Saturday, February 22, 2014


Last week was Valentine's Day.  I'm not sure about how you guys like to spend V-day but I indulged in a wild romance with Arizona flight schedules after my connection to the annual oncANP conference was cancelled.  The eastern seaboard was having its own wild romance with rain and snow! 

Devoting the day to love one day a year seems like a nice idea:  the red hearts, the flowers, the dinner out, the way-to-sweet chocolate.  It's hard to go wrong with combination like this!  But nothing satisfied my Valentine's day more than the little comic I received via email from the man I love.  All the dinners, flowers, hearts and chocolate could never make up for the beauty of absolute vulnerability and authenticity that love has to offer, if we chose to participate.  Here is the comic (note the bicycle pump used to pump up the heart ~smile~) ....

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A Big, Huge Thanks: Reader's Choice Awards 2014

Dear readers,
I have taken a sabbatical - not from life and work, just from blogging.  So, I'm not sure whether I am talking to myself or whether some of you are still subscribers to this blog.   If you are .. that is so great! 
I have been practicing naturopathic medicine now for five years.  In that five years, I have matured in mind, progressed in skill set, embraced many challenges and grown through it all.  I continue the journey for what it offers me:  a winding path of new relationships with fantastic people, a continued opportunity to learn and develop and the joys of seeing people heal themselves with what seems like simply a little coaxing.
Along my winding path I have often felt like I am not doing enough.  As a practitioner, despite favourable results, you never really know if you are doing enough for the people you are helping.  I have been honoured, in the past two years, with the title of "Best Naturopathic Doctor, Markham".  And this year again, the votes are in, and I am listed as not only the "Best Naturopathic Doctor, Markham" but also the "Best Homeopathic Doctor, Markham".  This is a small, little note from the beautiful people that make up my practice that assure me that I might just be doing enough ...
Thank you all - I am honoured to serve you. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Knowing What to Ignore

A funny thing happened recently:  a few months ago, while looking for inspiring content for the lectures I give at Wellspring (Cancer Support Centre, Sunnybrook Hospital, Toronto), I came across a series of sermons by an evangelistic pastor named Joel Osteen.  Now, at first glance, Joel Osteen is a little over-the-top!  My partner and I had a little chuckle over the extravegant performance given to some 40 000 individuals who made up the congregation.  Without listening to anything beyond the first 30 seconds, I stopped the video and resumed my search for "better" content.
Fast forward to last week:  after having a heartfelt conversation with a beautiful, spiritual friend of mine, she sent me an email stating "it is at the other extreme of spirituality, but well worth a listen".  Attached to the email was a link to Joel Osteen's "Knowing What to Ignore" video!  Who knew that I was destined to listen to this guy?! 

I think that it is good to remember that appropriate, spiritual messages come in all shapes and sizes and from a variety of sources.  It is not our role to judge the source of the wisdom but to accept the wisdom itself and use it to find our own path to our spiritual growth and destiny.

In Joel Osteen's video, he discusses the things (situations, people, etc) in life that try to pull us away from our potential: the critical co-worker that minimizes your efforts, the disgruntled ex who finds power in spreading negative gossip, the acquaintance who is continually "one-upping", the family member who never quite accepts us for who we are.  I could go on of course, but you get the idea!  What is truly important to realize is that the energy wasted on situations and people who do not support your growth, is energy that could be directed towards you reaching your potential.  This is where the ignoring piece comes in:  the more we can "ignore" negative situations that drain our energy, the more energy is left for our own happiness!

Joel Osteen has more to say along the same lines.  Watch the video:  if you can get past traditional Christian speak and simply listen to the overall message, it is excellent!  My friend was right, it is certainly at the other extreme of spirituality, but well, well worth a listen!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Family Day Vegan Meatloaf

It's -20 degrees Celsius.  The bike ride I had intended for today went down with the temperature!  In its place, I set my sights on a hardy vegan meal to keep us all warm.  Here's the recipe for a yummy, healthy, vegan meatloaf! 

Note:  this recipe makes 2 loaves.  In the picture, one is lined with parchment paper and one is lined with aluminum foil.  Typically, I like to use parchment paper simply because aluminum foil has aluminum in it!  However, it is a holiday, none of the stores are open and, before you, in this photo, is my last little piece of parchment paper!  

1 cup organic dried green lentils
3 cups vegetable stock or broth (I use the organic vegetarian bouillon cubes)
1 large onion
1 large organic carrot
1 organic yellow or orange bell pepper
2-3 tbsp olive oil
2-4 tsp minced garlic
1 cup ground white chia seed or 1/2 cup of chia seed, not ground (this is an excellent breadcrumb replacement).
3/4 cup blanched almonds
3 tbsp ground flax mixed with 1/2 cup water (as an egg replacement for binding)
2 tsp oregano
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Sauce for top of loaf (added before baking)
2-3 tbsp organic tomato sauce
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Simmer the dried lentils and broth for about 30-45 minutes or until the lentils are tender and have absorbed broth.
Chop onion and bell pepper.  Peel and grate the carrot. Saute the onion and bell pepper in olive oil over medium high heat for 6 minutes, or until tender (do not brown the onion and pepper). Add the garlic and carrot and cook for about another 4-6 minutes. Add the blanched almonds to the onion/carrot/garlic mixture on the stove and stir well.
Add the oregano, salt and pepper and take the mixture off the stove and transfer to a large bowl.
Use a coffee grinder and grind 1 1/2 tbsp of flax seeds (this will make 3 tbsp of ground flax).  Add the ground flax to 1/2 cup water. Let thicken.
Grind 1/2 cup of white chia seed in the coffee grinder (this will produce approximately 1 cup of ground chia seed as a replacement for bread crumbs).
Add the ground chia, flax/water (egg substitute) and cooked lentils to the vegetable combination and toss well.  Line loaf pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper.  Be sure the foil or paper lines the pan so the paper is over the sides of the pan - this makes it easy to lift the loaf out of the pan. Press mixture into the lined loaf pan. Set aside while you make the topping.
In another small bowl combine the organic tomato sauce, maple syrup and balsamic. Spread on top of loaf. Bake for 40 minutes.  Let cool for 5-10 minutes covered with a tea towel before serving.  Cut into slices and  plate.
Keep warm and enjoy your Family Day everyone ...

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Reader's Choice Awards!

There is no more gratifying complement than to receive a referral or be voted the best practitioner by your community!

This blog entry comes with heartfelt thanks and exceptional gratitude for the recognition that I have received in Markham as "best" naturopathic doctor and "best" homeopath. Thank you so much to my patients who have taken the time to not only vote but, more importantly, who have committed the time, energy and perseverence to their own process of natural healing and have carried the process out to experience results.
I always say that my patients are the ones who do the REAL work: I am simply a facilitator on the journey. And how blessed I am to work with such amazing and wonderful individuals on a day-to-day basis.

With many thanks,
Gail Sauer ND

Monday, January 21, 2013

The "Now"

"Horseshoe got a big dump of powder last night!"

Sometimes we get a call-to-action, a message that moves us to embrace an adventure, an intervention of communication that justifies stepping away from our norm and into a exciting journey of originality.

Skiing called, I went.
It was in the adventure of -12C, gliding through cold, cotton-covered branches that I found "the Now". Everything disappeared into the beauty of my surroundings. I was in harmony with what was: the silence of the snow, the soar of the falcons above, the whispers of the trees.

Eckhart Tolle (and other such enlightened souls) speak about our tendency to complicate the Now (or life) with our "life situation", or those stresses of the past and the future. Tolle advises us to narrow our lives down to the current moment, for it is in the moment that the past and potential future grievances do not exist. When we come into the Now, we allow ourselves to find the joy of our lives, separate from the drama that we perceive.

It is not always easy to find the Now in the business of life. Spontaneous adventures that take us out of our usual environment can provide us with the separation we need to see and feel the Now. Allowing ourselves the experience of the Now aids us in realizing that the joy, ease and lightness of the Now is available to us in every moment of our lives. However, spontaneous adventures are a good place to start!

For more information on Eckhart Tolle and "The Power of Now", visit Eckhart Tolle's website

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Good, Hard Look in the Mirror

I make an effort to live a life of peace. I make an effort to eat well, to give myself time, to find joy, to feel love. I make an effort to be in harmony in all aspects of my life. But, on occasion, something will happen that drives me into a state of passionate rage. Inside me, it feels like an unyielding ocean storm liberating a wave of devastation.

From time to time, we all feel anger. Anger is human. From time to time, we all blame others for our anger. Blame is also human. In an effort to resolve anger in a healthy way, we need to suspend both the anger and blame, and .. from time to time .. we all need to take a good, hard look in the mirror.

Anger towards another human being or situation is an excellent opportunity to take a step back and see what it is about the situation or other person that you are not willing to accept within yourself. People and situations that evoke a volatile emotional response are simply mirrors for us to see our own unloved parts: places of shame, resentment, judgement. Often our resentment and dislike towards others reflects our resentment and dislike towards ourselves.

I've been looking in the mirror lately, and it is not a pretty sight.
In finding peace with anger, first we need to welcome the anger as a teacher. Second, evaluate what it is about ourselves we are angry with or not accepting. Third, let go of our anger and work on coming into a place of love for self. Once that happens, acceptance of the other person or situation will necessarily flow.

I leave you with this Rumi wisdom:

This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.

Wecome and entertain them all! ....

The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughting and invite them in.

be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.