Tag Archives: Healthy Living

LIC resident teaches how to be healthy and happy

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Joe D’angelis

Healthy-living guru Cassandra Bodzak wants to help everyone have their cake and still look good too.

Bodzak, 26, is currently a happy, healthy living guru and an Institute for Integrative Nutrition health coach who runs GoSweetandSkinny.com, a website filled with healthy and yummy recipes, helpful tips and information.

The Long Island City resident, originally from New Jersey, thrives on teaching others that everyone can be happy and healthy without adhering to strict or extreme diets or being a size zero.

Her interest in healthy and happy living began when she attended the University of Connecticut, as an acting major. Bodzak said during the program she was met with a lot of pressure to be thin and have a good body, and saw a lot of friends doing unhealthy things to achieve that goal.

After suffering from bad random stomach pains and being put on an elimination diet to determine the cause, Bodzak felt healthier and decided to go vegan and taught herself healthy cooking. During this time, she began creating vegan and low-fat baked goods that made mouths water.

“I found out I was able to be thin and I wasn’t sacrificing myself,” she said.

Bodzak’s friends then began encouraging her to start blogging her recipes and tips, and spread the word that you don’t have to have an eating disorder or be on a restrictive diet, just to be healthy.

What began as a rescue blog has now become her life. Bodzak currently works with clients from around the country, either via Skype, email or face to face, to help them lead a healthier life, and most importantly – be happy.

The big emphasis in her recipes, tips and diets is the use of local, organic and GMO-free foods that you can purchase at a farmers’ market.

“My mission in life and of the website is to show everyone that being healthy and happy can be attainable,” she said. “You don’t have to do anything that is crazy.”

Bodzak offers a free 30-minute breakthrough session which serves an introduction for both the potential client and the coach, to see if each is compatible with the other.

One of her signature recipes, which was not only part of the start of Go Sweet & Skinny, but also recently gained her a spot on ABC’s “The Taste,” is her vegan cupcakes.

The audition episode, which aired on Thursday, Jan. 2, showed Bodzak, along with other chefs, try to win a spot on the team of one of the top chef judges including Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson, Ludo Lefebvre and Marcus Samuelsson. Bodzak was chosen to be on Lefebvre’s team and will continue to participate in the show which airs every Thursday on ABC.

“It has made me a much more confident cook,” she said about her experience on the show. “I stepped outside my comfort zone in a show that isn’t really about cooking healthy. I went out there and showed people that you can do anything. I showed how far we’ve come and what’s possible if you put your mind to it.”

Along with her website, coaching and television premiere, Bodzak decided to put all she knew about juice cleansing in a recent book called “Juicespiration,” after receiving countless questions from friends and clients. The book, filled with all kinds of juice recipes and how-tos, can be found on Amazon.

One important tip Bodzak emphasizes for anyone deciding to follow a juice cleanse is staying on a healthy diet after the cleanse because returning to your old eating habits would cause your body more damage than good.

If you are interested in working with Bodzak, joining her Jumpstart 2014 program, or want to sign up for the free newsletter, including recipes and information, visit www.gosweetandskinny.com. You can also follow Bodzak on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GoSweetandSkinny and on Twitter @cassandrabodzak.




Walk honors D’Amico legacy

| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com


The late Gloria D’Amico always encouraged exercise and healthy living.

To honor her, residents of Queens gathered in Astoria Park on Saturday, September 17 for the sixth annual Honorable Gloria D’Amico Fun/Run/Walk.

The event, which was organized by the Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens, included a 3K run around Astoria Park for participants of all ages, a power walk for seniors, a quarter of a mile run for teens and a 50 yard dash for young children.

Other attractions were a tug-of-war, blueberry pie eating contest, face painting and bouncy castle. “Gloria D’Amico was a big supporter of the Queens community,” said Terry Hughes, the executive director of the Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens. “She was a board member of the Variety Club, and she wanted to have a day to celebrate health and families. We want to continue honoring her legacy by having this event.”
David Mercado and Denise Ryan were the men’s and women’s first place in the 3K run. Mercado also placed first for the men in the quarter mile sprint, with Guadalupe Roldan crossing the finish line first for the women. Gina Villevera finished first in the senior power walk.

D’Amico, former Queens County Clerk, passed away on December 21, 2010 after a battle with cancer. Her son, Leonard, presented the Variety Club with a $10,000 donation from the D’Amico family at the event’s closing ceremony.

“I think this event recognizes the commitment my mom had to the community,” said Leonard D’Amico.