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Wellness Planning 101: A Strategy for Stress Reduction

Wellness Planning 101: A Strategy for Stress Reduction


Tuesday, March 13th




Casino Ballroom


Free Admission

STRESS… is our bodies’ way of protecting us and getting us ready for whatever we perceive to be a threat. Having an awareness of the physical and mental responses to a stress inducing event will put you in control leaving you focused to manage your life. This experiential workshop will review the causes of stress, the physical and mental responses, as well as management by way of healthy, empowering interventions.

Come out to listen to GCU’s Master’s of Holistic Health student Eve Sicurella and Suzanne McMurray speak and teach ways to cope with stress. This will be more than a lecture with tips and exercises to have you leaving feeling more relaxed.

Eve Sicurella is a nationally certified massage therapist who has maintained a private practice in Toms River since 1999. Her vast trainings in bodywork and energy therapies have expanded her ability to provide relief of chronic pain patterns in the body. Eve instructed at Garden State Center for Holistic Health Care as well as at Lakewood Community Education Programs. She has facilitated workshops on stress management for the Ocean County Women’s Council of Realtors. Her passion for writing has an outlet through a monthly “Musings” column in the New Jersey Holistic Magazine.

Suzanne McMurray is a registered nurse with a variety of experience in oncology, neurology, nursing administration and clinical research. She is a Reiki Master and received her Graduate Certification in Integral Theory from John F. Kennedy University. She is currently pursuing her Master of Arts degree in Holistic Health Studies at Georgian Court University.







Wrap Up: What’s In Your Pantry?

Hi Everyone,

We had a great event on Monday night in the Casino Ballroom. Five extremely knowledgeable women spoke about nutrition with very different approaches. Nutrition is one of my passions and one of the reasons is because nutrition is not one size fits all. This panel proved that; we had registered dietitians, nutritionists, health coaches, vegans, and meat eaters for example. Here is the best wrap up I could give for those not there, the information was too good not to share with all of you.



The first speaker was Debra Dobies, RD. She has an extensive background in the field of nutrition and very valuable information to share.

She spoke about how to grocery shop to eat healthy. She recommends 3 things when grocery shopping.
1. Bring a list and stick to it
2. Don’t go food shopping hungry
3. Shop the perimeter of the store

The healthiest foods are found not in the center aisles, but around the outside of the store. If you think about the set up of a grocery store, think about what you find in those middle aisles, not really anything your body needs. (and no your body does not NEED oreos or cheetos)

She also spoke about the importance of knowing what is on your food when you buy it concerning produce. The grocery store has no seasons, you can buy kiwi and strawberries year round which was unheard of years ago. When we import a lot of produce from other countries, it is important to realize that those countries have their own regulations when it comes to pesticides. For example, Chili still allows pesticides to be used that we banned in the USA. Debra recommends buying local when possible, buying organic for the produce on the dirty dozen list(posted below), and buy frozen because you know you are getting more nutrients then something that has been picked and traveled thousands of miles.

Kim Belanger spoke next about her work in teaching people how to eat, particularly when it comes to portion sizes. She had great hand outs that sum up her talk that I will post below. She had examples of portion sizes for the different kinds of foods we eat. You would truly be shocked to realize how small the appropriate portion size is. She also mentioned eating the least processed foods- you can tell this by checking the ingredients list. When a food is highly processed it will have a ton of ingredients, as well as many foods you can not pronounce. Stick with ingredient lists of no more than 5 foods and only words that you can pronounce. She stressed the importance of bringing awareness to what we are eating.

Sarah Lockenmeyer spoke next about being a vegan, but she likes to calls herself one who eats a plant based diet. Sarah has been eating this way since the age of 16 and appropriately wore a shirt that said, “Eat Kale, Not Cow.” Eating a plant based diet is something Sarah is clearly passionate about. She spoke about how cancer can not grow in an alkaline environment which is the PH your body’s blood will have eating mostly plants vs. more animal products. Sarah also has a great philosophy for those new to being a vegan– crowd new foods in, while crowding old foods out. It is important to realize that your body is an amazing machine that forms to what you feed it. If you feed it dirt, your body will figure out a way to make it work. When you eat animal products, your insides are actually different than when you eat a plant based diet. You body can not make this transition over night, so one must gradually change to this eating lifestyle.

Kathryne Ellis spoke next and I must be honest and say that Kathryne’s view on food closely matched my own. Kathrynne’s talk was really about asking YOURSELF what is best for YOUR body? Don’t worry about eating for a trend or what someone else eats. If you aren’t feeling well try reflecting on your diet. If you feel great, pay attention to what you are eating and keep going. If you are tired, suffer from digestive issues, or headaches frequently, don’t underestimate the importance of your diet and making food work the best it can for your body. Kathryne will be joining GCU again in the spring time, Jan. 31st at 5:30 to give a talk on weight loss and healthy eating.

Last, Sachiko Komagata spoke about nutrition in her life. Being born in Japan, Sachiko grew up eating a traditional Japanese diet. When she came to America, she noticed how sweet the food was here compared to her home land of Japan. She also noticed how other people who come from other countries healthy, then become sick after they live here for a while. She realized there had to be something about what she was doing in Japan so she is lucky to have care packages sent of different foods native to Japan like seaweed and shiitake mushrooms. She recommends looking in Asian Markets for the foods she brought in as samples. Sachiko’s talk brought up an interesting idea that I am currently learning more about for my research project, which is the idea that we should eat foods that are similar to those of our ancestors. The theory is we all have digestive enzymes to digest foods from where we are from easier than others.

Below are the hand outs given out by Kim and Debra. They are not the best quality since some of the information was cut off in the scanner. If you are interested in getting one of the hand outs, I would recommend reaching out to Sachiko Komagata who can then put you in touch with the appropriate person.

If you have any questions or are interested in speaking with any of the presenters, please leave your comments below and we can do our best to make that happen.

Wellness is spreading on campus!

Hello Everyone!

I just wanted to share about the amazing panel we had Thursday night in the wellness center called “Sustainable Wellness.” Myself and my fellow classmates sat on a panel to talk about what sustainable wellness means to us and examples of what we do in our life.

For me, I had a hard time putting it into words because I feel as though I live my life to keep myself well. Whether it is watching what I eat or preventing a cold from getting worse, I live each day to consciously keep myself healthy. I shared a quote with the group because it summed up exactly what I was feeling...“Take care of your body because it’s the only place you have to live.”

We had a really amazing session with the students talking about their struggles with stress, healthy eating, time management, and their overall health. For all of you who were at this panel, please use this as your way to reach out to me about events you would like to see on campus. I am currently working on putting together two events before the end of the semester in regards to stress management. I will keep your posted on all of that.

Also, THIS WEEK we have 2 great events on campus.

Don’t forget TONIGHT we will have The Food Mood Connection in a new location. It is in A&S 165 at 5:30PM to 7:00PM. Learn how the food you eat affects your mood.

Tuesday night I will be showing an amazing movie called Food Matters! It is a personal favorite of mine and many of my classmates and I hope you can take the time out to see it. It talks about supplements, vitamins curing cancer, foods you should be eating to change your health, and how the food we eat makes up who we are and can actually be used as medicine!

Check out the trailer below.

Food Matters will be shown in the Little Theatre, Tuesday night at 6pm.

Hope to see all of you on campus this week!

The Food Mood Connection

Hi Everyone! 
We have a great events to look forward about nutrition for the beginning of November. 
Here is info on the first of three which takes place on November 7th. 
It is called The Food Mood Connection. 

Your daily food choices influence how you deal with stress and pain, experience fatigue,regulate your mood and stamina, and think. Your heredity (genes) determines your height, weight, and neurotransmitters the nerve chemicals that regulate brain and body processes. What you eat and drink dictates the activity of several neurotransmitters. Overconsuming or severely restricting specific foods or nutrients can trigger neurotransmitter imbalances that contribute to mood swings, thinking problems, food cravings, irritability, fatigue, and depression. 

Join us to review what nutrients and foods will help improve your mood.

Presenter: Debra Dobies, RD, LDN, MA, '06
Location: Little Theatre
Date: November 7, 2011 (Monday)
Time: 5:30–7:00 PM
Free and open to public
For more information contact the Department of Holistic Health at 732.987.2663


Debra A. Dobies, RD, MA, LDN (Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist)

Debra has over 30 years experience as a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist. Debra attended Rutgers College where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Human Nutrition & Foods followed by a Clinical Dietetic Internship at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit Michigan. She also attended GCU and earned her M.A. in Holistic Health. Her work experience includes serving as dietitian, health educator, director of a hospital food and nutrition department, and she was the clinical advisor for an outpatient weight management program. Debra maintains a private practice and conducts classes, speeches, and programs for healthcare, corporate, and community groups. She has appeared on several television shows, radio broadcasts and has been featured in newspapers. One of Debra’s favorite quotes is “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.” (~ G. K. Chesterton)

Great Events on Campus this Week!!!!

This week is Critical Concerns week focusing on Sustainability. Be sure to look for lectures and events on campus to take part in.

Here is the link to check out what is going on.

Thursday November 3

5:30PM- A Coaches Dozen: 12 FUNdamental Principles for Building Young and Healthy Athletes by Guest Speaker Avery D. Faigenbaum, Ed.D., FACSM

-Please RSVP to Special Events


7:00PM – Sustainable Wellness in the Wellness Center Room 305. This event will include myself and fellow Holistic Health Graduate Students discussing how we can maintain our health through sustainable living.

** Guest registration is requested to ensure that there is sufficient seating for all guests. To register for the panel, please contact Trish Passuth, director of service learning, at 732.987.2713 or passutht@georgian.edu.**


Hope to see you there!!

Don’t Forget to Take Part in all the PINK on Campus Today!!!

Today is Breast Cancer Awareness day at GCU! 

Please be sure to take part in something!

I will be hosting a table on breast cancer prevention. Stop by and learn how we can end breast cancer in the future. 

At 6PM, we will also be hosting a movie screening of CRAZY SEXY CANCER in the Little Theatre. After the movie is over, I hope you are inspired to share your thoughts and feelings on the movie to have a discussion. 

Wrap up of Transformational Menopause

Hello Everyone!

Monday night, Eve and Suzanne did an amazing job presenting. While I am only 24 and hope I am years away from menopause, there talk still had so much relevance on my own life.

First, Suzanne and Eve talked about how they don’t like the conotations we have in the Western world about aging. It is believed that as we age, we become degenerative and useless to society, and our way past our prime.  In the Eastern culture, as one ages they become a spiritual elder, a person who fosters empowerment, and a person who is respected for their ability to care for themselves, others, and the global community. As we get older, it is a time to get to know ourselves better which only gives us the opportunity to enhance the world around us.

Suzanne and Eve also looked at the symptoms of menopause not as things to hide or take pills to cover up, but as messages from our consciousness and our body. Food cravings could be a way of our body asking us are we really hungry for the sugary doughnut or are we hungry for a different place in out life? Insomnia could be your consciousness asking you what do you need to wake up from? Suzanne and Eve related the symptoms to menopause, but try relating this to any symptom in your life.  Do you get back pain or cramps during you menstrual cycle? What about feeling like an emotional wreck? Do you crave carbs, fats, salts, or sugars? What are you really hungry for? These conversations leads to a deeper relationship with yourself and a greater understanding of your body.

Suzanne and Eve have also created their Transformation Tool Kit which I feel is useful at all stages of one’s life since we are always at stages of transformation. Eve has used journaling as a way to explore who she is and who she was. She uses different exercises like committing to writing three pages a day and write whatever comes to you. If you write I don’t know what to say, I don’t know what to say, over and over again it is a way to work through the thoughts in your head. Journaling is about removing the censor in your head and saying anything you are afraid to say out loud.

Suzanne did a beautiful sharing of energy between the woman who attended. We were able to sending love, compassion, and peace to the other woman. We were both given the position to be giving energy and receiving energy. For Suzanne, taking the time to meditate and focus on giving love to yourself is important as you age.

I took notes during the presentation and something I wrote down pretty much sums up my feelings on the night.  I wrote, “I feel wiser for being in the presence of these amazing woman.”

Thank you Suzanne and Eve for such an amazing evening.



Eve Sicurella and Suzanne McMurray Presenting "Transformational Menopuase" at GCU on 10/17/11

Transformational Menopause Tonight!!!!

Monday, Oct. 17th at 5:30–7:00pm in the Little Theatre

Suzanne and Eve will be the presenters tonight. Below is their experience with their bodies’ journey through this time in their life.

My experience of peri-menopause taught me listening skills. I had no idea how intelligent my body is and now that I have started to listen and heed its sometimes insistent recommendations, I feel more control. I still get hot flashes but I know the triggers. I know what makes them worse and I can control them. This means that I can’t always have that glass of red wine or piece of chocolate so instead I get to experiment and try new things. Different doesn’t mean worse. In fact you may find that change is better.
– Suzanne

Suzanne McMurray is a registered nurse with a variety of experience in oncology, neurology, nursing administration and clinical research. She is a Reiki Master and received her Graduate Certification in Integral Theory from John F. Kennedy University. She is currently pursuing her Master of Arts degree in Holistic Health Studies at Georgian Court University. She lives in Allenwood with her significant other, their three sons, and one-year-old yellow lab, Sophie, who helps “balance out the excessive male hormones” in her home.

My experience of menopause has taught me to trust what I’m experiencing despite what I’m told by others (like the doctors who told me I was too young to be in menopause).  In order to support this new relationship,   I’ve created a “psychic first aide kit” (journaling, meditating, exercise and imagery) which allows me some level of perspective when faced with an emotionally perplexing situation.  No matter how bad it seems, my choices in perception can make it worse or better.
– Eve

Eve Sicurella is a nationally certified massage therapist who has maintained a private practice in Toms River since 1999. Her vast trainings in bodywork and energy therapies have expanded her ability to provide relief of chronic pain patterns in the body. Eve instructed at Garden State Center for Holistic Health Care as well as at Lakewood Community Education Programs. She has facilitated workshops on stress management for the Ocean County Women’s Council of Realtors. Her passion for writing has an outlet through a monthly “Musings” column in the New Jersey Holistic Magazine. Having spent a lifetime as a woman, being post-menopausal since her early 40s, and going back to school in her early 50s, she has great insight into what it means to be a woman in transition.

Hope you all are able to attend tonight!

Tibetan Singing Bowl Meditation

Did you buy a singing bowl from the tibetan monks?

Do you miss the vibrational energy of the monks being on GCU’s campus?

Dr. Stephanie Argyris, MD will be leading a bowl centered meditation using Tibetan Singing Bowls.

Come “BATHE” in an Ocean of  SOUND
It will take place Wednesday, October 19th
3pm to 4pm
At the Lagoon on the GCU campus, weather permitting
Rain Location Chapel 

Bring your own Singing Bowls or Crystal bowls or just come to listen

Drepong Gomang Tibetan Monks use brass Tibetan Singing Bowls to accompany their daily Meditation and Chanting practices. The use of sound has been a sacred and hidden aspect of  Tibetan ceremonial rites for many centuries.

Come experience the magical healing effects of Sound, Toning and Music using the singing bowls as a door.

The otherworldly tones of the bowls will fill the space around us and bathe us in  rich, penetrating vibrations. The deep notes/ tones with strong vibrato will  physically resonate through our bodies touching our core essences, positively affecting our minds as well as our physiology. The tones and overtones carry within them a wealth of knowledge about the cosmos and all of its truths.

Watch inner chaos, conflict and negatively charged emotions melt into a harmonious sense of calm centeredness that resonates through every cell of our body and mind.  Feel the Tranquility, Peace and Acceptance. See pronounced shifts in your mood and emotions; your feelings and perceptions may be positively altered … Remember the absolute beauty and unconditional harmony of the Universe and reawaken our connection to our own inner true essence.

Come,  step into a moment out of Time that will offer us a release from the distractions and stresses of our outside world. Feel the sound waves move through us and around us. Experience a relief of pressure and a new sense of lightness  as we explore and enjoy an age old mind – body practice for stress reduction and spiritual awakening.

Come immerse yourselves in the vibrations of the Singing Bowls.

Stephanie P. Argyris, M.D. has an extensive background in traditional Medicine, as a Physiatrist, as well as in Complementary & Alternative Medicine healing modalities. Dr. Argyris graduated from Douglass College of Rutgers University with a B.A. in Chemistry. Her medical degree is from UMDNJ – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 1983, Piscataway, N.J. Her residency was completed at Robert Wood Johnson Rehabilitation Institute, 1986, in Edison, N.J. She conducted much research on Post trauma Vision Syndrome seen in patients following Traumatic Brain Injury. She founded and runs Sail-Habilitation, a NPO sailing program for those with physical disabilities and special needs.

Dr. Argyris had a private practice in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation for over 25 years in Ocean County, N.J. She is a practicing Usui Reiki Master, a Shamanic Healing Practitioner and Energy Healer. She is UCLA Certified in Medical Acupuncture. She has training in Cranio-Sacral Therapy and Transformational Healing with Her Holiness Sai Maa Lakshmi Devi. Dr. Argyris has studied with different indigenous shamans throughout the United States, Hawaii, Mexico & Canada; she has worked extensively at Delphi and throughout Greece. She travels around the world performing healing ceremonies at different Sacred Sites, healing our Mother Earth. For the past decade, she has been practicing as a Facilitator of Spiritual Consciousness Awakening. She teaches many different types of courses, for example, on Consciousness Awakening, Core Shamanism and she facilitates Drumming Circles. She is leading Full Moon Ceremonies in the Grand Itza Mayan Council style as we progress towards December 21st , 2012. She takes groups to different Sacred Sites around the globe so they may experience the wonders of this planet. She is an adjunct Faculty at Georgian Court University, Lakewood, N.J. in their Holistic Health Master’s Program teaching varied courses but specializing in Energy Medicine and Native American Medicine as well as being a guest Lecturer at UMDNJ for their Medical and Physician Assistant students and faculty.

In Her Shoes

In Her Shoes

Domestic Violence Awareness

Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 10am

Located in the Ballroom


A revolutionary community education tool, In Her Shoes is designed for learning about domestic violence. Participants move, do, think and experience the lives of battered women.  Students pick through cards, each containing details of the characters’ personal and private lives. Once the selections are made, the stories unfold to reveal the trials and tribulations caused by the students’ decisions in various situations.

All students, faculty, and staff are welcome to attend this informational and moving event.  RSVP is required no later than 10/14 to Stephanie DiZenzo, Counseling Center Graduate Assistant by phone at (732)-987-2680 or email at DiZe7453@georgian.edu.