The Conscious Family Team is a team of professionals in York Region who support, guide and aid those who want to do their best each day to love, cherish and respect their children, and who want to learn and grow from their roles.

Giving birth and raising a family consciously used to be a matter of instinct. We trusted our bodies and our feelings to do the right thing. We learned from our families, and our communities how to care for and raise our children, and we just knew it would be okay. We had the support of those close to us - the village helped us to raise our children. There was no internet, no 24 - hour medical centres or helplines, and no bookshelf stocked with 50 or so of the latest advice books from "the experts", usually celebrities. Mom was at home during the day to lend a hand with the washing, or your neighbour would pop by with a casserole when times were tough.

These days, we're lucky to know our neighbour's first name. And if we need advice, we're more likely to consult Google than our brother, sister or mother. The village is truly gone.

Here with the Conscious Family Team, we want to bring the good days back by being your village and helping your family and village grow.

We believe that in order to accomplish these tasks, parenting must be a conscious endeavour, meaning that we are willing to examine ourselves, our background, beliefs, motivations, behaviours, and how these aspects affect the way we parent. Let's find the positives in the way we were parented, recognize the lessons we learned and empower ourselves to trust our own intuition and emerge as the parents we want to be.

Decisions made prior to conception, during pregnancy and in baby's first year and beyond provide the foundation for the creation of a conscious family. By consulting with one or more of the Conscious Family Team members, you will be inspired to take initiative to choose the style of caring for yourself and your infant/child that resonates with you and you'll be connected to the tangible tools and resources to support you on your journey.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

TV can shorten your life

Did you know that TV can actually shorten your life. Researchers in Australia studied a group of 9,000 individuals. They were separated into 3 groups. 1. Those that watch more than 4 hours of TV a day, 2. Those that watch between 2 and 4 hours and 3. those that watch less than 2 hours a day. In the end the group that watched 4 or more hours was 80% more likely to develop deadly heart disease than those in the less than 2 hour group. 80 percent! That is huge. The explanation seems to be related to the act of sitting. People are sitting too much in their daily lives. We move from sitting at a desk at the office to sitting in front of the TV at night. This could be expanded to screen time in general.

Do you know that on average people watch over 4 hours of TV and spend another 4 hours on the computer/video games - that's per day. If you sleep for 8 hours that means you are spending half of your waking time in front of a screen (or all of your leisure time if you work 8 hours a day!!). It also means that we are in deep trouble if we don't help our kids stop the trend. For more information about how this in affecting us check out the book the Plug-In Drug.

Why not spend a week in digital detox. (Actually the official digital detox week started on Monday April 19th and it ends Sunday April 25th.) That means spend the week eliminating non-essential screen time. (That is outside of the work environment) No facebook, no twitter, no computer games, no TV. Go out and talk to your neighbours. Walk or ride your bike. Get reconnected with the outside world.

Here are a couple more media-free activities:

1. Make a big indoor tent and sleep in it.
2. Go on a scavenger hunt.
3. Visit the library.
4. Daydream.
5. Throw a party to celebrate digital detox week!

Until next time,

Tara Annesley is a Naturopathic Doctor at Rise Up For Health. She is passionate about health in general and especially for families. With a special interest in fertility and birth she helps families take an active role in their health. For more information please visit our website

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