Ballard Naturopathic Blog | All posts tagged 'neighborhood'

Stone Turtle HealthNaturopathic Medicine and Massage Therapy for the Whole Family

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Stone Turtle Health Blog

Band of Brothers (and Sisters)

September 29, 2013

I'm a big fan of Kid President. This kid stands for positive change, "being awesome" and "more dance parties". His partnership with local actor Rainn Wilson, of "The Office" and Soul Pancake is a bright light in an often-cynical and sad world I think the message that they are sharing is important. I LOVE dance parties! I want to be awesome!

Last month, I did an awesome thing. Via Twitter, I thanked Anthony Shears, a local recording artist living in L.A., for a beautiful song he had written about domestic violence. He did an awesome thing- he replied. Our dialogue, such as it was, transferred from Twitter to Facebook, to phone & email. We dreamed about what we could do to REALLY make a positive change in the lives of children touched by domestic violence or in difficult home situations. Anthony spent a lot of his childhood at the Ballard Boys & Girls Club. He tells me there were some days where most of his meals came from there. The folks at the Ballard Boys & Girls Club helped keep Anthony, his brother and their friends off the streets by providing them a safe place where they could build healthy relationships and stay out of trouble. Mentors at the Club gave the boys opportunites to play sports and support to succeed in school. Anthony went on to attend Dartmouth and work in L.A. with some legendary recording artists; Norris is an Olympic athlete. They want to give back.

My own work with children spans 20 years, in various areas such as medicine, social work, teaching, and volunteering. I believe that if we support children who need it the most, we benefit ourselves through building a strong community. Another generation will be raised up with the values that we treasure. Values like integrity, honesty, a strong work ethic, creativity, and a sense of community are supported at Boys & Girls Clubs. 

Working with Anthony, Norris, and a team of amazing volunteers, we are designing the first annual "Field of Our Dreams Celebrity Softball Tournament" to benefit the Ballard & Wallingford Boys & Girls Clubs. Money raised will help to re-surface the softball field and provide scholarship funds to the 70% of children that rely on assistance to be a part of the Clubs. Scheduled for May 4 at B.F. Day Playfield, the softball game will have local celebrities and athletes and live performances. This event can't happen without volunteers- let us know if you'd like to help!

Our first step: The upcoming Ballard Boys & Girls Club Auction to begin the fundraising for the field, held October 25th at 5:30 with both silent and live auctions. More information can be found here, as well as tickets ($45, including free childcare and a salmon dinner)

Take a Time Out!

October 13, 2011

Lions, and Tigers and Bears, oh my! It's time for touchdowns, tackles, and tight ends. Whether you're watching your kids play, watching the pros, or playing the weekend warrior playing a pickup game on the front lawn or in the park, fall means football (and soccer) for a lot of people here in Seattle and across the US. Here are a few ways to add some healthy habits to your season!

Stretch! Get all those muscles nice and warm. Stretch your large muscle groups (upper legs- front AND back, calves, biceps & triceps, back muscles and neck muscles) to improve circulation and prevent injuries. Sitting on the couch through a Sunday's-worth of games can take a toll. Get up and move around, grab another glass of water, and keep moving. If you or your kids are on the field, warming up before the game is a MUST to avoid Monday remorse. 

Snack! Healthy snacks, like carrot sticks, orange slices, and peanut butter with crackers are perennial favorites for teams. At home? Add a twist to plain old chips and salsa by making a mix of shredded cabbage, diced tomatoes, onions, garlic and jalapenos to serve alongside. Buy the baked chips this time. Fruit plates, veggie trays with healthy dips like hummus, and chicken skewers instead of ribs and burgers are all great options that are lower in fat and calories. Chili is great, but skip the sour cream and mountains of shredded cheese & bacon bits.*

Drink! Water, that is. The more well-hydrated you are, the less sore you're going to be. Water helps remove waste products from active muscles, making for a more pleasant morning after the big game. Make sure to replace your electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, which are lost when you sweat and can't be replaced by plain water. Healthy options, such as Recharge or Emergen-C are good alternatives to Gatorade and other electrolyte replacement drinks that use artificial ingredients.

Let's be realistic. Lots of folks like a beer while they watch the game. If you're going to drink alcohol, make sure you have a designated driver. Alternate each alcoholic drink with a large glass of water to avoid over-consumption (by filling up with water, you'll be less inclined to drink more alcohol to satisfy your thirst mechanism, and a stomach full of water will also help to stop you from eating the whole bag of chips by yourself). Know your limits. No one likes to deal with drunks at public sporting events or bars, so be aware of how much you're drinking. 

Have fun! Parents, remember that your kids are playing sports to have fun! Overcompetitive parents and those who argue with the referees, coaches, or other attendees are no fun for anyone. If you're playing, go with a laid-back approach. You're there to have fun, get some exercise, and spend time with your friends and teammates. Enjoy!

Remember Stone Turtle Health for school sports physicals (only $40 or insurance), therapeutic massage for sports injuries, and prevention.

*(Check back tomorrow for fall recipes that are great for entertaining during or after the game.)

 

Jamie Oliver is my hero

June 7, 2011

"Let thy food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. " This quote from Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine is one of my favorites. The Hippocratic Oath, "First Do No Harm" is commonly used in medical and naturopathic oaths taken by doctors and is the first tenet of naturopathic medicine. Personally, I just love food so much- the tast, the texture, the smell, the sight and sound of cooking and eating freshly prepared meals, the joy of sharing food, drink, and laughter with those closest to me- that it's a natural part of treatment plans that my patients and I create together.

That's why this blog post is a plug for Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. Whether you watch the show on ABC or go to the Jamie Oliver Foundation website to see what the Food Revolution is all about: check it out one way or another. See, Jamie's a chef from the UK who decided he was disgusted by what local kids were getting in their school lunches. He launched a program that changed the way school lunches were made in the UK and now he's come across the pond to help US schoolchildren and their families get educated about what goes into their bodies, how they can make healthier choices, and how they can make changes happen locally and nationally surrounding the food that we grow, process, distribute, and ultimately buy and feed to our families. The TV show is incredibly touching and enlightening in many ways as it shows kids the difference between real vegetables and what they're being served, empowers families to start cooking for themselves, and addresses institutional problems inherent in the school lunch and fast-food systems.

When I was in school, I worked on a project with a grandiose vision: in-school public health clinics (naturopathic, of course) that provided health care, vaccinations, exercise and weight-loss programs, nutrition education, school gardens, worked with the cafeterias on improving school lunch options, and served as hubs for family and community health. Although we would have been the only clinical provider in the city, we met roadblock after roadblock- parents concerned that their children might receive healthcare without their knowledge, shrinking budgets and fewer opportunities (plus stiffer competition) for grants, and other issues. Eventually, the project went on hiatus, but not before our collaborators, who were simultaneously working on a similar project elsewhere offered me a job as the lead physician. Three weeks after graduation, that project folded due to lack of funds. Maybe we were reaching too far, too fast, but a large part of my dream of becoming a naturopathic physician was to work with kids to introduce healthy lifestyle options and prevent many of the chronic illnesses that are epidemic in American culture, like obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, and ADHD. To teach them the joy of healthy, fresh food.

If the thought of what we put in our kids' bodies concerns you at all, if you worry that your child doesn't know what vegetables look like, if you just want to know how, what, or IF anything can be done to stop this downward spiral into poor health at a younger and younger age, please do yourself 2 favors: 1) Don't buy it if you don't know what's in it (tetrasodium phosphate? YUMMY!), and 2) Check out what other people (including some in your community) are doing to make a difference at Jamie Oliver's website. Many hands make light work.

Neighbors Helping Neighbors

March 9, 2011

Today, I had a great day. I got to do something small that I hope will make a big difference for someone in my community.

Back in January, I decided to donate $10 to the Ballard Food Bank for every new patient that month. I met the Food Bank's Executive Director, Nancy McKinney, at a Ballard Chamber of Commerce  After-Hours event last year and have been looking for an opportunity to help her organization as it continues to support members of the Ballard community, including some of my own patients.  I felt like it would be a great way to show my gratitude for my expanding business while helping a worthy community cause at the same time. The Ballard Food Bank distributed over 10.2 million pounds of food in 2010; over 27% of their recipients are elderly and over 14% are children. They do good work.

And they've recently moved. They're now in a beautiful and LARGE space on Leary Way, south of Market Street, in Ballard. The warehouse has been divided into an office/reception area, staff offices, a delivery area and a "shopping" area where clients can pick their food as if they were shopping in a grocery store. Clients are allotted a certain amount of groceries, depending upon the size of their family, and can shop once/week for fresh fruits and veggies, unlimited bread, canned goods, and even flowers (on occasion). This new design allows clients to have more control over the food they are given (instead of just getting a basket that someone else has prepared).

The core volunteers are friendly and helpful and the food bank is always in need of more. Peggy Bailey is the Volunteer Coordinator. She works with groups and individuals who want to help, in order to fill gaps in the schedule and support the core folks who are there on a regular basis. On our visit, we met a volunteer who is there 3 days a week! Now THAT'S dedication to your community!

After a quick tour and some photos, we were on our way back to the office. I'm so glad we got a chance to visit and I look forward to finding more opportunities to help this GREAT organization.

 Times are tight for a lot of folks right now, but if you've got some spare cans, spare time, or a little bit extra in your paycheck that you want to put to good use- please consider the Ballard Food Bank- Neighbors Helping Neighbors.

Food bank with Nancy McKinney.jpg (866.71 kb)