Ardent for Life Summer 2021

Page 1

Ardent content food

& flavor 16. Pickle Corn Dog Carole Morris 18. Campsite Dining Cindy Della Monica 22. Key Lime Pie Justin Pinnell 24. Rhubarb Crisp Carole Morris

travel 30. Pacific Crest Trail

16. love

36. Savannah & Ryan

profile 42. Liz Campos


44. Book Reviews Sacramento Public Library

education 48. What I’ve learned CT Morris

health 26. Health Tip Aaron Andrew Grove 50. Lost and Found Anna Osborn 54. Healthy Mindset Kaiser Permanente 58. Progesterone Rejuvenation Wellness 60. Glutes Switch Fitness

community 64. Big Truck Day 66. Iris Awards

42. 6. - Summer 2021

66. Elk Grove Anti-Trash Community Cleanups

Contributor’s Corner Justin Azevedo

Justin has been a Youth Services Librarian for Sacramento Public Library since 2010, and is currently the Youth Materials Selector for the system.

Kelly Burns

Owner of Kelly Marie Photography

D’Lee Daleo

Switch Fitness Owner with a passion for life, family, friends and fitness. She's never met a stranger, loves the movie Elf and is living proof that fitness can be fun.

Aaron Andrew Grove

Serial Entrepreneur and Owner of Purely CBD of Elk Grove

Scott and Dana Halvorson

We are Sacramento photographers, shooting everywhere from Tahoe to San Francisco, and we have a love for travel beyond.

Tra Huynh

Owner of Two Twenty Photos is a Fun Wedding and Family Photographer.

Dr. Dayle A. Imperato

A Board Certified physician, she has served the Sacramento community for the past 20 years. Owner of Rejuvenation Wellness & Aesthetic Medicine in Old Town, Elk Grove.

Nan Mahon

Is an author and journalist. She is a member City of Elk Grove Committee for the Arts and received the Elk Grove 2011 Mayor’s Award for volunteerism in the Arts.

Jamie McCalman

Switch Fitness Owner and Mom to Braden, Kyla and Lea. Some Moms can juggle a lot, Jamie can literally juggle her three kids; yeah, she’s that strong.

Cindy Della Monica

Cheesemonger and Owner of Cheese Central in Lodi, Ca.

Carole Morris

Instructional Specialist, Author and Adjunct Professor. She is married to an outstanding, brilliant man and the mother of two grown awe-inspiring children, and grammie to three flawless grandchildren.

Anna Osborn

Anna lives in Elk Grove with her husband and school aged twins. She owns Life Unscripted Counseling in Midtown Sacramento.

Amanda Perry

Marketing Manager at McConnell Estates Winery

Elizabeth Pinkerton

Teacher and Administrator for 40 years, she is now a historian and author.

Justin Pinnell

Justin is not just another pretty face in Real Estate. He enjoys long walks on the beach and high mountain sunsets.

Louis Silveira

Newsletter Editor, Webmaster, and Archivist at the Elk Grove Historical Society

Dianna Singh

Owner of Elk Grove Vitamins for the past six years.

Kristin Thébaud

An award-winning writer, photographer and publicist, Kristin Thébaud is a marketing and fundraising consultant for nonprofits in the greater Sacramento area.

Contributor q&a Kristin Thébaud

Kristin Thébaud Communications Story on page 42.

Do you have a favorite summer activity? I used to love going to Bend, Oregon in the summers to canoe, hike and enjoy the beautiful Deschutes River – now that we have two young kiddos, it’s harder to get up there, but we hope to take them soon!

Favorite food to bbq? I love salmon and eggplant on the BBQ – can’t get enough. What was cool when you were young but isn’t cool now? Double socks and pumped bangs in the ‘80s. Also, I’m glad those are no longer cool – they needed to go. What’s the most interesting documentary you’ve ever watched? How can I choose?! So here are three off the top of my head: “5 Broken Cameras”, “I Am Not Your Negro” and “Allen v. Farrow”

Brendle Wells

Is a librarian and lifelong reader who has a passion for sharing books with pretty much anyone she meets. She currently works as the Adult Materials Selector for the Sacramento Public Library and asks, “What have you read lately?”

10. - Summer 2021

For full bios of our contributors, please visit

Community CornerQ&A sauce. Let them sit an hour to come to room temperature and serve with grilled vegetables like asparagus or zucchini from the garden, and some potatoes or an ensalada caprese.

Kristin Parsons

Senior Civil Engineer, City of Elk Grove Do you have a favorite summer activity?

My favorite summer activity is entertaining friends and family either poolside (in my backyard) or on our pontoon boat. I love the summer weather we have in Northern California and enjoy providing good food and wine to be enjoyed while hanging out with friends and towing kids on wakeboards and inflatables at the lake. To be perfectly honest, entertaining poolside is probably my favorite activity, since we have pretty great weather almost year round. Food always tastes better eaten outside... in my opinion. Favorite food to BBQ?

Nothing beats the smell of juicy ribeye steaks on the BBQ. That is my favorite cut of beef and our favorite thing to BBQ. They don’t need a lot, just a little seasoning and a rub of Worcestershire

What invention doesn’t get a lot of love, but has greatly improved the world?

Zippers… know who invented them? Ever think about how many things use a zipper? Tons of clothing items, purses, wallets, coats, backpacks, bags/pouches for all kinds of items, shoes/boots, sleeping bags, tents, canopies/ shelters, furniture covers, suitcases, cushion and pillow covers, etc. I think the zipper is overlooked--yet would be sorely missed if it went away. Who wants to button up their coat or jacket or have to button up jeans or lace up your boots every day? What app can you not believe someone hasn’t made yet?

How about something similar to Shazam which listens to a song being played and tells you who sings it, the name and the lyrics. But, instead of songs it would recognize actors on TV or in movies. SO many times while watching a show with my family we will be trying to place the actor in our minds to figure out what we have seen them in... and it takes time to look up what their name is and then search what other things they have acted in.

What was cool when you were young but isn’t cool now?

Waiting for a phone call… especially on your very own princess phone if you were lucky! Remember setting a time for your friends to call and then pulling that rotary phone as far away from where it hung on the wall in the kitchen--so you could to get some privacy in the hallway, behind the couch or in a nearby closet? If you were super lucky as a teenager you got your very own phone line and a touch tone princess phone so you could talk in your own room. Nowadays kids don’t even talk on the phone, they text or if they want to hear a voice they FaceTime. What’s the most interesting documentary you’ve ever watched?

I don’t have a lot of time for tv however I recently watched a very timely hybrid documentary drama called The Social Dilemma. We have four children, two who are still teenagers, and I use social media mainly for business purposes and to keep in touch with friends and family who are far away. The Social Dilemma takes you behind the scenes to help you understand how social media companies use algorithms to entice you towards addiction to social media. It was really eye opening and I haven’t been able to not think about it every time I open FaceBook, Instagram or even Google now. I even see glimpses of it when I am networking for business purposes on Linked In!

In summer, the “song sings itself.

-WIlliam Carlos Williams-

creative director

executive editor

business manager

Sara Pinnell

Carole Morris

art & production

Justin Pinnell


View Ardent for Life online at

Copyright © 2021 Mrs. and Mr. Publishing Published by Mrs. and Mr. Publishing six times a year Want to know about great events, open houses, and more? Like us on Facebook at Ardent For Life is distributed in Elk Grove, Sacramento, Lodi, and every point in between. Have a great story idea, or know someone that we should feature? Email us with your comments & suggestions at Interested in increasing your business and partnering with Ardent For Life? Check out The information in this publication is for informational purposes only. Mrs. and Mr. Publishing Inc. (DBA Ardent for Life) assumes no liability or responsibility for any inaccurate or incomplete information, nor for any actions taken in reliance thereon. The information contained about each individual, event or organization is not necessarily the views of the magazine.

ardent f o r

Checking In

l i f e

We are so blessed to live in Northern California! It is a fact that we live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. We have national parks, state parks and all kinds of natural attractions that are truly awe inspiring. Places that you and your family can go to this summer are just a hop, skip and a jump away! Places like Yosemite National Park, which has Glacier Point, Half Dome, and Yosemite Falls. Another inspiring landscape in Northern California is Burney Falls at McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park...that is a breathtaking 129 feet in height. I need to mention Sausalito, a small town that is in a corner of Marin County that has magnificent waterfront views. What about Bodega Bay? Have you seen the unparalleled ocean views there? Then there is Sonoma Valley located between the Mayacamas and Sonoma Mountains, with the most astonishing landscapes you've ever seen. This summer kick up your heels and check out the beauty that surrounds you!

executive editor

Carole Morris What did we learn after reading this issue? There is an inward-looking article called Lost and Found that reminds us that in regard to relationships, we want a clean slate. Accountability for the actions. Acknowledgement of the feeling. And the ability to see the bigger picture and know that there’s choice in what you go looking for. As always we have included mouth watering recipes. Try your hand at making a couple for your family and friends, they will love you for it! Then, enjoy the quiet at the end of the day, sit outside and peruse this issue of Ardent.


16. - Summer 2021


Pickle Corn Dog By Carole Morris

I thought it would be fun to gratify our feelings of nostalgia about fair foods with this recipe. Every state has really popular fair foods, like deep fried oreos, fried candy bars, elephant ears and funnel cakes. Therefore, it should come as no surprise (that in the spirit of fair food originals) Disneyland kicked lockdowns to the curb and started serving pickle corn dogs (with a side of peanut butter to dip in). Step out and serve this yummy recipe to your family and friends, then you can have your own fair day (without the crowds). INGREDIENTS 3/4 cup sugar 3 cups flour

2 ¼ tsp salt

3 ½ tsp baking powder 1/3 cup cornmeal 3 eggs

1¼ cups milk 6 whole pickles 6 hot dogs

1½ cups bread crumbs 8 cups oil (for frying) 1 cup peanut butter thick skewers apple corer toothpicks

Directions 1. Select six large whole pickles, dry

off with a paper towel.

2. Using an apple corer, core the pickles (lengthwise).

3. Next, insert a hot dog into the hollowed out pickle (cut off any excess).

4. Remove the trimmed hot dog from the pickle, and insert a thick skewer

through the hot dog (leave a couple inches for handle).

5. Insert the skewered hot dog into the pickle (secure with a toothpick). 6. In a large bowl mix flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and cornmeal.

7. Lightly beat the eggs (in a separate bowl), stir in milk.

8. Pour the egg & milk mixture into the dry mix and mix together creating batter. 9. Using a large glass or tall jar, fill ¾ full with the batter.

10. Dry off the pickle dog, using a paper towel.

11. Pour breadcrumbs into a pan. 12. After dipping the pickle dog in

batter, slowly pull it out.

13. Heat four inches of oil in a pan to 360˚F.

14. Roll the battered dog in breadcrumbs and cook in the preheated oil.

15. After frying for a few minutes on each side (until evenly browned) remove from oil and drain on a paper towel.

16. Remove toothpick (after cooking). 17. Serve warm with a side of smooth

peanut butter.   17


Campsite Dining Shouldn’t be…

Boring By Cindy Della Monica, Cheesemonger and Owner, Cheese Central

How I have longed for summer weather… and now it is here! I’ve had my first sunburn, been working on a good tan (SPF50 included), and thoroughly enjoyed my cool morning gardening. Harvesting green beans, encouraging little baby peppers and noticing the light red of the first tomatoes in the garden is such a joy. However, the summer weather beckons us to get away from home chores, to drive up to the mountain lake, to visit the coast and the majestic redwoods, have a campfire on the beach, go boating with the family on Lake Camanche… any opportunity to be outside fits me to a tee! 18. - Summer 2021

Well, actually, I lie. ANY opportunity? No. I am not a camper. The tent/sleeping bag/backwoods style is SO not me—no shower, no toilet, bugs and bears, oh my! Trailer? A bit closer to my image of enjoying the great outdoors, but the full-on RV would be better—and greater opportunity for good food. Honestly, my vision of Yosemite and its spectacular views are from the 4-star Ahwahnee Hotel, with a cold Sauvignon Blanc in my hand! Okay, not often, but certainly preferable to Yosemite in a tent…and dirt… minimal packed-in food (no wine!)… and mountain lions! “Roughing it” and “glamping”?—polar opposites! Yurts, treehouses, train cabooses, and a “bird nest” lend more excitement for me in a new outdoor experience than the traditional camping thing. Check out Treebones in Big Sur for the yurts and bird nest accommodations—an experience, for sure! Yet, even these options require mealtime fun. No dehydrated, backpack food, trail mix, or minicamp stove concoctions for me. I practice planning for future culinary happiness! As a kid, my scout troop leader introduced us to evening campfire S’mores for the first time during troop camp-out. An addictive treat in the great outdoors. Doesn’t everybody make this? Other outdoor food experiences came along later in my

food} food}

It isn’t just the food—it is the experience. So, when we go outdoors, I plan ahead for some deliciousness-factor experiences. life. As a teenager, I spent a summer month every year at Lake Alpine. I slept on a cot on the log cabin porch (outdoors, “real” bed), with my sleeping bag warmed by a big river rock heated all day from the wood stove drawer in the cabin kitchen. My host family would take us out onto the still lake water in their little motorboat before the sunrise, we’d bait our hooks and fish for a while… with tremendous success—fat rainbow trout! Within the hour, they were cleaned and tossed whole into a seasoned cornmeal mixture and bacon-fat fried in a giant cast iron skillet over an outdoor fire FOR BREAKFAST with a quickly fried egg and buttery biscuits! Now, that’s fresh, an experience not to be missed— complete with crackling fire, the piney scent of the trees all around; and the cool mountain air that would warm up enough to make swimming (in that lake) so pleasurable later in the day. Other awesome outdoor food experiences come to mind: crabbing in Bodega Bay, with as much freshly caught and steamed crab meat as we can eat; Oregon wild-picked blackberries, so many that a bag of sugar and a case of jam jars in the little trailer kitchen made the serendipitous harvest into delicious memories for months to come; and provisioning at Granville Island, Vancouver, BC… for a “captain’s dinner” aboard our barechartered sailboat while anchored in a little bay of the San Juan Islands. The sailboat had a small bbq kettle that hung over the water from the back of the boat, and a teeny galley for food prep. Fresh, beautiful, local food with minimal prep and creative seasoning gave us a most memorable meal over the sparkling water. A bit of kabobing, some en papillote, a fragrant buttery melt-and-dip little pot Italian style with anchovies and garlic (bagna cauda), all on the grill, washed down with non-vintage sparkling--not a drop or morsel got by us! That meal happened 35 years ago, in clear blue August air and calm briny waters, and our sailing partners are still talking about it! I can appreciate the “standard” camping food that friends plan for their outdoor adventures—hot dogs or burgers, taco fixings, deli goods for sandwiches. Kid friendly, for sure. I know most people aren’t as food-centric as I am—also not a bad thing. But you should know ME by now, and how our kids were fed

on our trips, too! Haven’t you read in a past issue how we made ice cream in a ziplock bag in the parking lot at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk? (Call me crazy, but man, that was fun!) It isn’t just the food—it is the experience. So, when we go outdoors, I plan ahead for some deliciousness-factor experiences. I share “new” culinary adventure ideas by giving things like pie irons for Christmas gifts to the trailer-camping family groups. Known also as pudgy pie iron, or sandwich toaster, these long-handled and hinged “clamshells” are great to heat or create sandwiches, pizza/calzone-type hand pies, breakfast bakes and desserts over a campfire. Absolutely kid-friendly, too. Another way to add surprise to camping meals is to use the en papillote method of cooking. Pronounced ONpoppy-YOTE, a French term for this easy pre-packed meal for the grill (or oven). Using aluminum foil to make your packet, you prepare fish, shellfish, chicken, or vegetables inside the foil “envelope” and season with herbs, or citrus and onions, or sauces (think Chinese, Italian or bbq). The packets are sealed and crimped tightly, refrigerated to travel if made ahead, then grilled for a few minutes to give the diner a delicious waft of aromatic steam when the packet is opened for consumption! Family fishermen help out with this one, for sure, when I fill the packets with pre-prepared baby bok choy and carrots, freshly caught white fish (or raw prawns) and a gingery green onion, sesame oil and soybased sauce. Or try this--a combination of citrus, onion slices, white wine and herbs with a butterflied chicken breast on top. Consider those same chicken breasts with raw mushroom slices, fresh oregano or basil, shreds of parmesan and slices of fresh mozzarella—spoon on your favorite red pasta sauce and a couple tablespoons of red wine, or pesto sauce, and seal up the packet. Terrific with garlic bread from the grill, and tell your fellow diners that this dish is al cartoccio (Italian for “in paper”)!

I do hope I have inspired a bit of culinary “glamping” for your next outdoor adventure. Deliciously lasting memories will definitely enhance the family outdoor experience. Happy Summer!

7 Can Soup

It can get pretty cold on crabbing trips… This simple soup is great when you’ve consumed enough crab for one day! Looks too simple to be tasty, but believe me--not even salt or pepper are needed, though you might want splash of Tapatio or Sriracha

Ingredients 15 oz can chili without beans 15 oz can black beans 15 oz can white beans 15 oz can pinto beans 15 oz can corn 15 oz can petite diced tomatoes 10 oz can roasted, diced tomatoes with green chilies 8 oz pkg cream cheese, optional Instructions Open all cans and DO NOT DRAIN. Pour all into a large pot, stir to combine. Heat until almost to the boil, stirring occasionally. Serve. If creamy soup is desired, stir into hot soup the cream cheese cut into cubes, stirring until melted. Serve.   19


Raspberry Glazed Pork Dust a couple of pork tenderloins with ½ t each granulated garlic, thyme leaves, salt and ground cayenne pepper. Refrigerate or cooler until ready to grill, up to 12 hours. In a container or jar with a lid, place ½ C raspberry jam, 1 T maple syrup or light corn syrup, 2 T red wine vinegar, and 1 T Worcestershire sauce. Shake to combine. Grill pork over medium heat, covered, turning and brushing with raspberry mixture, for about 20 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before carving into thick slices and serving with the remaining sauce at the table. Serve with grilled corn on the cob, and potatoes or vegetables prepared “en papillote,” as noted on page 19.

20. - Summer 2021


The Glories of a Key Lime Pie By Justin Pinnell

22. - Summer 2021

food} I never knew a pie could actually taste as delightful as its place of origin, but I can honestly say I think we found it at Mrs Mac's Kitchen in Key Largo Florida. We took a family vacation touring around Florida; halfway through our trip we stopped for the night in famous Key Largo. As we relaxed by the ocean, we watched a momma Manatee and her calves grazing on greenery growing around the dock. They were graceful (for their immense size) as they swam with and around beautiful pink jellyfish that were bobbing in the water. The family and I decided to find somewhere to graze ourselves, after we had our fill of nature. That is when we found Mrs Mac's Kitchen. It was beachy and quirky, an instant magnet to us. After exhibiting our bravery by eating alligator, (for the first time) the waitress asked if we had ever had real key lime pie. She made a bold claim of “we have the best.” Full of doubt...we ordered a slice. My mom is a pie baking professional with pies that cannot be matched, so I feel I can say with authority the waitress wasn't kidding, it was good, really good. After leaving, my wife made the statement, “when I get home I’m going to make a key lime pie as good... if not better than that!” A year later she did it! She is even going to share the recipe, so you can enjoy a piece of Florida! As a bonus, we are sharing a key lime ice cream sandwich recipe. It is so refreshing, you will thank me twice.


Graham Cracker Crust


10 graham cracker rectangles

3 large egg yolks 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk 1/2 cup freshly squeezed or bottled Key lime juice

1/3 cup granulated sugar 6 tbsp butter melted

Whipped Cream Topping

1/4 cup sour cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1/2 tablespoon finely grated lime zest

1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions Graham Cracker Crust (preheat oven 300°)

Place your graham crackers into a Ziploc bag, seal bag then use a rolling pin to smash and roll into a crumbly texture (you can also use a food processor or blender). Next, mix in butter and sugar. Put graham mixture into pie pan, press mixture down so that it covers the bottom and sides. Cook at 300 degrees for 10 min. Set aside.

Pie Filling

(preheat oven 350°)

Mix 3 egg yolks and condensed milk together. Blend

1/2 cup powdered sugar

for 5 minutes, then add sour cream, lime juice, and lime zest and mix until well blended.

Pour the filling into the pie crust and bake it for 15 minutes on 350. Let the pie cool, cover and place in the refrigerator. Before taking it out of the refrigerator, prepare the whipped cream topping. Top with whipped cream and serve.

Whipped Cream Topping

In a blender beat the heavy cream and sugar together. When it starts to become stiff, add the vanilla and beat until mixed (do not overmix). Spread on top your pie, sprinkle with lime zest for color.

Key Lime Ice Cream INGREDIENTS

8 oz cream cheese (room temperature)

1 tablespoon of finely grated lime zest

14oz can of sweetened condensed milk

3 freshly squeezed limes or 6 tablespoons of key lime juice

1/4 cup of heavy whip cream

(pinch of salt)


In a bowl (using an electric mixer) beat the cream cheese at a medium speed until fluffy. Add the sweet and condensed milk and beat at high speed (until smooth). Next, add heavy cream, lime juice, salt, and lime zest. Beat for about 1-minute, until fully mixed and smooth. Cover and freeze.

Look up your favorite cookie recipe (using graham crackers) to make a delicious ice cream sandwich, or use store-bought graham crackers. Either way, you won't be disappointed.   23



Rhubarb Crisp By Carole Morris

24. - Summer 2021   24


Oh rhubarb,

rhubarb how I love thee. You are all things wonderful, and inspire positive memories of my childhood and adulthood. With that being said, why can’t I find you in the grocery store? Last year I searched for you, but could not find you in any stores. When I asked the produce staff, they looked at me as if I was asking for something obscene. Not daunted, I overcame that obstacle this year...I ordered rhubarb seeds on line and planted the little darlings. BOOM, I have rhubarb for my tantalizing rhubarb crisp. I am sharing this recipe to entice the anti-rhubarb crowd, because rhubarb is so good for you! It is rich in antioxidants, which gives it its red color. These aren’t normal everyday antioxidants, either...rhubarb’s antioxidants have anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. It also helps protect you from many health-related issues such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Now that I have lured you to try it, jump on in!

Rhubarb Crisp Preheat oven to 350°

Ingredients Filling

3 ½ cups rhubarb (sliced) 1 c white sugar 4 tablespoons cornstarch

1 ½ cups sliced strawberries Topping

1 ½ cup quick-cooking oats 1 c brown sugar (packed) 1 cup butter (melted)

½ c flour

2 tsps cinnamon

Directions 1. Combine cornstarch and sugar in a large bowl; stir in rhubarb

and strawberries; only to coat. Spoon into an ovenproof cake pan.

2. In a separate bowl, stir in the oats, brown sugar, butter, flour and cinnamon (mix together well). Sprinkle mixture over fruit. 3. Bake at 350° for approximately 45 minutes...until crisp is bubbly and topping is brown. 4.When served with vanilla ice cream, can I just say, “wow, scrumptious!”   25


Health Tip:

The morning beverage that will jumpstart your health and weight loss. by Aaron Andrew Grove, Purely CBD, Elk Grove

When it comes to diet drinks, there's one beverage that continues to be a favorite among the weight loss experts. It's not diet soda, or even just plain water, but a simple warm drink that can actually do wonders for your dieting efforts during the day. Hot lemon water, in fact, is the drink that's been found to leave you with glowing skin and an energized metabolism. Just squeeze half a lemon into a glass of warm or hot purified water, it beats drinking coffee hands down. This simple drink has physical benefits that will help you to get where you want to be. Coffee—especially when taken with no sugar—can give you a much-needed energy boost in the morning, has been proven to expand your lifespan, and is even a powerful fighter against cancer and diabetes. Hot lemon water, on the other hand, will give you a weight loss pick-me-up that'll keep the efforts going all day long. People who maintain a more alkaline diet lose weight faster, [and] since lemons help to make the body more alkaline, drinking lemon water is a good weight loss aid. An extra bonus: Lemons are also high in pectin fiber, which helps fight hunger cravings, so not only does the drink add in alkaline, but it helps to make sure overeating is curbed throughout the day.

If weight loss is not your main goal, the tart drink can help with multiple other health concerns. Here are eight more reasons you should drink hot lemon water every morning: 26. - Summer 2021

1. Aids digestion.

Lemon juice helps to flush out toxins, particularly from the digestive tract. Its composition is similar to the acids in saliva and digestive juices and it stimulates the liver to produce bile.

2. Acts as a diuretic.

The increase in the rate of urination helps to eliminate toxins from the body and gets rid of bloat.

3. Boosts your immunity.

The high vitamin C content has antiinflammatory effects, and high levels of potassium boost nerve and brain function.

4. Balances pH levels.

Lemons are one of the most alkalizing foods for the body. Drinking lemon wa-

ter regularly can reduce acidity, including uric acid in the joints, one of the primary causes of pain and inflammation.

5. Clears skin.

Vitamin C and other antioxidants fight skin aging, decreasing wrinkles and blemishes. It rejuvenates the skin from the inside out. The alkaline nature of lemon juice kills some of the bacteria that cause acne.

6. Enhances your mood and boosts your energy.

The scent of lemon has mood-enhancing and mind-clearing properties. It can reduce anxiety and depression.

7. Promotes healing.

The vitamin C (ascorbic acid) found in lemons promotes healing and helps to maintain healthy bones, connective tissue, and cartilage.


Did you know? "No disease, including cancer, can exist in an Alkaline environment"

Cancer thrives in an acidic environment Acidic Blood

Alkaline Blood

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Dr. Otto Heinrich Warburg

8. Freshens breath.

Meats, Sugar, White Bread, Coffee, Soft Drinks, Alcohol, Cigarettes, Prescription Drugs, Process Foods.

You know how crisp and clean lemon juice smells. A warning; however, citric acid can erode tooth enamel. It is a good idea to rinse your mouth with purified water after drinking lemon water.

Eating meat creates Uric Acid. Forming Acidosis. Acid equals fat and sickness. Sickness equals disease and death. Black beans have more protein than beef. (Many more examples)

MAJOR To cut out visible fat, cut out simple carbohydrates with no nutritional value, such as white and wheat flour you're using for energy. When digested it floods your bloodstream with glucose, which makes the body rapidly secrete insulin.

Vegetables are Alkaline. Alkalinity equals health. Health equals lean muscle, vitality, vigor and zest. The biggest and strongest Gorillas eat plants. The strongest mammals (mammals have fur or hair and humans are mammals) eat plants. No disease including cancer can survive in an alkaline environment. Every person who has cancer has a pH that is too acidic. Meat, sugar, white bread, coffee, soft drinks, alcohol, cigarettes, prescription drugs and processed foods all promote acidic blood. Vegetables and fruits or anything

This signals the body to store fat in Two Ways: Insulin tells your fat cells to pull in fat from the bloodstream, making you fatter. Insulin tells your fat cells to prevent fatty acids from leaving, preventing you from becoming leaner.

Vegetables, Fruits

green... chlorophyll, polyphenols and phytonutrients promote alkaline blood. Chlorophyll has the same molecular structure as our very own hemoglobin (blood plasma). The only difference is at the center of ours is the iron molecule while at the center of chlorophyll is the magnesium molecule. I have supplied snack and drink recipes (on the next page) to help boost your health. FREE Unlimited Alkaline Water at Purely CBD Elk Grove with the purchase of a jug! Start a healthier lifestyle choice today! Visit us at 6616 Laguna Blvd, Suite 124, Elk Grove, or call us at (916) 306-7487

Your body hangs onto all the fat it can find. No white refined processed sugar. Sugar is acidic, acid retains fat, creates disease and causes death. To get rid of visceral fat, cut out vegetable oils and grease. (Avocado, coconut and olive oil are fine) To literally prevent and reverse major degenerative diseases and ailments adopt the RAVE Lifestyle: no Refined sugar, no Animal products, no Vegetable oils, Exercise and no Exceptions. A simple error in judgment or a simple discipline, compounded over time, will determine where we end up. Choose in advance. Choose health.   27


To literally prevent and reverse major degenerative diseases and Daily Health Mix

You can use any variation and mix it up to your personal taste. Maca, spirulina, hemp hearts, hemp protein powder, hemp oil, bee pollen, psyllium husks, cacao, turmeric, flax meal, Ceylon cinnamon, honey, almond butter and chia seeds. Put the recommended daily amount of each ingredient in a bowl and mix it up. Once it's mixed well, stir in coconut water until it is soupy. Then mix in the hemp oil, coconut flakes, crushed walnuts & pecans, soaked almonds, raisins, prunes. Add fruit that you like and if there's extra left over, freeze it for a dessert later! You can also mix up enough for a few days, put it in ziplock bags and freeze them. When you're ready, take it out of the freezer and cut the corner off and squeeze it out.

Daily Drink

Mix 8-10oz of alkaline water or favorite fresh juice with the recommended serving size of Green Vibrance, Spectrum Vibrance, collagen hydrolysate, ashwagandha, he shou wu, black seed oil, sea buckthorn oil, tongkat ali and Maca root. Shake well and enjoy! Take with Irish Sea moss, bladderwrack and burdock root capsules as well as pau d'arco, oregano oil, black elderberry, and Shilajit (not all at once, do the drink separate from any of the above capsules and take the above capsules at separate times from each other) For an additional powerful benefit: Sovereign Silver (silver hydrosol) Note that green vibrance needs to be kept in the freezer. It's a living food.

Daily Power Shake

Scoop of wild blueberries Scoop of nutrabio grass fed whey Scoop of almond butter Almond milk Pumpkin, flax, and sunflower seed mix.

28. - Summer 2021

ailments adopt the RAVE Lifestyle: no Refined sugar, no Animal products, no Vegetable oils, Exercise and no Exceptions.


Traversing the West Coast States

2,653 miles on the PCT By Kristen Hamilton

Megan Apple accomplished an amazing fete last summer…she hiked the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in its entirety. The trail gained notoriety in the 2014 film “Wild” starring Reese Witherspoon. The PCT’s southern terminus is just south of Campo, California (about an hour south of San Diego on the US-Mexican border) and ends 2,653 miles later in Manning Park, British Columbia (on the US-Canada border). Apple started in April and traversed California, Oregon, and Washington State on her adventure. She turned 28 years old just before she reached the end of the PCT in September. I’ve known Megan her entire life and although very impressed, I’m not surprised that this determined young woman did exactly what she planned and set out to do. Her parents, Holly & Andy Apple, have always supported Megan and her adventurous ways. She graduated from Whitefish High School then attended Idaho State University and earned her degree in Outdoor Education. As a youngster, she spent many weekends with her family at their cabin north of Polebridge, MT just a few miles from the Canada border. She was always venturing off into the woods there exploring nature. She recalls, “When I was in 5th grade I had the thought to do a Maine to Washington border walk.” When asked what her motivation was for wanting to hike the PCT she said, “It is just a cool adventure. One of the biggest that you can do in the U.S.” Megan hiked for a month on the PCT, two years before her 2019 completion. She had the time off work and thought it would be fun, so she wanted to try it out. She really 30. - Summer 2021

enjoyed her time on the trail and decided to do the whole PCT in the future. She started preparations months before she took her first step. She gathered gear from her previous trip and did an inventory of what might be needed for her voyage. Megan said, “I did some hikes, but you can’t really prepare for hiking 20 miles a day for days on end.” It wasn’t just the supplies she’d need on the journey, as there is no way she could start out with the full load. She had to coordinate the delivery of supplies at trail angel houses and post offices along the way. It was just Megan and her pack, so she had to meticulously plan her entire trip. “Finding the right shoes was my biggest issue,” she said. She explained that trail runners are great, but they rip up easily. Hiking boots are good, but they are heavy. Ultimately, she used five pair of trail runners plus a sturdier boot that she ended up getting rid of on the trail.


Pacific Crest Trail

When asked what her motivation was for wanting to hike the PCT she said, “It is just a cool adventure. One of the biggest that you can do in the U.S.” When she arrived at the start, she overnighted with a trail angel where she was fed and spent the night. Trail angels are a significant part of the PCT. They provide numerous forms of assistance to hikers including offering their yards and homes for camping or bunking, rides to and from the trailhead, food, shelter, receiving resupply boxes, stocking water caches in the desert, allowing you to fill up on water at their homes, and so much more.

“The Trail angel community is amazing,” said Megan. She continued, “They take you in, provide food and shelter, and so much more to help you achieve your goal. I couldn’t have done it without them.” The first 300 miles through the California desert is “really easy” according to Megan. That jaunt took 15 days. The mind-boggling part is that at this point she still has 2,353 miles to go. For the entire PCF, it took Megan five months and three days. I should also note that although she certainly wasn’t trying, she lost 22 pounds in that period of time.   31


Pacific Crest Trail

Climbing Mather Pass (12,100 feet) was the scariest part of the PCT for Megan. “It was very challenging with a heavy pack,” she said. Then she encountered a stream and added, “I was scooting across a log to cross the stream and if I slipped, I’d be swept up by the current,” she said.

there would be longer gaps of seeing civilization, but typically, there would be a town every three or four days.

She has so many incredible memories that she’ll be able to share for a lifetime. She recalled a time in the Sierras at Muir Pass (11,969 feet) with a friend, Lefty. It was a long tough trail in the snow, but the sun was shining, and they ran into some fellow hikers and found a hut to hang out in together. Like Lefty, Megan received a trail nickname as well…she became known as Sprout. I’m guessing in this circle she will always be known as Sprout. As you can imagine, Megan said that there was a lot more traffic on the south part of the trail. At that time, she’d pass a couple people each day. As she ventured north 32. - Summer 2021

Climbing Mather Pass (12,100 feet) was the scariest part of the PCT for Megan. “It was very challenging with a heavy pack,” she said. Then she encountered a stream and added, “I was scooting across a log to cross the stream and if I slipped, I’d be swept up by the current,” she said. In addition to the trail angels, Megan said she couldn’t have done it without her family including her parents, grandparents, and her aunt. They supplied both moral and supply support throughout the journey.

When asked if she had any advice to pass along to someone considering hiking the PCT, she said, “You don’t have to do the whole thing to experience the PCT. Just a week is enough to experience the culture. Doing any section is totally worth it.”   33


Pacific Crest Trail

Is there another hike like the PCT in her future? She said that she is interested in the more remote trails that require more planning like the Idaho Centennial Trail at 900 miles. "If I do five months again, I would go to another country that isn’t necessarily in a place that is so familiar,” she added. How did Megan follow up her PCT fete? This winter the adventures continued when she managed a Heli-ski lodge about two and one-half hours from Anchorage, AK. She’ll be back in Whitefish for a bit then this summer she’s planning to work at an organic vegetable farm outside of Seattle.

I personally love hearing about her travels and realize she just may be someone that has figured out the key to happiness is living life to its fullest. Interested in learning more about the Pacif ic Crest Trail, visit

34. - Summer 2021




Savannah Ryan

Photographed by Kelly Marie Photography

Who are you? Savannah (Perkins) Reardon and Ryan Reardon

How did you meet? Ryan and I met through mutual friends at a Luke Bryan concert. I remember one of my first memories of Ryan wasn't great because he made us late to the concert. However, he shortly won me over with his quick-wit and humor...and chicken tenders from the concession stand. The Proposal? My family planned a trip for us to go to Seattle and they asked if Ryan wanted to join. I was excited, since this was our first family trip together with him. Little did I know that upon

36. - Summer 2021

hearing of this trip, Ryan began his plan for his proposal... which if you get to know him, you will understand that he always has to do something a little “extra”. Flash forward to our trip, we spent our first day exploring Seattle, and at 520 feet in the air, atop a crystal clear glass floor above the Seattle skyline, Ryan got down on one knee and asked me to marry him--and of course I said, “Yes!”

What is love? Savannah: Love is beautiful, pure, and steady. It’s wanting the best for your partner. Love is not having to say anything and finding joy in the small, quiet moments together.

Ryan: Love is unconditional and true. It’s not just three easy words or a quick statement because you like something a lot. Love is

something you hold dearly and keep in your heart for someone you cannot live without.

What do you love most about him? I love how he is my peace and comfort at the end of the day. He brings an overall sense of calmness to me. I love how smart he is--he always seems to know at least a little something about everything. I love how silly and goofy I can be with him, and how he lets me be truly me, and he loves me for it.

What do you love most about her? She is hands down an amazing person. As a nurse, she helps people in need. As my best friend, she is my DJ and dance partner all wrapped up in one. As my wife, she is the always beautiful woman that I love sharing and living my life with.




is unconditional and true. It’s not just three easy words or a quick statement because you like something a lot. Love is something you hold dearly and keep in your heart for someone you cannot live without.   37



I love

how he is my peace and comfort at the end of the day. He brings an overall sense of calmness to me. When did you know you were in love? Savannah: I don’t think there was a specific moment where it hit me that I was in love. But I found myself always wanting to be with him, and share with him the good and bad parts of my day. I remember thinking that I loved being around him and I never wanted that to end. Ryan: I knew I was in love probably on New Years Eve/Day of 2014. We had spent the evening together with friends and I told her “I think I’m falling in love with you”. It was a lie...I already did love her.

38. - Summer 2021

Fun facts -We have a six-month-old goldendoodle named Murphy.

-We both love Taco Bell, and we consider it a stronghold in our relationship.

- Our nickname for each other is “Lava”, based on the Disney short film.

Honeymoon plans We had an amazing sun-filled honeymoon in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. We had a bungalow right on the beach and were able to relax and decompress.

Photographer Kelly Marie Photography

Hair Jannessa Adams

Videographer Lexi Dacy Films

Makeup Vanessa Urrutia

Venue Barns at Willow Creek

Florist Raegen--Anything's Possible Events

Caterer La Unica's Fresh Mex Desserts/cake Nothing Bundt Cakes

Tux Rentals Men's Wearhouse Bride's Dress David's Bridal

Wedding Coordinator MaddyBarns at Willow Creek

Bridesmaid's dress David's Bridal

DJ Barns at Willow Creek

Rings Roger's Jewelers



Campos Blind Elk Grove resident helps people with vision loss stay independent By Kristin Thébaud

“What can a blind person do?” – that was 21-year-old Liz Campos’ response when her mother insisted she call Society for the Blind to ask about volunteer opportunities. It turns out the answer is: Change people’s lives. Campos, who now lives in Elk Grove, started to go blind when she was 14 years old due to a rare autoimmune disorder that causes organ inflammation. The disorder was predominantly in her eyes, but she also had inflammation in her lungs, as well as arthritis and chronic pancreatitis. By the time she entered college, she worked hard to hide her vision loss from friends. “I thought I wasn’t blind enough to be blind, and I wasn’t sighted enough to be sighted, so I was really depressed,” Campos said.

When Campos first called Society for the Blind to volunteer, she said, “I’m blind, so there’s nothing I can do except speak Spanish. I don’t know if you need any Spanish interpreters – I don’t know why you would.” To her surprise, Campos agreed to become an interpreter for Society for the Blind’s Senior IMPACT Project participants who spoke Spanish. “It turns out the whole trajectory of my life changed that day,” Campos said. “I met people 42. - Summer 2021

here who were getting married, having babies, getting their hair and makeup done, going on vacation – all things I thought were out of my reach. I thought I had to live a drab, dreary existence.” She traded in her folding cane that she used to hide her blindness and began using a straight cane. She continued to volunteer whenever there was an opportunity, feeling useful for the first time since she lost her vision. When she was offered a position as a rehabilitation instructor more than 10 years ago, she accepted it and has never looked back. In her tenure at Society for the Blind, Campos has been promoted from rehabilitation instructor to mobility instructor and created a support group for Spanish speaking seniors. “I grew up here and learned to love myself here,” Campos said. “I learned that I’m more than vision, I’m a whole person.” When she first started at Society for the Blind, Campos had usable vision, and her biggest fear was what would happen if she lost all of her eyesight – would she be able to teach? Because of

her autoimmune disorder, Campos was spending a lot of time and energy with treatments, surgeries, doctor visits and medications – all to try to keep her eyesight, which still was not great. So, she became certified as an orientation and mobility instructor.

“This was my graduate school of blindness, and I’m glad I did it, because when I lost my remaining vision, my life didn’t stop,” Campos said. “Now there’s no doubt in my mind that I’m good at what I do because that’s who I am. That is my job and purpose and I do it to the best of my ability.” Eventually Campos told her doctors that she had learned to live without her vision, and keeping it was not her main concern. She says they looked at her like she was out of her mind, but it was a decision she stands by to this day. She also had bouts of severe pancreatitis from her illness, which landed her in the hospital every three months at one point. In April 2018, she found herself in the hospital battling for her life.

“It turns out the whole trajectory of my life changed that day,” Campos said. “I met people here who were getting married, having babies, getting their hair and makeup done, going on vacation – all things I thought were out of my reach. I thought I had to live a drab, dreary existence.”


Liz Campos

“I realize now that because of that tenacity, I have a greater purpose in my life than myself,” Campos said. “Coming back to work has always been that driving force. I can’t lie down and die – people need me. It keeps me doing what I’m doing.” Now at age 34, Campos wears bold colors and no longer feels like she has to apologize for being blind – or speaking Spanish or being 6 feet tall. She credits Society for the Blind for her transformation, as well as her mother. “For the longest time, my mother never cried in front of me,” Campos said. “She just said I needed to learn to be independent and would be okay. Then I realized she did a lot of crying on her own. The more I do for myself, the more I see what a great mother she has been for me.” Campos lives with her mother, sister and grandmother, is surrounded by her family from Nicaragua and says she could not be happier. “I wake up everyday thinking: Hello, world! I’m here – let’s see what you’ve got for me today,” Campos said.

For 67 years, Society for the Blind has created innovative ways to empower individuals living with low vision or blindness to discover, develop and achieve their full potential. Society for the Blind has grown from a dedicated group of volunteers to a nationally recognized agency and the only comprehensive rehabilitative teaching center that provides services for a 27-county region of northern California. The nonprofit provides low-vision eye care, life and job skills training, mentorship, and access to tools to maintain independence for nearly 6,000 youth, working-age adults and seniors experiencing vision loss each year. For more information or to make a donation, visit   43

art} books

Reviews brought to you by the

The Secret Lives of Church L adies

By: Deesha Philyaw Book Reviews by Brendle Wells

Don’t waste your time reading this review. Skip ahead to actually reading the book. It’s that good, with a wealth of awards and award nominations to back up the exuberant praise. This debut collection of short stories is a glorious celebration of the complexities of life for all women, but most especially Black women. In exquisite and self-assured prose, Philyaw presents characters at different stages of their lives, with different concerns, but for all of them deep and meaningful issues such as religion, sexuality, and the relationships between family, friends, and lovers are at play. Some of the women cannot accept what they have or are struggling with what is lost. Others are just finding their way in the world, forced to reconcile with the aftermath of a history they played no part in. Each of the nine stories offers a rich and fully developed tale full of emotional, raw, and honest storytelling that not only captivates the reader from the first words, but leaves them satisfied and contemplative after finishing. Short story and literary fiction readers should not miss this book, nor should those interested in reading about women’s lives. Book club groups would find this an excellent choice as well, because these stories demand to be discussed. If you are still wondering if you should read this book, wonder no more. You absolutely should. West Virginia University Press, 2020

A Thousand Ships

By: Natalie Haynes

Women’s lives are something all too often ignored by classic tales. Many of the stories of Greek and Roman mythology, for example, relegate women to the sidelines as stereotypical characters (think pining wife or dutiful daughter) or use them as pawns in greater games. Thankfully, a number of recent books have taken these female characters and developed their lives, offering fresh new perspectives on the classic tales. A Thousand Ships adds to this fast-growing shelf of literature. It presents the story of the Trojan war and its aftermath from the perspective of the many women who were touched by it—Greeks, Trojans, Goddesses, and others. Spoiler alert: their experiences are nearly universally tragic. (Then again, what else is to be expected from the story of a war?) While the stories are heavy, the book is not. It’s more a collection of stories than linear narrative and each tale draws the reader in, urging them to continue on as the war builds and then fades from the pages, yet lives on in the lives of the characters. The reader cannot look away because the lives of these women are just as significant as those of the soldiers. That their stories were not told is tragic in itself because they add a richness and depth to what is already one of the greatest tales ever told. Fans of Circe or The Silence of the Girls would do well to pick this up. Harper, 2021 44. - Summer 2021

art} books

This is Not the Jess Show

Author: Anna Carey

Avocado Asks

Avocado lives a relaxed, fairly charmed life in the grocery store, until one day when a child passing by idly asks if an avocado is a fruit or a vegetable. Realizing that they don’t know, either, Avocado is thrown into a crisis. Thus begins a quest for self-identity; Avocado doesn’t seem to belong with either the fruit or the vegetables, but isn’t quite a fit with the canned food, sausages, or eggs, either. Just when things seem hopeless, Tomato pops by for a visit, and points out that even though nobody believes they’re a fruit, they are delicious in all kinds of different things… just like Avocado. Full of newfound confidence, Avocado is suddenly a font of advice and reassurance for everybody from Mushroom to Spork. Abe’s adorable illustrations provide a wealth of expression in the anthropomorphic foodstuffs, and gentle humor buoys a story that is ultimately about confidence and self-acceptance, especially in the ending pages where the question of what category Avocado belongs in gives way to the fact that Avocado is just fine in a category all their own. While the book makes for a delightfully funny bedtime read-aloud, the artwork and message will definitely resonate with older kids, as well. A charming and versatile picture book, recommended for ages 5-8.

The year is 1998, and Jess Flynn is just trying to get through junior year. Her recent epiphany that she might be in love with her childhood best friend doesn’t seem to impress her other friends, who seem intent on ignoring it with increasing insistence. Her sister, struggling with a long-term illness, is suddenly getting much worse. And school is strangely empty, with both students and teachers out with the flu. Then, one day, Jess notices an iPhone fall out of her friend Amber’s bag. She doesn’t know that it’s an iPhone— she wouldn’t, because iPhones wouldn’t be invented for another decade. With the help of a boy who is a much different person than she initially assumed, every strange memory and coincidentally timed tragedy in Jess’s life comes into stark focus. Friends and family aren’t and never were who they say they are, and the fact that she’s never left her small town suddenly makes a sinister amount of sense. But can she escape a manufactured reality that is built around all eyes being on her? What starts as a contemporary teen romance quickly becomes a thriller laced with paranoia and social commentary, leading to protracted high-stakes chase that ends on a final twist. The early 1990s pop-culture references create a convincing “period piece” that stands in stark contrast to the Black Mirror-esque second half. Thought-provoking and very fun to read, recommended for ages 12-16.

Doubleday, 2021

Quirk Books, 2021

Author & Illustrator: Momoko Abe Children's Book Reviews By Justin Azevedo For details, telephone the Sacramento Public Library at (916) 264-2920 or visit


What I’ve Learned About

Learning Loss By CT Morris - BS Elementary Ed., MS Ed.

School closings and the subsequent scramble for teachers to start distance learning resulted in learning loss for students of all ages. The notice received from school districts (regarding students not returning for in person instruction) happened during spring break. Therefore, teachers were ill equipped when the COVID lockdowns began the spring of 2020. Subsequently, they had to scramble to get materials needed from the school and set up virtual-schools in their homes. I know, personally (as a teacher at a public school in Lodi) that we did not have the materials needed or the skill set to start distance learning. Distance learning for a year affected students academically because expectations were lowered in regard to what students were expected to achieve. Additionally, students who did distance learning in their home (instead of in a classroom) were affected socially and emotionally. It’s a known fact that relationships at school inspire motivation for many kids. Students are not used to learning in isolation; it’s common in a face-to-face classroom for students to learn in groups and work with their peers. The term "learning loss " means the student did not make meaningful progress in the virtual platform, and the student's educational benefit was impacted. There is hope, however, as we move forward and look to the future.Because during the summer, parents can inspire and motivate their child to succeed in the upcoming school year. 48. - Summer 2021

One of the steps that can be taken to help your child catch up is to set a routine (even though it’s summer vacation). Having expectations, so that your child builds on their prior knowledge is huge. As part of their routine, assign a minimum of one hour of reading a day; it’s a fact that children who read excel in all other subjects. If you can’t go to the library or none of the books you have at home interest your child, go online. There’s a lot of reading programs online that are absolutely free. In fact, if you go on your child’s school website there are reading programs available for your child to use there. One of the ones I assign my students is MyOn, because it has an endless amount of books in all genres.

do they work best in the afternoon or at night? Is there something specific that really motivates your child to work hard? I’m not ashamed, as a teacher, to admit I bribe my students to complete their work. As a parent, you know what inspires your child to do their best work.

Additionally, there are tons of other online educational resources for kids of all ages, including Khan Academy, Belouga, National Geographic Kids and Learning Ladders.

Your child may complain, but really they will appreciate that you want them to succeed in school. Knowledge builds confidence, because of your efforts your child will be selfassured as they start school in the fall. Isn’t that what we all want for our children?

Parents have an advantage over teachers, because you know when your child learns best. Are they alert in the morning, or

Finding ways to get creative with learning is huge, like using their math skills to measure ingredients while they cook their favorite meal. Or going to the park and looking at the trees, flowers and various animals...then writing or journaling about what they encountered and drawing a diagram (like a scientist). Let your child make the grocery list, then check prices at the store comparing prices (using less than or greater than).

education}  49


Lost and Found By Anna Osborn, LMFT, Relationship Therapist and Coach

We just wrapped up the baseball and softball season and we are moving into summer ball…which means my kids have lost six sweatshirts, three HydroFlasks, one baseball glove, countless masks and probably a few library books. I have gone and lost my mind.

How can two semi responsible small humans lose SO MUCH STUFF?!?!

The crazy thing is, I can usually find it instantly by simply sending them back in the general direction of where they were looking. I’d like to think I’m unusually good at finding things, but really my success rate is only because I make them go back and look again. And the truth is, you usually find what you’re looking for when you slow down to actually SEE it. It’s true in both life and love. It’s true with finding lost cleats, misplaced homework AND strengths in your relationship.

I really do believe that what you seek…you find.

And that is just the stuff we can’t find.

If you’re looking for errors or missteps, you’ll usually find more of them.

Don’t even get me started on the things that are lost in plain sight.

If you’re looking for opportunities to criticize or complain, those will usually pop up more.

I may be exaggerating a bit, but I bet I get asked at least 12 times a day, “Mom, I can’t find my _______ (insert ANY item), have you seen it?”

But, if you’re looking for opportunities to express gratitude or appreciation, you’ll usually be able to find those too.

50. - Summer 2021

The most amazing thing about all of this, is that it’s within your control. Not the lost water bottles…those are a lost cause…but the ability to choose what you go looking for…that is completely within your control.

I know how hard it can be to look for the good in a really bad or stressful situation. Heck, in the most intense times of pain, I don’t even think you’re supposed to go looking for the good. What I really do believe, though, is that even during the most painful or stressful situations… you can know that good still exists. The strengths you possess as a person AND a partner are not lost, even if you’re struggling to see them. You may not be feeling it (or even able to find it within your immediate view point) but knowing that it still exists in your life and the world at large-- are huge advantages on your side.

You usually find what you’re looking for when you slow down to actually SEE it. It’s true in both life and love. It’s true with finding lost cleats, misplaced homework AND strengths in your relationship. health} So how exactly do you do it? How do you train yourself to be able to find the good in among the bad? The calm in amongst the storm? The strength in amongst the collapse? takes practice. It takes practice to find your breath when all you can feel is stress. It takes practice to look for the gratitude instead of the resentment. It takes practice to see the gain instead of the loss. And it’s not to be done carelessly. You have to still slow down to acknowledge the feelings AND validate them as real and normal. Take the annoying example of my son losing yet another perfectly insulated, almost brand new water bottle. Is it annoying…YES!! Is it frustrating…ABSOLUTELY!! Is it something to lash out and make him feel bad about…not really. Because as annoying as it is, it’s not the end of the world. Am I making him pay me back for each lost water bottle moving forward…you betcha! But I’m not shaming him for being careless…I’ve moved on and the slate has been wiped clean.

And that’s what we want in our relationships. A clean slate. Accountability for the actions. Acknowledgement of the feeling. And the ability to see the bigger picture and know that there’s choice in what you go looking for. And most importantly…that the strengths you two carry together are not lost…even when you’re walking through uncertainty or feel overwhelmed right now. I know it can feel hard…especially when it feels like all is lost. However, I also encourage you to pause and see what else still exists. I have a feeling that if you dig around in that lost and found box long enough…you may be able to find just what you’re looking for. I’m cheering for you in your search.

Anna Osborn, LMFT, is a relationship coach and therapist. You can reach out to her by calling 916.955.3200 or visiting her website at   51

52. - Summer 2021   53


Mirror Image

Having A Healthy Mindset When It Comes To Your Body Written By Maren Gallagher, Marriage And Family Therapist, Kaiser Permanente Elk Grove

We all want to like what we see when we look in the mirror. For many, this is difficult because of body image concerns. Body image is how we see and feel about our body and how we react to it. Body image is shaped by our perception, meaning it may not accurately reflect reality. It may or may not be related to our weight or other physical features. Research shows about 50% of 13-year-old girls in the U.S. are unhappy with their body. That jumps to 80% by the time the girls are 17 years old. One study showed nearly half of girls ages 13 to 17 years old wanted to be as skinny as the models they saw in fashion magazines. And it’s not just girls. Around 17% of adolescent boys perceive themselves to be underweight, despite being of normal weight. What causes negative body image? Poor body image is typically learned, however, there is a genetic 54. - Summer 2021

component. Body image is more complex and very much multidimensional.

Our culture is often the culprit. Negative body image can result from witnessing others’ insecurities. For example, if a parent is constantly dieting or commenting negatively about their own body that can create negative body images for their children. Constantly comparing yourself to others, being bullied for how you look, and the societal pressures people face to “be thin” can also lead to negative body images. Having a negative body image, can lead to serious medical issues, including eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Eating disorders can lead to chronic health conditions, and in some cases, even death.

That’s why it’s important to counter negative body image by being mindful of your thoughts and challenging them.

Ask yourself:

• Is it possible I am not seeing myself accurately? • Am I being overly critical of myself? • Are the expectations I have for my body realistic or are they unattainable? • Am I equating my worth with my body shape and size? • Are there other ways for me to increase my sense of worth? • What parts of my body can I accept and appreciate?


body image

Having a negative body image can lead to serious medical issues, including eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Eating disorders can lead to chronic health conditions, and in some cases, even death. There are other things you can do to positively impact your body image: • Increase your awareness of your body image. Be mindful that your appearance is only one part of you and that your worth is greater than your appearance. • Become a critical thinker and challenge distortions towards your body.

means of weight loss, shift your mentality, and focus on what your body is capable of. • Practice gratitude towards your body and recognize the good things it does for you. • Model positive body image for your children.

• Increase your media literacy. Challenge the social messages you receive about how you “should” look and feel in your body.

If you are concerned about your body image, or that of someone you love or care for, it may be time to speak to a mental health professional. Feelings of depression, avoiding social situations, restricting foods or engaging in other harmful behaviors are an indication you need professional help.

• Engage in activities that make you feel good. Instead of focusing on your appearance and using exercise as

In therapy, we say “name it to tame it.” If we are aware of our own negative body image, we are more likely to shift towards a positive body image.

Maren Gallagher, is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist at Kaiser Permanente in Elk Grove with seven years of experience in the specialty of Eating Disorder Recovery and Treatment. Maren has worked at various levels of care for patients of different eating disorder acuity levels ranging from inpatient care in the Bay Area to outpatient treatment in Sacramento.   55


Progesterone By Dr. Dayle A. Imperato, Rejuvenation Wellness & Aesthetic Medicine

Progesterone is one of your sex hormones. It plays a role in menstruation, pregnancy, and the formation of embryos. Progesterone is made in the ovaries up until menopause. After menopause, it is made in the adrenal glands. Progesterone performs many functions in your body aside from those listed above.

Functions of Progesterone in Your Body ·Balances estrogen ·Has a positive effect on your sleeping pattern ·Helps build bone ·Helps prevent anxiety, irritability and mood swings ·Helps the bladder function ·Relaxes the smooth muscle in the gut so that your body can break down food into nutrients that are absorbed to be used elsewhere in the body Sometimes, progesterone levels in the body drop below the optimal level. There are many reasons why this can happen. When progesterone levels decline, there can be side effects, some more serious than others.

Symptoms of Progesterone Deficiency ·Anxiety ·Decreased HDL Levels ·Decreased libido ·Depression ·Excessive menstruation (lasting longer than seven days and very heavy bleeding) ·Hypersensitivity ·Insomnia ·Irritability ·Migraine headaches prior to menstrual cycles ·Mood swings ·Nervousness ·Osteoporosis ·Pain and inflammation ·Weight gain As mentioned, a progesterone deficiency can be caused by a variety of factors. 58. - Summer 2021

Causes of Progesterone Deficiency ·Antidepressants ·Decreased thyroid hormone ·Deficiency of vitamins A, B6, C and zinc ·Excessive arginine consumption ·Impaired production ·Increased prolactin production ·Low luteinizing hormone (LH) ·Saturated fat ·Stress ·Sugar Just like your body can have too much estrogen, it can also have too much progesterone. Too much progesterone can have a variety of side effects.

Symptoms of Excess Progesterone ·Causes incontinence (leaky bladder) ·Causes ligaments to relax (can lead to backaches, leg aches, and achy hips)

·Decreases glucose tolerance (may predispose you to diabetes) ·Decreased growth hormone ·Increases appetite ·Increased carbohydrate cravings ·Increases cortisol ·Increased fat storage ·Increases insulin and insulin resistance ·Relaxes the smooth muscles of the gut (can cause blotting, fullness and constipation; can also lead to gallstones) ·Suppresses the immune system

Unlike excess estrogen, which can be caused by a variety of factors, high progesterone levels can only result if a woman is taking too much progesterone or too much pregnenolone.

health} Natural Progesterone

Natural progesterone means that the progesterone that you are taking is the same chemical structure as the progesterone that you were born with. It is usually made from yams or soy. Synthetic progesterone, which will be discussed later in the section, is not the same chemical structure. The process of producing natural progesterone was discovered by Russell Marker, a Pennsylvania State College chemistry professor. Back in the 1930’s, Marker discovered that by using a chemical process, diosgenin (a plant steroid) could be tuned into a form of progesterone that is an exact biological duplicate of the progesterone produced by the human body. Natural progesterone, since it is biologically identical to the progesterone produced by the human body, has plenty of good effects not seen with synthetic progesterone. Consequently, many of these effects are like the effects of the progesterone that is produced by the body itself.

Effects of Natural Progesterone ·Balance estrogen levels ·Decreased the rate of cancer on all progesterone receptors ·Dose will not change the good effect estrogen has on blood flow ·Enhances the action of thyroid hormones ·Has a natural calming effect ·Balance fluids in the cells ·Helps restore proper cell oxygen levels ·Helps you sleep ·Helps your body use and eliminate fats ·Increases beneficial effects estrogen has on blood vessel dilation ·Increase metabolic rate ·Increases scalp hair ·Induces conversion of E1 to the inactive E1S form (E1S form does not increase the risk of breast cancer) ·Is a natural antidepressant ·Is a natural diuretic (water pill) ·Is an anti-inflammatory ·Leaves the body quickly ·Lowers cholesterol ·Lowers high blood pressure ·May protect against breast cancer by inhibiting breast tissue overgrowth ·Normalizes and improves libido ·Prevents migraine headaches that are menstrual cycle related ·Promotes a healthy immune system ·Promotes myelination, which helps protect nerves from injury ·Relaxes smooth muscle ·Stimulate the production of new bone Synthetic Progesterone

Synthetic progesterone is called “progestin”. It is very different from natural progesterone since it does not


Natural progesterone, since it is biologically identical to the progesterone produced by the human body, has plenty of good effects not seen with synthetic progesterone. have the same chemical structure as the progesterone that your body makes on its own. Consequently, progestins do not reproduce the actions of natural progesterone. For example, progestins do not help balance the estrogen in the body. They interfere with the body’s production of its own progesterone, and when they’re in your body, they attach to many of your body’s receptor sites, not just the progesterone receptors. Furthermore, progestins stop the protective effects estrogen has on your heart, and can cause spasms of your arteries. A recent study has shown that the use of synthetic progesterone increases the risk of breast cancer by 800 percent when compared to the use of estrogen alone. Progestins may have other side effects that do not occur with natural progesterone.

Side Effects of Progestins ·Acne ·Bloating ·Breakthrough bleeding/spotting ·Breast tenderness ·Counteracts may of the positive effects estrogen has on serotonin ·Decrease in energy ·Decrease sexual interest ·Decreased HDL (good cholesterol) ·Depression ·Fluid retention ·Hair loss ·Headaches ·Inability to help produce estrogen and testosterone ·Increased appetite ·Increased LDL (bad cholesterol) ·Insomnia ·Irritability ·Nausea ·Protects only the uterus from cancer (not the breasts) ·Rashes ·Remains in your body longer than natural progesterone, which can prevent it from balancing with the other hormones ·Weight gain There are, however, a few positive effects of progestins, all of which are also effects of natural progesterone. For example, both build bone, help the thyroid hormone function, protect against fibrocystic breast disease and endometrial cancer, and normalize zinc and copper levels.

Aside from these few common positive effects, it is clear from this discussion that natural progesterone offers a safer approach to HRT than synthetic progesterone (progestin) does. It is also very important that you have your levels of progesterone measured before you begin HRT, and then on a regular basis afterwards to confirm that you are taking an optimal dose for you. Progesterone can be taken orally or used transdermally. As mentioned, natural progesterone is made from yams or soy. Your compounding pharmacist will add an enzyme to convert the hormone from these plants (diosgenin) into progesterone. Over the counter progesterone, which you can buy without a prescription, frequently does not contain this enzyme. If you’re suffering from insomnia and you need to take progesterone, you should opt for the pill form. The pill affects the GABA receptors in the brain. GABA is an amino acid that acts as a neurotransmitter. It has a calming effect on your brain, which helps your sleep. The absorption rate of oral progesterone increases as your age, so you may need less medication as your grow older. Some women experience side effects from oral progesterone, such as nausea, breast swelling, dizziness, drowsiness, and depression. Natural progesterone is also available as Prometrium, which is a pill derived from peanut oil and us made by a pharmaceutical company. As women age, progesterone applied transdermally is commonly used, though it does not aid your insomnia. Many women who have had a complete hysterectomy wonder if they still need progesterone. The answer is yes. Natural progesterone has many positive effects on the body, as previously discussed.

Lastly, adrenaline also interacts with progesterone. When a person feels stressed, his or her adrenalin surges, which can block progesterone receptors. This can prevent progesterone from being used effectively in the body. Dayle A. Imperato, M.D. Rejuvenation Wellness & Aesthetic Medicine (916) 670-7601 - 9180 Elk Grove Blvd, Elk Grove.   59


Glutes Written by D’Lee Daleo & Jamie McCalman, Switch Fitness

Glutes. While they can seem like a fashion accessory that comes and goes, your glutes are more important than you may realize. Strong glutes are more than just aesthetic. They play an important role in your posture, help decrease injury, help with balance, and make you faster. So let's take a deeper look at the muscles that make up your backside, how weak glutes can affect you, and how to strengthen them. Your glutes are actually three different muscles. The gluteus minimus, gluteus medius, and gluteus maximus. The gluteus minimus works with the gluteus medius to create internal rotation and abduction of your thigh. It helps to stabilize the pelvis and helps you to walk pain free. The gluteus medius also helps to stabilize your pelvis especially when balancing. The gluteus maximus is one of the strongest muscles in your body. It is responsible for moving your hip and thigh. Getting up from a chair, going upstairs, even standing require work from the gluteus maximus. Athletes often train their glutes maximus because it helps with explosive movements. Even if you are not an athlete, you can benefit greatly from strong glutes.

Even when you try to train them, many people do not know how to properly activate the glutes so other muscle groups, like the hamstrings or quads, take over and the glutes do not get stronger. Gluteal amnesia may sound silly, but it's a real thing! 60. - Summer 2021

First, let’s talk about what causes weak glutes. A sedentary lifestyle is the biggest culprit. The fact that we can do so much on a computer has changed the world. While there are many benefits, there is also a downside. Many of us find ourselves sitting the majority of the day. We sit in the car or on a bus to get to work. Many spend 8-10 hours a day working at a computer. We then have the travel time back home. That’s a lot of sitting! This can lead to inactive glutes. Even when you try to train them, many people do not know how to properly activate the glutes so other muscle groups, like the hamstrings or quads, take over

and the glutes do not get stronger. Gluteal amnesia may sound silly, but it's a real thing! It’s basically when your glutes forget how to fire properly. How do you know if you have weak glutes? Weak glutes may cause tight hip flexors, knee pain, low back pain, imbalance in the hips, poor posture, and weak ankles and feet. Weak glutes can also cause an abnormal gait. If your knees tend to cave in towards each other when you squat, you may have weak glutes.

Why are strong glutes important? They are responsible for changing direction, accelerating, decelerating, and explosive movements. Strong glutes improve your posture which in turn helps alleviate pain. Good posture also allows you to breathe better as you give the lungs room to fully expand. Weak glutes leave other parts of the body to step in and do the work your glutes should be doing. While these other muscles are designed to help, their main function is not to take over the work for the glutes. This can mean injuries to the knees, low back, or hamstrings if they are forced to overcompensate for weak glutes.

How do you know if you have weak glutes? Weak glutes may cause tight hip flexors, knee pain, low back pain, imbalance in the hips, poor posture, and weak ankles and feet. Now that you know why strong glutes are important, what do you do about it? There are a few basic exercises that you can do to help target the glutes. Before getting into the movements, a word of advice. Work on your mind-body connection. Really pay attention to what you are doing, where you feel the work, and whether or not the glutes are actually activating. Doing these movements without paying attention to what you are doing is unlikely to produce the results you want. Just a reminder, other muscle groups can easily take over for the glutes defeating the purpose of glute training. Start slowly with little to no weight to really get the alignment and movement pattern down. You can add weights or a resistance band to make these more challenging. You can also work towards single leg movements once you master the basics. Below are a few basic exercises to fire up your glutes.

Bridges - lay on your back with feet hip width apart. Start with a slight pelvic tilt, think of slightly bringing the lower back to the mat. Without arching the back, squeeze the glutes to lift the hips. Slowly lower back down. Over time weight can be added or you can do a single leg bridge.

Squats (See page 60) - start with the feet a little wider than the hips and toes turned out slightly. Think of bending at the hips before the knees bend. The weight will be primarily in the heels and the spine should stay neutral. From the bottom of the squat start to squeeze the glutes. The glutes should engage all the way up. If the knees tend to cave in towards each other, a band above the knees can help draw your attention to the knees and help keep them over the ankles. Weight can be added over time.   61



Clams - Lay on your side with knees bent at about 90 degrees. Flex feet, heels touch, toes will not, creating a V shape with feet. The top leg will lift and lower. This can be progressed by adding a band.

Deadlifts - this movement is a hip hinge and can be tricky for many to master. Once the movement is mastered, this is an incredible exercise for many body parts (especially your glutes). Start with feet about hip width apart. Keep knees slightly bent the whole time. To start it may be helpful to hold something light like a PVC pipe or a weightlifting bar with no plates on it. Keep the pipe or bar close to your legs as you hinge from your hips. Think of pushing your hips back as your chest drops down. Make sure to keep a neutral spine and soft or slightly bent knees. If you find that you round your back it can be helpful to take a PVC pipe and hold it behind you. The pipe should touch the back of your head, between your shoulders, and tailbone. As you hinge, those three spots should not leave the pipe. Over time weight can be added or you can do a single leg deadlift. The glutes do more than just fill out your jeans. They keep you moving pain free and can help prevent injuries to others areas. The fact that many of us sit for long periods of time means that we have to actively train the glutes. Our bodies were not designed to sit behind a computer for hours on end. Finding ways to incorporate movement throughout your day may be challenging, but your body will thank you. Switch Fitness (916) 838-1456

9632 Emerald Oak Dr. Suite K, Elk Grove   63

community} happenings

Out and About... Big Truck Day

The City of Elk Grove and Cosumnes CSD Parks and Recreation brought Big Truck Day back to life! Elk Grove Regional Park was full of excited kids and BIG work trucks. If your kids missed the fun, visit the City of Elk Grove's website for fun activities, printables, and kid-friendly (and fun) informational videos all about public works.

64. - Summer 2021

community} happenings

Out and About... Iris Awards Photos by Dave Soto Productions

Artistry is in full bloom in Elk Grove, and the City Arts Commission celebrates each year by presenting the Iris Awards. The commission chooses professional artists to receive the award, selecting those who have a successful body of work and have inspired or helped others in their field.

The second annual awards ceremony was held on the grounds of District56. City Councilman Pat Hume was Master of Ceremonies and Mayor Bobbie Sing-Allen gave the opening remarks. Trophies were presented to Musical Mayhem for Performing Arts, Yvonne Bonacci, Visual Arts, Loy Holter, Literary Arts, and a special Rising Star Award to Carly Rhoades. Rhoades sang Somewhere Over the Rainbow and the 2019 Performing Arts awardee, Gary Mendoza, sang One Day At a Time.

Elk Grove Anti-Trash Community Cleanups. Litter from sidewalks, streets, parking lots, and other areas eventually finds its way into our rivers. When litter and other pollutants travel through our storm drains, it goes directly into a creek or river, with no treatment. This pollutes our waterways and harms plants, fish, birds, and other aquatic life.

66. - Summer 2021

You can help! Picking up the trash you see around your neighborhood will help protect our beautiful rivers. Make it fun, and connect with your neighbors by joining one of the weekly clean-up events organized by Elk Grove Anti-Trash Community Cleanups. Visit their Facebook page for more information.