WRITER: Mackenzie Clark

Healthy Outlook: Local produce will freshen up your diet; here’s how to use it

My parents will forever lament that their dainty, suburban-raised little girl never got her hands dirty picking the day’s dinner salad from the backyard garden. Although I never did have that experience, I recently found the next best thing here in town, on an adventure to the farmers market. Buying lettuce from the farmer who pulled it out of the ground himself that same afternoon changed my perspective ...

Healthy Outlook: Meet the 77-year-old Lawrence man who can run circles around me

What do you get when you cross a master’s in counseling psychology with a master’s in exercise physiology and a passion for practicing what you preach? A physically and mentally healthy person who can still shatter race records at a self-described “77 years young.” More specifically, you get John Huchingson, of Lawrence. Since he became a member of the very exclusive 75-79 age group, Huchingson has ...

Healthy Outlook: Sweating it out in an infrared sauna

There’s something to be said for working up a good sweat. After a long workout or hard physical labor, I sometimes feel as though the earned perspiration is stress leaving my body. On a stressed-out whim this week, I decided to go let the infrared sauna at Optimal Wellness and Cryospa, 4931 W. Sixth St., Suite 112, do the work for me. The biggest difference between how the infrared sauna and a traditional ...

Healthy Outlook: Struggling moms, you are not alone

The pressure on a soon-to-be mom or the mother of a newborn is something I cannot begin to fathom, and the weight on the shoulders of a woman simultaneously struggling with mental health issues is that much greater. Imagine everyone you know and love expecting you to be all smiles and joy, telling you that this should be the happiest time of your life … but you’re feeling anxious, alone, exhausted and ...

Healthy Outlook: Senior oral health — Why it matters, where to get help and what it will cost

Many components of the health care system — often including patients themselves — look straight past patients’ teeth and down their throats, rather than addressing oral health needs. Medicare is no different. Original Medicare with no supplementary medigap plan, the insurance that covers roughly 427,200 seniors in Kansas, offers no preventive or restorative dental coverage, nor does it cover dentures. That ...

Healthy Outlook: Lessons from my colleagues, and my plans for the Journal-World's Health section

This column is about to enter its seventh month, which feels simultaneously like the blink of an eye and eons. I wanted to pause for a moment of reflection after a new experience this month, which has had a huge impact on my perspective and my goals. I spent four days in Phoenix for the Association of Health Care Journalists’ 2018 conference, thanks to a fellowship from the Kansas Health Foundation. I heard ...

Healthy Outlook: I failed traveling healthy, but I’ll do better next time

I travel so infrequently that I didn’t realize I needed to check my bag before I got into the security line at the Kansas City airport. Thus, my trip began with a mildly embarrassing, panic-stricken moment, but otherwise it was off to a great start. Yet I hadn’t even considered how starving I’d be by the time I got to my hotel. With a quick glance at the room service menu, my eyebrows hit the ceiling, and ...

Healthy Outlook: Prime TMS hopes to expand access to alternative depression treatment

“What are those funny helmets hooked up to the big machines, and who let that woodpecker inside?” That might have been my first question walking into Prime TMS, 1811 Wakarusa Drive, Suite 102, if I hadn’t done a bit of research beforehand.The business, which opened in February, offers deep transcranial magnetic stimulation, or deep TMS. It’s an alternative treatment for people whose depression has not ...

Healthy Outlook: KU bike-share program is about to kick into high gear

What’s better than the University of Kansas purchasing 180 Jayhawk-bespeckled bikes for all students and community members to share? Getting them for free. KU has partnered with the company VeoRide to bring a bike-share program to campus, and it’s happening soon — the bikes are expected to be delivered Monday. They’ll celebrate with a launch party from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, on the lawn ...

Healthy Outlook: Coping with aches and pains of muscle gains

If you’ve ever strength trained, you might know the sweet satisfaction that comes with perfecting your form on a particularly challenging workout. Something just clicks, and it feels so right. (Why yes, I did just finally master the deadlift. Thanks for asking.) You probably also know the sweet symphony of soreness your muscles sing by the next morning. Although it’s a natural phenomenon, and in general ...

Healthy Outlook: How I cut my cholesterol by 62 points in 1 year

Picture it: Lawrence, February 2017. I’m going about my day when suddenly I get a voicemail about my blood panel results. My total cholesterol is “a little elevated,” the message says — nothing my doctor is “really concerned about at this time.” But that number was 235, and the cutoff between “borderline” and “high” is 239, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Terror ...

Healthy Outlook: I went a week without caffeine; here’s what happened

Sometimes in this journey toward a healthier, happier lifestyle, I just don’t know who I am anymore. It started by accident, really, and I certainly hadn’t intended to write about it. Yet suddenly last week, I realized I had gone 24 hours with no caffeine. As 24 became 48 and 72, I started to become intrigued. Could I go a whole week? Would I survive?It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that, yes, ...

Heartland Community Health Center suspends CEO pending review of business records

The board of directors of Heartland Community Health Center voted Wednesday to suspend CEO Jon Stewart without pay while an accounting firm reviews the organization's finances, according to the board president and a news release from the organization. The board appointed current Chief Operating Officer Alexandra Nicholson as interim CEO, according to the news release. James Pavisian, president of Heartland's ...

Healthy Outlook: Some family-friendly, super healthy alternatives to green beer

There’s a holiday coming up this weekend that this town takes pretty seriously. At least for the 21-and-older crowd, St. Patrick’s Day is a time to celebrate … well, drinking, mostly. And with that often comes a fun tradition: green beer. But hey, Lawrence — you know what’s even more fun than green beer? Green smoothies. Yes, I hear your sighs, and I know your eyes are rolling. Bear with me, though — ...

Healthy Outlook: Silencing ‘the voice’ — Lawrence teen shares her battle with anorexia

“Why are you betraying me? Why aren't you listening?” the voice shouts. “We went so long doing this together, and we’re so strong.”The voice inside Zoe Prather’s head gets loudest as she begins the refeeding process. It is angry that she’s undoing what anorexia has done to her body. Prather, 18, of Lawrence, said once you’ve had an eating disorder with you for so long, it becomes like your ...

Healthy Outlook: My DNA says I’m coded for fitness failure

The scientific debate of nature versus nurture is endlessly fascinating: How many of our physical and mental traits and behaviors are determined by our genes and how many by our environment?I’m not a scientist, and I can’t offer any grand conclusions. I can say, though, that learning a bit about my own genetic code has altered the way I’m thinking about some health and fitness factors in my life.I took a ...

Healthy Outlook: KU Alzheimer’s center study could change aging as we know it

My grandfather, now nearing age 90, has always lived a very active lifestyle. He's biked through the mountains of Las Cruces, N.M., 5 miles every morning, for most of his senior years. He’s always had rock-solid six-pack abs — and his mind has stayed equally firm. He is exemplary of a theory that a University of Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Center research group has set out to prove: Exercise has a strong, ...

Healthy Outlook: Senior tennis class combines fun and fitness

Ann Anderson describes her job as “frosting on frosting.” A University of Kansas graduate, Anderson has held several jobs throughout her career, but she’s carried her identity as a tennis player everywhere she’s gone. Now 65, she’s working her dream job as a coach at the Jayhawk Tennis Center. She’s played since her mother gave her a taped-up racket with half the handle chopped off — sized for a ...

Healthy Outlook: Why I take time off work for my birthday — and you should, too

As we age, our birthdays begin to take on different meanings. Most of us lose the desire to affix pointy cardboard cones to our heads; some of us even try to avoid any acknowledgement of that day because of the inevitability it signifies. In what may appear to be self-celebratory extravagance, I decided last year to take vacation time for the days surrounding my birthday because, I thought, “Why not?” I ...