Sunday, April 8, 2012

Resources to help you live a healthy life

Throughout my posts, I mentioned how I drink wheatgrass, eat healthy raw foods, or plant based foods, exercise and get colonics. This page will help guide you in that direction as well....

I am going to post a few businesses I have used to help me live my healthy lifestyle. If any of you would like to add a place of business that you have found to help you, please add in the comment space below.

I am a fitness instructor and a true believer in cardiovascular exercise as well as strengthening exercise. As we age, these are two very important components to longevity and health. Cardiovascular exercise can be, walking, running, cycling or anything that will get the heart pumping. I recommend at least 30-60minutes 3-5 times a week.

Strength exercises can be your own body weight, free weights or even yoga. You may be surprised how many muscles you will use when you practice certain methods of yoga. I recommend strength exercises 2-3 times per week.

I also realize some may not be able to do these two types of exercises due to injury or other disabilities. For this, I would recommend water aerobics or infrared saunas. These are low intensity, yet help keep the body's muscles and joints active and blood circulating throughout which helps reduce pain and stiffness.

Here are some of my recommendations for you:

Infrared sauna- Google Infrared and research which one and size fits your needs. I own one of these, so if interested, I can answer any questions one may have.

I would recommend that everyone try to attend a health and wellness retreat every 1-2 years. Start with one week and if able, shoot for two or three. Here are 3-retreats I have attended in the past.

All 3-retreats are raw/vegan. They all involve fasting, drinking wheatgrass and colon cleansing. You will learn how to take care of your body inside and out. They all have the same guidelines of the Ann Wigmore principles of health and wellness.

Optimum health retreat: San Diego, California- This one is the least expensive. If you are unable to pay full tuition, they will help with payment. You will need to prove financial status in order for discount

Body, Mind, Health Restoration retreat:  Ithaca, NY- This one is convenient for those not wanting to fly. This one only runs from June-Sept. This one reminds me of camping, so if you like to camp, you will like this one.

Hippocrates Health Institute: West Palm Beach, Florida- This one is my favorite. I enjoy the Florida heat and sun after the rough Ny winters.

Google all three retreat centers and see which one appeals to you.

Yoga and fitness centers:

CNY yoga- 461-9642 Liverpool, Ny
Bikram yoga- 708-3242  Oswego, Ny
Water Aerobics- Riverside fitness, Baldwinsville, Ny. Check out Golds Gym in L'pool and Dewitt, Ny
Kelly Lyn North- 452-3261 N. Syracuse. This is women only center. Great fitness classes as well as personal training. I work at this center, so if interested, please send me message.


Colonics Plus by Maggie- 374-2649 Camillus
Vitonics by Lisa Jacques- 446-3918 Dewitt
Be in Sync by Dorothy- 427-3255 North Syracuse

Health and wellness stores:

Natur Tyme- 488-6300- Dewitt, Ny. Great place to help you get started. Free consults with dieticians.
Green Planet Grocery- 488-7777 - Camillus, Ny. Great if leading raw/vegan lifestyle
Mother Earth- 458-2717 - N. Syracuse, Ny.

If you are interested in tasting wheatgrass or enjoying fresh juice or smoothies:

Om Boys juice and smoothie cafe- 451-1200 Liverpool, Ny
Strong Boys cafe Vegan restaurant- 478-0000  Syracuse, Ny

If you are a meat/cheese eater. I would recommend organic meats as well as organic dairy products. The beef should be grass fed. I also recommend Bison. This is grass fed as well. Make sure NO antibiotics or growth hormones have been added to meat or dairy. READ labels. I know this is costly, but in the long run, you will be healthier.
 If you can't understand ingredients or pronounce not eat it!! Processed foods can lead to disease due to all of the chemicals added. Stay away from sugar free, fat free food items. This is all processed as well. The cleaner your diet is, the less stress on your body.

Try and eat organic fruits and veggies. The farmers today spray more chemicals than ever due to mass production. If you peel it to eat it, not as big of a deal ( bananas, mangos, oranges etc). If you can't peel it, stay away from it. Check out what the dirty dozen foods are...

1. Apples
2. celery
3. Strawberries
4. Peaches
5. Spinach
6. Nectarines
7. Grapes
8. Sweet bell peppers
9. Potatoes
10. Blueberries
11. Lettuce
12. Kale

If you are unable to afford organic, just try and make smarter choices in regards to your food. Try and find some balance with your life. The more balance you have, the healthier you will be.

Do research on your own in regards to the chemicals that are put in food. The more knowledge you have with what goes into your body/food, the healthier you will want to become....

            "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food"

Friday, March 23, 2012


In my previous posts I mentioned how I may possibly experience a few crying spells. Well those crying spells were like a tsunami...

The first part of the week at Hippocrates was a bit different in comparison to when I came in May.
Right from the very beginning I was emotional. I came with the mindset that I needed to work on some emotional baggage and boy did I ever.

I met with Andy for a 1/2 hr stress evaluation and due to that, I started the emotional roller coaster. After digging into some past trauma and issues, he had me open up like I never did before. This man is a genius. He has been at Hippocrates for over twenty years. He is well liked, and a caring man.

We have a healing circle here on Thursdays and how it works is, everyone sits in a circle and shares their stories. Andy is the lead guide in this group. He tries to make it fun by having us loosen up, by playing and acting silly. To be honest, at first it is a bit uncomfortable, but after a few start to laugh and joke, we all pretty much begin to realize it is a safe environment to be in.

During this particular session, I spoke up. I spoke from my heart, I spoke of past hurts and fears.I spoke with such honesty and truth, I broke down. I literally cried the ugly cry.

I was so emotionally drained after that, I slept like a baby that evening. I felt as if a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders that day.

Speaking of shoulders, I was told that having a lot of emotional trauma or baggage can cause symptoms of chronic pain and inflammation. It actually does make sense to me. When we allow ourselves to heal internally, then other areas of healing may occur.

Prior to coming to Hippocrates, I made the decision to not take any pain medication unless absolutely necessary. I have had pain, but tried to stretch, use Arnica Montana, or go in the hot tub. I have found some relief doing this. I am sure the Florida heat and sun has helped my joints and muscles as well.

So, if I am able to deal with my emotions and pain in a healthy matter, maybe, just maybe, my life CAN be drug free....

Until next time..

Monday, March 19, 2012

The first few days

After a few hurdles with my departure, I arrived at Hippocrates. The familiar surroundings brought a comfort within me. I checked into the same room I had stayed in while here in May. I figured that would bring me some comfort as well. I knew with my detoxing I would want to make it as pleasant as I possibly could. Due to lack of sleep, I went to sleep at 8:00 pm and woke up at 5:00 am. Today was the blood draw, so I needed to fast in order to receive accurate readings. I drank my wheatgrass and headed to the gym. Exercise and sweating is crucial to get the detox moving through the body and out. I am feeling some effects already. I don't have the stimulant of caffeine to keep me going. It really makes me aware how much I rely on caffeine or sugar to keep me moving throughout the day. I had my first colonic today as well, I chose to use the wheatgrass as an implant to help the detox along, as well as heal my colon and liver.

Due to all of the fiber from veggies, digestive enzymes are a must! Hippocrates teaches us the importance of why using digestive enzymes helps digest our food properly. How they move the food from the stomach to the colon in a proficient manner, how they prevent bloating and gas. Many Americans today eat too fast and do not chew their food properly. Due to this, many digestive problems start to occur.

I spoke to my nurse today about my chronic pain. I actually started to cry while explaining the severity of it. I believe having this pain for so long has really affected me emotionally as well as physically. He recommended a few treatments, one is called Nucca. He also gave me info so I can find a practitioner close to home, so I am able to continue any therapies suggested.

So far, so good!

Stay tuned....

Friday, March 16, 2012

Dedicated to Amie

Amie and me at "Save the Peaks" February 18th, 2012
  Amie Lynn Shaffer

I first met Amie around the year of 2000. Little did I know, the woman that would walk into the gym that day would forever change my life:

 Amie and I bonded easily. She was easy to like, easy to talk to. She had such a beautiful, radiant smile, it was infectious.
 She and I talked about life.. Her divorce, her struggles being a single mom and her cancer.
We talked about a race she was participating in, I told her I would love to join her. She had formed a team and I being her friend,  was honored to participate in it.
 I had told her in one of our conversations how my mom had past away from cancer, she said "run in honor of your mom" I did that. I ran for them both.
 The name of that race was the Susan G Komen race. I remember I had a sore foot, I was in pain and limping. It was downpouring on race day. I could have quit, I could have complained. Did I, no way, for I told myself, what is a little rain, a sore foot, compared to the struggles of being sick from chemo and radiation.
 At the finish line I hugged Amie and we celebrated the finish together.. She was my hero. So strong, positve and determined to fight the fight.

Amie met the love of her life. His name is Eric. Amie told me she and Eric married on a cruise ship. Amie was happy. she found a wonderful man that provided love and stability. They had a beautiful family together.  Eric is such a good man and father. I am so happy Amie was able to have found true love and happiness with him. I am sure she made his life whole as well.

Time went on and even though Amie and I didn't hang out, I knew she and I had a connection. I knew if I wanted to confide in Amie I could.
 I ran into her one day and she proceeded to tell me " the cancer is back." She had to go through treatments again. She lost her beautiful hair, and for those of you that knew Amie.. She had some hair!! She would joke around at times about her hair. The two of us liked our hair FULL, with lots of hairspray..lots! I am a hairdresser, so one time, I went to the beauty supply store and bought a few cans of hairspray to give to her as a gift. We both laughed and said.."this will last about one week." When Amie's hair fell out from the chemo, she still looked beautiful. I actually think it focused more on her beautiful face and eyes. And, once again, she found ways to joke around to ease any worries we may have had.

Amie continued to battle her cancer. At times she received great Dr's reports and this helped ease her worries. If she was worried, she didn't let on, at least not to me. There were times she would let down her guard and go there. She would talk about the cancer, and the fear. The fear of leaving her young children without a mother.

The years continued on and the battle did as well. The cancer kept spreading, Amie kept fighting. It spread throughout and she tried numerous treatments. All along Amie stayed positive.
 There were times I would whine or complain to her  about this ache or pain and then I'd tell Amie, how dare I. She would say " Chris, it is ok, you can talk to me, you are only human." This made me love and respect her even more.

Due to Amie fighting her cancer battle, Eric's family decided to start a yearly fundraiser event at their ski resort. They joined up with Beth and Jacquelyn Baldwin. The first event at Lab mountain was a hit. It is called "Save the peaks." All proceeds go to the Carol M. Baldwin Breast cancer fund.

 This February18th was the 3rd year and largest one yet. Amie was able to attend, she was tired and weak, but Eric brought a chair for her to rest in. All of her friends and family were there to support her. She was there smiling and laughing. I remember I went over to her and at one point asked her if she was tired. She  told me she was ok.  Even if she was tired, she always stayed positive. I was so proud of her, her courage, her strength. I witnessed so much love that day. As I watched her from afar that day, as much as I didn't want to think it, I knew in my heart, this would be the last time she would be attending this event. Amie was growing weaker, the cancer was such an invasion to her body, she was losing her battle. I was losing a friend. I secretly wept inside and on the outside tried to stay strong.

 I could only imagine what her beautiful husband, children, sister, family were going through. Knowing how hard losing my mom was, I knew they had a long road ahead of them. I could only imagine the tears that were going to be shed, the heartache that would take place...  

                             "I COULD ONLY IMAGINE"                

Amie lost her battle with breast cancer on March 25th, 2012. She was 39 years old. She leaves behind a husband (Eric), daughters (Sydnie, and Karley) and son (Alex). 
She also leaves behind a sister (Carrie) brother (Rick) and Mother (Betty)
You are with your  Dad now, Amie......
                  May you rest in peace, my friend.



Monday, March 12, 2012

My fear

My Aunt, me and Mom

   Today I am going to talk a little bit about my Mom-
When my Mom was in her early 40's, she was diagnosed with cancer. I was still living at home, and in school. I can still vividly remember the day I was told and that day changed my life forever:

 I walked in the front door and Mom and Ray ( my step-dad) were in the living room. I remember my Mom had a red shirt on...this was 1988, and that shirt is still ingrained in my mind.
 My Mom was sitting on the couch, I decided to stay standing. They both proceeded to tell me that she had cancer. I remember being so afraid. My Mom's sister had cancer and died when I was around 10years old, so I knew this wasn't good. I related my Aunt's death to possibly my own Mother. I related cancer to a death sentence.
 I loved my Mom and thinking she was going to die, devastated me. She started chemo and radiation, and she got very sick from these treatments. She lost her hair, lost numerous amounts of weight. She lost her spark and spunky attitude.
  At times I would go and spend the night with my Mom in the hospital. I never liked doing this, I didn't like being around sick people...this is one area I  still feel guilty about even as an adult. I feel I should have helped her more, helped Ray out more. I didn't want to face the fact that she was sick...I was in, DENIAL!! 
 We eventually had to put a hospital bed in the family room, so she didn't have to climb the stairs. I can still remember a conversation my Mom and I had on that hospital bed. We both were talking and she started to cry, she told me she didn't want to die. Now, remember I was young, I was her daughter and I was afraid. Hearing my Mom telling me this, just fueled the fear. I wanted to run away even more. 
 My Mom did die. She passed away a few years after getting diagnosed (she was 46). She and I had a rough life together. She had many struggles and I had much trauma due to that. I always tried to forgive her. I was her daughter, she was my Mother. I wrote a letter to my Mom and after she died we found it in her wallet. I was so honored that she kept it, for that confirmed she did love me after all,  so I wrapped it in her two hands while in her casket, and I had her take it with her. Knowing a little piece of me went with her that day we buried her, brought some solace into my heart.

  It seems every time I turn around I hear about another friend, family member, person getting cancer. This is why, when I go to Hippocrates, I want to absorb as much as I can about ways to fight cancer. I will learn how to eat in a way that keeps my cells pure and disease free. I will learn about ways to prevent all diseases not just cancer...diabetes, heart...etc.

 I think I always knew my Mom wasn't going to live a very long life. She was sick quite a bit and didn't take care of herself. My worst fear had come true! And, due to that fear, I feel even more driven to take care of myself, my health, and family's health.

 Life is different without a Mom. I miss her everyday. She never witnessed me getting married or met my daughters. I wish I could pick up the phone, call her and say "hey Mom how is life". That wish will never happen. But, the one wish I will keep hoping for is, that one day we will eradicate cancer, and any other disease that will traumatize a daughter, son, family member, or friend.  It will happen- maybe not in my lifetime, but hopefully my children's lifetime..

As always, stay tuned....

Sunday, March 11, 2012

one week prior to leaving

One of my favorites
This morning I woke up to a beautiful sunrise. I made sure to go out on my deck and capture it coming through the trees. The way the sun glistened on the water, and how it sparkled was breathtaking. I told my husband that thanks to my beautiful neighbor and  friend Roni, she has re-ignited an appreciation for what has always been right under my backyard. Living on the water is so serene, but after living here for 10-yrs, I started taking it for granted. One day I went out back and actually looked at my surroundings. There is so much beauty out there. The trees, birds and water. This is what God has given us, and I am going to start enjoying it again. I am going to appreciate all that I was given. The more I realize my surroundings, the more I realize how blessed I am.

Speaking of being blessed, I am going to talk a little bit about my husband:
  I am marred to a wonderful man. He and I have been married for 20-years. I feel like I can tell him anything..and I pretty much do. I trust him with my heart and soul. He knows everything about me. He knows all about the struggles I had growing up and still continue to have. Him allowing me to go on this retreat for two-weeks makes me realize how blessed I am and how wonderful he is. He will be taking care of the house, dogs, daughter and working full time.
 I think/hope he knows how much these retreats help me, how they help me become a better person, how they help me peel a few layers off of  the insecure girl I once was and sometimes still am. How the more I work on myself and learn to let the past go, the better wife, mother, human being I become.
  I am striving to learn how to love myself. When we love ourselves first, it is easier to love others unconditionally.. Wouldn't it be a much more peaceful world if we all could just love one another....

As always, stay tuned......
My daughter and friends getting ready to jump off our dock

Saturday, March 10, 2012

An abundance of food

For some of you out there, I am sure you are wondering- what do you eat while there? Well, there is plenty to eat:
 Every day we have a liquid breakfast and snack -this is our green drink. For lunch and dinner there is a beautiful, fresh, organic salad bar. I say salad, but it really is an array of sunflower sprouts, sprouted beans and legumes-(sprouting is very important at Hippocrates). When you eat your nuts, seeds, and legumes sprouted, it is easier on the digestive system. They are full of enzymes, vitamins, mineral and proteins. There are organic cucumbers, peppers, cauliflower...etc. They try and buy what is in season this way it is fresh and organic. It really is a beautiful site to look at it.

They have a fabulous chef.  Ken works magic in the kitchen. He can make a mean nutloaf, pizza, tacos and anything else you can imagine. All of this is raw/vegan. The beautiful thing about this, is they will teach you how to prepare all of this, so when you return home, you can have the knowledge to prepare it yourself. I have posted a few pics of a couple of my favorite recipes that I prepared at home.

We do have one day of fasting. On this day it is liquid only. We drink a green drink that is juiced with sprouts and veggies. Later in the day, we get to enjoy ourselves by drinking out of a whole coconut. The man that delivers these, literally stands there with a machete and cracks them open. This is a great electrolyte replacement for us. It is delicious and fresh!!

So, as you can see we get to enjoy fabulous, tasty food that has such great nourishment in them. This food gives us so much energy, we don't feel like putting greasy fast food in our bodies.

I am focusing on a few things just to give you an idea of what it is like and how we eat while there. To be honest with you. The first few days are rough. We at times use food for comfort and when that is taken from us, we have nothing to comfort us and our real emotions come out.

Later in my blog, I will talk about emotions, feelings and how when you cleanse your body, you also cleanse your mind. I am sure there will be a few crying spells for me. I have a lot of internal emotional baggage that I will be working on while there. I will try and be as honest to myself and my readers as I possibly can.

Raw spagetti
raw choc, almond, banana pie
Once again, stay tuned....