Environmental Quiz

Check each item that applies to you:

  • Do you drink pop, calorie free or sugary drinks?  This includes mixing them in with alcohol (ie rum and coke)
  • Do you drink anything out of a plastic bottle?
  • Do you use non-stick frying pans?
  • Do you drink Vitamin mineral or Gatorade water?
  • Do you use a microwave?
  • Do you use a cell phone or a computer for more than 3 hours a day?
  • Do you use Advil, Tylenol, Immodium or any over the counter medication more than 1x/ year?
  • Do you eat foods that have food coloring (ie Smarties, M&Ms, cheddar cheese, etc) ?
  • Do you consume canned goods (ie soup in a can)?
  • Do you use personal care products with phthalates or parabens?
  • Do you drink more than 2 alcoholic drinks per day?
  • Do you exercise less than 30 minutes per day, 4 days per week?
  • Do you regularly consume foods that are Genetically Modified?  These foods are: Corn, Soybeans, Canola, Cottonseed and Beet sugar.
  • Do you eat any of the following foods in the non-organic form:
1.     Strawberries 7. Cherries
2.     Spinach 8. Peaches
3.     Kale, Collard and Mustard 9. Pears
4.     Nectarines 10. Bell and hot peppers
5.     Apples 11. Celery
6.     Grapes 12. Tomatoes
  • Do you drink manufactured orange juice?
  • Do you suffer from any of the following: ongoing fatigue, headaches, pain, and constant colds and coughs?
  • Do you regularly experience digestive concerns such as gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome?
  • Have you been diagnosed with low thyroid function or a skin condition (ie eczema, psoriasis, acne)?
  • Do you use hand sanitizer or Colgate toothpaste on a regular basis?
  • Are you more than 15 lbs overweight?
  • Do you use perfume?


Score: _______


Number of checks Category
Less than 5 You win top marks and qualify for the “Squeaky Clean” award  – Congrats!


Between 5 -12 You need to reduce your environmental toxin exposure and may need an integrated detoxification program. Dr. Mason-Wood, ND can provide an assessment to see if a detoxification is right for you and provide lifestyle counselling to help you minimize toxin exposure – call our clinic today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mason-Wood, ND at (587) 521-3595 or schedule an appointment online at https://naturalterrain.com/contact-us/.
Greater than 12 You need an integrated detoxification program – call our clinic today to schedule a critical care appointment with Dr. Mason-Wood, ND at (587) 521-3595 or schedule an appointment online at https://naturalterrain.com/contact-us/

Supporting your child’s mental well being and health

Dr. Chris Bjorndal ND gives insight into ‘The Umbrella Effect’, taught by Dr. Jen ND

When my son was ten years old he experienced some setbacks at school when he was being bullied by another boy in his grade. This raised concern in me because when I was a child I had a difficult time in school. My mental health challenges started in grade 3 and I wished that I had the skills to handle the mental and emotional waves of my life. As I write about in my book, “Beyond the Label: 10 steps to Improve your Mental Health with Naturopathic Medicine” mental health is multi-factorial. We need to develop a solid foundation in all ten areas to prevent mental illness and achieve mental wellness.

A couple years ago, I attended the Northwest Naturopathic Medicine conference, primarily because I was drawn to a lecture titled: The Umbrella Effect: Strategies to Support Pediatric Mental Well Being in Family Practice by Dr. Jen Forristal ND. I arrived on the Friday night to celebrate another colleague’s birthday party. By chance (or divine guidance) I ended up sitting beside Dr. Jen ND– who was the one person I wanted to meet given my practice focus is on mental health.

Dr. Jen Forristal BSc ND is a naturopathic doctor and children’s mental health specialist located in Kitchener, Ontario.

Dr. Jen ND explained to me that “throughout our lives we will face many challenges and setbacks. Much like the rain, these are aspects of our life that most people experience and we have little control over. The sun doesn’t always shine in life and often, we spend a lot of time wishing the storms will pass, instead of properly protecting ourselves from the rain. What is important as parents, is to teach your children the skills that will empower them to grow in their mental and emotional health. These she refers to as “umbrella skills”. These skills are made up of emotional and cognitive skills: gratitude, resilience, mindfulness, intrinsic motivation, self-efficacy, autonomy, purpose, optimism, integrity, lifestyle, empathy, kindness, growth mindset, cognitive flexibility and grit.

The happiest and most successful people possess these skills and they are highly predictive of our future wellbeing.”


These skills are made up of emotional and cognitive skills: gratitude, resilience, mindfulness, intrinsic motivation, self-efficacy, autonomy, purpose, optimism, integrity, lifestyle, empathy, kindness, growth mindset, cognitive flexibility and grit.


As a parent, I have had to get myself out of the way and not project my childhood experiences onto my son. An example of this was when I was in Grade four, girls in my class started an “I hate Christina” club, and this devastated me. The same thing happened to my son when he was in grade two. My heart sank when he told me as I flash-backed to my horrible childhood experience. But his response highlights the difference between poor self esteem, which I had at his age and self confidence, which he has, as he said: “It’s okay mom—no one joined!”

Natural Terrain Family
Dr. Chris ND with her husband and son.

Another example is my son sometimes can feel left out in a group of three and my reaction was “Let’s only do one on one play dates”, essentially avoiding groups of three. Seems logical right? When I consulted with Dr. Jen ND her solution was the exact opposite of mine. She said “you want him to experience groups of three so that he learns how to navigate this. If you don’t do this, what do you suppose will happen when he is an adult and may have to work in a group of three on a work project?” One suggestion she gave our son was that he talk to the other boys and discuss a strategy where if one of them is feeling left out that they work together to make sure everyone is included.

Umbrella skills will carry our children forward in life and support them when emotional weather gets cloudy in their life.

By using these skills we can actually strengthen our mindset and re-frame the challenges we experience; reducing what felt like a heavy downpour to a light drizzle.   All of the skills are important and work best together. For example, working hard with grit is important but without a sense of purpose it becomes unfulfilling.

By developing these habits, we will develop the confidencand strength it takes to hold ourselves up and pursue life’s opportunities, despite the stormy weather. 

If you would more information about Dr. Jen’s ND Umbrella Project visit her website at https://umbrellaproject.co/for-parents/

-Dr. Chris Bjorndal, ND


Dweck, Carol. Mindset – The New Psychology of Success. Ballantine Books, 2006

Foristall, Jennifer – Pediatric Mental Health lecture, Northwest Naturopathic Conference, April 2017.

Environmentally Responsible Cleaning Recipes Part 1: Household Cleaners

A big part of our practice is working with Environmental Medicine, which we define as working with one’s environment with the intention of creating the conditions for health for yourself and the planet. We address the quality of the air, food, and water, as well as other products we put in or on our bodies.

Environmental medicine is powerful and important, and big gains in health can be created by small changes. This is the first part of a series of articles written to help you make little environmental changes that can move you towards health, by making your own household cleaners.

General Household Cleaners

Lemon Oil Furniture Polish
1 cup mineral oil
1 tsp. lemon oil

Mix the above ingredients together and store in a pump dispenser of your choice. Spray directly onto furniture and buff surface to shine. Use sparingly to prevent build up.

Olive Oil Furniture Polish

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. white vinegar
4 cups (1L) water

Mix ingredients and store in a pump dispenser. Place bottle near heat before use as polish will work better warm (e.g. place bottle in a pan of warm water). Apply to furniture and rub dry with a soft cloth.

Carpet Cleaner

2 cups baking soda
4-5 bay leaves, crumbled
½ cup cornstarch
1 tbsp. ground cloves

Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container. Shake the cleaner onto your carpet. Leave overnight and vacuum thoroughly the next day. Note: this is more or less a carpet freshener (it will pick up dirt and dust and remove stains left by moisture)

Carpet Deodorizer

½ cup cornstarch
¼ cup borax

Mix cornstarch with borax. Sprinkle on carpet and leave for 1 hour. Vacuum.

Silver Polish

Aluminum foil
4 cups (1L) water
1 tbsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. salt

Put a piece of aluminum foil in an enamel or stainless steel saucepan. Pour in water. Add baking soda and salt and bring to a boil. Add your silverware and the tarnish will disappear from your silverware and coat the foil. Polish the silverware with a dry cloth as you remove it from the pan. Note: This formula works very well on heavily tarnished items. The only problem is that may leave a dull coating on surfaces. We do not recommend you use this method on patina design as it may remove the accents.

Brass and Copper Cleaner

2 tbsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. flour
1 tbsp. vinegar

Mix above items into a paste. Rub on copper items and let sit for 10 minutes. Rinse and shine clean with a soft cloth. Note: This formula works okay with a lot of elbow grease. It was not effective on badly tarnished items. To quick-clean copper or brass, saturate a sponge with vinegar or lemon juice, sprinkle on salt and scrub vigorously. Leaves a nice shine!

Glass Cleaner #1

4 cups (1L) vinegar
4 cups (1L) water

Note: This works fairly well, but not as well as commercial cleaners. For best results, clean windows first using isopropanol (rubbing alcohol) to remove the residue from previously used cleaners.

Glass Cleaner #2

2 tbsp. borax
3 cups water

Mix ingredients together in a bucket. Clean windows using newspaper. Note: This works well, but be careful not to smudge any woodwork with the newspaper.