The Whole Truth: Health and Wellness

By Fay Grant Guide contributor | Jun 11, 2014


1) Simplify your life. The simple things in life are usually the most valuable and bring us the truest forms of joy. This week, take some time to clean out your closet, bookshelf or garage and simplify your life. Donate old things that have just been gathering dust and bring happiness to others who truly might need them. Not only will your small deeds be making a positive difference, you won’t feel the constant burden of living for your material possessions.

2)     Get down to earth. Get back in touch with nature by taking a camping trip to one of the beautiful campsites that WNC has to offer. Breathe the fresh air, take in the sunshine, escape your usual external distractions and get down to earth. Camping can help reset your natural sleeping rhythm, increase serotonin levels (making you feel happier) and strengthen bonds with family and friends. Hiking, hauling and setting up your gear is also a great way to burn calories and get your blood flowing.

3)     Focus on your strengths. A lot of people struggle with accepting who they are - whether it’s their weight, looks or abilities - but everyone is beautiful in their own way and we all have plenty to offer the world. This week, write down a list of your strengths, read them every night before bed as a reminder and make an effort to cut back on the negative feelings you have about yourself. Focusing on the positive can help build self-esteem and give you the courage to push yourself to greater heights.

4)     Get real. As convenient as it is to stock up on food from the frozen section or reach for the abundance of processed and manufactured foods your grocery store has to offer, try getting real this week. Most people think that only organic, locally grown or pesticide-free foods are considered whole foods, but getting real with your diet is simply focusing on eating a wide variety of vegetables, fruits and whole grains. What's added to processed and manufactured foods, like preservatives and chemicals, can cause serious health problems in the long run so do your best to think before you eat. Eating whole foods regularly provides your body with all of the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are naturally found in food - minus the unnecessary junk - which can help to keep your immune system strong and protect you from disease.

5)     Yoga for change. Every Saturday from now until August 30th, Asheville Yoga Center will be teaching donation-based classes to raise money to help fund Homeward Bound and Helpmate, local non-profit agencies that help better our community. Homeward Bound is fighting to end homelessness by providing permanent housing and support through collaborations with partners like Asheville Yoga Center. Helpmate has served as Buncombe County’s primary provider of crisis-level services designed specifically for victims of domestic violence and their children for over 30 years. The classes are held at Reuter Terrace at Pack Square Park from 10am – 11:30am each Saturday.  The suggested donation for the event is $5-15. This week, be part of the solution to homelessness and domestic violence in WNC while increasing your strength, balance and motion.

  • Yoga In The Park for Homeward Bound: June 7th - July 19th from 10am to 11:30am
  • Yoga In The Park for Helpmat: July 26th – August 30th from 10am to 11:30am




Garlic-Basil Grilled Chicken with Caprese Salsa


For the chicken:

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 small chicken breast halves with bone and skin (5 lbs. total)


For the salsa:

  • 1 qt. mixed colors cherry and grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups (12 oz. drained) fresh mozzarella balls such as perlini or small wedges of bocconcini
  • 1 cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper



  1. Heat grill to high (450° to 550°) with a charcoal area left clear or a gas burner turned off to make an indirect heat area. Make rub for chicken: Pulse basil, garlic, oil, salt, and pepper in a food processor until roughly chopped. Rub mixture all over chicken.
  2. Make salsa: Stir together tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl to combine; let stand at least 30 minutes.
  3. Grill chicken skin side down over direct heat until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Move pieces to indirect heat area, turning over, and grill until cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer chicken to a platter, tent with foil, and let rest 5 minutes. Spoon tomatoes, cheese, basil, and half the salsa liquid over chicken; save remaining liquid for a salad dressing if you like.


*Recipe via