Healthy Saratoga Fall 2017

Page 1


Fall 2017

Healthy S aratoga

Dr. Marcie Fraser

advises us on bullying and womens self-defense

Healthy Recipes from

jodie fitz, farmers' MKT, cornell co-op

a Future olympian... and so much more! FALL 2017 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 1



Welcome to


Healthy Saratoga... the magazine!

Owner/Publisher Chad Beatty

A Saratoga TODAY Publication

Healthy S aratoga

General Manager

From The Editor

Robin Mitchell

Creative Director/ Managing Editor

Chris Vallone Bushee Managing Editor

Chris Vallone Bushee


Advertising Designer Morgan Rook

Advertising Sales Jim Daley Cindy Durfey

Contributing Writers

Alice Corey Denise Dubois Marcie Fraser Himanee Gupta-Carlson Jodie Fitz Eddie Fyvie Matt Gunning Susan Halstead Megan Harrington Carrie Rowlands Johnson Stacey Morris Diane Palma Megin Potter Mary Jo Salomon Todd Shimkus Maureen Werther Diane Whitten


Alice Corey Photography Blackburn Portrait Design Pat Hendrick Photography Pattie Garrett Saratoga Portrait Studio Stay True Photography

Published by

Saratoga TODAY Newspaper Five Case Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 tel: (518) 581-2480 fax: (518) 581-2487

Healthy Saratoga is brought to you by Saratoga TODAY Newspaper, Saratoga Publishing, LLC. Saratoga Publishing shall make every effort to avoid errors and omissions but disclaims any responsibility should they occur. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written consent of the publisher. Copyright © 2017, Saratoga TODAY Newspaper

Spring / Summer 2016


With Marcie Fraser

Recipes Healthy cooking tips Nutrition and

Women’s Heart Health

Healthy Saratoga …the magazine, has become the community’s resource for “spreading the word” on all matters health related and we have a great issue in store for you!

Let’s start with… Spreading the word about Breast Cancer Awareness Month and some activities I want you to know about. Starting with PINK BOWS ON BROADWAY. I’m sure you’ve seen them lining Broadway by now, and it’s not too late, so start on page 14 and order your Pink Bows before anymore of October passes by. I was chatting with a woman at an appointment last month and I had to admit (ashamedly) that I hadn’t had a mammogram in a while (at least two years, since that was when my OB/GYN, Dr. Michael Guido, passed away).

She of course did the right thing and told me all the stats that I didn’t want to hear, but she also told me about the organization she’s involved with. I’m so glad we were chatting… I got a story spotlighting a wonderful group of women helping to raise awareness (page 16) and I finally made that appointment – thanks Blandine!

So please join me… and make that appointment if you’ve been putting it off. In addition to our great recipes, beautiful photos, new gyms, activities and health advice… we have “laughing gas” (page 42), men’s health issues they should not ignore (page 30) and a restaurant that wanted us to check out their “healthy” menu items…

When Chef Tina said she’d make us delicious food and not use the customary “pound of butter” we knew we had to check out this new restaurant. Everything was fresh, light, delicious and she was right ...and it was totally worth the drive! (page 50)

When considering area activity clubs (page 22) as a terrific way to get out and meet new people, we never expected that it would tie in to another section in this issue, but it turns out that all of our “inspiring people” have all been involved with these area clubs – how serendipitous! …and wait till you meet these people – from Ironmen athletes to future Olympians – boy do we have tons of inspiration!! I’d like to welcome new contributor, Stacey Morris to Healthy Saratoga… meet her on page 43.

Thank you to the Saratoga Chamber for keeping the #HealthySaratoga momentum going, and our advertisers who allow us to provide this informative magazine free of charge! Please mention us by name when visiting their businesses.

As always… I love hearing from you, and thanks to all who read this magazine! Send your comments and story ideas to Stay healthy, Saratoga!



This red cabbage slaw at The Cove on the Hudson River was to die for! Check out the rest of our meal on page 50. FALL 2017 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 5


Alice Corey is a freelance writer and professional photographer located in Saratoga County, specializing in newborns, weddings, and commercial work. After a career as a critical care RN, Alice managed a territory for Pfizer pharmaceuticals for a decade. She is a self proclaimed wine snob, food enthusiast, and loves the Saratoga social scene. Alice resides in Ballston Spa with her husband Michael and her two young daughters. You can find more of her work at


Denise Dubois is the founder/owner of Complexions Spa for Beauty & Wellness with two locations in Albany and Saratoga Springs. With over 32 years of experience working in the beauty and spa industry, she specializes in skincare and wellness programs for her clients. Complexions Spa has been recognized as a leading day spa locally and nationally receiving numerous awards in many categories including sustainability practices and green building design. She can be reached at (518) 306-5502 or at


Jodie Fitz is a wife, working mother of three and the creator of the Price Chopper Kids Cooking Club. She will be releasing two cookbooks in 2015; The Chaotic Kitchen; a collection of recipes to help make the lives of busy families just a little bit easier when it comes to mealtime & Cooking Up Fun; designed to get kids taste testing and experimenting with foods.


20 year veteran journalist, currently working as the Health and Fitness reporter for TWC News. Her published book, WHERE’D MY BUTT GO? is a selfhelp nutrition book that contains the knowledge and experience gained from her work as a Behavioral Eating Specialist. Marcie holds a Master’s in Public Health and is working on her Doctorate. An avid ballroom dancer, tri-athlete and retired bodybuilding champion, Marcie has motivated and counseled thousands of individuals. She is considered by some, THE FOOD THERAPIST.


Empire State College professor Himanee GuptaCarlson grows vegetables and raises chickens, ducks and goats with her husband Jim at Squashville Farm in Greenfield Center. She writes and edits articles on the Saratoga Farmers’ Market for Saratoga Today, and coordinates a community garden and farm-to-pantry food donation program for the Franklin Community Center. Her book Muncie, India(na), on growing up as the child of immigrant Indians will be released next year.


Susan is a past Chamber Chair, former Treasurer of The Foundation Board, past co-chair of Soro imist and currently serves as Secretary of The Flower and Fruit Mission of Saratoga Hospital as well as Chair of Saratoga County Health and Wellness Council. Susan is an avid runner and has competed in several triathlons and half marathons locally and throughout the state.


Megan is a freelance writer who has written for a variety of publications including national magazines, local newspapers, and websites. When she’s not writing, she enjoys training for marathons and coaching fellow runners. After spending the previous seven years in New York City, Megan and her husband recently relocated to the Village of Cambridge and are loving their new community at the base of the Adirondacks.



Carrie Rowlands Johnson is a full-time Pharmaceutical Representative and weekend freelance writer. She lives in the Saratoga area as a single mom of twin 11-year old boys. Writing is her passion and creative outlet. She adores covering the society scene and featuring stories about people.


Stacey Morris is a journalist, yoga instructor, and author of three cookbooks, who dropped 180 pounds without dieting, surgery or gimmicks. "If a diet was really what I needed, the weight would have been gone decades ago," Stacey says, adding she's still a food lover, but now eats with both nutritional and emotional awareness. Stacey's healthy recipes, as well as her formula for combating emotional eating are chronicled in her books and on

DIANE PALMA MS ED Diane Palma, a resident of Saratoga Springs, is very active in the local wellness community. Being a mental health therapist, Reiki ll practitioner and a hair and makeup professional, Diane is well suited in her quest to treat the whole person. Her articles support her current dream to resurrect the Saratoga Spa State Park to its original intent of being the greatest health resort in the world! Check out her Self-Care Challenge blog @


Megin is an expressive writer and artist with work published in books, newspapers, corporate communications and online. A resident of the region for over 20 years, she continues to discover anew the interesting people, places and products it has to offer. As a mother to her active young son, she is inspired to explore even more.


Mary Jo Salomon is a speech language pathologist who works with elementary aged students and developed a passion for her vegan lifestyle. She became certified as a Vegan Lifestyle Coach and Educator (VLCE) through the Main Street Vegan Academy in August 2015. Since then, MJ has been working to help people interested in adopting a plant based and vegan lifestyle. She is a member of the Albany Vegan Network.


Maureen Werther is the owner of WHE Strategic Business Solutions, specializing in helping entrepreneurs and small business owners in the areas of business development, brand management, public relations, communications and marketing. She is also a lifelong writer and her articles have appeared in numerous local and regional publications. Currently, she is working on a book about the ongoing opioid and heroin epidemic in upstate New York.


Diane Whitten is a food and nutrition educator for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Saratoga County where she’s worked for the past 17 years. Her classes focus on healthy eating and cooking, plus food preservation methods. Her nutrition radio spots can be heard on WJKE the Jockey and WABY Moon Radio. Diane has a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in Nutritional Sciences, and a masters’ degree in Education from the College of St. Rose. FALL 2017 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 7


Start here & join the #healthysaratoga movement!


October = breast cancer awareness month


Let's get moving! 18

new gym options


best way to buy sneakers.ever.


join a club


rock the spectrum kids club


Get moving with matt gunning


self-defense for women



A good read 30

a must read for men


what to do about bullying


meet future olympian petra acker, along with other inspiring saratogians


learn what's new at saratoga hospital


stacey morris tackles menopause


hows your mental health?

Food and nutrition



the cove on the hudson


know your farmer


it's (hard) apply season


all the rage... fermented foods


addicted to bacon?


weeknights made easy... with jodie fitz FALL 2017 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 9




n March of this year, The University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, released its annual “County Health Rankings and Roadmaps.”

Published online at, the Rankings help counties understand what influences how healthy residents are and how long they will live. The Rankings are unique in their ability to measure the current overall health of nearly every county in all 50 states. They look at a variety of measures that effect health outcomes from behaviors, to clinical care, to social and economic factors and our physical environments. Beyond simply publishing these Rankings, the University and the Foundation have teamed up to encourage counties across the US to dig deeper into the health data that is available. They provide guidance and best practices to help counties to move from data to action. For two years now, Saratoga County has been ranked as the #1 healthiest county among the 62 counties in all of New York State. As a comparison, Albany County is ranked #27; Columbia County is #30; Fulton County is #49; Rensselaer County is #35; Schenectady County is #44; Warren County is #10; and Washington County is #31. In June of this year, at the invitation of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce’s Health and Wellness Council, Kitty Jerome and Jerry Spegman, Community Coaches for the University of Wisconsin, came to Saratoga County. The Chamber hosted a special luncheon at the National Museum of Dance and invited these two to speak to members involved in the Chamber’s Healthy Saratoga movement. In her opening remarks, Kitty Jerome congratulated Saratoga County on being the number one healthiest county in New York State. She also noted how it is rare that she and Jerry Spegman are invited to visit and talk with those counties receiving top grades in their ranking systems. But she also added… Saratoga County has room for improvement. In particular, she identified the five categories where Saratoga County ranks lower in comparison to data from the top performing counties in the United States, including: 1. Adult Obesity as measured by the percent of adults that reported a BMI of 30 or higher from the year 2013. 2. Physical Inactivity as measured by the percent of adults 20+ years that reported no leisure-time physical activity from the year 2013. 3. Excessive Drinking as measured by the percent of adults that reported binge or heavy drinking from the year 2015. 4. Alcohol Related Deaths as measured by the percent of deaths with alcohol involvement from years 2011-2015. 5. Driving Alone as measured by the percent of the workforce that reported driving alone from years 2011-2015. Using this information, the Chamber this summer employed, Allison Conroe, a student at the University of Vermont, and asked her to dig even deeper. She used the County Health Ranking and Roadmaps’ comparative tool to compare Saratoga’s data to that of other similar destination communities such as: • Burlington, VT • Hot Springs, AR • Portland, ME • Pittsfield, MA • Portsmouth, NH • Asheville, NC • Vail, CO • Charleston, SC


After analyzing this data, Allison Conroe reported to the Chamber’s Health and Wellness Council that she found that the five areas where Saratoga County ranked lower than these peer communities was identical to those five areas discussed by the University’s community coaches at the June luncheon. Due to this confirmation, the Chamber’s Health and Wellness Council is now looking to take steps as a community to narrow our areas of focus and work to improve one or two of these categories for the following year. For example, we believe New York State’s approval to allow ride sharing via Uber and Lyft in Upstate New York could help with alcohol related deaths. These ride sharing services were legal in all of the other peer communities and in most parts of the US before that was the case in New York State. Studies have consistently demonstrated that offering people this option reduces the likelihood that people will drive drunk. Looking at the issue of driving alone, we realized this is an area of weakness in every one of the counties in the Capital Region. In New York State, 53% of workers indicate that they drive alone to work. In the Capital Region, Columbia County is the lowest, but still 77% of its workers report driving alone to work. Meanwhile Saratoga and Fulton Counties report the highest with 83% of local workers reporting that they drive alone to work. As a result, this is a regional issue adversely impacting the health ranking of every county in the area. It is likely a result of the historically significant percentage of workers employed by New York State who commute to work from surrounding towns, cities and counties to state offices and related industries in Albany. Every year, the Chamber Presidents from these counties meet at least twice to identify common opportunities and challenges. In the past, the chambers have worked collectively on a range of transportation related issues, from improving air service options at the Albany International Airport; to train service to and from NYC; and to working with CDTA on expanding their Rapid Transit Bus services. Now beyond just an economic imperative, the need to improve our transportation options and infrastructure can be shown to be one that impacts the health and wellness of our region’s residents. This Fall, we will be working with BlueShield of Northeastern New York, an early and consistent supporter of our Healthy Saratoga movement, to bring these Chamber leaders together for a teleconference with the experts at the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The teleconference will be designed to explore best practices from other regions in the five areas where we all can improve our health rankings and where a regional approach is more likely to achieve success. You might say we’re acting locally as we’ve done since 2014 to ensure Saratoga County remains one of the healthiest places to live and work. But we’re also simultaneously thinking regionally to advance this mission beyond our county lines so that we’re all on the road to living in healthier communities for years to come.

NowThe it's Saratoga your Join turnCounty - Join TODAY Chamber ofTODAY Commerce Fill out the #HealthySaratoga pledge and fax back TODAY: (518) 587- 0318


Our company/organization supports the mission of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce’s #healthysaratoga movement which is to establish Saratoga County as one of the healthiest places to live and work. We recognize that healthy employees tend to be happier and more productive, and that there are ways in which employers can positively support the achievement of the personal wellness goals of our employees. We strive at all times to create and support a safe and healthy workplace. We hereby pledge to join the #healthysaratoga movement by (check one or more): (

) Inviting local health and wellness professionals into our workplace to educate our staff from time to time.


) Offering healthy snacks for our employees and customers as well as water versus soda whenever possible.


) Select a walk, run or cycling event and register a team of employees who will participate together.


) Encourage employees to spend a few minutes periodically during each day to stand, stretch and relax.


) Support any member of our staff as much as possible if they enroll in a smoking cessation program. AND/OR we pledge to support the health and wellness of our employees by:


) _____________________________________________________________________________________


) _____________________________________________________________________________________


) _____________________________________________________________________________________

Name of Company/Organization: _______________________________________________________________ Key Contact Person: __________________________________________________________________________ Address: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Telephone: __________________________________ Email: __________________________________________ Signed: _____________________________________________________________________________________ Chamber members are invited to complete this pledge form and to forward it to the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, 28 Clinton Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 or via email to


IS Members THE CHAMBER TheseWHY Chamber have already taken the pledge... SO CONCERNED ABOUT


I was recently asked this very question by the President of a successful local company and Chamber member.

This local leader had seen the numerous emails and social media posts we do focused on our Healthy Saratoga movement. He was well aware of our goal of ensuring Saratoga County is one of the healthiest places to live and work. But, he wanted to know why we were spending so much time, effort, energy and resources on this effort when most chambers are focused on economic and community development. How does this help my business, he wanted to know.


Chamber members take on the new climbing wall at the Saratoga Regional YMCA during June’s Healthy Saratoga networking mixer and meetup.

Here’s what I said: First, I noted that I know that his business and many others in Saratoga County are having challenges filling open jobs. With a 3.6% unemployment rate and a growing economy, we’re engaged in a battle with other growing economies around the US and the world to attract new talent. Locally, we have jobs open in every sector of the economy, from entry level to highly skilled. 12  |  HEALTHY SARATOGA | FALL 2017

Our County’s ability to attract new talent, particularly young people, in the coming years will be vital. This recruitment effort, we believe, will be helped by our being able to say that Saratoga County is one of the healthiest places to live. The next generation of workers, in particular, appears to be more interested in health and wellness than any before. Young people especially, look for a vast array of recreational opportunities, hiking and biking trails, rivers and lakes.

Since 2014, the Chamber has hosted dozens of ribbon cuttings at health and wellness related businesses across Saratoga County, such as iRun Local, in Saratoga Springs.

They want to live in communities where they can access locally grown food, farmers’ markets, and juice bars. They want options when it comes to yoga and Pilates studios, chiropractors, acupuncturists, meditation and mindfulness services. They expect to live and work in places that have open spaces, clean air and water. They want to work for companies committed to the personal well-being of their employees. Being recognized as one of the healthiest places to live is one way we can stand above the crowd in the competition for talent. That is good for our local economy and every member and community we serve. Second, I shared with him that the vast majority of our members involved in our health and wellness efforts are small businesses. These small businesses occupy commercial properties across every community in Saratoga County. The work of our Health and Wellness Council has given our Chamber a unique means to promote these small businesses. We help them to connect with one another to increase referrals. We provide them with opportunities to share their expertise with all of our members and their employees to connect them with prospective new clients and customers. By helping these small businesses, we’re growing our local economy. The success of these health and wellness businesses is creating new jobs and increasing payrolls. It is filling commercial spaces and creating wealth in our community which benefits everyone. Third, our Chamber has hundreds of member organizations that are nonprofit and charitable entities doing great work to help others in our community. In many instances, the missions and work of these nonprofits involves helping people to live healthier lives as well. This includes the YMCAs and Hospitals across Saratoga County. It includes organizations that raise money to fight diseases and to help those fighting for their lives.

Yoga and Hops at Common Roots Brewing, in South Glens Falls, is one of the most popular events during the Chamber’s January Health and Wellness Week.

It includes nonprofits dedicated to prevention who try to help people to stop smoking, to lose weight, and to get out of abusive relationships. Our Health and Wellness Council is, therefore, a place where these nonprofits and for-profit small businesses convene to work together. Building such a partnership helps everyone to succeed and makes our community a better place to live, work and play. Finally, we have many local companies that take extraordinary measures to improve the health and wellness of their employees. Our Healthy Saratoga program has given us the opportunity to recognize these efforts. We can use this movement to promote the exceptional work being done by companies like Quad Graphics, DeCrescente Distributing, The Adirondack Trust Company, and Espey Manufacturing. We’ve learned that as we share stories about what these and other local companies are doing to be champions of workplace wellness that others will follow suit and replicate their programs. Local companies recognize that healthier employees are more productive and that wellness programs help to control health insurance cost increases. This means providing all members with best practices and inspiring companies to support new wellness efforts is again a value to everyone. So the Chamber’s Healthy Saratoga movement, I believe, is one of those programs where everyone benefits and can be involved. The Healthy Saratoga movement is inspiring people, businesses and nonprofits to change their behavior, to work together and to really think about the simple steps we can all take to improve our own wellness. The mission is simple – ensure that Saratoga County is one of the healthiest places to live, work and play. It is an effort open to all and one where if we succeed then everyone benefits. That is why we believe being recognized as a healthy place to live is good for our economy, our members and our community. FALL 2017 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 13

OCT BER breast cancer awareness month This year marks the 5th anniversary of

Pink Bows on Broadway's signature fundraising event.


he only annual fundraising drive initiated by that reaches out for donations to help support its efforts to provide real help in the home for families undergoing treatment for cancer.

Pink Bows on Broadway greatly helps (established in 2010) deliver its mission "Dinner is Done, Dishes are Clean and the Kids are OK!" by a base of volunteers and hired-in services. does its best to reach families spanning five counties from Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer, Saratoga to southern Warren County and relies on its partnership with approximately ten oncology centers across the region, who provide most of the organization's referrals. Funds also provide for's other signature event Project Easter Bunny, which delivers hundreds of prepared Easter Baskets to patients undergoing treatment annually.

To order a bow and complete your personalized card visit: If you prefer to order via mail, send a check with your contact information and how you would like the tribute card (attached to your bow) inscribed. Sponsorships are $50 for individuals and $250 for businesses wishing to secure a tribute bow and support at the same time. Questions? Please contact Lisa Morahan (founder of Floyd Warriors) at, call (518) 429-0461 or visit Sponsorships will be collected throughout the month October, please call as soon as possible to order your bow.

What exactly is Pink Bows on Broadway and how can you help with a donation?

Pink Bows on Broadway is a fundraising campaign that provides individuals and businesses an opportunity to honor a hero who has fought on the front lines of cancer either as a patient, doctor or caregiver, by ordering a pink satin bow that may be personally inscribed. All pink bows are hung along both sides of Broadway to turn Saratoga Springs pink the entire month of October - Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 14  |  HEALTHY SARATOGA | FALL 2017

Breast Cancer Awareness Activities at saratoga hospital

Early this year, Saratoga Hospital launched a new website:, a care resource for all women throughout the upstate area. The Saratoga Hospital Center for Breast Care, located at Wilton Medical Arts (3040 Route 50, Saratoga Springs) is dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of breast disease. The center’s breast care provider team includes nurse navigators, radiologists, a fellowship-trained breast surgeon, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, plastic surgeons, physical therapists, an oncology social worker and dieticians. A variety of activities are currently planned for the month of October at Wilton Medical Arts, including… •

Sundae’s Best Hot Fudge Sauce -being sold on site!

Gift Basket Raffles

Tee-shirts for sale

…with proceeds being donated to the Cancer Patient Fund at the Mollie Wilmot Radiation Oncology Center, located on the Hospital’s main campus. The Cancer Patient Fund is used to help cancer patients meet different care-related expenses, such as helping with travel expenses, hospital cafeteria gift cards, education and support materials, post-surgery garments, and weekend retreats and healing workshops. The Kweilyn Taylor Survivor Retreat in September was funded by the Cancer Patient Fund. All women who come to Wilton Medical Arts and the Women’s Imaging Center for a mammogram during the month of October will be entered for a “Relaxation Basket” raffle… which includes a robe, votive candles, music, and more! Planning is underway for the 13th annual Breast Health Symposium, to be held on November 4 at the Gideon Putnam Hotel. The symposium will feature presentations about the latest advances in prevention, detection, treatment, and survivorship. The theme for this year’s symposium is Patient-Centered Navigation.

If you haven’t scheduled your mammogram yet, please take a minute to do so… TODAY. FALL 2017 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 15




ctober is Breast Cancer Awareness month and a group of local women are doing their part to raise money to detect and treat this terrible disease. On October 7th, the CrossFit Mom Squad competed in Albany CrossFit’s competition and fundraiser for breast cancer. The four women behind the CrossFit Mom Squad team are Marissa Bongo, Blandine Johnson, Kelly Scher, and Carolyn Jaskolka. And all of the women work out at the CrossFit Round Lake (CRL) gym. The fundraiser benefits Barbells for Boobs, a 501(c)3 nonprofit breast cancer organization dedicated to the early detection of breast cancer, with an emphasis on women under the age of 40 and men.

Marissa, who launched the team, has participated in similar events in the past, but this year she wanted to put together a team of fellow moms. She says, “I put out a call for moms to join up and compete. That’s really how the CrossFit Mom Squad came about.” She says, “This cause [breast cancer awareness] is big in the CrossFit world and


many gyms hold fundraisers.” She continues, “We might not win, but we’ll raise money and show our kids how to be healthy.” This event is more than just a fundraiser for Marissa; it’s also very personal. She lost her mother to breast cancer when she was just 19. Marissa explains, “We see a lot of pink [for breast cancer awareness] throughout the month of October, but I always try to make a personal connection and share my story.” She continues, “I want to honor my mother – I know if she were still alive, she would be there at the gym with me.” Marissa’s teammate Blandine Johnson is relatively new to the area, but feels at home thanks to the CrossFit scene. She says, “Two years ago, my husband and I moved to Saratoga from Sacramento, California. We walked in to CrossFit Round Lake and felt like we had known these people forever. It’s our social life.” Of her team, Blandine says, “We’re all moms and we’re all different ages, but we can all do the same thing. That’s the wonderful thing

about CrossFit. It’s scaled to your ability.” Regarding the competition, Blandine says, “I was a little intimidated because I haven’t competed in a few years, but I wanted to help out this cause.” Blandine explained that CrossFit gyms are called boxes and are essentially warehouses. There are no mirrors or anything fancy inside. She says, “It’s simple and that makes everyone feel comfortable, regardless of age or size.” When it comes to fundraising, Blandine knows just what to do. Prior to entering this year’s CrossFit competition, Blandine raised money through Avon’s Breast Cancer walks. “I’ve been doing the walks for 10 years and have raised over $90,000.” Kelly Scher, another member of the squad, says, “When Marissa suggested putting together a group of moms to compete in the Barbells for Boobs competition, I knew right away I wanted to be a part of it. “ Each member of the CrossFit Mom Squad juggles a full plate – parenting, professional obligations, and finding time to work out can be difficult. But the women get to the gym when they can and knowing they have each other’s support and encouragement makes it just a little bit easier. Kelly continues, “Our group of four is unique in that we represent all walks of motherhood. Blandine has a grown son and is known at CRL as the mother to everyone. She is always there to lean on

when things get hard and the first to cheer you on when you feel like quitting.” Kelly says, “And Carolyn was working out almost right up until giving birth about 4 months ago, while also working and caring for her 4-year-old.” As for Marissa, Kelly says, “She is definitely the strength and the leader of our team. Hearing her story and seeing how much she has accomplished is awesome.” All of the women reiterated how important it is to set a healthy example for their children. Kelly says, “I love that my son sees me out there with the 20-year-olds doing what they are doing and knowing that I won't ever give up even if I'm the last one to finish.” This cause is particularly important to the group because as mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends, it has touched all of them. Kelly says, “I don't think you could find a person out there that hasn't in some way been affected by breast cancer. My sister-in-law has been battling breast cancer this year and seeing her strength has been very inspiring. “I was thinking of her - and all women going through similar situations - as I competed.” You’d be hard-pressed to find a more inspiring group of women. We wish the CrossFit Mom Squad the best of luck, in all of their competitions! For more information on the Barbells for Boobs organization, visit their website: FALL 2017 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 17

let's get moving 18  |  HEALTHY SARATOGA | FALL 2017

Feel the Burn...

At Metabolic Meltdown

written by MEGIN POTTER photos provided

ATTACK CALORIES and melt them away with a workout that will leave you breathless. Developed by Matt Phelps in 2008, Metabolic Meltdown is an intense exercise program that encourages the body’s full energy-producing power. Thousands have experienced results from the efficient, fast-paced, 45-minute training sessions that utilize equipment such as dumbbells, kettle bells, bands, suspension straps, and your own bodyweight to build strength, increase lean muscle, and burn fat. “Our workouts are ever changing, and always challenging, and the best part is we can customize them to fit the individual needs and fitness level of all of our clients,” said Phelps in a press release. In September, Metabolic Meltdown opened the doors to their fifth gym on Gick Road in Saratoga Springs. Offering personalized attention in a group setting, this is a growing community of people who want to improve their body while enriching their lives. “The fulfillment of helping people reach, and often surpass their goals, and realize their true potential in life, is simply exhilarating. We all consider ourselves lucky to be able to train clients every single day, and help people change their lives, and the satisfaction we get from doing so is what makes all of us love what we do,” said Phelps. Metabolic Meltdown Saratoga is located at 30 Gick Road, Saratoga Springs. Offering 10 classes per day, Monday-Friday, and Saturday “pop-up” classes. New members can try their first week for FREE – call TODAY! For more information call (518) 860-9299 or go to

Actually, I Can...… At Evolution Strength and Fitness written by MEGIN POTTER photos provided

GRAVITY IS NOT YOUR ENEMY – it can give you everything you need to become the strongest version of yourself. Pulling a kettlebell (essentially an iron cannonball with a handle) through the air is the fundamental tool that Lead Coach Chris Abbott uses to train everyone from professional athletes to busy moms. “My goal is to inspire others to reach their greatest potential. I work with everyday people who want to live stronger, healthier, happier lives,” he said. In June, Abbott and his wife moved to Saratoga from Los Angeles. A trainer for nine years, he’s certified by StrongFit and focuses on teaching others how to use their body weight to their advantage. The grand opening for his gym, Evolution Strength & Performance, 9 Hampstead Place, Suite 102, in Saratoga Springs, was in September. The open space, with room for approximately 10 people per class, has Astroturf spread across the floor facilitating comfort and grip during ground-based movement and custom-made monkey bars above. Currently, Abbott leads all the morning and afternoon classes himself with the philosophy that strength has no set definition. “Strength means so many things other than physical strength, nutrition, and mindfulness. To me, it’s resilience in the face of adversity and the ability to overcome obstacles. Strength comes in all shapes and sizes,” said Abbott. Test Drive a week at Evolution Strength & Performance - get 3 classes for $39. For more information go to or call Chris at (518) 332-7636.

Get a Massage...

At Hard Balance Body Works written by MEGIN POTTER photos by STAY TRUE PHOTOGRAPHY

WHEN IT’S HARD TO CREATE BALANCE between what your body needs and your busy schedule demands – it’s time for a massage! “I’m creating the best available space within the body for it to heal itself. I want you to feel great a week from now, as well as in this moment,” said licensed massage therapist Amy Haley, owner of Hard Balance Body Works in Saratoga Springs. Practicing in the architecturally preserved and revitalized Van Raalte Mill building on High Rock Avenue for two years, the official ribbon cutting for Hard Balance Body Works was held this past September. “The location itself is phenomenal for people. It’s convenient, lots of parking is available, and my first-floor location gives easy access to those suffering from medical conditions who might need it,” said Haley. Offering high-impact deep tissue massages, hot stones to soften and relax away troubles, and cupping therapy to stimulate blood flow, Haley works with clients to develop a schedule of services to maintain optimum health for the whole body. “I have a whole list of the massages I offer. Massage is for everyone – not just the Ironman athlete or weightlifters. You don’t need to have a medical condition either – we all benefit from massage.” Call for a thirty-minute massage for only $45. Longer sessions, add-ons, and massage packages are also available. For more information go to or call (518) 306-1222. Traveling? Install the MINDBODY App on your mobile device. FALL 2017 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 19

3D Fit Technology Coming to...

Local Running Stores written by MEGAN HARRINGTON photos by PHOTOANDGRAPHIC.COM


We recently sat down for a chat with Charles Woodruff, the owner of Fleet Feet Sports in Albany and Malta, and learned of some exciting new technology arriving at the stores. Charles says, “Since 1976 we’ve been using the brannock device [the standard measuring tool for the world's footwear industry.]” But the times, they are a changin’. Charles is currently training the entire staff to capture a 3D image of feet using technology called FitID. The imaging takes a mere 7 seconds and Charles says, “We can rotate the image to show you different views of the foot as well as the arch height. We can also measure foot size in millimeters versus the standard half sizes.” Even before the FitID technology hits stores, Fleet Feet is one of the best places to get fitted for running shoes. Charles explains, “When customers come in the store, we watch them move, then we talk about successes and future goals.” He continues “But with this new technology, we’re going to make putting your foot in the correct shoes even more exacting than in the past.” Fleet Feet will be able to email customers their fit data on the spot. And they also plan to create a large database to help footwear fitting down the road. Charles says, “We’re really excited about this, we’ve been looking at options for years.” If all goes according to plan, FitID should be live and ready to go later this fall.

And once you’ve found the perfect pair of shoes, it’s time to get running. In addition to selling everything you might need for the trail, track, or road, Fleet Feet also offers coaching for runners of all levels. Charles says the store is currently registering runners for fall training programs, ranging from the entry level 5k (with the goal of running a turkey trot) to advanced 5k and 10k options. Over the past decade, Fleet Feet’s training programs have become increasingly popular. Charles says, “Since 2007, we’ve had over 3,000 people complete a training program with us.” And most importantly, those runners have been successful! Charles says, “The one thing I say [to training program participants] is keep showing up and let the coaches and mentors take you through the program. I promise you’ll be surprised at the results.” For Charles, running has been a constant positive force in his life. He says, “I can’t think of another sport that creates lifelong friendships like this.” He loves that no matter your age or stage in life, it’s possible to say to a buddy, “let’s go for a run and then get a cup of coffee or a 20  |  HEALTHY SARATOGA | FALL 2017

beer.” And Charles knows this as much as anyone – he’s been logging miles for close to 50 years. He says, “I ran throughout high school, ran a bit in college at UCONN, and then got involved in road racing post collegiately.” He continues, “I ran competitively for a long time, but now I run simply because I love to run.” So, how did a competitive runner become one of the capital district’s most successful small business owners? Charles says that running footwear and the human foot have always fascinated him. “Many years ago, I dreamed about opening a specialty running store, but our family was young and it just wasn’t the time.” When the time was finally right, he and his family looked into the Fleet Feet Sports model. Charles was drawn to the franchise because he says, “Fleet Feet Sports is not like a Dunkin’ Donuts, meaning it’s not cookie cutter.” He loves that with Fleet Feet, the goal is always to make the community a fun and more vibrant place to be. The Albany store opened in 2006 and the Malta location came a few years later in 2013. Charles says that quality customer service is their number one goal. “We’re not a ‘how many things can we do in a day company.’ We are a ‘how well can we do things kind of company.’ ” The stores were immediately successful and grew very rapidly, but Charles says that beyond sales numbers, they take the happiness of their employees very seriously. For example, the stores are closed on all major holidays, a rarity in the retail industry these days. However, the store does face challenges. With more and more consumers turning to online shopping, it can be a struggle for small businesses to keep up. But unlike the Amazons and Walmarts of the world, local stores like Fleet Feet can have a direct and positive impact on their community. Charles says, “We choose to be very involved. We touch lives locally, we put money back in the community, we hire local people. When you send your money to Amazon, that just doesn’t happen.” It’s clear that Charles and his company have a true passion for the running community, both in the capital district and beyond. From holding food drives to providing scholarships to area high schoolers, Charles says, “Our goal is to make a difference.” For more information on Fleet Feet’s store hours, locations, and training programs, visit:


The Great Pumpkin Challenge 10K, 5K, Kids Run 9:30 a.m. start (5K & 10K) 10:45 a.m. (Kids Fun Run) Saratoga Spa State Park

OCTOBER 14TH Amy's Adventure Run for the Lake 5 Mile Trail Race 9 a.m. Amy's Park, 887 Padanarum Road, Bolton Landing, NY 12814

OCTOBER 15TH Special Olympics Saratoga rUNDEAD 2:30 p.m. Orenda Pavilion, Saratoga Spa State Park rUNDEAD/1272349433?pg=tfind&fr_id=1260

DATE: OCTOBER 22ND SuperHeroes Race 5K 8:30 a.m. 5K - 9:00 a.m. 2K Saratoga State Park - Warming Hut - 19 Roosevelt Dr., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

OCTOBER 22ND Lyme Away 5K 10:00 AM Cole's Woods, next to the Glens Falls YMCA. The race will benefit the Lyme Action Network. The Lyme Action Network is dedicated to informing the public

Your Capital Region source for running footwear, apparel, and accessories. We offer a free custom fit process and 11 leading brands of footwear. Ask us about upcoming Good Form running classes, winter apparel clinics, and our Fleet Feet Distance Project training programs for runners of all

about Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases and working to help the victims of Lyme disease through education, advocacy, scientific research, and support. The Lyme Action Network is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization.

Online Registration: Race Contact: Lyme Action Network (

abilities. Make new running friends in our year-round Running Club, hosting weekly runs throughout the region. Fleet Feet Malta | Rte. 9 Shops of Malta | 400-1213 Fleet Feet Albany 155 Wolf Road | 459-3338

NOVEMBER 17TH–18TH 5th Annual 24 Hour Fight Against Hunger 3:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Fleet Feet, Albany All proceeds benefit the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York | 518.459.3338



Christopher Dailey Turkey Trot

Goblin Gallop 5K and Halloween Hop

8:30 a.m. Broadway in Saratoga Springs, just a few blocks south of the Saratoga Hilton Hotel.

9:00 a.m. 5K and kids run Abraham Wing School, Glens Falls, NY

More information: Online registration: Race Contact: Lee Pollock:

OCTOBER 29TH USATF Adirondack 5K Cross Country Classic 8 a.m. – USATF 5K Race Walk Championship 9 a.m. – Kids 2K and 3K XC Races 10 a.m. – 5K Cross Country Classic Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs, NY

DECEMBER 2ND 2017 Jingle Bell Run 8:30 a.m. 5K at Halfmoon Town Park For more help or information about the 2017 Jingle Bell Run of Albany, NY, contact Heidi Barcomb at or call 518.831.4202.


First Night Saratoga 5K Run


5:30 p.m. Skidmore College Athletic Complex, Saratoga Springs, NY

Saratoga Stryders Fall Back 5 Mile Trail Race

9:00 a.m. Saratoga State Park - Warming Hut 19 Roosevelt Dr., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 Follow us on Facebook for timely information about the race: FallBack5MileTrailRace/ Online registration: FALL 2017 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 21


Find Your Tribe

written by MEGIN POTTER photos provided

Want to up your game, and your enjoyment of it? Join a club. At the gym, everyone has different interests and workout goals. In a club, everyone is there to do the same thing that you are. Clubs give you an opportunity to challenge each other’s fitness levels, make a friend, or even find a date. Most of all, they are another great way to just get out and have fun together. Whatever you like to do, there’s likely a local club full of people who want to do it with you. Here’s a few:

The Saratoga Triathlon Club

consists of 173 members ranging from beginner triathletes to seasoned Ironmen. They host lifeguard-monitored open water swims at Moreau Lake every Thursday throughout the summer. Group cycling practice rides generally take place on the same course as upcoming races in the area. Members include Cilicia Bigler and Jodi Plante (page 38 of this magazine!), an Ironman World Championship qualifier, and a senior female qualifier for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in the 70-74-year age group. For more information go to

Future Olympian Petra Acker, who you'll meet on page 34, is also a member!

The Saratoga Winter Club is the oldest, and one of the

most respected, speed skating clubs in the country. Newcomers are very welcome and can try it out for free. No previous experience is necessary. Convenient evening sessions are scheduled at the Saratoga Ice Rink on Weibel Avenue, Saratoga Springs. SWC has produced more Olympians for the Saratoga region than any other sport— and there’s good reason - The coaching is unmatched! Coaches include: five-time Olympian Amy Peck, Olympic Silver Medalist Trevor Marsicano, Olympian and Olympic Coach Pat Maxwell, and Olympic Coach and Premier Boot Maker Paul Marchese. For more information go to

The Drop-In Meditation Group is a free session facilitated

by practitioner Pierre Zimmerman of the One Roof Holistic Health Center. The group typically consists of 15-20 people of all ages and backgrounds who want to take the opportunity to sit down together for an hour to improve their awareness, clarity and balance. “It’s a chance to be a human being, rather than a human doing,” said Zimmerman. The group meets at 12:30 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of each month at the Saratoga Public Springs Library’s Susman Room. For more information go to or

The Saratoga Biathlon Club is a group of approximately

100 people that enjoy the five miles of groomed trails on three-time Olympian Curt Schreiner’s Sacandaga Lake property. Throughout the year, there are training clinics, races, and other events in this specialized sport that combines skiing and shooting. Many people come simply to enjoy the cross-country skiing on the fields that often hold snow cover from mid-December to mid-March each year, said Schreiner. Membership is $35/Individual, $50/Family for the year. For more information go to


Adirondack Mountain Club

goes The local chapter of the out in small groups to enjoy hiking, paddling, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing outings in the park year-round. Each excursion is rated by difficulty and led by a trained trip leader, said chapter chair John Caffrey. For more information go to

We Rock the Spectrum

Kids Gym “I LOVED the zip-line, it was moving so fast!” -Amelia, age 5

written and photographed by ALICE COREY

There’s a new gym in town and it is...


Adorned in primary colors, this clean safe activity space focuses on inclusion and active play for ALL children. We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym, located at 1490 Saratoga Road in Ballston Spa, is making sure that all children with and without disabilities are learning to play together in a fun, nurturing, and safe way. Their mantra “Finally a place where you don't have to say I’m Sorry” resonates with parents of differently abled children and adorns the back wall of the new gym in a prominent way. Owner and entrepreneur, Eva Millard, identified the need in our community while employed as an Occupational Therapist working with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum. “I saw the need for a place that was inclusive for both children with Autism Spectrum and neuro-typically developing children.” Eva utilizes that knowledge and experience, to encourage active play for all children, her gentle and kind persona immediately puts you at ease when she interacts and plays with your child. As a single mother to 4-yearold Emilia, Eva counts her blessings each and every day and is so thankful for the opportunity to bring this amazing gym to the Capital District. While it may look like your typical play space, this gym focuses on sensory safe equipment

Owner, Eva Millard

and activities. The gym features several therapeutic swings that are all different in size, shape, color, and type. A favorite among the children that were playing today was the “super-awesome zip-line” and the indoor trampoline. “I loved the zip-line, it was moving so fast”-Amelia, 5. Other activities include a dress-up station, a puppet theater, puzzles, a train table, monkey bars and more. There is also a calming room which offers a calming sensory experience for children with sensory sensitivities. We Rock the Spectrum works within its own nonprofit foundation “My Brother Rocks the Spectrum” to hold a monthly fundraiser to benefit children. My Brother Rocks the Spectrum Foundation’s mission is to provide an inclusive environment in all communities; to ensure ALL children can attend classes, social skills programs, and have one-to-one attendant care when needed; to support those with specials needs through employment and additional resources; and to aid community leaders fighting for children of all abilities. The gym is open Monday-Friday 10am-6pm Saturday 10am-5pm and on Sundays by appointment. The gym is available to rent privately for group playdates, school field trips, birthday parties and special events. (518) 288-3294 FALL 2017 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 23

Come on guys…


LET’s face it! We are all getting older and the body doesn’t move and recover the way it did when we were in our twenties. There are two key components in trying to stay young: working smart in the gym and properly fueling your fitness with balanced nutrition. You may have heard the saying…“You can’t out train a bad diet.” In order to lose body fat and drop that spare tire you picked up over the years, balanced nutrition is a must and crucial to losing those extra pounds. When talking to my Gunning Elite Training (GET) team members, I like to focus first on protein intake. The body needs protein to recover from the stresses you place on it through exercise. Your body must rebuild the muscles you breakdown when working them, and protein is a key component in that rebuilding process. A rough estimate of what you should be getting per day is ¾ to 1 gram of protein per pound of your bodyweight. In addition to protein, you must find a proper balance of carbohydrates, and healthy fats based on your health and fitness goals. In support of a well-balanced diet there are movements that will help burn a ton of calories and aid in getting you moving, feeling, and looking more like you used to.



Here at GET, our programming is based on fundamental movement patterns. The key to a total-body strength program is to make sure that you are creating a complimentary workout program that includes all these movement patterns: • Knee dominant

(ex/ squats and lunges)

• Hip dominant

(ex/ deadlifts and kettlebell swings)

• Upper body push

• Upper body pull

(ex/ rows and pullups)

• Carry/crawl

(ex/ bench press and pushups)

(ex/ bear crawls and Turkish get ups)

Exercises based on these movement patterns are optimum for building strength and losing body fat. Note: Always be sure to select exercises that correlate with your experience level and ability. At GET, exercises are tailored for each team member, allowing them to reach their personal goals. The four exercises highlighted below provide you with the best bang for your buck in the gym. Some of these exercises require a bit more skill than others, so I suggest working with a qualified coach that can guide you in performing them properly.

RENEGADE ROW BENEFIT: First, this exercise is great for working the upper body. The reason I like the Renegade Row so much is because it goes far beyond just upper body…it incorporates anti-rotational core work which helps prevent/mitigate things like low back pain.

How to execute with proper form: 1. Grab a pair of dumbbells and get into a pushup/plank position where the dumbbells are underneath your shoulders 2. In this position, you will drive one dumbbell into the ground (this will stabilize your core muscles) and simultaneously pull the other dumbbell up to your side 3. Then slowly lower the dumbbell to the floor, and repeat the rowing motion on the other side



4. Once you’re comfortable with that, you can add a pushup into the movement after the rows (right, left, pushup…) to complete 1 rep Complete 3 sets of 5-8 reps

GOBLET SQUAT BENEFIT: The squat pattern is a functional movement that we use every day. Think about how often you are sitting down in a chair and then standing up throughout the day. As we get older, we lose mobility in our hips which then in turn affects the lower back and knees, often creating residual pain. The goblet squat will help mobilize the hips and keep you pain free.

How to execute with proper form: 1.

Starting position - Hold a kettlebell by the horns, keeping your elbows pinched to the bottom part of the kettlebell. Your feet should be just wider than hip width, toes slightly pointed out.

2. Keeping your feet planted to the ground (driving your heels “through the floor”) for the entire movement, push your hips back slightly and slowly descend until your elbows fall between your knees. Maintain a strong core and neutral spine throughout the entire movement. 3. Continue to drive your heels through the floor and stand up, squeezing the butt and abs at the top. Complete 3-5 sets of 8-15 reps


KETTLEBELL SWING BENEFIT: At the age of 20, we start losing power at an alarming rate of approximately 8% per decade on average. Losing power, or our ability to produce force with maximum velocity, increases our chance of injury enormously as we get older. The kettlebell swing is an explosive, hip dominant movement and extremely safe if taught/executed with proper form. Plus - it burns a ton of calories too. The kettlebell swing is the perfect movement to enhance our power, strengthen our core (specifically the back) and keep us young. How to execute with proper form:




2. Grab the kettlebell, tilting the kettlebell toward your body keeping your arms straight (in a hike position). Brace your core, pull your lats down/back, and hike the kettlebell between your legs like you are going to hit yourself in the butt. At this point, you are going to drive your feet through the floor and stand up explosively. Let your hips control the movement, not your arms. Your arms are simply guiding the kettlebell.

Starting position - Set up to the kettlebell so that a triangle is formed between your feet and the kettlebell. Push your hips back, reach for the kettlebell without bending the spine, and then slowly drop your knees until your hands come in contact with the kettlebell.

3. Brace your core and glutes at the top like you are in a standing plank. Let the kettlebell float momentarily at the top and allow gravity to bring the kettlebell back down. 4. Wait for the kettlebell to get close to your body before pushing your hips back (guiding/pushing the kettlebell back through your thighs) and ending the movement by bringing the kettlebell back out front to the original hike position that you started in. Complete 10 sets of 10-15 reps resting 20-30 seconds between each set


Note: At GET we teach this movement in stages, starting with lighter kettlebells and working up in weight as technique is solidified. FALL 2017 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 25



BENEFIT: Our GET team members laugh at me when I say this, but this is one of my favorites. A study was done on individuals in their seventies and it revealed that individuals who could get up and down without any assistance lived longer than their counterparts who couldn’t. It makes so much sense too if you think about it. When you stop moving, you start to really slow down and fall apart. This movement covers everything and teaches you how to use your whole body correctly. This movement literally will help you live longer.


How to execute with proper form (there are 6 steps to this movement): 1.

Starting position - Lie on your back with one knee bent and kettlebell pressed overhead with the arm on the same side as the bent knee.

2. Step 1 - roll onto your forearm 3.

Step 2 - reposition your hand, trying to sit as tall as possible


Step 3 - drive your hips up in the air

5. Step 4 - sweep your leg underneath your body so that your heel, knee, and hand are one straight line and your knee is pointing towards the hand that’s on the ground 6. Step 5 - sit up into a half-kneeling lunge position 7. Step 6 - stand up 8. Reverse the steps to get back down to the floor… On the way back down…step 1 – step back into a reverse lunge (if you can touch your leg with your hand, that’s the leg you step back with) | step 2 - reposition the front leg, hinge your hips back and find your hand to the ground | step 3 - slide your leg through and find your bridge position again | step 4 – sit down | step 5 - roll back on to your forearm | step 6 - slowly lower your upper body back down to the start position, flat on the floor Ultimately, you want the exercise to look the same (body position at the pause points) going up as it does going back down to the floor. Perform 6-10 getups total (3-5 /side) in a slow and controlled manner-think the slower, the better ** It may seem complicated and it can be at first, but each step has an important piece to execute the movement properly and to get the maximum benefit from. Make sure that you are not skipping, missing or rushing any part. Meeting with a coach is highly recommended for this movement. **





Remember, age is just a number. You’re only as old as you feel. Stay “young” by implementing these movement patterns to keep you moving better, feeling better and GETting stronger…for a long, healthy life! GET offers kettlebell specific workshops and group training sessions often. Stop in or give us a call to jump in and master the goblet squat, kettlebell swing, and the Turkish get up. Drop in to one of our GET groups for a total body workout that utilizes many of the key movement patterns mentioned above. Gunning Elite Training is in Ellsworth Commons on Route 9 in Malta, and offers multiple adult group training sessions each day. Visit or contact Matt Gunning for more information. | 518.944.1429

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art designed to give the weak a chance against the strong – Grandmaster Helio Gracie –

Dr. Marcie Fraser

Eddie Fyvie


What would you do if someone grabbed you violently? What would you do if someone pinned you to the ground and began choking you? What if the person was much bigger and more aggressive? When most women are faced with these questions, they assume there is no hope. Luckily, for all of you, there is an answer… The Gracie Family in Brazil have been practicing, developing, and testing the originally Japanese martial art called, “Jujutsu” (Now Jiu-Jitsu) for almost a century. This family revolutionized martial arts, self-defense, and what we know about the true reality of a street assault. The Gracies created a massive family and

army of students who dedicated themselves to the development of this martial art. More importantly, they were focused on PROVING the effectiveness of their martial art. They did this by examining their Jiu-Jitsu in real fights against all comers. Utilizing leverage, technique, and defensive strategies, they created a proven system, effective for anyone of any size and designed to work against a strong, aggressive attacker. The techniques in this article can save your life. However, if you truly intend on developing real self-defense abilities, it must be something you take seriously and train on a regular or semi-regular basis. You may think that it would be fun to try, or learn something like Jiu-jitsu. It is, but even better than that… it’s something that can truly transform your health, fitness, confidence, and overall lifestyle.

I constantly encounter women that assume there would be no chance of survival against a larger adversary. Generally, this is because they assume “fighting”, requires speed, strength, and other physical attributes. Luckily, with Jiu-Jitsu training, proper technique and timing, there is a chance! There are countless stories in which women have successfully used the physical and psychological strategies of Jiu-Jitsu to either avoid or fend off an attacker. Having the confidence to walk the street with less fear, and having an awareness of the potential dangers around you, can change your life. Enjoy these techniques! Try Jiu-Jitsu. If you never try you will never know! To learn more, visit: and try two weeks of our beginner classes FREE! FALL 2017 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 27

Defense against Rear Choke • Grab choking arm to protect the windpipe and carotid arteries • Rotate your body 180 degrees toward the choking arm maintaining full contact with the arm • Bend forward, forcing assailant to the ground • Apply a leverage based arm lock

Defense against Mounted Choke • Trap assailant’s arm exactly as shown • Use your foot to trap assailant’s foot (on the same side as the trapped arm) • Bridge and roll over your shoulder (not sideways) on the trapped side • Create distance and escape


Defense against 2-hand front choke • Step back and establish a base • Roll head forward through thumbs (weak point) and around arms • Create distance and retreat

Defense against Front push • Execute a proper break-fall, protecting the back of your head • Keep legs chambered between you and the assailant • Place feet into the assailant’s hips creating space • Use foot placement to pick your hips up • Chamber one leg back and execute an upward kick into assailant’s chin/face FALL 2017 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 29


Symptoms Men Should Never Ignore


written by MEGIN POTTER

eing vulnerable, talking about what’s wrong, and asking for directions. This is a shopping list of all the things men generally dread. It’s also exactly what they must do when going to the doctor.

Therefore, they put it off. Ignoring symptoms, keeping quiet about concerns, and dismissing discomfort are common practices that can cause serious conditions to progress in otherwise healthy men. Add in other factors including genetics, that men tend to work more dangerous jobs than women, and partake in more risky behaviors, and you’ve got a good idea of why men, on average, don’t live as long as women.

Luckily, Men Have Women

While a common cold can have a man griping and moping for days, when it comes to potentially serious medical problems, they just don’t want to talk about it. Awareness toward the tendency of American men to keep quiet about their health, doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea to accept it, and follow suit.


Men should confide in the women in their lives, advices Saratoga Urology’s Dr. Matthias Solga. “Monitor yourselves and don’t hesitate to talk to your wives. They care. You don’t always have to be strong,” he said. Men often find their way to him because of the women in their lives, he said. Women have encouraged their men to see a primary care physician who has in turn recommended Solga’s specialized services.

Muddy Waters

The first step to finding out IF there is a problem you should be talking about, is knowing what to look for. “Anytime and every time there is blood in the urine, you should come in,” said Solga. Blood in the urine can be an early warning sign of an infection or it could mean something more serious is going on. Solga treats many cases of bladder cancer and said smoking and tobacco use is the highest behavioral risk factor involved in developing the disease.

Exposure to poisonous chemicals in their work environment; including paints, motor vehicle oils and greases, and hair dyes are particularly harmful, as well.

Keeping Things Flowing

Other concerns such as leaking urine, painful urination, a change in the frequency of how often you go, especially when paired with pelvic, low back pain, or sleeplessness, should all be checked out. While it’s tempting to dismiss these symptoms as a natural occurrence on the path to getting older, they can also be a sign of prostate cancer. If you’re 45 years or older, early detection is easily done with a simple prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. This is an especially important step if you’ve ever had a family member diagnosed with the disease, as genetics do seem to play a role in its development, said Solga.

Those Rolling Stones

Painful urination, accompanied by pain that radiates through the groin, are common symptoms of kidney stones, which Solga said he’s seen more of in his five years working in Saratoga Springs than in all of his previous training and experience practicing in Germany. While stones can be endured with pain medication and eventually passed by drinking enough fluids, in some instances, if left untreated, they can require surgery to remove.

Hesitant to blame diet or fluid intake as risk factors making one more susceptible to stones, Solga said that our American culture of self-reliance sometimes puts too much pressure on the individual. “Here, the people did everything and built everything with their own hands. You did it yourselves, so you think that must be the case if you have a disease too, but it’s not true,” he said.

Hitting Below the Belt

According to the Testicular Cancer Society, testicular cancer is the leading cancer killer of young men, but is also completely treatable with early detection. Whether you’re 20 years old, or approaching 85, if there used to be more going on in the bedroom and you think your body could be to blame, you should make an appointment to see the doctor, advises Solga. “Erectile function you don’t need for daily life, but if couples feel like they’re missing something, they should address it or the relationship suffers,” he said.

On the Down Low

The good news is that doctors are aware of your hesitancy to bare all, especially when it comes to examining and discussing some of the most embarrassing parts of the body. You’ll never have to navigate a confusing series of answering machine options when you call Saratoga Urology. Even after office hours, there is always a human voice on the other end for you to talk to. Personal support is of premium importance, and much is done in-house so you don’t have to repeat delicate details about your condition to a string of new people for each appointment. Saratoga Urology is located at 1 West Ave., Suite 320, in Saratoga Springs. For more information and to make an appointment, call (518) 306-6184 or go to

There’s an App for That?

The Testicular Cancer Self-Exam App is available for FREE. Complete with video, illustrations, a step-by-step voice playback, and re-check reminders, this easy-to-use app is a great tool to help men monitor their personal health. Download from iTunes or the Google Play Store.

If you find any kind or size of lump in the scrotum, if the testicles feel heavier, or if you’re experiencing discomfort in the nether region, it could be a sign of testicular cancer. FALL 2017 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 31


BATTLING School Bullies

With school just starting many parents are concerned about how their child will assimilate into new classrooms with new peers. Will your child make new friends? Will they be excluded? Will they be bullied? Bullying negatively impacts the health and wellbeing of our children and for some children it lasts a lifetime. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry close to half of all children will experience school bullying at some point while they are at primary or secondary school. At least 10 percent of children are bullied regularly. Bullying is seen as early as elementary school. The incidence of bullying increases when a child transitions into middle school. Middle school age kids have the highest incidence of bullying behavior. The upper classmen (8th graders) bully the underclassmen (6th and 7th graders). The rate of bullying decreases among students in high school. Who is a target of being bullied? If your child is smart, tall, short, underweight, overweight, hyperactive, lives in a home where there is domestic violence, or has any type of disability, they are at risk. Nearly seventy-five percent of students who are bullied do not tell anyone. Keep an eye out for the signs your child is being BULLIED: • • • • • •

Resists going to school, decline in school performance Visits the nurse’s office often Becoming withdrawn, increasing signs of depression Speaking of another child with fear Noticeable decline in how the child sees him or herself Signs of physical altercations, such as bruises, scrapes and other marks

Who are the bullies? Many parents don’t look for the signs that their child may be bullying others BUT… someone is doing the bullying. Signs your child may be a BULLY: • • • • •

Views violence positively as the solution to most problems Shows aggression toward adults as well as other children Dominates others, likes to control situations, easily frustrated Shows little sympathy to others who are being bullied Won’t help stop bullying

If you think your child is a bully look for risk factors. What type of behaviors are you modeling? Parents should be conscious if they are criticizing others while the child is present. It’s important that parents model behaviors that are tolerant and accepting. If parents demonstrate compassion and empathy their child will treat others similarly.


What you can do if you think your child is being bullied? • • • •

Contact the school authorities to establish a plan to mediate immediately. Develop a plan to help avoid child bullies. Encourage the child to avoid the child bully, and seek help from a teacher or trusted adult when necessary. Encourage your child to be with true friends – bullies are less likely to pick on children who are in a group.

What you can do if you think your child is a bully? • • • • •

Discuss their behavior and listen to your child, be accepting. Let your child know that their behavior in unacceptable and set clear consequences. Talk to your child’s school authorities, as well as a child counselor or pediatrician to figure out a plan. Model conflict resolution skills. Bullies need to learn why they behave the way they do, and what they can change so that they are showing more acceptable behaviors.

Bullying is a significant public health problem in schools across America. The emotional and physical effects of bullying can have devastating, and even life threating outcomes. Parents are the first line of defense. Learn how to empower your child using conflict resolution skills… bullying must be prevented!

Sweat It Out written by DENISE DUBOIS

SAUNA, A SCANDINAVIAN WORD, is an ancient form of dry heat therapy that has been used around the world by many cultures throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, Central and North America. It is considered by many to be a cultural and medicinal component of social interaction and health maintenance. Among them are the Mayan sweat lodges, the Mexican temescal, the Islamic hammam, the Russian bania, the Japanese mushi-buro, the Native American sweat lodge, as well as the hot baths described in Indian Ayurvedic medical literature. Ancient Egyptian texts including the Edwin Smith Papyrus mention the use of heat therapy for tumors. Modern science has consistently studied the health effects of saunas for decades and in fact have a very strong case that it can be used in the management of heart related conditions according to a published article in the Journal of Cardiology. The basic idea of a sauna therapy is to heat the body several degrees. The body then attempts to reduce its temperature by driving blood to the surface and by sweating. Saunas dramatically improve circulation and relieve internal congestion. It is also said that by heating the body it helps to destroy bacteria,

viruses and some tumors. In addition, it assists the body in detoxification by ridding harmful toxic metals and chemicals, radio active particles and other toxins. The effects of a sauna session occur in two phases. The first phase, which usually is within the first 10 minutes, induces light sweating and the body temperature remains approximately at basal level of 98.6º. The body dissipates the extra heat by increasing circulation, shunting blood to the skin surface and sweating. The benefits of phase one include relaxing the muscles and enhancing the flexibility of tendons and ligaments, pain relieving, an overall feeling of relaxation, improving oxygenation and dilating the peripheral blood vessels and relieving internal organ congestion. After about 10 – 30 minutes, the body enters Phase Two. During this phase the body can no longer dissipate the heat of the sauna and the body temperature begins to rise. Some of the greatest benefits occur during this phase. The heart rate and sweating increase and blood is more forcefully shunted to the surface. It increases the heart rate and improves circulation. In addition, by increasing the body temperature it is said

to hasten the death of weaker cells as does having a fever does when there is infection. After a sauna session your body temperature may remain elevated for up to 15 minutes. It is recommended to take a cool shower and to rest for ten to fifteen minutes to give the body an opportunity to restore normal functioning. Saunas may be used for: •

Relaxation & Meditation The warmth of the sauna heat relaxes the muscles and nervous system.

Health Maintenance Weekly sauna sessions enhance circulation which nourishes the glands, detoxifies the system, cleanses the skin and offers many of the same benefits received while exercising but requiring much less exertion.

Healing Spending 30 minutes, several days per week, is believed to be a very powerful and safe healing modality. It decongests the internal organs, assists circulation, heals infections, and may help other body systems as well. FALL 2017 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 33

Petra is in front of 2014 Olympian Kelly Gunther during practice at 2017 World Single Distance Championships in Gangneung Arena (Gangneung, Korea) – the Olympic venue for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games.


The Artistry o Petra Acker written by MEGIN POTTER photos by 2017 US SPEEDSKATING


ehind the beautifully bright smile of local speed skater Petra Acker, resilience laps heartbreak, etching a champion.

“His dream became helping me realize my dream of becoming an Olympian,” she said.

The first time Cindy Acker saw her daughter Petra’s competitive spirit come out was while the family was doing relief work in the East African country of Uganda. Petra was 7-years-old competing against other children in a small footrace. A few moments after the race began, the other girls became distracted and wandered off to pick flowers - but not Petra, recalled Cindy.

He was there for her in the good times on the ice, but also during the bad. She found his presence reassuring. He told her, ‘Skating is what you do – not who you are’, she said.

“It was the first time I saw that competitiveness in her. She wanted to run and wanted to win - and she did. She always wants to do her best and be her best. She always wanted to go faster and beat herself – to do better,” said Cindy.

“It took me a few years, but I’ve realized there’s more to life than skating in circles… This has taken away so much pressure that I have put on myself. Now I am learning how to truly enjoy the experience and feel blessed to pursue a dream. There is still pressure, there is still stress, but now I have more joy. This has enabled me to be more focused on the hard days, and find inspiration and peace on the good ones,” said Petra.

An Olympic-Sized Start Homeschooled when they returned to Clifton Park, Petra’s grandfather Howard Ganong took her ice skating at the Knickerbocker Ice Rink in Troy several times a week to fulfill her physical education requirement. A speed skating title-winner in his own right, Ganong was quite the competitor for young Petra. When he thought she was ready, Petra joined the Capital District Speed Skating Club, traveling around to skate at different area rinks. She then became a member of the Saratoga Winter Club and began skating at the Saratoga Springs Ice Rink on Weibel Avenue. “This team has developed many Olympians over the years and it’s where I really began to develop my skills,” said Petra. At 16-years old, Petra was the youngest competitor at the 2010 U.S. Olympic qualifier, but didn’t make the team. Continuing to improve her performance on the ice, Ganong often traveled to watch his granddaughter compete until, in 2013, he passed away from lung cancer. In 2014, Petra again competed to make the Olympic team, but missed qualifying by the slimmest of margins. “It took me a few years to really learn from that experience. The year following the Olympic trials, I was heartbroken, and grieving, and wasn’t coping well with that loss…my identity and self-worth were totally dependent on my performance. Becoming an Olympian was all that I lived for, and when that didn’t happen, I fell into a deep depression,” said Petra.

From Skating in Circles to Skating into the Future Although she’s had many supporters along the way, including coaches Pat Maxwell, and Paul Marchese, whom she still reaches out to for skating advice, Petra said her biggest fan was always her father, Don.

Through the Crushing Pain Calling home several times a week while on the road, Petra said her mother Cindy, is her biggest emotional supporter. “She has a lot of fears: fears of failure, fears of not measuring up. She’s in unfamiliar situations, and fears rejection. It gets her all tangled up,” said Cindy. As a Christian, and a member of the Capital Church in Colonie, Cindy said she tries to go back to the source of truth, God, and share that message with her daughter. “I tell her she is loved, just the way God made her, and she doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone: to just enjoy it – and leave the results up to God. Whether she chooses to follow that is her choice,” said Cindy. FALL 2017 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 35

Petra is leading 2014 Olympian Kelly Gunther and Olympic hopeful Mia Manganello in the Team Pursuit at 2017 World Single Distance Championships in Gangneung Arena (Gangneung, Korea) – the Olympic venue for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games.

Fast Facts: Getting to Know Petra Acker What’s a must-have item in your suitcase?

Black nail polish! “I always paint my nails black before I race.” Started six years ago to help her feel more aggressive, it’s now a pre-race ritual. How do you maintain a healthy diet while on the road?

BYO foods including oatmeal, peanut butter, Clif bars, whey protein, an aeropress & coffee beans for that indispensable cup o’ joe on the go. How do you start out your day?

Oatmeal, coffee & reading the Bible. Then it’s in the car to the rink. Listening to music, setting daily goals, and visualizing both how I want to feel, and how I will perform technically that day. What type of music do you like to listen to?

EDM for workouts, rap for lifting, and true-crime podcasts for long bike rides. Before a race? Very chill or worship music to maintain calm, centered thoughts.

What’s your favorite moment in a race?

“When a race is going well, I have this sensation that I’m almost watching myself out-of-body. I feel powerful, every moment is controlled, & it’s almost like I know what is going to happen before it happens. It’s a total connection between my body, my mind & the ice. It’s surreal and beautiful. In that moment, I feel like I’m the purest version of myself – in total harmony with what I was created to do.” How do you unwind and de-stress?

Nature. “It refreshes my spirit & reminds me that there is so much more in the world than the little skating bubble I live in most of the time.” What advice can you share with aspiring athletes?

Fully commit to what you’re trying to achieve. Be focused & mindful – even in the “off time”. Work on your weakness, but also appreciate your strengths.

“If you’re going to do something, do it as excellent as you can,” from former coach Paul Marchese.

“My dad was the first person I always looked for after a race. He was the loudest voice cheering while I was on the ice…There were many times in the months after his death that I would sob through the entire practice because I missed him so much, and questioned if I even wanted to keep going,” said Petra.

Bridging Up Today, there are still times that Petra will cry on the way to the rink, or on the way back, thinking about her father, and yet, she perseveres. Her team placed sixth at the end of last season’s World Single Distance Championships in South Korea. She also finished on the podium for three events during the U.S. Championships. This August, she participated in a trial, achieving a time that rivals her personal best.

A Lap Ahead

Do you have a pre-competition ritual to handle nerves?


Through all the hard challenges; the internal doubts, financial struggles, missed teams, and broken bones, last year they experienced their toughest yet, the devastation of Don’s passing in September.

“This is a really exciting indicator that I’ve gained strength and fitness over the summer months of training, and a great starting point as we get into the real racing season,” she said.

Is there an inspirational quote or motivational mantra that you live by?

Before a race, Petra’s got her legs up against the wall, fingernails painted black, listening to her pre-race playlist (that includes songs from Hill Song Worship and Elevation Worship) while visualizing the race ahead.

“Sometimes I just listen, and that centers her,” she added.

Petra, 9 and her Opa

As a member of the U.S. All-Around National Team, Petra started out this season with a two-week training camp in Milwaukee, followed by a training camp in Salt Lake City to prepare for the Fall Long Track World Cup Trials this month. Working with athletic trainer Julie Carpenter and Coach Tom

Cushman, officially she trains twice a day, six days a week. To become an elite athlete at the professional level that she’s achieved, it takes much more than that, however. “My training doesn’t start and end at the oval – getting the proper nutrition, sleep, and recovery is essential to be prepared for the training load. In a sense, I’m always training because I often have to ask myself whether a decision will bring me closer to, or further from, my goal,” said Petra. This includes being careful with her downtime. Like many young adults, she enjoys going to concerts, hanging out with friends, and going to coffee shops. Petra also likes outdoor activities including hiking through the Utah Mountains and going for a swim. Taking pleasure in reading the occasional novel, she looks for a good story that offers an escape and excites her imagination; the Harry Potter series is among her favorites.

expect to be making money, but that’s not the case with speed skating. It keeps taking, but she just loves it. I totally support her. I just did what I had to do. It’s been our commitment to help her realize her dream,” said Cindy. In addition to meals, there are racing fees, training camps, travel and housing expenses. To date, the GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $4,000, however; Petra’s already spent the fall training in Milwaukee and Salt Lake City.

Petra plans to fly out to the Olympic trials (on Christmas!) Her mother will join her several days later, and both will stay through January 8th. The expenses for just the Olympic trials are expected to add up to another (approximately) $4,000. Any contribution to Petra’s GoFundMe campaign will be greatly appreciated. Visit to follow her updates along the way and to donate.

The World Cup Qualifier begins this month. If she makes the World Cup team, she’ll spend three weeks competing in Norway, the Netherlands, and Canada.

Routine helps bring Petra clarity, as well. “Being able to turn my mind off and go through the motions helps keep me focused on the present, and any distractions out of my mind,” she said. Regardless of how this year turns out for her on the ice, Petra said next year she plans on taking some college courses to help equip her for a cause she feels passionate about – working for an organization involved in the rescue of human trafficking victims. Right now, Petra is focused on the sport she’s been pursing since she was a child. It’s where excellence is measured in a matter of sheer seconds, where she is taking each moment as it comes. “My plan is to take it day-by-day. I don’t think I’ll know when I’m done until it’s over - if I have accomplished all that I can, and can leave the sport with peace,” she said. To help support Petra on her path, you can donate to her GoFundMe campaign and follow her on Instagram @babyp93.

Be an Active Supporter – Contribute to Petra’s GoFundMe Campaign “Most of this tends to be for food, because I eat A LOT,” said Petra. How refreshing is it to hear a woman say that? Petra’s mom Cindy, confirmed this, nearly word-for-word, before elaborating further. “It is expensive. It’s put a lot of pressure on Petra that everyone is sacrificing. Once you excel to this level in a lot of other sports you FALL 2017 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 37

One Rough Ride

at the Lake George Triathlon


AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT, in her 13th season of triathlon competition, Jodi Plante has celebrated and suffered. In July, Plante was the first place female finisher at the Pine Bush Triathlon in Guilderland. She trains consistently each summer, building up her endurance with weights, running, biking and swimming sessions. “Proceed as if success is inevitable,” she tells herself. A STEADY START Plante started her day at 4 a.m. on the morning of the 7th Annual Big George Triathlon in September, with coffee, two waffles with lots of syrup, fruit, and two eggs cooked sunny side up. It was her typical race-day breakfast, on a Sunday that would turn out to be anything but ordinary. “It rained and rained, all it did was rain,” recalled Plante. Still, more than 270 competitors braved the chilly 50 degree air temperature and dove into the warm calm waters of Lake George for the first of three events - a 1.2 mile swim. It was after her 39-minute swim that Plante’s troubles began. It took an excruciatingly long four minutes to peel off her wet outfit and change for the next leg of the race –a transition that usually took her less than a minute. Despite the setback, she was able to get on the appropriate clothing, and was off on her bicycle. Her biggest fan, her husband Jim Jordan, told her to have a great ride as she began the 56-mile trip. THE UNTHINKABLE HAPPENS The drenching rain collected on the road, making it impossible for Plante to see the tension crack in the blacktop at mile 35 before she hit it. Her bicycle turned a sharp 180 degrees. She twisted through the air, the back of her left shoulder smashing down hard onto the pavement. “I knew right away something was wrong,” said Plante. Adrenaline immediately kicked in. She dragged herself and her bicycle out of the path of an oncoming car. Witnessed by a woman from her cabin window, she invited Plante inside, wrapped her in blankets and turned on a heater to ward off the hypothermia that began setting in. Once an ambulance brought Plante to the hospital, it was determined that she had suffered an angulated collarbone break that required surgery and up to eight weeks of recovery. MOVING FORWARD No one finished the race that day - officials ended up cancelling it due to the weather, before the final 13.1 mile run. It was a small consolation to Plante, whose initial anger about the incident has since been replaced by acceptance and plans to restart her training once she is fully healed. “We like to be able to push ourselves and test ourselves. Everyone who does this knows there is inherent risk and that this can happen, but there’s risk stepping off the curb of the sidewalk,” said Plante. This was Plante’s 7th time competing in the Big George Triathlon. Her best time has been 5 hours, 37 minutes. 38  |  HEALTHY SARATOGA | FALL 2017

Cilicia Bigler…

Upstate Warrior written by MEGIN POTTER photos provided

Photo by Saratoga Portrait Studio

Fighting against the pain makes its absence a victory. Throughout her years of medical school, Cilicia Bigler was in pain. She was completely stressed out, with no time to work out, and sitting all the time compounded her symptoms. In 2011, she graduated and began exercising in earnest. The sudden exertion caused a severe muscular back injury the following year. Working through it began her on a quest that resulted in her reaching fitness heights that she’d never imagined possible.

The First Step “I started kind of on a whim. I ran my first full mile with a friend and it was so hard!” said Cilicia. Her progress was slow, but eventually she began running short races. “If I just sit on the couch, it hurts more. I began to realize it is possible to exercise in a way that helps the body instead of hurts it,” she said. Her husband of 14 years, Dave Bigler, is an avid cyclist and got her into riding early on. “Dave is always the first person out there supporting me and keeps pushing me to keep trying things,” said Cilicia. Wanting to do even more but filled with self-doubt, Cilicia knew she needed more help. She joined the Saratoga Tri Club and sought out the personal training advice of Ironman Coach, Kristen Hislop.

Putting in the Work “I just kind-of do what she tells me to – it’s a mix of things,” said Cilicia.

Training 14-16 hours per week, Cilicia rides the stationary bike in her basement and focuses on strength training in the offseason. In the spring, she’s outside pushing for longer bike rides and runs, focusing on specific goals such as training for hill climbs. “Sometimes it’s easier to just do it, instead of having to explain to her why I didn’t,” said Cilicia. She also started going to a doctor practicing active release techniques (ART) to adjust her back and relieve the muscular pain she’d been fighting for so long. Adding yoga classes into her regimen as well, it took more than a year to get her back realigned, she said.

Experiencing the Glory In September, Cilicia completed her 3rd half Ironman, the 70.3 Lake Placid, with an overall time of 7 hours 45 minutes. “I’m not the skinniest or the fastest one out there, and that’s ok. I am me. You’re an average person, and so am I,” she said. It was a colder day then she was used to, and the course was filled with a lot of uphill battles – she had to walk for stretches, but along the way she saw encouraging smiles and heard kind, inspiring words to urge her ahead. “I felt great, tired, yes, but great,” she said. Next year, she plans to participate in the full 140.6 mile Ironman Triathlon. “I more or less want to keep pushing to see what I can do within the constraints of not having it take over my life. I want to keep in balance too.” FALL 2017 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 39

Saratoga Hospital Midwifery ISN’T JUST ABOUT ‘BIRTHIN BABIES’ written by MAUREEN WERTHER

American women continue to take greater control over their health care, the profession of midwifery is steadily regaining its rightful place in the field of obstetrics and gynecology. After spending time talking with two of the six licensed midwives at the Saratoga Hospital Medical Group – Midwifery and Women’s Health Services practice, my entire perspective on midwifery was altered and I felt a new appreciation for and understanding of the roles these medical professionals play in the full spectrum of women’s healthcare, from adolescence all the way through child-bearing years and well beyond menopause. A quick overview of the history of midwifery in this country illustrates why Saratoga Hospital’s midwifery practice, which opened in 2015, is such a beneficial and important addition to the medical community. 40  |  HEALTHY SARATOGA | FALL 2017

When the first ships from England landed on the shores of North America, women acted as midwives and as teachers to younger women, in the same tradition as their British forebears. Women who were brought here from West Africa as slaves also played a vital role in labor and delivery of both black and white women. As medicine steadily progressed and became “professionalized,” women’s roles as midwives became more marginalized, in favor of what was thought to be a more enlightened and safer course of dealing with pregnancy and childbirth. The medical model held a different view of pregnancy, treating it more as a medical problem requiring “intervention,” instead of a natural biological process. Midwifery faded as a viable option for pregnant women and, by 1935, less than 15 percent of all births in the United States were attended by midwives. Fortunately, there were parts of the country where midwives still practiced – mostly in poor, rural areas. By the 1960s and 1970s however, as women fought to regain control over

their bodies, their reproductive health, and the ability to decide what was best for them as individuals, the role of the midwife re-emerged as an important component of women’s medical health. In England and many other countries throughout Europe and Asia, midwives are the primary care providers for more than half the births. When midwives are involved in the patient’s pregnancy and delivery, there are fewer Caesarian sections, episiotomies, drug-induced labor, forceps deliveries and vaginal tearing, plus better newborn outcomes related to less labor interventions. The increasing number of women opting to use midwives may also help to reduce the high costs associated with pregnancy and birth. Those savings usually stem from fewer costly medical interventions. While there are some local midwives who practice home births, Saratoga Hospital's midwifery practice is strictly hospitalbased. “We collaborate closely with our physicians,” said licensed midwife Sara Ellen Gorham, CNM, adding that there is always one collaborative doctor on call in case a medical intervention becomes necessary. Gorham’s colleague, Barbara Smith-Foy, MS, CNM, began her career as a labor and delivery-room nurse, eventually returning to school to become a licensed midwife. “As a labor and delivery nurse, you’re there for the patient until your 12-hour shift is over,” she said. As a midwife, Smith-Foy and other midwives have the opportunity to work with women before they become pregnant, and they continue that relationship throughout

the lives of their patients. The midwife philosophy embraces childbirth as a natural process and practitioners see themselves as facilitators of that process.

a huge public impression that all we do is deliver babies,” said Smith-Foy. “Older women will usually laugh and say, ‘I don’t need a midwife anymore!’”

Unlike nurses and physicians’ assistants, midwives are trained and licensed as independent practitioners. Naturally, Gorham added, there are areas that fall outside of the scope of their practice, such as high-risk pregnancies complicated by a woman's medical history, which is why the midwifery practice is highly collaborative and 100 percent hospital-based. In addition to six midwives, the team also includes two family practice providers: Dr. Linda Hill and APRN, Maggie Caiazza, MS, APRNBC, ANP, FNP, part of the Saratoga Hospital Medical Group – Women’s Primary Care practice, located next door to the midwifery practice in Wilton.

The midwifery practice is really about a continuum of care, said Smith-Foy, ranging from working with young women who are dealing with painful menstrual cycles, to pre-menopausal women dealing with hormonal changes, and on to postmenopausal women who may be struggling with issues such as painful intercourse.

Smith-Foy who has been practicing midwifery for nearly 17 years, says that a woman’s health care choices are ultimately her own. The midwifery practice is a "judgment-free zone," facilitating a woman's choice through informed decision making. For example, if a woman decides she wants an epidural during delivery, the practitioners are there to support that decision.

“We are really looking to help women become self-actualized and expand their awareness,” said Smith-Foy. “Patients who come here say, ‘Is it always like this? I’ve never had somebody spend so much time with me before!’”

Gorham has been practicing midwifery for 12 years and she will tell you that most people who decide to go into the field see it as a “calling,” and a way of empowering other women to make informed decisions about their medical health and well-being. Most interesting for me was to learn that nearly 50 percent of Gorham’s and SmithFoy’s practice is gynecological. “There is

Smith-Foy pointed out that women are living 30 years beyond menopause, on average, and most still want to enjoy a level of intimacy with their partners. In a supportive environment like Saratoga Hospital Midwifery, patients begin to speak more openly and candidly about issues that affect their quality of life.

Gorham, Smith-Foy and their colleagues all think of their practice as a lifetime approach to women’s healthcare. Women come to them for a unique perspective on their healthcare. The term ‘midwife’ literally means ‘with women,” an underlying philosophy that directs all aspects for providing care, regardless of a woman's age. These professionals at the Saratoga Hospital midwifery practice work every day with women to give them a full spectrum of care.

Saratoga Hospital Medical Group Midwifery and Women's Health Services

New Location: Park Place at Wilton 665 Saratoga Road (Route 9), Wilton, NY 518.363.8815 | Sara Gorham, CNM Jennifer Zella Kittell, MS, CNM Kathleen Murphy, CNM, CLC Kim Elizabeth Schoch, CNM, OG-Gyn NP Emily Scialabba, MSN, CNM Barbara Smith-Foy, MS, CNM

Barbara Smith-Foy

Sara Gorham FALL 2017 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 41

Saratoga Hospital Will Be First in Capital Region to Offer



aratoga Hospital is now offering nitrous oxide – otherwise known as "laughing gas" – for labor and delivery patients as a relatively risk-free and lower cost method of pain management during childbirth. This will make Saratoga Hospital the first facility in the Capital Region to offer this pain management option to their obstetric patients.

Nitrous oxide is an analgesic which has been used to alleviate pain, discomfort and anxiety since the early 1900s. According to Carrie Inglee, MSN, APRN, CNM and director of Women’s Health Services at Saratoga Hospital, the use of nitrous oxide during childbirth was very common in the 1920s and 1930s. With the introduction of regional (epidural) anesthesia, its use declined. Most of us are more familiar with nitrous oxide as a pain and anxiety reducer during dental procedures.


Inglee explained that, because nitrous oxide is administered through a closed loop system – that is, the gas is inhaled and then exhaled directly back into the patient’s mask – it does not escape into the surrounding environment and poses no threat to the medical team. Nitrous oxide is also a viable option for patients who are not good candidates for regional anesthesia. Those patients could include women who have had back surgeries, or those with blood coagulation problems. Tattoo location can also influence the ability to offer regional anesthesia as a pain management option for labor. With nitrous oxide, the patient does not have to be hooked up to an IV and is therefore more ambulatory. This makes it much easier for patients to move around between contractions to help facilitate the progression of labor and delivery.

Unlike anesthesia, nitrous oxide is not a narcotic, it does not “For decades, women have sought ways to gain more control over the suppress respiration and it does not result in motor and sensory loss, birth process,” said LaPosta, adding that the availability of nitrous said Mary Jo LaPosta, MS, Ph. D, RN, and Senior Vice President oxide in the labor and delivery room is a way for them to reduce the of Patient Care and Organizational Excellence and Chief Nursing use of regional anesthesia and gain more control over their delivery. Officer at Saratoga Hospital. It also gives the patient a measure of “We have gotten a lot of questions about this new option and a lot of control that would be unavailable to her with the use of an epidural positive responses to it. Patients had been calling us, asking if it was or other forms of pain relief. available here at Saratoga Hospital,” said Inglee. The team at Saratoga Working one-on-one with a nurse during labor and delivery, the patient Hospital has also been working with Myrtle Street Obstetrics & learns how to self-administer nitrous oxide by inhaling and exhaling Gynecology and Saratoga Hospital Medical Group Midwifery and through a mask. The mask is typically used during contractions and, in Women's Health Services to educate patients about this new option. some instances, during the pushing phase of delivery. Inglee added that the hospital makes no additional money through In other words, nitrous oxide is episodic in nature and it has no the addition of this service; it is simply another way to improve the lasting effects. Less than one percent of the gas is metabolized by patient experience and enable her to experience labor and delivery the patient’s body, 99 percent of it leaves the body during exhalation. in an entirely different way than would otherwise be the case with Unlike narcotics, nitrous oxide does not interfere with the infant’s the use of narcotics or regional anesthesia. alertness or ability to bond with the mother following delivery. The For more information, visit or call (518) 587-3222. mother-to-be is also more alert and “present” during the labor and delivery process, something that many mothers find invaluable. And nitrous oxide has no effect on breastfeeding. 42  |  HEALTHY SARATOGA | FALL 2017


Surviving and Thriving during the

Menopause Years





written by STACEY MORRIS

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, I have an announcement to make: menopause is LOSING! It took months of unmitigated grit, but I finally feel I’ve got a handle on the cloying monkey that hopped a ride on my back nearly two years ago. It was hardly a surprise landing. Friends who’d already navigated their passage sounded the warning: the sleepless, sweat-drenched nights; the brain fog and fatigue; lifeless libido; and worst of all (cue the music from the shower scene in ‘Psycho’) …the weight gain! An athlete friend of mine who’d never battled a weight problem one day pointed, with great dismay, to the girdle of fat around her middle, which she claimed was impervious to exercise and calorie-cutting. Since that made no biological sense to me, I dismissed it as drama. Oh, if only: l now can say with authority that menopause is one tough opponent.

Author Stacey Morris tackles menopause! FALL 2017 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 43

Don’t Go It Alone -

Advice from a Nutritional Counselor

“The topic of menopause comes up frequently in my nutrition practice, usually with a look fear on the face of my client,” said nutrition educator and counselor Lori Mershon, of the Nurture Salon on South Broadway. “We should be enjoying this time of our lives rather than fearing it.” Mershon says that while the challenges of menopause are real, it’s also not necessary to treat it with measures such as surgery or extreme dieting. “Every single transition in life requires attention. It’s possible to live a youthful and enthusiastic life during menopause and beyond,” she explained. “Just like planting a garden, there’s a time to plant, nurture and reap a bountiful harvest. It is the mindful gardener who knows how to keep the soil rich during each phase of life.” Mershon said that the myriad potions and fad diets tend to intensify the panic many women feel at the onset of symptoms. “Sometimes we wind up making random choices because we’ve been indoctrinated into thinking that this monster is undefeatable. I remind clients that we are women…our intuition is superlative. The simple answer is this: Know what to do to the soil to keep it regenerating.”

Lori Mershon’s


Quick Tips for Optimal Health During Menopause


Weight-bearing exercise

This keeps our structure strong and flexible and keeps our metabolism enthusiastic. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn at rest.


Eat an 80/20 alkaline food plan

Not a diet, she stresses, but a plant-based food plan for energy and rejuvenation. Did you know that three raw carrots have enough fuel needed to run a mile? Carrotginger-cashew soup is one of my favorites. (Check out the recipe on page 61)


Sugar is NOT your friend

It feeds everything you don’t want in your body. I often begin clients on a 10-day sugar-balance program.


Most grains are not your friend

We need carbohydrates, and the majority of them should be from vegetables because of their high fiber content. For every gram of grain-type carbohydrate consumed, your body holds 3 grams of water.


Attitude is Everything

Before I recount how I was able to stay in the ring with this mid-life demon for 12 rounds without getting knocked flat, a little background on me: For the majority of my life I dwelled in the category doctors classify as obese. I went from a chubby kid to a heavyset teenager to a binge-eating adult whose all time high of 345 pounds exceeded even heavyweight champ material. At the age of 44, after a lifetime of trying, I finally turned the ship around and dropped 180 pounds through clean eating, yoga, and facing the personal calamities that drove me to overeat. This is the condensed version, and there are certainly more details involved (see my cookbook-memoir ‘Clean Comfort’ for the full story), but after keeping the weight off for nearly five years it seemed I was home free. And then, menopause, and all its attendant symptoms barged into my life like an unwelcome freight train...carrying an extrawide caboose in tow. It began for me around the age of 51. My energy levels dipped and then dipped some more. Short-term memory was like a ‘Mission Impossible’ assignment that self-destructed in 30 seconds, and that handy ability I had to burn off a pasta dinner by taking a longer walk had left the building. By the time I was brave enough to step on the scale, 30 pounds had elapsed. And after a series of doubling down, getting discouraged and giving up, then doubling down and getting discouraged again, I realized it's best to not treat this unavoidable process like an enemy. There's some anthropological reason that menopause occurs, so I certainly can't stop it; but I can manage it as best I can. So, I began to earnestly practice what I’ve been preaching all these years, turning my focus more on loving my body and listening to it, rather than scolding it and making it work overtime. I increased the positive self-talk and gave generous amounts of gratitude to my body for all it does for me. I also consulted with a professional nutritionist and left the door wide open

Women’s resilience is unmatched; we are beings capable of bearing life. That said, don’t be afraid to supplement your food intake with reputable, whole-food supplements like a green powder and/or a raw food powder. Liquid nutrition is the quickest way to get a lot with minimal effort. 44  |  HEALTHY SARATOGA | FALL 2017

to allow my body and its intuition guide me. Our bodies are extremely wise and usually know what we need before we’re consciously aware of it. And somewhere in between reading about the streamlined eating practices of a high-end weight-loss spa in the Austrian Alps and hearing the buzz about the benefits of confining one’s eating time to 8 hours, I was divined with the life-changing epiphany: eat less. No really, that was it. Eat less. A tactic I’d tried before, but the eight-hour window is helping me gain traction and lose the menopause weight.

glanced at it several times a day, keeping my end goal in mind every time I felt like dipping into a bit of mindless recreational eating for relief or fun. By mid-July I was wearing it – ecstatically I might add! For the first time since the train roared in, I feel hopeful. Staying on top of menopause weight-gain is work to be sure, but it’s also a mild challenge compared to some of the burdens others are dealing with. So after I write this, I'll finish my lemon water, lace up my walking shoes and get to work. The

rest of the day will be spent getting work done, listening to my body, learning to live with less food, staying hydrated, and yes having some fun – an essential element to a balanced life. I'm staying strong, hanging in, and going the distance. Stacey Morris is a cookbook author, health coach and DDPYOGA instructor. Visit for more information.

Eating less is a truth I ran from, even after my transformation had occurred. I was no longer a binge-eater, but had to admit, feeling hunger pangs was something I avoided. Not so unusual, I mean, who really enjoys them? I know some of you ladies won’t like hearing this, but capping the chewing after my 8 hours have expired has left me feeling lighter and more energetic in the long run. This, along with herbal remedies such as Black Cohosh and Chasteberry for the hot flashes, regular DDPYOGA workouts, and 3-5 miles of daily walking have gotten half of those 30 pounds off. Going to bed hungry is like spiritual karate. It has given me both emotional strength and increased appreciation for meals and snacks tenfold. Part of my resoluteness in staying the course has to do with vanity – I simply don’t want to buy a new wardrobe and slide back into my former sizes. But more importantly, I don’t like the impeded freedom that comes with extra weight. It’s an energysapping load that I’m just not interested in carrying anymore. It has taken well over a year to get a handle on this situation and I could not have done it without buckets of patience. The weight is thankfully coming off, but the pace is considerably slower than in years past. Menopause may be a universal female experience, but the path to solutions and balance is a solitary one. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer…it takes research and a little trial and error. I’m always underscoring to clients the importance of goal-setting. So in April, I bought a beautiful pink tunic that didn’t quite fit. I hung it in a visible spot and FALL 2017 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 45

NOT FEELING LIKE YOURSELF? DIANE PALMA MS ED Diane Palma is an Integrative Beauty & Wellness Self-Care Consultant.

Where do you go and who do you turn to when life’s challenges become too overwhelming?

If you or a loved one is unstable, unsafe or in need of community support WHAT WOULD YOU DO? At any point, the easy breezy days can turn into fast-paced-go, go, go-round-the-clock days or to the heavy, dreary, hopeless and helpless days of isolation and low motivation. Recognize that it is not normal and seek out the help you (or they) need, I mean after all… would you ignore chest pain or a wicked toothache, no – you would go to the appropriate doctor for the appropriate care. First and foremost, if you or a loved one have reached a critical stage and there is potential danger to self or another - seek help immediately by calling 911, or going to the nearest hospital emergency room. Should you decide to seek professional therapy on your own you may be put on a wait list due to an increase in demand for services that are in short supply. In that case, you will need to seek alternative resources while you wait. Schedule a consultation with your primary care provider for initial direction. Then, take a few deep breaths and do a simple self-assessment:

How am I feeling?

(be honest regarding extremes… are you too happy? too low?)

How are my sleep patterns?

(the average is 8 hours – where do you fall?)

How is my appetite?

(is this different than normal, are you experiencing weight loss?)

What am I thinking or obsessing about?

(are these thoughts consuming my days, am I able to find solutions or do things seem unmanageable?)

Can I stay focused and accomplish tasks? Are there loved ones around me telling me I should “look into” something that doesn’t seem right to them? (if you’re experiencing any kind of imbalance, then you’re not thinking correctly and should listen to your loved ones.)

Can I honestly say that my behavior is normal and manageable? If not, it is much easier to deal with it now vs. 46  |  HEALTHY SARATOGA | FALL 2017

waiting till you’re in a critical state. Treating mental health issues is no different than treating anything else – early detection and treatment is the key. Here are some resources to help you determine the level of care that you are seeking and where to find it. 1. Mental Health Programs in New York State | The Mental Health Program Directory provides information on all programs in New York State that are operated, licensed or funded by the State Office of Mental Health (OMH). Definitions for all programs are available on the Home Page under Program Definitions tab, along with Directory help and information. The directory includes program details such as county of operation, hours of operation, and program contact information. 2. Saratoga County Mental Health Center The mission of the Saratoga County Mental Health Center is to provide outpatient mental health and alcohol/drug treatment services that are accessible and responsive to the needs of persons suffering from mental illness and/or alcohol/drug problems, their families, and the community. 3. OnTrackNY & Center for Practice Innovations (CPI) OnTrackNY was developed, and continues to operate, under the direction of the Center for Practice Innovations (CPI), which assists OMH in promoting the use of evidence based practices by using innovative approaches. CPI is located within Columbia University Medical Center campus. They have created informational and educational resources and videos for the general public as well as users and providers of mental health services located on their website under: Consumers tab. 4. Grief Counseling | If you think your friend or family member needs more help than you can offer, talk to him or her about contacting a local hospice. Hospices throughout the country offer grief support to anyone in the community who has had a loss through death, not just to those who were cared for by hospice. Hospice has bereavement professionals that specialize in grief and loss and can offer further suggestions or sources of support. Hospice can also provide guidance or resources on how to support others who are grieving.

5. Disaster Crisis Counseling | FEMA offers additional supports to help victims and loved ones. The mission of Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program (CCP) is to assist individuals and communities recover from the effects of natural and man-made disasters by providing community-based outreach and psycho-educational services. CCP supports short-term interventions.

Technology has taken over our lives… we have become isolated, yet available 24/7. We are always plugged-in to everyone else’s lives while we neglect our own. We are imbalanced when it comes to sleeping, eating and socializing. We need more self-care, more time to ourselves, and time to connect with nature (can you remember your last walk in a park?) Self-care is such an important coping strategy. We get into ruts, looking the same and feeling the same.

6. New York State Family Leave New Yorkers can begin taking paid family leave on January 1, 2018. New parents, family members caring for sick relatives and employees with family members deployed abroad on active military duty are eligible for Paid Family Leave Benefits. Virtually every full-time or part-time private employee in New York State will be eligible for Paid Family Leave. Participation in the program is not optional for employees. If you are a public employee, your employer may opt into the program, or if represented by a union may be covered if Paid Family Leave is collectively bargained.

I work with self-care as a mental health modality, integrating beauty and wellness. It seems like a silly question, but do you take care of yourself? If no, maybe you should! It’s always a great feeling when you take time for a manicure, a pedicure, a haircut, a massage, or a facial… or even that walk in the park. Do you have trouble sleeping? If yes, try taking a mineral bath, having a massage or trying a yoga class.

7. Integrative Practitioners Network An alternative way to fill in the gap of conventional resources is through two community resources; SIMEN (Saratoga Integrative Medicine Education Network) and SIPN (Saratoga Integrative Practitioners Network). Organized in 2001, Saratoga Integrative Practitioners Network (SIPN), is an informal, not-forprofit group of health and healing arts professionals committed to educating and supporting one another and, thus, the public. With many outstanding practitioners in and around Saratoga Springs, a city long known for its healing waters and spa treatments, the website informs the community about what resources are available. Knowing that the work they offer is just one piece of the health and healing dynamic, they consider themselves "integrative practitioners" representing a method–or methods–complementary to all the others within the group. If you’re lucky enough to not be in the throes of the above mentioned, but feel that you could be headed in that direction considering looking inward and ask yourself…

How is my self-care?

From conventional to holistic practitioners – there is a variety of support and coping mechanisms to help one identify and redirect imbalances in their lives though medication, self-development, self-care and well-being. Help is out there – look for it and try something new and maybe you too can smile more and stress less.

MENTAL HEALTH TIP SHEET: If immediate medical assistance is needed including danger to self or another dial: 911 •

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1 (800) 273-TALK (8255)

New York State Domestic Violence Hotline: 1 (800) 942-6906

New York State Language Assistance: 1 (800) 597-8481

Grief Counseling: InfoLine: (800) 658-8898; Multilingual Line: (877) 658-8896

Saratoga County Mental Health Clinic: (518) 584-9030

Saratoga County Alcohol & Substance Abuse Services: (518) 587-8800

New York State Paid Family Leave: 1 (844) 337-6303

FEMA: American Red Cross: 1(800) REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) FALL 2017 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 47



written by MEGIN POTTER photo provided

NEGATIVE EXPERIENCES have a way of embedding themselves in our memory. These damaging feelings lurk behind the scenes while we act as if nothing is wrong, become closed off, and try to distract ourselves. We soothe with temporary external rewards – including food. This vicious cycle of misuse can be triggered by many things. The first time Dr. Marcie Fraser was bullied for her appearance was in middle school. In college, she wanted not only to fit into the Jordache jeans that were popular then, but also into the clique of girls that wore them. Their bulimic behaviors influenced her own. After earning her bachelor’s degree in social work, Fraser competed as a professional body builder, which wasn’t a healthy lifestyle for her either, she said. Hungry for knowledge, Fraser ultimately learned how to gage her food intake and exercise effectively – without going overboard. Driven to help others by sharing this knowledge and her experiences, Fraser wrote several books, has discussed health and fitness on local television news segments, worked with private clients, regional hospitals, recovery centers, public service departments, and other agencies. 48  |  HEALTHY SARATOGA | FALL 2017

“I’ve got the knowledge. I’ve walked the walk. I’m basically a food therapist,” she said. In 2005, Fraser began studying for her Doctorate in Public Health. Busy working and raising her son, Cam, now 17, she began the bulk of her course load in 2013 and was awarded her doctorate degree from The State University of New York at Albany in May. “I couldn’t even use my kitchen table for years, because it was always stacked with books and papers,” said Fraser. Her dissertation alone referenced 254 sources, and her final exam took seven days to complete. Fraser said Cam was her biggest supporter along the way, and that she can rest easy knowing her education is being used to help people. “I’m their coach. I just try to do the best I can. Everybody’s different and I try to meet them where they are. When I work with somebody, right out of the gate I give them a tremendous amount of attention. When I lay down at night, I know I’ve done everything that day that I can do to help somebody,” she said.

parent, Nigro was struggling to get enough exercise in between her full-time job and her other responsibilities. She didn’t feel good about her appearance, began isolating herself because of it, and wasn’t getting enough sleep. “It starts just by giving yourself one minute a day and builds from there,” said Fraser. Now, Nigro can experience a true sense of well-being that has gotten her out and enjoying life. Working with the Schenectady Police Department to address the uniquely stressful situations that their millennial officers encounter is another aspect of Fraser’s work that she finds particularly rewarding. “I protect the protectors,” she said. SAVE THE DATE: "The Do's and Don'ts for Permanent Weight Loss" will be held on Thursday Oct. 19th at 7p.m. at the Saratoga Springs Public Library’s Sesman Room. To contact Dr. Marcie Fraser, go to or call (518) 368-9171.

One of her many clients was Meg Nigro. A busy mom, wife, and care taker of an elderly

Eka Svana

(One Dog Yoga)

written by CARRIE ROWLANDS JOHNSON photos provided


ords spoken softly, yet steady and with confidence, float throughout the room. A dog’s bark briefly shadows them, simultaneously highlighting their mission. Long yoga mats litter the floor, each paired with their very own blanket. Human yogis occupy space on the mats while their canine companions instinctively lay their bodies across the fuzzy blankets.

Words, resounding from Mechelle Chojecki’s lips as she knowledgeably leads the class before her through what she refers to as Partner Yoga, her students an even balance of both yogis and dogis. This class is part of Canine Camp Getaway in Lake Placid, but Chojecki also delivers private lessons through her own business, Eka Svana, One Dog Yoga, based here in Saratoga. Chojecki, a registered Vinyasa and Yin yoga instructor, focuses on teaching dog yoga, a niche she says suits her perfectly, because of her own precious canines Milo and Maple and her lifelong adoration and study of animals. “My aha moment… I looked at Maple, sitting in my studio in dappled sunlight, in perfect Sphinx Pose. It was so relatable to me… the way my dogs would breathe perfectly… They (dogs) are always in the moment. They wake up breathing perfectly. They were yogis before we were. There’s always that beautiful contentment.” In Mechelle’s class, Yogis and Dogis assist each other throughout, actions she instructs must never be forced. “I’m really enjoying reaching people who never would have come to class. I want to make it accessible to people. There’s nothing cooler than watching a senior doing Tree Pose and using her German Shepherd as a prop… Dogs are relaxed on the mat and can sense their masters struggling.” Performing yoga with your dog is, says Mechelle, beneficial for both of you, both because of the traditional health reasons (such as improved digestion and flexibility, relaxation and detoxification) as well as the bonding. “It does foster a unique connectivity… With something that can’t speak to you, you have to use your best efforts to understand.” A connectivity Mechelle feels deeply, dedicating her practice and her instructional classes to her own precious canines, Milo, Maple, and newly adopted rescue pup, Fig. “I call my business Eka Svana because Maple and Milo would stand close to each other and I would hug them both at the same time and I’d say ‘One dog, one dog,’ which is Eka Svana in Sanskrit.” Mechelle’s world upturned when sweet Maple passed suddenly nearly a year ago, she finds her own practice has helped deal with this extreme loss. “It goes deep. I spoke with an animal communicator who said Maple chose to stay with me on this plane… because (I’m) in service to others and she wants to see it through. That still motivates me.” Motivation Mechelle takes with her daily to her yoga mat, and into every class she teaches. For more information on Mechelle’s services, follow her page on Facebook at Eka Svana, call her at 518-435-5980 or email her at Mechelle is also a sculptor. You can find her work at Barking Maple Studio. FALL 2017 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 49

The Cove on the Hudson WORTH THE TRIP!


Just a few miles south

of the village of Schuylerville is a winding country road leading toward the Hudson River.

If you follow it all the way to its end, you’ll be in for a pleasant surprise. The Cove on the Hudson recently opened and its owners, Jarrad and Tara Gerrone, are thrilled with the initial response to their new restaurant and full-service marina. There’s something soothing about being on the river. The weathered docks steady the boats as they gently bounce in tune with the motion of the current, while lily pads the size of platters float on the water’s surface offering respite to frogs and toads. This is heron and egret country. And


the cove, protected from the main body of water by tall trees and high reeds, is an idyllic natural setting for relaxation and great fresh food on shore. The Gerrones have taken what was a collection of run-down buildings and docks and turned it into a combination of outer banks and Louisiana bayou, New Yorkstyle. While there is still much work to be done – the couple plans to renovate one of the buildings adjacent to the restaurant for private parties and banquets, and other plans are in the works to add an outdoor ice cream patio – the newly renovated restaurant and adjoining 1,600 square foot outdoor patio are a fantastic first step to turning The Cove into a “destination.” In addition to nature’s ambience, Tara Gerrone has used a crisp blue and white nautical theme, with striped umbrellas

and a weathered blue tone on the exterior of the restaurant. The restaurant itself is quaintly small, with about a dozen tables and a gleaming new bar, fully stocked with an assortment of beers on tap, in bottles and a complete array of spirits and wines. The outdoor seating area was just a sea of grass when the Gerrones took over the property Now, it is a sprawling square patio with 17 tables and an elevated area facing the water for the bands that entertain guests on weekends. Of course, a destination won’t remain a destination without great food. This is where executive chef Tina Marie Clements comes in. A graduate of Johnson & Wales in Rhode Island, with a culinary and hotel/ restaurant management degree, Tina has an established and well-deserved reputation for great food. And her fan base

has followed her to The Cove. “We were so thrilled when we saw that the line was out the door,” said Tina of their opening weekend. Tina has created a menu that has something for everyone. But the main theme of the menu is offering healthy choices that won’t leave diners looking for more. Typically, when people hear the word, “healthy,” they automatically think they’re going to have to sacrifice taste. Not so, here. Our little group was treated to an assortment that included baked seafood tacos, Greek chicken cutlet with a fresh tomato and cucumber relish, and a seasonal seafood bowl that included a perfectly steamed lobster, clams and shrimp, festooned with fresh and vibrantly-colored local vegetables cooked exactly right. FALL 2017 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 51

Chef Tina would love for you to come visit!

In addition to other favorites like shrimp ceviche with fresh avocado and a “skinny” Jamaican jerk chicken salad with perfectly grilled pineapple and a homemade balsamic vinaigrette to die for, there are also focaccia pizzas, full steak dinners and kid-friendly options on the menu. “Tina can work with guests to give them what they want,” said Tara, adding that gluten-free options are always available. After feasting on fresh, vibrantly flavorful food, our group unanimously voted the baked shrimp and haddock tacos with a combination of guacamole, smoky chipotle mayo and an amazing red cabbage slaw with fresh pineapple as our “Simply the best” entrée of the evening. What made the whole feast even more


amazing was Tina’s acknowledgement that virtually no butter was used! Even the lobster bowl was made with olive oil and a perfectly seasoned clam broth. We pushed away from the table completely satisfied – and without a shred of guilt. The Cove on the Hudson is open 4pm-9pm Monday – Friday and 2pm-10pm Saturday-Sunday. Live local bands perform on the weekends and there is a free launch, with gas available. The Cove on the Hudson, 886 Route 4 South, Schuylerville, NY 12871 (518) 695-6500 (Less than five minutes from downtown Schuylerville, 20 minutes from downtown Saratoga Springs)

Christophe Roberts with one of Longlesson Farm's beloved animals, a Belgian work horse nicknamed Fu. Photo by Pattie Garrett

written by HIMANEE GUPTA-CARLSON photos provided

Know your


Locally and Seasonally Who sells

locally raised meat

at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market? What follows is a list of meat vendors and their products. Please be advised that availability may vary.

Elihu Farm:

lamb, mutton, goose

Lewis Waite Farm: beef, pork

Longlesson Farm: beef, pork, chicken

M&A Farm:

beef, pork, chicken

Mariaville Mushroom Men: pork, beef, chicken, rabbit, lamb

Moxie Ridge Farm: chicken, pork

Norsemen Farms: beef

*Additional products may be available upon special request directly with the farm

Thanksgiving morning

at Longlesson Farm begins in the kitchen, where Christophe Robert and his son and daughter stuff the turkey that the family will eat later that day. For Robert, born and raised in France, the tradition began about six years ago in America. It marks for him a moment where friendship, family, and farming come together. Robert is a chicken, pork, and beef farmer. He obtains his holiday turkey from an area friend who raises turkeys organically. That friend in turn acquires other meats from him. “I’m a farmer,” says Robert. “As farmers, we support each other. It is like family, coming together. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than this exchange.” That exchange underlies the value of locally raised meat available at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market. Unlike the grocery store, where any animal in any quantity or range of quality might be available year round, the farmers’ market offers what each farmer raises individually and what is best at a given seasonal moment. For the holidays, that means beef rib roasts and briskets, among other cuts; pork roasts and hams; legs, racks, and loin strips of lamb; and goose. It also means what might be termed daily fare – chops, stew and ground meat, shanks, and chicken. Farmers who raise these meats year round urge customers to get any special

holiday requests to them as early as possible, often months in advance. The reason why? Animals raised sustainably grow with the seasons. As Mary Pratt of Elihu Farm puts it, “We give our sheep, lambs, hens and geese as normal a life we can, by emphasizing raising them on pastures and by making sure we treat them humanely.” Elihu Farm will offer fresh lamb by special order for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day, as well as geese around Christmas. The geese, says Pratt, began their lives in April, and have been foraging outdoors for months, eating a lot of grass and flapping happily as they grow. Other birds and pigs similarly are raised for fall harvests. Robert, for instance, raises chickens from May through October when the weather is conducive to them foraging in woods. Piglets born in the spring also enjoy a spring and summer of outdoor life before being processed in the fall. That cycle makes meat raised locally what it is, a family-like affair. As Robert put it, “You can talk with me about my animals, you can visit my farm. You know exactly where what you eat is coming from.”

Flip the page for recipes!! FALL 2017 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 53

ROAST TURKEY Adapted from recipe by Ina Garten Total prep and cook time: 2 hr 35 min Makes 10 Servings INGREDIENTS • • • •

Kosher salt

1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves* 1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves* Grated zest of 1 lemon

1 (12- to 14-pound) fresh turkey*

1 large yellow onion, unpeeled and cut in eighths

• • • •

1 lemon, quartered

12 sprigs fresh thyme*

4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter*, melted Freshly ground black pepper

*Ingredients available at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market




Two or three days before you plan to roast the turkey, combine 3 tablespoons salt, the rosemary and lemon zest. Wash the turkey inside and out, drain it well and pat it dry with paper towels. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the salt mixture in the cavity of the turkey and rub the rest on the skin, including under the wings and legs. Place the turkey in a shallow dish to catch any drips and wrap the whole dish tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for one or two days. The day before you plan to roast the turkey, remove the plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge. The skin will dry out and turn a little translucent.


Preheat the oven to 450º F. Be sure your oven is clean!


Place the onion, lemon and thyme in the cavity. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tie the wings close to the body. Brush the turkey with the butter and sprinkle it with salt and pepper.


Roast the turkey for 45 minutes, placing it in the oven legs first. Lower the temperature to 325 degrees F and roast it for about another hour, until 165 degrees F for the breast and 180 degrees F in the thigh on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the oven, cover the turkey tightly with aluminum foil and allow it to rest for 20 to 30 minutes. Carve and serve with the pan juices.

HONEY-TURMERIC PORK WITH BEET AND CARROT SALAD Adapted from recipe by Alison Roman featured in Bon Appetit

Makes 4 Servings




Do Ahead: Pork can be marinated 12 hours ahead. Chill.


Pound pork between 2 sheets of plastic wrap to ¼" thick; season with kosher salt and pepper. Whisk garlic, turmeric, yogurt, honey, and 1 Tbsp. lemon juice in a small bowl; season with kosher salt and pepper. Place cutlets in a large resealable bag. Add yogurt mixture, seal bag, and toss to coat. Let sit at least 10 minutes.


Remove cutlets from marinade, letting excess drip off. Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high; cook 2 cutlets until browned and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer pork to a platter. Wipe out skillet; repeat with remaining cutlets and 1 Tbsp. olive oil.


Toss beets, carrots, carrot tops (if using), chives, remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil, and remaining 1 Tbsp. lemon juice in a small bowl. Season with kosher salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired. Serve pork topped with salad and sprinkled with sea salt.

• • •

1¼ pounds boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt), fat trimmed to ¼ inch, cut into 4 pieces* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 garlic cloves*, finely grated

1½ teaspoons finely grated peeled turmeric or ½ ground turmeric

¼ cup honey*

4 tablespoons olive oil*, divided

3 small carrots*, preferably with tops, tops reserved, carrots scrubbed, cut on a diagonal

• • •

• •

¾ cup plain whole-milk yogurt*

2 tablespoons (or more) fresh lemon juice, divided 3 small beets*, scrubbed, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives* Flaky sea salt

*Ingredients available at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market FALL 2017 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 55



Beloved HARD Apple

written by MEGIN POTTER

Almost more American than apple pie... hard apple cider was one of the colonial settlers’ favorite drinks.

Apples are high in vitamin C and full of rapidly-absorbed antioxidants. Ferment these beauties into alcohol and you get a tasty probiotic liquid refreshment that is also low in salt. Take the process even further and the result is its nutritional superstar cousin; apple cider vinegar. The intoxicatingly simple process of making hard apple cider has been perfected by a plethora of local experts. There’s a variety of apple-based hard beverages nearby just waiting for you to try. (All varieties may not be available at all locations.) As with whole apples, for an enjoyable experience, alcoholic apple beverages should be consumed in moderation.

Amorici Vineyards 637 Colonel Burch Road, Valley Falls (518) 469-0680 | Tasting room open Thursday-Monday 12 p.m. - 6 p.m. or by appointment. Also locally available at: Osteria Danny in Saratoga Springs, the Exit 9 Wine & Liquor Warehouse in Clifton Park and McGrievey’s Restaurant in Waterford.

“The secret… is to work in harmony with nature and not against it.”

– Joe Messina, Proprietor. •

Apple Honey Wine also known as Cyser. This sweet mead is made with raw honey from Betterbee in Greenwich.

Apple Honey Tawny Vintage is a sweet wine combining fresh apple cider, raw honey, and infused with Grappa.

Saratoga Apple 1174 Route 29, Schuylerville (518) 695-3131 | Tasting room open Wednesday – Sunday 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. Year-round. Also serving New York made ciders including McKenzies, Good Life, Black Duck, and Awestruck.

“Great apples start in the soil,”

said 6th generation grower and orchard C.O.O. Eric Darrow. Striving to produce the healthiest, most nutritious, and tastiest apples possible, their ciders are a combination of more than 40 apple varieties.

Saratoga Apple Hard Cider is a slightly sparkling semi-sweet.

Scrumpy is a true super dry hard cider with no added sulfites or sugars.

Slyboro Ciderhouse at Hick’s Orchard 18 Hicks Road, Granville (518) 642-1788 | Tasting room open 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. 7 days a week until the end of October. Also locally available at: Healthy Living Market, Jones & 50, and Purdy’s Discount Wines, Inc. in Saratoga Springs, and Old Saratoga Wine & Spirit in Schuylerville. The region’s most prolific hard cider producer, this year’s line also includes Pommore their rich, full-flavored, smooth and warm apple brandy. •

Still ciders include Kingston Black and Night Pasture, a subtly complex dry cider, with hints of spice and caramel.

Sparkling ciders include the clean, crisp, aromatic and refreshingly smooth Hidden Star, the purple semi-sweet Black Currant, and La Saint Terre made with bittersweet Macintosh apples.

Ice ciders include the slightly tart Cherry Harvest and artfully blended Ice Harvest.

Thirsty Owl Outlet & Wine Garden 184 South Broadway, Saratoga Springs (518) 587-9694 Open daily 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. •

Apple Wine is fairly sweet and made from a combination of five different apple varieties.

Fujac Cider is fairly dry and made from Red Jacket Orchard apples in the Finger Lakes.




eople have been fermenting foods for over 800,000 years, but just recently they’ve gained popularity. Fermented foods were first valued for their increased shelf life as the acid level of fermented foods acts as a preservative. Today people are consuming fermented foods for their health benefits. Kombucha, sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir and kimchi are just a few of these foods that have taken the spot light and health professionals have begun to dive deeper into their potential health benefits. Fermentation is the process in which naturally present bacteria and/or yeast, feeds on the sugar in a food item and produces acid. One example is the lactobacillus bacteria which ferments in cabbage producing lactic acid. The characteristic flavor of sauerkraut is due to the lactic acid produced by the bacteria. Also through the process of fermentation, nutrients are pre-digested making them more bioavailable and easier to absorb. That’s why people with lactose intolerance can eat yogurt, but not milk. The lactobacillus bacteria are one of many varieties of bacteria often referred to as “good bacteria” or probiotics. When we eat foods containing this bacterium it becomes a natural part of our intestines. This good bacterium helps balance the levels and


variety of bacteria found in our gut needed to maintain normal GI function. Probiotics in our gut have positive impacts on inflammation, allergies, the immune system, anxiety and depression. They also help reduce some symptoms of GI disturbances including constipation, diarrhea, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome. Our overall health is dependent on the quality and quantity of microbes in the gut which can be significantly reduced after usage of antibiotics. Therefore, probiotics are often recommended to help re-populate the gut with beneficial bacteria after antibiotic use. Consider eating yogurt or other fermented food daily for a week or two after antibiotic use.

BUYING FERMENTED FOODS Grocery stores have begun increasing the quantity of fermented food items sold, however, a greater variety of fermented foods are more likely to be found at local health food stores that focus on health trends. With time, and as the benefits of probiotics becomes even more evident, you’re likely to see more fermented food products at your local grocery store. Some foods that have been fermented are heat processed and canned or pasteurized, and therefore have destroyed the probiotics during processing, eliminating all health benefits. One

example is sauerkraut that can be purchased canned. Look for it in the refrigerated aisle so it will contain live active cultures. It is also important to take into consideration that some fermented food items may be produced with high amounts of salt, so if you’re concerned about your sodium intake keep that in mind when buying fermented foods.

FERMENTING AT HOME Choosing what food items to ferment is culturally specific. In Asia fermentation of soy (soy sauce, tempeh, miso), rice (sake), tea (kombucha) or vegetables (kimchi) is most common. Sauerkraut, pickles and fermented milk (yogurt, and kefir) are European cultural foods. Cabbage, the key ingredient to both sauerkraut and kimchi, is a favorite fall vegetable found at local farmers’ markets or perhaps your own garden. Fresh locally grown cabbage has a higher water content than cabbage that’s been stored for months and will make fermenting easier. To think we can enjoy the vegetable when it’s harvested …and 4-6 months later as sauerkraut or kimchi is truly sensational! Making fermented food is very simple, so give it a try using the recipes provided here.

Homemade Sauerkraut 5 pounds fresh cabbage 3 tablespoons non-iodized salt (pickling and canning salt, or sea salt) To make good kraut, use disease-free, firm, sweet, mature heads of cabbage from mid- and late season crops. Prepare and start the fermentation 1 to 2 days after harvesting the cabbage. CONTAINERS FOR FERMENTING CABBAGE A 1-gallon stone crock holds 5 pounds of shredded cabbage, and a 5-gallon crock holds 25 pounds. Do not use copper, iron, or galvanized metal containers or lead-glazed crocks. If you are unsure about the safety of a container, use an alternative such as glass or food-grade plastic containers. Many restaurants receive foods and ingredients in 5-gallon plastic pails, which make ideal fermentation containers. Do not use garbage bags or trash liners. PREPARATION Work with about 5 pounds of fresh cabbage at a time. Discard outer leaves. Rinse heads with cold water and drain. Cut heads in quarters, remove cores, and trim and discard worm and disease-damaged tissue. Shred or slice cabbage to a thickness of one to two quarters, or 1�16 to ⅛ inch. FILLING AND PACKING THE CONTAINER Place 5 pounds of shredded cabbage in the fermentation container and thoroughly mix in 3 tablespoons of canning or pickling salt. Pack it with clean hands until the level of natural juices drawn from the cabbage covers its surface. To avoid surface mold growth, keep the cabbage submerged at all times. If the juice does not cover the cabbage, add boiled and cooled brine prepared with 1½ tablespoons of salt in a quart of water.

Some key points to successful fermenting are: CONTAINERS: Use food grade ceramic crocks or plastic containers, even glass canning jars. Avoid copper, iron or galvanized metal container and lead-glazed crocks. INGREDIENTS: The fresher, the better. When fermenting pickles follow the old adage, “24 hours from vine to brine.” TEMPERATURE: The ideal fermenting temperature is 70-75 degrees, fermentation will still occur between 60-65 degrees, but it will take longer. Refrigerator temperatures halt fermentation, and temperatures above 80 degrees will cause spoilage. TIME: This depends on the product being fermented. Some foods ferment in a matter of hours or days, while others take up to 6 weeks.

Cover the cabbage with a plate just small enough to fit inside the fermentation container and weigh it down with two or three clean quart jars filled with water. An acceptable alternative is to fill a large, sealed, food-grade plastic bag containing 4½ tablespoons of salt and 3 quarts of water. The filled bag may be inserted into another bag and sealed for added strength. Cover the top of the container with several layers of clean cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel to reduce exposure to airborne mold spores. FERMENTATION TEMPERATURE, TIME, AND MANAGEMENT Store the container at 70 to 75°F while fermenting. At these temperatures, kraut will be fully fermented in about 3 to 4 weeks; at 60 to 65°F, fermentation may take 6 weeks. Below 60°F, kraut may not ferment. Above 80°F, kraut may become soft and spoil. Fermentation naturally stops because the acids accumulate to such an extent that further growth cannot take place. If you submerge the cabbage with a brine-filled bag, do not disturb the crock until the normal fermentation is complete (when bubbling ceases). If you use jars as weights, you must check the kraut two to three times each week and remove scum if it forms. Kraut should be to desired tartness, with firm texture, have brine that is not cloudy, and be free of any sign of mold or yeast growth. Do not taste if you see mold on the surface, feel a slimy texture, or smell a bad odor. Fully fermented kraut may be kept tightly covered in the refrigerator for several months, or it may be canned and frozen. Source: Penn State University Extension, Let’s Preserve Sauerkraut FALL 2017 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 59

Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto 4 medium onions 1 small to medium butternut squash 1 tablespoon olive oil 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 ½ cup Arborio rice ¾ cup dry white wine (room temperature) 4 cups reduced sodium vegetable broth ½ teaspoon ground black pepper 4 ounces (½ cup) chevre (goat cheese) 1.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel and finely chop 1 onion for sautéing, set aside. Cut the remaining 3 unpeeled onions in half crosswise, and the squash in half lengthwise.

2. Place onions and squash (cut side down) on a greased baking sheet and roast until softened (about 40 minutes). Allow to cool to the touch. Scoop the squash flesh out of the skin and chop into bite sized pieces along with the onion. 3. While vegetables are roasting prepare the risotto as follows; Heat the broth in a small sauce pan on medium heat. In a large saucepan on medium high, heat oil, add chopped onion and minced garlic, sauté until onion is translucent (about 5-10 minutes). Add the rice to the onion and cook until the kernel edges are transparent, about 4 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring frequently, until the wine is completely absorbed by the rice, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of warm stock, simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is absorbed and the bottom of the pan is dry, about 5 minutes. Continue adding ½ cup of stock at a time and cooking until all broth is gone and rice is cooked. 4. Remove from heat, stir in the chevre cheese, and gently fold in the roasted onion and squash. Makes 6 servings. Nutrition per serving: 350 calories, 7 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 58 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 11 g protein, 380 mg sodium.


Gingery Carrot Soup 2 pounds carrots, peeled & sliced 1 medium potato, peeled & diced 4 cups vegetable stock or water ½ teaspoon salt 1 large onion, chopped 2 small cloves garlic, crushed 2 tablespoons butter 1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger 1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice) 1.

Combine carrots, potato, stock or water and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer 10-15 minutes.

2. Melt butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, sauté until onions are wilted. 3. Puree everything together in a blender or food processor until smooth. 4. Return the puree to the saucepan and whisk in the ginger and buttermilk. Heat gently on low. Do not boil after buttermilk is added. Makes 8 servings. Per Serving: 120 calories; 4 g fat (2 g sat); 10 mg cholesterol; 19 g carbohydrate; 3 g protein; 4 g fiber; 270 mg sodium. Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (380% daily value), Vitamin C (20% dv).

Indian-Spiced Eggplant & Cauliflower Stew 1 pound of eggplant, cut into 1-inch chunks 3 cups of cauliflower florets 1 large onion 1 pound of tomatoes, diced 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed ½ cup water 2 tablespoons curry powder


1 teaspoons ground cumin 1 teaspoons ground mustard seeds 1½ tablespoons canola or vegetable oil 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger ¾ teaspoon salt ½ cup nonfat plain yogurt (optional)

Toast the curry powder, cumin and mustard seeds in a pot over medium heat, stirring for about 1 minute until the spices begin to darken.

2. Transfer to a small bowl. Add oil, onion, garlic, ginger and salt to the pot. Stir for 3-4 minutes until softened. Stir in eggplant, cauliflower, tomatoes, chickpeas, water, and reserved spices. 3. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes. Top each serving with a dollop of yogurt, if desired. Makes 6 servings. Nutrition per serving: 160 calories; 5g fat, 0g saturated fat; 0mg cholesterol; 480mg sodium; 24g carbohydrate; 6g protein. FALL 2017 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 61

HELP I’m addicted to bacon! Looking for ways to keep the flavor, while cutting the fat? …try this! written by MARY JO SALOMON


hen we eat food… we enjoy the texture, the flavors, the fat, the salt, the “mouth feel.” Thanks to many vegan culinary artists, bacon has been recreated with plants. Not only are there many brands to choose from, you can make your own at home! Store bought vegan bacon tends to be made from either tofu, tempeh, or seitan. Tofu, most people know, is made from soybeans. Tempeh is a fermented soy product, which is high in fiber and protein. Tempeh bacon comes in strips, and is given a smoky and salty flavor that is associated with bacon. Seitan, also high in protein, is a fancy name for vital wheat gluten, which is made by stripping wheat flour from its starches through a washing process. It looks like flour, but takes on a meaty consistency when cooked. You can find vegan bacon in the refrigerated or freezer section of your neighborhood grocery stores and health food stores. If you want to make your own at home, there are many recipes to choose from… made from rice paper, eggplant, carrots, and other vegetables. For this article, I made shiitake mushroom bacon… easy and delicious!


Vegan Shiitake Bacon INGREDIENTS:

4 cups (5 ounces) thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed

1 TBSP olive oil

¾ tsp smoked paprika

¼ tsp coarse kosher salt


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees 2. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Spread out on a large rimmed baking sheet and put in oven. 3. Bake, stirring and turning occasionally, until the mushrooms are dried out and browned, 20-30 minutes. Cool on a baking sheet. Recipe by Katie Webster, FALL 2017 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 63


HI, I’M JODIE FITZ! I’m so excited to be sharing some of our family favorites with the readers of Healthy Saratoga magazine! I have spent the last six years traveling in SIX (!) states cooking with kids & families…I can relate to the BUSY COOK : ) As my recipe collection continues to grow, I am starting to share some of the recipes that you will find at our house for meals… Enjoyed by both family… and friends! I am always experimenting & creating tasty bites, finding the simplest way to do it & love sharing great flavor and time saving finds along the way.


Ingredients • • • • • • •

2 Peaches or white Nectarines ½ teaspoons Cinnamon ½ cup Walnuts, finely chopped Blueberries Goat Cheese Baby Romaine Leaf Mix Balsamic Reduction (or glaze)

Directions 1. Cut the fruit in half. Remove the pits. Generously add a coating of cinnamon to the cut half of each piece. Grill the fruit over low heat until they are warm, soft and have a nice golden grill mark.

of each grilled piece of fruit. Sprinkle the salad with the chopped walnuts. Top the salad off with a decorative and flavorful drizzle of Balsamic Reduction (or glaze) and serve.

Balsamic Reduction Ingredients • • •

Directions 1.

Place the balsamic vinegar, honey and vanilla into a small sauce pan. Bring the ingredients to a boil while stirring the ingredients together. Continue to cook over medium to low heat until it has reduced to half its original state.


Let cool and serve over the salad.

Note: You may need to coat your pan or grill with a light coat of non-stick spray or oil before heating.


Place the warm fruit on a bed of baby romaine leaf mix. Place approximately 1 tablespoon of goat cheese in the center

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar 1/4 cup honey 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

You can always catch what’s going on in our lives at and, or check out my new cook books - available on my website! 64  |  HEALTHY SARATOGA | FALL 2017 FALL 2017 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 65

ç "The whole idea behind the charity is to help children get fit and learn the basics of nutrition while they have a lifetime to enjoy the benefits” written by STACEY MORRIS photo provided



...welcomes children and teens seeking healthier lifestyles

rowing up, Saratoga Springs resident David Taylor Miller knew all too well how being overweight could adversely affect a kid’s life. He was bullied at school, and often didn’t participate in sports and other activities he longed to be a part of. He ate to comfort himself, which exacerbated the weight. After graduating Saratoga Springs High School in 2009, Taylor was determined to get the weight off in order to achieve his lifelong dream of serving in the military.

Through exercise and adopting healthier eating habits, his dream came to fruition. The newly slender teen was on top of the world as he was deployed to Afghanistan as a U.S. Army Pfc., but in 2010, he was tragically killed while on active duty. His mother, Leslie Miller, thought of the perfect way to keep Taylor’s legacy alive. She and her sister, Suzanne D’Orio, began Taylor's Heroes, a Saratoga Springs based non-profit offering free programs in fitness and nutrition for kids 8 through 18. 66  |  HEALTHY SARATOGA | FALL 2017

"The whole idea behind the charity is to help children get fit and learn the basics of nutrition while they have a lifetime to enjoy the benefits,” explained Miller, who is the board president. Miller and a board of advisors came up with a plan of action to help kids and teens establish healthy eating and exercise habits they can carry through their lifetime. The curriculum centers around a free 14-week fitness and nutrition program for children ages 8 through 18. Participants are given a free membership to the Saratoga Regional YMCA for three months; weekly group personal training; nutrition and cooking classes with their families; a food diary to track daily diet and activity; and an opportunity to win prizes at the completion of the program. The program is offered year-round. The next session is slated for December. For more information on Taylor’s Heroes, visit, or call (518) 683-8425. FALL 2017 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 67