Sunday, February 22, 2015

Family Biking 101 in March

Just in time for spring cycling, we're having a Family Biking panel on March 19!

Come to learn about
  • cycling safety and gear
  • family-friendly routes 
  • strategies for supporting beginning riders
  • local shops and organizations that support cycling
Our panel includes Gillian Burgess of Kidical Mass Arlington, Erin Potter from Bike Arlington, and Dan Redmond from the League of American Bicyclists.

The meeting begins at 7:00. If you are running late, please note that the parking lot gets increasingly more full toward 7:30 when other meetings start in the church. Overflow parking is on S. George Mason Drive.
Location: Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, 4444 Arlington Blvd, Arlington, VA 22204 (Rt. 50 at S. George Mason Drive)

Free childcare may be available. Anyone interested in childcare, please contact membershiphmnarlalex (at) gmail (dot) com by Monday, March 16.

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!

Monday, December 22, 2014

What do holistic dentistry and orthodontics look like?

We all know that as adults, we're supposed to go to the dentist twice a year. But what about children?

For our December meeting, we asked our presenters to share insights with us on the following questions:
  • When do children need to see a dentist and start getting x-rays?
  • What do we do if our pediatrician tells us breastfeeding is causing problems with tooth enamel
  • How concerned should we be about fluoride and about mercury in amalgams? 
  • How does nutrition play a role in the health of teeth and the development of the mouth?
  • Is there a problem with prolonged thumb-sucking or pacifier use?
  • How can the size and shape of the mouth affect the rest of the body?
  • What do breastfeeding challenges have to do with mouth shape and structure, and what are the possible interventions?
  • Is there any connection with oral health and sensory disorders, asthma, allergies, sleep apnea or bedwetting?
  • What are some signs that there might be crowding and a possible need for orthodontic intervention? How early can you tell? How early should you do anything?
  • Are braces inevitable? What can we do to avoid or limit the need for them? And why might we want to avoid braces?
  • What if we had braces as a child but still experience headaches or breathing problems from a too-narrow airway? Or what if we never had braces but don't like the look of our smile? What can be done as an adult?
And, boy, did they these questions and so much more!

Dr. James Bronson and his son, Dr. Alex Bronson, of Bronson Family Dentistry gave a wonderful presentation to a rapt audience! We all learned a lot. Notes were taken and will be polished up to share early in 2015. Please email jessicaHMNarlalex (at) gmail (dot) com if you're interested with "Request holistic dentistry notes" in the subject heading.

Friday, October 31, 2014

De-stressing before the holidays!

For our November meeting, Life & Leadership Coach for mothers Alexandra Hughes of The Bliss Space will present an educational, inspiring and supportive talk and workshop designed for mothers who experience stress and worry as part of their daily lives.

We will be sharing simple, practical strategies that will teach us how to be a mom in a relaxed, yet energizing and self-loving way.

The title is: "From Stress to Bliss: Simple Strategies to Help Moms Feel Relaxed & Energized”

Thursday, November 20, 7-9 p.m., UUCA, 4444 Arlington Blvd.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

October Moms Night Out - BYOB

The October Moms' Night Out was a real treat for the taste buds.  Nine women gathered and sipped away on a variety of beverages.  The drinks on the table were:

-Kombucha from MOM's Organic Market in Merrifield (take your own bottle and fill it up in the store from the tap)
-Two juices from Bon Vivant (formerly Seva Cafe) in Del Ray
-Tea from House of Steep in Arlington (Digest and Caramel Rooibos)
-Organic Wine, for those who needed something stronger
-Pear/Cinnamon Juice

We also had some tasty snacks, including coconut muffins, lavender shortbread cookies, and chocolates.  

The women did what women do well: they talked and talked!  The evening ended around 10:30, well past the projected 9:00 ending because everyone was having so much fun.  Most of the drinks were finished and the moms departed with a happy belly and a rejuvenated spirit. There is nothing like women having the chance to share their current challenges and joys. This was a much needed night out! Thanks to all the moms who made it.