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Ann BRCA GENETIC TESTING • MINDFULNESS MATTERS • YOU CAN EAT THAT? ive rsa ry ed ition september | october 2013



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


Wellness-Inspired Halloween Costumes

School Lunch Makeover Locally-sourced, homemade and healthy meals for students

Art for the soul

Local establishment offers healing with art and local organizations use art as therapy

kansas city

Many birthing centers talk about new wallpaper and spa amenities, but you should know more about your healthcare, such as: An integrated team of 22 faculty-physician specialists and subspecialists in OB/GYN, the largest in the region A low total caesarean section rate of 23% Routine encouragement of vaginal birth after cesarean delivery for appropriate candidates, achieving success in at least 7 out of 10 candidates Special programs for the prevention of preterm birth, and the management of multiple gestations, diabetes and other important maternal and fetal health problems The support from both the regionally unique KU Center for Advanced Fetal Care and KU Center for High Risk Pregnancy A brand new neonatal intensive care unit with single family rooms, and neonatal medical home providing personalized care after discharge culminating in exceptional outcomes Being the only facility in the region to require all to participate annually in PROMPT, the only training course in obstetrical emergencies shown to improve patient outcomes

Why settle for wallpaper? (oh, we have that too) 913.588.6200

KUMC Campus 3901 Rainbow Blvd Kansas City, KS 66160

Corporate Medical Plaza 10777 Nall Avenue, Suite 200 Overland Park, KS 66211


AT€AWAKEN€WHOLE€LIFE€CENTER† Soul Recovery — Make Room for a Miracle with Ester Nicholson

September 27-29, 2013 Learn the difference between anger and resentment, regain emotional balance and spiritual mastery and much more in this three-day retreat with accomplished Hay House author Ester Nicholson.

Creative Awakening Yoga Retreat with Kim Cope Tait

October 18-21, 2013 Awaken your body and inspire your creative mind at this yoga practice and creative writing workshop.

Power Up Your Life Retreat with Revs. Drs. Bil and Cher Holton

October 20-27, 2013 Explore the Twelve Powers of Faith, Strength, Love, Imagination, Dominion, Wisdom, Will, Understanding, Order, Release, Enthusiasm and Life and learn how to put them to work in your everyday life.

Call 855.627.5672 to register or visit our website at to find out more and to sign up for our mailing list. 1901 NW Blue Pkwy | Unity Village, MO 64065 Located at Unity Village

september | october 2013


features 16





Health and wellness social media profiles and blogs to follow now

FOOD FIGHT How to detect and prevent eating disorders

Bistro Kids aims to improve nutrition in schools

30 BREAST CANCER Genetic testing for BRCA can help save lives



Ideas to help prepare nutrient dense meals throughout the school year

33 4

38 12 LIFE NOTIONS What I wish I knew at 20

41 MINDFULNESS MATTERS A dancer’s perspective


ART AS THERAPY Process painting helps heal from within september | october 2013


Before you winterize your garden be sure to make the most of your harvest




in every issue



Wellness calendar 8 Editor’s letter 9 Online news 6

ON THE COVER Thank you to Jenny Hahn and Stephanie Gray at Creative Nectar Studios for lending us their space for our cover shoot. Also, thank you to Karen Ialapi, Lila Haris and Cate Riddle for showing up to paint that evening.


A special thanks to Dr. Lee Norman for letting us use his beautiful balcony in the River Market to shoot our anniversary editor’s page.

OOPS! In the July/August Chia seed feature we printed that HDL is the “bad” cholesterol, not LDL. HDL is the “good” cholesterol. Sorry for the misprint. Be sure to try this natural super food!

september | october 2013


online news

LIVINGWELLNESSU.COM COMMUNITY WELLNESS EVENTS Visit to register to attend and learn about our free community wellness events. The next event is October 3 at Awaken Whole Life Center at Unity Village.

Don’t forget to visit often to check out what events are coming up throughout the metro.

View all past issues of Living Wellness Kansas City at

Subscribe online today! Receive Living Wellness Kansas City in your mailbox at home or work for only $19.99 a year. Visit or mail a check to: PO Box 8695 Prairie Village, KS 66208 Want more? Sign up to receive our monthly e-newsletters to get even more tips on how to live well delivered right to your inbox.



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

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Join the conversation Join us on facebook: Follow us on twitter:

I am ... … a community leader. … a wine enthusiast. … all about grilling. … a husband. … a father. … a blood donor. … a prankster. prankste … a Jayhawk. … a runner. … a voter. … social. Brent loves to give back to others. He is a community leader who shares his time in many ways including serving as a member on the board for the Olathe School District. His times on the grill and on the road as an avid runner don’t get in the way of giving back in the most basic of ways. Brent is also a loyal and dedicated blood donor who takes 60 minutes of his time every 56 days to help save a life in his community.

Who are you?

wellness calendar

SEPTEMBER National Prostate Health Month Did you know 1 in 6 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime? Luckily with prevention and awareness only 1 in 34 men will die from this disease. Each September, organizations host dozens of free events around the metro with free prostate screenings and information. Visit to find events in your area.

OCTOBER Bullying Prevention October is Bullying Prevention Month. PACER, a national disabled children’s awareness and bullying prevention organization, is the force behind Rock, Walk and Roll Against Bullying in Bloomington, Minn. and Unity Day. As part of this day, individuals are encouraged to wear orange on October 9 and use PACER resources to support the cause, hand out orange “UNITY” ribbons at school, and write “UNITY” on their hands or binders. To learn more about PACER and its mission visit

8 september | october 2013


wellness kansas city

Volume 2, Issue 5 September/October 2013

Publisher Deb Ducrocq-Vaknin



Editor In Chief Sarah Legg Contributors Levi G. Clock Crissy Dastrup Abby Dean Tanya Gold Christine Kaya Hewitt Christy Lonergan Amber Long Eric Mazzie Jana Meister Brittany Nelson Susan Ortbals Seasons 52 Dianna Sinni Mark Van Blaricum Kristin Wark Maggie Young Art Direction/Graphic Design BV Design Cover Photographer Rob and Jen Photography Contributing Photographers Sonja Lashua Fagan Christy Lonergan Rob and Jen Photography Cartoonist Mark Litzler Account Managers Sherri Grant Andrea Levitan 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 resumé and samples to For advertising information email Subscriptions are $19.99 a year.

There’s a saying that the days go by too slowly, but the years go by too fast. That’s how I feel as we celebrate the anniversary of our first issue last September. When we started the magazine we likened it to giving birth. We planned for months as we launched our website, put together our distribution lists, gathered experts for our advisory board and went out into the community to begin spreading the word about what “Living Wellness” means. Once we received the first delivery of the magazines, it felt like we were holding our baby in our arms – the product we labored over for months to get just right. Now, a year later, it feels like our baby is turning into a toddler beginning to walk on its own two feet. As we move into year two with the magazine we will continue to provide entertaining and informative blogs and community events, as well as take on some new endeavors. While we forge ahead in our journey to bring health and wellness education and information to Kansas Citians, we thank you for your continued support and know that without you, our reader and advertisers, we could not have accomplished this feat. Much love and appreciation to you all! KC

Sarah Legg

Join the conversation

Mail a check to: Living Wellness Kansas City PO Box 8695 Prairie Village, KS 66208 Or visit:

Join us on facebook: Follow us on twitter:

september | october 2013


wellness september | october 2013 BISTRO KIDS

SCHOOL LUNCH “Our mission is to become an integral part of the school community by empowering, teaching and feeding as many students as possible kid friendly meals that are healthy, seasonal, delicious, and whenever possible, locally grown.”


– Bistro Kids

10 september | october 2013


WRITTEN BY Mark Van Blaricum


“If you have kids, work on school lunches.” This was acclaimed food writer and “New York Times” columnist Mark Bittman’s instant response to an audience question at an event this summer. The questioner wondered what she as an individual could do to impact our complicated food landscape in addition to keeping herself and her family healthy. Bittman’s pointed answer indicates that whatever progress has been made since the likes of iridescent beef, mashed potato flakes and fruit cocktail made school lunches a punch line has been mitigated by an updated set of challenges. New USDA standards try to make sure more vegetables than ever are on kids’ trays, but Congress has ensured that pizza and french fries are still considered vegetables. The milk and yogurt served in school cafeterias is low or non-fat, but the chocolate and fruit-flavored varieties are still jam-packed with sugar. The ubiquitous “chicken” nuggets and other features of the a la carte line are a dream-come-true for kids, and a nightmare for health-conscious parents. Kiersten Firquain of Bistro Kids, known as ‘Chef K,’ saw what her own kids were eating at school, and went to work on school lunches in a big way. Now, seven years after founding the Bistro Kids Farm 2 School program, she is responsible for providing homemade, healthy, and locally sourced lunches and snacks to thousands of school children every day across the Kansas City metro. The program serves healthy, seasonal and whenever possible, locally-sourced food (in partnership with Good Natured Family Farms and Ball Foods, Inc.) at 17 different schools and early childhood centers across the metro. Each location has a dedicated Bistro Kids chef, and breakfasts, lunches and snacks are prepared from scratch every day on-site. The food service is obviously fantastic, and the kids love (and grow to love through positive exposure) the pumpkin mini muffins, fresh

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salads and sticky drumsticks that are but a few of the daily offerings. But it’s the educational components of the Farm 2 School program that take Bistro Kids to another level. “You can’t just plop a new food down on a tray and expect kids to try it,” says Chef K, “which is why nutrition education is such a big part of what we do.” The Bistro Kids staff teaches kids from 18 months to 18 years old about the food they’re eating, where it comes from, how it’s prepared and why that is important. Bistro Kids’ chefs conduct hands-on cooking classes during the school year and hold summer cooking camps at many of the schools. There’s also a garden at every school, so kids are able to plant, nurture, and literally enjoy the seasonal fruits and vegetables of their labor. Bistro Kids has also started composting and recycling programs at many schools, which teach students about sustainability. And Bistro Kids trains the trainers – teachers, administrators, staff members – to educate the children they serve, which also perpetuates the organization’s mission.

Bistro Kids was acquired by Treat America Food Services in 2012, so Chef K now has more resources at her disposal than ever to carry out the Bistro Kids mission. As a result, they’re busy. In addition to the 17 participating schools and early childhood centers, Bistro Kids is entering its second year of collaboration with the Greater Kansas City YMCA Head Start programs, and is providing 3,000 meals a day to kids who may not have had previous access to healthy foods. During the summer, they provided 1,000 healthy snacks a day to kids in the YMCA summer programs. The impact of Bistro Kids goes well beyond the 4,000-plus meals it provides every day. The positive exposure to food, the education, and the healthy habits will serve these thousands of children their entire lives and will be passed down through generations. Seriously, that is getting to work on school lunch. KC

Recipes and more information are available at

I am ... … a future Olympian (hopefully). … a soccer player. … hardworking. … competitive. … a gymnast. … an artist. … a blood recipient. … a K-State fan. … a best friend. … a hula-hooper. … a little sister. … a Christian. … brave. Amelia is an active girl on the go! She loves soccer, gymnastics, spending time with her friends and hula-hooping. Amelia is also a blood recipient who has Diamond Blackfan Anemia; she needs monthly blood transfusions to continue her battle with this disease. She is very thankful for blood donors who took just 60 minutes of their time to help save her life.

Who are you?

Costumes fit for a This year you can be the life of the party (or the trick-or-treating block) with these easy to make health and wellness-inspired costumes.

Richard Simmons Who doesn’t love a man in short shorts and crazy wig? Just find some old running shorts, knee-high athletic socks, sneakers and you’ll be trick-or-treating to the oldies in a flash.

Fruit and Veggie kids: Make these simple costumes at home with our instructions available at Pinterest ( livewellnesskc). Perhaps the images of healthy foods will curb candy consumption throughout the evening. 14 september | october 2013

healthy HALLOWEEN Photographer: Rob and Jen Photography; Stylists: Tanya Gold and Jana Meister; Makeup: Rachel Naste; Models: (from left) Ruby Grondahl, Doug Kapeller, Finnigan Grondahl, McCartney Payton, Emma Vaughn, Paul Peterman

‘80s Fitness Maven Show off those buns of steel with an Olivia or Jane-inspired fitness guru costume from the 1980s. Squeeze into that leotard, throw on a few sweatbands and leg warmers and start stepping your way door-to-door.

An Athletic Throwback Represent the fittest of the fit with a costume tribute to true, original athleticism – a Scottish Highland Games Sword Fighter. Other highland games inspired ideas: The Hammer Throw, The Sheaf Toss and Putting the Stone. september | october 2013 15

wellness september | october 2013 TECHNOLOGY

Digital Wellness:

WRITTEN BY Kristin Wark

Health and Wellness Social Profiles to Follow Whether you’re a foodie or a fitness buff, the Internet holds a wealth of health and wellness information just waiting to be discovered. Blogs and social media pages dedicated to promoting wellness offer an opportunity to find inspiration and healthy advice quickly and efficiently – if you know how to find what you’re looking for. Here are nine social profiles to check out this month.

BLOGS Living Wellness KC | An extension of Living Wellness Kansas City magazine, the blog section of this website includes posts from expert contributors on spiritual wellness, diet and nutrition, mental wellness, and local wellness resources, just to name a few. In addition, you’ll find local wellness event information, a special “ask an expert” section, and a digital version of the print magazine.

GreenLiteBites | “GreenLiteBites” is dedicated to low fat, high fiber and whole food cooking. Each recipe includes a photograph and detailed nutritional information so it’s perfect for anyone who tracks micronutrients

16 september | october 2013

for weight loss or other health reasons. Deemed this blogger’s “creative outlet” and side project to her original blog, which chronicles her weight loss journey, each recipe is a product of her own personal kitchen experimentation.

MizFitOnline | Carla Birnberg provides fitness knowledge to those who might not have access to one-on-one training through “MizFitOnline.” She brings her expertise to your fingertips through brief, yet highly motivational posts. Carla encourages readers to find their own path to healthy living while covering everything from personal development to nutrition myths. Use this as a great daily read to keep your spirit in check and your mind motivated.

Science-Based Medicine | “Science-Based Medicine” evaluates medical treatments and products of interest to the public in a scientific light. This blog claims to ask the hard questions that are “often overlooked or ignored by the vast online information related to alternative medicine.” All of the contributors to this blog are medically trained and have an impressive background in communicating scientific findings to a lay audience.

Rebecca Thinks … | “Rebecca Thinks…” is a food and nutrition blog written by expert and registered dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield. She focuses on holistic wellness and practices a philosophy called “Me First.” The philosophy encourages the daily self-care of food, movement and fun. Posts occasionally highlight behavioral issues related to staying healthy and happy, adding deeper information than many other similar nutrition blogs.

FACEBOOK Grass Fed Girl | grassfedgirl A holistic nutrition consultant from San Francisco, the goal of “Grass Fed Girl” is to help women achieve health and fitness goals through a paleo diet, which essentially means a diet that does not include grains, dairy, legumes, potatoes, refined salt and sugar, and processed oils. She frequently posts recipes and articles that support and explain the health benefits of this Paleolithic lifestyle.

Rawforbeauty | rawforbeauty Eye-opening articles and helpful infographics are just the beginning for this Facebook page. With posts ranging from eco-politics to holistic health remedies, this page provides eye opening and easy-to-follow content for anyone interested in reducing or eliminating

Fit Bottomed Girls | Though the name may be light-hearted, the content is rock solid. With workout DVD reviews, fitness news and product information, tidbits on healthy food, workout music and playlists, this group of female contributors strives to “aid real women and girls in their journey to increased health through physical activity and sensible eating.” The topics are all delivered with a refreshing dose of witty humor that will make you smile on your journey to wellness. Once you’ve found a blog that peaks your interest, be sure to find the authors on Facebook and Twitter. Most bloggers use social media as a way to stay connected with readers and you can effortlessly share your wellness discoveries with your family and friends.

a dependence on chemical products.

Just Eat Real Food | This page focuses on providing real-food recipes that cater to many diet-based lifestyles, such as paleo, primal, gluten free and other food communities. New recipes are posted every day and serve as a helpful resource when cooking for special diet requirements. Posts always include a photo with the recipe in the caption, so there’s no hassle of clicking through to a new website to see ingredients or directions.


september | october 2013 17

wellness september | october 2013 COLLEGE SAVINGS

PLANNING FOR THEIR FUTURE Familiarize yourself with your financial aid options. You may qualify for more help than you think. WRITTEN BY Levi G. Clock, Principal, and Crissy Dastrup, Executive Director, Clockwork Financial

18 september | october 2013

If you’re wondering how you’re going to pay for your child’s college, you’re not alone. In fact, estimates point out that as many as 13 million parents of college-bound children are currently struggling to send their kids off to school. Many parents consider mortgaging their homes, or spending their life savings to provide enough money to send their children to college. If they don’t have much home equity some may resort to sending their child to the least-expensive school rather than a better college, or no school at all. Most would agree that we don’t know what we don’t know. When we hear the term “financial aid” we assume we may have too much money to qualify for anything. The truth is that financial aid is based on many factors – not just income. Some common factors include: number of children in college, age of parents, divorce or separation agreements, projected cost of the college or university, and so on. Families with combined incomes as high as $180,000 per year have qualified for aid – don’t rule yourself out until you learn the caveats of FAFSA.

UNDERSTAND THE ACRONYMS Learn how to lower your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is calculated by all major colleges and universities. This calculation was developed by the Department of Education to determine the amount your family can afford to pay annually for college. The Cost of Attendance (COA) is then calculated annually, which helps determine family need:

COA – EFC = Family Need Simply put – if your EFC is less than the COA, there is a case for need-based financial aid. The EFC can be lowered in almost all households that appear “over the income level.” Consult with a reputable financial planning firm who has expertise in legally lowering your EFC. Much like proper tax planning can minimize tax liabilities, strategic financial planning can legally reduce your EFC to obtain further aid. Certain assets have greater impact than others when determining financial aid. For example, a family has $20,000 in a college investment account for one of its children. The Department of Education takes 20 percent ($4,000) and adds it to their EFC. This means they are immediately ineligible for $4,000 of aid. Certain accounts are not taken into consideration when calculating the EFC. This is one of the many reasons proper financial planning is beneficial. “Sheltering” assets is completely legal and may include IRA’s, annuities and using cash-value life insurance for banking. We illustrate these strategies through the “Infinite Banking” concept. This process teaches a personal application of the concept of banking. Infinite Banking uses your “personal family bank” to redirect the costs of financing education, business or life in a way that is actually profitable. This teaches individual households how to pay themselves and grow their asset pool instead of paying someone else the national average of 34.5 percent in interest, financing and fees. When properly established, these types of strategies are used for college expenses with little or no penalty or when used to KC supplement the cost of higher education.

Have questions about what you just read? Visit september | october 2013 19

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nutrition september | october 2013 MINI PUMPKIN PIE

Autumn Pumpkin Recipe The perfect portion for a fall favorite

Serves 6 to 8

½ cup pumpkin puree (see below for homemade recipe) 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted ½ cup brown sugar ¼ cup maple syrup 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg ¼ teaspoon ginger powder ¼ teaspoon ground cloves 3 ounces egg white, pasteurized liquid ½ cup milk ¼ cup cream 1 box of ginger snap cookies

Homemade pumpkin puree

Photo and recipe courtesy of Seasons 52

Mini ‘Pumpkin Pie’ Indulgence

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 2. Combine all ingredients except egg whites and ginger snap cookies in a large bowl and mix well to incorporate. 3. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold into the mixture. Pour into a greased glass baking dish and bake until a toothpick inserted halfway between the center and edge of the pie comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.

1 small pumpkin (approximately 3 pounds)

4. Put cooled mixture into a bowl and stir until smooth. Add to pastry bag and set aside.

Remove stem and cut pumpkin length-wise into two pieces and scoop out the seeds and strings. Place cut side down on a greased baking tray and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour until tender (cooking time depends on pumpkin size.) Let cool. Scrape out the pulp and place in a food processor. Puree until smooth.

5. Grind ginger snaps in a food processor to a granular consistency. (Save six to eight whole cookies for garnish.)

Looking for more delicious recipes? Visit

6. Sprinkle a small layer of ginger snap crumbs to the bottom of a shot glass, cordial glass or miniature glass serving vessel. 7. Using the pastry bag filled with the cooled mixture, pipe filling over the ginger snap crumbs. Fill halfway. 8. Add more ginger snap crumbs on top of the filling to make a second layer. Pipe more filling over the top of the second layer and fill to the top. 9. Garnish with whipped cream and a whole ginger snap cookie.


september | october 2013 21

nutrition september | october 2013 BACK-TO-SCHOOL RECIPES

Back to school

Nutrient-dense meals for going

WRITTEN BY Dianna Sinni, Healthy Eating Specialist at Whole Foods Market

With summer over and the school year routine setting in, it’s important to keep nourishing meals on the table to keep everyone going amidst all the classes, activities and play dates. Keep your family fueled with nutrient dense, whole food ingredients to satisfy their bellies and fuel their brainss. Here are some tips for making mealtime less cumbersome and more nutritious on busy weekdays.

22 september | october 2013

Super Grains Breakfast Medley with Almond Milk Super Grains contains quinoa, millet and buckwheat for whole grain goodness. Enjoy eaten as a hot or cold cereal. Store leftover cooked super grains in the freezer for easy meal preparation throughout the week. Serves 2 1 cup 365 Everyday Value® * Organic Super Grains, cooked according to package directions 1 organic nectarine, pitted and chopped ¼ cup organic blueberries 2 cups 365 Everyday Value® Organic Unsweetened Vanilla Almond milk Honey, as needed to sweeten (optional) In a small bowl or mason jar, add ½ cup of cooked super grains. Top with chopped nectarine, fresh blueberries, and 1 cup of almond milk. Drizzle with a dash of honey if needed to sweeten.

BREAKFAST The first meal of the day has been coined the “most important meal of the day” because it provides us with replenished energy stores and nutrients that our body uses while at rest. Numerous studies also encourage eating a balanced breakfast, full of fiber and whole grains, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats to maintain a healthy weight and increase concentration. • Tired of oatmeal? Try cooking millet or quinoa, naturally gluten-free grains, just as you would oatmeal on the stove. To save some time on those rushed mornings, cook a batch over the weekend to have for easy meal preparation during the week. Try cooked millet or quinoa as a cold cereal with your favorite nut milk or low-fat dairy. Sprinkle with toasted nuts, fresh fruit, cinnamon and a drizzle of honey. To go grain-free, try soaking 1/3 cup chia seeds in 1 cup of almond milk overnight in the fridge. When you wake up, it will be a great pudding consistency.

* 365 Everyday Value® Organic Super Grains contains red and white quinoa, millet

• Smoothies are a great on-the-go morning breakfast packed with nutrients. Start with water or unsweetened non-dairy milk for the base, fresh or frozen fruit, a scoop or almond butter or your favorite nuts/seeds, and a handful of fresh greens like spinach or kale. • Whole grain pancakes can be easily made in a large batch and frozen for fast thawing in the toaster. • Top fresh, mild-flavored greens like chard or spinach with cooked black beans, sautéed onions, peppers and garlic, and pico de gallo or lowsodium prepared salsa. If you have more time, whip up a simple tofu scramble for an extra boost of protein.

september | october 2013 23

Cashew Cream Dessert A dessert you can feel good about – a delicious non-dairy treat, sweetened naturally! Serve with your favorite fresh berries or seasonal fruit. 1 ½ cup raw, unsalted whole cashews 4 to 6 medjool dates, pitted 1 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract ¼ cup water, as needed to thin to desired consistency Dash of cinnamon, optional In a blender or food processor, add ingredients in the order listed. Blend or process on high until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides and add in water as needed to thin. Enjoy right away with fresh fruit or keep refrigerated for two to three days.

LUNCH School and even corporate cafeteria lunches may not have the healthiest options. As a former childhood sugar addict, I remember using my lunch money for a three pack of soft cookies and skittles and frequenting the pizza line. Packing a lunch is the best way to ensure your child is eating a nutrient dense lunch. Getting your kids involved in packing a lunch is a great way to give them a sense of control over what they are eating, and to foster healthy choices throughout life. Yes, it is possible to pack a healthy and delicious lunch their classmates will be envious of. Stick to the basics: lots of fiber, whole grains, lean protein, healthy fats and naturally sweet, fresh produce.

24 september | october 2013

• If your kids are tired of the same old sandwich, try a whole grain wrap with sliced carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, mixed greens and edamame hummus. Serve it with an Asianinspired almond butter dipping sauce. Or try it without the wrap and with cold buckwheat or whole-wheat noodles instead. • Satisfy a sweet tooth with fresh seasonal fruit or berries with a non-dairy vanilla cashew cream for dipping. A chocolate ganache made from almond butter, dates and cacao powder is a great dip for a banana. • Turn dinner leftovers into lunch in a wrap or pita pocket sandwich, or bulk up the fiber content of soups by throwing in extra cooked quinoa or brown rice.

Sautéed Greens with Black Beans and Veggies

DINNER Create family time around dinner. Get your kids active in the kitchen ripping the stems off kale, chopping bell peppers or mixing salad dressing – there is always something they can help with. When children have a sense of ownership over what is put on the table, they are more inclined to eat and enjoy it. Don’t sacrifice nutrition for convenience when it comes to your family’s meals … you can put a tasty and healthy meal on the table in a short amount of time. • Batch cook family-style meals or whole grains and freeze. You will never need to reach for a frozen pizza if you have homemade vegetable lasagna, frittata or brown rice on hand. • Make a few vegetarian meals a week using plant-based protein sources like tofu or beans. Make a creamy tomato soup dairy free by blending in silken tofu or black bean chili. • Substitute the typical pasta with spaghetti squash. Steam and scrape out the flesh with a fork and top with marinara like you would spaghetti. • Use a whole-grain tortilla as a pizza crust. Top with balsamic marinated vegetables, pesto or marinara, and chiffonade basil. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the tortilla is crispy and browning on the edges.

This oil-free sauté is a great way to steam-fry vegetables. Serve on a corn tortilla or over a baked sweet potato. Serves 4 ¼ cup 365 Everyday Value® Organic Low-Sodium Vegetable Broth 2 cans 365 Everyday Value® No-Salt-Added Black Beans, rinsed and drained 1 small onion, diced 1 large bell pepper, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tablespoon ground cumin 1/8 teaspoon sea salt 2 teaspoon chili powder 4 to 5 cups spinach or chard, packed 2 carrot, shredded 1 avocado, diced Low-sodium salsa or pico de gallo, optional In a medium pan, heat the vegetable broth over medium-high heat. Add in the onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add in the bell pepper, cooking 2 minutes longer. Stir in the garlic, cumin, sea salt, and chili powder and cook another minute. Add in extra broth if the pan is dry, and stir in the black beans. Reduce heat to low and cover, until beans are warmed through. Taste and season if needed. Meanwhile in a small pan over medium heat toss in the fresh spinach or chard. Sprinkle the pan with a few tablespoons of water and cover for 2 minutes, or until greens have just wilted. To plate, place spinach on the bottom, bean and veggie mixture on the top, sprinkle with freshly shredded carrot and avocado. Top with salsa or pico de gallo.

365 Everyday Value® products can be found at Whole Foods Market. september | october 2013 25

health september | october 2013 EATING DISORDER OVERVIEW

FIGHT An overview of eating disorders: How to detect, prevent and find help. WRITTEN BY Abby Dean

26 september | october 2013



For many of us, eating is a wonderful thing. It offers satisfaction, adventure, and, of course, nutritional value and energy. It provides pleasure from choosing a recipe and preparing a meal, to taking that first savory bight. But for the millions of people suffering with eating disorders, food and mealtimes are often surrounded by anxiety, obsessive thoughts, abnormal behaviors, and negative self-image. An eating disorder can drain a person physically, emotionally and spiritually. If left untreated, it can lead to heart attacks, organ failure and even death. According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), approximately 20 million women and 10 million men in the United States suffer from some form of eating disorder, and shockingly, more people die each year from an eating disorder than any other mental illness. What exactly qualifies as an eating disorder? Who is affected? And where does one seek help in Kansas City?

NEDA recognizes four forms of eating disorders: • As one of the most common psychiatric diagnoses in young women, Anorexia Nervosa is identified by self-starvation, excessive weight loss and an extreme fear of being “fat.” The disorder is separated into two diagnostic categories: restrictive anorexia and binge/purge anorexia. A staggering 5 to 20 percent of those suffering from anorexia will die from the disorder. • Bulimia Nervosa is a potentially life-threatening disorder that includes a cycle of bingeing on food and compensating with behaviors such as self-induced vomiting, laxative use, and/or overexercising. Bulimic individuals will often appear to be of average weight, but they are constantly preoccupied by food and body concerns. In fact, only 6 percent of individuals with bulimia receive mental health care. This disorder is often associated with depression or changes in social settings. • Binge Eating Disorder (BED), which affects approximately 1 to 5 percent of the general population, is characterized by recurrent binge eating without the use of compensatory measures to counter the behavior. Like bulimia, BED is often associated with symptoms of depression. Those suffering can be of normal or heavier-thanaverage weight. • Abnormal eating behaviors that meet some, but not all, of the symptoms of anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating are referred to as Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS).

CAUSES Nearly all eating disorders begin as a method of coping, often in response to painful feelings or situations. And while certain things are more likely to cause eating disorders, it is important to note the factors are multidimensional and can include everything from living environments to genetics to societal influences. “Eating disorders are never caused by just one thing,” says Michelle Micsko, PhD, of InSight Counseling in Overland Park. “It is always a recipe

september | october 2013 27

with multiple ingredients. Environment and biology work together to develop an eating disorder.” Biological factors can include a family history of eating disorders or chemical dependency, mood disorder, anxiety or depression, increased body mass index prior to onset, and/or early puberty. Predisposing environmental factors range from living in a highly competitive academic or social setting to societal pressures to participation in high-risk sports (gymnastics, wrestling, ballet, figure skating, long-distance running, etc.) Major life transitions, such as starting college or moving to a new city, and traumatic events like divorce, death, or abuse are also common precipitants. And although certain personality traits are common among those who suffer, eating disorders can affect all sorts of people from a multitude of backgrounds. “Our patient base really defied the stereotypes of who people would assume have eating disorders,” says Kathryn Anderson, a Kansas City-based social worker and former clinical therapist at Midwest Center for Eating Disorders at Research Medical Center. “We took patients as young as 13 and as old as 65 – boys, girls, men, women, gay, straight, black and white.”

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS How do you identify someone with an eating disorder? And how do you determine if you are suffering from one yourself? “Unfortunately, the way the disease progresses, many times people are so deeply in their illness, that even when outside loved ones come forward, they’re rigidly in denial that there’s a problem,” says Mary Beth Blackwell, LCSW, LSCSW, program manager of the Eating Disorder Resource

Center at Jewish Family Services of Greater Kansas City. “It’s really hard to do self-diagnosis. Usually it comes from an outside influence, whether it’s a doctor or a coach or a parent or a friend, who says, ‘I’m worried about you’.” Some of the most obvious signs include a significant increase or decrease in weight, an intense preoccupation with body image, mood swings, depression, irritability, and a dramatic change in interests. Additionally, one may notice abnormal eating habits, such as extreme dieting, odd mealtime rituals, and secretive bingeing, as well as excessive exercise regimens, even when the individual is ill or injured. Similar to other types of compulsive behaviors, eating disorders often go unnoticed by outside observers, and therefore, are untreated for weeks, months, and even years. Recognizing the onset of signs and symptoms early (whether in someone else or yourself) aids in a positive prognosis and quicker recovery. “It’s when life gets out of balance,” says Micsko. “If thinking about food and weight and exercise – either what you’re doing or not doing or what you should be doing – takes up a lot of time in your day, then you definitely have something you can get help for. We’re thrilled if we can get people to come in as soon as they see they’re getting out of balance. One of the best prognostic features is how long a patient has suffered prior to getting into treatment.”

TREATMENT AND RECOVERY “Recovery from an eating disorder is absolutely 100 percent possible,” Micsko says. “It is just a myth that once you have an eating disorder, you will always have one.”

"Seeking treatment not only changes your life,it changes who you are for the better." – Kathryn Anderson, Kansas City-based social worker

28 september | october 2013

Levels of care for eating disorders range from inpatient programs to residential care, and partial hospitalization to outpatient programs. After a thorough assessment from a trained eating disorder specialist, a person will enter into the level of care best suited for the severity of his or her disorder and how it is affecting overall health. Treatment typically includes a combination of one-onone sessions with a therapist, nutritional counseling, physician supervision, and group and/or family therapy sessions. “There is often a large component of shame involved in the development and ongoing progression of an eating disorder,” Micsko says. “The best way for shame to be addressed is by talking about your struggles with other people. When you can show that vulnerability with others, and talk about what’s troubling you, you realize you’re not alone; you’re not the only one who thinks this way. Group therapy can really melt the shame around the problem so people can find solutions to what’s really going on. Research shows that group [therapy] is one of the most productive forms of treatment for an eating disorder.” Other alternative therapies include yoga, massage, Tai Chi, art and psychodrama. There are several different evidence-based treatment approaches for eating disorders, and because the illness affects each individual differently, the best treatment is typically a customized program. Anderson acknowledges the most important (and difficult) step is making the first call for help. “It can be overwhelming and frightening,” she says. “But seeking treatment not only changes your life, it changes who you are for the better.” KC

Have questions about what you just read? Find out more at

LOCAL RESOURCES Inpatient care or residential care Unfortunately, Kansas City’s only inpatient treatment facility, Midwest Center for Eating Disorders at Research Medical Center, closed its doors in August 2012. “That left a tremendous void for us,” says Blackwell, who has been working adamantly to get another inpatient location up and running. Nearby options for inpatient or residential care include: • McCallum Place, St. Louis ( • Laureate Eating Disorders Program, Tulsa ( • Park Nicollet Melrose Institute, St. Louis Park, Minn. ( • Anna Westin House at The Emily Program, St. Paul, Minn. ( • Timberline Knolls, Lemont, Ill. ( • Eating Recovery Center, Denver, Colo. (

Transitional living • Thalia House, Fairway (

Partial hospitalization • Eating Disorder Center of Denver, Denver, Colo. (

Outpatient care and counseling • Renew Counseling Center, Olathe ( • InSight Counseling, Overland Park ( • Eating Disorders Center at Children’s Mercy Hospitals & Clinics, Overland Park (childrensmercy. org/Clinics_and_Services/Clinics_and_Departments/ Eating_Disorders_Center/) • Eating Disorder Center of Missouri, Fenton, Mo. (

Other • Eating Disorder Resource Center (EDRC) at Jewish Family Services of Greater Kansas City, Overland Park ( • National Eating Disorder Association ( – The first Kansas City NEDA Walk was held at Berkley Riverfront Park in June 2013. The event supported eating disorders education and awareness in the community.

september | october 2013 29

health september | october 2013 GENETIC TESTING FOR BRCA2

Genetic testing can “Knowledge truly is power. Nothing will physically change with your body after genetic testing, but you will know where you stand.”


In the midst of taking care of her mother who was sick with breast cancer, Michelle Smoot learned that her mother tested positive for the breast cancer gene mutation called BRCA2. This meant that Michelle had a 50/50 chance of having that same mutation. “I was so stressed with my mom and didn’t want to know my own results,” said Smoot. But, after watching the devastation of her mother’s battle with cancer, fear finally drove her to get the test. A month after her mother died she learned she was also positive for BRCA2. “I was a complete mess and crying so hard,” said Smoot. “My father couldn’t even recognize my voice on the phone.” Sadly, many women like Smoot receive this Michelle Smoot news, but fortunately they can take preventive action. In order to reduce her risk, Smoot received preventive surgery where she removed her breasts, ovaries and fallopian tubes. Without genetic testing, women like Smoot would not be able to live today without a life-encompassing fear of cancer. In fact, thanks to the genetic testing and preventive surgery, Smoot has a lower risk than the average woman. “Having fear paralyzes you and it doesn’t change whether you have breast cancer or not,” said Smoot. “I’m so thankful for the genetic testing.” What you don’t know can kill you, so it’s important to be informed when it comes to your health and

30 september | october 2013

cancer risk. To know your risk, there are many steps you can take, including genetic testing. Genetic tests not only show if patients like Smoot have a mutation on BRCA1 or BRCA2, but they give the doctor the appropriate understanding on how to reduce a highrisk case.

The Genetic Mutations Genetic testing looks for mutations, in this case, two genes called BRCA1 and BRCA2. These are classified as tumor-suppressing genes because their job is to target abnormal or cancer cells and prevent them from growing or dividing. “If the damaged DNA is not repaired properly, it results in a significant increase risk for cancer,” said Jennifer Klemp, Ph.D, MPH, director of the Breast Cancer Survivorship Center and a cancer risk genetic counselor at The University of Kansas Cancer Center.

Genetic Testing The decision to get genetic testing carries the weight of many factors for each individual. “Genetic testing does not always result in a clear cut answer,” said Klemp. “If positive for a mutation, we have cancer risk estimates and strategies for early detection and risk modification. In some families where we do not find a mutation, a negative test does not mean a reduction in risk. This can be complicated for a patient to understand and it requires a discussion about risk and management strategies.”

help save lives The University of Kansas Cancer Center offers comprehensive services for patients and families at increased cancer risk through the Breast Cancer Prevention and Survivorship Program and through Genetic Risk and Evaluation Testing (GREAT), which works to evaluate a patient’s cancer risk and then to develop a strategy to manage it. A medical oncologist, genetic counselor or cancer risk counselor with expertise in cancer genetics, meets with the patient and decides whether testing them or another family member is recommended and provides an understanding of the implications of testing. Collecting a sample can be done using a blood test or a Buccal sample. Buccal is a test for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome. A patient simply “swooshes and spits” to collects cheeks cells by using mouthwash and then spitting it into a tube. The tube is sent to a testing center and DNA is extracted from the cheek cells.

Preventive Options If the results come back positive, there are many options to manage the cancer risk. There is a

WRITTEN BY Maggie Young

cost-benefit ratio for each preventive treatment that women must weigh when making the decision. Aside from the testing, women can undergo preventive surgery (like removing breasts, ovaries and fallopian tubes) or take preventive medications. This decision depends on the individual, although 35 percent of women choose preventive surgery. The surgery takes the risk factor from above 50 to 87 percent to below 10 percent. An individual can usually only take preventive medication for five years and it has some side effects, but can serve as a stopgap for preventive surgery and may provide a significant amount of risk reduction. Genetic testing is helpful in knowing about the mutations and hopefully preventing and understanding the mutation risk for the entire family. If you have the mutation, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have cancer. There is no guarantee, just a higher risk. “Knowledge truly is power,” said Smoot. “Nothing will physically change with your body after genetic testing, but you will know where you stand and you can go about it in an informed way.” KC

september | october 2013 31

A Learn to live healthier at pop-up wellness centers Join us for our next Pop Up Event this fall with Awaken Whole Life Center Contact or visit for more information.


as therapy

Process painting helps heal from within. WRITTEN BY Maggie Young PHOTOS BY Rob and Jen Photography

mind september | october 2013 ART THERAPY


If you could paint an image to represent your life, what would you see on the page? The colors, the thickness of the lines, the details and every stroke would come from within and you would end up with a true expression of your raw authenticity. There’s a name for this – process painting. Process painting is described as “painting from the inside out” and is a tool for selfdiscovery. It takes place in a judgment-free studio where the experience is the focus rather than the end product. Previous painting experience isn’t necessary in this journey of exploration. All you need is a paintbrush, paper and freedom of mind. Creative Nectar Studio, a process painting establishment in Mission offers classes and workshops to develop your creative expression in a safe environment. The founders, Stephanie Gray and Jenny Hahn, started process painting 15 years ago and fell in love with it. The two women used it to heal issues in their own lives and wanted to share this tool with others, so Creative Nectar Studio was formed. The classes are generally two and a half hours with 30 minutes of reflecting and two hours of paint time. Creative Nectar also offers daylong themed retreats and one-onone sessions, and are open to accommodating for different types of circumstances. In the past, they have hosted a women’s empowerment series and a nourishment nutrition-based series among other special offerings. Creative Nectar is open to all, no matter what each person is going through, or even if there isn’t a prominent issue. “For a lot of people, whether they feel stifled in their life, they don’t like their job or they are in a bad relationship, it seems like it can be beneficial for slowing down and listening when we are in times of transition,” said Hahn.

september | october 2013 33


of the process and before you know it, you’re

When you walk through the doors of Creative

dipping your brush into a rainbow of paint cups.

Nectar, bold colors jump into your vision as you

To begin, you look for the colors that call out to

inhale the raw paint smell that brings back

you in that moment. Is the bright yellow fitting to

memories of arts and crafts in grade school. A

your cheery mood? Or maybe you are tired and feel

sense of warm welcome engulfs you as you throw

like using a low-key blue. The choice is yours and

on a messy paint smock in preparation for your

there is no judgment or expectation to live up to.

painting journey. Hahn and Gray start with a

This is your time to express yourself organically. It

brief opening circle where they go over the basics

is your chance to bring your imagination, thoughts and emotions to life with paint. As you approach your blank piece of paper,

“Show up for yourself. It does take courage to walk through those doors and we honor that – wherever you are, it’s OK.” – Stephanie Gray, co-founder of Creative Nectar

you are encouraged to begin painting whether you have a plan or not. It’s time to release the pressure and paint whatever you want according to how you are feeling at that moment. If you have trouble starting, Hahn and Gray encourage you to look into the fear that is holding you back from bringing the color to the paper. “Wherever it is that we start, that will lead to the next step and the trusting of that flow,” said Gray. Once you break through those barriers, you can begin to come alive with the process. It doesn’t matter what you end up with, but it does matter that you feel that you can translate your authentic self onto the paper without the pressure of expectations.

THE BENEFITS Process painting allows you to gain knowledge of yourself, awaken creative thinking, develop self-acceptance and come alive through play. Unfortunately, there aren’t as many places to find this nourishment in society today, but Creative Nectar Studio wants to be that outlet for Kansas Citians. Process painting gives encouragement to the creative spark. Instead of saying no to it, it gives it space to blossom.

Owner Stephanie Gray (right) and Karen Ialapi paint from within at Creative Nectar Studio in Mission.

34 september | october 2013

and Amy Nadler, art therapist at Marillac,

Get Involved

said that for children and adolescents, art can

of Kansas School of Medicine (KUMC)

be a more accessible and less threatening way

have been working together to create

“Show up for yourself,” said Gray. “ It does take courage to walk through those doors and we honor that – wherever you are, it’s OK.”

LOCAL ART THERAPY PROGRAM Marillac, a seventeen-acre facility providing psychiatric hospitalization, residential treatment, and therapeutic education for children up to age seventeen, offers art therapy programs. Sherrie Balmer, Director of Marketing and Communications at Marillac,

to approach emotionally sensitive and painful topics. Art therapy offers a sensory experience

Art Therapy: Marillac and the University

a Center of Excellence in Child and

and a tangible means of communicating with

Adolescent Psychiatry at Marillac’s


Overland Park campus. KUMC and

Marillac has Master’s level art therapists that have the ability to use creative and

Marillac work together to ensure every

artisitic skills to work through past trauma

child receives the highest quality

or a current crisis with patients. Since 1999,

behavioral health service in the Kansas

Marillac has had two full time art therapists

City area. Marillac has two psychiatric

providing services to children and adolescents in the residential and acute hospital units. “Current research is demonstrating that creativity, and art therapy specifically, has

teams that provide expert care seven days a week. To find out more, visit

positive neurological and psychological effects,” said Balmer and Nadler. “Plus, learning and becoming adept at various art techniques can

Process Painting: Creative Nectar will

be personally satisfying and subsequently can

host a six-week long process painting

contribute to elevated self-esteem.” Art therapy can be used outside of a clinical

workshop series at Awaken Whole Life

setting in everyday life. If an individual finds

Center October 9 to November 13 on

the creative process calming, it’s important for

Wednesday evenings from 6 to 8:30. Sign

them to set aside time for that outlet each day.

up at and

Art is just one way to facilitate that form of relaxation.


learn more about Creative Nectar Studio at

september | october 2013 35

fitness september | october 2013 GROUP TRAINING

GEAR UP FOR ENDURANCE COMPETITIONS WRITTEN BY Amber Long, certified personal trainer and fitness consultant


In the last few years endurance competitions such as Tough Mudder and Rugged Maniac have gained popularity in the fitness world. Both events will be in the Kansas City area this fall. These events contain obstacles in water, mud and even electrical shocks.

SHOCKING COMPETITIONS Derik Kincaid, a certified personal trainer at the University of Missouri, completed Tough Mudder last year with a team of four like-minded fitness junkies. Kincaid claims the experience provided a nonstop rush of adrenaline. He enjoyed the obstacles, but felt challenged by the longer bouts of running. “Around mile seven or eight, there was a two-mile run where I was able to actually comprehend what I was doing and I felt fatigue set in.” Kincaid claimed he found energy in the ‘Artic Enema’ obstacle – a full body plunge into ice water. This shock to the body was not the only jolt Kincaid and his team experienced. The Electroshock Therapy obstacle required the team to pass through a field of live wires. Some wires containing as much as 100,000 volts of electricity. “That was unexpected; I didn’t think it would be that intense,” Kincaid recalls. If you are preparing for an obstacle-type event, Kincaid thinks variety is the key, “I would focus on time based circuit training, agility, coordination and cardiovascular endurance training. Training in the group setting might also help with adherence and motivation,” he adds. Kincaid may be on to something – group personal training is on the rise in Kansas City and throughout the U.S.

ENDURANCE TRAINING PROGRAMS Kaley Hoffman is a manager at As One fitness studio in New York City. She came to the facility as a client seeking personal training and was happy to find the group training option at a cheaper rate. “I love the community support and slight competition that group

36 september | october 2013

training provides. Plus it’s much more economical.” This facility occupies a unique niche in New York, gearing the training program to endurance competitions. Hoffman claims the demand for this type of training to be increasing with the popularity of urban warrior type events. As the name suggests, members of this facility train together ‘as one’ and have the opportunity to meet other people with similar goals, creating a sense of community. The training program focuses on delivering high intensity programs that prepare clients for whatever race event or competition may come to the city. This type of training utilizes the SAID principle: specific adaptations to imposed demands. This implies that the training program should mimic the events of the race or obstacles. “We focus on timed body weight strength training, cardio endurance, movement and agility training. We also provide specific outdoor training where we perform crawls, climbs and various other movements to train for obstacles.”

GETTING STARTED If you are thinking about starting a program to prepare for an obstacle-based race, it is best to plan ahead. Those with a current fitness routine could prepare with two to three months of regular, specific training. Those that may not be as involved with fitness, would fare best with guidance of a personal trainer, or a program that is tailored to specific needs. Regardless of physical abilities and training programs, these events are a great way to be active with friends. Many teams have costumes and proudly display their names like Rub Some Dirt on It, Mudder Brudders or Mudd Militia. The sport is just as much consumed by fun as it is fitness. Which, in the end, isn’t that the goal, to make fitness enjoyable? Your definition of enjoyable may or may not be crawling through mud and barbed wire in a tutu with a few of your closest friends. Whatever it is you like to do, consider engaging yourself in the social aspects of fitness. We could all use a little encouragement to keep our bodies on the move.

UPCOMING ENDURANCE COMPETITIONS Tough Mudder is a 12-mile obstacle course claiming to “probably be the toughest competition on the planet.” The event is slated for September 21-22 in Topeka. To date, 700,000 tough mudders have braved courses all over the world. Participants can expect a healthy dose of mud, fire and electric shocks as they strive to earn the honorable orange headband and ice cold Dos Equis waiting at the finish line. But, don’t let the fashion and beers fool you, Tough Mudder is not for the timid. Each course contains at least 25 obstacles and average race time is three to four hours. In fact, around a quarter of starting entrants do not finish this grueling race.

The course map is disclosed only two weeks prior to the event, forcing participants to train for anything. To help in preparation, Tough Mudder provides free boot camp style training programs for three different fitness levels on the race’s website at Participants can rank their fitness level work with predesigned circuits to aid in training. Mudders in training are encouraged to find a team as this competition focuses more on camaraderie than finish time. If 12 miles seems intimidating, check out the upcoming Rugged Maniac, scheduled for October 26 at Snow Creek in Weston. The mania is jam-packed with obstacles, but only 3.1 miles. KC

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september | october 2013 TOP 12 LIFE NOTIONS

38 september | october 2013




WRITTEN BY Susan Ortbals of

Some of us grow up as sponges while others are bricks. Being hard headed isn’t always bad. We forgo the opportunity to leap frog over obstacles others previously conquered. We choose to face each adversity head on and figure out our own way. The sponge moves ahead faster but may be less equipped for life’s curve balls. Here are a few concepts I wish someone had told me 30 years ago.

Take mental notes. It’s a big world. Why not let others do part of the research for you?



If we’re having trouble making a decision, it’s most likely because we don’t have all the facts. Dig deeper. Ask more questions. The answer will reveal itself.

When you’re feeling down, first ask yourself what is perfect in your life. Direct your brain to look for the good amidst the turmoil. You’ll be better equipped to take the reigns with a sense of control and optimism.

MAKE REQUESTS. Diane Sawyer said, “A criticism is just a negative way of making a request. So why not just make the request?” Next time you want to criticize anyone, try requesting what you do want instead of wasting energy expressing what you don’t.

ENERGY CREATES MORE TIME. Time expands when energy expands. When we’re passionate and focused, time is not an issue. We get bogged down and complain about time because we’re not spending most of our time on what we like to do. Define your energy and you’ll have all the time you need.

WE HAVE MORE TROUBLE VISUALIZING DIFFICULTY THAN SUCCESS. We may fear difficulty and failure but only as a cloud of doom. We visualize fantasies much easier. “The grass is always greener on the other side.” We visualize how we want things to be which is usually perfect. Try rehearsing successful maneuvering around challenges within your visions of tomorrow.

LISTEN TO PASSIONATE RECOMMENDATIONS. Take the bait when given an insistent recommendation – you’ll save loads of time and increase positive outcomes.

APPRECIATE WHAT OTHERS GIVE US AND DON’T EXPECT MORE. The biggest blows in life come from false expectations. Realize that friends are not obligated to meet your expectations. Enjoy what each person adds to your life and leave it at that. Give freely because you want to. Appreciate any return at all, no matter how small.

WHO WE HANG WITH MATTERS. If we’re the average of the three people we choose to be around the most, then we must choose wisely. Life is a revolving door and very few people enter and stay for good. In my opinion, 20 percent of the people you’re around could care less about your problems and 79 percent are glad you have them because it makes them feel better about their own life. The final 1 percent is made up of hard to find and few to count human gems who enter and stay, regardless of life’s changing tides.

september | october 2013 39

SPEND MONEY ON EXPERIENCES RATHER THAN THINGS. Experiences create memories that last. Good memories anchor joy that can be re-lived over and over again in our mind. A memory never ages because it captures an experience. A possession ages and loses its grand appeal rapidly.

If you “take charge” most of the time, don’t get aggravated when those around you don’t take initiative. If you’re always the quiet one at the party, don’t expect others to make you the center of attention. If you’re always picking up the pieces at work, don’t expect your co-workers to stop you.



Frustration comes when we get wrapped up in routines and patterns that no longer hold the same purpose as when we started. It’s the all-too-common fizzle. Make adjustments. Re-commit to what propels you into your desired future.

If success occurs outside our comfort zone, it’s helpful to define the parameters of the zone we must reach beyond. It’s easier to take risks when we know how low we can fall. Many fear falling to the depths of despair without realizing their floor is not that low. We all establish baselines through consistent habits, routines and relationships. When we feel at ease within our comfort zone, we are more apt to reach beyond it. KC

TEACH PEOPLE HOW TO TREAT YOU. Clear boundaries are barriers with a message. Pay attention to how you project yourself to others. Are you sending mixed messages and inviting conflict?

For more from Susan visit

We’ll help you see changes in life for what they really are … potential. Whether you’re facing personal or professional changes in life, the Life Coaches at Mosaic Life Care can help maximize your potential and help realize your goals. Each Life Coach has in-depth training in transformational coaching and most have extensive experience in the health-related industry as well.

Contact us at to set up a complimentary one-hour consultation, or to learn more, please visit

mind september | october 2013 MINDFULNESS

Mindfulness matters A dancer’s perspective WRITTEN BY Eric Mazzie Dancer, Kansas City Ballet

“Being mindful is like gently falling awake.” Mindfulness matters to me because for the past 20 years of my life, I have instinctively been doing the opposite; dozing off from the present moment. For various invaluable reasons, mindfulness is of great significance – two of which I find are of upmost importance:


1. It enables me to compassionately live in the moment 2. It enhances my overall performance due to increased mind/body awareness. In essence, mindfulness matters because it is the only doorway to living life in the only moment there ever is – this one. Living in the moment is probably the number one reason why being mindful is important to me. Too often, “ordinary” moments that do not necessarily require being fully present just slip under the radar. These “little” moments

september | october 2013 41

“The mind is constantly trying to figure out what page it’s on in the story of itself. Close the book. Burn the bookmark. End of story. Now the dancing begins”. – Ikko Narasaki

throughout the day – something as simple as

other people can relate – I feel like a moving head,

stretching before a dance class – can add up to large

disengaged and disconnected from the rest of my body.

amounts of time over the years. For instance, if I am

As a metaphor, it is almost as if the switch for the

caught up in thinking about what happened earlier

autopilot setting is stuck at “on” and I am dancing a

in the day or worrying about what may or may not

familiar routine, yet simultaneously worrying about

happen later in rehearsal, I am essentially showing

whether or not my performance is “good enough” or

up absent from that moment-to-moment experience of

if others are “approving.” But because mindfulness

stretching my body – the feeling of my body making

is the lifeblood of staying attentive to postures,

contact with the floor, a brief tingle in a muscle fiber

sensations and movements alike, I find my performance

or the breeze of the air conditioning. I am so caught up

excels because I am able to notice when I am thinking,

in the stream of unending thoughts that even though

and then return my attention back to my body

all of those others things are happening within and around me, I am distracted and thus unaware. Going further than just plain mindfulness,

Consequently, the more I actually inhabit my body, the less I am distraught by the jarring commenting inside my head. This ultimately allows me to be far

compassionate awareness is the next step on the journey.

more in tune with the dancing itself, which in turn

This aspect of mindfulness is crucial because it allows

causes me to perform at my peak.

one to end the cycles of self-judgment and critique that

Overall, without mindfulness, I would be completely

naturally arise in their workplace (in my case the stage/

trapped in the tangled web of thoughts inside my head.

dance studio). One is able to take a step back and observe

That is why being mindful is so important to me: I have

the old, fearful self-talk they developed during childhood

a guide that can compassionately, yet firmly, lead me

that no longer serves them in adulthood. Ultimately, by

back to the present moment whenever I have wandered

becoming aware of this unhelpful internal dialogue, one

off from my current experience. But that guide is not

can be more compassionate and less judgmental towards

just within me, it is within all of us: it is mindfulness.

his or herself. But without mindfulness, one cannot be

Somehow, it always manages to do a perfect job of

aware of his or her suffering in the first place, let alone

escorting me, whenever I am lost in the narrow space

offer any self-compassion they might need in that

of my mind, back to the illuminated doorway of the


present, vast moment.

With that said, the second reason mindfulness is so

As Ikko Narasaki movingly states, “The mind is

important to me is because it enhances performance

constantly trying to figure out what page it’s on in the

due to an increased awareness of mind and body.

story of itself. Close the book. Burn the bookmark.

Sometimes when I am dancing – and I am sure

End of story. Now the dancing begins”.

42 september | october 2013


Accomplish mindfulness WRITTEN BY Bethany Klug, D.O., HealthSpan

Mindfulness is the capacity we all share to be

have a natural tendency to push away the difficult

aware of what is going on in and around us in

feelings in our body and mind. Instead, just breathe,

the present moment in order to understand

observe the feeling and more often than not, it begins

what is going on. Once we understand,

to calm down. As we become more practiced at this,

compassion naturally arises and we can be at

insight into the roots of the feeling arises, which leads

peace. There are three steps to developing a strong

to understanding, compassion and peace.

mindfulness practice: stopping, calming and looking deeply. When we stop, we return our attention to our

We can hone our ability to be mindful by creating opportunities throughout the day to stop, calm and look deeply. Here are a few ways:

breath. Our breath is our anchor to the present moment. We can’t breathe in the past or the future,

Telephone practice

only now. We are always breathing so our breath is

Stop and observe your breath for the first two to

always available to us. We don’t need to try to breathe

three rings of the telephone. Not only will you feel

– it’s automatic. Thank goodness or there would be a

more calm, but you will offer this calm and clarity to

lot of blue people in the world.

the person calling you.

Calming arises from stopping. We have two sides of our nervous system: The fight or flight nervous

Computer mindfulness bell

system is active during stress and the calming

This program sounds a bell every 15 minutes to

nervous system. When we observe our breathing,

one hour, inviting you to stop, breath and return to

the calming nervous system comes online. Our

the present moment. Find it at:

breathing naturally deepens and slows down


without us doing anything but giving it our gentle attention. Our body and mind naturally calm down

Walk mindfully

and we can see them more clearly.

Count or be aware of each step as you breathe in

Once we are calm, we can hold in our awareness

and out.

what is going on in our body and mind. Many of us

september | october 2013 43

Recite mindfulness verses

Many people enjoy making up their own verses.

“Present Moment, Wonderful Moment” by Thich

For example, when I hear a siren, I stop, breathe and

Nhat Hanh offers verses to help us return to the

recite to myself: “May all beings be happy, peaceful

present moment amidst our daily activities, such as

and safe.”

eating, sweeping the floor and even using the toilet. and joy for ourselves and others. Here’s a verse for

Set up a breathing room in your home

brushing your teeth:

When you notice yourself feeling restless or

Even the mundane can help us be a source of peace

experiencing difficult emotions, go to your breathing

Brushing my teeth and rinsing my mouth,

room, or breathing space if you can’t devote an entire room. All it takes is a place to sit and perhaps a picture, candle or fresh flowers to remind you of the

I vow to speak purely and lovingly.

present moment. Tell everyone in your household

When my mouth is fragrant with right speech,

are suffering and can give you the time to calm and

about the breathing room so they can use it if they like, but also that they can understand that you

A flower blooms in the garden of my heart.

refresh yourself. Practice mindfulness with others: Invite friends to practice mindfulness with you or join groups that meet all over town. Search the internet for mindfulness and your city.


Medical Alert for Seniors Medical Alert Monitoring

Bethany Klug, D.O. practices holistic medicine at HealthSpan in Prairie Village. She has also taught mindfulness practice since 1995. Learn more at and


• Easy Setup • Free Equipment • Nationwide • Free Shipping Service HELP AT THE PUSH OF A BUTTON!

Call Today:

1-888-485-3812 september | october 2013 44

What’s in your bag


10 Pantry Upgrades for Optimal Health WRITTEN BY Brittany Nelson

There are health food claims all over grocery store aisles: ‘All Natural’, ‘Gluten-free’, ‘Low Fat’ – and then there are the actual ingredients. What may seem nutritious on the outside may not actually be the healthiest on the inside, especially when you flip over the package to gaze at 25 hard-to-pronounce ingredients. So when trying to make nutritiously sound food decisions for you or your family, it can be tough to decipher which ‘health’ foods are actually good for you. Dr. Mark Hyman, author of “The Blood Sugar Solution” tells us, “Food is information. Food literally tells your cells to be healthy or to be sick.” Fortunately, you can upgrade the information your cells are getting by making a couple of healthy switches in your pantry. Alysa Rushton, certified health and nutrition coach (, gives us 10 pantry switches to add to your grocery bag to make positive changes in your health.

september | october 2013 45

1 2

Broths, Stocks and Soups: Not all broths and

smoke point and use the olive oil for dressings and

stocks are created equally. Many popular brands

for drizzling over grilled veggies.

contain Monosodium Glutamate, colorants, wheat and other fillers. Go for brands like Pacific Natural Foods, Imagine and Amy’s. All are devoid of added flavors, colors and fillers. Cereal: Pitch the highly-processed or super-sugary


Nut Butter: It used to be that nut butters like peanut butter, only contained one ingredient – roasted peanuts. Many nut butters on the market today have numerous ingredients including added sugar and hydrogenated oils. Be sure to check your

cereals and go for steel cut oats. Steel cut oats are easy

nut butter’s ingredient label to ensure there is only

to make and unlike highly processed or sugar-laden

one ingredient – roasted nuts. Try to skip the peanut

boxed cereals, steel cut oats will keep you full longer

butter, which is prone to a kind of fungal mold.

and give your body a healthy dose of fiber. If you like

Instead, choose nut butters like almond, sunflower or

a cold cereal choose minimally-processed brands like

cashew butter.

Purely Elizabeth, Kind or Fiona’s Natural Foods.


Chips and Crackers: Chips and crackers often contain many unwanted ingredients such as hydrogenated oils, fats that make your body store fat; monosodium glutamate, a flavor enhancer; Tertiary Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), a form of butane that is used to prevent rancidity; artificial flavors; and colors derived from petroleum. Switch your crackers out for natural alternatives like Mary’s Gone Crackers, Blue Diamond Natural or Back to Nature brands. Choose chips like Way Better Snacks that are made from

7 8

Rice: White rice starts out as brown rice but is processed to remove the most nutritious part of the grain, the bran. Bran contains fiber and many nutrients including vitamin E. Toss the white rice and switch to brown rice for a fiber and nutrition boost. Salt: Upgrading your salt may be one of the easiest switches to make. White table salt is bleached and has added chemicals such as moisture absorbents. Replace your white salt for a natural salt that has a pink, grey or red hue. The color means the salt hasn’t

sprouted seeds or blue corn chips. For added variety

been bleached or processed which allows it to retain

try raw kale or sweet potato chips (see recipe for

many minerals that are a fundamental to cell health.

green chips on page 49.)

4 5

Dressings: Salad dressings can be a source of hydrogenated fats and monosodium glutamate. Upgrade your salad dressings by making your own or trying brands like Annie’s or Organicville, both use mostly organic ingredients and neither has artificial flavors or colorants. Healthy Oils: Switch out vegetable oil, which is loaded with inflammatory Omega 6 fats for extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil. Both are rich in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. It’s best to use coconut oil for cooking as it has a high

46 september | october 2013

9 10

Sugars: Replace refined sugars such as white and brown with natural versions that still have some nutrients left. Use honey, palm sugar or stevia in your recipes. All have been less refined and still contain some nutrients. When choosing honey, choose a local variety as it may help with seasonal allergies. Vinegar: All vinegars aren’t the same. Raw apple cider vinegar is rich in enzymes and potassium and has been shown to help digestion as well as balance blood sugar. Choose a raw apple cider vinegar brand like Bragg’s.


nutrition september | october 2013 EDIBLE GARDEN SCRAPS

You can eat that?

Before you winterize your garden be sure to make the most of your entire harvest.

WRITTEN BY Christy Lonergan, owner and holistic health coach, Nourishing Health and Wellness

september | october 2013 47


Summer is over and gardens across the metro are coming to an end. It’s time to pull up what’s left of the plants and put the garden to bed. Wait – don’t get too carried away. There’s lots of food left in the garden you might be unaware you can eat. Many garden edibles are overlooked and tossed

into compost piles each season. Did you know there are many edible parts of plants besides the usual ones we eat? For example, we grow broccoli to pick beautiful, delicious broccoli flower heads, but the leaves of the plant are edible too. Would you want to pick and make a salad out of them? Probably not. They’re pretty thick and rubbery, but when prepared the right way, they can add a yummy snack to the cupboard for the rest of the winter. We “throw away” a lot of edibles from our garden we could be eating. The trick is in knowing how to prepare them so they taste good. When cooking spinach harvested from the garden, throw into the pan a few beet greens and

So, what items in a typical garden are edible? Consider some of these: • Snap and lima beans: pods, leaves and seeds • Beets: roots and leaves • Broccoli and cauliflower: flower, leaves and flower stem • Kohlrabi: swollen stem and leaves • Okra: pods with seeds and leaves • Peas: seeds, pods and leaves

other small, tender leaves that won’t overpower the spinach flavor too much. Sauté those in oil

• Radish: roots and leaves

or butter (or steam with water) and add salt and pepper. When making a salad, harvest not only lettuce

• Squash: fruit with seeds, flowers, and young leaves

and spinach, but also some kohlrabi leaves, beet greens, sweet potato leaves. Any edible greens can go into a salad but the thick, tough ones

• Sweet potatoes: roots, leaves and stem shoots

should be chopped into thin ribbons so you don’t notice their thick texture. The more variety

• Turnip: roots and leaves

of greens and vegetables you can add to your salad, the more nutrients, antioxidants and phytonutrients you will be receiving.

• Watermelon: fruit, seeds and rind

To learn more from Christy and her journey to growing food not lawns visit

48 september | october 2013

At the end of the growing season, my favorite things to make are green chips. I got the idea after having fallen in love with kale chips. However, they are expensive to buy and at the time I didn’t have enough kale to make the amount of chips I wanted. So, I started experimenting with some of the other greens.

GREEN CHIPS Photo and recipe courtesy of Christy lonergan 1 pound fresh greens (beet, kale, radish, kohlrabi, and small broccoli and cauliflower leaves) 2 cups raw pecans 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes soaked in 1/2 cup water 2 tablespoons dried oregano 1 organic red bell pepper 2 organic tomatoes 1 clove of garlic 2 teaspoons sea salt 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar Place the sundried tomatoes in water and set aside. Wash the greens and spin in a salad spinner so they are dry enough for sauce to stick. Tear into bitesized pieces and place in a large bowl. To make the sauce, process pecans in a food processor or blender until you have a meal consistency. Add the sundried tomatoes along with the soaking water, bell pepper (chopped into smaller pieces) and process. Add the rest of ingredients and process until smooth. Pour the sauce over the greens and give them a good massage with hands until the leaves have softened up and the size has reduced to half of what you started with in the bowl.

Dehydrating: Place greens on trays lined with parchment paper and dehydrate at 145 degrees for 30 minutes, then turn down the heat to 105 degrees for about eight hours or until crisp. NOTE: Greens do not have to lay flat – I like to have “crumpled” chips for a good texture. Oven drying: If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can use the oven at its lowest temperature (usually 170 degrees). Place lined baking sheets in the oven on two racks. Bake for an hour (rotate trays every 30 minutes). Then turn off oven, rotate trays again and let the trays sit in the oven another 30 to 40 minutes. Then turn on oven again to 170 degrees and bake another 15 minutes. If greens are completely dry, you can remove them from the oven. If not, turn off the oven leaving them inside another 15 minutes. If you have a lot of sauce on the leaves, you should repeat this process until the greens are completely dry and crisp. They should still be a vibrant green. Store in an KC airtight container.

september | october 2013 49

Choose The Extraordinary Life to Define Your Best Self

WRITTEN BY Christine Kaya Hewitt, Integrated Healer and Oneness Trainer


As you move through life and all its experiences, you are faced with endless options for how to react and respond. It is these choices that shape memories and define your life. They even define who you are for yourself – victim, survivor or victor. Let’s examine in the most basic terms what your options are.

EXTRAORDINARY RESPONSE But there is one more option. It requires awareness, faith, and commitment: the extraordinary response. When life gives you a challenge or a gift you have the opportunity to turn it into something great, to contribute to those around you with a loving, healing and courageous reaction.

LESSER RESPONSE In any given situation you can react negatively. A ‘lesser response’ is one out of victimhood. To react from your pain will not only generate more negativity from the people around you, it will color and define the experience for you forever. “Remember that time that salesman lied to me?” It becomes a part of your memories and your consciousness that you were hurt. You remain the victim of the experience. Even in a seemingly benign or positive situation, you can react with a ‘lesser response’ such as fear. “Things are going too well; something bad must be coming.” Or anger. “I just hate it when he gives me gifts. I feel indebted to him.” We tell ourselves this approach to life is realistic and keeps disappointment at bay, but in truth it is the result of our victim consciousness it continues to feed.

MEDIOCRE RESPONSE Sometimes you choose to respond with action. We feel the hurt, anger and disappointment, but by choosing not to wallow in it, we make an active choice. This can have a positive or negative result. Someone cuts you off in traffic and you think an irritated thought but choose to not let it ruin your day and focus on a happier thought. Or you may decide to retaliate and follow the car closely so you can “show them how it feels” and end up in an accident or getting a ticket for unsafe driving. For most of us, it is safe to say that the majority of our choices are a mediocre response. We are surviving life, getting through the best we can. Some days good, some bad averaging out to mediocre for our overall experience of our lives. Even life itself seems just so-so.

50 september | october 2013

Example: Your child dies in a car accident. Lesser Response: You grieve to your dying day for the loss of your child while taking any opportunity to tell others about your blighted heart and cursed life. You often think “what did I do to deserve this suffering?” Mediocre Response: Hold a memorial and then launch a man hunt for the drunk driver who killed your child. Create publicity at the trial and push for the death penalty. Though you may feel some vindication at the conviction, you still feel mired in the pain and anger whenever you recall these memories. Extraordinary Response: You express your grief honestly and completely for a time and then choose to focus on making your child’s life have meaning and purpose by creating a program such as MADD or a free taxi service for those who need to be driven home. You meet the person who hit your child and with the intent to free yourself and honor your child’s memory with love, you seek to forgive him or her. An extraordinary response is where we choose to turn tragedies into blessings and become the victors in our lives. You have a choice everyday in the small and the large events. Expand yourself. Seek to grow within and to contribute to the whole. Every choice matters to your experience of yourself, your experience of life and to all of humanity. Choose extraordinary.

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The medicine of the future, today. • Personalized: going beyond one-size-fits-all with an individualized approach

“Our lifespan may be longer today, but our healthspan – how long we live with vibrant health – is shorter. Our goal is to help you enjoy a lifespan of health.”

• Holistic: identifying and addressing the roots of your concerns • Restorative: creating the cause and conditions for health instead of fighting disease • Preventive: identifying and addressing biomarkers of disease before symptoms occur

Our team (from left):

• Accessible: offering several ways to benefit from our approach

Bethany Klug, DO Suzanne Baldwin, APRN Christy Lonergan, Health Coach

Prevention programs • One-on-one physician consultations • One-on-one health coach consultations Group consultations • Prevention programs for organizations • Health and well-being classes

For more information or to schedule a consultation call 913-642-1900 or visit 1900 West 75th Street, Suite 250, Prairie Village, KS 66208

September/October 2013