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A Healthier You Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012


Container Gardening



— Dig In!


says Peele of starting a fall garden, because summer plants have taken all the nutrients. “Fertilizing alone just isn’t “I love container gardens,” says Janet enough.” Peele, owner of Aberdeen Florist and Then pick you plants. The Sandhills is in Garden Center. “They are perfect for zone 8, according to small spaces, for the USDA classifihomes where the cation, which is homeowners associbased on the lowest ations won’t let temperature in the residents dig up the winter. Some things ground, and they that grow well in are great for those this area in both fall who want to garden and winter and can’t easily get container gardens down to the ground are kale, cabbage, and then get themswiss chard and selves back up.” pansies (the flowers Peele has owned are edible and Aberdeen Florist wonderful in and Garden Center salads!) These for nearly 40 years plants should do and she has a well outside all passion for gardens, winter, unless large and small, temperatures get floral and beautiful, below 20 degrees and hearty and for an extended healthy. period of time. Edible container One mistake gardens are often Peele says some thought of as a make is not place for herbs, but watering enough in Peele reminds us HANNAH SHARPE/The Pilot colder weather. that there are many Janet Peele, owner of Aberdeen Florist “When the soil is fruits and vegetaand Garden Center frozen, water it. bles that can be Lots of plants die grown in a containdue to root exposure because of the dry er. And, for those who want to till some air. Watering when the soil is frozen soil, but don’t yet have that green thumb, a container garden can be just the thing. “You’ll want to start with sterile soil,” see GARDENING, page 3 Special to The Pilot


A strawberry jar with pansies is an example of a container garden at the Aberdeen Florist and Garden Center. Inset photo: Blackbird euphorbia, loncera honeysuckle, red cordyline, rainbow ascot euphorbia, trailing rosemary and violas.


Gardening From Page 2 allows it to settle.” Peele recommends a winter container garden of no smaller than 12 inches and a summer container garden no smaller than 13 inches. “Of course, a larger container doesn’t need to be watered as often as a smaller one.” says Peele. “It’s like a geranium. If you plant one small geranium you can barely leave the house because it needs to be watered so often, but if you have a large pot of geraniums, the larger amount of soil holds the water better.” Peter Mulcahy, one of Peele’s many dedicated helpers at the garden center, suggests some beautiful combinations of both edible and non-edible container gardens. One example is dracenae (a tall spike plant — because containers are so pretty with a little extra height) surrounded by trailing rosemary and pansies. Of course, a pretty container doesn’t hurt either! Once these wonderful veggies are ready for harvest they can be turned

THE PILOT — SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. into any number of wonderful things. Marianne Lewis, co-owner of Chef Warren’s in Southern Pines, suggests using raw cabbage, finely diced carrots (which also can be grown in a container garden if the soil is a bit sandier), mushrooms, beets, turnips and a portobello mushroom in tacos — something that they feature at their restaurant. “Add a smoky chipotle mayo and it’s really wonderful,” Lewis says. “This can also be added to chili.” She says at Southern Pines Elementary School, a pickup spot for Sandhills Farm to Table, people are enjoying lots of kale this season, and moms talk about how wonderful and easy it is to add kale to just about anything. “Dice it up finely and add it to zucchini bread. It just disappears!” Lewis says. “You can also grill it, make kale chips and use it as ornament on your plate.” As Lewis says, container gardening is an “active sport in Moore County!” There are so many resources, so many willing to share ideas and help budding container gardeners get started. The season is right, so dig in and enjoy!



Peter Mulcahy works on a container arrangement of lavender, trailing rosemary and pansies at Aberdeen Florist and Garden Center.



Going gluten-free doesn’t always mean tasteless meals, expensive special ingredients or (gasp!) no bread. Read on for seven easy ingredient swaps that will make your gluten-free cooking a breeze. The words “gluten-free” so often conjure images of bland, tasteless and (if we’re being honest) gross foods. If you skip by the special gluten-free section of the grocery store or turn up your nose at the dish your friend with celiac disease brought to the neighborhood potluck, you’re not alone. Gluten, a mixture of proteins in wheat, rye and barley, was once a largely ignored allergen that caused big problems for its sufferers. And while gluten awareness is on the rise, most people assume that getting rid of gluten means a lot of extra work and giving up all the foods you love. But a new book says that it’s actually much easier and tastier than you think. “Being gluten-free isn’t about being on a diet,” explains Danna Korn, author of “Living Gluten-Free For Dummies®.” “It’s about living a lifestyle. And whether you’ve been gluten-free for decades or are just getting started, your most important tool is knowledge.” Korn, who is respected as one of the leading authorities on the gluten-free diet and the medical conditions that benefit from it, has written the book as a practical guide full of trusted, authoritative advice and explanations, and clear guidance on how to make the transition to a gluten-free lifestyle. “More and more families are learning to go the gluten-free route, and it’s not just for those who suffer from the increasingly common celiac disease,” she

continues. “Families everywhere are facing wheat allergies, gluten intolerance and even autism — all diseases that are linked to the gluten we get from the food we consume. And more and more, people are taking the gluten-free plunge in the

the best. They’re nutritious and add flavor, and most importantly, they’re gluten-free! Breadings and coatings: If a recipe calls for breading, bread crumbs, flour coating or a similar preparation, consider using

hopes of getting their families on the road to healthier eating.” The trick, she says, is learning how to substitute for a few staple ingredients in your kitchen. If you’re tempted to experiment with making your favorite recipes gluten-free, here are some savvy substitutions for a few of your favorite ingredients. Flour: If you do any sort of baking or cooking at home, then you know flour is an essential ingredient in a lot of recipes. For those who cook in a gluten-free home, finding a flour alternative can be a top priority. If a recipe calls for flour, consider using cornstarch or a gluten-free flour or mix instead. Experiment with the many new flours available, like bean flours, sorghum and amaranth, and see which ones you like

wheat- or gluten-free mix (either homemade or storebought). Bread and muffin mixes work well for coatings on chicken and other fried goodies. Seasoned cornmeal or corn flour (masa) and crushed potato chips are also excellent alternatives. Bread crumbs: Gluten-free bread crumbs are one of the easier alternative ingredients to come by in your kitchen.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2012 Many gluten-free breads turn to crumbs when you look at them. And certainly, there are always plenty of crumbs in the bag; just use them as extras for cooking! If you need a larger quantity, try crumbling some bread slices and toast or broil the crumbs to make them crunch. Croutons: Croutons are a great way to take a salad from so-so to sensational with very little trouble. Making your own, gluten-free croutons is simple as well: cut fresh, gluten-free bread into cubes, deep fry, and then roll in Parmesan cheese and spices. Some people suggest letting the bread get just a tad stale (not moldy) before making croutons this way. Granola: Granola is a multifaceted ingredient that should be a staple in any kitchen. It is great with yogurt and fruit, as a component in trail mix, or as a stand-alone snack. If you can find gluten-free oats at the store, then you’re set. But if you can’t, you can still make granola with very little trouble. Toss together toasted nuts and seeds and then mix them with gluten-free cereal, honey, vanilla, a tiny bit of oil, and spices or seasonings. How much spices and seasonings? A smidge or so, until it tastes like you like it. Bake at 300 degrees for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Add dried fruit (that’s been soaked in water for 10 minutes), let

food swaps and ingredient subsitutions for living

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Pet Supplies for The Environmentally Conscious If you’re making “green” changes in and around the house, you may want to extend Earth-friendly living to your pet as well. Why shouldn’t going green go to the dogs … or cats, for that matter?

Bathroom Break

Pet waste is a problem. If not properly disposed, it can harbor parasites and be a health issue. Also, pet waste is simply unsightly. Innovative products help put an end to potty patrol. For example, toilet and septic systems for dogs and cats eliminate the need to really handle waste. The Cat Genie uses washable litter beads that drain liquid and a selfflushing and cleaning mechanism to put an end to traditional litter boxes. Similar to a septic system for a house, the Doggie Dooley Toilet is a unit that is installed in the yard. Place pet waste inside, and natural enzymes and bacteria break down the waste and leach it into the soil naturally.

Sleeping Quarters

Look for pet beds that are made from recyclable materials. Many get their fluffy feel from recycled plastic that is turned into pillow stuffing. Or better yet, make your own pet beds from clothing or blankets you normally would have disposed

Gluten-Free From Page 4 cool, then refrigerate or vacuum seal and freeze. Trail mix: Trail mix is great for snacking on the go and is a healthy treat kids enjoy. Many trail mixes that are available in stores are already gluten-free, but if you like to make your own, mix some peanuts, raisins, dried fruit and gluten-free chocolate candies or chips. Oatmeal or hot cereal: If you like to start your day with a steaming bowl of oats, don’t despair! Try substituting your morning oatmeal with corn grits. Prepare them just like oatmeal and top with butter, cinnamon and sugar, or fry them. You may also be able to find hot cereals

of. In fact, your pet may enjoy having your scent on these items and the idea of familiar surroundings.

Food Many pet foods are made from a lot of fillers and scrap materials. These include reconstituted animal by-products, otherwise known as low-grade wastes from the beef and poultry industries. Instead, choose organic and natural pet foods that rely on meats from animals raised humanely. These foods are not treated with artificial preservatives.

Sustainable Goods Choose pet products made from sustainable materials. For example, you can purchase collars and leashes made from hemp or organic cotton. The same can be said for chew toys and scratching posts. Avoid plastic products, or ones that are not made from recyclable materials.

Chemical-Free Cleaning The trend in household cleaning is to move away from chemical-laden cleaning products. The same can be said for keeping your pet fresh and cleaning up the house after him or her. Read labels for environmentally safe shampoos, detanglers and pet cleaning products.

that are made from grain-free flours. Some new amaranth and quinoa hot cereals also are available. (And as an added bonus, they are nutritional powerhouses!) “Don’t be afraid to get creative,” Korn concludes. “Having a gluten-free kitchen shouldn’t take the joy out of preparing meals and creating new culinary delights. In fact, it should make you that much more skilled as a chef. And with a little planning and an open mind, you just may be surprised at the safe, nutritious, and downright tasty dishes that come out of your kitchen.”

Danna Korn is respected as one of the leading authorities on the gluten-free diet and the medical conditions that benefit from it. She’s been featured in People magazine, on ABC’s “20-20,” and dozens of other national media outlets. She is the co-author of “Gluten-Free Cooking For Dummies®.”

Stomping Out the Truth About Grape Seed Supplements




grammar, composition and literature at Calvary Christian School for 22 years. At age 42, she had to retire from the classroom, and at age 45, after three years of oddly aching muscles, she went into fullbody paralysis. “I had been at a March for Life, and it had been freezing and rainy,” she says. “I just couldn’t get warm, so when we got home, I got into the bathtub. When I was ready to get out, I couldn’t move.” Her husband, the late Peter King, pulled her out of the tub. That episode began 13 years of an illness that baffled

That is why she has started taking Nature’s Pearl grape seed supplement. She says her pain is typically at a level three Health supplements have created two out of 10, which is “bearable” compared populations — one of skeptics and one of with the previous six out of 10 “misery.” starry-eyed disciples. Grape seed alleviates more than just Health specialists, doctors and pain. professors are shouting that vitamins and According to the American Cancer supplements are a pallid replacement for Society pamphlet “Cancer Facts & Figures whole foods and fresh vegetables. They do 2012,” men have about a 50 percent risk of concede that supplements are better than developing cancer, and women have about nothing in the deteriorating American diet. a 33 percent risk, so preventative But health supplement advertising has measures should be taken before cancer is bewitched people into believing that detected. wholesomeness is delivered in a pill. Scientists at Wake Forest Nature’s Pearl grape seed supplements, University researched and testthough, seem to be the ed the affects of Nature’s Pearl impervious exception to the muscadine grape seed supplerule. The supplement is nothing ments on the brachial artery. but ground muscadine grape They performed the test eight seed encapsulated by hypromeltimes to be sure their unprecelose, a vegetarian capsule. dented results were correct. Grape seed itself is full of Wake Forest Baptist Medical antioxidants, phenolics and phytoCenter researchers Dr. E. Ann chemicals — an enormous Tallant and Dr. Patricia E. contributor to whole body health. Gallagher offered an abstract It protects the body from adverse at last year’s American damages done by the hundreds of Association for Cancer toxins we absorb daily and is Research annual meeting. demonstrating itself as a strong The closing line states, anti-carcinogen. “These results demonstrate Our air harbors pesticides and that extracts from gasoline fumes, and air pollution muscadine grape seeds and can cause upper respiratory ot Pil The ITH/Special to KATHERINE SM muscadine grape skins infections, according to the U.S. se ee Eden D n, re ld hi inhibit the growth of human Department of Energy. dc an gr ith one of her 12 w lung, colon, prostate, breast, Formaldehyde can pollute water by ng Ki h et ab iz El skin, brain and leukemia cells in vitro, the simple processes of ozonation, more than 150 doctors, from suggesting that further studies are chlorination and from broken plastic Moore Regional to Duke to UNC. warranted to investigate their potential use bottles, according to the World Health In 2006, her son-in-law, Roger Smith, in the prevention or treatment of cancer.” Organization. found a chance diagnoses online — The researchers discovered that cancer Sodium laurel sulfate, an ingredient in hypokalemic periodic paralysis. Doctors cell growth for triple negative breast many cosmetics, has a tendency to react confirmed that King had the mutation, cancer cells, a type of cancer rarely with other chemicals to form nitrosodiwhich is caused by an inability to absorb touched by strong prescriptions, was ethanolamine, a potent carcinogen, potassium. inhibited by 92.6 percent by the grape according to the Health Food Emporium. “I always wondered why I would be out seed. Human lung adenocarcinoma was Aluminum, an ingredient in antiperspiof paralysis during August and inhibited by 81.8 percent and human colon rants, may be absorbed by the skin to September,” she says. “Now I know that it’s cancer was inhibited by 80.5 percent. cause changes in estrogen receptors of because I was eating our figs, pears and “Cancer cells are fast-growing cells,” breast cells, a possible cause of breast grapes and tons of peaches — all full of says Rajesh Agarwal, Ph.D., an cancer, according to the American Cancer potassium.” investigator at the University of Colorado Society. A daily six tablespoons of potassium Cancer Center and professor at the Skaggs Not only does the muscadine grape seed School of Pharmaceutical Sciences. “Not flush out many of these toxins, but it works chloride is her unlikely $7 per bottle cure. But her pain is still high, and can surge only that, but they are necessarily fast to rebuild the body after the damage. with the smallest increase of barometric growing. When conditions exist in which Elizabeth King is a Southern Pines local pressure. they can’t grow, they die.” who taught seventh-through 12th-grade Special to The Pilot


In a study published by Carcinogenesis, Agarwal explained that grape seed extract creates conditions that are unfavorable to cancer cell growth. The grape seed extract both damages cancer cells’ DNA (via increased reactive oxygen species) and stops the pathways that allow cancer cell repair (as seen by decreased levels of the DNA repair molecules Brca1 and Rad51 and DNA repair foci). “Yet we saw absolutely no toxicity to the (tested) mice themselves,” Agarwal says about his research, in an interview with Garth Sundem. The grape seed extract killed the cancer cells but not the healthy ones. Grape seed extract also boosts heart health. Subjects taking two grams of the extract daily for four weeks experienced increases in nitric oxide, a gas molecule that improves blood vessel health. This study was published in the Dec. 2004 issue of Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology by scientists at CSIRO Health Sciences and Nutrition in Australia. Type 2 diabetics who consumed 600 mg of the extract daily for four weeks experienced significant decreases in C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation in the body that contributes to heart disease. This study was conducted by scientists at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in the United Kingdom and published in the May 2009 issue of Diabetes Medicine. According to Science Daily, researchers at the University of California have found that 150 to 300 mg of grape seed extract, taken daily, also decreases blood pressure. King reports that her daughters use the grape seed for thyroid problems, her pastors for joint problems, her neighbor for knee problems, and her grandchildren for cramps. “It really is good for everything, because it’s all natural,” she says. To visit a local muscadine vineyard to harvest grapes yourself, visit Click on the “Growing Grapes” tab, then the “N.C. Grape Varieties” tab, then “Muscadine Grape Growing” tab and then click on the link to “Pick Your Own Muscadine Vineyards.” To purchase the Nature’s Pearl supplement for $33.95 per bottle of 60 capsules, visit




Seeds Cultivate More than the Garden Seeds can add a nutty, salty flavor to snacks and meals, but they also have health benefits. Seeds offer anti-inflammatory properties, promote heart and bone health, and supply essential minerals. TOPS Club Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), the nonprofit weight-loss support organization, explains how various seeds can boost a meal’s nutrition.

Pumpkin Pumpkin seeds are rich with protein minerals, including magnesium, manganese, iron, copper and zinc. They are thought to promote prostate health, strengthen bones and reduce inflammation. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds over a salad, add them to trail mix, toss the seeds with pasta, or blend them into a muffin mix.

Chia Chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can have a positive impact on cholesterol. Add them to yogurt, cereal or oatmeal to get a boost of fiber, calcium and protein. Dr. Andrew Weil, integrated medicine expert and author, recommends soaking two tablespoons of chia seeds in water for 15 to 30 minutes, then stirring the mixture into your water or sports drink for added stamina during a workout.

Sunflower Sunflower seeds are a good source of vitamin E, which serves as an antioxidant and contains anti-inflammatory properties. They also offer copper and selenium, protecting your muscles. Add sunflower seeds to a fresh salad, mix into chicken salad, sprinkle over meat, or grind them up for a spread.

Enhance Your Natural Beauty If you have rosacea you may want to consider the Photo Genesis procedure which treats skin redness, age and brown spots, ruddy complexions, freckles, and sun damage.

Sesame Sesame seeds are a rich source of copper, which may provide arthritis relief. They also contain calcium and magnesium, which may lower blood pressure, protect against osteoporosis and more. Mix them with steamed vegetables, sautéed fish or chicken, or add sesame seeds to homemade bread.

Flaxseed Flaxseed contains alpha linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fat, which may positively impact cholesterol, promote bone health, protect against heart disease and reduce inflammation. Look for milled flaxseed, ground flaxseed or flax meal, which is easier to digest, helping your body absorb more of the nutrients. Include it in muffin or pancake mixes, or blend flaxseed into a fruit smoothie.

Sacha Inchi Sacha inchi nuts (“Inca peanuts”) contain omega-3 fatty acids and tryptophan, an amino acid, which can help the body control appetite and sleep. They are also a great source of protein. Use the nuts in a trail mix, or purchase roasted nuts at a health food store. Roasting tip: When purchasing any of these seeds, buy them raw. Roast seeds at 375 degrees, because higher temperatures may diminish the beneficial nutrients that seeds offer. TOPS Club Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) is the original weight-loss support and wellness education organization. Founded more than 64 years ago, TOPS is the only nonprofit, noncommercial weight-loss organization of its kind. To find a local chapter, visit or call (800) 932-8677.

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Billy’s attitude problem, and whether this is the day your car’s starter is going to finally quit to the economy, politics and what the future holds for our country. Even the subtle pressure implied by retail stores kicking off the Christmas holiday season before trick-or-treaters have even gone in search of candy can cause individuals to feel stress. The causes of stress differ for everyone. What may register as a mere annoyance to one person may be the straw that seemingly breaks the camel’s back to another. Personally, I react to the too-early displays of Christmas extravaganza as an annoyance and something to be ignored until after I’ve enjoyed my post-turkey-dinner nap on Thanksgiving. However, I do know people who react to the displays as if Martha Stewart herself had issued a decree that all the homes must immediately be uber-decorated. On the flip side, something that may send me crawling back into bed may be water off a duck’s back to others. It’s how you react to your stressors that can affect not only your mental health but your physical health as well. According to the American Psychological Association’s “Stress in America” report, the effects of stress can impact your body, your mood and your behavior. Common effects of stress on your body include headache, muscle tension or pain, chest pain, fatigue, change in sex drive, stomach upset and sleep problems. Stress can impact your mood, causing anxiety, restlessness, lack of motivation or focus, irritability or anger, sadness or depression. Overeating or undereating, angry outbursts, drug or alcohol abuse, tobacco use and social withdrawal can be the result stress has on your behavior. The effects of stress can build up over time, so learning how to effectively deal with even the smallest stressors in your life can have long-term health benefits. Growing up, whenever I faced a crawl-back-into-bed-andhide-from-the-world day, my grandmother would tell me to “go and take a shower. You’ll feel better.” She was right. Somewhere between grumping my way into the shower and toweling off, the world and my problems never seemed as bad and I was always able to face the day and life once again. According to Shelwilbed Wray, the owner and clinical director of Kardia Counseling and Consulting, PLLC, in Pinehurst, Grandma’s advice wasn’t just an old wives’ tale. “We create the internal experience of stress. Whether it’s the economy, a job hunt or the holiday displays, the thing you can change is your mind,” Wray says. “You have to decide whether you roll over or get up. “People forget the power we have in our minds to change our lives. It’s a choice. You have to lose the feeling that you don’t have control.” When his clients tell him they were unable to get out of bed to face the day, Wray asks if they wet the bed. When they reply that they didn’t wet the bed, but got up to use the bathroom, Wray points out that was a choice they made. And, just like choosing to get out of bed to go to the bathroom, they can choose to get out of bed to deal with their problems. If you want to have a pity party for yourself, Wray says that’s OK — as long as you set a time limit for the party. “Have a pity party, but set a time limit, then be done with it, put it away and get on with living your life,” Wray says.

PAGE 9 “It is OK to have a party, but not OK to move in and reside in that state.” So what makes some people seemingly handle stress so much better than others? Wray says it is a matter of knowing what is important to yourself, then letting go of what you cannot change and taking responsibility for what you can. “Do other people have more opportunities? Do they take advantage of those opportunities or do they create the opportunities?” Wray says. “Some people turn to alcohol or drugs to escape but they’re just allowing themselves to feel sorry for themselves.” Wray advises his clients to practice a simple mental exercise of reminding themselves that they are enough, that they have worth. By changing negative thought patterns and becoming more inwardly focused, Wray says, the less vulnerable you will be to the external stressors. “You have to resolve to change the mind set of acceptance that allows external situations to influence or exacerbate the way you feel about yourself,” Wray — Shelwilbed Wray says. Walk by the holiday displays and choose not to get pulled into buying Christmas gifts or decorations to fulfil a perceived notion of what the holidays should be. “Know what is important to you. Change your expectations,” Wray says. “Get realistic about the holidays and what they’re going to be.” When asked how Wray would advise those stressed by the current political battling, he says to approach this stressor like any other. That you can choose how it affects you. “While people may be competitive, divisiveness is a learned behavior. We forget the part of us that forgives and feels compassion,” Wray says. “Reconnecting with one’s true nature and being willing to forgive one another for real or perceived hurts can go a long way toward being happy despite the political campaigns.” Instead of looking at each other’s political leanings, focus more mindfully on the genuine humanity of the individual, Wray advises. “Does it have to be so polarized? Everybody wants to be happy and live healthy, prosperous lives in peace. It’s how we get there that is key.” There are times when picking yourself up requires assistance from others that’s when professionals such as Wray come into play. In his practice, Wray uses talk therapy to help his clients discover that they have the power to change their own lives. Wray’s clients range in age from adolescents to adults and include families of soldiers as well as some soldiers themselves. A reserve officer in the U.S. Army who has been deployed overseas, Wray is able to offer a first-hand perspective on the issues soldiers and their families face. “Nothing happens if your mind is not in it,” Wray says. “If you’re not healthy and your mind isn’t clear or working properly, nothing else you want to have happen will. Motivation falls by the wayside. You decide. Do you roll over and give in or do you get up? A sign in Wray’s Pinehurst office emphasizes his message: “Have a nice day, unless you’ve made other plans.”

“It is a choice. You have to lose the feeling that you don’t have control.”

You Choose How It Will Affect You BY MARTHA J. HENDERSON Special Sections Editor

ave you ever had one of those days when the struggles of your daily life pile up and you feel so overwhelmed that all you want to do is pull the covers over your head and stay in bed, hiding from the world? Well, you’re not alone. We’ve all had those days. No matter who you are and where you are in life, chances are you’ve taken one too many metaphorical kicks in the teeth and felt the urge to just give up. Generally, that desire to hide from the world is caused by stress. Webster’s defines stress as mental or emotional tension or strain characterized by feelings or anxiety, fear, etc. The causes of stress can range from your job, little



Contact Martha J. Henderson at mjhenderson or at (910) 693-2476.




Yoga is the study of balance, and balance is the aim of all living creatures: it is our home. — Rolf Gates




Balanced Mind and Body: Bringing Life Back Into Focus BY AMY SCANLIN Special to The Pilot

It’s a crazy world out there, and we make it even crazier by saying yes to everything that comes our way, except for the opportunity to quiet our mind and body. “Mind-body fitness” and “wellness” certainly sound like something that would be nice to achieve, but who has the time? “I’ve got to pick up the kids, get dinner and homework started, work on that presentation for tomorrow, and I guess I’ll just leave time for myself until another day …” is a common theme heard round the country. In turn, we move mindlessly from one thing to the next, with our stress building up and manifesting as illness, pain and depression. Enter a discipline many thousands of years old that in just one hour weekly, twice-weekly, however often you can get there, can help you achieve a quieter mind, a better ability to focus and reminds you of who you are on the inside, unrelated to all that peripheral stuff around which we build our lives. Yoga, (which means “to unite”) brings the breath, the mind, the body and those truly important things in life back into focus. If you need hard science and not just anecdotal evidence, consider that the National Institutes of Health recently released a video on the science behind yoga and its many benefits; as well the American College of Physicians and American Pain Society recommend yoga as part of their clinical practice guidelines for managing low back pain. (Always see a doctor before starting any physical activity!) Best-selling author Dr. Dean Ornish says that chronic emotional stress causes plaque buildup and a constriction of the arteries that feed blood to the heart, making blood platelets stickier and more likely to form a clot. Research suggests that yoga can help to reduce tension, anger, anxiety. Our autonomic nervous system eases and our ability to better handle stress improves, as well as our response to it. Many enjoy yoga for a variety of reasons — a spiritual closeness with a higher being, a quiet place to decompress, and others enjoy yoga for its physical benefits as well. In addition to the peacefulness of the final relaxation pose, or Savasana, balance poses require a clear mind and “razor sharp focus,” says Virginia Gallagher, owner of Hot Asana Yoga studios in Southern Pines and Pinehurst. In turn, everything else must be blocked to fully focus. Balance poses are soothing and challenging, and if you are making a mental grocery list — they aren’t going to work. Another benefit to balance training is it helps build strength in the ligaments, tendons and muscles of the legs and arms, all of which help to prevent falls and subsequent injuries. Balance training can be as simple as standing on one foot in tree pose, and the more balance is


Virginia Gallagher, owner of Hot Asana Yogo studios, practices yoga poses on the Indo Yoga Board. practiced, just like anything, the easier it becomes. Taking balance training to the next level, Hot Asana has introduced an Indo Yoga Board, which is a surfboard-sized flat board with small arcs underneath providing instability. Says Gallagher, for those who practice yoga and balance training regularly, on the Indo Yoga Board, “easier poses become harder and harder poses become easier!” The reason: In easier poses practiced off the board, we may allow our mind to wander. The board requires the mind to come back into focus so we can maintain our position. In harder poses, even off the mat, we tend to never lose our focus and so we are mentally better

prepared for the challenge of the board. The board doesn’t allow you to mentally lose sight of where you are no matter what pose you are practicing. Hot Asana is the only yoga studio in the world that is holding classes with the Indo Yoga Boards. (What a great thing for the Sandhills!). Whether balancing the mind to better balance the body is your goal, or just balancing the mind for better clarity and relaxation, as Jared Fink, an instructor at Hot Asana reminds us, your yoga mat is waiting for you like an old friend and whether you can hear it over the chatter in your life, it is saying “welcome home.”


and Paying it Forward THE PILOT — SOUTHERN PINES, N.C.

BY AMY SCANLIN Special to the Pilot

The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches but to reveal to him his own. — Benjamin Disraeli A joy to behold — a friendly face and the security that all will be OK; the gift of knowledge, history and a brighter future; a smile, a handshake, a warm healthy meal and safe place to lay one’s head at night. So many things we take for granted, and yet so many things others haven’t experienced. It’s not an easy world out there, no matter who you are or where you come from, and in times of economic downturn, stresses seem to exponentially multiply. So, when Sandhills residents hear the call of an unmet need, they rally. They gather some friends and get motivated to make a difference in the lives of the those who need a helping hand. What often ends up happening is the realization that though they came to give, the volunteers receive so much more. Volunteering brings out the best in all of us. We create a positive impact in the community, enjoy the pursuit of an interest or talent and reap the rewards of fulfilling a promise of leaving the world a better place. Here is just a tiny sampling of Sandhill neighbors who give and receive through their gifts of time: “I’m a big believer in early therapy intervention with special needs kids,” says Lynne Weaver, a retired teacher and Prancing Horse Center therapeutic horseback riding volunteer. When she moved to the Sandhills last year, Weaver was afraid that after 32 years of teaching she’d miss working with children. She also had a passing interest in horses, but no real experience. As fate would have it, she assists with lessons for little ones at Sandhills Children’s Center. Another twist of fate came not long after the lessons began


lesson, and Prancing Horse offers a variety of lessons at different locations, times and for different ages. “It brings me so much personal satisfaction to contribute,” says Weaver. “I really enjoy this feeling of purpose.”     


Prancing Horse Center therapeutic horseback riding volunteers walk with a special needs child as she rides a horse at the center. The volunteers provide safety and interaction. when Weaver began speaking through sign language with a hearing-impaired child who was clearly enjoying the lessons, but had not yet been communicative with the volunteers. Those simple signed words of “Hi, friend” and “good job” have made all the difference

for both rider and volunteer. Weaver is a sidewalker, one of three volunteers needed for each child during the lesson, one to lead the horse and two to walk on either side of the child, providing safety and interaction. Usually there are three children in the ring per

“I’m preserving history for the next generation,” says Charlie Eicchorn, volunteer at the Tufts Archives in Pinehurst. “It’s perfect because it keeps my mind sharp, I’m accomplishing something, and I think it is so important for the people who come to Pinehurst to understand the history of this amazing place.” Eicchorn has been volunteering at the Tufts Archives for about two years, and he also serves on a couple of committees there. He found the mix of research, documenting important items and adding them into the archives’ digital software utilizes a great mix of skills. “It has every element that interests me,” he says. “When you are my age, the golf game isn’t quite as good, and I’m not as interested in it as I used to be. I read a lot and I’m involved in a lot of different things but it gives me a lot of pleasure to help out.” The Tufts Archives has an amazing collection of items, and many more wonderful things are donated each year through families who want cherished mementos with historical significance to come home. Tufts Archives volunteers serve a variety of needs, from discovering the historical importance of these items and how best to display them to talking with visitors and locals and sharing the many wonderful pieces of history that the Sandhills has to offer.     

“In seven years, MANNA! of Moore County (Moore Alliance Nourishing Neighbors, Amen!) has served probably 155,000 lunches,” says John Roberts, director at MANNA!. “For many, on the days they have lunch with us, they are

see GIVING BACK page 13




Giving Back

Roberts says MANNA! has about 225 volunteers who serve lunch and another 60 volunteers who bag Panera bread daily. From Page 12 There are seven serving sites throughout Moore County, and 25 teams of people organized to help. able to eat twice because many of the Started in 2005 with one people we serve can only afford one serving site, a second site meal a day.” was added in March 2006, three sites were added in 2007, and by 2009, MANNA!’s seven sites were established. Like any person, family and organization, finances have been tight for MANNA! since the economic downturn, but the devoted volunteers as well as the businesses that support MANNA! continue to put this simple idea of serving those in need with no registration, no identifiot Pil e Th to LIN/Special cation requirement AMY SCAN in Pinehurst. into practice. s e iv h rc A s ft at Tu “We have seen orn volunteers Charlie Eicch more and more people coming for lunch


John Roberts, director and founder of MANNA!, unloads lunches at Spaulding Chapel AME Zion Church in Taylortown in 2010. that we’ve ever seen before,” says Roberts. “Our volunteers find it rewarding because it’s practical, helpful and serves an immediate need in the community,” says Roberts. “And for most, serving the

disadvantaged is not just about MANNA!. Many of our volunteers also help with organizations like BackPack Pals, the Sandhills Coalition, the food bank, Habitat for Humanity and Family Promise. There’s a lot of love in this community.”

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Mushrooms: Food of Royalty

BY KATHERINE SMITH Special to The Pilot

The folklore of mushrooms spans back more than 4,600 years to Egypt. The Egyptians believed mushrooms to be the food of royalty; that mushrooms could produce superhuman strength and help the soul on its afterlife journey. The reality of mushrooms is that, until recently, most people understood that they had health benefits, but did not understand why or to what extent. “People generations ago used a lot of things that we’ve lost,” Susan Allen, a Deep Gap mushroom farmer, says. “So we have to reinvestigate that medicinal healing.” Susan and David Allen grow six varieties of oyster mushrooms, lobster, shiitake, lion’s mane, turkey tail, portobello, wine caps, morel and reishi mushrooms. The Allens have a farm exemplary of largescale mushroom growing, located at 5713 Elk Creek Road in Deep Gap. They sell their mushrooms through New River Organic Growers at $1 per ounce. Dried, they sell for $2 per ounce, because it takes about three pounds of picked mushrooms to produce one pound of dried. The reishi mushrooms have a special price of $20 per ounce. The Allens purchased their 2,200 mature logs from another Deep Gap farmer, Pony Morrell. In addition to the logs, the Allens have containers full of mushroom spores, bought from Once the spores are inoculated, the Allens plan to have a total of 3,000 logs. Susan, a finance and management major from Southeastern Louisiana University, and her husband, David, a

lifetime electronics engineer, decided to take on mushroom growing as a retirement project. They cashed in their 401(k) to buy the equipment, and with the Field & Forest Guide as a handbook, they are learning as they go.

Mushrooms are happiest in warm, wet climates, Susan Allen says. So the finicky mountain weather is master of their harvest. A cold week of 45 degrees had the Allens working 10 hours every

see MUSHROOOMS, page 15


Shiitakes Beneficial To Whole Body Health BY KATHERINE SMITH Special to The Pilot

Mushrooms, as probiotics, act like a secondary immune system in the body. Not only do they help rejuvenate the body back to its homeostasis, they can eat away at harmful substances — substances like daily toxins and even tumors. Cancer is classified as a “disease” by medical dictionaries and the Mayo Clinic. But the word carries a valley of fear and confusion. Witnesses and survivors know that cancer’s threat is bigger than a simple pill cure. However, more studies and accounts are surfacing that claim mushrooms as a preventive cancer measure and maybe as a treatment. According to Stephen G. Del Sordo’s book “First Fifty Years: A Chronological History of the Mushroom Industry,” the mushroom trade probably began with Louis XIV. Mushrooms became popular in English gardens, and by the late 1800s, they were being shipped to America. By 1914, mushroom history came to an ironic circle. Mushrooms were sold at

twice their growing price, again bypassing the common man and making it the food of the rich. That fact is still common, as fresh organic mushrooms typically cost at least 50 cents an ounce. But the availability is expanding. Dried mushrooms are available online from multiple organic companies, and more farmers are incorporating mushrooms logs into their produce. Ray and Amy Sugg occasionally sell their shiitake mushrooms at the Moore County Farmers Market on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. This market is held at 604 W. Morganton Road, in Southern Pines at the Armory Sports Complex. The Suggs price their mushrooms at $3 for five ounces and $10 per pound. The couple own Bonlee Grown Farm. The 10 acres and four greenhouses feature vegetables from tomatoes to squash; greenhouse arms of geraniums and pansies, tendrils of fruit, and pasture on 530 Al Davis Road in Bear Creek. Ray Sugg partners with Stewart Sorrow to grow and harvest their 600 shiitake mushroom logs. The logs crib about 4,000 square feet on Sugg’s farm. When available, Amy Sugg sells the mushrooms along with jams, canned foods, brown eggs and fresh produce at the Moore County Farmers Market. The Suggs also sell their mushrooms to Rhett’s restaurant in Southern Pines. The Suggs’ mushroom plot curves back into the still woods “so the sun and the wind won’t dry them out,” Ray Sugg says. His red and white oak logs require temperatures over 50 degrees, and the “first thing to be sure of is that they have moisture,” Sugg says. The most common controlled mushroom growing is out of logs,

see SHIITAKES, page 16




Mushrooms From Page 14

day, and harvesting only 15 pounds of mushrooms by the end of the week. But a week prior, steady 70 degree temperatures and rain gave them 85 pounds. Many farmers grow mushrooms in their basement, where the temperature and light can be regulated. But Susan Allen stresses the importance of Vitamin D in outdoor mushrooms, one of the many nutrients missing from store-bought mushrooms.

Reishi’s Growing Importance

Of all the mushrooms that the Allens grow, the reishi mushroom is their pride. It is called the “god herb” in Chinese, and its history is preserved in Japanese myth and on tapestries in the Forgotten City. Researchers are cautiously excited about the reishi mushroom, mostly due to its proven soothing of ailments like chronic hepatitis, insomnia and asthma. Most significantly, reishi has had electrifying possibilities for cancer prevention, cancer cure and arthritis. Reishi’s impact on cancer is of growing importance, as according to the American Cancer Society pamphlet “Cancer Facts & Figures 2012,” men have about a 50 percent lifetime risk of developing cancer, and women

have about a 33 percent lifetime risk. Polysaccharides are long bonds of carbohydrates molecules, usually responsible for cell structure, like cellulose and chitin. But reishi has immuno-stimulating polysaccharides, particularly Beta-D-Glucans. These potent polysaccharides in reishi


Susan and David Allen stand in front of some of the mushroom logs on their Deep Gap mushroom farm. Right: Portobello mushrooms grow out of a log, like the ones in the photo above. Below: David Allen holds dried reishi mushrooms, grown on his farm. were demonstrated to indirectly prevent oncogenesis (the creation of cancer) and tumor metastasis (the transfer of the disease) in a study report by Daniel Sliva, Ph.D., an associate member at the Indiana University Cancer Center. Instead of killing the cancer cells, the polysaccharides activated the immune

response of tested mice to stimulate natural killer cells, T cells and B cells (the two main types of lymphocytes, the white blood cells that protect the body from infection). It also stimulated macrophagedependent immune system responses (responses that are typically stimulated by inflammation, but left dormant in cancer). More so, the reishi has hopeful implications for cancer therapy.

Glycosphingolipids (fatty substances essential to the central nervous system) are types of cerebrosides (lipid compounds found in brain and nerve tissue). Two types of glycosphingolipids were found in reishi mushrooms during the same study. When applied, they inhibited DNA polymerases, the instigators of cancer. They inhibited DNA replication. “Anything we take into our body can become a part of our body’s cell,” Allen says. “The byproduct becomes resident, and strengthens your immune system before you get sick.” And because mushrooms grow from a fading life source, they learn the composition of life through their host. Susan Allen uses her blender to grind the mushroom into a powder, shreds it to make a tea and puts it in her mashed potatoes. She says the raw dried mushroom has helped alleviate the pain caused by her multiple sclerosis. “I’m concerned with the pill-pushing,” Susan Allen says. “If you can grind it up yourself, why not make it accessible to people that way?” Reishi mushrooms have a burnt sunset color and grow in a fat heart shape. They can grow up to the size of a dinner plate, but a healthy outdoor organic reishi is typically three inches in diameter. They are mature when the outermost white ring

is as thin as a fingernail. Reishi-growing logs lay flat on the ground, about halfway deep in a small trench of soil. By reducing blood fat, bad cholesterol and lowering blood pressure, reishi mushrooms are also anti-inflammatory — a useful treatment for arthritis. A 1993 American study, a 2003 Indian study and a 2006 Chinese study of reishi all stress the significant anti-inflammatory qualities of the mushroom. In a 2007 study published by the University of Hong Kong, the peptide polysaccharides in reishi significantly reduced rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts (the unique cell type that distinguishes rheumatoid arthritis from other inflammatory conditions of the joints). The scientific results are promising and practical. Susan Allen says that the mushroom has strengthened both her and her husband, despite her multiple sclerosis and his arthritis. To order mushrooms from the Allens, email Susan Allen at




oriental medicine believes that the Lentinan found in shiitakes could weaken chronic fatigue syndrome, hepatitis and Lyme’s disease. Eritadenine can compose up to 70 mg in every 100 grams of shiitake mushrooms. Eritadenine is a natural compound that enhances the removal of bad blood cholesterol, according to the 2007 Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. Rich in iron and antioxidant minerals such as manganese, selenium, and zinc, shiitakes are beneficial to whole body health. They are a succulent diet and vegetarian choice, because their protein level is comparable to chicken and beef and they have more fiber and less fat. Shiitakes contain almost all of the essential amino acids. To contact the Suggs and request mushrooms at your farmers market, call (919) 837-2937 or visit businesses/bonleegrownfarm.

From Page 14 because the moldy wood is the perfect condition for the delicate fungi. The Suggs purchased sawdust inoculated with mycelium. The sawdust is contained in a plunger-like rod. The rod is hammered into the log to deposit the spores, which are then sealed with wax. Shiitakes are fluffy, with crinkled brown and white vein-patterned tops and a soft underside. Freshly picked, their stems should be pliable. They smell earthy and nutty. Cooked, they shrink into meaty ovals that can be used in anything from stir fry to stocks.

Beneficial to Whole Body Health

And, as scientists are discovering, shiitakes are cordial medicines. In the 14th century, Chinese physician Wu-Rui said shiitake’s spur “spirit” energy “cures colds and penetrates into the blood circulatory system.” This has been proven true, but it is Lentinan, an ingredient potent in shiitake, that is responsible. Lentinan is a cell wall constitute that is extracted from the mushroom. It enhances immune system functions so the body can better fight off tumors. Lentinan helps to activate a type of immune cells called macrophages. These white blood cells engulf and then digest cellular debris and pathogens, clearing potential cancer cells. According to a 1987 study by the Department of Oncologic Surgery at Osaka University in Japan, Lentinan combined with the chemotherapeutic agent Tegafur increased the lifespan, up to three years, of patients with stomach cancer. Though the study is nearly 30 years old, the results have not been disputed, and more studies are being done to measure the effects.



Above: Amy Sugg sells mushrooms along with jams, canned foods, brown eggs and fresh produce at farmers markets. Right: A bowl of shiitake mushrooms. Lentinan strengthens the immune system. It heightens the production of interleukin, a hormone that stimulates the immune system to produce B-cells and helper T-cells. The B-cells create antibodies and the helper T-cells coordinate the immune response against infectious microbes and cells. For this reason, Lentinan is a key

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ingredient in the medication Videx, administered during treatment of HIV. Xiping Zhou, a medical doctor of

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