Dean Randazzo

Going Big.
Jersey Boy, Maverick, Hall of Fame Surfer

Excerpt: "Dean Randazzo – New Jersey’s most accomplished surfer, nicknamed the Jersey Devil – always knew he’d do great things. And four rounds of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma didn’t slow his battle against all odds.

Born in Atlantic City, Randazzo grew up in Margate and Somers Point. As an amateur surfer in 1989, he represented Mainland Regional High School at a National Scholastic Surfing Association competition in California. He turned pro the following year after he earned the attention of the Association of Surfing Professionals during a stellar performance at the 1990 Cold Water Classic. Ascending international rankings, he qualified for the ASP World Championship Tour in 1996, the first New Jersey competitor to do so."

At the height of his career in 2001, Randazzo was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Following multiple bone marrow transplants and four bouts with cancer, he returned to surfing, and the podium.

For more on Dean, now 45 years old, and all he's doing to pay it forward for cancer fighters, click here.


Paula Recommends ...Cherry Tomato & Watermelon Salad with Feta & Mint

We call this "Summer in a Bowl."  It's salty and sweet, with a hint of acidity. Make it with the best tomatoes you can find, a cold watermelon, less dressing than you would think and, if you can find it, Bulgarian feta (we found it at Whole Foods). Yellow tomatoes are a great choice for this dish because they are so visually striking against the dark pink of the watermelon. The combination of flavors and textures in this cooling salad is superb. This quick and easy seasonal dish is packed with vitamins, plant phytochemicals as well as calcium and a dose of healthy fats. Enjoy it as a starter or as a side dish to grilled shrimp. - Paula Meyer, Mission Training Center Nutritionist 

Ingredients
1 mini seedless watermelon, about 4 lbs
1 3/4 lb heirloom tomatoes, sliced
2 Persian cucumbers, sliced
2 Tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
3 ounces of feta cheese, crumbled (preferably Bulgarian feta)
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

Directions
1. Remove the rind from the watermelon and cut into 3-inch edges, then thinly slice.

2. In a large, shallow serving bowl, gently toss together the watermelon, tomato and cucumber slices. Drizzle the olive oil and vinegar over the mixture.

3. Sprinkle with the feta cheese and serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings

Note: If you have leftovers, feel free to put it in the blender for a refreshing gazpacho variation the next day. 

 


Go Simple

From Psychology Today |  By Linda Esposito, LCSW

Excerpt:
 "The voices in your head reminding you of the Friday deadline. Your spouse saying there’s a last-minute get-together with friends. Your kid crying because the book report is due, and he needs help.

Most of us live with some form of mental chatter or another. But how do you mentally declutter? In short, clear your mind of the obsessive thoughts which can overwhelm you and keep you mired in avoidance, indecision and procrastination. The extreme example is OCD, although more commonly, we struggle with mindless, automatic, negative thoughts, which cause brain drain. Either way, too many of us are living our fears and not our dreams.

The problem is exacerbated by mental hoarding. Or when every third negative thought, bad memory, and personal slight fills the memory bank, collecting interest.

Accumulating unhealthy thoughts takes a toll. Your mind is a mental battlefield, your days wasted with one psychological arm wrestle after another. Compounding the problem is physical exhaustion.

Regardless of your situation, or DNA, your mind will not become calm, confident, and clear if you do not pay attention to paying attention:

  • You can’t stop boredom from creeping in if you don’t realize you’re checking out in the first place.
  • You can’t overcome avoidance if you don’t recognize you’re dreading reality this very moment.
  • You can’t practice steps to feel calm if you don’t listen to your body’s stress signals.

Awareness is everything to anxiety. Too often, energy is squandered between two mental states: rehearsing the future or rehashing the past.

While no shortcuts exist to get rid of unwanted thoughts, the following minimalist mindsets can help set the tone for a cleaner psychological slate.

  • Tis Better to Donate Than Accumulate
  • Love People Not Things
  • Simplify, Simplify, Simplify
    • Be more with less.
    • Stress less.
    • Drive less.
    • Text less.
    • Talk less.
    • Eat less.We have a finite amount of mental energy every day. Unused minutes do not roll over to the next month. Choose your thoughts, actions, and relationships wisely."

For the complete article, click here.


Beach Volleyball: Fun and Fitness in One

From Health Fitness Revolution

Looking to get outside in the sun but need to make time for that workout? You may want to try beach or lake volleyball. There are many benefits to this fun outdoor exercise that you might have not even realized.

For starters, beach or lake volleyball can help improve hand-eye coordination, muscle tone, agility, flexibility, balance and increase energy. Along with all of that, you are getting outside, absorbing some of the sun’s health-giving vitamin D.

Playing volleyball on the beach or lake actually delivers more health benefits than a regular indoor game. The sand adds resistance, prompting your muscles to work harder which leads to greater strength and endurance. You’ll also burn more calories and expend more energy than running on the road which means you’ll get the same return on your workout in less time.

According to Health Fitness Revolution, “Sand volleyball offers the same energy-boosting benefits as all other physical activity in addition to being invigorating because the workout is outdoors and extremely social.”

For more on the many benefits of beach volleyball, click here.

 


Mindfulness Meditation and Inflammation

From sciencealert.com |  By Fiona MacDonald

Excerpt:
 "Mindfulness meditation has been linked to a whole lot of health benefits over the years, from altering cancer survivors' cells to improving heart health. And while it sounds pretty new-age, research has shown that meditation really can change the shape, volume, and connectivity of our brains. But until now, no one's known how those brain changes can impact our overall health.

Now new research could help explain that link between mind and body, with a study showing that stressed-out adults who practiced mindfulness meditation not only had their brain connectivity altered, they also had reduced levels of a key inflammation biomarker, known as Interleukin-6, four months later. That's important because, in high doses, Interleukin-6 has been linked to inflammation-related diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's, and autoimmune conditions."

For the complete article, click here.


Foundation Training: Laying the Groundwork for Health & Wellness

If you suffer from chronic back pain or want a way to boost your energy while minimizing your vulnerability to pain and illness, consider Foundation Training. It’s beginning to make a lot of noise in fitness and wellness circles. Here’s why: Our lives today come hand in hand with much hunching, slouching and sitting, an unhealthy mix of poor posture and inactivity that can add up to painful, life-limiting joint compression. Often, we don’t even realize we are putting ourselves at such a physical disadvantage or how it is impacting our mental health as well. Foundation Training is the effective antidote.

Foundation Training is a simple sequence of movements and breathing techniques designed to reverse the effects of joint compression. It can even minimize, if not eliminate, chronic pain from past injuries or illness.

According to FoundationTraining.com, “Through a series of postures, poses and movements, Foundation Training activates your posterior muscle chain, anchors the hips, decompresses the spine, and teaches you to take the burden of supporting the body out of your joints and put it where it belongs: in your muscles.” This workout relieves chronic pain by strengthening the muscles in our bodies that hold us upright every day, in other words, our foundation.

"Foundation Training enables one to reach, achieve and experience incredible health and wellness."

For more information, including where to find Foundation Training instruction, click here.

 


Matt Lampson

Kicking Cancer to the Curb.
Persistent. Positive. Living with passion and perspective.

Matt Lampson had it all. Then he didn't. Then he did. At 18 years old, the Ohio native had just graduated from high school and was headed to a Division 1 soccer program as a goalkeeper, a dream come true. That's when he as diagnosed with Stage IVB Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. "Instead of fighting for playing time as a freshman at Northern Illinois University, Lampson remained in Ohio and fought to survive," as his bio states on the Lampstrong Foundation website. (Lampson launched the foundation to help people fighting cancer.)

The cancer had spread to his pancreas, lungs and bone marrow. He had cancerous lymph nodes throughout his body.

Excerpt: "After months of harsh BEACOPP chemotherapy treatments (one round lasts three weeks--he had six) that caused him to lose his hair and put on 80 pounds, Lampson was declared cancer-free on September 24, 2007. The life-or-death experience had a profound impact on his worldview.

"Applying the same determination that was vital to his cancer fight, Lampson worked his way back into playing shape and transferred to Ohio State University, where he quickly became one of the top goalkeepers in the Big Ten. He was named co-Freshman of the Year in 2009 and was a first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2010. In December 2011, Lampson signed a professional contract.

"...Knowing that life is about more than just soccer, Lampson is determined to use his journey to make an impact off the field as well. He frequently visits young cancer patients in the hospital because he has known the experience of being the patient in the bed, not the special guest sitting next to it. He remembers what those visits meant to him while he was sick, saying, 'They provided a hope, a happiness, and a way to escape the mostly daunting tasks that I was forced to endure in order to save my own life during treatment.'

"...Lampson is determined to give all that he has to give, and he hopes that he can inspire others to make a difference with the second lease on life that they’ve earned.

“'I have been extraordinarily passionate to show what current and former cancer patients can accomplish as long as they take that same drive and desire shown in the fight for their life, and implement it in their everyday lives.'

"To Lampson, cancer wasn’t just something he overcame. It was something that helped him become the person and the player he is today. 'It’s not like ‘Oh, well I went through cancer so I can do anything.’ It was a legitimate personality switch.' said Lampson, 'To the point of deciding  I’m not gonna let anyone prevent me from doing what I want to do and prevent me from achieving the things that I want to achieve. I knew that nobody that I’ll be playing against will have gone through what I went through. So these people don’t realize how badly I want it, that’s just the kind of mindset I had following treatment and it’s carried me through.'”

For more on Matt Lampson, click on the links below.


Paula Recommends ...Pan Roasted Tomato & Chickpea Salad

This savory and slightly sweet salad fits the bill. The peppery arugula and fresh basil served with warm citrus dressing and pan roasted tomatoes provide a hint of summer and plenty of comfort, along with protein, vitamin C, lycopene, fiber and potassium. - Paula Meyer, Mission Training Center Nutritionist 

Ingredients
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1⁄4 cup orange juice
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1⁄2 teaspoon Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
6 cups baby arugula
2 cups basil leaves
One 15 oz can no salt added chickpeas, drained

Directions
1. In a large non-stick pan, sauté the tomatoes, cut side down, in 1 Tablespoon of the oil until well browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and reserve.

2. Add the remaining oil and sauté the garlic for 30 seconds. Stir in the orange juice and simmer to reduce by half, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vinegar, salt and plenty of black pepper.

3. Toss the arugula and basil leaves with the dressing and top with the tomatoes and chickpeas.

Note: Makes 4 (2 cup) servings

Nutritional info: Per serving: 230 calories, 12g total fat (1.5g saturated fat), 25g carbohydrate, 7g protein, 5g dietary fiber, 270 mg sodium.


Paula Recommends ...Celery, Sunchoke, Green Apple Salad with Walnuts & Mustard Vinaigrette

Crispy and refreshing, this delicious salad is loaded with complex tastes and flavors that will delight your family or guests. The ingredients will hold up well if made ahead and dressed just before serving. - Paula Meyer, Mission Training Center Nutritionist 

Ingredients
1⁄2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
4 large celery stalks, peeled and thinly sliced, and 1⁄4 cup leaves chopped
1 head fennel, trimmed and thinly sliced lengthwise, fronds reserved
1 large sunchoke (5 oz) peeled and thinly sliced (1 cup)
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and thinly
sliced
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Dijon style mustard
1 garlic clove, grated through a fine grater or minced
2 tablespoons honey
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Directions
1. Toast walnuts in a skillet over medium heat until fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. (Be careful not to burn.)
2. Place sliced celery, fennel, sunchoke and apple in a bowl of cold water. Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice and refrigerate.
3. In a small bowl, combine remaining lemon juice, mustard, garlic, honey and salt. Whisk in oil and season with pepper.
4. Drain chilled celery, fennel and sunchokes and dry in a salad spinner or blot with a paper towel.
5. Combine celery, fennel, sunchoke, celery leaves, walnuts and apples.
6. Toss with dressing before serving.
7. Garnish with fennel fronds.

Nutrition information: Serves 6. Per serving: 170 calories, 15g total fat (1.8 g saturated fat) 8g carbohydrate, 2g protein, 2.5g dietary fiber.