Why Your Diet Should be as Unique as You Are

00Nutrition, Prevention

Exercise andwhat your diet should be 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.

A Family Checkup that will Save You Time and Money


family checkupHow would you like to have your entire family get a health checkup all together, in one place? It may sound too good to be true, but with 9Health Fair, you can do just that.

Making Healthcare a Family Affair

Our 2016 spring 9Health Fair season is just around the corner. Find a fair near you, register and put it on the family calendar.

“New this year is the opportunity for our spring sites to offer (non-blood) screenings for children such as blood pressure and height, weight and body mass index,” says Margarita Archibeque, ourDirector of Client Services. “Select sites will offer these screenings, and we think this opportunity aligns well with state efforts to respond to children’s health issues.  This is a great way for parents and children to learn about their health together as a family.”

For adults, attending a 9Health Fair is a great way to get your baseline levels checked – such as cholesterol, blood pressure and thyroid. Oftentimes, the tests offered at our fairs are a lower cost than what you would be charged at the doctor’s office, even with insurance. Keep in mind, each site varies on the screenings they offer. However, all 9Health Fairs will offer a blood chemistry screening, prostate specific antigen (PSA) for men, blood count screening, vitamin D 25-Hydroxy screening and colon cancer screening kits.

Archibeque also says this year there will be two new locations. “I am always excited about new sites and new site leaders!  This means our important services are reaching new communities. This year, our new sites in Aurora and Southwest Denver add to the ever growing diverse communities in Colorado.”

Just remember, the screenings offered may vary at each 9Health Fair. Find a fair near you to see what screenings they will have available.

Our goals are to advance health awareness and provide our community with the tools they need to take responsibility for their health. Each spring, 9Health Fair, along with volunteers from our community, organize approximately 120 9Health Fairs all across Colorado to help our community own their health. We hope you and your family take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. Let’s get healthy together!

Should You Be Screened for Depression? YES.

00Mental Health, Prevention
Stock Photo by Sean Locke www.digitalplanetdesign.com

Stock Photo by Sean Locke

The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation is in – screen ALL adults for depression.

Depression is a Community-Wide Issue
Considering that depression is one of the leading causes of disability in adults, it makes sense, right? And because the effects of depression reach far beyond the individual (families, businesses, and society can be negatively impacted by this disease) mental health should be regarded as a community-wide issue.

An important part of this recommendation is that it is Grade B, which means that anyone can be screened without any qualifications. Basically, you don’t have to “prove” anything to “earn” a depression screening. Additionally, the USPSTF says that an accurate diagnosis should be followed by effective treatment, and concluded with appropriate follow-up. In other words, the diagnosis is just the beginning of the journey.

Just as with other health conditions, depression symptoms can be reduced or relieved when treated correctly and in a timely fashion. If you need help, medical professionals can create a treatment plan that involves medication, therapy, or both.

9Health Fair: A Place to Start
Adding a new aspect to your healthcare routine can be daunting. If you don’t know where to start, just go to a 9Health Fair! Many locations offer a free stress management screening, which would be a great way to see if further evaluation is needed – without spending any money.

Many people are already in the habit of including weight and blood pressure in their annual preventive health plan. Adding a mental health evaluation paints a more inclusive picture of your overall wellness. By screening all adults for depression, this new USPSTF recommendation encourages our community to bring mental health issues into the light.

New to 9Health Fair: Total Wellness Zones


exercise3In the spring of 2015, 9Health Fair created the Total Wellness Zone to address the growing interest in complementary health practices. This opportunity was open to any 9Health Fair site, and 45 sites decided to offer interactive demonstrations and education in a variety of areas related to wellness. The Total Wellness Zone quickly became one of our most popular areas at the 9Health Fair sites that offered it.

Creating a More Dynamic Experience

Cindy Hickman, Active Adults Coordinator for the Town of Erie, volunteered to run one of the first Total Wellness Zones. She says she was very excited to hear the idea. “I thought it would bring a more dynamic experience to 9Health Fair…It allowed me to look at more natural and holistic health options.”

Our mission is this: 9Health Fair will advance health awareness by providing people with the tools they need to take responsibility for their own health. Our Total Wellness Zone features a variety of activities, such as works outs like Zumba or Yoga, first aid demonstrations, nutrition discussions, farmer’s market vendors, and cooking classes.

In Cindy’s Total Wellness Zone you could learn more about mountain biking, essential oils, and how to cook for a healthy life. A number of local businesses were included, which also created another way for the community to interact and learn more about each other.

The idea of total wellness is becoming quite popular. The National Center for Complementary and Integrated Health says that roughly 38 percent of adults and 12 percent of children are practicing some form of complementary and alternative medicine.

“I believe that our health is something we have to take personal responsibility for,” says Cindy. “This would include going to the doctor’s office, visiting 9Health Fair, and thinking of other options for good health rather than always relying on medication. The 9Health Fair Wellness Zone allowed me, as a site coordinator, to think outside the box when it comes to health options. I believe the Total Wellness Zone will give participants more options when it comes to considering health alternatives.”

If you were one of the many people to participate in a Total Wellness Zone, we hope that you are well on your way towards a more successful and healthy existence, with a greater awareness of the choices you make.

Look for a Total Wellness Zone at a 9Health Fair in your area this year!