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body. mind. spirit. A Times Union Publication

September 2013

How to



in Love


Skinny on Fat

 debunking fat myths  new fat-reducing options


• 25 date nights • living within your means

Surviving Dinner

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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.





every issue

22 Ask the Doc

39 Ask Emma

8 talk back

How to cope with food allergies

24 Surviving Dinner

Easy, healthy recipes for your whole family

30 Doctor in the House What’s in your medicine cabinet?

Why risk-taking can make you happier

40 Bullyproof

Helping your child cope with bullies

44 Living Within Your Means

Tips for creating a debt-free life

32 The Quest for Perfection


36 Fat or Fiction

49 My Word

New, non-invasive fat-reduction procedures Debunking fat myths

10 tips to recapture the romance

56 It’s a Date!

25 affordable date ideas


12 editor’s note 14 fit & fab 16 news & views 20 did you know? 29 owner’s manual

Your lungs — a primer

58 cover model Q&A

Up close with Dawn Abbuhl

Breaking up with the gym

51 Lost That Lovin’ Feeling?


10 on the web

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: dress by Anne Klein, jewelry by Ashley Madison. At right: sweater by 89th and Madison, blouse by Kasper, skirt by Premise, scarf by Stripe Eternity. Photos taken by Suzanne Kawola at the Fort Orange Club in Albany.

september 2013

51 58

EXP 9/30/2013 2 EXECUTIVE PARK DRIVE | ALBANY, NY 12203 | 518.482.8631 ALBANYDERM.COM

talk back

The story behind the story from our contributors Fat Be Gone Valerie Foster  It’s not that I couldn’t stand to lose some of my fat, but I am too chicken to have it sucked out by liposuction. But the new non-invasive fatreducing techniques I discovered reporting this story? Definitely something to save my pennies for! See Valerie’s story on page 32.

Medicine Cabinets Brianna Snyder  I hadn’t known that you shouldn’t take combination drugs such as DayQuil. Major bummer because I love DayQuil. But you don’t want to be taking unnecessary medicine, which makes sense. See Brianna’s story on page 30.

join the conversation!

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Fat or Fiction

It’s a Date!

“But those bills add up” Melissa Fiorenza  I used to equate dating with budget breaking. My husband and I love dining out, but those bills add up — and it wouldn’t hurt to shake up our routine. What I learned researching this story was that there are PLENTY of things to do around here that are fun, romantic and easy on the wallet. (Some are even free!) See Melissa’s story on page 56.

Love Notes Merci Miglino  Make a decision to fall back in love. Then whatever you do from there will work out. See Merci’s story on page 51.

Rebecca Haynes  While trying to debunk fat “facts” I was quite surprised to learn that not much definitive research has been done on our fat cells. Scientists can’t even agree on whether there’s a point at which they become fixed in number and whether new ones form to replace any that we may have sucked or snipped or otherwise removed from our bodies. See Rebecca’s story on page 36.

Budget Bonus Elizabeth Floyd Mair  I was reminded of the importance of talking to kids about budgeting, and giving them choices so that they can help the family stay on budget. See Elizabeth’s story on page 44.

We asked, you answered!  What’s your favorite breakfast? Rachel: Waffles! Or eggs and toast. Linda: My favorite breakfast is sour cream pancakes. Michelle: Omelette with spinach, mushroom and feta. Denise: Eggs and usually some kind of veggies sauteed with a little bacon and onion. I cook the eggs in organic ghee. If I don’t have bacon, I saute the veggies in the organic ghee.

Brigid: Bacon, veggie frittata, my homemade scones and coffee. Or just mimosas! :)

Jennifer: Sandy, you sound like Alesha :) She looks great. She has me on her primal diet.

Linda: Eggs and a whole-wheat pita.

 My favorite summer drink is …

 What’s one hairstyle you’ve always wanted to pull off but couldn’t?

Melissa: Home-brewed sun tea during the week and gin and tonics on the weekend!

Alicia: Fringe bangs. Not so good with loopy curls.

 What’s your goto method of losing a few pounds? Sandra: Cutting grains and sugar. Works like a charm.

Linda: Fresh lemonade that’s made just right. Kristin: Tom Collins

The end of cancer

begins with research.

Members of the NYOH staff, clockwise: Dr. Lawrence Garbo, Chairman, Research Committee; Sharon Krause, RN, Director, Research Dept.; Carrie Kreitner, RN, Certified Adult Nurse Practitioner; Dr. Karen Tedesco, Director, Hereditary Cancer Risk Assessment Program; and Debra Yelenak, MT, Laboratory Supervisor.

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check out the healthylife channel

BEHIND THE SCENES After reading our Q&A with cover model Dawn Abbuhl (page 58), head online for more behindthe-scenes photos and details.



COOKBOOK RECIPES Cooking can be fun for the whole family. Read all about it on page 24. Then head online for recipes for Asian chicken lettuce wraps, oven-baked fries and coconut and lime cream pie.

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

GIVE IN TO YOURSELF, AND GET WHAT YOU WANT Why do guilty pleasures haunt us? And we give you some tips for getting your way.



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

Illustration: Computer mouse, ŠIrina Iglina/

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

Which hospital offers the latest techniques and technology in cardiac care and broadest range of options for patients? The Answer is Albany Med.

Dr. Adanna Akujuo, a cardiothoracic surgeon who offers the latest minimally invasive techniques, joined Albany Med’s team because it is on the leading edge of cardiac care.

When you need expert care for your heart, THE ANSWER IS ALBANY MED.

editor’s note

Fat Facts friends or loved ones will convince them otherwise, and since 95 percent of reality is perception, it’s easy to see why these assurances fail. I certainly fall in this category. Known as “Janet the Planet” as a child — yes, that felt as awesome as it sounds — I have fought the fat battle, both in my mind and in reality, throughout my entire life. Some days the skirmish goes better than others. I was buoyed a bit, however, by our story on fat myths on page 36. Turns out some of my perceptions are wrong. HL

Photo by Krishna Hill.


f there is a woman in America not obsessed on some level with her body fat, I’ve yet to meet her. Mention some part of your body you wish were thinner to a woman — even a woman who is not a close friend — and you’re sure to get a response about the body part she abhors. Sometimes the body part has to do with its smallness — breasts come to mind — but a statistician studying this would more likely discover that women overwhelmingly denigrate some part of their body for being fat. No amount of assurances from

Janet Reynolds, Executive Editor

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news and views compiled by beth cooney


FEEL SLUGGISH after breakfast or

lunch? Researchers suggest it may be because you ate too much fat. A new study published in the journal Sleep suggests that when otherwise healthy, non-obese adults eat heavy, fatty foods (think burgers, deep-fried foods and greasy, cheesy pizza) dur-

ing the day it can impair alertness. Interestingly, the study subjects tended to fare better on the alertness scale when they ate carbohydrates and other foods that were not high in fat. Protein consumption didn’t seem to have a positive or negative impact on the study subjects.

Researchers noted that there are implications beyond packing on the calories for eating too much fat. It can affect productivity and even impair public safety by diminishing mental acuity. source:


of up to 1,000 milligrams a day accomplishes more than boosting mineral intake and keeping bones healthy and strong. It can also help you live longer, according to a new study. The study by Canadian researchers, recently accepted for publication in a journal published by the Endocrine Society, is intriguing because calcium supplementation has become somewhat controversial in recent years. Some studies have associated calcium supplementation with an increased risk for heart disease. But researchers seeking to clarify whether calcium is a body’s friend or foe, looked at data



gleaned from the Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study and concluded it actually seems to enhance longevity in women. Researchers noted that they found no significant difference in the longevity of women who sourced their calcium from food or supplements, saying both approaches seem to be beneficial. Interestingly, these benefits were derived whether or not the calcium was combined with a vitamin D supplement. Also noteworthy: Calcium supplementation seemed to have no particular benefit for men, although researchers weren’t sure why. source:

Photos: Burger, Juanmonino/GettyImages; Calcium, Anthony-Masterson/GettyImages; Feet, © iStockphoto. com/bgwalker; Alarm, Günay Mutlu/GettyImages; Sleeping, Floresco Productions/GettyImages.


Hereditary Footprint? SUFFERERS OF BUNIONS often

complain of a variety of problems because of the prominent bulge protruding from their misshapen feet: throbbing pain, trouble buying shoes, interference with sports and, of course, the aesthetic issues of having odd-looking tootsies. Researchers now are saying quite definitively that bunion sufferers can blame Mom, Dad or some other blood relative for passing on the foot disorder. According to research out of Harvard Medical School, which involved more than 1,300 individuals participating in the Framingham Foot Study, Caucasian

men and women of European descent seem most vulnerable to inheriting bunions. In fact, researchers dubbed the deformity, which impacts some 23 percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 65, as “highly inheritable” based on their research. While many people complain anecdotally that they inherited “grandma’s feet,” actually correlating the condition with genes has some treatment implications, researchers noted in a press release about their study, which was recently published in Arthritis Care & Research. An awareness of heredity may help adults be more

proactive about their foot health and engage in strategies to keep bunions from developing (such as wearing comfortable, supportive shoes). source:


Deadly Side Effect HERE’S RESEARCH WORTH CONSIDERING by parents —

and prospective parents — who are considering the practice of bed-sharing with their babies. A new study says sharing the covers with a little one significantly increase a baby’s risk of dying from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The risk of such deaths increases five-fold over babies who sleep independently. British researchers noted bedsharing can increase the risk of the devastating syndrome (where babies die suddenly and sometimes inexplicably) even in households where parents don’t abuse drugs or alcohol. Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and

Topical Medicine noted some 88 percent of the deaths they investigated probably could have been prevented had the child slept near the parental bed in a crib, cot or bassinet. Researchers noted their findings were true even in cases where babies were breastfed (a factor known to protect against SIDS) and the infants lived in households where the parents did not smoke, drink excessively or take drugs (all factors known to exacerbate the syndrome). The study was reported recently in BMJ Open and was accompanied by a call by researchers for more education on the practice and its risks in an effort to prevent deaths. Source:

Sleep Apnea’s Heavy Burden THE PUBLIC HEALTH IMPLICATIONS of America’s obesity epidemic

continue to mount with the latest bad news on the impact being overweight has on getting a good night’s sleep. Researchers in Wisconsin have found rates of sleep apnea — a condition in which sleep is interrupted when breathing stops temporarily — are perilously high in obese adults they studied in that state and claim those rates may have climbed as much as 55 percent in the last two decades. Their findings were reported recently in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Sufferers of sleep apnea often report being chronically tired during the day, while other studies have tied the condition to a higher incidence of heart disease. The good news? Sleep apnea is treatable and sometimes even modest weight loss can improve the condition. source: continued on page 18 


news and views continued from page 17

Cut the Salt



debate the benefits of running versus walking, and now researchers have weighed in on which form of cardiovascular exercise wins in the best-for-your-body category. When it comes to maintaining a healthy weight, running takes the gold according to researchers at the National Institutes of Health, which looked at the long-term weight-loss successes and BMI (body mass index) of groups of devoted walkers and runners. While it’s not clear why running was more efficient, researchers, who published their findings recently in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Medicine, had a few theories. They suggest the aftereffects of vigorous exercise, such as running, may burn more calories throughout the day, revving the body’s calorie-burning engine for the long haul. Also, they point to existing research that suggests intense exercise, such as running, seems to diminish appetite more efficiently than more moderate walking. While walkers may want to give running a try, researchers and fitness experts note there are still plenty of good reasons to walk. For one thing, walking (as well as running) is excellent bone-building weight-bearing exercise and, also, studies have noted fitness walkers are especially devoted to their routine, maintaining their healthy habit for the long haul. source:



that suggests consuming too much salt or sodium is harmful to the body in innumerable ways, the average American continues to ingest way too much on a daily basis. Indeed, most folks still down a whopping 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day, way more than the 2,300 milligram maximum recommended by the federal government. The findings were reported recently by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Evidence has shown that reducing sodium intake also reduces the risk of high blood pressure as well as stroke and cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death in American women. How to cut salt? Ditch the table shaker and read labels carefully for sodium content, which is particularly high in canned and other processed foods, meats and junky snacks. source:

Photos: GettyImages. Runner, Cavan Images; Salt, Jamie Grill Photography; Dog, Pat Gaines; Sleep, Peter Dazeley; Depression, Chris Fertnig.

Run to


Heart’s Best Friend

YES, FIDO, you really are your owners’ best

friend — at least when it comes to their heart health. The American Heart Association recently made it official, publishing a scientific statement in its journal, Circulation, which reveals good research suggesting pet ownership appears to be beneficial in reducing stress, blood pressure and improving cardiovascular function and reducing obesity. The AHA noted that dogs appear to be the most beneficial pet to own because of the health benefits derived from walking them. Still, the AHA cautions that even with all the benefits that appear to be associated with pet ownership and heart health, it’s not reason enough to adopt, rescue or buy a dog or any other pet. Pets take love, money and time to nurture and it’s best to carefully consider whether you and your family are up to the task before taking one into your home. source:

Healthy Sleep HAVING TROUBLE SLEEPING? Researchers at the

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health are offering yet another good reason to take chronic insomnia seriously. According to their research, middle-aged and older adults with sleep disorders are more likely to be hospitalized for a variety of health problems and also require the services of a home health aide or admittance to a nursing home. This news is nothing to snooze about. Insomnia is a chronic problem for an estimated 50 percent of adults ages 60 and older and is also a common syndrome in women during their preand postmenopausal years. The Johns Hopkins researchers, who reported their findings recently in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, suggest that insomnia be carefully monitored by both sufferers and their health care providers because of its implications for longterm health problems.

Depressing Genes WHY SOME WOMEN DEVELOP debilitating postpartum

depression after childbirth and some women are spared has long been a curiosity. Researchers are homing in on two genes, which they suspect may be particularly reactive to estrogen, as a possible explanation for why depression afflicts some women more than others after childbirth. A small study that recently appeared in the journal Molecular Psychiatry hones in on two genes, which when altered slightly appear to exacerbate depression. These genes, the scientists involved in the study note, appear to be particularly sensitive to the hormone estrogen, which is elevated during pregnancy. While the work is preliminary, they suggested it could ultimately lead to screening that could alert women they are vulnerable to depression after childbirth. source:

source: hl13insomnia


fast facts

did you know?

7 minutes

Most people fall asleep in seven minutes. (We don’t recommend counting the minutes until you fall asleep to test this theory. Just take our word for it.)

compiled by brianna snyder

90 percent At any one time, 90 percent of scalp hairs are growing and 10 percent are resting. source:


The eye of a human can distinguish between 500 shades of gray. source:

30 percent Italian researchers have discovered that steaming broccoli increases its concentration of glucosinolates (compounds found to fight cancer) by 30 percent. Boiling actually lowers the levels. source:




The average woman in 17thcentury America gave birth to 13 children! source: tinyurl. com/hl13moms

Photos: Getty Images. Sleeping woman, digitalskillet; Eye, Chris Sattlberger; Broccoli, Nicole S. Young.


OK, so you slipped up ➺ on your new healthy eating

Photo: Image Source/GettyImages.

regimen. Don’t use this as an excuse to stop trying. Think about the self-control you had before the slipup and KEEP GOING!


Dealing with Food Allergies 22 Easy, Healthy Recipes 24  Your Lungs — A Primer 29 What’s In Your Medicine Cabinet? 30  Reducing Fat 32 Fat or Fiction? 36


ask the doc


What You


food allergies can be deadly, but they can also be managed

by brianna snyder  |  photos by emily jahn


couple of years ago, the Department of Transportation considered banning peanuts on airplanes. Because of a decade-and-a-half-old law, the DOT wasn’t able to enforce such a ban, but thousands of people responded to the proposal favorably. CNN reported one woman saying, “My 6-year-old has severe peanut and tree nut allergies and I am very fearful to put him on a plane.” Food allergies can be scary and life-threatening if not properly treated. Dr. Kirsi Jarvinen-Seppo specializes in allergies at Albany Medical Center, and she’ll be appearing at the HealthyLife seminar on Sept. 26 (see box) to discuss food allergies, how to cope with them, what to expect from them and how to diagnose them. While some might assume that celiac disease, where people have an intolerance to gluten and wheat, is an allergic reaction, Jarvinen-Seppo quickly sets the record straight about that. “Celiac disease is not considered a food allergy,” she says. “Food allergies include reactions like hives and immediate reactions to peanuts and egg and milk. … Celiac disease is a different mechanism; it is considered an intolerance.” The same goes for lactose intolerance: allergies to milk and milk intolerance are in two separate things. One could throw you into anaphylactic shock; the other will cause some discomfort. The most common food allergies, according to, are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish. (See sidebar for more statistics.) Peanut allergies are inexplicably on the rise, Jarvinen-Seppo says. The number has doubled since 1997, and not just in the U.S. More



DR. KIRSI JARVINEN-SEPPO specializes in allergies at Albany Medical Center.

people are developing this allergy across the world. And allergy diagnoses in general have gone up by 18 percent in the last 10 years. So why the increase? There are many theories. “Whether this is due to a true increase in allergy or improved diagnostics, we can’t say for sure,” Jarvinen-Seppo says. “It may be a combination of both.” Other theories being tossed around include oversanitization. “Because the Western lifestyle includes vaccinations, antibiotics and other measures to improve the hygiene in society, that may have decreased the exposure of the immune system to potentially significant pathogens, so the immune system is redirected to food,” she says. “There’s a shift from the immune system fighting pathogens to fighting other proteins, other agents that are not deadly. But that’s only one hypothesis. … It may be a much larger story behind that.”

Allergy Facts and Statistics HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE FOOD ALLERGIES?  Researchers estimate that up to 15 million Americans have food allergies.  This potentially deadly disease affects 1 in every 13 children (under 18 years of age) in the U.S. That’s roughly two in every classroom. FOOD ALLERGY REACTIONS & ANAPHYLAXIS  Every 3 minutes, a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency department — that is more than 200,000 emergency department visits per year.  A reaction to food can range from a mild response (such as an itchy mouth) to anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially deadly reaction.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported that food allergies result in more than 300,000 ambulatory-care visits a year among children under the age of 18. Food allergy is the leading cause of anaphylaxis outside the hospital setting.  Teenagers and young adults with food allergies are at the

highest risk of fatal foodinduced anaphylaxis.  Symptoms of anaphylaxis may recur after initially subsiding and experts recommend an observation period of about four hours to monitor that the reaction has been resolved.  It is possible to have anaphylaxis without any skin symptoms (no rash, hives). FOODS COMMONLY ASSOCIATED WITH FOOD ALLERGIES  Eight foods account for 90 percent of all reactions: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish. Even trace amounts of a food allergen can cause a reaction.

CAN YOU OUTGROW A FOOD ALLERGY?  Peanut and tree nut allergies, which also tend to develop in childhood, usually are lifelong.  Cow’s milk, egg and soy allergies typically begin in childhood and eventually may be outgrown. In the past, most children outgrew these allergies by school age. A recent study, conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, indicated that children are taking longer to outgrow milk and egg allergies. Fortunately, the majority are allergy-free by age 16.  Fish and shellfish allergies also tend to be lifelong.


For additional information on allergies, go to

 A food allergy can begin at any age.  Your risk of having food allergies is higher if you have a parent who suffers from any type of allergic disease (asthma, eczema, food allergies, or environmental allergies such as hay fever).  Children with food allergy are 2-4 times more likely to have other related conditions such as asthma and other allergies, compared with children who do not have food allergies.

What can patients with food allergies do? Stay vigilant. Keep EpiPen (an emergency shot of medicine for people going into anaphylactic shock) with you at all times if your allergies are severe. Oral immunotherapy, where patients with allergies are given tiny doses of allergens in order to develop tolerance to the food, only works as long as the patient is receiving the therapy. The practice doesn’t cure the peanut allergy but rather keeps it at bay for a little while. (And this treatment is still highly experimental.) Though allergies are on the rise, they’re still evident in the minority of the population, Jarvinen-Seppo says. “I would still say food allergies only affect about maybe six to eight percent of children and maybe 3 to 4 percent of adults, maximum,” she says. Other allergies found in babies — especially milk and egg allergies — are likely to go away as children grow older.  HL

Join us for our next HealthyLife seminar: Foodborne Allergies, Celiac Disease and What You Eat The seminar, held Thursday, Sept. 26, 5–7 p.m. at The Desmond, 660 Albany Shaker Road, Albany and sponsored by Albany Medical Center, will feature Dr. Kirsi Jarvinen-Seppo and Dr.

Cary Qualia. The seminar is free, but registration is required. Register at healthylifeseminar. Registrants automatically entered to win a girls’ getaway at the Cranwell Resort & Spa in Lenox, Mass. Must be present to win.



Find the recipe for coconut and lime cream pie, pictured here, and Deb’s Flaky Pie Crust online at

Surviving Dinner easy, healthy recipes for the whole family by valerie foster  |  photos by steve legato/running press


ebra Ponzek understands that fast food, eating on the run and processed foods have contributed to a childhood obesity epidemic in America. She also knows busy. Along with her husband, Greg Addonizio, she oversees Aux Délices, four preparedgourmet food shops; Aux Délices Events, a full-service catering business; a cooking school; and the new Aux Délices Bistro in Westport, Conn. The couple also has three children, ages 12, 15 and 17. All this has combined to make her just-published fourth



cookbook, The Dinnertime Survival Cookbook: Delicious Inspiring Meals for Busy Families, timely and important. And even though this internationally acclaimed chef knows her way around a kitchen, Ponzek understands the complexity of feeding a family healthy meals seven days a week. “People might assume that, with our lives, I don’t cook dinner each night, but I do, every night,” Ponzek says. “Each morning I ask everyone what they want for dinner, so I can think about it during the day. They might say hamburger or chicken, and that becomes the basis for supper. There is

The Dinnertime Survival Cookbook: Delicious Inspiring Meals for Busy Families, by Debra Ponzek, with Mary Goodbody, Running Press (a member of the Perseus Books Group), 257 pages, $22.

nothing worse than facing 5 p.m. with no thoughts as to what to serve for dinner.” The book is divided into 10 easily defined chapters. Craving soup? Check out chapter one. Is the grill beckoning? Chapter four is what you need. Fish, chicken, pasta and burgers star in other chapters. There is also a breakfast-for-dinner chapter, a practice that Ponzek grew up with and one she has continued in her Greenwich home. “Let’s be honest. Sometimes a bowl of cereal really is all anyone wants to eat at night,” Ponzek says. “So I included a recipe for the best granola you will ever taste, because if you are going to have cereal, why not have the best?” Just the name — apricot, honey and almond Granola — can start those taste buds salivating. Ponzek says she has always been a healthy eater, and maintains the key to any nutritious diet is moderation and avoiding processed foods, which all too often are the mainstay of an American diet. With her recipes you will shop the perimeter of the supermarket, filling your basket with fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, poultry and dairy. She laughs about one recipe — bacon burgers with fried eggs and pesto mayonnaise — definitely not high on the healthy-eating scale and one she admits is over the top but too delicious to leave out of the cookbook. “But I would never eat this every night,” she says. “Once a month? Absolutely!” “When you make a meal yourself, you know every ingredient that you are putting into that meal,” she adds. “And if there is something in the recipe that you don’t like, leave it out or substitute. If you want less salt, that’s easy. If you are not big on cream and butter, change up those things. For example, you can always substitute nonfat Greek yogurt for sour cream.” Once a stickler for dried beans and fresh pasta, Ponzek now reaches for canned beans and no-boil pasta noodles. “I am a fan of kitchen shortcuts, as long as the result tastes good,” she says. “I believe in cooking what you like to cook. … And if you like a recipe, and cook it several


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Chipotle Sour Cream Makes about 1/2 cup

Ingredients 1/2 cup sour cream 1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from the can Kosher salt method Stir together the sour cream, chipotle pepper and adobo sauce and mix well. Serve right away or refrigerate if not using soon.

Southwestern Salmon Tacos with Avocado Salsa Serves 4

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1/4 cup canola oil Eight 6-inch flour tortillas Chipotle sour cream (recipe follows) Cilantro leaves for garnish

Ingredients 2 avocados 2 tomatoes, cored and diced 1/2 cup finely diced red onion 1/4 cup loosely packed chopped cilantro Juice of 1 lemon 4 (5- to 6-ounce) salmon fillets

method Cut each avocado in half lengthwise and remove the pit. Carefully scoop the flesh from the shell and dice it. Toss the diced avocado with the tomato, onion, cilantro and lemon juice. Stir to mix and season to taste with salt and pepper.

times, you get to know that recipe and it becomes an easy go-to meal for you. The problem is that most of us find ourselves cooking the same five things for dinner. It becomes a formula, and although we might want to try cooking something different, we don’t know where to start. This book is an easy way to try out some new recipes.” She and her family have eaten every recipe in the book, which is not to say that everyone loves every recipe. Her kids have their own tastes, which is fine with Ponzek. She lives by the words of her grandmother, who told her you that if you don’t like a food, you have try a food seven times. “The lesson here is to keep trying a food, even if you don’t like it the first time,” she says. She also admits it was easier to get her children

to eat unusual foods before they knew what they were eating. Asking her to pick her favorite recipe from the cookbook is like asking her to choose a favorite child. But she came up with two mains, one side and one dessert, all of which take fewer than 30 minutes to prepare. The Asian chicken lettuce wraps are a family favorite, since the kids can make their own. It also introduces many to ground chicken, which Ponzek calls an often-overlooked delight. Her recipe for southwestern salmon tacos with avocado salsa is a great alternative to the omnipresent grilled salmon. She says most children like tacos, and this is the perfect way to introduce the younger set to fish. It’s served with chipotle sour cream, which packs a bit of heat but

Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper. In a medium sauté pan, heat the oil until smoking over medium-high heat and cook the salmon, flesh-side down, for 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Transfer the fillets to a platter to cool slightly. Spoon heaping tablespoons of the avocado salsa onto each flour tortilla. Gently flake each salmon fillet with your fingers or fork. Top the tortillas with salmon, chipotle sour cream and cilantro leaves. Serve immediately.

can be toned down a tad or left off. Instead of frozen french fries, consider Ponzek’s oven-baked fries with parmesan and rosemary, so much more flavorful than the stuff that comes in bags. And for dessert? Coconut and lime cream pie. She includes a recipe for crust, but if you’d rather buy a premade crust she says, “Go for it!” “I can think of no better compliment than someone taking one of my recipes, making it a few times, adding their own touches, and finally turning it into something that is their own,” she says. “That was my goal for writing this book.” HL For more recipes, such as Asian chicken lettuce wraps and oven-baked fries with Parmesan and rosemary, visit


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owner’s manual

Your Lungs

— a primer compiled by linda tuccio-koonz



Photos: GettyImages. Lungs, PIXOLOGICSTUDIO; Woman, Fuse.

ur two lungs take up most of the space in our chest and together make up one of the largest organs of the body. Part of the respiratory system, they are protected by our rib cage and take oxygen from the air we breathe, passing it to the bloodstream so it can be carried to every cell throughout the body. The lungs partner with our diaphragm — a dome-shaped muscle that sits beneath them — allowing us to inhale and exhale.

The lungs are not the same size: the left one is smaller to make room for the heart.

The right lung has three lobes (sections) and the left has two. Each lobe is similar to a balloon filled with a sponge-like tissue.

Air moves in and out through one opening, the bronchial tube, which splits into two bronchi, one leading to each In 1987, lung lung. The bronchi are lined cancer surpassed with cilia (think very small breast cancer hairs) that carry mucus to become the to the throat so it can be leading cause of coughed up or swallowed, cancer deaths in eliminating dust, germs women. and other unwanted matter we breathe in.

While resting, you breathe in and out from 12 to 20 times per minute. After exercise, the rate can increase to over 60 times.

Asthma is caused by a combination of environmental and genetic factors and triggers differ from person to person. Attacks occur when airways narrow after irritation. Symptoms include wheezing, frequent coughing, shortness of breath and chest tightness.

Smoking is the No. 1 cause of lung cancer, connected with 87 percent of all cases. Radon (colorless, odorless gas found naturally in soil) exposure is the No. 2 cause.

You can live without one lung, but it limits your physical ability.

Regular exercise increases lung capacity, which means you can move oxygen through your body faster.  HL

For additional information on the lungs go to


home health

Medicine Cabinet

Must-Haves make sure yours has these items by brianna snyder  |  photo by krista hicks benson


aving a stocked medicine cabinet is a lot like having a stocked refrigerator: You know you can handle anything that comes your way. The question is what are the best ingredients to have on hand. We asked two area doctors what was in their medicine cabinets: Dr. Kathleen Zabinski-Kramer, assistant professor of medicine and pediatrics at Albany Medical College, and Dr. Diane Tenenbaum, a pediatrician at St. Peter’s Hospital. Before giving us the list of musthaves, they both noted something that should not be in the cabinet: Ipecac, a yesteryear recommended necessity for poison control. Both say the first step in a suspected poisoning case is



to call Poison Control. To make that easier, Zabinski-Kramer recommends that every medicine cabinet have a list of doctors’ numbers and emergency services taped right inside. Tenenbaum prefers soap and water to hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol, also popular but likely unnecessary items in many medicine cabinets. “Once you get your ears pierced it’s great to have that,” she says, but other than that, “I don’t think you need rubbing alcohol.” Both doctors also advise against “combination drugs” such as DayQuil, which treat multiple symptoms. Those drugs “overtreat all the symptoms you have,” Zabinski-Kramer says. “You may be putting five or six medications into you when you could get away with using two.” One other word of advice? Be aware of expiration dates. Tenenbaum recommends picking one holiday a year to replenish and clean your medicine cabinet: “One of my colleagues checks her medicine cabinet on January 1,” she says. “Watch the parade, watch football, clean out your medicine cabinet.” HL

Here’s what every medicine cabinet should have, according to our experts:  81-mg

chewable baby aspirin:

Although our doctors told us babies should never be given baby aspirin without first consulting a doctor (“They should change the name of the drug,” Tenenbaum says), it’s good to have baby aspirin on hand if someone in the household is at risk of heart attack. Chewable aspirin makes it to the bloodstream more quickly, thinning the blood and potentially saving the victim’s life.  Thermometer: Our experts say rectal thermometers give the most accurate temperature readings in babies; ear thermometers aren’t quite as accurate. But any thermometer is fine; an approximate number will still give you enough information to know you need to call a doctor or wait it out. A thermometer will “at least give us an idea,” Zabinski-Kramer says, if you need to get medical help.  Fever reducers such as Tylenol (acetaminophen) and ibuprofen. Acetaminophen helps with fever and muscle pain, but for fevers over 102˚, our experts recommend ibuprofen. It lasts longer and brings the fever down better at that point.

Ice pack to diminish swelling caused by injuries. 

 Antacids such as Pepto-Bismol

and Tums. You want to have aids for indigestion, diarrhea, vomiting and general gastrointestinal-tract trouble.  Benadryl In pill or liquid form rather than the cream, Tenenbaum says. Ingesting the medicine is better and faster, especially in children.

 Hand

sanitizer as a backup for soap and water.

 Tweezers for

splinters or ticks. Use the tweezers to extract the tick or splinter; then wash with soap and water.

 Bandages,

Band-Aids, gauze and adhesive for cuts and scrapes.

Itch relief products

such as cortisone creams or calamine lotion for itchiness or skin irritation.


your body

The Quest for Perfection fat-reduction procedures target trouble spots by valerie foster

 Cryolipolysis, branded as Coolsculpting, freezes fat, but not your skin. The frozen fat then dies and is absorbed by the body over time. The machine is likened to a mammogram: The fatty area is squeezed into a hand piece between two metal plates and



Coolsculpting photo courtesy of Zeltiq. Surgery markings photo, Brad Wilson/GettyImages.


ighty percent of women don’t like their bodies. This stat from Psych Central — an online independent mental health social network run by mental health professionals — should come as no surprise to most women. Nor should this: Women comprise 87 percent of the population who opt for cosmetic surgery. We are nip-tucking ourselves into our skinny jeans. But thanks to technology, the knife is not our only option. For the past three decades, women have turned to liposuction to suck the extra fat from our bodies. In fact, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, liposuction is the third most popular cosmetic procedure with women, right behind breast augmentation and nose reshaping. “Liposuction is still the gold standard for ridding the body of large collections of fat,” says plastic surgeon Dr. Jack Fisher, president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. It is the technique he uses because it’s a one-shot procedure, which although invasive surgery that requires anesthesia and a recuperation period, has been proven to be effective in his practice. Other doctors are turning to less invasive processes that don’t require surgery. Plastic surgeon Dr. Alan Gold, spokesman for ASAPS, says all of the new processes accomplish the same end — removing localized fat under the skin. They are divided into two groups:

the area is slowly chilled. Treatments last one hour and patients experience minimal to no discomfort.  Non-surgical “liposuction” that uses ultrasound or lasers to melt and liquefy fat cells. One of the most popular is Zerona, which uses a cool laser to melt fat. It has been featured on TV, first on The Doctors, followed by The Dr. Oz Show, where Oz himself gave it his seal of approval last year, calling it a “miracle procedure.” And we all know what happens once Oz says something works. His face is also prominently displayed on the Zerona website. COOLSCULPTING

Plastic surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Rockmore, of the Plastic Surgery Group in Albany, has been using Coolsculpting since it first came out a few years ago. He says it’s an attractive option for his patients for many reasons:  The cost. While liposuction usually starts around $10,000, Coolsculpting costs around $1,500, depending on the areas that need treatment. In many cases, additional treatments may be needed to reach desired results.  Time. Since it takes an hour, a patient can come in during lunch or after work. “While the treatment is being done, the patient sits in a chair, either reading or watching a movie,” he says. “Some even nap.”  Recovery: There is none. Most of his patients leave his office and return to normal activities.  No anesthesia.  No incision.  Minimal risk of skin injury. Rockmore explains that Coolsculpting currently is only FDA-approved for removing fat from the torso — abdomen, flanks, back, thighs — but he can see a time when it will be expanded to remove fat from other areas, including the arms. And if you are expecting instant results, Coolsculpting is not for you. It takes three to six months for the body to metabolize and excrete the frozen fat cells. And although the fat cells are eliminated, patients must eat a healthy diet and exercise to keep the results. “People have to do their research,” Rockmore cautions. “With liposuction, although the cost is higher and it requires surgery and recovery time, we can remove more fat, do more of an area, and the results are quicker and more dramatic.” With Coolsculpting, although he says the results are impressive, only about 20 to 25 percent of the fat cells in the treated area will freeze; additional sessions are usually required. ZERONA

Dr. William I. Anyaegbunam of Complete Women’s Care of Clifton Park has been using Zerona for a few years. He’s an OB/GYN whose patients are always looking for ways to rid their bodies of baby weight. “Basically, it helps women — and men — reduce inches from their waist, thighs and hips,” Anyaegbunam says. “It is a cold laser that penetrates the skin and punctures holes in the fat cells. These punctures cause the fat to slowly leak

out and leave the body over time. It does not destroy the fat cell.” He likens it to a balloon: Prick it with a few tiny holes and the balloon collapses. He stresses that if patients eat or drink too much and don’t exercise following the procedures, those fat cells can plump right back up. Most patients see a difference after two weeks. And although reported results say some patients have lost 20 inches, Anyaegbunam says the majority of his patients lose between 3 to 11 inches, which usually translates into a dress size. In most cases there is not a drastic drop in weight. And the patients with the greatest results are those who drink lots of water to flush the fat away, maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly. COOLSCULPTING is a relatively low-cost, quick alternative to liposuction, with no recovery time required.

The machine looks like an octopus, with four laser “tentacles” that circle over the patient, who is lying down during the procedure. Each session takes 40 minutes, and most of his patients come after work and head home following treatment. There is no downtime, no scarring, no incision, no anesthesia, and the patient feels nothing. He recommends six treatments for $2,000, and if needed, a series of three additional treatments for $500. Although the FDA has approved Zerona for use on the torso, Anyaegbunam says it is not uncommon for his patients to lose inches all over their bodies, just as they would if they were dieting and exercising. “We are not sure why this happens, but the thinking is that fat cells communicate with each other,” he says. “So if one fat cell is shrinking, it will communicate with other fat cells and they begin shrinking, too. Obviously, more research has to be done.”  HL Got cellulite? Read more on page 35 



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your body

continued from page 33

Photo: Nikola Miljkovic/GettyImages.

Non-invasive Cellulite Busters Upward of 80 percent of women have it, and most of us want to get rid of it. It’s cellulite, the prominent appearance of fats near the surface of the skin, causing dimpling often described as resembling “cottage cheese.” Cellulite can usually be seen on parts of the body that have thicker layers of fat such as the hips, buttocks, stomach, arms and legs. Eating healthy, low-fat foods such as fruits, vegetables, and plenty of fiber can help women decrease cellulite. Exercising regularly, maintaining an optimal weight, and reducing stress are recommended to diminish cellulite. But when a healthy lifestyle isn’t enough to fight those stubborn pockets of fat, don’t despair. Some new treatments offer help. Dr. Sanjiv Kayastha, a plastic surgeon at The Albany Laser & Vein Center and K Plastic Surgery, offers a new cellulite treatment called Cellulaze. Cellulaze bills itself as the only method on the market to attack the structural problems beneath the skin that cause cellulite. This minimally invasive anti-cellulite treatment has been clinically proven to increase the skin’s natural thickness for a smoother appearance. Cellulaze also targets fibrous bands beneath the skin that cause dimpling. First, the physician maps the areas of cellulite to be treated with a marker. Then, he makes a

couple of tiny incisions about the size of the tip of a pen. While local anesthesia or numbing solution is used, you’ll be awake during the procedure. The Cellulaze laser fiber is then threaded through a very small tube (or cannula) and inserted through the incision site. The entire procedure can last from 1 to 3 hours, depending on how the size of the areas being treated. The laser fiber is used to level out bumps of fat, treat dimples by releasing the fibrous bands that pull down on the skin, and heat the skin to stimulate collagen production to increase the skin’s depth and elasticity for a smoother look. “Cellulaze is an effective,

one time treatment with long lasting results,” Kayastha says. Typically, one Cellulaze treatment is all that’s needed. But the price tag is steep: Treatments start at $3,000 for a smaller area and go up from there. “I like to offer my patients the latest technologies, but I’m careful to offer only procedures that work and have lasting results,” Kayastha says. Will today’s treatments banish cellulite forever? Sadly, that miracle cure hasn’t yet been discovered. “Nothing is perfect, but when you have cellulite,” Kayastha says, “any improvement is great.” — Cari Scribner

Want to find out about creams that can help battle cellulite? Go online to


true or false?

Debunking Fat Myths compiled by rebecca haynes


mericans are obsessed with fat — particularly how much of it we have on our bodies and how we can get rid of it. We’re bombarded with “facts” on the subject. So HealthyLife decided to look at some of what we’ve heard over the years about fat, then research whether it’s true — or not. Read on to see what we discovered.

our pool of fat cells increases through childhood and adolescence and levels off as an adult — then doesn’t change. The number of fat cells we end up with does seem to be linked to our genetics.

Fat cells serve a biological purpose. TRUE: The main role of fat cells

is to store energy, cushion major organs and insulate the body. They also produce hormones and secrete a variety of substances that are important for metabolism. But when the cells are larger, they secrete these substances at higher levels, which can cause health problems related to obesity: diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, liver disease and certain types of cancer.

Losing weight doesn’t eliminate fat cells; it just makes them smaller. TRUE: When you lose weight the

amount of fat being stored in the cell decreases. And although recent research has proven that fat cells do die, they are replenished at the same rate so their numbers stay the same. Surgery and liposuction can remove fat cells, but researchers disagree over whether your body regenerates them to maintain your body’s “normal” level.

If you cut way back on your calorie intake you’ll shrink fat cells and lose weight. FALSE: When you don’t eat enough calories to maintain basic functions your body goes into “starvation”



mode and will try to hoard away even more in your fat cells the next time you eat. Studies have shown that people who eat three meals a day generally keep metabolism on track and are less likely to over-eat.

You can’t target one area of your body for shrinking the fat. TRUE: Despite every promise you see to the contrary, your body burns stored fat everywhere, not from one specific place.

Eating fatty foods is more likely to make you fat.

FALSE: Fat comes from calories. So if you eat too many calories, whether it’s in a big salad or a big burger, you’ll gain weight. The caveat is that there are generally more calories in high-fat foods, so it takes smaller servings of them to eat a higher number of calories.

You can’t be healthy if you’re overweight.

FALSE: People can be fit,

physically, and still carry excess body fat. HL Sources: New York Times, Johns Hopkins Health Alerts, ScienceBlogs, Fit Day, Mayo Clinic.

Photo: saluha/GettyImages.

We are born with a set number of fat cells that never changes. FALSE: Researchers have found that

➺ Lighten up! You

Photo: pidjoe/GettyImages.

can be your own worst critic. Learn to be less hard on yourself and don’t be so rigid with your rules.

mind Ask Emma 39 Help Your Kids Be Bullyproof 40  Living Within Your Means 44


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Just Do It some risk-taking can make you happier by emma tennant

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’ll be driving on the highway and every now and then some guy on a motorcycle — no helmet, T-shirt flapping — will blast by, zigzagging out of sight. This last weekend, the guy was wearing a pair of sunglasses and an equally helmetless blond girlfriend hanging on for dear life — one arm around his waist, the other trying to hold up her jeans. “Idiot,” I said, and then found myself drifting toward the slow lane and dropping my own speed by about 10 miles an hour. Does this guy have no idea what happens to unhelmeted girlfriends who hit stationary cars or concrete guardrails at 80 miles an hour? While I do understand that young men — and this is true — have an entirely different brain than middle-aged women psychotherapists, I also understand in a way that Captain Invincible and his girlfriend do not that there are downsides to risk. Your odds of living a long and healthy life diminish substantially if you ride a motorcycle without a helmet at that speed. At least he’s in charge of the machine, I thought. “She must be brainless, or soon will be” was my conclusion, as I pulled into my comfortable, safe driveway. Thing is, though, I also know that — assuming they arrived at their destination — Mr. and Mrs. Invincible’s excursion was a lot more enjoyable than mine. They were having fun. I was merely traveling. The truth is that studies have shown that people who take risks tend to rate themselves as happier. Or to be more specific, the more curious people are — the more willing they are to eat raw octopus or attend post-modernist operas — the more likely they are to have a greater sense of personal agency, to find life richer and more colorful, and find it easier to get themselves out of ruts. It makes sense when you think about it — the willingness to take risk and live with a bit of anxiety is necessary if you want to keep learning and discovering the world. As we get older, this gets harder to do. As we surround ourselves with comfort and familiarity, we lose the sense of adventure that makes life interesting. As I write this I think of my patient Tim. We go back a long way. Tim lived with his father until his father’s death, and then came into therapy and I became his “father,” in the sense that I’m a replacement for this old relationship even though I’m a woman. He lives alone. He has worked for the same accounting firm since he left college. One day, about seven years ago, I said, “Get a dog.” I don’t know where it came from, but I think I just couldn’t stand that nothing was happening. There was no relation-

ship going on. So, the conversation started. “It will cost too much. What if it gets run over by a car? How do I get rid of it if I don’t like it? They are dirty. Should I take a class in how to take care of a dog?” This conversation went on for years until a neighbor got ill and asked Tim if he’d be willing to adopt his dog, Mulligan. “No,” Tim said to the neighbor, and then came into my office to explain to me that he was proud of his decision to say no because Mulligan was the wrong kind of dog. I try not to get angry with my patients. But every now and then you just have to let your feelings fly and I said, “What happens to Mulligan if you don’t take him.” Silence. “I’ll tell you what happens to Mulligan,” I went on. “He goes to the pound.” Silence. “You’ve been talking about getting a dog for seven years, and now one is handed to you on a platter and it’s the wrong damn dog?” “I’m not ready.” “I see,” I said. “So Mulligan dies because you are not ready.” Yes, it is true. I pushed Tim into it. But I didn’t do it unthinkingly. I knew that his risk-averse nature was such that he could only imagine the worst outcomes of change — and was unable to conceive of a richer life, one with a companion, one with love. The story ends happily. Tim took Mulligan. He was mad at me, particularly when Mulligan spent the first weeks hiding in the spare bedroom. But eventually, dogs being dogs, the two bonded and the give and take of love — feeding, being met at the door by a joyous housemate — has opened up new vistas of self-satisfaction for Tim, and more importantly, greater emotional risks with others. I leave you with this final thought. Another patient, Melissa, like Tim, lives alone. She worries about money. People “are hateful,” she says. “OK,” I say. “I’m going nowhere,” she says. And I wait. I wait for the moment when she says, “There’s a woman I work with who is taking a karate class.” Great, I think to myself, now we can really get started. 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@ Inquiries will be treated with confidentiality.


your kids

Bullying … how to combat its destructive effects


ullying isn’t new. But thankfully, it’s no longer viewed as a rite of passage and kids just being kids. Julie Hertzog, director of the Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights’ National Bullying Prevention Center, puts bullying into perspective: “We know how destructive it is, and the research is telling us that bullies are skewing younger. … Add cyber bullying and the evolution of social media to the mix and everyone began to understand that how we were handling bullying was not working and that we had to take action with new approaches.” Hertzog says the emphasis today is on prevention, working with kids as young as preschool to begin teaching ways to build healthy relationships. It is equally important to engage communities to work together, taking a more collaborative approach to eradicating the issue, which is the goal of National Bullying Prevention Month in October. So how does bullying affect kids? Hertzog says three ways: Their feelings about school, their health and their safety. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, each day about 160,000 students in the United States refuse to go to school because they dread the physical and verbal aggression of their peers. But there’s more:



 6 out of 10 American young people witness bullying at least once a day.  1 out of 10 students drop out or change schools because of repeated bullying.  More than half of adolescents and teens have been bullied online, and about the same number have engaged in cyber bullying.  More than 1 in 3 kids of middle and high school age has experienced cyber threats online.  A recent Yale School of Medicine study reports a strong connection between bullying, being bullied and suicide, called bullycide. The same study says suicide rates among adolescents have grown more than 50 percent in the past 30 years.  Approximately 25 percent of school bullies will be convicted of a criminal offense in their adult years.  Adult bullies were often bullies — or bullied — as children. “School is an environment where every child should feel safe and protected,” Hertzog says. “When a child is bullied, there are repercussions that often follow, such as depression, anxiety, kids cutting themselves or having eating disorders. Too many people never make that connection. And 95 percent of school shooters were kids who were bullied.”

Photo: 1MoreCreative/GettyImages.

by valerie foster

Signs a child is being bullied


Bullying is a term that is often used incorrectly. Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. It has to be repetitive and make someone feel unsafe or uncomfortable because of the action of someone else. Repetition is key. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, bullying includes making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. Kids having arguments and calling each other names might not be nice, but if it happens once, it’s not bullying. And one more misconception: Boys do not bully more than girls. “I hate to generalize, but boys are often very physical and rough, so their bullying is more apparent,” says Caitlin Appleby, a prevention educator at The Addictions Care Center of Albany. “Girls sometimes are physical, but in most cases it’s emotional and social bullying, often manipulating relationships.” ACCA works in the schools, starting with its Step to Respect program that teaches students to recognize, refuse and report bullying, be assertive and build friendships. “Kindergartners know they should not be throwing a toy at a friend, so our goal is to nip that behavior at an early age,” Appleby says. ACCA’s Second Step program is geared to middle school students, who learn the skills to make good choices and stay engaged in school, with the goal of decreasing aggression, bullying and substance abuse. A third program, Too Good for Violence, helps students in high school develop skills for conflict resolution, anger management, respect for self and others and effective communication. “If a child bullies, and that pattern continues, then the child is prone to experimenting with drugs and alcohol,” Appleby adds. “And if a child is bullied, if everyone is drinking or smoking marijuana, the child will often go along just to fit in.” Last July, the New York State Dignity for All Students Act was passed, which mandates a bullying coordinator be placed in each school. “The act provided uniform procedures across New York State for boards of education to develop guidelines and policies to create schools free from discrimination or harassment,” says Angelina Bergin, Ph.D., director of personnel development for the Saratoga Springs school district. “It also serves as an avenue to raise awareness and training for all school employees and students.” Children in the Saratoga Schools, for instance, are instructed in expected and appropriate behavior throughout the school year. In addition, presentations on anti-bullying, positive behavior and character are also given. Parents are brought into the mix through evening presentations, and the system’s Parent University has sponsored workshops that focus on the impact of bullying and how to address bullying with children. “Inappropriate behavior, bullying, harassment are situations that need to be discussed, taught and re-taught throughout the year,” Bergin adds. “We work hard to make connections in our curriculum to help support a tolerant bully-free environment. We believe it is important to have a positive connection with our students and parents so concerns may be shared and addressed as quickly as possible.” HL For steps to take if your child is the victim of bullying, turn to page 43 

 Unexplainable injuries  Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics or jewelry  Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness  Changes in eating habits — suddenly skipping meals or binge eating (kids may come home from school hungry because they did not eat lunch)  Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares  Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork or not wanting to go to school  Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations  Feelings of helplessness or decreased self-esteem  Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, harming themselves or talking about suicide

Signs a child is bullying others  Gets into physical or verbal fights  Has friends who bully others  Is increasingly aggressive  Gets sent to the principal’s office or to detention frequently  Has unexplained extra money or new belongings  Blames others for problems  Doesn’t accept responsibility for actions  Is competitive and worries about reputation or popularity — U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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your kids

continued from page 41

Advice for parents The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has three steps for parents to take if their child is the target of bullying.

 Work with

your child.

 First, thank the child for coming to you, emphasizing that it is not the child’s fault.  Then ask these question: Who is doing the bullying? Is it verbal, physical or cyber bullying? What days and times were you bullied? Where did it take place? How did you respond? Did other children or adults witness the bullying and does the child know the names of these people?  Write all this information down.

For information on National Bullying Prevention Month, visit

 Work with

Photo: Katrina Wittkamp/GettyImages.

the school.

 Be sure you understand the school’s written policy on bullying and harassment.  Meet with the child’s teacher to discuss everything you learned from your child and ask what will be done to keep your child safe at school and on the school bus. Keep a written record of this meeting.  Meet with the principal to discuss the bullying situation and the meeting you had with the teacher. Mention how the bullying is affecting your child physically and if the child is having reservations about attending school.

 Work with the district administration if the previous steps did not bring results.

 Write a letter or e-mail to the district superintendent requesting a meeting to discuss the situation. Include name of child, age, grade, school, your address and phone number, background information of the bullying situation and how you have tried to resolve

it. Keep the letter brief and factual and include the times you are available for this meeting.  Send copies of this letter to the principal, special education director (if child is receiving special education) and chair of the school board. Be sure to keep a copy for yourself.  Prepare for this meeting by organizing the information you have kept and the questions you want to ask. Remember to ask what can be done to keep your child safe in school so the child can learn.  If you want to take people with you, clarify their roles: take notes, provide support, contribute information about your child. Keep a written record of this meeting, including who was present, what was discussed and any decisions that were made.

 If the bullying has not been resolved after these steps, contact a parent center or advocacy organization for help.


wealth health

Do You Have a Debt Problem?

Living Within

Your Means tips for creating a debt-free life by elizabeth floyd mair


chenectady resident Barbara Karl (not her real name), 58, owes $15,000 to $20,000 in personal debt to family and friends. She works part-time in retail sales and lives paycheck to paycheck. She is rooming with a friend while looking for a better-paying job that would allow her to start chipping away at the personal debt. She also owes another $60,000 in student loans. “I didn’t borrow $60,000,” she says. “A lot of that is late fees and penalties.” When her car broke down recently, she needed to get it fixed in order to get to the job that doesn’t pay her enough. So she borrowed a little more. She has begun to suffer from mi-



graines, and she has no health insurance. As for the student loans, she simply avoids thinking about them. “It’s kind of like Mount Everest. It’s there, but I don’t plan on climbing it.” While Karl’s story sounds extreme, it can be easy to get in over our heads, particularly in an economy where the prices of basics are rising and many people are unemployed or underemployed. Clare Mertz, an executive vice president with Capital Financial Planning in Albany, says that credit cards are one way many begin to run into trouble. “It can sometimes be difficult for people to distinguish between things that they want and things that they need. Rather than save toward some-

Signs that you may be living beyond your paycheck are myriad, traditional finance wisdom holds. Here are a few signs that may suggest you have a cash-flow problem.

 Large credit card debt. Generally

you should be able to pay off your credit card debt each month.

 You can’t pay monthly mort-

gage and/or utility payments.

 Lack of an emergency fund. How

much to have put aside depends on the risk level you’re comfortable with. Clare Mertz, executive vice president of Capital Financial Planning, says an emergency fund of several months’ worth of expenses — think 3 to 6 months — may help alleviate periods of financial stress.

 Your solution to a credit crunch is to apply for another credit card. For simplicity, Mertz suggests having a few credit cards that you can easily monitor rather than one for every store you frequent. Limiting the number of cards can help keep spending in check and payments on schedule.

 You regularly need to choose

between paying one bill over another. A slow or late payment history — as well as having a number of items in collections due to lack of payment — can negatively affect your credit rating, Mertz says.

Getting Started Want to scale back but not sure where to start? Clare Mertz, executive vice president of Capital Financial Planning, offers these tips.  Wait 48 hours before making a non-essential purchase. This delayed response may reduce the impulse to overspend.  Be aware of the difference between a “want” and a “need.” Make a list of wants, and consider how you might work toward them through savings or perhaps a part-time job.  Write down everything you spend for a week to raise awareness of where the money actually goes. Make adjustments to wasteful spending.  Pay yourself first and contribute to savings and retirement. One easy way to do this is to set it up automatically from your paycheck. If you don’t bring it home, you can’t spend it and you likely won’t miss it.  Create a budget and stick to it.

Photos: GettyImages. Cutting card, Tuomas Marttila; Clothing, Michael Blann.

 Don’t go into a state of complete deprivation. Just like a crash diet, this kind of behavior is hard

to maintain over time. Consider relatively inexpensive ways to reward yourself and keep those rewards to a periodic basis.  Go through your own closet. You may find treasures you have forgotten about.  Buy classic clothes and pair them with on-trend accessories. Classics don’t go out of style.  Find a good tailor and alter good clothes rather than getting rid of them.  Go to the library instead of the bookstore; make coffee at home instead of stopping for a $5 cup every day; visit discount or consignment shops that may enable you to obtain fashionable items at greatly reduced rates; make dining out a treat rather than a habit (you will likely lose weight, too!); bring your lunch to work.  Be mindful of your credit score. Get your credit report and see what your credit score is. Poor credit can make a difference in the rate you pay for loans such as mortgages, cars, and other major purchases. Pay bills on time.

thing, which can take a while, the item can be obtained quickly (or even instantly) through the use of credit cards or financing arrangements,” she says. When this sort of instant-gratification behavior becomes habitual, she says, it’s easy to find yourself “in significant debt.” That’s especially true if the card is not paid off each month. Finance charges can add up quickly, Mertz says, and when only the minimum payments are made, the problem exacerbates. She notes that in many cases, when only minimum payments are made, finance charges are assessed to the remaining balance. You can end up paying a lot more over time, she says, if you don’t attempt to significantly reduce the balance owed. Linda Descano, president and CEO of Women & Co., Citi’s personal financial resource for women, suggests

people imagine life pre-credit cards when trying to stay on financial track. “[The answer] for our parents and grandparents,” she says, “was only spending what you earned” — hopefully while leaving some wiggle room for unexpected events, such as a leaky roof. “But as we added credit cards to our wallets,” Descano says, “the notion of ‘living within your means’ somehow morphed, at least for some, into ‘living within your available credit limit.’” However, many people got a financial wakeup call after years of living beyond their means, Descano says. “We’ve seen many families returning to their ‘retro’ definition of living within your means to regain their financial footing.” Too much month at the end of the money is often a symptom of something besides economics, according to

 Go through your own closet. You may find treasures you’ve forgotten about.

Kim Pentecost, an intuitive coach and healer who regularly teaches workshops at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck. In order to scale back and get your financial house in order, Pentecost says it’s important to understand why you overspend. She says overspending often comes from three different sources: • Trying to make up for something that is missing in our lives, usually love. • Trying to be “good enough” or gain status by having more things, a bigger home, etc. • Anger, manifesting as overspending, can be a way of punishing ourselves or someone else. To better understand their relationship with money, Pentecost suggests people who habitually find themselves in financial trouble (see sidebar) consider psychotherapy, intuitive healing, or working with a financial coach.  HL


November 13, 2013

5:30-7:00pm Desmond Hotel and Conference Center

Celebrate our region’s abundance of excellence as we bring together the business community along with years of distinguished “Women of Excellence” award recipients. A great opportunity to network with accomplished professionals and see where the journey has brought many of the women who have been honored over the past 22 years. Join us for a cocktail reception and a brief program. All are welcome!

To register, visit or call 518.431.1400.

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Patron Sponsor:

Teal, Becker & Chiaramonte CPA’s, P.C.

➺ Top Tip: You have to

have a moderate balance. You can’t say ’I’m never going to eat dessert.’ I eat well 90 percent of the time, but 10 percent of the time I eat anything I want and as much as I want. — Cover model Dawn Abbuhl

Behind the Scenes Hair and makeup by Kimberley’s A Day Spa, Latham. Select clothing available at Boscov’s Clifton Park. At right: Blouse by One World, camisole by Architect, jeans by Calvin Klein, Ashley Madison jewelry. Photo taken by Suzanne Kawola at the Fort Orange Club in Albany. Established in 1880, the Fort Orange Club has a long history in the Capital Region and remains today a place of distinction, enjoyment and celebration. Visit for more. Visit 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.


My Word 49 Lost That Lovin’ Feeling? 51 25 Cheap Date Ideas 56 Cover Model Q&A 58


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my word

Breaking Up

... with the gym

by beth cooney

Photo: MorePixels/GettyImages.


never meant to quit the gym. Honest. And I suppose in order to completely believe that, you’ll just have to take my word that when it comes to fitness, I’ve never been a quitter. I’m the kind of person who would roll my eyes and insist there’s “no excuse” to anyone who dared to protest they were too busy, too stressed, too tired or too broke to work out. My mantra has always been where there’s a will — and a pair of size 27 skinny jeans that needs zipping — there’s a fitness way. So my unceremonious departure from the gym, like most cases of acute appendicitis, was completely unplanned. On a sunny June morning, more than two years ago, I started my day with a Zumba class and ended it being wheeled on a gurney into an operating room pumped up with painkillers. Having your appendix out, as contemporary surgeries go, isn’t a big deal. Sure, your scar-free bikini days are officially over, but most people are walking around their hospital rooms in 24 hours. In my case though, complications arose. My digestive system struggled to recover from the insult of abdominal surgery and for weeks afterwards, I was pathetically sick and weak. I just wasn’t in the mindset for Pilates, Bodypump, Spinning or Zumba. Besides, the sun was shining and my kids were on school vacation. So I called my gym and put my membership of 17 years (I told you I was devoted!) on hold. I told the front desk staff I expected to be back in September. And I meant it. Meanwhile, to gently rebuild my stamina, I started to walk. And a funny thing happened as I paced the hilly streets around my neighborhood. Even though I would have predicted I’d be lying on the bed by the end of the summer in a tugof-war with the zipper on my favorite jeans, I actually dropped a few pounds. My legs toned up. People told me I looked good. Even better, I saved some cash — 90 bucks a month on gym dues and more on gas. I began to love the new gymfree rhythm of my days. I booked play dates on street corners and picked up milk at the gas station convenience mart on my route. I no longer needed to rush off to a class that

began at 9 a.m. sharp, often forgetting to pack clean underwear in my gym bag. Nor did I have to listen to the hotto-trot singleton jabbering about her bad date on the next Spin bike. And while I missed my gym buddies, some of whom I’d known and loved for years, I formed an equally social walking posse. My pedestrian companions included the cutest dogs on the block — Edie (a pug) and the mutt Vader (short for Darth) — and a bunch of fitness-minded members of my mom squad. The most regular among them was a recently unemployed friend who, like me, was freelancing from home as she figured out her next step. September came — and went — and I had no urge to go back to the gym. I figured I’d return in late fall, when it got cold, but the winter of 2011-12 was fairly mild. I decided to keep saving on gym dues and invest in new sneakers. And I kept walking, because, well, my jeans still fit. Then something unexpected happened on my new fitness path. My most reliable walking buddy got a great job and although she tried to negotiate a flexible schedule (so she could walk) it hasn’t quite worked out that way for her, me, or Vader. More and more, I had to step out solo. I began to realize what moves me to elevate my heart rate are social interactions. Walking alone (even with an iPod blasting vintage Madonna) just isn’t the same. We all have fitness personalities and mine seems to revolve around aerobically bonding. Our recent winter, with its 38 inches of snow piled along the streets of my neighborhood, didn’t help. My route felt more treacherous. I walked less often. I started to fight with the zipper on my jeans. And then I saw my arms in one of those cruel three-way fitting room mirrors. Walking just doesn’t keep the guns from going flabby. Recently I was sitting in the bleachers at one of my son’s games when an old gym buddy, still flush from her workout, told us about a new class she had just taken. It’s called Bowka and while it sounds a little kooky (it has something to do with writing cursive letters with your feet) I was intrigued. We made a date to meet at the gym. HL





Concerned About Allergies?


COME TO T HE FR E E S E MIN A R THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2013 | 5–7 PM The Desmond, 660 Albany Shaker Rd., Albany

Food allergies afflict one in 25 adults, and nearly one in 20 children under the age of 5. Meanwhile, more than 3 million Americans have celiac disease, an inherited autoimmune disorder that impairs the digestive process when the body reacts to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Join Albany Med’s specialists as they discuss ways to cope with


Kirsi Jarvinen-Seppo, MD, PhD

latest treatments available.

Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics Allergy and Asthma Center Albany Medical Center

5-6 PM Networking/Informational Session:

Cary Qualia, MD

food allergies and celiac disease, from eating options to the

Get up-to-date health information by visiting a variety of al Center’s informational booths. Albany Medical

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Pediatric Gastroenterology Albany Medical Center

ents served. Light refreshments

Get a preview iew of the seminar minar on NewsChannel el 13 with Benita Zahn hn 5 PM on Sept. 24


Girlfriends’ Spa Getaway at Cranwell (value $700) (Must be present to win)

Seating is limited. Register at:

Benita Zahn, NewsChannel sChannel 13

Anchor and Health Reporter

Questions, call 518-944-3851

love connection

Lost that

Lovin’ Feeling? Photo: Strawberry Mood Photography/GettyImages.

10 tips to recapture the romance by merci miglino


rom all outward appearances Diana and her husband Fred look like many other couples in Ballston Lake. Married for 40 years, with a house, two dogs, aging parents, grown children and a half-dozen grandchildren, they have a full and busy life. So when asked if she is still in love and if the spark is still there with her husband and childhood sweetheart, Diana answers without hesitation: “No.” “We used to do things together,” says Diana, a petite blond who looks younger than her 58 years. “We’d take a ride, go antiquing, find new restaurants to discover. But now, we’re either too tired or busy, or my husband complains that his legs hurt, or he has to use the restroom every 20 minutes; hardly the stuff of romance, and not the way we fell in love in the first place.” While Diana’s name has been changed, her situation is not likely to, unless she and her husband start paying more attention to their marriage. “If you were in love at one time, you have the basis to fall back in love again,”

says Mo Therese Hannah, professor of psychology at Siena College, who has been counseling couples for more than 20 years. If your intention is to love your partner to the best of your ability, to give your partner what you can, ask for what you need and eliminate criticism, you can probably have a good relationship. “If you don’t do those things — and you don’t have to do all those things all the time — it’s sort of like tending a garden. Your garden isn’t going to be beautiful all by itself. You have to water it. You have to make sure it has the right kind of soil, etc. This is even more true in human relationships because they can be more complex than growing a garden,” says Hannah. SUNY Albany professor Mary Valentis agrees, adding that a relationship can never really remain the same since “that first stage of romantic love is really infatuation, which can last a night or two years. What’s left behind once the chemical reaction wears off,” says Valentis, “can be a passionate and incredible friendship … and a sense of falling back in love.” With this in mind, we asked local experts for their best tips on how to fall back in love. continued on page 52 


continued from page 51


Do The Things You Used to Do.

Go back to the very first stages of romance and recall the things you had in common, the things you like to do together, says Valentis, co-author of Romantic Intelligence: How to be as Smart in Love as You are in Life. “My husband and I often visit The Clark Institute and the restaurant where we had our first date, and that always fans the sparks,” say Valentis, who also serves as director of the Center for Humanities, Arts, and TechnoScience at SUNY Albany.


Know What You Need.

The first thing Marjorie Gross, an Albany holistic counselor, does when she meets with couples is to have them evaluate what’s important in a relationship. “How much of what they want are they getting? What are the things that they’re not getting that they want? And then I also tell them to take a look themselves. Frequently, we look to our partners to provide everything for us. And that’s not possible.”


Make a Lovable List.

“Think of all the things you find lovable about your partner today. And then read them to each other,” says Valentis, “to re-engage the spark of your emotional connection.” It’s important that you remember why you fell in love in the first place. “What we need as an individual and as couple changes over time,” says Valentis, who also co-authored Brave New You. “What we thought we loved about someone may not be relevant any longer, so look at what is lovable now.”


Have a Bed-In.

“Agree to spend the whole day in bed with each other,” says Valentis. “Go unplugged and get to know each other again and get reacquainted with your sexual and emotional selves.” “Maintaining intimacy and closeness takes work,” says Arlene Lev, a social and family therapist and founder and clinical director of Choices Counseling and Consulting in Albany. “Many people hate hearing that, believing these things should happen spontaneously. Setting aside time to talk, to be close, and, yes, to share sexual intimacy is important to long-term couple satisfaction.”


Be Open to Dancing and Sports.

You can also find new ways to share and experience each other’s interests. “Watch sports with your spouse and be open to learning what it is he or she finds so exciting or pleasurable about it,” recommends Valentis. “Try ballroom dancing!” suggests Tara Ellsworth who recently opened Sunshine Ballroom in Ballston Spa. “Dancing connects you on a whole different level,” she adds. “By holding your significant other close in your arms while looking into their beautiful eyes, you can be reminded of why you fell in love in the first place.”



Photos: GettyImages. Dancing, PhotoInc; In bed, moodboard; Love you, Tom And Steve; Siteseeing, Hybrid Images.

love connection


Think Small Surprises.

“Break out of the routine,” says Valentis, “by leaving little love notes on the refrigerator or on each other’s pillow. The thoughtfulness of such small gestures can make a big difference in how you feel about the relationship.” “Share with each other what makes you feel loving toward your partner,” adds Hannah. “Everyone has their own list — then when your partner does these little things on your list they are expressing their love and care, and you feel it too!” Hannah is not talking about chores or having sex. She is referring to “intentional, caring behaviors” that demonstrate concern such as sensitivity, comforting, attentive listening, honesty, and nonjudgmental acceptance.


boyfriend and sit at opposite ends and pretend you don’t know each other and let him pick you up or rent a hotel room — something that’s outside the box from what you’re accustomed to,” explains Gross. “We need to re-invite the unknown, the unfamiliar and the ‘scary’ element back into a relationship.”


Don’t Wait Too Long to Seek Help.

When people come to therapy, too often “the last nail is about to be nailed into the coffin,” says Hannah. “There’s a window of opportunity during which you can repair the marriage, during which you can rekindle that love. You want to be able to rekindle something that’s still alive, and do so before people do something almost irreparable like have an affair.”

Turn Toward the World and Each Other.

Hannah recommends that couples “turn toward” each other, noticing and sharing everyday experiences with their partners. “For example,” says Hannah, “if you’re driving and you see this beautiful scenery and you say to your partner ‘Oh, look at that’ — that’s what’s called ‘turning toward.’” “What you are doing in this case is including your partner in your experience. This turning toward can help a relationship have a certain tone. And over a period of time that tone gets a chance to crystallize, to set. And couples have to work at it — but by work I don’t mean hard labor. It’s focused, it’s cognizant,” says Hannah.


Play Games.

“Typically the safety, comfort and familiarity that we feel with our partners is exactly what makes the attraction go down the drain,” says Gross. There is something very exciting and scary about that initial interaction between people when they are not quite sure what to expect. “So if what excites you is the idea of being picked up by a stranger, go out to a bar with your husband or


Don’t Give Up.

Gross offers this hopeful note to couples like Diana and her husband: “If there’s genuine love and respect, and the couple cares about one another, can identify what they want and communicate it to each other, it’s pretty much guaranteed success that they can light that spark again.” HL



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

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It’s a

Date! 1. Bond over booze and brushstrokes with a super laid-back, but very fun painting class at Saratoga Paint and Sip Studio. 2. From The Crossings in Colonie to Congress Park in Saratoga, there’s plenty of green grass around for you two to park your picnic basket. 3. Grab a good pair of hiking shoes, hit the road and explore the Indian Ladder Trail at Thacher Park together. 4. Head down to Hudson for antique shopping along Warren Street, dinner at Mexican Radio, then dessert at Swoon Kitchenbar. (One of the items on their menu at press time: brigadeiros and lemon ice cream with Brazilian chocolate caramel truffles. Swoon is right.) 5. Catch a double feature, ’50s-style, at the Malta DriveIn Theater for nine bucks. 6. Tour the many, many ice cream stands (or fro-yo spots) around



the area to find your favorite one. 7. Give Broadway prices the boot and snap up $23 tickets for a show at the lovely Curtain Call Theatre in Latham. (During intermission, try the desserts downstairs, imported from J.S. Watkins of Clifton Park.) 8. Support each other — literally — with a rock climbing session. Admission is $12 each at A.I.R., Albany’s Indoor Rockgym. (Get lost in their indoor cave system, too.) At The Edge in Halfmoon, an adult day pass is also $12. 9. Play a little Albany/Capital Region Groupon roulette. Have one of you close your eyes and point to the screen, then purchase whatever discounted deal you land on and make use of your voucher ASAP. 10.  Relive your youth with some cotton candy and a ride on the Scrambler at Hoffman’s Playland. Bonus points for arcade time. 11. Open up and order

by melissa fiorenza

takeout from a place you’ve never eaten from before. Find out what drink pairs perfectly with your meal, and whip it up together. 12. Four words: Albany Aqua Ducks tour. 13. Unleash each other’s inner Top Chef by signing up for a cooking class at Different Drummer’s Kitchen (differentdrummerskitchen. com) or Spoon & Whisk ( 14. Bet who’s better at bowling; then take it to the lanes. Winner chooses dinner. 15. Get your education on with a history lesson or two. Make use of the New York State Museum in Albany (did you know admission is free?); then browse the fascinating exhibitions at the Albany Institute of History & Art ($10 for non-members). 16. Make gazing at the stars a little more interesting by shooting over to the Henry Hudson Planetarium in

Photos: Balloon, Eric Delmar/GettyImages; couple,Mark Bowden/GettyImages.


 ffordable date ideas a to shake things up and keep the fire burnin’

the Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center. On the third Saturday of every month at 1 p.m., they host an Albany Star Sighting program. 17. Take a winetasting class. 18. From Kevin James to Aziz Ansari, lots of great comics swing through the Capital Region. Check out who’s coming to The Egg, The Comedy Works, Palace Theatre and so on, and make a night of it.

19. Dress up, get out and listen to live jazz. 20. Ride up to Lake George for a little parasailing and beach walking. 21. Monopoly, Scrabble, Sorry. Pull out some old board games and get competitive. 22. Pick a cult TV show (old or new) neither of you has ever watched; then marathon the first season on a weekend when you have nothing else to do. (Our suggestions: 24, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Arrested Development, Homeland, Community)

23. Ever heard of geocaching? Now you have. Check out how this outdoor treasure hunt works at 24. Bike paths abound. Choose one and go for a ride together. 25. Go up, up and away in a hot air balloon. Complete with complimentary refreshments, digital pictures and ground transportation, a onehour private group balloon ride with Adirondack Balloon Flights ( runs $275 per person. (Slightly less affordable than the rest of this list, but worth it if Pixar’s Up is your thing.) HL

cover model q&a

up close with ... Dawn Abbuhl by brianna snyder  |  photo by suzanne kawola

What made you want to be a HealthyLife model? It’s good for people to know that even if you’re 51 you can still be healthy and take care of yourself and be completely happy with your life. What are some of the ways you live a healthy life? I try to work out a lot. I use the workout to balance things out, make sure I see my friends. We work out together and we support each other that way. You said you also do a lot of pro-bono psychology work with children. That must be hard work. I love it. It brings me joy. Whether it’s from my tech practice or psych, if I can help out, that’s how I’ve always lived my life. I try to give as much as I can.



What’s one thing you want to get done in the next year? My company started this thing — I did a team-building thing and asked everyone what was on their bucket list. We’re going to do one bucket-list thing for each person. I am so psyched about it. Wow. What kinds of things were on people’s lists? One person wanted to learn Italian. One person wanted to skydive. One person just wanted to have a credit card to just spend on. One person never took their wife on a honeymoon. … I’m going to do one thing [on the list] every year from now on. That’s really generous. I really couldn’t even believe it [when I saw everyone’s lists]. You learn things about people that you don’t expect. They all opened themselves up to share it with me and that meant a lot to me. What about you? What’s on your bucket list? I’ve been really fortunate to do a lot already. I went to Africa, New Zealand. ... I do a lot of Zumba and in Zumba you do a lot of salsa. So I want to learn how to salsa dance. And on my bucket list was to do these other bucket-list things for these people who work for me. I feel like I can surprise people and do something they’ll remember. A lot of people in my company have worked here for 10, 20 years. We have serious longevity in my company. They’re good people and they’re nice people. They work so hard and they do so much.  HL

Behind the Scenes Hair and makeup by Kimberley’s A Day Spa, Latham. Photo taken by Suzanne Kawola at the Fort Orange Club, Albany. Above: skirt by Premise, blouse by Kasper, scarf by Stripe Eternity. Select clothing available at Boscov’s Clifton Park. Visit 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.

‘Before’ photo by Colleen Ingerto.


n a house full of men who hunt, fish and run triathlons, Dawn Abbuhl has an adventurous and active life. She’s a child psychologist as well as the co-owner (with her husband) of a tech company, Repeat Business Systems, in Albany, which they’ve owned for more than 20 years. And when she’s not splitting time between her two careers, she’s working out or having dinner with friends and family. Abbuhl, 51, and her husband live in Slingerlands; her two sons — 19 and 23 — are off doing their thing, one in college in Maine, and the other working for a hunting and fishing magazine. We sat down for a chat with Abbuhl at the Fort Orange Club in Albany and asked her a few questions.

What she thought was carpal tunnel syndrome turned out to be a herniated cervical disc, a more serious condition diagnosed by our Neurosurgery and Neurology physicians. As a multidisciplinary practice, our team of specialists work together to provide a comprehensive diagnosis and customized treatment plan, all on site, and without the wait, for an unparalleled continuum of care. 1220 New Scotland Road, Slingerlands, NY




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Healthy Life September 2013  

HealthyLife magazine brings you a wide range of original content geared at living a balanced life to nourish your mind, body, and spirit.

Healthy Life September 2013  

HealthyLife magazine brings you a wide range of original content geared at living a balanced life to nourish your mind, body, and spirit.