Well, the date is finally set for our Grand Opening at Parker Place event – July 28th from 12:00-4:00 pm. I cannot wait to share Parker Place with the greater Annapolis community! On that day we will have many of our instructors on-site ready to meet you and your family while running sample exercise classes, doing fun crafts and games, and so much more. We aim to make this event family friendly, so children of all ages and parents will find something fun to do.
One thing I am really excited about doing at Parker Place is talking with kids about growing your own food. Making the connection between what we eat and where it comes from is important and something that isn’t always talked about.
Classes About Where Food Comes From
In some of the classes we are currently developing we will be exploring all the different parts of a plant and what parts of the plant we eat. Did you know that broccoli is a flower and asparagus is the stem of a plant? A lot of people know that carrots are root vegetables, but did you know you are eating plant seeds when you bite into a crunchy corn on the cob? Learning about these details helps kids understand food better. In many cases, it all makes them more likely to eat these delicious and nutritious plant-based foods. Older kids will gain an understanding of how nutrients that feed plants become the nutrients that feed our bodies when those plants are harvested for food.
As I write today, I am eagerly awaiting the opening of Parker Place next month. Opening this practice is the culmination of a vision I have been working on for a long time. After many months of work, the building is almost complete, and I am nearly ready to open the doors! So today, I’m sharing the progress we are making at Parker Place.
Behind the Scenes
I thought I would share a little of what has been going on behind the scenes recently so that when you first arrive you will feel welcomed into the Parker Place community. A number of weeks ago we received our permit from the City of Annapolis to start transforming the office into the multi-functional space that will meet all the needs of kids coming to Parker Place.
About 2 years ago, I went to a conference at the Institute of Lifestyle Medicine at Harvard Medical School. There were a number of engaging lectures, but one that really stands out in my mind was given by Dr. John J. Ratey. Dr. Ratey is an associate clinical professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School who became interested in how exercise affects our brain and brain chemistry in his residency. During his talk he shared the story of a school system in Naperville, Illinois which I found fascinating.
Exercise Affects the Brain
Naperville is a suburban town outside Chicago. In the 1990s, an energetic PE teacher in district 203 read an article describing the decreasing health of America’s youth due, in part, to an increased level of inactivity. He felt this was a call to him and other PE teachers to shift focus from teaching traditional games like baseball and football to a more fitness-based curriculum that teaches kids how to monitor and maintain their own health and fitness, lessons that will serve them for a lifetime.
If you google “Healthy Eating” you get a huge number of “authorities” giving you advice from magazine editors to professional organizations to our own federal government. As a result, sifting through all of this information can be confusing and it may leave you asking yourself, “Who’s right?” or “So what am I supposed to follow?” or “What is the healthiest way to feed myself and my family?” Therefore, what I like to emphasize are the similarities between many of these healthy eating recommendations.
Hence, the main message is, you should eat:
- Lots of vegetables and fruits
- A small portion of healthy sources of protein (ie: poultry, seafood, eggs, beans, nuts and seeds)
- A small portion of grains, with an emphasis on whole grains