Careers Advisor Meeting Female College Student

An ICHOS Success Story

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This month we are sharing a success story of one of our graduates from the Massage Therapy Program, Melanie Zenor.  Melanie is working as a massage therapist at the Sorrento Valley location of a local luxury wellness spa called Eco Chateau and is thriving doing what she loves.

Life Motto: Collect Moments, not Things!

Hometown: Carlsbad, CA

Lived in San Diego: Born & Raised

Hobbies: Hiking, sports, going to concerts, going to the beach and reading.

What made your ICOHS education meaningful: My education at ICOHS was wonderful!  The school did an excellent job of preparing me for a career in massage. I enjoyed all of my classes and the teachers.  I think what makes this school so different is the dedication of the staff to provide us with a unique learning experience that will make us better practitioners.  I always looked forward to going to my classes and really enjoyed the experiential education, which is a lot more than I can say for other traditional schools I have attended.  Looking back on my time at ICOHS, I really value all the knowledge and experience I gained, which has led me to begin a rewarding and successful career. 

Something that people would be surprised to know about you: I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice.

Special Skills: Cranial Sacral Therapy, Aromatherapy

What you LOVE about what you do: I love helping people and making them feel better! It’s also wonderful watching them progress as their pain becomes lessened and their lives improve.

Kale, And the Rise of Dehydrated Healthy Snacks

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Kale is the recently infamous “Super Food” due to its impressive nutritional content of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and antioxidants, providing a great source of vitamin K, A, C, omega fatty acids, flavonoids, iron, and calcium. These nutrients help keep our bodies healthy by regulating blood clotting, building cell membranes in our brain, and protecting against heart disease and stroke. 

Since fresh kale has a short shelf life, preserving it while keeping all its nutrients and benefits is a concern when introducing packaged Kale products to the market. It is worthy to mention that cooking, baking or pasteurizing of food, means sacrificing a large amount of their nutritional benefits, while adding chemical preservatives has been linked to a plethora of health issues that the health-conscious public are, rightly so, trying to avoid. 

So, how can we preserve food and make it readily available to everyone without draining it from its benefits, or adding harmful chemicals to it? The answer is food dehydration, and it is a very old solution that some packaged food manufacturers are starting to use when making their packaged products.  

Food dehydration is one of the oldest methods of food preservation known to mankind. The process of drying, inhibits the growth of bacteria, yeasts, and mold through the removal of water. This process was used by prehistoric peoples to preserve seeds by sun-drying, to store food for later consumption during the harsh winter months. It is worthwhile noting that unlike most other preservation techniques, dehydration does not breakdown the enzymes and nutrients, thus preserving all the goodness by keeping food in its “Raw” state. 

Kips Kale Chips, a newly founded San Diego based company, is using food dehydration to produce raw and heathy kale chips. They only add natural ingredients to make their healthy product tasty, providing snack lovers with a guilt-free, nutrient filled, bag of goodness, proving that healthy and tasty can coexist.The recent rise in childhood obesity and diabetes is now becoming a world-wide pandemic. Therefore, finding alternatives to sugar and hydrogenated-oil filled snacks should be a priority, especially to parents trying to raise a healthy family. Luckily, companies such as Kips Kale Chips, make it easier to switch to a healthy lifestyle without sacrificing taste or flavor.


  • Fares R Srouji –

Kips Dehydrated Foods L.L.C.

Is sitting too long killing you?

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We’ve all heard about the dangers of spending too much time sitting down at work. But how much sitting is too much sitting? According to the Mayo Clinic, sitting for long periods of time can have ill effects on the cardiovascular system, and lead to early mortality. However, they found that activity for 60-75 minutes per day can help combat the effects of too much sitting.

Engaging in some of these helpful tips can help you achieve more balance at work and with your body.

  • Take a break from sitting every 30 minutes.
  • Stand while talking on the phone or watching television.
  • If you work at a desk, try a standing desk — or improvise with a high table or counter.
  • Walk with your colleagues for meetings rather than sitting in a conference room.
  • Position your work surface above a treadmill — with a computer screen and keyboard on a stand or a specialized treadmill-ready vertical desk — so that you can be in motion throughout the day.


Health benefits of Dandelion root

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For years I have heard about the benefits of all the ‘backyard weeds’ that can be harvested for medicinal purposes. I never really took it all that seriously or even gave it much thought to be honest. This past Spring, I decided I wanted to take a shot at learning what ‘weeds’ I had growing in my yard. I downloaded a few apps, and utilized a few plant Identification websites.

Some plants are very obvious and cannot be easily mistaken, so I jumped in and decided I would take on one at a time. During the course of learning about purslane, plantain, violets and violets, I realized that I was also completely overrun by dandelions. Come to find out, what most homeowners think of as an invasive weed is actually completely edible from root to leaves.

I found myself scouring my yard looking for the very best specimens I could find -digging it up by the roots. I tried the leaves. I will be honest here. Not very tasty to me. The root however surprised me very much. I was a little nervous at first. Triple checking to make sure I was indeed correct, then dived in. My husband thought I was a bit nutty. I diced the roots really tiny and Ryder roasted them in an iron skillet until they were nice and toasted then after cooking for a few minutes, tossed them into my coffee grinder to make a nice ‘coffee’ of them. Next I brewed it just like I would coffee.

Apparently in many places the root has been used as a caffeine free coffee substitute. So my husband and myself were now my guinea pigs. What s shock! Sweet and nutty. This was honestly the best cup of herbal brew I think I have ever had. Hubby actually liked it too! Off I went back to the yard to search for some specimens that were large enough to have good roots! I can’t wait for next Spring!

-Cindy Edmonson

Natural Mosquito Repellents

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On August 23 ICoHS was asked by a local FOX network TV station to do a segment on Natural Mosquito Repellents. Our Academic Coordinator, Shari Grayson, rose to the occasion and made her first TV appearance like a pro.

Here are some natural ways (all Julie Plunkett approved!) to combat pesky mosquitos (summer may soon be over, but mosquito season is not):

  • Wear light colored clothing (mosquitos like dark colors and dark places)
  • Stay covered with long pants and long sleeves
  • Avoid areas of standing water
  • Keep the air moving (fans on and blowing)
  • Plant mosquito repellent plants in your yard – rosemary, lavender, basil, mint, geranium
  • Use a yard spray such as Theraneem Yard Spray when enjoying the outdoors on your property
  • Burn a Citronella candle or Citronella incense
  • Use essential oils to create a room spray or body spray and apply to your ankles, neck, arms (re-apply every 2 hrs.) Alternatively, use natural (deet-free) commercial products like Badger,
  • Buzz Away or All-Terrain sprays/lotions
  • Avoid bananas because mosquitos love the smell of bananas from your pores
  • Take vitamin B1 as mosquitos do not like the smell of it coming from your pores
  • Try some of the above suggestions and enjoy the rest of your summer mosquito-free!

    Laughter Yoga

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    I walked to my first Laughter Yoga class wondering what you are probably wondering right now – what in the world is laughter yoga? Will there be a stand-up comedian cracking jokes while I am in downward dog?

    I walked to my first Laughter Yoga class wondering what you are probably wondering right now – what in the world is laughter yoga? Will there be a stand-up comedian cracking jokes while I am in downward dog?

    There was no comedian, and no downward dog, but there was plenty of laughter.

    We started with a traditional cross-legged circle and introduced ourselves by our laughs, then took turns laughing like the other. While it sounds strange to laugh without thinking something is funny, we also laugh with joy, and this was the laughter of the second kind. Something took over, and what started as a pretend laugh became a real laugh as we passed our laughter around the circle.

    According to Laughter Yoga instructor Vanessa Rhae Nordhues, whenever we laugh, our brains release positive hormones that induces yet more laughter and fills us with peace.

    There were plenty of movement activities. We handed an imaginary phone off to one another and found hilarious laughter in what the imaginary person on the end had to say. We pretended to be in traffic and laughed hilariously at our minor collisions. We found laughter in the ridiculousness of life and let the stress melt away.

    But I won’t give it all away. Vanessa has agreed to hold a free Laughter Yoga class at ICoHS.

    When: Thursday, September 20, 2018

    Where: ICOHS College: 1500 State Street, San Diego, CA 92101

    Cost: FREE – donations are encouraged.

    Health Benefits of Hibiscus Tea

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    Hibiscus tea is a sweet fall freshment that you can drink hot or cold that not only won’t add on pounds, but can actually help you lose weight. That’s right – lose weight. Hibiscus properties help to stimulate your metabolism which helps you shed those pounds.

    But did you know it also comes with some amazing health benefits? Along with a slimmer figure, hibiscus tea is also heart healthy. It can help to lower high blood pressure as well as lower high cholesterol. It is also a mild anti-inflammatory and can help ease aches and pains caused by pressure in your body.

    Next time you want to pick up a sweet hot or cold beverage with zero guilt, try a cup of hibiscus tea.