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Herbalist Lori Vashaw shares her healthy habits

By Samantha Quisgard
Contributing writer

Who she is: Lori Vashaw, 46, of Oswego is certified herbalist and owner of Riverview Wellness Center in Oswego.

What she believes: “Wellness is a choice. Every person can become their personal best through proper care of the body, diet and exercise.

“We all have genetic predispositions to disease, however, many family health trends improve with changes in lifestyle.”

What she eats: “I’m gluten intolerant, so I follow a gluten-free diet with lots of vegetables, good fats and some fruit. When I eat grains, they are gluten-free and in moderation.

“One of the biggest problems in the typical American diet is the amount of carbohydrates that people are consuming. I don’t eat any sugar. I drink lots of water. When it comes to meat, I try my best to eat organic and lean meats, and I eat lots of wild-caught fish.

“It’s so much fun to run into my clients in the grocery store or a restaurant. They always look in my cart or on my plate to see what I’m doing. I have found that in my profession, you need to be your best client. Your clients only do what you are willing to do.”

What she does for exercise: “I love to walk. When the weather permits, I walk 20 to 25 miles per week outside. I put on my sneakers and my iPod, and off we go.

“When the weather doesn’t permit me to walk outside, I practice yoga. I have some DVDs that I use, and I go to Bikram, hot yoga. Bikram is a 90-minute yoga practice in a 105-degree room at approximately 30 percent humidity. Yes, it is intense, but I love this too.

“In years past, I also have used other tapes and DVDs, and for many years I did ‘The Firm.’ I only do exercise that I enjoy so it never feels like work, and it’s so good to help reduce stress.

“I tell my clients to find some physical activity that they enjoy and go as often as they can. This can be any activity that lasts for 45 minutes or more — dance, swim, yoga, Zumba, treadmill, free weights, anything that is fun. Keep your exercise routine fun and you will always look forward to it.”

One challenge: “Fitting in everything I love to do. Twenty four hours in a day goes pretty fast when you have a business, family, friends, exercise, shopping, cooking, etc.

“I sit down every weekend and make a plan for the week. This would include all the things
that I need to do for work, family, etc. Next, I map out time for exercise. Then I plan our meals so that I can shop for the week and be prepared. Most weeks go pretty smoothly when you have a plan. After time, it becomes a habit which makes getting it all done much easier.”

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