Your Attitude Determines Your Altitude

From the Huffington Post | By Natasha Dern

Excerpt: “A strong, positive and resilient attitude will help elevate you to unimaginable heights.

…A positive attitude is not about displaying a phony smile, a happy face and a perky disposition. It is simply a way of responding to life in a manner that allows us to accept the duality, the contradictions, the contrasts of our experiences.

“…We can either regard our dilemmas with anger, bitterness or frustration. Or we can look deep within and find the source that is beyond all circumstances and then pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and move forward knowing all things will work in our favor.”

For the complete article, including more on maintaining a positive outlook, click here.


Calm is an app that makes meditation accessible and simple, especially for people just learning the art of meditation. Learn online, when you want, wherever you are, in as few as 10 minutes a day. It’s like a gym membership for your mind.

Using the scientifically-proven technique of meditation, you can develop a healthier mind by familiarizing yourself with the present moment and ridding yourself of much of the distractedness that leads to unhappiness, according to Calm.

Click here to sign up for a free year membership to Calm


Flipping Cancer On Its Ear.

Student. Athlete. Fighter. Friend. Morgan Galdenzi is the complete package. There's no keeping this irrepressible young woman down.

Diagnosed with a brain tumor at 16 years old, she went on to graduate with honors from her Connecticut high school in 2015. She is currently in college, studying for a degree in social work.

An accomplished athlete, she was also a varsity cheerleader throughout high school and co-captained her league and state champion squad her senior year. "Even though I was diagnosed with my brain tumor at 16, cheerleading and my teammates really helped me through and I loved every second of (high school),” she said.

Her story: Morgan had two major craniotomies, after the first full resection at 16 years old during her junior year in high school. She had just been inducted into the National Honor Society. She was on the Varsity Cheerleading team, which had won its league and state championship the year before.

"On March 30th, 2014, I went over a friend's house to finish an Honors History project. My Mom was called an hour later to come right away. She made it in time to witness me having a grand mal seizure. The EMTs came and brought us to (the hospital). They told us that night I had a large tumor and it would have to be removed. The surgery went well but they told us it was a very rare pediatric tumor and was malignant. I was discharged a couple of days later and was back in school the next week. I had four weeks of radiation and six months of oral chemo. I rarely missed school and went right back on the Cheer team the following week!

I had my first recurrence in January 2016. I had to come home from college. I told my parents, don't withdraw me because I am going back ASAP. I had my second brain surgery and was back at (college) the following week. I finished the semester that year and had a great summer. I had my MRI (which are every three months), four days before we were leaving for Puerto Rico (December 2016). We found out the tumor came back again. This was scariest of all--less than a year had gone by since my surgery. I still wanted to go to Puerto Rico, the first night was emotionally rough but the rest of the vacation was great. I decided I can't just stop my life and dwell on the negatives or be scared of what may happen.

Luckily, the May before my mom and I went to see Dr. Mark Kieran, the famous neuro-oncologist. He had mentioned an inhibitor drug they were starting to give pediatric brain tumor patients who have the Braf v600e mutation. When the tumor came back and (the doctors) wanted to operate a third time, we said, no, and called Dr. Kieran. He looked at the MRI and said it was time to treat. So we did and after two months on meds the tumor was gone. I take the TAF/MEK combo--very minimal side effects. I decided to stay home from college Spring 2017 (in case I had side effects) but once again I said, "Do not withdraw me. Tell them I will be back!!!" I took two classes at (our local community college) and worked at Athleta that spring and summer. When August came, once again I returned to college. I changed my major to Social Work and am so happy with this decision. I can't wait to give back to others and help them, the way I've been helped.

Through this entire journey I exercise every day, and this has kept me alive and healthy."  - Morgan Galdenzi

Her short-term athletic goal: "Increase my endurance and become a faster runner."

Her long-term athletic goal: "To complete a half marathon."

Personal Motto: "Carpe Diem."





The Health Benefits of Sea Water

From Surfer Today

Excerpt: "The list of sea water health benefits is nearly endless. ...Sea water can be a natural drug and medicine. It stimulates our body and promotes the feeling of well-being that surfers know very well.

...So, what does sea water contain? On average, sea water has 3.5 percent of salt (sodium chloride). In other words, for one liter of water, you get 35 grams of salts. And then, small parts of magnesium, sulfate and calcium."

From regenerating your skin and strengthening your immune system to eliminating anxiety and preventing insomnia, salt water has many benefits.

For the complete article, click here.


Paula Recommends ...Lentil Burgers with Lettuce and Yogurt

Lentils are a protein-rich, fiber-packed member of the legume family. Similar to a mini-version of a bean, lentils grow in pods and can be found in red, brown and green varieties. Lentils are rich in folic acid as well as many essential vitamins and minerals including calcium, potassium and magnesium. This easy-to-prepare recipe can be made ahead of time, refrigerated and used for a quick meal or snack. - Paula Meyer, Mission Training Center Nutritionist 

3/4 cup french green lentils, picked over and rinsed
3 cups water
Coarse salt
1 small shallot, finely diced
2 large eggs, lightly whisked
1 cup plain, fresh breadcrumbs
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 head lettuce such as oak leaf, bib or escrow separated
1/2 cup plain yogurt
pinch cayenne pepper, for serving
8 to 12 caper berries and small red onion, half diced, half thinly sliced, for serving

1. Bring lentils and 3 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat, season with salt and simmer until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and let cool completely. (If not using lentils immediately, let cool and then refrigerate in cooking liquid up to five days.)

2. Combine lentils, 1/2 teaspoon salt, diced shallot, eggs, breadcrumbs and parsley in a medium bowl. Transfer half of mixture to a food processor; pulse until smooth (or mash with a potato masher). Fold into remaining lentil mixture until well combined. Using a 1/4 cup measure as a scoop, shape mixture into eight 2 1/2-inch patties.

3. Heat a heavy, large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and swirl to coat bottom. Add patties in a single layer, working in batches if necessary. Cook, turning once, until crisp and brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer patties to a plate and let cool slightly.

4. Divide lettuce among serving plates; top with lentil patties. Divide yogurt among plates. Season with salt, sprinkle with cayenne pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with caper berries, sliced onion and parsley.

Note: Makes 4 servings, two patties each

Nutritional info: Per serving: 305 calories, 5g total fat (1g saturated fat), 48g carbohydrate, 18g protein, 11g dietary fiber.

The Health Benefits of Kayaking

From Health Fitness Revolution

Excerpt: "How about taking a look at the world from a whole new angle? Grab a kayak and go exploring. Kayaking is great exercise and gives you an intimate view that really immerses you in nature. Its health benefits include:

  1. Weight loss
  2. Reduces stress
  3. Upper body workout
  4. Mental health
  5. Community
  6. Great source of vitamin D
  7. Builds positive self-image
  8. Core strengthening
  9. Tones legs
  10. Improves heart health

For more detail on the many benefits of kayaking, click here.


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 

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

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. 



Focused on Fitness

She’s 25 years old, passionate about soccer, people and living her best life. She’s “always looking for a new adventure” as she pursues a career as a videographer. She’s also a thyroid cancer survivor, diagnosed her junior year in college. A relentless, hard-working, high-achieving athlete in school she now aims for fitness that will allow her to “consistently work out with different movements.”

Her story:  "It was just after I finished my junior year of college, I started to notice something was off about me. My whole life I had been a healthy athlete, who was always leading the way when it came to fitness. I was a complete sports junkie. That wasn’t the case anymore. I could barely wake up at 12pm and even if I got an insane amount of sleep, I still wanted to sleep more. I didn’t understand. So after things didn’t change and I was becoming more noticeably moody and tired, I went to get my yearly physical to see what was up. My blood work came back with my thyroid levels all out of wack, which is where the rollercoaster began...

"To this day, though I am cancer free, my body still isn't the same. I have to take medication every day for the rest of my life to make up for not having a thyroid. Monthly blood work is the new norm too and I hate needles. I had to get three eye surgeries due to Graves' eye disease, which pushed my eyes outward. ...There are days of mood swings and roller coasters. Things that came so easily to me now take major motivation to do. It's all a part of my new life after cancer, but every day I remember that going through this gives me a bigger platform.

"I am living the dream right now and cancer will not stop me. I say my life is forever changed because it is. No, my body will never feel 'normal,' but I will never stop fighting a good fight. I will never ever change who I am. I just want to make people smile. I want to make people better and I fully intend on doing that day in and day out. Love and courage beat cancer."

Her Goal: "Building a healthy body. Would love to be part of a sport like kickboxing or boxing or CrossFit"

Personal Motto: "Believe (I have it tattooed on my wrist). If you believe in something and truly want it, you can achieve it."

To learn more about Brittany, click here.