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Sunshine Wellness Newspaper Article

Health is the New Wealth

By Judy Foreman (Montecito Journal)

Ah ! The New Years Resolution. Talk about it or do something about it! The top contenders for change usually include smoking cessation, drinking less alcohol, cleaning up your diet through improved nutrition and beginning an exercise regimen that helps with weight loss and stress reduction. This can be a tall order for many folks especially with the challenging economic times we are facing and the availability of cheaper fast food. But S.B. is blessed to have many experts in the field of health and wellness to help you attain your goals. During the month of January, I will be introducing some of them to you. So even if you are less wealthy you can become more healthy!

My own desire to improve upon my eating habits led me to make an appointment for a nutritional consultation with Betsy Markle the owner of Sunshine Wellness, a company she began in 2004. Preventative nutrition and exercise combine the two essentials that are the cornerstone philosophy of Betsy Markle’s business, the only company in Santa Barbara combining nutrition and ‘fresh not frozen all-natural food delivery service’. A registered dietitian degree from the University of Pittsburgh, and a certified personal trainer, the merging of these two skills helped her find her life’s calling.

In 2002, deciding to relocate from the East to the West Coast, Betsy and her husband Brian, were drawn to live and work in a community known for its beauty and active oriented lifestyle. Her job was in 2002 as a nutritionist researcher for endocrinologist Dr .Diana Schwartzbein who she says “focus on prevention instead of medicating her patients. She helped her write all nutrition resources for her latest book ‘The Program”. Through her experience working with alternative approaches to health Betsy was able to develop her own approach to nutritional counseling that combines holistic and clinical principals. In 2004 she started seeing clients of her own and started Sunshine Wellness. Her business started out as a national nutrition consulting company, but has flourished into something much bigger.

Being brought up by a healthy Mom who spent a lot of time in the kitchen, her family ate together 6 nights a week and Betsy helped prepare meals including her school lunch for the next day. As a busy Mom with a young family and a business owner Betsy understands how hard it is to stay fit and provide healthy food on a daily basis. In 2006 she started to cook and deliver healthy meals and snacks to her clients. The meal delivery program has grown rapidly due to her client’s success. According to Betsy ‘there are two reasons why most people cannot reach and sustain their wellness goals. (1) is misleading information about nutrition and (2) lack of long term motivation and compliance.” She feels sure her company will provide people with a high quality program that solves these problems and sets them up for long term success.

When we sat in my kitchen in Montecito, I explained that with my own family getting older and sitting down for less frequent meals, eating out more often and hating to cook well rounded meals for myself, I needed some help to improve my diet. As part of her service, Betsy will provide a free consultation at your home or place of business to introduce you to her programs which may include, menu planning, special recipes and food shopping in addition to her home delivery prepared food service .The first order of business when we met was to tell her about any health or eating issues I might have, and medications and supplements I was currently taking. She wrote everything down that I told her and we discussed some alternatives to the foods I am currently eating. Every program is individualized for your likes and dislikes but always with the emphasis on what is good for you, tastes good and those food groups that might be giving me some issues.

Within 24 hours of her visit I received 2 days worth of entrees and snacks. The food was individually labeled with heating directions if required. From soups to salads, to fish, chicken, potatoes, vegetables, smoothies to berries and pecans. Everything was fresh flavorful and filling. I felt like I had my own personal chef. It was easy, convenient and delicious. No calorie counting or weighing portions. I enjoyed a well balanced diet without shopping or a long prep period. I also received by e-mail within 24 hours of our meeting a list of suggested supplements and a suggested list of 20 snack ideas without gluten and Cow’s dairy something that she felt was the suspected culprit for some of my tummy troubles. I have been using that list to help me when I get hungry to make better choices and not grab for the box of Wheat Thins. Gluten, a protein component found in many grains and foods we eat on regular basis including wheat, cous cous, rye, bran, spelt, barley, and also found in many breads, pastas, cereals and crackers has been shown to contribute to celiac disease, a condition caused by the inability to digest food that contain gluten. While Betsy told me this may not seem alarming, she believes from her practice that 75% of her clients who experimented with a gluten free diet for a few weeks had made major improvements in their health. Symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea and/or constipation, abdominal pain and gas are possible symptoms. The inflammation of the GI tract can cause malabsorbtion problems. According to Betsy “when we malabsorb major nutrients, our cells are not given enough energy and our metabolism declines rapidly. Therefore there are many more possible symptoms including the ability to lose weight, arthritis or joint pain, asthma, type 2 Diabetes, sinus allergies, headaches or migraines, depression, foggy brain, poor sleep, insomnia, skin rashes, elevated cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, and anemia. Gluten intolerance is usually a genetic condition, therefore it may affect several family members. There are certain ethnic groups that are more prone to gluten problems most specifically. Most common are found in people from England, Ireland, Scotland, Sweden, Belgium, Switzerland and eastern European Jews. Gluten intolerance is less prevalent in African Americans and Asians. Milk once thought to do a body good has also become suspect for many allergies and tummy issues such a lactose intolerance, the sugar in milk.. Our cows and their milk production have drastically changed and according to Betsy who has done extensive research in this area ‘our milk is becoming almost as processed as a Twinkie. ‘So substituting, goat or sheep or buffalo mozzarella cheese maybe worth a try.

I an effort to solidify her program Betsy is in the process of creating an easy step-by-step Nutrition Workbook and is also available and speaks regularly about nutrition to groups such as Moms in Motion and school children to educate them about nutrition and why what you eat so fundamentally influences and balances your physical and mental health. While Betsy understands the science of nutrition and the effect that poor eating habits have on your overall health and wellness the average person just wants food that tastes good, is good for us and convenient. I think anyone who is struggling with their weight, or health issues, or just finding time to cook or wants to experience a fine dining experience without leaving their own home Sunshine Wellness should be on your menu for 2009.

For more information. Please contact Betsy Markle at Sunshine Wellness Meal Delivery and Nutrition Services”

Ph: (609)849-2222

Fax (888)849-0169


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