Your browser version is outdated. We recommend that you update your browser to the latest version.

Kneehill Medical Clinic

1520 2nd St NE Three Hills, Alberta

(403) 443-5522 (Phone)

(403) 443-5497 (Fax)

 For after hour emergencies call 911 or proceed to the nearest emergency room.

Health Link Alberta: 811

Three Hills Hospital: (403) 443-2444

What's New  


Click on the link below:
















Would you like the ability to book your medical appointments online, receive appointment reminders  and secure email messages regarding  your results?  If you have a family doctor at KMC this is now possible. 

If you would wish to be part of this program please give our Receptionists your email address.  We will send you an invitation to register for the patient portal.  If you do not receive an invitation please check your junk folder in your email program.  The invitation does expire, so please register when you see the invitation.  Many patients are already enjoying the convenience of this program! 



(Available in Three Hills)

 Further details are in the Health Resources section.



















Specialized Diets

Are you considering a specialized diet?  If you are not careful, these diets can cause more problems than they solve. The following tips will help you safely experiment with food sensitivity diets.   


Note:  It is very important to test for celiac disease before restricting gluten.


Try a healthy diet first.

If your current diet is unhealthy, you should try a healthier diet for at least four weeks, before trying a modified diet. When someone starts a special diet, they usually cut out processed foods and pay attention to what they are eating. If they feel better, it may be the healthier diet.   

Consider incorporating relaxation breaks into your day, before making diet changes.

We live in a stressful society! Constant worry damages the body. Incorporating short relaxation breaks throughout the day can improve health. Try relaxation breaks for at least three weeks, before starting a modified diet. Compared to a new diet or supplement, focusing on relaxation breaks is: free, completely safe, and is good  for overall health (even if it does not eliminate your symptoms).

Modified diets should be trialled individually.

People often ask me for help with a meal plan that incorporates more than one modified diet (for example a low- histamine, dairy-free, low-FODMAP diet). A better approach is trying the diets one-at-a-time, because:  1) there is very little left to eat with combined diets. 2) If you feel better, you won’t know which diet was helpful.

Be systematic.

Typically, people approach modified diets very haphazardly, trying it off-and-on for an unspecified period of time. With this approach, you don’t know if the diet is helping or not. Before starting a modified diet, decide how long the trial period will be and follow the diet strictly for that period.  At the end of the trial, decide if your symptoms have improved and if this improvement has been worth the hassle of the diet. A written action plan can be helpful.

Don’t evaluate the diet until the end of the trial and have realistic expectations.

Your symptoms will likely fluctuate throughout your diet trial. On good days, you may be hopeful that the diet is working, but disappointment on bad days.  It can become an emotional roller coaster. Try not to evaluate the diet until the trial has ended. Additionally, try to be realistic about your expectations. A modified diet may improve your symptoms (or some of them), but it rarely cures all your symptoms. It may be helpful to keep track of your symptoms for a few weeks before the diet and compare them with your symptoms during the diet.  

Consider trialling different variations of an “inconsistent diet”.

Many therapeutic diets are inconsistent, such as the low histamine, low salicylate, etc. In other words, there are several variations on the internet. Most of these diets are based on anecdotal information (personal testimony), rather than research, so it is impossible to say which is the “best diet”.  In this case, pick a variation of the diet and follow it strictly for the specified time period. If the first variation is not helpful, you may wish to try different variation. In most cases, it is best to start with a less restrictive diet.

Reintroduce restricted foods to try and expand your diet.

If you plan to continue the modified diet, consider reintroducing some of the eliminated foods and relax your diet as much as possible. Over time, a restricted diet can lead to malnutrition, food fears and difficulty socializing.

Food and Symptom Journals

A variety of events can trigger symptoms, including: diet, emotions, physical activity, temperature, inhaled substances, etc. Recording a Symptom and Trigger Journal can help you understand more about your personal triggers.

Here’s an example of a Symptom and Trigger Journal.

Date: Monday, Oct 12th                Symptoms: A (heart burn); B (digestive pain)



As needed meds

Food and Drink

How you eat?

Other Events


7 am






Woke up at 7 am

8 am



¼ raw apple, ½ cup plain oatmeal and ¼ cup almond milk

Eating very quickly

Walked to work from 8:30- 9:00 am


9 am


 Tums (1 tablet)





10 am





Client had strong perfume


11 am







12 pm



Salad – ½ cup lettuce, 3 slices cucumber, ½ stalk celery, 1 small whole wheat bun, 1 tsp butter






Portable Healthy Meals and Snacks

Written by: Wendy Busse, MSC, RD.  Wendy is a registered dietitian with the Big Country Primary Care Network. She provides nutrition counselling for patients of the Kneehill Medical Clinic (Three Hills) and two Drumheller clinics (Drumheller Associated Physicians and Riverside Medical Physicians). Call Wendy at 1-855-330-7891 to learn more about nutrition counselling services.

Eating away from home is a challenge. It can be difficult and expensive to find health meals or snacks. Here are some ideas to pack some healthy food! 

Sporks (spoon, fork, knife) are handy!

Day Trips

The following snacks will keep fresh in an insulated lunch kit for about twelve hours (add an ice pack or freeze one of the foods).  

  • Boiled eggs
  • Cheese slices
  • Sandwiches:  most sandwich fillings freeze well (such as nut butter, sliced meat, salmon salad). Vegetable fillings (e.g., lettuce, tomato, etc.) do not. Place the sandwiches in small, sealed bags and remove as much air as possible. Stack several sandwiches in a thick freezer bag (to prevent freezer burn).
  • Hummus: purchase single serving containers or make your own (fill small containers and freeze).
  • Sliced vegetables: vegetable sticks are great to dip with hummus!
  • Smoothies: Keep cool in an insulated stainless-steel water bottle.
  • Yogurt in single serve containers
  • Vegetable and legume (e.g., lentils, chickpeas, black beans) salad.
  • Overnight oatmeal:  – mix oats and your favorite milk (cow, soy, coconut, etc.) in a mason jar. You can also add nuts, seeds, berries, chopped apple, dried fruit, spices (e.g., cinnamon).
  • Hot meal in a thermos: soup works very well.  

Slightly Longer Trips

Here are some suggestions for foods that will be okay for a few days without refrigeration.

  • Nut or seed butter:
  • Spread on whole grain crackers, pancakes, apples, celery sticks, etc.  or from a spoon!
  • Make sure you have something to spread the nut/seed butter.
  • Apple and peanut butter are one of my favorite snacks. If I am on the go and can’t slice the apple, I take a bite out of it and then spread some peanut butter on.
  • fill your small containers or buy single serve packages (e.g.,
  • Here’s a quick recipe for peanut butter balls.


⅔ cups Creamy Peanut Butter

½ cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

1 cup Old Fashioned Oats

½ cups Ground Flax Seeds

2 Tablespoons Honey


Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Place in the refrigerator for 15–30 minutes and then roll into balls. For hot locations, use raisins rather than chocolate chips.

  • Pancakes or muffins: freeze them individually

Long Trips

These foods will stay fresh for a long time! They are helpful on longer trips.   

  • Whole nuts and seeds are the ultimate on-the-go snacks. They are nutritious, and you can stash a bag of them anywhere without squishing them.
  • Spicy Pumpkin seeds:  mix one tsp olive oil, ¼ tsp curry powder (or different spice) and a pinch of salt in a bowl, add ⅔ cup pumpkin and stir to coat, roast at 3000F for about 20 minutes - stirring a few times.
  • Pack the cereal in a bowl with a lid and also bring shelf-stable milk (or another beverage). Here’s an example.
  • Cold cereal
  • Dried fruit: choose ones that are just fruit (without added sugar or sulfites). If you get a lot of cavities, dried fruit is not a good idea, because it sticks between the teeth.   
  • Trail mix:  combine - nuts, seeds, cold cereal, dried fruit, maybe even a few chocolate chips! However, chocolate melts when it gets warm.
  • Whole grain crackers
  • Single-serve canned tuna or salmon:  You could also bring a small package of mayo and relish to mix in (bring a spork).
  • Whole grain or legume chip (e.g., corn chips, black bean chips).
  • Popcorn  
  • Roasted chickpeas:  Mix 1 cup chickpeas, one tablespoon olive oil, ¼ tsp salt and your choice of spice in a bowl. Roast coated chickpeas on a cookie sheet for about 3500C for 20 - 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can also use a dehydrator. 
  • Meat, chicken or fish jerky:  Most commercial products are high in salt and flavorings/ preservatives. If you can’t find a brand that works for you, it’s easy to make your own in a dehydrator or oven.
  • If you frequently travel, consider investing in a dehydrator or freeze dryer to make portable meals and snacks. Your oven can be used to dehydrate foods on its lowest heat setting. However, food may burn, so a dehydrator is easier.




Written by: Wendy Busse, MSC, RD.  Wendy is a registered dietitian with the Big Country Primary Care Network. She provides nutrition counseling for patients of the Kneehill Medical Clinic (Three Hills) and two Drumheller clinics (Drumheller Associated Physicians and Riverside Medical Physicians). Call Wendy at 1-855-330-7891 to learn more about nutrition counseling services.


The most enjoyable aspect of my work as a registered dietitian has been helping people find strategies to improve emotional eating.  Tackling the cause of unhealthy eating patterns leads to long-term, meaningful changes.


Most people, especially women, eat for emotional reasons. There is no quick fix. It takes years to develop, and it will take time to improve. You don’t have to face this alone! Professional support is available (details at the end of the article). The best strategies depend on what the triggers for emotional eating are.


Common Triggers

Potential Strategies

Deprivation: A common emotional eating cycle is: Deprive - Overeat - Repent - Repeat. Here’s a typical pattern. You get up in the morning determined to “be good” and eat very little. By late afternoon or early evening, you feel hungry and deprived. Your willpower breaks down, and you overeat - leading to anger and self-criticism. You vow to “be better” and deprive yourself the next day. This is the typical “24-hours cycle”, but it can also occur over a longer period. For example, you follow a diet and lose weight, but the deprivation eventually leads to overeating. You feel terrible that you’ve blown your diet, so you look for another diet to follow.


Nourish your body and spirit (remove Deprive from the cycle): Hunger and deprivation create a powerful urge to eat. It is important to eat regular meals that nourish your body and spirit. When you overeat, try not to deprive yourself to compensate. Try (with self-compassion) to accept the overeating as a set-back and carry on. With time and patience, you will see food as a source of nourishment and pleasure - rather than the enemy. Planning and preparing meals ahead (e.g., freezing meals) can help, because you always have a nourishing meal on hand. A registered dietitian can help with meal planning.

Let go of searching for the miracle diet:  Typically, people that suffer from emotional eating go from one diet to the next.  Should I reduce carbs or fat?  Will sweet potato burn belly fat? A new diet provides a temporary feeling of excitement and hope. Unfortunately, the weight comes back (and more) – which is hard on the body and emotional well-being. Focusing on “what should I eat,” keeps you locked in the emotional eating cycle and prevents you from addressing the underlying issues.  


Black and white thinking: Black and white thinking drives the Deprive - Overeat - Repent - Repeat cycle. “I ate those cookies, and I’ve blown my diet, so I might as well eat the ice cream, too.” Does this sound familiar? Black and white thinkers tend to be either “good (on a diet)” or “bad (off the diet).”  There isn’t a middle ground. Stress increases black and white thinking. 


Question your thoughts: Be aware of what you are telling yourself and try to step back and look at your thoughts objectively. Are your thoughts really true? If you ate some cookies, does that really mean you have blown your diet?


Additionally, too much internet research can increase black and white thinking about eating. Internet articles about nutrition are often very rigid and strict – giving exact, unbending rules about what to eat and not eat.

Self- criticism. Self-criticism is the “repent” part of the cycle and is fueled by black and white thinking. What does your “voice in the head” say to you when you overeat?


Self -compassion: This is the most important step!  Without self-compassion, it is impossible to make progress. Many clients say they will be kind to themselves, once they lose weight, but self-compassion needs to come first.

Rethink your goals. When I ask clients that suffer from emotional eating about their goals, it is usually weight loss. If we dig a little further, their ultimate goal is to feel better about themselves and live with a sense of peace. They see weight loss as an absolute necessity to get to this place. The media and marketers want us to believe that the only way to feel good, is to look a certain way. The people in the ads look so confident and happy. If we knew them on a personal level (the un-photoshopped version of themselves), we would learn a different story. When clients focus on feeling good, rather than just weight loss, they are much more successful.

Overwhelming emotions: Anger, sadness, loneliness are all difficult emotions to experience. Eating can numb those feelings and is a very common coping mechanism - similar to any addiction. Eventually, eating can be an automatic response to these feelings.  Overeating can also be a form of self-punishment.


Recognize unpleasant emotions when they first start and choose a different coping mechanism (or let the feelings be!): Other ways to cope include: a walk, talking to a friend, etc. Another approach is to let the feelings surface without trying to numb them. This is challenging, so support from a mental health professional would be helpful.



People sometimes feel ashamed about emotional eating and do not seek help. However, it is very common, and there are strategies that will help.  Professionals in your community are available to help, including your family doctor, mental health professionals, and registered dietitians (Wendy’s contact information is at the start of this article). The Alberta Healthy Living Program offers a free group class on emotional eating (call 1-877-314-6997).  





Wendy Busse is a registered dietitian with the Big Country Primary Care Network. She provides services to patients of the Kneehill Medical Clinic in Three Hills and Drumheller Associated Physicians and Riverside Medical Physicians in Drumheller.

Meal planning is a game changer. Healthy eating is easier when you plan ahead. Save time, money and reduce stress. The hard part is getting started, but after that, you’ll wonder how you lived without it.

Imagine having a variety of tasty, healthy meals in your freezer. How much money would you save not having to rely on restaurant or convenience foods? Not to mention the health benefits. Most meals freeze well - chili, spaghetti sauce, burritos, casseroles – just to name a few.

Are you tired of following the latest diet plan, only to regain the weight? New diets or weight loss plans are exciting at first, but they are difficult to maintain. When the excitement waivers, most people go back to their old habits. Realistic changes, over the long term, is a much better approach. 
Additionally, drastic dietary changes are hard on the body and mind. We function better with a fairly consistent intake from day-to-day.

Most people are very hard on themselves! Change is difficult. Expect set-backs along the way. The key to success is being curious about why a goal was difficult and trying another approach.

CHOOSE LESS PROCESSED FOOD (but don’t go overboard)
There is a lot of conflicting information on the internet about what to eat. One thing that most people would agree on is a less processed diet. In our busy world, most people don’t think they have time to cook. However, simple recipes can take less time than picking up fast food. The first step is to make a list of simple recipes and the ingredients you need to have on hand. The first two tips - meal planning and freezing meals – are a big help!
However, it can be easy to go a little too far. Striving to have every meal home-made, organic or “clean,” is not practical or necessary. Nutrition is part of an entire wellness package. If meal preparation is an unrealistic financial or time burden, it is not healthy.

For most people eating a typical Western Diet, having more raw vegetables is the most important diet change they can make. In addition to the nutrition bonanza from the vegetables, you naturally decrease other food. Focusing on including more vegetables is a more positive mindset than focusing on restricting other foods. Sometimes it takes a little creativity, like spiralizing to make vegetables more interesting.

The internet is a blessing and a curse. Anyone can publish their nutrition theory and make it sound like the latest scientific breakthrough. Celebrity endorsements and marketing (not science and common sense) determine the theory’s success. Don’t get caught up in every new theory that comes along.

Most of us eat, without really thinking about it. Mindless nibbling adds up to a lot of calories by the end of the day. Mindful eating helps you pay attention to what you are putting in your mouth so you can reduce impulsive choices an enjoy your meals. A common technique is to pause and investigate your level of hunger before eating. As simple as this sounds, putting it into practice is challenging.


Meals have traditionally been a time for families and communities to come together. As much as possible, share meals with family and friends.

Do any of these tips resonate with you? Are you a patient at the Kneehill Medical Clinic in Three Hills or Drumheller Associates/Riverside Medical Clinics in Drumheller? If you are interested in working with Wendy for long-term nutrition success, please call her at 1-855–330–7891. You don’t need a doctor’s referral, and Big Country Primary Care Network provides the service, so there are no charges.