Wholehearted Healthcare, P.C., Newsletter
August 2016
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August 2016

be softer with you. 
you are a breathing thing.
a memory to someone.
a home to a life.

---Nayyirah Waheed
Introducing Wholehearted Healthcare's New Receptionist, Kelsey Schiltz
by Staff Writer

On July 1, Wholehearted Healthcare welcomed its newest employee, receptionist Kelsey Schiltz. Kelsey was born and raised in Lincoln. She's a graduate of Lincoln East High School where she actively participated in a variety of sports, including track, volleyball, and basketball. She excelled on the court and was awarded a basketball scholarship to attend Emporia State University in Kansas, where she Picture of Kelsey Schlitzearned a Bachelor of Science in psychology as well as a minor in sociology. While at Emporia State, Kelsey met her future husband Adam. They have been married for two years. Kelsey smiles and laughs a little as she exclaims, "No kids yet. Just cats!"

Because Adam played football for the NFL, the newlyweds moved around a lot after college, resulting in what Kelsey calls "various random experiences at different jobs." Now that they are settled in Lincoln, she is completing her Master of Social Work degree at the University of Nebraska-Omaha and will graduate next year.

Inspired by her faith, Kelsey has a passion for helping people. And one way she looks forward to doing that is by becoming a counselor, which is the focus of her education. "After I graduate," says Kelsey, "I hope to do individual and family therapy and open my own practice." This goal is one reason Kelsey was drawn to working for Gena and Wholehearted Healthcare. "I thought working in a private practice setting would be great experience." More importantly, "I love the way Gena approaches her care with patients. She takes her time by building a rapport with them and getting to know them and what their needs are. I love the holistic approach as well." With her own background in mental health, Kelsey sees ways she can both learn from and contribute to everyday life at the clinic.

When she's not working or doing homework, Kelsey enjoys being outside, traveling, watching movies, and settling in for a little Netflix once in a while. And, of course, she values time with Adam. Her extended family still resides in the area, so she also gets to savor the company of her parents and siblings as well as time with several nephews.
Be Well, Be Sweet . . . Just a Little Bit!
by Staff Writer

Over the last five months, we've explored the Institute for Functional Medicine's (IFM's) Mito Food Plan, including articles on therapeutic fats, proteins, carbohydrates, and beverages. The plan incorporates foods and beverages known "to support healthy mitochondrial function while maintaining blood sugar and inflammatory balance." In other words, it helps prevent chronic illness, boosts energy, and enhances vitality. This month we look closely at sweeteners. Can they be a healthy part of a mitochondria-empowering diet? Yes and no.

Let's first consider the "no." Because the goal of the Mito Food Plan is to strive "for a low-glycemic way of eating to support mitochondrial health and reduce inflammation and oxidative stress," added sweeteners are discouraged. The reason is that sugar causes inflammation in the body, and inflammation is the enemy Picture of Fresh Berriesof optimal health. According to IFM, "the damaging effects from inflammation that sugar can have on your blood vessels and brain are [also] long-lasting." Furthermore, added sugars "can lead to blood sugar imbalances, increased calories and subsequent weight gain, and continued cravings." But what if you're craving something sweet, especially when first adopting a Mito lifestyle? No problem! Choose from any of the fruits on the Mito Food List: blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, cherries, grapes, mangoes, pomegranates, apples. Because a bit of protein and fat keeps blood sugar in check, a perfect snack when you're craving sweets is an apple with a dollop of peanut or other nut butter. Of course, it's always good to know how to read food labels, but the Mito Food Plan doesn't include processed foods. So you don't really have to be concerned about "hidden" sugars when you're loading up on fruits and vegetables and high-quality fats and proteins. Everything you eat on the plan is close to its source and doesn't come in a box.

A frequently asked question on the topic of sweeteners is: What about artificial/synthetic/non-nutritive sweeteners? IFM is adamant that these should be completely avoided because "new research is finding that these high-intensity sweeteners may have negative effects on metabolism and could spur food cravings. Some of these actually act as 'Excitotoxins' in the brain and promote free radical formation." There's no good news in that. These types of sweeteners include the name brands NutraSweet® (aspartame); Splenda® (sucralose); Ace K, Sweet One®, Sunett® (acesulfame-K); and Sweet N’ Low® (saccharin, sodium cyclamate).

So is there anything you can use to sweeten your herbal tea, occasional cup of coffee, or morning steel cut oats? Yes. "Stevia," says IFM, "is an herbal sweetener that is acceptable in very small amounts." And by "very small amounts," that's exactly what they mean. The point of eliminating added sugars is to train your taste buds to be able to detect and savor the natural sweetness of fruits and vegetables. In other words, saying goodbye to added sugars means saying hello to a whole new world of robust flavors.

NOTE: Gena is currently working toward her certification in Functional Medicine. 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.
Having the Courage to Trust and Love Yourself
by Staff Writer

In her latest book Rising Strong, social scientist and inspirational author-speaker Brené Brown explores, among others, the vital topic of trustof others and of oneself. As is her custom, Brené begins with a story, one you can also watch her tell in her Super Soul Session, "The Anatomy of Trust."

In her research on shame and vulnerability, Brené explains that she began to focus on trust earlier than she planned for a very personal reason: "One day my daughter Ellen can home from schoolshe was in third gradeand the minute we closed the front door, she literally just started sobbing and slid down the door until she was just kind of a heap of crying on the floor." Frightened, Brené asked what had happened. Through tears, Ellen explained that she had shared a secret with friends during recess, and by the time recess was over, everyone in her class knew the secret. Even worse, her peers began pointing fingers, laughing, and calling her names. To calm the ruckus but not knowing the cause of it, the teacher removed marbles from the class jar. Some of you may remember this grade-school tactic. When a student performs well on a task, the class is collectively quiet when they need to be, or a child is nice to a peer, the teacher places one or more marbles in the jar. Marbles come out for poor choices or behaviors. When the jar is full, the whole class celebrates with a special treatpizza, ice cream, a field trip. So not only did Ellen feel betrayed by her friends, but also she felt humiliated as marbles came out of the jar. She exclaimed to her mom, "I will never trust anyone again!" Her response was heartbreaking. Brené wondered, "How am I going to explain trust to this third grader?" The metaphor was right in front of her: the marble jar.

Trust between "marble jar" friends, says Brené, is built over time, not by large gestures but by small ones: remembering an extended family member's name, asking about a loved one's health, showing up for a funeral, and, in Ellen's experience, having a friend share or save a seat for her in the crowded cafeteria. These little moments can be ones of buildingor betrayingtrust.

"When we trust," affirms Brené, "we are braving connection with someone." That is the anatomy of trust: B.R.A.V.I.N.G.
  • BoundariesI trust you if you are clear about your boundaries and you hold them and you're clear about my boundaries and you respect them. There is no trust without boundaries.
  • ReliabilityI can only trust you if you do what you say you're going to do . . . over and over and over again.
  • AccountabilityI can only trust you if when you make a mistake you are willing to own it, apologize for it, and make amends. I can only trust you if when I make a mistake I am allowed to own it, apologize for it, and make amends. No accountability, no trust.
  • VaultWhat I share with you, you will hold in confidence. What you share with me, I will hold in confidence.
  • IntegrityI cannot trust you and be in a trusting relationship with you if you do not act from a place of integrity and encourage me to do the same.   . . . Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what's right over what's fun, fast, or easy; and practicing your values, not just professing your values.
  • Non-JudgmentI can fall apart, ask for help, and be in struggle without being judged by you, and you can fall apart, be in struggle, and ask for help without being judged by me.
  • GenerosityOur relationship is only a trusting relationship if you can assume the most generous thing about my words, intentions, and behaviors and then check in with me. 
Defining trust in this way gives us language to talk about it, to talk about when trust is threatened or broken as well as when it's repaired and strengthened. (Download a B.R.A.V.I.N.G. poster.)

Finally, Brené turns the definition inward to talk about how we can trust and love ourselves. As she declares, "If braving relationships with other people is braving connection, self-trust is braving self-love."
  • B—Do I honor my own boundaries?
  • R—Am I reliable? Can I count on myself?
  • A—Do I hold myself accountable?
  • V—Am I really protective of my stories?
  • I—Do I stay in my integrity?
  • N—Am I non-judgmental toward myself?
  • G—Do I give myself the benefit of the doubt? Am I generous toward myself?
"The wildest adventure we'll take in our whole lives," says Brené, is the adventure of trusting and loving ourselves. We have to fill our own marble jars before we can fill someone else's. The great American poet and activist Maya Angelou once said, "I don't trust people who don't love themselves but say 'I love you.'" She's right: we can't give to others what we don't give to ourselves. In other words, B.R.A.V.I.N.G. is not just about trusting others but about first having the courage to trust and love ourselves.
NOTE: If you haven't already had the pleasure of viewing Brené Brown's TED Talks, they are a good and brief introduction to her work. The first talk, "The Power of Vulnerability," has been viewed over 25 million times and has remained among TED's top 20 most viewed videos since it was recorded in June 2010. The second talk, "Listening to Shame," was recorded in 2012. Her book trilogy—The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, and Rising Strong—has changed the lives of thousands if not millions of people.
Find Your Dearest and Closest Friend
by Staff Writer

Do you pursue yourself like someone you deeply desire as a friend? Do you treat yourself lovely—with kindness and gentleness? Do you respect yourself in all your majesty and frailty? Do you treat yourself as your dearest and closest friend? Are you your dearest and closest friend?

In "How Meditation Can Help You Find the Perfect Friend," Jason B. Fischer shares that the practice of sitting on the floor with folded legs is not about emptying the mind of all thoughts and cares, which is what many people assume meditation is all about. Rather, says Jason, "It’s about spending quality time with the most important person in your life: you! This is the true method (and goal) of meditation. We sit, pausing to pay attention to what’s really going on inside ourselves." In our guts, do we feel that he's right? How often do any of us spend quiet, attentive moments with ourselves? In a sense, we are always with the person we refer to as I and me. At the same time, we're not with that person at all. As we fill our lives with errands, household chores, jobs, entertainment, and, yes, even family and friends, there is little to no room left over. Even as we accompany ourselves through our lives, we don't really pay attention to what's going on inside, here at home. Thích Nhất Hạnh writes, "When you love someone, the best thing you can offer is your presence. How can you love if you are not there?" His question cuts to the heart. Do we give our presence, our rapt attention to ourselves? Do we truly love ourselves? If so, we need to be fully present for I and me—body, mind, and soul. Only then can we be fully present for those we care for and love.

Some of us may have better relationships with ourselves than others. But all of us can become more awake to and more aware of being worthy of our own friendship. Like any relationship of great value, befriending I and me takes time, energy, and deliberate choices. It is a spiritual walk, too, a path that requires us to daily ask, "What is the state of my heart?" In turn, we have to deeply listen to our answers. Only then will we find our dearest and closest friend.
NOTE: While there are many resources to choose from, you may find on the quest to befriend yourself the works of Brené Brown and Kristin Neff enlightening and empowering, particularly Brown's trilogy (mentioned in the Self-Care section above) and Neff's Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself. For her first Self-Compassion Workshop in May and June, Gena used Neff's book. Stay tuned to the newsletter and Facebook for the announcement of future Self-Compassion Workshops. Other opportunities that focus on spending quality time with yourself include Wholehearted Healthcare's Mindful Mondays, Singing Bowls Meditation, and Meditation and Movement. See the Events section below and Facebook for details.
All events take place at Wholehearted Healthcare's healing space, 4701 Bancroft Ave., Lincoln, 68506.
Singing Bowls Meditation
Wednesdays, August 3 and 17, 7:30-8:30 p.m.

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

Meditation mats and cushions are provided, though you may also want to bring your own mat (especially if we meet outside by the pond), pillow, or other articles of comfort to support you while you are bathed in this healing experience. Space is limited. RSVP to or (402) 730-9819. Free will donation at the close.

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.
Mindful Mondays
Mondays, August 8, 15, 22, and 29, 7:00-8:00 a.m.

Bring your yoga mat, sitting cushion, or meditation mat, and join Gena by the pond (or inside the clinic, if it's raining) for a mindful start to the week. The morning will begin with a grounding exercise, a bit of inspiration, some conversation on mindfulness, and a sitting, walking, or lying meditation—depending on the day. This will be an ongoing weekly event, free and open to all. Come as you are.
Meditation and Movement
Wednesdays, August 10 and 24, 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Using 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. Meditation mats and cushions are provided. 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.
The Slow Down Diet Workshop
Thursdays, August 25-October 13, 7:00-8:00 p.m.

Picture of Amy HarshmanAre you craving a new relationship with food? Join Amy Harshman, Registered Dietitian and Certified Eating Psychology Coach, for this weekly, one-hour group workshop. During the 8-week program, Amy will integrate cutting-edge research nutrition in a practical, doable, and pleasurable way and help guide you in an approach to eating that will leave you more rejuvenated and inspired. During the workshop, you'll learn:
  • how to nurture a new relationship with food and body,
  • techniques to improve the body's natural ability to burn calories and avoid stress eating,
  • how to let go of old habits that induce fear and guilt around eating and diets,
  • ways to take pleasure from food without shame, and
  • much, much more!
The registration fee for the workshop, including a copy of The Slow Down Diet by Marc David, is $99less than $13 a session. Space is limited. RSVP directly to Amy Harshman via email at or by phone at (509) 990-0164.
Mothers' Connection
Wednesday, August 31, 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Picture of Mother and DaughterA group to support women who are mothers along their journeys. Nursing infants are welcome.

Join us this first month back from our summer hiatus for a special activity, supportive conversation, and a selection of iced teas. To have enough supplies for our activity, please RSVP by Monday, August 29, via, or (402) 730-9819.
Picture of Leah and GenaMy life as her employer and the lives of patients have been blessed over the past year by Leah Dank's compassionate and loving presence. It's with a heart brimming with gratitude that I give my goodbye blessings to Leah as she steps from this stone as Wholehearted Healthcare's former receptionist to the next stone on her life's path. I look forward to her coming more and more into the fullness of her being, into her limitless potential, as she pursues a degree in nursing. All my love.
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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