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Dr. Sarah’s Natural Health Tips: Back to School Immunity Boost


Heading back to school oftentimes means heading back into a germ-filled classroom. Start boosting your child’s immune health now to keep colds and other bugs at bay! 


A children’s multivitamin provides the basic vitamins and minerals needed to mount a healthy immune response, and newer formulas are made from tasty, organic fruits and vegetables.  Hero Nutritionals Yummi Bears Organics Multi-Vitamin is a tasty kids’ multivitamin gummy, free of common allergens like soy, dairy, gluten, and corn.

Vitamin D levels are important for everybody, but growing kids are especially in need of supplementation, and even more so during the winter months. My favorite vitamin D supplement is Garden of Life Kind Organics Vegan D3, which, believe it or not, tastes like birthday cake! 

Vitamin C is another great immune supporter, and children typically need only 250-500 mg per day to reap the benefits during cold season. Emergen-C Kidz Vitamin C 250mg is a powdered drink mix that delivers this dose, and tastes great.


Most people know that  echinacea is used as an immune booster, but not many realize that it also works on the lymphatic system. This multi-use herb is great for clearing or preventing illness because it keeps the lymph system—essentially the body’s sewer system—clean and free flowing. Oftentimes mild illness is worsened because of the body’s inability to clear waste, so having echinacea on board can certainly reduce the severity and duration of colds and flus.


One of my favorite at-home remedies is the Warming Sock Treatment, which is designed to strengthen the immune system and stimulate blood flow. The only supplies you’ll need are a pair of thin cotton socks, a pair of thick (preferably wool) socks, a towel, a bowl of ice cold water, and a bowl of warm water. Right before bedtime, soak thin cotton socks in the bowl of ice cold water, and place your child’s feet into a warm water bath. Once the feet are nice and rosy, dry them, wring out the ice cold socks, and put them on. Immediately layer the thin socks with the dry thicker (preferably wool) socks, and put your child to bed.

Temperature manipulation is a time-honored technique of hydrotherapy that upregulates immune function by triggering your body’s natural response to warm your cold feet. By drawing blood down to the feet, blood flow is moved away from the infected areas in the head and chest. Most children love these “magic socks,” and adults can certainly benefit, too.

While these are all great ways to address immune health this season, keep in mind that the most basic medicine is lifestyle based. Ensure your child has an adequate intake of fresh, filtered water, typically 32-48 ounces per day, and is getting enough sleep to recuperate from the day.  

As always, if you have any questions regarding your child’s immune health, the practitioners at Pharmaca are always available to help you navigate through the season. You’re also welcome to attend Pharmaca’s complimentary “Mom & Baby” event at Pharmaca Madison Valley on Sunday, August 17 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., where moms and moms-to-be can enjoy individualized child health consultations, complimentary product samples, free kids’ activities and more. 

Have a happy and healthy school year!


Post a Comment | Topics: Health & Beauty

Comment Period on Harbour Pointe Parklet Begins

JULY 25, 2014 | EDITOR

The public notice of the Harbour Pointe Coffeehouse parklet application has been mailed to residences and businesses within 200 feet of the proposed parklet site and will officially be posted on 7/24/14 at SDOT’s Street Use website, beginning the two-week public comment period.


Post a Comment | Topics: Community Planning

Fury's Annual Summer Clearance Sale

JULY 22, 2014 | SAM LEVINE

Fury’s annual summer clearance sale starts this Sat, July 26, at 10 am. We’ve reduced everything by 30-70%. Stock up on spring and summer items at an awesome price. And if you like to plan ahead like me, you can hide away some great accessories for the ladies on your list for the holiday season — the deals are that good. Bring a friend, your mom or your sis, it’s a fun way to spend time together. We will also start to put out new fall arrivals throughout the sale. The sale runs for three weeks.

Fury – Extraordinary Consignment
2810 East Madison St.
Hours: Tues-Sat 10-5:30


Post a Comment | Topics: Sales, Clothing & Fashion

The 30th Annual Night Out is August 5th


“Night Out” is a national Crime Prevention event. Seattle has had a long history of supporting Night Out — the program has been growing every year, with over 1,400 neighborhoods participating in 2013. The event is a unique opportunity to bring neighbors together, welcome new neighbors, talk about crime prevention and Block Watch efforts, and mainly just have a great time with food, music, and games. Some gatherings are just a few households; others expand into large block parties.

It only takes one neighborhood volunteer to register your block for a party. Invitations, flyers, signs for closing the street, earthquake preparedness tips, and crime prevention block watch guides are for free for these events. It’s fun and easy! For more info or to register your block, go to the web address:


Post a Comment | Topics: Social Events, Safety

Aegis on Madison Reaches Out to Our Community


Stop in at the Queen Bee Cafe opposite Safeway and have a coffee and delectable snack, then head next door and check out The Mercantile, a gift shop out of the ordinary in its décor. Both opened in recent months, and both are part of Aegis on Madison, the new assisted living community that opened its doors Valentine’s Day and gained its first resident four days later. There are now 60 people living there, about 40% of them men, a higher ratio than in most such places, and they range in age from 61 to 101.

The Queen Bee Cafe Pastry Case.

“We have room for 104,” says general manager Rob Liebreich, who clearly loves his job and talks about the facility with pride and pleasure. As he takes me around, he greets every resident we meet by name, wishing one a happy birthday, and also all the staff, from housekeepers to therapist. We are greeted back with smiles.

Aegis is working itself quickly into our Madison Valley community. Neighborhood groups from the YMCA to Planned Parenthood hold meetings here in the private dining room that looks like a very posh restaurant and has a wine cave with lockers for the residents. Seattle University students have come by to conduct oral histories, and Holy Names students volunteer here.

Aegis' private dining room.

“Aegis is a for-profit company, but with a philanthropic side,” explains Liebreich. “All the profits from the Queen Bee and The Mercantile go to nonprofits. For our first quarter, we gave $500 to the YMCA, for the second they’ll go to the Hearing and Speech Center up the road. Childhaven brings their kids and we welcome them and make things for them. Just now we have a quilting club. We make things to give back to the world.”

Every Saturday morning, the marquee over the little theater announces a matinee movie for neighborhood kids. “Frozen” was a recent showing. 

Aegis’ parent company was started in Redmond 17 years ago by Dwayne Clark, after seeing his grandmother in a facility he felt he could improve on. There are now 30 Aegis facilities with the majority—14—in the greater Seattle area and five more planned. One, to be located in Newcastle, is intended to serve the Asian community. 

“When Dwayne Clark’s mother needed Alzheimer’s care, she lived for ten years in an Aegis in Kirkland,” says Liebreich. “It’s one thing to work for an owner who understands from a business level, and quite another to work for someone who understands from the inside, on an intimate level. It’s a really innovative company. They don’t follow the rules, they want to go well beyond them.”

He points out that the comfortable chairs in the spacious lobby are specifically designed with arm rests and cushion depth and resilience for maximum ease for the residents, and the enclosed garden on the dementia floor with its 1956 Thunderbird and old gas station in the corner. All Aegis dementia floors have a garden, but this one was designed with input from Disney to make people feel comfortable in an era they remember. One resident having lunch proudly told us she had been washing the car that morning, while others had picked the blueberries they were growing and then made muffins.

Aegis Courtyard
The Life Neighborbood Patio, with 1956 Thunderbird and blueberry bushes.

The residents’ rooms or suites on all five floors are lit by large windows for maximum natural light, while those on the dementia floor also have motion sensors so staff can quickly tell if someone is restless or needs help, and a second sensor that turns on a bathroom light when it senses someone moving in that direction at night.

“People’s dignity is the overriding element in what we do, then safety, then enrichment,” says Liebreich. Quality shows in the attention to myriad details, such as the restaurant with a four-star ambience, always serving freshly prepared food. Another is the beautiful little quiet room, the Conservatory, on the dementia floor. Quietly lit, no windows, the walls painted pale blue with vines and birds on them, a faint lavender scent and gentle bird song, it’s designed to help someone feel less agitated.

As of now there are 64 staff working in shifts, many local and about 50% of them care staff, including three full-time RNs. Liebreich is currently recruiting a fourth. “We’re affiliated with the University of Washington Medical Center,” he says, “and our medical director comes in every couple of weeks regularly and more if necessary, visiting residents in their rooms. He’s just added a nurse practitioner so his office can be more responsive.” He goes on, “We don’t structure staff numbers on ratio but on needs. We have a number who need two-person support. As of now we are trying to make sure we have 16 hours of nursing supervision daily, eventually it will be 24 hours. We’ll need that if we have a lot of diabetic management.”

Not everyone at Aegis needs that kind of care. Many just need a bit of help, others are high need, but people can stay at Aegis until they die, and it has hospice care.

“Regarding medications,” says Liebreich, “we are working with Bastyr to find non-pharmacological solutions, like chamomile tea to soothe at night, or ginger tea for stomach upsets. We want to come off over-medicating, and this year we will have our own Bastyr clinic.” 

Quite a few people have pets and there are even pet walkers to give residents a hand walking their animals as needed. There are five full-time enrichment staff for the dozens of indoor and out-and-about activities, including a horticultural therapist and a master gardener, and are about to be joined by another with a music therapy background.

The Sports Den in the basement is where everyone congregates to watch TV. Originally called the Man Cave, “we discovered that the women are more sports fanatics than the men so we changed it,” says Liebreich. Also he points out that it’s a draw for families. “It gives families reason to come back. A big challenge in the industry is creating reasons for families to return and not just drop off grandma. Grandkids enjoy this.”

Aegis Fan Cave Bar
The Sports Den

There are often parties in the Sky Lounge up on the top floor, a room with a gorgeous view and an outside deck looking over to Mt. Rainier and the Cascades. There are parties not only for residents and their families, but for employees, as well.

Thanks to owner Clark’s experiences, the parent company of Aegis also runs the Potato Soup Foundation. At one time his single mom was so short of funds she asked her boss for help, and he gave her a sack of potatoes which made soup for a week. Now, maybe 20 or 30 employees a year who need help can get it, including most recently a housekeeper who lost everything in a fire. Liebreich is proud that last year, as announced by KING-5, Aegis was voted by the employees as the best employer in the Seattle metropolitan area.

This facility is likely the only Aegis one built from scratch with respect for the residents’ needs and dignity paramount in every detail. As such, people in the field are flying in from all over the country. “People who’ve seen a thousand of these,” says Liebreich, “are coming to look at this one and see what’s been done. It makes me want to do more. This residence should be seen as a beacon to the community.”

It’s not cheap to live at Aegis on Madison. The base cost is $131 per day which includes all meals, but Liebreich considers that anyone owning a house in this area could live comfortably at Aegis for 15-20 years.

Go see it! I wouldn’t mind living there myself, down the road.


Post a Comment | Topics: Local Publicity, Healthcare

This Year's Bastille Bash Program

JULY 10, 2014 | EDITOR

Hot off the press — this year’s Bastille Bash program, including maps, menus, & entertainment. Download or print: Voici le PDF!

 Bastille Bash 2013 Photo 8



Post a Comment | Topics: Bastille Bash

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