Monthly Archives: October 2013

In Good Health

by Melanie Pagan

At a recent Carrabba’s luncheon, I listened to Andrew H. Singh, MD, MPH (guest author of Healthy Me. Healthy Lee. in our September/October issue of Gulf & Main) give a lecture on workplace wellness.

Similar to what he wrote in the article, Dr. Singh spoke about the Healthy Lee Workplace Wellness Incentive—a lifestyle plan created by the Horizon Council designed to inspire people in our community to make healthier choices.

Turns out, just a few simple lifestyle changes can take you a long way down the road to healthier living. Here are some key points Dr. Singh went over, showing us how to incorporate these choices every day:

Exercise More: Or, as I like to call it, the hardest activity to dedicate yourself to. But, commitment-phobes can relax. One does not need a gym membership to be active, although it helps.

Thirty minutes of exercise in the form of a brisk walk or three 10-minute exercises a day fits in to even the busiest of schedules, said Dr. Singh.

Eat healthier: Even after I opted for tilapia with my pasta instead of chicken, Dr. Singh offered a healthier alternative to our carb-filled dine in.

“As you can see, hardly anyone has touched the pasta at our table,” he said, pointing to a group of health workers with no more than a few bites taken from their plates. They had filled up on side orders of broccoli instead.

According to doctor’s orders, plates should be filled with 50 percent fruits and vegetables, equaling out to about five-to-nine servings a day. Even at restaurants, he proved this is still able to be done.

Don’t Smoke: The smoke-free environment Dr. Singh has implemented at his office promotes the healthy living lifestyle to all his employees. On average, he said, smokers miss about three-to-four more days of work per year directly from smoke-related illnesses.

Get plenty of rest: According to Dr. Singh, seven hours of sleep is the minimum a mind needs to stay sharp throughout the day.

Enjoy life: Isn’t this what we all want to do, anyway? Keeping your mind and body active, Dr. Singh said, is the key to getting there.

I watched as the doctor and wellness advocate kept us engaged through his honest enthusiasm, and it made me realize just how much he has truly benefited from this lifestyle. While most of us were drowning in that sluggish, two o’clock feeling after indulging in empty calories, I wondered how much better I would have felt had I opted for a plate of broccoli instead, too.

To those who have already adopted a more active lifestyle, how does this fit into your everyday schedule? And to those who are striving to be more health-conscious for 2014, how do you intend to do so? We always want to feel our best, so let’s help each other get there and start sharing some secrets to wellness!

For more information on the Healthy Lee Workplace Wellness Incentive and to learn how to implement this into your own workplace, pick up our September/October issue of Gulf & Main on stands now.

Melanie Pagan is the editorial assistant for TOTI Media, Inc. 

Hot Updates in the City

by Melanie Pagan

It was Friday afternoon. It was downtown. It was alive.

It was a far cry from how I remembered it.

I have lived in Fort Myers for most of my life, growing along with changes in the area. I can recall downtown gems from way back when (Ichiban in 2003, Liquid Café in 2004), but aside from hole-in-the-wall venues and eateries, the cityscape hardly left room for recreation. The only regulars strolling down First Street were business workers or bill payers.

But something changed in the years that I have neglected the River District. It has developed into a sort of urban playground, packed with boutiques, art galleries, live music, restaurants, bakeries, and plenty of event venues and tourist attractions.

I must say, when my colleague and I visited the local businesses to share our latest issues of Gulf & Main, I was pleasantly surprised with all the life that has since sprouted in the area. Each block had something unique to our eyes—Linen Cottage featured vintage cottage-style décor, Arts for ACT Gallery & Studio sold eclectic paintings and women’s wear, and Naples Soap Company showcased organic skincare products almost too attractive to use.

After a few hours, we had passed enough people dining outdoors to work up an appetite of our own. We stopped at Bennett’s Fresh Roast—a coffee and donut shop cozy enough that workers must know regulars on a personal basis.

As I devoured my cinnamon sugar donut (and wondered how they managed to pack so much flavor into such a delicate snack), my colleague and I talked about how refreshing it was to re-familiarize ourselves with an area we both previously knew so well. The amount of art, culture, fashion and fun we witnessed that day was palpable. It almost felt like being in a bigger city, only more rewarding because we knew the developments stemmed from creative Fort Myers individuals who believed in our urban core’s potential.

With that said: hats off to all the business owners and frequenters of downtown Fort Myers. You have succeeded in making our city a touch more vibrant.

Is there a specific downtown “gem” you feel could use some recognition? Or, maybe you want to share appreciation for past stories we’ve run to shed light on the city. To the long time locals: do you remember a downtown shop from back in the day? Share it with us! Supporting homegrown endeavors brings a sense of unity to the town we call home.

Be sure to watch for downtown Fort Myers’ latest developments, as well as features on prominent figures in the area by exploring future issues of Gulf & Main magazine.

Melanie Pagan is the editorial assistant for TOTI Media, Inc.

Be Still my Locks

by Melanie Pagan

Even if I could handle swimsuit-warranting weather for a big longer until crisp, fall air set in, my hair had made it clear it couldn’t. It was getting more and more impatient; childish, really. Strands were either facing every direction but the one I intended, or causing a scene in public by suddenly doubling in size from frizz. It was time for me to take control.

I flipped to the Beauty Trends section of Gulf & Main’s September/October issue, desperate to learn of a product that could tame my unruly mop. There it was, Moroccanoil, the answer to my hair-care prayers.

I had heard of Moroccan oil in the past, and noticed it had already been added to many contemporary styling products, but had never tried the trademarked stuff. Since I read that it’s the go-to product used on clients at ‘Tween Waters Inn on Captiva, I figured it must be worthy of my tresses, too.

I searched Moroccanoil.com until I found just what I was looking for. I purchased Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray ($22.20) and the Restorative Hair Mask ($43)—two types of products I have struggled with in the past. Usually, one is either too oily, the other too sticky, but with this brand my hair felt like Goldilocks (no pun intended) when she found the perfect porridge: just right.

I felt immediate improvement as I ran a comb through my knot-free strands after washing out the hydrating mask. My curls formed with bounce, not frizz.

When it came time to style, the hairspray was the ideal finishing touch. Just like the bottle reads, it created a weightless and natural look without any residue. For the rest of the day, I felt I had the hair of a celebrity who just stepped out of a salon.

Since then, the products have earned a spot in my daily beauty ritual, leaving me with the same confidence about my tresses every day. In fact, if my hair could talk, I would imagine it would want to share its gratitude with a speech like this:

“I’d like to thank all the lovely fans who have complimented me since my transformation, and to you, Moroccanoil, for believing in me when every other product gave up. But most of all, thank you Beauty Trends department, for I would have never reached my full potential had it not been for your guidance. I couldn’t have done it without you.”

But hey, maybe it’s best that my mane can’t talk for itself. Nobody likes egotism, and I certainly do not want to suffer from a big head (of hair) again.

Avid Beauty Trends readers: Do you have a favored product that has appeared in our magazines before? Or what about an item you have discovered with help from our beauty department? Please, do share! Also, if there is a product on a need-to-know basis that we haven’t yet featured, let us know! Sharing is caring, and we all know our beauty cabinets could use the love.

For more Moroccanoil products, pick up the September/October issue of Gulf & Main on stands now. Check out more of our latest beauty finds in our currently available issues of Gulf & Main, Times of the Islands, RSW Living and Bonita & Estero.

Melanie Pagan is the editorial assistant for TOTI Media, Inc.