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Dr. Zach’s Guide to Staying Healthy in your Sixties

BT Montreal | posted Monday, Nov 7th, 2016

By Dr. Zachary Levine, ER physician at MUHC                                                                  


Age really is changing — 60-year-olds are really like 40-year-olds used to be, 80 is the new 60.

The key to maintaining mental and physical health is continuing to be active, mentally (to ward off dementia) and physically (to prevent physical illness).


Need to have a doctor:

-check-in for screenings

-oversee medical issues and medications

-if something comes up



-Know your pharmacist

-Need a list of meds and medical issues



Heart disease



Respiratory Disorders


Flu, Pneumonia

Prevent these by a
voiding carcinogens, especially smoking; be physically active: help control blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose and weight.


Specific cancers in men:


-Discuss screening with md (psa not recommended by ctfph)





Specific cancers in women:





-Cervical – HPV Screening with pap test every 3 years until 69.  If 3 negative in a row can stop.  If not, continue every 3 years until 3 negative pap tests.

Smoking is associated with these cancers:  blood bladder cervix colon rectum esophagus kidney larynx liver lungs mouth throat pancreas stomach



Dr. Zach’s Guide to Staying healthy in your 40s and 50s

BT Montreal | posted Tuesday, Oct 25th, 2016

The body is changing… So do the best with what you can control it through diet, exercise, moderate alcohol, no smoking.

Issues for both women and men in this age group:

Weight gain — slowed metabolism, replace muscle with fat

Diet (plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats (omega 3s), whole grains,

fiber) and exercise

Stress and burnout — job, kids, parents to take care of.  Take time for self, vacation (see SD)

Cancer No. 1 killer in this age group


For Men:

Testis melanoma bowel brain nhl

Prostate/urinary issues, erectile dysfunction


For Women:

Breast melanoma cervix ovary brain; as of 50 breast then lung in women and prostate then lung in men

Cardiovascular disease catching up and becomes #1 in the 50s

There may be issues with skin, digestive system, vision, hearing

Menopause — bone loss, hot flashes, mood swings/depression, vaginal dryness, sexual dysfunction, Urinary incontinence


Check-ups — talk to your doctor about how often

Screening — testing for things before they are symptomatic:


Blood pressure at appropriate visits

Check height and weight at appropriate visits

Lipids (cholesterol) every 1-3 years in men 40+, in women 50+, and in people who are postmenopausal, diabetic, smokers, overweight, high blood pressure, men with erectile dysfunction, chronic kidney disease, atherosclerosis,

Screen for diabetes every 3yrs as of 40 years old

Optometric testing — no evidence based guidelines, consider every 1-2 yrs

Oral (dental) 1-2x/yr

Cancer screening:  do you have a family history? That changes things.


If of average risk:

For breast cancer — starting at 50, mammogram every 2-3 years

Colorectal cancer screen — starting at 50, fecal occult blood test every year (or flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years or colonoscopy)

Cervical Cancer — pap test every 3years (between 25-69 years)

Prostate cancer — PSA is not necessarily recommended as a screening test — talk to your doctor


Baseline EKG

Vaccines – Flu, Tetanus every 10 years


Stay active! Exercise for all — weight bearing and strengthening for bones, more muscle, and cardiovascular for weight loss and cardiovascular health


Dr. Zach’s tips for staying healthy in your Twenties & Thirties

BT Montreal | posted Tuesday, Oct 18th, 2016

These are generally healthy years, especially the Twenties. Still, you can always do things to maintain good health.

• Get into healthy lifestyle: Eating well and good fat and fruits and vegetables and exercising, incorporate exercises (see below for specifics re diet and exercise) into life, do things you enjoy and with people you enjoy spending time with.

Don’t smoke.

• It’s a good time to sign up with a family doctor, someone who will know you when you have issues.  No prescribed regularity of check-ups.

• Know your family history; if you don’t know it, learn it.


Some specific issues people in their Twenties & Thirties should be aware of, checked for:

Sexual healthSTI’s (test yearly for Chlamydia Gonorrhea until 25 ), fertility & contraception, pap test every 3 years (from 25-69).

• Women who have reached a child-bearing age should take 400 to 800 mcg or micrograms of folic acid every day to prevent spina bifida (by pill or in enriched breakfast cereals, breads, pasta, rice).

Obesity: balanced diet and regular exercise.

Cancer is not common at this age but deadly when not properly treated. Protect yourself from skin cancer (and skin aging) with sunscreen, shade.

Bone density peaks in the Twenties and then begins to decrease. Stay topped-up with calcium (1000mg/d, ideally from foods — dairy, leafy greens, almonds) and vitamin D (600iu/d from sun (but not healthy) or through pills or foods such as fatty fish – tuna mackerel salmon, cheese, egg yolks.


Most common causes of death during the Twenties and Thirties:

Unintentional injuries: Wear a helmet when cycling! Wear your seatbelt. Don’t drink and drive.

Intentional injuries: Get mental health help.

Cancers: especially melanoma, lymphoma, testicular; talk to your doctor regarding the risk and what signs to look out for.

Assault: Stay safe, be careful and vigilant.

Heart disease: Risk starts to creep up towards 40, so lifestyle choices are key here.


Other things to check or do:

• Vision exam at least once between 20-40 or if having trouble seeing clearly.

• Dental: visit the dentist once to twice per year.

Vaccines: get the flu shot every year, especially if you suffer from chronic illness; a  Tetanus booster every 5-10 years; Hep A if you are travelling; Hep B if IV drug use, multiple sexual partners, work in healthcare.

Blood sugar, cholesterol, breast cancer screening are not recommended in your Twenties and Thirties unless you have a strong family history or other factors that make you at higher risk. Talk to your doctor.

Questions or comments for Dr. Zach? Send them to comments@btmontreal.ca







BT Montreal | posted Thursday, Feb 25th, 2016

The Lester B. Pearson School Board:


Off Island:

Birchwood elementary

Evergreen elementary

Forest hill Junior and Senior

Mount Pleasant and its daycare

Westwood High Junior and Senior


On Island:


Christmas Park


St Edmund

Beacon Hill

St Anthony

Wilder Penfield

St Charles


Beaconsfield High School

Place Cartier Adult Centre & Sources Adult Career Centre: Night classes will go on as scheduled


Sir Wilfred Laurier School Board:


Arundel Elementary School

Laurentia Elementary School

Grenville Elementary School

Ste- Agathe Academy

Ste-Adele Elementary School

Laurentian Elementary School

Morin Heights Elementary School

Laurentian Regional High School

Mountainview High School in Prévost

CDC Lachute



Rawdon Elementary School

Joliette Elementary School

Joliette High School

Des Samares School Commission: All classes have been cancelled



Rosemere High School

McCaig Elementary School

Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau Elementary School

Franklin Hill Elementary School

Pinewood Elementary School

Mountainview Elementary School

Lake of Two Mountains High School

St. Jude Elementary School


In Hudson:

Centre Prescolaire Hudson/ Hudson preschool Centre

CPE Treehouse


In Kanesatake:

Rotiwennakehte elementary & Ratihente High School closed to all students and staff


In Pierrefonds: 



In Roxboro:

Aliza Daycare

Flank Steak with a Re-Invented Chimichurri with Pomegranate Seeds

BT Montreal | posted Friday, Jan 22nd, 2016


  • 1 Flank Steak (about 1.5-2 lbs)
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 cup of green olives finely chopped
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 large lemon juiced
  • 1 large lemon zested
  • 2 tsp honey
  • Large handful of parsley chopped
  • Large handful of cilantro chopped
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper



  1. Season the meat with course salt and freshly-ground pepper.
  2. Heat a large saute pan to medium-high heat.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the pan, and then sear the steaks on each side until you attain a nice golden crust. Cook about 3-4 minutes per side or until it is cooked to your liking.
  4. Once the steak is cooked, transfer to a dish and let it rest, with a loosely tented foil, or for about 10 minutes.



  1. In a bowl add in the pomegranate seeds, olives, olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and zest, honey, parsley, cilantro and black pepper, stir it all together. (This can also be done in a food processor)
  2. When you’re ready to serve, slice the steak and put it on a butcher`s board, spoon the chimichurri over the top and I love to add some extra pomegranate seeds.


Recipe courtesy: Chef Vanessa Gianfrancesco

Don’t make these 5 New Year’s health resolutions

Chatelaine | posted Thursday, Jan 7th, 2016


Next year, say no to detoxes and yes to weight training

It’s that time again: You’ve gorged yourself on the wings and legs of every festive bird in sight and are now more than ready to engage in the ritualistic fitness and nutrition snapback prompted by a change in the calendar. While there’s nothing wrong with committing yourself to a more balanced, less bonbon-heavy lifestyle — and there’s certainly something seductive in a “new year, new you” mentality — there are just some health resolutions we should resolve ourselves not to try.

“This year, I promise to finally give that teatox a try.”

No, no, no! Jan. 1 is the day we are easily the most vulnerable to fad diets and detoxes, but stay strong. We’re talking about alkaline diets, juicing, and other deprivation schemes disguised as “cleanses.” In particular, “teatoxes,” which supplement a low-calorie diet with large amounts of herbal tea, can have a devastating effect, not only on your sanity, but on your bowels (sorry). Most teatox packs include senna, which can cause diarrhea, dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and even heart irregularities. Anyway, isn’t tea supposed to be relaxing?

“This year, I promise to adopt an intense, all-cardio fitness regimen.”

Go ahead, get your blood pumping. But remember to make time for lower impact exercises, like walking. Not only is going for a stroll a potent calorie burner, but it also fights depression and can actually increase the size of your brain. Same goes for weight training, which is especially important in aging women to guard against osteoporosis.

“This year, I promise to finally cut out cheese [or bread or any other life-affirming food].”

For some (most) people, the idea of eliminating dairy or sweet, sweet sugar is a punishment tantamount to death. Dramatic? Maybe. But if you’re looking to give your diet a cheese-less makeover, most experts recommend avoiding the deprivation mindset entirely. Instead, resolve to add more water, whole grains and leafy greens to your diet. A simple yet effective mental switcheroo that gives your new nutritional outlook some staying power.

“This year, I promise to move my entire exercise regime into the comfort of my own home.”

We get why you’d want to avoid the frustrated and sweaty January gym masses. And, being Canadians, we are also plenty aware of the frigid hellscape that is winter. Still, outdoor exercise is a game-changer; it can boost your happiness and even contribute to a better night’s sleep. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, take advantage of our country’s very attractive landscape and try snowshoeing.

“This year, I promise to avoid the frozen food aisle.”

Surprise! The quick convenience of the frozen-food section makes it seem like it would be a vitamin deadzone, but broccoli, chickpeas and blueberries on ice are actually quite high in antioxidants, protein and, yes, vitamin . C. Looks like you learn something new every year.

City to air Maclean’s town hall with Justin Trudeau today

Maclean's | posted Wednesday, Dec 16th, 2015


Maclean’s year-end interview with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will take place in a live town hall broadcast to Canadians live on City and streaming on CityNews.ca.

“The last time Justin Trudeau visited Maclean’s, five months ago, his party was in third place in the polls and I asked all the questions,” says Paul Wells, Maclean’s political editor. “Now he’s the Prime Minister and we’re inviting Canadians to ask their own questions, on the issues they’re concerned about.”

The Maclean’s Town Hall with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be held at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre on Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 2 p.m. ET in front of a live audience.

The one-hour event will begin with questions for the PM from journalists Paul Wells (Maclean’s), Rachel Giese (Chatelaine) and Alec Castonguay (L’actualité). Then the Prime Minister will take questions from a live studio audience, from Facebook and from Twitter. See details below for how to submit a question.

Neither the Prime Minister nor his staff will not see any of the questions in advance.

The town hall will be carried live, commercial free, on City, Macleans.ca, OMNI 1 in Italian, OMNI 2 in Mandarin, Rogers TV (in Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundland), CPAC, and CPAC.ca at 2 p.m. ET. Later that evening, City, OMNI 1 in Italian, OMNI 2 in Mandarin, Rogers TV and CPAC will broadcast an encore presentation of the Town Hall, commercial free, at 7 p.m. ET/PT (check local listings).

Send your questions on Twitter using the hashtag #mactownhall, or find us on Facebook.

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