Here’s why The Rutland Center are encouraging you to mind your men this Fathers Day 

In 2016, 65% of the people who entered residential treatment for addiction treatment in the Rutland Centre, were men. The majority of these men were aged between 25 and 44 years and the second largest age group was the 45 – 65 years group. Alcohol, drugs and gambling remain the biggest challenge for these men and in most cases men presenting to the Rutland Centre will have an addiction to more than one substance or behaviour.

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With Father’s Day next week, The Rutland Centre is now highlighting the importance for family members to recognise the signs of addiction in men and how to seek support for themselves and their family members if it’s required.

Some signs that someone might be struggling with addiction include:

  1. Preoccupation with the addictive behaviour – for example gambling, drugs or drinking.
  2. Thinking about it more often, and finding more ways to engage in the addictive behaviour across the day/week.
  3. Beginning to feel shame and guilt related to the activity, but doing it anyway.
  4. Withdrawing from relationships with family or friends to engage in the activity and perhaps starting to associate with new friends where the behaviour is acceptable.
  5. Hiding the gambling, drinking or drug taking from family or friends.
  6. Spending more than you intend to, or can afford to on the activity.
  7. Chasing/trying to regain losses by gambling more if gambling is the addiction.
  8. Mood swings/tension/stress/unhappiness/depression.
  9. Spending money that is not yours on the activity.
  10. Being unable to stop despite your best efforts

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Individuals experiencing these symptoms or family members who are worried about another family member are encouraged to contact the Rutland Centre at, or 01 494 6358.

Addiction can be tough but with the right support recovery is possible for everyone

There is a radically different way to think about health. You may have heard about it, but are you clear on what it truly means, and the transformations it can yield in your mind, body and spirit?

You can fight or you can trust.

It’s really that simple.

In conventional medicine, the body is a faulty machine that needs to be monitored, tinkered with, and saved from itself through chemical and surgical interventions, the avoidance of which could spell disaster. Through the conventional lens, for example, it’s us versus the germs and if we get exposed to one, they get in and try to get us. Our only responsibility is to take antibiotics and symptom-managing over-the-counter drugs while we continue to punch the clock. If we choose not to take antibiotics, well then, infections can spread and even kill! It’s all about FEAR. The unexpected, the devastating, the fatal.

But there’s another story that you can ease into (or snap into in my case).


From this perspective, the body responds purposefully to it’s internal and external environment. Acute infectious illness – think coughing, diarrhea, sneezing, runny nose, night sweats – mobilizes cellular debris and can be seen as an effective and sophisticated method of detox when needed. In fact, based on our growing knowledge of the microbiome, some theorize that illness is simply a resonant activation of internal microorganisms when detox and recalibration are needed. We grow from the experience of acute illness in important ways – even if this means simply forcing you to pause and get into bed! In fact, you wouldn’t want to interfere with this, but rather support the body through it.

It’s a frame shift but a profound one.

It’s the difference between using a warring mentality and a peacekeeping one. I have progressed through a type of alternative medicine that in many ways, continues to see the body as a series of cogs and wheels with problems to be fixed by using supplements rather than with meds.

There’s something even more powerful that is possible and it involves honoring the body’s vast realms of unquantified wisdom, the power of belief, and the incredible potential for quantum leaps in self-healing when spirituality is included in the assessment.

Here’s what I had to say on the subject at the Functional Forum in Utah – 2016. Let me know what you think!

With exams around the corner it is easy to feel overwhelmed. There is no doubt that exam time can be a very stressful and daunting time for students (and sometimes parents).

Whether your studying for your junior cert, leaving cert, or college exams, it is important to look after yourself at this stressful period. I have teamed up with Eskimo Omegas to bring you our best Exams Tips to help you get through exam time smoothly.

During exam time you rely on one brain function above all others; Memory.

Relax, breathe, and remember you got this!

  1. Organization is key!

exam stress, exam tips, study, tips, eskimo omegas, eskimo 3.6.9, balanced diet, food ,nutrition, alison canavan, becomplete, exam time, study tipsHaving an organised approach to your studies really is half the battle!

Ensure you have a place to study and you have all your necessary subject books, test papers, stationary before you start your study session.

Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry. Break it down to simpler tasks.

Daily plan – This is what you can do day-to-day

  • Make a to-do list
  • Keep track of your assignments
  • What areas of study you need to focus on

Weekly Plan – overall plan for the week.

  • Dates of tests coming up
  • Tasks to be achieved this week

It is important to set a realistic timetable. If it is too demanding it will only end up stressing you out. Keep it simple.


  1. Eat a balanced diet

exam stress, exam tips, study, tips, eskimo omegas, eskimo 3.6.9, balanced diet, food ,nutrition, alison canavan, becomplete, exam time, study tipsEating healthily during the exam period is a great way of letting everything else take care of itself!

Good nutrition is essential at any time of the year, but especially during an exam year when your brain and body are under great stress.

Plenty of fruits, vegetables, seeds, protein and good fats are vital!


  1. Drink plenty of water

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Stay hydrated. Try to minimize sugary drinks and caffeine and aim for 2L of water per day! When dehydrated the body and mind becomes dazed and restless so getting that much needed H20 will help you keep your mind clear and your energy levels up!


  1. Take regular breaks – exercise!

exam stress, exam tips, study, tips, eskimo omegas, eskimo 3.6.9, balanced diet, food ,nutrition, alison canavan, becomplete, exam time, study tipsGet some fresh air and exercise for at least 30 minutes per day. This stimulates the brain and helps to de-stress and focus the mind.

Plan your revision so you can take breaks and revise what you’ve just learned before moving on to anything new. Plus, it makes for a nice respite from studying – win, win.


  1. Talk through what you learnt

Sometimes saying it out loud and saying it back to yourself in your own words can help you memorize what you just have just learnt.


  1. Past Papers

Practice make perfect! Look at previous exam papers and make note of what type of questions come up in what years. Look up sample answers and revision notes.

[bctt tweet=”During exam time you rely on one brain function above all others; Memory. Relax, breathe, and remember you got this!” username=”alicanavan”]

  1. Avoid distractions

exam stress, exam tips, study, tips, eskimo omegas, eskimo 3.6.9, balanced diet, food ,nutrition, alison canavan, becomplete, exam time, study tipsDevote your full attention to the task at hand. Yes, we know this sometimes can be a struggle – considering that the urge to procrastinate is at an all-time high. Ensure that you smartphone is turned off, on silent or left outside your study space. You can check your snapchats, Instagram and Facebook later at breaks!


  1. Get those much needed Zzzz’s

exam stress, exam tips, study, tips, eskimo omegas, eskimo 3.6.9, balanced diet, food ,nutrition, alison canavan, becomplete, exam time, study tipsSleep plays a critical role in memory and helps you retain information better.

Think of is as if your smartphone updating – the same way it needs the updates to keep functioning at top speed – so too you need your sleep to retain information.

Try to avoid all-nighters to avoid burn out. Go to bed and get up early to study that morning if needs be.


  1. Flashcards

exam stress, exam tips, study, tips, eskimo omegas, eskimo 3.6.9, balanced diet, food ,nutrition, alison canavan, becomplete, exam time, study tipsSmall, portable and one of the best ways to best to learn.

These cards are great for writing out short notes, keywords, and questions. Write out a question or a term on one side of the flashcard and the answer on the other side.

They are a great way to test yourself. Do a speed round – see how many you can get right in 10 minutes. Keep your flashcards subject divided and place all the ones your get right in one pile and the ones you get incorrect in another and then go over again.


Acronyms are words formed from the first letter of the first work of each point/ fact you want to remember.

Keep notes clear, simple and organised. Use colour.


Omega-3 – A Vital Part of Exam Preparation

 Omega-3, is a vital part of exam preparation. Our bodies can’t produce omega-3, so we need to get it through our diet.  Omega-3, the main beneficial fatty acid in fish oil, has been shown to


  • Reduce anxiety during exams by 20%
  • Improve memory and cognitive ability
  • Improved concentration – one study showed increased concentration within 2 hours of taking omega-3 proving that its never too late to start taking your omega-3s.
  • Helps improve learning and balance moods
  • Aids sleep which results in greater performance during the day.
  • Strengthens the immune system so that you don’t get run down.


Increasing your level of omega-3, either through diet or supplementation can lead to improved concentration, a sharper memory, less anxiety, overall making it easier to study.

It’s no surprise that omega-3 is so beneficial to brain health. The importance of these fatty acids becomes most obvious when they’re lacking. People who don’t get enough omega-3s in their diet can become demotivated, disinterested, forgetful and may experience low mood, while serious deficiency can lead to an increased risk of developing conditions such as ADD, dyslexia and depression.

DHA – A True Brain Food

 Just as calcium is essential for building strong bones, DHA is essential for good brain health. Studies show that you need 250mg DHA daily to support brain health. DHA helps to improve learning, mood, memory and concentration. To obtain omega-3, you can either eat 2 portions of oily fish per week (salmon, sardines, anchovies, mackerel, fresh tuna) or supplement with a high quality fish oil such as Eskimo Brain 3.6.9.

Get Focused with Eskimo Brain 369

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Whether you’re doing exams or just looking to increase brain power, Eskimo Brain 369 is the food supplement for you. With high levels of omega-3 DHA along with seed oils, vitamin D, E and CoQ10, your brain power will surge in no time.

Consumer Feedback

“I have used Eskimo-3 fish oils over the past few years and have found them unbelievably beneficial. Within 1-2 days I felt sharper and more focused. After a few weeks, my skin was smooth and clear, which I also attribute to the product. It is a natural, affordable and an amazing product, which I have recommended to friends.” Claire Breen, Galway

#collaboration #TherapyThursday

Todays video is all about the most frequently asked question I get which is “Is healthy boring?” and if I’m honest this is what i used to think too. Now I know that living a healthy lifestyle is the gift that keeps on giving. Putting time and effort into your health and wellbeing brings side effects such as:

  • happiness,
  • health,
  • fresher complexion,
  • better sleep,
  • more productivity,
  • vitality and a
  • lust for life like never before

So join me and get on the healthy train today

Ali xxx


STRESS AND DEPRESSION, mental health, CONCEPTION, PREGNANCY, PRENATAL DEPRESSION, ALISON CANAVAN, BE COMPLETE, DEPRESSION DURING PRENANCY, FERTILITY TREATMENT AND DEPRESSION,We often talk about postnatal depression in women but lately I’m hearing about more and more women struggling with both stress and depression when they are trying to conceive and during their pregnancy. Some women are lucky and conceive straight away, but for others trying for a baby can lead to years of stress, fertility treatments and, in some cases, depression.

According to the HSE, depression affects one in four women at some point in their life. It often occurs when women are in their 20s and 30s, when they may also be considering having children. Fertility treatment can cause you to live month to month, trying to balance and navigate a tight schedule of tests and treatments. This can be incredibly difficult even for the most resilient among us.

This journey can not only start to erode your self-confidence, but it can also affect your friendships and lifestyle, too. You can feel sad and scared, and for many life can spiral out of control, which is why it’s important to ‘mind yourself’. At times this is easier said than done, but eating well, exercising, keeping a gratitude journal, practising mindfulness and meditation, doing fun activities with your partner and spending time with friends can all help.

The most important thing to remember is to share your feelings. If you feel you can’t speak to your partner, finding a good therapist might help you to navigate your way through your emotions. Personally, I find it easier to talk to someone I don’t know who lends a non-judgmental ear, and counselling can sometimes help you to see things more clearly.

Researchers are not sure if mental health can affect fertility, although it is very clear that infertility can affect mental health! It is possible, though, that high levels of depression, anxiety and stress can affect the hormones that regulate ovulation.

If you have been trying for a baby for a long time and you finally become pregnant but the dark cloud doesn’t lift, please don’t be too hard on yourself. Pregnancy is an emotional time when hormones are rampaging through your body and they could be causing a bit of trouble on top of everything else.

Prenatal depression can present with symptoms such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Sleep problems
  • Feeling irritable in yourself and with those around you
  • Feeling fearful of the future
  • Appetite loss
  • Being tired all the time
  • Becoming withdrawn

For other women pregnancy might be unplanned, uncomfortable or complicated so there are many reasons you might start to feel down. This isn’t helped by the myth that pregnant women should be happy all the time. Out of the estimated 33 per cent of women who will suffer from depression at this time, this myth can lead to 20 per cent not asking for help because they feel scared or ashamed, says Healy Smith, a reproductive psychiatrist.

Prenatal depression can be a precursor to postpartum depression if it isn’t properly treated so follow my rule, which is…


  • Talk to someone you can trust or call a helpline
  • Ask for help or find help for someone you love
  • Do whatever it takes to get yourself well.

There are lots of non-medical approaches you can take including acupuncture, taking a good quality omega-3 supplement such as Eskimo as a mood booster, and psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

Self-care is important, too: it’s actually selfless and not selfish. A bath, some adult colouring (my current favourite), a massage or even a short walk can all help.

The question of medication, however, is always a conversation you need to have with your doctor. Clinical depression needs medicating, but a lot of the time therapy, positive lifestyle changes and stress reduction techniques will help enormously. And if you are on medication already, it’s important to ask about its safety of during your pregnancy. Throughout our lives it’s important that we figure out our own wellness formula, do our research and try new things because we are all so different. If you are looking for good quality information relating to women’s mental health and wellness, visit Kelly Brogan MD My friends in New York recommended this reproductive psychiatric specialist’s website when I was really struggling for the way she combined both medical and holistic approaches.

Does starting your day the right way make any difference?

I decided to do a couple of short videos about starting your day the right way. As our brains are primed for survival and not happiness we need to make a conscious effort each day to help put us on the right track! Consistency is key and small happiness habits each day can make a big difference.


Well even simple things like saying thank you as soon as you wake up (practising gratitude), taking a few deep breaths and even some gentle stretches can get your day off to a great start.

For years I used to roll out of bed and hope my day would go well. What I have realised through the years is that when we consciously start our day on a positive note it gives us a pep in our step and helps get our day off to a great start.

Starting your day the right way also helps you to feel more centered and calm which gives me you the ability to cope with stress better.

So why not try and implement some simple tips! Try simply sitting on the side of your bed as soon as you wake and take a couple of moments for yourself before your day begins. It’s these small changes that start to add up and make a big difference in our lives.

These are some simple ways to get your day off to a great start – but figuring out what works for you is the key. Have fun with it and switch it up.

When you are done with part one check out starting your day the right way part 2 below. Let me know how you start your day. I would love to hear from you. Please comment below

Shine Bright

Ali xx


Welcome to day 2 of my new video series and today is one of my favourite quick and easy mood boosting smoothie full of good fats including:

Avocados: I predicted and hoped last year that this little fav fruit of mine is finally going to have its year in 2016 and maybe just maybe become the new coconut oil! Avocados are nutrient dense and contain around 20 vitamins and minerals. They are great for our skin, hair, energy levels and can help with depression because of their high levels of folate. So what are you waiting for?


  • Large handful of Kale or Spinach
  • 1 small Avocado
  • Large handful of frozen mixed berries (I buy them fresh and freeze them as I don’t like warm smoothies and these berries are still my wexford berries as I bought a lot and froze them!!)
  • A small handful of mixed seeds and
  • A small handful of mixed beansprouts (The Happy Pear sell them/ Supervalu)
  • 1 Teaspoon of coconova extra virgin coconut oil
  • Fill to the line with Coconut Water


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Essential oils can be helpful for both young & old members of the family and they also provide a wonderful way to support health issues that are unique to men. It is often common for men to hide emotions or to ignore minor health issues that don’t hinder their function on a daily basis. Whether it is to combat depression, to support prostate health or to simply provide relief after shaving, essential oils can help men in practical and effective ways.

Stress, Anxiety & Depression

Often men are less likely to open up about feelings of anxiety or depression. They may be less likely to seek treatment or to be aware of natural ways to support their mental health. Essential oils such as wild orange are uplifting and help with anxiety, and nervousness. Wild orange and lavender help to combat insomnia which is often associated with anxiety and depression. Stress is also a common problem for many men and simply inhaling or diffusing lemon essential oil can help balance emotions and bring about a more energised mood. Inhaling wild orange can help with something as simple as calming feelings of fear before a presentation or promoting a more uplifting outlook on days of low mood.

Urinary & Prostate Health

Prostate cancer is the third most common cause of cancer death for men in Ireland. Natural remedies can help support and promote prostate health on a daily basis. As well as helping to balance emotions & ease symptoms of depression; Frankincense essential oil also supports prostate health. Placing a few drops under the tongue each day will help promote longevity and benefit the prostate. Juniper berry helps with wound healing, nightmares and for men in particular supports both urinary and prostate health. Massaging Juniper into the abdomen daily is a good way to experience the therapeutic benefits.


Essential oils can improve men’s health in very practical ways such as providing skin relief after shaving. Shaving daily can often cause skin irritation or sometimes simply leave skin feeling dry or itchy. Mixing oils such as Lavender and Melaleuca into the skin with carrier oil can help provide effective relief for angry skin. Melaleuca has natural antiseptic properties to fight bacteria and lavender provides a calming and soothing effect both of which can help with ingrown hairs and overall skin health.


Similar to women’s perfumes, many men’s colognes contain chemicals and synthetic fragrances that can be toxic and bad for health. Replacing cologne with a mixture of essential oils is a great way to smell great and experience the health benefits of essential oils on a daily basis. Mixing citrus oils such a bergamot with earthy oils such as sandalwood, combine well and also provide a great mood boost.


Many working roles for men today are sedentary and it can be difficult to stay focused & motivated without turning to caffeine and sugary stimulants. Inhaling oils such as lemon, wild orange, lime and peppermint can have an uplifting and invigorating effect. Diffusing essential oils such as rosemary in a room is a great way to improve memory and concentration. Spritzing peppermint on shirt collars is a great way to both smell great & feel refreshed throughout the day.


Hair Loss

Hair loss and baldness can be all too common for men and can cause emotional distress and a lack of confidence. Using the right blend of essential oils for balancing hormones can help combat male pattern baldness. Massaging rosemary into the scalp each day before shampooing can help with hair loss and improving the thickness of hair.

‘Hair Help’

20 drops rosemary

10 drops lavender

12 drops geranium

15 drops cedarwood

10 drops peppermint

Mix oils with 1 tbsp fractionated coconut oil and store in a glass container. Massage into hair and scalp daily and leave for 15 mins before shampooing out.


Essential oils can be used aromatically to affect mood and open airways; topically for quick absorption into the body through the skin, and internally for immune & digestive support. It is important to select therapeutic grade oils free from synthetics.

Essential oils are a great way to improve your health easily and quickly. Drop me a line if you’d like to learn more about using essential oils or where to purchase 100% pure oils.…