Life in the Fat Lane

When to stop, yield, and go on red! 
by Erika D White, Fitness Motivator & Creator of Fitzone

Erika White
Erika D. White

Let’s be honest, most of us have found ourselves all over the map when it comes to our perception of fat. Many of our perceptions come from misleading information on the different types of fats through labeling, thinking that fat makes us fat, or only associating fat with certain foods. The information “Fat Lane” is full of twists and turns that can lead the average person straight into a brick wall! While fat is often blamed for obesity, the problem is much more complicated than just the overeating of this single nutrient. From healthy skin, hair and nails; to helping with the absorption of vitamins through the bloodstream; to providing essential fatty acids not made by the body, fat is more than cute babies and undesirable thighs, it is the firework finale to all the other macronutrients. From the carb conundrum to the power of protein, this final macronutrient road trip has all the winning moments for replacing the fat we love with the fat we need. So, grab onto your inner Thelma & Louise, as we ride past misconceptions and home in on identifying, understanding, and choosing life in the “Fat Lane!”

The first thing that should be understood is that fat does not make people fat, poor diets and inactivity do. Eating or drinking most your calories from fats, carbohydrates, protein, and alcohol leads to weight gain. Combine this with consuming more than you can physically burn off, your age, genetics, gender, and finally your lifestyle and you are quite possibly on the path to obesity. Choosing healthy fats is better for your overall health and can help you to live a longer, healthier life. However, it is important to remember that when it comes to your waistline, all fats have about the same number of calories. Whether you are eating a bag of your favorite potato chips or a can of your favorite nuts, both have 9 calories per gram, contrasted to carbs and protein that have only 4 calories per gram. Again, it is the type of fat that makes the health difference in eating nuts over chips. Eating a can of nuts is just as fattening as eating a bag of chips if you do not watch the serving size.

It is easy to label certain foods as “bad” or “good”; but labeling can be a pitfall by giving room for the misconception that one can overindulge just because it is “good.” I can recall people walking through the office with Ziploc baggies full of pretzels, keeping pretzels in their cars, and all over their desk because the craze was that pretzels were so much healthier that chips. Lo and behold, no one lost weight from replacing their chip consumption with pretzels! Why? The sodium content in pretzels not only helped to increase their midsection, but blood pressure as well; and pretzels, like chips, are a snack food. Think veggie chips are more virtuous than potato chips? How about turkey burgers having less fat than a beef burger? Or, how about that bowl of high fiber cereal you traded in for Frosted Flakes? Think again! Many foods that seem healthy are actually fat traps. Veggie chips are processed the same way as regular chips. Turkey burgers ordered in restaurants are made from dark meat and turkey skin, and fiber high cereals are often loaded with sugar. Move away from the concept of labeling foods as “good” and “bad” and focus on reading the label to distinguish what is healthy.

Fat comes in two main forms, unsaturated and saturated. Unsaturated fats remain in their fluid state at room temperature, while saturated fats turn solid at room temperature. Thinking of your arteries, which sounds as if it is the best choice for your health? Yes, unsaturated fats! Our bodies need some saturated fat, but the majority of our fat intake should come from unsaturated fats; and never from trans fats. The current recommendation is about 25-35 percent of your daily calories should come from fat (56-78 grams of fat on a 2,000-calorie diet), with no more than 10 percent (22 grams) coming from saturated fat. Healthy fats such as the monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and omega-3s have a positive effect on our bodies. These types of fats help manage mood, control hunger, maintain mental clarity, and fight fatigue.

It is very important to focus on healthy fat to completely reset your body for a new lifestyle and a leaner, stronger you. I could give you a food list to follow, but that would not motivate you to understand what to eat and why. It is also imperative to understand the types of fat that are beneficial for your body along with those that are not. It is simple to tell people what to eat; I prefer to share how to eat because inspiration is thought, motivation is action. Check out your motivating fat lane list below.


Unsaturated fats are considered the best for your overall health because they can improve blood cholesterol levels, help with inflammation, help blood pressure, and cardiac health. This type of fat is great for your overall health with easy swaps like olive oil for butter or seafood for red meat. Below are the two types of unsaturated fats you need to know:

Monounsaturated fats raise good cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and lower bad cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Some of the best sources are olive oil, grapeseed oil, peanut oil, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and avocados.

Polyunsaturated fats can help lower your total cholesterol level and are found in foods like walnuts, flaxseeds, sunflower oil, corn oil, and fish.

Omega-3s are the polyunsaturated powerhouses of healthy fats. The body cannot make Omega-3s, so they must come from foods. Adding fatty fish like albacore tuna, salmon, mackerel, and sardines can help fight inflammation, control blood clotting, and even help to lower blood pressure and triglycerides.

THE YIELD LANE: Saturated Fats

This type of fat is potentially harmful to your health. Saturated fats are primarily found in meat, but there are some plant sources (i.e. coconuts, coconut oil, palm kernel oil) that have a high level as well. Saturated fat raises total blood cholesterol levels and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, which can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Saturated fat may also increase your risk of type 2 diabetes. Even healthy foods like chicken and nuts have small amounts of saturated fat, so the American Heart Association recommends a dietary pattern that includes 5-6 percent of calories from saturated fat. This can easily be achieved by limiting foods like beef fat, cheese, ice cream, lamb, pork, poultry with skin, lard, cream and butter, and opting for more unsaturated fat foods in your diet


Trans fats are labeled as hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated, or shortening; check even those foods labeled as “zero trans fats” because they can still contain these ingredients. Trans fats not only increase total cholesterol and bad cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL); they also lower good cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL). This is double trouble for our heart health. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified partially hydrogenated vegetable oil “no longer generally recognized as safe” and that it should be phased out over the next several years. I say why wait! Here are some foods to start phasing out on your own: potato, corn and tortilla chips, microwave popcorn, ready-made frosting, frozen pizza, deep fried foods (inc. french fries), baked goods containing shortening (i.e. cracker, cookies, pies); nondairy coffee creamer; and stick margarine.

We all need fat in our life, there is no doubt about that. Not only does fat give food amazing flavor, it gives us the feeling of fullness, and provides our bodies with beneficial, body-fueling nutrients. Eating low-fat is not just a colored label on food or giving up fat from our diet, it is cutting choices that add weight and increase our health risks. Educating ourselves is practicing healthy living. Eating for both enjoyment and health is what it takes to make the right changes when cruising Life in the Fat Lane. And, doing it in a blue 1966 Ford Thunderbird convertible doesn’t hurt either! Minus the whole over the cliff thing!

Erika D. White is a certified fitness professional who believes in building strong, healthy, ageless men and women. Connect with Erika at or every Tuesday at noon on 13abc’s Ask the Expert

Gropper SS, Smith JL, Groff JL. “Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism.” Fourth Edition. Belmont, CA. Wadsworth Pub Co. 2005.


Books for Boomers MARCH 2017

–by Sue Schafer Manager, Sylvania Branch, Toledo Lucas County Public Library

Sue Schafer








With St. Patrick’s Day approaching, why not take the opportunity to read some contemporary Irish authors? Here are some engaging suggestions to help you start the celebration!

The Green Road
W.W.W. Norton & Co., Inc., 2015
By Anne Enright

Rosaleen Madigan’s four children enter adulthood in Western Ireland at a time of great change. In the decades that follow, they all forge their own paths through life, but a visit home one Christmas forces them to face their mother’s aging and the decision that she’s made that will have repercussions on all their lives.

Nora Webster
Scribner, 2014
By Colm Toibin

In the late 1960s in Ireland, Nora Webster must rebuild her life and raise her four children alone after her husband dies.

The Wonder
Little, Brown and Company, 2016
By Emma Donaghue

A village in 1850s Ireland is mystified by what appears to be a miracle–a little girl seems to be thriving after months without food. An English nurse and an international journalist try to get to the root of why the child may actually be the victim of murder in this psychological thriller.

Instructions for a Heatwave
Alfred A. Knopf, 2013
By Maggie O’Farrell

When a recently retired family patriarch clears out his bank account and disappears during a sweltering summer in 1976, his three children converge on their mother’s home for the first time in years and track clues to an ancestral village in Ireland, where they uncover illuminating family secrets.

Soft Skull Press, 2011
By Neil Jordan

Describes the parallel but opposite lives of two boys in Dublin from different sides of the tracks who are constantly mistaken for each other until a family tragedy changes them forever.


Symphony Notes

TSO unveils its 2017-18 season
by Dennis Bova

Opera Singer Renée Fleming

Renée Fleming, one of the world’s most celebrated opera singers, will be in concert at
8 p.m. Wednesday, June 7,
at the Toledo Museum of Art’s Peristyle.

This will be Fleming’s debut performance with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra.

The announcement of the Fleming special event coincides with the TSO’s unveiling of its 2017-18 season, which features exciting guest artists, a new starting time for a concert series, and a brand new festival.

“The People’s Diva,” as Fleming is known, sang the National Anthem at Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014 and performed at the Diamond Jubilee concert for Queen Elizabeth II in 2012 and at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

She will come to Toledo direct from New York’s Metropolitan Opera, where she will sing Richard Strauss’s opera “Der Rosenkavalier.” In Toledo, the soprano will perform Strauss’s exquisite “Four Last Songs” as well as favorites from Italian, French, German, and Russian opera.

“Renée Fleming is classical music royalty,” said Toledo Symphony President and CEO Zak Vassar. “I have followed her career for years and am so proud to bring Ms. Fleming to this city, with this orchestra, at this time. Ms. Fleming is one of the top performers in music today, and we are lucky to have her here. This will be a high-water mark for our musicians and our organization.”

Fleming’s appearance is made possible by ProMedica, with additional artistic support from the Toledo Opera.

Single tickets, with prices starting at $49,

go on sale to the public on April 1 through the Toledo Symphony Box Office at
1838 Parkwood Ave.,
by calling 419-246-8000,
or by visiting

Fleming’s appearance is just one of several special surprises that Vassar and the symphony’s artistic team have in store for Toledo audiences in the 2017-2018 season. “It’s going to be a heckuva season,” Vassar said. “There’s literally something for everyone.”


Among the 2017-18 highlights:

The Welltower Mozart & More series starting time will move from 7:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. to provide patrons with an afternoon concert option. The performances will remain on Saturdays at the Franciscan Center on the Lourdes University campus in Sylvania.

Opera legend Kathleen Battle will perform a program inspired by African-Americans’ journey to freedom along the Underground Railroad, a stop of which was in Sylvania. Her appearance is part of a new series called the North Star Festival.

Broadway star Leslie Odom, Jr., of the hit musical “Hamilton” joins the TSO for a show of Broadway and jazz-inspired hits, including a tribute to Nat King Cole.

Storm Large, a chanteuse and Carnegie Hall sensation who performed with the TSO in 2015, returns for two performances: “Seven Deadly Sins” and “Crazy Arc of Love.”

The Indigo Girls will perform their folk-rock favorites, like “Closer to Fine” and “Galileo” in a unique symphonic setting.


The Power of Protein

Where to find it and how to use it
by Erika D White, Fitness Motivator & Creator of Fitzone

Erika White
Erika White

Protein could easily be characterized as the “Johnny Depp” of macronutrients when it comes to being the most sought after and the most misunderstood. It is the “macro celebrity supreme” when it comes to people seeking out its ability to build muscle, increase satiety, and burn calories. But, even with all that star power, protein has a dark side. High protein diets can cause dragon breath; it forms internally and can make conversation, well, a little unpleasant. The excess can also cause damage to the kidneys, especially to those with pre-existing health conditions, and consuming more than the body needs can cool that calorie burn by storing extra protein as fat. That is why it is highly important to understand that the benefits of protein happen naturally, not because of protein products or advertised claims. Our bodies consume more energy to digest, metabolize, and use amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Protein is also not readily used for energy like carbs, which is why it is stored by the body as fat. Because it takes protein longer to pass from the stomach, it gives the feeling of fullness sooner and longer. To maximize the naturally occurring health benefits of this macronutrient, it is all about eating the right amount and the right kind of protein.

To get all the star-powered benefits, focus on healthy, clean protein to feed your body. My first recommendation is to eat steak like birthday cake; which, I might add, is literally done in Japan. Birthday cake is for celebrating, and red meat, yes you guessed it, is for celebrating too! Celebrations happen occasionally, which is why both are an every-once-in-a-while indulgence. Overindulgence in red meat, which contains saturated fat, increases the risk of type 2-diabetes and heart disease. Protein found in fish, white meat poultry, Greek yogurt, low-fat milk, low-fat cheese, eggs, lean beef, lean turkey, beans, whey/casein protein powder, low-fat cottage cheese, tofu, tempeh, ground buffalo, soybeans, and edamame are excellent choices as they are also low in saturated fat. Further increase your health benefits by skipping processed meats like bacon, sausage, hot dogs, lunch meat, any smoked or cured meats, along with whole milk.

Certified fitness professional Erika D. White.
–photo courtesy of Jasmine White

Despite what the supplement companies want you to believe, everyone’s dietary protein needs varies based on age, activity level, health status, muscle mass, and body goals. There is an upper limit to the amount of protein that the body can utilize, consequently doubling the recommended daily allowance won’t necessarily help build more muscle. For those who exercise, your protein needs may increase since resistance training and endurance workouts can rapidly break down muscle protein, and recent studies have further concluded that bodybuilders, like athletes, similarly have higher protein requirements. So, it is important to know how to calculate your body’s individual protein needs. Below is a simple calculation table to help get you started. Start by taking your current weight in pounds and dividing it by 2.2; then take the answer and multiply it by the number range from the chart below that matches your amount of physical activity, the final number will equal your daily protein needs. Stay toward the higher end if your training or activities are more intense, and remain at the lower range for lighter intensity days or activities.

It is important to spread the amount of protein needed evenly throughout your meals for the day. There are approximately 7 grams of protein in an ounce of cooked meat or fish, and about 6 grams if raw. A 3.5 ounce chicken breast, for example, is about 30 grams protein; while a 6 ounce can of tuna is roughly 40 grams of protein. It is optimum to choose fresh meat over packaged due to the added sugar and sodium. I think Ben Franklin’s idiom said it best, “Fish and visitors stink after three days.” So keep it fresh! That surely would make a great refrigerator magnet!

The only way to build muscle is through exercise; the only way to grow muscle is with protein. To put it all on a plate, the quality and quantity of protein plays a vital role in our body’s ability to build and repair. Though it is tempting to focus on only eating protein or following high-protein diets, our bodies are looking for nutrients and not just calories. It is the combination of fruits, veggies, healthy fats and protein that provide the right amount of all nutrients. Our health is not restricted to only eating or avoiding certain foods, it is about making and knowing the best choices. It is true that no diet can deliver what healthy living does, so keep it like Johnny Depp by making your body a living journal of a healthy lifestyle (tattoos not included)!

Erika D. White is a certified fitness professional who believes in building strong, healthy, ageless men & women. Connect with Erika at or every Tuesday at noon on 13abc’s Ask the Expert.



Gropper SS, Smith JL, Groff JL. “Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism.” Fourth Edition. Belmont, CA. Wadsworth Pub Co. 2005.


An almost-spring getaway to Greenville
–by Jennifer Ruple


 Jennifer Ruple
Jennifer Ruple







At this time of year, we have those days when we can smell springtime right around the corner. And then there are those days when it feels like old man winter will never check out. Fortunately for me and my husband, we picked a somewhat sunny Saturday to scope out the quaint town of Greenville, Ohio.

A barn along SR 127, 10 miles north of Greenville, pays tribute to Annie Oakley.

Approximately a two-hour drive south on I-75 and another 30 minutes west on SR 36, the town of Greenville is the county seat of Darke County and is loaded with small-town charm. From its cozy downtown with coffee shops, restaurants and boutiques to its historical gems like Bear’s Mill and The Garst Museum, Greenville is full of treasures waiting to be discovered.

Bear’s Mill, one of a few operating water-powered mills in Ohio.

As you make your way into town, plan to stop at Bear’s Mill, located at 6450 Arcanum-Bear’s Mill Rd. Named Best Historical Site for Ohio Magazine’s annual “Best of Ohio” contest, the mill is one of only a few operating water-powered mills in Ohio today. Built in 1849, Bear’s Mill rests beside Greenville Creek, which is the source of power for the mill. Through a self-guided tour of the mill’s four floors, you’ll find antique machinery, art exhibitions, and the mill’s store which sells stone-ground flours, pottery and handmade items.

Once in Greenville, head to Annie Oakley Park located just south of the center of town. The park features a plaque and a larger-than-life bronze statue dedicated to the famous sharpshooter. Oakley, born in Ohio, was dubbed Little Sure Shot for her remarkable shooting talent and later toured with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Although Oakley was born outside of Greenville, the city has adopted her as one of its own. There’s also a special exhibit about her at The Garst Museum, which is mentioned later in this article.

The Merchant House is a “Best of Ohio” winner in the casual dining category.

Next, take a stroll along Main Street (actually Broadway Street) where you can explore the many shops and boutiques. For lunch or dinner, take a seat at The Merchant House, also a “Best of Ohio” winner in the casual dining category. Located at 406 S. Broadway St., the eatery specializes in smoked meats such as beef brisket, sausage and chicken (pair them with Bacon Mac and Cheese and BBQ Green Beans).

Or, indulge in an authentic Detroit-style, deep-dish pizza, cooked to perfection in the restaurant’s stone oven.

Smoked bacon pizza rolls are a treat available at The Merchant House. i>


KitchenAid artifacts are on display at the KitchenAid Experience in downtown Greenville.

After lunch, head across the street to the KitchenAid Experience retail center where you can view an original Model H KitchenAid Stand Mixer and other KitchenAid artifacts in the center’s museum on the lower level. Upstairs in the retail center, enjoy shopping the complete collection of KitchenAid countertop and culinary products. There are even refurbished appliances available at a fraction of their original price in the center’s outlet store. And, to learn tips, tricks and techniques of the trade, cooking classes are offered in the center’s kitchen. Call 888-886-8318 for information on classes and times.

Darke County history is on display at The Garst Museum.


And finally, don’t miss The Garst Museum, located at 205 N. Broadway St. The museum, operated by the D­­­­arke County Historical Society, is a 35,000-square foot campus that houses over 300,000 artifacts relevant to the history and culture of Darke County. There you will find The National Annie Oakley Center and exhibitions highlighting the Treaty of Greenville, Lowell Thomas and Ohio Native Americans. The museum is open Tuesday – Sunday and admission for seniors 60+ is $9 per person. Visit for times and information on special exhibits.

For those of you who feel like you’ve been cooped up way too long, keep a close watch on the weather, and hit the road to Greenville. You can always do laundry, work around the house or grocery shop on those “other” days.



Firing Up the Rockets!

Finding success on and off the court
by Mary Helen Darah

Coach Cullop vs. Purdue

University of Toledo Women’s Basketball Head Coach Tricia Cullop has hung five post-season banners with her team since taking the helm for the Lady Rockets in April of 2008. The four-year letter winner for the Purdue University Boilermakers received her bachelor’s degree in communications and was on the team that brought Purdue its first-ever Big Ten Championship. She continually strives to improve and bring her “A” game on and off the court and expects nothing less from her players.

Get into the game at any age
Coach Cullop has successfully engaged her team and their fan base by effectively bridging the generation gap. “I think it’s not an easy task,” she stated. “I keep getting younger and younger players every year. It is important that we have a staff of varying ages and backgrounds. I have known Vicki Hall, women’s basketball associate coach, the longest. We are both from Indiana. She played pro until she was 40 years old. It is hard to find someone more determined. She is a great resource for our kids, especially after their college play is done. She also speaks more than one language and is not afraid to jump on a plane and go where she is needed. Women’s Basketball Assistant Coach Tony Greene is a great teacher and brings a lot of energy. Tiffany Swoffard, women’s basketball assistant coach, is from the south, younger than I am and brings a different perspective. Tiffany is also a great teacher and came heralded as one of our top recruiters and helped sign a kid from Atlanta for next year’s class. I coached Director of Operations Katie Griggs at Xavier. An injury prevented her from going on with her basketball career. She is a tremendous asset.”

I am thankful for Lauren Flaum, coordinator of Women’s Basketball and video coordinator, who is a young member of our staff. Between Lauren and her mother, Lynn Nusbaum, they know everyone in town. They are great people. We were trying to find Jewish resources for our player, Naama Shafir, from Israel and stumbled upon Lynn. I am so thankful. Without her, I don’t know if it would have worked. I believe having a staff consisting of different backgrounds and cultures enables them to relate to a diverse team.”

Fantastic fans
Similar to her multi-generational staff, the Lady Rockets fan base has a wide range of ages from young children to retirees. “We have many loyal fans that support us,” stated Coach Cullop. “We sit 25th in the country in fan base and top 30 in the country. Our fans and fan club get to know our players. We have players from locations beyond a three to four hour radius. Having fans greet them after games when their family can’t be here, lasts a lot longer than a college career. We have 200 members in our fan club. We are averaging 4,000 fans a game. That is ahead of University of Michigan and Stanford.”

Diversity on the court
The Lady Rockets come from diverse backgrounds including many international players. “We have players from Finland, England and Italy. We didn’t plan this by design,” explained Coach Cullop. “We always chase players within a six-hour radius. Yet we owe it to our fans to go after the best possible players and players that could help win the conference. When you feel like you find a player that will help us, we will go where we need to go.”

‘The times they are a changin’
Coach Cullop believes coaching has changed from when she was a player. “The approach has changed. Coaches were tougher,” recalled Cullop. “There were no time requirements. I remember losing a game and putting our practice clothes back on and practicing until midnight. We want our players to be treated the way they should be treated. There are a lot of things in place for their protection. I have been places where the kids had to be at practice at 5 a.m. Our players need to rest, to study and reduce wear and tear on their bodies.”

One thing that remains constant through time, is Coach Cullop’s desire to have her players believe in themselves. “I believe participating on our team helps players believe they can accomplish their goals. We are trying to challenge them in both realms. We want them to succeed on and off the court. Our team GPA has been 3.3. One year we were ranked in the top 25. I hope being on the team will help them in whatever field they choose. Players have had the valuable experience of diving into working and communicating with people from various backgrounds. There are so many opportunities at their fingertips. I think years later, players will know how to be grateful for the opportunities around them.”

We can do better
One of the biggest challenges of being a coach is redirecting players after a loss. “I tell my players ‘It is never as bad as it seems and never as good as it seems,” stated Coach Cullop. “We just won against Akron but we are going to watch a lot of film of what we can do better. We watch the good film and the bad. I don’t sleep as well after a loss. My job is to get them refocused. We don’t want to take baggage to the next game. Our focus is to look forward, stay humble and continually be better.”

Forward thinking
Next year two players will graduate, but four starters will return to play for the Lady Rockets. “I think the exciting thing about that is only one of them will be a senior,” stated Coach Cullop. “I think I have some younger kids that will vie for that starting spot. What is also exciting is that we have 17 wins (at press time) with a young team. To have a lot of that team return for the future is very exciting.”

Coach Cullop is also confident that her team will continue to strive for success beyond the court. “I think we selected talented basketball players that also happen to be great people.”

Coach Tricia Cullop is surrounded by her players who strive to successfully balance academics and basketball.


Hosting the perfect pasta party
by Jannifer Ruple

When it comes to feeding a hungry crowd, there aren’t a lot of foods that fill the bill as well as pasta. Loved by kids and adults alike, pasta is one of those versatile foods that can be customized to satisfy all tastes including meat lovers and veggie lovers. Why not plan a party where your guests can create their own masterpieces with a build-your-own pasta buffet? From choosing the shape of pasta and the type of sauce to their favorite toppings – it’s all about personalization.

Here are some ideas and sauce recipes to help you plan the perfect pasta party.

It’s all about the base.
Serve two types of pasta – one long-stranded pasta such as spaghetti, linguine, fettuccine or bucatini and one shaped pasta such as penne, farfalle (bowties), rigatoni or conchiglie (shells). Cook the pasta to al dente, which is Italian for “to the tooth,” meaning the pasta should be cooked until tender, but slightly firm. Drain the pasta, place into a serving bowl and drizzle with a bit of olive oil to prevent it from sticking together.

The sauces.
Include two or three sauces on the buffet to choose from such as marinara, a tomato-based sauce; Alfredo, a creamy sauce made with butter and Parmesan cheese; and pesto sauce, which is generally made with fresh basil, Parmesan cheese and pine nuts. A bottle of good quality extra-virgin olive oil is a nice addition to the buffet for guests who prefer no sauce.

The accouterments. The sky’s the limit here. Include a couple of meats such as meatballs, crumbled Italian sausage, and grilled chicken. Set out bowls of toppings – chopped fresh basil leaves, sun-dried tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, boiled shrimp, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, olives, and sautéed bell peppers and onions.

The drinks. A variety of beverages such as   S. Pellegrino sparkling water with lime wedges, fruity Italian sodas, and a couple varieties of wine will ensure there’s something for all tastes.

The décor.
Fill large baskets with market goodies such as loaves of crusty bread, packages of dried pasta, canned Italian tomatoes, fresh herbs and wine bottles. A red-checkered table cover and classic candle in a Chianti bottle will set the mood.

Wine-themed candle holders add a soft glow to the buffet.


For the centerpiece, fill a large basket with greenery, faux fruit and wine bottles.

Marinara Sauce
¼ pound pancetta (Italian bacon), diced

1 large yellow onion, diced

3 large cloves garlic, minced

Two 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes

Salt and pepper

Fresh basil, chopped

Fresh oregano, finely chopped

Pinch of sugar (optional)

In a large saucepan, cook the minced pancetta until browned, but not crispy. Add the onion and the garlic and cook on medium heat until the onions are translucent. Add the canned tomatoes and about one-half can of water. Cook over low heat for about 45 minutes. Add the fresh herbs. Continue to cook for 20-25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. If sauce seems slightly acidic, add a pinch of sugar.

At this point, you have two options. If you like a thicker, chunkier marinara, you can leave it alone. If you want a smoother marinara, process in a food processor or with an immersion blender. 

(Recipe by Liz Donaldson, Assistant Chef at Walt Churchill’s Market, Maumee)

Alfredo Sauce
1 stick butter

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups heavy cream

1 ¾ cups Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated

½ cup fresh Italian parsley, minced

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and then sauté the garlic. Add the cream and heat through on medium-low heat. When hot, add the cheese. Heat for about 10 minutes until it thickens. Add the parsley.

(Recipe by Liz Donaldson, assistant chef at Walt Churchill’s Market, Maumee)


Drizzle pasta with olive oil to prevent it from sticking together.


Guests can create their own masterpieces with a
build-your-own pasta buffet.

Basil Pesto
1 cup basil leaves

1 cup flat-leaf parsley

¾ teaspoon garlic sea salt

¼ cup pine nuts

¾ cup Parmesan cheese

¾ cup basil-infused olive oil

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

To prepare the pesto, pulse first five ingredients in a blender or food processor. Slowly add basil olive oil.

(Recipe from Ashleigh, owner of Bumble Olive Oil Company)

Retirement Journey MARCH 2017

Naming a trust as an IRA beneficiary
–by Jeff Bucher

Jeff Bucher
Jeff Bucher







For many Americans, the assets in their Individual Retirement Account represent a significant portion of the wealth they hope to leave to their loved ones. You may have heard that creating a trust and naming it as the beneficiary of your IRA is a good way to direct how your assets are distributed after your death and force your heirs to “stretch” the IRA for generations. However, trusts and inherited IRAs are complex vehicles that have a lot of details to get right.

Here are some of the advantages to naming a trust as an IRA beneficiary:
While directly inheriting an IRA is perfectly fine for many heirs, it can be inappropriate in some situations. Under these circumstances, a trust may be able to help you control how your IRA assets are distributed after you’re gone and help protect your family’s wealth.

Protect minor children:
If you name minor children or grandchildren as beneficiaries without additional instructions, a guardian will likely be appointed by a court, which can be a complicated and lengthy process and may reduce the benefit your heirs get from the inherited assets.

Navigate blended family dynamics: For families with children from multiple marriages, a trust can help you make sure every member of your family inherits according to your wishes.

Provide for children with special needs:
If one of your beneficiaries has special needs, inheriting an IRA could jeopardize his or her ability to qualify for Social Security disability benefits or other forms of assistance.

Avoid spendthrift tendencies:
It’s also worth considering whether you think your heirs can handle an inheritance responsibly once they reach adulthood. Young or spendthrift adults might be inclined to simply cash out the IRA and pay the taxes instead of taking advantage of deferred distributions. A trust can explicitly detail how much your heirs are able to receive each year and delay when they gain control over the assets.

Protect family wealth from creditors:
Trusts can also protect your family’s wealth from divorce and bankruptcy. If you worry that your heirs might face divorce or bankruptcy proceedings, a trust might be worth considering.

How Can We Help?
It could be beneficial to use a financial professional when choosing your beneficiaries on your IRA, which may coordinate all aspects of your estate strategies. Estate planning is a very complex area and it’s beneficial to get the details right. If you haven’t reviewed your estate strategies recently or have questions about trusts, inherited IRAs, or beneficiary provisions, please give us a call. We have helped many of our clients explore their legacy goals and work closely with experienced attorneys and tax professionals who can help you identify the best solutions for your personal situation.

Jeff Bucher is the president and co-founder of Citizen Advisory Group, a comprehensive financial planning company in Perrysburg.
You can contact him at
email at

visit at
770 Commerce Dr.

or on the website at


Investment Advisory Services offered through AlphaStar Capital Management, LLC, a SEC Registered Investment Adviser. SEC registration does not constitute an endorsement of the firm by the Commission nor does it indicate that the adviser has attained a particular level of skill or ability. AlphaStar Capital Management, LLC and Citizen Advisory Group are independent entities.


“We Love Small Businesses” Contest!

GenoaBank and Sylvania AdVantage/Boomers & Beyond are partnering to recognize outstanding Sylvania-area small businesses and the contribution they make to the community. Give a local business a chance to win an advertising package with the Sylvania AdVantage and Boomers & Beyond newspapers valued at over $3,000.00.

To nominate your favorite,


to tell us what makes this Sylvania-area business special!

The top three finalists will be featured in the Sylvania AdVantage April 18th issue,
and then the community will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite!


Love in the Park

Volunteers find love along the trail
by Mary Helen Darah

Joe and Pamela Rosol
Joe and Pamela Rosol

Joe and Pamela Rosol found love in the park and on the trail as members of the Volunteer Trail Patrol at Wildwood Metropark. The two are entering their 6th year of service to the Metroparks of the Toledo Area. After losing their spouses, they formed a friendship on the trails which led to Pamela asking Joe to accompany her to a lecture on bats at Secor Metropark because she didn’t want to go alone. “There was absolutely nothing romantic about it. It was all about bats that night,” she recalled. Joe then asked her out to dinner, and after a few days of pondering, she agreed. The couple then began dating regularly. One day while patrolling the overlook, Joe got down on one knee and proposed. The couple wed on Sept. 20 of last year. A honeymoon is planned this month in St. Lucia.

Before hitting the trail with her new husband, Pam offered some advice. “You can change your life no matter what tragedy happens to you. When you least expect it something amazing will happen.” As you head out this month, keep in mind that love could be just around the bend, down the road or in their case, on the trail ahead.