Archive for October, 2011

By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer


Farmers Markets are typically outdoors. Image via Wikipedia

Did you know that you can get local produce and food stuffs year round at the Elgin Winter Market- A huge, heated indoor Winter Market in the hub of the Chicago suburbs! The heated Historic Warehouse is Handicapped Accessible and parking is free!

The Elgin Winter Market Objective’s is to sustain local producers and their laborers year round. The Winter Market aims to decrease the number of food miles from farm to table as well as to educate consumers about buying, storing and using produce during the winter. Vendors include the farmers market, antiques, collectibles, crafts, bakery, cheeses, spices, artwork, and more.

Market Days Saturdays:

Nov. 5,12,19, 26

Dec. 3,10,17,24,31

Jan. 7,14,21,28

Feb. 4,11,18,25

March 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31

Hours: 9AM-2PM

Admission: Free

166 Symphony Way, Elgin, IL 60120
For more info go to the Local Harvest website here.


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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

From the "Healthy is the New Skinny.com" Website

“Healthy is the new skinny!”  according to  Kate Halchishick in O magazine. In the article, plus size model and beauty Kate Halchishick allows herself to be photographed nude and then artists show what they would have to do to surgically alter her body to fit Barbie doll proportions. See full article here.

What a wonderful message for young women and even older women everywhere. I personally believe in a fitness focus over a fatness focus. By focusing on staying fit and healthy, your body will naturally become healthy and reduce fat content. But not in an extreme manner–in a realistic manner. Our bodies are all different. We start with our genetic code and then do what we can via our environment. For some people, like me, I can work out all day long and I will never become tall. Many people resort to plastic surgery to “correct” the body that their parents gave them through genetics. But this sets a disturbing trend for younger people. Bravo to Kate Halchishick for showing how absurd the body proportions of a standard Barbie Doll are to try to emulate. Check out the full article and pics on the Healthy is the New Skinny website here.

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

This study about woman who take supplements dying younger a good example of why it’s important to be research literate. This study does not show a casual link to taking supplements and early death. All it shows is a correlative link between woman who take supplements and die earlier. That’s like saying ice cream causes summer because more people eat ice cream in summer.

In this study, being trumpeted all over the web today, WebMB reports that “In a new study, multivitamins, folic acid, iron, copper, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin B6 supplements all increased an older woman’s risk of dying from any cause. The greatest risk was seen with iron supplements. Calcium supplements, however, seemed to reduce a woman’s risk of dying. The study, which appears in the Archives of Internal Medicine, was an observational trial, not a cause-and-effect trial. So it can’t say how, or even if, these supplements actually increase a woman’s chance of dying.

The results were gathered by woman filling out surveys. No actual medical examinations were done. And self reporting is known to be fairly inaccurate. Do you recall what you ate last Wednesday for lunch? If someone asked you to fill out a survey about your eating habits, would you be able to be 100% accurate? So why would an older woman answering a survey about taking vitamins.  Many commenters have asked if the study considered whether woman taking supplements already had health issues. Science Daily does  a better job of reporting the story. Their headline reads “Certain Dietary Supplements Associated With Increased Risk of Death in Older Women, Study Suggests” while WebMD’s headlines reads “Can Supplements Increase a Woman’s Risk of Dying?”

In reviewing the actual study, it appears that what the researchers did was simply compare the woman who took vitamins and woman who did not and determined who died earlier.  No other data was taken into consideration. Like overall health of the woman. The study did not take into account any other factors that may have caused earlier death. Like genetic predisposition to disease. Link to the actual study results here. At the same time, if fat ssoluable vitamins are taken in high doses, there can be adverse health effects. But this study didn’t mention that.

Citation: J. Mursu, K. Robien, L. J. Harnack, K. Park, D. R. Jacobs. Dietary Supplements and Mortality Rate in Older Women: The Iowa Women’s Health Study. Archives of Internal Medicine, 2011; 171 (18): 1625 DOI:

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

As part of my ongoing effort to let people know about the Wellness Club team at Whole Foods Market in Lincoln Park, I spoke with Heather Sulic, Wellness Club Team Leader and massage aficionado! I’ve been working with Heather closely these past few months and I must say, she really knows not only how to implement a good nutrition program, but also how to run a fun and active Wellness Club! Meet Heather and read more about her take on the Wellness Club and what is offered there.

Heather Sulic, Wellness Club Team Leader

1. Why did Whole Foods decide to open the Wellness Club at the Lincoln Park store?

We are piloting a Wellness Club in 5 stores throughout the U.S.  Lincoln Park was chosen because it’s a cutting edge store with a great space and loyal customer base.

2. Aside from nutrition classes, what other programs does the WC offer?

Our program offers everything you need for optimal wellness. In addition to nutrition, we educate members on lifestyle change and the psychology of eating habits.  Chef Katie will also teach you how to cook great-tasting healthy dishes. We also offer services to get you active and help you to slow down, whichever you need!  Each day we offer multiple fitness and yoga classes.  We also have massage on site–great for stress relief and pain management.  All of the classes are included in the membership and massage is offered at a discount for members, only $65 for one hour! And, members receive a 10% discount on about 4000 items throughout the store.
3. Can I take classes and get massages at the WC if I am not a WC member?

Yes, most of our services are available a la carte. Yoga classes are$15 a class for non-members, for example, and  massages for non-Wellness Club members are $80/hour.

5. Does the Wellness Club have a changing room?

Students can change their clothing to fitness gear in the men’s and women’s restrooms. For massages, clients can change in the massage room when the massage therapist steps out of the room before and after the massage.

6. I sweat a lot when I exercise. Does the Wellness Club have showers?

We don’t have showers or a locker room.  Our fitness classes are designed for increasing functional fitness-moving through a complete range of motion, building strength, working on core and stability.  We don’t offer cardio classes.  We do have a wide variety of fitness clubs in our local network though.  These businesses are offering discounts and free services for our members who’d like to get some sweating in too!

7. Where do I put my shoes, winter coat and stuff during yoga class at the WC?

Yes, we have cubbies for your shoes and a coat rack.

8. Do you have childcare at the Wellness Club? Some moms like to take fitness classes and get massages but have a toddler/baby etc.

We don’t have childcare services.  However, we will be featuring many classes that you can participate in with your child.  Cooking with Kids classes and Kids Movement classes will be starting soon.  And Kids Science Labs and Fantasy Kingdom, two kid friendly businesses nearby, would love to see your kids while you make use of our Wellness Club services.

9.  Is the WC program vegan?

The Wellness Club program is Plant Strong meaning we advocate eating predominantly whole or minimally processed plant foods.  However, we do have some meat and seafood items that are included in the discount program.

10. How do I get the 10% discount card? Is it free?

Membership includes unlimited classes (yes, yoga too!), discounts on massage onsite and discounts from local businesses in addition to the discount at Whole Foods Market.  For a limited time only memberships are available for a $1 start-up fee and only $49/month!

11. What could I expect from you as a coach to help me incorporate healthier eating into my current diet? How about fitness?

I’m really focused on finding out where you’re at now and what your goals are.  My job is to give you manageable steps to help you move from point A to point B with lots of stops along the way to celebrate successes.  When it comes to fitness, I’m passionate about explaining the “why” behind what you’re doing.  If you’re going to put the effort in, it makes sense to be getting the most bang for your buck.  Too often people spend a lot of time and energy at the gym and end up injured or discouraged because they don’t know how to work out properly. I want to help with that!

Who is Heather Sulic, Wellness Club Team Leader?

Heather has a degree in Secondary Education and has been teaching in various capacities throughout the 12 years that she has worked with Whole Foods Market.  She spent many years in Store Leadership and as a Human Resources Coordinator.  Heather is a Certified Personal Trainer and also holds a certification in Plant Based Nutrition from eCornell University.  Whether it’s one-on-one or in a classroom setting, Heather’s coaching focuses on thorough education and her goal is to help individuals excel in their healthy lifestyles.

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Where can you get unlimited yoga and fitness classes Chicago for $49 a month and $1 down? (Discount applies until November, 2011. Then the initial processing fee goes up.)

The Lincoln Park Wellness Club at the Whole Foods Market in Lincoln Park!

Whole Foods Market Wellness Club Yoga Room Equipment Awaits You In Lincoln Park

And how many yoga studios in Chicago also offer:

• Free cooking  and nutrition classes?

• A 10% discount on over 4000 items in the grocery store?

Last time I checked, none. And yes, I am a Wellness Club member. And happy to say I have already gotten discounts on my groceries, had several discounted massages and I am a  yoga  fan!

Stop by the Wellness Club at the Lincoln park Whole Foods Market at

1550 N. Kingsbury, Chicago, IL 60642

on the Mezzanine (Balcony) over the in store restaurants. You may just run into me there!

For more info, click here to go to the Wellness Club webpage.

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