What do Schools Have to do With Real Estate?

Can Park City’s Schools Do Better?

Park City SchoolsMany of Park City’s full time residents are thinking about education now that school has been is session for about a month. Last month, I wrote about the 4 school districts in the Park City area.

What do schools have to do with real estate? Park City’s excellent schools are a draw for families considering relocation to. They are a reason why executives working for Wasatch Front based companies commute down the canyon.

Today, I’d like to share a conversation that has started between the Park City School District, Park City Education Foundation, Park City Day School, and Weilenmann School of Discovery. That conversation revolves around the way we are educating and assessing students in Park City’s public and private schools.

This Thursday, September 29th, the Park City Film Series will screen the documentary “Beyond Measure”, a film by Vicki Abeles, based upon the book she wrote with the same name. The film asks us to consider what would happen if we imagined a more creative approach to public education, one that is student-centered and project-based.

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion featuring James Harvey, Executive Director for the National Superintendents Roundtable. James will moderate the discussion and share some innovative programs that are making a difference nationally.

Abby McNulty, Executive Director of the Park City Education Foundation, told me that the purpose of the screening is to promote a conversation about education and bring our community together through a partnership between all the schools in Park City.

I also spoke with Park City School District Superintendent, Dr. Ember Conley about the screening. She shared that this film provides “a map” for where we want to go in terms of the way students are taught and measured.

The film suggests that schools place a greater emphasis on critical thinking, communication, exploration, experimentation, collaboration, and creativity as the key to good education and less emphasis on standardized testing. Placing a greater emphasis on skills vs. memory recall creates better outcomes for students of all backgrounds and abilities.

The Park City School District has the PCCAPS Program, a project based learning program, for 11th and 12th graders. How does our community of schools bring project based learning to middle schoolers? This is an especially timely question since the PCSD is contemplating the construction of a new middle school.

“We have an educational system that people are comfortable with because we all went through it. Changing the way we teach students creates uncertainty”, says McNulty. Using the film “Beyond Measure” to initiate a community dialogue of possibilities in our educational system is a great first step. McNulty shared that James Harvey would be doing professional development to select teachers from the Park City School District, Park City Day School, and Weilenmann School of Discovery.

Having community discussions which revolve around the screening of this film, along with commentary and professional development by a national expert, is a great first step to ensuring that Park City’s schools remain on the cutting edge. “Beyond Measure” offers a positive picture of what’s possible in American education when communities decide they are ready for change.

Whether or not you have children in Park City schools, I encourage you to attend the free screening of “Beyond Measure” this Thursday, 9/29 at 6:30pm at the Jim Santy auditorium.

A Great Podcast of Things to do and see in Park City by Nancy Tallman for Discovery Map.

Nancy Tallman Featured on Park City Travel Podcast

Discovery Maps Travel PodcastOur own Nancy Tallman is this week’s guest on the popular Discovery Maps podcast series, and this episode is all about Park City! She may be known for real estate, but she also knows our town. Host Mark Ciociola and Nancy cover everything you’d want to know about PC basics and beyond: winter activities, summer activities, favorite special events, where to stay, getting around, family friendly activities, restaurants and much more. Take advice from a 13-year local on all things PC! If you or your out-of-town guests are looking for info on Park City travel, you’ll enjoy this 30-minute podcast at Bit.ly/DiscoveryMap.

Summit Sotheby’s Nancy Tallman Featured on Park City Travel Podcast


Our own Nancy Tallman is this week’s guest on the popular Discovery Maps podcast series, and this episode is all about Park City! She may be known for real estate, but she also knows our town. Host Mark Ciociola and Nancy cover everything you’d want to know about PC basics and beyond: winter activities, summer activities, favorite special events, where to stay, getting around, family friendly activities, restaurants and much more. Take advice from a 13-year local on all things PC! If you or your out-of-town guests are looking for info on Park City travel, you’ll enjoy this 30-minute podcast at Bit.ly/DiscoveryMap.

Time to dust off your mountain bike Park City!

The Most Mountain Biker Friendly Neighborhoods in Park City

Park City MTB Neighborhoods

The Good News? Everywhere in Park City is MTB Friendly

One of the best things about living in Park City is that there is trail access in every neighborhood. Even if you don’t have a trail head right outside of your door, it’s easy to hop on a bike path and find one in a matter of minutes. That said, there are a two neighborhoods that shine a little brighter than the rest for the mountain biker enthusiast. Here are two of our favorites and why.

Prospector Square

Prospector is one of Park City’s most mountain biker friendly neighborhoods. It sits next to a number of trail heads and there is easy access to the Lost Prospector trail and the Round Valley Trail System, which sees the longest mountain bike season of any trail system around. The awesome hand cut trails of old town are just far enough away by paved trail to get a nice warm-up ride in, as well as the lifts at Park City Resort if you prefer more downhill than up.

There are plenty of mountain biker amenities in the Prospector neighborhood. White Pine Touring, Jans and other bike shops are all nearby if you are looking for a tune-up, repair or supplies. This is a bonus for the absent-minded rider; if you have forgotten a granola bar or a map, they can be found right here. And there are coffee shops aplenty for that caffeine fix or convenient meet-up spot. The neighborhood also boasts many après-ride hot spots like El Chubasco, Windy Ridge Cafe, Sammy’s Bistro, Fuego and more.

Give this one a try: Skid Row to Lost Prospector to Gambel Oak, down Masonic back to Lost Prospector. A solid rolling climb to technical, hand cut downhill and a smooth ride out.

Deer Valley

An excellent location to live if you love mountain biking, Deer Valley has over 70 miles of trails, ranging from beginner to advanced. The terrain variety and trail conditions are phenomenal and many of the trails connect to the larger park city trail system. Views of the Jordanelle Reservoir and surrounding mountains make riding in Deer Valley truly spectacular. Plus, there are three lifts to access and plenty of instructors and classes if improved riding is your goal.

There aren’t as many biker amenities in Deer Valley compared to town, but the quality is excellent. The Deer Valley Grocery Café has every item that a hungry biker could want. From fresh roasted coffee to crispy fish tacos, this place can’t be beat. If you’re looking for refreshment after an evening ride feel free to grab a comfy chair on the gorgeous deck. Sit back, relax and enjoy a cold beer or a craft cocktail.

Give this one a try: Mid Mountain to Team Big Bear to Flagstaff Loop. Moderate climbing with breaks and fun technical glades.

With more than 400 miles of bike trails to tap into, which Park City neighborhood wouldn’t be great? Admittedly, there are many more mountain biker friendly neighborhoods, we simply don’t have the time or space to write about them all, because we would rather be riding…

THE QUICK FIX: Treating Irregular Cycles with The Pill

Do you or anyone you know have problems with irregular cycles?

How many of you know someone that was put on The Pill to balance their irregular cycle?

I am sure all of us can answer yes to one or both of these questions.

In a study conducted by the CDC from 2006-2008, it was found that 1 in 3 teenage girls take The Pill for non-contraceptive reasons- balancing irregular periods being the most common reason.

Unfortunately, this practice leads to a number of issues:

1-      The imbalance of hormones is not addressed, it is simply masked.  Extremely painful periods are not normal.  They are usually a result of an imbalanced endocrine system.  When the problem is not addressed it has a compounding affect and can result in more serious issues later in life with such things as PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), problems with fertility, and increased discomforts during menopause.

2-      The importance of eating a healthy and balanced diet is not stressed.  It is no secret now that the #1 most important decision we make on a daily basis is what we choose to put on the end of our forks.

3-      Girls are taught to go for the “quick fixes” in life.  This ties over into all realms of our lives.  It is known, but rarely practiced, that quick fixes are generally not the ticket to health and wellness.  When a person decides to make a more holistic change in their life, the rate of change may take longer but the adaptation tends to be much more sustainable.  The change “sticks.”

4-      A negative body-image is reinforced.  One of the biggest issues we have as a nation is that we have given our power away.  We look to others for answers.  Many of us have, for a long time now, lost our innate ability to know what is good for us.  We no longer believe that the answer to wellness is within us.  When girls and women feel that their bodies are a nuisance, the power and beauty of womanhood is given away.

This is not to say that western medicine is all bad, to the contrary.  Many people’s lives have been saved time and time again because of western medicine.  The point to take home is that we should all look at our diets and lifestyles and reflect on what we see and know, deep down in our primordial guts.

As wellness practitioners, our jobs are to empower our clients to teach them how to tap in to the power within their own bodies and spirits; to realize the body’s ability to heal itself when given the right tools.


In many families, women take on the role of the health and wellness guru.  For this reason it is of the utmost importance to empower our young girls, to be role models for them, so that we create a ripple effect throughout our society and our world.

If you or anyone you know is experiencing hormone imbalance and are interested in a more holistic approach, please contact Lisa at Fountain Wellness for a health consultation.



Get up and GO!!!


There are so many different health tips that we hear on a daily basis.  They are usually well-founded and great to follow, but we rarely are told why.   This article is for those of you who want to know the “why” of the importance of daily movement, exercise, and less sitting.

A recent study compared adults who spent less than 2 idle hours in front of screen-based entertainment with those who logged more than 4 idle hours a day of screen-based entertainment.  Those with greater idle screen time had:

  • A nearly 50% increased risk of death from any cause
  • About a 125% increased risk of events associated with cardiovascular disease, such as chest pain or heart attack.

Dr James A. Levine, an endocrinologist at the Mayo clinic has come up with an alarming statement: “Sitting is the new smoking.”  As I sit here, writing this article I am forced to ponder this thought.  I always thought that as long as I got some exercise at some point in the day, the risk of prolonged sitting would be off-set.  Not according to Dr. James A. Levine.  The solution seems to lie in less sitting and more movement overall.  If you are at the mercy of your desk job here are a few tips:

  • Stand while talking on the phone or eating lunch.
  • If you work at a desk for long periods of time, try a standing desk — or improvise with a high table or counter.
  • Better yet, think about ways to walk while you work
  • Walk laps with your colleagues rather than gathering in a conference room for meetings.
  • Position your work surface above a treadmill — with a computer screen and keyboard on a stand or a specialized treadmill-ready vertical desk — so that you can be in motion throughout the day.
  • Get up from your chair and stretch for 2-5 minutes every hour.  Make it an official office-wide stretch time so that everyone benefits!  Be an educator amongst your peers!
  • Sit on an exercise ball instead of a chair so that you can bounce as you sit!

Dr Levine states that, “The impact of movement — even leisurely movement — can be profound. For starters, you’ll burn more calories. This might lead to weight loss and increased energy.

Even better, the muscle activity needed for standing and other movement seems to trigger important processes related to the breakdown of fats and sugars within the body. When you sit, these processes stall — and your health risks increase. When you’re standing or actively moving, you kick the processes back into action.”

It is truly amazing how much the quality of our lives can be drastically improved simply by moving 30 minutes every day.  THIS extremely in-depth study showed that walking a total of 64 minutes a day adds 4 ½ years on to your life!  The next time you are looking for some motivation to move, remember that exercise will not only contribute to your emotional and mental health, but it will also increase your longevity on this earth!

Stress and Your Libido

For most of us, stress is a total libido sucker.  When was the last time you remember looking over your taxes or credit card bills, and all of a sudden felt very much “In the mood?”  If it has happened to you, you are not only lucky, but also in the minority of our species!
When we experience stress, our body’s physiological response is to secret cortisol to help us cope.  This secretion of cortisol is not only very normal but also quite helpful in times of acute stress.  We experience acute stress when we are in the “fight or flight” mode.  Braking violently for a car that just pulled in front of you, lunging for a baby that is about to crawl down a huge flight of stairs, and running when you are being chased are all examples or acute stress, and where the sudden secretion of cortisol and adrenalin help us to react fast.  When we are chronically stressed, at our jobs, in our relationships, and/or with our families, our bodies secrete cortisol (the “stress” hormone) on a consistent basis.  This is where stress can cause serious problems with our health.

Chronic stress has been related to:
Heart disease
Weight Loss/Gain
IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

One of our body’s ways to handle stress is to shut-down certain systems such as digestion, immune function, and reproductive systems.  You can now see why your libido might be the first thing to go when you begin to experience chronic stress.  Cortisol also constricts the blood vessels, making necessary blood flow for arousal next to impossible.

That’s the bad news.  The good news is that sex can actually help your body release toxic levels of cortisol.  Orgasms are not only our biologically-given right to pleasure, but every time you orgasm, your body experiences a huge cortisol flush that releases it from your system.

There is a clear dilemma here:  If you are chronically stressed, it will difficult for you to get in the mood to experience a fantastic cortisol-flushing orgasm.  Stress management is a great place to start.  To begin to balance out your hormones and achieve a rockin’ libido try these few tips on how to manage daily stress:

1- Maintain a diet high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats
2- Establish a regular exercise routine
3- Put on relaxing music and light candles when at home doing chores
4- Take a bath with soothing essential oils (Lavender) and epsom salts
5- Go for tea with a close friend for quality conversation and LAUGHTER!!
6- Attend a yoga and/or meditation class
7- Download a meditation CD and listen to it at home
8- When you are stressed at work, take 2 minutes to focus on your breath.  Inhale for 4 counts, exhale for 6 counts.

The message to take home is that you don’t have to completely do away with stress in order to have a healthy libido.  Learning to manage stress/cortisol levels on a daily basis will support your body’s efforts in maintaining balance.  Our bodies are extremely capable of maintaining balance given the right tools to work with.  When you begin to experience more balance, your libido will respond beautifully!


Do You Crave Sugar?

There are two ways to approach sugar cravings:

1- Restrict the craving from your diet
2- Crowd the craving out of your diet.

When you restrict anything, the natural human reaction is to have a stronger desire for what ever is not allowed.  Think about a toddler wanting to draw on your wall with a marker.  Each time you tell him/her “No,” they will want to do it even more.  It is just simply human nature.  What we can do is apply that same idea to how we approach food.  What generally happens when we restrict something from our diet?  Usually, if you are me, it ends with shameless wolfing down of away too many cookies.

The other way to approach your cravings is to literally crowd them out with foods that are naturally sweet. Some good examples of naturally sweet foods are:

1- sweet potato
2- carrots
3- beets
4- fruit (dried or fresh) and berries

The reason you are experiencing cravings is because it is 100% completely natural for your body to want sugar.  Your body and brain need sugar (glucose) to function.  When we were hunter/gatherers we gathered fruits, berries, and sweet vegetables to fulfill the need for sugar in our diets.  So when you crave something sweet, try not to beat yourself up and remember that cravings are natural.  But, of course, how you satiate yourself is of the utmost importance.  Instead of reaching for cookies, ice cream, or chocolate every time you crave sugar, try to nip your craving in the bud and make meals that contain veggies and fruits with naturally occurring sugars.

I made a DELICIOUS lunch today for me and Jeff after our first bike ride and run (called a brick in triathlon terms) of the season.  We were starving but this very satisfying salad, accompanied by a sweet potato did the trick.  Having the sweet potato there with the salad both made the meal more filling and satisfied my admittedly strong sweet tooth!  No chocolate craving after this meal!


Mixed greens
1 avocado
Handful cherry tomatoes- halved
Quinoa and buckwheat -cooked or soaked overnight
Goat cheese
Carrots and beets (grated in food processor)
Radishes and their greens
Fresh basil
Kelp flakes
Nutritional yeast

One sweet potato or yam- Wash and wrap with tin foil.  Put in oven at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes or until soft to touch.

Lemon juice, olive oil, Braggs Amino Acids, pepper

One last note:  Allow yourself a treat every now and then.  Life is short, after all!  I like to try to live by a 90/10 philosophy.  90% of the time I try to eat well and the other 10% is dedicated to cookies, cakes, pizza, and wine.

Beating Inflammation

People who live in Park City know inflammation.  A twisted ankle swells after rolling on a rock during a trail run, pain in the lower back becomes persistent after a few crashes on the mountain bike or skis, and maybe your hips start speaking up after hours of XC skiing.

The reality is that our bodies naturally produce pro-inflammatory responses.  For example, when you twist your ankle, cut your foot, or are fighting a sore throat, the body responds immediately by swelling, which delivers more blood and therefore nourishment to the affected area.  While this pro-inflammatory phase can be painful, it is usually naturally followed and counteracted by an anti-inflammatory phase that is necessary for cellular repair and regeneration. This acute inflammation is normal, short lived, and usually beneficial.  But sometimes the balance between pro and anti-inflammatory processes gets out of whack and inflammation continues for too long at a low, but persistent level.

Chronic, low-grade, internal inflammation is often called, “silent.”  Even though you may not feel it, chronic inflammation makes itself known through the symptoms of illness and disease it causes.

We now know that internal, chronic inflammation is at the root of many different types of illness, from cardiovascular disease to Alzheimer’s.  This is the type of inflammation that is killing the majority of our US population.

High risk factors for inflammation are:  bad habits (like smoking, drinking excessively), poor sleep, chronic stress, obesity, and poor diet.

A great place to start is with your diet.  Well-known and highly acclaimed Dr. Andrew Weil suggests the following diet guidelines to ease chronic inflammation:

1- Eat more healthy fats especially those high in Omega 3s.  Chia seeds, ground flax seeds, avocados, walnuts, sardines, and wild-caught salmon are just a few great options.

2- Eliminate the wrong fats such as polyunsaturated vegetable oils: safflower, sunflower, corn, and soy oil are a few.

3- Eat more fruits and vegetables!!  Especially in a nice array of colors

4- Limit “white” carbohydrates.  White flours and sugars cause drastic spikes in blood sugar which contributes to inflammation in the body.

5- Cut back on animal products

6- Season food with healing spices such as turmeric, ginger, and red pepper.  Turmeric is perhaps the most potent anti-inflammatory herb studied so far.  Studies have shown that turmeric may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease.  In animal studies, turmeric appears to help prevent cancer.  Personally, I have been using turmeric daily, with great results, as a means to manage my lower back pain due to a bulging disk.

7- Drink pure water or drinks that are mostly water (tea, very diluted fruit juice, or sparkling water with lemon) throughout the day.

Remember that our bodies are like well-oiled machines when given the correct tools.  Our bodies have an innate ability to heal themselves. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and stress management goes a long, long way.

Show those Pancakes some Love

Show those Pancakes some Love

I have a deep and profound love for blueberry pancakes.  This is old news for those who know me well.  The aromas of blueberry pancakes cooking on the griddle evoke feelings of contentment, joy, and warmth.   They bring me back to my childhood.  They remind me of innocence and existential happiness.

Having said that, new light has been shed on my favorite breakfast.   Being a recent graduate of a holistic nutrition school, I can see that my blueberry pancake breakfast may not be the most healthy breakfast option.

As Jeff so dutifully prepared my most favorite meal in the world this morning I had a few ideas to make our pancakes healthier.

1- Cook quinoa and add about ½ cup to the batter

2- Add a tablespoon or two of Mila (The highest quality of chia seed on the market) to the batter.

3- Use a batter made with whole grains or even a gluten-free option.  We LOVE “Pamela’s” pancake batter.  It is gluten free but it tastes fantastic!

And Voila! My favorite meal just became that much healthier.

Quinoa is an extraordinary “grain” with a complete amino acid profile, which means it is a complete protein, and is high in fiber, phosphorous, magnesium, iron, and calcium.

Mila is a brand of chia seed that is highly regarded for its outstanding quality next to other sources of chia.  Like quinoa, Mila is a complete protein.  Mila is also a rich source of phosphorous, magnesium, and iron.  It is also a balanced plant-based source for the perfect ratio of 3:1 (Three omega-3s to one omega-6).