Thrive February 2020 Issue

Page 1


a food lover's guide Special Inserts:

to swla

• HOME BUILDERS ASSOCIATION of SWLA HOME & GARDEN SHOW • 2020 Banners Cultural Season Preview

first person

Madeline Noble,

Queen of the Mystick Krewe of Louisianians


Rehabilitation Hospital

of Jennings


• Brain Injury

• Hip Fractures

• Strokes

• Osteoarthritis/DJD

• Amputations

• Neurological Disorders

• Burns

• Spinal Cord Injury

• Major Multiple Trauma

• Congenital Deformities

• Rheumatoid Arthritis

• Systemic Vasculidities

• Joint Replacements

Others who can benefit from inpatient rehabilitation are postoperative patients, accident victims and cancer patients. 24 Hour Nursing Care • Physical Therapy • Occupational Therapy Speech Therapy • Nutritional Counseling and Monitoring Case Management Call for a free assessment today. One Hospital Drive, Ste. 101 • Jennings, LA 70546 • Phone: (337) 821-5353 • Fax: (337) 821-5355 or 5366 • 2

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2020

Second to None.* Of the 645 Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) Programs nationally, Memorial’s Heart & Vascular Team is the *FIRST to receive the American College of Cardiology’s prestigious Transcatheter Valve Certification. This recognition demonstrates expertise in TAVR, a less invasive option to replace diseased aortic valves without open heart surgery. While being first is not the goal, doing what we do well, implementing best practices, and achieving quality outcomes is our priority. That’s the importance of the ACC certification. It recognizes our commitment to the highest TAVR standards.

Edward Bergen, D.O. Interventional Cardiologist

Gregory Lugo, M.D. Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgeon

Christopher Thompson, M.D. Interventional Cardiologist

Memorial’s Heart & Vascular team is changing the face of treatment for patients with aortic stenosis. At Memorial, we are committed to the pursuit of excellence while advancing heart care for the people of our community.



Contents In This Issue

Regular Features

Mind & Body

34 Happenings 6-15 SPECIAL SECTION: Heart Talk 35 Business Buzz 16-23 SPECIAL SECTION: DENTAL HEALTH for any Age 54 Who’s News 24 Migraines and How to Manage Them 70 Solutions for Life

Money & Career

26 28 30 32

Can Finance and Romance Go Hand in Hand? Frugal February Finding a Business Banker Get the Most Out of your Social Media Marketing

Wining & Dining 36-45 Special Section:

A Food Lover's Guide to SWla


Places & Faces

46-53 SPECIAL SECTION: Mardi Gras Preview


first person Madeline Noble,

Queen of the Mystick Krewe of Louisianians

Style & Beauty


Style 58 Forget Red – Pink Lipstick is Hot for 2020 60 The Scrunchie Makes a Comeback

56 Mardi Gras

Home & Family

62 64 66 68

Beyond Dinner Reservations: Great Valentine’s Dates Love Languages Tactics to Help Break your Technology Addiction New Calcasieu Parish Library App

CORRECTION: The photo of a model in a white dress on a runway on page 45 of our Jan. issue is not Maya Ward. Our apologies.

@thriveswla | Thrive is designed for people focused on living a happy, healthy life, one that is balanced, full of energy and contentment. Thrive readers want to make the most of every day and to be successful in all areas of their lives – family, health, home and career. Submitted articles and photos are welcome. Thrive assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials and does not guarantee any submissions. 4

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2020


Managing Editor Angie Kay Dilmore Editors and Publishers Kristy Como Armand Christine Fisher Creative Director Barbara VanGossen Design and Layout Sarah Bercier Business Manager Katie McDaniel Stevenson Advertising Sales 337.310.2099 Submissions

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Heart Talk

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of death in the United States, responsible for 840,768 deaths in 2016, according to the American Heart Association. But there is encouraging news. From 2006 to 2016, the US death rate from CVD decreased by 18.6% and from coronary heart disease by 31.8%. This decline in heart disease could be a result of public education and people’s desire to eat healthier, lose weight, and exercise. It could also be attributed to better heart health technology and treatment options. And there’s no need to go out of town to receive high quality cardiac care! Southwest Louisiana hospitals offer a wide variety of state-of-the-art treatment modalities. In this special section, area health facilities detail various cardiac issues and how they can be treated right here at home.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2020


Lake Charles Memorial’s Heart & Vascular team leads the nation once again by becoming the first, out of 645 programs nationwide, to receive the prestigious certification by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR). The TAVR procedure is a less invasive option to replace diseased aortic valves without open heart surgery. Memorial’s TAVR team – led by Cardiovascular/Thoracic Surgeon J. Gregory Lugo MD, Interventional Cardiologists Edward Bergen DO, and Christopher Thompson MD – received the certification by implementing best practices and achieving quality outcomes. Aortic stenosis occurs when calcium builds up within the aortic valve, limiting the valve’s ability to open and close. As the condition progresses, the valve opening narrows, obstructing blood flow and forcing the heart to pump harder. The progression of aortic stenosis cannot be reversed or stopped but requires surgical intervention to treat. Studies show that the survival rate of aortic stenosis without intervention is as low as 50 percent at two years after the onset of symptoms. TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure in which the bioprosthetic valve is crimped onto a catheter over a balloon. The catheter (a long, thin, flexible tube) is then inserted through the femoral artery in the groin and advanced to the heart for implantation. When the valve is positioned inside the existing aortic valve, the balloon is inflated, and the new valve is immediately operable. This procedure doesn’t require removal of the existing valve, as the valve leaflets act as an anchor for the new valve. “TAVR greatly benefits those who are suffering from heart failure due to their valve and offers them hope for a better quality of life,” says Misty Theriot, Registered Nurse and Valve Clinic Coordinator. “Our heart team takes a truly patientcentered approach when developing treatment plans for these patients, ensuring that they are involved in each step of the process.” The ACC validated that Memorial meets set standards for multidisciplinary teams, formalized training, shared decisionmaking and registry performance. Hospitals that achieve Transcatheter Valve Certification will have access to best practices to support decision-making in the care of individual patients and to track data to identify opportunities for improvement.

“We are proud to recognize Lake Charles Memorial Hospital as the first recipient of ACC Transcatheter Valve Certification,” said Phillip Levy, MD, FACC, chair of the ACC Accreditation Management Board. “Lake Charles achieved this distinction by developing processes to standardize patient care and increase quality measurement, thereby demonstrating their commitment to providing evidence-based, patient-centered care to patients undergoing transcatheter valve therapies in Southwest Louisiana.” While being the first certified program in the nation was not the goal, achieving the best patient outcomes is, and will continue to be, the Heart & Vascular team’s priority. For more information about the TAVR procedure, please call the Memorial Medical Group Valve Clinic at 337-494-4759 or go to

From L to R, Gregory Lugo, MD, Christopher Thompson, MD, Edward Bergen, DO


Mind & Body |

Heart Talk

West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital


One of the best things about living in Southwest Louisiana is the food. From crawfish etouffee, gumbo and a shrimp po-boy to king cakes, beignets and pralines, we focus on taste, not necessarily health. And it shows. Nearly one out of four adults in Louisiana is considered obese. Louisiana ranks among the top ten states in the U.S. for both adult and childhood obesity, according to the Louisiana Department of Health. The American Heart Association reports that Louisiana has the 5th highest death rate from heart disease in the country and heart disease is the leading cause of death in Louisiana. But, laissez le bon temps rouler, right? Absolutely! Vanessa Hardy, dietitian with West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital, says we can have our gumbo and healthy hearts, too. “The challenge is to make meals heart-healthy while keeping the flavor we enjoy. In the case of gumbo, choose or make an oil-less roux, and use low-fat meats with plenty of herbs and spices to enhance flavor. Eating healthy in Southwest Louisiana can be done, and it’s in our best interest to pay attention to what we’re feeding our bodies so that we remain active and engaged in life well into our golden years,” Hardy explains.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2020

Keeping your heart healthy involves a lifestyle approach, including exercising regularly, not smoking, getting an annual checkup and reducing stress, as well as being mindful to choose nutritious foods. “Making the choice to select nutrient-dense foods can reap a lifetime of health,” Hardy says. Whether you have years of unhealthy eating under your belt or you simply want to fine-tune your diet, here are six hearthealthy nutrition tips.


Saturated and trans fats can raise your cholesterol and risk of heart disease. Choose lean cuts of meat and trim fat off your meat before cooking. Some types of fat are better than others. “Choose monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil or avocado oil. Polyunsaturated fats, found in certain fish, avocados, nuts and seeds, are good choices for a heart-healthy diet. Keep in mind, though, moderation is essential. All types of fats are high in calories,” Hardy advises.


Frozen meals, as well as canned and processed foods often contain a high amount of salt. “Chances are, if it’s a convenient food, it’s high in sodium,” she says. Eating fresh foods and making your own soups and stews can greatly reduce the amount of salt you eat, rather than choosing pre-made foods.


Soy sauce and ketchup are both high in sodium. Choose herbs and spices as well as low-salt seasoning blends to boost flavor.


Filled with vitamins, fiber and minerals, and low on calories and sodium, fruits and vegetables are the unsung heroes in the nutrition world. “They’re great for meals and for snacking. Pick tomatoes or carrots to go with cheese, reach for snap peas instead of chips, and have mixed berries for dessert instead of pie. These are the choices that really make a difference in your weight and overall health,” Hardy says.


Whole-grain bread, high-fiber cereal and al dente whole-grain pasta are better choices than white bread, sugar-filled cereal and egg noodles. Whole grains are good sources of fiber and other nutrients that play a role in regulating blood pressure and heart health.


Lean meat, poultry and fish, beans and eggs are some of the best sources of protein. Many of these are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower blood fats known as triglycerides. Salmon, mackerel and herring, along with soybeans and olive oil have good amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.


How much you eat is just as important as what you eat. Overloading your plate, taking seconds and eating until you feel stuffed can lead to taking in more calories than you should. When it comes to restaurants, their portions are almost always oversized. “You can often get two, maybe three meals out of one meal served at a restaurant. A good rule of thumb is to take at least half of your order home,” she says. The amount of food served on a plate influences how much we eat. It’s easy to continue to eat until most of the food is gone, instead of stopping when we feel full. With every meal, a fresh start can be made for a healthier heart. Eat fresh, nutrient dense foods that help boost overall health, immunity, and energy. “The link between good nutrition and good health is too important to ignore. By taking steps to eat healthy, you’ll be on your way to getting the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy, active and strong,” Hardy says.



Mind & Body |

Heart Talk


In 2019, more than one million Americans experienced a coronary complication, according to the American College of Cardiology. The John and Sylvia Stelly Regional Heart Center at CHRISTUS Ochsner St. Patrick Hospital is the only chest pain accredited facility and cardiac center of excellence in Southwest Louisiana offering effective, technologically advanced treatment.

Chest pain is one of the most common clues that you may have a cardiac condition. However, it may also signal a nonemergent event, such as heartburn or a pulled muscle in the chest. Cardiac CT Angiography is an efficient and effective way to determine the cause of your discomfort, and CHRISTUS Ochsner St. Patrick Hospital is one of only two hospitals in the South offering this diagnostic method to triage patients with chest pain. Should heart blockage be detected, Fractional Flow Reserve–Computed Tomography (FFR-CT) can precisely determine the best treatment option. “If someone presents in my office with chest pain with no prior history of cardiac disease, I believe the best first test to perform is a cardiac CT angiogram, which categorizes chest pain into distinct categories,” says Michael C. Turner, M.D., FACC, director of cardiac CT at Imperial Health and CHRISTUS Ochsner St. Patrick Hospital. “If the test results come back normal, no further treatment or testing is needed, and the patient does not have heart disease. If it’s abnormal, I can decide from that abnormality whether it is low risk or high risk and what treatments or additional testing need to be done.” FFR-CT works by using X-ray technology to capture detailed images of the heart and blood vessels. The scan can calculate the amount of blood pumping through the coronary arteries and help doctors see if blood flow is being restricted. If plaque in a coronary artery interrupts the flow, the necessary treatment may be to proceed with bypass surgery or stents. FFR-CT can also help doctors determine whether procedures are required to open the artery or medication alone may be the appropriate treatment or a patient may simply be cleared to go home. “The images you see on the scanner are just breathtaking. It looks like you are holding the heart in your hand,” Dr. Turner says. “Cardiac CT Angiogram along with FFR-CT is by far the most accurate and least expensive type of testing we can offer to diagnose chest pain and determine the risk level of abnormalities. No other test does that, and we are proud to offer it to our community.”


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2020

There’s strength in our numbers.

We’re proud to be the region’s largest, independent musculoskeletal group. Our experienced specialists work together to provide our patients with the type of care they expect and deserve—personalized, attentive, respectful, and of the highest quality. And when it comes to technology, we’re bringing the latest advances to Southwest Louisiana so you won’t have to leave home to get the care you need. Our team of doctors includes these specialties: orthopaedic surgery physical medicine and rehabilitation foot and ankle care/surgery primary care sports medicine

interventional pain management hand surgery neurosurgery

Whatever your musculoskeletal concern, we’ve got you covered from head to toe.

Lake Charles | Sulphur


Mind & Body |

Heart Talk



WHAT IT IS, WHAT TO WATCH FOR, AND PROCEDURES TO CONTROL IT Atrial fibrillation is the most common abnormal heart rhythm, affecting over two million people in the United States alone. The incidence of “a-fib” is rising annually with increasing awareness, better detection methods, and an overall aging population. In patients who have a-fib, the top two chambers of the heart, known as the atria, are in a chaotic electrical rhythm. Whereas the regular atria beat around sixty times a minute in a normal rhythm while at rest, in a-fib the atria beat upwards of 400 times per minute! This creates numerous problems. First, the atria fire so quickly they are unable to squeeze blood forward into the lower chambers of the heart, significantly affecting the heart’s overall output. It is often why patients with a-fib experience profound fatigue and decreased energy in addition to palpitations and “skipped beats.” Second, with the top chambers of the heart firing so quickly, the lower chambers of the heart are also activated more quickly than normal. Long standing inappropriately fast heart rates can eventually cause heart failure. Often, the first symptoms are leg swelling, weight gain and shortness of breath. Finally, the slowing of blood flow through the quivering top chambers can lead to clot formation. A piece of the clot can break off, enter the circulation, and clog a downstream vessel. If this happens in the brain, it can cause stroke and permanent brain damage. For this reason, most patients with a-fib are on a blood thinner to reduce the risk of a stroke. Several factors can increase risk for atrial fibrillation – age, uncontrolled blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, sleep apnea and binge drinking – though some patients develop a-fib without any of these risk factors due to genetic predisposition. Overall, you can reduce your chances of developing atrial fibrillation by controlling blood pressure, limiting alcohol (one to two drinks per day), losing weight, exercising regularly, and treating sleep apnea if present. However, in many individuals, lifestyle modifications alone cannot prevent a-fib. The treatment of atrial fibrillation has progressed remarkably over the years through better understanding of the triggers of a-fib alongside the development of advanced technology.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2020

Catheter ablation has emerged as the most effective strategy for treating atrial fibrillation uncontrolled by medications. The procedure is performed by passing a catheter from the large leg veins up to the heart and burning or freezing small areas of the heart responsible for triggering or sustaining the abnormal rhythm. These are most effective when performed early in the course of disease and can even be curative in many patients. For individuals unable to remain on blood thinners, often due to bleeding issues, there are procedural means of permanently reducing stroke risk without medications by “occluding” a structure in the heart where clots generally form. This can be accomplished with a WatchmanTM device through an approach from the veins (similar to an ablation procedure) or through a surgical approach. Previously, patients would have to go to Houston or New Orleans for ablations or Watchman procedures. Now, these procedures are offered locally at the John and Sylvia Stelly Regional Heart Center at CHRISTUS Ochsner St. Patrick Hospital and by physicians at Imperial Health. Given its prevalence, adults should be aware of the signs and symptoms of a-fib, along with lifestyle modifications to reduce the risk of developing it. A-fib is not a life-threatening rhythm, but it can cause serious health problems. Treatment of atrial fibrillation has progressed dramatically over recent years, and most individuals can live normal lives with appropriate therapy. If you suspect you may have a-fib, see a physician promptly. Authored by Dr. David Burkland MD, an electrophysiologist at Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia, in partnership with the John and Sylvia Stelly Regional Heart Center at CHRISTUS Ochsner St. Patrick Hospital.

Celebrate your heart

and soul this February.

Take steps toward a healthier well-being, beginning with our FREE health risk assessment online. To schedule an appointment with a cardiologist within 24 hours call, 888.996.4862.


Mind & Body |

Heart Talk


HEART HEALTH & WELLNESS According to Dr. Mudar Kattash at Pediatric Cardiology of SWLA, heart disease in children is more common than people realize. It can affect all ages, starting with premature infants up to teens. “The presentation of symptoms is different in each group,” says Kattash. “Babies may show feeding difficulties, fast breathing and take a long time to eat. In older children, they may report fainting, having shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, or extreme tiredness.” Intervention can be managed through diet, medication and/or surgery depending on each case. Kattash says energy drinks are not advised for cardiac patients as they can make the condition worse. Certain conditions are common in specific age groups. Some can affect the structure of the heart and others may impact the electricity in the heart. “For example, in premature babies, the patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), a fetal connection in the heart that usually closes on its own, stays open and causes complications. In the teenage years, a thickened heart and an enlarged aorta (the vessel that pumps blood from the heart to the rest of the body) can cause sudden cardiac death if not detected early.” Kattash encourages parents to monitor what their children eat and drink and report any unusual symptoms to their pediatrician.


My daughter Clara was born prematurely. Heart defects are common with premature infants and at three weeks old, we discovered she had extra pathways in her heart. We were rushed immediately from the pediatrician’s office to pediatric cardiologist, Dr. Mudar Kattash with Pediatric Cardiology of SWLA. Her heart was stuck out of rhythm (arrythmia), beating dangerously fast. Clara was admitted to the Pediatric ICU at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital. That was a scary few weeks, but I’m so thankful to have had excellent local care during that crisis. We learned to do a daily EKG at home—her readings were faxed over the phone and monitored by Dr. Kattash. She also took heart medicine daily. Symptoms were managed for several years with outpatient care by Dr. Kattash and his partner Dr. Gugol. 14

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2020

by Stephanie Kestel Karpovs, M.C.D., CCC-SLP

With a growth spurt in third grade, Clara displayed excessive fatigue, dizziness, headaches and extremely rapid heart rates. She wore a holter monitor (small, wearable device to track heartbeats) for several weeks which detected multiple episodes of tachycardia both at rest and with exercise. Instead of one electrical impulse getting through to cue the heartbeat, extra impulses fired (due to the extra pathways). Her heart was in arrythmia and beating rapidly, requiring surgical intervention. If left untreated, people with this type of heartbeat can suffer from congestive heart failure or die from cardiac arrest. Clara Karpovs at Texas Children's Hospital

So, Clara’s birthday present in the third grade was an improved heart. She had exploratory heart surgery during which her surgery team identified and closed off the extra pathways. They also closed another hole in her heart during the eight-hour procedure at Texas Children’s Hospital. Her classmates and teachers sent her encouraging videos, artwork and heart-shaped messages to show their support while she recovered in Houston. As a teen, Clara is now singing, dancing and playing basketball like a champ. Eating a heart-healthy diet, exercising regularly and limiting caffeine intake are lifelong commitments to preserving heart health into adulthood.




WE’RE THE ONLY GROUP IN SWLA: • • • • • • • • •

to implant the Cardio MEMS system to have a free-standing outpatient cath lab to have Cardiac PET imaging to have a successful CT ER triage program and utilize non-invasive FFRCT to treat pulmonary emboli with the EKOS device to use Optical Coherence Tomography to peform a Transcatheter Mitral Valve Replacement to implant the Watchman device for stroke prevention in AFib patients to have a comprehensive vein practice

Stephanie is a local speechlanguage pathologist, feeding therapist and wellness coach. She enjoys helping families become healthy, happy and thriving in life.

WE’RE THE FIRST GROUP IN SWLA: • to perform TAVR (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement) • to have a carotid stent program • to perform and interpret Cardiac CT Angiography on outpatient and ER patients • to implant leadless pacemakers • to implant Subcutaneous Implantable Defibrillator (SICD) devices • to use percutaneous left ventricular C, assist devices AC

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Schedule an appointment at


337.436.3813 Lake Charles | Sulphur | Jennings | Kinder | DeRidder | DeQuincy | Grand Lake 337.312.8281 The Clinic, Lake Charles | DeRidder 337.312.8346 The Vein Center of Southwest Louisiana


Cardiovascular Specialists

Mind & Body

for any DENTAL



Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2020

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, but dental health is important for everyone, no matter your age. While oral hygiene is obviously essential for your teeth and gums, you should know that good dental care can affect the health of your whole body. In this special section, you’ll read about how taking care of your teeth can benefit your overall health. You’ll also find stories on correcting bad bites, caring for kids’ teeth, and the importance of eating crunchy foods for good dental health.



by Kristy Como Armand

When people think about poor oral hygiene, problems like decaying teeth, bleeding gums and bad breath typically come to mind. But an unhealthy, bacteria-filled mouth can not only cause oral health problems, but may lead to serious health problems in other parts of the body, including heart disease, diabetes, blood infection and even low birth-weight babies. In fact, a growing body of research is finding that gum disease, also called periodontal disease, can be a contributing factor to a wide array of health problems. Gum disease ranges from gingivitis, a mild and common form that causes inflammation of tissues around the teeth, to more serious forms like periodontitis, where the inflammation affects the connective tissue supporting the teeth. It’s estimated that half of Americans over the age of 30 have periodontitis, and it’s the primary cause of tooth loss in adults. “When someone has gum disease, they are basically suffering from a chronic, low-grade infection,” says Harry Castle, DDS, with Oak Park Dental. “This means the entire immune system is weakened and the whole body is at higher risk as a result.” Dr. Castle explains that gum disease is believed to contribute to the disease process in other parts of the body through the bloodstream. “Bacteria from the mouth can enter into the circulatory system and travel to other parts of the body, causing widespread inflammation. Another possibility is that oral infections trigger the immune system, producing inflammation elsewhere in the body.” Recent studies have shown an increased risk of heart disease and stroke in people with gum infections, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The risk appears to increase with the severity of the infection. There also appears to be a link between gum infections and diabetes. Research has found that people with diabetes are more likely to have periodontal disease, according to the CDC. Researchers are now looking into whether there’s a two-way connection between the conditions to see if diabetes can be better controlled through treatment of gum disease. Blood infection from gum disease can even cause joint replacements to fail by aiding the body’s efforts to reject the artificial implant. Other researchers have found that

women with moderate-to-serious gum disease are twice as likely to give birth to premature babies. Problems ranging from low birth-weight to birth defects can result. Because of the increasing evidence linking gum disease to other health problems, Dr. Castle says it is becoming routine for physicians to recommend a dental exam before certain medical procedures, such as heart valve surgery, joint replacement and many other invasive tests and treatments. “If gum disease or any oral health concern is detected, this should be treated before clearance is given for the medical procedure. This safeguard helps prevent bacteria related to gum disease from becoming a complication in the medical procedure.” To prevent gum disease and all the health risks now known to be linked to the condition, Dr. Castle says regular and thorough brushing and flossing is critical. A good diet that avoids sugary snacks and sodas is another key preventive measure. Dr. Castle says to make sure you drink fluoridated water and use a fluoride toothpaste. “With the popularity of bottled water, many people miss out on one of the best sources they have for preventing tooth decay.” In case you needed one more reason to avoid tobacco, smokers have seven times the risk of developing gum disease than non-smokers. Drinking alcohol is also a big risk factor for gum disease. Finally, Dr. Castle says visiting your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleaning can help with early detection of oral health problems and lead to treatment that can prevent further damage and lower associated health risks. For more information about the prevention and treatment of gum disease, call Oak Park Dental at 478-3232 or visit www.


Mind & Body |


Preventing Tooth Decay in


by Malloree Lavergne

When it comes to preventing tooth decay and cavities in children, parents may ask themselves … What foods and drinks should we avoid to prevent cavities? How do I know if I’m brushing their teeth well enough? What are the symptoms of tooth decay? When should I take my child to the dentist? To answer these questions, we must first learn about tooth decay, what causes it, and how to prevent it.

Each day, your child’s mouth experiences an internal war. On one side, there are harmful bacteria (plaque), sugars, and starches. On the other, there's saliva and fluoride (from toothpaste and/or water). When your child has, say, a sugary apple juice, the harmful bacteria in his or her mouth takes those sugars and turns them into acids that eat away at the enamel, the tooth’s hard outer layer. At this point, the minerals in your child’s saliva, such as calcium and phosphate, and the fluoride from toothpaste and water will work hard to help the enamel repair itself and replace the minerals lost from the acid. So how does tooth decay occur? It’s a process that happens over time. When your child drinks or eats sugary or starchy foods often, such as milk, bread, candy or fruit juice, he or she can be exposed to acid “attacks” to the enamel repeatedly, causing the enamel to continually lose minerals. The most common sign of early decay is a white spot on the tooth where the minerals have been lost. If not stopped, the acid can continue to eat away at the enamel until it’s weakened or destroyed, forming a cavity.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2020

HOW DO I PREVENT MY CHILD FROM GETTING A CAVITY? Use fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that can prevent and replace lost minerals, make it harder for bacteria to produce acids, and even reverse early tooth decay. Some easy ways for your child to get fluoride are drinking fluoridated water through a community water supply, using a fluoride toothpaste (when he or she is old enough) or visiting the dentist for special treatments such as a fluoride gel or varnish. Make good brushing a habit. Brush your child’s teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. For children age three to six, use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. After brushing, encourage your child to spit the toothpaste out instead of swallowing it. Assist your children in brushing until they are about seven or eight years old. Watch what your child eats. Limit between-meal snacks and fruit juice, and offer candy, cookies, and soda only for special occasions to help prevent tooth decay. Also, make sure your child doesn’t consume anything with sugar in it after bedtime brushing. Because saliva flow decreases during sleep, teeth are more vulnerable to bacteria and acids.

Discuss sealants with your dentist. Sealants can be a great way to prevent cavities. Sealants are thin, plastic coatings painted onto the molars that can help reduce bacteria and food buildup in the rough chewing spaces of those teeth. Sealants act as a barrier between the two, since those surfaces can be hard to clean with a toothbrush. It’s recommended that children get sealants as soon as their molars come in, since this is where most cavities develop. The first permanent molars come in between age five and seven, and the second ones come in between 11 and 14. Schedule regular dental check-ups for your child. During a visit to the dentist, the dentist or hygienist can help your child by removing any plaque, checking for signs of early tooth decay, showing him or her how to properly brush, and giving him or her a fluoride treatment if necessary. Schedule regular checkups to ensure your child’s mouth is being monitored and treated for any sign of tooth decay. For more information or to make an appointment, call Robinson Dental at 337-474-3636.

No insurance?

No problem.

Start Today! Our Dental Health Club isSaving an affordable alternative to dental insurance. For a fixed price, you’ll get the dental services you need while avoiding high out-of-pocket costs. Your membership covers cleanings, exams, x-rays and more. Check out the benefits, and join the club today! Find out more:

LAKE CHARLES | 337-474-3636 MOSS BLUFF | 337-429-5057 SULPHUR | 337-313-2711 Jonathon Rusnak, DDS • Rolando Tapia, DDS Sara Phillips, DDS • Mark Whatcott, DDS Ryne Jackson, DMD


Mind & Body |



Bad Bites

Ironically, one of the most common dental disorders is also the most neglected. Your bite, the way the teeth fit together when the jaw closes and chews, has a major impact on the long-term health of your teeth. “Many people’s teeth have some irregularity, from slight crowding to uneven spacing. The technical name for this is ‘malocclusion,’ but this is commonly called a ‘bad bite.’” explains Craig Crawford, DDS, with Crawford Orthodontics. “Certain irregularities can cause cosmetic concerns, as well as functional problems, such as difficulty chewing or talking. You may have inherited a bite irregularity, but not all bite problems are genetic.” Other factors can contribute to the development of bite problems. One of these is trauma. When teeth are fractured or knocked out and then replaced, they may fuse with the bone that surrounds them. If this happens in a growing child, Dr. Crawford says the teeth will not be able to line up properly in the jaw, causing an irregular bite. If a primary, or “baby,” tooth is lost too early, the permanent tooth loses its guide and may come into the mouth incorrectly. “In some cases, the permanent teeth may be crowded, or they may come in only partially,” says Dr. Crawford. “The teeth next to the primary tooth that was lost too early can also move or tilt into the space left by the missing tooth and prevent the permanent tooth from coming in.” Prolonged thumb sucking or pacifier use can cause a bite irregularity, such as a pronounced protrusion of the upper teeth over your lower teeth. A tongue-thrusting habit when you swallow can cause a similar problem.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2020

by Kristy Como Armand

INCORRECT BITES ARE GROUPED INTO CATEGORIES. COMMON BITE IRREGULARITIES INCLUDE: Crowding: Occurs if there is not enough room for the teeth, if the teeth are unusually large compared to the size of the dental arch, or if the jaw is narrower than it should be. Permanent teeth may not have enough space to move into the right position. Crossbite: The upper teeth seat significantly inside or outside the lower teeth. A crossbite often requires orthodontic treatment because this problem can make it difficult to bite or chew. Deep overbite: Occurs when the upper front teeth overlap excessively over the lower teeth. Underbite: A crossbite of the front teeth is commonly referred to as an underbite where the lower teeth are ahead of the upper teeth. Open bite: Occurs when the upper and lower front teeth don’t meet when you bite down. Because the front teeth don’t share equally in the biting force, the back teeth may be subjected to too much pressure. Spacing problems: Some people have missing teeth or unusually small teeth compared to the size of their dental arch. If the size of the jaw is normal, this can result in large spaces between the teeth.

Dr. Crawford says everyone has a slightly different bite, so orthodontic treatment techniques vary. Braces, the most common approach, help to move the teeth slowly by applying precise amounts of light pressure over a period of time, and retaining the alignment with the use of a retainer. In addition to braces, orthodontists sometimes use special appliances to direct the growth of the jaw in young children. “The main reason people come in for bite problems is for cosmetic concerns,” says Dr. Crawford. “And while an improper bite can have a negative impact on your appearance, it’s important to realize that bite problems can lead to other oral dental problems. An improper bite causes difficulty chewing and can lead to more cavities in people with crowded teeth and early loss of teeth. Treatment of these bite irregularities can not only improve your appearance, but your overall oral health as well.”

Financial Advisor


For more information about orthodontic treatment options, call Crawford Orthodontics at (337) 478-7590.

Anne Miller

933 E Mc Neese St Lake Charles, LA 70607 337-480-9023 Member SIPC

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Mind & Body |




Regular dental check-ups, eating a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water to promote strong teeth and gums establish an early pattern of wellness. Introducing healthy feeding habits, which include chewing practice, can set young mouths up for a lifetime of success and get the most miles out of those precious smiles.

HEALTHY BABY TEETH ARE IMPORTANT Keeping baby teeth healthy not only saves space for permanent teeth but also assists children to speak and eat properly. According to pediatric dentist Dr. Eric Sanders, “The enamel on baby teeth is 50% thinner than permanent teeth so they are more susceptible to cavities.” Sugars, whether added or natural, are in all foods and drinks—except water. Freshly pressed juices and plant-based smoothies can be a wonderful way to add extra fruits and vegetables to the diet, but we must ensure daily opportunities to chew. Digestion starts in the mouth—good saliva with good chewing practice helps to kick-start digestion and clear the sugary residue left behind.

CRUNCHY FOODS Munching on hard, raw foods, especially vegetables, helps to scour the gums and teeth. It takes a lot of chewing to break down foods such as carrots, celery, apples and cucumbers. Sanders said, “Chewing may disturb dental plaque (a thin film of bacteria causing tooth decay), and serve as a cleansing mechanism. Instead of remaining in your mouth and settling on the teeth, the bacteria get cleared away.” Food pouches, while very convenient, do not help kids move past purees and don’t give opportunities for toddlers to experience chewing those foods. Save these for occasional use with a spoon. An added benefit of crunchy foods is to help develop the jaw. The repetitive chewing force stimulates bone growth in the jaws – great news for growing mouths that need more space for permanent teeth. So, limit processed snacks and help your kids get crunching! Remember to get kids involved in prepping the foods – exposure often leads to tasting new treats.

VITAMINS AND MINERALS Eating a healthy diet full of various fruits, nuts, vegetables and omega-3 fats (to help absorb the nutrients) can also decrease the risk of dental decay. Foods containing calcium — such as cheese, almonds and leafy greens — and foods high in phosphorous — such as nuts, lentils, beans, eggs and fish — can help keep enamel strong and healthy. Dr. Sanders says, “Acidic foods and drinks may cause tiny lesions on tooth enamel. Calcium and phosphate help redeposit minerals back into those lesions.” Calcium is needed for good bone growth, including your jaw. Hummus (made from chickpeas and tahini paste) is also high in calcium and makes a great dip to compliment those crunchy veggies. Stephanie is a local speech-language pathologist/feeding therapist and wellness coach. She enjoys helping families thrive. 22

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2020


for every chapter of your life

Imperial Health is part of your story. As the region’s largest, independent multi-specialty medical group, we take a team approach to your healthcare through every age and stage of your life. Our primary care doctors, specialists and clinical support professionals work together, sharing resources and expertise to care for you and your family.

We’re more than a doctor, we’re your healthcare team.


Mind & Body


by Christine Fisher

Sensitivity to light. Loss of appetite. A dull headache that grows into a throbbing pain. Blurred vision. Nausea. Dizziness. Those who experience migraines are all too familiar with these uncomfortable symptoms. And there are many who have them. The American Migraine Foundation estimates that more than 36 million Americans deal with them, and women are three times more likely to have them than men. Of those who get migraines, they begin having them between ages 10 and 40. Migraines can last between four and 72 hours. The symptoms of a headache and a migraine can be similar, but a migraine will be more severe. Those with migraines report moderate-to-severe headaches that are usually on one side of the head. Other symptoms such as nausea and vomiting frequently occur. To help differentiate a migraine from a headache, it’s helpful to keep a diary such as the time of onset, any triggers, duration and any other symptoms. The International Headache Society recommends the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 method to diagnose migraines without aura. This stands for:

• 5 or more attacks with a duration of 4 hours to 3 days. • At least 2 of the following qualities: occurring on one side of the head, a pulsating quality, moderateto-severe pain, and aggravation by routine physical activity. • At lease 1 additional symptom, such as nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, or sensitivity to sound.

“Migraines can be caused by a variety of triggers, but imbalances in certain brain chemicals may play a role,” explains Nirmala Tumarada, MS, MD, neurologist and neuromuscular medicine specialist with Imperial Health. “If someone in your family tends to get migraine headaches, you’re more likely to get them than someone without a family history. In fact, for those who inherit the tendency to have migraines, they can also inherit the same triggers that cause the migraines, such as bright lights, fatigue, weather changes, stress and hormonal changes.”


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2020

Other triggers include:

• Certain foods. Salty, processed foods and aged cheeses like blue cheese. Also, the artificial sweetener aspartame, and the flavor enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG.) • Skipping meals, due to a drop in blood sugar. • Alcohol, especially wines, and caffeine, including caffeinated sodas. • Changes in sleep patterns. Too much or too little sleep, as well as jet lag. Exertion, especially intense workouts. Activity is still encouraged, but at a moderate pace. The two main types of migraines are those with aura and those without. Auras act as a warning, indicating a headache will soon develop. The effects of a migraine aura include:

• Confusing thoughts • Perception of strange, sparkling, or flashing lights • Blind spots in the vision • Difficulty speaking • Stiffness in the shoulders, neck or limbs Migraines without aura are far more common, which means no sensory disturbances occur leading up to a migraine. Between 70 and 90 percent of migraines occur without an aura. There are two approaches for migraine treatment: treating the symptoms when they occur, and preventative medications taken daily to reduce the intensity or frequency of symptoms. Medications aimed at the symptoms of migraines are best taken when the migraine is developing and not at its peak. Over the counter medications, such as naproxen, ibuprofen and acetaminophen have been proven to help reduce the painful symptoms associated with migraines.

Your Place or Ours? “Many medications can have side effects and finding the one that works best is usually a trial and error process. You and your physician should work together to find the most effective medication with the most tolerable side effects, or hopefully, no significant side effects,” says Dr. Tumarada. “It generally takes between four and 12 weeks to know if a migraine medication is effective.” To date, four medications are approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the prevention of migraines, but considerable research continues to find more options. Migraine preventative medications may not completely prevent all migraine symptoms, but they tend to reduce the frequency and severity of them. “Because migraines are associated with nerve receptors in the brain, the severity, length, and frequency of migraines can change over time, as the physiology of the body changes. The use of a preventative medication may need to be adjusted from time to time,” she explains. “In addition to medications, stress-relieving techniques such as yoga, aromatherapy, journaling, and relaxation practices have been proven effective.” Identifying and avoiding triggers is one of the most effective ways to manage migraines. It often takes diligence and time, but it’s well worth it when the debilitating symptoms can be decreased or avoided. For a consultation about migraines or other neurological conditions, call Dr. Tumarada’s office at (337) 312-8730.

The first step in diagnosing sleep apnea is a sleep test. It can be done in your own home or in our sleep lab. Afterward, one of our sleep specialists will meet with you to review results and guide you on the path to sleeping well and waking up refreshed. Call us today to get started.

Dr. Phillip Conner


Phillip Conner, MD | Michelle Zimmerman, NP

Lake Charles | Sulphur (337) 310-REST


Money & Career

Can Romance


While money may not seem romantic, understanding your feelings about money prior to marriage can be an important part of keeping your love alive. How can engaged couples keep finance from ruining their romance?

Get to know each other financially. You and your fiancé probably feel you know each other well. And chances are you’ve already established some basic money ground rules such as who pays for what, especially if you’ve been living together. But if you haven’t gone deeper and discussed your underlying attitudes about money, you may still have a few things to hash out. As you plan to join forces long-term, now is the time to learn them. In fact, it’s wise to dig deeper and ask some very specific financial questions before you tie the knot. For instance, is one of you a saver and the other a spender? How do


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2020

you each handle credit and debt? What about financial independence and control? These are concerns that can rear up later if you don›t address them now. It may seem hard to bring these topics up initially, but think of it this way: you’re not just talking about money. You’re talking about your hopes for your future together and how you can make them a reality. Do you want to buy a house? Raise a family? Launch a new business? These all require resources. Start by making a date to talk about what you each want, how you’ll prioritize your goals, and finally how you’ll work together to finance them.

Decide how much financial togetherness you want. If you’ve each been financially independent for a while, deciding upfront how much you want to mingle your finances is important. Couples often create a “yours, mine, ours” system of three checking accounts that will allow you each to have a separate account for personal expenses and a joint account for shared expenses. That way you both have some autonomy, but also work together for common goals and expenses. When it comes to your savings and investments, there’s a bit more to consider. For example, if you already have assets, you could decide to keep those assets separate to maintain some financial independence. If you’d rather pool some or all your resources, talk about it now so there will be no surprises or hurt feelings later on. Agree on roles and responsibilities. Don’t allow misunderstandings about everyday money matters to cause problems. Devise a plan to handle:

• EXPENSES—Even if you’ve already been sharing

certain expenses, ensure you’re each comfortable with how you’ll handle everyday costs once you’re married. Will you each contribute to household expenses like rent or a mortgage, utilities and groceries? Will you keep certain personal expenses separate such as clothes or individual entertainment? If you both work and one of you makes more money than the other, agree on what percentage of your individual incomes you’ll contribute to the household that’s fair to each of you. Then agree on who will be responsible for actually paying the bills.

• SAVING AND INVESTING—This is one of the most

important agreements. How you save and invest will determine whether you meet your goals—both mutual and individual. Decide what percentage of your incomes you’ll save each year and how you’ll divide your savings among short-term goals like a vacation and longterm goals like retirement. Even if one of you is more comfortable with investing and wants to take the lead, it’s important that you’re both involved with all major decisions.

Make it formal (or not). Once you and your fiancé have spent time discussing how you’ll merge your financial lives, another option is draw up a prenuptial agreement that not only spells out how your assets will be distributed in case of divorce but also stipulates the financial terms of your marriage. This is not a requirement. In fact, for many couples the real benefit comes from having the discussions, not from having a legal document. Before you tie the knot, however, it’s important for all couples to create or revisit their estate planning documents including powers of attorney, beneficiaries, and will. Be willing to listen. Everyone has different feelings about money based on their experiences, so as you and your fiancé begin to talk about money it’s important to listen and not be judgmental. Understanding each other’s attitudes brings couples closer. Find a comfortable time and place to begin the conversation, plan together, dream together—and when you toast each other on your wedding day, toast to your financial future as well.

• DEBTS—This can be sticky. If either of you is coming

to the marriage with student loans, credit card debt or car payments, you need to decide how these will be paid off. Will you each cover your own debts? While you’re not responsible for each other’s debts that were accumulated before the marriage, is one of you in the position—and willing—to help the other? Then talk about how you’ll handle credit and debt as a couple.


Money & Career

frugal february: A New Year’s Resolution for Your Wallet by Keaghan P. Wier

After the holidays are over, many of us find that our budgets have been stretched a little too far during the past few months. Between presents and holiday meals, family time and parties, we tend to overindulge a bit during the season. Enter Frugal February — your chance to get back on track with savings goals and budgeting! What is Frugal February? Why February? Simple: it’s at the beginning of the year, plus it’s the shortest month, giving you a bit of a shortcut to success. Many people use the month as a way to boost savings — whether for emergency funds, house down payments, a new car, whatever their next goal is. The point of Frugal February is mindful spending. This essentially means that the ultimate goal is not to make you live on pennies, but to help you become more aware of what your goals are, where you’re spending the most money, how to cut back on excess spending, and so on. Frugal February is highly flexible. You can customize the “rules” to fit your lifestyle, your family’s needs, your goals, and your budget. If you’re already running a pretty tight ship and just want to take a month to really clamp down on any and all excess spending, you can do that. If you know that you just want to cut back on eating out, focus on that. Have a credit card debt you want to pay down? You can set that as your goal. Whatever your particular situation, Frugal February can help.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2020

Tips for Frugality Success

Frugal February is very customizable, so take whichever tips will work for you and leave the rest — but here are some ideas to get you started. Eat at Home Yes, this might seem obvious, but it’s a great place to start. If you tend to eat out or order delivery regularly, try cutting it out altogether for the month of February.

Here’s the Great News Your frugality doesn’t have to end with February! If you’re keen to pay off debts and save in 2020, take this month as a chance to kick start some new habits, and use these tips as you begin your new decade off financially strong.

Repair & Repurpose Rather than immediately rush out to purchase a new item anytime something in your home wears out or breaks this month, see if first you can repair it or repurpose something else to fill the gaps. This requires some creativity and varying degrees of know-how, but it can be very rewarding and easy on your wallet! There are entire websites dedicated to DIYs, and tutorials for skills can be found on YouTube and Pinterest. Buy Secondhand This can take some patience and planning, since finding the right items or right size clothes can be less immediate than walking into a standard store, but it’s easier on the planet and your budget! Hit up thrift stores, garage sales, and online marketplaces to find items you need.

Category Spending Freeze Try choosing a category of spending that you can completely freeze for the month, like buying new clothes or any entertainment spending. Instead, roll that money into your savings account. Track Your Spending If you don’t already, start thoroughly tracking your budget. There are many apps and websites that can help, many of which connect to your bank account and automatically update. This will give you a clear picture of where most of your money is going.



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Money & Career


the Right Banker for Your Business by Kristy Como Armand

If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a community to grow a business. The small business world is not for the faint of heart – the recipe for success typically requires a team of support that extends far beyond the entrepreneur and includes investors, partners, customers, and, of course, financial professionals. “If you’re an entrepreneur looking to establish a relationship with a financial institution, don’t underestimate the importance of finding the appropriate institution for your needs. Even though all banks are made of bricks are mortar, the internal foundations aren’t identical across the board,” explains Mike Harmison, President and CEO with Lakeside Bank. If you have a small community business, you will probably want to find a bank which markets to entrepreneurs such as yourself. Find an institution that is proud to serve as lenders to small and mid-sized local businesses. It’s also important to get referrals. “When doing virtually any kind of business, getting referrals from people you trust is a good idea. Ask other small business owners about their banking experiences. Just because someone else owns a small business doesn’t necessarily mean that they want the same things from their banker, but talking to them will certainly help you figure out if their banker has what you’re looking for,” says Harmison. “Accountants, attorneys, trade associations and vendors can


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2020

also serve as good referral resources, in addition to your business peers.” Don’t be afraid to shop around to various financial institutions to find a good fit, Harmison says. You’re the one with the growing business, so your interests should take precedence. So, what makes a good banker for a budding business? Someone you are comfortable talking to, and someone you can trust. In the lending business, honesty is key, according to Harmison. “And that is true on both sides of the relationship. You and the bank are partners. You are both keenly interested in the success of the business. You will have to commit to being completely open with each other about the ups and downs of your company. You need a banker who makes it easy and comfortable for you to share information.” “It’s also beneficial to have a representative who believes in your business and truly wants you to succeed,” says Harmison. “When you have someone who is giving you objective, honest support, it can make all the difference in the world. It also helps develop a relationship of trust.”

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Money & Career

Get the Most Out of your

Social Media Marketing Businesses, professionals and others who use social media to promote a brand often are unsure whether what they’re doing is effective. Their usual methods of measuring success – such as how many leads or sales were generated – don’t really apply, and that leaves them puzzled.

“Even people who are enthusiastic about social media aren’t always clear on what to expect,” says Jay York, senior social media strategist for EMSI Public Relations. “One problem is that people mistakenly focus too much on ‘likes’ and figure the more likes the better.”

TRAFFIC TO YOUR WEBSITE Whenever you’re interacting on social media, one of your goals should be to send traffic to your website, so be sure to include a link. How can you measure whether this is working? One way is Google analytics, which will tell you not only whether your website traffic has increased, but also let you know where that traffic came from. THE IMMEASURABLE Sometimes the impact of social media efforts can’t be measured. For example, if one person sees something a business posted on Twitter and mentions it to a friend, that friend might check out the company’s website. If asked how they heard about the business, that person will say it was through a friend – even though it was social media that got the connection started. “There’s a science to managing a social media campaign,” York says. “If you want the best results, you can’t take a willy-nilly, anything goes approach. You need to carefully determine the most effective ways of reaching your target audience, choose content that’s most likely to engage them, and monitor what’s working.” Jay York is senior social media strategist for EMSI Public Relations (, a firm that represents corporations and experts in a wide array of fields such as business, health, food, lifestyle, politics, finance, law, sports and entertainment.

So what are the best ways to calculate whether you’re setting and achieving realistic marketing goals on social media? York suggests you monitor the following: GROWTH OF FOLLOWERS You should see growth in your number of followers but beware of trying to compare your growth to others. A company with a well-established brand is going to see growth more quickly than a company that hasn’t had much exposure. Follower growth is a long-term game. Don’t become discouraged if it doesn’t happen as quickly as you had imagined.


QUALITY AND QUANTITY OF REACH To understand social media’s reach compared to other ways of getting your message out, think of a billboard. You can pay to put your message on a billboard alongside a highway where passing motorists will see it. But are those people in your target audience? Some are, no doubt. Many aren’t. With social media, you can find the people interested in what you’re offering. You can also use social media’s analytic tools to gauge how far and wide your message is reaching. ENGAGEMENT The level of engagement on social media varies greatly. Some people only read or look at what everyone else is posting, but don’t post themselves. Others regularly post their own content, and they like and share what others post. Often, they’ve attracted an enormous following. “Those are the people you want to go after,” York says. “Follow them and they may follow you in return. If they share one of your posts, then you’re reaching their large audience.”

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Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2020

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Money & Career


West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital Hosts Class for Delivery and Breastfeeding West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital will host a class on Tuesday, February 18 from 6pm to 8pm on preparing for delivery and breastfeeding. The cost is $10 per participant and will be held in the North Conference Room at the Cypress Street entrance. Class space is limited and pre-registration is required. A childbirth educator as well as a certified lactation counselor will lead the discussion and will be available for one-onone questions. To register, call (337) 527-4361. Heart Health and Diabetes is Topic at Upcoming Diabetes Support Group West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital will host its diabetes support group on Tuesday, February 11, at 11:30am at the hospital’s cafeteria conference room. Guest speaker is John Winterton, MD, cardiologist to talk about heart health and diabetes. There is no charge to attend and the group is open to the public. For details, call (337) 527-4282.


Preventing Recurrence of Breast Cancer is Topic at Upcoming Support Group West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital will host its Pink Crusade breast cancer support group on Thursday, February 13, at 6pm. in the hospital’s board room. This month’s focus is taking control through diet and lifestyle modifications to help prevent recurrence of breast cancer. Lacey Whatley Stickell, MSN, AOCNP, will lead the discussion. The group is open to the public and light refreshments will be served. For more information, call (337) 528-7320. Shots for Tots February Dates Announced West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital will offer Shots for Tots on several dates in February. Shots for Tots offers immunizations for children six weeks of age through 18 years of age who are uninsured, underinsured, or have Medicaid, or are American Indian/Alaskan native. The cost is $10 per person. On Saturday, February 8, the clinic will be held in Sulphur at West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital near the Cypress Street entrance from 8:30am to noon. Walk-ins are welcome, sign-in ends at 11:30am.

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2020

On Thursday, February 13, the clinic will be held in Moss Bluff at Dynamic Dimensions East, located at 602 Sam Houston Jones Parkway, from 4pm to 7pm Walk-ins are welcome, sign-in ends at 6:30pm. On Wednesday, February 19, the clinic will be held in Westlake at the Westlake Diagnostic Center, located at 2345 Sampson Street, from 2pm to 4pm. by appointment only, call (337) 433-1395 to schedule. Spring Fling Scheduled St. Raphael’s Catholic Daughter Court #1377 will sponsor their third Spring Fling on Saturday, March 7th from 9am to 6pm at the I-10 Outlet Mall in Iowa. Vendors seeking spaces are asked to visit Facebook @ I-10 Market for details and forms or contact (337) 6601404. Arts & Humanities Council and Visit Lake Charles Launch the Southwest Louisiana HeARTbeat Tour The Arts & Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana (AHC) has joined with Visit Lake Charles to produce an online showcase of local artists who create original work in Southwest Louisiana. The collection of artist profiles will allow residents and visitors to discover local art while also learning about the artists and their inspiration. The official launch of the artist profile Southwest Louisiana HeARTbeat Tour will be on Valentine’s Day, Friday, February 14. The tour features artists with and without studio space. The idea is for everyone to explore the Southwest Louisiana HeARTbeat Tour and learn more about our creative community and where to find local art.

To learn more, go to HeartbeatTour. Artist forms are available indefinitely. 3rd Annual Holden’s Hope Forever Race Scheduled The 3rd Annual Holden’s Hope Forever Race is scheduled for Saturday, April 4. The mission of Holden's Hope is to support families of infants who have long medical stays in the NICU and families who are coping with miscarriages, stillbirths or the loss of an infant in SWLA. This race is a special one as it's also a memory walk/run for families who have lost an infant or wish to honor the memory of a baby. All proceeds stay local to benefit families in Southwest Louisiana as well as Louisiana NICU units. Form a team as a family or as a business, come as an individual or gather up your friends to race because your efforts will provide financial support for end of life and/or medical expenses as well as emotional support to the families served through Holden's Hope. There will be fun for the whole family including music, food, fun jumps, face painting and a balloon release ceremony to conclude the event. For registration information and a schedule of events, visit Holden’s Hope on Facebook or www.

SOWELA Technical Community College Shatters Enrollment Record SOWELA Technical Community College continues to see growth in the number of registered students. In the current Spring semester, enrollment has increased by 19% from this time last year. Last year, Spring semester enrollment was up 7% more than doubling year-over-year enrollment at the College in 2020. To put that into perspective nationally, enrollment decreased by 7 percent between 2010 and 2017 (from 18.1 million to 16.8 million students), and undergraduate enrollment is projected to increase by 3 percent (from 16.9 million to 17.4 million students) between 2017 and 2028, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. SOWELA is already outpacing the national projection for 2028. The College was most recently named the #1 community college in the state, according to WalletHub, for Cost and Financing, Employment Outcomes, and Student Outcomes and ranks 11th in the nation among community colleges. For more information, visit Lake Charles Memorial #1 in Louisiana for Medical Excellence in Stroke Care Lake Charles Memorial Hospital has been recognized as the best in Louisiana for Medical Excellence in stroke care. This 2020 award from CareChex® — is based on their comprehensive quality scoring system that compares inpatient quality performance across general, acute and non-federal U.S. hospitals. This analysis places Memorial Hospital as number 1 in the state for responding to and treating stroke patients. Memorial has been recognized by CareChex in the past for excellence in cardiology care and orthopedics. For more information, please visit

McNeese Signs Agreement with Yellowfin to Market Geaux Pokes Vodka McNeese State University fans now have a new favorite beverage with the launch of Single Estate Vodka “Geaux Pokes” Edition distilled by Yellowfin Distillery. The distillery was established in Sulphur in 2017 by McNeese chemical engineering alumnus Jamison Trouth. The university has signed a marketing agreement with the distillery whereby a portion of each sale will go directly to support Trouth’s alma mater. Currently, “Geaux Pokes” is available at the Yellowfin Distillery in Sulphur at 1716 Burton St., and in area retail stores. For more information, visit Investar Bank Now Open in Westlake Investar Bank National Association (“Investar”) opened its newest branch located at 2215 Sampson St. in Westlake in December. This is Investar’s 28th branch location and first in the Southwest Louisiana region that offers high-touch, personal community banking service for businesses and individuals with a full array of products and services. The modern 3,132 square-foot facility employs a full-service branch staff plus commercial relationship managers who are all focused on meeting the needs of customers in Westlake. The facility renovations were completed Friday, December 13 and features three drive-through lanes, a night deposit box and safe deposit boxes. In the coming months, Investar will have a drive up ATM available for 24/7 access. The Bank is committed to expanding its client-focused community bank offering across Southwest Louisiana. For more information, visit


Wining & Dining

a food lover's guide to swla

Our annual Food Lover’s Guide is one of our most exciting special sections of the year. It appeals to most all our readers because everyone likes to eat, right? We bring you up-to-date information on what to eat, where to eat, and where you might eat next week. From food trucks, food trends, future eateries, and an insightful portrayal of the day-to-day life of a successful chef, you’ll find it all here in our foodie features.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2020

Other trends to watch for:

Food Forecast 2020

• •

by Angie Kay Dilmore

According to Chef Amanda Cusey at Villa Harlequin, we’ll continue to see a rise in health-focused foods, less processed foods, and more plant-based diets. “People are becoming more aware of what they put into their bodies,” she says. Chef Michael Elliott at Golden Nugget Lake Charles agrees. “Plant-based food offerings will continue to become more relevant in the marketplace. Improvements on flavor profiles, appearance, dietary awareness, and social behaviors will continue to make this a popular trend in the coming years.” Elliot has also seen a movement towards more family-style dining. Golden Nugget launched their FamilyStyle Sunday dinner at Grotto last month. “This allows several shareable entrees to be enjoyed by your family and friends!” he says. In conjunction with increased health awareness, Cusey anticipates an increased interest in mocktails, as consumers seek alcoholic alternatives. Wood-fire cooking is expected to rise like smoke from a chimney. Paul Pettefer, owner of Paul’s Rib Shack, fell for wood-fired cooking about five years ago. He says cooking meat on a live-wood fire is primal and earthy. And it tastes fantastic! “Cooking with wood elevates your food,” says Pettefer. “We cook meats, sides, and even desserts on occasion, over a beautiful, live wood fire. That fantastic smell draws you in, and the flavor it puts on the food closes the deal. We call them Stickburners, and we’re never going back to anything else.” Chef Chad Jackson, Marketing Associate with Sysco New Orleans, says fads are often traps for restaurateurs, yet certain trends are undeniable.

“The coming year will bring customers’ further insistence of product sourcing, meaning more local focus, and a smaller footprint. Ethnic cuisines of every sort will continue to entice the growing millennial demand for new spice combinations and flavor profiles. Portion size may finally be a concept embraced in the south. Most impressive would be a committed local focus on the agrarian roots that built and sustained this proud food culture.” Chef Lyle Broussard at Jack Daniel’s Bar and Grill, L’Auberge Casino Resort predicts more collaboration between local chefs. “I believe that SWLA is on the brink of something amazing when it comes to food this year.” Mike Sperandeo, co-owner of Villa Harlequin says consumers today often expect more than good food, good service and a nice atmosphere when dining. “We hear so many words and phrases thrown about these days . . . sustainable farming, organic, gluten free, plant-based dishes, celebrity chefs, farm-to-table, locally-sourced seafood, Keto diet, restaurant delivery services, meal prep packages, craft this and that, and so on. It’s definitely a new world in the food and beverage industry.” Sperandeo and his staff incorporate many new ideas in dining out, but the bottom line is, it’s still about good food, good service and a nice atmosphere.

• •

• •

On the NUT BUTTERS AND SPREADS shelves, make friends with macadamia nut butter and watermelon seed butter. Look for MORE HYBRID FLAVORS, combining sweet and savory. Good morning, bone broth oatmeal! In the PRODUCE SECTION, cauliflower continues to reign, along with more ways to use this versatile cruciferous veggie. In the BEVERAGE AISLE, look for boozy kombucha and brown sugar bubble tea. Giving the DAIRY AISLE a tropical feel, coconut yogurt may topple strawberry as the most popular flavor. New ETHNIC TRENDS will include Latin American, Korean, and West African. Consumers are also looking for STREAMLINED CONVENIENCE with more automation and many chain cafes are stepping up to the plate. WHAT’S ON THE WAY OUT? According to Uber Eats, acai (say hello to aronia berries), charcoal, seitan, and hummus (despite other predictions of an increase in consumption of Middle Eastern foods.)

A Lake Charles Tradition Since 1968

335 E. Prien Lake Rd. Lake Charles


Locally O


Monday – Thursday: 10am-10:30pm Friday & Saturday: 10am-11pm


Wining & Dining | A Food Lover's Guide to SWLA

SWLA Food Trucks Part Deaux by Angie Kay Dilmore

In 2016, we published an award-winning story on the emerging food truck community in the Lake Area. Many of those early pioneers still thrive, such as Sloppy Taco, Paul’s Rib Shack, and Hi-Licious Street Kitchen. They paved the way for other entrepreneurs to enter the food truck fray and since then, numerous mobile eateries can be found along the Lakefront, at festivals and other events; so many that we felt the need for a sequel story. The trucks featured here are not an exhaustive list but rather a sampling of all our SWLA food truck culture has to offer.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2020


Freestyle Munchies opened for business in June 2018

and has been wowing customers since then. Chef Don Gillett earned a culinary degree from New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont in 1990 and has worked as a chef in various restaurants including the Hyatt Regency of New Orleans, City Club of Lake Charles, Harrah’s Casino Lake Charles, and L’Auberge Casino Resort, to name a few. After 34 years in the food service business, Chef Don sought out something with more work schedule flexibility. He bought and redesigned a food truck. “I really enjoy meeting new people and love the interaction with my customers that operating a food truck allows,” he says Freestyle Munchies participates in most local events and festivals in the Lake Area. They serve upscale-infused street food consisting of burgers, sandwiches, salads, and entrees. Chef Don says he takes pride in using high quality, fresh, local ingredients and makes all his own sauces.

Craft barbecue at your fingertips At Paul’s Rib Shack Barbecue, wood-fire smoked barbecue meets the coolest backyard in Lake Charles. Enjoy brisket, ribs, turkey, mac, and more.

4800 Nelson

wed-sat, 11-9

337.485.RIBS • @paulsribshack •

savorthe flavor Discover rustic flavors, local traditions and modern innovation. Join us for Lunch, Dinner or Sunday Brunch. closed mondays.

For hours, menus and prices visit The Villa harlequin .com

call for reserVaTions:

337.436.6251 #GetDowntownLC


Wining & Dining | A Food Lover's Guide to SWLA

Evolution Grilled Cheeseburger Greg Carpenter and Melanie Soileau

Evolution opened last November in Westlake and

stemmed from owner/cook Greg Carpenter’s love of cooking and serving people. He says the community response has been “incredible.” Carpenter chose the name Evolution because he wanted to have the opportunity to be creative with his menu now and then. He first learned to cook from his Mom and Mammaw, and later at Sowela Community College’s culinary program. Currently his menu consists of gourmet homemade burgers, hotdogs, and chili dogs with homemade chili. He’ll be expanding the burger options soon to include multiple toppings. Carpenter appreciates the freedom of a food truck to move and change based on the desires of his clients. He says food and music are integral to our Louisiana culture and he strives to tap into these emotions when customers eat his food. "Our motto is, 'We want our food to be music to your appetite.'"

2218 Enterprise Blvd. • Lake Charles • 337.433.9293 MONDAY - SATURDAY 40

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2020

Burger Therapy

Burger Therapy

Casanova Fradieu started planning over a year before he actually opened his trailer. “I wrote out plans and recipes and tested everything for months. My dad came up with the concept of Burger Therapy. He told me to let people design their own burgers.” When Fradieu finally opened, he was in a “rough patch in life” so he put his soul into it. He asked other food truck owners for advice, and they were generous with guidance. His wife, a local artist, helps Fradieu when she can. They serve custom burgers meaning the customer choses everything from the bread to the cheese and the patty (turkey, beef, or veggie). All burgers come with Creole fries.

Other trucks you’ll find in and around town:

Jammin Jelly's Hot sauce

• ShaMy Empanadas is a purveyor of Colombian and

Venezuelan food. In addition to empanadas, you’ll also find arepas, kebabs, cheese balls, and more.

• Cajun Ambrosia pays homage to both Greek and Louisiana cuisine with a Cajun flair.

Jammin Jelly's Calcasieu Cubano

• The Potato Hut serves, you guessed it . . . potatoes. Loaded

baked potatoes, loaded fries, with toppings like boiled shrimp and fried chicken. They also serve chicken wings and fried ribs.

• Casa Sabroso offers authentic Mexican fare, such as street

tacos, quesadillas, burritos, and loaded nachos. Casa Sabroso means “tasty house” in Spanish.

• DK’s Soulfood whips up plate lunches with smothered oxtail, meatballs, fried chicken and pork chops, white beans, and smothered okra.

• Senegals Bar-B-Q fills the air with the smokey aroma of ribs, brisket, chicken, hot links, and pork steak.

• TaD’s offers classic Louisiana cuisine – gumbo, poboys, fried shrimp and catfish.

Jammin Jelly’s

burst on the scene as a maker of hot sauces one season when Jelly found himself with too many habaneros, a couple of pears, and a desire to create something unique. Their clever line of sauces includes Peach, Pear, Mango, Cucumber, Blackberry, Dark Cherry, Habanereaux Ranch, “Cheracha” Ranch, Cajun Brees made with the Cajun Holy Trinity, as is the Turbeaux with Worcestershire. Jelly’s personal favorite is the Garlic. He touts his sauce as having “flavor in the front and a touch of heat on the back.” Now he and his wife Tamera operate a food truck. They serve a variety of specialty sandwiches, all of course topped with their signature hot sauces.

• Big Thicket Barbeque caters to the northern communities

– Rosepine, DeRidder, Leesville – and tempts customers with Tex-Mex/Cajun influences and unique items like loaded totchos (Texas tot casserole).


For days, times, locations, and menu items, you can find these food trucks on Facebook and other social media outlets.




Pronia’s Deli and Bakery is a locally owned business who has been in Lake Charles for 30 years as of 2019! We specialize in many delicious sandwiches and other deli items along with many bakery items such as cakes, cupcakes, baklava, cannoli and more! Monday – Friday: 10am-5:30pm Saturday: 10am-1:30pm Sunday: Closed 3101 Kirkman St | Lake Charles (337) 478-0785


We’re now available on Waitr & Gubers!

119 West College Street, Lake Charles | (337) 474-3651 | Monday – Thursday: 11am–10pm | Friday & Saturday: 11am-11pm Closed Sunday | Happy Hour 4–7pm


Wining & Dining | A Food Lover's Guide to SWLA

A Day in the Life of

Chef Andrew Green

Story by Kristian Bland, photos by Chris Brennen

The life of a chef isn’t all pristine white coats and foodie glamour. It’s sweat and stress and passion. It’s long hours and impossible demands, but it’s all worth it if you’re the kind of person who can put it all together. Andrew Green, proprietor and chef of 1910 on Ryan Street in Lake Charles is one such individual. Through hard work and determination, he has established 1910 as one of the Lake Area’s premier dining establishments. From Sunday brunches to seasonal cocktails and their famous gumbo croquettes, 1910 keeps Green hopping. Some weeks he works eighty hours, other weeks only fifty or so. But forget what you’ve seen on TV. The day of a working chef is a little more involved than cooking up a quick dish between commercial breaks. Green’s Mondays start with the weekly deep clean and organizing of everything in the restaurant to prepare for the week ahead. Tuesdays, he digs through the bar and meets with representatives from the liquor industry to determine the month’s unique cocktails. Wednesdays are for receiving new stock and rotating out the old stuff so everything’s always fresh. And Green does mean everything.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2020

Nothing in the restaurant is pre-packaged or otherwise prepared or processed in any way before it arrives. Everything is made fresh, from scratch, inhouse, including every sauce to each salad dressing and everything in between. This takes time, serious effort, and a dedicated staff. For example, while their gumbo croquettes might be locally famous, they eventually became so popular they had to remove them from the menu due to the elaborate prep requirements. The roux is made from scratch, then combined with methodically prepared rice and vegetables that have been cooked down for the better part of an hour, along with sausage and chicken both cooked fresh in house. Then, the whole thing rests in the refrigerator for four to eight hours before croquettes can finally be formed and cooked with house-made stock and homemade breadcrumbs. Keeping them on the menu could occupy one cook’s entire day, every day. The good news is that while they’re not technically on the menu, 1910 does still serve them. You’ll just have to catch them on an unannounced day before they sell out. Good luck with that! According to Green, “A chef is only a chef if they’re in charge of a kitchen and their pretty white coat is stained from work.” While the job is still fun and one definitely needs to have a passion for food, Green says you can forget the romanticized version of chefs depicted in movies and on television. A working chef is an exhausted chef. For the aspiring chef, Green emphasizes the importance of the three factors he judges his staff on: Awareness, Reliability, and Work Ethic.

Andrew Green, chef and owner at Restaurant 1910

Be where you need to be on time and ready to work, then give it your all while you’re there. Dependability and drive are more important than anything else. If you want to be a chef, he says, you’ll need to start at the bottom, pay your dues, and work your way to the top. Once you get there, you’ll find more, even harder work waiting for you. And you’ll love every minute of it.

eer + Craft B d FOOD e t f a r C hand MONDAY - THURSDAY • 10:30am - 9pm FRIDAY • 10:30am - 10:30pm SATURDAY • 4pm - 10:30pm SUNDAY BRUNCH • 10:30am - 2pm CUISINE: American (New), Cajun/Creole & French PRICE RANGE: $$

Enjoy downtown Lake Charles with delicious food, craft cocktails, wine, and even better service. 949 Ryan St., Lake Charles




WED & THURS 11:30am - 9:00pm FRI & SAT 11:30 - 10:00 pm SUN 11:00 - 3:00 pm 1165 E. McNeese St. • Lake Charles


Wining & Dining | A Food Lover's Guide to SWLA

Helen St. Bakehouse

by Matt Dye

Cary Sole, the man behind Helen St. Bakehouse, doesn’t hide his passion for the products he produces. “If we could, we’d give it away,” he says with a smile as his hands work the dough in the back of the Historic Cash and Carry Building, where he currently bakes his breads. “We repurpose it,” Cary says, “and it’s really Cary also tends to use the royal ‘we’ when discussing phenomenal.” anything to do with baking, even though the process Phenomenal might be an understatement when is currently a one-man operation. At the same time, describing the baked goods that he produces, each he’s very aware of the people who’ve helped him after made with time and care that seem to come effortlessly leaving the insurance industry to pursue this dream, first to Cary. Watching him work, his hands move with grace and foremost, his wife, Laurie, who keeps him honest as and purpose as they combine the freshly milled grains he strives down this path. with flour and water. “This is my last gig in the world,” he says, “So I’m not You can find Helen St. Bakehouse at the Tuesday stopping.” Farmer’s Market, and they plan to break ground soon on Helen St. Bakehouse, which takes its name from a brick and mortar location on the corner of Enterprise the Lake Charles street where Cary began baking his and 1st Street. Then hiring and training will begin, so bread, specializes in just a few bread items for now, those with an interest in the baking business might such as sandwich loaves, baguettes, country loaves (a keep that in mind. As well as those who love fresh bread! sourdough loaf in the round), and sticky buns, which as “I want an afternoon bake,” Cary says, “With hot bread Cary puts it, are “brioche cinnamon rolls on steroids with coming out of the oven at 3:45 p.m. that you can pick up pecans.” at 4:00 p.m.” That sounds like a plan the community can Cary blames his love of bread baking on getting it right the first time. “I saw a YouTube video for Sullivan Street Bakery up in New York, where they were doing a no knead bread recipe. It looked simple enough, and it was simple enough, and it was cooked in a Dutch oven. So, it’s like golf, the first one came out perfect, and I was like, I can do this!” A little less than a year ago, this self-taught baker took his production to the back of the Historic Cash & Carry Building, and began baking for not only the Tuesday Farmer’s Market It’s family that supports us and grounds us in what truly in the same building, but for businesses around matters. That’s why at Olive Garden, we’re all family here. town such as The Wine Store, 1910, Calla, 121 Artisan Bistro and Crave, as well. He’s also been in talks with the casinos to begin using his baked goods. Over the holidays, Helen St. Bakehouse partnered with Crying Eagle to create their Chocolate-Covered Pretzel Milk Stout, and now they’re planning a spent-grain bread, using 1725 W Prien Lake Road | Lake Charles, LA 70601 | (337) 474-7380 Crying Eagle’s mash.


Family is...

New Oven Baked Pastas

Cary Sole


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2020

Dining Options in SWLA What’s New and Coming Soon

by Angie Kay Dilmore

There seems to be no end to new dining establishments in the Lake Area. For those of us who like to try all the new places at least once, the struggle is real to keep up! Here’s the news on the latest and soon to open. Crust Pizza opened late last year at Lumpkin Plaza on Nelson Rd. They offer madefrom-scratch pizzas, pastas, and salads. And remember, every Wednesday is Wine Wednesday! A Louisiana tradition, CC’s Coffee House in Lake Charles had their Grand Opening on Feb. 1. Try their lattes, espressos, frozen and iced classics, as well as pastries. 2825 Country Club Road. Torchy’s Tacos has been a staple go-to in cities across Texas (and a few in Colorado, Oklahoma, and Arkansas). Soon they’ll open a “Damn Good” Taco joint in Lake Charles – their first in Louisiana. Torchy’s Lake Charles will be located at 3407 Nelson Road, right beside I-210.

New on Ryan St., BeauxDines’ Seafood and Specialty Meat Market will sell boudin, sausage, fresh meats, stuffed chickens, stuffed pork chops, and more. Fresh shrimp, crabs, oysters, frog legs, live crawfish, crawfish tail meat, crab meat, catfish fillets, scallops, alligator, along with additional items will also be available. Their restaurant, with indoor and outdoor seating, will be the perfect spot to eat a few pounds of fresh crawfish. Hot dogs will be available on their children’s menu. Enjoy live music several nights a week with ice cold beer, margaritas, daquiris, and soft drinks. They plan to open the restaurant early February and the market by late February.

LIT Pizza offers “blast-fired” craft-your-own pizzas. They’ve been satisfying customers in cities in Eastern Louisiana and will be make their Lake Area debut at the Kroger shopping center on the corner of Country Club & Nelson Rd. in the summer of 2020.



Places & Faces

Mardi Gras PREV IEW

Beads, Balls, & Bedlam

Some folks in Louisiana say the best thing about Christmas is knowing that Mardi Gras is right around the corner. They can’t wait to put the Christmas decorations away and bring out the purple, gold, and green. In our annual Mardi Gras preview, we introduce you to a Mardi Gras Queen and our resident pirates, the Buccaneers of Lake Charles. We tempt you to host your very own King Cake Party. And we include a schedule of exciting Mardi Gras events in and around the lake area. Laissez les bons temps rouler!


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2020


NOW - February 25 Parades, dances, galas and more! See the full schedule of events at


DOWNLOAD THE APP! Search for “Lake Charles Events.”



Places & Faces | Mardi Gras Preview

Lake Charles had royalty in Washington D.C. last month! Madeline Noble reigned as Queen of the 2020 Washington Mardi Gras by the Mystick Krewe of Louisianians. This marks the first time in its 72-year history that a queen has been chosen from Southwest Louisiana to reign over the pageantry, revelry and mystery of Mardi Gras in our nation’s capital.

first person with

Madeline Noble,

Queen of the Mystick Krewe of Louisianians story by Kristy Como Armand photos by Jason Cohen Photography


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2020

The origin of this annual three-day event dates back to 1944 when the first celebration of the spirit of Mardi Gras in Washington D.C. took place. The event became more organized into a true “krewe” by Senator Russell Long in 1957. Led by the Mystick Krewe of Louisianians since then, it has become a unique event attended by several thousand people each year. It’s been called a “show-and tell” of the best of Louisiana – our culture, our politics, our food and our people. This year, Southwest Louisiana and Queen Madeline Noble were front and center. Congressman Steve Scalise began a four-year term as Captain of the Mystick Krewe of Louisianians in January. Each year, the Louisiana legislature appoints a chairman of Washington Mardi Gras who selects the king and queen to lead the festivities. This year that was Congressman Clay Higgins. Higgins selected Madeline Noble as the Queen and Gregory Hamer Sr., CEO of B&G Food Enterprises, as the King. Higgins also designated this year’s theme as “Red, White and Bayou”

in honor of all things Louisiana, including the unique people and products from Louisiana which have worked to promote love of country and become as much a part of the USA as baseball and apple pie. Southwest Louisiana artist Candice Alexander was commissioned to create the poster for this year’s event, in which she used mixed mediums and dimension to bring the history of the state to life. Madeline is the daughter of Cinda and John Noble Jr., MD, of Lake Charles. A graduate of St. Louis Catholic High School, she is a BBA scholar in the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. She is a member of Chi Omega Sorority and Delta Sigma Pi Business Fraternity. In the summer of 2019, Madeline served as an intern in the Commercial Banking Division of the Bank of Texas. She has studied abroad and interned at FinTech Global, a financial technology firm in London. Madeline will receive a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Finance this May. Thrive magazine caught up with Madeline to ask her about this unique experience of serving as the Queen of 2020 Washington D.C. Mardi Gras. How does a young woman from Lake Charles become Queen of Washington D.C. Mardi Gras?

I grew up knowing about Mardi Gras in Washington. I had friends who had served on the court. One of these friends submitted my name for court – I found this out later. Congressman Higgins wanted someone from his congressional district to serve and he contacted my dad last spring and asked if I’d be interested in serving. I was very honored and excited to be considered, and I said yes.

What are your official responsibilities?

Once we received all the information on what this role entailed, it was initially a little overwhelming, but it was also a once-in-alifetime experience, and an honor to be the first to represent our community. Since I’m in school a lot of the planning work fell to my parents. I appreciate their willingness to do this very much. There was an announcement event in Lafayette in August I had to attend where Congressman Higgins introduced the king and queen, along with the theme for this year. Most of my responsibilities took place the week leading up to the three-day celebration. Before departing for Washington D.C., I participated in a media event in Baton Rouge and was crowned by Governor John Bel Edwards at the Governor’s mansion. Once in D.C., the schedule was busy, but a lot of fun. The “Louisiana Alive!” kick-off event took place on Thursday, a formal presentation at the “Friday Festival,” and the Mardi Gras Ball on Saturday night. In between there were luncheons and other networking events. After the ball on Saturday night, my family and I also hosted the Queen’s breakfast for several hundred guests. I also had the honor of placing a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.

Have you received a lot of support locally?

Yes! It’s been incredible to receive so much support from people in our region, as well as across the state. There were a lot more people attending from Southwest Louisiana this year and being surrounded by people from home made everything even more fun.

What have you gained from this experience?

Although it was an unbelievably fun experience, it was much more than a party. This event provides a platform for all the young women on the court, and the festival queens from around the state who attend, to experience all our nation’s capital has to offer. I met people I would have never met without this opportunity to serve. I’m definitely more confident now after having to make several speeches and meeting so many new people. It’s something I’ll never forget.

You’re about to finish your college degree. What are your plans after graduation?

I want to find a job in finance and work a few years before pursuing a master’s degree, most likely in business administration. I’m also interested in real estate, corporate finance and entrepreneurial endeavors, and would someday like to be self-employed.


Places & Faces | Mardi Gras Preview


Buccaneers of Lake Charles

MOR E TH A N J UST A SOCI A L CLU B by Stefanie Powers

The Buccaneers have been hoisting the Jolly Roger over Lake Charles for decades. But while its members are known to love life and have a lot of fun, it’s so much more than just a social organization. Contraband Days was formed in 1957 by what was then the Chamber of Commerce. The inaugural festival was held in 1958, and few years later, the Buccaneers organization was created by a group of local business owners, not only to support the festival, but also to celebrate tourism in Southwest Louisiana. The group has thrived ever since. Jimmy and Jackie Bastow became members in 1995. “We joined because we would see people in the compound during Contraband Days and thought it looked like so much fun,” says Jackie. “We knew a few people in the organization, so we took the plunge and joined.” The Bastows ended up doing more than that. Jimmy was the first board member to hold the office of president twice, in 2006-2007 and again in 2016-2017. In addition, he was Jean Lafitte in 2014.

Jean Lafitte is an honorary position, chosen annually by the current president of the board. Each president has his own reasons as to why he chooses a particular Buccaneer to be his Jean Lafitte. It may include his personality, dedication to the organization and the ability to devote a lot of time to the community. Jean and Madame Lafitte are basically the face of the Buccaneers for a full year, and it’s a huge commitment. Today, the Buccaneers still represent at the Louisiana Pirate Festival (which has replaced Contraband Days) as well as the City of Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana at conventions, reunions and public events. The organization spreads goodwill through what are called “raids” or reenactments. Essentially, members get together in their pirate attire (most made by local costumers) and attend various fundraisers and events, handing out doubloons, beads, and other trinkets. The Buccaneers participated in at least 40 raids last year. They included the National Night Out Law Enforcement event in August, Dillard’s National Collegiate Day, Beauregard Elementary School’s “International Talk Like a Pirate Day,” the Lake Charles Ballet, Families Helping

Contraband Days

Contraband Days


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2020



Largest Selections in Southwest Louisiana CORNER OF LAKE & MCNEESE STREETS • LAKE CHARLES, LA


BEADS • MASKS • COSTUMES • FLAGS • JEWELRY • MARDI GRAS DOLLS 2019 Jean LaFitte and artist Candice Alexander


Families, Lil Troopers Raid (for children of veterans), the Louisiana Association of Fairs and Festivals, the Louisiana Student Council Convention, the McNeese/Petrochem Golf Classic, and others. The Buccaneers also respond to requests by schools, nursing homes and assisted living residences. Members bring toys to the annual Christmas Ball, which are then dispersed to various charities. The pirates are avid McNeese supporters. They have a float in the university’s homecoming parade, and shoot the cannons at the football games when the Pokes score. “Everything we share with the public is bought either by the members or by the organization, including the gunpowder and cannons used at McNeese games,” Jackie says. The Buccaneers of Lake Charles have a public Facebook page filled with photos depicting their community involvement. They are open to new members, so if you’re interested in fun and fellowship with a great group of people, check them out.

Jimmy and Jackie Bastow


Places & Faces | Mardi Gras Preview

King Cake Exchange Parties

by Keaghan P. Wier

W H AT T HEY A R E & HOW TO HOST ONE Everyone in Louisiana knows about king cakes, that sweet treat decorated in Mardi Gras colors and swirled around delicious fillings and a tiny plastic baby. They can be found in every bakery and grocery store in Louisiana this time of year. But have you heard about king cake exchange parties? They’re relatively new — the first ones started popping up in 2016 — but they’re a great way to breathe new life into Mardi Gras traditions.

W H AT IS A K ING CAK E EXCH ANGE PART Y? Here’s how it works: each guest at the party brings a king cake. These can be purchased from a favorite bakery, a standard grocery store, or even homemade versions, if a guest feels ambitious! The host slices each cake into the same number of pieces as there are guests. Each guest then builds their own cake to take home, made up of one slice of each cake that was brought. Think of a cheesecake sampler, where there are slices of several different flavors. Everyone goes home with a king cake sampler!


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2020

TIPS FOR HOSTING A PER FECT K ING CAK E PART Y Want to host your own party? Here are a few things to do to make sure it will be a success. Keep the guest list to around two dozen or less. Any more, and it’ll get tricky to slice cakes into decent pieces while also having enough for everyone. Plus, there are a limited number of cake flavors, and this way, you can make sure there’s a good variety without too many duplicates. Ask guests ahead of time where they will be buying their cake, or what flavor they’re planning on bringing. This helps keep the variety wide and prevents too many people from showing up with, say, Bavarian Cream! The goal, after all, is to taste a lot of different flavors and styles. Prepare a display table where guests can set their cakes as they arrive. Ensure you have enough serving utensils on hand. You can decide whether to tell guests to bring their own box to carry their cake home in, or if you’ll provide containers. Either way, make sure they have one, and provide some way to label boxes so they don’t get mixed up. Have your guests write down where the cake is from, what flavor it contains, and a bit about why they chose that particular one. Place these notes alongside the cakes so guests can see them as they assemble their samplers.

Mardi Gras Happenings LAK E CH AR LES

Feb. 20: Lighted Boat Parade, 7:00 p.m.

Lake Charles Lakefront

Feb. 21: Merchants’ Parade, 7:00 p.m. Feb. 22: Gumbo Cook-Off, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

emps t s n o b s le z e ss i a L ng rouler at your ki ear! y s i h t y t r a p e k a c

Lake Charles Civic Center Exhibition, Admission $5 Krewe of Omega Parade, 2 p.m. Krewe of Barkus Parade, 2 p.m. Lake Charles Civic Center Feb. 23: Children’s Day, for kids age 3-11, 12:00 – 3:00 p.m. Lake Charles Civic Center Exhibition Hall Zydeco Dance, 11 a.m. Children’s Parade, 3:30 p.m. Feb. 24: Lundi Gras Royal Gala, 7 p.m. A lavish promenade of more than 60 krewes’ royalty in extravagant, glittering costumes before thousands of residents & visitors. Lake Charles Civic Center Coliseum Admission: Advanced tickets $7 available at Gordon’s Drug Store and Party Time Store. $8 at door. Children 5 and younger admitted free. Big Brothers Big Sisters of SWLA Hosts 3rd Annual Lundi Gras Day Party, with premiere sponsor Golden Nugget Lake Charles, and title sponsors Magnolia Property and Tito’s Handmade Vodka, 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. at Blue Martini in the Golden Nugget Lake Charles. Live music provided by Three Thirty Seven with DJ TySki. Cocktail or business attire and Mardi Gras masks are required. Tickets are $75 and includes two tickets for the signature cocktail provided by Tito’s Handmade Vodka, food, and entertainment. Ages 21 and over. BBBS-SWLA has partnered with Lyft to offer a “safe ride” option for Lundi Gras Day Party attendees. To purchase tickets, go to Feb. 25: Second Line Stroll, 1:00 p.m. Jeeps on Parade, 2:00 p.m. Motor Gras Parade, 3:00 p.m. The Zone, 12:00 – 4:00 p.m., The area will have a live DJ, laser tag, lots of kid-friendly games and activities–and the Bayou Games game truck will be on-site. There will also be plenty of hot dogs, popcorn, and soft drinks for kids to enjoy. Parking lot between the Charleston Building and the Parish Courthouse on Ryan Street. Krewe of Krewes Parade, 5:00 p.m., Ryan St. to Sale St.


Feb. 22: Squeezebox Shootout with

Keagan Navarre, 10:00 a.m., Historic Strand Theatre Festival in Founder’s Park, 10:30 a.m. Parade, Main St., 4:00 p.m. For more information, call the Jennings Festival Assoc., 337-821-5532


Feb. 15: Children’s’ Mardi Gras Run,

time TBA

Time TBA Contact Jesse Bertrand for more info on the run (337) 794-2316

Feb. 22: Elton Adult Mardi Gras Run,


Feb 15: Mardi Gras Run, time TBA

Parade, 4:00 p.m.


Feb 8:

1st annual Mardi Gras Parade & Run, including kids’ activities (chicken runs and a costume contest), food trucks and vendors. Fee $5, kids 12 and under admitted free Country parade route begins, Welsh High Practice field (South St), 8:00 a.m. Traditional Mardi Run, Sportsman’s Park, 8:00 a.m. Main St. Parade, 3:30 p.m. Street Dance and vendors, various bands, 2:00 – 9:00 p.m. Call the Town of Welsh for more info at (337) 734-2231

IOWA Feb. 25: Mardi Gras Chicken Run,

Knights of Columbus Hall, 503 E Highway 90. Doors open, 8:00 a.m. Entry fee $10 at the door for adults. Children 12 and under $5 Parade, 10:00 a.m. For more information, contact Rodney Victorian at 337-8421875 or Kimmy Bellard at 337-884-1403.

V INTON Feb. 15: Knights of Columbus Gumbo

Cook-Off, 10:00 a.m. Parade, 1:00 p.m. For more information on the event and updates, call Vinton City Hall at 337-589-7453.


Places & Faces

Movers and Shakers in Southwest Louisiana... Who’s News? You tell us! Send press releases to

Manuel Named Partner at Healthy Image Marketing Shonda Manuel has been named a partner at Healthy Image, a Lake Charles-based marketing, advertising and public relations firm. Shonda Manuel A graphic designer with 20 years of experience, Manuel joined Healthy Image eight years ago. She earned a bachelor’s degree in visual arts from McNeese State University and worked as a graphic designer with several area businesses, including L’Auberge Casino Resort, O’Carroll Group, Grand Casino Coushatta and the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau. Manuel has won numerous awards for graphic design and photography. She currently serves on the CHRISTUS LiveWell Advisory Board, Lake Charles Junior League Community Advisory Board, SOWELA Digital Communications Advisory Board, McNeese Fine Arts Advisory Council and Lake Charles Junior Cotillion Board. Shonda has previously served on the Regional Cultural Economy Team, President of the Arts and Humanities Council and Communications Chair for Fusion Five. She is a 2014 SWLA Leadership Graduate. Healthy Image has been in business for over 17 years and is owned by current partners Kristy Armand, Christine Fisher and Barbara VanGossen. The agency offers services in advertising, public relations, graphic design, photography, video production, website development, media relations, social media, digital event planning and corporate communications.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2020

Bradley Rasile Joins Todd Clemons and Associates Law Firm Todd S. Clemons, Lake Charles attorney and founder of Todd Clemons and Associates, announces the addition of Bradley Rasile, attorney, to the Bradley Rasile firm. A Lake Charles native, Rasile graduated from St. Louis Catholic High School, Louisiana State University and earned his law degree from LSU Paul H. Hebert Law Center. He interned with the public defender’s office in Baton Rouge as well as the Supreme Court of Nevada. He was a former law clerk with Mudd, Bruchhaus & Keating. He joins attorney Janet Madison, also with the firm. Todd Clemons and Associates is located at 1740 Ryan Street in Lake Charles. The firm’s primary areas of practice are criminal defense, civil litigation, personal injury, and family law. For more information, call (337) 477-0000. West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital Names Thompson Chief Nursing Officer West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital is pleased to announce Brian Thompson, RN, as Chief Nursing Officer. In this role, he will Brian Thompson provide administrative oversight to specific patient care departments within the hospital. Thompson has been with the organization since 2006 and has served in previous roles as House Supervisor and Director of Patient Care. He brings over 22 years of experience in nursing in addition to his proven performance as a nurse leader within the organization. Thompson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from McNeese State University and is currently pursuing his Master of Healthcare Administration degree from Walden University.

Rebekah Winters

Cody Hanchey

Three Receive Employee of the Month Honors from WCCH West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital recognized three individuals over the course of September, Mike Klenke October and November with Employee of the Month honors. Mike Klenke, IT Support Specialist; Rebekah Winters, Physical Therapist and Cody Hanchey, Laboratory Med Tech and Chemical Specialist, were those selected. Miller Named Director of Marketing at Lake Charles Care Center As Director of Marketing, Christi Miller brings a strong background in longterm care to the community with 10 Christi Miller years of experience in healthcare marketing in hospital, hospice and senior living. Prior to joining Lake Charles Care Center, she was recognized as an Account Executive Top Performer with hospice and received Excellence in Operations Honors in senior living. For more information, call (337) 439-0336.

Movers and Shakers in Southwest Louisiana... Who’s News? You tell us! Send press releases to

CSE’s Chief Financial Officer Graduates from Leadership SWLA 2019 CSE Federal Credit Union (CSE) is proud to announce that Matt Koch, Chief Matt Koch Financial Officer, graduated from Leadership SWLA class of 2019. The Chamber SWLA and the SWLA Alliance Foundation created Leadership SWLA in recognition of the need to develop leaders for the future who have a clear understanding of the region and are committed to its advancement. The Chamber and the SWLA Alliance Foundation are part of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. CSE is the largest credit union headquartered in SWLA with assets over $320 million. Membership is open to anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Calcasieu, Cameron and Jeff Davis Parishes. For more information, call (337) 562-3161. Dr. Steven Hale Elected Officer of CPMS Board Steven Hale, MD, orthopaedic surgeon with Center for Orthopaedics, has been elected Treasurer of Steven Hale the Calcasieu Parish Medical Society (CPMS) board. The Calcasieu Parish Medical Society is a nonprofit organization representing the health care community in Southwest Louisiana.

Dr. Hale is originally from Lake Charles and has over 10 years of experience in his field. He earned his Medical Degree from Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana, and completed his Orthopaedic Residency at The Campbell Clinic in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. Hale joined the Center for Orthopaedics in 2009. He is board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, is a member of the Louisiana State Medical Society and the Louisiana Orthopaedic Association (LOA), where he serves as treasurer on the organization’s board. Dr. Hale specializes in joint replacement surgery, including robotic-assisted hip and knee replacement, sports medicine, knee surgery, shoulder surgery, hip surgery, fracture care, orthobiologics and arthritis treatment. Norman Named President of Louisiana State Law Institute Taylor Porter Special Counsel Rick Norman has been named President of Rick Norman the Louisiana State Law Institute. Norman has served in its governing body since 2006. The Law Institute was established in 1938 as an official law revision commission, law reform agency, and legal research agency of the State of Louisiana. Norman will preside over the LSLI Council which acts as the governing body of the Institute and includes more than 100 LSLI council members from the legal industry.

The Law Institute is required to consider needed improvements in the law and to make recommendations concerning them; to study the law with a view to discovering defects and inequalities and recommend needed reforms and to bring Louisiana law, both civil and criminal, into harmony with modern conditions. Norman was a former federal prosecutor and has practiced commercial law and commercial litigation since 1980. He is the author of two legal treatises: Louisiana Employment and Louisiana Corporations. Norman practices in the Taylor Porter Lake Charles office. Founded in 1912 in Baton Rouge, Taylor Porter is one of the oldest, largest and most respected law firms in Louisiana, representing a diverse range of local, regional, and national clients in the most complex transactions and litigation across a variety of industries. Taylor Porter, with offices in Baton Rouge and Lake Charles, has 80 attorneys who serve the interests of our clients in more than 30 practice areas.


Style & Beauty

s a r G i d r a M yle t S by Stefanie Powers

Mardi Gras 2020 is here, and that means it’s time to get glamorous for those fabulous upcoming balls! If you’ve received an invitation to a ball, check it carefully. If it’s a formal ball, that means floor-length gowns – no cocktail dresses, and no gowns that are short in front and long in the back. Men must either wear tuxes or dress military uniforms. A business suit will not do. Most krewes will turn you away at the door if you’re not dressed appropriately. You’ve been warned! The latest gown styles are sleeker and more fitted to the body, replacing the very full gowns that were so popular in the recent past. Rhinestone Runway and Dillard’s have beautiful formals, but many women go to consignment shops such as Bayou a Dress for Less on Common St. to save money, especially if they’re attending more than one ball and need a variety of gowns.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2020

Mardi Gras is all about making bold statements, so don’t be afraid to dazzle! Glitter will always be popular – for face, body, eyes and hair. It comes in all colors, so it’s easy to coordinate it with your gown(s). Run it through your hair and accent your arms and cleavage. And don’t forget to add some sparkle to your nails. Your makeup should be especially audacious. Wear false eyelashes and use dramatic eye and lip color. Olivia Midkiff, a stylist at The Ritz, says that Mardi Gras make-up this season is sexy with smoky eyes, voluminous eyelashes and bold lips. Rather than worry about your hair, leave it to the experts and get it done the day of the ball. One less thing to think about! Brandie Alexander, another Ritz stylist, says she gets requests for old Hollywood glam hair. The hair flows in soft waves and is touchable and sexy.

“True Louisiana Mardi Gras girls add hints of purple to their hair to add more fun!” she says. “We also see tons of women wanting VorMor extensions to add length and fullness to their hair or just to add that extra pop of color.” Some krewes have costume balls instead of formal events. Your invitation will indicate what the theme is. This is when your creativity can go wild. Check out the Party Time store on Lake St. and Party City on E. Prien Lake Rd. They have all kinds of costumes and accessories to choose from. Colorful wigs and hats, tubes of liquid glitter, beaded masques, huge false eyelashes in crazy colors—you name it, they’ve got it!

l Mardi fu r e d n o w a e Hav les bons z se is la d n a Gras season temps roulez!


Style & Beauty

Red Is Dead. e v i L g n o L

! k c i t s p i L P i nk by Emily Alford

Okay, that headline might be a bit hyperbolic. Red lipstick will always have its place. In fact, during the holidays, a bold red lip is one of the easiest ways to make an outfit more festive. But now that the holidays are behind us and we’re well into Mardi Gras season, it’s time to put the Christmas-red lipstick away with the tree until next year. A bright pink lip is a great way to make carnivale season even more fun, not to mention the fact that pink looks great alongside traditional Mardi Gras colors. If you’ve never been much of a pink person but are looking to experiment, here are some tips for getting a great pink lip. Add some glitter for a punch If you want to sparkle, consider glitter, rather than gloss, formulas. There’s nothing juvenile about the newest glitter lipsticks, which give lips a metallic sheen rather than a full on sparkle, making pouts appear fuller. If you’re planning on going all out with metallic pink, keep the rest of the face simple to give the bold lip look a chance to really shine.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2020

Stay matte for simplicity A glossy, bright lip is a whole lot of look. And glossy formulas also tend to slip and slide a bit more, which isn’t ideal for a night out full of eating a drinking. If you’re not a die-hard fan of the glossy lip, consider trying a matte liquid lipstick in a bright pink shade. These colors tend to last longer and also make lip colors look a bit more sophisticated than their glossier counterparts.

Line up If you want a hot pink lip for a fun night out or even just to jazz up a more casual outfit, use lip liner, both to give yourself a guide so lipstick goes on smooth and straight and also to keep the bright color from bleeding onto skin around the mouth, which can create a smudged, lopsided look. When choosing a lip liner, there are two options. Either pick a color that matches your lipstick exactly or pick a color that matches the natural color of your lip almost exactly. And “lip liner” is actually a bit of a misnomer. Line the lips and lightly fill them in with lip liner before applying lipstick. Then, blot lips on a tissue and line lips one more time to make absolutely sure lipstick stays in place.

Lip stains make pink possible for everyday wear For just a pop of color on days when you’re not getting too made up, consider a lip and cheek stain. These subtle hints of berry color give lips and cheeks just a tiny bit of coordinated color for a fresh healthy glow that still looks like it might just be natural. Pink often gets an unfair rap as red’s kid sister, but a bright pink lip can be every bit as chic as a more sultry shade.


Edward Rutland, M.D. Ochsner Health Center - Urology 401 Dr. Michael Debakey Dr. | Suite 200 | Lake Charles | LA 70601 | 337.656.7770 CHRISTUS Ochsner Health Southwestern Louisiana welcomes board-certified surgeon Edward Rutland, M.D., to its team of urology providers committed to patient-centered care in Southwestern Louisiana. Dr. Rutland is now accepting patients at Ochsner Health Center - Urology at 401 Dr. Michael Debakey Drive, Suite 200. To schedule an appointment with Edward Rutland, M.D., please visit: 19-2665


Style & Beauty

s e i h c n Scru ! k c a B Are Here’s How to Style Them

by Emily Alford

The last twenty or so years have been rough ones for scrunchies, those fabric-covered hair ties that were the must-have accessory of the 1980s and early ’90s. They caught a lot of pop culture ridicule in the mid-1990s and early aughts for being a dated throwback. In fact, there was an entire plotline on the TV series Sex and the City devoted to how a “real” New Yorker would never be caught dead in a scrunchie.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2020

But now, scrunchies have made a full comeback and are the hottest accessory of 2020. And that’s good news because they’re also gentler on hair than elastics which can pull and break hair. Once the province of teens, people of all ages and genders are now wearing scrunchies. In fact, Aquaman himself, Jason Momoa, wore a velvet scrunchie that matched his tux on the 2019 Oscars red carpet. Here are a few ways to incorporate scrunchies into an everyday look or possibly a red carpet ensemble.

Pick a sophisticated material During their first round of popularity, most scrunchies were bright-colored cotton affairs. This time around, they have gotten far more sophisticated. Look for scrunchies in jewel tones and fabrics like silk or velvet, which actually look incredibly put together even for dressier looks. Velvet is also one of 2020’s hottest trends, so take a cue from Momoa and pair a velvet blazer with a matching scrunchie for a coordinated look. For the more daring, leopard print or even leather scrunchies make fun, attention getting accessories for an otherwise simple look, like a plain tee shirt, jeans, and a solid-color jacket.

Don’t hide it If you’re buying scrunchies in eye-catching colors and chic materials, you might as well try out a hairstyle that really shows it off. Pulling hair up into a high, neat bun held in place by a scrunchie, making sure to smooth flyaways with a bit of pomade is an easy hairstyle that looks like it took a lot more effort than it really did. And the high ponytails that have been in style for the past few years also look much more current with the addition of a scrunchie. Here’s a bit of ponytail advice—all those long, cascading ponytails that are all over the red carpet, runways, and magazine spreads right now? They’re actually two ponytails. To get your own flowing ponytail without having to resort to clip-on extensions, gather half of your hair (more or less) into a high pony and secure it with a scrunchie. Then, take the rest of the hair and make a second ponytail with the elastic hidden beneath the first ponytail. Viola! Longer locks instantly. Scrunchies aren’t only hair accessories. With such a wide variety of colors and materials, many people simply wear scrunchies around their wrists. You never know when they might come in handy!


copiers • scanners • printers • fax • shredders

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600 W McNeese Street, Lake Charles | (337) 474-9913


Home & Family

r e n n i D d n o y e B s n o i t a v r e s e R Make your Valentine’s Day Date as Unique as your Relationship

by Madelaine Brauner Landry

Hearts. Chocolates. Champagne. Scented candles. Store aisles brim with clichéd props for your annual Valentine’s Day celebration. Yet we fall in love in unique ways. Shouldn’t we think outside the heart-shaped, red foil box when making plans? Defy the marketing blitz by creating your own non-traditional Valentine’s Day date. There are options in the Lake Area to satisfy every romantic’s longing.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2020

Spend an “Evening in Spain” with the Lake Charles Symphony at the Historic Calcasieu Marine National Bank. Their Valentine’s Day concert features passionate classics from Strauss, Tchaikovsky and Dvorak. The event includes dinner and beverages. Go to for more information or to purchase tickets. The Lake Charles Little Theatre has a new musical, Hans Christian Andersen’s timeless tale, “The Snow Queen,” opening February 7. Or review event calendars for other arts-related happenings, such as live music at venues like Panorama Music House, L’auberge Casino, or the Golden Nugget. If creating art is your shared passion, check out The Art Factory or Painting with a Twist. Draw, paint, dig in clay, throw a pot, or express yourselves together with mixed media projects. Make new memories that celebrate the old ones. Reminisce with your Valentine. Challenge yourselves to recall specific memories. Was there a particularly special date you might recreate? Where did you go then that you could return to now? Maybe a bowling alley or putt-putt? Whether fast food after a movie or a picnic at a park, relive that special day.

Reprint old photos and assemble a collage. Edit using special filters, colors or shapes. Or insert into a newspaper format—a special edition, hot-off-the-press with stories and headlines. Children especially love being involved in a surprise project like this. Kids love hearing the stories of when you first met as much as you’ll love telling them. Volunteer together! Bonding over a shared cause can be a memorable way to celebrate your love. Visit veterans or the homebound with gifts of candy, fruit or homemade baked goods. Serve a meal together at a local soup kitchen. Walk the dogs or clean the cages at a pet rescue center. Plant trees together or help a neighbor do something they cannot do alone. Sharing acts of kindness can open your heart to compassion, empathy and love and lead you to appreciate attributes in your mate that you may have overlooked. Whether your date includes a night out or a night in, make your Valentine’s Day one to remember. Your partnership brought something special into this world that it never had before. Celebrate by doing something you’ve never done together before.


Home & Family

Learning the Languages of

Love by Angie Kay Dilmore

Have you ever been in a relationship where your significant other says he adores you, but you’re honestly not feeling the love? Or possibly you love someone who accuses you of not expressing your emotions, despite your best efforts. Maybe you aren’t speaking each other’s love language. Author Gary Chapman revolutionized the way couples think about showing their love to each other in 1992 when he published his book, The Five Love Languages, a book that has sold over ten million copies and continues to be a bestseller. Chapman suggests that people express and experience love in different ways – five ways, to be exact: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. The key is to first learn what your mate’s love language is, and then, if it doesn’t come naturally to you, learn how to speak it.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2020

Chapman writes, “Your emotional love language and the language of your spouse may be as different as Chinese from English. No matter how hard you try to express love in English, if your spouse only understands Chinese, you will never understand how to love each other.” Chapman’s book includes a quiz for readers to learn what their primary love language is and what it looks like. It’s important for one to know not only the language of their spouse, but their own, as well. That’s not to say that a person can only experience love in one language. There are usually secondary love languages, but one primary language that comes most naturally to them; and people tend to express love in their primary language, as well as experience love. While Chapman’s first love languages book is geared to married couples, understanding the concepts of the five love languages can apply to all relationships – with children, other family members, even friends.

HERE ARE EXAMPLES OF HOW EACH LOVE LANGUAGE MIGHT BE EXPRESSED: Words of Affirmation are spoken expressions of love to uplift and encourage your mate. Wow, you look great in that dress! I like what you did with your hair! You’re such a great mom [or dad]. So glad you rocked that presentation at work today! Thank you so much for washing my car. That means a lot to me. Or simply, I love you. Chapman says this is the most common primary love language. So use your [love] words! Quality Time is just that – spending good quality time together, uninterrupted and free of distractions (put down that phone!) It could be a walk in the park, watching a movie together, having meaningful conversation, going out to dinner or making dinner together at home. Do whatever you both enjoy doing but ensure your focus is on your significant other. Receiving Gifts is one way some people experience love. It says to that person, “I was thinking of you and thought you would like this. I love you.” Gifts don’t have to be big and expensive. As long as they are thoughtful, meaningful, and say “I know you.” The best gifts are given for no reason other than to show you care.

Acts of Service express love by DOING things for your mate. If your spouse isn’t feeling well, and he or she normally takes out the garbage, offer to do it that week. Surprise her by cleaning the house while she is out running errands. Make dinner or do the dishes. If there is a way you can be helpful by physically doing something for your spouse, this will show your affection. Physical Touch is self-explanatory, but Chapman is quick to point out that it different from sexual intimacy, which can be more primal than emotional. Snuggling, holding hands, hugging, putting your arm around her shoulders, sitting next to each other. Your touch can say “I love you” in ways words cannot. In this month where our thoughts often turn to love, consider taking the time to learn your loved one’s love language. Read the book together, take the quiz, and embark on learning new ways to show your love for each other. Chapman says, “We must be willing to learn our spouse’s primary love language if we are to be effective communicators of love.”

e IN YOU? r i F


If you’ve been searching for a new career path, the Lake Charles Fire Department is recruiting now. The job of a firefighter is about more than a paycheck. It’s about accepting the challenge to protect and serve your community. It’s about being a hero, on the front lines of public safety, responding to the call when someone is in need. In addition to the respect and gratitude of your fellow citizens, the job comes with competitive pay and an excellent benefits package.

To qualify for the demanding four-month training period, a candidate must: • Be at least 18 years old • Be a U.S. citizen with a valid driver’s license • Have a high school diploma or a valid certificate of equivalency • Pass a written exam • Pass a medical exam • Pass an oral interview • Pass a physical abilities test

If you have the desire to accept the challenge of becoming a firefighter for the City of Lake Charles, call (337) 491-1360 today.




Home & Family

SAY NO to Virtual Noise Six Small Changes to Break Your Technology Addiction

Digital disruptions, random distractions, and 24/7 connectivity are undermining our ability to focus—and that hurts our quality of life. But there are some simple, doable changes you can make to reclaim your most valuable assets: your time and attention. “Slowly and without realizing it we’ve become slaves to emails, news stories, celebrity gossip, and endless social media alerts,” says Joseph McCormack, author of NOISE: Living and Leading When Nobody Can Focus. “Digital distractions take us out of the moment, make us miss life’s nuances, and rob us of our potential.” The consequences are real. We tune out our kids (and they develop the same bad habits). We half-listen to our partners. We go through the motions at the office, missing the cues that lead to smart decisions and failing to do the “deep work” that leads to real success. The good news is we can live richer, more rewarding, more intentional lives. We just need to be aware of what we’re doing—and what we’re not doing—and make small yet surprisingly high-impact changes around our relationship with technology.

Try going a week or two without social media. This may be tougher than you think because checking Facebook is a powerful addiction. But give yourself a relatively short time frame and it will feel doable. One caveat: You can’t compensate with TV. Do something productive, relaxing, or meaningful instead: Clean out a closet, go for a walk, meditate, write a letter to that great-aunt you’ve been neglecting. At the end of your social media moratorium, ask yourself how you feel. You might not even want to go back. If you do, hopefully you’ll be able to maintain more balance and self-control. Set boundaries around work check-ins. According to research from McCormack's firm, The Brief Lab, professionals check their phones 150 times per day and check their email 36 times per hour! That's bad enough during the workday, but for many people the vigilance continues after business hours. To curb constant email checking, draw a hard line around your phone and computer use and don't cross it. Use 5-minute bursts of focus to stop procrastinating and start getting things done. You can either waste spare minutes by giving in to techfueled distractions, or you can resolve to be more productive with your time. Block off five-minute segments of time to completely focus on and tackle one particular task throughout the day, starting and stopping on time. If you need more time, add another five minutes.


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2020

Plan for unplugged weekends. It's all too easy to waste much of your weekends zoned out in front of the computer or the TV. In order not to do this, you need to plan ahead. When you don’t have an activity on the calendar you will probably default to digital devices. Of course you can’t (and shouldn’t) have every weekend booked solid, but McCormack says at least two weekends out of the month should contain scheduled activities and events that will get you away from your devices and help you engage in the present. Commit to deviceless dinners. Dinner time can be a sacred time for families. Make a family pact to put down your phones, totally disconnect, and enjoy each other’s company while you share a meal together. Take turns talking about your day and really connect with each other.

“You owe it to yourself to awaken your awareness and begin mindfully creating the life you really desire,” concludes McCormack. “This is a game changer that will help make 2020 your best year yet.”

Designate screen-free areas at home. The places where you and your kids sleep, converse, and eat should generally be free of technology, especially screens. For example, replace the television in the bedrooms with beautiful artwork or family photos. Replace the computer monitor in the living room with a cozy chair and some nice bookshelves to create a reading nook.

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7th - 9th Grade 5665 N. Gray Market Drive Lake Charles, LA 337-433-5246


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CALCASIEU PARISH PUBLIC LIBRARY TO ROLL OUT NEW USER APP Calcasieu Parish Public Library Computing Services Division announces that their new library user app is scheduled to launch later this month, pending any technical problems. The app was commissioned by Communico for Libraries, founded in the United Kingdom in 2006. Communico worked closely with the staff of the Calcasieu Parish Public Library to create an app that is not only user friendly but also provides the information that patrons used most in the library’s original mobile app.

Pre-K3 – 8th Grade Excellent Student/Teacher Ratio Participant in Education in Virtues Program

“Nurturing All Children and Achieving Academic Success in the Spirit of Christ”

New Family Registration Now Open Pre-K3 – 8th Grade • Extended Day Care

2510 Enterprise Boulevard | Lake Charles, La. 70601 | (337) 436-7959 | 68

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2020

Diverse Student Body Morning, Noon, Afternoon Prayer & Weekly Liturgy Special Education Services After School Care Available for PK3-8th Grade Spanish Enrichment Offered to All Students

St. Margaret Catholic School welcomes all children regardless of race, creed, or nationality.

Discover the library catalog. Using the new app, patrons will be able to search the library catalog and check availability in real time. Using their device’s camera, they’ll be able to scan an ISBN to find out if an item is available at the library. View Item Information Patrons will be able to view details of items such as songs included on a CD, summaries of books, number of discs for an audiobook, and more. This will come in handy as it will be able to more accurately pinpoint an item for a patron. Mobile First, Reader First Users will be able to place holds on an item, renew items in their account, and consume digital content – all within the library’s app. It’s like having the library in the palm of your hands!



Assets Deposits Gross Loans






Like all mobile apps, it will need to go through a testing process, followed by submission to the Android Play Store and the Apple iTunes store. “We’re here for you and having our new mobile app keeps your library with you 24/7!” says Christy Comeaux, Public Information Officer for the Calcasieu Parish Public Library.



Need more help? Have a question? Utilize their chat feature for answers or get tips on how to use the new app.



Library News Want to be in the know? Find out what’s happening at your library regarding events, new releases, services, and more.



Branch information New to the area or want to view a different branch? Just tap on branch information to view that info, including locations, hours, and a location map.

Our annual numbers once again reflect our continued growth and financial stability. Lakeside’s performance since our 2010 opening demonstrates the soundness of our management practices and our commitment to providing the highest quality local banking services for our community. We’re proud to be part of the unprecedented growth in our region and as we approach our 10th anniversary, we are excited to be positioned for even stronger growth in the future.

$200 $190 $180 $170 $160 $140 $120 $100 $80 $60 $40 $20 $0

View and Register for Library Events Users who love their programming will be able to browse the Event Calendar. In addition, they’ll be able to filter by branch or by time. If they see a program they want to attend, they can register for events and sign up for reminders via their phone.

We’re Growing Places

Assets Deposits


Gross Loans

$120 Millions


$100 $80 $60 $40 $20 $0 2011





The way banking should be. MYLKSB.BANK LAKE CHARLES | SULPHUR | WESTLAKE | DERIDDER (Loan Production Office)


Solutions for Life


from Solutions Counseling & EAP by Keri Forbess-McCorquodale, MS, LPC, LMFT, CEAP

Are You Lonely Tonight? Can’t you hear Elvis singing? I can. Loneliness is an epidemic in our country right now. So many people find themselves without a partner, no close family members, and no “inner circle” friends. And you either are one of these people, or you know one of these people, trust me. Loneliness is absolutely everywhere. The latest research indicates our bodies treat loneliness like a disease. Blood cells respond to loneliness the same way they respond to a bacterial infection. Humans are designed to have social connections; when those connections don’t exist, we are physically impacted. We get sick more easily, we don’t recover from illness as quickly, we have longer hospital stays, and we are more likely to die from heart disease. It’s been determined that loneliness is more dangerous to our physical health than obesity. There is a big difference between being lonely and being alone. Being alone is a state. Loneliness is a feeling. We all need to find ways to be content being alone. It is important that we enjoy our own company. Being lonely contains a feeling of being disconnected and isolated from everyone. You might consider taking the UCLA Loneliness Scale Quiz if you are wondering what researchers look at to determine level of loneliness (it’s easy to find on Google). Sadly, there is a stigma surrounding loneliness. It’s as though the lonely person is some kind of social failure. So, let’s re-frame and think more about social connection than loneliness. Social connection is a continuum that applies to all of us. We all need varying degrees of social connection, and we all have experienced being higher and lower on the continuum. So, what can you do to combat the lack of social connection? Think about these suggestions: GET OUT OF YOUR HOUSE AND GO TO A PUBLIC SPACE. That’s right. Get up, get dressed, and go! Go to the pet store if you like animals. Go to the coffee shop if you like coffee. Go walk around the mall. Go walk around the park. Take some deep breaths. What do you see/hear/smell? Notice your surroundings. While you are in the public space of your choosing . . .


Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2020

INTERACT WITH OTHERS. SMILE AT PEOPLE. Say “Hello.” Tell someone you like their shoes. Ask the sales clerk for some advice. Loneliness is so isolating. It’s easy to go days without speaking to anyone. Loneliness must be fought with social interaction. VOLUNTEER. If you’ve read my articles for any length of time, you know I feel volunteer work cures many ails. Helping someone else has so many positive benefits: it gives you a sense of purpose, it reminds you that there are people worse off than you, and you feel a sense of accomplishment. We have many non-profit organizations who would love your time and talents! USE THAT COMPUTER/PHONE FOR GOOD, NOT EVIL. Check out to see what local groups we have and if you might be interested in any of them. Join a Facebook group page on a topic/cause that interests you. Look up local upcoming events you might enjoy. But be careful not to stay online for too long – it is not a substitute for true social interaction and connection. LAUGH. READ A FUNNY BOOK. Watch a comedy special or a funny movie. Laughter truly is medicine for the soul. It can also give us a break from reality, which we all need at times. SEEK HELP. Counseling is a great place to work on dealing with loneliness. You can begin to untangle the puzzle with a professional. Also, you have added one more person to your life – someone to interact with and someone who is concerned about you. There is no shame in acknowledging you are having a tough time right now. We all have tough times. It is the strong, smart people who reach out for help. RECOGNIZE YOUR WORTH. Yes, you are lonely and feeling disconnected. But you are here. And, so far, you are 100% winning at staying alive. And that’s enough. You are valuable because you exist. Just because there aren’t a lot of people around to witness how awesome you are, doesn’t make you any less awesome. Love yourself no matter what.

Enhancing your face requires the skill of a surgeon and the eye of an artist. Enhancing the overall appearance of your face should be a gentle, carefully proportioned process. Considerably more than improving the tone and texture of the skin, or adjusting the width of the nose, it’s an opportunity to reveal a fresher more balanced, more perfected appearance. For that, you need not only a highly skilled surgeon, but also the keen eye of an experienced artist. Uncovering your beauty beneath demands a special touch.

The hands of a surgeon. The eye of an artist.

1000 W. Pinhook Road • Lafayette 337-237-0650 •

board-certified & fellowship-trained facial plastic surgeon jeffrey j. joseph, md, facs

We Know the Way Banking Should Be Lakeside Bank is proud to welcome Aaron LeBoeuf and Mike Moore. LeBoeuf has been named Senior Vice President. He brings 17 years of banking experience to his new position and has an extensive background in commercial, residential and consumer lending. LeBoeuf will be working at the bank’s Nelson Road location in Lake Charles.

Moore has been named Market Development Officer/Vice President of Lending. Moore has over 25 years of business development and banking experience, and served as a Deputy Assessor for the Calcasieu Parish Assessor’s Office. Moore will be working at the bank’s Sulphur location.



Senior Vice-President

The way banking should be.

Market Development Officer/VP Lending





701 Cypress Street, Sulphur 701 Cypress 701 Cypress Street, Sulphur Sulphur 701Street, Cypress Street, Sulphur 72

Thrive Magazine for Better Living • February 2020

701 Street, Sulphur

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