Rivers Relaxation: A New Way to De-Stress in Fort Wayne
Apr06

Rivers Relaxation: A New Way to De-Stress in Fort Wayne

If you’re anything like me, I’m always looking for two things on the weekend: a unique experience and a way to unwind and relax from another long workweek. With Rivers Relaxation, you can have both. Located on Dupont Road, Rivers Relaxation is Fort Wayne’s only floatation center. What is floating, you ask? In a nutshell, it’s a massive float tank filled with 1000 gallons of heated water and a half ton of Epsom salt. Because of the precise solution of water to salt, the body natural floats without any physical effort.  This buoyancy has multiple benefits, including reduction in pain, increases the speed of physical recovery from physical training and injuries and a strengthened immune system. In addition, the floatation tank can be closed giving the user the opportunity to benefit from sensory deprivation or ‘Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique’. The benefits of sensory deprivation include reduction in stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline and lowering of blood pressure. In addition, you might experience increased creativity, calming, and relief from insomnia and jet lag. Rivers Relaxation is run by Andrew and Kelly Adams. Fort Wayne natives, they discovered floating from searching for a way to relax and unwind from the stress of their own day-to-day lives. Once they realized that there was not a floatation center in Northeast Indiana, they decided to pursue bringing this experience to the area. Once I checked out all of the information on their website, I had to try the experience out for myself—and bring a friend along, since they have two tanks for use.  After entering the center and filling out a few intake forms, Andrew led us back to show us the tanks and how to use them.  The tanks truly are massive and take up most of the room, along with a shower that you use both before and after your float (first to remove any oils from lotions and hair products and after to remove the Epsom salt). At first, getting in the tank is a bit terrifying, but you are truly buoyant. It takes no physical effort at all to stay afloat. There are ambient lights and meditative music in the pod, so relaxation begins right away. And the water is nearly the exact same temperature as the air around you, so it’s nearly impossible to tell which parts of your body are submerged and which is above water.  After spending a few minutes with the ambient light, I decided to turn it off and go full sensory deprivation. I was a bit concerned that being in pitch black darkness would cause some deeply hidden claustrophobia to manifest, but it was...

Read More
Looking for a new kind of yoga class? Go outdoors!
Aug12

Looking for a new kind of yoga class? Go outdoors!

For me, yoga and exercise classes are some of my favorite ways to relax, unwind and recharge. In the summertime, I also crave sunshine and fresh air, especially after sitting inside at a desk for eight hours. Running and kayaking help me bring my exercise routine outside. But when my legs need a rest and paddling doesn’t fit into the schedule, I’ve found several outdoor yoga or yoga-inspired exercise classes that leave me feeling refreshed – and give me my daily dose of vitamin D and fresh air. If you’re looking to unwind, there’s nothing quite as energizing as the combination of sunshine, warm breezes and yoga! Here are some of my favorite outdoor yoga and exercise offerings:   Evolve Boot Camp Where: Wells Street Bridge (Fort Wayne Outfitters & Bike Depot) When: Tuesdays, 6:30-7:30 pm (Weather permitting; class moves indoors in October) Cost: $15 drop-in for a single class, or $10/week monthly rate ($40 or $50 per month) Bring: Gym shoes, a water bottle, comfortable clothing Visit the Evolve Personal Fitness website or Facebook page for more info or to check for cancellations. This isn’t a yoga class, per se, but it is a circuit-training class that combines challenging, playful movements with dynamic yoga-inspired stretching and poses. Jina Lauer, founder of Evolve Personal Fitness, created the class to help people build functional, overall strength and learn how to move their bodies in new ways. The class combines strength, flexibility, agility, cardio, and core stabilization exercises. Jina is a Certified Personal Trainer, a Registered Yoga Alliance Teacher and a Certified Primary Nutrition Coach. She teaches yoga classes at Studio Seva, provides private yoga and personal training, and teaches similar Boot Camp classes indoors during the winter months (October through April). Jina hopes the class lets people build confidence and rediscover the mobility and joy they’ve lost in their adult lives. “Most of us grew up moving around and playing,” she says. “Then we grew up, sat down, and started working. This class allows you to bring mobility back to your body. It allows you to gain an awareness to truly understand what your body is capable of. Longevity in movement and daily energy is the sustainable goal. It gives you a renewed sense of energy and is completely worth it!”   Yoga on the Bridge with Gretchen Where: Wells Street Bridge (Fort Wayne Outfitters & Bike Depot) When: Wednesdays, 6-7 pm (May through September; weather permitting) Cost: $10 drop-in Bring: A yoga mat, a block and strap (if you have one, limited extras provided) Visit the Gretchen Fruchey Yoga website or Facebook page for more info or to check for cancellations....

Read More
Barr Street Market Vendor Series: Juice Jar
Aug07

Barr Street Market Vendor Series: Juice Jar

Like any Barr Street Market regular, there are a few booths I make sure to hit every week. At my first stop, I always grab about 4-6 pounds of organic fruits and veggies. I get it all for about eight bucks and I usually eat it all within a few minutes! Okay, so “eat” may not be the best description… because this fresh produce has already been pressed into a tasty juice by the friendly artisans at Juice Jar! Juice Jar is the homegrown idea of Jill Howard, with help from her husband Scott. They officially launched the company in May 2015, a few weeks before the opening of Barr Street Market. But the idea for a cold-pressed juice company had been on Jill’s mind for a long time. After 15 year of unexplainable health problems – pain, digestive problems, skin issues – she was searching for a solution. She’d seen several doctors, but no one seemed to offer any kind of definitive diagnosis. Her search for answers led her to do a two-week cleanse, eliminating dairy, processed foods, alcohol, caffeine, sugar and grains. That cleanse marked the end of her symptoms and the beginning of a new quest to nurture her body with fresh, organic food. In 2008, she bought her first juicer and started making juice at home. As the mother of two active sons – teenager Jiya and two-year-old Hudson – Jill loved that fresh juice gave her family their full daily dose recommended fruits, veggies, vitamins and minerals. But keeping up with home juicing meant that she was constantly buying produce and spending hours juicing, jarring and cleaning. She’d run out of time during her family’s busier weeks, and she wished she could just pick up her juice the way she ordered her morning latte. That’s when the idea for Juice Jar was born. From that point forward, launching Juice Jar has been a labor of love for her whole family. Together, they help Jill test recipes, gather produce from local farms, make and bottle juices, deliver orders, and sell fresh juices at the market. Jill also consults with sports nutritionist Zachary Schott to create custom recipes that support health and wellness. Juice Jar’s menu includes 14 varieties of single-bottle juices and three different juice cleanse regimens. A bottle of Juice Jar costs about $7-9. But it’s nothing like the juice you’d buy at the grocery store. Here’s why: Juice Jar uses organic produce – primarily from local farms. Jill visits local organic farms and picks up produce. From there, the fruits and veggies are taken directly to her commercial kitchen, where they’re washed with organic apple cider vinegar, cleaned, cut and juiced....

Read More
Fort Wayne’s Smallest Winner: My Journey, Part 3 and beyond…
Jul29

Fort Wayne’s Smallest Winner: My Journey, Part 3 and beyond…

My weight loss journey with Fort Wayne’s Smallest Winner (FWSW) – what a wild ride it has been! For those of you who have lost weight or are in the process of losing weight, we all know how much commitment it takes to shed those pounds. But, for those who are trying to lose weight and who struggle with unhealthy relationships with food, we know how daunting and torturous the process can be. Knowing that I did not have the right tools and knowledge to truly care for my own body and what I was feeding it, I applied to be a part of FWSW Season 8. I, as well as 25 other contestants, started the program back in March. Most of us could barely run up a flight of stairs, and a few people probably couldn’t even do that. But I am proud to say that after 15 weeks of intensive workouts, training and nutrition classes, all 26 of us collectively lost 1,394.8 lbs! We went from barely running up stairs in the beginning to running a 1/2 Marathon, feeling more confident in caring for our bodies, and learning to appreciate ourselves again. I can’t even begin to describe what FWSW has done for myself, but also what it has done for my family. We have taken the tools that the program supplied, and applied it to our entire household. The greatest satisfaction is knowing that this summer I actually feel like “Mommy” again. Last summer I never wanted to go outside to play with the kids simply because I was tired, and quite frankly I was lazy. This summer we all have spent so many evenings outside riding bikes, playing on the swing set, and sometimes we just simply sat outside to enjoy our surroundings. It’s those little things that I appreciate having back as a part of my life again. I am ever-so-grateful for the opportunity to be a part of FWSW, and I highly recommend the program to anyone who wants to lose the weight but struggles with doing it on their own. When I started the program I was 210.6 lbs, wearing a size 18 pants and size 14 dress, and couldn’t imagine ever even jogging more than a mile. When I finished the program back on July 10th, I weighed 173 lbs, was wearing a size 14 pants and a size 10 dress, and completed a 1/2 Marathon the week before. That is a total weight loss of 37.6 lbs! I couldn’t be more proud of myself!! Just like everyone else, my journey is not yet over. When I began the program, I had an...

Read More
Fort Wayne’s Smallest Winner: My Journey, Part 1
Apr02

Fort Wayne’s Smallest Winner: My Journey, Part 1

Never in a million years did I think I would ever be going to fat camp. But, at nearly 29 years old, I realized the inevitable: I am considered medically obese. Many people scoff at me when I tell them how much I weigh – they don’t believe me. In fact, many of my loved ones seem to actually discourage me from losing weight. They say, “Oh, you have to be kidding me! You look great…” Although their comments are flattering, it doesn’t take away from the fact that I am very unhealthy and unhappy with my body. The truth is that I don’t really look like it, but I am 5’9 and I weigh 211 pounds. Yeah, I said it. In hopes of turning my life around, getting healthy and back into shape, I have traded all of my pride for humility and vulnerability. Just a couple years ago I looked and felt my best; but with my last pregnancy I had gained 65 pounds and still have not lost a thing… except an entire year. A couple months ago I heard about this thing called Fort Wayne’s Smallest Winner. (Little did I know that this year would be their 8th year of running the program!) I thought to myself, “why not?” And so my journey began. A couple weeks after filling out the application, taking pictures of myself, and submitting an uncomfortable video of why I wanted to be a part of the program, I was selected to interview. A few days later, I received word that I was accepted into the program. I wasn’t sure whether to be excited or scared, but I definitely felt nervous. It’s officially been three days since our workouts started, and I am definitely feeling the burn all over! Just yesterday my team (Forest Green & Gold) had to run a timed mile to see what we could do. I am disappointed to report that I ran it in 11:59. That is over 3 minutes more than what I used to do. In addition, we have started our healthy eating plans with a goal of only consuming between 1,200 – 1,400 calories a day. Before joining FWSW, I would have easily eaten that number in one meal and a snack. I knew the program would test me, but I didn’t realize how strenuous it would actually be, both physically and mentally. One of the best parts of the program is the camaraderie between all the participants and alumni! Everyone is so encouraging of each other and it really does help in getting through the tough workouts. And I have to brag...

Read More