June Health news

Let’s talk about the Wellness Adventure Challenge, happy feet, healthy grilling and aging wisely.

THE WELLNESS ADVENTURE CHALLENGE with Vanessa Marsden, R.N. and special guest Dr. Ben Griffes:

Why is it so hard to be happy?  Do you suffer from depression and/or anxiety or know someone who does? I have created a 5-day event, Learn New Strategies to Deal with Depression & Anxiety,

that will run from June 5-9, and it’s completely free.

I am a registered nurse and certified health coach. I have also experienced firsthand the challenges of living a calm, joyful, and productive life in spite of several autoimmune issues.  Chronic illnesses can be extremely taxing due to the discomfort, deprivations, and limitations that may result. I am also a wife, mother, and (young!) grandmother who loves to read, hike, play guitar, spend time with my family, and am passionate about all things healthy, especially in natural/alternative ways.

I invite you to join me and special guest, Dr. Ben Griffes, on this free 5-day wellness adventure as we explore multiple ways to support your mental health.



“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” so says Confucius, but what if your feet hurt, what do you do then? (Take the bus?) Most people I know basically ignore their feet until one or both of them start to hurt, or you end up spraining your ankle, which I am including in this discussion.  It is important for you to know that the two bones of your lower leg, the tibia and fibula, make up what we call our “ankle”, and then there are 26 bones in each of your feet.  When you consider that you have 206 bones in your whole body, the 52 bones in your feet make up a quarter of all your bones, you’d better take good care them.

Because most of your walking is on flat, hard surfaces these days, many of you have created pronated or flat feet, and this has led to pain in the bottom of the foot- plantar fasciitis, neuromas, heel spurs and easily sprained ankles.  All this because you now have little to no arch to which you can respond to your weight-bearing, and this also can cause one or both of your hips to rotate unevenly, leading to low back pain.

What to do?  Get your feet and posture checked.  Lately I have been seeing more pronated feet and I recommend two things: begin arch and ankle exercises and get a pair of orthotics (arch supports).  I use a specific brand that seems to work about 95% of the time; inexpensive and quite comfortable.  Employing these two strategies helps alleviate or prevent injuries and improve your balance.  If your low back is aching or your feet are complaining, it’s time to come for a checkup.  With summer coming and the world getting back to normal, you’ll want to get out and play.  Happy feet are at the foundation for good health and balanced movement.

Breaking news! I have found a very comfortable pair of sandals/flip flops unlike any other kind out there.  Check out Archies footwear via this link.  I’m wearing a pair right now.  Dr. Ben


Foot and ankle stretches



Summer is nearly here and it’s time to start grilling.  If you follow a few simple rules, you can have tasty and healthy meals without fear of gaining weight (unless you insist on eating too much). The benefits of grilling are 1) you actually eat less fat, 2) you retain more nutrients, and 3) you’re outdoors and tend to be more active.

When you are grilling meats, the general rule is to not cook on high heat, as this runs the risk of charring/burning the outside and leaving the inside raw or rare.  Eating excessive amounts of charred food can increase your risk of certain types of cancer.  The exception is if you are at the grill the whole time and are flipping your steaks every other minute, preventing any charring.  Also, ketchup and barbeque sauces usually have sugar and tomato sauce as ingredients, which burn very easily.  Instead, either wait until the very end to add red sauce or use a clear sauce to add flavor.  With poultry, the rule is the same; slow, steady heat to fully cook inside and out.  With seafood, the cooking time is usually much shorter and slightly higher heat is usually beneficial.

With vegetables, you have lots of options; either grilling them plain or adding some spices with a little olive oil.  Zucchini, summer squash, red peppers, onions, eggplant, broccoli, cauliflower and mushrooms are all great to grill.  We use a rack which we place over the grill to hold all the vegetables.  We toss the cut up veggies in a little olive or canola oil and add at least some salt and pepper before putting on the grill.

Just a word about food combining; eat fruit separately, either 15 minutes before the main course or as snacks.  This is because fruit digests much faster than protein and carbohydrates, and you don’t want to have your fruit juices fermenting in you digestive system for a few hours, waiting for the proteins to digest.

If you want my “clear sauce” recipe, email me and I’ll give it to you.  Dr. Ben

“There’s good reason to make your peace with growing old and to actively embrace it. Because let’s face it: Aging isn’t optional — but the attitude we bring to it is.”  Mo Perry                     How to age wisely

How to Age Wisely



“Don’t judge your day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.”  Robert Louis Stevenson


HUMOR (I dare you not to laugh)

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