Page 1







FALL 2019

volume 15, issue 3


on the cover


<< Eat produce. Limit screen time. Be active. Drink water. The Olympic Peninsula Healthy Community Coalition’s 5-2-1-0 Challenge participants share what PAGE 7 >> they learned.

Volume 15, Issue 3 · FALL 2019 Produced and published by the PENINSULA DAILY NEWS & SEQUIM GAZETTE Advertising Department O�fices: 305 W. First St., Port Angeles, WA 98362 360-452-2345 · 147 W. Washington St., Sequim, WA 98382 360-683-3311 · Terry R. Ward, regional publisher Eran Kennedy, advertising director Steve Perry, general manager Shawna Dixson, special sections editor Denise Buchner, Jeanette Elledge, Vivian Hansen, John Jaeger Harmony Liebert, Joylena Owen and Marilyn Parrish, advertising sales team


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Health-related professionals are invited to contribute informative and educational articles for consideration in Healthy Living. Contact special sections editor Shawna Dixson at sdixson@ for more information. Submitted articles are the opinions and beliefs of the contributing writer and in no way represent an endorsement by Healthy Living, Peninsula Daily News or Sequim Gazette.

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Transforming soul loss into joy

by Kristin Halberg, the dream hatchery

hidden cost of protecting ourselves from feeling emotional pain as we slowly assimilate to the expectations and norms of society, often at the In my late 20s, I fell into the most expense of our own authentic essence. debilitating depression of my life. I was Among indigenous people, this taking post-grad courses at the local fragmentation of our inner, vital college, which provided structure to my week, so I forced myself into the motions essence is known as soul loss. This of getting out of bed, driving to class and loss is only supposed to be temporary, assisting the sufferer in dealing with listening to my instructors. However, the psychological aftermath of a truly most days it took too much effort to shower and I shunned all social contact. shocking experience. However, today, we live in a Outside of homework, I spent my spare time in bed compulsively reading world addicted to trauma. We are trapped by a culture that is addicted old formulaic Nancy Drew books in to pharmaceuticals, alcohol and order to distract my mind from its recreational drugs. hopelessness and despair and keep it If we are not numbing ourselves from reacting to the physical sensations with drugs or alcohol, we numb of anxiety going on beneath my skin. ourselves through the unending busyDuring this time, I kept a whole ness of our lives or through culturally bottle of Tylenol by my bed. Knowing it accepted stimulation (found in the was there was comforting. I didn’t have news, social media, video games, a death wish exactly, but I thought the world would be better off without me in it. television shows, gambling, etc.) We think we are failing at life if we are I longed to be locked up somewhere not happy all the time; but by its very that would give me a breather from definition, happiness is fleeting. life for a while. Not the “chicken soup We think we can control life and in bed while mom taught me how pretend we don’t see the cumulative to knit and shuffle cards” reprieve grief of the world by shutting ourselves of my early childhood chicken pox, off from our emotions or reaching for but the “white walls, cafeteria food stimulation outside ourselves; but as and solitary confinement” reprieve grief specialist and author Francis like in the book “Girl, Interrupted,” Weller said in an interview with Deb by Susanna Kaysen. Much later, I realized that the cause Ozarko, “Life is far too rambunctious of this bout of depression was “soul loss.” and untamable for us to have such an illusional fantasy.” These “unwanted” emotions (all the WHAT IS SOUL LOSS? draining ones) are still active inside us Soul loss can come from sudden or major loss, or as a result of the chronic even if we’ve numbed them from our conscious mind. unease and anxiety that is often the

From an indigenous perspective, soul loss is a common cause of illness. In my experience, soul loss — even if it happened so slowly that we are barely aware of it — is the root cause of what is clinically known as “low-grade depression” and “generalized anxiety” in the western world. THE PHYSIOLOGY OF EMOTION Emotions can be defined as positive or negative experiences that are associated with a particular pattern of physiological activity. Your body responds to emotion whether you are consciously aware of the emotion or not. Whether you are experiencing emotions like depression or boredom, which lower your heart rate, or anxiety and overwhelm, which increase your heart rate, it is your heart rate pattern that tells your body what to do. Any time you experience emotional stress, your heart responds in an erratic manner. The erratic rhythm is known as decreased heart rate variability (HRV); it indicates that the rhythm of your heart is not as adaptable as it should be. Additionally, an erratic HRV signals your adrenals to produce cortisol, known as “the mother of all stress hormones,” and 1,400 other biochemicals that are best known for their involvement in the “fight-or-flight” stress response. These stress hormones cause your body to operate inefficiently and make it more difficult for you to relax, sleep or cope with normal stress. REMAPPING continued on Page 5 >>

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Temporary relief not worth long-term drawbacks

by Dena Crosby, peninsula behavioral health

stressful situations continue, alcohol consumption can lead to medical and psychological problems that will Life can be stressful, right? So many negatively impact quality of life. The American Psychiatric things can occur during a month, Association reports that “alcohol week, day or even within an hour that intoxication contributes to more cause us to feel angry, frustrated, disappointed, anxious and/or depressed. than 30,000 alcohol-related drinking deaths in the United Alcohol is everywhere. It’s on television, in movies and music, served States each year.” With continued moderate to at nearly every restaurant and for extreme use of alcohol, symptoms any type of celebration — memorial such as mood instability, sexual services, graduations, weddings, dysfunction, hostility, agitation, family barbecues, baby showers, fatigue and insomnia worsen. retirement parties — people drink High-dose drinking, which often at home, in the park, at the beach, results in deliriums (a serious at sporting events … The list goes on. disturbance in mental abilities Alcohol is socially acceptable in that results in confused thinking most any venue and for almost any and reduced awareness of the reason. But just because people can environment, often referred to as drink, should they? “blacking out”), are not merely Bodies have a certain way they temporary consequences of having prefer to “be” on the planet; they a “good time.” Excessive drinking function a certain way. in this manner can also include When anything stressful enters dementias associated with brain a person’s life, it challenges that damage that is not entirely reversible, “balanced way,” often causing serious even with sobriety. problems. It is at this point, even though human bodies have a natural IS ALCOHOL WORTH IT? way to find balance again, that many With so many opportunities for turn to alcohol to help them cope. alcohol use to negatively impact a However, alcohol itself can cause person’s life, why drink it? stress on the body’s physiological In addition to one’s expectations balance, undermining the perceived way of coping and making it harder for and past experiences, personality (impulsive personalities), stress, the body and mind to recover. environment and the societal norms clearly contribute to this behavior. WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL? People start and keep drinking for Drinking may provide temporary many reasons — it’s easy, commonly relief and a feeling of relaxation romanticized in American culture, in the short term, but as the

socially desirable (also a common subject of peer pressure) and accessible. Some people like the flavor of alcohol while others like its effects. Regardless of an individual’s specific reasoning, most humans find many aspects of drinking appealing. In the short-term, people usually get a positive outcome. The long-term reality is not at all positive, though. Alcohol is often debilitating and destructive. Unfortunately for many, it will become a maze of desperation and despair that is extremely difficult to get out of. This is why our doctors ask us about alcohol use. It impacts every aspect of our being in negative ways. IS THERE SUCH A THING AS HEALTHY ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION? Certainly, not everyone who drinks becomes addicted to alcohol. Even if you consider yourself only a casual drinker, you may be drinking more than is considered safe. Research from the Mayo Clinic suggests the following: “Moderate alcohol use for healthy adults means up to one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than age 65, and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger. They recommend people keep in mind that “the risks of alcohol may outweigh any possible benefits; binge and heavy drinking have no benefits.” ALCOHOL continued on Page 6 >> 992408538

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FAST TRACK The fast track bypasses the cortex, jumping from the thalamus directly to the amygdala. In the fast track, your body responds without asking for a logical decision. When faced with an input that “triggers” a negative response from past trauma (like being bitten by a dog when you were young), you’re unable to tell the amygdala that this dog isn’t dangerous. The result is that you feel the stress of real danger, even though you are safe.

SLOW TRACK The slow track, which is how your brain operates when no stress response has been triggered, goes from the thalamus to the sensory cortex, then to the amygdala. In the slow track, you get to choose how you respond after logically assessing your environment. Cognitive therapy attempts to reinstate this track as the standard response pattern. In the below example, despite a past trauma with dogs, you understand that the dog in front of you is friendly and choose how you react.







REMAPPING continued on Page 11 >>

HOW THE STRESS RESPONSE OPERATES 1. You are faced with a stressor. 2. A complex hormonal cascade ensues, preparing for danger by providing energy and forcing blood to pump harder and faster. 3. You address and resolve the situation. 4. Hormone levels return to normal.



There are two tracks by which the brain makes assessments from input it receives. Both response tracks in your brain begin by receiving information from your HRV. When your body goes into “fight or flight,” it cuts off access to all the processes that are not required for immediate survival. This includes access to your cortex, the part of your brain that allows you to have complex and rational thoughts. Because your body doesn’t know the difference between an actual life or death scenario and a chronic state of negative physiological activity, if you suffer from chronic negative emotions, the resulting biochemical and hormonal imbalances can become an unending loop and never resolve like they’re supposed to. The most common therapeutic approach to long-standing anxiety and depression (without a prescription) is cognitive therapy, which challenges negative patterns of thought in order to alter unwanted behavior patterns.

HOW THE BRAIN MANAGES SENSORY INPUTS Your brain processes inputs from your environment using a couple different components: 1. The THALAMUS (shown as “T”) is in charge of relaying motor and sensory signals to the cerebral cortex. It receives the input (seeing a dog) and sends the information to either the cortex for processing or directly to the amygdala, as when your HRV has triggered a stress response (having a fear of dogs). 2. The SENSORY CORTEX processes and makes sense out of information gathered by the five senses. It is a logical, conscious part of your brain that can choose what the amygdala receives, for example, whether the dog is dangerous. 3. The AMYGDALA (shown as “A”) is involved with emotions. It is responsible for detecting fear and responding to emergency events when you are in danger. If the amygdala receives a “danger” signal for the dog, a stress response begins.


<<REMAPPING continued from Page 3

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<<ALCOHOL continued from Page 4


Alcoholism, or alcohol dependence, is the most severe form of alcohol abuse. It is a chronic disease characterized by the consumption of alcohol at a level that interferes with physical and mental health and with family and social responsibilities. Euphoria, fluctuating mood, lack of impulse control and increased social confidence are common traits in moderate to heavy users of alcohol. Generally, this is followed by the ‘hangover’: fatigue, nausea, headaches and feeling “blue.” When life stressors are high and alcohol use continues, the symptoms can turn toward increased violence toward others and even oneself.

HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM? Consider your answers to the following questions: • Have your loved ones, friends or colleagues ever suggested you should (or asked you to) cut down on your alcohol intake? • Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking? • Has your drinking ever gotten you in trouble? • Do you ever wake up not knowing what happened the night before? Working out if you need help to reduce your drinking can be confusing. An easier way to find the answer might be to give an expert a call and get their advice. Be honest with and know yourself. If you have trouble stopping after a certain point, such as a “buzzed” feeling, when your lips feel numb or whatever signal you can find that works for you, use that as a red flag and try to stop before that point. Learn your body and take into account the circumstances. Less food in your stomach, extra stress, lack of sleep and mixing with prescription or recreational drugs can all increase your susceptibility to alcohol’s effects and cloud your judgement. Remember, just because one “can” does not always mean one “should.” Alcohol consumption can destroy your family, your brain, your body and your community. Please be responsible.


Dena Crosby received her bachelor’s degree in human development at Grace University and her master’s degree in community counseling from the University of Nebraska. She is a licensed mental health counselor at Peninsula Behavioral Health, where she meets with a variety of people and helps them to manage their mental illness, problem-solves difficult life circumstances and offers skills to live an empowered life. Crosby has been in the mental health field for over 15 years and is passionate about helping people live their best lives.

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WE’RE IN — ARE YOU? Community leaders share 5-2-1-0 Challenge lessons by Olympic Peninsula Healthy Community Coalition

If attempting all four habits at once seems overwhelming for you, choose to start with the one that is easiest. Try it for a week, This July, community leaders from across then add another. Make it fun, give yourself Clallam County embarked on a month-long time to develop new routines and focus on challenge to live healthier lives, and build new your successes. habits or change old ones. Nineteen leaders 5-2-1-0 is evidence-based and nationally were challenged to adopt the “Live 5-2-1-0” recognized as a great way to incorporate principles promoted by the Olympic Peninsula healthier habits into your daily routine, not Healthy Community Coalition, a county-wide only for this month, but also as a part of non-profit working to decrease chronic disease lasting change. in our region. Find 5-2-1-0 printable tracking sheets During the entire month of July, participants at and learn more tried to incorporate four healthy habits from these healthy leaders about their into each day. Challenge experience at • Eat 5 servings of fruit and vegetables olympicpeninsulahealthycommunitycoalition • Reduce recreational screen time to 2 hours or less Are YOU up to the challenge? Keep • Engage in 1 hour of physical activity this handy pull-out to help track your • Drink 0 sugar-sweetened beverages challenge progress. These four lifestyle behaviors have been The Olympic Peninsula has a higher than found by researchers to be the most powerful usual rate of premature death and chronic steps one can take to prevent chronic diseases disease that can often be better managed such as cancer, heart disease, arthritis and or prevented through lifestyle changes such diabetes over the long-term. as healthy diet and exercise. The Olympic It’s a great time for you, your family and even your co-workers to adopt this Challenge, too. The Peninsula Healthy Community Coalition works weather is great for being active and outdoors, and to make our community a healthier place. 5-2-1-0 is adapted from fresh produce is abundant across the Peninsula.

Meet Our 5-2-1-0 Healthy Leaders Team Nineteen community leaders recently completed the second annual Healthy Leaders 5210 Challenge. They each provided answers to the following questions. IMPACT How did the 5210 healthy habits impact you? OBSTACLES From your leadership lens, what do you see as the most difficult obstacles we face in Clallam County to achieving good health?

CELESTE SCHOENTHALER Executive Director, olympic community of health

IMPACT This challenge helped me focus on how much time I spend on my phone and computer. Also, I had an unexpected medical procedure that limited my ability to participate in my usual physical activity routine, so I found other ways to get my daily 60 minutes. OBSTACLES It’s hard to eat really healthy everywhere, especially on a budget.

MICHAEL DASHIELL Editor, sequim gazette

IMPACT Travelling while on this challenge was interesting — it caused us to be more purposeful about what to eat and how to exercise. I have more energy now and feel better about what I eat for the most part. The key is having ready-to-go fruit and veggie snacks available. OBSTACLES We spend so much time at work, or stressing about work, that we can’t conceive of taking a step back, looking at our own health and realizing what changes we need to make. Instead we tend to medicate with TV or poor eating habits. Good health isn’t always easy, but it’s far from impossible; it mostly takes a mental shift and development of daily habits. 5-2-1-0 continued on Page 8 >> Peninsula Daily News / Sequim Gazette




<<5-2-1-0 continued from Page 7


Pastor, dungeness valley lutheran church


Deputy Mayor, city of port angeles

IMPACT I was already exercising many days a week but making the effort every day was challenging. This challenge was a reality check for my daily recreational screen time consumption — it was more than I thought! While traveling, I did not get all of my exercise but by planning ahead I was able to keep up on the veggies and fruit. It felt good to not completely derail my eating while away from home. OBSTACLES Eating a home-cooked meal can be a real challenge and it is easier to grab something pre-made on the way home. Busy families, limited budgets, and exposure to high-sugar, low-nutritional value foods can make healthier choices a real challenge. More community education, particularly with children, would be great.


Former Communications & Community Relations Coordinator, port angeles school district

IMPACT We traveled during the challenge and it was difficult to get our activity on some of those days. It became a fun game to scope out healthy food options at airports, ballparks and restaurants! I have an internal voice now asking, what fruits and vegetables can I put into my meal plan today. I plan to continue 5210 on a daily basis. OBSTACLES Americans love to work hard and overcommit, leaving out adequate time for taking good care of ourselves. It takes vigilance to stock the kitchen with smart snacks, fresh vegetables and fruit, and prepare healthy meals. Maybe the real problem is “lack of intentionality.” If 5210 is a priority when planning my day, I’m more likely to get the exercise done!


Chief Executive Officer, olympic medical center

IMPACT The biggest impact was definitely eating five servings of fruits and vegetables. I felt better eating this way and I was able to reduce the amount of processed food that I consumed. Limiting recreational screen time was hard, especially on weekends. I am trying to reduce how often I look at my smart phone and watch TV — except for Seahawks games. OBSTACLES We need to work on having a culture of wellness in Clallam County where the healthy choice is the easy choice, and focus on changing unhealthy habits over time. Try substituting an unhealthy habit with new healthy habit… such as, instead of eating cookies to relieve stress, walking a mile each day to relieve stress would make a huge positive difference.





IMPACT The pursuit of zero sugary drinks heightened my awareness of how much sugar is in so many beverages. It was a great help to carry a water bottle everywhere, which affirms availability is crucial to making better choices. It is worth mentioning that taken together, when living these four healthy habits, I generally slept better. The checklist was a concrete way of adhering to this challenge. OBSTACLES Convenience is a formidable adversity when the easier options are not necessarily the healthier options. The path of least resistance is something we are all vulnerable to. We need to be honest about the help we need and the habits and surroundings we need to change to make better choices.


Gleaning Program Coordinator, wsu extension

IMPACT As a new mom I don’t have enough hours in the day. It is important for me physically and mentally to find an hour for myself, but it is challenging. Participating in the challenge allowed me to give myself permission to exercise instead of doing chores. For me, breaking the hour into 20-minute chunks and scheduling them into my day will be more do-able. OBSTACLES Fresh, healthy food can be more expensive than junk food. Having fresh, healthy food available for folks of all income levels is critical. And helping people learn how to prepare it is really important.


Community Resource Navigator, north olympic healthcare network

IMPACT Realizing how much time I was spending on my phone was shocking. After a challenging first week, I found myself spending more time outdoors and feeling better overall. Once I started prepping my fruits and veggies for the week, it was much easier. OBSTACLES Many individuals face food insecurity, inadequate housing, homelessness, substance abuse, poverty, adverse trauma, etc. which make it difficult to focus on health and can make one feel they have no control over their health. We need to empower people to take control of their well-being and promote simple, yet effective, healthy habits that are attainable.


VISTA Community Food Project Coordinator, wsu extension

IMPACT I’ve become pretty conscious of screen time and have done a good job of stopping before two hours. Since I often hike or spend weekends outdoors, I get plenty of exercise. Spacing it out over the week was a bit harder, so I added some after-work sports with friends. OBSTACLES Clallam County is currently fourth highest in Washington State for adult food insecurity, and second highest for child food insecurity — that’s 1 in 4 children without consistent access to food. We also have a wealth of opportunities to support local farmers and provide healthy sustainably-grown food to our community members, regardless of their social or economic backgrounds.


Board Member, sequim school district & sequim chamber

IMPACT Ensuring I got five servings of fruits and vegetables, along with cutting out sugary drinks (except for needing a Dr. Pepper every now and then), kept me focused on meal planning for my busy schedule. OBSTACLES More activities for our youth. The City of Sequim, YMCA, Boys & Girls Club and Sequim School District are working together to increase opportunities, but we need the whole community. Peninsula Daily News / Sequim Gazette


Chief Human Resources Officer & General Counsel, olympic medical center

IMPACT My daughter asked for a strawberry frappuccino and since we did 5-2-1-0 together we had a good discussion about the fruit content being healthy, while at the same time, it counted as a sugary drink for the day. It was a great opportunity for us to talk about nutrition and wellness in a positive way. I stepped up the fruit and vegetable intake and the impact was huge! I had more energy and felt better. This really emphasized that “food is medicine,” and that good nutrition is foundational for wellness. OBSTACLES Health equity is an issue, so making healthy options for diet and exercise easy and accessible, especially for all children, is important.


Chief Executive Officer, peninsula behavioral health

IMPACT Committing to five fruits and veggies made me realize I was not eating nearly as many as I thought. I also found that leftover veggies reheat really well so I brought lunch to work more often. Ten-minute walks throughout the day gave me more pep in my step and reduced stress. I look forward to continuing this. OBSTACLES Locally, we grow some of the most amazing and healthy food in the nation, but we are surrounded by low-cost, easily accessible, poor-quality food as well. Everyone needs access to healthy food options and the education to know how to make these foods as easy as junk food alternatives.


Steering Committee Member, compassion clallam county

IMPACT Two hours or less of screen time was a huge challenge until I left on vacation. Zero hours has become the new normal and I don’t even miss it! While traveling, the glass of wine with my sisters was hard to pass up. Otherwise, I already do zero sweetened beverages! OBSTACLES The most difficult obstacle we face is our sugar-holic society, where sugar is used to celebrate, to gather with friends, to reward children, adults and ourselves. It requires work to get away from its far-reaching, ubiquitous presence in our lives. It’s effect on our bodies contributes to the diabetes epidemic.


Executive Director, parenting matters foundation

IMPACT Probably the biggest impact was the movement. On vacation it was easy, but starting a new job, I had to make some deliberate choices to get that one hour. So, I jogged to the mailbox (an uphill climb) for the morning paper, and the afternoon mail to tack on additional time. Knowing I had to check those boxes each day was motivating. OBSTACLES Apathy and food addiction. I know a lot of folks who are well aware of what they “should” be doing to improve their health, yet continue in their old familiar and comfortable lifestyles.


Group Exercise Coordinator, olympic peninsula ymca

IMPACT I focused on eating five servings of fruits and vegetables and drinking more water, and found I have more energy. I plan to continue this as an ongoing habit. Focusing more on meal prep saves time, money and ensures healthy choices. OBSTACLES When we prioritize being healthy: mind, body and spirit, and make choices to support that, the result is inevitable. We can support healthy societal norms by being an example in attitude and action.


Founder, meals for sequim kids fund

IMPACT As administrator for a couple of Facebook groups, I need to learn to work smarter and reduce my screen time. I affirmed my efforts to eat five servings of vegetables, add some fruits, and meet my hour of daily activity including three days of vigorous activity at the gym. OBSTACLES Economic challenges of daily life that make eating unhealthy the easy option, lack of awareness of all the helping organizations and services available, and a robust community buy-in to become a healthy community.

CATHERINE MCKINNEY Program Coordinator, clallam mosaic

IMPACT Since movement is vital to good health and mood, returning to exercise as a priority improved my health so much more than just loosening up stiff muscles. After accidently hurting my foot, I discovered chair exercises. I also found that splitting up the hour was easier and more productive for me. OBSTACLES For those with disabilities, some obstacles are shared by all: finances, transportation, education, learned food preferences, time, and habits. Added to these common obstacles are the challenges of literacy, cooking skills, and specific supports for healthier behaviors, such as opportunities to exercise in fun and engaging ways.


Registered Dietitian & Diabetes Coordinator, lower elwha wellness center

IMPACT Reducing recreational screen time showed me how much time I had to do things like play my ukulele, read or play with my puppy. Having more time increased my productivity. OBSTACLES There are excellent resources and services focused on helping residents achieve good health, but I believe getting the information to those who could need it is an obstacle.


Wellness Manager, lower elwha wellness center

IMPACT I was not raised with regular fruits in my diet, so I had to work at adding those. My colleague, Marissa, encouraged me to join her in walking our fur friends in the morning before work. Getting some exercise in during work in small intervals helped throughout the day. OBSTACLES As a community, we need to educate people about access to food, jobs and care. Resource guides are awesome, however, there is a need to spread information beyond what we are currently doing. Peninsula Daily News / Sequim Gazette



Join our Healthy Leaders in taking the 5210 Challenge!

5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day! Shoot for less than 2 hours of recreational screen time! Try for at least 1 hour of physical activity per day! Aim for 0 sweetened beverages per day!

Eat at least

Healthy habits start at home and take time to develop. This handy tracker will help you adopt healthier habits and record your success! Check each box for the habit(s) you accomplish each day. 5210 is fun for everyone. Challenge your family and your friends. Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5

2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2


1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1


0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday



5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5

2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1


0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Adapted from

How did you do? 30-59 checkmarks = good start, keep trying, new habits take time to learn. Focus on one new habit at a time. 60-84 checkmarks = terrific, you’re doing great. Now add one more healthy habit to each day. 85-112 = 5210 Super Star! Share your success with others and show them how well 5210 works for you. Challenge sheets available at

LEARN SUGAR MATH Olympic Medical Center encourages healthy lifestyle habits.


Make healthy choices to improve your life and reduce your chances of developing chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer. 10  SEPTEMBER 2019 | HEALTHY LIVING

40 grams ÷ 4 = 10 teaspoons


Rethink your sugary drinks and snacks! Peninsula Daily News / Sequim Gazette

INNER SANCTUARY TOOL “Hack into” the fast track by learning how to change your heart rate pattern, or HRV. Try this: 1. Drop your awareness into your heart. 2. Breathe a little more deeply than usual, imagining your breath is flowing in and out of your heart area. 3. Continue for 5-10 breaths. 4. Repeat for 10-30 seconds, many times each day, especially when you start to experience a negative emotion. REDISCOVER YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF Connect your soul back to your body and mind by giving your “self” some time to shine. Try these strategies: • Choose a bit of nature — a special tree, a rock, a body of water — and using all your senses, be present with it daily for five minutes or more. You can double up with this one: Practice your Inner Sanctuary tool simultaneously. • Start a list of things that bring you joy. Spend at least 5-10 minutes every day doing one of these things. Over time, expand your list and the amount of time you give to this assignment.

<<REMAPPING continued from Page 5

If you have soul loss, your job is to take responsibility for integrating your soul back into your mind and body. This You can correct the fast track’s does not have to be a religious practice. automatic bypass of the cortex using Third, acknowledge that you are not meditation and mindfulness to remap your mind’s default paths during “fight broken and you don’t need to be fixed. No matter what experiences you’ve had or flight” (stress response) events. in your life, you are not “broken.” You First, “hack” into the fast track may have suffered soul loss, causing by using the “Inner Sanctuary” tool “cracks” in your sense of self, but this can provided, which allows you to take be an invitation to deeper inquiry into control of your responses by training who you really are and to find your place you to first change your heart rate of belonging — to yourself, with others pattern, then your thoughts. and to the Earth. Performing this routine several The Japanese have a practice, times a day for at least six weeks will called kintsugi, of filling cracked allow it to not only become a natural self-soothing habit in times of emotional pottery with gold to emphasize the beauty of imperfection. Your “cracked distress, but over time it will also build places,” when filled with your unique physiological resilience so that you can essence, become part of your beauty. cope better when things go wrong. These unique experiences are part of Second, recognize that you are your story, and you can choose how on a spiritual journey. Regardless of you relate to them. How did these whether you have ties to a specific experiences shape who you are today? religion, consider yourself “spiritual Did they make you stronger, more but not religious” or even identify as courageous, more insightful? agnostic or atheist, you have a spirit When you find the courage to look and are therefore on a spiritual journey. closely and learn to inhabit your whole Your spirit is defined as the part of self, meaning, joy and a connection to you that goes beyond your body and your highest purpose become available. mind and connects you to both your It is joy that makes us whole. Unlike vital essence (or soul) and the unifying happiness, which is fleeting, joy is what force in the universe.

comes when you learn to see the beauty in nature’s imperfections. When we go to those wild edges of our emotions and look inside, we might feel crazy. But in fact, opening to those emotions and allowing them to guide us to reclaiming our vital essence — this is when we are at our most sane. If reintegrating the pieces of your soul feels overwhelming to you and more than you want to handle alone, reach out to a professional for help.

Kristin Halberg is a transformational life coach who blends the healing power of nature with the expressive arts, science and mystical traditions. Her company, The Dream Hatchery, guides deep transformation in the areas of self-belief, relationship, wellness and purpose,





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INTRODUCTION TO CANNABIS Understanding first step to assessing alternatives by Wendy Buck-Benge, RN, origins cannabis

ANANDAMIDE Commonly referred to as the “bliss molecule,” anandamide is produced by the body’s endocannabinoid system, which maintains homeostasis in the body regardless of internal stressors, such as viruses, bacteria or cancer cells, and external stressors, such as predators or mass shootings.

Cannabis is a plant uniquely suited to addressing pain while being much safer than more popular treatments such as opiates. It can provide pain relief from many challenging conditions, including arthritis, old injuries, cancer and its treatments, neuropathy, HIV/AIDS, dementia, Crohn’s disease or any wasting syndrome, to name a few. When a patient is curious about what cannabis can do to alleviate persistent pain and other problems, as well as minimize negative side effects, their questions tend to revolve around fear: “I don’t want to get high.” “I don’t want to lose control.” “I don’t want to harm myself.” Patients want to be able to use cannabis medicinally, but are afraid of the stereotyped behaviors of habitual cannabis users, such as not speaking clearly, suffering a loss of motivation or memory, getting “munchy,” etc.

concentrations of THC with very little CBD, to balanced concentrations of both cannabinoids, to extreme CBD with “no” THC. Used wisely, cannabis can be effective for pain relief, nausea WHAT IS CANNABIS? suppression, anxiety modulation, Cannabis is a plant that contains mood elevation, muscle relaxation and hundreds of active compounds, improving appetite. One of its most including various terpenes and cannabinoids, such as THC, CBD, CBN common side effects, dry mouth, also is helpful in increasing fluid intake. and THCa. Each compound plays a Despite these benefits, cannabis is not different role in the plant’s use as a known to present fatal complications. medication and the mix of compounds changes from strain to strain. HOW IS CANNABIS DIFFERENT? Most people conflate all forms of The difference between cannabis cannabis with the impacts of THC, and more popular drugs for pain which is the primary psychoactive component responsible for feeling “high.” relief, especially opioids, comes down to where receptors for the drugs are But other cannabis compounds are far housed in the body. less incapacitating and can be very Our bodies make their very own effective at relieving pain. For example, drugs. Anandamide, responsible for CBD is valued for calming the mind. maintaining balance in your body, Selective breeding can produce an is nearly identical to the THC molecule end product with highly specialized attributes, much like farmers select for found in cannabis. flavor, seed size or hardiness. Currently CANNABIS continued on Page 14 >> available varieties go from extreme However, the reality of cannabis use is much like that of any other medication: You must find the proper dose and type to match your needs.

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‘MOOVE’ OVER MILK Points of consideration for comparing popular substitutes by Lucille Johnston, north olympic healthcare network There are so many alternatives to dairy milk that it can be daunting to choose which product to pour over your cereal, add to your coffee or just to drink and enjoy. How can we decide which to choose: cow’s milk, goat’s milk or a non-dairy alternative? MILK — IS IT GOOD FOR YOU? There is no doubt that milk has valuable nutrition and can be a part of a healthful diet. Milk is a source of macronutrients such as protein, fat and carbohydrates, and also micronutrients, such as calcium, potassium, sodium and vitamins A and D. What do you do, though, if you like milk, but it doesn’t like you? Milk intolerance is the inability to break down lactose (milk sugar). People with milk intolerance lack lactase, the digestive enzyme that processes lactose.

Anyone with this intolerance can testify to having uncomfortable symptoms such as gas, bloating and cramps after ingesting a milk product. Dairy products are available with the lactose molecule already broken down, enabling you to enjoy the dairy milk without all of the problematic symptoms. Some folks, though, have a true allergy to milk proteins, and for them the lactase-added products will not change their allergic reaction. For these people, alternate non-dairy “milk” products can be a viable option. NON-DAIRY “MILKS” Milk is not naturally derived from almonds, coconuts, flax, rice or soy. All non-dairy milk alternatives are highly processed to provide the consumer with a palatable product. Fortified products can be good sources of calcium, protein, vitamin A and vitamin D. MILKS continued on Page 15 >>

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<<CANNABIS continued from Page 12

of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.” Although he assessed the toxicity of cannabis Anandamide’s CB1 and CB2 as less than that of a raw potato in receptors (the ones cannabis uses) 1988 and things have changed since are in your brain, immune cells, then, the sentiment remains accurate: gastro-intestinal tract, skin — nearly everywhere but your brainstem, the part Cannabis is forgiving. With that in mind, starting with a of your brain that breathes air, digests low dosage and making changes slowly food and pumps blood automatically. still can improve your first experiences There are sparse cannabis receptor sites in the brainstem, which is why you with cannabis. It is also important to find a variety that works for you. For are unlikely to experience respiratory example, CBD-dominant strains tend or other critical system failures to eliminate the uncomfortable anxietyon cannabis. inducing side effect that some patients By contrast, the receptor sites that report in THC-dominant strains. work with opiates are prolific in the Topicals react with the CB1 and brainstem. This means that an opioid CB2 receptors that are present in all overdose can impact critical functions skin cells and can provide immediate like breathing, while a cannabis overdose usually just makes you sleepy. relief from a variety of aches and pains, such as arthritis, migraines, spasm and muscle strain. The beauty WHAT IS THE KEY TO of topicals and bath additives, like USING CANNABIS? cannabis-infused epsom salt, is that It all comes down to finding the right cannabis does not cross the blood-brain dose. After all, Paracelsus (a Swiss barrier, so you don’t get any euphoric physician, alchemist and astrologer of the German Renaissance) said, “It is only effect — just pain control. Ingesting under the tongue has the dose which makes a thing poison.” a fairly quick effect and can last As the Drug Enforcement quite some time depending on your Administration (DEA) administrative metabolism. That is why tinctures are judge Francis L. Young put it, great for new users. “Marijuana in its natural form is one

Ingesting cannabis-infused edibles is much harder to fine-tune than tinctures, since there are many variables that impact absorption. Take wait time recommendations on the package seriously. Once cannabis is ingested, there’s no way to counteract the effects. Typically, patients are started at 1-2.5 milligrams per dose. (In five years I have had only one patient tell me that dose was too much for them, but the patient was unharmed.) It is your metabolism that decides the appropriate dose, and you might react to the same dose and strain differently from the person next to you. That’s OK! Don’t apologize if you are a “one drop at a time until you are happy with where you’re at”-type of person. When using cannabis for the first time, take your recommended dose on a day you have no obligations. That way if you nap, it’s no big deal. If you clean out the garage, it’s no big deal. Now you know how long it takes to kick in, what it does, how long it lasts and if it is useful to you. If you’re not satisfied with the results, wait a couple days (so you’re not combining effects from your first trial) and adjust as necessary. Again, test your medication when you have some free time.

While this may make finding the perfect strain and dosage timeconsuming, you will be rewarded with an effective yet unobtrusive medication. Cannabis is a fantastic tool, but just like all the other drugs out there your body will grow a tolerance to it. A bonus of Cannabis tolerance is that you do not need to taper yourself off of it like many other pharmaceuticals. If you need to take a break for a few days to reset your body, there is no “detox” period with adverse physical effects (though the addictiveness of cannabis is disputed and many factors impact dependency). Be kind to yourself and use the relief you find to cultivate other methods to deal with your stress and pain, like talk therapy, acupuncture, shiatsu, yin restorative yoga, massage, swimming … Explore your options and take your health seriously. Wendy Buck-Benge is an alumnus of Peninsula College Nursing School and an owner of Sparket/Origins Cannabis. She has 26 years of experience in emergency medicine with an emphasis on neurology, neonatology, labor and delivery and cannabis. Buck-Benge has traveled the country taking care of patients from the cradle to the grave.


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<<MILKS continued from Page 13

Milk Protein

Flax milk is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and of vitamin B-12. Soy is a good source of protein. Be aware of additives such as thickeners, “natural flavors” and added oils and sugars, as these can all negate the overall health benefit of the drink. CAN WE GO WITHOUT MILK? The short answer is yes, adults can do without milk. According to the USDA, children ages 2-3 need two servings per day of dairy (such as milk, yogurt, cheese or calcium-fortified non-dairy beverages), children ages 4-8 need two and a half servings, and kids 9 and older need three. A serving is considered to be 1 cup of milk, yogurt or fortified beverage, or 1.5 ounces of natural cheese. But keep in mind that the nutrients in milk also can be found in other foods. For example, dark leafy greens, beans, lentils, sardines, seeds or tofu contain calcium. Many fresh fruits and vegetables are rich in potassium, such as bananas, oranges, cantaloupe, honeydew, apricots and grapefruit, as well as some dried fruits, such as prunes, raisins and dates. Vitamin D can be found in salmon, herrings, sardines, shrimp, egg yolks and fortified foods. Vitamin A sources include cod liver oil, eggs, fortified cereals and orange and yellow vegetables.






Goat Almond* Coconut* Flax* Rice* Soy*

8 1 0 0 0 12

7 2.5 4.5 2.5 2.5 6

(1 percent)





(8 ounces)










11 1 2 1 11 5

0 1 1 0 0 0

11 0 0 0 2 2

300 2 2 300 300 40

420 161 40 0 0 460

115 150 15 110 125 5

300 300 300 500 0 0

200 101 250 150 0 0

140 30 45 25 70 120


Calcium Potassium


(grams) (grams) (milligrams) (milligrams) (milligrams)

Vitamin A Vitamin D Calories

*unsweetened. There are many brands to choose from; this data is composite and estimated data for non-sweetened, vitamin-fortified non-dairy alternatives. Information adapted from USDA Food composition database and manufacturer websites.

FINAL TIPS If you are able to enjoy milk, choose brands that are hormone-free and are fortified with vitamin D. Keep in mind that raw cow and goat milk may pose risk, as unpasteurized milk can be contaminated with bacteria. Remember that non-dairy alternatives with flavors usually have added sugar, which does not contribute to their healthfulness. It also can be eye-opening to check ingredient lists. Toddlers ages 1 to 2 are advised to drink whole milk and can switch to 1 percent or skim milk after age 2. Children should never drink raw milk. Enjoy a diet rich in a variety of vegetables, fruits and lean proteins to be sure you are getting the nutrients you need. Depending on your tolerance and preference, incorporating dairy products or dairy alternatives can add healthful and delicious benefits to your diet. Lucille Johnston, PharmD, MHA, BCGP, FASCP is a clinical pharmacist at North Olympic Healthcare Network (NOHN). She received her pharmacy doctorate at the University of California San Francisco. Johnston is board-certified in geriatric pharmacy and is a fellow of the American Society of Consulting Pharmacists.


WHY SWITCH? If you have a milk intolerance or milk allergy, follow a vegan diet or just like the taste of non-dairy milk alternatives, then you have a wide selection from which to choose. The table shows a nutrition comparison of cow’s milk, goat’s milk and milk alternatives. Note that the info for non-dairy products is for non-flavored, no added sugar formulations. When looking for a milk substitute, be mindful of sodium and sugar content.



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© 2019 Simmons Bedding Company, LLC.. All rights reserved. Produced by IMAGINE ADVERTISING, INC. Although every precaution is taken, errors in prices and/or specs may occur in print. We reserve the right to correct any such errors. © 2019 Simmons Bedding Company, LLC.. All rights reserved. Produced by IMAGINE ADVERTISING, INC. Although every precaution is taken, errors in prices and/or specs may occur in print. We reserve the right to correct any such errors.


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