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Live well

From cryotherapy to compounding pharmacies, hot yoga to hiking—here’s to taking care of yourself this busy season

“Self-care” peaked in Google searches last November (we can’t imagine why). So, in a year marked by the need for it (and Googling what it means) we decided to give you a guide to self-care—essentially, health and wellness—in Tulsa. Whether you're into cryotherapy, or cold-pressed juices, seasonal eating, or indoor tennis, we hope you’ll stay healthy all season long and beyond.

Photo by Greg BollingerLove the skin you’re in

As more research comes out from places like The Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics concerning potentially harmful chemicals found in cosmetics, people are leaning more and more towards purchasing all-natural beauty products. Common cosmetic ingredients, like dioxane, carbon black, and parabens, are linked to cancer, reproductive harm, and organ toxicity.

Here’s how you can change your beauty game:

  1. Look for products with short ingredient lists and few synthetic chemicals.
  2. Try making some products yourself; it’s easier and cheaper than you might expect.
  3. Research! The beauty industry is highly unregulated with no legal standards for products labeled as “natural” or “organic,” so read labels carefully.
  4. Buy from vendors you trust.

Landella, located in The Boxyard (502 E. 3rd St.) and founded by the owners of Spexton Jewelry, has gained the trust of its customers by providing all-natural cosmetics for men and women from reputable companies they’ve researched.

“I try to find things that have natural ingredients, stuff without all the chemicals,” said co-owner Kayla Shelton. “I also try to find brands that give back.”

Landella carries a few local brands, like Twinkle Apothecary, an Oklahoma City company dedicated to creating non-toxic, vegan, cruelty-free, eco-friendly fragrances and skincare.  Twinkle Apothecary also donates $5 to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence for every product with a logo purchased.

Another popular product Landella carries: bath bombs from Tulsa company Bombdiggity. The bombs come in a variety of different scents like “Unicorn toots,” “Between the sheets,” and “Oklahoma summer.” Shelton says customers rave over them, often claiming they’re superior to LUSH brand bath bombs.

Photo by Greg BollingerSole massage

Located in The Boxyard (502 E. 3rd St.), Sole Massage has a new concept for how customers “experience massage,” offering seated massages with a focus on feet, hands, shoulders, scalp, and face. Unlike many boutiques in town, all of Sole’s massage therapists are certified.

Physically, massages reduce muscle tension and ease aches and pains. Mentally, they relieve anxiety and stress—but Sole believes the mental benefits go much further. Their shoulder and scalp message, for example, “awakens creativity centers in your brain.”

Appointments are customized by the patient in three parts: first, the “sole experience,” dealing with the part of the body that needs the most attention; second, “sole searching,” or choosing how intense the massage should be (gentle, centered, or deep); and, finally, “sole enhancements,” which provide the option to add essential oils, such as peppermint or lavender, to the massage.

Seated massages cost $35 for 30 minutes, $55 for 60 minutes, and $5 extra for the addition of any essential oils.

Struggling with Addiction?

Here’s where to go:

Women in Recovery (1055 S. Houston Ave. #200)
Intensive outpatient alternative for eligible women facing long prison sentences for non-violent, drug-related offenses. 918-947-4200.

Hope Recovery Addiction Center (1611 S. Utica Ave.)
Provides support for interventions and detox (both medically-supervised withdrawal and social detoxification). Residential treatment program combines features from inpatient and outpatient treatment. 918-779-0011.

Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center (601 N. Main St.)
Free, Christian-based rehabilitation residential care facility offering spiritual counseling, support group fellowship, AA/CA/NA meetings, abuse education, work therapy, and recreation. 800-728-7825.

Palmer Continuum of Care’s Tulsa Women and Children’s Center  (5319 S. Lewis Ave. #219)
Provides treatment services for pregnant or parenting women. One of the few programs in the nation that can accommodate children while their mothers participate in residential treatment. 918-430-0975.

Center Point, Inc. (3637 N. Lewis Ave.)
Offers integrated treatment services with individualized treatment planning. Addresses mental health and substance abuse issues through a state-of-the-art service delivery system focused on whole-person needs, strengths, and values. 918-948-9763.

H.O.W. Foundation (5649 S. Garnett Rd.)
No-cost, self-supporting residential in-house recovery program dedicated solely to helping adult men in the throes of addiction. 918-252-5739.

12&12, Inc. (6333 E. Skelly Dr.)
Provides detoxification, intensive residential treatment, outpatient and intensive outpatient treatment, counseling, transitional living, and sober living. Integrates medical oversight, psychiatry, nursing, counseling and case management. 918-664-4224.

Indian Health Care Resource Center Substance Abuse Treatment Services (550 S. Peoria Ave.)
Offers psychiatric service, recovery support services, referrals for medical detox, residential treatment, intensive outpatient treatment, and tobacco prevention and cessation services. Patient must complete an assessment before treatment. 918-588-1900.

Counseling & Recovery Servicesof Oklahoma (7010 S. Yale Ave. #215)
Provides treatment for all ages. Works with the justice system to provide treatment rather than incarceration. Offers people leaving prison support for re-entry to society. Outpatient opioid dependence treatment available. 918-492-2554.

Sitting with intention

Sitting meditation can reduce stress and improve concentration. Try it out at St. John’s Center for Spiritual Formation (5840 S. Memorial Dr., Ste. 305)

Daily Sittings | Monday mornings 7:30–8:15 a.m. | Saturday mornings & major holidays 9:00–9:45 a.m.

There is no instruction at daily sitting, but there is a schedule: 20 minutes of sitting followed by five minutes of walking meditation, then another 20 minutes of sitting. You may join in at any point, and the sittings are open to everyone. Donations are not requested, but they’re always accepted.

If you enjoy the sittings, you might be interested in The Center’s ongoing meditation classes (requires completion of the Foundations in Meditative Practice course: $85; sessions full through early February). Requested donation: at least $7 per class.

For more information: 918-663-4747 or sjcenter@intcon.net.

Photo by Greg BollingerRachel Calvert – Finding Balance Tulsa

Thai Yoga Bodywork is an ancient form of bodywork rooted in Buddhism, Indian Ayurveda, and Chinese medicine, with a focus on moving and balancing the energy throughout the body.

Rachel Calvert of Yoga Quest (3325 E. 31st St.) had been a schoolteacher for five years when her brother was diagnosed with cancer, and in the months following she noticed that what he needed most was to be touched and comforted—he wanted her to work on his pressure points.

“I realized later that he wanted me to touch his third eye,” she said. Her brother passed three months after being diagnosed, and Calvert left her work as a schoolteacher to become certified as a yoga instructor: “Through his death I found yoga.”

“People need to be touched; people need to be worked on with energy,” Calvert said. “Bodywork is my way of giving back to my brother.” Thai Bodywork is not to be confused with massage—it’s performed fully-clothed upon a soft mat on the floor. Calvert described this work as a combination of the benefits of massage, yoga, and bodywork. She calls it a “whole-body treatment,” involving movement, breathing, conscious touch, rhythm, and pressure. The client is mostly still throughout a session, which can run up to two hours.

Calvert is working on her certification in Reiki (energy work dealing with the body’s natural healing system) and osteopathic bodywork—she’s gathering “an umbrella of tools for people on the naturopathic side.”

To book, call Rachel at 918-513-2362. tulsayogaquest.com/thai-bodywork/

Photo by Freddie RoblesQ&A with Jake Crandall, owner of Okie CrossFit

TTV: How do you explain CrossFit to people who are unfamiliar with it?

Jake Crandall: It’s constantly varied, functional movements at a high intensity. The combination of weight-lifting, gymnastics, and monostructural—often referred to as cardio—exercises is where the perfect storm of fitness happens. You want to out lift a runner and outrun a lifter. In that middle, you will find the person that can do a cartwheel when they’re 80.

TTV: What are some misconceptions about CrossFit?

Crandall: One of the first things you hear about CrossFit is that you have to be in shape to do CrossFit. That’s a lie. I used to weigh 300 pounds. I know what it’s like to go through a crash-course diet or some 60-day gym blitz that just hurts and hurts and hurts. As fitness and as a lifestyle, neither is sustainable. I want your health to be sustainable and your fitness to be repeatable. I don’t want you to come for two days and then have to take a week off because you’re so sore. What we’re trying to do is just get you moving so that tomorrow you can move a little bit more.

The second misconception of CrossFit is you’ll get hurt. Injuries happen in all sports. When you’re competing in CrossFit, it can hurt. But 98 percent of people in CrossFit aren’t competing; they’re here to look good in a bathing suit and make sure their blood levels stay at a healthy range so their doctors don’t raise their eyebrows at them and say, “Hey, we gotta put you on all these meds.”

TTV: From starting with one gym in 2000 to more than 13,000 around the world now, why do you think CrossFit has exploded?

Crandall: All those things that people don’t get at the “globogyms”—Planet Fitness, Gold’s, things like that—we have. One, we have more instruction, so you can move safe, move well, and train without incurring an injury. And then we have the community. Nobody knows the names of people at globogyms. People walk on treadmills, they do some curls, they don’t know what to do, and they go home, feeling like a hamster. The intrinsic value in CrossFit is the instruction you get and the people—coaches and other members—who honestly care about you and want to help you reach your goals.

Okie Crossfit has two locations: one in downtown Tulsa at 409 E. 8th St., and one at 6511 E. 44th St. For more information on Okie Crossfit, visit okiecrossfit.com.

Yoga Quest

Tone, detoxify, relax, repeat. The benefits of hot yoga are many—and they’re quickly realized, a nice quality in our fast-paced world. You might balk at a 90-minute class, but your body (and mind) won’t. Ninety minutes in the heat feels like just enough time to get into the swing of a practice—and to shut out the rest of the world. Yoga Quest (3325 E. 31st St.), Tulsa’s first hot yoga studio, offers traditional Bikram-style and vinyasa hot yoga, as well as non-heated styles. Their Bikram series consists of the traditional two breathing exercises and 26 poses—all in 90 minutes and 105 degrees.

We’re not going to lie to you—hot yoga is pricy wherever you go. But at YQ they offer a “newbie package,” which gets you 30 days of yoga for $49, so you can test out how much you really love it before committing to the higher price point.

YQ is also more than a yoga studio, offering other wellness services and treatments like Ayurveda assessments, Feldenkrais practice, Thai Yoga Bodywork (see Rachel Calvert, this page), therapeutic massage, acupuncture, and more.

More information at tulsayogaquest.com.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

A healthy winter recipe

Serves 4–6

  • 2 medium acorn squash
  • ¾-lb sausage of choice, casings removed
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 3 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • ½-lb fresh or frozen kale, spinach, chard, or mustard greens
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 cup grated fresh parmesan (gruyere also works)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and lay face down in a pan. Put water into the pan until just covered. Roast squash until soft and tender, about 30-40 minutes.

While the squash is cooking, prepare the filling. Heat a large pan on high. Add olive oil. Add sausage when oil is glimmering. Cook sausage thoroughly, then remove from pan into a bowl or plate. Reduce heat to medium and add a little more olive oil to the pan. Add carrots, celery, and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly softened. Then add the minced garlic. Once fragrant, add kale and heat through. Add sausage back to the pan, then the stock, and reduce for 3–5 minutes.

Once the squash is cooked, carefully remove it from the oven. Transfer to another sheet pan, cut side up. Add filling to the squash, top with cheese, and broil until cheese is melted (or even a little browned). Serve immediately.

Note: You can use any vegetables you want in the filling. Leeks, zucchini, peppers, greens, etc. all work beautifully in this. You can also add grains (quinoa, millet, rice, sorghum) to the filling. Other types of squash, such as kabocha, red kuri, sweet dumpling, delicate, and spaghetti squash, will also work.

Apothecary Shoppe

With locations in South Tulsa, Broken Arrow, and at St. John’s Medical Center

“There’s a pill for that,” the old saying goes. At the Apothecary Shoppe, Tulsa’s only pharmacy with a singular focus on compounding medications, the saying might be true. Compounding is, put simply, the practice by which a pharmacy provides custom-order, personalized medications for patients. Compounding is necessary for many patients who require prescriptions in a dosage not otherwise commercially produced or who might need a medication in liquid form for swallowing or injection. If a patient is allergic to an ingredient, they can have a medication compounded to exclude the allergen. Medicines not currently on the larger market can be compounded. For all its practical uses, compounding can also be used to make medicine taste better. The Apothecary Shoppe compounds medications for podiatry, palliative care, dermatology, sports medicine, pain management, and even hormone replacement therapy for both men and women. The price of the medication depends greatly on the dosage and ingredients requested.  Visit apothecarytulsa.com for more information.

Tandy Family YMCA’s Healthy Table Nutrition Kitchen

The foundation of a healthy lifestyle is eating well. In addition to its pools, gyms, and exercise classes, the Tandy Family YMCA (5005 S. Darlington Ave.) offers a variety of cooking classes to show how a healthy diet can be easy and affordable.

The Healthy Table Nutrition Kitchen has five cooking stations, each with induction cooktops, sinks, disposals, and all the necessary tools and utensils, as well as a set of double ovens. The kitchen often uses fruits, vegetables, and herbs grown onsite.

Classes include everyday healthy cooking methods, medically-based programs designed to prevent diabetes and hypertension, and seasonal offerings, like classes on how to maintain a healthy diet among the many and varied potlucks and buffets so prevalent during the holiday season. Healthy Table also features several healthy recipes on its website. Visit ymcatulsa.org for more information.

What to eat in the chillier months

Sarah Cortese, registered dietitian at Reasor’s, says eating food that’s local and in-season is good for the wallet and the palate. Food grown locally is more likely to appear in stores during its peak season, which means it will taste better and be cheaper—and will have a better chance of not going to waste.

Nuts rich in healthy fats (like peanuts and pecans) and cooked vegetables/fruits high in Vitamins A and C (try winter squash, sweet potatoes, apples, and pears) are in season in the fall and winter and keep us warm and strong before flu season. OU Health Sciences Center provides some tips for selecting produce at the end of the year:

Winter squash: Select fully mature squash, indicated by a hard, tough rind. Also look for squash that is heavy for its size.

Sweet potato: Select firm, smooth, bright, uniformly colored skins, free from signs of decay.

Healthy finds for when you’re out and about

Skip the fast-food joints and head to one of these instead.

Chimera Cafe, located in the heart of the Arts District, offers an array of vegan, gluten-free, and locally-sourced foods. Try the Lily’s Special Salad. 212 N. Main St.

Pure Food and Juice on Brookside offers its customers raw menu items, meaning food not cooked above
118 degrees. Try a pitaya bowl. 3516 S. Peoria Ave.

Hi, Juice is a cold-pressed juice bar and smoothie shop located on Cherry Street offering grab-and-go juices and made-
to-order smoothies. 1548 E. 15th St.

The Whole Foods coffee and juice bar offers juice blends and smoothies. You can either pick a menu blend, like the Seafoam Greens (cucumber, spinach, celery, parsley, and apple), or build your own. 1401 E. 41st St., 9136 S. Yale Ave.

Nutrify Juice Bar & Cafe recently moved to South 34th Street and Peoria Avenue, offering customers juices, smoothies, and healthy breakfast items (try the blackberry banana oatmeal). For lunch, try the quinoa salad. 3409 S. Peoria Ave.

Big Al’s Heathy Foods has been keeping Tulsans healthy since 1972, offering subs, wraps, burritos, salads, smoothies, and juices—all fresh and made to order. The vegan veggie hummus grilled wrap is an all-around winner. 3303 E. 15th St.

Photo by Greg BollingerEdiblend Superfood Cafe

Ediblend Superfood Cafe looks and feels like an ice cream parlor: it’s inviting, has a walkup counter and well-lit menu, and the walls are covered in powder blue and white stripes. But the closest you’ll get to ice cream here is a frozen acai bowl topped with fresh fruit, granola, and a drizzle of honey.

Ediblend offers healthy, high-quality “fast food,” including plant-based meals, snacks, blends, and smoothies that can be made to order or purchased from their fridges. Ediblend also offers one-to three-day cleanses, but customers can also custom-build their cleanses, depending on their specific needs.

All of the blends are all-natural and vegan, with no added sugar, dairy, soy, gluten, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. They are anti-inflammatory, nutrient-rich, and high in fiber and antioxidants. Owners Piper Kacere, her husband, cardiologist Dr. Rich Kacere, and her sister Amy Murray avoid the juicing method, as it tends to leave out key nutrients by not utilizing the whole fruit or vegetable.

The cafe’s full menu can be accessed at ediblend.com, along with online ordering and a health and wellness blog written primarily by Dr. Kacere, who combines his expertise in the medical field with his passion for empowering people to make healthier decisions.  Dr. Kacere’s blog covers a wide range of topics, including plant-based living, the benefits of turmeric, and food fads.

Health Zone at Saint Francis

5353 E. 68th St. South

Health Zone is the kind of name you give something too large to be a gym. The Health Zone at Saint Francis offers members all the tools they’d ever need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Recumbent bikes, rowing machines, StairMasters, and “gauntlet-style” Stepmills allow for rigorous cardiovascular training, while the facility’s total-body circuit stations, weight-assisted pull-up and dip machines, and free weights are ideal for resistance trainers. The Health Zone also features racquetball courts and pools for swimming and other aquatic exercises. HZ members find themselves on the path to a healthier lifestyle, especially since the facility thoroughly assesses the fitness of every new member. This assessment includes a body fat analysis, strength and flexibility measurements, and screenings for blood pressure and risk factors. All of this is followed by private consultation and orientation sessions with a fitness specialist, where members can find the exercise plan that works best for them, whether they intend to build muscle, lose weight, or just generally stay active. Membership typically costs $64 per month, but family, senior, and corporate discounts are available.  


6564 E. 51st St.

H2Oasis, Tulsa’s largest float center, has four flotation rooms custom-built for “deep, deep, deep” relaxation. While the pools vary in size—some are enclosed pods, others full rooms—they all are 11 inches deep and filled with dissolved absinthe salt for a “weightless” effect on patients. For one hour, patients float in a nearly sense-deprived state, in a completely silent, dark room kept at skin-temperature. This helps patients achieve physical and mental relaxation many describe as unparalleled. The center’s pools match those of the Laureate Psychiatric Clinic & Hospital and can help treat not just anxiety or stress, but also physical pain, as they help the body straighten out and adjust in a way it can’t on dry land. The center also features an oxygen bar and tea shop and includes services like yoga, massage, and mediumship. A $55 monthly membership gets you exclusive deals and offers on all services. Non-members can arrange a one-hour float session for $70; $100 for a couple. The H2Oasis website offers a number of package deals for these services.

Photo by Greg BollingerIvy Norris encourages self-care during the holidays

Ivy Norris is a local holistic health practitioner working out of Neeman Chiropractic (4100 E. 51st St.). She teaches classes on essential oils, supplements, and self-care—of which she is a big proponent, especially during the holiday season.

TTV: Could you tell me a bit about your background?

Ivy Norris: I got a fast course in health when I was ill as a child. My chiropractor brought me a flyer for something called “Health Week with Dr. M.T. Morter, Jr.,” and I went to see him that week. He taught about nutrition, the power of forgiveness, and the B.E.S.T. technique I use now, which helps the body heal itself.

TTV: What is B.E.S.T.?

Norris: It’s Bio-Energetic Synchronization Technique. As a chiropractor, Morter looked at health essentials: what you eat, what you drink, how and what you breathe, movement and exercise, how you rest, and, most importantly, what we think. That became the foundation of the technique. It works with the body to change imbalance patterns and also with the subconscious. We’re the only species that keeps reacting to a stress even after the stressor is gone—part of us wants to understand the stress, physical or mental or emotional. And we haven’t been taught how and when to let go.

TTV: How do Tulsans respond to your work?

Norris: In the four years I’ve been here, I’ve seen a great open-mindedness. There’s a lot of heart here. And progress. I want to be a part of that. There’s hope—without hope we don’t go anywhere. Without imagination, we don’t change.

TTV: What are the highest hopes you have for your clients?

Norris: Self-awareness. The best thing we can do is get into a pattern of self-care, even if it’s five minutes a day. People shouldn’t wait for crisis. That way, when stress comes, they’re already at ease.

When we visualize doing something different and becoming healthier, we’re an active, giving part of society. I haven’t mastered it, but I have good tools. There are few real mistakes, as long as we learn and grow from them. It’s what we do most and where we dwell most that matters. I see time after time that the body is strengthened by the “glass is half-full” mentality.

TTV: Some people think of “self-care” as being selfish or indulgent. What’s your response to that?

Norris: I think of it as being responsible. When we’re sick, the world isn’t able to receive our unique gifts. We lead by example. Put yourself around people who support your strengths, not your weaknesses, to foster an empowered, healthy community. It’s a ripple effect. So many people don’t realize they count, and they do. All of us do.

And love is self, at the core. When we know this, it’s easier for us to honor our temple, our body.  And the more we listen to ourselves, that still small voice, the more we realize what we need. We honor everyone when we take care of the real need.

It’s an energy, time, and money-sucker to be sick. Suffering is something we all can do less of.

TTV: What are your self-care tips for this time of year?

Norris: This time of year, I think it’s important to alkalize—now is when the body gets filled with negative thoughts and junky, acidifying food. In my nutrition class, we had a section on vitamins and minerals we need, and on almost every page were dark green leafy vegetables. Compassion is an alkalizing mental attitude. We can’t learn in a place of diversity without it. It’s essential to a healthy community to quiet our mind, soften our heart, to receive another without judgment. A lot of that comes from our fears. Fear is very hard on the nervous system.

Hydration is so important. To help the body take in water, add fresh lemon, especially first thing in the morning. For best absorption, drink water a half-hour before eating. Warm water with a little raw apple cider vinegar—and raw local honey if needed—in the evening is also great. 

Consume probiotics—fermented foods or a good supplement—for plenty of friendly bacteria. Digestive enzymes are also helpful during the holidays, with richer and larger amounts of food. I encourage people to walk 200 steps after a meal, using slow, diaphragmatic breaths.

TTV: What inspires you and keeps you on track?

Norris: I listen to people who are awake. Like Esther Hicks, Brené Brown. There’s a time for Tony Robbins and Wayne Dyer and Oprah and Deepak [Chopra]. Eckhart [Tolle] really talks about the painbody and ego well. There’s always a bigger picture—if you can, step back when you’re feeling in despair about current affairs. Our being in despair doesn’t help. There’s a part of us that feels we have to feel bad to honor the atrocities, and that’s not true.

Photo by Morgan WelchTurkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area

6850 S. Elwood Ave.

Perhaps not quite a mountain—but certainly Tulsa’s favorite sizable hill—Turkey is comprised of 300 acres of undeveloped wood, located between I-44 and 71st Street. The forest is perfect for running and biking, but most use the park for hikes and nature-spotting. Hiking lowers the risk of heart disease, strengthens muscles, and increases bone density (a good thing, despite whatever you’ve heard about being big-boned). Hiking has also been shown to lower the risk of depression, raise quality of sleep, and, of course, burn a few extra calories—an average of 370 per hour for adults weighing 150 to 160 lbs. If you’re a long-term hiking enthusiast, or you’ve recently considered taking up the hobby, Turkey Mountain is a practical destination for you. The park is free and open to the public all year long.    

Cryotherapy at Tensegrity Chiropractic

5353 E. 68th St. South

Dr. Chris Barnes’s first cryotherapy session was in 2013, and by the end of that year his chiropractic office became the first in Tulsa to incorporate the therapy into their treatments. The Tensegrity Chiropractic clinic gets its name from architectural terminology: “tensegrity” refers to the nearly perfect balance and tension of a structure. The staff at Tensegrity finds cryotherapy effective in achieving perfect balance in the human body. Cryotherapy’s main benefits include a reduction in systemic inflammation, an increased metabolic rate (more calories burned), shortened recovery times, and pain reduction. Most cryotherapy patients are athletes; some only use the treatment during training season, while others use it year-round. Many are hesitant to try cryotherapy for the first time, because, Dr. Barnes admits, “It’s incredibly cold and uncomfortable.” Despite this, he argues that the pros far outweigh the cons, as therapy can “do wonders in helping with aches and pains.” Tensegrity’s treatment is priced at $25 per session (perk: the sixth is always free).   

Medical Marijuana

On November 6, 2018—or possibly June 26; keep an eye out, folks—Oklahomans will vote on State Question 788, the Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative. If it passes, Oklahoma could join the 29 states where marijuana is currently legal with a doctor’s prescription. The health benefits of cannabis and the economic benefits of taxed medical marijuana have been widely discussed (for the uninformed, the Cannabis Education Advocacy Symposium & Expo, next February in OKC, will be a good place to start). So we’ve decided to dedicate this space not to why to use it, but how.

From a health perspective, the best way to consume marijuana is to eat it. Though marijuana smoke has not been linked to lung cancer, smoke inhalation of any kind can inflame the respiratory system. Eating your weed not only helps avoid the negative aspects of smoking, our—ahem—research suggests ingestion yields more powerful and longer-lasting results than inhalation. Specific doses are also trickier to maintain through inhalation.

Most dispensaries carry edible THC in the form of various candies, tinctures, or even soft drinks, but the DIY approach is rewarding and opens the door to a world of possibilities. Cooking with cannabis has come a long way since the funky-tasting brownies of yore. A quick Google search will lead to countless recipes for patients of all needs and tastes, from season-appropriate sides you could conceivably sneak onto your Thanksgiving table (for a truly memorable family experience), to an undoubtedly drowse-inducing Marijuana Margarita, to classics like weed tea and the endlessly-adaptable cannabutter.

Start training now, and by the time medical marijuana is legal in our state, you could be a ganja gourmet.

Photo by Michelle PollardDid you know Reasor’s employs registered dietitians?

The internet is oversaturated with healthy-living tips and warnings, like studies saying coconut oil can kill you and that soy causes breast cancer. If the notion of trying to eat healthily is overwhelming, try relying on an expert from your own community—one you can visit in person—to evaluate your health needs and offer some advice.

Hayden James, a registered dietitian at Reasor’s, is one such person. She serves the Jenks and Owasso stores, providing one-on-one consultations, customized meal plans, and corporate wellness presentations, and helping Girl Scouts earn culinary badges. These services are out-of-pocket expenses, but Reasor’s fees are lower than average to meet the needs of the community.

Reasor’s also offers many free health initiatives for Tulsans, including pre-registered, monthly “shopping healthy tours” and the selection of dietitian-approved picks throughout the store, including healthy lunches from the deli—both of which can make healthy choices in the holiday season less daunting.

“I get a lot of questions and concerns during the holidays. I say, ‘Don’t fret, you aren’t going to throw your health goals under the bus, it’s what we’re doing consistently over time,’” said Hayden. “I love using winter squash, like acorn and butternut squash, to stuff with sausage and veggies. It’s a warm and hearty meal that’s also packed with nutrients, so that’s a nice holiday meal,” Hayden continued.

As for staying healthy on a busy schedule, Hayden said planning is key: “If you fail to prepare you prepare to fail, so [I suggest] meal planning and even just a little bit of meal prepping, chopping veggies or precooking some meat on your days off, so you can have meals or parts of meals come together quickly on the nights you need them the most.”

For more information, visit reasors.com/pharmacy/reasors-dietitians.

Photo by Greg BollingerLaFortune Park Tennis Center

Tennis is on the rise in Tulsa, and Lafortune Park Tennis Center (5302 S. Hudson Ave.) is growing with it. As a pay-to-play public facility, it has the amenities of a tennis club—two-dozen world-class courts, a pro shop, a USTPA Pro at the helm—without membership fees. An hour-and-a-half session on an outdoor court costs just $10—the same amount of time on an indoor court is $36. Outdoor lighting keeps the courts available until 10:30 p.m. on weeknights, and no reservation is required—just walk up and play. (Though, during winter months, the three indoor courts fill up fast, so call ahead. 918-496-6230.)

The facility also offers group and private lessons, cardio tennis classes, league play, and a regular schedule of tournaments and events, and it was named the 2016 USTA Missouri Valley Facility of the Year.

In September, the facility hosted the Bryan Brothers, the most successful tennis duo of all time, for a fundraiser that will help to add another six courts, three indoor and three outdoor.

Photo by Greg BollingerThe breath is the key

Tom Tobias teaches yoga, meditation, and breathing classes. We chatted about the benefits of breathing exercises—and why you should let go of caring about them.

TTV: Tell us about the private classes you offer.

Tom Tobias: I have a studio at home and I teach an hour class—that’s a country hour, like a country mile. It usually goes over, but only if that’s appropriate for the person. I do respect their time.

I emphasize pranayama breathing techniques and meditation. I just want to wake up and dissolve ego, as opposed to building it. The more physical aspects of yoga should move towards meditation, but the way around here—it isn’t really taught that way. It’s really exercise-y. What I’m doing interests some people but not many. We are habituated to be constantly entertained. And meditation is just the opposite of that. Pranayama [breathing] just supports mediation. It prepares you for it.

Each private class depends on the person. Some people need the breathing exercises because they’re stressed out. Often, they’re dealing with chronic anxiety—almost debilitating, sometimes. The breath is a great way in. Some people need stuff that’s more activating. I have had plenty of students who aren’t troubled with anxiety, per se; they are just looking for a deeper meaning.

TTV: Would you share a breathing technique?

Tobias: I want people to be able to do this on their own. I design a class with repetition. I am repetition-oriented for a lot of reasons. One of the biggest is that repetition sheds light on our restlessness, and restlessness is a big deterrent for many of us. Because you’re like, well what’s next? There’s nothing next. We’re doing the same thing to get deeper and deeper. It’s like digging a well in one spot instead of trying a little here and there. I want people to be autonomous, to be able to do this at home. I would be the most pleased if they were practicing at home.

Keep it simple and don’t bite off too much. A little bit every day, just five minutes, is far superior to an hour a couple of times a week. It’s about every single day.

First, observe your breath—meet your natural breath without any demands or insistence. Just let it be and watch it without getting in your own way. Then, for an actual technique: breathe through the nostrils for both the inhale and exhale, letting the in-breath be a natural length, whatever that might be. Then, let the exhale be at least twice that length. If you can, let the exhale expand longer than that, keeping the inhale that same natural count, without force or strain, but by actually relaxing and letting it open up. Doctors have done studies on that very breath [technique], and it does amazing physiological things. It really calms things down. Practicing that for five minutes would, over time, make one more and more in tune with the feeling
of being.

TTV: What are some of the benefits of practicing breathing exercises?

Tobias: So much of what people are looking for is benefit or effect. I can understand that. But when it comes down to it, that’s not what it’s about. It’s about being comfortable outside of circumstances. Most of us [think] it’s a good day when everything tallies, fitting in with our expectations. Like, I expect my body to be feeling this way, my associations with people to be comfortable and pleasant, that kind of thing. This isn’t about that. It’s not about getting your ducks in a row, everything falling into place on the outside, and then you’ll feel peace. What happens when you have an argument? Or you stub your toe? It’s about getting comfortable with where we are.

There are plenty of wonderful benefits, but the paradox is that the less focused you are on gaining something and getting some positive, pleasant benefit, the more you’ll get. 

Private classes are $60 for one hour. For more information, visit subtlebreathyoga.com.