Meet a Health Hero: Phyllis Sudman

>> You can vote for Phyllis on our Facebook page September 10-16. Mark your calendar!

Name: Phyllis Sudman

Occupation: Co-founder of Simon’s Fund

Who or what motivates you to be healthy?
I know that being healthy is smart living. I’ve always followed a healthy lifestyle, but after losing my son and being diagnosed with a heart condition, I needed to share my knowledge with other parents.

Describe a health or fitness related turning point in your life.
My son died when I was 34. At the same time, I was diagnosed with a heart condition. This was a turning point in every part of my life.

What “policy” would you institute to make Greater Philadelphia a healthier region?
People need information and incentives to live healthy lives. These incentives could come from their workplace, insurer or township, but they need a reason to think long term and make good choices.

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Meet a Health Hero: Kiera Smalls

>> You can vote for Kiera on our Facebook page September 10-16. Mark your calendar!

Name: Kiera Smalls

Occupation: Personal trainer and founder/blogger at City Fit Girls

Who or what motivates you to be healthy?
I am motivated to be healthy by my experiences growing up in a household where health and fitness was not a priority. My immediate family wasn’t physically active and they didn’t know much about fitness or nutrition. Meals were often unhealthy, processed junk foods and frozen vegetables. My school lunch was mostly composed of chips, soda and candy from the corner store. I battled with obesity and asthma throughout my childhood and much of my young adult life due to my family’s unhealthy eating and smoking habits. As an adult, I learned that I could take charge of my health by changing my diet, choosing not to smoke, and making fitness a part of my daily life. I then realized that by changing my habits, I could inspire my family and friends to do the same.

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Meet a Health Hero: Bruce Hopper Jr.

>> You can vote for Dr. Hopper on our Facebook page September 10-16. Mark your calendar!

Name: Bruce Hopper Jr., MD

Occupation: Physician for the Restaurant Worker Referral Program, Philadelphia Chapter

Who or what motivates you to be healthy?
Longevity. I want to be able to participate in any activity with my family and offspring forever.

Describe a health or fitness related turning point in your life.
I was diagnosed with a chronic medical condition as a medical student, and I further discovered that nutrition gave me far better results than medication.

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Meet a Health Hero: Nicky Uy

>> You can vote for Nicky on our Facebook page September 3-9. Mark your calendar!

Name: Nicky Uy

Occupation: Senior Associate at the Food Trust

Who or what motivates you to be healthy?
Part of enjoying life for me is to be able to participate and contribute to efforts happening within my family, work and various communities I’m fortunate to be a part of in Philadelphia and elsewhere. It motivates me to be healthy so that I have the energy and focus to contribute, participate and enjoy all the amazing things going on. It’s possible, but harder to appreciate the good things in life when I’m not healthy.

Describe a health- or fitness-related turning point in your life.
When I was in between jobs, I started cooking at home more both to save money and out of interest. I definitely saved money and the skills I learned then still serve me now when I have to pull a quick weekday meal together. More importantly, cooking at home also made me more energetic and I felt and looked healthier. I became aware of the many unnecessary things added to foods I was eating and still eat (in moderation) outside the house.

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Meet a Health Hero: Alberto Esquenazi

>> You can vote for Dr. Esquenazi on our Facebook page September 3-9. Mark your calendar!

Name: Alberto Esquenazi, MD

Occupation: Chief Medical Officer, MossRehab

Who or what motivates you to be healthy?
Better health will allow me to better serve my patients.

Describe a health or fitness related turning point in your life.
I have used swimming as a “regulator”. It lets me relax but keeps me in a schedule.

What “policy” would you institute to make Greater Philadelphia a healthier region?
Continue to encourage “micro communities” so we do not have to drive. I walk at every opportunity.

What’s the most important part of your health or fitness regimen?
Consistency, make time for it.

What is your number one piece of health-related advice?
Train in a manner you do not get injured.

Meet a Health Hero: Nurit Shein

>> You can vote for Nurit on our Facebook page September 3-9. Mark your calendar!

Name: Nurit Shein

Occupation: Executive Director of the Mazzoni Center

Who or what motivates you to be healthy?
It’s as simple as just feeling good after an hour of Spinning at the gym or having a great healthy salad for lunch. While intellectually I know that eating healthy and exercising is important, it’s the energy after working out or riding 30 miles that makes me do it again and again.

Describe a health- or fitness-related turning point in your life.
In 1996 I signed up for a fundraising event for my agency, a three day bike ride from Philadelphia to Washington, DC, raising awareness and money for AIDS programs. It was a severe winter in Philly, and I could not train outside until late April (two months before the event). After riding every mile, I knew that cycling is a sport I will keep doing. Since then I have kept healthy, in shape, and have done a half dozen more long (five-day) bike rides in the U.S. and abroad.

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Meet a Health Hero: Desiree Gaunt

>> You can vote for Desiree on our Facebook page September 3-9. Mark your calendar!

Name: Desiree Gaunt

Occupation: Coordinator of Physical Health at Melmark

Who or what motivates you to be healthy?
I think it is very important to have positive role models in our lives, but I think it essential that we are able to motivate ourselves. We make our own decisions and are in control of our own destiny. I try to motivate and challenge myself; if I fail I have to pick myself back up to try again. “If it is to be, it is up to me” (William H. Johnsen).

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Live Eagles-Jaguars Chat At 7:30

Tim and Sheil will have updates and observations as the Eagles take on the Jaguars Saturday night at 7:30.

To comment, readers must log in, using Twitter or Facebook.

Open Game Thread: Eagles Vs. Patriots

We had some technical difficulties with the chat, so instead, we’re turning this into an open game thread. You can chime in below in the comments. Tim and I will stop by there as well.

The List: 8 More Things We Love About MontCo

You know a county is a big deal when it has its own nickname. PhilCo doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but MontCo? Well, that’s something special. In honor of Montgomery County’s issuance of its 100th gay marriage license, here are 8 more things we love about Montgomery County.

—Nicole Soll and Amanda Wolkin

1. Green space

Skyscrapers getting you down? Montgomery County owns more than 6,000 acres of open space, including nine parks and 60 miles of regional trails. We’re pretty sure there’s no other place where you can just hike to a colonial ironmaster’s home.

2. Shopping

King of Prussia Mall. Enough said. (But if getting lost inside the biggest shopping center on the East Coast isn’t your thing, Montgomery County is also known for its ritzy boutiques, particularly in Bala Cynwyd.)

3. Economy

With major local employers like Johnson & Johnson and Aetna, MontCo is more than just a close commute to the city — really, you could practically hike to your office (see: Green Space.) With its strong job force (and taxes generated by those jobs), Mongomery County is one of fewer than 30 counties in the U.S. to have the highest credit rating of ‘AAA,’ as determined by Standard & Poor’s.

4. Kid-friendly

Voted No. 9 on ForbesBest Places to Raise a Family list — which took into account standardized test scores, cost of living and median home prices —  MontCo beat out every single other place in Pennsylvania. With over 20 schools in Philly Mag’s Top 100 Public Schools list, not to mention plenty of opportunities for family fun (Civil War re-enactments, anyone?), Little Timmy is sure to have an idyllic childhood frolicking in Haverford’s hills.

5. Celebrities

Perm or no perm, Montgomery County has blessed us with a fantastic male specimen: People‘s Sexiest Man, Bradley Cooper. Some other notable MontCo natives include Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, political commentator Chris Matthews, comedian Bob Saget, singer P!nk, Second Lady Jill Biden, and so many others that we could make this list only about them.

6. Court Cases

Fighting for liberal values throughout time, one of MontCo’s most famous court cases came in 1963 in Abington Township when a student, Ellory Schempp, and his family filed a lawsuit against the School District for their practice of reading the Bible in public schools. The case, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, went to the Supreme Court where it was ruled that prayer in public schools was unconstitutional. We imagine Schempp would be proud of MontCo’s current liberal crusade.

7. Politicians

In addition to the fellas giving out marriage licenses, Montgomery County is home to Steve McCarter, the state representative that co-sponsored a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Pa. Although McCarter also represents sections of Philadelphia County, he lives in Glenside, so we consider that a point for Team MontCo! Congresswoman and gubernatorial hopeful Allyson Schwartz also currently lives in and represents part of Montgomery Country.

8. History

Montgomery County boasts more than 140 sites on the National Register of Historic Sites. One of the largest is Valley Forge National Park, the 3,500 acre area where 2,500 American Revolutionary soldiers spent the winter of 1777-78, including George Washington. You can visit today and watch as re-enactors show you how much you would have hated living back then.

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