Bliss BABE Magazine February/March 2019

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February | March 2019

Redefining Fitness Mandi Holden Anytime Fitness North Reno Team Borden

health & fitness GO RED FOR WOMEN February is American Heart Month

fashion + beauté

What’s in Your Gym Bag?


Warming Up in Midtown Reno

jet set

New Zealand The Land of Kiwi Adventure

nevada cheer

Meet Brittany Estell, Cheerleader of the Year

BLISS contributors

Leslie McCarroll Founder and Publisher Bliss BABE Magazine

Too fat, too thin, too muscular, too voluptuous, too this, too that...why are we so hard on ourselves and why do we let the mental warfare going on in our own minds lead us to judge others? Enough is enough! When I first saw Bliss BABE cover model Mandi Holden’s viral Facebook video, I was angry, sad, frustrated...but mostly I was motivated and rooting for Mandi to kick ass and take back her power! We hope you fall in love with Mandi just like we did and that she inspires you to find your own “Fitness Magic.” We encourage you to be true to you and get after the big goals that scare you!


Kristy McLean

Lindsay Rohlfsen


Creative Director Graphic Designer

That’s what fellow Bliss BABE, Debbie McCarthy, is doing this year and I couldn’t be more proud of her. For 3 years, Deb and I had an amazing time building Bliss BABE into the magazine it is today. Deb has now decided to branch out and work full time on her own @AboutTownDeb brand and we wish her much success. Thank you for everything, Deb, I couldn’t have done it without you. And, thank you all for supporting Bliss BABE Magazine. We have a lot of amazing things in the works for 2019 and we can’t wait to share them with you!

Leslie McCarroll

WRITERS Natasha Bourlin Kayla Carr Katie Coombs Sharon DeMattia Kristy McLean Shannon Moore

Britton Murdock Nunn Cheyene Nueffer Meghan Ochs Mike Owen Danell Perlman Mena Spodobalski

Founder/Publisher/VP of Sales

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Nevada Cheer

14 Winter Fashion

20 Warming Up

Meet Brittany Estell

Vintage Beauty

10 Africa from the Heart

Hit the Slopes in Style

in Midtown Reno

16 What’s in Your Gym Bag?

Table of Contents

SPOTLIGHT: ON THE COVER 34 Redefining Fitness: Mandi Holden has lost over 125 pounds and is now paying it forward as the 2018 Anytime Fitness Club Manager of the Year

Photography by Felicia Kaye Photography Lead hair by Tres Benzley, Caliber Hair & Makeup Studio Lead makeup by Carla Rodriguez, Caliber Hair & Makeup Studio Location: Felicia Kaye Studio Supported by Anytime Fitness North Reno




22 Ready...Set...Goal!

30 New Zealand

40 Wine and Health

Expert Goal Setting Tips

24 Go Red for Women

The Land of Kiwi Adventure

Heart Health Awareness in Reno

28 Winter Wellness

in North Lake Tahoe B l i s s Bab 5

BLISS beauté


Vintage | adjective (vin·​tage | \ vin-tij ) : of old, recognized, and enduring interest, importance, or quality : CLASSIC When describing makeup, the word vintage lends itself to those vibrant red lips and heavy black eyeliner of the Elvis dancing days. Vintage is the elegance and fashion of the 1950s. The Brigitte Bardot look is vintage; as striking and timeless today as it was seventy years ago. Inspired by the classic charm of the 1950s, The Vintage Cosmetics Company produces professional products in beautiful packaging at an affordable price with a goal of making beauty routines straightforward for everyone. Opening each Vintage product feels like you’re stepping back in time. They have an extensive selection of highly praised falsie eyelashes with their own unique personas conveyed by names such as Connie, Betty, Nancy, and Kitty. They have all the essentials for women to channel their authentic selves from basic beauty tools like tweezers and brushes to specialized products such as their infamous Make-up Melts dual-sided, washable towels that both exfoliate and cleanse sans chemicals or the excess waste that comes with disposable makeup removal towelettes. The hair collection shines with functional design and glamorous floral prints... 6

B LIS S BABE | Feb r ua r y / M a rc h 2019

the tail comb is perfect for the timeless Bardot tease. With an extensive bath and body collection including exfoliating sponges and a pink polka dot hair turban, you’ll be singing Dean Martin in the shower in no time. While their packaging is beyond adorable, The Vintage Cosmetic Company is more than just a pretty face! They are a completely cruelty free brand which means no testing on animals. All beauty tools are made from long lasting, easy-toclean stainless steel and won’t harbor germs and bacteria. True beauty...inside and out! Visit Vintage Cosmetics at or on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @thevintagecosco. The quintessentially British brand launched in the UK in 2011 and came to the USA via Ulta stores in 2015, QVC in 2016, and can now be found in JC Penney Salons since late 2018. Keep your eye on this growing international brand! m

Cheyanne Neuffer is a recent graduate from the University of Nevada, Reno. A passionate writer, environmentalist, and wildlife advocate, she enjoys drawing parallels between nature and the beauty in humanity in her writing.


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B LIS S BABE | Feb r ua r y / M a rc h 2019

BLISS advertorial


MEET BRITTANY ESTELL, NEVADA’S “CHEERLEADER OF THE YEAR” By Shannon Moore | Photos by GMH Photography Sponsored by Audi Reno Tahoe

“An obvious choice, a perfect fit, and an all-around amazing woman.” Those are the words Nevada Wolf Pack Head Cheer Coach, Kim Anastassatos, uses to describe Brittany Estell, this semester’s “Audi Reno Tahoe Cheerleader of the Year” award recipient. “Twice a year, the coaches get together and vote,” said Coach Kim. Along with the prestigious award, the winner receives a $500 scholarship. “We usually select a senior and look at their dedication, their grades, their community service, and how they’ve added to the culture of the program.”

squad is great,” said General Manager Brian Parvin. “We present a big check every semester to the award recipient and take them to lunch. It’s nice to see them recognized by their coaches and peers.” It’s that community pride, loyalty, and support for the University that Brittany says she enjoys most. “I’m from Las Vegas and it’s way different there. I love how everyone here in Reno takes an interest in the team. Even the elementary students around town wear Wolf Pack stuff,” she said. “Everyone gets so excited for all the games and we fill Lawlor every week! It’s just awesome.”

This year’s decision was a no brainer. In her final year as captain of the coed stunt team, Brittany is one of the hardest working and most devoted cheerleaders the program has ever seen. “Cheerleading is one of the most important things in my entire life. After school, cheer is my top priority. It makes me happier than anything I’ve ever done,” said Brittany. Even more impressive than her passion for the sport, is her outstanding success in the classroom. She finished off the fall semester with a 4.0 GPA earning straight A’s studying Veterinary Science and minoring in Nutrition. She plans to use the money for books and supplies next semester. “I just got accepted into Veterinary school, so this is going to help a lot. It takes a little bit of the stress off of me.”

Brittany is on track to graduate in May and will cheer through the remainder of the basketball season. “I know Brittany will really make Audi proud,” said Coach Kim. “She makes us proud every game and I know as an alumni she’ll do the same.” In her off time, Brittany enjoys working out and volunteering at the Nevada Humane Society. “It’s my favorite local nonprofit. They take really good care of the animals. I also joined the UNR acro yoga club my freshman year and am learning how to Olympic weight lift.”

Audio Reno Tahoe has been the proud official sponsor of Wolf Pack Cheer for three years now. “Our relationship with the Wolf Pack cheerleading

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” said Brittany. “I am incredibly grateful for this award, it really means a lot to me.”

LOGO SHEET Whether she’s dazzling on the sidelines, caring for animals, or kicking butt in the classroom, it’s clear that Brittany is an all around all-star deserving of “Cheerleader of the Year,” plus so much more.

AFRICA from the heart By Danell Perlman & Sharon DeMattia

It sparks thought when you return to your homeland and find that you are the one who has changed, not the land, nor its people. I’ve changed in a lot of ways, and the older I get, the wiser I become. I’m no longer afraid to ask myself the harsh questions I’ve been too scared to ask myself before. I had white privilege growing up in South Africa during the apartheid era, but I always yearned to give back to the land that gave me my roots. It’s a new year with so many possibilities; our first reaction is to join a new gym or tackle yet another diet, but what if we look at our inner being for a change? Step away from concern for your outward appearance and focus on the source of it all. What makes you happy; what is genuinely fulfilling beyond the scope of exterior looks? Materialistic things come and go, and fads soon disappear, and you are left empty-hearted yet again. The universe has spoken loud and clear to me this past year since embarking on the Amplify Africa travel program—bringing women entrepreneurs with me from the USA to South Africa to collaborate with, empower, and exchange ideas with like-minded women. Travel to a new land to meet new people and experience new cultures. When you meet like-minded humans with similar visions, missions, and passions, you realize that there is no coincidence and that together, you can accomplish so much more. The saying “the tide raises all ships” is true. What sets your soul on fire? Stop following the crowd; it’s time to realize your true calling. Let 2019 bring you to the light. Look for the right tribe, the people who have similar outlooks in life and who are yearning for more in life. However, make sure that they are also ones who will call you out when you fall back into old habits; that’s when you truly grow. Put yourself in situations that push your buttons. During our recent Amplify Africa adventure, we visited school children in a rural area outside of Johannesburg (most of them orphaned due to losing parents to AIDS). Sharon DeMattia of The AIM Project joined the Amplify trip this year. Here are her insights: One of the most inspiring days we experienced was at a small rural school in the NW province. That day, the


BLIS S BABE | Fe br ua r y / M a rc h 2019

students were the teachers, and we became the students. The AIM Project is a global art initiative about human connections, possibilities, and freedom. Over 5,000 individuals have created and shared their stories as anonymous selfportraits of hidden internal dialogues. Our motherboards exposed, they become available to be upgraded. In the US, many of the portraits display mouths stitched shut, tears flowing from closed eyes, throats constricted, and hearts caged. In South Africa, the students dream with uncaged hearts, sing their songs, and dance with visions of contribution to a better future. “What will people think” has silenced our voices. “Not good enough” has restricted our ability to breathe, and without air, our hearts have fallen out of rhythm. AIM opens dialogues on the other side of fear. As we empty our internal caches onto canvas, we make space for what we will create together. “I feel a weighting lifting from my chest, and I wonder if this is what it feels like to be free?” – anonymous student. In South Africa, “Ubuntu” means “I am because we are.” The vision of The AIM Project is to celebrate all of the emotions that make us human; to reconnect us to our power and break down the walls we have built within ourselves, and between each other, so we can collaborate on solutions that serve the greater good of our world. We all have a gift to give. What we think isolates us is actually the glue that binds us together. This year, travel with the mindset of making a difference, of being present wherever your travels take you, and I assure you: you will return home a changed person with a new outlook on life, plus new friendships. Change a life, change a legacy. m

Follow Danell’s travels on Facebook at AmplifyAfrica.US and her webpage Subscribe and support the AIM Project at

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BLISS fashion

HIT THE SLOPES in style! By Meghan Ochs | By Elsa Boscarello Photography

Fashion within the ski industry is not much different than fashion outside of it, it is constantly evolving. One key difference though is that ski clothes must provide a lot more warmth and function than our everyday clothes. Pockets as deep and plentiful as the powder you are hoping to ski, powder skirts, hoods, breathable layers, waterproof layers, and vents are just a few key features snow addicts might want to look for. Bobo’s Ski and Patio, Reno’s premier ski and snowboard shop, helped Bliss BABE put together a few functional go-to outfits that’ll have you looking like an expert on and off the slopes. Patterns and prints are making a strong comeback. 80s style bright colors that pop in florals, stripes, and wild geometrical designs will be common this season. Match something bold and wild with a solid coordinating color to get noticed both on the hill and après-ski in the bar. Speaking of après, nothing is more important than a comfy slip proof boot for walking to and from the slopes as well as lounging in the warming hut with a hot toddy. Few companies make a more gorgeous winter boot with such a wide range of versatility than Sorel. The Emelie Lace Boot (1) and the Joan of Arc (2) pair perfectly with both snow pants and jeans or leggings making them well worth the investment. Be sure to wear a light, breathable layer in a matching color so you can dress down on a warm spring day or lighten your load while taking a break indoors. A bright colored helmet, the epitome of form and function, completes the look and gives you that extra security and confidence to hit the black diamonds. A recurring trend in ski apparel is the tighter women’s pant with multiple seams and stiches throughout the leg providing a snug fit and classic “ski bunny” look. While a tighter fit has potential to limit the skier or rider’s ability to perform, leave it to ladies sport and apparel specialists, Roxy (3), to perfect a pant that allows women to look sleek, sexy, and shapely without compromising function. A solid colored facemask completes this fierce and feminine look and adds a layer of protection from the harsh wind and sun. 2019 sports fashion trends have not forgotten those who prefer simple sophistication. Descente (4), whose name appropriately means “downhill” or “to descend,” always delivers and is well respected by professionals for both its high performance and stylish design. Modest colors and classic lines paired with a simple black pant create a timeless look. You’ll be proud to see, and be seen, in the Smith Skyline Goggle. Add a cute matching hat to top it off and hide that crazy helmet hair at the end of the day. m Find these fashions at Bobo’s Ski & Patio est. 1969, 475 E. Moana Lane, Reno, NV 89502 | 775.826.9096 |


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1. Obermeyer Cosima Down Jacket: $329 The North Face Motivation ¼ Zip T Neck: $65 Obermeyer Harlow Pant: $250 Sorel Emelie Lace Boot: $200 Smith Allure Helmet: $110 2. Roxy Jet Ski SE Jacket: $189.95 The North Face TNB Shirt: $89 Volcom Species Stretch Pant: $180 Sorel Joan of Arc Tall Boots: $280 Starling Nicoleff Pom Beanie: $34.95 Roxy Feelin Goggle: $99.95 PHNKSHN Neckube: $19.99 3. Roxy Essence Gore-Tex Jacket: $399.95 Luhta Vellamo ¼ Zip T Neck: $50 Roxy Creek Pants: $159.95 Sorel Joan of Arc Boots: $190 Roxy Sunset Goggle: $89.95 Giro Ledge Helmet: $60 Black Strap Neck Tube: $24.99 4. Descente Evangeline Jacket: $550 Descente Evelyn T Neck: $ 90 Descente Gwen Pant: $295 Sorel Tofino ll Boot: $170 Starling Filip Country Faux Fur Hat: $49.95 Smith Skyline Goggle: $170 PHNKSHN Neck Tube: $19.99


4 B l i ssBab 15

BLISS fashion


BLIS S BABE | Fe br ua r y / M a rc h 2019


As women we are constantly multi-tasking and trying to accomplish as much as possible, especially on weekends or after work. We want to work out, hit the mall, stop by the grocery store, meet a friend for coffee, and swing by a happy hour. All the while, we want to look cute enough in case we run into our ex at any of the stops along the way. Our time is so valuable. In order to make the most of these precious seconds it is essential to have clothing that is stylish, comfortable, and appropriate for whatever the day may throw at us. Here are a few pieces that make this busy life just a little bit easier and fashionable at the same time. First and foremost, the foundation to every great athleisure outfit is the legging. It’s hard to think about what we wore before the yoga pant was a thing…Bless the visionaries that invented them *cough cough lululemon* this thin tight pant is way more than just that. They are a godsend to the women of the world. The impact that leggings have made to the comfort and efficiency of our outfits is immeasurable. Okay back to it, black leggings are essential to the after sweat-sesh look. Not to mention they are comfortable and match with just about everything. Run don’t walk to get yourself a few pairs of black high-waisted leggings.

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BLISS fashion

From here we move to what to pair with the leggings. What I have to say here is layers. Hoodies, cardigans, sweatshirts, puffers, jackets, all perfect for after work out attire. Next step...accessories! Make these your best friends. Hats, scarves, and sun glasses effortlessly pull together the outfits. Hats are great for after work out sweaty hair. A plain ball cap or a beanie to cover up what may have happened to your hair during the workout are easy and cute solutions. Scarves are great too!

PRO-TIPS • Keep a neutral colored scarf in your gym bag to keep yourself prepared. • A change of shoes is always a good option but, lucky for us, running shoes are trending big right now so if you don’t pack a pair of mules or platforms, you’re in the clear. • If you really want to take your post workout outfit up a notch pack a leather jacket as your outer wear, this piece can carry you through the night if needed. Just keeping it casual? The camo sweatshirt or the green jacket are both perfect for a day full of errands. • Tie any tee or long sleeve shirt in a knot for a fierce look and toss on a denim jacket, now let the compliments roll in. Athleisure is a way of life deriving from the fact that we want to be healthy and get sweaty without sacrificing time and effort to change clothes and redo everything. Women are making workout clothes trendy and acceptable. Let’s keep this new wave of fashion going by embracing it with style and making it look put together with accessories. Go on swap out those uncomfortable jeans and throw on your leggings, sweatshirt, and ball cap. Congratulations! You have just joined the movement. m

Britton is a woman who followed her dream and opened The Biggest Little Fashion Truck, a mobile fashion boutique. She has always been in love with clothes, how they fit, and people’s unique styles. Her calling is helping women feel confident through fashion. She loves her family and living in The Biggest Little City.


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On the side of a Kauai road in 2000, Chef Christian Christiansen hailed a ride with his future business partner, wife, and mother of their son, Soren. Turns out, picking up a hitchhiker was one of the best decisions Kasey Christiansen, Co-owner of Reno’s Süp Restaurant, ever made. Both were working in the restaurant industry at major resorts on the Hawaiian island at the time, Kasey in the front-of-house while Christian was a gastronomic savant in the kitchen. Eventually, this entrepreneurial duo who dreamed of opening their own brick-and-mortar eatery moved to Reno, Christian’s hometown, and opened Süp in Midtown in August 2007. Süp offers a bounty of warm, healthy lunch and dinner fare for winter. They primarily source local and organic ingredients and serve only humanely raised meats. Gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options are offered daily. If seeking healthier faire in the new year, try some of their broth-based soups, like the vegan carrot ginger or African peanut stew. Kasey loves Süp’s Colombian Ajiaco, made from chicken, corn, and potatoes, and their pork and beef chili on Saturdays.

Above: Süp Restaurant Right: Davidson’s Organics

Veering from warmer selections, their veggie pita with diced chicken, veggies, cranberries, and toasted almonds is delicious and wholesome, as is their cranberry salad. When comfort foods are calling, opt for Süp’s tomato bisque with a grilled cheese or melty bacon, lettuce, avocado, and tomato on toasted garlic cheddar sourdough. “We don’t change the menu too much,” Kasey Christiansen explains. “People are creatures of habit.” Instead, they make slight seasonal changes

to stir things up. How do they come up with new offerings? “I can envision it and he makes it, or we dream it up together.” Now to wash down the deliciousness. Down the street at the new Whispering Vine in Midtown, Spirits Program Director Michael Moberly has some new year libation suggestions. Come January, many customers are recovering from the hectic holiday season, and seeking less potent cocktails. Moberly shares that they serve up many with lower Alcohol by Volume (ABV) contents, like their Americano, a Campari, Vermouth, and soda water concoction. Seasonal take-home options to warm up with include grabbing a bottle of bourbon-barrel-aged Cabernet and some mulling spices from the shop and creating your own mulled wine. An experienced bartender, Whispering Vine’s spirits guru recently partnered with local tea makers Davidson’s Organics to create a line for industry professionals called Barkeep’s Blend that serve as alternatives to hyperstimulating coffee and energy drinks.

First launched in the line is The Handshake, crafted from green and black teas and matcha, among other ingredients, a blend touting “balanced energy and rejuvenating recovery” on its packaging. “We wanted to create a sustainable energy source that wouldn’t rob your body and would also appeal to a bartender’s complex palate,” Moberly says. Ten percent of the proceeds from Barkeep’s Blend sales will go to the Children of Restaurant Employees (CORE) nonprofit organization, which provides support to food and beverage-industry families in need. Teas will be available at select local retailers and Head to Süp and the new Whispering Vine in Midtown Reno this winter and warm up in healthy fashion from the inside out. m

Natasha Bourlin is a Reno-based freelance writer and natural born nomad who specializes in food and travel stories. Her work has been seen in many regional, national, and international publications.

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BLISS health & fitness



By Mena Spodobalski Photo by Chris Holloman

New Year, New You? How are those “New Years Resolutions” coming along? Experts agree that the key to achieving your goals is in the way you set them. This year you make it happen instead of failing by mid march! Here are my top goal setting tips: 1. Spend time thinking your goal through. Why is this important to you? Are you setting this goal for YOU, or because someone else thinks you should? Knowing the whys and the importance of the goal is critical to making it real! In order for you to be successful at reaching the goal, you must be honest with yourself about the obstacles, and the thrill of getting there! 2. Be bold and true about your exact goal. The more vague you are with your vision, the harder it will be to define and to attain. Do you want to run better? Be more specific, “I want to run a 10k in less than 60 minutes, by June 1!” Then write it down! 3. Set the date to start and to accomplish your goal! A goal without a completion date is just a wish! Once you have chosen your goal set the time of success! “I will lose 1 pound per week and a total of 15 pounds by spring break,” is a lot more effective than, “I want to lose 15 pounds this year!” 4. Speak it out loud! Put your goal out there in the universe. Tell your support group. Once it’s out there its much more difficult to fail at it. Let your support group know you are counting on them to help you stay on track. When you don’t want to get up at 5am to hit the gym, have your spouse gently nudge you when you hit the snooze button! 5. Believe in YOU! What you tell your mind is more powerful than you may realize. If you tell yourself that you can’t ever 22

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stop biting your nails, well, then you can’t. But tell yourself that anything is possible and you can do it! Then set small daily tasks to help you reach your goal. 6. Success is determined by your daily activity and consistent focus. You must be dedicated and do something daily that is directly affecting your achievement. Embrace being disciplined and determined! If I want to have a successful speaking engagement, I am practicing daily whether in front of a mirror or with a friend. After days, months of consistent practice it will be second nature! 7. Set your calendar. Add your goal start and end date into your calendar. Put in appointments daily that must be done towards your goal. Adding Gym Monday through Friday 12-1 in your calendar and treating it like any other important appointment will keep you on track and focused. Think it. Set it. Date it. Speak it. Believe in it and you. Embrace it. Achieve it. Make this the year that you truly achieve your goals and make yourself proud! You might just inspire someone along the way! What a great reward! m

Mena Spodobalski is the Owner of Evoke Fitness Training Facility. She is a trainer, a coach, fitness competitor, business owner, mom to two boys and wife of 25 years. She is the Co-founder of Breast Cancer 2 Bikini, a fitness journey to help Breast Cancer warriors take back their lives, and their bodies after cancer. Mena will be presenting a Tedx UNR talk February 23 at the Reno Sparks Convention Center.

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BLISS health & fitness

THE CAUSE for Every Generation By Katie Coombs & Kristy McLean | Photos by Jeff Ross

Go Red for Women is a registered trademark of AHA. The Red Dress Design is a trademark of U.S. DHHS.

HEART DISEASE IS THE #1 KILLER OF WOMEN YET 80% OF HEART DISEASE IS PREVENTABLE! This disheartening fact is what drives local leaders, Tiffany Coury, Karen Bryan, and Leesa Genco in their relentless mission to increase heart education and cardiovascular research. Currently, they are working feverishly with fellow Go Red for Women volunteers and donors to prepare for the 15th Annual Go Red for Women Luncheon sponsored by the American Heart Association (AHA). On March 1st, 2019, hundreds of women will gather dressed in red and donning the styles of their favorite era in support of “The Cause for Every Generation,” this year’s theme for the event. This inspiring event highlights the importance of heart health for women and will honor those suffering from chronic heart conditions as well as remember those who have fought hard but lost their battle to cardiovascular disease.

“Self-care is not selfish! The Go Red Luncheon is a great reminder why women need to take care of themselves. It’s powerful to gather that many people in a room together in support of this important cause.” – Karen Bryan, Circle of Red Chair

Pictured left to right: Lesley Klein, Debbie Day, Mendy Elliott, Laura Ebert, Maria Sheehan, BJ North, Leslie Billow, Karen Vibe, Cheryl Chenault, Audrey Damonte, Valerie Clark, Michelle Hulbert, Karen Bryan, Tiffany East, Chrissy Menicucci Benna, Tiffany Coury, JW Hodge, Mary Avalos, Lori Tuntland, Rita Mireles-Bogarin, Peggy Lamaysou, Patty Downs, Leslie Acosta, Sharon Cioffi Not Pictured: Karen Penner-Johnson, Margaret Ciorciari, Marily Mora, Cathy Trachok, Valerie Glenn, Susanne Pennington, Lys Shonnard, Maureen Mullarkey, Mary Simmons, Nancy Brisack, Phil Brisack, Gale Kraft, Ron Parratt, Connie Parratt, Leslie Acosta, Marsha Berkbigler, Ann Nelson, Lisa Pistone, Robin Krueger, Gail Sande, Helen Lidholm, Judy McNulty, Sheila Colfer, Victoria Atkins

BLISS health & fitness

Tiffany Coury

Tiffany Coury, the Chief Operating Officer of Northern Nevada Medical Center, is the Chair of this year’s Go Red Luncheon. She was inspired to get involved when she lost her young cousin, Jessica, to a congenital heart defect. Tiffany was always passionate about heart disease but was struck by the fact that Jessica was able to live almost 14 years due to a project funded by the American Heart Association that lead to techniques to correct septal defects in newborns. This study was completed 11 years before Jessica was born and without it, Jessica would have died at birth. Tiffany cherishes her memories of Jessica and now knows all too well how the research conducted today and the resulting life-saving procedures could make a difference in the lives of patients and their families for many decades to come. Awareness is Key

Karen Bryan

Karen Bryan is in her second year as Chair of the Reno Circle of Red. The Circle of Red is a society of donors who have the passion, motivation, and inspiration to influence change in their local community and who make a personal financial commitment of $1000 or more in support of Go Red for Women. Karen is a registered nurse who has worked in cardiac ICU and her husband of 22 years is local Reno cardiologist, Dr. Richard Bryan. She has seen first-hand how surgery patients with healthy hearts have greater success rates and faster recovery times. What Karen enjoys most about her involvement with the American Heart Association is seeing people have that “Aha!” light bulb moment when they realize the importance of heart education and they truly want to learn more and do something to help.

Leesa Genco, photo courtesy of Deb McCarthy

In addition to the upcoming Annual Go Red for Women Luncheon, Karen and the Circle of Red host monthly “lunch & learn” events to educate the public on critical factors in heart health such as stress reduction, monitoring cholesterol and blood pressure, and nutrition. The symptoms of heart distress vary so drastically in women. In addition to the well know signs such as left side numbness and chest pain, symptoms of heart disease can range from feelings of indigestion to back pain to no symptoms at all! So, Karen urges women to know their bodies, take preventative care seriously, and follow your instincts. If you feel like something is off, get it checked! Karen’s own mother, now 80, could’ve died from a heart event had she not gone to the ER immediately at the onset of symptoms of a blockage in her heart. Thanks to American Heart Association research, there are many diagnostic and life-saving procedures that can literally be the difference between life and death...but only if you take an active role in your own heart health.


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Early Detection of Genetic Conditions Can Save Lives The American Heart Association also sponsors the annual Heart Walk in various cities to help honor survivors and families who have lost loved ones to heart disease. Leesa Genco, the Principal Trainer of Electronic Medical Systems for the Renown IT Department and loyal AHA Heart Walk volunteer, shared her incredibly touching story about her sister, Susan Johnston-Duchesneau, who died five years ago from heart disease. Sue started having trouble with exhaustion in her mid-30s and, at first, doctors believed she was just suffering from anxiety and stress associated with raising two children and working. Finally, a cardiologist ordered an angiogram and it was discovered that Sue had a blockage that required a double bypass. As her problems continued, Sue eventually suffered a heart attack and her heart muscle became so weak that a heart transplant was the only option. She endured the painstaking process of emotional and financial counseling and preparations for transplant and eventually received the call that she would be the recipient of a new heart from an anonymous female donor in her 30s. It was only one day between the call and the transplant that would give her a new shot at life. Susan suffered minor issues with rejection but otherwise was feeling great. The local AHA knew her story and she was one of the women to speak at the very first Go Red Luncheon. Unfortunately, at the end of January 2013, Susan started feeling ill and went into rejection. She was responding to treatments but ultimately contracted a blood infection and died in February of 2013. Her body was donated to the School of Medicine at Stanford and eventually she was cremated, her ashes spread along Galena Trail in the same location as she had once spread the ashes of her family dog. As it turned out, Susan had a genetic condition called Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) which causes unusually high total cholesterol in people who may otherwise be fit and eat healthy. Susan’s heart issues may have been prevented with early detection and proper treatment. People with FH have a 50% chance of having a heart attack by age 50. The significant plaque deposits result in early heart disease and eventually premature death. The medical recommendation for those with FH is treatment with medication by age 10. Thankfully, here in Northern Nevada, we now have The Healthy Nevada Project, a new resource for genetic testing that can help determine when one might have such a genetic predisposition to heart attacks, heart disease, and blocked arteries. The Healthy Nevada Project, being conducted at Renown Hospital in conjunction with Helix genomics company, is making great strides in providing life-saving genetic information to the general population. Dr. Chris Rowan, Director of Research for the Healthy Nevada Project, emphasizes that genetic testing is so important because in the instance of Susan’s condition, Familial Hypercholesterolemia, if discovered in one relative, it can usually be traced to five more.

Susan’s Johnston-Duchesneau’s own family has multiple family members with the same genetic predisposition to FH; both of her parents, one of her surviving children, her sister, Leesa, and two of Leesa’s daughters all have the FH gene and are being treated with medication. Therefore, Leesa Genco is extremely passionate about the American Heart Association Heart Walk and the research that it funds. Her fundraising team, Sue’s Sole Sisters, has been in the top five for fundraising each year. Leesa donates her time to help with the event and is the Chair of the Passion Committee which brings people together to help with volunteers and logistics for the Walk. You Can Make a Difference Thanks to the American Heart Association, the Go Red for Women campaign, and the efforts of passionate, hardworking Northern Nevada women like Tiffany Coury, Karen Bryan, Leesa Genco, and all of the AHA volunteers and donors, great strides are being made in cardiovascular research and education but there is still much work to be done! To get involved, please visit or call the local American Heart Association at 775-322-7065. To attend the Reno Go Red Luncheon on March 1st, 2019 please visit to purchase tickets and find out how you can help make a difference. m

Katie Coombs is a native Nevadan living in Reno with her four children. She writes a newspaper column called Uncommon Sense and is an author for various magazines. Katie enjoys an active lifestyle including camping, coaching basketball, and attending sports activities with her children.

GET INVOLVED Save the Dates! NATIONAL WEAR RED DAY February 1, 2019 Wear red in support of women’s heart health awareness, research, and education 15th ANNUAL GO RED FOR WOMEN LUNCHEON March 1, 2019 - Downtown Reno Ballroom Attend/Sponsor/Volunteer for this inspiring heart healthy event. or call Reno AHA 775.322.7065 For more events and to learn more, visit: and

BLISS health & fitness

WINTER wellness IN NORTH LAKE TAHOE By Kayla Carr | Photo courtesy The Abbi Agency

In 2019, instead of resolving to drink more green juice, eat fewer bagels and save more money, let’s resolve to do more things that excite us, scare us, and free us from the normalcy of daily life. Let’s have more adventures and meet experiences head on, gaining inspiration as we go. Where to start? North Lake Tahoe.

day on freshly groomed runs, smiling as you take in the panoramic views of the lake. In the afternoon, cap off a perfect powder day with an on-mountain toast, featuring a glass of champagne and an Alps-inspired spread. At the end of your stay, you’ll leave with the inspiration to continue adventuring all year long.

North Lake Tahoe’s 12 boutique communities are rife with discovery and adventure. Whether you visit the region frequently or you’ve never experienced the magical destination, there is always something new to explore. This season in North Lake Tahoe, winter wellness encompasses more than just spa treatments and healthy eating––though the region is known for its premier spas and farm-to-table dining options. Winter wellness in North Lake Tahoe means pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, seeking out exhilarating experiences and arriving at a sense of accomplishment.

For those who prefer a more “off-beat” winter experience, try dog sledding at the Resort at Squaw Creek, a Moonlit Snowshoe Tour with Tahoe Adventure Company, or an enchanting horse drawn sleigh ride on the shores of Sand Harbor.

Elite athletes and North Lake Tahoe natives like Lila Lapanja, a U.S. Ski Team Member, Julia Mancuso, the most decorated Olympic female American alpine skier, and Emily Harrington, a professional rock climber, use the region’s devastatingly beautiful snow-capped peaks and expansive blue waters as inspiration for their high altitude training and all around wellness goals. With 12 downhill ski resorts to explore, women can emulate these elite athletes with an awe-inspiring alpine adventure in alpine adventure in North Lake Tahoe. For instance, at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe, every Thursday is Ladies Day. For only $49 women can get an all day lift ticket, and for an additional $25 women can also get a two hour on snow clinic. If you’re looking for more, Northstar California is the perfect place to escape for a thrilling and rejuvenating weekend surrounded by snowy alpine vistas and, of course, some iconic North Lake Tahoe adventure. Bring your best girlfriends or make new friends as you take part in ski and ride lessons. Experience apres yoga at Tahoe Spa & Wellness and healthy, locally sourced dinners in the Village. In the mornings, enjoy the mountain to yourself with Platinum First Tracks Access. Serenity will surround you while you take the first turns of the

For even more winter wellness, switch up your usual Vinyasa Flow with the new AlReal yoga classes at the Wanderlust Yoga Studio in the Village at Squaw Valley. The introductory class uses a hammock that enables participants to deepen stretches, correct alignment, and safely perform inversions. Additionally, the Yoga Room in Tahoe City offers self-care sessions for those seeking restoration and healing after the holidays. Or, if you’re looking for a new hobby in 2019, try an introductory Aerial Silks class at Tahoe Flow Arts. Every adventurer deserves a luxurious apres experience, so cozy up next to one of the region’s many stunning fireplaces for glass of wine, s’mores, and easy conversation, or visit one of North Lake Tahoe’s spas which incorporate indigenous stones and natural elements of the Sierra. However you choose to be well this New Year, let the experiences that await in North Lake Tahoe be your starting point. Visit for more information. m

Kayla Carr is a graduate from the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, and works closely with travel destinations. Her passions include (trying to) ski, rock climb, and mountain bike which yield invigorating, if rocky, results. Find her exploring the mountains rain, snow, or shine with her Australian Shepherd, Huck.

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Bungee jumping at the Kawarau Bridge, photo courtesy A.J. Hackett


BLIS S BABE | Fe br ua r y / M a rc h 2019

BLISS jet set


New Zealand is an island nation in the middle of the Pacific Ocean separated from Australia by the Tasman Sea. New Zealand is known for its dramatic landscapes, gorgeous scenery, and seemingly endless thrill seeking adventures. Queenstown, on the South Island, where I spent nearly two weeks of a beautiful summer, their winter, is known as the “Adventure Capital of the World.” In tourism, there are probably few truer statements than this. In Queenstown, you can do it all. You can go bungee jumping in the mountain canyons, explore the waters of Lake Wakatipu or speed boat through The Shotover River Canyons, visit haunted houses, and ski the Southern Alps...or skydive over them! My passion is skiing so although this New Zealand trip was intended solely for skiing, I ended up completely and unintentionally chasing my fears and pushing my comfort zone. I loved every minute of it. New Zealand had been one of my bucket list destinations for quite some time. While I might have come for the white fluffy snow, I inevitably enjoyed so much more. Part of New Zealand’s lure is its isolation and unique island ecology. Unlike its down under neighbor, New Zealand lacks natural predators but while there may be few dangers in the wild, you will have no trouble finding experiences that scare you! Rarely one to hesitate, I did my best to jump right in to all New Zealand has to offer. Queenstown is definitely the place to be if you’re a thrill seeker. As I chased adventure in and around Queenstown, I reminded myself that it’s usually the experiences that scare us the most that are the most worth having, and that teach us the most about ourselves. This was undoubtedly true for me as I pushed my boundaries and enjoyed every adrenaline filled moment. My first thrill seeking adventure was a bungy jump with famed company, A.J. Hackett, at the Kawarau Bridge where I graciously said yes to going “full send” on a river dunk versus staying dry above the water. While A.J. Hackett has other locations in the Queenstown area, I chose Kawarau because it is considered the “World Home of Bungy.” The bridge stands 140 feet above the Kawarau River. Thousands of people come here every year to test their limits and charge their adrenaline bank. This year, just three days after my 34th birthday, I decided to do the same. I was not disappointed. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous, I was. I felt more scared and vulnerable than I can honestly ever remember being, but I know the fear of missing out, wondering what if, and living with missed opportunity is always greater. Some opportunities don’t come around twice. I leapt off the bridge with

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Skiing at The Remarkables, photo courtesy Queenstown, NZ Tourism

pointed toes and outstretched arms, and dipped way down into the sea green, nearly freezing, river water. I cleansed my sinuses, tested my ticker, and got soaked; yet, I walked away all the better having had had one of the most exciting, fast paced experiences of my life. Skiing is my happy place. Typically, it calms my nerves and grounds me. While New Zealand certainly can offer extreme skiing, on this trip I stuck to the resorts near Queenstown; some of the best in the Southern Hemisphere. I made turns at The Remarkables, Coronet Peak, Cardrona, and Treble Cone. While I didn’t get to ski any giant storms or push past any new comfort zones on my skis, I certainly have no complaints. I got to go skiing at night, for the first time in years, and on the eve of my birthday no less. Additionally, for the first time ever, I got to ski on my birthday! For a skiing aficionado, born in the dead heat of August, this was a lifetime achievement. I skied four days total between The Remarkables and Coronet Peak, sister resorts within Queenstown, and an additional three days between Cardrona and Treble Cone. Seven full days of skiing in one of the most striking mountain ranges that I’ve had the privilege of seeing, and skiing, thus far. Whether by myself or with friends, I thoroughly enjoyed the spectacular splendor that is the majesty of the New Zealand Southern Alps. Skiing is always on my list, and bungy jumping had been on my radar prior to arriving in New Zealand, but with my limited time and the abundance of choices, it was hard to choose only one additional outdoor adventure to experience while in the land of thrills. I finally settled on...The Hydro Attack. The Hydro Attack is a semi-submersible shark ride, half jet 32

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Hydro Attack, photo courtesy

ski, half diver, that leaves from Queenstown Bay and travels through Lake Wakatipu at speeds between 40 and 80 kph, or 24 mph to 50 mph. The Hydro Attack dives under water and also jumps straight out of the water giving its guests a mini adrenaline rush filled with nerves, perhaps a little nausea, and for me, uncontrollable laughter. The Hydro Attack allowed me to do all of the things I always wanted to do on a jet ski without getting thrown off. It also gave me a great look at the beautiful water and lake bed of Lake Wakatipu. Kiwis have always been one of my favorite fruits. After an extremely memorable visit, it turns out, I still love kiwis, but I also love the land of Kiwis. “Kiwi,” of course, is the demonym for people from New Zealand, aptly named for the Kiwi bird. What’s not to love? The scenery, the skiing, the adventure, the people all added up to an incredible experience that tested my limits and offered an abundance of exciting, spontaneous ways to challenge myself. Queenstown reminded me how exhilarating it is to lean into my fear with arms wide open. In New Zealand, you go for the thrill, test your limits, and push your boundaries; bonus if you get to enjoy a good kiwi wine along the way! New Zealand got my heart racing, a lot, but it was well worth it. I can’t wait to do it again. Push myself, face my fears, and come out the other side better, stronger, and with amazing new travel memories to last a lifetime. m

Meghan Ochs is passionate about many things: skiing, fitness, travel, animals, the outdoors, coffee, and good food...her friends and family too. The order of these things depends on the day. Routine is her enemy. In between all of these things she occasionally finds time to put her thoughts to paper.

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The iconic Harrah mansion, once owned by casino magnate Bill Harrah, is being transformed into Northern Nevada’s consummate private club.

Member events are happening now!



Information Pavilion Open Daily 10am – 5pm

6001 Talbot Ln, Reno, NV 89509

Information subject to change.


BLIS S BABE | Fe br ua r y / M a rc h 2019

BLISS spotlight

REDEFINING fitness WITH MANDI HOLDEN By Kristy McLean Photos by Felicia Kaye Photography Lead hair by Tres Benzley, Caliber Hair & Makeup Studio Lead makeup by Carla Rodriguez, Caliber Hair & Makeup Studio Location: Felicia Kaye Studio Supported by Anytime Fitness North Reno

“It doesn’t look like SHE works out very much!” These are the words that Mandi Holden, Club Manager for Anytime Fitness – North Reno, overheard a potential member say about her on May 12, 2018. Having fought obesity her entire life, it wasn’t the first time she had overheard such fat-shaming mutterings nor does she presume it will be the last. But the difference on this particular occasion is that Mandi took to Facebook to not only vent and caution the haters, but also offer words of hope and encouragement to ANYONE who has ever felt unsure of themselves and doesn’t know where to start. Mandi’s video went viral and now has over 300,000 views, 4,000 likes, 3,000 shares, and 1,000 comments and growing... With over 3000 shares, these numbers are conservative and the reach is undoubtedly far greater. It is clear that Mandi’s message is one that needs to be heard. What did she say? Let’s let Mandi speak for herself... “I want you to know...if you see someone in the gym and they look like they don’t know what they’re doing, or it looks like they’re just starting out...or they don’t look the don’t know their story, you don’t know how far they’ve been, you don’t know what they’ve accomplished, you don’t know what they’re dealing I beg you, please, show kindness, show empathy, you just don’t know. I just guarantee you that Team Borden fitness clubs are going to be a safe place for you and I’m proud to represent that.” (To see full video go to anytimefitnessnorthreno or simply google ‘Mandi Holden Anytime Fitness Reno’)

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BLISS spotlight

You don’t know how far they’ve been... In 2013, though Mandi was happily married to her husband, Michael, and proud of her family (son Bradley, now 13, and daughter, Amelia, now 10), she was on the verge of depression, “morbidly obese,” and knew she needed to change. She began a blog, Mandimonblog., and appropriately titled her first entry, “Waking up,” as if she intuitively knew what was about to unfold over the course of the next 5 years. Inspired by her 5-year-old daughter’s no fear approach to tackling the first day of kindergarten, she decided to conquer her own fears and walk into the gym. Mandi weighed 420 pounds when she took that first step into Anytime Fitness. She was welcomed with open arms and never looked back. She has since lost over 125 pounds and has gained renewed confidence, hope, and a fierce passion for helping others. “Team Borden fitness clubs” that Mandi refers to in her viral Facebook post is collectively Amber and Brandon Borden, owners and operators of four Anytime Fitness locations in the Reno-Sparks area, and their amazing team of coaches. Mandi cannot say enough good things about Amber and Brandon Borden and their relentless support. “Everyone could see my determination and they believed in me. When I was ready the right people were there to support me.” And, it’s not just Mandi who sings the praises of “Team Borden.” Anytime Fitness has over 4000 clubs worldwide and in 2017, Amber and Brandon Borden were recognized as Anytime Fitness Owners of the Year! It’s no wonder Mandi felt so at home. Mandi paid it forward by starting a support group at Anytime Fitness with 20-30 regular members which she now continues online in a private Facebook group with over 200 members. Recognizing Mandi’s leadership skills, magnetic personality, and relatable charm, the Bordens hired Mandi on as their Club Manager at the North Reno location where Mandi first began her journey. At 295 pounds, Mandi may not yet be at her goal weight, but she has proven that perfection is not what inspires others. Commitment, progress, enthusiasm, empathy, and just being real; these are the qualities that inspire club members to keep coming back for more. Mandi was recently recognized as the 2018 Anytime Fitness Manager of the Year!


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Excuse me? A 300 lb. woman is Fitness Manager of the Year?! How can that be? Mandi would tell you that it’s all about...FITNESS MAGIC. We have been trained by the media and social norms to believe that fitness is defined by the size of your body. Mandi and her many supporters would beg to differ. Mandi has coined the term, “Fitness Magic,” to refer to what happens to you and your overall fitness when you know you are taking care of yourself, doing the right activities, fueling your body with the right foods, affirming yourself with positive self-talk, being your own best friend. Fitness is just as much what is happening on the inside as what it looks like on the outside...perhaps even more. According to Mandi, “believing in yourself is like a drug! I LOVE my life, I LOVE my job!” THAT is Fitness Magic. What’s Next... Mandi is still on her weight loss journey and realizes she still has challenges ahead. That being said, she is grateful for the public platform she has earned since posting her viral video in May 2018. She has a couple of topics that she feels compelled to tackle in the near future; the glamorization of obesity and the stigma of surgery. The Glamorization of Obesity Having weighed over 400 pounds herself, Mandi knows first-hand what it feels like and she absolutely despises the growing trend of glamorizing obesity. Shaming the beauty industry and touting that big is beautiful does not change the facts. Obesity is unhealthy, life threatening, and debilitating. Having been there, Mandi finds it hard to believe that anyone could be truly happy at that size. Regardless of size, Mandi encourages everyone to take ownership of their own health by doing their best to eat clean and exercise. Only when you are making healthy choices can you find your fitness magic and self-confidence. The Stigma of Surgery Is weight loss surgery an easy way out or a useful tool on the path to healing? Well, it all depends. Mandi previously had a very negative, judgmental view of weight loss surgery. She viewed it as a short cut because she was working so hard to do it the right way. Then, she began educating herself and opening her mind to the possibility of surgery and her perspective has drastically changed. She now believes that if you have well established

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healthy habits and you choose surgery more as a tool than a crutch it will not only be effective in weight loss but your recovery will be fast and your results long lasting. Surgery is a very personal decision and there are different types of surgery for different purposes. After much research, consultation, and preparation through diet and exercise, Mandi decided to undergo Vertical Gastronomy Sleeve (VSG) Surgery with Dr. Kent Sasse in the summer of 2018. Surgery has helped Mandi take her fitness to the next level and she is happy with the results thus far. Only time will tell, but, for now, Mandi is happy to have a more open mind about surgical options. Though she would never recommend surgery to someone who is not already making healthy lifestyle choices, she maintains her belief that everyone should take ownership of their own health and do what they need to do to find their own fitness magic. #Embrace As 2019 drew near, Mandi encouraged her team of coaches to choose a word that would drive their behavior in the new year. She believes that choosing a word as a


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theme for the year ahead helps keep you focused on your goal. Mandi has done a lot of hard work to improve her fitness in the past 5 years. As it is for many of us, her road to fitness is winding with many peaks and valleys. She chose “EMBRACE” as her word for 2019 and seeks to embrace the highs, embrace the lows, continue to push forward...when it gets tempting to retreat, hide, or take the easy way not make the bold statement, to not post the video that will inspire thousands of people...push past it, EMBRACE your opportunities, EMBRACE your successes AND your failures, EMBRACE all that is you! What’s YOUR word for 2019? Mandi Holden would love to know! Find her online or at Anytime Fitness – North Reno...and get ready for her to EMBRACE you and help you find your fitness magic. m

Kristy McLean is a freelance writer living in Spanish Springs, NV with her husband of 16 years. They have 2 teenage children and a Boxer-Hound named Sophie. When she’s not writing or managing kids and dogs, she likes to do anything outdoors or with family and friends; tennis, paddle boarding, water sports, snow skiing, and traveling are among her many interests.

Photo by Charles Ross

After (2019)

Before (2013)

BLISS spotlight

Placerville, California

THE HISTORIC CARY HOUSE HOTEL In the heart of California’s Gold Country wine region, the Historic Cary House Hotel has been a popular respite since it first opened in 1857. Through the years it has hosted many leg-endary guests including Mark Twain, Buffalo Bill, Bette Davis, and Elvis Presley. Conveniently located in the center of town the hotel offers 38 uniquely designed rooms and suites, each with all the modern conveniences. Some suites feature sitting rooms and kitchenettes. Yet The Cary House retains its historic charm with a fully functioning original elevator that is over 100 years old and intriguing antiques and memorabilia in the lobby. Many beautiful weddings, gala parties, family reunions, and other celebrations have taken place in the hotel’s banquet facility, and there is a conference room ideal for small meet-ings. Wine tourists are drawn to the charming, secluded courtyard with a fountain and ivycovered brick walls where they can relax over coffee or a glass of wine.


530.622.4271 • 300 Main St • Placerville, CA 95667

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BLISS vino

WINE AND (good) HEALTH By Mike Owen

There are a lot of conflicting claims about the health benefits of wine. You could spend days on the internet looking at just as many positive articles as negative ones. This commentary is to help you cut through the confusion and plot your course toward good health!

better memory during the aging process and a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. So if you’re starting to notice a gap in your mental processes, remember how easy it is to pronounce (and find) Merlot (Mehr-Lo) and you could be on your way to better mental acuity.

The easiest thing to say about wine and health is: It makes you feel pretty darn good. Don’t believe me? Try about three glasses and tell me that you don’t look and feel fabulous!

Cancer Prevention

In all truth, the recommended ‘dosage’ for a healthy person’s wine intake is about 2 glasses a day but not every day of the week. In simple terms, a little wine may help you live a longer, healthier life. No wine? Life just may feel longer. Heart Health Wine is said to decrease the risk of stroke and heart disease. This could be due to the resveratrol that it contains, or it may simply be wine’s ability to help you relax and reduce stress. Those struggling with high blood pressure and high LDL cholesterol (aka “bad” cholesterol) especially benefit from the polyphenol compounds in red wine that combine to create a team of plaque-buildup fighting agents. The wine flavonoid quercetin can also lower cholesterol by relaxing the arteries and preventing cell stress. Either way, we suggest trying a tasty Syrah so that the red goodness of the resveratrol can do its magic. Improved Memory If you can’t remember which wine you like, then perhaps you should open a bottle right now. Wine consumption has been linked to


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As we age, we all are sadly noting that some of our friends and colleagues are being afflicted by the dreaded C-word. Yes, Cancer. Red wine is a rich source of biologically active phytochemicals, chemicals found in plants. Particular antioxidant compounds called polyphenols found in the skin and seeds of grapes, such as catechins and resveratrol, have been proven to protect cells from oxidative damage that can lead to cancer. Moderate wine consumption has been aligned with notably lower rates of ovarian and prostate cancers. You can contemplate this over a tasty Malbec (which is among the highest in polyphenols due to the grapes thick skin) and do your own analysis. Whether it’s the antioxidants and polyphenols, the anxiolytic effect of decreasing stress, the decrease in cancer rates, your memory retention, or just the great flavors of wine, there are now even more reasons to reach for the world’s most civilized adult beverage at the end of your day. Salut! m

Mike Owen is a wildly sarcastic journalist whose writing career was interrupted by 25 years of Corporate Finance in Silicon Valley and 30 years of making wine in El Dorado County. You can find him most days at Crystal Basin Cellars.

Located in the heart of El Dorado's wine country, Miraflores Winery creates awardwinning wines of exceptional value. Developing inspiring wines that complement the bounty of the land, Miraflores is a winery focused on wine and food pairing events hosted monthly on our expansive patio overlooking the unparalleled natural beauty of the surrounding vineyards.

Voted Best El Dorado Winery of 2017 Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Wines of 2017

Miraflores Winery 2120 Four Springs Trail Placerville, CA 95667 530.647.8505 Open Daily 10am to 5pm

A Multigenerational Family Tradition Boeger Winery | 1709 Carson Rd | Placerville, CA TASTING ROOM OPEN DAILY 10am-5pm 530.622.8094 |


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Legendary Foothill Hospitality in El Dorado County As the closest wine tasting destination to the greater Reno area, we have been awarded nearly 200 medals in our last three vintages, including 35 Golds. Join us for a premier wine tasting today! Open 7 days a week – 11am to 5pm 3550 Carson Road • Camino, CA 5 miles east of Placerville on Highway 50 530.647.1767 • •