Category - General

1
Take Back Your Health Conference returns to Arlington in November
2
Holistic Moms Network to host Natural Living Conference
3
Inspiration abounds at first National Kids Yoga Conference
4
Resources for Children’s Yoga
5
First Kids Yoga Conference Comes to DC September 27
6
A Hidden Gem: Annmarie Sculpture Garden
7
Healing emotions with Accunect
8
Gearing up for World Breastfeeding Week
9
Hundreds flock to Play-In for Climate Action
10
Climate action play-in during EPA hearings on Clean Power Plan

Take Back Your Health Conference returns to Arlington in November

The local conference phenomenon known as Take Back Your Health is coming back to Arlington on November 1 and 2 before it makes its Los Angeles debut next April. Conference founder and NoVA native Robin Shirley has followed her dream of moving out to Santa Monica but is keeping a foot firmly in the DC health & wellness community.

When I first interviewed Robin back in 2011, I was pretty amazed at how much she’d accomplished at such a young age, just 23 at the time. Creating a widely successful conference just a few years after leaving college to reclaim her own health from Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and chronic Lyme disease — and way younger than I did anything noteworthy — seemed pretty impressive.

And all the conferences have been great. I’ve attended each of the TBYH events and have learned, roughly, a ton. Most I’ve attended on my own, but in April 2012, the hotel was a weekend escape for me and my kids from home renovations. My son got his Ayurvedic pulses read (and my kids got their photo taken – scroll down here for the blue eyes and redheaded mullet of my youngest). My whole family then somehow managed to spend three hours at the TBYH holiday market last December (thank you, iSchool for the Future and Kreative Kids for the crafts!)

The speakers Robin has brought through over the years have been pretty amazing, including Dr. John Douillard of LifeSpa on Ayurveda, Sally Fallon Morrell of the Weston A. Price Foundation on traditional diets, Lisa Wilson from the Raw Food Institute on juicing and Ann Marie Michaels from Village Green Network (and formerly of Cheeseslave blog) on healing from food allergies.

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This November, the tradition continues. For parents in particular, the talks may be life-changing. Dr. Teresa Fuller, a pediatrician who joined the staff of National Integrated Health Associates earlier this year, will be speaking on the topic of “Raising a Brain-Healthy Child” on Saturday morning at 10:00.

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Then, on Sunday morning, two huge names in family-friendly Paleo eating take the stage. Fairfax-based food star Stacy Toth of PaleoParents.com and the Northern Virginia Paleo Parents & Friends Meetup group will talk about “Paleo for Real Life: an Easy 3 Phased Approach for a Lifetime of Health” at 11:00 a.m.  (based on The Paleo Parents’ new book Real Life Paleo) and her podcast partner Dr. Sarah Ballantyne of PaleoMom.com and author of The Paleo Approach will address “The Paleo Approach: Using Diet to Manage Immune & Autoimmune Diseases.”

 

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Click here for the full schedule and topic titles. Children 17 and under may attend for free with a parent, but there is no special space or childcare, so parents are asked to keep them seated and quiet. If they need to move, the exhibit hall should provide a welcome distraction. Tickets are available for the weekend and for each day individually.

I’m running a giveaway for one free conference registration, closing at 12 noon on Wednesday, October 29. To get more entries, sign up for the Mindful Healthy Life email list (for blog posts delivered to your in box and a quarterly seasonal newsletter), like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. You can also gain entries by following TBYH on social media and commenting below.

And for anyone who doesn’t win the giveaway, Mindful Healthy Life readers can use the discount code “mindfulhealthy” for 20% off the conference registration through October 31.

Edited to add our referral code for those who want to attend future editions of Take Back Your Health. Please use http://www.profcs.com/app/?af=1636700 to register, and a portion of your ticket sale will come back to Mindful Healthy Life. Thank you for your support!
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Holistic Moms Network to host Natural Living Conference

Holistic Moms Network is a cool enough group for local and online support for living holistically, but it’s even more fun when you get to meet people in person from different chapters around the country. The non-profit organization is holding its annual Natural Living Conference on Saturday, October 25 in New Jersey at Montclair State University just outside of New York City.

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Okay, it’s not in DC, Maryland or Virginia, but it’s only about four hours away. By car. Last year I got to meet some of the leaders from California chapters. They had to be on a plane for more than four hours!

This year’s event is featuring a keynote with Dr. Laura Markham of Aha! Parenting and a screening of the documentary Unacceptable Levels and a Q&A with the film’s director, Ed BrownUnacceptableLevels

 

Breakout sessions include:

At just $55 for the whole day or $40 for a half, the event is a great deal for all the information it will impart as well as the goodie bag treats and all the other samples you’re likely to find in the exhibit hall.  There, parents can learn about wonderful products — food, skin care, and more – and services like Well Amy. One could really spend the entire day in the exhibit hall (and you can do just that for a reduced rate of $20).

The conference is an adult-focused event where babes in arms are welcome. Children may come into the exhibit hall for a reduced price ticket ($10) but need to pay the full rate if they require a seat in the sessions and workshops. The keynote is in the morning and the film screening and Q&A is in the afternoon. Lunch can be purchased separately.

For more information, see annualconference.holisticmoms.organd register at register.holisticmoms.org/

And if you’re looking to make a trip of it, I’m told there is plenty of fall fun to be had in New Jersey, including pumpkin and apple picking. Budding artists might enjoy the Montclair Art Museum, future naturalists will want to explore Brookdale Park and Verona Park, and animal lovers will get a kick out of Turtle Back ZooTripBuzz has a list of Things to Do With Kids in Montclair, NJ, and the New Jersey Mommy Poppins site also has a list of 15 Fun Things to do in Montclair, NJ along with plenty of additional ideas for exploring the area and for weekend happenings.

So take the family up with you if you have a partner, friend or family member who can treat the kiddos to some New Jersey (or even New York City) adventures while you learn lots of wellness tips to nourish your family and connect with other like-minded parents.

Holistic Moms Network has over 100 chapters around the country. In the DC area, there are HMN chapters in Arlington/Alexandria, Northern Virginia (Fairfax) and Loudoun County. The Burke/Springfield chapter will be relaunched soon. Anyone can start a chapter, too. There’s an awesome leader meeting on Sunday, October 26, the day after the conference, so if you’ve been thinking about starting a chapter, now might be a great time to see what that’s like!

 

Inspiration abounds at first National Kids Yoga Conference

YogaKids DVD was the first television I allowed my son some seven years ago.  Since then, he and his little sister have been to a handful of kids and family yoga classes, and a day of yoga camp. This summer, my daughter had a delightful yoga birthday party at which her older brother showed off his knowledge of poses and Sanskrit phrases. They are not without some yoga knowledge.

But truth be told, though I try to practice daily on my own, yoga has remained something of an extra rather than an integral part of my parenting. It’s always there in the background in theory, but in practice, when I’m working so hard just to stay well by cooking all the time and am also staying involved in volunteer efforts whose higher goal is health and well-being for families, I don’t always ooze groundedness at home. I never have, anywhere. This really is a lifetime journey.

Enter the first National Kids Yoga Conference conference this past weekend! As if it weren’t inspiring enough just to interview the organizers, I emerged from the conference in awe of the many benefits of yoga for children and bowled over by the numerous strategies out there to make yoga accessible to young ones. It was truly transformative. I hope and believe that my parenting – my life – will never be the same.

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Resources for Children’s Yoga

At the first National Kids Yoga Conference on September 27, we learned about many wonderful recording artists, authors and others providing support for yoga with children and providing training.

Check out this list of Resources for Children’s Yoga taken from the conference exhibitors, sponsors and speakers and organizations mentioned by speakers and exhibitors.

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First Kids Yoga Conference Comes to DC September 27

The organizers of the first National Kids Yoga Conference are moms who putting their mindfulness skills in practice with every step of planning toward the Saturday, September 27 event at George Washington University’s School of Public Health.

I’ve long admired the work and commitment of lil omm yoga studio owner Pleasance Silicki and Michelle Kelsey Mitchell, co-founder of the Alexandria-based non-profit organization YoKid. When I spoke with them about how they’ve managed to pull off such a huge endeavor, I got even more inspired.

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A Hidden Gem: Annmarie Sculpture Garden

Even with school already here for those in much of Maryland and DC or just around the corner for many Northern Virginians, the late summer weather is crying out for day trips. Once older children get back into the swing of school, their need for imaginative play grows even bigger.

Before soccer and fall festivals get into full swing, there’s a place I’m dying to take my kids. Alexandria mom of two Pallavi Raviprakash told me about Annmarie Sculpture Garden in Maryland, whose 5th annual Fairies in the Garden outdoor exhibit closes on September 1. I can’t wait for my children to pretend up a storm there! Thanks to Pallavi for this lovely guest post!

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Healing emotions with Accunect

The first time I learned about Accunect, one of the healing modalities that Centreville mother of four Laura Freix uses in her practice, was at the Everyday Health & Wellness Conference this past February. Laura made what seemed like some funny motions around my head, and I tell you, I felt calmer right away and tremendous through the day and beyond!

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Just last week, my children’s doctor told me Accunect would be helpful for me to learn for my children to help them ground and calm.

Two great opportunities are coming up to learn about Accunect. On Thursday, August 21, Laura will be part of a panel at the August evening meeting of the Arlington/Alexandria chapter of Holistic Moms Network on the topic of “Supporting Children’s Emotional Health.”

The following Sunday, August 24, Laura will be teaching a self-care workshop in Centreville, Virginia, 11:30-3:30 p.m.

I asked Laura to explain a little bit more about her work, and here’s what she had to share:

“Accunect is a wonderful healing modality that is based on ancient Chinese medicine and modern neuroscience.  The beauty lies in its simplicity.  In essence, the Accunect system leverages the body’s ability to heal itself by restoring balance.  Unlike most energy healing modalities, which are purely intuitive, the Accunect practitioner uses muscle-checking and a Health Map to guide their intuition, which is a more powerful way to refine intuition.  By looking for areas in the body/mind that are ready to shift for better balance, the balances are generally powerful and long lasting.  Simple tapping is then used to create the shift.  Accunect is great for individuals, families and even pets!

Imagine the following real-life scenarios.  What would you do…

  • if your child was in a state of overwhelm?
  • if you sliced your finger almost to the bone?
  • if something popped in your shoulder as you grabbed your suitcase on your way to the airport and you can’t move your arm more than about five degrees before a knife-like pain radiates down your tendon?
  • if your child came home from practice with a goose egg the size of a tennis ball on her forehead and is leaving for camp the next morning?
  • if you have your first-ever colonoscopy scheduled and don’t want to use anesthesia?
  • if you are out running and your knee locks up, nearly sending you to the ground?
  • if your father had a minor car accident and went into a state of shock?

In all of the above scenarios above, the tools taught in the Accunect SelfCare workshop were used to address the situation without any additional medical intervention. Although that is not always the case, I hope that you now understand why I believe that Accunect® SelfCare is a tool every family should have in their toolbox.

After taking the SelfCare workshop, one mother reported that she has successfully taught her four young children Accunect® SelfCare, empowering the next generation in their own healthcare.

If you want to take it to the next level and learn the system, Accunect Connect is the foundational course.  In Connect, you will build on the principles taught in the SelfCare workshop and be able to do full Accunect healing sessions.  For me, the gift of Connect is learning to tap into your inner guidance system.  As a math major and former senior math analyst with GE Aerospace, I was definitely not in touch with my intuitive brain. Although you are taught to use this in the context of a session, I have found it to be useful in everyday life.  Listening to your body and trusting your internal guidance system are wonderful skills to model for your children.

The other gift of this work is empowerment.  Everyone leaves the workshop with the ability to do the work immediately; it is that simple.  I was able to teach my 10-year old nephew who began doing sessions on his cat (who had recently had a stroke.)  The founder’s son is now six, and he receives some of his best balances from his son.  Kids are great because they don’t have to “un-learn” anything; it simply becomes part of their world.  One girl of nine reported “I don’t know what you do here, but it is like a massage for the mind.”

I originally wanted to learn this work to support my family, but eventually I decided that this work was just too good not to share. I now have my own home business, and a vision for my life after kids, as all but one have left for college and beyond.

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My son will call from the university and ask for distance sessions when he feels the need.  My daughter has a lot of anxiety and did not like talk-therapy; the psychotherapist recommended medication. With Accunect we are able to address underlying belief systems without her having to verbalize or even consciously know what is bothering her.  Another mom did a session on her teenaged daughter, where the belief “People will like me if I am nice,” came up.  A great heart-to-heart talk ensued about “who was she if she wasn’t ‘nice’?” and the difference between being nice so people like you versus being authentic.  Truly a wonderful tool.

I share in the vision of Future Medicine Today to make Accunect a household name.  I hope you will consider attending one of my upcoming SelfCare workshops.  You will find the current workshop schedule under the SelfCare tab of my website www.iEmbraceWellness.com

For more information you can refer to the following links:

www.FutureMedicineToday.com

www.Accunect.com (relatively new; still under development)

Empower yourself; empower your children.  Learn Accunect!”

 

And whenever you do check out a practitioner or a workshop you heard about here, be sure tell them Mindful Healthy Life sent you!

 

Gearing up for World Breastfeeding Week

With World Breastfeeding Week upon us, there are events aplenty here in the DC area to show your support for breastfeeding, to learn, and to win some great prizes as well!

The Breastfeeding Center of Greater Washington is hosting four events, described in detail at http://breastfeedingcenter.org/support-us/wbw2014/. They include the second annual Breastfival Friday, August 1, 2-6 p.m., The Big Latch-On Saturday at 10:30 a.m. (arrive at 10:00) and a screening of the new film, The Milky Way at 11:00

Be sure to register ahead for Friday’s Breastival Festival, sponsored by Lansinoh. I was amazed at the turnout last year with over 100 mamas enjoying delicious snacks and soaking up the positive vibe of the renovated space, which, since I took my first child there, has dramatically expanded its store, upgraded its downstairs facilities and added another room upstairs, which is now hosting regular yoga classes.

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The action will mostly be in the Center at 2141 K St NW, Washington, DC 20037. There will be food and fun, including baby footprints and handprints. Additionally, the waiting room at Children’s Pediatrics will be used as a toddler playroom, and in nearby Washington Circle Park, participants can enjoy babywearing demos and Q&A with the Center’s babywearing instructore Clare Branson between 3:00 and 5:00, prenatal yoga with Manisha Tare of Falling Leaf 2:30-3:30 and Mommy & Baby yoga with Alleah Clark of Embrace DC.

Raffle tickets are 3 for $5, 10 for $10 and 25 for $20. There are some amazing items including lots of nursing gear and clothing, photography sessions, massages and bodywork, and food. It’s enough to make you want to get pregnant all over again if you’re not already! Check the complete list of raffle items here. The drawing will happen at 5:30.

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All the proceeds from the event will be used to create new free classes including a new support group and additional classes in other areas in the Metro DC area. They Center would like to duplicate the very popular Tuesday class for moms with babies 0-4 months, a class that has saved many a mama (including this one!) and spawned longtime friendships.

The Center was founded in 1997 by lactation consultant Pat Shelley. It moved to its current location in 2003 and expanded in 2012. Parking in the building garage is likely to fill, so, if you don’t take Metro or find a metered spot on the street, consider the lot on L Street at 22nd (cash only) or the lot on 21st between K and Pennsylvania.

This is the Center’s first year doing a Latch-On, during which moms will nurse for one minute at precisely 10:30 a.m. in locations around the world and be counted. Register for the event ahead and get your tickets for the 11:00 screening of new documentary The Milky Way at the nearby West End Cinemas. (If you miss the film this time, there’s another screening in Alexandria the evening of August 14).

On Tuesday, August 5, head over (after the conclusion of 1:00 support group if you want to walk en masse) to a celebration 1:30-3:30 at the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization and enjoy snacks and swag!

If you’re across the river in Virginia and further south, the second annual Big Latch-On in Woodbridge will also be on Saturday, August 2 at 10:30 (arrive at 10:00). The event is being organized by Anna Burmeister Rademaker, founder of Little Green Cabbages, a support community for “greenish” parents in Woodbridge. A lactation consultant and childbirth educator, Anna is passionate about sharing information, empowering parents, and spreading the word about breastfeeding.

There are several great vendors lined up for this event, taking place at Lake Ridge Park Marina, including The Farm Table, Whim Pops natural popsicles, BirthCare and Women’s Health, and more. Proceeds from the vendor tables will benefit ACTS Emergency Shelter, and proceeds from raffle tickets will go to Gar-Field High School for its program that allows teen moms to complete their education with the help of an on-site nursery.

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Preceding the official Latch-On on Saturday will be a “flash mob” Latch On Friday morning at 10:30 (arrive at 10:00) in the Potomac Mills Mall playground (in neighborhood 2, near TJ Maxx). For details on both events, see the event Facebook page and click “See More.”

And if you’re looking for a from-a-distance way to connect with your inner nursing goddess, or if you want a good laugh about other moms trials and tribulations with breastfeeding, enter the Goodreads giveaway for the anthology Have Milk, Will Travel: Adventures in Breastfeeding. I’ve got an essay in the collection about what my nearly three-year-old had to say about my breasts after jogging and another about my first (somewhat thwarted) attempt to for a retreat of just a few hours when he was a baby.

I’m so grateful to the Breastfeeding Center of Greater Washington for helping me get through those early nursing challenges so that I could go on to breastfeed my son for three years (see us illustrating the word “Toddler” on the wonderful “Nursing Our Future” video from Holistic Moms Network) and to then confidently nurse my daughter when she came along a year after that.

Hundreds flock to Play-In for Climate Action

As if the July 9 Play-In for Climate Action on the Hill weren’t enough to inspire an environmentalist parent, Moms Clean Air Force, along with a host of environmental and faith allies, organized another impressive event on July 29 during the EPA hearings on its Clean Power Plan.

Sure, one result may have been for parents like me to get religion on the importance of the plan, but of course the real goal of the July 29 Play-In at Federal Triangle was to show the government how much public support there is for action to clean up the air address climate change.

The Play-In brought out more than 300 people from all around the DC Metro area and many other states besides to call on the government to support limits on power plant emissions. The plan would cut carbon pollution from existing fossil-fuel power plants by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.

At the press conference, the array of speakers addressing problems with human health and the health of sea life and forests was truly impressive and included several VIPs who had just testified or would be testifying later that day. These speakers included Delaware Governor Jack Markell; Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR); Cindy Parker, MD, MPH, Board Member, Physicians for Social Responsibility and Professor, Johns Hopkins University; Senator Ed Markey (D-­MA); Cristóbal J. Alex, President, Latino Victory Project; Mark Magaña, President and Founder, Green Latinos; and Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., President and CEO of the Hip Hop Caucus. The event was emceed enthusiastically by Terra Pascarosa, Virginia field organizer for Moms Clean Air Force.

The closing speaker was New Jersey Moms Clean Air Force field organizer Trisha Sheehan with her 8-year-old son Logan, a duo that would be testifying later that day. Together, they asked, “What do we want?” to which the crowd answered, “Clean air!”

Trisha and Logan Moms Clean Air Force EPA

The bookend performances of the band Emma’s Revolution ignited the crowd at the outset and, after the speeches had concluded, sent everyone off with hope and inspiration. And with a fabulous rendition of “This Land is Your Land!”
Sunny and Erika Trippel with Emma's Revolution EPA ActonClimate rally

It was a morning to feel lucky to get to demonstrate and participate in democracy.

Trisha reports that, later that day, she delivered to the EPA the banner pictured above with another New Jersey family, Nancy Kunz-Merry and her son, Jack, and then she and Logan delivered their testimony.

Trisha Sheehan EPA testimony

Logan had his own ask that he was adamant about adding at the end: “Please help Moms Clean Air Force and bring back clean air.”

To view the hearings, go to http://www.c-span.org/video/?320725-1/epa-public-hearing-clean-power-proposal

For more on the July 29 rally, read my report on TheDCMoms.com.

I was also inspired to reflect on my own role as mother and activist on my personal blog, Crunchy-Chewy Mama, where you’ll find more photos and some of the rally quotes that moved me the most.

Climate action play-in during EPA hearings on Clean Power Plan

The DC Area gets a failing grade on air quality, but air pollution isn’t just unhealthy to breathe; it threatens our children’s future. That’s why Moms Clean Air Force is calling for government action to limit climate change.

On July 9, Moms Clean Air Force held a historic “Play-In for Climate Action” along with 200 moms, dads and kids, in Washington, DC.

It was so much fun, they’re doing it again! This time, the event is taking place while the Environmental Protection Agency will be holding hearings about the proposed Clean Power Plan to cut carbon emissions from power plants. The goal of the action is to make public support for the plan visible. Similar actions are being planned for Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Denver where more hearings are being held.

Moms Clean Air Force Play-In 2014 pinwheel

On Tuesday, July 29, Moms Clean Air Force is holding its second Play-In for Climate Action with many partners, including Virginia Conservation Network, Interfaith Power & Light, League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation, American Lung Association, Clean Water Action, and Environment Virginia.

This outdoor, family-friendly protest and press conference will feature a festival atmosphere. Kids will enjoy playing with an Earth parachute, inflatable globes, pinwheels, sign-making, free ice cream, and more.

Moms Clean Air Force Play-In 2014 parachute

Activities for the July 29 event begin at 10:00 a.m. with the press conference at 10:30 and short rally to follow its conclusion at 11:00 a.m.

The location is Federal Triangle, near the William Jefferson Clinton East Bldg., 1201 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington DC.

Organizers ask that you register ahead of time so they can plan the appropriate number of red shirts (and water bottles!). Register for the Play-In at  http://www.momscleanairforce.org/play-in-climate-action and join the Facebook event .

If you’d like to testify during the public hearings, email ASAP to Terra, tpascarosa@momscleanairforce.org.

Moms Clean Air Force Play-In 2014 attendee

Questions? Want to help out in other ways on the 29th?  Contact Julie at jhantman (at) momscleanairforce (dot) org.

Copyright © 2015 Mindful Healthy Life. Created by MtoM Consulting.

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