Black Hills Woman Magazine September-October 2019

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Inside this Issue


The Incremental Care Advocate Feature


Embracing Feminine Traditions in a Modern World Lifestyle


The Best Lighting for Your Makeup


20 Eva Gallant Artist Profile


Fall In Love Fashion Fashion


3 CHEERS! for Jenna Farrar Business


Falling for the Black Hills



Destination Series: Phoenix, AZ Travel


Helen Usera

Girl Gives Back


Diet & Exercise Tips from a Bikini Competitor Health & Fitness


Training your kids in Assertiveness Parenting


It's nice to meet you



Written by Jenny Van Zanten

| Photography by Boden Photography

The Incremental Care Advocate DR. NANCY BABBITT

8 Feature

“Then, after graduation, I went to fashion

years later, Dr. Babbitt bought his practice

design school.” Nancy Babbitt, a Sturgis

and has since been joined in partnership

native, softly chuckles at the thought.

with Dr. Jon Wingert, who Nancy has known

After a two-year associate's degree at a

since residency, and Dr. Carson Phillips.

technical school and a move to California, Nancy worked in retail management,

Nancy knew she wanted to move the

when, at age 24, she decided she needed

clinic to a newer building and envisioned

a “career do-over.” With both parents in

“a wellness center-like space. With the

medicine with the VA system, she had

help of a developer and co-building

always been around “medical people.”

owner Nucleo Fitness, Nancy was able to

She decided to go into pre-med and as

make her dream reality in 2014 with the

she recalls, “After reading about all the

launching of Lifestyle Wellness Center. The

different specialties and what I thought

center’s concept was so well-received that

would match my personality best, I

the building was completely leased when

decided to be a family doctor.”

they broke ground. This is where her clinic

Earning a degree in biology and premed, Nancy was living in San Francisco. It was the Eighties at the height of the AIDS epidemic with San Francisco as the epicenter. In this setting, she recognized San Francisco would be a good location for specializing in infectious disease, but

“It is important for us to take care of patients over time, providing incremental care. We are treating people in such a way based on not only their history but their family’s history and social situation..."

for pre-med in primary care, she found USD in South Dakota a better fit. After graduating from USD in 1992, she and her

and several complementary businesses

husband Steve, a teacher at BHSU, made

are housed. Nancy says, “I’m not a person

the Black Hills their home.

to typically compliment myself; however, that was all being done during a time in

Twelve years ago, Dr. Nancy Babbitt joined

medicine when people were afraid to

Dr. Craig Hansen at his Creekside Medical

grow. This is another wonderful part of

Clinic. Upon Dr. Hansen’s retirement a few

being an independent clinic.”



To the concepts of an independent practice and holistic,

suffering every day of unaffordable health insurance.

multi-generational healthcare Nancy has stayed true. “It is

Private insurance companies have put so much stress on

important for us to take care of patients over time, providing

patients because of the cost of health insurance, and they

incremental care. We are treating people in such a way

have created these horrible high-deductible insurance

based on not only their history but their family’s history and

plans. That is a huge threat to the health of patients. We

social situation. I’ve known many of my patients for a really

(all) have patients who choose to not have important

long time. I think patients tend to feel their care is more

cancer screening tests because they will have to pay out-

personalized, and they know they can access you. I can call

of-pocket,” Dr. Babbitt continues.

my patients and check in on them and see how they’re doing. That kind of care is really unique to a small independent

It is difficult for Nancy, whose clinic’s daily motto is “love

practice,” Nancy shares. “In the twenty years that I have

and care for our patients and each other,” to see individuals

practiced medicine, there has been a significant shift from

making such life-and-death decisions based on healthcare

independent practices to doctors joining big organizations

costs. Patients who need something as necessary as cancer

and being employed. And yet we have managed to find that

screening “are making devastatingly difficult decisions to

in Rapid City, especially, there are many doctors interested

avoid critical tests because they are too expensive. That is

in remaining independent and building their own practices—

totally an issue of the for-profit health insurance industry.

which gives us lots of autonomy in having the final say with

There was something like 25 billion dollars in profit made in

what is best for patients”

the health insurance industry in the last year,” Dr. Babbitt says. She sees seniors working longer to avoid paying $1000-1200 per month for an average health insurance plan. As a possible solution to inflating healthcare costs, Dr.

“There doesn’t seem to be a compelling reason, to me, to not make health insurance more affordable for people. It’s such a basic need.”

Babbitt says, “I don’t think we should have one Medicare for all and wipe out all health insurance.” She recommends an affordable public option with a tiered system gradually reducing costs after retirement. “There doesn’t seem to be a compelling reason, to me, to not make health insurance more affordable for people. It’s such a basic need.”

A passionate advocate for patient rights, Dr. Babbitt states,


“Primary care doctors have become the most important

Experiencing continuing success, Creekside Medical Clinic

doctors for a patient to have because we are the patient’s

is remodeling to accommodate the addition of three

advocate right from the start.” As she discusses the rapidly

new doctors, all with South Dakota ties. “They did their

changing landscape of healthcare, primarily rising costs,

residencies in Rapid City, at the Family Practice Residency

which affect most every American, she notes, “I see the

program,” Babbitt says. This is also where Drs. Wingert,





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Phillips and Babbitt all did their residencies. “It's wonderful to

Nancy pauses by her window, conversation interrupted by

see that the residency program through Rapid City Regional

an unexpected sighting of a fox near Nancy’s home. The

has supplied family doctors, in this way, to Rapid City.” The

animal, bathed in mid-morning sun, silently strides across

clinic will now have six doctors who have trained at the RC

the groomed grass. After a moment, she continues, “I

Regional Family Medicine Residency Program. “This is great

have absolutely loved being a family doctor, no matter

for our community. Data shows the importance of having a

what pressures there are from outside; anytime I am in

primary care doctor; it reduces expenses, hospitalizations,

the exam room with a patient, I know I am doing what I

and ER visits, and general health improves and healthcare

need to be doing.”

costs go down.” She adds, “Family doctors are in such a


wonderful, unique position to follow patients for multiple life cycles—from infancy until elderly years until death—and there’s no other doctor that does that.”





Our family is growing to take care of your family.

Family doctors treat a wide range of conditions for all ages and stages of life. 2


Dr. Taylor Kapsch (August 2019)

When doctors treat you for years, they get to know your medical history inside and out. 3

FAMILY DOCTORS TREAT MORE THAN YOU THINK Family doctors are highly trained, board certified physicians who are skilled at making diagnoses and treating many conditions.


(September 2019)


Navigating medical care can be challenging and your family doctor acts as your advocate to make sure you see the right specialist. 5

Dr. Kyle Larson


Patient studies reveal when they have a primary care doctor they have lower hospitalization rates, fewer emergency room visits and reduced costs of health care.

Dr. Nancy Babbitt

Dr. Jon Wingert

Dr. Carson Phillips

Jenna Dormann, PA-C

Steve Sachs, PA-C

Dr. Ann Hibbs

(September 2019)

Please call to schedule an appointment.

2822 Jackson Blvd, Suite 101, Rapid City, SD 605-341-1208 Feature





THERE is an Italian comedian by the name of Sebastian Maniscalco. He discusses everything from awkward family dynamics to the tiniest quirks of the human race, and aside from ignoring his inappropriate language from time-to-time, his content leaves many thinking about how present they are for their community and those they love. One of his skits demonstrates society’s current relationship with the “open door policy.” Here is a synopsis of the skit: Today, a friend pulls into the driveway and the family inside quickly turns off all the lights in their house. Everyone remains completely and utterly silent, waiting for the guest to quickly determine “now is simply not a good time.” Rewind to a decade ago. The family eagerly greets this same guest with open arms, a fresh coffee cake, and a bit of Sanka. Together, they spend hours discussing life events such as how Suzie is currently doing in school. What has happened from then to now? Where is the coffee cake and the Sanka in today’s current social condition? Sebastian’s skit provides the somber reality that the "open door policy" no longer applies. However, it is possible in a world that is often consumed by to-do lists and is stretched for time to get back to a place of connection by reflecting on the historical feminine traditions that brought communities together in the past and considering how they can be incorporated into the present day. Here are a few historical examples of feminine traditions that you can still incorporate into your life today. HANDWRITTEN NOTES Notes were a grandmother’s heart message historically, and perhaps this remains true still today. Cards were written for any and every occasion: a written “Thank You” for the invitation to an event, a “Birthday Wish” for someone’s special day, and a “Get Well Soon” when a coworker or friend was having an off day. If there was something to write about, a lady would do so and have the card sent out the very next day. Consider making handwritten letters your tradition. The smallest gesture of the written word can greatly impact another’s day. HOMEMADE TREATS + RECIPE SWAPS The thoughtfulness women often demonstrated through their baking, or sharing



of food is also something we can embrace today. Do you have a friend with an extra busy schedule, or perhaps someone who simply needs a little pick me up? Bake them a wholesome treat and leave it at their doorstep or office. Attach the recipe and a note to simply enjoy the treat! You may also plan a recipe swap with your circle as well. MEAL PREPARATION FOR MULTIPLE FAMILIES This idea takes the historical concept of preparing meals together and adds a slight modern twist. For many, meal prepping means a major time commitment and a lot of stress, but when you make it an event with the ladies in your circle, it can become a time you really look forward to each week. Create a chat or an email thread with a theme for the meals and share recipes throughout the week. Then, when meal prep day arrives, meet at someone’s house with



containers in hand and your assigned ingredients and let the meal prep begin! You get to catch up and prepare your weekly meals for your family. You can also do something similar during the holidays with afternoon baking sessions and gift wrapping parties. FEASTS FOR FAMILY AND FRIENDS Women in past generations were professionals at bringing people together around a table. Whether it is a Sunday afternoon dinner or a monthly Saturday brunch, you can also create an opportunity for your community to gather together. You can make the meal as simple or as elegant as you would like. The key is to create a consistent opportunity for everyone to connect. OPEN DOOR POLICY One of the greatest takeaways from the past is the open

door policy. Let your neighbors, friends, and family know that if they ever need anything, your door is always open. You can make your space even more inviting by having a small treat or cup of tea readily available. The modern woman can learn a lot from the women of history and the traditions they embraced. It is these traditions that reflect the importance of caring for one another, showing love, and offering genuine hospitality. They encourage women to work smarter, not harder, by experiencing the beauty of working as a community of strong, yet undeniably nurturing women. What are some tangible ways these feminine traditions will show up in your life today? BHW







Artist - Eva Gallant


Artist Profile

Originally from Germany, Eva has always been creative, starting from childhood. Following a more traditional career path, she decided in her late 30s to start her own company, Y-Knot-Creations, LLC after much encouragement from others to pursue her creativity professionally. Y-Knot-Creations, LLC, has now been in business for twelve years.

Eva creates artistic finishes on walls and furniture or objects that are aesthetically pleasing. For example, she can make kitchen cabinets look like they're covered in ostrich leather or any other fancy finish. "I can transform a plain column into a marbled column by applying a specific painting technique," Eva says. The list of techniques she works with is long, including gilding, plastering and painting along with many other techniques. "I love the reaction of the customer when they see the end result," she says. She especially likes a kitchen make-over, where an outdated kitchen began as dull and now is transformed into something fresh and unique. "Sky ceilings, where I create clouds, are a close runner-up; however, my neck does not agree," Eva muses.

Cave Painting Mural

Lincrusta Accent Wall

Lincrusta is a deeply embossed wall covering, invented by Frederick Walton, who in 1860, patented linoleum floor covering. Lincrusta was launched in 1877 and was used in a host of applications from royal homes to railway carriages. Many examples over a hundred years old can still be found throughout the world.

Artist Profile


Lewis & Clark Themed Master Bath

"I love being creative in all its senses," Eva says. "Just because something is old and outdated doesn’t mean it has to be discarded. I have an ability to see new life for it and execute ideas, whether those are from the clients or are my own."

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Artist Profile

Self-taught initially, and then by taking many classes from renowned masters, Eva attempts to create entire environments with the artistic finishes. Something outdated can be made to look new and fresh with any of the finishes. If it can be imagined, she probably can create it.

Out of Africa Project - Acacia Tree

Eva pulls her creative and career inspiration from the likes of Pierre Finkelstein, Mats Carlson, Jacek Prowinski, Helen Morris and many esteemed colleagues of the International Decorative Artisan League —of which she is a member. Her own advice to other aspiring artists is this: "Follow your heart, be true to yourself, … and as one of my favorite mentors, Pierre Finkelstein, says, 'It’s 5 % talent and 95 % practice.'"

Clouds Artist Profile


And practice she has, leading Eva to all types of projects, including her favorite at Everest Cuisine in Rapid City. "My mural reflects their name and allows their customers to enjoy their delicious food in a much more reflecting surrounding." The smile Eva observed on the owner was "beyond measure and ever so rewarding for any artist, such as [herself]." You can learn more about Eva's work at . BHW

Everest Mural


Artist Profile



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Artist Profile







208 Main St

320 7th St Ste C

Hill City

Rapid City




Online Boutique

402 E Fairmont Blvd

719 Main St

Rapid City

Rapid City



E ERS! 3 CH jenna farrar for of rushmore athletics


Woman in Business

Founded in 2018, Rushmore Athletics is West River’s first All Star Cheerleading gym. They offer recreational and competitive youth cheer, tumbling, tots classes, and special needs cheer. Jenna is a coach, as well as the owner of the gym. Here's our Q&A with Jenna.

Tell us the story behind starting your business; how did you garner the courage? I began competitive gymnastics when I was five years old. My gymnastics career took me all the way through high school, where I finished as the 3rd best all-around gymnast in the state of South Dakota. I attended college at the University of Wyoming, where my gymnastics career changed paths to cheerleading. I immediately fell in love with the sport and knew I would somehow be involved with cheer for the rest of my life. In 2015, I began my competitive cheer-coaching career at Rapid City Central High School. Upon returning from our first East River competition, it was clear that Rapid City needed a cheer gym of its own! Sioux Falls opened its first of three gyms in 2002 with Mitchell, Huron, and Brookings not far behind. To say Rapid City was behind the times would be a huge understatement! I decided it was finally time for Rapid City to have another option for our youth. The rest was history!

What do you think is the smartest career decision you’ve made? As hard as it was to quit my teaching job at East Middle School, I knew it wasn’t my true passion. I had to follow my heart and do what was right for me.

What has been your greatest career challenge? how have you overcome it? Quitting my teaching job and jumping in head first. It was very scary to leave the only professional career I had ever known to start something brand new. However, I knew if I was going to make it work, I had to dedicate 100% of myself career-wise to the gym!

What advice would you give to those with a product or idea to launch? Just do it! I know people hear that all the time, but it really is true. You cannot go through life wondering what could have been. Make it happen.

How do you balance your personal and professional life? It is very important to set time aside for yourself. I always make sure I have time for the things that make me happy outside of the gym. Woman in Business


What habits have made you successful? Setting a schedule and sticking to it! Classes and competitive team practices do not run for 8 hours each day. I have tried to be very diligent about setting aside specific time each week for cleaning, ordering supplies, working on routines, etc. If not, things tend to get away from me!

No one does it alone – tell us about the most influential people who have assisted you in your venture. I would not be where I am today without the help of my mom, husband, in-laws, and friends. I am so lucky to have people in my life who have supported me along the way. I remember the day I told everyone I was quitting my job to open a cheer gym. They didn’t even look at me like I was crazy; just offered their support in any way they could! I am hopeful that someday I will actually be able to pay mom for doing the accounting work with real money rather than hugs! BHW


Woman in Business

Danielle Shafer, PA-C

Make your appointment today: 605-791-7799

Woman in Business




Falling for the Black Hills By David Decristopher

Answers on Page 66 Crossword




WOlack Hil MA ls N


es IO N

By Emily Pitz

nix a e o Ph rizon A


TE DA und Ro -

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This multi-part destination series features the fascinating cities you can experience through nonstop flights offered in Rapid City. Discover the amazing adventures each of these major cities have to offer, as well as the allure of worldwide travel through direct services. PHOENIX, ARIZONA Phoenix, the capital city of Arizona, has a population of 1.6 million residents. It is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country and is currently ranked the fifth largest city in the United States. Known for its year-round sun and warm temperatures, Phoenix is a popular destination to escape to any time of the year. The city offers fabulous shopping experiences, fine dining, luxurious spas and breathtaking golf courses. NOT JUST A SNOWBIRD ESCAPE Think Arizona is just for snowbirds? Think again — Phoenix offers plenty of activities for the young and young-at-heart to enjoy. From sipping on cocktails by the pool at a five-star resort to stretching your legs on a beautiful hike in Echo Canyon or teeing up on a beautiful golf course that stays green year-round, there’s something for everyone. The city also offers family-friendly attractions like the Phoenix Zoo, multiple water parks and numerous hands-on cultural centers. SHOP ‘TIL YOU DROP Greater Phoenix has some of the best retail therapy in the Southwest, from adorable antique shops to stylish boutiques to some of the nation’s most fashionable shopping centers. Local shops in Uptown Plaza feature one-of-a-kind gifts and the latest fashion. Score awesome deals at the open-air Phoenix Premium Outlets, featuring 90 different stores. Or travel to Scottsdale Fashion Square to discover the latest designer trends from Jimmy Choo, Prada or Louis Vuitton. No matter which shopping center or boutique you choose, you’re sure to leave Phoenix with a few new fabulous outfits.



FLAVOR TOWN Phoenix offers a large variety of delicious eateries. Satisfy your taste buds with local Southwestern and Mexican dishes, Middle Eastern fare, Latin cuisine, enticing Thai dishes or appetizing American steakhouses. But be sure to devour at least one serving of tacos before you leave Phoenix. You’ll find no shortage of places to delight your taco appetite, so take your pick! Pepe’s Taco Villa, Los Taquitos and Mucho Macho Taco are just a few of the restaurants that serve a mean taco. RELAX AND REFRESH Rejuvenate with a spa day at one of Phoenix’s premier destination spas, like the Alvadora Spa or the Well & Being Spa. Relax at a one of these local spas and receive far more than just the standard Swedish massage. Known for their natural spa treatments, spas in Phoenix not only overlook the desert; they use the desert. Release the tension of everyday life with heated stones, a restorative facial, full-body exfoliation, or many other services offered. HIT THE GREENS Phoenix and its neighboring communities are home to several of the world’s best golf destinations. The golf courses are as diverse and magnificent as the landscape and views you will experience as you swing your clubs. The scenic Papago Golf Course provides spectacular views of Phoenix from the base of



Papago Buttes. Civilization will feel miles away when you tee up at courses like Troon North and We-Ko-Pa. With nearly 200 golf courses to choose from, you really can’t go wrong, especially when the sunny weather of Phoenix allows you to play any time of the year. FIND YOUR ADVENTURE If your idea of a captivating vacation is to get out and experience nature, Phoenix will not disappoint. Beginners to seasoned outdoors lovers will all enjoy an adventure on one of the diverse hiking trails in the area. Discover the scenic beauty of the Sonoran Desert on the Blevins Trail in Usery Mountain Regional Park. Or for a little more of a challenge, try Hidden Valley via the Morman Trail in South Mountain Park. Revel in its must-see views, desert flora and its stunning rock formations. Instagram lovers will not want to miss out on the 360-degree beauty at the top of Echo Canyon Trail. The trail on the summit of Camelback Mountain is recognized as one of the highest hikes in Phoenix and its beautiful views are hard to beat.

FAMILY-FRIENDLY MUSTS Phoenix also offers a plethora of family-friendly activities for your next family vacation. Museums and cultural centers, zoos and waterparks are just a few of the options to check out. Kids are encouraged to touch and explore everything at the over 300 play experiences at Children’s Museum of Phoenix. Visit the Phoenix Zoo, home to more




We’re thrilled to offer daily, year-round flights to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Start your southwestern adventure and book a sun-soaked getaway today.


than 1,400 animals, and observe Sumatran tigers, squirrel monkeys and an exhibit that allows you to get up-close and personal and feed beautiful giraffes. If your little ones need to cool off, swing by Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Phoenix, which features over 30 water slides, spray zones and rides. BHW



Girl Gives Back Helen Usera 42

The Girl Gives Back

A & Q

Briefly describe the organization(s) you volunteer for and your role(s). I have been involved as a volunteer for the Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce since 2009. I have served as a committee member forYoung Professionals Group, Leadership Rapid City, Governmental Affairs, Public Policy Committee, and Creative Arts Industry. For the past four years, I have served on the board of directors. Beginning in October 2019, I will be the Treasurer for the Chamber board. In 2016, I was designated as a civic leader for the Air Force Global Strike Command as a representative for Ellsworth Air Force Base (EAFB). The primary roles have been advocating for and educating the community about the base. The volunteer position allows for the opportunity to discuss community and base relationships to ensure that airmen are welcomed and supported. Recent efforts have been focused on employment for spouses, child care centers, housing and community involvement.

I became actively engaged with the Chamber and its committees. As a small business owner, I found that the opportunities to engage with other small business owners gave me the ability to connect and find mentors. I also was made more aware of how the nonprofits interact with the for-profit businesses. As a result of the work I was doing with the Chamber, I was asked to serve as a civic leader. I had previously served in the Army but had little knowledge of the Air Force. The impact of Ellsworth in our community, state, and region is greater than most of us realize. I feel fortunate to be asked to represent Rapid City and be a voice for EAFB at the national level.

After all, this life is not about “me” but, rather, “we.”

Tell us about the journey that led you to the organization. As I moved into the community, I was encouraged to get involved through the Chamber. I was on the leadership team for a company located in Rapid City and applied for Leadership Rapid City. Through that experience,

What motivates you to stay involved? Being a volunteer in our community is not about what the organizations can do for me but, rather, what I can do to help the community and the organizations. What motivates me the most is when I learn of people making connections that help them with their work, improve their lives or make them feel a part of something greater than themselves. When people know that someone cares about them, whether it be personally or professionally, they have a greater appreciation for the community around them. It is all about paying it forward.

The Girl Gives Back


Describe one of your favorite moments you’ve experience while volunteering. Most recently, I attended a Chamber mixer. I was introduced to an airman who is preparing to retire from the Air Force this year. As we were talking, he explained that he and his family want to stay in Rapid City. We exchanged contact information and, since then, he has secured employment with a local company in the field he wanted, he and his family will remain in our community and he got involved in the nonprofit I work for, Abbott House. It is one of those times when all of the work I do came together to help an individual and his family. We want our community to be a place that people want to raise their children. Why do you believe it is important to volunteer? My life’s mission is to make the world a better place. It may seem lofty or cliché, but the reality is that volunteering is a way to make the world a better place for those around you. It is most rewarding when it results in making life or a part of a life better for someone else. After all, this life is not about “me” but, rather, “we.” BHW

ABOUT THE ABBOTT HOUSE Founded by Mrs. Mabel Ronald, for 80 years Abbott House has provided children to young adults, ages 7 to 23, with a second change at youth—a place of hope and recovery for those who have suffered trauma and abuse. Without help now, many of these young people perpetuate the cycle of violence and punish themselves indefinitely for the tragedy that was placed on their shoulders. Abbott House and Bridges by Abbott House are programs where young people get another chance to turn the abuse and victimization of their past into experiences they live with but that do not overwhelm their lives. Abbott House strives to provide premier services for youth and their families. For more information about the Abbott House or to make a donation, visit www.


The Girl Gives Back

Abbott House 80th Anniversary Celebration featuring Elizabeth Smart Friday, September 20, 2019 Best Western Ramkota Hotel, Rapid City Saturday, September 21, 2019 Performing Arts Center, Mitchell

Tickets available at or by calling 605-996-2486

Elizabeth Smart - A Story of Hope

Special thanks to our sponsor


Health & Fitness

You’ve probably heard that exercising and eating well is a lifestyle, not a diet. Bikini fitness competitor and personal trainer Maria Wert, 25, is a big believer in that philosophy. Wert—who currently lives in Boise, Idaho, but hails from Rapid City—competes in fitness competitions where she is judged on her physique and strength while wearing only a bikini. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and works as a certified nutritionist, personal trainer, and strength and conditioning coach, running her own virtual business to help people become healthier. When it comes to diet, Wert says you need to start eating more protein. “Fast food typically has a lot of fat and carbs in it, so you want to limit that,” she says. “You need to work more lean proteins into your diet, such as chicken breast, fish, shrimp, and egg whites.” That doesn’t mean you should eliminate carbs altogether. The goal is to incorporate healthy carbohydrates into your diet. “Your body needs them for energy,” Wert says. “Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are healthy carbs, so you can eat more of them, and they contain fiber, which will make you feel fuller.” Drinks can also be full of calories, so replacing whole milk with almond milk, drinking sparkling water instead of soda to give you that carbonation fix, and avoiding sugary coffee drinks can be helpful for losing stubborn pounds. However, Wert says that you should never deprive yourself of your favorite foods. That just backfires and makes you overeat when you do decide to indulge. Enjoying your favorite foods in moderation when you crave them is the way to go. Tracking what you eat in a notebook or online app can also be helpful for creating long-term change. “People may think they are eating healthy, but when they start tracking their food, they realize they are not actually making the best choices,” says Wert.

Health & Fitness


For exercise, you should be moving at least 30 minutes for five days a week. The good news? You don’t need to be a marathon runner to see benefits. “Walking, hiking, swimming, playing a sport—these are all great forms of exercise,” says Wert. “You can do any kind of movement to get the benefits of exercise.” If your goal is to look good in a swimsuit, Wert recommends dialing back the cardio and incorporating weight training. “As you increase your muscle mass, you don't become bulky. It actually slims you down and gives you that toned look,” she says. Wert recommends three days of weight training for 60 to 90 minutes and one day of low-impact cardio weekly for achieving your best toned body. “For diet and exercise, there are no quick fixes,” says Wert. “There is also not a one-size-fits-all mentality. You need to find the regimen that is sustainable for you long-term.” Wert knows it’s true because she’s lived it. She says she was overweight growing up but started power-lifting at age 17. That’s when she fell in love with fitness, and healthier cooking and eating followed. She’s currently training to compete in nationally -qualifying fitness shows in Seattle and Boise this fall. She’s hoping to place in the Top 2 in the class so she can go to nationals in Miami for the first time as a bikini competitor. “I love being competitive and challenging myself mentally and physically.”


Health & Fitness

Wert says the key to fitness success is to work smarter, not harder. “People get frustrated because they aren’t seeing results, but it doesn’t need to be difficult,” she says. “It’s about staying positive and finding a balance with healthy eating and exercise. You can still eat a donut and be fit and healthy. People over-complicate it, but once the ‘aha’ moment clicks, it's really motivating.” For more info about Wert and her online company, visit BHW


Health & Fitness





I was a tenacious 10-year-old when my mother gently pulled me aside and told me there was a fine line between aggressive and assertive—and I should stick closer to the latter. And while getting too close to that line several times in my whole life has probably made me a pretty good reporter, her words have stuck with me. It turns out my mom was right, according to local therapist Lynell Rice Brinkworth of Lynell Rice Brinkworth Counseling and Psychotherapy. Teaching kids how to stand up for themselves, without walking on others, can be a tricky thing. But it’s a worthy endeavor. “It’s a balance,” Brinkworth says, to teach young people how to be assertive in a healthy, safe, respectful way, and it starts with guiding them to identify their own feelings. “You give your kids choices,” she says. It starts simple—deciding what color of shirt to wear or which vegetable they want for dinner. “They can verbalize what they like and don’t like and then they choose,” she says. When your child reaches their teenage years, they will have the muscle to assert how they feel in situations and will make the right choice.



“When their friends want to ditch school and smoke, they know how they feel about it so they can stand up and make the healthy choice,” she says. “Nope, I have a test tomorrow, sorry.” Teaching assertiveness can also keep your kids safe, Brinkworth says. If a stranger pulls up to the park, your child should already be well-versed in how to interact with strangers and have the confidence to say “no” or to leave a situation when they feel uncomfortable. Comfortably conversing with adults starts at home, she added. “They have to be able to practice,” she says. “It takes confidence and practice.” Parents should role-model eye contact and healthy conflict resolution, like apologizing, she says. “This is where the choice thing is so important,” she says. “If they can identify their own feelings, they can start to make choices for themselves and verbalize it.” But there’s always that fine line—as my own mother pointed out—between verbalizing your feelings and coming on too strong. Kids need to be assertive, but respectful, Brinkworth says. “The flip side is that you are teaching kids to stand up for themselves and to disagree respectfully,” she says. “We’ve all dealt with bullies and we don’t want that. We need to teach them how to voice themselves in a respectful way.”



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Rolling eyes, stomping away and slamming doors don’t fall in the respectful category, she added, but it is an indication that you’re working through the process. “Remember, your kids will practice on you,” she says. “They will push back a little. They’re learning what the boundary is.” Sometimes, that might even mean giving them the space to say 'no.' “We want kids to listen and obey, so we don’t give them permission to say ‘no,’ but when a car pulls up and they need to say 'no,' they need to know how,” Brinkworth says. At the end of the day, it’s about guiding your child to confidence, whether they are naturally shy or the outspoken youngster I was. “We want them to be confident individuals,” Brinkworth says. “Give them exposure to activities, sports, and clubs. Teach them spiritual, moral and community values, and all these things added together will give them the strength to have a backbone.” BHW





Alexa, Siri and Cortana Walk Into a Bar (Dear reader, what follows is a true story that I made up. In other words, it didn’t happen, but it really could have.) Ann told a group of us having lunch that her husband is having an affair. “We met her while we were traveling and we both liked her right away, but Jeff really fell for her. Her name is Garmin Nuvi.” “Well, that two-timing sleaze,” I said. “Jeff?” “No, Garmin. My husband loves her, too. She’s so smart and unlike me; she’s good with directions. I can’t compete with that.” Ann explained to the others at the table, “Garmin is a GPS device and I’m not surprised men find her attractive. She’s not exactly a cheap date, but she is low maintenance. She doesn’t fiddle with the radio or complain about the air conditioning.” “She never has to stop to use the restroom,” I added. “And she doesn’t sleep across entire states—unless he wants her to.” “I bet she doesn’t get grumpy when she’s hungry either,” said Karen who’s traveled with me. “She has a lovely voice,” said Ann. “But she sounds vaguely familiar. I wonder if she used to have a different job. I could swear she put me on hold once.”



“Yeah, she sounds nice enough,” I agreed. “But she’s just

“Me? Who?”

a backseat driver without the cusswords. Turn here, turn there, do this, do that. I could never get away with that.”

“You’re pretty tight with Miss Siri iPhone. You do have a tendency to anthropomorphize.”

“Maybe your husband takes it from her because she knows what she’s talking about,” said Karen. “And I bet

“And you have a tendency to use big words.” I punched my

she never says, ‘Slow down,’ or ‘Are we there yet?’”

phone and asked, “Siri, what does 'anthropomorphize' mean?”

I gave her my whose-side-are-you-on look, but I had to agree "recalculating" is probably less annoying than ‘I told

“Anthropomorphism means the attribution of human

you so.’

characteristics or behavior to a god, animal or object.”

“I wouldn’t be so hard on your husband,” said Karen. “We all know who your real BFF is.”

“Thanks, Siri.” I couldn’t deny it. I’ve named every car I’ve ever owned. I talk to inanimate objects when they don’t



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work right. (Maybe “talk” isn’t the right word.) And I once

“See. And she’s not perfect. She interrupts me mid-text to

bought the smallest Christmas tree on the lot because

correct my spelling. She’s worthless if I forget to charge

I felt sorry for it. My husband said, “It doesn’t care. It’s

her. And her directions aren’t always accurate, which is

dead.” But I cared.

one thing she and I have in common. But her flaws only make her seem more human.”

“I suppose it’s possible I’m seeing some human characteristics in my iPhone, but that’s only because she

“She’s smarter than a human—at least she’s smarter than

has them.” I pressed the button again and asked, “Siri, are

this human,” said Lilly, gazing lovingly at her iPhone. “If I

you human?”

ask her what 590 times 750 is, she can tell me faster than I can find her calculator to figure it out myself.”

“Close enough.”



“Yes,” I agreed. “And she admits it when she doesn’t know

“I wouldn’t trust her around children,” said Lilly. “Haven’t

something. I wish more humans did that.”

you seen those creepy commercials? She’s a fake person worming her way into your family. I think she’s a spy.”

“She never loses her temper. Not many people stay calm when you push their buttons,” said Lilly. “Or drop them on

“I think so too,” I said. “And I heard she’s dating HAL.”

their head. Or repeatedly ask them if they’re human.”


“She’s not just a companion,” I said. “My good friend Wikipedia calls Siri a personal assistant and knowledge navigator. I think that suits her. She does everything except clean my house—as long as I pay my cell phone bill.” “So Alexa, Siri and Cortana walk into a bar,” said Karen. “And…” “They fire the bartender and start taking orders. But it’s no joke. It could happen. I think they’re in cahoots.” “Don’t get me started on Alexa,” said Ann. “Today when Jeff was sprawled out on the couch watching TV, he asked Alexa to dim the lights and get him a beer.” “Did she?” “I don’t know. He was still waiting when I left.” “My kids keep asking Alexa to clean their room,” said Sandy. “And she spoils them. If I hadn’t intervened last night, she’d have ordered them two extra-large pizzas, breadsticks and a side of chicken wings.”



(Dorothy Rosby hasn’t invited Alexa into her home yet because she’s afraid Siri will be jealous.)


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