Earth Week launch of Mindful Healthy Life of Metro DC

The new site is almost here! Look for an Earth Week launch of Mindful Healthy Life of Metro DC. Logoandtagline

We’re so excited about all the great events, businesses and healthy news we’ll be sharing, including some fun giveaways and opportunities. Please head on over to and sign up for our email list, “Like” our page on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter @MindfulHealthy Interested in writing for the new site? Check out our submission guidelines and see the draft site map for ideas about what we plan to cover.

Winter updates and events

Just like the soil under the snow and the fuzzy buds on the magnolias waiting for warmer weather, so too are good things underway with this site.

Snowy garden

Spring will be here before you know it, as will our new site! For now, we’re focusing efforts on the future, building up content and ideas for a springtime launch at a new unique URL.


We’re posting here some great upcoming events and then will be turning to the new-and-improved version of this site. Subscribe to our email list to be sure to be among the first to hear the new name and to learn when we’re ready to go live. Thanks for your support!

Please email clairejess (at) gmail (dot) com if you’re interested in participating in the site as a guest blogger, advertiser or sponsor. Our media kit and writers’ guidelines are in the works.

Until the next update, stay warm and healthy! Here are some great ways to stay active in the healthy family community in the next few months.

Monday, February 17: Schools Out Nature Camp, Audubon Naturalist Society, 8:30-4:30, $70. Register at

Thursday, February 20: Garden Planning presentation by Love & Carrots, Holistic Moms Network Arlington/Alexandria Chapter. 716 S. Glebe Road, Arlington, VA, 7:00-9:00

Saturday, February 22: Open House at Eastern Ridge School.
Vienna, VA. Adults only, registration required: 10:00-12:00.

Open House at Frog Pond Early Learning Center, 7204 Harrison Lane, Alexandria, VA, 9-11 a.m.

Saturday, March 1: Everyday Health & Wellness Conference, Fairfax Marriott Fair Oaks, Fairfax, VA. Register at

Thursday, March 20: 5-Year Anniversary Party, Holistic Moms Network Arlington/Alexandria Chapter. Fairlington United Methodist Church, 3900 King Street, Alexandria, VA, 6-9 p.m.

Sunday, March 23. Grow Your Health festival. Woodson High School, 9525 Main St., Fairfax, VA. Time TBA.

Saturday, March 29: Fredericksburg Health & Wellness Expo, Fredericksburg Expo and Conference Center, 2371 Carl D. Silver Pkwy, Fredericksburg VA, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Tickets online at or at the door

Sunday, March 30: Pathways Magazine Natural Living Expo. Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, 5701 Marinelli Road, Bethesda, Maryland 20852. $10. 10:30 a.m.-7:00 p.m.

Thursday, April 10: NoVA Outside Schools Environmental Action Showcase. George Mason University.

Thursday, April 24: “Siblings and Birth Order” presentation by Dr. Rene Hackney of Parenting by Dr. Rene, Holistic Moms Network Arlington/Alexandria Chapter, 716 S. Glebe Road, Arlington, VA 22206, 7-9 p.m.

Saturday, April 26: Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment Green Living Expo, George Mason University Arlington Campus, 3351 Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA. Free.

Saturday, April 26: Alexandria Earth Day, Ben Brenman Park, 4800 Brenman Park Drive, Alexandria, VA, 10:00 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Saturday, April 26:  NoVA Outside‘s Early Childhood Education conference: Early Childhood Outside: The Arts in Nature,”
Westlawn Elementary School, 3200 Westley Rd. Falls Church, VA. Details TBA at

Saturday, May 3: Campbell Elementary School Wetlands Festival. 737 S. Carlin Springs Road, Arlington, VA. Details TBA.

December events

Some great events for the holistic-minded family this December:

Tuesday, December 17: Rescheduled from December 10: Annual Winter Potluck and Social, Holistic Moms Network Northern Virginia Chapter, Fairfax Church of Christ, 3901 Rugby Road, Fairfax, VA. 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Thursday, December 19: “Paleo Eating for the Holidays… and every day!” presentation by bloggers and Eat Like a Dinosaur authors Stacy Toth and Matt McCarry, Holistic Moms Network Arlington/Alexandria Chapter meeting. 7:00-9:00 p.m. 716 S. Glebe Road, Arlington, VA. Location subject to change; please visit for updates

Friday, December 20: Healthy Holiday Cooking: Gluten-Free Baking Class & Workshop, Reflective Wellness, 11:30-2:30 in Cascades/Sterling, VA. Information at . Email info (at) reflectivewellness (dot) com or call 703-342-2148

See nature center programs and other holiday delights in the Washington Post Weekend section, grab great deals on tons of holiday events (and more) from Certifikid, and find more at the other kid-focused events sites listed here.

December 26-January 3, Winter Wonderland Science Camp at School for the Future in Great Falls, VA. Ages  7-11. Information at

For more upcoming events, go to the calendar!

Send your calendar suggestions to dchealthygreenfamilies (at) gmail (dot)

Natural approaches to fertility and hormone balance — with D.C.-area resources

Fertility and hormone balance are intimately connected with overall health and wellbeing. In order to achieve optimal health, these topics need to be considered in concert with everything else that is going on in the mind and the body. The dance of the brain and body in regulating hormones, is complex; it doesn’t make long-term sense to look only at numbers on blood tests without considering the context in which the body is living.

A holistic approach to fertility and hormone balance takes everything into consideration. Studies have shown that stress-reduction techniques change the very chemical makeup of the body in the way they affect the production and circulation of neurotransmitters. There are many avenues toward optimal health, and some work better for some people than others.

These are some of the avenues to consider when attempting to get a handle on fertility and hormone balance. Created for a talk given to Moms of North Arlington this post will have additional links added soon. It is an expanded version of an earlier post on my  personal blog: Top Ten Natural Strategies for Conception (AKA How to get pregnant!) 

1. Know thyself, know thy body: Fertility Awareness (FA) and Natural Family Planning (NFP)

Whether you are planning to have children or not, getting to know your cycles is the first step toward understanding what is going on in your body. Many of us (including yours truly) have enjoyed being steps removed from our bodies by taking The Pill for years. But, as “The Natural Pharmacist” Ross Pelton has shown in his book The Pill Problem, this manipulation of our hormones can come at a great cost, including mineral depletion.

If knowledge is power, turn instead to resources that will help you understand what is going on in your body when it is functioning on its own terms.

Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler and Garden of Fertility (and Honoring Our Cycles) by Katie Singer are great resources. Learn not only how to use Basal Body Temperature (BBT) and cervical position and fluid to predict ovulation but also what it means when you are having short at long cycles, how the light in your bedroom might be affecting sleep and your cycles, and much more.

2. Nutrition and detoxification

So much of our food supply these days is so contaminated with chemicals, from pesticides to manufactured oils that our bodies don’t recognize as food, to factory-created sweeteners and flavorings. Unless you have been eating largely a whole foods diet from birth (and have only just moved to DC from a place with really pure air and pristine well water lacking chlorine and fluoride), you probably have toxins stored in your cells. These toxins go into our babies in utero and also, as Sandra Steingraber discusses in Having Faith: An Ecologist’s Journey to Motherhood, into our breastmilk.

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), studies have shown that babies are born with an average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants in their umbilical cord blood. If they are so contaminated even before they get into the world, it’s crazy to imagine that we, their parents, are not.

So what to do? Ideally, get less toxic before you get pregnant. The easiest way to do this is by cleaning up your diet, which means avoiding processed foods – foods in boxes, cans, packages – as much as possible. Put simply: buy individual ingredients, and cook them, or eat raw foods. Do whatever you can to eat organic or as close to it as you can, to eat locally-sourced ingredients when possible, to enjoy what is in season, and to avoid genetically modified foods. Holistic health coaches can assist you in taking this on if it feels overwhelming and can help you prioritize where to start.

For many people, the first thing to go out the window is sugar. Not only can sugar create inflammation and wreak havoc on your stress hormones (which then affects your reproductive hormones), but it can also contribute to candida/yeast overgrowth, adding to digestive troubles.

Many health coaches recommend to patients in pain or with chronic complaints to try an anti-inflammatory diet that eliminates sugar, caffeine, gluten (the protein found in wheat and some other grains) and other potential allergens like dairy (especially pasteurized milk) and that incorporates broth and fermented foods.

Some people do well to include a lot more raw foods including green juices and other alkalizing foods. Juicing — with organic vegetables — can be a powerful component to introduce packed nutrition and to encourage detoxification.

Some people find great improvement on a Paleo-inspired grain-free diet it  including local parents Matt and Stacy who authored the kid-friendly Eat Like a Dinosaur after founding their widely popular blog. Others with more serious conditions or with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) might do well to consider the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) diet, which eliminates all grains and also all starchy vegetables, beans and anything that is not a mono-saccharride, and incorporates healing foods like broth and healthy, natural fats like coconut oil and lard.

If you can do one thing, I recommend making broth from the bones of an organic chicken. If meat is not in your vocabulary, I will simply say that I’ve been there and know a lot of other folks who were but who had to make changes in order to heal their bodies. Vegetarianism can lead to depletion of minerals and the adrenal glands if one is not careful, and processed soy can wreak havoc on hormones with its phytoestrogenic properties. My own healing began only when I gave up vegetarianism and moved toward a more traditional diet, as described by the Weston A. Price Foundation.

I could rattle off some suggested foods and supplements, like cod liver oil, but people have literally written books on this topic. So go read some of those! Some great resources include are Nina Planck’s book Real Food for Mother and Baby, Sally Fallon Morrell’s Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care Donielle Baker’s Naturally Knocked Up  and her website

You have to start where you are, so enlist some help or do some research and figure out what you can improve first most easily, and move on from there. Some people like the simplicity of The Whole 30 as a way to make what might be dramatic changes for 30 days and then see what is easily incorporated into everyday life.

There are plenty of blogs that promote healthy living with whole foods, including Nourished Kitchen, Mommypotamus, The Healthy Home Economist, Food Renegade, Cheeseslave,100 Days of Real Food, Homemade Mommy.

Locally, in addition to a plethora of holistic health coaches, healing centers like National Integrated Health Associates in Friendship Heights and Roselle Center for Healing, there are D.C.-area meetups for Paleo families, whole foods nutrition, clean eating, and more. Spending time with other people can be a big help when you are just starting out, and many of the Meetups are free. Local chapters of Holistic Moms Network also often have presentations by holistic health care providers and nutrition-minded people at their monthly meetings.

Eating clean is an essential step toward lessening that toxic burden I mentioned earlier. Doing an intense 3-day detox protocol is not going to undo 30 or 40 years of living in a processed food world, especially if your liver has had to process lots of medications or alcohol or unhealthy fats. As described in the new (October 2013) issue of Alternative Medicine magazine, a too-quick, too-intense “cleanse” can simply release toxins into your bloodstream too quickly and cause the toxins to simply resettle in your organs. For most of us, the liver has its limits on how much it can flush out in a short period of time. That’s why gently supporting the liver with supplements and teas and a healthy diet and lifestyle is so important.

I’ll soon add a post on “Detox Strategies” with more information and will add that link here.

3. Bodywork and Stress Reduction

If you’re trying to heal your body or convince your body to work with you, it’s nice to also treat it well. Some modalities to consider are chiropractic, osteopathy and craniosacral therapy. These modalities can all help with structural alignment, which can be a game-changer if something has been restricting something important, but more subtly, they can help the balanced flow of energy and increase the body’s ability to self-correct and find balance. I turn to chiropractic more when I know that my alignment is the first order of business to address.

For more chronic issues or to address organ systems more intimately, I have gotten a lot out of working with osteopaths and craniosacral therapists. During this work, the body often goes into the healing and calming parasympathetic mode, which should be our norm, but in our current frenzied lives (especially in the high-stress D.C. area), we are spending more time in the fight-or-flight sympathetic mode that used to be reserved for unique times of crisis, like running away from a bear.

The stress hormone profiles of bodies in these two states are very different, as you can imagine. When you are prepared to run at any moment, your body is not caring about digesting food and certainly not about reproducing. So if you find you are often in high-powered go-go-go mode as though there are bears lurking around every tree, you are not sending a signal to your body to slow down and set the stage to have a baby. A few craniosacral therapists that serve lots of moms include Sally DiCesare, practicing at Vital Mind/Body Therapies in Del Ray (Alexandria), Nishanka Lahr, practicing out of The Teal Center in Ballston (north Arlington), and Connie Hambrock at Hambrock Holistic Healing Center in Herndon

One of the reasons acupuncture works well is because it helps bring our energies into balance and helps us find that calmer space within. Additionally, a skilled acupuncturist knows how to draw chi or energy toward the uterus and reproductive organs. There are many local acpuncturists who work specifically on issues of fertility and women’s hormones, including Stephanie Simmons of Acupuncture in Del Ray, Sarah Schupe of Acupuncture Alexandria, and Allison Kitchen of DC Mind Body, to name a few.

Bodywork can also assist with detoxification. All massage can help move energy and should be followed by drinking lots of purified water, but manual lymphatic drainage massage in particular helps the body release toxins. I’ve recently learned about an herbal massage with poultices that are supposed to help draw out toxins being offered at TRUE Health and Wholeness in Arlington.

Bodywork can also be, well, work: work to help promote healing from surgery, scars and trauma. Not until after my homebirth with my second child did I start to experience discomfort with my c-section scar from four years earlier. One adjustment from Chicago-based chiropractor Jennifer Mercier, in D.C. for a conference, made a huge difference that lasted until I started ovulating two years later. Since then, as I set out to find local support, I’ve gained a much deeper understanding of how surgery disrupts the body’s energy flow and affects the body structurally.

One approach to healing scar tissue is the use of detoxifying herbal packs made by the Premier Research Lab company. This medi-pack mudding protocol is offered by Dr. Kim and Dr. Fuller at their Annandale practice, HealthBuilders. Some physical therapists, including Marisa Alonso of DC’s Body Connect Health and Wellness, perform visceral manipulation to help heal scar tissue. Marisa is also a pelvic floor specialist who will be speaking at the November 21 Arlington/Alexandria chapter meeting of Holistic Moms about how the health of the uterus, bladder, and digestive organs all work together.

Issues in our midsection can affect fertility cycles and overall health; these include shifted organs after a pregnancy, abdominal separation (diastis recti), scar tissue after a c-section or other trauma, or just weak core muscles. Another great resource and midwife favorite for treatment of postpartum issues is the practice of Dr. Luke and Michelle Pietrentone in Ashburn . In Arlington, osteopath Dr. Michael Porvaznik serves many mothers and their children.

Exercise and yoga are certainly also important avenues toward health. For one, sweating and deep breathing help to release toxins. Exercise can help promote a healthy balance of hormones, as long as it doesn’t kick over into creating adrenaline such that the body gets too revved up for too long, thus creating more stress. Yoga can increase mindfulness, which helps the body calm and function in a lower, more sustainable gear.

In addition to the many studios throughout metro DC, there are several local resources that specifically offer family-friendly yoga opportunities, including lil omm in NW DC, Mind the Mat in Del Ray/Alexandria, Local Motion Studio in Old Town Alexandria, and Beloved Yoga in Reston. We’ll be working on a comprehensive list in the near future, so be sure to comment with your favorites.

Dr. Claudia Welch is a practitioner of Chinese Medicine and also of Ayurveda, an ancient healing system originating in India. She lives in Vermont but traveled to Beloved Yoga in January to present a workshop in January based on her book Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life.

For Dr. Welch, stress is really the key to health, and one cannot expect to achieve wellness without addressing stress. Her book includes recommendations for regular routine, diet, herbs, yoga, and breathwork or pranayama, including alternate-nostril breathing, which she recommends be done every morning.

4. Other Approaches to Stress Reduction and Healing

In addition to physical modalities that can bring your body closer to a state of balance, there is much to gain by working with the mind itself.

Donna Jackson Nakazawa’s new book, The Last Best Cure, does a wonderful job of explaining how the brain-body connection works. By sharing her own story healing from debilitating conditions and presenting scientific research like the journalist she is, she makes a very compelling case for considering our childhood traumas and our response to stress as important components of adult illness. Like Welch, she finds great benefits in meditation.

Sometimes it can be a challenge to sit with ourselves if we have what feels like a road block in the way, and in those cases, other interventions might help. For tough emotional issues that have not been resolved through traditional talk therapy or counseling, hypnotherapy is one avenue to explore. Monica Maruseac is founder of NoVA Birth Network and, as a hypnotherapist working at NoVA Hypnosis and Wellness in Vienna, has specific training in using hypnotherapy for fertility-seekers. Lindsey Vick of Sunflowers Healing in Del Ray also works with lots of using hypnotherapy, HypnoBirthing and Reiki.

There are also plenty of other energy work modalities to explore. Meridian tapping techniques can be effective in allowing the negative charge of a trauma or even a relationship squabble to dissipate with targeted tapping on specific acupressure points. These modalities include Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)  and TAT. Jan Steele is a licensed clinical social worker in McLean who teaches these techniques and uses them in her practice.

Other practitioners use tapping techniques to “clear” the body of blockages and imbalances. In her practice in Annandale and Woodbridge, Margie Hasley of Highest Health uses Total Body Modification, a technique that combines muscle-testing and the rubbing of acupressure points to determine what stressors are to reset the body. Sometimes the issues could be related to foods or chemicals, and sometimes a patient is having a blood-sugar related response or a problem with a hormone or neurotransmitter.

Another similar technique is NAET, an allergy elimination technique. Dr. Venus Seleme in Fairfax is an excellent resource on allergies has worked with many families and children using NAET. Another allergy elimination protocol is BioSET, developed by Dr. Ellen Cutler, the author of The Food Allergy Cure. It incorporates the use of enzymes as well as clearings of sensitivities. Some practitioners, like Sharon Fan of the Center for Natural Cures in Bethesda, incorporate BioSET into their healing protocols.

Often times, emotions are tied up in whatever the sensitivity is, and the freeing results from a clearing can be quite a surprise. Molly Himes of A Center for Wellness in Silver Spring uses a technique called NeuroModulation Technique (NMT) that can address emotional and physical issues, even over the phone. Reiki practitioners like Amy Arnold of Vital Self in Arlington can help clear out negative energies as well. It’s amazing what someone else’s intention and openness can do for another person.

It might take a bit of a leap of faith to try an energy healing modality like these, but when the time is right, the opportunity will likely arise. A cleared mind is wonderful for the parent, and it can also do wonders for children, current and future. Not only can an open heart help us be better parents, but experiencing healing modalities can open the door for us to help our children as issues arise for them.

Homeopathy is another energetic approach that helps the body heal itself. While some applications address acute problems, constitutional remedies can sometimes cause dramatic shifts that can lead to a clearing of many symptoms. Andrea Kraft in Fairfax is a classical homeopath, and naturopathic doctor and craniosacral therapist Dr. Marie Rodriguez in DC has worked with families using homeopathy.

5. Hormone Counseling

Finally, the topic you thought we’d probably start with: hormones. Standard blood tests ordered by most doctors are done at one moment in time. Many holistic practitioners who look to labwork prefer to include in their analysis saliva tests that can show what is going on at multiple times during the day (to see how stress hormones peak and fall) and at points throughout the menstrual cycle, to see the relationship between hormones at different times.

Don’t try to self-diagnose and treat yourself with things like DHEA you might find at the health food store. Get tested to know exactly where things stand.

DiagnosTechs is a lab used by many practitioners for adrenal tests and female hormone panels, among other tests. Some of these local practitioners include the following:

Dr. Cindy Durakis, DC, of the Healing Tree in Alexandria has been a chiropractor for over 18 years. Recently she has incorporated nutrition counseling, herbs, and bio-identical hormones into her practice.

Shep Saltzman of Vienna Complementary Medicine is an R.N. who uses muscle-testing, Traditional Chinese Medicine, herbs and more in his practice. He also works out of Vital Mind/Body Therapies in Del Ray by appointment.

Dr. Hai Jin Kim is an M.D. who integrates muscle-testing and a wide variety of supplements into her practice at HealthBuilders in Annandale

The Steinmetz Center for Integrative Medicine group in Alexandria has several practitioners on staff for a holistic approach.

Dr. Tracy Freeman is an MD focusing on children’s and women’s health at the National Integrated Health Associates in Friendship Heights.

Disclaimer: As with all information on this website, the above information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any ailment. Readers should consult their physician for guidance on their health concerns.

September and October events

After the steamy heat of summer in D.C., the cooler days of fall give us a chance to get outside to explore the area’s parks and hiking trails, work in our gardens, and enjoy the fruits of the season. Please leave comments to help us develop our list of farms and orchards that avoid or limit the use of sprays.

Waldorf season card apple harvestThe peak for apples around here, I was told last time I chatted at the farmer’s market with the folks from Toigo Orchards, which uses Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is mid-to-late October, so wait a few weeks and watch the baskets overflow with different flavors. Early September’s heat and dry conditions may have been tougher on home gardens, so take heart if you have yet to get lettuce and other fall crops started that you still have a little time with cooler temps ahead.

In addition to outdoor endeavors (of which plenty can be found on some of the other great DC-area family resources), fall also offers a wealth of activities to support you in your green and healthy family lifestyle. Check out our calendar for locations and times of the events listed below (and plenty more!).

Kick off a green home weekend on Thursday, September 19, by attending the “Green Home, Healthy Home” presentation at the Arlington/Alexandria chapter of Holistic Moms Network.  Then, go talk in person to the folks from Amicus Green Building Center and a whole lot of other amazing vendors at the DC Green Festival September 21 and 22 at the DC Convention Center.

This traveling show brings together hundreds of national and local organizations and businesses that want to help you lower your carbon footprint. Although I admit that the hugeness of the venue can be overwhelming, especially if you or your kids have sensory issues, I still really can’t say enough good things about this event.

Judging by this year’s packed Green Festival schedule, you could spend the whole day listening to speakers and doing yoga and not buy a single thing, or you could spend the whole day shopping at vendor booths and walk away with great deals and new understandings about the power of your purse. Expect to see vendors in the areas of clothing, food, health, home, and much more.


The kids will enjoy crafts and activities in the Green Kids Zone (and yoga on Sunday), but see if you can go once with them (preferably in the morning) and once alone to take full advantage of the offerings.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s certainly normal for it to take a few months (or years!) for everything to sink in and for you to put some of your newfound knowledge to use. I bought my first Kleen Kanteen at the 2006 Green Festival when they were new on the market. It took me forever to wash the thing out and actually use it, but now I can’t imagine being with out my stainless steel!

Next time you are at MOM’s Organic Market and spend $25 or more, stow that receipt someplace special for free admission to the Green Festival, or buy tickets at

Follow up all this inspiration toward green living with the 23rd Annual Metro DC Tour of Solar and Green Homes on October 5 and 6. You can download the guide for free at to learn where the houses are and what green features they have, or buy a copy as a printed booklet at MOM’s Organic Market for $5. There are homes across the region, and you simply visit the ones that interest you on the day(s) they are open.

For literary types, on September 21-22, there is the National Book Festival on the Mall, which this year includes Daniel Pink, whose writing on business and its implications for schooling was discussed in a presentation given by venerated Waldorf education teacher Jack Petrash a few years back.  And from September 22 to 27 runs the Fall for the Book Festival sponsored by George Mason University. Seth Goldman, local entrepreneur and founder of Honest Tea will be reading on Tuesday afternoon.

Moving into the realm of holistic health and wellness, there are a number of items to put on your calendar. The Hay House is bringing its “I Can Do It!” conference back to National Harbor on September 28 and 29. The weekend is packed with motivational speakers, including Caroline Myss, and Kris Carr and plenty of other groovy stuff, like training to become an angel card reader.

The following weekend, the Pathways Magazine Natural Living Expo returns to Fairview Park Marriott this year on Sunday, October 6. You’ll find a large expo hall with vendors of physical, metaphysical, emotional and spiritual healing hue along with fascinating workshops throughout the whole day. Our site will be developing a database of practitioners specifically catering to families, but Pathways is the place to go to find any kind of healer you want. Pick up a copy at MOM’s Organic Market and many other locations.

Preceding the Pathways event and at the same venue is the new Stress-Less Living Expo on Friday night October 4 and Saturday, October 5. Sponsored by Gainesville Holistic Health Center, Tony Robbins Company, Spa Day Empire, Xoçai Healthy Chocolates, the expo will mark the launch of the new Whole-listic Children’s Foundation. The free event includes exhibits, services and workshops.

If you can take a break from the kids, reserve a room at the Marriott Friday, and stay for both events through Sunday, chances are good you may just be walking on air by the time you head home to your family. Your children and partner, if you have one, could also come along with you, especially if they are worn babies, but sometimes older children are better served by staying in a calm environment while their parent gets to cultivate inner peace.

Speaking of which, if mindful parenting is what you’re after, act quickly to grab one of the spots for  Momma Zen and Hand Wash Cold author Karen Maezen Miller’s Movement and Meditation Workshops at lil omm yoga studio on October 19 and 20.

The previous weekend, consider heading up to Mahwah, NJ for the 10th anniversary Holistic Moms Natural Living Conference on October 12. Then again, check first to buy a ticket to ensure that this event – which features both a full-day Saturday conference and expo hall and also a gala evening dinner to honor the likes of Mothering Magazine founder Peggy O’Mara and other natural living pioneers – still has room. A sell-out is likely, for good reason. It’s a great gathering!

The amazing Take Back Your Health conference is taking a break this fall, which means its founder, holistic health coach Robin Shirley, has time to talk to parents in smaller settings. She will present to the Holistic Moms Arlington/Alexandria chapter for a special daytime meeting on October 2 (new visitors welcome, as always!) and will speak at the regular evening meeting of the Holistic Moms Northern Virginia chapter on November 12.

Robin will share insights on how to strengthen your family’s immune systems and also discuss what it looks like to use holistic health practices to manage an autoimmune disorder, drawing on her practice as well as her experience having had rheumatoid arthritis since childhood.

That should be plenty to keep you busy through the end of October, except for perhaps planning a Green Halloween and thinking about what the Switch Witch might leave in place of candy, as explained in this cute children’s book.

If there are additional events we should share, please leave a comment here or on the calendar or drop an email to dchealthygreenfamilies (at) gmail (dot) com.


Thank you for finding DC Healthy Green Families. I hope we can help you find your way on your holistic parenting journey.

This project has been swirling in my head for six years. I have dreamed of a place that combines all the wisdom being shared on email lists, in moms meetings, and on the playground.

When people new to the DC area or new to parenting or new to holistic living ask me for advice, I have wanted somewhere to point them.

This is that place.

It may take a while to build, and it may look several shades of not-so-pretty along the way, just like anything else. But above all, I look forward to building it with you.

May health and wellness be yours, and mine.