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St. Tammany Healthy Living for May 23, 2018

LAKEVIEW REGIONAL VOLUNTEERS: Kathy Gibbs was installed as president of the Lakeview Regional Medical Center Volunteer Auxiliary during the group’s recent appreciation luncheon at Benedict’s Plantation in Mandeville. The other new auxiliary officers are Antionette Weatherly, vice president; Catherine Rish, treasurer; Viola Dickson, secretary; and Jerry Lambert, past president. The auxiliary also honored its 76 volunteers, who have worked a total of 21,400 hours. Longevity recognition went to:

  • 20 years: Leandra Howze, Dianna King and Elwood Trahan
  • 15 years: Carol Ehrhardt, Becky Gilly and Ann Jardot 
  • 10 years: Marie Mauer and Charles McFerren
  • Five years: Joyce Alford, Hap Chandler, Viola Dickson, Elaine Ecuyer and Kenneth Pepperman.

MALL WALKERS: North Shore Square Mall, 150 Northshore Blvd., Slidell, will open for walkers at 7 a.m. Wednesday, May 23, through a partnership with Slidell Memorial Hospital, to encourage people to walk with the advantages of mall security, air conditioning and water fountains. For information, call (985) 280-8529.

LAMAZE CHILDBIRTH CLASS: Relaxation and breathing techniques for natural childbirth, signs and symptoms of labor and postpartum care will be discussed during a Lamaze childbirth class from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, May 24, in the Magnolia Room of Lakeview Regional Medical Center, 95 Judge Tanner Blvd., Covington. Bring a pillow and blanket. To reserve a spot, call (985) 867-3900 or visit

FIT AS A FIREFIGHTER: Children ages 8-12 who would like to learn about a healthy, active lifestyle may benefit from the Fit as a Firefighter nutrition and fitness summer camp to be held from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. June 4-8 at the St. Tammany Fire Protection District No. 1 Training Academy, 34780 S. Range Road, Slidell. Registration packets are available at The fee is $125. For information, call (985) 280-8529.

YOGA FOR CANCER PATIENTS: Patricia Hart conducts free yoga classes for cancer patients, survivors and their caregivers from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Mondays on the second floor of the Slidell Memorial Hospital Wellness Pavilion, 501 Robert Blvd. Slidell. The next class will be May 28. Wear loose-fitting clothing; mats are available for use. Registration and a medical release are required. For information, call Hart at (985) 707-4961.

COMMUNITY CPR CLASS: A class covering adult, pediatric and infant CPR will be presented from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, May 31, in the Magnolia Room at Lakeview Regional Medical Center, 95 Judge Tanner Blvd., Covington. Participants will view a DVD and a demonstration on a mannequin. To register, call (985) 867-3900 or visit

CAREGIVER SUPPORT: The Council on Aging for St. Tammany Parish caregiver support program lets those caring for people with Alzheimer’s, dementia or other age-related illnesses share their struggles and successes, guided by an experienced facilitator. Sessions are scheduled at:

  • Slidell Senior Center, 610 Cousin St., from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of each month; the next sessions will be June 5 and June 19.
  • Covington Senior Center, 500 Theard St., from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month; the next sessions will be June 12 and June 26.

For information, call (504) 339-1757.

LOOK GOOD … FEEL BETTER IN SLIDELL: Women with cancer can get free makeup kits, step-by-step demonstrations, a free lunch and support from this program, which will meet from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, June 4, at the Slidell Memorial Hospital Imaging Center, 1495 Gause Blvd., Slidell. To register, call (985) 280-2657.

HEALTHY COOKING: Chef Neil “Nino” Thibodaux will teach cooking skills needed to prepare easy recipes that not only taste good but also help develop healthy eating habits from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 5, in the first-floor conference room at the Slidell Memorial Hospital Founders Building, 1150 Robert Blvd. For information on the free program or to enroll, call (985) 280-6665.

ART THERAPY FOR CANCER PATIENTS: A free art therapy program for cancer patients will be held from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 5, at the Slidell Memorial Hospital Regional Cancer Center, 1120 Robert Blvd. The program aims to enhance coping, confidence and stress management. For information or to enroll, call (985) 280-6612.

CAREGIVER COFFEE TALK: Caregivers will discuss ways to cope with stress, care for themselves and restore their energy from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 6, at the Slidell Memorial Hospital Regional Cancer Center, 1120 Robert Blvd., Slidell. For information, call (985) 280-6612.

HANDS-ONLY CPR: Four free classes in hands-only CPR will be offered Friday afternoon, June 8, in the Community Outreach Center on the second floor of the Slidell Memorial Hospital Wellness Pavilion, 501 Robert Blvd. Hands-only CPR is CPR without mouth-to-mouth breaths. The 45-minute classes will begin at noon, 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. To register, call (985) 280-2657.

BETTER BREATHERS CLUB: The Better Breathers Club, a program of the American Lung Association, meets from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month in the Magnolia Room of Lakeview Regional Medical Center, 95 Judge Tanner Blvd., Covington. The next meeting will be June 14. The club is meant for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, as well as their caregivers. To register, visit or call (985) 867-3900.

BREAST-FEEDING CLINIC: Lactation consultants will offer free support and encouragement from 9:30  a.m. to noon Saturday, June 16, the Florida Avenue conference room at Slidell Memorial Hospital, 1025 Florida Ave., Slidell. To register, call (985) 280-8585 or visit

BABY SITTER TRAINING: A one-day Safe Sitter class for people ages 11-14 will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, June 19, in the community outreach center on the second floor of the Slidell Memorial Hospital Wellness Pavilion, 501 Robert Blvd., Slidell. Topics include how to rescue someone who’s choking and helpful information like what to do if there’s severe weather. The cost is $75, which includes a manual and completion card. For information, call (985) 280-8529. Registration packets are available at

SLIDELL AUTISM SUPPORT GROUP: Strengthening Outcomes with Autism Resources will meet at 9  a.m. Wednesday, June 20, in the community outreach center on the second floor of the Slidell Memorial Hospital Wellness Pavilion, 501 Robert Blvd. For information, call Anne Galiano at (504) 812-9548.

SAFE KIDS 101: Nurse Stephanie Daniels will present a Safe Kids 101 course for youth ages 9-14 from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday, June 20, in the community outreach center on the second floor of the Slidell Memorial Hospital Wellness Pavilion, 501 Robert Blvd. Topics will include basic first aid skills, digital and cooking safety, and how to handle unfamiliar scenarios. The cost is $35. For information and to register, call (985) 280-8529.

WOMEN WARRIORS: Breast cancer patients, survivors and caregivers will meet at 1  p.m. Wednesday, June 20, in the first-floor conference room of the Slidell Memorial Hospital Founders Building, 1150 Robert Blvd. For information, call (985) 280-6611.

CANCER SUPPORT GROUP: People living with cancer and their caregivers will meet at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 20, in the second-floor chapel of the Slidell Memorial Hospital Regional Cancer Center, 1120 Robert Blvd. Remote participation is possible by calling (985) 280-8958 at 1  p.m. on group day.

BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT: A bereavement support group will meet at 3  p.m. Thursday, June 21, in the second-floor chapel at the Slidell Memorial Hospital Regional Cancer Center, 1120 Robert Blvd. For information, call (985) 280-6612.

ANTIBIOTIC STEWARDSHIP: Nurse Sharlene Dering will discuss antibiotic stewardship during a free Lunch Learn program at 11:30 a.m. Friday, June 29, in the first-floor conference room of the Slidell Memorial Hospital Founders Building, 1150 Robert Blvd., Slidell. The antibiotics we have now are all we will have for a while, and many organisms are becoming resistant to them; Dering will discuss the proper use of antibiotics and their side effects. To register, call (985) 280-2657 or visit

FIRST AID SKILLS: The Covington Fire Department and the St. Tammany Parish Hospital Parenting Center will present a two-hour class in first-aid skills at 10 a.m., and again at 2 p.m., June 30 in Bogue Falaya Hall, 317 N. Jefferson Ave., Covington. The free class will include instruction in hands-only CPR and stopping bleeding, and is recommended for people 10 and older. Certain laws protecting citizens who initiate care will also be covered.

GIRL TALK: Girls ages 9-13 will learn about the physical, social and emotional changes of puberty during the Girl Talk session from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 17, in the first-floor conference room of the Slidell Memorial Hospital Founders Building, 1150 Robert Blvd., Slidell. Presenters will include pediatrician Alice LeBreton and dermatologist Taylor Hilton. Teens must be accompanied by an adult. The fee is $15 per family. To register, call (985) 280-2657 or visit

CHILD SAFETY SEAT INSPECTIONS: The St. Tammany Parenting Center is scheduling appointments for free inspections of child safety seats. Call (985) 898-4435. Inspections also are held from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. every Tuesday at the Louisiana State Police Troop L headquarters, 2600 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville. Walk-ins are accepted, but appointments are appreciated. For information on the State Police program, call (985) 893-6250 or email

BABY AND ME TOBACCO-FREE: Slidell Memorial Hospital is holding smoking-cessation programs for expectant mothers on Mondays and Wednesdays by appointment. For information or to request an application, call Ashlee Menke at (504) 733-5539.

GAMBLERS ANONYMOUS: Gamblers Anonymous meets several times a week throughout the New Orleans area. Gamblers Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experiences, strength and hope with one another that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from a gambling problem. For information, call (855) 222-5542 or visit

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The road to healthy living may be lined with worms


At the corner of healthy living and serious gardening exists one of the “worm ranches” of Colorado Springs. 

“This place to me, is my interest, it’s my passion,” commented Ken Williams, co-owner of Rocky Mountain Worm Company. 

This worm based organization has a heartfelt origin and some slimy, but interesting daily operations. 

“Anything that you would associate with healthy plants and healthy soil, that’s what we are,” commented Jay Williams, co-owner and Ken’s oldest son. 

Family run and worm operated, this place can be some messy work, “Our hands get quite filthy handling worms, fortunately we wash them quite well,” Ken elaborated. 

There’s plenty of digging in the dirt, handling of worms, and washing of hands. 

But the result is fertilizer fit for a king, or at least a plant of the tomato, okra, or what have you variety, “The way of the worm is the best way to go.”

The “ranch” was formed several years ago after an encounter with a life threatening disease, “My oldest son, jay, had a cancer experience,” commented Ken. 

This made Jay think more critically about what he put in his body, “What is the one thing, that we all do every single day, and that’s eat, and how many times do we eat, and what all are we putting into our mouths to eat,” he commented. 

That line of thought led to looking at what food grew in and what all goes into that soil, “And then branching that into an entire business. Centered around how to get the best food that we possibly can for ourselves, and using that as medicine.”

The family knew worms had a vital role to play, “So we began with what we knew, that was the worms,” said Ken. 

Now the family hopes to educate others to watch what they eat; and just as importantly, how it was grown.

“If you can at least plant that seed and let that grow, if you will, it will impact not only their lives, but many, many lives down the line,” finished Jay.

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SEARHC awards healthy living grant to Petersburg Indian Association

Leatha Merculieff, SEARHC’s vice president of executive administration, awards a “Healthy is Here” grant to Petersburg Indian Association tribal council president Tracy Welch. (Photo courtesy of Ross Nannauck III)

The Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium awarded a $50,000 healthy living grant to the Petersburg Indian Association Monday night. SEARHC is a regional non-profit health care provider operating in 20 communities in Southeast Alaska. It has a 15-person board of directors representing as many communities in Southeast. The organization is awarding a “Healthy is Here” grant to tribal organizations in each of the 15 communities.

Leatha Merculieff , SEARHC’s vice president of executive administration, said the money is intended for healthy activities.

“It’s up to the Petersburg Indian Association to decide what is healthy and what healthy activities means to them,” Merculieff said. “It’s not for us to decide what they’re going to do with the money. They can build a playground, they can buy vegetables for tribal members. It’s really up to them what they think is healthy.”

SEARHC started distributing checks about a month ago. Projects are not yet decided but Merculieff said they’ve heard some of the ideas for using the grants.

“In Klukwan they’re going to, (they have) the idea of expanding their library for their kids and their community,” she said. “We’ve heard ideas of purchasing a whole bunch of canned vegetables and fruit in Angoon for having a closet full of vegetables so their tribal members can come and get canned vegetables and canned fruit. It varies across. Craig had the idea of sponsoring a basketball tournament, so it just really varies.”

Ross Nannauck III is a SEARHC board member from Petersburg and he’s confident the PIA tribal council will be able to find a good use for the money in the community.

“There’s always the need for something,” Nannauck said. “Right now a lot of places are having problems with the addictions that are going on and that‘s one of the things, such as our ANB (Alaska Native Brotherhood) here in town is starting up a talking circle, healing circle to help address that and I was mentioning to them about the grant.”

The full Petersburg Indian Association tribal council hasn’t yet had a chance to meet and decided on how to spend the money.

“We have already received multiple requests and ideas, all of which will be taken under advisement as we begin the decision making process,” said tribal council president Tracy Welch in an email. “Many areas of need have been identified and we look forward to putting the funding to good use. We’d like to thank SEARHC for their generosity and commitment to bettering the lives of the citizens that they serve.

The grant could be annual depending on the bottom line for the regional health care provider. Tribal organizations have to spend the money by September 30th in order to be eligible for a grant next year.

  • Rep. Mike Chenault, R- Nikiski, talks to reporters during a press availability on April 13, 2017, in the state Capitol in Juneau.
  • Google spin-off company Waymo's Firefly 1 reference vehicle. Waymo is one of seven companies that has notified Washington's Department of Licensing that they plan to test self-driving vehicles.
  • The descendants spent time gathering grass on Attu to be used in traditional baskets. (Photo by Zoë Sobel/KUCB)

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HEALTHY LIVING: 6 things to know about Pure Alchemy Juice Bar Cafe in Wallingford – Meriden Record

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Healthy Living: Prenatal education


Datia Rosenberg joins us to talk about natural birth. 

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8 Signs that a Diet Isn’t Right For You

A diet is good for you if it helps you lose weight, right? That may seem true, it but isn’t. Losing weight is not an indicator that your diet is healthy.

A diet can ruin your health and make you miserable, even when it aids weight loss. That’s because most diets ask people to eliminate entire nutrients, like carbohydrates or fats, which results in nutritional deficiencies and all sorts of health problems.

However, not all diets are bad. Lifestyle-focused diets, like a whole food, plant-based diet not only help you lose weight but have positive impacts on your overall health.

These are some telltale signs that a diet is not right for you.

A diet is good for you if it helps you lose weight, right? That may seem true, it but isn't. Losing weight is not an indicator that your diet is healthy.

1. You have persistent diarrhea.

It is common for people to experience diarrhea after making dietary changes. Sometimes the diarrhea is temporary. In other cases, it persists for weeks.

Adding too much fiber to your diet too quickly or eating foods with artificial sweeteners are a couple of the dietary changes that can cause diarrhea.

If a diet is giving you diarrhea, it’s time to quit it. And do not hesitate to see your doctor if diarrhea persists.

2. You are tired all the time.

Fatigue is one of the main reasons people quit diets. You may feel tired all the time, if your diet is too low in calories or lacks iron and other nutrients.

Research shows that a diet low in complex carbs can cause fatigue.

If you’re new to a plant-based diet, you may experience fatigue due to iron deficiency, if you’re not including enough iron-rich plant foods in your meals. Make sure you’re getting enough iron from these plant sources.

3. You have intense, prolonged cravings.

Intense cravings may be a signs that your diet lacks vitamins and minerals.

For instance, craving chocolate could suggest magnesium deficiency, according to research. A diet that lacks one of the three macronutrients - carbohydrates, fat, and protein – can also increase your cravings.

Unless you are on a sugar detox, do not stick to a diet that gives you intense cravings for a long period of time.

4. You get sick often.

A healthy diet is supposed to strengthen your immune system, not weaken it. Yet, people stick to diets that cause constant headaches, sore throats, and digestive problems, if they’re also losing weight.

It’s important to mention here that cutting back on processed carbs or increasing fiber intake can cause minor health problems that may last for a few days. But if a diet makes you sick for weeks on end, that is a clear sign that you should quit it.

5. You feel cold all the time.

Feeling colder than usual may be a sign that your diet lacks iodine. Iodine is vital for weight loss, since it helps regulate thyroid hormones.

Iodine deficiency has many other negative side effects, so make sure you get it from these sources.

6. You are easily irritable.

We tend to blame stress or lack of sleep for our irritability, but the truth is a poor diet can also cause irritability.

According to research, a diet that lacks vitamin B6 can make you more irritable. Luckily, you can get vitamin B6 from potatoes, fortified cereals, and non-citrus fruits.

7. You are aging fast.

The effects of a poor diet do not always show up instantly. It may take a year or more to start seeing the effects.

A diet that lacks antioxidants and vitamins A, C, D, and E can cause premature aging. If you notice that your skin is getting wrinkly fast, add more fruits, veggies, and herbs to your diet.

8. Your skin is dry and itchy.

Low fat intake can make your skin dry and itchy. Research shows that fats increase the absorption of vitamins and minerals, which reduces the risk of nutritional deficiencies.

Consume enough skin-promoting vitamins like A, D, and E. Then increase the intake healthy fats such as olive oil, avocado, and nuts and seeds.

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Hopewell elementary schools host Healthy Living Fair for students and families

Event stressed fitness and eating right.

HOPEWELL — Patrick Copeland Elementary School hosted a health event recently where students attending all of the city’s elementary schools and their families could come to learn about healthy living.

Sommer Jones, an instructional coach for Hopewell City Public Schools said, “This is the Healthy Living Fair. It’s about bringing to our kids healthy options through interactive learning. There’s so much here to explore.”

Greater Richmond Fit For Kids representative Cynthia Piazza said that she was at the Healthy Living Fair on a grant with the John Randolph Foundation. We try to integrate a culture of wellness in the schools.”

Piazza, a certified teacher, shares her academic lessons with Hopewell elementary teachers to help “get the kids up and moving.”

Her interactive portion of the Healthy Living Fair illustrated exactly (and surprisingly) how much sugar is actually present in beverages parents and children imbibe on a daily basis. Most people were shocked to discover how many grams of sugar were present in classic southern sweet tea, popular sodas and sports drinks.

“We call it the ‘Sugar Shocker Lesson,’” said Piazza, sweeping a gesture at the displayed drinks and sugar containers depicting how much was in each drink. “The McDonald’s Sweet Tea has 25 teaspoons of sugar. People are very, very surprised. When women and children are supposed to have only six teaspoons a day … It’s really shocking for people.”

“I prepared some strawberry and cucumber water for everyone to taste,” added Piazza. She pointed out a large dispenser of water with chopped-up bits of strawberries and cucumbers inside.

Nine year-old Kimmie Daniels, with no small measure of excitement, exclaimed, “It’s not very sweet, like the stuff you normally drink, but you can taste the strawberries and the cucumbers. It’s not very sweet, but it still tastes so good!”

Many other interactive engagements provided opportunities for participants to learn about different aspects of healthy living at the fair.

Representatives from Hopewell Family Dentistry provided handouts as well as information for people to chew on. Officers from the Department of the Sheriff shared safety information with participants. And, several other stations informed people about other aspects of healthy living.

Sheriff Billy Costanza said, “We’re showing the parents what the Sheriff’s Department has to offer. We have the Project Lifesaver Program, which helps children or adults with special needs in case they go missing or become lost. We help relocate them. … We’re answering questions about the Sheriff’s office, explaining what we do and what our duties are. And, we’re giving out small badges to the kids so they know we’re here to help out the community,” he said.

While this was going on in Patrick Copeland’s cafeteria, yet other aspects of living a safer and healthy life were demonstrated on the main stage by Hopewell Martial Arts World. Boards were broken by martial arts students and self-defense techniques were employed.

“I really like this,” said Cindy Bradley, a mother of two DuPont Elementary students. “It’s healthy for them, physical fitness-wise. But, I want my kids to be able to defend themselves from bullies. They’ll always be bullies, and I think teaching them martial arts will give them what they need if they ever really need to defend themselves from bullies.”

Just outside the gymnasium stage, where the martial arts demonstrations were given, stood a tall tower silhouetted against a quickly setting sun, casting a long shadow across field grass and parking lot pavement. Assisted by soldier volunteers from Fort Lee, children ascended and descended the climbing tower.

“In a way,” stated student grandparent Ernie Frost, “it’s like that Devil’s Tower from ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind.’ I mean, it’s not a bad thing at all. It’s just a thing they have to climb. Because it’s there.”

Private Bryan Ortiz, a Fort Lee trainee of the 27-Delta course (Paralegal) set to ship out to his next assignment in a matter of days, was helping kids ascend the climbing tower. Ortiz said, “It’s fun working with kids. They give you a new perspective on things.” When asked what he gets from working with children, Ortiz smiled and answered, “A smile. A natural smile on my face. Being with new, normal people having a normal, good-old time. It’s just nice seeing the atmosphere. It’s calm. There’s nothing serious about it. There’s no worry.”

Also outside was a trailer outfitted with exercise bikes and energetic music. This attracted many students. Assisting in this aspect of fitness was P.E. teacher Ryan Ponder. “It’s a great turnout. The kids look like they’ve enjoyed the health fair tonight. My favorite part of the event is this bike trailer because I like biking myself. It’s neat, it’s a lot of fun, and the kids are super-active, and that’s what we’re looking for,” said Ponder.

Such an atmosphere of interactive and fun learning did not just spontaneously generate. It took the coordinated efforts of dedicated people. And, those people were directed by Dr. Tina Barringer, director of Elementary Instruction.

Barringer, said, “The P.E. (Physical Education) teachers did the overwhelming amount of the work. I helped coordinate it. They worked together to decide what should happen in the event, and they invited vendors, and planned out the scope of where everything should go.” She continued praising them, saying, “There are six of them, two in each of the three schools, and they’ve just done a wonderful job.

“Tonight’s event is about fitness, as well as eating right,” she continued. “We’re trying to take it from both perspectives. It’s about a lot of exercise. Just getting out there and moving. And the nutritional side as well.”

Barringer explained that the event was an effort from all three of Hopewell’s elementary schools. “Very often, in Hopewell, we’ll have an event at one elementary school,” she said. “This is a time when we’re coordinating, putting the three together. It’s pretty well attended considering it’s the first year.

“I’m really proud of the P.E. teachers. They’ve done really well,” said Barringer. She also stated that the efforts of Paula Brumfield, who wrote the grant, was instrumental in the success of the event.

In the end, Dr. Barrigner said that the success of the event was “due to a solid, good, team effort.”

All of the previous being said, what is the takeaway from the Healthy Living Fair?

“Move and eat well,” answered Barringer. “That’s the bottom line. Fitness and healthy eating.”

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Beat your autoimmune disease with a healthy lifestyle

Are you tired, sluggish, out of sorts, and holding onto weight you can’t seem to lose? If so, Drew Robbins may have the answers you need.

Seven years ago, Robbins was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and told there was no cure.

He was in constant pain, walked with a cane, and taking pain pills were a part of his daily routine.

“I was in pretty bad shape,” said Robbins.

After conventional doctors offered him no hope for getting better, Robbins turned to unconventional methods with Dr. Kyle Chavers and Foundations Medical Center.

Chavers began working with Robbins to eliminate all processed foods from his diet.

Through that process and working with Chavers, Robbins learned that the No. 1 thing a person can do for their body is to eliminate sugar, which Robbins learned is an antigen and poison to the body. He also eliminated gluten, as well as flour and dairy.

“Lactose is sugar in milk,” said Robbins. “You have to treat sugar as a drug and something that is a rare intake.”

Through embracing a healthy lifestyle of diet and exercise, seven years later, instead of being confined to a wheelchair, Robbins again walks without a cane, he has not taken meds in two years, and his bloodwork is clear of any signs of RA.

Robbins is now on a mission to share what he learned with others. Robbins earned certification to teach seminars three years ago and has led 140 people through his healthy living program at his fitness center, Fit Your Way.

He will offer his next two-hour seminar at 2 p.m. May 20 at Fit Your Way, 2078 U.S. Highway 98, on “How I Beat My Autoimmune Disease” to share what he has learned and experienced.

“We know what science says and medical studies indicate these things affect inflammation in the body. Inflammation is an auto-immune condition,” he said. “In addition to RA, inflammation can also cause heart conditions and cancers.”

Two of those who are presently going through the program are Rob Wood and Tonia Shatzel.

“We got to a point where we felt our health was not what it should be,” said Wood. “We had put on weight and were unable to get rid of it. We did some research and while having lunch with friends who had lost a combined 50 pounds after going through Drew’s program, we decided to check it out.”

Wood and Shatzel found that they knew very little about eating. Through Robbins’ guidance they have been studying what is going on inside their bodies when they consume a tremendous amount of sugar, and they went on a 21-day detox of no alcohol and no sugar.

“We learned that 80 percent of the stuff at the store has processed sugars. We took every bit of sugar out of our pantry. Drew taught us to shop,” said Wood.

Wood learned that there are more than 200 names for sugar that the food industry has done a great job of hiding.

Currently, as Wood and Shatzel wind down from their detox month, the couple has collectively lost about 20 pounds.

Wood said he will continue with his new lifestyle after his time in the program ends.

“Day 4 and 5 were bad,” he said, “as the brain was crying for sugar. But by day 6 and 7 the cravings began to stop. Now, my mind is clear and my energy level is up. I will probably go back to having a glass of wine at sunset, but I will not go back to eating sugar-laced processed food. We had to learn food. You can’t outwork a bad diet. We were shocked at what it was doing to us. We are about to see the first generation that will not live as long as their parents.”

Wood learned that sugar-laced processed food creates sugar spikes and an insulin problem.

Robbins teaches these facts at his fitness facility, but said his focus is not weight loss but a healthy lifestyle.

“After practicing this, I feel better than I felt in my early 30s. I have turned my biological clock back 20 years. What has happened to my body is magical,” said Robbins. “We are more in control than we realize.”

Robbins’ 3 Pillar Health program is a 12-week course where he teaches how to work out in a way that’s best for each person, and that what a person puts on the end of their fork is better than what they get out of a pill bottle.

Fit Your Way is located in the same plaza as the South Walton Publix. The “How I Beat Autoimmune Disease” seminar is free and open to the public. Robbins will lead another group starting at the end of month.

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Family Fit Day promotes healthy living


Whether you run, walk or jump your way into an active lifestyle, Healthy Baton Rouge is advising residents to just do it.

“We have some of the poorest health outcomes here in the parish,” said Jared Hymowitz, Director of Healthy BR. “We’ve been moving a long way and we’re moving towards being a healthier community, but it’s going to take everyone coming together.”

Healthy BR, in partnership with Ochsner Health System, Our Lady of the Lake, and Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome hosted the 5th annual Family Fit Day at City Park.

The free event featured fitness classes like zumba, yoga, karate, and pilates throughout the day.

Gracie Perkins, a fitness instructor who offered a class, has been guiding dozens to an active life through dancing.

“I believe in using the music,” Perkins said. “Music becomes a stimulant and then you have no stress. I tell them we are wealthy because we are healthy. No amount of money in the world can take this from us.”

19 days away from being 77 years old, Perkins has been using dance as her workout tool for 30 years.

“My mom used to say age isn’t nothing but a number and I believe that. It’s how we take care of our bodies,” the fitness instructor said. “We only have one so, we have to take care of that body.”

Healthy BR said their mission is to shift the way people think about leading an active lifestyle starting with children learning how to eat a well-balanced diet.

“If you’re 65 years old or 5 years old, you can be active in this parish,” Hymowitz said. “We know it takes a small incremental change to make a culture shift to promoting being healthy.”

Lauren Simmons, with Baton Rouge General, said promoting healthy living needs to start when you’re young.

“If they have a healthy background when they’re young. It’s better and easier for them to continue that on through adulthood,” Simmons said.

Healthy BR said East Baton Rouge Parish is moving in a better direction, but it takes everyone encouraging health, to get fit.

“Being healthy is a lifestyle change,” Hymowitz said. “It starts small by walking 30 minutes a day.”

The event also featured the first annual Family Fit Day 4K. Proceeds from the race with benefit local nonprofits and Healthy BR.

Copyright 2018 WAFB. All rights reserved.

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Gateway promoting healthy living

The topic of healthy living was also at the center of a fair put off by Gateway Youth Center. Reporter Johnelle McKenzie stopped by and filed this report.

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