event is com­pleted, you are at a brand-new level of phys­i­cal and men­tal fit­ness.”

FIGHT POL­LU­TION

We’re all well aware that we should be wear­ing SPF daily, but city dwellers should be vig­i­lant about an­other skin as­sailant: pol­lu­tion. Emerg­ing re­search shows that air pol­lu­tion speeds up the de­vel­op­ment of wrin­kles and age spots, and a 2016 study showed that age spots on cheeks in­creased by 25 per­cent with just a small rise in pol­lu­tion. The bright side? Drunk Ele­phant D-Bronzi Anti-Pol­lu­tion Sun­shine Serum ($44 at sephora.ca). It con­tains chrono­cy­clin, an in­gre­di­ent that mim­ics the an­tiox­i­dant ef­fects of vi­ta­min D, along with omega-rich vir­gin marula and black-cur­rant seed oils. Add a few drops to your sun­screen for a dewy glow and pro­tec­tive bar­rier.

CLOSE THE HEALTH GAP

Think all health care is cre­ated equal? Think again. Un­til the 1990s, women weren’t of­ten in­cluded in health care re­search stud­ies, mean­ing many pre­scrip­tion drug ther­a­pies and treat­ment pro­to­cols have been dis­pro­por­tion­ately stud­ied on men, de­spite their very dif­fer­ent phys­i­ol­ogy. Women also ex­pe­ri­ence dif­fer­ences in treat­ment for chronic con­di­tions and men­tal health care. Women’s Col­lege Hos­pi­tal is work­ing to close that gap through its re­search, women’s men­tal health care pro­gram and other in­no­va­tions. Change be­gins with us! Learn more about it at the­health­gap.ca.

NICE GENES

Cu­ri­ous what spe­cific eat­ing and fit­ness plans work best with your bod? Check out mydna.life. Sim­ply swab your cheek and send the sam­ple off to their labs and you’ll re­ceive a de­tailed re­port that in­cludes in­sight into your op­ti­mal diet and work­out. The nu­tri­tion re­port is gen­er­ated by look­ing at seven key genes that de­ter­mine ev­ery­thing from your weight and body size to how you burn fat and process fatty acids. The fit­ness re­port an­a­lyzes genes as­so­ci­ated with ev­ery­thing from mus­cle power to en­durance to re­cov­ery and gives rec­om­men­da­tions on which work­outs are best suited to you.

ANX­I­ETY? THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT

If you’re feel­ing anx­ious, de­pressed or stressed, check out Woe­bot. This app was de­signed by Ali­son Darcy, a clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist at Stan­ford Univer­sity, to put cog­ni­tive be­havioural ther­apy (CBT) in your pocket. Chat­ting with this friendly bot (think iMes­sage for­mat) can help you rec­og­nize and chal­lenge dis­torted think­ing pat­terns, which con­trib­ute to neg­a­tive emo­tions. While it’s not a re­place­ment for ther­apy IRL, it’s a tool that can help bridge the gap be­tween ses­sions or man­age a bad day. Bonus: you can con­tact it day or night and it’s armed with a plethora of corny jokes to lighten the mood.

PASS ON PASTA

Noo­dles made of zuc­chini, or “zoo­dles,” have been a healthy diet sta­ple for some time now, but have you heard of kohlrabi noo­dles? Part of the cab­bage fam­ily, this un­der­rated veg con­tains more vi­ta­min C than or­anges and is su­per-low in calo­ries. Don’t have the time (or the spi­ral­izer) to make your own? Try Mann’s Nour­ish Bowls ($5 at ma­jor su­per­mar­kets), the first-ever warm veg­gie meals with plant-based pro­tein. One bowl is un­der 300 calo­ries and cooks in the mi­crowave in a mat­ter of min­utes.

FIX LACK­LUS­TRE LOCKS

Re­pair dam­aged hair with this su­per­star in­gre­di­ent: rahua (pro­nounced “ra-wa”). Long used by the women of the Ama­zon jun­gle, this nut oil is a pow­er­house for strength­en­ing and nur­tur­ing hair. Cre­ated in a sym­bi­otic process that in­volves be­ing grown wild in the rain­for­est and har­vested and pro­cessed by in­dige­nous peo­ple of the Ama­zon who are paid fairly, it’s no won­der this in­gre­di­ent is ex­clu­sive. Try Rahua Leg­endary Ama­zon Oil ($60 at thedetox­mar­ket.ca), a luxe mix of rahua, morete and sacha inchi oils that nour­ishes with­out weigh­ing strands down.

TRAIN YOUR BRAIN

Chances are, you’ve heard the news that med­i­ta­tion is good for you. In fact, a 2011 Har­vard study showed that af­ter 27 min­utes of mind­ful­ness ex­er­cises each day for eight weeks, par­tic­i­pants had in­creased grey-mat­ter den­sity in their hip­pocam­pus (the area of the brain known for learn­ing and mem­ory) and in struc­tures as­so­ci­ated with self-aware­ness, com­pas­sion and in­tro­spec­tion. They also showed de­creased grey-mat­ter den­sity in the area known to play an im­por­tant role in anx­i­ety and stress. Enough said. Here’s how to kick­start your prac­tice for a bet­ter brain:

Get an app. Down­load a med­i­ta­tion app like Calm (with playlists cu­rated to dif­fer­ent in­ten­tions) or Headspace (de­vel­oped by a former monk) to help you wind down.

Visit a stu­dio. Some yoga stu­dios of­fer med­i­ta­tion classes, or check out Mind­set, which is ba­si­cally a gym for your brain. Choose from classes fo­cused on ev­ery­thing from pro­mot­ing re­lax­ation to boost­ing creativ­ity, and then use their EEGtech head­band to check out a re­port of when your mind wan­dered.

MAKE YOURSELF AT “OM”

The strug­gle is real. You want to #yo­gaev­ery­damn­day, but schlep­ping around your roll isn’t al­ways con­ve­nient. Here’s our favourite so­lu­tion: a fold­able mat like this of­fer­ing from Su­gar­mat ($90 at su­gar­mat.com). It ac­tu­ally folds into a small pouch and weighs a third of a reg­u­lar mat. It even has a rub­ber bot­tom, so you can try that tricky pose, and a syn­thetic suede top that’s per­fect for hot yoga (the sweatier you get, the more grip it pro­vides). It’s small enough to travel with, or toss it in your hand­bag for an af­ter-work session.

SAJE AROMA OM DIF­FUSER

KOHLRABI

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