Join us! Program begins June 20th

Join your fearless (well, most of the time) leaders, Anita Bondi and Louise Bowman as we painlessly (well, we do our best) guide and help you to:

We know these are tough times for many of us. The cost of the entire FMP program is $200 – but for those in need we are offering a sliding fee scale of $100 – $200-.

Sign up with a friend and get 10% off. Read more blog posts about it.

Please know that we are open to hearing from you and your personal needs.
All are welcome.

If you are interested in participating in the FMP, or have additional questions, please contact Wellspring Holistic Center at 570-421-3708 or email wellspring@wellspringholisticcenter.com

Demystifying the FMMP or Old ways will never open new doors

 

Old ways will never open new doors.

There are many different kinds of fasts out there:  water fasts, the master cleanse, the cabbage soup dietary fast, bone broth fasts, and any number of detoxification fasts.  What they all have in common is you can begin them at any time no matter what you eat on a daily basis or how healthy or unhealthy you are. In other words, one day you are eating McDonald’s and the next day you are doing nothing but drinking spicy lemonade (the master cleanse).

We do not believe, based on our combined 53 years in the field of holistic health and integrative medicine, that this is a good idea or game plan.

What will that actually do for a person? Will there be any lasting effects?

That depends on what you want. If you want to reset after a vacation or the holidays, a fast may be ok. You will lose some water weight and reduce your toxic load.

If you want to make a lasting change, that will not work.

We are offering a lasting change, or at least a good shot at it, with our Fasting Mimicking Mindfulness Program (FMMP).

So what exactly does this FMP entail?

The program begins with a 3 week preparation phase that includes:

  1. Dietary recommendations that eliminate inflammatory foods to help your body prepare for the 5-day fast
  2. Goal setting worksheets to help you to stop and think about why you are doing the program, what you hope to accomplish, and what changes you want to make in your life once it is completed
  3. Introduction to mindfulness to help you get started with a daily practice and audio recordings to do each day
  4. A zoom meeting to meet your fellow participants and ask any questions as we embark on the 3 week preparation phase
  5. The establishment of a participant email support group that will be monitored by Anita and Louise along with private email options
  6. A copy of all of the recipes needed for the 5-day fast that you can prepare ahead of time and freeze, along with a shopping list for ease

 The next 2 weeks include:

  1. The 5-day fasting mimicking mindfulness program with what to eat daily plus meditation and mindfulness practices for AM and PM
  2. A zoom party to celebrate your accomplishments and talk about your experience
  3. Recommendations for coming off the fast
  4. Post mindfulness practices
  5. One week for follow up questions and concerns related to implementing your goals and practices

The FMP is more than just abstaining from food and drink; it is an invitation to go inward and take some time with and for yourself.  It is a complete program that will offer you benefits beyond the actual 5-day fasting period. It is designed to engage you on all PEMS levels (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual) in order to gain health and wholeness

” As a first time FMP participant, I expected this to be challenging. But the foods were DELICIOUS and filling. Anita’s and Louise’s daily guidance was invaluable, and I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again.” Karen

We look forward to having you join us on this exciting, life-changing journey!  Sign up here now. Or call for more info 570-421-3708.

Love,

Anita and Louise

On a personal note…

…still undecided about whether the Fasting Mimicking Mindfulness Program (FMMP) is for you?

Listen as Anita and Louise give the details of their groundbreaking, science inspired protocol.

Here are some reflections from our last fasting participants:

This program is unique in that it provides information, exercises for both body and mind, and food guidance.  It is an approach that benefits the whole person, body mind and spirit, and shows that all of these are inter related.  The benefits from this combined approach can be life changing on many levels.

Nancy G. 66

Simply put…If you are looking for a way to reset/reboot on all PEMS (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual)levels and set in motion life-long patterns of a nutritional way of eating – this program might be for you!

Nancy P.  52

I always thought fasting was starving yourself or drinking powdered mixes each day.  This comprehensive program not only came with a packet explaining every detail – including delicious recipes and mindfulness exercises –  but it also had two outstanding coaches to guide us and answer our questions every step of the way.  I learned a great deal.

Sue 63

This was my second time doing the FMP and I had many new noticings: my pleasure in preparing the foods ahead of time (as I find the preparing to be part of the mindfulness); the ease in fasting this second time whereas I was terrified the first; and how the new ways of eating post-fast feel totally (well…almost) natural to me now. And yes, I did lose weight and do feel sharp…I also loved the meditations and writing aspect of the Program—they are to be celebrated as well. Signed up for Round 3 already!

Eve 64

If you are interested in participating in the FMMP, or have additional questions, please contact Wellspring Holistic Center at 570-421-3708 or email wellspring@wellspringholisticcenter.com

Price:

We know these are tough times for many of us. The cost of the entire program is $200- but for those in need we are offering a sliding fee scale of $100 – $200-.

Sign up with a friend and get 10% off.

And a percentage is going to the local chapter of NAACP as we continue to stand with our friends of color.

Please know that we are open to hearing from you and your personal needs. All are welcome.

Love,

Louise and Anita

Boosting Your Immune System – Part 3

If you would like a session with Louise to discuss how to boost your immune system, please scroll to the bottom of this post for a special covid-19 discount.

The immune system is the body’s defense against infections. The immune system attacks germs and helps to keep us healthy, but everyone’s immune system is not the same.  There are many lifestyle factors that can cause our immune systems to not function optimally.  Some of these factors include:  stress • loneliness • sedentary lifestyle • extreme exercise • smoking • alcohol • and diet.

In “Boosting Your Immune System  – Part 2”, we discussed how sleep, exercise and stress can help the immune system function.  Now it is time to delve into one of the key areas that all of us have access to, which will not only increases our immune system function, but will decrease inflammation: Diet and Nutrition.

There is a lot of stress right now with some people not working, others working from home, children home from school, parents learning to home school their children, and work from home at the same time, fear of contracting the virus, feeling alone … we could go on and on.  I know that for myself, those first few weeks were filled with a few more snacks, a little more chocolate, a few less vegetables, and many skipped meals.  This is not a good combination for boosting the immune system.  As we approach the time when we will all be reentering the world, it is time to give our diets a reboot.

Sugar

When some people are stressed, or bored, they tend to reach for a sweet treat.  Eating a small treat sweetened with naturally derived sugar may not be an awful thing for the immune system, but some people can’t stop with a small treat – it usually turns into something much bigger.  There have been some studies that suggest that eating sugar may suppress the immune system for several hours after it has been eaten. How? “Consuming too much sugar can affect the cells in your immune system – more specifically it affects the way your white blood cells attack.” explained board-certified internist and gastroenterologist Niket Sonpal.  Also most foods that are high in sugar, are also void of nutritional value, which can can increase your risk level when warding off infection.  Lastly, sugar triggers low-grade inflammation in the body, which we already know can decrease immune function.

So if we have a small sugar treat once a day, it may not affect the immune system too badly.  However, if we choose to consume one sugary treat after the other, the immune system will not be able to respond to an attack.  So the bottom line is that it would be better to choose a sweet treat like fruit or something sweetened with stevia or monk fruit.

Vegetables and Fruit

Did you know that the recommended daily allowance for vegetables was increased a couple of years ago to 5-7 servings per day.  However, the government received a lot of flack for such a high number so they decreased it down to 3-5 servings including fruit.  Honestly, I recommend that all of my clients eat at least 7-10 servings of vegetables alone per day.  I know, you are thinking that there is no way that you would ever be able to eat that many, but it really is not as difficult as you may think.  A serving size is 1 cup raw or a 1/2 cup cooked.  Eating this many vegetables does require a shift in thinking.  Instead of focusing on what meat you are going to eat, you need to start your meal planning with vegetables.

Why such a focus on fruits and vegetables? Studies have shown that fruits and vegetables provide nutrients—like beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E—that can boost immune function. Because many vegetables, fruits, and other plant-based foods are also rich in antioxidants, they help reduce oxidative stress.

And so what about fruit?  I recommend that most people only consume about 1-2 servings per day. Most of the time a serving is 1 small piece of fruit or 1/2 cup.  Fruit still contains sugar and while it has many of the same nutrients as vegetables, it comes with a lot more calories.  As noted above, sugar in excess is not good for the immune system so while the sugar in fruit is different than refined sugar, we still want to watch how much we are consuming each day.

Inflammation

Again with the inflammation?  Yes, unfortunately there are a lot of foods that could potentially cause inflammation in the body.  It would be better to avoid eating these foods as we leave sheltering in place.  However, every body is different and what causes inflammation for one person might not be the same for another person.  There are tests that you can do, but one of the best things to do for yourself is an elimination/regeneration diet.  This approach removes the top offending foods for a period of time, which is then followed by a reintroduction of foods to look for symptoms of inflammation or intolerance.  I like to think of this method as an easy detoxification for your whole body.  Most of the time, people feel great when doing the elimination/regeneration diet -more energy, better focus, maybe some weight loss, and sometimes even better sleep.  If you are curious about the foods that you are eating that might cause inflammation, this is the perfect opportunity to discover them.  With everyone social distancing and eating at home, now is the time to take a deeper look.

If you are interested in learning more about how to do an elimination diet, please contact Louise at the information below.

Intermittent Fasting and the Fasting Mimicking Mindfulness Program

There is way too much for me to say on this topic.  This might have to be a separate post.  There has been a lot of talk recently about fasting, time restricted eating, and the fasting mimicking diet.  Finally there are starting to be studies that show the benefits. Six years ago, a study showed that a 3-day fast can essentially reset the immune system, providing many potential benefits. These benefits include better cardiovascular health, better endurance, lower blood pressure, reduced inflammation and a boost for the immune system.  Check out our page on the Fasting Mimicking Mindfulness Program for more information on it’s benefits.

Nutrition and Supplementation

There are functional medicine doctors (doctors that focus on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease) online giving lots of advice on simple supplements that we should be taking everyday to boost our immune systems. Some people are firm believers in vitamins, others think that they are a waste of money.  Only you can decide what feels right for you.  I personally am a strong believer in getting most of the nutrients that we need from the food that we eat, hence eating 7-10 servings of vegetables per day, but sometimes we just can’t get enough from our foods and we need a little help. Extra help for the immune system during a pandemic is probably not a bad idea.

Dr. Mark Hyman, who works as the Head of Strategy and Innovation at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine suggests that we start with a simple supplementation strategy by taking a multi-vitamin, vitamin D3, vitamin C, zinc, and fish oil. It is important to remember that not all supplements are created equal. If you want to take something that is going to make a difference in your health, than it is probably best to consult with a professional about which form of the vitamin to take and which brands are reputable.

 

There is a lot of information on the internet and sometimes a lot of it is conflicting.  It is difficult to know which direction to go in.  If you are needing some extra assistance in deciphering all of the information, feel free to contact Louise.  She would be happy to help you develop an individual plan for boosting your immune system.

Please call her at 570-421-3708 or contact her at wellspring@wellsprigholisticcenter.com.  Sessions are 60 minutes ($65) or 90 minutes ($90).

Boosting Your Immune System – Part 2

If you would like a session with Louise to discuss how to boost your immune system, please scroll to the bottom of this post for a special covid-19 discount.

March 19 – that is when we closed the doors at Wellspring.  It seems like yesterday and at the same time so long ago. In the days that followed the closure there were many conversations about when the self isolation would end, what it would look like, and how we could make sure that we were ready to reopen.  Unfortunately those conversations are still happening.  During those initial days , OK maybe weeks, there was definitely stress and some anxiety, which if I am honest, resulted in some not so healthy habits.  My schedule was off, my routines were off, everything just felt off.  I was not eating as well, sleeping as well, exercising as much, and certainly not remembering to take my supplements.  Luckily as time has gone by, new routines have been established and I am back on track.  I know that I was not alone.  It has been difficult for most people.  But as we move towards getting back out into the world, it is time to boost our immune systems with some healthy habits. For more information on the immune system, look at “Boosting Your Immune System – Part 1.”

But before we talk about how to boost our immune systems, it is important to talk about one factor that is contributing not only to immune suppression, but to most of the common disease today – inflammation.

Inflammation

Inflammation is the body’s first line of defense against toxins, infections and injuries. When the cells are in distress, they release chemicals to alert the immune system that it is time to come to work.  However, there are many people today that do not just have acute inflammation, but are walking around chronically inflamed.  When a person has chronic inflammation, their body is on high alert all the time causing damage to their cells and organs.  This can point to an overworked, over-tired immune system that can’t properly protect.

How do you know if you have chronic inflammation?  Symptoms can vary greatly.  Some of the more common symptoms include:

eczema • fibromyalgia • gastroenteritis • gingivitis • heart disease • hepatitis • high blood pressure • insulin resistance (diabetes) • obesity • joint pain/arthritis • autoimmune disorder • kidney disease • osteopenia • osteoporosis • Parkinson’s disease • periodontal disease

This is just a small list.  As more research is being conducted, scientists are finding that most diseases today have a component of inflammation.  Therefore, it is key that we learn how to reduce our overall inflammation not only to improve our immune function, but also to decrease our risk for disease.

Sleep

One of the most important things that we can do for inflammation, and in turn our immune system, is to get a good night’s sleep.  It is during the night that our bodies repair all of the damage that has been done during the day. It is also during this time that our immune system gets primed.  But how exactly does sleep boost the immune system?

There are 2 hormones that help us to function during the day and help us to sleep at night – cortisol and melatonin.  In the morning when we wake up, our cortisol is high. Because most bodily cells have cortisol receptors, it can help control blood sugar levels, regulate metabolism, reduce inflammation, assist with memory formulation, and control blood pressure.  Cortisol decreases in the evening as melatonin starts to rise letting us know that it is time for bed.  As melatonin increases it stimulates other hormones to be released which can activate our immune cells.  These cells include natural killer cells and T-cells, which are vital to fighting infections such as viruses. In other words, while you sleep, your body can make more immune fighting cells that can attack viruses and bacteria. Without a good night’s sleep our immune system is not able to fight harmful substances and decrease overall inflammation.

Exercise

Being physically active can give your immune system a great boost in a number of ways. Just as sleep increases the natural killer cells and the T-cells, regular exercise can increase your body’s production of antibodies and T-cells as well, causing them to circulate more rapidly.  It can also help expel toxins from your body energizing your cells and metabolism.  Research has also found that when you exercise regularly your body’s stress hormones—including adrenaline and cortisol are lowered giving your immune system added strength.

There is also good news in terms of inflammation.  There have been studies that show twenty minutes to half an hour of moderate exercise, including fast walking have anti-inflammatory effects.

Decrease Stress

There are so many ways that you can work on decreasing stress.  Here are just a few:

• Keep a positive attitude • Accept that there are events that you cannot control • Be assertive instead of aggressive • Learn and practice relaxation techniques (meditation, yoga, or tai-chi) • Exercise regularly • Eat healthy, well-balanced meals • Learn to manage your time more effectively • Set limits appropriately and learn to say no to requests that would create excessive stress in your life • Make time for hobbies, interests, and relaxation • Get enough rest and sleep • Seek out social support – spend more time with those you enjoy (Zoom and FaceTime count!)

Sometimes we can only do so much on our own.  It may be important to seek treatment with a psychologist or other mental health professional trained in stress management or biofeedback techniques to learn healthy ways of dealing with the stress in your life.

 

Look for Part 3 of “Boosting Your Immune System” for more strategies to reduce inflammation and boost the immune system through nutrition and supplementation.

If you would like to speak with Louise about how to boost your immune system, please call her at 570-421-3708 or contact her at wellspring@wellsprigholisticcenter.com.  Sessions are 60 minutes ($65) or 90 minutes ($90).

 

Boosting Your Immune System – Part 1

If you would like a session with Louise to discuss how to boost your immune system, please scroll to the bottom of this post for a special covid-19 discount.

My sister-in-law, Ann Mullen, has now sewn over 1,000 face masks for the hospitals, police stations, and healthcare workers, as well as family and friends.  She made me a bunch so that I can be ready to go back to the office.  I am still not used to “not” seeing people when I am at the store or even just driving down the road.  It seems so surreal like we are watching a movie – but we’re not.

There are 2 big questions that are on a lot of people’s minds right now – when will things reopen and what will that look like?  I struggle with these questions myself and wonder what life will be like at Wellspring when we finally get the OK to open.

When we were first learning about Covid-19, I had clients who were coming in very concerned.  I was holding firm in those first few weeks that this was just another virus and that we should be treating it as such.  When the number of cases started to rise, the supplies started to dwindle, and the hospitals became overwhelmed with cases, my attitude changed and I was fully on board with closing down and staying home to help mitigate the spread.  I still feel like this was the correct action.  I was not and still am not so concerned for myself, but I do not want to be responsible for spreading the virus to populations that may not have the immune system to handle it.

That seems like what it is all coming down to … the immune system.  Why would one person test positive for the virus and have absolutely no noticeable symptoms, while another person tests positive, gets seriously ill, and maybe even dies?  There is no other explanation at the moment than their immune systems.  So what does that mean?  What does your immune system have to do with catching the virus?

Our immune systems are our first line of attack against foreign invaders and it has three primary tasks:  identifying threats and removing them; neutralizing pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi; and destroying dead or malfunctioning (including cancerous) cells within the body.  Before our immune system can go on attack, it first needs to differentiate between “self” and “non-self” to identify a true threat.

What does that look like?

There are specific proteins located within or resting on the surface of harmful bacteria, fungi, microorganisms, and viruses called antigens which help to trigger the immune response.  When these antigens come in contact with an immune receptor, the immune system respond by neutralizing, removing, or destroying the threat.  As part of the immune response, the body make antibodies which not only help to destroy the invader but also stay around in your body so that if that foreign invader tries to come back, they will be ready to attack and defend the body.  This is the hope with the Covid-19 virus – that those that catch the virus and create antibodies will become immune to the next round of infections. Our immune systems function in a complicated cascade of events that most of the time works beautifully to keep us safe and healthy.

So what does this have to do with reopening the center? 

Our immune systems are our first line of defense and at the moment, the only line of defense that we have against this virus.  As we start to reenter the world – going shopping, going to the doctors, socializing with our family, friends, and neighbors, maybe even going out to eat – we need to be prepared with something other than a face mask and gloves.  It is important that we make sure our immune systems are functioning at their optimal level so that if we come in contact with the virus, our bodies will respond and ward off the attack.

How do we do make sure that our immune system is functioning at it’s optimal level?

Look for Part 2 of “Boosting Your Immune System” for more information on how inflammation can reduce your immune system and some of the strategies to help reduce it and optimize the immune system so that we can reenter the world with confidence and resilience.

If you would like to speak with Louise about how to boost your immune system, please call her at 570-421-3708 or contact her at wellspring@wellsprigholisticcenter.com.  Sessions are 60 minutes ($65) or 90 minutes ($90). 

Autophagy- so important right now.

 

Many of you have been hearing about the benefits of Fasting/Time Restricted Eating/Intermittent Fasting and maybe even, Autophagy. One of the biggest benefits is *Autophagy or cellular Spring cleaning.

*Autophagy:

The physiological benefits of fasting include anti-aging (and even anti-cancer) activity by turning on a process in the body called “autophagy,” which triggers the body to “clean up.” In this process, our cells remove damaged contents so they can be metabolized and excreted from the body.

Autophagy is a natural way to get pathogens and abnormal contents in cells out of the body. Autophagy provides anti-aging benefits and potentially even some anti-cancer benefits, because when cells act abnormally and replicate in an uncontrolled manner, that’s essentially how cancer develops. Autophagy removes these abnormal or damaged cells before they get out of hand.

So, fasting turns on autophagy and the fasting mimicking diet seeks to engage that process without having to stop eating completely. In short, you still eat food but calories are limited (800-1100 calories per day), and in theory you still get the benefits of fasting.

Lab trials on the Fasting Mimicking Diet:

The outcomes of the first small scale human trials of Fasting Mimicking Diets or FMD are reported by Dr. Valter Longo as including:

  • Reduction in blood glucose and large increase in ketones
  • 25%+ reduction in circulating Insulin Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1)
  • Reduction in C-Reactive Protein (CRP)
  • Positive changes in cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  • Reduction in body weight
  • Improvement and Rejuvenation of the Immune System
  • Activation of *Autophagy

What happens next?

If you are interested in participating in the FMMP, or have additional questions, please contact Wellspring Holistic Center at 570-421-3708 or email wellspring@wellspringholisticcenter.com

Price:

We know these are tough times for many of us. The cost of the entire program is $200- but for those in need we are offering a sliding fee scale of $100 – $200-

We also acknowledge that heartache our country is going through right now on so many levels and we stand with our communities of color. We are donating a percentage of each fast to our local NAACP.

Please know that we are open to hearing from you and your personal needs. All are welcome.

Love,

Louise and Anita

 

Please trust yourself



We understand the need for extra care at this time in our community and our world. It can be challenging to sift through all of the information coming at us from the news, internet, family and friends, and maybe even people we meet at the grocery store! Who we trust is important and at Wellspring Holistic Center, we know that many of you put your faith and trust in us.
Thank you for that. We do not take that for granted. We are reading as much as we can about that COVID-19 virus strain and taking the added precautions at our office. You can be assured we will continue to do so as we take your precious care into our hands.
Your personal, preventative health at this time is so important. Trust in your Inner Authority is crucial. No matter what we or anyone in your life says, listen to your gut (it is way more reliable than you mind). If you have a feeling in your deep belly that tells you to stay home, or you feel uneasy about anything that you are committed to right now —- listen.
Inner Authority tells us that we can trust ourselves. We do not need anyone to agree with us, or tell us that our experience is wrong.
We support you. Give yourself the credit you deserve for knowing more about yourself than anyone else does. Take deep and full breaths. Sink down into the lower part of your abdomen. Stop. Turn off your phone, computer, and other devices. Get quiet. This will take a few minutes.
You are worth it. You need yourself right now. There is a still small voice waiting to tell you what it knows. Breathe again and again and again.
With honor, respect, and gratitude,
Anita and Louise

 



 

Holiday Craft Show this weekend!

 

Come one! Come all! Come celebrate and savor delicious art made by local craftspeople. And as always, the table will be stacked high with great homemade treats too.  We look forward to seeing you.

Antoine Dutot Museum in Delaware Water Gap

Friday, December 6, 5pm-8pm

Saturday, December 7, 10am-4pm

Sunday, December 8, 11am-3pm

Event is Free and there is plenty of parking.