Healthy Living


The Advocate

There are events in life for which one can prepare: having a baby, paying taxes, deal- ing with aging parents. But a cancer diagnosis is not one of those things, especially when you have no family history and have spent much of your career advocating for health and wellness. And journalist, author and television host, Joan Lunden, was blind- sided by the news. “I was one of those people that just never thought I would be diagnosed with breast cancer,” Lunden says. “I didn’t think I’d be one of the statistics because I didn’t have it in my family. So I kind of walked around feeling pretty immune. Mistakenly, of course. Had I known that less than 15 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer ever had a family history, I would not have felt so immune.” On June 5, 2014, Lunden was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. “I […]

Healthy Living


Our lives are fast-paced and hectic—there are so many goals to accomplish, so many experiences to savor and so many dreams towards which we strive. Though everyone lives different lives and has varying dreams and goals, it’s im-portant to stay healthy, not only to help us achieve our long-term ambitions, but also to help us through the day-to-day. Physical health is important, but so is mental and spiritual health. Whether it’s taking some time to clear the mind or scheduling in a little self-care, here’s how you can weather the winter and stay at the peak of health. It seems as physical health might be the easiest of this triad to attain, right? After all, being physically healthy is about not be- ing sick … but it’s more than that, shares Dr. Dennis Lipton, an internal medicine specialist at Vail Health. “Physical health is not only the absence of disease,” […]

Healthy Living

Home Sweet Home

There was a time, less than a year ago, when David Shankel wanted to die. He and his wife, Patsy, came to Castle Peak Senior Life and Rehabilitation Center in Eagle following individual stays in the hospital after they both had gotten very sick. While Patsy, sadly, passed away in March, Shankel is still very much alive and living at Castle Peak, after going through an emotionally difficult time. The memory is quite vivid for Shankel, 81. He didn’t want to get out of bed; he didn’t want to live. Then he met Stephanie Sheridan, the life enrichment director at Castle Peak, whom he credits with saving his life. “I told her I wanted to die. She said, ‘Not today, not on my watch.’ She told me ‘David, you’re going to get out of that bed’ and she didn’t say please. I credit her with keeping me alive. “They keep […]

Healthy Living

You Are What You Eat

Over thirty years ago, Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., a former surgeon, researcher and clinician at the Cleveland Clinic began a ground-breaking program in which he put men and women with advanced coronary disease on a plant-based, oil-free diet. His program was based on a revolutionary idea that we could do away with the heart-disease epidemic by simply changing our diets! It was an idea that challenged conventional cardiology. Yet, within months, the health of the people in his study improved significantly: angina symptoms eased, cholesterol levels dropped significantly and blood flow showed a marked mprovement. Miraculously, twenty years later, the group remained free of symptoms. Dr. Esselstyn’s findings are revealed in his book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, a book that Columbia University professor and cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz describes as one in which “a hard-nosed scientist shows us his secrets for successfully cleaning the rusty arteries of […]

Healthy Living

Run Ready Dogs

When Brenda Hawkins starts getting ready to set out for a run, which she does several times a week no matter the weather, Bella positively dances with excitement. A run for Bella, the dog, is just as important as a run for Brenda. “She knows what clothes I run in and she follows me around until I get my shoes on. She stretches and hops around,” Brenda says. “Every chance I can, I take her! It’s not the same running without her.” Running with a four-legged friend brings joy, and much needed exercise, for both canine and human. However, there are a few tenets to follow before heading out on a long run with your best friend. “Proper conditioning is the key when running with dogs. Whether one is looking to acquire a running companion, or taking five-year-old Fido off the couch and training for a half marathon, there are […]

DINING, Dining and Nightlife, Featured Stories, Healthy Living

Eat Your Veggies

Back in the day, talk of someone being a vegetarian conjured up visions of an emaciated, pale looking person who probably lived in or was from California, of course, and didn’t know anything about eating properly. We were all happily eating our deep fried chicken, country-fried steaks and ball-park hot dogs. Winds up that those hippies were right on. Researchers have finally gotten us to understand that veggies are filled with fiber, vitamins and antioxidants that keep us healthier in every way. And, who can say “no” to that? In fact, trend watchers say that vegetables are emerging as “center of plate,” with celebrated chefs focusing on “veg-centric” cuisine. And this is no passing fancy. Food service operations of all kinds are creating veg-centric selections to accommodate their customers. Fine restaurants are featuring vegetable entrees that are diverse, creative and flavor-filled. According to Gordon Food Service, the nation’s largest foodservice distributor, chefs are calling the veg-centric cuisine “root-to-stem” cooking – “an […]

Healthy Living

Let’s face it — you can’t stop the clock

In last summer’s blockbuster hit Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation, Tom Cruise impressed moviegoers by doing his own stunts, most notably the one where he hung from the side of an Airbus while the aircraft took off over the UK. Remarkable, yes, but what really impressed me is how the 52-year-old actor has seemingly stopped the aging process. Tom Cruise looks good. He looks young. And he looks young without any evidence of weird, stretchy-pully plastic surgery. Could the mega-star have access to a time machine? “In the old days, surgeons used to pull and tighten skin, but they missed the part of replacing volume,” says Karen Nern, MD, of Vail Dermatology. “Now they replace volume, as well as looking to improve the skin’s texture. As we get older, we get thinner and thinner and you want to add volume back. I think that is what Tom Cruise is doing. […]

DINING, Healthy Living, Special Vail Valley Recipes

Rise and Shine-Baking in the Vail Valley

While most people are tucked under the covers, listening only to the dream voices of their subconscious, Molly Harrison’s world is filled with the dull roar of ovens and a steady stream of NPR news, punctuated every 40 minutes by a timer. Ding! That 150 pounds of ciabatta dough better be ready for its first rise. Ding! Start the brioche. Ding! Hamburger buns out of the oven. Ding! Feed the starters. Ding! Work on the focaccia. Ding! Shape tomorrow’s sourdough loaves. Ding! Ding! Ding! The woman behind the breadbaskets at Sweet Basil, Mountain Standard and Zino Ristorante, Harrison is a one-baker show for a good part of the year. She works out of the Zino kitchen, oftentimes getting there just a few hours after the last chef has gone home for the night. Her list is substantial: ciabatta, focaccia, baguettes, brioche, hamburger buns, a rotating specialty roll, plus the sourdoughs […]

Healthy Living

Greater Health at Altitude in the Vail Valley

‘Back to the Future’ or H.G. Wells Classic of the Time machine to predict the future maybe in front of us after all. Altitude at 8,200-11,000 feet not only may present a Rocky Mountain high from the standpoint of hypoxia, but the euphoria from unparalleled beauty of the views and landscape that nature provides. The ability for individuals to look through a vast picture window into their medical health future may seem to be a fantasy or science fiction. However, the challenges placed on the human body in the extremes of atmospheric conditions, presents an opportunity to fast forward on a timeline to diagnose or reveal latent disease or clinical conditions, which are unbeknownst to many individuals. Active lifestyles may be more suitable at sea level, where stress is reduced due to higher oxygen content and lower atmospheric pressure. The medical community that practices in the mountains of Colorado and […]

Healthy Living

Brain Games in the Vail Valley

It’s a laid-back afternoon at your go-to watering hole after a long, crisp, bluebird day on the mountain. You’re relaxing with friends and a few drinks on the patio just before dusk, regaling each other (and maybe a few amused passerby) with stories of powder days past. There was that one morning nearly a decade ago, just after a massive overnight snowstorm, when the clouds cleared around 8 a.m. and your small group of die-hard regulars managed to catch first chair. You remember every last detail in vivid color — the old-school shaped K2s, the jittery two-person chair, the epic stashes tucked away just off the lift line — when someone laughs, takes a swig and puts you on the spot. “How does this morning compare?” the listener asks. “Where were you skiing?” Pause. You remember two, maybe three runs from earlier that morning, but once you and the rest […]