THE FITNESS FREAK...IS BACK! I'll be posting weekly articles on all things related to fitness and well-being!


Samantha is the ultimate Pilates Instructor. She has an exceptional understanding of the art with‎ impeccable attention to detail  - Peter Suchanek (Mediator) 





Samantha Clayton is a fitness professional certified through The Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) - the only standardized certification body in all of North America - with over 15 years in the field. Samantha completed her training in "The Original Method" or Classical Pilates, in upstate New York. Although the extent of her private teaching is therapeutic in nature, her group classes are popular with those seeking condition-based results. Ms. Clayton is both a Barre and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Instructor.

Samantha has worked as part of a health & wellness team in the field of rehabilitation. She has designed and taught teacher training programs in Toronto, including one specifically for the YMCA. Her concern for the aging demographic led her to design a specialty class exclusively for the management of Osteoporosis ("Osteopilates" classes).

Having received her Pink Ribbon Certification twelve years ago, Samantha continues to teach individuals challenged by a variety of conditions – predominantly those living with breast cancer and osteoporosis. As a Breast Cancer Exercise Specialist (BCES) her focus is to assist in the post-surgery phase of treatment where emphasis is placed on improving range of motion, restoring both posture and confidence, and gradually rebuilding strength. She finds movement to be an honest and wonderful teacher for everybody. Pilates provides each person the opportunity to take an active role in his/her health through movement. 



Samantha is also a brand ambassador for Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods!


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Unravelling the mysterious Colonic: Chewing like a champ, Pooping like a pro!



Image credits:Sebastian Kaulitzki - Fotolia

It was suggested to me by a talented (and local) massage therapist - Melissa Kerr - that I see a colon therapist with regard to my intermittent upper abdominal discomfort. I'd struck out several times in terms of reaching a reasonable diagnosis through my GP, so I decided that perhaps an adventure into the world of allopathic medicine could provide me some insight. I pressed ahead and booked myself an appt with Louise Comtois, owner and director of D'avignon Digestive Health Centre located conveniently on the Danforth (272A), just one block west of the Big Carrot.

Ms. Comtois, who hails from Montreal, is a petite woman with a warm and loving disposition. Open and easy to trust, she took good care of me during my first time. The initial session was an hour and a half comprised mostly of discussion. She assessed me in a holistic manner taking complete notes on my health both past and present. Diet was a huge part of the conversation - she is also a Holistic Nutritionist which I'm discovering is commonplace among many Colonic Therapists - as was my day to day activity and perceived stress level.  She then assessed the health of my colon - manually.  I was asked to lay supine over a prop which placed me in such a way that my pelvis was at an apex allowing my bowels to be stretched out and accessible for palpation.  I was told that I had reasonably good tone - as to be expected for a Pilates Instructor! 

Overall, it was a pleasant experience as I had not felt this kind of attention to my health in some time.The challenge is to 'stay on the table' for the required time which on average is 40 minutes. The goal is to tone and recondition the colon just like one would any other muscle. The practitioner can assess many things by looking at how and what is moving through the 'tube'. (Yes, the one connecting your anus to the sewer).  Oftentimes, small white bubbles indicate the presence of yeast - Candida.  I had one Colonic Therapist admit to having seen a cherry pit in one of her clients' stools!  And yes, you do hear of the typical parasite expulsion. (Worse yet, clients have reported finding those little squigglers in the privacy of their very own bathroom).

I'd signed on for a series of colonics and found within two months time that they'd helped restore the natural motility (peristalsis) of my colon.  My center had always been my place of weakness (How ironic for being a Pilates Instructor).  Stress was the first culprit, followed by wheat (and other yeast containing foods), poor food combining, and caffeine.  These things contributed to relentless gas, constipation, bloating and overall frustration.  Post-session?  I was exhausted, but over time my reactions and responses (poop cycle in specific) improved. There were moments on my commute home where I felt elated - surely a natural high from the lightness I felt once back on my feet.  

However, along with the aforementioned highs, came the lows - often a few hours latter.  There were of course some regressive episodes; they can't all be winners!  I met my anger on several occasions.  There is much more to a colonic than a simple 'pumping of the gut', the emotional body also gets a workout so be forewarned. This is not for the faint of heart.  Adequate rest post-colonic is crucial. It is also advised that you 'feed your gut' regularly with a good quality probiotic which they provide you immediately post-session in a little Dixie cup!


One must also be wary of replenishing the loss of salts and minerals via electrolyte supplementation. You can make your own mix here: DIY Electrolyte Drink. I recall sessions where I felt exalted and one time in particular took to cleaning my boyfriend's house with renewed vigour (after having biked 45-minutes across the city to arrive at his home).  Happy gut = Happy girl.  Everybody wins.Wow...and what it will do for your skin! Although red wine was officially off the table for a month (the high acidic content/tannins proved too much at times), I am thrilled again to indulge this former vice alongside another I can't live without - coffee - and this time around without the adverse side effects.  I'm also exploring the world of matcha tea, and I'm chewing my food slowly. But let's get to the bottom of this (oh, excuse the pun!) I know what you're really wondering about...yup, as the title of this article confirms, I'm indeed pooping like a pro.  

D'Avignon Digestive Care

Vita Life Digestive Wellness Clinic