In conjunction with our recent post about gardening events this coming winter, we here at Mindful Healthy Life want you to think not just about the garden you will build in the sunshine in 2016 but about your inner garden within!
For more on MOM’s, please see
- our photoblog from the new Arlington store
- our blog post previewing the November 13-15 Arlington opening with insights from the founder, Scott Nash.
- our photoblog of the Woodbridge store opening in September 2015
Giveaway runs through midnight 11/19 (through the day of Wednesday, November 18). Read More
If you enjoyed the Mindful Healthy Life interview with Weston A. Price Foundation president Sally Fallon Morell, you’re in luck: we’re offering a giveaway perfect for those beginning their traditional nutrition journeys.
Why should you sign with your baby or toddler? Research shows that babies who learn signs have larger vocabularies and higher IQs. Those are great reasons alone, but why should busy parents take time out of their schedule to learn signs? This guest post by Kelli Atangan of Little Hands Speech Therapy in Ashburn, Virginia explains why signing with your young child can make parenting easier. Read More
Long before launching the new Nourish Schools Super Food Cards this past October, Katherine Sumner has been an inspiration on the Real Food front. While a parent at George Mason Elementary School in Alexandria, she organized Farm to School events that inspire me today, now that I have two kids in elementary school. We met seven ago during a cooking class after which Katherine went on to complete her holistic health coach training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) in New York and then to co-found Nourish Schools.
Katherine and Nourish Schools co-founder Casey Seidenberg (whose great nutrition articles you’ve probably seen in the Washington Post’s Local Living section) are both moms. Katherine has two boys who have adjusted well to life in Colorado, and Casey has remained local with her two sons and daughter. After a few years of helping schools assess and improve their health/wellness scorecards, the two decided that the time had come for them to create the product their clients needed to help them be successful at implementing wellness protocols.
Katherine said, “Over the years when I would do either cooking classes or we’d do talks, we just kept hearing people say there was so much information out there. The people we were working with, this was so new to them; they hadn’t heard about soaking grains. They just felt overwhelmed. So we started putting together these cheat sheets, and one of our clients said to us ‘you need to get these out there.’ We realized there was a need for a resource that was both user-friendly and sustainable.”
And thus were born Super Food Cards.
For this first set of cards, Katherine and Casey decided to focus on basic categories of nutrition – Greens, Vegetables, Fruits, Nuts & Seeds, Beans, Whole Grains, Protein, and Stocks (broths) – and to keep the product to a card with a front and back. The cards are geared toward wide audiences; they can be used by people new to nutrition and as cheat sheets for those who already soak their grains and beans.
The cards are folded so that they have four sides, each 7.5 x 10″. Each card includes how-to (prepare, store, etc). information as well as explanation of why you’d want to eat each food and quick tips for integrating them into your diet. On the back of the Greens chart, for example is a chart describing which stems to eat (or not), which are good in a smoothie, and which to eat raw. Read More
Different diets work for different people, but there is certainly a growing interest in grain-free eating these days, especially for issues related to inflammation and autoimmune conditions. I remember thinking that a cookbook for gluten-free kids sounded like a great idea when I first saw something about Eat Like a Dinosaur shortly after it was released in 2012. Since then, authors Stacy Toth and Matt McCarry, the Northern Virginia-based couple behind PaleoParents.com, have become rock stars in the health and wellness community and the Paleo world. Their personal story of transformation is incredibly inspiring.
Eat Like a Dinosaur is a cheery delight with a story about kids who feel better when they change their diet, family-friendly recipes, and everything you need to get started on a life without gluten.
Beyond Bacon shows just how much diversity there is to be found in cooking with pastured pigs. The photography is beautiful, and in addition to the amazing recipes, it really lays out a vision for sustainable farming and eating.
I am humbled to note that in the time it has taken me to execute on this Mindful Healthy Life concept I had when Beyond Bacon was released in the summer of 2013, Stacy — a mom of three with a full-time job — has done a bunch of speaking (including to the Arlington/Alexandria Holistic Moms chapter in December 2013) and won the title of NOVA’s Strongest Woman, and she and her husband Matt McCarry have penned a third book, Real Life Paleo.
I can’t wait to get my hands on Real Life Paleo on Sunday at the Take Back Your Health Conference and will do a giveaway on the new book at some point down the line, probably with a recap of the conference talk. But for now, I wouldn’t want to stop you from ordering your own copy or buying one in person! Every writer knows how important early sales are. So the winner of the giveaway can get started with the first two Paleo Parents books, Eat Like a Dinosaur and Beyond Bacon.
Meet Stacy this weekend at the TBYH conference. Sunday morning, November 2, Dr. Sarah Ballantyne of ThePaleoMom.com (author of The Paleo Approach) speaks at 9:00 about using diet to manage immune and autoimmune diseases, Stacy Toth speaks at 11:00 about a three-phased approach to going Paleo, and there’s a panel at 12 noon with both women and two doctors (click here for the full schedule).
If that’s not enough for you, check out the Real Life Paleo book release event on November 4 at the Barnes & Noble in Bethesda. We have to be out of town and would love to hear how the Election Day event goes!
Stacy and Matt write in their newsletter of the November 4 event that they will be signing books and giving out door prize packs valued at over $300 each featuring some of their favorite vendors: Pure Indian Ghee, Paleo Treats, Exo Protein Bars, and treats made by Out of the Box Bakery from the book. Let them know you’re coming by RSVPing to Eventbrite at bit.ly/RLPreleaseparty or to via Meetup at the Paleo Parents & Friends group. More info on the whole U.S. book tour for Real Life Paleo is at http://TVPBookTour.bit.ly/
Also through the Paleo Friends Meetup group is Stacy and Matt’s annual costumed no-candy Halloween party on November 1, which this year features Sarah Ballantyne as special guest at the Toth/McCarry Northern Virginia home. If you are not nearly-concurrently on a soccer field, at a birthday party or at a housewarming like me on Saturday, get yourself into the group to RSVP for this not-to-be-missed event.
We’ll run this giveaway of the Paleo Parents’ first two books for a full week, concluding on Friday, November 8.
Bring up the topic of “screen time” at the playground or sports practice, and chances are you’ll catch some parents rolling their eyes, either because 1) they can’t stand screen time in principle or because of how it makes their kids behave and/or 2) give in to it out of habit or perceived necessity, or 3) think that limits on it are overrated and are sick of hearing they need to change fix something in their homes that isn’t broken.
Wherever you stand on the issue at this particular moment in time, it’s worth noting that last week was
Screen-Free Week. For suggestions on going screen-free, see the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.
We’d love to hear in the comments and on Facebook if you participated – and how.
Emily’s post is adapted from a radio show that can be found at www.The-American-Family.com.
My recurring segment on The American Family is entitled Mindful Parenting . I recently took on the video game debate and made some suggestions for how video games can reasonably be integrated into a family routine.
In my household, video games are the coveted reward, the one thing my two older sons can agree on for “down time” after a week of busy school schedules, sports, and chores.
Many parents struggle with how to allow – or even if to allow – video games for their children. When we hear about kids playing for hours on end, sitting in front of the screen, it scares many parents into feeling like there’s no room for opening that Pandora’s box they may never be able to close. Also, some of us treat games on iPads as if they’re not video games. Let me be clear that when I refer to video games here, I’m talking about all electronic games. Even the ones on your phone.
Here are some guidelines to use for allowing video games, if you can believe that they don’t have to poison your child. These are my opinions, based on my experience in raising 4 boys, two of whom are now 14 and 7. (The other two are under the age of 3).
- Check out the games yourself. Do a Google search. You will find detailed information and plenty of opinions on how old someone should be to play it (besides the rating on the box). Common Sense Media is a great go-to for parents regarding anything media-related.
- Allow yourself to enjoy playing. Yes, I said it. YOU can play. Just accept that you may be terrible. Your kids will delight in your mistakes, which can humanize you in their eyes.
- Let your kids be the experts. Sit back and watch when you can, asking questions to figure out what’s going on (you may or may not have a clue once they’re finished telling you). But at least you noticed and cared.
- Be open to learning something about your child. Watching how they play can give you a new perspective on strengths that your kids possess, which you can reference the next time they need help figuring out something like a math problem.
- Video games require patience, problem-solving, persistence, creativity, quick thinking, cooperation, teamwork, and hand-eye coordination. Help your kids get the most out of the skill-building elements.
- Limit the time for playing. Kids don’t need to play for hours on end. The warning on the box of one of my seven-year-old’s games says take a break every 30 minutes or 20 minutes if playing in 3D mode. I like to use a general rule that even on the weekends for my 14-year-old, two hours is the max. I may let him go back to it later if he’s had a really productive day and deserves a bonus of some kind. My 7-year-old can play for an hour at the most. I don’t recommend allowing video games on the weekdays.
- With kids under age 10, be sure they have plenty of non-electronic playing time. Kids need to explore and experience the real world. I’ve worked at schools where I’ve noticed that kids who played video games often and excessively had a hard time with patience. They demand instant gratification. They constantly needed stimulation and attention. This is not conditioning you want for your child and it will possibly lead to a needy, annoying personality.
- Use the games to help reinforce fantasy vs. reality. Make sure the children grasp that if they try to jump from one building to another in real life, they’d most surely be in the hospital in a lot of pain. Don’t take all the fun out of it, but do check in periodically to make sure they get the idea.
- Be clear on which games they can play, and stick to it. Pay attention to when they may be ready for a game that’s more advanced, and this will help them to respect your guidelines, even if at a friend’s house.
- Finally, be intentional with building character with your kids. You need to be able to trust that they know right from wrong in most situations, and you are the one who has to teach them. Use their media exposure and real life examples to build on their understanding of how to treat people. When you do that, you can feel more secure in knowing that they will keep things separated and make safe decisions (like not trying to act out a violent video game inappropriately).
So, to wrap it up, use your reasonable judgment and trust your kids. You may be pleasantly surprised by how you enjoy that time with your kids, as well as enjoying the game yourself!
Emily Griffin is a native Washingtonian, wife, and mother of four biracial sons in a blended family. She is the founder of Happy Parents, Happy Babies, LLC, which is her private practice devoted to in-home parent counseling, coaching, and support in the DC area.
Emily is offering a free 50-minute consultation to one lucky winner. Consultation will be held at a meeting location within 10 miles of Takoma Park (zip code 20912).
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Contact Emily at emilygriffinlicsw (at) gmail (dot) com for a free 20-minute phone consultation or learn more at www.happyparentshappybabies.com.
Follow Emily on Twitter at @HappyP_HappyB
For lots of us, Mother’s Day brings more than a bouquet of organic roses; it brings up a lot of emotion about our role as daughter, mother, partner and more. Other than Scary Mommy.com‘s hilarious take on what mothers really want, most of the emails I saw about the day from blogs and businesses were beyond cheery. If I watched commercial TV, I expect I might have been overwhelmed by images of silk and sweets. The richness and complexity of this day often isn’t given adequate space. Read More
What better way to celebrate Earth Day than with books and music make it easy – and fun – to be green!
For the initial launch of Mindful Healthy Life of Metro DC, we’re giving away a few homegrown gems: a copy of the wonderful CD Earth Day Everyday from Solar Publishing, a great company based in Maryland, and a copy of the wonderful children’s book “The Bicycle Fence,” the first in the series “Recycling Creatively with L.T.” by D.C.-based landscaper Tom Noll.
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I first met Robyn Ringgold of Solar Publishing at the 2007 DC Green Festival (which returns to town this spring, May 31-June 1, 2014) and have loved her books ever since. Back then, I bought and instantly loved My Mom Hugs Trees, and when I saw her read from My Mom Eats Tofu in 2010, I fell in love with the book’s message of caring about where your food comes from (whether you eat soy or not!). Robyn is a local treasure! I caught up with her last month at the second annual Grow Your Health Festival and was excited to get another copy of the fabulous CD our family loves.
Robyn’s newest book, My Mom Stands on Her Head is a beautiful celebration of yoga, with the same delightful artwork by Alexandria artist Vidya Vasudevan. I picked that one up at the 2013 Green Festival where I met Tom at a shared table and learned of his new book series that aims to share fun ways to get kids excited about recycling. When I ran into Tom again earlier this month at the School Environmental Action Showcase sponsored by NoVA Outside earlier, he donated copies of The Bicycle Fence for this giveaway and showed me proofs of the next book – about farm fresh eggs – due out in May. We’ll sit down with Tom for a Q&A and do a giveaway about that when it becomes available, and we’ll also be hearing from Robyn and Vidya in guest posts the near future about their work and how they balance it with parenting.
This is what we’re about here at Mindful Healthy Life of Metro DC: sharing news about events and opportunities for involvement; showcasing local businesses, organizations and practitioners who are committed to health and well-being; connecting readers with great local resources that support healthy families, and giving a space for parents to share their own journeys, including the bumps along the way. After years of wishing a site like this existed to help me in my parenting journey, I’m excited to launch it to share news on local parenting topics and ways to live naturally as a family. The blog will include profiles of local businesses and organizations and guest posts by people who have made it their passion – and sometimes their profession – to be healthy and mindful in their own families and to help parents find a holistic way of living that feels vibrant and sustainable. We hope you enjoy what you learn here and that you will consider sharing your own story (link to submission guidelines) with us. And be sure to add events to our calendar and businesses and groups to our directory.