Page 1

Spring 2018

Healthy S aratoga


With Marcie Fraser, Matt Gunning and heather Matthews

Healthy Recipes and shopping tips!

Trail running ...and so much more! SPRING 2018 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 1



Welcome to

Healthy Saratoga... the magazine!

HEALTHY SARATOGA Owner/Publisher Chad Beatty

From The Editor

General Manager Robin Mitchell

Chris Vallone Bushee Managing Editor

Creative Director/ Managing Editor Chris Vallone Bushee

Wow - this will be our sixth issue, working with the Saratoga Chamber of Commerce to help get the word out about their #HealthySaratoga initiative, and we couldn’t be happier!


Over the past three years, we’ve brought you a multitude of healthy eating options and great recipes, effective exercises honed by the pros to give you maximum ROI, and inspirational people to motivate you to live a better life.

Advertising Designer

This magazine really has something for everyone… or so I thought. Obviously our publisher Chad lives the healthy life, while I aspire to live a healthier life… and with that, our article choices are obviously different. I want to learn about healthy food choices and hear about people who might inspire me to find ways to add more movement into my life and creative ways to de-stress… He likes hardcore competition (and being cooped up after his foot surgery is not helping matters!!) So… This issue is probably more physical than you’ve seen in the past, and we have an awesome new contributor who combines Chad’s love of competition and my love of being able to relate to somebody. Please Meet Heather Matthews (page 22) a wife, mom and WINNING competitor! Some other new & helpful columns you’ll be seeing: • • •

Four Seasons Natural Foods will bring us kitchen must-haves. Northshire Bookstore will highlight the latest in health & wellness offerings. Tara Joyce… offers advice from a Dietician, that anybody can use!

A must-read for this time of year… is our piece on Sun Safety and skin cancer prevention (page 59) and if you haven’t heard yet… Dottie Pepper and Susan Halstead have launched a new line of sport sunglasses (page 19). …and yes, we still have all those motivational stories (page 62) of people running races, raising money and living life to the fullest! Last but not least… With this Spring issue coming out in May, Healthy Saratoga Magazine was not able to help promote the “Glow Red for Women” campaign that took place Downtown, back in February, but we can encourage you to read Dr. Joy Lucas’ inspiring (lifesaving!!) story and “know your numbers” – it’s on page 66 and please promise me you will read it! Thank you to our readers and to all our advertisers who allow us to provide this informative magazine - free of charge - to the thousands of people that read each issue! Please mention us by name when visiting their businesses. As always… I love hearing from you! Send your comments and story ideas to Stay healthy, Saratoga!


Samantha Nock

Morgan Rook

Advertising Sales Jim Daley Cindy Durfey

Contributing Writers Sarah Cartwright Laura Clark Dr. Marcie Fraser Matt Gunning Himanee Gupta-Carlson Megan Harrington Tara Joyce John Kettlewell Heather Matthews Diane Palma Nick Pavoldi Megin Potter Todd Shimkus Casey Reeder Theresa St. John Maureen Werther Diane Whitten

Photographers Brian Teague From the Heart Photography John Seymour Theresa St. John

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 © 2018, Saratoga TODAY Newspaper




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 Gupta-Carlson 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 Wesley 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.


Tara Joyce is a Registered Dietitian. She has focused on weight management, metabolism, health and wellness for the last 6 years of her career. She went to school at Russell Sage College for Psychology and English then received her Masters in Applied Nutrition from Northeastern University. She truly enjoys educating patients and public-speaking to health professionals about evidenced-based, unique concepts of nutrition that make people think.


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.


Casey, a senior at Saratoga Springs High School, is one of our Spring interns at Saratoga TODAY. She hopes next year to attend a liberal arts college and major in English Literature. Casey keeps busy with her job as a sales associate at Hatsational, as well as captaining the varsity Nordic skiing team at her school. She hopes one day to use her writing as an outlet to promote social change. She enjoys coming in to work with us and is excited to be published!


Theresa is a freelance travel writer and photographer based in Saratoga Springs. Even though history was not on her radar while in high school, she has a deep interest in all things historical now. She has been on assignment for several magazines and is published in both print and online venues. Last year she traveled to Ireland on assignment, which, she states " was a trip of a lifetime." She is the proud mom to two young men and Nonnie to six rescued dogs, two chinchillas, and a bird. Life is good, she says.


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. Her bi-monthly column, Know Your Farmer Know Your Food, is published in the Saratogian and Troy Record. Diane has a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in Nutritional Sciences, and a masters’ degree in Education from the College of St. Rose. SPRING 2018 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 9


Start here & join the #healthysaratoga movement!

what's trending 14

workplace wellness


Saratoga’s Wellness Incubator, Your Next APP and Northshire’s Picks


four season suggests... 5 things every kitchen needs


pepper pro eyes


the benefits of salt


meet our new contributors

Food and Nutrition 25

cornell cooperative simplifies clean eating


the gorsky farm


hydroponic gardening




it’s time to get moving! 32

“Share a Step for Seniors” kicks off


Could they be Volkssporters?


Saratoga PLAN makes getting physical so easy!


Get your gear on... where to shop downtown for workout clothes


Trail running


become a 12ster


local road races


your personal trainers are waiting...

When you need more 56

wilton medical arts 20th


yes, rolfing is a thing!


skin cancer prevention tips




doing the nyc marathon... when you're a mom!


let's see what jonah ruhm did?!


the ragnar relay


glow red for women SPRING 2018 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 11

We've fallen but WE WILL




We don’t always achieve our health and wellness goals. Sometimes work or family obligations take precedent over that walk, run, or bike ride. We go out to dinner with friends and are having so much fun that we enjoy that dessert. We have a minor injury or don’t feel well and can’t get to the gym or health center. That’s the way we on the Chamber’s Health & Wellness Council feel about our 2018 ranking as the second healthiest county in New York State.

On the other hand, the measure for “physical environment” dropped with Saratoga County as the 44th ranked county in New York State in 2018, down from 39th a year earlier. This factor looks at air pollution, drinking water violations, housing costs, driving alone to work and a long commute. We’re particularly BAD with 83% of our workforce driving alone to work.

We LOVED being ranked number one, first in 2016 and again in 2017.

This compares with top performing counties across the US at 72%.

But when the University of Wisconsin’s Population Institute released their latest compilation of health data, Saratoga County was at number two.

Saratoga County is getting worse when it comes to adult obesity and physical inactivity.

Congratulations Rockland County!

And perhaps there is a connection here that we’d like to share.

Now we’re all in this together as we strive to again be ranked as the healthiest county in New York State.

Our workforce spends considerably more time in a car–alone– driving to work.

EVERYONE can help.

Doing this, we all have less time for physical activity. Less physical activity creates more opportunity for people to gain weight.

Where did we go wrong? Let’s start with the notion that we didn’t make a mistake. We didn’t fail. There were some minor changes in our outcomes where we had done just a little better in prior years.

Now here is a trend that may surprise you.

It is–as they say–a vicious cycle. It is a cycle we need to break, especially if we want to again be the number one healthiest county in New York State.

Here are some of the more interesting findings.

That is the goal of our #HealthySaratoga movement.

Let’s start with a positive note – our county “health factors” actually improved from three to two.

That is the goal of all of the Chamber’s members who participate in our Health and Wellness programs and council.

Health factors represent the focus areas that drive how long and how well we live. This is better because more people have health insurance; preventable hospital stays are down; and diabetes monitoring is up.

We’re doing well. But we can still do better. And if you want some advice or support, the members of our Health & Wellness Council are ready to help!

The “social and economic factors” measure also improved from two to one. This is likely explained by our rising health school graduation rates across Saratoga County.


Join the #HealthySaratoga Movement

Now it's your Join turn - Join TODAY TODAY The Saratoga County of Commerce Fill out the #HealthySaratoga pledgeChamber and fax back TODAY: (518) 587- 0318 EMPLOYER PLEDGE FORM

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: _____________________________________________________________________________________ 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

Our Health and Wellness initiative is sponsored by: SPRING 2018 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 13

These Chamber Members have already taken the pledge...


Vent Fitness Take Over


ast year, Jennifer Benson, of Ideal Fitness, came to the Chamber’s office to meet with me as a new member of the Chamber.

When I went out to our lobby to welcome her, she suggested we go for a walk outside to chat versus sitting in my office. I think we walked a mile and talked about everything we would have discussed had we stayed in the office.

It was the healthy thing to do. A few years ago, we decided as an organization to jettison all of the soda from the Chamber’s office refrigerator. In its place, we now have an ample supply of Saratoga Water. That is what we provide to those who come to our offices for meetings or workshops or seminars.

Metabolic Meltdown


It was and still is the healthy thing to do. The fact is that there are lots of simple, straightforward actions every employer and employee can take to improve workplace wellness. •

Go for walks when meeting with employees, clients or customers.

Replace the sugary drinks with water in your workplace.

Take the stairs whenever possible as you go to work or meetings off site.

Instead of parking as close as possible to the door to your workplace or other places you visit, try parking further away and walking a few extra steps.

Ask your health insurance provider to meet with you and your employees to talk about the programs they offer to improve individual and workplace wellness.

Alpine Sport Shop - Snowshoe Event

Juice Bar Take Over

This June, the Saratoga County Chamber’s Health and Wellness Council is for a fifth consecutive year encouraging employees and employers across Saratoga County to join together in a celebration of Employee Wellness Month. We will offer a series of events in partnership with local organizations. Everyone will be invited to participate. Details on these events will be posted as June gets closer on our website at Now is a perfect time for employers and employees to consider what you might do yourself. No matter if you are a small or large employer, perhaps the first step is to find a wellness champion in your organization. A person who can take the lead in talking with other employees and coming up with one good idea that is of interest to everyone. It might be an activity or it could be inviting someone to come into your organization to offer their expertise on a wellness issue your team cares about. We, at the Saratoga County Chamber, can help. Because of our unique and long standing commitment to ensure Saratoga County is one of the healthiest places to live and work, we have hundreds of members who are experts in a wide range of health and wellness fields. Need someone to talk with about nutrition, diets and weight loss? We can help! Need someone to offer you and your employees with ideas to reduce stress? We can help! Need someone to lead your team through an exercise activity? We can help! Simply give us a call at 518-584-3255 and we’ll connect you with one or more of our members. You can also go to our website at and search our online member directory to find a health and wellness expert that can help. Most are eager to visit local workplaces to share their expertise or to lead you through an activity. You may also want to take your team off site to one of these local organizations to sample the wellness services our members offer. Don’t want to commit? That’s fine. Call and setup a tour for you and your employees as you seek out the best option for you and your employees. We hope employers and employees will use our June celebration of Employee Wellness Month as inspiration or even an excuse to do something. Like every goal you set in life, it may be best to pick one activity or action now and to schedule it for that first week of June. Start with one action or activity sometime between Friday, June 1, and Friday, June 8. If everyone enjoys participating, you can try something else or do that same activity again later in the month and build momentum.

Get involved in the 2018 Celebration of Employee Wellness Month in Saratoga County

This Healthy Saratoga magazine, produced by Saratoga TODAY, includes a copy of the Healthy Saratoga Employer Pledge program. This program is being coordinated by the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce. This pledge form provides employees and employers with several ideas for starting up workplace wellness programs as well as space to share other actions you plan to take. Please send completed forms to the Chamber via email at or via fax at 518-587-0318. The Chamber will then send you a “Healthy Saratoga” window decal and more information about upcoming health and wellness events. You can also use the hashtag #healthysaratoga in all social media posts documenting the actions you and your employees are taking during the month of June and the Chamber will share, retweet and repost those posts.

Workplace wellness efforts often are a win-win for employers and employees. Healthier employees tend to feel better which is great. They also tend to use fewer sick days which is good too. Healthier employees are generally less stressed and happier. And a healthier workforce can also mean lower insurance rates for employers and that employees themselves save money because they are spending less on co-pays and deductibles.

In other words, setting up a workplace wellness program is the healthy thing to do!

we’re Proud to live and work in NY’s Healthiest County! SPRING 2018 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 15

New App ...can help you get to know your favorite farmers better written by HIMANEE GUPTA-CARLSON

Saturday morning means waking up to the Saratoga Farmers’ Market for hundreds of local residents and weekend visitors. From the 9 a.m. ringing of the opening bell to the 1 p.m. close, the market offers a weekly wealth of fresh fruits and vegetables, local dairy items, eggs, and meats; breads and other baked goods; prepared foods, and a growing number of other artisanal creations.


arket goers year-round can connect with some 75 vendors, and in doing so, have opportunities to build lifelong relationships with our region’s agricultural and creative roots, relationships that fuel deeper insights into our overall connections with healthy food, self-sustaining communities, and the land upon which we reside.

This spring, as the Saratoga Farmers’ Market celebrates its 40th anniversary, many farmers see a new purchasing app as an opportunity to deepen their relationships with customers even further. The app, known as FreshFoodNY aims to deepen those relationships by enabling shoppers to pre-order desired items from participating vendors, and to pick up their goods at the market. The Farmers Market Federation of New York developed the app in partnership with Crave Food Systems, a food technology firm based in Rhode Island, as part of its mission to strengthen the state’s food economy by making it more convenient for residents to buy directly from farmers.


“Based on our feedback so far, customers love the app,” says Jacqueline LeChevre, a systems consultant with Crave Food. “They like interacting with all of their favorite vendors in an online space. They also like being assured that a product they really want will be there at their farmers market waiting for them to pick it up, which gives them more time to browse and enjoy the market.”

Saratoga Farmers’ Market administrator Julia Howard describes the app as a powerful means for making local farm-fresh foods more accessible to the community that the market serves. She anticipates that the project will strengthen the market’s position in the community by creating new regular customers while continuing to satisfy its longtime loyal clientele.

Howard also notes that the app’s ability to How the process works is fairly simple. track sales data also will create a stronger Farmers’ markets and individual vendors “match” between farmers and customers by register on a website maintained by Crave helping shoppers gain more awareness of Food. Customers can access the app on when certain foods are in season and how iOS and Android devices and download best to make use of them and by helping it. When customers open the app, they farmers better match crop planning and see a list of participating farmers’ markets harvesting to local residents’ needs. in their area and can click on a specific Nate Darrow, owner of Saratoga Apple and market to find a specific vendor or can a longtime activist in regional food and search for the vendor separately. Vendors farming projects, called the app “an answer” list seasonal and other items available at for farmers, who work within constraints a given time. Shoppers then can place an of weather, pricing, and market demand, order, make a payment, and identify a pick- among other factors to create delicious and up time and locale on the menu of options nutritional items throughout the year. “It provided by the vendor. rolls back to what we often thought would Payment is by credit card and includes a be a great idea, but didn’t have the time to small consumer fee of approximately 30¢ create ourselves.” to $1.30 per order, says LeChevre.

Run fast. eat slow.

Every body yoga

Nourishing Recipes for Athletes $ 24.99

Let Go of Fear, Get on the Mat, Love Your Body by Jessamyn Stanley - $16.95

From world-class marathoner and 4-time Olympian Shalane Flanagan and chef Elyse Kopecky comes a whole foods, flavorforward cookbook that proves food can be indulgent and nourishing at the same time. Finally, here's a cookbook for runners that shows fat is essential for flavor and performance and that counting calories, obsessing over protein, and restrictive dieting does more harm than good.

From the unforgettable teacher Jessamyn Stanley comes Every Body Yoga, a book that breaks all the stereotypes. It's a book of inspiration for beginners of all shapes and sizes: If Jessamyn could transcend these emotional and physical barriers, so can we.

The whole30 fast and Easy cookbook

The Vegetarian Student Cookbook

This cookbook features 150 all new, Whole30-compliant recipes—all fast and easy to prepare.

Quick balanced meals with very clear directions and beautiful photographs make this a perfect book for a hungry young cook!

150 Simply Delicious Everyday Recipes for Your Whole30 - $30

Great Grub for the Hungry and the Broke - $16.95

Relief Shared R

Saratoga’s “She Shack” is now open to provide for your self-nurturing needs!

written by DIANE PALMA

elief Shared is a co-working wellness incubator offering office, event, and workshop space on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. Authentic, complementary and integrative Wellness, Movement and Creative Arts Practitioners interested in co-working space rentals should contact for availability. Since 2014, I have researched the abundant healing resources that Saratoga Springs offers. I studied in-depth the Saratoga Spa State Park and Yaddo, while I immersed myself with practitioners from both SIPN (Saratoga Integrative Practitioners Network) and SIMEN

(Saratoga Integrative Medical Education Network). Collectively I was inspired to combine my individual careers as a hair dresser and a mental health therapist into Integrative Beauty & Wellness SelfCare Consulting as a treatment modality for behavioral and mental health. Also acquiring holistic resources for physical, emotional and social well-being.

After attending a wellness symposium within the beauty industry in 2014, I became inspired and created my vision board. Four years later I created and manifested Relief Shared where my vision board is framed and hung as a testament to believing in your dreams.

Relief Shared is located at 3257 Route 9 (South Broadway) Suite 3, Saratoga Springs. Stop in and create your own vision board! (Daily rates apply). SPRING 2018 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 17

5 things

every natural kitchen needs brought to you by FOUR SEASONS NATURAL FOODS


Local and organic produce It's not just that fresh, naturally grown produce tastes better, has more nutrient content, directly supports your local economy, generally helps smaller businesses, is less impactful to the environment and promotes your own better health, it's…. well, uh….okay... that's what it is!


Natural, organic spices What's in that bottle anyway? It's hard to tell since it's all ground up. What you don't want are heavily processed, irradiated, treated, unnaturally enhanced… shall we say…. stuff. Buy organic, nonirradiated spices from reputable brands. Ditch the tiny jars and buy from bulk to save a bunch of money on that unnecessary expensive packaging.


Fermented foods Miso, yogurt, tamari, fermented pickles and vegetables. Like it or not, turns out bacteria aren't bad after all. We need the right balance to support our own internal ecosystem and eating them is an important part of the process. Fortunately, they taste good and have been part of traditional diets forever. And are now making a big comeback, so join in!




Natural Salt Chemical salt is good, but natural sea and mineral salts are better… they contain trace minerals that we need and help the body in its functioning. Don't get too crazy once you start looking there are a lot of good natural salts - enjoy them all …in moderation!

Good oils and fats Just like everything else, nothing is all good or all bad. Fat is needed in our diet, at least a little. Coconut oil, butter, ghee, olive oil, even lard… these traditional fats help your body do its job and keep you healthy. Unlike heavily refined, unstable vegetable oils, they work better under heat and go well in all kinds of cooking, so make sure you have these on hand to bring flavor and satisfaction to your meals.

Dottie Pepper


'Up to par' sunglasses

olf celebrity and professional commentator Dottie Pepper has teamed up with local business owner and optician, Susan Halstead, to launch a new line of prescription progressive-lens sunglasses. Pepper Pro Eyes is the result of a collaboration between the two women, which came about because of Dottie’s difficulties in finding just the right pair of glasses. Susan and Dottie have known one another since the early 1990’s, after Dottie returned to live in the area. Dottie is a patient at Family Vision Care Center, which Halstead has owned since 1993. She had just returned from covering a pro golf tournament in Scotland.

“Her progressive lenses weren’t working for her,” says Halstead. The prescription glasses she was wearing were making it difficult for her to do her commentating job. She was having difficulty switching back and forth between watching the television screen and following the golf ball as it sailed through the air and then turning back to the television screen. Even more importantly, the prescription was having an impact on her golf game. In order to see the ball correctly, she was forced to alter her head position, which was having a negative effect on her swing. Progressive lenses are very popular and have virtually replaced bi-or tri-focal lenses. As we age, our vision at different distances change. If we once needed glasses to improve our distance vision, many of us eventually require glasses to see up close as well. Bi-focals and tri-focals are dead giveaways that we have reached middle age, something many of us are loath to admit. With no tell-tale line across the lens, progressives are the perfect solution. However, they require some getting used to and, instead of moving your eyes up and down, you adjust your head position to see all three ranges of distance. Halstead says that all traditional progressive lenses have some inherent blur, which was part of Dottie’s problem when having to quickly switch focus from looking at a golfer up close to tracking that tiny white ball as it soared in an arc through the air.

“Dottie and I started our conversation three years ago,” says Halstead. Soon after, she decided to develop her own progressive lens brand, working in partnership with Pepper. Halstead is certified by the American Board Opticianry, a Fellow of the National Academy of Opticians, a member of the NYS Society of Opticians, Optician’s Association of America and the Contact Lens Society of America. Working with a lens designer based in Rochester, it took six months and a dozen different lenses before they came up with the perfect design that Dottie now uses on the golf course and behind the commentary desk. The partners are very confident that their new sunglass design will be very popular with all types of athletes, as well as outdoors people. What makes this new lens design so different from others?” I wondered. Halstead explained that the material they’ve chosen to use for the lenses is very lightweight and impact-resistant and it works equally well in a wrapped or curved frame, which is the style most athletes want.


...launched by golf pro & optician which eliminates the distortion that is common in polycarbonate frames.

“Most lenses are either polycarbonate or glass. With polycarbonate, distortion is a drawback that you don’t have with glass,” says Halstead. However, glass weighs more and is less safe. “Currently, there is no other lens manufacturer on the market who is using this material,” says Halstead. Halstead and Pepper have partnered with a frame company and they expect to do a soft launch of Pepper Pro Eyes locally by sometime in June, with a national launch scheduled for about a month later. They used online Survey Monkey to help them select the most popular frame colors: black with gold, black with silver and brown with copper trim. In addition to offering prescription lenses, they will also offer ready to wear for those who don’t need prescription sunglasses or who wear contact lenses. The price point for Pepper Pro Eyes will range from $299 to $399 for non-prescription glasses and between $649 and $749 for prescription packages.

It also can adjust quickly to changing light conditions. For golfers, who may be standing under a shade tree while hitting the ball and then swiftly moving into bright sunlight, this is a real advantage. “The material turns an olive-green hue in the shade or in cloudy weather and switches to a bright coppery brown in bright sunlight,” says Halstead, adding that they are very similar to Vuarnet lenses, which were very popular with skiers. Halstead adds that Pepper Pro Eyes will work equally well when navigating a mogul as teeing off on the course. Halstead also explains that the lens is polarized, which means that it reduces glare from the front. Because athletes regularly experience glare coming at them from behind as well as straight on, Halstead added a backside anti-reflective coating to the inside of the lens as well. This is a very important feature for golfers, who may have the sun glaring on them from behind and overhead. Halstead also says that the material they’re using is a special “mid-index” material SPRING 2018 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 19

Shemen amour ...not the typical 'new kid' in town

written & photographed by THERESA ST. JOHN

You’ll find the shop at 6 Phila Street, downtown Saratoga. Five or six steps lead you down into a small, inviting room where Shemen Amour New York sells products from the oldest known spa in the world – The Dead Sea.


he owner, Christine Marks, is a bubbly red-head with boundless energy and a passion for what she does. And better than that, she believes in her business.

Most people have heard of, read about, or experienced the benefits of salt personally. It is used to treat acne, psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema. Salt is also known to reduce headaches, lower stress levels, decrease lethargy, and alleviate some forms of depression. It’s safe to say salt has earned a reputation among other alternative therapies.

And The Dead Sea, known for its natural ability to heal, possesses several rejuvenating attributes.The high concentration of minerals and salts found in the waters of the Dead Sea have been proven to enhance the complexion and unveil healthy-looking skin. No wonder so many people want to swim there. Shemen Amour offers a high-quality line of Certified Original Israeli Dead Sea products for the face, body, and hair. Infused with natural minerals, oils, and fruit extracts, each item is recommended for men, women, or both. A woman-owned business, Shemen Amour sells products that have been certified by Leaping Bunny to be 100% cruelty-free. And the company needs to be re-certified every single year, ensuring the highest levels of quality control. 20  |  HEALTHY SARATOGA | SPRING 2018

Before opening her shop on Phila Street, Dead Sea products sold for more than three years on Christine’s website. The more she thought about Saratoga though, the more convinced she became that her business would fit in well with the slogan “Health, History, and Horses.” Christine decided to go with her gut-feeling, it had never steered her wrong before. Shemen Amour opened in Saratoga last Tuesday. Christine happily reports the feedback’s been encouraging. Customers have been friendly, wishing her success in this new venture. People can choose from any number of body washes and bath salts. They can pick from a variety of mineral body scrubs and shea butter. Both come in delicious scents. Shemen Amour offers mineral mud soaps, intensive body creams, and even Diamond Gravity Masks for clients who might be interested. I found samples arranged neatly on a table inside the shop and Christine encouraged me to try out a few products before I decided on my purchase. I loved the fact that there was no pressure to buy. Her shop is warm and inviting. Christine is quite knowledgeable about the line of products on sale. Those two things were enough to make my shopping experience enjoyable and one I will most definitely repeat.

Salt Caves ...taking wellness to another level written by THERESA ST. JOHN photos by FROM THE HEART PHOTOGRAPHY - DANIELLE RUSHKOSKI

If you’re going to talk about top spa trends, Halotherapy should be one of the first ones you mention.


he term comes from “halo,” the Greek word for salt. Halotherapy uses salt vapor to treat numerous things – respiratory ailments, problems with the skin, and mental lethargy are only a few.

Think back to a day you spent at the beach recently-walking along the sand, swimming in the ocean, breathing in the fresh salty air. It was invigorating, right? You left rested, relaxed and happy, ready to face the world again. That’s because you’d just enjoyed some of the many benefits salt therapy has to offer. For centuries, monks used naturallyoccurring salt caverns to help patients suffering from asthma, chronic bronchitis, and other respiratory illnesses. While metal and coal miners battled relentless, often deadly respiratory ailments, workers in salt mines did not suffer the same. They were, in fact, much healthier than their counterparts. Studies show that people with chronic upper respiratory conditions, airborne allergies, sinusitis, and even cystic fibrosis can benefit from halotherapy.

Salt is beneficial in treating acne, psoriasis, and eczema. Salt naturally produces negative ions, and what many refer to as the “clarity effect.” Halotherapy can help with stress, headaches, lethargy, and depression. It can increase energy levels and mental alertness. Halotherapy occurs when dry aerosol salt vapor is pumped into the air, under controlled conditions, allowing clients to breathe it deep into the lungs and respiratory tract. This form of therapy is a safe and effective way to embrace salt’s natural properties. It’s anti-bacterial, providing relief for many skin conditions. And because salt reduces inflammation and opens airway passages, it’s much easier to breathe. Located beneath the roof of a garment factory more than a century old, The Adirondack Salt Cave combines the natural properties found in 7,000 pounds of Himalayan Salt with modern technology, ensuring a truly unique wellness experience for people who visit.

features have been fashioned by local craftsman, drawing attention to Glens Falls and the surrounding Adirondack region. The Adirondack Salt Cave is the first such family-owned business to open in the North Country. Located in the downtown Glens Falls area, the salt cave promotes the benefits of Halotherapy in a most welcoming way. Their ‘cave’ is of a Himalayan Salt environment. The owners have painstakingly woven sights, sounds and lighting together, creating a calm, rejuvenating experience for guests. During a typical Halotherapy session, clients relax in lounge chairs while listening to soothing music and breathing in the dry salt vapor. Combining regular sessions of salt therapy, in conjunction with a healthy fitness routine, can dramatically improve both oxygen circulation and a client’s overall sense of well-being. Maybe it’s time to try it out!

The building’s design makes use of local, regional, and reclaimed materials. Many SPRING 2018 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 21

Meet our new lifestyle & fitness contributor...

heather Matthews Heather Matthews is a wife and mother, and the Owner of HLM Fitness, Personal Training and Weight Management for Women. She has devoted herself to helping women not only lose weight, but also build confidence, gain physical and mental strength and even fight addiction through fitness.

giving birth! And just last month she won first place in the Open Class and Masters 35+ NPC New York Capitol Championships.

Able to conquer her own long battle with addiction through her love of fitness, she is now a successful Certified Personal Trainer, Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist, and Nationally Qualified Fitness Competitor with the National Physique Committee, taking home two overall wins, just one year after

Heather has a unique style of training, focusing on shaping a woman's body to the look the client desires. Through the use of very specific meal plans, macronutrient coaching and very particular, uncommon exercises, she is able to help clients build that booty up and bring out a feminine, but fit, hourglass shape! Heather and Nick have a three-year-old daughter, Olive Beatrice. She can be reached at



My favorite author is Robert Greene. All of his books are amazing and very helpful in teaching you how to navigate life successfully. Along with my husband, this guy helps keep my head on straight and keeps me focused.

I live in Athleta brand clothing for work and play! Almost everything I wear can be found at Athleta, including the outfit I wore for this shoot! I love what they stand for, and their clothes are incredibly well made. I also live in The Gap's "Favorite Tee".

@ heathermatthews7498

Photo by

Heather's Favorites

Nutrition I stick to a very clean diet. Oats, eggs, chicken, fish, whole grains, berries and veggies. But when that Saturday night cheat meal comes along you might find me at Stewart's buying my Entenmann's Raspberry Danish! I also am a big fan of Oh Yeah Nutrition's One Bar protein bars, although I try to limit myself to real food as much as possible. One Bar protein bars are packed with protein and have only 1 gram of sugar. Great snack for not only athletes, but also moms on the go!

Water Always! I haven't touched alcohol for over 5 years. I try to drink a gallon of water a day, which I find helps me immensely with my energy levels and keeping my skin clear and hydrated. It also helps keep me feeling full, so I'm not tempted to overeat. I have never given my daughter any juice drinks, and now I'm so glad at three years old she will only drink water because she's not accustomed to any other beverages. She refuses juice and soda at birthday parties and I hope I can keep that going for as long as possible!

See Heather's Exercises on page 52

"At Athleta our mission is to ignite a community of active, healthy, confident women and girls who empower each other to realize their limitless potential. We believe in inspiring women and girls to discover what's possible through fitness, and a healthy, active lifestyle. At Athleta, we believe the earth is our playground-that's why we're committed to protecting it for the next generation! We are determined to lessen the impact on the environment and unleash the limitless potential of women and girls, near and far! Athleta's community hub cultivates a place where we can celebrate fitness and wellness in a one spot neighborhood shop! The transformational journey among active women and girls of all ages and backgrounds is what fuels our community experience!"


...and the Dietician,

Tara Joyce Tara Joyce is a Registered Dietitian. She has focused on weight management, metabolism, health and wellness for the last 6 years of her career. She went to school at Russell Sage College for Psychology and English then received her Masters in Applied Nutrition from Northeastern University. She truly enjoys educating patients and public-speaking to health professionals about evidenced-based, unique concepts of nutrition that make people think.

Are you really what you eat? ABSOLUTELY!

Everything we eat is reflected on us from our skin, to our hair to our nails. Nutrition is not something we feel or see immediately. However, it is something that affects us without knowing it. For example, have you ever seen one of those terrifying images of identical twins where one smokes a pack a day and one does not? One looks horrifically older while the other looks bright and young. Nutrition is the same. It might not take affect immediately, but internally it is.

written by TARA JOYCE, MS, RD, CDN

Nutrition is powerful. With Easter in the recent past let’s use eggs as an example. A few years ago eggs got a bad reputation. Theory was that food high in cholesterol would equal a high cholesterol level in the blood. Cholesterol in your body is bad because it clogs your blood vessels; that can flow to the heart which in the worst-case scenario would stop it. No wonder why so many of us are limiting cholesterol from our diet. Right? Wrong. What most of us do not know is that the cholesterol that we eat does not affect the fat floating around in our veins. Nutrition facts of 1 large egg: 70 calories, 5 grams of fat, 187 mg cholesterol (62 % of your daily value), 62 mg of sodium, 0.6 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, & 6 grams of protein.

Eggs have A LOT of cholesterol, and one would think that eating high cholesterol foods means high cholesterol floating around in our blood. Truth is, the cholesterol that we eat has zero affect on the cholesterol in our veins. Dietary cholesterol is the stuff we eat. Blood cholesterol is the stuff made by our body. The sun hits our fat cells, makes vitamin D, affects calcium production, among many other things. When you eat eggs what you are instead getting is biotin (the hair, skin and nail vitamin), selenium, vitamin D (the bone and metabolism vitamin) and B12 (the energy vitamin). What you are not getting is high cholesterol in your blood. Although 1 egg has 61% of your daily value of cholesterol, the cholesterol that we eat does not affect the cholesterol that floats around in our blood. Moral of the story: Eggs are cool again. SPRING 2018 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 23

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Five Case Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 518.581.2480 | 24  |  HEALTHY SARATOGA | SPRING 2018

WANT TO EAT CLEAN? Start at your Local Farmers’ Market



he terms “clean eating” and “whole foods” have become nutrition buzzwords lately, but what do they actually mean? I wash my fruits and vegetables before eating them; is that “clean eating?” There is no scientific or research-based definition for these terms, but among health gurus the terms “clean eating” and “whole foods” often reference products that are organic, minimallyprocessed, and produced without pesticides or antibiotics. This includes meats, eggs, and cheeses, in addition to produce.

In Saratoga Springs our farmers’ markets are places where you’ll find local, clean, whole foods. Whole food can also mean eating the whole food rather than a processed version of the food. An example would be eating a whole apple, rather than drinking apple juice. There are benefits in the apple’s skin and pulp that are missing in juice. Meats and eggs from small local farms are from animals raised in humane environments

where the use of antibiotics is reserved only for sick animals. Animals raised on very large farms in other parts of the country are often given antibiotics routinely to prevent illness which is prevalent due to overcrowding. When you shop at the farmers’ market you can talk to the farmer, if you have a question about how they raise their animal or grow their produce. There are many clean, whole food options available at the farmers’ market to create healthy dishes. Available almost year-round are greens, root vegetables, meats, eggs, and cheeses. That sounds like the base of a great quiche or frittata! Not only are egg dishes an easy way to combine an assortment of ingredients, they are also good for you! Eggs and meat are excellent sources of protein. Did you know that eating one egg per day is not bad for your health? What you eat your eggs with makes a huge difference. Combining

eggs with processed foods such as bacon, sausage, hollandaise sauce, and white toast is a combo for elevating LDL (the bad cholesterol). But if you add vegetables, you get fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Top with some cheese for a little extra flavor. That makes a well-balanced meal, all in one dish! Check out these recipes from Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Farmers’ Market Favorite Recipes cookbook to whip up some springtime dishes! French author François de la Rochefoucauld once said, “To eat is a necessity, to eat intelligently is an art.” Turn your trip to the farmers’ market into a clean eating, whole foods adventure. Shop wisely, ask questions, and always wash your fruits and vegetables.

Flip the page for recipes!! SPRING 2018 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 25

FARMERS' MARKET QUICHE • • • • • • • • • 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

2 cups low-fat milk 3 eggs ¼ tsp salt Pinch nutmeg 1 tsp chopped chives 1 prepared pie crust 1 egg white ½ cup diced Swiss cheese ½ cup cooked ham, diced Preheat oven to 375º In a saucepan on medium-high heat, scald milk (heat until bubbles just start to form around edge) Cool milk then beat together with eggs, salt, nutmeg & chives. Brush pie crust with egg white, sprinkle cheese and ham in bottom of crust, and pour in egg mixture. Bake at 375º for 35-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition breakdown per serving: 350 kcal, 22 g fat (9 g sat), 125 mg cholesterol, 23 g carbohydrate, 15 g protein, 0 g fiber, 720 mg sodium; Bonus: 15% DV calcium!


CLASSIC BLENDED BURGER • • • • • 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

½ pound cremini or white button mushrooms 2 tbsp olive oil, divided 1 pound ground beef ½ tsp salt 4 buns Finely dice mushrooms or gently pulse in food processor. In skillet, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat and add mushrooms, sautéing 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from heat and cool 5 minutes. Transfer cooled mushrooms to medium bowl. Add ground beef and salt, mixing until combined. Make 4 patties. Add remaining olive oil to pan and cook burger patties on medium-high heat until desired doneness. Plate and add desired toppings to buns.

The blended burger is a concept developed by the Culinary Institute of America and sponsored/promoted by the James Beard Foundation. The goal is to reduce consumption of red meats and promote more sustainable food practices. The farmers’ market is a great place to gather ingredients for your own blended burger! Search for grass-fed, grass-finished beef over grain-finished beef. Cattle raised on grass result in cuts of beef with greater nutritional qualities, such as lower saturated fat, higher vitamin and mineral content, and a higher ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. Talk to the farmer to learn how they raised their beef.


KALE WITH CARAMELIZED ONIONS AND BARLEY • • • • • • • • 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

8 cups fresh kale leaves 1-2 tbsp olive oil 2 small or 1 large onion, finely chopped 1 cup barley 2 ¾ cups water 1 tsp salt ½ cup feta cheese ½ tsp black pepper Clean kale, remove stems, and tear leaves into small pieces Steam kale for 4-5 minutes and set aside. In medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Caramelize the onion by sautéing it for five minutes until golden brown. Add barley, stirring to coat. Add water and salt; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in steamed kale; cook for 10 minutes longer. Remove from heat; stir in feta cheese and pepper. Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition breakdown per serving: 170 kcal, 6 g fat (1.5 g sat), 5 mg cholesterol, 26 g carbohydrate, 7 g protein, 6 g fiber, 390 mg sodium; Bonus: 210% DV vitamin A, 140% DV vitamin C, 15% DV calcium!



Thursday, June 21, 5:30-8:30 pm Using fresh local apples and other fruit we’ll make jam & jelly. Learn the art and science (interplay of fruit, acid, pectin and sugar) of making jellied products. Participants will take home a jar of jam or jelly.


Learn the procedures for safely canning low-acid foods, such as vegetables, meats, and soups in a pressure canner. In this hands-on workshop we’ll can green beans and learn about the different types of pressure canners. Participants will take home a jar of canned green beans.



Wednesday, August 1, 5:30-8:30

Thursday, October 5; 5:30-8:30 pm

Learn about different pickling processes including quick and brined pickles and techniques for making a crisp pickle. We’ll also discuss lacto-fermentation. Participants will take home a jar of pickled vegetable.

Learn how to safely make your own jerky in an oven or food dehydrator. Canned meat is tender and makes a quick meal. Learn the steps to safe pressure canning, a process that can be used for preserving vegetables and soups too.


Each class costs $20.00, Class size limited to 21. ($15 for 3 classes or more)

This class will cover the basics of canning in a boiling water bath, including equipment needed. Also learn how to can whole and diced tomatoes, plus make salsa. Participants will make and take home a jar of salsa.

Pre-registration required by mailing in registration form.

Thursday, September 6, 5:30-8:30

Cornell Cooperative Extension, 50 West High Street, Ballston Spa For more information call (518) 885-8995 Diane Whitten, SPRING 2018 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 27

Farm to Table A New Take on

Gorsky Farm


written by MEGAN HARRINGTON photos provided

ramped up their offerings and last spring WITH HECTIC SCHEDULES and fast food on they opened their store and commercial every corner, it can be tough to eat local kitchen. Katie explains, “Right off the and nutritious food, but the Gorsky family bat, we started with prepared foods.” They hopes to change that. Wayne Gorsky is a th currently offer bundles of food including 4 generation farmer and the family farm DIY meal kits, heat & serve entrees, baked has been producing dairy since the 1960s. However, a few years ago, the family decided goods, and packages of meat including beef, pork, chicken, turkey, and lamb. they wanted to grow their business. Wayne’s wife Katie explains, “I was in a business Some of the farm’s most popular offerings planning class at Cornell and we were include energy bites, cinnamon buns, considering expanding our dairy operation. buttermilk biscuits, and chili. And not We thought through some updates that only is their food tasty and convenient, it’s would have cost half a million dollars, but good for you as well. Katie explains, “We decided against them due to the uncertain source everything as locally as possible, price of milk.” At the time, the Gorskys depending on the season.” She continues, had also been raising pigs and chickens, “And we’re very picky with ingredients – mostly to supply their neighbors. An ah-ha everything is very clean. There are no moment occurred when a neighbor came to hydrogenated oils, no artificial colors, pick up a chicken, but panicked because it and we use evaporated cane juice instead was a whole bird and she didn’t know how of sugar.” Katie adds, “We only use to prepare it. That led Katie to think that ingredients that I’d feed my own kids!” there might be an opportunity to connect The Gorskys are also concerned about people with wholesome simple food. reducing waste and being environmentally The Gorsky Family, which includes Wayne, friendly. Their containers are reusable Katie, and sons Joey and George, slowly and recyclable and during food prep, the


Gorskys feed any leftover bits to their flock of chickens, pigs, sheep, cows, cats, and dogs. Katie started out doing all the cooking and planning herself, but as business grew, they expanded and now employ four kitchen helpers and five delivery drivers. Their culinary offerings make great business sense, but the store also allows the Gorskys to keep their farm productive. Katie says, “These days, I see so many commercial and housing developments in areas that used to be farmland. It’s very important for us to keep our land as farmland.” The Gorskys take pride in their business and they’re always striving to give back to the community. Katie says they often donate food to local town garages and love to collaborate with area schools on fundraising events. If your mouth is watering, Gorsky Farm’s delivery zone extends south to Delmar and north to Queensbury. They also encourage pick-ups if you’re interested in visiting their farm market near Saratoga Lake. For more information, visit: SPRING 2018 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 29

GROWING Year Round

written by MEGAN HARRINGTON photos provided


magine the farm of the future and what do you see? With the ability to grow year round and without soil, hydroponic farming is one of the industry’s rising stars. Rather than growing in traditional outdoor fields, hydroponic crops get their nutrients from a water-based solution. A few local farmers and suppliers are on the forefront of this new technology and we bet you’ll find them as fascinating as we do!

About 30 miles east of downtown Saratoga Springs, Shushan Valley Hydro Farm is one of the only commercial hydroponic farms in the area. Phyllis Underwood, the farm’s owner, says she and her husband, Wayne, started out as dairy farmers, but wanted to diversify. While on vacation, they became intrigued by the idea of hydroponic farming. She explains, “About twenty years ago, we took our kids to the Epcot hydroponics exhibit at Disney World, saw the hydroponics operation, and decided we wanted to try it.”


They initially started with tomatoes, moved on to herbs, and finally added a cucumber greenhouse. The Underwood’s vegetables are grown in greenhouses with cement heated floors and supplemental lighting. Phyllis says they also have a computer system that monitors and controls all the different aspects of the greenhouse. “Monitoring is important because the main components in hydroponics are light + heat + cooling + nutrients,” Phyllis explains. The Underwoods can even grow throughout the winter, thanks to the supplemental LED lighting they installed a few years ago. “The biggest benefit to hydroponics is that you can totally control the environment – you don’t have to worry about outside factors like the contents of your neighbor’s soil or rain,” Phyllis says. However because of the cold, it can be challenging to farm hydroponically in this part of NY State. We just don’t get as much light as places like Florida or Arizona, but the Underwoods are

undeterred. “It’s not an easy task, but I think it’s worth it, to have a tasty, environmentally-friendly tomato in the middle of winter,” Phyllis says. She adds, “My tomatoes are not cookie-cutter; they’re all different sizes and shapes, but that’s because I grow for flavor and not weight.” If we’ve whet your appetite for a juicy tomato, you can find Shushan Valley Hydo Farm products locally at Hannaford and Price Chopper as well as the Union Square Farmers Market in New York City. If you’re interested in dabbling in hydroponics at home, you’re in luck. With locations in Ballston Lake and South Glens Falls, Saratoga Organics & Hydroponic Supply carries necessities for even the smallest of home gardeners. In addition to selling supplies, the store also offers advice. The shop’s owner, Chris, says, “We’re always excited to have people come in and learn about it. It’s exciting to try something new – especially in the winter time when you can’t grow outside.” Besides consulting with home gardeners, Chris and his team also work with local educators. They’ve partnered with science and technology instructors from area schools such as Ballston Lake, Half Moon-Waterford, Shenendehowa, and Adirondack Community College. Chris explains, “Most teachers come in with an outline for a program and we help them put packages of supplies together as well as answer any questions.” We asked Chris what it takes to have success with growing hydroponics and he explained that most people set up a water reservoir to which they add a fertilizer solution. He advised that it’s best to set up indoors, because it is easier to control. When it comes to popular products, Chris says that grow lights are the most popular thing they sell. “Lots of people want to get seedlings ready for spring and grow lights can help them do that,” he says. When it comes to gardening, Chris walks the walk. He says, “I have an outdoor garden, but I also play around with hydroponics and aquaponics, which entails sustainably growing plants alongside a fish tank.” Chris says it’s an exciting time for home gardeners and the hydroponics industry. “We’re seeing more and more people try to grow their own food. We’re always ready to help with questions regarding organic and sustainable growing as well as natural lawn care.” Little Heck’s Hydroponics and Organic Supply is another great resource for sustainable growing. Located on Maple Avenue, owners Jeff and Jill are in their 5th year of business. The couple offers competitive pricing as well as individualized ordering. Jill says that one of the biggest benefits of hydroponic farming is that it can avoid any carcinogens in the soil. She says, “Hydroponics is one of the easiest and best ways to grow vegetables.” And if you don’t know where to get started, the staff at Little Heck’s can come to your house and help you set-up your own hydro system. Additionally, Little Heck’s is certified to sell and service Blue Lab-brand equipment which Jill explains is the most technically advanced hydroponic monitoring system available today. If you’re ready to get growing, Jill says that you can get started with hydroponics at any point in the year. Whether you’re looking to purchase hydroponic vegetables or set up your own growing system, these Saratoga area businesses can help. For more information visit: | SPRING 2018 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 31

Travel the Distance written by MEGIN POTTER


here’s a new way to improve your physical and mental health while helping seniors engage in enriching activities.

Walking is our oldest form of transportation and the newest way to raise money for renovations to Wesley Health Care Center’s resident activities room.

“We’re a healthcare organization based in health and wellness, and as a platform for fundraising, walking is an easy fit,” said Katelynn Donovan, Director of Marketing and Advancement for the Wesley Foundation.

Step for Seniors Walking is free, requires no equipment or special training and you can do it anywhere, at any time. Register for FREE to take part of the “Share a Step for Seniors” fundraising campaign, organized by the Wesley Foundation, and all the walks you take in the month of June will help get Wesley one step closer to their goal of expanding opportunities for the 340 residents they serve in their community. The current activities room was built in 1970 and can hold just 50 people. They hope to increase the room’s overall area 32  |  HEALTHY SARATOGA | SPRING 2018

for Seniors

and office space, upgrade the kitchen, hold cooking classes, as well as accommodate larger religious services there once renovations are complete. “We hope to capture more resident’s attention, focus on points of improvement, and provide more and more opportunities for them to have new things to do,” said Donovan.

Share in the Benefits Take a regular brisk walk and you’re more likely to get to know your neighbors, decrease depression and experience improved mental health. For students, regular walking has been linked to improvements in levels of confidence and academic performance. Studies have shown walking can help with weight management, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, while reducing the risk of Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease and stroke. This low-impact exercise is easier on the joints than jogging and can strengthen bones. “Share a Step for Seniors” is open to everyone, empowering them to make a real improvement in their own lives and the lives of others.

“Anyone - anywhere can do this,” said Donovan. Walk in places you enjoy, listen to your favorite music, find a walking buddy and cheer each other on while you serve as role models to others. Track your progress or enter your workouts with fitness apps like Strava, MyFitnessPal or FitBit and share on your social media pages. “It’s a chance to stay healthy in the community and healthy as individuals,” she said.

The “Share a Step for Seniors” kick-off event will be held on Friday, June 1st from 4–6 p.m. on The Wesley Community Campus. Set up your online fundraising page, walk for a month, and cross the finish line on Saturday, June 30th at The Wesley Community Campus Wrap-Up Party from 12–2 p.m. The event will include samples of healthy drinks, snacks and sandwich wraps. A short program will take place at 1 p.m. to award prizes to the top fundraisers and to those who travelled the longest distances. For more information and to sign-up online, go to


Walking the written by MEGIN POTTER photo by JOHN SEYMOUR

Nothing draws a crowd like a crowd. When Kathy Mack and Wayne Knapp exited a restaurant and saw a crowd of people walking around in Latham, they naturally wondered what they were doing. They found out it’s a group called the Empire State Capital Volkssporters and it is something they’ve become more and more involved in each year since they joined. Today the Volkssporters are becoming known as America’s Walking Club (AVA) and their goal is fun, fitness and friendship. “This is the easiest way in the world to get off the couch, meet people and to share a meal (after many of the walks). It’s just wonderful to never be lonely – everyone wants to talk to you,” said Mack.

Discovery and Adventure Because every walk in the AVA is designed by a local resident, they feature the best sites within the required distance – either a 5k (3.5miles) or a 10k (6.2 miles). The relaxed 5k is completed at a slower pace. “I’m a real believer in ‘listen to your body and be realistic’. You go a steady pace. It’s not a speed walk, not a race walk, it’s a walk,” said Mack. Knapp and Mack, who live in Guilderland, revel in the new sites available to them in walking tours nationwide through their membership in the group. “Go to any major city in the country, and go to the (AVA) website – you can find the “Walk Box” with directions and a map, and off you go on your own,” said Knapp. This is a simple way he and Mack have been able to tour Boston’s Freedom Trail, as well as recent stops in Savannah, GA, Ashville, NC, Baltimore, MD and Virginia while traveling between Sarasota, FL and New York.


See the Best of Your Area

Even with all the walks they have completed across the country, some of their favorites are close to home. “I’m walking in areas I never knew existed – parts I’d never see if it wasn’t for the walking club,” said Knapp. The local walks have much to offer. “The city of Saratoga has one of the most beautiful walks around,” he said. Much of the scenery includes local buildings of architectural interest, as well as a visit to the track to watch the horses’ workout. “They’re all gorgeous areas. You go around and realize what beautiful natural resources we have,” said Knapp.

Welcome! In addition to the scenery and the fitness, it’s the welcome reception from the group that keeps so many coming back. “There’s a lot of isolation out there. If people come, they will be welcomed,” said Mack. Meeting people–one of the benefits of the group–is looking for friends with common interests. Singles, couples, families, and children of all ages are welcomed (with parent or legal guardian). “Everyone needs to get out into nature for health and mental wellness and this is the perfect opportunity,” said Mack. For more information on walks in the Saratoga region, go to For walks throughout the US, go to SPRING 2018 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 33


hen you think “hiking” do you imagine a strenuous trek up a High Peak in the Adirondacks? Does the idea of a “bike ride” conjure up the joys of hundreds of miles in the saddle while grinding up big hills? Do your muscles ache just thinking about it? Saratoga County’s backyard has the cure.


We are blessed with a big “backyard” loaded with over 200 miles of recreational and alternative-transportation trails suitable for all abilities and tastes. Ditch that endless run on the treadmill and head outside for a new adventure close to home. Our big backyard includes trail opportunities all over the county. There’s Moreau Lake State Park in the north, the Champlain Canal trail in the east, the Greenbelt Trail around Saratoga Springs, the many trails of the Spa State Park, the Zim Smith Trail from near Ballston Spa to Halfmoon, the Hennig Preserve in Galway, the Orra Phelps Nature Trail in Wilton, and many, many more.

Discover trails in Saratoga County’s backyard. Go to for trail maps and information.

TRAILS FOR ALL ABILITIES There’s a trail for all. The Spruce Mountain Trail in Corinth is a 2.5-mile mountain climb leading to a summit featuring an historic fire tower offering spectacular views. There’s canal-side biking and walking on level and straight paths. There’s urban walking and cycling on paved paths. There are winding nature trails perfect for birding, wildlife photography, or just calming the soul. Some trails/ paths are accessible to the disabled and their companions too. Saratoga PLAN offers more than 22 miles of public trails on ten different nature preserves, located all over the county. They are all free and open to the public year-round. Favorites include the Bog Meadow Trail in Saratoga Springs, now celebrating 25 years of nature walks, the Spring Run Trail, and Railroad Run, the busiest trail in the city. The Saratoga Greenbelt Trail will connect all of these trails, and soon will include a Downtown Connector for those who want to walk or bike from near City Hall to Spring Run. Learn more at

YOGA ALONG THE TRAIL Take a more contemplative walk in the woods with a Yoga Along the Trail day. The monthly hikes are led by trained yoga instructors and are suitable for all levels. Call or email Saratoga PLAN for reservations and more information.

Yoga Along the Trail


LETTERBOXING You know your kids should spend more time on the trail, right? Check out PLAN’s Letterboxing program, which is a treasure hunt in the woods that will teach while it entertains. Just go to the website to download trail clues and a “Passport,” for stamping when you find each hidden treasure chest. Pre-made Passports can also be picked up at PLAN’s office. Collect stamps in your passport from five preserves and you can return with it to PLAN’s office in order to win a great t-shirt.

PALMERTOWN Saratoga PLAN is working in partnership with the Open Space Institute and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation to identify longer-range trail opportunities in the Palmertown Conservation Area, which stretches north from Saratoga Springs all the way up to Moreau Lake State Park. The final route will connect the Daniels Road State Forest, to the Lincoln Mountain State Forest, and then along and near the Palmertown Ridge to Lake Bonita near Mt. McGregor, and on to Moreau Lake. There will be trail opportunities for hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians. These trails will traverse some of the wildest and most remote terrain in the county.

Join us for these activities Bog Meadow Preserve

Yoga Along the Trail for more information April 15 Round Lake Preserve with Dawn Marie May 6 Rowland Hollow Creek Preserve with Nicole Mantilla

Arlene & Dusty show the way to PLAN intern, Rachel

HIT THE TRAIL Laying Out New Trails in Palmertown

Where’s Palmertown? The Palmertown Conservation Area stretches from Moreau Lake State Park in the north all the way to Saratoga Springs in the south, and from Route 9 in the east to Route 9N in the west, including properties in Corinth and Greenfield.

Whatever your interest, your intensity level, or your destination there is a nearby trail in Saratoga County that will provide big, no-hassle rewards. Opening of Spring Run Boardwalk

June 23 Orra Phelps Nature Preserve with Lindsay Pirozzi July 15 Woodcock Preserve with Martina Zobel August 4 LeVine Nature Preserve with Jael Polnac September 30 Ballston Creek Preserve with Martina Zobel October 21 Meadowbrook Preserve with Tory Shelley RSVP: SPRING 2018 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 35

Get Your Gear On... compiled by CASEY REEDER

Irene Leigh boutique

What to look for:

GTS Greater than Sports

FRESH FLORALS LEGGING - A soft and lightweight stretch knit that is breathable and wicks away sweat • Signature flattering fit with elasticized waist, doesn't stretch out • Made in the USA

What to look for

MEN'S VENT TEE - Made from super soft and breathable Touch Fabric. This short sleeve shirt feels soft but also keeps you cool during your workouts. With black contrasting mesh panels this shirt will do just that.

WOMEN'S 360 TOUCH TANK - A top so soft you must feel it to believe it. This super stretchy and soft mesh material makes this the perfect tank top for runs & yoga.

Eddie Bauer

What to look for

iRun local

What to look for

HYDRATION BELTS - These light weight belts will help you stay hydrated during your distance training MEDIA BANDS - Allows you to

comfortably carry your mobile device while you run and walk

ADVENTURE 25L PACK - Waterrepellent finish sheds moisture, cooling back panel technology keeps you dry, and pockets for an eReader, phone, and laptop. Hydration compatible MEN'S CLOUD CAP LIGHTWEIGHT

RAIN JACKET - The one waterproof shell everyone should own for all-season outdoor adventures. Built with our ultralight WEATHEREDGE® 2.5-layer waterproof/breathable nylon shell, it also has a StormRepel DWR finish that sheds moisture. Easy packing for trek, trail, and casual travel, it stuffs compactly into the right-hand zip pocket. WOMEN'S AFTERBURN 2.0 JACKET

- This jacket's smooth, tightly knit polyester shell has a soft, brushed fleece interior for cozy warmth that's perfect pre- or post-workout. A high neck deflects wind, and the elastic binding at neck, cuffs, and hem, as well as the thumbhole sleeves create a trim fit.




written by LAURA CLARK photo by BRIAN TEAGUE

t is a dog day in July. You are running on concrete that feels less like Upstate New York and more like the Badwater Ultra in Death Valley, where pavement has been known to melt the rubber off unprepared sneakers. And this is supposed to be fun? Or at least moderately healthy? Time to step outside the boxed outdoors and enter the freedom of the shaded woods where breezes tease the leaves and shade abounds… SPRING 2018 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 37

While some of us appreciate an unsanitized version of nature and religiously stick to the trails, others are content to venture forth occasionally, appreciating the break from the pounding of the roads and the compulsion to hit a defined workout time. For a 5k road time is by no means equivalent to a 5k trail run. Most trails have rocks and roots that must be scrambled over and varied terrain ranging from switchbacks, steep inclines, mud and stream crossings to slow you down and remind you to pause and appreciate your surroundings.

eyes open not only for roots and rocks but also for notable landmarks so you can retrace your route. While exploring new terrain, I like to stick to a main trail and ignore the temptation to rush off on tangents. There will be plenty of time for that on a return trip after you set basic bearings. Another technique is to lay down an unobtrusive stick arrow to mark which way you turn at an intersection. The trick is to either place your arrows heading in the direction you are running or in the direction you need to travel heading back. Mixed messages are no fun!

Mileage is a mere suggestion, causing you to measure your progress in minutes and hours rather than distance covered. If you are new to trail running, it is advisable at first to run less than you think you should and run by effort. You will feel muscles you didn’t even know you had as your body twists and turns to adapt to a quirky trail. But that is a good thing. While you may experience more dramatic falls, most impacts can be walked off and repetitive stress injuries from unvaried roads will take a back seat.

If you prefer a race situation where the route is marked and companionship is a given, check out the casual spring and summer trail race series offered by area clubs. Adirondack Runners ( hosts May Tuesday AdiRUNdack meets in Crandall Park; Albany Running Exchange ( presents a moveable feast of free Thursday night runs at various local venues; Hudson Mohawk ( gives us the challenging August Monday Tawasentha Trail Series and Saratoga Stryders ( hold an every-other-Monday evening 5k at Camp Saratoga. Check out the Stryders’ Facebook page for Mix-It-UpMondays tours of local trails including Daniels Road, Henning Preserve and Stillwater Battlefield.

Just as there is a vast distinction between the hilly Adirondack Marathon and the relatively flat Hudson Mohawk Marathon, so too, there is variation in trail venues: from the flat Schodack Island State Park, to mixed terrain like that found at Saratoga Spa State Park and Thatcher State Park, to the rugged Adirondack Mountains. For folks who desire to experiment with more challenging conditions but still not worry about being lost and forgotten, Stone Bridge and Caves in Pottersville is a good option. There is a slight fee, but with that comes reassurance. Moreau State Park also offers technical, intersecting trails that are somewhat difficult to navigate even with a map. And speaking of navigation, while a GPS seems a no-brainer, be aware that dense canopy as well as the remoteness factor can produce false readings. Entire areas, like the notorious Nipmuck Forest in Connecticut are veritable Bermuda Triangles - I once ended up in someone’s driveway instead of at a trail head! So as a backup it is vital that your keep your 38  |  HEALTHY SARATOGA | SPRING 2018

If your budget is limited, you will note that many of these events are free or ridiculously low-cost. Even more elaborate productions are well below what you would normally pay for a road race. But, to my mind, the best thing about trail racing is its more casual approach. There is less focus on winning and more on the experience itself. Everyone’s effort is valued and appreciated and you will make life-long friends who will enjoy the woods with you!


th The Great Adirondack Trail Run

As always, you can expect this race to sell out in about 30 minutes (the 11.5 mile run, anyway) and we cap the race at 60 participants. We keep the registration “old school” - you must call on the “telephone” to sign up!! Not knowing if you’ll get in or not is always exciting! This race starts on Rt. 9N at the Giant Mountain/ Owl’s Head Trail Head and goes up and over Hopkins Mountain, Spread Eagle Mountain and ends in Keene Valley at The Mountaineer. It’s rugged, lots of technical downhill, mud, gravel roads and of course the occasional scenic view of the High Peaks.

Laura hits the trails regularly even in the winter, trading her sneakers for Dion Snowshoes. When not in the woods, she is a Children’s Librarian where she enjoys sharing her love of reading and the outdoors with children of all ages.

This charity event supports the Ausable and Boquet River Associations, provides an educational opportunity for children and adults about our sensitive river ecosystems and gives our guests and locals alike a chance to enjoy the mountains, get some exercise and celebrate the spring and black fly season before the summer arrives and the trails get busy. We also host a “Fun Run” on the same day which is 3.5 miles and there is no limit on the number of participants. This is a really casual, “fun” run from Baxter Mountain and ends at the Mountaineer.

At the start of the Wilton Trail Race SPRING 2018 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 39

Buck Mountain Summit



WANT TO GO FOR A HIKE, but don't know where to start? Hiking is a wonderful way to get outdoors. By using your own two feet and carrying only what you need for the day on your back, you can discover the beauty of nature in your own backyard. With a little planning and preparation, it’s an activity that almost anyone can do. If you’ve been wanting to give hiking a go, but have yet to try it, it’s time to get out there!

1. Black

2. Erebus

3. Sleeping Beauty 4. Buck

The Lake George 12ster is a great place to start. All 12 peaks are within the Lake George Wild Forest (meaning magnificent views of Lake George and the surrounding mountains!).

5. Five Mile

6. Huckleberry 7. Thomas 8. Brown 9. Cat

10. Fifth Peak

11. French Point 12. First Peak


To complete the Lake George 12ster challenge there is a $10 registration fee, which gets you a certificate, your 12ster number and a patch. You can even include your pet's name on your certificate! There are different challenge levels: •

Become a 12ster at your own pace

Do them all in a 24-hour period to become an ULTRA 12ster

Complete them during the winter months to become a WINTER 12ster

For more information visi


ROUND-TRIP DISTANCE: 3 miles DIFFICULTY: Easy PAYOFF: A cozy cabin with views of Lake George PARKING: Edgecomb Pond Road Hint: The Cat and Thomas Mountain Trail loop is 7.1 miles round-trip. (You can see Cat in the distance).


ROUND-TRIP DISTANCE: 6.9 miles DIFFICULTY: Moderate PAYOFF: Views of Lake George and the southeastern Adirondacks PARKING: Free, Hog Town Parking Lot This trail has many switchbacks to keep the steepness moderate. The views are expansive and include Crane Mountain to the west, Pico and Killington to the east, as well as Lake George. Hint: Family and dog friendly.


ROUND-TRIP DISTANCE: 5.8 miles DIFFICULTY: Advanced PAYOFF: Rewarding views of the High Peaks PARKING: Free, Pilot Knob Road The first mile of the hike is on a primarily wide trail with a slight grade. The descent through mile 2 becomes steeper and has rocky sections with a few easy stream crossings. Hint: There is a false summit, keep hiking! You can also find tons of blueberries near the summit in early summer.

†††††† SPRING 2018 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 41


SELECT LOCAL Road Races 2018

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

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

SUNDAY, MAY 13TH – 9:15 AM


Mother Lovin’ 5k Day

40th Annual Freihofer’s Run for Woman

Saratoga Casino Hotel Mile

5K Run/Walk and Kids Fun Run to raise money to help children who have lost a parent, caregiver or sibling to cancer. Saratoga Spa State Park, 10 Roosevelt Drive

5K and Kids Fun Run Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY

Benefits the Saratoga Springs History Museum 242 Jefferson Street, Saratoga Springs



Cantina Kids Fun Run


¼ Mile, 1 Mile to support emergency medical services at Saratoga Hospital Congress Park, Saratoga Springs, NY

5K Run/Walk - All proceeds go to Danny Ward Scholarship Fund 25 Lakehill Rd, Ballston Lake, NY



Daffodil Dash 5K and Kids Run

Malta 5K

5k to benefit Vet Help, Malta Ridge Volunteer Fire Department, Malta Ambulance and Round Lake Fire Dept. HVCC Tec Smart Campus, 345 Hermes Road Malta, NY

THURSDAY, MAY 17TH – 6:25 APM The CDPHP Workforce Team Challenge Each year thousands of runners, walkers, and volunteers from hundreds of organizations throughout the area gather with their co-workers to take part in the largest annual road race in the Capital Region. Empire State Plaza in Albany


Scotties Stampede, the Ballston Spa 5k for Education


5K Walk/Run Garrett Rd by The Ballston Spa Central School District tennis courts

4 Mile Saratoga Springs City Center, 522 Broadway

Firecracker Road Race





The Saratoga Palio Melanie O’Donnell Memorial Race

Ryan’s Run Presented by Saratoga Springs Teachers Association

Friends of Wilton Rec ParkFest 2018

5K Support research for MIOP – Malignant Infantile Osteopetrosis Saratoga State Park-Warming Hut

SATURDAY, JUNE 2ND-10 AM Charlton Heritage 5K Run/Walk

5K/1K Run/Walk

Half Marathon, 5K & Children’s Run Saratoga Springs City Center, 522 Broadway

SATURDAY, JULY 21ST – 8 AM 22nd Annual Silks and Satins 5K Jeff Clark Memorial Race Support Special Olympics New York 415 East Avenue Saratoga Springs, NY



45 MIN



t's time to get your bod beach ready! Here are four simple exercies you can do in 45 minutes on your lunch break, outside!


Find a stair at least 6 inches high. Place the front 2/3 of your foot on the step. Lean chest forward over your knees, extend rear leg with knee slightly bent. Rear foot is balanced behind. Hands on hips for balance. Begin by leaning down as far as you can go, keep chest over knees, allow the rear heel to pick up, pause and return to the upright position. *If needed use a railing or wall for balance. Four sets, 10 to 15 reps.



When doing any exercise remember to use caution. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting any exercise program. 44  |  HEALTHY SARATOGA | SPRING 2018



Find a stair at least 6 inches high. Extend one leg back and place 2/3 of your rear foot on the stair. Front foot is flat and steady. Keep your hips at a 90º angle with your legs. The movement is straight up and down, not forward. Shoulders stay in line with your hips. Keep your chest upright and lower your bottom down as far as feels comfortable. Keep your rear heel steady, pause and push back up, repeat.


*If needed use a railing or wall for balance. Four sets, 10 to 15 reps.







Running or walking uphill can burn as much as 800 calories an hour. Find a nicely groomed hill with even terrain. Start at the bottom of the hill, extend front leg out, while planting your entire foot (not just the front of your foot) lean forward. Push from the heel and keep the stride as long a possible. The size of hills vary, look for a hill that takes at least 8-10 seconds to get up. Rest at the top, walk down and repeat. Sets: 10


**A grassy hill provides more absorption for your foot and is easier on your joints, however you can also use a paved path for more level terrain.


RUNNING OR CLIMBING STEPS DIFFICULTY: HARD You can burn up to 1,000 calories an hour by walking or running UP stairs. Pick a safe set of stairs (in the park or stadium stairs at east side rec or HS). To get started, concentrate on placing 2/3 of your foot on each stair, lean slightly forward and use those quads and butt muscles. Once you’re reached the top, walk, don’t run, carefully down, and repeat. Beginners aim for 4-5 minutes of walking up stairs. As you become more advanced work up to aim for 20 minutes.



Work your way up to 20 minutes! SPRING 2018 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 47

Come on guys…


Core training has become an extremely popular phrase lately but I’m not sure people truly understand what the actual function of the core is. So when I ask people what they feel they need the most work on, I will typically get the response that they have a weak core and need to strengthen it. And if I was to ask that same person how they would strengthen their core, they usually say something like sit-ups (which drives me crazy!). Now I’m not saying that sit-ups won’t get you stronger or work your core, but I will say that I don’t believe that it is the best way to train the core, because it isn’t how our core is designed to function. From a functional standpoint, the joints in our body are either designed to be mobile or stable. If it is mobile (think hips and ankles), then we want to move it freely through different ranges of motion. If it is stable (think knees and lower back/core), then we want to limit movement in that joint as much as possible. So when we think about the core and our lower back, we want to limit the movement, so doing endless amounts of sit-ups (think flexing the low back) and crunches might not be the optimal exercises for functionally strengthening the core.

The ANTI approach has become a very popular concept (and for good reason) in the health and fitness industry. This approach towards core training is to make people more aware of how the core truly functions by making people look at the core as antimovement muscles. So we want to do exercises that challenge us to not move those muscles such as planks and avoid exercises where we do move them such as sit-ups. Alright everyone, now that I told you how the core actually works, I am going to give you some of our favorite core exercises that we perform at Gunning Elite Training on a regular basis. These exercises follow the principles of the ANTI approach in different planes of motion. I think it is so important to train our bodies the way they are designed to work rather than against, so we can live a long and healthy life. Stay strong and keep GET’n after it!



SIDE PLANK ROWS Complete 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps/side.


STEP 2 How to execute with proper form: 1. You will begin in a side plank position (think long and straight) and you will be perpendicular to a low cable pulley. 2. You want to maintain your side plank as you perform cable rows.

ANTI-EXTENSION STABILITY BALL BODYSAW Complete 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps in a slow, controlled manner.


How to execute with proper form: 1. This is a plank on a stability ball where we make a saw motion with our arms without moving the rest of our body and overextending the lumbar spine.


AB WHEEL ROLLOUTS (With 3 year-old, optional) Complete 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps. How to execute with proper form: 1. This is a tougher variation where you push your hips forward and roll out maintaining a neutral spine and avoid extending at the lumbar spine.


ANTI-ROTATION PLANK WITH SANDBAG DRAG Complete 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps/side.

How to execute with proper form: 1. You begin in a plank position and a sandbag at your side. 2. Now avoiding rotating your hips at all, you will reach with your opposite arm and drag the sandbag through to the other side.







BEAR CRAWL Complete 3-4 sets of 20 yards at a time.


How to execute with proper form: 1. This is one of our favorites as it challenges to move with the parts of our body that are meant to move while maintaining stability in our core. This exercise is truly as functional as it gets and it is one of the first movements we begin when we are babies (think crawling). 2. We like to keep our hips stable so no bobbing up and down with the hips and we like to move opposite arm and leg at the same time.


Heather says... Let's Work on That Hourglass Shape! written by HEATHER MATTHEWS photos by SUPERSOURCEMEDIA.COM

I like to put more focus into shoulders, abs and glutes (butt) to give me that hourglass shape. Here are a few exercises I use on a regular basis...

Cable High Pulse Kickbacks STEP 1

1. Use the ankle strap attachment on a cable, with cable on the lowest setting near the floor. 2. Holding the machine for balance, bend at the hips, and kick one leg up high enough so that it is parallel with the floor. Keep the leg straight. 3. Squeeze the glute of the leg that is up and raise the leg slightly, then lower the leg slightly, in a pulse movement. Do not bring the leg back down to the floor until all reps are done. Perform 10-15 reps per leg, 4 sets.





Cheat Lateral Raise 1. Stand slightly bent at the hips, wide stance, with one hand on an incline bench for support. 2. Holding the dumbbell with the other hand, raise the dumbbell up to shoulder height, and lower back to starting position (control the dumbbell, don’t just let it drop!)





Perform 3 sets of 8 each side..

This exercise allows you to use a slightly heavier weight for your lateral raise as you can gain a bit of momentum at the bottom of the movement.


Bench Wraps 1. Lay with upper body on a bench and bend the knees, feet together knees apart.


2. Raise the legs up, and squeeze the glutes at the top of the movement. 3. Slowly lower back to starting position. Perform 3 sets of 15.




STEP 1 This exercise is great to shape up your legs, strengthening quads, glutes, hamstrings and targets the inner and outer thighs! The band adds a little resistance and makes this exercise more effective.



Banded Side Lunge 1. Place a resistance band just above the knees. Stand with feet hip width apart, chest up, shoulders back. I like to put my hands clasped at the chest as a reminder to keep my chest high and prevent me from caving over. 2. Extend one leg, and drive your weight to the opposite side, flexing knee and hip. Keep that booty shifted back with your weight in your heel. 3. Come back to starting position, and repeat on the other side. Perform 3 sets of 20 reps, alternating sides (10 each side).


Good Mornings 1. Start with the bar on your upper back, legs hip width apart, knees slightly bent.


2. Flex at the hips, push the booty back keeping knees slightly bent. Lower your upper body keeping your back flat. 3. When you are parallel with the floor, raise back to start, bringing the hips forward. Perform 3 sets of 12 reps.




Front Plate Raise Twist 1. Stand with feet hip width apart, holding a 5 or 10 lb. plate with both hands. 2. Raise the plate to chest level and twist to the right, twist back to center, and then slowly lower back to starting position. 3. Repeat, twisting the plate to the left. Perform 3 sets of 12 (6 each way).










Cable Ab Crunch 1.

Attach a rope to the cable and kneel on the floor facing away from the machine.


Hold the rope in a position so that your hands are near your upper chest.

3. Flex hips and pull the rope down, while also lowering the upper body until your elbows meet your thighs. 4. Slowly raise back almost to starting, and lower again. Think of it as performing a basic crunch while kneeling. Perform 3 sets of 20. SPRING 2018 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 55

We work very hard on the patient experience, which really starts in the parking lot, or even before, on the first phone call with a patient...

Wilton Medical Arts

Celebrates 20 Years I Facts About Wilton Medical Arts Then and Now

Total Number of Urgent Care Visits 1998 – 810 2017 – 34,379 Total Number of Utilizations 1998 – 21,951 2017 – 254,929


f you were to get off the NYS Northway at Exit 15 twenty years ago, things would look a whole lot different than they do today. There would be no “big box” stores, no Healthy Living Market, no Wilton Branch of the YMCA. There would be about 4,000 fewer houses and apartments, nearly 7,000 fewer people, and there certainly wouldn’t be as much traffic.

One very important feature of Route 50 in Wilton would also be missing– Wilton Medical Arts.

For the thousands of people who have been patients of Wilton Medical Arts (WMA) over the last 20 years, it seems impossible that the thriving, modern state-of-the-art facility hasn’t always been there. In fact, the facility is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its opening this August. Wilton Medical Arts opened in response to the need to take some pressure off the Emergency Department at Saratoga Hospital in downtown Saratoga Springs.

When the Wilton campus first opened in August 1998, it offered urgent care, lab services, radiology, mammography, ultrasound, CT scan, MRI, physical therapy and audiology. “Bringing patients here was an answer to the growing number of visits to the ER,” explained WMA’s Site Director, Julie Sipperly. As the community and the volume of patients increased, establishing an ancillary location has enabled Saratoga Hospital to continue to provide a high caliber of care and services to the community. Like so many of the staff of Saratoga Hospital and WMA, Sipperly has been with Saratoga Hospital for 16 years, ten of those as the director of volunteers and six years in her current position. “My role is to make sure we have a safe and caring environment for patient care and for our staff to work in. We work very hard on the patient experience, which really starts in the parking lot, or even before, on the first phone call with a patient. We also make sure that our staff have the resources necessary to do their jobs.” Sipperly and the rest of the staff say they feel fortunate knowing that people often travel a distance to receive treatment and services at WMA because they know they are going to have a good experience here. “Patients are treated with genuine warmth and care, from the moment they walk through the front door,” said Sipperly. She knows that because of the high number of compliments and patient reviews they receive online, in person and through their very popular “Who Made Your Day?” postcards that are located throughout the facility. Patients can fill out the cards, naming the person who made a positive impact on their treatment experience. It’s a great way for patients to express their satisfaction and appreciation for the staff. And it’s a wonderful way for staff to receive much-deserved recognition for the work they do. Ann Marie Dolan, RN, BSN, CEN and Clinical Nursing Manager for Urgent Care, agrees. “You absolutely feel it here,” says the 24-year staff member of Saratoga Hospital. “There are so many patients who call us by name and we call them by name,” says Dolan. She recently moved over to WMA from the Hospital last June. “We provide a continuum of care here,” she explains. “Urgent Care utilizes the imaging and lab services, and then our patients learn of the other services we offer, which brings them back.” A recent addition to Wilton Medical Arts is the Saratoga Hospital Center for Breast Care,

which opened in 2016. “We are very much invested in our patients’ expectations and exceeding those expectations while providing safe quality care,” says Dolan. Sipperly agrees, talking about the teamwork mindset. “The entire building collaborates to make sure the patients get exactly what they need.” The dedicated staff, many of whom have been here for 20 or more years, combined with that collaborative spirit are part of the reason why WMA is such a benefit to the community. “Some patients will find themselves in an urgent care facility where there are no supportive services like the services we can provide right here.” Things like immediate access to IV fluids administration, suturing, lab work, imaging and medications are all in one location and have the power to transform the patient experience from one of frustration, annoyance and even trauma, to a positive overall experience. Patients going to urgent care for treatment can also be transferred to higher levels of care in an expeditious manner, when their illness or injury warrants it. Another factor that allows WMA to stand apart from other urgent care facilities is the continual focus on innovation and improvement. Whether it involves physical renovation, improved technology or procedural changes, Sipperly says that every decision they make is with a view to meeting patient needs. Some examples of changes that have been made at WMA are the recent renovations to improve “onboarding, registration and waiting times.”

them next door,” says Sipperly. “And we were the first ones in the area to offer 3-D mammography,” she adds. Patients can also get their annual lab work for checkups, x-rays or CAT scans without having to go anywhere else. The addition of new Medical Director, Martin Weitzel, to the team last May, has also been a true benefit to the center. “Dr. Weitzel is very involved, he collaborates with staff, patients and families to provide the best level of care. He has a wonderful bedside manner which patients appreciate and staff learn from,” says Dolan. “Dr. Weitzel is a strong communicator and takes the time to listen.” Sipperly agrees. “He addresses all issues in real time and our overall communication has improved all aspects of care from arrival to discharge.” Community-focused education is another important feature of WMA. “May is Lyme disease awareness month and we’ll be focusing on community and staff education around tick borne illness and prevention. We continue to focus on appropriate use of antibiotics, and seasonal illness, such as flu, and many other topics. We help connect our patients to important community resources, such as Primary Care, Public Health and addiction support,” says Dolan. “A lot of our patients are also our family, friends and our staff. We take care of our own and we always want to hear what we did right – but also what we missed,” adds Dolan.

“Yes,” says Sipperly. “If someone calls with a complaint or a concern, I always tell them how much we appreciate that WMA recently instituted their “Hold a Spot” they’ve taken the time to call. We grow system, which allows people to schedule a from those comments.” same-day appointment. Patients can call to schedule a time between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. WMA is planning their 20th anniversary celebration this coming August. “We Since it was rolled out in January, the “Hold want to make it fun for the whole a Spot” program has been very successful, staff and we will have it all here,” says agree both Sipperly and Dolan. While Sipperly. Since WMA is open seven patients are still seen based on the acuity days a week, the celebration will be of need, the system allows people to plan a held over the course of a week so that little better and reduce the time to be seen everyone, regardless of what shift they by a provider. The new program worked work, will be able to participate. particularly well during the busy flu season.

Other changes coming soon include the expansion of their ultrasound department to meet their growing patient base. Sipperly says that the adjacent Saratoga Hospital Medical Group Primary Care—Wilton office is just one of many beneficiaries of these types of changes and improvements. “Typically, in other practices, if you need an ultrasound, you’d be sent elsewhere. Our primary care doctors here can just send

Sipperly also hinted that they are planning an activity as a way of giving back to the community. “It’s still in the works and we’ll have more information about it very soon.” “If you think of all that we have here, it’s fantastic. When I walk in each morning, I see how well everything and everyone works together. It’s a collaboration – you feel it and see it,” says Dolan. SPRING 2018 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 57

Structural Integration Anyone? written by NICK PAVOLDI, A.SIP, LMT photo by SUPERSOURCEMEDIA.COM


ans of massage are very particular about their preference, which can range from a light touch to deep tissue. But for those who require something a little more than deep tissue, may I suggest a Rolf Structural Integration treatment? If you haven’t heard of Rolfing or Rolf Structural Integration, you are not alone.

ROLF STRUCTURAL INTEGRATION Rolf Structural Integration or “Rolfing” was founded by Dr. Ida Rolf in the 1960s. It’s a manual therapy using the muscular and connective tissue system called fascia as the medium of change. The body’s fascial system is not only connective tissue holding the body together, but a “messaging system” of sorts. The work is done in a series of 10 sessions, each with a focus on a different part of the body. The goal is to align the body around a central vertical axis or “The Line.” Ida believed that when a body is aligned, the person has more power to heal themselves. Over my 20 years of practice I’ve also found that to be true.

WHAT ARE THE SESSIONS LIKE? The practitioner may ask to have a look at the client standing or walking to gain a greater understanding of patterns and structure. While the work is not symptomatically based, it is important to address aches and pains and understand the whole picture of the client’s needs.


Lying on the table, the client wears either underwear, shorts, or workout clothes. Skin contact is important but not required. The work itself is direct and focused. Working with fascia is somewhat different than a classic massage. Rolf Structural Integration is slow and intent. No lotion is used as gliding over the skin is not the goal. I like to think of it as rearranging the furniture under the skin.

DOES IT HURT? This work is different from a massage and occasionally there are moments of increased experience or sensation. I often joke that’s what makes these sessions sensational. For most, the work is not at all painful. The client may lie on their back, side or face down during the session. Sessions may also contain seated or standing work as well. Another thing that separates Rolf Structural Integration from other types of work is there is a plan or “recipe”. While the client

gives clues and “listening to with hands and ears alike” helps guide the session, the framework of the 10 series of goal-oriented sessions provides a recipe for the work. Training in Rolf Structural Integration is something more of a folk art. This work is taught from master to apprentice. The apprentice applies their trade over a lifetime, applying what they know, observing and challenging the results to get better. Learning something as abstract as bodywork is done by feeling, seeing and doing. By understanding the elements of structure, the practitioner can do a different sessions - on different bodies - and get similar results.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS? Many clients seek this work for pain alleviation, but other benefits include greater flexibility, a feeling of lightness and fluidity, better balance, increased breathing capacity, increased energy and greater self-confidence. While Structural Integration is primarily focused on physical changes in the body, it affects the whole person. A person is made up of muscle, bone, feelings, history and potential. All are connected. We believe by aligning the physical structure, it will open the individual’s potential. Clients often report positive changes… stating less stress, greater self-confidence and improved ability to handle life’s changes. Many forms of work share this goal… Rolf Structural Integration is one more path up the mountain.


Sun Safety Tips written by MEGIN POTTER

Enjoying the sun feels terrific. It can also be hazardous to he health of your body’s largest organ – your skin. Sun damage is cumulative, but anyone can get skin cancer. “One in five Americans gets skin cancer – it affects all ages and all races,” said board certified dermatologist Dr. Marisa Wolff. SPRING 2018 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 59

If you notice a new spot or an SKIN existing spot that changes,IS itches or bleeds, make an WHEN DETECTED EARLY, CANCER HIGHLY TREATABLE.

Sunscreen School We know applying sunscreen daily is the number one recommendation made by dermatologists to protect your skin. That’s just the beginning however, there is so much more to know...

Sunscreen should be formulated to protect against both UVA & UVB radiation

An SPF 15 sunscreen is fine for typical daily use

An SPF 30 or above is needed if you’re spending time outside

Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours


Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide

Zinc oxide sunscreens are safest for children age 6 months and older

A shot glass (1 oz.) of sunscreen cream is enough to cover an adult from head-to-toe

In the water or snow? It reflects the light and increases sunburn risk

Wear UVA & UVB protective wide lens sunglasses


“Water Resistant” is a misnomer – reapply sunscreen every 40 to 80 minutes if sweating or in the water

Perfumes, aftershave, alpha-hydroxy lotions & other beauty products (even some sunscreens!) contain chemicals & preservatives that can cause skin sensitivity & increase sun damage risk

Retinol creams should only be worn at night

Waxing increases sun sensitivity

Some foods; including celery, lemon & lime can increase skin sensitivity when they come in direct contact with your skin under sunlight

Tight-weave UPF sun protective clothing is available in swimwear styles, dresses, leggings, shirts & more



DETECT SKIN CANCER EARLYHowever, BY FOLLOWING Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. when detected DERMATOLOGISTS’ early, melanoma can be effectively treated. You can identify the warning signs of melanoma by lookingSKIN: for the following: TIPS FOR CHECKING YOUR PARTNER’S

A Examine your partner’s body front and back, then look at the right and left sides with their ASYMMETRY arms raised.

B 1




One half is unlike the Irregular, scalloped half.and look or poorly defined Bendother elbows border. carefully at forearms,


underarms and palms.


Varied from one area to another; has shades of tan, brown or black; sometimes white, red, or blue.




Examine the back of their neck and scalp. Part hair for a closer look.




Typically greaterCheckAtheir moleback or skin lesion and than 6mm (the size that looks different buttocks. of a pencil eraser) from the rest or when diagnosed, is changing Cin size, B A they can be smaller. shape or color. ASYMMET





appointment to see a board-certified dermatologist.




Finally, lookExample: at the backs of their legs and feet, the spaces between their toes, and the soles of If you notice a new spot or an existing spot that changes, itches or bleeds, make an their feet. E


appointment to see a board-certified dermatologist.


Examine your partner’s body front and back, then look at the right is the and left The sidesback with their most common location arms raised.


for melanoma. Bend elbows and look carefully at forearms, underarms and palms.


Examine the back of their neck and scalp. Part hair for a closer Women look. are 9x more

likely than men to notice a melanoma on Checkperson’s their back and 4another skin.



5 To learn more about skin cancer detection and prevention or to find a free of their legs and feet, SPOTme® skin cancer screening, visit the spaces between their Finally, look at the backs


On average, one bones American and

muscles, is absorbed by our

bodies from the sun, but is also found PREVENTION dies from melanoma every hour. in foods such as salmon, eggs, fortified & PROTECTION milk, juices and cereals. To ensure you are While the causes of these staggering statistics are stillis being debated–whether The back the it’s the of thelocation year-round tanning mostrise common salon orforthe damage to the ozone layer melanoma. protecting the earth from the sun–the results remain.

getting enough vitamin D, supplements are 9x more containing at leastWomen 600 IU (800 IU if you likely than men to are 70 years old or older) are a much safer notice a melanoma on option than unprotected sun exposure. another person’s skin.

In addition, seek shade when the sun is at its most intense (between the hours of “A study determined that from 1994 to 2014, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.). Help protect your skin wearing hat with atorleast a three-inch the diagnosis and To treatment of about skin cancer learn more skin cancer by detection anda prevention to find a free ® brim that covers your ears and neck. increased by 77 percent, ” said Wolff. SPOTme skinDr. cancer screening, visit “There is no such thing as a safe base tan,” The key is prevention. Applying said Dr. Wolff. sunscreen daily can help prevent both © 2017 AMERICAN ACADEMY OF DERMATOLOGY (AAD). ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO PART OF THIS INFOGRAPHIC MAY BE REPRODUCED, TRANSLATED, STORED IN A the more common non-melanoma and RETRIEVAL SYSTEM, OR TRANSMITTED, IN ANY FORM OR BY ANY MEANS ELECTRONIC, MECHANICAL, PHOTOCOPYING, MICROFILMING, RECORDING, OR OTHERWISE, Those who have had more than five WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM THE AAD. the deadly melanoma forms of skin sunburns in their lifetime or who have cancer. Sunscreens are rigorously tested used tanning beds should be extra vigilant by the FDA for distribution and despite about protection. a common myth, do not cause vitamin D “Studies show tanning beds cause a 59% deficiency in significant amounts. increased risk of skin cancer,” she said. Vitamin D, which is essential to strong

SYMPTOM DETECTION Skin cancer can occur anywhere on the body–even in your eyes, on your scalp and in areas that aren’t typically exposed to sunburn, such as on the feet and toenails, on the buttocks and genitals. Non-melanoma skin cancers tend to occur in frequently sun-exposed regions, while melanomas can occur anywhere on the body, but in women the most common area is the legs and in men is on the back so it’s important to examine your entire body every month for skin irregularities anywhere. Those with an immediate family member (mother, father, sibling or child) who had skin cancer should be especially vigilant.

surgeon may be recommended to perform a precise technique to remove cancerous cells and preserve healthy surrounding skin and maintain functionality. The curative rate for such a procedure is 99%. Melanomas require excision and depending on the stage may require further treatment. Recognized professionally for her diagnostic accuracy in detecting skin cancers, medical, pediatric, surgical and cosmetic dermatology was Dr. Wolff ’s specialty in New York City before opening Wolff Dermatology in Saratoga Springs in March.

“I grew up in the Capital Region area and love living in the Saratoga community. I knew there was a need for more medical dermatologists here. This is really a familyowned and operated business,” she said. Dr. Wolff and her husband (who helps to run the office) have a two-year-old daughter who they hope will see a change in the rates of skin cancer during her lifetime. “I’m hopeful that this new generation of children will be learning about skin protection early on,” she said. For more information, go to

Non-melanoma basal-cell cancer can be locally destructive and disfiguring to the skin. It often looks like a pearly pimple or sore that won’t heal. Squamous-cell cancer is often comparable to a wart-y scab that again, doesn’t completely heal. Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, appears as an irregular mole. These moles can be new growths or a pre-existing mole that is changing in color and can be itchy or bleeding. “You get new moles until you’re 50 years old, and the moles that we have on our body can naturally grow or regress. If you have an irregular growth, such as they appear different in colors or shapes than other moles on your body, those are the ones I want to see,” said Dr. Wolff. With moles, you should follow the ABCDE formula: looking for irregularities such as Asymmetry; Border, Color, and Diameter changes or an Evolution in the mole’s behavior (itchy, bleeding), shape and size.

TREATMENT “Skin cancer is easily treatable if caught early,” said Dr. Wolff. If you have an odd spot that hasn’t healed in a month, an appointment with a dermatologist can quickly address any concerns. A sample to confirm a diagnosis will return from the lab after about a week, at which point a dermatologist can prescribe a topical cream for minor cases. Other early non-melanoma skin cancers will be removed through an ED & C procedure or an in-office surgical excision. For non-melanomas on the head or neck, a fellowship-trained Mohs SPRING 2018 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 61




Running the 2017

New York City Marathon written by MEGAN HARRINGTON photos provided


few months ago, with my toddler on the sidelines, I ran my first post-partum marathon. The race was on November 5, 2017, but the process actually began almost a year prior to that. In early January of 2017, my son had just turned 6-months-old and I was finally finding my groove as a mama. Before giving birth, I had been an avid marathoner, so I was eager to get back into racing.

That winter, I entered the NYC Marathon lottery on a whim, but didn’t fully expect to gain a spot. Getting in to the NYC Marathon is very competitive and each year more people apply than available space. It’s estimated that only 1 in 6 runners gain a bib through the lottery! There are other ways to get in (time qualification, raising money for charity, etc.), but luck was on my side and in March of 2017 I received a race confirmation email from the New York Road Runners. The countdown to race day had begun! I began a 16-week training plan in early July and soon discovered that marathon prep with a 1-year-old was a lot different than I expected. Recovery from workouts took longer than before (probably due to lack of sleep!) and I had to figure out how to balance breastfeeding and caring for a busy toddler with long runs. Fortunately, I was able to successfully complete my training and race weekend arrived before I knew it. My husband, son, and I stayed in Brooklyn for the weekend and it was so fun to be back in our old neighborhood 62  |  HEALTHY SARATOGA | SPRING 2018

(we moved upstate a few years ago). I loaded up on all my favorite NYC carbs (bagels, pizza, and more bagels!) and set my alarm for race morning. From the start in Staten Island to the finish in Central Park, marathon day was magical. I ran the 26.2-mile race in 3:28:30 and even managed a very slight negative split (meaning the second half of the race was faster than the first). The crowds throughout the course were so motivating and I had a ton of fun. It wasn’t my slowest marathon or my fastest marathon, but it’s just about where I expected and hoped to be. I was really thrilled to qualify for the Boston marathon but since I’m currently expecting baby #2, I’m not sure when I’ll actually be able to run it! NYC was my first marathon after becoming a mama and I wanted to treat it as a victory lap; a reward for all the early mornings, the exhausting long runs, and the sacrifices my family made for me. I wanted to smile through all five boroughs, look for friends in the crowd, and enjoy the experience. I had a pace goal and I took it seriously, but if some miles were slower than expected, I didn’t beat myself up. I just smiled wider. I still have hope that there are PRs in me yet, but perhaps when I’m done having children. I’ll be taking a bit of a marathon break as my family prepares to expand this August, but I hope to get back to training in 2019!


Raising $10k for the 2018 Boston Marathon

written by MEGAN HARRINGTON photos provided


of press time, Jonah Ruhm, a Saratoga native, just crossed the finish line of the 122nd Boston Marathon. Jonah battled freezing rain and relentless headwinds to finish in 4 hours, 15 minutes, and 23 seconds. And while his training and race time were impressive, Jonah took things a step further. Motivated by a family friend’s struggle with cancer as well as the 2013 marathon day terror attacks, Jonah set the goal of raising $10,000 for charity. Jonah is fundraising for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s marathon team and is just dollars away from his goal. Marathon running is a new endeavor for Jonah, but luckily athleticism runs in his family. The recent Syracuse University graduate explains, “I haven’t been a runner my whole life, but I’ve always been very active. I enjoy hiking, skiing, basketball, football, and I played lacrosse in school.” A few years ago, Jonah became interested in weight lifting and bodybuilding. However, after he tore his meniscus, his parents (who are lifelong runners), suggested he take a break from lifting and try running. Jonah slowly ramped up his training and about a year ago, he completed his first half marathon alongside his parents, Mike and Penny. It was around this time that the idea of running Boston started to turn into a reality.

says, “From that moment, I vowed to run the marathon some day and help others.” Jonah’s fundraising began in December and his official training kicked off in January. When it came to training, Jonah says he listened to his body rather than following a rigid plan. He explains, “I concentrated on increasing mileage by 10% each week and really focused on the long run.” Jonah primarily trained in and around his home in Middle Grove/Greenfield Center, but he also logged many miles at the Saratoga Regional YMCA, in SPAC, or near Skidmore. Jonah recognizes the challenges of the marathon race, so his primary goal was simply to finish with a secondary goal of around 4 hours. Training wasn’t always easy, but Jonah says, “When boredom set in or the miles felt tough, knowing that others were out there donating to my cause really kept me going.” Race day was Monday, April 17, but Jonah will continue raising money for Dana-Farber throughout the spring and summer. For more information, visit:

The Boston Marathon has always held special meaning for the Ruhm family. A few years ago, a close family friend, Barb Richmond Morand, passed away from breast cancer. Before her death, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston treated Barb. And in 2013, Jonah’s mom fundraised and ran as part of the team. 2013 was also the year of the tragic Boston Marathon bombing and as he waited for his mom to cross the finish line, Jonah witnessed the horror of the blast. Luckily, the Ruhm family was safe, but Jonah SPRING 2018 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 63

RAGNAR RELAY The Adirondacks Edition written by MEGAN HARRINGTON photos provided


the end of September, when Upstate New York is at its most beautiful, hundreds of runners gather in Saratoga Springs State Park to kick off a weekend of team work, laughs, and sweat. These people aren’t here to pick apples or peep leaves; rather they’re gearing up for a 200-mile overnight race from Saratoga Springs to Lake Placid, New York. The Ragnar Relay race series holds events across the United States as well as in Canada and Europe. Each race is about 200 miles long and consists of teams of 12 people who each run a total of 12-25 miles over the course of two days. And for the hardcore, there’s the option of forming a 6-person ultra team. In that case, each runner will log 24 to 50 (!) miles throughout the race. 64  |  HEALTHY SARATOGA | SPRING 2018

The Ragnar Relay Adirondacks edition takes runners on a tour of Saratoga Lake, the Hudson River, Lake George, Lake Champlain, before finally finishing in Lake Placid. Despite the daunting mileage, plenty of local runners participate in the event each year. Saratoga local, Shelby Schneider is gearing up for her second year as a relay runner and says, “Each year, we put out an all-points-bulletin on Facebook to recruit runners. One van is full of people I grew up with, but we also have friends and neighbors participate.” She continues, “Our team includes a broad range of people and it’s so much fun.” Shelby ran in high school, but really got back into the sport in her mid-30s. “I started running again by doing 5ks and I found out about the Ragnar

Relay through word of mouth,” she explains. Shelby continues, “I love the challenge and camaraderie. It’s really all about community.” Last year, Shelby didn’t run, but she volunteered for runner check-in and she says this year she can’t wait to get back on the roads. Shelby will complete about 16 miles over the course of the race, so she’s already started training. Shelby cautions that conditions can be challenging, from hills to night running to varied weather, so it’s important to start conditioning early. Shelby says there are a few spots that make the race incredibly special. She says, “The first exchange point in Gavin Park is really exciting, as well as the major exchanges where the two vans meet up. And of course traveling through the Adirondacks in the early morning is a stunning experience.” Beyond the team camaraderie and physical challenge the race provides, Shelby is proud of the economic impact the race has on the communities that the event travels through. The Kingdom Runners are another local group with ties to the race. The team is affiliated with Abundant Life Church in Saratoga Springs and while they’re all avid runners, the race has a deeper meaning for them. Betsy Demars the team captain for Kingdom Runners explains that congregants from her church often run together and a few years ago, she and another runner named Laura Foehser thought it would be cool to form

a relay team. Betsy says, “We got together 12 people so easy that first year and then the next year we got 24 people without any problem!” Betsy continues, “The purpose of what we do is two-fold. I love to see the runners on our team succeed, especially since many of them don’t necessarily consider themselves runners, but we also see it as a ministry opportunity, a chance to share the love of God in a unique way.” Betsy says, “Most of us have started training


The first exchange point in Gavin Park is really exciting, as well as the major exchanges where the two vans meet up. And of course traveling through the Adirondacks in the early morning is a stunning experience.


already, but running together is often a year round thing.” Church members do their best to pair up and run together or meet for larger group runs. They also connect via a Facebook group to encourage each other.

One of the van drivers for Kingdom Runners, Dave Steimer, says he got involved about 4 years ago when his congregation put together a team of runners and asked for volunteers. As a driver, Dave isn’t logging miles on his feet, but the task is far from easy… “The driver only gets about 2 hours of naptime – it’s challenging, but I’m inspired by the energy of the runners. That helps me through.” He adds, “Plus it’s just really fun, I look forward to it every year.” In addition to getting from point A to point B, the Kingdom Runners run with the hope that they can connect and minister to fellow runners. Dave explains, “Throughout the year we do fundraisers so that we can be a blessing to the relay race community.” Examples of their work include purchasing coffee and hot showers for fellow runners as well as handing out muffins, energy bars, and envelopes with $5 bills. Beyond a simple act of kindness, Dave says these gestures open up doors for them to witness to others. He says, “Ultimately we try to offer encouragement to the runners when they’re struggling.” Fittingly, Dave says scripture inspired the team’s motto, “We will run and not grow weary.” If you’d like to test your own endurance, it’s not too late to get involved. For more information on the Ragnar Relay in the Adirondacks, visit: SPRING 2018 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 65

Dr. Joy Lucas


written by MEGIN POTTER photo provided

BY ALL APPEARANCES, Dr. Joy Lucas is the picture of health. She eats a balanced diet, exercises regularly and as the owner of Upstate Animal Medical Center, she gets to enjoy the fun of animals on a daily basis. It was a Thursday when the then 46-yearold Lucas felt some pressure in her upper back. She continued on with her regular routine. By Saturday, her back was still bothering her and she felt tired. She wasn’t sleeping well. On Sunday, her appetite was off, but on Monday, she felt better. Then on Tuesday, the pressure in her back had returned, bringing with it a headache. That’s when she went to her chiropractor. He told her to go to the emergency room.

At the hospital, they conducted a series of tests but didn’t find anything abnormal until they found out about Lucas’ family history of heart attacks and ran a CT scan. “My whole life changed in twenty minutes,” she said.

A Survivor’s


“I feel things differently now. With a metal Lucas and event co-chair Hope Plavin heart valve I can hear it and feel it when were joined by speakers including Saratoga there are physical and emotional changes Mayor Meg Kelly and Saratoga Springs (if I am distressed or overjoyed). I check Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan myself on certain days that are particularly as 78 businesses in the Capital District lit up stressful and take a breath. It’s a real physical for the cause. experience now,” she said. “I want to thank everyone in Saratoga and Gratitude–for even the most basic the businesses that embraced this – it makes things–is also something she feels much a huge difference,” said McCarthy. more strongly now.


Heart disease is the number one killer of women. When there are symptoms, they are often ignored until it’s too late.

The good news is that eighty percent of heart disease fatalities are preventable. Translating her new lease on life into a productive experience that can help others, Lucas agreed to be the survivor speaker at the 2017 American Heart Association (AHA) Heart Ball.

“I have the responsibility now to spread the The scan revealed that Lucas had a Type A word and save lives,” said Lucas. dissecting aortic aneurysm – a tear in her aortic heart valve that was spilling out blood. Surprised by the hundreds of people that She was rushed to the operating room responded to her compelling story, she at Albany Medical Center where cardiac has since worked to bring the “Glow Red surgeon Dr. Lewis Britton III performed for Women” campaign to Saratoga Springs. open heart surgery. Walking around with a box full of red lights, she encouraged businesses to turn them on A WALKING MIRACLE in solidarity on February 2nd. Lucas’ catastrophic heart condition is “We started “Go Red for Women” 14 years something that most cannot survive ago and glowing red was always a part of without immediate surgical intervention. it,” said AHA Senior Regional Director of The fact that she continued to rip the valve Communications Katherine McCarthy. further for six days after her first symptom and still be able to function was something This awareness campaign involves wearing red and literally shining a light on Britton attributed to Lucas’ overall good prevention through the powerful color red health habits. (representational of hearts and love). The “He said, ‘I was preparing my body for red light aims to put a stop to the number the fight of my life, I just didn’t realize it’,” of deaths from this disease. said Lucas. “Knowledge is power. People are afraid of Today, she experiences only minor things they don’t know. The woman that limitations to her active lifestyle. checks her numbers knows what her risk is,” she said.




If Lucas had not been aware of her family’s predisposition to heart disease and asked for the CT scan on that fateful day three years ago because of it, her outcome likely would’ve been much different.

“It you have a family history of heart disease, you owe it to yourself and the people you love, to know your numbers and where you stand,” said Lucas. She advocates women age 35 and older test their blood pressure, cholesterol and BMI to see if it’s within a healthy range. For those at risk because of genetic factors or age, she also recommends asking for more advanced heart assessments, including an EKG. “I truly believe if we arm ourselves with information we can have a clue as to how to react. There’s no argument to being overly informed,” she said.

Find out how to manage your risk and hear heart-felt stories from Lucas and others sharing in their “sisterhood of responsibility” at the 2018 Capital Region New York Go Red for Women Luncheon, held Thursday, May 24th 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Albany Marriott, 189 Wolf Road, Albany. “I never laughed, cried and had so many goosebumps for three hours straight – it’s truly an inspiring gathering,” said Lucas. #gored518 #lifeiswhyny SPRING 2018 | HEALTHY SARATOGA  | 67


Healthy Saratoga Spring 2018  

Saratoga's premier health and wellness magazine.

Healthy Saratoga Spring 2018  

Saratoga's premier health and wellness magazine.