The speaker at the Carp Dinner and Talk on Sunday, Sept. 21 had many people asking for recipes–and no wonder: who knew how good for you homemade pickles were!

Sylvia Mcgee - Speaks about the benefits of Pickles and Fermented Food.

Sylvia Mcgee – Speaks about the benefits of Pickles and Fermented Food.

Retired local teacher Sylvia McGee began her talk with stories about how fermented foods probably came as a result of needing to preserve food. She went on to describe the difference between pickling and fermentation, the latter creating its own acidic liquid, lactic acid, thanks to the help of the Lactobacillus bacteria which just happens to be around everywhere.

This same lactic acid helps maintain the bacteria we need for good absorption and helps food become more nutritious and bioavailable. For example, properly made sauerkraut has twenty times the amount of vitamin C than in fresh cabbage! The beneficial bacteria in fermented foods also help to keep bad bacteria at bay, strengthening our immunity. They can even slow or reverse some diseases such as bowel conditions. Finally, fermented foods are easy on the pocketbook.

Sylvia also regaled us with anecdotes from her childhood when she learned to make fermented foods herself, pointing out that almost everything can be fermented. At the dinner we were treated to the usual fermented cabbage as sauerkraut and cucumbers as pickles, but there were also spicy fermented green beans and carrots as well as tasty fermented radishes and green tomato chutney. A lovely fermented drink was homemade ginger ale!

The other parts of the dinner included a variety of sausages and wieners from local Bearbrook Farm just east of Ottawa, who generously donated a portion of the meal; sautéed mushrooms, peppers and onions; millet grain; and a lentil dish. Dessert was an apple crisp made from local apples with yogurt topping. Kudos to Kim Trott for another great meal.

Jessica Spirak demonstrates the art of making leaf rubbings to Simaren and Devinder Serai.

Jessica Spirak demonstrates the art of making leaf rubbings to Simaren and Devinder Serai.

Tanya and daughter Jessica Spirak helped youngsters make paper rubbings of leaves and parents took home enough to wallpaper a spare room and then stayed to wash the dishes.

Music was again provided by volunteers from the Carp Celtic Music Jam and we even had two brave souls dance to one of the waltzes.

Our next Dinner and Talk will be Sunday, October 19 (always the third Sunday) at the Carp Memorial Hall from 4:30 to 6pm. The evening is free with a donation to the local food bank and volunteers are always welcome to set and clean up.



New volunteers from West Carleton Secondary School: ninth graders Alex Jordan and Vicki Turner.

Next month’s talk will be about how to undertake a fall cleanse, given by local naturopathic doctor Katherine Willow. RSVP: or call Lori at 613-839-1198 ext 232. All ages are welcome and we hope to see you!

Katherine Willow N.D.

Brain cancers are relatively uncommon in adults, accounting for 2% of cancers world-wide but second only to the incidence of leukemia in children with a rate of 20-25% of childhood cancers. There are a variety of types of tumours depending on the kinds of cells involved, each with its own prognosis.

In a brief summary of the approach by mainstream medicine, brain cancers are considered abnormal growths that start primarily in the brain or spread from another cancer in the body (metastases). They can be safe and left alone or fast-growing and needing treatment, usually surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Prognosis can be decades or months. Symptoms vary depending on the location of the tumour and whether it grows enough to create pressure in the brain.

Forty years ago in Germany a physician named Dr Geerd Hamer discovered marks on brain catscans that led to a radically new way of understanding brain cancers and disease in general. He eventually called his discoveries German New Medicine.

In short, he found that the brain is immediately affected when a shock occurs, resulting in a target ring, a series of concentric circles that can be seen on a catscan. Cell loss or ulceration causes these lesions.

The location of the rings is related to the nature of the shock. For instance, sudden worry for a loved one in a woman will affect her breast gland relay and stimulate growth in a gland on one side. The side is determined by the kind of relationship involved: mother and children worries affect the non-dominant side, for most of us the left; worry about anyone else will affect the dominant side, for most of us the right.

For each shock, there will be a mark on the brain and symptoms in the organ or tissues affected by that area in the brain. Often we don’t notice this; many of the organ/tissue results are asymptomatic or below our radar and we resolve the shock without any obvious physical symptoms.

Back to the brain: when the shock is resolved, the rings fill in with new cells which eventually re-integrate with the existing brain tissue, leaving a small mark. Most often this process goes unnoticed unless the shock is large, in which case the rings are bigger, affect more tissue and could cause symptoms.

It is this tissue regrowth during the healing phase of the rings that receives a diagnosis of brain cancer.

When one considers that these lesions are not a disease but a process of repair, it is understandable why treatments for brain cancers are often unsuccessful. If the person is vital, their brain cells will keep attempting to finish healing the damage from the shock; this is interpreted as a cancer recurrence, resulting in more treatment and strain to a person’s immune system.

Even if the original healing process is completed, the damage from the treatments themselves, especially the radiation, will at some point require a new healing process which will again be understood as disease and treated. It is not uncommon for brain cancer patients to undergo multiple surgeries and rounds of chemo-therapy and radiation in this frustrating cycle.

This leaves us with the question of treatment within this new paradigm.

German New Medicine is not a treatment but a revised understanding of medicine. Each patient needs to be individually assessed to determine the most intelligent treatment plan. This could be mainstream medicine and/or alternative treatments, or even taking a wait and see position to ride out the healing phase.

September 3, 2014

As many of you may already be aware, the Carp Ridge Natural Health Clinic where I have been practicing since January 2013 is closing its doors as the owner, Dr. Katherine Willow, ND, has made the difficult decision to retire.

I have subsequently made the decision to take a sabbatical from November 1, 2014 until March 2015. I will use this time to spend time with my family, work on several research projects as well as to do a bit of travelling.

While it is an exciting time for my family, it was also a very difficult decision for me to leave patients for even these few short months. To that end, I’ve taken careful steps to ensure that all patients are able to continue with the quality care you have become accustomed to as seamlessly as possible.

The next page will answer many of the questions you may have, but here are a few important points:

  • The clinic will remain open with regular hours for both me as well as the IV clinic until Friday October 31, 2014.
  • New patients will continue to be welcomed up until the time that I leave.
  • Every effort will be made over the next two months to accommodate all patient appointments. If you or anyone you know needs to see me before my departure, please call the office as soon as possible to book your appointment. We are open 3 days a week by appointment only.

I have enlisted two colleagues that I trust wholeheartedly with your care. Both Dr. Kandis Lock, ND, and Dr. Maureen MacDonald, ND have spent significant time training with me over the years and have agreed to take over patient care in my absence. Additionally, they both have IV suites in their respective offices, so they will be able to accommodate any appointments, treatment protocols, or concerns you may have while I am away.


Leesa Signature




Leesa Kirchner, ND, FABNO


Answers to Your Questions

Who will be looking after your practice?

Starting in November, Dr. Kandis Lock, ND, and Dr. Maureen MacDonald, ND, who may be familiar to some of you who have received IV therapies at our office will continue your existing treatment plan, run your IV treatments, and be able to deal with acute visits during my absence.

Dr. Kandis Lock, ND is located at:

Somerset Health and Wellness Centre
190 Somerset St W (corner Elgin)
(613) 627-3880

Dr. Maureen MacDonald, ND is located at:

Holistic Clinic
2211 Riverside Drive (at Bank)
Suite 200
(613) 521-5355

Please contact us and let us know if you would like a copy of your file to be transferred to one of these two doctors prior to October 31st.

If we do not hear from you prior to October 31st, your complete file will remain safely locked in storage at the Carp Ridge premises and will follow me to my new location to be determined upon my return. Should your medical team require access to your file after October 31st, but prior to my return, please contact Carp Ridge, 613-839-1198.

How will I get supplements while you are away?

For patients who have used the Healthwave supplement ordering system, you can continue to do so in my absence. Your account will remain unchanged and you can order as before.

For those of you who have not used the Healthwave system, it is an online ‘store’ that has almost all supplements that I recommend on it. If we have an email address for you on file, check your inboxes and junk mail folder in the next few weeks for a message from Healthwave with the subject line: “You have a new prescription”. This will give you a link to list of recommended supplements and will allow you to order directly through the website. FYI- they are normally sent out the same day for a nominal fee.

For hard to find items that are NOT on the Healthwave system, specifically:

AveUltra, Honopure, and Helixor (Mistletoe), Carp Ridge will be taking prepaid orders up until October 1st. We recommend that if possible you order enough of these products to get you through until at least March or April of 2015. They will be ready for pick up at the office (or be shipped to you at your expense if required) by the end of October.

photoCongratulations to Kealy Mann, ND and her family on their newest, happy, healthy addition. Your Carp Ridge family can’t wait to meet her.

The Look Beyond Mastectomy Boutique and Wellness Centre is a unique oasis for women facing the challenges of health and well-being.  In a comfortable, welcoming environment, you can check out clothing and accessories; prostheses, compression sleeves and other products; expertise; classes; Healing Circles; sprouting supplies, books, wheat grass, and healthy juices.  Drop in or make an appointment.

3rd Floor (The Spa) 26 Castlefrank Road, Kanata, ON K2L 4B4

Strength Fitness with Margo Beak
Life by DeZing,from the Inside-Out with Francesca Davila
Grow your own Organic Sprouts with Leslie Aldridge
Breathe Move Meditate – Rejuvenating Yoga with Elaine Clark
Healing Circle with Linda Morin author of “The Courage to Look Beyond”
Amazing, Healthy, Meal Preparation with Caroline Ishii, former Chef and founder of ZenKitchen

Creativity Blitz Poster (2)Join us on Saturday September 20, 2014 for Creativity in Nature for All Ages.

Let nature inspire your creativity through meditation, art, music and movement, guided or on your own, on trails and special spots on the Carp Ridge.

It’s still the dark of early morning and cricket sounds are soothing as I bring my thoughts into focus about these last few weeks.

My sister Lili, who lives in upstate New York, came to visit on a whim on July 23rd.  After dinner with a friend, we sat at the kitchen table chatting as sisters do and she mentioned some funny visual symptoms.  My mind went very still as she told me about a brief sensation in her head when they started 3 weeks earlier.  To make sure I wasn’t blowing things out of proportion, I called Telehealth* and repeated her symptoms.  We were told to go to emergency immediately.

We decided to go across the border to the Ogdensburg hospital where Lili would have insurance coverage.  After the usual wait, Lili was ushered in for her first brain catscan.  I was allowed into the office and watched the screen as an egg-sized, fluid-filled lesion slowly emerged on the right side of her brain.

It is incredibly fortunate that German New Medicine is the foundation of my understanding of health and disease, because brain tumours are the ultimate healing sign within this revised concept of medicine.  (This doesn’t mean treatment is unnecessary, see for an explanation.) I was able to be calmly supportive for Lili as she descended into the inevitable diagnosis-shock of the unexpected.  We were told to stay for an MRI and were then informed that she had a cystic brain tumour and needed to see a neurosurgeon.

My sister is not one for taking any challenge lying down.  By the time we had driven home she had alerted family and friends and gotten appointments with two top neurosurgeons in New York City for the following week.  The next day we went to emergency at the General Hospital in Ottawa to further check out the eye symptoms on the advice of a family member who is a medical doctor.  Eyes were healthy, but the visual symptoms had greatly increased, probably due to the shock.

Lili had brain surgery on August 5th and flew through recovery, riding on the prayers and positive thoughts of thousands of friends and family.  She weaned herself off pain medications with homeopathic remedies, discontinued the anti-convulsive drugs that were making her sick and successfully replaced the steroids, which were upsetting her sleep, with an herb that reduces swelling in the brain.  By the time she left the hospital, she looked her usual gorgeous self, determined to restore her health.  She has a follow-up MRI in mid-September to see how her brain is doing and to decide on treatment.  Now she is radically reducing the stress in her life and focussing on calming herself with meditation and prayer.  GNM teacher Ilsedora Laker has played a pivotal role in helping Lili come out of her fear and panic.

There is so much more that I could write about this, it would become a book.  Maybe I’ll do that someday.  In the meantime, I plan to divide my time between here and New York to support Lili until she gets through this, as I’m certain she will.  How unbelievably lucky that I now have the time and attention to help this much!

During this event I am having a new experience of myself: more energy, clarity and emotional stability.  I’ve been to New York three times since that July evening, with late nights, complicated logistics and high stress all around me and yet feel more positive and healthier than ever before.  I suspect that working with Sheila Earl and faithfully taking her remedies, supplementing with a very specific regime to buoy up my weak areas and continuing my therapy are all key, but that there is something bigger going on here that will reveal itself as time goes on…

I look out my kitchen window and see the outlines of the spruce in the new dawn.  In a few hours I’ll be travelling to Guelph in the hopes of being useful at the homebirth of Stephen’s first grandchild.  His daughter Sophie sounds relaxed and confidant and ready to go into labour any time.  Felix will stay here to see his mother in the Pride parade.

I feel blessed and supported.

Here’s to a peaceful ending of summer and a smooth transition into the more turbulent energy of fall.  Time for an early fall cleanse if you can.  I’m waiting until October to do mine and only if life has slowed down.

warm regards,



*Telehealth is a wonderful service for Ontario residents, a toll-free number which reaches kind nurses who will help you decide whether you should go to a hospital or not: 1-866-797-0000.  A good one to put up on the fridge!

–On another note, some of you have emailed me and not gotten a response, even before this new development.  It is my intention to get back to everyone, but if you want to help speed that up, please email me again and thanks for your patience.  I hope to see some of you at the Creativity in Nature event on Sept 20.

Katherine Willow N.D.

In this mechanized electronic culture it is possible to balance ourselves with the natural world: air, sun, ground, trees, water and stars. A few hundred years ago, being out in nature wasn’t an issue except for the “privileged” few. And there weren’t the dangers of civilization to contend with: electromagnetic fields (emf’s), pollution of air, water and soil, genetically modified and over-processed food, artificial lighting, mechanized travel and schedules that make it hard to stop and smell the roses. Now we need to make an active effort to get the exposure to nature that we need to thrive.

How to start getting out into the elements when buried in commitments that don’t include being outside? Consider some motivating and hopeful studies:

*walking on the ground with bare feet for 20 minutes drains off the emf’s we pick up from our screens/wifi (I’m considering an extension with a dirt floor to experiment with this.)

*walking in the forest increases our white blood cells; in Japan they call it forest bathing and use it for chemo patients

*planet earth emits vibrations that are identical to those used in hospital machines to help heal bones, identical to those emitted by our hands (think of preventing/reversing osteoporosis)

*sunbathing up to 20 minutes between 10am and 4pm between May and September in our latitude allows our skin to produce substantial amounts of vitamin D, boosts our spirits and helps us stay healthy without burning

*children attending outside schools have fewer illnesses

*negative ions by the seashore and waterfalls invigorate us

*sleeping early and in complete darkness, as we did before artificial lighting, helps greatly to restore depleted glands, the immune system and energy

Then consider some ancient wisdom:

*trees take in our negative thoughts and feelings as they do our carbon dioxide, giving positive energy in return (a role for depression and grief)

*animals seen in our daily lives can bring us messages for our soul   (Last spring my yard was invaded by woodpeckers of many kinds for 3 days. When I finally looked up their message and followed it, they disappeared within 1 hour.)

*lying on the ground, we receive energies from earth and sky, recharging our chakras/energies; lying on the ground for 10 minutes a day increases energy by 30% within 3 weeks (even inside!)

*air contains vital energies which we can learn to optimize with yogic breathing techniques/pranayama

This all makes common sense, but sometimes our primal instincts are buried under layers of civilization and being outside doesn’t appeal. Bugs, unpleasant temperatures, rain, snow, time pressures and boredom combine to make staying inside in front of a screen preferable. It may take getting sick to propel our habits back into what we need for body, mind and spirit. The old nature cure practitioners used all the elements for healing disease.

An activity we do at retreats is to send participants into the wild to find a power spot and sit, letting the mind calm and the sounds speak to their inner side, resonating with gifts that may have gone stagnant with disuse, inspiring them to shake off the heavy, over-stimulating life that they may have been trapped in.

No need to go on retreat for this—it can happen in a park or in our back yards if we take the time when the time is right.

Tag Line


The program

RidgeWoods is a living school!

It offers wilderness retreat experiences for children, families, and educators.
In a variety of wilderness habitats, we will wonder, inquire and embark on a journey of self-discovery. It includes natural gardens, a pond, a stream, meadows, hilltops, and acres of protected and sacred land. It includes a mini-museum and atelier in the woods, and much more. We promote healthy living, creative movement, singing, laughter, kindness, resilience, positive thinking, mindfulness, simplicity, compassion, gratitude, generosity, and respect for the earth’s ecological system.

What do children do in it?

We fully immerse outside in the wilderness of RidgeWoods:

 a) We play games, sing, laugh, inquire, read the world around us, do storytelling, and create story lines, walk, run, hike, and much more.

b) We discuss the transformation of the earth and what each season bring to us, keep a journal, and contemplate.

c) We do art, crafts, mold with clay, build teepees, towns, castles, and much more using mother nature gifts, we paint on canvas, dance, and have a drum circle.

d) We embrace the weather of the day: snow, wind, rain, sunshine, cloudy days or something in between and give thanks for what we have!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 121 other followers

October 2014
« Sep    
%d bloggers like this: