Inspire Health Magazine Issue 20

Page 1


Mind, Body & Spirit for Women





from Plants?

e i l r a h C Meryl & CHAMPIONS ON ICE,

SUPERSTARS IN LIFE ยง #inspirehealthmag






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Eat Smart During the Holidays: 10 tips to help you keep your resolve and willpower for continued weight loss


Mother of All Grains


An Attitude of Gratitude



The AMAZING Skin Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar


Beat Arthritis Naturally


Energize Your Training 7 fresh foods used by endurance athletes to increase energy


Meryl & Charlie-Champions on Ice, Superstars in Life


Bringing Your Pets Indoors


Be Chic in Your Winter Coat




Volunteer with Your Kids


Meat from Plants?


Ailing ParentsThe Holistic Approach


The Pearl LagunaYoga, Hiking, Cleansing Retreat


Random Acts of Kindness A 30-Day Challenge



super food

r e h t o M OF ALL GRAINS By Gilbert Nelson, C.P.T.


he ancient Incas referred to quinoa as “mother of all grains”. Today, quinoa continues in popularity due to its nutrient density, high iron content and reputation as a plant-based “complete” protein source. The grain’s low glycemic index, dietary fiber, low sodium, and low sugar content make quinoa a perfect food for energy metabolism.

insoluble fiber that gives the sensation of feeling full, which results in the consumption of fewer calories without feeling hungry.

Diabetics benefit from adding quinoa to their nutritional intake as there is no severe spike in insulin after consumption.

Nutrient Density Quinoa is a nutrient-dense complex carbohydrate rich in iron, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, folic acid and zinc. Iron is an important mineral in production of oxygen in the blood. Oxygen needs to be transported throughout the body, especially during endurance training, and iron plays a vital role in this process. Women have a tendency to be more deficient in iron than men, especially those who are vegetarian. Quinoa aids in eliminating iron deficiencies, especially when it is consumed with

Complete Protein and Fiber Lysine and isoleucine are two essential amino acids abundant in quinoa, making it a uniquely powerful protein source. Vegetarians may find it challenging to meet their daily protein requirements; therefore, a plant-based protein source is beneficial when included in a plant-based meal plan. Quinoa’s fiber content is mostly composed of

Bulking agents from the consumption of insoluble fiber aid in eliminating waste from the gastrointestinal tract, which decreases the time in which digested food rests in the intestine. A decrease in food storage directly aids weight loss.

foods rich in vitamin C. Consume quinoa with foods rich in vitamin C to enhance the body’s ability to absorb iron. Quinoa can be enjoyed on its own or as a complementary grain dish to any meal. Organic quinoa is high in protein and fiber and low in sodium and sugar. It is gluten free and rich in iron. This combination makes quinoa a superior food. It will provide steady energy and satiety and aid in appetite control. § #inspirehealthmag



editor’s letter



Help us inspire others! We want to know what inspires you to live healthy. You could be published in the next issue of Inspire Health magazine. Email us at

Find us online!



Executive Publishers HAL G. FOX SUZANNE POLK FOX

Cover Health & Fitness Fashion & Beauty Kids & Family Destinations Editor


Creative Director Design Graphic Designer Print Production


Sales National Sales CHARLOTTE V. MORRIS National Sales VIVIAN DUGAS National Sales KELLY SMITH National Sales LAUREN CALVE'

© 2015 Jumpstart Publishing, LLC New Orleans, LA All rights reserved Printed in the USA by Fox Print Services The information contained in Inspire Health is intended for educational purposes only. A reader should never substitute information contained in Inspire Health for the advice of a health care professional. Jumpstart Publishing, LLC and publishers of Inspire Health, do not endorse or promote any of the products or services described in the pages of Inspire Health and the publishers do not verify the accuracy of any claims made in the editorial or advertisements contained in Inspire Health. Readers should not use the information in Inspire Health for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. Readers should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or have or suspect they have a health problem.




healthy mind

An Attitude of

GRATITUDE By Lynette M. Kokemor, MA-MCMH

ponents are emotions. Emotions determine how we feel, and the feeling component of total behavior cannot be changed instantly. If you are searching for instant change, start today by being grateful, and pay close attention to how you think and act. Being grateful will uplift your spirit, and will eventually cause a positive effect in your emotional health. Being grateful will be challenging at times. Therefore, as you journey through the holiday season, remember these quick tips to a happier, more grateful you.

• Power (over self and achieving goals) • Love and Belonging (feeling a part of a group or love from family) • Freedom (over yourself, making your own choices) • Fun (pleasure and joy) • Survival (food, water and shelter)

TIPS FOR A MORE GRATEFUL YOU The only person's behavior you can control is your own.

Lacking one or all of the basic needs may control your actions. If you are feeling lonely, you may seek comfort with friends and family, fulfilling the need of love and belonging. Sounds simple? I wish! Total behavior consists of four components: thinking, acting, feeling and physiology. At the center of these com-

1. 2. Think before acting on emotions. behavior is based on thinking, 3. Total acting, feeling, and physiology. 4. Associate yourself with grateful people. 5. Express your gratitude to loved ones. 6. Keep an "I'm grateful" journal. more focus on what you have and 7. Put less on what you don’t.

THE 7 GENEROSITY HABITS One of the first steps to feeling grateful is to live your life generously. Living generously is important to the outside world as well as your personal wellness. Your physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing will be positively impacted if you practice the 7 Habits of Generosity. These concepts become second nature when they are practiced consistently. • Physical Health • Mindfulness • Connecting To Others • Connecting To Yourself • Gratitude • Simplicity • Philanthropy § #inspirehealthmag



ife reflects a seemingly mischievous sense of humor when it serves us a giant slice of humble pie. Typically, we are humbled at the most inopportune moments. The ability to stay humble and be grateful is a difficult task. As human beings, it is natural to want more. However, the constant desire for more "things" will affect your spirit negatively. According to Dr. William Glasser, psychiatrist and creator of “Reality Therapy/ Choice Theory,” human beings seek to fulfill five basic needs:



e l p p A Cider Vinegar natural beauty


By Whitney Alexandra

Everyone familiar with apple cider vinegar (ACV) knows it has been considered a general health tonic throughout the ages. While the pungent smell can deter people from using it, ACV is completely natural with no side effects, making it well worth adding to your day-to-day regimen!

ACV for Acne and Pimples ACV contains antibacterial and antiseptics that can target and kill the root of acne and pimples deep inside your pores. Further, it contains both malic and lactic acids that help exfoliate and soften the skin. When you feel like you are getting a pimple, just apply a small amount with a cotton pad on the affected area. ACV for a Natural Skin Toner You don’t need to buy over-the-counter skin toners filled with chemicals and unnatural ingredients! Go natural and use ACV for your everyday skin toner. ACV can balance your skin's pH and clear away excess oil. At night, apply evenly on your skin with a cotton pad.The strong odor will subside shortly, so don't let that stop you from trying this. ACV for Sunburn Relief The anti-inflammatory substances in ACV can help soothe and reduce sunburn pain. According to Earth Clinic, ACV’s mineral and vitamin content can nourish the skin faster back to recovery. Pour two cups of ACV into a lukewarm bath and soak for immediate relief! ACV Reduce Your Age Spots According to Organic Facts, ACV can help reduce or even completely eliminate age spots. Add a few drops of ACV to a glass of water and drink. In addition, try mixing ACV and lemon juice, and apply directly to age spots in order to fade their appearance or eliminate them all together. ACV Detox Bath ACV is wonderful for an overall detox of your body, including skin issues and yeast infections such as candida. It serves as an overall detoxifier for muscle aches and pains. ACV baths can aid in drawing excess uric acid from your kidneys. And for those who have concerns about body odors, ACV baths can help eliminate that problem, too!




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YOUR INNER ATHLETE By: Tami Charbonnet | Milestone Photography: Melanie Langteau Model: Jessica Kempainen

Don’t use inclement weather as an excuse to pack on extra pounds this winter. Be inspired by winter sports such as skiing, skating and snowboarding. Take advice from winter sports athletes who are strong, fast and resilient regardless of harsh weather conditions. Winter sports athletes may train indoors to strengthen their core, increase agility and become faster. Try these super-charged, calorie-burning exercises to strengthen your core and provide high energy. When Old Man Winter forces you to stay inside, get pumped up with this high-intensity workout!

1 2. TRICEPS PUSHUP TO SIDE PLANK: Skaters must propel their bodies up and forward using their shoulders, triceps, biceps and core. The following exercise will help create strong arms while also working the obliques and abdominal muscles.  Begin in a plank position by bracing the abs tightly and pressing your palms to the floor. Balance with strong arms, keeping shoulders directly above your palms.



 Slowly lower your chest by bending your elbows. Keep elbows close to your ribs. If you find your elbows outside your ribs or your back arching, come to your knees and then complete the move.  Push back up into the full plank position.  Gently rotate your body to the side and lift your top arm upward. Repeat on the opposite side. Bring one knee to the floor if the full side plank is too difficult. Repeat the triceps pushup to side plank extension 5-10 times.

1. SQUAT EXTENSIONS: Skiers need powerful quads and glutes and balance when gravity pulls them forward on a steep downhill. Squat extensions build powerful legs while extending arms up, forward and down, bracing the core for optimum balance.  Stand with heels anchored to the ground, aligned with your hips.  Bend knees and drop your backside into a deep squat, sending your hands forward.  Without compromising your spine, brace your core and bring arms to the floor.  Return to Position 1. Repeat 10-20 times. A low-impact option is to slightly bend knees and keep arms above your head.



3. STANDING ROWS Rows strengthen your spine and shoulders, helping you to endure impact and prevent injury. The standing row is a simple and effective movement to strengthen yourshoulders and back.  Stand up tall and strong. Tuck your chin into your chest to protect your neck. Keep your knees soft.

 Hinging from your hips, tip your upper body forward, and bring your arms out and down toward your knees.  Squeeze your hands into tight fists.  Bring your elbows back slowly, and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold for 5-10 seconds.  Release your fists and arms, and slowly rise to standing start position. Repeat standing rows 10-20 times.

4. SIDE LUNGES Side lunges open the hips and the inner thigh area, which aids in agility.  From a standing position, step out to the right side and bend your knee deeply. Be sure to brace your core, and balance your weight onto the right heel.  Come back to a standing position, and repeat the exercise on the left side. Repeat 10-20 times on each side.

4 § #inspirehealthmag



exercise 6. ADVANCED BONUS MOVE  Squat: drop your backside down to your knees.  Bring your hands to the floor, brace your core, and shoot your legs back into a full plank position. Do not let your back arch. If your back arches, bring your knees to the floor.  Lower halfway, elbows shaving the ribs. Push back up into plank.  Jump the feet back into squat position. Repeat 10-20 times. This is an advanced move. Be sure you are ready before conquering this move.

5 6 5. ONE LEG BALANCE DRILL Skaters need incredible balance and spend hours working on balance drills.  Stand tall and tuck in your chin.  Bracing your core and keeping your hips strong and squared to the ground, slowly hinge forward from the hips as you lift one leg. The goal is to keep the body in a beautiful straight line from the neck and spine to the heel.  Try holding for 1 minute. Switch sides and repeat. Tip: Relax and focus your eyes on an object that is not moving. This will help you with balance.



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weight loss


s y a d i l the Ho


By Tami Charbonnet

empting finger foods, salty snacks, festive sugar-laden desserts and high-caloric beverages adorn lavishly decorated holiday tables of temptation! Parties, sporting events and extra time with friends and family during the holidays put added demands on our time–and inches on our waistlines! Our willpower is tested when we are offered just one taste of apple pie or another serving of mashed potatoes. Experts tell us that we tend to overeat when we’re in social situations, as much as 50 percent more than when we’re eating alone. The solution? Adopt an “eat smart” plan that

helps you anticipate how to handle those situations where you are tempted to overindulge. Here are 10 tips to eat smart with resolve and willpower for continued weight loss: ❶ Wake up and drink 8 ounces of water with freshly squeezed lemon. ➋ Prepare a large “Inspire Health” water bottle with the same above combo and sip all day! ➌ Eat a light, nutrient-dense breakfast to keep you full and energized. See the oatmeal recipe in this issue’s Eat Fresh article.

➍ When you feel hungry, eat freshly cut apples, pears, carrots, celery, or other natural snacks. The key is to keep snacks on hand, ready for a hungry emergency! Soak sliced apples in a shallow container with water and fresh lemon juice. If you are traveling, keep fruit in an ice chest for a quick, cold, crispy snack. ➎ For lunch, have a large quinoa salad packed with fresh mixed greens, avocado, tomatoes, tofu or lean protein, beans and a few crushed walnuts or almonds. ➏ Make time to snack; don’t get so busy you forget to eat. Eating smart means you must snack on your healthy pre-made snacks. ➐ Exercise at least 30 minutes daily. Take a walk or jog, hit the gym, or practice the exercises listed in the Inspire Health Exercise article. ➑ Relax. Find a quiet place to decompress, sit comfortably or lie down. Close your eyes and breathe deeply for 15 minutes. Clear your mind. We often overeat when we’re stressed. If you relax, you’ll slow down and re-focus. ➒ Take the edge off your hunger. Eat a complete, nutrient-dense meal before you attend an event. ➓ Set limits on yourself. Have no more than two beverages and one small cocktail plate of food. Stash healthy snacks in your purse or bag to get you through those hunger pangs!



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y l l a r u t Na BEAT ARTHRITIS by Elizabeth DeGrie


he Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that nearly 23 percent of American adults have some form of arthritis now and that 67 million adults will be diagnosed with arthritis by 2030. Osteoarthritis, which the Mayo Clinic says is the most common type of arthritis, is a painful condition involving damage to the cartilage surrounding joints. Rheumatoid Arthritis, also Some people are at a higher risk of developing arthritis. Risk factors include: • A family history of arthritis • Age–risk goes up as individuals age • Gender–women are more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis, while men are more frequently diagnosed with gout • Previous joint injuries • Obesity



common, is an autoimmune disease in which an individual’s own immune system attacks the lining of the joint, causing pain and inflammation. Because arthritis is heavily linked to inflammation, following an antiinflammatory diet aids in prevention and treatment of arthritis. According to the Arthritis Foundation, sugar, saturated fats, trans fats, omega-6 fatty acids, refined carbohydrates, MSG,

gluten, casein, aspartame and alcohol can all cause inflammation. While no one can eliminate the risk of developing arthritis, there are a number of steps individuals can take to lesson the danger. Research suggests maintaining a healthy weight, staying active, avoiding smoking and eating a healthy diet low in sugar, alcohol and purines all contribute to reduced arthritis risk.

Research shows certain foods help alleviate arthritis. Fish, soy, healthy oils, cherries, low-fat dairy, broccoli, green tea, citrus, whole grains, beans, garlic and nuts all have anti-inflammatory properties. These foods are also part of a healthy diet that can help one maintain a healthy weight, further reducing arthritis risk. Exercise can help reduce and alleviate arthritis symptoms. A combination of aerobic and strength-training exercises has been proven to ease arthritis symptoms. Leg-focused strength training exercises are especially helpful for the knees. Exercise has also helped individuals with arthritis from being debilitated by the disease.


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eat fresh




7 fresh foods used by endurance athletes to increase energy By Tami Charbonnet


ool, crisp weather inspires us to step up our training. Are you walking, jogging, or training for a race? Eating fresh food rich in vitamins and nutrients is vital to maintaining energy levels before, during and after training. To help energize your body, add the following foods to your daily nutritional intake. BANANAS: Bananas are high in potassium and are often found at pre-race fuel stations. Potassium is a vital electrolyte lost in sweat during endurance training. STEEL-CUT OATMEAL: Start your day with one bowl of organic steel-cut oatmeal. Oatmeal provides both fiber and healthy carbohydrates. Fiber keeps you full, and carbohydrates provide fuel for the endurance athlete. WALNUTS: As a tasty source of omega-3 fatty acid, a few walnuts are a great addition to any meal. CHIA SEEDS: These seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids and 20 amino acids to keep your training strong. SWEET POTATOES: A staple food for endurance athletes, the sweet potato is an excellent source of dietary fiber, beta carotene, vitamin A, and antioxidants. LEAFY GREENS: Leafy greens such as Swiss chard, kale and collard greens are loaded with fiber and nutrients that lower blood cholesterol levels, vitamin K to help support bone strength, calcium, vitamin C, magnesium, zinc, iron and many other vital nutrients for endurance training. WILD SALMON: Salmon is the ultimate source for omega-3 fatty acids, which help the body's metabolic processes.

MORNING BOWL OF ENERGY One cup of cooked organic steel-cut oatmeal One banana sliced into bite-sized pieces Ÿ cup of fresh blueberries One pinch of chia seeds 2 crushed walnuts • Stir together and enjoy!


EASY PESTO Veggie Bowl



l l l

l l l

½ cup cashews

(soaked overnight) 1 cup basil ¼ cup nutritional yeast ¼ cup + 3 Tbsp. vegetable broth Squeeze of lemon juice Salt and pepper to taste Veggies of your choice and rice

Original recipes by Parkash Bains, Global Vegetarian.



Method Throw everything in the blender and whiz away until smooth. Depending on the speed of your blender, this could take a few minutes. Add more broth to achieve desired thickness. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour over your veggies and rice! Notes This will make enough sauce for a few bowls. I love to take some of the extra and toss it with brown-rice fettucini and fresh tomatoes. For the roasted cauliflower, I added a few dashes of cajun seasoning and cayenne powder for an extra kick. 


women who inspire


FOR THE STARS By Michelle Fouchi Esneault


Alyssa gets the last stamp on her NASA Passport from former astronaut Wendy Lawrence.

sk a 3-year-old what they want to be when they grow up and they’re likely to say a princess, a superhero or a firefighter. For most kids, their aspirations eventually change. Not for 14-year-old Alyssa Carson. Her dream has remained consistent: Be one of the first humans on Mars. Alyssa first got the idea of going to Mars when she was 3 years old. "I was watching TV and these kids went off on a mission to Mars," she relates. "I wanted to be one of those kids." That got her more interested in space, which grew into her desire to become an astronaut. When Alyssa was 9 years old, she met astronaut Sandra Magnus, who told Alyssa that she decided to become an astronaut when she was 9 years old. "Because I was 9 at the time, it showed me that you could start young and succeed in your dreams," Alyssa says.

Alyssa has an impressive list of accomplishments. She speaks several languages, including English, Spanish, French, Chinese and Turkish. She has witnessed three Space Shuttle launches, attended the Sally Ride Camp at M.I.T. and become the first person to complete the NASA Passport Program, going to all 14 NASA Visitor Centers in the United States. Recently, Alyssa enrolled in collegelevel classes at the International Space Universityin Strasbourg, France. She has attended Space Camp seven times,

“I think it’s important for kids not to allow someone else to decide what their dreams should be…”

becoming the first person to complete all of NASA’s World Space Camps in Huntsville, AL; Laval, Canada; and the Aegean Free Zone in Izmir,Turkey. Alyssa and her dad have established a charitable foundation that raises money to help send kids to Space Camp. They named the foundation The Blueberry Foundation after Alyssa's NASA call sign, Blueberry. "It was given to me by my Space Camp counselor. He said I looked like a blueberry in my flight suit," Alyssa explains. Alyssa is a budding celebrity. She gave a TEDx talk in Greece and a speech at X-STEM, a Washington, D.C., symposium for students in grades 6-12 featuring innovators in STEM. She appears regularly at local schools to encourage girls’ interest in STEM subjects and to inspire kids to follow their dreams. “I think it’s important for kids not to allow someone else to decide what their dreams should be or to tell them that they can’t do something. We really can do anything”, she says. Alyssa has planned the next 20 years of her life. She wants to get her certifications and pilot's license. She wants to go to college, first at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, then the International Space University and M.I.T. "I've always felt positive about my plan," she says. "Over the years it has changed a bit, but I never doubted it." Alyssa finds time to play soccer, dance ballet and enjoy piano. She’s a Girl Scout and in her school’s drama club. “I see myself as someone who has a deep drive and passion, someone who is focused on her career," she says. "But at the same time I lead a regular fourteen-year-old life.”


a specia -18 cockpit during Alyssa sits in an F/A trong. tour of NASA Arms § #inspirehealthmag







by Amie Valpone

uring my 20s, inflammation, digestive issues, and chronic pain were my daily associates. I had no idea how to get healthy. I went to countless doctors but never got a clear diagnosis or treatment plan. Sick of getting no answers while overloading my body with medications, I turned to an integrative M.D. who started me on a journey of healing myself. I had to become my own doctor. Many of my ailments, including candida and leaky gut, were caused by inflammation from the food I was eating plus other environmental toxins. I realized that getting better had to start with what was on my plate. Food acts as information for every cell in our body. When we eat inflammatory foods, our cells become inflamed, causing swelling, pain and other issues. Some of the most common inflammatory foods are processed foods, vegetable oils (refined oils), gluten, dairy, corn, yeast, eggs (including

mayonnaise), soy, peanuts, and nightshade vegetables (including bell peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant). Removing these foods eliminated much of my illness, and I have seen the same happen with many of my clients and readers on my website, Anti-inflammatory foods help heal the body. Antioxidant-rich produce such as dark leafy greens and berries help our livers flush out harmful toxins. Instead of refined oils, opt for extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil, which are anti-inflammatory and contain healthy fats.You can also get good fats from raw or sprouted nuts and seeds, avocado and wild salmon. Season your plate with fresh herbs and spices such as turmeric, basil, cilantro and thyme. These have healing properties and are much healthier (and more flavorful) than processed condiments. My recipe below is a dairy,- soy-, and gluten-free dish that’s loaded with anti-inflammatory ingredients such as basil, extra virgin olive oil, quinoa, sunflower seeds, and fresh lemon juice. Try it and you’ll see ‘Eating Clean’ can be exciting and delicious, while fighting inflammation from the inside out. 

Amie Valpone, HHC, AADP is the Editor-in-Chief of www. She is a Manhattan celebrity chef, culinary nutritionist, professional recipe developer, food photographer, writer and motivational speaker specializing in simple gluten-free, soy-free and dairy-free ‘Clean Eating’ recipes.




Ingredients • ½ cup quinoa • 2 medium zucchini or summer yellow squash, thinly sliced or diced • 1 large apple, diced • 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh basil, parsley or cilantro, plus more if desired • 2 Tbsp. sunflower seeds • Juice of 2 medium lemons • ½ tsp. honey, plus more if needed • 2-3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil • Sea salt and pepper, to taste • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes, optional Instructions 1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. Remove from heat; fluff with a fork, cover and set aside. 2. Meanwhile, steam the zucchini in a steamer basket over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes or until tender. 3. Add to quinoa mixture and toss to combine. Add the apple, basil and sunflower seeds; toss again. 4. In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice, honey, olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Add more honey, if needed. Drizzle dressing over quinoa mixture, and toss to combine. Season to taste, and transfer mixture to a sealed container. Place in a lunchbox with a spoon and napkin.

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cover story

e i l r a h C & Meryl CHAMPIONS ON ICE

SUPERSTARS IN LIFE by Patricia Danflous




atch Meryl Davis waltz, tango, lunge and spin across the ice, and you will understand why she is an Olympic Gold Medalist. Talk with Davis and you will share experiences as you would with your best friend. Down-to-earth may not be an attribute associated with celebrities, but just as Davis and her partner Charlie White set new standards on the ice, they are now redefining star status. Naturally beautiful as she runs off to class at the University of Michigan or glittering gorgeous in full make up for a performance; her dark, thick hair flowing down her back for a television interview or pulled tight and up for a competition, Davis shines externally. She glows internally. “I remember thinking Meryl was incredibly nice, and very smart, but had absolutely no idea she was an Olympic-caliber athlete. She never mentioned it!” says Amelia Eaton, a former classmate and creator of thechicagolifeblog. “Her modesty doesn’t surprise me, it just speaks to the genuinely sweet, sincere person she is.” Davis and White are the first U.S. Ice Dancing Team to win an Olympic Gold Medal. The Gold Medal reinforced their reputations as outstanding athletes and earned them name recognition status. Working together since they were 10 years old, the duo is the longest-running ice dance partnership in the history of U.S. figure skating.

“I fell in love with skating when I was about five years old, then ice dancing around nine,” Davis recalls. “The disciplines were a perfect blend, and I loved the emotional performances and range ice dancing allowed. I was really shy at that time of my life but I was not embarrassed to go out and perform. I just always loved ice dancing and can’t imagine not doing it.” Davis grew up in a suburb of Detroit. Asked about family sacrifices, Davis does not hesitate a second. “Absolutely there were sacrifices,” she says. “It was very expensive for my family and a big time commitment.” Even at a young age, Davis had to make the choice to pass up birthday parties and sleepovers to practice at the rink. “We all put a lot into my training,” she continues. “I am incredibly lucky that my family supported me.” Davis describes her mom, a special education teacher, as an “amazing” woman who traveled with her was she was 15 or 16 years old so she wouldn't be alone on the road. “My mom has always been there for me,” Davis says. “She has definitely been the person I've looked to for guidance.” Davis says her mom and dad are different, each with unique insights and outlooks. “Lucky me that I have not just loving parents, but wise ones, too,” she says. Davis stays in shape with a commitment to clean eating and fitness. “In training, diet is especially critical,” she says. “I do eat pretty clean. I have naturally gravitated to the foods that keep me healthier.” Davis and White follow similar eat-


Photo by Michael Simari

• 2014 Olympic Gold Medalists • First U.S. ice dancing team to win the Olympic Gold Medal • 2010 Olympic Silver Medalists • Longest running ice dancing team in U.S. history • Current world record holders in short dance, free dance and total combined scores • 2011 & 2013 World Champions • Six-time U.S. Champions (2009-2014) • Five-time (2009-2013) Grand Prix Final Champions • Winners of the 2015 Thurman Munson Award • Athlete Mentors for Classroom Champions § #inspirehealthmag



cover story “I think one of the most important things to achieving success in a field is that it has to come from within,” she advises.“You own the decision. If you love what you are doing, you will have success. Dedication and passion makes the difference.”

GET TO KNOW MERYL Photo by Michael Simari

ing patterns, with emphasis on protein and carbohydrates and an overall balanced diet that includes chicken, rice and vegetables. Davis generally begins a training day with whole grain toast and an egg seasoned with pepper, honey and lemon. Hydration is vital. She brings a set of snacks that may include Greek yogurt, granola, blueberries, a flax seed muffin and a banana. “Sometimes I have chocolate covered with honey. You definitely need chocolate at the end of the day.” Cleansing is an occasional activity, but Davis does not take it to the extreme. She tends to purchase a three-day cleanse, spreading it out over six days interspersed with fresh fruit and nuts. When she is not preparing for performances, Davis works with a treadmill, weights and core strengthening exercises. “I want to make sure my body is ready for anything now and in the future.” Relaxing is also essential. Bubble baths, lighting candles and sitting down with a fantasy novel end her day. “My dad introduced me to literature. Mythology and books such as the Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones series are favorites,” Davis says. Soon, Davis will earn a degree in anthropology from the University of Michigan. “I followed my dad’s advice to ‘major in what I loved’. I’m hoping to be in the media, with an international concentration,” she states. “That would be a great combination with an anthropology degree and my travel experiences.” Meanwhile, Davis and White have



collaborated on a children’s book about ice dancers. Both acknowledge their responsibility to give back while serving as role models. Davis is developing a foundation to inspire others with a commitment to family, community, hard work and determination. Davis and White were recognized with the 2015 Thurman Munson Award, presented to athletes who achieve success on the playing field and in philanthropic efforts off the field. The two were singled out for their work with Classroom Champions, a mentoring program for students that fosters goal setting, relationships, perseverance and leadership. It’s impossible to talk to Davis without asking the big question: Will she compete in the next Winter Olympics? She answers patiently. “That’s a big decision. We do feel that we achieved our goal by winning the Gold Medal. We will make a decision in the next year or so.” 

What is the best advice you ever received? "I've recorded so much great advice, but my favorite quote is: "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined" by Henry David Thoreau." What advice would you give to kids today who look up to you as their inspiration? "For me, passion is the key to success. If something inspires you, go after it fearlessly." Who or what inspires you? "My mom has always been my greatest role model and source of strength." If you could meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you say to them? "I would love to know more about where my family comes from and the lives my ancestors led. I suppose we'd all love the opportunity to speak with the people whose journeys have led to our own." What is something your fans don’t know about you? "I'm fascinated by the innumerable ways of life that people have led throughout the ages. Culture, tradition, family structures and dynamics... I suppose that's a good reason to be an anthropology major." What’s next for you? "I don't know yet-what a scary and exciting idea! I've been traveling constantly, meeting some incredible people and doing a lot of soul searching this year. I'm definitely loving the opportunity to explore!"

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By Michele Robert Poche

hen it’s rainy or cold outside, you should bring your cat or dog indoors. Keeping your furry companion occupied will keep them from getting bored and turning to unwanted destructive behavior while inside. Keep your cat engaged by providing a variety of toys that they can either play with by themselves or that you can play with together. If you have a readily accessible window, create a perch so that they can watch outside activity. If that isn’t possible, cat videos are available that imitate the sounds and movements of the great outdoors. Encourage your cat to explore by providing boxes and bags. Another option is a cat tree that will give your cat the opportunity to climb and view the world from up high. If your cat is an outdoor cat, now is the time to train them to use an indoor litterbox until it is safe to go outside. Dogs also need exercise and stimulation when the weather forces them indoors. A garage or a large hallway can provide space for a game of fetch or tug-o-war. If you have stairs, let them run up and down the stairs for exercise. Play hide and seek by showing them a favorite toy, hiding it, then teaching them the command “find.” Set up an obstacle course using boxes, chairs and other sturdy objects, and teach your dog to go over, under and through. Rewarding with a treat when they learn a new trick will provide plenty of incentive. If you can’t stay home with your dog, there are plenty of options to choose from, including doggy daycares and spas or setting up a playdate with a friend’s dog. Keeping your dog or cat active indoors will ensure they’re safe and healthy no matter the weather. 





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t a o C r Winte BE CHIC IN YOUR By Whitney Alexandra

We all want to look fashionable during the winter months, but we struggle to balance “bundling up” with looking and feeling chic. Winter layers can be cumbersome and overwhelming, leaving us looking unpolished, so let’s consider some winter “to do’s” in fashion aesthetics.

THE COAT There will be many great winter coats to shop this season, especially because they are as stylish as they are functional! Cool, solid earth tones mix with your classic black.You’ll only need a pair of stylish boots and skinny jeans to complete your look–no bulky accessories needed! If you are wearing a lightweight, free-flowing jacket, pair it with a great printed pant to give your outfit more character and style. Remember: Less is better! So let your jackets set the stage this season and forget about those dreadful winter accessories that can overpower your style and take away from that chic look!



WHITNEY’S WINTER FITNESS FASHION FIND: Don’t let the cold months stop you from a beautiful run outside. In fact, running during the wintertime can sometimes be one of the most beautiful times of the year to take a run…especially if it is snowing. Layer up with Nike’s Dri FIT Max Shield Hyperwarm gear! Nike Hyperwarm apparel helps keep your body regulated with breathability all while offering water resistance along with a great fit.

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mighty kids

Volunteer with Your Kids By Michele Robert Poche

“Volunteers don't get paid … not because they're worthless, but because they're priceless.” - Sherry Anderson


ith so many kids addicted to electronic games, good old-fashioned hobbies like painting, journaling and musicianship are slowly disappearing. It’s a great time to get back to basics. Why not introduce volunteering to your children? Volunteerism is enriching, versatile, selfless and constructive. No one ever walked away from it thinking,“Well, that was an hour wasted.” But where can you start? Consider your children’s ages and interests. Advance planning will help ensure a positive volunteering experience for everyone. Here are a few volunteering suggestions:



1. Visit a Nursing Home. Many elderly residents don’t get a lot of visitors. They’re looking for a friendly face with whom they can spend time. Children always bring immediate smiles.Young children–and older kids, too–can assist with simple tasks like tying their shoes or reading to the elderly residents. 2. Play Secret Santa. Know someone in your community who is struggling with financial or health concerns? Surprise them with a special gift. It could be a Christmas tree, a household need or money. Just be sure to give anonymously.Your children will learn that truly giving is not about getting credit or being thanked.

3. Adopt a Family. Many religious and charitable organizations coordinate these opportunities. Adopt a family with children and have your kids assist in selecting gifts of clothes, toys and books. 4. Donate to a Food Bank. Team up with your children to pack a food box. Invite friends to join you in collecting. Have your kids help load everything and bring them with you to make the donation. 5. Feed the Homeless. Every community shelter needs help at mealtime and especially during the holidays. Work a shift with your older children at a local shelter. Encourage them to greet every patron with a big smile and friendly conversation. 6. Be a Friend to the Animals. Bring your child with you to volunteer at an animal shelter. Filling food bowls, walking dogs or helping at a fundraising event are all activities children will enjoy.The furry “thank you” they’ll receive is sure to have them smiling all the way home. 7. Support the Troops. Many military personnel are away during the holidays and would be grateful for a special message from home. Have your child create a card and write a message, draw a picture or enclose something to send to someone in the active service. In addition to honoring their sacrifice and commitment, you’ll warm a heart and maybe even find a new pen pal. 

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worldwide crusade is building to find an alternative to animal protein as food. Proponents of a natural lifestyle regularly join with animal and environmental activists to encourage healthier, plant-based diets. The argument is that eating plants is not only good for you; it’s good for the planet, too. Research from prominent organizations, including the Worldwatch Institute (, reveals that cows, pigs and chickens raised for food consume a significant amount of water, fuel and other natural resources that could be used in more beneficial ways. Furthermore, livestock account for more than half of all the greenhouse gas emissions in the world, making a substantial contribution to global warming. This reality has attracted the attention of environmental and health-conscious entrepreneurs and investors, including Bill Gates, all interested in finding a way to wean the world off animal protein by producing real meat from plants–no animals needed.



Several plant-based meat manufacturers have sprung up in the last few years.Turtle Island Foods is the maker of Tofurky brand meat substitutes. Impossible Foods, founded by Stanford University biologist Patrick Brown, is

developing a ‘plant-based meat’ that sizzles, smells, tastes and even bleeds like an animal beef burger. The industry leader seems to be Beyond Meat. In 2009, the founder of Beyond Meat, Ethan Brown,



Reasons to Consider a PLANT-BASED DIET

1. Spend less money. Diets that are vegetarian cost less than diets that include meat. 2. Stop contributing to cruelty to animals. Just Google “slaughterhouse video” and watch it if you can. 3. Be planet friendly. Millions of tons of pollutants are generated by animals involved in food production.

4. Live longer. People who eat a carnivorous diet are more likely to contract cancer, heart disease and diabetes. 5. Feel better. A vegetarian diet is naturally healthier with more vitamins and minerals. 6. Look better. Giving up meat for veggies is an effective weight loss program.

Beyond Beef Chili Chili. This recipe is a homerun, touchdown, goal and hole-in-one all together! You know what’s great on game day? Chili.You know what’s better than chili on game day? Beyond Beef. View more recipes online:

discovered that Professor Fu-hung Hsieh of the University of Missouri had invented a revolutionary plant-to-meat process. The procedure uses a blender to mix the ingredients into an ordinary twin-screw extruder. Brown licensed the system and set up shop in El Segundo, CA. Beyond Meat won’t reveal its proprietary manufacturing process, except to say it is a combination of chemistry, cooking and gentle pressure. The company dismisses the idea that Beyond Meat is processed Frankenfood. Tim Geistlinger, Beyond Meat R&D VP, says ingredients are all natural with no GMOs. Speaking to the Institute of Food Technologists, Geistlinger pointed out that animal meat and plant meat have similar compositions. “They’re all constructed of proteins, fats, nucleic acids, carbohydrates,” he said. “All of these things exist in living things, and plants

are living. Animals are living. Now it’s just a matter of reconstructing things.You’re assembling them in a way that is similar to what animal meat is like in terms of density and structure and fiber.” Beyond Meat has an assortment of products: Beyond Chicken strips, Beyond Beef crumbles and its newly introduced Beast Burger. The Beast Burger grills like the animal-based hamburger patty it’s designed to replace but packs a bigger punch. The company says the Beast Burger has more protein than its beef counterpart (23 grams vs. 20) and “aids in muscle recovery. It is loaded with antioxidants, iron, B vitamins, calcium, and omega-3. It’s the ultimate performance burger.” Do we really need cows?

PREP TIME: 20 minutes COOK TIME: 25 minutes SERVES: 5 people INGREDIENTS • 2 Tbsp. canola oil • ½ yellow onion, diced • 1 clove of garlic, minced • 1 red bell pepper, diced • 1 tsp. chili powder • 1 tsp. cumin • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional) • 1 bag Beyond Meat® Beefy Crumble • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste • 2 cups crushed tomatos • 1 small can kidney beans (rinsed and drained) • about 1 cup water • salt and pepper to taste 1 In a sauce pot, saute onions and garlic in oil until translucent. 2 Add spices and bell peppers, and sauté for 2 more minutes. 3 Add tomato paste and Beyond Meat, and sauté 1 minute. 4 Add crushed tomatoes and kidney beans. 5 Add some of the water to create desired consistency. 6 Bring to low simmer, and heat for about 5 minutes, stirring gently. 7 Add salt and pepper to taste. § #inspirehealthmag

ili Beyond Beef Ch





ging is a fact of life, and we accept that. Aging family members, especially parents, are one of the most difficult challenges of our lives. It’s a strange, unsettling feeling to realize the traditional roles are reversed and our parents are now dependent on us, just as our own children have relied on our help. Research suggests that taking a holistic, or “whole body”, approach to your parents’ wellbeing will support their ongoing emotional health. Feelings of optimism and positivity are crucial to helping seniors preserve their vibrancy as they age. Prepare yourself for pushback – but don’t take it personally. It’s not that your parents are stubborn. Senior men and women, especially immediately after retirement, often feel a need to maintain their independence even when their ability to remain self sufficient starts to wane. Adult children caring for aging parents may find their efforts met with resentment and frustration. But experts caution not to confront parents (“You’re too old to handle that now. Let me help.”). Instead,



offer assistance without advertising it. Also, don’t broach the subjects of finances and other personal responsibilities without being asked. Parents may interpret your interest as prying. Encourage seniors to find new solutions. To help keep their mobility and energy at more youthful levels, encourage your parents to take an exercise class. Eastern disciplines, including tai chi and yoga, offer increased and sustained energy, flexibility, and tissue and muscle health. Many community centers offer classes devoted to seniors. For men and women without a regular social outlet, such classes provide opportunities to interact with others, promoting emotional health. Nutritional supplements such as ginkgo biloba may help improve memory retention. Consult a medical professional for advice on nutritional supplements to help with arthritis, psoriasis, diabetes and other ailments. Take care of yourself. Remember to take breaks for yourself and give your relationships enough distance and space to remain healthy.


“My illness journey made gratitude my strongest emotion.” Author, social worker and specialist in marriage and family therapy Israela Meyerstein begins the acknowledgements to her self-help book with a strong, personal statement. Chronicling the journey of transition and enlightenment as patient, with the wisdom and experience of her profession, Meyerstein offers both inspirational and practical approaches to wellness. The informative, nontechnical book offers spiritual, emotional and physical exercises for the body, soul and mind. From traditional to modern spiritual tools, she provides a toolbox of practical suggestions designed to heal.



By Michael Kabel

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healthy destinations



ireside chats on wellness, healing workshops, healthy cooking tips, nature hikes and a yoga program designed for your specific fitness level are all found in heavenly weather at The Pearl Laguna. The non-competitive program combines the transformative power of yoga and nature. Each guest moves through a detoxifying and energizing process, emerging with a renewed spirit, stronger



body and mind and revitalized energy. Nestled in gorgeous Laguna Canyon in Laguna Beach, CA, the retreat is surrounded by towering pine trees, hills for hiking and fabulous 70° weather. Guests discover their whole being. The Pearl Laguna is booked most weeks of the year, so it is important to plan ahead.The intimate 12-room retreat can accommodate 12 to 14 guests from Sunday to Saturday ($4,850.00 per person).

THE PEARL LAGUNA Geo and Katresha Moskios Owners and Founders 21095 Raquel Road, Laguna Beach, CA 92651 949-715-1674

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s s e n d Kin A 30-Day Challenge


By Michele Robert Poche

t seemed easy enough. Do something nice for someone else, stranger or otherwise, for 30 days straight. Nothing I did was that difficult and everything I did was rewarding.The hardest part was simply remembering to perform an act of kindness every day. It’s easy to get caught up in our lives, to absent-mindedly walk through public places, to buzz hurriedly past someone who may be struggling or hurting.To make random kindness a habit … that was the challenge. The secret to success is to make this promise to yourself: I will, for 30 days, take a moment out of my schedule to put someone else’s needs ahead of mine, with absolutely nothing expected in return.

1. Shared a stamp at the post office. 2. Removed a broken bottle in a parking lot. 3. Called my parents just to chat. 4. Visited with a neighbor. 5. Cleaned out closets and donated to charity. 6. Forgave someone. 7. Let a mom and crying baby ahead in the grocery line. 8. Brought in a neighbor’s garbage cans. 9. Sent a thank you note. 10. Brought a treat to friends. 11. Didn’t interrupt for an entire day. 12. Let someone else have the good parking spot. 13. Cared for a friend’s pets. 14. Said ‘Yes!” when the cashier asked me to donate money. 15. Returned extra grocery carts to the cart stand. 16. Disposed of all of my trash at the movie theater. 17. Answered a phone call I didn’t really want to take. 18. Said a prayer for a friend in poor health. 19. Gave a ride to a neighbor. 20. Helped a stranger with his broken grocery bag. 21. Let someone else win an argument. 22. Patiently listened to my children. 23. Allowed my friend to speak of her problem that is similar to mine. 24. Spoke to three people I see daily but have never met. 25. Donated blood. 26. Complimented a stranger on her children. 27. Stopped to purchase what a child was selling. 28. Let someone be grumpy without fighting back. 29. Apologized with no strings. 30. Congratulated someone for getting something I wanted.

Feel free to use my ideas or create some of your own. It could be anything. For as Aesop once said, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”



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o egg, no dairy–perfect for those among us who are vegan, lactose intolerant or allergic to eggs.This is not a traditional custard–you obviously can’t replicate the same flavor and texture without using the same ingredients–but this is delicious and a lot easier to make! This would also be amazing in a trifle! Prep Time: 5 min Cook Time:10 min Total Time:15 min Ingredients 1 cup of almond milk l 4 pitted medjool dates (or however many you like, adjust amount to your preference for sweetness) l 1 tsp. vanilla extract l 1 Tbsp. corn flour or coconut flour l ¼ cup hot water l


Method l. Place almond milk, dates and vanilla into a pot. 2. Simmer for 10 minutes to evaporate some of the water content of the almond milk and soften the dates; it will thicken slightly. 3. While this is cooking away, mix flour and water together to make a paste; this will thicken the custard.

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4. Place the hot milk mixture and flour paste into a blender or processor; blend until completely smooth. 5. Enjoy hot or cold over cakes, fruit or my Berry and Cinnamon Breakfast Pudding. Note: You can add different spices to give a different flavor to this custard. 

MELANIE LIONELLO Nutritionist from Melbourne, Australia Instagram: @naturally_nutritious Web: Twitter: @nat_nutritious


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Get Inspired! “Be in a state of gratitude for everything that shows up in your life. Be thankful for the storms as well as the smooth sailing.” - Wayne Dyer § #inspirehealthmag






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