Your Healthy Polk - Summer 2017

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Your Healthy Polk

Publisher Sergio Cruz |



Brenda Eggert Brader Clayton Cassidy Jai Maa Meredith Jean Morris Elizabeth Morrisey Emilio Ortiz, MA, LMHC

Andrea Cruz |

Art Director Alejandro F. Cruz |

Cover Designer Deborah Coker

Ad Sales Bob Edmondson |

On the cover A new weight loss program developed by Lakeland’s Dr. Chris Barker uses vitamins, homeopathic drops and monitors blood work to ultimately reset hormones and the metabolism. Story page 12. Photo by Clayton Cassidy.

Your Healthy Polk


Letter From Editor / Publisher


ood health is something very personal, it’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. What might be best for one body might not be best for another. Many often try to go it alone for their personal health goals, such as losing weight on a fad diet, and that’s not always the best idea; a doctor’s supervision is worth the time and effort. Dr. Chris Barker of Lakeland’s New City Chiropractic is focused solely on helping his patients get and feel better. His new weight loss program, which monitors internal changes with blood work and other tests, uses homeopathic drops, vitamins, and other methods to reset the hormones and metabolism. Read that article beginning page 12. Metabolic changes are afoot when proper hydration occurs. So much of one’s health is based upon getting enough —and the correct — liquids. Page 10 has some good hydration rules of thumb for both people and pets this summer.

The summertime here can be pretty brutal on all of us, but especially on the elderly. Their bodies don’t react as fast as they once did and so sometimes they are dehydrated before they even realize it because — get this — they might not even be thirsty! A couple of local geriatric doctors give precautions and preventions regarding safety for seniors this summer beginning on page 6. Jai Maa’s thirst for sharing divine knowledge isn’t givine up anytime soon. She explains that being aware of your body’s physical responses is a good indicator of what you really feel when people ask things of you. Turn to page 18 to read about how people-pleasing isn’t necessarily a healthy practice, and saying “no” is a perfectly fine thing to do. Our WELLth section this issue features mental health counselor Emilio Ortiz. He helps those who’ve been through all sorts of crises find their way back to a “new normal.” Page 8 has his good words. Be healthy. Be happy.

/ Sergio Cruz /

Andrea Cruz

Your Healthy Polk Be healthy. Be happy.

Your Healthy Polk is a product of Polk Media, Inc. A mind, body, soul magazine focused on the local health industry, Your Healthy Polk endeavors to bring the best of Polk’s locally-sourced good news about good health. For more info visit or


Your Healthy Polk


18 03

Letter from Editor / Publisher


Senior summer safety: Precautions and preventions


WELLth: Counselor Emilio Ortiz helps people find a new normal


Proper hydration during the hot weather for people and pets




Your Healthy Polk




06 Craddock

Cover: Weight loss by resetting metabolism and hormones


Brain Strain: Crossword puzzle


Just say no: Your body’s reaction to a request is key


Natural & Non-toxic: Vinegar and baking soda



Your Healthy Polk

By Brenda Eggert Brader Białasiewicz



In heat stroke, the body temperature gets so high and the skin is not able to cool down. Meanwhile, the mouth is dry, however, thirst isn’t necessarily felt.

— Dr. Manuel Jain, geriatric medicine, WellMed Medical Clinic in Haines City

Your Healthy Polk


Aging is difficult enough without the added environmental challenges. Living in Florida’s extreme heat can take its toll on everyone, but especially the elderly.


ip a lemonade to stay cool during a hot summer day in Florida. Staying hydrated is some of the best advice offered by physicians who are in-the-know about seniors weathering the high temperatures of summer in the Sunshine State.

“The elderly deserve to enjoy the summer season, to enjoy parks, gardens and beaches, go driving, do gardening or take pets out and go golfing,” says Dr. Manuel Jain, who practices geriatric medicine for WellMed Medical Clinic in Haines City. “At the same time, it puts them at risk because of what they are. Age is not an illness, but sometimes it is an impediment to what they want to do and a lot of restrictions are put on them. They should do what they want to do, but should note the risks involved. They deserve that privilege.” Seniors and/or their caretakers should be aware of their exposure to temperatures. “The brain can’t adjust like a young person,” Dr. Jain says. “When cold, (the elderly) are already too cold, or there is a delay in feeling that cold. So, they take a sweater to a party outside when it is 90 degrees. There is a delay for them to feel it. The body can be too hot to sweat to cool down. So, they don’t perspire that much.” The summer heat could be dangerous to seniors and the elderly primarily because it could lead to heat stroke, a condition that can be fatal, says Dr. Theophilus Sai, who practices internal medicine in Tampa. Dr. Sai is the medical director for Central Florida Medicare at Humana, and works with the Senior Connection Center, which covers several counties, including Polk. “Heat stroke is a medical emergency that needs to be treated quickly,” Dr. Sai says. “It is a medical condition that occurs when a person’s body gets too hot. This typically occurs when a person exercises in very hot weather and humidity without drinking enough water or other hydrat-

ing fluids. However, heat stroke can affect people who are not exercising, especially the elderly or anyone with health problems.” “Heat cramps and heat exhaustion are other conditions that occur when a person is exposed to excessive heat,” Dr. Sai continues. “But they are not as dangerous as heat stroke. Other dangers, specifically for outside sun exposure, include sunburn and development of skin lesions and skin cancer.” In heat stroke, the body temperature gets so high and the skin is not able to cool down. Meanwhile, the mouth is dry, however, thirst isn’t necessarily felt, according to Dr. Jain. “Elderly hyperthermia can occur when they are not doing anything but sitting, and (they) get a 104-degree temperature and become dehydrated,” Dr. Jain says. “Heat stroke becomes a stroke because that is what it is. The skin is dry, not perspiring. There is no sweat, they are dehydrated, hot and dry. They get sleepy and die.” Elderly are more susceptible to heat as they age because they have a “reduced ability to deliver heat to the skin,” Dr. Sai says. “Blood vessels under skin tend to lose some of the ability to dilate in response to heat; chronic diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, and small strokes affect the body’s ability to control temperature. Severe arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease can physically limit an individual’s ability to remove themselves from an area of excessive temperature or to getting fluids, and certain medications affect it as water pills (diuretics). Beta blockers slow the heat down and could affect a response. Some medications can affect the ability of the sweat glands to produce sweat in response to heat as in antihistamines, some antidepressants, and sleeping pills.” Signs of heat stroke include the following: — Body temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher Continued pg. 14


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Hope For Life Counseling, LLC



e was a very healthy 31-year-old that wouldn’t miss a day’s work if he didn’t have to — that’s just the way he was. He loved life, loved his wife of 14 years, and loved his kids, aged 11, 8, and 7. His weekends consisted of family time and church activities that he enjoyed to the fullest. One particular morning he went to work as usual, and as he was stepping out the door, he said bye to his family, reassuring them he’d be back... They’re still waiting for his return. A phone call at midmorning from the husband’s work changed this family’s life forever. An unexpected heart attack took his life at such a young age. What do you do when, in reality, there’s nothing you can do? How do you react to life’s curveballs? And then, how do you deal with the feelings left behind — the “what if I would’ve” or the “I should’ve” thoughts? How do you shred leftover guilt, clear head confusion, or even find pure oxygen to simply breathe again? Each week I meet families struggling with crisis, dealing with loss, or trying to be strong in the midst of serious adversity. This is the time in your life when you need to live one… day… at… a… time. Here’s a few hints for you. Take personal inventory of the situation — the loss, the conflict, the changes that it will bring on your life as well as your family’s, the emotions that you are experiencing, etc. Know what you’re working with. In the process of doing so, consistently remind yourself that you will make it through. Don’t allow your mind to stay on the “I won’t be able to” phase for too long. Take control of what you allow yourself to believe, in reference to the situation or conflict ahead of you. In a world where people live at a speed of 225 mph, allow yourself to reduce speed, reframe your thoughts,

Emilio Ortiz, MA, LMHC of Hope For Life Counseling in Lakeland explains how life’s stumbling blocks can eventually become stepping stones by living one day at a time.

regain control of things and situations that threaten to rob your inner peace. Give yourself permission to understand that things won’t go back to “normal” again — yet you will be able to build a “new normal” in your life, with time, with faith, and personal effort. Things won’t be better tomorrow, and that’s OK, because they WILL BE better eventually. Conflicts, tragedy, loss — they all have one thing in common: They produce changes. These changes may be both a good thing and a bad thing. However, they will bring the best out of you, and that is always good. You will see the strength that you thought you didn’t have, and you’ll experience the self-confidence that had probably been hiding for a while. After you’ve allowed yourself to go through all these phases, life will begin to make sense again, as you learn to deal and SLOWLY accept with your “new normal.” Allow yourself professional help that will guide you step by step, as you make stepping stones out of life’s stumbling blocks.

Emilio Ortiz, MA, LMHC is a Licensed Psychotherapist (Bilingual) with 20 years in the field. He graduated Cum Laude from Interamerican University PR with a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology. The first three years of his career, he served as a Psychotherapist and Family Interventionist in an Outpatient clinic in Puerto Rico. In 2000, he joined the Florida Department of Corrections where for 16 years, he served as Psychotherapist to inmates of all backgrounds. During this time, he also served as Hostage Negotiator for Central Florida Prisons. In February 2016, Emilio opened his practice: HOPE FOR LIFE COUNSELING, LLC in Lakeland, FL; a Counseling Center dedicated to serve adults of all ages, couples, families, and children. For more info contact 863-588-7267 or


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Summertime Sips Quench your thirst with hydration tips By Meredith Jean Morris


s the thermometer readings creep up to 100 degrees and above, it might be tempting to reach for a cool, refreshing beverage. However, when it comes to hydration, not all beverages are created equally, according to Nancy Ulm, a registered dietician with Watson Clinic in Lakeland. “Some people find water boring, so it’s important to think of ways to flavor the water or increase fluids through other calorie-free beverages,” Ulm says. “It is important to realize how serious dehydration can be. In severe cases it can lead to seizures and kidney failure.” Other effects of dehydration can range from mild to severe, she says. “Signs to watch for are extreme thirst, dark-colored urine, fatigue, dizziness or confusion,” adds Ulm, who is a nutrition education specialist. Ulm, along with the team of registered dietitians in Watson Clinic’s Medical Nutrition Therapy department, works with patients to develop a personalized eating plan that can help take charge of their eating habits and create a healthier

lifestyle. When it comes to fluid intake, needs vary from person to person, Ulm says. “Fluid needs vary, some of us need more fluid than others,” she says. “Activity level and sweating can affect the amount of fluid needed. A good guideline is to get the minimum 64 ounces of fluid per day. Sip on water throughout the day to make sure you stay hydrated.” When a person is very active, fluid needs can be far greater. “Depending on a person’s lifestyle, people can work up to drinking one or two gallons of water a day,” says Don Wise Jr., a personal trainer and boot camp leader at Gold’s Gym in Winter Haven. “I always tell someone to take it easy and begin by working up to a gallon a day. Depending on your expenditure in a workout, your body will let you know if you need more.” Florida’s hot, humid climate can also play a part in fluid needs, says Wise, who has been working as a trainer since 2012.

“The humidity messes with the way sweat evaporates off the skin, causing a need for more water,” he says. This doesn’t just impact athletes training outside. Ulm says anyone spending time outside during the summer should be cautious of their hydration. “The summer months in Florida can get very hot and humid,” Ulm says. “When it’s humid, your sweat can’t evaporate and cool you as quickly as normal. This can lead to increased body temperature which will increase fluid needs. Be sure to keep a bottle of water with you to sip on throughout the day.” When working out, signs of dehydration include cotton mouth, excessive sweating, lightheadedness and low energy — even after consuming a pre-workout drink, Wise says. “If you feel like you don’t have energy, typically, you should halt your workout and look for the signs of dizziness and lightheadedness,” he says. “Most of the time, getting some water and resting for 2 to 5 minutes will help and you can

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continue.” However, if you experience the other signs, you should discontinue the workout. “Once you’re dehydrated, you’re dehydrated,” Wise says. “Hydration doesn’t start during the workout, but days before. You start hydrating on Monday for Saturday’s game. If you’re not properly hydrated, you’re not going to have optimal performance.” Wise cautions drinking sports drinks due to their high salt and sugar content. “Water is always most important when you’re working out,” he says. “When it comes to sports drinks, you have to be careful with the sugar. They are really for fuel purposes to replenish glycogen stores after a very intense workout. The sugars in them can give you an insulin spike.”

calories and few nutrients,” she says. “Most people believe that water is the only beverage that counts toward daily fluid intake. Other fluids like unsweetened tea, milk and fruit juice also contribute to our fluid needs.” Even moderate intake of caffeine — 1-to-2 cups of coffee — can count to fluid needs, she adds. For people who don’t care for water, Ulm suggests getting creative with natural flavors.

The non-athletic person trying to get the proper hydration also should be wary of sugar-sweetened drinks, Ulm says.

“Add sliced fruit or vegetables, such as strawberries or cucumbers or a splash of lemon or lime juice to flavor water,” Ulm says. “Try seltzer water or herbal teas that are unsweetened and caffeine free.”

“Sugar sweetened beverages, while providing fluid, also provide excess

Alcoholic beverages can impact dehydration, so Ulm advises adults to

Proper hydration is so important and seemingly so simple, yet many simply don’t get enough fluids throughout the day. Is water the only way to stay hydrated? How much is enough? How does the hot Florida weather affect hydration needs? What about the hydration needs of our pets?

take caution with intake during the summer. “As you age, your sense of thirst decreases, so don’t rely on thirst to indicate the need for fluids,” she says. “For adults who choose to drink alcohol, women should limit intake to one alcoholic drink per day and men should limit intake to two drinks per day.” Additionally, it’s not just people who need to be concerned about hydration. Pets can easily become dehydrated during summer. Generally, pets need one ounce of water per Continued pg. 16


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By Elizabeth Morrisey Photos By Clayton Cassidy


r. Jolene Patterson tried all the gimmicks out there to try and shed some pounds – shakes, teas, bootcamps – and nothing seemed to be helping. And then she found a program that works and she lost 25 pounds in 60 days. So what’s the secret? It’s a weight loss program developed by Dr. Chris Barker in Lakeland and people are getting results – and fast. “It’s very black and white,” Patterson says of the 60-day program. “It’s laid out for you with guidelines and recipes. As long as you follow the program, people do great.” It focuses on the use of homeopathic weight loss drops, vitamins and healthy eating. Participants are weighed with a bio electric scale, which also measures body fat, bone mass and water weight. Blood work is also done before and after to monitor the changes. “It’s 100 percent doctor supervised,” says Barker, who owns New City Chiropractic. “The reason the program works so well is that it’s based on the individual’s needs. After a series of questionnaires, urine analysis and other medical testing, we can determine what that individual needs to begin to reset their metabolism and start shedding unwanted pounds. It’s all about changing your hormones and that is exactly what our program does.” Being customized to the person, participants meet once a week to weigh in on a Left: Shirley Patterson lost 20 pounds on Lakeland doctor Chris Barker’s weight loss program, which focuses on resetting the metabolism and hormones. Photo provided to Your Healthy Polk.

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Weight Loss:

Metabolism and Hormone Reset Lakeland’s Dr. Chris Barker is helping his patients lose weight by getting their internal health where it needs to be. bio electric scale to monitor their progress. Progress is graphed on a chart from week to week watching trends in visceral fat lost, water weight, metabolic age and other markers.

jump-start the fat burning reduction phase. Though this may sound odd, it is secrets like this that ensure for amazing results backed by science and years of trial and error.

“People get so excited to see the changes on the computer, it energizes them to keep pushing forward,” says Dr. Barker.

Dr. Barker also offers a maintenance program afterwards so people aren’t “left in the dark,” he says. His website,, offers a supplement line he created and resources needed to continue on the journey of weight loss and health. His website is packed with weekly articles and videos, which are helpful to staying on track.

Shirley Patterson, who lives in Michigan, has been able to maintain the weight loss since participating in the program at the end of last year. “They provide recipes and I was able to continue limiting carbs and sugar,” she says. “We talked regularly and that personal touch helps. You have someone in your corner.” Dr. Barker stresses: “This is for anyone who is sick and tired of being sick and tired. You will lose weight, but it’s also about your health and changing your life.” Although the program doesn’t require strenuous exercise, walking is encouraged. And you aren’t going to starve, he says. In fact, you start out the program with binge eating to

100 percent doctor supervised. This is for anyone who is sick and tired of being sick and tired. -Dr. Chris Barker

Shirley Patterson, who lost 20 pounds, says she lost most of the weight in the first 21 days. “Seeing results right away encourages Continued pg. 15


Your Healthy Polk Senior summer safety, from pg. 7

(40 degrees Celsius or higher). — Brain/mental symptoms of confusion or inability think clearly, headaches, decreased alertness, hallucinations, sleepiness or drowsiness, passing out or fainting. — Cardiac symptoms of fast heartbeat and skipped heartbeat. — Fast or labored breathing. — Vomiting or diarrhea, skin redness and warmth and cramping or weakness of muscles.

Precautions / Preventions “It is dangerous in the elderly to drink eight glasses (of water) a day,” Dr. Jain says. “They develop water intoxication. ‘Ballplayers need electrolytes’ is the advice we give elderly to not drink much water. If outside and sweating, drink something with electrolytes – Powerade, Gatorade and lemonade. There is no medical reason (for the elderly) to drink eight glasses of water a day. It should be eight glasses of liquid with electrolytes. The elderly need to be careful of hydration and dehydration.” The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control advises protecting oneself by avoiding heavy exertion, extreme heat, sun exposure, and high humidity when possible. When these cannot be avoided, take the following preventative steps:

— Wear light-colored, loose-fitting, breathable clothing such as cotton. Avoid non-breathable synthetic clothing. — Try to plan activities that require going outside during non-peak hours when it might be a little cooler. — Move exercise indoors. Consider exercising at a gym, walking on a treadmill, or “mall walking” instead of outdoor walks or activities. Swimming and water aerobics are good options as well. — Drink plenty of fluids (non-alcoholic, caffeine-free as these ingredients have a diuretic effect). Talk with your doctor if you take medications that affect fluid intake, such as Lasix. — Additionally, it may be important to consume food and drink with sodium and potassium to restore electrolyte balance when losing fluids and drinking a lot of water: Broths or soups (contain sodium); fruit juice, soft fruits, vegetables (containing potassium); sports drinks that contain electrolytes. — Stay indoors in cooled spaces as much as possible. Check your air conditioning system, do a maintenance review. If electricity goes out or a loved one does not have air conditioning, consider alternative arrangements when heat is at dangerous levels. — Schedule work during the coolest

parts of the day. — Take more breaks when doing heavier work, and in high heat and humidity. Take breaks in the shade or a cool area. “Avoid excessive physical activity when it is hot both inside and outside,” Dr. Sai says. “Take breaks during exercise, ideally in the shade. Drink enough fluids to not feel thirsty and don’t force yourself to drink large amounts of water in a short period of time.” The elderly should be careful exercising in the heat. “Summer is not the time to climb ladders,” Dr. Sai says. “(The elderly) were handy when they were young, but don’t realize that they have limitations and are not as young anymore. Everything in the elderly is delayed. If taking medicines stay away from the direct sun and take electrolytes.” Dr. Jain warns that what temperature may be comfortable for young adults may be dangerous for the elderly. Nursing home temperatures generally feel hot to youth but are just right to the elderly. “Listen to them rather than try to make them comfortable,” Dr. Jain says. “If they are cold, get a jacket.” For more info about summer safety for seniors visit extremeheat/older-adults-heat.html.

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Weight loss program, from pg. 13 The amazing part is patients not only begin to look better but begin to feel better as well. Before and after lab work shows their bodies getting better from the inside out. “We have seen lowering in cholesterol levels, blood pressure, triglycerides, glucose, thyroid and many other disease markers.” - Dr. Chris Barker you. It was structured and there was no guessing,” she says. “Everything is laid out for you.” Dr. Jolene Patterson, 29, says everyone who participated was excited about being able to fit into old clothes that became too tight; they also had more energy and were able to kick the caffeine and sugar. She personally continued to lose another 15 pounds after the 60-day program. “Exercise alone won’t do anything and just a pill won’t do anything,” Dr. Jolene Patterson says. “Throughout the process, we (at New City Chiropractic) offer accountability.” Continued pg. 21 Dr. Chris Barker tracks the results of testing to determine the individual internal health needs of each patient so they can lose weight and become healthier from the inside out.


Your Healthy Polk Hydration, from pg. 11

pound of body weight each day. Orchid Springs Animal Hospital owner and veterinarian Mitsie Vargas says that all pets outdoors should have water available at all times, no exceptions. “Indoor pets can have designated water access times since they are in A/C but I recommend allowing pets to drink at least three to four times a day,” the Winter Haven vet says. To minimize dehydration for pets during the hot summer months, Vargas advises using common sense and avoiding the hottest times of the day and walk animals at dawn or dusk. “Dogs and cats can’t sweat as we do, they pant instead,” Vargas says. “Excessive panting, weakness, lethargy and a hot body are signs of overheating and dehydration.” A telltale sign of dehydration is that when pinched, an animal’s skin tends to tent instead of bouncing back to a flat state.

Lethargy, dry gums, loss of appetite and weakness are additional warning signs that a pet needs water. “Sunken eyes are also a classic dehydration sign,” she says. Vargas says that a common misconception about pets and dehydration is that an animal’s fur keeps them too hot. She says it is a layer of protection for an animal. “People need to realize that fur actually protects many pets from sunburn and dehydration, and shaving the pets might not be the best way of keeping them cool this summer,” she says. Vargas also cautions to never leave pets in a running or stopped car. “Pets can die of dehydration in a locked cat in a manner of minutes,” she says. “It’s against the law to leave unattended pets in the car.” For more info on proper hydration, Ulm recommends the following re-

sources: USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans (choosemyplate. gov), Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics ( and the National Kidney Foundation (kidney. org).

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Brain Strain Theme: Outdoor Fun

ACROSS 1. Big Ben’s face 6. “C’____ la vie!” 9. Hefty competitor 13. Water-resistant wool cloth 14. William F. Cody, ____ Buffalo Bill 15. Domenikos Theotokopoulos, a.k.a. El _____ 16. Food-borne bacteria 17. Bro to sis or sis to bro 18. Bat dwelling? 19. *It lights up the sky 21. *S’more cooker 23. Turkish title of respect 24. Sensational promotion 25. *Take a first aid one on a camping trip 28. Lover of Aeneas 30. *____ and field 34. Singular of #26 Down 36. Lagerlˆf’s “The Wonderful Adventures of ___” 38. Where there’s trouble? 40. Ripped 41. Labored breaths 43. 43,560 square feet 44. *Done to get in a race 46. Stash in the hold 47. Multicolored horse 48. Type of car 50. Greek Hs 52. *Picnic invader

DOWN 1. Staff leader 2. Places 3. Carbon monoxide lacks this 4. “The Late Show” guest 5. Stabbed 6. No problem 7. *Used on powder and water 8. Brindled kitty 9. Tennis great Steffi 10. First name in jeans 11. Maple, to a botanist 12. Doctor’s order 15. Genus in plural 20. What Pinocchio was doing? 22. Make a choice 24. Gun sleeve 25. *On a string 26. Paintings in an Orthodox church 27. Layered cake 29. “Days” in Havana 31. At a great distance 32. Served hot in winter 33. God’s revelation to Muhammad 35. Financial aid criterion 37. Dick and Jane’s pet 39. *Camping abode 42. Mbabane native 45. *Shoot this? 49. Teresa of Calcutta, e.g. 51. Move sideways 54. A variety show 56. Bacteriophage, informally 57. French novelist …mile 58. Popular Russian name 59. Little bit, in Mexico 60. Right to a property 61. “Born ____,” movie 62. Pelvic parts 63. Home on a limb 64. Fitness centers 67. *For any terrain

Solution on page 21.

53. Make like a cat 55. Nuke 57. *High ride 61. *Requires luring 65. Roundish 66. Variable, abbr. 68. “Roots” author 69. Shoe binders 70. Shoshonean 71. Discrimination against seniors 72. Soon, to a bard 73. The day before 74. “The Second Coming” poet

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used to be the “yes” person. I said yes to anyone who asked for my time and energy for the temporary feeling of being valued and loved. I had many friends who absolutely loved me because I said yes to every request, every time, never considering how I felt or what I even wanted. I ran all day long doing, doing, doing, while feeling exhausted, wired on caffeine, and forgetting to eat. At the end of the day, I was left with that same empty hole inside of me that I tried so desperately to fill with the approval of others. One morning while creating my to-do list, I noticed my entire list was filled with doing things for others, and absolutely none of my tasks had anything to do with me or my dreams. What were my dreams? I was so disconnected that I didn’t know. I had some serious self-saving to do.

Break Through Your Threshold by Jai Maa

my life and started nurturing the few, valuable win/win relationships that truly uplifted me. Listening to my body’s wisdom became easier every time I just said “no.” If my body opened up with joy, then that was my “yes.” When my body clenched and felt heavy, that was my “no.” No matter what my monkey mind (a Buddhist concept meaning unsettled) had to say about any situation, I respected myself, even if it angered the ones I loved. My vitality came back, what I wanted out of life became clear again, and for the first time ever, I felt at peace. Do you respect your body’s “no”? Your mind’s programmed intelligence and body’s natural wisdom may not always be on the same page. For example, your body

The crazy thing was, the minute I found the courage to start saying “no,” my socalled hundreds of friends turned into about five over night. Some who used to call me their “best friend” were now behaving like my enemies the moment I began setting boundaries. After getting over the initial shock of being rejected for respecting myself, I released those energy drains from


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Listening to my body’s wisdom became easier every time I just said “no.” If my body opened up with joy, then that was my “yes.” When my body clenched and felt heavy, that was my “no.”

clinches and feels heavy when a request has been made of you (that is your “no”), but your mind rattles off fear-based reasons to give your power away: They will be mad at me. They will think I don’t love them when I really do. What if they do something to retaliate and hurt me? What if they stop loving me or being my friend? And voilà, the fear of being rejected has now sunk its jaws of death into you, and being approved of becomes more important than loving and respecting yourself. You’re going to have to ask yourself, “What is more important to me? Looking bad for a quick moment or giving my power away and depleting myself?” Start trusting your body’s intelligence and “just say no!” You’ll notice very quickly how many people are truly your friends and love you for you, and how many were just using you for their own agenda. Enlightenment Challenge: Next time a request is made of you and you are unsure of your body’s “yes” or “no,” say, “I’d like to think about it, and I’ll get back to you.” Pull away from the situation, quiet your mind, and with your hands on your heart ask yourself, “Does this opportunity light up every part of my being and bring me joy?” If the answer is no, then JUST SAY NO.

Jai Maa is a touring author and enlightenment facilitator who inspires others to create their visions with no compromise. An interfaith minister and native of Polk County, she travels with her cat companions teaching others how to co-create with God and live their own version of Heaven on Earth. Jai Maa is a regular instructor at THE SELF Center in Winter Haven. More info:

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Natural & Non-toxic:


Vinegar and Baking Soda


Homemade. Safe. Effective. leaning with harsh chemicals is unfortunately the norm. But why be exposed to those unknown ingredients that may be absorbed by your body?

Baking soda and vinegar are each natural and non-toxic choices for house cleaning. Whether used separately or mixed, they make excellent cleaning agents and deodorizers. Throw in a squeeze of lemon and pinch of salt for added cleaning power.

Crossword on page 17.

Your Healthy Polk


Weight loss program, from pg. 15

Some people also eliminated certain medications and saw changes in their blood work. “We want to free people and give them back their confidence,” Dr. Barker says. “We want them to achieve long-term health and make a difference for their family.” The amazing part is that patients not only begin to look better but begin to feel better as well, he says. Before and after lab work shows their bodies getting better from the inside out. “We have seen lowering in cholesterol levels, blood pressure, triglycerides, glucose, thyroid and many other disease markers,” he says.

After a series of questionnaires, urine analysis and other medical testing, we can determine what that individual needs to begin to reset their metabolism and start shedding unwanted pounds. It’s all about changing your hormones and that is exactly what our program does. - Dr. Chris Barker

Dr. Barker graduated with a pre-med degree from Palm Beach Atlantic University and completed his Doctorate of Chiropractic at Palmer College of Chiropractic in Port Orange, Fla. As a former skateboarder in New York, he damaged his body and also saw how sicknesses were plaguing his family members, prompting him to change his career plans from becoming a dentist to becoming a chiropractor to help others be healthier. The path to creating a weight loss program is part of his journey to helping others achieve optimum health, he says. When it comes to weight loss, there is a lot of depression, anxiety and body issues, Dr. Barker explains. “In society, there are very few healthy options and dangerous yo-yo diets. The reality is you can’t blame your genes. It’s our responsibility to be healthy,” he says. “You will lose weight, but it’s about instilling lasting change in your life.” To learn more about Dr. Barker’s 60day weight loss program and to see before and after lab work and photos, visit

Above: Dr. Jolene Patterson, 29, lost 25 pounds while on the 60-day weight loss system at New City Chiropractic, and then lost an additional 15 pounds after the program ended. Photo provided to Your Healthy Polk.


I have a room all to myself; it is nature.

- Henry David Thoreau