Health Issue & 11 Tips for for Optimal Health

cover_webIt’s 2010 Be healthy Already
Fatigued? That’s so 2009. It’s a new decade.  Time for a new you.  Take note of the following locals who continue to push the envelope in todays heath world.

Kicking Ass: Matt Reyes, Cardio Kickboxer, Sweat Factory
Going DeepJaimi Ellison, Santa Cruz CORE Fitness + Rehab
To The Point: Tracy Cone, Pearl Alley Acupuncture
Mobile to Mobile: Levi and Bill Castro, West Coast Mobility
+ local booksellers recommend health books




cover_matt1Kicking Ass

Matt Reyes, Cardio Kickboxer, Sweat Factory
It’s only halfway through Matt Reyes’ Thursday night cardio kickboxing class and I’m already exhausted. Granted, I’m merely sitting on the floor of DanceSynergy studio in Aptos, observing the action from a safe distance, but just watching a workout like this one is enough to wear you out. Up-tempo pop and hip-hop tracks blare at a deafening volume from the stereo in the corner, while a mostly female class follows Reyes through a quick round of stretches. Then the real workout begins; the room is a blur of whirring ponytails and darting sneakers as the class jams through a series of high-energy moves that include jabs, sidesteps, uppercuts and running in place. It’s like your typical day at the gym meets West Side Story and turned up to 11. And just a scant hour after it begins, it’s already over.
“It’s a great whole-body workout,” the 36-year old Reyes explains of his class, which he’s aptly dubbed Sweat Factory. “You’re kicking and punching and engaging your whole core abdominal region, constantly moving for 45 minutes to an hour.”

An independent fitness instructor, Reyes has been renting out space at DanceSynergy for the last two years to teach the class three nights a week—he’s been teaching cardio kickboxing around town since 2004 and even nabbed a Best Aerobics Instructor nod from GT readers in a Best Of Santa Cruz County poll. A Santa Cruz native, he spent a seven-year stint in Los Angeles, where he took Tae Bo classes from its creator, Billy Blanks, and quickly became addicted to the high-intensity, instant gratification nature of cardio kickboxing.

“Cardio kickboxing has a lot of benefits,” he says. “The type that I teach really helps if your goals are to shed some unwanted pounds and burn a lot of calories. We focus a lot on muscle work, building a lot of lean muscle, sculpting the body to be both lean and ripped. If someone really wants to change their body and see quick results, they should be doing 40 minutes of cardio at least six days a week, and kickboxing is a good way to reach that goal.”

It may look intimidatingly fast and furious, but Reyes assures me that cardio kickboxing can be an excellent source of exercise for someone at any fitness level. 
“It’s really just about getting a good workout and staying on beat with the music,” he says. “I don’t care if someone is a beginner, because at least they’re moving and burning calories.” For his own workout, he pairs kickboxing classes with weight training, jogging, sprinting and independent abdominal work in order to create a well-rounded fitness regimen. He has high praise for what he deems Santa Cruz’s “holistic” fitness culture. “L.A. is all about going to the best workouts and the best classes and running the most popular sets of stairs down the Santa Monica. It’s more looks-oriented,” he says. “Santa Cruz is just as fitness-oriented, but takes an internal as well as an external approach to health. It’s all about walking to the farmer’s market, going to the gym and lifting weights, surfing, skateboarding. People are always out of the house. It’s a very active town, and I love being a part of that.”  | Anna Merlan

Sweat Factory is held at DanceSynergy, 9055 Soquel Drive, Aptos. Classes are Tuesdays 5:15 to 6:15 p.m., Thursdays 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Sundays 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Each class is $10. Find them on Facebook by searching for “Sweat Factory.” 

cover_matt2Matt Reyes tips to staying fit:

If you truly want to achieve any quick fitness or weight loss goals, it probably won’t feel too good doing it.  You’re going to have to break a nice sweat!  If you’re workouts are relaxing and joyous, then plan on not seeing quick results.  Push yourself beyond your normal pain threshhold. 
2. CONSISTENCY. When we want to lose weight, or become more athletic, we usually want it NOW.  I’m the same way.  I’ve learned that if you go hard everyday in your workout, you’ll get the results every time. Your body is obedient!  DON’T GIVE UP, it takes time. 
3.  VISUALIZATION. See the person you want to become in your mind’s eye after you’ve met your fitness or weight loss goals. See the adulation, and compliments you’ll get from others.  Let the future praise drive you when you don’t want to workout.  It works!
4.  EATING SCHEDULE. In my own life I like to eat big, healthy breakfasts.  Doing this gives me tremendous energy.  I also eat a good amount of protein for breakfast.  This curb’s my appetite much longer into the day.  Eating late will destroy your fitness/weight loss goals!  Try to have the will power to stop eating at least 3 hours before bed. 
5.  NO MORE EXCUSES, DO IT! Now’s the time to obtain your fitness/weight loss goals.  Quit putting it off.  If I’ve not had the time to workout during the day, I’ll still keep my workout schedule even if it’s 11:00pm, I have to run, and it’s freezing outside.  If you’re uncomfortable in your own skin, then do something about it! NOW!


cover_JaimiEllisonGoing Deep

Jaimi Ellison, Santa Cruz CORE Fitness + Rehab
Jaimi Ellison, owner of Santa Cruz CORE Fitness + Rehab and lifetime Santa Cruz resident, is no stranger to pain. One day, while riding her bike on the infamously dangerous streets of Westside Santa Cruz, she was hit by a car. The aftermath of the accident was nothing but visit after visit to doctor after doctor.

“After my accident I had five different surgeries,” Ellison says. “I was going around the county to different doctors, trainers, therapists and chiropractors.” Ellison recalls the stress and annoyance of having to repeat her story countless times to each new practitioner she visited, an experience that inspired her to open the integrative health center, Santa Cruz CORE.

In business since June of 2009, Santa Cruz CORE Fitness + Rehab offers a wealth of alternative medicine and wellness programs that work in tandem to provide total physical well being. Not only does Santa Cruz CORE offer personal training, physical therapy, chiropractic, massage, nutrition, aerobic fitness classes and yoga, but all of the practitioners work together to create a personalized, interconnected health program. Ellison, who worked as a personal trainer for many years before starting Santa Cruz CORE, is also a nutritional consultant and health coach.

“Through my personal experience of visiting countless practitioners, I learned a lot about my body,” she says. “I decided that I wanted to help others as I was helped.”     Although Ellison “wears a lot of hats” as she puts it, she also employs an experienced troupe of practitioners who gather weekly to discuss health trends and current issues. “One thing that’s really unique about Santa Cruz CORE is we’re integrative—a team of people working together to get you to your wellness goals,” the owner says. Each of the 17 experienced practitioners are experts in their field. Before adding a new member to the Santa Cruz CORE team, Ellison stringently evaluates their educational background, field experience, recommendations and personality to ensure that her clients receive optimal care and superb treatment. “It’s all about creating a community of wellness and making health a priority,” Ellison says passionately. “We’re all very altruistic.”

Another way that Santa Cruz CORE stands out from the pack of your run of the mill, anonymous gym is the accountability factor. Once you have set your health and fitness goals, Santa Cruz CORE will hold you accountable, calling or texting to remind you to get your behind into gear. It’s like having a super charged workout buddy who won’t tempt you to skip the gym and go for pizza instead.

“People sign up for a month at a time,” Ellison explains. “At the beginning of the month people create their goal statement, like the amount of times per week they want to come into CORE. It’s all about accountability. Whatever the accountability is, we have that written down. There is also a check list, so every week when people come in they can feel good as they check off their goals.”

Ellison also explains that client’s goals are reviewed both weekly and monthly, and reevaluated as necessary. “One of the reasons I wanted to start this business is because of the passion I have for service and the way I like to serve people is in the health industry,” she says.  “I’m trying to create a positive impact on the Santa Cruz community, and the best way to do that is to get people healthy.”
For more information about the services, classes and programs available through Santa Cruz CORE Fitness + Rehab, visit santacruzcore.com. | Leslie Patrick


cover_TracyConeErinLancasterTo The Point

Tracy Cone, Pearl Alley Acupuncture
Although the ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture is becoming more mainstream in modern Western civilization, many people still can’t seem to overcome their fear of needles. “Most people who are needle phobes are that way because their past experiences have been uncomfortable,” notes Tracy Cone, licensed acupuncturist and owner of Pearl Alley Acupuncture in Santa Cruz. “But even people who are extremely phobic about needles can handle acupuncture because these needles are tiny. They are way smaller than the needles you see at the doctor’s office.”
That’s a relief.

Cone, who has been practicing acupuncture since she graduated from Five Branches University more than five years ago, was originally drawn to alternative medicine during her twenties when she remembers being constantly ill.

“I used to do political work for nonprofits because I wanted to change the world,” Cone recalls. “I was sick all the time. I had colds, my immunity was down, my energy was zapped and I was always stressed.”
When Western medicine could not provide a solution, Cone turned to the East. “I started seeing an acupuncturist, a chiropractor and a homeopath—I basically took a journey through the alternative health world. I thought ‘these people have something going here,’” she adds. Just because Cone left the nonprofit industry does not mean that she left her altruistic spirit behind. In fact, she feels that if people are functioning fully and in total good health they have the opportunity to be better citizens. “People are more effective in the world and empowered in the world when they are feeling good.”

What would Cone say to someone who is skeptical about the benefits of acupuncture?  “Try it and see,” she laughs. She goes on to tell a story about her boyfriend who thought the practice was “hippy dippy woo woo” stuff.

“He had tendonitis in his forearms because he is a kite surfer,” she says. “He was always in pain, but after I treated him he realized ‘oh my God, this stuff really works.’” According to Cone, a plethora of studies have been conducted on the benefits of acupuncture on pain relief, and the consensus is that it works due to a release of endorphins. Not only does acupuncture relieve pain, but it has also been known to alleviate hormone imbalances, depression and anxiety.

“When people are at their wit’s end and don’t know what to try next, acupuncture is great because it’s mind, body medicine,” she notes. “It lifts the spirits.”
It is also an excellent remedy for emotional disorders, anxiety, insomnia, menopause, PMS and infertility. So many studies have proven the practice beneficial in so many different ways that many insurance companies now cover visits to an acupuncturist. 

Although she treats people of all ages, Cone specializes in pediatric acupuncture. “The ones that have been coming since they are babies aren’t afraid—they don’t develop that fear of needles. Treating kids at an early age is ideal because they learn internally about a better state of health,” she says. In addition to acupuncture, Cone is a trained herbalist and can therefore create an integrative wellness plan for her patients.
“Chinese medicine is earth-based medicine,” Cone concludes. “If people are in balance then theoretically the earth is in balance too. We’re healing not just on a personal level but on a global level.” Surely anyone can endure a little needle prick for such a healthy cause. For more information about Pearl Alley Acupuncture or to schedule an appointment call 419-7167. | Leslie Patrick



Lisa Lent, Multivitamin Matriarch
“I’m not a doctor or scientist, what I take credit for is the passion and drive behind this product,” says Lisa Lent, founder and CEO of the fast-growing personal nutrition company, Vitalah. Lent worked closely with leaders in the health and nutrition industry to create a product called Oxylent. These portable packets of powdered vitamins and minerals mix with water to deliver a refreshing daily multivitamin drink, which oxygenates, hydrates and rejuvenates—the optimal solutions for cellular health. “Oxylent is absorbed nearly 100 percent straight into your cells,” Lent says. “Most people experience wonderful energy boost from it.”

Lent hasn’t always been in the health industry. In fact, she worked as a flight attendant traveling internationally for more than 18 years. In the year 2000, she developed blood clots in her lungs and she knew that something about her stressful lifestyle had to change.

“After I had a health issue, I started searching the world for something that would help support the lifestyle I was living,” she says. Constant traveling, excess pressure on the body, lack of sleep, dehydration and stress, she feels may have contributed to her health issue. Lent approached a nutritional company with the idea of a supplement designed specifically for frequent travelers.

“About 10 years ago, we launched a product called Flight Pack. It was launched right after 9/11, so it was terrible timing for the industry and the world,” she recalls. She eventually shelved the idea, but it remained in the back of her mind. When Lent moved to Santa Cruz a few years ago she spoke about her idea with a friend who owns a locally based fish oil company, Nordic Naturals.

“I realized a product like Oxylent still did not exist and could become the ultimate supplement for everyday life,” she says. “Nordic has been a true blessing and support as we launched Oxylent and we are extraordinarily grateful to them.”

Oxylent is different from other vitamin drinks on the market for a myriad reasons.

“I believe the success of the product is due to the effervescent technology,” Lent notes. “Effervescence is the wave of the future. It greatly increases absorbability and efficacy. When nutrients are absorbed properly in your body, you may actually experience an energy boost.”

It may come as a surprise to some that according to the Physicians’ Desk Reference 2000, when vitamins are taken in pill form only 10 to 20 percent of the nutrients are actually retained. Since Oxylent is an effervescent mixed with water, the body will absorb nearly 100 percent. But can such a healthy beverage possibly taste so good?

“You don’t even know that you are drinking a vitamin,”  Lent says. “We use Albion Minerals, which have a very low Dalton weight. This makes them easily absorbed, which also ensures no metallic aftertaste.”

Though launched a mere two years ago, the company, which is headquartered in Santa Cruz County, is already gaining national recognition. Oxylent has been picked up by grocery giant Whole Foods Market, and the product was also voted one of the Top Ten new products of 2009 by Vitamin Retailer.

Oxylent—the name is a combination of the words oxygen and the owner’s last name, Lent—can be found at local retailers including New Leaf, Way of Life, Staff of Life, Whole Foods and many more.  For more information visit vitalah.com. | Leslie Patrick


cover_mobileMobile to Mobile

Levi and Bill Castro, West Coast Mobility
On Aug. 30, 1999, Levi Castro was 20 years old, a gifted athlete and an up-and-coming young surfer; he’d also just begun a thriving remodeling business with his father, Bill. On Aug. 31, everything had changed.

While surfing off Westcliff Drive, Levi suffered a near-fatal accident, breaking his neck in four places and becoming a quadriplegic. He was hospitalized for nearly seven months, eventually leaving a Colorado rehab facility on March 23, 2000. Before Levi had even returned home, he and Bill were already trying, along with Levi’s mother and two sisters, to absorb the enormity of what had happened to them. They quickly realized that having the right tools was going to be crucial in helping Levi to get around and continue to live a full life. 

Now, Bill runs West Coast Mobility, a Santa Cruz-based business dedicated to selling and installing medical equipment to help the elderly and disabled remain healthy, active and mobile. They specialize in overhead lift systems, mechanized tracks and pulleys that help the disabled and their caretakers move them around the house with greater ease. These systems allow caretakers to move a disabled person from a bed to a wheelchair, for example, without straining their backs or accidentally hurting the patient. The company also carries elevators, porch lifts, electric wheelchairs, as well as special slings and beds.            
“It’s a whole lot to deal with,” Levi says of his state of mind after the accident. “Coping with the shock of it, and the amount of information you need to learn, can be just overwhelming. But I had so many people helping me and my family.”

Bill concurs, remembering how, while Levi was still hospitalized, he undertook a massive renovation project on their house to accommodate Levi’s wheelchair when he returned home.  Unbidden, community members started showing up to help, including many of Levi’s old surfing buddies. “The surfers showed up, and they just kept showing up,” he says softly. “They worked on Christmas day, on weekends, late at night, and they never asked for anything. I’m just amazed at how well Santa Cruz takes care of their own, how the community just comes together. It’s almost like Levi was their own kid. I was blown away.”

The Castros were initially unsure how to repay such generosity. “It’s just such a caring and compassionate community,” Levi says. “We thought about taking out a full page ad in the Good Times, just to say thank you. But we decided the best thanks would be to help others, to extend back the hand they gave to us.” West Coast Mobility, which Bill runs with a staff of just three employees, has installed hundreds of home lift systems throughout the Bay Area. They’ll soon be opening a second location in Los Angeles, with an eye toward eventually expanding throughout the West Coast. “You never realize what it takes until something like this happens to you,” Bill says. “But it helps me mentally to be able to help others, to offer them not just equipment but support, advice, someone to talk to.”

The Castros still struggle daily to cope with their changed circumstances. “I’m not going to lie to you,” Levi says evenly. “Being quadriplegic sucks.”

He has Medicare, Medi-Cal and private insurance coverage, all of whom he must constantly battle to get them to cover some of the cost of his lifesaving medications and equipment. His difficulties have shown Bill how important it is to help other families reduce their burden wherever possible.

“We don’t take it lightly,” he says. “We focus on selling only the best products, with as little down time as possible. It makes a huge difference.”  For him, Levi being able to stay healthy and active is the most important thing in the world. “Him doing well helps me,” Bill says. “He’s the one who keeps me sane.”  For more information on West Coast Mobility, contact 427-1146, westcoastmobility.com. | Anna Merlan


Rachel_CarltonDoctor Rachel’s 11 Tips for Optimal Health

1. LOVE No, really.  And not just on Valentine’s Day.  The research shows that the health protective effects of regular affection, relationship and community are more impressive than whether or not you smoke.  So get your hugs on; it’s good for you.  And if you don’t have someone to snuggle with, it turns out that affection with your pet helps, too.  I love you, Spot.

2. MOVE Humans are not made to sit in armchairs.  Our entire physiology has evolved around the vigorous physical work it has taken to survive for the last millennia.  So when we take “vigor-man or woman” and make them sit at a desk all day and come home and sit some more—they get slow, depressed, irritable and inflamed—on the inside.  This stagnation creates the basis for heart disease, strokes, diabetes, depression and cancer.  So exercise.  In whatever way you enjoy.  Walk.  Skip.  Dance.  Make your body happy.

3. SLEEP Americans are more deprived of sleep than exercise—which is saying something!  The average amount needed is eight hours—with 50 percent of folks needing more than eight hours.  If you get less sleep than you need on a regular basis, you are more likely to be depressed, irritable, overweight (yes, less sleep deprivation weight gain) and have poor concentration and performance.  And coffee does not help.  Cut the caffeine and get your zzzz’s.  You’ll feel better.

4. EAT FOOD If you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it.  If it doesn’t look like any recognizable fruit, vegetable, grain or meat, don’t eat it.  If sugar is the first or second ingredient, don’t eat it.  Try to stick to fruits, veggies, whole grains (skip the white stuff), plant proteins (beans, nuts and legumes) and some high quality (e.g. organic, no added hormones) animal proteins.  Most of us know this.  You might want to get some support in eating this way if it’s hard for you—it is well worth the investment as food really is medicine—all foods send chemical signals to your body that contribute to your health or your decline.  And if you just can’t eat well, at least take a multivitamin and some essential fatty acids (fish or flax oil).  It’s a good start.   And don’t forget to play.

5. PRAY OR MEDITATE When life gets difficult, all you have are your inner resources (patience, love, trust, a sense of perspective, creative problem-solving) to get you through it intact.  Taking some deep breaths, and even a small amount of time, to express gratitude, ask for help, find peace, and set your intention for your day, is invaluable in maintaining your equilibrium on the inside and the outside.  Meditation or prayer significantly reduces all causes of cardiovascular disease, eases depression and anxiety and helps us stick to our good health decisions.

6. SEE YOUR DOC ONCE BY 45 Even if you are healthy.  Sometimes we have health risks we are unaware of.  I’ve had tri-athletes with severely elevated cholesterol.  It’s good to know these things early because there are many approaches we can use to enhance your vitality and life span.

7. WATCH OUT FOR ADDICTION We’ve all got them.  Coffee, cigarettes, marijuana, alcohol, chocolate, sugar, soda, T.V, Facebook, even exercise.  If you are using an activity to avoid experiencing how you actually feel, it’s an addictive use of that activity.  Some addictions are more dangerous than others, but if we use our addiction to numb our negative emotions, we stop ourselves from taking action to change the way we feel (e.g. changing jobs or relationships, getting therapy, setting boundaries with others).  We live in a very addictive society, where there is a pill for every ailment.  Take an honest look at your life and give yourself the gift of change where it’s needed.  It’s better than a double latte.

8. ENJOY It makes a big difference to your physiology if you spend your time in anger, blame and resentment (more inflammatory reactions, high blood pressure, poorer immune response) or in gratitude, joy and play (calmer nervous system, balanced immune response, less risk of heart disease).  Life is full of difficult situations, but the way that you approach those situations makes all the difference.  And because we spend so many hours at work, do your best to choose work that you enjoy, most of the time.   And don’t forget to play.

9. DETOXIFY We live in a world rife with chemicals that didn’t exist 50 years ago, and we have no idea what the majority of those chemicals do to humans.  But for good reason, many of us in the science world are concerned about emerging research showing the effects of toxins on brain function, cancer, fertility and obesity.  Limit your risks by ditching that Teflon pan (ever wonder where that flaking Teflon goes when it disappears from the pan?), eating organic as much as possible (especially milk, meat and eggs), not heating food in plastic, finding non-toxic alternatives for pesticides, and using green cleaning and home maintenance products.  Exercise, sweating, drinking plenty of water and eating fiber are good ways to detoxify naturally.

10. DON’T OBSESS Change takes time.  Be patient with yourself.  And perfectionism, even with your health, is not good for you.  Life is short.  Don’t forget to dance and occasionally eat chocolate cake.

11. LIMIT SCREENS Oh, for goodness sake, didn’t we think that computers were better than television?  Not.  If you spend all of your time in front of a computer, television, or smart phone, what are you missing?  Items one through four on this list.  Human interaction (texts and e-mail are not the same thing), movement, sleep, good food—don’t get swallowed by your screens.  Get outside, get some sunlight, hang with your friends, surf.  Live inside your body (that’s the part of you attached to the hands on the keyboard or remote).

Learn more about Rachel Carlton Abrams, MD, at Santa Cruz Integrative Medicine & Chi Center, 465-9088, santacruzintegrativemedicine.net.

Buy The (Health) Book

Keep yourself thriving on the inside and out. Take a peek at what local booksellers are recommending to do just that.

Capitola Book Café
1475 41st Avenue Capitola, CA 95010-2999 (831) 462-4415 capitolabookcafe.com

Food Rules by Michael Pollan (Penguin)
A guide for conscious consumers that gleans the knowledge from Michael Pollan’s bestselling books and simplifies it into easy-to-use rules.  A great primer or a perfect pocket reminder. 

Secrets of Great Marriages by Charlie & Linda Bloom (New World Library)
Local therapists Charlie & Linda Bloom interviewed couples who’ve been married an average of 30 years to illustrate the essential qualities required for extraordinary relationships.  Author event at Capitola Book Café on Thurs, March 11 at 7:30pm.

The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande (Metropolitan Books)
From landing a plane to avoiding infection, author and surgeon Atul Gawande reminds us that even the most difficult things we do begin with a checklist.  He argues that improvements in fields from banking to homeland security could result from better utilizing this most basic of tools.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (HarperCollins)
A twelve-month to-do list that’s actually fun.

Anticancer by David Servan-Schreiber (Viking)
This is truly a book for everyone.  Whether living with cancer or adopting a lifestyle that could help prevent it, Anticancer combines David Servan-Schreiber’s personal insight with up-to-date research, providing a new framework for confronting the big C.

Gateways Books & Gifts
1126 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz,  429-9600, gatewaysbooks.com

The Body Ecology Diet by Donna Gates and Linda Schatz
“Body Ecology Diet” helps to restore your internal harmony, regain vitality and feel younger.

Defy Gravity by Caroline Myss
Healing beyond the bounds of reason. The always evolving and curious Myss delves into a journey beyond logic, beyond reason and into a mystical consciousness.

Subtle Body Encyclopedia  by Cyndi Dale
“Subtle Body” is a comprehensive Encyclopedia devoted to the critical world of our invisible anatomy, where so much of healing actually occurs.  Compiled by this  intuitive healer and scholar.

Mindful Eating by Jan Chozen Bays
Persuasively arguing that Americans have become obsessed with the constant pursuit of satiation, often to the detriment of their health, pediatrician and Zen teacher Bays calmly and systematically explains  how a thoughtful approach to eating and drinking can positively affect one’s weight and overall health.

Migrain Brain by Carolyn Bernstein
Bernstein, a neurologist who suffered her first migraines in her 20s, teaches at Harvard Medical School and is on staff at the Cambridge Health Alliance, where she founded the Women’s Headache Center. With journalist McArdle, she presents a clear and comprehensive analysis of the migraine brain. Noting that there are about 30 million migraine sufferers in the U.S., Bernstein reveals that migraine is a complex neurological disease that affects the central nervous system.

Bookshop Santa Cruz
1520 Pacific Avenue Santa Cruz, 423-0900. bookshopsantacruz.com

Women, Food, & God: An Unexpected Guide to Almost Everything by Geneen Roth 
(Avail. March 10. Event at 7 p.m. March 23) The way you eat is inseparable from your core beliefs about being alive. No matter how sophisticated or wise or enlightened you believe you are, how you eat tells all. The bestselling author of “When Food Is Love” provides a holistic approach to looking at eating that is as equally straight forward and accessible as it is therapeutic and based on self-compassion.

The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest by Dan Buettner
This is an engaging read that is part travel writing, part health book. National Geographic explorer Buettner has traveled the globe to uncover the best strategies for longevity. You’ll meet a 94-year-old farmer and self-confessed “ladies man” in Costa Rica, a 102-year-old grandmother in Okinawa, a 102-year-old Sardinian who hikes at least six miles a day, and others. By observing their lifestyles, Buettner’s team has identified critical everyday choices that each of us can make, revealing surprising secrets gathered from extraordinarily long-lived communities from around the world.

Diet for a New America 2nd  Ed. by John Robbins
Santa Cruz County is lucky enough to call health expert John Robbins one of our own.  A newer edition of the classic that awakened the conscience of a nation, “Diet for a New America” is considered by many to be one of the most important contributors that made a dramatic shift in our nation’s eating habits.  Also, Robbins has a new book coming out in late May.
The Fatigue Prescription: Four Steps to Renewing Your Energy,

Health, & Life by Linda Hawes Clever, MD
Hot of the press and released this month, this book is already getting a huge amount of buzz. Many of us run from task to task and are burning the nearly non-existent candle at both ends. We are sleep-deprived, overworked, overwhelmed, and undernourished in body and soul.  Based on years of medical practice, and her own life experience, this book is filled with easy self-assessments, informational charts, and sound advice from a UCSF professor and physician who healed herself. A great read to help you avoid illness, reset priorities, and, most importantly, regain your health and happiness.

So Easy: Luscious Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Week by Ellie Krieger
Ellie Krieger, weekly host of the Food Network’s “Healthy Appetite,” has followed up her award-winning cookbook, “The Food You Crave,” with a terrific new title filled with healthy dishes that are easy enough for the busiest people to prepare. Krieger is a mom with a full-time job, so these recipes are not just quick, but delicious and family friendly as well.

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