Mind+Body Jan/Feb 2016

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Mind Body +

January/February 2016

Work/life balance Jennifer Jones Markiewicz, Allison Hines and Kristin Candella discuss how they balance high powered careers and family

Diaper bag chic FoCo play day The working wars

the

Motherhood issue





contents

Work/life balance Jennifer Jones Markiewicz, Allison Hines and Kristin Candella discuss how they balance high powered careers and their family.

42

Features

50 You took your child where?

Consider these situation-specific etiquette suggestions the next time you’re heading out with the kids.

54

Ditching the taboid deception

Patience is the key to a healthy post-baby body and mind

Departments Cultivate

Nourish

Belly Style 10

Cans on the run 26

Diaper bag chic 12

Easy as ABC 31

Support systems 13

Bump+Grind 32

We try it 15

Freedom?! 34

Fresh faced in a flash 16

The thin, pink line 35

Dashing do’s 17

Project:Purpose 36

Kid proof 18

Aspire

FoCo play day 20 Mocktail hour 24

The great debate 38 The working wars 39 Helping hands 40

on the cover Jennifer Jones Markiewicz photographed by Erika Moore

Mind+Body January/February 2016 5


President/Publisher Kathy Jack-Romero kathyjackromero@coloradoan.com Executive Editor Kristin Deily kdeily@coloradoan.com Creative Director Erika Moore erikamoore@coloradoan.com Content Editor Holly Engelman hollyengelman@coloradoan.com Digital Editor Claire Whitworth cwhitworth@coloradoan.com Project Manager Sara Cagle saracagle@coloradoan.com Advertising Director Tyler Kidd tylerkidd@coloradoan.com Marketing Manager Sarah Armstrong saraharmstrong@coloradoan.com Ad Services Manager Matt Varns mattvarns@coloradoan.com

1300 Riverside Ave., Fort Collins, CO 80524 Call (970) 416-3991 | Fax (970) 224-7726 Š2015 Coloradoan Media Group. All rights reserved. PLEASE NOTE that the articles contained in this publication are meant to increase reader awareness of developments in the health field. Its contents should not be construed as medical advice or health instruction on individual health matters, which should be obtained directly from a health professional.

6 Mind+Body January/February 2016


To new begnnings January in Northern Colorado can be many things. Even though we are in the depths of winter, for many of us this is our favorite time of year. Colorado is truly a four season state, and with the snow, we take on new passions and pasttimes. The world takes on a whole new look when covered in the pristine white of a new snow, and familiar landscapes are born anew. In the spirit of this time of year, M+B is tackling a subject we have never addressed in the past: motherhood. In the same way that the world around us looks new and different with the addition of snow, so do mothers appear different to our eyes, despite being the same woman she has always been underneath. Our team is a mix of women who have become mothers, and women who have not yet undertaken that journey. Deciding to bring new life into the world is perhaps the most important crossroads for anyone, but many of the conversations around these decisions seem to only happen behind closed doors. M+B would like to bring these conversations out into the open, providing stories about some of the women in our community and their experiences with motherhood. We would like to not only thank these women for sharing a piece of their lives with us, but all of the wonderful mothers in our community. In this issue, we sit down with some remarkable women balancing family, career, and passion for serving their community. These women are an inspiration, exemplifying some of the values our community holds most dear. We also cover some of the more practical aspects of living a busy life – with or without children. Quick hair and makeup tips from Dryology make looking good on the go a little bit easier, and recipes for the woman on the run from the Cooking Studio help us stay healthy during our hectic days. Welcome to the new year, and thank you for embarking on this journey with M+B!

Kristin Deily Executive Editor

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Mind+Body January/February 2016 7



Cultivate

Cultivate: to enrich; give special attention; develop, refine, encourage, elevate, and polish.

Mind+Body January/February 2016 9


Cultivate get style

Belly Style These stores can help you maintain your hard-earned clothing personality during your pregnancy Personal style takes time to cultivate. Chances are you’ve gone through several (questionable) phases before finally stumbling upon what best suits your personality. When you’ve finally hit that style sweet spot, you’re able to begin creating a wardrobe that really nails it. Everything fits and flatters. It’s finally foolproof! Well, it is until you’re expecting. You might be able to squeak through the first few months donning leggings, joggers and flowing tops, but what happens when you begin to show? Maternity clothing has a bad reputation, but fortunately the industry has recognized the need for style, trend and affordability for expectant mothers. Below are four retailers that have done an excellent job of making your transition into maternity wear seamless, allowing your personal style to glow just as much as you are! Kimberly Cauti is a New York-based writer/stylist who enjoys cooking, crafting and being outdoors. She can be reached at kimberly.m.cauti@gmail.com. Follow @kimberlycauti on polyvore.com.

Your personal style: Classic Try: Gap Maternity Gap translates its women’s favorites into maternity wear suitable for all trimesters. With its frequent sales and timeless styles, it’s a great place to shop for basics that you’ll wear for months. Gap Turtleneck sweater $60; Gap trench coat $218; Gap slim fit jeans $70; Gap leather booties $90; gap.com

10 Mind+Body January/February 2016

Your personal style: Career/minimalist Try: H&M Maternity If you work in a corporate environment, or are a fan of minimalist fashion, H&M will be an amazing one-stop shop for you, offering everything from blouses and blazers to kitten heels and large totes. H&M long sleeve blouse $38; H&M white coat $75; H&M MAMA Slacks $23; H&M kitten heel pumps $60; H&M black tote bag $30; hm.com


get style Cultivate

Your personal style: Trendy Try: ASOS Maternity You’ll find every of-the-moment trend at ASOS, and its maternity wear is no exception. This is also a great place to shop for occasion wear.

Personal style: Bohemian Try: PinkBlush Maternity Boho style is in abundance at this onlineexclusive retailer. Bonus: The site offers tons of styling inspiration on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

ASOS Maternity Midi Skater Dress In Multi Print $58; ASOS Maternity Biker Coat With Faux Fur Collar $144; ASOS Maternity 120 Denier Tights With Supportive Band $16; River Island buckle boot $90; ASOS leather shopper handbag $63; asos.com

Black robe $37; Navy Blue Bootcut Maternity Jeans $49; Beige Maternity Cami $19; Ankle boots $38; Teal purse $38; pinkblushmaternity.com

Mind+Body January/February 2016 11


Cultivate get style

Diaper bag chic Consider your storage needs, material preferences and other details before purchasing (or registering) for this key item Diaper bags are notoriously huge, seemingly bottomless, Mary Poppins-esque contraptions that, without proper organization, can be more of a hassle than a help. And while navigating your way through new-mamahood, you’ve probably stumbled upon the dilemma of not only what to put in the diaper bag and how to organize it, but how to find a style that is less zoo animal print and more stylish animal print (or leather, or canvas, or simply just for grownups). Today, finding stylish, functional diaper bags that resemble chic totes is fairly simple. Three of the most important features to look for in a diaper bag are storage capabilities, carry features (think handles and straps) and material.

Storage capabilities Most diaper bag styles are designed with multiple pockets, including insulated space for snacks and bottles. You can also keep snacks in multifunctional Tupperware that double as a drinking cup, like Snackeeze cups. Some styles come complete with changing pads that zip into themselves for extra diaper storage. If your bag did not come with one, they’re easy to come by and highly recommended for organizational and convenience purposes. If you’re in need of more storage, cosmetic bags do amazing double duty for organizing necessities inside.

Ease-of-carry features Opt for styles with double straps, as you’re bound to be carrying a heavy load. The duel handles will help balance the weight and make the bag much easier to carry. Look for bags with removable cross-body straps for hands-free use when necessary.

Material Choose a bag that has several internal pockets made from water/spillproof material — you never know when the little one might have an accident and you’re unable to dispose of the soiled item right away. Consider your needs beyond baby: Some bags have a separate — also water/spillproof — compartment for your tablet, laptop or other personal items, which is ideal for the working mom on the go. Kimberly Cauti is a New York-based writer/stylist who enjoys cooking, crafting and being outdoors. She can be reached at kimberly.m.cauti@gmail.com. Follow @kimberlycauti on polyvore.com.

12 Mind+Body January/February 2016


get style Cultivate

Support systems 2

As it is, being able to find the perfect shoe that combines comfort, functionality and style is akin to searching for the Holy Grail. Now, let’s throw being pregnant into the mix and it certainly sounds like a recipe for disaster.

Doctors recommend retiring your heels — stiletto or otherwise — after your first trimester as they cause unnecessary strain on your back muscles, causing you to arch farther than normal. Brands like Aerosoles and Naturalizer are designed with comfort and style in mind, offering an assortment of styles, wide sizes, and adjustable calf boots so you don’t have to trade looking great for feeling great.

But it doesn’t have to be. If you’re pregnant, the key is looking for a shoe that supports your arches, which in turn supports your back. Being pregnant causes your back to arch while standing and walking, which is why choosing footwear that supports both your feet and your back is important. Fortunately, comfortable, cute footwear options are plentiful. So long as you keep arch and back support at the forefront of your search, you’re bound to have a spring in your step, all the way to the delivery room. Here are some ideas that can help keep your feet (and the rest of your body) happy:

1

Wearing a ballet flat isn’t doing you any favors because of the lack of arch support and pressure on your knees. If you have an existing pair of flats or very low wedges/kitten heels in your current wardrobe that you just can’t live without wearing, try adding an insert that is designed for extra cushion and arch support.

4

Keep styles simple and sleek for work and special occasions. Splurge on a gorgeous pair of black pointedtoe flats that you’ll be able to wear time and again throughout your pregnancy and beyond.

3 Kimberly Cauti is a New York-based writer/stylist who enjoys cooking, crafting and being outdoors. She can be reached at kimberly.m.cauti@gmail.com. Follow @kimberlycauti on polyvore.com.

Adjustable calf riding boots are the perfect addition to your weekend casual wardrobe. This style is effortless and can easily be dressed up with a flowing boho dress or dressed down with your favorite jeans and T-shirt combo. Mind+Body January/February 2016 13


Cultivate fun finds

Fun Finds

Fun wardrobe updates! Minnetonka traditional 2-button boots, $44.95; Turquoise beaded necklace, starting at $40; Turquoise & sterling silver bracelets, starting at $89. Santa Fe Craftsman, Downtown Fort Collins, 970224-1415, santafecraftsman.com

14 Mind+Body January/February 2016

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Stay warm & toasty this winter in our Colorado-inspired shirt & and winter gear, $8.98 – $29.98. Alpine Arts — representing Fort Collins & Colorado. Alpine Arts — The Colorado Showcase, Downtown Fort Collins, 970-493-1941, facebook.com/AlpineArts-The-Colorado-Showcase


get beautiful Cultivate

We Try It:

DIY Facials Exfoliating Mask

Moisturizing Mask

1 tablespoon used or new coffee grounds

1 tablespoon used or new coffee grounds 1 tablespoon coconut oil 1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon coconut oil 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 tablespoon yogurt Directions: Mix all ingredients and apply to face. Gently rub in circles (keeping away from eyes) – keep on for about 7-10 mins, gently rub again in circles. Sara Cagle: “What I noticed was that the sugar acted as a great scrub for exfoliation and the yogurt helped to go a little deeper in cleansing dead/dry skin. My skin is much more dry in the winter and the coconut oil helped give it moisture – the mixture was pretty oily so if you have oily skin you’d probably want to do much less oil. Overall, I thought it was a quick and really easy mask/scrub that was good for dry winter skin.”

Baking Soda: LunaseeStudios / Shutterstock.com

It’s always important to pamper yourself, but it’s not always easy to leave the house or spend the money to do so. So, members of the Mind+Body team tested some DIY masks at home. Here are the results:

Splash of lime juice Directions: Mix the ingredients until they form a paste. Exfoliate face with mixture, let sit about 5 minutes. Claire Whitworth: “I have very oily skin and was pretty unsure about this mask. I think it would be ideal when my face is dry since it left it feeling very moisturized from the coconut oil. I did, however, really enjoy the smell; between the coffee, coconut and brown sugar, it had a sweet, pleasant scent. The caffeine from the coffee was also nice to use on my face first thing in the morning. “This mask is extremely messy. I would suggest doing it in the shower or over the sink. I had a lot left over from this mix and used it as a body scrub instead of wasting the rest. “I have to admit, I am the queen of weekly store-bought masks and I do not think I would add this to my routine, but I also think this is not ideal for my skin type. I did, however, enjoy having the coffee in this mask; besides the caffeine, I liked how the grounds made the mixture feel beadlike. This mask also left my face feeling extremely smooth.”

Baking Soda and Lemon Juice Mask 2 tablespoons baking soda 1 teaspoon lemon juice (bottle or from a fresh lemon) Directions: Adjust mixture until a thick paste results. Apply the paste all over the face, being sure to stay away from eye area. Scrub the paste into your face gently, exfoliating the dead skin. Leave the paste on the face 5-15 minutes, depending on your comfort. The longer the paste is on your face, the more pronounced the drying effects. Be careful as the mask dries, because it might become slightly painful to move your face. Holly Engelman: “I have combination skin and use store-bought masks about once every other week in an effort to draw impurities and buildup out of my skin. I was pleasantly surprised by this natural mask recipe. I mixed this mask, applied it easily and left it on for about 10 minutes. It did tingle pretty much the entire time, and once it hardened, it started to flake off a bit. But, after washing it off, my face felt soft and refreshed, and my skin looked clear. My skin did get a little dry but nothing a pump of moisturizer couldn’t fix. I will definitely add this simple homemade mask to the mix of masks I use moving forward.” Kristin Deily: “I have a varied and very sensitive skin type. It can go from dry to oily and back again in the course of a week, and break out for no apparent reason. “This mask is a bit messy, and I had drops of it all over my bathroom. If you have very dry skin, this mask might over-dry, so be sure to use a hydrating moisturizer after. If you leave it on for more than a few minutes, the dry mask might be painful when you move your face, so be careful! “I love how my skin feels after this mask! It exfoliates and makes my face feel super smooth. It feels like all of the dead skin has melted away. My face feels tighter, and my oily areas are taken care of.”

Mind+Body January/February 2016 15


Cultivate get beautiful

Fresh-faced in a flash This is a signature look I like to teach my clients, especially to busy moms who do not always have an exorbitant amount of time to get ready. When time is an issue, you want to prioritize what are the most impactful steps to create a fresh “I woke up like this” look. In as little as 15 minutes, you can look like the best version of yourself. Step 1: Minimal Makeup requires maximum skincare. Prep your freshly washed face for makeup using a moisturizer, sun block and serum.

Step 2: Spot coverage. Dependant on your skin, you can use more or less to create a perfect canvas. Start first with an under eye concealer, for lighter skin tones I recommend a salmon color, while darker skin tones should use more of a burnt orange sort of color. You must color correct dark circles before matching them to your skin, otherwise they will just turn a muddy color. Then conceal any other blemishes you have. Foundation is optional at this point depending on your desired look.

Step 3: Brows.

Step 4: Lashes.

If eyes are the windows to the soul, then consider your brows the frame. A well done eyebrow can really improve your overall look. Using a spoolie, comb through your brow hair to set them in place and to see where you need to fill in the gaps. Next take an angled brush and an eyebrow powder start by pulling up gently at the natural arch of your brow, then take your angled brush with a light amount of product, start from the beginning at the base of your eyebrow, and in one motion create a straight line from inner brow to arch. Then holding your brush horizontally blend the color up to the top, from there lightly fill any gaps, and using a brow pomade create the tail of your eyebrows. Once done blend again with your spoolie.

Just a simple coat of mascara opens up the eyes and pulls the makeup together. Using mascara in your desired color and effect, start at the base of your lashes and slowly wiggle the wand side to side to prevent clumping and truly carve out your lashes.

Take your look to the next level If you have more than 15 minutes and want to refine your look futher, visit coloradoan.com/mind-body for more great makeup tips from Elijah. Elijah Cordova is a colorist, makeup artist, and updo specialist with DRYOLOGY: An A-List Salon (dryologyhair.com). Follow him on instagram at @elijah.cordova

Skin prep: NYX Honey Dew Me Up primer/ serum, followed by Dr. Brandt Needles No More Instant Wrinkle Smoother.

Brows: NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder and Tame & Frame Tinted Brow Pomade and a spoolie like this Sonia Kashik Spoolie available at Target. Those with lighter hair should use a color two to three shades darker than their natural color, and those with darker hair use a color two to three shades lighter.

Eyelashes: For a dramatic effect try Lorac Cobra Mascara. For a more natural look try L’oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara.

Starting fresh The key to looking flawless without tons of makeup is to work with a great foundation. We put our skin through a lot, so when putting more on isn’t doing the trick, maybe it’s time to take something off.

16 Mind+Body January/February 2016

Dermaplaning Dermaplaning is a “manual exfoliation” technique using a surgical blade to remove dead skins cells and unwanted facial hair. It immediately leaves skin smooth, supple and vibrant and increases the efficacy of the skin products you use every day.

Essential Skin Preparation (ESP) Using a proprietary Laskin Medical Skin Systems formula, the ESP peel removes dead and damaged skin cells while hydrating and decongesting your skin. This treament is good for all skin types, including those with acne, hyperpigmentation or rosacea.


get beautiful Cultivate

Dashing do’s When time is more precious than gold, and you have to shine like a diamond, use some quick styles to bring your look together flawlessly. After all, you’re trying to do it all and then some, so you’re style should work for you, not be just another thing on your schedule. Take some tips from the best, and get to looking good in a hurry!

Beach waves 1. Apply Hair Resort lotion or other texturizer to wet hair 2. Rough dry hair with blow dryer 3. Apply Jaw clips randomly to hair and reheat with blowdryer — when cool take out , shake out and go!

Twisted half up 1. Take 1/2 inch of hair on either side of hair and twist 2. Apply bobby pins to secure 3. Keep the bottom nice and messy and loose!

Sophisticated pony

Toolkit: You will need the following tools achieve these looks: Kevin.Murphy Hair.Resort.Spray or other texturizing spray, a wide tooth comb, Kevin.Murphy Curl.Clips or other butterfly clip and a hair net (or two).

1. Take bottom half of hair and secure away from top 2. Top half do a light tease and crown for lift 3. Create a simple pony tail with bottom half of hair and secure the top half with bobby pins close to the pony tail and secure with bobby pins or a sparkly clip!

Dryology: An A-List Salon 217 Linden St, Fort Collins 970.221.2055 dryologyhair.com Mind+Body January/February 2016 17


Cultivate get home

Kid proof Once you’re a new parent, everything around you can suddenly look like a danger to your little one. So, you head to the store to buy every single type of babyproofing item it has in stock. Necessary or overkill? Well, there’s a balance, according to Janet Werst, injury prevention coordinator with SafeKids Larimer County. Werst encourages parents not to go overboard with the safety gear. The key to baby proofing is being realistic, with both parents agreeing on what you’ll both use correctly and consistently. Otherwise, having that gear won’t help. Also, Werst says, “Active supervision is a big thing.” Here, Werst provides tips on child safety inside and outside of the home:

them up and away. » Don’t leave your purse or a visitor’s purse on the floor – they can contain medicine and other items that are dangerous for children. » Lock medicine cabinets. » Never refer to medicine as candy. » Keep cribs away from windows and drapes; cut drapery cords, especially those that have loops.

Indoor child safety

» Secure televisions and furniture to the walls.

» Baby proof as your child ages; get down on your child’s level to see what might pose a danger and baby proof accordingly.

» If a toy (or anything, for that matter) can fit through a toilet paper roll (which is about the size of a child’s fully expanded throat), it’s too small and not appropriate for children 3 and younger to play with.

» Baby proof one or two rooms that your child is corralled in. » Never leave your child alone in the bathroom. When not in the bathroom, keep that door closed at all times. » Tension gates are fine for same-level areas, but they’re not OK for multilevel areas such as at the top of the stairs. For multilevel areas, use gates that bolt into the wall. Put safety gates at the top and bottom of every stairway. » Be aware of drowning hazards within the home, such as mop bucks and dog water bowls, and move them. » Set your water heater temperature no higher than 120 degrees to avoid burns. » Prevent falls: If something has a strap (car seat, high chair, bouncy chair, swing, stroller, changing table, shopping cart), use it every single time. » Don’t use walkers with wheels; use stationary activity centers instead. » When changing baby, find appropriate things to keep her occupied; diaper rash cream, baby oil and other items like this are dangerous if ingested. » Marijuana and edibles sometimes have names that sound like treats, which can be appealing to kids. Treat marijuana and edibles like medicine or poison and put 18 Mind+Body January/February 2016

» Test your smoke alarms every month, and install carbon monoxide detectors in every sleeping area and near fuel-burning appliances. » Use tape to set up a safe zone in the kitchen. » Use guards for second-story windows to prevent falls. » If your child can unlock a door, consider changing the lock type or putting another lock higher up.

Sleeping SIDS is increasing in Larimer County, Werst says, and the majority of cases have sleep environment issues. » Werst says they know moms are going to bring baby in bed to breast feed. Mothers are encouraged to move baby back into her crib after breast feeding for safe sleeping. » Crib standards change, so do your research before purchasing one or using a hand-me-down. As of 2011, new federal safety standards prohibit the manufacture or sale of drop-side rail cribs. » Baby’s crib should have a firm, tight-fitting mattress with a crib sheet but nothing else, including bumpers. » Sleep sacks are recommended for safe sleeping.


get home Cultivate

Having a chat with the grandparents Werst is seeing a lot of grandparents involved in child care, but things have changed since they were parents. Sleeping standards and toys are just some of the things that have evolved. If grandparents will be taking care of your child, talk with them about those changes.

What about Spike? If you have a pet in the home, you need to prepare that pet for baby’s arrival, Werst says. » Have your baby wear something while at the hospital, then bring that item home and put it on the couch so your pet gets used to the baby’s scent before baby comes home. » When baby does come home, have mom come in first, without baby, to greet your pet. Then have your partner come in with baby. » When baby is mobile, your pet might see her as a threat to their food, so give some thought to where you put your pet’s food and water during meals.

Outdoor child safety » Be very careful around pools — kids don’t understand depth perception. » Look for age-appropriate play structures at parks; typically, there are signs with age information. Then adhere to those recommendations. » When your child is playing sports, use the appropriate equipment.

instructions: Don’t let six kids jump on there at a time, for example. » If someone hits their head, see a physician immediately due to the possibility of a concussion. » Keep kids away from grills and other outdoor cooking equipment as well as other outdoor machinery.

By bike or by car » Don’t put a helmet on a child until she’s at least 1 year old. » If you’re taking baby on a bike ride, put her in a car seat and then put the car seat in the trailer – it’s safer than just having baby in the trailer. » Car seats expire because heat, cold and other things can impact the plastic. Look for the expiration date on the bottom of the car seat printed either on a sticker or right in the plastic. » A car seat isn’t a bed; don’t let baby sleep in it. » Keep kids rear-facing as long as you can. » If you’re driving to or through other states, be familiar with those states’ laws about rear-facing – they might be different than Colorado’s laws. » If you’re driving somewhere, make sure to get baby out of the car seat every couple of hours – this is important for baby’s developing head shape and for breathing. » Show by example: Always buckle up.

» Carry a first-aid kit with plenty of Band-Aids.

General things to remember

» Before landscaping, do your research on poisonous plants – kids explore through their mouths.

» Ask for help; accept help.

» Keep Miracle Grow and other chemicals up and out of reach of children. » When it comes to trampolines, follow the

Safety resources “There are resources galore in this county,” Werst says, and “there is no stupid question.” Here are some of those resources: » SafeKids: 970.495.7504 or sklarimer.org » Crib standards and other information: Healthychildren.org » Before getting a used crib: recalls.gov » Car seat fit: SafeKids, 970.495.7504, or Poudre Fire Authority, 970-416-2892 » Poison control: 800-222-1222; in addition to emergencies, Poison Control is also a resource for nonemergency questions. » Educating kids on the dangers of medicine: “Danger Ranger Medicine Mix Up” video

» Find ways you can say “yes” to your child so you’re not always saying “no.” » Use repetition when teaching kids about things they shouldn’t do.

Holly Engelman is the content editor for Mind+Body magazine. She can be reached at hollyengelman@coloradoan.com.

Mind+Body January/February 2016 19


Cultivate get out Fort Collins Museum of Discovery

FoCo play day Need ideas on where to hang with the fam on the weekends? Read on for our picks. Looking for family-friendly activities on weekend afternoons to keep you and your kids from getting cabin fever? We’ve got you covered. From fun for the kids, to fun for the whole family, check out these spots right here in our community:

Fort Collins Museum of Discovery The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery abounds with entertainment and adventure, from its exhibits and events, to its OtterBox Digital Dome Theater, to the always-fun Music Garage. At the museum, both kids and adults can learn, play and discover together for hours without getting bored. Where: 408 Mason Court Information: www.fcmod.org or (970) 221-6738

Gardens on Spring Creek Besides being a beautiful place for adults to visit, the Gardens on Spring Creek also has cool activities for kids, including The Children’s Garden. Here, kids can explore, discover and grow with activities such as pumping water from a giant watering can, wandering through the Secret Garden, viewing the pond and more. The Gardens on Spring Creek also has programs, classes and events that cater to young nature enthusiasts. Where: 2145 Centre Ave. Information: www.fcgov.com/gardens/home or (970) 416-2486

The Farm at Lee Martinez Park The Farm at Lee Martinez Park is fun for all ages with its great hands-on experiences. Families can view the animals year-round, visit for pony rides or take advantage of seasonal events such as gathering pumpkins in the barn during the fall. Where: 600 N. Sherwood St. Information: fcgov.com/recreation/thefarm.php or (970) 221-6665

20 Mind+Body January/February 2016

Foodie Walk

The Farm at Lee Martinez Park

Foodie Walk The Foodie Walk is a free event in downtown Fort Collins that falls on the third Friday of each month from 5 to 8 p.m. These self-guided tours include 12 locations to sample different foods, drinks and spices for all food lovers in a household. Some of the locations include presentations. Where: Various locations Information: downtownfortcollins.com/events/foodie-walk

Breweries This list wouldn’t be complete without including Fort Collins’ brewery scene. The breweries in general are familyfriendly, but some have a better atmosphere for kids than others. Among them: Odell Brewing Co. is a great place to bring your small ones on a Saturday afternoon, where they can play board games inside or corn hole outside, and enjoy a root beer. For another family-friendly brewery, try Equinox Brewing. Besides fun animal cutouts designed by Allie Ogg for kids to take photos in, it has an awesome shuffle board table along with board games and root beer on tap for the kiddos. Where: Odell Brewing Co., 800 E. Lincoln Ave. Information: odellbrewing.com or (970) 498-9070 Where: Equinox Brewing, 133 Remington St. Information: equinoxbrewing.com or (970) 484-1368 So whether it’s learning at the museum or playing games and relaxing at the brewery, these Fort Collins spots offer fun for the entire family. Claire Whitworth is the digital editor for Mind+Body magazine. She can be reached at cwhitworth@coloradoan.com or (970) 416-3961.


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Mind+Body January/February 2016 21


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“Serving the Fort Collins area for the past 17 years”


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Self-Reported Hearing Loss: Hearing Aids and Cognitive Decline in Elderly Adults: A 25-year Study”, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

SMART HEARING For years, researchers have eyed the correlation between hearing and brain health. It has been long suspected that the use of hearing aids could be a significant factor in mental state and cognition, especially in older people. A recent study long term study, done at the University of Bordeaux, France, was created to look at the overall effects of brain aging. The study looked at 3670 adults age 65+ for a 25-year period. Researchers found that those who used hearing aids had no greater risk of cognitive decline than those with normal hearing. In contrast, those with hearing loss that went untreated had significantly lower baseline scores on the Mini-Mental State Examination, a widely used test of cognitive function. Essentially, those with hearing loss that went untreated scored lower in cognitive function that those with hearing loss that used hearing aids, contributing to the idea that your hearing directly affects the cognitive function of the brain. Your brain is not only unique to you, it is a crucial part of hearing. That means you hear and interpret sounds differently than anyone else. Knowing that each brain is as unique as a fingerprint, Oticon developed technology that is uniquely adaptable to each individual. BrainHearing™ is revolutionary in that it not only helps both ears to work together, but it recognizes and preserves natural speech characteristics and separates speech from background noise to allow only the important sounds to get through. Past studies have shown that even early stages of hearing loss are linked to cognitive decline. The theory is that when the brain’s ability to process sound is compromised, a person’s ability to understand speech declines. The hearing areas of the brain become weaker, and the areas of the brain that are necessary for higher level thinking then attempt to compensate for the weaker areas. When they step in and try to take over for hearing, they are unavailable to do their primary cognitive jobs – thinking, problem solving, and reasoning.

This brain reorganization could explain why age-related hearing loss is so strongly correlated with dementia, and why it should be taken seriously. Even in the early stages of hearing loss, the brain begins to reorganize. For years, a common theory among the research community has been that the link between hearing loss and cognitive decline is related to a loss of socialization. People with hearing loss are more likely to avoid social situations out of frustration or embarrassment. But research shows that being in social situations is one of the best things to do to preserve cognitive function. The idea of brain health is certainly a hot topic right now, especially among older people who may be seeing friends or family members developing dementia or Alzheimer’s, and who are concerned about their own brain health. The popularity of brain-challenging games such Sudoku and the rise of programs like Lumosity to promote brain health show that the concern is growing. While this is good, studies show the very best thing you can do to maintain cognitive health is to stay socially active. The complexity of the environment and having conversations with multiple people is very healthy for the brain. If a person is hesitant to do that because they struggle with hearing loss, it can severely affect cognitive decline. The results of the study have the potential to change the way people view the use of hearing aids, and to get more people to take action when it comes to hearing health. BrainHearing™ technology is not just about treating hearing loss, it’s about maintaining long term brain health so we can live happier, healthier, and more fulfilling lives. Mind+Body January/February 2016 23


Cultivate on the rocks

Mocktail hour Today’s cocktail lounges evoke the speakeasy days of Prohibition, peddling original creations alongside modern interpretations of teetotaler-era classics. But the cocktail as we know it can be traced deeper through history and across an ocean. In fact, according to Jared Brown’s article in The Telegraph, the term’s first known use dates to a late-1700s London bar tab. It was another five years before the word would trickle over the Atlantic to American tongues. And despite two centuries of ebbs and flows in the cocktail’s popularity, these days it’s back on top, holding center court at restaurants and bars. But cocktails — fun and tasty as they may be — don’t fit the bill for every person or situation. Enter the mocktail. Fortunately for abstainers, these nonalcoholic mixed drinks now grace the menus of many forward-thinking watering holes. Ty Fulcher, co-owner of Social in Fort Collins, shares some of the underground cocktail bar’s alcohol-free recipes with Mind+Body magazine:

Limonade de Provence 2 ounces cranberry juice 1 ounces fresh lemon juice 1 ounces rosemary syrup Top off with soda water

Garnish with lemon wheel and rosemary sprig

Tart Cherry Limeade .5 ounces fresh lime juice .5 ounces vanilla syrup 5 ounces Boylan’s Tart Cherry Soda

Garnish with lime wheel and cherry flag

Stacey McKenna is a freelance writer covering travel, adventure, health and social justice. Follow her @mckenna_stacey on Twitter or visit her website at staceymckennawrites.com.

24 Mind+Body January/February 2016


Nourish Nourish: to feed; care for; sustain, tend, comfort, support, nurture, and cherish.

Mind+Body January/February 2016 25


Nourish healthy recipes

Cans on the run Okay, so they’re actually jars, but these awesome, easy and healthy meals are built for those of us running around with hectic schedules. Which is to say — all of us. Let us introduce you to these mason jar meals and turn your “can’t”s into “cans”.

26 Mind+Body January/February 2016


healthy recipes Nourish

Mason Jar Salads are an easy way to eat healthier in the new year. With just a little bit of careful assembly (placing sturdier ingredients toward the bottom and delicate ingredients toward the top), these salads can easily be made on a Saturday or Sunday and eaten throughout the week.

Mason Jar Asian Salad

Mind+Body January/February 2016 27


Nourish health recipes

This fruit salad lets you have a variety of fruit for every meal and travels well. You’ll want to get the freshest and most flavorful fruit you can find. You can make a different dressing or use different fruits. The main thing is to make a citrus-based dressing (to prevent browning), pack the food tightly and refrigerate it until you’re ready to eat.

Mason Jar Fruit Salad 28 Mind+Body January/February 2016


Farmers Market Mason Jar Salad This salad can be made with any ingredients you like in your salads. You can easily add grilled chicken or other protein. But everything should be fresh. This recipe is a great way to manage your farmers market purchases or your CSA ingredients. Any dressing you like will work, or you can put a different dressing in each jar as you make them. The key is to put the dressing on the bottom and the vegetables that won’t soak up the dressing next. Then layer your ingredients as you wish with the lettuces always on top. It makes an attractive jar when you layer the ingredients by colors.

Southwestern Mason Jar Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

Mind+Body January/February 2016 29


Nourish healthy recipes

Mason Jar Asian Salad

Mason Jar Fruit Salad

Servings: 4

Servings: 4

Salad:

Salad:

4 ounces soba noodles 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced 1 cup edamame, cooked and shelled 2 large carrots, peeled and shredded 4 green onions, thinly chopped 1/2 cup crunchy rice noodles

2 oranges, cut into supremes (sections with no pith) 2 cups seedless grapes, halved 4 kiwi fruits, peeled and sliced 2 cups blueberries 4 cups blackberries 2 cups strawberries, halved 2 cups mango, cubed

Dressing: 2 tablespoons simple, smooth peanut butter (i.e.: no sugar or other additives) 4 teaspoons chili garlic paste (sambal oelek is preferred) 4 teaspoons rice vinegar 4 teaspoons soy sauce 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil Salt and pepper to taste Optional: 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds

Noodles: Cook the soba noodles according to package instructions, rinse, drain and set aside. Peanut dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together peanut butter, chili garlic paste, rice vinegar and soy sauce. While whisking, slowly drizzle in oil until all oil is incorporated. Stir in sesame seeds (optional). Assemble: Divide each ingredient evenly among four jars. Layer your salad by putting the dressing first, then the carrots, red bell pepper, edamame and green onions. Top with the rice noodles, put the lids on and put them in the refrigerator. This salad will last up to 5 days and still taste great. Serve: Turn the jar upside down and let the contents fill your plate.

30 Mind+Body January/February 2016

Dressing: Juice from 2 oranges

Dressing: The orange juice is the only dressing for this salad. Pour the juice from 2 oranges evenly among the jars. Assemble: Layer the ingredients in this order: oranges, mango, grapes, blackberries, kiwi, strawberries and blueberries. Pack everything in the jar tightly so there is as little air as possible to keep the fruit fresh. Seal and keep in the refrigerator. To serve: Turn the jar upside down and empty the contents of the mason jar into a large bowl or plate.

Trish O’Neill is the owner of The Cooking Studio, a cooking school offering classes for all levels of cooks, located in the Opera Galleria in Downtown Fort Collins. Visit the-cooking-studio.com for more information.

Farmers Market Mason Jar Salad

Southwestern Mason Jar Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

Servings: 4

Servings: 4

Salad:

Salad:

1 cup pickled beets, shredded 4 large carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick 8 radishes, sliced 1/4 inch thick 1/2 cup dried cranberries 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, shelled and salted 2 cups romaine lettuce, roughly chopped 2 cups baby spinach 1 cup sunflower shoots

2 cups black beans, rinsed and drained 2 tomatoes, diced 1 red bell pepper, diced 1 yellow bell pepper, diced 2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen 8 cups mixed salad greens 4 ounces cheddar cheese

Dressing: 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (white balsamic is preferred but dark works well also) 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon fine-diced shallots 1 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil Salt and black pepper to taste

Dressing: In a stainless steel bowl, combine all ingredients except olive oil and whisk until well blended. Slowly stream olive oil into mixture until it emulsifies. Assemble: Put between 1 to 4 tablespoons of dressing in the bottom of each jar, depending on your preference for more or less dressing. Then divide the other ingredients evenly among the jars: pickled beets, carrots, radishes, cranberries, sunflower seeds, sunflower shoots, spinach and romaine lettuce. Pack tightly to get as much air out of the jar as possible as this helps keep the vegetables fresh. Serve: Turn the jar upside down and let the contents fill the plate.

Lime Vinaigrette: 1/2 cup fresh lime juice 1/4 cup cilantro 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil Dash of hot sauce Salt and pepper to taste

Vinaigrette: In a stainless steel bowl, whisk together the lime juice, hot sauce, cilantro, and salt and pepper. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking all the time. Assemble: Using four jars, place 4 tablespoons of dressing in the bottom of each jar. You can add a bit more if you prefer more dressing. Layer the other ingredients in this order: black beans, tomato, bell peppers, corn, greens and cheese. Pack the jar tightly with the ingredients to remove as much air as possible (but don’t pack so tightly that the greens are bruised). Serve: Turn the jar over and empty the contents onto a plate.


get healthy Nourish

Easy as From infancy to toddlerhood and beyond, here are the basics when it comes to child nutrition Infant nutrition We all know infants’ earliest nutritional needs are met with breast milk or formula. Why are these important to an infant’s early development? Infants more than double their birth weight and increase their length by 5 to 10 inches by their first birthday. To ensure proper growth and development, infants need an adequate amount of high-quality protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Both breast milk and formula contain all the nutritional qualities needed for infants. The protein in breast milk (lactalbumin) also has immune protection properties to help boost infants’ immune systems. The protein in formula is usually heat-treated casein and whey for easier digestion. Fat is important for brain and central nervous system development. Specifically, DHA, a long chain fatty acid, plays an important role in structure and function of neural tissues, most notably in the retina and brain. This is an important fatty acid that is available to baby through breast milk and has been added to some formulas. Lactose (breast milk) and sucrose (sometimes in formula) help meet carbohydrate needs. Lactose helps create an acidic environment in the intestine by stimulating growth of acid-producing bacteria. Vitamin D is supplemented in formula but limited in breast milk. Vitamin D supplementation is recommended by some doctors for infants not exposed to sufficient sunlight.

Introducing foods What should parents consider when starting to incorporate solids into their child’s diet? What kinds of foods should they start with? Is there anything babies can’t have at this time? At 4 to 6 months, or when babies begin to sit up, it’s a good time to start introducing solid foods. At this age, babies will continue to get most of their nutrients through breast milk or formula. Iron is important at this age as most of the stores formed in utero are depleted. Therefore, it’s best to start with iron-fortified infant cereal. Rice or barley are most common. At 6 to 8 months, pureed or mashed fruits and vegetables as well as ground, strained meats can be in-

troduced. Egg yolk can also be introduced at this age. It is best to introduce one new food at a time to recognize allergic reactions. It is recommended to try a new food every 7 to 10 days. At 7 to 10 months, finger foods such as dry cereals and teething biscuits can be introduced. At 8 to 10 months, soft or cooked table food can be added to your child’s diet. It is important to introduce fiber at 6 to 12 months – whole grains, cereals, fruits, vegetables and legumes. Five grams of fiber per day is recommended. It’s also important to offer a variety of foods in the first year of life. But remember they are used to bland foods at this stage, so there’s no reason to load on the sweet and salty so soon. Foods to avoid during the first year: Honey and corn syrup, which contain spores of Clostridium botulinum. These spores can become bacteria that cause fatal foodborne illness. Infants don’t have the stomach acid like adults, making the bacteria a threat. Avoid cow’s milk and egg whites as these have allergenic proteins. Also, stay away from foods that pose a choking hazard. These include grapes, hot dogs, carrots, meat chunks, popcorn, nuts, peanut butter, hard candy and chocolate.

age. Toddlers don’t know any different, so this is the best time to get them eating a variety of foods. Introduce them to mashed potatoes, mashed beans, boiled eggs, yogurt, whole fruit and cooked vegetables. Parents stress about how much or how little their child eats. Instead of focusing on one day, look at a full week of balanced food intake. Here is an idea of servings per day for toddlers: » 3 ounces grains = 3 slices of bread or 1 slice of bread plus 1/3 cup cereal plus ¼ cup cooked rice/pasta » Vegetables and fruits = 1 cup fresh, frozen or canned » Milk = 2 cups » Meat/beans = 2 to 3 ounces lean meat, chicken, fish or beans (that’s ½ to 3/4 of a deck of cards) » Oils = 3 teaspoons Toddlers have tiny stomachs and can fill up fast. This is why it’s important to have nutrientrich meals as well as snacks. Kris Ball is a registered dietitian and owner of NuMuv Wellness. She’s also a Fort Collins native and has loved settling here with her husband, Mike, and three active boys. For more information on Kris, visit numuvwellness.com.

A well-rounded toddler diet As our babies grow into toddlers, what should they be eating and drinking for a well-rounded, nutritional diet? As babies grow into toddlers, table foods begin to take the place of formula and breast milk. Whole foods are important to meet the appropriate needs for protein, iron, calcium, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Once the intestinal tract and immune system are mature, cow’s milk as well as egg whites can be introduced. It’s important for toddlers to get Vitamin D (400 IU per day). Drinking whole milk can help with this as well as provide dietary fats needed for body and brain growth and development. Keep juices to a minimum of 4 ounces per day. Whole milk and water should be the main sources of liquids throughout the day. Introduce simple, healthy foods at an early

Mind+Body January/February 2016 31


Nourish get fit

Bump+Grind

Life hacks for pregnancy fitness. Pregnancy can bring a lot of challenges into a woman’s life. One such challenge is figuring out how to stay in shape. Between the hormonal effects and physical changes, it can be difficult to keep in tip-top shape in a safe and practical way. Here are a couple tips and tricks to keeping that heart rate up in a safe and healthy way while pregnant. As always, consult your doctor and trainer before you begin any workout routine while pregnant to ensure it’s safe and you aren’t putting yourself or your baby at risk:

The ‘first trimester’ rule Most likely you won’t have to change your exercise routine while in your first trimester. Beyond that, doctors say you should avoid exercises that have you lie flat on your back (they restrict blood flow), and don’t take part in any contact sports or activities that require balance. During pregnancy, a hormone called relaxin loosens your ligaments and joints, which can greatly affect balance and makes you more susceptible to injury in general. The hack: If you are used to running or cycling for your cardio work, try using a stationary bike or elliptical instead. Both are much safer, and your compromised balance won’t put you at risk.

Don’t forget the tummy Many prospective mothers either forget to work out their abs or believe it could be dangerous. Strengthening your abdominal muscles during pregnancy is actually encouraged by health professionals and trainers alike. Having a strong core is known to help with alleviating pressure on the spine and improve posture during pregnancy, and it can even help make the birthing process easier. The hack: Remember, avoid lying on your back. Use alternative abdominal exercises such as side crunches or standing pelvic tilts. You can also place a pillow or cushion under your lower back to prop yourself up and do varying forms of leg lifts and kicks.

Night owl or morning person? Many women either like to work out in the mornings, or their busy schedule means the morning is the only time they are able to work out. The problem? Morning sickness. While pregnant, gathering the motivation to work out in the morning is a daunting task when you’re overwhelmed by nausea and vomiting. The hack: Create a workout routine that doesn’t involve working out in the mornings. Pregnancy nausea usually subsides later in the day, so it might be easier to gather motivation then. If you absolutely must work out in the morning, take a vitamin B6 supplement and munch on crackers or plain bread just after waking. Chris Dixon is an advertising account manager with the Coloradoan. He can be reached at cdixon@coloradoan.

32 Mind+Body January/February 2016


PAID ADVERTISING

get fit Nourish

Yoga for every body Practicing during and after Pregnancy The months during and following pregnancy can leave women tired, achy and overwhelmed. But a focused yoga practice gives new and expecting moms some key tools to cope with pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood. Chrissy Barker, 44, is a mother and teacher at Mindstream Yoga in Fort Collins. As a certified instructor of “StorkStream,” a prenatal class, she sees the myriad benefits to students. Benefits that apply not just during pregnancy, but after as well. Pre-natal yoga classes are typically gentle enough for all, even those brand new to the practice. Mindstream’s prenatal classes “are accessible even if you’ve never done yoga, even if you’ve never really exercised,” Barker says. And some instructors are trained to offer safe modifications in more mainstream classes. But whether trying yoga for the first time or adapting an established practice, Barker recommends pregnant and healing practitioners err on the gentle side. And always, always, respect that changing body.

Mindfulness

Flexibility

Self-Soothing

Yogis refer to the sowing of heightened, nonjudgmental awareness of thoughts, feelings and experiences as mindfulness. Paying close attention to physical and emotional states fosters appreciation of the moment and minimizes risk of injury, helping navigate pregnancy, childbirth, and post-partum healing.

Enhanced, mindful flexibility also helps women preparing for childbirth. In her StorkStream classes, Barker teaches students how to take advantage of the hormone, relaxin, that relaxes ligaments and opens the joints. By guiding them through carefully selected poses, she helps women “to cultivate that opening. You’re trying to relax your body so you open and give birth,” she explains.

Yoga classes can also help women develop tools for managing the challenges of childbirth and, later on, parenthood. “I usually tell people to close their eyes and think of a happy thought or happy place,” Barker says. “Something that calms their mind and spirit… Something soothing to help calm yourself down and be in the process of birthing a baby.” These relaxation tools can also help busy or frazzled parents find tranquility in the midst of chaos.

Breath One of yoga’s top boons just so happens to come in doubly handy if you’re getting ready to give birth. Pregnant or not, various pranayama help relieve anxiety, increase energy and cool or heat the body. In addition, according to The Mayo Clinic, breathing techniques can “reduce or manage shortness of breath during pregnancy and work through contractions during labor.”

Strength Most doctors and instructors alike caution against vigorous yoga during pregnancy or immediately following childbirth. However, through a mindful practice, women can develop muscular strength and endurance that will ease both delivery and recovery.

Personal Time During pregnancy and especially in the early months of parenthood, finding “me time” can present a particular challenge. Yoga classes offer a rejuvenating break. “You find an hour to yourself, where you’re not feeding a baby or taking care of someone else,” Barker explains. “It’s time to get yourself back, to calm yourself.” Mind+Body January/February 2016 33


Nourish get centered

Freedom?!

Helicopter vs. free-range parenting. Ikea furniture comes with assembly instructions. Every piece of technology has a user manual. There are YouTube videos showing step-by-step demonstrations of how to do almost anything – rescreening a door, restoring an old dresser, making the best guacamole, you name it.

So why don’t kids come with instructions? When it comes to instructions, kids are actually kind of like guacamole – there are lots of videos on how to make the “best” version, but they don’t all agree. Onions or no onions? Tomatoes or no tomatoes? Smooth or chunky? OK, so maybe the guacamole metaphor is oversimplifying things. But no matter what kind of parent you are, there’s an article or study out there that says you’re doing it wrong. And recently, a lot of the wrong vs. right debate is focused on “helicopter parenting” vs. “freerange parenting.” First, let’s define each style: Helicopter parent: A parent who has gained the ability to fly in order to hover closely above their child’s head, protecting them from any and all harm that might befall them. Well, scratch the “flying” part, but you get the point. Some say this approach is brought on by fear that something bad will happen to the child if they leave the protective bubble of the parent and that it produces a child who is incompetent and lacks confidence. Free-range parent: A parent who releases their child into the wild, raising them without artificial hormones or the confines of a cage. A free-range parent allows their child more freedom of movement independent of parental supervision. Some say this puts the child in danger and that “free-range” is another term for neglectful parenting, leading children to have low selfesteem and make bad choices. A series of arrests, child protection and court cases during the past several years have prompted questions about where to draw the line between too little and too much child supervision. In some of these cases, parents

34 Mind+Body January/February 2016

allowed a child more freedom than outside observers thought was OK, so calls to the police and whispers of judgement ensued. Most famously, Lenore Skenazy, a blogger, mom and founder of the website “Free-Range Kids,” allowed her 9-year-old to ride the subway home on his own, an act that earned her a social media designation of “World’s Worst Mom.” Thus began the debate between the “helicopter” and “free-range” parents. Key to this debate is the internal struggle parents feel when deciding where that line is. They are protective as they watch media coverage of kidnappings, school shootings and online predators. Yet they are nostalgic for the freedom they enjoyed as children.

So what is the answer? Can we check the “It’s complicated” box? The very debate between the two parenting styles implies the luxury of choice. We assume the parent has the means to provide direct supervision and care 24/7 but makes a conscious decision to either do so or not. But that’s not always the case. How about the single parent who is struggling to make ends meet and allows her 10-year-old to be at home until she gets off work? Is she thinking to herself, “Look what a superior job I’m doing at ‘free-range’ parenting”? On the other hand, is the mom or dad who chooses to stick close to their child always obsessing about protecting them? Maybe not. They may just want to be around their kid. Here’s where it gets profound. The answer is the same as with most things. Most psychologists, parents and law enforcement folks agree: The “right” style is somewhere in the middle. The two opposing styles are just the extremes. Aren’t we all just “doing-the-best-we-can” parenting? Let’s go with that. Rachel Metzgar is a freelance writer and Colorado transplant who has found a home living, working and playing in our vibrant community. She can be reached at rachelmae2@hotmail.com.


get centered Nourish

The thin, pink line Deciding whether having a baby is right for you. If you’re a woman of child-bearing age and you don’t have one, there’s always someone who wants to know when you’re going to have a baby. It might be your mother-in-law, it might be your friends with kids, and it might very well be you. And if you think you’re the only one who isn’t sure how to answer that question, you’re not alone. According to 2014 census data, 47.6 percent of women between ages 18 and 44 in the United States were childless. That statistic has seen a steady increase since the U.S. Census Bureau started keeping track in 1976. Gone are the days when women went to college just to find a husband and then get to the business of making a home and a family. Increasingly, motherhood has become a decision to be made, and more and more women are saying, “no, thank you.” According to a Huffington Post survey detailed in the piece “270 Reasons Women Choose Not To Have Children,” the most common reasons women choose not to have kids are “I want to prioritize my career,” “I don’t like children,” “I have bad relationship with my parents,” “I don’t want the financial responsibility,” and “I like my life as it is.” The operative word, though, is “choose.” A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy

of Sciences, or PNAS, journal stated that life satisfaction of women with children is affected substantially by whether she wanted to have children in the first place. Parents who wanted children ranked higher in overall happiness than those who didn’t. Furthermore, the study found that parents experience both “more daily joy and more daily stress than nonparents.” Whether that joy outweighs the stress or vice versa is nothing but a matter of perspective. The financial aspect of raising a child cannot be ignored. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, or USDA, projected that the cost of raising a child born in 2013 will be $245,340. Though a quarter of a million dollars is nothing to sneeze at, parents will be the first to tell you that if you want kids but want to wait until you feel like you’re financially ready, you’ll be waiting forever. So, should you have kids? Well, do you want kids? If you don’t want kids, don’t have any. If you do, know that it will be stressful and expensive, but also know that those PNAS study authors from Princeton and Stony Brook universities say that wanting babies and having them is going to make you happy at least some of the time. Honor Tarpenning is a writer from Annapolis, MD, who is also an equestrian and sailor. Reach her at htarpenning@ gmail.com.

Mind+Body January/February 2016 35


project:purpose Nourish

Nourish get centered

Project:Purpose

Shifting from body to mind The past few years, Mind+Body magazine’s Project:Purpose effort has focused on the body. We teamed fitness, nutrition and wellness experts from Miramont Lifestyle Fitness in Fort Collins with folks around the community who were looking to improve the way they felt. These community members let us all watch as they worked to achieve health goals shared by many of us. We read about their struggles and their successes. We heard from many of them that the experience was life-changing. For 2016, we’re shifting the focus of Project:Purpose from body to mind. For 2016, it’s about educating ourselves and our readers about the needs of our community and about pitching in to help. For our first project, members of the Mind+Body team volunteered in early December with Book Trust, a national nonprofit literacy organization founded in Fort Collins and based in Denver. Book Trust works to get books in the hands of children from low-income families with a focus on choice and ownership, according to the nonprofit. Each month, students receive funds to buy from the Scholastic Reading Club flyer. The books they choose are theirs to take home. Schools qualify for Book Trust in part based on the percentage of students receiving free or reduced lunch, according to the organization. When a school is eligible, all students within a participating class receive books. Members of the Mind+Body team participated in a Book Trust book delivery to second-graders at Laurel Elementary School in Fort Collins. During the delivery, students read to us and talked to us about their selections. Here’s a look at our time. 36 Mind+Body January/February 2016

Book Trust For more information about Book Trust, including ways to donate or volunteer, visit booktrust.org or call 720-458-9889.


Aspire

Aspire: to point or direct at a goal; endeavor, aim, hope, pursue, strive, and dream. Mind+Body January/February 2016 37


Aspire get to work

The great debate Whether it’s a parent, a family member or a day-care provider, countless variables go into deciding the best child-care situation for your brood About 43 percent of American families have at least one child living at home. In most dual-parent households — about 60 percent — both parents have to work at least a little. So couples raising kids together must consider financial situation, child-care costs and one another’s career goals as they divvy up responsibilities. Here’s a look at two families and their decisions, which highlight just how complicated the issue can be.

Balancing two working parents Jamie and Eric Girouard have been married for nine years and have two children, Danica, 6, and Mason, 3. A Denver-based couple in their mid-30s, their situation probably mirrors a lot of other parents’ situation: Both hold good jobs in corporate America, but debt prevents either from staying home. Since they both had student loan debt when they had kids, Jamie says, “Eric would have loved to stay at home, but it was never financially feasible.” The family uses a nanny to help care for the kids. So, she says, “The balance is measured on a weekly basis. If Eric has to spend extra time away from work due to kids’ doctors appointments, then I ensure I leave work early to relieve the nanny. He has to step up more often when I’m traveling. Basically, we alternate every day on who can work longer hours.” 38 Mind+Body January/February 2016

Making it work on one income (mostly) Andy and Hillary Melchiors, both in their mid-30s, have been married for 11 years. In raising their two daughters, Annika, 7, and Mayzie, 5, the couple have navigated unique circumstances, including graduate school and life abroad. So, who works, how much and whether someone stays home has changed over the years. When child care for two became cost-prohibitive, Hillary stayed home during the day and studied at night. When she was awarded a grant to conduct her dissertation research in Berlin, the family moved abroad for a year and Andy became the stay-at-home parent. But for the most part, Andy, an IT specialist, has worked full time and Hillary has worked and stayed home as needed. “The decision for us has always been a pragmatic one,” Hillary says. “Andy will always earn more money than I will, most likely, so he’s been the primary bread-winner since I went to grad school.” But, she continues, “We’ve finally gotten to a place that his income alone is more than enough to sustain our family. The extra money I bring in is exactly that: extra. . . . We know we’re lucky and a little unusual to be so stable financially.” Stacey McKenna is a freelance writer covering travel, adventure, health and social justice. Follow her @mckenna_stacey on Twitter or visit her website at staceymckennawrites.com.


get to work Aspire

The working wars Moms vs. non-moms in the professional world.

In the past 100 years, things have changed drastically for women, and it’s not over yet. Women today have messages coming from every direction – “Lean in” and focus on your career, says Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg; “You can have it all – a family, a career and a life,” others say. So what might that look like in the workplace? How might the work dynamic of the professional mom compare with that of the non-mom? At some point, you may have noticed that some women can be competitive or judgmental toward one other, bitter at the working mom who “constantly” gets called away for a sick kid or the non-mom coworker who “just doesn’t get it.” But when it comes down to it, we should focus on what brings us together as women, getting after it in the workplace and out, building each other up, appreciating the perspective that comes from “leaning in” or “having it all.” Rachel Metzgar is a freelance writer and Colorado transplant who has found a home living, working and playing in our vibrant community. She can be reached at rachelmae2@hotmail.com.

The Professional Mom

The Professional Non-mom

» Seeks out a job with flexibility in case the kids get sick or have days off from school.

» Seeks out a job with flexibility to accomodate her hobbies and passions.

» Bags under her eyes from being up late helping with homework and getting up early to squeeze in a yoga session. » Shows up to work the most practical accessories — heels that are comfortable, lipstick that won’t budge and a cute scarf in case of spills from the kids. » Thrives on achievements at work as affirmation of her identity outside of being a mom. » Leaves early once in a while for band concerts, track practice and taking pictures on prom night. » Counts her PTO down to the hour while planning for a getaway next year with the S.O. – no kids! » Go-to person for an aspirin, eye drops, a lint roller; whatever you need, she’s got it. » Has the best kid-made decorations in her office. » Digs her “non-mom” coworker for her spunk and how she dotes on her kids.

» Bags under her eyes from being up late on a Netflix binge or socializing with friends and getting up early to squeeze in a Zoomba class. » Shows up to work with hair and makeup on point carrying a cute, tiny handbag and a latte. » Thrives on achievements at work as affirmation of her skills in her career. » Leaves early once in a while to get a jump on the weekend, make it to an art show or attend a class. » Counts her PTO down to the hour while planning for a summer vacation to visit family. » Go-to person for a restaurant, salon and shopping recommendations. » Has the feng shui just right in her office. » Digs her “mom” coworker for her funny kid stories and ability to balance it all.

Mind+Body January/February 2016 39


Aspire get to work

Helping hands In Larimer County, nearly one-third of single mothers with kids younger than 18 live in poverty. Want to help them out? Here are a few local organizations that serve these women and their children:

Crossroads Safehouse

Be the Gift

The Family Center/La Familia

Crossroads Safehouse “creates a safe environment for victims of domestic violence and promotes social change for the community through education and intervention.”

Be the Gift aims to “bring a new sense of hope to single moms and their children.”

The Family Center/La Familia works to “strengthen and stabilize families with children” by providing a mix of tailored services in a one-stop-shop setting.

Services » 24/7 crisis intervention » Emergency safehousing » Advocacy and support groups » Youth program » Domestic abuse response » Legal advocacy and representation » Bringing Justice Home Project » Latina services » Crosstrails (emergency sheltering for pets of Safehouse residents) » Community education and training » Transitional housing Crossroads accepts volunteers for both direct service and nondirect service. For more information Mailing address: P.O. Box 993, Fort Collins, CO 80522 Email: mail@crossroadssafehouse.org Phone: 970-482-3535 Website: crossroadssafehouse.org

40 Mind+Body January/February 2016

Programs Project managers and volunteers work to provide single mothers with practical assistance, including home repairs and maintenance projects, as a gift. Interested volunteers can complete an online application available atbethegift.com. For more information Mailing address: P.O. Box 1285, Loveland, CO 80539 Email: chris@bethegift.com Phone: 970-691-8777 Website: www.bethegift.com

Additional organizations in the area Alternatives to Violence (ATV), alternativestoviolence.org. Sister Mary Alice Murphy Center for Hope, murphycenterforhope.org Food Bank for Larimer County, foodbanklarimer.org

Programs » Family strengthening services » Healthy living program » Early childhood education » Youth programs » Adult education » Resource and referrals To learn more about volunteering with The Family Center/La Familia, email kodip@thefamilycenterfc.org. For more information Address: 309 Hickory St., No. 5, Fort Collins, CO 80524 Email: info@thefamilycenterfc.org Phone: 970-221-1615 Website: thefamilycenterfc.org Stacey McKenna is a freelance writer covering travel, adventure, health and social justice. Follow her @ mckenna_stacey on Twitter or visit her website at staceymckennawrites.com.



Career Family Passion Motherhood Balance Love Challenge


Three Mind+Body Super Women reflect on work-life balance In the summer of 2014, Mind+Body published its inaugural Northern Colorado Super Women issue. In it, we highlighted a number of local women, nominated by their peers, who exemplified grace, strength and humility as they go about their daily lives as paragons inside their communities. While many things can change over the course of a year, some remain the same. Either way, this much is certain: The road to satisfaction with family, work and personal life is both long and bumpy, and requires constant attention. Mind+Body caught up with three of last year’s Super Women, Allison Hines, Kristin Candella and Jennifer Jones Markiewicz, to find out how they continue to manage the high expectations that go along with balancing careers while also being devoted wives and mothers. We found out that nothing comes easy, even for these superlative ladies. But the rewards of success, however it is measured, are worth every bit of the struggle to achieve it. Mind+Body January/February 2016 43



Even Super Women deal with stress. Soon after being nominated as one of Mind+Body’s 2014 Northern Colorado Super Women, Allison Hines left her job to become the resource director at the United Way of Larimer County. A few months later, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a lumpectomy and radiation treatments. After her therapy wrapped up this past March, giving her a clean bill of health, she got promoted to the United Way’s vice president of resource development, charged with overseeing a $5 million fundraising effort. Life, in other words, hasn’t stopped. “It’s been a busy year,” she says with considerable understatement. Hines will be the first to confirm that juggling family, job, health and self can leave one exhausted, guilty and overwhelmed. The 38-year-old Fort Collins resident has come to grips with the realities that accompany such a dance, even spinning them into positives — all thanks to the reality check of a serious illness. “The stress has helped me to focus and dedicate time to what’s most important to me, which are my family and my community,” says Hines. Fortunately, working for the United Way allows Hines to blend her passions for career and community service. She also still volunteers for several other local agencies, runs half marathons, and takes work home every now and then. Despite her multitasking, the criticism — from inside and out — remains hard to ignore. “It’s a constant juggle,” Hines says. “I’m sure that sometimes my husband feels like he gets put on the backburner because of my career and my volunteer work, that he’s a few notches down the ladder of priority. You only have 100 percent and sometimes you’ve already allocated that out to work or your child. Sometimes it’s hard to have something left at the end of the day for — God forbid! — yourself and social relationships. Some days I get it right, some days I don’t.” It is a good bet that Hines gets it right most of the time. And she’s confident that she provides a great

example for her 3-year-old son, Aiden, simply by doing what she does every day. Having a child, she says, has made her more aware of her mortality and of the need to be present. Yet “mommy guilt” remains a very real notion. “Some days I forget to pack my kids’ raincoat and I feel terrible,” she says. “But at the end of the day, it’ll be fine.”

“Having Matchbox cars and Play-Doh cans all over the house is not going to last forever, and at some point I’ll miss it.” Perhaps that’s because when the mess and the work and the fatigue pile up, Hines is now more equipped than ever to appreciate the beauty of such chaos. “Having Matchbox cars and Play-Doh cans all over the house is not going to last forever, and at some point I’ll miss it,” she says. “I would be lying if there weren’t some times when I miss the spontaneity of when you could just pick up and do whatever you wanted, without having to worry about the responsibility of caring for another human life. But would I ever want to go back? No. I think I’m 10 times the woman I used to be.”

Mind+Body January/February 2016 45


A worthy sacrifice For Kristin Candella, like all working mothers, there is no easy solution to preventing work from sometimes interfering with her personal life. Her solution? Set boundaries. “If it means that I need to have a whole day Saturday (work) event but that I can recapture some time volunteering in my son’s class during the weekday,” Candella says, “I’m going to do that.”

“I decided that what I wanted to show my kids was that you should do what you love [and] also that doing what you love can make the world better.” Her position as executive director at Fort Collins Habitat for Humanity requires a great deal of energy. She points to significant mortgage lending reforms in the past three years that have caused land prices for lots on which to build houses to double. She is also required to meet the same building codes as for-profit builders without the benefit of profits, and she runs Habitat’s retail store with inventory supplied strictly by donations. “We have to come up with creative solutions,” Candella says. “But when things work, I get to see the

46 Mind+Body January/February 2016

miraculous happen.” Watching those miracles take place provides fuel for her action-packed days. Many of her clients are single parents with modest incomes who also volunteer hundreds of hours to build their house. Candella, ever the advocate of the “little guy,” relishes the chance to watch them resolutely take control of their own destiny. “For all they’re balancing between working and volunteering on the build site, and all the education that has to be acquired, I am constantly amazed by what they do to accomplish being a Habitat homeowner,” she says. “Empowering others allows me to do what I can do.” Even for such a champion of the less fortunate, there is a life to be lived outside of work. The 40-year-old wife and mother of two elementary school-age children understands how valuable her time is to all those who count on her, and she unapologetically owns every choice she makes. “I made a conscious decision to choose this over a career that I was less passionate about, that would be easier and less time consuming,” Candella says. “Ultimately, I decided that what I wanted to show my kids was that you should do what you love (and) also that doing what you love can make the world better.” Dealing with sick kids while at work and thinking about work emails at night, she says, are just part of the package. She empathizes with professional women and mothers like her who need to stay connected to work while at home at night or while on vacation. “Shutting it off entirely,” she says, “doesn’t mean that it’s not there.” Of course Candella, like her fellow former Northern Colorado Super Women, doesn’t see anything special in her fluid toggle through life’s layers. And as for the idea of reconciling the self she was before she had kids with the woman she is now? “There’s an element of sacrifice and of imperfection that you have to accept if you want to try to do a lot of different things,” she says. “It’s easy to make it look shiny, but I don’t think that I’m doing anything that any other mom who’s trying to work isn’t doing.”




Leading by example Like Hines, Jennifer Jones Markiewicz has undergone a major life change in the past year. After navigating single parenthood for seven years, during which she also worked full time while completing her MBA, Markiewicz got married in June 2015. Having the extra support at home, she says, has certainly helped her 12-year-old son, Leo. It also energizes her so she can continue to make a tangible difference every day in her community. Her position as executive director for the Sexual Assault Victim Advocate, or SAVA, Center is a challenging one. But Markiewicz takes great pride in spearheading a prevention education program that will reach 5,000 kids and more than 700 sexual assault victims this year alone. “I’m personally fulfilled with what I do at work,” she says. “Having to spend time away from my son like every working mother, I don’t wonder whether or not what I’m doing is worth all of the effort. It’s a good balance.” That balance is impacted by the fact that Leo is right around the age of the target audience of her prevention education programs. So the mindset shift she’s trying to effect in her community, by helping kids think differently about relationships, consent and accountability, focuses directly on the demographic that includes her son and his peers. Her responsibility, therefore, radiates out into many directions. “I see an opportunity for my son to be living a different experience as an adult when it comes to relationships and expectations,” Markiewicz says. “Hopefully he’ll be one of those people who is creating the social change.” Engaging the community in a discourse on an uncomfortable subject, as well as raising money to allow SAVA to continue its mission, present a perpetual challenge. Sexual assault, she points out, is a problem that affects all of us, with one in four women and one in 17 men in Colorado experiencing sexual violence in some way. Thankfully, her history in fundraising has contributed to a well-honed acumen in tapping into the resources that are critical for her nonprofit’s survival. “I definitely struggle with the creative part,” she

says, “especially to bring in the right amount of levity and cheerfulness to a subject that requires a great deal of respect.” Nevertheless, Markiewicz doesn’t shy away from such challenges. She continues to model the devotion and passion that can help make life great, taking very seriously the enormous responsibility of being a mother.

“I’m hoping that I’m steeping Leo in that culture of philanthropy, too, so that he sees why it’s important to be generous as he grows up.” “After I had Leo,” she says, “there was a different drive. It was about making him proud and giving him something to look up to. Working hard means setting an example for my son. It’s not just about a paycheck. I have found that balance to take care of myself, be present for my son and have a career that I feel proud of.” Consequently, the devoted career woman, wife and mother looks at her job less as a wedge between different segments of her life and more as an intersection. She and Leo have regular conversations about giving back and even brainstorm fundraising ideas together. “It’s an important part of our family values,” she says. “I’m hoping that I’m steeping Leo in that culture of philanthropy, too, so that he sees why it’s important to be generous as he grows up.”

Andrew Kensley is a freelance writer, novelist and blogger from Fort Collins. Reach him at www.andrewkensley.com.

Mind+Body January/February 2016 49


Y

d

y o u k r o c o h t i l u o

w h e r e?


Though the holidays may be over, the new year is likely to bring with it many events and occasions to go out. Whether it be a wedding or just an evening out on the town, as parents know, bringing along a child can be just as stressful on you, the venue and the people around you as it is on the child. But with careful planning and a brush-up on child-related etiquette, your evening out can be a positive experience for everyone. Here are some tips and etiquette hints for all of your questions: A special event

Brewery/restaurant

» Double check the guest list: First and foremost, make sure your kids are actually invited. If it’s a wedding and your children’s names are not on the invitation, they probably aren’t welcome. Always double check with the host and always respect their wishes. If your children are invited, ask the host for an itinerary to see what will and won’t be appropriate for them. A cozy reception: yes. A drunken beer crawl afterward: no.

» Pick location carefully: Eating out with children doesn’t have to be restricted to children-centric places such as Chuck E Cheese, but taking your toddler to the hottest fine-dining restaurant downtown may not be the best idea either. Especially if it’s your first couple of times dining out with your child, pick a place that is kid-friendly and sees lots of family traffic. A good indicator is whether the restaurant offers kids menus. Call ahead to check.

» See what’s offered: Depending on the event and the number of children attending, the host may have special accommodations for the little ones such as an activity table, a movie room or even a child-care service. Check ahead of time when you RSVP to know what you can expect from the event. This will not only let the host know to expect your child, but will also help you know what to pack and provide.

» Plan your seating: When you arrive at the restaurant or when making your reservation, coordinate with the host or hostess to find the best place for you to sit with your children. This may be a quiet corner booth where noise and disruption can be boxed in or a table near the exit where children can be quickly taken outside to run off excess energy.

» Bring snacks: Especially if your child gets grumpy when hungry, it’s best to go to the event fully prepared with snacks and maybe a meal prepared for them. Even if food is provided at the event, your child might not enjoy what’s offered, so pack a snack for the little one to quietly enjoy. » Set expectations: Before attending the event, chat with your older child about what they can expect to happen and what your expectations are for their behavior. It’s best not to set or break any rules that you keep on a normal basis, but stay as close to the expectations you have at home as possible.

» Look for something for everyone: Along with its beer selection, Equinox Brewing offers juice boxes and root beer for kids, and it has board games available to check out, Equinox co-owner Shannon Westcott says. “We have kids ourselves, and the four of us spent a few snowy Sundays at Equinox playing board games,” she said. » Timing, timing, timing: Equinox often sees families, but mostly earlier in the day on weekends, Westcott says. “We have live music on Friday and Saturday nights, and it can get very crowded, making it harder for families with young children to find a comfortable space.” When planning an outing with your kids, try to plan around big events that could make it tough for you and your kids to focus. Mind+Body January/February 2016 51



Movie theater » Sit near the exit: The only thing worse than having your child start to cry in the movie theater is having to crawl over the annoyed people next to you to get to the door. Arrive at the theater early to get seats that will allow you to make a quick and nondisruptive dash out the door if your child starts fussing. » Schedule carefully: At what point during the day is your child the most calm and collected? This is when you want to take him to the movies. Avoid late-night movies and early morning premieres. Opt, if possible, for mid-day movies that tend to be less crowded and more family friendly. » Pick your movie wisely: There’s nothing stopping you from taking your toddler to the newest, creepiest and loudest horror movie — nothing except your knowledge of what your child’s reaction could be. Check with the nearest theater for when it has kids movie scheduled, and visit www.kids-in-mind.com to see how other parents have rated movies on levels of sex and nudity, violence and gore, and profanity. That way, you can find a movie that will both make you and your little ones happy. » Plan your day around the movie: If the movie you are planning to see is one you want your child to sleep through, you’ll want to wear him out beforehand. Once in the theater, don’t get your child hyped up on excess sugar from soda, candy and popcorn. Your neighbors (and your wallet) will thank you.

General tips » Pack it up: If your child is having a hard time not being disruptive, or you’re worried they might get out of hand, don’t be afraid to come early and leave early. Especially at restaurants, your waiter and host should be more than happy to put your meal in to-go boxes and deliver the check early. No matter the location, you’ll have better control of your child’s attention and behavior in a familiar place, such as home or in the car, than a new place where you both are distracted. » Bring your own distractions: No one knows your child better than you do, and therefore no one can distract them as well as you can. Make sure to plan ahead and bring what you can to keep your child occupied. This can include his/her favorite toys, books, games or a movie on your phone. You’ll no doubt get bonus points if the item of distraction is quiet and compact. » Be polite: A staple that should be the epitome of all advice pieces, the most important element of having good child-related etiquette is to be polite and be patient. Nicole Duggan is a freelance writer who lives in Fort Collins. She can be reached at nicole.b.duggan@gmail.com.

Mind+Body January/February 2016 53



Ditching the tabloid deception “Don’t hate on them because they’re famous. And rich. Hate on them because they look so darn good so soon after having kids,” the NY Daily News quipped in October. A series of 45 photos followed, showcasing — and captioning — celebrities’ post-baby bodies. Most of the subjects were complimented for quickly reclaiming their pre-pregnancy figures while a few received backhanded praise for taking a slower tack.

In February, People Magazine titled a similar slide show “Body After Baby: Star Moms Who Bounced Right Back.” And really, these themes are nothing new. From In Style to The Huffington Post to WebMD, the media have been selling new mothers on the importance of getting trim. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with a health-inspired nudge, pushing images of idealized postpartum bodies does more harm than good. In fact, women with negative body images breast-feed for less time or not at all and are more likely to suffer from postpartum depression. Perhaps in the 21st century, we should quit peddling “perfect” post-baby bodies and instead provide women with models and tools to optimize health. Weight loss Post-pregnancy weight-loss struggles affect women’s health in addition to how they feel about their bodies. “Many women are going to struggle to lose the (pregnancy) weight as quickly as they want to,” says Matthew Brennecke, a naturopathic doctor with Rocky Mountain Wellness Clinic. One of the best ways to rediscover a healthy weight after giving birth is to prioritize wellness during pregnancy. Weight gain is inevitable for most moms-to-be, but there’s no one-sizefits-all prescription. “Twenty-five to 35 pounds can be gained by women of low or normal body weight,” says Lindsey Ellis, a nurse practitioner with Women’s Community Health Practice of MedStar Washington Hospital Center. “Less if the starting weight is overweight or obese.” And while weight gain is a natural part of pregnancy, it should happen via nutritious eating. Brennecke, a nutrition expert, weighs in on the importance of a balanced diet. “Many women while pregnant feel like they should have a free pass when it comes to eating whatever they want. While cravings are a very real thing, it’s important to note



that whatever the mother-to-be puts into her mouth is what the baby is getting as well.” Brennecke encourages patients to get protein and iron from lean meats and dark leafy greens; calcium from greens such as broccoli or kale; and nutrients such as fiber, B vitamins and folic acid from whole grains. Of course, he adds, “It’s always a good idea to include a prenatal multivitamin” as well. “It’s not going to give you all the nutrition you need for a healthy pregnancy but will pick up the slack if you have a day or two where you’re not eating as well as you should.” Perhaps driven by the media’s touting of super-slim celebs just a month or two after giving birth, many women rush to trim down. But, Brennecke says, “It’s important to give your body some time to heal. … Dieting too soon after giving birth can delay the healing process as well as slow down the milk production for your baby to feed.” And during this time, that well-balanced diet is key, especially for women who’ve decided

myth. Pregnancy causes ‘sagging,’ ” she says, “though I hate that term.” Since breasts enlarge during pregnancy, then decrease in size in the months after giving birth, the skin may stretch, leading to ptosis, or “sagging.” There’s no guaranteed way to prevent or predict breast ptosis — it can have as much to do with genetics as pregnancy history or weight gain — but it’s a natural part of the package for many women. Getting fit again With Fort Collins named one of Livability’s 10 fittest cities, local moms might be more anxious to get back on their bikes than into their little black dresses. And while emphasizing fitness over looks generally leads to a more healthy body and a better body image, it’s important to be patient. “Typically, it’s at least six weeks of recovery before a mother’s body has healed enough to become really active once again,” Brennecke says. “If that mother

“Let your body heal with time, give it the proper nutrients through your diet, and the weight will oftentimes come off slowly and surely.” to breast-feed. Since lactation demands the mom consume more calories, this may mean continuing to eat more than anticipated. But, Ellis points out, “breast-feeding is a great way to lose pregnancy weight.” Stretching skin Post-pregnancy body image isn’t just about weight loss. Many women worry about the visible signs of skin that’s been worked over. “I get a lot of questions about stretch marks,” Ellis says. “But there’s no proven treatment for them.” And while the Internet brims with quick fixes for this common complaint, some women have begun embracing their skin as-is. The #LoveYourLines campaign features images of women’s bodies that honor, rather than hide, stretch marks that have resulted from pregnancy, weight changes or everyday living. The site aims to remind women that feeling beautiful can celebrate signs of the lives we’ve lived. Breast changes are also a normal part of pregnancy. However, Ellis says, contrary to popular belief, breast-feeding “will not cause breast ‘sagging.’ This is a common

is breast-feeding and wanting to get back into shape after birth, it should be about two months before she starts training again.” And that’s for an uncomplicated delivery. Women who experience extreme tearing or who have cesarean section might want to wait even longer, depending on their pain levels and doctor’s advice. Persistent perineal discomfort or over-stretched abdominal walls can last months and represent a barrier to exercise. Most women can gradually work their way back to pre-pregnancy fitness levels, a task made far easier by staying fit and healthy throughout pregnancy. But fad diets, premature training and self-deprecating time in front of the mirror won’t help. “As a new mother, the stress is already high enough dealing with a newborn,” Brennecke says. “Let your body heal with time, give it the proper nutrients through your diet, and the weight will oftentimes come off slowly and surely. Then, if you can find the time with a newborn, you can get back into your normal workout routine and start building that muscle again.” Stacey McKenna is a freelance writer covering travel, adventure, health and social justice. Follow her @mckenna_stacey on Twitter or visit her website at staceymckennawrites.com.

Mind+Body January/February 2016 57


the end

Parenting:

The thankless art of making, executing, and being the list that proves to be the most rewarding job ever … maybe. By Sebastian Romah

Having children and being a parent can be two totally separate endeavors. For example, a PANK (Professional Aunt No Kids) can spend time alone with your children and “have kids,” but at the end of the day, she gets to give them back — albeit with 100 percent organic snacks and a fair-trade, way-too-expensive toddler jumper that she just couldn’t resist. She is not a parent, because if she were, she would have battled with the notion that the little one who shall go unnamed is only going to outgrow/throw up on that jumper about 35 minutes after getting home. Being a parent, parenting, is wrought with a litany of questions that only reveal their answers in the long term. Yes, there are some easier decisions that yield immediate returns, i.e. giving into the dark (see: fun) side and making a trip to the local trampoline park with five kids will yield at least one injured, crying child; or deciding to purchase everyone skateboards will yield at least one injured person, likely you or your co-parent. But the more difficult and ever-present questions and decisions arise just as fast and just as frequently. Seriously, what did Mark Zuckerberg’s parents do differently from the parent who raised the YouTube “StarSpangled Burper”? Did Zuckerberg’s parents choose a Common Core curriculum school or an International Baccalaureate (IB) school? Did they let him just start coding at age 4, or was he allowed to participate in lacrosse/soccer/swimming? Which will make a child a better person, taking guitar lessons or painting classes? Will Elf on the Shelf shape my kids’ perception of surveillance and snitching? (I don’t care what anyone says — that little dude is creepy. I can’t believe I let my wife talk me into doing that.) Apparently, I’m not alone in this wariness about making these decisions. According to a survey published in the Daily Mail in July 2014, “68 percent of parents feel judged on the decisions they make for their child.” So it’s not the decisions we make but fear of being perceived as a bad parent. And I am one of those people who can navigate decisions confidently and with very little concern for how those decisions are perceived in just about every other part of my life. Parenting, though, is just plain different. This might explain why sometimes my wife and I can discuss the most mundane decision about our lives as if it will determine whether our child goes to grad school or spends their adulthood making Kardashian parodies on YouTube. Parenting for me is an evolving art that I can never seem to master. My wife and I are fortunate to be able to work through it together. I believe the unease is a consequence of the reality that our project, our children, are constantly changing and as unpredictable as we hope they will grow to become. The hardest part is that ultimate success is these kids finally leaving us, just like their PANK, and no longer needing us. The reality is that parenting is the arduous task of learning to be a better person for myself and for others.

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