Robert Ethan Saylor: A Death in the Down Syndrome Community

As I begin to write this I acknowledge it’s going to be a stream of thought — of consciousness and subconsciousness — that will ramble about and around a massively controversial subject that I am torn up over and conflicted about in ways I cannot adequately explain.

Victim Robert Saylor

Victim Robert Saylor

For those who haven’t heard — and I’m sure there are SO MANY, especially those not involved with the Down syndrome community — Robert Ethan Saylor was a 26-year-young man who was asphyxiated to death when three off-duty police officers moonlighting as shopping mall security guards physically restrained him when he failed to comply with their request to leave a mall movie theatre in Frederick, MD in January. Ethan simply wanted to stay and watch a second showing of the movie he’d just seen. Unfortunately, he hadn’t paid for the approximately $10 ticket for the second showing and, we can only assume, refused to leave when asked… and that is when the security guards’ use of physical force ended his life.

The FACT that the THREE security guards were off-duty police officers made me ERRONEOUSLY THINK they were trained to handle what the NYPD calls an EDP — Emotionally Disturbed Person. Apparently, they WEREN’T trained! Yes, here in NY Ethan would have quickly been identified as an EDP and would have been handled, I HOPE and PRAY, differently. Sadly, for Ethan, with what appears from witness accounts to have included very little verbal coaxing, the situation rapidly turned physical and the three adult male officers physically forced Ethan down to a prone position laying on his stomach with his hands handcuffed behind his back. Within two minutes — during which he was apparently yelling and gasping for his mom to help him — Ethan suffocated, went into cardiac arrest and died.

Face-down and handcuffed behind the back is a pretty standard police procedure. We’ve ALL seen it in the cops-and-robbers movies! We’ve seen it used in rioting situations on the news! But, did you know that part of that procedure is to “reposition the individual at the earliest possible opportunity (read: immediately) to avoid positional asphyxiation and promote free breathing.” DID ANY ONE OF US WITH A LOVED ONE WITH DOWN SYNDROME EVER THINK THAT THIS PROCEDURE COULD CAUSE THE DEATH OF OUR CHILD? Absolutely NOT!

A narrower-than-normal, often-restricted airway (adenoids/tonsils); smaller oral cavity; low muscle tone (in the lungs, throat, chest); and excess weight in the chest/abdominal area, AS WELL AS a propensity for less-than-perfect/unintelligible speech, especially under duress, are all more-than-likely contributing factors to poor Ethan’s awful and rapid death… ALL ARE COMMON CHARACTERISTICS OF A PERSON WITH DOWN SYNDROME! Did those officers know this? NOT LIKELY, unless they have or know a child/person with Down syndrome. Had they EVER met a person with Down syndrome? Dare I say NOT LIKELY. Because if they HAD, they would LIKELY have been familiar with their generally agreeable personality and would have EASILY been able to talk Ethan out of his seat in that movie theatre! HELL, if my husband were one of those officers, he’d LIKELY have handed the movie theatre owner the TEN DOLLARS to let Ethan see the film again!!!!

SERIOUSLY, Robert Ethan Saylor lost his life over the price of a movie theatre ticket?  I absolutely GET IT that ALL people — with and without disabilities — are expected to follow the rules of society. He was NOT entitled to stay and see the movie again… even if he paid for the ticket because maybe there was a line of people out the door and through the mall waiting to see that movie. Maybe not. And, did any of them actually get to see the film after the mishandling and death of Robert Ethan Saylor? NOT LIKELY!

I also whole-heartedly BELIEVE that it’s the historical practice of segregating people with disabilities from the general population for most of the last decade that has robbed our society of not only recognition but familiarity with and compassion for people with disabilities. And, while that’s MY soapbox, SERIOUSLY, what rock must one live under to NOT recognize the face of Down syndrome in this day and age? I KNEW WHAT DOWN SYNDROME looked like before I had My Boys who happened to have been BLESSED with an extra 21st chromosome! I’m SURE I would have known how to better deal with Ethan in that situation than those “trained” police officers/security guards!

And what about Robert Ethan Saylor’s aide who, according to news reports, was “nearby” while all this was going on? How could his aide NOT be versed enough on Down syndrome and/or familiar enough with Ethan to talk him into a better mindset and/or talk security guards into handling it different… like maybe waiting for his mother who I KNOW FOR SURE could have diffused the situation instantly… without causing his death!

If the parties involved and/or the powers that be [read: mall security and theatre management] had ANY knowledge of or about Down syndrome — even outdated misconceptions — THAT information should have warranted special handling. It sounds to me — and to others trained in police procedure with whom I discussed this personally-disturbing case — that the situation SHOULD have been handled very differently. It appears that, even with the limited information we have, there were a number of standard police tactics that, if they had been employed (they weren’t) COULD have avoided the use of physical force and would have avoided Ethan’s death. If the situation was contained such that Ethan could remain in his seat without hurting himself or others until his mother arrived then it should NEVER have escalated. He had no weapon! There was no immediate threat to leaving him in his seat until his mother arrived. There was an aide present that could potentially offer information pertinent to Ethan’s condition and ability to understand and comply with security’s requests! Was theatre management pushing the paid security guards to remove Ethan because of monetary concerns (as in, “get him out so paid customers can come in and we can stay on schedule”)? Did the mall security guards act on behalf of theatre management (remove Ethan now) OR as police officers (peacefully resolve the situation)?

Note to Self [and to EVERY mother of a child with Down Syndrome]: Make sure EVERYONE involved with My BEAUTIFUL Boys — who, did I mention, happen to have Down syndrome — is well-versed in the syndrome and its potential effects on my children,  in how they communicate their needs, stand as an advocate for them, and to diffuse a volatile situation should one arise. NO EASY TASK but, apparently, one that is absolutely necessary for their survival in our historically segregated, rush-to-a-physical-solution society.

Did Ethan try to communicate his needs and wants to the security guards before the disagreement escalated? I don’t know. If he did, could the security guards NOT understand him and so the situation worsened? I don’t know. Did the security guards know they were dealing with someone with Down syndrome, someone with an intellectual disability? Or whether Ethan could understand what they were asking him to do and why? Again, I don’t know. Did Robert Ethan Saylor fight the security guards (because of that lack of understanding) and so they used physical force to subdue him? I don’t know. Did the disturbance go on for a significantly long-enough time to warrant physical intervention? I don’t know. Did the aide try to intervene but the security guards didn’t listen? Again, I don’t know. Was the aide trained to handle such situations but was disregarded by the security guards? Don’t know. What we do know is that Robert Ethan Saylor had Down syndrome, was intellectually impaired and that his life was taken from him — a “homicide” according to the coroner — by his assailants.

As we form our opinions of this situation, we are limited by the documentation being released, the media coverage, and media/police/judicial and our own bias. BUT, no matter how this horribly unfortunate incident went down there is a mother who lost her beloved son… and THAT didn’t have to and should not have happened!

The FACT that a person with Down syndrome may be more prone to asphyxiation should ABSOLUTELY be shared with ALL police departments around the country and world. As a result of this tragedy, the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) is creating a written document/policy outlining the appropriate handling of such a situation involving people with Down syndrome. THIS is something we should ALL ensure is NOT ONLY distributed to our local police forces, but trained to and enforced.  ALL police departments should be made to mandate training in how to identify and handle a situation that involves an emotionally disturbed person INCLUDING one who may be intellectually disabled. AND, finally, there should be checks in place that preclude any police organization from having the responsibility for self-policing and/or self-judging whether the circumstances and handling of any case called under scrutiny for review are appropriate or not, negligent or not. Bias naturally interferes with an unbiased outcome! Any and all of these steps MIGHT have saved Robert Ethan Saylor’s life… so that he could have lived to see another day and another showing of the movie he wanted to see again… Zero Dark Thirty! Implementing the last step could prevent it from happening again.

I know that if it was MY SON lying dead, face-down in a movie theatre aisle at the hands of insufficiently-trained, off-duty police officers moonlighting as mall security, I would be beyond inconsolable, BEYOND IRATE! In truth, I’d be going for the jugular! I KNOW My Boys would NEVER warrant that kind of treatment.  And I would NEVER rest until I ensured that the mishandling was addressed, that the police in my area (and everywhere) were better trained. I would do everything I could to ensure that every parent of a child with Down syndrome KNEW of the dangers of such a situation and I would do everything I could to make sure it didn’t — couldn’t — happen to THEIR child. Let’s all do whatever we can — no matter how small the gesture seems — to make sure it NEVER happens to another member of our community… through publicity, advocacy and pro-active policy change! This tragedy has befallen Ethan and the Saylor family. It COULD have been — and next time might be — ANY of our children with Down syndrome.

How do you feel and what do you think about the death of Robert Ethan Saylor? Should the police department self-police? What do you suggest we do to prevent this from happening to anyone else?

More Reading: NoahsDad.com, Enjoying the Small Things, NY Times Opinion-Pages

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Posted in Advocacy, challenges, compassion, Down syndrome, Down Syndrome Advocacy, Down Syndrome awareness, NDSS, parent advocate, Segregation | 3 Comments

To All The Moms NOT on Vacation Christmas Week

Christmas Spread So, my dear hubby scored the much-coveted Christmas week for vacation this year… which is nice for him because he works nights and, with the kids home for Christmas break, God and I know he would NOT get any sleep around here this week. It’s nice having him home to spend some time with us!

On the first evening of his vacation, Daddy put on his coat to make an apple juice run. My Big Little Man — now ten pounds smaller than his genetically- but no longer so physically-identical brother — asked with trepidation, “Daddy, you go to work?” Daddy replied happily, “No! I’m on va-ca-tion this week. That means I don’t have to go to work! AND, you are also on va-ca-tion! That means you don’t have to go to school this week!”

IMGP0356The Big Little Man responded, “Me? No school?”

“That’s right. You’re on va-ca-tion!” Daddy repeated.

“Oh, va-ca-tion? Lala too? (his sister)

“Yep, Lala’s on va-ca-tion too!” smiled Daddy.

“My brother?”

Daddy responded, “Yep, on va-ca-tion!”

“Mommy?”

“Um…

Ah…

No! Mommy is NOT on vacation!”

(SOOOO NOT right!)

Read a bit about our Christmas here.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Unexpected Angels — The Carney Man

I’ve come to realize that encountering angels is really about me being open to their aura as opposed to the angels not shining their golden light on me and mine. The more stress and/or less grateful I’m feeling, the more I fail to recognize the angels among us. That is NOT to say that they are not out there doing their good work on my behalf but to acknowledge that there are times in my life when I’m not attending to those very special people who confirm for me that there is good in all humankind.

These days living in my corner of the world has been challenging. If you watch the news, you might’ve seen my little town of Oceanside highlighted as one of the hardest hit on Long Island. Yes, we are in the thick of recovering from Superstorm Sandy’s destructive forces here on Nassau County’s south shore of Long Island. And, like my experience on 9/11, I fully intend to write a blow-by-blow just the way I experienced it from my front stoop… but that’s a different story. This one here is about an angel that I encountered in a most unexpected place but failed to acknowledge sooner.

So, with a touch of survivor’s guilt and no further ado, in my usual better-late-than-never manner I’d like to tip my halo (yeah… as if I have one) to the Carnival Man at the Clown Head Water Balloon Shoot trailer at the Freeport  Nautical Mile Fall Festival held in October. A GREAT BIG THANKS to this kind little Carney Man who made my Little Man’s day!

This story actually begins at Hershey Park when, in one of many failed attempts to catch up with old friends who were serpentining from ride to ride, we found ourselves in a far corner of the park where hubby and the Old Soul decided to hit the Twin Racers roller coaster.  To pass the waiting time, the Big Little Men and I sidled up to the Clown Head Water Balloon Shoot game. You know the one where you shoot the water gun into the clown’s mouth and it blows up a balloon. And, the first shooter to pop his/her balloon wins a prize. As it was near the end of the day and in a remote corner of the park my two Little Men were the only players which, as luck would have it, guaranteed us a winner… and a prize. I laid down my four bucks and the starting bell sounded. Both boys took reasonable aim then pulled and held their triggers and the balloons began to fill. As they say in the old west, the luck of the draw went to the Big Little Man who filled and popped his balloon before the little Little Man (who, as I may have mentioned before is now quite a few pounds heavier than his identical twin brother). As the victor, the Big Little man selected a small black-and-white stuffed penguin which he promptly named “Banner” after Bruce Banner, the Incredible Hulk’s kinder, gentler alter ego.

Just a tad jealous, the Little Man wanted to play again, but as the ride across the way had just let out, there were now four other players and our chances of winning significantly decreased to odds I was not willing to throw money against. So we meandered away with promises that the Little Man would have his chance to win a prize while I discreetly high-fived the Big Little Man on his win.

A few weeks later the opportunity to even the score arose. Perusing the ride options at Freeport Nautical Mile’s Fall Festival with Grandma and the kids I spied the Clown Head Water Balloon Shoot game and a sign ensuring there was “A Winner Every Time!” With the trailer presently devoid of patrons, I quickly laid my money down and confided in the hagard-looking traveling Carney Man that My Little Man needed to win because the Big Little Man won last week. He nodded with a conspiratorial grin and assigned The Boys water guns on either end of the trailer. But just as he gave me my change and prepared to start the competition another two children and their mama wandered over to the trailer. SHOOT! I mean… we needed to start SHOOTING before they laid down their money. I was betting on a two-man shoot-out without interference from outsiders who could beat us to the prize. But before the Carney Man sounded the starting bell, the other mom laid her money down and manned the mounted gun right next to my Little Man. UGH!

Carney Man must have seen the desperation in my eyes and gave me a secret wink and nod saying quietly, “It’s alright. I’ve got him!” The bell sounded promptly and the other Mom — apparently hellbent on teaching her own boys a different lesson than the one I was hoping to instill in mine — filled and popped her balloon well before any of the young shooters ever had a chance.

Truth be told, I was a little ticked off at her adult competitiveness and utter lack of empathy for My Little Men… if not for her own. I mean, how competitive mom missed or ignored the fact that she was interfering in something critical when she stepped up to the counter where two identical Little Men with Down syndrome were squaring off for a gun fight against each other, I’ll never know!!! But it reminded me of Seinfeld’s friend Kramer playing “kah-rah-tay” against little children, or the iCarly episode when Chef Ricky Flame wrestles little children to soothe his battered ego. Grow up… right?

Well, if I was devastated by the outcome I could only imagine my Little man’s thoughts… but we weren’t disappointed for long! Holding his palm up in the universal “hold your horses” sign to the winning mom, Carney Man announced loudly, “We have a winner” and promptly told My Little Man to choose his prize. He excitedly picked the banana with long dreadlocks hanging from a colorful knit hat and, hugging his new banana, thanked Carney Man profusely and marched off the proud winner. With the utmost gratitude, I thanked Carney Man myself, quietly and behind the Little Man’s back. And as we cruised happily away, I spied Carney Man giving competitive mom her prize while her boys stood idly by.

God knows Carney Man did not have to accommodate us but, based on his actions, I also know that he totally understood just how important it was to my Little Man — and to me — that he got his turn to win a prize… just like his brother. What Carney Man did was extraordinary and I owe him a debt of gratitude. I hope he knows just how much his actions meant to us and how grateful I am to him for making My Little Man a very happy gun fighter that day. His “RastaNana” now has a prominent spot in his room… right next to “Banner” the penguin.

Posted in Angels, children, compassion, doing the right thing, good deeds, identical twins, random acts of kindness, thankfulness | 2 Comments

Scaring My Boys: The Ride That Makes Me Laugh Till I Cry

In honor of Halloween, over the weekend some of our friends brought their kids to SpookFest at Tanglewood Preserve and scared the daylights out of them on a super-haunted walk through the woods. My Guys would never go for that. But offer them a ride on the giant slide at the carnival and they can barely contain themselves! Scared out of their wits with each drop, their faces reflect their obvious fear. Folks around me watch as I break up in gut-wrenching laughter as The Boys’ terror grips then releases them alternately with each bump in the slide.

True! I ALWAYS say “yes” to the slide!

I once let them ride a giant slide at the St. Anthony’s Feast three times in a row… just because I got such a kick out of seeing the terror on their faces. As I told my friends to watch for the terror phenomenon, an eavesdropping bystander appeared appalled by my amusement in my children’s fear.  Appalled, that is, until he witnessed their big-slide, over-the-bump fear-faces himself. By the time My Boys hit the bottom of the slide, he was doubled over laughing with the rest of us. And, just so he didn’t think I was totally cruel, I told him to watch what happens at the end of the ride… When My Boys jumped up and yelled, “AGAIN! AGAIN!”

“Absolutely!” Who am I to spoil their — any my own — good time?

So on Sunday at the Freeport Nautical Mile Street Festival, once again, I did not deny My Beautiful Little Men their fun… and terror…. Twice! Yes, twice they climbed the big long rickety metal staircase up several flights to get to the top of the slide (honestly, that’s the part that scares me). And, yes, they were TERRIFIED on the way down. And yes, they absolutely leaped with joy at the bottom, smiling and screaming, “AGAIN MOMMY! AGAIN!”

What made this ride different from every other giant slide ride that came before? My big new digital-SLR camera (remember my 50th birthday present?) caught the action — and terror — with amazing and hysterical accuracy… and now, I get to share it with YOU!!!

Note: This is a great science lesson as well: one of My Big Little Men is being brave with his arms open wide like he’s on the roller coaster… either that or he’s trying to slow himself down by creating more body surface to increase wind resistance. LOL. The Other Guy is dragging one hand on the slide and the grabbing the wall with the other, in a futile attempt to slow himself down by creating friction. Gosh I LOVE My smart Little Men!

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Splitting Twins In School

My Boys are pretty much on par developmentally and academically with each other such that one does not overshadow the other… Ever! That’s always been the thought process. So, splitting them up because one would talk for the other was never a consideration. In fact, we even have award-winning research that indicated that our Big Little Men have 60% more utterances — they are expressive speech delayed — when they received speech sessions together than individually. That is, they talk more when they receive instruction together!
Why? They’re a little bit jealous of each other! That is, they are both vying for the teacher’s attention. And, they’re all about championing their brother so if the Big Little Man gets the correct answer or performs a task successfully, the Little Man cheers him on!  Further, they’re also a bit competitive. Being nearly on par, this works very much to their advantage. I believe the thought process behind every successful response is, “If HE could do it, I can do it!” And so they push each other forward at every turn and in every positive way.
Further, last year’s teacher reported that, except that they look exactly alike, you wouldn’t even know they were brothers. That is, My Boys go their separate ways the minute they get into the classroom. Different interests, different friends — one’s a ladies man and one’s a guy’s guy — different tastes — one’s a burger guy, the other’s a pizza guy. Yes, they do check in with each other sporadically throughout the day, but that’s as far as their “overshadowing” goes. So, if they’re able to keep themselves separate without us physically separating them, why should we put asunder what God has joined together?
So at the end of last school year, as they do every year, our Committee on Special Education (CSE) suggested once again that we separate The Boys into two different classes. And, as we insist every year, we will not split The Boys up. Last year, the Chairperson added that she understood our point of view and would complete the paperwork assuming The Boys would stay together. However, because we were changing schools from the Kindergarten Center to our local elementary school, she let me know to expect a phone call from the Principals of both institutions in their attempt to sway us to splitting up our matched set.
For the record, given what I know about My Boys, there is absolutely NO swaying me on this topic! So I waited for those phone calls. And I waited. And waited. But, the phone did not ring. Finally, in a conversation with the school psychologist about another issue (related to the Old Soul ), she mentioned that our elementary school principal had received the CSE recommendations for The Boys and that paperwork said the CSE recommended splitting My Boys (“The Lies Our CSE Tells Us” is another post rolling about in my brain) but the parents (us!) wanted them kept together. In a brilliant, open-minded gesture he asked the psychologist, “Do we have any evidence that splitting versus keeping twins together is more or less effective? Enough to recommend against the parents’ wishes?” The psychologist responded, “Mr. C, we have kept twins together and they did fine. We have split twins up and they did fine. But we have never EVER had twins with Down syndrome so we have no basis whatsoever to recommend anything, either way!” Our dear principal said, “Excellent! Then we’ll keep them together and honor the parents’ wishes!”
And that was that! No phone calls!
The moral of my story? Do your homework. I know my children and understand the ramifications of my options. Besides understanding the social and academic level of My Boys as well as the motivational impact of keeping My Boys together, I also understood the challenges of splitting them. Each year, I struggle for the first several months of the school year to educate My Boys’ teaching team in just exactly how best to educate them. In addition, any issues that arise with either of My Boys during the year are handled with the entire teaching team and that knowledge can be automatically applied to the Other Boy. See, generally what shows up in one eventually shows up in the other. With two teaching teams, that information is not necessarily shared let alone understood. And, together their homework assignments and birthday invitations come through one teaching team and  one class. Both Boys have the same homework and are invited to the same parties. SO MUCH EASIER FOR ME! Having to deal with all of these issues with two different teaching teams is a nightmare (as communicated by twin mammas who’ve gone before me). Furthermore, the Down syndrome community often suggests pairing your child with DS with another individual who has DS as together, they often achieve greater independence — perhaps interdependence — playing off of and maximizing each other’s different skills and strengths while minimizing challenges. God was kind enough to give me a pair who share the [mostly] unconditional love of brothers. This depth of devotion doesn’t always develop, or stay, with the challenges of friendship. Why would I break up my matched pair only to have to go out and try to find two more suitable companions for each of My Boys… No, I don’t think so.
My Boys will always have each other to cheer on, to compete with and to share their challenges, their triumphs and their lives… and, until such time as I feel it’s not in the best interest of My Boys, they’ll share their teachers as well!
Posted in Advocacy, Down syndrome, Education, identical twins, school, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

A-Political Again

Oy, not ANOTHER political phone call! In the end, I was briskly thanked for my time and effectively hung-up on by a conservative, Romney/Ryan campaign support organization. It seems they’ve made yet another anti-Obama movie and are looking for ME to send them money to… what? Support the distribution, get the word out, make another movie? I don’t quite know. I explained that I don’t support candidate bashing no matter which side it’s coming from. And, if they wanted my support they should make a viable movie about what valuable skillsets, experience and ideas Romney/Ryan bring to the table… instead of focusing on the lies Obama has told us.

The original caller was concerned about my distaste and made it clear that Romney didn’t personally drive or support their efforts on his behalf and I should not “blame” him for the call or tact… but could I please just listen to the pre-recorded message about the movie. I did… But only because she asked nicely. The man who took over after the pitch, however, was not so eloquent. After I shared my anti-candidate-bashing opinion, between gritted teeth he barely squeezed out a thank you and then hung up before I even had time to say, “Goodbye!”

For the record, I am not an Obama supporter. Nor am I a big fan of Romney. What I support even less than either of these [in-my-humble-opinion] lacking candidates is the political bashing of the other guy… on both sides! My phone is ringing off the hook DAILY with phone calls from political supporters on one side or the other trying to convince me what a schmoe the opponent is. Quite frankly, I am sick to death of each side’s slam-campaign tactics. How many commercials and/or movies can we make about who’s lying about what and how many facts can each side withhold or twist to support their version of the story? How much money can we WASTE doing it? UGH!!!!

I am once again openly declaring myself officially APOLITICAL for the purposes of political marketing, propaganda and bashing. Leave me alone!

I am naturally and pathetically open-minded. I seek alternative opinions to pretty much EVERYTHING… Let me clarify that statement: I seek INFORMED and HONEST opinions! NOT just more “you’re wrong and I’m right” hooey from someone who NEEDS me to believe what THEY believe just to get what they want. The world is FULL of those types. Even my FRIENDS are vying to sway the vote and tip the scales in favor of THEIR choice and opinion. Never have I seen such extraordinary polarization! Salesmen All and I’m not buying any of it! I am sick to death and done with it all! I’ve now officially STOPPED answering the phone for ANY numbers I don’t automatically recognize as friends (and even some of those calls I might not take!). I’m DONE reading friends’ political rants on Facebook and listening to slanted news reporting. I can see through these messages to the hidden, or not-so-hidden agendas of the deliverers! “Vote my way!”

I KNOW all too well that there’s a lot riding on the election for me personally, and for all of us collectively. But I’m a pretty smart and educated woman so, from here on in, I’ll do my own research. I’ll choose my own educators and seek my own truth, as possible, wading through all the lies and propaganda. I will cast my vote for those candidates I believe not only have my and my country’s best interest in mind but also who have the greatest chance of actually achieving the vision of their constituents (not their own political careers). My vote will go to the candidates I think will do the best job helping to lead our country at home and abroad to more prosperous and peaceful times. And, I’ll cast that vote quietly, behind the privacy curtain of the voting booth (yeah, I know… obsolete). Then, I’ll hide behind the now repealed and also obsolete, “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and keep my choice to myself so that people who feel or think or voted differently will have no grounds to harass me any longer!

You cast your vote and I’ll cast mine. As of this writing, I am now officially publicly A-Political, thank you!

Posted in happiness, peace of mind, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Look Who’s Juicing Now!

I’m on a roll…. Inspired by my 50th birthday, after a 10-year sabbatical to have and raise my kids I’ve decided it’s high time I started taking care of myself again… just a little bit. Now that I’m not working (thanks “Lou”) and the kids are in school I’m getting back to doing things that I love like walking Mill River and bike riding the boardwalk. (Watch out… I’ll be back to running, kayaking, SCUBA diving and mountain biking soon.) I’m buying and eating more fruits and vegetables — and less cookies, a trigger food for me — and cutting down on sugar and fast food. (Note: I said cutting down not cutting out!)

My dear friend and pro-bono wellness coach, Wendy Danca, has been my motivator and inspire-er… accompanying me on rides, walks and trips to the farmer’s market as she regales me with good health and wellness tips… talking and laughing along the way.  (I think she might be using me as a test case LOL.) As part of the process I purchased a kitchen scale to weigh my food — because my internal estimator was never very accurate — and I purchased a juicer… which I’ve always wanted but wasn’t sure I’d actually use enough to justify the cost. (We’ll see about that.)

So, I’ve started experimenting with my juicer on my own (don’t juice bananas… those should be blended), copying the guys at Jandi’s juice bar (who, BTW, recommend not mixing citrus in with veggies because the juices separate) and taking juicing advice from Wendy (who’s been juicing for years). I’ve even started juicing with the kids so they get more fruit juice and less sugar too! I blend their freshly juiced fruits (and a veggie or two snuck in) some ice cubes and a little greek yogurt to make it a smoothie…  This morning it was 4 apples, a carrot and half of a skinned canteloupe with 1 small container of Dannon Light & Fit Greek Yogurt — enough to feed me and them… and they are loving it!

So look who’s juicing now! “Hey Mikey, he likes it!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a whole new world!!! Have any good juicing (or pulp) recipes to share?

Posted in good health, Uncategorized, weight loss | 3 Comments