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Infertility Awareness Week

Leah Sarich | posted Wednesday, May 28th, 2014


One in six couples will face infertility. That means these couples have been trying to have a baby for one year without a pregnancy. That’s a lot of unhappy couples in Alberta.

For Infertility Awareness Week I spoke with Dr. Calvin Greene from the Regional Fertility Program. He says we know a woman’s fertility starts decline in her early 30s. But we tend to think of infertility as a female problem, when in fact, in 40 percent of cases infertility is a problem on the male side. It breaks down like this. In 40 percent of cases, it’s a male problem. In 40 percent of cases, it’s a female problem. And in 20 percent of cases, it’s both or the infertility is unexplained.

Dr. Greene says for example, men’s sperm quality starts to decline after the age of 40. In fact, for the sperm donor program at the clinic, they don’t accept sperm samples from men over age 40.

Also for Infertility Awareness Week, Dr. Greene tries to raise awareness about the logic of funding fertility treatments in Alberta by the provincial government. Dr. Greene is in fact, in talks with the province right now. He has outlined to the government how funding fertility treatments make sense financially over the long term, and also results in better outcomes for moms and babies.

When fertility treatments are funded, doctors do not need to transfer as many embryos into the woman. This results in fewer multiple births, fewer high-risk pregnancies and fewer long term care issues for babies born prematurely as often happens with multiples. And yet the successful pregnancy rates remain the same.

And Dr. Greene says they are getting better at IVF all time. For example, in 2009 the rate of twins with IVF was 30 percent, now it’s just 16 percent, and again, the pregnancy rate is still great.

Quebec currently funds three cycles of IVF, Manitoba has tax credits for IVF and Ontario will start funding IVF in 2015.

Here’s a link to more statistics on IVF in Canada.

For more information about the Regional Fertility Program visit their website, and you may also want to visit their charitable arm, Generations of Hope, that helps couples with funding for IVF.

Missed the segment? Watch it here.

Dr. Oz’s secrets to aging beautifully for every decade

Chatelaine | posted Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Growing old is a natural part of life, but you have the power to do it well. Here’s how to keep looking and feeling your best, decade by decade.

Bone up in your 20s.

You body builds new bone density until about age 30, so now’s the time to bolster bone health and lower your risk of osteoporosis. Eat plenty of foods rich in bone-building calcium, such as spinach, fortified orange juice, dairy products and fish. Aim for 1,000 mg of calcium from food each day (a half cup of spinach gives you 154 mg, while a half ounce of salmon will give you about 200 mg).

Save your skin in your 30s.

Protect your skin with sunscreen — applied generously and frequently, no matter the time of year. Look for products that contain retinol/retinoids and alpha-hydroxy acids. (Topical retinoids help improve skin texture while alpha-hydroxy acids even out skin tone.) Be sure your product of choice has an SPF of at least 45 for best protection.

Strength train in your 40s.

Your metabolism can really take a hit in this decade, which is when you may start seeing a loss in muscle mass. Stay strong with simple weight-bearing exercises — you don’t need a gym or a stack of weights to do it! Plank pose is great for toning arms and abs, while three sets of 10 squats a day can build your leg muscles and also strengthen your core.

Make friends in your 50s.

Social networking is critical to your health, and studies show people with strong friendships have a better sense of well-being. So schedule a daily phone call with a friend or get a workout buddy. And don’t forget sexual intimacy either: Sex has many health perks, including some bonus calorie burning.

Prioritize your beauty rest in your 60s.

Retirement can be a freeing experience, but work sometimes helps structure our lives, and if you’re not careful, a reduction in daytime activity and an inconsistent morning wake-up ritual can make it harder to get a good night’s sleep. Always aim for seven to eight hours of shut-eye and try to set a consistent schedule so that your body takes full advantage of the restorative power of rest.

Stay flexible in your 70s — and beyond.

Exercise is as important in your 70s and 80s as it was in your 20s, so try adding regular bouts of tai chi to your fitness routine. It’s a great form of slow-moving exercise that’s easy on joints and improves balance, which can help prevent dangerous falls. It also builds flexibility and knee strength. Aim for 20 minutes each day.

Read more from Dr. Oz:
Dr. Oz’s four-step summer skin Rx
How Dr. Oz stays healthy: His seven daily health rituals
Dr. Oz on sound sleep, less stress and better sex

Straight Teeth Faster

Leah Sarich | posted Monday, May 26th, 2014


We all want the perfect smile, but wearing braces or Invisalign for a year and a half deters a lot of people. However, a new device can make this process go a lot faster.

It’s called Acceledent. Orthodontist Dr. Sam Daher says once a patient has braces or Invisalign on their teeth, they can bite into the Acceledent device for 20 minutes a day, and speed up their teeth straightening process by 30 to 40 percent. Dr. Daher says the device uses soft pulse technology, which causes the device to pulsate at a fraction of what an electronic toothbrush would. This pulsating stimulates the cells around the teeth decreasing the turnaround time.

Even though some patients were worried the device would cause headaches or pain, Dr. Daher says there are no side effects to using this technology at all. In fact, he says the technology has been used by the medical community for bone healing since the 1950s.

Jairo Vargas who has braces and is currently using Acceledent says “it’s easy to use…if it will cut down that time by even a few months it’s worth it.”

The cost of the Acceledent device varies, but is usually around one thousand dollars. Dr. Daher says if his patients agree to use the device properly and every day, they’ll cover half the cost.

For more information about Acceledent visit the company’s website.


How to make the world’s best two-ingredient burger

Cityline | posted Saturday, May 24th, 2014

Does this sunny weather have you craving burgers on the BBQ? Claire Tansey shows us how to make the most simple and delicious burger of all time.

Two-ingredient burger


  • 750 g medium ground beef
  • 1  1/2 tsp coarse salt


Preheat barbecue to medium.

Shape beef into 6 patties, each about 1/2 inch thick. Press a shallow depression in centre of each patty to help keep its shape while cooking. Sprinkle both sides with salt. Season with fresh pepper.

Oil grill and barbecue burgers with lid closed for 5 to 7 min. Flip burgers, then continue grilling, with lid closed, until burgers are cooked, 6 more min. Let burgers rest 5 min before serving on toasted buns with your favourite toppings.

Prep 5 min | Total 15 min
Serves 6 | Per serving 415 calories, 18g protein, 38g fat, 665 mg sodium.

Tips to make the BEST burger:

  • Start with medium ground beef (instead of lean or extra-lean). It has a lot more flavour, and most of the fat drips away while it’s cooking.
  • Mix the meat with your hands (instead of using utensils). This will ensure you don’t over-mix the meat, and it creates a nice texture.
  • To make patties, take a handful of ground beef  and shape it into a ball, then flatten it out. Don’t make the patties too thick — half  an inch to an inch thick is  the perfect size.
  • Prevent burgers from puffing up into balls by taking your thumb and making a little indent in the middle of each patty.
  • The grill should be hot before you add the patties — this will ensure they don’t stick, and they’ll achieve that caramelized exterior.
  • Don’t flip them too many times. And never, ever press down on the patties with your spatula (that will make all the flavour escape!).
  • Use grated cheese (instead of sliced)  for extra oomph.
  • Hollow out the lid  of your bun to make more room for toppings.
  • Our favourite condiment is sriracha mayo — just stir some of the hot sauce into mayo and slather it on!

Courtesy Claire Tansey




Six tips to help you stay on top of your email

Chatelaine | posted Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Sabrina Geremia is manager, integrated solutions, for Google and heads up its initiative to bring talented girls from around the globe into the tech industry.

1. Separate business and pleasure

I have three different email accounts: Work, personal Gmail for friends and a third I share with my husband (it’s where we keep our family calendar to manage appointments and travel plans). Without having different inboxes I’d find it hard to keep track of who I’ve responded to and who I haven’t.

2. Try face time

If an email thread becomes too long, includes too many people or is delivering bad news, it’s probably not the right medium. This is the moment to get up from your desk or pick up the phone and actually have a conversation.

3. Weed out the clutter

I get over 100 emails a day so I have to have a system. When my inbox is full of unread messages, the first thing I do is delete or archive the ones I don’t need to read — I can usually tell from the subject line. The second step is to prioritize (star or label) the most important ones, then deal with them.

4. Email etiquette

Emails should be short and punchy, not essays. I often use bullets, or I bold key messages to make it clear what the purpose of the email is. Also, I don’t care how short it is — that’s no excuse for sloppy grammar, spelling, salutations or language.

5. Stop the deluge!

I regularly take a few moments to unsubscribe from unwanted emails. Simple, I know, but it really makes a difference. I’ve also found that the less email I send the less I receive.

6. Schedule screen time

Every Friday I sit down with my assistant to look at the week ahead and prioritize my time. Then we slot in blocks of work time. I use it to catch up on my emails. When I’m with my family I make sure I spend real time with my children instead of being distracted by my phone. The same goes for my team. We’ve developed a culture of not sending work-related emails on weekends unless it’s incredibly urgent.

Allergy Season

Leah Sarich | posted Wednesday, May 21st, 2014


Allergy season is set to kick in right about now as tree pollen counts climb with the warmer weather. I spoke with Allergist Dr. Joel Doctor who says it’s time to talk to your doctor or pharmacist immediately about your treatment plan, because treatments are more effective when you start them before your symptoms get really bad.

So what are those classic hayfever symptoms? Dr. Doctor says they look a lot like cold symptoms except for one  major difference – itch. Along with the watery eyes and a runny nose you can have itch in both the eyes and nose, even the ears and on the palate.

And if symptoms go untreated, Dr. Doctor says your quality of life can be severely impaired. It may be difficult to concentrate at school and work, it may be challenging to drive and sleeping can be disturbed.

The good news is there are many treatment options. For mild hayfever, Dr. Doctor says there are many over the counter antihistamines that will work. He recommends using ones without a decongestant unless you really need it. Decongestants can cause jitteriness and sleep disturbance, so if you must use one, do so only during the day.

For more severe symptoms see your doctor for prescription strength nasal cortisone sprays and allergy eye drops.

For those with even more severe symptoms, desensitization is an option. There’s a relatively new desensitization technique available in Canada that is a sublingual tablet. It’s a pill that’s put under the tongue. You must start this process several months before allergy season and then into the season itself.  This process offers a 30 percent reduction of symptoms.

The other desensitization technique is allergy shots. This is a major commitment requiring shots weekly at the doctor’s office for several months, then monthly shots for three years. That said, this technique results in a 70 percent reduction in symptoms that lasts for years.

Tree pollen season starts now, grass pollen season starts in June escalating through July peaking right around Stampede. Dr. Doctor says it’s also helpful to check the pollen count for the day so you can take appropriate action. If it’s a dry, hot and windy day, you know the pollen count will be high and it may be a better day to go to the mall, than for a hike.

Dr. Doctor’s advice: plan ahead and start your treatment regimen right now!


The latest and greatest gear for your workout

Cityline | posted Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

For most, spring is the time to ditch the winter sweaters and squeeze in some time to work out — because bikini season is among us, after all. Now if that sends shivers down your spine, you are not alone!

We’re sure we can all agree that the first “outside run” of the New Year is a rough one indeed. But fear not, as we have just the motivation you need. From a trendy bracelet that doubles as a safe sun exposure app, the latest sports bra technology, and all the way to brightly coloured runners, Karine Ewart has everything you’ll need to look great and feel great while working out.

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