Dr. JoAnn Yanez on KCAA 8/08/18

Dr. JoAnn Yanez, Executive Director of the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (right), joins KCAAs “On the Brink” hosts, Erin Brinker (left) and Tobin Brinker (middle) to discuss back to school tips and tricks for staying well and eating healthy this school year.

Full Transcript of Interview Below.

Topics Include:

  • Healthy lunches, snacks and meals for on the go lifestyles
  • Natural remedies for lice
  • How to stay healthy this school year
  • Dairy and its impact on some people’s immune system
  • Healthy alternatives to ice cream
  • And More…

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Good morning, folks. How are you?

Erin: Doing great. Doing great. Tobin started his regular school year started yesterday or Monday.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: I know, I have seen all the back to school pictures from folks.

Tobin: So, now I’m sleep deprived.

Erin: So, I know that this is one of the topics that you have in your blog, back to school survival guide. Can you talk about that?

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: We sure can! So, I think folks who are affiliated with either teachers or work with schools or have kids, this is a really busy time of year, and lots of things are on the brain. How do we stay healthy? I know my friends and I who all have school-aged children, while we love this time of year because the kids get back and get active again with all the things of school, they also start to get sick. So folks get nervous about all the cooties and the germs that come with the start of the school year. So at AANMC, we address some of that and we talk about healthy lunches, snacks and meals that you can do on the go as well as how to stay healthy and not get those cooties that start to get spread around and what to do if you start noticing some sniffles or you get the dreaded lice call.

Erin: Oh. We remember. I think every child in elementary school has … their parents have gotten this call, and I remember we had to shave our son. He had this thick blonde hair and, of course, it’s hard to see nits on blonde hair. So we ended up having to shave his head, poor kid.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Oh gosh.

Tobin: So he didn’t feel so bad, I shaved mine as well. We had a Chinese exchange student with us at the time, a male exchange student. So he decided to shave his. So all three of us shaved our heads.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Oh my goodness.

Tobin: We all kind of looked like low-key cancer victims. It was bad. It was bad.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Well, what I will say is there are definitely natural remedies. Lots of folks are concerned about the chemicals for the lice treatments. So we actually had the dreaded lice call a couple years ago and found nits and had to deal with that. My son is always had skin reactions to chemicals and creams. So I was nervous for a few reasons. A) not to put the chemicals on young skin, and B) that on top of the lice, we would have to now be dealing with a full on blown rash from the cream. So I went the natural route. Different types of oils will suffocate the lice and possibly make it more difficult for new ones to adhere to the hair. So what I did was I doused his head in olive oil. He smelled like a salad.

Erin: Gee, I’m standing next to this kid. Why am I hungry?

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Why am I hungry? And preventatively, he has really long, curly hair, and I didn’t want to have to do the shave method of getting rid of it. So we just did the olive oil method. Put it up in a ponytail. Combed out everything, and that did the trick. I know that lots of naturopathic families have that same method of using some sort of a real strong oil to basically suffocate them out, and then you go by hand. And thank goodness for technology. I don’t know what our parents did before iPads, but that definitely was helpful at keeping a squirmy kid still for a couple hours while we worked through it.

Erin: Oh, wow. So you had to go through and comb his hair to get rid of all of the nits. With those very, very fine tooth combs. What was that like?

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: I could think of better ways to spend my time.

Erin: As any new teacher will tell you, well, actually any teacher, the first few years of teaching, you get one cold after another. I’m sure the kids, especially the little ones, when they’re first starting kindergarten, they’re sick a lot in the in beginning too. So how do you keep your kid healthy when you’re exposed to so many germs during the day?

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: It is really a challenge. I think just some of the basics, the hygiene. Don’t share drinks, limit the physical content, wash those hands as frequently as possible. We would have a little strip down routine as soon as we got home. Get off all the clothes, put them in the washing machine, shake off the shoes, wash the hands, get ourselves cleaned up. Lots of immune boosting foods. Lots of good sleep, and just making sure that all of the general immune boosting types of things that you do. Keep the stress at a minimum to make sure that your body has all it can to fight it off. You’re not going to avoid every germ and sickness, and some folks immune systems are just stronger built than others. But we do our best to keep those down. Limit dairy, limit sugar, and lots of good immune boosting soups are helpful as well.

Erin: So limiting dairy, that’s interesting. Does dairy impact the immune system?

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Well, dairy for a lot of folks and not everybody but for many people dairy can be mucus forming and can have some mild sensitivity reactions. People of African American descent, Hispanic descent have traditionally higher proportions of dairy allergies or sensitivities. So that’s just something to keep in the back of your mind. Many folks can eat dairy with no issues, but lots of people can’t. So if you are one of those folks where dairy is a minor sensitivity, I say avoid it.

Erin: Huh. Well, that makes perfect sense. If your child likes ice cream, there are wonderful ice creams made out of coconut milk, for example.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: There are lots of non-dairy alternatives now. Back in the old days, olden days of me growing up as a kid, you didn’t have all the options. But now, yeah. One of the things I tell folks and it’s really economical, you can buy an ice cream maker at home and make your own non-dairy, however you want to do it for a dollar or two for what would cost you in a store seven or eight. So for the cost of the machine, which is between $30 and $40, it pays for itself after a few uses.

Erin: I know that my husband is now very interested in that. We may be getting one of those.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: So I often made coconut based ice creams and lots of different types of things that you can put all sorts of different confections in there and you don’t have to use sugar. You can use Stevia and make it pretty tasty treat.

Erin: So we only have about 90 seconds left. So is there anything upcoming that you want the public to know at the AANMC?

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Know about our regular webinar series. So we have webinars we host once a month. Actually, yesterday was a webinar for business tips on your social media presence. So we’ve got our YouTube up on that. If you want to check out how to have a really solid media presence, Erin, did you know that 96% of recruiters check your social media? So I think that’s something really we want folks to know about. But we’ve got healthy herbs coming up next month and suicide and depression reduction in October.

Erin: Wow.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: So hope your folks can tune in and lots of cool things coming up our way.

Erin: Wow. Well, that is awesome. So how do people find you and follow you and learn more about the AANMC?

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: AANMC.org. We also have LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram all the social media places you can find us at. So hope you can tune in, and thank you Erin and Tobin so much for chatting this morning.

Erin: So it’s always a treat to talk with you. You always have so much to share with everyone. Thank you so much for joining us.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Thank you. Have a great morning.

Erin: You too. So we’ve been talking to Dr. JoAnn Yanez. She is the executive director for the Association for Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges. That’s the AANMC. Go check her out!

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Oats 101: The Naturopathic Kitchen

Welcome back to your weekly dose of healthy kitchen tips! Each week we explore a new herb and its health benefits. Today we’ll discuss one of the most common grains that you’ll be sure to come across in almost any kitchen—oats. Let’s get started!

Oats 101

Sometimes referred to as Avena (from the Latin name, Avena Sativa), oats are one of the most popular breakfast foods. Walk into almost any breakfast restaurant and you’ll likely see some variation of oatmeal on the menu. To be clear though, the kind of oats that you eat are important, as the glycemic index can vary depending on how much they are processed and how they are prepared. In general, steel-cut oats have the lowest impact on blood sugar while instant or quick oats have the highest. Also, since grains are less nutrient-dense than other whole vegetables, it’s best to eat them in moderation.

Medicinally, the health benefits can vary depending on the part of the oat plant in use.

Oatmeal (made from the hulled kernel) is the breakfast food we’ve discussed so far. Oatmeal can also be used in an herbal bath for eczema or hives.

Oatstraw refers to the entire plant (both the tops and the stems). It also can be used as a food and may provide calming effects to the nervous system, with uses in both stress and insomnia.

Milky oats or milky green oats refer to the oat tops, and are picked fresh at the height of the season.

Where do oats come from? Where can I find them?

Despite their popularity today, oats were actually one of the last of the major grains to be domesticated—roughly 3000 years ago in Europe. This is likely due to the fact that they have a higher amount of natural fats and fat dissolving enzymes that make them go rancid quickly. It is these fats that give oats some of their health boosting effects.

Walk down the cereal aisle of any grocery store and you’ll likely find a container of oatmeal. When shopping for oats, choose steel-cut or rolled oats instead of the instant variety. A frequent question that comes up is whether oats are gluten-free. Oats themselves are completely gluten-free, however the machines that process oats are often used for processing wheat as well. Unless the container specifically says “gluten free” the oats may contain trace amounts of wheat.

How do oats help my health?

Oats are an excellent source of fiber. Because of this, they can help keep you regular while adding protection for the colon.1 They’ve also been shown to reduce cholesterol, blood pressure and even regulate the immune system.2,3.4

What medical conditions/symptoms are oats good for?

Let’s try it out with two delicious and nutritious recipes!


Overnight Oats


½ cup oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon honey
1tablespoon almond butter
1 cup almond milk
Fruit of your choice (berries and bananas are great additions)



Combine oats, cinnamon, honey, almond butter and almond milk in a bowl and stir. Cover and store in the refrigerator overnight. Add fresh fruit as desired.

Banana Oat Energy Bites


2 ripe bananas
2 cups rolled oats
¼ cup almond butter
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons cocoa
½ teaspoon cinnamon


Mash bananas in a large bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients. Roll mixture into one-inch balls and place on a tray. Keep refrigerated.

Thank you to TipHero for the recipe!

Back to School Survival Tips: Part 1 – Healthy Snacks

Summer is coming to a close and school is right around the corner.  If you are a parent, you are probably cherishing the peace and calm from having your kids at home all summer looking to be entertained.  But one of the more challenging things as a parent is coming up with healthy and nutritious snacks on the go for your children – that they’ll eat.  We teach children about making healthy choices, and that should also be reflected in lunch and after school snacks.

Here are some healthy and tasty foods for the kiddos this school year.

Traditional Favorites

There are quite a few traditional snacks that you can try with your kids.  “Ants on a log” has always been an old standby, so grab some celery and top it with almond or peanut butter and raisins.  Also, chopped vegetables including carrots, celery, cucumber, jicama, or bell peppers (green or red) are good choices, especially if you add in a vegetable dip, such as hummus.  You can also use hummus with pretzels, whole grain crackers or pita chips.  Skip the microwave popcorn with lots of synthetic butter and instead use lightly salted air-popped popcorn.  Lightly salted pistachios can be a hit and help with fine motor development. Finally, fresh fruits such as apple slices, grapes, and oranges are always a good standby.

Turkey and Cheese Swords

Roll up a small piece of nitrate free, organic turkey with an organic sliced cheese of your choice and skewer it with a pretzel stick. Easy, and the kids will get a kick out of their turkey and cheese ‘swords’.

Avocado Chocolate “Pudding”

Most kids love chocolate pudding, but those pudding cups are full of processed ingredients and sugar. Instead, take two large avocados, pit and peel them, and then chop them into small cubes. Put these in a blender with a quarter cup of maple syrup and a half a cup of unsweetened cocoa powder, along with 1/3 of a cup of coconut milk, two teaspoons of vanilla, and a pinch of cinnamon. Blend these until the whole mixture is smooth and then refrigerate it until it gets that “pudding” consistency and serve.

Banana “Ice Cream”

For this healthy version of banana ice cream, you need to peel several overripe bananas. After peeling, cut them into one-inch pieces and then freeze them in a Ziploc bag until they are solid.  Then, you can run them through a juicer or blender to create a “fake out” ice cream.  (Be sure to serve this as soon as you take it out of the blender/juicer.)  If you want to make this a special treat, try adding berries or carob powder to the blender.  You can also try topping it off with fruits or nuts.

Almond Fudge

Fudge you say? This three ingredient treat is tasty and will keep their blood sugar more even than any traditional candy/fudge.

Combine 1/2 cup almond butter OR allergy-friendly alternative, 2 1/2 tbsp virgin coconut oil (25g), add optional 2 1/2 tbsp liquid sweetener of choice) and a few drops maple extract. Combine the almond butter and coconut oil or coconut butter, and gently warm until the nut butter is easily stir-able and the coconut oil is liquid. Stir in the sweetener if desired, then spoon into a plastic container or candy molds. Freeze a few hours until solid, and store leftovers in the freezer.

Thanks to chocolatecoveredkatie.com for this one.

Fruit and Cheese Kabobs

Wash organic grapes and strawberries, and alternate on small skewers with organic cubed cheese.


These are a naturopathic favorite. You can load them up with lots of nutrients, vitamins and protein, and the sky’s the limit on how tasty they can be. They also make a great ‘on the go’ breakfast or after school snack. The new school year will be bringing a lot of challenges when it comes to schedules and staying healthy. But with these inventive options, your kids can still get quick and easy snacks that are good for them. For starters, try out this delicious banana almond flaxseed smoothie.

Flaxseed 101: The Naturopathic Kitchen

You’ve heard us say it before, healthy living starts in the kitchen.  Many people find that cooking can be somewhat bland when first starting out, however, that need not be the case!  Through this series, discover how to make cooking fun and healthy. This week we discuss everything you want to know about flaxseed!

Flaxseed 101

In the quest for more dietary fiber, flax has gained popularity. You have likely come across flaxseeds in some form another. Flaxseeds (also known as linseed) are small gold, tan, or brown colored seeds that come from the common flax plant. Compared to other herbs/grains we’ve talked about, flaxseed has gained a lot of notoriety as a health food. Its packaging label will likely highlight health claims such as “high omega-3” and “high fiber.” But do these claims hold their weight?

Where does flax come from? Where can I find it?

Flaxseed is one of the oldest known cultivated crops. It dates back as far as 5000 years and its Latin name, Linum usitatissimum, means “very useful.” Flaxseed was introduced to the US by early colonists, and was used to make paper, fabric, and clothing. Flaxseed was also used to feed livestock due to its health boosting properties.

Today, flaxseed is easily found in almost every major grocery chain. You’ll find it either as whole seed or pre-ground. It used to be thought that once the seeds were ground they needed to be consumed quickly so the oils inside would not go rancid. Research has shown that once ground, flaxseed is shelf-stable at room temperature for up to 10 months without loss of omega-3 or ALA content. Though it is still best to keep it cool and away from light.1

How does flax help my health?

Because of its high omega-3 content, flaxseed is great at tackling inflammation-based conditions.2 Due to its high lignan and fiber content it is great for constipation, can lower cholesterol, prevent heart disease, and possibly even has cancer protective properties.3

What medical conditions/symptoms is flax good for?

Let’s try it out with a delicious and nutritious recipe!

Banana Almond Flaxseed Smoothie


1 medium frozen banana
2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 tablespoons almond butter
1 tablespoon flaxseed
1 teaspoon honey
1 drop almond extract
4 ice cubes (optional)


Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Thank you to Cooking Classy for this great recipe!

CCNM – Walking Through Our Past To an Amazing Future

CCNM celebrating 40 years

Commemorating an important milestone

This year is a special one for the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) as we celebrate our 40th anniversary. That’s four decades of educating NDs, delivering high-quality clinical care, and advancing our profession in Canada and beyond.CCNM-Conovation-2018

At our convocation ceremony in May, we honoured our history and looked to our future by welcoming 136 graduates to an evolving and growing profession. Our alumni may end up in different parts of the world, but they’re always part of CCNM’s family.

Walking through our past

Our most recent report to the community features a timeline of significant events and stories from our alumni and faculty. Through our research, we unearthed many fun facts. For example: in the early 80s, the College was located in two former art galleries; we published its first book, an anthology of common illnesses and their naturopathic treatment, in 1998; and we considered 77 potential sites before we moved to our current location, at the intersection of Sheppard Avenue and Leslie Street in Toronto, in 1999.

Student involvement in research

We created the Student Innovation Fund to foster a strong culture of research here at the College. Our students actively participate in research studies and we’re proud of the contribution they’re making to naturopathic medicine’s evidence base.

One such study, a collaboration between CCNM students and faculty, is a case report examining the effects of Arnica oil massage, therapeutic ultrasound, and acupuncture on chronic osteoarthritis pain. The results were published in Alternative and Complementary Therapies in April.CCNM-Research-Day-2018In January, we hosted our second annual Research Day to showcase and celebrate the high-quality research work from students, faculty and the research department over the past year. In total, 17 research posters were on display in CCNM’s lobby and winners were announced in the top scientific and people’s choice categories by the judging committee.

Conference abstracts were published in the journal Undergraduate Research in Natural and Clinical Science and Technology.


The Integrated Cancer Centre (ICC) opens at CCNM

Led by Class of 2006 graduate Dr. Dan Lander, ND, the ICC provides integrative cancer treatment and support using a team-based approach. The centre is located within the Robert Schad Naturopathic Clinic (RSNC), our teaching clinic at the College. Students will have the opportunity to learn how to practise in an interdisciplinary setting with other health-care providers and deliver naturopathic cancer care to patients.

We also opened a new shift at the Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities, an external community health-care clinic (CHC) in the east end of Toronto. CCNM provides clinical care in CHCs located throughout Toronto, giving student interns exposure to health concerns that they don’t normally see at the RSNC. The shift is supervised by Dr. Ehab Mohammed, ND, a Class of 2015 graduate who was also trained as a medical doctor in his native Egypt.

Online prerequisite science courses (PSCs) available at CCNM

For applicants who want to become a naturopathic doctor but are missing some of the necessary prerequisites required for entry into our Doctor of CCNM - PSC-onlineNaturopathy degree program, we’ve developed a series of PSC courses that can be completed online.

The PSCs are offered throughout the year and include two chemistry courses, biology, physiology, and psychology. They combine online self-study modules with a weekly interactive tutorial session with the course instructor.

Dr. Andrea Maxim – CCNM

“I can sit across from a patient now and can see that they’re hiding the “real” reason they booked in, and give them a healing space to expose that, and start the healing process. “

Dr. Andrea Maxim - CCNM graduateDr. Andrea Maxim enjoys being able to help her patients know they aren’t alone and “to be one of the first people to witness their wounds for what they really are.” It is this ability to truly touch the lives of patients, bringing them out of their shells and addressing their problems that helps to make her practice a success.

For Dr. Maxim, success doesn’t stop at the office door. With her knowledge and skills, she can share all of this “with people on Facebook, Instagram, Facebook Live, YouTube and touch a whole other demographic of people.” By sharing her skills through social media, she is helping to redefine naturopathic medicine.

Laying the groundwork to become an ND

As a way to prepare for her future as an ND, Dr. Maxim “went to every business class at CCNM in 3rd and 4th year.” It was this business grounding that helped add to her experience at CCNM and find success when she left naturopathic medical school. She went so far as to “learn as much as I could about managing the front desk and patient retention.”

In addition to her grounding in the business side of the field, Dr. Maxim also attended “as many courses and seminars/live trainings that I could in the first year.” By doing this, she was able to get information about what other practitioners were doing to be successful so that she could learn from their experiences.

CCNM as a springboard

Dr. Maxim chose CCNM for practical reasons—at the time “it was the only naturopathic college in Canada and the location was perfect for me.” Before she attended the school, she got to take part in the Discover CCNM Day and was sold on the college because of the energy she felt coming from the school and its people. While at CCNM, the faculty’s knowledge and expertise gave her the capability to “stand on my own as a new graduate.” She adds that even now, she reflects on what she learned from CCNM and it’s helpful with her treatment protocols. She especially credits the internship experience as having helped her to become a successful ND as well as the school’s ability to “make changes to improve our skills and efficiency.”

“Living the dream” after graduation

Since becoming an ND, Dr. Maxim has put in a great deal of work to build her practice. She also knew that she wanted more than anything to be her own boss, so she started her own practice. The best part about that is the flexibility “that it provides with changing my work schedule as needed.”
In addition, Dr. Maxim has been able to expand on her practice and innovate as needed because of the freedom of running her own practice. She utilizes her creativity to “create new promotions, new programs, offer flash sales and market myself in new ways.” This has helped her become a success in her field.

Finding fulfillment as an ND

As a starting ND, Dr. Maxim put in 16-hour days, six days a week. But all of that was to get her practice started and working properly. Now that she’s established, she gets to find personal and professional fulfillment from “learning, implementing, [and] growing outside of the office.” Her philosophy is that you cannot allow yourself to rest and get complacent if you want to remain successful in the business. But now that her business is settled, she works “four days in clinic and has more down time outside of the office.” She jokingly adds that there are some days she doesn’t even open her laptop to do any work.

Advice for aspiring NDs

Dr. Maxim’s top piece of advice for NDs is to learn how to be an entrepreneur as well as a practitioner. She says to be practical and realize that you will not be flooded with patients, but instead you have to have the drive to grow your practice and bring in clients. She adds that we are “in our pioneer phases” as a profession and that you will be faced with many patients and potential patients who have no concept of what naturopathic medicine is and what it entails. She believes that what you learn in school will help you to be a competent ND, but if you want to be successful, you “have to be ready to hit the pavement from the start.”

Learn more about Dr. Andrea Maxim:
Instagram: @AndreaMaximND
Facebook: www.facebook.com/maximizedbusiness