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Summer 2017

Festival Fun for the Whole Family Inflammation and Body Fat 21 Summer Camp Packing Tips Babysitting Exchanges - Your House or Mine?

Summer 2017 Volume 5 Issue 1


4 Festival Fun For The Whole Family 5 An Active, Engaged and Charitable Summer 7 Father’s Day: 11 DIY Ideas 9 Too Much Tech? Tweens And Screen Addiction 11 21 Summer Camp Packing Tips for Newbie Parents 13 Discovering Animal Friends In Your Own Backyard 15 The 5 Most Common Causes Of Cellular Inflammation With Simple Solutions To Heal And Drop The Belly Fat - Part 2 18 Babysitting Exchanges - Your House Or Mine? 20 Busy Or Bust, Traveling With School Age Children 22 The Beauty Of Essential Oils

Cover Photo Courtesy of

Every Issue

3 Editor’s Note

21 Resource Directory

2 l Summer 2017

Contributors: Laura Lyles Reagan Sandi Haustein Sara Marchessault Meagan Ruffing Malia Jacobson Rhonda Franz Michale Hartte Ruth Hanley Heather Lee Leap Sandra Gordon

Editor-in-Chief: Creative Director: Distribution

Kerri Milton Bev Tiel Kathie O’Gorman

Advertising Inquiries: General Inquiries: Web:

Okanagan Child is published four times per year by a couple of busy moms. Please note that this magazine is solely funded through the support of our advertisers and sponsors. Please support our advertisers! Opinions expressed in this publication may not necessarily reflect those of the Publishers. All contents copyrighted©. No part of this publication may be reprinted, quoted, copied or reproduced without the express written permission of the Publisher.

So hard to believe summer is already around the corner - what a long winter it was for some this year. Lots of environmental changes that created obstacles in the Okanagan area...but also some GREAT skiing and skating for families to enjoy! With challenges come opportunities and this is true throughout life! How do you peel those teens and tweens away from the tech world and how much is too much? Malia Jacobson has a great article to help guide our decisions and gives us lots to think about. Other challenges over the summer season include planning family vacations and how to travel with different aged children. Heather Lee Leap has some great insight into travelling with school aged children and what to do to keep your sanity!! Sometimes its giving our children opportunities that create challenges, such as packing for summer camp or how to enjoy outdoor festivals as a family, or how to be actively engaged as volunteers in the summer. Our writers have come up with the coolest tips and tricks to help you work your way through the different opportunities for your families and the challenges that come with it. Do not forget to take care of yourself throughout this summer season as well, we have a great article on what creates belly fat to how to use essential oils effectively for a variety of reasons. And do not forget the dads in June, we have an easy craft for you to create something special with your family. This is time to unplug, and re-connect as a family, create new memories and re-live old ones through family reunions and BBQ’s. Enjoy the sun, the fun and do not forget the sunscreen in the hot summer months. When you are in tough spot take a moment and do I turn this challenge into a new opportunity and what will that mean for me? Taking that next leap is never easy and takes a lot of strength, but I have learned from hard experience, sometimes the times you think are the hardest are by far the most rewarding on the other side. Have a wonderful summer and Bev and I have some exciting announcements coming for the fall....thanks to you Okanagan Child is getting bigger!!!

Kerri Editor-in-Chief

Summer 2017 l


Festival Fun for the Whole Family by

Sara Marchessault

Summer is often celebrated as the time for family vacations and trips to the beach. There’s another reason to celebrate summer – it’s festival season! Festivals can be found all over the country, in communities big and small, they are often free, and by the nature of a festival, there’s usually lots to do. A festival can be a great opportunity to expose your kids to arts and culture, music, or even to celebrate industries and specialties that make your community special. For example, Plant City, Florida produces massive amounts of strawberries that are distributed all over the country. Every year, they host a strawberry festival. How can you take advantage of a festival as a family-fun event? Check out this festival checklist. Confirm the festival is family friendly. This is easily done by visiting the festival website or social media page before you go. Take note of the events they have for kids and check the scheduled times for those events. The kids schedule can be the starting point of your festival adventure. Is it ticketed or free? Plan accordingly for an event that requires tickets.

Bring other essentials. Hats and sunscreen are must haves. Bug repellent might be necessary too, depending on where you are. What if you arrive and there’s a splash pad or place to get wet? Throw a change of clothes and a couple of towels in the back of the car before you leave home. They’ll be there if you need them. Cash is a good idea too. Festivals often have face-paint or balloon artists to attract kids. They offer their services for a small fee or even just for tips. Look for festivals with music in the outside and open. Or free music. When the music is free, you can expect to see a higher number of families in attendance. Music is so much fun when the kids can run and dance. It’s a nice time for parents to relax too. You can take advantage of the festivals in your community this summer by planning ahead and when you get there, enjoy quality family time. Sara Marchessault is a writer, journal designer, and teacher. Her latest book, Beyond Pen & Paper: 33 Experiments in Journaling, gives readers ideas for getting the benefits of journal writing beyond the habit of conventional journaling.


and her family moved twice

in one year, keeping them all just a little busier than usual. com.


more about her work at saramarchessault.

Pack up and get ready for a fun day. Can you bring a blanket? Water bottles? Snacks? A festival can be so much more enjoyable when you can plan for taking breaks in the day. Whether it’s to put your blanket down to listen sit and listen to music or a picnic in the park, bringing your own snacks and food can ensure the members of your family have enough energy to keep enjoying the festivities. 4 l Summer 2017

An Active, Engaged and Charitable Summer by

Summer vacations, summer camps and summer togetherness can be fun but why not use this summer to stimulate volunteerism and cultivate generosity in your kids? Engage kids in charitable giving in a personal and meaningful way may create lasting memories and build character that outlast summer vacations. Take a family vote on where to invest your family’s time and budget.

Laura Lyles Reagan

Service learning can be a parenting and teaching strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection. Service learning also builds character and teaches civic responsibility as youth participate in service projects in education, public welfare, health, public safety or the environment. Families can volunteer together and reap all the benefits of service learning while making a memory. Teaching service is most effective when children give something meaningful to them. One example of an (continued on Page 6

Sally was nine years old and her sister Emily was seven years old when they began volunteering at their local food bank with their family. Volunteering included sorting boxes and cans of food into different groups and then packing family boxes for the low income families that the food bank serves. The first time Sally and Emily volunteered, they asked lots of questions and enjoyed the can conveyer belt tremendously. The food bank volunteer manager had things well organized so the kids were engaged the entire time. In order to make the experience purposeful, their mom pointed out the families waiting in the lobby who were to receive the boxes of food. As they were leaving the food bank, the volunteer manager heard Sally say, “This was one of the best days of my life!� Her sister Emily decided to give the money she earned doing extra chores around the house to the food bank.

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(continued from Page 5) age appropriate, meaningful service project for first and second graders is a teddy bear drive for abused children of domestic violence in shelters or hospitals. Children can be encouraged to give a stuffed animal of their own that is in good shape or earn the money by doing household chores to make a purchase themselves. Children can also travel to the shelter to drop off the stuffed animals so that the “giving” is concrete. Children may come up with their own ideas about service projects that have special meaning to them. Older children may work together to sell candy or crafts at a profit to purchase items for less fortunate families such as children’s coats. Service learning studies show that children who serve are more likely to grow to become charitable adults.

Walk dogs at the local humane society shelter. Collect new or like new books for the children’s wing of the hospital and delivering the books to the hospital auxiliary to distribute. Buy school supplies for the children who cannot afford them. Organize a letter writing campaign to service men and women who have ties to your local community.

Volunteering and giving can give your winter special meaning. Here are a few suggestions. Perhaps your children have had a relative or neighbor die with cancer. It might be meaningful to plan a walk/ run for cancer research or donate their own money earned from chores to a local hospital that has a tie to your family.

Working together as a family for others not only strengthens communities by helping the cause or causes of your choice, but it also models good character and strengthens family bonds that create memorable summers. Laura Lyles Reagan

is a parenting journalist, parenting

coach and author of the



can be reached through

Raise Respectful Parents. to

Mow and weed an elderly neighbor’s yard. Organize a kids pool of lawn service volunteers for elders in multiple neighborhoods. Organize and conduct a canned food drive at your child’s summer school or camp together. (This may involve several pieces, announcing the food drive at various classrooms, making posters, decorating the collection boxes and finally taking the cans to the food pantry or food bank.) 6 l Summer 2017

Father’s Day: 11 Do-It-Yourself Ideas for a Fun & Free “Best Dad Ever” Day by

Meagan Ruffing

Father’s Day is the perfect time to tell your husband just how much he means to you. It’s the one day out of the year that is just for dad and with the right kind of planning – can be a day filled with memories to last a lifetime.

4. Sleep In – What’s better than sleeping in? Let your sweetie sleep in while you take care of things around the house. Take the kids outside to use their imagination while your hubby sleeps in peace and quiet.

If money is an issue – no worries. These 11 simple tips won’t cost you a penny and the best part about them? They’re 100% homegrown and super easy. Here’s to a stress-free, money-free and child-friendly Father’s Day.

5. Text a Picture – Does dad have to work on his special day? No problem. Take a photo of your kids holding a sign that has their artwork on it. Send it to him in a text to let him know that you’re thinking of him. 6. Things I love About You – Make a list or better yet, write a love note to your husband that tells him exactly why you love him. Is it the way he tucks your son in at night? Or is it because he and your daughter look just alike? Sometimes the littlest reminders can mean the most to your partner in crime.

1. Breakfast in Bed – Raid your fridge and whip up your sweetie something good to eat on his special day. Bonus: have your kids deliver it to him. 2. Handprint Cards – Grab the finger paints and watch your kids’ faces light up. Lay out a piece of construction paper and have them go to town on a card for dad. Fold the card in half and write a sweet note on the inside once the paint has dried.

7. Love Notes – Grab the post-its and write a bunch of sweet things to stick on surfaces around the house where you know your husband will be. Does he shave every morning? Stick one to the bathroom mirror that says, “You’re the best father ever.” Does he always put the same pair of slippers on? Stick a note inside that says, “I couldn’t imagine my life without you.” (continued on Page 8)

3. Paperweight – Have your child collect pebbles the next time you’re out for a walk. Make this simple dough (recipe on next page) and position pebbles to spell out ‘Dad Rocks’.

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(continued from Page 7) 8. Jam Out – Have your kids gather all of their instruments from around the house and work on a little jam session. Once you’ve got a beat down (or something close to it) call dad in the room and tell him you have a special song that you and the kids would like to play for him. This one is sure to get some good laughs! 9. Clean the Car – If dad is on the go as much everyone else on the planet, he probably has a car that could use a little TLC. Grab the kids and make it a family affair. Let your son vacuum the car mats and let your daughter wipe down the windows. If you have a child that is too young to really ‘help,’ let her sit in the front seat (with the keys out) and let her pretend to ‘drive the wheel.’ Your kids will get a kick out of doing big kid things and your husband will enjoy his clean ride.

Meagan Ruffing is a parenting journalist, author and speaker. She loves finding new and creative ways to make each Father’s Day better than the last. Visit her at and sign up for her free monthly newsletter. Like her on Facebook at writermeaganruffing.

Paperweight Recipe ¼ cup salt ½ cup flour ¼ cup water Bowl Cookie sheet Tiny rocks or pebbles

10. Poem – What says ‘I love you’ more than a hand written poem? Make it funny or serious…it’s up to you. Whichever the way, your hubby will be sure to take it all in.

Mix first three ingredients together in bowl. Roll into a ball and then flatten out about ½ inch thick. Place pebbles in dough to spell out ‘Dad Rocks’ pressing firmly but not too hard. Bake at 250 degrees for 2-2 ½ hours. Let cool on cookie sheet.

11. Scavenger Hunt – Kids LOVE to do scavenger hunts. Write out little notes about where to find this or that and have your kids help you hide them. Finding them with dad will be almost as much fun as seeing his face when he finds a surprise at the last clue; a coupon for his favorite homemade dinner. Don’t forget to enjoy the most important part of Father’s Day; dad! Sometimes, the simplest gestures and most thoughtful gifts are actually the ones that cost nothing at all. Keep this list for this Father’s Day and the ones to come. Tailor it to your life and add ideas throughout the year. 8 l Summer 2017

Too Much Tech? Tweens and Screen Addiction by

Libby Boggs says her 10-year-old son Drake watches about four hours of television daily—two shows and a movie, plus another hour of video games on the X-box. If that number sounds high, it’s not. Drake’s techno-time actually clocks in several hours below average: according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, kids ages 8-18 spend around 7.5 hours per day using entertainment media. Boggs supervises Drake’s media time, but she still worries about the amount of time he spends plugged in. She’s right to be concerned. With young children jumping online at breathtaking speed—tweens’ and teens’ computer time has jumped 300 percent since 1999—millions of tweens and teens are now at risk for screen addictions, says Michael Osit, Ed.D., clinical psychologist and author Generation Text: Raising Well Adjusted Kids In An Age Of Instant Everything.

Malia Jacobson

counselor in Seattle. Technology addicts share other traits as well: multiple studies link screen overuse to low self-esteem, social isolation, and impaired social skills. Detecting screen overuse is fairly straightforward, says Daniel Sieberg, author of The Digital Diet: The 4-Step Plan to Break Your Tech Addiction and Regain Balance in Your Life. “Overuse of anything usually means that something else is suffering,” he notes. In other words, if relationships with family members are fading, grades are plummeting, or other hobbies are falling by the wayside, parents’ alarm bells should starting ringing. Irritability and hostility are red flags for screen overuse, according to Osit. Addictions can also manifest in physical symptoms like eye strain, carpel tunnel syndrome, headaches, and changes in weight.


Social savvy

Increased access to technology makes it easy for kids to slide into damaging digital behaviors. Using the Internet just one hour per day—well below the daily average for American kids—reduces attention span and increases school difficulties, according to one study. And unhealthy digital habits can have serious consequences for tweens and teens, who can carry these addictive behaviors into adulthood.

But parents shouldn’t necessarily ban all screens, even if they suspect screen overuse, says Rembold. Most kids need computers and Internet access to complete homework. And digital devices have some cognitive benefits: using video games and apps can build visual spatial skills, analytical thinking, and executive functions.

Experts differ in their definition of screen addiction, but most agree that certain kids seem to have a higher risk. Screen addictions, particularly video game addictions, are seen more often in boys than girls, says in Annette Rembold, MA, a licensed

Digital devices also keep kids plugged into the ever-changing tween social scene. Used in the right circumstances, digital media can serve as an important social platform that lets kids express themselves, feel included, and showcase their (continued on Page 10) Summer 2017 l


(continued from Page 9)

Smart Screen Use for Tweens

talents. “Social networking and role-playing games can have a social benefit, especially for inhibited kids who aren’t socially adept in person,” says Osit.

Encourage balance with healthy, reasonable limits for tween screen time.

Techno-balance Simply yanking kids’ electronic access isn’t a workable long-term option for most families, so parents need to strike the right balance for tween screen use. Through the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting kids’ screen time to two hours of “recreational” use per day, each family needs to define what flies in their household, says Rembold. She encourages an open-door policy for screen use: kids need to have the door open when using technology in their bedroom. When kids turn in for the night, devices should power down, too. Bedroom electronics, including televisions and smartphones, are linked to sleep problems in kids and teens. Harsh parental mandates may spark rebellion instead of compliance, so ask tweens to contribute to the dialogue about screen use, and set media limits together. According to a study published in Journal of Adolescent Health, when parents and kids agree on screen time limitations, the rules are more likely to be effective. Libby Boggs won’t be loosening up Drake’s media limits any time soon. A well-rounded life includes time for entertainment media along with lots of other pursuits, she says. “We want him to be creative and to be able to have fun in any situation—not just online or in front of a TV.” Malia Jacobson

is an award-winning health and parenting

journalist and mom of three. Her latest book is Sleep Tight, Every Night: Helping Toddlers and Preschoolers Sleep Well Without Tears, Tricks, or Tirades.

Choose people over devices Set a family value that human interaction trumps technology. Shelve your own smartphone or laptop during family time, and encourage kids to use their devices on their own time, rather than during the time they share with others. Structure an e-day Work toward a finite beginning and end to your child's connectedness. Choose when and where kids can use technology—and when and where they need to unplug. Set limits Nearly every device these days comes with parental controls that include passwords and timers to prevent overuse-- take the time to look into them! Find different ways to play Remember: in the absence of other attractive options, bored kids will default to using their devices. Find alternative fun things to do—don't just cut out the digital stuff without offering another idea. Trust your instincts If you think your child might be spending too much time on social networks, playing online games, or endlessly texting, you're likely right. That little voice knows when it’s all become too much. Listen to it. Source: Daniel Sieberg, author, The Digital Diet: The 4-Step Plan to Break Your Digital Addiction and Regain Balance in Your Life

The article includes expert advice from: Michael Osit, Ed.D., clinical psychologist and author Generation Text: Raising Well Adjusted Kids In An Age Of Instant Everything Annette Rembold, MA, a licensed counselor in Seattle Daniel Sieberg, author of The Digital Diet: The 4-Step Plan to Break YourTech Addiction and Regain Balance in Your Life 10 l Summer 2017

21 Summer Camp Packing Tips for Newbie Parents by

Rhonda Franz

Are sending your child to (gulp!) overnight camp for the first time this summer? No worries. The kids will have fun; it’s the parents who need the peace of mind. Getting the right items packed should help alleviate a little anxiety. This collected and curated advice about what to pack comes to you from parents who have been there, done that (and a few who were campers themselves). These tips might be the only packing list you need. 1. Be sure to check the camp rules for what to pack and what not to pack. 2. If rules allow, include surprise snacks and gum among your child’s suitcase or bag for him to share.


Pack a roll of toilet paper. Or two.


Don’t forget to include a laundry bag.

8. Label EVERYTHING. Kelly Mayfield takes advantage of personalized iron-on clothing labels (available online) when her daughter goes away on a trip. 9. Include a notebook and pens/pencils for writing, drawing, and exchanging contact information with other kids. Teacher Julie Kohl points out that for today’s kids, a “calling card” with social media handles is probably in order. 10. Find as many cheap clothes from thrift/ secondhand stores as you can and send those: you'll be concerned less when those clothing items don’t make the return trip. The most important thing to come back home is your child. (continued on Page 12)

3. Pack extra towels. Amanda Horn, mom of three boys, suggests more than one towel as a necessary addition to the suitcase. You won't be sorry. 4. Tuck a few personal notes among your child’s packed belongings. The mother of three girls, Ashley Greer, says this is a nice way to let children know you’re thinking of them. 5. Pack contingency items like aloe for sunburns and ointment for bug bites. “Send the items they’ll need when they don’t use the items you send,” says Brittney Lee, current mom and former child camper.

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Summer 2017 l


(continued from Page 11) 11. Pack more clothing items than the camp recommends. When Alison Raymer packs a bag for her daughters, she always puts in extra. Kids will likely have to change clothes more than once a day and you don’t want them to run out. Summercamp is a dirty place. 12. Pack each day’s clothes in a gallon zipper storage bag. Keisha Newberry does this for her daughter. “She pulls out a bag every day and also puts her dirty clothes back in that bag.” 13. And on that note: teach your children to pack wet things in bags separate from dry clothes. In case they don’t remember, you might want to open the suitcase outside when they arrive back home.

19. Rainy day items like a deck of cards, pocket games, and of course…books. Mary Ann Crawford, whose children are now adults, suggests the fun idea of putting in a guide sheet for shadow animals. You'll need #18 to help out. 20. Pack a bungee cord. Mom and camp nurse Jean Nelson says you never know when that will come in handy. 21. Ditto for duct tape. This advice from Brandi Sharum, who with five children has had her fair share of summer camp experience. That stuff fixes anything, right?

14. An extra bed sheet, even if a sleeping bag is required. Dawn Strait says this helps when kids might be on less-thanstellar mattresses. At summer camp? Unheard of. 15. Pack several swimsuits/swim trunks. Trust these parents: one is not enough.

Rhonda Franz

is a freelance writer, mom of three boys,

and former summer camp attendee.


summer, she’ll be

using this list and checking it twice

16. For all those wet clothing pieces and swim gear that doesn’t fit in pre-packed bags, extra plastic shopping bags. 17. The list of everything you packed. Your child will need that list to make it back home with at least most of the things in their suitcase. Deb Bonner, whose sons are now adults, says this should help kids make it home with (nearly) as much as they took. You might need to include a reminder note to prompt them to look at the list. 18. A small flashlight. Because “lights out” in the cabin means bumping to the bathroom in the dark. 12 l Summer 2017

Discovering Animal Friends in Your Own Backyard by

Sometimes having a family pet is not possible due to allergies, limited space, or a pet policy where you live. If this is true for your family, let your child do what the fairytale princesses do: let the animals in your neighborhood be her little friends! It’s true that some of these animal friends must be admired from behind a window, but getting to know the animals that come into your yard or neighborhood park is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about them. Your child can use her imagination to make up stories about their comings and goings. Learning more about the animals in the neighborhood and finding appropriate ways to care for them builds a relationship for your child with her environment. It may even fill her wish to have a pet. Also, the feeling of environmental responsibility through caretaking builds a compassionate and conscientious person. You should always be clear with your child that she should never approach or interact with a wild animal, and that they belong outside in the wild. However, there are ways to watch and care for them from afar.

Ruth Hanley

Feathered Friends Let your child help you feed and take care of the wild birds in your neighborhood. Hang a bird feeder in a place where your child can easily observe it. Find out with your child which seeds attract which birds and fill your bird feeders with your well-chosen seeds. You can build or buy a bird house and paint it together. Find recordings of bird calls online and listen to them with your child so you can identify who you hear twittering and cheeping in the morning or at the park. Keep a pair of binoculars and a bird identification book near the window where your bird feeder is and bookmark each page as you see those birds in your backyard. (continued on Page 14)

Crawling Creatures Kids love bugs. Show your child how to find the ones you liked when you were a kid like grasshoppers, “roly-polys�, ladybugs, and harmless spiders. You can watch and research them with your child and look up what it needs to survive. Keep your bug in a vented container, fill it with grass and flowers, and keep it as a pet for the day, since most have very short life spans. You can also start a worm farm with your child in an aluminum roasting pan with holes poked into the bottom for water to run out. Fill the bin with soil, grass and wet shredded newspaper and add some worms. As the worms thrive in their soil and make it into compost, you can visit them. Eventually, you can free them with the compost into your garden.

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(continued from Page 13) Nuts About Squirrels Grownups usually see squirrels as a bother. The little furry creatures eat all the seeds from your bird feeders, leave peanut shells laying around on the lawn, and always dart in front of your car, just barely making it. However, squirrels are fairytale fodder. Read up on what kind of squirrels are visiting your yard and what their habits are. Let your child name them and keep a journal with your child of pictures and their comings and goings. You can tell stories of what their adventures might be. You can even try putting up a squirrel feeder so they have their own food supply and quit stealing seeds from the bird feeder. Caution and Care For the Bigger Animals Sometimes animals wander out of their natural habitat and into neighborhoods that have grown up around it. Or you may live in a more natural area. If there are wild animals in your area that your children need to be careful of, like bears, coyotes or bobcats, study up about the animal with your child.

14 l Summer 2017

Talk about a safety plan if they encounter the animal when they are outside. If they are endangered, find out what is being done to conserve their natural homes and see what you can do to help. Get involved with a conservation group in your area to help the animals. Let your child know you are taking care of the animals and yourselves by not having contact with them, but there are still ways to help them. Sometimes you just can’t have a pet, even though your child really wishes for one. However, there are so many other animals right in your child’s back yard, including these animals and many others. Teaching your child to care for the creatures in their environment lets him know that there are many ways to be friends with the animals. The world is full of so many different creatures, and we want to keep it that way through care, conservation and safe interaction. Your budding environmentalist will be able to carry those lessons with them into adulthood. Ruth Hanley has two daughters who avidly watch birds, squirrels, and rabbits in the backyard. They have many hilarious stories of animal antics.

The 5 Most Common Causes of Cellular Inflammation with Simple Solutions to Heal and Drop the Belly Fat by

Still struggling with belly fat that won’t go away? You must read this. In the last report, I outlined how inflammation is the key driver to unsightly belly fat. The problem is, if you don’t take the right steps to stop getting fatter, you create more inflammation leading to a disruption in your master hormone – Leptin. Fixing Leptin is a big deal. If it’s not working, then your efforts to lose belly fat won’t likely work either. The truth is, the reason why you’ve failed to drop the belly fat isn’t from lack of will power or bad genetics. It’s because of this underlying inflammation that’s driving high levels of leptin and its accompanying leptin resistance. So, to get lean, fit ‘n healthy, you need to take the steps to heal inflammation. In the end, you regain proper leptin signalling so dropping the belly fat to be easy. Here is a brief overview of the six main underlying causes of inflammation. 1) Environmental Toxins Environmental toxins have been shown to elevate inflammation, which in turn, elevates leptin. When leptin levels rise, a hormone called alpha MSH lowers. As Alpha-Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone, or alpha MSH lowers, you gain weight. The longer this goes on, the more ‘weight loss resistant’ you become. Individuals also notice an increase in pain, sleep disorders, and low libido because alpha MSH helps produce melatonin and endorphins that help induce sleep and mitigate pain.

Michale Hartte

All of these increase inflammation even more! This sets the stage for a vicious cycle that needs to be fixed in order for health to be obtained. Environmental toxins also put stress on your liver and intestines, which remove solid waste. As well as your kidney and urinary bladder, which eliminate liquid waste and lungs, which exhale gaseous waste. Your liver, kidneys, and lungs are your primary organs of elimination (primary emunctories). Sluggish, primary emunctories, means you are more likely to metabolize fat less effectively, again affecting your metabolism and weight. The biggest toxic offenders include those found in your home. From tap water, to toxic indoor air and moldy carpets. Consistent exposure to these cause havoc to your health Simple Solutions


Reducing Environmental Toxins

Start with drinking clean, filtered water and only place on your skin what you would eat. For water, best sources include reverse osmosis (RO) or spring water. For your face, think of argan oil as a natural moisturizer and minimize makeup. Body care can be as simple as coconut oil or cocoa butter (or a mixture of the two). Two great websites to check how ‘safe’ your current body care products are: and For those interested in a complete list of ways to minimize toxicity, download my free report on Leptin Resistance and How to Fix it found here: Living ‘clean’ is essential for anyone who wants to be fit ‘n healthy. (continued on Page 16) Summer 2017 l


(continued from Page 15) 2) Infection An overgrowth of pathogenic organisms such as a yeasts, funguses, viruses, bacterium or parasites, attack the body (otherwise known as dysbiosis). In response, the immune system ramps up with gut inflammation to fight the infection and heal infected tissue. Guess what these infectious organisms use as fuel? Sugar and starches. So if you find yourself with insatiable cravings, here is one reason why. Simple Solutions


Healing Infections

Follow ‘The Fit n Healthy Diet’ or one that focuses on increasing the ‘good’ organisms and decreasing the ‘bad’ ones. These foods are not only satisfying and delicious, but more importantly, they are also promote whole body health. Pay particular attention to the prebiotics, fermented foods (probiotics), and polyphenols. These food categories avert metabolic danger in the gut, by starving the pathogenic (bad) organisms while feeding your good ones. It is literally a recipe for belly fat loss. Additionally, supplements can help. Look for these natural compounds: Goldenseal, berberine, black walnut, burdock, olive leaf, grapefruit seed extract, and garlic. I personally use Ultra MFP from Douglas Labs. Many of my clients have had good results with this product. 3) Nutritional Deficiencies Nutritional deficiencies are closely linked to hormonal disturbances, an underactive immune system and chronic inflammation. Nutritional deficiencies of any amino acids, fat soluble vitamins, or minerals deprives the body of the actual ‘building blocks’ to help the body be healthy. Zinc, vitamin A, and glutamine must be available for a healthy gut. Selenium is needed to make glutathione (needed to detoxify). Magnesium must be present to make vitamin D. Low vitamin B6 and the amino acid taurine are linked to low GABA. GABA deficiency 16 l Summer 2017

has been linked to anxiety disorders, panic attacks, addiction, insomnia, headaches, and seizure disorders like epilepsy. GABA is our natural ‘off’ button to life. Without the building blocks, we feel ‘stressed out’. Simple Solutions Deficiencies




Correcting Nutritional

The gold standard for detecting intracellular nutrient deficiencies (Micronutrient testing) is through SpectraCell labs. Go to Additionally, a blood draw from your Doctor can help to detect some deficiencies. For my list of recommended blood work, please email me at Test – Don’t Guess!” I personally use both in by practice as tools to individualize your Nutritional Plans. 4) Food Sensitivities Eating foods that are not compatible with your body, leads to leaky gut. Leaky gut is another way your body creates inflammation. This inflammation causes a grave disruption to your metabolism and promotes weight gain. A healthy gut has tight junctions to allow the process of digestion, assimilation and elimination to work perfectly. However, when these tight junctions come apart, leaky gut is the result. When this happens, partially digested food particles enter into the blood stream, where they are not supposed to go. Your immune system is activated, thinking these particles are invaders, then mobilizes for the attack. Your immune system also develops antibodies so it can recognize each intruder next time. We now have a big problem; our immune system reacts negatively to a food which would otherwise be healthy. If you keep eating the foods the body reacts to often enough, your immune system ends up on permanent alert. Chronic, low grade inflammation is

the result. Leptin signally is turned down, leading to insulin resistance and you stay fat with a potential threat of diabetes. Simple Solutions


Healing Food Sensitivities

Begin by avoiding the most common food sensitivities while you heal your gut. Then slowly reintroduce once the gut is healthy. The most common food sensitivities that are implicated in inflammation include: All gluten grains, dairy, corn, peanuts, soy, sugar and artificial sweeteners, yeast, and the nightshade family of foods. Strictly avoid these foods for the 1st month, then follow the ‘elimination diet’ for guidance on how to reintroduce them. Simply google ‘elimination diet’ to help you with this or contact me at for assistance. I personally believe drawing blood to test for food sensitivities is only beneficial for those that are not getting results with the program outlined (need to dig a little deeper). For others that are getting results, once the gut is healed and the micronutrients are restored, the body can get back to eating a wide, diverse diet in most cases. 5) Emotional Trauma The body follows the mind. Mental distress can affect human physiology. When under stress, cortisol and adrenaline both rise which also can lead to hormone imbalances and unresolved inflammation. Simple Solutions


Healing Emotional Trauma

There are many health practitioners who can help. Reiki, color therapy, and Emotional Freedom Technique EMT are found to help some. Best to search out what fits your needs and begin your own path to emotional freedom.

For those that want to learn more about healing inflammation, fixing leptin and dropping the belly fat, please go to and download my FREE REPORT ON ‘LEPTIN RESISTANCE - HOW TO FIX IT HERE’ Michale Hartte BASc (Nutr), NNCP, CH Registered Nutritional Therapist, Chartered Herbalist Certified Biotherapeutic Drainage Practitioner ® p:250 718 1653

Baby Field Greens with Herbed Vinaigrette Yield: 8 servings INGREDIENTS Vinaigrette 3 Tbsp lemon juice 1 tsp minced lime zest 1 shallot, minced 1 clove of garlic, minced 1 tsp minced fresh thyme 1 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro 1 Tbsp real maple syrup ¼ tsp Celtic or Himalayan salt ¼ tsp cracked pepper ¼ cup total: use any one of these: extra virgin olive oil, avocado, walnut, sesame, pumpkin seed or flax seed oil Salad 8 cups assorted salad greens, torn apart into bite size pieces 1 cup goat or sheep cheese, crumbled DIRECTIONS Whisk together all of the vinaigrette ingredients, except oil, in a bowl. Continue whisking while slowly drizzling in the oil. Season to taste. Just before serving, toss greens with just enough vinaigrette to lightly coat. Finish with cheese and cracked pepper.

Summer 2017 l


Babysitting Exchanges - Your House or Mine? by

Sandi Haustein

You and your spouse finally agree on a movie you want to see. You find a free weekend night on your calendar. You call up your qualified, reliable, affordable babysitter. Wait…what? Qualified and reliable and affordable? If you’re anything like Lori Huffman, a mother of four, you know “it’s hard to find a good, experienced babysitter who’s old enough to trust and not too expensive.” If, like Lori, the headache of finding a good sitter keeps you from getting out more often, maybe your family could benefit from one of these four types of babysitting exchanges. The One-on-One Exchange Trading babysitting with another parent is the simplest type of exchange. You ask a neighbor if your kids can come play while you run to an appointment and then reciprocate when she’s in need. Two stay-at-home moms might take turns watching each other’s kids on Tuesdays so each gets a morning to herself. Scheduling date nights becomes easy when you switch babysitting with another couple twice a month. Jill Savage, the CEO of Hearts at Home (, knows two single moms who trade babysitting once a month. One mom keeps the other’s kids from Friday evening to Saturday afternoon, and the next month she takes her break. With a one-on-one exchange, the options are limitless. The Four-Family Date Swap Kristen O’Quinn, a mother of three boys, borrowed this idea of a four-family babysitting exchange from a friend at her church. Once a 18 l Summer 2017

year, four families sit down together and schedule one babysitting night a month in their calendars. The families rotate houses, and two couples stay with the children while the other two enjoy their night of free babysitting. The rules are straightforward: the kids have to be fed before they come, and the parents have to be prompt in picking them up. They follow a simple schedule so that the kids (and parents) know what to expect each time: free play, craft, make a snack, and popcorn and a movie. Without relatives in town, Kristen feels the four families in her exchange are especially committed to the project. This swap could easily be adapted for fewer families or for a group of stay-at-home moms who need babysitting but also want to benefit from time with friends. The Three-Week Group Exchange Stephanie Trenaman and her husband, Mason, organized a three-week babysitting exchange for 15 young families at their church last summer. A co-op like the Trenamans’ works best for large groups who prefer using a central location instead of individual homes. Each couple works one week as sitters and, in exchange, they can use the free babysitting the other two weeks. To organize a similar program, pick three dates and recruit families by e-mail or through an announcement in an organization newsletter. Divide the group into three and ask each committed couple to babysit one of the dates. If you choose to feed the children, get a head count and keep it simple with chicken nuggets or pizza, fruit, and a cookie. Break the time into 30-minute segments and pick fun activities for each block of time: games, free play, storybook time, music, dinner, a short movie, or a craft. Stephanie suggests beginning your evening with high-energy activities and moving into slower-paced activities as bedtime gets closer. A

three-week exchange is a great way for a big group of parents to get to know each other and to enjoy some stress-free babysitting.

If you are interested in starting your own co-op, visit, a website that helps parents set up and organize their own groups.

The Ongoing Babysitting Co-op

Why not ask your friends if they’re also looking for alternatives to traditional babysitting? When you swap babysitting with another parent, it’s a win-win situation: your children get to play with their friends, you can have confidence that they are in good hands, and it’s free. With these four types of exchanges in your toolbox, you are well on your way to finding truly reliable and affordable babysitters.

Being new to town and having a husband who traveled frequently, Janie Werner feels blessed by the quality, affordable childcare she received during the years she participated in a babysitting co-op. In a co-op, parents earn points based on the hours they watch other members’ children, and they redeem points when others babysit for them. Some groups appoint a secretary who keeps track of each member’s hours while others trade co-op coupons or poker chips. Janie feels like geography is Sandi Haustein is a freelance writer and a mom of four children. When she and her husband don’t want to pay a key to success for co-ops: if members live within big bucks for a sitter, they beg their friends to trade a well-defined area, they are more likely to use babysitting. each other’s services. She also suggests capping the babysittinghours that a person can use before working them off so that no one takes advantage of the system.

Summer 2017 l


Busy or Bust, Traveling with School-Age Children by

Heather Lee Leap

For some parents, kids are just the nudge they need to dust off the passport or cash in the frequent flyer miles. Destinations we’ve longed to see have a stronger pull when we have a child with whom to share them, but elementary-aged kids are an active bunch. They are also vocal, opinionated and can be keen negotiators. You can no longer plan a museum tour to coincide with naptime in the stroller and they demand more action than chasing butterflies in the park or stopping by a playground after lunch. Families traveling with grade-schoolers need to strike a balance between adult pursuits and kidfriendly activities. They can also plan ahead to make slower-paced, quiet activities more enjoyable for their children. Before Oregon mom Madeline Landis and her husband Tim took their children to Paris, Madeline created a museum scavenger hunt for them by printing out photos of sights they would visit. “Since they had seen the photos and we had talked about them before hand, it provided some excitement in the museum as they discovered the items and looked at them in person,” she says.

accomplish. “We limit ourselves to one sight per day,” says Lili Panarella, of Montana, who has traveled extensively with her husband and their daughters Sofia and Olivia. “When we were in Paris, one day’s agenda was the Eiffel Tower. The rest of the day was spent walking around, exploring shops and eating every French goodie in sight.” Be prepared to spend a shorter time in museums than you would if you were kid-free. Research exhibits in advance to determine what is on your “must-see” list, and what you are willing to forgo. Renting bicycles or boats at your destination provides an opportunity for a more personal look at the places you visit and can increase your interaction with the locals. Kids will be grateful for the action. Trying new things is always part of travel, but what pursuits do you enjoy as a family? The same activities you do at home will be unique in a new location, while providing a reassuring sense of familiarity. “We always bring our tennis rackets,” says Panarella. “It gives us an excuse to explore the city and get some exercise.” Spend some of your days doing whatever local families would do, whether that is pony rides or eating ice cream cones while strolling along a river.

In their book Family on the Loose: the Art of Traveling with Children (Rumble Books, 2012), Bill Richards and E. Ashley Steel provide museum scavenger hunt ideas for parents not up to making their own. They recommend parents provide distractions for their children, freeing themselves up to “look, listen and reflect,” while the kids are busy with portable hands-on activities. “Time the museum visit or other quiet attraction for when kids are naturally calmer and more able to focus, such as first thing in the morning,” suggests Steel. Then, armed with a snack, a sketchpad and some colored pencils or modeling clay, kids can try their hand at interpreting the paintings or sculptures they see.

Families maintaining a busy pace will be most successful if they communicate clearly with their children about choices and compromises. Landis and her husband have the final say, but involve their kids in brainstorming at the outset of trip planning to gauge what they prefer to do or see. Discussing the schedule and how some days will be more kid-focused and others more parent-focused helps kids accept the dull moments. For children, the museum will be more tolerable when they know the water-park is next on the itinerary.

Parents with kids of any age may need to adjust their expectations and consider how much they can

limited vacation time.

20 l Summer 2017

When Heather Lee Leap

isn’t writing or teaching yoga, she

negotiates travels plans with her husband and three children, all with strong opinions about how to spend their


her at

Resource Directory This Issue Get Bent Bellydance Karma Kids Day Camps 250.462.1025 hautemama 1.866.615.3800 Maternity, nursing and beyond Kelowna & District Safety Council 250765.3163 888.580.7233 Penticton Academy of Music 250.493.7977 Royal Soccer Club 1.800.427.0536 Okanagan Child - adventures in parenting 250.486.0819 SafeZone EMF Consulting 778.214.3444 Starlight Drive-In 250.838.6757 5341 Highway 97A just South of Enderby

Breastfeeding Clinics / Support Okanagan Breastfeeding Coalition 330 Ellis St., Penticton, BC

Childcare Resource & Referral

Kelowna Child Care Resource & Referral
 #4 - 1890 Ambrosi Rd.
Kelowna, BC 250.762.3536 Penticton Child Care Resource & Referral
 330 Ellis St.,
Penticton, BC 250.492.2926 Vernon Child Care Resource & Referral
 3300- 37th Avenue,
Vernon, BC 250.542.3121

Midwives and doulas

Doula Services Association, BC 604.515.5588 Midwives Asscoation of BC 604.736.5976

Alternative Schooling

Cedar Bridge 250.547.9212 Kelowna Waldorf School 250.764.4130 Mind Over Learning 250.860.0084 Summerland Montessori School 250.494.7266

Front Cover Photographer

Carly Blake Photography 778.581.9693

Last Issue Photographer

Bobbi Sloan Photography

Public Health Services/Nurses Kelowna Health Unit 1340 Ellis Street 250.868.7700

Penticton Health Unit 740 Carmi Avenue 250.770.3434 Rutland Health Unit 155 Gray Road 250.980.4825 Summerland Health Unit 12815 Atkinson Road 250.404.8050 West Kelowna Health Unit 160 – 2300 Carrington Road 250.980.5150 Vernon Health Unit 1440 – 14th Avenue 250.549.5700 Salmon Arm Health Unit 851-16th Street NE Salmon Arm BC 250.833.4100 Osoyoos Health Centre 4816 89th Street Osoyoos, BC 250.495.6433 Oliver Health Centre 930 Spillway Road Oliver, BC 250.498.5080 Pleasant Valley Health Centre 3800 Patten Drive Armstrong BC 250.546.4700

Photography & Portraits

captured by kelsey Photography 250.979.8539 Shantelle Lynn Photography SJ Photography 250.718.1528

Summer 2017 l


The Beauty of Essential Oils by

Sandra Gordon

A whiff of lavender before bed to make you drowsy is a popular way to use essential oils. But don’t stop there. The powerful elixirs have other benefits, including beautifying your skin. “Essential oils, which are distilled or extracted directly from plants, have the potential to boost your skin care routine,” says David Bank, M.D., a boardcertified dermatologist in Mount Kisco, New York, and author of Beautiful Skin: Every Woman’s Guide to Looking Her Best at Any Age. “They can correct a problem or add an additional benefit beyond what your current skincare products are imparting.” Despite their name, however, essential oils aren’t an oil (fat). Rather, “they’re concentrated constituents from plants that have anti-bacterial and antiinflammatory properties,” Dr. Banks says. They’re so potent, in fact, that essential oils are typically mixed with a nourishing carrier oil, such as argon, sweet almond, jojoba, coconut, rose hip or even olive oil before they’re applied to your skin. You can also apply essential oils to your skin as a mist, using one ounce of distilled water, two droppers of vodka (to help the oil and water mix), and 45 drops of any essential oil, single or in combination. By themselves, essential oils can cause chronic allergic contact dermatitis, an irritating skin condition. Lavender oil is an exception to the rule. “It’s one of the few essential oils that can be safely applied ‘neat,’” says Heather Tobin, a certified aromatherapist in Kingston, New Hampshire, which is aromatherapy-speak for straight up. Sarah Sherwood, a publicist from San Mateo, California, discovered the power of essential oils for her chronically parched skin. “My skin was so dry that if I scratched my arm with my fingernail, lots of white stuff would always flake off. My dermatologist told me it was sun damage and there was nothing I could do,” she 22 l Summer 2017

says. After trying several different over the counter moisturizers, Sherwood met with a registered aromatherapist who recommended a homemade facial moisturizer with rose essential oil and a lavender oilbased body butter for the rest of her body. “My skin is noticeably better,” Sherwood says. “Not only does it not flake anymore, I can even skip my morning moisturizer on some days because I just don’t need it,” she says. Beyond alleviating itchy skin, essential oils have broader applications. Here’s a rundown of the most beneficial essential oils, which are available at Whole Foods and health food stores, and the best ways to use them in your daily routine. All-Over Skincare: Lavender Lavender is a go-to essential oil that helps calm the skin and reduce the inflammation associated with acne blemishes, redness and sunspots. To apply: Dab lavender essential oil on a blemish or make your own day and night moisturizer by mixing 1 ounce of a carrier oil, such as argon oil (for mature skin) or jojoba oil (if you’re acne prone) with 10 drops of lavender essential oil in an amber glass bottle with roll-on applicator. Apply it in the morning and at night, after cleansing. In general, a 1-ounce bottle of any essential/carrier oil can last for one to two years and cover multiple applications.

Soothing Dry Skin: Sandalwood or Rose Geranium Sandalwood or rose geranium oil helps take the sting from very dry skin. To apply: Add 10 to 30 drops of sandalwood or rose geranium essential oil to 1 ounce of almond oil as the carrier oil and smooth it on your skin. “Essential oils are also wonderful for the bath,â€? Tobin says. For a luxurious, rehydrating soak, add 30 drops of sandalwood or rose geranium oil (or your favorite essential oil) and ½ cup of Epsom salts or Dead Sea salts to the tub. Rejuvenating Mature Skin: German Chamomile This beautiful Safire blue essential oil contains azulene, a component that helps cool the skin and the reduce inflammation associated with acne and rosacea. “It’s also fabulous for reducing the appearance of brown spots,â€? says Mary Pancoast, a registered aromatherapist in Pacifica, California who hand formulates essential oil preparations for her clients. Even though it’s blue, German chamomile won’t stain your skin or your sheets. To apply: Mix 10 to 30 drops of German chamomile essential oil with 1 ounce of argon oil in a roller bottle and use it as a day and night moisturizer. Reducing Wrinkles: Lavender and Rose Geranium or Rose Damascus For younger looking skin on your face, neck and dĂŠcolletage area, combine up to 30 drops in total of lavender, rose geranium or pure rose Damascus essential oil with 1 ounce of evening primrose oil (the carrier oil) and two capsules of pure vitamin E oil (cut and squeeze the capsules) in an amber glass bottle with a roller applicator. “Rose Damascus oil can be expensive. Feel free to use just 5 drops of the rose Damascus with 25 drops of lavender,â€? Tobin says. “The overall combination is incredible.â€? To apply: Smooth on your face, neck and chest area at bedtime, during your nighttime skincare routine. Stress Rx: Frankincense and Myrrh “Frankincense and myrrh have been used since Biblical times for ulcers and boils. But they also work

together as a massage oil, to keep the skin supple and young,� Tobin says. To apply: For one massage, add 15 drops each of Frankincense and myrrh to 1 ounce of sweet almond oil. Feel free to experiment with essential oils and carrier oils, to make your own synergistic recipe. “To come up with a blend of two or three oils that are right for you and your skincare issue, smell each essential oil first,� Pancoast says. “If you don’t like the scent, aromatherapists have a common belief that you probably don’t need it.� Safeguard Your Skincare Routine Even though essential oils are natural, they’re not risk free. These guidelines can help you use them safely. Choose carefully. If you’re allergic to grasses or nuts, avoid essential oils or carrier oils related to grasses or trees, such as lemon grass essential oil or sweet almond oil. Do a tester. Before first use, apply a tiny drop of an essential oil mixed with a carrier oil to the inside of your arm. If you don’t get a skin reaction, that’s a green light that the essential oil is safe to use.


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hautemama Summer 2017 l


Okanagan Child - adventures in parenting  

Summer 2017

Okanagan Child - adventures in parenting  

Summer 2017