In This Issue
Get Out and Play!
When the Going Gets Hot,
Drink a Smoothie!
Aachooo! When Allergies Get in the Way
Acupuncture and Kids.
Class Update
May 2013 Newsletter

Happy Spring!

As the weather begins to warm up, we at Whole Child Wellness want to help you welcome the Spring and Summer with healthful tips to enjoy the beautiful days to come…

Get Out and Play!
Elisa Song, MD

Nature’s sunshine is one of our best medicines. Just 10 minutes/day during non-winter months can provide us with enough Vitamin D to enhance our mood, help us sleep better, boost our immune system, and protect against a whole host of chronic diseases including osteoporosis, heart disease, autoimmune illnesses, and many cancers. Richard Louv, in Nature Deficit Disorder, hypothesizes that the lack of time spent outdoors by our kids due to increasing time pressures and exposure to electronic media can result in a wide range of behavioral disorders, including attention problems, depression, and anxiety.

So get out and play! I wanted to share with you some ideas to enjoy the outdoors with your kids – all approved by Kenzi and Bodi, of course!
  • Water the flowers. Get your watering cans out! Water the trees, flowers, grass, potted plants, weeds, or whatever is growing in your yard. While you’re at it, discuss how plants need water to stay hydrated, nutritious minerals from the soil to keep well-fed, and sunshine to help them grow strong and healthy – just like us!
  • Look to the skies. Take a walk around your neighborhood. Count how many birds you see. Look for ladybugs or butterflies. Imagine what shapes the clouds in the sky look like – we’ve seen ducks, pirate ships, airplanes, and more!
  • Bugs, bugs, bugs! Search for all the different bugs you can find. Ladybugs are our favorite. Get on your hands and knees, use a magnifying glass, and find all the little critters that abound – ants, roly polys, spiders, caterpillars, ladybugs, you name it!
  • Make a pet rock. Search for the most beautiful, smooth, rough, colorful, big, small, or special rock ever. Then use paint, glue, glitter, and googly eyes to make an endearing pet rock. Find the perfect home for him/her in your yard that can be visited over and over again.
  • Treasure hunt. Perfect for toddlers who like to collect things. Use a small toy bucket or container to collect leaves, rocks, flowers, sticks, pine cones, or any other special treasures. Discuss each of these treasures and what makes them special.
  • See shells, sea shells. We’re blessed to be so close to the seashore. Find your way to the coast and collect sea shells, sea glass, seaweed, sand – whatever takes your fancy. Bring them home and make a collage of your expedition to the shore. If you have the opportunity, go to Fitzgerald Marine Preserve during low tide and explore the tide pools – discover hermit crabs, sea urchins, star fish, sea anemones, and more!
  • Take a hike! There are so many amazing places to explore in the Bay Area. Look up your local county and state parks to discover new hikes to explore with infants, toddlers and older kids. Our only caveat – watch for the poison oak that can grow rampant in some areas. Some of our favorite places to hike – Edgewood Park in San Carlos, Hidden Villa in Los Altos, Huddart Park in Woodside, and Rancho San Antonio in Mountain View.
  • Join a nature group. If you prefer to join a group to enjoy the outdoors, consider Tiny Treks or Caterpillar Kids’ Club. They meet at a different nature spot, sing songs, explore nature, and do a different crafts project each week. Kenzi and I have had a blast doing this, and it takes the pressure off of coming up with a creative new spot and activity each week. Fun!
Whatever you decide to do, just get out and enjoy nature! You and your child(ren) will reap the benefits. Happy Spring!

When the Going Gets Hot, Drink a Smoothie!
Kandice Stellmon, Certified Nutrition Consultant

Smoothie season is here! Farmer's markets and grocery stores are stocked with the season's best, like strawberries, mangoes, kiwis and cherries (almost time for these - can't wait!). Time to dust off your blender and whir up a tall cold glass of yumminess.

Here are a few tips to get you started:
  • Start with a splash. Add your liquids first, to help get things whirring. Experiment a little - Milk can make your smoothies creamy - cow's milk or almond milk work great. For a tropical twist try coconut milk or coconut water (super hydrating) or a dollop of coconut cream for a luxurious smoothie. Juices work too, but remember that they add extra sugar and calories that you might not want in your smoothie.
  • Load up on the good stuff. After you've added your liquids, it's time to put in the 'meat' of your smoothie - the fruits and veggies! Your smoothie will have a different texture depending upon whether or not you use frozen or fresh produce. You may need to add some ice if all your fruit is unfrozen to get that 'icy slushy' feel. Don't be afraid to add veggies to your smoothie - this is a great way to add low calorie nutrition to your day (and sneak greens in for the kids!). Throw in a handful of raw spinach or kale and you won't know the difference. Try swapping avocado in place of banana. This adds creaminess to your smoothie and gives your brain a boost all at the same time!
  • Make it last. Protein will turn your smoothie into a meal and help even out the sugar from those yummy fruits you added. Greek yogurt, protein powder (whey, hemp, rice, pea...lots of choices!) and nut butters are perfect choices.
  • Secret super-hero power. Now that you've got the basics of your smoothie in the blender, it's time to add the secret power ingredients. Ground flaxseed, chia or hemp seeds (a tablespoon or two) add fiber and a nice dose of Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Nutritional yeast, bee pollen and powdered green and red veggies are popular 'boosts' that you can add. Dark unsweetened cocoa powder adds antioxidants and deliciousness in one punch. Be creative - see just how good you can feel!
  • Not for Whimps. Finally - the matter of the blender itself. Yes...a standard blender will do - absolutely! But if you are serious about blending and really want to turn that kale leaf into liquid power, then a super duper blender may be just what you need. There are many of these blenders out there (e.g. Blendtec, Vitamix, Ninja ) - something to think about :)
Now for some deelish smoothie recipes:

Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie
  • 1 cup frozen organic strawberries
  • 2 kiwis
  • 4 ounces strawberry Greek Yogurt
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup raw organic spinach
  • Honey to taste
Mango Tango Tropical Smoothie
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • ½ cup frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup mango chunks
  • 1-2 tablespoons unsweetened flaked coconut
Cherry Berry Beet Smoothie
  • 1 cup frozen organic cherries
  • 1 small, peeled, steamed beet
  • ½ cup frozen blueberries
  • ½ small avocado
  • ¾ cup cold water
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
  • 1 frozen banana (peel and slice before freezing)
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal or ground chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • ½ cup ice cubes
  • Honey to taste

Aachooo! When Allergies Get in the Way
Dana Gerstbacher, MD

The Bay Area is in bloom! With the arrival of spring, we have seen a huge increase in allergic symptoms. Dry, irritated, watery, and itchy eyes, scratchy throat, nasal congestion, sneezing, dry cough. Sounds miserable, right? There are several easy and natural ways that you can reduce your allergy symptom load.

Avoid or minimize allergens. Find out what you may be reacting to with testing if possible. This can be done through blood or skin scratch testing, through your pediatrician or an allergist. If you know what you are allergic to, try to stay clear. Use HEPA air filters for your home. Keep windows closed, especially on windy days. Irrigate your nose to remove allergens daily, if not more. This can be done with sinus rinses, like a neti pot, Nasopure, or Neilmed sinus rinse, or saline sprays like Xlear. Take a coldish shower after being outside on a high pollen day. As soon as you get in from outdoors, change your shirt, wash your face focusing on eyebrows and eyelashes, and take a wet comb through your hair – to remove as many allergens as possibly so you’re not constantly shaking them into your eyes and nose when you move your head. Carrying wet wipes to wash your face and wet your hair frequently even when your outside can be very helpful. Removing your shoes before going inside can prevent tracking allergens into the house.

Eat Omega-3 rich foods, like wild salmon. Try to “eat a rainbow” of fruits and vegetables everyday. Ensure adequate Vitamin C and Vitamin D3 from your food and/or supplementation. Eat a diet that is rich in anti-inflammatory, anti-histamine, and Quercetin-rich foods. Avoid foods that are rich in histamines (unfortunately, chocolate is on the list of high histamine-containing foods) or that may cross-react with pollens you are sensitive to (you know that itchy mouth you get after eating cantaloupe – it could be due to your ragweed allergy!). Kandice Stellmon, our certified nutrition consultant, is available to help optimize your or your child’s diet to best support your individual allergy needs.

Herbal medicines like Quercetin, a natural anti-histamine and powerful anti-oxidant, and other anti-inflammatory herbs can often be used in the place of over-the-counter anti-histamines. Our favorite Quercetin-containing product is Orthomolecular Products D-Hist and D-Hist Jr – these work best when first taking a “loading dose” followed by a maintenance dose. Local honey, which contains pollens from local plants, flowers, trees, and grasses, in small frequent doses, taken several months before the pollen season can help prevent allergy symptoms by “desensitizing” you to the most common allergens. And for immediate relief from those annoying allergy symptoms, don’t forget homeopathic medicines. Consult with one of our doctors to figure out which homeopathic medicine(s) is best for your specific allergy symptoms. Options may include individual remedies, Syntrion’s SyAllgen tablets and nasal spray, Boiron’s Sabadil combination allergy tablets, and Boiron’s Optique eye drops. And remember acupuncture as a powerful option for both prevention and treatment of allergies. We are available to help you figure out the best treatment plan for your and your child’s allergies.

So, put away that tissue box, take control of your allergies, and feel great outside again!

Acupuncture and Kids
Donna Ruiz, MD

Acupuncture is used to treat a variety of medical conditions in kids and adults, both acute and chronic. Among these are allergies, headaches, fever, ear infections, upper respiratory infections, acute wheezing, gastroenteritis, infant colic/reflux, eczema, asthma, chronic urticaria, constipation, and a weakened immune system. For over 4,000 years, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine have been practiced as one of the oldest Healing Arts of Oriental Medicine. In 1997, a consensus statement was formed after a conference of acupuncture by the NIH stating “the data in support of acupuncture are as strong as those for many accepted medical therapies.”

Acupuncture has been found to be extremely beneficial for those suffering from seasonal allergies – with immediate improvements in acute symptoms, and reduced need for allergy medications. Acupuncture performed preventatively, for the month or two prior to allergy season, can dramatically reduce allergy symptoms once everything begins to bloom. But don’t worry – it’s never too late. Even once allergy season is in full force, acupuncture can significantly alleviate symptoms such as itchy watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, and congestion. Chinese herbs, like Kan Herb’s Windbreaker and Enviroshield, can work synergistically with acupuncture to further heal allergies.

In TCM (traditional Chinese medicine), our physical body and all of its internal organs are regulated by a life force, called Qi (pronounced chee) which circulates throughout the body along major channels. This is similar to the way blood runs through the vessels in our bodies. Hundreds of points have been identified along these pathways that when stimulated by needles, affect our bodily processes. When Qi flows abundantly, one can experience optimum health; however, when there are blockages to the flow of energy, pain and dis ”ease” occur. Acupuncture restores the body’s natural circulation of Qi, by unblocking and rebalancing the natural flow of energy throughout the body. The most commonly employed acupuncture technique involves the insertion of fine, sterile, metallic needles into the body at specific points to restore the flow of vital energy. Needling some specific points and/or combination of points is the heart of acupuncture treatments. Other options include laser acupuncture, Japanese Sho-ni-shin (“needleless acupuncture”), and Tui Na (Chinese infant massage).

Acupuncture works amazingly well on children. Yes! It really does!!! You may be wondering how on earth a child would tolerate an acupuncture treatment. It’s easy! The needles used on children are incredibly fine, and virtually “painless.” Most kids don’t feel a thing. And for children under 8 years of age, needles in general are not kept in – they are simply put in, stimulated, and taken right out. They don’t even have to sit still! An entire acupuncture session may take less than 5-10 minutes.

Dr. Donna Ruiz and Dr. Elisa Song are both trained in acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Please feel welcome to come in for a consult at any time to discuss whether acupuncture may be appropriate for your child.

Class Update

In a previous email announcing upcoming classes, there was an error with the date for one of the classes. For clarification, the correct information for our May classes is:

Caring for the Caregiver – How to Manage Parental Anxiety and Burnout
Saturday, May 4nd, 10:00am - 11:30am
Join Dr. Callum Eastwood for a presentation on parental anxiety, stress, burnout, and approaches to intervention and self-care.

Baby Food 101 - Introduction to Solids
Wednesday, May 22nd, 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Learn the basics for introducing solids to your little one!
Kandice Stellmon, our Certified Nutrition Consultant, will discuss when to start, which foods are best through the first year and tips to make things easier. Topics also include variations for a vegetarian diet and spotting food allergies/intolerances. Last but not least, there will be a fun home-made baby food cooking demonstration!
You are receiving this email as a service of Whole Child Wellness.
If you wish to be removed from our email list, please use the link below to unsubscribe.

Whole Child Wellness
1601 El Camino Real
Suite 101
Belmont, CA 94002
Telephone: 650-595-KIDS (5437)
Fax: 650-595-5438

Copyright (C) 2008 Whole Child Wellness All rights reserverd.