Posts Tagged ‘workshop’

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By Alyssa Ritterstein, DC EcoWomen Blog Manager and Communications Committee VC

More than 15 years ago, two women hatched a plan to launch EcoWomen. Today, there are more than 5,000 women in the DC EcoWomen network. Here are a few photos to showcase DC EcoWomen through the years. I hope you enjoy them!

Alisa Gravitz, CEO of Green America, was the speaker at our first EcoHour – a free event where successful women in the environmental field discuss their work (left). In 2005, we heard from various women during our EcoHours. Juliet Eilperin, Environmental Reporter at Washington Post, was one of them (right).

In 2006, we held a Green Halloween Fundraiser. Here’s a picture of our board members at the event at Madam’s Organ (right). In May 2007, we had a spring fundraising date auction at Ireland’s Four Fields (left).

Eco-Outings hiked Old Rag in November 2008 (right).  In December 2008, they went ice skating in a sculpture garden (upper left). By March 2009, Eco-outings took archery lessons (bottom left).

Here’s our Five-Year Gala, held at the National Botanical Garden in June 2009.

In August 2009, DC EcoWomen went tubing (bottom right). We had fun at our 2009 Holiday Party (left), and enjoyed our wine tasting and networking event in April 2010 (upper right).

Our November 2010 EcoHour featured former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, seen here with Kelly Rand, former DC EcoWomen Chair.

Our Spring Wildflower Hike in April 2011 (upper left). In July 2011, we held an EcoMoms meeting (bottom left). By November 2011, former DC EcoWomen President Jessica Lubetsky instructed 20+ women on how to improve their resumes at our resume building workshop (right).

DC EcoWomen volunteered at the Walker Jones urban farm in July 2012 (right). In November 2012, we held a Craft, Chat and Chocolate event (left).

This picture was taken during a session at the May 2013 DC EcoWomen conference – I’m Here, What’s Next?

Our book club – a time when women discuss a book or series of small articles, blogs and podcasts with an environmental angle – met in May 2013 to discuss Silent Spring at the Navy Memorial/National Archives.

DC EcoWomen members tabled during the 2013 Green Living Expo DC (upper left). Our members volunteered at a 2013 coastal cleanup with Women’s Aquatic Network (bottom left). In October 2013, we hosted a locavore potluck (right).

DC EcoWomen coordinated a mentor tea at Hillwood Estate in 2014 (left). We also put on a clothing swap in fall 2015 (right).

DC EcoWomen went behind-the-scenes during a tour of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute in Sept 2015 (left). We held a rock climbing event in February 2016 (right).

This picture was taken during our August 2016 Board Retreat.

Our Women’s Suffrage Parade Walking Tour in March 2017 (left). We participated in the People’s Climate March in April 2017 (bottom right). We also coordinated a Working Women in American History Bike Tour in May 2017 (upper right).

The Skills-building Leveling Up Workshop in December 2017 (left). DC EcoWomen and Department of Energy’s May 2018 event, which showcased two of the world’s first commercial hydrogen fuel cell cars (right).

Back to where it all began, an EcoHour! This picture is from February 2019 and includes members of our Professional Development Committee and our speaker Stephanie Ritchie, Agriculture and Natural Resources Librarian at the University of Maryland (third from left).

Alyssa Ritterstein is a driven communications professional, with a proven track record of creating and executing successful communications and media relations strategies for nonprofit organizations, associations and a public relations firm. Her career spans various climate, energy and environmental communications work.

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Is a calorie just a calorie?

Obesity is one of the most visible problems in our country. But it may be masking another overarching chronic health problem – malnutrition.

In a country with so many choices, so much inexpensive food everywhere, and a McDonalds in every town big or small, why would we have to worry about malnutrition?

We pride food on being inexpensive and convenient above all else – above sustainability, above quality, and above nutritional content. As a result, the grocery aisles have become stuffed with packaged, processed foods designed for low cost and long shelf-life. Unfortunately, the nutritional value of these foods is often little to none. So while most Americans are certainly getting enough to eat, they are not consuming the nutrients that are essential for health.  Nutrient deficiency-related diseases can happen to anyone – even an EcoWoman.

Everyone has a different diet, and risks for possible nutrient deficiencies. And women in particular face risk of certain nutrient deficiencies. Here are five common nutrient deficiencies in American women:

1. Vitamin D

Vitamin D aids the auto-immune system – a deficiency may lead to increased susceptibility to colds and the flu. Vitamin D’s role with the immune system also helps prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes. More commonly known is vitamin D’s critical role in calcium absorption and in regulating the nervous system. Women have an increased risk of developing osteoporosis than men, so maintaining bone health is particularly important.

2. Calcium

Calcium and Vitamin D go hand in hand in terms of bone health. Osteoporosis is one of the most common diseases among women – over half of women over the age of 45 are affected. The risks of osteoporosis are more deadly than one might think – bones degraded from osteoporosis causes about 250,000 hip fractures in the U.S. each year, resulting in a 20 percent risk of death.

3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Over 90% of Americans have too little Omega-3 Fatty Acids in their diet. As an essential component of the brain (60% of brain material is made from omega 3 fatty acids), a deficit can lead to learning disabilities, such as ADHD, or contribute to depression. It also may contribute to obesity or heart disease.

4. Folic Acid

Folic acid is extremely important for women that are pregnant or planning to get pregnant. Folate helps protect against a number of embryonic malformations, including neural defects. Also, advanced folate deficiency can lead to anemia. And speaking of anemia…

5. Iron

For vegetarians, iron can be the biggest challenge. Iron-deficiency anemia causes extreme fatigue, dizziness, and an increased heart rate – so much so that it can be difficult to simply walk up a hill. And in the longer term, anemia can have severe impacts, leading to heart disease or heart attacks. The World Health Organization considers iron deficiency the number one nutritional disorder in the world.

With all the research on the dangers of vitamin supplements, it is important – and increasingly difficult – to get these nutrients from natural sources. There are exceptions, of course – vegetarians might take iron supplements to ensure their iron stays at healthy levels and prevent anemia. But they should always be supplemented with the real thing – iron pills could be taken with quinoa, spinach, and lentils.

One thing to take away from this is that maintaining nutrient health is HARD. It can be very difficult to get all the nutrients you need in a natural way, without relying on a multivitamin. But there are experts that can help. Now, I’m no expert – just an EcoWoman trying to stay healthy. For a chance to learn from real experts, DC EcoWomen is hosting a workshop. Dr. Melissa Windsor and Dr. Karen Threlkel of the Restorative Health Center for Integrative Medicine will talk about why we’re malnourished, what the common deficiencies are, and how simple changes in your food choices can make a difference.

A calorie is NOT just a calorie. A nutrient-filled calorie means a whole lot more. In time, it could mean everything.

Learn more about the workshop “Overfed Yet Undernourished” and reserve your ticket.