Page 1

Saratoga Family * * *

Spring 2019 Complimentary Brought to you by



Welcome to

Saratoga Family Magazine Chris Vallone Bushee Creative Director/Managing Editor (518) 581-2480 ext.201

Owner/Publisher Chad Beatty

Welcome to our first combined issue of Saratoga Family and Healthy Saratoga magazines! I hope you agree that this really is for one audience… we’re always looking for ways to take care of the family and tend to put ourselves last, well now you don’t have to… it’s all right here! I’m sure our cover family needs no introduction as witnessed by Noel McLaren’s many Instagram followers, but if you haven’t met the Emmy-Winning former Channel 10 News Anchor turned You Tube Star - and her adorable family check out page 11. We have everything you need from feeding picky kids and nailing that Senior Portrait, to what to do with the “new” family pet and how to handle it when the nest really is empty. Our travel section tells you what to look for when researching “Autism Friendly” vacation destinations (page 24) and we have informative articles for all members of the family. …and Saratoga TODAY’s awesome Summer Camp Directory starts now, telling us that yes, summer is right around the corner! We hope you enjoy our new format and would love to hear your feedback and suggestions for future topics. You can contact me at Don’t forget to flip this over and check out Healthy Saratoga, for a little self-care : ) Thank you to our readers and all our advertisers who allow us to provide this informative magazine – For Free - to the thousands of people that read each issue! Please mention us by name when visiting their businesses. PS… Meet our talented contributors (for both sides!) on page 6. Cover photo by Susan Blackburn Photography, story on page 11.

Saratoga Family

Love, Chris

General Manager Robin Mitchell Creative Director / Managing Editor Chris Vallone Bushee Magazine Designer Marisa Scirocco Advertising Designer Morgan Rook Advertising Sales Jim Daley Cindy Durfey Contributing Writers Susan Blackburn Marcie Frazier Jodi Fitz Anne Gordon Megan Harrington Megin Potter Diane Whitten, MS Photographers Megan Mumford Susan Blackburn Photography Published by Saratoga TODAY Newspaper Five Case Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 tel: (518) 581-2480 Saratoga Family 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 © 2019, Saratoga TODAY Newspaper




"Susan Blackburn is a photographer and digital media content creator currently living and working in the Saratoga area. Her work has been published in Pointe Magazine, Dance Magazine, Grace Ormonde, and Vogue Sewing. She is a wife, proud mom of three amazing daughters, and dedicated movie enthusiast."


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 self-help 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 just finished 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.


Saratoga Family



Jodie Fitz is the creator and personality of the Price Chopper Kids Cooking Club and currently travels in a six-state region cooking with children to encourage taste-testing fun through a hands-on cooking experience. She is a wife, mother of three, and currently authors several monthly columns. You can always find what she’s up to in her kitchen at


Anne Gordon is the owner of Live Life Travel, which is the only Virtuoso, Luxury Full Service Travel Planning Agency in Saratoga Springs, NY. They specialize in Honeymoons, Family Travel, Destination Weddings and Luxury Cruise. Anne is a devout travel enthusiast herself with a genuine passion for helping others make their travel dreams come true. To get more info on your next vacation, email Anne today: To find out more about Live Life Travel:


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 Saratoga Springs and are loving their new community at the base of the Adirondacks.


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.


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.



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


As publisher of the SMARTACUS Creative Group, Dan Forbush is exploring the use of collaborative media in telling the story of the Palmertown Range Trail, aiming in the end to engage young people in designing, building, filling and burying a time capsule on Mount McGregor. An Adirondack Winter 46er, he’s committed to openspace preservation, sustainable farming, and the hiking of trails. You’ll find his site at


need bio Richard Frank, Owner of Four Seasons Natural Foods since 1990. Spends his time working at the business, working as a volunteer at the Waldorf School, working at home with his family, working at getting exercise, working at eating right, working at relaxing and being peaceful, working at getting a good night sleep and working and failing at not being too dull.


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 farmto-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.


A resident of Saratoga Springs, Don is originally from Fall River, Massachusetts where he entered the U.S. Navy after graduating high school. Retiring from 20 years of service as a Chief Petty Officer, his career included two tours of duty at the Naval Nuclear Prototype Training Unit, Ballston Spa. He is an avid long distance runner and is a member of the Saratoga Stryders running club where he is currently serving as vice-president.


Kristin Schultz has been writing about food, beverages and restaurants since 2014. She moved to the Capital Region in 2016 and enjoys scouring the area looking for delicious and interesting eats and drinks. She also loves spending time in the kitchen cooking and baking and has recently made it her mission to perfect the art of waffle making. Kristin will never turn down a glass of bourbon or a bowl of noodles. When she's not eating, Kristin likes to pile into the car with her family and explore new places. 


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.


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.


Spring 2019

Saratoga Family The Pet Guide 28

Cover Story 11

Coral & Blue Paper Co. 33

contents photo by Susan Blackburn Photography

photo by Megan Mumford

16 Lighten the Load 18 Postpartum Doulas 20 Feeding the Picky Eater 22 Jodi Fitz 24 Autism Friendly Travel Guide 26 A New College Parent? 27 Senior Pictures... Start Now! 31 Northshire Book Review 32 The Best Podcast For Parents 34 2019 Summer Camps









f you’re a fan of how-to parenting videos and tutorials, don’t be surprised if you see a familiar face the next time you’re online. Noel McLaren, the former weekend anchor for News10 ABC, has a new project – a YouTube channel geared toward parents of small kiddos. Noel and I both have toddlers at home, so between requests for more cheerios and another episode of Sesame Street, we found some time to chat about her new vlogging (short for video blogging) venture, life with a 1-year-old, and the many reasons why she loves Saratoga. Noel and her husband, Rob, grew up downstate, but Noel spent a lot of time at her family’s vacation home in Lake George and always felt drawn to the area. Prior to having her son, Noel worked in broadcast journalism for a decade, crisscrossing the country from Florida to Pennsylvania to Michigan. But then a few years ago, she saw a job posting for the weekend anchor job at News10 ABC and decided it would be the perfect opportunity. Noel was offered the job and since Rob works remotely, the couple was able to relocate to the Saratoga Springs area. Noel says, “We moved up here because we truly wanted to be here, but the job was that extra push that we needed.” She continues, “We especially love living in a more rural area with access to natural beauty and outdoor activities. My husband really enjoys restoring old cars, so we’ve been able to visit the Saratoga auto museum and take long Sunday drives.” Noel says,



“Before we became parents, we would get in Rob’s 64 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia, and drive around and try to get lost.” A little over a year ago, Noel and Rob welcomed their son, Mac, into their lives. And when her maternity leave was over, Noel geared up to return to the news desk. She says, “After I had my son, I thought for sure that I’d want to return to work. I’m a very driven person.” But after Mac arrived - and three months back anchoring weekends - the reality of juggling an unpredictable work schedule led her to take a step back from her career. It was a tough decision, but one that Noel doesn’t regret. Noel explains, “In the first moments of my son’s life, the doctor who delivered him said to me that she knows my type of new mom... the one who had a fast paced, demanding career before baby; who thinks motherhood will be a challenge, but one they will surely be able to master. The doctor said she went through medical school and delivered many babies before having her own, but her career was simple compared to raising children. She said motherhood was THE HARDEST but by far the MOST REWARDING job any woman could ever have. Boy, was she right. I will never forget her telling me that.” SPRING 2019 | SARATOGA FAMILY  13



Noel continues, “I’ve sat alongside police tape at crime scenes with grieving families, interviewing them about someone they had just lost. I have held politicians accountable. I’ve stood in hurricane force winds and blizzards on live television. I have gotten up when everyone else is going to bed to commute into work. I’ve lived all over the country reporting for different stations; working holidays, weekends, and overnights. It was a grueling 10-year career in the most exciting way possible, but motherhood is the biggest, most important, and best challenge of my life. The stakes are so much higher, and the rewards are so much greater.” Although Noel is no longer behind a news desk she says the never lost her passion for telling stories. And that’s how the idea behind her YouTube channel was born. She says, “With the YouTube channel, I can combine my passion for video journalism and my son.” Noel says that her goal is to grow the channel to reach people not just in the Saratoga area, but also across the country. Noel explains that she was one of the first of her friends to have a baby and so she learned a lot about motherhood as she went along. Noel says, “I really appreciated access to virtual parenting resources (Instagram accounts, YouTube channels, etc.) in those early days of motherhood and now I want to create an outlet for other new parents.” Noel says that her goal is to help new parents as well as entertain them. She explains, “I’m not an expert, but I can share the things that helped me.” If you chat with Noel or watch any of her online content, you’ll immediately feel like she’s your real-life mom friend (and who couldn’t use more of those?!). Ready to check out some of Noel’s fabulous videos? Head over to her YouTube channel: watch?v=ycQBNfJz5G0&feature=you and follow her on Instagram: Watch out, internet, we have a feeling your next star is coming from Saratoga! f SPRING 2019 | SARATOGA FAMILY  15





Families on the go have their hands full. Keeping children’s little feet headed in the right direction is made inordinately more difficult when you’re also hauling around a lot of gear. FAMILIAR PROBLEMS Matt and Alissa McDonald learned this first-hand last year when they journeyed to Cape Cod with their two young children. “We have two babies and we needed strollers, highchairs and cribs for them. We have a midsize SUV and we just couldn’t fit it all in the car,” said Alissa. That’s when they decided to rent the baby gear they were going to require at their destination instead. “It was already at the hotel. It was clean and all the information was left in the lobby waiting for us. We hardly had to think about it,” she said. A WELCOME SUBTRACTION Now, the McDonalds are bringing this same service to families in the Saratoga and Lake George region who are finding themselves in a similar predicament. Last July, they launched Lake and Track Rentals to provide items for rent to those looking for a carefree day at the Saratoga Race Course. They have baby gear like playpens and car seats, but also picnic supplies including pop-up canopy tents, folding chairs, coolers and more. “We grew up here and spend a lot of time going to the track. It was always, ‘OK, who’s going to draw the short straw and go wait in line at 7 a.m. with all our stuff so we can get a good spot?’


Then afterward, the kids are hot and tired and we’d have to tear it all down and pack it up,” said Alissa. Lake and Track Rentals takes away this stress for you with text communications from the time you schedule a rental. Your high-quality items are set-up at your predesignated location and then picked up when you leave. “Every single person we worked with was wonderful. We developed relationships with people. A lot of families said, ‘Thank you for saving us from the heat. We were able to just go, enjoy ourselves and walk away’.” INSIDER KNOWLEDGE Looking to provide patrons with an exceptional experience, Lake and Track Rentals plans to attend to even more of your needs this season. Expanding their selection of clean, modern and safe baby gear items, they will also be offering age-appropriate children’s toys. Working with local artisans, vendors and restaurants, their menu of packages will likely include setting up a fully-stocked picnic with all the accessories to make your day extraspecial with lights, blankets and flowers. Whether it’s on the beach, tailgating at SPAC, or at the track, these locals are using their insider knowledge for your benefit. “Out-of-towners still want that backyard track experience. We know and anticipate that. It’s one of those things that make us unique,” said Alissa. f For more information and to reserve your rental online go to





he word doula in Greek can be translated to mean “woman’s servant” – she is essentially a companion and advocate for a birthing (or new) mother. Many people are familiar with the concept of a birth doula – someone who assists throughout labor and delivery, but many doulas also perform postpartum duties. I recently had my second child and hiring a postpartum doula was a complete game changer for my family and me. Wondering what postpartum doulas do and why you might want one? I recently sat down with Rebecca Rovner, owner of As Love Grows – Birth and Postpartum Doula Services, to chat about her line of work.


How is a postpartum doula different from a birth doula? Rebecca explains, “A postpartum doula supports clients primarily after their babies are born, whereas a birth doula works with clients prenatally and attends their labors and births. A postpartum doula provides information and handson support to families as they adjust to the changed dynamics after a new baby arrives. This helps them so they can recover from birth, bond with their babies, and get off to a stronger, more confident start as parents.” Rebecca Rovner - Doula


Why might a family consider a postpartum doula - are they better for first-time moms? Second-time moms? The short answer is – a postpartum doula is a good idea if you’re expecting your first baby OR you’re fifth! Rebecca says, “I've likened working with a postpartum doula to having the help of the ‘village’ that doesn't so much exist in our current societal structure (and without the baggage a relative's support may bring!). A postpartum doula can help in so many ways, from caring for baby while mom sleeps or showers, to preparing light meals, to accompanying clients to appointments. Every shift might look different, depending on what the new parent's needs are each day.” Rebecca continues, “Navigating parenthood these days can be a challenge, with so much pressure coming from well-meaning family members, friends, and strangers, not to mention the pressure we moms put on ourselves - especially after seeing so many curated Facebook and Instagram feeds, and blog after blog full of advice on how to do things the ‘right’ way.” Who amongst us hasn’t felt a bit discouraged after scrolling through perfect photos on social media… when we’ve barely had time to shower? A doula can help new mamas adjust to the demands of motherhood and they can help families with older children figure out the “new normal.” Rebecca says, “New and experienced moms alike can benefit greatly from a postpartum doula's support - it's hard to say who would benefit more! First time moms may feel overwhelmed in their new role and wonder or worry about every cough and cry, and a postpartum doula can be invaluable in reassuring them about what's normal and how to handle various scenarios. A postpartum doula can also help a first time mom adjust her expectations about what life is like with a newborn.” Already have one (or more) kiddos at home? A postpartum doula can provide support for the entire family. Whether it’s figuring out how to occupy older children while mom feeds the baby or managing jealous feelings from big brothers and sisters, a postpartum doula can act almost like a third parent. As a family grows, it can be beneficial to have an extra pair of hands to fold laundry, prep lunches, etc. Plus, Rebecca says, “A second time mom also knows what kind of support she wished she had when her first baby was born, and can hone in on exactly what she wants her doula to help with. It's also worth mentioning that having another adult to interact with is a big perk, too!” Convinced yet? If you’re ready to line up your own postpartum doula, you can research local options by heading to or Rebecca also suggests checking out local expos like the Petite Retreat where doulas have information tables. And if you want to learn more about Rebecca (I can vouch that she’s fabulous!) her website is f SPRING 2019 | SARATOGA FAMILY  19

Is Your Child a

Picky Eater?



irst of all, if your child is healthy, energetic and growing normally then you probably have nothing to worry about. Picky eating is very normal, even for adults. The difference is that as an adult you get to choose what you eat, so no one is asking you to eat something you don’t like. Children are often served food they don’t like, and adults expect them to eat it. Ellyn Satter, author of Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense, puts it this way: Parents are responsible for what children eat; children are responsible for how much they eat. The last thing you want to do is make food an area of conflict between you and your child. Preschool children are notoriously picky eaters. For very young children who are transitioning from breast or bottle feeding, the child may be getting too much milk at this point in their growth and development. One to two year old children only need the equivalent of 2 cups of milk each day, and that includes other dairy sources such as cheese and yogurt. The recommendation for dairy is 4 servings a day for toddlers with a portion size being ½ cup of milk or yogurt, or 1 ounce of cheese. Too much juice can also effect a child’s appetite. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than one 4 oz serving of juice each day. Sometimes it’s our expectations that need to be adjusted.


Children under 5 are very good at regulating their own food intake, and don’t usually overeat. So, listen to your child’s cues about being full, don’t expect or demand that they finish their plate. Signs that your child has had enough include turning his/her head, pushing food away, or slowing down. Child-sized portions are much smaller than adults, so keep that in mind too. A half sandwich or piece of fruit is plenty for children up to 6 years old. I’m reluctant to say half the adult portion is appropriate because adult portions are generally too big. For more guidance on portion sizes for children check out My Plate resources at You may be surprised by how little children need. Toddlers are very busy exploring their world, so they often don’t want to sit down to eat for a long period of time. Still, ask your child to sit while eating even if just for a snack. Snacks are an important opportunity for healthy food and should be thought of as a mini meal, rather than a time for a treat. An ounce of string cheese or apple slices with peanut butter/yogurt dip (see recipe) make a delicious and nutritious snack. Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip – mix equal amounts of peanut butter with fat-free vanilla yogurt. Serve with sliced fruit and vegetables.



Chic Penne

This whole-wheat pasta dish is bright and fun with fresh broccoli, chicken, and melted cheese that is sure to please.


3 cups penne pasta, whole-wheat, dry (12 oz) 1 teaspoon granulated garlic (1/2 tsp Garlic Powder) 2 cups fresh broccoli florets 1 cup cooked diced chicken, 1/2" pieces (4 oz) 1 1/2 cups fat-free half and half 1 tablespoon enriched all-purpose flour 1/8 cup low-sodium chicken broth 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 1/2 cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded (2 oz) 1/2 cup low-fat mozzarella cheese, low-moisture, part-skim, shredded (2 oz) DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 °F. 2. In a large pot, bring 2 quarts water to a boil. Gradually stir in pasta and return to a boil. Cook uncovered for 8-10 minutes or until tender. Do not overcook. Drain well. Toss pasta with ½ teaspoon garlic. 3. Fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil. Add broccoli florets and cook for 5 minutes. Drain well. Sprinkle with remaining garlic. Again, if your child is healthy, don’t worry about a picky eater. This developmental stage will pass with time. In the meantime, try the following Healthy Tips for Picky Eaters from the USDA Food and Nutrition Service to help you deal with your child’s picky eating behavior in a positive way. • Let your kids be "produce pickers.” Let them pick out fruits and veggies at the store. • Have your child help you prepare meals. Children learn about food and get excited about tasting food when they help make meals. Let them add ingredients, scrub veggies, or help stir. • Offer choices. Rather than ask, “Do you want broccoli for dinner?” ask “Which would you like for dinner, broccoli or cauliflower?” • Enjoy each other while eating family meals together. Talk about fun and happy things. If meals are times for family arguments, your child may learn unhealthy attitudes toward food. • Offer the same foods for the whole family. Serve the same meal to adults and kids. Let them see you enjoy healthy foods. Talk about the colors, shapes, and textures on the plate.

4. Transfer pasta and broccoli to a medium casserole dish (about 8” x 11”) coated with nonstick cooking spray. Add chicken. Mix well. 5. In a small mixing bowl, mix ½ cup half and half with flour. Whisk to remove lumps. 6. In a medium skillet, heat chicken broth, salt, pepper, and remaining half and half. Stir constantly. Stir in half and half/ flour mixture. Stir constantly and bring to a boil. 7. Reduce heat to low. Stir frequently for 5 minutes. Sauce will thicken. Add cheese and stir until cheese melts. Remove from heat. Pour sauce over broccoli/pasta mixture. 8. Cover casserole dish with lid or with foil. Bake at 350 °F for 8 minutes. Heat to an internal temperature of 165 °F or higher for at least 15 seconds (use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature). Remove from oven. Serve hot. Makes 6 servings. See how to make this recipe and more on USDA’s What’s Cooking? on YouTube. Search for more kid friendly recipes at f SPRING 2019 | SARATOGA FAMILY  21

Your Kids Will Love These! WEEK NIGHTS Made Easy! Hi, I’m Jodie Fitz!

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

VEGGIE SNACKS AND SNAILS ¼ cup whipped cream cheese ½ teaspoon dried ranch seasoning Celery Grape tomatoes Cucumber slices • Wash and cut the celery into lengths that will hold a grape tomato & cucumber slice (lengths will vary depending on the size of your cucumber slice & grape tomatoes). • Wash the grape tomatoes.

• Cut thin slices of celery to serve as antennae. Poke the top of each grape tomato with a toothpick where you want to add the antennas to make it easier for them to insert. • Add eyes using whatever vegetables you have handy: peas, tiny peas in the center of a snow pea, cut pieces of olives, etc. Attach them by using some of the cream cheese mixture.

Note: This cream cheese mixture will • Stir the cream cheese and dried make approximately 5 – 8 snail snacks. ranch dressing together. Wobbly Snails? Depending on your • Fill the celery with the cream cheese celery, you may want to shave the mixture. Add a cucumber slice bottom of the cut celery stalk with a knife to create a flat edge before the to serve as the snail shell. Add a kids fill & build their snails to create a grape tomato as the head.

stable base.

LADYBUG FRUIT SNACKS Strawberries Blueberries 2 tablespoons Price Chopper whipped cream cheese 1 tablespoon Price Chopper honey 1/8 teaspoon Price Chopper vanilla Extract Black gel frosting Vanilla wafer cookies • Wash the strawberries & blueberries. Pat them dry before making any lady bug snacks.


• Remove the greens from the strawberries by hulling them in a shallow manner. Discard the greens. • Stir the cream cheese, honey & vanilla together. • Spread a thin layer of the cream cheese mixture onto the wafer cookie. •Slice a very thin piece of the strawberry off the bottom to give the ladybug a flat surface to rest on. Place the flat edge onto

the cream cheese covered wafer cookie. • Add either cream cheese or black gel frosting to one side of the blueberry & stick the blueberry to the larger end of the strawberry where you removed the greens. • Use the black gel frosting to add a line down the center of the strawberry, dots on the back of your fruit ladybug & eyes on the top of each blueberry.


BUTTERFLY SANDWICH BITES 4 slices of honey wheat bread 2 tablespoons Price Chopper whipped cream cheese 1 tablespoon yogurtbased ranch dressing 1 tablespoon finely shredded or chopped carrots

Small heart shaped cookie cutter or large heart fondant cutter A mini heart shaped fondant cutter Celery Cucumber, sliced thin Golden grape tomatoes

Cut the bread into hearts using the small cookie cutter (or, large fondant cutter) so that you have 8 small hearts. Mix the whipped cream cheese, ranch dressing and chopped carrots together to create the spread. Spread the ranch-flavored mixture onto four of the hearts. Use the mini fondant heart shaped cutter to cut out the center of the four remaining larger hearts. Place a thin slice of cucumber onto the top of each ranchflavored, cream cheese covered heart & top it with the open-heart piece of bread. Place two heart sandwiches together at their points to create butterfly wings. Cut a thin slice of celery to act as the center of the butterfly. With the tip of the knife cut a slit at the bottom of the grape tomato so that the celery will insert easier into the tomato. Cut two slivers of celery to serve as antennae. Cut two slits on the top of the tomato & insert the antennae. Optional: Using a mini fondant cutter in the shape of a flower, cut flower shapes out of cantaloupe, watermelon and/or honey dew melon.

You can always catch what’s going on in our lives at www. and www., or check out my cook books available on my website! SPRING 2019 | SARATOGA FAMILY  23

Traveling with




ravel is usually very easy for me to write about, but this article was a tough one and not because I did not do my homework (I am now a Certified Autism Travel Specialist (CATP*), but because of how frustrated I am at the lack of certified family vacation destinations that are available in today’s world. It is something that I am committed to changing as a Virtuoso Family Travel Specialist. It is not acceptable to me and it should not be acceptable to anyone that has a child with autism. As of today, there are only 4 family brands that I currently work with and recommend that are IBCCS* certified. Beaches – Locations in Turks and Caicos, Negril and Ocho Rios Nickelodeon Resort – Punta Cana (a second location opening soon in Riviera Maya in Mexico) Royal Caribbean – Family Friendly Cruise Ships; applies to children, teens and adults Sesame Place – Has a sensory guide for every attraction so parents can plan in advance (I believe that this should become the universal standard); For our online readers, scan here for the sensory guide:


One of our favorite initiatives of all is Julia. In late 2017, Beaches Resorts added Sesame Street’s newest, and first ever autistic character, Julia, to the collection of walkaround characters at Beaches Resorts and staff underwent extensive training. Based on data collected since the beginning of 2018, an average of 200 children per month took part in the Meet and Greet with Julia and the ‘Amazing Art with Julia’ painting activity, across all three Beaches Resorts. The introduction of Julia also brought with it an exciting new activity, ‘Amazing Art with Julia,’ teaching children how to express themselves through art. In this activity, children are greeted by Julia a 4-year-old girl character who has Autism. Julia, who loves to paint, highlights how people can express themselves through art. Using a range of materials, children have the opportunity to explore, experiment and create in this open-ended art activity. We need to adapt to the world that we live in today, we need to be inclusive, not exclusive and like it or not, the diagnosis rates for autism are increasing by 600%** every year. The latest numbers indicate that 1 in every 59 children are affected; 1 out of 42 of those children are boys. And don’t be fooled, “Autism Friendly” is not good enough. To become a Certified Autism Center, 80% of its full-time staff must go through the IBCCS certified training program (individuals are matched up to different certifications based on their education and experience). You are then certified for a 2-year period.


Royal Caribbean at Coco Cay

“You have no idea how much it means to our family to finally find a travel professional who understands us! Thank you!” – Greg, parent with child on autism spectrum SOME BASIC TRAVEL TIPS FOR ALL PARENTS: • Take your time and be patient • Be aware, be creative and be prepared • Focus on your children’s strengths – lots of positive re-enforcement • Do what you enjoy doing with your child – Avoid trying to fix, cure or change them • Relax (easier said than done said every parent ever); Kids sense your stress AUTISM TRAVEL RESOURCES: TSA: Dress rehearsals for individuals with autism for the entire experience of air travel covering everything from check in, security, boarding and deplaning. Reach out to a Certified Travel Professional to help plan your next family vacation. As we know, each individual on the spectrum is unique as should be their travel plans and preparation, but together, we can make a difference. One day, one advisor, one family, one resort at a time. Please join our Facebook group to show your support as we urge resorts and other advisors to get certified so that our families, friends and neighbors can travel easier in the future. FIND OUR PAGE ON FACEBOOK AND PLEASE JOIN US. “AUTISM TRAVEL AWARENESS”

Below is the reality of WHY we need change. We need to support and empower families with the ability to be able to travel. Vacations are essential to these parents and families now more than ever before. PARENT TRAVEL SURVEY (SOURCE: IBCCES) Over 1,000 parents who have a child on the spectrum were asked: • Do you currently take vacations as a family? 87% responded “NO” • Would you be more inclined to travel if autism certified options were available? 93% responded “Yes” • Are you satisfied with current travel options for families with autism? 89% responded “NO” *The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) offers certification programs to travel professionals who help families and individuals with special needs prepare for their perfect vacation. A Certified Autism Travel Professional™ (CATP) is defined as a professional who has demonstrated that they are both knowledgeable and capable of providing support and travel related services to an individual on the autism spectrum as well as their family. **Source: CDC

For more information: Nickelodeon Resorts, Puta Cana

“We know that training and certification is the best way for organizations to ensure they can accommodate all families,” explained Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairman. “IBCCES is proud to work with Aquatica Orlando and other leaders in the industry to increase the availability of certified options and help individuals have a safe and enriching experience when traveling or visiting a new place. With the rise in diagnosis rates of cognitive disorders, there is a huge need for these options and for organizations to make a long-lasting commitment to their guests.” SPRING 2019 | SARATOGA FAMILY  25


College Parent and Empty Nester...

what now?


Unsure of the next chapter in the book of parenting?

One page that is sure to be in the book - is that your college freshman is evolving into someone new. When dropping them off for the first time, you too are entering a new reality. When they are home, many parents are cooking the typical meals, buying their favorite foods, and doing loads of laundry and then BANG, reality hits! The dishwasher is not running as much, laundry is sparse, and the fridge is looking bare.

The changes are drastic.

In 24 hours, your job as a parent seems void. The silence, the free time, their empty bedroom… can all be a harsh reality for the empty nester. For most parents, within the first day or two, you are wondering - how it’s going? How are they doing? Are they sleeping? Eating? You text or call. No response. You get worried because they used to - at some point - respond. The thoughts begin; is he/she depressed? Homesick? How’s their roommate? WE WANT TO KNOW! Finally, a response… phew… waiting for them to say they need you, and then you realize they are not only, perfectly fine, they don’t need you at all (not like they used to anyway). Letting go of them can be a difficult concept, especially if you have only one child. During the first year of college it’s important that parents consider that their job as a parent has shifted; from a teacher to a side line coach. College is a time where high school is history and your son/daughter now have a blank canvas, who will they become? The independence of creating this


new ‘me’ as a college freshman is exhilarating and can often bring with it a level of stress and uncertainly. This stage of college can stress students out. Most freshman find that currently, they want (need) to be completely independent, without any influence from their parents. Students who ‘shutout’ their parents can be a sign of a successful transition. The main job of a parent is to get their son/daughter ready for independence at age 18. However, when it happens it’s not so easy to let go, but your job as a parent was a success!

The Homecoming

It’s hard to see your child become an adult so fast. When a son/daughter comes home from college it may take a parent by surprise that they are seemingly ‘very different.’ Perhaps your son/daughter has changed so much you are baffled, who is this person?? Keep in mind they are transitioning. As a parent, it’s not what you do for your children that helps them succeed, rather what you have taught them to do for themselves. You don’t need strength to let go of your college student, you just need to be understanding. Your college student is evolving and now it’s a chance for parents to also evolve. It is essential that parents find ways to reinvent themselves. Your college son/daughter will miss you, however they don’t want the burden of knowing you’re missing them. As the parent, the more independent and happier you seem, the better your son/daughter will be. Finding new hobbies or new friends will help with the transition of letting go. Don’t be surprised at how much they don’t seem “to need you” ...they still do, but in a different way. They need to know that you are there for them, unconditionally - no matter who they become. You are their landing strip, let them fly… and land… when and where they need to. f


Senior Pictures


It will soon be that time of year again– time for High School Senior Portraits! I always feel like the success of any Portrait Session rests on Proper Prior Planning. To that end, I have compiled some of my little tips and tricks for making your Senior Portrait Session a resounding success.


. Make sure you know the deadline for submitting your chosen yearbook image, how the school wants it submitted and to whom you need to submit the image. Then clearly communicate that info to your photographer. Some schools require the classic “drape” photo (which we can easily do)—make sure your photographer knows ahead of time if that is something your school requires.


We recommend you have your portraits created at the start of the summer before you get too busy with jobs and vacation plans. And do not wait until one week before the deadline. You may incur a Rush Fee.


Most schools require you to submit a vertical head and shoulders shot for the yearbook. Make sure your photographer is taking a selection of images you can actually use for your submission. You want to have as many choices as possible!


Arrive ON TIME to your portrait session. Many times, we go outdoors to create senior images, so if you arrive late, the lighting may not be optimal for your chosen location. Also, you do not want to be in a frantic panic when you arrive for your session.


We sometimes include hands and feet in images—make sure you have neatly manicured hands, appropriate footwear, etc. For the guys—make sure you are freshly groomed as well.


We encourage multiple outfits for your photo session. Make sure you bring all components and accessories for each outfit to complete “the look.” This includes appropriate undergarments—some outfits require strapless bras, nude colored undergarments, etc. If in doubt, try everything on at home and pay close attention to how things look. Move around too! We will also talk you through your choices ahead of time on the phone, so don’t hesitate to call.

7. 8.

If you plan on getting a haircut, please do so a week prior to your session so your hair has a chance to grow in. Makeup is encouraged, but don’t go crazy. You still want to look like yourself. We retouch anything you choose for your yearbook or to print, so blemishes are not really a big deal. If you want to feel pampered, we have a few hair and makeup people we love to refer.


Relax and have fun. Your smile is your best accessory.

Proper prior planning equals great Senior Portraits. It really is that easy. SPRING 2019 | SARATOGA FAMILY  27

New Pet ? START HERE... As with any new relationship, getting things started on the right foot can make a world of difference. WE HAVE SOME ADVICE FOR YOU. Many new dog owners that are excited to train their new puppy start with SIT but sit can wait. Sit is easy to train. Sit takes about ten minutes to get through the acquisition phase and a few weeks of proofing to be quite strong. That's why it's used as a demo behavior for untrained dogs by dog trainers at expos, and why it's the first thing covered in so many group classes. It is easy. And don't get me wrong, sit has its uses. But most of those can come automatically because it's such an easy behavior to teach that by the time you're working on politely greeting strangers or an advanced recall or stay - the dog has picked up sit no problem.

SO WHERE SHOULD YOU START? First, understand that training your dog is more than just teaching tricks. They must learn about you. Who are you? What does it mean to be with you? With that in mind, the first lesson for your new dog is twofold: you are fun; you are safe. Initiate games with your dog. Don't worry about whether they immediately get all the rules or not, worry that they're

having fun. Tweaking the rules can come once they know you like to play, too. Be kind and generous to your dog. Let them learn that you have all the best things in the world and better still - you're willing to share them! Hands are never for hitting, only for petting or holding toys or giving food. The outdated methods based on dominance and trying to prove you're in charge are just teaching your dog that you're scary and sometimes do hurtful things. Don't worry about whether your dog "respects" you as "alpha," worry about whether you're the kind of person your dog wants to be around and work with. I get asked frequently about why my client's dogs so often perform better for me than for them. It isn't a mystery or a secret. Whenever I show up, all the best things in the world happen. They get their favorite foods, they get to go outside, they get petted, they get attention, they get to play their favorite games. Sure, I make all those things contingent on behaviors I want to see, but they don't care. From their perspective, I'm The Incredible Treat-Man, and they'll do anything for Treat-Man. Your Dog Loves You‌ So, my tip for any new dog guardian - become Treat-Man for your dog. Show them just how awesome it is to be around you. Establishing a relationship of trusting generosity will be one of the most impactful and beneficial things you can do right from day one. f - By Benjamin Bennink, CDBC, CPDT-KA, Owner of Good Doggy Saratoga



Q: My 3-month-old lab mix puppy has no manners… she jumps, terrorizes the cats and is destroying my house (and my hands, from chewing on me!!)

H E L P – what do you suggest till she’s old enough for obedience school? Thanks, a frazzled puppy mom


The first few months with a new pet are a blissful, exciting, love-filled time, but they’re not without their challenges. It’s not uncommon for new puppy parents to ask themselves, “What have I gotten myself into?” Thankfully, puppy development is well-researched and fairly predictable, and us canine gurus are here to help explain it all. The third month of a Puppy's life is a critical time for bonding, development and socialization/exposure. Building a healthy bond with your puppy consists of many important factors that can make or break the success of the relationship which can lead to many bad behaviors and frustrations such as mouthing, barking, destructive behavior, soiling in the house etc... To build a healthy bond with your puppy, there are many crucial elements: • Boundaries • Fun/Games • Mutual Respect • Leadership • Trust

Now, let me dive in to some examples for a more tangible answer!

Boundaries: This can save your dog’s life! Much like kids, dogs need consistent boundaries in order to be successful. Boundaries are what teach our dogs what to do and not to do, as well as where they are allowed and where they are not allowed.

Ex: if you don't want your puppy sleeping in bed or running around the couches when guests are over, SET A BOUNDARY. Crate train your puppy to sleep in the crate at bedtime and when you leave the house or when lots of guests are over.

A big part of puppyhood is management!

FUN FACT: Dogs are den animals and actually enjoy having their own happy, safe place to call home!

Fun / Games: This is where training and exercise comes in! Puppies need an adequate amount of physical and mental stimulation to be fulfilled; a lack in this can cause pent-up energy and frustration which will ultimately lead to unwanted behaviors. Time spent with your puppy should always be productive. 3-month-old puppies spend a lot of time resting. However, when they are awake, man do you know it! Be sure you are not giving your puppy unstructured freedom to get their energy out; this approach will teach the puppy they are in the lead and can make choices all on their own - which ultimately will lead to chaos. It is best to keep things educational, fun, short and sweet when training with your puppy, while their mental and physical endurance is limited.

Ex: Teach your Puppy to Fetch! Teach your puppy a new command or trick with their favorite treat! Play crate games! After a 5-10minute play session, crate your puppy to rest until the next fun thing. As your puppy grows and learns, you may then begin to allow a little more freedom at a time; however, all good things take time and patience!

FUN FACT: Small mini lessons and potty breaks throughout the day, mixed with crate time is the recipe for success!

Teething: At about 3-4 months of age, Puppies begin losing their teeth, making room for their adult teeth. This process can be painful, annoying and uncomfortable for your puppy, causing them to want to chew anything and everything to soothe. The best thing you can do at this stage for your puppy is to provide proper outlets for the chewing such at antlers , bully sticks , bones etc. (be sure to always supervise your puppy while playing or chewing). Be sure to provide management and puppy proof your house to be sure your puppy isn't able to reinforce chewing the wrong things.

Above all BE PATIENT! If you feel yourself getting frustrated, be sure all of the above are consistent! f -By Bri Rabine, Co-Owner and Behavior Guru at Paws for Obedience! SPRING 2019 | SARATOGA FAMILY  29

Q. Do I really need a shampoo for my breed of dog? A. It's more a question of your pet’s coat type. Family dog of Noel McLaren, see story on page 12. Photo by Susan Blackburn Photography

THE BENEFITS OF A MOBILE VET… As well as the benefit of routine care on your cats and dogs, such as annual exams with vaccines, minor surgeries, x-rays, and workup for non-emergency illnesses – without the drive to the vet’s location - I can also perform at-home euthanasia with aftercare (cremation) services if needed. This fee is the same if I see one pet or six and additional charges are per pet depending on what they need, such as examination, vaccines, medications, and diagnostics. My home base is in northern Ballston Spa and I travel a 15 (maximum) mile radius. f -By Aimee Heidt, owner of Whiskers2Tails Vet

Dog coats can be broken down into three types: short coat, long coat, double-coat. While an all-purpose dog shampoo can be used on any of these coat types, to get the best results you'll want to use ingredients that will help support a healthy follicle and skin for your four-legged loved one. Whatever you use, I cannot emphasize two things enough when purchasing cleansers for your pet: 1) Make sure it is pH balanced for dogs, because human shampoo (even baby shampoo) has too high of an acid level for dog skin. 2) Condition-Condition-Condition! Using a conditioner after you wash your dog replenishes the oil that was just scrubbed out of the dog's skin. You know when your dog smells like corn chips? That's an overproduction of their natural sebum oil. When we don't condition our dogs after a bath, their oil production kicks into overdrive causing that not-so-pleasant odor, flaking, and often an oilier coat then before their bath. COAT TYPES:

Short coated breeds; think Boxer, Pug, or Basset Hound. These coats are not dense and do not have an undercoat. This means that as the dog's skin produces a natural oil, it doesn't have as much hair to move that oil around its body. A shampoo that contains oil will help to regulate the overproduction of oil in the dog's coat. Long coated breeds; think Yorkie, Maltese, or Afghan Hound. These dogs have longer hair with a denser coat than the short coat breeds, but they do not have an undercoat. These coats benefit from more collagen in their shampoo which helps with strengthening the hair shaft.

Double coated breeds; think German Shepard Dog, Golden Retriever, or Husky. These dogs have a shiny guard hair on the outer layer and a very dense undercoat that sheds. These coats benefit from extra minerals in their shampoo. Other things to consider when choosing your shampoo are sensitive or medicated formulas for sensitive skin; light formulas that help curly coats from going limp; and, whiteners which contain reflective opticals to enhance the shine on a white coat.

9 Hampstead Pl, Ste 101, Saratoga Springs (518) 450-1013 •


At Wonderland Grooming we use Showseasons Brand shampoos on all our full-service grooms and feature the Naturals line which contains certified organic oils and minerals. Non-organic whitening, medicated, or de-greasing shampoos are also available. Additionally, we offer customized deep therapy treatments to treat skin issues caused by severe allergies, fungal, bacterial, or metabolic issues. f - By Laura Acquavella, Owner of Wonderland Grooming, LLC



Book Review

PICTURE BOOK: DRAWN TOGETHER BY MINH LE, ILLUSTRATED BY DAN SANTAT - Hardcover $17.99 A visually stunning picture book about finding common ground between the generations. We follow a grandfather and his grandson as they find a bond through art and storytelling, although their first languages and ages were causing a divide. — reviewed by bookseller Becky Doherty MID-CHILD: NEW KID BY JERRY CRAFT - Full Color Paperback $12.99 Jordan Banks is a seventh grader starting a new school, not the art school he was hoping for, and also not the one all his neighborhood friends go to. His parents are sending him to a private school known for its academic excellence, and he is one of the few kids of color to attend. Jordan has to learn how to find his place, and be true to himself, in both his new school, and with the new dynamic he has with his friends at home. This book tackles many issues, such as racism, bullying, and fitting in, with great style and a lot of humor. It’s a great addition to the graphic novel genre. - reviewed by bookseller Becky Doherty YOUNG ADULT: ENCHANTEE BY GITA TRELEASE Set in 1700s Paris on the brink of revolution, Camille Durbonne is a girl caught between worlds. Orphaned, with an ill younger sister to care for, and an abusive, gambling brother to fend off, Camille turns to the only means she's left with— la magie. What begins as turning scrap metal into coins to buy food soon turns to dangerous magic that has her gambling with her life at the heart of the Palace of Versailles where even magic may not be able to save her. — reviewed by bookseller Hanna Yost SPRING 2019 | SARATOGA FAMILY  31



They’ve been around for over a decade, but podcasts are just now experiencing an explosion in popularity. Whether you’re exercising, commuting, or doing housework, a podcast can keep you company. And if you’re a parent you know the importance of multi-tasking! The next time you have a long drive (or a big load of laundry to fold!) queue up one of these must-listen parenting podcasts.

THE LONGEST SHORTEST TIME This long running and very popular podcast was created by former NPR contributor Hilary Frank and is now hosted by Andrea Silenzi (who is, surprisingly, not yet a mom!) If you like the show This American Life, you’ll love The Longest Shortest Time. The hosts have interviewed some top names including Fresh Air’s Terry Gross and renowned midwife Ina May Gaskin. Episodes range from the lighthearted (Car Births, Call-In Style) to the more serious (Black Lives Matter for Middle Schoolers). If you dig the podcast, be sure to check out founder Hillary Frank’s new book, Weird Parenting Wins.

THE MOM HOUR This podcast reminds me of a relaxed conversation between two friends and that’s essentially what it is! The show is hosted by Meagan Francis and Sarah Powers who have 8 (!) children between them ranging from kindergarten-age to adult. The episodes deal with topics such as navigating the holidays as a divorced/single parent, potty training questions, and dealing with clutter. Meagan and Sarah remind us of the older sisters we wish we had!

COFFEE AND CRUMBS This brand began as a blog of essays about motherhood and they recently published the book, The Magic of Motherhood. The podcast, now in it’s third season, interviews experts on tricky topics and also has a number of delightful “This is how we do” episodes in which the hosts (Ashley, April, and Indiana) discuss how they navigate a number of topics such as summer vacation, pregnancy, and gift giving. If you’ve ever wanted a peek in to how other families operate, this podcast will satisfy your curiosity.

UNRUFFLED Janet Lansbury, author and parenting expert, hosts this podcast that helps parents navigate the trickiest parts of raising tiny humans. The short episodes focus primarily on the toddler and preschool set and deal with specific topics such as how to deal with public tantrums, and how and when to prepare a child for a new sibling. Lansbury is a proponent of “respectful parenting” and is the author of No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline without Shame. New to podcasting? You can listen via a smartphone app like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Stitcher or you can listen through your browser. Most shows have webpages where they link to current and previous episodes (as well as show notes!). f







Expressing gratitude gives you and the recipient of your 'THANK YOUs’ an extended feeling of warmth, purpose, abundance and prosperity.

Gratitude increases the body’s serotonin levels which is why showing appreciation feels so good. Doing it through handwritten notes enhances early-learning, spelling, grammar and penmanship skills for the K-5th grade level child.

"You’re always happier after you write Thank You notes. When you really think about what you’ve been given, you make the other people on the receiving end happy also,” said Ashley Campbell. Passionate about the rewards inherent in hand-written notes, in 2018, Campbell launched Coral & Blue Paper Co. stationery for children.

TIME-HONORED TRADITION With just a single stamp, the classic and beautifullydesigned Coral & Blue stationery brightens up anyone’s mailbox. Made in New York from BPA free, recyclable, keepsake-quality paper, the elementary lines provide an easily-erasable authorship space for beginning writers. "I wanted to create something really classic, and harken back to a time when we wrote hand-written notes,” said Campbell. Always encouraged to write Thank You notes as a child, when Campbell became the mother of two, she found herself encouraging the tradition in her own children. Crafting the cards at home (but quickly finding how labor-intensive this process can be) yet unable to find a suitable alternative already on the market, she decided to design a line of children’s stationery that would give kids and parents an easy, elegant alternative. "Note-writing can be time-consuming and can feel like a chore, so I wanted to make it easy for kids and moms,” said Campbell.

"In our digital era, life is moving at such a rapid pace nowadays, this gives kids the time to sit down and focus for more than two minutes. They put thought and emotion into it and gain a deeper level of appreciation because of it,” said Campbell. Thank You notes are appropriate for all kinds of learning activities and are often used as a home-schooling or ELA writing resource. Exploring what influential figures such as Martin Luther King, Jr. did for our country in her workshops is one example of how Campbell has done this. "Ask kids to describe what they received, why they are thankful for it and how they will use it,” advises Campbell. This simple gesture, accompanied by a child’s drawing or a note from the parent in the creative space provided in Coral & Blue’s stationery continues to say more than you can imagine. "I get such an emotional response from grandparents who have sent a gift and just want to know it has been received. A lot of them honestly don’t even know if it’s arrived,” said Campbell. f Coral & Blue Paper Co. stationery is for sale online and at regional retailers including Northshire Bookstore and PaperDolls of Saratoga. Find them on Facebook @CoralandBluePaperCo or visit










Healthy Saratoga Spring 2019 Complimentary

Healthy (& Yummy!) Recipes, Expert Advice, Road Races, Heart Warming Stories, How (& Where!) to Eat Healthy ...and so much more!

Brought to you by




Welcome to

Healthy Saratoga... the magazine From The Editor


Chris Vallone Bushee • Creative Director/Managing Editor • (518) 581-2480 ext.201

Welcome to our first combined issue of Healthy Saratoga and Saratoga Family magazines! I’ve been feeling like this really is one audience for a while now, so I’m excited to be bringing you our first issue… with great advice for yourself and the people you take care of! In this spring issue, on the healthy side or the “all about me” side, you will find all your favorites… Humorous and informative tidbits, healthy recipes, local road races, a new gym review and informative articles on issues that matter to you, such as women’s heart health and uses for medical marijuana. We’re also starting a new series on local trails in the area, brought to you by “Winter 46er” Dan Forbush (he’s done so much more, but I think that’s just so cool!!). Dan will also be starting a series, “Imagining the Palmertown Range Trail” starting in the spring issue of Simply Saratoga magazine, due out on March 22nd. If you’re a hiker - or a historian - you’re going to want to check this out! When you’re done with this side, just flip it over for informative articles on the loved ones in your life - kids, grandkids, parents, pets we cover it all! We hope you like this combination of articles and subject matter and would love your feedback. Send your comments and story ideas to Thank you to our readers and 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!

Stay healthy, Saratoga! Metabolic, photos by Alice Corey, story on page 26.

Love, Chris






ADVERTISING SALES Jim Daley Cindy Durfey

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Alice Corey Richard Frank Dan Forbush Himanee Gupta-Carlson Agnes King Don Proulx Kristen Schultz Teresa St. John Maureen Werther

PHOTOGRAPHERS Susan Blackburn Photography Alice Corey Jackie Donnelly Jim Gupta-Carlson Marisa Scirocco


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 © 2019, Saratoga TODAY Newspaper In Print & Online. Sign up TODAY for FREE email delivery of our publications! (518) 581-2480












t ere s on t his page w




SPRING 2019 7 10 16

Start here and join the #HealthySaratoga movement! Because Laughing Matters Newsworthy

WHAT’S TRENDING 14 Back to Basics 16 New Feature: The Trail Report with Dan Forbush 18 Hiking Gear 19 Core Life Eatery 24 Workout Gear 26 Metobolic

A GOOD READ 28 30 32 34 36 40

Ballsfest... an organization you should know about Select Local Road Races Everything you ever wanted to know about Paella The Grocery Guru Women's Heart Health Milana's Story


New Season. . . N E W


Saratoga’s Award-Winning Magazines Reaching the upscale, thriving, communities of Saratoga County ...and the tourists! We distribute in Saratoga TODAY newspaper plus to the region’s hot spots including both visitor centers, area hotels, restaurants, boutiques, the library, local YMCAs, Price Chopper & Hannaford Supermarkets as well as the Saratoga Farmer’s Market, Healthy Living and Four Seasons Natural Foods, specific targeted locations including The Reading Room, Fasig-Tipton and the Saratoga Polo Grounds.

Saratoga TODAY offers the highest magazine distribution in the county, with a regular, consistent readership exceeding 40,000 per edition! Saratoga TODAY will put your message in the hands of the people who have the buying power you seek.

Call TODAY to reserve your space!


EQUICUREAN Five Case Street, Saratoga Springs NY 12866 (518) 581-2480

DEADLINE: June 7th, 2019 PUBLICATION DATE: SPRING 2019 | HEALTHY July 5th, 2019


FIGHTING TO ENSURE SARATOGA COUNTY IS THE HEALTHIEST WRITTEN BY SUSAN HALSTEAD, , Chair of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce Health & Wellness Council and the owner of Family Vision Care Center, AND TODD SHIMKUS, President of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce.

Our Chamber’s Healthy Saratoga movement is now five years old. We launched this effort in 2014, with a simple goal – to ensure that Saratoga County is one of the healthiest places to live, work and play. We knew we were not starting from scratch. After all, the City’s slogan is “Health. History. Horses.” But knowing what specifically we could do to achieve this mission took some time to learn. So if we consider five to be our lucky number, here’s five lessons we’ve learned that will give all of you reading this column a chance to see how you can join this fight. 1. We are fortunate to have so many local businesses and nonprofits whose mission is to help local people improve their health and wellness. Think the YMCAs, fitness centers, spinning studios, yoga studios, Pilates, barre, juice bars, health food stores, running shoe stores, chiropractors, dieticians, massage therapists, spas, etc. They are all looking for more people to take advantage of the services and products they offer. Try 1 or 2 or 5 and find one that works best for you. 2. It’s okay to try new things. We created a Health & Wellness Week. This has worked. We created a celebration of Employee Wellness Month and this has worked too. We tried a HORSE Basketball tournament which worked for two years and then didn’t. We tried a Silent Disco which was fun but was never tried again. This April 1st, we’re going to host a first-ever April Fools Walk and Run, in the Saratoga Spa State Park. Join us and give it a try. 3. When we pledge to do something, we’re more likely to do it. That’s why with support from our sponsors; The Adirondack Trust Company and MVP Health Care, we want to invite employers and employees to team up and take our Healthy Saratoga pledge. There is a pledge form in this magazine. On this form, we’ve offered several suggestions, or you can come up with your own ideas. Fill this out. Send it to the Chamber. We’ll check in to celebrate when you did what you pledged to do. 4. Every individual can join the Healthy Saratoga movement. Think FREE water. Seriously. We can all get FREE water in Saratoga Springs 24/7/365. Cars and people line up every day in the Saratoga Spa State Park to fill bottles and jugs of water from our natural springs. Drinking more water is one thing we can all do to improve our health, especially here in Saratoga County. 5. Most of us can also walk, run or bike. Once again, we are blessed in Saratoga to have walking, running and biking trails all across the City and Saratoga County. Find them and then get out and use them. Take your dog for a walk with you. Take a family member or friend for a walk or a run or a bike ride. Make it part exercise and part socializing. Every individual can join the Healthy Saratoga movement and help us achieve our goal by helping yourself to be more active.


IS YOUR WORKSITE WELLNESS PROGRAM FLAT? Consider a broader well-being approach to win, place, and show your employees you care. WRITTEN BY DEBORAH RUGGIERO, MS, CWPM, COMMERCIAL HEALTH PROMOTIONS, MVP HEALTH CARE®

any well-intentioned worksite wellness programs have a laser focus on a single dimension of well-being—the physical. While taking care of our bodies is important, we should recognize that all aspects of a person’s life come together to form a total picture of their well-being. A leading cause of employee stress, for example, can be linked to financial issues. An employee struggling to pay student loan debt may feel the need to take a second job. The emotional stress and mental strain create a domino effect that can lead to poor health and job performance.


At MVP Health Care (MVP), we take a holistic approach to creating well-being programs and products. Physical health is easy for most of us to define; feeling healthy and having enough energy to get things done. Let’s look at how we define other dimensions and how employers can take steps to expand their well-being offerings and build resilience in those areas, too. Social: Help employees maintain a strong connection to friends, colleagues, and community. These connections create a safety net that can help when times get tough. In addition, reducing loneliness can have positive effects on physical and mental health. Employers can develop social resource groups at work, such as book clubs and other activities, that offer opportunities for people to connect.

child care, providing easy access to financial advice can be life-changing. Topics like budgeting, improving credit scores, and paying down debt are all things that could be included in a financial wellness program. Surroundings: Encourage employees to enjoy where they live and work and take pride in their community. Personal safety and a sense of security at home and work helps people thrive. In addition, venues that encourage regular interaction, such as walking paths, parks, or shared social space in the office, can help develop a feeling of cohesion, community spirit, and belonging. Mind & Spirit: Explore ways to help employees find purpose and tap into their creative abilities. Finding purpose can be supported through formal volunteer activities or peer-to-peer mentorship programs. The experience of helping others creates a sense of greater self-worth and confidence. Pushing creative boundaries also provides personal fulfillment and satisfaction. Traditional wellness programs, while beneficial, can have a greater impact when they incorporate these other key elements. Helping employees enhance multiple aspects of their well-being enables them to maximize their potential across every dimension.

Financial: Offer ways to help employees manage their money effectively and make sound financial decisions. Simply having a plan to manage finances can have a huge effect on an employee’s peace of mind. If someone is feeling the stress of debt or perhaps the high cost of

Photo: MVP Health Care employees enhance several dimensions of well-being at a “Creative Expression for Stress Management” class.


he t In ys... da

Before “google” became a verb, we at The HUMOR Project were delighted to receive 50,000 letters a year from folks around the world interested in the positive, healthy power of humor. In more recent years, we have been the beneficiary of tens of thousands of emails containing humorous goodies that we include in our free Laughing Matters e-mail newsletter. Here is a taste to strengthen your funny bone:

Joe Zanchelli is a delightful, local nonagenarian who always exercises his sense of humor: + I didn’t make it to the gym today. That makes five years in a row. + I decided to stop calling the bathroom the “John” and renamed it the “Jim”. I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning. + When I was a child I thought “nap time” was a punishment. Now, as a grownup, it feels like a small vacation.

+ The biggest lie I tell myself is “I don’t need to write that down. I’ll remember it.”

+ Of course I talk to myself. Sometimes I need expert advice.

+ Last year I joined a support group for procrastinators. We haven’t met yet.

Squirre Crossin l g

Linda Nyquist came from California to our Saratoga Springs humor conference. She passes along this tongue-in-cheek wisdom:

+ Be decisive. Right or wrong. Make a decision. The road of life is paved with flat squirrels who couldn’t make a decision.

+ It’s easy being a humorist when you’ve got the whole government working for you. (Will Rogers)

+ Smile in the mirror. Do that every morning and you’ll start to see a big difference in your life. (Yoko Ono)

+ You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. (Mae West) + Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. (Albert Schweitzer) Louise Rourke is a close friend who was happy and successful when she recently swam the 32-mile Lake George as a fund-raiser to eradicate polio. Louise was also a fun-raiser when she sent some “hill areas” signs that appear at the Indian Hills Community Center in Colorado: + Our mountains aren’t just funny… they’re hill areas! + Turning vegan would be a big missed steak. + Forget world peace… visualize your turn signal. + For chemists alcohol is not a problem… it’s a solution. + My mood ring is missing… and I don’t know how I feel about that. + I’m friends with 25 letters of the alphabet. I don’t know Y. + Cow stumbles into a pot field. The steaks have never been higher. + Crushing pop cans is soda pressing. + Big shout out to my fingers. I can always count on them. + He who laughs last… didn’t get it.



+ If God wanted me to touch my toes, He would’ve put them on my knees.

news worthy


National Convention Being Held in Albany


A SARATOGA SPRINGS LIONS CLUB EVENT The Saratoga Springs Lions Club has renamed their annual duathlon and 5k race, “The Memorial” to reinforce their alignment with Memorial Day Weekend and to better honor those who have given their lives and those who have served our country. This year’s event will once again start at the Saratoga Casino Hotel. The races will be held on Sunday, May 26 and the start times are 8:00AM for the duathlon and 8:20AM for the 5k.

“If Walking is your Passion, Then This is for YOU” Empire State Capital Volkssporters, a Capital Region walking club with almost 300 members, is hosting the 2019 American Volkssport Association's National Convention in Albany from Wednesday, June 12 through Friday, June 14, 2019 at the Red Lion Hotel on Wolf Road. American Volkssport Association, our National organization, is part of the International walking Club, IVV (International Federation of Popular Sports, headquartered in Altötting, Germany (Bavaria). Three days of walking 5k or 10k walks will be held for all interested people. Plan on joining us for one, two or all three days of 5k or 10k interesting walks from Cohoes to Peebles Island, Schuylerville, or the President’s Walk in Albany. For a nominal $3 fee to cover your walk insurance and map of the walking trail, you will be walking with folks from all over the US, Canada, England, Germany, etc. We are expecting up to 1000 walkers throughout our 3 days! The hotel will be featuring vendors, catering to their needs and interests. An oral history book on the life of Crazy Horse as told to the author by Crazy Horse’s kin, has been donated to the Silent Auction. The book is autographed by the author and one of Crazy Horse’s grandsons, Floyd Clown, Sr. At Friday night’s Awards Dinner, we will listen to a member of the original sculpting Zlolkowski family talk about the Crazy Horse Memorial. In 1948 the former Zlolkowski patriarch, Korczak, began work on the sculpture. This tribute to the Lakota leader will be the largest mountain carving in South Dakota. To register and find out more information, go to

Registration for both events is now open, and discounts are available for those who sign up online and in advance. “By all measures this event has always been deemed a huge success not only by the participants, but our sponsors and the Saratoga community at large. With 2019 being the 15th anniversary of the duathlon we wanted to bring extra attention to the event along with the hope of adding more participants, especially runners now that we have added a separate 5k race” said Tony Catalano, Lions Club member and co-chair of The Memorial. Catalano added, “The Saratoga Casino Hotel continues to be a great partner and venue for our races. Because of our many generous sponsors, this event is a key contributor to the Saratoga Lions Club’s fundraising efforts to benefit sight, hearing, diabetes and community projects throughout our local area.” The Memorial is recognized as the premiere duathlon in the Capital District area. The duathlon race involves two 5k runs sandwiched around a 30k bike ride done individually or as a team. In addition, a separate 5k run/walk is held to encourage participants of all levels. For more information on participating please visit: For information on becoming a sponsor please contact: Dave Carr:; Phone: 518.212.7752 (The Saratoga Springs Lions Club is the local chapter of the Lions Club International. The Saratoga Springs Lions Foundation, is a 501 (c)(3) corporation whose mission includes raising funds that are used to support sight and hearing conservation, youth, diabetes research and community).



CHRONIC ILLNESS & DISABILITY Having an illness or disability is stressful. Did you know that 1 in 5 people have a disability and half of the population will, at some point, have some kind of chronic illness? That’s a lot of people trying to navigate stressful waters.

crowd-funding campaign shortly after our launch. BMB has also been the recipient of a $200,000 grant from SIX Marketing and a $1,500 grant from Global Foundries to offer a workshop for caregivers in the area later this year.

While we can’t always cure disabilities and chronic illnesses, we can care and manage the stress that comes with them. Reducing stress is directly connected to improved health and improved relationships – two things we want to be as strong as possible about when living with any kind of health challenge.

BMB provides positive, practical, powerful tools and support for emotional well-being to reduce your stress load so you can live a happier, healthier life. Be sure to visit

One year ago, Martel Catalano and Nell Pritchard established the not-for-profit Beyond My Battle™ to help individuals and their loved ones manage the stress of illness and disability. Offering both support and educational resources, BMB is rooted in using mindfulness, positivity, and self-care to build resiliency and create calm. As Beyond My Battle™ moves into year two, we are brimming with excitement. BMB held a successful

SAVE THE DATE: On Thursday, May 9th, BMB will be holding an event at the Spring Street Gallery called “Beyond My Battle: Art with Heart and Hope.” If you are an artist with an illness or disability, or are a caregiver, this is a great opportunity to share your art. Email for more information. Save the date to attend this informative and inspiring fun-raising event.


SPRING CLEANING? Perhaps you’re looking for easy tips to reduce not only physical clutter but also digital clutter? Andrew Moore-Crispin, Director of Content at Ting Mobile ( —a top-rated mobile service that loves to save consumers money and help them make the most of the cell phone experience – offers these great tips: 1. FAREWELL TO PHOTOS: Backup old photos and videos to the cloud for free with Google Photos. 2. SURVIVAL OF THE HIPPEST: Uninstall useless apps that take up data, slow you down, and eat your battery life. 12  |  HEALTHY SARATOGA | SPRING 2019

3. SCREEN SAVER: Organize your apps by moving frequently used ones to the home page or sorting them into smart folders. 4. PERPETUAL PERMISSIONS: Choose which permissions (i.e. location tracking) to grant to a given app as you install it 5. CUT THE CACHE: Browser data can build up to the point where it’s significantly slowing down your phone. 6. WHERE IT ALL BEGAN…: If the system freezes or some apps refuse to launch, back up your data and do a factory reset.






NORTHSHIRE Book Review THE GIRLS AT 17 SWANN STREET BY YARA ZGHEIB - Hardcover $27.99 "Anna arrived at 17 Swann Street as her last resort. Faced with an eating disorder, she meets other woman with similar illnesses and who, like Anna, are working towards their recoveries. This story is powerful and at times heartbreaking. Beautifully written and full of determination, strength, and honesty, this is a must-read by a very talented author. — Reviewed by bookseller Suzanne Rice "Certainly, readers will find strength, courage and hope” - from the review by general manager Nancy Scheemaker WHY WE SLEEP: UNLOCKING THE POWER OF SLEEP AND DREAMS BY MATTHEW WALKER Hardcover $27.00

Join in the fun, with people from all over the Capital District as we gather in Crossing Park, Colonie at the South Pavilion to hold a fundraiser for Operation at Ease and a 2k walk with the Empire State Capital Volkssporters on Tuesday, June 11 at 6:15pm. Special shelter dogs are matched with service men and women. Some of these specialized trained service personnel upon returning home face a challenging transition back into daily living with their memories of wartime conflict. Once the dog is paired with their human, the intensive training begins. The mutual trust that is forged between them is the basis for success functioning in our world for the service person. Meet at Crossings Park, Colonie at 6:15 pm to make a donation to Operation at Ease. Take a leisurely 2k walk ending with an ice cream social, nominal fee without donation. Information on Operation at Ease and sponsor Empire State Capital Volkssporters will be available. See you then. For more information contact

"Are you one of those people who puts your head down at night, setting your morning alarm clock, cringing as you calculate how many hours of sleep you'll get that night? Do you think losing an hour or two of sleep isn't a big deal or that you can "catch up later"? Do you think you're immune to the effects of caffeine? Matthew Walker is here to tell you just how wrong you are, making scientific discoveries accessible to the average arrogant reader, or rather, sleeper, who thinks little of popping Tylenol PMs, or pulling an all-nighter, and even less of the benefits of a good night's rest. An influential voice, Walker will be echoing in your head as you try to tell yourself one more episode in your Netflix binge won't drain you the next day". ~ Reviewed by bookseller Hanna Yost AMERICAN OVERDOSE: THE OPIOID TRAGEDY IN THREE ACTS BY CHRIS MCGREAl - Hardcover $27.00 A comprehensive portrait of a uniquely American epidemic--devastating in its findings and damning in its conclusions "Big Pharma's mantra, "a pill for every ill," triggered an American epidemic starting in the late 1990s when that pill was OxyContin. Distributors delivered, doctors prescribed, and patients unwittingly became addicted consumers. Now, with OxyContin's dangers well-known, many addicts have moved on to heroin, fentanyl, or, they have OD'd." ~ Reviewed by bookseller Mike Hare


Back to



learly, concepts on cleanliness change. Look back into history, it was simply not possible or practical for most people to bathe, scrub, sanitize, polish, perfume and so forth to modern standards. Now, we hear that we have overdone it and gone too far, brushing away from our environment all the beneficial bacteria and organisms in our food and surroundings that supported our lives and health. Additionally, the chemicals and their residues we used to accomplish this are left behind everywhere we breathe, eat and touch to absorb into our bodies and damage our cells and weaken our immune systems making us even more susceptible to disease and ailments. In our desire to be clean, we have been so good at making a mess of things!

The current thinking, which is continually evolving, is that our bodies are ecosystems of thousands of types of bacteria that ideally live in balance. In life, we are constantly introducing elements into this ecosystem that can either support or disrupt this balance. Our body works on balance--temperature, acidity, sugar, hydration and more--all of these are regulated and kept in stasis. Like Goldilocks, there is a too much and a too little. One of our main jobs is to help our body not have to work so dang hard to do its job! Just like the scene from the film Jerry Maguire, your body is pleading with you “Let me help you.... Help me, help you!” In general, our bodies are strong and want to be healthy, but need help from us to make good choices in our lifestyle--needless to say, it sounds easy but then there is reality. There is no guarantee to good health. It’s about playing the odds. A good balance in diet, exercise, stress, all help improve your odds of better health. Stress is the least defined in some ways and we all know there are stressors everywhere and we ought to try to reduce them in our day, but also learn how to cope with them since we know there’s always something! So back to cleanliness… One stressor that we can all simply reduce is the reduction of harmful chemicals in our homes. In general, we buy them, bring them home and then spread them over the entire house for us to interact and ingest them through our noses, mouths and skin. SOLUTION: Stop doing that and switch to simpler, safer products in place of more toxic ones. Fortunately, better choices abound and it’s not hard to find them. Yes, it can be difficult to tell what is actually better -or just better packaged- and you may get it wrong. If so, don’t stress, you’ll do better next time. And help is here… Check out this great resource, the Environmental Working Group's website on household cleaners: There are way too many to list but below are some of our favorites, so it’s just a start. 14  |  HEALTHY SARATOGA | SPRING 2019

Keep It simple stupid. White vinegar with water. You can’t get cheaper, simpler or better! The smell isn’t the best and there’s no fun in it really, but it cleans, disinfects and is super versatile, so that has its own pleasure. Great, great, great grandma did know best.

Bon Ami. They likely haven’t changed anything since 1886--now that’s a good business! It’s a powdered non-abrasive mineral powder to use anywhere that needs scrubbing. Check out their website story. rid of the copycats.

Don’t back out, Bac-out! This line of products

from Biokleen are favorites around here. A combination of enzymes, citrus and essential oils. Great at general cleaning, stains and odors. On their website, they ask for “your Bac-out story.” Ours included successfully cleaning car upholstery from cat puke. Others reference dealing with all types of baby oozing. Whatever the issue, there seems one great solution. Bac-out!

Worms. Not really worms, but Earthworm

drain cleaner. This enzyme-based drain opener does the trick -it eats clogs like worms eat soil. Reduce guilt (and stress!) by not dumping something you know is super nasty down the drain when there’s a better alternative that works.

Do trust the Dr. and his friends.

Dr. Bronners and other manufactures make castile soap. It’s a liquid all-purpose biodegradable soap with essential oils. Can be used on your bod but makes a great all-purpose soap too.

Citra, Citra, Citrasolve! A citrus-based classic. A little goes a long way and it’s not for everything but great as a base for an all-purpose cleaner since it’s super strong and smelly -in a good way! And then there’s liquid dish soap, dishwasher detergent and rinse aid, laundry detergents, stain removers, glass cleaners, all-purpose sprays and so on and so on. We love Ecos, Ecover and Biokleen brands for many of these, so explore, use these safe products and get (pretty) clean in the right balance!





White Trillium.


TThere’s clear evidence that native peoples roamed Skidmore College's North Woods 10,000 years ago. We know it was a prime hunting ground and thoroughfare for Algonquins and Iroquois journeying as far north as Montreal. Just prior to the French and Indian War, which began in 1754, refugees from Connecticut located around the base of Mount McGregor in a community called Palmer. From that came "Palmertown," the name that's been attached to the Palmertown Range, the rugged strip of Adirondack foothills that runs from Fort Ticonderoga to the northern edge of the Skidmore campus. The North Woods is the 150-acre parcel that’s bordered on the north by Daniels Road and railroad tracks and on the south by Skidmore buildings and parking lots. Nowhere in the entire Palmertown Range will you find a smoother network of trails. That’s because all three of the main loops - labeled Red, Orange, and Blue - were built as carriage roads in the late 1800s by one of Saratoga Springs’ most storied characters.


Judge Henry Hilton became the personal lawyer and advisor to A.T. Stewart, an innovative merchant in dry goods who acquired Saratoga Springs’ Grand Union Hotel and was one of the richest men in the world. Designated by Stewart to be the sole manager and executor of his $60 million estate, Hilton opted to keep Stewart’s businesses running after his death rather than sell them and distribute the assets. Squandering the entire Stewart fortune within 15 years, Hilton built Woodlawn Park as a 1500-acre gated community with multiple mansions, a boathouse, a clubhouse, stables for 60 horses, and 25 miles of graveled carriage roads, many with stone foundations and kerosene-fueled lamps. It was a “Herculean feat of landscaping,” reported the Troy Daily Times in 1881, admiring how the carriage roads “wind in and out of shady groves, up and down pretty glens and along smooth lawns decorated with many rare and costly marble statues.” When Hilton died in 1899, Woodlawn Park entered a long decline that continued until Skidmore acquired the property for its new campus in 1960. An owner who acquired the property in 1916 cleared virtually all trees on the property for a golf course that was never built. This explains why today we find no originalgrowth forest here. Instead, we find wondrous examples of nature's ability to regenerate. More than 660 species of plants now grow in these woods, where the trees are mostly northern hardwoods like oak, beech, hickory and sugar maple. “Wildflowers are abundant amid the limestone boulders that litter the forest floor,” writes Jackie Donnelly, author of the popular blog, Saratoga Woods and Waterways. “The prize that never fails to delight is the beautiful but elusive Yellow Lady's Slipper,” one of 60 orchid species found in New York State. Yellow Lady's Slipper

If You Go Skidmore’s North Woods website is worth a close browse before starting your hike. You’ll learn all about its history, geology, flora, and fauna, and – most importantly – you'll find a map. Park in the lot for Palamountain Hall and start on the Red Trail, right next to Wilson Chapel.


GET YOUR Gear ON MOUNTAINMAN OUTDOOR SUPPLY COMPANY Saratoga Springs Clothing & Footwear 490 Broadway Saratoga Springs (518) 584-3500

7 1

6 2 3



1. Women's Kuhl Stella Fleece Jacket, $99.00 2. Women's Patagonia Insulated Snowbelle Pants, $199.00 3. Osprey Packs Kestrel 48, $144.00 4. Women's North Face Purna Luxe, $165.00 5. Men's Oboz Bridger BDry, $175.00 6. Men's Mountain Khakis Camber 107 Pants, $74.95 7. Men's Marmot Stretch Fleece 1/2 Zip, $75.00





f the thought of “eating healthy” conjures images of gray, floppy “meat substitutes,” miniature portion sizes and ingredients only a rabbit could love, you haven’t eaten at Core Life Eatery.

Located just off the Northway in Clifton Park, Core Life Eatery offers generously-sized bowls and plates of greens, grains and broths all made without preservatives, genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), additives or artificial colors. In short, it’s good food that’s good for you. In 2015, the first Core Life Eatery opened in Syracuse. Now there are more than 50 locations spread from Utah to Vermont and Michigan to Florida. The Clifton Park location is the first in the Capital Region with the second slated to open on Wolf Road in Albany this spring and more to come.


The concept is similar to other fastcasual spots: customers order at the counter (or via the Core Life app for quick pick up) from a selection of chef-curated items or opt for a buildyour-own experience. All the menu items are gluten-free (except the complimentary slice of multi-grain bread) and many are vegetarian and vegan-friendly. After your dish has been made, diners can choose to dine in at one of the 70 indoor seats or on the patio in nicer weather. The menu features warm rice bowls, plates, green bowls (salads), grain bowls, broth bowls and soups. Core Life Eatery makes all its dressings in house and also offers a selection of handpressed beverages. The BBQ Ranch Chicken Rice Bowl starts with a bed of warm, fiber-rich purple rice and then is heaped high with chicken, corn, black beans, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, jicama, tortilla strips and a tangy house-made ranch dressing.


Meatless more your speed? Opt for the tofu plate which is full of firm, marinated tofu, a scoop of al dente purple rice and seasonal roasted vegetables (Brussels sprouts on our visit). Get a side of bright, herbaceous cucumber basil dressing for drizzling or dipping. Core Life Eatery is on-trend with its poke offerings. Try the tuna poke green bowl. Marinated ahi tuna is tossed with kale, Napa cabbage, cucumber, quinoa, carrots, scallions, ginger, edamame, avocado, sesame seeds and almonds. Enjoy this raw-fish wonder with umami-laden miso sesame ginger dressing. You can have your steak and eat healthy too with the Ranch Flank Steak Rice Bowl. This protein-packed bowl of grass-fed steak, house-made falafel, punchy pickled onions and jalapenos, roasted vegetables and purple rice is a bowl brimming with varied texture and satisfying meatiness. Spring is just around the corner but with the chill socked in, perhaps a steaming bowl of soup is what you crave. Each of Core Life Eatery’s bone broths are scratch-made and take 20 hours to make. That investment is worth it as the resulting broth has a concentrated, rich flavor. The chicken bone broth is featured in a number of the broth bowls including the grilled chicken tortilla and the chicken chipotle tortilla broth bowl – a new, smokier, spicier version of the original.



Don’t be fooled by the velvety, thick texture of both the broccoli cheddar and tomato and basil soup. Cauliflower is used to thicken the soups to their hearty texture for a guilt-free spoonful. If you just can’t get enough of the rich bone broth, take some to go. The beef, chicken and vegetable broth is available for purchase in 16 and 32 ounce containers. Enjoy it simply heated up at home or swap it out for your usual broth in your next batch of soup. Core Life Eatery also makes its own juices like the tart and bright ginger lemonade and the refreshing beet lemonade. Some selections rotate according to which veggies and fruits are in season so there’s always something new to try. More than just another fast-casual restaurant, Core Life Eatery offers fitness classes and partners with local wellness businesses for community events including yoga sessions. Last fall the whole chain of restaurants launched a 21-day challenge where participants eliminated sugar, artificial ingredients and alcohol from their diets. Thousands from across

the country signed up and were able to interact with each other on a private Facebook page. Former pro quarterback Tim Tebow is a Core Life enthusiast, backing the brand by investing in a couple Core Life Eateries of his own in the future. Core Life eatery has something for everyone on the menu, even youngsters! Start them early on healthy eating habits with a Children’s Menu featuring fun items like a kids power plate & scratch made chicken noodle soup. Whether you’re looking to make serious dietary changes or you are just looking to not regret your lunch choice, Core Life Eatery takes honest ingredients and transforms them into the healthy, flavorful eats you can feel good about. Core Life Eatery is located at 11 Clifton Country Road, Clifton Park, Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week. Price: Entrees - $8 - $12 (additional charge for some items like avocado and extra portions of protein)


GET YOUR FLEET FEET 37 Kendall Way Malta 518-400-1213


1 2

IRUN LOCAL 425 Broadway Saratoga Springs 518.886.8537




7 5


1. FLEET FEET: Women's Mild Stability Shoes, $160 2. LULULEMON: Women's Scuba Hoodie Fleece, $118 3. LULULEMON: Girl's Camp Hardly Wait Romper, $64  4. FLEET FEET: Women's New Balance Impact Capri, $70 5. IRUN LOCAL: Running Sunglasses 6. FLEET FEET: Men's Brooks Beast Motion Control Shoes, $160 7. IRUN LOCAL: Women's Jacket Overlayers 7. LULULEMON: Men's Division Track Pants, $118 24  |  HEALTHY SARATOGA | SPRING 2019

Gear ON 7







1. FLEET FEET: Fleet Feet Sports Ultralite Visor, $20 2. IRUN LOCAL: Reflective Gear 3. LULULEMON: Women's Knot Your Typical Tank, $68  4. FLEET FEET: Men's Nike AeroLoft Vest, $180  5. IRUN LOCAL: Road Shoes 6. IRUN LOCAL: Leggings 7. FLEET FEET: Men's Craft Fuseknit Comfort Long Sleeve Baselayer, $50




I feel my nerves beginning to stir… starting something new is a little nerve-wracking. The facility is clean and brightened by fresh neon paint. The windows bathe the studio in warm natural light. I look around and realize that there are people of all abilities, shapes, and sizes - all preparing to complete the same workout. My nervousness is immediately put at bay as Kelsey, one of the trainers, describes each of the stations. I can do this. Friendly faces greet me as they announce I am a first timer. I feel completely welcomed. Encouraged to move at my own pace and to use the weight I am comfortable with, I find a spot in a small group of men and women. A few minutes in, sweat dripping, heart pounding I reach down and grab a hold of a 20lb kettle bell. With some help from trainer Kelsey, my form is perfected. The weight transfers from out in front of me to under me with the help of my legs and gravity. twenty more seconds I think to myself… and before I know it, I am moving on to the next station and crouching into a plank position to strengthen my core. The class is high energy and people high-five as they


pass each other on the way to their next exercise. It feels more like a community than a “gym.” There are no blank stares toward television screens or people in monotonous isolation, sound obscured by earbuds. Everyone is together, in sync… and their mantra… One workout. One family. One goal. All of a sudden it makes sense to me. The enthusiasm is palpable. If you have been wondering who Metabolic is for, it is for people who enjoy a fast-paced, circuit type, workout in a group setting. Metabolic Saratoga is located off exit 15 making it convenient for people coming from North and South off the Northway and Saratogians alike. With 10 classes Monday-Friday that last just 45 minutes and 3 classes on Saturday, it is easy for people with all types of schedules to fit into their day. Male and female locker rooms with 2 showers each make Metabolic a convenient place for those needing to get a workout in on their way to work. I love that everything I needed for the workout was there waiting for me. I simply walked in with my water bottle and the trainers did everything else. Metabolic is a great place for athletes and novices alike. Intense workout. Positive energy. Knowledgeable trainers.

Kelsey McDonald, trainer

“Our circuit-style strength training at a pace with a focus on correct form is what sets us apart at Metabolic.” - Kelsey McDonald, Certified personal trainer through NASM-(National Academy of Sports Medicine) and Certified Nutritional Specialist

CLIENT QUOTES: “I really enjoy training at Metabolic because workouts are always changing and I know I will get a great total body workout, every time, in 45 minutes or less. I am always pushed and encouraged, which has allowed me to get into excellent shape. Most importantly, the great atmosphere and camaraderie created by all the trainers is fantastic! -Kevin Roberts “Working out at Metabolic is like having your own personal trainer every day! They are always mixing up the workouts and the music is almost as motivating as the trainers! I love it! -Jackie Szurek



Ballsfest Saratoga 2018... Frank and Angie with past and present Ballers

Giving Cancer a

KICK IN THE YOU-KNOW-WHAT! Children. They should never have to feel brave or courageous. But they do. And they are. WRITTEN BY THERESA ST. JOHN PHOTOS PROVIDED


rank DeBlasi is a testicular cancer survivor. During his ordeal with the disease, he kept a positive, upbeat attitude.

He was going to beat it. Maybe there were moments of fear and doubt during the initial diagnosis and subsequent treatment. Those closest to Frank would know. Summertime in Saratoga brings Dave Matthews to SPAC, along with a myriad of fans. …Frank might be one of his biggest. In the midst of his illness, he felt the need to do something big in the community he loved – something that would bring attention to cancer, help raise money to do battle, to beat it.


In 2007 Frank began hosting small gatherings with family and friends before settling in at SPAC, listening to songs like ‘Crash into me,’ ‘ Space between,’ ‘Ants marching,’ and ‘So much to say,’ which helped raise money for cancer awareness. It didn’t take long before additional events drew the attention of other people who’d been affected by the disease and wanted to help fight it. The proceeds from each social gathering went to a national cancer foundation. In 2013, Frank’s focus shifted as he began to identify children in the Upstate New York region courageously fighting for their lives. Eureka moment….He knew he wanted his burgeoning outreach to benefit them.

Ballsfest is a registered non-profit organization whose purpose is to lift the spirits of children, young adults, and families overwhelmed by cancer. It’s all about providing unforgettable moments, gifts and experiences, for those facing obstacles that often accompany this life-altering journey. One mission of the non-profit is to honor and celebrate as many youngsters as possible, inducting them so-to-speak, into the Ballers club. Besides the annual fundraising event, Ballsfest seeks out grants, year-round contributions from individuals and other foundations willing to help children face challenges we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemies. Kids. They’re so brave and resilient. Every day they hope for a cure. And because they’re kids, they love all the things healthy kids love. Like Disney cruises, John Deere tractors, custom playsets, traveling out West for adventures, hiking and ATV rides, custom playhouses, and more.

Frank and Angie at Ballsfest Happy Hour at Adelphi Hotel to announce my position as Executive Director back in June

Everyone connected with Ballsfest has one thing in mind; healing more than the bodies ravaged by chemo and radiation. It’s all about surrounding the children and their families with support and love during the hardest moments in life, caring for them from the initial diagnosis, through treatment, recovery, and well beyond. The team builds long-term relationships with Ballers and their families, continuing after the child, hopefully, has recovered and settled into living again. Cancer’s implications can remain for years after a youngster receives a clean bill of health, and this non-profit organization works hard at creating a community that addresses worrisome issues as they arise, for as long as they’re needed.

Gavin's Custom Playhouse

Ballsfest takes place mid-July, during the “Dave Matthews Weekend” at SPAC, and is held at one of the pavilions on the enormous property from early afternoon into evening. Hundreds of people are expected to be in attendance and the day’s events are already well into the planning stages for 2019. Everyone knows that Frank has a sense of humor, especially the children he calls up on stage to stand beside previous ‘Ballers.’ Only now Frank roasts the newbies during the Ballsfest ceremony. He relates funny stories he’s learned about each of the children in gentle, humorous speeches-eliciting laughter, moments of joy, and a day which celebrates hope for their healthy future. Ballsfest New York excitedly announced it's first ever hiring, Angie Silipigno, who is now Executive Director overseeing all patient experiences and programming in the Capital Region. This hire deepens the year-round commitment to the Upstate area where Frank and Ballsfest first found roots. Angie has extensive experience with direct patient care. She spent 15 years as a Certified Child Life Specialist at Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital in New York City and the Melodies Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Albany Medical Center. Even more than her hands-on-education though, Angie offers empathy and compassion to those in the throes of cancer.

Baller Cameron... John Deere Day... spent the day at John Deere factory riding on equipment, taking a tour, got customized motorized ride-on John Deere four wheeler to take home

Her main focus will be on raising awareness, seeking financial support for new or existing programs, as well as building deep, meaningful relationships with other groups in our community that are as passionate about childhood cancer and finding a cure. For ticket information to the 2019 Ballsfest event, ways you can donate, or information covering other events throughout the year, please reach out to the following. • • 518-646-1599 Frank, Angie, Baller Olivia, and her family on new playset


Select Local Road Races SPRING 2019 MARCH 31


11:00 a.m. (10:00 am; Kids Fun Run, all participants will receive a ribbon) Glens Falls HS, Quade St., Glens Falls, NY




Start times: 9 a.m.; 10K, Kids’ 1 Mile Run; 10 a.m., 5K, 10:30 a.m. Runners can run both the 10K and the 5K for one $15 fee. Kids’ Run $6. Salem Central School, East Broadway, Salem


Select Road Race Information compiled by: Vice President of Saratoga Stryders

Send your race information to be considered in our next edition (published May 31) by April 24, 2019 to

ROTARY 5K CORPORATE CHALLENGE 10 a.m., SUNY Adirondack Student Center, Bay Road, Queensbury, NY T-shirts for the first 300 entrants


HAVE A DRINK ON ME 5K ROAD RACE 10 a.m., SingleCut Beersmiths, 6 Fairchild Square, Clifton Park Post-race party in the afternoon.

MAY 11

PROSPECT MOUNTAIN ROAD RACE, 5.7M RUN Start time, 9 a.m. Prospect Mountain, Lake George Village

MAY 12


MAY 18


10 a.m., One Bayberry Drive, Malta, finish at Recovery Room Sports Grill

MAY 26

SARATOGA SPRINGS LIONS DUATHLON AND 5K RUN 5K run/30k bike/5K run, Individual, 2 and 3-person team. Saratoga Casino and Raceway, 342 Jefferson St, Saratoga Springs TheSaratogaSpringsLionsDuathlon


CHARLTON HERITAGE 5K AND KIDS’ 1 MILE FUN RUN 10 a.m., 11:00 Fun Run, Red School House, Charlton Rd., Charlton, NY


Starting times; Wave 1; 9:15 a.m., Wave 2; 9:20 a.m., Kids’ 1 Mile 8:30 a.m. Saratoga BOCES, Henning Rd., Saratoga Springs TuffeNuff5KObstacleChallange


LIFESONG DASH 5K AND KIDS’ RUN 9:30 a.m.; Kids’ Run, 10:00 a.m.; 5K Halfmoon Town Park, Clifton Park, NY


DRAGON THE DADS 5K RUN AND 1 MILE KIDS’ RUN 5K; 9 a.m., Kids’ Run; 10 a.m. Warming Hut Spa State park, Saratoga Springs DRAGONtheDads5K

Kelly’s Angels Mother-Lovin’ 5K Run and Kids’ Fun Run 9:15 a.m. 5K start, 8:45 Kids’ Fun Run start Orenda Pavilion - Spa State Park Saratoga Springs. 30  |  HEALTHY SARATOGA | SPRING 2019




I first discovered paella – the famous rice dish from the Valencia region of Spain – when I was in my mid-twenties, learning how to cook, figuring out my way through the world. The dish entranced me for its complexity – the saffron, the rice, the chicken, pork, seafood, vegetables, doing it absolutely right. I reserved it for special occasions, because of the work it involved. Years and decades, and many paellas passed. Over time, I discovered that “absolutely right” does not exist, in the kitchen and in many other areas of life. What really matters is trial and error, experimentation, variation, and a willingness to have fun and play around with what’s available right now seasonally in one’s garden, freezer, or local farmers’ market. And, as I have discovered, paella is perfect for such innovation. Contrary to perceptions of it being a complex and time-consuming preparation, it


actually is quite a simple dish to make, rooted in origins as a farm laborer’s dish. I can put it together now in an hour, with a clean kitchen, chopping boards, knives, and prep bowls all in place. And, of course, the ingredients, too. Mark Bittman’s Master Paella Recipe, published by the New York Times, breaks the dish down to a series of ingredient sets: meats, vegetables, fish. One can omit any of these sets or replace them with something else. For a good paella, follow his master recipe. Or follow my adaptation, the Farmers’ Market Recipe, which is tailored to what is in season now. In this case, I chose to double up on fish and omit the sausage or ham that I often include to create a lighter dish. The key is to create a dish with a little bit of -a lot of vegetables, seafood, and if you wish- meats that represent a rainbow of colors and a variety of tastes.

Farmers’ Market Paella Ingredients:


1 small red onion, * finely chopped 2 radishes, * diced 2 carrots, * diced 2 stalks celery (or celeriac), * diced ½ cup cabbage* 1 cup basmati rice 2 cups chicken stock ½ cup red wine A pinch of saffron, optional ½ lb. steelhead trout, * cut into one-inch pieces ¼ lb. scallops* ¼ lb monkfish, * cut into one-inch pieces ½ cup tomato salsa Olive oil Microgreens* Fresh lemon slices

1. Heat olive oil in a wide shallow pan or skillet. Add salsa and fry at a medium heat until it has the consistency of a paste. 2. Add vegetables and cook for about three minutes. 3. Add rice, and using two wooden spoons, mix gently into vegetables. 4. Add broth and wine, so that rice is covered with liquid. Stir in saffron and lower heat slightly to medium low. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 25-30 minutes. 5. Bury fish pieces into rice mixture and cover pan. Cook until rice has completely cooked, and fish pieces have turned opaque. 6. Remove from heat, top with microgreens and lemon slices, and serve.

Master Paella Recipe (adapted from Mark Bittman, New York Times)



3 tablespoons olive oil ½ pound meat (such as chicken, * sausage* or ham*), optional Salt and pepper, to taste 1 onion,* chopped 1 bell pepper, minced 2 cups rice 1 pinch saffron, optional 3-1/2 cups liquid (chicken stock, vegetable broth, water, wine or a combination) 1/2-pound seafood* 1/2-pound vegetables*

1. Place olive oil in skillet at medium high heat. Add meat, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until nicely browned. Add onion and bell pepper and cook until soft. (If you’re not using meat, skip right to the onion.)

2. Add rice and saffron and cook until shiny. Add liquid and stir, until just combined. 3. Stir in vegetables and seafood after about 10 minutes. Lower heat. 4. Cook until rice is tender but still a bit moist.


Eating Healthy Doesn’t Have to




ou’ve heard the saying, “Let’s do lunch!” Well, let’s really do lunch. When trying to be mindful of our health and our bank account, lunch – and, for many of us, breakfast too – can pack on the pounds and eat into our weekly budget.

I know what you’re thinking. “Ugh, I’ve got to eat the same thing every day?” Not necessarily. Here’s what I do to add some variety to my chicken. Take two or three aluminum pie plates and split your chicken breasts evenly among them.

So many of us run out the door in the mornings, rushing to drop the kids at school or daycare, beat the traffic and get to work on time. We don’t always take time to prepare our meals in advance, opting instead for drive-thru fast food or a $12 head of lettuce with a few garnishes otherwise known as a “garden salad” that we grab in a hurry during in the middle of our hectic day.

If you’ve been paying attention to some of my other tips (see my earlier article about mixing your own rubs and “seasoning” packets), you’ll have some ready-made seasonings on hand. If not, you can quickly toss together some easy seasoning blends using Italian herbs, Mediterranean seasonings, or spicy Mexican rubs. Make sure you mix enough and keep it in a mason jar on your shelf. (BTW, it looks pretty too!)

So, let’s really do lunch – in advance. Here are just a few simple ways that we can trim our budgets and eat good, healthy foods that may also help us trim our waistlines.

Make your lunch on Sundays I know. It sounds like you’ll spend one of your only two days off slaving in front of a stove – not true. Here’s one example: cook up a bunch of boneless chicken tenders in the oven. Sound boring? It doesn’t have to be. Look for sales on chicken tenders in the grocery store. Or, you can buy family size packages of boneless chicken breasts and cut them into chicken strips when you get home. It may add five or ten minutes onto your prep time, but the savings are usually worth it. 34  |  HEALTHY SARATOGA | SPRING 2019

Toss the chicken in the seasonings – think shake and bake – and lay them in a single layer in each of the pie tins. Pop them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes and you’re done! (If you want a crispier chicken, pop them under the broiler for a few minutes before taking them out of the oven and letting them cool. You can then divide your chicken into portions and stick them in the fridge. You can grab a bag on the go, along with healthy multi-grain bread, or throw a few pieces in your salad for some much-needed protein at your midday meal. By the end of the week, chances are you’ve saved anywhere from 5 to 25 bucks. And you may even be able to tighten your belt a notch!




n an age of instant online access to (sometimes questionable) medical information, DNA testing kits to determine your heritage as well as your predisposition to disease, and the ever-changing results of studies offering a mixed bag of advice on what to eat, what to avoid, and how much exercise is enough, we must all work proactively with our medical providers to take responsibility for our own health. For women, paying attention to their cardiovascular health is all too often overlooked – or unrecognized. Women facing the stressors of modern living, combined with genetic predisposition and lifestyle choices, are often ill-equipped – or unwilling – to recognize the symptoms of heart disease. Many women will ignore critical warning signs at their peril. Here are some plain and simple facts about women and heart disease: • Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death in women. • The signs and symptoms of heart disease in women can be very different than for men. • Ninety percent of women have one or more cardiovascular risk factors. • Preventive measures for women require a comprehensive approach, with coordination of care between primary, cardiology and other specialties. • There needs to be a more heightened awareness of why women need a different approach to heart health. While most of us know the importance of healthy eating, regular exercise and monitoring salt intake, cholesterol levels and blood pressure, this is only one aspect of prevention. Women are at a disadvantage


because many don’t know how to recognize the warning symptoms of cardiovascular disease. Others simply don’t take the time to heed what their hearts – or other body parts – are telling them. As a woman of a “certain age,” whose mother was diagnosed with cardiovascular disease in her early 60s, I was particularly interested in learning more about women and heart disease. So, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to speak with not one but three medical professionals at Saratoga Hospital. I had lots of questions for them. Read on for some very important information that could potentially save your life. NICOLETA DARABAN, MD, FACC

Q: Hello Dr. Daraban. Why do women have such

different symptoms of heart disease than their male counterparts?

A: “Women’s heart symptoms can present differently

than men. But also, the perception of their symptoms is different. Historically only 20 percent of women were enrolled in clinical trials, according to the American Heart Association. “When we think of someone having a heart attack, we think of crushing chest pain and shortness of breath, and that is based on what has been historically reported by large cohorts of patients, mostly men. Until relatively recently, we were simply not sensitized to unusual or less reported presentations of a heart attack, which women are more likely to experience. Symptoms such as dizziness, fainting, indigestion, lower chest or upper abdomen pain are common in women. “Some women have microvascular disease, which

means they do not have blockages of the larger heart vessels, but small vessel disease. This type of presentation, although real and with the same long-term implications, is harder to diagnose by traditional testing. “There are also psychosocial factors at play. Women tend to have multiple life distractors - work, family, children, and they have a tendency to ignore their already atypical symptoms. Or they simply assume that their symptoms are related to stress and not seek help.” KARIN BORRELLI, MD Saratoga Hospital Medical Group Primary Care

These are the types of blockages that men get. Men typically have a focused area of calcification (plaque) in one or more of the major blood vessels of the heart. "Women, on the other hand, tend to have a smaller amount of blockage located more uniformly throughout all of her arteries, which have a smaller diameter. Her blockages are more likely to be soft plaques. Women often present with vague symptoms. Or if they have chest pain, they could complain that it is triggered by lack of rest, sleeplessness or anxiety. So, the symptoms may be attributed to something other than heart disease.”

Q: Dr. Borelli, what are some of the things you tell patients about their lifestyle and demands?

A: “One thing that people don't expect me to say is

get treated for depression! Depression increases your chance of getting heart disease. Number two: eat food, not too much and mostly plants; and, number three: EXERCISE. Dr. Borrelli also weighed in on the question of symptoms and the difference between men and women when it comes to heart disease. “You typically do not get classic symptoms of a heart attack (like chest pain) until you have more than a 70 percent blockage of one of the major coronary arteries.

Nicoleta Daraban, MD, FACC

Karin Borrelli, MD


Jeff Winacott MBA, RN

JEFF WINACOTT MBA, RN Administrative Director Cardiovascular Service Line

Q: Jeff, What are the top three things each

woman can do for herself to avoid cardiac disease?

A: "First get evaluated and/or screened for

heart disease. Know your family history, your BP, your cholesterol and your BMI. Many comorbid conditions play into your cardiac risk factors."

Q: And, Jeff, what are the current medical trends in care and treatment of women with cardiac disease? A: "Current trends are to initially get screened.

Have a discussion about your risk factors with your physician or cardiologist. Then, if deemed appropriate, there are exercise stress tests, nuclear studies, echo studies and ultimately a cardiac catheterization."

Q: Dr. Borrelli, Is the once-a-year cholesterol test enough? A: “No. And no. For women at risk, checking

cholesterol is not enough. And yearly may be wrong, too. Make sure your doctor has an accurate and up-to-date family history. And make sure you get regularly screened and treated for high blood pressure and diabetes. And of course, if you do smoke, get help to quit. "And, don’t forget, checking your bloodwork is not the only thing you should be doing. Be an active participant in your own health! In between testing of any kind, you should continue to be working on lifestyle modification (diet and exercise) and, of course, taking your medication.”

Q: Dr. Daraban, please talk about your

A: “As a community-based cardiologist, cardiovascular prevention is an important piece of my practice. At least half of my patients are women and I am deeply involved in all aspects of their cardiac care, customized to their individual needs, from pregnancy-associated conditions to care of geriatric women with cardiovascular disease. As a member of the Saratoga Hospital Medical Group, I am involved with other specialties in providing collaborative medical care to women in our community. "Any symptoms that are new, persistent and have an impact on the quality of one’s life should be addressed immediately. For example, shortness of breath with otherwise usual activities, or any chest, back, neck, or jaw discomfort that does not seem to go away, fainting, or sustained palpitations should be immediately addressed.” "It all boils down to a few key components: • Know your risk factors, including family history;

• Keep active - every little bit counts;

• Learn how to take care of yourself. Be your own advocate. “Current trends in cardiology range from increased education and awareness to a need for more gender-based data, but we also have to continue to push for customized cardiac care,” adds Dr. Daraban. If you or a loved one are concerned about having a higher cardiac risk, discuss with your doctor about additional testing or have a cardiology consultation. You know better than anyone else if something is wrong. Don’t ignore the signs. Listen to your heart.

approach to treating women at risk for cardiovascular disease.






ristin Lefebvre (le FAVE) was terrified the first time she saw her daughter, one-year-old Milana, experience a seizure. She packed up Milana and her brother and sister, then 3 and 2, and rushed to the emergency room at Albany Med only to have the doctor send her home, saying it was unlikely to have been a seizure.

“I’d never seen a seizure before,” she said, “but I knew in my heart that’s what it was.” Milana had another seizure two days later. It wasn’t long before the doctor agreed, and nearly three months later, Milana was suffering seizures daily. Now thoroughly frightened, Kristin and her husband, Andrew, packed up the family and went to Boston Children’s Hospital on the advice of a trusted developmental pediatrician.

Milana was diagnosed with infantile spasms, a rare form of epilepsy, and furthermore, her condition had a rare presentation, difficult to detect by EEG. Recently, she underwent a new round of genetic testing and it was found that she has MED13L (Mediator Complex Subunit 13 Like) haploinsufficiency syndrome, a newly discovered genetic disorder with clusters of epileptic spasms. She also has several other conditions, including severe scoliosis, a cortical visual impairment and a moderate hearing loss. She has gastrointestinal issues and must use a feeding tube. Additionally worrisome is Milana’s brittle bone condition, causing her to fracture easily. Milana needs round-the-clock care. She must be held during a seizure so she cannot accidentally cause a fracture or otherwise hurt herself. So Kristin stays home with the children while Andrew works as a special education teacher, a position he began training for not long after Milana was born. Today, Milana is 9 years old, Angelo is 12, Téa, 11, and little sister Anamaria is now 6. “We tried Milana on one medication after another, with horrible side effects, trying to slow or stop the seizures,” said Kristin. “They do a number on your body and brain. I know they hurt her and I would do anything to make them stop.” Kristin searched online for solutions and came across several Facebook groups of parents with autistic and epileptic children. “We had put her on a ketogenic diet, which stabilized her, but she was still having seizures,” said Kristin. “Parents on Facebook said they were having good results with CBD oil, so a couple years ago we decided to give it a try.” Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is a derivative of the marijuana plant and does not have the euphoric, intoxicating properties of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), according to Saratoga Springs family nurse practitioner Sacamarie (Sasha) Crowley, FNP. She is certified in New York State to write a recommendation (NYS does not call them prescriptions) for medical marijuana and, with Sasha’s help, Kristin was able to procure a medical marijuana card for her daughter and obtain the balm through a local dispensary to apply to Milana’s feet.


Sasha said the laws are different in every state, but here in New York, both the patient and the recommending practitioner must obtain certification through the state department of health before being allowed to access and use medical marijuana. “Milana is a child with refractory epilepsy seizures lasting anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes, and a poor quality of life that has failed all traditional medicine,” said Sasha. “The risk of trying CBD is low to moderate at best. Kristin saw her suffering and felt she was out of options.” So they began her on the CBD oil without THC, which gave Milana more days without seizures, but it was not the reduction Kristin and Andrew had hoped. So they tried a different brand, and had more success, a full week without a seizure. According to Kristin’s online research, a medical marijuana treatment that included THC would be more successful. So just this month, Milana was started on a 20-to-1 ratio of CBD to THC. Pharmacist Katie Ogden of newly opened medical marijuana dispensary FP Wellness in Halfmoon said, “With children’s dosing, it is best to start low and go slow. There are no clinical counts of anyone technically overdosing on marijuana. There is a chance for elevated euphoric effects, but these can wear off with some time. What’s key is the follow-up. Through follow-up and adjustments, we can find the specific ratio that most effectively treats the patient’s symptoms.” Additionally, Katie explained that different parts of the plant and different strains of the plant can have different effects. The refining processes used are not all the same, so this can explain why Milana felt different effects between each product. This is, in part, why ratio dosage is done by trial and error. Another is a lack of data. Sasha 42  |  HEALTHY SARATOGA | SPRING 2019

and Katie both agree that there are too few studies about the effects of medical marijuana at all, much less for children. Due to federal regulations, almost all of such studies are done overseas. But when the right dose is found, the results include relief from seizures and other chronic pain, depression, PTSD, anxiety, inflammation, and certain cancers. Katie recounted a story when a parent told her he was able to bring his autistic son, who had begun a medical marijuana treatment, to a movie for the very first time at 9 years old.

which is not covered by insurance, so they began a Go Fund Me page at

without life-threatening seizures, and the family hopes they can find a ratio for even longer relief.

“Bringing Milana out to visit a doctor is hard,” said Sasha, “given her seizures and the other children. Even though Kristin and Andrew have a beautiful system they have worked out together, transportation is a real concern. I have no problem doing home visits, but most practitioners can’t.”

Sacamarie (Sasha) Crowley, FNP, is located at 2 Franklin Square in Saratoga Springs and can be reached at 518-646-1971.

But thanks to medical marijuana, Milana can go as much as a week

Katie Ogden, PharmD, can be reached at Fp Wellness by calling 518-879-9224 or visiting To learn more about the New York State Medical Marijuana Program, visit

“It meant so much to him. He’d never been able to do that before,” said Katie. “It’s just a reminder of why we do what we do.” Milana’s parents were told their daughter would not make it much past her first year or two. Now she’s now 9, and between the ketogenic diet and the medical marijuana, she no longer needs the seizure medications that caused painful side effects. But she is still experiencing seizures at great risk, so her family is all in. According to Kristin, Milana’s big brother Angelo, who would like to be the next Jim Henson, creates and plays puppets with Milana, showing her the magic in the world. Téa has a gift for drawing and is very compassionate. Her teacher describes her as a good friend to anyone who needs it, and Anamaria helps her friends to shine, encouraging them like a little mama. “I am so proud of my loving, optimistic, creative children,” said Kristin, “and my husband is a wonderful dad. We’re the only two people who take care of Milana’s needs, and I feel really good knowing that I have a partner in everything. We may never go out to a restaurant together, but with as much love as we have in this family, we don’t need it." But the family does need to leave the house to go to Boston or local doctor visits. Milana is in a wheelchair and needs a handicapped accessible van,


Profile for Saratoga TODAY

Saratoga Family / Healthy Saratoga Spring 2019  

Check out our new two-sided, flip magazine! We’ve combined two of our popular niche publications to offer you everything you need to care fo...

Saratoga Family / Healthy Saratoga Spring 2019  

Check out our new two-sided, flip magazine! We’ve combined two of our popular niche publications to offer you everything you need to care fo...