Thursday, May 12, 2016

Why Your Diet Should be as Unique as You Are

Exercise and diets are not one size fits all. We all have our own distinctive health issues, our family histories, and our own bodies. Just because your best friend is on the Paleo diet and doing CrossFit doesn’t mean it’s necessarily right for you too. The same goes for your family member who is taking calcium supplements. That doesn’t mean you need calcium supplements as well. Here’s a deeper look into just how unique we all are when it comes to our healthcare needs.

Family History

Everyone’s family history is unique. “If our parents or grandparents have a history of obesity, cardiac disease, diabetes or high blood pressure – that does put us a higher risk of developing that disease,” says Stacey Brake, 9Health Fair Health and Wellness RN, BSN. She says knowing our family history is important because our diet can play a key role in reducing the risk of developing those diseases. Plus, if we know certain diseases run in the family, it just might be the motivation we need to eat healthy and exercise.

If you know that certain diseases run in your family, you may want to consider taking a close look at them and what you can do to prevent them. The SurgeonGeneral has a great site to help you with this. It even allows you to print your family history so you can share it with others in your family.


While some supplements are beneficial for some people, the same supplements or dosage may not be good for others. For instance, Brake explains that “some supplements for weight loss may cause a racing heart in one person while others aren’t affected. It’s important to know that just like other medications – supplements aren’t one size fits all. Pharmacists can look up interactions between supplements and other medications.

“I also worry about the supplements that claim to help you lose X amount of weight in a month without dieting or exercising….I find those to be misleading and can have ingredients that raise heart rates or blood pressure which can be very detrimental.”

TheNational Institutes of Health (NIH) has several examples of how supplements react differently with different people and their individual health. For instance, if you take Vitamin K and are on blood thinners, that supplement will reduce the effectiveness of the blood thinner. They also remind you that just because a supplement is considered “natural” doesn’t necessarily mean it is safe. The herb comfrey may be natural, but it can cause liver danger. You really should talk with your doctor before taking supplements, according to Brake.

Gut Bacteria

We all have bacteria in our gut. Brake says we are born with our own set of bacteria, much of which we inherit from our mothers and the environment. “We have common ones but even these can be different for each person and among different populations,” she says.

ThePhysicians Committee for Responsible Medicine describes the job of our gut bacteria:
  •  Helps digest and absorb nutrients
  • Synthesize certain vitamins
  • Protect against intruders, such as the flu
  • Boost our immune system
  •  Let the brain know how to regulate our metabolism

They state that the more diversity you have in gut bacteria, the better of you’ll be in the long run.

According to ScientificAmerican, your gut bacteria may also play a role in your weight – “New evidence indicates that gut bacteria alter the way we store fat, how we balance levels of glucose in the blood, and how we respond to hormones that make us feel hungry or full. The wrong mix of microbes, it seems, can help set the stage for obesity and diabetes from the moment of birth.” If you’re struggling with your weight, you may want to consider incorporating foods into your diet that will boost healthy gut bacteria, such as artichokes, polenta and blueberries.

Don’t Buy into the Blood Type Diet

There are people out there who say your blood type should influence your diet. Don’t fall for that. “I tend to be a person that believes in a well-rounded, healthy diet,” says Brake. “I just don’t think there is enough information out there to know how if effects our health or improves it. It seems that it would take a lot of work and diets that are a lot of work just aren’t successful in my opinion.  I think speaking with a registered dietician about dietary concerns or suggestions is the best bet.” She suggests talking with a registered dietician at one of our Spring or Fall Family 9HealthFairs if you want to learn more.

Bottom line – just because your friends are doing it doesn’t mean you should too. Remember, when it comes to nutrition, we all have our own “baggage.” It’s always good to talk to a medical professional before making changes in your diet.

5 Outdoor Activities for May

This is the time of year where the temperature is usually quite lovely. It’s a great time for some outdoor fitness activities. Here are five things to do this month that will give you the perfect excuse to get your blood pumping and enjoying the nice weather.

Gather your friends and head to Sunken Gardens Park for this free event. It takes place on several days throughout the summer. There’s live music, yoga and meditation for all levels. After your yoga practice, there are several wellness vendors to explore, as well as food and drink.

It is baseball season after all! Grab your friends and family and find a baseball field near you for a fun game. Pack a picnic lunch and now you have your whole day planned.

This free class is for everyone. Explore the Audobon Sanctuary at Heritage Golf Course in Westminster. Learn all about birding and how the golf course protects them. Binoculars are available, but feel free to bring your own if you have them. You must register for this class through the City of Westminster’s Activity Registration Webpage.

There still may be too much snow high up in the mountains, but that doesn’t mean there’s not any hiking to be had. Just head to the foothills! There are plenty of good hiking locations within a half hour of the metro area. Make sure you’re wearing appropriate shoes and sunblock and don’t forget the water.

Volleyball in Wash Park is a big thing here in Denver. You have to get up early to get a good spot, but don’t worry, there’s plenty of space in this park. Fill your cooler and spend the day playing with your friends. You can even bring your dog. Afterward, you can grill out on any of the numerous grills provided in the park and keep the fun going!

What are your favorite activities this time of year? Take a photo and share with us on our Facebook page.

Mingle with the People

While we can appreciate our solitude from time to time, human beings tend to crave socialization as well. According to PsychologyToday, maintaining healthy social connections can improve your overall well-being. This month, get out and into the crowd. Mingle with those you know, and make an effort to meet some new friends. Here are five places to do that.

Keep an eye on the weather and when it’s just right head to the ballpark! Tickets are usually fairly affordable and no matter where you sit there’s always a great view. Whether it’s the field, the mountains or the city – there’s not a bad seat in the house. It’s a great way to spend the day outdoors with your fellow Coloradans.

This festival is free and takes place on May 21st. It celebrates the rich history of Denver’s Five Points neighborhood which used to be home to numerous jazz clubs where you could find popular jazz musicians such as Miles Davis or Thelonius Monk.

This free music event aims to raise awareness of the children in our community.  It takes place on May 28th from 2:30pm – 9:30 pm on the 16th Street Mall. There will be 5 stages set up around the mall area with a variety of rock bands performing.

If art is more your thing, this event takes place May 28th and 29th at the Denver Pavilions. The event will showcase numerous works including paintings, illustrations, furnishings and locally designed and crafted goods.

Take in the art and music while mingling with others. The fair runs June 4th and 5th at Civic Center Park and aims to bring together a diverse population to celebrate “family, entrepreneurial spirit and community.” At the fair, you have the opportunity to explore gifts, wine, craft beer and a variety of music. Plus there are plenty of free and low-cost activities for children. Before you go to the People’s Fair, stop by our 9HealthFair at the Fillmore and we’ll be handing out free pedometers! It’s also your last chance to attend a 9Health Fair this Spring.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Report on 2015 9Health Fair Numbers

You probably know that tens of thousands of people attend a 9Health Fair each year. But did you know, that beyond that number, there are other numbers that can teach us about the health status of our community? With this information, you can better understand the health issues you need to watch out for – not just for yourself, but for your family. We recently got these important numbers back from our 2015 Spring and Fall 9Health Fairs. Here is what we learned:

Our 9Health Fairs were held at 147 different sites in 2015. Of those, 57 percent were in the Denver Metro area and the rest were around the state (and one in Nebraska!) With so many sites hosting 9Health Fairs, there was ample opportunity for most Coloradoans to check up on their health.

Individuals Served
Over 61,000 people attended a 9Health Fair in 2015 - that includes 650 children. Approximately 15,000 people volunteered their time at a 9Health Fair in their area. That’s outstanding! Here are some more great numbers:
  • Over 58,000 people had a blood chemistry screening, which gives you baseline levels for 28 different areas such as cholesterol and thyroid
  • Over 25,000 people had a blood cell count screening
  • Nearly 14,000 men had their PSA screening
  • There were well over 15,000 A1c screenings which is a test for diabetes
  • We had 14,000 Vitamin D screenings
  • 980 women were able to receive a free Pap smear
  • Over 5,000 people took home a Colon Cancer Screening Kit

One of the best aspects about the 2015 9Health Fairs was that it gave us the opportunity to help provide medical care for those in underserved communities. Through this work, roughly 2,500 people used their free blood work vouchers to learn more about their personal health.

On top of that, nearly 2,000 people received a personal critical or alert follow-up by a medical professional. These calls are made within 24-72 hours of their blood draw. Those participants are informed of potentially serious medical results and encouraged to see their doctor right away for further evaluation. As the 2016 season wraps up, we can’t wait to share with you the results from this year!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Healthy Recipes for Your Next Cookout

As the weather warms up, many of us will be inviting friends and family over and firing up our grills for a fun-filled cookout. That doesn’t mean you have to spend all summer eating greasy hamburgers or boring hot dogs. There are a lot of healthy recipes perfect for the grill! Here are some ideas to get you started.

Spiedini of Chicken and Zucchini with Almond Salsa Verde

This recipe from Cooking Light is so simple to prepare!  Cut up some chicken and zucchini, alternate them on the skewers and grill them up. Plus, the Almond Salsa Verde gives it a flavorful punch that’s sure to please your guests.

Grilled Brussels Sprouts

The Food Network has all kinds of great ideas for recipes on the grill, especially when it comes to Brussels sprouts. Remember, your plate needs some green on it! This is a great way to add veggies to any cookout.

Grilled Fish Tacos with Chipotle-Lime Dressing

The grill is not just for burgers and chicken. This fish taco recipe comes from All Recipes. If you’ll recall, the FDA recently updated their food recommendations and one recommendation was to cut back on the protein, particularly for men. Many people say they don’t like fish, but I think you’ll find this recipe to be quite satisfying, especially the Chipotle-Lime Dressing!

Rosemary Shrimp Skewers with Arugula-White Bean Salad

If fish isn’t your thing, how about shrimp? Plus, every good cookout needs a salad! This recipe comes Fitness magazine. It has a lot of flavor and little fat. It’s perfect for a hot summer day.

Pork Chops with Quick Rhubarb Sauce

The Rhubarb Sauce certainly makes this dish a little different, but it’s sure to please. According to Eating Well, this recipe is low calorie, low sodium and a great option for those with diabetes.

Grilled Herb Scallops with Balsamic Syrup

Want to get fancy? This scallops recipe from Better Homes and Gardens is sure to impress your crowd. While the dish may look complicated, the marinade is actually pretty simple.

Grilled Eggplant With Ricotta Salata

You don’t just want meat and greens on your plate. You want lots of color on your plate! This recipe from Delish is a great way to round out your plate. Interesting tidbit, did you know that eggplant is actually a fruit, not a vegetable. Just like the tomato.

If you try these recipes, make sure you share photos with us on Facebook using the hashtag #9HealthFairEats. Also, if you have ideas for healthy swaps for those staple summer cookout recipes, we want to know! Share those with us on Facebook too.

Monday, May 2, 2016

May is Mental Health Month but Colorado Crisis Services is Available Year Round

May is Mental Health Month, a time to bring awareness to the issue of mental health and the resources available for those seeking help. It’s the perfect time to remind Coloradans about Colorado Crisis Services, the statewide resource available year round for anyone experiencing a mental health, substance use or emotional crisis.
Colorado Crisis Services offers support, information and referral services to anyone dealing with a crisis. Services include:
  • The Colorado Crisis Services Line, 1-844-493-TALK (8255): This toll-free hotline is available 24/7, 365 days a year for anyone affected by a mental health, substance use or emotional crisis. All calls are connected to a mental health professional that will provide immediate support and connections to further resources. This resource provides interpretation services in more than 100 languages, including Spanish.
  • Chat Crisis Service: Available at, this service allows users to chat online with Masters level crisis clinicians or chat specialists to receive emotional support, crisis intervention and suicide assessments. This chat feature is available seven days a week from 4 p.m. to midnight.
  • Text Crisis Service: Available 24/7, seven days a week, this text service is the latest resource for individuals needing mental health, substance abuse or emotional help. Anyone can text the word TALK to 38255 from anywhere in Colorado about any type of crisis and text with a Masters level crisis text counselor.
  • In-person Services: Individuals can access in-person services through 24-hour walk-in crisis locations, mobile response teams and respite care facilities throughout the state. A list of the walk-in crisis center locations can be found at

Often times, the hardest part of getting help for an emotional issue, mental health, or substance use is knowing where to begin. Colorado Crisis Services is designed to be a single point of entry for any individual experiencing a crisis of any kind.

To learn more, visit

Monday, April 11, 2016

Breathtaking Fun and Fitness Activities for Spring

Spring is here and summer is around the corner, which means many of us are trying to get into shape before we take our annual beach vacations. Exercise doesn’t have to mean hitting the gym, though! There are plenty of things you can do to burn calories yet still breathe fresh air. Here are 5 ways to not only get some exercise outdoors but have fun while doing it.

Run a Marathon
It’s not too late to sign up to run the Colfax Marathon. There are 7 race options over the two days of the race (May 14th-15th) Plus, you can run on behalf of 9Health Fair! If you do, you get a special bib symbolizing your support for us. 

Talk a Walk and Enjoy the View
Take a walk around the lake at City Park. There, you can get a great view of both downtown and the mountains.

Take a Hike
Have you been to Centennial Cone Park yet? It offers a 12-mile trail that is said to be as close to a backpacking experience as you can get without actually backpacking. Just make sure you bring along plenty of water, snack and a lunch!

Play ball!
Whether it's baseball, basketball, football, kickball or even bocce ball, it’s a great way to spend time in the outdoors. Find a park in your neighborhood and just go play!

Spend some time in the garden! According to Michigan State University, nature has long been known for providing much-needed tranquility and healing. It also is a great way to relieve stress. Plus, it’s known to increase property values!

Remember, the more the merrier! Invite your friends and family to join you for some of these activities. Maybe you can make it a weekly event to keep you moving (although we understand if you don’t want to run a marathon once a week!)

Friday, April 8, 2016

Spring is in the Air... and the Soil!

Have you noticed? Maybe your nose already has! Spring is here! The trees and flowers are blooming, the sun is out longer and the temperatures are warming up. So why not visit a few local gardens to give yourself some ideas for your own planting this Spring?

Denver Botanic Gardens
Maybe you’ve lived in Denver for a while now and every year you think to yourself that you should go and check out the Denver Botanic Gardens, but then never do. Well now is the time! This year, make a point to actually do it. Why wait? Look at your calendar, and find the next day you don’t have anything scheduled. Got it? Great! Now invite someone to go with you. Now you’re going. You’re welcome!

The Hudson Gardens
There are so many reasons to visit The Hudson Gardens. Did you know that they offer classes? It’s a great way to learn more about all aspects of gardening. Who knows, after a few classes you just might be inspired to turn your own home into a botanic garden!

Denver Botanic Gardens – Chatfield Farms
You might think if you go to the Denver Botanic Gardens on York Street that there’s no need to visit the Chatfield Farms location, but that’s just not true. The biggest reason? They have chickens! And they have other animals too, but if you’re interested at all in urban homesteading you must go and check out their chickens and their coop setup.

Feeling Inspired?

After you’ve visited the gardens you’re likely to find yourself feeling inspired. Why not try container gardening? Colorado StateUniversity has some great information on container gardening with vegetables. Just know that it will take a little more work than growing flowers, but you can eat what you grow! Warm season vegetables that grow well in Colorado include beans, cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes.

Also, don’t forget to hit up a 9Health Fair while you’re out and about. Maybe you can find one before or after your trip to the gardens.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

7 Healthy Food Swaps for a Healthier Life

Getting healthy doesn’t have to be a big deal. Whether your goal is to cut back on calories, unhealthy fats, sugar or cholesterol, there are tons of healthy alternatives out there that won’t leave you feeling unsatisfied with your meal. Try a few small swaps and see how it works for you. Here are 7 healthy (and easy) food swaps.

Choose Oatmeal Over Granola
According to HealthMagazine, “A half-cup cooked serving of Quaker Steel Cut Oats contains just 150 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, and 1 gram of sugar… Meanwhile, a half-cup of Quaker's Apple, Cranberry, & Almond Granola clocks in at 200 calories, 5 grams of fat, and a whopping 13 grams of sugar.”

Use Olive Oil Instead of Butter
EatingWell recommends swapping butter for olive oil because it has unsaturated fats versus the saturated fat found in butter. Unsaturated fats are the good kinds of fat.

Eat an English Muffin, Not a Bagel
Eating Light Magazine says you can save yourself 100 calories by choosing an English Muffin over a bagel. Forgo the cream cheese and use peanut butter instead.

Instead of White Bread, Go for Whole-Grain
This recommendation comes from the Mayo Clinic. They have a whole list of substitutions that can help you reduce the amount of fat and sugar you consume.

Select Broth Based Soups Over Creamy Soups
The American Heart Association also has a slew of suggestions that can help you cut down on saturated fats and cholesterol. This suggestion is especially helpful when eating out.

In Place of Ice Cream, Enjoy Some Sorbet
This one comes from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. It’s a great low-calorie alternative!

Rather than Drink a Pop, Drink Water
FitWatch recommends drinking water instead of pop, and truly, this goes for any drink. Most people don’t realize how many of their daily calories are coming from what they drink.

Have you already made healthy swaps in your diet? If so, sharewith us on Facebook and help others in their quest to eat healthy.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The More You Do It, The More Natural it Becomes

Eileen Sokolovic is a shining example of how Owning Your Health can drastically improve your quality of life. She credits the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program, led by Keri-Ann Parodi, as a life-saving support group for her. “I am a 67-year-old woman, who through 9Health Fair was put in touch with this program.” She says her A1c level was elevated and her weight was on the obese end. She says she was starting to feel depressed. But now, Sokolovic says, “I’ve gained my life back, lost double the amount of goal weight loss, I’ve been taken off of several medications and have become a more healthy active person, feeling good about myself.” Here’s how she did it.

Commitment and Determination

Eileen says once the YMCA sessions started, she dedicated herself to learning and attending all the classes. “The learning curve for “Lifestyle Balance” as one shares with others what you eat and how you implement physical activity, totally pays off to reduce the risk of developing diabetes.”

For Sokolovic, one of the most difficult chores has been tracking fat grams and calories on a daily basis. However, she’s one very determined woman and she has her “bible” as she calls it – The Cal-Fat Book. She considers that book as a guiding resource for success.

She notes that grocery shopping used to be a challenge for her. “However, at the weekly meetings, the program supplied us with examples of healthy eating habits. I quickly found out that self-discipline and the support of others in the group is like any other new learning experience – the  more you do it, the more natural it becomes.” If you feel like you may be facing a similar journey as Sokolovic, she would remind you of what’s most important – you. And like anything else in life that will make you healthy and happy – it takes work.

So far, she has achieved her goal of seven percent weight loss. She’s committed to doing a daily activity and healthy eating. She also notes one small habit that she feels is important to her success – her intake of water each day. She drinks eight eight-ounce glasses per day and continues to track fat grams and calories, along with being active each day.

Sokolovic says her 16 weekly YMCA meetings have proven to be the most rewarding experience for her success. “To date, my A1c number has dropped (no longer pre-diabetic), BMI has dropped (no longer considered obese), I’ve gained my life back, lost double the amount of goal weight loss, I’ve been taken off of several medications and have become a more healthy active person, feeling good about myself,” and she says that it’s all made her a better person to be around.

Her story began with a trip to 9Health Fair, and it’s been a journey that has drastically improved her quality of life. We hope it will inspire you to Own Your Health too, and begin a similar journey of self-discovery and good health.

Diabetes Screenings: Which One is Right for You?

Nearly 10 percent of the American population has been diagnosed with diabetes, that’s according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They also report that there are over eight million people with diabetes that are undiagnosed. The Colorado Health Department estimates that here in our state, more than one-third of adults and half of all adults age 65 and older, have prediabetes.

This is a health issue you can turn around by making the right lifestyle changes! However, for one-third of people at risk, they will develop type 2 diabetes within five years. With that in mind, you may want to consider getting tested at one of our Spring 9Health Fair locations. 

Diabetes Screenings Available

All 9Health Fairs this spring will have a few different ways to identify if you’re at risk for diabetes. Our Diabetes Prevention Program Coordinator, Lynn Sauve, explains, “A1C is a blood test and is one of the screening tools used in Pre-Diabetes screening. The other 2 screening tools used to determine Pre-Diabetes are BMI (Body Mass Index), which is a calculation based on height and weight, and a Risk Screening Assessment that asks questions about your family health history and level of activity then scores your responses.”

If you’re over the age of 18, have a history of diabetes in your family and have problems with your weight, Sauve recommends you have the A1c test. She also suggests you find out your BMI and take the Risk Screening Assessment. She especially recommends you get tested if your mother, father or a sibling has diabetes. You can also get the Blood Chemistry test, which includes a blood sugar test, among the 28 baseline levels it test for.

If any of this sounds like you, Sauve would also like to stress how important it is for you to get checked now. “Pre-Diabetes can be reversed by proper diet and exercise,” she says.

There are many people who have been able to turn their health around before developing type 2 diabetes. If you think you may be at risk, read the inspiring story of Eileen Sokolovic. Hopefully, her story inspires you to get tested, and if you are at risk, make the necessary lifestyle changes need so you can live a full and healthy life.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Caregiving with Heart - What You Need to Know

At some point in our lives, nearly all of us will have to come to terms with the idea of caregiving. Whether we’re the ones who need the care or it’s our aging parents who need the care, it can be a confusing and difficult time. How do you broach the subject? When is it the right time? What are the options available? There are just so many questions. 

The Facts About Caregiving

The National Alliance for Caregiving and the AARP conducted a study on caregiving in 2015.  Here are some of their key findings:
  • The “typical” caregiver tends to be a 49-year-old woman taking care of a relative.
  • The typical higher-hour caregiver (who provides unpaid care for at least 21 hours a week) has been caregiving for an average of 5-1/2 years and expects to continue care for another 5 years.
  • The average household income for caregivers is $45,700.
  •  Approximately one-quarter of caregivers in the U.S. are millennials between the ages of 18 and 34.
If you are considering taking on the role of caregiver for someone else or need care yourself, 9Health Fair is partnering with the AARP to provide insights into caregiving at four 9Health Fair locations. This is a great opportunity to get your questions answered and learn more about the help available to you. 

Spring 2016 Caregiving Seminars

April 3: Temple Sinai 9:00am - 10:30am
Caregiving in the Twenty-First Century
We'll examine the demographic trends and societal changes in the United States fueling the growing concerns related to aging, illness, and caregiving. Caregiving today poses different challenges and opportunities than those encountered by previous generations. We'll consider how the changing nature of families, family legacies of caregiving and illness, and the geographic dispersal of families inform our experience. We can't anticipate everything that will happen. However, we can proactively plan for the certainties of life. We will age. Most of us will need to access health care as we age. We will need more help than we ever imagined. Hence, we need to prepare to care for ourselves and our loved ones.

April 10: Community College of Aurora 9:30am -10:30am
Called to Companion
We will all serve as caregivers numerous times over the course of a lifetime. And, we will all need care at some point in time. So, there are some questions worthy of consideration. How will you respond to the call to care? Will you (must you) assume full responsibility for care? Or, are you able and/or willing to share the responsibilities of care with other family members, friends, or caregiving professionals? When called to companion, it's important to know that there are alternatives to flying solo - collaborative approaches to care that are beneficial for the caregiver and care receiver.

April 16: Sky Ridge 8:30am - 9:30am
Plan Well to Age Well
No doubt, you have planned vacations, parties, and holidays. Furthermore, we're encouraged to plan for things such as the educational needs of our children, our retirement, and final arrangements. But, how many of us have planned to age well? Quite often, our aversion to death and to the aging process causes us to ignore the need for planning related to our inevitable physical and cognitive decline-advance care planning. It takes courage to consider the "what ifs" of life - to contemplate the unknown.

April 16: Red Rocks 11:30am - 12:30pm
Hospice and Palliative Care: FEAR NOT!
Contrary to popular belief, hospice is not a four-letter word nor is it something to be feared. Hospice -a type of palliative care (specialized medical care for those with serious illnesses) - is a philosophy and model of health care designed to serve persons in compassionate, life-giving ways. So why does the word cause such angst and trepidation for patients and families? More often than not, our reactions are rooted in a lack of knowledge, fear of death, denial and avoidance. Take the first step in overcoming your fears by learning how hospice and palliative care can serve you, your family, and your clients.

While attending any of these seminars, don’t forget to participate in our health screenings as well. You can’t take care of others if you aren’t taking care of yourself!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Not a Morning Person? Sleep in and Screen Your Health in the Afternoon

We get it. You wake up early every day for work. So on your day off, the last thing you want to do is wake up early again, even if it is for that very important health checkup. That’s okay. Now that you don’t have to fast before screenings, you can sleep in and still get up in time to visit a 9Health Fair near you for your health screenings. Here are four locations that are open later in the day.

Afrikmall: April 9

Located in Aurora at 10180 E Colfax Avenue, this site runs from 10am – 2pm. This site also include children’s screenings, so feel free to make a family day out of it! Screenings and activities include an Adult Diabetes Prevention Program by the YMCA, Ask a Pharmacist, Blood Count, Bone Health, Children’s Ask a Medical Questions, Children’s Height/Weight/BMI, Children’s Oral Health, Flouride Varnishes (for children 6 and up), First Aid, A1c, PSA for men and so much more!

Colorado Visiting Nurse Association: April 10

Located at 390 Grant St. in Denver, this fair runs from 7am – 3pm Basic screenings will be offered all day, some screenings will only run until noon. If there’s a particular screening you’re interested in, make sure you reach out to find how late in the day that screening will be offered. Screenings and activities offered include Ask a Medical Question, Blood Chemistry, Blood Pressure, Family Wellness Activity Centers, Foot and Hearing, A1c, Lung Function, Vitamin D-Hydroxy Screening, and much more.

LifeSource Adventist Fellowship: April 14

Located at 6200 West Hamden Avenue in Denver, this site runs from noon-5pm. If you’re a really late sleeper this might be your best bet!. Plus, if you have kids, children’s screenings are available at this site. Screenings and activities include Ask a Pharmacist, Blood Count, Body in Balance, Cardiac Risk Assessment, Children’s Blood Pressure/Pulse, Colon Cancer Screening Kit, First Aid, Hand Screening, A1c, Memory, Oral Health, PSA for men, Stress Management, Vitamin D-Hydroxy and so much more.

9Health Fair Yoga Open at Colorado Convention Center: April 24

Overdue for some bonding with your girlfriends? Maybe you’re in need of a couple’s outing? Or maybe you want to introduce the family (kids included) to the benefits of yoga. This one is for you!  It runs from 10am – 3pm. On top of a day of free yoga, there will be numerous health screenings and activities such as Ask a Medical Question, Blood Chemistry, Blood Pressure, Body in Balance, Cardiac Risk Assessment, Children’s Blood Pressure/Pulse - Height/Weight/BMI – Oral Health – Vision, Diabetes Risk Assessment, First Aid, Hand, Height/Weight/BMI, Memory, Nutrition, Pap Smears, Prostate/Testicular, Skin, Spinal, Stress Assessments for Families and Teens, Vision and Eye Health, Wellness Zone and much more! We all need a day of health sometimes. Make this day, your day. 

The Ranch/1st National Bank Exhibition Hall: April 30

This event is in partnership with iHeart Radio! Located in Loveland at 5280 Arena Circle, it will run from 9am – 3pm. As with all the other events there will be numerous screenings and activities, such as Ask a Medical Question, Blood Count, Children’s Ask a Medical Question,Blood Pressure,Height Weight/BMI, Colon Cancer Screening Kits, Foot, Height/Weight/BMI, PSA for men, Spinal, and Vitamin D 25-Hydroxy.

Now that fasting is no longer required at 9Health Fair, you don’t have worry about attending a fair before you eat breakfast. Don’t sacrifice your sleep – enjoy a leisurely morning, then head to one of the fairs mentioned above!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Meet Louie: Heart Attack Survivor & 9Health Fair Volunteer

Photo Courtesy of SCL Health System.
Do you recognize this face? It’s Louie Cohn. Maybe you know him personally, maybe you’ve worked one of our 9Health Fairs with him or maybe you’ve seen him in this ad for SCL Health?

Louie has been volunteering for 9Health Fair for a decade now. Like many of our volunteers, Louie is a small business owner. He runs a specialty nuts and bolts business. And like many of the small business owners in our community, Louie likes to give back. That’s why he volunteers with 9Health Fair at our Community College of Aurora site.

As you learn in the video, Louie suffered a heart attack while running a race with his son-in-law. He had no symptoms leading up to it. Louie says he’s always been fit and in shape. He’s a runner, climber and skier, just to name a few of his favorite activities. Many people think if you’re that in shape that you don’t have to worry about having a heart attack. As Louie will tell you, that’s not always the case. For him, it was genetics.

We wanted to share Louie’s story with you for a couple of reasons. One, we’re so proud of Louie. Not just for the work that he does as a 9Health Fair volunteer, but because we believe he’s a great example of someone who is truly owning their health. Louie himself says his experience, his heart attack, has changed his life so much. “I respect life so much. I count my blessings every day. I know life can be taken away in a heartbeat, so I live every day to the fullest. I enjoy my family and friends even more than I did before my heart attack. I also take care of myself even more than before my heart attack.”

For us, that’s saying something because he was already a very active person. When it comes to your health, being physically fit is only half of the picture. That’s the other reason we share his story. To truly take care of yourself, you need to take care of your outside and your inside. No matter how in shape we are, even if we know something can run in our family history, we can take for granted that our health is fine. This is why it so important to get yearly health screenings. While there’s no way to know if a blood test could have detected his heart attack, Louie still wants to encourage everyone to take advantage of the screenings offered at 9Health Fair. “Something picked up in blood work or a screening could save your life,” says Louie.

We hope this season, you’ll make time to check up on your health, even if you think you’re fine. Just make sure, your loved ones will appreciate it!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Outdoor Activities for Early Spring

The days are getting longer and warmer! Take advantage while it’s not too cold or too hot and get outside. According to HarvardMedical School, when you spend time outdoors you reap numerous physical and mental health benefits.  If you’re looking for ideas, here are a few we like.

Road Trip/Hike

Why not take a short road trip to Colorado Springs and hike around Garden of the Gods. If you haven’t spent much time outdoors this past winter, it’s a great way to reconnect with nature. Take a picnic lunch and enjoy the scenery. When you’re done, head over to Manitou Springs. There, you can walk around town and try the water at all the different springs there in town. Take a cup with you!

Bike Around

Here’s a couple of different locations for you depending on which type of biking you prefer. If you’re more of a road bike person, but get a little nervous biking around cars, why not bike around Wash Park? If mountain biking is more your thing, head over to Jefferson County and ride at Apex Park. It’s just a few minutes from downtown Golden. Once you’re done with ride, head over to the river, walk the path and check out the chickens. Yes, you read that right. Check out the chickens. You’ll be glad you did.

Play in the Rain

There should be a decent amount of rainy days this spring. Put on your raincoat, pull out your inner child and head outside and splash around in the puddles. Smile, laugh and enjoy some time not worrying about bills or how you’re going to accomplish all the things on your to-do list. Simply take some time to just enjoy being.

Go for a Run

Grab whatever device it is use for music, and run the path on the outskirts of Cheeseman Park. Let yourself get lost in the beat of the music and beautiful scenery. Any stress you might be feeling when you start is likely to be gone once your run is done, leaving you refreshed and ready to take on the rest of your day. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

5 Can’t Miss Events this March

The Artwork Network on Santa Fe
This month, we encourage you to step out of your usual routine and try something new. If you usually only get out of the house to go out to dinner or see a movie, why not try one of these events instead. Who knows, it just might provide you with the opportunity to explore a new neighborhood and a new interest. If your new interest is art, you’ll be happy to know that according to the author of this Huffington Post article, a love of art can help your brain age better.

Become an Art Critic

It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. What do you think of that piece?
Check out Third Friday on Santa Fe and stop by the Artwork Network and view the ENTICE exhibit. It features not one, but three Colorado artists. The gallery says that while their work might appear to be unrelated at first glance, the combination of nature, soft forms and geometry of the photographs and paintings are “connected by an intangible allure.” If you enjoy that, you might also want to head over to Mike Wright Gallery and check out artist Valerio D’Ospina’s oil paintings. Both exhibits are free.

Trash Treasure

You know the saying, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” The Beautiful Junk Sale will take place April 1st and 2nd at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds. It’s a great place to check out if you’re into jewelry, collectibles, vintage, household items, sporting goods, holiday d├ęcor and more. General admission is $4 for anyone 16 and older, but bring in a two or more non-perishable food donations and receive $1 off.

Explore the Architecture behind a Dance

The Colorado Ballet and Clyfford Still Museum are partnering for an evening that explores the construction of dance. Dancers from the Colorado Ballet will discuss with the audience how dance is created.

Denver Botanic Gardens

Visit the Denver Botanic Gardens on one of their free days. The York Street location has free days on Saturday, March 19th and Sunday, April 3. The Chatfield Farms location will have a free day on Tuesday, April 5th.  Both locations have their own unique exhibits so if you can make it to both it will definitely be worth your while!

Whatever you end up doing this next month, we hope you enjoy trying something new and exploring new places around town. It’s what makes Colorado such a great place to live!

Monday, March 7, 2016

The Dangers of Supplements

Many of us are taking some form of supplements, but do you really need those supplements?

Too Much Can be a Bad Thing

Here’s an example - you may think because you don’t drink milk, that you’re not getting enough calcium. So, you take a calcium supplement. However, did you know that dark, leafy greens, bok choy, tofu, okra, broccoli, green beans and almonds are all high in calcium? If you eat enough foods like those in your diet, you may not need a calcium supplement. According to the ClevelandClinic, too much calcium can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. “The recommended daily allowance for any vitamin or mineral will depend on your age, medical conditions and other factors, and a doctor or registered dietitian can help you fine-tune your intake,” says the Cleveland Clinic.

ConsumerReports says that more than half of the adult population is taking supplements. If you are one of these people, we strongly encourage you to come to one of our 9Health Fairs and talk with a nutrition expert to see if you really need that supplement. The nutrition screenings are free. You also might want to have a blood test done to more accurately identify what supplements, if any, that you actually need.

You should also know that the FederalDrug Administration (FDA) does not have the authority to review dietary supplements before they hit store shelves. This is yet another reason you should talk to your health care professional before taking any supplements. And you should keep in mind that each brand will have varying amounts of the supplement in each pill.

Supplements to Avoid

In the ConsumerReports Health, there are 12 supplements you really want to avoid:
  •  Aconite
  • Bitter Orange
  • Chaparral
  • Colloidal Silver
  • Coltsfoot
  • Comfrey
  •  Country Mallow
  • Germanium
  • Greater Celandine
  • Kava
  • Lobelia
  • Yohimbe

As you can see from this list, these are lesser known/popular supplements than what you usually hear of people taking, but if you are taking any of these you should read the report as to why they don’t recommend them.

If you want more information on the supplements you’re taking and whether or not they might be dangerous for you, come to a 9Health Fair this spring, where you can talk with a nutrition expert, for free. You can also ask a pharmacist (for free) about the supplements you’re taking and any possible interactions they might have with other medications you’re taking. To find a 9Health Fair location near you that offers the Nutrition Screening, visit our website

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Children’s Screenings at 9Health Fair

Attend a 9Health Fair this spring and you and your children can take advantage of affordable screenings to make sure the entire family is healthy. Previously, children’s screenings were only available in the fall, but now, 25+ sites are offering screenings for children this spring.

Get Checked Out Together

Beth Brady, Medical and Wellness Advisor for 9Health Fair, says there’s nothing, in particular, you need to do to prepare your kids to attend. Additionally, there is no reason not to get checked out yourself while you’re there since screenings for adults and children of the same variety are done side-by-side. It’s not often that kids see their parents getting health screenings because many times parents prioritize everyone else’s health in the family in front of their own. When they do get a chance to go see a health professional, the kiddos are usually in school. By 
getting checked out together, you can set a good example for your children and show them the importance of owning your health, no matter your age.

Which Children’s Screenings are Offered

According to Brady, “Basic screenings include blood pressure and height/weight/body mass index.” She also says you can also ask a medical question or get a referral, and some fairs are offering a few optional screenings such as oral health and vision.

Most Common Children’s Issue Found at Screenings

“Unfortunately, obesity is a common health issue,” says Brady. “Also, poor oral health such as cavities and inflamed gums.” This is why it is so important to get your kids in for screenings. The sooner you catch a health problem, the sooner you can correct or treat it. Often times if you wait to find out, not only does the issue get worse and harder to treat, but it also can become much more expensive.

Other Things to Keep in Mind

While we do offer affordable blood screenings for adults, we do not offer blood screenings for anyone under the age of 18. Also, make sure you 
check our website to see which fairs are offering the children’s screenings, as not all of them are. Each fair has its own variety of offerings, so if you’re looking for a specific test make sure you search our fairs by that test.

Bringing your kids to a health fair is a great way to show them how important healthcare is and a great opportunity for you to model healthy behavior.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Battle of the Organs

It’s not very often that someone contacts a non-profit and says, “I want to raise money for you. I have a fundraiser idea, and I want to give all the proceeds to your organization.” So imagine our surprise when Gladys Brown Turnbough called our Director of Development, Brad Brunz, to say exactly that.

Fundraising from the Heart

Gladys’ idea was to have a “Battle of the Organs” And no, not a battle of the organs inside our bodies. Those really big, beautiful musical instruments often found in churches and cathedrals.

Gladys is a cervical cancer survivor. The cancer was discovered in a late stage. Fortunately, Jones was able to beat it and now wants to raise awareness on the cancer as well as HPV. Gladys told Caldwell-Kirk in their publication that she wanted to do something with music because it heals.

“9Health Fair is so pleased that Gladys Jones and the Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church decided to partner with us for such a great cause,” says Brunz. “Partnering with the members of the church as well as the African American Community is something that we take tremendous pride in.

This event, the 1st annual Cervical Cancer/HPV Awareness Campaign, was held at the Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church in Aurora and was truly wonderful. It included national recording artist Moses Tyson, Jr. and other talented musicians from within the community.

 “Gladys is a wonderful example of an individual who has overcome great odds and in doing so, has made the conscious decision to pay it forward. Her spirit and energy are contagious,” says Brunz. “The fact that she was willing to plan an event for Cervical Cancer Screenings and provide those funds to 9Health Fair is a true testament to her character. It goes without saying that she was a joy to work with and that we greatly appreciate her hard work and generosity.”

 “On behalf of 9Health Fair I would like to personally thank everyone involved in this event and their hard work to help our organization screen women for cervical cancer here in Colorado,” says Brunz.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Celebrate Black History Month

Here in Colorado, there are lots of local events that celebrate our diverse communities. During the month of February, our nation celebrates the achievements by black Americans and recognizes their key roles in our country’s history. Here are a few Black History Month events that may pique your interest.

Health Fair – The Center for African American Health

The Center for African American Health will be hosting a health fair on February 27th at the Renaissance Denver Hotel on Quebec St. On top of the health screenings offered, there will be massage therapy, cooking demonstrations and food tastings!

All The Way

This play is the winner of the 2014 Tony, Drama Desk and Out Critics’ Circle Awards for Best Play. It portrays the controversial steps taken by well-known figures of 1960’s and their efforts to pass the Civil Rights Act. The play will run through almost the entire month of February at The Stage Theatre in the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

Black History Live – Rosa Parks

Also taking place at the Blair-Caldwell Library is an educational event on Rosa Parks. National Humanities and Chautauqua scholar Becky Stone will act as Rosa Parks showing how her refusal to give up her seat on a bus in 1955 started the Civil Rights Movement.

Faith & Film Series

People’s Presbyterian Church in Denver will be hosting a film series in February honoring Black History Month. All showings will take place at noon and will have a short discussion afterward. For a full schedule, click here.

People from all walks of life will enjoy these events, which offer a great opportunity to learn more about our country’s great history and about other cultures. Attending events like these are a great way for families to honor those who came before us and learn from our past as a community.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Get Moving with these 3 Outdoor Activities

We’ve been pretty lucky this winter, it hasn’t been nearly as harsh as the last couple of winters… so far. It does look like the trend is supposed to continue into February (but we know how predictable the weather can be around here). Even if February doesn’t end up as nice as it’s shaping up to be now, you can always just throw on more layers!

According to Northern Illinois University, it’s especially important to get your kids outside for the following reasons:
  • It builds up their immune system - When kids regularly come into contact with outdoor things, such as dirt and animals, they are less likely to develop allergies and autoimmune disorders.
  • It provides exercise opportunity. 
  • It gets their imagination going which is something their electronic devices are less likely to do.
  • It provides them (and you) with the very important vitamin D, which can be harder to come by in winter months with their shorter days.

Here are a few things to do to get you out of the house and your blood pumping:

Take a Walk around Your Neighborhood
This is a great activity because wherever you live, you can change your route up on a regular basis. Make this a weekly activity…or even daily for a regular workout. Head in a different direction every day. Turn down streets you don’t usually walk or drive down. Take in the scenery, check out the houses and who knows, maybe you’ll even meet some new folks in your neighborhood.

Ride Your Bike on the Cherry Creek Bike Path
The bikepath runs through several neighborhoods in the Denver area. If you start by Confluence Park and make it to Cherry Creek, why not stop at one of the many coffee shops and treat yourself to a warm beverage before heading back – just don’t order something filled with sugar that undoes all your hard work. If you start in Cherry Creek and make to Confluence Park, why not find a spot in the sun and rest a while, take in the scenery and then head back.

Head Up into the Foothills and Observe the Wildlife
There are plenty of animals that don’t mind the cooler temps. Why not head to one of the many trails along the foothills on a sunny afternoon and see what you can find. For instance, not all birds migrate south, so there are still plenty to be seen. You can also usually see some rabbits and squirrels. If you’re really lucky you may even come across some deer. AllTrails is a great source to learn more about each trail before you go.

Don’t forget to share your photos with us on Facebook!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

What You Need to Know about the New FDA Guidelines for Food

Just a few months ago, a new report came out saying red meat can cause cancer. Now, in the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) newest guidelines, updated every five years, has said red meat is actually okay. It can be hard to keep up with constantly evolving science regarding our foods. Here’s what you need to know about the FDA’s new guidelines.

The USDA Dietary Guidelines Key Recommendations: 

Limit calories from added sugars to less than 10 percent of calories.
The FDA recommends no more than 10% of your daily calories come from sugar. While naturally occurring sugars such as those found in fruit is not a major concern, we need to be mindful of the other sugars found in our foods that you might not even realize are there (Sugar no, meat… maybe?). People know there is sugar in cakes and cookies, but most people don’t realize how much sugar they’re consuming through juices and even savory dishes such as the pasta sauce on your spaghetti or some salad dressings. With that in mind, make sure you’re reading nutrition labels (Read more about the sugar situation here!).

Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables.
This is one rule that never changes. Eat your fruit and vegetables. When it comes to the vegetables, make sure you have a variety of color on your plate such as pairing a side salad with roasted carrots and eggplant. (A tip from 9HealthReady nutrition expert, Caitlin Dow Ph.D.: think of fruits and vegetables as the foundation of each meal!)

Eat less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fats.
Saturated fat can come from meat, poultry and dairy. Saturated fat raises your cholesterol, which can increase the risk for cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes. To cut this out of your diet, try going meat-free on Mondays and eating more fish, especially salmon which is high in Omega-3 fatty acids (the good kind of fat).

Reduce intake of sodium – 2,300 mg per day.
For many Americans, the majority of sodium we eat every day comes from processed foods and eating out. Too much sodium can increase your blood pressure and your risk of heart disease and stroke – which kills more Americans each year than any other cause. To cut back on the amount of sodium you eat every day, make your meals ahead. You might also find it gives you more energy to get through the day. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.

Choose whole grains for at least half of the total grains consumed.
When it comes to your bread, choose whole grains over everything else. Grains are a vital source of nutrients such as fiber, B vitamins and minerals. Try adding flaxseed and oatmeal to your diet (Health Benefits of Grains).

A Couple More Notable Changes

Males – Cut Back on the Meat
Most men are probably not going to want to hear this one, but according to the FDA, the majority of them are actually taking in too much protein (New Dietary Guidelines Urge Less Sugar for All and Less Meat for Boys and Men). Instead, why not swap out some bacon for a banana & peanut butter smoothie and instead of steak have some salmon.

Eat Eggs
That’s right. The FDA has loosened the restriction on the amount of cholesterol you take in. So go ahead and have some eggs. Just keep in mind, if you already have high cholesterol, you should probably still cut back on those foods with high amounts of it.

Who These Guidelines Impact

As individuals, it’s up to us to decide whether or not to follow the guidelines, so you might be wondering why anyone cares so much. However, these guidelines do affect a majority of Americans, particularly children. These guidelines will help determine the lunches offered in our schools as well other federal nutrition programs (Making Sense of Latest US Dietary Guidelines).

You can read the entire guideline report here.

Maybe now is a good time to reevaluate your diet? If so, there are a lot of great resources out there. The U.S.News and World Report has some great tips for finding a diet that will work for you and your needs.
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