Fall Cleanse - Basic Suggestions

If you didn't get to doing a cleanse in the Spring or New Year make it a priority before things get too busy. Toxicity can affect everything from immune health, to sleep quality to energy levels and mood(irritability, not a lot of patience, being reactive)  to weight gain. There are many ways to help your body's organs of detoxification (liver, kidneys, colon, lymphatics) function optimally. The Wild Rose Diet is a great diet to follow but I'm not keen on the supplements that come with it - I've found there are better, gentler ways to cleanse. See the section below for some of my favourite supplements and this section for general suggestions/tips. 

Some general ideas:

  1. Eat clean and simply. Eliminate all processed foods for a week or two and eat only fresh sprouts, fruits, vegetables, legumes and minimal whole grains and lean meats. The Brown Rice Diet or Anti-inflammatory Diet are both de-congesting, healthy diets to be on. See links on this website.

  2. Drink 8-12 (depending on weight and activity level) glasses of pure water each day. Adding freshly squeezed lemon or lemon slices to hot water is a simple way to promote cleansing.

  3. Move and breathe. Enjoy the extra time outdoors that the longer evenings allow. Breathe deep into the bottom of your lungs.

  4. Dry brush your skin from your toes and fingers toward your core and from your chin to your collarbone. Nice for your lymphatics.

  5. On waking and before bed, drink 1-2 tsp of a good quality greens supplement and human strain acidophilus in a glass of vegetable juice or water.

  6. Treat yourself to some bodywork that will not only further stimulate and support your body's internal janitorial system but will also be wonderfully relaxing. Bowen, Massage, Craniosacral Therapy, Osteopathy, Yoga, Acupuncture and Lymphatic Drainage are all great for this.

  7. Lastly, homeopathic drainage (Undas) takes cleaning up the body to a deeper level and is worth considering as an adjunct to the basics for those interested in experiencing a higher level of well-being. Book in (403) 609-8385 to have undas selected that are best for you.

  8. Special Note for Menstruating Women: the best time to start a detoxification program is the first day after your period is finished or just after the Full Moon.

Granola Recipe

If you’re ok with grains and are not on a candida diet here’s a granola recipe that is from Robyn (green smoothie girl) that is nice to have at home when you have little ones (or teenagers) and love the convenience of store bought processed cereals but value great health.

Puffed processed grain cereal is just not the way to start the day from a sustainable energy, healthy balanced mood/blood sugar and brain health perspective and is best as a “for fun” exception rather than the rule. Check the ingredients as there are good whole food granolas out there but don’t let “gluten-free” be the only selling point as these can be full of processed corn and sugar and the overprocessed puffed grains.

Here’s one that still has natural sugars in it but with lots of good fiber and whole food to give it a good balance of yummy and healthy!

  • 8 cups whole rolled oats

  • 1 cup wheat germ

  • 1 cup shredded coconut

  • 1/2 cup Organic Sprouted Flax

  • 1 1/2 cup nuts ( pecans, almonds, pumpkin seeds)

  • 1/2 cup dried fruit (cranberries, raisins)

  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds

  • 2 tbsp cinnamon

  • 1/2 cup raw honey

  • 1/2 cup Grade B maple syrup

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil

  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

  1. Mix rolled oats, raw wheat germ, shredded coconut, GSG Organic Sprouted Flax, nuts, dried fruit, sunflower seeds, and cinnamon together in large bowl

  2. Stir together honey, molasses or maple syrup, water, coconut oil, and flavoring together on stove, heat until barely melted

  3. Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until evenly distributed

  4. Bake at 250°F, stirring well every 20 minutes for 45-90 minutes or until dry

  5. Serve granola with nut or rice milk plus 2 tbsp sprouted raw sunflower and alfalfa seeds mixed in to provide live digestive enzymes

  6. Keep in pantry for up to two weeks, or in fridge for up to six weeks

Game Changing Hormonal Testing for Infertility and PMS

Tests to support the optimizing of fertility hormonally (one piece of a fertility assessment) and determining your current unique hormonal pattern/picture have for years included blood (serum) testing (sex hormones, thyroid panel and Ferritin), and Saliva Hormone testing (for a functional hormone assessment to include adrenal wellness and the impact of stress as well).

In the last decade a new functional medicine testing has become available that is great for women wanting to get a truly comprehensive picture of your hormonal picture. It is called the DUTCH Complete Test and it really is next level “complete”!

DUTCH stands for Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones. The testing measures reproductive hormones, HPA/ stress axis and organic acids including something else very useful - downstream metabolites of the hormones - thus giving you a more complete picture of your current unique hormonal health than any other tests currently available.

There are several DUTCH lab options.

DUTCH Complete

The DUTCH Complete is an advanced hormone test, offering an extensive profile of sex and adrenal hormones and melatonin, along with their metabolites, to identify symptoms of hormonal imbalances. The DUTCH complete is for women who would like to optimize their hormonal health and get a thorough one day assessment to understand deficiencies/imbalances that are contributing to their hormonal imbalance so they can be addressed directly.

DUTCH Cycle Mapping with DUTCH Complete

“For some female patients, testing on just one day of the month is not enough. Women with infertility, irregular cycles or no menstrual bleeding due to an ablation or partial hysterectomy can benefit from the DUTCH Cycle Mapping. This profile helps evaluate hormones throughout a full menstrual cycle. Nine targeted estrogen and progesterone measurements provide important details on a patient’s hormone levels in the follicular, ovulatory and luteal phases of the cycle.” www.dutchtest.com

* This test is great for women who would like the most information possible relatively quickly.

The DUTCH complete is a great option to start with. www.dutchtest.com for more information.

Some direct links to DUTCH test:

Dr. Carrie Jones -Why use DUTCH Testing?

Introduction to DUTCH Testing

DUTCH Complete Test -Information Page

DUTCH Cycle Mapping Test -Information Page

For an interview with Dr. Carrie, clinician at DUTCH test labs and the Get Pregnant Naturally Team you can access the podcast at this url: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFRmsudljf4


Dr. Monika Herwig ND is a Naturopathic Doctor, Acupuncturist, Yoga Nidra and Yoga Therapy Facilitator, mother of 2, and a Trailblazer with Happy Healthy Women in Canmore, Alberta. She practices Mind-Body Medicine especially around Adrenal, Gut, Hormonal and Mental Health in her clinic and leads Wellness Workshops and Retreats locally and internationally. Dr. Monika supports heart centered women shine their light and share their gifts with the world without burning out through whole life health and a functional medicine approach to wellness. She is especially passionate about supporting moms and moms-to-be and runs yearly Fairy Nature Camps for her clients’ children (and herself!). To book an appointment call (403) 609-8385 or visit our online booking through this link:


“Every woman who heals herself helps heal all the women who came before her, and those who come after her.” Christiane Northrup

Getting Ready for Starting School - 12 Great Tips to Make the Transition an Easeful Nourishing One for Your Kids and You

Summer is far from over and I hope you’re savouring it and getting chance to nourish yourself as well. Yoga nidra is one great way to replenish energy stores if you find your patience decreasing and your sugar cravings increasing!

One favourite memory last week for me was sitting around the fire at North Beach Golden Ears Provincial Park in Maple Ridge (amazing campsite by the way!) reading a book I’m loving, smelling the fresh cedar air and listening to my brother Chris (the kids crazy uncle), his boys and my kids laughing and playing cards and chatting together. It was one of those, “wouldn’t change a thing moments'“ …

Dr. Laura Markham is a parenting educator that I like and this is her countdown to gently ease you and your family toward an enjoyable first day of school. Most are more for younger kids but I’ll be using a bunch with my 12 year old who is going to a new school this year.

* Note: I have added some naturopathic tips from my experience.

12. Start moving bedtime a tiny bit earlier every night. It's impossible to impose an early bedtime cold turkey on a child who slept in that morning and has the "school starts tomorrow" jitters.  One way to shift the schedule is to start having kids read in bed for half an hour or more before lights out, which is also good for their reading skills. (For younger kids, read with or to them.) Wake late sleepers a bit earlier each day. If your child is having a hard time falling asleep, be sure they're getting plenty of daily roughhousing that results in laughter, as well as outside physical activity.

*Chamomile tea is one simple child friendly way to help get into an earlier-to-bed rhythm that you could use the week or so before school begins. If your child is older melatonin can be used short term as well. I carry a mint flavoured low dose melatonin spray bottle in our health kit that our family uses as needed for jetlag/resetting sleep rhythms.

11. Tour the school, or at least the playground, with your child. If allowed, let your little one use the school bathroom. If your child will be walking alone, practice the walk several times.

10. Introduce your child to the teacher if at all possible. If you can, take a picture of your child with the teacher, put it on your fridge at your child's eye level, and talk to her like she's part of the family. "I know you'll love having Joseph in your class, Ms. Brown."

9. Set up playdates with a couple of other kids in the class so she feels more connected when she walks in that first day. If possible, arrange to walk with one of them (and their parent) the first morning.

8. Prepare your child emotionally.  Read books about the grade he'll be entering.  Describe to him what that first day will be like, how the drop-off will go, who will pick him up, etc. Listen to his worries. Reassure and brainstorm with him how he could handle those issues. Make up a "goodbye" rhyme or ritual and practice it.  Give him a laminated family photo for his backpack.

7. Decide any changes in family routines such as extracurriculars, chores or no screen time on weekdays, and talk with your child about the new routine.

6. Let your child choose her own school supplieswhether from around your house or from the store, and ready them in her backpack or bag.

5. Organize a place for each child to keep school books, supplies, backpacks, lunchbox etc. Set up a homework spot for your child to work (always in close proximity to the rest of the family rather than off in her own room.)

4. Organize paperwork with a different colored folder for each child to hold school forms and papers to be signed. If you don't have a family calendar that kids can read, set one up on a whiteboard.

3. Have kids pick out their outfits and backpacks the day before school starts, and make lunches for the next day. Don't wait until evening when kids are tired and need your attention to soothe their last-minute jitters.

* I like the Flower Essence Rescue Remedy to put in their water.

2. Have an end of summer family celebration the evening before school starts with an early dinner, and toast the highlights of the summer. Then go around the table and share appreciations:  "I appreciate that Michael helped in the garden this summer" ... "I appreciate that Sara worked so hard to learn to ride a bike."  Finish with "Looking Forwards,"  such as "I'm looking forward to when you come home from your first day of first grade and I get to hear all about it!"

1. Go to bed early yourself  the night before school starts so you'll be up early, rested and ready in the morning to deal patiently with any last-minute jitters or minor crises. Plan to leave the house 15 minutes before you need to -- at the worst, they'll have time to play at the school playground. And don't forget that "first day of school" photo!

* My kids are older now and love looking back at the first day photos where they pose with a piece of paper that says, “ First day of grade . When I grow up I want to be a ________.”

Dr. Monika Herwig ND is a Naturopathic Doctor, Acupuncturist, Yoga Nidra and Yoga Therapy Facilitator, mother of 2, and a Trailblazer with Happy Healthy Women in Canmore, Alberta. She practices Mind-Body Medicine especially around Adrenal, Gut, Hormonal and Mental Health in her clinic and leads Wellness Workshops and Retreats locally and internationally. Dr. Monika supports heart centered women shine their light and share their gifts with the world without burning out through whole life health and a functional medicine approach to wellness. She is especially passionate about supporting moms and moms-to-be and runs yearly Fairy Nature Camps for her clients’ children (and herself!). To book an appointment call (403) 609-8385 or go to www.opentowellness.ca.

Instapot Quickies - Cooking Vegetables and Grains in Less Than 5 Minutes

Spent some days this summer visiting a friend who uses their Instapot several times per day and I gleaned some simple time saving tips for our healthy eating pleasure!

Aside from the normal settings on your Instapot there’s the possibility of using it as a pressure cooker for whatever you’d like to cook just by adjusting the timer. Here’s some times for GRAINS

Oats - 5 minutes on high pressure - 2 cups water/1 cup steel cut oats

Quinoa - 3 minutes on high pressure - 1 cup water to 1 cup quinoa (after you rinse the quinoa)

Bonus: what to cook your beans quickly? just 20 minutes on high pressure after soaking them overnight


With veggies, place steamer/stainer in there and 1 inch of water.

Asparagus, Broccoli - 0 min (in inch of water - place steamer/strainer in there)

Carrots - 2 min

Instapot is so great for families not only for getting a healthy meal on the table in less time but also in being able to walk away from it and not worry about over cooking/burning food any more. 5 ***** (-:

As my friend mantras, “Set it and forget it.” Caroline Vlessides

Brain Health: Theta Healing to Rewire Limiting Beliefs You've Outgrown ... Game changer.

"Out with the old, in with the true." Jeff Brown

The body just wants to go in the direction of healing so as an ND part of the way I am trained is to look for what is getting in the way of that natural internal healing force. We are holistic beings. We are made of a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspect so I look at all these when someone is wanting to get to a better level of health and energy.

Increasingly in science we are getting clearer about the impact of the brain and nervous system and stress on us AND how we can work with the brain to create wellness. This is through consciously rewiring the brain to thoughts (and as a result actions) that are aligned with who we are. We have known about the power of positive affirmations for some time now in creating real physical changes with the brain as the leader. The thoughts we tell ourselves create a real tangible effect on the chemistry in our body and work for or against us in creating the life and level of health we truly desire.

Thoughts that are hampering health/positive change are often not obvious initially to the individual. These are like blind spots (we all have them) and not knowing these creates a lot of frustration of unfulfilled goals/lack of forward motion.

In Theta healing there is a technique simply called “Digging” that helps a client uncover what subconscious beliefs are at play in getting in the way of the shift the individual is wanting to make. When we know what they are we can shift them.

I brought Theta healing in my practice because I realized that some changes that clients truly would like to have happen don’t happen because of a limiting belief that is stopping them from moving forward. If you are having a hard time doing the things you know are good for you or would lead you closer to what you want to create for your life come in and let’s explore it on the brain/belief level with Theta Healing to create the shift, health and freedom you desire! To your health and happiness, xo, Dr. Monika


Dr. Monika Herwig ND is a Naturopathic Doctor, Acupuncturist, Yoga Nidra and Yoga Therapy Facilitator, mother of 2, and a Trailblazer with Happy Healthy Women in Canmore, Alberta. She practices Mind-Body Medicine especially around Adrenal, Gut, Hormonal and Mental Health in her clinic and leads Wellness Workshops and Retreats locally and internationally. Dr. Monika supports heart centered women shine their light and share their gifts with the world without burning out through whole life health and a functional medicine approach to wellness. To book an appointment call (403) 609-8385 or go to www.opentowellness.ca.

Low energy? Stressed? Energy dip 2-3 pm?Weight Gain in Your Belly? Low libido? Trouble sleeping? Weak immune system? Read on ...

This constellation of symptoms can be a sign that your adrenal glands (which are part of your body’s system that helps you deal with stress) is maxed out.

Dealing with the factors that are creating stress (practically and with mind-body techniques) is of course key and it is a big part of the work I do with clients in our 3 month CALM naturopathic foundations program through acupuncture, mindset and life coaching. One thing myself and many clients I work with have had to find out the hard way is that stress accumulate. Having ways to release it is really important to prevent overwhelm and burnout - adrenal fatigue. One simple practice that can not only help you release stress from the body but also work to change patterns of stress internally is an ancient practice called Yoga nidra (Yoga sleep).

Yoga nidra couldn’t be simpler. You just lie down on your back, get as comfortable as you can and follow along with the guided meditation that includes breathing exercises and other mindfulness exercises put in a particular order that creates the immensely beneficial effects..

Yoga nidra not only releases stress and helps emotions move through calming the mind and body, but it also promotes adrenal wellness increasing our resilience to stress. The practice has been studied and scientifically has proven to reduce anxiety, enhance healing, increase energy, stimulate creativity and strengthen the immune system.

30 minutes is said to be equivalent to 4 hours of sleep in terms of its restorative effects. I’ve included a yoga nidra for moms at the bottom of this blog. There are many yoga nidras on youtube as well to check out and the best is doing Yoga nidra in a group at a class. The group effect on nidra as in meditation is amazing!

To learn more about when the next yoga nidra retreats/classes are or to host one in your community contact us at retreats@opentowellness.ca or follow us at fb opentowellness canmore or instagram dr_monikaherwig_nd. Here’s two pictures of November’s Mexico Retreat location where we’ll be doing yoga nidra as part of the Restorative Retreat. It was voted in Yoga Journal to be the ‘best place to have a yoga retreat.’

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She Shines 2019 Event is the week of November 23 - 30, 2019. Eat. Play. Love.: Restorative Women’s Mindfulness, Art and Yoga & Nidra Retreat at the gorgeous Xinalani Eco-Yoga Retreat Center in Mexico. We’ll be taking a pause in paradise to relax, replenish, reset and to connect with you … who you are beyond the roles of mother, wife, caretaker, business owner, healer, daughter. It is a gift you give to yourself and everyone in your life. Your happiness serves the world. (-:

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3 Simple Ways to Help Raise Healthy & Happy People Who Want to Come Home for Thanksgiving

#3. Understand their development.

This will inform your interaction and communication with them. It will let you meet them where they are at and allow you to be more compassionate and present with them.

Not many parents know that children under 7 live predominantly in the theta brain wave state and learn by imitation and by doing. They think in pictures and are physical. Modelling what you want them to do speaks louder than explanations. When you do explain pair the words with actions.

Their brain is not developed to include the higher executive functions and abstract thought yet so talking to them about things will not foster the close connection we desire. Storytelling that brings in their picture consciousness does.

#2. Love them the way they want to be loved.

Take time to figure out what their love language is and schedule something regular – even just once/month - where you are especially conscious about honouring that. My 15 year old’s love language is quality time & words of appreciation (and food lol!) so I take him out to dinner once a month – just me and him and in our time I am mindful of letting him know what I appreciate about him.

3. Be well yourself.

Children love to see their parents thriving. If you think about your own parents you’ll notice this might be true even still for you!

As moms we teach by how we are and when a mom is well she teaches wellness.

Self-care and self-love is getting lots of air-time these days! (-: Let it not turn into a ‘have to’ on the to do list. Self-love can take time to develop - just like any relationship. Find little ways in your day to nourish you and be curious as to what truly sparks joy and uplifts you. I have a lift list that helps . A hot cuppa Chaga tea to support my adrenals, a walk in nature, time with girlfriends, Epsom salt bath ... whatever warms your heart or gives you that home/cozy feeling will be your clues to the things that support nurturing a relationship of warmth and kindness with yourself. Our inner dialogue is a potent area where we can bring our kindness to our self as well with great effect.

Our adrenal health affects our mood, weight, energy and all our relationships so it’s worth keeping it healthy. I specialize in adrenal wellness in my practice as this is an area that is out of balance in some degree with 90% of the women I work with.

One of my favourite, yummy ways to support women’s wellness in my office is through the restorative practices of Yoga Nidra and Yoga Therapy. 30 minutes of Yoga Nidra is said to have the restorative equivalent of 4 hours of sleep.

Below is a Yoga Nidra meditation for you. It’s basically a ‘can’t-do-it-wrong’ lying down guided mindfulness meditation that I’ve found so helpful in restoring adrenal wellness and capacity to parent in a loving, peaceful way (i.e losing your %$#@ less and recovering connection faster when you do). (-:

Yoga Therapy is really about releasing tightness and softening, letting stuck emotions of anger, fear or shame move through and out. Flow is essential for wellness and these practices are decluttering us emotional and tension wise. (-:

Out of all the practices I do Yoga Therapy is the one that clients tell me helps them truly feel love for themselves. The first time I heard a client say that I didn’t associate that with Yoga Therapy itself but since then it’s not uncommon for clients to say that at the end of a session. I think any practice that supports someone to hold loving presence for the unmet/tender parts of their self will do this. I love how simple and easy it is and how obvious the shift isWant to next-level-replenish yourself and live more present and centered with your family?

Getting away for a retreat and reconnecting to You (yes that’s a capital Y!) is a powerful gift to give yourself and those you love.

Consider our November 23-30, 2019 retreat where we will be heading south and sunny for a week of truly next-level-replenishment at Xinalani Eco-Yoga Centre. The theme of the retreat is of coming home to ourselves (in love, calm, clarity, confidence, simplicity, beauty and joy). Yoga Nidra and Yoga Therapy sessions will be part of our time together.

To learn more about She Shines 2019: Eat. Play. Love. Retreat click link below.

To your health and happiness! (-: xo, Dr. Monika


Dr. Monika Herwig ND is a Naturopathic Doctor, Yoga Nidra and Yoga Therapy Facilitator, mother of 2, and a Trailblazer with Happy Healthy Women in Canmore, Alberta. She practices Mind-Body Medicine especially around Adrenal, Gut, Hormonal and Mental Health in her clinic and leads Wellness Workshops and Retreats locally and internationally. Dr. Monika supports heart centered women shine their light and share their gifts with the world without burning out. She is especially passionate about supporting moms and runs yearly Fairy Nature Camps for her clients’ children (and herself!). (403) 609-8385 to call to book or www.opentowellness.ca to book online.

CLEAR/CALM: Naturopathic Foundations - Hormonal Balance Castor Oil Basics PDF plus Breast Health Application

Here’s a basic PDF handout for you that goes into the how to of using castor oil for healing, supporting immune health, detoxification, gut health and decreasing inflammation. For the rest of this blog I focus on castor oil packs as a powerful tool for breast health.

Castor Oil Packs for Breast Health? … YES!

When you apply castor oil to your breast tissue it improves the circulation and lymphatic drainage of the breast, improving the elimination of toxins and bringing more nutrition for repair, immune health and maintenance. This equals improved health.

Castor oil is truly such a simple way to improve the health of the breast (and any) tissue whether you are looking to change an existing condition of the breast or for preventative maintenance.

What You Do

You can place the pack (basically a folded piece of flannel with castor oil poured on it) oil side down on your breasts while lying down (and doing a yoga nidra - my recommendation) or you can place the flannel with castor oil in an old bra and wear it around the house as you do normal household activities. The heat of the body is enough to keep the action of the packs going over the breast tissue.

Note: Castor oil is sticky and stains which is why it’s recommended to put a plastic bag/saran wrap or nowadays even a beeswax wrap lol(!) on top of the pack to keep your clothes/bedding from being stained. I usually have an old towel that I lay underneath me that helps keep any mess contained.

Good News

You do not need to remake a new castor oil pack every time! Whew. Yes. simply store all your castor oil things together in a plastic bag/glass container. It’s good for 25 applications with you just topping up the amount of oil on the flannel by a little more before reapplying it.

And extra good news is that castor oil stains can be removed. To do that wash your skin or affected clothing/linen in a solution of 3 tablespoons baking soda to 1 quart of water. (-:

How often do I use my Castor Oil Pack?

This depends. It’s best to ask your Naturopathic Doctor for specific instructions but typically, 1-3 times per week when actively trying to improve a breast condition is a good place to start.  

For health promotion, a castor oil pack can be done once per month.

To your wellness! xo,


8 out of 9 women will have healthy breasts for their lifetime, we’re rooting for 9!” Dr. Monika, founding member of the Pink & Green Ribbon Initiative empowering women to care for themselves including their breasts and to understand the link between women’s health and the health of our environment.


Dr. Monika Herwig ND is a Naturopathic Doctor, mother of 2, and a Trailblazer with Happy Healthy Women in Canmore, Alberta. She practices Mind-Body Medicine especially around Adrenal, Gut and Mental Health in her clinic and leads Wellness Workshops and Retreats locally and internationally. Dr. Monika supports heart centered women shine their light and share their gifts with the world without burning out. She is especially passionate about supporting moms and runs yearly Fairy Nature Camps for her clients’ children (and herself!).

Forest Etiquette and Foraging Safety Tips for Nature Loving Families

·    My children and I like to leave a gift in exchange for a plant’s medicine – gifts aren’t solely physical in our way of thinking so a song or even a simple heartfelt thank you or compliment counts. We tell the plant what we’ll be using what we’ve gathered for. To children this makes perfect sense.


·    Look for places where what you are harvesting is abundant. Leave two-thirds of the plant material there so it can continue to flourish and there is plenty for the animals.


·    Harvest the different parts of the plant at the best time – i.e. leaves in the Spring, flowers and berries in the Summer, roots in the Fall/Winter.


·    Be aware that pulling a plant’s roots kills it – not a concern with harvesting Dandelion but keep it in mind for other plants.


·    Forage in areas that have had no pesticide use and are a bit in from a main trail. Plants alongside a major roadway has car pollution to deal with and isn’t a healthy choice. We are fortunate in Canmore to have many great places to forage.


·    Safety Tip: Be sure to let your child know that not all wild plants and berries are good for people to eat and to only eat the ones an adult or teacher has said are o.k. If they are unsure they can just ask.


·    Safety Tip: The first time you try a new edible wild plant it is wise to not go overboard – try just a bit. Even though the plants and preparations shared in this book have an excellent safety record, very low allergy potential and have been in use for generations, starting small is a good habit to get into in general in the rare case you or your child have an allergic reaction. Please don’t let the thought of a possible allergy stop you from foraging - mainly I just need to mention it in the writing of a book like this so you are aware of the possibility. You’re building relationships to these plants so enjoy the steps of the process and start slow and mindful.



Looking At The Full Thyroid Lab Picture

Great, easy to understand article from a colleague of mine explaining the various thyroid blood tests and why testing TSH alone doesn’t give the full picture.

The full bloodwork thyroid panel with TSH, free T4, free T3 and TPO is currently available to clients through our clinic in Canmore for under $100. (403) 609-8385.


Dr. Monika Herwig ND has lived and practiced Naturopathic Medicine in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Canmore, Alberta for over 20 years. She supports heart-centered women to share their gifts and shine their light in the world without burning themselves out. Individuals who are interested in long term wellness and living a life of freedom, peace and joy while staying true to themselves and what they hold dear. Dr. Monika uses a holistic, functional medicine East-West approach in addressing (and getting rid of for good) superficial symptoms. Dr. Monika views symptoms as just a sign that one of the three main foundations in the body is out of balance. These 3 foundations are CLEAR , CALM, CREATIVE. Symptoms whether they be constipation, low energy, weight gain abdominally, frequent colds, PMS, anxiety, allergies, headaches, infertility, digestion being off, adult acne, eczema, low thyroid are all a call to action from our beautiful bodies pointing us to what area/s are out of balance so we can take the first next step to get those foundations back in place. Dr. Monika has created Naturopathic Foundations Coaching Programs around these three principles to give you the support that she has found creating change and changing habits needs. (403) 609-8385 to call in to book.

Simple Lemony Lentil Soup

Lemony Lentil Soup

1 onion, chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
6 carrots chopped (or 1 yam)
2 cubes of organic vegetable cubes
1-4 cups of water
1 cup red lentils, rinsed
1 lemon, zest and juice
salt and pepper to taste

1. Saute onion and garlic in butter/ghee/coconut oil or grapeseed oil.
2. Cook everything until soft, then puree.
3. Yummy.

Conscious Communication Support for Families - Links To Needs & Feeling Decks To Print Off

Here are the links to Malinda’s Feeling and Needs Card Decks that you can print off and have at home to support you in taking your communication, peace and joy of connection to the next level.

Thank you Malinda for creating these! (-:

4 Easy Tips to Nurture Nature Connection in Young Children *Say less * Wonder * Keep it simple * Go often*

 *Say less * Wonder * Keep it simple * Go often*

  1. ·      Say less – the younger years is the time for experiencing the whole and loving it rather than understanding abstractly and analyzing. A child’s consciousness is much different from ours - they live in the much slower theta brainwave state that we enter into in sleep. To meet them where they are at, slow down, breathe, engage your senses – join them in the present moment where they so fully live.

  2. ·      “I wonder ….” - for children under 7 years bringing your own attention to the item they are interested in (with a nod, a smile, a bending-down for a closer look) is far more satisfying for children than a lot of talking/explaining. I notice it keeps them in that precious state of wonder longer. If I do say something I have found that often a simple “Hmm, I wonder…” is my go-to and keeps them engaged.

  3. ·      Keep it simple - when you do answer questions keep it simple but true – at a level they can understand. Children think in images. Connection precedes abstract understanding here. Follow their curiosity and your own and try to stay in the actual experience.

  4. ·      Go often – even 10 minutes in the evening is a great gift to one’s wellbeing – bring it into your home life rhythm!

This excerpt is from the e-book Feast and Forage With Your Kids in Canmore! Click here to check it out …


CALM: Seed Cycling 101 to Support Hormonal Balance and Ditch PMS & More

For women with 28-30 day cycles, start your follicular seeds from day 1 (the first day of your period) to around day 14 (ovulation ).

This is the estrogenic part of your cycle. You eat 1 tbsp daily of either Flax or Pumpkin seeds to support estrogen. You can enjoy remembering this with ease by using my little memory trick. The first letters of these seeds F and P are the first letters of First Part. Flax. Pumpkin. First. Part. Just try to forget than now! lol

We switch to the luteal phase seeds after ovulation (day 15 to day 28 or 30).

This is the progesterogenic part of your cycle and 1 Tbsp a day of Sesame seeds or Sunflower seeds supports this progesterone phase. The S’s are for the Second phase! Simple … (-:

Grinding the seeds fresh is best. A $20 electric coffee grinder that you only use for seeds is optimal.

The Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) and nutrients like Selenium and Zinc found in these seeds is excellent for gut and hormonal health - which of course are linked!

Fun Facts on these lovely seeds …

GROUND FLAX SEEDS - Contains lignans, which help to bind excess estrogen so that it can be eliminated via the bowels from the body and they have estrogenic balancing properties. Flax for the hormone balance win!

PUMPKIN SEEDS - High in Zinc. Important for hormonal health and tough to get in our foods.

SESAME SEEDS - Lovely lignans once again to support the gut-hormone connection balance. This seed is considered progesterogenic.

SUNFLOWER SEEDS - High in Selenium, which is good for general hormone balance including thyroid hormone balance which ties into our cycle as well.

Some ways to incorporate these are in oatmeal, on salads, in smoothies, in other nut butters and in stir fries.

Ok, I think you are good to go! xo


If you would like more support balancing your hormonal cycle reach out to me at the office number (403) 609-8385 where you can book in and we can through acupuncture, diet and herbs get your hormonal health back on track.

CALM: Adrenal & Nervous System Balance with Tuning Forks for All Ages

When you tap a tuning fork and put it up to your ear you hear its unique frequency.

Our body and each organ have frequencies that are optimal and restoring these leads to increased health. Tuning forks work in this way. It’s part of a growing wave of Sound Therapy popularity that you may have experienced with Sound Bowls at the end of a yoga class.

In the tuning fork system I work with the frequencies of 2 different tuning forks are brought together to form a sound interval that when placed on an acupuncture point on the body for healing benefits to be experienced..

The tuning forks are simple and non-invasive (and feel pretty neat!) so it’s effective and easy for children or people who who are drawn to the benefits of Chinese medicine and acupuncture but have a phobia of needles and love of music/sound.


It is beneficial in balancing the nervous system, relaxing the muscles and supporting hormonal and adrenal balance.  The benefits are different for everyone, but generally feeling lighter, less brain fog, more energy, relaxed and ‘feeling well’ are common.

In the clinic’s Naturopathic Coaching Foundations of Wellness Program this treatment falls into the CALM/Restorative Phase where we are working to rebalance the nervous system, restore adrenals and hormonal health. It works on restoring the adrenal glands capacity so you have the feeling that you have what it takes to meet whatever comes. As a result relaxation, and patience increases, anxiety decreases. Improved sleep, detoxification, brain clarity, and mood are common areas that improve.

Working with tuning forks is part of energetic medicine just like acupuncture and yoga therapy. This works on the underlying root causes of whatever is going on on a physical level.

Everyone is unique and you are peeling back layers of stuck energy(unkinking the hose analogy). This work is cumulative and works in layers so the more you do it the more you benefit.  Having 1 session per week for 3 weeks is a good place to start.

What to expect …

This treatment is generally done clothed except for socks. You lie on the massage table and chill out and the forks are tapped and then placed on certain acupuncture points to balance.

Sensations you might have during the treatment:

  • tingling, sleepiness, heat, relaxed, feeling well, heaviness

Maximizing the benefits post treatment …

Epsom or Himalayan Salt bath is a great way to maximize benefits of the session if you are experiencing any detox symptoms like headaches, flu-like symptoms, waves of emotion, loose stools or fatigue.  Staying hydrated is very important too.

Do That Something That Scares You ...

When I have heart to heart conversations with people who are at a crossroads and we really get to the bottom of it it is common for fear or a feeling of anxiety to show up.

Feel the fear and do it anyway. Yes, but have we been taught to actually do this! Most of us no.

Freedom is pretty high on the list of what people desire. Understanding what they fear is key to having the freedom they desire. Growing and evolving involves new territory and the unknown and uncertainty of this new ground can sometimes stop us in our tracks.

What are you afraid of from the ‘common’ fears?

Public speaking, death, heights, spiders, snakes.

What about the day to day realm of relationships and creative expression? Using your voice to share what is true for you, putting yourself out there creatively ...

I feel fear in my throat or in my gut/solar plexus when I'm stepping into a big unknown or something that reminds me of an unpleasant situation in the past. Noticing the sensations of these in stuck emotions in the body is the first step to having them loosen their grip.

What do you feel when you feel out of your comfort zone?

Be curious about the actual sensations because as strange as it might seem these really are your doorway to a creating a life you love.

The Yoga therapy coaching that I offer in office and through skype (for current clients) works with our physical and energetic body to clear tension, grief, fear, resentment and worry that is stuck in the body.

Lately I have been using these processes with clients who are afraid to express their creativity in singing or speaking to break through to the other side of the fear and move into flow.

Let’s increase our capacity to be brave with these hard to navigate emotions that are a normal part of life and reclaim the energy that has been tied up in the suppressing of them!

To try a yoga therapy coaching session call (403) 609-8385 for availability.

To living life wholeheartedly! xo


3 Tips to Healthier Eating for Newbies

In the CLEAR module of my Naturopathic Coaching Foundations 3 Part Program we work on creating space, releasing what we don’t need and getting the foundations of gut health and detoxification sorted out. This foundation is important and the food piece can be challenging at first as we have our default habits including which things we throw into our grocery carts.

When you are just starting out it helps to have some healthy foods that don’t go bad and that can be prepared quickly around.

Here are 3 ideas to support you in being successful with creating the daily challenges that will lead to a healthier you.

1.Frozen Veggies and Berries: Here’s a picture of some of the frozen foods I keep on stock to help. Frozen vegetables are a good option especially in the winter months. Of course local and organic is best but these are a really good start and are all ones I am ok with and don’t seem to get freezer burn.

Squash, kale., sweet potatoes, cauliflower rice, avocado, blackberries. Pick a couple to try this week!


Spring Salad Goodness - Two Favorites

Salmon and Spinach Salad

Serves 4 
Preparation: 15 minutes 
Cooking: 15 minutes 
Recipe: Mary Bowman 1997


1 Pound wild salmon fillet 
1 Large organic fennel bulb with greens still attached 
1 Bunch organic spinach, washed and tom into bite sized pieces 
1/4 Cup organic red onion 
Zest of one organic orange 
2 Tablespoons organic orange juice 
4 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar 
2 Tables poons extra virgin olive oil 
1 teaspoon sea salt 
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground cinnamon 
1/4 cup fresh basil, minced 


. Cut the greens from the fennel, and place them in a steamer. Lay the salmon on top. Steam the fish for 10 to 15 minutes or until the flesh is pink throughout. 
. Meanwhile, cut the fennel into 1/8 inch strips diagonally. Then cut the resulting pieces into sticks. 
. Combine the fennel in a large bowl with the spinach and red onion. 
. Combine the next 6 ingredients in a small bowl, and whisk together. 
. Remove the salmon from the steamer, and cut into bite sized pieces. Discard the greens used to steam the fish. 
. Add the salmon to the spinach. 
. Pour the marinade over the salad, and add the minced basil. Gently toss all together. 

Kale Salad


1 bunch kale (black kale is especially good), stalks removed and discarded, leaves thinly sliced
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Kosher/Himilayan Salt 
2 teaspoons honey
Freshly ground black pepper
1 mango, diced small (about 1 cup)
Small handful toasted pepitas ( pumpkin seeds), about 2 rounded tablespoons



In large serving bowl, add the kale, half of lemon juice, a drizzle of oil and a little kosher salt. Massage until the kale starts to soften and wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside while you make the dressing.

In a small bowl, whisk remaining lemon juice with the honey and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Stream in the 1/4 cup of oil while whisking until a dressing forms, and you like how it tastes.

Pour the dressing over the kale, and add the mango and pepitas. Toss and serve.