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Help Support This Healing Initiative October 4, 2010


Stories of suicide, addiction and depression are frequent in mainstream media. Unfortunately, these stories rarely discuss anything beyond the suicide method or a claim that the person is now in “treatment.” This tiptoeing around tough topics and shallow coverage (which is often judgmental) only perpetuates the stigmas. It’s time we broke free from this cycle.

This film (see the trailer below) is part of a dynamic healing initiative that seeks to open the discussion about depression and suicide and explore opportunities for true healing. I ask that you help me create this necessary initiative.

Your financial support will help to finish production of the film (e.g. editing), create the website and social media initiatives and outline a curriculum that can be integrated into college health courses and medical schools.

There are two ways to donate:  1) Use the handy tool above and pay securely through PayPal. Just select the amount you would like to donate and then click “Give.”  or  2) If you would prefer to send a check, please email me and I will give you all the info that you need.

As an important contributor to the completion of this project, you will receive:

  • $5 – $25: Online recognition on “Contributors” page (listed in order of donation amount). Selected name on the “In Honor Of” board (optional– this is an online page honoring those who have passed from suicide- listed in alphabetical order)*.
  • $30 – $200: All of above + DVD of the film*
  • $250 – $750: All of above + Thank you credit in film (your name appears in this credit).
  • $1,000 – $2,000:  All of above + “In Honor of” credit at begining of film (credit honoring an individual of your choosing who has passed from suicide)

* Please note that I will be contacting you for all necessary info (confirm your name– and if you want it placed on the “Contributors” page, your address to send DVD, name for “In Honor Of,” etc.) via your email used for PayPal. After 3 unsuccessful attempts at contacting you, I will just place your name on the relevant page/credit.

I am also in search of two Executive Producers for the film. Please email me if you are interested and/or have questions about this opportunity (aimee@wellnessgossip.com).

Other ways to help: Pass this page to your contacts, Tweet this page, Post to Facebook, Click the “Add to site” link on the donation tool above to embed on your own blog or website… Other ideas?? Email me and let’s discuss 🙂

And yes, please keep sending in your titles for the film. Whoever provides the selected title will receive a credit in the film!

I will be updating you all as we progress. The goal is to pitch the film in mid-February 2011 and hit the festivals in early summer 2011. Online initiatives will likely begin in May 2011.

I cannot express to you how much your support means to me– even if happy thoughts and emails are all you can offer at this time. Truly, the amazing emails that I have received have kept me motivated to bring this initiative to completion. And we’re almost there!!!

Much love and gratitude,



Naturally Nutty & Yen Yoga in Michigan July 26, 2010

Filed under: My favorite things!,Physical Wellness — aprasek @ 6:28 pm

So, I just returned from a VK in Michigan. And it was surprisingly fabulous! I guess I never thought of Michigan as a must-see destination. I was wrong.

Tourist highlights:  All the lakes (including the obvious– Lake Michigan), amazing sunsets, sand dunes (undoubtedly made to throw yourself down in a series of cartwheels and somersaults), little islands to kayak to and picnic on, all sorts of wildlife to watch (that includes people watching), cherry orchards (to pick and eat your way through) and tacky touristy things (my personal fave= extreme mini golf courses).

We mainly ran around Traverse City and Elk Rapids. But we also stopped in Charlevoix, Mackinaw, and some random little towns along our roadtrip route.

Here are a few of my favorite things I discovered:

Naturally Nutty:

OMG. Seriously, this stuff is amazing. The flavor I got is a mix of organic pumpkin, flax, sunflower and hemp seeds all spiced with vanilla, allspice, cinnamon and a bit of salt. Hello healthy pumpkin pie! So good on a nice piece of sprouted toast or with a banana or apple slices. I paid $10.49 for my 15 oz jar– not too bad for an organic, delicious nut butter. And with such pronounced flavor, I used about 1/2 the amount of spread on my toast.

Visit the nutty store to order online (prices are a bit cheaper than I paid). If you spend over $80, you get free shipping… that would be a heckuva lot of nut butter…

Let me know if you try any other flavors… I’m trying to get my $80 order planned out 🙂

Yen Yoga:

This was the yoga studio I stumbled into while shopping in Traverse City. It’s a posh looking joint, so I felt a bit out of place in my recycled yoga clothes (literally practiced twice in them without washing– I was roughing it, so whatever). New students receive their first class free, so I was able to snag the 90 minute Vinyasa Flow class and save my money for some divine sorbetto after class (at American Spoon).

The instructor, Jenny Lintvedt was fantastic. She had a great intuitive style to her teaching and was able to handle a huge diversity of skill levels that night.

Yen Yoga also has a bunch of other classes to choose from: Yoga with weights; Kids, Hot, Gentle and Power Yoga classes, Pilates, Spinning (they had a sweet stadium-style spin room); and Kettlebell. If you’re ever in Traverse City, I would definitely recommend stopping in for a solid workout.

That’s just the short and sweet of all the wonderful things I enjoyed on my VK to Michigan. If you have some must-see/do things to share in MI, please share!


My Documentary About Healing… June 20, 2010

Filed under: Complementary Therapies,Healthy Mind,My favorite things! — aprasek @ 3:28 pm

Ten years ago, I was in a sort of catatonic shock from my dad’s death. I thought my life had been destroyed– most of our possessions were repossessed or sold, we were kicked out of our home and I no longer had a dad. I was just turning 18 and I had no idea how to handle any of it. Cue downward spiral…

Now I sit here– ironically on father’s day– with the trailer for my documentary about this journey. The film follows some of my struggles and successes, but most importantly, it brings attention to the small everyday practices that we can implement in our lives to find true healing.

On this father’s day, I can honestly say, “Thank you dad.” You’ve still been with me these last 10 years, teaching me some really challenging lessons. This documentary stems from everything you were, everything we shared and everything you’ve taught me these last 28 years. What a blessing. And by the way, thanks for all the signs lately… I needed them.

Here’s the synopsis for the film:

We have all experienced suffering in our lives. And we have all longed for healing and relief from these times of struggle. Desperate to find a cure for my own self-destruction and depression, I embarked on a journey to find true healing. I began by facing my greatest fear; investigating my dad’s death. Also, as many spiritual seekers do, I packed up my bags and jumped a plane to India. I traveled to Dharamsala to interview the most renowned spiritual leaders, scholars and Tibetan doctors about healing the mind. This is my story through that journey; a journey through a dark maze of suffering with just one goal at the end– happiness.

So, without further ado, here is the trailer for my doco that will be premiering in Spring 2011:

Oh yeah, and if you have a rich aunt or brother who wants to help fund a film, send them my way 🙂


I Have a Favor to Ask… May 17, 2010

After finishing my academic *stuff* on Wednesday, I was left with a strange void and question in my mind… “What now?!” The feeling was too much for me 🙂

So, I went back to my second home (my MAC) and stumbled across a contest for the OWN Network. I was stoked to see what the contest was for– the chance to win your own show! Having a show focused on complementary health and preventative health has always been my dream. It has been the goal that has guided me through my last 10 years of education and experiences. So, amidst my finals hangover, I applied for the show and threw together an audition video.

To my surprise, I’ve actually received some votes! But, I’ll need a lot more to move onto the second round. The five people with the most votes on July 3 will go on. So, I’ll need a group of people who are willing to vote 100+ times per day until July 3. I’m hoping our WG community can help do that 🙂

It only takes about 2 minutes to vote 100 times. People have told me that they just click on the vote button and hold down the enter key! It’s like rapid fire from then on!

If you believe in spreading the message of integrative health, then I would LOVE it if you’d vote for me and help to make this happen. Let’s create something awesome together!

Click here to watch the video and vote as much as you can.

And please send this on to your contacts and post on your social media sites!

Much love and many, many thanks guys 🙂


Zico. Way Better Than Gatorade. March 22, 2010

Filed under: My favorite things!,Nutritional Wellness — aprasek @ 10:44 pm

I am so hooked on these Zico drinks. They are especially enjoyable after a heated yoga class. Or while laying on a beach somewhere…

The best part about Zico is the nutrition label; basically just some coconut water and fruit (in the flavored ones). Zico also offers electrolytes, a potassium boost and has low-acidity. Compare that to Gatorade products which contain artificial flavors and colors and cheap sweeteners or artificial sweeteners. As much as Gatorade brags about the “science” behind their beverage, they could create a much healthier and more effective product by using natural ingredients.

A Zico hit is not the cheapest though–I’ve found them for about $1.80 each. The price is worth it, but I’m frugal and also love a DIY challenge. So, my goal before summer is to make my own Zico drinks. Any suggestions or tips would be much appreciated… I’ll let ya know how it goes!


My Favorite Veggie Burgers June 30, 2009

Filed under: My favorite things!,Nutritional Wellness — aprasek @ 11:47 pm

If there’s a veggie burger out there, I’ve tried it. Here are my faves:


Sunshine Burgers

Organic Sunshine Burgers.  These are divine. They hold up on a grill and are especially good broken up in a tortilla with veggies. I especially like ’em because they are free of textured vegetable protein (TVP). TVP is a highly processed product which causes much of the nutrients to be lost and leaves little flavor.

Sunshine burgers use raw sunflower seeds as the base– a very yummy change from the usual burger. They are also soy free, dairy free, wheat free and gluten free.


TJ's Masala Burger

Trader Joe’s Masala Burgers.  These are inexpensive and delicious. These are also soy free and made with a potato base. Cook one on the Foreman for a great sandwich (add some tomato and spinach) or break it up and sautee with some veggies.


Amy's Bistro Burger

Amy’s Veggie Burgers.  Amy’s burgers are substantial, meaty-tasting burgers. I’m confident that these babies can convert any carnivore. Make a serious burger with these– add some sauteed onions, avocado, arugula… go crazy! The only downside is that they’re spendy. So, save up and buy a box. The “Bistro” flavor is my very favorite.


Wild Wood SprouTofu Veggie Burgers  

Wild Wood SprouTofu Veggie Burgers.  These burgers are made with sprouted soybeans which offers a nutritional boost over the more highly processed soy burgers. They have a nice surge of protein, so I like to make a lettuce sandwich with these and have it as a snack after a workout. I’ll lightly sautee one and wrap it in a big leaf of romaine. I add some tomato slices and a tiny bit of vegan mayo and mustard. Yum.


If you have other veggie burger faves, be sure to share them!


Honest Tea June 23, 2009

Filed under: My favorite things!,Nutritional Wellness — aprasek @ 11:02 pm

Thought I would share one of my favorite summer beverages:

Honest Tea

Mmmmmm… Honest Tea beverages. I’ve sipped on almost all the flavors, and every one is fabulous. 

I love ’em for so many reasons: 

The teas and punches are organic and fair trade… The unsweetened teas are flavorful… The sweetened varieties use just a bit of organic cane sugar… The teas are made from high-quality tea leaves and likely retain much of their health benefits… And most importantly,  all this good stuff is made by an ethical and socially responsible company.  

Check out the Honest Tea website for more info.

A little tip:  The teas that come in the glass bottles make great reusable beverage holders. I have about eight on hand and fill them up with my own brewed tea or my cranberry/cherry water (1-2 oz organic cranberry or tart cherry juice, 1/2 oz organic lemon juice and fill the rest of the bottle with water). I put these bottles in the fridge so I can grab a cold one on the go and not be tempted to buy a drink at the store. A healthy drink like this can be a nice change from water, and with just a bit of honey stirred in, can be a sweet treat.