Thursday, March 26, 2015

Screen Time in April

How are children affected by what they watch and how they interact with screens? Local mom Lisa Guernsey, author of Screen Time: How Electronic Media – from Baby Videos to Electronic Software – Affects Your Young Child, will address the question of “Raising Children in a BooksPlus World.”  This event is co-sponsored by the Arlington/Alexandria chapter of the Holistic Moms Network and Arlington Unitarian Cooperative Preschool

What:                  Raising Children in a BooksPlus World with Lisa Guernsey
When:                  Thursday, April 16, 7:00-9:00 pm
Where:                Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington (UUCA)
4444 Arlington Blvd., Arlington, VA 22204

The event is FREE and open to the public.  Space is limited to 100 people. 
Please reserve a spot on Eventbrite:

Doors open at 7pm, introductions begin at 7:15 and the presentation will start promptly at 7:30pm.  UUCA is located on the southwest corner of Route 50 and S. George Mason Drive.  The nearest Metro stop is Ballston on the orange line; a 15-20 minute walk.  If you are running late, please note that the parking lot gets increasingly full toward 7:30 when other meetings start in the church.  Overflow parking is on S. George Mason Drive.  Holistic Moms Network and Arlington Unitarian Cooperative Preschool have no affiliation to any church. 

Due to the size of the group expected and the subject matter of this presentation, we encourage parents to leave children at home if possible. If children must attend, please provide quiet activities to sustain their attention throughout the talk.  If children are disruptive, we may ask parents to remove them until they can quiet down. Childcare may also be available.  If interested, please contact membershiphmnarlalex (at) gmail (dot) com by Monday, April 13.

Sad news

One of our former members and speakers, Marybeth Walsh of My Whole Self holistic health coaching, died on March 20 with a recurrence of leukemia. She will be dearly missed.

Chapter founder Jessica Haney shares more information on her blog here.

Please keep Marybeth's family in your thoughts.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Family Biking 101 in March

Just in time for spring cycling, had a great Family Biking panel where we learned about
  • cycling safety and gear
  • family-friendly routes 
  • strategies for supporting beginning riders
  • local shops and organizations that support cycling
Our panel included Gillian Burgess of Kidical Mass Arlington, Erin Potter from Bike Arlington, and Dan Redmond, WABA instructor.

We also had a little help from a second-grader who did some great demos for us and seemed to learn a lot in the process!

Thanks to everyone who participated in this great meeting!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Join HMN at Grow Your Health

For the third year in a row, Holistic Moms will have a table at the Grow Your Health Gardening, Food & Wellness Festival.

Please come out and see us and take the opportunity to learn about gardening with kids, sample farm-fresh fare, and watch the film GMO OMG. See the full schedule here and the list of classes here.

Tickets are $10 ahead or $15 at the door. HMN volunteers can get in free, so let us know if you want a shift! Initial inquiries made to HolisticMomsArlAlex (at) gmail (dot) com will be passed on to the table organizer.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Everyday toxins: what are they and what to do about them

Thanks to everyone who came out on a record cold night for our "Everyday Toxins" meeting with Josie Nelson of Integrative Health Strategies and The Documenting Hope Project and Julie Hantman, DC field organizer for Moms Clean Air Force presenting on "Everyday Toxins."

Josie talked about bioindividuality and that everyone has a different tipping point. She discussed some causes of toxins that we come into regular contact with and some tests that might help us determine what is going on in our bodies to help us best address our particular issues. Without knowing how well our liver and kidneys are functioning, it's unwise to embark on any significant detox protocol without supervision by a healthcare practitioner.

Stress itself can lower the immune response, cause gastrointestinal problems, increase blood pressure, and more. When we think about unburdening our toxic load, we also need to look at how we are handling stress. The message was about making the body resilient. Figure out the areas where you are compromised and think about strengthening your system accordingly.

One easy way to test ourselves at home is to check your first-urine pH to determine if you are alkaline, or if you are acidic, which means you're leaching your minerals.

One recommendation was to consider our exposure to electro-magnetic fields (EMFs) and to consult the resources of the Center for Safer Wireless

Other recommendations included:
  • Be mindful of choices of cleaning products
  • Get ductwork cleaned
  • Consult the Environmental Working Group (EWG) for the most important foods to eat organic
  • Try for 80/20 really good food to less-good food
  • Get enough sleep
  • Stay hydrated
  • Monitor bowel habits - see the Bristol chart if you don't know what poop should look like!
  • Get enough exercise for lymph motility
  • Practice stress reduction techniques

Julie, who had earlier that day spoken at the Moms Clean Air Force Virginia Mama Summit in Richmond, spoke about asthma rates and the current push toencourage the Environmental Protection Agency to lower the limit of allowable ground-level ozone (smog). The DC area gets a grade of F in ground-level ozone(smog) from the American Lung Association; the Metro DC area is among the top 10 most polluted U.S. cities in the ozone category. She shared some of the ways that Moms Clean Air Force is trying to make a difference on the issues of indoor air quality, outdoor air quality, and climate change.

We all learned a lot and had a hard time leaving the meeting! Thanks to everyone who came out and to Josie and Julie for taking the time to share their knowledge with us!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Special daytime meeting on Postpartum Fitness January 30!

If your body has made a baby at some point in your life, there are bound to be repercussions! Come learn what to do about them and how to support your body in a current or future pregnancy at our special January 30 daytime meeting on "Postpartum Healing."

Physical therapist Marisa Alonso of Body Connect Health & Wellness and her business partner Ann Udofia gave a fabulous presentation in November 2013 on the topic of Postpartum Healing. Thanks to our wonderful volunteer, Maria, for putting this special daytime meeting together, Marisa Alonso will be returning to our chapter the morning of Friday, January 30.

Marisa will teach us how to support our bodies during and after pregnancy for optimal health and well-being.

She will explain how issues related to pregnancy can have long-lasting impacts on overall health and on specific issues including digestion and ability to exercise safely and strongly.

This will be a mixture of presentation and hands-on demo. Please come dressed to stretch!

For more info and photos, see our blog post from November 2013. 

The special daytime meeting will be at Shirlington Library, 4200 Campbell Avenue, Arlington, VA on Friday, January 30, 2015. It is scheduled 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

We have the room starting at 10:00, so doors open at 10:15. Arriving early helps ensure you get a parking space in the nearby garage! :-) The meeting may run over a little, but we know some folks will need to leave by noon for preschool pickup, so we hope to start right on time and pack in the 90 minutes!

Children are welcome to attend, but you may want to bring some coloring books or extra toys -- quiet toys only, please -- to supplement what we will have available.

Some topics we hope to cover include:

When and how should you exercise after pregnancy? What should you avoid?
What about kegels?
How do you know when your body is ready to get back to activities like running? When is it better to stick to a bike, to walking, or to an elliptical?
What should we keep in mind when breastfeeding and babywearing to avoid injury and to speed healing?

What are some basics of anatomy that every mom needs to understand about her changed body?
What exactly is fascia, and why should we care?

Included in the presentation will be discussion of:
  • pelvic floor dysfunction
  • abdominal separation (diastasis recti)
  • scar issue (c-section, appendix and others)
as well as:
  • posture
  • alignment
  • strengthening exercises

Friday, January 9, 2015

January Potluck: Celebrating 6 years!

Launched in 2009, the Arlington/Alexandria chapter of Holistic Moms Network is celebrating six years this January. To celebrate, we'll be enjoying a potluck social at our January 15 meeting. Please note the earlier time of 5:30-7:30 p.m. so that the whole family can join. This will be in the activity room at the UUCA, 4444 Arlington Blvd. Arlington, VA 22206.

We request that you bring a healthy labeled dish that can feed your family and 8-10 others. Be sure to leave time to write out a list of ingredients for the safety and convenience of those with food restrictions (and because we all like to know and might want to try to replicate at home!)

Everyone is welcome, whether you're new to our chapter or have been around for a while.

This year's event will not be a big party with exhibitors and silent auction like last year's five-year anniversary party, but, as always, donations of food and giveaways are always welcome!