6 Foods to Avoid if you suffer from Acid Reflux (GERD- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)

Many people suffer from Acid Reflux, they feel pain and burning in the throat and in the chest region behind the breast bone. Sometimes the pain begins after eating, but it can also occur while lying down or bending forward. It is common to have a chronic cough or to feel the need to clear the throat frequently. A prescription drug to stop the production of acid from the cells in the stomach is the most common treatment for GERD. While this drug may be helpful in the short term, it does not address the underlying cause of the problem and if this drug is taken for a prolonged time there can be devastating health consequences. (1)

There is no age in which we see more cases of GERD, it can happen in children and adults alike. People with a hiatus hernia can suffer from it and many sufferers have a floppy sphincter, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) that does not work efficiently to keep the acid from the stomach from splashing back into the throat.

Keeping the digestive tract moving well, meaning there is a well-formed bowel movement one to two times per day is important for the management of GERD. This means eating a diet that is high in fiber and avoiding foods that slow the rate of digestion. (2)

The tissues in the throat can become inflamed from being in contact with the stomach acid, and with prolonged acid exposure, these cells in the throat can become cancerous. It is for this reason that we want to minimize the production of acid in the body and we want to protect the cells from being irritated by hot and spicy foods as well as acidic foods.

Dietary food choices are an essential part of helping the body to reduce the production of acid and they can help with the healing process. Let’s look at 6 foods to avoid if you suffer from acid reflux.

  1. Fatty foods, fried foods, oils: These foods slow the digestive process. With GERD (acid reflux) it is important to keep the digestive tract moving. Foods that slow this process should be avoided.
  2. Nuts and Seeds: these are high in fat and will slow the digestion
  3. Chocolate and Caffeine: These create an acidic environment and worsen the reflux.
  4. Spicy foods: These hot foods include hot curry, cayenne, hot pepper aggravate inflamed tissues.
  5. Alcohol, Wine, Beer: These drinks create an acidic evironment in the body.
  6. Acidic Foods: tomatoes, citrus fruits can aggravate the inflamed tissues


1.Gaby, Alan R. Nutritional Medicine. Fritz Perlberg, 2011.

2. Pizzorno, Joseph E., and Michael T. Murray. Textbook of Natural Medicine. Elsevier/Churchill Livingstone, 2013.

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Dr. Judith Snider

Dr. Judith Snider is a Registered Nutritionist, a Chiropractor, and a Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner. She is married with three grown children and 1 grand-dog (Joey). The promotion of health and wellness has always been her goal, and she loves to share healthy living tips with her patients.

Healthy Gut, Healthy Body

The digestive tract is the gateway to a healthy body and mind.  Every day we ingest food, but for many, there are unpleasant symptoms following eating.  If you have burning in the chest or throat, gas, belching, cramps, diarrhea, constipation or difficulty gaining or losing weight then the process of digestion may be impaired.  Finding the root cause of the problem is the modern way to treat ailments.

The testing for gut health involves analyzing the PH of the stool, bacteria type, and count,  gut motility, the ability of the body to produce digestive enzymes and the integrity of the lining (leaky gut).

In my practice, I do a comprehensive history and nutritional physical exam.  There are blood analysis and specific digestive tests to find the root cause.  Treatment is then focused on a healthy diet, lifestyle,  and targeted supplements for the individuals’ need.


Healthy Aging Tips-Reishi Mushrooms

It is a well known fact that various systems in the body become less efficient as we age,  and the immune system is no exception.  We rely on the antibodies to destroy unwanted bacteria and viruses, which is where the robust and healthy immune system is needed.

Mushrooms have been shown to be very effective for improving the immune function by increasing the white blood cell count.  White blood cells work by seeking out invading organisms ‘eating them’ and coordinating their destruction and removal.

Reishi mushrooms can be taken daily to improve your immune system naturally.  Look for a standardized 10-12.5% polyscaccharide content.

Healthy Eating During the Holidays

The holiday season is upon us, this means there are parties, lunches, dinners and plenty of opportunities to overindulge with high sugar, high-fat foods not to mention the alcohol.  There are ways that you can reduce the negative impact of all the food, it takes a bit of planning but it is well worth the effort.

If you are attending an event in the evening, plan your meals during the day to be low calorie and low fat with plenty of green and colorful vegetables, water and some quality protein.  At the event choose foods that are not fried, low in sugar and minimize or skip the pasta, potatoes, and rice.  You can fill up on salads and vegetables with a protein (fish, chicken, lean beef, tofu) then there is room for a small dessert and one drink.

Sparkling water with lemon/lime is a great drink to sip on and it fills you up.  You can have this throughout the evening.

There are easy ways to keep on track during this holiday season!  Enjoy

Dr. Judith Snider  RNCP



Sports Nutrition Tips

Sports nutrition can be very confusing.  Do you eat before a workout?  If so what and how much?  Should you eat during a workout session?  Will I gain weight if I eat before going to sleep?  There are so many questions!  Luckily research has given us many sound answers to help with maintaining stamina while exercising as well as helping with recovery afterward.

The type of exercise does play an important role in the food timing and choices.  An endurance athlete running two hours or more will require a certain amount of carbohydrate intake before the workout along with food every hour during the workout.  A weight lifter does not necessarily need to eat during the training session, however, the nutrient intake before and after is very important in order to achieve muscle growth and repair.  An athlete who is doing a HIIT workout may not be able to eat for 1-2 hours before the session but after the workout, it is important to replenish the carbohydrate and fluids.

Hydration is an extremely important part of sports nutrition.  Even if a person does not think they sweat very much, they do lose water and electrolytes.  Drinking at least 8 cups of water per day is essential, more if long endurance workouts are your preference.  Electrolytes can be added to the water on very long workouts or if the temperature is high.

Finally, it is ok to eat a snack before going to bed!  The research has shown that eating protein and low glycemic carbohydrate help with muscle recovery but will not cause you to gain weight.   Enjoy!

Dr. Judith Snider is a Certified Sports Nutritionist, she is an avid runner, cyclist and has competed in several marathons and Ironman competitions.  You can book a complimentary consultation at 905-770-5131.

Healthy Weight Loss

Losing weight can be difficult, especially as we age since various factors come into play that can hinder the weight loss process.  There is a decrease in the body’s resting metabolic rate, a decrease in hormones along with the easy production of fat from certain foods.  The good news is,  you can effectively lose weight safely and steadily with the right dietary and lifestyle routines.  The interesting part of this is that not everyone is the same.  This means that there is not one dietary approach that will work for everyone.  Individualized weight loss takes into consideration your body type, your genetic makeup, your fitness and stress levels and MOST importantly the ability of the digestive tract to function properly.

My approach to weight loss includes a complete history, physical examination with blood work and an assessment of the digestive tract.  If other factors are present there would be testing to assess certain glands such as the Thyroid and Adrenal glands.

Physical exercise including weight-bearing exercise is so important for cardiovascular and bone health and is included in the program.  The exercises are tailored to the individual as I have worked with elite athletes and people who have not worked out in decades.

Supplements can be an important addition to a weight loss program. I use supplements to target the needs of the individual based on the history, examination and blood work.

To find out more about individualized weight loss,  book a complimentary consultation today.

Menopause Relief

Menopause should be a wonderful time in a woman’s life. She is usually settled into a career, her children are independent and she is looking forward to a retirement.   Sadly, many women suffer from low energy, hot flashes, memory loss, arthritis, abdominal weight gain and sleep disturbances and mood changes that interfere with the enjoyment of daily activities.  While aging is a natural process it IS possible to age gracefully and feel great.

As we age there is a decline in the function of enzymes as well as a reduction in the production of hormones, antioxidants and, immune cells.  Starting at 40, the cement that makes up the joint cartilage decreases in production,  this is called glucosamine and it’s reduction starts the process of joint erosion or Arthritis.  At age 45,  there is a reduction in Q10 which is necessary for energy production in every cell leading to lower energy.  At age 50, the immune system begins to weaken making the women more susceptible to infections.  At age 55, memory loss begins to become prominent as the levels of brain acetylcholine decline.  Sleep disturbances and moodiness occur as a result of a decline in the melatonin.

A woman can greatly improve her quality of life after age 40 by eating right, taking targeted supplements, doing mind-body work such as yoga or meditation and keeping hydrated to age happily and gracefully.

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Inflammation is easily recognized when in occurs after an injury such as hitting your finger with a hammer instead of the nail.  The affected part soon becomes red, hot, swollen and painful.  However global inflammation within the body can be harder to detect as the symptoms are less obvious.  When itInflammation-101-329x300 occurs in the digestive tract there may be bloating, indigestion, irritable bowel symptoms.  In the joints there can be body stiffness, joint pain and fatigue.  Low energy levels, skin eruptions can be a sign of inflammation as well.

How does one determine if they have inflammation in the body?

There are a number of ways to diagnose inflammation, including history, physical examination and blood work to name just a few.

Foods can both cause inflammation as well as treat it.

A holistic nutritionist such as a functional medicine practitioner can help
to diagnose and treat inflammation naturally.

Ironman Mt. Tremblant – August 16, 2015

Race day was calling for the weather to be very warm and humid, my worst conditions.  I tried not to focus on this as I made my way down to transition to check my tires and put last minute food into the special needs bags.  After the tires were filled and the bike was in order I made my way down to the swim area (after waiting 20 minutes for a porta-potty, they wouldn’t let us use the empty ones in the transition zone as these were for the elite athletes).  I made it to the beach just in time for a quick dip in the water and wait for my heat to march under the archway towards the water.  I stayed at the front of the heat with hopes of not getting too jostled once the gun went off.  I could barely see the first buoy because the fog was quite thick.  Once the gun went off I found a good space and rhythm in the water but had a tough time sighting due to the fog.  I kept in line with the majority of the arms in front and hoped they were going in the right direction.  I found that when I was in close proximity to a buoy then it was visible so I just followed the crowd and headed for the buoys when I could see them.  Once I veered quite a bit to the left so from then on I tried to stay close to the inside.  In the middle of the lake before the first turn, the water seemed to swell quite a bit and waves became prominent for a while.  It felt a bit like Lake Simcoe, no big deal.  I felt quite good on the swim and exited the water with a 1:05 showing on my watch.  Let the wet suit strippers pull off the bottom half off and I jogged happily to the transition to change into the bike clothes.  When I got to my bike I was alarmed to find that I could not get the bike out of the rack!  The bike to the left had their handle bars firmly tangled inside my spokes.  This is not how I left my bike this morning.  After several minutes of jostling, I finally freed the bike and I was off.  Luckily the clouds had still not cleared so the temperature was comfortable for the first part of the bike course.  I actually took off my sunglasses and settled into a comfortable ride.  By the time I hit about 60km the temperature was climbing and when I hit the hills on at 70km I was starting to feel like I was cooking from the inside.  The first loop was good, I stopped at special needs to replenish the liquids and get more food, but somehow my Garmin got jostled and it was not working once I left this stop.  After 4km of the garmin was still not showing any progress so I turned it off and started it again, luckily it worked but now my times were off.  The second loop really got hot and I stopped a couple of times to grab ice from their buckets that they kept the gatorade and water.  Shoved ice down the bra top, poured water over the helmet and back and continued until the next stop to repeat.  Finally hit the hills again, lots of people walking at the side some lying on the side of the road due to the heat.  I was hot but could still keep a reasonable pace.  Finished the bike in 6:36, changed into running clothes and started off for the run.  By the time I hit the first water station my GI tract was starting to show signs of distress, stopped in a potty.  Got some water, ice and continued.  This trend was the norm for the first 14km of the run!  I could not pass a porta-potty without stopping!  Finally the stomach settled, I finished the first loop and was feeling better.  I decided that if I did  NOT stop at every potty and just continue to move forward ( I would not call what I was doing a run) then I could do a negative split!  This is just what happened.  I felt stronger now and continued to move, not even walking the hills at the end which most people were.  The finish line was a welcome sight and seeing David, Pat and Don was so nice.  They were my cheering section and had bright orange T-shirts on that said “Judy Snider’s fan club”.  It was a great day overall, I loved every minute  and cannot wait to do another Ironman next summer.

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Ironman Race Report

Rothpicture 2014July 31, 2015

I completed my first full Ironman distance triathlon on July 20 in Roth Germany.  The training was great, I enjoyed almost every minute of it and I was definitely ready, fit and healthy for the event with the help of my coach Al Chud.

In the days leading up to the race the weather got increasingly warm,  the race day forecast was for sunny, hot (32 degrees) and humid conditions.  I began to fret about this forecast as I do not fare very well in hot temperatures, but I was assured that plenty of water/sponges would be available on the course to help cool down.

The morning of the race was indeed warm but beautiful.  My swim was great!  I felt like a pin ball as there were so many swimmers close together the entire time and finding a clear path was not easy.  I stayed close to the middle of the canal which was the clearest path I could find.  After swimming under the bridge (which is right across from the swim finish) I expected the turn final around to be close (as we were told by all the veteran athletes).  The turn did not come for quite a while!  This swim seemed very long.  At last I reached the end, looked at my watch 1:05, very happy with this.  I found out after the race that the swim course was in fact 300m longer due to them moving the last turn around 300m further from the bridge (so spectators could see the swimmers better) but they forgot to move the first turnaround 300m closer!

I walked to the transition area to retrieve my bag (just as my coach instructed me to do), brain fog set it in and I forgot my bib number, picked up a bag that seemed very light, looked inside to see a bib with Peter’s name on it…oops.  luckily I wrote my number on the swim cap.  Quickly took my bag into the tent and changed.  Ate a bar while heading to my bike.  The heat of the day was starting to be felt, I could feel the sun biting the skin and it is only 8am.  

The first part of the bike was quite good, very scenic but I was getting increasingly hot, so at every aide station I dumped a bottle of water on my head but the water was not cold so it did not really cool down the body.  As the time went on I found that I could not eat anything (and did I ever have food on board, sandwiches, bars, baby food, gels).  the sandwiches were melted and runny and I could barely nibble at one.  I managed a baby food and a good deal of fluid that was becoming hotter by the minute.  I took salt pills regularly and quickly ran out!  Not good.  At the top of Solar hill (great crowds on this hill) my support team (Multisport Canada support) handed me my special needs bag with more food (I still had the food from the morning) but no extra salt, John Salt (very funny coincindence…) gave me some from another bag but it only lasted an hour.  I tried very hard to get some solid food in but it would not go down I was too hot/bothered and just needed to cool down.  Several more aide stations and warm water on the head did very little.  My speed was quickly reducing and my legs were starting to cramp.  The concentrated electrolytes in my bottles were very warm and gross to the palate, so I abandoned this and only took the electrolytes they handed us in bottles.  Ate another baby food and one gel, hardly enough for 6 and 1/2 hours of riding.

At least I was not falling off my bike from heat exhaustion as I saw others lying on the side of the road or falling off their bikes as they passed out.  It’s too bad they do not have ice cubes or ice water in Germany.  It would have made the world of difference to me.

T2- changed, headed onto the run route slowly…tried to run.  Suddenly my left Quad AND Hamstring cramp at the same time!  I have never experienced cramping before and this was excruciating.  Once I was able to move I walked and then tried to resume a semblance of a run.  It was not be.  Cramps again in the calf as well.  Walked some more, drank electrolytes,  met Richard Pady from Multisport who said it would be better with time and to keep drinking.  He was right after an hour and 1/2 ( 10km) I was able to amble for 500m at a time before cramping.  At this rate it would take me over 6 hours to complete the marathon.  By 21km I could run and walk a little more and by 28km I was starting to feel human,  thank heavens for the thunderstorm that rolled in at this time.  By 35km I was able to sustain a very slowwww jog until the end.   Yay…I did a negative split.

I finished the race,  loved every minute of it even though the day did not go according to plan.

When can I do this again?