Seafood Pasta–A Christmas Eve Tradition

Celebration of Christmas

It’s December!!! For me December has always been a month of reflection, anticipation, and tradition.  Reflecting on the year gone by, excitment for the new year ahead, all the while preparing for Jesus’s birthday with many Christmas traditions.

My most cherished childhood memories are of Christmas eve dinner which traditionally consisted of lots of seafood, many people, and lasted many hours.  I have continued my childhood tradition of Christmas eve dinner in my home with the hopes that our children will be able to have fond memories of Christmas eve as well.

The recipe I share with you is one that we have enjoyed since I was a child  one that I continue to enjoy with my own family. I hope you like it too.  Merry Christmas.


Seafood Pasta Recipe



*parsley (finely chopped)

*1 bag of mixed fish with scallops, pollock, squid, shrimp

*can of baby clams

*1 cup white wine

*2 cups of tomato sauce

*1 tbsp. Knorr chicken base

* 1 cup half and half cream

*salt and pepper to taste

*2 tbsp. olive oil

*fettucine pasta

Saute garlic and parsley in olive oil. Add mixed fish and cook for 2 minutes. Add  mixed fish and cook for about 2 minutes.  Dissolve the base and tomato paste in wine and add to fish mixture. Add tomato sauce and cook for 15 minutes. Then add cream, red pepper and salt and pepper to taste, and continue cooking for 5 minutes.

For the pasta….bring water in a pot to a boil and cook so that the pasta is al dente. Strain the pasta and add to the fish mixture, and continue to simmer for 25 minutes. Mix well and serve.

Enjoy and Merry Christmas.


Grilled Pineapple with Nutella

Grilled Pineapple with Nutella RecipepineappleNutell


2 pineapples peeled , cut crosswise into half inch thick slices and core removed

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2/3 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature

2/3 cup Nutella hazelnut spread

6 tablespoons whipping cream

olive oil

3 tablespoons chopped toasted hazelnuts


Prepare barbecue or indoor grill pan  to medium high heat and lightly oil the grill.

Grill the pineapple slices until heated through and beginning to brown, about three minutes per side.

It is important to leave the pineapples on the grill in order to create grill marks.

While pineapples are cooking, whisk the mascarpone cheese and vanilla in a small bowl to blend and set aside.

Combine the Nutella and cream in a small bowl and stir. Place in a microwave on high for about 2 minutes, stirring every 20 seconds to blend well or you can  combine the Nutella and cream in a small saucepan over low heat and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Heat until satiny smooth and easy to pour, about 3 to 5 mins.

Transfer the slices to  a large platter and drizzle with the warm Nutella sauce.

Dollop the mascarpone mixture atop and sprinkle with the hazelnuts and serve.


Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis and the Food Network

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Post Workout Massage–What You Should Do After Your Next Workout

We have all been there…..we went to the gym and did an endurance cycling class or went for a run and ran the hardest that we ever have and all that we can think about is how sore we are going to be the next day.  This muscle soreness is often what deters people from continuing their intense workout routines because they don’t want to be sore the next day.  But this does not have to be the case.  Having a massage after any  workout can ease post workout muscle soreness.  Did you know that even a ten minute massage after a training session or workout can improve your rebound time or post work out recovery? Check out this excellent article in Men’s Fitness  to see what the research says.

After a period of hard training or exercise  there will be an accumulation of waste material and possibly some micro trauma with slight swelling in the muscles. The tissues will also be nutritionally depleted and some may be in need of repair. By stimulating the blood circulation through the strained muscles with massage therapy, all these situations can be helped.  The waste is removed more quickly and completely and more fresh blood from the arteries arrives to supply the repair and nutritional needs. There should always be a rest period after exercise to allow the recovery process to take place, and a massage greatly improves the quality and effectiveness of such rest. It is the quality of rest that is the key to effective training and regular massage therapy treatments that enables more endurance workouts  at a higher level and with less injury.

By having a massage after your workout the conversation no longer has to be on how sore you are going to be, rather on how good you feel and how much quicker our muscles recovered so that you could duplicate the same workout the next day at the same intensity with no kick back pain.

So the next time your are running in the Forward Health neighbourhood at Preservation Park  or at your next cycling class at Movati fitness in Guelph,  why not consider working a massage therapy treatment into your workout routine?  Kick up the intensity in your workout without the worry of being sore for days later. After all , your massage therapy at Forward Health will take care of that.The-Function-of-a-Running-Shoe-18356134

Get Ready For Our 2nd Annual  Community Spring Bicycle Inspection & Tune-Up



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Time to get the bikes out of storage and get them ready for the Summer Season ahead.

We invite you to drop by with your bicycles on Saturday May 14th 2016, as we are hosting our 2nd Annual Community Spring Bicycle Inspection and Tune-Up Day

Our own Dr. Phil will be riding the Century Distance for Forward Health, and proceeds will be donated to: The Foundation of The Guelph General Hospital and Rotary Clubs of Guelph. Every Dollar goes a long way to help in this worthy endeavor.

In addition there will be food and giveaways for everyone in attendance.

We’re excited to be teamed up on this day with GORBA  (Guelph Off-Road Bicycling Association), Rowe Farms Meats and Speed River Bicycle for the beginning of a season of safe riding, for all ages and abilities.

Location:  951 Gordon Street, in the parking lot.(Gordon Street and Kortright Road)

Date & Time:  Saturday May 14th, 2016, from 9am – 12noon

Looking forward to connecting you, your family and friends on this wonderful day.

The Forward Health Team

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If you have any further questions feel free to connect with us at

Classic Green Monster – For a Burst of Energy

This smoothie has been my go to drink since I discovered it in one of my all time favorite cookbooks called “Oh She Glows” by Angela Liddon.myvega

Packed with goodness, this smoothie will give you that burst of energy that you need to start the day or to keep you going throughout the day. Make a double batch and store it in your fridge at home or at work and grab it when you need that mid afternoon pick me up. If you have a nut allergy, this recipe has substitutions so that you can enjoy this drink too. Not sure about drinking something green….simple add a half a cup of fresh or frozen blueberries to give this drink a beautiful purple hue. Not only will your friends and family be wondering where your energy is coming from..but even why you have glowing skin.

You will love this smoothie….try it out and let me know what you think.


Classic Green Monster

1 cup almond milk or other non dairy milk  – for a nut-free option use coconut milk instead

1 cup destemmed kale leaves or baby spinach

1 ripe banana peeled and frozen

2-3 ice cubes

1 tablespoon almond butter or peanut butter

1 tablespoon pure chia seeds or ground flaxseed – use sunflower seed butter for a nut-free option

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Pinch of ground cinnamon

Protein powder (optional)

1/2 cup blue berries ( for added nutrients and a purple hue to your drink)


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Massage Therapy for Heart Disease?

We hear it often enough….preventing heart disease involves making healthy lifestyle choices such as eating heart healthy foods, daily exercise and if you are a smoker…to stop, but there is one more component that is often overlooked….and that is a regular massage therapy treatments.  How and why you ask?  Well we know that massage therapy helps reduce stress and in turn helps decrease high blood pressure, but many are unsure of the link.


So what is the link between stress and your heart?  For the answer lets look at the link between your heart and your nervous system…your autonomic nervous system that is. You know you have a central nervous system but you may not have heard of your autonomic nervous system. Let me tell you a little about it.

Your autonomic nervous system is made of two parts or states…..the sympathetic nervous system,  and the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest state).  This is the system that is tied to our cardiac health.

Sounding familiar to you…..not yet?…well what if I told you the sympathetic nervous system is known as our fight or flight response. This is the state we find our bodies in during stressful times.  Stressful times can mean many things for our bodies. Stressed bodies are those that are constantly suffering with chronic pain, those that are constantly under pressure to succeed or meet obligations, in addition to strong emotions such as fear or anger.  These strong stressful emotions cause the hormones epinephrine, also known as adrenaline,  and cortisol to be released into the bloodstream causing  an  increase in  heart rate, and blood pressure as well as increased muscle strength and contraction…otherwise known as tension. The vessels also constrict in this state causing the blood to flow faster.  With increased blood pressure comes cardiac arrhythmia’s, which is when your heart skips a beat as it can’t keep up and pumps less effectively, causing less blood to reach your brain and other organs. Staying in this stressful state or in a sympathetic state  for a prolonged period of time is a problem in this modern time which  increases the likelihood of developing heart disease.

What we need then is for our bodies to be in a parasympathetic state, also known as, as I mentioned earlier, our rest and digest state. How do we get our body to the state which is characterized by reduced heart and breathing rates and widened  blood vessels which allows our blood to flow slower through the veins?  Well this is where the fourth component of prevention comes in…..and that is a regular massage therapy regimen.

Getting a regular massage can reduce the risks associated with stress. It is an ideal addition to quitting smoking, eating healthy and regular exercise. With massage techniques of effleurage and kneading, the nerve endings in the skin are stimulated and send messages of relaxation to your central nervous system, inhibiting  those stress hormones we talked about earlier….cortisol and epinephrine, and causing vasodilation or widening of the blood vessels.  Blood pressure will drop and your heart rate will slow down; your body is in the parasympathetic state. Resting and digesting, relaxing allows your organs to get all the nutrients they need. Promoting this state helps with high blood pressure, which is  the most common contributor to heart disease. Regular massage helps decrease tense and contracted muscles. When this happens, muscles and soft tissue are lengthened and pressure is taken off the blood vessels again allowing blood to flow freely and without restriction.

Unfortunately being inactive is also a top risk factor for heart disease. However like regular exercise, regular massage treatments improves circulation, strengthens the heart and lowers blood pressure…and eases tension…which are all the factors in lowering heart disease.  So, if you are not as active as you would like to be, massage therapy treatments, although not a replacement for regular exercise, can be a valuable addition to preventing heart disease.


Common Running Injuries Treated and Prevented with Massage Therapy

Run Into Fall: Reasons to Love Autumn Running, Guelph’s Best Running Routes, and Common Running Injuries Treated and Prevented with Massage Therapy

4 Top Reasons to Love Autumn Running

Many runners see autumn as the best season for the sport. So whether you are an avid runner or just new to the sport read on to find out where Guelph’s runners love to practice their sport, and why autumn is the best time to run. However with any sport, injuries can happen and running is no exception. Learn what those injuries are and how massage therapy can help. Now if you still need a little convincing if autumn is the best season for running… are some reasons to fall for fall running.

  1. Perfect temperatures and spectacular scenery – this combination makes running feel a little more enjoyable and effortless this time of year. Breathing in the fresh crisp fall air as the many brightly coloured leaves dance by you. Sensory overload at its finest.
  2. Fun races – while there are many charitable races for runners to participate in…..fall brings some fun runs too. The ever popular Guelph Thanksgiving Day Races which is one of the oldest running events in Canada first run in 1894.  Check for all information on the thanksgiving day races and find which suits you best. Hit the neighbourhood trails with the popular Westminister Woods 5km run on Saturday October 26th, the Winter Festival Run on Saturday November 14, or the Santa Shuffle and Elf Walk on Saturday December 5th. Fun for the whole family.
  3. More free time….hopefully. Fall signals a return to routines and hopefully some free time for you. Make the most of whatever extra time you have to enjoy a trail run at your own pace.
  4. More space…..Many runners head inside during the cooler temps of fall which gives you lots of room to swing your arms and stretch those legs to your heart’s content.

Some of Guelph’s Best Running Trails and Routes

There are many to satisfy elite and novice runners. At you can find a route that suites you best or see what some runners have listed as their fave routes that take you thru some of Guelph’s neighbourhoods and trails.

River Trail –  a 5km trail that starts and ends at the boathouse downtown and heads east along the speed river to Victoria road and back.

Dam Run – a 13 km run that  takes you through riverside park, thru pine and cedar forests to Guelph lake and back.

Starkey Hill Trail/Loop – a beautiful 4km loop thru mature forest located on Arkell road just past Watson road. Park your car and enjoy a scenic run.

Preservation Park – south of Kortright, you will find beautiful bike free loops of trails that take you thru forest and wetlands.

Silvercreek Trail – starting near the Gordon Street covered bridge this trail follows the speed river to the hanlon expressway, thru residential neighbourhoods until it meets with the hanlon creek trail across from stone road mall.

For more of Guelph’s running trails…visit

Common Running Injuries and how Massage Therapy Can Help Treat and Prevent Them

Both seasoned and new runners can fall victim to common running injuries while trying to reach their fitness goals. Fortunately massage therapy can help address and prevent some of the common problems that arise with running,  and can be the solution for many of these injuries.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome – repetitive movements like running can irritate the band and pain is felt during running at the outside of the thigh near the knee. Massage treatments involving myofascial techniques are very effective.

Achilles Tendinitis

This tendon runs from the calf muscles down to your heel and is caused by tight calf muscles and overtraining without adequate rest. you will feel pain at the Achilles tendon during and after runs. Massage therapy can help both acute and chronic Achilles  tendinitis by loosening the calf muscles and releasing any adhesions in the deeper muscles that may be restricting mobility. If left untreated it can lead to calf strains and plantar fasciitis.

Runners Knee

Also known as patellar-femoral syndrome, this is when the kneecap tracks improperly in the knee joint and pain is felt under and around the kneecap.  It can be caused by tight quadriceps muscles and weak and inactive gluts.  although pain is in the kneecap the dysfunction is in the lateral hip and thigh. Releasing tight muscles in the thigh and reactivating stabilizing muscles like the gluts thru massage are typical treatments.

Plantar Fasciitis

This is continuous with the Achilles tendon and is a sheet of connective tissue on the soles of the feel that support the arch. irritation can occur when the fascia is irritated or overloaded during running and is felt as sharp pain at the soles of the feet during weight bearing.  If left untreated scar tissue and adhesions can form in the fascia which requires deep tissue massage to release them.

Now that you are aware of what injuries can arise while running and how massage can help…don’t wait for pain to address these running injuries. Be proactive as the very massage treatments that can help address running injuries are also those massage treatments that can help prevent them.

Keeping you healthy and active,

Lisa DiLanzo-Brombal, RMT