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wellness january | february 2013

The Kansas City metro’s only comprehensive print and online magazine featuring health and wellness with a practical approach

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Ayurveda Treatment beyond the symptoms

Life Half Full:

One heart transplant survivor’s path to healing

NEW, NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS: The key to setting goals and making them stick

EXERCISE AND PREGNANCY Pre- and post-natal benefits to staying fit



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january | february 2013


january | february 2013



9 NEW, NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION Positive ways to make positive changes, and keep them, starting from within.

12 Seven Strategies for Smarter Shopping

28 LIFE HALF FULL After her heart transplant, survivor Beth Bale embraced life, and recovery, with a “half-full” approach.


Simple steps to making better buying decisions at the grocery store.

38 Complementary and Alternative Medicine More natural and less invasive procedures to boost health and wellness for Kansas Citians.

41 The Health Benefits of Chocolate Valentine’s Day is often celebrated with chocolate. Learn the benefits of this loved-ingredient and try new recipes with it.


EXERCISE AND PREGNANCY How staying fit during pregnancy can boost the health and wellness of baby before, and after, birth. 4 january | february 2013

A holistic approach that’s been evolving for centuries, Ayurvedic Medicine helps prevent and treat illness from the core.

15 Ask a Sex Therapist 17 This Year, Resolve to Stick with Resolutions 19 Five Must-Have Apps for 2013 20 Conquer your New Year’s Fitness Goals 22 Remake your Plate in the New Year 26 Dieting is for Dummies, and the Way of Kung Food


31 Heart-Healthy Yoga Poses


32 Post-Holiday Ways to Give the Gift of Life


33 Live Well and Retire Well 44 Bizz and Weezy: One Couple’s Love Story with Chocolate

in every issue

48 Babies and Broccoli 49 The One Thing All Successful People Do


Online news Editor’s letter

3 7

ON THE COVER This month, we shot our cover at Mosaic Life Care in Parkville, Mo. The fountain featured in the photo is titled “Aspire.” Whitney Shoults, DC (standing), grew up in the Kansas City area. She attended Johnson County Community College, Kansas State University and finished up at Cleveland Chiropractic College. Recently, Whitney finished a 200-hour yoga teacher training and is a certified teacher through Yoga Alliance. Her knowledge for movement not only has assisted her in her own practice, but has helped her educate her clients about their own body awareness. Maice Scott, DDS (at right), is a 200-hour Certified Yoga Instructor. She teaches at Yoga Sol in Columbia, Mo. She is also a pediatric dentist and practices at Columbia Dentistry for Children. Mandy Froehlich, MS (at left), is a certified personal trainer in Liberty at Anytime Fitness. She’s been in the fitness world teaching classes, taking classes and training one-on-one clients for more than a decade. She specializes in weight loss, corrective exercise and strength development for fat loss in women of all ages, shapes and sizes. january | february 2013


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Volume 2, Issue 1

Publisher Deb Ducrocq-Vaknin Editor In Chief Sarah Legg Contributors Janell Bartlett Jimmy Betts Gigi Cowell Chelsea Craig Bernadette Harrity Christine Kaya Hewitt Steve Hoover Rhonda Johnson Nicole Moodie Dianna Sini Mark Van Blaricum Jay Van Loenen Susan Ortbals Abby Van Ness Kristin Wark Eden Williams Maggie Young Whitney Shoults, DC Cartoonist Mark Litzler Photographer Casey Dobbins Cover Photographer Tap Photo Layout and Graphic Design BV Design Copyright 2013 Living Wellness, LLC Living Wellness Kansas City PO Box 8695 • Prairie Village, KS 66208 All content is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only, and is not intended to be used as a substitution for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All views expressed herein are solely those of the author and not Living Wellness, LLC or Living Wellness Kansas City. For editorial opportunities, please email resume and samples to For advertising information email


January/February 2013

New year, new beginnings In keeping with our goal of inspiring others toward personal wellness, this issue is all about starting something different. New beginnings mean something different to everyone. In this issue, we tried to cover the various ways in which one can start over. Nothing says new beginnings like a new baby. On page 45, we learn how a healthy life starts in the womb with exercise that can benefit a baby before birth. We all know exercise without a healthy diet is like yin without the yang and on page 48, writer Eden Williams shares one local mom’s secret to making healthy baby food while saving money. The obvious new beginning comes with the new year. Resolutions for lifestyle changes rarely stick after January. In this issue we have put together the best tips for better fitness, food and financial declarations that are attainable and easy to maintain. Whether it is starting to live a healthier lifestyle or beginning a new life altogether, we hope this issue inspires you to live your best in 2013. Happy New Year, Sarah Follow us on twitter:

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january | february 2013


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spiritual wellness january | february 2013 NEW, NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION

A NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION A positive way to make positive changes. WRITTEN BY Christine Kaya Hewitt, Integrative Healer and Owner of Healing Journeys

january | february 2013


spiritual wellness january | february 2013 NEW, NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION

Lose weight. Get in shape. Eat healthier.

may really be, ‘I’m disgusting and no one will ever want to touch me again.’ ‘I want to be around for my grandchildren’ may really be ‘I’m afraid of dying.’ The difference between these statements is very important. The underlying truth is fear and self-loathing is our true motivation. But fear is an ineffective motivator long-term. Here’s why. Lots of things can alleviate your fear other than reaching your goal. As long as you are distracted or content in the moment, the fear goes away, at least for the moment. Think about it, how many times have you watched TV instead of taking care of that thing hanging over your head? Instead of eating well, sleeping enough, taking your vitamins or working out, you might go out drinking, shopping, watch TV, have sex – even eat. If you can pacify the fear, suppress or drown it out, you will lose your motivation. Fear can also push you in the wrong direction. The anxiety of failure or being unlovable, which is a

These are the three most common

much bigger issue than the size you wear, is enough

New Year’s resolutions. And as many of us have

to trigger coping behaviors such as stress eating,

experienced, these goals often fall by the wayside

avoidance behavior or becoming discouraged because,

before we see any true results. Why is that? Why can’t

at heart, you don’t believe it is possible for you. Fear

we stick to these important life-improving goals?

also stimulates negative hormones like cortisol, which

For most of us the excitement of a new lifestyle full

both drain the body of energy and create depression

of promise fades far too quickly, long before making

after the initial adrenaline burst and causes weight

any lasting changes. I have found from my own failed

gain – it is your waistline’s enemy.

attempts and working with many clients over the past two decades the root cause of our failure lies in the true source of our resolutions: fear and self-hatred. So, what can we do? Fear is draining, fatiguing and ultimately unmotivating. What emotion can continue to inspire, ignite and motivate even in the most Why do we want to be thinner, fitter and healthier? As

To find the answer imagine you are in the desert,

why we want these things. What are the thoughts &

out of water, alone and lost. Which thought is going to

feelings behind these goals?

keep you going: ‘I’m going to die’ or ‘I want to live?’

It is valuable to look deeply and be as honest as we


frustrating or overwhelming moments?

important as having goals is, even more important is

Running away from something gets old, but running

can with ourselves. When we talk about our goals we

toward something you want has the power to inspire

can paint a pretty picture, but under it can be some

and ignite you over and over again. Desire and pleasure,

uncomfortable thoughts. ‘I want to get healthy & fit’

those are the best motivators. january | february 2013

spiritual wellness january | february 2013 NEW, NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION

To discover your positive motivations, take time to list all the wonderful things you might experience from taking better care of yourself.

As you connect with your positive desires, list your new goals. Reinforce them with an inspiration board – a fun and powerful tool. Try this at home: find pictures from magazines or

• How would you like to feel?

online of people, words and images that represent

• What would you like to be able to do?

your goals and desires for the life you want. Using a

• Visualize the possible future of being not just

poster board create a collage for you, about you. Add handwritten words, glitter, stickers – anything that

thinner, but healthier.

makes it exciting and emotionally inspiring for you. Then

• What would you do with your life if you weren’t limited by the way you feel physically or emotionally?

put your inspiration board up where you see it often. This year stop beating yourself up and

• Who do you want to be in the world? • How do you want to world to interact with you?

give yourself something amazing to work towards. Let

• What inspires you?

this truly be a NEW, New Year’s resolution.


Running away from something gets old, but running toward something you want has the power to inspire and ignite you over and over again. Desire and pleasure, those are the best motivators.

Truman Medical Centers’ corporate vision of leading the way to a healthy community is something we take very seriously. As a healthcare institution, our mission is to care for the sick. But our vision is to help our community members live in a healthy manner, so they are less likely to become sick. The community starts with our employees. Through our wellness programs, TMC employees and patients have the information, tools and support to help them be as healthy as they can be. And when our employees are healthy, it positively impacts our patients and the broader community. Find out more about Truman Medical Centers at 816-404-1000 or

Wellness without compromise.



Want to make better choices for your health at the grocery store? Do you somehow end up with a basket full of frozen dinners, unhealthy snacks and the same old standbys that may or may not be good for you? Try these simple tips for a smarter outcome.

1 DON’T GO HUNGRY Half the battle is won before you even head to the store. Everything and anything looks tasty when you are ravenously hungry. So have a satisfying snack or shop after you’ve had a meal to set yourself up for smarter choices.

2 MAKE A LIST When you are away from the marketing traps at the store, you can make a list of what you truly want and need. Going without a list makes you more susceptible to buying things you don’t want and could even cause you to forget to get some items you really need.

3 SHOP THE PERIMETER Most of the healthiest food choices are located around the perimeter of the store – fresh produce, fresh breads, dairy, meat and seafood. Once your basket is full of these healthy, whole foods, round out your choices with canned or dried beans, spices, vinegars, healthy oils, unsalted nuts, frozen fruits and veggies, and grains like brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal and 100 percent whole grain cereals. Limit the number of processed foods found in the center aisles such as soda, prepackaged cookies and snacks, and frozen dinners that tend to be high in sugar, salt, unhealthy fat and additives that can sabotage your goals.

12 january | february 2013


Health WRITTEN BY Bernadette Harrity, Certified Nutrition Specialist, AASDN

4 SEPARATE FACT FROM FICTION When buying packaged foods, disregard all of the info on the front of the package and go straight to the Nutrition Facts located on the side or back. This information is regulated, standardized and must stick to the facts. Treat everything else on the package as advertising information written to convince you to buy it – despite whether or not the facts support the claims.

5 REMEMBER THE 5/20 RULE When reading the Nutrition Facts, anything with a Percent Daily Value of 5 percent or less is not a significant source of that nutrient, whereas a value of 20 percent or greater is significant. Aim to maximize (20 percent or more) heart-healthy fiber and fat (i.e. unsaturated varieties) and minimize (5 percent or less) the amount of the four s’: sodium, sugar, saturated and trans fats.

6 KNOW YOURSELF You are more likely to stick with choices that work for you and your lifestyle. If you don’t like to cook, don’t plan on roasting a chicken from scratch. Buy a rotisserie chicken instead. Want to cook, but short on time? Buy items like chopped frozen onions, jarred minced garlic, pre-washed greens and chopped veggies to reduce cooking time.

7 SET A GOAL What is one thing you can do to make smarter choices on your next visit to the grocery store? Make a specific mini-goal for yourself, write it at the top of your list and prepare to shop your way to improved health.


january | february 2013


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ask a...

sex therapist

Am I doing something wrong? WRITTEN BY Rhonda Johnson, PhD

My boyfriend needs a lot of stimulation in order to reach orgasm. This is a good thing usually because we can have sex for 20-30 minutes easily and sometimes even up to an hour. The problem is that for as much stimulation as he requires he requires a lot of time to recover. If he doesn’t masturbate at all, we are lucky to be able to have sex once per day and if we have sex once per 24 hours more than two or so days in a row, we have trouble or he can’t orgasm. We’ve never been able to have sex more than once in a 24-hour period and sometimes it’s frustrating because we both want to, but we can’t. It’s most frustrating for me because I like to please him and I hate it when we have sex and he can’t reach stimulation because he hasn’t fully recovered from yesterday. It makes me feel like I’m doing something wrong. Any suggestions?

There are many reasons that your boyfriend may be experiencing delayed ejaculation. The first step toward resolving the problem should be an appointment with a medical doctor to determine if medication or organic problems are causing the difficulty. Likely one of the questions your boyfriend will be asked is whether he has the same difficulty ejaculating through any form of stimulation (such as wet dreams, masturbation or intercourse). If so, he will probably be referred to a urologist to determine if the problem has a physical cause. If medical or medication induced causes are ruled out then you and your boyfriend should talk to a sex therapist. Many people find working with a sex therapist is helpful even if the difficulty was medically-related, because it may have gone on long enough to negatively influence sexual interaction and lead to avoidance of intimacy, marital distress and sexual dissatisfaction by one or both partners. Treatment for delayed ejaculation is successful 70-80 percent of the time. You can find certified sex therapists on the website American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists KC

Please keep sending in your questions. january | february 2013


exercise more • spend time outdoors • visit family • be more patient

16 january | february 2013

celebrate success

enjoy each day • find financial wellness • eat a balanced diet

This Year Resolve to Stick with Resolutions


WRITTEN BY Mark Van Blaricum

A self-improvement project can start any day of the year, but no day screams “fresh start” like New Year’s Day. And so, many of us will make New Year’s resolutions to address our health, wealth or happiness, and only a handful of us will succeed. But many more resolutions will quietly fizzle out or be forgotten or abandoned before they even have a chance to yield the result we had in mind. With a little planning, we can avoid the pitfalls that derail our New Year’s plans. The clean slate New Year’s Day brings has us excited, so let’s learn Spanish, earn a promotion, lose weight and run a marathon this year. Great ideas, and if we pull all those off we might also earn a ‘Person of the Year’ award. But in reality, we’re just not wired to be able to tackle all those things at once without causing ourselves stress. A 2009 “Wall Street Journal” article examined the science behind New Year’s resolutions and reported the part of the brain that controls decision making and willpower, the prefrontal cortex, is already responsible for so many other things that dumping several new and potentially life-altering obligations on that “muscle” is like trying

So You Want to be Healthier? Because “I want to be healthier” is too general, this may help: so much of physical wellness depends on a balanced diet and physical activity, the guidelines below should be used as a tool kit for the development of a health-related New Year’s resolution. Targeting any combination of these guidelines will improve overall health beyond your wildest New Year’s Eve dreams. And when you’ve mastered one, no need to wait around for January 1, 2014. Make a Groundhog Day resolution to master another, a Mother’s Day resolution for yet another and so on until you’re so healthy you can move onto learning Spanish. The components of a balanced diet, according to the American Heart Association: • 4.5 cups of fruits and vegetables every day (that’s nine servings, get to five first) • Two 3.5-ounce servings of fish every week • Three 1-ounce servings of whole grains every day • Limiting sugary drinks (soda pop, juice, sweetened teas and coffees) to less than 36-ounces per week • Limiting sodium to less than 1500 milligrams per day The guideline for physical activity, according to the Centers for Disease Control: • 150 minutes of moderate aerobic or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity every week • Two sessions of strength training every weeks

january | february 2013


to bench press 400 pounds when your previous best is 200. Go wholeheartedly with one carefully thought out resolution to greatly improve your odds of success. Your prefrontal cortex will thank you. To resolve to make good on one and only one resolution, we must give it a chance and make it specific. “I hear ‘I want to be healthy’ and ‘I want to lose weight this year’ a lot, and those are noble goals,” says Bernadette Harrity, Director of Employee Wellness at Truman Medical Center, “but they are fatefully general.” Adding any degree of specificity to those, like “eat a balanced diet” or “lose 20 pounds” makes those goals more measureable and provides a target to work toward. Set a resolution with an ultimate goal in mind and work toward it by meeting goals within that ultimate goal. Treat them like checkpoints along a trail. “New Year’s resolutions in particular cause us to think about sticking with something for a whole year, which is a long time frame to get our heads around,” says Harrity. “If you can’t or don’t assess progress while you’re on the path, it’s easy to lose your way.” Chart a course of baby steps and shortterm deadlines in order to stay on track. It’s important to understand yourself to ensure your resolution is realistically attainable. Resolving to start doing a particular thing at a particular time in a particular way every single day like giving sugar completely, or walking 10,000 steps

a day for the rest of your life might seem like the strict regimen you’ll need, but you’re setting yourself up for failure instead of success. This is especially the case if you’re not currently used to the vastly different behavior on which you’re about to embark, or if that change doesn’t sound appealing to you at all. “I see people who try to meet someone else’s goals or someone else’s plan,” says Harrity. “We see that running seems to make people healthy, so we’re going to run. But we hate running and don’t have time for running, and that’s a problem. We need to think about our own lifestyles and interests in order to come up with something we’ll enjoy sticking to.” A New Year’s resolution is specific to you, but success also depends on your involving others. Just by making our resolution known to our friends, family members or co-workers, you will feel more responsible for sticking to it and more motivated to finish it. After all, it’s easy to break a deal with oneself and quietly walk away. “Oh, you didn’t stick with that?” or “I thought we were going to do this together” are not what we want to hear. Call it pride, guilt, desire to prove something to someone, or a sense of responsibility to oneself or another. Whatever the case, says Harrity, “having a little support group to celebrate success along the way is a good idea.” KC

steps toward success • Choose whole grain instead of white (bread, pasta, brown rice) • Keep a water bottle handy and drink 64 ounces of water a day instead of pop • Get to at least five servings of fruits and veggies a day, and pretend like your life depends on it – because it does • Break exercise up into 10 or 15 minute chunks that work for you – a walking route at work or in the neighborhood is a great thing to have in your back pocket

18 january | february 2013

wellness technology january | february 2013 APPS FOR 2013

Five Must-Have Apps for 2013 WRITTEN BY Kristin Wark

We know all too well that making New Year’s resolutions is easy. Keeping them for longer than a week is the real challenge. This year, make technology work in your favor. Download these five must-have applications for your smartphone or tablet to keep your goals on track.

for iPhone and Android. Mix thousands of combinations of sounds like thunderstorm, whales, oscillating fan and grandfather clock to create soothing background noises that lull you to sleep. It also features binaural beats that, when listened to with headphones, produce specific sound waves ideal for concentration, relaxation and pre-sleep. A timer feature closes the application after 30 minutes, so you’ll save your battery if you’re listening sans charger.

Consmr If you’re a savvy shopper who only purchases products that boast a five-star review rating, this is a must-have application. Consmr lets you scan barcodes from a smart phone and instantly pulls up consumer-submitted product ratings and reviews. Once you scan a product, you’re also able to save it to a personalized list for later review. After you’ve made a purchase, you can leave your own feedback to warn or encourage future buyers. With this application, you’ll always shop on your own terms and never buy a lousy product again.

Couch to 5K Set a goal to run your first 5K race this year. The Couch to 5K application promises to get you off the couch and on the starting line in just nine weeks. By following three 20-minute workouts per week, you’ll stay motivated to log your jog and stay on the running trail. A built in feature pulls in your iTunes to let you choose a workout playlist. Additional features include a pace log, distance tracker and tips and help section. This application is the complete starter app for the firsttime strider.

Inspiring Quotes 5000 Relax Melodies Aiming to get the recommended eight hours of sleep in 2013? Try Relax Melodies, a white noise application

Feed your soul and lift your spirit this year with timeless quotes and words of wisdom. With this application, you’ll find thousands of both

well-known and modern inspirational sayings that will keep you encouraged and motivated in 2013. Flip through words from around the world, including the utterings of Pablo Picasso, Thomas Edison, Buddha, Anthony Hopkins and Henry David Thoreau. Mark your favorites to read later, or share with a friends and family through the email feature.

Mint Make this the year you live by a budget. By syncing up with your online profile, the easy-touse application puts your financial goals at your fingertips. Check your bank statement, track and categorize spending, get phone alerts for upcoming bills and more. You’re also pinged when you’ve come near or surpassed your monthly budget, so you’ll stay on financial track all year long. Plus you’ll be able to check your monthly expenditures from anywhere, so no excuses to overspend.

Whatever the resolution, use this guide to find a digital component to complement your journey to a healthier, balanced new year. The next 365 days will be your most well year yet. Look for these apps in the app store.

january | february 2013


fitness trend january | february 2013 FITNESS IN NEW YEAR

Conquer Your New Year’s Fitness Goals Reach the Weight WRITTEN BY Janell Bartlett

Loss and Fitness Level You Desire

The time for setting New Year’s resolutions

goals and then finally giving up on actually

is here once again. But do you really want

achieving these goals is disheartening at best,

to set fitness goals you inevitably are not going

and diminishing to your self-confidence and

to keep? That perpetual cycle of setting goals,

self-worth at worst. That’s why this year, you

having a hard time following through with the

are going to follow these simple steps to liberate yourself from the downward spiral of New Year’s resolution defeat and finally achieve success. Are you ready for success, confidence, empowerment, more energy and happiness?

Step 1:

Pick one issue

to tackle Picking multiple goals to achieve can be challenging, and when life gets extra busy or stressful, probably at least one (if not many) of your goals will go out the window.

Step 2:

Set realistic goals

Although it would be great to lose those 20 pounds in a few weeks, it Tyler Martin and author Janell Bartlett conquer one of the toughest resolutions to keep – staying fit.

20 january | february 2013

simply isn’t realistic. Setting too high of expectations is essentially setting

fitness trend january | february 2013 FITNESS IN NEW YEAR

yourself up for failure. Remember, it took you time

instructor and the students. You will respect them

to get to the state you are in and it is going to take

more, get more out of the class and show up more

time to get back out of it.


Step 3:

Step 6:

Be specific

In order to achieve a goal it has to be measured. This way you know whether you are staying on track, or need to make adjustments. Some examples include: “I want to lose a pound a week” or “I want to attend three fitness classes each week.”

Step 4:

Know the benefits of success

You need to know what you will specifically be able to do when you achieve your goal. Such as: “I will be able to wear my ‘skinny’ jeans” or “I will be able to run around the playground with my (grand)children.” Make a “vision board,” put up pictures, talk to your friends and make plans to take advantage of the benefits of your success.

Tell people about your goal

The act of telling others, especially those you care about (friends, colleagues, family), instantly creates

Step 7:

accountability. After all, those individuals will now

Let’s be honest, we have countless things pulling for

not only be watching your progress, but they will

our time. If we are bored or even just dislike what

be asking you about it. This means when you are

we are doing to reach our goals, we are not going to

tempted to slack off, you will know you have all

sustain that activity. We have to have fun, laugh,

those sets of eyes paying attention. Fear of public

be around good people and places, and relieve

humiliation can be a very big motivator and it just

stress. Find a program that will bring you joy and

might be the very thing that keeps you going all the

camaraderie, while still being challenging.

Have fun

way to achieve your success. Hint: Ask your friends and colleagues to be positive and encouraging – you don’t need any naysayers in your path.

Step 5:

Step 8:

Give yourself time and forge through setbacks

To have lasting benefits you will need to make

Get a coach or a trainer – you will need a cheerleader

lifestyle changes. Make your goal a part you. This is

One of the things I hear most often is “I almost

have a positive support group. Become the person

didn’t come tonight but I knew that if I didn’t,

who inspires others and you will experience the

I’d be getting a call from you.” Having a coach or

benefits of your success tenfold.

why it is essential to enjoy what you are doing and

trainer there by your side creates accountability and will help keep you on track. In addition, a coach will help push you further and achieve more than you would, or thought you could, on your own. However, in order for this to work, you can’t merely go to a group class or anonymous workout (they won’t know if you come or not). Instead, you need a place with a strong relationship between the

Make this year your year. Achieve a better, happier and healthier life. You will reap benefits for years to come. Follow these steps and conquer your New Year’s fitness resolutions. KC

january | february 2013


REMAKE YOUR PLATE IN THE NEW YEAR WRITTEN BY Dianna Sinni, Healthy Eating Specialist at Whole Foods Market

22 january | february 2013

It’s time to wean yourself off Grandma’s sugar cookies. Yes, it’s that sad time of post holiday reflection when we realize we might have had one too many glasses of eggnog and now our pants are a bit snug. Thankfully, it is never too late to improve upon our eating habits. Leave your holiday feasting woes behind. Forget the crazy cleanses and fads diets and simply remake your plate. Follow these four easy guidelines, making small changes along the way, no matter who you are or what your diet, for a healthier plate and a happier you. 1. Eat Whole Foods If you look at your plate, do you recognize what is on it? Are your food choices intact, resembling their most natural state? At every meal, snacks included, focus on eating whole foods – those in their purest form, free from heavy processing and artificial additives. It’s a no brainer: a whole food contains much or all of its natural goodness including vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants and fiber – all stuff our body needs and craves. This means reduce, or completely eliminate, the consumption of fragmented foods or those that have been refined and processed with preservatives and artificial ingredients. In the words of bestselling food writer, Michael Pollan, “Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.”

2. Incorporate Healthy Fats Next, let’s think about fat, a macronutrient our bodies wouldn’t stay alive without, yet it’s a term that has been deemed a “dirty word” in the language of fat-free diets. Fat is absolutely necessary for brain

january | february 2013


development, blood clotting and the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K. Don’t run from fat, instead learn to embrace it in all of its healthful, whole food forms, like avocados, olives, nuts and seeds. Eating the healthy fats found in whole foods ensures you are getting all of the fiber and phytonutrients it has to offer, which are missing in over-consumed extracted, processed oils. Minimize your consumption of trans fats too. These fats have been altered in a lab to become more shelf stable. Do you really want to eat a cookie that lasts for four years? Look at ingredient lists for “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oils, and stay away if a product contains them. Also reduce intake of animal foods, and always stick to leaner, lower fat varieties. Both trans fats and saturated fats from animal products have been linked to increased risks of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and certain forms of cancer.

‘Eat the rainbow’ through plants, because each color offers valuable nutrients and phytochemicals.

Cutting out or minimizing oils in your diet means learning to cook in new ways. Sautee veggies using water or low-sodium vegetable broth, or use tahini as the foundation for salad dressings.

for their beneficial effects in preventing and treating many chronic illnesses including heart disease, cancers, diabetes and high blood pressure. In other words, “eat the rainbow” through plants, because each color offers valuable nutrients and phytochemicals.

3. Be Plant-Strong® Simply put, eat a diet full of plant-based foods. Load your plate with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes in both their cooked and raw forms. Think of dairy or meat as a condiment or side addition to your plant-based meal. The plant kingdom is plentiful in nutrients, and can easily fulfill your daily requirements as its animal food counterparts. For instance, one cup of collard greens packs more calcium than an 8-ounce glass of milk. A handful of almonds also has a hefty amount of calcium. Quinoa, a whole grain, and black beans are excellent sources of protein. Plant foods offer significant amounts of macro- and micronutrients, including phytochemicals, which are the naturally occurring compounds found in plant based foods with antioxidant- and hormone-like actions in our bodies. These powerful compounds are vital precursors to many vitamins, and have been studied

24 january | february 2013

4. Choose Nutrient-Dense Foods Nutrient density refers to the ratio of nutrients to calories. Processed, refined foods have diluted nutrient density due to added fats and sugars. Think about eating calories with a high concentration of nutrients, which are essentially those whole foods, healthy fats and plant-strong foods. Think about that potato sitting in your pantry. It has 278 calories compared to its processed version, a bag of potato chips, with 150 calories per serving. Yes, a whole potato has more calories but it also has more potassium, fiber and is much more economical. In other words, it’s much more nutrient dense than its processed form. These guidelines are based off Whole Foods Market’s 4 Pillars of Health Starts Here™ created by a Scientific Advisory Board. Learn more at

Avocado Chocolate Mousse Serves 8 2 cups avocado, mashed 1/2 cup raw cacao powder 4 medjool dates, pitted 1/3 cup honey Pinch of cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 teaspoon orange zest Coconut water, to thin Optional garnish: Toasted walnuts or fresh berries 1. Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender or food processor until smooth and creamy. 2. Add in a few tablespoons of coconut water to thin out into a mousse consistency if needed. 3. Taste, add more honey to achieve desired sweetness. Serve with toasted walnuts on top or fresh berries.

FRUGAL EATS Incorporate these tips to benefit both body and budget: 1. Buy in bulk. Purchase whole grains, nuts, seeds, dried beans and spices in quantities of only what you need. This cuts down on excessive packaging materials too, saving you precious dollars. Most grocers even let you bring your own jars, containers or cotton bags to further reduce any plastic waste and bring down costs. 2. Use frozen foods. Unfortunately, frozen processed meals probably won’t save you money, calories or satisfy your hunger. Instead, utilize frozen brown rice and veggies for a fast stir fry. Frozen fruit is perfect for smoothies or a fast dessert. 3. Stretch your leftovers. Remember that stew from Sunday night? Roll it into a whole grain tortilla. Toss leftover veggies into a salad, add into marinara sauce for nutrient-packed spaghetti or even into your morning smoothie. Be creative – the ways to use leftovers are endless. Remember food thrown away is also money wasted. 4. Make your produce last. If you buy large amounts of veggies, pre-chop and put in sandwich baggies for on-the-go healthy snacks. Or chop finely and freeze. When it comes time for breakfast eggs or dinner, the prep work is already done.

january | february 2013



PHOTO COURTESY Jon Reneberg of Prints & Pixels

Winter months inspire thoughts of warm fireplaces, family, comfort foods and other positive thoughts. However, during the holiday afterglow, the stress of returning to the day job, leaving the warm beach, our expanding waistlines and frenzied crash dieting, and re-balancing our bodies and minds to accommodate these self-inflicted issues makes us bounce from states of extreme euphoria to extreme depression in under a few weeks’ time. By and large, people are more willing to sacrifice what and how they eat instead of engaging in basic physical activity. As many people will tell you and what most professionals with first-hand experience should be telling you: “diet and exercise must be included for expedient, balanced, sustainable results.” So, it is now merely a matter of what type of “diet” and what form of “exercise” to integrate into your lifestyle. The difference between the “trendy fad-dieter,” the “outspoken-though-contradictory know-it-all-health guru,” and the “balanced life artist” can be differentiated with the presence of a few simple components. 1. Soundly-verified research (going beyond YouTube, Wikipedia and so-called experts selling their own books and accessory supplements) 2. Real-life diligent practice (regular, gradual

WRITTEN BY Jimmy Betts

experimental-experiential awareness of a person’s body-mind-energy systems developed over time – the real “Kung Fu of Food”) 3. Lasting results (long-term, self-measurable, sustainable indicators and goals of improved wellness) Trendiness typically means fleeting results after the initial effectiveness has run its course. Too much talk and information hoarding without applying said knowledge also leads to lack of realized results. Talk is cheap, and you often get what you pay for. You can find instances of these in people you know, simply stop, observe and reflect. To find a middleway that provides personal results, increased awareness, and safer, cost-effective steps, is the way of a balance-oriented Life Artist – a way to personal expertise and self-mastery. As a modern rule, “diets” are bad for you. This statement is made based on what “dieting” connotes in our modern, media-governed society with words like “deprivation,” “obesity,” “starvation,” “poor body image,” “eating disorders,” extreme “protein intake, carbohydrate denial, totally uncooked, probiotic” and so forth. Any functional food group taken out of or added to your personal eating schedule should rarely be an all-ornothing affair. The reason fad diets or trendy nutrition programs fail in the long run is generally due to the “yo-yo” or “roller-coaster” effect that happens when we

There will never be a manufactured “Magic Pill” for true health. What we are ALL given in our lifetimes is the gift to become enlightened to our own abilities of perception, tools of discernment, and steps to realized transformation.

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DUMMIES overcompensate in one area of our eating to achieve a superficial goal in a short period of time. Unfortunately, because of the extreme condition in which you have now placed your body, the results you achieve will only last as long as you maintain an unhealthily skewed diet that can sometimes result in chronic health conditions. This illustrates the concept of Yin and Yang from Chinese practical theory where extremes must balance with their opposite expression: yang creates yin, yin creates yang. However, where theory meets reality, the hard truth is our physical bodies can only take so much of this back-and-forth barrage in a lifetime. It is time to get off of this destructive ride and out of this un-amusement park.

Some very basic ideas to embody: • Avoid iced or chilled beverages, especially when eating food. • Minimize intake of caffeine. Some teas are more beneficial than others and coffee has its own healing benefits when included appropriately. • Drink plenty of water daily. Try not to drink too much or too little as this can create poorly functioning kidneys over time – as an indicator you can often use the color and clarity of your urine to gauge how well-hydrated you are: bright-light yellow, not too dark, not too pale. • Eat whole, fresh vegetable and fruits, and avoid genetically modified, pesticide polluted, and preservative-laden processed foods. • Eat plenty of vegetable proteins, emphasizing beans, lentils and grains with small amounts of meat, egg and soy. • Eat complex carbohydrates, avoiding refined sugar and artificial sweeteners. Exact amounts of foods will not be discussed here, but can, and should, be tailored to your individual needs. Supplements, herbs, superfoods, smoothies and other tools for your personal workshop will be discussed in


the future. Again, approach any eating ‘solution’ with great scrutiny and discernment, regardless of the referral source. This is your body and wellness – you must keep your best interests in mind at all times.

Here are a few foods to try on your own: Arugula (an aromatic salad green high in vaso-supportive vegetable nitrates, Vitamin K, Iron, and Calcium) Blueberries Broccoli sprouts (more potent than mature broccoli, benefits the eyes, liver, and nourishes the stomach) Buffalo (compared to beef, bison meat is lower in fat, cholesterol, and calories & higher in iron, selenium, folate, and copper) Flax Seeds & Oil (for omega 3’s, fiber and lignans) Porcini mushrooms (considered among the healthiest of edible mushrooms) Kefir (a probiotic dairy drink with a similar consistency to yogurt) Quinoa (“keen-wah,” a nutrient-dense cereal grain, now found in most grocery stores) Walnuts/Almonds/Pistachios (whole, unsalted)

There are plenty of recipes available on the internet and because of the simple goodness and flavor of these foods, most can be added and mixed into what you normally eat without much fuss. As with all foods, some may not be as advantageous to consume based on age, gender or in-born physical constitution. For example, if you are allergic to almonds, don’t eat them. There will never be a manufactured “Magic Pill” for true health. What we are all given in our lifetimes is the gift to become enlightened to our own abilities of perception, tools of discernment and steps to realized transformation. This includes what we eat, how we use and train our bodies & minds and how we help our fellow beings along the way. KC

january | february 2013



I’m alive, I made it through.

And each day gets better and better.

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Life half full V WRITTEN BY Maggie Young

After her heart transplant, survivor Beth Bale embraced life, and recovery, with a “half-full” approach.

Valentine’s Day is adorned with the ultimate symbol of love: the heart. And for a good reason. The heart gives life, and life gives the ability to love. Beth Bale, a 64-year-old heart transplant survivor, appreciates this relationship between love and life. Her transplant offered her a perspective most people don’t ever experience and gave her a deeper connection to life. Her journey began in 2000 when she experienced shortness of breath while traveling to her cousin’s wedding. Bale, a Leawood resident, met with Stephanie Lawhorn, MD, a clinical cardiologist at Saint Luke’s Hospital to check

her heart. The news she received was stunning: her heart was enlarged and weakened, and she would need a transplant at some point in the future. Lawhorn officially diagnosed her with cardiomyopathy, a weakness of the heart muscle. “Beth was a healthy lady, but I think a virus attacked her heart muscle somewhere down the line and damaged it,” said Dr. Lawhorn. Many times people like Bale don’t know they have a virus until they start noticing symptoms like shortness of breath. Bale fell into denial. She thought this type of problem would happen to someone else, not her.

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Bale’s heart condition changed her daily life from that point. Bale, a businesswoman, mother and wife, had to gradually release some responsibilities. Lawhorn prescribed her medications to manage her heart health, so Bale viewed the transplant as a distant event. In 2008, Bale received a defibrillator, a device that controls irregular heartbeats, which was implanted under her collarbone. The defibrillator used an electrical pulse to regulate her heartbeat. Bale said it worked well, and began to work a little too well, a little too often. At appointments, Bale began to finish Dr. Lawhorn’s sentences with, “I know I’ll need a heart transplant.” Bale registered for heart transplant surgery in 2010. “Ten years was a pretty good run, but it was the inevitable progress of my condition,” said Bale. She was lucky and was matched with a donor in a matter of weeks. There was no turning back. The long anticipated surgery was knocking at Bale’s doorstep, and she was excited to finally feel better. When Bale awoke from surgery, her first thought was “I’m alive, I made it through.” And, according to Bale, each day gets better and better. She embraced her surgery knowing many patients don’t have the positive outcome she experienced. Bale believes her happy recovery could be in part because of the “halffull” approach she took to life.

through public speaking engagements. To receive her certification as WomenHeart Champion, she attended the WomenHeart Science and Leadership Symposium at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. She enjoys educating and supporting American women living with heart disease by being involved in these organizations. After her transplant surgery, Bale stopped worrying about the little things because she realized life was about relationships and everything else was just ‘stuff.’ Bale says if there are people who lift you up and make your heart sing, then those are the ones with whom you need to hang out because people matter most.

Heart disease prevention Dr. Lawhorn says 80 percent of risk factors for heart disease are lifestyle-related. These are prevented by: • Managing stress • Eating a healthy diet • Exercising for at least 30 minutes, five days a week • Not smoking • Limiting alcohol intake If you have a family history of heart disease, be extra vigilant about heart symptoms. Be a proponent for your own health and get checkups. If there is anything that seems to be out of the ordinary, have it looked at sooner rather than later. Visit to assess your risk for heart disease and educate yourself about risk symptoms and prevention.

Life after surgery Bale developed new life mantras as a result of her surgery. “You have to learn to let go, and you need to act on what you can affect positively.” For her, it is as a champion for WomenHeart, an organization for women living with heart disease. Bale said her journey has led her to a passion for the heart health community. She is an ambassador for Midwest Transplant Network, the organization that does organ matching. In her role, Bale shares her story and inspires others 30 january | february 2013

How you can help Sign up to be a donor. The easiest way to do this is to add your signature to the back of your driver’s license and sign up at “It is sad and unfortunate that someone dies, but the fact that a part of them lives on in somebody else, who has this trickle down effect on so many lives, is a tremendous tribute,” said Bale. “The gift of life is the ultimate form of love.” KC

Check out the next issue of Living Wellness Kansas City to read more about organ donation as we celebrate National Organ Donor Awareness Month in April.

Heart-healthy yoga poses WRITTEN BY Whitney Shoults, DC Any chest opener is great for heart health. Energetically, having an open chest speaks volumes about self worth and self-confidence. Here are a couple of examples of some great poses to do everyday to help nurture yourself and your heart.

Camel The Camel pose, or Ustrasana, is a type of backbend in which the shoulders extend out. The hands go on your sacrum to help traction the spine so you do not have too much bending in your low back. The focus on this pose is to bring your shoulder blades together and expand out through your chest.

Extended Side Angle Extended Side Angle, or Utthita Parsvokonasana, is a strengthening and stretching pose. Your front knee should be at ninety degrees with a straight back leg. Your front arm should be assisting the front leg with external hip rotation. As you stretch your top arm up and over your ear, focus on rotating the upper body towards the ceiling. This will help you expand across your chest.

Triangle In Triangle pose, or Trikonasana, there are three triangles made within the body – one with our legs and the floor; two with side of the body and the front arm and leg; and three connecting the top hand with the feet. This is not only a great hamstring opener for the front leg, but it is a great chest and heart opener. As you reach your top arm up, really focus on expanding out your chest to help open this area, which can be done by rotating the torso towards the ceiling.

This month’s cover was shot at Mosaic Life Care in Parkville. In the background is the Aspire fountain, which spans to the second floor. With the life care model, Mosaic focuses on taking care of the whole person and includes understanding what their patients’ individual aspirations are and helping them achieve their goals for health and life. The Aspire fountain is a structural and artistic reflection of that philosophy. january | february 2013


Post-holiday ways to give the gift of life Did you know the simple act of swabbing your cheek could help save the lives of thousands of people? Meet the Murry brothers: Sean, Patrick, Danny and Timmy. These four brothers from St. Louis have a rare disease called Diamond Blackfan Anemia. Less than 500 people in the U.S. have this disorder, yet the brothers who range in age from 21 to eight-years-old have all been diagnosed with the disorder. The only thing that can help them is a bone marrow transplant. Matching a bone marrow donor with a recipient is like finding a needle in a haystack and the more people who register, the greater the chances of the Murry brothers finding a match. For more information, visit and

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January is national blood donor awareness month Each day, Kansas City Community Blood Center needs 580 donors to maintain its supply of blood for almost 70 local hospitals. Almost everyone will need blood at some point in his or her life whether it’s due to cancer, heart disease or an automobile accident. As a blood donor, not only do you have the satisfaction of knowing you are helping save

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Live well and retire well Financial wellness tips from the Retirement Pilot WRITTEN BY Steve Hoover

1. Start with the end in mind

5. Use Asset Allocation and Rebalance

Determine how much income you are going to need

no one knows what class is going to go up or down or

you to put together a savings plan. For example, if

when. If they say they know, they are either lying to

you want live on $40,000 a year when retired, you

you or have inside information, which is illegal. Also,

will need to have saved $1,000,000 by the time you

when you rebalance your account, you will sell high


and buy low, which is how you grow your account.

2. Save consistently

Save every month per your savings plan and have it automatically taken out of your paycheck or checking account. Don’t worry about what the Fed is doing or what the stock market is doing, stick with your contributions and in the long run you will have amassed a significant portfolio.

3. Eliminate debt

Put a plan together to eliminate all debt by the time you retire. If you don’t have any debt during retirement, you will have less stress and more cash to do what you want.

4. Utilize tax diversification

With asset allocation you will own all asset classes, as

at retirement. You now have a number that allows

Tax diversification is the utilization of tax-free accounts, like a Roth IRA, tax-deferred accounts, like regular IRAs or 401ks, and tax-friendly accounts, which are brokerage accounts subject to capital gains taxes. When you retire, you will have to consider the best way to derive an income from your accounts in a tax-efficient manner. When you have tax-free and tax-friendly accounts, it allows you to better manage your income taxes.

january | february 2013


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Ayurveda: T

Treatment beyond the symptoms

WRITTEN BY Chelsea A. Craig ATC

There is no doubt when it comes to emergent care and immediate medical attention that Western medicine is leading the world in innovation and abilities. Unfortunately, the power is arguable beyond these two. Aimed to target the symptoms, treat side effects and care for the body as individual parts rather than a whole, modern Western medicine medicates quick results but upon cessation, effects stop and the illness continues. Shifting from a one-dimensional definition of health to one that pays respect to each individual as a unique being is calling, but is anyone answering? Luckily, some are. Ayurvedic medicine, also called Ayurveda, is one of the world’s oldest ways of medicine. Birthed in India, it is a practice of natural medicine that has evolved over thousands of years as a holistic approach to health. It is designed to allow people to live long, healthy and well-balanced lives. From the Sanskrit words ayus, meaning ‘life’ and veda, meaning ‘science’ or ‘knowledge.’ Ayurveda literally means the science of life. The basic principle of Ayurveda is to prevent and treat illnesses by maintaining equilibrium in the body, mind and spirit through proper diet, movement (yoga) and lifestyle. Using a variety of techniques and internal and external medicines to allow the body to cleanse and restore itself to

a state of balance, Ayurvedic practice is meant to remove substances and habits that can cause disease and help reestablish harmony. It is believed this balance will lead to happiness and health, and prevents physical and mental health problems. The idea the body maintains itself through separate entities like Western medicine (i.e. eyes needing only treated with an eye doctor, psychological problems only needing treatment from a psychologist, etc.) is foreign to Ayurvedic medicine. There are actually very few named conditions in Eastern medicine. It is believed all things in the universe, both living and non-living are joined together. “What’s happening in the world needs to align with what is happening internally, this is what Ayurveda looks at,” says Sarah Kucera, DC, CAP owner of Sage Center for Yoga and Healing Arts. Practicing under the concept that there is interconnectedness among people, their health and the universe forms the key foundations upon which Ayurvedic practitioners think. Good health is seen if the mind and body are in conformity, and one’s synergy with the universe is natural and wholesome. When the balance among the universe, the body’s constitution (prakriti) and life forces (doshas) are disrupted, disease will

Good health is seen if the mind and body are in conformity, and one’s synergy with the universe is natural and wholesome.

34 january | february 2013

Vata Vata is made up of ether and air. Considered the most power dosha, vata controls basic bodily processes such as heartbeat, breathing, cell division, expulsion of waste and the mind. When vata is balanced, there is creativity and vitality. When out of balance, it produces fear and anxiety. Fear, grief, staying up too late, eating dry fruits or consuming food before the previous meal is digested can aggravate vata, causing imbalance. Those who are ruled by vata are thought to be especially susceptible to neurological conditions, stress and anxiety, insomnia and arthritis.

Kapha Kapha combines water and earth. Controlling growth in the body, kapha supplies water to all parts of the body and maintains immunity. Balanced kapha is expressed as love and forgiveness while imbalance leads to greed and gluttony. Those with predominant kapha dosha are susceptible to diabetes, cancer, obesity and respiratory illnesses.

arise. This disease can present itself physically, emotionally, spiritually or a combination of the three. The body’s constitution refers to a person’s health, its probability of becoming off-balance and its ability to withstand and recuperate from health problems. Called the prakriti, it is a person’s unique combination of physical and psychological attributes that allow the body to function to maintain health. Just as everyone has a unique fingerprint, each person has a unique combination of life forces, or doshas, that create a person’s physical, mental and emotional characteristics. According to Ayurveda, one’s chances of developing certain types of diseases

Pitta Pitta is created by fire and water. Pitta controls the body’s metabolic systems, including hormone production, digestion, nutrition and temperature. When balanced, pitta leads to contentment and intelligence, while imbalance can cause ulcers and arouse anger followed by physical symptoms such as heartburn. Pitta is upset by eating food that is too spicy or sour, fatigue and too much sun exposure. Those who are ruled by pitta are susceptible to skin and liver disease, hormonal or thyroid imbalance, hypertension, infectious disease and poor judgment.

THE THREE DOSHAS: Ayuvedic treatment focuses on reestablishing balance among the doshas and is tailored to each individual’s constitution. With a full medical history, analysis of diet, behavior, lifestyle, resilience and observation of physical characteristics such as teeth, tongue, skin, eyes, weight, speech, voice and pulse, a good practitioner can determine how to progress. He or she can diagnose the prakriti and vikriti or current state of imbalance.

is connected to the way the doshas are balanced, the physical state of the body, and mental or lifestyle factors. Made up of two of the five basic elements – ether, air, fire, water and earth – each dosha presents itself in every person and is constantly being formed and reformed by food, activity and bodily processes. Ayruvedic practitioners are able to bring back balance because an imbalance of a dosha will produce symptoms unique to that dosha. “Ayurveda treats conditions by using symptoms as tools to tell what dosha needs balancing,” points out Kuchera. “Whether the imbalance is created by a person’s age, unhealthy lifestyle or diet, or too

january | february 2013


much or too little mental and physical exertion, practitioners are able to establish which dosha needs rebalancing.” Treatment goals are centered on increasing harmony in the patient’s life while eliminating impurities, reducing symptoms, increasing immunity and reducing worry. “Treatment is based on how deeply manifested the illness is in each individiual,” Kucera says. Using a variety of processes in combination such as enemas, massage, cleanse, yoga, meditation, herbs and dietary changes, a practitioner can restore natural dosha balance and health. Finding a qualified practitioner in the United States can be slightly challenging due to the lack of a national standard for training or certification. Those who train and study in India undergo five or more years of training and receive either a Bachelor or Doctor of Ayuvedic Medicine and Surgery degree. Although none of the 50 states currently offers a license to practice Ayurvedic

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medicine, several institutes across the US have educational programs that are acknowledged in the healthcare world, with qualified practitioners countrywide. No two people are alike, nor should be two individual’s medical treatment. Ayurveda pays respect to each being’s unique role in the universe, creating space for health and wellness single to that being’s needs. Unlike its Western counterpart, it does not attempt to medicate the symptoms, but treats the whole person, physical, emotional and spiritual in such a way to find the cure for what ails them. For more information, visit the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at KC

Ayurvedic Vata Seasoning By Stephanie Mohr

Spices are great for enjoying all the flavors and taste in your food. This Ayurveda blend is great to add to any vegetables, soups, rice and protein. It is specific to the cooler months, great for warming, grounding and encouraging healthy digestion. 2 Tablespoons fennel seeds 1 Tablespoon whole coriander seeds 1 Tablespoon whole cumin seeds 1 Tablespoon ground tumeric 1 Tablespoon dried basil or dried sage 2 teaspoons powdered ginger 2 teaspoons salt Combine all spices in a mortar and pestle, or a coffee grinder used specifically for spices (no coffee). Blend well and keep in a glass container with a lid. This blend can be saved and used for about three months. You can also purchase all the spices pre-ground and stir together. Spices are best activated when added to the cooking process at the beginning.


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Warm up with healthy spiced vegetarian chili

By Stephanie Mohr

3 Tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or olive oil

In a soup pot, warm ghee or oil, add in spices until fragrant.

1 Tablespoon Ayurvedic Vata Seasoning (at left)

Cook onion until translucent. Add carrots, celery, garlic and chipotle.

½ yellow onion, finely chopped 2 carrots, peeled and chopped 3 stalks celery, chopped 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped 1 teaspoon chipotle in adobo sauce (optional) 1 cup broccoli, stems chopped, cut into florets 1 cup cauliflower, roughly chopped 1 cup baby portabello mushrooms, roughly chopped 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes with juice (or canned diced tomatoes with juice) 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed

Stir and cook about 10 minutes. Add broccoli, cauliflower and mushrooms. Stir and cook about 10 minutes more. Add canned tomatoes (mashing them up a bit) and beans. Stir and cook adding in vegetable broth to desired consistency – more broth to be soupy, less for chunkier chili. Cook about 30 minutes more. Serve warm with cilantro and scallions on top, maybe a dollop of sour cream/yogurt and/or little hot sauce, if desired.

1 15-ounce can black eyed peas, rinsed 1 15-ounce can cannellini white beans, rinsed 3 cups vegetable broth (to desired consistency)

About Stephanie Mohr

Cilantro and scallions chopped to garnish

Stephanie Mohr is a certified Ayurvedic practitioner in Kansas City. She practices at Life Spring Med Spa in Leawood and teaches yoga at Boulevard Yoga in the Crossroads. Check out her website at

Dollop of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt Hot sauce

january | february 2013


COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: An overview for Kansas Citians Written by Abby Dean

What’s ailing you? Sore neck? Painful migraines? Blemished skin? Many Kansas Citians are seeking complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to treat these common conditions. But what exactly does CAM mean? The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) defines CAM as “a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine.” CAM often features more natural and less invasive measures, such as acupuncture, yoga, Chinese Medicine or holistic psychology. Conventional medicine found in most clinics and hospitals is often more invasive than alternative therapies, and can include surgery or synthetic drugs. Complementary medicine combines conventional medicine with alternative techniques for more a more integrative treatment plan.

38 january | february 2013

Alternative Stress Relief: Yoga As one of the most mainstream alternative health options, yoga is a mind and body practice that uses breathing techniques, posture and meditation to aid in everything from stress relief to relaxation to fitness. KC is chalk-full of yoga studios, offering various forms of the practice, including Bikram and Vinyasa yoga. That wasn’t always the case, says Jennifer Kieltyka, owner of Boulevard Yoga and Healing Arts ( “When I finished school in the mid-90s, I remember there only being one or two yoga studios in the yellow pages,” she says. “Things have progressed so much over the past 20 years in Kansas City. Yoga is taught everywhere—gyms, studios, churches, art galleries.” Kieltyka and her husband, Chris Powell (a longtime acupuncture practitioner), opened Boulevard five years ago with the goal of combining yoga with other alternative services. Not only do they offer 11 classes each week, Boulevard also boasts a slew of “healing arts,” including massage therapy, craniosacral therapy, acupuncture and Ayurvedic medicine. Boulevard’s clients range from high-stress professionals to retirees to people with chronic illnesses. “I think that’s the neat part about it,” Kieltyka says. “It doesn’t matter what you do in your life or who you are. People just want an unconditional place where they can better their health and life.”

Alternative Pain Relief: Integrative Chiropractic Care “I have found deep tissue and acupuncture are very effective in treating pain,” says Dr. Ron Williams, owner of Integrative Health Center ( “They make the effects of chiropractic care more powerful so we can get better results that last longer. My practice has a tendency to attract people who want to get better, rather than people looking for a quick fix.” Housed in a spa-like setting in KC’s River Market neighborhood, Williams and his staff

structure unique wellness programs that integrate chiropractic care, deep tissue, acupuncture, ergonomics and lifestyle changes. While chiropractic care involves locating and adjusting a musculoskeletal area of the body that is functioning improperly, deep tissue is the targeted manual treatment of deep anatomical structures. Acupuncture, on the other hand, is a healing process that uses tiny needles to stimulate specific points on the body. In addition to reducing back pain, acupuncture is also beneficial for decreasing anxiety, insomnia, cramps and digestive problems. “I use needle acupuncture on the initial visit when a patient is having acute or chronic pain so I can begin correcting the problem biomechanically,” Williams says. “I help my patient gain a different perspective on what’s causing their pain because, in my experience, if a patient has an understanding of why they are experiencing pain, they’re more inclined and prepared to do things differently outside of my practice.” By taking time to listen and connect with his clients, Williams is able to customize the best integrative approach for various symptoms. “The big difference between this approach and a more traditional medical approach is that we look at the symptom as the body’s way of telling us what’s going on. When we do that, we’re able to restore the normal movement of the body so the body can do what it’s designed to do in the first place – heal itself.”

Alternative Mental Health: Holistic Psychology For the past 13 years, Kansas City Holistic Centre ( has helped pioneer natural healthcare in KC. In addition to holistic and integrative medicine, the center also features natural bio-identical hormone replacement, holistic psychology and a compounding pharmacy. As a counselor for nearly 40 years, Dr. Jude LaClaire leads the center’s holistic psychology efforts. She uses neurobehavioral approaches, dream and imagery work, holistic psychotherapy, and

Integrative Health Center in the River Market offers integrative chiropractic care designed to help patients get better results that last longer.

personality type to treat depression, anxiety, chronic pain, emotional or physical trauma, and addiction. “What holistic really means is that you’re looking at the interrelationship of all parts of a person, as well as the interrelationship of the person within their environment,” LaClaire says. “We know there’s no such thing as just a body or mind problem, or just an emotional or physical problem. Anything that goes wrong with us indicates there is a problem of integrated circuitry of the whole body and mind. I do a lot of work helping people reduce pain, stress, negative feelings, trauma and learn how to selfcalm.” She says that patients seek holistic care after several failed attempts with conventional medicine. “Our goal is for people to feel hopeful about being able to change whatever it is that’s causing them difficulty, whether it’s physical or emotional,” she says. Working in concert with the center’s naturopathic physician, acupuncturist and the patient’s physician, LaClaire’s treatment focuses on reducing symptoms and making permanent changes with the least amount of chemicals or medication. “For many mental health professionals, that’s the first place they go,” she says. “If someone comes in with symptoms of depression, they automatically prescribe an antidepressant. If you want to learn self-care skills that can help you down the road, holistic medicine is a good choice. You must understand that it’s a process that sometimes takes a little more time. You don’t always get as quick a result as taking a pill, but ultimately, you get a much better, deeper result and you have tools in your hand.”

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Alternative Healing: Reiki Developed in the late nineteenth century, Reiki is a Japanese healing technique, commonly used to promote energy healing. Life energy flows from the hands of a Reiki practitioner, which are placed just off the body or lightly touching the body. If the patient’s life force energy is low, he or she is more likely to feel ill or stressed, but if it is high, the patient is better able to feel healthy and happy. Although it’s not as commonly practiced as yoga or acupuncture, Reiki is available at a few Kansas City locations, including NorthStar Wellness ( and Serenity on the Square (

Alternative Skincare: Cosmetic Acupuncture Magnolia Wellness owner Donna Tatum, who holds a master’s degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine, practices natural skincare and acupuncture in two KC locations ( Based on her Chinese Medicine background, Tatum uses the areas of the face to visually diagnose her clients’ conditions. “We look at everything from the texture of your skin to the color of your skin,” she says. “Every part of the

Rachael DeLuca, licensed acupuncturist, works with a patient at her studio at Be Well on 39th located at 1001 W 39th Street.

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face corresponds to a different organ system, and we can learn what’s happening internally through this. For instance, the forehead corresponds with the large intestine. So if you are developing wrinkles on your forehead, generally your large intestine is dehydrated. You’re not getting enough water.” When a client visits Tatum, she educates him or her on natural skincare products and diet changes that can improve conditions, such as acne or fine lines. To treat blemishes, she recommends avoiding processed foods, which can clog the liver, and increasing intake of leafy greens and steamed foods. For those seeking anti-aging foods, Tatum touts high-quality fats, such as avocados and salmon. “These act as internal moisturizers,” she says. One of the unique services offered at Magnolia is facial acupuncture. “I understand that it sounds bizarre to have needles in your face,” Tatum says. “But what acupuncture does is basically trick your body into sending healing chemicals to that area through the blood. It also triggers the release of feelgood chemicals like serotonin and dopamine. You’re increasing blood circulation to the area, which helps fill fine lines.” While acupuncture won’t make you look 20 years younger, it will leave your skin with a much healthier glow. Tatum says ‘acupuncture facelifts’ have been popular in Hollywood for several years, with famous users like Sandra Bullock and Diane Lane. “Compare the way these women look to someone who gets a lot of Botox or cosmetic surgery,” she says. “They look their age, but healthy. Their jaw lines are smooth and their skin looks clean with no blemishes or discoloration.” KC


WRITTEN BY Jay Van Loenin

The Holidays of fall and winter are here and gone and it’s time to start thinking forward into 2013. The new year brings thoughts of spring, love in the air and, of course, Valentine’s Day. To some, Valentine’s Day is nothing more than a holiday created by retailers to boost their profits. To many, however, Valentine’s Day is the chance to let others, from strangers to intimates, know they are loved. Whether with small gestures to extravagant gifts, Valentine’s is a time to display affection, platonically, romantically and materially. More often than not, that love and affection is accompanied by chocolate. Of all holidays, Valentine’s Day is second only to Halloween in total candy consumption. The difference is the type of candy. While chalky hearts with cute and loving messages are popular on February 14, the biggest seller during the days leading up to Valentine’s is chocolate. According to Nielsen, Americans purchase more than 58 million pounds of chocolate candy during Valentine’s week, a total that costs us more than $345 million, accounting for 5.1 percent of chocolate candy’s annual sales. Given that impressive amount, it’s no wonder people have come to expect a gift of chocolate on Valentine’s Day. Too much chocolate gets some of us thinking about our diets, but what is becoming clearer with time and research is this: when eaten in moderation, chocolate has numerous health benefits. That’s right, chocolate can be good for you, so you don’t have to deprive yourself. january | february 2013




Some of us like to splurge on Valentine’s Day and present our loved one with loads of gifts in addition to treating him or her to dinner and some other romantic outing, but dinner might be all we choose to gift. If that’s the case, don’t worry. Chocolate is available at most restaurants on the dessert menu, and at many in the main courses. The chefs of Bread & Butter Concepts, a local Kansas City restaurant group, are always thinking of ways to incorporate chocolate into their menus. Chef Bradley Gilmore, of Gram & Dun and Chef Lauren Martin, of Urban Table have shared recipes with us that include chocolate. Chef Bradley’s recipe is a main dish, and Chef Lauren’s is a dessert. Both will be available at their respective restaurants this Valentine’s season. Chef Bradley also shared some advice on preparing foods with chocolate. He says if you are preparing foods at home with chocolate, there are a few tips to make sure you’re doing it the right way. First, he says, whether choosing a solid chocolate for sauce or a powder for a rub, the quality of the chocolate is important.

with chocolate

Also, complementing the flavor of chocolate is important, especially in a main dish. Smoky and spicy flavors, such as cayenne and chili peppers are great for adding heat, while chipotle, paprika and cumin can add smokiness. Also, cinnamon is great because it imparts a hint of warm, earthy sweetness. The goal in a main dish is to keep the chocolate from being too sweet. Cocoa powder and unsweetened chocolate are not sweet and have more of a true cocoa quality, so you want avoid making them reminiscent of the sweet side of chocolate we know and love, and instead bring out the natural flavors. Chef Bradley also says chicken, beef and pork are the best protein choices for chocolate. They all pair well with moles or rubs, and aren’t easily overwhelmed by the flavor of chocolate. Chili is also a great place to incorporate chocolate, as the flavors work very well together. Finally, Chef Bradley says, “Don’t forget the wine.” If you’re cooking with chocolate, the subtle flavors can be enhanced by red wine. Inquire with your local wine store expert to find the right wine for your chocolate choice. Make sure you don’t forget the chocolate this year for Valentine’s Day. Even if you ignore the health benefits, you’re sure to enjoy sharing a bit of delectable decadence with your loved one. Happy Valentine’s Day, and enjoy your chocolate, whether sweet or savory. KC

Flourless Chocolate Torte with Rasberry Mousse See recipe on next page.

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Flourless Chocolate Torte with Raspberry Mousse By Chef Lauren Martin

Hazelnut and Cocoa Encrusted Ribeye with Roasted Sweet Potatoes By Gram & Dun Executive Chef Bradley Gilmore COCOA CRUSTED RIBEYES Four 12-14 ounce Ribeye steaks ½ cup cocoa powder (Dutch process) 2-½ cups hazelnut (ground) ½ cup espresso (ground) ½ cup black pepper (ground) ½ cup kosher salt 1 Tablespoon paprika ½ cup Brown sugar 1. Combine ingredients and mix well. 2. Use one cup of crust per Ribeye and press the crust onto the steaks, working into an even coating on both sides. 3. Sear on medium-high on both sides until desired doneness. ROASTED SWEET POTATOES 1 pound sweet potatoes 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (chopped) 1 teaspoon fresh oregano (chopped) 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil Salt and pepper to taste 1. Dice sweet potatoes into half-inch cubes. 2. Toss potatoes, herbs, oil and seasoning in a bowl until evenly coated. 3. Roast potatoes at 350 degrees until fork tender, about 20 minutes.

FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE TORTE (YIELD: ½ HOTEL PAN) 15 ounces Bittersweet Chocolate 9 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature 7 egg yolks 9 Tablespoons granulated sugar (divided into 6 and 3 Tablespoons) 1-½ Tablespoon dark rum ½-Tablespoon vanilla extract Pinch of salt 5 egg whites 1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. 2. Grease pan, line with parchment, then grease again and dust with cocoa powder. 3. Melt butter and chocolate together in the microwave. 4. In a medium bowl with a whip attachment, place the egg yolks, six tablespoons sugar, vanilla, rum, and salt and whip on high speed until light and thick: approximately three to five minutes. Reduce to medium speed and slowly add chocolate and butter mixture. Transfer to another bowl. 5. Put egg whites into bowl with whip attachment and begin whipping on high speed. Once foamy, add the remaining three Tablespoons of sugar one Tablespoon at a time. Continue whipping until stiff peaks form. 6. Take one-third of the whipped egg whites and fold into chocolate-egg yolk mixture. Fold in remaining egg whites until smooth. 7. Pour into pan and bake until the torte puffs slightly and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out very moist but not liquid for about 40 minutes. 8. Let torte cool completely, cover and refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight. RASPBERRY MOUSSE 2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin 2 Tablespoons cold water 5 cups fresh raspberries 3/4 cup sugar (divided into one-half and one-third cups) 2 large egg whites 1 cup heavy cream 1. In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand until softened: about five minutes. 2. In a blender, puree four cups of raspberries with one-half cup of sugar. 3. Strain the puree into a bowl through a fine sieve. 4. In microwave oven, melt the gelatin for 10 seconds on low. Whisk the gelatin into the raspberry puree. 5. In a large bowl set over a pot of simmering water, whisk the egg whites with the remaining one-fourth cup of sugar until warm to the touch. Remove bowl from heat. 6. Using a hand-held electric mixer, beat the whites at medium-high speed until stiff and glossy. 7. Fold the egg whites into the puree. 8. In the same bowl, beat the cream until firm. 9. Fold the whipped cream into the raspberry mixture. 10. In a small bowl, coarsely mash the remaining one cup of raspberries. Fold them into the mousse. 11. Scoop the mousse into eight bowls and refrigerate until set, at least one hour or overnight. Presentation: 1. Using a 4-inch ring mold, cut the flourless chocolate torte into three disks. 2. Place torte on plate, and pipe one-half inch-thick layer of mousse on top. 3. Continue to layer until all chocolate disks are used. 4. Finish by piping a final layer of mousse on top. 5. Chill until ready to serve. 6. Garnish with fresh raspberries.

For more recipes visit livingwellnesskc.Com/recipes

january | february 2013


Bizz andWeezy

One Couple’s Love Story with Chocolate

WRITTEN BY Gigi Cowell


Bizz and Weezy Confections can be found at: We B Nutz and Stuff 9437 Mission Road Leawood, KS (913) 649-6887 Sugar Rush 13778 S. Blackbob Road Olathe, KS (913) 839-2158 866-962-7953


“I think we love chocolate so much because it touches a part of our soul,” says Jonathan and Amy Pitcher, local chocolatiers and co-owners of Bizz and Weezy’s Confections. “Each bite speaks to each person differently. A good piece of chocolate can relax you, sooth you and put a smile on your face.”And these two should know – they have been making chocolate truffles and a variety of other delightful chocolate candies for almost five years. The Pitcher’s adventure with chocolate began quite unexpectedly after Jonathan lost his job in Internet Technology (IT). “My wife and I were sitting at home discussing ideas that could free us up from relying on our salaries,” says Pitcher, who already had a passion for making sweet treats, and sharing them with friends and co-workers. Working with chocolate and flavoring it for truffles seemed to come naturally to him, and he found it was something that really made him smile at the end of the day. So when money was tight that Christmas, the Pitchers decided to make gift baskets for family and friends instead of buying gifts. They made 12 baskets with hand-rolled truffles, brownie bites and sugar cookies. After getting their miniature works of art bagged up and out the door, Amy and Jonathan knew they had found their answer. Jonathan signed up for an online chocolate-making course, and they january | february 2013

were ready to get started. With Jonathan’s background in IT, it was no surprise the blossoming company took its first steps on the Internet. “It was easy for me to get a website started, and also gave us a smaller market to start off with,” says Pitcher. Without the capital they needed to open a storefront, the Pitchers began marketing their truffles through established local businesses, perfecting their recipes without the stress of trying to maintain a full-blown business. Now all they needed was a name. “We were really frustrated trying to find something that had a ring to it,” says Pitcher, when one of their friends suggested calling it ‘Bizz and Weezy’s’ after Jonathan and Amy’s online names in “World of Warcraft,” an online role playing game. “And it just stuck.” So now, making candies is a full-time job for Jonathan, who still freelances a little on the weekends for contract IT work. And the best part about making candies? “We enjoy it because it makes other people happy – we love seeing someone eating our candy and seeing their eyes roll back as they savor their first bite. And just being able to take an ingredient and turn it into a candy is a wonderful experience,” says Pitcher. “This past month, I had over one ton of chocolate sitting less than 20 feet away from me. How can that not be the best part?” KC

Exercise and Pregnancy: Fit and healthy mom equals fit and healthy baby


WRITTEN BY Nicole Moodie, PhD

Studies show that staying active during pregnancy with moderate exercise can help both mom and baby before and after birth.

When many couples first learn they are expecting, they are overcome by feelings of joy and excitement. Soon after this initial whirlwind of emotions, many moms-to-be find themselves overwhelmed with worries. Generally their initial concern is for the health of the baby. While this is of course their chief worry, if they are like me they soon question: ‘how much weight will I gain during pregnancy?’ As the little one’s due date draws nearer, many first-time moms find themselves becoming more anxious about process of labor and delivery. What many don’t realize is something as simple as regular exercise throughout pregnancy is related to many positive outcomes for mother and child, which should alleviate some of these worries. An article in a recent issue of the journal Sports Medicine outlined benefits of exercise during pregnancy including a reduced risk for gestational diabetes mellitus and pregnancy related hypertension. This article also concludes that individuals who have greater cardiovascular fitness levels tend to endure shorter periods of labor. The University of Georgia weighed in on the topic of strength training during pregnancy in an article in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health. This study revealed proper strength training resulted

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in a 14 percent increase in lumbar muscular endurance, which may help reduce back pain during pregnancy. The benefits of exercise have also been shown to outlast the period of pregnancy. Active pregnant women are likely to gain less weight, deposit less fat, have greater fitness levels, and are at lower risk for cardiovascular disease through their perimenopausal years. Mothers are not the only ones benefitting from a fit pregnancy. Research from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences has revealed in-utero cardiovascular and respiratory benefits from exercise extend throughout life, as individuals who were exposed to exercise in the womb have shown reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases as adults. Promising results in animal research have shown increases in learning and memory in the offspring of mice who exercised in pregnancy. Studies examining this phenomenon in humans are currently taking place at the University of Montreal. So, what type of exercise should moms-

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to-be perform? Current American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists guidelines suggest 30 minutes or more of moderate cardiovascular exercise per day for those who do not have any medical or obstetric complications. Examples of cardiovascular exercise include walking, jogging, swimming, water aerobics or cycling. This vague guideline leaves many women wondering what “moderate intensity� means. The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada suggests heart rate during cardiovascular exercise should fall within the following ranges:



Heart Rate Range

< 20








Individuals who are not accustomed to monitoring heart rate during exercise could instead rely on the “talk test.” This test suggests exercising at a pace that would allow you to carry on a conversation. This is a particularly useful way of determining exercise intensity for individuals who did not exercise regularly before pregnancy. Despite these heart rate guidelines, still others might argue that higher intensity exercise is acceptable, and it might be for some. In the end, knowing your body and listening to its response to exercise is key to a healthy pregnancy. In addition to regular cardiovascular exercise, regular strength training that incorporates all major muscle groups is encouraged. Strength training should also include core, balance and pelvic floor muscle training throughout the pregnancy. Despite the importance of these exercises, women need to avoid exercises that require them to lie on their backs after the first trimester of pregnancy to avoid blood flow complications. Finding good core strengthening

exercises at this point of the pregnancy often will require some creative thinking. Exercising pregnant women also need to consider environmental and nutritional demands of exercise. The body’s heat production increases during pregnancy, so it is important to exercise in a comfortable temperature wearing appropriate clothing. Pregnant women should also avoid contact sports or any movements that could potentially cause a loss of balance. The demands of pregnancy increase a woman’s caloric need by approximately 300 calories per day, so it is very important to increase caloric intake to match the demands of exercise while pregnant. While the benefits of exercise during pregnancy should lead to a healthy mom and baby, it is important to pay close attention to any abnormalities during exercise. Exercise should be stopped if any of the following symptoms occur: dizziness, chest pain, weakness, amniotic fluid leakage or bleeding.

Guidelines for Postpartum Exercise Many women are anxious to resume their active lifestyles, or even become more active after having a baby. Below are a few key thoughts concerning exercising postpartum. • Come up with a postpartum exercise plan before your baby is born. When the little one is here it becomes easier to delay making this plan, and you become less likely to incorporate exercise into your new lifestyle. • Generally moderate exercise can begin four to six weeks following delivery. This refers to moderate cardiovascular exercises such as brisk walking, jogging, cycling and elliptical trainer use. This also refers to resistance training. • Regaining core strength should be the number one exercise goal following pregnancy. This isn’t just to get rid of that “pregnancy pooch.” It is essential for the proper stabilization of your spine and will enable you to produce more forceful lower and upper body movements. If you think you don’t need to perform forceful movements ask yourself if you complete any of the following movements: – Pick up your child – Carry them for an extended time period – Hold them in their carrier – Lift them into a car – Push a stroller

You likely answered yes to each of these questions and realized how many more movements (all of them) require proper core activation. Resuming your day-to-day activities, and especially starting to exercise, before relearning how to activate the core musculature increases your risk of a musculoskeletal injury. • It is important to not begin core training immediately postpartum as the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles will need to recover. For many though, basic techniques can be performed days following a normal delivery. Many hospitals even will include core exercises in discharge paperwork. The most basic movements may not seem like exercises at all. • A simple activity like “sucking in your tummy”, more technically referred to as drawing your belly button in toward your spine, will allow for the activation of muscles crucial to increasing core strength. This movement, as well as Kegel exercises for the pelvic floor musculature can generally be performed much earlier than moderate cardiovascular activity, and should be the first step in a healthy recovery.


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Babies and Broccoli

Homemade baby food instills healthy eating habits WRITTEN BY Eden Williams

In spring 2009, Randy Alt fell victim to the Great Recession and was laid off work. Just days later, his girlfriend gave birth to their first child, a beautiful baby girl. Distraught with their financial situation but blessed by the new baby, the couple looked for ways to cut spending while Randy searched for a new job. A foodie by blood, Leah Ziegler wanted to offer their daughter a healthier alternative to generic, store-bought baby food. But the price of organic baby food was sky high, and she knew there must be another way. Fast forward to today. Leah and Randy have two happy, healthy children, ages three and a half and two – and get this: their girls love spinach, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. How did they do it? How did they conquer the seemingly impossible trifecta of cheap, healthy and tasty baby food? The secret is Leah makes 90 percent of the girls’ meals at home, making better use of leftover produce and instilling a taste for whole foods, rather than the dubious nutritional quality of mass-produced food. “It’s easy after you get a hang of it,” she says. Even as a working mom, Leah can still whip up several days’ worth of meals in 20 minutes. Her strategy is to steam fruits and vegetables, puree them, and then freeze the mixture into individual serving sizes. Then, when it is time for her daughters to eat, Leah easily thaws out as much food as she needs. The flexibility allows her to draw from a wide array of choices and find use for small scraps of food that would otherwise see the garbage can. One of Leah’s favorite perks about making the girls’ food herself is the freedom for creativity and craftiness. Most storebought baby food is pretty plain, consisting of just one main ingredient, but Leah’s creations include delightful combinations like Spinach-Mango-Pear. In addition, because she purees the food herself, Leah has complete control over how thoroughly to blend the food. Having a variety of texture is very important as her daughters grow and become able to eat more solid foods. “I even eventually went as far as to make finger foods for my girls simply by steaming a sweet potato, for example, and cutting it into bite-sized pieces they could 48 january | february 2013

pick up,” she notes. Making the girls’ food at home does require basic meal planning consideration, however, and some parents may not find the idea very appealing. But to anyone who doubts the value of homemade baby food, Leah points out a story from a family vacation. Without a good plan for packing her homemade baby food, Leah opted to pick up a few jars at the grocery store. It was easy to pack, and she wouldn’t have to refrigerate the girls’ meals over the weekend. However, the convenience of buying food for the girls was quickly overturned. The girls ate through the commercial baby food incredibly fast and were hungrier throughout the day. Leah checked a jar’s nutrition label and saw that the first ingredient was water. Next was sugar. The store-bought food was so full of additives and fillers that the girls had to eat more food in order to receive the same amount of nutrition they consumed from one serving of her homemade version. Not to mention, Leah was reminded of the research she had done during her first pregnancy. Study after study proved some of the fillers found in commercial baby food contain allergens – particularly gluten. The homemade baby food industry has been booming and online resources are aplenty, from easy meal recipes to single serving freezer trays, perfect for processing food in bulk and freezing it for convenience later. While Leah uses a special blender specific to making baby food, basic kitchen appliances like a food processor or blender will also do the trick. And, she says with a laugh, the baby food she makes just plain tastes better. KC

Spinach, Mango & Pears 1 cup frozen organic spinach, thawed 1 mango, peeled and cubed (or frozen) 1 pear, peeled and cubed Steam spinach, mango and pear until tender. If possible, save liquid that collects from steaming. Allow to cool slightly. Puree to desired consistency by adding liquid collected during the steaming process (distilled water may also be used). Serve. Leftovers may be frozen in ice cube trays for future meals.

THE ONE THING All Successful People Do Success can be summed up in one verb: recommitment For decades I’ve been fascinated with what makes some people strive while others struggle. What makes a child who is raised in a horrible environment, suffering from extreme poverty or neglect, grow up to be a responsible, thriving adult? On the other hand, what about the child who is blessed with good fortune, showered with love and nurturing, who lets those advantages slip away? I’ve learned success doesn’t stem from an upbringing, the amount of money in our pockets and not even our passion for life. Every successful person I have met or read about had one thing in common: an ability to recommit themselves. Think about it. It’s not that difficult to commit to a task, goal, relationship, job or parenthood. The first of the year you get pumped up. Time to take a risk and go for it. What is happening in this “honeymoon” period? • You have intent. You’ve selected the challenge or set a goal. • You have focus. You create an action plan. • You have accountability. You tell others.

Then what happens? Those shoes taking those action steps that had you so fired up in the beginning now seem a bit heavy. Those pals who patted you on the back for committing to this goal have moved onto patting other backs. The fire in your belly has to be rekindled only by you and it starts

to feel like you’re at a one-man campfire. That fierce intent is now a foggy dream. You have now stepped behind the curtain as part of the stage crew and you never realized how much work these people really do. After all, the front of the curtain is where the excitement is. It’s easy to lose weight. It’s hard to keep it off. It’s easy to sign up for a marathon. It’s hard to train for one. It’s easy to get married. It’s hard to stay married. It’s easy to get pregnant. It’s hard to raise children. It’s easy to start a business. It’s hard to make money. It’s easy to take a test. It’s hard to get an ‘A’. It’s easy to care. It’s harder to give. Success is not about commitment. It’s about recommitment. So what does that look like? It’s continuing to study for that exam alone at the library when all your friends are out partying. It’s cleaning your house for the hundredth showing because it hasn’t sold yet. It’s eating healthy on Sunday after going on a binge on Saturday. It’s lecturing your teenager one more time about texting and driving when all you see are rolling eyes. It’s hugging your spouse after years of marriage and saying, “I am so in love with you.” It’s finishing that last part of a run when all you want to do is just stop. What about those who commit to climbing Mount Everest? Imagine how many hundreds of times they have to RECOMMIT to that goal. With the agony of frozen extremities, severe dehydration, oxygen-deprived lungs and total depletion of all energy reserves, I’d say

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Pizza Rolls for Grown-Ups Never again put frozen pizza rolls in your grocery basket plllease….

anyone who reaches the summit has mastered recommitment. What about our military? A system specifically designed to constantly test commitment so when adversity strikes, there is no internal debate within the mind of a soldier.

Recommitment takes practice. Those I admire most, whether they be professional athletes, business people, family or friends, appear to get to where they want to go easier and faster than I do. You know how some people seem effortless? They understand that success is a series of recommitments. They don’t freak out when they fail because it’s all part of the process. They expect it rather than react to it. They skin their knees too but smile when they put on the band-aid. While we’re over-thinking the reasons we can’t do something, they’re miles ahead, truckin’ right along. 1 cup instant black beluga lentils 1 jar sliced mushrooms 1 onion, chopped 1 can organic pizza sauce 1 package organic whole-wheat fillo dough Garlic flavored olive oil Mozzarella shreds (can use vegan or regular mozzarella) Italian herb seasoning Cooking spray Microwave the lentils for 90 seconds. Sautee chopped onion in one teaspoon of olive oil. Add mushrooms and cooked lentils. Lay one sheet of defrosted fillo dough flat. Fold in half. With a basting brush, dab the sheet with a little garlic olive oil. Using a large spoon, place approximately 1/4 to 1/2 cup of skillet ingredients in the center of the folded sheet. Add 1-2 tablespoons of pizza sauce and a sprinkle of mozzarella. Shake a little herb seasoning on top. Now roll the fillo dough around ingredients as if you were making a burrito. Place on a cookie sheet and cover as you keep working. Spray the tops with cooking spray and add more herb seasoning before baking. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until edges start to brown. Switch to broil for two to three minutes to give the tops a golden crisp look. Watch carefully so they don’t burn. Allow to cool and enjoy the flaky goodness of homemade pizza rolls for the whole family.

Failures, objections, bad judgments, uncertainty, loneliness and hurdles are a part of a successful trek in life. It is easy to get in the habit of saying, “Maybe I’m just not cut out for this.” Not so fast.

A negative result or feeling is our signal to recommit ourselves. This doesn’t always require a redirection or new strategy. Sometimes we just have to keep going.

Immediate results should not be a distraction from going after what we want. Improvement is not always steady. It can come in waves, zigzags or random dots.

The measure of our success is independent of others. Comparisons are dependent on where you decide to look. Next time you want to give up, recommit at that moment. Restart your engine. Those who are in the front of the curtain did it thousands of times. For more from Susan, visit

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Coming up in March/April: • Pets and Wellness • Bicycling in Kansas City • DNA vs Lifestyle …and more!

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January/February 2013