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VENTURA COUNTY

CONEJO VALLEY

MALIBU

WEST SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

JANUARY 2014 www.yhconnection.com

FITNESS

MY HEALTH STUDIO OF WESTLAKE VILLAGE • PILATES

FOR BUFF BONES • SPORT CONCUSSION • LIVING WITH DIABETES • BECOMING EMOTIONALLY FIT • UNDERSTANDING SPIRITUAL YOGA • WHAT ARE YOUR TRUE DESIRES? • FOOD AS MEDICINE


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Contents

FITNESSS JANUARY 2014

DEPTARTMENTS

18/

06/ PUBLISHER’S LETTER Fitness – One Size Does Not Fit All!

09/ FYI

Save the Date: The ABC’s and XYZ’s of Special Needs Conference

24/ NATURAL APPROACH The Mind, Body and Spirit of Fitness by Dr. Sharon Norling

24/

20/

30/ SPIRITUALLY SPEAKING

The Art of Desire, Intention and Manifestation

by Denise Schriedel

32/ COMPASSIONATE EATING

Food as Medicine

by Bianca Rose Martinez

34/ BEYOND GREEN LIVING

The Wonder of Yoga – Beyond the Poses – Part 1

by Jan Tucker, MBA

14/ FEATURES 14/ SPECIAL HEALTH BULLETIN

10/ CONNECTION My Health Studio

by Alicia Doyle

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Sport Concussion – Creating a Culture of Change

20/ HEALTH VIEW 2

Living with Diabetes – How to Take Control by Peter Simpson

by Dr. Ashley Benjamin

28/ MIND & SPIRIT 18/ HEALTH VIEW 1

Pilates for Buff Bones by Alicia Doyle

Are You an Emotionally Fit Man? by Wayne Levine, MA


“Professionial chef, mother of two boys. Very Active, on my feet all the time; runner, hiker. If it wasn’t for Dr.K’s procedure I would have never had my bunions done.” Jessica M.

JANUARY 2014 YHCONNECTION.COM

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PUBLISHER’S LETTER

FITNESS

FITNESS— ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL Happy New Year, Everyone! Welcome to CTW/Connect to Wellbeing Magazine (formerly YHC Magazine). Our name has changed to ring in the New Year, but our look, feel and vital information will be just what you have come to expect. And growth is imminent!

ANN K. CASTLE FOUNDER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & PUBLISHER

With that celebratory greeting, let’s get started with this month’s theme! The evolution of fitness has been interesting—but at times confusing— from a trendsetting point of view. We have experienced fitness fads from aerobics to kickboxing, from extreme boot camps to yoga. Even ballet has taken an important role in the world of mainstream fitness. In a recent conversation about ballet-based workouts, someone mentioned that these new workouts are like ballet on speed. Oh my—that does sound lethal. However I don’t have a hard time understanding this comparison and it really does appeal to me. Having been classically trained in dance, the thought of an intense and disciplined workout sounds wonderful. Zumba is another form of dance that is a great workout and has an energy all its own. If you like just cutting loose and shaking your booty to the Latin beat, this is a perfect workout for you! Along with the intense ballet-based workout, also known as Cardio Barre, Pilates and yoga are long-standing, positive workouts that not only build core strength, but help to maintain a fluid range of motion and balance, and develop lean muscle. In this issue, once again we introduce many concepts: a great place to work out—My Health Studio in Westlake Village; vital information about sport concussions; a new revolutionary workout to help build and maintain bone density; understanding the beautiful world of spiritual yoga; the mind body and spirit connection of fitness and much more. Whether you do yoga, Zumba, cross-training, or just enjoy a wonderful brisk walk outdoors, the name of the game is to keep moving and enjoy your time—to maintain your health and be your personal best. With Peace, Love, Blessings and Gratitude,

Ann

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HEART HEALTH Find out more about matters of the heart. CTW Magazine’s Heart Health issue hits the stands and goes online February 1!


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Re-Balance Don't know what’s WRONG?

FOUNDER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, PUBLISHER

ANN K. CASTLE

CREATIVE DIRECTOR JODY L. LEVITAN

Get Yourself Tested To accurately diagnose and help guide treatment of ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, Addiction, Insomnia, and Mood Dysregulation, we are now offering

NEUROTRANSMITTER TESTING Entails testing for abnormalities in Brain chemistry. By correcting Brain chemistry with medications and natural supplements we can bring the balance back, thereby ensuring optimum emotional and physical well being.

Get Your life in balance. Get tested today.

COPY EDITING JAN TUCKER, MBA ACCOUNTING DONNA BRYANT CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER MARY MYERS CONTRIBUTING WRITERS ASHLEY BENJAMIN, MD, MA; ALICIA DOYLE; WAYNE LEVINE, MA; BIANCA ROSE MARTINEZ; SHARON NORLING, MD, MBA; DENISE SCHRIEDEL; PETER SIMPSON; JAN TUCKER, MBA COVERAGE AREA INCLUDES MONTHLY TO VENTURA COUNTY, WEST SAN FERNANDO VALLEY, MALIBU AND THE CONEJO VALLEY; AGOURA HILLS, CALABASAS, CAMARILO, MOORPARK, NEWBURY PARK, NORTHRIDGE, OAK PARK, OXNARD, SIMI VALLEY, THOUSAND OAKS, VENTURA, WESTLAKE VILLAGE, WEST HILLS, WOODLAND HILLS FOR ADVERTISING INQUIRIES CONTACT MARIAN GREEN marian@connecttowellbeing.com 818.943.0751

FAMILY PSYCHIATRY A Division of Westlake Wellness Center

Sabira Saifuddin MD Medical Director

805-341-3416 www.cuttingedgepsychiatry.com 5655 Lindero Canyon Road, Suite 405 Westlake Village, CA 91362 8

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YHCONNECTION.COM JANUARY 2014

DENISE SCHRIEDEL winestar88@aol.com 805.490.5893 FOR ALL OTHER INQUIRIES CONTACT ANN K. CASTLE ann@connecttowellbeing.com or 805.341.2972

ADVISORY BOARD

ANDREA DOCTOR, LCSW, DCSW Home Health Administrator for Buena Vista Palliative Care and Home Health KATIE GREELEY, DC United Family Chiropractic Specializing in Pediatric Chiropractic Care STEVEN GREENMAN, DDS Specializing in Advanced Cosmetic, Implant & Sedation Dentistry, Snoring & Sleep Apnea HILDA MALDONADO, MD Specializing in Functional Medicine, Anti-Aging Medicine & Hormone Therapy SHARON NORLING, MD Board Certified OB/GYN, Holistic/Integrative Medicine, Medical Acupuncture, Nutrition & Functional Medicine DENISE NOYER-EREZ, LAC, FABORM Licensed Acupuncturist Specializing in Women’s Health ALON STEINBERG, MD, FACC Board Certified Cardiologist JAN TUCKER, MBA Founder of Whitelotusliving.com Specializing in green living, environmental awareness & spiritual yoga DAVID VILLARREAL, DDS Centers for Healing Specializing in Holistic Dentistry

WWW.YHCONNECTION.COM The opinions expressed here are those of the individual writer and not necessarily those of the publishers or management of YHC Magazine. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Publication of the name or photo of any person or organization in YHC Magazine should not be construed as an indication of that person’s expressed opinion. Advertisers and their agencies assume responsibility and liability for the content of their advertisement in YHC Magazine. Photographers whose work is published in any advertising or editorial content within YHC Magazine agree to indemnify and save harmless the publishers from all liability, loss and expense due to a photographer’s failure to gain a model release. YHC Magazine is not responsible for loss of or damage to unsolicited manuscripts, unsolicited artwork, or any other unsolicited material. Unsolicited material will not be returned. YHC Magazine’s liability in the event of an error is limited to a printed correction. YHC Magazine does not assume liability for products or services advertised herein.

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JANUARY 2014 YHCONNECTION.COM

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CONNECTION

MY HEALTH STUDIO

Over the years, she continually found herself in a large gym, intensely disliking every minute of her exercise time. “After many years in the corporate environment, I went back to school in pursuit of an accredited fitness education and certification,” said McIntyre, NASM CPT/CES/WLS.

ESTA P. MCINTYRE

She has since combined her study of success principles in business and insights from years of her personal quest for a healthy body, with training and certification from the prestigious National Academy of Sports Medicine, to develop a course of action. She uses an effective team approach to keep her clients encouraged while on the road to a healthier life. “My Health Studio was developed out of my personal struggle with fitness,” she said. “I wish I’d had a facility like this when I was going through my fitness struggle.”

MY HEALTH STUDIO My Health Studio, located at 31139 Via Colinas, Suite 303 in Westlake Village across from the Four Seasons Hotel, provides a family feel and a safe place

MY HEALTH

MAKING AN IMPACT ON PEOPLE’S LIVES THROUGH COMING FROM A FAMILY WITH A PROPENSITY TOWARD OBESITY, by Alicia Doyle photography by Mary Myers

ESTA P. MCINTYRE HAS MADE IT A LIFELONG ENDEAVOR TO PURSUE A HEALTHY, SLIMMER BODY.

“FROM THE TIME I WAS 16 YEARS OLD, I HAVE LOST AND GAINED 50-PLUS POUNDS MULTIPLE TIMES,” MCINTYRE RECALLED. “I TRIED ALMOST EVERYTHING—EVERY PROGRAM, PRESCRIPTION DRUGS, COSMETIC SURGERY—EVERYTHING SHORT OF STOMACH STAPLING.”

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for people who don’t prefer the bigbox gym feel. “We provide unique class offerings like mini-trampoline jumping, Pilates, circuit training, jazz fusion, belly dance/Bollywood fusion, ballet classes and more—as well as the Zumba and TRX classes you may find at other studios,” McIntyre said. The studio is an American Heart Association-authorized training facility with an on-staff emergency medical technician (EMT) who teaches CPR, AED (automated external defibrillator) and first aid certification classes. Additionally, it’s home to The Hidden Gem Clinical Skincare licensed aesthetician services, as well as KayB Therapeutic Massage.

group dance classes, serving the Conejo, Simi and San Fernando Valley communities—Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Newbury Park, Moorpark, Camarillo, Oxnard and Ventura. “Forget the drudgery of regular exercise and start having fun,” McIntyre said. “If long-lasting weight loss, muscle development, flexibility, balance and endurance are what you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place.” “The services are unique, but the feel inside the studio is absolutely distinctive,” she added. “We pretty much know everyone’s name,” said McIntyre, further noting that clients and class participants are like extended family. “They have our ears, and we have an open door policy. If they want us to add a service or would like something changed, we’re always there to listen. We want our clients to be happy, and we work very hard to get them what they need. They’re our number one priority.”

CLASSES

“As a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer, I offer customized fitness plans at extremely reasonable prices,” McIntyre said. “I am absolutely passionate about getting people into movement, with laughter being an extremely important component of my program.”

At My Health Studio the first class is always free.

The studio also offers the ultimate in fitness personal training and walk-in

“Pricing is as good as it gets for the level of knowledge, continuing education and certifications we provide,” McIntyre said. “We also

“Our exercise floor is a sprung, padded maple floor to protect joints,” said McIntyre. “If they want to use us as an adjunct to their gym or current exercise program, they can walk in for $10.”  “The studio also offers unlimited class programs for as low as only $38 a month,” McIntyre said. Personal training sessions for one to six people are also available.

STUDIO

ENCOURAGEMENT, MOVEMENT AND LAUGHTER.

JANUARY 2014 YHCONNECTION.COM

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CONNECTION

MY HEALTH STUDIO

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have state-of-the art equipment, including PowerPlate, EFI Gravity, JumpSport Fitness Trampolines, TRX and more.”

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Born and raised in the Bronx and Queens, McIntyre moved to the west coast in 1980. “After visiting multiple times and loving it here, we picked up everything and moved.”

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YHCONNECTION.COM JANUARY 2014

Her current vocation was inspired by a trainer and psychologist. “I had been in an office setting, never really meeting new people and feeling as though I wasn’t making a different in the lives of others,” McIntyre recalled. “Also, the continuous sitting, sitting, sitting was taking its toll on my body.” Looking back on the path that led to launching My Health Studio, she hopes to make a positive impact on people’s lives. “I want to let people know that it’s never too late to start moving,” McIntyre said. “Aside from the obvious physical benefits, movement can help to overcome depression and the feeling of hopelessness that many people experience. Our studio is a place for laughter and encouragement.”

W H AT ’ S N E X T My Health Studio has expanded three times since the endeavor began nearly eight years ago. 

More information can be found at www.myhealthstudio.com.


Being the Man You Want to Be In Your Relationships and in Your Life

Get out of the problem and into the solution. Men all want the same things. We want to feel joy and passion, be happy in our relationships, feel of value, and spend our days making money in a way that fulfills us. We want to not be so angry, jealous and resentful, know that we’re good enough as men, fathers and husbands, and we want to feel the confidence necessary to live without doubt and fear. With more than 20 years experience in guiding men through all conceivable life challenges, I’ll coach you through your problems, and help you find the solutions to become the happy and successful man, father and husband you want to be, and your family deserves. n n n

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SPECIAL HEALTH BULLETIN

SPORT CONCUSSION

AFTER SUSTAINING HIS THIRD CONCUSSION IN LESS THAN A YEAR, FORMER ST. BONAVENTURE HIGH SCHOOL ALL-AMERICAN, LORENZO BOOKER DECIDED TO RETIRE FROM PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL. HIS CAREER SPANNED FIVE YEARS AND INCLUDED FOUR DIFFERENT NFL TEAMS. BOOKER SAID OF HIS LAST CONCUSSION, “IT WAS A PLAY I’D RUN A THOUSAND TIMES. I WAS SANDWICHED BETWEEN TWO DEFENSIVE LINEMEN AND I WAS OUT OF IT. I HAD HEADACHES, DIZZINESS, MEMORY LOSS AND MY MOTOR SKILLS WERE OFF.”

SPORT CONCUSSION Creating a Culture of Change by Ashley Benjamin, MD, MA

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If you think concussions are just football and male-related, listen to what Newbury Park mom, Jill Fisher has to say. Fisher described how scared she was when she got a call from her daughter, Caitlyn, who sustained a concussion playing college club rugby. Fisher said, “She had no memory of the entire game.” Fisher explained that a failed motor skills test along with slurred speech, dizziness, headaches and an increased need to sleep took three weeks to abate. The above two cases highlight the importance of knowing the definition, risk factors, signs and symptoms of a concussion, as well as how commonly it can occur. The goal is to help you ask the right questions regarding the diagnosis and treatment of concussions. A synopsis of the current management guidelines regarding return to play will provide you with knowledge to safely aid in transitioning your athlete back to competition.

CONCUSSION BASICS A concussion is the shaking of and acceleration of the brain that results in changes in consciousness. A concussion often is complicated by rotational forces or the sideways movement of the head. This concept is critical, as no amount of padding or helmet protection can alter the forces on the brain that result in a concussion. Concussion severity can range from its recipient being dazed to the player lying unconscious, necessitating transport off the field on a stretcher.

RECOGNIZING A CONCUSSION Common signs and symptoms during and after a concussion include: • Cognitive—such as memory problems • Somatic or body-related—such as headaches • Emotional—such as irritability • Sleep difficulties A CT or MRI is often negative because a concussion is a neurometabolic or

If a concussion is suspected at practice or during a game, a sideline assessment should be done immediately by an athletic trainer or coach who has been trained to do this. Your athlete should never be put back in the game despite the, “I’m fine, let me play!” comment. Let wisdom prevail.

nerve connection injury that occurs at a cellular, non-visible level. According to Sport Concussion Institute, CEO Tony Strickland, MS, PhD, “The most critical symptoms include headache, dizziness, balance problems, sensitivity to light and/ or noise and decreased speed of mental processing.”

APPALLING NUMBERS AND RISK FACTORS Estimates suggest there are between 1.6 and 3.8 million concussion-related ER visits each year. According to a report brief released in October, 2013 by the highly respected and nonpolitical Institute of Medicine (IOM) and National Research Council (NRC), more research needs to be done, but we also need to be more aware of the information we have. For example, we know that for high school and college male athletes, football, ice hockey, lacrosse, wrestling and soccer have the highest rates. Concussions are gender neutral. Female athletes are at highest risk in the sports of soccer, lacrosse, basketball and ice hockey. Two other sports that are involved but often fly under the radar are cheerleading and gymnastics.

PMS 433

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JANUARY 2014 YHCONNECTION.COM

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SPECIAL HEALTH BULLETIN

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SPORT CONCUSSION

Individuals with prior head injuries, attention deficit disorders, learning disorders, and not surprisingly, developing brains, are at higher risk. While the majority of concussions resolve within 7 to 10 days, this is not always the case. Although rare, mismanaged, repeat offenses can result in catastrophic lifelong sequelae (after effects) including a degenerative syndrome known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and/or death. Booker said regarding his decision to retire, “I had achieved all that I had wanted so I decided to get out with my health intact.”

CURRENT GUIDELINES— T H E G O L D S TA N D A R D Despite the tremendous press coverage of sport concussions, a lack of awareness remains. As Fisher said, “Many coaches are still not looking for it.”

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Clinical expertise is also critical. Strickland added, “These symptoms require management by sports concussion experts.” Being knowledgeable is critical. Booker, a parent himself, said, “There are still coaches doing ridiculous

drills,” so parents should “do their research and step in” if there is inappropriate diagnosis or treatment at any level or stage of return. Following are basic guidelines to help you manage the care of your athlete regarding the possibility or occurrence of a concussion: Every at risk athlete should have a screening of their balance and cognitive function prior to the start of each season. This provides a baseline before any potential concussion. If a concussion is suspected at practice or during a game, a sideline assessment should be done immediately by an athletic trainer or coach who has been trained to do this. Your athlete should never be put back in the game despite the, “I’m fine, let me play!” comment. Let wisdom prevail. After a concussion, there should be full brain rest which excludes any physical or mental activity. This means no video games, cell phones or anything that stimulates the brain. A physician’s note may be helpful to get the school to assist with make-up homework and test schedules. As with an acute knee injury, you wouldn’t be doing squats—so complete brain rest applies to concussions.


Assessment by a physician within 48 to 72 hours should be accomplished with a follow-up of the baseline testing. Inquire about the background and experience of the physician to ensure an up-to-date knowledge base. The athlete should be reassessed when completely symptom-free without requiring medications for symptoms such as pain or sleep issues. At this point, there is a 24-hour stepwise process to ensure your athlete is asymptomatic after each of the following stages: walking, aerobic exercise, more intense exercise, game-like drills and finally actual game-like activity. The return of any symptoms at any step along the process is a precaution for slowing down and staying at the previous level before progressing. Once completely asymptomatic, your athlete is ready to compete again. Concussion diagnosis, treatment and management require comprehensive coordination and communication between coaches, athletic trainers, physicians and neuropsychologists. The IOM/NRC brief recommends further research to help athletes at all levels of play.

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As a parent, increased awareness and vigilance will make you the best advocate for your athlete. This will ensure the zeal for competition does not interfere with doing what is medically most appropriate for your children with developing brains. Let us all personalize this culture of change.

Ashley Benjamin is a VCBH board certified psychiatrist and co-author of the book, The Student Athlete’s College Recruitment Guide. He routinely combines his expertise from his MA in exercise science, certification as an IGMCA Mental Game Instructor, elite track coaching background, and former military experience (Lt Col in the USAFR) to teach and coach elite mental performance techniques, leadership, and life balance to executives, athletes, and others interested in maximizing their potential. He can be reached at www.schollyme.com/drash or by phone, 805-490-0343. JANUARY 2014 YHCONNECTION.COM

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HEALTH VIEW 1

PILATES FOR BUFF BONES

PILATES FOR BUFF BONES by Alicia Doyle

WHEN DIAGNOSED WITH OSTEOPOROSIS AT THE AGE OF 28, REBEKAH ROTSTEIN WAS TEACHING COURSEWORK TO PILATES INSTRUCTORS-IN-TRAINING ON MATTERS OF INJURIES AND SPECIAL CONDITIONS—INCLUDING OSTEOPOROSIS. “So I was familiar with the dangers of certain movements for those with low bone density and excessive bone loss,” recalled Rotstein, 37, of New York City. The more she researched, studied and learned, the more she realized that others with osteoporosis and bone issues were in need of a workout that was inclusive to them, rather than having to remove all the exercises

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that could potentially harm them and which often led them to feel inadequate. “So I created the Pilates for Buff Bones workout,” Rotstein said. “And if I was going to do it, it also had to be fun and enjoyable.” The encouraging program not only felt good on her own body—but was also safe and strengthening. It is based on scientific literature and addresses the various concerns for those with bone health issues.

“The workout also emphasizes the feet—our primary contact point with the ground that supports us and affects our entire body positioning and posture,” Rotstein said. Licensed instructors of the workout have attended a thorough training course involving lessons in anatomy and biomechanics, detailing how the subtle nuances of joint positioning can make all the difference in the benefits to bones and alleviation of common aches and pains.

M E D I C A L LY - E N D O R S E D WORKOUT Pilates for Buff Bones is a medicallyendorsed workout that combines Pilates with bone-strengthening and balance techniques to optimize the health and safety of your bones. The workout follows a researchsupported design of specifically sequenced exercises, making it an entire system of bone and joint health, rather than just a set of exercises. “Toning your arms, hips, back and abs, it also improves posture, is adaptable to varying levels and is even safe for those with osteoporosis,” Rotstein said. Seventy-five percent of traditional Pilates mat exercises include motions like forward-bending of the spine which are known to be potentially dangerous for those with osteoporosis and often for its precursor, osteopenia. “Pilates for Buff Bones avoids these motions while integrating other creative movements and still leveraging the many benefits of Pilates, including enhanced breathing, core control, coordination, flexibility and promotion of whole body health,” Rotstein said. The traditional mat work is performed primarily lying on the mat, whereas Pilates for Buff Bones includes an entire upright standing portion for weight-bearing, balance and bone-stimulating movements, in addition to functional movement patterns that assist in daily life.

The workout targets the sites of the body most susceptible to bone loss, so it aims to prevent the natural loss of bone mass that actually begins in our 30s— far earlier than most people realize.

M AT - B A S E D EXERCISE PROGRAM Pilates for Buff Bones is a Pilates matbased exercise program partly performed in different positions on a mat, building up to the eventual standing portion of the workout for weightbearing and balance training. Small weights are used in the standing component for additional bone-loading. “The workout targets the sites of the body most susceptible to bone loss, so it aims to prevent the natural loss of bone mass that actually begins in our 30s—far earlier than most people realize,” Rotstein said. “The specificity of the exercises improves posture along with strength and mobility of the hips, so many people with back and neck ailments feel better after just one class.” 

STRONGER AND MORE CAPABLE For Rotstein, Pilates for Buff Bones has helped her feel stronger and more capable. “And the feedback I get from people everywhere is the same, expressing enthusiasm and appreciation.” “Many with osteoporosis feel overwhelmed with what to do to safeguard and strengthen their bones and they’re often fearful they are fragile,” Rotstein said. “This workout gives people the opportunity to feel empowered again and recognize they can in fact move and use their bodies—and that they are not weak physically or emotionally. After just a few classes they see and feel the results of improved strength and balance which encourages them to continue.”

SAFE FOR BONES AND BODIES Rotstein’s ultimate goal with Pilates for Buff Bones has already been set in action. “Through the DVD and live classes, people everywhere have access to this workout that they can confidently perform knowing it’s safe and helpful for their bones and bodies, with backing from various medical leaders,” said Rotstein, adding that there are licensed instructors throughout the United States and in 15 other countries. Those who have endorsed Pilates for Buff Bones include former U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona, MD and women’s health expert Christiane Northrup, MD.   “Meanwhile, I’m continuing to grow our community of licensed instructors with ongoing courses and building out the next levels of programming and workouts,” Rotstein said. For more information visit www.pilatesforbuffbones.com.

JANUARY 2014 YHCONNECTION.COM

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HEALTH VIEW 2

DIABETES

LIVING WITH DIABETES How to Take Control. by Peter Simpson

At 27, Blair Ryan has been coping with diabetes for almost half her life—and coping remarkably well. The disease hasn’t stopped her from having a busy career and an action-packed personal life that includes distance running, road biking, swimming and surfing.

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But Ryan is always looking for tools that give her an edge in handling her condition. She has type 1 diabetes, which demands constant vigilance because of the threat posed by bloodsugar levels that can shoot too high or sink too low. One solution for Ryan has been continuous glucose monitoring, or CGM. She wears a small patch with a tiny sensor wire she places under the skin of her abdomen. The sensor reads her blood glucose and sends it to a small monitoring device. The device provides alerts and alarms when her glucose rises or falls, and gives her detailed glucose information with the push of a button. For many people with diabetes this technology can be not only useful, but lifesaving. “There are so many factors that complicate diabetes management that you can’t always anticipate what’s going to come next,” said Ryan, of San Diego. “And I do worry about possible complications. That’s always on my mind.” CGM can help people with diabetes better understand their sugar levels and how their bodies react to different activities, giving them more control over a complex disease. Ryan, who gives herself insulin injections to help regulate her blood sugar, likes always knowing her current levels, and importantly, whether they are trending upward or downward. “It really helps me be more realistic about managing my blood sugar,” she said.

ficulty using the hormone insulin. Everyone needs insulin to metabolize glucose in the bloodstream so the body can use it for energy. In type 1 diabetes, usually diagnosed in children and young adults, the body makes little or no insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the body cannot use insulin properly and gradually becomes less able to produce enough of it. According to the American Diabetes Association, close to 26 million Americans have diabetes. About 90 to 95 percent of them have type 2 diabetes, often linked to obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. A 2003 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that one in three children born in 2000 will eventually develop type 2 diabetes. Managing diabetes can be complicated. Ryan said she was fortunate that her mother, a family doctor, quickly picked up on symptoms Ryan developed at age 14. She was thirsty, her urine was abnormally clear and she was fatigued as she tried to keep up with her cross-country running.

A C O M P L I C AT E D CONDITION

Complications from uncontrolled high blood sugar can include increased risk for heart attack and stroke, kidney failure, skin and mouth infections, vision problems, and nerve damage that affects everything from the feeling in limbs to digestion. Since the effects of diabetes progress over time, some people— especially those with type 2—might not even realize the damage the disease is doing.

Blood sugar (blood glucose) is a crucial concern for all diabetics as their bodies do not make and/or have dif-

Oral medications, injections and insulin pumps can get blood sugar

CGM can help people with diabetes better understand their sugar levels and how their bodies react to different activities, giving them more control over a complex disease.

under control, along with attention to diet and exercise. But adjusting blood sugar levels can be tricky. If blood sugar gets too low (hypoglycemia), people may feel weak or nervous and have trouble thinking clearly. Even worse, they might not notice any symptoms, putting them at risk for fainting, having a seizure or even lapsing into a coma.

F I N D I N G WAY S TO COPE As senior manager of R&D at Dexcom, I’ve worked extensively on the technological side of diabetes research, but these issues also are personal to me. My father has diabetes, and he’s had some close calls— times when he needed help because his blood sugar was low. Some people who work in demanding jobs are so worried about possible dips in their blood glucose that they take measures to keep their levels slightly high. That’s risky, considering the damage high blood JANUARY 2014 YHCONNECTION.COM

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HEALTH VIEW 2

Not looking and feeling so fresh?

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DIABETES

sugar can do over time. Like Blair Ryan, they often find a continuous glucose monitor is a good solution. Danielle Zemer, a 33-year-old mother from Encinitas, agrees. She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 15. Now, with a baby and a toddler, she’s more focused than ever on keeping track of her glucose levels. “I’ve always tried to be really in tune with my body,” Zemer said. “[CGM] ended up being such an amazing tool for me. I would say the biggest advantage of it comes from not having to guess where my blood sugar is headed. With two small children and a pretty busy schedule, having my blood-sugar level available with a click of a button is really reassuring.” CGM is different from the finger-stick blood checks most people living with diabetes are familiar with. The finger stick is like a snapshot. It tells you what your blood glucose is at that moment. CGM however, also shows how your blood glucose is trending—where it has been and where it is going. If necessary, you can make adjustments—for example, by getting some exercise, using some insulin or consuming a highcarbohydrate food. One pattern Zemer detected was related to breastfeeding. “Nursing can send your sugars low about 45 minutes afterward,” she said. “The sensor has helped so much in catching lows before they become too low.”

HOW CGM IS USED Patients with type 1 diabetes like Ryan and Zemer typically use their devices 24/7. The sensor is only about the size of a human hair and usually causes no discomfort. It’s attached to a small patch and is applied on the abdominal area. Within the patch is a transmitter that sends data wirelessly to the display unit. Besides showing your blood-glucose level and current trend, the monitor shows trends over the last three, six, 12 or 24 hours. You can set alerts to signal when you are nearing a danger zone—providing extra security at certain times, such as when you sleep. And it provides immediate feedback about how various activities affect your blood glucose.


Live life feeling your very best.

Your grandchildren will thank us. Same day appointments available. Many patients are referred by a Doctor, but a Doctor's referral isn't necessary. We offer the most innovative treatments for a full range of disorders including: CGM devices are covered by a majority of private insurance plans. Ryan and Zemer use a Dexcom device whose sensor is labeled by the Food and Drug Administration to last seven days—then the sensor is replaced. When continuous glucose monitors appeared on the market, doctors often used them on a short-term basis to educate and advise patients. Today, CGM is used directly by patients so they can see how their habits and lifestyle choices affected their blood sugar and make any necessary adjustments. CGM is also an excellent tool for newly diagnosed patients, and interestingly, it is proving very useful to type 2 diabetics. Patients not on insulin might not need to have their glucose monitored 24/7. But they can use CGM for intermittent periods to get a detailed look at how food, exercise and me dications affect their glucose levels. They get insight into their condition and ideally gain a sense of control over their condition. Studies have shown CGM significantly improves blood glucose control in people with type 2 as well as type 1 diabetes.

4 Chronic back pain 4 Disc pain

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Surgery suites at each location for your convenience.

Diabetes is a difficult disease, but the more diabetics understand what’s happening in their bodies, the more they can take control of the disease and their health. CGM helps them see what’s going on—so they can master all the challenges ahead.

AGOURA HILLS 28720 Roadside Drive, Suite 399 • Agoura Hills, CA 91301 Office 818.575.9501 • Fax 818.575.9052

Peter Simpson is senior director of R&D for Dexcom Inc., a San Diego-based medical device company that designs, develops and commercializes continuous glucose monitoring systems for people with diabetes. For more information, contact Dexcom at 888.738.3646 or www.dexcom.com.

WEST HILLS 23101 Sherman Place, Suite 505 • West Hills, CA 91307 Office 818.594.PAIN (7246) • Fax 818.594.7223

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southerncalpaintreatment.com JANUARY 2014 YHCONNECTION.COM

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NATURAL APPROACH

THE MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT OF FITNESS

The Mind, Body and Spirit of

Fitness by Dr. Sharon Norling

THE BIG QUESTION IS, “IS THE LIFE YOU ARE LIVING WORTH THE LIFE YOU ARE GIVING UP?” WHAT IS YOUR ANSWER? THINGS DIDN’T USED TO BE SO DIFFICULT. YOU MAY FIND YOURSELF JUST TRYING TO MAKE IT THROUGH THE DAY. YOU SMILE FOR YOUR FAMILY AND THE PUBLIC BUT THE SMILE ISN’T REAL. YOU ARE NOT WELL BUT YOU DON’T WANT TO COMPLAIN.

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Gone are the days when you had leftover energy at the end of day—the days when you could multitask—the days when you experienced boundless enthusiasm. You notice you need two of everything—two pairs of glasses, two pairs of sunglasses—two sets of keys—just in case you can’t find the first item. I want you to know you are not alone. Don’t give up. There is help and there is hope. Janet came into my office after seeing many physicians for several years. She said she was exhausted and as she said it, she had tears in her eyes. She said in a desperate tone, “You are my last hope.” Janet was unable to work and spent much of her day in bed with pain. Her symptoms included migraines, sinusitis, anxiety, depression, heartburn, irritable bowel disease, joint pain, muscle stiffness, difficulty concentrating, lack of focus, and memory loss. Her extensive medical records revealed a normal chemistry panel, and a negative endoscopy and colonoscopy. The diagnosis was that the findings were normal and the recommendations from her previous doctor were an antacid and an SSRI antidepressant. After a comprehensive assessment and specialized lab tests, Janet was found to have severe IgG hidden food allergies, low thyroid, and a neurotransmitter imbalance. A DNA stool test also diagnosed intestinal parasites, H. pylori and intestinal overgrowth of yeast. She was treated for these conditions using natural therapies as much as possible. She discontinued her antacid and antidepressant. After three months, all of Janet’s symptoms disappeared and she was happy, healthy, productive and back to work full time! In her own words: “Dr. Norling changed my life. I was just existing, performing minimal

duties with absolutely no passion, lacking motivation and energy. My self-esteem was minimal; I had severe indigestion and would become full after a few bites of food. Dr. Norling’s diagnosis was food allergies (dairy and eggs), extreme vitamin D deficiency and H. pylori bacteria. She also tested my neurotransmitters and found that I had low levels of GABA, serotonin and dopamine. I was given supplements and I have never felt better in my life. She explained that we have as many brain cells (neurons) in our gut as our brain, so the food allergies were causing brain fog. I wake up every day excited about my life. Dr. Norling has also treated my 4-year-old grandson, I believe saving his life. In addition she has treated my 6-year-old grandson’s food allergies and gut issues, and six other members of my family. The rest are waiting in line. We are indebted to Dr. Norling and her treatment of the body, mind and spirit.”

Things are Changing The landscape of healthcare and clinical practice is changing quickly, with more and more people today developing chronic illness, chronic pain and unresolving conditions. Many of these individuals do not have a diagnosable disease. Patients have a long list of symptoms and ailments, but using the conventional testing today, they are dismissed, overlooked and misdiagnosed by hurried doctors. The conventional labs come out normal and you look good on paper—but you know you are not well. You know you just don’t have the energy, stamina and mental clarity you once enjoyed. Dr. Jeffrey Bland says, “We need to listen to the patients’ story and develop a response to it. The approach to complex syndromes may be much JANUARY 2014 YHCONNECTION.COM

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Fitness, Facials & Massage

NATURAL APPROACH

THE MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT OF FITNESS

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Scientific studies show there is a close connection between our mind, body, thoughts and emotions. When you have a joyful thought or feel gratitude, your brain releases a cascade of molecules and feel-good hormones that elevate your mood and strengthen your immune system. Just as physical exercise maintains body tone, strength and endurance, mental exercise has positive conditioning effects. The National Institute of Mental Health, Duke University, and the National Institute on Aging support the findings that mental and physical decline with aging is not inevitable. The first step is to take action! Overcome monotony and routine in your life as this generates mental and emotional lethargy and resignation. Our brains are wired to be curious, but sometimes our busy lives stifle or deny us our natural curiosity. • Laugh—laughing helps reduce stress and breaks old patterns. It can be a quick-charge for our brains. • Remember—spend time with your positive memories. • Play—take time to play. It is a great way to exercise your brain.

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• Learn something new—whatever you decide to learn can be light, fun and distracting. Exercise your brain by learning and enjoy the increase of endorphins! • Exercise—physical activity brings more oxygen to the brain.

• Feed your brain—essential fatty acids, EPA/DHA, good nutrition and supporting supplements provide you with a clear mind. • Rest more—your brain works well with adequate rest and sleep.

Emotional Fitness Stress can be thought of as a message from our central nervous system. It’s telling us that enough is most definitely enough, and if we don’t provide some relief, the stress is going to take other systems down with it! Physical exercise is good for developing a lean body, strong muscles and a strong heart, but has also been shown to help maintain emotional fitness. In fact, researchers at Duke University studied people suffering from depression for four months and found that 60 percent of the participants who exercised for 30 minutes just three times a week overcame their depression without using antidepressant medication.

Physical Fitness In the past two decades, the proportion of children and teens in the U.S. who are overweight or obese has tripled. Nine million kids are carrying excess weight, with millions more at serious risk. Television and computer games have taken the place of physical activity for many of our children. More kids play football on their PlayStations than on the playground. If the trend continues, this generation of school children may be the first in modern times to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, an 8-year study of 13,000 people found that those who walked 30 minutes a day had a significantly lower risk of premature death than those who rarely exercised. In fact, a regular walking program can help reduce blood cholesterol, lower blood pressure, increase


cardiovascular endurance, boost bone strength, burn calories and keep weight down. Best of all, walking is simple, free and convenient. If you are just beginning a fitness plan, walking is a great place to start. Consider having IV (intravenous) nutrient therapies to give your body what it needs to help itself mentally, emotionally and physically. Good physical condition increases your sexuality by increasing your testosterone level, muscle tone, flexibility and cardiovascular status. For many reasons fitness can bring a smile to your face. It’s not what has happened to you—it’s what you do about it. There are only three choices in life. Give up. Give in. Give it all you’ve got. The time is now—live your best life. You deserve it. For a free health report visit www.drsharonnorling.com.

Dr. Sharon Norling brings a lifetime of education, training and passion in both conventional and natural medicine. Using specialized testing she finds the root cause of symptoms and illnesses and uses effective natural medicine whenever possible. She is the author of Your Doctor is Wrong. Her advanced medicine practice is located in Westlake Village. Call 818-707-9355 or for a free report visit www.drsharonnorling.com

JANUARY 2014 YHCONNECTION.COM

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MIND & SPIRIT

EMOTIONALLY FIT

Are You an

Emotionally Fit Man?

IF I ASKED, “ARE YOU PHYSICALLY FIT?” IT WOULD BE PRETTY EASY FOR YOU TO COME UP WITH AN ANSWER. IF THE ANSWER

by Wayne Levine

IS YES, YOU MIGHT SAY SOMETHING LIKE, “SURE, I WORK OUT FIVE DAYS A WEEK. I JUST RODE 200 MILES ON MY BIKE. I’M A CROSSFIT MANIAC.” IF NOT, YOU MIGHT SAY, “NOT SO MUCH. I REALLY NEED TO GET BACK TO THE GYM. MY WIFE LOVES MY HANDLES.”

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Let me just start

But if I asked, “Are you emotionally fit?” you’d probably be at a loss and say something clever like, “Huh?” So, let me help you find an answer to that question. And I’ll try to do it without burying you in fitness puns along the way. Let me just start by saying that it’s as important for you to be in shape emotionally as it is physically. For men, the gym is a lot easier to confront than the world of feelings.

by saying that it’s as important for you to be in shape emotionally as it is physically. For men, the gym is a lot easier to confront than the world of feelings.

12. Are you reluctant to take charge of your sex life for fear of hearing “No!”? 13. Do you refuse to ask for help because you’re always the smartest guy in the room? 14. Are you still convinced that delving into and understanding your past is a waste of time? 15. Are you a bully?

Welcome to my world. 16. Do you think it’s therapeutic to bitch about your woman at a bar with a like-minded angry guy without getting any closer to a solution to your problem?

A Simple Test A number of tests are available on the Internet to assess the various components of your emotional fitness. It might be interesting for you to surf a bit to see what you can learn. But the test I offer you here is a little different. It’s just for men and therefore extremely simple. And this isn’t a slam against men. We are simple beings who often get lost in a complicated world of estrogen. It’s best for us to be black and white about issues, especially when they require commitment and action. I’m going to call this the “Are You the Man You Want to Be, Emotional Fitness Test.” Answer yes or no to the following questions:

YES or NO: 1.

When your wife is critical (or sounds critical of you) do you sometimes get so upset inside that you want to either rip her head off or yell at her until she apologizes?

2. If you get anxious, do you know how to discover the source of your discomfort? 3. Can you remember the last time you experienced intense joy in the past two years?

4. Does your aging mom or dad still have the power to make you feel like you’re not measuring up? 5. When you’re tending to your child, are you likely to get impatient (even angry) when they’re being fussy, when there’s a great opportunity for a teaching moment, or when you’d rather be watching the game? 6. Do you know what you want?

17. Are you depressed? Don’t tally your yeses and nos. It won’t do you any good. This is a simple test for men. Here’s how you figure out whether you’re emotionally fit. Answer this last question: Having taken the test and presumably having answered honestly, do you really believe you’re the emotionally fit man, father and husband you want to be?

When you go to a party, do you need a drink to be comfortable in your own skin?

If this answer is no, then go do something about it.

8. Are you stuck in a job or career path you can’t stand and terrified of making a change?

Wayne M. Levine, MA, is a men’s life coach and director of BetterMen Coaching in Agoura Hills. He teaches men to be the best men, fathers, husbands and leaders they can be through individual, couples and group coaching, both in office and via the phone. Wayne is also author of the best-selling book, Hold On to Your N.U.T.s—The Relationship Manual for Men. To find out more, get a copy of Wayne’s book and register for the BetterMen Beyond Boyhood Training at www.bettermencoaching.com.

7.

9. Are you in a dead relationship and only sticking around because you don’t want her to get half of your assets? 10. Are you a liar? 11. Have you made a mess of your finances and prefer to bury your head in the sand rather than do the grown-up thing and fix it?

JANUARY 2014 YHCONNECTION.COM

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SPIRITUALLY SPEAKING

THE ART OF DESIRE

The Art of Desire Intention & Manifestation

by Denise Schriedel

WHAT IS YOUR HEART’S DESIRE? DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU WANT VERSUS WHAT YOU NEED? THIS NEW YEAR, WHY NOT MAKE A DESIRE STATEMENT TO ATTRACT THE EXACT RELATIONSHIP, CAREER, OPPORTUNITY, LIFESTYLE, ETC. YOU WISH TO MANIFEST. It’s one thing to just think about a better way of life, but you honestly need the tools to help bring that desire into your life through the art of intention and manifestation. You can begin by visualizing what you desire and creating a vision board that includes photos, drawings and magazine cutouts of exactly the kind of desire you expect. For some, attracting a perfect soul mate would include photos of romantic destinations and couples in scenes that inspire you. If you wish to attract the perfect job opportunity or career, write a list of what you want, perhaps including a shorter commute, convenient hours, increased income, a positive work environment and pleasant coworkers. You can also attract your ideal desire by including intentions on your desire statement such as, “I am in the process of attracting my ideal [fill in the blank],” and listing all the qualities of your desire. The universe will then bring you more of what you do want! The best way to achieve your heart’s desire is to act as if you already have what you want. Imagine being in that perfect relationship. Create your lifestyle in joyful anticipation of meeting “the one.” Make room for that person in your life, enjoy activities the two of you would do together and begin to do those things alone or with friends. You will eventually meet someone who is compatible with you. Your personal power for attracting joy and fulfillment will always include love, gratitude and appreciation for what you have, already, in your life. You will then attract more of what you want and desire.

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Focus your energy on the intention of getting what you want and using your creativity to manifest abundance, prosperity, romance, passion, success, etc. in your life. Always take time to affirm your intentions with positive self-talk and positive thinking. Ask for your intention, believe in its manifestation and so you shall receive your desire. Allow the universe and heaven to work out the details of your heart’s desire. Denise Schriedel is a freelance journalist specializing in wine, travel, resorts, and spas. She has devoted the last several years living at the beach enjoying her spiritual yoga practice, attending meditation classes and wellness events throughout the world and writing about her experiences in order to help her readers gain insight into their true dreams, desires and destiny. www.examiner. com/food-and-wine-travel-in-los-angeles/ denise-schriedel

Hilda Maldonado, M.D.

Regenerative & Anti Aging Medicine • Over ten years of experience using bio-identical hormone replacement therapy • Specialized testing for metabolic factors • Hormone balancing • Nutritional supplementation • Lifestyle changes (individualized diet and exercise) • Stress management • Education • Judicious use of medications as required Dr. Hilda Maldonado is board certified in Internal Medicine and additionally she is a diplomate of the American Academy of Regenerative and Anti-Aging Medicine.

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COMPASSIONATE EATING

FOOD AS MEDICINE

Food as Medicine by Bianca Rose Martinez

Super Antioxidant Salad INGREDIENTS Salad Salad greens or chopped romaine lettuce. Handful of mixed sprouts such as sunflower, mung bean or chickpea. 1/2 cup red quinoa, cooked. Handful of green or purple kale. Coconut or olive oil. Braggs Liquid Aminos or coconut aminos (find at a health food store). Half an avocado, sliced. Handful fresh cilantro.

ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO FIGHT DISEASES OF THE WESTERN WORLD SUCH AS HEART DISEASE, DIABETES AND CANCER IS TO EAT PLENTY OF FRESH, ORGANIC FOODS. THEY HAVE AN ALKALIZING EFFECT ON THE BODY, WHICH HELPS SUPPORT IMMUNE HEALTH AND THE BODY’S NATURAL ABILITIES TO HEAL ITSELF. Diets high in acid-forming foods such as animal products, foods processed with chemical additives (if you can’t pronounce it don’t eat it) and sodas, actually promote the growth of free radicals in the body which can damage cells, leaving the body vulnerable to disease. Researchers from around the world agree that adding whole-food, plant-based meals to your diet is one of the best forms of preventive medicine.

Dressing 2 Tbs Organic Vegenaise (vegetarian mayonnaise from the health food store). Squeeze lemon juice. 1 tsp chopped fresh dill. DIRECTIONS Arrange salad greens and sprouts on a plate or bowl, add cooked quinoa, sliced avocado and cilantro. Remove stems from kale and tear into shreds. Heat oil in pan and add kale and a few spritzes of Braggs Aminos. Sauté until slightly wilted and add to salad. Mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl, thin the mixture with water and drizzle it over the salad. Enjoy! Tip: for extra tasty quinoa try adding veggie broth instead of water when you cook it and play with some spices such as curry, cumin or cardamom.

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Green Goddess Juice INGREDIENTS 1 quarter head of green cabbage. 1 green apple. 4 to 5 stalks of celery. 1/2 bunch parsley. 1 cucumber. DIRECTIONS Put veggies through a high-powered juicer. Cut them to accommodate the size of the chute. I use a high setting for dense vegetables like carrots or beets and low setting for softer veggies and fruit like celery, apple, and cucumber. Serve immediately. The apple adds a bit of sweetness to the spicy bitter cabbage and the cucumber mellows the juice with its cool and creamy texture. You can also add a bit of ginger root for some extra kick (also good for digestion and nausea) and garlic for extra immune support. Cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts and dark leafy greens are known as cruciferous vegetables which are known cancer fighters.

DID YOU KNOW...

BONE UP!

If you have been diagnosed with Osteopenia, it’s a warning that bone loss is occurring and heading for Osteoporosis. The good news is that Osteopenia is reversible. Good sources of D3 and calcium with weight-bearing exercises will help to reverse this. Make sure to have your bone density scans and lab work to monitor your D levels.

At United Family, We Specialize in Pediatrics. A center for whole family care specializing in treatment of pregnancy and infants, young athletes, and active adults.

Blessings of health and wellness to you and your loved ones! Tip: To store juice, pour some in an airtight container or jar immediately after juicing. Add a squeeze of lemon as a preservative. Juice will be good for one or two days.

Bianca Rose Martinez is an artist, public speaker and author of the book Compassionate Eating: A Guide to Conscious Consumption for Mind, Body Spirit & Planet. She also teaches organic vegan cooking classes in Ventura. For free recipes, class schedule and registration, visit www.compassionateating.com.

Your family will enjoy a unique experience in this child friendly office. Nutritional evaluations, Massage Therapy, ADHD and Autism alternative treatments, and Pre/Post Natal chiropractic care

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Dr. Katie Greeley D.C., CACCP Certified in Chiropractic Pediatrics and WebsterTechnique Certified International Chiropractic Pediatric Member Holistic Pediatric Association Member ICA Pediatric Council Member

JANUARY 2014 YHCONNECTION.COM

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BEYOND GREEN LIVING

THE WONDER OF YOGA

THE WONDER OF YOGA Beyond the Poses Part I

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by Jan Tucker

YHCONNECTION.COM JANUARY 2014


practicing the serious business of going within and connecting with your soul. They are not merely meant for exercise.

WHEN I TELL PEOPLE I’M WRITING A BOOK ABOUT SPIRITUAL YOGA, MANY OF THEM ASK ME WHAT I MEAN. ANOTHER AUTHOR EVEN SAID, “HOW DID YOU PUT THOSE TWO THINGS TOGETHER?” As most yoga enthusiasts realize, beyond giving you more flexibility, strength and stamina, yoga can reduce your stress level and help you feel more calm and balanced inside—at least the classes not focused on power yoga or intense heat help produce this feeling. Many people don’t recognize that beyond these more superficial benefits, yoga can bring a person deeply in touch with their soul. Exploring yoga to this extent can keep a yogi occupied for a lifetime. Yoga is, in fact, a way of life. And it is a way of life that is purposeful— developed by spiritual sages 5,000 years ago for the purpose of uniting with God. The physical aspects of yoga— the asanas or poses one takes to increase flexibility, were originally developed to prepare an aspirant’s body to sit silently and motionlessly in meditation for extended periods of time. The yoga postures get the kinks out, and make it easier for you to forget your body when you’re

Unfortunately the spiritual yoga that comes after the asanas has been lost in the translation. Most who teach or practice yoga in the U.S. today aren’t aware of the many layers of yoga that can give you a deep understanding of why things are the way they are, helping you relate to life in a better way. Yoga can give you answers to the most baffling life questions.

My Introduction to Yoga About 22 years ago, after breaking up with my fiancé of several years, I was on a lonely walk one brisk afternoon, contemplating my situation. I had a good job and a comfortable life, but I wanted the right person to share it with. That someone had been eluding me for a long time. I was choosing the wrong type of person as my partner, and I was repeating the same pattern again and again. Frustrated, I was thinking there must be a better way to live. I realized that all the things I had done to set up my life—the things society had taught me—college, grad school, career, friends—were failing to fulfill a deep desire within. I felt what I was missing was a partner and soul mate. On that walk, I decided that I needed to drastically change something I was doing in order to set my life on

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BEYOND GREEN LIVING

THE WONDER OF YOGA

a better path. But what? I desperately wanted guidance. My next thought jumped well beyond my immediate situation. I pondered, “I have a soul—but I don’t know where or what this soul is. If this entity is a part of me, why can’t I meet it? Why do I have to wait until I die in order to really know who I am?” I didn’t think this situation was fair. It just didn’t seem right to be denied access to my complete being.

The Yoga Journey I didn’t realize it at the time, but a connection with my own soul was what I was really missing—not a soul mate. I was about to embark on a journey that would transform me forever.

Yoga is a journey I am still on today. And in the past eight years I have seen dramatic changes in my life. I never anticipated the gifts I have received—a loving husband, a wonderful home in the country where I can have a beautiful organic vegetable garden yet be near enough to urban centers to connect with people, and my own business where I am no longer subjected to the stresses of corporate America—which had become extremely unfulfilling to me. Perhaps the best part is that I am able, through my business, to teach others ways to return to nature rather than following the path society tells us will lead to fulfillment. I attribute all of these gifts to being on the yoga path. I didn’t do it for the gifts—I feel I have received these gifts as a blessing. I could have chosen a completely different direction and headed down the path to more despair and lack of fulfillment in life. But I chose differently. It is said when you are ready, your teacher will appear. I am still amazed that not long after I lamented about meeting my own soul, I was led by a completely new acquaintance, to a winter solstice fire ceremony very close to my home. At that ceremony, I met a yogi who looked into my

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There are many layers of yoga and many things to learn, but one of the first lessons is that what we are experiencing on this earth is only a very small portion of a much larger picture we cannot access using our five senses.

soul from across the flames. He saw that I felt broken-hearted and alone, and he led a guided meditation that grounded me to the earth, giving me a deep connection with Mother Nature that I am grateful to still feel to this day. I began weekly meditation and yoga sessions with this yogi, and he eventually led me to a higherlevel teacher where I advanced even further on the path.

Yoga Basics There are many layers of yoga and many things to learn, but one of the first lessons is that what we are experiencing on this earth is only a very small portion of a much larger picture we cannot access using our five senses. We are here on this plane to learn lessons unique to our own being. We are here, in fact, to purify. When we begin to ask questions like, “Who am I?” and “Why am I here—what is my purpose?”, if we are sincere and strongly motivated to seek answers, the truth will begin to be revealed to us. And, as a wellknown adage tells us, “the truth will set you free.”


Karma plays a major role in the lessons appropriate for each individual’s advancement and so does reincarnation. We sow seeds of karma with every action we take, whether good, bad or neutral. Those seeds can sprout immediately or somewhere down the road. Let’s say a person steals a diamond necklace from a friend and the theft goes undetected. The thief has a karmic debt to pay which will pop up when the conditions are right for him to learn the lesson. Perhaps he will own something with a high sentimental value and lose it to theft. He will then understand the pain of loss he caused his friend earlier, and this gives him the chance to change his ways—or not. It is not necessary for us to be able to connect the dots back to what we did in the past to deserve the karma we are receiving in the present. In fact, we often learn better when we have to try to figure out the pieces of the puzzle. The lessons of bad karma are always perfect for what we need in order to progress. The lessons of good karma are a great reward, encouraging us to continue to be good people.

Our ego becomes so attached to outward things in its search to be complete. We think a prestigious career, an influential spouse, a fabulous home, great friends and a prosperous lifestyle will satisfy all our needs in this lifetime, so we set out in search of these things. Sometimes we become extremely attached to them, whether we are pleased with what we have acquired or we are settling for second best. We don’t want to give

up our things because they help us define who we are. The truth is, none of these things are permanent. Situations constantly change and we can easily lose what we have acquired or developed over time. There is also a danger of becoming possessive of our treasures or fearful and paranoid about losing them—traits that will neither make us happy nor help us progress on our path.

What is helpful to the yogi is to view all life situations as opportunities to work through karma and become more pure—to sand off the rough edges and grow ever closer to our own soul and our reward of freedom and connection. Yoga is a continual process of self-discovery and improvement.

What Holds us Back in Life? Our energy tends to focus outward as we live our day-to-day lives—we seek happiness on the outside. We don’t realize that only transitory happiness can be found there. Yoga teaches us to seek within to find lasting, permanent happiness through our soul connection. JANUARY 2014 YHCONNECTION.COM

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BEYOND GREEN LIVING

( C O N T. )

What Propels us Forward?

DID YOU KNOW...

KEEPING THE PACE

According to a recent study, women who walk a minimum of 1.5 hours a week will significantly improve not only their heart health but improve cognitive function.

What is permanent is the solid connection we make whe n we turn within to explore the universe that awaits us. Yoga helps us to find truth, solace, understanding, peace and balance within—through our soul or God connection. The yogi learns what is truly important in this life, and then he or she is challenged to put things in their proper perspective—living through wisdom, faith and courage instead of the satisfaction of desires. It is our attachment to this physical world and the things in it that keeps us returning lifetime after lifetime to learn our lessons and progress, or fail to learn our lessons and head down a path where the lessons will become harder and harder—with more painful outcomes— until we are ready to cry uncle and seek a better way. Next month we will look at some specifics of how the yoga path helps yogis live a more fulfilling, balanced life. To learn more about spiritual yoga, visit www. beyondtheposes.com.

Jan Tucker is founder of White Lotus Living, whose vision is all about positive thinking, returning to basics, tuning in with nature, unifying the world with compassion, and through all these principles—ultimately— world transformation. It’s about truth. www.whitelotusliving.com is also a place for consumers to learn about and gain access to truly green, natural products.

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CTW MAGAZINE JANUARY 2014