Whole Health Healing Academy

Whole Foods Healing Class  

(Please forgive this post being all jumbled together.  It does not want to let go of the word formatting. Technology!)

cooking class

POTSDAM, NY -- The Local Living Venture is working in cooperation with Hands On Health Holistic Healing in launching a Whole Health and Healing Academy for individuals interested in gaining a well rounded knowledge of holistic health issues.

Classes are designed to enhance personal health and inspire confidence in the ability of our bodies to heal itself through good nutrition

- which also means "eat yummy food!"The "academy" will commence in September, but this Spring they will jump start the sessions with 2 classes to pave the way for more sessions in the Fall.

Attendees who successfully complete a certain number of sessions will receive a Certificate of Accomplishment for their personal resume and will take advantage of this opportunity to put health and healing into your hands.

All are welcome to attend if they desire to create vibrant personal health.

  Employers are especially encouraged to send staff members, to reduce and eliminate health issues and insurance costs.  Employers themselves are welcome as well; to enhance their health, providing leadership.  Also welcome are health care workers who wish to learn more about prevention and self-responsibility in health and healing.

The two kick-off sessions are as follows:

"Whole Foods to Heal Everybody and Every Body Cell"

covers: what are whole foods, why it's important to eat them, how to make changes in your life including the why’s of eating seasonally and locally, and how eating whole foods will heal your body from the cellular level.Join in with your questions on 

Wednesday, May 21, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Potsdam Community Room

, located above the police station, behind the public library - park in the lot next to the fire station or street parking on Main St.

The second in the series is entitled "White Sugar Blues"

and covers what sugar is, the forms of sugars, why it is so addicting, how sugar is damaging to body, how to truly kick sugar out of your life, and ways to add “sweetness” to your life without adding sugar. 

Wednesday, June 11, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., also at the Potsdam Community Room

next to the public library.All classes in the ongoing series are 1-1/2 hours long and include a slide show that will also be emailed to all participants  as well as various  educational handouts.  Follow up information will be tailored to also address the health needs of participants in the session.

Pre-registration is suggested, $20 general admission, $10 student, for material fees and to benefit Local Living Venture workshop creation.  A discount will be offered for attendees who register for the full Whole Health and Healing Academy series.

Contact 315-347-4223 orLocalLivingVenture@gmail.com for details and to register in advance (not required, but suggested - first come, first served.)  All upcoming events may be viewed on the website at www.LocalLivingVenture.org by clicking through to the website for the Workshops / Events page.

Instructor Paula Youmell, RN, MS, CHHC is a NYS licensed Registered Nurse,  author & blogger, Certified Holistic Health, Nutrition & Fitness Counselor, Certified Herbalist, Reiki Master, NYS Licensed Health and Physical Education teacher, and Yoga teacher.  Through her private practice, Hands On Health Holistic Healing in Potsdam, NY, Paula Youmell supports people on their path to whole health and healing and can be found on the web at www.HandsOnHealthHH.com.

The Local Living Venture (LLV) coordinates near-weekly resourceful Living Skills Workshops promoting traditional rural and simple living skills as part of their vision for an even more capable community.  Listings of other upcoming workshops and events can be found on the Workshop Schedule page by clicking through to the current site at www.LocalLivingVenture.org.

me and chelle

Upcoming Workshops at the Yoga Loft

Healthy Eating Brown Bag Lunches...  Two more to go!

a series of interactive workshops, 12noon-1:00pm April dates listed below $10 each or use your class card

Bring your healthy lunch & learn while you eat        RSVP  265-0961

Paula Youmell, Certified Holistic Health Counselor & Coach and author, will focus on the following Healthy Eating topics:

April 23: Natural Foods Know-How. An information session on how to know what foods really are natural and not just marketing. Real food not food hype. April 30: White Sugar Blues. What sugar is, forms of sugars, why so addicting, how sugar is damaging to body, how to butt kick sugar out of your life, ways to add “sweetness” to your life without adding sugar.


Jackie FosterWorkshop Introduction to Ayurveda: Self-Care Practice with Jackie Foster of Saranac Lake May 3, 1:00-3:30pm $25, payable at the door To register, email jackie@roadrunner.com or phone 518-339-3008

Ayurveda is often called the sister science of yoga. It teaches practices for a healthy life-style determined by your unique physical, mental and emotional constitution (Dosha). The afternoon includes:

•Self-assesment to determine your constitution •Daily self-care practices to heal physical/mental/emotional imbalances •Yoga postures and breath work suitable for each constitution •Take home sample of Ayurvedic oil


Margaret MartinWorkshop:  Yoga for Better Bones: Fundamentals of Osteoporosis with Margaret Martin of Ottawa, Ontario May 17, 1:00-3:00pm $30, payable at the door To register, email info@yoga-loft.org or leave a message with Ellie at 315-347-2401

This workshop focuses on osteoporosis fundamentals for yoga teachers and yoga students. Teachers will learn how to support students in stimulating bone strength and preventing injury. Yoga student will be empowered with the knowledge they need to ensure they are practicing Yoga without increasing their risk of a fracture.

Margaret is the recipient of the 2011 Award of Distinction from the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario for her achievements with MelioGuide and her significant contributions promoting Osteoporosis education and awareness with her fellow Physiotherapists, her clients and the broader community.

Healing Health House Parties

Health & Healing Home Party  

What better space to learn health and healing and start the process of taking responsibility for your health back into your own hands... in your own home!

Gather like minded family and friends and invite me over.  Together we create a Health and Healing Home Party to fit your group's unique needs.

It is as easy as that!

Workshop Topics:  (Feel free to create your own ideas and we will put together an inspiring, learning experience!)

  1. Healing with Whole Foods:  What is whole food, why eat it, how to make changes in your life including the why's of eating seasonally and locally, and how eating whole foods will heal your body from the cellular level.  This workshop is the launch point for all work on healing. I suggest starting here.
  2. Natural Foods Know How:  An information session on how to know what foods really are natural and not just marketing.  Real food not food hype.
  3. Healthy Menu Prep: How to prep healthy meals for the week, how to shop for healthy foods.  Shopping and eating seasonally and locally.
  4. Healing with Herbs:  Common herbs for simple healing at home, antimicrobial use, herbal preparations, adding nourishment to your lifestyle.
  5. Herbal Preparation:  A more in depth and hands on class in making several types of herbal preparations based upon the individual or group’s desire to learn.
  6. Gluten Free Eating & Loving It:   Many people find that they are unable to tolerate the proteins found in gluten-containing grains.   We’ll discuss the basics of the gluten free diet, how to do it in a healthy and easy manner, how to avoid hidden gluten and cross contamination, and cleaning out the kitchen of gluten products and flours.
  7. Facial Rejuvenation:  Anti-aging based around whole foods, high mineral herbs, lotion, essential oils, and facial energy work.
  8. Detox Nourishment Diets:  What they are, why they work, how to implement simple and more involved nourishing detoxes.
  9. Divine Weight Loss:  Accessing your divine inner self to get past the "stuck" points and heal around food and weight issues.
  10. Gut Health:  What creates and destroys healthy gut micro-organisms,  how to optimize diet and lifestyle for top notch gut and whole body health.
  11. The Benefits of Exercise: Exercise provides multiple benefits.  Learn how simple, every day movement can increase your vibrant energy and healing in every body system, right down to the cellular level!
  12. Proteins, Carbs & Fats:  What they all are, why we need them, and where to get them (healthiest food choices).  
  13. Give Sugar the BUTT Kick!: What sugar is, forms of sugars, why so addicting, how sugar is damaging to body, how to butt kick sugar out of your life, ways to add “sweetness” to your life without adding sugar.
  14. Perfecting Posture for Pain Free Motion:  Why, how, when…. In everything we do sitting / standing / mowing /vacuuming / etc.  Yoga poses to enhance posture, open space between vertebrae, proper bending.
  15. Maternal Child Nutrition and Health:  My years of Maternity Nursing experience shine here as we talk about how to best holistically care for mom and babe during pregnancy and beyond.
  16. Healing the Feminine Divine: Holistic health from the Wise Women’s perspective around menarche, infertility, fertility, birth control, menstrual products, female sexuality, pregnancy, breast feeding, peri–menopause, and menopause - "the Wise Women Crone".  Workshops are created for the unique needs of the group around these feminine divine topics.
  17. Reiki Energy Healing:  Reiki Certification Classes: Level 1, 2 & 3
  18. Chi - Life Force Energy Healing  Learn about the chakras, meridians, and life force energy in your body.  Learn how to access the energy through yoga, acupressure, massage, reiki, and other forms of body work – energy healing techniques to prevent and heal disease.

Healthy Eating Brown Bag Lunches at The Yoga Loft

yoga loft

Healthy Eating Brown Bag Lunches:

A series of interactive workshops, 12 noon-1:00 pm

April dates listed below

$10 each or use your Yoga Loft class card

yoga loft ad

To register: pyoumell@gmail.com, or 315-265-0961                                         (do not use the phone # on the above ad)

Bring your lunch and learn while you eat!

Brown Bag Lunch Healthy Eating topics:

April 2: Whole Foods. What is whole food, why eat it, how to make changes in your life including the why's of eating seasonally and locally, and how eating whole foods will heal your body from the cellular level.

April 9: Divine Weight Loss. Wellness not weight loss in food choices, crowding out mindless eating, adding in healthy options.

April 23: Natural Foods Know-How. An information session on how to know what foods really are natural and not just marketing. Real food not food hype.

April 30: White Sugar Blues. What sugar is, forms of sugars, why so addicting, how sugar is damaging to body, how to butt kick sugar out of your life, ways to add “sweetness” to your life without adding sugar.

Finding the Yoga Loft space:

It is at the new Yoga Loft location, Maple Wood campus on outer State Street, Canton. If you pull in there, you can go either straight or right, once into the "campus". You will see there is a yoga loft sign and arrow pointing to the right, go right. Park in the lot in the front of the main entrance (big awning) and go in the main entrance. The lady at the front desk will graciously point you in the direction of the Yoga Loft space on the 2nd floor.

Seductive Sugar....and our calamitous relationship

Sugar... oh so sweet and so seductive


Like heroin, cocaine and caffeine, sugar is an addictive, destructive drug, yet we consume it daily in everything from cigarettes to bread.   -William Dufty, author of Sugar Blues.

We know sugar and refined sweeteners are a leading contributor to many health problems:  diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis to name but a very few.  Yet, as a culture, we continue to consume it in heaping piles on an annual basis.

How did we get here as a culture?  The use of sugar has been on the rise for hundreds of years.

Consumption in the USA:

  • In 1700, the average person consumed about 4 pounds of sugar per year.
  • In 1800, the average person consumed about 18 pounds of sugar per year.
  • In 1900, individual consumption had risen to 90 pounds of sugar per year.
  • In 2009, more than 50 percent of Americans consume 1/2 pound of sugar per day, which is 180 pounds of sugar per year! YIKES!

Sugar's history is an amazing tale to be told.

US citizens are the world's largest (no pun intended) consumers of sugar.  The first sugar refinery was built in NYC in 1689, sweet breakfast porridge became popular and consumption soared to 4 pounds per year. We now consume 100 pounds per year on average.  For those of us who consume very little, where does that leave others in this average consumption?

Loving sweet tasting foods is a natural human desire.  Whole foods that are sweet nourish the body cells with complex carbohydrates, fiber, minerals, vitamins, enzymes, and all sorts of nutrients yet to be "discovered."  Whole sweet foods release a slow and steady level of carbohydrates into our blood streams.  Not so for the refined stuff....

Refined sweeteners have been stripped of most of their nutritional value.  No nourishment to offer to the body cells?  Then the "food" item actually robs nutrition from your body cells.  The body must deplete its own store of nutrients to digest and absorb sucrose properly. This creates nutritional deficiencies. This is an empty calorie syndrome.

Refined sugar enters the blood stream very quickly raising the blood sugar to very high levels and the resultant high levels of insulin crash the blood sugar.  This is how we get swings of hyper excitability followed by lethargy and depression.  We feel good for a microscopic period of time, a sugar high, then we crash and burn turning into moody, frustrated, tired individuals.

Sugar is highly addictive.  A little bit raises and crashes the blood sugar leaving you craving more, more, more! And did I mention more, NOW?  When we go through sugar withdrawal we have mood swings, severe cravings, headaches, fatigue, irritability... symptoms akin to drug and alcohol withdrawal.

Sugar is put into all manufactured foods, those factory made "food products."  The reason is clear, sugar is addictive, add it to food and people will buy and eat more.  What a great sales campaign!

The health consequences of sugar are profound. Excess sugar intake is associated with weight gain and obesity. Being overweight raises your risk for many health conditions: diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, gallbladder and liver diseases, osteoarthritis, gynecological problems such as infertility, respiratory problems, sleep apnea, and colon, breast and endometrial cancers, to name but a few.

I find it amazing that rarely does a diabetic (or anyone else with metabolic health issues resulting from refined foods and sugars) get advised to remove all sugar from their diets in order to regulate their blood sugar and insulin levels and heal their bodies.  If a person had liver disease or lung cancer, would we not advise that they remove the offenders: alcohol and tobacco?

If sugar is so bad...why do we crave it?  Sugar in the bloodstream stimulates the same pleasure centers of the brain that respond to heroin and cocaine but in a very pronounced way compared to other yummy foods.  Sugar becomes an uncontrollable habit.  One feels great while consuming, bottoms out when it leaves our blood stream, and rush to find more.

Leaving sugar out of the diet for 2 weeks ends this yo-yo affair with the sweet, white stuff.

Interestingly enough, until the middle of the 1800's, refined, "white" sugar was a luxury.  The wealthy could afford refined sugar cane sugar.  Most common people used maple syrup, honey, and crude forms of molasses and the true molasses rich brown sugars (not the modern grocery store variety that is merely white sugar with caramel coloring added).

Take yourself back to the Little House On The Prairie books and recall how they consumed sugar.  Manufactured sugar and sweets were truly a rare treat, only at holidays.  (Keep in mind that the sugar and food indulgent holidays were far fewer in Laura Ingall’s days. Another testimony to where our collective health has gone and why!)

Think how long a hard candy or small piece of chocolate, given as a Christmas gift, would last Laura.  Now think about how we pack away candy and whole, large chocolate bars on a daily basis.  Any wonder why and how  our health suffers the degenerative consequences?  Can you imagine how long an Equal Exchange large chocolate bar would last Laura… weeks upon weeks, turning into months!

Want to return to vibrant health?  Removing sugar from your diet is a huge step in the direction of restoring metabolic health. How to do this sugar detox is a question of your style of functioning.  Are you an all or nothing type that can completely cut sugar now and never look back (trust me, you will feel so good you will not want to look back!) or do you function better weaning yourself slowly?  Knowing what works for you and doing it, surrounding yourself with loving support, and finding ways to  sweeten your life without sugar are key components to kicking the sugar habit.

PS  Stay tuned for my thoughts on kids' parties and sugar!

Fun Food Focus

Satisfy that sweet tooth with 1/2 an apple and a handful of raw walnuts or pecans.  The nuts add fat and protein to balance your blood sugar and insulin reaction.  You won't feel a blood sugar crash 30 minutes or so after eating the apple.  

Fresh fruits are gentler on your blood sugar.  Dried fruits are very concentrated fruit sugars and will elevate and crash your blood sugar, leaving you craving more sweetness to drive your blood sugar back up.  Dried fruits will contribute to the same yo-yo cycle with blood sugar rushes and crashes.  Eat them with divine respect for the concentrated source of fruit sugar that they are;  be mindful of this sugar effect even with natural foods.

I'm Going Home!!

Saturday, November 30th at Elliot's Agway in Winthrop, NY                                                                                                                                                          Recently I taught a workshop, about whole foods, at Nature's Storehouse in Canton. Cindy, from Elliot's Agway, was present in the audience. She asked me if I was interested in "coming home" to do a workshop.  I chuckled and said to her, "But I am a Brasher girl!"  So, I am heading home (all of 20 miles) to teach a workshop for the fine people in my hometown!  I love home!                                                                                                                                               


Whole Foods for Healing Body, Mind, & Soul AND White Sugar Blues  This is all about eating well to heal yourself AND what sugar is, how it depletes your vitality, and how to butt kick sugar out of your life!


Saturday, November 30th, 11 AM...  Be there and start getting healthy before the Holidays!  

Who should attend:  

Anyone interested in learning about using foods to your best advantage to heal and feel divinely wonderful AND anyone looking to learn why sugar has you in it's snare and how to get out of that snare!


Elliot's Agway in Winthrop.  I said that already, right?  

648 State Route 11C, Winthrop, New York 13697     (315) 389-5641


Walk, ride your bike (Get the snow chains out!), x-c ski, skate (Wait, the St.Regis is probably not frozen!), drive your car with a car load of family and friends... just come to relax, laugh, learn, and enjoy some local-whole food snacks!

My health & healing guide book will be available for purchase.  

Think of your loved ones... give them the gift that will jump start their health!

gift of health

  Whole foods build vitality!

 sucks the vitality from you!