Early Morning Riser..

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep.
~ Rumi
Summer (the season) is in full swing over here. Summer (the dog) has me up early every morning to enjoy it. One of the things I like most about teaching is its cyclical nature. I love having a beginning, a middle, and an end, with summer in between to rest, regroup and do it all over again.
Last Thursday was my fifth trip over to the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine. Only this time, I didn’t have to go as far as the main campus in the heart of Cleveland. They opened an office in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and what a difference it makes. No more navigating an unfamiliar city and no more hunts for parking.  The drive to Chagrin Falls is a much easier, much prettier trip through the Ohio countryside with ample free parking right in front of the facility. I can’t emphasize the easy factor enough. Unlike past visits, the nurse only had to take my blood pressure once upon arrival.  There is just a very different feel to this location:




My visit with Dr. Young was great, as always.  This method of medicine allows for ample time to be spent with a doctor and I have never felt rushed.  I routinely leave with all of my questions answered and a game plan in hand.  It bears repeating what the foundation of Functional Medicine is:

Functional Medicine is a personalized, systems-oriented model that empowers patients and practitioners to achieve the highest expression of health by working in collaboration to address the underlying causes of disease. It is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century. By shifting the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, Functional Medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Functional Medicine practitioners spend time with their patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease. In this way, Functional Medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual.(David S. Jones, MD.  2014.  The Institute for Functional Medicine)

After 45 minutes with Dr. Young, I went and spent 45 minutes with my new nutritionist, Brigid.  Brigid is young and dynamic and a firecracker of information.  The way she can look at my labs and immediately start rattling off food choices and specific products for my needs is so impressive.  And she always has the packaging on hand so I can take a photo of it to reference once I’m in the grocery store.  Her first suggestion was Siete Grain Free Tortillas.  


These are grain-free, gluten-free and dairy-free.  And 100% yum.  I toasted mine under the broiler, slathered it with smashed avocado and topped it with my favorite salsa:


And then I sliced it like a pizza and devoured it:


Another food suggestion she had based on my need for more protein is Tolerant Red Lentil Rotini.  


This powerhouse of nutrition lists one simple ingredient:  Red lentils.  One serving comes packed with 21 grams of protein and 11 grams of dietary fiber.  I sautéed some veggies and gave it a whirl.  I was so pleasantly surprised.


If I had been served this at a restaurant I just would have thought they used a fancy, colored pasta.  I give it a two thumbs up!

People still question why I go all the way to Ohio to see a doctor and a nutritionist, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.   The guidance, the focus and the inspiration they give me to be healthy is such a gift and has me so happily embracing the breeze at dawn.  On these beautiful summer mornings, I don’t go back to sleep.





9 thoughts on “Early Morning Riser..

  1. Hi Kathy! Good on you for not just doing what your doctor said and for being your own advocate. In my own round about way, I have done the same. When I was at Paleo F(x) this year, they were talking about the Cleveland Clinic and the Functional Medicine department – so glad to “meet” someone that is having success there. I’m also a teacher and I agree – summer is a time of rest!! I also love those tortillas but we don’t have them in stores near me. And good to know that you liked that pasta! I’ve been wanting to try it for a while. Take care of yourself!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It is so nice to meet you Katie! I tell everyone and anyone who will listen about the gig over at the Cleveland Clinic. One of my friends called immediately and managed to get in. She has since lost 50 pounds and has calmed her erratic thyroid that she had been struggling with for years. I think everyone who goes there tells people their success stories as there is now a waiting list of over 2,000 people. Yikes! I think it just goes to show that people are sick and tired of being sick and tired.
    Oh and you can order the pasta on Amazon! Give it a try, I highly recommend! 🙂


  3. We share a very similar view on health. Many just don’t understand investing time and expense in one’s health. When asked, “where could a better investment in time and expense be placed,” most people are tongue tied to find an answer. Interestingly, this mind awakening experience has little impact on the future decisions they make. Well, as they say, “you can lead a horse to water…”
    Keep up the good work. Your health provides the basis of all opportunities that follow. Stay healthy and happy!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We missed each other by a week! I see Brigid as well; it’s so cool to watch her mind work as I rattle off challenges and she comes up with a product to recommend instantly. So glad you like the Chagrin Falls location better!


    1. I really liked Brigid! She’s extremely good at what she does. I used to see Trisha but she went back to Florida. Do you go to the Chagrin Falls location? It’s exponentially easier for me coming from Pittsburgh.


  5. Hit Kathy–so nice to “meet” you. I stumbled on your blog in a round about way through Leslie Friend. I live in Michigan and was so excited to see that you visit Michigan. Do you spend your summer here? We live in Metro Detroit, but are thinking of eventually moving up to the exact area you are in! I love the quotes on your blog–they are fantastic and can’t wait to try the recipes. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Linda, thank you so much for stopping by! Leslie’s blog is one of my very favorites–isn’t she such a sweetheart? Yes, I have been going to northern Michigan every summer since I was born! My grandmother was raised in Mt. Pleasant and vacationed in Frankfort when she was a child. Many years later she and my grandfather built a cottage on the south shore of Crystal Lake and the rest is history! We were just up there for a week and had gorgeous weather every single day. Such a gift! I WISH we could spend the whole summer there, however the house rotates through lots of family members so we all get our allotted time. We all just love it! Also, my daughter graduated from the University of Michigan in May of 2015, so we really have Michigan in our blood! I really loved those 4 years of visiting Ann Arbor–such a great town.
    I would spend every summer all summer in Frankfort if I could…but I’m not sure how I would do year round with their long, hard winters! Were you born & raised in Metro Detroit? Have you always gone to northern Michigan, or is it a relatively new discovery? I try not to tell too many people about it–I want to keep it quiet & pristine for as long as possible! 🙂


  7. I am from Michigan born and raised here. We love northern Michigan–so pretty and peaceful, but couldn’t live there year round. Hopefully some day we will have a cottage up there. I have never been to Crystal Lake, but have friends that go there and love it. And yes, Leslie is a doll…so sweet and so talented! Hope your daughter enjoyed U of M. Being close to Ann Arbor, we know many people who have gone there. It’s a great school and Ann Arbor is a great town. Look forward to reading more of your blog–recipes look interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

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