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Supporting Local Food Banks during the Pandemic.
I recently did a food drive for The Valley Food Bank in conjunction with NoHo Senior Artist Colony and Burbank Muse Rooms . I had a a chance to safely sit-down and interview the Director of Valley Food Bank - William Hernandez. How long have you been with Valley Food Bank? Join the team in March 2004 (16 years). What keeps you motivated? What drives you?  Each and every day we receive feedback from struggling families how the food resources and other essentials have made difference to them and their family. How have things changed at Valley Food Bank since the pandemic [...]
Chasing Waterfalls and Wine in the Fingerlakes
In upstate New York, the Finger Lakes region brings together two fabulous experiences for an active traveler like me who likes a tasting reward at the end of a hike – numerous trails that lead to waterfalls (literally hundreds of them!) and a wine region with lots of vineyards for tastings. And get this - many of the wineries also produce their own craft beer, so if you would rather go that route to quench your thirst after a day of hiking, that is an option too in the Finger Lakes. There are several of these long (yet deep) Lakes [...]
Adventures in Badlands and Blackhills
South Dakota offers dynamic scenery and iconic national landmarks and it should be high on your adventure list if you haven’t already been. Fly into Rapid City and you’ll be situated a little over an hour drive from Badlands National Park on the east, and about a half hour from the Black Hills area on the west, featuring the Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse. My travel buddy Chris and I headed out first towards Badlands National Park. On the entire drive there from Rapid City you’ll see colorful road signs about every mile or so encouraging you to stop at Wall Drug [...]
Three Days Hiking the Trails in and around Lake Tahoe
After living in California for almost 20 years and never having been to Lake Tahoe, I felt it was finally time to head up to this world class destination. A small group of us decided to spend 3 days hiking some of the most magnificent trails in the area while staying in a lodge as our home base in South Lake Tahoe. We also got a kayak session in on the lake to add to our adventure weekend. Here is how you can plan out a hiking and adventure weekend in beautiful Lake Tahoe. Day One: After a hearty breakfast [...]
Strengthening our Immune Systems in the time of Coronavirus (Covid-19)
There is currently quite a bit of uncertainty about the pandemic that is the Covid-19 Coronavirus. We are asking ourselves how long it could last, how many more people will it affect; will it smolder down or go away once summer comes; will it re-appear next flu season; will it mutate; will there be a vaccine soon; and so on.  But one thing that should bear no question and that we can all hopefully agree on and act on is strengthening, maintaining and optimizing our immune systems during these anxious, fearful and uncertain times. Self-Care: With the 24-hour news cycle [...]
Patagonia – A Trekking Journey at the End of the World
All the way down in the very southern-most part of South America lays Patagonia, a region shared by Chile and Argentina where the Andes Mountains are the dividing line. On the Chilean side, the premiere national park is Torres del Paine, which is breathtakingly stunning and evokes a feeling of immensity – there are vast sheets of fractured blue ice, turquoise and emerald lakes, primeval-looking forest, vertical granite spires and seemingly limitless cloud-streaked skies. If you love hiking, the classic “W” circuit trek inside the park is a very rewarding experience. It takes about five days to complete on average [...]
A Walk Across Northern England on Hadrian’s Wall Path
Some long-distance walking trails can be religious or spiritual in nature such as the Camino de Santiago in Spain or the Kumano Kodo in Japan. They can also be a great way to get fit and lose weight or to simply decompress and re-center as part of an inward and outward journey. For history buffs, and/or lovers of all things Roman, there’s one that stands out from all the rest and it’s called The Hadrian’s Wall Path – an 84 mile coast-to-coast trail in northern England that follows an ancient Roman wall that was built in AD122 by the Roman emperor Hadrian [...]
Stretching – The Forgotten Daily Routine
So, ever since your very first PE class in elementary school, you've heard that stretching is important; right? Most of us don't really dedicate enough daily quality time to stretching. If you look at animals, you'll notice that a total body stretch is the first thing they do when waking up. They also keep stretching throughout the day.  Most physical therapists and stretching experts agree that everyone has imbalances and mobility restrictions. We sit too much and don’t put our bodies into enough various positions. Stretching helps tremendously with flexibility, range of motion and injury prevention. It keeps our muscles [...]
Are Technology and Social Media making you an Addict?
We are a society addicted to our phones and devices. Today, we’re checking our social media constantly, which disrupts work and everyday life. We’ve become obsessed with how many “likes” our Instagram photos are getting instead of where we are walking and to whom we are talking. A study from the University of Illinois found that addiction to, and not simply use of, mobile technology is linked to anxiety and depression in college-aged students. Now, constant connection to the Internet via smart phones and laptops has changed long-established rhythms of human thinking. There used to be times when we were [...]
Why Laughter is so Necessary
Laughter, it's said, is the best medicine. It's one of the best tools we have for dealing with stress and relieving discomfort. You see, when we laugh, it improves the flow of oxygen to the heart and the brain, which helps to improve our immune system and uplift our mood. Research has shown that laughter also has an anti-inflammatory effect that protects blood vessels and heart muscles from the damaging effects of cardiovascular disease. And laughter appears to burn calories, too! Vanderbilt University conducted a small study in which they measured the amount of calories expended in laughing. It turned [...]