caring for our families, caring for ourselves 


Talk to yourself as you would someone you love. — Brené Brown

Do you remember being in school on Valentine’s Day? The tiny cards being passed around with shy glances… Perhaps finding an anonymous declaration of love in your pile via sweetheart candy: “Be Mine.” “Secret Admirer.” “Super Star.” The day was both exciting and completely awkward.

The origins of Valentine’s Day are somewhat murky–there were at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus which may have played a part, as well as the ancient Roman fertility festival called Lupercalia which took place in mid February. In modern times, the holiday is celebrated by offering kindness and small gifts to those we love.

Perhaps we enjoy a special dinner out with a partner. Or we send frosted treats into our child’s classroom. Or we cuddle up to watch a gloriously cheesy Hallmark movie. If we find ourselves at a loss for ideas, retailers are happy to tell us how we could best express our feelings. (I mean, the KAY Jewelers commercials alone…) 

The people in our lives appreciate knowing how much we love them. There is no downside to spreading good vibes! But culturally, we don’t tend to give that same attention to caring for ourselves. We take in many subtle and not so subtle messages about how to be a “good” (i.e. selfless) parent and/or spouse. But the reality is, if we never refill our own tanks, we won’t have the reserves to care for our loved ones.

Too often, we get to the end of the day and realize that we are burnt out. We have cared for our children or aging family members, met the demands of work–both inside and outside of the home, and ran all of the errands. We may or may not have taken a moment to check in with ourselves. How are we feeling? What might WE need today?

An important first step in self care is cultivating mindfulness as we go about our day. To keep in touch with our feelings so that we don’t end up losing ourselves as we try to keep up with our responsibilities. To be just as compassionate towards ourselves as we are with our loved ones. Or, as Brené Brown says, “Talk to yourself as you would someone you love.” 

Does our inner voice sound like someone we would befriend in the outside world, or would we never in a million years choose to hang out with them? Spending time with a judgemental person is terribly draining–and we are with ourselves 24/7! When we observe how we speak to ourselves, we can make adjustments as needed. For many of us, using positive self-talk can take a bit of practice, especially if we received negative messages growing up. But our gentleness will promote healing from the inside out. So, how do we improve our inner dialogue?

Dr. Kristin Neff has some thoughts. She is a leading research psychologist in self compassion–a pioneer in her field with over twenty years experience. Dr. Neff’s website ( offers tips, as well as guided meditations to help begin the practice of self compassion. The guided meditations start at five minutes long–completely doable even on a busy day!

“Research indicates that self-compassion is one of the most powerful sources of coping and resilience we have available to us, radically improving our mental and physical wellbeing.” — Dr. Kristin Neff

Another way we can take care of ourselves throughout the day is to capitalize on small moments while we go about our other tasks. Playing music that makes us happy while paying the bills (which definitely does NOT make us happy). Taking five minutes to stretch before we start the morning. Running a warm bath before bed to let our muscles soak, mixing in a couple drops of our favorite essential oil. Lighting a naturally scented candle. 

Making time for ourselves takes a little creativity, but we benefit from the cumulative effect. Here are some quick respite ideas from the QFH staff:



Rachel loves listening to ocean sounds on Spotify. Practicing slow, deliberate breaths at the same time is even more calming.

Dr. Quinn likes meditating using the Square Breathing Technique while she’s waiting for her kids to get ready.

She also likes to sneak in exercise by doing wall/counter push-ups, squats. Air boxing and playing with dogs can be fun too! 

Dr. Alyssa is a nature enthusiast. Even when the weather is less than ideal, she will get outside to reset and breathe fresh air. Five minutes still counts!

Kathryn also loves nature bathing. When she has a few moments in between errands, she likes to find a scenic spot to pull over and enjoy the view with some hot tea. Kathryn also believes in the joy of dark chocolate.

Jackie begins her mornings by getting up early. She makes herself a cup of tea, lights a few naturally scented candles, and meditates. This calm, soothing start helps to set the trajectory of her day.

Let’s say we’ve succeeded in using a few moments to recharge throughout our day. We then face our ultimate trial-by-fire: dinnertime. How do we maintain our Zen when one of the little people in our families inevitably begins a full blown hunger melt down? (Full disclosure: In my family, that person is usually me.) Besides ordering take out–which is a sanity saver in a pinch–we can practice self care by keeping meal prep simple.

Here are some of our staff go-to’s for easy and nourishing meals on the fly:



Dr. Marley’s Beefed Up Pasta:

Brown ground beef in a skillet, then drain. Add beef to a good quality jarred pasta sauce and let it simmer for 20-30 minutes with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over your favorite GF pasta.

Kathryn’s Veggie Pasta:

Saute chopped broccoli for 4-5 minutes in a cast iron skillet w/ olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Toss over GF pasta. Sprinkle with pine nuts or sliced almonds, nutritional yeast, and another drizzle of olive oil.

Dr. Quinn’s Pizza Rounds:

Choose your favorite GF english muffins or GF bread for the crust. Top with a quality jarred sauce, pre-cooked chicken, veggies (pre-chopped from the market is easiest), and cheese of choice. Add a dash of Italian seasoning blend and/or garlic powder and toast until the cheese is melted.

Rachel’s Breakfast Is Best:

Top your favorite cereal with milk and sliced fruit. Or whisk up a quick omelet using pre-sliced veggies like mushrooms and/or baby spinach.

Nancy’s Prime Planning:

On a day when more time is available, pre-form burger patties and freeze them individually for future use. Change up seasonings for interest. On a busy day, the patties can be thawed in a short time, then cooked to preference. Serve on a GF bun with a side salad.

Another plan ahead tip: when time allows, double the quantity of a meal you are already making so there will be enough for a second dinner that week.


Do you have your own meditative moments or quick dinner ideas that you’d like to share? Please let us know! 

On this Valentine’s Day and always, may we remember to offer ourselves the same care we give to our loved ones. By practicing gentle self-talk, claiming restorative moments, and keeping meals manageable, we give ourselves the daily grounding we need to show up for others, and we restore our own health as well.

QFH Front Desk Staff

Happy Holidays from Quinn Family Health!

Many of us look forward to the holidays to celebrate cherished traditions. Sometimes, we may take  the opportunity to begin new ones. What is universal among us is our desire to seek out friends and family to share these moments with. 

What do you look forward to during this season? Do you eagerly await Mom’s shortbread cookies? Seeing old friends from school? Perhaps attending a holiday concert?

Our staff has shared a few recipes that make us happy, served with a side of good vibes.

We wish you and yours joy and good health on all the festive days, and on every day in between. 

-Dr. Jenn, Dr. Alyssa, Nancy, Rachel, Jackie, and Kathryn


My Grandmother’s Table

-Kathryn Yingst, QFH Front Desk

The occasions
were silky and ribboned
like gifts—
platters and people
draping the dining room
in holiday flourish—
the silver
of my nostalgia.
But the texture
of my childhood
emerged from the grain
of four simple chairs
around Mama’s kitchen table.
It was there I was nourished;
it was there I was fed.
When you grow up Italian,
love is measured in meatballs.
Love was the baked eggplant
stretched to share,
even after guests stopped by,
sitting on the piano bench
folding their legs like sheet music
in order to fit.
We always left full.
At Mama’s table,
love was the fragrant pot of jambot
but it was also the play grimaces
my grandfather made to me
while eating his least favorite dish.
Nourishment came from being together
at one table
fed by ladles of belonging.
I wish I could tell my grandparents
what sitting at their table meant to me.
That I never take for granted
what it means to feel welcome.
How they showed me
there is always room, and there is always enough.
That I am grateful, every day
for the meatballs.



(Don’t let the raisins scare you. They, and the pignoli nuts, make this recipe delicious! All amounts are approximate. My ancestors never measured!)

Ingredients for the meatballs

  • 1 – 1 ½ pounds lean ground meat (a mixture of beef and pork works well)
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs (chop up your favorite GF bread in the food processor)
  • ½ cup seasoned GF breadcrumbs
  • ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese (or dairy free parmesan)
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons pignoli nuts
  • Large handful of fresh Italian parsley, chopped fine
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Ingredients for the sauce

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • Large handful of fresh Italian parsley, chopped fine
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil 
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 – 3 large cans of quality tomatoes, crushed (or tomato sauce style)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions for the meatballs

      1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. If the mixture seems too dry, add a small amount of water.
      2. Form meatballs, and place them in a baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
      3. Bake at 375 degrees, turning often, until golden brown.

Instructions for the tomato sauce

      1. While the meatballs are baking, add olive oil to a large saucepan and heat on medium.
      2. Add onion and garlic. Stir to avoid burning.
      3. Add chopped parsley and canned tomatoes.
      4. Add salt and pepper, basil, and oregano. Adjust seasonings to taste.
      5. Once the meatballs have browned, add them to the sauce and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, for at least one hour. Do not cover the pan.
      6. Serve over your favorite GF pasta or veggie “noodles” with additional parmesan, if desired.



GLUTEN FREE FUDGE CAKE (We love when Nancy makes this!)

Prep time: 15 min Cook time: 35 min Total time: 50 min

Serves 8


      • 2 cups sugar 
      • 1 ¾ cups Cup4Cup (235 grams) or other light gluten free flour blend
      • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend has it)
      • ¾ cup good quality cocoa powder (unsweetened)
      • 1 teaspoon baking powder
      • 1 teaspoon baking soda
      • 1 teaspoon sea salt
      • 3 eggs, lightly beaten (room temperature)
      • 1 cup whole milk (or milk substitute of your choice)
      • ½ cup vegetable oil
      • 2 teaspoons gluten free pure vanilla extract
      • 1 cup hot coffee


      1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8 inch cake pans with gluten free cooking spray. Set aside.
      2. Combine the sugar, flour, xanthan gum (if using), cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Carefully whisk in the hot coffee. The batter will be runny.
      3. Evenly distribute the cake batter between the two prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Let it cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling completely.
      4. Make the ganache. (See recipe below)
      5. Pour the ganache over cooled cakes.


Prep time 10 min Cook time 10 min Total time 20 min


      • 9 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
      • 1 cup heavy cream
      • 1 tablespoon dark rum (optional)


      1. Place the chocolate into a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil, watching very carefully because if it boils for a few seconds, it will boil out of the pot. When the cream has come to a boil, pour over the chopped chocolate, and whisk until smooth. Stir in the rum, if desired.
      2. Allow the ganache to cool slightly before pouring over the cake. Start at the center of the cake and work outward. For a fluffy frosting or chocolate filling, allow it to cool until thick, then whip with a whisk until light and fluffy.  




      • Deep-dish 9-inch pie plate, greased
      • 5-6 apples, peeled and cut up (4 ½ to 5 cups)
      • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
      • 1 tablespoon sugar
      • ¾ cup butter, melted
      • 1 cup gluten free flour
      • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if using a flour mix that already contains xanthan gum)
      • 1 cup sugar
      • 1 egg (jumbo)
    1. Put apples in a greased pie plate and sprinkle with cinnamon and one tablespoon of sugar.
    2. In a bowl, mix one cup of sugar, flour, xanthan gum, and butter. Blend in the unbeaten egg and a pinch of salt. Mix well and pour over the apples. (This mixture will be thick, so you’ll have to spread it with a spatula to cover all of  the apples.)
    3. Sprinkle more cinnamon over the top. 
    4. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.


Kids & Nutrition

When my child was in preschool, she used to eat everything. Fast forward a couple of years, and the healthy foods we offered were met with pouty defiance. I can’t even blame Happy Meal marketing or commercials for dinosaur nuggets (those would be a favorite later) because we had ditched cable. Somehow and suddenly, any food that contained a measurable amount of nutritional value was given a thumbs down. How did this happen?!

I don’t know the answer to that, but these days I put my energies into finding healthy foods that my child won’t veto. What I’ve discovered is that there’s a sweet spot somewhere in between presentation and content. In other words, the food has to be visually appealing as well as flavorful. Bonus points for giving her options (think: toppings) to choose from. 

One of our go to lunch dishes is homemade ramen. In fact, my child will often make this for herself for breakfast! And when I say “make this for herself” I mean that I do the entirety of the prep ahead of time, and she puts the ingredients together. Just to be clear. Because teenagers, bless their hearts, are Captains Of Convenience.

The beauty of ramen is that it’s flavorful, noodle-y (this really should be a word), and—with quality ingredients—healthy. It’s also pretty to look at when it’s done. So, it checks a lot of boxes, besides being easy to put together.

The basic idea is this: a nutritious bone broth (vegan option: miso or vegetable broth), noodles (GF peeps can use rice noodles), numerous colorful raw veggies sliced thin, and a sliced hard boiled egg (or cubed tofu) for extra protein. The deliciousness of the seasonings and the allure of warm noodles outweighs my child’s general distaste for vegetables. Also, raw veggies seem to go over much better than cooked in my experience, so this dish is actually one of her favorites. 

Maybe your kiddo will give this a try…please let us know!


Shopping tip: 

  • Your local Asian food market will have better prices on certain ingredients like tamari and dry noodles. 


Prep tips:

  • Slice up enough veggies for a few servings and store in a container in the fridge so you can grab and go during the week. Ditto on the eggs—boil and peel. With the prep done in advance, this meal is done within five minutes.
  • If you sauté fresh garlic and ginger rather than using powdered, the dish will be yummier, but for teenage cooks—or if you’re short on time—powdered may be more realistic.


Kathryn’s Kid-Friendly Ramen

(Makes one serving)

Ingredients: (seasonings are adjustable +/- according to preference)

  • 1 serving dry Asian style noodles*
  • 1.5C organic bone broth^
  • 1 tsp low sodium tamari or coconut aminos
  • A couple of sprinkles (about 1/8 tsp) of Trader Joe’s “Mushroom & Company Umami Seasoning Blend”
  • A couple of sprinkles of ginger powder (or 1/4 inch fresh peeled & minced ginger)
  • A couple of sprinkles of garlic powder (or 1 small clove fresh peeled & minced garlic)

* GF option: rice noodles (King Soba makes an organic brown rice ramen.)

^ Vegan option: vegetable or miso broth

Toppings: (Can be presented in ramekins or arranged on a tray so that your child can choose their own)

  • Assorted raw vegetables, sliced thin: Carrots, celery, mushrooms, red pepper, snow or snap peas, bean sprouts, broccoli, baby bok choy, shredded red cabbage, baby spinach…
  • 1 stalk chopped green onion
  • A drizzle of dark sesame oil
  • 1 peeled hard boiled egg, sliced in half (vegan option: cubed tofu)
  • Black sesame seeds


  • Ramen bowl (any deep soup bowl will do)
  • Chopsticks (There are training chopsticks for kids or adults like me who haven’t mastered regular ones.) 


  • In a small saucepan, heat broth on medium heat. (If you are using fresh ginger and garlic, sauté those in a small amount of sesame oil for 2-3 minutes prior to adding the bone broth to the pot.)
  • Add Umami seasoning blend to the warm broth. If you going with powdered garlic and ginger, now is the time to add those as well.
  • Once broth comes to a boil, add dry ramen noodles and cook according to package directions. (Usually about 4 minutes, depending on thickness)
  • When the noodles are done, turn off heat and stir in tamari.
  • Pour into a deep bowl, add a drizzle of dark sesame oil and let your kids arrange their veggie and protein choices on top.
  • A dash of black sesame seeds and green onion add fanciness, if your child approves.


-by Kathryn Yingst, QFH Front Desk


Beat Seasonal Depression to the Punch!

It seems like just yesterday I was boogie boarding and swimming in the ocean after my work days, now it is getting dark and cold! The days are getting shorter and the temps are dropping. How do we keep our moods up through the fall and winter in New England?

  • Stay active every day. This can be running after your kids, having your kids run after you, walk with a friend, put on a favorite aerobic workout, do yoga in the living room or at a studio, run the stairs, wake up and do 15 min of exercise. The point is to move your body, 30 min a day for adults and two hours a day for children, yes every day.
  • Get outside. Wear the right clothes and all weather can be lovely. Enjoy the change of seasons by walking, hiking, ice skating, sitting outside by a fire with friends, visiting a park or playground, go to the beach, go sledding, learn how to skate ski, go downhill skiing, or have tea outside in the sunshine.  
  • Get adequate sleep. Go to bed earlier this winter and wake with the sun, it is lovely! For those of you who struggle with sleep, use Melatonin for a week after the time change 1-3mg is usually all you will need to reset your own clock. 
  • Eat healthy comfort foods. Roast your veggies instead of munching on them raw, make soup, make healthy meals for yourself every day and then have warm leftovers the next day. Find a new recipe every week to try out.  Spend time making yourself and family a nice breakfast every day: I like overnight oats with walnuts, ground flax, blueberries and almond milk, or eggs, avocado and salsa on a slice of gluten free toast.  
  • Are you taking vitamin D? IF you have not had your levels checked or if you tend to run low, make sure you check levels and are taking enough every day, this will help your mood! Most adults need 5,000IU daily, most kids are deficient so depending on age and weight, remember their vitamin D too. 
  • Sunshine and light is important so improve the lighting in your home and let the sunshine in whenever possible. Purchase a daylight-sunlight lamp if you feel you need it, these can be used for 20-30 minutes daily. 
  • B vitamins are essential for happy moods. I like a basic methylated B Complex or a stress B complex for us adults and a great quality methylated children’s multi for our kids throughout the darker times of the year. 
  • Friends and Family time is important to prevent depression. Keep it positive and plan activities that will help bring you closer, laughing together is even better. I like game night! Start a book club with like minded friends or family- this can be virtual or in person.

Ask for support. There are many natural treatments for seasonal depression and anxiety, we are happy to help you create a plan for your unique needs.

-Dr Quinn



Sleep Deep

Get Regular Exercise:

  • Regular physical exercise is known to improve general wellbeing and promote improvement in sleep quality. Exercise should take place in the morning or early evening, not right before bedtime, and should be of moderate intensity. Usually 20 minutes of aerobic exercise at a heart rate between 60 and 75% of maximum is sufficient.


Make Healthy Food Choices: 

  • Especially important to preventing sleep maintenance insomnia is eating a low-glycemic-load diet to reduce blood sugar volatility. 
  • For healthy blood sugar levels:
    • Limit simple carbohydrates – sugar and refined grains. 
    • Balance each meal and snack with a combination of fiber/complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and proteins. These provide a time-released source of sugar, allowing sugar to be absorbed slowly and steadily to prevent the peaks and valleys of poor blood sugar regulation.
  • Consider eating a small balanced snack before bedtime if you are prone to low blood sugar.


Evaluate and protect your sleeping environment:

  • Use your bedroom only for sleeping. A bit of light reading may help you fall asleep, but if it doesn’t, do your reading elsewhere in the house. Don’t watch TV in bed.
  • Be sure your bed is big enough to stretch out comfortably, especially if you have a sleep partner.
  • Keep your bedroom quiet, dark, and cool. To block out noise, use earplugs, soothing music, or a “white noise” machine. To block out light, use blackout curtains, blinds, or a sleep mask. 


Create an evening/bedtime routine:

  • Plan a routine that relaxes you before bed. Take a warm shower or bath, listen to soothing music, or drink a cup of non-caffeinated tea. Great herbs for sleep include California poppy, chamomile, holy basil, lavender, lemon balm, passionflower, and valerian. There are great tea blends for sleep like Cup of Calm or Nighty Night by Traditional Medicinals, or Bedtime or Relaxed Mind by Yogi. 

  • Maintain consistent sleep and wake times. This means going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning, even if you feel tired when you wake.

  • Avoid bright light, particularly LED or blue light, for an hour or more before bedtime. Limiting bright light encourages melatonin production.

  • If you cannot fall asleep due to racing thoughts, write down your thoughts in a journal. Getting them out of your head and onto paper may help you fall asleep. 

  • Make a “to do” list of your tasks for the next day if stress about work, etc. keep you up at night. 


If you’ve done the above and are still having trouble sleeping, here are some ways to troubleshoot:

  • Limit caffeine (coffee, tea, caffeinated sodas) during the day, and don’t have any for at least 4 to 6 hours before bedtime. 

  • Don’t drink alcohol before bedtime. Alcohol decreases sleep latency, increases sleep fragmentation, and suppresses REM sleep. This can cause you to wake up more often during the night and wake feeling groggy and unrested. 

  • Don’t smoke or use tobacco, especially in the evening. Nicotine can keep you awake.

  • Many common medications interfere with sleep. Talk to your doctor about the side effects of your particular medications. 

    • ACE inhibitors – lead to dry cough, which can be worse at night

    • Alpha-blockers – decreased REM, daytime sedation

    • Anti-cholinesterase inhibitors – decreased REM, vivid dreams/nightmares

    • Anti-depressants and steroids – insomnia

    • Beta-blockers – inhibit melatonin production

  • Don’t take naps during the day, especially close to bedtime. If you feel tired in the evening, it is better to go to sleep early than to take a small nap, which will prevent you from falling sleep easily when it is truly time for bedtime.

  • Don’t lie in bed awake for too long. If you can’t fall asleep, or if you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep within 15 minutes or so, get out of bed and go to another room until you feel sleepy.

  • Don’t drink any liquids after 6 p.m. if you wake up often throughout the night because you have to go to the bathroom.
  • Consider eating a small balanced snack before bedtime if you are prone to low blood sugar.
  • Imagine yourself in a peaceful, pleasant scene. Focus on the details and feelings of being in a place that is relaxing.

  • Get up and do a quiet or boring activity until you feel sleepy.

When you wake up in the morning, expose your eyes to sunlight right away- it helps halt your natural melatonin production and tell your body it’s time to get rolling. 

If you’re still having difficulty getting good rest after trying some of these tips, feel free to reach out for a personalized plan.

Sweet dreams,
Dr. Christoforou

Get Ready For Back to School

Could it really be that our children, teens, young adults and even some of us adults/parents will be headed back to in person learning? I hope so! Currently, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all kids 2 years old and up return to in person learning for the fall. At this point they are recommending everyone be masked regardless of vaccine status, but stay tuned…

How do we prepare our children and ourselves for the return to full week in person learning? I want to take a minute to acknowledge with gratitude my families and all they have accomplished this last year, the good, the not so good and the fantastic! I am proud of all of us. I am a believer in mindfulness and mindset to bring a positive outcome. To start this we begin to dialogue with our children/teens about all that we have to look forward to, new friends, sports, clubs, learning, time at recess, new teachers…

Then we move to specifics:

  • How can we improve our general health and immune function?
  • How can we improve our energy?
  • How can we help our kids focus during in person learning?

All three of the above questions can be answered by improving sleep, eating a whole foods based healthy diet and exercising every day.



Begin to adjust your sleep schedules the week before going back to school (see tips below from Dr. Christoforou).


Eat a healthy, diverse diet every day, even when time is limited. Start coming up with breakfasts, lunches and dinners that incorporate 5-7 servings of vegetables and fruits daily. That means every meal, snack and treat counts: a breakfast with a solid amount of protein, some whole grains, a vegetable or a fruit. Increasing protein, fiber and healthy fats at breakfast will help our kids sustain their brain power and mood while at school. School snacks should be healthy- avoid processed foods and look to apple slices with a cheese stick, or berries and almonds. Excellent nutrition throughout the day will help focus, energy, mood and immune function

Exercise: Stay active, get outside for playtime, stay in a learning, growth mindset every day. Sports are a great way to help your kids stay healthy, happy and engaged. 


For children, I recommend a good quality multivitamin daily and with the start of the cold and flu season. 

I like using some elderberry syrup with a powdered vitamin C mixed in water for a breakfast drink. 

I recommend fish oil daily for focus and immune health.

I also recommend vitamin D as they return to the classroom this fall. Vitamin D should be 1000IU/30lb until you reach 5,000IU. I like to cap it there for daily intake from September-June.

I recommend Zinc daily during the school year, 10-15mg. This is often supplied in a multivitamin, but if you’re using one not on this list, check to see if additional zinc is needed.

In addition to exercise, a low sugar & healthy diet, and plenty of sleep, I recommend  L-theanine before school if additional support for focus is needed

Click here for our generic Pediatric protocol on Fullscript

Click here for our generic Teens protocol on Fullscript

What about COVID?

We have learned a lot this past year and we recommend kids return to school, get plenty of exercise, fresh air, water and eat with health in mind. Decrease the sugar, the processed foods, and sedentary/screen time. Be sure they take their vitamins, including the list above. If your child or teen gets covid, be in touch. Most children have mild cases that look like a common cold.

           Yours in health, 
           -Dr. Quinn


Travel Essentials

It’s that time of year where many of us are packing our bags for summer vacations. While vacations are often fun and relaxing, travel to and from your destination can be stressful and take a toll on your physical and mental health. The added stress of the pandemic is leaving many families wondering what extra steps they should take to ensure wellness while traveling. Below are my top 7 travel essentials.


Eye drops and Nasal Spray

The air inside an aircraft is usually very dry, about 10-40 percent less humid than the indoor air you are used to. This dehydrates your skin and dries out the mucus membranes in your eyes and nose. Keeping these mucus membranes lubricated is not just for comfort, but also essential for preventing illness. Look for eye drops that are pH balanced, like Biotrue Hydration Boost Eye Drops by Bausch + Lomb. XLEAR Xylitol and Saline Nasal Spray by Xlear is a great nasal spray with the addition of xylitol that prevents microbes and pollutants from sticking to your nasal passages.


Hand Sanitizer

This one should be no surprise! Opt for more eco-friendly and non-toxic sanitizers like ones from Mrs. Meyers, Dr. Bronners, The Honest Company, or EO Products. 


Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that contributes to your immune defenses against microbes and illnesses commonly acquired during travel. Foundational dosages for adults are between 1,000-3,000 mg per day in divided doses, but can be increased during times of acute illness. You can take vitamin C in capsule form or as an effervescent powder like Emergen-C®.



Travel is not just hard on your body, it can be hard on your microbiome too! Probiotics can help prevent traveler’s diarrhea and also keep you regular if you are someone prone to constipation. Opt for shelf stable probiotics that do not need to be refrigerated and are easy to travel with, like Ther-Biotic Synbiotic by Klaire Labs or BioMaintenance Shelf Stable Probiotic by Metabolic Maintenance.


Digestive Enzymes

Despite your best efforts to meal prep and pack snacks, travel may upend your dietary routine and impact your digestive function. This is especially true if you have food sensitivities or intolerances that may be difficult to avoid while traveling or on vacation. Digestive enzymes help alleviate gas, bloating, fullness, and discomfort associated with indigestion from consuming unavoidable allergens or indulging in rich foods or treats. They also help with the breakdown of food and absorption of nutrients and can help prevent constipation.



It often takes our bodies a little while to get adjusted to a new environment. Add in to the equation travel across time zones and our normal sleep/wake cycles that we work so hard to maintain at home get totally out-of-whack. Melatonin can be very helpful in regulating disturbed sleep patterns, mitigating jet lag, or acting as a short-term sleep-aid on an overnight flight. Foundational dosages for adults are between 1-5 mg.



All aspects of travel can be stressful. Lavender is a wonderful botanical that calms the nervous system and promotes a sense of relaxation during times of temporary stress. It is especially wonderful for people who get a lot of anxiety about flying. It can be taken internally or used externally in the form of essential oil. A great internal preparation is Lavela WS 1265™ by Integrative Therapeutics. Floracopeia has nice essential oil blends with lavender like “Relax” and “Little Angels” that come in roll-ons that are TSA approved and can easily fit in your carry-on.


Happy Traveling!

Ahhh, Spring Allergies?

The grass is turning green, the flowers are starting to bloom, the buds on trees are turning to that spring green we all look forward to seeing…. There’s nothing like spring! Even though you might look forward to spring after a cold New England winter, spring allergies can put a damper on your excitement. The good news is, there are some things you can do to help your body handle the allergens and still enjoy the beauty of spring.


Make yourself and your home more allergy-friendly:

Allergens are part of the dust makeup of your home, so make a clean home a priority. Remove your shoes at the door, vacuum and dust frequently, and wash your sheets and bedding regularly. A good quality air filter from a company such as Austin Air or Dyson can help filter out allergens and other irritants from your indoor air supply. 

Washing your face and hair before bed can help keep your sheets cleaner for longer and keep allergic triggers away from your nose, ears, eyes, and mouth.


Help Your Body clear Congestion:

Try a Neti pot saline rinse- use a ceramic or porcelain pot. Fill the Neti pot with warm, sterile (or previously boiled and cooled) water and dissolve 1/4 tsp non-iodized salt. Run a full Neti pot through each nostril. You can add a few drops of an herbal booster. I like the Neti Salt and Neti Wash Plus by Himalayan Chandra, available on their website or through Amazon. Do this 1-3 times per week during allergy season.

Try a steam inhalation- bring a pot of water to a boil. Remove from heat and add 5 drops of Eucalyptus, Thyme, or Rosemary essential oils. Make a “tent” over the pot by placing a towel over your head and breathe in through the nose to tolerance. Do as needed for nasal and sinus congestion.

Try hot and cold compresses- place a hot compress on your face over your sinuses and let it sit there until it cools. Then apply a cold compress for 30 seconds. Repeat about 3 times and end with cold.


Teas and nutrients that may support your body during allergy season:

Nettle leaf (Urtica dioica) tea- Mix 1 tablespoon herb per 1 cup of water. Steep for 15 minutes and strain. You may choose to drink 1 cup twice per day.

These nutrients may support a healthy inflammatory balance and reduce irritation in the sinuses and respiratory system:

  • Vitamin C – an antioxidant, which may stabilize mast cells’ release of histamine 
  • Quercetin – a flavonoid, which may stabilize mast cells’ release of histamine, and support capillaries and blood vessels 
  • Bromelain – a proteolytic enzyme, which may stabilizes mast cells’ release of histamine, and degrade inflammatory proteins 
  • N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine – an antioxidant, which may stabilize mast cells’ release of histamine, and break down mucus 
  • Stinging nettle leaf – a nutrient-rich botanical which may stabilize mast cells’ release of histamine

Products like Aller-Aid, Aller-C, and D-Hist combine some of these nutrients and may be helpful with allergy symptoms.



It’s Tick Season! Tips for Preventing and Responding to Tick Bites

With warmer weather comes… tick season! Knowing how to prevent tick bites and respond to one if it happens is key to enjoying spring weather without fear. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” as the old saying goes, so let’s go over some quick ways to avoid tick bites, and then how to respond if prevention measures fail.

Following these suggestions may prevent tick bites:

  • Wear long pants and tuck them into socks when outdoors
  • Wear light colored clothing to be able to spot ticks easily and quickly
  • Wear tick repellant spray or pre-treat clothes and gear with permethrin
  • Apply essential oils including geranium, grapefruit, yellow cypress, Texas cedarwood, and lemongrass to exposed skin before going outdoors (add some citronella and mosquitoes will avoid you too!)
  • Avoid tall grass and brush when possible
  • Perform head-to-toe tick checks when you come in from outdoors, paying special attention to any areas with skins folds (behind ears, armpits, groin, etc)
  • Designate an area of the house to take clothes off when coming in from outside to avoid ticks falling off in other places in the house
  • Put clothes just worn outside in the dryer on high heat for 6-10 minutes


Tick control Strategies:

  • Landscaping: rake leaves, clear brush and debris from grass & gardens, keep grass short, trim shrubs & low branches, create paths in the yard made of wood chips or stone, keep bird feeders at perimeter of property, remove any Japanese barberry shrubs (which create a prime tick habitat), plant deer-resistant plants in the yard (Bee balm, Brunnera, Catmint, Golden Marguerite, Jack in the pulpit, Japanese painted fern, Lily of the valley, Lungwort, Meadow rue, Sea holly, Sweet woodruff, Turtlehead, Virginia bluebells, Wild ginger).
  • Tick tubes: can purchase from farm stores and online (Damminix Tick Tubes® –; Thermacell Tick Control Tubes – Mice take the permethrin-treated cotton from the tick tubes back to their nest, where it kills the tick larvae infesting the nest without harming the mice.
  • Pet management: conduct tick checks after time outdoors, limit pets’ presence in sleeping and living areas of the house as much as possible, consider tick repellent collar (Seresto, K9 Advantix II, Vectra 3D) or essential oil spray (Cedarcide Tickshield –


So you took all the prevention steps and still got a tick bite… now what?

  • Remove the tick immediately, being careful not to squeeze the tick body
  • Clean the bite site 
  • Send the tick in for testing so you know if/what that tick was carrying
  • If available, you may choose to start taking Ledum 30c immediately, 5 pellets 3x a day for 4 days
  • Call our office to schedule an Acute Tick Bite visit, a 20-30 minute telehealth visit with one of our doctors to customize a tick bite response plan for your unique needs and health history
  • Addressing a tick bite sooner rather than later is always the best course of action


Don’t let fear of ticks stop you from enjoying the beautiful New England spring!


What are your minimum daily requirements (MDRs)?

We’re all familiar with the concept of “daily requirements” when it comes to food. Whether we’re tracking macros on an app, or just paying attention to how many vegetables we ate today, there are things in the food world that we know we need to be healthy and function at our best.


But what about the rest of life? Holistic health is about much more than food. Chances are, there are times in your life you remember feeling like the best version of yourself. Think back: what were you doing or not doing that made you feel that way? Most likely, you were applying the concept of “minimum daily requirements” without even knowing it. There are five key areas that we all should be paying attention to:



After a particularly bad night of sleep, making sleep a priority the next night might come easy for us. But what would happen if we prioritized getting the recommended 7-10 hours of sleep per night, consistently, every night? The cumulative effect of not sleeping can add up, but so can the cumulative effect of getting enough rest. You’ll reap the benefits of being well-rested in your ability to focus at work or school and in your relationships with family and friends.

Consider: set a consistent bedtime and wake time, allowing for a minimum of 7 hours per night (or more!) and commit to stick with it for a minimum of 30 days. See what positive changes you notice at the end of the month.

For me, this looks like a 9pm bedtime and 6am wake time. On occasion I’ll have a social event in the evenings that means I’m in bed later than my scheduled time, but after reaping the benefits of consistent sleep, I keep them to a minimum (read: avoid them like the plague and am the resident party pooper).




Raise your hand if you start a workout routine, stick with it for a week, miss a day or two, give up, and then suddenly now it’s been three months since you last exercised. We’ve all been there! Like sleep, exercise is something that if it’s not prioritized, it won’t happen. Exercise doesn’t have to be miserable, either. Pick something that you like and that works for your lifestyle. Join the gym around the corner from you. Commit to a unique gym like Crossfit or Orange Theory. Find an at-home workout plan that you enjoy. Commit to daily walks or runs. Whatever it is, have a plan and make it a priority. The laundry will still be there when you’re done (sadly).

Consider: think about what types of movement you enjoy and feel best doing. Then create a plan, and like sleep, make it a priority. If you miss a day, get right back on track the next day, don’t wait weeks or months.

For me, this looks like doing a Pilates workout from The Balanced Life 3-4 times a week, and then taking a walk (20-40 minutes) 3-4 times a week. I prioritize walks over pilates on sunny days because getting enough sunshine has its own set of benefits.



Food preparation.

Planning for what you will eat is, in my opinion, the most important part of the food process. Not planning usually results in eating whatever is available. And usually… what’s available after not grocery shopping for a while isn’t much. Planning what meals you will make when and going to the store once for all the needed ingredients is much more time efficient and convenient than figuring out what’s for dinner each day when you get home at 5pm. For some people, this may look like batch cooking 2-3 big meals on the weekends and then reheating for lunches and dinners the rest of the week. Others may cook 3-4 nights a week, making lots of leftovers. Still others may cook every night, but have set meals that they have planned out based on how much time they will have for food preparation that day. There are many different ways this can be done, it’s about finding what works best for you so that you can be consistent.

Consider: figure out what system will work best for you. Trial and error is ok! Consistency is what matters (notice a theme emerging?).

For me, this looks like planning four main dinners and grocery shopping once per week. Currently I’m using the Mealime app to choose four simple dinners, increase the servings per meal to account for lots of leftovers, add eggs, cheese, fruit, and nuts to the list the app creates and voila- meals planned for the week!



Connecting with loved ones.

For many, this has been challenging and looked very different over the past year, but perhaps it’s also highlighted the need for quality time with the people we love and who love us. It’s easy to be together if you live in the same house, but quality time is a different thing entirely than just being in the same room with someone. Technology has done wonders at keeping us connected with people outside of our bubbles this year, but it might be keeping us more disconnected from the people we live with.

Consider: how can you have more quality time with the people you love and care about? This doesn’t necessarily have to be “another thing to do”. Could you go on a walk with a friend, or join a specialty gym with your teenager and go together (exercise!)? Could you cook dinners as a family (food prep!)? Have a phone free night and play games instead?

For me, this looks like prioritizing date night with my husband every week. Rarely do we do anything fancy- our favorite thing is to make tea, eat dark chocolate, and play Rummy, Farkle or Qwirkle while we chat. I usually go from a walk with my mom once a week, and I also have nephews in the area, and try to see them often- they grow up so fast! As a person who loves to plan, I have a hard time being spontaneous. But I’ve made an effort to capitalize on spontaneous times with family and it’s those times that have produced some of the best memories.



White space.

This is my favorite- and hardest- MDR. White space is unplanned, unspoken for time. Time to do whatever sounds the most lifegiving to you. Time to read a book. Or sit in the yard with a cup of tea. Or sit at the beach by yourself for a few minutes, watching the waves and seagulls. Being quiet is a hard practice as we are bombarded by technology, an overwhelming to-do list, people needing things, and on and on. The need to be busy and keep our brains busy is almost an addiction. But when we make some space to be quiet and recharge, it gives us space and time to think, feel, process, and be creative.

Consider: how can you clear out time for white space? Scheduling it may or may not work for you, but make it a priority. Then decide what to do with it. Doing anything phone-free is a great place to start!

For me, this looks like setting aside a few hours one day a week that I can think, pray, and journal. Like the spontaneity I’m learning to embrace in my relationships with others, I’m learning to do that for myself, too, taking advantage of spare moments to sit still by the ocean or take a quick walk around the yard.



Your MDRs will be different from mine- as it should be! But take a few minutes to think through these five areas and write down your MDRs for each one. Then, make it a priority to do them! Evaluate them briefly every week, making adjustments as you need to. They should be serving you, not the other way around. 


-Moriah, front desk staff