Healthy Hints From Helen

12/12/18 – Screen Time can be Addictive

I recently read an article discussing how addictive screen time is for children and adults. This includes gaming, tablets, cell phones, computer screens, television and movies. Are we inadvertently creating addictions in our children? I am concerned for my grandchildren and the children of the world in how they are naively being programed for addictions via sugar and screen time.

The article sights resources sharing my concern. “Glowing screens are so powerful that the University of Washington has been using a virtual reality video game to help military burn victims with pain management during their treatments.  Beneficially, when patients are immersed in the game they report reduced pain, all without the aid of actual narcotics.  Consequently, this same power of screens acts like an addictive drug to our kids (2). “

Read the full article here.

The more we can educate ourselves of the risks to our children the more motivated we are to make positive changes to protect them.

For your health,


11/28/18 -Wise Christmas Spending on Children

I have recently been discussing with a couple who are grandparents and how to support their grandchildren to have a college fund started so that when the grandchildren are 18, the college fund will be sufficient for them.  The couple was shocked at the amount of money that their grandchildren would possibly need even for public higher education.  The discussion included how at Christmas time, they spend hundreds of dollars for their grandchildren’s Christmas gift.  I offered the idea of buying one small toy for the child to unwrap and the rest of the money to go to the college fund.

This article offers 4 ways to gift for a college fund.

  1. US Savings Bonds
  2. Gift cards: Retail stores across the U.S. are selling plastic gift cards that link to college savings accounts. Offered by, an online registry for gifts to 529 plan accounts, friends and family can purchase the cards and give a tangible gift card for college savings.
  3. 529 websites: Some 529 plans allow college savers to create customized WebPages with pictures and information about themselves. Friends and family can then contribute directly to a recipient’s college savings account via the webpage.
  4. Cash or checks: It may not be cutting-edge, but giving a child cash or a check and earmarking it for college may still be a welcome gift. Nine out of 10 parents say higher education is one of the best gifts they ever received, according to the Fidelity survey.

Make wonderful holiday memories by getting the most for your money and invest wisely in your grandchildren’s future.

For your health,
10/31/2018 – What do I do with all this Halloween Candy?
One idea is the Switch Witch Their slogan is *brew a magical new tradition with America’s favorite witch*.  They believe in more than magic – they believe that all families can enjoy traditions and festivities together every day of the year! Even if it does take a little sorcery at times. If all the fun – without all the candy – is the spell you’re looking for, then use the switch witch by switching the Halloween treats for a healthy, maybe non-food item[s]! Read Parent’s story here (
Please respect our children by not giving them harmful sugar.  We CAN enjoy holidays and have fun in a healthy manner.
For your health,


10/3/2018 -  2019 Brain Gym Course is Scheduled!
Dear Friends,

I am excited Carol Ann is coming to Options Center! As many of you know Carol Ann is highly respected for her BrainGym® work and her and her own unique courses she has developed. Experience change within yourself and learn how to share with others.

Save the dates: Saturday – Tuesday June 22 – June 25th.


Explore, Experience, & Discover a new meaning of efficient movement & learning!

  • Explore and deepen your noticing skills for observation of self and students.
  • Experience a dynamic tool that encourages self management.
  • Discover a dynamic system that promotes and develops opportunities for stress free learning.
Come to Movement Exploration course with Carol Ann Erickson next June 22-25, 2019 in Peoria IL

01/29/2018 -  Protecting the Health of Future Generations


As a daughter of a small farmer, I spent many summer hours walking bean fields and pulling weeds during the days before Monsanto. I often walked with my brother, and always my father, where we divided up the field. Dad would say “You take those rows, I’ll take these rows”, and at some point, the 40 acre field would be done. The inherent message in this task was: Start, do what you can, and eventually we’ll be able to look over the entire project and see a “clean” field.

I am reminded of my childhood lesson this week as I reflect upon my “get sugar out of our children’s sight” campaign. I realize that I can’t do this on my own so I’m reaching out to my Options’ community. I’ve already spent quite a bit of time on my own passing out sugar informational posters and contacting businesses with whom I do business. Some of the alarming statistics that I’ve shared include:

• Recently-cited research in the news states that today’s children have eaten more sugar before age 5 than their grandparents have eaten in their entire lifetime. • According to Dr. Oz, it is estimated that 30-40% of children born in the year 2000 will develop diabetes and a great many of them will have other health problems resulting from obesity. • According to the authors of Lunch Lessons, the percentage of obese children in America today has more than doubled since 1970. More than 35% of our nation’s children are overweight, 25% are obese and 14% have type 2 diabetes, a condition previously seen primarily in adults.

So far, I have had one success story with a local business receptive to my idea of putting candy bowls out of children’s eyesight. Boyd Schenck, Assistant Vice President Bank Manager of Associated Bank at the Pioneer Parkway branch was receptive to my concerns and agreed to take the bank’s candy bowls off the counters. Furthermore, the tellers would not automatically offer candy, but wait to be asked by the parent.

At some point, with your help, I’d like for us to be able to look back and celebrate that our children/grandchildren can go through their daily lives free of constant bombardment from an unhealthy environment. Like I always had help walking the bean fields with my brother and father, I need your help in this campaign. Who do you know that work fields in a place that offers, markets or makes candy available to children? Please email us your leads from businesses that you frequent. Our first step will be to grow my list of participating businesses. For additional assistance, we will offer an educational program in the next month or so to personally arm you with handouts and statistics to share with the businesses you use.

Blessings to you for your assistance in this important matter-Stay tuned for further updates!

Yours on the journey,


01/17/2018 – Stroke Brain Gym and Energy Work

I currently have the honor and privilege of assisting two people who have had strokes. We are using Brain Gym® and exercises that have a Feldenkrais basis. Both of them are feeling positive changes. They are getting some feeling in the affected limbs that they have not felt since before the stroke. Getting these kinds of results is part of what makes my work so rewarding!!!

You’ll be able to get an idea of what we do by reading the Brain Gym® articles on strokes from the Hearts at Play blog cited below.



If you want some ideas how to protect your own brain health, I’ve included some links below which clients have shared with me.

• Here is a 4 minute CBS TV overview of SuperBrain Yoga. It is good for improving brain functioning and may be of benefit to all of us:

• Here’s a 5 minute daily routine from Super Brain Yoga which combines Brain Gym®, Donna Eden’s energy exercises, tapping and yoga:

• Here’s an 11 ½ min extended version of Donna Eden’s official YouTube video teaching her energy exercises for overall health:

Find the routine/exercises that you like and will look forward doing. If you feel better after you are done, it’s probably right for you. Just a few minutes a day can change your attitude, mood, comprehension and focus.

Yours on the journey,



01/05/2018 – Monitor technology time for your child

Dear Friends,

Since the holiday gifts often bring new electronic technology into our families, I wanted to share my thoughts on what I think of as healthy use, backed by research studies, several online articles, and my work with Brain Gym®.

All children from birth into their twenties have brains that have not yet finished growing and developing. Because of that, technology overuse can negatively impact the health of their brains, their overall physical condition, and their social and emotional health.

Young children, especially, should be supervised with limited access to electronic technology like TV, computers, smartphones and gaming stations, particularly if they are preschool or early elementary age. Instead they should be spending most of their time in gross motor, fine motor and social activities. Ideally they should have daily outside time (even if just a few minutes) with exposure to sunshine, nature and fresh air, rather than sitting in isolation in front of a screen. The screen pixels confuse their brains and the type of light that these screens emit can interfere with sleep and the ability of the brain to calm itself . Screen time can also result in myopic eye development, causing a national trend towards more children needing eyeglasses for near-sightedness.

Tweens and teenagers are at the age when cell phones become part of their dress code. With that there arise physical and emotional/social risks. Physical harm can occur in several forms. Digital disabilities is a new name for repetitive stress injuries from technology that affect the neck, fingers and elbow. More serious physical harm can occur due to distraction when texting while walking (like walking into traffic), and phone use/texting while driving. Increased exposure to the head can even cause brain tumors. Emotional concerns can occur with social media criticism (online bullying and body shaming), with unwise sharing of revealing selfies and private information, and with access to unfiltered adult content like pornography. For our children, the idea of a “safe” zone is fragile when peer pressure is relentless.

Busy parents, social media and increased “screen time” can all negatively impact our youth. No matter their child’s age, parents should stay involved by building real-time face-to-face conversations into their family routine to counter the ever-growing effects of electronic technology. It is worth your time to read this whole article which includes both research and an action plan.

09/05/2017 – Avoid Toxin Overload

Be kind to yourself, others and [benefit too]!

Women are taught to believe, encouraged by the media and feel peer pressure to change their body’s image. Women need to start thinking for themselves, not be influenced by advertisements and peer pressure. Women and men put many chemicals on their bodies every day; women more than men.

The top 3 toxic professions are farmers, hair dressers and house cleaners.

What you CAN do:

1] Change to natural cleaning products.

2] Admire your nails in their natural state. Let them “breathe.”

3] Let your hair go natural.

According to © 2017 CureJoy Inc. in its article, “When Is The Right Time To Stop Coloring Your Hair” these are the signs that your hair is telling you that it is time to go natural and stop coloring your hair. The signs are 1] Your Roots Grow Faster Than Before, 2] Your Hair Is Brittle and Frizzy, 3] Your Scalp Gets Irritated and Itchy 4] Your Hair Is Thinning, 5] Your Hair Is Persistently Dyed In Lighter Shades-when it gets to your natural color, stop coloring.

Apart from these, persistent dyeing might be heavy on pocket every time you go to a salon. Putting a halt to the coloring process liberates you from not just the expenses, but also the guilt of having an unkempt look every time you see yourself in the mirror.

08/28/2017- Supplements:  How to be a savvy consumer!

I often hear questions asking why the supplements I carry are more costly than those you can get at a pharmacy, box store or online.

Did you know that the marketing presentation of a product can often be misleading? Legally the front of a label does not have to be the truth. Can you believe it! However the back of the packaging should report honest information so please read your labels carefully. As for online sales: you may be purchasing expired supplements!

Orthomolecular, Standard Process and Medi-Herb do not support the online sales of their products by third party distributors. So consumer beware!

I have done much research over the years and am pleased with the products I offer. I want to share with you some of the knowledge that I have about the integrity and quality control for the supplements in my inventory from Standard Process, Medi-Herb and Orthomolecular. My hope is to educate you so you can make informed choices. In a nutshell, you get what you pay for, thus the products from these 3 companies have some of the highest standards in the industry.

03/08/2017- Opportunity to Make Radical Changes for the Better

How could our children be effected by the current property tax freeze suggested by Governor Jim Rauner?

By freezing property taxes our schools income could be adversely effected. How can we make this potential challenge an opportunity for beneficial change?

If a school’s income is greatly effective by this legislation, one solution is for school districts to investigate effective, efficient, inexpensive learning programs.

One program that fits all of this criteria is Brain Gym®. The only expense to implementing and utilizing a Brain Gym® program is  teacher and staff training. A Brain Gym® program consist of simple and fun exercises that can produces profound results in all students with and without learning problems. It can reduce stress in any one who utilizes it with little effort in short period of time. It can improve attitudes and provide the foundation for academic learning to occur. Finland is an excellent example of utilizing programs in their school system that enhance students to learn in a positive, fun, rewarding atmosphere. Support your school personnel and school board by telling them about Brain Gym®. If you have any questions about this amazing program, call me at 309-685-7721. I am one of the few licensed Brain Gym® instructors in the midwest.