World Breastfeeding Week – October 1-7, 2014

5 Benefits of Breastfeeding your Baby

Health Canada and the World Health Organization recommend that breast milk should be the only food or drink for the first 6 months of life and after that, breastfeeding should continue for up to 2 years or more along with age-appropriate solid foods.

Why? Because breast milk is one of the most remarkable substances on the planet (IMO).

A woman’s body naturally produces breast milk when her baby needs it … and it provides the proper mixture of nutrients to be all that a baby needs for healthy development. In fact, as the baby grows and their needs change, so does the composition of the milk. How cool is that? An individualized meal plan, built by nature, supplied by mom.

  1. Nutrition – breast milk contains all the necessary vitamins, minerals and nutrients for healthy growth and development
  2. Protection for baby – breast milk carries antibodies and other immune factors which help prevent disease and reduce the risk of developing allergies
  3. Protection for mother – breastfeeding provides protection from breast and ovarian cancer
  4. Bonding – breastfeeding helps to build and strengthen a secure, loving relationship which can cultivate confidence later in life
  5. Convenience – considering breast milk is free, portable, and has no clean-up required it is a great option for all those involved, including the environment

The fine print: babies who are exclusively breastfed do require daily supplementation with Vitamin D

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

The Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada and the government of Ontario want to bring awareness about this disease because it is Ontario’s second leading cause of cancer death for both men and women.

They also want to take this time to spread this message: Colorectal cancer is PREVENTABLE, TREATABLE & BEATABLE!

When detected early through regular screening, there’s a 90% chance of curing colorectal cancer.

More importantly, there are a number of lifestyle choices you can make that will help to reduce your risk of developing colorectal cancer (and if you were reading Dr. Schmocker’s February post, heart disease too), including:

–          Eating a well-balanced diet high in brightly coloured fruits and vegetables & low in fat

–          Being physically active & maintaining a healthy weight

–          Reducing stress & obtaining adequate sleep

–          Being smoke-free & limiting alcohol use

Prevention is a key treatment principle in the field of naturopathic medicine. In fact, of the 6 fundamental healing principles which guide naturopathic doctors, two focus upon prevention:

Teach the principles of healthy living and preventative medicine, by sharing knowledge with patients and encouraging individual responsibility for health.

Emphasize prevention, by partnering with the patient to assess risk factors and recommend appropriate naturopathic interventions to maintain health and prevent illness.

By understanding the unique physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental and social factors that contribute to illness, naturopathic doctors are able to develop treatment protocols that are custom tailored for each individual. If you are interested in learning more about your natural approach to disease prevention and overall health promotion, please contact Dr. Sarah Schmocker, ND at 416.694.4800 x3 or by email at

By torontonaturalhealth

February Fruits and Vegetables – from Foodland Ontario

Here is a list of fruits & veggies currently in season …

FRUIT: apples & rhubarb

VEGGIES: beets, cabbage, carrots, cucumber (gh), garlic, leeks, lettuce (gh), mushrooms, onions (cooking & red), parsnips, potatoes, rutabaga, sprouts, squash & sweet potatoes

You can make a complete meal using all of the foods listed above!

Toss almost every vegetable from the list into a pot or slow-cooker to make a heart-healthy & warming stew. Pair that with a side-salad of lettuce, cucumber, carrots and sprouts … and follow it with a sliver of apple-rhubarb pie!

By torontonaturalhealth

Coughing? Have some honey, Honey.

If you or one of your loved ones (over one year of age) is currently suffering from a cough, try taking a spoonful of honey! It can help to alleviate the cough and improve sleep for your household. In their recent article entitled Treating Cough and Cold: Guidance for Caregivers of Children and Youth, R.D. Goldman and the Canadian Paediatric Society stated the following findings:

In paired comparisons, honey was significantly superior to no
treatment or honey-flavoured dextromethorphan for cough frequency
and severity, bothersome nature of the cough, and the
child/parent sleep quality

…2.5 mL of honey before sleep improved cough frequency and severity, as well as
sleep quality … a better improvement compared with dextromethorphan, diphenhydramine or placebo.

Vitamin D as a Hormone – effects on the immune system, insulin, heart, blood pressure, brain & fetal development

In addition to outlining the role of Vitamin D acting as a hormone within the human body, in the August 2008 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, A.W. Norman’s article From Vitamin D to Hormone D: fundamentals of the vitamin D endocrine system essential for good health made the following findings …

Recent research has shown that vitamin D3‘s biological sphere of influence is much broader than researchers originally thought, as shown by the tissue distribution of the VDR, from mediating only calcium homeostasis (intestine, bone, kidney, and parathyroid) to functioning as a pluripotent hormone in 5 physiologic arenas in which researchers have clearly identified additional biological actions of 1α,25(OH)2D3 through the VDR. These physiologic arenas are the adaptive immune system, the innate immune system, insulin secretion by the pancreatic β cell, multifactorial heart functioning and blood pressure regulation, and brain and fetal development.

By torontonaturalhealth

Vitamin D, Obesity & Diabetes Type 2

In their July 2013 article Vitamin D deficiency is a risk factor for obesity and diabetes type 2 in women at late reproductive age, the authors found that low vitamin D levels “correlated with high body fat, glucose levels and decreased insulin sensitivity. We conclude that vitamin D deficiency is a potential risk factor for obesity and development of insulin resistance leading to diabetes type 2.”

Complimentary Individual Consultation


Enjoy a complimentary 15-minute individual consultation with Dr. Sarah Schmocker, ND

A great opportunity to meet Dr. Sarah to discuss the benefits of naturopathic medicine for you


Learn how a naturopathic approach can optimize your health and help you achieve your wellness goals

To book your one-on-one appointment please call Balance Health Group at 416.698.3157


email: SarahSnd (at) gmail (dot) com