HomeHealthHealth & Wellness

Health & Wellness

Health & Wellness

Jo Knows Nutrition

Pinecone Bird Feeders – A Winterland

Helping Hand

Bird watching is a delightful hobby that many of us enjoy year-round and the bare branches of winter offer an unobstructed view of our feathered friends. As the temperature drops and the snow arrives lend a helping hand with these homemade feeders. No bird or squirrel will be able to resist a nourishing pine cone treat.


Craft Stick or Spatula


Bowl or plate

Pine cones

Natural Twine

Natural Peanut Butter or Coconut Oil

Bird Seed


  1. Tie a length of twine around a pine cone.
  2. Using your craft stick or spatula coat the pine cone with peanut butter or coconut oil.
  3. Put the birdseed in a bowl or on a plate.
  4. Dip the pinecone in the birdseed until thoroughly covered.
  5. Hang your pinecones outside near a window for the best view.


Joanne Nijhuis MSc, RD is a consulting, media and culinary dietitian in Simcoe Grey Bruce on a mission to entertain and educate through her love of food. In addition to recipe development and writing for several publications, Joanne offers cooking demos/classes and counselling in-person or online via Zoom Health.

For more information, email Joanne at jo.knows.nutrition@outlook.com.


Instagram: jo_knows_nutrition

Did You Know?

Wild birds that have access to supplemental  foods sources during the winter tend to fare better than birds that don’t. For birds to stay warm and survive the cold winter, feeders should contain a good amount of fat in addition to nuts and seeds.


Stop Negative Thinking

“You can’t change the past, but you can ruin the present by worrying about the future.”

~ Isak Dinesen

It has been said that most of our time is spent thinking about the past or the future. Thinking negative thoughts of the past creates depression, while negative thoughts of the future create anxiety. Think about your own thoughts and see if this is true for you. There is nothing wrong with fond memories, or looking forward to what lies ahead. This is all part of life.

The problem comes when time is spent on negative thoughts about the past, and on worry thoughts about the future. This kind of thinking has a huge impact on our quality of life. As I have so often written, negative thinking not only affects our mood and our outlook, it also affects our physical health as well.

There are a couple of things we can do to ensure our thoughts do not negatively affect our health. The first one is to discipline ourselves to focus only on the positives in the past. Everyone has some sadness in his or her past, some regrets, and perhaps wishes that some things could have been different. The past cannot be changed, however, so it is best to let all of those things go.

Similarly, when thinking of the future, we can try always to visualize positive outcomes. Indeed there are times when the future is not going to be positive, as when a loved one has a terminal illness, or when a break up or divorce is immanent, but we can resolve to do the best we can in dealing with these situations. These situations are real. The thoughts we really have to change are worry thoughts about things that might happen in the future.

Another thing we can do, if we are prone to negative thinking, is to practice thought stopping. As soon as you become aware that you are thinking negatively, you immediately imagine a big STOP sign, and do not go any further down that road. It takes some practice to be able to do this on a regular basis, because negative thought patterns are like a worn path across a grassy field. It is easier just to go down the worn path.

Be aware of conversations you have with others and note how much time is spent on negative discussions about the past or future. Misery does love company, but the result is even more negative thinking and hence more misery!

Think of thoughts like food we take into our bodies. Most of us will not eat things that are spoiled or toxic. Are our thoughts nutritious, building strength and good health, or are they toxic, weakening our immune system and contributing to illness and disease? It is important to detoxify our thinking. We eat three times a day, but we are thinking all the time.

Gwen Randall-Young is an author and award-winning psychologist. For permission to reprint this article, or to obtain books, CDs or MP3s, visit www.gwen.ca. Follow Gwen on Facebook for inspiration.


Ask a Therapist: by Sarah CoveyOn Self-Criticism and Self-Blame

Q: I know that I am hard on myself and it seems like it is an automatic pattern to beat myself up in my self talk – what can I do about that?


A: Many people have strong inner critics that seem to be ready to process anything through a negative lens. Sometimes people get so used to the noise of that inner voice that they don’t even realize how hard they are being on themselves in that inner dialogue. Self-criticism and self-blame are destructive cognitive distortions because they lack compassion and use shame to diminish a person’s worth.

People who have these types of critical dialogues with themselves will often experience low self esteem and perfectionism in a perfect storm; they feel defined by these intrusive thoughts while also trying to prove that they are not true. High achievers often have a voice that immediately tells them where they went wrong and they feel like they have to maintain unreasonably high standards to try to quiet the criticism. Sometimes people experience self-blame as a result of shame where the inner chatter tells them that it is their fault for everything.

These patterns of distorted thinking can result in a tremendous amount of anxiety and lack of self-worth and are generally unhelpful. If you are struggling with these negative thoughts it can be very helpful to learn how to challenge them and develop alternative ways of mentally processing them. A therapist can help you identify themes in your thinking and evaluate core beliefs that may be the root cause of these patterns. They can also help you understand your personality (nature) and your childhood experiences (nurture) to determine where some of this self-talk originated and how to heal from it so that it no longer dominates your inner world.

Generally speaking, combating self-criticism and self-blame involves a balance of grace and truth. To be gracious, you need to have compassion for yourself, allowing for mistakes and challenges as a normal part of life while offering self-forgiveness and feedback without the harsh criticism.  To be truthful you need to be honest with yourself and discern what is your fault and what isn’t and be brave enough to to take responsibility where you are to blame without bringing shame into the mix.

It can be really difficult to forge new pathways related to these patterns in your thinking and asking for help with that is an important first step. When you begin to consistently choose new, healthier, more compassionate, and less shame-based ways of thinking you will find that your life is altered in significant and positive ways.

Covey Wellness Centre is a psychotherapy group practice located at B-12 Stone Street and our wellness bookshop is open to the public every day except Sunday. Please visit CoveyWellnessCentre.com and submit the form on our Contact page to book an appointment or to inquire about our products and services. Follow us on social media @coveywellnesscentre and download and follow at Eventbrite for the latest updates and event tickets!


Share With:
Rate This Article


No Comments

Leave A Comment