Find True Relief from Your Chronic Illness at Med Matrix in New Gloucester, ME

Med Matrix - Your Partner in Vitality

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Functional Medicine in New Gloucester, ME

Have you ever been to a primary care doctor and wondered why they focus on treating symptoms instead of addressing the root cause of your illness? Rather than take a patient-centered approach to address questions like, "Why are you ill?" they prescribe medications that alleviate symptoms but don't do much to solve the underlying issue that's causing you to be sick.

When you have a cough, you're handed a cough suppressant. When you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, you're prescribed a pill that masks the issue. The truth is that this approach only masks symptoms and can even make them exponentially worse. Medication never treats the root cause; your body's dysfunction isn't due to a deficiency of the medication you're taking.

That begs the question: Wouldn't you prefer to deal with the underlying cause of the problem making you feel bad? At Med Matrix, we take a functional approach to medicine instead of simply treating the symptoms our patients have.

We ask questions like:

  • Why is your body making more cholesterol?
  • Why are you obese?
  • Why is your blood pressure higher than ever before?
Functional Medicine Practice New Gloucester, ME

Med Matrix: Taking a Functional Approach to Healthcare

At Med Matrix, we delve deep to uncover the fundamental reasons behind your persistent health issues, offering you a path to lasting relief. Our team consists of knowledgeable doctors and skilled functional medicine experts who create caring environments focused on patient needs. We prioritize a holistic healing approach that looks beyond symptom management and aims to uncover and solve the core causes of your conditions for sustained wellness.

Are you:

  • Fed up with prescription after prescription and the side effects that come with them?
  • Seeking clear answers to complex health issues?
  • Craving a proactive role in improving your health?
  • Looking for a supportive, compassionate healthcare team in New Gloucester?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above or cannot get relief through conventional methods, functional medicine in New Gloucester, ME, is for you.

What is Functional Medicine from Med Matrix?

The functional medicine model of care offers a patient-centered approach to managing chronic diseases. It aims to answer the question, "Why are you ill?" so that you can receive personalized and effective care tailored to your needs.

Functional medicine providers in New Gloucester, like Med Matrix, take the time to listen to you and gather your medical history. This information helps us identify the root cause(s) of the illness, including triggers such as:

  • Poor Nutrition
  • Stress
  • Allergens
  • Toxins
  • Genetics
  • Microbiome (the bacteria living in and on your body)

Once we identify the triggers, we can create a customized plan that helps you lead a healthy life. Your plan will address various aspects of your life, including physical needs such as nutrition, exercise, and sleep, as well as mental and emotional stressors related to social, work, and community life.

 Functional Medicine Meal Plan New Gloucester, ME

The Med Matrix Difference

 Functional Medicine Testing New Gloucester, ME

At our functional health center, we provide a full spectrum of services and cutting-edge technologies to support your path to optimal health. Our team is skilled in a variety of practices including functional medicine, health coaching, hormone therapy, ozone therapy, and nutrition. Unlike some clinics that prioritize profits, we use diagnostic tools such as genetic testing and comprehensive laboratory evaluations to obtain a deeper understanding of your health conditions. In short, we take the time to get to know you, your body, your needs, and your goals. That way, we can provide the most effective, longest lasting care possible.

We also introduce innovative treatments and therapies like regenerative medicine, IV nutrient therapy, detoxification programs, PEMF mat, peptides, exosomes, and more. By integrating the most effective elements of conventional and functional medicine, we offer a comprehensive approach to health care that is tailored to you - not someone with a similar body type, age, and chronic illnesses.

Our Philosophy

Med Matrix was founded on the notion that patients deserve personalized, comprehensive care and unwavering commitment. Our philosophy also includes:

Above Beyond
Going Above & Beyond

Conventional medicine primarily aims to label diseases and prescribe medications for specific symptoms. At Med Matrix, we believe in a more holistic approach. Functional medicine - our chosen path - perceives the body as a harmonious. We view it as an interconnected system rather than a mere collection of isolated organs. In essence, we treat your entire system by delving into the root causes of your symptoms rather than trying to alleviate them on their own.

Working Together
Working Together

At Med Matrix, we consider patients to be more than visitors. We believe they're valued partners on the path to optimal health. Our cohesive team of seasoned physicians, devoted nurses, and expert nutritionists has an unwavering commitment to steering every patient towards health and happiness - a state we affectionately term "Health Actualization." Our functional medicine clinic is your comprehensive destination for wellbeing, and healing that propels you toward a life full of energy and vitality.

Advanced Testing
Advanced Testing

We seamlessly blend time-honored Western medical practices with cutting-edge functional medicine diagnostics conducted within our state-of-the-art, in-house laboratory. We understand that every patient has unique health needs and goals. Our diagnostic testing helps uncover the underlying issues you're dealing with so they can be addressed effectively. We do so through individualized treatment plans and custom treatments, not generalized care. Whether your path to wellness includes supplements, botanical medicines, prescription medications, therapeutic diets, detox regimens, or stress-reduction strategies, we're dedicated to your health.

Patients First
Patients First

Our core philosophy revolves around patient-centered care. Our practitioners take the time to listen, truly understand your unique story, and make you an integral part of the discovery process. We firmly believe that there's no one-size-fits-all solution in healthcare. That's why we're dedicated to delivering the highest quality functional medicine in New Gloucester, ME. Our approach to Health Actualization isn't solely about the absence of disease; it's about fostering vitality and overall wellbeing. Together, let's collaborate to achieve your path to Health Actualization.

Functional Medicine Memberships from Med Matrix

Our functional medical memberships are designed to optimize your health and prevent diseases from interrupting your wellbeing. These 12-month memberships feature the following core components and timeline:

Advanced Testing.png

Advanced Testing

Our advanced diagnostic testing takes into account more than 100 biomarkers, which helps us identify and ultimately address the underlying problems causing you to be sick.

Functional Medicine

Functional MedicineReview

We'll set up a one-hour meeting where you'll meet with an IFM-certified provider. During this meeting, your provider will get a better sense of who you are and the goals you have for your body and overall wellness.

Healthcare Plan

Personalized Healthcare Plan

Your healthcare plan is customized to your body and your goals and can include guidance on lifestyle optimization, diet optimization, supplement optimization, and hormone optimization.

Quarterly Testing

Quarterly Testing and Review

Once a quarter, you'll meet with a health coach from Med Matrix who will check on you and where you're at with your health goals.

Other benefits of signing up for a functional medicine membership include IV vitamin credits, access to a professional health coach, and discounted pricing on stem cell therapy.

Top 6 Reasons to Consider Functional Medicine in New Gloucester, ME

One of the most popular questions we get from new patients at Med Matrix is why they should even consider functional medical services over those at conventional medical centers. We get it - if you've only known the traditional side of medicine, exploring treatment from a functional medical doctor might seem unnecessary or uncomfortable. Before you retreat back into your comfort zone, take these points into consideration.

 Functional Medicine Consults New Gloucester, ME

Comprehensive Treatment Options

Unlike conventional doctors, who must work in a narrow scope of treatment, functional medicine opens the doorway to a wealth of therapies and treatments. For instance, at Med Matrix, when a patient presents with symptoms of depression, we don't simply consider which prescription medication to prescribe.

We thoroughly assess omega-3 levels, vitamin D levels, hormones, thyroid imbalances, gut issues, and inflammatory markers. Our goal is to identify the root cause of your depression. We seek to understand WHY your depression is happening. Some common functional medicine treatment options can include the following:

  • Health Coaching
  • Lifestyle Changes
  • Diet Optimization
  • Holistic Treatments and Therapies
  • Hormone Balancing
  • IV Vitamin Therapy
  • Med Spa Services
  • Peptide Therapy
Healthcare-and-Wellness

Healthcare and Wellness Services Catered to You

Functional medicine recognizes that each person is unique, so their treatment should be personalized. We all have different genetics, upbringings, diets, stress levels, and backgrounds. As functional medicine providers, we aim to understand each patient's life story from birth and create a plan that is tailored to them. Common sense says that conversation could take some time, and you'd be correct. An initial consultation with a functional medicine provider from Med Matrix can last an hour or more. But that allows us to provide you with focused, one-on-one attention.

This approach is in stark contrast to an appointment with a primary care physician, which only lasts a few minutes and can make you feel like you're just a number. It's challenging to have a meaningful conversation and provide a comprehensive solution in such a short time. Doctors who practice functional medicine in New Gloucester, ME, often see fewer patients per day, and for good reason - they're able to devote more time and energy to you, not processing transactions.

Education-that-Empowers

Education that Empowers

The primary objective of functional medicine is to equip and empower the patient to take charge of their health and enhance their quality of life. Since you can't visit a Med Matrix doctor every day, it's important that we continue your healing process using guidance provided by your functional medicine provider.

This guidance will cover important topics relating to your individual health, and may include protocols for optimizing your diet, lifestyle, exercise, stress, and supplements intake. We couple that guidance with advanced lab testing, condition diagnosis, and medication management. We understand that can be a lot to process in one or two meetings. As such, we may recommend health coaching and other services to help.

System-Based-Treatment-Protocols

System-Based Treatment Protocols

Functional medicine believes in treating the person, not just the disease or the symptoms. Most conventional medicine models prioritize prescription medications that match up to specific symptoms. In the world of functional medicine, that's a short-sided approach. Instead, providers at Med Matrix take a systems-based approach to care.

For instance, if you're concerned about enduring too much stress, we want to know that's due to inflammation, malfunctioning adrenals, G.I. problems, or something else entirely. To find out, we check the functionality of your kidneys, heart, gut, liver, thyroid, hormones, and even your vitamin D levels. The more we know, the better understanding we have of the systems we need to address.

functional-medicine-appointment

Uncover the Root Cause

Many people struggle to find answers to their medical conditions because they are passed around from doctor to specialist and back again. This happens frequently. Numerous patients have told us that they were informed, "it's all in your head" and "your labs look normal," despite experiencing severe symptoms indicating that something was wrong.

When you come to Med Matrix for a functional medicine appointment, it's almost like you're hiring a medical detective to uncover the root cause of your symptoms. Our doctors thrive on difficult cases and won't stop investigating until a solution is uncovered.

Preventative-medicine

Cost-Effective Treatment, Long-Lasting Results

Functional medicine goes by many names, such as integrative, holistic, personalized, and preventative. Preventative medicine is the most cost-effective form of healthcare. By preventing or slowing down diseases, you can save future healthcare costs that would have been incurred if a preventative approach wasn't taken.

For instance, let's consider Type II Diabetes. Patients who visit a functional medicine provider are proactive and start addressing blood sugar concerns well before conventional medicine does. Functional medicine providers monitor blood sugar levels even before they reach conventional pre-diabetes levels. When patients are informed and educated about diet and lifestyle before the onset of a disease, much better results are achieved in disease prevention. Once someone has a diagnosis or disease, it becomes more challenging and expensive to correct.

Essential Vitamins and Minerals for Maintaining Your Health

One of the major hallmarks of functional medicine in New Gloucester, ME, is to stay healthy year-round by eating a healthy diet and exercising. While diet and exercise are crucial for wellness, many Americans don't get the necessary amounts of vitamins and nutrients in their diets. Whether you're working with a health coach or you're simply looking for diet tips, keep these important supplements in mind as you work towards a healthy life.

 Functional Medicine Treatment Center New Gloucester, ME

Two words that send shivers down the spines of every man are "erectile dysfunction." Unfortunately, when your T levels are lower than they should be, this is one of the most common symptoms that men must endure. Being unable to get it up isn't just embarrassing - it can be downright depressing and lead to issues with mental health. It's a hard topic to discuss, but a personalized TRT plan from Med Matrix can help.

Natural sources of vitamin D include:

  • Sunlight
  • Fatty Fishes
  • Dairy Products
Functional Medicine Practice New Gloucester, ME

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a crucial nutrient for supporting the immune system and overall health. In addition to its well-known role in preventing scurvy, vitamin C is essential for collagen synthesis, wound healing, and combating infections. It also acts as a powerful antioxidant, protecting cells from damage caused by free radicals. Including vitamin C-rich foods in your diet or taking supplements can help ensure that your body has an adequate supply of this vital nutrient.

Natural sources of vitamin C include:

  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Cauliflower
  • Tomatoes
  • Cruciferous Veggies
 Functional Medicine Meal Plan New Gloucester, ME

Anemia is a condition that affects millions of Americans, resulting from various factors including iron deficiency, which is one of the most common national deficiencies. Iron is crucial for maintaining healthy blood. It plays a key role in supporting the production of hemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells that is responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body.

Natural sources of iron include:

  • Seafood
  • Poultry
  • Meat
 Functional Medicine Testing New Gloucester, ME

Functional Medicine in New Gloucester, ME: A Root-Cause Focus from Med Matrix

As a catalyst in the evolution of healthcare, functional medicine adopts a holistic approach to promoting health and wellbeing. It delves into the underlying causes of diseases and aims to restore optimal bodily function through a personalized and patient-centric approach. This approach complements conventional medicine and serves as a crucial partner in the overall healthcare landscape.

If you're sick and tired of relying on traditional models that push pills and prescriptions down your throat, it's time to make a change. At Med Matrix, we look beyond symptom management. We're focused on being proactive, not reactive. Our doctors of functional medicine are trained and fully equipped to help you reimagine what it's like to live a happy, healthy life.

If you're ready to take the first step toward true wellbeing, we're here to help. Contact our office today to learn more about our comprehensive functional medicine program.

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Latest News in New Gloucester, ME

Inside New Gloucester: April 5

Contributed / Beck WellingBeck Welling, a 16-year-old fiddler from New Gloucester, is joining the Gawler Family Band on stage at the First Congregational Church’s Village Coffeehouse performance on Saturday. Welling is a longtime student of Ellen Gawler.Music is set for 7 p.m. and tickets are available at the door for $10 per person. For more details, call Julie Fralich at 653-4823. The church is located at 19 Gloucester Hill Road.Last Maine Maple Weekend, Erik Boisvert, a sugar maker at Pineland Farms Sugar...

Contributed / Beck Welling

Beck Welling, a 16-year-old fiddler from New Gloucester, is joining the Gawler Family Band on stage at the First Congregational Church’s Village Coffeehouse performance on Saturday. Welling is a longtime student of Ellen Gawler.

Music is set for 7 p.m. and tickets are available at the door for $10 per person. For more details, call Julie Fralich at 653-4823. The church is located at 19 Gloucester Hill Road.

Last Maine Maple Weekend, Erik Boisvert, a sugar maker at Pineland Farms Sugar House, studies the hydrometer reading to measure the density of the maple syrup. He explained to a visiting group that the density should be at least 66% sugar content. Patti Mikkelsen / For Lakes Region Weekly

There will be an open stage for spoken word as part of the town’s 250th anniversary celebration plans April 25.

Residents ages 12 and up are invited to share poems, short stories, essays, plays and more at the Coolidge Family Farm, 1084 Lewiston Road, at 6:30 p.m. Participation is free, though registration is required by April 19. Performances are limited to 10 minutes.

Participants should arrive at 6 p.m. with an extra copy of the work they will be sharing to be collected in a scrapbook the town will sell later in the summer.

For more information and to register, email 250bday@newgloucester.com.

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The town is holding a photo contest for amateur photographers; submissions can be made until May 2.

New Gloucester residents can submit up to two photos of the town, restricted to nonprofessionals. All pictures must be taken of people, places and events in New Gloucester. All submissions will be on display at the Community Building May 17-19.

Submissions will be judged in three age categories by local photographers Kevyn Fowler and Ethan Woodman Fowler. Top three winners, as well as Best in Show Judges’ Prize and Peoples’ Choice prize winners, will be eligible to be included in the next historical society calendar.

Registration is required. Forms and more information will be available online and at the public library and Town Office.

A pop-up book sale of gardening and cookbooks will be held at the library from noon to 2 p.m. April 14, hosted by the Friends of New Gloucester Public Library. The organization will also accept donations of gardening books from Sunday, April 7, through Thursday, April 11, at the library.

The New Gloucester Environmental Resources Committee will give away free vegetable and flower seeds at the event while supplies last. For more information, go to friendsnewgloucesterlibrary.org.

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Boys’ basketball: Small tweaks have paid big dividends for Gray-New Gloucester

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GRAY — Gray-New Gloucester High had a good boys’ basketball team last season. A 15-3 regular-season record. One playoff win. A regional semifinal loss.

Several additions and improvements – some obvious, others less so – have turned the Patriots into an even better team this year. Now they are a single win away from the program’s first state championship since 1975.

This year, the regular-season record was a touch better – 16-2 to earn the No. 1 seed – and featured a 15-game winning streak. In the playoffs, the Patriots worked through a tough shooting game to beat Freeport, 62-56, in its regional semifinal and then did a better job capitalizing at a high-speed pace to beat Noble, 71-59, in the regional final.

“The upperclassmen have always been extremely dedicated to basketball, and this year we just took it to another level and proved it,” said Carter Libby, the starting center and one of eight seniors.

Gray-New Gloucester (19-2) will play North champion Hampden Academy (19-2) in the Class A state championship game at 2:45 p.m. Saturday at Portland’s Cross Insurance Arena. It’s the Patriots’ first appearance in a boys’ basketball state final since winning the Class C title in 1975. Hampden, which features Mr. Maine Basketball finalist Zach McLaughlin, is making its ninth Class A championship game appearance with Coach Russ Bartlett since 2005.

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The most obvious change for Gray-New Gloucester has been the addition of John Patenaude, who transferred from Poland. A junior guard, Patenaude scored 19.7 points per game at Poland as a sophomore. He added another top-tier scorer to complement Nate Hebert, who had averaged 20.6 points as a junior.

“I remember playing them last year when I was at Poland and they beat us by like 30 both games,” Patenaude said. “They had a lot of talent last year. I didn’t really think they were missing any pieces, but I did think I could bring a lot to the table.”

Patenaude’s presence means teams can’t focus solely on shutting down Hebert. In the regular season, Hebert averaged 21.3 points and Patenaude added 17.9. In the tournament, Patenaude is the team’s leading scorer at 17.7 points per game, with Hebert averaging 15.7 points.

Another obvious change is that former assistant coach Ian McCarthy took over as head coach for Ryan Deschenes. McCarthy is quick to credit Deschenes, the Patriots’ coach for 12 seasons, as the program’s architect, and also to praise his assistant coaches. Deschenes is doing well in his new job. He replaced retired Mark Karter as Gorham’s coach and has the Rams in the Class AA state final.

Championship teams need more than just scoring. They also need rebounding, defense, and a general toughness and grit. A key adjustment this season has been McCarthy’s emphasis that twin brothers Aidan and Noah Hebert are the team’s engine. The twins are Nate Hebert’s nephews.

“We said right out of the gate that we’re going to go as far as those two take us,” McCarthy said. “I say it in front of (the team) all the time.

“At the end of the day, the twins are what drive us at the defensive end, and we made a commitment early on that if we were going to do anything special, we needed to commit on that end of the floor. We had to follow their lead.”

At Tuesday’s practice, Noah Hebert was still sporting a 6-inch floor burn on his left forearm, courtesy of one of his many dives onto the Portland Expo floor during the South regional. He said one reason the team has improved is his own development over the past two seasons.

“Confidence for me was a big thing I was lacking. Last year, it kind of sprouted. I started shooting the ball more. I was our second scorer,” Noah Hebert said. “This year, it’s a little different with Johnny coming in. He’s a natural scorer, just like Nate. So I’ll do my part not only with scoring but defense.”

Noah Hebert leads the team in steals with 2.4 per game and is second in rebounding while averaging nearly eight points per game. Aidan Hebert is averaging 9.4 points and a team-high 8.5 rebounds while taking over point guard duties.

Another good thing that has gotten better is the Patriots’ crowd support, Libby said. Home games were routinely packed and Gray-New Gloucester fans travel, too. Libby recalled this year’s regular-season game at Yarmouth. The Patriots had a tough start and went to halftime trailing 26-19.

“We came out of the locker room and every GNG parent and kid got out of their seat and started clapping and cheering, and that really helped,” Libby said. “We went on a run and won a tough game on the road.”

Noah Hebert said he has visualized how a championship celebration would look and feel.

“I don’t want to say anything too early, but it would be pretty awesome. Not only for us, but also for the community.”

The Wrap: Maples closes in New Gloucester

Less than a year after it opened, Maples bakeshop and cafe in New Gloucester has closed, the owner has announced.In a Facebook post on Sunday, owner Robin Ray wrote in part that “it’s time to move on from the daily grind of owning Maples. We are closed because it’s what I need to do for myself.”Ray could not immediately be reached for comment.Maples had been beloved for its fresh-baked bagels, coffee drinks and breakfast and lunch sandwiches. ...

Less than a year after it opened, Maples bakeshop and cafe in New Gloucester has closed, the owner has announced.

In a Facebook post on Sunday, owner Robin Ray wrote in part that “it’s time to move on from the daily grind of owning Maples. We are closed because it’s what I need to do for myself.”

Ray could not immediately be reached for comment.

Maples had been beloved for its fresh-baked bagels, coffee drinks and breakfast and lunch sandwiches. Ray closed her original Maples location in Yarmouth last March – the month before her new shop opened in New Gloucester – after 10 years in business there. Lines regularly stretched out the door at the Yarmouth location, and the cafe made regular appearances on the Press Herald’s Best of food lists.

“I intended to keep two locations open,” Ray wrote on social media at the time, “but as the reality of New Gloucester opening came closer I realized that I could not physically and emotionally keep up with the demands that they both would require.”

Courtesy of Linden + Front

LINDEN + FRONT OPENING IN BATH

The owners of a Bailey Island seafood shack plan to open a new restaurant in downtown Bath in the coming weeks.

Khristine and Zac Leeman said they hope to open Linden + Front at 244 Front St. sometime in mid-February. The location was formerly Relish, which closed in 2022, and Salt Pine Social before that, which closed in 2020.

The building offers about 2,500 square feet of restaurant space, accommodating nearly 80 customers inside with another 20 outdoor seats available in season. The Leemans opened the seasonal Sundrenched on Bailey Island in 2022.

Zac Leeman said Linden + Front will offer “a modern spin on classic comfort foods.” The menu will feature small plates ($10-$17) like bone-in barbecue bacon short ribs – where the pork belly is still attached to the rib bone – served with handmade gnocchi, as well as “beans and toast,” featuring harissa-stewed chickpeas, whipped feta and grilled focaccia.

The menu’s entrees ($23 and up) include a steakhouse section with items like pork porterhouse, two-pound cowboy ribeye, filet mignon, bistro steak and rack of lamb. The restaurant will also have a full bar and cocktail program.

“We’re hoping to have a price range that will include something for everyone,” Khristine Leeman said, noting that Linden + Front will also have plenty of gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options.

“We want it to be a daily restaurant just as much as we want it to be the occasion spot,” Zac Leeman said. The Leemans added a wood-fired oven to the kitchen so they can produce flat bread dishes and small plates like fire-roasted vegetables.

Linden + Front will be open Thursday through Monday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. to start; Khristine Leeman said they hope eventually to add lunch and brunch services.

BLAKE ORCHARD TO OPEN TWO NEW STORES

Back Cove fresh juice and smoothie shop Blake Orchard aims to open two new locations, in Brunswick and Scarborough, later this year.

Blake Orchard owner Alexandra Messenger started her business about 10 years ago on Exchange Street before moving to her current location at 561 Forest Ave. Messenger said her Scarborough location is now under construction in Dunstan Village on Route 1, and she expects it will be ready to launch in the fall. The Brunswick shop, on the corner of Station Avenue and Maine Street – which formerly hosted Edible Arrangements – will likely open in April or May.

“Both towns don’t have anything like that right now,” Messenger said. “So I think we’re going to be a really good addition to the communities and a welcoming space to come hang out where people can also consume food and drinks that are good for them and make them feel good.”

While it’s a relatively big scale-up from one to three shops in a short period, Messenger said the expansion has actually been a long time coming. “I’ve spent the last 10 years just really learning my business, enjoying it and working out all the kinks with the eventual goal of expanding like this,” she said.

The new stores will be about 1,500 square feet, seating between 25-29 customers, similar to Blake Orchard’s Portland location.

Blake Orchard is known for its smoothie bowls and superfood smoothies, house-made ingredients, cold-pressed juices and scratch-made wellness drinks.

“We source the highest quality ingredients we can find, and we’re very big on making everything we can in-house,” Messenger said, including almond, cashew and coconut milk made fresh from whole ingredients every day. “That’s what really has set us apart in Maine.”

ROCKLAND CHEF LEADS WEST AFRICAN FOOD WORKSHOP

A Rockland chef is leading a West African culinary workshop and dinner event in Brunswick in February.

Chef Jordan Benissan of Mé Lon Togo in Rockland is running the show on Wednesday, Feb. 21, from 5-8 p.m. in the community kitchen of the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program. Benissan, who came to Maine in the 1990s, is originally from Togo, a country on the Gulf of Guinea.

The three-course dinner will feature dishes including garu foto, with couscous, smoked ground shrimp, smoked salmon and fried egg; azi dessi, with chicken in a sauce of ground peanuts, tomato, ginger, anise seed and cayenne over white rice; and West African corn fritters for dessert.

Participants will help prepare the meal and feast on the results. Tickets cost $150 each, available online, and proceeds will help support the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program.

MAINE RESTAURANT WEEK RETURNS

Maine Restaurant Week returns for its 16th year in early March.

The event runs from March 1-12, and features special dishes and enticingly priced three-course menus at participating restaurants around Maine.

The event’s website will list participating restaurants starting in early February. Last year, more than 70 restaurants took part; many were in Greater Portland, but others were in locations such as Camden, Brunswick, Thomaston, Lewiston, Kennebunk, Waterville and Old Town.

Event organizer Gillian Britt said participating restaurants can offer a special dish exclusive to Maine Restaurant Week or a three-course menu priced at $25, $35, $45, or $55. Restaurant week also includes special events like the Incredible Breakfast Cook-Off, where local eateries compete to produce the best breakfast dishes.

The cook-off, which traditionally kicks off Maine Restaurant Week, will be held on Thursday, Feb. 29 at Sea Dog Brewing Company in South Portland from 7-9 a.m. Tickets cost $35 and available at the Maine Restaurant Week website; all proceeds will go to Preble Street.

Another popular event of Maine Restaurant Week is Spirit Quest, a self-guided cocktail and paired bites tasting tour. This year’s Spirit Quest is set for Sunday, March 3 from 1 to 4 p.m. in Portland’s Old Port and arts district. Tickets cost $65, available online.

Inside New Gloucester: Jan. 12

Contributed / Julie FralichSand buckets are available for residents to pick up at the Fire Station at 611 Lewiston Road. However, lifting a 5-gallon bucket of sand weighing in at more than 40 pounds can pose a struggle for some people.For those unable to fill and transport a sand bucket by themselves, Building Livability in New Gloucester has lined up local volunteers to deliver one filled bucket to each participating home between 9 a.m. and noon Jan. 20, free of charge.There are several methods that can be used t...

Contributed / Julie Fralich

Sand buckets are available for residents to pick up at the Fire Station at 611 Lewiston Road. However, lifting a 5-gallon bucket of sand weighing in at more than 40 pounds can pose a struggle for some people.

For those unable to fill and transport a sand bucket by themselves, Building Livability in New Gloucester has lined up local volunteers to deliver one filled bucket to each participating home between 9 a.m. and noon Jan. 20, free of charge.

There are several methods that can be used to request a sand bucket. One is to fill out a form available at the New Gloucester Public Library or pinned to the Town Hall community bulletin board, and then deposit the completed form in the BLING box at the library. A second option emailing email blingnewgloucester@gmail.com with your name, address, email address and (optional) phone number. There is also a Google form to fill out at ngxchange.org.

Note that sand buckets will be collected at the end of the season. Supplies are being provided by a local business.

Spend an afternoon with the Morgan horses that live at Pineland Farms’ Equestrian Center, 1545 Intervale Road. Visitors will tour the Morgan Horse Museum, arena and outdoor pastures.

This family program is open to ages 6 and up and takes place from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19. The fee is $7 per person. Adult paid participation is required for minors, and pre-registration is required. To get tickets, go to the Farm Visits & Programs menu at shop.pinelandfarms.org.

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For more details, contact the education department at 650-3031 or education@pinelandfarms.org.

Maine author David Florig will be at the library for a free discussion of his book, “The Stones of Ailsa Craig,” at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16.

The novel is a work of historical fiction set in present-day Belfast, Maine, and in 1880s Scotland and is centered around the centuries-old sport of curling. Florig has spoken at numerous libraries about this debut novel throughout the last few months.

Requests for absentee ballots can be made for the March 5 presidential primary election.

They may be requested by using the state’s online absentee ballot request service by searching for “voting” at maine.gov.

Residents can also complete an absentee ballot request form at newgloucester.com, under News and Announcements, and drop it off at the town office or mail it to: Town of New Gloucester, Attn: Elections, 385 Intervale Road, New Gloucester, ME 04260.

Ballots will not be mailed out to voters until February.

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For the first time in 18 years, Maine is sending a team to the Little League Baseball World Series

When the Gray-New Gloucester/Raymond team takes the field in the Little League Baseball World Series Thursday, hundreds of people back home will be cheering for them.Two of them are Dawn Murray, owner of B&R Dairy Bar in Gray and Christine Parlin, whose daughter goes to school with some of the boys on the team.“Our little town is making some big news,” Parlin said Tuesday. “It’s bringing the community together for something very positive. Right now it seems like there’s so many polar opposites....

When the Gray-New Gloucester/Raymond team takes the field in the Little League Baseball World Series Thursday, hundreds of people back home will be cheering for them.

Two of them are Dawn Murray, owner of B&R Dairy Bar in Gray and Christine Parlin, whose daughter goes to school with some of the boys on the team.

“Our little town is making some big news,” Parlin said Tuesday. “It’s bringing the community together for something very positive. Right now it seems like there’s so many polar opposites. It sets a good example for all these adults.”

The boys, ages 10-12, will take the field at 3 p.m. Thursday representing the New England Region in the double-elimination tournament. It’s the first time in 18 years Maine has sent a team to the World Series, following Westbrook’s win in 2005.

Overall, only four teams from Maine have made it to the tournament that features 10 U.S. teams and 10 international teams.

Depending on how many games they win, the boys from Maine could be in Pennsylvania for 18 days.

And although the costs for the boys are covered, the community is busy raising money to help the parents pay for hotels and travel expenses.

For Murray, who’s owned the Dairy Bar with her husband for five years, it’s another chance to give back. They’ve raised money for kids with cancer and animal shelters and now they are pledging to give 10% of all their sales to the team on Thursday.

There’s also a donation bucket at the ice cream pick-up window.

“I’m sure this plaza will be a mob scene Thursday,” she said. “These kids from a small town made it all the way.”

Part of the mob will undoubtedly be gathered at Birchwood Brewing, just a good throw from center field to second base from the dairy bar.

Brewery co-owner Wes Hewey said they were packed when the boys played in the regional championships last week, when fans watched the action on two large screens.

“It’s been great,” he said. “It’s just hometown, young kids.”

In nearby New Gloucester, Twisted Nickles Redemption Center is donating proceeds from bottle returns to the team, said Cindy Leeman, manager.

And down the road in Westbrook, Blazes Burgers owner Alex Stone organized a raffle, is taking donations and has promised a percentage of his profit to help defray the costs for the parents.

“We just wanted to do our part to help the league and the families,” he said. “We’re all connected. We’re excited to watch them on Thursday.”

Back at the ice cream shop, Parlin said she’s amazed the parents have to travel so far — it’s an eight-hour drive from Gray to Williamsport, Pa. — to see their kids play.

“When you sign up kids for sports, you sign up for whatever comes down the line,” she said. “As a parent, you do anything for them.”

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