In the world today, the more knowledge that we have, the more we can participate in our own well being. We must stay informed regarding the choices we make about all aspects of our health – be it prevention or how we are being treated. By Douglas V. Mayeda, MD, FACEP
Those of us who live in this valley are very passionate about health. We have an incredible energy and spirit in this community, a “can-do” attitude about all that we do – whether it is work or play. Perhaps it’s the gift of nature and its beauty that surrounds us. It’s as though by just being in these truly breathtaking surroundings, we are energized and are able to reflect on life and this beauty on a daily basis.
We are fortunate to have a medical community that caters to and understands that passion. And our doctors understand that most of us are unafraid to be our own advocates when it comes to our health. Yet, it’s important to “hear” the recommendations of our physicians.
This spirit and energy about our health is a reflection of the human spirit giving those who experience it a willingness to strive far beyond the ordinary. An example of this spirit is Lance Armstrong who, although hit with recent controversy, did “strive beyond the ordinary,” when it came to his cancer diagnosis.
In 1996, at age 25, Armstrong was diagnosed with Stage III testicular cancer. There was significant metastasis to the lungs, brain and abdomen. Following an orchiectomy (the removal of a testicle) Armstrong was treated with medications that would not cause any damage to his lungs – so as not to interfere with his cycling. He also had surgery to remove two brain metastases. No radiation was given so that his balance and coordination were not compromised.
By 1998, Armstrong was competing again and in 1999, won the Tour de France, which some consider to be the most grueling athletic event in the world. He went on to win this event a record seven consecutive times between 1999 and 2005.
Armstrong’s passion and will not to give up, as well as his establishing The Lance Armstrong Foundation, provide a story of hope and survival for all cancer victims. Over the years his foundation has become one of the top ten groups funding cancer research in the U.S., so far raising more than $325 million..
As it happens, Armstrong chose traditional medicine. Fortunately, he conducted research and, from the beginning, was able to be treated by traditional physicians who were experts in their field. That’s not to say that he did not supplement his treatment with alternative remedies. Steve Jobs, too, was his own advocate. However, Jobs, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Apple, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2003, at first chose alternative rather than conventional medical intervention, which included a vegan diet, acupuncture, herbal remedies, bowel cleansing, juice fast and even a psychic.
Unfortunately, the overall prognosis for pancreatic cancer is very poor. We often do not have choice about how we should approach a medical situation. One’s perspective changes when we are either looking up from the stretcher – or, as a healthcare provider, gazing down at a patient. And, although alternative approaches in specific medical situations and diseases do complement traditional medicine in some cases, the holistic pathways that many seek when diagnosed with cancer are yet unproven.
Jobs passed away on October 5, 2011, having left the world an immeasurably better place with countless innovations and by improving all of our lives.
According to the writings of Charles Spurgeon, a 19th century British preacher, when we are healthy it is easy for us all to build our self-esteem. Without troubles and tribulations it is easy for us to be at peace.
“In our experiences of weakness, we realize that the peace we experience standing up on the balconies looking down on the streets is much different than being on the pathway than the helplessness occurs when we are experiencing pain and illness,” wrote Spurgeon. He calls this the concept of “chipped, but not broken,” and suggested that we not focus on the extraneous things in life, but to strive to see the big picture.
As the late author Stephen Covey wrote in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, “Do not spend your whole life climbing the ladder of success and then find out that it has been leaning up against the wrong building.”
Everyone is competing everyday – whether at work or with only ourselves. And winning these ‘competitions’ only can be accomplished if you are strong and physically fit. But, it’s important to nourish your mind and spirit, as well, with tai chi or meditation so you can “be quiet.” It is no different than eating the proper nutritional diet on a regular basis.
Stay active. Push yourself to overachieve – in every way. Only then can you experience a full life.
We physicians empower you to take responsibility for all that you may do to help you participate in your medical care.
The SOWING SEEDS program Spearheaded by Kelly Liken, Top Chef contestant and local restaurateur, and the Vail Valley Foundation, Sowing Seeds launched at Brush Creek Elementary School in Eagle, CO in March 2010 with the mission of developing, implementing and maintaining beautiful, resource-rich school greenhouses and gardens in collaboration with the public school community, volunteers and parents.
Led by Sandy Story, Sowing Seeds provides students and their families with a meaningful and hands-on approach to learn about healthy eating and cooking, paving the way for the entire community to create better eating habits and make healthier choices. The program accomplishes this by implementing and maintaining school gardens in collaboration with a specially aligned school science curriculum.
Since the program’s inception in 2010, Sowing Seeds has expanded to Edwards Elementary and Eagle Valley Elementary Schools. In addition to providing the integrated science curriculum at both schools, outdoor garden beds were built by the local community at Edwards Elementary as a complement to the academic component.
Sowing Seeds improves student’s knowledge of life science and healthy eating through learning the origin of food in outdoor gardens and specially designed science curriculum. The maintenance of outdoor gardens, which involves young and old alike, creates opportunities for students to develop positive new role models and mentors.
Science scores have shown that Sowing Seeds increases student’s knowledge of healthy eating habits and improves test scores in science classes. Without Sowing Seeds, many students in the Vail Valley would never have the opportunity to learn about the origin of food or how to properly prepare it.
In addition to the in-school programming, Sowing Seeds also offers several camps throughout the summer, incorporating life science with fun and games.
To learn more about the Sowing Seeds program, please contact Lauren DesCombes at email@example.com.
A healthy relationship between parents and children will forge a bond that revolves around trust, respect and reliability and will lead to successful interactions. When we have a positive relationship with our children, we can influence them to make good decisions rather than control their actions.
This is something that becomes increasingly more important as they get older because if children don’t feel they are understood by their parents, they might seek this from a sometimes negative peer group.
In addition, children simply behave better when they have good feelings toward their parents. How do parents accomplish this often challenging task?
1. Connection before correction. Try to play at least 10 minutes per day with each child. Play should follow the child’s lead, allow the child to choose the play activity and the pace of play. Be mindful of how much time spent with your electronics. Often, when we are with our children, we check our email or text a friend which takes the focus off the child and may make them feel less important.
Schedule weekly time to do things together and create rituals that children can look forward to. According to Jane Nelsen of Positive Discipline, “extensive research shows that we cannot influence children in a positive way until we create a connection with them.”
2. Offer empathy. When your child comes home and talks about how a friend was mean, actively listen. Express that you understand how hard things are for them. Don’t try to fix things for your child by rushing to provide solutions.
Females often complain that the men in their lives want to solve their problems instead of simply hearing them. Children want the same thing. Allow them to cry and avoid trying to move them through their sadness so they can be happy.
If a parent offers solutions when children come to them, it can cause the child to feel like their ideas may not matter and that they don’t have the ability to find their own way. This can prevent them from returning to their parent in the future with tough feelings.
3. Pay attention to your long-term goal. If building a relationship with your child is a priority, ask yourself, “Will this help or harm my relationship with my child?” This can be challenging and take self-control, but will help prevent you from saying things you regret.
For instance, calling your child “lazy” when his room is a mess can cause him to use this against himself later. Instead, speak specifically about behaviors and tell your child to put away his blocks where they belong. Parents have good intentions with what they say to their children but sometimes don’t think through their statements.
Thomas Gordon, who wrote Parent Effectiveness Training, developed the 12 communication roadblocks, which often begin as helping responses, but end up doing the opposite. Some examples are name-calling, directing, advising, giving solutions, judging and reassuring. Read Parent Effectiveness Training: The Proven Program for Raising Responsible Children for the complete list and more helpful information.
4. Use affirmative statements. Not only does telling children specifically about their positive behaviors make them more likely to repeat these actions, it builds their self-esteem.
Give Descriptive Praise for behaviors such as persistence, kindness and patience, etc. Say things like, “I noticed how you shared with your brother” and “I see how much time you spent on your painting.” Praise children to other people so they can hear it. Most importantly, tell them you love them often and be affectionate.
Relationships need consistent nurturing like beautiful flower gardens need to be continually tended. It is never too early or too late to create a great relationship with your child. It just takes attention and commitment.
For more information on ways to improve relationships with your children, parent coaching, workshops and classes, contact Julia at firstname.lastname@example.org. Like Elevated Parenting at www.facebook.com/ElevatedParenting.
Local Vail and Eagle Valley libraries are cozy dens to escape to, with story times for babies through preschoolers, arts and crafts as well as free WiFi, ebooks and New York Times’ Best Sellers, libraries are a prefect place to send grandpa and grandchild—so you can get the fresh powder. Perfect indoor activities for when it’s blustery, your kids are cranky and need something to do.
The Town of Vail Public Library was recently renovated, making the children’s room spacious and airy. Cricket Pylman, the children’s librarian, provides an action-packed storytime with singing, dancing and crafting. Every other Monday get comfy in the community room with your kids and a movie.
Check in throughout the season for special events such as gift-making day in November, annual fireside holiday party in December and in January, school-age event celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Baby Story time, (0 to 18 months), Tuesdays at 10 a.m.
Toddler Story time, (2 to 3 years of age), Wednesdays at 10 a.m.
Preschool Story time, (4 to 5 years of age), Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 11 a.m.
If you think your tot needs exercise and educating—Vail’s got the answer with Story Time Skate. The story time is free, skating is $10 and includes the lesson and skate rental.
In Eagle, the kids can hit the ice and bring the books to life with WECMRD’s Skate and Story Time
The Eagle Valley Library District offers baby, toddler and preschool story times from Avon to Gypsum. Cozy children’s rooms, sweet librarians and fun crafts will keep your kids entertained. It’s fun to try all the libraries—each has a unique aspect and keeps the kids entertained.
Avon Public Library (949-6797)
Babies (0 to 24 months.): Wednesdays at 11 a.m. and Thursdays at 10 a.m.
Toddlers (2-3 years.): Wednesdays at 10 a.m. and Thursdays at 11 a.m.
Preschoolers (3-5 yrs.): Tues., 11 am
Bilingual (0-24 mos.): Fri., 10 am
Bilingual (2-5 yrs.): Fri., 11 am
Eagle Public Library (328-8800)
Babies (0-18 mos.) Mon., 10 am & 11 a
Toddlers (18 mos.-3 yrs.) Thurs. & Fri., 10 am
Preschoolers (3-5 yrs.) Thurs. & Fri., 11 am
Spanish (18 mos.-5 yrs.) Tues. 10 am
Gypsum Public Library (524-5080)
Babies (0-18 mos.) Tues., 11 am
Toddlers (18 mos.-3 yrs.) Wed. & Thurs., 10 am
Preschoolers (3-5 yrs.) Wed. & Thurs., 11 am
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Vail and Beaver Creek have plenty of indoor facilities and contained within the walls are a variety of activities from skating, gymnastics and swimming that interests the whole family, especially when the weather is chilly outside. Several facilities have exactly those activities your family needs. WECMRD, Vail Rec Gymnastics center, Gypsum Rec Center and Avon Rec Center.
If sitting quietly is not your child’s forte, fear not. There are days’ worth of indoor, high-energy, lots of movement activities for tots to teens all day long. The Edwards Field House, part of the Western Eagle County Metro Recreational District (WECMRD), has tumble tots, Kids Night Out, rock climbing, basketball and the Anti-Gravity Center.
OK, that’s a lot to take in, but here’s a quick summary. Turbo Tots lets the littlest ones in your family try out the gymnastics facility. With a name like Anti-Gravity Center, you know it’s going to be cool. The field house boasts trampolines, a foam pit and a skateboard halfpipe. Kids Night Out is cleverly disguised as fun for the kids while you get a few hours to yourself—every Friday night from 5:30 to 8:30. Give the field house a call to get a complete rundown of the offerings:
Vail Recreation District has a state-of-the-art gymnastics facility adjacent to Red Sandstone School. From competitive gymnastics programs to drop in classes for all ages (that includes you, Dad), the tumbler in the family has options. Younger kids, with parent in tow, can drop in for the toddler and preschool programs.
Further west, the Gypsum Recreation Center gives kids ages walking to 5 years old a chance to tumble, jump, leap, run and cartwheel throughout the week.
Just Add Water
There’s something about a blustery cold day that sends kids scrambling for the nearest watering hole—no, not that kind! Plenty of hotels have heated pools, but for a waterworld feel, check out the Avon Rec Center’s aquatics area with a lazy river, lap pool, huge slide, smaller slides and a graduated entry pool. It’s sort of the place to be mid-morning in February. Keep in mind, there’s also a daycare room in case you want to take in one of the rec center’s many classes before swimming.
The Gypsum Rec Center provides hours of swimming fun, as well, with its kids’ area, adult lap swim, slides, sprayers and lazy river.
You can skate the same ice as the Detroit Red Wings at Dobson Ice Arena, across from the Town of Vail Library. Granted, it won’t be at the same time, but still, that’s pretty cool. There’s open skate, hockey sessions and lessons year round. (vailrec.com; 970.479.2271) Eagle Pool and Ice Rink in Eagle opens the rink to public skating all winter long—the time flies as you and the kids glide along. WECMRD also has hockey clinics, learn-to-skate classes, men’s and women’s leagues in addition to Skate and Story Time in conjunction with Eagle County Library District.
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Vail and Beaver creek have indoor activities for families on cold weather days in the Rocky Mountains. Here are three ideas that shouldn’t be missed when visiting the Vail Valley or a local family who needs a fresh idea. The Bookworm, Alpine Arts Center and Imagination Station By Heather Hower
If you’re a coffee aficionado, put The Bookworm on your radar. Every Monday morning they offer a story time for toddlers. You can sip your latte, and ease your way into the day while your little one is introduced to new authors and fun crafts.
You and the kids get to paint but don’t have to worry about making a mess at the Alpine Arts Center in Edwards. Owner Lauren Merrell combined her art degree with her teaching experience to create a community art space for kids and adults. Classes range from Art Story Time where art projects are based on a story, Mommy and Me Get Messy, Sculpture, Mixed Media, Paint Your Own Pottery.
Don’t think it’s only for kids, though. Cocktails and Canvases is tremendously popular, as is the Family Painting Day. “It’s fun to see how they all come out differently even though they are based on the same image,” says Lauren. Who knows, maybe you have another Grandma Moses in the family! It’s best to call ahead to make sure there is room in the classes.
The Vail Recreation District gives blooming artists another art option in its community room located in the Lionshead Parking Structure. “On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays we have paint your own pottery—it’s a fun thing for grandparents and grandchildren to do together,” says Chad Young, Director of XXX. Additionally, when there’s enough staff and kids who want to explore more mess, the VRD staff pulls out art supplies for painting, crafting and making slime.
Don’t forget to check out the Imagination Station while you’re there—it encourages creative thinking and interactive play. Follow the sounds of laughter.
We feel we would be remiss if we didn’t include the usual suspects: movies (Solaris, Capitol Theater in Eagle and Riverwalk in Edwards); bowling (Bol in Vail and BackBowl in Eagle)… a day spent inside is not a wasted day in Eagle County. Options abound. Take your pick and start making memories.
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Vail and Beaver creek have a ton of activities for families when the weather s too cold to go outside. Here are two of the activities that you shouldn’t miss when visiting or a family who needs a fresh idea. Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum and Hall of Fame and Walking Mountains Science Center. By Heather Hower
Did you know Vail is home to the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum and Hall of Fame? Tucked away inside the Vail parking structure, it’s a stroll through skiing and snowboarding history. The recently expanded and renovated space is chock full of memorabilia from ski outfits from the 1940s to vintage skinny skis and even a 7th grade woodshop project from the venerable snowboard manufacturer Tom Sims.
“One thing a little bit older kids would enjoy with grandparents is looking at the snowboard exhibit,” suggests Bessie Strickland, Operations Manager. “You can see (Tome Sims) was an inventor and innovator in the sport.”
Bring history to life with Sandy Treat’s Fireside Chats. “It’s one of the last chances for kids to really speak with a World War II veteran,” Bessie adds. These Tenth Mountain Division veterans revolutionized skiing and started skiing down the path it is today.
Alums include Senator Bob Dole, Vail founder Pete Seibert and Nike cofounder, Bill Bowerman—to name a few. Just do it—visit the museum. Exhibits include Colorado’s Ski Timeline, 10th Mountain Division, the Snowboard Archive and National Ski Patrol plus others. Skimuseum.net; 970.476.1876
Bringing Nature Inside
Walking Mountains Science Center brings the wonder of nature into a spacious hands-on exploratory center. The campus has hiking trails intertwined through its outbuildings and a creek that runs through it all.
On cold days, make an afternoon of exploring the Mountain Discovery Center. You can hang out in the beaver lodge and learn facts about mountain ecology.
Warning: your kids will test you later, so you better pay attention! Walking Mountains hosts a variety of family friendly programming, from preschool programs to astronomy to nature walks. walkingmountains.org; 970.827.9725)
Sometimes you have to get outside to get inside…. if you find yourself atop Vail Mountain and Mother Nature is not cooperation, check out Walking Mountains’ Nature Discovery Center, a cozy yurt steps from the Eagle Bahn Gondola. Puzzles, pelts and knowledgeable naturalists will keep everyone entertained.
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An Evening at the Theater… That the Kids Will Love Too By Shauna Farnell
It’s a rare thing for a community as small as Eagle County to be equipped with a state-of-the-art entertainment venue that books the same caliber of theater, live music, dance and stand-up comedy that you’d find in a booming metropolis. Rarer still is that said venue – Beaver Creek’s Vilar Performing Arts Center – makes a point to target young audiences within its A-list lineup of cultural offerings.
“Obviously kids are a big priority at Beaver Creek overall, so we want to make sure family shows are a priority at the Vilar and that they’re sprinkled throughout the winter season,” says Vilar Performing Arts Center Marketing Manager Kate Peters. “Just because it’s family programming doesn’t mean it has to be cheesy or hokey. We get nationally renowned performers who have continuously been praised in The New York Times. People – especially those who have never been to Beaver Creek or the Vilar –have been really impressed by the level of talent.”
The Vilar’s family performances have a tendency to keep kids on the edge of their seats as well as also enchant parents into a state of rapt wonder.
Here’s what the Vilar has on tap for families for the rest of the winter
TAO: Phoenix Rising 7:30 p.m., Feb. 25: A part of Vilar’s Broadway series, the bright costumes and sheer energy of this performance is guaranteed to hypnotize audiences of all ages. Taiko drumming is an ancient Japanese art form but the TAO performers – trained over many years in the mountains of Japan – take it to a modern level with athletic dancing, powerful beating of drums and general showmanship.
Mike Super Magic & Illusion 4:30 and 7:30 p.m., March 27: The now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t appeal of Mike’s show goes far deeper than what will confuse and impress a 4-year-old. He didn’t win NBC’s “Phenomenon” for nothing. The show tries 10 contestants of master illusionists and viewers select the Number-1 mystifier. Mike Super was the man. Whether somehow predicting exactly what audience members will say next, prodding volunteers to jolt through the magic of a voodoo doll or making objects and images mysteriously appear and disappear, Super claims to have been fascinated with the art of illusion since he was a small child and has since become one of America’s most entertaining spellbinders.
Andy Gross’ Mind Boggling Variety Show, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m., April 2. If you’re kicking yourself for missing the Mike Super show, or caught it and now have an insatiable appetite for magic, here’s another opportunity to be dazzled. Gross’ special powers involve making the top half of his body appear to separate from the bottom half, turning flame into roses and using masks and props for masterful ventriloquism. He can make paper flowers float in thin air, make items move within a crayon drawing with a wave of his hand, cause a woman to disappear in a steel box and ultimately, generate a whole lot of incredulous faces, laughs and squeals along the way.
The Vilar’s array of public performances comes to a close at the beginning of April, but the facility’s STARS (Support The Arts Reaching Students) series kicks up for local schoolchildren and there are a few tickets available for families interested in attending.
“STARS is a fantastic program for the community, introducing children to live performing arts,” says the Vilar Center’s Kim Hannold.
The series delivers a variety of hour-long entertaining and educational day-time performances by Colorado-based ensembles to children enrolled in the Eagle County School District. At 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on April 7, STARS hosts Boulder-based company Imagination Makers Theater, who perform Fables Old and New. Primarily geared toward kindergarten through 3rd graders, the colorful dramatization of Aesop classics such as The Boy Who Cried Wolf and The Lion and the Mouse enchant young audiences while teaching them moral lessons and introducing them to themes of recycling and taking care of the environment. A study guide is available at the Vilar box office before the show.
The Barber of Seville 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., May 13: The STARS series welcomes The Opera of Colorado to perform a comical rendition of Gioachino Rossini’s famous opera, sung in English. This silly story of a barber’s matchmaking schemes brings familiar tunes (“Figaro!”) and introduces older children – recommended for 4th through 8th graders – to the highly unique vocal precision and entertainment value of the opera. The performance is followed by a question and answer session between performers and children in the audience. A study guide is available at the Vilar box office before the show.
“It’s hard these days to capture a kid’s attention – you have iPads and iPods that give them everything they want. It’s a challenge for adults to tear them away sometimes,” Peters points out. “To see a kid behave, watch a show, not want to get up and be captivated by the entire performance, the parents are not only grateful but are also captured in the moment. We really believe in the strength of our Family series.”
To purchase tickets to Vilar performances, call 888.920.2787 or visit vilarpac.org. For more information on the STARS program and performances, call 970.748.6652.
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Vail and Beaver Creek Ski School Info
Mittens: obviously kids need them. But if they are too big little air pockets form at the top and kiddo’s fingers are cold. They are too little—the kids won’t wear them. Go for the Goldilocks effect here and make sure they are just right and are waterproof.
Helmets: required. Again, make sure it fits snugly. Protect those developing noggins.
Make the morning hasslefree. We lay out all the layers the night before, from base layer to neck gaiter so we leave nothing behind. There’s been more than one day we’ve had to visit the ticket office to get a replacement pass. Now, we just leave it in the ski jacket’s pocket.
My daughter is an observer, a watcher, a thinker. She has never been one to jump right in to anything without full analyzation. Knowing this, I told her what the day would hold, what time we would get there, who she would be with and overall what she would need to know. It seemed a little bit like overkill, but it calmed her nerves. After her first day, I asked if she liked it. She said, “I didn’t like it.” My heart fell a little, until she continued, “I loved it!”
Eat a hearty breakfast. It’s can be a challenge to get up and eat, so we make egg burritos the night before and eat them on the drive to Vail. Other easy take-along snacks we always have with us are healthy bars, fruit leathers, applesauce pouches, cheese sticks. I love this recipe for healthy, inexpensive energy balls that we all devour. You can add or subtract for your preference: try cocoa powder, almond butter, different nuts.
1 cup (dry) oatmeal
2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 Tbsp. chia seeds (optional)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Stir all ingredients together until thoroughly mixed. Cover and chill for half an hour. Once chilled, roll into balls. Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to one week.
Most importantly, remember it’s supposed to be fun. Read about Vail and Beaver Creek Ski School
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