Barry Klatt and Cynthia Culhane

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(NC) A new year brings new beginnings, a time when many of us make resolutions to be healthier. To help you get there, the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) surveyed industry experts to identify the top five natural health trends for this year:


1. Pumpkin: Primed to be the kale of 2015, we are going to see an increase in the use of pumpkin across the country. From oils to seeds, this unique squash has many health benefits and has been linked to heightened prostate and urinary tract health. Pumpkin seeds are also rich in B vitamins, vitamin E, zinc and essential fatty acids.

2. The Gut: Digestive health is poised to reign supreme amongst natural health trends in 2015.  Increasingly, natural health products that support digestion, including a diversifying probiotic category, are being linked to benefits beyond digestive health, such as mental health, skin health, and weight maintenance, among others.

3. Fermentation: The trend of supporting digestion also extends to fermented foods, which are no longer limited to kimchi, tempeh and sauerkraut. Fermentation can liberate nutrients in foods which helps our body better absorb them. For 2015, natural health lovers are taking fermentation outside of the mason jar. Canadians will see a plethora of new fermented foods in different forms including bars and powders popping up in stores across the country. 

4. GMO labeling: In more than 60 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs. Food labeling activism is on the rise in Canada. We are seeing an increase in consumers demanding to know where their food comes from and whether it has been genetically modified.

5. Fancy Fats: In 2014 coconut oil was all the rage, and while it has many health benefits, we are seeing more and more people using new oils, each offering their own unique health advantages. Some of those that will be trending this year include:• Avocado Oil - Rich in monounsaturated fats and vitamin E and with a high smoke point which makes it better for use in cooking than olive oil. • Camelina Oil - Rich in mono- and poly-unsaturated fats with a high proportion of omega-3s for cardiovascular health.• Flax Seed Oil - Rich in alpha-linolenic omega-3 fats.


If you would like some help for locating a health food store in your neighbourhood, this information is available online at


(NC) The holiday season is finally here and most of us are off to enjoy quality time visiting family and friends, getting away on sunny vacations or hitting the slopes. Whether you're enjoying the beaches or snowboarding down your favourite mountain, you'll want to make sure that your home is protected while you're away.

With the latest home security systems from providers such as Reliance Protectron, they're helping you rest assured that your home is protected while you are out enjoying yourself this season. “Our interactive services give you protection that goes far beyond the role of a traditional home security system,” explained Patrice De Luca, V.P. of Marketing and Customer Care for Reliance Protectron Security Services. Here are the latest options available to help monitor and protect your home:  


Interactive Video Surveillance

You can set up video surveillance around your property and in your home that seamlessly sleeves into your existing system. You can subscribe to interactive video surveillance to record activity at preset times or begin recording when motion is detected. Only you can monitor what's happening in your house through your webcams, as monitoring centres cannot access your cameras.  


Interactive Door Locks

If you have guests that will be housesitting or getting your mail for you while you are away, there is no need to give them a key. You can give them a passcode to get in which you can change or delete immediately after your vacation is over. You can also lock and unlock your door remotely to allow a guest to enter for example.


Interactive Thermostat

You no longer have to worry about if you left the heat on too high before you left the house. You can simply check the status of your thermostat through your computer or your smartphone and control the temperature from a distance. As an added bonus, you can turn up the heat just before you get back if you are returning home on a particularly cold day.


Remote Control Lighting and Appliances

You can also control appliances and your lighting remotely using the same interactive technology, so you can make sure appliances are shut off and make it look like someone is home by switching lights on and off in the evening. You can even program your system to perform several tasks at once. When arming your system, for example, you can also set it to lock the front door, turn off the lights, and lower the temperature slightly. Similarly, when you disarm it, it can unlock the door and turn on the lights. The thermostat can even be set to the ideal temperature in time for your arrival. You can do all this using a single key on your smart phone – whenever and wherever. More information on home security is available at

Data is supplied by Pillar 9™ MLS® System. Pillar 9™ is the owner of the copyright in its MLS®System. Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by Pillar 9™.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.