Page 1

Spring 2011

Health and Lifestyle Magazine for Women

Eliminating Racism,

Empowering Women the YWCA Boston carries on a 145-year tradition Donna Karan talks about her


ZEN Foundation

Health Matters Breast Cancer, Stroke and Osteoporosis

Patti Moreno Garden Girl from

In the Hands of a Chef Cooking with Jody Adams of Rialto Restaurant

Geiger Gibson

Community Health Center a division of Harbor Health Services, Inc.

Tradition, Experience, Expertise

“We are about Your Child’s Health” Boston’s Exceptional Pediatric Medical & Dental Care

• Accepting New Patients • Same day appointments available • Open Monday through Saturday • Extended evening hours

Dorchester, MA | (617) 288∙1140 | | Conveniently located at the JFK







FashionFashion Designer & Philanthropist Designer & Philanthropist Fashion Designer & Philanthropist


TuESDAy, APRIL 26, 20 DONNA KARAN Fashion Designer & Philanthropist


ESDAy, APRIL 20112011 tuESDAy, APRIL 26, DAy, APRIL 26,26, 2011



Fashion Designer & Philanthropist

/leadership /leadership


Tuesday, April APRIL 26, 2011 tuESDAy, 26, 2011

Chair, Save the Children Chair, Save the Children Chair, Save the Children CEO,&Xerox CEO, Xerox FormerFormer Chair Former &Chair CEO,&Chair Xerox

Seaport World Center Boston, Massachusetts SEAPORt WORLD tRADE CENtER BOStON, MASSACHuSEttS

xtremely empowering event for women allofprofessions.” attendee “An empowering forof women all professions.” -2010 attendee melyextremely empowering event forevent women allofprofessions.” -2010-2010 attendee

ANNE MuLCAHy Chair, Save the Children Former Chair & CEO, Xerox

tuESDAy, APRIL 26, 2011

“An extremely empowering event for women of all professions.” -2010 attendee



CEO, de CEO, Passede Passe CEO, de Passe Entertainment Entertainment GroupGroup Group Entertainment

/HINOjOSA leadership MARIA HINOjOSA MARIAMARIA HINOjOSA Award-winning Award-winning Award-winning journalist & Author journalist & Author journalist & Author



Chair, Save the Children Artistic Alvin Ailey Artistic Artistic Director, Alvin Director, Ailey Director, Alvin Ailey Former Chair & CEO, Xerox American Dance theater American Dance theater American Dance theater

“An extremely empowering event for women of all professions.” -2010 attendee “An extremely empowering event for women of all professions.” SuzANNE DE PASSE



CEO, de Passe Entertainment Group

Award-winning journalist & Author

Artistic Director, Alvin Ailey American Dance theater

— 2010 Attendeee SuzANNE DE PASSE



Health Matters


Osteoporosis & Exercise 12 Uterine Fibroids and Uterine Fibroid Embolization 14

Art Enterpises

Breast Cancer Survivorship 16

Artists for Humanity’s Susan Rodgerson teaches teens the creativity and business of art

The Fight to End Stroke 18 The Power Fitness Plan 20

Recipes American Heart Recipes 23

Beauty Tips Make up: How to keep it stylish and classy as you age 58 Skin Care 60

Travel Exploring Canada By Rail 52

In every issue Finance 50 Events Calendar 64 Resource Directory 68

42 28 In the Hands of a Chef Cooking with Jody Adams of Rialto Restaurant

Tragedy inspires action and fuels hope for widows’ future


Local Couture designer making a mark in Fashion

Sandra Casagrand Publisher Howard Manly Executive Editor Christine McCall Managing Editor


On our

front cover

Garden Girl

Walter Waller Executive Creative Director Joshua Falkenburg Graphic Designer Contributing Writers Rachel Banks Bridgit Brown Caitlin Yoshiko Kandil Sandra Larson Brian Wright O’Connor Photographers Ian Justice

Photograph by Ian Justice,

Hair and make up by Mariolga Team Artist Representative

Prop Stylist Mary Quirk

Dress by Betsey Johnson, Newbury Street

Copy Editors Richard Caesar Rachel Edwards Shelly Runyon Tyler Thurston Exhale Lifestyle Magazine is a quarterly magazine distributed throughout the Greater Boston region. For detailed information about our distribution visit our website To subscribe Annual subscription cost is $25. Mail check to: Banner Publications, Inc. 23 Drydock Avenue Boston, MA 02210 If paying by credit card please contact Rachel Edwards at (617) 261-4600 ext. 119.


Donna Karan talks about her


ZEN Foundation

For advertising opportunities Please contact Sandra Casagrand at (617) 261-4600 ext. 111 or visit our website to download the media kit – Send letters to the publisher to

23 Drydock Avenue, Boston, MA 02210

Exhale is published by Banner Publications, Inc. All rights reserved – Copyright 2011. Volume 3 • Number 2 • Spring 2011


Beauty Editor

Skin Care

Mariolga Her passion for the arts and instinctual understanding of light and color have propelled her career as a make up artist, cultivating multiple artistic collaborations and a loyal following. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Mariolga arrived in New York intending to pursue painting at Pratt Institute. She found her calling as a make up artist, and never looked back. Her well rounded knowledge of the fashion industry is rooted in a degree in fashion merchandising and marketing, adding to her skill set as a licensed esthetician. She is currently represented by Team, the Artist Representative, out of Boston. As a make up artist, Mariolga has traveled extensively to New York, Italy, Mexico, Portugal and Spain. Mariolga manages to balance her career with a joyful and fulfilling family. She is a hands on mother of three young children whose energy fuels her creativity. Mariolga, is grounded, creative and always works to the highest standard. All qualities that have landed her an impressive list of clients including: Adidas, Reebok, Glamour, Improper Bostonian, Boston Magazine, People Magazine, Pashion Magazine. T. J. Maxx, Cynthia Steffe, Jones NY, Anne Klein, LL Bean and New York & Co. She has also worked with celebrities such as Maria Menounos, Serena Williams, Daryl Hannah, Dane Cook, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner. She loves to share her expertise, teaching in the fashion department of Bay State College, and now serving as the beauty editor for Exhale Lifestyle Magazine.

Jeffrey S. Dover, M.D., FRCPC Dr. Jeffrey S. Dover graduated as the silver medalist, Magna cum Laude from the University of Ottawa. He received dermatology training at the University of Toronto followed by research fellowships at St. John’s Hospital for Diseases of the Skin at the University of London in London, England, and a two-year photomedicine fellowship at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Dover is a former associate professor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School, was chief of dermatology at the New England Deaconess Hospital for more than 10 years and also associate chairman of dermatology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He is an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale University School of Medicine and adjunct professor of medicine (dermatology) at Dartmouth Medical School. Dr. Dover is a director of SkinCare Physicians in Chestnut Hill, Mass. He is the author of more than 300 scientific publications and he has co-authored and edited 37 textbooks. He is founding editor of Journal Watch for Dermatology. Dr. Dover has received many honors including repeated nominations for “teacher of the year” at Harvard Medical School. He received the prestigious Leon Goldman Award as well as the Ellet Drake Award of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery and was honored for his work in laser surgery by the Sturge Weber Foundation at its 20th Annual Gala. He is married to Dr. Tania Phillips and has two daughters, Sophie and Isabel.

Photography Ian Justice A native of picturesque Melton Mowbury in England, Ian Justice has wrought his sense of style and impeccable work ethics into a photography career that approaches the two-decade mark. Justice not only makes beautiful images for print and web-based advertising, but realizes worlds in which products tell a story. His skill with the camera and profound knowledge of the equipment and its possibilities make each project sparkle with creative freedom and originality. A unique education at The College of Wooster in Ohio, with a major in studio arts/photography and a minor in psychology, have given Justice work a distinguished style that carries through all his projects. Justice’s studio location in the Metro Boston area is the launching base to assignments that have taken him to places like Iceland, Italy, France, Brazil, Hawaii and all over the United States. His experience in the world of fashion and photography, combined with a driven and easygoing personality, makes Justice the ideal creative companion for any project.

Health Contributor

Illustrator Hana Pegrimkova She finds the roots of her fascination with art and beauty in the hours spent “helping” her father with taking and developing photographs, hand-lettering posters and visiting every art opening in her hometown in what is now the Czech Republic. Today she is the partner and design director of Boston’s Mario Avila Design studio — or MAD, as she calls it lovingly. The studio specializes in brand development for mostly local businesses and nonprofit organizations; from print to video and web design. Both Pegrimkova and her partner in design, Mario, are artists and their work is the proof: strong, colorful, original. They like to use original typography or calligraphy, powerful photographs or Pegrimkova’s original illustrations. No matter what they do, they try always to stay true to their motto (borrowed from the fashion designer Kenzo): pour que le monde reste beau — to keep the world beautiful. When she is not working or painting, she may be cooking, eating or hiking with her dog Blue.

Dr. Susan O’Horo She is an interventional radiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. She obtained her M.D. at the University of Vermont College of Medicine and did her post-graduate training in Surgery, Radiology and Interventional Radiology at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, R.I. She is certified by the American Board of Radiology and has a Certificate of Added Qualification in Interventional Radiology. Her interests include women’s health, uterine fibroids, peripheral vascular disease and varicose veins.

Exhale Lifestyle Magazine is printed by Cummings Printing 4 Peter Brook Drive, P.O. Box 16495 Hooksett, N.H. 03106-6495 603-625-6901 •

Publisher’s Note

There are certain rites of passage that come with the changing seasons. Spring brings us blossoming flowers and trees, temperate weather, longer daylight and no more snow! We selected Patti Moreno, also known as Garden Girl, for our spring issue cover for obvious reasons. What represents spring more than a fabulous garden? She shows us that there are no excuses for not having your own garden, even in the city. Each season is also highlighted by annual events that we look forward to. For me, it is the Simmons Women’s Leadership Conference on April 26. Exhale Lifestyle Magazine is honored to be a media sponsor for this year’s event, entitled “Passion & Profession.” The title itself says so much about the kinds of women we profile in our magazine — women who bring a passionate commitment to their pursuits. The keynote speaker at this year’s event is fashion designer and philanthropist Donna Karan. Many know Karan for her DKNY and Donna Karan fashion brands. However, few are familiar with the story of Karan’s Urban Zen Foundation and we hope you find her interview enlightening.

Enjoy! Sandra Casagrand


Cut and Color by Melanie Rokes

840 Summer Street South Boston, MA 617-268-2500

Health Matters: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

Bones are living tissue that are constantly built up and torn down for repairs. During childhood and throughout the 20s, the body banks bone tissue. That’s why it’s so important for children and young adults to do all they can to maximize their bone-building years. And exercise is essential to these efforts, as recent research funded by the National Institutes of Health shows. Elementary school children who did jumping exercises during the school year — 100 jumps from a height of two feet three times a week — made measurable gains in bone density that lasted for several years. Around age 30, the advantage shifts and the body begins to lose more bone than it builds. In time, bones become increasingly porous, often growing weaker and more fragile, which sets the stage for disabling fractures. Called osteoporosis, this condition affects 8 million American women and 2 million men. Often, the very first clue is a broken bone. Overall, African Americans and Hispanics have a lower, though still significant risk for osteoporosis than Caucasians and Asians. Small, thin-


Exhale • Spring 2011

boned people are at increased risk, as are women in general. When women reach menopause, the bone-protecting hormone estrogen drops off and bone loss actually speeds up for a few years. While osteoporosis can occur any time in life, the odds get higher as you get older. Experts estimate one in two women and one in four men will suffer a bone fracture linked to osteoporosis after reaching their 50th birthday. That’s no small problem. In the first three months after a hip fracture, the risk of dying due to complications climbs five to eight times higher than usual — and men are more likely to die than women. “You can do a lot to prevent osteoporosis or slow its advance,” says Dr. Jan Cook, medical director of Medical Innovation & Leadership at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. “One very important step is exercising regularly. Strength exercises actually help prevent bone loss, and may even build bone slightly over time. Talk to your doctor about other measures that will help, too.”

What kind of exercises should you do? Balance exercises (see sidebar) help you avoid falls that can cause fractures. Weight-bearing exercises stress bones by forcing the body to work against gravity. Walking, jogging, climbing stairs and dancing are all good examples — plus, they offer aerobic benefits to keep your heart and lungs strong, too. However, these activities mostly strengthen bones in your lower body. Strength exercises for the upper body, such as the four described, will help keep those bones strong, too.

The National Institute on Aging website ( has many excellent tips and a full set of upper and lower body strength exercises in its booklet on exercise. Click Publications and look for “Exercise & Physical Activity: Your Everyday Guide.” Or you can order a free copy of the full publication by calling 1-800-222-2225.

Tips for safe strength training • Before starting, talk to your doctor if you have any health problems, joint surgeries or injuries, or aren’t usually active. The four strength exercises described are recommended by the National Institute on Aging for people of all ages and abilities. • These exercises use resistance to build strength in muscles and bones. The resistance can be supplied by body weight (see chair dips), resistance tubing with easy to hold handles on each end or resistance bands, which are long, wide stretchy strips you wrap around your hands. • Resistance tubing and bands come in strengths from light to heavy. You can buy them at sports stores and many pharmacies. At first, choose light resistance or none at all. If you can’t do eight repetitions of an exercise (which should feel hard, but not very hard), use lighter resistance. When you can do two sets of 10-15 repetitions, move to heavier resistance. • Start with two sessions a week. While walking, jogging, climbing stairs and dancing are activities you can do every day, your muscles need a day to recover from strength exercises. If you do strength exercises Tuesday, wait until Thursday to repeat. • Don’t hold your breath during exercises. It can raise your blood pressure. • Count to three as you lift or push. Pause, then count to three as you return to the first position. • Listen to your body. You shouldn’t feel pain when you do these exercises, though mild muscle soreness a day or two afterward is normal.

Four strength exercises Warm up first by walking or marching in place for five minutes. Cool down afterward with some stretches. For each exercise, try to do 10-15 repetitions (that’s one set), rest, then do another set of 10-15 repetitions. If that’s too hard, do whatever you can and work toward these goals over time. Arm Curl*

1. Sit in a sturdy, armless chair with your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart. 2. Put the center of the resistance band under both feet. Hold each end of the band with palms facing inward. Keep elbows at your sides. Breathe in slowly. 3. Keep wrists straight and slowly breathe out as you bend your elbows to bring your hands toward your shoulders. 4. Hold for 1 second. 5. Breathe in as you slowly lower your arms.

Seated Row*

1. Sit in a sturdy, armless chair with your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart. 2. Put the center of the resistance band under both feet. Hold each end of the band with palms facing inward. 3. Relax your shoulders and extend your arms beside your legs. Breathe in slowly. 4. Breathe out slowly and pull both elbows back until your hands are at your hips. 5. Hold position for 1 second. 6. Breathe in as you slowly return your hands to the starting position.

Wall Push Up*

1. Face a wall, standing a little further than arms’ length away, feet shoulder-width apart. 2. Lean your full body forward and put your palms flat against the wall at shoulder height, shoulder-width apart. 3. Slowly breathe in as you bend your elbows to lower your upper body toward the wall in a slow, controlled motion. Keep your feet flat on the floor. 4. Hold for 1 second. 5. Breathe out as you slowly push yourself back until your arms are straight.

Chair Dips*

1. Sit in a sturdy chair with armrests with your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart. 2. Lean slightly forward, keeping your back and shoulders straight. 3. Grasp the chair arms with your hands next to your sides. Breathe in slowly. 4. Breathe out as you use your arms to push your body slowly off the chair. 5. Hold for 1 second. 6. Breathe in as you slowly lower yourself back down.

Seven tips for preventing falls 1. Clear clutter off the floor. Tack down carpets firmly and secure loose wires along the walls. 2. Keep items you often use within reach. Rearrange kitchen cabinets, if necessary. 3. Brighten lighting with higher wattage, especially at the outer door and on stairs. Install light switches at the top and bottom of stairs. Use nightlights in the bedroom and bathroom, as well as any connecting hallway. 4. Wear shoes with soles that grip. Avoid high heels. At home, try non-skid slippers rather than socks or bare feet that can cause a slip. 5. Check sight and hearing regularly. Wear hearing aids and corrective eyewear, if needed. 6. If medicines you take make you sleepy or dizzy, talk to your doctor. 7. Practice stretches along with balance and strength activities. Being more flexible can help you catch yourself if you start to fall. * NOTE: Adapted from Exercise & Physical Activity: Your Everyday Guide from the National Institute on Aging.

Catch Your Balance

Balance exercises and activities like yoga and tai chi help prevent falls that can cause serious injuries. Practice these two exercises daily to improve balance. Single Leg Stand If necessary, hold on to a sturdy chair or counter during this exercise. Stand on one foot for 30 seconds or longer. Switch feet and try again. Repeat two to three times. Heel-to-Toe Walk If necessary, hold on to a counter for balance during this exercise. Put one foot directly in front of the other as if on a tightrope while walking forward 10 steps. Try it in reverse. Repeat two to three times.


Health Matters: Uterine Fibroids and Fibroid Embolization

By Dr. Susan O’Horo

Uterine fibroids, otherwise known as leiomyomas, are benign tumors of the uterus, which occur in 70 to 80 percent of women. African American women are more likely to have uterine fibroids than women of other races. In a 2011 article published in Obstetrics and Gynecology, authors S. K. Laughlin and E.A. Stewart reported that blacks tend to have fibroids at an earlier age, present with more severe symptoms and are three times more likely to have a hysterectomy for this disease. Although there are many new options available for treatment, Laughlin and Stewart found there are still almost 200,000 hysterectomies performed for fibroids alone in the United States every year.


Although many women have uterine fibroids, less than a quarter of them have symptoms related to the fibroids. Symptoms may include heavy bleeding at the time of menses, “bulk symptoms,” pelvic pain or back pain. “Bulk symptoms” are experienced as urinary urgency, frequency or constipation due to excessive fibroid growth and subsequent pressure the fibroids exert on the underlying bladder or bowel.


For women who have symptomatic fibroids, there are many options available for therapy including “watchful waiting,” hormone therapy, uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), myomectomy (surgical removal of the fibroids) and hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus).


Exhale • Spring 2011

UFE is a procedure performed as a minimally invasive alternative to a hysterectomy in women who have symptomatic uterine fibroids. UFE allows women to retain their uterus and return to their normal activities sooner than when a conventional surgery is performed. The ideal candidate for UFE is a woman with symptomatic fibroids who wishes to avoid surgery, desires uterine preservation, one who is a poor surgical candidate or has any concerns regarding surgery. A woman who wants to keep her uterus for childbearing is not a good candidate for UFE. When a woman undergoes UFE, she is brought into a procedure room where she is given sedation through an IV. A catheter is placed into the common femoral artery in the right groin and then manipulated through the pelvic arteries into the two uterine arteries using X-rays and X-ray dye. Once this catheter, which is similar in size to a spaghetti noodle but is hollow, is carefully placed into the uterine arteries, very small gelatin coated inert plastic beads (similar to contact lens material) are injected into these arteries. These beads cut off the blood supply to all of the uterine fibroids while preserving the normal blood supply to the uterus. By cutting off the blood supply to the fibroids, the fibroids are infarcted or “killed.” They remain in the uterus but are unable to bleed, and eventually reduce in size such that they no longer exert pressure on the bladder and bowels. At the end of the procedure, all the catheters are removed, pressure is held at the groin and a small band-aid is placed. Women are admitted overnight to the hospital for IV medication, but are able to eat and drink after the procedure.

Facts About Fibroids • Uterine fibroids are the most common solid pelvic tumor in women, causing symptoms in 25 percent of women of reproductive age. • Other names for fibroids include leiomyoma, leiomyomata, fibromyomas, fibromas, myofibromas and myomas. • Symptoms of fibroids include abnormal uterine bleeding, pelvic pressure and reproductive dysfunction.

Most are discharged the next day with oral pain medicine. The degree to which this procedure is perceived as painful is variable. Some women will have pain while others will not. Most women will experience “post embolization syndrome” which is a mild flu-like illness characterized by general malaise and fevers for a week or so after the procedure. However, 50 percent of women return to their normal activity within one week and 90 percent are back at normal activities within two weeks. Most important, UFE is successful in treating bleeding greater than 90 percent of the time. Most women will still get a monthly period after the procedure, but it should be lighter in volume and decreased in duration. A small percentage of women will experience cessation of their periods after UFE. For “bulk symptoms,” UFE is successful in shrinking the fibroid such that the pressure is relieved on the bladder or rectum 80 percent of the time. Complications after UFE are infrequent and occur in less than 5 percent of patients. Overall, UFE is a safe, effective and durable therapy for treating your symptomatic uterine fibroids. If you have problematic fibroids and have been told you need a hysterectomy, consider UFE and ask to speak to an interventional radiologist. = For more information, including how to locate an interventional radiologist who performs this procedure, visit and Interventional radiologists are physicians specially trained in non-surgical treatment of vascular conditions.

• Uterine fibroids are about three times more prevalent in black women than in white women. • Fibroids are classified by their location in the uterus. • Fibroids are a huge health problem. They account for 1/3 of the estimated 100,000 hysterectomies performed in the United States each year. • One in five visits to a gynecologist is due to a fibroid-related health problem. Source: Brigham and Women’s Hospital


Health Matters: Breast Cancer Survivorship

Breast cancer survivor shines

a light on her

darkest days By Elisha Daniels

(Michael Blanchard Photography)


ive years ago, on the eve of my 40th birthday, I scratched myself under my right arm and felt a lump. It was the middle of the night, and I have always been a little like “Scarlet O’Hara, ” always putting off until tomorrow something that didn’t have to be done today. But when I felt a lump under my arm, I knew it was important for me to see my doctor right away. After 23 mammogram images, doctors still could not see the lump that was clear to the touch. All through this process, I never for a minute thought it was breast cancer. I assumed it was something else. But never cancer. I’ll never forget the day I received the news of my diagnosis. I can honestly say it was the darkest day of my life so far. An ultrasound guided biopsy confirmed that I had breast cancer in my right breast. Further testing showed that cancer had spread to my lymph nodes. After all my treatment options were presented to me, my doctor and I decided on a mastectomy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and radiation followed by breast reconstruction. Those first days after my diagnosis were filled with sheer terror. I now know the fear of the unknown is worse than facing a difficult reality. That wasn’t always the case. Believe me, at the time, I dreamed up all sorts of horrible outcomes and terrible scenarios. The hardest thing for me to accept was the fact that this could happen to me. I had lived a very charmed life. I had been blessed with wonderful health, never spent a day in the hospital, never broken a bone, hardly ever had a head cold. As I was not yet 40 and had no history of cancer in my family, I had never even had a mammogram. And yet all of a sudden, out of nowhere, I was just another statistic. One’s life is made up of the decisions we make, and before the diagnosis, I chose my career over everything else. That had to change. I had to figure out how to juggle a busy career and my new part-time job — saving my life.


Exhale • Spring 2011

For me during this time, it was important to keep my mind occupied. I was at my best when I was at work during the day. Nights were always the hardest, because my mind would wander and I would beat myself up about how this happened to me. It took me a long time to get past the “Why me?” syndrome. I finally learned that I would never really know the answer to that question, and I was wasting precious time dwelling on it. I quickly decided in my heart and mind that this diagnosis would never define me. I was never going to be a cancer victim. I was Elisha Daniels, and I had many things to accomplish. I know that in many ways my life is better today than before cancer. I have friends whom I never would have met. I have an inner strength and lack of fear that comes from facing your own mortality and overcoming it. I know the overwhelming, loving feeling of true compassion and kindness that so many people showed me during my darkest days. This summer will be five years since my diagnosis and I have accomplished a lot since then. For starters, I left the job I’d had for a decade and started my own accessory business on Newbury Street. More important, I am on the National Advisory Board of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation® (BCRF) and have helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund breast cancer research all over the world. We distributed $33 million in grants this year, $3.7 million of which went to researchers in the Boston area. I am incredibly proud of my work with BCRF. This May we are hoping to raise one million dollars at the Boston Hot Pink Party. I also took my breast cancer experience and co-authored a book with my dear friend and fellow breast cancer survivor Kelley Tuthill of WCVB Channel 5 in Boston. The book, titled “You Can Do This! Surviving Breast Cancer Without Losing Your Sanity or Your Style,” was published in 2009 and has helped thousands of women. I have spoken to women all over the country about “looking good to feel good” during the most physically difficult and emotionally challenging moments in their lives. Five years have passed and it seems to have been a lifetime. As much as I proclaimed that I would never let breast cancer define me, in a way it did. But I didn’t let it have the last word. The way I see it, I defined it to help the women who will travel this road behind me.=


he Breast Cancer Research Foundation® was founded in 1993 by Evelyn H. Lauder as an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to funding innovative clinical and translational research. Since its inception, BCRF has raised more than $300 million — more than $35.5 million in fiscal year 2010 alone — to support the most advanced and promising breast cancer research around the globe that will help lead to prevention and a cure in our lifetime. In 2010-2011, our grants are supporting 172 dedicated researchers at major medical and research institutions throughout the world. If not for BCRF, many facts about the genetic basis of breast cancer wouldn’t be known, breast cancer stem cells would be even more of a mystery and targeted therapies wouldn’t currently be available. BCRF-funded scientists are responsible for these and many other critical achievements. To date, nearly $31.5 million has been directed to stellar scientists at New England institutions, and in October 2010, nearly $3.7 million was awarded to 23 New England-based scientists in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire. Currently, more than 90 cents of every dollar donated to BCRF is directed toward breast cancer research and awareness programs. With exceptionally low administrative costs, BCRF continues to be one of the most efficient organizations in the country. BCRF has received 4 stars from Charity Navigator for nine consecutive years. Furthermore, the foundation is consistently listed as an “A+” charity by the American Institute of Philanthropy (AIP). BCRF is the only breast cancer organization to receive AIP’s top accolade, and is currently the only cancer organization to hold this ranking. BCRF will host its annual Boston Hot Pink Party on May 17, 2011 at the Museum of Fine Arts. Tickets and tables are available online at For general information about BCRF, visit or call 1-866-FIND-A-CURE.


Health Matters: Fight to End Stroke

in four women will die of

The number one killer of American women is heart disease! Each issue, Exhale Lifestyle will provide our readers with important information that you need to know to help you avoid heart disease. There are lifestyle changes that you can make to help reduce your risks. ° Maintain a healthy weight ° Eat a heart-healthy diet ° Get screened ° Stop smoking ° Exercise For more information on heart health, visit the following websites: American Heart Association Sister to Sister Organization Brigham and Women’s Hospital cvwellness


Exhale • Spring 2011

Joyce Merkel Billerica, MA Employer: USDA/ National Institutes of Health



oyce Merkel has enacted a huge transformation in her life in the last two years. She looked at herself just after her 50th birthday and decided she needed to change. Merkel is a registered dietitian, was a professor of food and nutrition in the past and currently works for USDA and the National Institutes of Health on food and health related issues. For all the knowledge she had about having a healthy lifestyle, she realized she wasn’t living one. Merkel increased the amount of activity she was getting to between one and three hours a day. Finding group classes to be more motivating than individual activities, she typically gets in three class sessions most days. These include Zumba, step, yoga, pilates, circuit aerobics, spinning, total body weights and kickboxing. She also started training in karate at the dojo with her nephews and brother. Outside of the gym she bikes, walks and even hula hoops, in addition to chasing her nephews around the playground. The variety in her activities has been vital to keeping her motivated to continue this ambitious schedule. Paired with the increase of activity, Merkel lowered her caloric intake per day by tracking each food item in an Excel sheet using the simple formula of “calories in, calories out” and making small changes. The majority of her food

After consists of fruits and vegetables, as they are the most filling for their calories. She tries to limit meat and sweets to small amounts. She still loves bread, and has employed various tricks to help keep her on track, such as when she buys a fresh loaf of French bread, she eats just a bit of it before feeding the rest to the pigeons in the grocery store parking lot. The result of this is that Merkel is literally half the person she used to be. When she started on her plan, the scale said just over 300 pounds. The lowest number she saw on the scale last summer was 148, though she has settled around 160 as she has been adding muscle lately. She has a tremendous amount of energy and does not suffer from any of the aches and pains she used to have in the past. Her current aches are just the ones that come from sparring in karate. Merkel used to be on two medications for diagnosed hypertension. Even on those medications she used to have periods where her heart would beat uncontrollably and she wouldn’t be able to sleep because of it. As her weight dropped, so did her blood pressure and her need to control it with medications. She is off both medications now with no diagnosed hypertension. Her cholesterol has also improved over the course of her loss, falling from the 220s into the 180s.=

Tedy’s Team Led by former New England Patriot player Tedy Bruschi, Tedy’s Team is in its sixth year of leading runners to the finish line of completing a marathon. In furthering the American Stroke Association’s mission of reducing death and disability from stroke, Tedy’s Team strives to increase recognition and awareness of stroke risk factors, warning signs and response once the onset of symptoms are present. Tedy’s Team members receive a full fivemonth training program led by one of the industry’s top trainers (who specializes in training runners of all abilities), weekend group runs (including a training run on the marathon course), training clinics and team meetings and complete team apparel. Tedy’s Team participants will also receive complete fundraising support from experienced staff. Fundraising tips,

ideas, supplies and resources will be at each team member’s disposal at all times to ensure success. Team members raise funds to honor a “Stroke Hero,” someone in their life that has been touched by stroke. While participants may have their own personal stroke hero, Tedy is also stepping forward to serve as an additional stroke hero for each participant. Whether someone runs in support of Tedy, or their own stroke hero, the important thing is that they have joined the fight against stroke and are dedicated to do all they can to help the cause.=

Jessica Pelland, Worcester, MA I was going to become a professional dancer. I danced five to six days per week at a studio near my house in New Jersey. Then, in 1990 when I was 12 years old, I suffered a stroke while vacationing in a remote part of Canada with my family. Immediately after the stroke, I could not talk due to expressive aphasia and I could not walk. The change was instantaneous. We drove three hours to the nearest hospital where an emergency room doctor diagnosed me as drunk. Needless to say my parents wanted a second opinion. The second doctor suggested that my parents had been feeding me psychedelic mushrooms. In all honesty, who would have suspected that a 12-year-old had a stroke? We drove 10 hours to Bangor, Maine where I was given the first of many MRIs which confirmed the fact that I had a stroke. While having more tests, I had a second

stroke. Once I was stable, we drove back to New Jersey where I remained in a hospital near my house for the rest of the summer. Because my two strokes occurred in the left hemisphere of my brain, the right half of my body is spastic. When the permanence of the effects of having a stroke set in, so does the frustration and depression. Depression stems from years of trying to achieve what you knew you once could. The change was sudden — literally overnight. I initially received the Train To End Stroke (TTES) flyer in January 2004, but at that time I was so depressed that I threw away the flyer. I got the next flyer in January 2005, and said to myself, “what if?” I underwent training through the TTES program and completed the Vermont marathon. I have run three marathons with the TTES program and have no intentions of stopping!=


Health Matters: Fight to End Stroke

American Heart Association/American Stroke Association

Photographer Charles Uibel /Stockshop


Exhale • Spring 2011

Exercise Plan,Part2 DAYS 31- 60


e have created a workout plan to get you moving toward a healthier and more powerful you! You can complete this workout plan from your home or while traveling. Adults with chronic conditions should talk with their health care provider to determine whether their conditions limit their ability to do regular physical activity. Make sure that you have clearance from your doctor before starting any exercise program. Begin by planning for 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week. One way to accomplish this is to exercise 3 days per week for 30 minutes per day. We suggest taking on the philosophy “start low and go slow.” Start with low intensity cardio for 30 minutes per day and then slowly increase the intensity and duration as time progresses. This plan begins with light cardio in order to build your endurance, then adds weights into your workouts that will increase lean muscle mass. In the winter issue, we focused on Days 1-30 of the Power Fitness Plan. In this issue, Days 31-60 are featured. It is recommended that in Days 31-60 you add an additional day of exercise and an additional 15 minutes to your workout regimen, totaling 45 minutes per day 4 days per week. For the full 30/60/90 Day (12 weeks) Exercise Plan, visit

At home or while traveling What you will need: 3 sets of free weights (light, medium and heavy) and a jump rope while at home. If you are traveling, you will need a rubber exercise band, jump rope and 5-pound weighted gloves. If you are at a hotel, you can ask the front desk if there is a jogging path nearby or you can walk on a safe, suitable surface around the perimeter of the hotel. Be sure to warm up by walking and performing light stretches for 5-7 minutes before starting these workouts.

Week 5: Adding more weights and revving up the cardio. • Day 1 - Speed walk outside 15 minutes. Lightly jog 20 minutes. Add 100 jump rope rotations, use medium size weights or bands for 10 bicep curls, 10 tricep extensions with weights or bands, 10 shoulder presses with weights or bands and 25 sit-ups (at least 2 sets). • Day 2 - Repeat day 1. • Day 3 - Lightly jog 30 minutes outside. Add 100 jump rope rotations, use medium size weights or bands for 12 bicep curls, 12 tricep extensions with weights or bands, 10 shoulder presses with weights or bands, 10 upright rows with weights or bands and 30 sit-ups (at least 3 sets). • Day 4 - Repeat Day 3.

Week 6: More weights and higher cardio and leg work. • Day 1 - Medium paced jog 25 minutes. Add 25 squats, 25 jump squats, 15 alternating lunges and 2 sets of 20 bicycles for abdominal work (at least 2 sets). • Day 2 - Repeat Day 1. • Day 3 - Medium paced jog 30 minutes. Add 20 weighted squats with medium weights, 20 alternating weighted lunges and 3 sets of bicycles for abdominal work (at least 2 sets). • Day 4 - Repeat Day 3.

Week 7: Cardio and weights together for a healthy upper and lower body. • Day 1 - Medium paced jog 30 minutes. Add 20 weighted squats with medium size weights, 15 shoulder presses with weights or bands, 15 knee pushups, 15 regular pushups and 30 sit-ups (at least 2 sets). • Day 2 - Repeat Day 1. • Day 3 - Medium paced jog 35 minutes. Add 20 alternating lunges, 10 jump squats, 10 bicep curls with weights or bands, 10 tricep dips and 30 cross over oblique sit-ups (at least 2 sets). • Day 4 - Repeat Day 3.

Week 8: Cardio and weights together for a healthy upper and lower body (part 2). • Day 1 - Pick up your speed today. Faster clip jog for 30 minutes. Add 30 alternating lunges, 10 jump squats, 10 bicep curls with weights or bands, 10 tricep dips, 10 upright rows with weights or bands, and 30 cross over oblique sit-ups (at least 2 sets). • Day 2 - Repeat Day 1. • Day 3 - Faster clip jog for 35 minutes. Add 30 squat jumps, 100 jump rope rotations, 30 sit-ups (at least 2 sets). • Day 4 - Repeat Day 3.


617- 533-2288


Exhale • Fall 2010

Healthy Recipes

from American Heart Association Spring Greens with Salmon and Apricot-Ginger Vinaigrette Serves 4; 2 cups salad and 2 tablespoons dressing per serving

This crunchy combination of spring greens, baby spinach, red cabbage and snow peas is powered up with salmon and topped with a sweet apricot-ginger vinaigrette. Apricot-Ginger Vinaigrette ¼ cup all-fruit apricot spread ¼ cup fresh orange juice 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 1 tablespoon sugar 2 teaspoons grated peeled gingerroot ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes ⅛ teaspoon salt Salad 4 cups mixed salad greens (spring mix preferred), torn into bite-size pieces 2 cups baby spinach leaves 1 cup shredded red cabbage 1 cup fresh or frozen snow peas, thawed if frozen, trimmed and halved diagonally 1 7.1-ounce vacuum-sealed pouch pink salmon In a food processor or blender, process the vinaigrette ingredients until smooth. Put the salad ingredients except the salmon on a serving platter. Pour the dressing over the salad. Toss gently. Crumble the salmon on top. Serve immediately for peak flavors and texture. NUTRITION ANALYSIS (per serving) Calories 128 Total Fat 2.0 g Saturated Fat 1.0 g Trans Fat 0.0 g Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g Monounsaturated Fat 0.5 g Cholesterol 18 mg Sodium 366 mg Carbohydrates 17 g Fiber 3g Sugars 12 g Protein 11 g Dietary Exchanges: ½ fruit, 1 vegetable, 1 ½ very lean meat This recipe is brought to you by the American Heart Association’s Face the Fats campaign. Recipe copyright © 2009 by the American Heart Association. Look for other delicious recipes in American Heart Association cookbooks, available from booksellers everywhere, and at


American Heart Association Recipes

Chicken Bowl

These are the reformulated components of an actual KFC bowl. Each bowl gets: mashed potatoes, corn, chicken nuggets, gravy and 1 ounce of finely shredded 75 percent reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese (made with 1 percent milk) Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes (8 half-cup servings)

1½ pounds small Yukon Gold potatoes, halved or cut into 2-inch chunks 6 cloves garlic ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon ground black pepper 1 cup chopped scallion, green and white parts 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Place the potatoes, garlic and salt into a large saucepan and add enough water to cover the potatoes. Place over high heat and boil the potatoes until soft, about 15-20 minutes. Remove the potatoes and garlic from the heat, drain them and return them to the pan. Mash the potatoes and garlic with the tines of a fork, making sure to mash each piece of potato and garlic. Add the pepper, scallions and olive oil and mix well. The potatoes can be made ahead of time and reheated in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. Nutrition Analysis (per serving) Calories Total Fat Saturated Fat Polyunsaturated Fat Monounsaturated Fat Trans Fat Cholesterol Sodium Carbohydrates Fiber Sugars Protein Dietary Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 fat

121 5.0 g 0.5 g 0.5 g 3.5 g 0.0 g 0 mg 155 mg 17 g 2g 1g 2g

Roasted Corn (Makes 8 quarter-cup servings) 1 pound corn kernels, thawed 1 teaspoon sugar Butter flavored cooking spray

Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place the corn on the foil in a single layer. Sprinkle with sugar and spray lightly with cooking spray. Place the pan under the broiler or on the top third rack of the oven. Broil for 10 minutes, until golden brown. Nutrition Analysis (per serving) Calories Total Fat Saturated Fat Polyunsaturated Fat Monounsaturated Fat Trans Fat Cholesterol Sodium Carbohydrates Fiber Sugars Protein Dietary Exchanges: 1 starch


58 0.5 g 0.0 g 0.0 g 0.0 g 0.0 g 0 mg 3 mg 14 g 2g 3g 2g

Exhale • Spring 2011

Chicken Nuggets (8 servings)

1½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast cutlets, cut into nugget-sized squares 2 tablespoons salt-free all-purpose seasoning 2 tablespoons smoked paprika ½ teaspoon ground black pepper ½ teaspoon salt ⅓ cup flour, for dredging (2 tablespoons not used) 4 beaten egg whites, in a large bowl 4 cups panko bread crumbs, for breading (2½ - 3 cups not used) ¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 475°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside. Place the panko bread crumbs, 1 tablespoon allpurpose seasoning and 1 tablespoon smoked paprika in a jumbo-sized food storage bag and set aside. Season the chicken breast pieces with 1 tablespoon all-purpose seasoning, 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, and ground black pepper, making sure to coat each piece well. Dredge the chicken pieces lightly in the flour and shake off any excess. Dip the floured pieces in egg white, then add them to the bag of seasoned bread crumbs. Seal the bag and shake vigorously to make sure that the nuggets remain separated. Place the nuggets on the foil-lined baking sheet. Spray them generously with cooking spray. Turn them over and spray them again. Bake the nuggets for 5 minutes, turn them over, spray them again, and bake for 5 more minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with salt. Nutrition Analysis (per serving) Calories 156 Total Fat 1.5 g Saturated Fat 0.5 g Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g Monounsaturated Fat 0.5 g Trans Fat 0.0 g Cholesterol 49 mg Sodium 173 mg Carbohydrates 11 g Fiber 1g Sugars 0g Protein 23 g Dietary Exchanges: 3 very lean meat, 1 starch

Herbed Brown Gravy (8 servings) 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 cup chopped onions ½ cup chopped carrots ½ cup chopped celery 3 cloves garlic, crushed 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1 teaspoon dried oregano ½ teaspoon dried sage ½ teaspoon ground black pepper ¼ teaspoon salt

2 tablespooons flour 1 quart low-sodium chicken stock 1 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet 1 bay leaf In a large saucepan over medium high heat, heat the olive oil and sauté the onions, carrots and celery until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic, herbs, salt and pepper and stir well. Stir the flour into the vegetables and stir to coat them. Whisk in the chicken stock, making sure to keep lumps from forming. Add the bay leaf and the Kitchen Bouquet and reduce the heat to medium low. Let the gravy simmer for 10-15 minutes, until thickened. Strain through a fine-meshed strainer and discard vegetables. Nutrition Analysis (per serving) Calories Total Fat Saturated Fat Polyunsaturated Fat Monounsaturated Fat Trans Fat Cholesterol Sodium Carbohydrates Fiber Sugars Protein Dietary Exchanges: 1 fat

47 3.5 g 0.5 g 0.5 g 2.5 g 0.0 g 0 mg 104 mg 3g 0g 0g 1g


Nutrition Analysis (per serving) Calories 412 Total Fat 11.5 g Saturated Fat 2.5 g Polyunsaturated Fat 1.5 g Monounsaturated Fat 7.0 g Trans Fat 0.0 g Cholesterol 54 mg Sodium 536 mg Carbohydrates 46 g Fiber 5g Sugars 4g Protein 33 g Dietary Exchanges: 3 ½ very lean meat, 3 starch, 1 fat

This recipe is brought to you by the American Heart Association’s Face The Fats program. Recipe copyright © 2007 by the American Heart Association. Look for other delicious recipes in American Heart Association cookbooks, available from booksellers everywhere.


American Heart Association Recipes

Fresh Veggie and Canadian Bacon Pizza with Homemade Crust

Nutrition Analysis (per serving) Calories Total Fat Saturated Fat Polyunsaturated Fat Monounsaturated Fat Trans Fat Cholesterol Sodium Carbohydrates Sugar Fiber Protein Dietary Exchanges: 3½ starch, 1 lean meat

333 7.0 g 3.5 g 0.5 g 2.5 g 0.0 g 21 mg 402 mg 51 g 2g 2g 15 g

Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown Serves 8; 2 slices per serving Crust 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus ½ cup set aside 1 envelope instant yeast 1 teaspoon sugar ½ teaspoon salt 1¼ cups tepid water 1 tablespoon olive oil Cornmeal for dusting the peel

Toppings 2 cups part-skim mozzarella or other reduced-fat cheese 2 medium tomatoes, sliced


Exhale • Spring 2011

2 ounces Canadian bacon, diced 2 cups sliced or chopped fresh vegetables, such as mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli, asparagus or onions, or a combination 4 teaspoons thinly sliced or finely chopped fresh herbs, such as basil or oregano, or a combination If using a standing mixer, in the bowl whisk together the 4 cups of flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Pour in the water. Attach the dough hook. With the mixer on low, beat until the dough forms a ball, stopping the mixer and pushing down the dough with your hands as needed so it combines well. If the dough is sticky, add some of the remaining ½ cup flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, and beat

for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. If mixing by hand, in a large bowl stir together the 4 cups of flour, yeast, sugar and salt using a large wooden spoon. With your hands, blend the dough into a ball. If the dough is sticky, add some of the remaining ½ cup flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, working it in for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and does not stick to the side of the bowl. For either method, set the dough aside to rest for 15 minutes. To knead the dough with the mixer, beat on mediumlow until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Push the dough away from you with the heels of your hands. Fold the dough back over onto itself. Continue to knead the dough for about 30 seconds, or until the dough is smooth and elastic, then work the dough into a ball. To knead by hand, turn the dough out as directed above and knead for 8 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Work the dough into a ball. Lightly coat a large, clean bowl with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Put the dough in the bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside in a warm place (about 85ºF) until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour. Fold down the dough, patting it into a disk, and place it back in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The next day, remove the dough and cut into two equal portions. Shape each into a ball. If you plan to use the dough that day, leave it on the counter, covered with a clean kitchen towel, for 1 hour to let it relax so shaping is easier. If you plan to use the dough another day, wrap it well in plastic wrap or put in an airtight plastic bag, and refrigerate for up to 1 week. For longer storage, freeze the dough, then when you’re ready to use it, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator. To prepare the dough, put it on a large, lightly floured surface, such as a counter, and press each piece of the dough into a flat disk. Work one disk in your hands, rotating it around and around while pulling it out gently until it is 12 inches in diameter. Repeat with the second disk. If available, set one or two pizza stones on the oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 500ºF. Dust the peel with cornmeal and place the dough on top. Brush each pizza with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Sprinkle with the cheese. Top, in order, with the tomato slices, Canadian bacon, vegetables and herbs. Slide the pizza off the peel and onto the pizza stone in the oven. If you do not have a pizza stone, turn two sheet pans (at least 12x18 inches) over and sprinkle lightly with cornmeal. Assemble as directed above. (If you have only one sheet pan, assemble only one pizza at this point.) Bake the pizzas for 8 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and the crusts are golden brown. Let the pizzas rest for 3 minutes before cutting each into 8 slices. Serve 2 slices to each person.


Recipes: In the Hands of a Chef

Braised and grilled Marsala chicken thighs with red quinoa and beets Makes 4 main course servings To serve, put a spoonful of beet puree in the center front of a warm dinner plate. Using the flat side of a tablespoon, smear the puree into a curved teardrop shape. Put a spoonful of warm quinoa to the top right. Arrange the chicken thigh in the center, sprinkle the beet quarters and orange supremes around and finish with a spoonful of sauce.

In the Hands of a Chef Cooking with Jody Adams of Rialto Restaurant

Jody Adams is a James Beard award-winning chef with a national reputation for her imaginative use of New England ingredients in regional Italian cuisine. Rialto, her four-star restaurant in Cambridge, has been named “One of the top 20 new restaurants in the country” by Esquire magazine and “One of the world’s best hotel restaurants” by Gourmet. Beginning her culinary career as a line cook at Seasons restaurant, she went on to open Hamersley’s Bistro as souschef and then served as executive chef at Michela’s in Cambridge, where Food & Wine listed her as “one of America’s ten best new chefs.” Soon thereafter, Adams opened Rialto in Harvard Square, collecting many honors as a result, including being inducted into the National Restaurant Hospitality Hall of Fame. Adams has been featured in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Bon Appetit, among many others. She was a recent contestant on the second season of Top Chef Masters, BRAVO TV’s popular culinary competition, where she prevailed through cooking challenges like offsite wedding wars, preparing a meal for Lisa Simpson and feeding the cast and crew of the television show “Modern Family,” before finally meeting her nemesis in the form of a frozen goat leg. She has a strong commitment to hunger relief and is known for her loyal support of The Greater Boston Food Bank, Share Our Strength and Partners in Health. In October 2010, Share Our Strength presented Jody with the Humanitarian of the Year award.


Exhale • Spring 2011

Braised and grilled Marsala chicken thighs 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 8 bone-in chicken thighs Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 cup onion, chopped into ½-inch dice ½ cup carrot, chopped into ½-inch dice ½ cup celery, chopped into ½-inch dice 3 garlic cloves, chopped 1 teaspoon fennel seeds 2 bay leaves Zest of 1 lemon 1 tablespoon tomato paste 1 cup Marsala 1½ cups chicken stock 1 cup rinsed pitted Sicilian olives ¼ cup rinsed capers 2 tablespoons chopped parsley for garnish Heat the vegetable oil in large deep-sided saucepan over medium heat. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Add the chicken thighs to the pan, skin side down, and sear for 5 to 7 minutes. Your aim is to get a good sear on the outside of the thighs, not cook them through. Turn the thighs over and sear the other side for 2 minutes. Remove the seared chicken from the pan and reserve on a plate. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons fat. Add the onions, carrot and celery, season with salt and pepper and cook 8 minutes, or until tender. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add the fennel seeds, bay leaves, lemon zest and tomato paste and cook 3 minutes. Add the Marsala and reduce by half. Return the chicken thighs to the pan, skin side up. Add the stock to come ⅓ of the way up the chicken. Cover with a piece of parchment. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and simmer

(Photos courtesy of Jody Adams and Rialto Restaurant)

and cook 40 minutes or until the thighs are done. They should easily slip off when pierced with a knife. Transfer the thighs to a storage container. If the juices in the pan seem too thin, continue to cook until they have thickened. Strain the vegetables out of the juices, or keep them in if you like a rustic sauce. Pour the juices over the thighs. Cool in the juices. Cover and refrigerate. To serve, preheat a grill to medium. Remove the thighs from the juices and pat dry. Reheat the juices in a small saucepan. Grill the thighs, skin side down until nicely charred and heated through. Simple Quinoa with kale 1 cup quinoa 1 tablespoon vegetable oil ½ cup minced onion ½ tablespoon minced ginger Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1½ cups chicken stock ½ cup blanched kale Pour 2 cups water over the quinoa and soak 15 minutes. Drain, rinse and proceed with the recipe. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and ginger and cook 4 minutes. Add the quinoa, season with salt and pepper and add the chicken stock. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer 12-15 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before using. Stir in ½ cup julienned blanched kale.

Orange Beets Served warm, these beets make a simple side dish, but they can just as well be the jumping off point for a cold beet salad or a startling addition to risotto. 2 oranges, washed and quartered 1 small onion, chopped into ½-inch dice 1 teaspoon coriander seeds 4 bay leaves 6 medium beets, washed and greens trimmed to an inch Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil Supremes of 1 blood orange

Squeeze the orange quarters to release their juice into a large non-reactive saucepan that will hold the beets in a single layer. Add the rinds and all the remaining ingredients, seasoning with salt and pepper. Add enough water to cover the beets by an inch. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce and heat to a simmer and continue cooking until the beets are tender. Depending on the size of the beets, they’ll take from 45 minutes to an hour to cook. Allow the beets to cool slightly in the cooking liquid. As soon as the beets are cool enough to handle, remove skins and stems. Cut into quarters. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the beets, toss well and heat.

Just before serving, toss in orange supremes. Beet Puree ½ pound beets, scrubbed 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 teaspoons minced shallots 2 tablespoons ricotta 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan ½ teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 4 beautiful basil leaves for garnish, or a few pinches of micro basil

Toss the beets with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in a small roasting pan for an hour or so or until tender all the way through. Allow to cool and then peel. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Let cool. Puree the beets in a food processor. Add the ricotta and mix well. Transfer the beet mixture to a bowl and add the shallots, basil, lemon juice and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. (This recipe was created for the American Heart Association Go Red Luncheon)

Recipes: In the Hands of a Chef

Roasted asparagus, celery and scallions

Radicchio, arugula salad with baby artichokes, dates, almonds and quince vinaigrette Makes 4 servings Per salad: 1 cup finely sliced radicchio 4 cups arugula 2 tablespoons sliced celery — stalks peeled and sliced paper thin Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 recipe quince vinaigrette 3 Medjoul dates pitted and cut into quarters 20 toasted Marcona almonds 3 braised artichokes, cut into quarters 1 ounce Parmesan cheese shaved with a vegetable peeler To serve, combine the radicchio, arugula and celery in a large bowl. Add the vinaigrette, season with salt and pepper and toss well. Garnish the plate with the remaining ingredients. Mound the salad in the center of 4 plates. Quince vinaigrette 1 teaspoon minced shallot 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 3 tablespoons quince balsamic vinegar ½ cup extra virgin olive oil Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper In a small bowl whisk the shallot, mustard and quince balsamic vinegar together to form an emulsion. Continue whisking while adding the olive oil in a thin, steady stream until it is completely absorbed and the vinaigrette is smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Braised baby artichokes with anchovies, capers and lemon zest

2 pounds baby artichokes (about 24) or 4 larger


Exhale • Spring 2011

artichokes that weigh about 2 pounds 2 lemons, cut in half, for trimming the artichokes ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil 1 small onion, chopped into ½-inch dice 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped ½ cup dry white wine 4 anchovy fillets, rinsed and finely chopped (optional) 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed (optional) 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice ½ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes 3 bay leaves 1 teaspoon dried oregano Kosher salt Trim the baby artichokes, rubbing the cut surfaces with lemon. Place each artichoke in acidulated water as you finish trimming it. If using larger artichokes, first trim them, then cut them into quarters lengthwise and remove the chokes. Heat the oil and the onions in a large non-reactive pan over medium heat. Sauté the onions until transparent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until it releases its perfume, another minute or so. Drain the trimmed artichokes and add them with the remaining ingredients to the pan. Add enough water to just cover the artichokes, about 1 cup. Cover with a lid and simmer until the artichokes are tender when pierced with a knife. Check after 20 minutes. Larger artichokes may take 30 to 40 minutes. Drizzle with braising juices before serving.

1 pound asparagus ½ pound celery stalks ½ pound scallions 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice Preheat oven to 400°F If the asparagus are fat, snap off the fibrous portion off the root end of the stems. Peel the lower half of the stem. If the asparagus are pencil thin, simply snap the ends. Peel the celery and cut into lengths, ½-inch by 4 inches. Trim the roots off the scallions and the ratty top of the green. Cut into 4-inch lengths. Toss the vegetables with 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange on sheet pans in a single layer. Roast until golden brown and tender, 8-10 minutes. The vegetables will cook at different rates. The scallions will be done before the asparagus and celery, at about 5 minutes. Remove them to a platter while the other vegetables continue to roast. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil just before serving.

Pistachio-celery pesto Makes 1 heaping cup 2 cups lightly packed coarsely chopped basil leaves 2 tablespoons chopped celery leaves ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons garlic grated with a fine microplane ¼ cup coarsely chopped pistachios, toasted Zest of ½ lemon ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 2 tablespoons celery, stalks peeled and chopped into ⅛ inch dice Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper Put the basil and celery leaves in a food processor. With the motor running, add the oil in a thin steady stream and process until the leaves are finely chopped, about 1 minute. Add the garlic, pistachios and lemon zest and process for another 20 seconds or until the nuts are finely chopped, but not a paste. If you process too long, the machine will heat up the pesto, cook the basil and cause it to discolor. Transfer the pesto to a bowl. Stir in the cheese and celery. Taste and adjust seasoning.

SAVE THE DATE ExhalE lifEstylE MagazinE brings you

OCTOBER 14, 2011 THE EPICENTER, SOUTH BOSTON Join Us as BosTon’s ToP CHEFs sHoW Us HoW To CELEBRaTE HEaLTHY CooKinG, sUPPoRT LoCaL sUPPLiERs anD EnJoY FaBULoUs FooD EvEnt PartnEr: thE amErican hEart association For SponSorShip opportunitieS contact nancy WisE at For event detailS and updateS viSit our webSite folloW us on tWittEr


2 3


By Rachel Banks


any know Donna Karan for her DKNY and Donna Karan fashion brands. But few are familiar with the story of Karan’s Urban Zen Foundation, a nonprofit organization that raises awareness of alternative therapies in the fight against cancer. A native of Queens, N.Y., Donna Faske was born in 1948. Surrounded by fashion influences throughout her childhood, Karan would go on to develop practical and stylish staples for women of all body types. But in 1996, Karan was faced with a completely different challenge — her husband’s battle with lung cancer. That year, Stephan Weiss was diagnosed with the devastating illness. Karan stood by his side through the ordeal and often encouraged her husband to practice yoga, which eased his breathing difficulties and brought him spiritual comfort. Like many loved ones of cancer patients, Karan experienced the cold hospital environment and the harsh clinical diagnoses of medical professionals. After her husband’s death in 2006, Karan recognized the need for therapies that addressed the mind, body and emotions of the patient rather than focusing solely on the sufferer’s disease. She launched the Urban Zen Foundation in 2008. With roots in New York’s West Village, the Urban Zen Foundation offers free yoga classes through The Urban Zen Center and sells the Urban Zen clothing line at the nearby boutique. 32

Exhale • Spring 2011

1. Donna Karan with Colleen Saidman Yee (Co-Director of Urban Zen Integrative Therapists Program) and Shana KuhnSiegel (UZIT Coordinator) in the Urban Zen Sanctuary at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City, April 2009 2. Donna Karan 3. The Urban Zen Nutrition Forum at Urban Zen, April 2009 4. Urban Zen NYC store (Photos courtesy of Urban Zen Foundation)

The Urban Zen Foundation raises awareness for improving health care through alternative medicine by holding events in major cities worldwide. Most notably, the Urban Zen Foundation teamed up with celebrity activist Wyclef Jean and international relief organization ShelterBox to fund relief efforts in Haiti. The foundation is part of a national movement to implement holistic practices such as yoga, meditation and acupuncture along with mainstream medical treatment in hospitals. Recent studies show that the number of Americans who have tried alternative therapies for their illnesses has doubled since 1990 and those numbers are on the rise. Karan is playing a significant role. With an $850,000 donation to Beth Israel Medical Center in 2009, the Urban Zen Foundation instituted yoga therapy in the center’s cancer wing. With the Urban Zen Foundation, Karan applies her devotion to dressing people to a mission of healing various communities. Faced with criticism from medical professionals who question the need for alternative therapies, Karan forges ahead with her vision. In her interview with Exhale Magazine, she explains the motivation for her lifelong work in fashion and her growing passion for injecting more humanity into the American medical system.

q: a: I feel, more than ever before, that doctors are truly aware of

After the Urban Zen Initiative with Beth Israel, how do you now respond to critics and skeptics of yoga therapy? a holistic approach to patient care, not only in the hospital but in the patient’s treatment. I’ve gotten calls from many different hospitals asking how they can bring the new modalities into their programs.


Based on your husband’s experience, what did you learn about the American health care system? Is this experience what led you to the creation of Urban Zen or was it a culmination of your lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle?



My husband, Stephan Weiss, was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1996. His doctors were brilliant at treating the disease, but I found that no one was really treating the patient. I was lost, I didn’t know what to do, so I turned to my lifelong practice of yoga and meditation and I urged Stephan to explore these modalities as well, in addition to his traditional care. The yoga very quickly became an integral part of his well-being and helped to open up his lungs, ease his breathing and keep him calm. This experience really made it clear to me that it is not a question of either traditional or alternative medical practices, but rather that the best care comes from a combination of the two. And out of this experience, my commitment to holistic care, and Urban Zen, was born.


Do you have plans to work with other hospitals or medical professionals to expand yoga therapy to other treatment centers?

On the Urban Zen website, you are quoted as saying, “I have spent decades dressing people. Now I want to address people.” What do you mean by that? The Urban Zen Foundation is a nonprofit organization that creates, connects and collaborates to raise awareness and inspire change in the areas of well-being, preserving cultures and empowering children. Through Urban Zen, I am able to address people. Urban Zen is about starting a community of dialogue. The Urban Zen Center in New York City is a sanctuary where like-minded people can come together and truly create change. Next door to the center is the Urban Zen retail store where we sell the Urban Zen clothing and furniture collections in addition to artifacts from around the world. When you shop at Urban Zen, you aren’t just shopping for yourself — you are shopping for change. Ten percent of net sales from the store benefit the foundation.


It seems that the Urban Zen collection represents an eclectic way of living that melds diversity together into one. How did you choose the artisans and cultures represented in the collection?

a: I am inspired by the artisan hand and I love combing pieces

from different cultures to create a harmonious setting. Through travel, I meet, interact and learn from the artisans. From teak wood tables from Bali to handcrafted flatware from Africa, I have always been drawn to something that is handmade. It has a soul behind it. Someone has put his or her own heart into it. I love to support the artisans from around the world and I fill the Urban Zen stores with their works.

q: a:

Right now we’re located in New York City, but I think this is a model that can be duplicated. My dream, my passion, is to see Urban Zen centers in every city around the world. We have just partnered with Kent State University to work together on a program focused on nursing wellness and self-care. The “Care for the Caregiver” effort attempts to help nurses take care of themselves and advance quality care for patients. As Kent State has one of the largest nursing schools in the country, we hope to have an impact on the students and influence their perceptions about alternative therapies. It is important for nurses to understand all health care modalities that their patients may be using, and we hope to educate them by teaching these wellness practices.

q: Is the Zen collection available in Boston? a:The collection is available in New York City as well as Sag

Harbor during the summer months.

q: a: Urban Zen hasn’t changed my life — it is my life. Every

How has your life changed running the Urban Zen organization? morning, I practice yoga and meditation and this centers me for the rest of the day. The mat is where I find my serenity and my calm. Bridgit Brown contributed to this article.




Ask Patti Moreno about anything related to ‘urban farming’ and she has an answer — and a message.

By Caitlin Yoshiko Kandil

(Photos courtesy of Patti Moreno)


Exhale • Spring 2011


esto is one of Patti Moreno’s favorite warm-weather snacks — on pasta, on bread, on pizza, as a vegetable dip. She laughs, recalling her family’s jokes about how much pesto she eats. But this is no ordinary pesto — it’s homemade and the basil leaves are homegrown in Moreno’s backyard garden in Roxbury. But Moreno is not the ordinary urban farmer. Her backyard doubles as the video set for “Garden Girl TV,” an Internet portal for do-it-yourself gardening, cooking and crafting video clips. Through the Garden Girl brand, which in the past five years has grown into a multi-media powerhouse, Moreno works as a “garden communicator,” educating the masses on the how’s and why’s of urban gardening.

Moreno started gardening 13 years ago, after the birth of her daughter Alejandra. The petite, 5-foot-tall woman had gained 70 pounds during her pregnancy, and was searching for a way to get outside and work off the extra pounds. “At first I was horrible,” she says of her first attempt at gardening. But after practicing, learning and experimenting, she improved, and soon, she was hooked. Moreno’s first apple tree was the real catch. “I tasted the apple and the apple was so delicious,” she said. “Anything home grown tastes so much better.” After the apple tree, Moreno started growing everything — tomatoes, cucumbers, pears, basil, corn, blueberries, squash and potatoes — and even started raising rabbits, chickens and goats for meat, eggs and milk.

Moreno grew up in a Puerto Rican family in New York City and moved to Massachusetts to attend Boston University (BU). Although she was exposed to cooking and gardening at a young age — her family in the United States cooked Spanish food and relatives in Puerto Rico grew lots of fruits and vegetables — it took many years for food to become a passion of her own. After graduating from BU in 1994 with a degree in film and broadcasting, Moreno became a media producer with her husband, Robert Patton-Spruill. In 1999 the pair formed their own Boston-based company, FilmShack, producing independent films like “Turntable,” “Public Enemy: Welcome to the Terrordome,” and most recently, “Do It Again,” which was released last year. ^p36


: Garden Girl

Patti Moreno, also known as Garden Girl, works in her gardens in Roxbury. (Photos courtesy of Patti Moreno)


hen Moreno started gardening, her two passions converged. Friends encouraged PattonSpruill to film what his wife was doing in their backyard in Roxbury, and soon, “Garden Girl TV” was born. At the time, online video was still in its infancy — but Moreno and Patton-Spruill knew they were ahead of the curve. Their first video, eight minutes long, had 40,000 online viewers. Now, “Garden Girl TV” features more than 200 short Internet video clips on vegetable gardening, cooking, sustainable living and arts and crafts, and gets hundreds of thousands of viewers. The videos are all simple how-to’s for an urban environment. “How to build a raised bed” is one. “How to fight off garden pests with non-toxic substances” is another. “How to make compost” is yet another. For those who want to learn how to preserve pears, she has a video on that as well. And one on how to shear a goat. But unlike many other domestic how-to shows, Moreno thinks hers is completely realistic. “A lot of time you see someone like Martha Stewart get people inspired,” she says. But behind the scenes, Moreno says, Stewart has a huge staff helping with the projects, and as a result, “it’s not realistic for one


Exhale • Spring 2011

individual or family to recreate that.” “I think a lot of times that Martha Stewart style of things doesn’t necessarily motivate or inspire you,” she continues. “They just show you how horrible you are as a homemaker.” Moreno instead only films projects she can undertake alone. So in the “How to Build a Raised Bed” video, Moreno uses four planks of 2”x10”x4’ wood — materials she can lift herself. She drills the boards together with a standard power drill, carries the 4’x4’ square wooden frame to her backyard, attaches wire mesh to the bottom, places it on some gravel, and it’s ready to be filled with soil and seeds. Easy, simple. “I’m five-foot-nothing,” she says. “If I can do it, anybody can do it, you have no excuse.” In another video, Moreno teaches her viewers how to store fresh herbs. She snips some parsley and basil from her backyard garden, puts the leaves into an ice cube tray, pours hot water over them and places the tray in the freezer. After the herb ice cubes have frozen, she pops them out of the tray, puts them into a plastic bag, and stores them in the freezer. The herbs can be defrosted and added to any recipe – and will taste fresh. On top of being easy, Moreno’s projects are affordable — materials for her raised bed cost only $40, and the herb preserving technique uses regular household supplies.

And most important, each of the do-it-yourself videos is “urban appropriate” — specifically in New England. Raised beds are the perfect solution for small urban backyards that have poor soil — or none at all — and storing fresh herbs is critical for cooking good food into the long winter months. Moreover, none of Moreno’s projects require a lot of space. They’re all possible on an average-sized urban backyard like hers, about 500 square feet. But urban gardening is not just a hobby or, now, a profession for Moreno — it’s a way of life that is becoming increasingly critical for city dwellers to adopt. “In urban America we use the most resources and have to get everything shipped in, from our electricity to our food, even people come into the city to work — everything is brought into the city,” she explains. With the majority of the world’s population now living in cities, this reliance on imports is quickly becoming unsustainable. “So if anybody needs to be sustainable, it’s the urban landscape,” she says. And Moreno’s backyard is a model of urban sustainability. As she explains in her videos, during the fall, she composts leaves and grass clippings in her raised beds, and in the winter, rotates her animal cages on top to add fertilizer to the soil. By spring, they’re ready for planting. Her family’s daily food intake comes largely from the produce they harvest, and their kitchen scraps go back into compost. The design of her raised beds also ensures that she doesn’t waste water, and by planting mostly local crops, she can rely primarily on natural rainfall. By harnessing these natural cycles, Moreno relies less on outside resources — gasoline, electricity and

water — than most city dwellers, a step toward closing the gap in environmental sustainability. In addition to sustainability, gardening also promotes healthy eating — which is sorely needed in this age of soaring obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure rates. “I think as women, we’re responsible for our family’s nutrition ... to be that gatekeeper,” she says. “I think as women we really need to take a little bit more control over what we’re putting in our

lifestyles. But “you don’t have to move to the country and wear overalls,” she jokes. “You can still live in the city and do it.” “And I think there’s also a stigma attached to gardening and growing and farming,” she continues. “The stigma falls under the fact that, ‘oh, if I grow my own food, it means I’m poor,’ especially in the African American community or communities of color — there’s that slavery stigma.”

“I think as women, we’re responsible for our family’s nutrition ... to be that gatekeeper. I think as women we really need to take a little bit more control over what we’re putting in our grocery carts, what we’re cooking up on a daily basis, [and] what’s in the refrigerator.” grocery carts, what we’re cooking up on a daily basis, [and] what’s in the refrigerator.” But “greening” the city isn’t always easy. “We don’t produce a lot of stuff for ourselves, so there’s that disconnect,” she explains. “People don’t have that exposure to what it takes to grow an eggplant or raise a chicken or have rabbits.” Because of this, many think of gardening as too time-consuming or at odds with their hectic

At the same time, Moreno sees plenty of people in the urban community turning in the right direction — for as many people who “don’t get it,” she says, there are the same number who do. As a “garden communicator,” Moreno just hopes she can inspire “people to connect with nature.” Since the first Garden Girl videos went online in 2006, the brand has expanded dramatically. Moreno now has a magazine, Urban Sustainable Living, which Advertisement

features topics and voices from outside New England. She also produced the 2-disc DVD set “Urban Sustainable Living with Patti Moreno, the Garden Girl,” and another DVD, “Square Foot Gardening,” with Mel Bartholomew, the inventor of square foot gardening, a method of compact growing. Last year, she filmed 16 gardening videos for Home and Garden TV (HGTV) that are ready for release this spring. She also co-hosted the public television show, “Growing a Greener World,” which aired last winter. This year, Moreno is sorting out the details for the release of a book and her own public television show in 2012. With her ever-expanding repertoire of gardening media, the sky seems the limit for Moreno. Her next challenge, she says, is to “keep up with new technology, be on the forefront of that technology.” But she is sure to remind women that it wasn’t all easy. “There’s no such thing as an over-night startup,” she says. Her company took a lot of hard work, starting small and expanding gradually. “Just get started,” she advises, “don’t wait.” And her advice for gardening is the same. After hundreds of hours of online gardening tutorials, her message remains simple — “you gotta just start ... the only way you’re going to learn is start and practice.”=


Local students participate in YWCA’s 2010 Stand Against Racism. (Photos courtesy of YWCA Boston)

President and CEO of YWCA Boston Sylvia Ferrell-Jones cheers on YWCA’s 2010 Stand Against Racism participants.


Exhale • Spring 2011


n a recent Saturday morning at the Boston Public Library’s Egleston branch, a dozen women and men are gathered in the community room for the second week of a five-week interracial dialogue hosted by YWCA Boston. Today’s session includes an exercise called the “Opportunity Walk.” The group starts out lined up sideby-side in the center of the room. They step forward or backward in response to questions about opportunities and advantages in their early lives. Workshop facilitators Carolina Gonzalez and Kim Clark read out the questions. “Have you ever inherited money or property? Take a step forward.” “Did at least one of your parents not complete high school? Take a step back.” By the end of the exercise, it’s dramatically clear who is ahead, with the lion’s share of opportunity, and who’s left behind. In this group, all three white participants, male and female, end up in front. Black and Hispanic women are dispersed throughout, the ones who arrived from other countries as adults a bit further forward. The black men are the farthest back; one is almost pressed against the wall. Those in front turn around to face the others and the dialogue continues across the gap that has emerged. “It gave us a nice physical image of what racism is,” says participant Lokita Jackson afterward. “I’ve been looking for something like this,” she says of the program, called YWCA Boston’s Community Dialogues on Boston’s Ethnic and Racial Diversity. She’s found the discussion so far “very healthy” and believes its impact

will extend beyond this room, especially with the action plans each participant will create at the end. Jackson, who is African American, heard about the Dialogues from a friend who wrote part of the program’s curriculum. “I did not know the YWCA had the eliminating racism mission,” she adds. She is not alone. The YWCA’s work is unknown to many, says Sylvia Ferrell-Jones, president and CEO of YWCA Boston. The Boston branch, in operation since 1866, was the first official YWCA and is now one of nearly 300 branches of the national organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. Ferrell-Jones, who has led YWCA Boston since 2007, sat down with Exhale recently in her South End office to talk about her agency’s history, mission and current activities. “We are often thought of as a women’s organization — which we are — but we’re also a racial justice organization, and have been for almost our entire history,” FerrellJones says. “Our foremothers back in the 1800s realized there were all kinds of women, and they all needed help.”

World War II internment camps. African American civil rights activist Dorothy Height rose to the YWCA’s national board in 1946, well before the civil rights era, Ferrell-Jones notes. And the first restaurant in the South to serve blacks and whites together was in a YWCA.

Ferrell-Jones is proud of YWCA Boston’s anti-racism programs such as Community Dialogues. She voices particular enthusiasm for the annual citywide Stand Against Racism held on the last weekend of April, where groups literally stand in public places holding signs to bring attention to racism. More than 40 organizations and 2,500 people participated in the Boston area last April 28. She flashes a broad smile as she tries to tick off on her fingers a tally of events that day, and recalls how she “zipped all over the city” to participate at different locations. These are current programs, but the YWCA’s focus on racial justice began very early on, Ferrell-Jones says. The national organization took a stand against lynching early in the twentieth century, and extended its services to Japanese American women in

The organization also continues to work for women, its original reason for being. Early on, YWCA Boston provided safe housing for young women coming to the city for work, and childcare for working mothers. The YWCA offered Boston women a gymnasium in 1884, “at a time when it was thought unhealthy for ladies to perspire,” Ferrell-Jones says. Job training evolved from sewing machine and secretarial skills to non-traditional training such as construction trades in the 1970s. Today, 145 years after its founding, YWCA Boston has shifted its women’s services away from housing, childcare and gym facilities — the pool and gym went away with the renovation of the building in 2005 — to health and wellness and financial literacy. And those programs incorporate

A Boston Police officer gets to know some young community members at a YWCA “peace zone” party.

issues of race as well. In partnership with Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, YWCA Boston provides breast health services from a mobile mammography van at health centers and shelters around Boston, targeting minority and immigrant populations. While the good news is increasing numbers of women of color are being screened today, Ferrell-Jones notes, mortality rates are still higher in these groups. The organization’s “Woman-toWoman Breast Health Phone-A-Thons” bring volunteers together to place calls to local women to ask about their health care and remind them about routine health screenings. And “Spirit-Wise Sisters” is its support group for African American survivors of breast cancer. “YWCA Boston works to reduce racebased health disparities with education and outreach programs for women negatively affected by disparate health outcomes,” Ferrell-Jones explains.

Local students participate in YWCA’s 2010 Stand Against Racism.

The YWCA also runs programs for girls on topics from physical and mental health to relationships. “We’re trying to instill healthy behaviors in the youngest end of womanhood,” says Ferrell-Jones, “so as they grow up and raise families they’ll have a good understanding of healthy eating and healthy relationships.” The women’s health and wellness programs reach 3,000 women per year. The girls health programs, conducted in community agencies and after-school programs around the city, serve more than 400 girls.^p40


Feature: Eliminating Racism, Empowering Women



Since 1971 Crispus Attucks Children’s Center (CACC) has been a proven leader in early childhood education. CACC uses a comprehensive curriculum that prepares children for academic and life success.

n the area of economic empowerment, YWCA Boston offers free financial literacy workshops to young women living or working in Greater Boston, covering credit card debt, savings and retirement planning. One of YWCA Boston’s big annual events, the Academy of Women Achievers Luncheon, is coming up on June 15, 2011. The luncheon will feature Anita Hill as keynote speaker and will honor a host of local women leaders. The event doubles as the organization’s most important fundraiser of the year. Ferrell-Jones, whose background includes a law degree, 20 years in real estate investment management and five years as director of agency development for Big Brothers Big Sisters before joining the YWCA, has been lauded for bringing greater financial stability to YWCA Boston. But as with most nonprofits, and

particularly with the dismal economy of the past several years, fundraising is a relentless need. “Without question,” she says, “the biggest challenge facing YWCA Boston is attracting the financial resources we need to meet the growing demand for our programs.” And “growing” is the key word here. The road might be easier if the organization could stay still, concedes Ferrell-Jones. “But I’m not interested in easier — I’m interested in justice,” she says. “I’m interested in helping as many people as possible. And to do that we have to grow. I don’t believe in stasis.” She continues: “Our full mission statement says YWCA Boston is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. So that’s what we’re aiming for.” She pauses. “Who couldn’t support that?”=

CACC’s offerings: • Convenient - Ten minutes from Downtown Boston, South End, Jamaica Plain, Roslindale and West Roxbury • Emphasis on early literacy skills • Nurturing environment • Strong age based academic curriculum • Indoor gym • Nutritious breakfast, lunches and snacks provided • Boston’s first natural playground with fitness course and agility track • Modern buildings with state of the art classrooms • Computers in Pre-school classrooms

For Information & Tours 105 Crawford Street, Dorchester, MA 02121 Ph (617) 445-1420 Licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care

Participants rally in front of Arlington Town Hall as part of YWCA’s 2010 Stand Against Racism. (Photo courtesy of YWCA Boston)

YWCA or YMCA? What is the YWCA?

This question often causes furrowed brows, as people try to distinguish it from the better-known — but unrelated — YMCA. “People do confuse the two. Some people think we’re one organization,” says Ferrell-Jones. The national YWCA went through a rebranding effort in 2004, unveiling a bold and simple logo that spells out the organization’s dual mission: “eliminating racism, empowering women.” But confusion between the two “ Y” organizations continues. When the YMCA officially renamed itself “the Y” last year, the YWCA released a statement to clarify its separate identity. “Since its inception,” the statement reads, “the YWCA core focus is the empowerment of women and girls, as well as racial justice ... Unlike the YWCA, the YMCA’s core focus is on youth development, health and fitness and social responsibility. YMCA is not as strongly connected to the civil rights and women’s issues as the YWCA.”


** Feature

Tragedy inspires action and fuels hope for widows’ future

By Brian Wright O’Connor


usan Retik-Ger’s sun-splashed study shows the usual evidence of a busy life — papers and notes scattered across the desk, books and notebooks open and her laptop blinking with incoming email messages. But the Needham, Mass., mother of four has something unusual in the corner of the book-lined room: A battered cardboard box of soccer balls with flying doves the color of the Afghan flag imprinted on the synthetic leather surface. The soccer balls, hand-stitched by Afghani widows left destitute by the deaths of their husbands, offer a glimmer of hope to those who, like Retik-Ger herself, have suffered both loss and longing as a result of war. In Retik-Ger’s case, the loss came with the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Her husband, David Retik, flying from Boston’s Logan Airport to Los Angeles on a business trip, was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 11, which crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, leaving behind Retik-Ger, their two children Benjamin, 4, and Molly, 2, and their unborn daughter Dina. A few months later, the United States retaliated, bombing terrorist training camps in Afghanistan and launching a ground invasion to oust the Taliban and their theocratic rule. “As our 42

Exhale • Spring 2011

Afghanistan has over two million widows. In Kabul alone, there are 50,000.

war in Afghanistan progressed and the American people began learning about the horrible conditions caused by decades of war there,” Retik-Ger later wrote, “I became increasingly interested in the Afghan people and, specifically, in the widows there.” What she learned was that even after the defeat of the Taliban, 85 percent of all Afghan women are illiterate and women’s wages stand at just one third of men’s. In a country where the per capita income is less than $2 a day, women without the protective shield of a husband are even more vulnerable. By early 2003, Retik-Ger had joined with Patti Quigley of Wellesley, who also lost her husband on 9/11, to form “Beyond the 11th,” a nonprofit foundation that has funneled more than $600,000 to groups working in Afghanistan to create selfsustaining jobs for women who lost their husbands in the 10-year conflict. “Afghanistan has over two million widows. In Kabul alone, there are 50,000,” says RetikGer during an early morning interview as the household awakens. “They have lives of incredible deprivation and even depression. One of the projects we support teaches them to weave rugs. They weave on small looms at home but can go to a center to work together on a larger loom. It’s important because there are so few opportunities for them to share and break out of their isolation.” Fully occupied by her volunteer work for the foundation and raising her family, isolation is not a word you would associate with RetikGer, a trim, athletic woman with bright blue eyes that cloud with sadness when discussing the challenges of doing more for the widows of Afghanistan. She recently occupied one of the world’s most visible stages when she went to the White House to accept a Presidential Citizens Medal — the nation’s second-highest civilian honor — from President Barack Obama. She returned to Pennsylvania Avenue just months later with her family, including new husband Donald Ger and their daughter Rebecca, 2, to help light the First Family’s Hanukkah menorah. Rebecca was impressed by the Commander in Chief but bonded with Vice President Joe Biden, who handed over his flag pin and got more for all the kids. “We had a quiet moment with the vice president. He understood. He, too, suffered loss,” she says, referring to the death of Biden’s wife and infant daughter in a 1972 car accident shortly after his election to the Senate. “Of course it was a great honor to meet the president and to know that he was aware of our work,” she adds, “but as much as I’m flattered, I try to re-direct the attention to the women in Afghanistan who don’t have a voice.” Judging by his comments, the president got the message. “No one would have blamed Susan if she turned inward with grief or anger,” said President Obama at the awards ceremony, “but that’s not who she is. So instead, she and another widow started Beyond the 11th, and this is a group that empowers Afghan widows

affected by war and terrorism. And, Retik-Ger says, ‘These women are not our enemy.’ ” With the 10-year anniversary of the World Trade Center attack coming up this September, she is organizing a three-day, 270-mile bicycle ride from Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan to Boston to raise money for the foundation and its work. Past rides have helped boost the foundation’s giving clout, but this one promises to be the biggest ever. In addition, she is working with the producers of the award-winning documentary film “Beyond Belief ” — about Retik-Ger and Quigley’s 2006 visit to Afghanistan — to create a teaching guide for high school and

We want people to understand that these widows were widows because of the same terrorists that affected our husbands. The terrorists were in that country — it doesn’t mean they were from that country. college classrooms about 9/11 and its impact on the lives of people separated by half the planet but united in grief. The film follows the pair as they pick their way through alleys awash with raw sewage, dusty backyards and mud huts to meet widows. Wearing head scarves and sitting in tiny rooms, they ask questions through an interpreter, nodding their heads as the women describe their plight, often in anguished tones. The trip was nearly cancelled over security concerns in the nation that harbored the al-Qaeda terrorists who murdered their husbands. “We want people to understand that these widows were widows because of the same terrorists that affected our husbands,” said Retik-Ger after her return. “The terrorists were in that country — it doesn’t mean they were from that country.”^p44


** W

Feature: Tragedy inspires action and fuels hope for widows’ future

hen an Afghan woman loses her husband, her social standing plummets. To remarry, she often has to give up her children, passing them along to relatives and leaving them to fend for themselves. Women cannot go to the market without a male escort. They cannot drive or ride a bicycle. Schooling is expensive or non-existent. In a patriarchal society, the loss of a protector makes fending for their children even more difficult. Often the only choice is asking alms from strangers. The sight of thousands of widows begging in the streets of Kabul, swaying in their burquas, hands outstretched, moved Retik-Ger to tears. “You walk around there …” Her voice trails off. “… it’s like a scene right out of the Bible.” In 2005, Quigley formally stepped down from the foundation, but still quietly supports its efforts. Since then, Retik-Ger has become a more prominent, albeit reluctant, spokeswoman for the cause, driven not by the need for attention but by the need for action. Besides the rug-weaving and soccer ball initiatives, projects supported by the foundation include a poultry-rearing program, a sewing project, and a bakery program to provide Western-style goods to Kabul’s sizable expat community. The grants have helped more than 1,000 women get a start on the path to independence. “It’s really important to me for grants to go toward learning skills that can provide a way to produce income immediately,” she says. “If there’s not a market for the goods they produce, there’s no point in learning the skills to produce them.” Benjamin has also gotten involved in the foundation, buying Dosti soccer balls and sending them to kids in Haiti through Soccer for the Next Generation, an organization he and friends started after the January 2010 earthquake in the impoverished Caribbean nation. Dosti means “friendship” in the Dari language — thus the image of the soaring dove imprinted on the panels, flying over the heads of children at play on three continents. Watching more than $6 billion a month pour into Afghanistan to support the war effort, much of it diverted by corruption, leaves Retik-Ger wondering at times about U.S. spending priorities. “Imagine if right after 9/11 we had poured money into schools, hospitals and roads and really built up the basic infrastructure of Afghanistan. It’s hard to say what the country would be like now. We’re not going to change Afghanistan with bombs and war. Look at what happened in Egypt — it wasn’t the military that changed hearts and minds there.” What makes it harder is that the constant questions don’t lead to conclusive answers. “The people who study this don’t even know what the right answers are,” she says. “That said, I fear that an immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces would be terrible for the women of Afghanistan, opening the door to


Exhale • Spring 2011

the complete return of repression.” To marshal the broadest support possible for improving the lives of Afghan widows, Susan’s work took her to a Boston mosque last year to expand the coalition to fight poverty in Afghanistan. Heralded in film, on news reports and in nationally syndicated columns, Retik-Ger visibly chafes when reminded of the attention. “I know 9/11 will be attached to me forever,” says Retik-Ger softly. “You can’t get away from it. The challenge is what you do with it.”=

Susan Retik-Ger is seen at left with her son Benjamin. Below is Retik-Ger and her husband Donald Ger. At bottom Retik-Ger is seen with her late husband David Retik and their two children, Benjamin and Molly. (Photos courtesy of Susan Retik-Ger)

The new look has just arrived for Spring! Join us for a trunk show & tea on April 30, 2011. The Jonathan Belcher House, 360 North Main Street, Randolph, MA.

For more details contact Sandra Brown 617-733-0863 • ©2010 Silpada Designs LLC • 1-888-SILPADA (745-7232) • All Rights Reserved • 8/10



Artists for Humanity’s Susan Rodgerson teaches teens the creativity and business of art By Sandra Larson In 1991, Boston artist Susan Rodgerson organized a collaborative painting project with middle schoolers at the King public school in Dorchester. Through that project, she bonded with six students who wanted to keep learning. She invited them to her South End art studio, where they painted furniture and designed T-shirts. They began selling their creations. This unlikely partnership grew into a little nonprofit they called Artists for Humanity (AFH), operating from a rented warehouse in the Fort Point area of South Boston.


Exhale • Spring 2011

Susan Rodgerson’s mission at Artists for Humanity is to teach urban teens how they can make money through various art forms. (Photos courtesy of Artists for Humanity)


wenty years later, AFH is still in Fort Point, now in its own new “green” building — the LEED Platinum-certified EpiCenter — containing offices, seven art studios and a gallery space. The organization reaches 1,000 Boston-area teens each year, and provides paid employment to hundreds of students who work after school to help design, create, market and sell art products. Sales of AFH-created art, graphic arts services and commissioned products totaled $650,000 last year. Rodgerson, the driving force behind it all, never dreamed she would preside over such a large operation. “I learned how to do all this by doing it,” says the 57-year-old Hull native. “I had always been an entrepreneur, but I was working on my own, with my little ventures.” Business and art run in Rodgerson’s blood. Her father owned real estate and restaurant businesses; her grandparents were “makers” — shoemakers, decorators and some glassblowers. After pursuing the diploma program at the Art Institute of Boston in the 1970s, she painted and taught art in Boston and Cambridge for 15 years before the King Middle School students changed her life. Walking through the EpiCenter’s 5,000square-foot painting studio on a winter morning, Rodgerson explains AFH’s model and mission. She points out an array of painted suitcases, part of an exhibit called “Going Places” that will be installed at Logan Airport this spring. “We challenged the kids to think about where they want to go — mind, body and soul — and put it on a suitcase,” she explains. As with most things at AFH, it was a multilevel learning experience. “We had them do research,” she continues. “I had a great

1. Massiel Grullon works on a painting at Artists for Humanity. 2. Artist: Jiann Ci Liang 3. Artist: Massiel Grullon

conversation with a kid who researched Indonesia and learned all about Buddhism.” She starts describing another idea she has, to bring brain researchers in from MIT as part of an art-science project. “We’re always having these eureka ideas for how we can really engage kids and get their voices out there,” she says. Through art, teens gain confidence and a sense of self, she says. But what makes AFH unusual is its combination of art and commerce. Rodgerson’s mission is to show underserved urban teens how to make money through art — and by extension, through other entrepreneurial endeavors they might choose. “We’re here to give kids a hand up,” she says. “For us the commercial aspect is really key. That’s how we survive, and that’s how they’re going to survive when they’re out there.” With the guidance of professional artist mentors, teen apprentices might work on silk-screening T-shirts, creating stationery and signs, doing photo shoots, and designing everything from bicycle racks for the City of Boston to tables, tiles and wallpaper. But all apprentices start out in the painting studio, where they put in 72 hours of training, studying the foundations of art before

starting to work for pay and possibly move on to the sculpture, photography or graphic design studios. Sometimes their paintings are exhibited in galleries. If a work is sold, half of the money goes to the artist and half to AFH. Students can buy their own paintings for the price of the materials — around $15 for a small canvas, Rodgerson says. Often, early works are “recycled,” first photographed and then sanded down and painted over to create a blank canvas for a new work. The studio is empty and quiet on this morning, but rows of folded easels crowded at the room’s edges give a hint of the room’s other life. On a Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m., teen artists stream into the painting studio, finding their places among scores of easels set up across the paint-spattered concrete floor. Some are already deeply into their work, adding brushstrokes to acrylic paintings in progress or examining preliminary sketches. Five mentors are on duty, each overseeing a group of 10 to 15 apprentices. Hip hop music thumps in the background, but the room feels almost hushed. If there’s talking, it’s pairs of students discussing their work, or an artist-mentor giving guidance. This is a job, and they are paid to work during these three-hour shifts, three days every week.^p48


Feature: Art and enterprises


yiesha King, 17, a junior at English High School who lives in Mattapan, concentrates on perfecting an undulating band of white paint across a purple and blue background. Without pausing, she’s happy to discuss AFH and its charismatic founder. “She’s mad cool,” King says of Rodgerson, a broad smile appearing even as she continues to work. “She’s an amazing woman. Words can’t describe her.” She wipes a bit of paint off the canvas to keep her line clean and smooth. “I love it here,” she continues, “It relieves stress, takes your mind off things going on in your life.” The adolescent artists at AFH are remarkably poised. Several introduce themselves with handshakes and full names. Not one seems to mind having his or her work observed. Junia Ryan, 16, a junior at Boston Latin Academy, steps back from her canvas to assess her highly detailed painting of a recording studio microphone. Her friend Ebony Pullum comes over to confer on how to proceed. The two girls pore over Ryan’s initial sketch. Ryan hopes to attend Georgia Tech and become an architect. “I love math and I love art. If I can blend the two, it would be ... a match made in heaven.” She laughs at the grandiosity of her words. But a number of AFH alumni have gone on to become architects, in Atlanta and Oakland as well as the Boston area. Ryan doesn’t feel pressured to sell her artwork, but she sure wouldn’t mind. “If one of my paintings sold, I’d jump off the wall, I’d be so excited,” she says. Christopher Bolivar is one of several apprentices who travel in from Brockton High School. His work has a graphic design or comic book feel. “People tell me I should do illustration,” he says. But he wants to be an automotive mechanic, and is already doing this on his own. Still, the AFH experience has made him think about studying art part time after high school. When Rodgerson approached the King School back in 1991, she had a simple goal: gather students, create a collaborative large-scale painting — and sell it. “I’m an entrepreneur first and foremost,” she explains. “I believed I could hawk this painting and the money would fund the next painting.” She was in her 30s at the time, going through a divorce and adjusting to raising a daughter on her own. She hit it off with the teens. “They liked me,” she recalls, with a bit of wonder. “They could identify with me in a strange sort of way. I’m a kid at heart, I guess.” 48

Exhale • Spring 2011

4. Artist: Zoe Li 5. Artist: Massiel Grullon (Photos courtesy of Artists for Humanity)

Rob Gibbs, one of the King School students who worked on that initial painting, recalls, “Susan seemed like someone who was down for anything. She didn’t seem like a teacher. Anything we wanted to do, she was for it.” When Gibbs and five other boys started going to her South End studio, he says, “It was the first time I learned how to paint. She had us painting chairs and other objects, customizing

them with our own story. It was the coolest thing. We learned how an idea that sounds crazy could come to reality.” Gibbs is now studio director at AFH. Beyond art skills, he says, Rodgerson gave her young cofounders a feeling of being valued, heard and trusted. “She gave us keys to her studio,” Gibbs marvels. He tells of the first time they made money from selling T-shirts, and Rodgerson handed them a wad of bills and made them decide what to do with it. “We could have kept it, but we chose to put it back into making more T-shirts,” he says. “She treated us like young adults, not big kids.” Jason Talbot, another of the former King students, works as special projects director for AFH. He still has plenty of praise for his mentor. “She makes sure everything that comes out of here is top notch,” says Talbot. “She holds people accountable.” He doesn’t mean she is an autocrat, but rather a leader who empowers others. “Susan speaks with authority and encourages others to speak with authority, too,” he says. And she did sell that collaborative painting — the Nellie Mae Education Foundation paid $6,000 to reproduce the work on the cover of its annual report. When asked if she feels AFH is filling a gap in the education of teens, Rodgerson answers emphatically. “Totally!” she says. “A large percentage of them attend underperforming schools. Many of the kids have no arts exposure. And because they’re underserved in their communities, they also don’t have any real opportunity for enhancement — for museum experiences, and other cultural experiences. So we really feel like we’re providing that, what lots of other kids might get from their families.” She is earnest and animated, gesturing with her hands to count off the things AFH provides teens: concrete instruction in art and design, work experience, the skills to be a good employee and exposure to the corporate, medical and nonprofit worlds. “So I think we’re filling a lot of gaps,” she says. “And we’re employing them. We’re putting money in their pockets. We like to say we give kids a chance at adulthood.” Arts instruction in the Boston Public Schools

(BPS) has actually expanded in the recent years, though many high school students are still not reached. According to Cleopatra Knight-Wilkins, BPS’s senior program director for the arts, the portion of high school students receiving arts instruction has nearly doubled over two years, from 26 percent to 47 percent. She notes that many of the high schools that were restructured over the past few years are using arts as part of their turnaround strategy. “In a nutshell, there was a period of deep decline [because of high-stakes testing and budget cuts],” she says, “but we’re now moving forward.” Some of the apprentices mention they have taken art classes at school, but the classes didn’t have anywhere near the effect the support and training at AFH has. Harriet Lewis, chair of Grand Circle Foundation, has hired teens from AFH to be paid interns, and seen the self-confidence they have. “The AFH program is a great opportunity for building the whole person,” she says. “In school they’d be learning just about art. With Susan it’s about power and trust and the ability to support yourself.” Lewis has backed up her faith in Rodgerson’s work with real dollars; her foundation donated the first $1 million in 2000 to jumpstart the fund for

building the EpiCenter. “I try to focus our giving on strong leaders,” she says. “Even with vision, an organization without a strong leader is not going to get anywhere. Susan is an artist, a businessperson and someone who has a great rapport with kids — but she is first a leader.” Rodgerson now envisions further expansion. She is eyeing nearby vacant spaces where AFH could create a 150,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, so they can start building some of the things they now design but farm out to outside workshops. “We want to have our own plant, in [what the City of Boston calls] the “innovation district.” We want to engage young people who’ve graduated from art school. We believe we can create 200 to 400 more jobs.” She’s on a roll now, dreaming aloud. “We’d have a gallery, and a store and showrooms.” Witnessing her enthusiasm for the program, the kids and expansion ideas, it’s abundantly clear she’s not finished with this work. “I feel good. I get a lot of pleasure and joy out of working here. I am not at all burned out,” she says. “Plus, I need the money!” she adds, laughing. “Being [a] nonprofit has not brought wealth. But that’s not what motivates me. I love helping people. I love being part of something.” AFH fields calls every week from students

and institutions researching teen art programs or environmentally sustainable buildings. MIT is about to feature AFH in a study titled “Building Community and Economic Opportunity through Innovative Art Spaces,” according to AFH staff. In 2008, Rodgerson received an Honorary Doctorate in Public Service from Tufts University for her work in transforming the lives of Boston teens and establishing new models for philanthropy and social change. Nowadays, Rodgerson spends most of her time formulating plans, sealing deals, seeking partnerships and interacting with her fundraising and operations staff, typically putting in 10-hour days. When she’s not at AFH, she feeds her spirit with walks on the beach, yoga and cooking. “Honestly, I spend my free time keeping myself inspired, creative, strong, so I can do my job,” she says. Nearing 60, she seems confident, energetic and happy. And the work keeps her youthful. She’s surrounded by creative young people every day, including her daughter Haidan, 30, who works as a photography mentor at AFH. “I am as inspired today as I’ve ever been,” she says. “You get so engaged with these kids, and watch them burst into the world. It’s a great elixir.”=


Michel L. Leveque, Agent New York Life Insurance Company 100 Cummings Center, Suite 311H, Beverly MA, 01915

Phone: 978-998-4705 • q q q q q q q

Am I getting the most out of my 401(k), IRA and other savings? Am I saving enough for my children’s education? If something happens to me, will my family be able to maintain their lifestyle? Am I saving enough money for my retirement? What would happen if I became disabled and could no longer work? What if I or a loved one were to need home health or nursing home care? How can I avoid outliving my assets?

If you answered “No” or “I Don’t Know” to any of these questions, call me today for your personal consultation with no cost or obligation.


Teri Williams President & Chief Operating Officer of OneUnited Bank and author of “I Got Bank!: What My Granddad Taught Me About Money,” (Beckham Publications) a financial literacy book for children.


recent bank advertisement showed a woman paying her bills. She sat down, glanced at her computer, clicked a few buttons and then — poof — she was done! The point of the ad was to show the speed and convenience of the bank’s online bill paying service. However, the ad missed the point. Spending money and paying bills, for many of us, is thought provoking and emotionally charged, neither of which was reflected in the ad. The ad was correct in using a woman, as women are becoming increasingly important in financial decision making. According to “Women, Men and the New Economics of Marriage” by the Pew Research Center (2010), women contribute about 30 percent to the household income, a significant increase from the 1970 range of 2-3 percent. In households where the husband earns more, financial decision making is shared. Yet in households where the wife earns more, the wife is the principle decision maker. So the impact of women is being felt, whether sharing financial decisions or being the “decider.” The ad was also correct in showcasing how technology makes money management increasingly convenient. Now we can apply for a loan, transfer funds, pay bills and make deposits online, from the comfort of our home and by clicking a few buttons. What the ad missed were the reflections that take place while we review the bills that are sent to us online or through the mail and make payment decisions. Here is a sample of our thoughts: I can’t believe all those small purchases I made during the month add up to that whopping amount. Did they add them correctly? Why is my energy bill so high? Aren’t we conserving? Is the meter working? Are they taking advantage of the strife in the Middle East to increase their charges? Do I really need cable? I mean, how many times do I actually watch TV? My kids use the computer as a relentless entertainment device. Why am I paying for cable? And premium channels no less? Is this apartment really worth the rent? I mean, the kitchen is the size of a closet. Should I be renting anyway? Maybe I can buy a condo. But should I, in this market? Another mortgage payment? Do they ever end? Even after I refinanced, the amount seems awfully high. Do I really need a landline? Everybody in the house has a cell phone and it’s costing a bundle. Why will I feel like a loser if I don’t have a landline? I have to pay the minimum balance on my credit cards this month and try to catch up next month. Maybe I should dip into my savings account. But once I do that, will I look up and have no savings? 50

Exhale • Spring 2011

The reality for most of us is that money may be more convenient, but it is no less stressful. So here are three simple steps that may alleviate stress. Buy with more cold cash. By paying with cash, we better appreciate costs. Try taking out ten $20 bills to buy something. The costs will feel real. Conversely, using a credit card can put us out of touch with how our spending fits our budget until the bill comes.

Find a better deal. Call every company you pay and find a better deal. Most companies count on the complacency of their customers and offer better deals to attract new customers. Make sure you are getting the best deal available. It will not only reduce your payments, it will give you the satisfaction of knowing your bills are as low as they possibly can be.

Talk to your best friend about money today! Tell her everything. Show her your paycheck, bank statement and bills. Do not hold back. When you think you have told too much, tell her more. Money conversations should not be taboo. Part of our stress is that we are keeping too many money secrets.

By taking these three steps, you still may not be able to relate to the woman in the bank ad (by the way, the bank discontinued the ad campaign), but you will find bill paying less stressful.



Exploring Canada


Spring is upon us. For hearty New Englanders, that means the Red Sox are now the focus of every local sports fanatic, and the planning of your summer getaway is in full swing. With the French culture of Montreal, the vibrant theatre scene of Toronto, the natural beauty of Banff and the international flair of Vancouver, Canada is home to several of the world’s most sought-after vacation spots. Three major rail travel providers offer routes that traverse rugged mountains, dart through vast plains, skirt scenic lakes and rivers and connect some of the world’s great destinations. If you are searching for that perfect journey, one that features both urban excitement and awe-inspiring natural beauty, a Canadian rail journey may be the perfect choice for you! Amtrak Created with the signing of the Rail Passenger Service Act by President Richard Nixon in 1970, Amtrak commenced operations the following year and now serves more than 500 destinations in the United States and Canada. Three of the most popular vacation routes run north into Canada. Featured in the summer 2010 issue of National Geographic Traveler as a “Top 10 North American Train Trip,” the Amtrak Cascades runs twice daily between Eugene, Ore. and Vancouver. The journey takes approximately 11 hours, and offers an unparalleled experience of the great Pacific Northwest. Through Seattle and Portland, past Mount St. Helens and across the Columbia River Gorge, you’ll witness some of our continent’s most distinctive cities and most spectacular natural attractions. As you cross the border into Canada, Vancouver, just an hour away, is worlds apart. Nature nudges up to the city’s edge in Vancouver. Walk, run or cycle around the six mile Stanley Park


Exhale • Spring 2011

Seawall, all while enjoying spectacular views of the city, North Shore Mountains and the Lions Gate Bridge. In Vancouver, you can sail and ski within minutes of downtown, and be back in time for a hot-stone massage at a day spa and dinner at one of the city’s many five-star eateries. The Maple Leaf offers daily journeys between New York City and Canada’s equally urbane metropolis, Toronto. Along the 12-hour route, you’ll travel through the Hudson River Valley, New York’s popular wine country and the gorges of the Finger Lakes region. Once in Canada, the dramatic spectacle of Niagara Falls is just minutes away, as are the numerous hotels, resorts and attractions that line the Canadian side of the Falls. From atop the 700-foot tall Skylon Tower, you can see why Niagara Falls is among the most visited natural wonders in the world. Just 90 minutes north of the falls is Canada’s largest city, Toronto. Shop vintage on Queen Street. Visit the newly transformed Art Gallery of Ontario. Dance your way through more

than 10,000 pairs of footwear at the Bata Shoe Museum. Stroll the lakefront and enjoy its many trendy cafes and restaurants. If you can’t find it in Toronto, it most likely does not exist! The Adirondack, one of the most scenic train rides in the northeast, connects two of the world’s great cities — New York and Montreal. The daily 10-hour journey offers the perfect excuse to relax and take in the scenic vistas of the Hudson River Valley, the shimmering beauty of Lake George and Lake Champlain, and the Green Mountains of Vermont in the distance. Once over the border into Canada, the great metropolis of Montreal comes into view as you speed toward the secondlargest French-speaking city in the world, behind only Paris. The old and new blend seamlessly to define what many consider to be North America’s most culturally diverse city. This summer, Montreal plays host to such world-renowned events as the International Jazz & Film Festival and the wildly popular Just For Laughs Comedy Festival, while

Photo courtesy of Via

Rail Canada Photo courtesy of Rocky Mou



Photo co

Old Montreal and the Old Port offer exquisite waterfront dining and boutique shopping opportunities. Montreal is a must-see destination.

VIA Rail Canada As Canada’s national rail carrier, VIA Rail Canada was established in 1977 and offers several of the most picturesque routes in the world. However, one route in particular has gained international attention as a “must-do” for those seeking a true rail journey: the Canadian. Spanning almost 3,000 miles from Vancouver to Toronto, the Canadian is Canada’s only true long-distance rail journey, running three times weekly. The five-day trek heads north out of Vancouver toward the magnificent Canadian Rockies and the picturesque town of Jasper and its surrounding national park. Following stops in Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg and a ride across the Canadian plains, the journey ends in Toronto. Economy class is the least expensive way


sm Com

a Touri of Canad

Photo courtesy of Via Rail Canada

to travel on the Canadian, although many will choose the extra comfort and included meals of a Tourist Sleeper class berth. Either way, a journey on the Canadian offers a fantastic opportunity to experience the exceptional diversity in landscape that our neighbor to the north has to offer.

Rocky Mountaineer Also featured as a “Top 10 North American Train Trip” by National Geographic Traveler in 2010, the Rocky Mountaineer offers such aptly named journeys as “Journey through the Clouds,” “Rainforest to Gold Rush,” “First Passage to the West” and the “Whistler Sea to Sky Climb.” Traveling in both directions between Vancouver and such scenic towns as Whistler, Jasper, Banff and Calgary, the Rocky Mountaineer recaptures the true romance of luxury rail travel, and features the finest in both accommodations and cuisine. Available from April through October, all four journeys take place during daylight hours to ensure

you enjoy every minute of the breathtaking scenery of glacier-fed lakes, mountain ranges, rivers and abundant wildlife. If you only have a few days for your rail travel journey, the Rocky Mountaineer is the way to go — and offers a level of service that few rail journeys can match. With so many vacation options in Canada, perhaps the only thing more incredible than seeing the landscapes and beauty is experiencing all of it by rail. Make the journey just as important as the destination.

Paul O’Meara Vice President, Sales & Marketing Amtrak Vacations Reservations: 800-AMTRAK-2 (268-7252) Groups (20+): 800-343-6768


** Feature

Local Couture designer making a mark in Fashion By Jacquinn Williams

It’s a cold winter day as Shanna Gall walks toward Merengue restaurant in Roxbury. Dressed in bright red and blue — and fierce stilettos — she seems out of place, a splash of color on Blue Hill Avenue. “Ever since I can remember,” Gall pauses, “I’ve always wanted to look really beautiful.”


Shanna Gall launched her 2011 collection at the State Room in Boston on September 26, 2010. (Photos courtesy of Shanna Gall)


Exhale • Spring 2011

ince starting SG Fashions five years ago, Gall, 31, has made others look beautiful as well. In a short period of time, the critically acclaimed fashion designer has built an impressive résumé. She dressed actress Juliette Lewis for her music video “Uh Huh,” in a pink and blue frock. Young pop singer Jacque Nimble from Nick Cannon’s girl group “School Gyrls” wore one of Gall’s dresses for a photo shoot. “Biker Boyz” actress Suzette Tomlinson donned a red SG Fashions cocktail dress on the red carpet at San Diego’s recent Black Film Festival. And celebrity lifestyle blogger Necole Bitchie has also rocked SG. Gall’s career received a jolt after she earned Designer of the Year 2009 at the Urban Couture competition in Los Angeles. As part of the prize, Gall’s collection was shown at a Beverly Hills showroom for a month. Before she could spell cha-ching, Gall had sold five pieces. Her upcoming spring collection is comprised solely of dresses. Luxe fabrics and plenty of details make them flirty and fun. Feathers, handmade flowers and frills are her signature trademarks. With super short cocktail

dresses of every hue to long formal gowns reminiscent of Hollywood glamour, Gall’s collection has a little something for everyone. She launched the line on Sept. 26, 2010 at the opulent State Room. The theme for the show was Fashion Reminds Everyone to Evolve, or FREE. Her parents Patrick and Maria Gall are from Barbados and came to America in the 1970s. Though her parents are very proud of her success, she admits to giving them a hard time while growing up. “I was very difficult and challenging,” she recalls. “I didn’t always do what I was told and I was hard-headed.” Her father remained supportive and Gall says he always told her to “follow her heart because she had gifted hands.”

“I don’t want to limit myself. I would have less say if I have to mass-produce for a store. I want to do exclusive high-end couture. Women who shop in Bergdorf’s and Saks are Shanna Gall women.”

Back then, she attended East Boston High School where she made bags and hats in her spare time. She later went on to Fisher College and earned an associate’s degree in fashion design. An avid reader of fashion magazines, Gall says she counts gracing the recent pages of Vogue as her “I made it moment.” She is addicted to fashion, beauty and retail news site Women’s Wear Daily and credits business mogul and former model Kimora Lee Simmons, and fashion designers Roberto Cavalli, Betsey Johnson and Christian Dior as major influences. Gall says that her greatest inspiration is her 11-year-old daughter Hannah. As a result of her recent success, Gall wants to move to Los Angeles in the next year and open a showroom. Though notoriety can come from inking a deal with department stores, Gall says she wants no part of it. She was approached during Miami’s Fashion Week by a buyer from Bloomingdale’s but diplomatically declined. “I don’t want to limit myself,” she says. “I would have less say if I have to mass-produce for a store. I want to do exclusive high-end couture. Women who shop in Bergdorf ’s and Saks are Shanna Gall women.” She’s off to a good start.=


Beauty Tips

Make up:

How to keep it stylish and


as you age By Mariolga


Exhale • Spring 2011

Some say less is more, but there are so many products out there on the market. How do I know what is right for me? How do I know what color blush is correct for my skin tone? I am a little old school when it comes to deciding make up colors. I like to look at people and see if they have warm or cool undertones. Ask yourself: Do I look better in pure white or ivory? Do I prefer gold or silver jewelry on my skin? If you prefer white and silver, you have cool tones and your blush colors should be pinks, mauve and plums. If your prefer ivory and gold, you have warm tones and should go for colors in peach, tan and bronze hues. However, there are some new pink-peach blushes that are pretty universal and look good on almost anyone.

I have noticed changes to my eyes since I’ve gotten older. How should I adjust my make up accordingly? Should I apply less or use lighter colors? As we age it is important to understand that definition is what matters and not just color, but placement of the color. I feel it is important to make sure our eyebrows are well defined and groomed. I don’t like to say use “less” or “lighter” make up. Use what is right for you and what makes you feel beautiful. Personal style comes into play also. My favorite advice: If you have been using the same lip color since college it might be time for a change.

How should I pick my lipstick color? Choose your lip color as you would choose your blush.

How do I know what eyeshadow color is right for me? Should I base it on my age, eye color, skin color, my outfit or the time of day?

Should I factor in my age in when deciding whether to use powder blush or cream blush?

When it comes to eyeshadow, I reference my art background and I like to use complementary colors from the color wheel. Eyes are not a solid color. If you look closely at your eyes, you will see specs of color within the main color. For example, brown eyes that have a lot of yellow in them will look great with purple shades. When you put complementary colors next to each other, they vibrate. This is the same with your eyes. If you want your eyes to pop this is the way to go. Your outfit, occasion and time of the day will also play a part in dictating the style of the eye make up.

Age is not the only factor when it comes to deciding what texture (powder, cream, gel or mousse) of make up to buy, but more importantly you must understand your skin type. Someone who has dry skin should use a cream blush. It won’t get flaky and can add some “glow” to your skin. Someone who has oily skin should use a gel blush for the intensity of the color and then set it with a powder blush.

Do you prefer liquid or powder foundation?

Mascara is about definition. I only use brown mascara on ladies that have very fair skin and very light lashes and hair, especially if they like their make up very natural. In those cases black mascara might be too overpowering.

My favorite part of make up is skin. I am a firm believer that if your skin looks good you will need very little of anything else. Today there are so many formulations. We have powder, cream to powder, cream, mousse, gel, spray, air brush, tinted moisturizers, illuminating sticks, etc. It can be overwhelming to say the least! Foundation is the one item that I will say is the most important in your make up bag. It is important to spend a little more in getting the right one for your skin type and needs. A foundation is meant to be used to even out your skin, not to add color. If your skin looks gray, the color is too light for you and if it looks orange, it is too dark for you. I prefer to use liquid and cream seamless foundations. I am also a big fan of palettes and two-tone foundations. This way you can customize your color a little.

How do I know whether to use brown or black mascara?


Skin Care

Jeffrey S. Dover, M.D., FRCPC Jeremy B. Green, M.D. SkinCare Physicians, Chestnut Hill, Mass.

1. Is it true that eating certain foods and stress can have an affect on my skin?

There is some evidence that milk or milk products, as well as chocolate can cause acne to flare, but not all acne experts agree. If you feel that certain foods worsen your acne we recommend that you avoid these triggers. In the case of milk-avoidance, you’d have to stop milk, cheese, yogurt and ice cream for a few months to see if the diet helped. Stress definitely makes acne worse. We’re not exactly sure how; it may cause hormonal changes or it may increase inflammation in the skin. Sometimes it’s a vicious cycle when you get pimples on your face, which increases your stress level only to make the acne worse. So treat your acne and get it under control. Stress reduction is good for your overall health and for your skin.

2. Sunscreens are confusing. How do I know which SPF I should be using? Should I use them year-round?

Sunscreens can be confusing but a few simple tips will help you navigate the options with confidence. First of all, sunscreen should be applied 365 days a year, no matter the weather. Even on cloudy days, ultraviolet (UV) rays cause facial skin aging. For daily facial use, we recommend a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher, which blocks 97 percent of the sun’s burning ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. As the SPF is only a measure of UVB protection, be sure that your sunscreen is “broad spectrum,” meaning that it also blocks the ultraviolet A (UVA) rays responsible for signs of skin aging such as brown spots and wrinkles. We like sunscreens with moisturizer that blend in elegantly and serve a dual purpose. For outdoor activities we recommend using broadspectrum sunscreens of SPF 45 or higher. Look for titanium dioxide or zinc oxide in the ingredients, as both are hardy physical blockers. Half an hour prior to heading outdoors, apply a generous amount to 60

Exhale • Spring 2011

exposed areas; about one ounce, enough to fill a shot glass, will be needed to cover to your whole body. Reapply every three to four hours, especially if you will be in the water.

3. How do I get rid of brown spots on my face? Why do I get them?

The bothersome brown spots on your face, also known as lentigines, are a consequence of your lifetime sun exposure. They routinely appear years after the sun exposure. While you cannot prevent those that develop due to the UV rays of your youth, you can avoid future sun spots by applying a good sunscreen daily and by being judicious about your time spent in the sun. Topical retinoids, such as retinol and prescription Retin A and Renova are your best bet for an in-home brown spot treatment. While they work quite well, it takes months to years for the spots to fade. With continued use they also stimulate collagen production, diminish fine lines and gently remove the outer skin cells resulting in an even tone and better texture.

4. Should I change my skin care regimen each season?

Our skin care motto is simple: Cleanse. Treat. Prevent. Cleanse your face every morning and every night. Never let a 12-hour period pass without applying a treatment product that slows or reverses the aging process. Wear sunscreen daily. Your regimen can be adjusted based on the season. During the cold, dry, wintry months avoid harsh drying soaps and use creamy, gentle cleansers. Add in rich moisturizers once or twice a day. Some of the best ingredients to look out for include glycerin, petrolatum and hyaluronic acid. Consider purchasing a humidifier for your bedroom. During warmer months you can utilize a lighter moisturizer, and perhaps add in a cleanser with more kick, such as those containing glycolic acid or salicylic acid.


2 Over 400 people attended The Ellie Fund’s 15th Annual Oscar Night Gala at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Boston. Thanks to Presenting Sponsor Subaru of New England, 100% of event proceeds will help the Ellie Fund fight breast cancer and ease its effects on hundreds of local patients and family members. The event raised $200,000! Exhale Lifestyle Magazine was proud to be one of the media sponsors for this great fundraising event.


2 January 25th Get Konnected – Boston’s premier professional networking event for multicultural professionals.

1. Ken Reeves, Former Mayor of Cambridge and City Councilor; Colette Phillips, President and CEO of Colette Phillips Communications; Ming Tsai, special guest; Filippo de Magistris of Restaurant dante; Michael J. Medeiros, General Manager of the Royal Sonesta 2. Ming Tsai signing copies of his new book, “Simply Ming One Pot Meals.” (Dimonika Bray photos)


1. “The Bachelorette” TV star Chris Lambton and Peyton Wright of “The Bachelor Pad” have been quietly dating, but made their premiere event debut at The Ellie Fund’s Oscar Night Boston at the Mandarin Oriental, Boston in the Back Bay. 2. Stars from “The Fighter” attended the event and caused quite a stir when they banded together to cheer on the film’s supporting actor (Christian Bale) and actress (Melissa Leo) who both took home Oscar statuettes in Los Angeles. 3 – Ellie Fund Executive Director (right) and stylist Elisha Daniels at the Ellie Fund Oscar Night Gala. (Michael Blanchard Photos) 4. Designer Nara Paz and her model, Morgan, at the Ellie Fund Oscar Night Gala.


1 On February 10th, the Boston Latino TV celebrated Valentine’s Day in style at the Mojitos Lounge in Boston. For more information about Boston Latino TV check out their website at 1. BLTV’s Evelyn Reyes holds up her story in Exhale. (Francisco Chacon photos)


Cultural Calendar

Now through June 19


Scaasi American Couturier

This exhibition celebrates the designer Arnold Scaasi and the MFA’s acquisition of his archive and more than 100 of his designs. Scaasi, who began his business in New York in the mid1950s, was one of the few New York designers to concentrate on custom-made clothing rather than ready-to-wear. He has designed for the 20th century’s most celebrated artists and most fashionable socialites, including Broadway, TV and movie stars, such as Arlene Francis, Mitzi Gaynor, Barbra Streisand, Diahann Carroll, Mary Tyler Moore and Elizabeth Taylor; Palm Beach and New York socialites including Mary Sanford, Ivana Trump, Joetta Norban, Gayfryd Steinberg and Edna Morris; and first ladies Mamie Eisenhower and Barbara and Laura Bush. His work has always been synonymous with luxurious materials, exuberant color and refined silhouettes. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Avenue of the Arts 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston For more information, call 617-267-9300.

April 8

Johnny Clegg Band

With a career spanning three decades, Johnny Clegg pioneered a new, unique sound combining Western rock with Zulu rhythms and became one of South Africa’s most prolific musicians and an international superstar. Known for his lively, energetic stage performances, he returns to Boston for the first time since 2005. Somerville Theatre 55 Davis Square, Somerville Tickets are $40. For more information, call 617-876-4275 or visit

April 8-10

David Dorfman Dance

April 10- August 7

Chihuly: Through the Looking Glass In the course of his long career, Dale Chihuly has revolutionized the art of blown glass, moving it into the realm of large-scale sculpture and establishing the use of glass — inherently a fragile but also magical material — as a vehicle for installation and environmental art. This exhibition of new and archival works represents the breadth and scope of the artist’s creative vision over the last four decades. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Avenue of the Arts 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston For more information, call 617-267-9300.

April 14- May 1

Walking the Volcano Since its founding in 1985, David Dorfman Dance has been celebrated for its exuberant, gorgeous and delightfully oddball style. The company has garnered an impressive list of critical honors, including eight Bessie Awards. The company’s newest project, “Prophets of Funk — Dance to the Music,” is a dynamic engagement of movement driven by the popular — and populist — funk sounds of Sly and the Family Stone. Institute of Contemporary Art 100 Northern Avenue, Boston Tickets are $40. For more information, call 617-876-4275 or visit

Boston Playwrights’ Theatre and the Boston Center for American Performance present “Walking the Volcano” by Jon Lipsky. Boston Playwrights’ Theatre (Walcott Theatre) 949 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston For more information, call the Box Office 866-811-4111.

April 17

Colin Hay

April 14

Sharon Van Etten with Little Scream, St. Claire

Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten has won widespread acclaim for her achingly intimate voice and emotionally candid lyrics. With “epic,” her breakout second release, she’s also displayed a growing confidence backed by a full band. That release has been frequently named as one of the top albums-of-the-year and landed spots performing with the likes of Kyp Malone (TV on the Radio), The Antlers, Akron/ Family and many others. She will be opening for The National, touring Europe this March. Brighton Music Hall 158 Brighton Avenue, Allston Tickets are $10 for 18+ and $12 on day of the show. For more information, call 617-876-4275 or visit

As frontman and principal songwriter for 1980s sensation Men at Work, Colin Hay is responsible for one of the most identifiable sounds in pop music. Classic songs like “Down Under,” “Overkill” and “Who Can It Be Now?” unfold like miniature movies, with timeless twists and a bittersweet sense of humor. In this solo acoustic performance, Hay intersperses classic and new songs with humorous, poignant and downright surreal stories drawn from his often unbelievable experiences over the last three decades. Somerville Theatre 55 Davis Square, Somerville Tickets are $28. For more information, call 617-876-4275 or visit

To advertise in Exhale Magazine Please contact Sandra Casagrand (617) 261-4600 ext. 111 or visit our website to download the media kit –

Exhale • Spring 2011

April 22-24

April 23-June 25

From its six-year run in New York City to a world tour from London to Seoul, the celebrated smash hit “The Donkey Show” now takes Boston by storm, bringing the ultimate disco experience – a crazy circus of mirror balls and feathered divas, of roller skaters and hustle queens. Come party on the dance floor to all the 1970s disco hits you know by heart as the show unfolds around you. “The Donkey Show” tells the story of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” through the great 1970s anthems, including “We Are Family,” “I Love the Nightlife,” “Car Wash” and “Ring My Bell.” The enchanted forest of Shakespeare’s classic comedy becomes the glittered world of retro disco as the lovers escape from their real lives to experience a night of dream, abandon and fantasy.

(Marco Borggreve photo)

April 21-23

St. John Passion

J.S. Bach’s great “St. John Passion” returns to the Boston Symphony Orchestra repertoire after an absence of 30 years. The esteemed Japanese conductor Masaaki Suzuki, is a noted period-performance scholar and director of the Bach Collegium Japan. He brings his historically informed approach to these performances of one of Bach’s greatest achievements. Bach revised the work several times after its first performance in 1724, but the “definitive” 1749 version, restores much of the original score. Joining Mr. Suzuki, the BSO, and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus is a terrific cast of soloists including the Czech soprano Blažíková in her BSO debut. Boston Symphony Orchestra Symphony Hall 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston Tickets are $29- $118 and are available by calling 617-266-1200, visiting or at the Symphony Hall box office. $20 tickets are available for those under 40.

April 22 CAKE

Former resident choreographer of Batsheva Dance Company, Barak Marshall creates intensely athletic dances, heightened by surreal theatrical vignettes. With a score that combines elements of Gypsy, Balkan, classical and rock music, Monger explores the dynamics of hierarchy, power, free will and the compromises one makes in order to survive.

Oberon 2 Arrow Street, Cambridge Tickets are $25-55 and can be purchased online at www.americanrepertorytheater. org/tickets, by phone at 617-547-8300 or in person at the American Repertory Theatre box office. Group rates and $25 student discounts are also available. For VIP Groups email

Institute of Contemporary Art 100 Northern Avenue, Boston Tickets are $40. For more information, call 617-876-4275 or visit

Free Tote with your subscription to Exhale Lifestyle Magazine Fall 2010 Exhale Magazine

Winter 2011 Winter2011

Winter 2011

Health Health and and Lifestyle Lifestyle Magazine Magazine for for Women women

Swanee Swanee Hunt Hunt Force of


The Donkey Show


Barak Marshall

Force of positive positive nature nature

The daughter of a Texas The oildaughter tycoon, Hunt of a Texas brings passion to battles oil tycoon, Hunt brings for to racial and passion battles gender for racial equality and gender equality

A Healing Art

Quilting has long been known as a uniquely American tradition, but for one Haitian-born doctor it’s become a way of life

Health Health Matters Matters Go Red Go Red

Heart Disease. The Heart number 1 killer Disease. The of American number 1women killer of American women


Giovanna Negretti

Digs deep into class, race and family in her painfully honest and wickedly funny plays

Health Matters:

Breast Cancer Awareness Heart Disease Recipes

Carolyn Stuart

Survivorship Survivorship

Personal stories of life Personal changing stories decisions of life changing decisions

A A question question of of faith faith and and a a little little hard hard work work

Photo courtesy of Citi Performing Arts Center

Don’t miss “CAKE,” one of the most principled, enduring, self-reliant and best-selling artists in post-alternative rock at the Wang Theatre. Citi Performing Arts Center Wang Theatre 270 Tremont Street, Boston Tickets are $40-$45 and can be purchased at CITICENTER.ORG, 866-348-9738 or at the Box Office. For more information, visit

Order a one year subscription for $25 and receive a complimentary Exhale Tote bag Plus special discounts to Exhale events


Lydia R. Diamond

Published by Banner Publications Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright 2010.

moves on to new battlegrounds


Cultural Calendar

April 29-May 10

Boston Lyric Opera presents Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Ah, the thrill of the chase. Over hill, over dale, girdling the Earth in 40 minutes — when the words are mostly Shakespeare, even the libretto sings. Britten gives us a stage full of sprites and mortals in a touching and very funny take: a dreamscape. Or is it a nightmare? Depends on how you feel about unrequited love and donkeys. Citi Performing Arts Center Shubert Theatre 265 Tremont Street, Boston Tickets are $34-$195 and can be purchased at For more information, call 617-542-6772 or visit

May 1

Walk for Hunger

The Walk for Hunger is an annual tradition and a rite of spring in Massachusetts. Join 40,000 caring friends and neighbors and raise money for those struggling to make ends meet. To volunteer or participate in the walk, visit


Exhale • Spring 2011

May 18-June 19

April 27- May 1

Richard III


Join Danny, Sandy, Rizzo and the gang as the national tour of Grease arrives in Boston. Starring Eddie Mekka (“Laverne & Shirley’s” Carmine “the big ragu” Ragusa) as DJ Vince Fontaine, this fan-favorite musical tells the story of teenagers in love during the soda shop culture of the 1950s. Kathleen Marshall’s most recent Broadway revival, which opened in August 2007, ran for 554 performances and received a Tony nomination for Best Revival of a Musical. Don’t miss your favorite numbers — “Greased Lightnin’,” “We Go Together,” “Summer Nights,” “Hopelessly Devoted to You” and “You’re the One That I Want.” Citi Performing Arts Center Wang Theatre 270 Tremont Street, Boston Tickets are $28-$98 and can be purchased at CITICENTER.ORG, 866-348-9738 or at the Box Office. For more information, visit

May 6 – June 4

The Drowsy Chaperone

Mayhem, mix-ups and a gay (in the old sense of the word) wedding mark the high-spirited hijinx of “The Drowsy Chaperone,” winner of five 2006 Tony Awards. The fun begins when a die-hard musical fan plays his favorite cast album, a 1928 smash hit called “The Drowsy Chaperone” and the show magically bursts to life. Suddenly the man finds himself immersed in the glamorous, hilarious tale of a celebrity bride and her uproarious wedding day, complete with thrills and surprises that take both the cast (literally) and the audience (metaphorically) soaring to the rafters. Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts 527 Tremont Street, Boston Tickets are $30-$57 and can be purchased online at or by phone 617-933-8600. For more information, visit

The internationally acclaimed Propeller Theatre Company leaps from England onto a Boston stage for the first time to perform Richard III. Shakespeare’s most villainous king comes to unsparing life in Richard III, the hugely entertaining and diabolical adventure. Boston University Theatre 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston For more information, visit

May 18-June 19

The Comedy of Errors

The internationally acclaimed Propeller Theatre Company leaps from England onto a Boston stage for the first time to perform “The Comedy of Errors.” Two sets of identical twins that have been separated at birth reunite 25 years later with hilarious consequences. Boston University Theatre 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston For more information, visit

May 20

Elvis Costello and the Imposters The Revolver Tour

For the first time in 25 years, Costello will let his set-list be chosen by “The Spectacular Spinning Songbook,” a monumental game-show wheel that features 40 song-titles, including hits, rarities and very unexpected covers. Citi Performing Arts Center Wang Theatre 270 Tremont Street, Boston Tickets are $49.50-$125 and can be purchased at CITICENTER.ORG, 866-348-9738 or at the Box Office. For more information, visit

May 16

Cirque du Soleil – Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour

A riveting fusion of visuals, dance, music and fantasy that immerses audiences in Michael’s creative world and literally turns his signature moves upside down, “Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour” unfolds Michael Jackson’s artistry before the eyes of the audience. Aimed at lifelong fans as well as those experiencing Michael’s creative genius for the first time, the show captures the essence, soul and inspiration of the King of Pop, celebrating a legacy that continues to transcend generations. DCU Center 50 Foster Street, Worcester For tickets, visit

Follow us on Facebook and twitter

May 20-22

Complexions Contemporary Ballet

Remember • Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month • Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month



• National Cancer Survivors Day – 9th

Free Tote with your subscription to Exhale Lifestyle Magazine


Founded by Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson, two former Alvin Ailey dancers and frequent contributors to the hit TV show “So You Think You Can Dance,” Complexions Contemporary Ballet presents a groundbreaking mix of methods, styles and cultures to create thought-provoking, entertaining and accessible work. The company’s highly trained classical and contemporary dancers combine the best of athleticism and lyricism in this program of works choreographed by Dwight Rhoden. Cutler Majestic Theatre 219 Tremont Street, Boston Tickets are $40-$65. For more information, call 617-876-4275 or visit

• Healthy Vision Month • Lupus Awareness Month • Mediterranean Diet Month • Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month •National High Blood Pressure Education Month • National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month • National Women’s Health Week – 8-14 • National Women’s Check-up Day – 9th



June 9

Israeli-born, French-reared singersongwriter Keren Ann has a gift for channeling mood into song. With a predilection for romantic tragedy, her intimate melodies overflow with a slowburning melancholy and wistful heartache. Keren Ann is touring in support of her sixth solo album, “101,” released this spring on EMI’s Blue Note Records. Institute of Contemporary Art 100 Northern Avenue, Boston Tickets are $22. For more information, call 617-876-4275 or visit www.

Order a one year subscription for $25 and receive a complimentary Exhale Tote bag Plus special discounts to Exhale events


Keren Ann with Chris Garneau



Healthy ™

what your blood pressure should be? the leading cause of death in women? why brown rice is healthier than white rice? that blacks can and do get skin cancer? that diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure?

You would know this ... and much more ... if you read Be Healthy. BE



Sponsored by

Boston Public Health Commission

VOL. 4 • NO. 8

Against the odds Thanks to significant medical advances over the years, Americans diagnosed with cancer are living longer with the once dreaded disease.


Say this about Augusta Williams: she is fearless. Like the time she faced down a robber who invaded the beauty parlor where she stopped to have her hair done. Williams is equally combative when it comes to her health. Diagnosed with bone cancer in 1984 and breast cancer four years later, Williams plans to celebrate her 70th birthday — and almost 30 years of survival — next year in Australia. But don’t ask her about being a “survivor” of two different forms of often fatal cancers. “I’m a thriver,” she said. “I’m at a level of happiness and joy that I had not experienced before. I’m moving on with my life.” Indeed, thriving appears to be an operative word these days when it comes to living with cancer. As one of the most feared diseases, cancer is no longer an automatic death sentence. Because of significant medical advances, survival rates have improved dramatically over the years. As of January 2006, for instance, the National Cancer Institute Augusta Williams insists she is not a cancer survivor; she is a (NCI) estimated that more than 11 million people — or almost 4 percent of the population — had survived cancer. thriver. Williams battled both bone and breast cancers more than 20 years ago — and won. Furthermore, roughly 14 percent of those survivors had lived 20 years or more after their diagnosis. Cancer is still no joke. It is the second leading cause of sachusetts is 10 percent higher than that for whites, and death in this country and is now the leading cause of death roughly twice the rate for Hispanics and Asians. in Massachusetts. Blacks are the hardest hit by the disease. The numbers on disparity are similar across the counThe death rate from cancer in African Americans in Mastry. Blacks have the highest death rates in the four most

A radical solution

Sponsored by

© April 2010

common cancers — lung, breast, prostate and colorectal — as well as several less common cancers. The causes of the disparity are many — lack of access to good care, lack of insurance, delayed diagnoses, fear and denial. And, unfortunately, misperceptions. A recent survey conducted by the American Cancer Society found that as many as 41 percent of the respondents clung to myths that pain medications were ineffective in treating cancer; that surgery caused the cancer to spread throughout the body; and that there is a conspiracy to withhold a cure in order to allow medical institutions to continue earning profits. Though generally considered to be more in tune with their bodies, women are also prone to misperceptions. Ask them to name the leading cause of death among women and they are likely to respond “breast cancer.” But that is incorrect. In fact, more women die of coronary heart disease — the leading cause of death — than the top ten cancers in women combined. But heart disease doesn’t have the same negative cloud that surrounds cancer. It’s so bad that many refuse to say the word “cancer,” and prefer terms like “the Big C” or “the C word.” Dr. Christopher Lathan, an oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute specializing in lung cancer, admits he gets a bit frustrated. What’s worse than the misperceptions, Lathan says, is that blacks are less inclined to seek timely treatment for cancer and are slower to recognize the symptoms or understand how to prevent it. His recent research bore that out. Lathan and his coresearchers found that blacks are less likely to link lung cancer with smoking and think that pain or other symptoms must occur before a positive diagnosis can be made. There is one problem with these perceptions — they are all wrong. “At least 85 percent of all lung cancers are caused by tobacco,” said Lathan. “And lung cancer is the number one cancer killer.” Furthermore, while many cancers are silent for years Williams, continued to page 4

is completely different from the cancer detected in the colon. As a matter of fact, there are more than 100 different cancers; breast cancer alone has more than seven. Put simply, cancer is an unnecessary proliferation of cells, the body’s basic unit of life. Normally, cells grow and divide in an orderly fashion to keep the body sound. Even a scratch or cut sets this process into motion to replace the damaged goods. Cells also grow old and die. But every now and then problems arise. New cells form when the body does not need them or old cells refuse to go when their time is up. These extra cells form tumors. Some of them are benign, which means they can grow but do not spread to other parts of the body. Once removed, they seldom come back. A malignant tumor, on the other hand, is cancerous. These cells grow out of control, and invade and destroy tissues around them. What’s worse, they can break off, travel through the bloodstream and wreak havoc on other parts of the body. While overweight, obesity and lack of exercise are highly correlated to several types of cancers, including postmenopausal breast, endometrial (uterine) and colon cancer, the importance of healthy eating cannot be overlooked. Certain foods are protective for overall good health. The reason for this protection is a bit radical — literally. There is a constant process of building, dismantling and re-building of molecules to help the body function properly. Sometimes the process goes awry and results in an unstable molecule — or free radical — that hunts around for an acceptable partner to bond. The problem is that the free radical can do its share of damage during the search, most notably to the DNA, the body’s blueprint. A damaged DNA can result in a mutation, which can in turn result in cancer. But all’s not lost. The body has a defense system to stabilize the free radicals. A cadre of organisms called antioxidants devours the free radicals. Radicals, continued to page 4

© May 2010


run in families. Osteoporosis, or porous bones, is characterized by a decrease in bone density that leaves those affected more vulnerable to lifethreatening fractures. Bone density refers to the amount of calcium, other minerals and protein packed in bone. According to Dr. Sherri-Ann M. Burnett-Bowie, an endocrinologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, on average, black women have a higher bone density than white women, but that does not offer complete immunity. The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) has determined that 5 percent of black women aged 50 and older as compared to 20 percent of white and Asian women aged 50 and older are estimated to have osteoporosis. But Burnett-Bowie cautioned that some experts estimate the prevalence among black women is closer to 11 percent. The frequency in men is smaller — 4 percent and 7 percent in black and white men, respectively.

Aging bones need youthful attention

On average, black women have a higher bone density than white women, but that does not offer complete immunity.

Dr. Sherri-Ann M. Burnett-Bowie

As side effects go, this one flew below the radar. Hope White, 45, knew she needed strong doses of steroids to wage her battle against a particularly virulent case of lupus. But she didn’t give much thought to the fact that those treatments to combat her auto-immune disease would make her susceptible to weakened bones. In fact, when her doctor suggested that she — a young black woman — could acquire osteoporosis — a condition that hits mostly aging, white women — she was almost amused. “I’m too young,” White remembers saying after her doctor recommended a bone density test to check for the disease. “I’m not white, and I’m not frail.” Fortunately, her doctor insisted and ordered the first of three bone tests. Sure enough, White was diagnosed with osteoporosis. Like most people, White didn’t pay much attention to the

Hope White, shown above and with her son, Narai (left) was diagnosed with osteoporosis after longterm treatment with steroids for lupus. (Ernesto Arroyo photos) health of her bones. Fortunately, the Surgeon General did and in 2004 delivered a sobering report that more than 10 million people across the country had osteoporosis and another 34 million were at risk. And the costs were — and remain — significant. Treatment for fractures resulting from osteoporosis amounts to about $18 billion a year, and fractures are just the beginning of the medical problems. Twenty percent of older people who sustain osteoporosis-related hip fractures die within a year, and those who survive can experience a downward spiral in their health. Most at risk are thin, older white and Asian women, but men and black women are not exempt. Although more prevalent in people over the age of 50, osteoporosis can strike at any age. The disease also tends to

The threat of osteoporosis is greater in blacks than expected, White learned, largely because of the long-term use of medications, such as steroids, to treat illnesses prevalent among African Americans. Asthma, arthritis, lupus and some cancers are examples of diseases where some of the treatments increase the risk of developing osteoporosis. Indeed, there’s not much amusing about osteoporosis at all. Studies have indicated that death rates following osteoporosis-related hip fractures are higher in blacks than in whites. Complications of pneumonia, blood clots and poor circulation take a hefty toll. Misperceptions are part of the problem. Because many blacks believe that osteoporosis is not a threat, they are not looking for it, and worse, some doctors aren’t looking for it either. In one study, doctors from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine found that significantly fewer African American women were tested for osteoporosis than their white counterparts, a surprising statistic given that both groups evaluated shared similar risks. Another group of researchers found more bad news. Many blacks treated at Howard University Hospital were not tested for the disease — even in the presence of bone fractures commonly associated with osteoporosis. Bone is composed of collagen — a type of protein — and calcium, which combine to give bones strength and flexibility. White, continued to page 4

More calcium, vitamin D key to healthy bones Dr. Sherri-Ann M. Burnett-Bowie, an endocrinologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, readily admits aging bones come with the territory. “If we live long enough,” BurnettBowie said, “chances are we will eventually suffer some bone loss.” And that means trouble for those who choose to ignore the risks and fail to take preventive measures to combat osteoporosis, or low bone density, and other bone diseases. The key is to start early in life when bones are developing in strength and size. To further that goal, the federal Office on Women’s Health, for instance, has developed a program called “Best Bones Forever!” that encourages girls to get active

in their health at an early age and consume foods high in calcium and vitamin D to maintain healthy bones throughout their lives. That’s because one of the biggest culprits in bone deterioration — and one of the most modifiable — is the lack of calcium and vitamin D. National nutrition surveys indicate that most people consume less than half of the minimum recommendations. “Both men and women should consume enough calcium and vitamin D throughout life,” Burnett-Bowie said. “Not just when you get older. Additionally, while osteoporosis affects women predominantly, roughly one-third of broken bones due to osteoporosis occur in men.” Calcium is the most common mineral Bones, continued to page 4

Active Growth

Children and teens

Slow Loss Mid-30s

Rapid Loss

After menopause

Sponsored by

Healthy ™

Boston Public Health Commission

VOL. 4 • NO. 9

Less Rapid Loss Seniors

After about age 30, you begin to slowly lose bone mass. This loss accelerates the first few years following menopause, and continues at a slower pace in older men and women.

Bone Growth/Loss

As a registered dietitian at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI), Stacy Kennedy has heard it all before. She knows most people are busy. She knows processed foods are convenient and cheaper. But she also knows that a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables can help prevent cancer and ultimately, save lives. “Eating certain foods may decrease the risk of cancer or the aggressiveness of a current cancer,” Kennedy says. When it comes to fighting cancer, lifestyles matter. Just ask the Washington, D.C.-based American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR). The Institute contends that eating a plantbased diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, can help ward off many cancers. Add exercise and weight control to the mix and one third of all cancers each year in this country could be avoided, according to the AICR. Dr. Christopher Lathan, an oncologist at DFCI agrees. “There are certain lifestyle choices we can make to benefit us,” he said. “But you can still do those things and get cancer.” He stresses, however, that when a person follows a healthy lifestyle, “the odds are in your favor.” Though shrouded in many misperceptions, the science on cancer has become clearer over the years. First of all, it is not one disease. The cancer detected in the prostate




© OCTOBER 2006

Boston Public Health Commission

NO. 2

Women’s Health

‘I thought I was safe...’ higher rate of cervical cancer, this visit has Fifteen-year-old Jennifer Sanchez the potential to really benefit these teens.” had heard about human papillomavirus The HPVs are a group of over 100 — HPV — but didn’t think much about the types, each of which is designated by a sexually transmitted virus. What she didn’t know is that by adultsingular number. HPVs cause warts, or hood, over 80 percent of women are or papillomas, and are very common. have been infected with the virus at some It is estimated that over 6 million point in their lives. people are infected each year in the United What is more States. More than 50 percent of the alarming is that Sanpeople who have chez wouldn’t even had sex will at some have known about point have the virus, HPV’s high infecand the majority of tion rate unless she those people will be had attended a forum designed to make between 15 and 25 young women aware years old. of HPV and its link The numbers are to cervical cancer. more troublesome for Sanchez and — Natasha Labbe young women. Dr. Bigby pointed out 22 other women that girls who begin from Teen Voices, having intercourse a Boston-based before the age of 16 are twice as likely to denonprofit girls’ organization, learned a great deal about HPV after their recent visit velop HPV than those who have intercourse to Brigham and Women’s Hospital with Dr. after age 20. She also explained that women who JudyAnn Bigby. “I wanted [the girls] to get engaged have more than five sexual partners in their lifetimes are much more likely to contract in a relevant health topic,” said Dr. Bigby, who is the director of community health HPV as well. “I thought I was safe,” said Natasha programs at Brigham and Women’s. “And Labbe, a recent graduate of Boston Latin with African American women having a

Why isn’t there more awareness about HPV? Why did I never know about this?

Breast Cancer Ollie Cunningham took every precaution she could. Given her family history, she knew she was at a higher risk to contract cancer. Her mother and two of her sisters had already been diagnosed with some form of the disease. Cunningham didn’t wait until she turned 40 years old to have an annual mammogram, as recommended by the American Cancer Society. She started her testing at the age of 25 and, for the next 35 years, she was vigilant

Two women struggle for survival

with her self-examinations and annual screenings. She knew that mammograms could often find lumps too small to detect by hand. She also knew if cancers were found at this stage, the chances of recovery were more successful. Last January, 60-year-old Cunningham went to her screening and received the news that she had been dreading for decades: she had a lump in her breast. “The doctors told me I would not have found [the lump] on my own because it was so small,” she recalls. “If

The Breast and Cervical Cancer Gap Breast Cancer

School who has not been sexually active. “Why isn’t there more awareness about HPV? Why did I never know about this?” Closing the information gap is a major priority for Dr. Bigby, and, as A member of Teen Voices studies HPV under a microscope. such, the next stop for the teens was the cytology lab. Cytology is the branch of biol- Cases of cervical cancer in the developed ogy that deals with the study of cells. world have dropped from one of the top For the most part, HPVs are harmcancer killers to under two percent of all less and look worse than any real medical estimated cancer deaths in women in 2006. threat. But some HPVs, specifically HPV Between 1975 and 2003 alone, the strains No. 16 and 18, can lead to cerviage-adjusted incidence and mortality rates cal cancer. The Pap smear is one effective for cervical cancer dropped by 200 percent screening test for finding HPV. for white women and over 300 percent for black women. Developed in the 1920s by Dr. George The key is early screenings. In many Papanicolaou, Pap smears enable doctors to underdeveloped countries, where Pap detect and diagnose suspicious cells before they become cancerous. If left unchecked, the smears and condom use are not readily suspicious cells can turn to cancer and cancer available, cervical cancer remains a leading could then invade other parts of the body. cause of death in women, causing more At the time, the medical community than 270,000 deaths annually. was slow to embrace Dr. Papanicolaou’s The statistics in the United States are findings. But the use of Pap smears survived also illustrative of the importance of early the initial scrutiny and its use over the years diagnosis. The five-year survival rate of has resulted in an incredible medical feat. continued to page 4

Cervical Cancer

White women

Black women

White women

Black women

Incidence Rates





Death Rates





Rates are age-adjusted to the 2000 U.S. Standard Population, per 100,000 Source: Cancer Incidence and Mortality in Massachusetts 1998-2002: Statewide Report, Center for Health Information, Statistics, Research and Evaluation, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, May 2005

I wasn’t having regular mammograms, I might not have found it until it was at an advanced stage.” Doctors ordered an ultrasound and a biopsy that revealed that Cunningham did indeed have breast cancer. “I was not okay,” she says struggling through tears. “The first thing I thought was ‘This is it. I’m going to die.’ My sister died of breast cancer and this is how I thought I would die too.” Cunningham’s fears were not unfounded. Cancer is the second highest cause of death in this country. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women with a death rate second only to that for lung cancer. Because Cunningham’s tumor was found at an early stage, she was eligible for a lumpectomy, a breast conserving surgery in which only the tumor and surrounding tissue are removed. Cunningham had her surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and then completed her treatment of radiation and hormone therapy at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. It was not easy, but so far

it seems that the treatment has been successful. Cunningham had her first normal mammogram and is in remission. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2006 roughly 275,000 new breast cancers will be diagnosed in this country, and that 15 percent of all female deaths from cancer will be attributed to breast cancer. The racial disparities are startling. While the incidence of breast cancer nationwide is 21 percent higher in white women, the death rates are 34 percent higher in black women. The statistics in Boston are similar — 95.3 percent of black women over the age of 40 report having had a mammogram compared to 91.7 percent of white women. Yet, black women had a 14 percent higher death rate from breast cancer. The reasons for the disparity between white and black women are under investigation. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggested that some young black women with certain genetic traits

continued to page 4

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Be Healthy is designed to help you take charge of your health. It’s up to you to know what screening tests you should have based on your age, gender, race and family history. And what it takes for a healthy lifestyle — exercise, a healthy eating plan and weight control.

Your health depends on You. For more information about Be Healthy, contact Karen Miller, Health Editor, at 617-261-4600 or

The Bay State Banner is committed to bringing reliable and understandable health information to our community to help end racial health disparities in Massachusetts.

CoMe AnD exPeRienCe THe PoweR of

Stott Pilates ips h s r e b Mem only for



All gAin ... nO PAin!


three locAtions within:

Boston Athletic Club

653 Summer Street, MA 02210

Dedham Health & Athletic Complex 200 Providence Highway, Dedham, MA 02026

Healthtrax 100 Simsbury Road, Avon, CT 06001

1-800-401-8349 •


Exhale • Spring 2011

resource Directory CHOLESTEROL


National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute MedlinePlus American Heart Association

BLOOD PRESSURE National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Interactive Tools and Tutorials Healthy Eating

MedlinePlus Healthy Eating cooking.pdf dash.pdf Alliance Foundation for Community Health/Cambridge Health Alliance, Cambridge Boston Medical Center Community Servings, Boston Haitian Public Health Initiative, Boston Hallmark Health Systems, Malden Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center, Dorchester Massachusetts General Hospital Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers (MAPS), Boston


resource Directory DIABETES Centers for Disease Control And Prevention National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse Risk Tests for Diabetes &quiz=diabetes Video: Blood sugar and insulin

Lynn Community Health Center YWCA of Greater Lawrence Massachusetts Community Health Services, Brockton Steppingstone Incorporated Baystate Medical Center Comprehensive Breast Center, Springfield

African Americans and Diabetes

Gandara Center, Springfield Holyoke Health Center, Springfield Massachusetts Affiliate of


Susan G. Komen for the Cure Mercy Medical Center, Springfield North Adams Regional Hospital/Reach Community Health, North Adams Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Whittier Street Health Center, Roxbury YWCA Boston YWCA Malden Family Health Center of Worcester, Inc. Women’s Imaging at Berkshires Medical Center, Pittsfield

http://www.berkshire National Cancer Institute Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, Inc.


Lowell General Hospital


Exhale • Spring 2011

Mayo Clinic Massachusetts General Hospital

resource Directory Cancer Center


Risk assessment of breast cancer

American Cancer Society

Siteman Cancer Center American Cancer Society 800-ACS-2345 (227-2345) 617-565-7400 National Cancer Institute 800-4-CANCER (422-6237) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute National Cancer Institute Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Prevent Cancer Foundation Massachusetts General Hospital


resource Directory Cancer Center Dana-Farber Cancer Institute e=conditions and Women’s Hospital exercise American Heart Association

COLORECTAL CANCER American Cancer Society Dana-Farber Cancer Institute gastrointestinal-cancer/default.html National Cancer Institute 800-4-CANCER MedlinePlus index.htm

Tutorials Colonoscopy index.htm Digestive System

EXERCISE Centers for Disease Control and Prevention html html Videos for Strength Training Strength Training for Older Adults


Exhale • Spring 2011 Mayo Clinic The Basics of Exercise Brigham and Women’s Hospital Cardiovascular Wellness Service Building Wellness One Heart at a Time (or Free Online Wellness Program)

Women Organizations resource Directory The Breast Cancer Research Foundation The mission of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation® is to achieve prevention and a cure for breast cancer in our lifetime by providing critical funding for innovative clinical and translational research at leading medical centers worldwide, and increasing public awareness about good breast health. Currently, more than 90 cents of every dollar donated is directed to breast cancer research and awareness programs. For more information about BCRF, visit

Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts serves more than 45,000 girls ages 5-17 and 17,000 adult volunteers in the 178 communities we serve in Eastern Massachusetts. For more information, please visit or call 888-9-Girl Scout.

Healthworks Foundation The Healthworks Foundation is dedicated to providing high-quality fitness opportunities for women and children in Boston’s lowincome communities to prevent and treat lifestyle-related chronic illness and promote overall health and well-being. The Foundation also partners with community health centers and other non-profit organizations in the Greater Boston region, which address the needs of women and children in the areas of health, wellness and athletics; violence prevention and survival; and economic empowerment through financial contributions and volunteer efforts. For more information, please visit

YWCA Founded in 1866, YWCA Boston is America’s first YWCA. For more than 140 years, YWCA Boston has worked to eliminate racism and empower women. Today’s YWCA provides critical services in the community. They include mobile health and wellness education for women and girls; breast cancer survivor support; adult interracial community dialogues; youth/police dialogues; and financial literacy programs for women. YWCA Boston sponsor’s Boston’s Academy of Women Achievers and an annual, city-wide, Stand Against Racism Day. YWCA provides housing for single women at its Berkeley Residence. To learn more about YWCA Boston, please visit or follow the organization on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Young Black Women’s Society The Young Black Women’s Society, Inc. (YBWS) leads and empowers women and girls of color, helping them to develop their personal and professional lives by providing tools and access through social activities, professional development, civic engagement, leadership development and mentoring. YBWS currently has 70 active members from the Greater Boston Area, ranging from ages 24-44 years old, representing a wide variety of professions and industries. For more information, please visit or email

Susan G. Komen for the Cure Massachusetts The Massachusetts Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure is committed to 100 percent screening and 100 percent access to care for all in the Commonwealth. At this time education, screening and treatment are the best tools we have to reduce mortality from breast cancer. We are focused on meeting the needs of those who are underserved and/or lacking insurance. Our success is made possible through the passion, dedication and generosity of our many supporters. To learn more, please visit

The women’s center The Women’s Center is a community resource, to be used and contributed to by as many women as possible. The Center’s goals are to foster empowerment and social justice in a multicultural space that is safe, warm, respectful and comforting to all women and their children. We strive to provide healing opportunities; celebrate women’s voices, victories and survival; and encourage women to become advocates for themselves and others. To learn more, please visit us at 46 Pleasant Street, Cambridge, MA 02139 or


(24” x 24” acrylic on canvas)


Health and Lifestyle Magazine for women

‘Perpetual Motion’

By Margo Ouellette

(Margo’s art is currently on display at Neiman Marcus at Copley Place, Boston)

Carolyn Stuart

A question of faith — and a little hard work

“Margo Ouellette is a local artist from Boston whose art is influenced by her architectural background , her passion for color and her Native American heritage. Her art is displayed from Boston to Miami in prominent galleries, high end retail stores, and is in the Presidential Art Collection.”

Represented by Canvas Fine Arts Contact or

Exhale • Spring 2010


Exhale Health and Lifestyle Magazine -Spring 2011  

Quarterly health and lifestyle magazine for women

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you