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Spa Water - Relax, Refresh and Hydrate with your Favorite Flavors

30. August 2013

I can still remember my first spa experience. The day of pampering was a birthday gift from my husband – a relaxing day including a massage, facial, pedicure and a lovely (and healthy!) spa lunch on a peaceful patio surrounded by lush gardens. It was heavenly!

That special day years ago also included my first taste of spa “water.” Coolers of water throughout the facility were infused with fun flavors from cucumbers and lemons to mint and watermelon. Who knew water could besuch a treat!

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Love Does

22. July 2013

I’ve never been impulsive. Practical and plan-full, I carefully calculate every possible outcome before making most decisions. Is it the best use of my time? Does it make sense financially, etc.?

So, when I received a wedding invitation recently from a childhood chum in Iowa, I naturally began weighing the pros and cons of making the trip. Gina and I had been classmates and friends from fourth grade through high school. Together with our BFF’s, Mary Beth and Anne, we’d shared years of sleepovers and birthday parties, homecomings and prom nights.

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Loren Nancarrow: Beating brain cancer with a smile

03. June 2013

Loren Nancarrow is battling a brain tumor.  You may already be aware of the sad news because the popular Fox 5 News Anchor made the announcement himself in his blog posted February 13, 2013.  “The reason I haven’t been in my anchor chair for the past few weeks,” Loren explained, “is because I have brain cancer.”

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A Dose of Humility

06. April 2013

Humility is not a word usually associated with a leader these days. Yet that was the word the media have most often used to describe the new Pope of the Catholic Church…to be known only as Francis.

While extensive media coverage highlighted the new Pontiff’s impressive academic background and doctrinal stands, the “buzz” kept coming back to his servant’s heart.

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Learn to Listen

10. March 2013

Our pastor recently gave a thought-provoking sermon on prayer. While extolling the virtues of communicating with God, Pastor Jim also emphasized the two-way aspect of the discipline. “Prayer is more than rattling off a laundry list of needs and concerns,” he explained. “We need to “be still and listen to what God has to say.”

I keep trying, but truthfully it’s often a struggle to clear my cluttered mind long enough to hear from the Almighty. And that got me to thinking. Do I keep my mouth shut long enough to actually listen to those around me? The answer? A resounding NO!

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A Dog's Purpose

04. February 2013

I recently read a story about a veterinarian, a 6-year-old boy and his dog, Belker, that so touched me, I’m passing it along to you.

A veterinarian was called to examine Belker, a 10-year-old Irish Wolfhound. The dog’s owner, Ron, his wife Lisa and their little boy Shane were all very attached to sweet Belker and they were hoping for a miracle.

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Air Blowers or Paper Towels?

03. January 2013

I’m a pretty easy-going “go-with-the flow” kind of person.  Few things truly bug me.

OK.  Maybe a few things.  Drivers who don’t use their turn signals make me a little crazy.   So do people so afraid of being politically incorrect, they refer to Christmas trees as “Holiday Trees.”  (For the record, there is no other winter holiday for which a tree with lights and ornaments is used…except Christmas!)  Oh…and that ridiculous TV commercial touting the benefits of a drug for erectile dysfunction.  You know the one that ends with the couple sitting in separate bathtubs in the middle of nowhere! I go a little nuts every time I see it.

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Meet Bing, My New Cat!

04. December 2012

I lost my sweet kitty “Little Girl” recently.  I can’t even describe how much I miss the not-so-little rescue tabby that brightened my life and our home for many years.

In a bizarre twist of fate, the faithful feline who never left my side as I recovered from breast cancer surgery earlier this year, succumbed two months ago to an aggressive form of lung cancer.

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Laughter Really is the Best Medicine!

06. November 2012

It’s been a long time…years maybe.  But yesterday I laughed until I cried.

It all started after opening an e-mail from my friend, Julie. Along with a cheery greeting and update from Denver, she attached a link to a YouTube video and wrote, “for a good chuckle, check this out.”

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Cancer... AFTER the Treatment Ends

11. October 2012

My oncologist smiled broadly as he entered the treatment room.  “Congratulations, Carol,” he exclaimed. “You’re now considered cancer-free!” While his words elicited a sense of relief and gratitude, I couldn’t help feeling a little empty and sad as I walked to my car.

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01 August 2012

I hope you don’t mind, but I just have to brag a bit about my Dad.  A “health nut” before it was fashionable, my Dad, Carter LeBeau, not only taught me the importance of healthy living, he has inspired countless others. 

Dad was honored recently at a celebration in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for 40 years of participation in the bicycling event known as RAGBRAI.   But even more than his participation in the ride, at 86, my Dad has been an inspiration and encouragement to thousands of cyclists…in Iowa and beyond.

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Friendship and RESPECT - Good for the Soul!

16. June 2012

I was warned recovery from breast cancer surgery and treatment is not a straight line.  I’ve been on the journey for more than three months and I’m still dizzy from the roller coaster of emotional ups and downs.

On the down days, hibernating at home is often my coping mechanism of choice.  But even I know social isolation doesn’t help and can even hinder the healing process.

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Don't Worry, Be Happy!

12. May 2012

I received my cancer diagnosis January 2 of this year.  “Slow-growing tumors in both breasts,” said my doctor. It was like living a nightmare as double mastectomies and lymph node dissections were performed less than a month later.  The good news?  The cancer had not spread and my prognosis was good.  Treatment would not include chemotherapy but a five-year course of anti-estrogen therapy would give me a nearly 86% chance of being alive in 10 years.

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MASSAGE - Great for your Health!

05. April 2012

I just made an appointment for a massage.  And I don’t feel a bit guilty about telling you! Turns out…that relaxing rubdown comes with medical benefits.

Let's face it, massage has a reputation for being a decadent treat for people who love pampering. For years, I agreed. Though, there were times I justified the extravagance. I remember my first massage. Tom and I were celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary at a resort in Sedona. A couple's massage was part of the weekend package. Why not? After 10 years, we could use a little relaxation and romance!

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Girl Scout Birthday

05. March 2012

Courage.  Confidence. Character. 

Three words that pack a powerful punch.  Three traits not often found in a world often defined by a wimpy, whiny  “me-first” mentality. 

Those three words just happen to be the mission of an iconic organization that’s been serving girls for nearly a century.  Girl Scouts is about to achieve a major milestone and I think we should celebrate!

Happy Birthday Girl Scouts!  100 years on March 12!  For any centenarian, that’s a big deal, but for those of us whose lives have been enriched because of our Girl Scout experience, we feel especially proud.

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Kindness is the Greatest Wisdom

10. February 2012

Ah, February! Love is in the air! Valentine’s Day brings cards, flowers, chocolate and romance to millions of couples.  The question is – will chocolate-covered caramels and moonlit dinners keep love alive? 

Tom and I recently celebrated our 27thwedding anniversary at a lovely waterfront restaurant with a spectacular view of San Diego Bay. It was a perfect evening.  A stunning sunset…fabulous food…even our server was a delight. In fact, when young Marissa learned it was our anniversary, she couldn’t wait to tell us all about the love of her life.  

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Dealing With E-mail Forwards

03. January 2012

It’s getting so I dread opening my e-mail. It’s not the day-to-day business correspondence or updates from friends and family that bug me. It’s those annoying, e-mail “forwards!” The seemingly endless flow of forwarded attachments, chain e-mails, religious and political commentary…usually part of mass mailings from someone I don’t even know – drive me crazy! 

I can put up with a quick quip or the latest cat freak-out video. But my patience runs low when it comes to those touchy-feely, super-sweet videos telling me how to live my life. You know, the still-photo displays of spectacular seascapes or soaring eagles reminding me “Life is short…eat dessert first” or “Learn to embrace your inner child.” They make me want to gag.  

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Handling Holiday Stress

06. December 2011

I found it while going through the “piles” on my desk - a birthday card from my husband.  Along with his sweet message was a gift certificate good for one 90-minute “acu-massage” at Indigo Acupuncture in Coronado. My birthday was seven months ago and I’m ashamed to say I’d completely forgotten about Tom’s thoughtful gift enclosure. But my joy at discovering the lost coupon quickly turned to disappointment as I read the fine print.  The certificate was within weeks of expiring!   

But when Char Self from Indigo Acupuncture returned my frantic phone call, the news was good and bad! The good news? The popular massage therapist and acupuncturist was able to fit me into her schedule. The bad news? Her only available slot was on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving! You’ve got to be kidding! Who has time to relax for 90-minutes two days before Thanksgiving??!!

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02. November 2011

I first saw it while driving along the Strand in Coronado just south of the Naval Amphibious Base … a weird, sort of bicycle-looking thing zipping along the popular bicycle and running path. The guy riding the device was standing up, and for good reason – the contraption had no seat! “It couldn’t be a bicycle,” I thought. Maybe it was a scooter. But the rider was pushing against enormous pedals using a motion that mimicked that of the elliptical trainer at my gym.

Maybe I was hallucinating! Fortunately, a quick Google search assured me I wasn’t losing it. I typed in “bicycle” and “scooter” and up popped the site for something called the ElliptiGO – a device that replicates outdoor running without the impact. The ElliptiGO was developed by ultramarathoner Brent Teal in his Solana Beach garage. Cool. Mystery solved! I saw a few more of the bizarre bicycles after that, but wrote it off as just another crazy southern California fitness fad. 

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Mayor Sanders Sheds 85 Pounds

04. October 2011

He may just be San Diego’s “biggest loser!” In less than two years, Mayor Jerry Sanders has lost nearly 85 pounds! No diet. No surgery. No magic bullet. The mayor’s secret weapon for weight loss? Walking!

I met Mayor Sanders one morning on the last leg of his morning walk through Kensington to learn more about the mayor’s new passion.

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08. August 2011

Have you been “shellacked” yet? I have, and it’s great! (And no, I’m not talking about what happens to the San Diego Padres when they can’t mange to get a run!) I’m talking about the “shellacking” I got at my nail salon recently, and I’m looking forward to having it done again.

Seriously, when I first heard about CND Shellac, it sounded too good to be true. The sign at “Tammy’s Nail Salon” in Hillcrest touted the benefits of the new procedure – a “30-minute, in-salon manicure that dries almost instantly, promising perfect polish for two weeks!” Right.

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A Talk With Tina Mickelson

26. June 2011

When you think of ‘golf’ and ‘San Diego,’ it’s hard not to add ‘Phil’ to that word series … Phil Mickelson, that is. But another San Diego Mickelson is equally passionate about the game of golf. I recently talked with Phil’s talented sister, teaching pro Tina Mickelson, about the game she loves and why this golf “ambassador” believes time on the links is good for body, mind and spirit.

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Toning Shoes

12. May 2011

I feel like the old cliché. “I’m in pretty good shape… for the shape I’m in!” At 57, I guess I’m pretty healthy. My energy’s good, I can still swim a mile in 25 minutes and my weight’s ok, too. I understand I’ll never have the body of a 25 year-old again. But I just can’t get past the loss of my once firm behind!

Seriously! My flat fanny has really got me bugged! I tried on a cute pair of jeans at Macy’s recently. The view from the 3-way mirror was the last straw. I needed help! You see, the sport I love does nothing for my backside. Rough water swimming is great for my back and shoulders, but does nothing to tone my aging bum. (And did I mention I hate squats!)

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Spiritual Health

23. April 2011

Spring is my favorite time of year. I love the lingering evening sun, the brilliant freeway flowers and the high holy days?! It’s true! Passover and Easter are just around the corner and I look forward to the annual religious traditions that remind me to pause and reflect.

That wasn’t always the case. Although I was raised in the church… when I headed off to college, I ditched my religious traditions for what I thought were more important pursuits… a college degree, successful career and the right boyfriend.

In my late 20’s, I got a wake-up call. My mother died. She took her own life… the result of untreated, end-stage depression. I channeled my grief into a personal search for truth and meaning.

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16. March 2011

Last week I was home sick. Coughing, sneezing, body aches. It was miserable. I didn’t have the energy to do anything… couldn’t exercise and felt as useless as “teats on a boar hog!” (Sorry. You can’t take the “Iowa” out of the girl.)

Well, that’s just when “Little Girl” does her best work! “Little Girl” is the chubby, multi-colored tabby cat Tom and I adopted several years ago. When I’m sick or down… I swear my tubby tabby considers it her personal mission to make me well! Whether lying in bed or crashed on the couch, that darn cat will nuzzle and nudge… then set up shop on my lap, purring like a turbo-prop! Honestly, I can’t help but smile as she settles in keeping watch over me as I drift in and out of sleep.

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Dr. Dennis Leahy, "The Surfing Doc"

01. February 2010

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S. Ironically, it’s also one of the most preventable diseases. Good science is proving more and more a healthy lifestyle can save lives.

Why aren’t more Americans willing to make the necessary changes? I asked Palomar Health cardiologist Dr. Dennis Leahy about the phenomenon. He’s been treating cardiovascular disease at Palomar Health for nearly 30 years. He not only sees the difference exercise and healthy eating makes in the lives of his patients… he lives by example.

In a recent interview with Dr. Leahy, the dedicated doctor talked about two of his passions… keeping his patients healthy and surfing!

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Favorite Things...

01. January 2011

I’ve been an Oprah fan since the mid 80’s when she first appeared in syndication on San Diego’s Channel 10. She’s a tremendous on-air talent, a brilliant businesswoman, down-to-earth and has managed to maintain a level of class you just don’t see on other TV talk shows.

When I met the “Queen of Talk,” I got to see first-hand what makes Oprah so loved, by so many. Success has never corrupted Oprah, and after all these years, what you see is what you get. She’s the real deal.

I’ll miss her show, but am excited to see the launch of her own broadcast network.
There’s no doubt, Oprah’s ability to re-invent herself over the years has been key to her success.

One of my favorite things about Oprah is her annual list of “Favorite Things.” The show (and companion article is her “O” Magazine) highlights her personal picks, for gift ideas and herself. In fact, because of Oprah’s latest recommendations, I ordered the Discovery Channel’s DVD set “All Creatures Great and Small.” It’s phenomenal.

And it got me to thinking. I’ll bet we all have a “favorite things” list. So I jotted down a few of my own.

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Kimberly Hunt

21. November 2010

Kimberly Hunt has a full, often stress-filled life. Even so, the popular (and ageless!) 10 News anchor is the picture of health… a fact she attributes to good genes, long walks and a Mediterranean-style diet.

Carol LeBeau sat down with her friend and former colleague to learn more about the food plan that keeps Kimberly going strong!

Carol: What convinced you to “go Mediterranean?”

Kim: Initially, I just wanted to maintain my blood sugar a little better.
I have a sensitivity there.

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Don't Go It Alone!

08. October 2010

Want to experience better health and well-being in the New Year? Along with exercise and good food… call a friend! Seriously, many well-researched studies have found the more friends we have, the better our physical and emotional health.

I know it’s true because I’m a “recovering loner!” Take care of yourself. Be independent. Don’t trust anyone. Those were the messages I got as a young woman. I didn’t have time for emotional attachments. I had plans.

Well, my plans never called to see how I was doing, never gave me a hug, never sent me a funny card to cheer me up. Isolation violates basic human nature. We need one another.

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The Joys of Swimming

27. September 2010

My love affair with the water started when I was five years old in my hometown of Davenport, Iowa. Dad took me to the municipal swimming pool where I learned to splash and float. Thanks to the local Family “Y,” I subsequently learned to swim and then compete in the sport that’s kept me fit and been a source of joy for 56 years.

For me, the only thing better than swimming (my license plate holder boldly proclaims ‘I’d rather be swimming!”) is helping someone else discover the thrill of being surrounded by water for the first time! As a swim instructor for years, it was a delight every time one of my young students finally called up the courage to jump into the deep end or swim all the way across the pool for the very first time.

So imagine my excitement when Palomar Health asked me to help with a brand new program designed to give North County kids the opportunity to learn to swim!

Palomar Health, The City of Escondido Parks and Recreation Department and Neighborhood Health Care all came together to create “Carol’s Swim Club.” The July kickoff included a family movie night, health screenings and free swim classes at Washington Park’s swimming pool in Escondido… but they’re also looking to the future.

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Memory Loss

12. August 2010

Yesterday, I found myself staring into the closet in my guest bedroom. I had no idea why I was there! On the verge of panicking, I retraced my mental steps. Oh yeah! That’s where the blouse I wanted was hanging, with the rest of the dry cleaning I’d hung there days before.

And that’s not the first time. It seems I’m forgetting more all the time… the keys, the shopping list, the name of my husband’s colleague, the question to the “Jeopardy” answer I SHOULD know!

Does this ever happen to you? Are you finding it’s getting harder to remember things? If so, take comfort – you’re not alone. And it’s rarely due to the onset of some dread disease. Fact is, as we age, our memories can fade. But some of those “brain fades” can actually be due to factors you can control and prevent. Here are a few memory improvement tips that just may help keep you sharp for years to come.

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Beach Books

16. July 2010

The low clouds are gone and the heat is on. It’s summer in San Diego! Time to hit the beach for a little relaxation and fun in the sun. So pack your sunscreen, shades, bocce ball and beach chair. And whatever you do, don’t forget a beach BOOK! Nothing too heavy, just a pleasant read to help you relax and escape into a world of romance, adventure, inspiration or intrigue. 

Now, if you’re like me, it’s hard to relax when you don’t know where to start. So many books, so little time! It can be overwhelming. So this summer I’m going to keep it simple. One classic novel. One inspirational read, and at least two… maybe three, of my favorite political thrillers by Daniel Silva.

Bone Health

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Enjoy that Cup of Joe!

23. June 2010

If you love coffee, I’ve got great news! Sit back, relax, enjoy a cup of your favorite brew and read on!

Turns out, the latest coffee buzz doesn’t come from caffeine. It comes from new research showing a cup (or more) a day may actually keep the doctor away! It’s true! That daily Venti Breakfast Blend may do more than wake you up. It may just extend your life.

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Mental Health Support

03. May 2010

May is Mental Health Awareness Month… a time to focus on those who suffer from any of a variety of mental illnesses and disorders. That’s great! But I’d also like to give a shout out to all of you who support loved ones battling mental illness. I know it can be a challenge.

My husband, Tom, is a chronically happy man. He wakes up happy every morning, stays happy all day long, and falls asleep with a smile on his face. As someone who fights the “blues,” I often find Tom’s non-stop good cheer annoying. But years ago, when the dark cloud of clinical depression descended on me, I was grateful for his strength and positive outlook.

Initially, Tom tried to cheer me up. But as I fell deeper into the black hole of depression, he realized we were dealing with something a walk on the beach or funny movie couldn’t fix. As I became paralyzed with panic and despair, my concerned husband took action.Get Some Sleep

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01. April 2010

Get Some Sleep!

Last night I slept nine hours. There, I said it. And tonight, if I can I’ll sleep nine more! I used to apologize for getting so many zzzz’s. No more. Turns out that’s how much sleep I really need, and when I try to get by on less, I feel lousy, am less productive and cranky!

Turns out, there’s no reason to feel guilty about getting a good night’s sleep. In fact, medical research has proven a lack of sleep can be deadly! When people get less than 6 or 7 hours of sleep each night their risk for developing a variety of diseases increases. Studies prove it. If laboratory rats are regularly deprived of sleep, they live only 5 weeks of their 2 to 3 year life expectancy.

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Social Seniors

01. March 2010

Friday night’s the time to party! And that’s certainly the case at North Coast Calvary Church (NCCC) in Carlsbad… especially for the 50-plus crowd! As I walked into the all–purpose facility at NCCC recently, there was such a din of music and laughter, I thought I was in the wrong place. Church people - certainly those over fifty - couldn’t be having that much fun. I couldn’t have been more wrong!

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Exercise for Your Heart….and More!

05. February 2010

Back in the ‘60’s, my Dad was a huge fan of Dr. Kenneth Cooper and his theories about aerobic exercise. (Because of Dr. Cooper, Dad may actually be the first guy ever to jog in the state of Iowa!) The now-famous medical doctor had the then wacky notion that exercise was good for your heart. (cooperaerobics.com) His research panned out and Dr. Cooper’s theories, of course, became universal truths.

Since then, more studies have proven exercise can stave off heart disease, lower blood pressure and stress levels and help maintain a healthy weight. But what’s exciting to me are the other benefits of exercise… the hidden benefits!

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Don't Go It Alone

30. December 2009

Want to experience better health and well-being in the new year? Along with exercise and good food… call a friend! Seriously, many well-researched studies have found the more friends we have the better our physical and emotional health.

I know it’s true because I’m a “recovering loner!” Take care of yourself. Be independent. Don’t trust anyone. Those were the messages I got as a young woman. I didn’t have time for emotional attachments. I had plans.

>> Read the rest of this entry


Contact Carol by emailing her at Carol@palomarhealth.org.