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May 2015

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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 jenningsrehab@yahoo.com • www.jenningsrehab.com 2 www.thriveswla.com

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May 2015

Care for a Lifetime The healthcare needs of women are unique and constantly changing as they move through the stages of their lives. From adolescence to the childbearing years, through menopause and beyond, OBG-1 of West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital (WCCH) combines experienced care with compassionate, personal attention. Finding the right OB/GYN is important for pregnancy, but having regular check-ups with an OB/GYN for women’s health is just as important. The compassionate and personalized care you receive at OBG-1 of WCCH is truly one-of-a-kind. Care is provided by Allison Hansen, WHNP, Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM), Ben Darby, MD, FACOG, OB/ GYN, and Scott Bergstedt, MD, FACOG, OB/GYN. OBG-1 of WCCH offers services for:

Pelvic Pain • Menstrual Disorders Pregnancy • Infertility • Breast Disorders • Contraception • Midwifery

Allison Hansen WHNP, CNM


Scott Bergstedt MD, FACOG, OB/GYN

1200 Stelly Lane, Sulphur


May 2015

(337) 312-1000

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In This Issue

Regular Features

Wining & Dining

12 First Person with Stephanie Decker 28 Who’s News 38 Business Buzz 65 Cameron Connection 68 McNeese Corral 69 Happenings 70 Solutions for Life!

6 The Basics of Beer 8 Stop and Eat the Roses: The Health Benefits of Edible Flowers 10 Reimagine the Avacado laces & Faces P 16 Southwest Louisiana Tourism: There’s an App for That 18 Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point: New Attraction in Southwest Louisiana 22-23 Cover Story:


Louisiana Myths & Legends

26 A New Niche for Creativity 30 Behind the Blue

Money & Career 32 Get on Hurricane Watch for your Business

36 College Graduates: Things You Should Do Your First Year

Home & Family 40 Shutter the Clutter




Style & Beauty

Pull out our Summer Guide for details about area summer activities for kids!

48 Big Backsides and Tiny Noses: Confessions of an NYC Plastic Surgeon 50 Skincare for Him

Mind & Body 54 Honey of a Painkiller 60-63 MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH DON’T JUST LIVE, THRIVE!

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 be successful in all areas of their lives – family, health, home and career. 4 www.thriveswla.com

Editors and Publishers

Kristy Armand Christine Fisher

Creative Director

Barbara VanGossen

Advertising Sales Michelle Phelps ads@thriveswla.com 337.310.2099

Assistant Editor

Katie Harrington

Submissions edit@thriveswla.com

Business Manager

Katie McDaniel

Assistant Designers

Keri Cannon Shonda Manuel Kris Roy Mandy Gilmore

Submitted articles and photos are welcome. Thrive assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials and does not guarantee any submissions.

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May 2015

All our wonderful dogs are available for adoption through 4Paws Society. Call 287-3552 for more information and to learn about other programs that are available.


SAY CHEESE! spaniel. She is energetic t is a young Do nate. and affectio


and Max is a party yorkie. He’s young with e hom a for adorable. He’s ready children to play with.


DY! CUDDLE BUD ior n se a is mon

Cinna eds a lady. She ne with a e m o quiet h with. She is to snuggle companion . dog a great lap

May 2015

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Wining & Dining

The Basics of BEER by Mitch Thomas

Have you ever wondered what it takes to make a beer? If your thoughts on the beverage never went much beyond its inebriating effects, knowing a little something about one of the world’s favorite drinks might bestow a deeper level of appreciation and equip you with enough knowledge to join in on beer talk with aficionados.

BREWING BASICS According to Ira Sawyer, The Home-Brew Guru and owner of The Brew Shop located at 2915 Common Street in Lake Charles, the basics are fairly simple: Beer requires water, a source of fermentable starch, yeast and hops. Beers are usually made with a grain such as barley, which is malted and prepared into a sugary mixture called wort. Though barley is one of the most commonly used types of grains, others like oats, wheat, rye and even corn and rice can be used as well. The starches in the grains are converted by the grains’ own enzymes into sugars during malting, a process which causes the grains to germinate. Sawyer offers malt extract, in both a syrup and dry form, for brewers to make their wort, but some brewers prefer to do the work themselves. “We actually have a lot of people who brew their beers from scratch,” Sawyer said. “We actually sell them the grains, they’ll have to crack their own grains, they steep them, they cook them,

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they’ll add their own hops, and whatever type of flavoring grains they want to put in there.” Yeast is added to the wort, which converts the sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide over a length of time, usually determined by

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the type of yeast used. The finished product will have somewhere around five percent alcohol by volume, though some do try for even higher alcohol content. “I’ve seen some of them go up in the 25 percent alcohol range. I’m not too fond of them, but that’s a big beer,” Sawyer said. Beer is naturally sweet, since it is brewed principally from grain sugars. A flower called hops is added, not only to act as a preservative, but also to enhance the beer’s flavor by balancing sweetness with a measure of bitterness. Much of a beer’s flavor comes from the amount of hops used in brewing, and some beers, like Indian pale ale, are brewed to have a substantial hops flavor. Sawyer says Indian pale ale first became popular with English soldiers stationed abroad. “They would ship beer to the soldiers in India, and to make sure that it got there without spoiling, they added a tremendous amount of hops as a preservative. The people there developed a taste for that type of beer,” Sawyer said.

May 2015

A beer’s flavor and color, however, is determined mostly by the grains used, Sawyer says. Colors can range from the pale yellows of blonde ales to the deep browns of beers brewed with roasted grains.

BEER VARIETIES Beer can be split into varieties based on the type of yeast used or grains fermented, in addition to additives that can enhance the flavor and color. Ale is usually brewed with Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a yeast that floats to the top as it ferments, while a lager is brewed withSaccharomyces pastorianus, a slower, bottomfermenting yeast that works better in colder temperatures. A beer’s flavor and color, however, is determined mostly by the grains used, Sawyer says. Colors can range from the pale yellows of blonde ales to the deep browns of beers brewed with roasted grains. Dark beers are not always bitter, however. Porters tend to have milder, sweeter tastes while stouts are a variety that will have a much stronger flavor. Brewers can adjust the properties of their beer in a few ways. Crystal malt, which comes in various colors, can be added to create beers of darker yellows, like amber ale, as well as add extra sweetness. Some types of crystal malt can give beers very distinctive chocolate, toffee or coffee

May 2015

flavors. In addition, many other kinds of flavors can be added, such as fruit juices, honey, or even coffee itself. “A couple of weeks ago my son made a beer using the juice of a prickley pear to flavor his beer a little bit,” Sawyer said. “It had a beautiful color.” Beer knowledge comes both from experience and from those enthusiastic about sharing the culture. Sawyer learned his craft first from his Uncle Wallace, who had been a bootlegger in the late 1940s. Wallace taught his nephew his beer recipe, but Sawyer had trouble finding equipment and had to use whatever parts he could find. Brewing soon became a hobby, and Sawyer opened The Brew Shop, now with locations in both Lake Charles and Beaumont, Texas, to provide ingredients, equipment and advice for anyone interested in beer and the art of making it. And in case you were wondering about

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Sawyer’s moniker, the HomeBrew Guru, it turns out a local radio station working on a radio advertisement for Sawyer’s shop came up with the name and found it catchy. “Everybody laughed at it because you’ve got a lot of people who can do it better than I can,” Sawyer said. “I mean I can do a good job but I know some friends who are better.”



Wining & Dining

Stop and Eat the


The Health Benefits of Edible Flowers by Jen Breen

Edible flowers have been used as garnish to add flare to fine meals for centuries and were a popular favorite among the Romans and Victorians. Recently, flowery cookery has made a comeback, with innovative chefs and cooks adding a variety of blossoms to provide a touch of elegance or enhance the flavor of their entrees. However, edible flowers can be much more than a garnish or spice. They have been used for medicinal purposes in China for many years and now Western medicine is taking advantage of their many potential health benefits. According to a recent scientific study in the Journal of Food Science, certain edible flowers have been found to help fight and improve a variety of health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, nervous disorders, eye diseases and certain types of cancers. The research found that many edible flowers contain valuable nutrients, antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. Here is a small sampling of some of the most common edible flowers that can improve your health and add a unique flavor to your favorite dishes.

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Rose petals have been found to prevent diabetes and heart disease. They range in flavor; darker varieties tend to have a more pronounced taste. Roses are often sweet, with hints of mint, spice, green apples or strawberries.



According to a study by the University of Maryland’s Medical Center, marigolds are rich in flavonoids that help to protect one’s cells and lower the risk of cancer. They have also been found to contain more lutein and zeaxanthin than the popular super- vegetables kale, spinach and collards. Lutein and zeaxanthin are compounds that can help to prevent age-related eye diseases. Marigolds typically have a sharp taste that is similar to saffron.

Violets are strong source of rutin, a nutrient that can reduce inflammation and promotes healthy blood vessels. They have a slightly sweet, perfumery flavor that can be used to embellish teas and desserts. They were once a popular ingredient in candies and can still be found in some varieties today, such as Chowards Violet Mints.

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May 2015

Edible Flower Don’ts

• Never use pesticide if you intend to eat the edible flowers in your garden. • Do not eat flowers from garden centers, nurseries or florists as they often use pesticides are not meant for food.

Chrysanthemums Chrysanthemums are rich in potassium, a mineral that improves heart and muscle function. They are also a source of antioxidants, which prevent cell damage and lower the risk of cancer. Chrysanthemums range in taste just as they do in color. They can be peppery, bitter or tangy and some even taste a little like cauliflower. While edible flowers can be a tasty and healthy treat, it’s important to follow some basic rules when choosing which ones to add to your dinner plate.

• Make sure to properly identify the flower and check with a reputable source on which parts are edible. • Use flowers sparingly, especially when you first begin to add them to your diet, as they can potentially cause digestive problems.

Mix It Up!

Happy Hour, 4–6 at Walnut Grove

res ta u ra n tca l l a . co m May 2015

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Wining & Dining

Reimagine the


The avocado isn’t for everyone. Some people love it, others hate it. Some slice it up and eat it raw, others only think of it as raw guacamole. But there’s more to the avocado than you think. In addition to being part of the “good fats” family, the avocado can be used in everything from sweets to smoothies. Here are a few ideas from the California Avocado Commission. Creamy Chocolate Avocado Frosting

Avocado Melon Smoothie

Take one ripe, fresh avocado. Cut in half and remove pit. Scoop out flesh and place in blender. Then add one cup of honeydew melon, juice from half a lime, one cup of fat-free milk, one cup of fat-free yogurt, half-cup of apple or white grape juice, and a tablespoon of honey. Blend to your heart’s desire.

To make this happen, you’ll need one large, ripe avocado; 2.5 cups of powdered sugar; about 1/3 cup Dutch process cocoa powder; and around ¼ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. Sift the cocoa powder and powdered sugar into a small bowl and set aside. Beat the avocado at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Lower the speed and add the vanilla slowly, followed by the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Scrape the bowl as needed. Beat together until smooth. Please note that it could take up to seven minutes for the frosting to reach the right consistency—you don’t want any lumps.

Avocado Mint Frosting

Gather together the following ingredients and mix in a food processor. 1/4 cup avocado puree 1/2 tsp lemon juice 1-2 sprigs of mint leaves chopped mint extract, optional (if mint isn’t minty enough) 1 tbsp agave 1 tsp water to blend Easy!

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May 2015



macarons, made in New Orleans. “It’s a tiny cookie; just two light wafers with a slight layer of filling. Some are dusted with a little shimmer or powder. They are bright and pretty – something you savor with your eyes before you taste the amazing burst of flavor.” McMullen says with the rise in popularity of macarons, there are many options out there, but it’s hard to find authentically-made French macarons. “That’s why we chose to carry Sucre. With macarons, the quality of the ingredients and Photo courtesy of shopsucre.com the skill of the pastry chef all play a vital role in the end product.” If you keep up with culinary trends, then you Sucré macarons are made by hand with glutenare aware of America’s latest sweet obsession: French macarons. These beautiful, delicate cookies free ingredients. Sucre chefs whip together fresh have been a tradition in Europe for centuries, but cane sugar with egg whites to make a smooth meringue and then add specialty flour and macarons only moved stateside in recent years. powdered sugar. After mixing, this is piped onto If you look at a macaron, you don’t see much, sheets in the shape of small discs and baked into says Melanie McMullen, co-owner of Crave, a perfect little cookies. The macaron filling is called food boutique in Lake Charles that sells Sucré “mousseline.” Its key ingredient is buttercream,

by Kristy Armand

made with Louisiana’s finest and freshest butter and other ingredients. After the fillings are prepared, they are piped onto the meringue cookies. McMullen says it’s a combination you have to taste to believe! Crave is located at 1201 Ryan Street and carries seasonal Sucré macaron flavors.

MACARON FUN FACTS The correct pronunciation is macaron (mah-kahROHN.) Roll that “r” if you can! It’s not unusual for people to mistakenly call them macaroons (mahkah-ROON.), a sticky coconut cookie. The first macaron was made in Italy, not France. It was introduced by the chef of Catherine de Medicis in 1533. The average macaron has 70-100 calories. In comparison, the average muffin is 400 calories. That means you can afford to splurge on a few.

One wonderful place to have your baby. At Lake Area Medical Center, our dedicated OB/GYNs and skilled nursing team are committed to providing you with a joyous birthing experience. We offer prenatal education classes; spacious all-in-one labor, delivery and recovery suites with Wi-Fi and sleep sofas for dads; a Level III Neonatal ICU in case your newborn needs extra care; and free membership in Tiny Toes, an OB club for expectant mothers. If you’re expecting, you can expect more from us. For more information, or to find an OB/GYN, visit LakeAreaMC.com.

4200 Nelson Road • Lake Charles LakeAreaMC.com

May 2015 84192_LAMC_OBjoy_8x4_875c.indd 1

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4/13/15 10:45 AM

Places & Faces

On March 2, 2012, an ordinary storm brewed in the small town of Henryville, Indiana. It was average. Nothing to be alarmed about. Stephanie Decker and her husband Joe continued on with life as usual. They brought the kids to school, went to work. But as the day pushed on and reports grew more ominous, it seemed this ordinary storm might become something far more extraordinary: a tornado packing more than 175 mph winds. Stephanie left work, picked up her two young children—Dominic, 8, and Reese, 5—and headed home. When they reached the four-way stop five miles from the house, sirens blared. It was time to get inside. She rushed home, got her kids into the basement and watched the impending news reports on the floor above them. At 2:45 p.m., tornadoes were spotted in the area and residents were warned to take cover immediately. Stephanie went to the basement, threw a comforter over her children, and shielded them with her body. Windows vibrated. The house shook. The foundation cracked and came apart. When the bricks started falling, Stephanie shifted her position—still holding onto her children—so the debris would hit her and not them. As the house collapsed around them, Stephanie’s mind raced: My kids haven’t had a chance to live yet. They’re only children. There’s nothing I can do. We’re going to die. I’m only 38.

first person with Stephanie Decker by Erin Kelly

First Person is a monthly Q&A that features compelling people who excel in their chosen endeavors. Ideas for future Q&As? Email edit@thriveswla.com. 12 www.thriveswla.com

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May 2015

there that needs help and what have I been doing? Nothing. Here was my chance, our second chance — not only life but about another chance at living. That meant another chance at giving. We had an opportunity to really help people, and shame on us if we didn’t use what we were given to make a difference.

“It was devastating, overwhelming and utterly terrifying,” she says. Ultimately, they survived. But not unscathed. The debris crushed Stephanie and left her motionless, bleeding, and in critical condition. When the tornado was gone—just as quickly as it arrived— she told Dominic and Reese, both of whom were unharmed, to find help. Stephanie ultimately had both of her legs amputated. She recently shared her harrowing experience with Thrive. Who was Stephanie Decker before this experience, and who is she today? Before Stephanie was your typical wife and mom of two kids. I toted kids around to school, ball practices, cooked supper, checked homework, went to the gym. Nothing out of the ordinary for the average household of 4.2 (have to include the dog). It was a very selfish, me-centered life as I look back on it. I’ll go into that in a minute. After the tornado is a different story. Wow, have my eyes been opened. I appreciate the smallest things that were never on my radar before. My husband and I could not be closer, my kids I cherish every day. Don’t get me wrong, I loved and lived for my kids, but after what we went through I CHERISH my kids. It can all be taken away in the blink of an eye and there could be no tomorrow. That is profound for me, for us. That is life-changing. I no longer worry about the messy house because if it can’t get done, it can’t get done. I no longer worry if I am on the PTO, or if my kid was absent and missed a big assignment because the lessons in life—the real world—have taught me those are not the things that are important. Now, why was I selfish? Because I was. Simple enough. I thought about me, my two kids and my husband and not much outside of that. How wrong could I be? There is a whole world out May 2015

What have you learned about yourself? I always knew I was a pretty tough cookie, but after this experience I discovered what I was made of. I discovered that my entire life has been training for this particular moment. I was preparing and getting ready for the test of a lifetime on March 2, I just didn’t know about it. It was a “pop quiz”. Everything in my life led me to this moment and I found out what true resilience really is all about. It’s one thing to survive a tornado, but it’s another thing to become something greater than when you started. I couldn’t just talk the talk, I had to walk the walk—literally, too. I had to do it for myself, I had to do it for my children (I just couldn’t preach all of those things to them about being tough and being strong, I had to DO it). I had to for my husband and my marriage. I had to for a community and for a nation. I had to because I wanted to be better and greater than where I started. In what ways has this experience changed your perspective? Those who I love are priceless. When you almost die and lose your children, it changes who you are. It changes the priorities in your life and even three years later my priorities are still where they should be. God, family and my country. And even though I have not fought in any wars, I am fighting to help others who need a voice. The rest takes care of itself.

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In what ways has this experience changed you as a mother? I don’t sweat the little things; it’s just not worth it. Time is too precious, time is too short. I still remind my husband to take the time to enjoy the kids. Don’t worry about the yard, or the garage that needs to get cleaned up, relax and enjoy it because you never know when it will be gone and you will live with that regret the rest of your life. It’s one thing I think I will always carry with me and will never change. I take the time to smell the roses now and I wouldn’t change it for a minute. It’s easy to take daily activities for granted when your health or livelihood isn’t compromised. What are some of the little things that you realized you took for granted? Big change when you wake up and try to put your feet down to go the bathroom and they’re not there! Ha! When your legs begin to hurt from the prosthetics but yet you still have to get the grocery shopping done. When there is no place to park and you have to walk a mile to get into the store and your body sometimes is just unforgiving and it hurts. When you go to a hotel and you ask for handicap accessible and their version doesn’t include a way for you to take a shower because you don’t have legs anymore. When you try to get on a sidewalk and the pavement is eaten away or destroyed and you wonder how does anyone in a wheelchair get across this? The answer is they can’t. When, when, when. There are so many “whens,” not just for me but for others who can’t be as mobile as I am. I realized all of it WHEN I lost my legs and the whens could go on forever.



Places & Faces “I will do that.” I just didn’t like having to wait for it. So I guess you would consider “patience” in the emotional category, otherwise, emotionally, I feel wonderful. Life goes on, we have struggles, bumps in the road, we get tested. For me, fortunately, I must have passed the test because I am still here on this Earth and I get to raise two beautiful kids and be with a pretty good dude for the rest of my life. I don’t have nightmares or PTSD from the tornado, and neither do my kids. I feel pretty fortunate for that. Spiritually, I am sound. How could I not be? I am alive! Physically, well, as I tell kids that like to come up to me and see my cool legs, “My dad is robot and my mom is human, so I am half robot half human.” And that, ladies and gentlemen, is pretty dang cool to a 5-year-old! When you look back over the past three years, what are your proudest moments? Love this question -- but I have a few proud moments, many of which have to do with my two amazing kids and amazing husband. I am so proud of how my children have overcome this tragedy in their lives and have found a passion and an appreciation for life and for others. I couldn’t have taught that life lesson without having what happened to me. I am so proud of my husband for being the glue that has held us altogether. He may call me the rock of the family but he is the glue, he stepped up and continues to step up in a big way by being a leader in this family and taking an awfully heavy load for a very long time. I am also pretty proud I married someone like him, a tragedy like this will either bring a marriage together or tear it apart. He loves me with or without legs, he thinks I am sexy with or without them on. He truly is the epitome of what the word “husband” stands for, and I think I did a pretty damn good job of picking him! Ha! Many other proud moments along the way, setting goals on this journey and working to achieve them. Walking with the President and bending his ear to change laws (which we have) and to make available the best prosthetics that our military had available to our civilians. I was one of the first recipients of this new prosthetic, and now firefighters, EMT, and police officers have this fabulous technology that allows them to have their lives back! Pretty proud moment. I think my favorite is the Stephanie Decker Foundation.

Tell me about the Stephanie Decker Foundation. What do you hope to achieve? What does your ideal world look like? Oooooh, this is an easy one to talk about. My lofty goals are to make everyone in the world know about amputees and make what was once a silent struggle a topic of discussion. I hope to help all children in this world who are limb-different or different in anyway feel like they can do anything in this world. To give them the confidence and assurance to believe in themselves. Children are our future; they will make the difference in this world. If I can teach them the values of mental toughness, perseverance and believe my ideals that you can do anything you want, you have no limits, then I have achieved my goal. I hope along the way they learn a little about sports and athletics and we can teach them a thing or two. My goal is for all children to accept each other and even those who are limbdifferent. At the end of the day, those kids don’t want to be different. They just want to be kids. They want to be like every other kid who goes out and rides their bike or shoot hoops. They don’t want to be the kid that has one arm and can pitch. They want to be the kid who can pitch because he’s a pitcher, not a kid who’s different.

Changing perceptions. Bringing awareness. Fighting for technology. Changing laws. As you can see, we have our work cut out for us, but in the end, the reward is so sweet. I will end with this: Landis Sims, an 8-year-old quad amputee, came to me and said “I want to pitch.” Landis loves baseball and he plays just like any other kid, even though he is missing both of his arms and legs. This kid is amazing! He can do anything and he wanted to pitch. So when he stepped up on the mound for the first time this fall, I watched him pitch. It was … well, let’s just say, priceless. (Deep breath here as he always brings tears to my eyes!) I am doing something right in a world where we hear about so much that is wrong.

What have been your greatest challenges— physical, spiritual or emotional? I think for me the greatest challenges come from within. My attitude really hasn’t changed; I was going to conquer this. I had no doubt. But I wanted it sooner rather than later. Patience is not one of my strong suits. I wanted to be able to walk in these contraptions two days before I even had them. But that wasn’t going to happen. The process is long, hard, painful and frustrating—however, very rewarding in the end. I had so many other inspiring people ahead of me that I could look at and go,

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Thrive Magazine for Better Living

May 2015

Signatures SALON

Named Small Business of the Year

The Chamber of Commerce Southwest Louisiana presented Signatures Salon, Lake Charles, the Small Business of the Year Award during the 2015 EXPO Luncheon. Owner and founder, Wendy White-McCown, spoke on behalf of the Salon and stylist team when being presented as Small Business of the Year. Wendy’s acceptance speech was one of gratitude and motivation, thanking the community and her staff for taking part in the success of Signatures Salon. Noelle Mills, Glean founder, said, “Signatures Salon is run with the utmost integrity in front of the clients, and most importantly behind the scenes”. Constant improvement, innovation, and southern hospitality are the reasons why Signatures Salon has had such success in Southwest Louisiana. Endless team efforts produce pleased clients, and Signatures Salon is a prime example.

Signatures Salon was established in 1996, on a positive foundation allowing growth for both clients and staff. Since the salon has opened, the staff has continued to evolve to bettering technology and products for their clients. The salon has been voted the best salon in SWLA for six years and recognized as “One of the Top 200 Salons” by Salon Today. Signatures Salon has expanded both structurally and nationwide through e-books, educating salons on increased profitability and staff morale. Signatures Salon is located at 803 West McNeese Street in Lake Charles. For more information about Signatures Salon, give them a call at 337-478-4433 or visit www.signaturessalon.biz.

The staff of Signatures Salon, Chamber SWLA staff members and representatives from the Chamber SWLA Small Business Committee during a surprise visit to the salon to inform them of their award. May 2015

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Places & Faces

Southwest Louisiana Tourism: There’s an App for That

by Katie Harrington

At the grand opening of the Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point, Sen. Ronnie Johns said that he always looks forward to hearing about the annual impact of tourism on the state of Louisiana during budget hearings each year. “No other industry does more for the state’s economy. No other industry brings in more money or people than tourism.” In Southwest Louisiana, tourism had a $384.48 million economic impact on Calcasieu Parish alone in 2013. That numbers ties into a payroll of $92.8 million for 4,300 jobs in the parish. Statewide one out of every 10 jobs depend on travel and tourism. At the same April celebration, Kyle Edmiston, assistant secretary for the Louisiana Office of Tourism, borrowed a line from Louisiana’s tourism top dog, Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne: “Everybody has stories, ours are just better.” Generating interest in a region’s stories is really what tourism marketing is all about, and it’s something the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau (LC/ SWLA CVB) does with pride. The LC/SWLA CVB has leveraged the latest technology to put those stories in the palm of your hand—literally. Three free smart phone apps—the Lake Charles Events App, the Creole Nature Trail App and the Lake Charles Historic App—make it possible for people to do their own self-guided tours of the area. “For example, you can take a look at the events app and see what’s going on any given weekend,” said Shelley Johnson, executive director of the LC/SWLA CVB. “Event organizers are now able to submit their event information to us this way as well.” The foray into destination app development is a timely move for the LC/SWLA CVB, according to Johnson. “Sixty percent of our website traffic is now coming from people searching on their mobile phones or tablet devices. We’ve come a long way from promoting the area with a simple print ad.” In addition to the smart phone apps, the LC/ SWLA CVB has ramped up their social media 16 www.thriveswla.com

efforts over the past couple of years. “We have a VisitLakeCharles YouTube channel and have done a number of videos,” Johnson added. “The number one, averaging 30,000plus views a month, is our ‘How to Peel a Crawfish’ video.” There are more than 20 videos on the channel, which detail everything from how to peel and cook crawfish to descriptions of Southwest Louisiana food, culture, duck hunting, McNeese State University tailgating and more. “Since YouTube is the number two search engine in the world, we decided to get involved with that,” Johnson said. “It’s been a real asset to us and we’re using them in our blogs, e-newsletters and more. Depending on what the subject matter is, we’re putting them out there everywhere now.” Adding to the video collection, the LC/SWLA CVB launched a new area-wide music video highlighting the region earlier this year. “For ‘My Southwest Louisiana Home’ we worked with Lake Charles native Wendy Colona to write a song about Southwest Louisiana,” said Johnson. “It was meant to entice visitors, but it turned into something much bigger than that with the local people. We’ve had more than 150,000 views of that video since its launch.” The response to the video has been spectacular. “People were messaging us on Facebook and saying things like, “this is where I’m from“, and “I miss home“, “this is where I grew up”, and more,” Johnson added. “ The local people shared it and just the pride that it instilled in those who saw it, it became a declaration of who we are here in Southwest Louisiana.” With a large number of international visitors making their way to the area to tour the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road, the LC/SWLA enlisted the help of Brand USA to produce web videos in Spanish, French, and German. The app for the Creole Nature Trail is also available for download in multiple languages. For more information about this app and more, visit www.visitlakecharles.org. Thrive Magazine for Better Living

With 60 percent of the travelling population planning trips using websites and social media, the Lake Charles/ Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau is making it easy for tourists to find out what’s happening in the area as well as plan tours of the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road and Lake Charles Historic District from the convenience of their smart phone or handheld tablet. Locals can use the apps to track what’s happening in town, submit their own events and essentially become tourists in their own back yard. The apps are available as free downloads for Apple and Android users.

Lake Charles Events App Use this app to plan your weekend, receive push notifications or easily glance at upcoming events by selecting the events icon. The app is perfect for visitors, groups and locals.

Creole Nature Trail App This app showcases the great outdoors and adventures you can find along the way when you travel the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road. The app is available in English, French, German and Spanish as well as newly translated into Japanese and Mandarin Chinese.

Lake Charles Historic App The Charpentier Historic District is brought to life with this historic app that is available in multiple languages, including English, French, Spanish, German and closed-captioning. App users can experience a guided tour through this National Register of Historic Places district with a choice of a 30-minute tour, one hour tour or a Calcasieu Ghost Tour.

May 2015

New Fitness Stations Available at Prien Lake Park Outdoor fitness stations transform a walk into a whole body workout Working out at the park just got a whole lot easier. Residents now have the option to turbocharge their walks through Prien Lake Park with new outdoor fitness stations. Each fitness stop features high quality equipment that allows you to combine your cardio workout on the walking path with a total body workout on the equipment. Residents can now exercise from head to toe including everything from arms, shoulders, back, and legs with a stretch of cardio as they walk or jog from station to station. Each one features a podium that includes instructions on how to use the equipment properly. Park superintendent Lacie Carter says, “We want to make exercising fun and enjoyable for our community. People already enjoy being outdoors and the views of nature and open spaces. By providing new and innovative outdoor fitness equipment to the area, we hope to help our community work towards healthier living and sustainability. The numerous stations feature high quality equipment that will allow you to combine your cardio workout on the walking path with a complete body workout on each individual piece of equipment.” Kane Webb, Facility Management Director, says, “The Police Jury is continually looking for new ways to improve upon the services our parks and facilities already offer. The addition of this equipment will provide our park enthusiasts of all fitness levels, beginners to experts, a new experience when visiting Prien Lake Park.” The popular walking path winds through the park and offers measurement markings so you can choose either a .42 mile walk or a .79 mile walk for your workout. Prien Lake Park is located at 3700 West Prien Lake Road in Lake Charles.

May 2015

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Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point is a fun, free attraction along the western gateway of the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road, which is geared toward an educational, immersive experience showcasing the culture, food, music and outdoor adventures to be had in Southwest Louisiana. The facility also houses the satellite office of the Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau. Adventure Point offers visitors from around the country and world an opportunity to sample a taste of what they can see and do in the area while interactive, hands-on exhibits highlight the unique estuary system of the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road, one of 42 All-American Roads in the United States. “While the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road is a destination unto itself, research shows that people are seeking authentic experiences when they travel. Much of what visitors see and experience along the trail, they cannot fully understand without a comprehensive orientation such as the exhibits offered at Adventure Point. The interactive displays are meant to be memorable, entertaining and educational, and we are thrilled to have an opportunity like this in our area so 18 www.thriveswla.com

that others can embrace our unique culture and landscape before experiencing it for themselves,� said Shelley Johnson, executive director of the CVB. After Hurricane Rita destroyed the visitor center

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at the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge in 2005, there were no visitor services on the western side of the Creole Nature Trail. After many years of working to get the center rebuilt, and then,

May 2015

Hurricane Ike occurring in 2008, plans were put into motion to create Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point, closer inland. “It’s difficult to believe, but nearly 10 years after Hurricane Rita, the dream of having an immersive interpretive center along the western side of the trail is realized,” said Johnson. “With the growth of the hotel community throughout our parish, it was wise to reinvest in local tourism, especially on a project like the Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point which promotes visitation to both Calcasieu and Cameron parishes,” said Mike Dees, CVB building committee chairman for the project. Split Rock Studios designed the interactive exhibits; architectural plans for the 4,760 sq. ft. facility were developed by Vincent Shows Architects, and Gunter Construction built the center that houses the exhibits. Members of the CVB board who served on the building committee were Mike Dees, Gary Cooper, Donna Richard and Rob King. The total cost for the attraction is $2 million. The facility is located at 2740 Ruth Street, south of the Sulphur/Creole Nature Trail, Exit 20 on Interstate 10. Hours of operation are Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. For more information about this attraction, go to www.visitlakecharles.org/AdventurePoint or call 337-502-4358.

Left to Right: Kyle Edmiston, director of tourism, Office of the Lieutenant Governor; Mayor Randy Roach of Lake Charles; Sen. Ronnie Johns; Monte Hurley, chairman of the Creole Nature Trail District; Rick Richard, CVB board; Ryan Bourriaque, parish administrator of the Cameron Parish Police Jury; Evette Gradney, CVB board; Mike Dees, CVB board member and building committee chair; Shelley Johnson, executive director of the CVB; Mayor Chris Duncan; Rep. Mike Danahay; Paul Guillory, Creole Nature Trail Board; Sandy Treme, Calcasieu Parish Police Jury Vice President; and Todd Landry, Creole Nature Trail Board. Building committee members not pictured: Gary Cooper, Rob King and Donna Richard.

May 2015

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$1 Million Donation Given to Hurricane Museum The Stream family has pledged $1 million toward the building and operations of the National Hurricane Museum & Science Center (NHMSC). The gift is the largest private donation to the Center since fundraising began more than four years ago. To date, approximately $40 million in funding has been secured for construction and other expenses. Since 2009, Gray Stream has served as chairman of the board for the NHMSC, and has spearheaded fundraising efforts among individuals, businesses, other foundations, and government. “This is an important step for my family to

have placed its faith and commitment in the important work of the National Museum & Science Center,” Stream said. The NHMSC should begin construction in 2016 on Phase One of its expected 68,000 sf facility on the lakefront at Lake Charles, on land pledged by the City of Lake Charles. “We do have a gap of approximately $15 million for this first phase that must be met in the next 6-9 months. Filling this gap will allow us to remain on a mid-2016 construction schedule and an early 2018 opening. Of course, we hope that other families, corporations and individuals will continue to contribute, as so

many important and substantial gifts have preceded our own,” said Stream. While the center will be open to daily visitors, students, teachers, researchers and other professionals, the NHMSC will also offer teaching materials in advance of building completion. Its National Education Initiative will provide comprehensive materials online covering science, technology, engineering, math and social sciences. More information on the National Hurricane Museum & Science Center is available at www.NHMSC.com.

National Hurricane Museum & Science Center board members pictured left to right are Fran Morgan-Sanchez, Dennis Stine, Michael Olivier, Mark McMurry, Gray Stream, Tim Osborn and Captain Sammie Faulk.

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May 2015

Study Urges ‘New Mindset’ in State’s Coastal Erosion, Flood Prevention Efforts

Among the report’s other recommendations: • Streamlining local applications for hazard mitigation grants through FEMA • Developing best-practice guidelines for hazard mitigation, land use plans and elevation, as well as construction that occurs behind levees • Developing public education programs for nonstructural risk reduction • Improving information about the National Flood Insurance Program and flood insurance rate maps “The View From the Coast” was supported financially by the Walton Family Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Ford Foundation, the Greater New Orleans Foundation and the National Association of Realtors. Manning-Broome’s coauthors are Jeannette Dubinin, also with the Center for Planning Excellence, and Pam Jenkins, Ph.D., sociology professor at the University of New Orleans.

The only road connecting Isle de Jean Charles to Terrebonne Parish mainland continues to erode due to saltwater intrusion despite regular maintenance. The road was previously two lanes and just a decade ago was surrounded by marshland. Authors of “The View from the Coast” say that much of coastal Louisiana’s infrastructure awaits a similar fate unless coastal erosion and flood risks are addressed.

A new report on coastal erosion and flood risk reduction efforts in Louisiana calls for greater coordination among government agencies and property owners, paying for programs with dedicated funding and improvements to the National Flood Insurance Program, among other measures. Issued through the Center for Planning Excellence, “The View From the Coast” focuses on local needs and efforts to address land loss, coastal erosion and flood risk reduction with numerous policy recommendations that the authors describe as creating a new mindset that goes well beyond conventional protection measures like levees. “The report focuses on ways of supplementing levee protection, things like elevating or flood-proofing homes, acquiring properties that are at high risk of flooding, educating residents about the risks and risk-reduction options, policy and more,” says Camille Manning-Broome, senior vice president of the Center for Planning Excellence and coauthor of the report. Manning-Broome says the study found that Louisiana’s coastal residents are already moving “one town north,” a trend that has created a number of new challenges, including how communities adapt to gaining and losing populations. “Communities experiencing population growth need additional infrastructure and policies to help ensure past mistakes aren’t repeated,” she says. Meanwhile, those losing population need help dealing with newly vacant properties in high-risk areas.” “The View From the Coast” focuses on “nonstructural” measures – projects and programs that address where and how development takes place. The report is meant to help coordinate efforts and ensure that needs are met at the community level. It includes dozens of interviews with residents and government leaders in 16 coastal parishes and five municipalities, examining how planning is implemented at the local level. The report’s recommendations include designating a single entity to integrate coastal-wide erosion and flood prevention, and establishing dedicated funding to help pay for those efforts. In addition, the report suggests changes to the National Flood Insurance Program that give property owners more financial breaks for following and going beyond policy guidelines when building homes and businesses. May 2015

About the Center for Planning Excellence:

The Center for Planning Excellence (CPEX) is a nonprofit organization that coordinates urban, rural and regional planning efforts in Louisiana. CPEX provides best-practice planning models, innovative policy ideas and technical assistance to individual communities that wish to create and enact master plans dealing with transportation and infrastructure needs, environmental issues and quality design for the built environment. More information is available at coastal.cpex.org.

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LOUISIANA Myths & Legends by Katie Harrington

From werewolves and vampires to zombies, ghosts and pirates, Louisiana has it all when it comes to myths and legends. Tales of voodoo and witchcraft, along with ghosts and monsters, have made Louisiana one of the largest resources for paranormal research and urban legends in the United States. Maybe it’s the state’s long, colorful history that lends itself to overactive imagination, or perhaps it’s this same history that give the mysterious tales of Louisiana bayous and backroads some weight.

Jean LaFitte:

The Gentleman Pirate One of the most common Louisiana legends is that of Jean LaFitte, the Gentleman Pirate. Supposedly born to wealthy parents sometime between 1730 and 1776 in Bordeaux, France, LaFitte was a pampered, educated, rebellious youth. He ran away from home at 17 and made his way to port in the British Isles. He shipped out on a British man-o-war with the Bristish Navy. Their discipline didn’t sit well with him though, so he jumped ship at Bedford, England and made his way to the West Indies. LaFitte disappeared for a few years and eventually reemerged as the sailing master, or captain, of his own cargo ship. He was said to be involved with Jim Bowie, who would later die a hero of the Alamo, and the pair was engaged in a heavy and profitable slave trade.

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Even though he was involved in some questionable practices, LaFitte’s education and training stayed with him and he was esteemed as a gentleman. He set up his headquarters on Barataria Island in the Mississippi River Delta. It’s reported that he kept his hands off United States cargo. His sense of humor made him a legend. It is widely reported that Louisiana Governor William C.C. Claiborne issued a bounty of $750 on LaFitte’s head after he failed to show up for trial. In response, LaFitte offered up a bounty of $1500 for the governor’s head. Neither bounty was ever collected. It’s reported that LaFitte and his band of pirates came to the aid of Andrew Jackson to help him and his troops win the Battle of New Orleans in 1815. His patriotic actions eventually earned him a presidential pardon. With smuggling operations essentially halted at this point, LaFitte reportedly moved his base of operations west to Galveston, Texas. It’s at this point the LaFitte’s connection to Southwest Louisiana begins. By 1817, he was capturing numerous slaves off the coast of Cuba and his holding areas on Galveston Island were overflowing. LaFitte realized he could work more economically by marketing his activities directly to Louisiana cotton and sugar cane planters. According to an 1895 report in the Galveston Daily News, LaFitte built two barracks in what was known as the Neutral Strip, a 40-mile wide strip of wilderness and marshland in present day Cameron and Calcasieu Parishes. One of the oldest LaFitte tales from along the Calcasieu Ship Channel is of his relationship with one of Lake Charles’ founders, Charles Sallier. The story—as told by the descendants of Sallier—tells of the minor French aristocrat who was living in the shadow of the guillotine. He and several others escaped to Spain, where they met LaFitte and paid him a hefty sum to resettle them in Louisiana. They eventually casted anchor in present-day Lake Charles, where they were met by a band of Atakapas Indians. Sallier gave the Indians trinkets in exchange for land on the Barb Shellbank, later named Money Hill, and built his home. The solid cypress construction was eventually jacked onto logs and moved to Lake Charles. Sallier and several other early Lake Charles settlers would go on to keep in

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May 2015

touch with LaFitte over the years. It is rumored that LaFitte and his men made several trips back and buried their treasures in the marshes along area river banks and lake shores for safe keeping. Today, the legend of Jean LaFitte and his buried treasure is still celebrated in the area during the first two weeks of May for the Contraband Days Louisiana Pirate Festival.

Rougarou and


The beast that is known as the rougarou in the southern part of the state is often called the “loup garou” in northern parishes. The legend of this swamp creature has been passed down from generation to generation since precolonial times. It’s described as one of the most prominent figures in Louisiana folklore. Tales of the rougarou, as is the case with almost all ‘boogeyman’ stories, is most often told around campfires or to encourage obedience in children. Measuring more than 10 feet tall, with black and brown matted hair, the rougarou is said to be drenched with the murky waters of the bayou. His glowing red eyes and menacing fangs make an encounter with this creature hair-raising. According to Acadian folklore, one becomes the rougarou or loup-garou by either being attacked by one or meeting its evil gaze. For those unfortunate enough to experience such an attack, there is a means of escape. It’s said that to become free of the curse, the affected must not tell anyone of the attack for a year and a day. Not only will the victim be freed, but so will the rougarou. Fortunately, there is one method of protection against these terrifying creatures. Legend says to place 13 small objects by every entryway (windows and doors) of your home. This wards off the beastly creature because the rougarou must count the objects before entering; incidentally, they cannot count higher than 12. According to folklore, they cannot count higher than 12. The rougarou will be forced to repeatedly count the objects over and over again until the coming dawn forces them back to the swamp.

The Fifolet With a legend as long as Jean LaFitte’s, it makes sense that tales of buried treasure would be prevalent in Louisiana. Legend states that before pirates would bury their treasure, they would kill a member of their own crew to throw into the hole along with it. This would bind the slain man’s spirit to the treasure, restlessly guarding the hoard until the end of time. The spirit would take on the form of a ball of light known as a fifolet. Usually light blue in color, the fifolet is often spotted moving through the trees in the dead of night. Tales of fifolet sightings are prevalent, including this one from www.hauntedshreveportbossier. com: Two men were working on the railroad along Lake Pontchartrain and one night they were awakened by a soft blue light moving through the trees. Having heard the legend from the local people, the men grabbed their shovels May 2015

and ran after the spirit with their minds on the fabled treasure. Suddenly, the light stopped and sunk into the ground. The two men dug furiously and struck something hard. Using their hands, they brushed away the dirt to reveal a treasure chest. Greed overtook one of the men and he struck his partner in the head with his shovel, knocking him out. As he began to pull on the chest, the ground around his feet began to sink. He tried pulling his legs free from the quicksand, but only sank deeper. The other man awoke to the screams of his friend as he watched both him and the treasure sink into the ground. Scared to suffer the same fate, he ran back to camp, crawled into his tent and waited until morning. He returned to the site once the sun came back up and the only thing he found from the previous night’s encounter were the two shovels he and his friend brought into the woods. The ground where he last saw his friend and the treasure were solid once more. As he left the swampy area, he heard the sound of laughter in the wind.

T h e Ta l e o f S t . G e r m a i n

Of all the monsters spawned from the darkest corners of the human mind, none captures the imagination quite like the vampire. Eternally young, beautiful, and deadly, the vampire’s history stretches generations. In Europe, vampire epidemics have been reported as recently as the 1930s. As a former European colony, it comes as little surprise that Louisiana has its own legends concerning the undead. According to the book Journey into Darkness...Ghosts and Vampires of New Orleans, one of Louisiana’s most remarkable vampire legends is that of Saint Germain, who made his first appearance in the court of Louis XV of France. The Comte d’ Saint Germain endeared himself to the aristocrats by regaling them with tales from his life. An alchemist by trade, he claimed to have possession of the ‘elixir of life’ and to be over 6,000 years old. He eventually left the French court and moved to Germany, where he reportedly died. Sightings of him throughout Europe following his death were regularly reported. Fast forward to 1903 when a handsome, charismatic Frenchman named Jacques Saint Germain, who claimed to be a descendant of the Comte, arrived in New Orleans. He took up residence in a home at the corner of Royal and Ursuline streets. With an eye for the ladies, Jacques was frequently seen on the streets of the French Quarter with a different lady on his arm each time. His adventures came to an abrupt end one December night when a woman’s piercing scream was heard coming from his home. The scream was quickly accompanied by the woman herself as she threw herself out of his second story window. Bystanders rushed to her rescue and she told them that Saint Germain attacked and bit her. She died later that evening at Charity Hospital. By the time New Orleans police entered the home Saint Germain had escaped, but they were greeted by the stench of death, large bloodstains in the wooden flooring and wine bottles filled with human blood. To this day, no one lives in the French Quarter home. It remains private property with all the taxes paid to date, but no one has been able to contact the present owner or owners. Whispers of Saint Germain sightings in the quarter are prevalent and the only barrier between the valuable French Quarter property and the outside world is a tiny lock on the door. For a few more fun Louisiana myths and superstitions, check out our blog at www.thriveswla.com. Article Sources: www. hauntedshreveportbossier.com, Galveston Daily News, www. treasurenet.com and Journey into Darkness…Ghosts and Vampires of New Orleans.

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CITGO Recycles Tons of E-waste in SWLA


CITGO Lake Charles Refinery partnered with the City of Sulphur, Team Green of Southwest Louisiana, Keep Calcasieu Beautiful, the City of Sulphur and Waste Management to host the 7th annual E-Recycle Day on March 28. Community members brought their electronics for recycling at the Stine in Sulphur. The event gave members of the community the opportunity to recycle unwanted electronics or “e-waste.” During the event, 426 vehicles lined up to drop-off e-waste at the Stine parking lot. Seven roll-off boxes of e-waste and one18-wheeler of TVs was collected as well as approximately 680 light bulbs, 21 mercury items and 45 pounds of batteries. “CITGO is privileged to continue this environmentally friendly tradition in Southwest Louisiana. Taking care of our environment is one of our top priorities and our communities reflect that,” said Tomeu Vadell, CITGO vice president and general manager Lake Charles Refinery. “E-Recycle Day is a great opportunity for our communities to come together towards the same goal of being good environmental stewards and making a difference by properly recycling e-waste.” E-Recycle Day is one of many initiatives sponsored by CITGO as part of its commitment to a cleaner and healthier environment, now and for future generations.

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A New Niche for

Creativity by Robin Barton

Sewing is something Melissa Hill, owner of Niche Fabric & Studio and a third-generation sewist, has enjoyed from a young age. “Some of my fondest memories were sitting in my grandmother’s sewing room overlooking Saline Lake in North Louisiana, watching the hummingbirds and listening to the hum of sewing machines,” says Hill. “I loved watching my grandmother and mother create wonderful things that 26 www.thriveswla.com

brought others, including myself, so much joy. As I grew older, I began hand-sewing and crafting, and my grandmother soon gave me my own sewing machine. I’ve continued to be creative and sew as I grew older, but I didn’t really find my passion and niche for sewing until I had my girls, Lily & Rylie. Girls are so fun to sew for, and I love making them special outfits or blankets that are unique and lovely, just like them.” Hill’s passion led her to found Niche Fabric & Studio in Lake Charles in July of last year. It was a calling she felt strongly in her heart. “Sewing has meant so much to me - a source Thrive Magazine for Better Living

of joy, calm and inspiration. I wanted to create a place where people could come and find out what their creative niche is. I really feel like everyone has a niche, and I really want to help them find their niche in sewing,” she says. Niche offers a selection of sewing notions and designer fabrics that are modern and fresh from designers such as, Art Gallery Fabric, Robert Kaufman Fabrics, Riley Blake, and more. Unlike traditional fabric shops, Niche offers fun and unique sewing and crafting classes and parties. The sewing and crafting classes are project-based, meaning people can come May 2015

Niche /niCH/ (noun): An area or activity that suits your talents and personality or that you can make your own.

to learn specific sewing skills, while working on a project with other classmates. Classes range from projects like sewing a maxi dress, or a clutch purse, to crafting a holiday decoration or door wreath. By the time the class is over, participants will have finished the project and know how to make more on their own. Niche also hosts private parties, from Girls Night Out to baby showers and birthday celebrations. “There is a huge movement happening right now with people wanting to be creative. Homemade gifts and items are so popular, and Pinterest is the place to go for ideas and sharing fun projects. I want this to be a place for people to get away from the craziness of life, a space to come and be with other creative people, and to learn something new May 2015

and fun that will bring them joy,” Hill adds. Each teacher at Niche is working in their “niche,” teaching classes in the area of sewing that they enjoy most. Niche is also equipped for “open-sew,” with sewing machines, tools, and tables. Everyone from the sewing enthusiast who may need a change of scenery from their home, to the beginner sewist who does not have a sewing machine, can come into the studio during normal business hours and outside of classes for an open-sew session. “Along with the fabric and notions you need for your project, there is an instructor in the studio who can assist you with the project during your open-sew time”, explains Hill. Alongside the classes and parties, Hill believes in paying it forward with Sewing With A Purpose Thrive Magazine for Better Living

(SWAP) projects. “Niche’s SWAP projects came about because I know so many sewists who are their happiest when sewing for other people. Very rarely do people get into sewing just to make things for themselves. We create a SWAP project every few months based on a need in our community, whether that’s making super hero capes for foster children or blankets for babies in the local NICU’s. We put the word out to our sewing community in Southwest Louisiana about these projects and the response has been really great.” Hill says. Niche Fabric & Studio is located at 4700 Common Street, Suite B in Lake Charles, LA. For more information about sewing classes and parties, call 337-477-3810, or visit nichefabricstudio.com. www.thriveswla.com


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Movers and Shakers in Southwest News? You tell us! Send press releases to Louisiana... Who’s edit@thriveswla.com with the subject line “Who’s News.”

uses in the wound care and trauma setting as demonstrated by his surgical case results.

MaciFest Honors Perseverance of Local Inspirations During MaciFest’s “Night of Inspiration” event, six Lake Area individuals were recognized for their inspirational lives with the first-ever Overcomer Award ceremony. Brayden Croxdale, Conrad Litel, Kristin Bennett, Lisa Albrecht, Cannon Bruchhaus, and Jeremy Harlow were each presented with an Overcomer Award by Tim Tebow as well as a certificate of recognition by Mayor Randy Roach of Lake Charles. For more information on MaciFest, contact Nikki Fontenot at (337) 802-7932.

Odom Receives Nursing Recognition Robbin Odom, R.N., B.H.A., M.S.N. Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) at Lake Area Medical Center has been appointed to the Chief Nursing Officer Council within the Community Health Systems Company. Robbin Odom Odom has worked at Lake Area Medical Center since July 2012, and has held a leadership role in healthcare for the past twentyfive years. During her tenure she has earned an Outstanding Leadership in Nursing award on two separate occasions for demonstrating operational excellence while maintaining an ongoing commitment to provide quality healthcare.

OCC Appoints Timpa to Committee L to R: Maci Fontenot, daughter of Nikki Fontenot, Lisa Albrecht, Jeremy Harlow, Cannon Bruchhaus, Tim Tebow, Conrad Litel, and Kristin Bennett. Not shown: Brayden Croxdale. Photo Credit: Blane Bourgeois

Dr. Tyson Green Presents Research at National Foot & Ankle Conference Dr. Tyson Green, foot and ankle specialist with the Center for Orthopaedics, an affiliate of Imperial Health, presented the results of a crushed foot Dr. Tyson Green case study at the recent American College of Foot and Ankle Surgery (ACFAS) conference in Phoenix, Arizona. The ACFAS Annual Scientific Conference is the largest educational meeting for foot and ankle surgeons in the U.S. and was attended by over 1400 specialists from around the world. The case study Dr. Green presented evaluated the benefit of using fluorescent microangiography in the assessment and surgical planning in a crush injury. Microangiography is radiography of the minute blood vessels obtained by injection of a contrast medium and enlargement of the resulting radiograph in order to map the viable tissue. Dr. Green concluded that fluorescent microangiography offers several beneficial 28 www.thriveswla.com

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) appointed Charles Timpa, President and CEO of First Federal Bank of Louisiana, as one of five new members to its Mutual Savings Charles Timpa Association Advisory Committee (MSAAC). The MSAAC’s responsibilities include assessing the condition of mutual savings associations, regulatory changes or other steps the OCC could take to ensure the health and vitality of mutual savings associations, and other issues of concern to these depository institutions. For more information, call (202) 649-6870.

Keith DeSonier Announces Run for State Representative Keith DeSonier announced his intentions to be a candidate in this fall’s District 36 House race. The seat is currently held by Speaker of the House Chuck Kleckley, Dr. Keith DeSonier who is term-limited after this year. A decorated veteran of the Desert Shield/ Desert Storm wars, DeSonier adds a stellar military career to his impressive resume. He retired as a Thrive Magazine for Better Living

lieutenant colonel from the US Army Medical Corps after serving 22 years, and is a lifetime member of both the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. He now runs a successful medical practice where he is a board-certified ENT–Head and Neck Surgical Specialist. For more information, visit his website at www.DeSonierStateRep.com.

Candidate to Launch Campaign for Louisiana Senate Lake Charles attorney Ginger Vidrine has launched her campaign for the Louisiana Senate. Vidrine will be challenging Senator Ronnie Johns in 27th Ginger Vidrine Senate District, which includes portions of Lake Charles, as well as Moss Bluff, Westlake, Sulphur and Carlyss. The primary election will be held on October 24, with the general election – if needed – on November 21. For more information, call (337) 884-9082.

Dr. Timothy Gilbert Provides Diabetic Treatment Education at National Conferences Dr. Timothy Gilbert, board certified endocrinologist with the Endocrinology Center of Southwest Louisiana, an affiliate Dr. Timothy Gilbert of Imperial Health, has recently been a featured keynote and guest speaker at medical conferences in cities across the country, providing education to healthcare providers about best practices, clinical efficiency and long-term outcomes utilizing insulin pump and continued glucose monitoring technology in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. He has spoken at events in Los Angeles, Miami, Baltimore, Houston, Minneapolis and Cincinnati to representatives from world-renowned diabetes centers, including the Cleveland Clinic Department of Endocrinology, Atlanta’s Diabetes Institute, the Barbara Davis Diabetes Center and the Yale School of Medicine - Department of Adult and Pediatric Endocrinology. Considered one of the leading experts in the field of diabetes management with insulin pump therapy and technologies, Dr. Gilbert was one of the first physicians in the United States to utilize May 2015

the FDA-approved artificial pancreas technology. He serves in an advisory capacity for the diabetes division of Medtronic, the world’s largest producer of insulin pump and continued glucose sensing technology. He has developed several protocols focused on patient management and office efficiencies, which have been adopted and utilized by many practices across the country. The Endocrinology Center is located at 1727 Imperial Blvd., Lake Charles. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Gilbert, call (337) 310-3670.

Barnett Named Chair of the 2015 Southwest Heart Ball Kay C. Barnett, CFRE, Executive Director of Development of the CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital Foundation in Lake Charles, will serve as chair for the American Kay Barnett Heart Association’s 2015 Southwest Louisiana Heart Ball. The gala will be held on May 30, at Chennault International Airport and will begin at 6pm. The event will generate funds to support education, research and awareness to prevent heart disease in Southwest Louisiana. For more information, call (770) 612-6180.

Chad Fairchild, MD, named medical director of West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital Anesthesiology Chad Fairchild, MD, anesthesiologist was named medical director of West Calcasieu Chad Fairchild, MD Cameron Hospital’s (WCCH’s) anesthesiology. As medical director, Fairchild will provide oversight of anesthesia patient care services. Fairchild will serve on the committee for WCCH’s medical staff and also WCCH’s obstetrics and gynecology committee. Dr. Fairchild is a medical staff member and has been with WCCH since 2013.

Waldrep Promoted to Executive Director Ashli Waldrep is the new Executive Director for the Arts & Humanities Council of SWLA. She has over 9 years of experience in marketing and public relations and over 3 years of experience in Ashli Waldrep fundraising. For more information about the Arts Council, call (337) 439-2787 or visit www.artscouncilswla.org. May 2015

White Named Lead Educator at Signatures Salon Lensi White, master stylist at Signatures Salon was recently promoted to Lead Educator of the salon. As Lead Educator, White will conduct Leadership Retreats at the Lensi White salon at which Signatures’ stylists will study and train together on the latest styling techniques and trends. White has been a stylist at Signatures for eight years, and during that time she has completed numerous training classes and seminars. For more information, call (337) 478-4433 or visit www.signaturessalon.biz.

Billeaudeaux Named Director of Business Relations and Physician development at West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital

Anne Billeaudeaux

West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital (WCCH) has announced the addition of Anne Billeaudeaux

to its growing staff of healthcare professionals. Anne Billeaudeaux has joined WCCH as director of business relations and physician development. In her new role, she will be responsible for directing the planning, development and recruitment of the WCCH medical staff. She will also coordinate, develop and oversee the marketing and business outreach efforts to support WCCH and its medical staff in business development and growth.

Doucette Elected To League of Women Voters Louisiana Board The Louisiana League Of Women Voters Louisiana elected Alfred Doucette, Jr., of Lake Charles, Director to its state board. League of Alfred Doucette, Jr. Women Voters Louisiana priority issues of 2015 are Voting Rights, Restoration of Felon Voting Rights; State and Local Government Policies; Water Resources; Environmental Quality; Public Education, Value of Public Education; Mental Health care and Correction System Reforms and Early Intervention and Treatment of at Risk Juveniles.



Troy Ledet

OF LOCAL ART ON MAY 14 The Walnut Grove Institute and the Arts Council of SWLA are proud to announce the opening of the latest art exhibition in the Walnut Grove Post Office. Walnut Grove is the premier traditional neighborhood development (TND) located on West Sallier Street in Lake Charles.

Kevin Leveque

This exhibition will open on May 14 with an opening reception from 5:00 – 6:30 pm. The exhibition will be on display through July 1. Doors to the Post Office, located at 2025 W. Walnut Street, Suite 1B, will be open daily from 9am – 5pm. The work of two local artists will be featured: Troy Ledet, Photography INSTITUTE Kevin Leveque, Painting

ArtExhibit ion


West Sallier Street, Lake Charles | walnutgrovetnd.com | (337) 497-0825

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The Walnut Grove Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization created to serve as the community outreach organization for the Walnut Grove community. The Institute’s goal is to work with other organizations to encourage and promote the visual, literary and performing arts, the future conservation of our community and surrounding environment, as well as historical preservation through interactive educational and community events within Walnut Grove.



Places & Faces

Behind the


The officers of the Lake Charles Police Department and the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s office put their lives on the line to make communities safe from crime, but the men and women behind the badge go much further than simply stopping crooks. The law enforcement officers of Southwest Louisiana also make their presence known through community service and outreach programs that build trust and cooperation with the people they serve. The idea is called community policing. Officers reach out to the community to enlist them in helping prevent crime and to create some normalcy in people’s interactions with police. “We live here, our families are raised here just like anybody else’s. We’re pretty normal other than the fact that we have to enforce the laws here in our community,” Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso said. Community policing moves the role of the police away from reactive responses to crime toward proactive roles in addressing underlying problems communities may face. “Local neighborhood crime problems are, in fact, community problems,” Lt. Nathan Keller of the Lake Charles Police said. “They reflect a host of community-related issues, including education, economics, family life, neighborhood organization and cultural values. Our philosophy moves us away from using police as the last line of defense against crime, and toward total community involvement in reducing and preventing crime.”

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by Mitch Thomas


The Sheriff’s office and Lake Charles Police both utilize programs meant to get residents involved in helping prevent crime, as well as prevent residents from becoming victims of crime themselves. Both departments serve neighborhood watch programs by attending watch meetings and training members on how to spot trouble and ensure members give the best information when making a report to the police about suspicious activity. Neighborhood patrol officers of the LCPD often help neighborhood watch groups organize and recruit while also getting to know residents. NPOs will also listen to residents’ concerns with blighted properties. Officers provide advice to neighbors of dilapidated buildings and may invite judges and law experts to discuss legal options for removing a blighted property before it invites criminal activity. The Sheriff’s Office operates the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program (D.A.R.E.) for fifthgrade and seventh-grade students. A national program that began in Los Angeles in 1983, D.A.R.E. teaches students decision-making skills in order to avoid drugs and violence. The program also puts Sheriff’s deputies face to face with students at early ages to teach them that they can trust their law enforcement officers. There are several other programs meant keep communities safe. The LCDP partners with Habitat for Humanity and Project Build a Future to meet with residents of new homes to introduce Thrive Magazine for Better Living

themselves and make sure the know how to contact them when they need help. In the Check your Residence program, Sheriff’s deputies will check up on homes while their occupants are away when asked to do so. Keller says the outreach helps keep police interactions with the community from only involving negative circumstances like traffic stops. “We’re trying to show the police in a different light

May 2015

to where we don’t just come out when something bad happens,” Keller said. “We want to be there to build that rapport, so when something bad happens you feel comfortable coming to speak with us.”


Some programs serve as ways for the police to make themselves visible and provide something positive to the community. Through outreach programs, law enforcement shows it cares about the well-being of the community at large and that they are principally here to serve. The LCPD program Pastors on Patrol fosters relationships between police officers and church pastors. Police keep pastors informed on crimes that affect members of their congregation, and the pastors pass that information on to their church members. Keller says this can help communities who have experienced a crime know the police’s side of the story. Pastors are also called out by the LCPD when unexpected deaths are reported so that they might council and console relatives. The Sheriff’s office offers the Junior Deputy Program for children ages 8-11. During the nineweek program, deputies teach children about law enforcement and other government agencies, even take them on field trips. Two weeks of the

program is devoted to a hunter education program, at the end of which participants can earn their hunting license. Each year during National Night Out, the LCPD and the Sheriff’s Office, together with area neighborhood watch programs, join neighborhoods around the country in an evening of food and community. The idea of National Night Out is to show criminals, by neighbors coming out into the streets, turning on the lights and making their presence known, that crime in neighborhoods will not be tolerated. Programs like the Sheriff’s Office’s annual seniors fishing derby or free funeral escort service, or the LCPD’s Just for Kids Fun Day are not only fun for the community, but are also great opportunities to talk to residents about ways to make themselves safer. “We don’t have to do these things, but if your mother or father gets saved the anguish from getting scammed, was it worth it?” Mancuso said. “We never know if it was because of one of these programs that helped them, so there’s no number to put on it, but we know they work. We know somebody is going to get something out of it and it’s going to protect them.”

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Money & Career

Get on Hurricane Watch for your Business by Robin Barton

Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30—right around the corner—so now’s the time for you to ‘Be Prepared and Get a PLAN,’ according to the National Hurricane Center and the National Weather Service, which kicks off National Hurricane Preparedness Week on May 24-30. The Global Weather Oscillations Inc. (GWO), a leading hurricane cycle prediction company, says the Atlantic Basin—spanning from southeast Texas to the Northeast coastline of the U.S.—experiences an average of 11 to 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes each year. The GWO predicts the 2015 hurricane season to be above average and the most dangerous in at least three years, with 14 named storms, eight hurricanes and three major hurricanes. Steve Lyons, principal and owner of Lyons Insurance Inc., encourages businesses to get on guard. “Now is the time to prepare your business for hurricane season,” he says. “Proper preparation and action steps can help reduce damage dramatically. Developing a written preparedness plan and training employees to implement it is critical.” Here’s how: 1. Make sure your employees are aware of the Emergency Action Plan for your business. According to Lyons, “an Emergency Action Plan should include emergency response actions, 32 www.thriveswla.com

evacuation criterion, disaster recovery measures and key personnel contact information. Reviewing this plan with employees, and making sure they know what to do in case of an emergency and/or storm is the most important and crucial part of hurricane preparedness.” 2. Review your insurance policies to determine if you have adequate commercial property insurance for your business. Commercial property insurance is a special type of insurance that covers the company building as well as the contents owned by the company. “Property can include a variety of types: buildings, computers, money, and valuable papers. Especially important during hurricane season, an important type of ‘property’ is lost income or business interruption – it’s a type of insurance that covers the loss of income that a business suffers after a disaster. The income loss covered may be due to disaster-related closing of the business facility or due to the rebuilding process after a disaster,” explains Lyons. Business Interruption coverage differs from property insurance in that a property insurance policy only covers the physical damage to the business, while the additional coverage allotted by the business interruption policy covers the profits that would have been earned. This extra policy provision is applicable to all types of Thrive Magazine for Better Living

businesses, as it is designed to put a business in the same financial position it would have been in if no loss had occurred. 3. Schedule a meeting with your insurance agent to go over your insurance coverage. “Some business owners may not be aware of what risks their current insurance plan actually covers, now is the time to make sure you are adequately covered, and if you are not, now if the time to increase your coverage,” Lyons adds. 4. Take steps to protect the business property, both physical and intellectual. This includes “installing shutters and/or investing in plywood to protect windows and doors from debris blown by the wind, having your roof and building inspected to ensure it can withstand a storm, securing outside storage sheds and other structures, and taking measures to secure and safeguard major electronics (computers, copiers, etc.) in the building,” according to Lyons. As for the intellectual property and important business documents, Lyons suggests: “Back-up documents that are not easily produced such as insurance documents, legal contracts, tax returns, and accounting statements with hard and electronic copies. Seal these important documents in waterproof containers onsite. Also, save all your designated contacts and May 2015

documents in an alternate, accessible offsite location, such as a third-party record management facility.” 5. Make a “preparedness toolbox” to keep onsite. Lyons encourages a ‘preparedness toolbox’ to help protect the safety of your employees. Items you should include are battery-operated radios, water and nonperishable food items, blankets, flashlights, batteries, basic hardware tools, gloves, fire extinguishers and a first-aid kit. 6. Stay informed. “It’s important to stay informed on the weather, constantly listening to weather reports on the radio and/or television. If possible, and conditions are safe enough, send all noncrucial personnel home or to another secure location. Complete other preparation activities, such as putting up storm shutters or plywood, storing or securing loose objects, and, most importantly, following instructions issued by local officials – evacuating immediately, if told to do so.” In the event a storm does hit the area, there are several steps you should take as soon as possible. First, make sure to account for all employees and their safety. Next, and when it’s safe to do so, assess the damage to the building, photograph and document all damage and

May 2015

contact your insurance agent as soon as possible. “Along with documenting the damage, you should also take the appropriate steps to protect the building and its contents, meaning, you should make any temporary repairs you can, such as, putting a tarp over damaged parts of roofs, to ensure no further damage is done,” Lyons adds. For more information on commercial insurance contact Lyons Insurance: 337-478-4466; lyonsagency.com; 3100 Lake Street, Lake Charles 70601. Lyons Insurance is a full-service agency, serving the insurance needs of families and businesses throughout Southwest Louisiana and East Texas.

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Money & Career desired outcome, script your tactical plan to get there. In my affairs I have a polished practiced script for everything I hope to achieve.”

6. A leader has a passion for winning.

by Alan Zimmerman, PhD

Getting by is never good enough. A leader wants to win. He wants to be the best, produce the best, and bring out the best in others.

7. A leader has a passion for winning WITH others.

Twentieth-century educator G. Arthur Keough knew that. He wrote, “Greatness is not standing above our fellows and ordering them around. It is standing with them and helping them to be all they can be.” This winning with others may be the very reason that the Mayo Clinic is considered to be one of the finest medical institutions in the world. They follow the philosophy of their founding leader, Dr. William W. Mayo who said, “No one is big enough to be independent of others.”

8. A leader builds relationships.

That doesn’t mean that she has to be buddies with everyone on the team or in the organization. But she has to build strong, positive, respectful, cooperative relationships with everyone possible.

9. A leader celebrates.

It doesn’t matter if you’re leading a country, a company, a department, a team, a church, or even a family—leadership has nothing to do with title or position. You could be the president of a country or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company and not be a leader. In truth, leadership has everything to do with behavior. If you behave in these 10 ways, you can and will be an effective leader. 1. A leader does the right thing.

A poor leader focuses his energy on “sounding good.” And he spends a great deal of time on how he can spin a story so he comes out “looking good.” By contrast, a great leader not only knows what is right, he also does what is right. He turns the courage of his convictions into action.

2. A leader is more concerned with “we” than “me.”

Some “so-called” leaders are on an ego trip, seeking all the glory and hogging all the limelight. From their perspective, it’s all about me, me, me. By contrast: When Jill BlashackStrahan, President and CEO of Tastefully Simple, received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, she said, “I didn’t build this company. An amazing team of dedicated,

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passionate and loyal people did.”

A leader doesn’t wait for the sale-of-a-lifetime or a miraculous business turnaround before he celebrates with the team. He knows that little things count. In fact, little celebrations can make a big difference.

10. A leader exhibits calmness in rough waters.

When Vaclav Havel became the first elected leader in the new country of the Czech Republic, the citizens were uncertain of their future. So In other words, he exudes energy. He displays he told them, “Hope is not the conviction that enthusiasm. He projects cheerfulness. And it is something will turn out well, but the certainty nothing short of contagious. The leader may not that something makes sense regardless of how always feel positive. That’s life. But as military it turns out.” genius Laz Tzu pointed out, “Leadership has And Larry Blakely, the Process and been defined as the ability to hide your panic Improvement Director at Ernst and Young, says, from others.” Or as we say today, “Fake it til you “When you’re up to your eyeballs in alligators, it’s make it.” hard to remember you’re not there to drain the 4. A leader accepts responsibility. swamp. You’re there to be a calming influence in Unfortunately, it is all too common to see an the midst of the storms.” ego-driven leader take all the credit when one You may of her decisions works out well. But when one of not be a born her decisions proves to be wrong, she cannot be leader. But you found, has nothing to say, or blames someone can learn to be else for her failures. A real leader accepts a leader. And a responsibility. good leader … a 5. A leader is a goal setter. great leader … an Invariably, great leaders are goal setters. In fact, effective leader … you would be hard-pressed to point out any exhibits these ten great leaders who simply wandered their way behaviors. Start to success. Maury Burgwin, the Chairman at the using them now. Institute for Management Studies, proclaims, You’ll be amazed “The best path to success is to script your at how well they desired outcome.” And then, “To reach that work.

3. A leader demonstrates an unshakeable positive attitude.

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May 2015

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Money & Career


Things You Should Do in Your First Year by Felicite Toney

Congratulations, Graduate! You’ve successfully completed college. Now you have your diploma in hand and are ready to face the real world. Here comes the hard part: the real world is nothing like college. Transitioning from college to the world of fulltime jobs and 9 o’clock bedtimes can be difficult. Sure, there are the obvious things one must do when preparing for job-hunting, such as updating your resume, buying clothes for interviews, and deleting those embarrassing pictures from Facebook—but there’s much more to be done. A survey conducted in 2012 of over 200 students from across the nation reported by StudentAdvisor. com offers a few suggestions for recently graduated Millennials. Although the article is geared toward Millennials, college graduates of all ages can benefit from the following tips:

Create a LinkedIn Account In today’s world, social media is powerful. It can make or break one’s chance of obtaining THE

36 www.thriveswla.com

job. The survey reports that many college students do not use social media in a career-oriented way. In fact, of the 200-plus students surveyed, only 34 percent had a LinkedIn account. LinkedIn, a career oriented social media site that allows professionals to network, would be a great way for college graduates to promote themselves in a positive and professional way. Maybe it’s time to ditch that old Facebook account and transition into the professional world.

Create a professional blog The survey found that only 11 percent of students used WordPress, a website that allows users to create a blog, free of charge. By creating a professional blog, graduates can promote themselves. It’s important to put your name out there and have a way for other professionals to reach out to you. Blogs are more intimate than social media websites and allow users to get to know you, the author, on a more personal level.

Find a professional mentor Don’t be afraid to use your LinkedIn account or other services to seek out a mentor. Finding a professional in your field is key to a starting a successful career. Parents may be great for some advice, but unless they work in your degree field, you may want to consult someone else. Some professionals to keep in mind are your previous professors. Most universities offer career services that can help you find a mentor; so don’t hesitate to use those services to your advantage.

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May 2015

How to prepare for interviews Alisa Stevens, executive director of an AmeriCorps program called Impact Lake Charles, teaches AmeriCorps members job preparation skills to be used after completing their service with the program. She suggests that recent graduates show up to the interview with knowledge about the company. “It’s important to know information about the position and the company prior to being interview because it shows that you’re interested and serious. You don’t want to be caught off-guard if you’re asked about the company’s mission statement or purpose. It’s good to do your homework.” She also stresses the importance of body language. It’s normal to be nervous before an interview, but it’s important to maintain awareness of your body language and facial expressions. “Try not to display nervous ticks, like tapping your feet or playing with your hair. Try to relax and remember to breathe.” Her last bit of advice is a friendly reminder to all of us: “Do not look at your watch or check your phone for the time. In fact, it’s best to turn your phone off before an interview because even the buzzing of a phone on vibrate is disruptive and unprofessional.”

HOW TO GET RID OF PRE-INTERVIEW JITTERS Tips from Berkeley Career Center: 1. Give yourself a quick pep talk to remind yourself of all of your accomplishments. Keep this in mind during the interview process. 2. Remind yourself that you’re not the only one being interviewed. When you meet the person conducting the interview, you’re able to get a feel for the company and determine whether or not this is the kind of place you feel you would fit in.

3. Make a positive first impression. Be sure to display confidence, make eye contact and introduce yourself.

How to Explain Gaps in Your The job search is competitive and stressful enough without the added baggage of resume gaps—those lulls in employment that look like gaping holes in your ability to find gainful employment. If you have areas of white space in your employment history, consider these tips as you venture into the job market. Consider what you were doing during your downtime. Even if you weren’t on an official payroll, there’s a chance that you can use some of that information on your resume, or in your interview. Maybe you planned your cousin’s wedding or helped your uncle build a deck. Whatever it was, consider creative ways to turn that into a learning experience.

May 2015

Were you asked to leave your last job? Be honest, but smart, when sharing information. A job interview is not the time to rag on your last boss or company. Explain why you had to leave your last position and speak positively, but honestly. Say things like, “It wasn’t an ideal work environment,” then explain why—in a constructive way—and take the opportunity to describe what your ideal environment looks like. Consider the environment of the place you’re interested in. If you left your last job voluntarily, explain why. But don’t talk badly about your co-workers, boss, or previous employer.

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In what ways did you make yourself more marketable during those resume gaps? Focus on that. Show them that you seize any opportunity to make yourself a better employee, even during down time.



Money & Career All you need to know to stay in the know! Signatures Salon Honored by SALON TODAY Magazine Signatures Salon in Lake Charles was named to the Salon Today 200 by Salon Today magazine, the top business publication for salon and spa owners. The magazine’s 18th annual “Salon Today 200” issue in January profiled selected salons for excellence. For a salon to be named to the prestigious list, it had to meet stringent criteria. The magazine honored applicants in eleven different best practice categories and Signatures Salon was honored in the growth category this year. Signatures has been recognized in past “Salon Today 200” rankings for advanced education, client retention and marketing. For more information call (337) 478-4433 or visit www. signaturessalon.biz.

Heart Association and CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital have launched five official AHA Walking Paths in Southwest Louisiana. For more information, visit heart.org.

Police Jury’s Cultural Grant Awarded to Area Events The Arts Council of SWLA has announced the grant awards for the 2015-2016 Calcasieu Parish Police Jury Arts Funding Grant. This competitive grant program is funded annually by the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury and administered by the Arts Council, and it expands the accessibility of the arts by providing arts organizations and community groups the opportunity to develop arts programming within Calcasieu Parish. Eighteen grants were awarded to projects and organizations in Calcasieu Parish. For more, visit www.artcouncilswla.org or call (337) 439-2787.

CHRISTUS St. Patrick Women’s Health Center Earns ACR Accreditation CHRISTUS St. Patrick Women’s Health Center has been awarded a three-year term of accreditation in mammography as the result of a recent review by the American College of Radiology (ACR). The ACR gold seal of accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety. It is awarded only to facilities meeting ACR Practice Guidelines and Technical Standards after a peerreview evaluation by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field.

Lake Area Medical Center Named One of the 150 Great Places to Work in Healthcare Becker’s Hospital Review has published the 2015 edition of its 150 Great Places to Work in Healthcare in the United States, and Lake Area Medical Center is on the list. The organizations featured on the list were selected by the Becker’s Hospital Review editorial team based on workforce-centric awards received, benefits offerings, wellness initiatives, and efforts to improve professional development, diversity and inclusion, work-life balance and a sense of community and unity among employees. Nominations were also considered. The “150 Great Places to Work in Healthcare” 2015 full list can be seen at www.beckershospitalreview.com.

New AHA Designated Walking Path Unveiled On Wednesday, April 1, the American Heart Association, CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital and the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury unveiled the AHA Designated Walking Path at Prien Lake Park. With the addition of the new Prien Lake Path, American 38 www.thriveswla.com

The 2015 American Advertising Federation “Addy” Awards SOWELA students received 18 awards at the 2015 American Advertising Federation “Addy Awards” in the categories of Packaging, Collateral Material, Digital, Television, and Elements of Advertising. The student to receive the most awards at the event was SOWELA’s Kandice Baines who garnered seven awards including two gold, two silver and three bronze. Chloe Friend was presented a gold with the distinction of “Most Wanted to See Again and Again” and two silver; Zachary Whitbeck was given two silver and one bronze; Amber Day Woods earned a silver and a bronze; Lex Abshire and Chance Deville each received gold; and, Karli Ferguson secured a bronze. Graphic Art students were instructed and mentored by Erik Jessen, program coordinator, Darrell Buck, faculty member, and Gray Little, adjunct faculty member. Darrell Buck won gold in the category of Integrated Campaigns and bronze in the area of Sales Promotion.SOWELA offers the Associate of Applied Science degree in Graphic Art, as well as Diploma and Certificate options. For further information, visit www.sowela.edu. Thrive Magazine for Better Living

Bone Health Central Now Offers Fracture Liaison Service The Bone Health Central program located inside the office of Center for Orthopaedics in Lake Charles now offers a Fracture Liaison Staci Boudreaux Service under the direction of program coordinator Staci Boudreaux, PA-C, CCD. Staci has earned her certification as a Fracture Liaison Service (FLS) Coordinator from the National Osteoporosis Foundation. The new service is a coordinated preventive care model which operates under the supervision of a bone health specialist and collaborates with the patient’s primary care physician. This model has been shown to improve patient outcomes and significantly reduce the incidence of secondary fractures. Only 25% of adults 50 and older who experience a fracture ever get an indicated follow up for osteoporosis evaluation. The Bone Health Central program is the only program of its kind in the region. To access the program and the FLS program, patients can be referred by local hospitals or urgent care facilities after a fracture, they can be referred by any orthopedic surgeon in the area, or they can call as a self-referral. For more information, call 337-721-7270.

Hart Eye Center Announces New Clinic Location Dr. William Hart has announced that Hart Eye Center has re-located to 1727 Imperial Blvd., Bldg. 1, Ste. B in Lake Charles. The new clinic will provide eye care for all ages and urgent care during and after hours. Appointments can be scheduled by calling (337) 439-4014 or by visit www.harteyecenter. com for more information.

ICHRMA Received Prestigious SHRM Award for Advancing the HR Profession The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) awarded the Imperial Calcasieu Human Resource Management Association its prestigious EXCEL Gold Award for the ICHRMA accomplishments in 2014. The award is part of the SHRM Affiliate Program for Excellence, which aligns individual chapters and councils with SHRM’s goals. The award recognizes accomplishments and strategic activities and initiatives that enhance the human resources profession.

May 2015

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Dreaming of Retirement? Make it more than wishful thinking.

Retirement can feel like a far away dream and for most of us, figuring out the best way to get there is somewhat of a nightmare. With over 21 years of retirement planning experience, Chris Craven, Agent New York Life Insurance Company, has been helping people get their head out of the clouds and their feet planted firmly onto a successful financial path. Call for an appointment today.

Why Does My Dog Hump? We humans are often embarrassed when our puppy or dog humps. It is important to know that humping is a part of Modal Action Patterns of dog play. Humping is a normal, natural part of puppy play. It is a nonspecific sign of arousal - meaning puppies and dogs get wound up about what is happening. They may be nervous, anxious, frustrated, or confused. Humping allows release. If you are uncomfortable with the humping, follow these simple recommendations. 1. Make humping not a big deal - Do not yell at the dog for humping, do not physically stop the dog. Ignore it and make it not a big deal. 2. Control the dog’s environment - Once a toy the dog likes to hump has been played with appropriately, put it away. Removing the object takes away the opportunity to hump it.

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3. Teach the dog a behavior you would like to see - Teach the dog to release frustration and anxiety by doing something or playing with something else. I use Kong Toys and treat puzzles to keep my dogs occupied and mentally stimulated. Take your dog to a dog park to play, or on a hike. Tired dogs are happy dogs without frustration or anxiety to release.

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4. Male and female dogs hump - It is important to remember that humping objects is not about sex. It is about the dog being frustrated, anxious, confused, or participating in puppy play. Humping does not mean anything. Should you have concerns or questions, contact a certified dog trainer for more information.

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Thrive Magazine for Better Living



Home & Family

Shutter the Clutter messes up your brain—and your stuff by Erin Kelly

Those piles in the corner and stacks on the shelves may be doing more damage to your psyche than you realize. Recent studies show that living or working in an area with an excess of stuff can affect your ability to focus or process information. It may even spike your stress hormone levels. Neuroscientists at Princeton found that physical clutter competes for your attention and results in decreased performance, increased stress, and inability to concentrate. Researchers at UCLA found that mothers’ stress hormones increased when they had to deal with extraneous belongings. Clutter overwhelms the senses and may compromise your creative side. “A cluttered environment puts more pressure on us,” says Melody Granger, a professional organizer and founder of The Well Organized Entrepreneur. “Sometimes when we have so much going on, whether physically or emotionally, a cluttered space can feel claustrophobic, overwhelming, or draining on our energy levels.” UCLA researchers with the Center on Everyday Lives and Families observed families in various households and studied how their environment affected them physically, mentally and emotionally. They found a link between stress hormone levels in females and a high density of household objects. In other words: The more stuff, the more stress. Interestingly, the clutter didn’t have the same effect on men. Nevertheless, it seems that clutter may not just be a mess of our stuff. It could create a mess of our brains, as well. “From what I’ve seen in my industry and in my own life, when the head is overflowing full, then it’s as if our minds tend to get fragmented. The same fragmentation shows in our environments,” Granger says. “You may see half-done projects, half-cleaned-out spaces, packed full spaces, piles of ‘I’ll get to this soon’ on counters or lined up on floors. If you clean up your environment and start knocking out the tasks, like decluttering, then you’ll begin noticing that you also feel some relief and can think more clearly. When you are more relaxed and thinking more clearly, then you have

40 www.thriveswla.com

Thrive Magazine for Better Living

May 2015

more energy to be productive and make better decisions.” You’ve probably noticed that you feel better about yourself and your surroundings after a good spring cleaning. But inevitably, the piles grow again—slowly at first. You may not even give it a second thought. But weeks in, you’re right back to where you started, among crowded corners and cluttered coffee tables. How and why do our best intentions fall so flat?

“Often, not putting yourself first is the culprit. Clutter build-up seems to be most common for someone who feels like they have more important priorities to focus on, before they can focus on themselves. There may always seem like there’s something else to deal with, like work, creating more income, planning vacations, preparing meals, helping a friend, family obligations, and the list can be endless,” Granger says. “Sure, there will be times that you need to deal with things later, and

that’s totally okay. It’s life. However, if you continue with this attitude for long periods of time, then the problem will most likely get more overwhelming. Overwhelm happens when we see the whole of the problem—for example, when a lot of areas in the space need to be tackled. Stop looking at the whole picture and hone in on one small area. Then follow your gut of where to move to next.”

4 Quick Tips to Avoid Getting Cluttered • Have a place for everything and keep everything in its place. If you put stuff in five random places, you’ll end up with five random junk piles. • Take care of things as they arrive. Don’t put that stack of mail any old place. Create a spot for it, and always put the mail there. Otherwise, more things will add to the stack— magazines, junk mailers, old receipts— and that stack will eventually give birth to another stack.

May 2015

• Think first, buy later. Everyone likes new stuff, right? But just because you like something doesn’t mean you have a place for it. Before you indulge in an impulse buy,

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ask yourself: How much do I need this? Do I have a place for it? Will it create more clutter? Should I get rid of something else to make room? • Don’t take stuff just because. Let’s say you’re at a work conference. You walk by a table full of free swag. Remember: Just because it’s there doesn’t mean you have to take it. Sure, free stuff is fun. But it’s not so fun when it’s sitting in the corner, gathering dust.



Home & Family



Finance Prep for the

College BOUND by Kristy Armand

As they receive their diplomas this month, thousands of area high school graduates are already gearing up for college life in the fall. With this next step in the transition to adulthood, comes a real set of real-world responsibilities, and chief among these are finances. If you’re college-bound, you’ve probably already gone through – or soon will -- orientation designed to introduce you to time management skills, dorm life, course requirement, campus layout and more. But in most cases, one of life’s most important lessons – how to manage your money – is left untouched. Credit card companies and aggressive lenders are privy to the fact that young college students are prone to spend more freely than their parents, so they take action quickly. You’ll find that becoming a college freshman makes you a sought-after customer for “pre-approved” 42 www.thriveswla.com

and “pre-qualified” offers. You may even receive a check in the mail that proves to be quick cash in your hands – at a cost, of course. “In most cases, one credit card is enough for a young college student. There is no magic number as to how many cards each consumer should hold, but a good rule is to only have credit cards that you can afford to pay off each month. If you find that you usually pay the minimum balance and all your cards are maxed out, that’s a red flag that you have too many. A new college student simply won’t have enough earning power to pay that balance down most of the time,” says Lyles McDaniel, Senior Vice President with Lakeside Bank. McDaniel offers the following guide for college-bound freshmen as they begin to wade through financial responsibilities of adulthood: > Open a checking account at a local bank and learn how to balance your checkbook. Thrive Magazine for Better Living

McDaniel says some banks offer special accounts designed to help college students with the responsibilities of managing their own finances. If possible, open a savings account as well, and start developing the habit of saving a portion of what you earn. > Don’t be swayed by big-print credit offers that come in the mail. “Pay less attention to the big letters that promise zeropercent interest and pay more attention to the fine print, which is where the real information is,” McDaniel saiys. “Reading fine print should become a habit of anyone who applies for credit.” > Use your credit card for emergencies only. Your credit card should not be used for day-to-day expenses, and you shouldn’t acquire or carry more cards than you can afford to manage.

May 2015

PREPPING > Make sure you have a clear understanding of the interest rates on your lines of credit. If you can’t afford to pay more than the minimum balance, don’t have credit cards. > Keep track of your credit purchases. Sixty percent of students surveyed were surprised at how quickly their balances increased and how high they were. McDaniel says the same is true for debit card purchases – track and record your spending. > Save money by spending wisely. “One of the greatest benefits of college life is access to free or low-cost entertainment on campus. Pay attention to those opportunities as much as possible,” McDaniel says. If you’re fortunate enough to be on a meal plan, be sure to use it. Eat on campus instead of fast food. It may seem cheap to spend three bucks on a hamburger, but those dollars add up quickly. Also, learn how to grocery shop wisely. Buy generic brands, use coupons, and comparison shop whenever possible.” > Have a budget, and stick to it. It’s easy to lose control of your finances, especially when you’re in college and busy with so many other things. Use this summer to develop a budget with estimated costs in various categories, such as entertainment, supplies, and other expenses. Try to stay within that budget as much as possible. “Making a budget often requires a lot of guesswork, so it’s understandable that you may spend a little more than you planned from time to time, but usually you can get close.” McDaniel says. Having a budget can greatly reduce stress because you have a general idea of what to expect financially each month.

May 2015


> Understand the consequences of poor financial choices. If you stick to minimum payments, open or apply for too many lines of credit, or don’t pay bills on time, your credit score will be affected. This determines what your interest rates will be on future purchases. “A low credit score not only costs you money, but also has the potential to prevent you from making future purchases, like a car or a home,” McDaniel says. “It’s important to realize that the money mistakes you make now could have a big impact on your future financial situation. That’s why learning to manage your money is so critical at this stage of your life.” McDaniel says discipline is the key to financial management for consumers of any age, and is a lesson better learned sooner, rather than later.

Thrive Magazine for Better Living



Home & Family



Nudging them out of the

NEST by Kristy Armand

You’ve dreamed of this day for so long, joking about how you “can’t wait to get them out of the house.” No more picking up behind them and waiting up at night for them to come in. Your worries are almost over: Your newly-minted high school graduate will be headed off to college in just a few short months. But shut the barn door! Now that the time is nearly here, you realize you may not be quite as ready as you thought you were to let them go, and you are starting to discover a whole new set of worries as you picture them entering the college-phase of their life. “Sending a student to college is a major milestone not only for the student, but for their parents as well,” says Chauntelle LeJeune, MA, LMFT, LPC, therapist with Solutions Counseling & EAP. “This often comes as a shock. Everyone has been so focused on getting the student through high school and into college, that they don’t stop to think about the very real – and big – changes that are about to take place in the family. It’s a time of transition for students as 44 www.thriveswla.com

they leave childhood behind and start taking on the responsibilities of adulthood. It’s also a big adjustment for parents as they struggle to let go.” She says this is often the hardest part for parents – letting their children take on responsibility for life on their own. “This doesn’t mean they don’t still need you for guidance and support, but it’s time for them to be more independent and make their own choices. “ LeJeune adds that the best way you can prepare your child for life on their own is to teach them the skills they need in advance. By the end of high school, your teen should: Know how to manage their time. Beginning in high school, you should no longer be monitoring homework. No one at your child’s college is going to care if they come to class much less if they do their homework. It is up to the student to get whatever he can get out of college. There will be no hand-holding. Understand that choices lead to consequences. Good choices typically lead to positive consequences and bad choices lead to negative Thrive Magazine for Better Living

consequences that have to be dealt with. This means parents must get out of the way and let their kids deal with the natural consequences of their decisions. If you “fix” all their problems for them, they are not developing their own problemsolving skills which every adult needs. Be financially responsible. By the time kids are able to drive, they should be making their own money and managing it. They need to have a checking account, and know how to balance it. They also need to be paying for some, if not all, of their own expenses: car insurance, gas, cell phones, clothes, entertainment, etc. Know the basics of running a household. This means they can wash clothes, clean house, cook a basic meal, get their oil changed and all those other responsibilities that come with independence. “If they can do these things, then you can be confident in their ability to succeed at college,” says LeJeune. “And if they don’t have these skills yet, they need to develop them . You can work on some of these skills over the summer, and college May 2015



life offers a great, somewhat protected, environment for this as well.” She also advises giving your student some space once they get to campus. “Let them find their way as they settle into college life. Call, text, email, Skype -- communicate often, but don’t expect or demand the same from them. They may get homesick and have doubts about their decision to leave home. Even though you miss them just as much, don’t give in and bring them back home. Give them encouragement and support. Tell them it will be fine – it really will, you know – and make sure they know you have confidence in them and are there for advice whenever needed.” “There is no doubt your college student will have to make some important decisions and choices in the coming years,” adds LeJeune. “And so will you. You have to decide what you are willing to do – and not do – to insure that your student progresses through those exciting and challenging college years to emerge as an educated, accomplished, healthy adult ready to stand on their own, full equipped to map out their own future in the world.”

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Home & Family




STUDENT LOANS With warmer springtime weather upon us, thousands of Louisiana high school seniors are only weeks away from taking the next step in their education. Now is the time for students and families to carefully consider how to pay for college, and if grants and scholarships aren’t enough, student loans can help fill in the gap. Students can apply for federal student loans from the U.S. Department of Education or consider a private loan from a local bank. Both avenues have their advantages, and with budget cuts and increasing tuition costs looming like dark clouds over Louisiana’s higher education system, the more financial support, the better. “A personal loan through a bank offers students convenience and a personal touch that you don’t often find with federal loans,” said Stephen Benoit, vice president of City Savings Bank. “But just as with any mortgage or business loan, it’s a decision that shouldn’t be quick to make.” Private student loans can have variable or fixed interest rates and may require an established credit record or a co-signer, so the best first step is to empower yourself with knowledge and determine which financing plan best fits your needs. 46 www.thriveswla.com

With the total amount of student loan debt standing at over $1.2 trillion in the U.S., student loans are now the second highest pool of debt next to home mortgages. Refinancing student loans through a private lender is becoming more commonplace. “Refinancing allows you to better manage your finances by consolidating multiple loans into one and lowering monthly payments,” Benoit said. Refinancing a student loan may save money each month, but you should check with your bank to see if they are able to refinance student loans from your school. Additionally, some banks will not lend to students enrolled at for-profit private institutions, some community colleges or certification programs. The most common federal student loans are Direct Stafford Loans, and they typically offer relatively low fixed-interest rates and repayment plans catered to your income level that don’t begin until you graduate. Many students are eligible Thrive Magazine for Better Living

for debt forgiveness programs, but only a small fraction take advantage of this assistance. The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program can eliminate up to $17,500 in student loan debt for teachers who work five consecutive academic years in a school serving low-income families. Heath care workers can apply for the Health Professionals Loan Repayment Program, which pays up to $50,000 in debt relief for a 2-year salaried commitment in an underserved neighborhood. Before applying for federal aid, you must complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student air (FAFSA), which is found at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Information on federal loans and forgiveness programs can be found at www.studentaid.ed.gov. For information on personal loans, contact Stephen Benoit, vice president of City Savings Bank, at 337-527-5066 or visit www.citysavingsbank.com.

May 2015


WHEN IT COMES TO GIVING BACK, TEAM CITGO HAS A LOT OF NUMBERS TO BE PROUD OF. We were the industrial volunteer organization in Southwest Louisiana.

With over volunteers, we donated more than

hours at

events last year.

That adds up to A


Thank you to our employees, families and retirees who make these numbers equal good things for Southwest Louisiana.

May 2015

Thrive Magazine for Better Living



Style & Beauty

Big Backsides and Tiny Noses: Confessions of an NYC Plastic Surgeon

by Emily Alford

AS COSMETIC SURGERIES BECOME LESS STIGMATIZED AND MORE READILY AVAILABLE, LOOKING YOUNGER, MORE SYMMETRICAL, OR JUST PLAIN PRETTIER HAS NEVER BEEN EASIER. IN FACT, LAST YEAR SAW MORE AMERICANS FLOCKING TO PLASTIC SURGEONS TO HAVE THEIR DERRIERES PLUMPED AND WRINKLES FILLED THAN EVER BEFORE. One reason more and more Americans seem to be shelling out the big bucks for quick body fixes could be our obsession with celebrities, according to New York City plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Miller, who frequently has patients show up for appointments clutching photos from gossip magazines requesting that he make them look more like their favorite singers and starlets. According to Dr. Miller, constant pressure to look perfect drives many of his patients to seek out cosmetic procedures that will make them look camera-ready. “The latest trend for this year is to portray the best image of yourself possible because of the large volume of pictures and videos that are taken Facebook, Youtube and Instagram,” Dr. Miller says. “In order to create this ideal image, people often draw from certain celebrity features when going for a consultation.”

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One of Dr. Miller’s top requests is for a larger backside. A new crop of musicians and models have made round, voluptuous derrières a point of pride, leaving many, less well-endowed women feeling insecure. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, buttock augmentation was up 15 percent in 2014, while buttock implants saw a 98 percent rise. To give patients the backsides they covet, Dr. Miller usually employs a procedure known as the “Brazilian Butt Lift.” According to Dr. Miller, “The three names we hear in the office most commonly are Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian, and Nicki Minaj. Their behinds have been a big part of their fame, and while a small butt may have been ideal in the past, that is no longer the case. With a Brazilian butt lift, fat is liposuctioned from the stomach and waist, processed, and reinjected into the buttocks. This turns a rectangular midsection into more of an

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hourglass shape.” However, a celebrity behind certainly doesn’t come cheap. It also doesn’t ensure a tight, firm backside forever. Fluctuations in weight can cause the area to get larger or smaller, and some of the fat transferred to the buttocks during surgery will most likely be reabsorbed into other parts of the body afterwards.

May 2015

Dr. Miller also says that noses are a major concern for many of his patients. While bigger may be better for backsides, many American women want to keep their noses small. In fact, in one famous study concerning the science of beauty, psychologist Dr. Michael Cunningham conducted a series of experiments to determine the exact dimensions of the “perfect” female face according to a sample of 150 American men and found that to be considered “beautiful,” a woman’s nose could not take up more than 5 percent of the total area of her face. With such a tiny window for variation, it’s no

wonder so many women come to Dr. Miller with photographs of tiny button noses, hoping to look like tinyschnozzed screen stars. In 2014 alone, 217,124 Americans had some form of nose reshaping procedure, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Dr. Miller says that when a patient comes in looking to alter the shape of her nose, celebrity photographs can actually help a plastic surgeon to design an appropriate procedure. “The celebrity noses I see mentioned most often are Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Middleton, and Jennifer Aniston,” Dr. Miller says. “Asking for a celebrity nose is a good starting point for a consultation. Each one of these celebrity noses has different characteristics, and it is advisable to have goals you would like to reach. It is the surgeon’s job to determine if those goals are realistic.” But Dr. Miller warns that plastic surgery can’t work miracles. Occasionally, genetic makeup just doesn’t allow for a tiny, ski slope nose. “Sometimes, the nasal anatomy will not allow you to have Jennifer Lawrence’s thin, sculpted nose,” Dr. Miller says. “If this occurs, it is wise to accept the best possible outcome your surgeon can give. If surgery is taken too far, unnatural consequences can occur.”

Jennifer Lawrence’s nose also doesn’t come cheap (unless, of course, you happen to be Jennifer Lawrence). On average, a traditional rhinoplasty will set patients back several thousand dollars. It can also take awhile to see results. After initial swelling goes down, it usually takes around a year for the nose to fully refine, meaning patients may have to wait an awfully long time to know for sure if they got the results they were after. So can plastic surgery turn us all into red carpet ready screen sirens? According to Dr. Miller, the answer is complicated. Going into the doctor’s office demanding to look exactly like a celebrity role model could end in heartbreak. “Most of the individuals who undergo surgery to look like their idol end up looking strange, and not much like the celebrity they are trying to imitate,” Dr. Miller says. However, people who have more realistic expectations and follow the advice of an expert usually walk away with positive results. “A well qualified plastic surgeon will advise you if a celebrity goal is realistic,” says Dr. Miller. “But even if it’s not, you can still have a great, natural result that will definitely leave you feeling more confident at work, social situations, and in today’s endless stream of social media pictures.”


Beautiful Skin Bloom all Summer Long Rejuvenating treatments and products from the Aesthetic Center can help restore and protect healhier, younger looking skin. We offer: • Chemical Peels • Microdermabrasion • Cosmetic Injections • Dermapen

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Targeted Skin Care Treatments PCA Home Care Products Jane Iredale Mineral Make-up Facial Cosmetic Surgery

Let your youthful glow shine, with a little help from the Aesthetic Center. Call 310-1070 for more information or to schedule your appointment.

Treatments are provided under the medical direction of facial cosmetic specialist, Mark Crawford, MD.

facehealth.net • 310-1070 • 1717 Oak Park Blvd. May 2015

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Style & Beauty



Smart skin care isn’t just for women. Men need some face time too. “There’s a misconception that engaging in a ritualistic skin care routine is just a ‘woman thing,’ but that couldn’t be further from the truth,” said skin care consultant Tana Garcia with the Aesthetic Center in The Eye Clinic. “We should all take steps to pay attention to our skin, even men. It’s not just about appearance – although men care about how they look just as women do; it’s about keeping your skin healthy as you age.” Taking strategic steps toward your skin care regimen results in youthful, healthy skin, yet many men aren’t familiar with how to cleanse, moisturize and address problem area, says Garcia. “Women grew up watching their moms take care of their skin. It’s only been in recent years that products have hit the shelves designed specifically to address the unique characteristics of men’s facial skin. It’s a whole new world for them,” Garcia says. She offers these tips to help men develop a facial skin care routine: • Splash cold water on your face when you wake up in the morning. This washes away dead skin, which can make your complexion appear dull. Dab your skin dry with a clean towel. The key word here is “dab.” • Consider using an exfoliating scrub, but only occasionally. “If you’ve never used an exfoliating 50 www.thriveswla.com

by Erin Kelly

wash before, you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised at how clean and fresh your skin feels afterward. But you don’t want to use it too much because it can irritate the skin, especially if your skin isn’t used to it,” Garcia says. • Apply moisturizer when your face is nice and clean. If your skin is normal or dry, oil-based lotions are okay. If you already have oily skin, use a waterbased moisturizer instead. “Make sure you buy lotion that’s specifically designed for the face,” she

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cautions. “There’s a difference between body lotion and face lotion.” • Drink lots of water. “Water is excellent for good skin,” Garcia says. “Try to drink several glasses of water a day.” Water keeps the body hydrated, which ultimately hydrates the skin.” • If you smoke, stop. In addition to the myriad other health problems triggered by smoking, it also causes skin problems. The lack of proper circulation causes the skin to appear pale and dull. • Beware of sun exposure. “Increased exposure to the sun is one of the main causes of premature aging,” Garcia says. “Wear moisturizer with sunscreen – spf 30 or higher – every day.” Garcia advises seeking the advice of a qualified skin care professional to help you get started with a plan for healthier skin. “They will be able to help you choose products for your skin type and to address any specific skin care concerns you have. It’s also important to use quality products that will deliver a therapeutic level of the active ingredients you need to achieve the results you are seeking. It’s easy to be deceived by labels if you are unfamiliar with the terminology. It’s worth taking the time to ask questions so that you are armed with the information you need.” For more information about skin care services and products for men, call the Aesthetic Center at (337) 310-1070 or visit www.facehealth.net. May 2015

Swimwear for Every Man

Soon it’ll be time to wear swim trunks and soak up the sun. But if you’re a man who wants to play-up the positives as much as possible, don’t pick up the first pair of swim trunks on the rack. Instead, consider these helpful tips.

• If you’re short and want to appear taller, choose a pair of trunks that hit at mid-thigh. Avoid lengthier trunks that reach the knee; chances are it’ll look like you’re wearing trunks that are too big for you. If you go for the mid-thigh, it creates an illusion and height and length. • Maybe you have the opposite problem—you’re tall, but want to look more proportionate. If that’s the case, go for trunks that hit right above the knee. • Husky? Stocky? Dark-colored trunks are better at concealing bulge. Stay away from busy prints. • If you’re slim and want to look huskier, the opposite is true: Rather than reach for dark solid colors, choose something bold and colorful.

May 2015

Thrive Magazine for Better Living



Mind & Body

Hot Flash

Fever by Erin Kelly

When we imagine hot flashes, we typically picture a woman of a certain age sweating bullets for 30 seconds while her hormones navigate the tricky waters of menopause. And while hot flashes are certainly a symptom and byproduct of approaching menopause, they aren’t the simple staple we’ve made them to be. Hot flashes are the result of complex hormonal changes, and they can wreak havoc on unsuspecting women.

What are hot flashes? It’s just what the name implies—a flash feeling of heat or warmth that spreads throughout the body. According to Scott Bergstedt, MD, with OBG-1 of West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital, about 70 percent of women will experience hot flashes at some point, particularly during the transition through menopause. Hot flashes sometimes cause redness of the skin, known as flushing. “Some women also experience sweats,” Dr. Bergstedt says. “Characteristics of hot flashes can vary from woman to woman and they can start during menopause, just before it, or even 10 years in advance. It just depends.” What causes them? The aging process is complex and involves a substantial fluctuation in hormonal levels, particularly when it comes to estrogen. As these hormones fluctuate, the body does its best to control and regulate body temperature. It’s believed this is what triggers hot flashes, Dr. Bergstedt says. Hot flashes are one of the more bothersome symptoms of menopause. According to Dr. Bergstedt, menopause is defined as having 12 consecutive months without a menstrual cycle. The average age of menopause is 51. 52 www.thriveswla.com

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May 2015

Although hot flashes are most commonly associated with this transition, there are other conditions that can cause them. Endocrine tumors, medicinal side effects and infections can cause symptoms similar to hot flashes. Researchers with the University of Pennsylvania found that lifestyle choices, including levels of stress and anxiety, can affect the number and severity of hot flashes. Over the course of several years, they studied more than 400 white and African American women and found that their anxiety scores were directly related to the frequency and intensity of hot flashes, even when mitigating factors such as estrogen levels, cigarette smoking, and menopausal stage were eliminated. Women with higher anxiety scores experienced almost five times as many hot flashes.

What to do? The Penn researchers’ study underscores the importance of living a healthy lifestyle, according to Dr. Bergstedt. “The way we live directly correlates with our personal health,” he says. “Regular exercise, nutritious eating habits, and

May 2015

positive coping skills often result in a healthier, happier, stronger person. If you can reduce your levels of stress and anxiety as much as possible, the benefits extend far beyond hot flashes. You’ll experience fewer of those, but you’ll also experience increased energy and improved mood, among other things.” As far as more tangible intervention, Dr. Bergstedt notes that there are a variety of treatments available, including hormone and drug therapy, and other alternative treatments. Discuss the various options with your doctor to determine what will work best for you. If you’re experiencing hot flashes and don’t think it’s related to menopause—if you’re in your early 30s, for example—talk to your doctor. It could be something as simple as your diet, but may be a sign of a medical condition unrelated to menopause. “This transition time can be very frustrating for many women,” Dr. Bergstedt says. “However, your provider can help you find a cooler, more comfortable place.” For more information about managing menopause symptoms, call OBG-1 for an appointment at (337) 312-1000,

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Mind & Body

Honey of a Painkiller Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine goes down. Mary Poppins was onto something when she sang those famous words back in 1964—a spoonful of honey and the sugar inside it may prove to be the treatment of choice after a tonsillectomy, according to one recent study. Dr. Samuel Sprehe, an ear, nose and throat specialist with Southwest Louisiana Ear, Nose, and Throat, a part of the Memorial Medical Group, now uses honey as part of his post surgery treatment for tonsillectomy patients. “It is a coating effect. The high doses of sugar, whether in crystal or liquid, is antibacterial, too,” Dr. Sprehe says. “There are other immune modulators in honey that slow down the inflammatory process, but speed up healing. At the same time it keeps the germs down that live in the area like the throat. The healing can take place and keep the germs from taking over.” The study came from a group of doctors out of

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the Middle East where about 100 children ages 8 to 15 years underwent a tonsillectomy. All the children received Tylenol. Half were randomly assigned to receive one teaspoon of honey and the other half were given the same amount of a simple sugar syrup with a similar consistency. Neither the doctors nor the patients knew which treatment the children received. Treatment continued for five days, and parents were asked to record subjective pain scores and the amount of Tylenol given. For the first three days, pain scores were significantly lower in the honey group, and for all five days, the amount of pain medication given was lower in the honey group. “We can also tell that it definitely makes a huge improvement for our patients of all ages,” Dr. Sprehe says. “Our patients get their first dose of honey as soon as they can swallow in the hospital and go home in a few hours. We tell them to continue to take a teaspoon of honey every four

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hours as needed until they don’t think they need it anymore. That is in addition to alternating Tylenol with a narcotic every three hours as needed.” Dr. Sprehe tells his patients to stay away from the purified honey and stick with using raw honey straight off the farm. A good place to look is your local farmer’s market. Also, diabetics are not candidates for the honey, and some patients have to be wary of yeast infections in the throat, but that has not been an issue so far. “The first medicinal uses of honey were first pioneered by the Egyptians,” Dr. Sprehe says. “They also fermented honey which created a drink called mead. When you over ferment you produce vinegar and they were able to show us the benefits of vinegar used medicinally in wound care and to fight other infections.” For more information, contact Southwest Ear, Nose & Throat at (337)480-5595.

May 2015

Dr. Miguel De Puy First in Region to Implant New ICD System for Patients at Risk of Sudden Cardiac Arrest by Kristy Armand

Patients can now get the same protection from sudden cardiac arrest as they would get with a defibrillator but through a less invasive procedure that does not touch their heart and blood vessels, thanks to the world’s first and only commercially available subcutaneous implantable defibrillator (S-ICD). Dr. Miguel De Puy with Cardiovascular Specialists was the first cardiologist in Southwest Louisiana, and among the first in the state, to implant the Boston Scientific S-ICD® System. He performed the first procedure at CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital earlier this month. Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is an abrupt loss of heart function. Most episodes are caused by the rapid and/or chaotic activity of the heart known as ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation. Recent estimates show that approximately 850,000 people in the United States are at risk of SCA and indicated for an ICD device, but remain unprotected. Dr. De Puy explains that the S-ICD System is designed to provide the same protection from SCA as traditional transvenous implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). However, the entirety of the S-ICD sits just below the skin without the need for thin, insulated wires – known as leads – to be placed into the heart itself. This leaves the heart and blood vessels untouched, providing a exciting new solution for both physicians and patients. “This is a less invasive procedure with fewer shortand long-term complications,” says Dr. De Puy. “It functions as well as, if not better, than current technology and is usually more tolerable.” The less invasive S-ICD device had two main components: a pulse generator, which powers the system, monitors heart activity, and delivers a shock if needed; and an electrode, which enables the device to sense the cardiac rhythm and serves as a pathway for shock delivery when necessary. Both components are implanted just under the skin — the generator at the side of the chest, and the electrode beside the breastbone. Implantation with the S-ICD System can be done without x-ray imaging, using only the anatomical landmarks of a person’s body structure. The S-ICD System is intended to provide defibrillation therapy for the treatment of lifethreatening ventricular tachyarrhythmias in patients who do not have symptomatic bradycardia, incessant ventricular tachycardia, or spontaneous, frequently recurring ventricular tachycardia that is reliably terminated with anti-tachycardia pacing. The S-ICD does not provide pacing therapy, so it is not indicated for patients who need the pacing function of a traditional defibrillator. May 2015

“The treatment for adverse heart conditions continues to evolve. It’s important that physicians understand how to perform procedures and treatments using the most advanced technology available,” Dr. De Puy said. “As our knowledge, research and technology become more complex, less invasive and highperforming methods become available—and we want our patients to have access to that.” Dr. De Puy is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Disease, a fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association. His special interests include invasive cardiology and cardiac pacemakers/defibrillators.

He is also a Certified Cardiac Device Specialist by the Heart Rhythm Society. He is the only physician in the region trained to perform the new S-ICD implantation. For more information, call Cardiovascular Specialists at (337) 436-3813 or visit www. csswla.com.

Prien Lake Mall

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Mind & Body

Aches and Pains?

by Erin Kelly

When to Call the Doctor Aches and pains come with age, so at times it may seem tricky to determine when it’s time to see a doctor. You might write off that joint pain to senioritis or your neck pain to a bad night’s sleep, but there are times when the symptoms indicate something more ominous. “We all have aches sometimes, especially as we get older. But arthritis is also a common condition that is best identified and treated early, so if there’s a question that it could be something more than traditional wear-and-tear, it’s best to consult a physician,” said Dr. Justin Wu, rheumatologist with Imperial Health. Home remedies can be useful when symptoms first begin to flare, according to Dr. Wu, but if the pain doesn’t go away or gets worse, it’s time to make an appointment. This is especially true in cases of rheumatoid arthritis. Unlike the traditional

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damage caused by osteoarthritis, he explains that rheumatoid arthritis attacks the lining of the joints. This painful condition often results in swelling and limited mobility. The best way to manage rheumatoid arthritis is to identify it early and start intervention to minimize damage. “Mild joint pain and stiffness occurs for any number of reasons. Sometimes all it takes is overthe-counter medication like ibuprofren or Aleve to make it go away. But if six weeks pass and the pain and stiffness is still there, call your doctor— especially if other symptoms arise along the way,” Dr. Wu said. He says other warning signs that it’s time to seek medical help include: • Unexplained swelling. Although it’s normal to have an achy joint, it’s not normal to experience sudden swelling. May 2015

• If pain in the joints is associated with warmth or tenderness, even if there’s no swelling, call the doctor. • Morning stiffness that lasts for hours. • Severe pain that prevents you from activities of daily living. “If you can’t use or move the joint, call your doctor,” Dr. Wu said. • Side effects caused by over-the-counter medications. • Incontinence, even if mild. • Fever or rash. “If you have joint pain and suffer from a fever simultaneously, call the doctor,” Dr. Wu said. • If your back and neck are in pain and you also feel weakness or unsteadiness in your extremities.

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“Arthritis can be painful and disabling. It’s also very common,” Dr. Wu said. “If you’re able to seek treatment early enough, you can prevent joint damage. This is critical in treating arthritis effectively, particularly rheumatoid arthritis, which behaves differently than osteoarthritis and can progress quickly. As with most health conditions, early intervention can slow progression and greatly increase quality of life. So when it doubt, make the call.”

337 312-0972

For more information about the diagnosis and treatment of rheumatoid arthritic, call Dr. Wu at (337) 312-8650.

ehealthyimage.com 836 University Dr., Lake Charles

Breathe In, Breathe Out Exercise and exertion isn’t just about lifting weights or running the treadmill. It’s also about breathing. Studies have shown that improper breathing techniques can hamper a workout and make your job even harder than it needs to be.

May 2015

If you’re running—or if you’re engaged in other forms of aerobic exercise—consider taking one breath for every two foot strikes. This translates to two steps while breathing in and two steps while breathing out. Keep in mind this is just a general

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rule of thumb and breathing patterns could vary depending on how hard and fast you’re running. However, a 2:2 rhythm is typically considered a good pace. There’s been debate whether you should breathe through your nose or your mouth. Some runners advocate for the nose, while others claim you should breathe primarily through the mouth. Breathing through the nose exerts more energy, and some say that energy is needlessly wasted— especially because breathing through the mouth is the most effective way to get oxygen to your working organs. Proper breathing techniques are also important if you’re strength training. It’s commonly advised that you should exhale on the exertion of your exercise because contracting the respiratory muscles helps prepare your body for heavy lifts. Whatever you do, don’t forget to breathe out. Neglecting the powerful exhale is common in strength training. But remember: when you hold your breath, you increase pressure inside the chest. This can increase your blood pressure by restricting adequate blood flow to the heart.



Mind & Body

Dental Care for Babies by Adam Gianforcaro

Good oral hygiene can help prevent cavities and save children from painful and dangerous infections As soon as babies are born, they begin using their mouths to take in the nutrients they need, to breathe and to communicate with the world around them. Keeping these tiny mouths healthy is important to their overall health and development. “With so many other things to worry about when it comes to caring for an infant, it is easy to forget caring for the gums and teeth,” says pediatric dentist Eric Sanders, DDS. “Proper dental care should begin as soon as your baby enters the world in order to set the stage for a great dental care routine in the future.” Parents can gently rub a wet washcloth over their child’s gums before their first teeth begin showing. Once signs of that first pearly white appear, it is time to begin brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush. “Even though they may not be eating solids when the first tooth appears, it is important to begin brushing your baby’s teeth twice a day,” Dr. Sanders says. “The bacteria in your baby’s mouth turns the naturally occurring sugars found in his or her food acidic. This acid can attack the enamel of the teeth.”

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Although baby’s teeth are designed to fall out, it is still important to keep them healthy by brushing them twice a day. “Baby teeth are responsible for ‘reserving’ spaces for the permanent teeth to grow into. If the baby teeth are lost prematurely, it could cause the permanent teeth to shift, causing orthodontic problems down the road,” Dr. Sanders says. “These teeth are also necessary for your child to bite, chew and learn to speak correctly and clearly.” When it comes to caring for baby teeth, there are a lot of options out there on the market as far as toothbrushes and toothpaste but Dr. Sanders urges parents to proceed with caution when purchasing these products. “The best toothbrush to use on an infant is one with a long handle and a small head. This allows you to better reach all of the areas of your baby’s mouth,” adds Dr. Sanders. “As your infant grows into a toddler, you can switch to a brush with a shorter, chunkier handle that is easier for them to hold.” Selecting the correct toothpaste is a little trickier. In fact, you may not even need to use toothpaste at all for babies. Dr. Sanders says the most important

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part of the process is the brushing action itself – this is really all that is needed to loosen any material that may be stuck to the teeth. If you prefer to use toothpaste, it is important to use one specifically designed for infants. “Toothpastes created specifically for infants contain very little, if any, fluoride,” Dr. Sanders says. “Fluoride strengthens the enamel of the teeth, but too much can cause white spots to appear on permanent teeth, a process called fluorosis.” Once you’ve selected the correct toothbrush and correct infant toothpaste, Dr. Sanders offers these tips for protecting your baby’s teeth and gums: Avoid giving your baby juice and instead choose fresh fruits. Water is always the best option if your baby needs additional fluids. If you do give your baby juice, put it in a sippy cup rather than a bottle. Liquids coming from a bottle tend to pool around your baby’s teeth which can lead to tooth decay.

May 2015

Don’t put your baby to bed with a bottle of juice or milk. In addition to being a choking hazard, the interaction between naturally occurring bacteria in your baby’s mouth and the lactose found in milk can create an acid that attacks tooth enamel.

Adding sugar to your baby’s food is not necessary. Babies are not born with a sweet tooth, this is a preference that is learned.

If you need to give your baby an oral medication, give it before you brush their teeth. Many of these medications contain a type of sugar called sucrose. Get established with a dentist when your baby’s first teeth appear. A dentist can often spot possible problems long before they become visible to the naked eye. A proper prevention/care plan can then be created. Early, routine visits to a dentist’s office can also acclimate your baby to the sights and sounds associated with visiting the dentist and ease fears or anxieties when they get older. For more information about dental care for children, call Dr. Sanders at 433-5437 or visit www. www.SandersPediatricDentistry.com

May 2015

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Mind & Body

Stand Up to Stigma by Erin Kelly

Mental illness is common, yet remains stigmatized While therapy, research and dialogue related to mental illness have significantly evolved over the past twenty years, suicide rates have continued to rise. The Center for Disease Control has reported a steady increase over the last two decades in deaths caused by suicide. According to nationally recognized psychotherapist and author Lisa Ferentz, as a culture we still have a way to go in our understanding and approach to those suffering from anxiety, depression and mental illness. Ferentz, founder of the Institute for Advanced Psychotherapy Training and Education in Maryland, says there is “still a lack of education, awareness and understanding about the various diagnoses, with elements of secrecy and shame.” Despite the secrecy that typically clouds the prevalence of mental illness, statistics show that mental disorders are not uncommon in the US. About one in four adults experience a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. That translates to about 61.5 million Americans. Anxiety disorders are the most common

mental illness in the US—affecting about 40 million adults—yet only about one-third of those suffering receive treatment, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Ferentz says mental illness continues to be treated differently in society than other prevalent conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, although all these conditions share roots in genetics and biology. “One of the differences is that people recognize those medical conditions are either genetically or biologically based and clearly not the patient’s ‘fault.’ The irony is, mental illness is also rooted in genetics and biology but people don’t see them in the same light, and may actually blame others for being mentally ill,” Ferentz says. “I also think in our culture ‘mental illness’ is still synonymous with words like ‘weak,’ ‘unstable,’ or ‘crazy.’ Mental illness can engender less compassion from our society than other medical conditions, and therefore, people who struggle with mental illnesses continue to be marginalized.” The shift in mental health perception has been gradual since the 1950s, when most mental health treatment was provided in state hospitals. The Community Health Act of 1963, supported by

the Kennedy administration, provided states with federal funding to develop community mental health centers. These health centers played an integral role in changing the focus, treatment and perception of mental illness. Continued research and advanced pharmaceuticals further propelled treatment and therapy. There is a belief within the mental health community that the public has shown greater tolerance toward people with mental illness, according to Ferentz. “As we continue to study the mechanisms of the living brain, as well as the impact that environment and interpersonal relationships have on our genetic wiring, our perception of mental health is based less on fear and stereotype and more on scientific fact and objective knowledge,” Ferentz says. “There is also growing strength in the idea that people with mental illness should not be discriminated against and both need and deserve advocacy. The very fact that we have Mental Health Awareness Month in May is a good indicator of society’s willingness to identify and support those who struggle.” Still, more work needs to be done. “We have to continue to emphasize the point that mental


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May 2015

MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH illness is not anyone’s fault. And we also need to emphasize that it is the responsibility of someone who is diagnosed to follow through with recommended treatment including psychotherapy and medication. Lastly, we need to adequately fund community mental health clinics and other resources so people get the kind of high quality care they deserve,” Ferentz says. Even with the increased availability of treatment and therapy, millions of American wake up every morning suffering from depression, anxiety, or other adverse mental health conditions, but they may not always know what to do to get help—or they may be afraid of the potential stigma if they do. Ferentz offers these reminders to those who want to seek help, or have loved ones who need it: • Remember: You are not alone. “The subjective sense of feeling alone or stigmatized is certainly understandable and yet, ironically, the research shows us how pervasive mental illness is within families and communities,” she says. “So the idea that someone is alone in a disorder is, objectively speaking, not true.”

May 2015

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• A diagnosis should not be a person’s allencompassing identity. “A mental illness diagnosis is something you struggle with and work hard to manage but it’s not all of who you are as a person.” • As you struggle, try to focus on strengths, including resiliency, creativity, intelligence, and kindness. • Support groups and online chat rooms can help to reduce feelings of isolation or being misunderstood. • The guidance and support of knowledgeable and compassionate mental health providers, as well as friends and family, is paramount. • Remember: Getting help is a sign of strength, not weakness.



Mind & Body

How to Find the Right Therapist by Jen Breen

According to the American Psychological Association, close to half of U.S. households have sought therapy for at least one family member over the last year. While this shows a significant rise in prioritizing mental health, the study also revealed that there are many who avoid therapy because of stigma and myths. Therapy is not reserved for significant mental health issues, nor does it need to be long-term. It can help with common concerns, such as weight-loss and career and life changes. Therapy is also accessible through insurance, sliding fee scales and most communities have resources for low-cost treatment options. The first step in finding a therapist is to think about your goals and identify any reservations you might have. “Deciding to enter into therapy, especially if it’s the first time, is a significant decision. Finding the right person to work with can feel overwhelming, “says clinical psychiatrist Dr. Dale Archer, founder of the Institute for Neuropsychiatry in Lake Charles. “It’s important to be honest with yourself about what makes you feel comfortable. It’s impossible to enter into a trusting therapeutic relationship if you are uncomfortable in the beginning.” Dr. Archer says you should ask yourself the following questions before seeking a therapist:

• What are your top concerns about therapy? • What are your top goals? • Gender or age can play an important role in a patient’s comfort level. Would you rather see a woman or man? Someone older or younger? • Personal values can also play a significant role. For example, some people may prefer religious-based therapy. • Location. How far are you willing to drive for an appointment? “Once you have greater clarity around your needs it will be much easier to find the right therapist,” said Dr. Archer. Here are some tips. Connect with friends and family. “If you have any friends and family members in therapy, ask them what they like and don’t like about it,” says Dr. Archer. “If they’re having a positive and effective experience ask them for a list of referrals.” Reach out to your doctor or community resources. “Not everyone is comfortable with speaking with their family and friends about their desire to go into therapy or they may not know anyone in therapy. If you have a good relationship with your doctor, speak to them about possible referrals,” says Dr. Archer. If you don’t feel comfortable, reach out to a mental health resource in your community for a list of area therapists. Their

staff can often help you to find one that will meet your personal and financial needs. You can also talk to someone at your church, that’s what makes you most comfortable. Search online. “Many people have successfully found their therapist online,” says Dr. Archer. Avoid therapists with websites that are more focused on selling their service and less about how they work with patients.” Call first. Once you have a referral or have found potential therapists online, call to learn more about their personal approach to therapy, their professional background and their fee scale. This will also give the therapist an opportunity to see if they feel their services are a good fit for your needs. “It’s normal to feel nervous about calling potential therapists, but it will give you the opportunity to get a sense of what their practice is like and to learn what a session may be like, by discussing your apprehensions and goals,” says Dr. Archer. “Ask them about their specialty and how they approach therapy.” Once you find a therapist, go in with an open mind and be prepared to feel a little awkward. “It’s a new situation and it may take some time to get used to the situation and a few visits to know if this therapist is the right one for you,” says Dr. Archer. For more information about help with any mental health issue, call the Institute for Neuropsychiatry at (337) 477-7091.


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May 2015


M E N TA L H E A LT H M O N T H 2 0 1 5 Where to Get Help When you’ve decided to seek help, knowing what resources are available and where to start can be tricky. Use the decision map below to help you figure out your options. If you don’t find help where a path ends, try any of the resources in the gold boxes.


Are you in a mental health crisis? (thinking about hurting yourself or someone else)

Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255), go to your local Emergency Room or call 911 as soon as possible.

Active Duty

MilitaryOne Source provides 12 free confidential counseling sessions for active duty and families. Military Chaplains are mental health service providers. TRICARE has a 24/7 Nurse Advice Line at 1-800-874-2273.


Eligible veterans can get care through the V.A. Visit www.va.gov/health or call 1-877-222-8387.


Providers who accept Medicaid may be listed by your state Medicaid office, which you can find by using the map at  medicaiddirectors.org. 


A list of participating doctors can be found at medicare.gov (Click on “Find Doctors”).

Local Mental Health Centers

The names vary from state to state, but local mental health departments or community organizations provide free or low-cost treatment and services on a sliding scale, so qualifying people pay based on their income.

May 2015

Student Resources

Are you a current or former member of the military, or a dependent (spouse or child) of one?

Are you a student?

Your school’s guidance counselor can help you find resources or additional help. Teens can also text “START” to 741-741 for 24/7 confidential crisis text services.

College Resources

Do you have insurance through a government program, like Medicaid or Medicare?

Primary Care Physician (PCP)

Your regular or family doctor can provide referrals to specialists or prescribe care in the meantime.

Your Insurance Company

Your insurance company has a database of providers in your network, which can result in lower costs; check to see who is taking new patients and ask about wait times. Most companies also have a Nurse hotline.

Do you have health insurance?

Do you work for an employer who offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP)?

Your college or university may have a Campus Health Center, or referrals through the Office of Student Life. See if your school has an Active Minds chapter. ULifeline.org can also connect students with resources.

Are you active in your faith community?


Your EAP may provide a counseling benefit for a limited number of services or referrals to other physicians. Ask HR for more info.

Your local MHA Affiliate

Find an MHA in your area and contact the organization by phone or email. They know the local community. Many of them can put you in touch with peer support from other people who have experienced similar things.

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Churches and Houses of Worship

Local churches may have either health ministries or a religious leader who has a counseling certification. It can be a comforting place to start.



Wrestling Results from Louisiana State Championships to Nationals in Cedar Falls, Iowa Lucas VanGossen at the Louisiana State Wrestling Championships

National winners podium in Cedar Falls, Iowa

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Wrestling is making a name for itself here in Southwest Louisiana and we’ve got the championships to prove it. Lucas VanGossen, for one, a sixth grader at S.J. Welsh, competed last month in Cedar Falls, Iowa, at the USA National Folkstyle Wrestling Championships and placed 4th overall in his division – an impressive placement for his first time at that level. After an undefeated season, he also brought home a Louisiana State Championship for the Junior Saints, a local wrestling organization practicing out of St. Louis High School. But Lucas is in good company. Here is a list of the other Jr. Saints and Jr. Storm wrestlers (an organization out of Sulphur) who placed in their respective divisions at the Louisiana State Championships:

Junior Saints Wrestling:

Jr. Storm Wrestling:

JP Broussard - 4th place Joseph Bang - 4th place Wyatt Wilkerson - 3rd place Hank Hebert - 3rd place Alex Yokubaitis - 2nd place

Cade Lachenmayer - 4th place Trent Trouth - 4th place Jacob LeBlanc - 4th place Luke Vice - 4th place Jake Davis - 4th place Clay Perkins - 3rd place Nick LeBlanc - 3rd place Jess LeBlanc - 2nd place Scotty Routon - 2nd place Hunter Gustin - 2nd place Andy LeBlanc - 2nd place Dustin Doucet - 2nd place

Lucas VanGossen Louisiana State Champion! Wyatt Mallett Louisiana State Champion!

Dwight Johnson Louisiana State Champion! Kylan Fontenot Louisiana State Champion! Learn more about each of these organizations and how to get your child involved in this exciting sport. Junior Saints (Lake Charles): Stephanie Desormeaux; (337) 884-0194; slchsjrwrestling@gmail.com Jr. Storm (Sulphur): Amy Trouth; (337) 794-7462

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May 2015

TWO CAMERON PARISH STUDENTS SELECTED TO JEFF DAVIS ELECTRIC CO-OP’S YOUTH TOUR Local students Brianna Guidry and Darien Boudreaux participated in the 2015 Youth Tour Summit in Baton Rouge. The event was part of the 2015 Washington Youth Tour, which will take place June 12-19. Guidry, of Jennings, and Boudreaux, of Lake Charles, will represent Jeff Davis Electric on this year’s Youth Tour. At the Youth Tour Summit, Guidry and Boudreaux spent two days in Baton Rouge meeting their fellow Youth Tour delegates from around the state sponsored by various Louisiana electric cooperatives. The students visited the State Capitol building, learned about the history and mission of electric cooperatives and participated in ice-breaking and leadership development activities. The students saw first-hand how electricity is generated using both coal and natural gas resources. Louisiana Generating is the wholesale power provider for nine rural electric cooperatives across the state. Brianna Guidry

Darien Boudreaux

BUSINESS APPRECIATION SUPPER SCHEDULED The Cameron Parish Police Jury’s Department of Economic Development will host its quarterly supper on June 8 to gather Cameron Parish business owners together to discuss new projects being located in Cameron Parish and opportunities for local businesses to engage in them. Capital One will sponsor the event to be held at the Cameron Parish School Board’s Conference Center (510 Marshall Street Cameron) from 6-8pm with food provided by Canik’s Grocery. The event includes a free supper, door prizes and a chance for owners of small businesses to interact with representatives from projects such as Cameron LNG, Cheniere Energy, and SCT&E. This event is limited to businesses operating in Cameron Parish. For more information, call (337) 739-1098.

May 2015

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May 2015

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McNeese Sets Orientation Schedule McNeese State University is adding something new to its orientation sessions for first-time freshmen for the 2015 fall semester – a one-stop shop for advising and registration.

McNeese Announces 2015 Pinnacle Award Recipients

Six orientations will be held for first-time freshmen from 8am-6pm, May 20, May 29, June 3, June 19, June 25 and July 15 in F.G. Bulber Auditorium. Students can register in advance beginning April 13 for the orientation date they plan to attend by going online to www.mcneese.edu/gbst. During orientation, the students will meet faculty and staff, meet current McNeese students, take a campus tour, learn about campus resources, be advised for the summer and/or fall semester and register for classes. The summer session begins June 8 and the fall semester begins Aug. 24.

L to R: Williams, Dr. Yvette M. Garner, Burton College of Education, Dr. Dimitrios Dermisis, College of Engineering, Dr. C. Martin Konou, College of Business, Dr. Christopher Struchtemeyer, College of Science, Dr. Ann Warner, College of Nursing, and Andersen. Not pictured is Dr. W. Steve Thompson, College of Liberal Arts.

Six McNeese State University faculty members are recipients of the 2015 Pinnacle Excellence Awards established by Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. – the parent company of L’Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles - to recognize the best teaching professor in each of the McNeese colleges—business, education, engineering, liberal arts, nursing and science. Pinnacle Entertainment Director of Public Relations Kerry Andersen and McNeese President Dr. Philip C. Williams presented the educators with their awards totaling $30,000 during a ceremony held March 24 at McNeese’s Stream Alumni Center.

Orientation sessions will also be offered for transfer and non-traditional students – those students 21 and older – from 9 am to noon, May 27 and July 24 and from 6-8:30pm Aug. 19 in Room 202 of Kaufman Hall. For more information, call the Department of General and Basic Studies at (337) 475-5135 or 1-800-6223352, ext. 5135.

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Thrive Magazine for Better Living

May 2015

Mark Your Calendar! A Brewer’s Plate benefits local children with autism A Brewer’s Plate, presented by Hoffoss Devall and Civil Construction Company & Environmental Services, is scheduled for May 16 at 6pm at the historic Cash & Carry building in Lake Charles. This is the marquee fundraising event of St. Nicholas Center for Children, a local non-profit dedicated to providing services to children with autism and developmental delays. The 7th annual event features a four-course meal and premium beer pairing with an auction and live music by community favorites, the Flamethrowers. Tables of 8 are $800 and sponsorships are available. For ticket information, sponsorships, or to donate an auction item, call (337) 491-0800. Don’t miss out on A Brewer’s Plate, benefiting local children at St. Nicholas Center for Children.

Growing for Profit Workshop The Partnership for a Healthier SWLA, along with the SWLA Alliance, is hosting a 2-day “Growing for Profit” Workshop on May 6 and 7, from 3 to 6pm. The workshop will provide a unique opportunity for Southwest Louisiana small farmers, beginning farmers, those interested in farming, to learn the basics of successful growing and how to make a profit from it. Topics will cover how to get started, what and when to plant, utilizing a planting calendar, introductions to key local, state and federal resources and laws, what to do with your harvest and how to profit from it. For more information, call (337) 478-4822.

Start Walking Calcasieu! City Challenge Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for all premature deaths. It contributes significantly to cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer -- even depression and Alzheimer’s. In Calcasieu Parish alone, the obesity rate of 37.3% is higher than the state and national averages making the state of Louisiana the second unhealthiest and most obese state in the nation. Local mayors decided to tackle these statistics head on by educating the community about the benefits of walking as a lifelong exercise. During the entire month of May in honor of National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, each of the six Calcasieu mayors will host walks in their respective communities to get their constituents May 2015

moving. For more information on how to get involved, call the Partnership for a Healthier Southwest Louisiana at (337) 478-4822 or go to healthierswla. com.

Tickets Now On Sale for Chennault International Airshow Tickets are now on sale for heart-pounding thrills and chills at the Chennault International Airshow, which is set to take place October 24-25, at Chennault International Airport. Headlining the 2015 lineup will be the thrilling aerobatics of the Thunderbirds—the U.S. Air Force’s premier jet demonstration team. General admission tickets are good for one full day of aviation fun, and presale online tickets are $19 for adults ages 13 and older. Tickets sold at the gate will be $22. Children ages 12 and under can enter for free when accompanied by an adult. To purchase general admission or Photo Tour tickets online or to learn about the 2015 event lineup, visit the Airshow’s website at www. chennaultairshow.com.

Call for Volunteers: 
Tour du Rouge Coming to Sulphur More than 100 cyclists will leave Houston headed for New Orleans in the Tour du Rouge, May 3-8, with a pit stop in Sulphur, May 4. The 533-mile cycling adventure raises awareness and money for American Red Cross services along the Gulf Coast and benefits seven Red Cross chapters, which provide support for communities in need. Volunteers will be needed Monday, May 4, to ensure a successful event and showcase southern hospitality. There will be a variety of duties needed throughout the event in the hospitality area from set up to serving refreshments to cheering on the participants. 
To register to be a volunteer or for more information, visit www.visitlakecharles.org/ tourdurouge.

Tickets Available for Annual A Black Tie Affair Tickets are on sale now for the annual Calcasieu Medical Society Foundation fundraiser A Black Tie Affair, set for May 9, beginning at 6pm at L’Auberge Casino Resort in Lake Charles. The elegant event will kick off with a cocktail hour and silent auction, followed by dinner and a live auction. Following dinner, the evening’s Big Band themed entertainment headliner, Rory Partin will take the Thrive Magazine for Better Living

stage. For more information, or to purchase tickets, log on to www.ablacktieaffair.org or call (337) 478-3780.

Promise Walk for Preeclampsia The signature Lake Charles Promise Walk for Preeclampsia will be held May 23, at Drew Park in Lake Charles. Registration will begin at 9:30am. A one-mile family friendly walk will begin at 10:30am. Proceeds from this event will go to support the Preeclampsia Foundation. For more information or to register, visit www.promisewalk.org/lakecharles.

The American Press Foundation Presents An Evening With MusicMakers The American Press Foundation will present An Evening With MusicMakers, featuring pop and classical music along with classical ballet at 6pm on May 3 at the Tritico Theater on the McNeese Campus. A reception and silent auction will precede the performance, from 5-6pm in the Shearman Fine Arts Grand Gallery. Guests will enjoy a light buffet of appetizers and wine as they view the auction items and place their bids. Tickets for the concert may be obtained by visiting McNeese.edu/theatre or by purchasing tickets at the door for a $30.00 donation to MusicMakers2U.

Isle of Capri Lake Charles Announces May Lineup May 1 – Ryan Harris and The Killin Time Band May 2 – The Dog Hill Stompers May 6 – Karaoke with DJ David Verrett May 7 – Orphan Annie May 8 – David Joel May 9 – Chris Ardoin and Nu Step Zydeko May 13 – Karaoke with DJ David Verrett May 14 – Mark Reeves and Twisted X May 15 – Joe Harmon and The Harmonics May 16 – Twangsters Union May 20 – Karaoke with DJ David Verrett May 21 – The Chuck Taylors May 22 – Brad Brinkley and The Comfort Zone May 23 – Herbie Stutes and the Grand Shin May 27 – Karaoke with DJ David Verrett May 28 – Will Wesley and The Jukebox Band May 29 – The Coleman Brothers May 30 – Pookie Marceaux




Solutions for Life

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

Take It Easy “What is wrong with you? You are so stupid.”

“It’s no surprise he stood you up, look at you! You’re fat, and such a slob. You can’t possibly have ever thought you were good enough for him.”

These are recent comments from one “friend” to another. Great friend, huh? What would you do if a friend talked to you like that? Would you continue to be that person’s friend? Sadly, I know some of you would convince yourself that the friend was “just telling me what I needed to know.” My hope is that the vast majority of you would immediately start the process of distancing yourself from anyone that had the audacity to speak to you in such a way. Guess what? The friend is you, talking to you. Don’t deny it. I know you do it. So do I sometimes. When I eat that po-boy instead of the salad. When my clothes don’t fit the way I like. When I am having a bad hair day. When I say the stupid thing instead of the witty one. Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we beat ourselves down instead of lifting ourselves up? If a friend was saying she looks ugly, would you agree and say “Yes, you are kind of hard on the eyes.” I think most of us would say “Stop it. You are not ugly. You have the prettiest eyes.” And if a friend of yours got stood up, wouldn’t you come to his defense: “she is an idiot and has just missed out on the best thing ever.” Oh, we are quick to try to help others feel better, but not ourselves. Don’t you know the rule is if you beat someone else up emotionally it is wrong, but if you beat yourself up emotionally it will totally work? I think not. I have never seen “going negative” work on anyone. I see it happen a lot in sports. Somehow, the coach decides that he must yell, embarrass, and shame the player into performing. Sure, maybe it makes that athlete try to prove the coach wrong

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“Ugh, I hate your hair, and could your nose be any uglier?

in the moment, but the seed has been planted. Now that player will start to wonder if all those mean things said were true. And I have had many adults tell me that their tendency to beat themselves up started in childhood when various adults were trying to “motivate” them in just such ways. What to do, what to do? You are going to have to re-train yourself. You are going to have to start being easier on yourself. If you are dieting and mess up, beating yourself up actually makes it more likely you will continue to make poor eating choices. Whereas telling yourself, “that’s all right. It was delicious and I enjoyed it. Now, I’m going to get back on track” will probably work. When you mess up in social or work situations, having to go through the process of tearing yourself down actually slows down your ability to do what you need to: decide what you want to do different in the future. Instead of telling yourself how stupid you are, try moving quickly to coming up with next time’s witty response. When you look in the mirror, stop going immediately to the things you don’t like in that reflection (I know you too well, don’t I?). Choose something you do like, and head there first. Over time, you will find that you are spending less and less time focusing on the things you don’t like. News flash: we all have things we don’t like when we look in the mirror. And we all have things that are likeable, even if we have never paid attention to them. Please start being nicer to yourself. Be gentle. Be nurturing. You’re worth it!

Thrive Magazine for Better Living

May 2015

May 2015

Thrive Magazine for Better Living



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LAKE CHARLES 474-7377 1717 Prien Lake Rd.

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DERIDDER 463-4574 514 N. Pine St.


May 2015

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Thrive May 2015 Issue  

May 2015 Issue of Thrive

Thrive May 2015 Issue  

May 2015 Issue of Thrive

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