Home Sweet Home

By Kara Aiello

            On December 10th 2016, my life changed in a way that had only been a dream for much of it. I picked up my keys for my very first apartment.  Yes, I’m a late bloomer with getting my first place, one could say.  Many obtain their first homes in their 20s or earlier 30s when going away to college or getting a first job.  But for me, it was a long journey to get to that point and now as I write my story in my kitchen/dining room on my kitchen/table that has been in my family for some time, I feel a sense of pride and excitement for what lies ahead.

            Yes, I live with a disability and yes when looking for an apartment or even a home, there is so much that needs to be learned, to find and make my new home accessible for my needs.  But the disability was not the main obstacle that prevented me from pursuing things like others did, not in a direct sense. It was more about taking the long road in learning what I wanted from life and finding the courage to get out and make it happen.  I would sit back and wait for others to make it happen for me, including in my family, but I needed to learn to do it myself and be true in what I wanted from my life. This is a hurdle, everyone, regardless of ability, can find themselves in, but sometimes the things not seen when living with a disability, can be a very hard hurdle to overcome. 

See Beyond Spotlight

By Tamara Mena

Some things have happened in my career in Los Angeles months ago, and as a result, I found myself feeling so disappointed and frustrated.

I knew what I wanted to do, and that was to host, to interview people, to make a difference with my communications degree, and to make a difference with my voice - the voice that I'm so lucky to have gained back after I lost it during my accident...

It was tough because I knew I wanted to move forward, but wasn't sure how to go about it. I wasn't going to give up on the reason that I moved out here to LA for.... But that process was never easy, far from easy!

When "See Beyond" was born, I didn't have the name yet, just the concept. This online show that I was about to produce, was seriously born from seeing beyond my circumstances at the time, seeing beyond the discrimination and the resistance I had faced - just seriously seeing BEYOND MYSELF and "my story" and wanting to highlight OTHER PEOPLE so that TOGETHER we can encourage people to see past DIFFERENCES and become more open and accepting of each other!

Go Green for St. Patty’s Day!

By Kate Helfrich, PTA and Exercise Physiologist 

This month, we wanted to celebrate St. Patrick’s day by introducing a few ways to incorporate healthy eating into this month’s festivities. Spring is just around the corner so now is the perfect time to shift from heavy comfort foods to energizing, low calorie yet nutrient dense options.

So why not go green for St. Patty’s? St. Patrick’s Day is full of green color so use that as your kick off date. There are numerous benefits to adding green produce to our plates. Here are just a few of the important ways that green vegetables impact our health:

  • Improving digestive health: vegetables like spinach, asparagus and broccoli are packed with insoluble fiber and magnesium, two important nutrients for colon health.
  • Lowering the risks of cancer: antioxidant properties like lutein and carotenoid can be found in greens like cabbage, arugula, kale and spinach which help fight against free radicals that can lead to cancer.
  • Providing key nutrients to help keep bones strong: you may have heard before that dark, leafy greens carry a great dose of calcium and Vitamin K which are two nutrients that play a part in bone health. It’s true! Try greens like swiss chard, green leaf lettuce, spinach (a heavy hitter!) or kale. This is especially important for wheelchair users who are more prone to osteoporosis.
  • Increasing heart health: Veggies such as brussel sprouts, lima beans, avocados and spinach (!!) contain soluble fiber and folate. These are important as they help to reduce inflammatory markers and cholesterol levels that in turn, aid the health of our hearts.   
Not sure how to incorporate more green into your diet? Here’s a few suggestions: