Good Stuff from Dr. Heather Manley, ND
By CATHERINE TARLETON
SPECIAL TO NHN
Two little girls see their baby brother swallow a penny, and, because they are magical “Human Body Detectives” (HBD) they go in after it. Can they explore his digestive system, retrieve the penny and avoid the poopy diaper?
“The Lucky Escape” is part of the Human Body Detectives series, a fun, three-adventure set by Dr. Heather Manley, ND, and just the beginning of an ongoing learning-teaching process for kids, and parents, too.
“If kids understand how their body works, they are more apt to make healthy choices,” said Manley. “My goal is to provide that in healthy, educational ways.”
The story was created with the help of Manley’s two daughters Pearl, 10, and Merrin, 13, on whom the main characters are based.
“They really loved the whole process,” she said, “Especially my older daughter. She would read the story and give her opinion, and they would test the games and tell me if they were too easy or too hard. They’re pretty into it.”
Originally from Toronto, Manley studied biology at Eckerd College in Florida, where she first learned about naturopathic medicine and changed course to pre-med. After earning her medical degree at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon, she moved with family to Hawaii and established a practice.
“The Lucky Escape” was a way to help her children and others learn about their bodies through an educational adventure story. It began as an audio book in 2008, with Merrin and Pearl as narrators.
“My whole goal is to teach with the books,” said Manley. “When people listened to the story, they asked me to come up with an additional resource with games and activities, so I created an activity workbook. Then they asked for a picture book, so we created that. Then teachers started asking for curriculum to use in their classrooms.”
Manley’s “Human Body Detectives Go to School” elementary curriculum launched last fall, and she’s just wrapping up a class for homeschooled kids at Waimea Community Education Center. In the last four years, she’s added two more HBD stories: “Battle with the Bugs” (about the immune system) and “A Heart-Pumping Adventure” about the circulatory system. Manley has won accolades from Babble.com as one of the Top 50 “Mompreneurs” of 2011, recommendations from BookDads.com and Kids Book Review, a mention in YOGA magazine and Organic Spa Magazine and many more rave reviews and testimonials from parents, doctors and teachers.
Both of her websites are rich in resources. At drheathernd.com, you can learn about supplements, hydrotherapy and how to set up a “natural home pharmacy kit.”
“It’s important to have a few tools on hand, if kids wake up sick in the middle of the night or after doctor’s hours,” said Manley. “I have a list of 10 homeopathics – for bug bites, bumps and bruises, botanicals like echinacea for colds. More people are proactive about their own heath, more aware of prevention.”
The site also hosts Pearl’s and Merrin’s original and entertaining blogs.
At Humanbodydetectives.com, find fun videos and audio files, coloring pages and some simple and nutritious recipes for kids to make themselves, or with a little help in the kitchen. (See below.)
There are even instructions on a favorite home remedy of the Manley family, “magic socks.” “What’s so wonderful about magic socks is getting the blood to circulate,” said Manley, “My kids do it on their own now—and it can really help if you feel a cold coming on for example.”
“I think it’s great for kids to learn about the body, and what foods fuel the body—to make you run faster and think smarter,” said Manley. “The biggest thing—for everybody in general—is eating processed food. We are so fortunate in Hawaii to have farmers markets, fruit trees everywhere. You don’t have to be able to grow your own. We have fresh local foods that put more nutrients in your body, and less chemicals… We’re hoping to get people to be eating more whole foods—more fresh fish, local meats, fresh eggs. There are lots of opportunities here.”
Manley hopes to follow up on her homeschooling course in the fall, and possibly add a class on nutrition for middle and high school students.
“We will talk about ‘food media,’” said Manley, “how the food industry changed in the last few years and read the book ‘Unhealthy Truth’ by Robin O’Brien.”
By prearrangement, Manley teaches classes on cleansing, hormone balancing for women and other topics of interest.
“I’m hoping to do a class on sugar,” she said. “Teaching how the body works and how it feels after you eat different things… can have a big impact on bigger issues.”
At the same time, she will be working on more HBD adventures.
“I vowed that I would start writing again in May,” said Manley, “I plan to write the next three on the skeletal system, the musculatory system and the nervous system, but it is not clear which will come first.”
As if all that wasn’t enough, she’s just launched a Kickstarter campaign to help raise funds for development of the most recent HBD adventures into e-book apps for Nook, iPad, Kindle and iPhone. (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/drheathernd/human-body-detectives-stories-to-get-kids-healthy.)
There’s no guaranteed method to keep kids from swallowing pennies, but with Dr. Heather’s help, they can learn what happens when they do—and find out about lots of better choices for healthy, tasty things to eat!
THE GOOD COOKIES
1 ½ cup of any type of granola
1 cup of spelt (or any type of flour)
½ cup of maple syrup
1/3 cup of softened butter
1 tsp of vanilla
*optional: 1/3 cup of a type of nut, chocolate chips, apples, pears, cranberries, raisins, coconut or even seeds ( or a combo of one or 2 of them!)
1. Preheat oven to 350˚F
2. In a bowl mix together maple syrup, butter and vanilla.
3. Add the dry ingredients (flour and granola) to the wet and mix well.
4. Stir in the optional treats.
5. The dough maybe a little sticky, but form as best you can on a lightly greased cookie sheet.
6. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes but be sure to check because everyone’s stove is slightly different.
Repeat for 3 consecutive nights.
1. 1 pair of cotton socks
2. 1 pair of wool socks
1. Take the pair of cotton socks and completely soak in cold water. Be sure to wring the socks out so that they are not dripping.
2. Warm feet up. It is nice to have a warm bath first and then do the wet sock treatment.
3. Dry feet off.
4. Put cold wet socks on and then the wool socks.
5. Keep socks on overnight or during nap times. The socks should be dry by the morning.
Effects of the treatment:
This treatment acts to reflexively increase the circulation and decrease the congestion in the upper respiratory passages, head, and throat. It has a sedating action and many people will report sleeping better during treatment. This treatment is also effective for pain relief and increases the healing process during acute infections.