The fall harvest is in full swing. Hopefully you’ve gotten your hands on some seasonal Minnesota fruits and vegetables. Most of us are aware that apples and pumpkins are abundant this time of year, but so are beets, Brussels sprouts, green onions and so much more.

Your major grocery store is probably stocked with some of this seasonal produce, but the produce found in large supermarkets have typically traveled hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles to get there. In these cases, fruits and vegetables are picked before their prime in order to ensure their shelf lives. This premature harvest disrupts the natural ripening process and limits the ability of the produce to obtain its full nutrient potential.

With that said, there are many places in the Twin Cities where you can find locally grown food that is picked at its prime. The following are just five examples of where to get your Minnesota grown produce.

Local produce, Edina, Stillwater, Woodbury, Eden Prairie, Shakopee, Bloomington, Minneapolis, MN

  1. Farmers Markets

The Minneapolis and St. Paul metropolitan area is home to over 70 Twin Cities farmers markets. With so many markets to choose from, chances are high that you’ll find a market with an array of locally grown produce near you.

Farmers markets ensure that you are buying the freshest locally grown produce around. In addition to purchasing the most nutrient dense fruits and vegetables, shopping at farmers markets also keeps money in the local economy, encourages you to talk to those who grow the food you eat, and provides you with a sense of community. You can find farmers markets in your area through the Minnesota Grown Directory:

  1. Food Hubs and Community Supported Agriculture

A food hub is a business or organization that actively manages the collection, distribution and marketing of local and regional food. Food hubs can vary in size, but their main goal is to provide the appropriate infrastructure and support for small and mid-sized farmers.

The Good Acre[i] is a non-profit food hub in Falcon Heights, MN that provides space and the infrastructure necessary for farmers to wash, process and store produce fresh from the field. Additionally, The Good Acre purchases seasonal produce from its network of growers and distributes these in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes to its 450 members.

As a CSA member you pay an upfront fee. In return you receive a box of fresh picked produce every week, typically from mid-June to mid-October. Minnesota is home to a number of CSA programs. You can search for a CSA in your area through the Minnesota Grown Directory:

  1. Food Co-operatives

Food co-operatives or food co-ops are food distribution channels that can sometimes look like a smaller version of a large supermarket. What makes a co-op grocery store different from the typical grocery store is that the co-op is usually member-owned and frequently purchases its products and produce from local sources. Often times, co-ops will detail where exactly its produce came from.

Normally, you do not have to be a member of a co-op to shop there. Being a member, however, may provide you with benefits not available to non-members, such as specials and discounts. Minnesota is home to a number of grocery co-ops. You can find a list of them here:

  1. U-Pick Farms

If you really want to appreciate the work and dedication of those who grow the produce we eat, visit a u-pick or pick-your-own farm. A u-pick or pick-your-own farm is usually a family farm where you actually go out into the fields or the orchards and handpick your own produce.

U-pick farms can be a great family activity and the satisfaction you’ll receive after eating produce you picked yourself is second to none. You can locate a pick-your-own farm near you through the following website:


  1. Grow Your Own

If you are completely committed to the benefits of locally grown food, why not experiment with growing your own? Plant and garden centers like Mother Earth Gardens[ii], with two locations in Minneapolis, are committed to providing plants and products that have been grown in a sustainable way. At Mother Earth Gardens you can find seeds, fruit trees, plant starters and bulbs to help you prepare for next year’s harvest.

There are plenty of resources throughout the Twin Cities including The Good Acre, Mother Earth Gardens, grocery co-ops and more that can help you with tips and advice for cooking locally, and how to start an organic garden.

The health benefits of locally grown fruits and vegetables should help build up your immune system during this cooler season. However, if you find yourself or your family members feeling ill, please reach out to the naturopathic doctors at Balanced Care. We can run tests to determine the root cause of your illness and provide you with natural treatments for all of your ailments.


Drs. Katie and Rachel are wishing you a spooky Halloween!! They see patients in Edina and Woodbury, MN serving the Twin Cities. Their goal is to address the root cause by using natural medicines and nutrition. They offer complimentary 15 minute consultations if you would like to learn a little more. 612-564-2218



Anxiety blog

Written By: Julia MerrillPhoto by Pixabay

Do you worry that your child may be silently suffering from anxiety? It’s certainly possible. One out of every eight children is affected by an anxiety disorder and of those kids, 80% are not receiving treatment. But what’s more disturbing is that anxiety disorders seldom travel alone. Instead, they’re commonly accompanied by depression, eating disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and other mental health issues, which only work to compound the problem.

So what tools can you give to your child if he or she is already suffering from this debilitating disorder? You can start by following these sometimes whacky but effective steps to help your child manage his or her anxiety.


#1 – Take Time For Self-Care

The Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA) recommends yoga, exercise, meditation, a healthy diet, and avoidance of drugs and alcohol to combat stress and anxiety – and they may be onto something. Researchers found that those who get regular vigorous exercise are 25 percent less likely to develop depression or an anxiety disorder within the next five years. The good news is that to relieve depression or anxiety, a ten minute walk may be just as effective as a 45 minute workout.


#2 – Make Your Fear Boring

If a thought is making you anxious, take its power by repeating it slowly and clearly over and over to yourself for at least twenty minutes. This works much in the same way as it does for those facing a physical fear. For instance, if you had a fear of elevators but rode in one a thousand times in a row, at first you would be anxious but eventually you’d become used to it and ultimately, bored of riding it altogether. You can do the same thing with anxious or fearful thoughts by riding them as well and eventually they’ll just become boring.


#3 – Recognize Anxiety Attacks As Temporary

Anxiety attacks are commonly described as a sudden and inexplicable feeling of intense panic, which can be unnerving and downright frightening to experience. But that rapid heartbeat doesn’t mean you’re having a heart attack – it’s simply your natural physical reaction to fear. Instead of focusing on this physical cue, treat it the way you would a defined thought in meditation: thank it for its message, then let it pass by.


#4 – Schedule Time To Worry

Instead of stopping to address each and every one of your worries during the day, schedule some time at the end of your day – 4:30 or so, especially if you work office hours – to dedicate to worrying about your daytime troubles. As worry pops up throughout the day, jot it down for your later appointment and move on with your current tasks. Once your dedicated worry time rolls around, you may find that the items on your list no longer have any bearing on your anxiety level and you’re able to let them go. If you find yourself creating new worries during your appointment, jot them down along with any possible solutions, and schedule them for the next day.

While trying to control your anxiety usually backfires and leaves you feeling worse, there are a number of ways for you to take its power away, which empowers you. And sharing these coping strategies with your child can help them manage their anxiety whether they’re facing a school presentation, a new extracurricular activity, or a new home and new school, which can be especially stressful for those dealing with anxiety.

Summer is slowly slipping away, the crisp fall air is in clear sight, and the kids are back in school, which means this is the perfect time to focus on keeping your children properly nourished and healthy.

The fall harvest brings with it a myriad of yummy fruits and vegetables, many of which kids love. The cooler weather and interaction with many more people also make some little ones more susceptible to the common cold and other ailments.

As parents you want to do all that you can to make sure that this transition back to school and into the cooler weather goes as smoothly as possible. The following tips and tricks can help you keep your children’s bellies happy while keeping their health and energy soaring during this exciting time.

Healthy CookingRiding on the Healthy Bus

Contrary to what some believe, many children will eat more than pizza, fries and chicken nuggets. There are so many different fruits and vegetables to choose from, especially during the autumn season, that limiting food options is such a shame. Back to school season is a great time to introduce new and healthy foods to kids.

If your kids aren’t enthusiastic about a particular food the first time they try it, don’t be discouraged. For many children, especially young children, it can take 10 or more attempts of introducing the food before they will actually try a new food or like the food. Patience and perseverance are key when trying to get children to eat healthier.

If your child is older and seems pretty set in his or her ways, invite them to cook or prepare food with you. In one research study[i], it was shown that children who took part in cooking workshops and were involved in cooking their own foods, were more likely to eat those foods, and even ask for seconds, compared with children who did not participate in the class.

Handling food and preparing it themselves allows children to build a personal relationship with food and this relationship can greatly affect the amount of healthy food children accept in their diets.

Healthy Child

Healthy Meal and Snack Ideas

Planning and prepping meal and snack ideas for children can seem overwhelming. Something that often gets overlooked is the simplicity of food in its whole and natural form. Whether you’re crunched on time or can’t seem to find your way around the kitchen, you can never wrong a simple apple. Given the variety of apples available in the fall, provide your child with a different kind each week. Make it fun by asking your child to describe the taste of each kind and how they differ from one another.

There’s a reason why the phrase “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” is so popular. Apples are full of antioxidants, they are high in fiber, and contain a decent amount of vitamin C and potassium. Apples have also been shown to reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Fun and easy apple snacks include apple chips[ii], apple slices with peanut butter, and apple cinnamon cookie energy bites[iii]. In addition to apples, another fun and delicious fall fruit is the persimmon.

Persimmons originated in Asia, but when in season can now be found in almost every local grocery store. The tomato looking fruit is high in vitamin A, C and E, beta-carotene, potassium and a number of other vitamins and minerals. Persimmons also contain a good amount of antioxidants.

Like apples, persimmons can be peeled and eaten fresh. Including the fruit in a smoothie or salad will provide you with refreshing new and unique flavors. If you’re feeling very adventurous, this maple cinnamon chia bowl[iv], which features persimmon and pomegranate (another fall fruit), looks amazingly delicious.

If you need heartier meal ideas, cooking with squash of all varieties can help in keeping little bellies warm and full. You can’t go wrong with roasted butternut soup[v]. Additionally, the next time you’re thinking of making pasta skip the wheat or rice noodles and use spaghetti squash instead[vi].


Natural Remedies for Common Ailments

Keeping the body properly nourished by providing it with healthy and wholesome food should assist with preventing your child from getting ill. However, sometimes the common cold and other ailments are simply unavoidable.

If your child becomes ill and it is beyond your comfort level, the naturopathic doctors at Balanced Care can assist with uncovering the cause of the illness and restoring your child back to health. At Balanced Care we use natural remedies to address the root cause of the ailments and can run testing to determine what the cause is.

Fall is an exciting time for the entire family and we want to do all that we can to ensure that illnesses don’t get in the way of that for your family.


Drs. Katie and Rachel are Naturopathic Doctors practicing in Edina, MN and Woodbury, MN. They treat chronic issues using natural medicines and nutrition to address the root cause. They offer complimentary 15 minute consultations – call now to schedule 612-564-2218.