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Can You Really Build Your Own Board? May/June 2014 | 1


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CONTENTS MAY/JUNE 2014 features 24 CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD Believe it or not, you can build your own paddleboard. Our intrepid writer shows you the step-by-step process.



The Fort Myers CrossFit athlete had never found a challenge she couldn’t beat—until she was diagnosed with cancer.

regulars 6 GEAR - What’s in His Gym Bag? Wildland firefighter and ultrarunner Jordan McKnight shows what he never heads into the woods without.

8 GEAR - Fit Tech The GoPro isn’t your only option when it comes to taking awesome adventure videos.

10 FUEL - Try This FitNation breaks in its new test kitchen with these (mostly) paleo backpacking bars.

12 FUEL - Dine Smart You may think you know how to navigate the grocery aisles. But even health-conscious shoppers make these six crucial grocery shopping mistakes.

16 HEALTH – Against The Grain


We talk to Naples physician Dr. David Perlmutter about the release of his bestselling book “Grain Brain.”

32 TRAIN - Trending Now Kiteboarding is so 2013; strap on a hydrofoil and get ready to really start flying.

36 TRAIN - Monthly Workout You don’t need a fancy gym to get in a killer workout. The founders of the Gordon Pass Challenge take us through their beachbased, no-equipment-needed routine.


40 Fitbook


ON THE COVER: Paddleboarding is just one of the 15 things we’re obsessed with right now. See the full list on page 18. Photography by Nick Shirghio

Photos from Southwest Florida’s best races and events.

42 Calendar Races, rides and more upcoming events.

May/June 2014 | 3




was standing at the grand opening party for Time Trial Cycle in Naples when I realized it: I finally have friends here.

Three years ago my husband and I moved to Florida from Honolulu. It was not an easy move. I loved Hawaii. Everyone loves Hawaii. In Honolulu I’d had a great network of friends, a promising young career and the opportunity to surf 365 days a year. But in Florida, my career stagnated. I hated the summer heat and was sorely disappointed to learn that yes, indeed you could have a beach but not have waves. Most of all, I missed my warm and wonderful Hawaii “ohana,” or family. When you live on a remote island in the middle of the Pacific, friends quickly begin to feel like kin. I worried I’d never replicate that same closeness here in Florida. At Time Trial’s opening, however, I realized just how many of you I’ve gotten to know over the past three years. This is my network; these are my people, I thought as I sipped my free beer. Southwest Florida may not have the biggest athletic community, but what we lack in size we make up in cohesiveness. Everyone knows each other and—at least for the most part—supports one another in our various athletic endeavors. That feels awesome, especially to someone who has felt a little lost over the past few years. Without knowing it, I rode and ran and swam my way into a wonderfully inclusive community. Speaking of community, I’d like to take a moment to welcome new Associate Editor Victoria Curtis Wiseman to our community. Many of you may know Victoria from her wonderful essay “I Came To Be Awesome, Not Skinny,” which has received over 15,000 likes on Facebook. However, I know Victoria as a thoughtful, thorough, and compassionate editor, as well as a clearheaded and kind journalist. Already her strong principals and passion for sport are helping to further elevate FN’s content; we are lucky and happy to have her aboard. The pages before you make up our Great Outdoors issue—which also happens to be our first anniversary issue! For me, putting this magazine together was like writing a love letter to someone you’ve taken for granted for far too long. Everything in the issue reminds me of the specialness of this place—from the depths of its swamps to its miles of sugar-sand beaches. My hope is that this issue inspires you to try something or explore someplace new this summer. And I hope you’ll do it with a friend—preferably someone you’ve met through our awesome community. See you on the trails,



FN Media Group




Victoria Wiseman



Chelsea Garlock


Laura DalSanto, Brett Richard


Damisa Cooper, Katie Westbrook


(239) 330-3922


Joel Morris, Paul Neils, Debra Orringer,

Anne Reed, Simon Tracy, Jill Wheeler, Rebecca Youngblood


Sammy Duffy, Mary Carol Fitzgerald, Nick Shirghio, Brian Tietz


Connie Ramos-Williams President and CEO, CONRIC PR & Marketing | Publishing Founder, Southwest Florida Parent & Child Magazine; Advisory Board, Dress for Success Southwest Florida Kendra Sutton Strategic Marketing Consultant, WINK TV; Board, PACE Center for Girls; 2013-14 Lee Chair, Love That Dress! Derek Carlson CEO and Founder, Derek Carlson Real Estate Group; Realtor, RE/MAX Affinity

A.C. Shilton

Lisa Grant Owner and Designer, Design 2000 Melissa Waring Bates Owner, Addicted To Fitness



Patrick Ruff Broker-Associate Realtor, John R. Wood; Board, Naples Pathway Coalition (NPC)





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941-358-5100 561-753-9343 727-822-2RUN 813-873-2RUN 407-608-7RUN 352-872-5860 239-947-2RUN 305-667-4RUN 561-362-3834 407-560-8333

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We see what gear is essential for this wildland firefighter and ultra-marathoner. by Rebecca Youngblood




or Jordan McKnight, athleticism is crucial. Not just because it helps him pursue excellence in trail running and ultramarathoning, but because it could also save his life. For the last 15 years, McKnight has worked as a wildland firefighter. He’s also competed in 45 marathons and 15 or more ultras during that time. For McKnight, these two parts of his life are inseparable. Running frequently on trails allows McKnight to focus on perseverance through pain. A typical day as a wildland firefighter can include parachuting into a remote location and hiking 10-15 miles with 130-150 pounds of gear. “It requires you to be focused on the next step. Breathing. Posture. Balance. It transports you out of your head and brings you to where your next footfall is going to be.” “The tough days [ultra running] are as physically demanding as anything else I’ve ever done,” he says. “There’s a few times on fires I can think of when I’ve been as drained physically and mentally as after any competition I’ve done.” Here’s what McKnight never hits the trails without:


GARMIN 220 “I’m a total data nerd, and I consider this essential, especially when I’m running trails that I’ve never been on. Having it on my wrist helps me push myself when I’m slacking. I also use it during occasional forays into cross trainingbiking, swimming, even hiking.”

MIZUNO WAVE ASCEND 7 “I hate replacing shoes, because it seems like new versions never fit like the old ones. These were great on rocky trails in Arizona, where I lived before I moved to Florida, and have proven pretty competent on sandy and mixed trails in Florida, too. Someday I’ll have to replace them...”

45 POUND VMAX WEIGHT VEST “Wildland firefighters have to take a fitness test every year. We have to complete three miles in 45 minutes with a 45lb pack or vest. You’re not supposed to run, which, for a runner, makes the test much harder. A few times a year I like to go out and see how fast I can do it. The vest is also a great companion for some bodyweight exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, lunges, etc.”

MYSTERY RANCH HOT TOP PACK “This is the Cadillac (or Audi) of wildland fire packs. Mystery Ranch builds a fire pack onto what is basically a heavy-duty backpacking frame. We typically carry these with 30-45

pounds of gear, but sometimes load them up for overnight trips on fires. If you’re going to be wearing your pack for 14 hours, hiking up hills (we travel all over the country), busting through brush, and have to do it 14 days in a row, this is one of the best packs you can get.”

IPHONE5 “I only run with my phone when I’m the duty officer at work (and thus on call to initiate a fire response), but I really like some of the fitness apps. I’ve been using Sworkit Pro [an app that provides workout plans] for a while, and it’s great, especially when I’m on the road. I spend as many nights traveling to meetings and conducting training as I do on fires nowadays, and all of the exercises in Sworkit Pro can be done with a floor, a wall, and a chair, which is perfect when you’re stuck in a hotel room! Other than that, the phone is mostly a tool that distracts me from workouts.”

YOGA MAT “I don’t know where my wife found this superthick yoga mat, but it’s the perfect companion to Sworkit Pro, stretching after long runs, abs. When you’re doing your workout on the gym floor of a fire operations center, you want a yoga mat. I don’t really do a lot of yoga, but I have fond memories of when I had the time to do it!”

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Capture every single adventure with one of these action cameras. by A.C. Shilton which enhances the camera’s ability to shoot in less than ideal light conditions. In the past, GoPro has taken some heat for its camera’s low light shooting abilities, but this setting aims to fix that. If you’re going to be using the camera for water sports, opt for the surf version, which is waterproof to 131 feet and comes with surfboard mounts.


Some reviews have panned this camera for its difficulty focusing on objects that are more than five or six feet away. GoPro switched to what it considered to be an “improved lens” with this camera. While it focuses really well on close objects (so it’s great for a quick selfie or capturing that awesome log you sailed over on a mountain bike), if you want shots of scenery, you may be disappointed.

SONY HDR-AS100V/W; $299.99 Sony’s first entry into the action camera market has been moderately successful. The camera features an image stabilization feature and two field of view shooting options—120 degrees or 170 degrees. Users agree that the 170-degree shooting setting is remarkably clearer than the 120, but unfortunately, the stabilization feature isn’t available in that setting. The camera comes with a waterproof case, but the case makes it impossible to do anything besides turn the camera off and on—meaning you can’t access any of the other buttons. Also unfortunate: The tripod mount is built into the waterproof case, so if you’re filming something on a dry day and want to use a tripod, you have to put the camera in its waterproof housing. Pluses for this model are great color clarity, decent photo quality in low light, built in Wi-Fi and the price point is significantly lower than the equivalent GoPro. P: GETTY IMAGES

CONTOUR +2; $299.99


decade ago, if you told a story about swimming next to a hammerhead, your friends would have stared at you in wide-eyed amazement. Today, however, they just say: “Pics or it didn’t happen.” Which is why you need to have a digital action camera at-the-ready whenever you think you might do something epic. For years, GoPro has dominated this market, but now there are some


great alternatives. We break down your options so all you have to worry about is nailing that sick stunt.

THE GOPRO HERO + BLACK EDITION; $399.99 The gold standard for action cameras, this shoots in ultra HD—with up to twice the pixels of a normal 1080p30 camera. It also has built in Wi-Fi and a Wi-Fi remote, and it takes 12 megapixel stills. There’s a low-light mode too,

Contour was one of the first brands in the marketplace, but GoPro has really eaten away at the company’s business. This offering, however, may help them take some market share back. The camera has some neat tech-y features, like embedding a GPS marker in your video or synching the camera so you can use your smart phone as a viewfinder. One thing that makes this camera especially useful is its 270-degree rotating lens. If you need to mount the camera in a funky position, you can simply rotate the lens to get the view you want! It takes 1080p video and has decent sound and image quality right out of the box. Some users however have complained about the

Contour’s clunky software and the company’s less than stellar customer service—if you go for this camera, know you may be on your own if something goes wrong.

MONOPRICE MHD ACTION CAM; $81.43 This is the action camera for the guy who regularly breaks stuff. Seriously, at $81 you can buy two or three for the price of some of the other models. This camera shoots in HD with decent color resolution but it lacks many of the bells and whistles of the other cameras. One bonus of not having bells and whistles is it’s super simple to use. This camera’s footage may not win any prizes at the local film fest, but its images are certainly high enough in quality to rack up a ton of YouTube hits.

YOUR VIDEOS SUCK. HERE’S HOW TO MAKE THEM BETTER. With so much awesome stuff on the Internet, your videos need to be good to get noticed. So stop posting shaky footage with tons of background noise. Here are some steps to shoot like a stud: • Mount that camera. Human hands do a terrible job of holding a camera steady. Use a tripod or a chestpod—which balances off your chest—if at all possible. • Go for multiple angles. Sure, it’s fun to see what you looked like while out paddleboarding, but it would be even cooler if you spliced that video together with shots from under your board or shots looking out behind you.

• Be aware of your verbal ticks. If you’re going to be talking to the camera, familiarize yourself with your on-camera mannerisms. The less you say “um,” the less agonizing it is for folks to watch your video. • To clearly capture voices, opt for a plug-in mic instead of relying on the camera’s built-in option. • Remember that people have short attention spans. Get right to the action, then end it. No one wants to sit through 20 minutes of you paddling just to get to the shot of the shark.

WELL MIND, WELL BODY Therapist and Life Coach Jill Wheeler answers your hardest brain-based questions. by Jill Wheeler Q: I have always played it safe in life, but I want to be more adventurous. How do I try new things without worrying about hurting myself or looking stupid? A:Your attitude is the key to living an adventurous life. Consider this John A. Shedd quote: “A ship in harbor is safe but that’s not what ships are built for.” Humans too are built to withstand the struggles inherent to living an adventurous life. We are also hardwired to handle stress—especially the heart-racing, blood-pumping, good kind of stress that comes from trying a new sport, adventuring to new lands or learning something out of your perceived comfort zone. One suggestion is to powerfully visualize yourself doing the sport or activity. It sounds

funny but the more you practice “seeing” yourself master it, the more fluently you will pick it up. Having someone with you and having a great sense of humor are also essential. The fun (albeit sometimes unnerving) thing about adventure is you don’t know what is going to happen next. The adventures that go wrong are often the ones we laugh hardest about after the fact. They also often produce the memories that bond us to our friends and family because we experienced them together. You’ll have to accept that you might look like a buffoon while trying something the first time. It’s also important to consider that getting comfortable with being uncomfortable is a great way to expand self-induced limits. Now, I am not suggesting you try everything with wild abandon (some things require proper coaching or professional guidance), but know that some

pain, bumps and bruises are small prices to pay for living a life of full of fun and adventure! If you simply don’t know how to get out of your routines, there’s good news. The Internet allows unprecedented access to sites with information and groups to help you try something new. You simply have to make up your mind to do it. Those first few steps are always the most difficult, so grab a buddy, and go for it. Whatever you tackle next, keep me posted! Send an email, write a comment on my Facebook page; inspire me! That is where the magic happens…when we inspire others through our own experiences! Jill Wheeler, M.A., LPC, Therapist, Life Coach, Leadership Consultant, Writer, Yoga/SUPyoga Instructor, Adventurer, Athlete, lululemon Ambassador and Owner of the Wellfit Institute.

May/June 2014 | 9


An outdoor-ready snack for any adventure. by Victoria Wiseman




very spring I bake my own energy bars for my family’s outdoor adventures. This year however, after months of grainfree living, I opened my old recipe book and realized that my standby bar was not at all paleo-friendly, full as it was of oats and peanut butter. So we decided to inaugurate the Fit Nation Test Kitchen and make our own, grain-free energy bar that the whole family would think was a treat. Here were my requirements in making this recipe: Energizing: My bar needed to have refueling power, meaning protein, a bit of sugar (but not a pound) and some fat. Easy: I’m a home cook with few fancy devices, so I didn’t want to buy more than a couple new ingredients and no new gadgets. All I needed for this recipe was my food processor and a pan. Yummy: I’m too old to eat gross food. I would rather eat a bite of heavenly goodness than a mouthful of hellish healthy stuff. This is why my recipe includes chocolate. You can feel free to omit it without any effect on the recipe. (But really, why would you want to?)

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I based the bar on a date/walnut combo I found while traveling in the Middle East. Traditionally, these amazing cookies—called ma’amoul—also have pistachios, and the whole thing is wrapped in shortbread. The flavor combination in this bar, with the added crunch of sesame seeds, is no shortbread cookie, but it is a pretty good stand-in. Medjool dates are relatively easy to find in natural food stores, and super easy to pit. Cranberries give the recipe a tasty zing and have the highest antioxidant load of nearly any fruit. The walnuts, meanwhile, give the whole operation a meatiness along with the highest plant-based omega-3s of any nut.

HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED: 2 cups raw walnuts 6 large medjool dates, pitted 1 cup dried cranberries 4 Tbs nut butter—cashew or almond (I used cashew) 3 Tbs raw honey ½ Tsp sea salt ½ Tsp cinnamon 1 cup raw sesame seeds Optional ¼ cup cashew pieces—or any nut, chopped ¼ cup chocolate chips—the mini ones worked best.

In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process walnuts, dates and dried cranberries until it forms a ball or resembles sticky crumbs—you should be able to press the mixture easily into a shape. Add the nut butter, honey, salt and cinnamon. Process until combined. Remove dough and mix in the sesame seeds by hand—do not process. You want the nice crunch the seeds provide. Divide the dough in half. In a greased 8x8-inch pan, press half the dough into the bottom. If the mixture is too sticky, work with wet hands. Sprinkle a layer of the chocolate pieces and cashews on top. Top with the rest of the dough, spreading evenly to cover the chocolate/nut filling. Refrigerate until set and cut into bars. For bite-sized snacks: Incorporate mini chocolate chips and chopped sesame seeds by hand, mixing well. Working with wet hands, form mixture into balls and chill as above. Flavor boosting tip: It takes and extra 10 minutes and uses a couple sheet pans, but roasting the walnuts and sesame seeds in the oven (separately) adds a rich caramel flavor.

aples, FL-based Amazon Origins is redefining the functional food industry with its product Amaçari, a supplement made from the Amazonian superfruit camu camu. The Oz Blog, the Katie Couric talk show, and the Huffington Post have all recently highlighted the multitude of benefits associated with taking camu camu. But Amaçari is differentiating itself from its competitors through eco-conscious harvesting, local giveback to indigenous cooperative groups, and a proprietary powdering method, all of which deliver a product with the highest nutritional value and unique combination of health benefits.

PEOPLE WHO HAVE TAKEN AMAÇARI REPORT A RANGE OF BENEFITS, INCLUDING: • Joint and recovery support from fitness and other physically strenuous activities • Improved energy and mental clarity • Helps to reduce oxidative stress in the body • Immune support and better able to fight off minor illness • Anti-aging from the potent antioxidants and production of collagen • General feelings of wellbeing and better health Camu camu has gained popularity in particular due to its unmatched vitamin C content, higher than any other known botanical, and equivalent to 30-50 times the vitamin C in an orange. Amazon Origins, however, has taken a different approach than other manufacturers, using the entire fruit – including the pulp, skin, and seed of the berry – to maximize the nutritional benefits. The combination of using the whole fruit and leaving out any additives or fillers means that each Amaçari capsule is the approximate equivalent of 3 whole berries and nothing else. Local entrepreneur Jeff Moats knew that the camu camu berry was a powerful fruit when he learned of its historical

use by natives and medicine men who have lived deep in the Amazon for centuries. It wasn’t until Jeff brought the fruit to the United States and began testing for nutritional content and health benefits that he realized what a special little berry camu camu is. Amaçari not only has impressive levels of vitamin C but also 9 times the antioxidant capacity of freeze dried Açai, 2 times the ellagic acid as the dark raspberry, and an amazing combination of amino acids, potassium, fiber, beta-carotene, calcium, and magnesium, just to name a few. In the seed of this special fruit are significant levels of betulinic acid, a triterpenoid that has a range of anti-inflammatory effects on the body. The harmonious combination of these natural occurring compounds is what has led some to refer to camu camu as being akin to a ‘pharmacy in a fruit.’

Go to camupur and





Amazon Origins wild-harvests its camu camu from riverbanks deep in the Amazon, picking only the ripest berries, in partnership with local agricultural collaboratives. The manufacturing process used by Amazon Origins to create Amaçari is specialized to maintain more than 85% of the fruit’s nutrients, and requires no fillers or additives to preserve or artificially enhance the powder. Unlike more commonly used freeze drying or drum drying techniques, this process exposes the berries to minimal heat in powdering the whole fruit. Amaçari is easily distinguishable with its distinct camu camu scent and pink color. When you take Amaçari, you feel the power and vitality of the Amazon with it. Anyone looking to enhance their health and wellness through natural remedies would do well to consider incorporating camu camu into their nutrition plan. Amaçari is still a young product in the market, but is used by many local athletes to stay in peak condition, as well as support their body’s recovery after competition and vigorous workouts, while maintaining optimal health. Even non-athletes of young and old enjoy Amaçari as a natural alternative to over-thecounter synthetic supplements. This supports Amazon Origins’ core mission, to craft products emphasizing the nutritional secrets from deep in the Amazon, improving the quality of life for everyone. Amazon Origins happily calls Naples its home base, but considers itself a global participant in the health and wellness industry.

For more information visit: or email

November/December May/June2013 2014 | 11


Your grocery store is making you fat, here’s how to beat the system. by Anne Reed




rocery shopping seems like it should be easy, right? Make a list, check it twice, get nothing naughty—just lean proteins, veggies and maybe some brown rice. In reality, however, most of us rush through the store in sweaty workout clothes, grabbing toilet paper and coffee and whatever else catches our eye.

this question to Alison Duffey, a registered dietician and owner of Healthy for Life Nutrition Consulting LLC in Naples. She walked us through our local grocery store and pointed out dozens of spots where even smart, healthy shoppers could make simple nutrition mistakes. Here’s her smart shopping list.

RULE ONE: COME PREPARED Next time we’ll have a list and be more prepared, we think. Unfortunately, it’s those quick trips that do us the most harm. Once we walk into a grocery store, in-store marketing, specials and samples barrage us. There are enticing end-caps of fruit pies and an entire section that smells like cake, and well, it just goes downhill from there. How can we avoid the pitfalls of the grocery store, stick to a realistic budget, and still eat healthful, nutritious food? We posed

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“I think the most important thing is to have a list,” Duffey said. Your best bet is to plan your meals for the week and then arrange your list via the sections of the store you need to visit. That will keep you from wandering aimlessly. And don’t go on an empty stomach, either. “The worst thing to do is to shop hungry and on the fly,” said Duffey. “If I’m hungry, I grab cheese and crackers and wine and that’s my night.” Duffey points out that when she plans and prepares, and shops with a list, she can make one night of preparation stretch into other nights of meals, saving both time and money.

Research backs up her wine-and-cheese anecdote. A national survey published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine reported that individuals who engaged in physical exercise or meal planning were two times more likely to report weight loss than those who engaged in other weight loss and weight management activities.

RULE TWO: PICK PRODUCE WITH CARE If you have access to a farmers’ market or roadside stand, head there for your produce. You have a better chance of finding locally grown produce, which tends to contain more nutrients. Studies have shown that fresh fruits and veggies lose their nutritional punch the longer they sit—generally local produce is fresher than items that have been flown halfway across the globe. Better yet, you can often load up on fruits and veggies for less, which helps keep you on budget. But not every farmer’s market has only local produce:

non-local produce has been known to turn up in area markets. Your best bet is to ask the seller where an item is from—if they don’t seem to know, don’t buy it. After a while, you’ll get to know which vendors are selling local and which aren’t. It’s best if you can buy fruits and vegetables at their peak. However, with so much imported produce available year-round, sometimes it’s hard to know what’s actually in season when. Luckily, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services provides monthly shopping lists that specify which fruits and vegetables are in season. These lists are available as a printable shopping list at

RULE THREE: THE PERIMETER ISN’T A TOTALLY SAFE SPACE It’s no secret that the freshest food is found along the outside of the grocery store. However, there are still things to avoid. For instance, Duffey stopped us in the dairy section—technically on the perimeter—and picked up a low-calorie yogurt. As Duffey read the label, she commented, “One hundred calories. Is this the worst thing you can put in your body? No. But it also depends on if you want to do the artificial sweeteners. My thinking is clinically and chemically, what they say is artificial sweeteners break down in the body to natural components and are flushed out of the body naturally. And they have their place… people who need lower sugar diets. But if you are trying to eat more healthfully, do you want to get there by putting more chemicals in your body?” The lesson here: While the perimeter is where you can find fresh options, be sure to read labels.

RULE FOUR: DON’T BE FOOLED BY SHINY PACKAGING “Packaging isn’t something they just put on there,” Duffey explained. “There are people whose job is to make the most attractive packaging that people are going to go right to.” Package design is based on what will grab your attention—not how nutritious something is. The good news is that ingredient labels are changing. The FDA has proposed a new design with larger, bolder fonts for calorie counts, a more accurate serving size, and a separate line for added sugars.

And do not be confused by buzzwords—or tricked into thinking that a buzzword makes something healthy. “Be wary of your sources,” says Duffey. She uses vegetable chips as an example. The chips may state on the package that they equal a serving of vegetables, but the truth is, you are getting more nutritional value from an actual serving of vegetables than you are from a chip. “If it has more than five ingredients, or your grandmother can not pronounce it, beware.” Finally, while reading the ingredients, keep in mind that they are listed by weight. Whatever is listed first makes up the majority of the product. Finally, it’s important to note that children in particular can be tricked by packaging. A study published in 2012 in the Canadian Journal of Public Health evaluated the responses of children to different parts of packaging including color, images of cartoon spokescharacters, and package claims. Researchers found that all the children—even children in the fifth and sixth grades–struggled to identify the healthy foods.

RULE FIVE: WATCH WHERE YOU’RE PULLING ITEMS FROM The cereal aisle is an excellent example of the importance of product placement. Duffey pointed out that the sugar-filled cereals were all placed low—at a child’s eye level. “That’s a very common, well-known marketing tool,” she said. Meanwhile, dry beans, rice, and bulk items such as lentils and raw nuts are often buried or hidden on top or bottom shelves. While you’re shopping, if a product grabs your eye, before placing it in your cart check the calorie count, serving size, and the fiber. Checking the label will help you get in the habit of smarter shopping. And if something does catch your eye, look around and check the

shelves above and below it for more options, and possibly even healthier options.

RULE SIX: GRAB A CART, EVEN IF YOU’RE JUST GETTING A FEW THINGS A basket seems smarter; since you can fit less stuff in it, so you’re less likely to buy more than you need, right? Wrong. A 2011 study in the Journal of Market Research found that shoppers tend to go more for instant gratification items when we hold a basket in our dominant arm. It’s a principal called “embodied cognition,” and it means that we often make subconscious decisions based solely on the sensations in our body. When your arms are extended—like when you’re pushing a shopping cart—you’re much less likely to reach for those impulse buys.

This Store Will Teach You How To Shop One store making a difference locally is Ada’s Natural Market, which is specially designed to help shoppers make healthy choices. Matthew Hoover, an event specialist and part of Ada’s management team, explained: “What we were hoping to do was guide the customer through the store… helping them make the healthiest choices possible.” Major national brands are missing from their store. “We don’t carry a lot of conventional brands. Everything we do have, for example, in soda, is made with Stevia,” explained Hoover. The store also offers various classes and lectures and several times a month a nutrition expert guides a group of 15 people through the store, teaching them how to read labels and make smarter choices. More information can be found on its website:

May/June 2014 | 13


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A Day in the Life | Erik David Barber

For one of Naples most sought after Real Estate agents, a day inside Talis Park includes listing appointments, out-of-state buyers, a round of golf and...oh, yeah-- kettlebell sit-ups.

6:56 a.m.

Vyne House Lawn

for a workout with Talis Park trainer, Erika Cloutier. The workout includes a boxing regime, 40-yard sprints and kettlebell sit-ups.


emails received 18 sent


8:38 a.m.

calories burned

Il Corso Model Home


for an impromptu meeting with Gulf Luxe teammate Stacy Bush. They discuss new trends they are seeing throughout Naples.


1:27 p.m.

Lunch at Fiona’s Cafe

with Gulf Luxe teammate Cynthia Ann Corogin. He orders a grilled shrimp ceasar salad, side of mixed fruit and cappucino. They discuss video production, marketing and costs for an upcoming listing.

of Espresso; a habit he picked up in Italy


calls received six made


3:42 p.m. Golfing

days a week he

with seasonal residents from Baltimore.

works out, including baseball & softball games


6:14 p.m. Casa Cortese

for a 25-minute FaceTime discussion with the CEO of Newlio, a consumer insights company.


and nonprofits he has helped over the past four years May/June 2014 | 15

AGAINST THE GRAIN Are carbohydrates killing us? By Victoria Wiseman




aples physician and author Dr. David Perlmutter received a lot of attention following the publication of his most recent book, “Grain Brain.” In the book he says eliminating grain staves off a whole host of brain illnesses and general ailments. FitNation chatted with Dr. Perlmutter about his diet advice, his newfound celebrity and the best places in Southwest Florida for grain-free eating. FN: Your new book, “Grain Brain,” suggests carbohydrates, even unrefined whole grains, are the cause of many neurological diseases and other ailments. Do you eat gluten-free or are there other diet modifications you make? DP: I’m at risk for Alzheimer’s because of family history; so gluten-free eating is the cornerstone of my personal diet. But it’s important to understand that many foods that are marketed as gluten-free still have a high glycemic index that will dramatically raise blood sugar. You need to eliminate those foods that have a high glycemic index, too. The purpose of the glycemic index is to assess food’s effect on blood sugar, because it shows how high [blood sugar] goes and for how long it stays high.

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The longer it stays high, the more damage is occurring. High glycemic index foods are the ones that are highest in carbs, too. Also, I suggest we welcome fat back into the table. Its one of the trick questions I ask my patients. I ask, “do you have fat in your diet,” and they’ll say, “no, I eat a low-fat diet.” But we need fat. NOTE: Dr. Perlmutter points to a 2013 article published in the New England Journal of Medicine that concludes that high glucose levels are a risk factor for dementia, and a 2013 article in the journal of the American Academy of Neurology that concludes chronic high blood glucose levels negatively affect cognition. That report also says lowering blood sugar even from the normal range could benefit the cognition of the aging population, a hypothesis to be studied later. FN: What are your favorite meals for this lifestyle—what do you eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner? DP: I love eggs and I have lots of them. I usually eat a three-egg omelet with spinach or kale for breakfast; I cook it with olive oil. I usually have

some avocado too. I have a nice cup of coffee in the morning with a little bit of organic milk. At lunch I eat a lot at Food and Thought. I eat fish or maybe just steamed vegetables. Then I’ll have a big dinner with grass-fed beef or some mahi I caught last summer, and a bunch of roasted vegetables. I’m not hungry and I eat a lot of food. This is a diet that’s extremely restricted in carbs and has added fat. FN: Low-carbohydrate diets like Atkins and Paleo have been around for a while. How does your dietary advice differ? DP: Atkins focused on high fat and low carbs, but it didn’t distinguish good fat versus bad fat. You have to be careful about favoring good fats: coconut oil, avocado, nuts and seeds, grass-fed beef, pasture-raised chicken, freerange eggs, organic goat’s cheese, wild fish, olive oil. Hydrogenated fats and things made to extend shelf life are really dangerous for your brain and your health. While Atkins was groundbreaking, it didn’t do a good job with the fats. Our diet is most aligned with Paleo, although we do allow some dairy as long as it’s organic, and we allow minimal amounts of legumes.

DP: It keeps blood sugar down, keeps inflammation down; it’s brain-healthy and cancer reducing. It also results in clarity of thinking, exercise endurance, lower [body mass index] and most people lose weight too, which is something it seems like everybody is concerned about these days. FN: You mentioned increased endurance as a benefit. But many athletes rely on foods with lots of gluten (like breads and pasta) for the energy needed in training. How do you suggest replacing those foods without losing out on the energy benefits? DP: Humans have been endurance athletes for a couple million years. Even before spears, we’d chase animals until they fell over. Having to carb load before an endurance event isn’t necessary. We store about 2,000 calories of carbs in the form of glycogen in our liver and muscles. If you need sugar you can break it down into glucose [for energy]. The typical person has 40,000 calories worth of fat stored in his or her body. If you train your body right you can tap into fat, and shift to burning fat instead of carbs—it’s called keto-adaptation. I’d rather tap into 40,000 stored calories than 2,000. A lot of high-end athletes are doing it these days. I treat a woman who has multiple sclerosis and right now she’s training to run her second 100-mile ultra marathon in the Sahara desert. FN: In your experience, does eating gluten-free affect endurance athletes’ performances? DP: When people go gluten-free and start carb restricting it’s going to take a little time to undergo adaptation to burn fat, usually several weeks. But the notion is that when you eat gluten, you create inflammation and that compromises your muscle and your mental performance. The big limitation during an athletic event is that your muscles hurt and become inflamed and they create lactic acid. When you train your body to burn fat that happens much less. Fat is a more efficient fuel for powering muscle.

You also have to understand that food is more than just fat, carbohydrates and nutrients. Food is giving information to our DNA. We call it epigenetics: Food choice influences gene expression. Our genes haven’t changed in 4050,000 years. We’ve changed what we’re eating. FN: Some experts warn that cutting out gluten could cause a deficiency in fiber, vitamins and minerals. What nutrients should we be careful to consume more of? What foods are good for those particular needs? DP: There’s no need for grains. Grains play no role in human health. The requirement for carbohydrates for humans is zero. By and large, the one thing people are deficient in is vitamin D, especially those taking cholesterollowering drugs. Vitamin D is actually wonderfully manufactured in body by taking in sunlight and using cholesterol. It activates genes, and changes expressions of DNA for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and autism. It’s critical for brain health. I recommend supplementation. DHA is an omega-3 that’s critically important for brain health. It’s found in fish oil and algae oil. It turns on a gene that allows your brain to grow new brain cells. I recommend 1,000 milligrams of DHA a day, about 5,000 units of vitamin D3 a day—but people should have their blood level checked to get the amount right after about two or three months—that’s very important. Also, a teaspoon or two of coconut oil a day and 350 milligrams of turmeric twice a day. There’s also lipoic acid, an antioxidant and resveratrol for gene pathways. And fundamentally important are probiotics for the good bacteria in your gut. FN: Your claims are still somewhat controversial. Why do you think mainstream medicine is slow to accept alternative dietary modifications? DP: I think it might have a lot to do with training. There’s basically no instruction in nutrition in medical school. My son is a third year medical student at the University of Miami, and he’s getting no nutrition education. People tend to be down on what they’re not up on. But I think we’re seeing a huge shift in that. Doctors across the board are becoming more interested in nutrition by focusing on making people healthy versus treating disease. The gut and the brain are intimately related. Gut plays a huge role in what goes on in the brain.


FN: What are the overall health benefits of eating this way?

FN: How long have you lived and worked in Southwest Florida? Has the local medical community embraced your work? DP: I’ve been here about 28 years. I was born in Coral Gables so I’ve been in Florida all of my 58 years. By and large, yes—I’m not only getting lots of referrals from local doctors, but I’m seeing them as patients as well. FN: You’re now a nationally known personality. How does it feel to be a celebrity doctor? Do people recognize you when you go to the grocery store? DP: Yes, people recognize me but it doesn’t feel any different. This is the path that I’ve always been walking. I can walk around town and dress like a slob if I want to—and I do—and no one seems to care. FN: What’s surprised you about your recent work and book? DP: I was very passionate about it from the getgo. But I’m somewhat surprised that it’s being published in 21 countries since its release in September. I’m surprised it has gained so much traction—but it’s validating. There’s nothing proprietary about [this diet]. No one owns it. All you have to do is change your diet and get a little exercise and you can change your destiny. Interested in learning more about Dr. Perlmutter’s work? Pick up his bestselling book “Grain Brain,” at any major bookseller, or set up an appointment at the Perlmutter Health Center in Naples by calling (239) 649-7400.

May/June 2014 | 17

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There are more reasons than ever to play outside in Southwest Florida. Here are 15 of our favorites. by A.C. Shilton

This year, Chicago had its third-snowiest year in recorded history. After almost a week of warm spring weather, on April 16th, New Englanders woke up to snow. And Virginia public schools had so many snow days it was decided that in order to make up the time, schools should add minutes to the school day; adding days would make the school year stretch well past its normal cutoff. This winter has sucked. Unless, of course, you live in Southwest Florida. We are undeniably lucky to live here, but not just because we have sunshine in spades. Our little corner of the Sunshine State is special because of what it encompasses: White sugar-sand beaches, miles of mega-diverse marine estuaries and the mysterious and expansive Big Cypress Swamp. Whatever kind of playground you consider paradise, Southwest Florida probably has it. And there’s no better time than the present to enjoy the 239. In the past few years, outdoor recreation opportunities here have exploded. What was once only a golfer’s and boater’s paradise is now the playing field for paddleboarders, yogis, mountain bikers and hikers too. Here are 15 things we love right now.

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1) Yoga: Anywhere, anytime.

Step one: Get your yoga mat. Step two: Head to the beach or any of the area’s numerous parks. Step three: Go nuts. Can you imagine doing yoga in a park in Boston? You’d freeze your asana off during all but three months of the year. But here, the world is your yoga mat, and that’s something we take for granted. You can join us for an open-air yoga class; Fit Nation is sponsoring a free outdoor yoga session at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point at 10 a.m, on May 10. Bring your yoga mat!


2) Full moon paddleboarding.

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, it’s time to put down that slice of ‘za and grab your paddleboard instead. In the past three years, moonlight paddleboard meet-ups have blossomed with as many as 80 paddlers going out together. If you want to join in on the fun, check out Sweetwater Paddle Sports in Bonita, which offers monthly full moon tours complete with glow sticks.

3) The Florida Mudcutters.


You need mountains to mountain bike, right? Wrong. The Florida Mudcutters have been building trails since 1999, when Lee County let them build trails at Caloosahatchee River Regional Park in Alva. (The group’s name comes from the fact that the Army Corps of Engineers had left big piles of mud all over the land when it dredged and rerouted the Caloosahatchee. The group spent several years “cutting the mud.”) Currently the group is working on a set of trails at Conservation Collier’s Pepper Ranch in Immokalee. Four and a half miles are done (it takes dozens of man hours to complete even a single mile of trail), with about 10 more miles of trail still left to build.

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Seven miles of mostly unadulterated bliss that you can only get to by boat? If we weren’t so busy doing wall balls and training for triathlons we’d be here every weekend.

5) The wee morning hours.

Florida is hot. But really, that’s a blessing in disguise. Why? Because it gets you up and out the door at sunrise. Grumble as you may when the alarm goes off, but these truly are the most magical hours of the day. The birds are just shaking the sleep from their eyes, the sun is just beginning its morning calisthenics, and you still have the whole day ahead of you.

6) Dolphin, rays, turtles and pelicans.

In the pool, it’s annoying when you have to share your lane with some lady doing aquaaerobics. But in the Gulf, there’s no greater thrill than swimming past a school of rays. While many ocean species are still rebounding from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, numbers are up, so your chances of high-fiving a passing dolphin (don’t actually do that, it’s illegal), are pretty good.

7) The year-round growing season.

In other places, people have to wait until summer to eat farm fresh, locally. Thanks to an uptick in the local farm business, fresh local produce is easier and easier to come by—year round. In Bonita, check out Farmer Mike’s U-Pick, which offers everything from mangos to strawberries and hot peppers. In Collier, check out Collier Family Farms, which just received its USDA Organic certification.


4) Keewaydin Island.

May/June 2014 | 21


8) Causeways.

What Southwest Florida lacks in hill terrain, we make up for in causeways. And we love them. There’s nothing better than banging out a dozen hill repeats over a bridge at dawn. If you’ve never tried it, you’re in for a lungbusting treat.

9) The Tamiami Trail Triathlon.

Founded as a way to encourage visitors to interact within South Florida’s different National Park sites, the Tamiami Trail consists of canoeing, hiking and cycling. Cycle the 15-mile loop at Shark Valley (watch out for gators!), hike the 3-mile trail outside the Oasis Visitor’s Center at Big Cypress National Preserve, and finish the day off by canoeing the 3.5-mile trail from the Everglades City Visitor Center.

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10) It’s always sundress weather.

Dear God, there is no finer piece of apparel. Women love them for how they feel post paddleboard session. Men love them because, well, what’s not to love about a woman in a sundress?

11) The Rookery Bay Greenway.

This technically doesn’t exist yet, but we can hardly wait for it. The idea is to connect the Naples Botanical Gardens with Rookery Bay National Marine Estuary via an off-road, multi-use path. The path will wind through mostly still-wild areas, offering two-wheeling Neapolitans a respite from the bustle of U.S. 41 during season.

12) Mud runs!

From the Gruesome Twosome to the Swamp Buggy Mud Blast and the South Florida Mud Run, getting dirty has never been so popular. We love mud, and we love that this new sport is taking off. Best of all, we think this is the best place in the world to train for mud running—in summer our daily thunderstorms give us plenty of mud to practice in!


13) Spearfishing is BACK!


We don’t like that the invasive lionfish has moved into Southwest Florida, but if there is a silver lining, it’s that spearfishing rules have been relaxed in an effort to control the population. One of the most physically demanding types of fishing, spearfishing takes both skill and swimming abilities. If you’ve been looking for a new sport, this is it.

14) The “Three Feet Please” campaign in Naples.

To protect cyclists, early this year the City of Naples put “Three Feet, It’s The Law” stickers on all of its city vehicles, including waste management trucks, police cars and even the beach patrol vehicles. It’s a nice show of support for local cyclists and gives us one more reason to love riding Naples’ picturesque streets.

15) Local hops.

Somehow Southwest Florida has been way behind the curve on the microbrew trend, but finally, with the arrival of the Fort Myers Brewing Company, Point Ybell Brewing Company and the Naples Beach Brewery, we’ve got something worth toasting. Nothing tastes better after a hard, hot run like a cold beer, especially one brewed in our own zip code. And while you can’t find these beers yet in grocery stores, they’re starting to pop up on local bar taps.

May/June 2014 | 23



On any given Saturday morning you can find the Gulf flecked with tanned and toned stand up paddleboarders plying the water. They glide along like proud, athletic swans, unhurried and graceful, just happy to be soaking up some sun. Watch for long enough and you’ll want to join in; the allure of walking on water is seriously contagious. Unfortunately, in order to join in you need a board—something I was lacking. Until I met Neil Hamilton, owner of Pine Island-based Low Key Surfboards. Hamilton builds his own surfboards and standup paddleboards, but he also helps others do the same. He promised me that he could help me make my very own hollow cedar wood standup paddleboard. I thought about my high school shop days and wasn’t so sure. Here’s what happened.


Like so many good ideas, Low Key Surfboards—a Pine Island-based custom surf and standup paddleboard manufacturer—was born on the beach. Hamilton, who is 61—but says he feels 19, spent more than two decades as a general contractor first in New Jersey and then here locally. Over the years, Hamilton built everything from custom homes to commercial buildings and all the little things in between. The process of taking a pile of raw materials and forming them into a home fascinated him. It’s the same process 24 |


he revels in with his surfboards. The tough part was that it took all of his time. After working an eight-hour day Hamilton would go home to work on estimates, meet with customers, do billing and all the rest. Saturdays and Sundays were taken too. There was just wasn’t much free time to play. Hamilton moved from the contracting business to the law enforcement business, joining the Lee County Sherriff’s office in 2001. The first seven years were primarily nights and the rest was in the zone of Fort Myers Beach. He was surrounded by sun, surf and sand daily, but never in a capacity in which he could interact with it. While still working as a deputy, Hamilton bought plans online for building a wooden surfboard. The finished board was very basic, and while he wasn’t thrilled with it, the wheels had started to turn. Next he bought plans to build a wooden canoe. Those plans were slightly better, but Hamilton theorized that he could probably produce an even better set of DIY instructions. Looking out at the water from behind his Pine Island home, Low Key Surfbords was born.

Finally, you will need some space to lay out the board and a whole bunch of C-clamps. You’ll need some fiberglass—your local surf shop or boat builder may be able to supply that, and you’ll need a couple of large pieces of cedar. Definitely take the time to pick through and get the nice pieces when you’re at your local hardware store.



“Woodworking is a dying art. You can’t Google everything,” says Hamilton. He adds that he finds it especially satisfying to watch teens and younger people take on projects. He loves seeing them working with their hands and creating something to use outdoors – away from television, the Internet and video games. I ask, “Does one have to have special skills to build a board?” He says that it’s definitely helpful to have some previous woodworking skills, but you don’t need to be the next Frank Lloyd Wright or Mike Holmes to be successful. At the very least, though, you do need to have some kind of zeal for working with your hands. Honestly, after spending a few weeks working on the board, I’d say that if you can put together a bookshelf from Walmart, you’re probably going to be okay. You’ll also need at least a few power tools—or access to power tools—to finish the project. Be resourceful. You can get a table saw and other power tools at a box store for $100 each. You can also approach your local trade school, cabinet shop or contractor. We all know at least one guy in the neighborhood with a garage full of cool toys, right? Ask him (or her) and see if you can’t swap a few hours in their garage for a ride on the finished product.

On the first day, we began by pulling out stacks of cedar about 10 feet long, six inches wide and one inch thick. They were huge. Then he showed me just how small the pieces were going to be cut; between an inch to a half-inch. After a quick lesson with the table saw and lots of cutting, we began to route them to fit into one another. I was so focused on my tasks that I actually forgot to eat. The rest of the day was spent measuring, cutting and sanding what would be the inside frame of the board. Day two went much more slowly than day one. I spent about four hours with the drill press, drilling out “lightening holes”—which are drilled out of pieces of the internal frame to keep the board as light as possible. I quietly went about my task, drilling out about 100 holes. The afternoon was spent taking the internal horizontal pieces of the board and fitting them into the vertical internal frame of the board. It was just like a puzzle, and an easy one at that. I learned patience that day. Hamilton says it’s best not to have a specific timeline; sometimes what you think will be a 10-minute task turns into a couple hours. The blade on the jigsaw broke, the belt on the belt sander needed to be changed, and a few of the internal pieces were not measured correctly and had to be redone.

It took me a week to get back to the shop. I told Hamilton I wish I could take a month off of work and just live in the shop until it was completed. He laughed and said I was the most enthusiastic student he’s ever had. Day three was more cutting, sanding, clamping and gluing. I think Hamilton owns stock in the C-clamp business; just one board uses at least 50 different clamps at any given time. However, by the end of the day my mess of wood parts was beginning to look like a board. It’s addicting: The feel of the saw, the thrill of watching it come together, the reward of measuring twice and cutting right on the first try. A time or two Hamilton had to remind me that there’s no crying in woodworking, but really, I haven’t been this excited for a project in years. I can feel the water calling me every time I complete another step. With Low Key Surfboards you can easily build your very own surfboard or standup paddleboard for between $300-$400. With Hamilton’s system you get a step-by-step DVD set, a complete shop manual and detailed blueprints. You also get the expertise of someone who has centered his life around building for a living and he’s only a phone call away. For the locals, there may even be an onsite build your own class in the future. I’ve been spending every weekend at the shop and the progression is astounding. The first day I stood in a pile of pieces of cedar, and now I’m seeing a board come together. There’s nothing in the world like doing it yourself. Interested in building your own board? Visit

May/June 2014 | 25

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May/June 2014 | 27

helping her play off the pain as something less than it was. They sent her for x-rays and sent her home. She decided to work from home that day. She worked at her job like everything was fine. She passed a handful of days this way, waiting for results. She called the doctor, left a message. When the nurse called back, she said there were dense areas on both lungs. But the pain is only in my left lung, she thought. Chelsea started to panic. The second doctor, a pulmonologist, ran her through a litany of tests. She spent a day shuttling back and forth between his office and the hospital. Somewhere between tests, her doctor asked her in for a talk, alone. She had multiple masses. There were a few scenarios: Infection. Inflammation. Lymphoma. Cancer.


Chelsea Sanatucci didn’t know that this would be her last workout as a healthy 26-year-old. In the midst of the pain, frustration emerged. Is it my drive? Is it my motivation? Do I need to pick something else up? A new sport? It was a motivation problem, she decided. Maybe allergies. Maybe both. She had no idea that the cells of her lungs were multiplying out of control, arranging themselves into large masses, blocking her breath. Going home, she borrowed her roommate’s inhaler. Atlanta allergens were bad. They’ve finally gotten to me, she thought. She inhaled the medicine. The rest of the weekend passed. She woke Monday morning with a sharp pain in the upper left corner of her back. A muscle tweak, she thought. Athletes pull things, strain things. She was used to pain, so she got up and went to work. It wasn’t until the next day, Tuesday, that she realized something was terribly wrong. She woke up at 5:30 a.m., unable to breathe. A 28 |

At the word cancer, Chelsea felt the world start to collapse in on her. She felt like she wasn’t even standing there anymore, like it wasn’t really happening to her. She waited for Ashton Kutcher to jump out and tell her she was punked. “You’re probably about to blank out,” the doctor wisely said. “You’re probably not going to remember what I’m about to say.”

pain stabbed at her back—like a knife—with each attempt to inhale. A whole breath was impossible. A heart attack. I’m having a heart attack. She started to cry. She did what all people do when they’re in pain. They call mom. The phone rang in Fort Myers. Her mother heard her crying. Chelsea doesn’t like to cry. Chelsea doesn’t like to be sick. Her mother told her to wake up her roommate, to call 911, to get to the hospital. But Chelsea didn’t. She lay back down, trying to calm herself. She didn’t want to bother her roommate. She didn’t want to be sick. She hated being dramatic. When her roommate finally emerged, Chelsea said: “I need to go to the doctor.” But Chelsea didn’t ask to go to the ER; she called her doctor for office hours. She had trouble just getting into the car, clinging to her roommate, needing help. Inflammation of the lung, said the first doctor, a primary care physician. She was nervous being in his office. Adrenaline coursed through her,

A human pincushion. That’s what she felt like in the weeks that followed. When she wasn’t being poked and prodded at the lab, she called in sick to work, didn’t get out of bed. This isn’t me, she thought, as the energy drained from her body and her brain struggled to understand what was happening. A darkness unlike anything she’d ever known descended. Six weeks later, she was at the doctor again. He couldn’t look her in the eye; the man that had been so kind to her through six weeks of testing now could hardly face her. She knew whatever he was going to say, it was going to be bad. She stood behind the examination room chair while he talked. She let him see her face, but she hid her body—she felt she needed to shield herself from what he was saying. When the words came out—your life is about to change drastically. You have cancer—her crying was hysterical. She asked, over and over, if he was 100 percent sure. He was trying not to cry. Before cancer, she went into her office five days a week. She presented to clients. She traveled for business. She hit the gym every day for two hours, sometimes training for a half marathon, sometimes doing CrossFit.

Being sick was unusual then. She ate clean food, didn’t drink heavily, took care of her body. Coworkers would roll their eyes when she turned down a doughnut or pizza at the office. Her blog, in its pre-cancer postings, is populated with inspirational quotes like: “I’m making myself a fighter” and musings on how to push harder. She wanted to conquer her body, be stronger, tougher. A boxer in college, Chelsea did Friday night fights with a group of girls. The first time her knuckles bled, she thought: This is awesome. Her training mantra became: If my knuckles aren’t bloody by the end of practice I haven’t worked hard enough. The day she moved back to Florida, back in with her mom, she put a pull-up bar on the door. She’d worked hard to master the pull-up, and she wasn’t going to let the cancer take that away from her. In the beginning, she’d do pull-ups during the day. Then she added some easy circuits using her bodyweight: Push-ups, squats, lunges. Every day she’d wake up and make a goal for how many reps she wanted to do. She only did the movements she liked doing. She didn’t pressure herself. For maybe the first time ever it was: I’m going to do whatever I feel like doing today. When she first started her cancer treatment, she could hardly go for a walk; her heart rate would skyrocket and she wouldn’t be able to catch her breath. But finally she decided she was ready to join a gym. She turned it over in her head for two months before walking through the doors of CrossFit Salvation in Cape Coral. She wanted to be with other people, to feel normal. Her pride had kept her away. She knew she looked normal, but the war she was waging inside her body left her exhausted. She started with private sessions, but soon was strong enough for group workouts, training almost as normal. Some of the people at the gym know she’s sick, and some people don’t. Cancer has become a strange motivator. She thinks to herself: Go murder it. Even though you’re sick, you can push yourself as hard as you can. You’re not going to die. If you’re still here and breathing you can push yourself. One day, struggling through a set of wall balls, she thought back to being at the Mayo Clinic, thought about her prognosis, thought

about being hospitalized for 44 hours after a particularly painful procedure. If I can get through that I can push through this. My body is an amazing machine. She works to define the middle ground where she can push herself, but not too hard. But then there are days where she can’t keep food down or she feels like she’s on a boat as her stomach churns. She tells herself to give herself a break. I have stage four cancer and I’m not going to feel good. Chelsea is so, so hard on herself. Telling herself not to be a wimp. Telling herself not to give up. Her friends call her a hard ass. She worries she’s making too many excuses. She is an athlete, she wants to push, push, push. She wants to have a list of goals each week like she did before and check them off, one by one. But Chelsea Sanatucci has cancer. And it’s trying to kill her. So she takes advantage of good days when they come. She knew her body before, now she knows it even better. There are dark times. Times where she wants to hide in a closet and never come out. She finds a little of herself in those dark times, measures her strength against her obstacles and tells herself she hasn’t given up yet. She thinks the dark times give her life meaning, the shape and context to that meaning is evolving as she goes along. She’s always wanted to be the real deal, and cancer is as real as it gets. She fights back by devising ways to give the finger to cancer. When she goes to the Mayo Clinic for treatments, she fills out a form that asks: “What is your quality of life on a scale from 1 to 10?” She hates the way that sounds. Quality of life is for the dying. So she circles 10, the best quality of life, and then scribbles: “Bring your worst!” next to it. She holds on to her bucket list. Last year, she ran a half marathon, before she was sick. This year she got a motorcycle license, riding when the weather’s good. On a bike, she can escape a little. Chelsea can’t paint a pretty picture of what the future holds. She knows her cancer has no cure. She doesn’t share the timeline with most people, but then again, most people probably wouldn’t want to know if they were in her shoes. Not Chelsea. She wants to know what she’s up against.

She focuses on prolonging her life. She defines success as keeping the cancer under control or stable for as long as possible. Her life before was spent chasing a challenge and she thrived on it. Now that this challenge has found her, she doesn’t like to think much about the future. Her life is right now. She has been training her whole life to prove this prognosis wrong. No one has given her that hope, but she takes it anyway. She knows she represents people with cancer now too, and she takes that seriously. Her oncologist told her that no one has walked away from her type of cancer successfully. She thinks: There has to be a first person. She wants to win this battle for her own life, but also for people who aren’t diagnosed yet. So her story will have meaning, and bring hope. And she’s holding on to the things she has right now, like her fitness, because she is afraid there will be a time where she won’t be able to do what she loves. Chelsea Sanatucci is dying without dying. Hear Chelsea’s story in her own words at Chelsea, her friends and family are raising money for cancer charity. See or support their efforts at

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May/June 2014 | 31


If you think kiteboarding is a rush, wait until you try hydrofoiling. by Joel Morris and Victoria Wiseman



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iteboarders yearn for speed; it’s the way these daring athletes explore the thrilling boundary between sea and sky. Using an apparatus that’s part parachute and part sail, a kiteboarder propels him or herself on and over the waves at incredible speeds. But, they’re always looking to go faster. Enter the hydrofoil. Using glider-like wings attached to a stem underneath the board, the hydrofoil reduces contact between the board and the water, making it more aqua-dynamic. As the rider’s speed increases, the board comes further out of the water, exposing the stilt-like hydrofoil structure. Because it faces less resistance from the air than the liquid beneath, a hydrofoil can top 25-30 knots, even in light winds. The average speed for a kiteboard rider is normally around 15-20 knots.

The best foils are made of carbon fiber, says Nick Leason, who makes custom hydrofoils out of his shop in Puetro Rico. “There are a variety of materials that can be used to build a foil, but you want something with good weight and rigidity.”

120 riders. By the end of the event, over half the fleet was using hydrofoils. This is when I really started looking into it.”

Leason says interest in foils is growing not just because of the technology but because of its unique design. “Who could turn away and say that it looks boring?” But the technology is still expensive, with a customer looking at a $2,000$5,000 investment depending on the brand.

“The [main] risk is a little bit of a hard learning curve. It takes an average kiter a few tricky hours to start to get the feel of it,” LeRoy said. “But once you get it, [it’s] like riding a bike; you will get hooked and never look back.”

“The hydrofoil has been slowly building momentum in France over the past three years,” says professional kiteboarder Damien LeRoy. “I happened to be over racing in a speed event in France at the Mondial Du Vent two years ago; it’s one of the biggest events in France with over

But you’ll need good kite control and a dose of patience to pick up hydrofoiling, he says.

Want to try hydrofoiling? First you’ll need to get your bearings on a traditional kiteboard. Windstalkers in Naples offers basic lessons, (239) 601-2700, as does Ace Performer in Fort Myers, (239) 489-3513.

May/June 2014 | 33

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The founders of the Gordon Pass Challenge walk us through their beach-based workout. by Simon Tracy, Paul Neils and A.C. Shilton




f you’ve ever been out on Naples Beach and seen a herd of super-fit humans hurdling by, you’ve probably just witnessed the Gordon Pass Challenge (GPC). Created by friends Simon Tracy and Paul Neils, this free-for-all workout challenges participants to use the beach as their gym.

“We wanted to create something that everyone could do, that was accessible to anyone. You don’t have to pay a cent to do this,” says Tracy. Participants start running at the Naples Pier. Heading south, they stop at each set of pylons to perform combinations of push-ups, lunges, dips, squats and planks. There are 30 sets of pylons, so by the time you reach Gordon Pass (the turnaround point) your arms and legs should be screaming. The order of the exercises is unofficially crowdsourced. “We don’t tell people what to do,” says Neils. “Usually whoever gets to the first set of pylons first starts doing an exercise and everyone else follows.” Both founders say they’ve seen significant gains in their fitness since beginning the workout. And they promise you can get those results too—no special equipment needed.

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STEP ONE: WARM UP The GPC starts at the Naples Pier and runs south. From the pier to the first pylon is seventenths of a mile. Use this time to warm up.

STEP TWO: PUSH-UPS GPC athletes hoist themselves onto the pylons to complete their pushups. Put your feet on one pylon and your hands on another—this will force you to engage all of your core muscles to keep your balance. For an extra challenge, put your feet on a pylon that’s higher than the pylon your hands are on. Do 10 reps to start with, then continue running to the next group of pylons.

STEP THREE: DIPS Finding a shorter pylon, place your hands on it with your back to the ground and your face to the sky. Your feet can either be close in (easier) or farther away from you (harder). Lower your torso by bending your arms, but keep your elbows pointing behind you—not out to the sides. Do 10 reps, then run to the next set of pylons.

STEP FOUR: LUNGES OR SQUATS This leg station is up to you, so you pick your poison. If you’re doing lunges, make sure your front knee doesn’t ever shoot in front of your toes—and if you’re doing squats, both knees should stay behind your toes (stick that butt out, don’t be shy). Do 10 reps on each leg for lunges or 20 squats, then run to the next pylon.

STEP FIVE: CRUNCHES These take some practice, but really work your core. Climb onto a pylon and balance on your tailbone. With your feet in the air, put your hands behind your head and crunch upwards 10 times, chin to the sky.

STEP SIX: REPEAT Repeat the same sequence of exercises all the way down the beach until you’ve reached Gordon Pass. Then turn around and run all the way back to the pier. In total you will have run over six miles and completed more than 300 reps of exercises.

WORKOUT TO GO Print this and other gym-ready, step-bystep workouts online at

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See more photos photos from from this this and andother other fitness events events around aroundSouthwest SouthwestFlorida Floridaatat Tag yourself while you’re there!

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See more photos from this and other fitness events around Southwest Florida at Tag yourself while you’re there!

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Speaker Series Part 4 of a 4 Part Series

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May/June 2014