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Western North Carolina’s Source for Weekly News, Entertainment, Arts, and Outdoor Information

Aug. 30-Sept. 5, 2017 Vol. 19 Iss. 14

Sylva revises ordinance for permitting protests Page 18 After 11 days, missing teen walks out of the Smokies Page 42

A look at health and fitness in WNC

CONTENTS On the Cover: Mike Creason reflects on his unlikely lifelong career as a swim teacher in Jackson County. Creason earned a master’s degree at Western Carolina University before going to work for them and stayed with the university until retiring in 2004. Through the years, he estimates teaching thousands of babies, children and even adults how to swim. Mike Creason guides a pair of young swimmers through the water. WCU photo

Living Well Bodybuilders take natural approach to health, strength ........................................ 4 Moss pushes the boundaries with the power of CrossFit ......................................5 Waynesville Yoga bends over backward for beginners .......................................... 8 Diabetes prevention program focuses on families ....................................................9 A smooth way to start your day ....................................................................................10 Yoga teachers reach broader audience with pints ................................................11 Wild Market offers effective, natural solutions ........................................................12

News Jackson health building to be renovated ..................................................................15 Sylva revises demonstrations ordinance ..................................................................18 Bryson City applies for sewer improvement grant ................................................19 Tribal members announce candidacy for vice chief ..............................................20

Opinion Get busy living, or get busy dying ................................................................................22


Smoky Mountain News

Aug. 30-Sept. 5, 2017

48th annual Smoky Mountain Folk Festival ..............................................................26





Scott McLeod. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Greg Boothroyd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Micah McClure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Travis Bumgardner. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chloe Collins. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Robin Arramae . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Amanda Bradley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hylah Birenbaum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Scott Collier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jessi Stone. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Holly Kays . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cory Vaillancourt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Garret K. Woodward. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Amanda Singletary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Scott Collier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jeff Minick (writing), Chris Cox (writing), George Ellison (writing), Gary Carden (writing), Don Hendershot (writing), Susanna Barbee (writing).

CONTACT WAYNESVILLE | 144 Montgomery, Waynesville, NC 28786 P: 828.452.4251 | F: 828.452.3585 SYLVA | 629 West Main Street, Sylva, NC 28779 P: 828.631.4829 | F: 828.631.0789 INFO & BILLING | P.O. Box 629, Waynesville, NC 28786 Copyright 2017 by The Smoky Mountain News.™ Advertising copyright 2017 by The Smoky Mountain News.™ All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. The Smoky Mountain News is available for free in Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Swain and parts of Buncombe counties. Limit one copy per person. Additional copies may be purchased for $1, payable at the Smoky Mountain News office in advance. No person may, without prior written permission of The Smoky Mountain News, take more than one copy of each issue.


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Did you know... that you have a DIETITIAN on call? Leah McGrath, RDN, LDN is the Corporate Dietitian for Ingles Markets.

She can answer your questions about food from the farm to the plate, whether you want to know about nutrition, ingredients, preparation or agriculture. Leah is a registered dietitian nutritionist, licensed in the state of North Carolina. She has a B.S. in Human Nutrition from the University of Maryland, completed her dietetic internship with the U.S. Army, served as an ofďŹ cer and dietitian in the U.S. Army and worked in Public Health as a WIC and Nutrition Director in South Carolina. For the past 17 years Leah has been the Corporate Dietitian for Ingles Markets. Her passion to learn more about the food system has led her to visit over 50 farms( of all sizes) and food entrepreneurs in the past 5 years. She is also actively involved with farmers and food businesses in Western NC and works regularly with ASAP ( Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project) and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture.

Stay connected with Leah! Listen to her podcast interviews at Listen to her every Saturday morning on WWNC 570am on iheartradio Read her columns in the Smoky Mountain News and in Smoky Mountain Living If you have questions write to her at: Call her: 800-334-4936




Staying strong at any age


Bodybuilders take natural approach to health, strength BY J ESSI STONE N EWS E DITOR When you can’t find motivation to get up early to hit the gym or can’t find the self-control to avoid the fast food line for dinner, just look to Nancy Lux and Reid Hendricks. At 62, Hendricks has competed in natural bodybuilding competitions for 32 years and also trains others — like Lux — to compete. Already an accomplished cyclist, Lux decided at the age of 50 she wanted to push her fitness to a new level by training for bodybuilding competitions. It’s been something she’s thought about for 20 years and figured it was now or never. “I’ve been an athlete my whole life — a track bike racer and my husband is a cyclist too,” she said. “I’ve always known my build is genetically suited to do bodybuilding but I just didn’t know how to get started, but finally last fall I said to myself ‘you’re 50 going on 51 and life is too short, I just need to do it.’” Deciding to become a bodybuilder is not a decision to be taken lightly. It requires dedication, perseverance and sacrifice. Even for Lux, who was in good shape and had a low body fat percentage to begin with, the journey was arduous. Initially she found a trainer in Asheville — Anthony Tiller, owner of Underdog Fitness & Performance Training — to get her on the right path. For months, even during tax season, the busy CPA drove from Waynesville to Asheville every evening to train with Tiller. Like many people, Lux had the stereotypical image in her head of what it meant to be a bodybuilder, but she quickly learned there are several different categories of bodybuilding competitors. “When I first started this journey I thought you had to take steroids and that’s based on what I’ve seen in magazines, but I didn’t know about natural bodybuilding,” Lux said. Natural bodybuilding competitions require contestants to pass a urine test as well as a brief polygraph test to ensure they aren’t using any kind of performanceenhancing drugs. “In women’s bodybuilding there’s different divisions — bikini, which is about figure more than muscle, and then there’s bodybuilding,” she said. “I thought you had to be big to compete but that’s not the case. With natural bodybuilding it’s all about how cut and how lean you are.” In addition to a daily weightlifting workout, Lux had to begin a fairly strict macronutrient diet, which consists of 30 percent carbs, 40 percent protein and 30 percent fat. This kind of diet helps athletes lose weight consistently while also maintaining plenty of energy without food cravings. She weighed about 140 pounds when she began training and lost only about 10 pounds during training, but muscle does weigh more than fat. “I didn’t do anything drastic — it’s more of a gradual approach — but I tracked and weighed and measured all my food and I’ve never done that before,” Lux said. Moving into March, Lux said her training was going well when she saw that an all-natural bodybuilding com-

petition was going to be held in Franklin in two weeks. She hadn’t planned on competing so soon, but also thought a smaller competition might be good practice. More than 60 people showed up for the competition. Lux was a little nervous until she realized she was the only woman competing in the female bodybuilding category while all the other women were showing off their bikini bods in the figure category. Meanwhile, Lux was backstage loading up on carbs, something bodybuilders do just before a show to beef up their muscles. Even though she had no competition, Lux went out on the stage in front of the panel of judges in her sparkling green bikini and did the series of poses she had been trained to do. She got great feedback from the judges and won overall best female in her category. She also enjoyed getting to meet more bodybuilders. “I was so struck by how incredible friendly, inviting and complimentary everyone was at the contest though,” she said. “It was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had.” Hendricks was one of the competitors she met backstage in Franklin. After he told her about his experience with training athletes in his home gym in Waynesville, Lux decided to cut out her drive time and stress by training with Hendricks closer to home. Hendricks’ home gym has trophies dating back to 1982 and photos of the many people of different ages and backgrounds that he’s proud to say he’s trained. He said being a good coach means “having patience and being able to motivate people.” “I love to see people improve,” he added. After a few more months of training together, Lux and Hendricks competed in the Carolina Supernatural Bodybuilding competition in June held in Spartanburg, South Carolina. They both returned home with their masters pro card, which means they both placed first in their overall categories and can move on to a pro competition. “I was in the heavyweight category because I weigh over 115 pounds,” Lux chuckled. “But I beat all the lightweight girls and I was also the masters winner and the over 50 category winner.” Hendricks, competing in the over 60 category, also beat out his younger competitors for a masters pro card. It was then that Lux felt like all the hard work was paying off. “Admittedly, the last couple weeks before a competition is difficult — you’re really trying to monitor your carbs, and we were doing carb back loading because in bodybuilding you want to get lean but the day of the show you spike your carbs to fill out your muscles to look full and bigger.” The two continue to lift weights and walk every day but the extreme dieting, measuring and weighing have been discontinued until they are about 10 weeks away from the next pro show Nov. 4 in Suwanee, Georgia.

It’s more than about winning for Lux and Hendricks — they simply enjoy the challenge of pushing their bodies to be as strong as they can be and eating healthy. While bodybuilding may not be for everyone, Lux said she believes anyone could do it if they put their mind and body to it.

“Anybody can make improvements,” she said. “Can anybody get up on stage and do a bodybuilding competition? Sure, but it takes commitment, sacrifice and the key thing is the diet,” she said. She doesn’t advocate the macronutrient diet for everyone, but she does think it’s beneficial for people to track their food intake so they have a better understanding of what foods make them feel better versus what foods are making them feel worse. “You are what you eat — we’re so bombarded with fast food and processed food,” Lux said. She also wishes more people knew how efficient weight lifting is versus a cardio work out. Weight lifting allows you to build strong muscles that burn calories more efficiently. Her workouts with Hendricks are strenuous but last only 45 minutes a day. “People are afraid to work out, but the duration isn’t hard — it’s doable — and you don’t really even sweat that much — but it’s efficient and productive,” she said. “Everybody should see how lifting weights is a better way to be healthy.” If you’re interested in training with Hendricks, who has 32 years experience and is a certified through the National Federation of Professional Trainers, call 828.456.6881.

Pushing the boundaries with the power of CrossFit For the past two years, the gym has been operating out of its new home, a 2,100-square-foot building on the Asheville Highway. “It was a pretty big jump,” Moss said. Starting and running a business has had its challenges. But diving further into CrossFit and seeing the way it works for everyone from former couch potatoes to elite athletes has been inspiring.

Josh Moss pulls himself up on a pair of rings at Catamount CrossFit. Holly Kays photo

Whether the goal is to conquer the toughest hiking trails or keep up with kids on the playground, there’s a workout for that. And with CrossFit, Moss said, the result is a fitness that envelops the whole body, not just the particular set of muscles you might need for football or running or any other individual sport. “As I grew into CrossFit, I began to really understand what it was capable of,” he said. “I started pushing the boundaries of what kinds of people am I bringing in here … You can use the same workout to train children and grandparents and elite athletes, and the more you understand CrossFit and coach it, the more you understand how to scale the movements for that to happen.” For example, Moss coaches a 72-yearold woman who works out alongside 20year-old college students. They do the same workouts — the woman just uses different weights. “For me it’s about finding what each person wants out of their life, what they want out of their training, and trying to push them more toward that life,” Moss said.


BY HOLLY KAYS STAFF WRITER Josh Moss’s professional world revolved around property management and vacation rentals at the time he decided to open a CrossFit gym. Back in 2012, when Moss first started planning his business, CrossFit was still a relatively new phenomenon in the mountains of Western North Carolina, with the closest gyms an hour away in Asheville. But Moss, who now owns Catamount CrossFit in Sylva, had been doing the workouts ever since stumbling across them online in 2009. “When you start doing CrossFit, you realize that you have the capacity for way more than what you were doing before,” Moss said. “I can go run a whole lot of laps around the track and be tired at the end of it. But it was never mentally challenging. CrossFit adds that mental challenge to the physical challenge. You’re learning how to do new things, you’re working harder, but you have this voice in your head talking you through it.” After a few years of jerry-rigging workouts using spaces and pieces of equipment not really made for the purpose, Moss started thinking seriously about opening his own gym so that he and other CrossFitters in the area could start doing the workouts they way they were intended to be done. Moss discovered that the owner of Paleastra Combat Sports Club in Sylva was interested in CrossFit, and in 2013 Catamount CrossFit moved to its first location, a space within the club of less than 400 square feet. His was the first CrossFit gym to open in Jackson County, with Haywood and Swain counties getting their first CrossFit gyms at about the same time. “I’m a master at figuring out how to put equipment in places so people can exercise and still have enough space,” Moss said. “We would pack 10 to 12 people in a very small space.” As the business grew, the Palaestra offered more space until Catamount CrossFit occupied about twice the square footage it had before. At that point, there was no room left to grow, prompting Moss to look for another location.



A watery legacy Creason reflects on 40 years as Jackson County’s swim teacher BY HOLLY KAYS STAFF WRITER For someone who’s spent decades introducing thousands of children to the joy of swimming, Mike Creason’s relationship with water didn’t begin too auspiciously. “When I was 6 years old, I got thrown out of a boat at High Rock Lake. It scared me to death,” Creason, now 67, recalled from a comfortable leather armchair in his home near Caney Fork. “I was petrified of water after that.” Young Creason was wearing a life preserver, and the person who did the throwing — he declined to say who

Mike Creason guides a pair of young swimmers through the water. WCU photo — had hoped that the dunking would get him over his fear of water and on with learning to swim. Instead, he went under, swallowed a bunch of water and rose to the surface with enough residual panic that he didn’t learn to swim until he was 12 years old. Even then, it took him several years to really start enjoying the water. “Probably when I got to be about 16 I started feeling real comfortable. In fact, I felt too comfortable,” Creason said. “When I was 18 I graduated from high school and got caught in a rip tide at the ocean, but I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to swim against it … I got to the beach but I thought I was going to drown before I got to the sand.” He took a lifeguarding class after that incident.


After high school, Creason left his hometown Winston-Salem for the mountains, starting his freshman year at Western Carolina University in the fall of 1968. He

was an accounting major at first — his dad “always had this majestic view of me being an accountant and doing people’s taxes” — but that didn’t last. In his sophomore year he switched over to health and physical fitness. “I was a gym rat,” Creason explained. He could pretty much always be found working out or playing racquetball or competing in all manner of intramural sports, and he was a lot happier in a major that matched his interests. After graduation he taught fifth and sixth grade health and physical fitness in Guilford County, but with just one year under his belt he returned to WCU for a master’s degree in intramural sports. He never left. Creason was given the only graduate assistantship his program offered, and when his boss left to pursue a doctorate degree, Creason was hired in his place. Two years later he was named intramural sports director, a position he would hold until his retirement in 2004 in addition to serving as assistant professor of physical education. “(My dad) said, ‘I don’t believe they give jobs to people for stuff like that.’ He couldn’t believe it,” Creason said. “But my mom was happy. My dad was too, but he still couldn’t believe it.” Creason hadn’t been with WCU long before he started teaching swimming lessons. The response was instant — classes filled almost immediately. “It was unreal,” Creason said. “And they had to turn people away because they could only get so many people in the pool.” After 10 years, Creason found himself in charge of all the swimming. He soon began to think about offering classes targeted to toddlers and babies in addition to classes for kids and adults. After collaborating with his colleagues he came up with a plan, and ever since WCU has offered swimming classes for children ages 3 to 5 and 6 months to 3 years. Parents are required to be in the pool with their kids, and Creason walks them through each drill, whistle in hand. “Research indicates that activities in the water from say, a year and a half or babies on up to [age] 7 improve self-esteem,” Creason said. “I’ve always felt like that is true. Something about the water and a kinship with it, developing skills in it, it just helps you feel better.” Over the years, the swim sessions have remained pop-

ular. He teaches swim classes three times per year — in June/July, October and March, often hiring young swim team members to help out. Asked to estimate how many kids he’s taught over the years, Creason hesitates, trying to add the numbers in his head. Finally, he puts it somewhere between 160 and 200 kids per summer — the total number is easily in the thousands and possibly in the tens of thousands. Creason retired from WCU in 2004, but he still teaches swim lessons, just as he always has. “As long as God permits me to be able to do this, I would like to keep doing it, and I’m thankful for the privilege,” he said. Since his retirement, Creason has been staying busy as a substitute teacher for Jackson County Schools, and he’s started to realize just how many children he’s introduced to the water. While teaching a class at Blue Ridge School recently, he decided to ask for a show of hands from everyone who’d taken his swim lessons — out of 20some kids, about eight hands went up. Another time, he asked the same question of a fourth-grade class, and 13 or 14 hands went up. “Some of these tiny tots, I’ve had their parents,” Creason said. “I’m thankful that I have this privilege. It is something that shocks me sometimes. I don’t feel that old yet, but I’m sure it will hit me sooner or later.”

STAYING YOUNG Creason may be 67, but he still goes full-force. After retiring from WCU, he applied for a grant to jumpstart his next venture — a blueberry farm. The $2,500 grant helped him plant 400 blueberry bushes and set up two beehives. His backyard also features fruit trees hanging with pears and apples, and when he’s not farming, he’s out walking or hiking —or else in the pool, where he’s taken to doing a series of underwater exercises to keep his body flexible. “I encourage everybody to stay as young as they can,” Creason said. “Take care of your body and you’ll enjoy life longer. The Lord meant for us to enjoy life if we can, but all of us have challenges with different types of habits that are not good for us.” Swimming has certainly made Creason’s life better — and he’s seen its impact on his students, too. It certainly affected an 18-year-old student he once had, a boy who was preparing to ship out for the U.S. Marine Corps but had never learned to swim. His parents called begging to get him into any swim course possible, but at the time the only classes Creason had running were for 6- and 7-year-olds. “I said, ‘He’s welcome to take it but he’s got to realize that he’s got to swim with these children,’” Creason recalled. Creason kept trying to get the teenager to relax, to conquer his fear of the water, but it was hard work. But the turning point came the day the class ventured to the deep end, at which point the littlest kid in the class took a fearless leap into the water. “He’s sitting there looking at this little boy and he said, ‘I gotta do it. I gotta do it.’ He jumped in and he came back up and he swam over to the side. He was so happy,” Creason said. “I was thankful. And anyway he took off and he was all over that pool before the course was ended. “He could swim.”

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Waynesville Yoga Center Bending over backward for beginners BY CORY VAILLANCOURT STAFF WRITER Haywood County competes favorably with Buncombe County in a number of areas; while employment, housing, cultural attractions and tourist amenities easily come to mind, there’s now a new way Waynesville measures up to Asheville — yoga. Although yoga has grown in mainstream acceptance since the 1970s, it’s often slow to appear in smaller communities; Asheville has been known as a hotspot for yoga for years, but Waynesville not so much. This becomes problematic in two unexpected areas — tourism and job creation. Haywood County’s bustling tourism economy sees a great number of overnight visitors each year who come from both near and far to enjoy all the area offers, but the lack of a convenient, upscale yoga studio has doubtless left many choosing other destinations. Likewise, as young families consider moving to the county to escape the sprawl of Asheville or simply to break off a small chunk of that coveted “mountain lifestyle” desired by people across the country, the lack of a place to practice yoga — while not a make-or-break — is indeed a factor as well. Since mid-August, Jay MacDonald and her staff have

— from a historic house on South Main Street — been working to give Waynesville the kind of place that will satisfy both tourists who don’t want to interrupt their healthy lifestyles while on vacation and new residents hoping to continue their regimen. And maybe most alluringly, they’ll save every yogi in Waynesville a 60-minute drive.

ENTRANCE On an exterior wall of the Charles and Annie Quinlan House at 274 South Main Street in Waynesville hangs a small sign that says “Entrance.” It’s not clear if it’s a noun or a verb; although positioned close to the home’s front door, it also speaks to the spellbinding serenity of the place, inside and out. Perched high atop Prospect Hill since 1901, the historic home’s ground floor is now home to the Waynesville Yoga Center. From the soothing reception area to the library to the main exercise room, the home has been redone to reflect the relaxed, calming nature of yoga itself. Although the center offers several advanced courses, its focus for now involves a heavy educational component — tourists and experienced practitioners will certainly come, thinks MacDonald, but there also exists a strong local market unfamiliar with the benefits that come with this healthy lifestyle. “There are tons of benefits of yoga — physically and

mentally it’s been shown to calm anxiety and lift depression by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system,” said Leigh-Ann Renz, general manager of Waynesville Yoga Center. “That’s mostly what it’s doing — it’s allowing your nervous system to get to a place of ‘rest and digest’ and get you in kind of your optimal zone as far as mind and body goes.” Accordingly, class sizes are small. “We can only fit about 14 people in a class, which means you’re always going to get individualized attention from the instructor,” said Renz. “There’s tons of great yoga in Asheville, but sometimes you’re literally one of 60 people. Teachers will be calling out, and you can’t hear what they’re saying, you can’t see what they’re doing.” Renz said that the individualized attention is especially good for people who’ve had injuries — instructors can see what’s going on and prevent problems before they occur during class. Many of those classes are particularly oriented toward beginners, including Yin. “It’s very gentle,” she said “You go down on the floor and stay on the floor the whole time. And it’s long holds. It’s wonderful for people who are athletes or musclebound and may have had injuries with scar tissue, or for anyone that wants a very gentle deep stretch class.” Tai Chi is well known, but sometimes misunderstood. “It is a type of martial art,” Renz said. “There’s no fighting or person-to-person interaction, but it did originate in Asia as a martial art.”


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Diabetes prevention program focuses on families BY HOLLY KAYS STAFF WRITER

At the Waynesville Yoga Center, the Tai Chi class helps bolster balance and coordination, and is excellent for people with arthritis. “It’s mostly all done standing, but it’s very gentle — it’s very slow movements. It’s very accessible and very good for the elderly because you can do it with mobility issues. Even if you can’t stand, you can sit in the chair and still participate.” Restorative yoga is another gentle, beginner-oriented class where students spend most of their time on the floor. “The difference between restorative and Yin is that it’s focused on stretching the muscles,” Renz said. “It is also focused on tapping into the body’s natural ability to balance by feeling supported and comfortable.” That support and comfort comes from using straps, foam blocks and blankets. “You’re going to be in a yoga pose, but you’ve got all types of support around you to be in that pose so you can fully relax and let go in the pose,” said Renz. “What that does is help the body to heal, strengthen immune function

and allow your body to rebalance.” For those who can’t get down to the floor — or can get down to the floor but may not be able to get up from it, WYC offers something called, appropriately, gentle chair yoga. Renz recommends it for people with osteoporosis, but barre and balance classes offer similar chairbased yoga movements. Even still, WYC instructors like MacDonald and Renz are bending over backward to make it as easy as possible for newcomers to access this essential part of a healthy lifestyle. “We’ve gotten a lot of response from people in the community saying, ‘What would be good for beginners?’” Renz said. “We’ll be adding two classes a week that are called ‘yoga basics’ which will be done from a four-weeks syllabus, so you can drop in anytime.” The spiritual benefits of yoga are also widely known — something not overlooked at the idyllic, historic building atop the hill. Coupled with gains in flexibility, mobility and balance is the mindfulness some people crave just as much as the exercise.


Did you know your eyes can give clues to your overall health? Here are 10 HEALTH PROBLEMS your eyes could be showing signs of:

CANCER: Your eye doctor can check for sun damage that can casue cancer of the eyelids and front of the eye. Remember to wear shades outdoors in daylight to shield your eyes from UV HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE: Early signs of damage from high blood pressure can be detected in a routine eye exam so potentiallty life saving treatment can be initiated and adjusted as needed.


Healthy living is a whole-family affair with the Cherokee Turning Point program, a seven-week course that aims to reach kids 7-12 who are at risk of developing diabetes. “I love this about this project, because it really involves that level of social support,” said Sheena Kanott Lambert, director of the Cherokee Choices program under which the Turning Point program falls. “You’re not just educating the child, but you’re educating the whole family.” Doctors and dieticians refer children to the program, which reaches about 50 kids each year between the spring and fall courses. Classes meet weekly, and parents attend alongside their children. As part of the program, participants have access to a lifestyle coach, dietician and registered nurse. “They’re very interactive,” Lambert said of the classes. “They get to cook things, they get to go to a grocery store and walk through the store to see what to eat and what not to eat. They cover anything from fitness to stress management.” Cherokee culture is integrated as well, with participants learning traditional dances and eating traditional foods as part of the curriculum. “The lessons learned are lifelong,” Lambert said. “We’re providing education that these kids and these families can use the rest of their lives, and I think that’s meaningful.” Cherokee Turning Point, launched in

2009, is modeled on the National Diabetes Prevention Program, a research-based lifestyle change program aimed at preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes. The national program reduces the risk of participants with pre-diabetes developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent. “Diabetes is not just a problem in the (Cherokee) community — it’s a problem nationwide,” Lambert said. “We know that if we can prevent some of these chronic disease up front, our longevity and our tribe as a whole flourishes.” Cherokee Turning Point is far from being Cherokee Choices’ only tool for diabetes prevention. Cherokee Choices launched in 1999 with funding from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant and is now a tribal program that includes a long list of events, programs and initiatives. “I think what makes our program so incredible is that we’re community-based,” Lambert said. “Everything we do is at a community level and we involve the community.” Cherokee Choices programs include the Remember the Removal bike ride that allows tribal members to cycle along the path of the Trail of Tears, multiple 5K runs each year, workplace health programs and an afterschool program that aims to improve children’s physical health, cultural awareness and self-esteem. “We really believe in the holistic approach to health,” Lambert said. “It’s not just maybe you’re overweight. It’s about being healthy — mind, body and spirit.”


DEMENTIA: Amyloid protein that builds up in the brain in Alzheimer’s disease may appear in the retina as an early marker of the condition. Detection requires a special test called SD-OCT

DIABETES: Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can casue serious vision problems and even blindness. Routine dilated eye exams are essential to monitor control of the disease.

STROKE: During a dilated eye exam, your eye doctor can examine the health of blood vessels in the retina and detect signs of increased risk of carotid artery disease and stroke.

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A smooth way to start your day BY CORY VAILLANCOURT STAFF WRITER Like salads, smoothies are what you make of them — and you can easily make them into a high-fat, high-calorie mess barely better than a Big Mac. But Waynesville’s Sunrise Smoothie Café offers a healthier way to start your day.

Sunrise Smoothie Cafe 284A N. Haywood Street, Waynesville 828.476.2202

“There are lots of people coming from the gym, and for breakfast,” said Andrea Trout, who with her husband Nathan owns the café, located in a non-

all fruit,” Trout said. “We use almond milk, Greek yogurt, turmeric, all sorts of ingredients.” What Trout doesn’t use are syrups, puddings, Jell-O, or the ice cream found in many so-called “healthy” smoothies peddled by fast-food chains seeking to elbow their way into the healthy lifestyle market. “It’s healthier,” she said. “It’s better than going to McDonald’s.” The menu includes a variety of “green smoothies,” all of which contain spinach or the current generation’s wonder ingredient, kale. The café also offers over-thecounter supplements like protein powders and snack bars. Although one can choose from a variety of fruity, delicious smoothies like blueberry peach, strawberry banana and even orange creamsicle, customizable add-ins provide a tremendous benefit tailored toward the nutritional needs of everyone from high-performance athletes to cubicle-dwellers just trying to make it through the day. Vitamin B-12 is important for energy production and blood health; creatine aids in muscle growth, as does whey or vegan protein; glutamine and carnitine

Sunrise Smoothie Café co-owner Andrea Trout stands in front of a vibrantly decorated board of fare. Cory Vaillancourt photo


descript shopping plaza off Haywood Street in downtown Waynesville. Trout opens the café at 7 a.m. Monday through Friday. As any downtowner knows, quick, healthy breakfast options are nearly non-existent, especially at that time of day, and especially for those who lead an active lifestyle. Given that nutrition — especially post-workout — is the most important part of any fitness plan, the café has been a welcome addition to the downtown culinary scene. “Some of our recovery smoothies are

are also popular dietary aids available for inclusion in any smoothie. If diet and exercise isn’t your thing, Sunrise Smoothie Café still might be — when Trout opens each morning, coffee from Texas-based Katz Coffee is always ready to go. And, if rising with the sun isn’t your thing either, well, Sunrise Smoothie Café is open until 4 p.m. for that late breakfast, afternoon snack or early dinner. “We want this to be a good place to come post workout, and pre-workout,” Trout said.

Bending and Beer BY J ESSI STONE N EWS E DITOR Yoga instructors have been trying to convince people for years that the exercise has amazing benefits for everyone, but still people are apprehensive about giving it a try. But in the last couple of years, instructors in Western North Carolina have found incorporating the locals’ love of craft beer into their yoga classes has helped them convert skeptics into regular students. “People feel like yoga can be a little stuffy, but when you incorporate a glass of local brew into class, they’re more willing to try it,” said Susan King, yoga instructor at Tsali Yoga and Spin in Bryson City. “It encourages people who wouldn’t normally come — especial the guys — but once they come they realize yoga is not scary or just for girls.” Jennifer McIntee, owner of Beyond Bend Yoga in Franklin, agreed that the beer yoga events held at local spots like Currahee Brewing bring a much broader audience of people who are then more likely to attend one of her regular yoga classes at the studio. “Since my husband is a brewer and we love beer, it’s something I wanted to do for a while — just seems like the two went together with the way I teach about getting

Free class held at 6 p.m. the first Friday of the month Tsali Yoga and Spin. 35 Slope Street, Bryson City 828.488.9010

in touch with yourself and getting in touch with your community,” she said. Both instructors offer their beer yoga classes for free as a way to develop a sense of community. Sharing a pint fosters camaraderie and discussions about local issues and opportunities. “We have a great group of people and it’s growing all the time,” King said. “It’s really relaxing — we’re very low key. Everyone is welcome and you don’t have to drink, but we just do it as a way to release and fellowship with each other.” Though the intent of beer yoga is the same for both instructors, they each have their own approach to incorporating a pint into the class. King’s class allows students to have a craft beer beside their yoga mat to sip on during the class. “People are welcome to bring their non-breakable cup into the yoga area with them but people don’t chug-a-lug during class — it’s just an ice breaker,” King said. McIntee’s class on the other hand rewards itself with a pint or two at the brewery after the session is complete. She promotes local beer and yoga, but just not both at the same time. “I don’t do beer and yoga at the same time — we gather to do yoga and then we enjoy beer together after,” she said. “Yoga is about getting to know yourself and moving and feeling your body. I don’t want people to lose focus or hurt themselves.” Whichever method works best for you, the main mis-

Yoga in the Brewhouse presented by Beyond Bend Yoga Free class held at 11 a.m. the second Saturday of the month Currahee Brewing. 100 Lakeside Drive, Franklin 828.222.0759

sion is to expose more people to the many benefits of yoga in a comfortable setting. “People say, ‘I can’t do yoga, I’m not flexible’ but it’s a practice not a perfect and you got to start somewhere,” King said. “Everyone benefits from deep stretching and there’s tons of benefits to yoga — but sometimes it takes something like this for people to be comfortable doing it.” With the plugged-in, stressful world we live in, McIntee said yoga is the perfect exercise for everyone. “Yoga is perfect — I don’t know why everyone doesn’t do it,” she said. “You move, breathe and feel your body and it has all the components of fitness and relaxation.” If you’re not into beer don’t worry — these yoga instructors also offer other adventurous classes. McIntee offers a free Adventure Yoga class where they go on a hike and end with a yoga session on top of a mountain or by a waterfall. With the help of Bryson City Outdoors, King offers a stand up paddleboard yoga class during the summer.


Yoga teachers reaching broader audience with pints


TRY IT! YOU’LL LIKE IT! We offer a variety of gentle classes for beginners of all ages!

Warm Welcome Package- $30 • Hot salt foot soak while we review your wellness goals and suggest classes to meet them • Your choice of: t-shirt - yoga mat - or essential oil

FIRST CLASS FREE FOR LOCALS! 10% Discount for Seniors (65+) and Active Military

New Class: YOGA Basics Starts September 11: Mondays 6-7pm + Thursdays Noon-1pm Learn the basics of yoga: Standing - balance - seated and flow

Visit our website or come by to see a full list of our class schedule!

274 S. Main St • Waynesville • Next to Oak Park Inn 828.246.6570



Wild Market offers natural solutions BY CORY VAILLANCOURT STAFF WRITER Located amidst the ice cream shops and candy stores in Maggie Valley’s Market Square is a different kind of establishment — Wild Market. “We are showing people there is a better way to reach optimal health which often out-performs pharmaceutical medications without negative side effects,” said Leslie Larsen, charter proprietor of Wild Market. Not everyone believes that mainstream pharmaceuticals are the best solution to every health ailment; sometimes, big pharma’s cures can be worse than the disease. Larsen has been on what she calls a “natural health journey” for the past 17 years, ever since her daughter was diagnosed with a severe learning disability Larsen says was remedied by eliminating the foods causing her severe allergic reactions. Currently an educator who travels the country teaching health food store proprietors, staff and customers about the benefits of natural health, Larsen also serves on a nonprofit organizational board that focuses on education and advocacy for the natural products industry. With Larsen often away from her Maggie Valley shop, she recently partnered with Kathy Hardin to help operate it. Hardin, who also has Wild Market been on a natural health journey due to severe ail3489 Soco Rd., Maggie Valley ments she and her son 828.944.0724 suffered — ailments that

she says were successfully remedied by eliminating contaminated foods and using natural supplements — also like Larsen seeks to serve the community by offering a healthy alternative to expensive, oft-ineffective drugs. To prove her point, Hardin said that the store offers a variety of foods and products from local artisans who sell tasty, organic and sustainable products like Tribal Grounds coffee crafted on the Qualla Boundary, non-toxic Faeri Made nail polish created in Asheville, pipes made by West Asheville’s Highlander, hot sauces by Candler’s Smoking J’s Fiery Foods and Bean’s Brown Soap from Waynesville. Wild Market also specializes in dietary supplements, additives and extracts not easily found at your local CVS, Rite-Aid or Target — products like Glutathione (an antioxidant) and Choline (a neurotransmitter). With a rapidly aging population and continuing concern over the national health care situation, Americans now more than ever are considering the natural alternatives available at places like Wild Market in greater and

greater numbers. But at the core of Wild Market’s mission remains edu-

Although hidden away in a strip mall, Maggie Valley’s Wild Market is attracting more attention than ever. Cory Vaillancourt photo

cation, the most important component of which is summed up succinctly by Hardin. “Healthy living can be simple, affordable and delicious,” she said.

“Your quick stop for smoothies, coffee & nutritional supplies.”


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Living Well: A look at health and fitness in WNC