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Meet the Program Team

April 7th, 2016

Diane is the Head Pilates Instructor for The Urban Athlete and has been teaching Pilates since 1996. She trained directly with Moira Stott and is a certified Phase 2 Stott Teacher Training Instructor. Diane has created and led individual and group training programs at The Urban Athlete, Stott Studio and in her role as co-founder of Pilates North Studio. Diane is also certified as a Yoga instructor under the renowned Bruni method. This powerful combination of skill sets has earned Diane a dedicated and loyal following at The Urban Athlete. As a part-time Kindergarten teacher, Diane also takes great pride and joy in teaching her young students the benefits and fun of integrated movement.

As a master trainer, Jim has over 20 years’ experience working with professional, recreational and competitive level athletes. He has also mentored numerous trainers, instructors and coaches. Jim has been with The Urban Athlete since 2007 as a trainer and also more recently as a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT). His broad base of experiences include; National Team Coach (K1), Russian Kettlebell, Advanced Weight Training, Spinning and Nutrition. Jim loves working with people and finds fulfillment in helping them realize their goals.
-”Indivudualized body work to achieve positive change and greater stability”-


Over the past decade, Vanessa has helped hundreds of people improve their quality of health through Pilates. She is fully certified in Stott Pilates and Body Harmonics methods and has become an authority on movement and bio mechanics. Vanessa gains tremendous satisfaction in seeing clients reach their personal goals. Her areas of focus are injury rehab, increased fitness and improving deeper muscle function. She is committed to ongoing learning and believes in practicing what she preaches.
- “I’m in my element working with bodies.” 

Have a Healthy Holiday Season

December 4th, 2014

The following is a list of natural therapies that you can do or take as part of your daily routine to keep you healthy through the holidays:

In the Bathroom

End your shower with 1 minute of water as hot as you can handle followed by 30 seconds of cold water (as much as you can handle). The difference in temperature increases circulation and stimulates lymphatic movement which removes infection and boosts the immune system. It’s also a great way to energize in the morning!

In the Kitchen 

(there are many delicious and nutritious foods to help you fight colds & flu.  Listed are just a few of my favourites..)

Raw pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds: These are high in zinc, known to prevent viral replication so it can shorten the length of your cold or flu.

Kefir is an excellent food source of acidophilus (probiotics). We know that 70% of the immune system resides in the digestive tract so a healthy digestive tract means a healthy immune system. Kefir possesses virtually no lactose and is therefore well tolerated by lactose intolerant people. It is much higher in acidophilus than yogurt.

Homemade NeoCitran. This combination is great for strengthening immunity and soothing a sore throat. Combine sliced ginger root and 1-2 cloves of garlic to a large pot of boiling water and let steep for several minutes. Add ½ fresh lemon juice and honey to sweeten.  Ginger is a warming herb and together with garlic help fight viral and bacterial infections.

Drink ~2L of water.  Water is hydrating and therefore a medium for micro-organisms and toxins to be carried out of your system.  In order for your cells and immune system to properly function you must drink ½ your body weight in ounces of water. If you weigh 160lb, you need 80 ounces and therefore 10 glasses of fluid/day. Non-dehydrating fluids like herbal teas, soup and veggies juices can also be used.

In the Bedroom:

Sleep! Get a minimum of 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.  Your immune system is most active while you are sleeping. Sleep deprivation is one of the greatest risk factors for weak immunity.

*If you have trouble sleeping, get frequent infections or simply want to learn more about natural ways to support your immune system, please contact Dr. Vincenza Rotulo, ND.

Pumpkin Pie Recipe

October 6th, 2014

O’ pumpkin pie, your time has come ’round again and I am autumnrifically happy! ~Terri Guillemets

Looking for healthier dessert options to serve your family & guests this Thanksgiving?  Below is a recipe for Pumpkin Pie without many of the ingredients that often cause inflammation, digestive discomfort, headaches and more.

Be sure to keep the seeds – pumpkin seeds (like pumpkin) have many health benefits and contain a wide variety of nutrients that help support your immune system, promote eye health, prostate health in men, regulates blood sugar and prevents coronary artery disease to name a few!

If you have further questions on healthy eating options, please contact Dr. Vincenza Rotulo, ND and stay tuned for a Fall Cleanse Program!

Bon Appetit & Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin Pie

~The pie is dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, peanut-free, and, of course, sugar-free! 

Pecan Crust:

  • 2 cups pecan meal (make your own by finely grinding pecans in a food processor)
  • 4 large dates
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • pinch salt

Blend dates in a strong blender or food processor until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and combine until well-mixed. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie pan and press the mixture evenly to the bottom and sides. Bake at 375* for 10-15 minutes or until browned.

Pumpkin Filling:

  • 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/4 tsp cloves, 1/4 tsp nutmeg (or 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 12 oz. can full fat coconut milk (too lessen the calories, substitute up to 3/4 of the coconut milk with almond milk)
  • Sweeteners*

Combine the pumpkin, eggs, milk, sweetener (if using) and spices and beat until combined and smooth. Pour mix into crust and bake, uncovered, at 400* for 10 minutes. Then cover with foil and bake at 350* for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

*Sweetener ideas: When I make this for myself, I leave sweeteners out. When baking for others, I suggest adding a sweetener. The following are some options. 1. Blend five dates (or more depending on your sweet tooth) with the milk until completely smooth. Then use the milk as specified above. 2. Use 1/2 teaspoon white stevia powder or liquid stevia drops.

**courtesy of

Low Back Pain Got You Down?

October 6th, 2014

Low Back Pain Got You Down?

As an active individual, chances are you’ve experienced back pain at some point in your life. There are many factors contributing to low back pain but the biggest problem commonly seen by health care professionals are people performing exercises incorrectly and without the proper muscular foundation. Here are three exercises to help alleviate low back pain:


1. Plank


Starting position: Elbows and forearms, neck is neutral.plank

Make sure your body is in a straight line, your core is on and you are squeezing your glutes. Hold for 30-60s.

Ending position: Come down to your knees and rest for 30s.

Repeat 3 times.


2. Glute Stretch


Starting position: Lying on your back, bend both your knees and bring them towards your chest. Cross one leg over the other so your ankle is resting on top of your opposite knee.glute stretch

Ending position: Thread one hand through to clasp behind the hamstring of the straight leg and meet the other hand. Pull your straight leg towards your chest. Hold for 30s and repeat on other side.

Repeat 2 times.


3. Clam Shells



Starting position: Side-lying with your head resting on your elbow. Knees are bent and heels are in-line with your bum. Hips are in line with your shoulders and are not rolling forwards or backwards.

Ending position: Keeping your heels together, open your knees apart only as far as you can without having your hips roll back. Come back down to starting position and repeat 15 times on each side.

Repeat 3 times.

Get Your Butt in Gear – Glute Activation

September 10th, 2014

Many athletes have difficulty activating their glutes. This can lead to a number of issues with the foot, knee, hip and lower back. Not only can a lack of glute activation lead to injury, but it can also limit your performance. Here are some exercises to help with glute activation:


1. Prone Leg Lifts

Prone leg lift

a) Lay flat on your stomach with your forehead resting on your hands.

b) Squeeze your glutes first, then lift one leg at a time.

c) Only lift your leg as high as you can without letting your hips rotate up.

d) Do 3 sets of 10 on each leg.


2. Glute Bridges

Glute Bridges

a) Lay flat on your back, bend your knees and keep your heels on the ground.

b) Engage your core, squeeze your glutes and then lift your hips up towards the ceiling. Make sure your hips stay even and then come back down.

d) Do 3 sets of 15.


3. Band Side Walks

Band Side Walks

a) In standing with knees slightly bent, put a resistance band around your lower legs above the ankles.

b) Walk side to side, keeping an upright stance with your core engaged.

c) Do 3 sets of 20 each way.


If you would like to learn more, please come and see me, Certified Athletic Therapist at The Urban Athlete.

Jessica Patterson, M.A., CAT(C)

Glutathione – The Great Protector

August 6th, 2014

What if we could each have our own personal body guard protecting us from unwanted chronic illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, cataracts, dementia, diabetes and more?  Even better,  this personal body guard could also help slow down, even reverse the physical process of aging?

The good news is, each cell in our body has this ‘protector’ already.  It is a key player in the body’s antioxidant network, in fact, it is often referred to as the ‘Master Antioxidant’:  Glutathione.

Glutathione is a combination of the three amino acids:  Cysteine, Glutamate and Glycine.  It’s role is to protect our cellular components from damage by free radicals.  It helps support cellular function & integrity.
Free radicals are naturally produced as a result of metabolic processes in the body, and generally, our bodies are able to keep these in check by using its defense of antioxidants (vitamins, minerals and ‘thiols’ (glutathione & NAC for example) to neutralize them.

However,  as we age, our production of glutathione decreases.  Add to that our exposure to environmental toxins, consumption of processed foods, certain medications, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, smoking, sedentary lifestyle etc… and we set ourselves up for an onslaught of these destructive free radicals.

There are several chronic diseases that are correlated with deficient levels of glutathione.  Conditions such as muscle weakness , fatigue, heart disease, cancer, parkinson’s and dementia are a few that can be prevented or treated by supporting the body’s glutathione levels.
Producing and maintaining a high level of glutathione is key to preventing disease.  So, how can we help our bodies make and keep this great protector?

1 – Supplementation:  One of the best ways to increase levels of glutathione is through intravenous (IV) supplementation.  Glutathione delivered through an IV provides this essential antioxidant directly to cells and prevents its degradation in the digestive tract. *Glutathione is not absorbed well orally and should not be taken in capsule form (such supplements are useless).

2 – Exercise:  Incorporating daily activity such as walking, jogging, cycling or other sports for at least 30 minutes a day helps boost glutathione levels which in turn supports detoxification and strengthens the immune system.

3 – Consume fruits and veggies such as broccoli, kale, collards, cauliflower, cabbage, onions, garlic, avocado, squash, spinach and tomatoes.

4 – Use high quality whey protein (cold pressed, organic) is best.

5 – Incorporate Liver supportive herbs in your diet such as Curcumin and Milk thistle to help prevent glutathione depletion in the liver.
These are a few natural remedies to keep you protected with sufficient glutathione.  For more detailed information, or to inquire about IV glutathione treatments at The Urban Athlete, feel free to contact Dr. Vincenza. email:

Dr Gavin Steers Team to World Chamionships

July 3rd, 2014


At the urban athlete, the team prides ourselves on our slogan “athletes treating athletes”.  My athletic background was in the sport of Sprint canoe racing where I was a member of the Canadian national team for 12 years.  My career highlights include competing at 7 world championships and the 1996 Olympic Games.

This experience in canoe has allowed me to take that knowledge to the sport of dragon boat racing, a sport that has many technical parallels as sprint canoe.  Over the last 15 years I have had the pleasure of coaching local teams in Toronto up to the 7 time World champion women’s national team.

I get tremendous pleasure in teaching technical aspects to the paddling stroke and more importantly the mental side of sport.  Training and racing at the highest level is not an easy accomplishment.  The goal in competing is to have your best performance on race day.  Many athletes struggle with this, often leaving their best efforts on the practice field or in training.

This summer I will be coaching a team from Toronto competing at the World championships in Ravenna, Italy in early September.  We have been training very hard for many months in preparation.  We are excited to represent Canada and hope to bring home some hardware.

If you are in pursuit of some athletic goals this summer and feel that you are not able to get the most out of your training and competitions, I can help you with the mental side of sport as well as any neuromuscular complaints you may have.

We look forward to seeing you this summer at the Urban Athlete

Increase Performance Through Pilates

June 4th, 2014

Athletes from all walks of life are discovering that Pilates is an amazing form of exercise to add to their conditioning program.  Pilates exercises focus on correct spinal and pelvic alignment for a basis of movement.  From there, athletes can improve strength, power, and agility through exercises that challenge unilateral movement, rotation and core stability.  By training the deep abdominal muscles along with the muscles closest to the spine, athletes can provide a base of support to become more “pliable” which can help prevent injury.

From weekend warriors to elite professionals, athletes looking for a competitive edge are discovering that Pilates helps you:

  • Hit the ball farther
  • Run faster
  • Jump higher
  • Correct muscle imbalances
  • Prevent injury

Pilates has greatly increased my core strength and my overall flexibility. I’m more agile than I was before and that’s a big deal in my line of work. It has definitely become a crucial part of my training program.” Chris Simms NFL Quarterback

Pilates workouts are an excellent conditioning tool for the NBA. The strength, agility and performance of my players have increased and Pilates has become such an essential part of our workouts that we take a reformer to our away games. I even have a Studio Reformer® for my own home use.Lawrence Frank Head Coach, New Jersey Nets

If you are wondering whether Pilates is right for you, contact Dr. Darlene at

Dr. Darlene Buan-Basit is a chiropractor, acupuncturist, Pilates and yoga instructor who works with athletes of all ages.

She also works with pre and post natal moms, and seniors. She specializes in exercise rehabilitation of chronic conditions such as scoliosis, fibromyalgia, as well as acute conditions like disc herniations.

Dr. Darlene teaches a Therapeutic Pilates class for people needing strengthening on Thursdays 6:30pm at the Urban Athlete.

Pilates Based Rehabilitation – A proven method to bridge the gap between pain and activity.

May 5th, 2014

Can you Exercise While in Pain?

People tend to limit, or eliminate exercise when they are in pain.   However, that does not need to be the case. As a Chiropractor and Pilates instructor, I specialize in training people with pain. I focus on educating when to push past the pain in order to develop strength, and when it is time for rest and for manual therapies.  Using Pilates as part of a rehabilitation program helps to facilitate recovery.

How Does Pilates Help?

Pilates is a form exercise that encompasses a wide variety of specific movements.  This group of exercises focuses on proper alignment, stability and muscular balance. Because of this, Pilates is well suited for people dealing with pain or with acute injuries.  Actually, Pilates has deep roots in rehabilitation.  The creator of Pilates, Joseph Pilates, developed his exercises while rehabilitating dancers.  The Pilates equipment was designed for rehabilitation.  They allow people to go through full ranges of motion even if their injury makes them unable to withstand gravity.

Is it for You?

At the Urban Athlete, Pilates instructors work closely with client’s chiropractors and physiotherapists in order to facilitate their recovery, and refer for medical management such as surgery. People who benefit most from combined treatment/rehabilitation include those with disc herniations, scoliosis, fibromyalgia, arthritis, as well as acute injuries. By examining and treating individual’s pain first (using adjustments, acupuncture, Active Release Technique and physical modalities like laser) people can exercise safely with more confidence and less pain.

Modern Day Pilates Research

The science behind Pilates exercises are demonstrating how Pilates work. In a recent Randomized Control Trial, the individuals in the specific-exercise-training group reported a significant decrease in low back pain (LBP) and disability, which was maintained over a 12-month follow-up period. Treatment was with a modified Pilates-based approach and determined to be more efficacious than the usual care in a population with chronic, unresolved LBP.1


Because Pilates is both rehabilitation and fitness based, it has been the secret of many professional athletes, dancers and seniors who continue to excel in their lives!

NEXT NEWSLETTER…will review the science behind Pilates base conditioning.

Dr. Darlene Buan-Basit is a chiropractor, acupuncturist, pilates and yoga instructor working with athletes of all ages, pre and post natal moms, and seniors. She teaches classes and also provides private pilates training and exercise rehabilitation.


1. Rydeard R, Leger A, Smith D.: Pilates-based therapeutic exercise: effect on subjects with nonspecific chronic low back pain and functional disability: a randomized controlled trial. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2006 Jul;36(7):472-84.

Improved recovery with Compression Garments

April 3rd, 2014

Dr. Shaun Batte

You all have seen them; compression socks, leggings and even arm sleeves.

These “Compression garments” were the focal point of a recent research article published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.  The conclusions are a result from compression garments warn during or after intense exercise.

The Results

The research shows that most people experience:

1) Accelerated recovery of strength and Power during workouts (66% of participants)

2) Reduced amounts of muscle soreness following activity (69% of participants)

3) Reduced Muscle Damage (66% of participants)

Does this Improve Performance?

To date, compression garments have not shown a direct improvement in performance, however indirectly some assumptions can be made.  If someone is experiencing less muscle damage and soreness following a workout coupled with improved recovery times, that person is much more likely to continue an intense training schedule injury free and dodge the associated motivational fluctuations.

How Does This Compression Work?

-       It creates an external pressure gradient, thus reducing the space available for swelling

-       It Enhances blood flow

-       It improves the removal of waste products

-       It reduces damage due to vibration attenuation

-       It improves neural input

-       all the above mentioned lead to a reduced inflammatory response and accelerated restoration

Unfortunately the research is lacking in the following.  We do not yet know which fabric is best, how much compression is most effective, how long one has to wear the garments for optimized results etc.  These are big shortcomings, but given the findings about, I think it is well worth the investment in a pair.

Compression socks come in various sizes, strengths (compression) and colours.  Proper measurement of feet and calves are required to determine what pair is correct for you.  Some extended health insurance programs cover socks that are dispensed by a Chiropractor.

Let me know if you have any questions or feedback.

Dr. Shaun Batte




Hill, J., et al. Compression garments and recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage: a meta- analysis. Br J Sports Med 2013:0:1-7

Valle, X., et al.  Compression garments to prevent delayed onset muscle soreness in soccer players. Muscles, ligaments and tendons journal 2013; 3(4): 295-302

Sperlich, B., et al.  Squeezing the muscles: Compression clothing and muscle metabolism during recovery from high intensity exercise.  PLoS ONE, April 2013, Vol 8 (4)



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