Clifton Woman Clears A Path To Wellness

Pam Snyder of Clifton is organizing the first annual Everyday Health and Wellness Conference, scheduled for March 1. Snyder was inspired by her own experience: She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1999, and she uses day-to-day exercise and nutrition to help manage her condition.

Shamus Ian Fatzinger/Fairfax County Times

Pam Snyder of Clifton is organizing the first annual Everyday Health and Wellness Conference, scheduled for March 1. Snyder was inspired by her own experience: She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1999, and she uses day-to-day exercise and nutrition to help manage her condition.

Amid health fads and miracle products, Pam Snyder tries to stay grounded.

Yet while she strives to lead a healthy lifestyle, she often finds the industry surrounding health and wellness movements filled with a bit too much of what she calls hocus pocus.

Promises of sure-fire nutrition solutions or seemingly magical fitness regimens left her cold, Snyder said. So she decided to carve out her own niche and created the Everyday Health and Wellness Conference, which will take place at the Fairfax Marriott Hotel at Fair Oaks from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

The event, planned out of her Clifton home, features a full day of panels, 30 health exhibitors and nationally recognized speakers such as Vani Hari, founder of FoodBabe.com.

With the conference, Snyder wants to eliminate the intimidation that can scare people away from wellness movements. Instead, she wants to help people see the small steps they can take toward a healthy lifestyle.

You dont live in big overhauls, Snyder said. Thats not reality. You have to keep everything in perspective. I want this conference to be for everyday people

Snyders inspiration came in her own journey to healthy living.

One day in 1999, she started experiencing extreme tunnel vision. Doctors struggled to find the cause.

I went to the eye doctor, and he said: The good news is your eyes are fine. The bad news is its something else, Snyder said.

While her eyesight returned to normal in three weeks, the scary episode eventually led to a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, a condition that attacks the nervous system.

Snyder already tried to eat healthy and stay fit, but after the diagnosis, she started committing herself even more to healthy living.

You dont realize your health is so important until you dont have it, Snyder said. I have an autoimmune disease, and my body works really hard to stay healthy every day, so Ive committed to working hard for it.

She started making changes to her diet, experimenting with adding and subtracting different foods. Soon, she decided to eliminate anything artificial dyes, preservatives, sweeteners and start making most of her meals at home.

Snyders commitment to nutrition and fitness has helped her manage her multiple sclerosis without medication for the past seven years. While she has tried medication in the past, it would wipe her out for days. So with her doctor, she decided to stop cold turkey. While she still goes in for neurological screenings and yearly scans, for now she counts on her healthy lifestyle to manage her condition.

Snyder does not subscribe to any particular movement, but she samples from many: vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free. Her motto: Everything in moderation.

That same sensibility went into her conference planning. The schedule offers many options and varieties for people to try.

You can subscribe to some of these things on a smaller scale, Snyder said. You dont have to make it your lifes passion. If you do, thats awesome, but that doesnt mean its for everyone.

With the Everyday Health and Wellness Conference, Snyder combines her passion for health with past experience in conference planning. But 20 years removed from her corporate events career, she said diving back in proved a tricky task.

While the idea had been brewing for a while, Snyder finally committed to planning the conference last August. The brunt of the work has fallen solely on her shoulders, though friends, her husband and her two sons all have helped ease the burden.

This week before the conference has been filled with tying up final details and continuing the push for registrations. People can still sign up online or register on-site on Saturday.

If participants take just one or two ideas away from the conference, Snyder will count the event as a success.

Its baby steps, Snyder said. Thats how I started. Switching to organic milk is a huge step. And if thats all they do for six months? Its all progress.


Original Story Here


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  1. Reply

    What Foods Should Teenagers Eat As Part Of A Healthy Lifestyle?

    1. Reply

      Healthy lifestyle can be defined in many ways. I would suggest if you want them to get lean or stay lean that you calculate their lean body mass and adjust their calories to fit their body.

      You need about 50% of your calories from carbohydrates, 30% of your calories from various proteins, and 20% of your calories from fat. If so desired up the percentage of calories from carbs and lower the calroes from fat, but be wary.. carbohydrates are a staple in a persons nutritional diet… DO NOT RESTRICT THEM.. merely optimize them. I CAN NOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH. There is a different between poor carbs and COMPLEX CARBS.. you must learn the difference to understand how VITAL COMPLEX CARBS ARE. When you restrict calories you are putting your body in a position to go into a catabolic state.. this is terrible for ANYONE, especially a teenager. If you want to live smart, you have to eat smart and train smart. If you want a healthy child you need to begin a healthy workout program.

      You also need to consume enough fiber and maintain your sodium intake to a moderate if not modest level..

      Teenagers are very efficient at forgetting what matters when it comes to nutrition so the younger you start them on a healthy path the much better off they will be.

  2. Reply

    Am I Leading A Healthy Lifestyle? I am 16, about 5’9 and 150 lbs, but I have little to no body fat, thats pretty much all muscle, because I look really skinny, last time I got my body fat measured I was at around 9%. I play basketball for about 1 hour every day, and I also do sprinting workouts for another 30 minutes every day because I am on track.

    My diet is:
    Breakfast: 2 Weetabix w/ milk (Wheat cereal bars)
    Snack: 2 Granola Bars
    Lunch: Turkey Sub with Lettuce and Cheese
    Dinner: Pasta, Risotto, Chicken etc.
    After dinner: 6 Weetabix w/ milk.

    I drink 1 Diet Coke per day, and lots and lots of water.

    Am I leading a healthy lifestyle?
    I also take daily vitamin supplements.
    In addition to my turkey sub i usually have a chicken sandwich with lettuce and cucumber

    and for dinner i usually have like green beans, potatoes or sweetcorn with my main dish.

    1. Reply

      Definitely healthier than most but you may want to adjust your diet a little bit. At 16 you’re still growing so son’t stress too much about fat percentage, you’re obviously on the right track. It’s good to start these habits at your age because as you get older you may not be as active or be able to metabolize foods as quickly.

      First you can substitute the milk with soy milk for less fat and add a fruit to your breakfast.

      Watch the granola bars because they are not as healthy as you think. They are loaded with sugar and preservatives. Try making your own granola which is pretty easy to do, or try loose granola from a health food store.

      Turkey is the best out of processed meats but it is still processed which means lots of nitrates and sodium. If possible try fresh turkey. I would also add fruit to this meal as well. Lettuce does not have any nutritional value unless it is a spring/mescalin mix.

      Pasta and Risotto are both starches so you should watch the intake, especially if you’re worried about carbs. Chicken is usually a safe bet depending on how it is prepared. There are tons of marinades and dry rubs so that you can change it up a bit without having to fry it or dip in sauces.

      Water is great but if possible you should try to eliminate the diet soda. Diet soda is just as bad as regular soda. It may have less fat and/or calories but the sugar substitute used is one of the worst chemicals you can put in your body. Soda rots your teeth and is just an all around bad thing. Obviously one can is not the worst thing, many soda drinkers have at least a few cup/cans a day but still if you can cut it out you should.

      What’s with the Weetabix? Try new things so you don’t fall into a diet rut. Try other wheat/grain products, there are a lot out there these days. And again, I suggest fruit.

      Good luck, I’m going to grab some lunch!

  3. Reply

    How Can I Live A More Healthier Lifestyle? Hi everyone I am a 18 year old girl who is about to start college in a few weeks. Basically I want to start living a healthier lifestyle, because I want to have more energy than I do now since I am going to have a busy schedule this semester. Do you know of any exercises that I can do at home that could keep me in shape. Also how can I change my eating habits, as of now I just eat whatever I want. I’m 5’0 and weigh 148lbs which is about 30lbs overweight for my height I think.

    1. Reply

      Tips of a Healthier Lifestyle:

      Give your body the energy it needs
      Stay physically active
      Be positive and make your mind fresh all the time by being happy
      Keep your mind and body free of harmful drugs and alcohol.
      Practice safe living habits
      Get regular health care

      Diet Tips for Healthier Lifestyle: Avoid the tobacco, alcohol, drugs always and also caffeine most of the time. You may be consuming junk food mostly up to now. But that not makes a healthier lifestyle. Make yourself feed on the foods that are healthier like fiber foods, protein based, probiotic based, seeds, nuts, grains which nourish you well and provide the good nutritional value to your body. Also drink adequate water to have a well-balanced hydrated body.

  4. Reply

    Healthy Lifestyle………? I have a cousin whose crazy about the junk food and not so crazy about exercising. How can I tell him the importance of exercising, eating right and getting plenty of sleep?

    1. Reply

      You can take responsibility for your own eating, sleeping, exercising, and lifestyle. The best persuasion is to demonstrate the success of your choices. A direct assault on another human being’s way of living may be successful, but in most cases, it will not.

      If you are respectful, you can gently provide the person with little known facts about his food and lifestyle choices. There is a lot of good science about healthy living. Just start reading books by authors like Neal Barnard, Howard Lyman, and Dean Ornish.

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