Category: health

Vaccination 101: Everything You Need to Know

Vaccination 101


This one word has a way of drawing out raw emotions, heated arguments and debates. Today I want to speak with you about my own personal experiences with vaccinations and break down the current Ontario Immunization schedule.

As many of you know, I have been blessed to work as a Clinical Team Assistant in a family medicine unit. I have been able to bring a woman in for her first prenatal appointment and prepare the visit for her family doctor. We watch the baby grow and joke near the end of their pregnancy that it feels like they have been pregnant forever. When baby comes in for the first time you feel like they are a part of the family! Getting to hold their child warms my heart. It is incredible and humbling to be able to watch families grow over time. When a member of that family becomes ill it breaks your heart.

For many parents the problem with vaccines is the abundance of conflicting information online, the information given by a well-meaning individual and the fear of the unknown. Open and honest communication with your family health care provider is essential from the start of your pregnancy right through to your delivery and your child’s first newborn visit to ensure you feel comfortable in the decisions you make and with the relationship you have with your family health care team. Your family physician has your child’s best interests at heart. They would never prescribe your child anything that would harm them or that they would not need nor would they recommend a vaccine that could potentially harm your child. A patient becomes like a member of your family and their best interests are always the main concern for a family physician. Talk to your family health care team – if you don’t understand what you saw on the news or in a magazine bring it in to your appointment and address your concerns.


Here is some information to help you understand and appreciate the vaccination process.

What is a vaccine?

Vaccines are preparations made up of a specific selection of dead or weakened bacteria or viruses which are administered orally, by injection or through inhalation. When these dead or weakened bacteria or viruses enter a person’s system the body responds by producing antibodies that attack and kill the organisms without causing the serious symptoms that occur during a real infection.

Why do children need immunizations?

Our children are born with a degree of natural, inherited immunity which they acquire during pregnancy from their mother’s blood. That immunity is reinforced during breastfeeding as breast milk is rich in antibodies. Unfortunately, this passive inherited immunity is only temporary and wears off during the first year of life. This leaves your child open to a host of diseases.

Vaccination is the only tool that we have to prevent these diseases. Vaccines allow our body to build up antibodies to prevent diseases. We ensure our child has proper nutrition and exercise to grow strong and vaccines are the only way to ensure their immune system stays strong.

Vaccines do not make your child sick. Think of your last needle – did it hurt? It may have felt like a sting or a pinch but well worth the benefit of protecting against the disease. Both of my boys received all of their immunizations without Tylenol or Advil and developed no fever or irritability after their immunizations.

Children that cannot receive vaccines due to being immune-compromised or who are too young, count on their community for protection. Herd immunity only works when the community as a whole vaccinate.

When/Why do we receive vaccines on a certain timeline?

Your child’s vaccines are scheduled at certain developmental milestones and it is important to ensure you are staying on track with this schedule. This schedule was developed to ensure your child receives these vaccines when their body is ready for them as well as to provide protection against vaccine-preventable disease as early as possible. They are combined with important well baby visits at two, four, six, twelve, fifteen and eighteen months of age.

Vaccination 101: Everything You Need to Know

Let’s break down the current immunization schedule in Ontario for children up to the age of six:

Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio and Haemophilus influenza type b: The five in one protection vaccine. This vaccine given at 2, 4, 6 and 18 months protects your child from diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whopping cough), polio and Haemophilius Influenza type b also known as Hib which can cause meningitis.

Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis and polio: The four in one protection vaccine. This vaccine, given at 4 to 6 years of age, protects against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whopping cough) and polio.

Pneumococcal: This vaccine is given at 2,4 and 12 months of age and protects your child from pneumococcal meningitis, pneumonia, ear and blood infections.

Rotavirus: This oral vaccine is given at 2 and 4 months of age to help prevent and lessen the severity of gastro (stomach) bugs.

Measles, Mumps, Rubella: This vaccine is given at 12 months. This vaccine protects children from measles, mumps and rubella.

Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Varicella: The four in one protection vaccine. This vaccine is given between 4 to 6 years of age and protects against measles, mumps, rubella and varicella.

Meningococcal: This vaccine given at 12 months of age protects against meningitis an infection that lines your child’s spinal cord and brain.

Varicella: This vaccine is given at 15 months of age and protects against chickenpox. In some children, chickenpox can cause severe skin infections, scars, pneumonia or brain damage.

Vaccination 101: Everything You Need to Know

Vaccine Safety

Vaccines are constantly tested to ensure safety for patients. Patient safety is the top priority for our health care system. Vaccines do not cause disease nor do they cause autism.

Why is this important?

For many of us we can’t imagine the suffering that comes from these diseases let alone the symptoms that accompany them. This is because of how effective vaccines have been in eliminating once common and prevalent diseases.

My children will never know the scars and itchiness from chickenpox that afflicted me twice as a child. Nor will they hopefully ever lose a loved one from meningitis as my husband did when he lost his older brother as a child.

This is why we vaccinate – to prevent the preventable. It is so very important for not only the health of our children to vaccinate but the health of our most vulnerable population in our community.

Vaccination 101: Everything You Need to Know

This post was developed in association with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. The opinions of the author are my own.

Getting immunized is an important part of creating a foundation for a healthy life. If you’re on the fence about immunizing, here is the information you need to make an informed decision for your family:

How We Can Increase Vaccination Rates and Protect Our Kids

Why It’s Essential for Kids with Allergies to Be Immunized

Erica Ehm talks with Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer to Get Straight Answers about immunizations

Five Important Reasons This Pediatrician Vaccinates Her Kids – and Why You Should Too

Why Vaccination Isn’t Just About You – It’s About All of Us

Why This Mom Wouldn’t Dream of Not Immunizing Her Child

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Escaping The Every Day Norm at Scandinave Spa #WinterWarrior

Scandinave Spa

Nestled in the woods, roughly ten minutes away from Blue Mountain Village, the Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain offers an experience to remember.

Scandinave Spa

One of the highlights of my Blue Mountain trip was heading over to Scandinave Spa on the morning before we left. When we had arrived at Blue Mountain two days prior, I had heard many of the visitors mention the spa and could not wait to experience for myself what every other visitor was talking about (two different groups in the lobby at check in were having a spa weekend!).

Scandinave Spa

When you arrive at Scandinave Spa, the spa is located in an area that is heavily dense with trees and far back from the main road. You access the main building by a bridge and as you are passing over the bridge you have wonderful views of Blue Mountain. Light music greets you and welcomes you into the relaxation. Signs are posted welcoming quiet and peace which is the perfect reminder for all guests.

Scandinave Spa

The lobby was warm, inviting and open. When I checked in I received my two towels and was able to head down into the change room areas. There was a separate coat and sitting area before walking into the change rooms. The change room area itself was large and clean with an abundance of lockers, washroom stalls, tables, private changing areas and even hair dryers. After quickly getting into my bathing suit and putting my robe on I was ready to head out to the baths.

Scandinave Spa

Walking outside for the first time was an incredible experience in itself. Wearing a robe, sandals and carrying my water bottle with snow-covered trees and rocks I quickly headed over to the Steam Bath. The eucalyptus steam bath was incredible and almost felt like you were walking into a steam of Vicks! Sitting in the room (with my water bottle because of the heat) my skin was instantly sweating and my sinuses were clearing up fast. I had a sinus headache that had started that morning and the steam helped to quickly release the mucous buildup and tension in my head.

Each of the three hot baths offers a multi sensory experience that will relax and bring you peace. One of the hot baths allows you to smell the fire pits stronger, feel and hear the wind and hear the light music. The second bath allows you to hear the waterfall stronger and the sound of the music. The third bath nestled in the back and closer to the forestry brings to you the scent of eucalyptus from the Steam Bath and the sounds of the trees blowing in the wind. Each area is marked for silence and every patron was excellent at following those rules. I was so relaxed in the hot baths that I could close my eyes and almost drift off into sleep (if I wasn’t so excited!).

Scandinave Spa

The Scandinave Spa Experience Includes:

  • Finnish Sauna
  • Norwegian Steam Bath
  • Thermal and Nordic Falls
  • Three hot baths
  • Three cold plunges
  • Three solariums
  • Outdoor relaxation areas
  • Hammocks
  • Outdoor fireplaces
  • Massage treatments (Swedish massage, hot stone therapy and sports massage)
  • Bistro
  • Boutique
  • Private yoga classes and retreats

Scandinave Spa

The tradition of hot baths, cold plunges and Finnish saunas remains popular today in Europe. There are many therapeutic and personal benefits to using these baths and spas including stress reduction, detoxification and cleansing. The three-part cyclical routine of the spa (heat,cold and relax) allows an individual to benefit the most from the baths. Each part works to rejuvenate, revitalize and relax the body.

Scandinave Spa

One of the best features of the Scandinave Spa is their commitment to being green. They encourage patrons to bring their own water bottles and have several water refilling stations throughout the buildings.

The Scandinave Spa is definitely an experience to help you unwind and escape from the daily pressures of life. You leave feeling relaxed, renewed and ready to face the world with a positive outlook.

You can connect with Scandinave Spa on Twitter and Facebook.

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Homemade Vapour Rub


Homemade vapour rubs are the perfect solution for the many colds and infections we pick up during the long winter months.

For myself, I suffer with chronic sinus infections and this is the only thing that keeps me going during the day (especially since I do not want to reply on antibiotics all the time!). I have one jar at home and another at my desk at work.

The eucalyptus oil works well in opening up the nasal passages allowing you to breathe that much easier. The natural ingredients (two only!) gives you the confidence to use not only on yourself but your children as well.



  • 2 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 8 drops of eucalyptus essential oil


Warm up the coconut oil for roughly 30-45 seconds depending on how solid the coconut oil was when you started. You want it to not be a liquid but still able to mix to ensure the eucalyptus oil will be evenly spread through.


Add the eight drops of eucalyptus oil to the coconut oil and stir. I like to call this part the sniff test! Smell the mixture – does it smell strong enough? No? Add a few more drops in, stir and smell again. You don’t want the vapour rub to be so strong that you would not want to put it on your skin but strong enough to give you enough relief.

vapour rub

The mixture will form into a harder solid after you make it and is easy to apply. It also can turn into a liquid easily because of the coconut oil! You just need a small amount each time you put on an application so you can either chill the vapour rub to return it to a solid state or use it in it’s liquid form.

Do you make your own homemade vapour rub?

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Elite Man MultiVitamins: Increase Energy & Boost Immunity #review

While we all try our best to ensure we are eating well rounded meals following the Food Guide it can still happen that we are not consuming enough of certain vitamins and minerals. A lack of proper nutrients can lead to multiple health conditions as well as an overall feeling of fatigue and I know for myself irritability!

A multivitamin is essential to ensure we are providing our bodies with the nutrients it needs to function at it’s best ability. Picking a multivitamin is usually the hardest part! A multivitamin should be geared towards gender – both males and females have different dietary needs and your multivitamin should reflect this. My husband will always require different amounts of nutrients and what works for me may not work for him. A good multivitamin will have minimal side effects (this can be trial and error) – how many of you have purchased a package of vitamins only to have it make you feel nauseated? A good multivitamin is easy to swallow and leaves no odd aftertaste in your mouth (I can’t stand the slight fish taste some leave – yuck!).

Elite Man multivitamins has taken many factors into consideration and developed a multivitamin that contains an unique blend of vitamins geared towards men. The blend contains thirty three essential vitamins and minerals as well as extra vitamin C, D, E, B6 and B12. The B vitamins are important for energy, a lot of the time when we are tired frequently a low level of B12 can be the cause.

Elite Man multivitamins work to help to improve focus, boost energy and promote digestion. My husband found he had a slight increase of energy which also helped with his focus during work hours and his workouts. He wanted to get his workouts done when taking his multivitamins!

Elite Man multivitamins can be purchased online on for a price of $39.95US with free shipping. International orders (Canada and Europe) can also purchase through Amazon by clicking on Other Sellers on Amazon and choosing the Elite Man multivitamin on the bottom with shipping options to Canada and Europe. The order is fulfilled by Vitamin Elite. Until the end of 2014, Vitamin Elite is also offering a 25% off coupon code! Just enter code at checkout: WK24PTTS.

While taking a multivitamin and ensuring a good overall nutritional intake is important, never ignore your body and it’s symptoms. A doctor’s opinion is always important if you are feeling extremely fatigued and unwell. Always make sure to read labels before trying a new multivitamin to check ingredients.

Elite Man is giving my US and Canadian readers a chance to win their own bottle! US and Canadian residents, 18 years of age and older can enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received a bottle of Elite Man multivitamins in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own and those of my husband. Always read labels and consult a pharmacist or physician before trying new products. WMJ is not responsible for any side effects that could be associated with taking a multivitamin.

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How to Eat Healthy on Less Info Graphic

I had to share this info graphic with you as it really helps to hit home on nutrition and where we are spending our money. I love the first part about buying in bulk versus pre-packaged items as well as buying local. Some great tips to keep in mind when you are shopping and worried that you can’t buy healthy!

Eat Healthy For Less

How do you try to eat healthy on a budget?

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