By Melissa Cates Claman

Scarsdale Inquirer

NY Health and Wellness has a weight loss mantra: “It’s not your fault, it’s your hormones!”

The health and wellness center sponsored a “Ladies Night Out” event June 22 at the Scarsdale Woman’s Club, including dinner and cocktails, numerous celebrity speakers, and fun giveaways including yoga towels, reusable water bottles, and coupons to the center.

NY Health and Wellness opened in January 2015, aimed to help mostly women of a certain age retake control of their bodies from the effects of perimenopause and menopause.

While weight loss is the No. 1 reason clients visit the center, its experts offer a comprehensive wellness program to help women with aging, maintaining energy, and feeling good all around. The center recognizes links between hormones, hunger, metabolism, and weight loss as women age

Under the centers’ roof is a medical doctor, nurse, nutritionist, fitness director, anti-aging skin care specialist, body contouring expert, and facial rejuvenation acupuncturist. New patients receive comprehensive blood panels to determine hormone levels, blood sugar, thyroid levels, and other potential causes of weight gain. They are given customized scientific and holistic approaches to maintain health and weight.

The evening’s hilarious emcee was Debbie Nigro, a syndicated radio talk show host and patient of NY Health and Wellness. She shared her own health struggle and her subsequent success using the center’s popular Balance 3H Plus ® weight loss program.

Nigro introduced the center’s registered nurse, Valentina Hadland, as the “Queen of Injectables” expert in Botox, dermal fillers Restylane and Juvederm, other injected products, and Ultherapy. Hadland discussed the safety and advantages of these popular products, and noted which ones offered permanent versus reversible results.

“Don’t let anyone touch your face until you are sure about their experience with the product they will be using,” Hadlund advised, stressing the need to research the person injecting you, as well as the particular product being needled into your body.

Jacqui Justice, director of nutrition for the center, spoke about her focus on combining health and nutrition with weight loss. She notes sugar and alcohol are huge weight gain and aging culprits.

Justice suggested “pre-gaming” with protein, like eggs, turkey or other protein, about an hour before any partying that includes bread or cocktails. She explained protein acts as a buffer, so bread and alcohol won’t increase the body’s fat storage, as they would without the protein.

“Aging does not need to be a negative experience,” Justice explained. “Even women not looking to lose weight come to the center to learn how to feel great while aging.”

The key, according to Justice, is hormone balance!

She teaches women to eat according to their hormonal response to food, rather than using a simple calorie-counting approach.

“Everything begins and ends in the gut,” she said. “I take a functional medical approach to get to the root cause of weight gain and other medical issues, as opposed to merely offering a Band-Aid.”

Lisa Avellino is the center’s fitness director and a Scarsdale native. She discussed the center’s focus on balancing the hormones that cause weight gain, noted the center’s approach to addressing the whole person, and encouraged avoidance of the bad “S” words: sugar, salt, stress, sitting, and shallow breathing.

To augment the center’s award-winning Balance 3H Plus ® weight loss program, Avellino developed Balance 3H Plus ® Reboot fitness plan.

She finished her discussion by teaching the audience how to “actively sit” in their chairs by sitting up straight, placing heels on the floor under the knees at a right angle, and lifting the rib cage up. Avellino explained active sitting engages core muscles and aligns posture when sitting for long periods of time.

“There is a Future you can look forward to and get excited about; in fact, you may just be coming into the best time of your life.”
– Dr. Robi Ludwig

Dr. Robi Ludwig was the event’s headliner –– a psychotherapist and author whose new book, “Your Best Age is Now,” was included in all of the event’s swag bags. Ludwig has made her career writing and speaking about the middle life of women, firmly believing it is the best time for women to pursue dreams, goals and ambitions.

According to Ludwig, middle age in previous eras was considered the best time of one’s life. But modern culture, particularly in the United States, views middle age negatively, hence the concept of the “middle age crisis.” Pop culture idealizes youth and views all other life stages negatively. Perceptions persist that one’s best days are past and there is nothing positive to anticipate –– that middle-aged bodies can no longer feel or look good.

“Feeling younger longer is the antidote to feeling overlooked and to feeling down about the future,” Ludwig said.

She encourages rebellion against an “it’s too late for me” attitude.

“Botox for the brain” is Ludwig’s metaphor for a positive mindset. She discussed the science of epigenetics, stressing how lifestyle choices affect how genes become expressed in the body.

“There is a future you can look forward to and get excited about; in fact, you may just be coming into the best time of your life,” Ludwig said.

Other celebrity event speakers included Michael Farago, who explained his use of acupuncture to rejuvenate faces, and his effective technique of reducing fine lines, wrinkles, and lifting sagging facial muscles.

Laura Bonarrigo, an international divorce coach and actress, also spoke, as did Aleta St. James, a 68-year old nationally-acclaimed energy healer and psychic who was the first American women to give birth to twins at age 57 and plans to live to 120.

“Be positive, and be yourself,” said Mitch Suss, NY Health and Wellness founder and CEO.

Suss ended this amazing evening explaining why he founded the center. His daughter Dana asked him to take care of his health so he could walk her down the aisle at her wedding. His focus became trained on middle age health and wellness.

According to Suss, the majority of the center’s patients are women between the ages of 35 and 65 who are experiencing perimenopause or menopausal symptoms. The center’s goal is to help women enjoy every stage and age of life, most importantly, their current one.

“We are so happy with the turnout, we are going to make this an annual event,” Suss said.

NY Health and Wellness offers a free medical weight loss consultation. They are located at 450 Mamaroneck Ave., Suite 413, in Harrison.

Visit our homepage to book your complimentary consultation today!