Wholehearted Healthcare, P.C., Newsletter,

May 2016
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Footpath along the New Zealand Coast

May 2016

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
---Lao Tzu
Introducing Wholehearted Healthcare's Office Manager, Katie Cole Holle
by Staff Writer

In the last year, Wholehearted Healthcare has grown exponentially, bringing with that growth many blessings and the need for another team member, office manager Katie Cole Holle.
Picture of Katie Cole Holle
Katie was born and raised in Lincoln. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Human Relations from Doane College and, in 2013, became an Integrative Health Coach. Married for nearly twelve years, Katie and her husband Mike have two children, Owen and Elliora.

Among others, Katie’s passions include nutrition, fitness, and alternative health. At the core of these passions are people. Those who know her best remark that Katie is deeply relational and a great listener. In fact, some friends have teased that no matter what job she has it should come with comfy seating because people find it easy to share their joys and struggles with her. Good thing Wholehearted Healthcare has several sofas!

When asked what attracted her to the practice, Katie is quick to answer. “Gena has a gift. She isn’t a typical practitioner. She takes time to listen to you, finds the underlying issue rather than just treating the surface symptom, and chooses ways of healing that are personalized.” The clinic itself is unique too. “The wood floors, the rounded archways, the glass doorknobs, the feel of the space, the staff—this place is a home. It’s a loving, safe environment.”

Being a part of Wholehearted Healthcare is allowing Katie not only to use her strengths and passions on the job, but also to spend more time with her family and be fully present with them while at home. This transition may even give her the chance “to pick up an instrument or two like I did as a child, throw a pot, paint a picture, sit outside and enjoy the world around me, and share those joys with my children,” she muses. And that’s what wholehearted living is all about.
High-Quality Carbohydrates Are Essential for Wellness
by Staff Writer

Last month, we looked closely at high-quality proteins as an essential element of the Institute for Functional Medicine's (IFM) Mito Food Plan, one that incorporates foods known "to support Picture of Fresh Vegetables in Baskethealthy mitochondrial function while maintaining blood sugar and inflammatory balance." In other words, these foods help prevent chronic illness, boost energy, and enhance vitality. Like most dietary plans, the Mito Plan is divided into the basic categories of macronutrients: fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. This month, we consider carbohydrates. To simplify this very large category, we cover three subgroups: grains, fruits, and vegetables (starchy and non-starchy). Note that beans and legumes fit into this category, but we talked about those last month because they are also considered proteins.
  1. Grains—"Gluten-free whole grains (those with an intact bran outer coat) provide fiber and other phytonutrients that assist with blood sugar stability and are therefore generally considered healthy grain options," states IFM. These options include non-GMO, organic quinoa, buckwheat, oats, millet, wild rice, rice, and corn, among a few additional lesser-known grains. Whereas these are good options, IFM still downplays grains in the Mito Food Plan because they are high glycemic, meaning they cause a quicker, higher rise in blood sugar than other complex carbohydrates. Therefore, the recommendation is to either avoid this category all together or limit intake of grains to one serving per day, about 15 grams of carbohydrate or approximately 1/2 cup prepared. "All the fiber and phytonutrients you need," notes IFM, "are available from the abundant vegetables and fruits that are on the food plan."
  2. Fruits—Though fruits are phytonutrient-rich, they fall along a wide spectrum of low- to high-glycemic impact. In other words, the healthiest choices are fruits with a low to moderate blood sugar response. These include all berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc.), cherries, grapes, mangoes, pomegranates, and apples. "In addition to improving memory and cognition," reports IFM, "blueberries have been reported to contain one of the highest antioxidant levels of all fruits and also help with blood sugar control." Apples help suppress inflammation in the body and can be enjoyed raw or lightly stewed with cinnamon, a spice that further assists in keeping blood sugar in check. Because juicing removes much of the fiber from fruits, fruit juices are high glycemic and, thus, not encouraged on the Mito Food Plan. Drying fruits also increases their impact on blood sugar, but small amounts once in while are acceptable; be sure to make or buy non-sweetened varieties. To prevent spikes in blood sugar from eating fruits, it’s best to have a little protein at the same time. For example, spread a nut butter on apple slices or eat a palm-sized serving of nuts with dried fruit. As with other foods, IFM emphasizes the importance of buying organic whenever possible.*
  3. Starchy Vegetables—These vegetables can be enjoyed on the Mito Food Plan but like grains are recommended in limited amounts: one serving a day or 15 grams of carbohydrate. Examples include parsnips, plantains, potatoes, pumpkin, acorn squash, butternut squash, and green peas. Also like grains, these vegetables tend to be high glycemic. As a result, IFM recommends moving away from them in favor of their less starchy peers.
  4. Non-Starchy Vegetables—This category is the absolute most important for mitochondrial function and contains more low glycemic options than any other on the Mito Food Plan. Broccoli and all other cruciferous vegetables (e.g., cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy, Brussels sprouts), seaweeds, asparagus, Swiss chard, daikon radish, greens of all types (collard, dandelion, kale, mustard, and turnip), spinach, Swiss chard, dandelion, okra, onion (including garlic, scallion, leeks, shallot), fermented vegetables (which we now understand improve communication between the gut and the brain), and sprouts are all considered therapeutic foods and make the "eat freely" list. IFM recommends at very least 4-6 servings every day and, ideally, 10-12 servings. A serving is ½ cup of cooked vegetables or 1 cup of raw leafy greens. Also, eat a rainbow of colors—from red peppers to orange carrots to green beans to purple eggplant. Include non-starchy vegetables at every meal: with eggs in the morning, in salads at lunch, as steamed or broiled sides in the evening. With a little forethought and creativity, you might be surprised how easy it is to pack your meals with these Mito superstars.
Making an effort to include high-quality carbohydrates in your meals can—like therapeutic dietary fats and proteins—improve your health, your energy, and your enjoyment of the world around you. ¡Buen apetito!

* To learn more about which fruits and vegetables are best purchased organic, visit the Environmental Working Group's website. Organic or conventional, thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables before preparing them.
NOTE: Gena is currently working toward her certification in Functional Medicine through IFM. Why functional medicine? Read more on Wholehearted Healthcare's website. Have more questions about the Mito Food Plan and how it might enhance your wellness journey? Gena welcomes meeting with you to discuss the plan further. Contact or (402) 730-9819 to schedule an appointment.
Step Away from the Scale toward Healing and Health
by Staff Writer

“Scales are for fish,” declares Amy Harshman, Registered Dietitian and owner of True Nourishment. The problem with that number displayed between your big toes is that it’s not a Picture of Amy Harshmangood indicator of health, yet we often—women and men alike—let it determine our self-image and self-worth. Amy understands.

In 2004, Amy and her husband started a family. Three years later, they welcomed a second baby. When she was young, she was thin and never had to work hard to maintain her desired weight, Amy recalls. But becoming a mother left her frustrated with her body and feeling out of control of her appearance. Though her husband insisted she looked great, the self-critic in her head made sure Amy didn’t believe him.

For over a decade, Amy disliked her body and was unkind to herself. “I distinctly remember finishing a two-day cleanse, and I was at the lowest weight I’d been since having the kids. But I still looked in the mirror and felt . . . well . . . fat and dissatisfied.” Her self-critic spat: Ick! You’re not lean enough. Or good enough. For Amy, this was the breaking point. “I was so tired of my own negativity, and I knew deep down that the only person who could do something about it was me.” Finally, Amy decided to stop befriending her scale and befriend herself instead. But what was the first step?

One day while skimming Facebook, Amy ran across a video from the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, an organization that promotes a holistic approach to nutrition and wellbeing. “This could change my life,” she realized. You don’t have enough time or money, blurted the critic. You can’t do it. Amy agreed. For a time.

At a community wellness event six months later, Amy met Gena. Their conversation soon turned to the psychology of eating, and they realized their mutual interest in the topic. “We should get certified together,” encouraged Gena. That was the key. She and Gena applied for the program and both were accepted. Though Gena quickly realized opening Wholehearted Healthcare and working on her certification in Functional Medicine would prevent her from adding another responsibility, Amy remained determined. She shushed the excuses in her head and forged on. Today, only months after completing the program, Amy confirms that taking care of herself first will now allow her to take better care of others. The time, money, and effort to become a Certified Eating Psychology Coach were worth it because she is worth it.

On May 1, Amy ran the Lincoln Half-Marathon. Her body is serving her well and she’s deeply thankful for it. The whisper of her inner-critic still rises on occasion, but she knows how to silence it. “I tell myself, ‘Wow, you’re getting stronger and stronger.’” Amy hopes to help others take their own first step, a step away from the scale toward healing and health.
NOTE: On May 11, Amy Harshman begins seeing clients through her business True Nourishment. The same day, she and Gena bring together True Nourishment and Notes on Self-Compassion to present "Self-Compassion: Overeating, Immune Support, and Mood." Learn more about their presentation in the Events section below or on Facebook.

The Journey
by Mary Oliver*

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.

* From the collection Dream Work published by Atlantic Monthly Press (1986).

All events take place at Wholehearted Healthcare's healing space, 4701 Bancroft Ave., Lincoln, 68506.
Self-Compassion Workshop, Cont. [Event Full]
Tuesdays, May 3, 10, and 17, 7:00-8:00 p.m.

Picture of Self-Compassion Book CoverGena and group members will continue their intimate journey of exploring what self-compassion can do for emotional, physical, and spiritual wellness.

Because we have received a lot of positive feedback and expression of need for an additional workshop on self-compassion, Gena will hold the same workshop in late July 2016. RSVP to or (402) 730-9819 to reserve your spot for this additional session.

Also, Gena is developing a workshop on self-compassion geared toward young girls (ages 9-13) and their mothers. If you are interested in this group, please specify the age of your daughter when you RSVP. Dates are to be determined.

Singing Bowls Meditation [Event Full]
Wednesday, May 4, 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Picture of VJ HerbertA spiritual immersion in the therapeutic vibrations of the singing bowls led by VJ Herbert. 

This event is already to capacity. Because of your great interest, we will offer more sessions in the near future. In the meantime, those interested in a personal session may contact VJ directly via email: He will discuss further details with you, including time and location. Suggested donation for a private, hour-long session is $35.

VJ is a musician, composer, conductor, and spiritual teacher. He has 16 years of professional experience in choral composition and has directed six choirs from in New York, Chicago, and Lincoln during that time. He has studied vocal music, theory, and choral composition at Garden State Academy in Tranquility, NJ, and Doane College in Crete, NE. In 2012, VJ began his work with music and sound as an instrument for healing through meditation, using crystal bowls, tuning forks, and solfeggio frequencies as methods for self-mastery. Crystal singing bowls produce a crystal pure tone and vibration that are not only heard by ear, but are also felt within the body. This allows energy centers (chakras) to be cleansed, balanced, and energized. Just like any instrument, the body needs to be tuned to the solfeggio scale, for everything in the Universe is vibration and harmonics. VJ currently lives in Lincoln where he continues his work and education in sound healing and directs his new and upcoming vocal music group Xion.
Self-Compassion: Overeating, Immune Support, and Mood
Wednesday, May 11, 7:00-8:30 p.m.

Picture of Amy Hill HarshmanAmy Harshman and Gena bring together True Nourishment and Notes on Self-Compassion by presenting "Self-Compassion: Overeating, Immune Support, and Mood." If you have missed past True Nourishment events, don't worry; this is a standalone co-presentation.

Amy will share some essential fundamentals on the mindfulness approach to supporting your immune system and the common problem of binge eating. Gena will focus on the research-proven, therapeutic power of self-compassion, offering tangible ways to incorporate self-compassion into the daily language of life with an emphasis on how to support your own healing.

Space is limited. RSVP to or (402) 730-9819. Cost per person: $15.

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Amy has resided in Lincoln since 2010 and with her husband parents two children, ages 7 and 10. Over the 16 years she has been a Registered Dietitian, Amy has coached hundreds of people through the process of cleansing their bodies of toxicity. In February 2016, she completed her education as Certified Eating Psychology Coach to enhance her passion for and expertise in preventive and holistic healthcare. Amy loves inspiring others to take the transformational journey of mind-body wellbeing. She launches True Nourishment on May 11, 2016.
Meditation and Movement
Wednesday, May 25, 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Picture of WaterlilyUsing the body to help us center back to ourselves through movement in addition to the practice of quieting the mind can help to release stagnant energy and increase the flow of positive energy through our body while enhancing our sense of well-being. This easy, gentle practice requires no previous experience and is led by Joyce Schmeeckle.

You will want to wear comfortable clothing and bring a meditation cushion or supportive pillow and perhaps a blanket. Space is limited. RSVP to or (402) 730-9819. Free will donation at the close to support Pan American Health Services and sponsor a child's education at a bilingual school in Peña Blanca, Honduras, the area Gena and her family served with medical care in March.

A practitioner of Zen Meditation and T’ai Chi Chih (TCC), Joyce combines the practices with other guided or body movement for a full spiritual practice of connecting inward and outward. Joyce has engaged in spiritual practices for almost ten years. She has led groups in meditation and TCC for over six years.
Mothers' Connection
Thursday, May 26, 7:00-8:00 p.m.

Picture of Lemonade in a FieldA group to support women who are mothers along their journeys. Led by Gena and Annie Nienhueser. Nursing infants are welcome.

Join us this month for homemade lemonade on the lawn as well as adult coloring and supportive conversation. We'll have some fun flavors of lemonade for you to savor: basil, lavender, rose, and more! RSVP via, or (402) 730-9819. 

Originally from Sioux City, IA, Annie has been a Lincolnite for eight years now. She and her husband Jeff have three girls—one foster and two biological. Among other interests, Annie is passionate about her family and holistic health. As a Certified Health Coach and a mom, she gets especially excited when she can support other moms and families on the path of healthy living.
Love, light, and peace to your soul,

Gena Foster
Copyright © 2016 Wholehearted Healthcare, P.C., All rights reserved. Edited by Tanya R. Cochran.

Our mailing address and phone number are:
4701 Bancroft Ave., Lincoln, NE  68056
(402) 730-9819

Disclaimer. The information in this newsletter is provided as a resource only and should not replace professional diagnosis and treatment. Please consult your healthcare provider before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition.

Advice from Gena. Personalized medicine is always the best type of medicine.

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Wholehearted Healthcare, P.C. · 4701 Bancroft Ave. · Lincoln, NE 68506 · USA

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