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Guest Column

Five seasonal strategies to stay healthy this spring

By Vidya Reddy

Hello and welcome to the Happiness corner. This week it’s all about spring cleaning.

One of my favorite things about the Ayurvedic way of life is its rich guidance in terms of practices to help us live in harmony with nature throughout the year. Ayurveda teaches that health is our natural state, which can be accessed by following the rhythms of nature. So accordingly, Ayurveda gives us guidance for healthy living in the form of its seasonal health teachings, which are called Ritucharya. This word comes from the root Sanskrit terms “ritu,” meaning season, and “charya,” which means to follow. Through following Ritucharya, we are able to live in sync with the cycles of nature, and thereby maximize our potential for amazing health.

In Ayurveda, there are three bio-forces, or fundamental constituents of the body, called doshas. These bio-forces are comprised of the five great elements: ether, air, fire, water, and earth. The doshas are naturally increased at different times of the year. In the springtime, when the flowers are blossoming, the birds are chirping, and everything is moist and juicy outside, kapha dosha (made up of water and earth elements) is dominant in the atmosphere.

One of the fundamental principles of Ayurveda is that of the unity between the macrocosm (the world outside) and the microcosm (our inner world of our individual body and mind). So, when everything is moist and juicy outside, our inner environment is also filled with moisture in the form of an increase in the water and earth elements. This natural increase in earth and water can lead to all sorts of common spring afflictions, like colds, coughing, allergies, asthma, and more.

Here’s how living the Ayurveda way this spring can help you prevent the aforementioned ailments, while activating the health that Ayurveda says is latent within you.

Five seasonal cooking

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Photo by Pieter Baetens

Heavy foods tax the digestive system

Eat light foods

It’s really important to eat light during the springtime, because of one of the core principles of Ayurveda, which goes “like increases like” and “opposites decrease.” Because the earth and water elements are by nature very heavy (compared to the more ephemeral nature of fire and especially air and ether), we want to eat light foods to counteract too much buildup of heaviness in our system.

People often ask me what it means to eat light versus heavy foods. The way Ayurveda answers this is that heavy foods are those which tax your digestive system, making you feel sluggish or tired afterwards, and that seem to sit in your stomach for a long time.

Examples of foods that are heavy to digest include meats, cheeses, pastries, oils, pies, milk, butter, nuts, and many fruits.

Foods that are lighter to digest (and hence good for springtime) include green vegetables (like asparagus, spinach, and kale), peppers, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, and green mung dal.


During the spring season, it is advised in the ancient Ayurvedic texts to get lots of heavy-duty exercise. So think cardio, speed walking, and aerobic movement. What exercise does is increase the natural heat in the body, which allows you to digest food better (as digestion is compared to a fire in Ayurveda, and we want to keep our inner digestive fire strong to be healthy).

Five seasonal close up

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Photo by Pieter Baetens

Dr. Vidya Reddy

Incorporate heating spices into your meals

This is the time of year to enjoy spicier foods! I typically experience a lot of heat in my body, so I tend to avoid consuming too much of spices like black pepper, garlic, and ginger as a result. During the springtime, however, due to the natural increase of kapha dosha in the atmosphere, I find that I am able to enjoy more spices.

Cooking with ginger, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, ajwain seeds, and black pepper (which I fondly collectively call “the fiery firesome”) are great ways to boost your health and prevent respiratory challenges and spring allergies. The dry form of ginger is a powerful ally to call upon any time you may feel a cold coming on, or you want to stop a runny nose. Any time I feel this happening, I apply a paste made of dry ginger powder and water on my nose and under my eyes for as long as it’s comfortable. It’s amazing how much that helps.

Don’t sleep during the day

Napping in the daytime increases moisture in your body. During the spring season, we want to totally avoid this, since there is already plenty of moisture in the atmosphere. And adding more moisture to ourselves tends to push us toward imbalance, while staying active leads us toward health.

Enjoy honey as your best springtime snack option

For optimal digestion, Ayurveda generally recommends avoiding snacking. This is because it’s best to wait until your previously consumed food has been digested before eating more. There are, however, some exceptions to the no snacking recommendation, and honey is one of them that’s perfect for spring!

On its own, honey (aged for at least one year) has unique immunity-boosting and toxin-cleansing qualities. It’s great for improving your health in the springtime in particular, when you can enjoy up to four teaspoons of it per day.

Try following Ayurveda’s seasonal wisdom this spring to enjoy all that this beautiful time of the year has to offer, while keeping yourself in balance and harmony with nature. 

Wishing you a very happy spring! 

In Peace, Love and Gratitude 

‘Til next time 

Dr.Vidya Reddy, ND, AMS, DAC, CLC

The MY HERO Project receives 2019 FOA Foundation Grant

The MY HERO Project is honored to be a recipient of the 2019 FOA Foundation award. The FOA provides funds for educational and nonprofit organizations in Laguna Beach, with an emphasis on art enrichment for children and young adults. 

MY HERO is one of 23 recipients that will share the $100,000 award. 

“We are so grateful to the FOA for funding our arts workshops with children and their families in the greater Laguna Beach area,” said Victoria Murphy, Director of The MY HERO Project Gallery. 

The MY kid

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Grant funds will help MY HERO conduct art workshops in Laguna Beach

The Laguna Beach Festival of the Arts Foundation established the FOA Foundation in 1989. The goal was to guarantee financial support for the arts in Laguna Beach. The funds are distributed each year to educational institutions and nonprofit organizations. 

 “FOA recognizes the essential role that the arts play in supporting our young people’s creativity and critical thinking skills. FOA is helping to create the next generation of artists, thinkers, media experts and problem solvers,” said Murphy.

The funds will help MY HERO conduct art workshops in Laguna Beach for the Boys and Girls Club and Laguna Art Museum’s Art & Nature Festival. MY HERO will also work with the Laguna Beach Unified School District.

The MY HERO Project is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that celebrates the world’s heroes through the creation and sharing of stories, music, art, and short films. MY HERO’s online media library and resources are used in classrooms in 197 countries around the world. 

To learn more, visit

Rainbow Reflections…

A column about LGBTQ life in Laguna

By Craig Cooley

Rainbow reflections Craig

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Diversity and the Creative Economy

For many of us that were fortunate enough to take advantage of the recent symposium with guest speaker Richard Florida, it hit on a topic relative to everyone. It explored the viability of various programs across the nation that were tested, and the results quantified in an effort to keep the nation’s cities thriving and livable. Some of the tested programs worked, sort of, and others stood out as viable solutions for marginalized cities or cities that were in great decline. 

The conclusion or “take-away” from these years of definitive studies indicated that it is most often the power of diversity that provides the necessary elements, components, that make any city thriving and most livable. The clear message was that diversity, in all its forms, is the key to a new chapter in the development of a more dynamic commerce that spurs creative growth, and that it works for everyone!

Rainbow reflections boots

That brings me to the “boots on the ground” in this effort. Laguna Beach Pride 365 is more than just a once a year party event. Laguna Beach Pride is a nonprofit organization for the entire community all year long – supporting organizations like “Gay 4 Good”, Shanti, the Laguna Playhouse and a long list of other nonprofit and community efforts. 

With just two weeks to go before the Laguna Beach Pride Festival kicks off on May 31 - June 2, for a long weekend event, there is a strong sense of urgency as we need corporate sponsors to bring it all together. The benefits of becoming a sponsor are invaluable to promote your business and the community. The sponsorships last the entire year, and they are an excellent way to support the growing commerce and revenue that this diversity brings to Laguna Beach. It means new business that supports everything from hotels and resorts, to the many dining establishments we have to offer, from all kinds of retail outlets to surfboard and watersports equipment rentals and activities. Being a sponsor brings new business growth. Please consider the many benefits of becoming a supporting sponsor. Please contact us today at

The Laguna Beach Pride 365 team is stretching our new wings for diversity…

Festooning the City with Diversity Flags

Rainbow reflections flags

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Volunteers Bonnie, Julie, and Ava

In that June has been proclaimed as LBGTQ Heritage and Culture Month, this week and next week Laguna Beach Pride will be distributing the Rainbow Diversity Flag – small, medium, and large double-sided window posters of Laguna Beach Pride 365 Festival – and Pride Post Cards, in and around our fair City. If you would like any of these items for your home or business, please let us know. We have some free flags, small and large, in a limited amount, or you can purchase a flag on Laguna Beach Pride. All the other items are free!

Rainbow Radio this Saturday, May 18 features…

Alan Barrows... 

With a cause and a message for everyone, Bonnie and I welcome “Master Curator” Alan Barrows. We will be discussing many things about Alan and his latest curated exhibition at the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Advocate & Gochis Galleries. Please tune is as we get to know the person behind his latest exhibition and his efforts to make the world a better place. 

Rainbow reflections Barrows

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Alan Barrows

In his own words…

As a recent guest curator, Alan Barrows puts it this way: “It is impossible not to be aware of homelessness and the impact of losing one’s home, whether it’s due to natural disaster, economic change, or discrimination. Especially in our LGBT community, at-risk seniors, youth, and trans people are disproportionately affected by the crisis of homelessness.” 

Tune in or live stream the program this Saturday at 9 AM on KX 93.5 FM in Laguna Beach. 

So, there you have it for this week…

Lots of going on here in our beautiful beach city…lots to be prideful of…until next week, Craig Cooley here doing my best to keep up with all the LGBTQ fun in Laguna Beach.

If you would like to submit suggestions, please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view we love to keep everything interesting and relevant, and well, yes, fun and entertaining!

Dr. Joanne Culverhouse receives Superintendent of the Year Award from the ACA, Region 17

Former Laguna Beach High School Principal Dr. Joanne Culverhouse was honored at the Irvine Marriott this week by the Association of California Administrators (ACA), Region 17, as Superintendent of the Year. The Association of California School Administrators is the driving force for an equitable, world-class education system, and the development and support of inspired educational leaders who meet the diverse needs of all California students.

Dr. Culverhouse spent 15 years in the Laguna Beach School District, as principal of El Morro, Thurston, and LBHS, until accepting the position of Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services with the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District in 2014. She was beloved by her students and more than one, in their tributes to her when she left LBHS, attributed much of their success to her. 

Dr Joanne Culverhouse

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Dr. Joanne Culverhouse during her time as LBHS Principal

In 2017, she was named Superintendent of La Habra Unified School District. Last year, she was recognized as one of the 100 top influencers of Orange County by the OC Register for her overhaul of the La Habra schools. In September of 2018, after 15 months of planning, she completed the restructuring of the district’s nine schools and created special focus for each campus, modernizing the district’s format. 

Dr. Culverhouse earned her Doctorate from UCLA and a B.S. and M.S. in Education and Administration at the University of Nevada, Reno. Most recently, she served as the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, and as the Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services in the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District. In addition to her time in Laguna Beach, she previously taught elementary school, coached, and served as a principal at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Her past experiences have also included principal positions in Sun Valley, Nev. and Hemet, Calif.

Dusk at the Surf & Sand done right

Dusk at pool

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An evening glow to go with a glowing pool alongside crashing waves

Fitigues clothing founders launch new gym-chic R&R Surplus collection at Montage

R&R Surplus will have a permanent home in Laguna Beach starting Saturday, June 1, when founders Steve and Andi Rosenstein unveil their new flagship store at their personal favorite place for rest and relaxation, the Montage Laguna Beach. 

The Chicago natives are no strangers to Orange County as they opened their first California Fitigues shop at Fashion Island in 1996. This power couple is credited with creating the athleisure trend in the late eighties with the launch of Fitigues. 

They sold their interest in 2006, headed west to Scottsdale, Ariz. and learned very quickly that the lazy river was not in their future. In 2010 they created The Duce, a converted 1928 former produce warehouse that has since become one of the hippest, most innovative venues in town. 

Fitigues clothing guy

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R&R Surplus introduces new men’s collection 

In 2012 Andi decided to return back to her first love of designing sophisticated, luxury comfort you love to live in. The couples’ youngest son Luke, former Fitigues baby model, is now the company’s lead men’s designer. 

“Having spent the better half of my adult life designing clothing that felt as great as it looked, I noticed a void for uncomplicated style, simplicity and comfort. R&R picks up where Fitigues left off and the customer has fallen in love again,” stated Andi Rosenstein.

Every stitch of R&R is produced in Los Angeles and is now available in prestigious independent men’s and women’s specialty stores, upscale fitness clubs, and luxury resorts throughout the U.S. and abroad. 

Fitigues clothing gal

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The clothing line will include women’s and children’s clothing too

“What started as a business relationship with The Montage has since grown into a very special friendship. When the opportunity came along to actually have our own shop on property it was a dream come true” says Steve, the grittier of the two. 

The Grand Opening is set for Saturday, June 1 and the couple will be on hand to sip champagne, reconnect, and reunite with locals and guests who’ve lived in their product for decades.

The Montage Laguna Beach is located at 30801 South Coast Hwy.

Hard work pays off for boys track

By Willie Rounaghi, Editor-in-Chief

Owen van Es, Assistant Web Manager

Students at LBHS

In partnership with Brush and Palette newspaper

This spring season, the boys distance track team has exceeded expectations. The squad continues their winning ways, building on a Division 4 California Cross Country Championship, due to their tireless work ethic and team bond.

“Our team chemistry is the most important aspect of our success because it allows everyone to push each other to work even harder. I think a lot of our success comes from knowing that we’re all friends doing it for each other as well as ourselves,” said sophomore Mateo Bianchi.

Arguably their greatest accomplishment of the season was their win in the 4x1600 relay at the Arcadia Invite, one of the biggest and most prestigious track meets in the country. The 4x1600 team is made up of seniors Ryan Smithers and Sebastian Fisher, junior Logan Brooks, and sophomore Mateo Bianchi. Their time, 17:27, ranks as the number one in the United States for the 2019 season. On June 16, the team will compete for the national title. 

“Every single member of the 4x1600 team has an incredible ability to push themselves beyond their pain threshold. At practice, they run NCAA D1 college workouts and handle them without a problem,” said Tommy Newton-Neal, head boys track coach and assistant cross country coach. 

Bianchi, who ran the first leg of the winning 4x1600 relay, has been not only one of the best runners in the state for his age, but one of the best in the U.S. He ran a 9:25 two-mile, which is currently second in California and 14th in the nation for sophomores.

Hard work boys

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Photo by Scott Wittkip

The 4x1600 team: (L-R) Sebastian Fisher, Ryan Smithers, Logan Brooks, and Mateo Bianchi celebrate their incredible performance at the Arcadia Invitational on April 6, 2019. They currently have the best time in the nation for the 4x1600 relay.

“He has an outstanding potential to be one of the best runners Laguna Beach High School has ever seen. As an athlete, Mateo has the ability to become one of the top runners in nation, but that will depend on how hard he is willing to work over the next two years,” said Newton-Neal.

Two leaders of the team, Smithers and Fisher, have grown into top runners in the nation, setting a hardworking precedent for the underclassmen to strive for. Their times also rank atop many of the all-time track and cross country records at Laguna Beach, leaving a lasting impact and legacy on the track and cross country programs.

“As athletes, they put everything that they have into being successful both on the track and in the classroom. Not a day goes by that these two don’t give 100 percent. Additionally, they are kind, compassionate and caring leaders that have a positive influence on the people that surround them. There is no doubt in my mind that they will be successful students and athletes at their respective schools,” said Newton-Neal.

On Thursday, April 25, Laguna Beach competed in the Sunset Conference “Wave” League Finals, with the top few finishers in each varsity event moving onto CIF Prelims. For the distance team, Mateo Bianchi, Ryan Smithers, Sebastian Fisher, and Logan Brooks qualified in the 2-mile, and Sebastian Fisher and Zach Falkowski qualified in the mile.

Stu News Laguna is proud to feature LBHS students’ writing in partnership with the high school’s journalism class and the Brush & Palette student newspaper.

Where’s Maggi?

Maggi wants to know if you can locate this cute little gate. 

Let us know if you’re onto her whereabouts. Send your answers in to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The location will be revealed in Tuesday’s edition, and we’ll let you know who got it right.

Wheres Maggi 5 17 19

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Mayor Bob Whalen lights a fire under LCC group

The Laguna Canyon Conservancy (LCC) dinner meeting was held Monday, May 13 at Seven7Seven. Mayor Bob Whalen reported lessons learned from the recent wildfires, particularly from his visit to the devastated city of Paradise, Calif.

Mayor Whalen has convened the Mayor’s Subcommittee on Wildfire Safety and Mitigation to develop an action plan to improve safety from wildfires, which will be released in July. His preview at the meeting included concerns about above ground utility poles, ineffective early warning alarms, and means to evacuate or gather at a place of last resort.

Mayor Bob City

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Mayor Bob Whalen expressed concern for power lines and poles to public safety

Concerned that power lines and poles are the single biggest threat to Laguna Beach’s public safety, Mayor Whalen provided the leadership developing a plan for undergrounding utilities citywide. Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have included State financial support, however, now thanks to State Senator John Moorlach and Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris, and the recent fires, the chances of obtaining State assistance is much improved.

The Laguna Canyon Conservancy (LCC) is a volunteer environmental group dedicated to preserving Laguna Canyon. 

For more information, visit

Majestic bird at rest 

Majestic bird falcon

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Photo by CJ Farley

Peregrine Falcon on neighbor’s rooftop

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