Pacific Wellness Toronto News

When do I Need Orthotics?

vector illustration of orthopedic insoles for shoes

Shoes and Orthotics

The shoe is the interface between your foot and the ground. Your foot has the responsibility to support the rest of your body! A lot depends on the alignment of your foot and the quality of your shoes.


Do your shoes qualify as good footwear?


  1. Bends where the forefoot meets the base of the toes.
  2. Has a sturdy heel cup to support and connect your heel to shoe complex.
  3. Demonstrates stiffness in torsion. That is, it should not be easily twisted
  4. Heel should be no higher than 1.5 inches.


Normal wearing pattern of the sole of your shoe from walking, starts from the middle to outside of the heel and moves toward to the middle of your forefoot.


When do I need orthotics?


  1. When examining your shoes you notice unequal wear. Like the tires of a car, your shoes wear and tear will reflect your alignment. If you don’t already have foot problems, you may eventually experience it.


  1. When examining your feet you may have a high, medium, low or no arch in non-weight bearing position which is all fine. The problem is if you notice that when weight bearing your arch flattens.


  1. If you have foot or heel pain.


  1. If you have loose ligaments from previous ankle and foot injuries.


  1. If you are standing most of the day, especially on hard surfaces.


Orthotics control the damaging forces by creating proper alignment. By correcting foot and ankle alignment, the ground forces are properly distributed up through the knees, hips, pelvis and low back.

When buying shoes be sure to try on many shoes as possible. Try on one shoe from one pair and a different shoe on the other foot and compare the comfort and support. Shoes should be easy to put on and be immediately comfortable. Take your time with this process and bring your orthotics if you have them.

If you have foot and lower body problems that persist regardless of having good shoes, you may need orthotics, custom made or off the shelf, depending on your specialists recommendations.


Dr. Ron Green is available for chiropractic assessments and treatments at Pacific Wellness on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.  Dr. Green can prescribe orthotics to chiropractic patients.  Many employee benefits plans cover the cost of orthotics.  For coverage details and requirements check with your insurance provider.

Paleo and Vegan Mushroom Pie

It’s common for people to lean toward more plant-based foods at this time of year. After a holiday season of indulgence, it is a great idea to balance it out with some healthful plant-based meals. However, we are still in the depths of winter, and a cold salad probably does not sound particularly enticing.

Enter this mushroom pie – warm and comforting, and happens to be completely Paleo AND Vegan (not an easy feat). It also contains some fantastic immune supporters including dark leafy greens and mushrooms. I have adapted this recipe from Laura Wright of The First Mess (blog and cookbook) to make it Paleo friendly, while keeping it vegan. There may be a few steps in this recipe, but they are simple and well worth it. Plus, you can make this ahead of time and freeze/refrigerate and reheat as needed.

Dr. Bianca Drennan, ND

Paleo and Vegan Mushroom Pie

  • Ingredients:
  • 2 cups chopped and packed kale (about 6-7 stems-worth)
  • 1 small butternut squash, cubed into 2cm pieces (no need to peel)
  • 1 large head of cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and divided
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil plus more, divided
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened non-dairy milk (almond, cashew, coconut), divided
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 small cooking onion, diced small
  • 2 tablespoons minced, fresh hearty herbs (ie. sage, thyme, rosemary)
  • 2 ¼ lbs (1020 grams) mixed mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free tamari soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder (or cornstarch if necessary)



Preheat oven to 425F. Toss cubed squash with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread squash evenly on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until squash is tender and lightly golden. Set aside.

Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil and season generously with salt. Add cauliflower florets and one of the peeled garlic cloves and simmer until cauliflower is fork-tender, about 5-8 minutes. Remove cauliflower and garlic using a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl.

Drop the kale into the same boiling water and simmer until kale is just-wilted and bright green, about 1-2 minutes. Drain kale and run cold water over it. Squeeze all of the excess moisture out.  Set aside.

In a food processor or blender, combine the drained cauliflower and garlic, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 2 tablespoons of the non-dairy milk, and plenty of salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Transfer the mashed cauliflower to a medium bowl. Roughly chop the cooked kale and fold it into the potatoes. Set aside.

Lower the oven to 375F. Lightly grease a 9×13 glass or metal baking dish (about 2 inches deep) with olive oil and set it on a baking sheet.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onions to the pot and cook until slightly soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Mince the remaining 2 garlic cloves and add them to the pot along with the herbs. Stir until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chopped mushrooms and stir. Place a tight-fitting lid on the pot and let it sit for 2 minutes.

After two minutes, remove the lid and season the mushrooms with pepper. Stir. Place the lid on and let the pot sit for another two minutes.

Add the roasted squash to the pot. Stir the mushroom and squash mixture and then add the balsamic vinegar, tamari or coconut aminos, and tomato paste to the pot. Stir and scrape up any browned bits at the bottom of the pot. Season the mushrooms liberally with salt.

Add the vegetable stock to the pot and stir. Bring the mushrooms to a boil. In a small bowl, stir together the arrowroot powder and remaining 2 tablespoons of non-dairy milk to combine. Add the arrowroot slurry to the pot and stir. Let the mushrooms simmer until the surrounding liquid is slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Dollop the mashed cauliflower on top, and gently spread them over the surface of the mushrooms with a spatula or the back of a spoon.

Drizzle the pie with olive oil and sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Carefully transfer the pie to the oven and bake until the filling is bubbling and the cauliflower is lightly browned, about 25 minutes. Carefully remove the mushroom gravy pie from the oven and let it sit for a minute or two before serving.

Serves: 6

Dr. Bianca Drennan is available for nutritional consultations at The Pacific Wellness Institute.  If you have employee benefits that cover a naturopath you can claim this service.  Call our front desk at 416-929-6958 to inquire.