Monday, April 20, 2015

Two Meetings and an MNO in May!

May is a busy month, mamas! We have our regular evening meeting May 21, a special daytime meeting May 14, and a special open-to-all Moms Night Out in May 11.

After our great "Screen Time" meeting with Lisa Guernsey, we decided to continue the conversation. During Screen-Free Week May 4-10, we'll be having a series of playdates for members.* Then we'll be following that week up with a special evening discussion open to anyone. Join us on Monday, May 11 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Elmo's Coffee Pub (2300 Mt. Vernon Ave. in Del Ray) for a special parents' night out to discuss how the week went!

On May 14, we're welcoming back Dr. James Bronson and Dr. Alex Bronson of Bronson Family Dentistry on the topic of"Holistic Dentistry and Orthodontics," which they presented at our December evening meeting
Thursday, May 14, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Arlington Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy St., Arlington, VA.

Finally, on our regular Third Thursday evening meeting, May 21, we welcome Nina Planck, farmers' market advocate and author of several books, including Real Food: What to Eat and Why and Real Food for Mother and Baby: The Fertility Diet, Eating for Two, and Baby’s First FoodsThat meeting is back at our regular location of Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, 4444 Arlington Blvd. (Rt. 50 at S. George Mason Dr.) and runs 7:00-9:00 p.m. with a book signing to follow the meeting. 
Doors open at 7:00 for socializing; introductions start at 7:15.

*Join our chapter online anytime at The fee is $45/year, half of which comes back to our chapter to support our meetings, including room rental, snacks for social events, copying and supplies. Click here for more information about membership from the national organization.

If you want to participate in the Screen-Free week playdates, please also email membershiphmnarlalex (at) gmail (dot) com to let chapter co-leader Michelle know so she can get you details about our members-only events as soon as they are posted even if it takes a day or two for you to be added to our chapter email list.

To apply to be considered for the Helping Moms in Need Program or to donate to support membership for parents of limited income, please visit the national organization's website at

Friday, April 17, 2015

Screen Time in April

How are children affected by what they watch and how they interact with screens? 

For our April meeting, local mom Lisa Guernsey, author of Screen Time: How Electronic Media – from Baby Videos to Electronic Software – Affects Your Young Child, addressed the question of “Raising Children in a BooksPlus World.”  

This event was co-sponsored by the Arlington/Alexandria chapter of the Holistic Moms Network and Arlington Unitarian Cooperative Preschool

Lisa gave a great presentation and answered lots of questions from parents. 

Lisa cited many, many research studies and also talked about new and emerging areas of research into how apps and e-books affect learning and also social development. Parents left with lots to think about and guidelines to help them along the way.

Based on research for Screen Time: How Electronic Media – from Baby Videos to Electronic Software – Affects Your Young Child. For more information, see

Thank you to Lisa for coming and for AUCP for co-sponsoring!

Screen-Free Week is May 4-10. Join us on May 11 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Elmo's Coffee Pub (2300 Mt. Vernon Ave. in Del Ray) for a special parents' night out to discuss how the week went!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

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