Self Centered

092809FEATURE.jpg Self Centered
Renewing mind, body and spirit

You have a busy life. We understand. Sometimes it takes an outside source to help us fit some "me" time into our schedules. These three local outlets help you help your busy self and, in turn, help promote a positive mind, body and spirit.

You've heard that taking time for yourself will benefit everyone else in your life. You know that you deserve a break, but just because you know what's best doesn't mean you do it. You can pencil yourself in a thousand times, but you'll just keep buying erasers before you actually get the chance to make that appointment.


Stop scheduling time with yourself! Instead schedule time with somebody else that is for yourself. Having that accountability on the other end will make that appointment survive the eraser. As you decide where to make plans, consider these three local opportunities that will help you focus on and renew every part of your "self," including your mind, body and spirit.


092809FEATURE2.jpgHair & Body Works Salon and Wellness Center


From the moment you walk up to the front door of the house-like structure, your mind, body and spirit all feel the warming sense of home at Hair & Body Works Salon and Wellness Center . And owners Debrah Englert and Mary Sowers strive to achieve that very sensation in each guest. "A lot of our clients come in early and just chill, and even our staff, especially the mothers with kids, stay a little bit longer sometimes before they go home," Sowers says.


Located in Hyde Park, this business offers much more than your typical salon and spa. On the hair side of the business, the salon offers a private room for more personal visits in addition to the regular salon services. This feature particularly serves women who suffer from hair loss or hereditary balding. Hair & Body Works Salon and Wellness Center has a program called Hair Solutions where they can fit women for natural-looking wigs and enhancement pieces.


While the owners form a duality of massage (Sowers) and hair (Englert), services include much more than a two-sided menu. Dr. Cynthia Cassel, dietician and nutritionist, books appointments at the salon and wellness center so that she can help patients, particularly those who are athletes or who have an eating disorder.


Hair & Body Works Salon and Wellness Center celebrates a decade of business this year, and the salon has come a long way from its opening. The center recently has been partnering with the plastic surgeons of Aurora and a local chiropractor to offer clients an even more complete view and treatment of the body. "We are really focusing on the whole body care not just on a piece of the body care," Englert says.


For more information about Hair & Body Works Salon and Wellness Center, visit the Web site at, call (513) 871-2222, or stop by 2753 Observatory Avenue.


Give Back Cincinnati


Before or after rejuvenating yourself at the salon and wellness center, head to a Give Back Cincinnati event to renew your spirit as you use your mind and work your body. Surviving on a 100-percent volunteer basis, this organization brings Cincinnatians together to make this city a better place.


While it offers events from networking opportunities to interactive events around town to mission trips around the globe, Give Back Cincinnati has something for everyone. And it's easy to volunteer on your own time. "The great thing about Give Back [Cincinnati] is that you can come to one event, or you can come to every event. There are no dues. There are no restrictions on attendance," President Jared Simmons says. "We have 5,000 members, and we see them whenever they can make it."


And Give Back Cincinnati makes it easy to be a part of those 5,000 members by making it easy to volunteer — even if it's just by yourself. "We focus a lot of energy and effort into making our volunteers feel welcome and comfortable," Simmons says.


You can sign up for opportunities on the Web site and receive more instructions and details prior to the event, and then each event begins with a registration period so that you can mix and mingle with other volunteers before you head to work. "If you don't know someone when you get there, you'll know someone by the time you leave," Simmons says.


For more information about Give Back Cincinnati, check them out online at, or register for an event to see how giving back gives you a sense of purpose and fulfillment.


092809FEATURE3.jpgGourmet Betty


A worry wart and a stressed-out self do nothing for you. Actually, it works against you, but Betty Hakes, founder of Gourmet Betty, can help alleviate those problems and put your mind at ease with her Meal Plan System.


Available through her Web site for $10, Hakes' Meal Plan System provides instructions for scheduling your family's meals a week at a time. By working through her worksheets, you will be able to determine how much time you will have to cook each night of the week. Whether it's 30 minutes or two hours, you then can plan your meals from a realistic standpoint.


Every woman wants to be able to eat the healthiest and most delicious meals, but that's impossible without planning ahead. "Failing to plan is planning to fail," as columnist Doug Gibson says in this week's Sensible Fitness column .


"When you are organized and you know what you're going to make, what you're going to have for dinner that night of for the whole week, you are at more peace of mind because you're not having to sit at work wondering or at 4 o'clock when you're about to leave in an hour, 'What am I going to feed my family for dinner?' " Hakes says.


Now going back to the accountability side, Hakes recommends sitting down with all of the members of your household to determine the menu. This allows everyone to have a say in what to have for dinner while it also allows room for others to help. For instance, if you won't be home until 7 p.m. on Wednesday but somebody else will be home at 5 p.m., your meal plan can indicate that it's that person's responsibility to at fix the meal or at least pop an already-prepared lasagna in the oven.


As you and your household start becoming more and more organized, you will be less likely to head through the drive thru or pop in a preservative-packed freezer meal. So as you gain more peace of mind, you will be making room for a healthier body because people who ate a fast food meal at least twice a week were at least 10 pounds heavier than those who ate fast food less than once a week, according to a study by researchers at several institutions including the University of Minnesota.


For more information on the Gourmet Betty Meal Plan System, visit

Linda Palacios -

Linda Palacios is the editor of Cincy Chic. Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Read More >>

More articles by this author

Hairapist in TrainingHairapist in Training
Hairapist in Training As your hair is cut, sculpted and shaped,...
Picking Herself up, Aiming HighPicking Herself up, Aiming High
Picking Herself up, Aiming High After 20 years in business, this...