05/07/14 6:00am
Kristin Sabat of Mattituck says, “We used cedar boards and 4x4s to frame it. There’s a brick floor that’s pitched to a drain in the middle that goes to a drywell. My husband and I use it every day from spring ’till fall unless it’s pouring rain.

Kristin Sabat of Mattituck says, “We used cedar boards and 4x4s to frame it. There’s a brick floor that’s pitched to a drain in the middle that goes to a drywell. My husband and I use it every day from spring ’till fall unless it’s
pouring rain.

What’s not to love? You’ve just come back sandy from the beach or dirty from tilling the soil or sweaty from hiking the local trails (actually, no excuse needed) and you’re grubby, so you jump in the shower — make that your outdoor shower.

You’re outdoors, with a view of the sky, the sun is shining (or the moon is gleaming) and warm water is running over you. What better way to clean off and just enjoy the moment? No muss, no fuss.

Last summer Times/Review Newsgroup’s three papers asked readers to submit photos of their outdoor showers — and the response was tremendous.

Read more on northforker.com.

02/20/12 10:30am

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTOGregory Heinz and Jennilee Morris in front of the 2 group La Marzocco Espresso Machine that they customized for Bonnie Jean's in Southold. The two will begin their Kickstarter campaign in February.

Besides hard work and a clear vision, what do the entrepreneurs of two small North Fork businesses — one in Southold and one in East Marion — have in common? Kickstarter. What? Yes, Kickstarter, the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects, according to its website, kickstarter.com.

The website states, “Kickstarter is powered by a unique all-or-nothing funding method where projects must be fully-funded or no money changes hands.

“Kickstarter is focused on creative projects … Every week, tens of thousands of amazing people pledge millions of dollars to projects from the worlds of music, film, art, technology, design, food, publishing and other creative fields.”

You may not have heard of this relatively new fundraising tool but it is probably only a matter of time before you become a potential donor. At some point your Inbox is likely to contain an email from a friend or relative updating you about this unique fundraising tool and possibly seeking a pledge.

As part of the program, rewards are given to family, friends and interested backers for donating a specific amount of money. The project creators set an amount of time they think they’ll need to accomplish their goals. If meet their goals in the time frame, they’ll receive the money. If a project doesn’t reach its goal, the donors will keep their money. Kickstarter takes 5% of the funds raised.

Fork & Anchor exceeds its Kickstarter goal

Having purchased the former Angel’s Country Store last fall, Fork & Anchor owners, Erin Fitzpatrick and Lucy Muellner, now call the general store in East Marion home. The two successfully used Kickstarter to expand and restore a 2,000 square foot barn on the property.

Lucy says, “Erin and I have been long time donors of Kickstarter and were really impressed with the wide range of creative projects that they fund. When we came to the North Fork looking for the right home for our own project, we knew that we wanted something that had additional space for storage and a place from which to distribute CSA (community supported agriculture).

When we came across Angel’s, we knew we found it. The space was perfect and there is a gorgeous early 1900s barn on the property. We had an inspector come and check it out and he said that it was in great condition, better than most he sees. Good news for us, and this is where the Kickstarter idea began.

“The way Kickstarter works is that you send in your project idea to the Kickstarter board and with a few emails back and forth, they either accept or pass on your idea. They want projects that they feel will get funded and that they also believe in. As advised by Kickstarter, we made a short video so that people could understand our vision and see the space that we were raising the money for. Our goal was $10,000 to help renovate the barn for a CSA pickup, storage and a possible community space. Our project was up for 22 weeks and we were overwhelmed with the support of friends, family and strangers. Not only did we exceed our goal, but we have met some wonderful people who have supported us and who live in the community. We loved the experience and would recommend it to anyone starting a business and who needs some extra financial help.

“Part of our goal for Fork & Anchor is to help build a healthy community, keeping all the staples that our existing customers rely on and also focusing on the abundant agriculture around us. We will be adding fresh fruit and vegetables in the season, with local dairy products, eggs and meat as well. Some of which will only be available through the CSA.”

Donors are rewarded for taking part

Project creators inspire potential donors to pledge by offering smart, fun and tangible rewards. Rewards offered at different pledge levels by Fork & Anchor were: For a $25 pledge, a cozy Fork & Anchor t-shirt and a custom created postcard by local Greenport artist Cindy Pease Roe; for $100 or more, a Fork & Anchor tote bag with two homespun products, a Fork & Anchor pin and a custom yo-yo; for a pledge of $1,000 or more, a tasting and tour for four at a local winery with a lunch catered by Fork & Anchor, a Fork & Anchor t-shirt, a custom yo-yo and a Fork & Anchor pin.

Long Island Coffee Roasters — Using Kickstarter to help realize their dream

Jennilee Morris and Greg Heinz are launching their Kickstarter campaign in February. Jennilee says, “Greg and I have been roasting and wholesaling coffee for the last three plus years. We were introduced to it and started out of Love Lane Kitchen in Mattituck where I was the general manager. After two years of roasting out of the kitchen we decided to take it to the next level and scrounged up every dime we had to buy our own roaster and launch our own small-batch coffee business, Long Island Coffee Roasters.”

Jennilee says that since then the two have slowly built up their coffee business, using every dime they had and never taking a bank loan or borrowing from anyone. Greg single handily remodeled their garage to accommodate roasting production. Jennilee says, “It’s quite challenging to start a business that way but it’s possible with a little elbow grease and a lot of patience. “

That same year, the opportunity to buy the Country Corner Cafe in Southold came along. “I fell in love. I swear it’s all I could think about, day and night. Mind you, I had just spent every penny I’ve ever saved in my 10-plus years in the restaurant industry on a coffee roaster. How could I possibly buy a restaurant? What bank would give a 27-year-old that kind of money? Not these days.

That’s when the most beautiful people to ever grace my life stepped in. My friends. My family. All modest, blue collar, hard working people willing to lend me their savings. So with that and a little more financial creativity Bonnie Jean’s was born.

“As much as it seems I started going in a different direction than our coffee venture, the restaurant was just what the coffee company needed. An outlet. A place to showcase Long Island Coffee Roasters. We won Best Coffee in Dan’s Papers Best of the Best this year. However, the restaurant is limited in what we can do on the coffee end. We have so much more to offer with our original blends and different brewing methods.”

Kicking into gear

With obvious pride, Jennilee says, “Greg is part artist, part scientist when it comes to coffee. Unfortunately he continues to work two full-time jobs. Carpenter by day, coffee roaster by night. Last summer we were fortunate to learn that the charming old house next to the restaurant was for lease at a very reasonable price and zoned commercially. It was a no-brainer. We move the coffee roasting facility to a proper home in Southold and Greg can finally build the coffee house he dreams of and give the North Fork the expertly crafted coffee it so deserves.

“Of course all of this costs money. Up until now we have gotten so far on our own without dealing with banks. Thinking that we had proven our capabilities we applied for a loan. Denied. Not enough this. Not enough that. Sorry.

“We come from humble families. What we have is guts, talent, drive and a burning desire to give this world everything we have to offer. Which are basically the credentials for a Kickstarter Campaign. It doesn’t matter where you come from. It’s where you are going. It’s what you have to offer the world. Kickstarter levels the playing field for everyone. It lets real people vote for what they want to support, not big banks and corporations. It’s personal, it’s community support, it’s having a voice in who deserves a shot at their dream. It’s opportunity meets preparation. It’s about pushing through, being resilient and following your dream. Does it work? I’ll let you know in a few months.

“Until then, I know it has worked for others. There are many success stories. Kickstarter is just one more parallel to prove true one of my favorite quotes, by Napoleon Hill: ‘You can do it, if you believe you can.’ ”

This story was published in this year’s Annual Report, the current issue of the Riverhead-News Review. Pick up a newsstand copy before Thursday.

[email protected]

01/10/11 11:56am

Ah, sweet sleep! For the fortunate, a good night’s sleep comes easily, tossing and turning is unfamiliar and sweet dreams flourish. As soon as your head hits the pillow you’re out like a light, sleep like a baby and wake up well rested. How did you sleep last night? Like a rock!

But for others, these cliches are, shall we say, a dream and no laughing matter. Living in a 24/7 society with financial worries; job stress; the Internet, e-mail and cell phones beckoning; increasing demands on our time; a host of everyday apprehensions and actual sleep disorders, a good night’s sleep has become an elusive goal for some 30 to 40 million people — one with serious consequences.

Sleep Matters
Sleep affects how we look, feel and perform on a daily basis and can have a major impact on our overall quality of life. Sleep is not a luxury, it is a necessity. Chronic sleep deprivation significantly affects one’s well-being and people who do not get enough sleep are at greater risk for a number of diseases and health problems. Interestingly, many of us are sleep deprived without knowing it. According to most experts — and despite the claims of such high-powered personalities as Martha Stewart — six hours or less of sleep a night is not enough. (See “How Much Sleep Do We Need” for optimal sleep hours.)

Lack of sleep has consequences that go way beyond just “feeling drowsy.” If you go about your day feeling energetic and alert, you are probably meeting your sleep needs. However, you are probably lacking sleep if you are showing any of the following signs or symptoms:

• Irritability, moodiness
• Inability to cope with stress
• Weight gain
• Fatigue, lethargy
• Social ineptness
• Memory loss
• Inability to concentrate
• Frequent colds and infections
• More errors at work
• Reduced efficiency and productivity
• Accidents
• Impaired judgment
• Reduced coordination and reaction time

Sleep and Chronic Diseases
The cost of insufficient sleep is much greater than people realize. Studies have shown that people who consistently fail to get adequate sleep are at greater risk for chronic disease. Interest in the role of sleep in the development and management of chronic diseases has grown, as these diseases have assumed an increasingly common role in premature death and illness. Notably, insufficient sleep has been linked to the development and management of a number of chronic diseases and conditions, including:

• Diabetes
• Cardiovascular disease
• Obesity
• Depression

Treating sleep as a priority may be an important step in preventing a number of these chronic medical conditions.
Sleep Disorders

While most of us lose sleep occasionally for a variety of reasons, many suffer from sleep disorders that profoundly affect their ability to get a good night’s sleep. Some of the major sleep disorders are:

• Insomnia—The most common disorder, characterized by an inability to initiate or maintain sleep.
• Narcolepsy—Excessive daytime sleepiness combined with sudden muscle weakness. The sudden muscle weakness seen in narcolepsy may be elicited by strong emotion or surprise. Episodes of narcolepsy have been described as “sleep attacks” and may occur in unusual circumstances, such as walking and other forms of physical activity.
• Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)—RLS is characterized by an unpleasant “creeping” sensation, often feeling like it is originating in the lower legs, but often associated with aches and pains throughout the legs.
• Sleep Apnea—Snoring may be more than just an annoying habit; it may be a symptom of sleep apnea. People with sleep apnea characteristically make periodic gasping or “snorting” noises, during which their sleep is momentarily interrupted.

A sleep disorder can affect your overall health, safety and quality of life. With accurate diagnosis, doctors can treat most sleep disorders effectively.

Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
—Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin got it right. Getting a good night’s sleep, night after night, is restorative and vital to overall good health and well-being. Studies have shown that without enough sleep, a person’s ability to perform even simple tasks declines dramatically. Sleep affects how we look, feel and perform on a daily basis.

Make sleep a priority. Just as you schedule time for work and other commitments, you should schedule enough time for sleep. Instead of cutting back on sleep in order to tackle the rest of your daily tasks, put sleep at the top of your to-do list.
The average person spends one-third of their lives sleeping. Far from being “wasted time,” sleep plays a direct role in how full, energetic and successful the other two-thirds of our lives can be.

Sweet dreams!
General sources: webmd.com, cdc.gov/sleep, mayoclinic.org

01/03/11 11:56am

ANASTASIA LOPER PHOTO | Zumba with fitness instructor Jill Schroeder at Southold Elementary School. Click to see video

Laurel and Hardy, peanut butter and jelly, milk and cookies, fun and fitness — whoa, wait a second! Fun AND fitness? No way, you say. Can children and adults really get fit while having fun? You bet! While many of us are toiling away on the elliptical machine, pounding on the treadmill, peddling to nowhere on the stationary bike, jumping for joy in an aerobics class or jogging in the early morning light (all great ways to exercise, by the way), many other exercisers are getting fit in more unusual and, quite possibly, more fun ways.

You don’t have to bypass the gym, most of which offer personalized training and an array of classes to try. But why not mix it up? Also try some of the offerings at libraries and recreation centers and dance, martial arts and fitness studios. And let’s not forget your own backyard, neighborhood parks and trails and even your TV — with your pick of fitness channels, exercise DVDs, Wii Fit and other video fitness games for all ages. The choice is yours.

Why Exercise?
But why exercise at all? And who cares if it’s fun; just get the job done, right? To some extent. But sometimes just adding something new and different to our routine sparks a renewal of energy and gets us out of our exercise rut.

Nancy Kouris of Planet Fitness says: “The best thing you can do for yourself is regular exercise. For a small investment of time and effort, you can sleep better, manage your weight and have more energy to do the things you enjoy. As an extra bonus, you’ll improve the way you look and feel about yourself. And when you feel good about yourself, all kinds of good things happen. Your confidence goes up, you can handle everyday stressors much more easily and you even may find your sex life improves.

“Exercise can help with chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and high blood lipids, sometimes allowing exercisers to reduce or eliminate their medications,” Ms. Kouris continues. “Regular strength workouts help maintain muscle, which starts to diminish at age 25. As we age, we lose our strength, power and flexibility, so add in regular stretching.

“The big question is always how much exercise do I need?,” she adds. “General guidelines for healthy adults are to get at least 30 minutes of vigorous cardiovascular exercise three to five days per week. You should break a sweat and get your heart rate up, but still be able to talk. Add in two weekly strength workouts with at least 10 exercises to hit all the major muscle groups, finish with 10 to 15 minutes of stretching, and you’ll be on your way to better health and vitality.”

For those trying to lose weight, Ms. Kouris advises: “You may need up to 60 minutes of exercise four to six times per week. As always, check with your doctor before starting any exercise program. Seek out help from fitness professionals if and when you need it. They will show you correct form, give exercise suggestions and help you make your way around the fitness facility.”

Getting children involved in exercise is vital. Terry Walker at Fun-N-Fitness, a Southold exercise studio for children and adults, says: “Adults, and especially parents, need to be positive role models for children when it comes to exercise, lifestyle and proper nutrition. Children will mimic the eating and exercise patterns of those around them. Exercise for children plays an essential part in the growth and development stages. When children get plenty of exercise, studies have shown they do better in school, are more confident and are less likely to be involved in drugs or alcohol even later in life.”

Ken Reeves, recreation supervisor of the Southold Town Recreation Department, points out: “Recreation opportunities are a part of the underlying fabric of a community. They give groups, families and individuals the wholesome places and activities that are key to a true sense of community. We are always looking for new programs and activities to offer our town residents and encourage potential instructors to contact the recreation department. Participants benefit in a number of ways from these exercise programs, including, but not limited to: Improving health and wellness, building self-esteem, reducing stress, providing opportunities for learning and living a more balanced, productive life and having the chance to socialize and meet new people.”

The New Face of Fitness
Enjoying fitness is the key to keeping exercise a part of your life.

And just what are some fun and different ways to work exercise into your day?

Among the offerings from Southold Town Recreation Department:
• Hula Hooping. A low-impact way to shape and tone; strengthens the body’s core muscles and enhances cardiovascular health.
• International Folk Dancing. Learn folk dances from England, Ireland, Greece, Poland, Russia and Israel while getting a great workout.
• Belly Dancing. Reduce stress and rejoice in your feminine self through this ancient art. Learn the basics of Middle Eastern dance while working every part of your body.
Included among the many Town of Riverhead Recreation Department offerings:
• Hip-Hop Dance. Dance to the modern hip-hop beat!
• Mommy and Me Fitness. Moms enjoy a floor Pilates class while the kids enjoy a light cardio-mix workout, finished with fun on the silks. Get a great workout while teaching your kids the value of exercise and health.
• Mommy and Me Yoga. Nurturing the bond between parent and child while increasing physical activity and releasing stress with new techniques.

Ancient Art Forms

Then there are the ancient art forms of yoga, tai chi and qi gong. Denise Gillies, who offers tai chi and qi gong classes at several locations, notes: “This is an ancient form of Chinese exercise that combines fluid movement, visualization and meditation to activate self-healing properties. This practice is beneficial for all ages and levels of physical fitness. It promotes an overall sense of well being and inner peace through reducing stress, strengthening the immune system and improving mental focus and concentration. Qi gong combines deep breathing techniques with easy-to-follow movements and a series of flowing tai chi forms. I believe this practice would be very beneficial for teenagers and a very positive experience for parents and children to share.”

Lynne Wentworth, who teaches yoga at Eastern Sun Holistic Health in Southold and Mary H. Smith Recreation Center in Greenport, says: “Wonderful yoga is a practice adaptable to all ages. Both young and mature students benefit from the conscious breathing exercises that form the foundation of yoga practice. Children are intrigued by the animal-pose names and find a special joy in doing the pretzel-shaped postures. Adults are grateful for the centering, mind-calming effects of yoga’s flowing and dance-like, slow-motion movements. The elderly especially benefit from the balancing poses, which help to increase strength, stability and confidence. Everyone finds satisfaction in meditation, which creates a feeling of ‘coming home’ to experience a deep sense of inner peace.”

Aerial Fitness and So Much More
You won’t find any old, bulky equipment at Aerial Fitness in Riverhead. April Yakaboski, owner and instructor, says, “Women find the classes here motivating and personalized. They all bond with each other, share experiences and motivate each other. The studio is filled with great energy and positive attitudes.” Ms. Yakaboski started with hot yoga, advanced to TRX and has added hot pilates.

Classes such as TRX suspension training, developed by the navy seals, are the most popular year-round. It challenges your body in ways equipment never can, giving you results almost immediately. The winter favorite is hot yoga. Practicing yoga in this 105 degree heated room allows for deeper stretches and length in muscles.  It feels great and the benefits are endless. Aerial yoga is another favorite. “I love the aerial yoga, I feel fantastic with no aches or pains that I previously had from arthritis and lymes disease,” says member Luan Fuhs. Other class favorites are:  aerial fit, Bosu step, bootcamp, cardio kickboxing, aerial meditation and seasonal workshops such as Zumba and Sexy Fit Classes for Women.

Dance the Night Away
Dancing is a unique form of exercise because it provides the heart-healthy benefits of aerobic exercise while also allowing you to engage in a social activity. A combination of physical activity, social interaction and mental stimulation, dancing enhances your life in so many ways. Whether it be ballroom dancing — fox trot, waltz, swing, rumba, cha-cha, tango, etc. — or other forms of dance, dancing has a way of brightening one’s day.

Karissa Reese Despres of North Fork Academy of Dance in Cutchogue says: “Dance is one of the most normal forms of exercise; all over the world, people are dancing. Not only is dance a fun form of exercise but it’s great for cardio and strength training. It keeps kids moving and excited about different forms of art. Hip-hop has gotten really popular and the boys love coming to class. Our class is challenging, fun — and boy, do we sweat!”

Why not try tap dancing, a popular activity for both adults and children? Gail Benevente and Adam Baranello of A&G Dance Company say: “Tap dance is terrific for the body because of its intricate steps that requires stabilizer muscles to work, as well as your legs and core. Once you get moving, it also becomes cardiovascular. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, it’s a great way to exercise! It also keeps your mind sharp. You have to tap on beat, remember a lot of technique, and it challenges your coordination as well as memory. It’s beneficial for children and adults for all of these reasons.”

Alfonso Triggiani, director of Touch Dancing Studio and dance director for the “Shall We Dance” program offered by the Southold Town Recreation Department, promotes ballroom dancing as a fun way for singles and couples to keep fit. Noted as a “champion of real dancing for real people,” Mr. Triggiani asks what could be more fun than learning the Argentine tango, hustle, disco and Latin-style dance.

One of the hottest new crazes offered throughout the North Fork is Zumba (see video). Jill Schroeder, a certified personal trainer who became licensed to teach Zumba three years ago, says: “Zumba is a Latin-inspired dance-fitness class that incorporates international music and dance-fitness movements. What you can expect in my class is an hour of heart-pumping music, calorie-burning moves and a party-like atmosphere. The energy that fills the room is exhilarating. So many people have told me that they hated to work out or were bored by their current fitness routine, but because of Zumba, they have begun exercising again and feeling better about themselves.

“Zumba is truly a different way to work out,” Ms. Schroeder adds. “The blend of music, cardio and strength-training elements never leaves a dull moment. If you look around the room, everyone is smiling, sweating and burning some major calories. What’s great about Zumba is that you can make it your own, or modify steps if need be. Everyone is different and Zumba gives you that freedom to bring your workout to a level that’s comfortable for you. So, if you need to keep it low impact you can, or if you want to go all out, you can. There’s no limit to Zumba!”

There are many other ways to work exercise into your life. Check with your doctor before you begin any exercise program; listen to your body; and however and wherever you decide to exercise, remember to mix it up, crank up the music and to have fun!

Editor’s note: The annual Health and Fitness guide will be included as a supplement in the Jan. 6 issue of The Suffolk Times. This story will be featured in that supplement.