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Cucumber Avocado Bites

From Garden of Life’s Recipe Page:

Serve: 12

Use Organic:

  • 2 cucumbers
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 3 Tablespoons avocado or olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1½ Tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon honey or coconut palm sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • micro greens
  • black sea salt


  1. To make avocado mixture, place avocados, avocado oil, cilantro, parsley, honey, apple cider vinegar and sea salt into a food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Then spoon into a squeeze bottle.
  3. Peel each cucumber and cut into 6 equal pieces and then hollow out half of each piece.
  4. Squeeze some of the avocado mixture into each piece then sprinkle micro greens and black sea salt on top.
  5. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to one day.

Real History, Real People – Firsthand Stories from WWII – Upcoming Talks at Boone County Library

dr. Al Miller


Dr. Al Miller shares his story of growing up as a German Jew during WWII at Boone County Public Library, 1786 Burlington Pike in Burlington, at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5 and again on Wednesday, April 12.

Born in Berlin in 1922, Dr. Miller has many happy memories of his early childhood. As an active youth who enjoyed sports, he remembers the day he was no longer allowed into his favorite recreation center because Jews had been banned from the facility. Many of his childhood friends joined the Hitler Youth and stopped being friends with him. An enthusiastic student, he became the last Jewish student in his class to continue to attend school until it was too unwelcoming for him to stay.

In 1936, Dr. Miller was present at the infamous Berlin Olympics where Jesse Owens won four medals. As German Jews faced increasingly difficult conditions, his family arranged to leave the country and resettle. Dr. Miller was sent to Switzerland in 1937 and was separated from his family. His brother was sent to England and his parents remained in Germany and endured Kristallnacht. The family was eventually reunited in England before immigrating to America in 1939. Dr. Miller settled in Hamilton, Ohio where he practiced optometry until his retirement.


dick-cole-300x169Lt. Colonel Richard Cole: Last of the Doolittle Raiders

On April 18, 1942, eighty men took off on a top-secret mission to bomb Japan. The mission was thought to be impossible. These men, led by Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle, came to be known as the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders. Today only Lt. Col. Doolittle’s co-pilot Lt. Colonel Richard Cole survives. In honor of the 75th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid, Lt. Col. Cole will share his story at Boone County Public Library, 1786 Burlington Pike in Burlington, on Wednesday, April 19 at 1 p.m. and again at 6:30 p.m.

A 30-minute showing of “Raiders Remembered” will precede Lt .Colonel Cole’s talk and a book signing will follow. Co-sponsored by Simon Kenton SAR & Boone County DAR.


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Vital Proteins – Collagen

collagen runner

The building blocks that make up all proteins, including collagen, are called amino acids.  An essential amino acid is one your body cannot make, so you have to get it from food or dietary supplements.  Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and is a key constituent of all connective tissues.  Collagen provides the infrastructure of the musculoskeletal system, essential for mobility.  The intake of collagen ensures the cohesion, elasticity and regeneration of skin, hair, tendon, cartilage, bones and joints.  Collagen is a protein made up of amino-acids: glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, and arginine.   The composition of collagen is considered unique given its high hydroxyproline content.  If you lack the amino acids that combine to form collagen, your body’s cells can’t produce enough of it. Threonine is an essential amino acid for collagen production.

Collagen is an important building block for the skin. It makes up to 30% of the protein of the living body and 70% of the protein that makes up skin. Collagen ensues the cohesion, elasticity and regeneration of skin. Skin tissue is composed of various molecules, some of which are amino acids, and these amino acids are essential for maintaining an even skin structure and thus healthy skin. The dermis, which provides the foundation for the skin, is closely involved in the skin’s elasticity and flexibility. Collagen is the main component of the dermis. Maintaining the amount of collagen is the key to beautiful skin. Glycine, proline, alanine and hydroxyproline are the main constituents of collagen; replenishing these constituent amino acids appears to be needed to maintain the amount of collagen at healthy levels.

Ligaments are another type of connective tissue that attach two bones and consequently hold the joints together.  Tendons that attach two bones and consequently hold the joints together.  Tendons are similar but different type of tissue that attach the muscles to the bones.  All of these tissues, the bones, ligaments, tendons, and the skeletal muscles themselves are made up of proteins.  The most predominant protein is collagen.

Collagen is vital for strengthening blood vessels and giving skin its elasticity and strength.  The degradation of collagen causes wrinkles and other skin issues.  As such collagen is one of the most popular supplements because of its skin healing properties.  Collagen has very good tensile strength.  it is one of the long fibrous structural proteins that gives cells structure from the outside, as well as supporting the majority of the body’s tissues. Collagen is necessary for conserving the youthfulness of skin and attenuating wrinkles, it is also essential for the elasticity of the connective tissue of the skin, allowing it to expand and contract without damaging any tissues.

When we get older, the production of collagen begins to slow down  and cell structures start losing their strength.  As a result, skin starts to become fragile, less elastic and wrinkles start to set in.  In addition, hair starts losing its color, joints lose their flexibility, and bone quality begins deteriorating.  Individuals seek out ways to stimulate the production of collagen when wrinkles start to show. Even though your body may not produce the same levels of collagen as it once did, stimulating your collagen production has the potential to reverse some signs of aging.  Since our Collagen Protein gelatin is denatured collagen, it might just improve your body’s own collagen levels.

Threonine is one of the essential amino acids in collagen peptides.  Threonine supports cardiovascular, liver, central nervous, and immune system function.  Threonine aids in the synthesis of glycine and serine, two amino acids that help the production of collagen, elastin, and muscle tissue.   Threonine helps build strong bones and tooth enamel. It also speeds up wound healing after injury by boosting immune system. Threonine combines with the amino acids aspartic acid and methionine to help liver digest fats and fatty acids, which reduces accumulation of fat in the liver. [1]

Vital Proteins Collagen contains 18 amino-acids, including 8 out of 9 essential amino-acids.  It is characterized by the predominance of glycine, proline and hydroxyproline, which represent about 50% of the total amino-acid content.  Glycine and proline concentration is 10 to 20 times higher than in other proteins. This very specific composition of amino acids, provides Vital Proteins Collagen with nutritional functional properties that can not be found with other protein sources. Our Collagen is a high purity natural bio-active product containing more than 97% protein, supplied in a form that can be easily used and digested by the human body.  Above from Vital Proteins Website


[1]  Das, Biplab. Amino Acid Threonine: Health Benefits, Deficiency and Food Sources. Dietary Fiber Food. (April 5, 2012)

Add Grass-fed Collagen Protein for Health from the Inside Out

According to Jennifer Aniston, her morning routine includes; a shake, with collagen peptide protein powder, fruits like bananas, blueberries, frozen cherries, vegetables and greens, stevia, and a little pure cacao.

collagen fruits cacao 3 

“There’s a collagen peptide that I’ve been loving—I’ve been seeing a difference! My nails are stronger and there’s a healthier… how do you explain it? A glow. It’s sort of that working from the inside-out thing.” – Jennifer Aniston

We now carry the product Jennifer Aniston uses every morning in her shake; Vital Proteins grass-fed collagen protein powder.

Call and order today! (859) 525-5000

A Seven-Step Prescription for Self-Love

From Psychology Today, by Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D.

Self-love is a popular term today that gets tossed around in normal conversation. “You have to love yourself more.” “Why don’t you love yourself?” “If you only loved yourself, this wouldn’t have happened to you.” “You can’t love another person until you love yourself first.” These are just a few of the self-love directives that we give or get to suggest a way to more living fulfillment.

Self-love is important to living well. It influences who you pick for a mate, the image you project at work, and how you cope with the problems in your life. It is so important to your welfare that I want you to know how to bring more of it into your life.

What is self-love, then? Is it something you can buy in a beauty makeover or a new set of clothing? Can you get more of it by reading something inspirational? Or, can a new relationship make you love yourself more? The answer to all of these questions is No! Although they feel good and are gratifying, you can’t grow in self-love through these types of activities. Since, self-love is not simply a state of feeling good.

Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self-love is dynamic; it grows by actions that mature us. When we act in ways that expand self-love in us, we begin to accept much better our weaknesses as well as our strengths, have less need to explain away our short-comings, have compassion for ourselves as human beings struggling to find personal meaning, are more centered in our life purpose and values, and expect living fulfillment through our own efforts.

Here is my Seven-Step Prescription for Self-Love.

  1. Become mindful. People who have more self-love tend to know what they think, feel and want. They are mindful of who they are and act on this knowledge, rather than on what others want for them.
  2. Act on what you need rather than what you want. You love yourself when you can turn away from something that feels good and exciting to what you need to stay strong, centered, and moving forward in your life, instead. By staying focused on what you need, you turn away from automatic behavior patterns that get you into trouble, keep you stuck in the past, and lessen self-love.
  3. Practice good self-care. You will love yourself more, when you take better care of your basic needs. People high in self-love nourish themselves daily through healthy activities, like sound nutrition, exercise, proper sleep, intimacy and healthy social interactions.
  4. Set boundaries. You’ll love yourself more when you set limits or say no to work, love, or activities that deplete or harm you physically, emotionally and spiritually, or express poorly who you are.
  5. Protect yourself. Bring the right people into your life. I love the term frenemies that I learned from my younger clients. It describes so well the type of “friends” who take pleasure in your pain and loss rather than in your happiness and success. My suggestion to you here: Get rid of them! There isn’t enough time in your life to waste on people who want to take away the shine on your face that says, “I genuinely love myself and life”. You will love and respect yourself more.
  6. Forgive yourself. We humans can be so hard on ourselves. The downside of taking responsiblity for our actions is punishing ourselves too much for mistakes in learning and growing. You have to accept your humanness (the fact that you are not perfect), before you can truly love yourself. Practice being less hard on yourself when you make a mistake. Remember, there are no failures, if you have learned and grown from your mistakes; there are only lessons learned.
  7. Live intentionally. You will accept and love yourself more, whatever is happening in your life, when you live with purpose and design. Your purpose doesn’t have to be crystal clear to you. If your intention is to live a meaningful and healthy life, you will make decisions that support this intention, and feel good about yourself when you succeed in this purpose. You will love yourself more if you see yourself accomplishing what you set out to do. You need to establish your living intentions, to do this.

If you choose just one or two of these self-love actions to work on, you will begin to accept and love yourself more. Just imagine how much you’ll appreciate you when you exercise these seven-steps to self-love. It is true that you can only love a person as much as you love yourself. If you exercise all of the actions of self-love that I describe here, you will allow and encourage others to express themselves in the same way. The more self-love you have for yourself, the better prepared you are for healthy relating. Even more, you will start to attract people and circumstances to you that support your well-being.

Start with Step 1, learn to be mindful… Attend the Upcoming Mindfulness Meditation class at Synergy.

Drop the Resolutions Make the Changes

We’ve all heard that we should make New Years resolutions,  
 but, how often do we stick with them?  Many of us make the mistake of not creating a plan or committing to the support we need for improvement and accountability. Without a plan, support, or accountability our goals become overwhelming or forgotten.

We regularly work with clients to set goals, create plans of action, and offer the belief and health changes needed to achieve those goals.

Imagine making one change each month in 2017. You can achieve the body, mind and spirit, you dream of.  It’s nice to have support.  Let us help you achieve your goals  this year. Whether you choose one goal for the year or one for each month we are here for you.  
 Call Now to make an appointment or to speak to one of us
(859) 525-5000

Is Depression Contagious?

Article by Ellen Hendriksen, PhD from Scientific American

“Is depression contagious? The short answer is: yes—it’s not called the common cold of mental illness for nothing.

But like most things, it’s complicated. Depression is contagious, but it’s not as if you get infected when your depressed friend cries on your shoulder. Instead, your own susceptibility or immunity depends on lots of things–your genetics, history, stress, and more.

It’s been known for almost a decade that both healthy and unhealthy behaviors are contagious—if your friends quit smoking or become obese, you’re more likely to do so, too. Even suicide can come in clusters.

Depression comes with its own set of unhealthy behaviors—pessimistic talk, criticizing self and others, cancelling social plans, getting into unhealthy sleeping and eating patterns, and generally being irritable or withdrawn. And it turns out that these behaviors—and the negative beliefs that drive them—can be communicated from person to person.

So roommates of depressed college students, children of depressed parents, and yes, for the listener who requested this episode, spouses of depressed partners also show comparable depressive symptoms.

And it’s not just the people you live with or see every day—emotions can be contagious within up to three degrees of separation. Better hope Kevin Bacon’s not depressed or all of Hollywood is going down.

Let’s look more closely at a study of college roommates that came out in 2014. Researchers studied over 100 pairs of newly assigned freshman roommates at move-in, and then again three and six months later. They examined, among other things, the students’ symptoms of depression and their tendency to ruminate—that is, their inclination to get tangled up in their own lousy feelings and to obsess about the causes and consequences of feeling bad.

Sure enough, freshmen who were paired with a roommate with a tendency to ruminate also picked up the tendency, which greatly increased their risk of depression. To be clear: depression symptoms themselves weren’t contagious, but thinking styles were. Freshmen who “caught” a ruminative style of thinking from their roommates had twice as many depressive symptoms after six months as those who didn’t pick up the thinking style.

Next, a 2015 study showed that depression can be made contagious under laboratory conditions, at least in rats. Researchers induced depression in rats by putting them through unpredictable, uncontrollable stressors over several weeks—a close approximation of chronic stress in people. For the rats, it meant things like keeping the lights on for 48 hours at a stretch and spilling water on their bedding—all probably better than being a pet in a kindergarten classroom, but still enough to make the rats depressed. For a rat, that doesn’t mean turning down invitations to Rats’ Night Out—it means an apathy to sugar water, a lab rat’s greatest pleasure. This is a marker of anhedonia—a hallmark symptom of depression in people and, apparently, rats.

After the rats became depressed, the researchers introduced some new roommates. Two depressed rats and a new, fresh-faced non-depressed rat (“Hiya guys!”) were housed together. Turns out living with someone depressed is, well, depressing, even if you’re a rat. Within just a few weeks, the new rats exhibited the same symptoms as the depressed rats.

Now, we can’t replicate such a controlled experiment with humans (I don’t think I’d let researchers come to my house and spill water on my bedding), but it makes sense. Given enough airtime, a negative outlook—about the world, yourself, and the future—can be convincing. If your depressed roommate or partner is critical, withdrawn, apathetic, and convinces you things will never get better, the dark cloud can spread over you, too.

Now, does this mean you should drop your depressed friend or partner? Unfortunately, only you can answer that one. It’s a tough challenge without an easy solution.

On the one hand, do your best to communicate that your loved one is just that: loved. Not to mention that they are important to you, worthy of your love, and deserving of feeling better. Encourage them to seek help, but it may take an incredible amount of bravery on their part (and patience on yours) to take the first step.

On the other hand, staying out of guilt when you’ve given your all isn’t an option either. You can’t rescue your loved one. You’re up against a host of factors, none of which you can control and there may come a point where you need to save yourself. Depression annihilates any shred of motivation; in severe depression, it can be difficult to get motivated to eat, shower, or unfortunately, seek help or make changes in one’s life.

One hopeful note: it’s not only depressive thinking that’s contagious. Positive emotions and thinking styles can be contagious, too. Think of the rush of excitement at a sports event or concert, the palpable calm after a yoga class, the simple courtesy of service with a smile, and of course, the warm fuzzies from hugging someone you love. Indeed, in the roommate study, freshmen who were paired with a roommate whose thinking style was more positive “caught” a healthier thinking style.

To sum up, emotions are contagious—and while your partner isn’t the only factor, depressive thinking definitely plays a role in whether your partnership spirals into a distress system or holds strong as a support system.”


Chimichurri Kabobs Recipe

Chimichurri Kabobs Recipe from Whole 30

Serves: 2

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Marinate Time: 1 to 8 hours

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes plus marinating



1 pound lean steak (sirloin, strip, flank) cut into 1-inch dice

[We also like to substitute steak with lamb, fish, or vegetables!]

1 1/2 cups Chimichurri (see recipe below).

1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, seeded, ribs removed, and cut into 1 1/2-inch squares

1 onion, cut into 6 wedges

1 zucchini, cut into 1 1/2-inch-thick-rounds


If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes to 1 hour to prevent them from burning.

PLACE the steak in a resealable plastic bag or nonreactive bowl with a lid.  Cover the steak with enough chimichurri (about 1 cup) to coat thoroughly.  Seal the bag or cover the bowl and marinate the steak in the refrigerator for 1 to 8 hours; more is better, especially for tougher cuts. (Feel free to leave your steak marinating overnight).

REMOVE the steak from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.  Preheat the grill to high heat (500 degrees Fahrenheit).

REMOVE the steak from the marinade; discard the marinate.  Prepare the kabobs by threading the steak, bell pepper, onion, and zucchini onto soaked wooden skewers or metal skewers, alternating meat and vegetables.  You should be able to make about 6 skewers.

GRILL the kabobs directly over high hear for 2 minutes on each side.  Reduce the heat to medium (or move the kabobs to indirect heat.  Grill to desired doneness, 12 to 15 minutes, and serve with the remaining chimichurri.


Chimichurri Sauce

Makes: 2 1/2 cups

Prep time: 10 minutes



1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup lime juice

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 shallot, minced

1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup fresh cilantro

1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper



COMBINE the vinegar, lime juice, garlic, and shallot in a food processor and mix on low speed.  Drizzle in the olive oil while mixing; the dressing will begin to emulsify.  Add the cilantro, parsley, salt, and pepper and continue to mix on low until the dressing is uniform in texture and the herb pieces are chopped quite small.

CHIMICHURRI will last 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator.  If making ahead, bring it to room temperature before serving.  If the dressing has separated, gently whisk to reblend.

The Art and Science of Well-Being at Work

February 2016 – McKinsley & Co Podcast Transcript

Featuring Manish Chopra

“Leaders of high-intensity, high-performing organizations are beginning to recognize the important effects of mindfulness, exercise, and sleep on the body—and the brain.

Living in a fast-paced, digitally focused, hyperconnected world often means sacrificing the ability to step back and take a breath. In this episode of the McKinsey Podcast, McKinsey Publishing’s Lucia Rahilly taps principal Manish Chopra, specialist Els van der Helm, and author and McKinsey alumna Caroline Webb for their experience and expertise on the mind–body connection and why executives are increasingly taking notice.

Podcast transcript:

Lucia Rahilly: Welcome to the McKinsey Podcast. I’m Lucia Rahilly, McKinsey’s publications director—and I have a confession to make: today I am really overtired. Nonetheless, I plan to have a pretty productive day through some combination of caffeine, maybe a little sugar, hopefully the odd adrenaline rush. So I’m doing what most of us do, which is powering through the fatigue. But is my lack of sleep having more of an effect on my performance than I realize?

We’re going to talk about sleep and other risks to executive well-being posed by today’s relentlessly fast and furious work culture. We’ll also discuss some techniques that high- performing business leaders use to manage those risks successfully. Joining me in New York today are Manish Chopra, a partner in McKinsey’s New York office and author of the book The Equanimous Mind, which chronicles the impact of meditation on his personal and professional life. Welcome, Manish.

Manish Chopra: Thank you. Glad to be here.

Lucia Rahilly: We also have Els van der Helm, a specialist in McKinsey’s Amsterdam office, who advises McKinsey clients and consultants on the importance of sleep in organizations. Welcome, Els.

Els van der Helm: Thank you.

Lucia Rahilly: And Caroline Webb, a former partner in McKinsey’s London office and an external senior adviser to McKinsey on leadership. Caroline is also the CEO of Sevenshift, an advisory firm that uses behavioral science to help clients improve their professional lives, and she is the author of the new book How to Have a Good Day. Welcome, Caroline.

Caroline Webb: Thank you.

Lucia Rahilly: I want to start by asking each of you to give a few words of context on what seems to be a burgeoning interest in wellness, and particularly in wellness in the workplace. People have been griping about the accelerating pace of working life and its effects on attention and well-being for 150 years, basically since industrialization, and probably before. So why now—why this intensifying focus now on how best to cope in the workplace? Els, let’s start with you and what you’ve learned from your research on sleep.

Els van der Helm: Even though people are used to being tired, I do think it’s changed in that with new technology there are fewer moments in the day where we take a break, have some self-reflection, and take it easy.

When I ask people in my workshops where their phone is at night, 80 percent say it’s in their bedroom. Over half of them check their email in bed. I think there is definitely something that has changed compared with, say 20 years ago. We’re also much more aware of what the effect is of a healthy lifestyle so that in general we know we should eat more healthily and spend more time exercising.

I think mindfulness and sleep are the next things to focus on. Companies are starting to realize that they have these highly educated employees who are very capable, but that that’s not enough. You need to make sure that they are engaged, happy, and healthy.

Lucia Rahilly: What about some of the research on brain science? Has that illuminated the effects of well-being on performance in a way that businesses can see? Caroline, do you want to take that one?

Caroline Webb: Oh, enormously so. I would say everything that Els has just said is absolutely right, that the shift in technology has led to our always-on lives. That’s obviously raised awareness of the impact of executive well-being.

But I think it’s also the fact that the evidence is just much sharper and more compelling. There are statistically robust studies that show that when you are sleep deprived it affects your cognitive functioning and your emotional resilience. There are studies, across the board, that show that, effectively, what you’re doing is depriving the part of your brain that is more sophisticated, what I call the Deliberate System—you’re making it very difficult for it to do its job fully. For data-driven, evidence-hungry, senior people who need to know that there’s a real reason for shifting behavior, the scientific evidence really helps.

Lucia Rahilly: Manish, your journey seems to have been more of a personal one. We were talking before this podcast started about the broadening of meditation in the culture. Do you have thoughts on that that you’d like to share?

The Story of Ubuntu

“An anthropologist studying the habits and customs of an African tribe found himself surrounded by children most days. So he decided to play a little game with them. He managed to get candy from the nearest town and put it all in a decorated basket at the foot of a tree.

Then he called the children and suggested they play the game. When the anthropologist said “now”, the children had to run to the tree and the first one to get there could have all the candy to him/herself.

So the children all lined up waiting for the signal. When the anthropologist said “now”, all of the children took each other by the hand and ran together towards the tree. They all arrived at the same time divided up the candy, sat down and began to happily munch away.

The anthropologist went over to them and asked why they had all run together when any one of them could have had the candy all to themselves.

The children responded: “Ubuntu. How could any one of us be happy if all the others were sad?”

Ubuntu is a philosophy of some African tribes that can be summed up as “I am what I am because of who we all are.”

In 2008, Bishop Desmond Tutu gave this explanation of “ubuntu” . . . “One of the sayings in our country is “Ubuntu”, the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can’t exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our inter-connection. You can’t be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality – Ubuntu – you are known for your generosity. We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole world. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.”