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body. mind. spirit. march 2013

Sleek, Sexy Arms Get

Best Foot Forward Picking the right shoes for exercise

Plus... • How to be happy with what you have • Do lazy exercises really work? • The scoop on sodium and water

What’s on Your

Bucket List?


bite-sized lessons Sweet Roots Did you know that snacking on sweet potatoes may help give you healthy skin and hair? The combination of beta-carotene, vitamin E and vitamin C from a deep orange-fleshed sweet potato may not only contribute to glowing skin and vibrant hair, but these potent antioxidant vitamins may also play an important role in disease prevention and longevity.

Sweet Potato Fries with Tangy Dipping Sauce

Interested in more bite-sized lessons? Join your Hannaford dietitians for FREE nutrition classes and in-store demos. Go to hannaford.com/dietitians for upcoming FREE events and a monthly schedule.

Jean Bottillo-Faulisi, MS, RD Niskayuna Hannaford 3333 Consaul Rd.

Servings: 8 Prep Time: 10 min. Cook Time: 35 min. Sweet Potato Fries Ingredients: 2 lbs. sweet potatoes or yams, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut into thin wedges 1/3 cup I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!® Spread 2/3 cup Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs 1/4 cup shredded Cabot® Light Cheddar Cheese Dip Ingredients: Makes 2/3 cup 1/4 cup Hellmann’s® Canola Cholesterol Free Mayonnaise 1/4 cup Dannon® Plain Oikos® Yogurt 1/4 cup shredded Cabot® Light Cheddar Cheese 1-1/2 tsp. my essentials® Dijon mustard 1 tsp. lemon juice 1 clove garlic, finely chopped

Monique Boulet, RD, CDN, CPT Albany Hannaford 900 Central Ave.

Marianne Romano, MPA, RD, CDN Colonie Hannaford 96 Wolf Rd.

Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 425° F. Line 2 jelly-roll pans with aluminum foil, then spray with no-stick cooking spray; set aside. 2. Combine sweet potatoes with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!® Spread in large bowl and toss to coat. 3. Combine bread crumbs with cheese in large resealable plastic bag. Add potatoes and close bag. Shake potatoes, separating any clumps, until coated. Arrange potatoes in single layer on prepared pans. 4. Bake 20 minutes. Rotate pans and bake an additional 15 minutes or until potatoes are golden and crisp. Meanwhile, combine all dip ingredients in medium bowl; chill if desired. Serve dip with sweet potato fries. Recipe adapted from Unilever.

Patty Wukitsch, MS, RD, CDN Delmar Hannaford 180 Delaware Ave.


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body. mind. spirit.

Publisher George Hearst III Editorial Janet Reynolds, Executive Editor Rebecca Haynes, CT Division Editor Brianna Snyder, Associate Editor

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Contributing Writers Molly Belmont, Beth Cooney, Melissa Fiorenza, Laurie Lynn Fischer, Valerie Foster, Sandra Diamond Fox, Carin Lane, Lee Nelson, Wendy Page, Emma Tennant, Linda Tuccio-Koonz, Melinda McGarty Webb, Megan Willis

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HealthyLife is published ten times per year. If you are interested in receiving home delivery of HealthyLife magazine, please call (518) 454-5768 or e-mail magcirculation@timesunion.com. For advertising information, please call (518) 454-5358. HealthyLife is published by Capital Newspapers and Times Union 645 Albany Shaker Road, Albany, NY 12212 518.454.5694 The entire contents of this magazine are copyright 2013 by Capital Newspapers. No portion may be reproduced in any means without written permission of the publisher. Capital Newspapers is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Hearst Corporation.


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54

body

mind

every issue

24 Pass the Salt

51 Ask Emma

  8 talk back

28 Drink Up!

52 I Hate My Kids’ Friends!

30 Inside The Tuscan Cookbook

54 The Saline Solution

Watch your sodium intake Staying hydrated is important With Frances and Edward Mayes

36 Incidental Exercise

Do little things add up?

38 Bye Bye, Bingo Wings

You can have sexy arms, too!

42 If The Shoe Fits ...

Picking the right footwear

44 Life Science

Ayurveda focuses on balance

47 All About Waxing

Here’s the 411 on hair removal

6

healthylife

Looking at 50 Shades of Grey What to do now

Can flotation tanks cure you?

spirit 59 My Word

Stuff my sisters say

60 What’s on Your Bucket List? How to be happier

66 Grasping for Happiness The key is to want what you have

10 on the web 12 editor’s note 14 news & views 18 fit & fab 22 did you know? 35 owner’s manual

a look at your pancreas

70 cover model Q&A

with Andrea Hersh-Bartfield

Hair and makeup by Kimberley’s A Day Spa, Latham, (518) 785-5868. Select clothing available at Boscov’s Clifton Park, Clifton Park Center, (518) 348-0800. On the cover: Tunic and leggings by Calvin Klein. At right: dress by Anne Klein. All jewelry by Ashley Cooper. Photos taken by Suzanne Kawola at the Center for Nia and Yoga and at New York Expressive Arts in Albany.


march 2013

66 70

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talk back

The story behind the story from our contributors Bingo Arms Lee Nelson  It’s all about perseverance, hard work and weights, weights and more weights.  Sexy arms take a lot of dedication. I hate lifting weights. But I might just throw them into my exercise mix again since these sagging arms will be coming from beyond the long sleeves before too long. See Lee’s story on page 38.

Floating Away Laurie Lynn Fischer  Right after experience in the flotation tank, I approached local businesses about advertising in a play program. (I acted as Georgette in Alan Ball’s Five Women Wearing the Same Dress). I credit my ad selling success to the attitude adjustment that resulted from taking a personal time-out from all the stimuli that constantly barrage us. You don’t have to sit in lotus position to meditate. See Laurie’s story on page 54.

join the conversation!

! n i w or a Like us f o win chance t of all kinds ! free stuff

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Water Woes

Fancy Feet

“It’s worth the extra little bit of money” Wendy Page  It’s so important to have the right sneaker for the sport or exercise in which you’re participating, and to have the sneaker fit correctly. It’s worth the extra little bit of money to help prevent injury, and to help your performance level. Go to someone who really knows how to help you find the right fit for your needs. See Wendy’s story on page 42.

Sandra Diamond Fox  I had no idea a single packet of dehydrated onion soup mix contains 3,132 mg of salt. I use this in so many meals I make for my family and will now have to look into replacing it with another product that contains less sodium. See Sandra’s story on page 24.

Melissa Fiorenza  Truth be told, I’d never had a bikini wax until I wrote this story. I was too afraid of painful or unsightly consequences, but turns out ... it’s no. big. deal. If you’re at reputable location, that is. You’d be surprised how many places offer waxing services, but aren’t legally qualified to do so. See Melissa’s story on page 47.

We asked, you answered!  What’s your favorite book?

 What’s your favorite face lotion?

Rachel: The Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch

Lauren: I use Arbonne products and am very happy with them

Danielle: American White Trash by M.L. Becker

 If you could have any celebrity’s body, whose would you pick? Bichi: I am intrigued by Kim Kardashian’s body. But I think I’d like to have Rachel Bilson’s petite bod!

Linda: Cross country skiing!

healthylife

Waxing Where?

Sodium Smarts

 The best wintertime exercise is …

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Brianna Snyder  I used to make fun of a friend of mine who was obsessed with staying hydrated. I felt like drinking water was her solution to everything. But turns out she had good reason: When you don’t drink enough water, you feel achy, dizzy, tired and hungry. Since confirming that with doctors and nutritionists, I’m now obsessed with staying hydrated too, and I do really feel better overall. See Brianna’s story on page 28.

Lila: I use Clinique “moisture surge” extended thirst relief. Just a dot works really nice,. LeAnn: Auquaphor while you sleep. Amy: Earth Science and Annmarie Gianni products. Coconut oil for very dry skin. Jenn: I’d recommend the moisture surge from

Clinique as well but in conjunction with your regular moisturizerit’s mostly aloe water so it intensifies the moisture from your other moisturizer. Katharine: LUSH Charity pot. It’s the very best and 100% of the profits go to grassroots charity. Diane: Aveda Francesca: I worship the Mario Badescu line. Betsy: Origins night-a-mins!


Who has the Finest, Most Experienced Heart Care Team in the Region?

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BEHIND THE SCENES After reading our Q&A with model Andrea Hersh-Bartfield on page 70, head online for more pictures and a look behind the scenes.

healthylife

blogs

AH, TUSCANY We love The Tuscan Sun Cookbook. Read all about it on page 30; then head online for this recipe for pasta with sausage and four cheeses.

Midlife Mom

Healthy Tips Writer and freelance editor Beth Cooney scans the web to bring you the latest info and tips for healthy living.

Healthy Life NURSE ADVOCATES Should you enlist the help of a nurse advocate? Maybe, if you’re trying to navigate your way through tricky medical procedures. Read the story online.

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healthylife

Writer and designer Carin Lane shares her success stories with losing weight her way — without a gym membership, a personal trainer, or special foods.

GET THOSE SEXY ARMS Check out our exclusive online video for getting super-sexy arms, and read the article on page 38. Got a smartphone? Scan the QR code at right to link directly to our YouTube playlist. 

Illustration: Computer mouse, ©Irina Iglina/Dreamstime.com.

Rebecca Haynes, editor of HealthyLife Connecticut, offers her perspective on life and motherhood while she navigates the teen years and beyond.


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editor’s note

My Bucket List

Photo by Suzanne Kawola.

I

recently attended an Albany Symphony Orchestra concert in which the cellist Yo-Yo Ma was the featured soloist. At the reception afterward, a woman opened her greeting to him with this line: “Meeting you was on my bucket list.” It made me think a bit about what would be on my bucket list and what the potential value is in making such a list. Is it a contrivance, or is it actually a useful tool? Does it help us stay focused in a frenetic life or does it make us forget to enjoy what we have in the here and now? The answer, as often is the case, probably lies somewhere in the middle. After all, if a list entirely comprises things that are really pie-in-the-sky, isn’t that just setting you up for frustration? Smart bucket lists, then, include attainable and aspirational items. In general, I’m a list maker — you should see my daily calendar — so I thought I would give this bucket list idea a shot. If you want to learn more about creating a bucket list of your own, check out our story on page 60.  HL


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news and views compiled by beth cooney

PUT ALL THOSE STEREOTYPES about seniors crawling under the covers at dusk and puttering around the house drinking warm milk in the middle of the night to rest. Most members of the Social Security set get plenty of ZZZs and manage to sleep through the night just fine thank you, according to new research. It’s been a commonly held belief that many mature adults begin to struggle with insomnia as they age, leading them to be drowsy by day and prone to early bedtimes. But researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, who studied a fairly large sample of 1,200 adults, found more than 75 percent of them normally get eight hours of sleep a night. The study group also slumbered between the normally expected hours of 11 p.m. and 7:30 a.m. While they may not be watching the Late Show with David Letterman, researchers suggest this is yet another positive sign of the impact healthy aging can have on overall life quality. “Our findings suggest that in matters regarding sleep and sleepiness, as in many other aspects of life, most seniors today are doing better than is generally thought,” Timothy Monk, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Pitts-

burgh Medical Center, says in a news release. “The stereotype of most seniors going to bed at 8 p.m., sleeping very lightly and being unduly sleepy during the day may be quite inaccurate, suggesting that 60 really is the new 40. The takeaway for older adults is that if you can keep yourself healthy and avoid or treat age-related diseases and disorders, then you’ll be able to sleep like a younger adult.” Meanwhile, the researcher noted that adults with sleep disorders may have underlying medical issues which, with proper treatment, may have them resting easier (and longer) too. source: tinyurl.com/march13sleep

Protect Your Knees (In Moderation) WE’VE ALL HEARD the expression “everything in moderation.” And when it comes to protecting aging knees from painful, degenerative osteoarthritis, intriguing new research suggests too much or too little activity can play a role in wear and tear on the joint. A new study found that both sedentary living and rigorous exercise can be culprits in the condition. The researchers further suggested patients at high familial risk of developing osteoarthritis might want to refrain from high-impact activities (such as running and tennis) and instead stick with less pounding workouts such as swimming and walking. Conversely, the less fit may also want to get off the couch. Researchers at the University of California at San Francisco based their findings after examining a group of middle-aged patients enrolled in its Osteoarthritis Initia-

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healthylife

tive. After studying the MRIs of a large group of patients, they found the most wear in the knees of the most active and most sedentary of the bunch. While the active group makes sense — we all know that vigorous exercise can take a toll on the joints — the sedentary crowd was a bit of a surprise. Some amount of movement is necessary to keep the knee properly lubricated, which may explain the relationship between low activity and wear, explains Dr. Thomas M. Link, one of the researchers and a professor of radiology at UCSF. The findings suggest there may be an optimal level of physical activity to preserve the knee cartilage. The findings were presented in a press conference late last year at the Radiological Society of North America’s National Assembly and Meeting. source: tinyurl.com/march13knees

Photos: Dreamstime.com. Pillow, © Angelo Gilardelli; Woman with laptop, © Marcio Eugenio; Veggies, © Johanna Goodyear; Pregnant woman, © Sam74100.

Senior Slumber


Cut THE FAT BACK IN THE ’90S the vogue diet-of-the-moment involved zealously counting fat grams to stay slim. The craze resulted in a plethora of low-fat and fatfree foods we now see on supermarket shelves. Eventually, though, dieters were drawn to new crazes, including cutting carbohydrates and binging on lean protein. Fat became less of a dirty ... consuming lowdiet word. fat dairy products, Now, researchers in trimming fat from Britain have taken a second look at cutting meat and avoiding dietary fat and conprocessed, junky cluded, once again, it’s baked goods could a relatively simple way to lose weight, cut choall play a role in lesterol and improve a helping maintain a person’s overall health profile. Indeed, when healthy weight. researchers looked at a large sampling of men, women and children who were asked to cut back on their fat intake (but not otherwise diet or restrict calories) the group lost weight, lowered BMI and also slightly reduced waist circumference. The researchers, who reported their findings recently in the journal BMJ, suggest that consuming low-fat dairy products, trimming fat from meat and avoiding processed, junky baked goods could all play a role in helping maintain a healthy weight. And consider how beneficial these cut-the-fat changes might be if you just have a few stubborn pounds to lose. source: tinyurl.com/march13fat

The Carotenoid Cure BREAST CANCER PREVENTION may begin at the farm stand and in the produce department. Researchers say they believe there’s proof that women with high levels of micronutrients that are plentiful in certain fruits and vegetables seem to have a reduced risk of breast cancer. High levels of carotenoids, micronutrients found in tomatoes, spinach, kale, carrots, bell peppers and other fruits and vegetables, are associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer, according to the study conducted by researchers at Boston’s Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. The researchers analyzed the data in 12 other studies related to carotenoids and breast cancer to come to their conclusion, which was reported recently in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. These micronutrients appear to be particularly helpful in preventing breast cancers that are not estrogen dependent, the researchers note. And besides this good news for anyone interested in lowering their breast cancer risk, researchers note there are plenty of other good-for-you reasons to pile your plate with fruits and veggies. source: tinyurl.com/march13veggies

Why It’s Smart To Quit YET ANOTHER CHAPTER in the mammoth and irrefutable body of evidence on the harms of smoking comes from new research on the relationship between expectant mothers’ cigarette habits and the academic success of their offspring. Yale University researchers have found a demonstrative gap between the reading abilities in the children of women who smoked during their pregnancies and the children of women who refrained from the unhealthy habit. The Yale researchers found that the children of a large sampling of British women who smoked more than a pack of cigarettes a day during pregnancy struggled with reading comprehension on as-

sessment tests that evaluated their skills as they read aloud. The researchers say the study suggests a strong relationship between the environmental impacts of smoking on the genetic trait of phonological ability. “It’s not a little difference — it’s a big difference in accuracy and comprehension at a critical time when children are being assessed and are getting a sense of what it means to be successful,” Dr. Jeffrey Gruen, a professor of genetics and pediatrics at Yale says in a university news release. The findings were published recently in the journal Pediatrics. source: tinyurl.com/march13smokes

timesunion.com/HealthyLife

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news and views

ADDICTS

DO YOUR FRIENDS and family complain about your constant attention to your iPhone apps, or nonstop jabbering on your cell? Well, it turns out you may have an addiction to communication technology, a dependency that researchers suggest is attributed to, ahem, flashy materialism and a need to project self-importance. Researchers at Baylor and Seton Hall universities collaborated on a recent study that looked at the impulsive technology habits of a large sampling of college students. They analyzed

data that looked at how much they used their phones (to chat, check texts or send e-mail, etc.) and found the students who rated themselves the most impulsive and materialistic on a selfassessment of personality traits were the same students who used their phones most. (Indeed, these self-inflated types used their phones a lot more.) The study was reported recently in the Journal of Behavioral Addiction. source: tinyurl.com/ march13phone

Autistic Minds Show Causal Clues

The Lancet, looked at a large group of depressed adults to see how they responded to a variety of treatment options. Cognitive therapy is also different from traditional talk therapy, where patients often reflect how they are feeling about certain experiences and situations. People receiving cognitive therapy were also more likely not to have their depressive symptoms return, noted the researchers, who suggested this may be an excellent option for depressed individuals and clinicians seeking longterm results for their patients.

TWO NEW STUDIES that look closely at the brains of adult men with autism are lending more credence to the theory that skyrocketing rates of the developmental disorder are related to some kind of immunological neurological response. Scientists used MRI and PET scans to study the brains of men with the neurological disorder that is characterized by challenges with social interaction, relationships and communication, as well as repetitive behavioral patterns and interests. British researchers found different cortical thickness in the frontal lobes of brains with autistic men; while the Japanese researchers found evidence that the brains of its autistic subjects had suffered some kind of injury from an immunological response or stimulus. Both sets of researchers say their findings prompt the need for more detailed examination of the possible links with the syndrome, which is now considered a global health epidemic. The findings of both research teams were reported recently in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

source: tinyurl.com/ march13depressed

source: tinyurl.com/ march13autism

The Cognitive Cure ANTIDEPRESSANTS ARE NOT a cure-all for every person suffering from a mood disorder. And now a new study out of Britain suggests that when prescription medications fail to alleviate a patient’s symptoms, intensive cognitive therapy may prove extremely beneficial. Participating in 12 to 18 cognitive therapy sessions — a method of therapy where patients take responsibility for their emotions and focus on changing their attitude — more than doubled the diminishment of depressive symptoms than patients taking antidepressants alone, researchers note. The study, which was recently reported in the British medical journal

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Photos: Dreamstime.com; Women on cell phone, © Imageegami; Coffee, © Adolfolazo; Couch, © Kettaphoto; Pills, © iStockphoto.com/Brosa.

Cell Phone


Mood Altering Beverages THE DEBATE on the merits of artificially-sweetened sodas has, until now, centered largely on whether they are a dieter’s friend or foe. But a new study suggests there may be yet another reason to avoid them, particularly as we advance in age. Heavy diet-soda drinkers seem to have higher rates of depression than those who go without. Meanwhile, coffee may actually be a mood enhancer. Research released at the recent American College of Neurology’s annual convention revealed higher rates of depression in seniors who were heavy diet-soda drinkers and significantly lower rates in java fans. The study, which was a fairly comprehensive look at the beverage consumption of more than a quarter-million middle-aged Americans and seniors ages 50 to 71, studied their nonalcoholic drinking habits for more than a year. The researchers found that people who drank four or more diet

beverages a day were 30 percent more likely than their abstaining counterparts to suffer from depression, while coffee drinkers were 10 percent more likely to not suffer from depression than their coffee abstaining peers. “Our research suggests that cutting out or down on sweetened diet drinks or replacing them with unsweetened coffee may naturally help lower your depression risk,” says study author Dr. Honglei Chen, of the National Institutes of Health in Research Triangle Park in North Carolina. “More research is needed to confirm these findings, and people with depression should continue to take depression medications prescribed by their doctors.” source: tinyurl.com/ march13dietsoda

Toss the Vitamins? IT MAY SOUND a bit like nutritional sacrilege to many a vitamin-popping American, but a new study suggests as a culture we’ve overdosed on nutritional supplements. Indeed, Emory University researcher Donald P. McCormick implies in his new study that the majority of people could eliminate their need for vitamins by just eating a healthier diet. He also disagrees with some recent research, which suggests older adults need to take two multivitamins a day to meet their nutritional needs. McCormick analyzed 12 current studies on vitamin deficiencies in older adults and, with a few exceptions, found taking supplements is unnecessary. For example, he notes most seniors don’t need to take extra vitamins unless they have medical issues that affect how they absorb, metabolize or swallow food. The findings were reported recently in the journal Advances in Nutrition. source: tinyurl.com/march13vitamins

Danger Seats MORE THAN 35 YEARS after toxic, flame-retardant chemicals were banned from children’s sleepwear, researchers have found they are still prevalent in the couches of many an American living room. In fact, researchers at Duke University and the University of California at Berkeley say they found the chlorinated carcinogenic flame retardant chemical Tris (TDCPP) in some 41 percent of the couches they analyzed as part of their research. Overall, some 85 percent of the couches they examined contained traces of chemical flame retardants that were known to be toxic or to have suspect health effects. “Sadly enough, many Americans now have increased cancer risks from the Tris in their furniture,” Dr. Arlene Blum,

executive director of the Green Science Policy Institute, says in a UCBerkeley press release. The chemicals can move from foam into household dust, affecting pets and making small children, who often crawl and put their hands in their mouths, especially vulnerable, researchers say. Meanwhile, furniture industry repre-

sentatives responded that their industry has been caught between pressure to make products that are flame-retardant as well as free of toxins. The researchers’ findings were reported recently in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. source: tinyurl.com/march13couches

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fit and fab

◀ Resistance Works Walking is already an effectively cheap and easy way to work out. If you want to kick it up a notch, add these sleek, adjustable resistance poles to your next walk, hike or interval workout to burn more calories and tone your upper body. The poles add 13 pounds of resistance as you push down on the grips while you walk. The farther down you push, the more muscles you work. $79.95. Visit halsamat.com.

WIN! Want your own poles? Just go to our Facebook page and tell us why you should win. We’ll pick one lucky random winner March 22.

by carin lane

▼ Get Fierce! Lindsay Brin, mom of three and creator of Moms Into Fitness (MIF), wants you to look “Fierce” this summer. Both 60-day programs include free app downloads, a downloadable calendar and eating packet. The workouts are for all levels, range from 15 to 60 minutes to fit into your busy schedule and will challenge your muscles to change and your body to shed the weight for good. Even if you’re not a mom, this workout will get you in top shape. Weight Loss program (8 DVDs), $59.99; Lean Out program (11 DVDs), $79.99. Visit momsintofitness.com.

It’s time to think about tank tops and bikinis. The next few Fit and Fabs will feature gear to help you get a summer body you’ll love to show off. For more Fit and Fab goodies, go to timesunion.com/ healthylife. Have a new product you’d like to share? E-mail Carin at clane@timesunion.com.

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Did You Know? 22 Pass the Salt 24 Drink Up 28 

Inside The Tuscan Cookbook 30 Owner’s Manual 35  Incidental Exercise 36 Bye Bye, Bingo Wings 38  If the Shoe Fits ... 42 Life Science 44 All About Waxing 47 timesunion.com/HealthyLife

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fast facts

65

About 65 percent of remarriages involve children from a prior marriage. source: tinyurl.com/hl13step

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An international survey conducted by the Boston Consulting Group found that 21 percent of Americans said they’d rather give up sex for a year than the Internet. Compare that to 56 percent of Japanese people surveyed who said they would give up sex for a year if they could keep the Internet. (And only 12 percent of Brazilians were willing to make the tradeoff.) source: tinyurl.com/hl13sexinternet

250

The average human body contains about 250 grams of salt, or half a pound. source: tinyurl.com/hl13salt

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healthylife

compiled by brianna snyder

300

The humerus bone (aka the funny bone), in your arm is super strong. It can bear up to 300 pounds. source: tinyurl. com/hl13arm

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healthy eating

Pass the SALT what everyone should know about sodium intake by sandra diamond fox

F

orget about having a sweet tooth. For most of her life, Wendy Schaffer of Slingerlands preferred salted pretzels, potato chips, French fries and minestrone soup, all of which are loaded with sodium — a fact she blithely ignored. Several years ago, Schaffer’s approach to salt drastically changed when she spent four weeks at the Rice Diet program in North Carolina, a medically supervised live-in program for people with diabetes, obesity, heart disease and hypertension. “I had weight issues and wanted to learn healthy ways of eating,” she says. “One thing I learned from this program was how to greatly reduce the salt in my diet.” But is sodium really that bad for you? Or does it serve a beneficial purpose to your body? According to Dr. Stuart Erner, a board certified physician in internal medicine at Capital Region Progressive Medicine and Longevity Practice in Albany, we all need sodium. “Sodium, along with chloride, are the principle ions in the fluid outside our cells, which also includes blood plasma,” he says. “They play critical roles in a number of lifesustaining processes.” Erner explains sodium is essential for nerve impulse transmission, muscle contraction and cardiac function. “One needs sodium to maintain blood volume and blood pressure,” he explains. Yet, in light of all these benefits, we must eat salt in moderation. According to current dietary guidelines, adults should consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. However, “our bodies are capable of getting along with as little as 500 mg of sodium a day,” says Jean Bigaouette, a nutritionist and registered dietitian in Albany. The dangers of having excess sodium in your diet are significant. “Too much sodium can cause increased swelling in the tissues, worsening of heart failure, and increased risk of heart attack and stroke due to increasing blood pres-

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healthylife

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healthy eating

Salts —

Table salt: Contains 40 percent so-

dium. It’s heavily processed to eliminate minerals and usually contains an additive to prevent clumping. Most table salt also has added iodine, an essential nutrient.

Kosher salt: Used for all cooking. It

dissolves fast and its flavor disperses quickly so chefs recommend tossing it on everything from pork roast to popcorn. It got its name because its craggy crystals make it perfect for curing meat — a step in the koshering process.

Crystalline sea salt: Adds a pungent

burst of flavor to just-cooked foods. These crystals will complement anything from a fresh salad to a salmon fillet. It can add briny, sweet, or even bitter flavors to salts.

Flaked sea salt: Adds a hint of briny

flavor to freshly cooked food. This is the fastest-dissolving of all of the salt grains.

Fleur de sel: A special-occasion table

salt. Spoon it into a salt cellar to be pinched, then sprinkle over food just before eating. Delicately flavored, it adds a hint of saltiness to freshly sliced tomato or melon. It melts slowly in the mouth and its earthy, pleasing flavor lingers on the tongue.

Rock salt: For making ice cream and deicing. Rock salt is paired with ice in old-fashioned hand-cranked ice cream makers to regulate the temperature.

Pickling salt: For brining pickles and

sauerkraut. Pickling salt is far more concentrated than the more commonly used kosher salt, so you’ll use less of it. Unlike table salt, it isn’t fortified with iodine and doesn’t contain anti-caking chemicals. Virtually 100 percent sodium chloride, it’s the purest of salts.

Celtic salt: An expensive salt, it’s har-

vested via a 2,000-year-old method of solar evaporation from the waters of the Celtic sea marshes in Brittany, France. Flavor is mellow, with a slightly sweet taste. It’s no healthier than other salts.

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healthylife

sure,” Erner says. “Also, you might have a sensitivity to some chemicals that are added to table salt. These chemicals can include aluminates, sodium bicarbonate and fluoride.” Erner explains this sensitivity can cause allergic reactions, swelling, dizziness, mental clouding, and muscle aches and pains. “Be sure to look closely at the label on the salt bottle for these chemicals, and use salt sparingly,” he says. So what about iodized salt? According to the National Institutes of Health, iodine is a mineral the body needs to produce thyroid hormones, which control the body’s metabolism. We also need thyroid hormones for proper bone and brain development during pregnancy. The recommended dietary allowance for iodine is 150 micrograms a day. Aside from iodized salt, foods containing iodine include fish, dairy products, fruits and vegetables. “If you’re going to use salt, ioWays to avoid salt dized is preferred because a lot of people don’t eat when cooking dietary sources of iodine,” • Season food with herbs says Bigaouette, who is a and spices such as basil, certified diabetes educator. rosemary, dill, parsley, Seafood, dairy products and sage, ginger and cinnamon. eggs also contain iodine. • Mix foods with fruits such as lemon and lime.

Salt cravings — why we get them • Use unsalted butter. “Salt is added to food as • Add vegetables and a preservative and flavoronions to your meal. ing agent. If a food is highly flavorful, people tend to eat • Find a broth that’s organic and contains low sodium. more of it. We get salt cravings when we become used to the taste of salt in food,” Bigaouette says. “Over time, our taste buds respond less and less to this taste. We develop a tolerance for it, and find we need more and more of it to get the same satisfaction.” For some people, salt cravings can be a symptom of a problem with the adrenal glands. “They could have stopped functioning, probably due to the gland being overstressed,” Erner says. “Also, people with diabetes that is out of control, those with sickle cell anemia, and those with high blood pressure can all have excessive salt cravings.” If you have a salt craving that you haven’t told your doctor about during a routine history and physical, you should make another appointment. Once you have ruled out any health complications, you can begin the process of reducing salt in your diet. The key is to do so gradually. “Do it in a step-wise fashion. This is the best way to change your acceptance of the flavor of the food. Instead of adding salt, flavor food with fresh garlic, garlic powder, lemon juice or lemon peel,” Bigaouoette says. “Mrs. Dash makes many different kinds are seasonings, all of which are sodium free. “It’s more the sodium you bring home from the grocery store, rather than the salt shaker in the cupboard, that con-

Photos: iStockphoto.com. Salt shaker, © art-4-art; Bowl of salt, © Tsuji.

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tains the most sodium,” she adds. So shop your store’s perimeters, where the fresh foods are located and beware of processed, packaged food, which generally contains high amounts of sodium. Some tips Bigaouette shares to avoid too much sodium include choosing plain foods when dining out, such as filet mignon and grilled chicken. Condiments, such as barbeque sauce, salad dressing and ketchup, all contain lots of salt. Be aware of anything that has melted cheese, comes in a sauce, is breaded, coated or served with gravy. Choose whole wheat pasta, brown rice and fresh vegetables. After taking part in the Rice Diet, Schaffer says she learned to stay away from packaged and processed foods. “Instead, I buy natural or organic produce and cook with low-sodium products,” she says. One food she often buys now is Israeli couscous, which contains no sodium. Instead of store-bought soup, Schaffer makes her own, including tasty vegetable, chicken, and bean soups. “The Rice Diet program permanently changed my life and the way I think about salt,” Schaffer says. HL

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body care

Drink Up staying hydrated is more important than you think

by brianna snyder

P

ut down your energy drink. Set aside your coffee. And — we beg you — don’t do that shot of pinklemonade-flavored 5-Hour Energy. Instead reach for a glass of water. That’s right. Experts say water — not caffeine and certainly not sugar — is the best way to maintain your energy level through the course of a day. “Inadequate fluids can make you feel like you don’t have good energy,” says Dr. Sharon Alger-Mayer of the Albany Medical Center. “Our bodies are about two-thirds water … and so we need a large amount of water every day to maintain adequate hydration.” Being fully hydrated is essential for our bodies to work well. Water helps fuel our cells by delivering oxygen and nutrients to our organs. It keeps our blood pressure at healthy levels, says Alger-Mayer, and keeps our body temperatures cool. It flushes our systems and strengthens our immune system.

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healthylife

Dehydration can cause muscle aches and pains, fatigue and dizziness. It can even confuse the way your body signals hunger and thirst. You may feel as if you need a snack to boost your energy, when what you really need is water. “If people are feeling hungry, they may be a bit dehydrated,” Alger-Mayer says. “So people might grab sugar or something to eat to get energy.” But that can further dehydrate you, exacerbating the problem. How much water we should drink in a day is up for debate. We’ve all been told eight 8-ounce glasses is the standard, but Alger-Mayer says a more accurate approach is to use your weight to calculate how much water you need. “When we’re doing calculations for patients in the hospital, we say it’s about 30 CCs, which is the equivalent of 1 ounce for every kilogram of weight,” she says. That works out to about 1 liter per every 65 pounds you

Dr. Sharon Alger-Mayer of Albany Medical Center says a number of clues reveal levels of hydration. If you’re sleepy, achy or dizzy, you’re likely dehydrated. Think about how much water you’ve had to drink in the last 24 hours. If you’re still curious, try this test: Sit down, take your pulse. Count the beats for a minute. Stand up. Take your pulse again. If your beats have increased by 20, that’s a sign you’re dehydrated.

weigh. So if you weigh 130 pounds, you’d try to drink about 2 liters of water per day. Water intake needs to be increased during exercise. Alger-Mayer says keeping a water bottle with you when you’re working out and drinking from it every 10 to 15 minutes will keep you properly hydrated. Adam Cernauskas, fitness manager at the Ciccotti Family Recreation Cen-

Photos: iStockphoto.com. Woman, © mediaphotos; Sports Drink, © DundStock.

 Hydration Test


 Why Electrolytes?

ter in Albany, says his facility recommends what the American College of Sports Medicine prescribes for proper hydration when working out: 17 to 20 ounces of water about three hours before your workout, then 7 to 10 ounces every 10 to 20 minutes as you’re exercising. He also recommends weighing yourself before and after your workout; most people lose a little weight as they exercise — mostly water weight lost to sweat. Cernauskas suggests drinking enough water to make up that weight. If you lost one pound after 45 minutes on the treadmill, drink 16 ounces of water. “We’re increasing our core temperature and that water every 10 to 20 minutes of exercise is going to help balance out our core temperature,” Cernauskas says. “The point where it gets too high is when we get heat stroke.” Pattie Rakvica, a personal trainer at Glenville Health and Fitness, says staying hydrated is “dreadfully important” when exercising but that gauging your hydration level comes down to common sense. Is your mouth dry? Are your eyes? Are you dizzy or achy? All of those are signs you probably need some fluids. Those fluids don’t necessarily need to be water, however, or even liquid. Rakvica recommends high-water-content foods such as watermelon and pineapple. (To restore electrolytes after a workout, she also suggests making your own Gatorade using a little salt, sugar and lime. See box for another recipe.) Christa Valentine, a nutritionist for Price Chopper, says foods with the highest water content are lettuce, watermelon, broccoli, grapefruit and carrots. She recommends fatfree milk, 100-percent juices and fat-free yogurts, too, saying those “are great ways to get nutrition and hydration.” Because a lot of people don’t like to drink plain water, Valentine says seltzer and flavored waters are perfect substitutes. Alger-Mayer agrees, and recommends avoiding caffeine, a diuretic that can make you have to go to the bathroom more frequently and lose hydration. For those who don’t want to drink cold water in the wintertime, she recommends decaffeinated coffees and flavored teas (also decaf) as replenishing alternatives to water. Another liquid no-no is alcohol. Also a diuretic, it prevents your kidneys from producing the chemical that helps your body retain water. Bottom line, with good nutrition, we can stay hydrated fairly easily, Valentine says. “If someone wants to focus on being hydrated, they want to find beverages that satisfy them, work within their diet and satisfy their hydration needs,” she says. “Water does do a lot in our body. It’s essential for so many things.” HL

Adam Cernauskas, fitness manager at the Ciccotti Family Recreation Center in Albany, says after 45 minutes of working out, you’ll want to start replenishing your electrolytes, which help the body absorb water; the sodium and glucose in them allow your body to soak in the water you’re drinking. But drink too much water and you’ll flood your system (see sidebar). So after about 45 minutes of exercising, grab a sports drink.

 Can You Drink Too Much Water? If you’ve ever tried to drink a huge amount of water all at once, you know it can be an uncomfortable experience. Your stomach bloats and you cramp a bit. That’s the reason Adam Cernauskas suggests drinking water gradually throughout the day, a few hours before your workout, so that your body is processing the water and it’s not sloshing around in your stomach. While rare — Cernauskas says he’s heard of it but never seen it — you can drink too much water, flushing out all your electrolytes and causing a decrease in serum sodium concentration (your body’s salt levels). According to the National Institutes of Health, “The most common [case of water intoxication] is psychogenic polydipsia (compulsive water drinking), which is sometimes associated with either mental illness or mental handicap.” The most common symptoms of too much water consumption, the NIH reports, are changes in mental status, emesis, nausea and seizures.

 try this

Homemade Sports Drink! Replenish your electrolytes with a more natural alternative to that store-bought sports drink. For a 16-ounce bottle, combine: • 1 tablespoon sugar •  1/2 teaspoon salt • lime juice to taste • 16 ounces of water Shake and enjoy!

timesunion.com/HealthyLife

29


cookbook

Inside The

Tuscan Sun Cookbook

cooking the italian way with frances and edward mayes

by janet reynolds  |  photos by steven rothfeld

T

.S. Eliot may have said April is the cruelest month, but he didn’t live in the Northeast in March. Because March in these parts is when winter feels as if it will never — ever — leave. In our minds we know this to be impossible, but in our winter-dreary bones we feel the possibility to our core. Not surprisingly, it’s a time when many of us not lucky enough to take a jaunt to sunnier, warmer climes fantasize about living in a place where spring has sprung. It is a place without snow. It is a place of fresh food and leisurely lunches on patios surrounded by good friends, followed perhaps by gathering around an outdoor fire as the evening cools. For many of us, one of these fantasies is Tuscany. It’s one reason why Frances Mayes’ debut memoir, Under the Tuscan Sun, was so wildly successful. (It has over 2.5 million copies in print and was made into a movie starring Diane Lane.) Since we couldn’t live as ex-pats in Tuscany, we willingly jumped into her life. While chucking it all and moving to Tuscany still is not likely for most of us, we can now cook a la the Tuscans, thanks to Mayes’ new cookbook, The Tuscan Sun Cookbook. Written in collaboration with her husband, Edward, the book features over 150 recipes they’ve gathered in their two decades as honorary Italians. But the book is more than a cookbook; it’s also a travelogue. Sprinkled among the stunning photographs of food are photographs of Tuscany — the countryside, the people who’ve inspired the Mayes’ culinary journey — as well as wonderful explanations of the ritual of eating. The Mayes also offer detailed tips about what your pantry should al-

30

healthylife

ways have so you can whip up a Tuscan meal any time, as well as advice on how to buy the best olive oil, the critical ingredient in any meal. What emerges in this culinary love story is this: Food is not just a way to sustain your body in Tuscany; it is a way of life. Frances wrote a little about that life in an e-mail exchange. Word of caution: Don’t be near a computer when you’re done, or you may find yourself booking that trip to Tuscany. What inspired you to turn these recipes into a book? Tuscans are the most hospitable people on earth. So many friends have shared their kitchens and tables with me. I wanted to pass these easy and tasty recipes on. Of course, Tuscans don’t cook by printed recipes, but by instinct I put it on paper!


Quality Q ualit y o off Life is Our O ur FFirst irsst Priority. Please share a few top tips for people who want to “cook Tuscan” at home in the States. • Beware of Italian recipes that call for lots of ingredients. Tuscans keep it simple so that flavors speak for themselves. • Time is the major component of a Tuscan dinner. Because the meal is served in four courses, the ambience of leisure is built into the rhythm of the dinner. Even if the courses are extremely simple, the separation paces you — there’s no eat-and-run, even for a random Wednesday night. A meal is as much about being together as it is about the food. • Tuscans put up food. The jars of tomatoes, the pickled vegetables, jams, and roasted peppers, the packets of dried mushrooms, fennel flowers, hot peppers — these are so handy all winter and are part of the ease of preparing dinner quickly. Have your own prosciutto at the ready — all the pantry staples are just a great boon for the cook. • The number one tip: great olive oil. New, greeny, peppery olive oil is the essence of the Tuscan kitchen. You can find good oil (in the States) but you have to be vigilant. Check for date of harvest and don’t buy it unless it’s fresh. Also, look for exactly where the oil comes from. Just “extra-virgin” can mean almost anything, including that the bottle contains a bit of extra-virgin and the rest canola or something. It’s worth researching. What are a couple of your favorite recipes and why? For holidays, I love my husband Ed’s festive pork roast. It makes an entrance — more like the red silk dress than the little black dress! For casual dinners, sausage and fourcheese baked pasta strikes the right note — hearty and tasty. I have so many favorite pasta recipes that it’s hard to choose, but, over and over, I go to the spaghetti with crab and lemon, and the spaghetti with arugula, pancetta and cream. continued on page 33 

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cookbook continued from page 31

They are super fast, a bit unusual, and everyone loves them. The book is crammed with my favorites. Ed and I have made all these recipes for over two decades in our beloved house, Bramasole. To busy Americans who think a leisurely meal is only the stuff of places other than where they live, what advice can you offer about how to take time to savor the food and company? It’s fun to involve others — friends or family — in the cooking. Set out a plate of antipasti, pour some wine, and give everyone a small task. As suggested before, be sure to serve in courses, not just arrange the main course on a plate with the sides. Even if you’re not having a pasta course, serve the roasted asparagus or sformati or garlic flan as a first course. It’s lovely to savor tastes separately. For me, a big part of the pleasure is setting the table. When the table is inviting, people want to linger. I like place cards for over six, big antique linen napkins, low flowers, lots of candles. Then you can dine like the Tuscans and remain at the table for six hours! HL

Chicken with Artichokes, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Chickpeas Serves 6 Ingredients 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 yellow onion, chopped 3 chicken breasts, halved, skin on 1 teaspoon salt 1 /2 teaspoon pepper 1 /2 cup red wine 1 /4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley 2 cups cooked chickpeas 2 14-ounce cans water-packed artichoke hearts, drained 1 /2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, slivered, or 1 cup sliced oven-roasted tomatoes 1 /4 cup fresh thyme or fresh marjoram leaves or 2 tablespoons dried 1 /2 cup black or green olives, pitted method Heat oven to 350 degrees. Over medium-low heat, in a large, enameled ovenproof pot with a lid, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Saute the onion, and after about 3 minutes, remove it to a medium bowl. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil to the pot, raise the heat to medium-high, and brown the chicken for 3 minutes per side. Add the wine, bring it quickly to a boil, and then turn the heat off immediately. Combine the onion with the parsley, chickpeas, artichoke

hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, thyme and olives. Spread the combined vegetables over the chicken, and bake, covered, for 3040 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces, turning the chicken once. Serve right from the pot or transfer to a platter.

TIP! Cooking chickpeas The easiest way, the Mayes say, is to soak them at least 5 hours and then bring them to a boil in a lot of water. Add a carrot, celery stalk and halved onion. Lower the heat, partially cover, and simmer until done. The cooking time might be as short as 45 minutes. Keep testing. The chickpeas are done when firm but giving. Discard the vegetables. For a no-soaking method, boil the chickpeas for 2 minutes and then turn off the heat and let them sit for an hour before cooking.

Baked Pasta with Sausage and Four Cheeses: For this recipe, visit timesunion.com/healthylife.

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owner’s manual

Your Pancreas — a primer

pancreas

compiled by linda tuccio-koonz

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our pancreas, a leaf-shaped gland about six inches long, is nestled behind the lower part of your stomach. It has two functions: to secrete enzymes that aid in digestion; and to produce several hormones — including insulin and glucagon — that regulate blood sugar levels. Insulin controls the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood as well as the rate it’s absorbed into the cells. Cells need glucose to produce energy and the brain needs glucose to function. Think of it like this: Insulin opens the doors of cells throughout the body, allowing glucose to enter them.

Photo: © iStockphoto.com/JohnnyGreig. Illustration: © iStockphoto.com/filo.

Diabetes develops if the pancreas isn’t doing its job. Type 1 occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the pancreas’ insulin-producing cells. The more common form, type 2, is when Up to the pancreas produces insulin 20 percent in small quantities that aren’t of pancreatic enough to fuel the cells. cancer begins Diabetics are subject as a small, to both low and high fluid-filled brown blood sugar levels. Symplesion called a toms of hyperglycemia (too pancreatic cyst. much glucose in the blood) include fatigue, a constant need to urinate, extreme thirst, constant hunger, loss of weight and eyesight problems. Symptoms of hypoglycemia (low amounts of glucose in the blood) include hunger, dizziness, sweating, confusion, numbness or tingling of lips, and palpitations.

Pancreatic cancer can involve several kinds of tumors since there are many types of cells in the gland. The most common type starts in the cells that line the pancreatic duct. As a pancreatic tumor grows, it can invade nearby organs, so surgical removal of the tumor is the best option for long-term survival.

Pancreatic cancer is less common than many other types, but is often in an advanced stage by the time it’s discovered because there are usually few or no early symptoms. Some people notice the following as pancreatic cancer evolves: severe pain in the upper abdomen or back, nausea, vomiting, unintended weight loss, a burning feeling in the stomach, inability to digest fatty foods, and jaundice. (Many of these symptoms can also be caused by other, more common medical issues.)

The discovery of insulin nearly a century ago — in 1921 at the University of Toronto — turned diabetes from a death sentence to a chronic disease. If the pancreas becomes inflamed and damaged by a buildup of its own digestive chemicals, pancreatitis, or swelling and eventual death of the tissue, can result. Excessive alcohol consumption and gallstones are two main causes, followed by infection or exposure to certain drugs used to treat cancer or prevent seizures.

Risk factors for pancreatic cancer include smoking and tobacco use, obesity, diabetes, exposure to carcinogens such as asbestos and pesticides, family history, and age (it usually affects people over 55). To keep your pancreas healthy, exercise and eat a balanced diet. Take a multivitamin, go for regular checkups and don’t smoke. HL

For additional information on the pancreas, go to:

timesunion.com/healthylife timesunion.com/HealthyLife

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exercise

Here and There can “incidental exercise” really help us lose weight? by brianna snyder

How many calories, per hour, are burned…

 vacuuming?................86  running?.....................615  fidgeting?.................... 16  walking briskly?........ 270  stretching?...................240  cooking?....................170  washing dishes?........156  biking?.....................680 Source: ivillage.com/ calories-burned-calculator

Photo: © Jonathan Ross/Dreamstime.com.

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e’ve all read the magazine blurbs telling us we can drop 10 pounds by the end of the year if we just did things like got up to change the channel instead of using the remote or did calf-lifts under our desks at work. But does doing these kind of exercises actually work? Sort of. Those tiny metabolic boosts — taking the stairs, parking a little farther away from the grocery store, vacuuming the house — are what’s called “incidental exercise.” When we walk to a colleague’s cubicle to have a chat (instead of e-mailing) or get down on our hands and knees to scrub the bathtub, we’re burning calories although obviously not on the scale of, say, a 45-minute session on the elliptical. “There is a benefit to it, essentially,” says Alan Boetticher of Albany NY Fitness. “In your everyday activities you’re burning calories.” Obviously, he says, “the more strenuous movements you do, the more calories you burn.” More effective incidental exercise is taking the stairs, for example. That’ll get your blood pumping. Dr. Stuart Erner, of Capital Region Progressive Medicine and Longevity Practice, is a bariatric and weightloss specialist who has practiced in Albany, Westport, Conn., and Boston. He says incidental exercise has very little effect on those who have a lot of weight to lose. “This is not to say that incidental exercise doesn’t have a role, but I think the media tends to perhaps, at times, overhype it,” Erner says. “I don’t get overexcited about it.” People looking to lose more than 30 pounds are going to find incidental exercise of “very little value,” he says. Those people are in need of a healthy nutrition plan and a regimented exercise routine. For those who are slightly more within their weight range or who are looking just to maintain their weight, incidental exer-


Tiny Exercise Tips Our experts offered various tips and suggestions for tiny exercises to keep your body active while stuck in the office, plopped on the couch or generally trying to make the most of your time. These are meant primarily to keep your body from stalling out and programming your body to move muscles and your brain to be thinking about keeping your body moving. Wall sits and squats Give your energy a little burst; take a free minute or two and do some squats in your cubicle or in your living room during commercial breaks.

Stretch If you work at a desk all day, get up every hour and do stretches. If you work in a private environment, do a few yoga poses.

Fidgeting Our experts tell us fidgeters on average burn anywhere from 50 to 75 calories more per day than non-fidgeters.

When vacuuming, raking or shoveling Switch hands. Try to work both sides of your body.

Proper posture Sit straight and try to maintain the position. You’ll find various muscles being activated and you’ll want to slump again. Persist!

Walk and move as much as possible, at every opportunity Try to go talk to people instead of e-mailing them, take the stairs, walk to the store, stand up often.

cise can “prevent you from gaining more weight … and keep that weight off.” That’s not to say, though, that every bit doesn’t help, Erner says. But “as a primary tool for weight loss, I think we have a tendency to overemphasize” the effects of incidental exercise. Boetticher agrees that getting up to change the channel isn’t a lifestyle habit change that’s going to bring significant change. And your diet is relevant to these effects, as well. “You’re going to end up burning maybe three or four more calories” getting up to change the channel, Boetticher says. Instead, people should pay more attention to what we’re doing while we’re sitting on our couches. “The drink we have on the table, is it water? Is it a calorie-free drink?,” he says. “If the incidental exercise is where (you’re) going to get that little bit of extra calories to burn, then you’re going to cancel that out if you’re putting popcorn and chips in your mouth.” The major benefit of these little activities — squeezing your glutes at your desk, keeping good posture — is in the sum. “A good thing to keep in mind is force multipliers,” Boetticher says. “If you combine all these smaller things — such as these couple other things that are going to be more strenuous like vacuuming and taking the stairs — and you put them all together, it creates a calorie burn, even though one individual thing is very small. … It all becomes one large force made of small, individual units.” HL

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exercise

Bye Bye,

Bingo Wings sleek, sexy arms are in every woman’s grasp by lee nelson  |  photos by tyler murphy

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e all have some facet of aging that makes us cringe in particular. Some women fear gray hair. Others freak out over wrinkles. But just about every woman can agree on this: Flabby arms are a nightmare. The good news is that flabby arms — aka bingo wings — are one of the few changes in your aging body that you can absolutely control. All it takes is dedication and exercise, says Jenny May Clermont, owner of Fitness Together in Latham. “I always tell (women) that it is absolutely, totally possible to tone their arms. Women of all ages want to have tight, defined arms and look good in tank tops and sleeveless dresses,” she says, noting she recently helped a woman in her early 60s who wanted to have arms like Clermont. “It’s all about muscle and mind connection,” she says. “That client took three to four months to see a significant difference. Once you get on board and do what you need to do, it is amazing how things start falling into place.” While flabby arms are increasingly obvious as women age, bingo wings in reality can appear at any age, says JJ Virgin, nutrition and fitness expert and author of the book, Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sexy. The Californian has successfully coached Hollywood elite, rock stars and Olympians. “While saggy skin definitely contributes to the

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Eating Right Counts, Too

Photo on left: © iStockphoto.com/Justin Horrocks.

overall picture as we age, poor muscle tone and excess fat are age independent,” she writes in an e-mail. “Fat placement has a lot to do with genetics. But while genes load the gun, lifestyle pulls the trigger.” WHERE TO BEGIN If you want to wear strapless or sleeveless dresses and shirts when the weather gets warmer, the time to start is now. “To get the sleek, sexy arms, it takes religious weight lifting,” says Erin Constantino, exercise physiologist at Saratoga Health and Wellness. “Dedication is big. You have to be diligent. It won’t be easy. But you don’t want to push yourself so much that you injure yourself.” Triceps are the key muscles that need addressing for sleeker arms. You also need to burn fat overall with regular aerobics to uncover those muscles that are hiding, Constantino says. Women naturally store fat in their upper arms just as they do in their hips and thighs. It becomes a trouble spot if that part of the arm is not incorporated into a woman’s exercise plan, says Constantino. “Women think that if they use weights that they will bulk up like a man,” she says. “That’s just one of the biggest misnomers in strength training. Bulking up would require a lot more time and energy than what is recommended for toning. And the weights would be so much heavier and you’d have to do a lot of repetitions.” Virgin recommends skipping the little weights and long reps, and instead picking up the heaviest weights you can handle in good form. Focus on multiple sets of 10. “You can transform your arms. How long it takes depends on your starting point, but you can make major shift in 6 weeks,” she says. “Multi-joint exercise helps the best, such as push-ups, pull-ups, bent-over rows, and dips.” (See photos and video online for specific exercises.) Constantino warns clients that they won’t achieve their goals of beautiful arms if they only do the exercises once a week or every other week. “You have to have do strength training a minimum of two to three times a week, ideally 3-5 times a week for best results, and add in some cardiovascular exercising. Weight loss will come with the cardio workouts,” she says. In addition to the triceps, women need to focus their exercises on the upper back, shoulders and chest to help the arms become shapelier and contoured. “In your exercise routine, you should use all the chest, back and large muscle groups first. Then you can go to the smaller muscle groups

Experts say it’s not just the reps you do that will help create more toned arms. It’s also about what you put in your mouth. “You need to make sure you have fuel in your body before starting any exercise,” Constantino says. In her book Virgin advocates a no-fuss approach to eating that increases energy, helps build muscle and helps eliminate dieting for good. She not only believes in the right foods but the right timing of when you eat. Virgin’s Rules of Meal Timing include: * Eating a substantial breakfast within an hour of waking up. * Stopping eating three hours before bed * Eating every four to six hours She focuses her plan on lean protein, healthful fats, non-starchy vegetables with a rainbow of colors and high-fiber, low-glycemic-index carbohydrates. Getting the sugar out of your diet is important, too. “Before you pick up a fork, remember that even with healthy foods too much of a good thing turns it into a bad thing. If you consume too many calories, they have to go somewhere, and unfortunately, that usually means into those pesky fat cells in your gut, butt, thighs or arms,” she writes via e-mail.

(biceps and triceps). They will fatigue quicker, so save them for last,” Constantino says. She recommends doing two sets of each exercise with 1015 repetitions. The weight should be challenging. Don’t use 3 pound weights. Start out with 8-10 pound dumbbells. It all depends on the person and their starting fitness level. Free weights force the user focus on her body and posture more than sitting at a machine. However, dumbbells are easier to do incorrectly and injure yourself if you are a beginner. “Arm machines at a gym tend to be a little bit nicer and don’t require so many supporting muscles,” Constantino says. “If you travel, you can also use resistance bands in your hotel room. They work too.” Clermont advocates push-ups as the best way to get amazing arms. “You can start doing pushups on a wall, then go to the counter and then to the floor. You can keep progressing to your ability,” she says. “When you can rock out 25 push-ups, you will have defined arms as a female.” see exercises on page 40 

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exercise continued from page 39

Exercises from Erin Constantino

 SHOULDER PRESS A dumbbell shoulder press can be done either seated, or standing. If you are a beginner, seated is recommended, as it provides more back support. The primary muscle groups worked in this exercise are your shoulder muscles (deltoids and trapezius) and triceps. Begin with 5-8 lb dumbbells in each hand. INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Sit upright, with your back straight, on a bench. 2. Grasp dumbbells with an overhand grip. 3. To begin the movement, press the dumbbells simultaneously straight upward and slightly toward each other. 4. Continue movement until elbows are fully extended overhead. 5. Lower the dumbbells under control, until dumbbells are at shoulder level. 6. Repeat 10-15x (2 sets).

 SUPINE TRICEP EXTENSION This exercise focuses on the Tricep muscle (back/ underneath muscle of the arm). It is important to do this exercise with proper form in order to maintain focus on the triceps. Begin with either one heavy (10-12 lb dumbbell) or two lighter (5-8 lb) dumbbells. INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Lie supine (on your back) on a flat bench. 2. Grasp the dumbbells and turn palms facing each other. 3. Extend (straighten) arms so the weight is directly over the chest. 4. To begin the movement, bend elbows and lower weight towards the head. 5. Keep upper arms stable while flexing (bending) the elbows. 6. Continue the movement until the dumbbells are even with the head. 7. Press the weight upward by extending (straightening) the arms while keeping the elbows in. Return to starting position. 8. Repeat

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Want to learn more? Watch our video with Erin Constantino demonstrating a few great arm exercises. Also go online for more arm exercises at timesunion.com/healthylife. Got a smartphone? Scan the QR code at left to link directly to our HealthyLife YouTube playlist.


Exercises from ACE The American Council on Exercise (ACE), the world’s largest nonprofit fitness certification, education and training organization, recently studied the effectiveness of eight triceps exercises commonly used by people trying to sculpt and tone their arms. They found that triangle push-ups and triceps kickbacks registered the highest levels of muscle activation. According to ACE, here’s how to perform the top two exercises for sexy arms:

TRIANGLE PUSHUP  1. Position hands directly under the chest with fingers spread and the thumbs and forefingers touching, making a triangular shape.

chest touches the mat. If you can’t go that low, go as low as you can and work to build enough strength to lower all the way down over time.

2. Straighten legs into a plank position or keep the knees on the floor for an easier version.

4. At the bottom of the movement, your elbows will naturally flare out to the side.

3. Make sure the back is flat and abs are engaged as you bend the elbows, lowing until your chin or

5. Press back to start, keeping the torso rigid and repeat for 1-3 sets of 8-16 repetitions.

 DUMBBELL TRICEPS KICKBACK 1. Hold a dumbbell in your left hand. Stand with right leg forward and weight evenly distributed through the heels of both feet. Brace your abdominal and core muscles to stabilize the spine. Place right hand on right thigh. Slowly lean forward, shifting most of your upper extremity body weight into

the right side. Pull your shoulder blades down and back. Your head should be aligned with your spine. 2. Bend your left elbow bringing your left upper arm parallel to and close to your torso, your forearm should hang vertical to the floor. 3. Exhale and slowly straighten elbow. Your upper arm remains

stationary next to your torso. Don’t allow upper arm to rise during the movement. Don’t allow lower back to sag or torso to rotate. 4. Inhale and slowly bend elbow, returning your arm to starting position. Don’t allow your torso to change positions. Keep upper arm parallel and close to your torso. HL

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foot care

If the Shoe Fits …

picking the right footwear for the right exercise

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admit it: I pick my sneakers by how they look, and wear them for any type of exercise, whether it’s walking, weight training or bicycling. I’ve never given much thought to one sneaker/one purpose. But I’ve learned I’m doing a great disservice to my feet — and my exercising — by not wearing the proper footwear. With sneakers, the hype regarding shoe types is actually true. “A big misconception is that everybody goes for a running sneaker,” says Dr. Paul Sheremeta of Capital Foot Care. “You need to get the proper sneaker for the activity you’re performing.” Charles Woodruff, co-owner of Fleet Feet Sports, concurs. “It’s a function purpose, not a fashion statement,” he says. “Figure out the function first, get that correct. Then make a

fashion decision. These shoes need to do a job for you, not just look good.” Sneakers are designed specifically for the way your foot will move as you engage in a particular sport. Tennis sneakers, for instance, are made for short bursts of running. Cycling sneakers are flat-bottomed to work best with the pedals. “They have a stiffer sole, so they don’t flex as much,” says Patrick Anders, manager at Broadway Bicycle Company. With lateral moves, as in a Zumba class, “you’re better off in a cross-training sneaker,” Sheremeta says. “Your foot goes side to side, and you need to get lateral support.” Running shoes are especially particular. “Most people run on very hard and flat surfaces,” says Woodruff. “You need to protect your body from the shock of hitting the ground.”

How to make shoes last longer Sneakers on clearance, while good on your wallet, are not great for your feet. That’s because shoes age while they sit on the shelf, and the glue holding them together and air pockets may already be disintegrating. It’s worth it in the long run to buy better sneakers.

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• Wear them only for their proper use. Run in running shoes, cycle in cycling shoes, and wear other shoes around the house and town. • Alternate between two pairs of sneakers. • Don’t kick off one shoe using

the toe of the other. Take off your shoes by unlacing them properly and sliding them off with your hand. • Remove your sneakers from your gym bags and air them out between uses.

Asphalt photo: © iStockphoto.com/Marcelo Silva.

by wendy page  |  illustrations by emily jahn




“ Shoes need to do a job for you, not just look good.”

The right sneaker not only makes a difference in your performance level, it also helps prevent injuries by offering the right combination of support and flexibility. “Patients will come in with joint pain, plantar fasciitis, ankle pain, and Achilles pain,” says Sheremeta, attributing many of these issues to improper shoes. You don’t want a sneaker that overrestricts your foot motion. The right shoe is also critical depending on the surface and weather conditions. “Gortex and mesh, worn in warmer weather, ventilate a lot,” Sheremeta adds, “but they don’t protect your skin or your feet from the cold. In colder weather, go towards a leather sneaker.” Besides choosing the right shoe for the right sport, today’s exercisers need to take into account the current barefoot/minimalist shoe craze. How little a shoe is OK for your foot? Many podiatrists worry these sneakers, which typically have much thinner soles and coverings, may not offer enough protection. There’s more opportunity for a foreign object to go into the foot, the experts say. The shoes with individual spaces for each toe, meanwhile, may not provide adequate ventilation, increasing the chance of a fungal infection. “If you ask me,” Sheremeta says, “protect your feet.”

— Charles Woodruff, FleetFeet Sports

explains Woodruff. “If you’re size 7 in a dress shoe, you can be 7 and a half or more in a running shoe. Size and width varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Guessing your way through it is not a good formula for success.” Shoes should fit snugly around the heel, have good arch support and a sizable toe box, meaning your toes should fit comfortably. Nike, for example, often has a narrow space, while New Balance has a wider toe box. What’s smartest is to “go somewhere where people can fit you properly,” advises Sheremeta. Specialty stores where the staff is trained in fitting shoes are really worth visiting. Signs you need to replace your shoes “You want to spend 300 to 500 peaceful, calm miles in your shoes,” says Woodruff. Depending on your exercise level, that translates to between three and six months before you should need to replace them. The following symptoms indicate it’s time to replace your sneaker: • You’re getting aches and pains not just in your feet, but in your knees, hips or lower back. • You’re getting blisters on your feet, or bunions. • Any part of the shoe is worn down, so that it no longer protects your foot properly: The tread pattern may be worn, the heel or toe is worn on one side more than the other, or if there is wrinkling between the upper and lower part of the shoe. • Your shoe has molded to your foot, which is a sign of excessive wear. • If you spend most of your time running/walking on pavement, your shoes will need to be replaced more often, since pavement wears down shoes faster than a trail or track. • If you weigh above average, your shoes will run down faster. The more you weigh, the more you need to check your shoes. HL

Know your foot type Flat feet often pronate, or roll inward. If your sneaker doesn’t stabilize this, you may need to use orthotics or shoe inserts. With a rigid (higher) arch, a foot is more likely to underpronate, or roll outward; your sneaker needs to offer sufficient arch support. Even those of us without foot oddities still require a properly fitting shoe. Buy your sneakers from someone trained in fitting shoes While it’s important to know your true shoe size, it’s more important to find the true fit for your foot. All shoes are not sized or created equally. “Running shoes are cut smaller than your dress shoes,”

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LIFE Science ayurveda focuses on peace, harmony and balance by valerie foster

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udy Keenan of Schuylerville suffered with gastroesophageal reflux disease, aka GERD, for years. “I was taking medication, and I really did not like that,” she remembers. “I also realized there were a lot of side effects to taking the drugs, including my ability to absorb calcium.” Since Keenan has osteopenia, which increases her risk of developing osteoporosis, she decided to seek a more holistic approach to fighting her GERD. She had practiced yoga with Judy Wyle of Joy of Yoga in Saratoga Springs for 20 years, and knew that Wyle was an ayurvedic practitioner. “I really believe that the body can heal itself if you give it a chance, so I decided to start seeing Judy,” she says. Today, Keenan is off her medication, eating the foods Wyle suggested, and has not seen her gastroenterologist in four years. Wyle was introduced to ayurveda through her os-

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teopath. “Over time, I began to understand the deep relationship between yoga and ayurveda,” she says. “I was looking to expand myself and my work, and it just made sense for me to study ayurveda so I could help other people.” In 2008, Wyle graduated from Kripalu’s School of Ayurveda in Stockbridge, Mass. (A New York City branch will open in February.) In Sanskrit, ayurveda (pronounced i-your-veda), means the science of life, the science of the body, senses, mind and soul. It is the oldest continuously practiced system of medicine in the world, beginning in India more than 5,000 years ago. “A sister science to yoga, ayurveda is a system of medicine focused on bringing peace, harmony and balance to the entire person,” says Larissa Hall Carlson, assistant to the dean at Kripalu’s School of Ayurveda, and an ayurvedic yoga specialist and lifestyle consultant. “Ayurveda focuses

Photos: Stormy sky, © Les Cunliffe/Dreamstime.com; Woman meditating, © Nyul/Dreamstime.com; Arrows, © iStockphoto.com/Chutima Chokkij.

in tune


mainly on diet and lifestyle recommendations to keep the body/mind healthy.” Ayurveda is a complex science. Although every practitioner has his or her way of conducting the initial session, it usually includes an extensive medical history, taking the pulse, examining the eyes, skin, nails and tongue, which in ayurveda is like a map of the internal organs and the state of digestion. “Ayurvedic practitioners can look at the tongue and get a good understanding of what is going on in the body,” Carlson explains, citing a few examples: “Scallops on the sides of the tongue can often signal malabsorption. An overly quivery tongue can signal overstimulation of the nervous system and/or sense organs. A thick white coating on the back of the tongue can signal toxins in the colon.”

A

yurveda is built on the five elements: ether, air, fire, water and earth. Clients discover their dosha, which governs the functional aspects of our bodies. Carlson explains that there are three doshas — vata, pitta and kapha — and although we might possess qualities from all three doshas, we each have one main dosha. (See sidebar for description of doshas.) Your dosha is determined at birth, but diet, stress and life can cause imbalances in the state of your dosha. “It’s important to know your dosha to identify your optimal diet and correct lifestyle choices to maintain balance and prevent disease,” Carlson adds. “Ayurveda is about being in a beautiful relationship with life,” Wyle says. “And since each person is unique, how I work with every person is different. People tell me that the tools I suggest to change their lives are ones they can use for the rest of their lives. I am honored when they tell me that I gave them

so much understanding and knowledge about themselves.” Wyle says she encourages her clients to embrace change incrementally, working on a few modifications at a time. At the core are her recommendations about the seasonal foods they should be eating for their body type. For Keenan, who is primarily pitta with vata qualities, this meant introducing more warm foods — a better match for her dosha — into her diet. Since she was already a vegetarian, instead of a major overhaul, little tweaks here and there were suggested. “But those little adjustments really helped my GERD,” she adds. One of the biggest additions was aloe vera juice, which is very soothing to the intestinal tract. “I drink a shot-glass size of the juice a day, and for the occasional flare-up, I might take it twice a day,” she says. “The only problem is that it is wicked expensive.” At night, she drinks warm milk, to which she adds either a touch of ghee or honey. In addition, she has become more aware of food triggers to avoid — acidic foods, peppers and tomatoes. She now never drinks during a meal, since fluid can interfere with her digestion. And she always eats an apple a day, which soothes her gastric tract. A retired therapist, Keenan also understands how negative thoughts can stir up her stomach, so she carefully monitors how she perceives life. “Ayurveda and yoga have given me the opportunity to take charge of my health. And I like that.” Carlson would say that Keenan has learned to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature, eating seasonally, and truly understanding her own constitution. “Ayurveda,” she adds, “can provide an individual with strong immunity, peace of mind and an uplifted spirit that allows life to be lived with an enormous amount of grace, harmony and radiant aliveness.” HL

The 3 Doshas Larissa Hall Carlson, assistant to the dean at Kripalu’s School of Ayurveda, and an ayurvedic yoga specialist and lifestyle consultant, explains the three doshas:

Vata  Made of ether and air,

it governs communication and movement in the body/mind, specifically breath, speech and circulation. Vata’s main qualities are cold, dry, light, mobile, clear and subtle. If this is your main dosha, you likely have a thin body frame and dry/cool skin, and are fast-moving, fast-talking, enthusiastic, creative and energetic. If vatas eat too many light and dry foods such as rice cakes, crackers or salads, or have a lifestyle that has too much travel, movement or change, they can develop dry skin, hair and nails, constipation, gas, bloating, insomnia, fear, anxiety and memory loss.

Pitta  Made of fire and water,

it governs digestion and transformation in the body/mind, specifically digestive fluids that break down food. Pitta’s main qualities are hot, oily, sharp, penetrating, light and spreading. If this is your main dosha, you are likely to have a medium body frame and warm, oily skin, move with intention, and are intelligent, bright, organized and competitive. If pittas eat foods that are too hot, spicy and oily, such as fried food, onions, garlic, coffee and alcohol, they are likely to develop acid indigestion and skin rashes, hives and acne, and will be irritated, easy to anger and critical.

Kapha  Made of water and

earth, it governs the lubrication and structure in the body/mind, specifically the synovial fluid that lubricates and protects joints. Kapha’s main qualities are cold, wet, heavy, slow, smooth, stable and soft. If this is your main dosha, you are likely stocky with strong muscles and bones, move and talk more slowly, dependable and jolly, with good memory and endurance. If kaphas eat rich and heavy foods such as meat, rich sauces and gravies, ice cream, dairy products and mashed potatoes, they are likely to develop congestion, weight gain, water retention and become sluggish and lethargic.

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45


ARE YOU SERIOUS!?! I THOUGHT FOOT PAIN WAS SOMETHING I JUST HAD TO LIVE WITH! SOME u

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All About Waxing from your brows to your lower bod, here’s the 411 on hair removal by melissa fiorenza

I

Photo: © iStockphoto.com/Mats Persson.

f you’re reading an article that waxes poetic on hair removal, it’s posGot more sible one of these descriptions questions? fits you: You’re a DIY brow shaper Ask your waxing with a Tweezerman at home, but specialist up are interested in waxing. You ocfront — or casionally or often visit local saconsult with your lons to get a clean-up and want to know if there’s something you don’t dermatologist. already know. Or, you could care less about maintaining your mane and just want the hairy details. Either way, you’ve come to the right place. Read on for all things waxing. THE BENEFITS OF WAXING While the objective is the same, there’s a lot to be said for the differences between tweezing and waxing. If you only tweeze, here’s why you may consider the latter. For starters, waxing removes a large area of hair at one time — making it less painful — while plucking one hair at a time takes longer, explains Jessica Coba, CEO of European Wax Center in Latham and other locations. “Waxing also removes the hair from the root, whereas tweezing can cause hair breakage due to the hair not being gripped or pulled out correctly.” In addition, waxing professionals can help you enjoy longer-lasting results — minus the pinch and accidental cuts tweezing can cause. PICKING A PLACE Whether it’s your first or your 50th time getting a wax, don’t just go wherever a neon sign indicates waxing is an available service. Read reviews online at sites such as yelp. com to get an idea of what’s around, and then investigate. “Don’t be afraid to call the salon and ask their waxing specialist if they follow New York state laws by not redipping their waxing spatulas, using proper disinfectants and wearing gloves,” suggests Paula Caldwell, waxing specialist and co-owner of The Image Studio on Troy-Schenectady Road. Also pay attention to titles. “In New York, cosmetologists

and aestheticians are allowed to perform waxing,” says Nico DeMeo Teta, spa director, aesthetician and makeup artist at Rumors Inc. WHO SHOULD AVOID WAXING Anyone with active dermatitis or who takes Accutane should hold off, says Dr. Elizabeth C. Smith, a dermatologist. If you use hydroxy acid products such as glycolic acid or retinoids like Retin A, you should stop at least five days prior to your waxing. MADE YOUR APPOINTMENT? FOLLOW THESE DOS AND DON’TS:

Do…

• Grow out your leg, bikini and underarm hair at least two to three weeks from your last shave before waxing. • Let your wax specialist know if you’re there for a cleanup, or if you’re looking to reshape your brows. Photos help! (They’ll help you set realistic expectations and guide you in the right direction, says Coba.) • Tell your wax specialist about any medications you take. No judgment here! • Pop an Advil before you go, if you’re nervous about the pain. Afterward, aloe can help soothe.

Don’t…

• Come right around your period, when you’re extra sensitive. (“Stay away the week before and the week of,” suggests DeMeo Teta). • Use any harsh scrubs when you get home. • Go after you’ve just been spray tanning. • Keep going to the same person if the pain is nearly unbearable, or the wax is always too hot. A good technician knows ways to lessen the pain and minimize discomfort. (DeMeo Teta, for instance, applies pressure on the spot immediately after removing the wax.) HL Want to know what waxing feels like firsthand? Check out Melissa’s experience at

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blessings! For every one thing that goes wrong, you probably had 20 others go right.

mind Ask Emma 51 Hate Your Kids’ Friends? 52 All About Flotation Tanks 54 timesunion.com/HealthyLife

49


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ask emma

50 Shades of Grey, Already why so many women find domination intriguing by emma tennant

Photo: © iStockphoto.com/Lise Gagne.

I

f you haven’t heard of the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy then I assume you have spent the last couple of years in a coma. Written by British author E.L James, the megaselling books tell the story of a young virgin, Ana Steele, who meets a successful young entrepreneur, Christian Grey. The predictable seduction begins, but what makes Christian a little different is that — due, it is explained, to a number of childhood factors — he demands a consensual dominanceand-submission relationship, including making the demand that Ana sign a contract that specifies the limits of what she will submit to and what she won’t. Suffice it to say that it all ends very conventionally, with Ana having in effect converted Christian from his darker impulses, and the couple united in marital harmony. In this respect, the series differs not one bit from the narrative arc of most romantic fiction — a morally innocent narrator meets a dark and troubled, though rich and handsome, man who needs to be redeemed by love and brought under the yoke of marriage and so on. The core fantasy here is not about being mastered, so much as it is about mastering the dangerous and untamable with a little slap and tickle thrown in. Why, people wonder, would decent women be so fascinated? I was inspired to reflect on it this month after reading Tim Parks’ review in The New York Review of Books. He points out that, unlike the famous Story of O, the narrator in the 50 Shades trilogy is not reduced to a pure object of sadistic and masochistic sexual pleasure, but retains her essential innocence, and that Christian always insists on full consensus — and showers Ana with presents — so that it is always clear that he is of no real danger. The key word here is safe. The Story of O, published anonymously in 1954 by Anne Desclos, is another beast entirely. Desclos wrote it to stimulate and support her relationship with her lover at the time, and so Desclos was writing for a man, not for a woman. Her narrator, O, is not only whipped and branded in a progression of sadistic sexual situations, but she gradually submits her entire will to a man who treats her purely as an object. She gives up any fantasy of being loved, and finds satisfaction in giving up any desire of her own, other than the desire to be used. In this respect, O is a very challenging book about human will, and probably deserves to be considered a classic of French existentialism, as well as erotica. It would

be an interesting experiment to ask 50 readers of the “Grey” trilogy to read The Story of O and see how many liked it. My guess is less than half.

W

hat is erotically stimulating in submission, bondage and humiliation? Sex is a curious thing. It has an endless variety of expressions, and yet on the whole, the sexual realm is governed by rules. Even where there is polygamy, or in the few cultures where women take multiple husbands, there are always rules — rules about incest, rules about marriage, rules about sexual acts themselves. In other words, there is no sex without restraint of some kind or another. So, naturally, the bending or flaunting of the rules is a liminal area. It’s a place where the anarchic instinctual impulses meet the restraining boundaries of convention, and as a result these places where the rules meet the instinct are infused with erotic tension. What we forget is that for all of us our earliest erotic interests were curtailed and enslaved by the demands of childhood development. Don’t put your food in your ear. Please move your bowels under these conditions. Do not touch yourself there. As infants, Freud said, we take pleasure in a variety of bodily functions — and experience intense erotic and emotional relationships with our caregivers. These caregivers have total control. We are powerless. When we are bad, these caregivers, who we love and on whom we depend for other things, may punish us. In other words, our entire infantile life is infused with eroticized experiences of control, punishment, reward, restraint and humiliation — all of it experienced in relation to our sexualized bodies. So we submit to the higher rules of culture. But deep inside all of us is a darker more instinctual place where the power of our sexual longings is wrapped up with the experience of being dominated, and the mirrored fantasy of turning the tables. HL Emma Tennant (not her real name) is a practicing psychotherapist. All advice offered here is simply that. If you have a pressing concern, you should see a specialist in person. If you have a question you’d like addressed or a comment for Emma, send it to askemma@ timesunion.com. Inquiries will be treated with confidentiality.

timesunion.com/HealthyLife

51


family time

What a Loser!

J

en Moore doesn’t like her 7-year-old daughter’s friend, who is bossy. Felicia Archer doesn’t like her 14-year-old son’s friend, who curses and constantly attempts to goad her son into looking at inappropriate videos online. Liz Green hates her daughter’s boyfriend for a number of reasons. (Names have been changed to protect, well, everyone.) Nor are these women unusual. At one point, most parents have an issue with a friend of their child. The question is what — if anything — to do about it. If your dislike is just a gut feeling, you may have to patiently let things play out. If said friend is endangering your child physically or mentally, you obviously need to intervene. It’s the in-between where things get murky — and especially tricky, as your children age and rejecting your thoughts on who should be their friend is part of how they develop. Overall, handling questionable friendships is easier the younger the child, experts say. “When parents have concern about younger kids, they’re in a position to engineer things better,” says Dr. William F. Long, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in a private practice. “They do drop-offs and pick-ups, they go where their kids go, so they can engineer play dates and activities. It’s usually not as complicated at this age.” Since young children learn a lot by watching and mimick-

52

healthylife

by wendy page

ing, this is also a good time to teach your child how to be a good friend and what to look for in a good friend. “You start with yourself,” says Suzanne Franck, case manager at CAPTAIN Youth Shelter in Malta. “You invite friends over and let your child see your choice of words, how you treat your friends, how happy you are when you’re with your friends. They’ll pick up on it.” Explain to your child what to do when confronted by a “bad” friend. “We don’t play that way,” and, “In our family, we share/respect each other/don’t boss anyone around,” are some suggested phrases. The key, Franck stresses, is not to seem judgmental. “Teach positive characteristics,” she says. “Try to redirect them to someone who exhibits more positive types of behaviors.”

A

s children progress from the sandbox to the playground to middle and high schools, their dealings with their friends change, too. Late adolescents and teenagers are learning to be individuals, make their own choices, and “growing their own identities,” Long says. “They create a peer group – a peer family – that the parents don’t belong to. That leaves parents feeling a bit powerless, and kids feeling protective about the group.” As a parent, you need to recognize their individuality. Your

Photos: iStockphoto.com. Kids against wall, © Rosemarie Gearhart; Kids’ Legs, © Shawn Gearhart.

what to do if you don’t like your kids’ friends


child may need to try something himself and learn from it. You don’t want to cause the Romeo and Juliet effect, i.e. forbidding your child to see his friend, which serves only to make the friend seem more attractive. Instead, communicate. Ask your child what he likes about this friend. This can provide insight into your child and the friend — or it may help your child realize this person actually doesn’t have many good qualities. “Take the time to get to know those friends and don’t make the judgment based on what you hear from other people,” Franck says. “Invite these friends into your home. Make a judgment on what you see, not what you hear.” When you do need to intervene (see sidebar), be careful what you say and how you phrase it. Remember that insulting your child’s friends feels like an insult to your child. “You may say, ‘Based on my life experience, this is my feeling,’” Franck says. Tell your child that she needs to listen to your perspective, and then work together to determine a compromise. Of

course, if the situation is severe and potentially dangerous, you need to set firm rules, with limits and consequences. Speak with your child calmly and honestly, and be specific. Refrain, as hard as that may be, from calling the friend a loser. Rather than saying you don’t like the friend, reiterate that you love your child and because of your concerns of X, Y and Z, you’re going to keep closer tabs on her activities with this friend. “Give them enough rope to explore the harbor,” says Long, “but not enough to crash into shore. Sometimes the rope is very short, like when the issue is drinking and driving.” You need to discuss some options with your child and give her choices. And don’t be surprised if your child’s reaction is relief that you’ve pointed out his friend’s behavior. “Kids are great about evoking parents when they’re concerned,” says Long. They’re kind of hoping you can act as the bad guy, giving them an out to an uncomfortable situation. HL

When intervening is a necessity Sometimes the reasons a parent doesn’t like a child’s friend are — while annoying or grating — fairly minor in the overall scheme of things. They don’t follow the same social norms of your family, for instance. If something doesn’t feel right in your gut, pay attention to it without intervening; let things play out on their own for a while. However, if your child’s health, safety or wellbeing is in danger, you must intervene. These situations include, according to Dr. William F. Long, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist:

drugs or alcohol, or your child’s friend is on drugs or alcohol.  When your child is being bullied, or otherwise cannot handle the situation by him/herself.

 When you have knowledge about the friend’s family that should be considered (perhaps the parents have each had their licenses revoked for DUI, or there’s a history of domestic abuse).

 When you notice a difference in your child’s behavior, such as if your child starts lying, acting defiant, using bad language, dressing differently, or if his grades start slipping in school.

 When your child is being physically hurt by a friend or boy/ girlfriend.  When your child’s friend is pushing your child to do

timesunion.com/HealthyLife

53


mental health

The Saline

Solution

can flotation tanks cure what ails you?

54

healthylife


by laurie lynn fischer  |  photos by colleen ingerto

T

he 1980s science-fiction horror flick Altered States sensationalized neuroscientist John Lilly’s experiments in sensory isolation tanks. Now, the tanks are back — with new branding. Indeed, Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy (REST) is so big on the West Coast that cafes are naming menu items and beverages after it, says Richard Madden, proprietor of Float Well in Catskill. “There’s a whole industry that uses saltwater flotation in various ways,” Madden says. “NASA has used this. Almost all the stimulation that ordinarily occupies our brain is suspended, including compensating for gravity. There’s a cadre of seekers who really value this modality. Artists and musicians are using it to stimulate creativity. The real thrust of this is anxiety reduction, stress reduction and profound relaxation.” Painter Christine Hughes takes regular flotation breaks from her Ravena art studio. She says it enhances her focus. “It’s like reading the perfect poem,” she says. “It gets you there really quickly. For me, it’s not an out-of-body experience, but a body-out-of-the-way experience. The time just disappears and thoughts disappear. It’s like having a lens. I’m much more in the unconscious or intuitive state of mind and I’m working out images or issues that I’m having.” Danika Atkins of Albany floats every month or so. “It helps you block out everything else,” she says. “It’s like you’re in a constant state of falling asleep. You kind of feel like you’re in a lucid dream where you can control what your mind is focusing on. Your brain kind of starts to send things. There might be flashes of light. Physically, you might twitch and feel blasts of sensations, even though there’s no stimulus. You don’t have the same kinds of pressures on your joints as when you’re lying in bed at night. Afterward, for a couple of days, my back feels awesome.” Tank time can speed recovery after injury or surgery, alleviate pain, fear depression and anxiety, help conquer addiction, lower blood pressure and improve athletic performance, claims Jasmine Hurtak, who has been offering 45- to 90-minute floats for two years at Chi Time in Dorset, Vt. “The water is skin-temperature and you don’t have any light or distraction,” she says. “When you’re in the tank, there is only that inside left. You can really travel in that space and figure things out on purpose. The stress releases from your body while you’re there. It’s a nice tool, particularly for our culture because we have become very materially oriented. It’s really cool to hang out in that zone and feel your expanded self.”

TIP: For a total release, fans say wearing your birthday suit is the best choice.

Get Tanked Want to try floating? More than 100 tanks are available to the public nationwide.

 Float Well in Catskill offers three introductory floats for $150 or 10 floats for $400-$500. If you’d prefer a float room, Blue Light Floatation in New York City charges $80 an hour or $600 for 10 sessions.

 Would you rather own than rent? New tanks sell for $10,000 to $45,000.

Used tanks cost $5,000 and up. British manufacturers include i-sopod and Floataway. Domestic brands include Oasis and Samadhi, which means “serenity.”

 If you’re handy, you can build your own flotation tank. One doit-yourselfer shares his plans online at: tinyurl. com/HLjan13-float To learn more, read The Book of Floating, Exploring the Private Sea and Megabrain by Michael Hutchison.

Read our author’s own experience with floating on page 56 

timesunion.com/HealthyLife

55


mental health continued from page 55

My No-Sensation Flotation one woman’s experience

N

ot sure what to expect from a sensory deprivation tank float? Here’s what it was like for me when I was suspended in a 93.5-degree mixture of water and magnesium sulfate. Richard Madden, tank master at Float Well in Catskill answered my questions beforehand: “You go in your birthday suit.” “There’s never been a reported drowning to my knowledge. You go in on your back and it’s almost impossible to roll over.” “After every float, it goes into a 15-minute filtration and chlorination cycle. It’s the same standards as a swimming pool.” The day of my appointment, Madden advised me to avoid personal care products, and though I’d already showered, he asked me to do so again. I wasn’t even allowed to wear a hair rubber band. Blue light bathed the float room. The gleaming white tank looked like an alien spacecraft. Its hatch opened upward, like the door to a DeLorean. Something about the shape made me feel as though I were stepping into the maw of the maneating plant from Little Shop of Horrors. I am fearful of being stuck in an elevator, but I didn’t feel claustrophobic at all inside the tank, which is about 8 feet long and 5 feet wide. Imagine lolling in a giant Jell-O shot or reclining on a waterbed, without the bed. My body was more

“Imagine lolling in a giant Jell-O shot or reclining on a waterbed, without the bed.”

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healthylife

Vacation

buoyant than when I bobbed in the Great Salt Lake. At first, I acted a little like a kid in the back of a limo for the first time. I opened and closed the lid. I turned the interior light on and off. I left the red button that said “call” alone. Fidgeting, I tried lying with the neck pillow, then without it. I swished around and got brine in my eyes. It stung for a moment, but a towel was within reach. I heard the lulling sound of crying seagulls and breaking waves. Then, silence. As the hero says in the cult film The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, “Wherever you go, there you are.” I tuned into my breathing. What sensations I did feel seemed heightened, whether my foot bumped the tank’s side or I reached up to touch my mermaidy hair. Finally, I lay still with my eyes shut. By the time the session was through, I didn’t want to get out. I left with a sense of well-being that lasted throughout the day. HL


  Top Tip: “Keep moving and dancing and stay flexible, in body and spirit.” — Cover model Andrea Hersh-Bartfield

Behind the Scenes

Photo by Suzanne Kawola.

Hair and makeup by Kimberley’s A Day Spa, Latham, (518) 785-5868. Select clothing available at Boscov’s Clifton Park, Clifton Park Center, (518) 348-0800. At right: shirt and pants by Nine West, jewelry by Ashley Cooper. Photos taken by Suzanne Kawola at the Center for Nia and Yoga, which offers training in Nia, a unique movement technique designed to empower and connect body, mind and spirit; and at New York Expressive Arts, which brings the artistic perspective into everyday life through professional trainings and art-based classes. Both are located at 4 Central Ave., Albany. Visit facebook.com/healthylifenymagazine to view our Behind the Scenes photo gallery, or scan the QR code at right to link to our HealthyLife photos page on Facebook.

spirit My Word 59 Bucket Lists! 60

How to Be Happy 66 Cover Model Q&A 70 timesunion.com/HealthyLife

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my word

Stuff My Sisters Say T

Photo: © iStockphoto.com/digitalskillet.

by megan willis

he great thing about sisters is that they will tell you what you want to hear when you most need to hear it. Like when your estrogen cauldron boileth over and you feel like a train wreck and needily and unattractively inquire, “I’m still cool, right?” Your sister (from your own mother or some other) will dutifully and convincingly reply, “Girl, you are totally cool! Anyone who doesn’t think so is a backwoods jack wagon.” The bad part about sisters is that they will also tell you what you don’t want to hear. Oftentimes the latter can really piss off a sister, and then at some point — like in a few hours, or the next day, or 10 years later, I realize that sister-friend was probably right. Sometimes I admit this, and sometimes it’s just a private realization. The stuff my sisters say has long sustained me, at times illuminated a sparkling escape out of the darkness and routinely sent me into a maniacal laughter, the kind that can only truly be shared among esteemed Sister Friends. Heretoforth is some of the best advice I have ever received from my girl sibs. They may or may not apply to you, or maybe they will in a few years (conspiratorial wink) or perhaps you will declare them to be so much opinionated drivel. Long live you and your own opinion.

Stuff My Sisters Say, Volume 1

❛❛ You won’t get along with your partner when you are hun-

gry, tired or lonely. But that’s why. ❜❜ These sacred words were passed down to me on my wedding day when my oldest sister stared into the video camera knowingly and let it fly. Many is a time I’ve taken a state-of-being inventory since that day and benefitted from that helpful reminder.

❛❛  Stop bleaching your hair after 40. ❜❜ Two words. Cyndi Lauper. That lady may have just wanted to have fun and show us her true colors but those colors are fading fast and we need more, not less, as we get on in years. Yes, this means you, and Gwen Stefani doesn’t count because you’re not her. You’re welcome.

❛❛  You are capable of so much more. ❜❜ True, and you know it. Nothing raises the bar like someone else’s sky-high expectations of you, which is exactly where they should be. And between us girls, you’re not living up to them, so how about you just go and do something about it.

❛❛  Spatchcock like you’re about to be executed. ❜❜ Want the ultimate winner chicken dinner? Cut the spine out of your bird and roast it in a 425-degree oven. You’ll be up to your crispy breasts in one hour. Google it. Full disclosure, this advice is a combination of a cooking tip from my baby sister and Jane Lynch’s monologue from the Roseanne Barr Comedy Central Roast. I think it works though, don’t you?

❛❛  Go get ’em. ❜❜ These words from one of my all-time favorite writing teachers, Marion Roach Smith (marionroach. com), who answers all self-doubting questions that begin “should I?,” or “is it too much?,” or “do you think I should?” with an unequivocal “Go get ’em.” So whether you are off to the PTA, an interview, euchre game, crochet class or the supermarket, show them how it’s done. And there you have it. I’m sure you have a few choice words of your own that we can all live by, so why not share with the rest of the class? Post them on our Facebook page, facebook.com/HealthyLifeNYmagazine. HL

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enjoy life

What’s on YOUR why experts say having one

W

hen I was a child, I cut out a magazine photo of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, hung it on my wall, and told myself that someday I would see it in person. It topped my bucket list for years. And finally, one hot day this past summer, I stood before the tower and cried. A childhood dream became reality. Which got me thinking: Do other people keep bucket lists or is the concept a passing fad, made popular in the dramedy starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman? Our experts all give a resounding yes — the concept is alive and well. It offers all of us the chance to set and achieve goals — both trivial and significant — perhaps overcome fears, and set us on a course for a fuller life. Brian Post, Ph.D., travels the world leading workshops on family dynamics, early life trauma and challenging behaviors in children. He’s the founder of the Virginia-based therapy center The Post Institute. He calls his bucket list his “major goal list” filled with things that will enrich his life and make it better. “We spend so much time stressed out,” Post says. “Instead, we should be seeking peace and joy. It is everyone’s

60

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Bucket List? will help you live a better life

by valerie foster

birthright to focus their life on what makes them feel good. A bucket list gives them the opportunity to move in that direction. I review mine every day to keep me focused on doing what is significant and meaningful.” His list is varied and long, which keeps him working so that eventually he will be able to check off his loftier goals. On it is a beach house in the Caribbean, a three-month safari to Africa, and a desire to live six months in five different countries so he can absorb the cultures and learn the languages. Last year he set a goal to lose 20 pounds, and he doubled that amount by shedding 40. He also has included one forever-item: to be a better father to his four children every day. Nancy Ireland, who together with Ginny Day to found the popular website A Sharp Eye, spends her days cyberly directing women toward ways that can help them live better, more fulfilled lives. “A bucket list makes you aware of how you are spending your time,” she says. “When your goals are written down on a list, it focuses you. It makes you more mindful of your life. After all, none of us want to leave this earth with a list of regrets.”

Ireland remembers fondly her mother-in-law’s reaction upon receiving the news she had an incurable cancer. “She made a list of all the five-star restaurants in New York that she wanted to eat in before she died, and we ate in every single one of them,” she says. “It was such a treat for her, and for us too. It made us all connect in a way we hadn’t done before.” GETTING STARTED Christina Harrington-Stutzmann, a therapist in Saratoga Springs and Scotia, says people should think about why they want to compile a bucket list before putting pen to paper. “People go through transitions throughout life, and as you age, you get more aware of your own mortality,” she says. “A bucket list makes us set goals that are reachable and measurable, but you don’t want every goal to be easy to attain, because then you would become bored with the list quickly.” For example, your list might begin as all the places you want to visit. But on reflection, you might begin to see that it is not only about the travel, but the people you would want to travel with. Get started on your bucket list on page 63

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enjoy life continued from page 61

Getting started with your

Bucket List

Our three experts came up with eight suggestions:

Photos: (Opening spread) Woman on trapeze, © Krista Hicks Benson; All others, Dreamstime.com; Woman daydreaming, © Konstantin Sutyagin; Eiffel Tower, © Ariwasabi; Knitting, © Annamarinenko; Family, © Monkey Business Images; Notebook, © Yukchong Kwan; Coffee cup, © Norman Chan; Runner, © Photawa.

1

Write down your bucket list, either on a piece of paper kept in a safe place, or electronically in your computer or smartphone. “When you write down a goal, you may realize that number five on your list is more important than number two,” says Harrington-Stutzmann. “So the list brings clarity, organization, and can make you feel more centered.”

you work on daily to make your life more enjoyable. Just for fun, throw in a fabulous trip or two to make life interesting, if you find it appealing.

3

Although many people think a bucket list has to be a list of extravagant places to visit or an adventurous trek up a mountain, sometimes life’s little moments bring us the most joy. Ireland says that one item could be a list of people you want to see or simply call. Perhaps adding more fruits and vegetables to your daily diet is enough to make you feel emotionally sated, or attending an adult-ed class in a new subject will enrich your life.

4

Be sure to include a mix of items on your list — some that can be easily accomplished with just a little effort on your part. Don’t exclude those forever items — the ones that

And make changes. Add something new, or delete an item that once sounded great but no longer holds worth.

8

In many cases, you might keep your list secret. Ireland suggests, however, if there is something you really want to accomplish you should tell your family, and be sure to tell them it is a bucket list item. “That gives it legitimacy, and if others know it is on your bucket list, they will respect it,” she adds.

2

Always have something to write on when you go out, because someone might talk about an interesting subject or a passing billboard might catch your eye and a new idea could become a bucket list item. If you don’t write it down immediately, it could be forgotten.

7

Most importantly, include items that have meaning to you, not to someone else. In this case, it is all about you.

5

If you still can’t get started, Ireland suggests you close your eyes and imagine you just won a mega lottery. “How would you spend that money?” she asks. “For me, I would give to the nonprofits I care about and take care of my family. I would set up education funds for my grandchildren. But then the indulgingme part would kick in and I would ask myself what I really would want to do and see. That’s a bucket list in the making.”

“The goal for all of us is to live our lives moving toward something that is joyful,” says Post. “That alone will release oxytocin, the brain’s love hormone, which helps us combat stress. I review my list daily and I know it releases oxytocin. And because I want to accomplish things on my bucket list I take care of myself. I want to keep myself around till I accomplish everything on my list.” HL

6

Once your list is down on paper, refer to it daily. “It focuses you on your goals,” says Post. “It’s a list of the things in life that make you feel good, and looking at the list daily is your opportunity to move in that direction. So take it.”

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A DV E R T I S E M E N T

Have you heard about this new technology that is FDA cleared, and non-surgical treatment for back pain?

Herniated Disc?

Non-surgical spinal decompression may be the last back pain treatment you will ever need. And you may be able to forget the pills, getting endless shots, struggling through exercise programs...and...risky surgery...because with this amazing new technology...if you are a candidate... they may be a thing of the past. You’re about to discover a powerful state-of-the-art technology available for: Back pain, Sciatica, Herniated and/or Bulging discs (single or multiple), Degenerative Disc Disease, a relapse or failure following surgery or Facet syndromes. Best of all -- you can check it out yourself for FREE! CALL 518-300-1212

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magine how your life would change if you discovered the solution to your back pain.

In this article you’ll discover powerful new back pain technology that has the potential to be that solution for you. This incredible technology is Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression and the DRX 9000. Here’s the amazing story how it was discovered and why it has a chance to help YOUR back pain...

How Science Helps Back Pain The lower back is a series of bones separated by shock absorbers called “discs”. When these discs go bad because of age or injury you can have pain. For some the pain is just annoying, but for others it can be life changing...and not in a good way. It has long been thought that if these discs could be helped in a natural and noninvasive way, lots of people with back and leg pain could lower the amount of pain medication they take, be given fewer epidural injections for the pain and have less surgery.

Recent medical breakthroughs have led to the development of advanced technologies to help back and leg pain suffers!

Through the work of a specialized team of physicians and medical engineers, a medical manufacturing company, now offers this space age technology in its incredible DRX 9000 Spinal Decompression equipment.

The DRX 9000 is FDA cleared to use with the pain and symptoms associated with herniated and/or bulging discs. . . even after failed surgery. What Conditions Has The DRX 9000 Successfully Treated And Will It Help YOU? The main conditions the DRX 9000 has success with are: • • • •

Back pain Sciatica Spinal Stenosis Herniated and/or bulging discs (single or multiple) • Degenerative disc disease • A relapse or failure following surgery • Facet syndromes A very important note: The DRX 9000 has been successful even when NOTHING else has worked. Even after failed surgery. What Are Treatments On The DRX 9000 Like?

After being fitted with an automatic shoulder support system, you simply lie face up on the DRX 9000’s comfortable bed and the advanced computer system does the rest. Patients describe the treatment as a gentle, soothing, intermittent pulling of your back. Many patients actually fall asleep during treatment. The really good news IS... this is not something you have to continue to do for the rest of your life. So it is not a big commitment. Since offering the DRX 9000 in my Colonie office, I have seen nothing short of miracles for back pain sufferers who had tried everything else. . . with little or no result. Many had lost all hope. Had herniated disk operation 8 years ago another disc became herniated. Doctor wanted to operate have arthritis from 1st one (did not want to go under knife again) very grateful to DRX9000 (thank you Dr. Claude D. Guerra, DC) Very happy camper. Raymond F Niskayuna, NY Age 55 This treatment was a miracle for my cervical disk herniations. Only other alternative was surgery, which I no longer have to face. William I Schenectady, NY Age 63

I was told by a doctor I wouldn’t be able to work. I cannot afford to not work so I tried Dr. Claude D. Guerra, DC, and not only did the pain go away but I never missed a day at work. Rick S Clifton Park, NY Age 42 I would love to shake the hand of the person who invented this machine. It was a life saver for me and a lot better than going under the knife. I HIGHLY recommend this to anyone with chronic back pain. Dawn H Colonie, NY Age 49 Before the DRX 9000 treatment. I had no quality of life. Couldn’t do anything for myself. Thank God for Dr. and the DRX machine. I can live again. Yvette K Schenectady, NY Age 47 I suffered for three years, before I received treatment on the DRX 9000. Today, I can sleep and get out of bed like a normal human being. Before, I couldn’t even drive my car because the pain in my hips, legs and feet were so bad from the sciatica nerve being pinched by my Herniated Disc L4 and L5, which also prevented me from sitting in a chair or even using my computer lap top at any time. Today things have changed due to advance technology therapy on the DRX 9000. They always try


A DV E R T I S E M E N T I would definitely refer people to your office. Dr. Guerra and his staff have made this experience a pleasure. Ed H Hoosick Falls, NY Age 70 Pain free, numbness in the left foot is gone. DRX 9000 is GREAT and does work. Sal L Niskayuna, NY Age 50

Dr. Claude D. Guerra, DC demonstrates the DRX 9000 to a patient

to regulate the treatments that work. What is up with this taught process???? The world is changing and so have I. Frank A Troy, NY Age 52 Before receiving the DRX treatments, my quality of life was very poor. I could hardly do anything other than going to work and going to bed. After the DRX treatments my quality of life has improved 90% which has resulted in me being able to go for long walks without a cane and go shopping. Anne P Burnt Hills, NY Age 70 I am so appreciative of this method of therapy because when I came to the office I had to use a cane and had muscle pain in walking. After 2nd treatment sciatica nerve pain was gone in my left leg. Judith W Albany, NY Age 64 Prior to this treatment my only options appeared to be invasive pain management, or surgery. After receiving 24 sessions on the DRX, I am markedly improved, relatively pain free and am able to function as I had in previous years. Highly recommend to anyone with disc issues. Alan P Scotia, NY Age 53 I would choose this therapy again! Painless treatment that gets your life back to

normal. Stick with it-it works! Linda G Broadalben, NY Age 53 I am so happy I came to Dr. Guerra. I was in a lot of pain and after being on the DRX I tell you I do not have pain. I feel wonderful and the staff are very nice. Dr. Claude D. Guerra, DC is wonderful. If you are in pain try the DRX it really helps. Edith C Schenectady, NY Age 71 I think more people should know about this procedure before considering any surgery. Medications help the pain but they don’t cure the cause. I am back to my old self again. Lorraine B Scotia, NY Age 78 I highly recommend this machine. I had my doubts but it really and truly works. Dr. Claude D. Guerra, DC is a wonderful doctor and his staff is great too. Linda D Clifton Park, NY Age 46 I was extremely skeptical at the beginning of treatments - Progress was slow in coming - But... then it worked! What a relief!!! Joan K Delmar, NY Age 71 I had no where else to go with this problem. The DRX 9000 was just what I needed. Many thanks! Burton S Mechanicville, NY Age 50

I’m able to go on long walks and get all night sleep (I’ve had 3 surgeries since 2006) Without the DRX I would be in for a 4th back surgery. I’m getting back to doing activities with my 10 year old son. Lisa V Catskill, NY Age 45 I wish to thank you very much for all the help I received with the spinal decompression therapy. Your entire office was very helpful and compassionate. No longer do I sit at night with my heating pads, moving them from sore spot to sore spot. My knees are no longer on fire and I’m able to go up and down the stairs much easier than before. Mable D Ballston Lake, NY Age 68

SPECIAL OFFER Call Dr. Claude D. Guerra, DC’s office at 518-300-1212 and mention to my assistants that you want a FREE back pain/DRX9000 qualification

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Here is what you will receive: • A consultation with me, Dr. Claude D. Guerra, DC to discuss your problem and answer the questions you may have about back pain and the DRX9000 • A DRX9000 demonstration so you see for yourself how it works! Due to current demand for this technology, I suggest calling today to make your appointment. The consultation is free. We are staffed 24-hoursa-day, 7-days-a-week. Call 518-300-1212 right now!

It’s absolutely FREE with no strings attached. There is ONE Big Problem: My busy office schedule will limit how many people I’m able to personally meet with... so you will need to act fast. Call 518-300-1212 right now... to be sure you are among the first callers and we will set up your free consultation today. We have the phones answered 7 days a week 24 hours a day so call now... 518-300-1212. (Free consultation is good for 45 days) 2016 Central Ave., Colonie www.albanyDRX.com


your spirit

Grasping for

Happiness the key is to want what you have

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healthylife


by melinda mcgarty webb

A

uthor W.P. Kinsella reportedly once said, “Success is getting what you want; happiness is wanting what you get.” Maybe he was onto something. We live in a society obsessed with more. Whether it’s a bigger house, a more expensive car, or the latest and greatest technological device, we’re always encouraged to want something else. But what happened to being satisfied with what we have? What happened to just being ... happy? “We live in a society that generates money,” says Jenny Dillman Marks, a psychotherapeutic counselor in Clifton Park. “Every commercial you see is really geared at making you see the deficits in yourself. It’s big business to encourage people to notice what they don’t have.” It’s easy to get caught up in the “if only” line of thinking, as in “If only I had a tennis court, or the newest Jaguar on the market, or a body fit for swimsuit modeling, then I would finally be happy.” But will those things really make you happy? “There are a number of studies that found the more people have materialistic goals, the less happy and satisfied they are with life,” says Julie McIntyre, associate professor of psychology at Russell Sage College in Troy. “Those people tend to be less happy, probably because it’s never enough. They get the bigger house, and it’s like, ‘OK, I’m still me. I still have X, Y and Z circumstances, and whatever issues were going on before.’” Some say it’s impossible to build happiness based on external circumstances. Jobs can be lost, wealth can be drained, and health can be fleeting. “Experience has shown us that money does not bring us happiness, except when it lifts us out of poverty. Once we have financial security, which we think should make us happy, we usually get caught in wanting more affluence, in fearing its loss, or in keeping up with our peers — thus, happiness eludes us,” writes Ezra Bayda of the Zen Center of

San Diego, in his book Beyond Happiness: The Zen Way to True Contentment. “Happiness is not so much a feeling to be attained as it is a byproduct of how we live.” Bayda says we can achieve a different kind of happiness. “This is the deeper, more genuine experience of true contentment — of being fundamentally OK with life as it is, no longer being attached to our demand that life be a particular way,” he says.

S

o how do we get there? “What you have is not what determines whether you’re happy or not,” says Marks. “We know people who have everything they could want can be just as miserable as people who don’t. Having is not the critical piece. I think the better question is ‘How can we be happier with who we are?’ Feeling good about who you are helps with all areas of your life, including managing with less than what you wish you had.” She says the first step is to pay attention to how you treat yourself. “In the field of mental health, that’s referred to as ‘self talk,’” Marks explains. “If you make a mistake, or if you’re late for something, are you inside your brain saying, ‘Oh man, how could I have messed up? How could I be so stupid?’ If so, then that’s a problem. So begin to shift the way you talk to yourself so it sounds more like the way you talk to a good friend — someone you love and want to support.” Or if your life hasn’t worked out quite as you’d dreamed, cut yourself a break. “If you thought that by 35 you would have an advanced degree, and would’ve found the perfect man and have two children, and now you’re 35, single, and struggling to finish your bachelor’s degree, you can either call yourself out on the carpet and be really mean and nasty, or you can be compassionate,” Marks says. “When you’re able to be more compassionate with yourself, there’s just so much more energy available for better problem-solving strategies and for noticing what is going well in your life.” continued on page 68 

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your spirit continued from page 67

Noticing the good things is critical to happiness, many experts agree. Many of us know about gratitude journals, in which we nightly detail the things for which we’re grateful, or gratitude letters sent to people who have positively affected our lives. “There’s some pretty good data suggesting that you can increase happiness with these interventions,” says McIntyre.“The critique is that there isn’t a lot of data on sustaining that happiness beyond a few weeks.” For longer-term results, Marks suggests retraining yourself to notice the positive things encountered in daily life. She calls it the “New and Good” exercise, and it goes a little something like this: “New and good is that delicious cake my mother made for me the other day,” she says, giving an example. “New and good is that I’m really enjoying this new work or my new co-worker.” As you drive to work in the morning, or the store, or tiny tots gymnastics, make a mental list of all the things that are new and good in your life. “We stand in line in the grocery store and we’ll talk about how long the line is — if we even say anything to each other — or we’ll talk about how crappy the weather is, or how tired we are,” she says. “We’re drawn to the old and ugly. It’s very rare to stand in a grocery line and hear someone say, ‘Can I tell you something new and good that just happened?’ We don’t tend to do that.”

Maybe it’s time we start. “There’s a lot of literature on savoring, or being in the moment,” says McIntyre, who has taught classes in positive psychology. “It can be very hard, though, because in our fast-paced society, we are always planning ahead because we’re doing so much multi-tasking. I think it’s really important to take the time.” It’s also important to take the time to nurture our relationships — those with our friends, our families, and our partners. “We’re clan animals, and we all need other people,” says Marks. “Isolation is a major problem, and it’s more and more an issue in our post-modern society. We can communicate with thousands of people over the course of a day, and never leave our room. I work with clients to identify options for increasing their real face-to-face friendship networks. Some people are happy keeping to themselves, but almost none of us are true hermits.” Volunteering also can help. “There is research that suggests people who volunteer are happier. They are feeling a sense of what Erickson calls ‘generativity.’ They’re giving back something that will last even after they’re gone. It makes them feel a sense of ... doing something meaningful,” McIntyre says. “Someone who is really outgoing might enjoy volunteering around other people, whereas someone who is more of an introvert might enjoy doing paperwork for an organization, or something like that.” If you’re really in a funk about your circumstances, though,

20+ appine s Tips to s H

1. Make happiness a priority.

2. Make plans to be happy. 3. Set happy goals. 4. D  o things that

make you happy.

5. E ngage in tasks from which you’ll gain satisfaction.

6. Play and have fun. 7. Identify where your strengths lie.

8. Utilize your strengths.

9. Be curious.

10. B  e grateful and

appreciate what you have.

11. Learn to like

and ideally to love yourself.

12. Invest time and

energy in your key relationships.

13. Socialize and interact with others as much as possible.

14. W  eed out unhelpful thoughts.

15. P lant happier,

optimistic thoughts.

16. Live a healthy life. 17. E nsure you gain adequate sleep and rest.

18. Manage your time and priorities.

19. Control what

you can control.

20. Live in the present moment.

21. Make happiness an integral part of your life.

Provided by Dr. Timothy Sharp, author of The Happiness Handbook and founder of The Happiness Institute in Sydney, Australia. thehappinessinstitute.com

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Photos: Dreamstime.com; Woman leaping, © Erik Reis; Balloons, © Fabio Berti.

Curbing that materialism “When it come to spending money in the pursuit of happiness, the ‘good life’ may be better lived by doing things than by having things,” according to professor Leaf Van Boven, a professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Van Boven spent a decade studying the social costs and benefits of pursuing happiness through the acquisition of life experiences, (such as traveling and going to concerts) versus the purchase of material possessions such as fancy cars and jewelry, according to university literature. The result was that people who pursued happiness by acquiring material possessions were not only less happy than those who had spent their money on life experiences, but were also less liked by their peers. “Not just our research, but a lot of other research has found that people who are materialistic incur many mental health costs and social costs. They’re less happy. They’re more prone to depression. They’re more likely to be diagnosed with behavior disorders. And they don’t have friendships that are of as high quality as people who are less materialistic,” Van Boven says in a video posted on the university’s website. “This is really problematic because we know that having quality social relationships is one of the best predictors of happiness, health and well-being,” according to the university literature. So what’s a material girl to do? “If you find yourself being a materialistic person, you can try to change that underlying personality by making different decisions — by putting yourself into contact with people who have more of an experiential orientation,” Van Boven says. “It’s not a quick fix. It takes a long time to try to change your underlying personality structure ... but it can be done.”

let’s stay in touch

realize that while some people have it better than you at that moment, someone else probably has it worse — probably far worse. Be grateful for that. “One of things people use as a coping strategy when they have a chronic illness is what we call downward comparisons, where they compare themselves to people who have it worse,” says McIntyre. “But when you do the upward comparison of ‘I’m watching HGTV and I’m seeing these people with 4,000-square-foot homes, with great pools in their backyards, and I’m looking at my neighbor, who just got a lawn service,’ you’re never going to be happy because there’s always going to be somebody who has more, or has it better.” So make the downward comparison. “You can say, ‘Boy, I’m really lucky. My son has ADD, but at least he doesn’t have cancer,’” says McIntyre. “There’s always a way to make your situation more manageable.” HL

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cover model q&a

up close with ...

Andrea Hersh-Bartfield by brianna snyder  |  photo by suzanne kawola

A

ndrea Hersh-Bartfield adores Nia, a sensory-based movement practice that draws from martial arts, dance arts and healing arts to center on self-discovery and personal transformation. She adores it so much, in fact, that she became certified to teach classes at The Center for Nia and Yoga in Albany. Hersh-Bartfield, who’s 53, teaches Nia part-time; she’s also an artist and teaches art at the Arts Center in Troy. She grew up in Worcester, Mass., and moved to Albany in 1997 when her husband got a job here. She got her MFA in painting at the University of Albany and says she loves contemporary artists such as Philip Guston, from the later school of Abstract Expressionism. Hersh-Bartfield’s sons are talented artists as well, though their craft is music. Both men — who are 23 and 28 years old — are working in L.A. (One of them even has a regular background role on Glee, for you Gleeks out there.) An exhibit of Hersh-Bartfield is on display at Albany International Airport in a group show called Some Assembly Required, if you want to check out her work. Or take a look at ahersh.com. We assume that, since you teach Nia, it’s probably your favorite way to work out. My favorite is Nia, by far. I love to dance.

Hair and makeup by Kimberley’s A Day Spa, Latham. Photo taken by Suzanne Kawola at New York Expressive Arts in Albany. Above: tunic and leggings by Calvin Klein, jewelry by Ashley Cooper. Select clothing available at Boscov’s Clifton Park. Visit facebook.com/ healthylifenymagazine to view our Behind the Scenes photo gallery, or scan the QR code at left to link to our HealthyLife photos page on Facebook.

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healthylife

You said that in August you started on the paleo diet, which prohibits dairy, grains, potatoes and processed foods. Are you going to continue with this diet? Do you like it? I don’t know. I feel really good at this point, so I don’t want to add anything more to it. But once in a while I eat beans, though I definitely have kept grains out. Do you have any favorite musicians? Well, I love music so much. The kids are musicians, so I love whatever they do. I love contemporary music. I’ve actually been listening to the Lumineers. I love Elvis Costello. I love Bob Dylan. I love Fiona Apple. It goes on and on.  HL

“Before” photo by Colleen Ingerto.

Behind the Scenes

How did you find out about it? Someone said, “You should come to Friday-morning Nia,” and I hadn’t danced for a long time — since college, basically — and it was very emotional for me. It reminded me of how much I like to move that way. I had been a runner before that and I had done a lot of spin classes; I’ve always been really active. But Nia changed the way I think about exercise. It’s more of a holistic way to work out and it’s more of a wholebody experience instead of a lower-body one. As a runner you don’t think about your upper body as much. … It’s really important to be flexible.


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HealthyLife March 2013