WHAT IS MIKE’S LIKES ALL ABOUT?
In works for a while, I created this resource as a guide for everyone in my life, patients, friends + family who always ask me how I stay true to my values.
Taking a look around my office and home, I started listing all of the good material stuff that I surround myself with.
From dental products, the shoes I choose to wear and the books I read, everything in my life has intention behind it.
I always use local, organic and fair trade when possible, and when not, I am thoroughly disappointed and not comfortable purchasing or consuming. I have a relationship with most company owners from which I source my “stuff” and make informed decisions and ask questions about where products are coming from. Time consuming?
Yes, but well worth it and with a supportive wife I am fortunate to live a sustainable, health conscious and environmentally friendly life.
My hope is that you look through this list of goodies and turn to these amazing companies that I support the next time you are in need of anythingin your life. I hope to continue to grow this list and keep adding from the plethora of local companies that continue to pop up in our fabulous city of Toronto.
If you know of an amazing company that I seem to be missing and you want to share please get in touch and let me know so I can continue to grow “Dr. Mike Approved.”
At Schecter Dental, the greatest environmental impact is seen in our reduction of pharmaceuticals. Pharmaceuticals can have a negative impact on our environment, affecting our water quality and reproductive potential. Increased : resistance and mutated bacteria are ongoing concerns.We have locally developed natural rinses, and offer homeopathic remedies as an alternative to antibiotics and pain medication. I recommend trying the following products. I use them both in the office and at home and find the highest success rates, lowest toxicity levels and most natural ingredients.
The Canary System is a precise, low-powered, laser-based instrument with an integrated intra-oral camera that detects the presence of cracks and caries (tooth decay) before they are large enough to appear on dental X-rays. Intra-oral camera images can be displayed for immediate chair side review with the patient. A patient report is generated containing an odontogram with Canary Numbers, which are color-coded for the examined teeth, along with the dentist’s treatment recommendation. This report can also be examined by the patient on The Canary Cloud. Find out more about how I use the Canary System in my office.
Shec’s Cavity Guard is made in Canada and backed by science. It reduces the rate of decay and protects the teeth by eliminating acid-producing bacteria such as Strep Mutans. It is to be used in conjunction with a comprehensive oral hygiene approach. Use it bi-monthly by carefully applying the varnish to all surfaces of the teeth. Leave it in for 2 minutes and do not eat or drink for 30 mins afterwards. All of the ingredients are organic and made locally.
Z-Systems is an innovative company who carries ceramic implants that I use in my office more and more as it appeals to many patients. Z-Systems is the world leader in ceramic implants.
Nobel Biocare is a market leader in offering solutions from root to tooth, covering dental implants, restorative components, prosthetics, and biomaterials. I have been using Nobel Biocare implants for over 20 years now. Nobel Biocare develops software for clinicians for diagnosing patients and planning treatments. In 2005, the company introduced guided surgery to the field of dental implantology which I use in the office for better results.
Dental Herb Company mouth rinse reduces and prevents bleeding and inflamed gums, eliminates bad breath and relieves dry mouth and mouth sores.n It can be used daily for a natural healthy mouth. The pure essential oils in Dental Herb Company products are powerful antimicrobials, providing maximum potency and long-lasting effectiveness to combat the harmful oral bacteria that lead to halitosis and periodontal disease.
SHECs post surgical mouth rinse was specifically designed for post surgery. I formulated it specifically with local and natural ingredients and it is a definite favourite.
Theodent toothpaste represents the first major innovative discovery in oral care in over a century. Harnessing the power of the cocoa bean, Theodent boasts a non-toxic and revolutionary alternative to fluoride, Rennou. Theodent is ideal as a daily dentifrice replacement to traditional toxic fluoride therapies in the marketplace. Unlike fluoride based toothpastes, Theodent is not harmful if swallowed, which makes it an ideal product to be enjoyed by the entire family. Kids cannot get enough of this toothpaste that actually tastes like Chocolate. We sell out quickly but usually have Theodent Classic (chocolate) and Theodent Mint available at our clinic.
SHECs Ozone Oil has become ubiquitous in our practice. It is a cornerstone of our gum + cavity preventative protocol. We have found ozone to reduce infection, prevent root canal therapy and reduce temperature sensitivity. We also offer ozone to fumigate root canals prior to filling them. One molecule of ozone is more effective than 5000 molecules of chlorine. Through the bacterial killing action of ozone, this oil will neutralize decay at the source, remineralize the structure of your tooth and provide anti-cavity benefits that are excellent for periodontal health, reducing teeth temperature sensitivity and inhibiting gum infections. This product is organic, and free from pesticides, petrochemicals, sulphates + paraffins.
Dental Herb Company products,including their toothpaste, contain pure essential oils that are powerful antimicrobials, providing maximum potency and long-lasting effectiveness to combat the harmful oral bacteria that lead to halitosis and periodontal disease. Dental Herb Company products contain gotu kola and Echinacea – two powerful anti-inflammatory herbs shown to stimulate healing and repair damaged tissue. The pure essential oils of lavender and eucalyptus, well known for their soothing and healing properties, are key elements in the formulae.
X-Pur Remin causes remineralization comparable to a fluoride toothpaste, inhibits carrie development, thus suggesting that it can be an effective alternative to fluoride toothpaste. It remineralizes subsurface demineralized areas of tooth enamel more effectively than saliva and just as effectively as fluoride compounds. This toothpaste fills and repairs minute surface deficits on tooth enamel, restoring damaged enamel to its original smoothness.
FLOSS + TONGUE SCRAPERS
Curaprox interdental brushes clean the entire critical interdental space effectively and without injury: from the gum line over the concave niches to right under the contact point.Even the tiniest interdental spaces are dealt with without risk of injury – thanks to CURAL, the ultra-thin and extra strong surgical wire that makes a single cleaning movement sufficient.
Dr Tungs Smart Floss is a revolutionary floss that is gentler on gums because it is cushion-soft and can stretch. Unlike those other flosses with no spring that can often hurt gums…and fingers! Smart Floss dental floss is clinically proven to be more effective than regular floss. It has been shown to remove up to 55% more plaque than some of the most popular flosses, i.e. regular waxed and unwaxed flosses and PTFE monofilament floss (compare to Glide). Now there’s no excuse to use a less effective floss. Floss has a natural cardamom flavour for a vibrant fresh feeling, is lightly waxed with a natural blend of vegetable and bees wax (no petrochemical wax), is gluten-free. PTFE-free, BPA-free, has a BIODEGRADABLE container, made with EcoPure, will biodegrade faster in a landfill than regular plastic (which can take up to 100 years).
Dr. Tung’s tongue cleaner has a curved cleaning edge that removes bacteria and soft plaque in seconds. Cleaning your tongue is comfortable, quick and effective. Modern research confirms that tongue cleaning is the best way to remove bacteria that cause bad breath. Tongue cleansing also helps improve taste, remove the coating on the tongue and slow the growth of plaque.
Knowledge is power. And reading is the ultimate source of knowledge. Browse through this section to view some of my favourite reads from a wide variety of topics + authors.
The China Study is a book by T. Colin Campbell, Professor of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University, and his son Thomas M. Campbell II, a physician. A one of America’s best-selling books about nutrition and my favourite, The China Study examines the relationship between the consumption of animal products (including dairy) and chronic illnesses such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and bowel cancer. You can find a copy of The China Study in our reception room.
Village Living Publications Inc has distributed its magazine to Midtown Toronto’s most affluent communities from more than 6 years. Their focus is on connecting local residents with local businesses to help develop, sustain and maintain economically vibrant and thriving communities. I love seeing all of our neighbouring businesses amongst our own as well as reading the many articles written by experts in their fields, whether it be health related or other. I love this magazine because it appeals to all parents who are striving to live a healthy lifestyle.
EcoParent magazine is active in many community events and trade shows so it’s nice to put a face to the magazine and meet the people behind the scenes. It is an easy read and has really nice images and articles to browse through with important and well thought out information about health + children.
RECIPE (coming soon)
What better way to get around a busy hustling city than riding a bike, or taking an accessible method of transport like the TTC? I have come to love biking around Toronto in my city Babboe with my kids bumping around in the bucket. They love it as well and we often see regulars along the way who stop us and say hello or offer a smile. The traffic in this city is insane and wasting all that time does not serve me well. If you work or live near the bus or subway, give it a try one day and see how much time it saves you on your travels!
The Babboe Bike is my number one mode of transportation these days. There is nothing like feeling free, and with a cargo bike you expand your mobile freedom enormously. Children, the dog, groceries, toys and the carrycot; it all fits in the cargo bike. Nothing can stand in the way of a fun day out with the family. Moreover, every journey in the cargo bike is great fun for children. A cargo bike is convenient, safe, enjoyable and a sustainable mode of transport. It is definitely the best part of my day when I am biking with my children in the bike and they love it much more than sitting in the car.
TTC give it a try! We have an amazing subway system here in Toronto.
I am definitely not a guru when it comes to fashion, let alone someone who knows anything when it comes to what to wear. I am happy in my old t-shirts from University, a comfortable pair of pants and my trusty old teva’s. Although my wife would like it otherwise, I have a very limited collection of clothes. That being said, what I do feel strongly about is the quality of my clothes. My preference would be for them to be made some something sustainable such as a well sourced bamboo, I would even be happy wearing organic cotton. I try my best not to wear things made in China and prefer Canadian made clothing from small local companies.
Yes, that comes with a higher price point, which is why I have a very limited selection. We are lucky enough to live in a city that is thriving with local eco-friendly clothing and other accessory companies who can provide me with all that I need.
One Of A Kind Show I suggest you check out the One of A Kind Show that comes to Toronto twice a year where I stock up for the year, or two, or three, for that matter. Happy local, small shop shopping!
Yes, the argument against using healthy products and avoiding WIFI and toxicity is that it is unavoidable and surrounds us everywhere we go.It is true that I cannot control what is going on around me when I step foot outside of my home or outside of my office. Inside my home, however, I can control how much toxicity + chemicals come through. Protecting myself and my family inside my home is of utmost importance to me and something I like to focus on, often.
Strawsome has been working towards sufficient awareness and action to forever eliminate the need for single-use plastic drinking straws. Their mission is to provide the world’s most artistic, eco-friendly, and health-conscious drinking straw. Combined with a lifetime warranty and great customer service, there’s every reason to join the alternative straw movement and eliminate the need for single-use plastic drinking straws. In my house, my kids are only familiar with glass straws + metal straws (next item). They are easy to clean with a special straw cleaner and my kids don’t have to chew on nasty plastic or cause more waste.
Onyx is a company who wanted alternatives to plastic. While searching for non-plastic bottles, cups, plates, snack containers etc. they discovered that anything of any quality is hard to find and over priced. They believe that everyone should be able to buy safe and environmentally responsible products without breaking the bank. The products that they carry are of the highest quality, manufactured in responsible conditions and are very fairly priced. What I like about this company, is that the founders use all the products themselves. They use high quality food grade stainless steel which is great for hot, cold + food safety. Another favourite in our house to drink from and we often hear my 2 year old saying “metal straw… metal straw.”
LunchBots was started by Jacqueline Linder, a mom who was concerned about chemicals in plastic leaching into her food. She knew that stainless steel was a healthier alternative, plus it was lightweight and unbreakable too. Jacqueline searched worldwide but couldn’t find high-quality stainless steel food containers, so she decided to design them herself.
Jude’s Miracle Cloth Kiss your glass cleaner, chemicals and paper towels goodbye! This cloth will clean better! Microfibre has been enhanced a thousand fold since it’s discoand endless new applications are still being discovered. One of the most exciting uses to emerge for this new textile is within the cleaning industry. When high quality microfibre is combines with the right knitting process, it creates an extremely effective cleaning material.
Caboo Paper Products The most unavoidable source of waste is of course, toilet paper! In our house, and at the clinic, I choose Caboo products. I use Caboo for tissue as well. Because bamboo and sugarcane are grasses rather than hardwoods, they both grow very quickly and, after harvest, grow back just as quickly – in as little as three to four months (trees can take up to 30 years to grow). No replanting is necessary – unlike trees, which never grow back after being cut down. About 83 million rolls of toilet paper are produced from trees each day.
Eco-Max cleaners are truly green. They are made from 100% plant-based ingredients that are biodegradable, renewable and sustainable, making them the natural choice when cleaning for the environment. Their formulations are far safer than traditional, toxic cleaning chemicals; all without sacrificing the cleaning power you’re used to. They incorporate therapeutic grade essential oils for a more enjoyable cleaning experience. We will never use synthetic fragrances and because our cleaners are all natural, you will never smell harmful fumes while cleaning again.
Nature’s Clean In the early 1960s, the founder Nature Clean’s mother suffered allergic reactions to the harsh chemicals used in traditional household products. To help her, their dad began developing his own natural formulations. Since then, the family has continued the tradition of creating healthier, non-toxic alternatives for the products we all use in our homes every day. We use their dishwasher tabs in the clinic and in my home. They work great as long as you rinse your dishes well and contain none of the toxic ingredients of most other dishwasher tabs.
White vinegar Tried and true! has been around for a long time and works wonders when cleaning a home. Simple, clean and disinfectant, vinegar can be used on almost any surface. If you have a strong aversion to the smell, it may not be the right cleaner for you, however you can always add a drop of DoTerra’s essential oils for a more pleasant smell of your choice.
FOOD + DRINK
This is huge. And I can go on ranting forever on the topic of food + drink in the city. What’s organic, whats not but says it is, what’s local, sustainable.. and the questions are endless.
In this category, I provide a list of restaurants, brands, grocery stores and such that I frequent each for a specific reason. Take a browse through and learn a thing or two, at the least, discover a new local small business who cares about the products they make and taste fresh and delicious.
Doug’s Public Kitchen serves modern daytime counter serve featuring vegan & raw fare made with local, seasonal ingredients. Doug’s is by far my top choice for a vegan restaurant in the city. Fresh, local and delicious and even loved by non-vegans! Doug’s is located at 561 Marlee Ave in Toronto and is definitely worth a call for your next meal!
Mythology is the newest vegan hot spot in the city of Toronto. Owned again by chef Doug McNish, you can find this diner style restaurant open late so you can enjoy vegan comfort food after a night out on the town!
Thrive Organic is another vegan go-to. The veteran Chef, David Perez, and life-long restaurant owner, Pat Zisis, bring over 14 years of culinary experience and offer a menu that is 90% ORGANIC with FAIR-TRADE and LOCAL ingredients when available. At Thrive a burger is not just any burger… the patty and home-made sauce are packed with SUPERFOODS, making it a powerhouse of nutrition and yummy goodness. From guilt-free Açaí Brownies to delicious GLUTEN-FREE quinoa pancakes, home-made VEGAN soups and SPROUTED pizzas, at Thrive you will always find amazing foods to enjoy and delight your senses. The staff is super friendly and my kids love it here!
Alchemy Pickle Company is by far a favourite in my house. Alchemy Pickle Company produces regional and seasonal cultured vegetable pickles, sauerkraut and kimchi, and naturally carbonated sodas with produce purchased direct from Southern Ontario farmers.Beverages including kombucha, that are hand crafted and produced locally have additional benefits besides assisting digestion and contributing to a healthy internal flora; they also support local farmers and contain higher nutrients because the produce is processed right from the fields. My kids cant wait to go to the market once a week and get their dose of Alchemy’s different flavoured kombucha’s.
Soda stream is another winner in our house. Although we drink it mainly on weekends, as a special treat, since carbonated water is more acidic than our usual Kangen alkaline water that we drink. Using a soda stream has created much less waste in our house as there is no more wasted bottles on soda water purchased from the store. We love using our soda stream machine in our house as it is better for the environment and the kids get a kick out of the sound it makes to create the water. It also means less shlepping of all the bottled soda waters one would purchase, especially for a party!
Cocos Pure Coconut Water The reason why I love Cocos Pure coconut water over the other 100’s of coconut waters on the market, is because it is 100% natural, single-origin coconut water. Only coconuts sourced from a single location are used which means when you open a can of our coconut water, you get a pure and untouched flavor. There’s no added sugar and it’s not from concentrate. Cocos Pure is a healthy and naturally refreshing product that tastes great and is good for you. It’s only downside in my house is that the cans are quite large and when my kids are handed a can – which is never – except for this water, they want the whole thing and if they do not finish it, it’s hard to keep without a resealable lid.
We are surrounded by thousands of harsh ingredients every time we use a product in or hair or on our skin. From shampoos, soaps, make-up, creams and nail polishes, we cannot escape what we have created. However, we can try our best to source locally made, organic, toxic-free products to use on every part of our body. And, thankfully for the many business owners who feel the same, these products do exist, and in plenty. Below are some of my favorite’s!
Clinical luxury by nature Hair Smoothie is a conditioner that is bursting with nutrient rich ingredients that are safe for the whole family. A little pump of the Hair Smoothie will quickly condition and detangle the finest of hair and most sensitive of scalps. Made in small bathes, locally, just the way we like it.
Dr Bronners soap is definitely the top of my list for almost everything! It is pure-castile liquid soap that is concentrated, biodegradable, versatile and effective. Made with organic and certified fair trade ingredients, packaged in a 100% post-consumer recycled bottle. All-One!
Doterra Veráge Cleanser Infused with CPTG essential oils of Wild Orange, Melaleuca, and Basil, this natural gel formula cleanses and invigorates skin while emollients nourish and hydrate, leaving a glowing, youthful-looking complexion. Verage Cleanser gently lifts dirt and makeup away, yet reaches deep into pores to purify skin. Vital macromolecules of amino acids, lipids, and fructose provide nutrients that help keep the skin looking hydrated and healthy.
Ozone Through the bacterial killing action of ozone, this oil will neutralize infection or bacteria at the source. Ozone oil is great for acne on the face, for cuts or scrapes and can even be used as deoderant! It is anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory. This miracle product should be applied to a problem spot. Repeat as often as needed. No side effects or interactions.
Clinical Luxury by Nature eco-chic for the eco-fashionista, Graydon products work and are healthy for your skin too! Created by Graydon Moffat, this company is Canadian and uses incredible plant-based ingredients that nourish and protect your skin. Whenever possible, Graydon chooses to source organic plant-based ingredients from Canadian growers and manufacturers such as broccoli and berry seed oil. Each ingredient in their formulations plays a specific and important role in “feeding” your skin, that doesn’t sacrifice purity for efficacy.
Weleda deodorants work to keep you smelling great, not to stop your body from working naturally. Free from antiperspirants that prevent perspiration and disrupt the body’s natural detoxification, our deodorants use essential oils and all natural ingredients to neutralize odor-causing bacteria.
Ozone oil is mainly used in my office as a gas but has been infused into an oil base and makes an amazing deodorant. It is definitely my deodorant of choice and although some people don’t love the initial smell, it keeps me dry all day. It is anti-microbial and anti-bacterial so keeps you fresh all day long. Simply apply a small amount in the morning and you are good to go!
The Best Deodorant in the World is definitely one of the most natural deodorants on the market. Created in a family kitchen, this product is a must! Check out their site for the deets.