The Carb Conundrum

The good, the bad and the ugly of carbohydrates
by Erika D White, Fitness Motivator & Creator of Fitzone

Erika White
Erika White








Carbohydrates, also referred to as carbs, play a vital role in maintaining a healthy diet. Completely eliminating this macronutrient can do more harm than good. The focus instead should be understanding how, what, and when carbs benefit your healthy lifestyle. Over the next few issues, we will be exploring the following power players of healthy eating: carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. This trio is more properly termed as macronutrients and is most identified with weight gain, weight loss, and even weight maintenance. Macronutrients, or macros, are simply a type of food needed in large amount by our bodies. Out of the three, carbohydrates are rated like a Mariah Carey performance; good, bad, or ugly.

Erika White and Rebecca Regnier discuss carbs.
Erika White and Rebecca Regnier discuss carbs.

The basic thought is cutting carbs equals weight loss (good) and eating carbs equals weight gain (bad). However, the real saboteur is not carbs at all. It is the consistent overeating and increased intake of artificial, refined, and laboratory-made foods. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy fueling our brain, circulatory system, and yes, our workouts. However, this macronutrient also serves another optimal function; it protects our muscles by providing glucose for energy. Carbs provide an immediate source of energy for physical and mental activity along with sustained energy for aerobic activity, including weight training. Carbohydrates protect our muscles from being catabolized by the body giving this protective, energizing macronutrient a rating surpassing post 2003 Mariah Carey, and hailing it as a powerhouse performer.

Two of a kind
To get a grasp on the carb conundrum, it is important to first examine the two classifications for carbs, simple and complex. This classification depends solely on the chemical structure of the food, the time it takes to be digested, and how quickly it is absorbed by the body. Simple carbohydrates are made up of one or two sugars while complex carbohydrates have three or more sugars. Yes, the difference is that simple (pun intended). Simple carbs deliver very few nutrients, are broken down by the body easily, and should be reduced or eliminated from your diet. Complex carbs contain nutrients from fiber, vitamins, and minerals and are the body’s preferred source of energy.

Processed foods and refined sugars, derived from simple carbs, are often referred to as “empty calories” which makes them the biggest contributor to weight gain. Beginning this month, commit to slowly eliminating processed foods and reducing simple carbs from your diet. Your reward will range from a dramatic increase of energy to a loss of stubborn body fat; your body will begin functioning at its optimum level. In a sense you are giving up carbs, but you are giving up the “right” ones.

Celebrations and life can push your willpower limits, so if you are ever in a situation where only sugary, simple carbs are available; eat a protein with it. This combination will help to slow down the sugar from being released into the bloodstream and can keep you moving toward your goals. If you need a list of simple and complex carbs to get started, begin with your doctor or send me an email and I will recommend some reputable websites for you to explore.

Grazing time matters
Eating a diet composed of 45 to 65 percent carbohydrates helps ensure positive energy levels, exercise performance, mood, and overall function. Carb timing is also important to making sure that the body is not storing carbs as fat. Here a few suggestions that can maximize your graze time.

• Eat carbs the first thing in the morning: Your metabolic rate is higher and your body has been in a fasting state, which is optimal to the body’s efficient use of carbs.

• Eat carbs three to four hours before your workout or physical activity: This will provide your body with energy to replenish depleted glycogen from the workout and to prevent muscle loss.

• Eat carbs 45 to 60 minutes after your workout or physical activity: This is usually the biggest meal of the day. It should contain your largest carb serving for the day, combined with at least 20g of protein. Your body will readily absorb all the extra nutrients, especially the carbohydrates.

The suggested timing combined with physical activity increases your body’s ability to burn fat. It does not matter if your workout ends at 9 a.m. or 9 p.m., you definitely should be eating carbohydrates following your workouts. Not eating carbs after a certain time will not aid with long-term weight loss. Remember, it is when carbs are consumed that is the key to fat and weight loss not the time of day. Your body has its own timing system separate in determining if it is the right time to consume or burn energy.

Keep in mind that no matter how “good” a carbohydrate is, eating too much of it isn’t. Quantity matters just as much as quality. So incorporate your carbohydrates wisely. In the next issue, we will discuss the power of protein. Until then, keep it like Mariah; stay calm, make small changes, and sing for your supper.

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.


On Trend

Hot interior design looks for 2017
–by Jennifer Ruple

Just as in the fashion world, home décor trends change along with the seasons. Whether you’re thinking about sprucing up a small area of your home or completely redecorating it from top to bottom, the 2017 design forecast lends a lot to inspire.

Carolyn Beyersdorf, IIDA
Carolyn Beyersdorf, IIDA

Carolyn Beyersdorf, IIDA, owner and interior designer at Decorating Den Interiors, shares her advice on the top decorating trends for the year to keep in mind when choosing colors, textures and materials for your home.

Metallic finishes and mixed metals. Warm metallics are coming back like matte gold as well as neutral metals like iron and oil-rubbed bronze. And, good news for many of us, silver will stick around for a while. If you once worried about using more than one metal color at a time, it’s time to rethink. When mixing metals, Beyersdorf suggested to find a unifying element or accessory that incorporates both metals like a floor lamp or art frame. “It’s about personal taste; use what you are comfortable with.”

Dark accent walls. “A single accent wall in a black or dark gray looks stunning juxtaposed against light furnishings,” noted Beyersdorf. Wallcoverings are making a comeback as well, not  the old style of the 1980s though. “Look for textured coverings such as grass cloth, canvas and linen,” she advised.

The power of pink. “Pink has really taken off in interiors. It’s coming in blush tones and roses and can add a real richness to your decor,” said Beyersdorf. Just don’t overdo it. “Use it sparingly and in smaller quantities like in accent pieces, pillows or a side chair. The shade is important too. Go with more soft and muted tones. They can serve as a subtle neutral.”

Distressed finishes and painted woods. Thanks to the Do it Yourself (DIY) and upcycling trends, distressed finishes and painted woods are here to stay, so go ahead and repurpose those heirloom pieces that have great bones but just need some TLC.

Shift into neutral. Neutrals are still in, especially if they are refreshed with shades of grays. “The key to decorating with neutrals is layering and using lots of texture,” said Beyersdorf. Again, don’t be afraid to mix things up a bit. Woods, like metals, can also be mixed. “Woods are natural, so no two pieces are alike,” said Beyersdorf. “Mixing woods can be a beautiful and refreshing addition to your space. It depends on your taste. Anything really goes today; it’s all about you and your style.”

A black and white palette is always a classic.
A black and white palette is always a classic.

Black and white. “You can never go wrong with black and white. It’s a classic,” said Beyersdorf. “A black sofa or sectional looks particularly stylish with black and white or cream accent pillows.” Beyersdorf suggested to finish the room with black and white photography and then use a splash of color like yellow in vases or other accent pieces. “Orange and yellow are both refreshing and clean colors. They are optimistic colors,” she added.

It’s all in the details. Furniture embellished with buttons, nail-head trims, and contrasting welts create a customized look in your home. Also, furniture with different fabric combinations have become increasingly popular. “For example, the back of a chair could be upholstered in a large-scale fabric and the front could be in a solid. We call these pieces ‘Do Look Back’ pieces because we want people to look at the back of things,” explained Beyersdorf.

Curves, curves, curves. Curved sofas are coming back in. “They do particularly well in open spaces,” said Beyersdorf. “Also, scalloped backs of sofas and chairs can help soften square rooms.”

Acrylic accents. Accessories, as well as furniture pieces, are making a statement in acrylic. “We’re seeing them in chair legs, four poster beds, end table legs, and table tops in lieu of glass,” said Beyersdorf. “Clear and colored acrylic pieces are both trending at this time.”

Natural elements. Natural pieces bring warmth and texture to a space. “Try incorporating nature into your rooms with wood or pieces from the earth. Handcrafted artisan pieces also add depth to your design,” said Beyersdorf.

Some of the many fabrics available to update your home.
Some of the many fabrics available to update your home.

Refresh your space. If a total redo isn’t in your plan this year, Beyersdorf suggested to spruce up your space with a few simple changes. “Add pops of color with some houseplants, or change the colors of your throw pillows,” she said. “A fresh coat of paint can make a world of difference.”

Fabric samples hang from a wall display in Beyersdorf’s design studio.
Fabric samples hang from a wall display in Beyersdorf’s design studio.

Visit Carolyn’s Decorating Den Interiors website at:

Or her Design Studio:

6910 Airport Hwy, Ste 5
Holland, Ohio
(419) 345-7069

Carolyn Beyersdorf, IIDA has 25 years of experience in commercial and residential interior design. Her business, Decorating Den Interiors, provides personal, in-home design consulting throughout northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan.




Toasty spots to warm your heart 

–by Jennifer Ruple


 Jennifer Ruple
Jennifer Ruple






Baby, it’s cold outside! Stay cozy this Valentine’s Day, and the rest of the month, in some of the warmest spots in town. Whether you’ll be spending time with your sweetheart, your dad, your daughter, or your best friend, here are some toasty spots to take the chill out of your bones and warm up your hearts.

Glassblowing demonstrations are held at the Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion.
Glassblowing demonstrations are held at the Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion.

Feel the heat at the Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion. Free glassblowing demonstrations are held in one of the Hot Shops Thursdays through Sundays throughout February. Demonstrations include gallery seating and narration of the process and techniques. Check the calendar for specific dates and times at

Delectable treats at Sweet Shalom Tea Room.
Delectable treats at Sweet Shalom Tea Room.

Enjoy a spot of tea at the Sweet Shalom Tea Room,
located at:
8216 Erie Street in Sylvania.

The warming effects of tea are only part of the healthy benefits of drinking a hot cup or two. Tea is full of antioxidants and is one of the great superfoods. Formal teas are held four times a week with two seatings on Friday and two seatings on Sunday. While sipping, enjoy Cherry Scones, Cucumber and Herbed Cream Cheese Sandwiches and Chocolate Lava Cakes…
just a few of the delectable treats on the menu created by the talented Chef Krissy Kruse.
For reservations, call 419-297-9919.

Snuggle up and enjoy a classic movie while basking in the grandeur of the Valentine Theatre downtown. Silver Screen Classics are shown on Friday nights throughout the year including To Catch a Thief on February 17 and Groundhog Day on February 24. Both movies begin at 7:30 p.m.

Cold, tall drinks, a full bar and popcorn are also available.

Admission is $5 per person,
and if you purchase any four films together, you can save $1 on each film.

For information regarding upcoming films in the series, visit:

Sherri and Donald Frazier of Toledo share a cozy moment at Ciao!
Sherri and Donald Frazier of Toledo share a cozy moment at Ciao!

Warm your inside and outside with a romantic dinner in one of these cozy area restaurants: Enjoy classic country Italian cuisine at Ciao! in Sylvania. For authentic Lebanese and fine Italian fare, family-owned Byblos on Reynolds Road is a classic. You can’t go wrong with their famous Shish Tawook.

The ever-elegant Georgio’s Café International downtown is always perfect for that special occasion date. Enjoy the house-made pâté. For fine steaks and seafood in an upscale atmosphere, visit Rockwell’s Steakhouse and Lounge in the historic Oliver House.

Find a peaceful spot in The Cloister at the Toledo Museum of Art.
Find a peaceful spot in The Cloister at the Toledo Museum of Art.

Join friends or make it a date night with Wine by the Glass Pavilion on Friday, February 17, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion. Enjoy four wines from the theme Best Bordeaux Beverages: Wines from Bordeaux, France and light snacks during It’s Friday!

Tickets are $25 for members
$35 for nonmembers
and are available for purchase during museum hours by phone at:
419-255-8000 ext. 7448
or at the information desks.


Indulge in a spa day for couples.
Indulge in a spa day for couples.


Relax and invigorate, along with a friend or significant other, with an hour-long, side-by-side massage at Rêvé Salon and Spa
5633 Main St., Sylvania.

Or for the ultimate indulgence, schedule a Spa Day created specifically for couples. The intimate experience includes a 60-minute massage, essential facial, dream pedicure, almond manicure, and shampoo and blow dry.
The package includes a $100 gift certificate to Ciao! for a romantic dinner.

To schedule a Spa Day call:

Stay warm out there!

Jennifer Ruple is the author of the blog

Take Heart

Tales from heart attack survivor Kelly Parker
–by Mary Helen Darah


Kelly Parker
Kelly Parker

Kelly Parker, a heart attack survivor, believes her life is now defined as “before” and “after” her traumatic cardiac experience. “In some ways, I love the ‘after’ more,” stated Parker. “I have certainly grown. I’m not the same person I used to be.” At the time of her heart attack, Parker was an active 40-year-old entrepreneur who owned a cleaning business. She was also a smoker, which she adamantly states she will never do again. “Many people equate smoking with cancer, but it also takes a huge toll on your heart,” she said. “There were warning signs leading up to my heart attack. I got winded going up the stairs. I had arm pain. I was sleeping 14 hours a day. I made up excuses for all my symptoms. My mom is the one who told me to go see a cardiologist. I finally went to Dr. Daniel Cassavar, who, by the way, is wonderful. I told him my symptoms and family history, and he wanted to do a stress test right then and there. I told him I was too busy and I wanted to schedule it for another time. As I was leaving, he opened the door and said, ‘You do understand that you are walking out of my office without a stress test against my better judgment?’”

Parker scheduled her stress test for July 15, 2009. She had a heart attack on July 11. “Fortunately, I had the classic symptoms that a man would have,” she recalled. “I had it all; the nausea, the back pain and arm pain. I went to feel for my pulse and I couldn’t find it. At the time, I was married so I woke up my husband. He looked at me and knew something was wrong. I then bent over and grabbed my chest. He picked up the phone and called 911. Paramedics came and gave me an IV and nitro. They couldn’t find a pulse or blood pressure. I was 90% occluded in the upper LAD (left anterior descending) that is known as the “widow maker.” They used a stent to open me up. I was very fortunate.”

In November of 2010, Parker began to experience fatigue. She returned to her cardiologist and discovered she had issues with her stent. Attempts at treating her with medication failed. In 2011, she had bypass surgery. “I didn’t cry about it until the morning of the surgery when I saw my mom,” recalled Parker. “Dr. Christopher Riordan performed my surgery on Thursday, and I went home on Sunday. But later I was in and out of the hospital after the bypass for everything from pleurisy to having my gallbladder removed. It was especially difficult to deal with not only physically but mentally.”

Parker said she experienced an attitude change after spending a day with her mother. “My mom and I were heading to a motorcycle rally in Cleveland and it started raining really hard,” she recalled. “My mom pulled over because she thought I was crying. I told her that I was laughing, not crying. At that moment, I had an epiphany. I just knew everything was going to be OK and realized that I’m not a victim of heart disease but a survivor of it. I could have sat on the couch these past years and let it consume me but I didn’t. Life is a gift. I have the best life. I volunteer with the American Heart Association and for my cardiologist’s office. I do everything from handing out information to telling my story in front of 600 people. Also, I am always willing to talk about my experience with someone going through the journey and giving them hope. Some people ask me how I can be so happy. How can I not be? I have three beautiful grandchildren to enjoy, a supportive family and wonderful friends, some who have been with me from the beginning and others I met through this journey. At times, life can get a bit ‘bumpy’ but you push on through and enjoy the ride.”


Financial Planning FEB 2017

Options for 401(K) accounts from former employers 
–by Jeff Bucher

Jeff Bucher
Jeff Bucher







One of the common threads of a mobile workforce is that many individuals who leave their job are faced with a decision about what to do with their 401(k) account.¹

Individuals have three basic choices with the 401(k) account they accrued at a previous employer.

Option 1: Leave It with Your Previous Employer
You may choose to do nothing and leave your account in your previous employer’s 401(k) plan. However, if your account balance is under a certain amount, be aware that your ex-employer may elect to distribute the funds to you.

While inertia is one of the primary reasons for not moving a 401(k), there may be reasons to keep it there—such as investments that are low cost or have limited availability outside of the plan. Other reasons are to maintain certain creditor protections that are unique to qualified retirement plans, or to retain the ability to borrow from it, if the plan allows for such loans to ex-employees.²

The primary downside is that individuals can become disconnected from the old account and pay less attention to the ongoing management of its investments.

Option 2: Transfer to Your New Employer’s 401(k) Plan
Provided your current employer’s 401(k) accepts the transfer of assets from a pre-existing 401(k), you may want to consider moving these assets to your new plan.

The primary benefits to transferring are the convenience of consolidating your assets, retaining their strong creditor protections, and keeping them accessible via the plan’s loan feature.

Provided their new plan has a competitive investment menu, many individuals prefer to transfer their account and make a full break with their former employer.

Option 3: Roll Over Assets to a Traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA)
The last option is to roll assets over into a new or existing traditional IRA.³ A traditional IRA may provide a wider range of investment choices than what may exist in your new 401(k) plan.

The drawback to this approach may be less creditor protection and the loss of access to these funds via a 401(k) loan feature.

Remember, don’t feel rushed into making a decision. You have time to consider your choices and may want to seek professional guidance to answer any questions you may have.

1. Distributions from 401(k) plans and most other employer-sponsored retirement plans are taxed as ordinary income and, if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. Generally, once you reach age 70½, you must begin taking required minimum distributions.

2. A 401(k) loan not paid is deemed a distribution, subject to income taxes and a 10% tax penalty if the account owner is under 59½. If the account owner switches jobs or gets laid off, the 401(k) loan becomes immediately due. If the account owner does not have the cash to pay the balance, it will have tax consequences.

3. Withdrawals from traditional IRAs are taxed as ordinary income and, if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. Generally, once you reach age 70½, you must begin taking required minimum distributions.


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 visit the website at:

Remember, the information in this article is not intended as tax or legal advice. And it may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. 

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.


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

Sue Schafer_1953_edited-1 RGB
Sue Schafer












Are you a busy person who never seems to have the time to read all of the books that you want to read? Why not listen to audiobooks? Whether you are cooking, driving, or cleaning, audiobooks are a great way to get some reading done. Try some of these great audiobooks with fantastic readers!

The Night Circus, Random House Audio, 2011
By Erin Morgenstern; Reader: Jim Dale; 11 CDs (Unabridged)
A fierce competition is underway, a contest between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in “a game,” in which each must use their powers of illusion to best the other. Unbeknownst to them, this game is a duel to the death, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will.

Dad is Fat, Random House Audio, 2013
By Jim Gaffigan; Reader: Jim Gaffigan; 5 CDs (Unabridged)
The popular comedian shares his misadventures as an unlikely father of five, from his formative years in a large Irish-Catholic family, to his middle-of-the-night diaper-changing foibles, to his struggles to lull tyrannical tots to sleep.

Everybody’s Fool, Random House Audio, 2016
By Richard Russo; Reader: Mark Bramhall; 15 CDs (Unabridged)
The story returns to the setting of “Nobody’s Fool” to find Sully confronting a daunting health prognosis, which he hides from his loved ones, including his longtime mistress, an increasingly distant best friend, and an obsessive chief of police. Series: Nobody’s fool, 2

A wry, bittersweet sequel to ‘Nobody’s Fool’
A wry, bittersweet sequel to ‘Nobody’s Fool’







Me Talk Pretty One Day, Time Warner Audiobooks, 2001
By David Sedaris; Reader: David Sedaris; 5 CDs (Unabridged)
In a collection of essays, observations, and commentaries, the humorist describes his recent move to Paris, life as an American in Paris, his struggle to learn French, his family, and restaurant meals.

The Rosie Effect, Simon and Schuster Audio, 2014
By Graeme Simsion; Reader: Dan O’Grady; 7 CDs (Unabridged)
Don Tillman and Rosie are back again, and they’ve relocated to New York. Rosie is continuing her studies, while Don is teaching and even adding to his small circle of friends. But when Rosie announces that she is pregnant, Don is once again out of his depth. What follows are crazy situations that could only happen when Don is involved. Series: Rosie novels (Graeme Simsion), 2

Get a grip

Take control of your post-holiday handles
–by Mary Helen Darah

Boomer handles photo
What do you call a greedy lobster?
A selfish shellfish

It’s hard to imagine that a month ago I was surrounded by images of sugar-frosted cookies, succulent, fat-laden foods and countless other culinary indulgences. It was all A-OK because it was the holidays. Now the same society that not only approved but supported my holiday gluttony, expects me to miraculously lower my cholesterol, drop some pounds and lose my Spanx for the new year. What makes getting a handle on my post-holiday handles even more difficult is the fact that I have never met a baked good that I didn’t bond with immediately. I am also a certified foodie who shows her love for family and friends by feeding them. Soon I will be dealing with Valentine’s Day making my fitness goals even more challenging. I know I should just buy mushy cards but I am a big believer that nothing says “I love you” like chocolate, wine or any dense carb right out of the oven. This year, I vow to be stronger and to adhere to my New Year’s resolutions to get back on track.

Get rid of the “stuff”
The first few days of any weight loss program comes with some pretty high octane psychological “stuff.” The first being the, “I am going to eat every carb in sight today because tomorrow I begin the healthier me” mentality. For me, this state of mind usually lasts about three weeks. Once I get beyond the negative behavior of the, “You’re telling me I can’t have that? Well, I’ll show me!” phase, I finally see some progress. I am going to shorten this phase by reminding myself that I find it necessary to hold my upper arm steady when waving goodbye so I don’t flab someone to death.

Be a fitness techie
There are numerous apps on smart phones and computers that allow you to track your caloric intake and exercise. Last year, I tracked my calories and found out at the end of day that if I were a 6’4”, 280 pound male, I stayed within my budgeted limits. As a 5’10” female, I went through my allotted food consumption by 2 p.m. I know I can make it to at least 6 o’clock this year.

Get moving to a DVD
Last year I attempted to follow along with the various models and celebrities breathing seductively while glistening through an intense workout. While they were able to continue shouting instructions without missing a beat, I sounded like I was giving birth without an epidural as I moved through their insanely difficult routines. Also, seeing their perfect bodies move in their skin-tight yoga pants was a tad deflating. This year I am going to purchase something a bit more realistic. I haven’t found an exercise DVD with real woman with a few curves and jiggles clad in sweat pants and hoodies yet but I will keep you posted.

Eat your veggies and get moving
Once again I am going to try to eat more fruits and vegetables. I will add anything green into my day whenever possible, add fruit to my cereal and I vow to not count a blueberry scone as a fruit serving. One thing that I have had success with is in the area of walking. I purchased a Fitbit and got a Golden Retriever who could outlast the Energizer Bunny on any day that ends in “Y.” I meet a friend and her dog everyday in the park before heading to work. It has been the one thing that I have been able to commit to because I don’t want to let them down. The bottom line in reducing your bottom line, is find something that brings you joy. Hopping on a treadmill would be pure torture for me but heading out to one of our great Metroparks is something that gives me the benefits of exercise, socialization, fresh air and a puppy who doesn’t follow me around 24/7 with a squeaky toy.

Ketchup is NOT a vegetable!
Ketchup is NOT a vegetable!

Crazy diet plans have been around for centuries. In 1087, William the Conqueror, of England, was upset because his wide girth kept him from riding his horse. His brilliant plan of action was to shed his unwanted pounds by substituting alcohol for food. He died from falling off his horse.

William the Conqueror says: Don't Drink and Ride!
William the Conqueror says: Don’t Drink and Ride!

In the year ahead, I wish you good health, and I hope you find a safe, enjoyable and sane way to get a grip on your post-holiday handles.

Astrologically speaking

What lies ahead for Boomers
by Janet Amid

Janet Amid
Janet Amid





Baby Boomers, myself included, have been the most successful, wealthiest, pro-active and physically fit generation in which they arrived. We were the first to grow up expecting that the world could improve, and we as a group took responsibility for trying to make positive changes. Also, this is the generation that peaked in income, where women sought out careers previously designated specifically for men. The Baby Boomers made changes relating to retirement programs, agriculture, and even went so far as tap into the “midlife crisis” syndrome, trying to understand as well as accept it for what it is. This is and was a special generation where actions were taken to create a shift, and modify our lifestyles, a generation very different from those that came before and after. We are and always will be The Baby Boomers.

Full Moon on Jan. 12 –
Emotions run high – Pay attention to what you feel as well as how you react. Cancers are most affected, as well as Capricorns.

Mercury retrograde
Moving direct on Jan. 8 in Capricorn – With Mercury in retrograde our communication is stifled; we find ourselves rethinking old patterns, questioning our motives and thoughts. As it moves direct, implementation is easier, less strained, and thoughts are clearer. Those influenced the most are Virgo (your ruling planet), Gemini (your ruling planet) and Capricorn (the sign it is taking place in).

Venus, the planet of pleasure and play, conjunct with Mars, the planets of action are both in Pisces. Sentiment is at its best and nostalgia brings a more dreamy state of mind and influence. We may find ourselves more in-tune to others, more romantic and prone to tapping into our intuitive as well as creative nature. Those influenced the most – Pisces, Virgo, Sagittarius, Libra and Gemini.

New Moon – Jan 27 – in Aquarius –
A New Moon is always a welcomed influence as it allows us to broaden our perception as well as perspectives. In the sign of Aquarius it brings to light a sense of electricity with clarity, and it influences all signs.

Aries (March 21-April 20)
It’s time to make good, healthy choices for 2017 through lifestyle changes or emotional shifts. Either way, you can start your year off right as the planets very favorably create a nice little trine for you. Release worn ways and conditions and establish new interests this year with lots of moxie. Any periods of confinement/limitations are a sign to think about future goals. Make a list.

Taurus (April 21- May 21)
Though you resist change, abundant exchanges, messages and chance-opportunities in early 2017 will occur whether you want it or not. Accept the positive shifts that will take place. Time to join a club, step out of your box and meet and greet. Great attractions build through job/social events. Be willing to re-learn love and all that it has to offer. Inspiration for all those creative ones is out there as you reach new levels of expression. Radiate the love and passion that you feel. Pass it on!

Gemini (May 22-June 21)
Time to reduce stress or sacrifice your health. Time to take a stand and get motivated. With Saturn in opposition to you (last occurrence 1985 through 1988) it’s time for you to initiate a change. Be pro-active and constructive. Something new that will help boost your confidence and thwart any anxiety you may feel. You’re more in control than you thought possible.

Cancer (June 22-July 23)
Though loved ones can drain you emotionally, it is up to you to set the guidelines this year. Learn to say no while maintaining a positive attitude. If needed re-evaluate relationships from the past. Also, the benefits of learning and travel can do you wonders; find the rhythm of your emotions, then set a sensible pace to make the changes necessary.

Leo (July 24-Aug. 23)
Show abundant affection to loved ones, even those that may disappoint. Make sure you have alternative strategies when dealing with family and friends. Buy or improve property; make peace in your home. Catch a trend this year, and make it your own personal gold mine. This is your year to shine, so do it well.

Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23)
This will be a busy year with family and friends, specifically where children are concerned. Activity and motivation are your keywords this year. Also, you may without realizing it change someone else’s circumstances so pay attention to what or who may enter your life. Stabilize your life by allowing for growth and change.

Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 23)
 Develop personal fitness by knowing what you want and finally getting it. Abandon stale ploys that may hinder your progress. Refine inner and emotional security for best results. Expand your skills this year; focus on the beauty that you cherish. Choose people and conditions that have only your best good in mind. Create the balance that you crave.

Scorpio (Oct. 24-Nov. 22)
Shed old skin this year; revamp your image and relationships. Loved ones and old friends may go through their irritating phases this year; their needs may distract you from your own growth, so set some limits. Personal and other groups that you are connected to will gain some amazing momentum this year. You’re also in fine form this year financially so do not sweat the small stuff.

Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 21)
Make private plans now through spring – whether it is travel, educational, personal growth, or love related. Concentrate on yourself and making your inner life more secure. Family changes may cause you to rethink the past, deep feelings may be revealed. Time to heal. Time to celebrate.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
You’re supercharged this year and ready to take 2017 on! But, don’t push others that may not be ready for growth.. Cultivate patience as well as proper balance. Luck through family and friends may trigger a huge response from you. Share your knowledge with others. Spread the wealth!

Aquarius (Jan. 21-Feb. 19)
The direction of your life flows into a new path. View losses as opportunities. Also maintain personal boundaries and try to display consistency to gain the trust you so deserve. Learn lessons in love, and more importantly stay out of debt! You’re too trusting by nature, so it’s time to set some healthy boundaries. The year ahead proves to be one of peace and balance. Membership to leadership!

Pisces (Feb. 20- March 20)
Potent dreams become reality, precipitating life changes that may be favorable as well as life changing. Welcome the year ahead as it brings to life more of your creative juices. A good year to start fresh with what you know and love. Cherish the fresh starts and those that inspire!

Janet Amid is a columnist who writes for Sylvania AdVantage and can be heard on
92.5 KISS FM Monday mornings between 8:15 and 8:45 a.m.

She can reached at 419-882-5510 or

by e-mail at

Check out her website at


Rediscover the 419 – Downtown Toledo
–by Jennifer Ruple


 Jennifer Ruple
Jennifer Ruple





Downtown Toledo is happening! If you haven’t been there in a while, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. The landscape continues to evolve as new opportunities to dine, sip, shop and be entertained are popping up all over.

Toledo Farmer's Market
Toledo Farmer’s Market

If you happen to be visiting downtown on a Saturday, begin your trip at the Toledo Farmers’ Market located at 525 Market Street. The market is enclosed and heated during our frosty winter months and a great place to shop for local items. Each week, you’ll find homemade pies, breads and pastries; jams and jellies; seasonal produce; honey, syrup, coffee and cheese; as well as unique handcrafted soaps, candles, mittens and more. Winter market hours are 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (Dec. – April).

Middlegrounds Metropark
Middlegrounds Metropark

Next, bundle up and take a stroll along the banks of the Maumee River at Toledo’s newest urban park. Middlegrounds Metropark is located at 111 Ottawa Street and offers a 1.5-mile walking and biking path that begins at the Anthony Wayne Bridge and meanders along the river with scenic views.

Brooke and Grant Perry of Rustbelt Coffee
Brooke and Grant Perry of Rustbelt Coffee

Afterwards, warm up with a signature crushed espresso or a cup of chai latte at
Rustbelt Coffee
119 N. Ontario St.

Open since August, the coffee shop has quickly become a trendy hangout for families, college students, and the downtown business crowd. Its massive interior is decorated in sleek, urban industrial style but remains cozy with its leather couches, comfy throws and seasonal decor. While there, spend some time browsing at Cream Living, which is located toward the back of the coffee shop. The boutique offers new, vintage and repurposed treasures for the home. Also located within Rustbelt is a small gathering room that can be rented by the hour for meetings, showers or other special events.

Pam’s Corner
Pam’s Corner

When it’s time for lunch, head to the Davis Building, 151 N. Michigan, where you’ll find Pam’s Corner.
Owner Pam Weirauch has been cooking breakfast and lunch for downtown diners for decades. The bright and cheerful space serves a variety of salads, soups and sandwiches and offers specials like the Crabby Abby salad with crab balls. The macaroni and cheese is incredible. Tip: get there early.

Paula Brown of Paula Brown Shop
Paula Brown of Paula Brown Shop

For an eclectic and one-of-a-kind shopping experience, step into the

Paula Brown Shop
912 Monroe St.

and just across the parking lot from Pam’s, offers a wide variety of products including home accessories, stationary, jewelry, linens, beer, wine, specialty foods and gifts for everyone including children and babies.

The Pub, a full-service bar located within the shop, is always open during shop hours and on Thursday-Saturday evenings. Live entertainment and special events including wine tastings and tap takeovers are held weekly. For current events, check The Pub calendar at

Don’t let the wintery weather keep you cooped inside all month. Go out and get some fresh air and take in some new scenery in our own hometown.

Jennifer Ruple is the author of the blog

Charitable giving trends

Many options available to support a cause; leave a legacy
–by Jeff Bucher

Jeff Bucher
Jeff Bucher








Americans give to charity for two main reasons: To support a cause or organization they care about, or to leave a legacy through their support.

When giving to charitable organizations, some people elect to support through cash donations. Others, however, understand that supporting an organization may generate tax benefits. They may opt to follow techniques that can maximize both the gift and the potential tax benefit. Here’s a quick review of a few charitable choices.

Direct gifts are just that: contributions made directly to charitable organizations. Direct gifts may be deductible from income taxes depending on your individual situation.

Charitable gift annuities are not related to annuities offered by insurance companies. Under this arrangement, the donor gives money, securities, or real estate, and in return, the charitable organization agrees to pay the donor a fixed income. Upon the death of the donor, the assets pass to the charitable organization. Charitable gift annuities enable donors to receive consistent income and potentially manage taxes.

Pooled-income funds pool contributions from various donors into a fund, which is invested by the charitable organization. Income from the fund is distributed to the donors according to their share of the fund. Pooled-income funds enable donors to receive income, potentially manage taxes, and make a future gift to charity.

Gifts in trust enable donors to contribute to a charity and leave assets to beneficiaries. Generally, these irrevocable trusts take one of two forms. With a charitable remainder trust, the donor can receive lifetime income from the assets in the trust, which then pass to the charity when the donor dies; in the case of a charitable lead trust, the charity receives the income from the assets in the trust, which then pass to the donor’s beneficiaries when the donor dies.

Using a trust involves a complex set of tax rules and regulations. Before moving forward with a trust, consider working with a professional who is familiar with the rules and regulations.

Donor-advised funds are funds administered by a charity to which a donor can make irrevocable contributions. This gift may have tax considerations, which is another benefit. The donor also can recommend that the fund make distributions to qualified charitable organizations.

Some people are comfortable with their current gifting strategies. Others, however, may want a more advanced strategy that can maximize their gift and generate potential tax benefits. A financial professional can help you assess which approach may work best for you.

Where the Money Goes
The biggest percentage of charitable contributions, 32 percent, went to churches and religious organizations. A variety of different types of groups were on the receiving end of charitable gifts.

If you have questions about your charitable giving contributions or would like to review your individual financial situation,
please give us a call at 419-872-0204.

Together, let’s make 2017 a successful year.

Jeff Bucher is the President and co- founder of Citizen Advisory Group, a comprehensive financial planning company in Perrysburg. You can contact him at 419-872-0204; email at; visit at 770 Commerce Dr., Perrysburg; or visit the website at

*Remember, the information in this article is not intended as tax or legal advice. And it may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation.

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.