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Unreasonable Marketplace: What Business is All About January 20, 2011

Filed under: Take Action! — aprasek @ 6:47 pm

A friend of mine just told me about the Unreasonable Marketplace, a contest (well, kind of) that selects fellows for the Unreasonable Institute. The 6-week summer institute takes entrepreneurs and provides them with a launching pad for their businesses and tools to enable continued success. These ventures are primarily about making our world a better place. Now that’s what business is all about.

And though one person (or entrepreneur) can certainly make a big difference, it takes a village to really create the impact that our world needs. Join a village by donating to your favorite business venture here and/or spread the news via email, FB, Twitter, etc.

I chose to support Day One Response, Inc. because they are doing some outstanding work to improve access to clean water (a luxury often taken advantage of in the U.S.). I’m also a little biased… the founder is a fellow Cal Poly grad (go Mustangs!) and a friend of mine is working her tail off for the organization (and loving it).


If you are supporting other great ventures on the Marketplace, please tell us about them here.


“Deadly Spin”

Filed under: Health Care Reform,Medical Ethics?,Take Action! — aprasek @ 12:32 am

Just got home from a fantastic lecture by Wendell Potter. He even signed my copy of his book, “Deadly Spin.”

Mr. Potter is the whistleblower that brought more attention to the shady practices of health insurance companies (BTW, I keep having the Counting Crows song “Mr. Potter’s Lullaby” run through my head…). You probably heard about (or watched) Mr. Potter’s testimony before the Senate Commerce, Science and Technology Committee in June of 2009, but this guy has a lot more to say… and a lot of it is in his new book. This is information that we should all know– especially those who are insured. Seriously, we should know what we’re paying for right?

Check out his website and get a copy of the book. Comment back here as you read through. This should get interesting….


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,



Overnight Walk for Suicide Prevention July 9, 2010

Filed under: Healthy Mind,Take Action! — aprasek @ 7:07 am

Wow, I’ve been MIA for a while, eh? Bout time I got back to bloggin. I miss it and feel like I’m out of the health loop!

Here’s one adventure that kept me busy last week:

I participated in AFSP’s Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk for suicide prevention. Which reminds me, I’m still a little short at reaching my fundraising goal… so, if you’d like to donate to an AMAZING organization, just click here. Thanks so very much 🙂

Gettin ready to walk!

The walk was held in Boston this year and the path didn’t disappoint– check out some fabulous destinations along our 20 mile trek:

Where everybody knows your name...

Cheering section at Fenway!

Name this hockey player (the statue behind us)...

The finish line!

Suicide prevention is a cause that is very close to my heart. I’ll always work for this cause and the more common experiences of suicidal thoughts and/or depression that many of us have faced. On that note, be sure to check out my previous post for my current project addressing these issues.

Some other highlights on my Boston trip…

Back Bay Yoga Studio. This place was awesome! Seriously, if you’re ever in Boston, take advantage of some yoga classes at this studio. They offer all sorts of styles and levels and the teachers are fantastic.

Old Town Trolley Tour: I know, this sounds odd. But seriously, this was the best way to get around and learn about the city! And the conductors were so knowledgeable and entertaining. Totally worth it.

We also stayed at a hostel in Boston… or shall I say hostile– not sure I’d really recommend the place. No air-conditioning, one [nasty] bathroom per floor and, strangely, it was also a residence for women who were dealing with some serious mental health issues. I honestly felt like we time warped to the 60’s and landed at the state mental hospital…yikes. Anyway, it was was a perfect transition to head off to Salem for a witch hunt!

I’m a total ghost-hunter wannabe, but too freaked out to actually “hunt” for the ghosts, I just like to hear the stories (and then sleep with the lights on for the next few nights).

Cemetery next to the witches memorial.

The unlucky ones...

You bet we took pictures at the Pirate museum... but didn't pay to go in.

So, that’s my Boston trip in a nutshell! Please share your own Boston faves if you have them (must-see destinations, healthy places to visit, crazy stories, etc. ).

I hope everyone has been having a wonderful summer! And have a fabulous weekend 🙂


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 🙂


Cooking Up Change March 2, 2010

Filed under: Nutritional Wellness,Take Action! — aprasek @ 11:03 am

The push to clean up the crappy school lunches that assault the bodies of our kids is on. And thankfully, kids are guiding some of these changes. Check out what the Healthy Schools Campaign is doing:

Today, March 2, Christie Vilsack [National Honorary Co-chair of Cooking up Change 2010 and wife of Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack] will speak at a Capitol Hill briefing on the future of school food along with Cooking up Change National Honorary Co-Chair Karen Duncan, HSC founding executive director Rochelle Davis and the student chefs of Tilden Career Community High School, winners of the Cooking up Change healthy cooking contest. Attendees at the briefing will have the chance to try the healthy, tasty school lunch that the students created. The meal will also be served in the House of Representatives cafeteria that same day.  [Read more from this HSC blog post]

Check out the Healthy Schools Campaign for more info and to get involved.


Toxic Cleaning in Schools November 3, 2009

Filed under: Environmental Wellness,Physical Wellness,Take Action! — aprasek @ 11:17 pm

A study conducted by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) revealed some dirty info about cleaning products used in U.S. schools:

EWG’s tests showed that as a group, these 21 products release into the air no fewer than 457 distinct chemicals, some of which are no doubt the source of that nice clean smell. The trouble is, six of those airborne substances are known to cause asthma and another 11 are known, probable or possible cancer-causers in humans.

Read more from the study here.

Unlike adults, children are still in fragile states of development and in effect, toxins can have more harsh consequences to these younger bodies and brains. And the worst part of all this is that these cleaning products are completely unnecessary. There are cleaning products available that are 100% natural and are as effective as the toxic ones.

The video below is awesome. It discusses more about these chemicals and how they make their way into our bodies. It’s pretty crazy…

Take action by signing the petition for the “Kid-Safe Chemicals Act.” (FYI if you sign the petition, you’ll get emails from EWG- a few per week. If you don’t want to get them you can immediately unsubscribe after signing.)