Inspired Health SLO County Magazine

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Adventure Aide Hiking, Biking, Making Friends



Beyond Speech Therapy c h a n g i n g l i v e s e v e ry d ay

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What is Neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback is direct training of brain function, by which the brain learns to function more efficiently. We observe the brain in action from moment to moment. We show that information back to the person. And we reward the brain for changing its own activity to more appropriate patterns. This is a gradual learning process. It applies to any aspect of brain function that we can measure. Neurofeedback is also called EEG Biofeedback, because it is based on electrical brain activity, the electroencephalogram, or EEG. Neurofeedback is training in self-regulation. It is simply biofeedback applied to the brain directly. Self-regulation is a necessary part of good brain function. Self-regulation training allows the system (the central nervous system) to function better. Neurofeedback addresses problems of brain disregulation. These happen to be numerous. • Anxiety/Depression • Headaches & Migraines • Seizures Spectrum • Traumatic Brain Injury • Autism Spectrum • Attention Deficits • PMS & Emotional • Cerebral Palsy • Behavior Disorders Disturbances • Optimal performance in high • Various Sleep Disorders • History of Stroke stress jobs and sports

6965 San Luis Ave, Atascadero


B e y o n d S p e e c h T h e r a p y. n e t

FEATURES: INSPIRATION Dreams of Bouncing to Olympic Gold


Health at Every Size


Why Are You Stretching


BALANCE Meditation: Which One is Right For Me?


Classical Music and Your Health


Is Modern Wheat the Culprit of All our Health Woes


Redefining the Weight Loss Paradigm


INNOVATION Using Technology to Heal the Mind and Body


The Future of Health is Now


Making Vegan Easy in SLO County and Beyond


ADVENTURE Adventure Aide: Hiking, Biking, Making Friends


Stoked and Sweaty


c o m m u n i t y n ews • d i g i t a l p r e s e n c e • eve n t s • m a g a z i n e s

Avila Beach News



SELF NURTURING Life Coaching with Horses


Travel Tips to Keep You Glowing and Going


Chinese Medicine’s Seasonal Approach


Enjoying a Ketogenic Lifestyle on The Central Coast


Grooming Tips for Guys



Bret Colhouer Lani Colhouer


Christy Serpa Michelle Johnson


Theresa-Marie Wilson



Caring Callers Keep Older Adults Connected Socially


This Doctor Makes House Calls


Dave Diaz Leah Castelein Justin Stoner Karita Hårrskog Mike Lee



When Food is a Source of Fear, Not Nourishment


Transforming Your Health with Blending and Juicing


Talley Farms’ Recipes for Healthy Smoothies


Disaster Readiness: A Personal Choice



Carrie Vickerman Dana McGraw Jessica Micklus Rose Cutrer Zorina Ricci




I’ve never been one who sets New Year’s resolutions, but I do appreciate the reflection part of the process. In setting any new goal it’s always helpful to look back at where you’ve come from and where you are now before setting a plan on moving forward. I often find myself reflecting on the past, both accomplishments and failures alike. I’ve always considered myself a “live in the moment” kind of a guy while appreciating the fact that my past has led me to exactly this place. Along that same line of thinking, is the school of thought that life is a journey, an education, preparing you for what is next in store. Our hope when creating this issue of Inspired Health is that it will speak to you no matter where you are in your process of self-discovery. Whether you are reflecting on your accomplishments or failures, happy with where you’re at or planning for your next steps, our hope is that you find answers, inspiration or the help you need to be the best you can be. Thank you to our extensive readership and the feedback we get from each issue we publish. You, the reader, the one on the journey remain our inspiration. Follow us on Facebook @ inspiredhealthslo, or on instagram @inspiredhealthmag or email us feedback, comments or story ideas to

Bianca Clayton Courtney Haile Dr. Abiola Oladoke Heather Hellman Jessica Mumaugh Judy Salamacha Julian Varela Karita Harrskog Leslie Keith Lisa Story Mark Diaz Meagan Friberg Ron Alsop Ryan Joiner Virginia Marum

This is a publication of Simply Clear Marketing and Media, Inc., Copyright 2007–2018 all rights reserved. One free copy per person. Additional copies can be obtained at our offices 615 Clarion Court, #2, San Luis Obispo, CA, 93401. Simply Clear Marketing and Media makes every reasonable effort to ensure the accuracy of its contents. Please notify us if information is incorrect. phone (805) 543-6397 fax (805) 772-4625 615 Clarion Ct., #2, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

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eenan Howell can fly, or at least he appears to. The 13-year-old is making a name for himself in competitive trampoline circles and has his eyes set on the 2024 Olympics.



Last year, Keenan unexpectedly wound up in a synchronized trampoline competition and won a gold medal at Nationals in Milwaukee — the first time he competed with another athlete. He also took home the gold in the solo event and is now a three-time national champion.

For those who think trampoline is just bouncing around for a few hours, that is far from the truth. Every practice begins with 30-40 minutes of conditioning, warming up and stretching on the floor. “He is pretty much huffing and puffing by the end of that and dripping with sweat,” said Adam Nanson, head coach and trampoline and tumbling director at Legacy Training Center in San Luis Obispo. “It is a full body workout.” Much like traditional gymnastics, competition involves two routines, the compulsory and the optional. Both comprise at least 10 skills with the former a specific set of moves and the latter allowing the athlete to show off their “big skills.” Competitors are judged on time of flight, degree of difficulty, and horizontal displacement or deviation of the landing position outside the middle box. “If you mess up one bounce you are done,” said Adam. “If you do the wrong skill or you touch the mat at the level he is at, you are done. There is no coming back from it. It’s 10 to 20 skills of absolute perfection.” Keenan first developed an interest in the trampoline at about 3-years-old while playing on one in the family backyard. Four years later, he began taking the sport seriously. In addition to the physical benefits of regular exercise, Keenan said training also helped change the impact ADHD has had on his life. “I was a lot more active, and my body felt a lot better instead of being inside at school every day,” said Keenan adding that the training allowed him to focus. “I started out in men’s gymnastics, and I didn’t really like it, and then I discovered the trampoline. I said, ‘Trampoline is a sport, let’s do it.’ Trampoline is the funnest thing you can do. I started taking it seriously and really working at it.”

His mother, Zoe, who is also one of her 6-foot tall son’s biggest supporters, said she has seen a marked difference in Keenan since getting involved in the sport. “He has a gift,” she said. “For someone like him, he would be a problem in the classroom, would have trouble making friends and would get made fun of by other kids. He has deficits over here, but he has huge things that are positives over here. He has excelled so much and has so much confidence — it’s because of the trampoline.” Keenan is currently homeschooled to allow for the intensive travelling to compete during the January to July season, where he has earned Youth Elite athlete status. That ranking can only be earned by qualifying at specific events with a specific score after obtaining level 10 status “If you have the opportunity, you better grasp it,” said Adam. “If you don’t, you stay at level 10. As a coach, there is nothing I can do to bump you up to Elite.” The governing board of USA Gymnastics makes the final decision “Coaches are lucky to have one to two elite level kids in their career,” said Adam. That level of athleticism could take Keenan all the way to 2024 as a member of the USA Trampoline Team. continued, page 9

Keenan shows off some of the medals he has won. Photo by Theresa-Marie Wilson



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GET YOUR GLOW BACK! Trampoline gymnastics athlete Keenan Howell soars through the air during competition. Photo submitted.

“I do have a lot of things to work on and improve on, but I can see World Championships in my future,” said Keenan. “The Olympics is the biggest meet you could ever go to. First place, you are best in the world. It is every athletes dream to go to the Olympics because it is such a big meet. There are a lot of crazy athletes there.” Near the end of this interview, Keenan only had one thing on his mind, and that thought might just take him all the way to Olympic Gold. “I just want to bounce,” he said. Anyone interested in donating to Keenan’s athletic career can check out the Go Fund Me page set up in his name to help with travel expenses to and from competitions across the United States. See,

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hat Does Health at Every Size Mean?

Health at Every Size (HAES) is a weight-neutral philosophy that acknowledges healthy behaviors for improved health rather than a number on the scale. When the focus shifts from weight loss to wellbeing, individuals are more likely to see long-term benefits in physical and mental health. HAES is an evidenced-based, non-diet approach that supports an intuitive relationship with food, moving one’s body in a joyful manner and self/size acceptance.

Principles of HAES: Accept your size – Love and appreciate the body you have. Doing so allows you to move on from body shame and focus on wellbeing. Trust yourself – Honor feelings of hunger, fullness and appetite signals.Eating food is meant to nourish the body to feel good. Adopt healthy lifestyle habits – Find the joy in moving because it feels good. Eat when hungry and stop when full. An overall healthy diet does have room for less nutritious foods. Embrace size diversity – Accept and respect the inherent diversity of body shapes and sizes, without focusing on specific weights.

Encouraging and supporting healthy behaviors has proven more successful for physical and emotional health than relying on a diet for weight loss. Eating mindfully/intuitively and moving your body in a way that feels good are two ways to practice self-health and body kindness, under the HAES philosophy. Mindful/Intuitive Eating Becoming a mindful eater means, recognizing the body’s hunger, fullness and appetite signals. Tracking your body’s behavior towards food rather than calories, allows for a more accurate level of nourishment. Mindfulness allows individuals to distinguish between physical hunger and emotional hunger.

Moving Your Body to Feel Good Increasing physical activity does not have to mean signing up for a new gym membership. When the purpose of physical activity is changed from weight loss to improving your health, it becomes a more sustainable practice. Here are a few ideas: Go on a walk with your family, a friend, or your dog Sign up for Zumba, line dance, or two-step lessons with your partner or friend Take the stairs vs the elevator or park in a faraway spot Start a neighborhood walk/hike/bike/run group

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Mindful Eating •

Being aware of how you eat.

Knowing your hunger and fullness cues.

Eating to nourish your body and meet your hunger needs accurately.

Having a conscious awareness of your food choices.

Letting go of critical thoughts.

Acknowledging food for what it is rather than categorizing it as good or bad.

Demonstrating compassion toward self and others.

Accepting self and body as they are.

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Mindless Eating •

Eating triggered by emotional rather than physical hunger.

Grazing on food.

Multitasking while eating (watching TV, driving, or talking while consuming food).

Skipping breakfast or other meals.

Ignoring hunger and body cues (rumbling stomach or low energy).

Continuing to eat despite feeling full.

Eating everything on your plate regardless of the portion size.

Allowing the should and should-nots to dominate food consumption.

Jessica Mumaugh, recently completed her registered dietetic internship at Cal Poly SLO. Julian J. Varela holds an M.S. degree in exercise science and health promotion and a M.A. in clinical psychology, marriage & family therapy. Email Julian at:

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ery few people enjoy the feeling of stretching pain. Some do, (think yoga), but most do not.

So why do people stretch? Generally, because they want to achieve a goal. They want something to be different in their life: more flexible hamstrings to bend over and tie shoes easier, more flexible shoulders to reach back or overhead better, or, in the case of martial arts, want to kick higher so they work on their splits. The vast majority of people stretch for a specific reason. And there is emerging science around flexibility training versus range-of-motion training that is quite profound and could change the “normal” approach to stretching. A very small change in attention can lead to huge improvements in range of motion (quickly), and make life a lot easier. First, to understand this concept EMG must be discussed, (electromyography). In EMG, electrodes are placed on a muscle while a person contracts it or does something with their body. This allows scientists to measure the activity in that muscle while it works and actually see how hard it’s working — a very simplified explanation, but that’s basically how it works.

Take two different types of athletes, a bodybuilder athlete and a field sport athlete, and measure the activity in their muscles while performing their sport and you’re going to observe two very different patterns. For example, if the EMG electrodes are placed on the bicep muscle as the bodybuilder does a bicep curl and is instructed to, “Think hard about the muscle, think about making it contract hard, focus on the feeling,” the EMG data will show that the muscle activity went up. Way up! And many people are already aware of this. It’s an old school bodybuilding technique. For many years really big, strong people have said, “Hey, if you want to get stronger and bigger think about the muscle while you work it. Think about how it feels and try to make it contract harder.” Conversely, if a field sport athlete’s bicep is measured doing something like throwing, or a Jui-Jitsu fighter grappling, no matter how “hard” they move a very different activation pattern is observed in the muscle. It’s significantly less. continued, page 14




(Left) Hip stretch until it reaches a “tight, end feeling.” (Right) Press the ball to the door jam (or touch the door jam).

The athlete is not focused on the muscle itself. Instead, they’re focused on something external: hitting a target, performing a maneuver, etc. EMG on that bicep shows that activity in the muscle is much lower when thinking externally rather than internally. Which makes sense, right? An athlete’s primary goal is efficiency, not maximum tension, which burns up energy. What researchers are finding is that there’s a really big difference between an internal focus of attention and an external focus of attention with regards to what happens inside a muscle. Going “inward” with attention actually makes a muscle develop more tension, contract harder, and/or be stiffer. So going back to, “why are you stretching?” If the goal of stretching is to achieve better range of motion — which for most it is — a person should apply their focus externally, not internally. Focusing internally on the muscle and how the stretch “feels” will actually decrease how far one can stretch, defeating the whole purpose. For example, a man wants to train to touch his toes because his doctor told him it will improve his ability to do tasks below his knees without hurting his low on back. So, he starts working on hamstring flexibility. He bends over reaching for his toes and starts feeling the stretch. “Oh, I can feel that just below my hip! Wow, that’s so tight! Oh, and now I can feel it behind my knee, that’s really sore!” Get the picture? He’s placed his focus internally on what the muscle is doing and that will limit how far he will stretch by quite a lot. You can test this for yourself. Step back, put a foot up on a chair, and do a hamstring stretch, reaching for the



(Top) Where upper spine feels it has hit the end. (Bottom) Touch your shoulder to the paper. toes and focusing on how it feels at the “end” of the stretch. Stop where it feels tight and observe how far you stretched towards your toes. Now, try it with an external focus. Do the same thing but set a target outside of the body, e.g., think of making your wristwatch reach down and touch a shoe, (two completely external targets). Go further? Yes, everyone does. The brain loves goals; it loves to hit targets outside the body. It’s actually wired to operate on the external world, e.g., chase and catch the prey, climb and pick that fruit. When most people try to improve flexibility they focus on what they feel, “Oh, that hurts so good” or “That shoulder is so tight!” That’s an internal focus. And the brain will stop them from going as far into the range of motion. The limit of “flexibility” is not a “short muscle.” It’s the brain’s preset limit for how far it will let a joint move through a certain range of motion so as not to get hurt. The nervous system’s number one job is to prevent injury and generally takes a conservative stance on how far it will let a joint move, especially when one puts their focus internally. There are no tight cadavers. After death, everyone is flexible! The nervous system is no longer protecting joints. However, if you give the brain an external target, and thus “distract” it with a goal, it’s number one job becomes hitting the target. Thus, the joint will move further to achieve the goal.

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$ (Left) Reach for your toes until your hamstring feels tight and painful. (Right) Place an object on your chest and move it down to your shorts.



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(Left) Shoulder stretch to point of tight feeling. (Right) Touch your thumb to the wall.

So, whatever the goal — improve shoulder range of motion for a better tennis serve, or be able to bend over and tie shoes more effectively — having an external focus when doing range of motion training (as demonstrated in the photos below) will help achieve the goal of flexibility a lot faster! Ryan Joiner is the Owner/Founder of Athlon Fitness & Performance in San Luis Obispo. Since 2003 he and his team have specialized in fitness and performance coaching to help our community look, feel, and perform at their best. To contact him or learn more about fitness and performance coaching,, or call (805) 546-6070.

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uestions have often been broached around the subject of meditation, what is it, how is it done, what does it benefit? With this topic, these questions and many more float about. Meditation was often thought to be something confined to the esoteric.



It required several years of consecration, discipline and sometimes an ascetic lifestyle to master meditation. Nowadays, there are many ways and forms of meditation and it can be confusing to truly understand if one is meditation or simply relaxing.

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To better understand meditation, it is important to know its purpose and intentions. What differentiates a person who is simply in repose from one who is meditating? The answer came from research in neuroscience and psychology. Many studies have shown and continue to show brainwaves and functional magnetic resonance imageries of those in meditation and the benefits to general health and wellbeing. Neuroimages of meditators, even beginners, show brain grey matter concentration in areas of learning, memory, emotional regulation, and sense of self. Long term meditators show larger hippocampus, cortical thickening and more grey matter volume in the frontal region of their brains. Many benefits are now being linked to long term meditation practice. Some of the benefits include: • Increase of emotional wellbeing by lessening worry, anxiety, stress, fear, depression, loneliness and impulsivity • Bolstering self-esteem, self-acceptance, and self confidence • Increased relaxation, optimism and awareness

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• Improved mood and emotional intelligence • Increased mental strength and cognitive skills • Improved memory and recall • Improved immune system • Increased energy • Reduced blood pressure • Regulates heart rate and variability • Regulates breathing The benefits alone make meditation a tantalizing regimen to adopt. However, it also begs the question, “which meditation technique is the right one to adopt? The answer lies in the intention of the meditator. Is the reason for meditating to feel more happiness? Become emotionally balanced? Improve overall wellbeing? Attain focus and increase attention? Or for spiritual wellbeing?

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Research shows that all forms of meditation are good and in some way support one or more of the intentions for meditating. It can however become confusing to determine which technique is best. The true question is, what does the meditator want? To harness power over one’s thoughts, to increase focus and attention, to increase joy and happiness, to reduce stress and anxiety, to simply be, or to achieve these and more?

Open monitoring meditation technique allows the meditator to become aware of the stream of consciousness associated with the mind and become aware of that awareness. The awareness is the voice in the meditator’s mind. When the meditator is aware of the stream of consciousness, the mind chatter eventually subsides and leaves a sense of stillness and peace. By becoming an observer of inner processes, even judgment can become an awareness. Then the critic is out of the way and peace prevails within. Wondering how this can be put into practice?

To answer the question, let’s explore a few techniques.


Technique #

Do this, in this moment, right now, begin to observe thoughts and feelings without attachment. Observe how the breath is moving up and down. As the observation continues, become aware of the random thoughts floating through and changes in emotions: which ones create happiness, which ones create sadness? Observe each thought and the changes each one brings. Do not question, do not process, only be aware of each thought and be aware of the changes in state.

Ever purposefully sat by the ocean and watched the sea otters bob up and down in the currents as they sleep for fifteen minutes? It turns out, this could be a form of meditation. The technique of focused attention meditation suggests keeping attention for a length of time, on the breath, an object, a part of the body, a painting, or a sound. As the focus continues, depth and steadiness of attention increases. Practicing this technique regularly helps reduce distractions and increase attention span and attention depth.





That is one way of practicing open monitoring meditation.




Suppose the reason for meditating is to cultivate more love for self and for others, is there a technique that is best supportive of this? Turns out there is! Loving kindness meditation focuses on the breath and the heart. Eyes closed, the meditator begins to send feelings of love, kindness, joy and benevolence towards the self, then to others and to the universe. This form of meditation is best practiced with other people; otherwise, a solo meditator may practice before a mirror while imagining the presence of others. In the process of meditating, meditators may also imagine being soaked in showers of love, joy, kindness and benevolence first toward the self and then to others. Loving kindness meditation has been credited with increased generosity, joy, happiness, and love for self and for others.

Technique #4

Is there a technique that harnesses all the benefits and requires little to no effort from the meditator? The answer is yes. With the advancements in neuroscience and applied neuroscience, those who want to meditate but do not want to bother with spending forty years of practice to become a Zen master can achieve the same results in a few weeks. Wondering how this is done? By purposefully targeting specific areas of the brain, the brainwaves are encouraged to sync to frequencies which then trains the individual to focus, quiet the mind, become mindful, and open the heart. This technology assisted meditation is called neuromeditation. For those who desire focus (attention, concentration, breath focus), open monitoring (mindfulness), quiet mind (transcendental meditation, Zen, Zazen, open focus) and open heart (loving-kindness, compassion, generosity, empathy), neuromeditation may be the answer. The ease of it, because it is “meditation done for you,” may also make it a favorite method.

Eat Whole, Live Happy: In an era where stress has been linked to multiple health conditions; meditation, of any kind, is a way to alleviate the impact of stress and engage parasympathetic nerves processes. Meditation offers many benefits. It helps to regulate mood and anxious states. It reduces stress and panic; it supports the immune system and it helps with focus and mental clarity. Its goal is to allow the meditator to be present with the self and live in the moment. In doing so, the body and mind can rest and rejuvenate. It is the rest and rejuvenation that promotes immune wellbeing, stress reduction, happiness and general wellbeing.

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Whichever technique is of appeal, endeavor to practice often. Meditation could very well help to live long and prosper.

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ver notice the stress levels in a dentist office? Seen that really nervous patient sweating, twitching and wishing they could be anywhere else in the world than to have to sit in that chair. Luckily, most dentist offices now have the option for patients to listen to music during a procedure. What’s the best music to choose to alleviate all that stress and calm those nerves? Classical. Yes, classical. There have been numerous scientific studies on how classical music provides a myriad of health benefits for humans. Many of these studies show a strong reaction in the brain. The brain responds best to classical music’s melody and rhythm. The rhythm raises the level of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps maintain joyous feelings. When classical music is played, it positively



affects the body. Here are a few health benefits connected to listening to classical music: In an Oxford University study, listening to classical music was found to decrease blood pressure. A dose of a Haydn symphony or Dvorak cello concerto just might be the antidote during or after a hard days work. Sapienza University in Rome found that classical music, more specifically listening to Mozart, boosts memory by increasing brain wave activity connected to memory. They tested other forms of music, but Mozart playing in the background helped students test higher than those with no music. Mozart composed more than 600 pieces, all by the age of 35, so there are plenty of wonderful concertos and symphonies for study or a work project.

Classical music has been shown to reduce stress levels. Studies show that classical music can also match the tempo of a person’s heart, thereby easing anxiety and depression. Turn on a lovely Beethoven, Brahms or Chopin piano sonata for complete relaxation.

These are just a handful of health benefits of listening to classical music. When we add live performance to the mix, a collective, social connection happens that provides a complete rush to the brain that heightens our emotions and joy.

A study in the Journal of Advanced Nursing showed that soothing classical music helped an older test group sleep longer and with better quality (without disturbance through the night), alleviating the use of medication. The study group listened to music 45-minutes prior to bedtime for three weeks. A lovely, flowing romantic piece from Tchaikovsky would do nicely.

In a recent Washington Post article, “This is Your Brain on Art” (September 18, 2017), the writers’ evidence showed that while the arts are considered the domain of the heart, its transporting effect happens in the brain. In fact, a new scientific field, neuroaesthetics, is using brain-imaging and neuroscience to study the relationship between the arts and the brain. Here is what happens in the brain at a live performance: The brain is designed for social connection. We crave it. Being in a crowd of strangers is a real high for our brain.

A study published in The Arts in Psychotherapy found that a trial group with low and medium grade depression had less depressive symptoms after listening to classical or baroque music for 50 minutes a day, everyday for eight weeks. Tune into the sublime of Vivaldi, Bach and Handel masterworks.

continued, page 22

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Our brains like to share emotions with others. Seeing a live performance is a neural rush for our brain. Even wordless art can help us discover meaning and a story. We can listen in a safe space. Watching the movement of a 70-piece orchestra, hearing the rhythms and the changes in the tone of the music lets us imagine the story a composer is telling through the music. We can go on a journey and know we will be safe at the end. We love a story. While the example in the Post article is watching a ballet, when adding music (classical in this case) in the context of the movement, the emotions all come together, whether it be sadness, joy, anger, love or despair. Our feelings are stronger with music. At a live performance, all the billions of brain cells of the audience connect in a shared experience. At a symphony, we watch the conductor’s body flow to each section, bringing out the best of each musician. We see, hear and feel the oneness of a large orchestra as the music rises and falls in perfect harmony. A collective bond rises in the audience. We find our own meaning in each note.



Where do we begin to listen to classical music? There are so many choices. Start on YouTube. Search for classical music and composer. Tchaikovsky’s symphonies, the 1812 Overture or the Nutcracker Suite are all familiar. Then perhaps dive into Mozart, Beethoven or Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2. There is also Spotify or Symphony Hall on Sirius XM. Locally, listen to KCBX or KUSC for great classical selections. And for a live performance, nothing can compare to the San Luis Obispo Symphony. It’s absolutely an incredible experience for the brain and the body. Heather Hellman is the Principal of HWY 101: Branding, Marketing, Events and, currently, the Marketing and Communications Director of the San Luis Obispo Symphony. She listens to classical music at work, in her car and at home. Her blood pressure is 119/60. You can reach her at or (805) 2158545.

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rains and modern wheat are one of the most condemned food sources in this recent decade. Yet as far back as the Stone Age, we see cave paintings of the wheat harvest, and in Egyptian tombs dedication to the food of the gods; let’s face it, wheat has been part of our ancestral diet and is as Paleo as it gets. So how did something we have eaten and idolized for thousands of years get such a bad reputation? Scientist and researchers blame the phenomenon on the modern farming of wheat. Such as the hybridization of the grain, resulting in a GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) based crop along with the high amounts of modern pesticides now interlaced within the plant itself. So, is gluten harming us or is it the toxins on and in the grain? Others point towards the processing of the grain that bypasses how humans once soaked, sprouted, and milled then fermented the grain before producing food-products like breads, crackers and cakes. You can see the up rise in popularity of sourdough breads for this very reason. There is no anthropological denying that wheat and



grains are such a powerhouse of food for humans that we have put a lot of focus on planting, growing, and processing it into food products. We have even created ways to make it higher in the gluten protein so we can create breads faster and quicker. Modern wheat is the icon of food science, thus the antithesis of anything ancient, old or traditional. The popularity of ancient grains has skyrocketed among health fanatics including farm-to-kitchen restaurants and bloggers. It is possible the popularity surrounding the grains is simply because the ancient stories that surround them place them into opposition of modern or refined, further glorifying the eating traditions of our ancestors? In other words, the revolt against processed and fast foods. While there may be many reasons for the spike in interest, the true question is whether the health claims surrounding these grains are accurate. Do they hold more nutrients? Are they easier to digest? Is there less likely for gluten intolerance when eating ancient grains? And, are they truly better for the earth?




Many of our common grains like modern wheat, oats and corn have nutrients; however, they may be imbalanced by our sensitivities to them because of the high content of pesticides or overbreeding of the grains that increase gliadin contents making them harder for us to digest. In contrast, do ancient grains hold up to the nutrient content once touted by the Whole Grains Council?

One of the most important foundations of reviving ancient grains lies in the removal of monocropping. Modern wheat and modern farming was an experiment originally in good intentions –– ways to increase production and reduce costs, to ultimately help feed the world. But this substantive hybridization, mutated the grain in a way that was hard for us to digest but also didn’t create bio diversity for our fields or our soils. The estimation of lost grain is over 80,000 breeds and varieties, yet 90% of what we consume comes from one type of plant. Farmers who grow and revive ancient grain crops start them literally from seeds that have been around for millennia making sure they are free of hybridization and manipulation. In San Luis Obispo County, we currently have a seed saver bank for this very reason and our very own local ancient grain farmer on this mission — Larry Kandarian of Kandarian Farms. Some farmers simply use the mantra to fuel their mission “they are as nature designed them.” One of the most exciting aspects of the ancient grain revival is the promise of more to come. The increase in ancient grains will allow our earth as well as our diet to be given much needed nutrient diversity as well as help reduce our over consumption of modern wheat.

Let’s start by looking at a common few: Polenta for example has more protein than a large egg, 10% of our daily vitamin c and it can be an excellent alternative to bread or pasta. Bulgur is a powerhouse of fiber and 26% of our daily niacin and over 15% of our iron and b6 needs, plus it is fast to cook making for a quick addition to salads. Amaranth, one of the oldest grains, doesn’t hold the gluten protein and is still high in protein and brain boosting amino acids with a whopping 42% of our daily iron! Farro and spelt are both some of our more ancient lineages of wheat being what we most likely see in old drawings and paintings and the bases of “living breads” and Biblical matzo. These grains were most likely leavened with ancient fermentation processes which increased the bio-availability of the manganese, protein and b vitamins found in this plant. Millet, kamut, and teff are other examples of the long list of ancient grains that also hold a large variety of our Polenta needed nutrients, and, ironically, many of the nutrients modern humans are deficient in. An example of an ancient wheat that is also superior in nutrients and easier to digest is einkorn. Why do we find that these grains do not create the gut issues of modern wheat? It is in their genetics. While they maintain high nutrients, they maintain not just lower amounts of gluten but different strains of the protein. Therefore, einkorn is being studied as a potential help to the gluten crisis.

Virginia Marum, owner and chef at Vert Foods located in San Luis Obispo, teaches and prepares real food philosophy based in a style of cooking and preparation called Ancient Nutrition. She coaches gut health courses as well as has a local active blog, co-hosts on a radio show for dismantling myths about food, and is currently writing her book Real Food Movement. Visit







or decades, counting calories and controlling food intake has been a key strategy for weight loss. The weight loss equation has been simplified to ‘eat less, exercise more’ and within this model one can enjoy all foods in moderation, provided the calorie limit for the day is obeyed. Sadly, as our nation has become increasingly obsessed with counting calories, we have become chronically obese, chronically inflamed and chronically ill. It is time to move beyond calorie counting and redefine the complex weight loss conundrum. We must change the way we think about food and weight loss, to achieve long-term, sustainable results and optimal health. Major flaw with calorie counting In the calorie counting model, all calories are created equal. When tracking daily food intake, one hundred calories from an apple is counted the same way as one hundred calories from a soda. However, foods, and thus, calories, are not created equal — 1500 calories from highly processed, inflammatory foods is not the same as 1500 calories from unprocessed, anti-inflammatory fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. They have very different metabolic effects in the body. For example, a 400-calorie breakfast of instant oatmeal spikes blood sugar and insulin levels, raises stress hormones and causes a rapid rebound in hunger after a few short hours when compared to a 400-calorie breakfast of a vegetable omelet that keeps blood sugar and insulin levels stable, does not spike epinephrine and keeps hunger at bay.



When making food choices we must remember it is so much more than calories. We must focus on the quality rather than the quantity as every food morsel influences our genes, hormones, gut microbiome and overall health.

Figure 1 highlights some of the key components to consider. As a pivotal starting point, weight loss programs need to be personalized, as one size does not fit all. Everyone has a unique set of genes and we must eat foods that support our individual make up. Figuring out the balance of macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats and proteins) that work to stabilize blood sugars, reduce insulin resistance, prevent viscous swings in hunger sensations and end food cravings is essential.

Figure 1: Zero to Hero Nutrition Weight Loss Paradigm

continued, page 28

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Over simplified weight loss equation The current weight loss model would lead us to believe that weight loss is simple: restrict calories, hit the gym more and bam! But do you regularly skip breakfast or lunch, eat less and less calories, and still gain weight? Have you tried every diet under the sun and embarked on crash diets with minimal food intake, only to regain any lost weight, and more? Or, have you tried to out run a bad diet? It is time to stop and look at the bigger picture.



Redefining the weight loss paradigm The body is a complex, wondrous machine that is wired to eat and conserve energy. Biological mechanisms are built in to protect us from starvation and were much more useful in times of famine than today in our current abundant food environment. When calories are severely restricted or a large quantity of weight is rapidly lost, the body buckles down the metabolism, sends out strong appetite signals to

encourage feeding and tries to get back to the original body weight (set point). This is the main reason it is so difficult to maintain weight loss. In fact, 97% of people regain lost weight, with interest, after one year. However, an approach that addresses the underlying biological drivers, focuses on diet quality, lifestyle behaviors, genetics, environment and toxins, hormones and even our gut microbiome increases the likelihood for achieving sustainable weight loss and optimal health. As everyone is different, there is no one ‘perfect diet’ that can be guaranteed to work for all. However, using a S.O.U.L. (seasonal, organic, unprocessed and local) foods approach that includes a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and lean protein will improve gut health, reduce inflammation and increase the chances of weight loss for most. Adding in exercise in the form of resistance training or high intensity interval training, getting adequate sleep (7 – 8 hours per night), reducing stress levels with yoga and meditation, reducing exposure to chemicals in the environment and balancing hormones, particularly thyroid and cortisol, will also contribute greatly to any weight loss endeavor.

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In the End Weight loss is complex but achievable. Breaking it down into the different components and tackling each component one at a time will increase success rate. The end goal should not just be a number on the weighing scale. It should be an increase in energy and vitality, an increase in strength, a reduction in pain, an increase in self-esteem, an improvement in quality of life and a reduction in disease risk. These are the true markers of success and the ones that really matter. Weight loss should also not be about deprivation. It is an opportunity to change your lifestyle and eating habits once and for all and to nourish your body and soul with the healing foods it deserves. Fiona McKiernan, MS, RDN, CSG, CLT is a multi-award winning and published registered dietitian nutritionist. She is a Certified LEAP Therapist and is specially trained in integrative and functional nutrition. She has a private practice in Santa Maria and specializes in autoimmune conditions, chronic candida, food sensitivities and gut dysbiosis. For more information, visit or email

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wner and Speech-Language Pathologist April Nolan stresses the ‘beyond’ in her business Beyond Speech Therapy (BST). When people think of speech therapy, most would likely think of stuttering or fluency issues, but language pathologists cover a wide variety of ailments, such as swallowing. Although many difficulties in speech arise from a physical ailment, for instance, if one muscle in the 37 used in swallowing becomes injured then the whole process is affected, but anxiety also plays a major role in challenges like fluency. “I wish they would almost change our professional name because the title doesn’t include all of the facets that we work with and the areas that we work with,” said Nolan. BST has incorporated an innovative technology to assist with a multitude of disorders that go far past the typical dysfunctions that are treated by a speech pathologist. Nolan utilizes a bio/neurofeedback device that is a successful tool in treating things such as PTSD, insomnia and migraines.



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To understand how neurofeedback works, it is necessary to understand how brainwaves work. The brain operates in four different types of brainwaves; the alpha, resting; the beta, engaged or active; delta, sleep; and theta, daydreaming and actual dreaming. If these brainwaves are not functioning optimally or are out of sync it can cause anxiety, which in turn can cause a whole slew of problems with the mind and body.

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Using the NeXus 32, Nolan can see the brainwave activity of a patient, and by using different visual stimuli, can guide the patient into balancing their brainwave patterns and heart rate. “You’re teaching the body how to heal itself,” said Nolan, “and I know it sounds like the biggest bunch of hogwash voodoo. I know it does, but I did it seven years ago for migraines.” Previously, Nolan treated her migraines with medication; however, when she became pregnant she could no longer use the medication to mitigate the onset of an episode. She turned to neuro/biofeedback and was amazed by the results. “I was not a believer at the time,” said Nolan, “but I thought, ‘you know what, I will try anything right now because I am miserable.’ And I didn’t even know the research behind it, but I did it and it worked.”

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She says that she still can feel the headaches coming on, but she can prevent them with the breathing techniques she learned from the treatment. “I can literally feel the headache melt away,” said Nolan. The powerful little machine is smaller than a breadbox, and the process is relatively simple in nature. Initially, Nolan will first monitor a patient’s heart rate by clipping a small device to the patient’s earlobe. The patient is instructed to watch a computer screen that displays a wave graph that shows an optimal heart rate pattern as well as the patient’s heart rate pattern. The two are never in sync at first, and in fact, the patient’s graph is generally jagged opposed to the gentle wave of ideal rhythm displayed. Nolan then instructs the patient to breathe at a steady rate. Optimally, an exhale is two seconds longer than an inhale.

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Once Nolan discerns the proper breathing rate for the patient’s body (for this reporter, it is four seconds of inhaling steadily, but not too deep and six seconds exhaling) she displays a picture on the large computer screen. The pictures vary, but are pleasant in nature — a flower or serene picture of a brook. The image will be displayed as long as the person is breathing ideally. If breathing falters the picture becomes black and white and will eventually fade to a black screen if not corrected. It is surprisingly difficult in its simplicity, but improvement can be seen in the first 30-minute session. Nolan can also use games to help training proper breathing. For example, instead of a motionless photograph being displayed, a patient can drive a car or fly a plane with their mind. The better the breathing, the better the vehicle performs. The neurofeedback operates in much the same way but measures brainwave patterns instead of the heart rate. A cap with multiple sensors is worn by the patient and measures electric waves emitted by the brain. Different brainwaves are displayed on the screen in a bar graph and the participant is instructed to level out their brainwaves, by using the proper breathing techniques. Nolan had been trained to identify irregularities



and can the correct brainwaves that need adjusting. For example, people who are stressed or “overthink” things generally have very high theta wave and a low delta wave. When the patient steadies their breathing properly, these waves begin to level out; lowering the theta and raising the delta. Simply by breathing the patient calms their mind and in turn calms their body. Nolan says patients usually experience results after their first session. People typically sleep better the night after their first treatment. As the body becomes accustomed to breathing properly, the technique can become almost automatic. Generally, the processes can be mastered after 20 sessions, which translates into about six months. Stress and anxiety wreak havoc on our mental and physical states and if sustained over a long period of time, which is common in our society, can cause a variety of disorders. Nolan believes, and can personally testify, that teaching people to balance their mind and their body through technology can have dramatic and long-lasting positive results. Beyond Speech Therapy (BST) is located at 6965 San Luis Ave., Atascadero. Find our more at


ody scans, bionic limbs and intergalactic travel were common in shows like Star Trek and Star Wars but who would have thought that similar technologies would actually appear in our lifetime? Technological advancements over the last 10 years alone have brought what was once science fiction into reality. The

next 10 years are certain to bring about even more advances and, who knows, perhaps in 10 years we may have the opportunity to live to 100+ with a full-head of hair, all of our teeth and the energy of an 18-year old, but much wiser of course. Here are 10 potentially life altering technologies to keep a bionic-eye out for. continued, page 34




1. Healthcare Education: Augmented Reality It’s estimated that the United States needs close to 100,000 new doctors to meet current needs. This means we need to churn out doctors faster than ever. Unfortunately, the current educational system has created a backlog of future physicians. What’s the solution? One company, 3D4Medical, is helping doctors learn about anatomy without having to cut open a cadaver. Using data from MRI and CT scans, 3D training tools allow future docs to interact with human organs and tissues as if they were real physical objects (think, Marvel’s Agents of Shield or Minority Report). Though 3D imaging isn’t new, the ability to pull an organ out of a screen and manipulate different layers is cutting edge.



2. Pocket Physical Therapy Let’s face it, visits to the doctor’s office or physical therapist is time consuming and tedious. What if you could take your physical therapy appointment in the comfort of your own home or office? New advances in video-technology and the demand for more convenience has made home rehab a reality. And lucky for us, one of the first developers of this technology was developed by San Luis Obispo’s very own, Team Movement for Life. The new software platform is aptly entitled teleMOVEMENT.

3. 3D Printed Casts “Breaking a leg” isn’t just for performers. A fractured arm or leg is never a pleasant experience and wearing a cast during the healing process is just downright annoy-

ing. This year however, a Spanish 3D printing startup, Exovite, has experimented with 3D printing technology that will allow the doctor to scan broken bones, print out a water-proof, lightweight cast in minute, and voila, you’re free to go home. During the next visit, the cast is popped open for a quick examination and you’re off.

4. 3D Printed Drugs

Using similar technologies as discussed above, 3D printing may be on the verge of changing the pharmaceutical world by printing personalized drugs for patients who react to the same drugs in different ways. Additionally, individual information such as gender, race and age may be used to create optimal dosages as unique as a fingerprint. This process could even lead to combining multiple drugs into one pill to treat multiple ailments at once eliminating the need to take 20 pills a day.

5. The Fountain of Youth Juan Ponce de Leon was ahead of his time when seeking the Fountain of Youth, and although he was not successful in doing so, it may soon be within our grasp in 10-15 years. Companies like Alkahest are developing trials to identify the key proteins in plasma that rejuvenate or age human tissues and then manufacture a product that uses them. Over the next two years, Alkahest will take human plasma and divide it into fractions that are rich in different proteins and begin testing in mice for improved brain function. If the tests look positive, we may be in line for the first generation of products.

6. Genomics Editing/Splicing Researchers have already used gene-editing to create mosquitoes that are almost entirely resistant to the parasite that causes malaria and are experimenting with gene-editing to stop the spread of the Zika Virus. Some scientists also believe that we will have the chance to edit our cells in our immune systems with a similar process to improve our ability to fight off cancer cells and other diseases such as muscular dystrophy.

7. Surgical Robots Though the da Vinci Surgical System has been around for a bit, the surgical robot industry is about to boom with sales expected to double within the next two years. Using a magnified 3D high-definition vision system and tiny wristed instruments that bend and rotate far greater than the human hand, surgeons operate through just a few small incisions carrying out more precise operations than previously thought possible. Since competition is good for everyone, Google recently announced that they teamed up with Johnson & Johnson to create a new surgical robot system. The tech

expertise of Google combined with J&J’s healthcare experience could prove to be a jackpot combination.

8. Human Head Transplants Yes, this is happening. Sergio Canavero, an Italian neurosurgeon, is closer than ever to attempt the first human head transplant. He and a team of nearly 150 medical professionals will attempt to remove a head and then reattach all the nerves and blood vessels to a new body. A special bio-compatible glue will hold the spinal cord together so it can fuse with the donor body. The patient will then be put in a drug-induced coma for a month until the connections take root and body heals. There’s never been a successful procedure that reattached a fully severed primate spinal cord. Canavero estimates the procedure will take about 36 hours with a 90% chance of success. This all still sounds like science fiction, and medical professionals are mostly skeptical of Canavero’s plan, but who knows? Maybe it will work and he’ll come out a-head.

9. Bio-absorbable Stents Every year, 600,000 people have permanent metal coronary stents put into their chests to treat coronary artery blockage. The problem with stents are that they may inhibit natural blood flow and cause annoying blood clots. Recently however, the first bio-absorbable stent was approved in the United States. Made of a naturally dissolving polymer, the stent widens the clogged artery for two years before it is absorbed into the body in a manner similar to dissolvable sutures, leaving behind a healthy natural artery. The icing on the cake is that recovery time has been reduced from three to four weeks for metal stents to just a few days.

10. Nutrigenomics The basic idea behind nutrigenomics, a cross between genetics and nutritional science, is that our genome reveals valuable information about our organism’s needs. Mapping individual DNA sequences could let us know which foods to eat and which to eternally avoid. There is already a California-based start-up dealing with nutrigenomics. A California-based start-up named, Habit, aims to use genetic markers to identify the ideal meal for each of its customers, and send that meal directly to their doors. Bon appetit! Julian J. Varela is passionate about creating healthier individuals, families and communities. He holds an M.S. degree in exercise science and health promotion and a M.A. in clinical psychology, marriage & family therapy and director of MVME Wellness. He can be contacted at



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hinking about exploring a vegan lifestyle but need more information? Want to start offering more vegan options at a business in San Luis Obispo County but don’t know where to start? Have no fear—SLO Vegan Guide is here! Developed and founded by Veronica Dailey and Skye Pratt, two creative and dynamic friends who have enjoyed a plant-based lifestyle for a combined 36 years, SLO Vegan Guide is a movement dedicated to plantbased vegan living. Together, they are committed to helping others take the guesswork out of veganism. In fact, their motto — Making Vegan Easy — says it all.

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Recipes, Shopping Lists, Gift Baskets, And More Under their umbrella company, Dailey and Pratt, a full-service consulting firm, they have created several programs and entities already, with others currently in the development stage. They launched in September 2017 as an online guide, and will eventually add a printed guide. The website features categories that contain everything one might use as a vegan — shopping, food, drink, health services — with more being adding on a regular basis. In addition, there are options for local businesses to sign up for the Vegan Lunch Delivery program (click on the link on the SLO Vegan Guide home page) either as a means to provide meals to employees or as a restaurant owner interested in participating as a featured restaurant. Searching for a creative gift idea? Check out their Vegan Gift Baskets program that are perfect for special events. continued, page 38

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INNOVATION She developed more than 20 all-natural vegan food products, which are now sold in large-chain retail stores around the world. P ratt, a writer and former managing editor for s everal local publications, is a SEO and social-media marketing expert. She has over a decade of experience in journalism, editing, photography, and graphic design, and is well-known as a local artist. She specializes in environmental and political journalism, and is passionate about transparency in consumerism. Her knowledge of the news industry gives her an insider’s perspective on public relations. Recently, they added Meaghan McVicker to the team as their Director of Operations. When the two first met, working together on another project, their connection was immediate. Apparently, Dailey has left-brained strengths, Pratt is right-brained, so, put together, they possess a lot of momentum, radical action, creativity, and problem-solving abilities. Or, as Pratt points out, “We just vibe well together as far as business sense goes.” Individually, and as business partners, Dailey and Pratt have dedicated their lives and careers to increasing the availability of delicious plant-based options, and to spreading environmental awareness and stewardship. As vegans, they basically live a vegetarian lifestyle minus any milk, cheese, and egg products.

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Skye Pratt and Veronica Dailey, creators of SLO Vegan Guide. Photo by MeaganFPhotos. “Our website is building into a very comprehensive guide,” Pratt said. “The blog has helpful information and we help dispel some misconceptions people often have about a vegan diet. We help people by sharing vegan reviews, news, recipes, and we guide people towards places locally where they can enjoy great vegan food and drink.”

Dynamic Duo A bit of background on these two go-getters. Dailey has a culinary arts degree from California Culinary Academy of San Francisco, is a certified nutritional consultant, was a cooking instructor for Food For Life by Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and co-founded one of the world’s first USDA Organic and Non-GMO Vegan Baking Mixes, Wholesome Chow.



Type Year of the Vegan 2018 into Google and you’ll find dozens of articles attributed to the vegan lifestyle. An article on the site states, “Plantbased foods are going mainstream [in 2018] according to a forecast report by food and restaurant consultants Baum+Whiteman. The consultancy firm is calling plant-based dining 2018’s trend of the year, with rapid consumer shift toward veganism.” “It’s been said before, but 2018 is definitely going to be the Year of the Vegan — it’s going to just explode,” Pratt said. “Thirty percent of the population in Israel is vegan, and there is a huge vegan cheese movement in France. It’s global, and it’s coming here, and we want to help people accept it.” One notable local who is taking baby steps towards the vegan lifestyle and is eager to learn more about it is SLO Mayor Heidi Harmon. Dailey met her while shopping in town. Harmon said she’d been curious about vegan food choices for a while but didn’t know where to find the best options. The encounter proved to be serendipitous, with Daily and Pratt offering to help Harmon learn more about vegan choices and, ultimately, deciding to launch a cooking show called “Meatless Mondays with the Mayor.” The first episode featured Dailey showing how to make easy breakfast tacos with tofu in place of eggs, and Pratt hosting a table discussion about how a plant based diet lessens




waste and may be the best choice for environmental conservation. “We feel so blessed to have her support,” Pratt said about Harmon. “She approaches vegan environmentally, and she is in the learning stages so we liked the idea of Meatless Mondays — it’s a start. The episodes are streamed on Facebook and Instagram, and we add the videos to YouTube.” Of utmost importance to Dailey and Pratt when it comes to sharing their vegan lifestyle and helping others learn more about veganism is the no-shame factor. Simply put, they want to walk alongside individuals considering making changes to their diet and businesses interested in offering more vegan options to customers. “We are purposely not aligning with anyone who wants to use shame as a motivator to being vegan,” Pratt said. “While we are still going to advocate a 100% vegan diet, we are not going to call anyone a bad person for not going all-in. Our beliefs about non-violence and compassion are what compelled us to go vegan in the first place, and that should overlap to humans also. We weren’t always vegan and we realize some people don’t know how to do it. So, instead of shaming people for not trying hard enough, we are just trying to make it easier so they don’t even have to think about it.” Sign up for the SLO Vegan Guide newsletter and find more info, including vegan restaurant consulting opportunities and how to become a SLO Vegan Approved business, at www.slovegan. com. Be sure to check out their Instagram and Facebook pages; contact Dailey and Pratt at (805) 540-0750 or

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ADVENTURE AIDE: HIKING, BIKING, MAKING FRIENDS By Mark A. Diaz Photos courtesy of Adventure Aide


ave you ever felt like doing something new and different, but did not know what to do? Well, there’s an app for that. Adventure Aide, co-founded by Connor Woolpert, is software that connects people to different experiences they might not normally be privy to and helps them to meet others with the same interests.



The activities come in all shapes and sizes, such as, doing yoga under the stars or sandboarding the beach dunes or an introduction to mountain biking. The cost varies with each adventure, but at the time this article was written nothing was priced over $40. However, if someone chooses a paddle boarding adventure that may not be all that they do. The activity could include a lunch afterward. Woolpert says that a lot of merchants who offer adventures strive to make the experience memorable and unique.

Woolpert’s father, Mark, is a lifelong surfer and frequents Costa Rica to pursue his passion for the sport. Connor said that his dad instilled in him that life is worth living. So, it was only natural that Connor would devise a way to help others experience life to its fullest. “Really, the only thing that we will ever have in the end are the memories that we make,” said Connor. continued, page 42




The app not only lists activities a person can do, it also asks if they want to become an Aide. Aides are people who facilitate adventures and share their particular passion with others. “The heart of everything we do is around people’s passion and trying to instill that life is meant to be lived, it’s not meant to be passed by,” said Connor. It is Connor’s opinion that there is a connection between a happy state of mind and a healthy body. He believes that a person taking the time to do what they love will lead to a healthier outlook on life and that will be reflected in their physical condition. “I think the next in step in health, in my opinion, is really happiness and how that plays into health,” he said. “Following your passion in a complete sense, it’s going to make you happier. It’s going to make you healthier.” Connor says that a major goal of his business is also about helping people build connections with others. The app asks the applicant to fill out a quick summary of their interests in the bio section. Users can view



each other’s bios and see if they have like interests and explore other events like-minded people have tried. “It is beyond the physical activity, there is this human connection there,” said Connor. “That is something that is lacking in the twenty-first century. Our long-term goal is to create a human network of people who have actually met each other and actually experienced things together as part of a larger community.” Connor wants his business to motivate people to get away from their screens and out into the world. In a day and age where screen time equals money for the merchant, Adventure Aide is designed to keep people moving and not just sitting around browsing on their phones. The company earns its keep by taking a percentage of the cost of an activity, though there are some that are free of charge. “The thing that we love to talk about is that we want to build a technology that people get off of as fast as possible,” said Connor. continued, page 44




The most unique adventure available in Connor’s opinion is sandboarding on the dunes of Montana de Oro, located just outside the sleepy town of Los Osos. Jack Smith, who owns the skateboard museum in Morro Bay, offers the experience. In 2003, and at the age of 46, Smith skateboarded across the continental United States in only 21 days. It was the third time he had accomplished the amazing feat. This time he did it to raise funds and awareness for Lowe syndrome, the genetic disease that claimed his teenage son’s life. Who takes these adventures? Connor has found that there is no specific demographic for people who want to take a chance and participate. They had originally assumed that Adventure Aide would attract young business professional from 18 to 25 years of age who had a disposable incomes. However, the team has been surprised and pleased with the results. Participants, both consumers and Aides, have come in all shapes and sizes.



“It’s been all over the board,” said Connor, “The consumer side it’s pretty multifaceted. It is a lot of young people, but it’s also a lot of tourists. The idea is that we want to instill that everyone has the opportunity to experience new things.” The soft launch for the app began in Sept. 2017 and the beta was only for IOS9, that’s iPad and iPhone for those who do not speak geek. As of February 2018, the app is available on Android phones. For now, the adventures are based in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, but Connor’s vision is for Adventure Aide to extend globally. It is his hope that someday an adventurer will be able to book something that might only take 45 minutes or something as extensive as a trip to Peru.

Connecting you to your community.

Avila Beach News




STOKED AND SWEATY By Courtney Haile, Photos by Stephanie Allen


live on the wave-tastic Central Coast and surfing is still on my to-do list. Before I hang ten (I have no idea what that means), I thought I would experience how some of our local surfers stay in shape. A small group training program run out of Studio Fitness, in Morro Bay, Surf Strong Fitness is where gym rats and surfers meet. My group of about twelve included dudes in casual shorts and tees who seemed right off the beach — alongside ladies in Spandex who’ve seen a gym or two. Off the bat you should know this is a super friendly and approachable group. The vibe starts from the top with trainer and program creator Greg Finch who seems to know each of his trainees personally. Finch connects with clients outside of the studio and considers this the most important aspect of success for a client.



The workout begins with a warm-up that includes yoga, abdominal exercises, and breath work. Relaxing on our backs, we inhaled deeply and held our breath for 30 seconds — or for as long as we could within that timeframe. I fought the good fight, but, being among surfers was probably the first to exhale. We completed this pretty intense process a few times; and repeated the cycle at the end of class once fatigued. This was my first time doing this kind of breath work in a fitness class because most classes aren’t geared towards surfers, dude! Post warm-up, Greg put us in groups of three and we began the multi-faceted strength and with cardio circuit. As with all circuits, we rotated — each member of the group performing three exercises before moving on. We planked, jumped, lifted, pushed, pulled, balanced, kicked, hung, and every now and then we rested. When he said “rest” it felt like discovering a swimming hole in Death Valley. The workout is tough, fun, and rewarding; and you’ll get encouragement to push but also permission to pull back. The final sprint to the finish includes pushing weights across AstroTurf as fast as you can, running in place, and much more. The cool down felt great and included a rad surf forecast. Within days I received a follow up email from Finch, checking in about next day fatigue level and any body or joint soreness. At Surf Strong Fitness you will find the camaraderie of a group with personalized attention from your instructor—even if you don’t have a photographer in tow. Learn more



Self Nurturing


LIFE COACHING WITH HORSES By Theresa-Marie Wilson and Karita Harrskog


estled in the rolling hills of Paso Robles sits Nacimiento Ranch where a unique opportunity for self-exploration exists through a therapeutic journey with horses. Jutta Thoerner and Kasia Roether, both certified master facilitators in Equus coaching, started Equine-Ex-



perience about a year ago. Their philosophy — that the non-judgmental, gentle, intuitive nature of horses combined with their sensitivity to environment and emotions can help people develop a sense of well-being and mindfulness while promoting stress relief and personal growth.

Both women, each with decades of experience working with horses, were trained at the Koelle Institute of Equus Coaching. The program involves extensive method training, countless hours of observational practice and engaging in workshops and sessions. Completion of an intensive apprenticeship program is required in order to conduct private client sessions as well as full-scale workshops and events. The program takes up to four years to complete. “There are many different schools out there that use horses for all kinds of therapy or supportive regimens of therapy,” said Jutta. “They often differ in how they use the horses or what kind of work is being done. Some methods and schools get a little more suggestive, and they want people to get to a certain place. With Equus coaching, we allow people to have their own discovery… in the presence of a horse.” Sessions take place in a round pen, an arena, or a pasture where clients interact with the animal as they and the horse are comfortable. People seeking this therapy come from different places and stages in life, but generally something intuitively brings them to coaching through horses. No horse experience is necessary, and sessions do not include riding making the coaching something approachable even for those who may be tentative around horses. “Being in the presence of a horse, a big animal, can be intimidating,” said Kasia. “Horses, because of their prey nature, have no agenda of scaring us or attacking us. They are truly sensitive to their environment and to other beings around them, so they are very gentle and very kind. They feel emotions, they feel what other beings around them feel. Often when people find themselves in their presence, they can almost look at them and see themselves almost like a mirror reflection.” Individual or small group sessions are open to anyone looking for clear and immediate feedback in a process of restoring a sense of well-being in his or her life. According to Equine-Experience, horses offer genuine feedback based on the emotions and energy it picks up from the participant. For example, the horse might hesitate if it senses nervousness because that energy is

uncomfortable and unsafe. In contrast, when an individual is relaxed and “connects to themselves, to what they really feel, the horses are actually very attracted to that energy and, often, will come up and stay very close to that person in a gentle quiet way,” said Kasia. Interactions, dialogues, and observations happen organically and are unique to each person and the horse with which she or he is paired. A variety of coaching tools and different activities, such as the obstacle course, leading, and invitation, can be utilized during a session to assist with personal patterns of behavior and self-discovery dictated by the participants openness to getting in touch with their own emotions or fears, setting personal boundaries, dealing with trauma and sometimes healing physical aliments. “Whatever happens with the horse, is exactly what happens to you with other people in the workplace or your relationships with family members,” said Jutta. “It is a complete mirror to what is going on. Because it is so non-judgmental, they [horses] just show you what is there. It is a very safe and secure feeling when you are with the horses.” Jutta and Kasia ask the clients questions and translate the horse’s response at the direction of the participants. continued, page 50




“Horses take us for who we are, from one moment to the other,” said Kasia. “They constantly live in the moment, they are extremely present. People have been socially trained to behave a certain way, to try to aspire to be somebody else than who we are. We are constantly lost between the past and the future and almost never present. When a client steps into the ring around the horse and gives herself or himself some time to breath, feel the breeze, feel the ground underneath their feet, and they see how the horse shows up in the present moment, it is like something opens up in people. They suddenly feel safe enough to speak up, and free and safe to express themselves like they can’t anywhere else.” Inspired Health Event and Marketing Assistant Karita Harrskog participated in a session facilitated by Kasia along with a horse named Smokey. “I didn’t know what to expect when entering the corral with Kasia and Smokey,” she said. “As Kasia and I started to talk about different things I would like to improve in my life, we came across some topics that I wanted to confront. We continued to work through things and I started to feel more at ease. At one point I noticed that Smokey had started to approach me, signaling my energy becoming more inviting. “As our session continued, Smokey kept mirroring my energy. At one point Kasia suggested I try something new with Smokey and I decided to run with him trotting next to me. I quickly realized that this wasn’t going to happen. As a long-time horseback rider I have always been able to lead a horse in different gates, but Smokey was not budging. Instead each time I would stop he would turn into me. That was when I realized the magic

of it all. The entire time I had not wanted to run with him, it was something I thought I wanted. What I really needed was stillness and to be embraced. Through one session I gained confidence and acceptance, something that still resonates with me today.” While Equus coaching is therapeutic and can help people make a personal break through or find mindfulness, it is important to remember that this is a personal journey. It is up to the individual as to where they want a session to go with the coaches simply acting as guides — they are not therapists. “People need to be ready to ask themselves, ‘what do I want? What do I feel? Am I ready to do something about it?’” said Kasia. “If a person is looking for some solutions or maybe a different perspective, it doesn’t have to be a negative issue, it doesn’t have to be something dark and heavy or ugly to work with. It could be, ‘I feel excited about this or that, and I would like to bring more of that into my life.’” Equine-Experience offers individual or group coaching, custom crafted retreats and team sessions for organizations, families and other groupings, or pre-scheduled theme oriented events. A single session, about an hour long, is $85 and workshop prices vary depending on the length of time and the number of people. “We have no interest is pricing ourselves to that point that nobody even wants to take a look,” Jutta said. Jutta and Kasia also offer horsemanship lessons and horse training to those who are open to learning about creating a partnership with horses. Services are available at Nacimiento Ranch, at private farms in Paso Robles and Atascadero, or at a client’s chosen location. For more information, visit







acations mean that we have the opportunity to take a break from the regular day-to-day routine. They can be fun, relaxing or adventurous.

However, it’s not uncommon to return home feeling like we need a vacation from the vacation! Travel can take a toll on the body as we let go of our exercise rou-



tines, stay up later, enjoy more cocktails and dine out each day. I’m frequently asked by my clients who travel for work or pleasure how they can eat more healthfully and avoid the travel constipation that occurs for many.

Here are some simple tips for keeping a healthy glow and to support digestion: 1. Take a cooler filled with pre-cut veggies, fresh fruits, hard-boiled eggs, hummus, salsa, guacamole and grass-fed jerky. Throw in an extra Ziploc bag to fill with ice from the hotel if you’re on a road trip.

the central coast of ca

2. Fill a bag with snacks of raw nuts, seeds, dried fruit (no sugar added), and dark chocolate (70% or higher and as pure as possible). Include individual packets of almond butter to spread on some celery or fruit. 3. Take a Ziploc baggie that contains; 1/2 cup oats, 2 tablespoons chia seeds, 1 tablespoon chopped nuts or seeds, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1 tablespoon raw cacao nibs. At night dump the contents into a cup or bowl and fill with approximately 3/4 cup water. Let sit overnight and in the morning top with sliced banana or berries for an energizing and inexpensive start to your day! Serves 1. 4. Plan ahead by researching restaurants and locating grocery stores before you leave for your trip. Look at menus online and remember that local restaurants (rather than chains) typically serve the tastiest (and the healthiest) foods. 5. When you dine out, always order a big beautiful salad so you can get some fresh greens into your diet. I recommend holding the dressing unless you know it’s simple and wholesome. Ask for olive oil and vinegar or lemon to squeeze on top.

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6. It can be challenging to get enough water while traveling. Many people complain about constipation while traveling, so support your digestive tract by making sure you keep your body well-hydrated. 7. Remember the 80/20 rule. Eat the foods that nourish your body 80% of the time, don’t sweat it the other 20% of the time. Release “all or nothing” thinking and choices. Yes, you can enjoy a vacation, take care of yourself AND indulge in treats at the same time. 80/20! Travel Constipation Tips: Continue to consume fruits and vegetables to ensure you’re getting plenty of fiber. Eat breads, pasta and cheeses in moderation. Stay well-hydrated, move your body every day and take 1 teaspoon of Calm Magnesium stirred into water at night before bed. It will gently encourage a morning movement. I always travel with it! Happy Travels! Lisa K. Story, M.A. is a certified health coach and yoga instructor. ReVitalize: A free 3-Day Body Reset Program can be downloaded at






hinese medicine teaches us to live in harmony with the seasons. When you live according to the season, your health flourishes. Our bodies are microcosms of the external environment and are affected by the seasons and weather changing much like the way nature is affected. One of the main concepts of Chinese medicine is Yin and Yang. Yin is cool, dark, inwardly focused, and relates to water. Counterpoint to Yin is Yang, which is bright, hot, outwardly expanding, and relates to fire. Yin and Yang are constantly in transition, one gives birth to the other in a perpetual cycle. Night turns into day, spring turns to summer which turns to fall, and so on. Winter is the utmost Yin part of the year: cold, dark, and slow. Winter is the time to cultivate stillness and do deep introspective work. In Chinese medicine, this time of year is associated with the kidneys and adrenal glands. This is the time of year to focus on nourishing these parts of your body. The kidneys and adrenals



like rest. Take some time off in winter to recharge. Clear your calendar, put your feet up, and read those books you’ve been putting off all year. Foods should be cooked and warm: soups and stews are ideal this time of year. Stay clear of cold, raw foods. Supplement with tonifying herbs like ashwagandha, rhodiola, and black sesame seeds. As winter comes to a close, Yang moves closer. Spring is a time of birth, regeneration, new beginnings, and renewal of the spirit. In Chinese medicine, spring is the ideal time for cleansing and rejuvenation. Just as we do a spring-cleaning of our exterior environment, so shall we with our internal physical and emotional environment. If there is ever a time to detox, this is it. Coincidently, the organs associated with spring are the Liver and gallbladder, which are the primary targeted organs for cleansing and detoxification. Herbs that help the Liver function optimally are dandelion and milk thistle. Cilantro and parsley are also great herbs to help the body detoxify.

Summertime is the most Yang part of the year and is ruled by fire. Summer is associated with an outward expansion of energy, movement, and activity. Vitality and energy are at their peak. The organs associated with summer are the heart and small intestines. The heart corresponds with joy. This is the time of year to spend time doing things that you love and bring you joy, especially any outdoor activities. Watersports, rock climbing, and hiking are all fantastic ways to cultivate Yang energy. When Yang becomes imbalanced, symptoms like anxiety, insomnia, and a red complexion might appear. Ways to keep balanced in the summer include: drink plenty of water, rest midday, and by eating cool, moistening foods like mung beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, stone fruits, watermelon, mint, and asparagus. As summer leads into fall, Yang energy descends into Yin. During this shift from outward expansive energy to a more introspective quietness, some people might notice signs of depression: lack of energy, withdrawal, and sadness. This is known in western medicine as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Although there is less

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sunlight this time of year, make it a point to get out during the day to get some vitamin D from the sun’s rays. Eat nourishing, grounding foods like root vegetables, squashes, and stews. This also begins cold and flu season, so it is a great time to boost your immunity. Acupuncture is a remarkable way to strengthen your immune system. Astragalus, one of the pillars of Chinese herbal medicine, is a great herb to boost your immune system and fight off bugs. As you begin to harmonize your diet and lifestyle with the seasons, you may notice moving through life with more ease, improved energy, and a decrease in periods of sickness. A trained Chinese medicine practitioner can help you on your personal journey towards optimal health and vitality. Bianca Clayton, L.Ac. is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist in San Luis Obispo. More information and articles can be found



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ENJOYING A KETOGENIC LIFESTYLE ON THE CENTRAL COAST How “Keto” Is Quietly Improving The Health Of San Luis Obispo County Residents


ooking for a diet that might not only help you lose weight, but also focus more clearly and experience less pain? Embracing a ketogenic diet plan could be the answer. “I just saw my niece for the first time in two years,” said Cambrian Georgia S., “She made my day when she asked me: Where is the rest of you?” Even her doctor did a double take and exclaimed, “You look fantastic! What have you been doing?” Georgia had thought that at 70-years-old, she was slowing down and headed for a wheelchair.



But in January of this year, that all changed when she committed to a very precise ketogenic way of eating . Now she enjoys working for several hours in her garden, going on long walks with her husband Doug and most importantly, being free of pain. One unexpected outcome of her ketogenic lifestyle was the lifting of her brain fog . “I flew recently with my 9-year-old granddaughter, and I actually found the gate for my connecting flight all on my own!”

All foods are made up of only three possible macronutrients: carbohydrate, protein and fat. Proteins are essential (meaning that humans must eat some periodically to remain healthy). Protein builds structure such as muscle and bone, contributes molecules for hormones, and can be an energy source. Fats, also essential, are substrates for hormones, become parts of cell membranes, and are a great source of energy carbohydrates, by contrast, break down into glucose and can only be used for energy. Because all essential micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) are available from fat and protein sources, and all necessary glucose is available through the process of gluconeogenesis (making glucose from fat and protein), carbohydrates are not essential nutrients.1 The essence of ketogenic eating is consuming essential proteins and fats, and restricting non-essential carbohydrates. That is, low carbohydrate, moderate protein, high-fat. Tracy S., a local gallery owner, wanted to augment her fight against ovarian cancer with a ketogenic diet. She had a rough and slow struggle beating back her cancer a year ago using standard chemotherapy treatments, which left her nauseous and extremely fatigued. When she combined ketogenic eating with her current course of chemotherapy, she found she was able to maintain her energy level and has suffered very little nausea. Most importantly, she is finally getting her cancer under control. Otto Warburg’s research into cancer metabolism in the 1940’s showed that a majority of cancers can metabolize only glucose, or carbohydrate, for fuel Unlike healthy cells, cancer cells can’t use fat for fuel because of faulty mitochondria.2 By limiting her carbohydrate intake, Tracy is able to effectively starve her cancer She is fully committed to this lifestyle. “I won’t ever change back to how I was eating before . The food is delicious, and I’m winning my fight against a deadly disease. I actually feel better than I did before I got cancer!” A ketogenic way of eating encourages eating real food such as meats, dairy products, eggs, fish, nonstarchy vegetables, and healthy

fats like butter and olive oil . Food high in carbohydrates like bread, pasta, potatoes and wheat flour, is severely curtailed or eliminated altogether. A morning meal may consist of a cheese omelet, or bacon and fried eggs. Midday, consider eating a chef salad with hard-boiled eggs, avocado, olives, and cheese. Steak or salmon, with cauliflower and a salad is a typical keto evening meal. Because fat is so satiating, many who follow a ketogenic lifestyle find they only eat once or twice a day. Sugar crashes are a thing of the past, and a higher level of energy is enjoyed all day long Professional athletes are going keto more and more. Not only does this way of eating facilitate building and repairing tissue, but strength and endurance increase enough to give them an edge over their non-ketogenic counterparts. NBA great LeBron James, tennis champion Novak Djokovic, and endurance athlete Tim Olson have all used this way of eating to enhance their performance. A half dozen or so athletes on Morro Bay’s Central Coast SurviveOars Dragon Boat Team eat this way. These paddlers are slowly influencing the rest of the 100+ member club to consider trying keto for the health benefits as well as to make them stronger athletes. “I’ve been eating this way for over six years, and not only have I been healthy, but I feel so strong when I’m paddling with the team or racing at a competition,” said Rose Marie B., breast cancer survivor and dragon boat athlete. Rose Marie’s love of cooking shines through when she has family and friends over for one of her lovely ketogenic meals. Her lucky guests may not even notice the lack of carbohydrate based dishes, and they don’t miss anything even if they do. Anyone interested in changing their diet should consult with their medical provider first. Although, research has demonstrated the safety and effectiveness of a ketogenic diet, 3-5 people who are using medication for diabetes or high blood pressure, and women who are breast feeding should have professional guidance. continued, page 58



Resources to learn more about a ketogenic lifestyle (Low Carb High Fat California Central Coast Facebook group) References Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (2005)Dietary Reference IntakesThe National Academies Press: Washington DC, pg275. Warburg O (1956)On the Origin of Cancer CellsScience, 123(3191), 309 - 314. Feinman RD, Pogozelski WK, et al(2015)Dietary carbohydrate restriction as the first approach in diabetes management: Critical review and evidence baseNutrition, 31, 1-13.



Bazzano LA, Hu T, et al(2014)Effects of low-carbohydrate and low-fat dietsAnnals of Internal Medicine, 161(5), 309-318. Boling CL, Westman EC, Yancy WS Jr(2009)Carbohydrate-restricted diets for obesity and related diseases: an update Current Atherosclerosis Reports, 11(6), 462469. Leslyn Keith, OTD has a clinical doctorate in occupational therapy and specializes in the treatment of lymphatic disorders and obesity. She currently practices at Central Coast Lymphedema Therapy in San Luis Obispo. She engages in research and lectures nationally on the effectiveness of a ketogenic diet on health. She is a co-host of the local radio show “Low Carb High Fat Lifestyle” on 97.3 FM The Rock every Saturday at 3:30 p.m. She can be reached at,


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lthough women are inundated with tips on how to look their best, some men need a little TLC in the area as well.

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The barber or hairstylist you go to has the biggest effect on your hair. The chop shops that move customers through as fast as possible are not going to give you a quality cut. A good haircut and wash should take at least twenty minutes depending on your style.

Don’t be afraid to try new styling products, you never know what you might like until you try it. Avoid products with alcohol as they dry out your hair and it could become flakey.

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Pay It Forward

CARING CALLERS KEEP OLDER ADULTS CONNECTED SOCIALLY Volunteers and Clients Form Friendships During Weekly Visits By Meagan Friberg


nspiring hope, positive social connections, and friendship — those are just a few of the key components of Caring Callers, a program offered by the folks at Wilshire Community Services. Serving older adults throughout San Luis Obispo County, volunteers from a variety of backgrounds make free, weekly in-home visits to those experiencing loneliness or isolation. “Our Caring Callers program is for older adults who may feel disconnected from the community,” said Kelly Donohue, public relations specialist for Wilshire. “The circumstances vary for each individual; some may be short-term while others may have long-term needs. We want to be there to help support this segment of our older adult population so they don’t feel isolated.”



The main goal of the Caring Callers program, according to Donohue, is to ensure each client’s psychological, mental, and social health, and well-being is taken care of. On average, Caring Callers dedicate a combined total of approximately 1,200 hours annually to meet the needs of about 70 clients throughout the county. With a growing wait list, there is always a need for more volunteers. Typically, the volunteer to client ratio is 1 to 1, although some volunteers sign up to help more than one client or are involved with Wilshire’s Good Neighbor program. Often, Caring Callers build lasting friendships with the older adults they visit. To help foster this, the

Wilshire team takes its time with training the volunteers and doing their best to place the right volunteer with the right client to ensure the relationship is a good fit for all involved. “Our hope is the connections made will be long-term; we have seen many of our volunteer and client connections last for years,” said Donohue. “It’s all about making the visits not feel like someone is stopping by to check in on you. Our volunteers often say, ‘I think I may be getting more out of this than my client.’ That’s always nice to hear about these mutually-meaningful relationships.” The volunteers are passionate about what they do, and it’s a wonderful opportunity for people from all walks of life. Caring Callers are made up of high school students who gain more understanding of the broader community in which they live, or family members helping as a way to build values of volunteerism and altruism. Cal Poly students, perhaps feeling alone while living away from their parents and grandparents, find being a Caring Caller helps form connections within their new community. For retired folks, out of the work force and with a bit more time on their hands, Caring Callers offers a way to give back.

hue, and is especially apparent in SLO County as more people reach retirement age or move to the area to retire. “We want to help older adults stay connected to their community,” said Donohue. “We really need to come together as a community to support one another, which I believe San Luis Obispo as a county works hard to do. But, if people don’t know about these older adults and their social disconnect, it is hard to fill that need. I think it’s going to continue to be an issue in our community, and we are the type of community that comes together to help one another, but it’s about recognizing this need exists.” Often, Caring Callers are paired with clients that live a block or two away from their home. The realization of such a close connection can come as a shock; that feeling of, “Gosh I had no idea one of my neighbors felt so isolated and alone.” Spreading general awareness to be a good neighbor in local communities, whether through the Caring Callers program or other grassroots efforts, is what Donohue and her Wilshire co-workers and volunteers believe will help foster a successful way to make life better for the older, isolated adults of SLO County.

Whether the visits are in-home or involve outings in the community is purely dependent on the capacity of the client. If the client has struggles with leaving their home environment, the visit takes place entirely in-home. Caring Callers talk with clients and play cards, chess, or board games; look at old photos, and listen while clients share stories and reminisce about days gone by. For those not homebound, Caring Callers — after undergoing a thorough driving and background check—may take their new friends for walks, out to coffee, lunch, shopping, or even to shoot pool at the senior center.

“We want to ensure happy hearts and minds, and work towards making sure the mental and social states of the older adults in our community are in a good place,” said Donohue. “All of this has an amazing effect on their physical health; it keeps people in their homes and happier for longer. That’s one of our goals, to help people age in place in a quality way. This is bridging the gap the best way we know how.”

Referring to the successful match of a Cal Poly student, an older adult client, and the client’s caregiver, Donohue said, “When they meet, they have this terrific dynamic that is just like old friends getting together. They really enjoy spending time together, and it’s amazing to see such a camaraderie and friendship that has grown over just a few months.”

For more information on Caring Callers, including client services and volunteer opportunities, see or call (805) 547-7025 ext. 20. Want to make a donation to Caring Callers? Click the donation link on the website or mail a check to: Wilshire Community Services, 285 South St. Suite J, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401.

The idea of homebound, socially-isolated older adults is not a new concept. It is, however, becoming a much larger issue, according to Dono-

To provide services and keep the costs of Caring Callers free to clients, Wilshire collaborates with various county departments and programs. They are also supported by grants, donations, and fundraising events.




r. Steven Sainsbury hates meetings — except those face-to-face with his patients in San Luis Obispo County and wherever he is needed medically elsewhere in the rest of the world. In November 2008, he transitioned from emergency care to develop a unique type of primary care practice — visiting his patients in their homes creating a true house-call practice. For 20 years Sainsbury practiced chiefly as an emergency physician at Sierra Vista Hospital. He discovered he liked the night shift best. “I was sleeping when staff meetings were held,” he joked. While contemplating retirement, he realized he had developed the skills that prepared him to advocate, diagnose and treat San Luis Obispo’s growing senior population. It is noteworthy that the U.S. Census as of July 1, 2016 lists the county’s 65 and over population at 18.9%. “There was a hole in patient care in the county,” he continued. He consulted with two north county practitioners, including fellow medical director at Central Coast Hospice, Templeton’s Dr. Jeffrey Bourne “They liked their practices so I decided to try it,” he said. “I needed a saner lifestyle and serving seniors offered the best of what I liked about patient care — diagnosis and immediate treatment.” Hospital emergency care had also established contacts with every doctor



in the community, so his practice grew with immediate referrals. The new practice offered two major surprises. “Paperwork,” Dr. Sainsbury said. “I always had staff to take care of filing Medicare and insurance. I needed to carve out time to do it myself.” He spends a minimum of three hours per day on paperwork. “I also didn’t anticipate the number of phone calls. Now I’m working directly with the patients, families of patients and medical facilities where most of my patients reside.” Dr. Sainsbury visits 25 private homes monthly and has 300 patients in a variety of homecare facilities. Typically, 250 are private Medicare patients with others under Hospice care. However, after eight years, he is finally in a place where he’s adjusted his schedule so he can sleep at night. He doesn’t take calls after 9 p.m. And he doesn’t take on more than the load he is currently carrying. Why is such a practice valuable within a community? “It’s hard for many patients to leave their homes even to go to a doctor’s office and they are always more comfortable in their home environment,” Dr. Sainsbury explained. “At home I can also check their meds and eliminate what they shouldn’t be taking.” He mentioned many seniors are taking Lipitor or

Statins. “Frankly, after 90 they don’t need them or the side effects are making them uncomfortable.” His biggest challenge is dealing with patients’ families. “The family wants the best or the most care needed for their loved one, but in-reality will a mammogram help an elderly patient in all cases? Should I diagnose chemo when I know the outcome would be the same anyway? When I know a treatment won’t improve quality of life should I recommend it anyway?” Dr. Sainsbury’s ethic, “I’m the advocate for the patient. All I care about is what the patient wants and his/ her quality of life.” He adamantly advises families at any age should have a clear DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) policy that everyone must agree to abide by. All must do what the patient wants and not complicate it when emotional stress takes hold. Family — his and others — have always been very important to Dr. Sainsbury. His life has been full raising children, volunteering as team football physician for Cal Poly and traveling annually on medical missionary trips to faraway places such as the Congo, Jordan, Guatemala and the Amazon with several different groups including Flying Doctors, Doctors on Call and more.

plenty of work for others to come into the field, but I believe there are only a few doctors that are willing to do what I do.” The dedicated service he provides is appreciated by more than his patients and their families. “Dr. Sainsbury takes the time to listen to his patients needs and concerns, as well as their family members,” said Garden House of Morro Bay Administrator Kasey Watson. “He is available by phone and willing to meet with families when they have questions. He collaborates with our care team by seeing our residents monthly, which maximizes the quality of their lives by keeping him educated as to a resident’s current well-being. Our residents’ needs can change dramatically in a short amount of time. When we need to inform or consult with him because of a change in a residents’ status he always responds quickly, either by phone, email, fax or text, whichever is most appropriate. Because he does this so quickly, it elevates our response times and ensures that best possible comfort and outcomes for the resident.” For more information: (805) 5467650.

“It takes a certain personality to provide a house-call practice,” he said. “It is easier or at least much different when patients come to an office or to the ER. There is







f the word “fear” were an acronym, it could stand for “false expectations appearing real.” Is it possible that a source of nourishment, something that helps us thrive, can become a source of fear induced deprivation? In psychology, there are multiple sources of fear that are food based. In this article, the different factors of food fears will be reviewed starting with a deep psychological fear of food called cibophobia. Many signs of cibophobia are difficult to recognize, particularly in today’s health-obsessed society. If you are a cibophobe, you probably avoid certain foods altogether, perceiving them to present above-average risks. Highly perishable foods, such as mayonnaise and milk, are common objects of fear. Fermented foods are another. Just today a client wrote asking, “Will making fermented carrots kill me?”



Other examples include carefully sniffing products that are approaching their expiration dates, and refusing to eat anything with a date that has passed by even a few hours. Products with far-off expiration dates might be suspect once they have been opened, and even the hyper concern of doneness leads to overcooking food until it burns or dries out — chicken and pork being common victims. While making sure your meat is cooked to prevent illness has a basis of merit, another growing food fear happening in our society stems from rapid information flooding our brains, not of all which is based in fact. Social media has catapulted “health advice” exposing us to potential, yet often mythological causes, for recent gut distress, leaky gut, or gut dysfunctions thus increasing the “harmful” foods list.

The food fear list is no longer bacteria infestation or potential pathogens, but irrational fears of food staples, some thousands of years old. Increase in documentaries such as The Bitter Truth and What the Health might leave people scratching their heads and asking, “So what can I actually eat?” For example, people are told that eating agave syrup is a healthier option to the evil of cane sugar until they find out that agave is the same component as high fructose corn syrup (yes, they bought into the marketing myth) or that coconut may be inflammatory while they have transferred all their baking goods to coconut based to avoid the evil of gluten. In another scenario, a mom who needed to decrease l-arginine rich foods to reduce her child’s tendency towards cold sores was stumped on what meats she could eat because chicken, turkey, and pork were not on the “safe” list. Granted the list that she could eat was twice as long as the three banned items. The disconnect and fear in the “need to avoid” were the primary meat her family limited themselves to — turkey slices for lunch and chicken or pork nightly for dinner — so the concept of even a bison burger for lunch was unfathomable, especially being worried that red meat was bad for her cholesterol. Her worry ignored the fact that the connection between cholesterol and red meat has been put under question for years and that bison is over 100 percent of your daily recommended dose of vitamin B-12, 15 percent of iron, 20 percent of thiamine, phosphorus, zinc and vitamin B-6, 45 percent of riboflavin and 30 percent of niacin, therefore superior for heart health in comparison to the chicken tenders. As different limitations appear built on health myths, further confusion is created (an example is that mushrooms increase candida infections), and we see another disconnection from food appear — one in which our obsession of not eating toxins lends to an excessive preoccupation with eating “healthy” food. The term Orthorexia was introduced in 1997 by American physician Steven Bratman, M.D. He suggested that some people’s dietary restrictions intended to promote health may paradoxically lead to unhealthy consequences, such as social isolation, anxiety, loss of ability to eat in a natural, intuitive manner, reduced interest in the full range of other healthy human activities, and, in rare cases, severe malnutrition or even death. Are practitioners promoting elimination diets responsible for the increase in this trend? Can we focus on nourishment instead of deprivation and begin to heal the broken relationship with food? Criticism is even thrown towards famous food bloggers like the Food Babe for criticizing chemicals in food. Yet, those of us who study gut health recognize much of our intestinal damage is caused by lists of ingredients and chemicals that damage the lipid layers of the intes-

tinal lining, thus wreaking havoc to our overall health including psychological issues now associated with gut disease. At one point our biggest food chemical argument was whether canola oil was or wasn’t the healthier fat, now we are being told by scientists that we have irrational fears because we won’t let our children eat Skittles, or that even our fear of gluten is make believe. How do we navigate through the fear mongering and begin to love food again recognizing its intrinsic value to nourish us? As contemplation towards certain toxins we should avoid without dispute, one of our biggest disconnects is in fearing real food, not food products, additives or lab made chemicals, but food grown naturally and in bounty by the earth. Elimination diets provide list after list of foods people can’t eat creating a daunting reality that for someone to heal they may need to resort to only four types of foods. How did we arrive to where our foods are no longer tolerable but scare us so much that we limit our diet to a plate of boiled chicken and steamed broccoli every day? The foundation of our problem is giving our power to nourish ourselves to someone else, primarily food product manufacturing and nutritionism (check out the book In Defense of Foods by Michael Pollan to understand what nutritionism truly is). We forgot to use our instincts for eating and began to trust a growing and often mislead science that made a lot of mistakes on the way (look at how butter was considered bad and has now made a re-emergence as a superfood). Throw in marketing and guilt of wellness experts selling or scaring us from one item to the next or promising us “success” (typically a certain body change) based on their diet protocols, top that with the myriad of digestive woes that have erupted in our country over the last 30 years, and we have truly disabled our gut instincts on what it means to nourish ourselves. While eliminating certain foods can help alleviate our symptoms, in the cold sore case above, the bigger issue is what caused the problem—a lack of l-lysine rich foods to balance the amino acids in the body. So, before living in deprivation, embrace filling our plates with the nourishing foods we do need. A bison burger slathered in homemade Caesar dressing on top of romaine lettuce topped with sliced avocado and sprouts does sound like a wonderful way to bring nourishment and joy back into our lives. Virginia Marum, owner and chef at Vert Foods located in San Luis Obispo,teaches and prepares real food philosophy based in a style of cooking and preparation called Ancient Nutrition. She coaches gut health courses as well as has a local active blog, co-hosts on a radio show for dismantling myths about food, and is currently writing her book Real Food Movement. For more information,




he USDA recommends consuming 5-13 fruits and vegetables each day depending on your age, gender, physical activity and overall health. Only 1 in 10 Americans consume this recommended daily allotment of fresh produce and more than 50% of adults eat less than one fruit per day and no veggies.

Here’s where the benefits of blending and juicing can transform your health for the better. First, let’s clear up a common misconception, blending and juicing are not the same thing. They are very different and use different kitchen tools, but both are useful to your health.

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When fruits and vegetables are run through a juicer the fiber is removed from the produce. Left behind is fresh juice that contains significant amounts of living enzymes and bioactive vitamins and minerals. Without the fiber, these liquid nutrients are quickly digested and absorbed straight into the blood stream. The nutrients more efficiently reach cells and any toxins that have been taken in are more quickly eliminated. Juicing is easy on the body and provides quick nourishment. It’s particularly beneficial for anyone healing or recovering from illness or a health challenge because the juice is so easy to digest.

Blending is accomplished by placing whole fruits and vegetables into a blender leaving the fiber intact creating smoothies or soups. Fiber cleanses the intestines by absorbing toxins and sweeping them out of the body. It slows the absorption of sugar from the fruit into the bloodstream which is gentler on the system. In addition to being high in fiber, blended smoothies and soups are complete meals filled with a plethora of nutrients. They’re an easy and cost-effective way to sneak more greens and veggies into the diet.

Other benefits include: strengthened immunity, reduced inflammation, increased energy, slowed aging, improved digestion, cellular detoxification, and diminished food cravings. Most experts recommend consuming 16 ounces upon awakening and another 8 ounces in the afternoon. It’s important to juice low-sugar fruits such as green apples, berries, pears, lemons and limes. Too much fruit sugar can negatively impact health. Be sure to include dark, leafy greens as the chlorophyll increases red blood cell formation while binding to and removing toxic heavy metals that accumulate in the body. The only drawback to juicing is it can be more time-consuming and costly.

Some experts recommend consuming up to 32 ounces each day. Be sure to start slowly if not accustomed to a fiber-filled diet. If bloating, gas or undesired changes in bowel movements occur, ease off and introduce more slowly until the body has adjusted. Blending fruits and veggies lead to a reduction in sugar cravings, strengthened immune system, an increase in vitality, and improved digestion. Adding additional foods into blended smoothies or soups such as healthy fats, plant proteins, and superfoods is beneficial. Superfoods such as raw cacao, maca, flax seeds, kale and blueberries are among some of the most nutrient-rich foods on the planet. Whether juicing or blending or even doing both, your body will thank you and reap healing and transformative benefits. Lisa K. Story, M.A. is a certified health coach and yoga teacher with nearly 30 years’ experience in health and nutrition education. She supports mid-life women in aging healthfully and can be found at





Carribean Smoothie



1 red beet, peeled and cut in quarters

1 apple, cored and cut into 6 wedges

1 apple, cored and cut into 6 wedges

½ cup carrots, cut in large chunks

1 handful kale, large chop

1 frozen banana, peeled

1 handful of fresh/frozen berries, blueberries or assorted

1 handful fresh spinach, large chop

1 orange/tangerine, peeled

½ cup coconut milk

Serves 2

3 Medjool dates, pitted and cut in half ½ teaspoon honey, or to taste ½ tablespoon flax seed

Serves 2

½ cup plain almond milk

Directions Using a blender, add the milk and ice first. Then add the other ingredients and blend thoroughly beginning at a low speed and working up to full speed and process until smooth. Serve immediately.

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon Ice

½ cup cold water Ice Directions Using a blender, add the water and ice first. Then add the other ingredients and blend thoroughly beginning at a low speed and working up to full speed and process until smooth. Serve immediately.



Kathleen Snyder is a food caterer, educator and blogger currently partnering with Talley Farms Fresh Harvest CSA providing recipes showcasing their produce. She is a San Luis Obispo County Yelp Elite reviewer and also writes reviews on for restaurants all over the world.





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ith the recent tragic disasters — fires, hurricanes, earthquakes and others — throughout the United States and other areas of the world, what could happen here? What should be considered when preparing for a disaster?



San Luis Obispo County is not immune to disasters, including wildfires and earthquakes. As can be seen by the 2017 wildfires in Northern California, fires can cause major destruction and loss of life. In addition, the earthquake threat is real; seismologists have stated that there is a potential for up to an 8.2 magnitude earthquake on the San Andreas fault system. That earthquake could result from the San Andreas rupturing from the Salton Sea all the way up to Monterey County (the portion of the San Andreas fault system in our area runs the length of eastern San Luis Obispo County). Of course, there are threats from other faults in or near our county, as the 6.5 magnitude on or near the San Simeon fault in December 2003 demonstrated. As has been seen with the recent disastrous fires, even with the great mutual aid systems (jurisdictions helping each other out) in California and similar agreements between other states, emergency response resources can initially be overwhelmed. The tragic aftermaths of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the 2017 California fires and consequent flooding in Santa Barbara demonstrated that individuals could be on their own much longer than the old school thought of having at least three days of emergency supplies — that is still good but that should be a bare minimum. And what if there is a loss of both the home and emergency supplies? There is clearly a need to be prepared, but beyond the long-held mantra to have a family emergency plan, including for pets, what else is needed? There is a need to know where to get current information, be prepared for recovery after a disaster and to not forget our pets. To keep informed, there are a variety of ways to receive information and instructions; Emergency Alert System messages that come across radio and television stations, Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) that come across on cell phones and are similar to AMBER Alerts, a system called “Reverse 911,” which must be signed up for ahead of time for cell phones to be able to receive emergency notifications, social media, and NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards radios. Also, a plain old AM/ FM portable radio should be kept in your supply kit.

Recovery should be part of any preparedness effort. Having adequate insurance policies is vital for ensuring recovery — this includes the traditional home policy, renter’s insurance, flood insurance, earthquake insurance and any other liability needs. A thought by some is that FEMA or other government agencies will assist and provide aid after a disaster. But no federal or other government program will make someone “whole” again after a disaster. Many of the assistance programs are for immediate safety and health needs and can be very minimal. It is also important to keep personal records in a safe place, even consider scanning and storing documents on a cloud account or keeping a flash drive with documents in a safe place away from home. Recovery planning should also include knowing how to let family and friends know victims are okay — services such as the American Red Cross’ “Safe and Well” simple online check-in, which is used during large disasters. Social media sites may also be an option. Having designated family or friends in other states or areas as a check-in source to contact in case of emergency is an option. Include pets and service animals in emergency plans — keep a leash and/or carrier ready in case of a need to evacuate with animals and have separate emergency kits for pets. Ensure pets are microchipped and keep digital records with pictures to identify pets after a disaster in case they get separated. Be prepared to evacuate with pets; while evacuation centers do not accept pets in the shelter itself, all efforts are made to provide kennels next to a shelter, by County Animal Services, as well as assisting agencies. For additional preparedness information, visit the County of San Luis Obispo’s website at – specific information can be found under “Departments” and selecting the Office of Emergency Services. County OES can also be reached by calling (805) 7815011 or e-mailing Ron Alsop is the emergency services manager for the County of San Luis Obispo Office of Emergency Services. Ron has been with County OES for 27 years, and prior to that he was with Cal Fire for three years.



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