Bellingham Alive | January 2017

Page 1

HEALTH Down & Dirty with Docs Answers from experts

Wonder Women

Michele Kämmerer and Janis Walworth JANUARY 2017 DISPLAY UNTIL JANUARY 31 $3.99 US • $4.99 CAN

Self -Care

50 Ways to Pamper Yourself


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50 WAYS TO PAMPER YOURSELF It’s been a year, hasn’t it? In this feature, we give you 50 ways to reclaim your time and relax.


74 DOWN-N-DIRTY WITH DOCS You shouldn’t be embarrassed to ask your doctor anything, but just in case, here are some answers to questions you might be afraid to ask.





Getting Your Zs


Cold Weather Warm-Up


Lasting Image


Menu Grief Cuisine


Calendar January


Wonder Women  Michele Kåmmerer and Janis Walworth


Book Reviews


Who Knew


In the Know Saku Tea


Five Faves Paleo Snacks


In the Spotlight Jayne Baron


In the Know Best Day Ever


In the Know  da Vinci Robot Surgery


Community  Compass Health




Necessities  Down by the Sea


Partly Sunny


Beauty  Self-Care Essentials




Weight Loss




50 Ways to Pamper Yourself


Down-n-Dirty With Docs


Arlis’s Restaurant


Dining Guide


Sip Budget Wines


Mixing Tin Mortimer, Mauve & Harrison


8 Great Tastes


Featured Event Fame


Out of Town


The Scene Bellingham-Whatcom Chamber Dinner


Editor’s Letter




Letters to the Editor


Meet a Staffer  Taylor Jolliffe


Final Word

January 2017 5

NOTES On the Web

Be sure to check us out at: Submit your events on our calendar! Do you have an event that you would like our readers to know about? offers an events calendar where viewers can search by day, venue, event type, or city. Go to and submit your event today. Once your event has been approved by our editorial staff, it is live.

Online EXCLUSIVE Detox 101: Dr. Jenna Jorgenson, ND will give you all the information you need for a safe and effective cleanse in the New Year.

Join us on




Natural Health Remedies Nutrition

Previous digital editions now available online.




Sign up for our FREE entertainment e-newsletter to get the latest on upcoming events and more!

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NOTES Editor's Letter

To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.  — Mary Oliver


t was the first day I started looking. My daughter was ready to be in preschool, bustling around the house and needing friends, and I was ready to work again, having taken a hiatus for full-time motherhood. I clicked open Craigslist, not expecting much, and there it was — an ad for a magazine editor. I sent in a resume and took Cora to the park. When I got back, an editorial test was waiting for me. And then an interview. I fell in love with K&L Media from the start, and that will never change. I leave K&L Media with a heavy heart. I love this team of talented designers — Mariah and Dean — who make every single issue artful, bold, and beautiful. I love our office manager Jenn, whose enormous heart and brilliant skills keep this company humming along. I will be a little lost without Babette, whose humor, intelligence, and sage advice keep me sane, and whose off-beat tastes match mine so perfectly. And our newcomers Dominic and Taylor who enhance everything they touch. Taylor’s gentle nature and ability to turn phrases is incredible. And Dominic is my brother-from-another-mother, witty and fun, smart as heck and yet calm and cool. I will miss Ken’s colorful humor and Melissa’s kindness. This team makes me happy to go to work every single day. We have truly hit our stride at K&L Media, and it’s a hard time to leave. I will also miss our readers, writers, interns past and present, and contributors, who have made this publication a worthwhile venture. And I am evergrateful to our advertisers, who sponsor our content and keep us rolling. Your professionalism, support, and feedback have made my job so rewarding. When I interviewed for my position, Lisa and I hugged at the end of the interview. I knew we were going to be a great team, and over the years, that bond never wavered. She’s one of the kindest, fiercest, strongest businesswoman out there, creating a successful startup in the middle of the recession, wrangling talent and advertisers for every issue,


making wise market choices that keep K&L Media strong. Her instincts and choices are excellent, and I know that whoever ends up in my chair will be perfect for the magazine, for the team, and for our readers. Lisa doesn’t suffer fools, and she doesn’t go for secondbest. She will ensure that your experience as readers will be of consistent quality and relevance as we transition to a new editor-in-chief. As for me? I’ll be at Western Washington University looking forward to reading Bellingham Alive every month, and seeing it go to new heights. I might still drop by the office for French Toast Fridays, though.



Barre3 Bob’s Burgers FYZICAL Therapy Haggen Jalapeños Nicole Burdick Peoples Bank RejuvenationMD Scotty Browns Woods Coffee The YMCA

Imagine your ad here!

NOTES Contributors Ashley Thomasson Ashley is the owner of Love Beauty, a makeup artistry company based in Whatcom County. Specializing in weddings, events, and makeup for photography, Ashley strives to create looks with her clients that reflect their personality and natural beauty. When she is not behind her brushes, she is experimenting in her kitchen, and finding any excuse to share good food with friends.  p. 44 Ella Barney Ella Barney is a fully certified Stott Pilates® instructor. She has been actively involved in the fitness/health arena since teaching fitness classes at UCLA in 1994. She attended Whatcom Community College and became a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA). Ella spent five years working both inpatient and outpatient care. She continued her training to become a Full Circle certified instructor. She has completed the Injuries and Special Populations course, as well as various rehab courses and workshops, including breast cancer survivor rehab and osteoporosis. She is also a ResistaBall trainer and YMCA Silver Sneakers instructor.  p. 50 Leigh Mcdiarmid Leigh Mcdiarmid has been practicing Hypnotherapy in Bellingham since 2007, helping clients access their innate ability to make positive changes in their lives. She specializes in weight loss, bringing the power of hypnosis together with the latest scientific research to help clients with habit change, willpower, and motivation. She is also certified in Medical Support Hypnosis, helping clients with issues like chronic pain, or preparing for a positive surgical experience and rapid post-surgery healing.  p.49 Jennifer Adler


306.483.4576 ext.4


Jennifer Adler M.S., C.N., is the author of Passionate Nutrition, A Guide to Using Food as Medicine from a Nutritionist Who Healed Herself from the Inside Out. Jennifer is also the owner of the company Passionate Nutrition, which offers nutrition counseling and online classes.  p. 53

Eric Subong, MD is a board-certified ophthalmologist and fellowship trained retina specialist. Hailing from Baltimore, MD, he received both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Maryland. WELCOME Amador Subong, MD joins Bellingham Retina Specialists after 12 years practicing retina and vitreous surgery for Kaiser Permanente in Northern California. He is a Board-certified ophthalmologist and retina fellowship trained.

Specializing in: • • • • • • • • • • • •

Wet & Dry Macular Degeneration Diabetic Retinopathy Macular Edema Macular Holes Macular Pucker Retinal Vascular Occlusion Retinal Detachments & Tears Flashes & Floaters Intraocular Inflammation (Uveitis) Intraocular Infection Congenital Vitreo-Retinal Diseases Ocular Trauma


3120 Squalicum Parkway, Suite 1 Bellingham, WA 98225

PUBLICATIONS Bellingham Alive NSL Guestbook Couture Weddings

PRESIDENT/PUBLISHER  Lisa Karlberg EDITOR IN CHIEF  Frances Badgett ART DIRECTOR  Dean Davidson EDITOR Kaity Teer

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Babette Vickers | Dominic Ippolito Melissa Sturman


WRITERS Dan Radil | Emily Bylin

CONTRIBUTORS Ella Barney | Colbie Cargill | Ken Karlberg Becky Linton | Leigh Mcdiarmid Ashley Thomasson

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Best of the Best-Ofs I really love your Best Of issue. It was so helpful when I first moved here. I love that you include runners-up, too! Thank you for that! Dianne T.

Letters to the Editor


Super Job You guys do such a great job at Bellingham Alive. My husband and I pick it up every time we visit from Vancouver. I love the photos and stories. Well done! Julia K

Beautiful Publication Our beautiful area deserves a beautiful publication, and I appreciate that you bring us one. Thank you for honoring our area.

Correction: In our Winter Fashion feature, we mistakenly credited Stephanie Lyons and Ashley Norton for the hair styling, when the stylists for Emily Bylin were Jennilyn Michel and Megan Walker. We regret the error.

Jennifer L.

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January 2017 13

NOTES Meet the Staffer Get to know our newest employee in Meet the Staffer.

Taylor Jolliffe

What is your role at the magazine and how long have you been with K&L Media? I started out as a Marketing Intern at K & L Media at the very end of July this year, and am now officially the Inside Sales/Marketing Assistant. A lot of my job involves connecting with readers, clients, and social followers in creative and engaging ways.

What is your background?

After graduating from the University of Michigan with an English degree, I hightailed it to the West Coast with absolutely no idea what I was doing. Marketing eventually stuck out to me as an interesting intersection of writing and technology, and I’ve found myself in various marketing roles ever since. I’ve made stops at an environmental nonprofit, a startup accelerator, a public university, a men’s underwear brand, and now have landed in publications.

What is your favorite part of working for a regional lifestyle magazine? I’ve been living in big cities for a while now, so moving to Bellingham has been a return to that strong sense of community that my own small hometown offered. Working at K & L Media has been a fantastic way to get to know the area and the people who are passionate about it. The events we throw aren’t bad either!

What are some of your hobbies and interests? I’ve always been a bookworm, and chances are I have a book (or three) in tow wherever I go. When the days don’t get dark at 4pm, I love being outside hiking, running, kayaking, or walking — really anything that gets me out and into the natural beauty of the PNW. 



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LIFESTYLE In The Know · Calendar · Spotlight Artist · 5 Faves

Getting Your Zs: A Good Night’s Sleep WRITTEN BY FRANCES BADGETT


any of us cheat ourselves on a full night’s sleep. Whether you’re up worrying about debt or insurance or elections, your mind is cranking your body into gear, pumping you full of sleeprobbing adrenaline, and keeping you from a nice, peaceful rest. What do we do when we can’t sleep? Reach for the nearest hand-held electronic device, pop on the TV, or click on the light on the nightstand, scrambling our circadian rhythms and confusing our bodies with artificial light. So what can we do to make sleep a bigger, more rewarding part of our daily lives? … continued on page 22

LIFESTYLE By the Numbers

According to the National Sleep


Foundation, an average adult is supposed to get at least hours of sleep a night. p. 22

For its grand opening, Ulta gave the first

New Memory Care Community


people a free gift. p. 39

Makeup goddess Ashley Thomasson


finds lipstick to be a great second recharge on a hard day. p. 45

The Excy exercise bike has a suggested retail price of


far lower than most exercise bikes. p. 48


A quick recipe for those with other things on their minds is

Staffed by skilled, compassionate and responsive professionals, Silverado Bellingham Memory Care Community is designed to provide purpose and comfort to those affected by Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.


cups of orzo, parmesan, and basil. p. 55

50 5–10%

Enjoy your winter by using our ways to pamper yourself. p. 68

Call for more information

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of women have hirsutism, or unwanted hair growth. p. 77


Thanks to Dan “The Wine Guy” Radil, we know the Argento Malbec is a

memory care | community

great budget wine at p. 85



Lasting Image


“They tried to bury us. They didn't know we were seeds.“ MEXICAN PROVERB

January 2017 19





Art of the Earring January 4, 10:30 a.m. WaterWorks Gallery, Friday Harbor

The Time Jumpers featuring Vince Gill Mount Baker Theatre, Bellingham January 15, 7 p.m.




Silent Film Series: Hamlet January 8, 3 p.m. Mount Baker Theatre, Bellingham

Essential Remedies: Green Cleaning and Pet Care Skagit Valley Food Co-op, Mount Vernon January 17, 6:30 p.m.





Write it Out with Bee Faxon Skagit Valley Food Co-op, Mount Vernon January 10, 6:30 p.m.

Know Your Raptors and How to Find Them Bellingham Public Library, Bellingham January 26, 7 p.m.




Martin Taylor Lincoln Theatre, Mount Vernon January 12, 7:30 p.m.


Music and Memories Dinner and Auction Swinomish Lodge & Casino, Anacortes January 28, 5 p.m.



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It starts with the environment. It goes without saying that an uncomfortable bed will keep you tossing and turning, so focus on making sure your mattress isn’t wearing out, that your bed is still in good condition, and that you’re outfitting it with proper sheets. Figure out what kinds of thread count and fibers make you feel the most cozy, and buy as many as you can afford. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that you use your senses to create the perfect restful environment. Senses you don’t associate with sleep like smell can have an effect on your sleep. For example, smelly, moldy bedrooms not only bring out allergies and other breathing problems, they can keep you awake. Smelling something pleasant like lavender tends to relax you and invite sleep. Sleep experts often recommend a bundle of lavender by your nightstand. Another sense — noise — seems like an obvious barrier to a good night’s sleep. But having a television running even on low volume can disturb your sleep patterns. White noise can alleviate background noises like traffic. For parents of newborns, not getting enough sleep is often a huge complaint. A good pediatrician or general practitioner can give new parents tips and tricks to keep themselves from collapsing. Once you have your bedroom environment free of electronic devices, workload, bills, and a television, you and your lavender need to work out how much sleep you’re going to get. The National Sleep Foundation has a sleep chart that gives you the recommended minimum and maximum amounts of sleep per age group. Adults are supposed to get a minimum of seven hours and a maximum of nine hours of sleep. Whoa. The consequences of not getting enough sleep are more than just falling asleep at your desk on a rainy Tuesday. Auto


accidents are an obvious consequence, but there are several you probably haven’t considered — frequency of diabetes appears to be elevated with lack of sleep. According a study conducted by the Association for Sleep Scientists, sleep duration can affect diabetes. The findings are published in the journal SLEEP. Another illness associated with lack of sleep is Alzheimer’s. It is possible that short sleep duration might lead to Alzheimer’s, but according to The National Sleep Foundation, the closer link is that elderly people who have disrupted sleep who are normally good sleepers might be experiencing early symptoms of Alzheimer’s. The mental effects of a lack of sleep are also profound. Anxiety, depression, mania, and other mental states all seem to have a role in how much or how little sleep one gets. Sufferers of anxiety often have trouble falling and staying asleep, whereas people who suffer from depression have trouble with sleeping too much. Those with other mental disorders often go in cycles of too much and too little sleep, making their energy levels and abilities to cope with daily life particularly difficult. Addressing underlying mental illness can improve sleep tremendously. So what to do if your bedroom is a veritable cloud and you’ve inhaled enough lavender to last a lifetime and sleep still evades you? It might be time to visit a sleep clinic and get your sleep patterns analyzed. Generally, patients arrive after dinner and stay until early the next morning. During the night, they are observed and monitored for problems like sleep apnea and restless legs. Once you have a sense of what is happening in your sleeping life, they can offer some remedies. After all, what could be more important than a solid eight hours? Turns out, sleep might be the most important thing of all. 

In the Know


Wonder Women: Michele Kämmerer and Janis Walworth WRITTEN BY ASHER KING


ince March 2016, there has been a massive mobilization of both individuals and corporations speaking out against North Carolina’s now infamous House Bill 2. The outcry has been far-reaching and is evidence of a changing climate toward transgender individuals. When a transgender person walks out of the bathroom, their identity doesn’t go away. Transgender individuals still experience a number of challenges in a number of places. That includes the eight-plus hours spent in the office, on the sales floor, or in the construction zone. Enter Janis Walworth and Michele Kämmerer. Both women saw, in their own ways, the struggle that transgender people faced in the working world. For Walworth (a cisgender woman), the realization that there were not enough people helping transgender individuals out in the professional realm was a career-changer. Previously, she had intended on becoming a transgender therapist. “You can go to a therapist all you want, but that doesn’t help you get through the transition if you have no money,” Walworth said. Kämmerer, on the other hand, lived the struggle of working while transgender. A retired captain from the Los Angeles Fire Department, Kämmerer spent the better part of her career fearing the backlash toward her identity, and over a decade living with it. Together, they formed the Gender Sanity Center, a consulting agency for employees, employers, and managerial teams seeking to learn (or educate their coworkers) on how best to work with and accommodate for a transgender employee. One of the things Walworth did was develop a chart consisting of four scales, representing biological sex, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation. It isn’t meant to be a comprehensive guide to the difference between sex, gender, and everything in between, but to simply challenge the idea of any one of these variables being synonymous with any other. The scale simplifies and separates identities that, despite often being conflated with each other, are all independent variables. The Center helps field a number of questions that might otherwise be considered invasive. They consult with the transitioning individual and decide whether or not they’re

comfortable answering those questions, or if the Center should handle them. There isn’t a definitive guide or formula for how Kämmerer and Walworth handle each case. No two transgender people are alike, and what they need from the Center can be vastly different. Some people might prefer to transition quietly, while others want to be a resource for others. The work they do comes on a case-to-case basis. Recently, however, Walworth and Kämmerer’s roles in the fight have been reduced. While they’re still more than happy to lend their aid younger transgender voices have risen up as well. “There are fantastic trans men and women are doing wonderful work,” Kämmerer said. “We’re not needed anymore.” For Walworth, the goal was to become redundant, much as they have now. Most companies now have internal teams that are equipped to educate employees. Going to an outside source is unnecessary. But that doesn’t mean the women are done. Even if the demand for the women has died out, they continue their work. They continue to do pro-bono lectures at Western Washington University, and help out where they can. The fact that they aren’t needed as they were is, as Walworth puts it, a good thing. 

January 2017 23


Book Reviews

January 8, 7 p.m.


Welcome to the New Year. It’s a good time to make your health and wellness a priority. Hop in the self-care driver’s seat and get working on what ails you. You’ll feel better in no time.

LiTFUSE@10 Village Books 1200 11th Street, Bellingham

Join the contributors to the LiTFUSE 10th Anniversary anthology with this fantastic reading. The anthology includes such luminaries as Marvin Bell, Dorianne Laux, Ellen Bass, and many others. The anthology is edited by Michael Schein, Carol Trenga, and Emily Gwinn.

Kicking Sick

Nourishing Fats

by Amy Kurtz Sounds True

by Sally Fallon Morell Grand Central

January 12, 6:30 p.m. Chuckanut Radio Hour Spark Museum of Electrical Invention 1312 Bay St., Bellingham 360.738.3886 |

Join legendary hosts Chuck and Dee Robinson for this spectacular event. Live music will be provided by The Scarlet Locomotive, there will be free hors d’oevres, and drinks. Poet Kevin Murphy, humorist Alan Rhodes, and announcer Rich Donnelly will entertain the crowd.

Slammed with chronic back pain, thyroid problems, celiac, and many other disorders and illnesses, Amy Kurtz went on a long journey through the medical industry and came back with practical advice and ideas on how to get in control when your body is not. Using step-by-step practical advice, Amy shares her secret to managing your health in a practical and clear way.

The 1970s are over, and fat is back in a big way, from Atkins to Paleo and everything in-between, you can’t swing a cat without hitting a fat-isawesome advocate. And we’re so not complaining. Hopping into this trend is Sally Fallon Morell, author of Nourishing Broth, who explores the many tastes and textures of animal fats and how to make them part of your daily diet. And who can complain about that? More bacon, please.

WHO KNEW? Ancient Art Though it was discovered 5000 years ago, yoga came to the U.S. in the late 1800s when Swami Vivekanada presented a series of lectures at the Parliament of Chicago Religions. Swami Vivekanada and his contemporaries in the 1920s and 1930s practiced Hatha yoga. The famous yogi Iengar was a student of Vivekanada’s school The Divine Life Society founded on the banks of the Ganges River. In 1947, Indira Devi opened her yoga school in Hollywood, and yoga was officially a California trend. (


What the Hatha? Yoga, like ice cream, has a lot of flavors and types, and Hatha is the type most frequently practiced in the U.S. Ha means sun, and tha means moon, so Hatha is a combination of two complementary forces. This makes sense when you’re in downward facing dog, but let me try to explain. As you stretch and tense one section of the body, another part is also working on strength and balance. This tension of pulling and pushing creates a balance that both relaxes and strengthens the body.

Not that Hot for Bikram As with any practice that is 5000 years old, yoga has a few stains on its reputation. One of the biggest is multi-millionaire Bikram Choudhury. Bikram created hot yoga, in which a room is heated to 105 degrees and students flow through 26 postures for 90 minutes. A favorite among shiny Hollywood types and hippies, Bikram has taken off as one of the most popular forms. The first negative reports came from his training sessions, in which students reported all sorts of cultish controlling behavior. But the allegations of sexual harassment and assault really dinged his reputation.

Saving Yoga’s Soul There are some terrible people in yoga, sure, but then there’s Jessamyn Stanley, the best person to enter yoga in generations. Foul-mouthed, hilarious, body-positive, and gifted, Stanley manages her empire from Durham, N.C. She has been featured all over the web, and is an Instagram goddess, with a book deal in the works. She cuts through a lot of woo b.s. and gets to your core need in yoga — to feel better. Stronger. More capable. And she does it with gentle words and hilarious naughty asides. A gal-pal for the ages, Stanley will get you on the mat, working hard, and celebrating.



f you haven’t stopped by Saku Tea at the Tide Lines Gallery yet, then make your way to the cozy tea bar. Husband and wife team, Kuros Zahedi and Sandra Loeffelmann, ensure patrons can choose from a wide selection of tea lattes, blends, pots, cups, and everything in-between. The duo has spent years traveling and sipping tea all over the world. They’ve perfected the brewing methods and timing for all your favorites like black, oolong, and rooibos. Tea connoisseurs will appreciate the wide variety of Saku Tea’s brewing styles include guywan brewing: a Chinese method consisting of a lidded bowl, multiple pours of water over the leaves, a pouring vessel, and a long afternoon to enjoy cup after cup. As the leaves become more and more saturated with each brew, the

flavor alters, something you can’t get from a large mug of tea leaves brewed at once. Upon entering Saku Tea, you’re hit with a sweet, slightly herby scent. Grab a seat at the bar to watch various tea drinks being blended and brewed, or choose a seat at one of the tables to chat with friends or read a good book. Over the bar you’ll notice a string of paper rectangles painted with tea stain. Along the wall selves display packages of loose tea and pots for sale. A couple of glass jars display sweet baked goods, perfect for dunking into a warm cup of tea. Peruse the menu. Unsure what kind of tea blend you’ll enjoy or what

In the Know


the difference between a white and black tea is? Just ask. Friendly and knowledgeable, Kuros and Sandra opened Saku Tea for the purpose of offering an education to the community in hopes of creating a special appreciation for the dried leaves. They often offer samples, urge customers to sniff coasters of loose tea leaves, and happily provide brewing knowledge. Incidentally, Saku in Japanese means “to bloom,” exactly what tea leaves do immediately when exposed to water. The word also happens to contain the first two letters of the owners’ first names. It’s a perfect coincidence that bloomed into a lovely place to enjoy a cup of tea. 

January 2017 25



PORK RINDS Paleo is the go-to for a lot of careful eaters these days, and though we aren’t sure exactly how pork rinds fit in with your pilates-yoga-crossfit routine, hey, we’re not gonna’ knock ‘em. They’re basically animal hide potato chips, right?





We’re amazed at how paleo snacks actually intersect pretty well with truck stop snacks. Beef jerky has been around for many centuries, as dried, salt-cured meat was often the only way people were able to preserve meat for the winter.



It’s unclear as to whether you just stick a spoon in a big vat of coconut butter, or if this is meant to go on pork rinds, but here it is on the list.



What exactly is an omelet muffin you ask? We don’t know, but we think they’re just egg McMuffins. Scrambled eggs, English muffin…yeah. Calling scrambled eggs an omelet is a little like calling stock “bone broth.” Which is also a paleo thing.



Woohoo! The fun part of the paleo diet! If paleo is supposed to come from hunters foraging and living off the land, we’re not sure where chocolate comes in, but we’re not arguing.

January 2017 27

LIFESTYLE In the Spotlight

For Health's Sake Let Your Creativity Flow WRITTEN BY CATHERINE TORRES


hat do you need to be healthy? Drink plenty of water, exercise, eat good food, what about painting or playing music? Numerous studies reveal a link between creativity and good health. It's not even about producing a beautiful picture or writing an award winning story, merely the process of being creative helps individuals become less anxious, more resilient, and better problem-solvers, or as art therapist Jane Baron puts it, “The creative process is an excellent form of self diagnosis, bringing awareness to and working through our inhibitions, fears, brain fog, insecurity, and skewed perceptions.” Jayne Baron grew up in Western Michigan. After visiting family in Washington, her outdoorsy spirit persuaded a move to Bellingham. Growing up in a large family, Baron became close to her sister born with spina bifida occulta. Baron credits her sister for teaching her the “ability to have compassion towards people with differences.” She developed a need to help people, and, being artistic, art therapy became the ideal medium to achieve her life’s work. Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that involves creativity of all kinds such as music, writing, painting — anything that helps stimulate the brain in free expression. Baron has worked with many clients, both highfunctioning and those with limited brain activity. Some have dementia or Alzheimer’s, others are ordinary adults who just want to tap into their creativity. Her art therapy business, Awaken Art, is on a mission to maximize everyone’s ability to be creative through painting. A typical session with a client begins with sitting face-toface, right in front of each other with knees practically touching. Many people find this closeness uncomfortable initially, but it helps in establishing a connection with one another. Baron furthers the connection by holding hands with her client, then swings them back and forth while singing a song. Holding hands helps make a physical and emotional connection, the singing awakens the brain, the swinging connects both hemispheres of the brain. Surely you’ve done something similar, perhaps as a child or as an adult with a child? It’s a common activity used in Brain Gym, an educational program that uses movements to facilitate learning. Once warmed up, Baron pulls out a book of images and allows the client to choose one to duplicate. Then she helps choose colors, hold brushes, and anything else the client needs. The goal isn’t to recreate the image in identical form or 28

to learn technical concepts of painting. The goal is to just be creative and paint. Through the process clients naturally learn self perception, coordination, awareness, and meaning. Every experience is different. Some clients are very detail oriented and painstakingly pay close attention to every brush stroke. Others enjoy the process, allowing emotions to take over and sometimes laughing or crying while putting brush to canvas. Baron explained, “I'm just a vehicle for others’ to experience their creativity, and it’s like a metaphor for so many other things in life. Everything is a creative process in a way, we forget that.” The benefits of Baron’s work are life-changing to say the least. One of her clients lives in a retirement center. She’s painted numerous paintings with Baron, and this year the center is printing one of her paintings on their Christmas cards. Another client spent his days bedridden and watching TV until he met Baron. It only took a few months for him to have enough paintings to hold an art show. He sold his first painting that day, “He just radiated, ‘I am somebody now.’” In honor of Jayne Baron’s work and her wonderful clients, we urge you to go and be creative right now. Pick up a paint brush, a pen, an instrument, whatever outlet you want. Don’t worry about messing anything up, or the time a teacher told you that you'll never be an accomplished artist. It’s important for everyone to let go of their fears and the assumptions that they lack creativity. Being creative is important for the body, mind, spirit, and health. Go paint the world with free expression. 

January 2017 29




erial entrepreneur Anne-Marie Faiola is at it again. In addition to Bramble Berry, her soap-making supply company, Faiola has set to work on providing both mental and physical betterment through an extension of her Bramble Berry brand, called Best Day Ever. It all began with the people she worked with. Despite producing incredibly creative work, the entrepreneurs were struggling. As Faiola put it, they didn’t have the lifestyle habits to sustain their work. Best Day Ever seeks to change that through two different methods: encouragement through physical product reminders and active lifestyle challenges. The product line is marked by Faiola’s personal touch and beliefs. The inks used in the printing process are sustainable, while the notebooks are made from recycled chipboard. Those same notebooks also bear a rounded edge, added in because Faiola enjoyed the flair. The products are meant to be a reminder that today is the best day ever. On the other end of the spectrum are the challenges. Back in 2011, before Best Day Ever was even an idea, Faiola ran similar challenges for fun. At one point, 84 people signed up to participate and, like her challenges now, they all would receive a daily, encouraging email with news and tidbits. That meant that 84 people were depending on Faiola every day for six weeks, all in the midst of her full-time work. So Faiola went back to school, picking up a nutritional therapy degree and putting together Best Day Ever along the way. Now her challenges are yet another part of the Anne-Marie Faiola empire. And they’ve created some pretty positive success stories. Faiola described a challenge ran with more than 100 women. At the end of the sixweek period, the average weight loss for the group was about nine pounds, with one woman losing 18 pounds. Other women have experienced positive changes in mobility and blood sugar levels, with one individual stating that her levels are the best they’ve been since 1984. It helps that the challenges don’t revolve around white-knuckling it through, as Faiola says. It’s simply about adding in basic lifestyle practices that, when done consistently, will make a difference in energy levels. The hope is that the people Faiola continually works with, the ones who didn’t have the energy to keep up their work maintain their output levels, can get back to the creative work that they enjoy doing. 


In the Know

Tech-Savvy Surgery comes to Bellingham WRITTEN BY ASHER KING

© Images 2017 Intuitive Surgical, Inc.


he Bellingham medical community has something new and exciting to talk about — the da Vinci Surgical System. The robotic system is praised for its minimally invasive surgeries, which can make for quicker recovery times and easier healing. Local surgeons are already making use of the da Vinci, and are experiencing great success with surgical outcomes. The set-up and system almost seem like something out of a science fiction movie. A surgeon works from a console separate of the operating table, having little to no physical contact with the patient themselves. From there, the surgeon is able to view an enhanced 3-D image of the target area. By using a control system attached to the console, the surgeon operates the four arms of the robot system, which in turn perform the surgery itself. Unlike traditional surgeries, the da Vinci system allows for more deft and precise movements that are typically impossible for the human hand to perform. The da Vinci is used in cardiac, colorectal, gynecologic, thoracic, and urologic surgeries. According to the company that created it, Intuitive Surgical, the Da Vinci takes its name from the painter and inventor Leonardo da Vinci because his “study of human anatomy led to the design of the first known robot in history.” Until recently, patients had to travel as far as Vancouver or Everett for da Vinci surgery. Even in light of the benefits offered by the surgery, it’s a considerable distance to travel.However, with this new development, Whatcom residents can have their delicate operation performed much closer to home by Bellingham Urology Group or Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists. 

January 2017 31

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ellingham Urology Group has added a leading edge treatment to their practice to resolve gynecologic health issues often caused by menopause. The MonaLisa Touch, an in-office procedure that is virtually painless and requires no anesthesia, received FDA clearance 2014. Bellingham Urology Group is one of the first in Washington State to offer the special fractional CO2 laser designed to help postmenopausal women as well as breast cancer survivors. In 2010, there were approximately 64M postmenopausal women and many of them may experience gynecologic health changes when estrogen levels decline. In addition, there are approximately 250K breast cancer diagnoses per year – but the disease has a survival rate of nearly 90% at five years. That adds up to a large portion of our population likely suffering in silence from a wide array of gynecologic health concerns; many of which can greatly impact a woman’s quality of life. Enter MonaLisa Touch, the most recent innovation introduced by Cynosure®, a worldwide leader in the surgical, medical and aesthetic pulsed-light and laser marketplace. Performed in an office environment, without the need for anesthesia and with virtually no pain or side effects, the MonaLisa Touch delivers fractional CO2 laser energy to the vaginal wall tissue, so cells make more collagen. Patients undergo three treatments spaced six weeks apart, and each treatment time is less than five minutes. “Recent studies show that patients treated with the MonaLisa Touch laser showed highly statistically significant 32

improvement in the vaginal tissue after the first treatment,” says Dr. John Pettit a leading Urologist with Bellingham Urology Group located in Bellingham. “Patients in the studies experienced minimal to no side effects or adverse reactions and showed an escalation of progress with each subsequent treatment. With these kinds of outcomes, the MonaLisa Touch is a game-changing procedure for my post-menopausal patients.” “After a cancer treatment, I asked my gynecologist what could be the treatment options to relieve discomfort of vaginal dryness. My doctor mentioned a laser treatment MonaLisa Touch and explained everything. I have followed the whole protocol treatment (3 treatment sessions at 1 month apart). It felt amazing to have this sensation of comfort, along with a natural hydration. I was happy to get rid of the substitution products like gels and creams, which can be helpful, but very fastidious.” Romane, 43 Years Old “MonaLisa Touch is a real breakthrough for feminine health,” said Dr. John Pettit “It offers a quick and virtually painless remedy for a medical condition with a large unmet need for an effective treatment option. I am grateful I am able to offer my patients this treatment.” For more information on the Cynosure MonaLisa Touch laser, or to schedule an interview with one of our doctors, please call Bellingham Urology Group at 360.714.3400.  MonaLisa Touch is a registered trademark of DEKA M.E.L.A. Srl – Calenzano - Italy


“I started going through menopause 8 years ago and it became difficult to have intercourse with my husband. No therapy was effective. I almost didn’t feel like a woman anymore. I tried MonaLisa Touch and I can say I feel really good now! A little advice for all women in my situation: menopause isn’t an illness and you can accept it less passively and discover you are a woman again.” Floriana, 57 years old 340 Birchwood Avenue

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Treating Mental Health, One Person at a Time WRITTEN BY CATHERINE TORRES


ompass Health is on a mission to advance behavioral health in our area, specifically in Snohomish, Skagit, Island, Whatcom, and San Juan Counties. The private, non-profit state-licensed organization offers comprehensive behavioral health services. They have four locations in Bellingham. Among the core values listed on their website, Compass Health strives to be dedicated to the well-being of the communities they serve. Given their comprehensive services and wealth of compassionate staff members, Compass Health fulfills that value. Compass Health actually began as Parkland Lutheran Children’s Home in 1902, caring for orphaned children. The home was created when a group of church members wanted to help the growing number of homeless children living on the streets. In 1953, a psychiatrist joined the organization to provide mental health care for the orphans. From there, Compass Health evolved into a multi-service mental healthcare provider. Staff members see more than 11,000 people annually for behavior disorders, and about 235 individuals benefit from their permanent housing plans. Additionally, there are 80 homeless individuals a day who drop by peer centers. From just reading a handful of personal stories, anyone can see Compass Health’s holistic approach to mental health is crucial to our many neighbors dealing with mental health disorders and chemical substance additions. A group of 12 volunteers form the board of directors, and they keep 34

Compass Health operating in line with its mission. They ensure facilities are equipped to handle a breadth and depth of services. Staff can serve people regardless of age and stage of mental disorder. Compass Health’s philosophy for treatment relies on seamlessly integrated services offered in a community atmosphere, yet which maximize a patient’s independence. They carefully build upon a patient’s strengths, offering support throughout the entire process. Compass Health offers treatment for patients’ disorders, general healthcare, and assistance to families. There’s also plenty of mentorship, lessons on coping skills, family counseling, group therapy, and one-on-one counseling. Every treatment plan is tailored to the needs of each individual patient. Most clients at Compass Health tend to be low-income so the organization does their best to work with not only multiple insurance plans, but also offers sliding fees. They have a multitude of specialized grants which allow them serve certain populations. The organization accepts donations of not only monetary, but also real estate and in-kind gifts. Mental health disorders tend to have more of a debilitating affect on people’s lives than physical illnesses — inability to hold jobs, pay bills, maintain relationships — all of which create an invisible struggle for those who are suffering. Having an organization in our neighborhood that readily treats these issues is incredibly important for the overall health of our society. 

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Pet Therapy Heals the Soul WRITTEN BY TINA L KIES


ypically, when one thinks of a skilled nursing facility, thoughts of wagging tails, chirping birds and purring cats aren’t top of mind. Now, enter the doors of Shuksan Healthcare Center, a 52-bed skilled nursing and rehabilitation center in Bellingham, and your perception will forever be altered. With a care philosophy that embraces the natural healing powers of animals, Shuksan Healthcare Center is one of very few facilities in the area that maintain resident pets and incorporate them as part of their residents’ rehabilitation. “It isn’t uncommon to find a resident throwing a ball for Prince, our black lab, in the courtyard,” said Dale Nakatani, Rehab Manager, Shuksan Healthcare Center. “Not only does Prince love the attention, but our residents get in some quality physical therapy as well.” This sort of exercise mimics that of real life activity which feels less institutional and actually enhances the residents’ participation level. If given a choice to workout on the incumbent bike or play fetch with an eager pup, odds are the dog will win every time. The physical, emotional and psychological benefits of therapy animals for seniors have been widely documented. Caring for a pet can help increase a senior’s self-esteem, while also providing them with an activity that makes them feel useful. Further, studies show that spending just 15 minutes bonding with an animal promotes hormonal changes within the brain. Stress levels drop as the brain produces serotonin, the “feel-good” hormone.

With four resident parakeets, three cats (Toby, Sassy and Faux), a black lab (Prince) and an aquarium full of exotic fish, Shuksan’s furry and feathered therapy team are a force to be reckoned with. “We’ve witnessed time and time again the healing powers that our animals have on the residents, their loved ones and our staff,” said Shannon Richardson, Administrator, Shuksan Healthcare Center. “During a vulnerable time, these animals offer a welcome wagon that we simply can’t compete with by providing a feeling of home and comfort to our residents.” Animals can aide in the lowering of blood pressure, improvement in cardiovascular health and reduction of overall physical pain. In seniors, they can also help improve socialization. An emerging body of research is recognizing just how positive the impact of the human-animal bond is and the effect it has not only on individuals, but also community health. “The human-animal bond is undeniable,” continued Richardson. “It’s not just our residents who reap the benefits of their presence. We’ve had many family members comment on just how much our animals have helped them, especially in the initial stages of admission.” Imagine coming to visit a loved one who is recovering from a hospital stay at a skilled nursing facility. Apprehension, concern and nervousness may all be emotions that you feel leading up to and during the visit. Now, imagine that you’re sitting bedside and a friendly Labrador named Prince saunters into the room, tail wagging, and encourages with his eyes that

you pet his bulky head. Feeling better yet? It’s not uncharacteristic to find one of Shuksan’s cats sleeping on the foot of a resident’s bed at night (or during the day). Shuksan is their home, and in their eyes, no bed is off limits! There is a caveat, though. If a resident prefers not to have animals in their room during their time at Shuksan, they can have a gate put at their door to impede any furry visitors.

“The human-animal bond is undeniable.” — Shannon Richardson It is important to note that stringent rules are set in place to ensure the animals are clean, vaccinated, well-trained and screened for appropriate behavior. Further, all visiting animals are required to submit current vaccination records. The safety and well-being of Shuksan’s residents, visitors and staff remain the top priority. Regardless of your animal preference, one can’t deny the legitimacy of what is being practiced at Shuksan Healthcare Center. They are a textbook example of a skilled nursing facility putting it all out there, showcasing enough love and compassion to care for the residents in which they service, but also the animals that service them right back.

Shuksan Healthcare Center 1530 James Street Bellingham, WA 98225 (360) 733-9161

January 2017 35


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SHOP Savvy Shopper · Necessities · Around the Sound



or the past few months, the space across from Payless ShoeSource and Earthbound Trading Company has been cordoned off, blocked by signs emblazoned with, perhaps slightly vague, promises. “Ulta Beauty, coming Winter 2016.” Until now, beauty aficionados have had to travel south to Marysville for their Ulta collection fix. For a while, it seemed like there would be no end to the mass makeup migration. Even with the anticipated Winter opening, there wasn’t an exact … continued on page 39

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date. Even the occasional glimpse behind the curtain at a fluorescently lit store with rows of empty shelves being slowly filled with what seemed like every beauty product imaginable wasn’t nearly enough to satisfy. But finally, there came a date: December 2 would mark Ulta’s grand opening. The grand opening included a few promises: the first 100 people in line would be treated to a free gift and 50 percent off a haircut or skin treatment at the store’s own salon. The opening comes just six months after Sephora, another makeup and beauty store, opened up its own doors inside JCPenney. Stepping into the store is like stepping into a beautician’s paradise. To the right of the entrance are rows upon rows of colorful makeup. Tubes of lipstick, ranging from the aptly named Pale Pink by Nyx to the slightly concerning Bruise, Asphyxia, and Plague (burgundy, lavender, and bright purple, respectively). The grass green Kush and light purple Intergalactic eyeliners are named in a similar fashion. Of course, brands like this can, admittedly, be a little on the expensive side. Thankfully, Ulta also carries its own brand of makeup, marked up from the more basic products but costing significantly less than the designer makeup brands. While a Naked Palette by Urban Decay can run up to $54, an Ulta brand palette containing similar colors sells for around $20. But Ulta isn’t just about makeup. The left side of the store has an assortment of bath and hair products. Those looking for a change in hair color can find a number of dyes, from pastel to professional, permanent to semi-permanent. Those who are satisfied with their hair color but simply want to change their style can find both flat and curling irons, ranging from the simple to the complex. And if you’re just in the market for a simple change? Ulta has an aisle of hair clips and bands, either from the plain to the rhinestones encrusted. It is exactly as their slogan says: “All things beauty, all in one place.” Admittedly, the store can be a bit overwhelming. With the seemingly endless rows of products with a thousand uses you’ve never considered, it can be easy to be a little lost. What is the difference between B.B. and C.C. creams? What purposes do “essential kabuki” and “empress fan” brushes serve? Luckily, the attendants at Ulta are both numerous and knowledgeable, and they won’t try to up-sell you. In addition to the big names, Ulta also carries the more traditional department store brands. If the radioactive greens and ethereal blues produced by Urban Decay are perhaps too adventures for you, the tried and true Clairol and Maybelline are there for you as well, and the attendants are more than happy to point you that way. All-in-all, Ulta Beauty serves as a brilliantly-colored and amusingly-named addition to the beauty community in Bellingham. Unfortunately, there’s still no word on when or if a MAC Cosmetics will come to town and complete the trifecta. Thankfully, though, Ulta Beauty should be more than capable of addressing your self-pampering needs. 

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January 2017 39




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BEAUTY Skincare · Self-Care · Pampering

Partly Sunny: Clear Skin is in the Forecast WRITTEN BY KAITY TEER


hough the rest of the country might believe it’s perpetually raining in the Pacific Northwest, we know better. Our weather is more complicated than that, which makes it challenging to know how best to care for our skin. In the fall and winter, all that drizzle and mist we’re known for adds up to less annual rainfall … continued on next page

than befalls many other cities, including New York, Houston, and Washington, D.C. And when it’s not raining, cool temperatures and low dew points leave the air feeling dry. Perhaps more significantly, we see more than 200 cloudy days a year, so we often are Vitamin D deficient. “Our skin experiences surface dryness, but underneath there is congestion due to our dank, damp climate. It’s also overcast for months on end, which makes getting enough sunshine challenging. This means we struggle to achieve balance on our skin and need specific support,” said Susan Grace, an award-winning Seattle esthetician who created Partly Sunny, a climate-specific skin care line formulated to meet the needs of people living in the Pacific Northwest. Grace, who opened her private practice in 2005 and has a clientele of about 800 people, spent years recommending various products to alleviate the symptoms of what she calls the “Northwest face” and her clients often expressed the wish for a single product line that could meet their needs. In the three years since she launched Partly Sunny, her skin care products have become a North End favorite. To be clear, these aren’t private-label products. Instead, they are a labor of love, the result of several years of research and development in collaboration with a scientist with whom Grace felt ethically aligned. 42

“I’m so proud of the formulations,” Grace said. “Being a Northwest girl, I have a handle on what people want.” Grace takes pride in using local ingredients from ethical providers, her product line is cruelty-free, sulfate-free, and paraben-free, and the packaging is recyclable. The experience she gained working in a Portland apothecary, where she studied the beneficial properties of herbs and essential oils, influenced her formulations. All of her products are fragrance free as well. The base ingredients for Partly Sunny products are Pacific seaweed and water, so it’s a gentle line that’s suitable for all skin types. “Seawater is amazing, because of its similarities to our blood plasma,” Grace said. “Seaweed works well as a detoxifying and cleansing agent for our skin, and it has a natural emollient that protects our hydrolipid film, which consists of the natural oils our skin secretes everyday to protect itself.” The cleanser’s primary ingredient is dandelion, which acts as an antiinflammatory to relieve the appearance of ruddy patchiness. Soapwort leaf extract and a foaming pump generate lather in the absence of sulfate, which is a lather-causing agent. “Making a cleanser without sulfate was a challenge,” Grace said, “But I’m really excited about our formulation. The bubbles are tiny and luxurious and offer an elegant tactile experience that really give it that bliss factor.”

Though many people think of toner as a fluff product and skip using it on a daily basis, Grace offered several compelling reasons to give the Partly Sunny Vitamin D Toner a try. The toner delivers Vitamin D through mytholized microcapsules, which makes for the most effective transdermal absorption. It also soothes, tingles, and tightens. The Partly Sunny moisturizer is very sheer and feels light and fresh when applied. It consists of honey, calendula, seaweed, and water, and delivers vitamins C, E, and B. Calendula acts as a natural antibacterial and antimicrobial agent and combats bacteria growing in follicles. “It’s a very light protectant,” Grace said. “Even someone with the most troublesome acne can use it without fear that it will cause blemishes. In fact, it would do the opposite and help calm breakouts.” Soon after the launch of the Partly Sunny line, Grace’s clients began to request a product line formulates to meet the needs of aging skin, so she set to work on the Illumination line, which includes a serum, face cream, and eye concentrate. Grace said that helping people fills her with joy. “I love treating people with acne or delivering postoperation care for people with facial reconstruction. People come to me with specific goals in mind and together we create a plan,” she said. “It’s my life’s passion, and I’m so lucky that I get to do this everyday.” 



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BEAUTY Self-Care



e all have our stories, the things that shape our character and make us resilient, the things that break us down and make us whole again. Like all of you, my story is too long for this time and place, but there’s something I learned along the way that I want to share with you: Above all else, whatever you do, the most important thing you can do, is take care of yourself. Okay. Maybe you knew that. But do you really know that? Once I learned the difference, let me tell you, it was a gamechanger. I knew all about self-care, about doing things to unwind and cope with the stressors of the world (which to me usually involved red wine, ice cream, and watching Friends on Netflix). But there came a day where I learned that that’s not enough — that I needed to place value on who I am and what I’m contributing by focusing on how I’m being restored. What I also learned was that this was a daily, intentional process; not something that could be fixed by a night of binge-watching TV in my sweat pants (as much as I wished it could). Despite all the head knowledge I had, I still had it ingrained in me that to be truly fulfilled I needed to always say yes, to always give, to put everyone else first and myself last. And while serving and taking care of others is a good and honorable thing, I wish I would have learned sooner that I can’t pour from an empty cup. I can only give water worth drinking if I’ve filled up my cup first. Although it took far too long for me to learn, I’m hoping you’ve been quicker to this realization than I and have an established routine to take care of yourself. But if you’re 44

feeling discouraged or in need of refreshment, I’m here to greet with you with a hearty “You’re worth it!” and some of my favorite rejuvenating tips.

FIND YOUR RHYTHM The easiest mistake I make with self-care is planning an activity, doing it that once, and then thinking my work is done. Not that a pre-meditated evening of relaxation is wrong, but we (at least I) need so much more than that. Creating time in my day, even if it’s just five minutes, to nourish myself in some way has made all the difference. I’ve personally found a way to do this through my skin care routine. Each day I try to take my time and stretch out my routine a little, taking five minutes at the beginning and ending of each day to “cleanse” myself. In doing so, I’m not just cleansing my face, I’m also cleansing my mind. Either committing to start a new day fresh or wash away the negative thoughts of before. In making it an intentional ritual, I’ve turned what used to be a boring task that I didn’t look forward to into one of my favorite parts of my day. Plus, my skin is totally thanking me for it! Setting aside this time has been healing for me both mentally and physically. If skin care isn’t your thing, that’s okay. Pick what works for you — I just encourage you to find some form of daily routine to find intentionality and nourishment. Find what makes you feel good and do it (or in my case, wear it!) Have you ever had that favorite sweater? That one that you feel good in and know you look even better wearing?

Or those stylish boots that instantly change your mood to something fierce when you put them on? Me too! But above all those, my favorite wearable accessory that’s sure to change my mood is my lipstick. If I could only pick one makeup item to wear for the rest of my life, it would be lipstick (which means a lot coming from this makeup artist who loves all the things). Specifically I tend to reach for a bright and cheery red or pink, but really, any color helps me transform from a blubbering mess behind my steering wheel in the Target parking lot to a sassy boss lady ready to conquer my next meeting, or that pile of laundry waiting for me at home. I’ve always appreciated Elizabeth Taylor’s quote (or shall I say, my inner mantra) where she said “Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together.” Short, a little brash, and to the point? Yes. But for me, it works! Lipstick is cheap. I can always carry it with me. Whenever that bad day hits, or sometimes before it even starts, I can pull it out, polish myself up, and give myself the 30 second re-charge to finish my day. If lipstick isn’t your jam, find what is. Lotion? Perfume? Find what makes you feel refreshed and keep a mini-version in your purse so that if ever the need arises, you’re prepared!

FIND YOUR LUXURY For sake the subtitle perhaps being a little misleading, I’m going to get right to the point here. I don’t mean you need to have all the money to buy weekly massages at the Chrysalis, because even though that’s where I like to live in my own fantasy-world, that’s not just not reality for most of us. What I do mean is to find what re-charges you the most,

and make that a priority. For me, it’s working out. Actually, let me rephrase that – for me, it’s having one-hour of uninterrupted time to focus on myself to recharge and the gym is where I can do that. I’m a people person and busy-body, the kind of girl you’ll find gathering everyone for karaoke at a party. Working out is fine and I know I should do it but I don’t love it like some of you crazies out there. But I was shocked to connect the dots and realize that this loud extrovert loved going to work out because it was my one and only hour of the day to myself where I didn’t have to dress up, or answer questions, or be stressed about all the emails I haven’t returned or the chores I still have to do. It was just my time to be me and only me, sans all the hats I wear. Maybe the gym isn’t for you, or isn’t in your budget. That’s okay, because I’m not trying to go tell you go get fit. I just want you to think about when you most feel like yourself, and find a way to make that a habit. That might mean getting up 30 minutes early so you can cozy up on your couch and spend some time reflecting while you drink your cup of coffee while it’s actually hot. Or it could mean going out to the garden and finding rejuvenation in nature or re-kindling an old love like your sewing or craft projects. The more time you can spend finding, healing, and nurturing yourself, the more of you you’ll have to give. And right now, more than ever, the world needs a whole lot more of you. More of us. So can you do me a favor? However you can, take care of yourself. 

January 2017


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FITNESS Low-Impact Exercise · Weight Loss Support · Pilates

Excy: Spin Your Way to Fitness WRITTEN BY KAITY TEER


hortly after her fortieth birthday, Bothell resident Michele Mehl took some time to re-evaluate. She was concerned about her health and felt frustrated by a gym membership she paid for but wasn’t using. She struggled to achieve her fitness goals because of her busy schedule and a commitment to spending quality time with family and friends. … continued on next page

FITNESS Low-Impact Exercise …

Inspiration came during a visit to the skate park with her nine-year-old son. In an attempt to fit in a workout while watching her son play, Mehl performed step-ups on a park bench. She found herself wishing for a lightweight, portable exercise bike she could take with her to the park. “I thought to myself, ‘What if I could actually just turn this bench into a portable cycle,’” Mehl recalled. “Then I could be active wherever I am, even on the sidelines of my kid’s life.” When she couldn’t find an existing exercise product that would meet her needs, she set out to create it. Mehl partnered with her uncle Mike Rector, who is a retired engineer and avid cyclist, and the two dreamed up a solution: Excy. Mehl said, “If we could eliminate time and space as obstacles to exercise, we wondered, would people do it more?” Together, they developed and tested prototypes for a portable cycle. Once they were satisfied with the product and had committed 1,000 hours to testing it, they launched a Kickstarter campaign. Mehl, whose background is in public relations and technology start-ups, led the marketing efforts. After the campaign ended successfully, raising nearly $23,000, they were able to ship Excy to their first customers within six weeks. These beta testers offered feedback and enthusiasm that shaped the second round of production. Excy weighs just ten pounds and can be used to work both your legs and arms, and certain positions can also work your core. It differs from other portable, under-desk cycles in that it is designed for serious, high-intensity workouts, offering up to 30 pounds of resistance. At a suggested retail price of $657, it is comparable in price to both full-sized and folding fitness bikes. When used with a chair, it functions as a recumbent bicycle. When placed on the floor or a tabletop, it can be used as an upper body ergometer, which tones upper arms and shoulders while offering an intense cardio workout. An attached mat, called the Keeper, prevents the bike from sliding away during high intensity pedaling.

Mehl says that many Excy customers report they use the portable exercise bike most frequently while watching television with their family. Unlike other home exercise equipment, Excy isn’t relegated to a spare bedroom or basement laundry room, which makes it possible to pursue physical fitness without isolating yourself from your family after a busy day at work. “Excy is super quiet and you can make it as easy or as hard as you want it to be,” Mehl said. “Even during high intensity interval training workout, Excy is quiet. The only thing you can hear is the sound of breathing hard.” Customers report using Excy in their backyard while watching their children play on the trampoline or transporting it to their children’s ball games. Other customers whose work causes them to travel frequently say they enjoy bringing Excy on the road with them to exercise from their hotel room or at a scenic lake or park. The equipment has also proven useful for people recovering from an injury. In fact, Mehl broke her leg while Excy was in development. Thanks to the option of using Excy as an upper body ergometer, she was able to keep up with cardio training, burn calories, and gain upper body muscle strength while rehabilitating her leg. Mehl made instructional videos for quick workouts that come with the Excy mobile app, which includes videos, tracks workout time and calories burned, and allows you to set and remind yourself of goals. The Android version of the app is currently in development, as are plans to make Excy available at retail stores. Currently you can purchase Excy online. “I know that exercise is medicine and that is my whole motivation in doing this,” said Mehl, whose family history of heart disease drives her concern for cardiovascular health, “Exercise is medicine for a higher quality of life. It helps reduce the risk of preventable diseases. Mike and I want to deliver exercise to people where they spend the most time, at home or at work.” 



hen I talk to groups of people about using hypnosis to support weight loss, I almost always start the conversation with a simple question, “Why is it so hard to lose weight?” The answers are so varied and fraught with difficult emotions. The list becomes a vivid reminder that dealing with weight is not a simple issue. There’s a tendency to talk about weight as a medical issue, one that requires medical treatment, and I have a problem with that — although it’s surely preferable to judging it as a moral failure. Yes, weight-related disorders can damage health and wellbeing, and many people need medical help to manage those disorders. I don’t mean to make light of serious health issues or the suffering they cause. However, identifying extra weight solely as a medical issue is the old hammer and nail problem. It goes like this: when the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem starts to look like a nail. When we define something as a medical problem, we naturally look to medical experts for the solution. Those solutions tend to be prescriptions, for restrictive diets, exercise, pills or surgery — all of which can be lifesaving, but don’t necessarily help people transition to a healthier lifestyle. Most of the people I see for weight issues feel out of control, have struggled with judgment, shame, and self-blame, or have failed with diets so often that they no longer believe success is possible. In my experience, both as one who has had weight issues and as a hypnotist helping others, success

Weight Loss Support

begins when we first refocus how we think — and feel — about the problem. The people I see have one powerful advantage; they already know that to solve the problem, they have to do something different — that’s typically when they decide to try hypnosis. Hypnosis is a highly focused — yet relaxed — state that allows people to see beyond their habitual ways of reacting, which is inherently helpful when we want to become more sensitive to our hunger and satiety signals, or to recognize when we are eating for reasons other than hunger. The research I’ve seen says that hypnosis used this way helps people maintain a 20-pound weight loss — which is better than any diet alone has been shown to do. I think we can do even better, because what we really want is not so much a different size or body shape; what we really want is to become the person who already knows how to maintain a healthy weight, through a natural, sustainable and satisfying way of nourishing ourselves — our whole selves, not just our bodies. Given all that we know about how intractable this problem can be, where do we start? First, know that it is possible. It’s difficult to embrace the possibility of success after years of struggle. It took me years to figure out how to do it myself, my way, but at least I knew it could be done. The National Weight Control Registry ( is a great resource, with accounts from more than 10,000 people who’ve successfully made the shift. Affirmations can help, especially under hypnosis, but affirmations work only when they support our sense of what’s possible. Sometimes it’s more helpful to say, “I’m ready to accept that this is possible for me,” rather than to say, “I can do this” with no real conviction. Once we accept that it can be done, how do we proceed?We evaluate where we are right now. Since most people I know who’ve struggled with weight also fight judgment, shame and blame, and the crippling fear of failure — a


toxic emotional soup — I think the first priority is self-acceptance and self-compassion.This is another way that the deep relaxation of hypnosis is helpful. Dwelling on past successes fuels a success mindset, and reminds us that we already know how to succeed. The smallest changes have the most power. Small-scale, easily doable things that fit into an existing routine are simple to maintain, especially when they contribute to feeling good. Two are physical activity and gratitude. Physical activity has a positive affect on just about every area of our lives . Walking around the block at lunchtime every day, or focusing on what we’re grateful for while brushing teeth before bed, are relatively painless way to claim those benefits. So far nothing in this article references what to eat, what not to eat, or when, or how much time to spend doing what at the gym. It’s not because I don’t think physical activity or nutrition matters; I do, and I have strong opinions about both. I can rhapsodize about the joys of a brisk walk, or preach the gospel of good nutrition: “Whole foods, folks, lots of plants!” But after 10 years of working with these issues, I know that my way of nourishing myself — body, mind, and spirit — isn’t perfect. In fact, it’s not even close. It is still the best I can do at any given time. And because everyone is different, the best I can do may not satisfy anyone else. We can still be the experts on how to maintain our own health and wellbeing. It’s about using trial and error, and that means trying new things, some of which won’t work, so that we have to embrace and learn from our failures as well as our successes. It’s about learning to resist the old habits of shame and blame. It’s about the process of becoming the person who already knows how to be healthy and happy in whatever size body we end up in. The new weight mindset is about setting ourselves up to navigate the distance between where we are now, and where we want to be, one small habit change at a time.  January 2017





hen I was active duty military I was, in many ways, in the best shape of my life. I could “max” the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) with 60 pushups in 2 minutes, 81 sit-ups in two minutes, and could run in formation for five miles in my polished black boots. I could carry a rucksack and an M16 over miles of hiking mountains. I was in my twenties and was ready to take on the world! All that being said, at the end of every night my back hurt, my knees ached, and I literally couldn’t stand on my feet. Fast-forward eight years later to civilian life, when a friend recommended I take a Pilates class to help my back and body feel better .I thought that was for Hollywood. But with a little convincing and wanting to feel better, I finally sneaked in the back of a class and fell in love. The whole class focused on core strengthening (foreign to me at the time), stretching and posture. Just what I needed. I felt refreshed and literally lengthened. A year later, I had the opportunity to get on a Reformer and knew I was hooked. After a year of regular Pilates mat and machine classes, I could finally run pain-free; I could sit in the car without my back aching; and my feet were so much happier. I felt the best ever. 50

Soon thereafter, I joined the excellent physical therapy program at Whatcom Community College, where I saw firsthand the importance of core strengthening for basic daily living. I would watch as the best and most caring therapists incorporated the basic Pilates exercises I was doing in my mat classes into their exercise protocols for their patients. For a stroke patient to be able to sit up, for someone to be able to walk unassisted from a walker, for all a patient to be able to roll out of bed; for someone to be able to put on his own shoes — they needed core strength, balance, and flexibility. The more I worked in the rehab field, the more I saw the importance of and benefits of Pilates and how it could help me be a better physical therapist. I researched and decided to get trained in Stott Pilates (as its training was the most rehab based). It took 6 years to get fully trained on all equipment but it is now my full time profession. Now I use my training to help clients whose goals range from picking up their grandchildren and gardening to professional athletes who want to be the best in their field and runners who want to do marathons. Strengthening the core and maintaining flexibility, mobility and good posture is all critical for them. I love my job and I love seeing my clients feel better and reach their goals. So what is the core? The core consists of the muscles of the abdomen, lower back, and hips. My favorite name for the core is the “powerhouse.” I tell them to imagine the core as a “box.” The lid is the diaphragm, the sides are the obliques, the front is the rectus abdominus, the back is the extensors and mulitifudi, the bottom is the pelvic floor and it’s all tied in the middle with a beautiful red bow, the transverse abdominus!

Too much anatomy for most to care, but what is important to realize is that you need all of these parts to function and work together or the box will weaken. If this box is strong you have the best foundation to build on. After years of being a fitness coach, my number one recommendation is first be consistent. Exercise three-to-five days a week. My second recommendation is to best train your core and body cross train and cross train. Take different classes and different types of exercise will all help you be stronger. For example use the ball, bosu, bands, reformer and then start over. Third, I recommend that you find something you enjoy and surround yourself with community who support your fitness goals and lifestyle to cheer you on! If you’re new to Pilates the most important thing is to find a qualified teacher. I highly recommend looking up Stott Pilates or certified instructors. See how many years they have taught, what equipment and specialties they are trained in, and do their training goals match yours? I recommend starting with a series of private sessions to learn how Pilates works. If you are focused on classes, I recommend doing both mat and Reformer as they are so different and both give you so much. Reformer is of the best-known and most popular Pilates apparatus today. First-time clients often see it as intimidating, but this amazing piece of equipment is a mix of Disneyworld, gym equipment, New York Ballet, and surfing all at once. I can almost guarantee that if you can give it two-or-three weeks, you will feel the difference. It’s my absolute favorite piece of exercise equipment to be on and to train my clients on. It offers exercises that all help you focus on increasing your core strength while having fun. Take the very popular “plank” exercise for instance, which is in most mat and yoga

After years of being a fitness coach my number one recommendation is first be consistent. classes. Many say it’s one of the best overall core building exercises. Now take this plank and move on to the Reformer and you’ve amplified the challenge (and quadrupled the fun factor) as now you are on a moving platform. Classical Pilates puts emphasis on alignment, breathing, developing a strong core and improving coordination and balance The original six principles were concentration, control, center, flow, precision, and breathing. Now pilates is used mainstream for many different exercises. So make an appointment and learn about how Pilates can make you stronger and more balanced. 

January 2017




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NUTRITION Menu · Winter Wellness · Simple Nutrition

Warm Up from the Inside Out WRITTEN BY JENNIFER ADLER M.S., C.N.


ave you ever wondered why most raw food retreats are in sunny, tropical locations? Or why we crave a bowl of hot oatmeal on a brisk morning instead of fresh fruit? When it is wintry outside, our bodies gravitate toward foods that are naturally warming. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), warming foods are foundational during winter. This is because the body is seen as a microcosm of the natural world, which changes with the seasons. Chinese dietary tradition focuses on eating foods that harmonize with the seasons. This can be accomplished naturally by eating more local foods. “Nature provides the foods that keep our bodies in balance at certain times of the year,” said Elson Haas, M.D., author of Staying Healthy with the Seasons. “When it’s cool out, we need to add more fuel to the furnace.” You may notice this in your four-legged companion’s hunger, as they become ravenous in the wintertime. It is natural to have a stronger appetite and crave heavier foods this time of year. Traditionally people gain a few pounds in the winter only to notice them melt off in the warmer months. In the Pacific Northwest, the winter weather is cold and wet. Cold is yin in Chinese Medicine. Yin is considered to be expanding, upward energy and needs the contracting energy of yang for balance. Heat is yang and is the contracting, … continued on next page


downward energy. There are many warming foods and warming cooking methods you can use to get enough yang to balance the yin weather. Animals in the wild naturally live in harmony with this cycle. They eat what is available and this signals their body to respond to the environment. As they eat a diet of seasonal foods, they keep warm in winter and cool in summer. Since our grocery stores have foods from far reaches of the globe available at our fingertips, we need to be more conscious about choosing warming foods if we want to stay warm up from the inside out during cold weather months. This winter, experiment with the following guidelines to stoke your internal fire. Focus on cooked winter squashes and root vegetables, such as burdock, beets, carrots and parsnips. The downward contractive energy of foods like these, which are grown under the soil, makes them ideal warming foods. These are foods that are typically harvested in the fall and stored for the winter. Store up energy by enjoying strengthening, warming foods like long cooked soups and stews. Start your day with a whole grain warm cereal or porridge. Branch out and try brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth or millet, to name a few. Utilize warming spices such as cayenne, black pepper, ginger, cumin, garlic, and coriander. These spices will add zip to your everyday foods and increase circulation and warmth within your body. Limit the consumption of iced beverages. These are too yin and cold for winter weather. Instead drink hot or room temperature fluids. Limit yin foods like bananas. These increase cold in our body and therefore can increase chances of getting a cold. Just as some foods that are in-season in the winter will warm your body, so will different cooking methods. Braising on the stovetop or in the oven with a flavorful liquid is a perfect example. This tenderizes meat and vegetables and infuses them with flavor, and can make even tough, less expensive cuts of meat tender. You can also simmer foods with low heat. The longer you cook food the more of a warming effect it will have on your body. Another method is to roast vegetables in the oven with butter and salt until golden and crispy around the edges. This is a delicious way to turn an ordinary vegetable, extraordinary. Or use a pressure cooker or crock-pot. Imagine putting a chicken plus a bunch of root vegetables into the crock-pot in the morning to return home at night with dinner hot and ready. Cooking food with these methods nourishes our body on a very deep level while helping our body to build heat. An added bonus is that these long-term cooking methods also make the food easier to digest. It is easy to get chilled and catch a cold during these frosty months. Take care this winter to stay warm by focusing on eating foods that warm and nourish to keep you toasty from the inside out. 

Grief Cuisine: nutrition-packed easy meals





hen my mother died, the very last thing I ever wanted to do again was cook. The task of conceiving of a meal, shopping for it, preparing it, and cleaning up was a mountain between me and the need to sit with my sorrow. For people with depression, suffering from anxiety, and other difficulties, cooking and eating is hard enough with nutrition as an afterthought. So there’s fast food, taco trucks, frozen dinners — but after a while (I know from personal experience) all of the prepared food gets tiresome. So here are some chill recipes that don’t take a lot of time and require minimal cleanup. Here’s to throwing some nutrition in a pan and getting it in your mouth — and maybe a tiny sense of accomplishment that you made it.

Basil Parmesan Orzo

This can actually just be Parmesan orzo if the produce aisle feels like work. Even the chicken stock is optional (just lay on the salt and pepper for flavor). These recipes feed two people. Leftovers are magic.

• 2 cups orzo • 2–3 tablespoons of butter (chef hint: I put in a tablespoon, then add a tablespoon to the top of the orzo) • Basil • Chicken stock Did I lie? Put orzo into pot with butter. Toast the orzo until it’s crisp and tan-to-brown looking. If you taste it, it should be nutty crisp. Don’t eat it all yet. Pour in a can, or 3-4 cups of chicken stock. Bring to a good boil. You can use water, or half chicken stock, half water.

Chop the cucumber and quarter the cherry tomatoes. If you are using canned, drain and set aside 1 small can. Crumble the feta Chop the basil Cook the pasta You’re almost there. When the pasta is done, drain it. Add 1/2 cup of olive oil (enough to coat the pasta). Add cukes, tomatoes, and basil. Stir it all up. Sat and pepper to taste. Salad, bread, done.

Worry Curry

Great Thai curry is the best balm for all ills. This won’t be restaurant-good, but it’s a worthy substitute.

• 4 oz mushrooms

Take down to a simmer, cover, and let the orzo absorb the stock.

• 1 piece of ginger, thumb-sized

Throw some oil and vinegar on some lettuce leaves, salt and pepper, crack open a baguette, and you’ve got dinner.

• Rice

Emotional Olympian

This dish puts a lot of pressure on each ingredient to be decent, so you will want to pick at least decent produce. You can used canned tomatoes if we’re in the terrible tomato season.

• 15-20 cherry tomatoes • Basil • 4 oz Feta • 3/4 lb of pasta (I like rotini and fusilli) • Salt to taste • Peppery I taste • Olive oil

• Coconut milk • Hot peppers, either red pepper powered, or actual hot peppers. • Carrots • Broccoli • Basil • Daikon or cabbage Heat peanut or coconut oil in a pan or wok. Add ginger and sauté until very golden, just before it turns brown. Add mushrooms. Cook down until tender. Add peppers, carrots, broccoli, and stir fry until crisp-tender. Add cabbage and basil. When all the veggies have cooked down, add coconut milk and salt the heck out of it. Add spice. Serve over rice. 

January 2017


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Listen to your heart WRITTEN BY ELISA ZARAGOZA, MD


s your heart trying to tell you something, and you don't know it? Here are five potentially heart-related signs and symptoms that might surprise you. 1. Your heart skips a beat. The sensation that your heart flutters, skips a beat or beats too fast at times is called having palpitations. It's common and usually harmless. On the other hand, palpitations can sometimes be a sign of arrhythmia — an irregular heartbeat that's triggered by a problem with the heart's electrical system. 2. You're tired and swollen. Swollen feet or ankles or extreme tiredness can all be signs of heart failure. Heart failure doesn't mean your heart is on the verge of stopping. However, it does mean that your heart isn't pumping blood to your body as well as it should. 3. You get chest pain with exercise. Chest pain triggered by physical exertion can signal angina, which isn't a disease itself but a common symptom of coronary heart disease (CHD). Having angina or chest pain could be a sign that you are having a heart attack. 4. You huff and puff. Feeling short of breath can be a warning sign of a heart attack or heart failure, especially if it comes on suddenly, persists or is progressive. 5. You get leg pain when walking. If you feel pain or cramps in your legs or hips when you walk, or if they feel tired, then you may have


peripheral arterial disease (PAD). PAD can significantly increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Some of these symptoms, such as chest discomfort or shortness of breath, could mean you're having a heart attack. Play it safe, and call 911 right away. If you experience any of these warning signs, speak with your primary care physician.  Elisa Zaragoza, MD Cardiologist PeaceHealth Medical Group Cardiology 2979 Squalicum Parkway, Suite 101 Bellingham, WA 98225 360-734-2700

Keep your heart happy Who do you love with all your heart? Turns out the same people who warm your heart can help keep it healthy too. They inspire us to stay heart healthy. If you need more support in your pursuit of heart health, PeaceHealth is here with screenings, nutrition advice and teams of specialists who never miss a beat.

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Whatcom, Skagit, and San Juan counties are fortunate to have a medical community dedicated to excellence. The men and women in these pages offer personal care and attention. Whether you’re seeking a holistic approach to medicine or cutting-edge surgery, we are pleased to introduce you to these select medical professionals.

theHealth&MedicalProfiles Natural Way Chiropractic & Massage Natural Way Chiropractic has been serving the Whatcom County community for 21 years, expanding to Skagit and Snohomish Counties in the past few years. Their focus is patient wellness through chiropractic, massage therapy, and nutritional counseling. Their primary goal is to the raise the standard of the chiropractic and massage professions through the most accurate diagnosis, state of the art facilities, and stellar customer service. Services and benefits offered at Natural Way Chiropractic: ■■ Chiropractic Care and Massage ■■ Essential Vitamins and Nutrients ■■ Ideal Protein Weight Loss Program ■■ On site X-ray Unit and Spinal Decompresion ■■ Digital Foot Scan and Custom Molded Orthotics ■■ Insurance Verification and Billing done for you ■■ Unbelievable Customer Service

Located in: Bellingham, Lynden, Ferndale, Mt. Vernon, Anacortes and Everett

Dr. Eddie Hansen, Chiropractor

Natural Way Chiropractic & Massage 2000 North State St. Bellingham 360.671.1710

Bellingham Spine Pain Specialists, PC The best clinical outcomes come from precise and accurate diagnoses. By taking the guesswork and “wishful thinking” out of managing chronic spine pain, Dr. Yin’s world-class clinical, scientific, and academic expertise allows patients access to state-of-the-art evidence-based spine care right here in beautiful Bellingham, WA at Bellingham Spine Pain Specialists, PC.

Way Yin, MD Dr. Yin is recognized as one of the nation’s preeminent experts in the field of chronic spine pain. His clinical, academic, research, and societal work has contributed to his ranking among the best 70 Pain Physicians in America and top physicians in Washington State. A graduate of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University in New York, Dr. Yin trained in General Surgery and Anesthesiology at the University of Washington in Seattle. He has multiple Board Certifications, including Pain Medicine. Dr. Yin is an ardent patient advocate and expert in the field of evidencebased medicine. Dr. Yin is the past-president of the International Spine Intervention Society, a


member of numerous committees for the North American Spine Society, has served as an advisor to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), WA State Medical Board, and has authored definitive textbook and encyclopedia chapters, as well as national and international clinical practice standards and guidelines in the field of spine pain. His research publications have led to the discovery of novel therapies for complex pain problems including head and neck pain, cervicogenic headache, thoracic spine pain, and sacroiliac joint pain. Since moving to Bellingham in 1997, he appreciates its outstanding medical community, quality of life, and outdoor activities.

Bellingham Spine Pain Specialists, PC 2075 Barkley Blvd., Suite 250, Bellingham t: 360.527.8111 | f: 360.527.8115


North Sound Endodontics North Sound Endodontics would like to introduce you to our office. Our team is dedicated to providing you with the highest quality and most technologically advanced root canal treatment possible. Endodontists are dentists that have 2-3 years of advanced training in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions involving the dental pulp. The extra years of schooling provides skill and efficiency in treating complicated root canal cases. Our office uses digital radiographs, advanced anesthetic techniques, and the surgical operating microscope which allows visualization of the inside of ones tooth. We also utilize 3-D images that help in diagnosing difficult cases and in visualizing complex root canal anatomy.

Dr. Carlson Our expert team is led by Dr. Rick Simcock and Dr. Matt Carlson. Our office mission is to create an incredible experience for your root canal therapy in a comfortable, friendly, and efficient environment.

Located in: 130 S. 15th Street #101 Mount Vernon 2219 Rimland Dr. #403 Bellingham

Dr. Simcock

North Sound Endodontics 130 S. 15th Street #101 Mount Vernon 2219 Rimland Dr. #403 Bellingham 360.428.4393 360.966.8354

Cascade Hypnosis Center At Cascade Hypnosis Center we help people every day do amazing things that have lasting results. Hypnosis works even when everything else has failed. We help people: ■■ Lose Weight ■■ Stop Smoking ■■ Reduce Stress and Anxiety ■■ Reduce Pain ■■ Improve Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem ■■ Improve Relationships ■■ Remove Unwanted Fears and Behaviors ■■ With other issues as well, including working with Kids and Teens

Erika Flint, CEO, Cascade Hypnosis Center, Board Certified Hypnotist and Accredited Certified Professional Hypnotherapy Instructor

Our mission is to provide compassionate and professional hypnotherapy services that are customized for each individual client. We love helping you be your best. Complimentary consultations offered daily. Call us now - you’ll be glad you did. “My experience with Erika changed my view on hypnosis and I felt a significant difference after just one session with her. The experience was powerful. You will love working with her” - Client Testimonial

Shannon Wallace, Certified Hypnotherapist

Cascade Hypnosis Center 103 East Holly Street Suite 403, Bellingham 360.392.8723

January 2017


theHealth&MedicalProfiles Dorsch Family Dental Voted best dentist in the 2013 and 2010 issues of Bellingham Alive’s Best of the Northwest contests, Dorsch Family Dental gives patients several reasons to smile. Working closely with patients, the team consists of friendly, smart and fun people who are dedicated to meeting the needs of their patients. Individual care plans are developed to help each patient achieve their unique goals.

A variety of dental services are offered, including: ■■ General dentistry: regular visits/cleanings, crowns, x-rays, sealants, fillings, inlays and onlays ■■ Advanced dentistry: dental implants, wisdom tooth surgery, root canals, extractions, bridges, dentures and sleep apnea/snore guards ■■ Cosmetic dentistry: tooth bleaching/whitening, veneers and tooth-colored fillings ■■ Dorsch Family Dental is committed to pursuing modern dentistry and the latest in technology. Same-day treatments are available, eliminating temporary crowns and multiple appointments.

Whatcom Eye Surgeons

Dorsch Family Dental 3400 Squalicum Pkwy., Suite 107, Bellingham 360.734.9926

Ingrid Carlson, MD

Whatcom Eye Surgeons works with your family eye care provider to deliver personalized patient care. We encourage you to consult first with your eye doctor, who can provide information, discuss options and recommend a medical or surgical consultation with us, if appropriate. Our experienced, local team practices comprehensive ophthalmology, and includes:

Dr. Carlson specializes in pediatric ophthalmology and surgery, including strabismus treatment for adults and kids. She delights in helping people see and her enthusiasm energizes staff and patients alike. She is a graduate of Indiana University School of Medicine.

Kristi Bailey, MD

Dr. Kuzin practices cataract, glaucoma and anterior segment surgery. With warmth and caring, he encourages patients’ understanding and participation in their treatment. Dr. Kuzin completed his medical training at Harvard Medical School and the University of Southern California/Doheny Eye Institute.

A graduate of Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Bailey engages patients with her bright energy and expertise in cataract surgery and medical retinal disease. She completed her ophthalmology training at Casey Eye Institute.

Brett Bence, OD Dr. Bence reveals his extensive knowledge and dedication to medical eye care in his compassion for patients. He is a partner in helping them understand their vision problems. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, and a graduate of the University of Houston College of Optometry.


Kristi Bailey

Brett Bence

Ingrid Carlson

Aaron Kuzin

Aaron Kuzin, MD

Justin Wright, OD Dr. Wright provides medical eye care with specific interests in ocular disease and strabismus. Patients find comfort in his thoroughness and easy-going style. He graduated from Pacific University College of Optometry, with additional training at The Eye Institute of Utah and Moran Eye Center.

Justin Wright

Whatcom Eye Surgeons 2075 Barkley Blvd., #205, Bellingham 360.676.6233 Hours: 8–5, Monday–Friday

theHealth&MedicalProfiles Pacific Rim Orthopaedic Surgeons Our mission is to provide exceptional, personalized, and compassionate care to patients with all types of orthopaedic injuries and conditions. We are committed to improving your quality of life. We are a local small group practice, independently owned and operated by five board-certified physicians. Three of our surgeons are fellowship trained in sports medicine, hand surgery, and spine surgery. We also have two Physician Assistants who partner with us to care for our patients.

Gary D. Bergman, MD Fellowship in Hand Surgery Dr. Gary Bergman moved to Bellingham and began practice at Pacific Rim Orthopaedic Surgeons in 1992. He specializes in hand surgery, but enjoys providing care for all types of orthopaedic conditions. Dr. Bergman is married and has three grown sons and eight grandchildren.

Michael K. Gannon, MD Dr. Michael Gannon has been in practice in Bellingham since 1993 and the focus of his practice is general orthopaedics. He has served in the military and in Operation Desert Storm as a physician. Dr. Gannon is married and has two sons, who attended Sehome High School. He has been involved in a variety of athletic programs in local schools and the boy scouts.

Joel R. Hoekema, MD Fellowship in Spine Surgery Dr. Joel Hoekema began practice at Pacific Rim Orthopaedic Surgeons in 2001. The focus of his practice is spinal and joint replacement surgery. Dr. Hoekema currently does the most joint replacement surgeries than any other physician in Whatcom County. Dr. Hoekema is a Lynden native, and is an avid hunter and outdoorsman. He is married with three children.

Christopher J. Van Hofwegen, MD Fellowship in Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Dr. Van Hofwegen has been in practice since 2010 and the focus of his practice is Sports Medicine, but he also cares for all other general orthopaedic conditions. Dr. Van Hofwegen also offers Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) injections. He and his wife, who is from Nooksack, and their three children enjoy living in the northwest and lead a family-focused, active lifestyle.

Orthopaedic Care for the Whole Family!

Michael A. Thorpe, MD Dr. Michael Thorpe has been in practice in Bellingham since 1988. The focus of his practice is in outpatient surgery and sports medicine, and he is the only doctor doing outpatient joint replacements in Whatcom County. He has been the Team Orthopaedic Surgeon for Western Washington University since 1988. In 2010 and 2013, Dr. Thorpe received the Washington State’s Best Doctors Award and in 2011 he received the Patient’s Choice Award. He and his wife have five children, who all attended Bellingham high schools and WWU; and six grandchildren so far.


Sports Medicine


General Orthopedics


PRP Injections


Arthritis Treatment


Joint Replacements

Pacific Rim Orthopaedic Surgeons 2979 Squalicum Parkway #203, Bellingham 360.733.7670 Facebook @pacificrimorthosurgeons

January 2017


theHealth&MedicalProfiles Cummins Orthodontics Orthodontics is more than straight teeth. Proper orthodontic treatment can create a healthy and comfortable bite that will protect your teeth for a lifetime. If you would like to see how any of these treatments can benefit you or a family member call CUMMINS ORTHODONTICS for a complimentary consultation.

BENEFITS OF HERBST APPLIANCE TREATMENT Orthodontists have options on how to treat certain conditions and it can be confusing for patients to choose which treatment to pursue for themselves. These are some of the reasons to choose a Herbst Appliance.

Profile Improvement

Correcting Asymmetries

Recent research has revealed that all patients with an overbite have a retruded chin. Yet only 18% of these same patients had protruding upper incisors.1 So why would you pull back on the top jaw when only 18% of the people would benefit from this treatment? That is what is happening when you use a headgear. There is a better way. A Herbst Appliance pushes the bottom jaw forward which stimulates growth and has been scientifically proven to provide an improvement in the profile that cannot be achieved with headgear and/ or rubber bands.2 I have used headgear and Herbst Appliances, and I have seen the difference with my own patients. Not only does the Herbst Appliance produce a more esthetic result, but a study out of Japan also suggests that Herbst Appliance treatment may reduce the chances of developing sleep apnea.3 If you are seeking treatment for an overbite, evaluate your profile. Chances are, you will benefit from a Herbst Appliance.

Another common condition is an asymmetry where the space between the front teeth on the top and bottom don’t line up. A study out of the University of Washington found that roughly half of time, the asymmetry is due to the chin being deviated to one side.4 Again, a headgear that pulls against the top jaw cannot fix this. But a Herbst Appliance can. By activating the appliance more on one side, I can stimulate asymmetric growth to correct the underlying cause of the problem.

1. Uribe,, American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. 2014;145:305-16.  2. Baccetti, Franchi, and Stahl, AJODO. 2009;135:698.e1-689.e10.  3. Iwasaki, et. al., AJODO. 2014;146:776-85.  4. Cassidy,, AJODO. 2014;145:443-51



Adults Who Do Not Want Surgery In Europe, orthodontists began using Herbst Appliances to treat adult patients who did not want surgery to correct their overbites. The customary treatment for people who did not want surgery was removing upper premolars. The European orthodontists discovered that the overbite could be corrected with a Herbst Appliance and the bite was similar to what could be achieved with surgery. After reading these studies, I began using the Herbst Appliance on my adult patients that did not want surgery. I have been able to get complete correction of the overbite without removing teeth.

Closing Space For Missing Teeth With over 20 years of experience with Herbst Appliances, I have become comfortable enough to think outside the box. For the last decade, I have been closing spaces for missing teeth in the lower jaw in patients with an overbite. Traditionally, this treatment is avoided because closing space in the lower jaw will make overbites bigger. But with the force that is generated by the Herbst Appliance the lower molars can be moved forward in the jaw while the overbite is corrected. With the development of a new Herbst Appliance design, even the space for missing lower second premolars can be closed, eliminating the need for costly implants and crowns without compromising results. This is a treatment that I have been pioneering right here in Bellingham! I believe that this will be the standard of care in the near future, and I am proud to make this contribution to my profession.

of the




BEST of the







David Cummins, D.D.S., M.S.



Cummins Orthodontics 2550 James St Bellingham 360.676.1900

January 2017









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Relax, Rejuvenate, Reset


WAYS by Catherine Torres

to Pamper Yourself S

tart off the New Year on the right foot with a little

bit of self-indulgence. Pampering yourself can relax, rejuvenate, and reset your collective mind, body, and spirit. Participating in pampering lowers your stress levels and countless studies point towards overall physical and mental improvements when stress is reduced. What is pampering though? Many people associate the term with spa treatments, namely massages, but it can go so much further. Pampering can be doing anything that calms your mind and body, opening the doors to plenty of activities. We’ve compiled a list of just fifty ways you can pamper yourself, try some or try them all!


Basics 1 2 3 4

Anything that makes you feel more attractive and puts you in the care of a specialist can boost your self-esteem, this in turn boosts your confidence and outlook on the world, i.e. makes you happy.

Get a manicure. Nothing makes your hands feel more polished and professional.

Throw in a pedicure, too! There are plenty of nail salons in the area. Ask around for recommendations. Have a professional analyze and pamper your skin with a facial. Relax with a massage. Not only is a massage a great way to get the most out of your me-time, the health benefits are incredible.


Go get your hair done: cut, color, or even just a blow out to freshen your look. A good stylist can look at your hair texture, your face shape, and pick up hints about your lifestyle, and create a great look just for you. Consultations are typically free and so worth it.

6 7 8 9

Pick out a new outfit that makes you feel great. If you’re on a budget, putting together a new look from consignment stores can be like treasure-hunting. If you already have a few favorite outfits, but they’re looking tired, bring them to the tailor. Bring shoes to the cobbler for fresh soles and a buff. Stop by a department store for a make-up consultation, then splurge on new make-up.

Wear glasses? Pick out a pair of fresh frames. The online options make glasses affordable, but for the most in variety, style, and versatility (not to mention a personalized fit), buy local and in-person.


Try reflexology or acupuncture to target specific stressors in your life. Just being in a darkened room with someone focused on your tense areas can be relaxing in the first place. Throw in some needles or a targeted massage, and you’ll be as serene as a monk.

January 2017 69

Active Pampering Enough sitting around! If you’re the type who is more relaxed in movement, then try these pampering activities to get your heart rate high and your stress low.

11 12

Take a yoga class with a new instructor or a new style you haven’t tried. Hit the trails on foot or on wheels. There are almost as many bike trails as there are breweries in our area, and only one life to check out each one. Get to it!


Try a new exercise class. Zumba, ballet, Barre3, and other hybrids are really popular and get you moving. For something out of the usual, try aerialist classes at the Bellingham Theater Guild.


Swim laps at the pool. This is especially great if you’ve been feeling any aches and pains since the buoyancy helps relieve pressure on your joints.


Head to Mt. Baker for a day of snowshoeing, skiing, snowboarding, or even sipping hot cocoa in the lodge.



Stop by a container store to stock up on pretty bins and organizational supplies then spend the day getting your spaces in order and lugging donations to a charity. It’ll be a relief to clean everything out.


Boost your creative juices with a painting or ceramics class. Enjoy being creative even if you’re not the next Bob Ross.

18 19

Visit a playground to swing and slide like a kid.


Have a dance party, even if you’re the only guest.

Pack a picnic then hike to the perfect location. Paradise Lakes, Oyster Dome, Mount Constitution — there are plenty of places to spread a blanket and enjoy the view.

Power of Purchases

Many people live within budgets, often spending money on everything and everyone before buying something for themselves. Well, this month allot some money just for you!


Bookworms, head to your favorite bookstore and spend time browsing the stacks. This is especially nice if you’ve gotten into a habit of purchasing your books online. Set up a reading list for yourself and make it a challenge — read everything by Annie Proulx or only books by African American writers. See where a new perspective takes you.


Decorators and collectors, shop through downtown Anacortes for fun vintage finds.


If you enjoy putting together outfits, stop by your favorite clothing stores to try on new pieces. Pick something special and treat yo’self.


Pick up spa-worthy products to use at home.


Go ahead and get the fancy slice of cake and huge cappuccino, feel free to savor every last bite in peace. Bring a good book and make an hour of it.


Let someone else take care of the cleaning for once and hire a maid service for a day. Or, if you’re more into organizing, hire a personal organization consultant to help you figure out where to put all the Legos.


Taking a trip? Enjoy a nice trip by Amtrak, serving us from Vancouver to all points south. Another option is the Bolt Bus zipping people direct from Vancouver-Bellingham-Seattle-Vancouver.

28 29 30

Buy the fancy wine and cheese. Sip slowly. Try on that sparkling piece of jewelry you’ve been eyeing. Then buy it. Have sweeter dreams with a luxurious new bedding set.

January 2017 71

Indulge on the Cheap Being unable to spend a lot of money isn’t a good enough reason to skip pampering yourself. Try these lost-cost activities.


Sit back with a cup of good coffee in silence. Listen to the birds and the breeze.


Take a nap. A relaxing afternoon nap might be just what you need.


Skip the chores for a week.

Pick up one of those adult coloring books. Don’t stay within the lines.

Turn on your favorite guilty pleasure TV show. Go ahead, keep up with the Kardashians. We don’t tell.


Spend the day in your pajamas. We don’t recommend this one on a work day, but maybe you can convince your boss



Host a movie marathon with close friends, don’t forget the take-out food and lots of popcorn.


Set up essential oil diffusers or scented candles around your home. Breathe deeply!






Learn a new language. There are so many resources online, so many guidebooks, that if you’re interested, you can do it.


Start a journal.


Plan a perfect vacation… then begin saving and actually take it.

Pick up a musical instrument or return to an instrument you used to play. There’s nothing like focusing note-by-note to bring you a wonderful balance of challenges and joys.


Try out photography. Print out your favorite shots for new home decor.

Make your favorite dessert or pick out a complex, timeconsuming recipe you’ve always wanted to try, and take your time. Enjoy two servings!

Practice active listening with loved ones and co-workers. While having a conversation, don’t think about your to-do list, what your response will be, and definitely don’t fiddle with your phone. It might not seem very pampering at first, but the new perspectives you’ll eventually gain will make you feel incredible. In fact, try a phone challenge — put away your phone whenever someone comes to talk to you. Invest in the world around you.

Some people relax by focusing their minds on learning new materials. You’ll feel better thanks to a deep sense of accomplishment.

Mindful Indulgence 72

Prolong Pampering Extend your pampering duration for maximum benefits.


Get all your work done by midday and plan an afternoon pampering activity, or


Play hooky and spend a day getting treated.


Relax in overnight lodging. An elegant staycation may be just what the doctor ordered. Get room service. Order wine. Make a night of it.


Plan a weekend getaway with close friends, perhaps to Friday Harbor or Vancouver?


Indulge in a weeklong retreat with your loved one. There are so many options in the area from small local resorts to big regional retreats. Apply for a summer writers’ workshop, or finally join in that yoga retreat you’ve been putting off.

Whatever you choose to do, remember the importance of taking a moment for yourself. Pampering isn’t a luxury, it should be an integrated part of a well-balanced, healthy life.

January 2017 73

Down and Dirty with Docs WRITTEN BY ASHER KING


ou know the routine. Something weird happens to your body, or you take a step into new territory and have no idea what’s considered safe. Despite the extensive oaths and ethical obligations that your healthcare provider takes, it can be daunting to ask how to keep your nether-bits clean, or why you’re plucking that pesky chin hair for the third time this week. While you can never go wrong with talking to your provider about individual issues (it’s impossible for a provider to address anything more than general issues without knowing the circumstances), included here is a list of questions that you might have been wondering about. Thanks to Dr. Emily Gibson, director of the student health center at Western Washington University, here are the answers to some the more embarrassing questions that your body might force you and your healthcare provider to consider.



Do bikini waxes increase your chance of getting yeast infections?


Pubic hair removal naturally irritates and inflames the hair follicles left behind, leaving microscopic open wounds. Rather than suffering a comparison to a bristle brush, frequent hair removal is necessary to stay smooth, causing regular irritation of the shaved or waxed area. When that irritation is combined with the warm moist environment of the genitals, it becomes a happy culture media for some of the nastiest of bacterial pathogens, namely group A streptococcus, staphylococcus aureus and its recently mutated cousin, MRSA. There is an increase in staph boils and abscesses, necessitating incisions to drain the infection, resulting in scarring that can be significant. It is not at all unusual to find pustules and other hair follicle inflammation papules on shaved genitals. Additionally, cellulitis (soft tissue bacterial infection without abscess) of the scrotum, labia and penis also can result from spread of bacteria from shaving or from sexual contact with strep or staph bacteria from a partner’s skin. Some clinicians are finding that freshly shaved pubic areas and genitals are also more vulnerable to herpes infections due to the microscopic wounds being exposed to virus carried by the mouth or genitals. It follows that there may be vulnerability to spread of other STIs as well. There is no evidence to suggest more yeast infections as a result, unless the bacterial skin infections necessitate antibiotic treatment. [This can] alter the healthy bacteria flora of the vaginal environment, which invites yeast overgrowth. (This answer was originally published by Gibson on


What happens if you get a boil in a private place?



Like any other part of the body, it needs to drain to heal and if in the genital area, it can be particularly painful, with the risk of the staph aureus or MRSA bacteria spreading to sexual partners. If there is a painful bump “down there” then it needs to resolve before being sexually active again.

What are some signs that a period may be abnormal?


Menstrual periods are as variable as the women who have them and are particularly variable with hormonal contraception. What is “abnormal” is what is not typical for that woman, whether it is no bleeding at all, too little, too much, too short, too long, too spotty, or too clotty. Anything that is a change from typical is what should be a source of concern if it persists — possibly pregnancy, possibly infection, possibly hormonal imbalance, most probably nothing at all.


What is a birth control implant?


These are progestin containing long-term contraceptives that are placed with small surgical incisions in the under part of the upper arm. It slowly secretes hormone to suppress ovulation and conception.


How do I have safe sex with someone of the same gender?



We say “safer” sex as there is no truly 100 percent “safe” sex other than complete abstinence. Latex barriers, whether male or female condoms, and dental dams are the best way to reduce risk of transmission with oral/genital, oral/anal, genital/ genital, or anal/genital contact, but do have a significant failure rate.

Can I get an sexually transmitted infection from being with another man/woman?


Yes, STIs really don’t care who is transmitting them, only that there is mucus membrane-to-mucus membrane contact or skin-to-skin contact with microscopic breaks that can allow blood, body fluids and pathogen (virus or bacteria) transmission. The same STIs are seen in same-gender sexual contact with oral, genital, and anal contact.


Can antidepressants change my personality?



This is a common concern, but there is no evidence they change “personality.” They can change affect (emotional responses), attitude (positive, rather than negative or irritable) and focus concentration. Basic personality is a nature/nurture feature that really is not altered by antidepressants, but can be under better control if emotional range is more normalized from medication. Counseling may actually have more impact on personality features.


Why do I have stretch marks and how do I get rid of them?


Stretch marks result from scarring from relatively rapid expansion of the skin in parts of the body due to weight gain, pregnancy or muscle mass. Some genetic factors may predispose to them so they are not preventable in most people. Avoiding weight gain is one prevention strategy but that is definitely contraindicated in pregnancy. Treatment is unnecessary and for cosmetic reasons only and not particularly satisfactory — laser treatments can be tried but it is best to leave them alone as they often fade (but don’t disappear) with time.


What can cause hair growth on the face/chest/ nipples for a woman, and how can I get rid of it?



Between 5–10 percent of women have “hirsutism” — defined as excessive male-pattern hair growth on the face, chest, upper abdomen, back, and buttocks — most often due to diseases causing excessive androgen (male hormone) production such as polycystic ovaries, but typical for genetic reasons with certain ethnic backgrounds such as Mediterranean, Hispanic, and Middle Eastern. The approach to management of hirsutism depends on how distressed a woman is about her unwanted hair growth. The initial step is diagnostic — lab testing to determine the potential cause and then determining the best management, from local hair removal (plucking, shaving, waxing, electrolysis, photoepilation, bleaching) to medical treatment. Medications used to reduce hair growth and thickness range from synthetic hormone suppression of the ovaries (contraceptive agents) to antiandrogen medications. Unfortunately this is often a life-long management issue, as hair is designed to keep growing where it isn’t wanted and tends to stop growing where we want it (i.e. the scalp), despite our best efforts.

Is douching healthy? How do I keep myself clean?


Douching is completely unnecessary and harmful to the maintenance of normal, healthy bacterial flora of the vagina. The vagina is self cleaning, so no soaps are necessary, just warm water soaks or rinses externally, not internally. There is no reason to douche — if there is odor, abnormal discharge, or discomfort/itching, then an evaluation is advised to determine if there is an infection or other inflammation.


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Experience Hands-on Cooking while enjoying a Full Course Meal including wine pairing!

Menu Appetizer Truffle Dungeness Crab Mac and Cheese Dungeness Crab, Cremini Mushrooms, White Truffle, Shallots, Chives, Stilton Blue Intermezzo Strawberry Champagne Sorbet Entree Aged Filet Mignon with Cranberry Stilton and Bordeaux Demi Glace USDA Prime Aged Filet Mignon, Rogue River Blue Cheese, Asparagus, Bordeaux Wine Dessert White Chocolate Mousse with CherriesWhite Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Black Cherries, Brandy

Thursday FEBRUARY 9TH From 6 P.M. to 9 P.M.

Chef Dan Van Norman

The highly acclaimed of 13moons brings Pacific Northwest flavors with an elegant flare to your table at Meet the Chef. For complete menu and d etails go to meetthechef-da nva nnorma n-13moon s. eventbrite .com


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DINE 8 Great Tastes · Dining Guide · Drink of the Month



rlis’s Restaurant has been open at the same location for decades. Make no mistake, Arlis’s is quite clearly a diner in the American tradition. Booths and chairs are upholstered in naugahyde, and there is enough diner-kitsch to accommodate a small diner museum. Just as there are vintage train enthusiasts there, too, must be diner aficionados. They will find that Arlis’s Restaurant more than satisfies their nostalgia. While Arlis’s continues to offer diner fare like cheeseburgers and biscuits and gravy, there is a notable exception: vegetarian options. In the South, vegetarian options typically mean beans with fatback, or cornbread and redeye gravy. Arlis’s has created a menu that all diners can appreciate, with options such as a Garden Burger, a vegetarian omelet, and veggie potatoes. Granted, a corner of the griddle is reserved for vegetarian items, so there is some meat present in the vegetarian dishes. Nonetheless, It’s a tremendous relief for vegetarians to get a diner experience without having to limit their choices to dry toast and jelly. … continued on the next page

Arlis’s serves only breakfast and lunch, and as a general rule ends the business day at 2:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays. All the menu items, with a couple of exceptions, are reliably consistent and quite tasty. Restauranteur Ray Caillier, designed the diverse menu items which are prepared by a small team of line cooks. Breakfast prices range from $6.99 to $10.99 and include comfort foods such as biscuits and gravy. This satisfying plate of two buttermilk biscuits buried under piping-hot silky-smooth sausage gravy is the perfect morning-after breakfast. The P.M.S Omelet ($9.49) is also an excellent morning option and includes Parmesan cheese, sautéed mushrooms and spinach served with a side of hash browns. You cannot go wrong with the bacon cheeseburger for lunch. It has the works, melted cheese, onions, lettuce, pickle, ketchup, mustard, and fries for $9.99. It makes for a rather satisfying lunch, or you can order it for breakfast, whatever suits your fancy. For $10.49 the Cod and Chips is a bargain. Three pieces of tempura-dipped cod deepfried to perfection and served with salty fries. All that’s missing is a pint of beer! Diners will not find 21 and over only beverages on the menu or, apparently, used in cooking. Plans are in the works to add beer and mimosas to the menu in the near future. For now, if you’re a friend of Bill, then Arlis’s Restaurant is a supportive place to eat. Obviously, this is not a date destination, but it is a terrific place to meet up with friends and visit over a good meal. Arlis’s Restaurant is a Bellingham mainstay for a reason. The servers are attentive, the line cooks efficient, and the coffee is always hot. Don’t be surprised to overhear conversations that run the gamut of politics, art, comic books, theater, and futuristic outer space-themed movies. When in the mood for a nosh, make your way to Arlis’s Restaurant: an icon among Bellingham’s restaurant scene. 

Arlis's Restaurant 1525 Cornwall Ave, Bellingham 360.647.1788


DINING KEY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . up to $9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10–19 . . . . . . . . . . . . $20–29 . . . . . . . . $30 or greater . . . . . . . . . . . . Breakfast . . . . . . . . . . . . . Brunch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lunch . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dinner . . . . . . . . . Family-Friendly . . . . . . . . . . . . . Takeout . . . . . . . . Outdoor Seating   . . . . . . . . . . Reservations   . . . . . . . . . . Happy Hour . . . . . . . . . New Review See all our restaurant reviews on our Eat and Drink tab at

SAN JUAN DOE BAY CAFÉ American 107 Doe Bay Rd., Orcas Island 360.376.2291, Whether you’re heading toward the San Juan Islands or don’t mind taking a trip for an unbelievable meal, be sure to make reservations at the ever-popular Doe Bay Café. The café is set in the Doe Bay garden, providing a beautiful view and the majority of the café’s organic ingredients. Owners Joe and Maureen Brotherton have stuck to their philosophy of taking good care of their visitors by providing world-class dishes made by Executive Chef Abigael Birrell. Choose from a selection of delicious dishes such as Huevos Rancheros with free range, organic over-easy eggs with black beans on griddled corn tortillas or the Pan Roasted Point King Salmon served with a carrot ginger sauce and smoky fried chickpeas and charmoula.   DUCK SOUP INN American 50 Duck Soup Ln., Friday Harbor 360.378.4878, Sitting on the border of the woods at Duck Soup Inn is one of the most delightful dining experiences you’ll likely experience. The outside eating area of this restaurant — located almost midway between Friday Harbor and Roche Harbor on San Juan Island — opened last year and offers tables for dinner as well as a couple of couches for pre-dinner drinks. The meals here match the atmosphere: fresh and natural outside; sophisticated country kitchen feel inside. Appetizers include tender calamari with a light salad; twice baked corn soufflé

with green chili lime cream and goat cheese; and house-smoked oysters with a cilantro almond pesto. A main course of Alaskan Weathervane Scallops with whipped potatoes and a blue cheese crema followed was followed by a Chocolate Panna Cotta paired perfectly with a pear liquor. Every bite offered freshness and flavor. The food was largely local and every dish was garnished with flowers from owner and executive chef Gretchen Allison’s own garden.

Dining Guide


pound! — come fresh from the adjacent cove, and keep shellfish connoisseurs clamoring for a regular fix. Steamed and soaked in a scrumptious mix of simple seasonings, wine and juices, Toby’s robust offering of mussels makes for a memorable visit. Fish and chips arrive hot, deliciously flakey, and generous in size, with sides of sweet coleslaw and fries deserving mention for their merit. For those waiting among the weekend crowd of regulars, a giant chocolaty brownie will drive your mind insane, and keep your appetite satisfied before the main course earns its way into the dining room.

THE FREELAND CAFÉ American/Hawaiian 1642 E. Main St., Freeland 360.331.9945

VINNY’S Seafood

For more than 35 years, The Freeland Café has been serving Whidbey Island locals a dawn-to-dinner menu of American breakfast ­classics with a mix of Hawaiian flavors. A stack of three savory pancakes stuffed with delicious, sweet blueberries marks a signature favorite among the carb-craving regulars, while a hearty egg breakfast with crisp, sizzling bacon charms away the hunger of nostalgic hometown diners; add Hawaiian-style rice with Spam and gravy for a more exotic breakfast alternative. Lined with ceiling-high windows and an eclectic mix of artwork, The Freeland Café offers a generous seating area situated adjacent a popular bar of the same name. Sit back and enjoy the aroma of warm syrup and coffee, and the friendly chatter of neighborly patrons, as you dine back to a simpler time.   PRIMA BISTRO French

165 W. St., Friday Harbor 360.378.1934 Owner Becky Day welcomes diners to Vinny’s Ristorante in Friday Harbor, mirroring the feel of this warm Italian restaurant. Dishes change monthly and reflect the desire of Chef Daniel Van Hamsersfeld to serve simple, everyday fare. His appetizers of Fior de Latte — a caprese salad — and mushroom medley (mushrooms with a Marsala demi glaze and cambozola cheese) are perfect for sharing and leave space for a summery Capellini Mediteranea (prawns and clams in a light white wine and olive oil sauce). As well as a good selection of pastas, Vinny’s has seafood and meat entrées, many of them traditional favorites like Veal Marsala and Chicken Picatta. The cocktail list includes old favorites and some fun offerings like the Crantini and a rhubarb margarita. Top off a meal with crème brûlée — a light, roomtemperature custard topped with a layer of burnt sugar.

201 1/2 First St., Langley 360.221.4060, A quintessential South Whidbey dining ­experience in the heart of Langley, Prima Bistro marries gourmet French cuisine and classic Northwest ingredients. Fried Spanish Marcona Almonds arrive steaming hot, glisteningly crisp and in a glory of flavor — and just in time a glass of Pinot Grigio. The selection of reds and whites offers options for connoisseurs of every stripe, along with a full bar. The Burgundy Snails in Herb Butter taste delightfully creamy, with an uncharacteristically soft, yet enjoyable texture. The Bistro Burger is a juicily grilled patty of Oregon beef, topped with a deliciously thick slice of melted white Cheddar; a burger made in heaven! For fabulous food, elegant ambience and world-class views, be sure to visit the Prima on your next visit to Whidbey Island.   TOBY’S TAVERN Seafood 8 Front St., Coupeville 360.678.4222, Overlooking the scenic Penn Cove in the center of old Coupeville, Toby’s Tavern offers diners a dive bar ambience with a delicious menu of seafood favorites. Their famous bowls of Penn Cove mussels — served by the


12885 Casino Dr., Anacortes 360.588.3800, Located within the casino, 13moons is sure to catch your attention. Situated on the waterfront, 13moons has a warm and inviting lodge atmosphere. The menu offers a wide variety including first plates, entree salads, seafood, and steaks. We started our meal with generous pours of wine, then moved on to the roasted beet salad. I am always skeptical of this dish, as it needs to be just right, and they did not disappoint. The filet mignon was cooked to perfection and mouth-watering. This is a great choice for an evening out. You will walk away satisfied, and you’ll understand why it is becoming the go-to place for locals and visitors alike.

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DINE Dining Guide

A’TOWN BISTRO Regional NW 418 Commercial Ave., Anacortes, 360.899.4001, Colorful photographs of farm scenes dot the walls of A’Town Bistro, summing up all this restaurant stands for: fresh, local, seasonal food. Even the inside of this Anacortes restaurant feels farm-like, with simple wooden tables and flooring and no unnecessary flourishes. The kitchen is open, and sends out entrees such as Smoked Salmon Cakes (which contain nothing but king salmon and breadcrumbs and come with a tomato-caper coulis and garlic aioli), Pork New York (pan seared with an apple cider gastrique), a Wild Boar Burger, and Ancho Chili & Chicken Stew. Appetizers include the restaurant’s signature fries, which are twice fried and tossed in truffle-parmesan salt. Both beer and wine are on tap here. Both taps and bottles offer some great representatives from local and international producers. Settle in, and enjoy food, drink, and a fire that roars away between the entrance and the dining room, keeping diners warm in both body and spirit.  –

NELL THORN Seafood 116 First St., La Conner 360.466.4261, This small-town gem located in the heart of La Conner brings in tourists and locals alike. They boast well-prepared and locally sourced fresh seafood as well as an extensive wine and beer list. The charming and cozy pub atmosphere, homemade soups, and generous portions make for a great special occasion or romantic evening. Try the polenta cakes with cured black olives and roasted garlic tomato sauce — you won’t be disappointed.   THE OYSTER BAR Seafood 2578 Chuckanut Dr., Bow 360.766.6185, The Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive is perched among towering conifers above the oyster beds. The cozy restaurant is housed in a structure dating from the 1920s that has survived many incarnations. The striking views and tucked-away ambiance add much, but the journey here is about the oysters. While oysters are the signature offering, The Oyster Bar offers a variety of other fine-dining choices and is known in the Pacific Northwest for its extensive wine cellar.

CALLE Mexican 517 S. 1st St., Mount Vernon 360.336.5566, Known for their take on street tacos — with six meat fillings to choose from and handmade corn tortillas — but that’s certainly not the only mouthwatering option. Try the Carne Asada, Posole or Tortas to name just a few menu options. The Spicy Mango Margarita, made with fresh mango and jalepeno, is fast becoming a customer favorite. With 60+ tequilas and mescals to sample, there’s always another reason to visit again.

SAKURA JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE Japanese 1830 S. Burlington Blvd., Burlington 360.588.4281, Professional Teppan Yaki chefs take you on a journey of delicious and interactive dining at Burlington’s Sakura Japanese Steakhouse. Using the freshest ingredients and perfect seasonings, they stir-fry your meal right before your eyes, creating a fabulous feast. Choose from steak and chicken to salmon and shrimp; each meal is served with soup, salad, rice and vegetables. If it’s sushi you crave, they also offer a full sushi bar for even the most discriminating taste buds.

CONWAY PUB & EATERY American 18611 Main St., Conway 360.445.4733 Don’t let tiny Conway fool you — this pub packs big flavor. Though the town is unincorporated, business is never slow in this watering hole. Farmers often come here after a hard day’s work as well as bikers making a pit stop on a scenic weekend ride. Their food matches their patrons’ big appetites, such as the blue cheese burger topped with crisply fried shoestring onions or the mouthwatering oyster burger. Packed with flavor and Americana spirit, Conway Pub & Eatery is a Skagit Valley icon.

TRUMPETER PUBLIC HOUSE Gastropub 416 Myrtle St., Mt. Vernon 360.588.4515, The Trumpeter is an ideal combination of high-end, fine dining and English pub variety. Try traditional pub selections like shephard’s pie, fish and chips, or more unique choices like pork tenderloin complimented with an apricot-honey glaze or crab mac and cheese with a creamy Gruyere sauce and wild-caught crab. Additionally, the Trumpeter looks to accommodate all tastes with gluten-free dishes, and the option to make any dish gluten free. Of course, a gastropub isn’t complete without beer and Trumpeter completes the dining experience with 18 taps of local and European brews. There’s also a fine selection of wines and drink choices.


WHATCOM ANTHONY’S HEARTHFIRE GRILL Beef/Seafood 7 Bellwether Way, Bellingham 360.527.3473, Anthony’s Hearthfire Grill serves the same quality food we’ve come to expect and love from Anthony’s other restaurants. The Hearthfire menu speaks to the everyday eater, not just the special occasion treat of Anthony’s. seasonal items, like peaches or huckleberries in the summer, complement salads, entrees and drinks. Steaks, seafood and items on the Woodfire rotisserie round out the selections.   AVENUE BREAD Deli Downtown Cafe 1313 Railroad Ave., Bellingham, 2301 James St., Bellingham 2020 Humboldt St., Bellingham 444 Front St., Lynden 360.715.3354, With several convenient locations in Bellingham and a location in Lynden, Avenue is one of Bellingham’s favorite lunch spots. Fresh ingredients make these sandwiches unusually good — the bread is made inhouse, and the vegetables and meat are all of the highest quality. Avenue also offers one of the freshest, best breakfast sandwiches around — the Eggenue.   BAYOU ON BAY Cajun/Creole 1300 Bay St., Bellingham 36w0.752.2968, Bayou On Bay serves a wide variety of classic Cajun and Creole dishes, such as gumbo, jambalaya, po’ boy sandwiches and hush puppies, to name a few. A house-made remoulade, which accompanies many of the dishes, is worth the trip alone. The bar offers an extensive list of drink options. Bayou on Bay is a must for foodies as well as people just looking for a satisfying meal.   BLACK FOREST STEAKHOUSE German/Steak 1263 Barkley Blvd., Bellingham 360.733.9185 638 Peace Portal Dr., Blaine 360.306.8342, Black Forest Steak house offers a versatile dining experience. It’s fancy enough for special occasions, anniversaries and graduation celebrations, but it’s also a place you’ll want to go to any day. Black Forest makes its steaks different than most other steakhouses: It broils them in a 1,600-degree oven, leaving the meat tender and flavorful.

BLUE FIN SUSHI Japanese 102 S. Samish Way, Bellingham 360.752.2583, At Blue Fin Sushi, fresh sushi is used to create a variety of tasty options like the Tekka roll, which is seaweed, rice and tuna. The waitstaff is friendly and it’s always entertaining to watch the chefs at work. Blue Fin also offers a full menu of non-sushi food items. Its version of fish and chips, for example, is a must-try: tempura fried salmon pieces served with sweet potato fries with a creamy wasabi sauce for dipping. Blue Fin Sushi also serves a variety of teriyaki, orange chicken, and bento boxes.   BRANDYWINE KITCHEN Regional NW 1317 Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.1071,

BEST of the


Named for the decadent heirloom tomatoes grown on their farm, the owners source much of their ingredients locally and hold the “from seed to plate” philosophy. The menu offers vegetarian and gluten-free options (like ricePanko Fish and Chips), and includes beer from both Boundary Bay and Chuckanut breweries. Try the Quinoa-Salmon Cakes with red pepper aioli or a BLT with Hempler’s bacon and maple-tomato relish. Don’t miss the Hibiscus Iced Tea for a refreshing sip or treat yourself to a Raspberry Champagne Cocktail.




Voted Best Fish & Chips

CIAO THYME ON THE SIDE CAFE Lunch 207 Unity St., Bellingham 360.733.1267, For those who have experienced Ciao Thyme’s gourmet dinners and cooking classes, the new Ciao Thyme on the Side Café is a welcome addition to the delicious work of Jessica and Mataio Gillis, owners of Ciao Thyme catering. As with everything Ciao Thyme does, ­ingredients are fresh, local and in season. Choose soups, salads and sandwiches a la carte, or create a plate with a selection of all three for a hearty and satisfying lunch.   THE COPPER HOG Gastropub 1327 N. State St., Bellingham 360.927.7888,

Nickis Bar and Grill on the waterfront in Bellingham serving award winning, hand dipped, tempura style fish & chips. Build your own burger featuring our handcrafted USDA chuck patties and fresh baked buns.

360.332.2505 2615 South Harbor Loop Drive, Bellingham

Gastropubs are known for having pub fare with high-class style and high-class food, and that’s exactly what you’ll find at The Copper Hog. You can also find classic pub favorites like fish and chips, bangers and mash, and poutine, as well a less-routine pub grub such as Ramen soup or ahi prepared a variety of ways. The Copper Hog also has a wide variety of beer, including local and organic brews. The menu changes seasonally. You’ll want to go back often so you can enjoy everything the menu has to offer.

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FIAMMA BURGER All-natural Burgers 1309 Railroad Ave., Bellingham 360.733.7374,

craft cocktails - fine wines - microbrews

Galloway’s Cocktail Bar, nestled in the heart of Fairhaven

One word speaks volumes about Fiamma Burger: variety. With six different patty types (including homemade veggie, bison, and salmon) and more than 17 menu options, there are endless possibilities for a burger masterpiece. You can even get a “burger in a bowl,” served without the bread. And with extra things to add on like fire-roasted green chiles or a scoop of chili, it could take a long time to find your perfect creation. All burgers are served on a fresh-baked egg bun, with crisp lettuce and all the usual fixings. Spice it up with chipotle ketchup, spicy mustard, or curry mayo, then cool it down with a beer or milkshake.   FIRESIDE MARTINI & WINE BAR Dinner/Bar 416 W. Bakerview Rd., Bellingham 360.738.1000,

Cocktails, tasty bites, and sweets, served daily after 3:00 | 360.594.7985

1200 10th St Suite #102

Fireside is out to make a name for itself. By using fresh, local ingredients and a menu that changes on an almost daily basis (based on what’s fresh at the market that day), the Fireside has a lot to offer the casual diner and those more focused on detail. The Fireside claims to have the largest “by the glass” wine selection in Bellingham, none of which are served anywhere else in the area. Cocktails are based on in-house infusions of spirits and it’s a collection found only at Fireside. Beer options

range from local to obscure to international. The decor in Fireside is welcoming and intimate, with couches and armchairs throughout the lounge.   THE FORK AT AGATE BAY Eclectic 2530 N. Shore Rd., Bellingham 360.733.1126, As unassuming as they come, The Fork at Agate Bay is a quiet retreat of fine food and wine only a short drive down the east side of Lake Whatcom. Be careful not to be fooled by its quaint exterior; inside you’ll discover a surprisingly upscale atmosphere warmed by a welcoming and rustic charm. Opened in June 2009, it has gained recognition as one of Bellingham’s best restaurants, emerging as a favorite for food connoisseurs. From a simple yet elegant egg breakfast to wild-mushroomstuffed chicken, the menu is a delightful and modern take on the classics. With a full wine bar, an in-house baker and fresh, local ingredients, The Fork at Agate Bay provides a sophisticated twist on Northwest dining.

GIUSEPPE’S AL PORTO Italian 21 Bellwether Way, Bellingham 360.714.8412, Giuseppe’s Al Porto Ristorante provides an enhanced dining experience to its customers, including outside seating that provides diners with the joy of eating by the water and taking in the sights of beautiful Bellingham Bay. The classic Italian dining that earned Giuseppe’s the reputation as the finest Italian restaurant in Bellingham is still going strong. Whether you try the chicken marsala, happy hour specials or three-course, early-dinner specials, your mouth will water. Daily specials and the full menu include meat specialties, fresh seafood and authentic Italian pastas.   IL CAFFE RIFUGIO Italian 5415 Mount Baker Hwy., Deming 360.592.2888, Richard Balogh has brought fine dining to the “wilderness.” Fifteen miles out on Mount Baker Highway, just past Deming, is a funky old café that has been transformed into an oasis for people who enjoy good food and coffee. Menu items befit their Italian name with pannini and frittatas for Saturdayand Sunday brunches; Cioppino is a summer dinner menu highlight. The dinner menu changes weekly, begging for a second trip. A small covered deck with colorful lanterns sits adjacent to the dining room for your al fresco pleasure. Just beyond, in a meadow, sits a red deck used as a stage, and is the centerpiece for special dinners under the stars.




ith the holidays a distant memory in the rearview mirror, it’s time to focus on a new year, new beginnings, and, unfortunately for many of us, a fresh new set of credit card bills from the past season. The reality of our over-giving and overspending is that we eventually have to make some budget-conscious decisions in the future, and that might include cutting back on dining out and food-related expenditures such as wine. Wait a minute. Cut back on wine purchases? Not so fast! Enjoying a good bottle of wine is truly one of life’s simple pleasures. And because wine comes in such a wide range of price points there’s absolutely no need to eliminate it entirely from your budget. Certainly, lower-priced wines raise the question of compromised quality. But with just a bit of pre-planning and consulting with those in-the-know and you may be pleasantly surprised to learn how many great wine recommendations are available in the under $20-a-bottle category. BARGAIN-PRICED WHITE WINES Solid, dependable white wine choices are easy to find and, more often than not, easy on the budget. Start with Riesling, a reliable white that comes in a variety of styles and sweetness levels and is packed-full of fruit flavors and floral aromatics. The Heinz Eifel “Shine” 2014 Riesling (about $11) will put on smile on your face with its mouth-watering flavors and hard-to-beat price. It’s a bit creamy to start, with generous Granny Smith apple, green melon and peach that are beautifully balanced with transitioning, brisk acidity. The honey-like finish is persistently pleasant, with a touch of minerality as a reminder of the grape’s German origins. Chardonnay is another versatile white wine to consider, with plenty of options at affordable prices. If you enjoy a big, bold Chardonnay in a full-bodied style, try the Harken Wines 2014 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay (about $15) from California. Ripe, Golden Delicious apple and pear flavors lead off, with a warm, round finish and accents of baking spice, butterscotch, and toasted oak. Serve it with rich, creamy soups or roast chicken, salmon or lobster. For a slightly lighter style Chardonnay with more subtle flavors, consider the Argento Reserva 2014 Chardonnay (about $14) from Argentina. Tropical notes of starfruit and pineapple wrap around a core of pear and apple flavors and the soft, faintly buttery finish is derived, in part, from just a bit of aging contact with French oak. Another excellent white wine choice is the Argento Cool Climate 2015 Pinot Grigio (about $14). White peach and tangy citrus flavors are highlighted with a touch of slate and herbaceousness on a linen-crisp finish. There’s a bright, fresh quality to this wine throughout, and that makes it an ideal pairing partner with salads, seafood, and shellfish.



AFFORDABLE RED WINES THAT DELIVER If you think you have to spend a bundle to get a decent red wine, think again! In addition to those produced domestically, Europe and South America are great international sources for value-priced reds that are perfect for everyday enjoyment. There are plenty of bargains to be had from Italy and the Borgo Thaulero Montepulciano D’Abruzzo (about $10) is a great example. Earthy aromatics and understated red berry and pie cherry flavors predominate, while great finishing acidity along with some mildly chalky tannins make it a nice choice for serving with beef or pork. Also from Italy and worth considering: the Avignonesi 2014 Montepulciano (about $19). The wine’s red currant and cherry tomato flavors are framed with bright acidity and notes of white pepper and spice. It should pair perfectly with anything Italian, including crowd-pleasing favorites such and lasagna or spaghetti and meatballs. Argentina’s Bodega Argento should also be your go-to winery for affordable red wines. Included in their current releases is the Argento 2013 Bonarda (about $14), a grape with Italian origins that is Argentina’s second most widely planted red grape. This wine explodes with ultra-dark cherry and black plum fruits, big mouthfeel, and a mile-long, slightly textured finish. It’s an overachieving little wine that delivers tremendous flavor for the dollar and should be near the top of your must-try list. The Argento 2014 Malbec (about $14) is another South American wine worthy of a case purchase. Beautiful berry aromas are followed with generous flavors of dried plum and brambly blackberry fruit and the finish is accentuated with touches of pepper and spice. Soft tannins complete the package and make this highly enjoyable wine a ready-todrink choice. AND DON’T FORGET THE SPARKLERS Most people save the Champagne and sparkling wines just for holidays and special occasions, when there’s absolutely no reason why they can’t be enjoyed year-round. Sparkling wines carry an array of flavor profiles at extremely reasonable prices and can be served with an eclectic range of foods from sushi to crispy, fried chicken. The Segura Viudas Non-Vintage Brut Cava (about $10) is a solid Spanish sparkling wine that’s always nice to have on hand. There’s very little fruit on the palate, except for a bit of lemon/lime citrus, and that opens the door to its steely/ mineral-like characteristics and clean finish with bracing acidity. Try it as an accompaniment to steamed mussels or fresh oysters on the half-shell. And for a unique, refreshing sparkler, be sure to try the Domaine Bousquet 2014 Brut Rosé (about $14). Made from organically grown Argentinian grapes — 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay — a sip is almost like biting into a crisp, Red Delicious apple. Candy apple, a whisper of faintly sweet cotton candy, and tangy orange zest on the finish make this fun wine a pleasure to taste. 

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Keenan’s at the Pier Mortimer, Mauve & Harrison INGREDIENTS: Chai infused Vermouth, Rye Whiskey, Jameson, Ginger Liqueur, Ice, Orange Peel

TASTE OF INDIA Indian 3930 Meridian St., Ste. 107, Bellingham 360.647.1589 At Taste of India all the dishes are rich, delicious and truly feel authentic. Dishes come with your choice of pulao rice or the classic Indian bread naan. Taste of India offers a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, all with exquisite and well-developed flavors. There’s also a variety of flavors of naan, including garlic or spinach. For those unsure of what to order, or those who want to try multiple dishes at once, try the lunch buffet.   JAKE’S WESTERN GRILL Southern 8114 Guide Meridian, Lynden 360.354.5588, In addition to outstanding barbecue, Jake’s also features a full line of fresh-cut salads, burgers, Southern sandwiches, and a full-service bar. If you’re a true lover of Southern barbecue, you owe it to yourself to head north and give Jake’s Western Grill in Lynden a try.   JALAPEÑOS MEXICAN GRILL Mexican 1007 Harris Ave., Bellingham, 360.656.6600 501 W. Holly St., Bellingham, 360.671.3099 2945 Newmarket Pl., Bellingham, 360.778.2041


ool vermouth, sweet-andspicy chai, and delicious Jameson Irish Whiskey mingle with some rye in this gingery-spicy drink. Akin to an Old Fashioned with its hint of orange and heavy whiskey base, this is the perfect drink for an early evening after a long day, relaxing at last at Keenan's at the Pier. Keenan's makes some killer cocktails, all of their syrups, and they refrigerate their vermouth, so every drop of every cocktail is fresh and perfectly balanced. And the view is amazing. From just about any table in the place,

expansive views of Bellingham Bay and Taylor Dock open up, inviting your eyes to their own feast. This time of year, the golden light over Portage, Lummi, and Orcas islands is particularly lovely. Overindulge? Take a long stroll along Taylor Dock in the bracing wind and watch the gulls fight for fish on the waves. The Mortimer, Mauve, and Harrison will keep you cozy!  804 10th St., Bellingham 360.756.1005

Jalepeños Mexican Grill lures you in with promises of a cheap lunch special. But after looking at the menu, you’ll want so much more. You’ll find a masterpiece starting with the complementary chips and salsa. Ask to see if they are featuring any types other than the normal red that day. The salsas exude freshness. A house favorite is the authentic “puffy tacos.” They’re messy — filled with shredded chicken, cheese and topped with guacamole — but worth the added effort of using a knife and fork. Of course, there’s a variety of flavored mojitos and margaritas, and Jalepeños doesn’t play around with their drinks. The glasses are huge, and the drink is good to the last drop.   KEENAN’S AT THE PIER American/Seafood 804 10th St., Bellingham 360.392.5510, Keenan’s at the Pier is located in Fairhaven’s Chrysalis Inn & Spa. The menu is locally sourced and changes frequently. Happy hour runs from 3 to 6 p.m., and a number of tasty options are available for under $10. Breakfast, lunch and dinner entrees range from seafood to American favorites. The menu items are imaginative, tasty and beautifully presented. The wine list offers a mix of imports and domestic wines that pair well with your meal, and the excellent mixologists create fresh, delicious cocktails, perfect for taking in the expansive views. Reservations at this popular restaurant are not required, though highly recommended.




1148 10th St., Fairhaven 360.393.4327, The clean lines and urban upscale atmosphere of this pizza restaurant promises some very good food — and they deliver on that promise. They also serve crispy salads and excellent cocktails. Dining here is a perfect way to spend an elegant lunch or intimate dinner.


SUPER MARIO’S Salvadorian 3008 N.W. Ave, Bellingham 360.393.4637, Serving fresh, healthy meals with the customer in mind is what Super Mario’s is all about, and it’s the consistent flavor and quality of the food that keeps bringing people back. The veggies are chopped fresh daily, nothing is frozen, and nothing is cooked until it’s ordered. In addition, nothing is deep fried.   THE STEAK HOUSE AT SILVER REEF HOTEL ­CASINO SPA Steak/Seafood 4876 Haxton Way, Ferndale 360383.0777, This award-winning restaurant offers elegant dining and an intimate atmosphere. Prime-grade steaks are broiled at 1,800 degrees to lock in the natural juices and finished with a special steak butter. The wine list is ample and recognized for its quality by Wine Spectator. This dining experiences rivals any of the big-town steak houses in quality and service without the big-city price tag.   THE TABLE Pasta 100 N. Commercial St., Bellingham 360.594.6000, Folks who have enjoyed the fresh, handmade pastas of the Bellingham Pasta Co. from their local market can now experience them served with a helping of marinara, alfredo or pesto sauce at the Pasta Co.’s restaurant, The Table, which is named for the long family-style table that fills the center of the dining room. Pasta is not the only item on the menu: starters, salads, sandwiches, pot pies and desserts round out the selections.   TORRE CAFFE Italian 119 N. Commercial St., Ste. 130, Bellingham 360.734.0029 If you want an excellent early morning espresso or a taste of old Italy for lunch or just a midafternoon break, Torre Caffe is the place to go. It’s authentic, right down to the co-owners, Pasquale and Louisa Salvatti, who came here from Genoa in 2005. Traditional Italian lunch fare (soups, salads, paninis and lunch-sized entrees) is made daily with the freshest ingredients. Louisa’s soups are near legendary. Go early, go often. Your tastebuds will thank you.

The following selections have made it past our taste bud test and into our top eight this issue. Step out and give them a try, you won’t be disappointed.

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The Dudes Bowl from Brotha Dudes — a concoction of tofu, rice, cabbage, kale, avocado, cilantro, and a tangy Asian chili sauce — is a great lunch.



All the pizza options at Övn Wood Fired Pizza are incredible, but the Yukon with potatoes, onions, bacon, sour cream, and chives is a real standout.


The grilled oysters at Boundary Bay Brewery and Bistro are so delicious and served in a tomato-bacon mignonette. A great appetizer!


The Large Athenian Salad Platter at Greek Islands in Anacortes makes a perfect meal for two, or a great entrée to share in a group.

The pescado tacos at Calle in Mount Vernon are fresh, delicious, and perfect for a light lunch alone, or with beans and rice for a big meal.



The vegetarian pho at Soy House is warming, filling, and delicious while delivering loads of fresh veggies and lean protein. It’s a great way to spend a winter evening.

There’s no more delicious way to lower your blood pressure than Giuseppe’s Al Porto’s incredible beet salad. Red and golden beets in a light vinaigrette — so perfect.


The roasted butternut squash hash at Calico Cupboard is a hearty and delicious breakfast that honors your desire to stay vegetarian while also filling your belly. Served with bleu cheese crumbles, or, if you’re not quite so vegetarian, bacon crumbles.

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Featured Events · Listings · The Scene · Final Word

Fame JANUARY 18, 7 P.M.


hat child wasn’t leaping onto the coffee table and bustin’ some Debbie Allen moves in 1980? Okay, fine. But Fame was the beginning of the universe, right? Sigh. Let’s start over. Fame is a collection of narratives of kids at the High School of Performing Arts in New York. The songs range from powerful ballads to upbeat danceable tunes (perfect for tryouts in the local community theater RIGHT?) and the characters’ lives are compelling and complex. Mount Baker Theatre 104 N. Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.6080, 



Self-hypnosis can be an excellent tool for breaking bad habits that are setting you back on your wellness goals. January 4 is World Hypnotism Day, and what better way to celebrate than to learn about this amazing process? Instructor Erika Flint is a board-certified hypnotist and owner of the Cascaded Hypnosis Center. Healthy Connections Classroom Bellingham Food Co-op 405 E. Holly St., Bellingham 360.734.8158, WINTER BLUES BUSTER JANUARY 10, 6:30 P.M.

Jennavieve “JJ” Joshua, life coach and small business consultant, will help lift you out of your January blues with this inspiring workshop. JJ will help you craft your own “Happy Map” to get you where you want to be in the New Year. Healthy Connections Classroom Bellingham Food Co-op 405 E. Holly St., Bellingham 360.734.8158, HOME CARE COOPERATIVES — ELDER CARE FOR THE FUTURE JANUARY 11, 6:30 P.M.

This informative workshop will have recommendations and information about how to create a cooperative business model for elder care. Cooperative care makes for higher caregiver retention, better access, and higher quality elder care. Member-ownership gives the co-op members input into how the care is managed. Skagit Food Co-op 202 S. First St., Mount Vernon 360.336.9777, SCOTTISH COUNTRY DANCING CLASSES January 11, 7:30 p.m. Don yer sporrin and take on the great social dancing of Scotland. Instructors will be on-hand to teach you all the moves and steps you’ll need to appreciate this excellent pastime. This is a beginnerintermediate level class. Fairhaven Library 1117 12th St., Bellingham 90

Jennifer Koh



JANUARY 16, 6:30 P.M.

JANUARY 13, 5:30 P.M.

Jean Christensen, LMP, will conduct this informative discussion. Craniosacral Therapy involves manipulating the cranial bones and the sacrum to relieve stress points and reduce pain in the body. Christensen uses craniosacral therapy in concert with visceral manipulation, Bowen therapy, and other forms of body work.

The Inner Beauty Shop is an interactive workshop for girls or women (ages 12-18) that encourages young women to find their inner peace and beauty. Beauty Shop activities include yoga, interactive activities, and embodied activities. Led by Minta Allred, this workshop will help young women recalibrate their selfworth in the direction of acceptance and self-love.

Skagit Food Co-op 202 S. First St., Mount Vernon 360.336.9777, FAMILY YOGA

3 Oms Yoga 1319 Cornwall Ave., Suite 200, Bellingham 360.671.3510,

JANUARY 21, 2:30 P.M.

Jenny, your trusted instructor, will help you and your family learn the benefits of yoga practice — together. This fun class will bring your family closer together as you explore the stress relief and relaxation that yoga provides Yoga Northwest 360.647.0712,


This trail-running event is three of five in the series. There’s one each month until March. Strap on your trail-runners and get going! The woods await you. Bellingham BMX Park 5022 Guide Meridian, Bellingham


Teacher Dawn Marie will lead you through this gentle, supportive style of yoga. Yoga Nidra focuses on relaxation rather than exertion, making it a perfect way to being your New Year yoga practice. Maya Shakti Yoga & Wellness Center 708 Commercial Ave., Anacortes 360.299.3200, EATING FOR ENERGY JANUARY 23, 6:30 P.M.

Which foods motivate you to hop off the couch and get moving? Nutritionist Karl Mincin has the answer. Mincin is a registered nutritionist and specializes in working with individuals on specific eating plans that are both realistic and effective. Healthy Connections Classroom Bellingham Food Co-op 405 E. Holly St., Bellingham 360.734.8158, LIVE MUSIC IN THE YOGA STUDIO JANUARY 28, 8 P.M.

Enjoy the intimate and relaxing environment of the studio at Doe Bay while listening to some great live music. Singersongwriter Katie Jacobson will perform with her project called Honey Noble. What a great way to spend an evening on Orcas. Doe Bay Resort & Retreat 107 Doe Bay Rd., Olga 360.376.2291,


This ground-breaking, relevant, and essential series from the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra has brought some brilliant voices, composers, and musicians to Bellingham. In this concert, Jennifer Koh, virtuoso violinist, will perform Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, Ullman’s last piano sonata, and Schulhoff’s Symphony. A program well worth attending, this series highlights works created under oppressive governments. Consider it a primer. Mount Baker Theatre 104 N. Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.6080,

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These kid-friendly classical experiences at McIntyre are always a great way to introduce your kids to the instruments and styles of classical. Recent examples include Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf. Bring the kids and enjoy the music through their eyes. McIntyre Hall 2501 E. College Way, Mount Vernon 360.416.7727,


Jazz guitarist Jesse Cook is stopping at the Mount Baker on his One World Tour, and aren’t we lucky? Known for his awesome fundraising for PBS, Jesse’s music is both world-inspired and unique. Combining the rhythmic delight of Flamenco, the melodious tradition of Irish folk songs, and his own lyricism, he will have you dancing, singing, and swooning. Mount Baker Theatre 104 N. Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.6080, BIG BAND SWING JANUARY 27, 7:30 P.M.

The One More Time big band is an all-volunteer band that keeps you swinging. A nonprofit, the band is made of 14-17 players and has been around since 1970. Beer, food, and great songs from the swing era. What could be better? It’s also of note that this is Janet Olsen’s last performance with the group. The Rumor Mill 175 1st St., Friday Harbor 360.378.5555,


A poignant story of the Holocaust told through the eyes of a divided family, this play is emotionally involving and deeply contemplative. Written by Barbara Lebow and directed by Dee Dee O’Connor, this play is sure to leave you with much to ponder. Especially these days. Bellingham Theatre Guild 1600 H St., Bellingham 360.733.1811, 92

Jesse Cook

MeTV available on KVOS and over-the-air on KFFV

Check your local listings or go to for more information. Š 2015 CBS Studios, Inc. All rights reserved.




The Enchanted Forest Cabaret performs this hilarious romp through childhood stories dressed up in modern clothing. Carmen’s dream involves Dr. Livingston, Peter Pan, and Jack Sparrow. Hilarity ensures. A fun and wacky night for those who like their comedy with a twist.

The Bolshoi Ballet doesn’t visit Orcas Island very often — or do they? These great live streaming events bring the ballet to life — and to you happy island! Based on the classic fairytale, Tchaikovsky’s classic is both lyrical and dramatic. Choreography by Yuri Grigorvich.

Orcas Center 917 Mount Baker Rd., Eastsound 360.376.2281,

Orcas Center 917 Mt. Baker Rd., Eastsound 360.376.2281,



JANUARY 14, 7:30 P.M.

Join your fellow thespians and perfect that monologue from Blue Window. The Anacortes Community Theatre presents an evening of drama, comedy, and excitement in this event. Anacortes Community Theatre 918 M Ave., Anacortes 360.293.6829, OF MICE AND MEN JANUARY 26, 7:30 P.M.

The Steinbeck classic is brought to life on the state at the ACT Theatre. Originally published in 1937, Of Mice and Men tells the story of George and Lennie, a couple of migrant workers who are looking for jobs in Depression-era California. Everything goes well until (spoiler alert) Lennie commits murder. Anacortes Community Theatre 918 M Ave., Anacortes 360.293.6829,


This incredible movie documents the first cases of genocide to be prosecuted in Rwanda. At the center of the maelstrom are the brave women who braved threats of assassination to ensure that justice was served. The director, Michele Mitchelle, will be in attendance for a Q and A. The Pickford Film Center 1318 Bay St., Bellingham 360.739.0735, QUEEN’S VERNACULAR JANUARY 23, 6:30 P.M.


This festival runs on Thursdays starting January 19 and ending February 23. The first film in the series is Screenagers, an in-depth look into the lives of teenagers and screen addiction. Community panel and discussion will follow each film in the series. All the films are topical and of community interest. Lincoln Theatre 712 S. 1st St., Mount Vernon 360.336.8955,


Gather under the big top for this amazing show, which runs until the end of February. Cavalia combines the magic of circus arts and the grace and power of performing horses. One part old-time circus and one-part Cirque de Soleil, Cavalia is stunning and awe-inspiring. Olympic Village 299 W. First Ave., Vancouver, B.C. 866.999.8111,


A shorts program of films and videos about LGBTQ couples who collaborate. The program will feature work by Barbara Hammer and Terry Sendgraff, Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst, and more. Tickets are free.

The Seattle Children’s Theatre creates incredible performances for kids and adults alike. Stellaluna is the sweet story of a bat who loses her mom, but finds her way through the world with the help of a family of birds. It’s a compelling and beautiful story that is sure to become a family favorite, if it isn’t already.

The Pickford Film Center 1318 Bay St., Bellingham 360.739.0735,

Seattle Children’s Theatre 201 Thomas St., Seattle 206.441.3322,


The Scene


Whatcom Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Dinner On December 1, the Bellingham-Whatcom Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 12th Annual Awards Dinner. The awards recognize the organizations and individuals who do outstanding work in our community. The awards were held at Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa. The award for Tourism Partner of the Year was presented by K&L Media’s own Lisa Karlberg. Whatcom Sports and Recreation was the recipient. Congratulations to the winners!

January 2017 95


Final Word

A Reminder To Look For The Forest In The Trees Ken rejoices in the sweet side of life’s randomness WRITTEN BY KEN KARLBERG


or the past few months, two beloved family members, my aunt and stepfather, have been in and out of the hospital. Both are terminally ill. In the next weeks or months, my stepsisters will be parentless without the critical emotional tether of their father, my mom will face the remainder of her life without her husband of 31 years, my cousins will lose their maternal “Rock of Gibraltar,” and my mom and her siblings — the over-70 gang of five — will be four and facing more urgent thoughts of their own mortality. No one escapes life without experiencing its inherent unfairness. The randomness of crippling diseases or the chaos of humanity itself affects us all, eventually, and the anguish from these losses knows no racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic boundaries. Tragedy occurs unexpectedly at any time, whether it is an untimely death of a loved one, or simply being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Regardless, we are in this world together and subject to the same laws of probability. Those of us who haven’t yet had “our turn” to mourn or reflect, our turn is coming. The challenge for all of us is how to deal with the uncertainty of certainty. Yes, we may buckle our seatbelts as a precaution. We may even exercise and eat healthy as a safe guard. But randomness is randomness. Try as we might to control the uncontrollable, life is brutally unfair at times. Things happen. Things happen that shouldn’t. They may be wrong and unjust, but they happen nonetheless. As I drove home recently from St. Joseph’s hospital on Thanksgiving, I was alone with these thoughts with tears in my eyes. I had just helped my Aunt Jo Skype with her kids in California, and now I was headed home to share Thanksgiving dinner with a collection of family and friends, and one who was homeless for the holiday. My Aunt Jo is no ordinary “Jo”; she was my catcher’s mitt when I needed her as a young teenager. My stepfather is no ordinary “Bob”; he is my life-long teacher and teacher of life. For the sake of the spirit of Thanksgiving, however, I needed to collect myself to find a positive message for a Thanksgiving toast. And then somewhere between the Sunset and Bakerview exits from I-5, I had an epiphany. Randomness has two sides, one that causes us to cry “foul” and one that we take for granted and too seldom appreciate. Randomness can 96

be a beautiful thing, a blessing. I was about to go home to the sweet side of randomness — to a wonderful wife who completes me, step children who accept me as a second father, close friends who have added such joy and laughter to my life, amazing neighbors who were strangers just a short time ago but are now extended family, and a young man in need of unconditional love on Thanksgiving. All of us were part of each other’s lives by chance. The irony of the long overdue revelation was profound. I made peace with randomness that day. By the time that I passed Axton Way, I had scrolled back through the most important memories in my life and gratefulness overwhelmed my sadness. With few exceptions, randomness has been my friend, not my foe. I have been beyond fortunate. If we pause and reflect on the tapestry of our life journeys, most of us are — and yet we often dwell on the negative as if everything positive in our lives was the product of controllable forces. Peace had been there for my taking all along, and I embraced it that day, gratefully. The knock on the door of life may bring me sadness today, but the scale is more than counterbalanced by appreciation for all that I have that I have not earned. Thanks to pure serendipity, my mom met a shy, introspective history professor from Fairhaven College who shared with her an amazing life full of uncommon adventures, who gave her happiness that every son wishes upon his mother but is powerless to give, and whose moral compass, honesty of thought and sense of fairness inspired me to be a better person. Thanks to my Aunt Jo’s unselfish act of love, she re-directed the trajectory of my life. I don’t know where I am in life or whether I have made a difference. But I do know that my life has been even better than my childhood dreams because of her. For those in search of a New Year’s resolution, I encourage all of my readers to pause and reflect and take a short ride on I-5 between the Sunset and Bakerview exits. It is a magical stretch of road. 

My special thanks to Dr. Rey, RNs Julie, Becky and Josh, and CNA Gracie and the rest of the wonderful staff at St. Joseph’s hospital for their loving care of my Aunt Jo and stepfather, Bob.

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