Healthy Concepts

The deep and bright colors of fruits and vegetables mean they are high in the nutrients that we all need. Beets are bright red and besides having any other nutrients, they lower blood pressure. Kale and broccoli are dark green and they have more nutrients than a head of lettuce, which is pale in color.

Perhaps you are not as interested in nutrition as I am. You can be well-nourished without all the studying I do. Just eat some brightly colored fruits and vegetables each day. I buy big bags of blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and bright red cherries at the store. I mix some of each in a big bowl with a lid and keep it in the refrigerator. They will last a week and they are always thawed and ready to be added to yogurt or a smoothie or just eaten in a bowl with some whipped cream.

Butternut squash, pumpkin and carrots are all orange and high in vitamin A, along with many other nutrients. Other fruit and vegetables are not so brightly colored and they have important nutrients too. An example is cabbage. Pears and apples are not so deeply colored on the inside, but they have important nutrients too. Bananas are bright yellow on the outside but white on the inside and are high in potassium.

It is important to your overall health to be well-nourished. Pay attention to eating a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables each day. The key words are bright and variety. It is smart to eat what is in season. Now is the time for melons and bing cherries. In season fruits and vegetables cost less and taste best!


When you think of a swimming pool, you probably think of good times spent splashing around and having fun. And while you may not be quite ready to cannon ball your way back into the water, aquatic exercise can be one of the best ways to get your body moving. It’s safe, effective, enjoyable — and a lot of hard work. For good reason. Performing exercises in water, especially the deep end, is a great way to get your heart rate up. The water also provides just the right amount of resistance, keeping your body challenged. All qualities we look for in a good workout, right?

But if you still think diving into an aquatic exercise or therapy program is going to be easy, consider the following:

Low impact doesn’t mean no impact

Aquatic exercise may be easier on joints, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be working hard. Not only does aquatic exercise offer resistance, but it will challenge your balance, aiding in developing a stronger core, increase blood circulation and can help improve flexibility and range of motion. Adding on aquatic equipment like webbed gloves, water belts and weights will also up your impact game.

Your strength may not be what it used to be

With aquatic exercise, the natural impulse is to get in the water and start working at a high intensity. But if you need to rebuild strength, going too hard can lead to doing exercises incorrectly or doing damage. This is why being aware of your general health status and speaking with your doctor before starting an aquatic exercise program is so important.

You may also discover that the help of a specialized class that targets a certain area of the body or working with an aquatic physical therapist can take your health farther. This type of training can not only ensure you are doing exercises correctly, but keep you challenged as well. In fact, aquatic exercise may also help with activities you complete on land.

Dive in and you’ll likely regret it

Yes, aquatic exercise can be fun, but in order to make sure it is also effective, be sure to do your research and find a facility that offers the program or type of exercise you need. If you have any problems with walking or balance, visit the facility before your first class to be sure the lockers and pools are accessible for you. Also, find out if there is space for fitness walking and/or partial weight-bearing exercise. Knowing the layout will help you determine the type of exercises you can do.

Another important thing to check on is their staff. Be sure they have certified trainers and specialists on staff that know what they are doing, can provide proper instruction on exercise technique and will keep you challenged.

I get it, it’s hard to jump into a pool and not smile like you are a kid again, and aquatic exercise can be a lot of fun. But don’t discount the many benefits you gain from exercising in the water just because you’re in a pool. Give it a try and I think you’ll soon learn that aquatic exercise has many advantages ­— all of which help you stay strong, healthy and young at heart. 


In 2014 about 1 in 6 American children and adolescents ages 2 to 19 were considered to have obesity. What exactly is obesity? Obesity is when our body mass index or BMI is at 30 or higher. BMI is defined as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared. For most people, BMI is related to the amount of fat in their bodies, which can raise the risk of many health problems.

What I have found in my years of research and education as well as my own personal struggles with body weight (yes, that is me in the accompanying picture) is that many times we may think we are eating healthy when in reality we are not. Sure there are many quick fixes or miracle pills advertised to help us lose weight because most people want a quick fix to their health issues that are a direct link to their obesity.

The truth is, there is no quick fix. No one became 80 pounds overweight overnight or even in a month’s time, yet they get discouraged if the weight doesn’t vanish in that short amount of time. Weight loss takes time. There’s no magic pill that makes it fall off and if you are dropping more than 2 pounds a week chances are the weight will return easily. The reason it does is that we rely on an unrealistic food plan or pills that increase our heart rate and we never really learn how to eat sensibly.

For instance, how many of us have heard that carbohydrates are bad for us and we should have a diet that is low in carbs or a diet that avoids carbs? I have news for you, not all carbohydrates are bad for us. Basically carbohydrates consist of starches and sugars and they provide energy to the body. Simple carbs can be absorbed quickly into the blood stream while complex carbohydrates, because they contain fiber, will absorb slower. Sugars can be naturally occurring in our foods like grapes or milk or they can be added to a product like pancake syrup or soft drinks. The soft drink has no fiber to slow down the absorption so blood sugar can spike quickly. If you are not using that sugar energy right away your body will store it as fat to maybe be used later. The problem the typical American nutritional label has is that it doesn’t distinguish between naturally occurring and added sugars.

Starch can contain fiber too, like corn that can help to slow down digestion, but most of the starch we eat has been pulverized and overprocessed. Wheat flour is a good example. Unless the label says 100 percent whole wheat it has no fiber in it to slow digestion. Your body sees flour no differently than it does table sugar. It is absorbed quickly into the blood stream. Some of it absorbs as soon as it hits your mouth. This not only spikes blood sugar levels but these types of foods contain little or no fiber and that is what helps your digestive tract to remain running smoothly. Avoiding breads that are not 100 percent whole grain, pastas, white rice, white potatoes and although sweet potatoes (not yams) contain more fiber they should be eaten in moderation. Read labels on gravy mixes or other “instant” types of foods where you just add water to make it. Many of these are loaded with flour, corn starch and sugar that absorb quickly and raise blood sugar. Many of these items also contain large amounts of sodium or MSG.

Carbohydrates help to regulate protein metabolism and are needed by the body. Keep in mind diets low in carbohydrates are unlikely to contain the minimum servings of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, which are all beneficial to digestion and needed vitamins and minerals. These diets can also increase the burden on the kidneys with high levels of protein.

Choose carbohydrates that contain fiber and vital nutrients, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, non-sweetened whole grains.

Avoid carbohydrates that have no or low essential nutrients like pastries, pasta, non-whole grain breads or buns, fruit juices, soft drinks, candy, cookies, syrups or that contain ingredients like corn syrup, sugar, and honey. Honey contains no more vitamins than table sugar. Diets high in simple carbohydrates like this have been linked to high cholesterol and elevations in blood glucose levels.

Education is key. Learn how your body makes fat and how to read labels to avoid the ingredients that cause disease. Don’t fall prey to fad diets and weight loss gimmicks. 


Fall is a time of letting go of what no longer serves our highest good. However, the idea of letting go of something often is accompanied with thoughts of resistance and discomfort. Thankfully, each of us is equipped with a built-in structure of energetic focal points that exist to assist us in not only managing life and personal growth, but also as a guidance system leading us to deep connection with self and all beings.

Connection can come in many shapes, sizes and forms; it may be found in external things such as a favorite pet, a heart-to-heart talk with a friend, a desired job offer, or a relaxing vacation. Perhaps more powerful than any of these is our own internal network of energy centers that, when activated, opens us to one of the deepest sources of connection.

This system is known as the chakras. Most of us know about the various layers of our human being: the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. The chakra system is connected to, affected by, and affects all layers of our being. Therefore, when the chakras are activated, balanced and aligned, our organs, vascular and nervous systems flow and function more optimally, as do our emotions, thoughts, and connection to a higher power. Each chakra is also connected with specific earth elements, gemstones and animals. Notably, each chakra also assists us with specific things, such as inspiration. Connection then permeates and is felt more strongly when the chakra system has regular “tuneups.”

Chakra, in Sanskrit, means “wheel of light.” The chakra system has seven main locations. Rosalyn Bruyere, in Wheels of Light, explains that the seven chakras are aligned along the spinal cord from the tail bone area up to the crown of the head. These main chakras each have the following aspects: physical, emotional, artistic and divine. The source of the energy that enters the body through the chakras is the earth’s magnetic field, or perhaps the universe itself, that meets and intertwines with the electrical field of our body.

Christopher Penczak offers the following primary information about the seven chakras: the first chakra, located at the base of the spine, is red and is associated with survival. The second chakra, located around the belly button area, is seen as orange and is about relationships. The third chakra, found at the solar plexus, is yellow and associated with our power. The fourth chakra, the heart chakra, is green and pink, and is not only a bridge between the lower and higher chakras but is also all about love — romantic, self-love, divine love. The fifth chakra, the indigo throat chakra is where our expression is centered. The sixth chakra, known as the third eye, is found between the eyebrows and is where intuition comes from. The seventh chakra is found at the top of the head and is a white color. The crown chakra connects us to higher realms. This energy system is multi-layered and complex. It is affected by daily events as well as major crises or traumas.

So what’s the significance in all of this?

The chakras are activated through an ancient, globally recognized technique called Reiki. Reiki stands for “universal life force.” When Reiki is applied to the chakra system, all layers of our being have access to healing. Anodea Judith, who has worked with the chakra system for over 40 years, writes that the chakra system is “a center of organization for the reception, assimilation and expression of life-force energy… and gives us a map to heal not only ourselves, but the world we share.” This can be a powerful path to many levels of awareness. She goes on to explain that this network does not have physical form but is experienced in the body. There is a wide variety of things that can be done to bring us into connection with our divine nature: yoga, Reiki, noticing our body sensations, watching nature that is active all around us such as clouds, fire, water, and walking in nature.

As Norm Shealy, M.D. and Caroline Myss teach, there is a link between emotions, physical sensations and our energetic being. We have within us the ability and tools to let go of what we no longer need and to expand into a deeper connection with self and our world through our chakras! 


Much has been written about the connection between breast cancer and hormone replacement therapy (HRT). HRT is not new; it’s been around for many years. The first known experiments with hormone replacement therapy date back to the 1700s when scientists ground up the ovaries and testicles of animals and added them to potions in an attempt to cure the prevailing ills for the women of the time. Hormone therapy went through a series of transformations involving ingredients such as amniotic fluid from pregnant cows and urine from pregnant women, with little success. It wasn’t until 1949, when Premarin was introduced, that women had much hope of relief from hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats and low libido caused by menopause. Premarin soon became the standard treatment for combating the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause. 

In 1975, clinical trials discovered a link between Premarin and uterine cancer. Hormone replacement therapy began to be closely scrutinized by the scientific and medical communities. Then in 1993, one of the most publicized studies, called the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), began studying the effects of estrogen and progesterone on the long-term health of menopausal women. The study involved 16,608 women and was to run until 2005. However, the study was stopped in 2002 because researchers were discovering an alarming increase in heart attacks, strokes, blood clots and breast cancer. When the results of this study were published, it justifiably set off alarms for women, and HRT became classified as dangerous in the minds of many. But this is not the whole picture of hormone replacement therapy.

As more and more research was completed and the medical and scientific world gained greater insight into the world of hormones and HRT, a clearer picture emerged on what is considered “responsible” hormone management and replacement therapy. This includes the use of bioidentical hormones and customized doses created by compounding pharmacies. Bioidentical hormones are plant-based hormones with the same molecular structure as the hormones naturally occurring in women’s bodies. Customized dosing means the hormone is dosed specifically for the individual. Compounding pharmacies are those with the ability and expertise to create customized-dosed medications in a variety of delivery applications, such as oral, topical, vaginal and sublingual (under the tongue). Traditional synthetic hormones, such as Premarin, are massed produced in pre-determined dosing with raw materials that do not mirror the molecular structure of our human hormones.

In 2005 new data began to emerge as the first results of the E3N French Women Prospective study were published. Part of the study followed 54,548 postmenopausal women for 6 years. These women had an average age of 53 and had not been on any kind of HRT for at least a year before entering the study. The study concluded that women using synthetic HRT had an increased risk of breast cancer, while women using bioidentical hormones had the same breast cancer risk as women who did not take hormones at all. 

Customized-dosing is another critical part of the equation for responsible HRT. In breast cancer survivors or women who are at a higher genetic risk for breast cancer, it is important to prescribe the lowest amount of estrogen necessary to achieve a positive physiological result. In other words, just enough to alleviate her symptoms. It is also important to obtain a proper estrogen to progesterone ratio. This is accomplished most easily by using customized-dosed hormones created by a compounding pharmacy. 

The route of delivery is also an important factor in responsible HRT. Topical estrogen and progesterone is one of the preferred methods of delivery because it is absorbed through the skin and directly into the blood stream for circulation and use in the body. Taking an oral estrogen means the estrogen must pass through the GI tract and is metabolized in the liver and kidneys. This can lead to metabolites, which have been associated with higher risks in some studies. 

The bottom line is that hormone replacement therapy can provide much needed relief from women who are suffering from things like hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, low libido, painful sex and so much more, but it must be done right to provide the ideal physiological dose without causing harm to the patient. 

Randi Mann, NP and owner of Wise Woman Wellness, works with top breast cancer researchers and top laboratory hormone specialists to develop protocols for women who have survived breast cancer or who are genetically predisposed for breast cancer. There is relief for the unpleasant symptoms of menopause. To find out more information, please visit us on the web at


Variety is the spice of life. It feels good to have choices and when you find the right fit, nothing is better. Differences in products, amenities and overall services are what makes up any industry, and health care is no different. Providers vary in their philosophies and treatment plans, along with patients’ ideals and priorities.

Seemingly endless options abound, making the right decision regarding your well-being sometimes overwhelming and intimidating. One thing remains the same, though, and that is wanting to feel appreciated and cared for.

Orthopedic & Spine Therapy gets it. 

Owner Steve Barnett opened the first clinic (it has expanded to 19!) in 1990 with the mission to create a business model that encompasses both high quality care and the kind of environment that makes everyone comfortable — from staff members to patients. 

In celebration of their 27th anniversary on September 4, Orthopedic & Spine Therapy shares their approach to what sets them apart in both values and daily operations as an exceptional choice in physical therapy in the local community:

One-on-one attention, continuity of care and communication

At Orthopedic & Spine Therapy, patients receive the hands-on (literally!) attention they deserve by being the only patient in a session. 

“We see one patient at a time and we’re with them that whole time, we don’t scuttle between rooms, between patients. It’s also important for us to keep the same therapist throughout their therapy,” Steve says. “We find by doing that there’s a greater continuity of care, which will then ideally be a shorter term of care for patients. And in today’s care that means less dollars out of their pocket.” 

“The therapist knows you and knows your condition. You get undivided attention,” Sami Barnett, Marketing and Communications Coordinator, adds.

And that courtesy and care isn’t limited to your one-on-one session.

“My cell phone number is on my card,” Steve says. “It’s easy for patients to call or text me at any point in time. I’ll answer any questions because I want them to recognize that I’m there to help them. Just like they have “a doctor” or “a dentist,” we want to be their physical therapists.” 

Manual physical therapy

Manual physical therapy at Orthopedic & Spine Therapy is a technique that utilizes a therapist’s hands for the treatment process as opposed to modalities like therapeutic ultrasound or hot packs (although these tools are available if a particular case calls for them).

“We feel we get better results when we use our manual therapy skills we have developed in our continuing education courses,” Steve explains. “It’s a mindset, it’s our culture.”

Continuing education

Orthopedic & Spine Therapy believes in building upon education to expand knowledge that benefits therapists, and thus their patients. Dry needling, pelvic health, cranial and TMJ issues are a few of the specialized topics the therapists are continuing to learn about to improve skills and treatment techniques on a regular basis.

“As therapists, we only get to learn so much in school in terms of how to evaluate and treat a patient,” Steve explains. “Every year our therapists go to courses to expand their evaluation and treatment knowledge. My feeling is the bigger the toolbox we can carry with us to treat our patients, the more opportunities there are for them to get better.”

“If there’s something the therapists are interested in — like pelvic health or pediatric health — and they find a course, they’re able to do that,” Sami adds. “We bring in courses and even open it up to therapists from other clinics.”

In-house billing and customer service

Ease and accessibility is important to Orthopedic & Spine Therapy, and that includes in-house billing and customer service within one office. If a patient has any questions or concerns, it’s easy for them to speak with a representative they know and are familiar with.

“If a patient has questions or payment information, they know they’re talking to Katy, for example, because they’ve come to know her,” Sami says. “It’s a part of their experience at Orthopedic & Spine Therapy — part of their treatment and health journey.” 

It’s not just the team’s approach to making the technical process of working with Orthopedic & Spine Therapy that catapults them to a higher level of care, but also the attention to detail to let patients know they’re valued and appreciated.

“We’re in tune with customer service and like to do things we’re drawn to ourselves,” Sami says. “Things like handwritten thank you cards and taking the time to do it right.” 

Quick appointment turnaround and ease of scheduling

“Our goal is to always get people in within 24 hours of the referral or when it’s most convenient for that patient,” Steve says. “We want to reduce and alleviate their pain as fast as possible.”

Therapist specialties 

Dry needling, or Intramuscular Manual Therapy, uses a dry needle without any medication to release the negative effects of trigger points, thus relieving pain and improving musculoskeletal function. Orthopedic & Spine Therapy was the first group to bring the technique to Northeast Wisconsin, and it remains a well-known specialty among the group.

“When I became certified in dry needling and realized the benefit that I was achieving with my patients, I knew that we needed to bring this course internally so the other therapists could learn it as well,” Steve explains. “It’s a great tool in the toolbox, and patients are now aware of it and recognize that we were the first to adopt the practice. It’s still in its infancy in other practices but all of our locations offer this treatment.”

Pelvic health for both men and women is also amongst the specialties offered at each clinic, and includes focus on bowel or bladder dysfunction, post-pelvic abdominal surgery, pain and care for issues during or after pregnancy. 

A holistic approach, treating the whole body

Orthopedic & Spine Therapy is known for providing “physical therapy from head to toe” and they mean it quite literally. They hold a holistic view of health and recognize that pain expressed in a part of the body may not necessarily originate in the same area. Their goal is to always find the underlying cause of discomfort to accurately treat the problem. So, while you may come in for back pain, and your therapist will take that into account, they’ll consider your whole body to develop a treatment.

“We don’t want to focus on the pain and the area of pain necessarily because that might not be the cause of their issues,” Steve explains. “It’s a matter of evaluating the whole body and finding the areas of greatest restriction and treating those areas.

“For instance, we look for things like asymmetry, range of motion difficulties, texture abnormalities. If we see these restrictions, we’re going to treat them no matter where they are in the body. We want the whole system to be efficient and work functionally.”

The mission and customer service approach to Orthopedic & Spine Therapy encompass many facets, but to Steve, Sami and the team, it truly boils down to a simple truth:

“We have the attitude that we treat others the way we ourselves would want to be treated. It’s a cornerstone of our values,” Steve says. 

“We will be partners with you to provide superior physical therapy solutions to enhance your quality of life.”

A Time for Change Health and Wellness Fair

Coming soon: Saturday, October 14!

Orthopedic & Spine Therapy presents “A Time for Change,” a health and wellness fair for all on Saturday, October 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The fair’s message, that there’s always time for change, whether that involves healthy eating, exercise, mental and emotional well-being, self-care, etc., is brought to life with 35 vendors and field experts offering their advice and knowledge, like free blood pressure monitoring by Fox Valley Technical College.

“We wanted to have a health fair for the public, for people who are at any health level,” Sami explains. “People who are into fitness, people who love yoga and natural products but also people who might be beginners and not know how to begin, or have little knowledge. It’s for everybody. The time for change can be now.” 

  • When: Saturday, October 14 • 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Where: The Early Learning Center, 313 S. State Street, Appleton (Across from St. Mary Church with ample parking available.)
  • Who: Everyone is welcome and admission is free! Monetary donations accepted for St. Joseph’s Food Pantry, and Orthopedic & Spine Therapy will match collections! 

For more information, visit

The “WOW Philosophy” 

Steve and the team of physical therapists and staff that make up Orthopedic & Spine Therapy are serious about treating their patients the way they would want to be treated, and they do so in a variety of ways. Outrageous customer service, education and results are what drive the “WOW Philosophy” they believe in and adhere to.

Services Offered

  • Physical Therapy: Our physical therapists use a variety of techniques to treat a variety of conditions to help assist in the process of healing and recovering.
  • Pelvic Physical Therapy: A safe, highly effective, discreet, drug-free way to treat a variety of women’s and men’s pelvic health conditions.
  • Workplace Solutions: We provide superior workplace solutions to enhance your quality of business and get our Workers Compensation patients back to work safely and quickly. We are trained and licensed by nationally recognized return-to-work programs.
  • Massage Therapy: A form of holistic therapy, which is a natural way to help your body heal itself with invigorating massage and reflexology.

Convenient locations near you!

Orthopedic & Spine Therapy has 18 clinics throughout Northwest and Northeast Wisconsin — and has recently opened a location in Minnesota! — to treat all musculoskeletal conditions. No matter where you’re located, there are exceptional physical therapists nearby to help with any pain or frustration you may be experiencing. 

Visit to find the location and contact information for the clinic nearest you.

I’ve always loved supper clubs. They bring me back to a time that I can only reflect might be what other generations consider “the good old days.” My grandparents loved them, and visiting them as a child felt special. Unfortunately, supper clubs are a dying breed, so finding and holding on to the ones that have lasted the test of time is vital.

Mark’s East Side is one of those places. It has been family owned and operated since 1967, and its longstanding success and secure place in the Appleton community can be attributed to its attention to detail and highest quality ingredients — not to mention delicious food and comfortable atmosphere.

My guest and I visited Mark’s for a late lunch during the week. The staff was friendly and welcoming as we entered the open and naturally lit dining room. We arrived hungry and ready to try the delicacies the restaurant is known for.

We began with two appetizers. The Sauerkraut Balls sounded like the perfect introduction to German food, and they were! Deep-fried but very light and flavorful, the horseradish sauce that accompanied them had a great bite that complemented the sauerkraut. We were also pleasantly surprised that the one order came with 9 morsels, and commented on how a bigger group could enjoy this appetizer as well — although we had no problem finishing them!

We also shared the Crab Cakes that came out the ideal golden brown, crispy on the outside and warm and delicious on the inside. The two cakes came with a remoulade that we both loved: it was the right amount of acidic and creamy.

Very satisfied but eager to try our entrees, we couldn’t wait to continue to our next course. We felt like we were truly living the supper club experience when we perused Mark’s East Side’s Lunch Menu. It is nothing short of jam-packed! It holds everything from hearty salads like the Pecan Encrusted Chicken Salad, Turkey and Spinach Salad and Shrimp Salad with a Pineapple Lime Vinaigrette to specialty sandwiches including a variety of burgers and many land lover and seafood entrees, and dessert.

I ordered the Chicken Ala Oscar, a tender chicken breast grilled and topped with asparagus, real crabmeat and creamy hollandaise sauce. It tasted as great as it sounds! In fact, the remaining portion tasted just as wonderful for lunch the next day as the portions at Mark’s are more than generous. 

My guest ordered a special Mark’s East Side was offering this day: Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna over a Seaweed Salad. We both remarked that it was beautifully presented and looked like a food photographer’s dream. Medium rare ahi tuna was served over seaweed salad topped with a Ginger Soy Vinaigrette and Tobiko Caviar. It was refreshing to see something so unique in our area. And it tasted great!

Mark’s East Side is known for their high quality, perfectly prepared steaks so we knew we would be remiss if we didn’t try their prime rib. We chose Mark’s Prime French Dip — thinly sliced, slow roasted prime rib with mozzarella cheese on French bread with au jus for dipping — to sneak a few (it turned into several!) bites before bringing it home for our friend to enjoy. The three of us agreed that it was exquisite! In fact, our friend exclaimed that it was one of the best he has ever had.

We were completely satiated and feeling satisfied with our meals thus far, but Mark’s East Side’s large dessert menu got our attention. Crème Brulee, Strawberry Shortcake and Banana Schnitzel were all contenders but we decided on the German Chocolate Cheesecake to share. We were very happy with our decision. A sweet coconut topping paired with real German chocolate on a chocolate cookie crust created the perfect cheesecake in both of our minds. 

The three-course meal and our overall experience at Mark’s East Side was a positive one. The delicious food, friendly staff and attention to detail has rightly catapulted the restaurant to the exclusive list I mentioned in the beginning of this Restaurant Spotlight: one of the great supper clubs that will last. 

Mark’s East Side

1405 E Wisconsin Ave, Appleton



Dog owners with fenced-in backyards may think their furry friends are getting all they need during their nightly exercise sessions in the backyard. While such yards provide safe places for dogs to relax and run around, the American Humane Association ( notes that even dogs who run wild in their backyards each day can benefit from daily walks. The following are a handful of ways dogs benefit from daily walks.

Socialization: The Animal Humane Society ( notes that puppies between three weeks and 20 weeks old are generally accepting of other dogs, and nightly walks can provide the perfect opportunity for puppy owners to acquaint their furry friends with their fellow dogs. Continued exposure after 20 weeks can help further the socialization process for young dogs.

Behavior: While puppies can learn to socialize on daily walks, older dogs may or may not reap the same rewards. But daily walks can help dog owners instill better behavior in their dogs. The AHS advises that owners of older dogs use walks as opportunities to teach dogs to behave calmly in public. Bring treats to reward dogs for sitting quietly when encountering other dogs and new people along the walk.

Exercise: Of course, daily walks provide great exercise for dogs. Dogs who are let out in the backyard each night but are not played with may not be getting the exercise their owners think they are. Dogs left alone in a backyard may briefly run around before plopping down in the grass and enjoying the fresh air. That’s not enough exercise for many breeds, and it’s certainly insufficient for dogs who may be overweight or obese. Nightly walks can help dogs lose and/or maintain healthy weights, and the AHA notes that such walks also help dogs build strength and endurance.

Stimulation: According to the American Kennel Club (, dogs need both physical and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. Walks obviously provide physical stimulation, but they can also be an opportunity to stimulate dogs mentally. Dogs will often interrupt walks when their curiosity gets the better of them, stopping to observe or investigate something while on walks, and that’s mentally stimulating. Resist the temptation to pull the leash when dogs want to stop and check something out that has caught their interest, affording them a little time to do some mental exploration before continuing the walk. 

Source: MetroCreative Connection.


The pomegranate fruit has a leathery rind (or husk) with many little pockets of edible seeds and juice inside.

Since ancient times, the pomegranate has been a symbol of fertility.

Researchers have studied all parts of the pomegranate for their potential health benefits. Those parts include the fruit, seed, seed oil, tannin-rich peel, root, leaf, and flower.

The pomegranate has been used as a dietary supplement for many conditions including wounds, heart conditions, intestinal problems, and as a gargle for a sore throat.

Pomegranate is made into capsules, extracts, teas, powders, and juice products.

How Much Do We Know?

We don’t have a lot of strong scientific evidence on the effects of pomegranate for people’s health.

What Have We Learned?

A 2012 clinical trial of about 100 dialysis patients suggested that pomegranate juice may help ward off infections. In the study, the patients who were given pomegranate juice three times a week for a year had fewer hospitalizations for infections and fewer signs of inflammation, compared with patients who got the placebo.

Pomegranate extract in mouthwash may help control dental plaque, according to a small 2011 clinical trial with 30 healthy participants.

Pomegranate may help improve some signs of heart disease but the research isn’t definitive.

What Do We Know About Safety?

Some people, particularly those with plant allergies, may be allergic to pomegranate.

It’s unclear whether pomegranate interacts with the anticoagulant (blood thinning) medicine warfarin or drugs that work similarly in the body to warfarin.

Federal agencies have taken action against companies selling pomegranate juice and supplements for deceptive advertising and making drug-like claims about the products. For more on this, view the NCCIH Director’s Page entitled Excessive Claims.

Tell all your health care providers about any complementary or integrative health approaches you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care. 

Source: National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.


In the past nine years, we have aerated thousands and thousands of lawns. Unfortunately, we haven’t aerated thousands and thousands more. I hear the same old reasons why not — the little cores don’t break down fast enough, it’s too expensive, the soil is too hard, etc. 

It is essential to aerate your lawn at least every other year. Think of your grass as your kids or pets. Every living thing needs three things to live: water, food and oxygen. Fertilizing your lawn throughout the year is the food. Rain (this year lots of it) will give the lawn that much needed drink. What about oxygen? The small holes made from the aeration allow water and oxygen to enter the soil. You will receive double the length of the grass roots. The roots carry the moisture and nutrients and the longer the root, the longer the grass stays alive and green.

Although some thatch is good for a lawn, extensive root development often occurs in thick thatch layers. Because thatch can heat up and dry out quickly, these root systems are vulnerable to desiccation. In contrast, wet thatch holds excess water during rainy periods, resulting in reduced oxygen to turf roots. Thatch in a lawn is also controlled with annual core aerations. You will see a much thicker, greener and less thatchy lawn within weeks of an aeration.

Why winterize?

Possibly the most crucial step in feeding your lawn is winterizing. Your lawn will start going into, and coming out of, dormancy quite a lot in the next few weeks. Wisconsin weather is fickle, literally changing every day. After the long winter ahead, the lawn will once again start this process. As the lawn comes out of dormancy, a nice slow release of natural fertilizer will be just what the lawn needs to green up in the spring. Winterizing will also lessen the chances of winterkill and cold damage usually associated with frigid winter conditions.

Protect your trees

You’ve invested quite a bit of time and money in the trees and shrubs on your property. Protecting that investment is easy and cheap! First off, never ever use any synthetic forms of fertilizer on your trees. Chemicals and synthetics can speed up the growth of the root system, causing a shortened and unhealthy life of the plant. A simple and affordable spraying of natural fertilizer, neem oil and dormant oil in the spring and again in the fall is all you’ll ever need. This protection will seal up the trees, feed them and treat any disease they may have. It will also suffocate any insect eggs left this summer that could hatch and cause havoc next spring!

Give us a call and we can help with any lawn or tree questions or concerns. Until then, thanks for an amazing season from all of us at Valley Organics! 


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