The Early Bird Catches the Worm

August 12, 2013  
Filed under Arts & Entertainment

Just because your nights out are less frequent doesn’t mean your social life has to be. Be your own social director and plan activities for when your energy levels are at their highest. (Courtesy photo)

Creating a morning-based social schedule

By Sharon Naylor

Are your energy levels highest in the mornings, with afternoons and evenings leaving you a bit more fatigued? If so, you don’t have to resign yourself to a lackluster social life, too tired to accept invitations to late-night dinners and theater shows.

A healthy social life is essential to good health, staving off depression and loneliness, connecting you with good friends and family, and fostering the positive hormones of laughter. According to a 10-year longevity study of people aged 70 and older, researchers at the Centre for Ageing Studies at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, found that people with extensive networks of good friends and confidantes outlived those with the fewest friends by 22 percent. However, to make and keep friends, you need to spend time with them.

The same applies to spending time with family, including your adult children and your grandkids, your siblings and other loved ones. Your adult kids may be concerned if you don’t often accept invitations to late-in-the-day parties or if you leave early because of fatigue. They may misinterpret your early departures and refusals as a troubling sign of declining health.

Save them the worry, and boost your happiness and health levels, by becoming your own social director. Take the reins and plan enjoyable activities timed for the morning, when you’re at your best. Here are some easy strategies to create your new morning social life:

• Tell your kids that you’re interested in socializing more but that mornings are when you feel best, with more energy and less pain. They’ll appreciate that you’re interested in revving up your social life and may arrange their schedules to plan a regular morning activity with you.

• Talk with your friends and neighbors about your plans to schedule some fun, morning get-togethers, and invite them to suggest activity ideas.

• Join a gym. If you already belong to a gym, look at the class schedule for morning water aerobics or senior yoga classes. Talk to a gym manager if there are not any classes planned for early hours. Feedback from gym members is greatly appreciated and often leads to new classes scheduled.

• Organize a walking club. If you live in a senior community or retirement housing, or even in a neighborhood with residents of all ages, print out a poster and flyers, plan a start date, time and location and ask interested folks to contact you with their RSVP. Even if only two people show up at first, others will see your group walking and will join you in later weeks. Keep walks short, even just a few laps around the block, to suit others’ busy schedules.

• Check Meetup.com, as suggested by licensed professional counselor and About.com guide to senior living Sharon O’Brien. At this free site, you’ll find established groups that meet up for a variety of social activities, such as hiking, biking, discussing the arts, knitting circles and more. If there’s not an interesting morning group in your area, you can start one—but always in a public place, never in your home, as your group announcement goes out to strangers.

•Plan a morning book club. A breakfast book club gathers friends at a restaurant, your home or a bookstore and encourages fascinating discussions about different books in your choice of genres.

Revamping your social life can be an adjustment, especially if you’ve been used to a quieter lifestyle, so start slowly. Remember to get your doctors’ clearance for any exercise-based or strenuous activities on your wish list, and be mindful of your health. Ease into new activities and they’ll soon be a joyful part of your lifestyle. ‑ CNS

Vermont Camping Staycations

August 9, 2013  
Filed under Travel

Camping is an excellent and affordable ‘staycation,’ and a great way to enjoy time with family and friends. (Contributed photo)

By Becka Gregory

Vermont has long been the ultimate “nature lover’s getaway” with its expanse of pristine countryside and breathtaking scenery. There are more than 100 campgrounds sprinkled throughout the state, inviting Vermonters to spend a little time getting to know the landscape of the Green Mountains. Camping is an excellent and affordable “staycation,” and whether tent camping or travelling in an RV, exploring Vermont through the outdoors is a great way to spend the warmer months.

When picking out a campground, consider the amenities it offers and who those amenities might attract. Seasoned RVers know to look for necessities such as hook-ups and electricity, but the type of atmosphere you’re aiming to find is important, too. If you’re looking to relax without the presence of children and off-leash animals, steer clear of places that offer pools with waterslides and those that allow off-leash dogs. Generally, quieter sites can be found at places where fishing is the biggest attraction and where there are fewer amenities geared towards families with young children. If you are travelling with the family and want to be able to sit and relax while the kids or grandkids explore, make sure to look for a campground that has a playground and/or game room.

Food

More than a quarter of the towns in Vermont have farmers’ markets during the summer months (see pg. 15), which are a great stop to break up the drive to the campsite and pick up some locally grown produce. Most farmers’ markets run weekly throughout the summer, and have locally made crafts and baked goods in addition to produce, meats and cheeses. RV campers have the advantage of having a kitchenette to prepare food, but tent campers need to think more about what they’re bringing, as cooking methods are different on an open fire. Pre-planning your meals and supplies is especially important for those that are going to partake in outdoor recreation such as hiking or kayaking. Keeping your pack light will make long hikes easier and reduce the amount of waste you bring in and out on your excursions. Vermont has a reputation for great hiking, and outdoor enthusiasts should make sure to hit the trails while vacationing (see story pg. 5).

The United States Army Corps of Engineers has made camping easier and more affordable for seniors by offering “Senior Passes” that provide discounts for some fees associated with using national parks. Good for camping within the national park network, these passes encourage seniors to get out and explore (see pg. 11).

Burlington

Camping in the Burlington area allows you to feel like you’re in the deep woods while still being close to the heart of the city. North Beach, a popular summertime destination with stunning sunsets and ample sandy shores, offers more than 100 campsites within walking distance of the Lake Champlain waterfront. The campgrounds are RV-friendly and located on the bike path that traverses Burlington. Bike from the campsites down to the base of College Street and you’ll find a free shuttle that will take you up the hill and onto Church Street for shopping, food and street performances.

Rutland County

Rutland County offers scenic camping experiences such as Lake St. Catherine State Park in Poultney. Known for fishing and boating, this park is great for a more low-key trip and has 50 tent/trailer sites and 11 lean-to sites. Lean-to sites are a great way to explore camping without having to really “rough-it,” and provide more protection from the natural elements than tent camping.

Close to Middlebury is the Waterhouses Campground & Marina in Salisbury, which offers a more “modern” camping experience. Complete with a restaurant and bar, high-speed Internet and hotel-style rental suites, this site embodies the hikers slang term “glamping” a.k.a. glamorous camping. These sites are ideal for an off-the-cuff trip — with so many amenities available there is little need for the careful planning and packing that camping typically requires.

The Islands and NEK

Northern Vermont offers many great camping opportunities, especially in the two geographically distinct areas of the Champlain Islands and the North East Kingdom (NEK). The islands are a picturesque snapshot of Vermont’s fusion of lush greenery and lakeside simplicity, ideal for a camping getaway. Grand Isle State Park is a great place for an extended camping trip, as there is so much to explore. Over 4,000 feet of lakeside access and more than 100 campsites including four cabins and 36 lean-tos make this Vermont’s second largest and most visited campground. International destinations like Montreal are just a quick drive away and the park is in close proximity to Isle La Motte, where the Chazy Reef, a 480 million-year-old reef deemed a National Treasure, is located.

A great low impact daytime supplement to a camping trip is a driving tour. With gas prices remaining high and the occasionally patchy roads found in areas like rural parts of the Champlain Islands and the NEK, it’s best to tow a car for this trip if you’re taking an RV and plan on roving outside of the campground. Remember to practice driving elements such as backing in to the campsite with a tow to make sure that you’ve mastered all the skills necessary to ensure safety and fun.

Book in advance

No matter which campground or state park you plan to explore this summer or fall, make sure to book your camping weekend (or week!) in advance as sites fill up quickly. Creating a checklist of needed supplies a few days before you plan to embark will make packing a breeze and cut down on lugging around unnecessary items. It’s always a good idea to call the campground the day before and make sure they have your reservation, and to look at your planned route before take-off. With the car or RV packed, the kids and/or grandkids buckled in, and a Senior National park pass in hand, there is nothing keeping you from making this your best ‘staycation’ ever.

Fair Celebrates ‘Ten Best Days of Summer’

August 9, 2013  
Filed under Things to do

One of the most anticipated aspects of the fair is the food. The aromas of the various edibles wafting through the air as you walk around the fairground is as much a part of the day as the rides, entertainment or animals. (Courtesy photo)

The Champlain Valley Fair will be held Aug. 24-Sept. 2 — an annual tradition that earned the Fair a spot among “Vermont’s ten best events.”

Vermont’s largest annual agricultural and entertainment tradition brings together people from across Vermont, New England, Quebec and beyond.

This year’s concerts

Aug. 24: Kesha with special guest Semi Precious Weapons, 7 p.m.

Aug. 25: Josh Turner with special guest Justin Moore, 7 p.m.

Aug. 26: Austin Mahone, 7 p.m.

Aug. 30: Allied Forces – Local Legends Quadra and PleasureDome, 7 p.m.

Aug. 31: Damian and Stephen Marley, 5 p.m.

Sept. 1: Toby Keith with special guest Kip Moore, 7 p.m.

Advance tickets include gate admission the day of the show and may be purchased through the Flynntix Regional Box Office, (802) 863-5966 or online at www.flynntix.org.

For motor sports fans

The Burnett Scrap Metal Championship Figure 8 race will be held on Aug. 27 at 7 p.m. Also on Aug. 27, fans can enjoy the Bond Auto Parts Demolition Derby.  New this year, special guest Jamie Lee Thurston will perform before the show and between the preliminary bouts and the finals. Also new this year, the Dixie Chopper Tractor Pull has been moved to Thursday night, Aug. 29.  The pull will be bringing competitors from around the region to compete. Tickets for all motor sports are available at www.flynntix.org or by phone, 802-86FLYNN. Admission to the Fair is not included with motor sports advance tickets.

Senior Day

This year, Senior Day at the Fair is Tuesday, Aug. 27, and those age 55 and older save $3 off admission with ID.  “It’s a great day for grandparents to bring their family to the fair and celebrate the last day before school starts,” Executive Director Tim Shea said. In addition, food vendors will offer $3 specials at their stands midweek.

“The Reithoffer Midway returns with a new ride, Vertigo, a high flying thrill ride. They are again offering their pay-one-price ride bracelets every day. The ride bracelet can be used to ride all of the rides, except Speed, from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. “The bracelets are a great way for families to be able to spend the whole day on rides while staying within a limited budget,” Shea said.

Another way to save is advance discount admission and pay-on-price ride tickets available at all Price Chopper grocery stores in Vermont, New Hampshire and upstate New York. Tickets will be available Aug. 5 through Aug. 23 and Fair guests can save up to 25 percent by purchasing them in advance.

Other admission specials

Monday, Aug. 25, Kids’ Day admission, kids age 5-12 get in for $4.

Wednesday, Aug. 27, McDonald’s Carload Special Day. Everyone in a car is admitted to the Fair and receives free parking and a ride bracelet for the day. $60 per carload.

Thursday, Aug. 28, Food Bank Day, free admission from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for each guest who brings a can of food for the Food Bank. After 2 p.m., a guest who brings a can of food is entitled to a $3 discount on admission. If a guest brings a second can, they are entitled to purchase a discounted ride bracelet for only $20.

Friday, Aug. 29, Military Appreciation Day, free admission for past and present members of our military with a valid military ID.

Agricultural Tradition

Champlain Valley Fair has been named a top agricultural fair in America by the International Association of Fairs and Exposition. The time-honored traditions of the country fairs across New England and the country are thriving at Vermont’s largest annual event as farmers bring their traditional livestock for judging. Visitors also have numerous opportunities to learn how Vermont’s agricultural economy is adapting to new markets and needs. The schedule of competitions is available online at www.champlainvalleyfair.org.

Educational aspects are stressed during best of breed judging competitions and 4-H contests. Try your hand at milking a cow, see pulling horses and oxen, visit Old MacDonald’s Farm and see how genetics is used in growing giant pumpkins, vegetables and unusual flowers.

Heritage Village near the agricultural barns highlights traditional farm machinery. Displays for 4-H clubs from the region will be in the Expo North Building.

Free Entertainment

Free entertainment will include hypnotist Steve Bayner, strolling Dixieland musicians and many others.

New displays this year include a history building featuring exhibits from the University of Vermont, Historian Howard Coffin, the town of Essex and the Fair itself. There will also be Vermont musicians performing on stage several times a day.

This year there will be more than 200 exhibitors offering deals on everything from hot tubs to tractors to T-shirts. On-site camping for RVs and tents is available at the Exposition during the Fair. For info, call Michael or Roberta Penchina at 862-0686 or email camping@cvexpo.org.

For a complete daily schedule, information on concerts and free entertainment or to sign up for a free e-newsletter, visit Champlain Valley Fair’s website at www.champlainvalleyfair.org.

Hey Old Timer

August 9, 2013  
Filed under Places I’ve Played

By Bill Skiff

Sometimes things happen that touch your heart:

My wife and I were leaving the Fire House Restaurant in Barre. We came out, arm in arm, stopping before crossing the street. As we stood there waiting, an old pickup carrying two young men came along and stopped. The driver, seeing us waiting to cross, waved us ahead. When we reached the other side of the truck, the passenger rolled down his window and yelled, “Hey old timer, I hope I still love my old lady the way you do when I’m as old as you!”

We began to laugh and couldn’t stop. So much for our self-perceived youth. We looked at each other and knew why we were laughing. It was so true and so funny at the same time. When we reached our car, we saw a truck driver standing beside his truck laughing as hard as we were.

I realized the young man was right. I first saw Ruth working on the second floor of the Springfield College administration building. She was the assistant to the director of guidance: I was enrolled in the guidance department’s Master’s degree program.

Now, here we were, 58 years later, crossing the street in Barre. How had we stuck together all these years? I am certain the young man had no idea how our love had lasted—but he knew it was important enough that when his time came he wanted to feel the same way. I am not sure exactly how it happened either, but I am sure glad it did.

It is not easy to look over the years and figure out what makes love stay. There are so many events—some good, some not so good—that make up a lasting relationship. Sometimes I think it may be just good luck or just not wanting to give up. Or maybe you find a life rhythm with another person that just feels good, comfortable and rewarding.

I know that as the years go by things change. Some get better, some stay the same while others seem to go away. How that mix develops makes a difference. Sometimes you recognize the changes and sometimes you cannot. The trick to a lasting relationship, it seems to me, is figuring out what is important to your relationship—and making necessary adjustments as changes occur.

I am not sure anyone gets it all right all the time, but when you come close, it really is exceptional. That young man was right: I do love my old lady and I am thankful she still loves this old man.

Bill Skiff grew up on a farm between Cambridge and Jeffersonville. After a career in education, he now lives in Williston, where he is a justice of the peace and Fourth of July frog-jumping official. In “Places I’ve Played,” he shares his experiences of growing up in Vermont. Comments are welcome at vtcowcal@yahoo.com.

Governor Signs Bill Preventing Predatory Pension Lending

August 9, 2013  
Filed under News

Governor Peter Shumlin recently signed a bill into law that effectively prevents predatory online lending institutions from preying upon older Vermonters. The legislation, drafted by AARP Vermont and others, impacts companies offering cash advances to pensioners in exchange for part or all of their pension payments – often at very high interest rates. The new law requires these companies to register with the state and comply with strict regulations. Regulators are confident that these companies will not comply and therefore will effectively be unable to operate in Vermont.

Local Farmers’ Markets

August 9, 2013  
Filed under Things to do

Fresh produce, baked goods and local products are among the goods sold at farmers' markets across the state.

Farmers’ markets are a fun, affordable and engaging way to buy local and support our community members. Markets typically take place May-October in more than a quarter of the towns and villages that make up Vermont, and feature seasonal produce, crafts, and artisan goods and products.

Vermont is dedicated to keeping agricultural dollars in state while providing its citizens with the most nutritious and wholesome food available. Access to local, sustainably produced food has been growing since the Farm to Plate strategic plan was passed in 2009 and will continue to grow with community support.

A trip to the farmers’ market will fill your fridge with local goodies and allow you to meet the people producing your food. Take note of what will be in season during your next farmers’ market.

Burlington Farmers’ Market (Burlington)

City Hall Park

Saturday • 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

May 11- October 26, 2013

Champlain Islands Farmers’ Market (Grand Isle)

St. Joseph’s Church

Saturday• 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

May 25 – October 5, 2013

Champlain Islands Farmers’ Market (South Hero)

St. Rose of Lima Parish

Wednesday • 3-6 p.m.

May 29 – September 25, 2013

Enosburg Falls Farmers’ Market (Enosburg Falls)

Lincoln Park, Main Street

Saturday • 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

May 18 – October 26, 2013

Second Location:

Lincoln Park, Main Street

Tuesday • 3-6:30 p.m.

May 21 – October 29, 2013

Five Corners Farmers’ Market (Essex Junction)

Lincoln Place

Friday • 3:30-7:30 p.m.

May 31 – October 4, 2013

Fletcher Allen Farmers’ Market (Burlington)

Davis Concourse of the hospital

Thursday • 2:30-5 p.m.

May 16 – October 17, 2013

Jericho Farmers’ Market (Jericho)

Mills Riverside Park

Thursday • 3-6:30 p.m.

June 4 – September 26, 2013

Milton Grange Farmers’ Market (Milton)

Milton High School

Thursday • 4-7 p.m.

June 13 – October 10, 2013

New North End Farmers’ Market (Burlington)

Elks Lodge

Thursday • 3-6:30 p.m.

May 23 – September 26, 2013

Northwest Farmers’ Market (St. Albans)

Taylor Park

Saturday • 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

May 18 – October 26, 2013

Old North End Farmers’ Market (Burlington)

Dewey Park

Tuesday

3-6:30 p.m.

June 18 – October 29, 2013

Richmond Farmers’ Market (Richmond)

Volunteers Green

Friday • 3-6:30 p.m.

May 31 – October 11, 2013

Shelburne Farmers’ Market (Shelburne)

Shelburne Center on Route 7 and Church St.

Saturday • 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

May 25 – October 12, 2013

South Burlington Farmers’ Market (South Burlington)

S. Burlington High School

Sunday • 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

June 2 – October 13, 2013

Underhill & Jericho Market (Underhill/Jericho)

115 Orr Rd., Jericho

Thursday • 3-6:30 p.m.

Year-round

Second Location

Jericho & Underhill Center’s county stores

Thursday • 4-7 p.m.

Year-round

Westford Farmers’ Market (Westford)

Town Common

Friday • 3:30-6:30 p.m.

June 21 – October 11, 2013

Williston Farmers’ Market (Williston)

NEFCU Parking lot, 141 Harvest Lane

Wednesday • 4-7 p.m.

May 29 – October 2, 2013

Winooski Farmers’ Market (Winooski)

Champlain Mill Green

Sunday • 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

June 9 – October 20, 2013

Making it Possible for Vermonters to ‘Age in Place’

August 9, 2013  
Filed under Aging Parents

By Brenda Patoine

Experts in aging say most people want to live out their lives in the comfort of their own homes, or perhaps downsize to a residential community that takes care of chores like home and yard maintenance or provides supportive care as needed. In other words, they want to “age in place.”

Aging in place has become somewhat of a buzz-phrase in the world of senior services and advocates for the elderly. As average life expectancy creeps upward and the Baby Boomers reach retirement age and beyond, shifting demographics worldwide are focusing more attention on the enormous issues surrounding “eldercare.” Primary among them is how to ensure that older people have the support and services they need to maintain a good quality of life and remain vital, engaged members of their communities throughout the final years of their lives.

Vermont is no stranger to these issues. Like the rest of the nation and much of the world, Vermont’s population is shifting upward in age. By 2030, 24 percent of Vermonters will be age 65 or older, up from just 13 percent in 2006, according to U.S. Census data. There will be 91,000 more seniors in Vermont by 2030.

Vermont currently ranks as the second “grayest” state in the country, according to Sarah Lemnah, director of communications and development at Champlain Valley Agency on Aging.

Lemnah has been at the forefront of the state’s efforts to meet the needs of its aging population. Foremost among those issues, she said, is helping seniors to age in place.

“Almost all the seniors we work with want to stay at home. It’s their number one desire,” Lemnah said. “They want to stay connected to their community, they want to be independent, they want their privacy and they don’t want to give that up.”

When faced with a medical issue such as a broken hip or a minor stroke, Lemnah said the first question seniors typically ask is “Can I stay at home?”

Fortunately, she said, Vermont has a lot of programs and support services in place to help them do just that. Vermont ranks second in the nation for healthiest state for older adults, according to a 2013 report from United Health Foundation, in part because of the services that are available here. Affordable and appropriate living environments are critical, and can help seniors stay healthier longer.

The cost of nursing home care – much of which is paid for by the state Medicaid program – is one incentive for putting systems in place that help people age in place. In 2006, the average annual cost of staying in a nursing home was $73,730, according to a MetLife survey of nursing home and home-care costs, and is projected to increase to more than $109,000 per person by 2030. State-run Medicaid programs pick up the bulk of the tab for low-income people.

“It’s cheaper to keep someone at home longer than to pay for nursing home care,” Lemnah said, a financial fact that has helped fuel Vermont’s efforts to provide alternatives.

In 2005, Vermont won Federal approval for a Medicaid waiver program called Choices for Care, whose goal is to give low-income seniors more options to age at home or in supportive living situations other than nursing homes. In effect, it turns federal Medicaid funding for long-term care (including both nursing home care and home care) into a block grant for the state, giving the state more flexibility in how it uses those federal dollars. Vermont is aiming for a balanced system where 40 percent of people eligible for Choices for Care programs receive services through home- and community-based systems and no more than 60 percent are placed in nursing homes.

Achieving that goal not only requires that more nursing home alternatives are available – be they Residential Care Homes, which typically assist seniors with personal care and activities of daily living, or Assisted Living residences that offer apartment-style housing with nursing-home level care when needed – but also a litany of services to support seniors in maintaining independence. These range from transportation for older adults who can no longer drive (a big issue in rural areas where public transportation is lacking), to providing home healthcare services, to “cash and counseling” programs that work with seniors to develop spending plans for purchasing services and goods that help them stay at home.

Sometimes, simple home-design measures can make all the difference in whether or not an older adult can continue to live at home. Home builder Tom Moore, president of Tom Moore & Sons of Underhill, a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS), advocates “universal design” for all homes, regardless of the age of the inhabitants.  Universal design incorporates elements such as wider doorways and hallways that are wheelchair accessible, walk-in showers, ground-level entrances without stairs, and similar features that allow people to continue to function in their homes even if they become disabled. Some are simple changes – lever-type door handles rather than knobs, for example, or safety bars on tubs – that, if incorporated into the design and building of a home from the beginning, barely impact building costs, Moore said.

Older adults who are interested in buying a new home, as well as people who plan to stay in their home into old age, should be looking for these kinds of design elements, said Liz Merryman, a Chittenden County Realtor who has been accredited as a “Senior Specialist” by the National Association of Realtors. The accreditation includes training “to talk to people about aging in place and look at the changes that need to be made to a home to make that possible,” Merryman said.

“It makes common sense,” said Moore. “If you can keep people in their homes longer, they’re going to be happier and live longer.”

Epic H2O: Building a Business One Sip at a Time

August 9, 2013  
Filed under Business

Dr. Robert Tyzbir (left) with wife, and business partner, Elaine. (Courtesy photo)

By Phyl Newbeck

It all started with a smart-alecky student.

Dr. Robert Tyzbir, a University of Vermont faculty member for four decades, was explaining to his sports nutrition class the best substances to promote recovery after physical activity. He suggested that one of them could become rich by putting together a product combining those substances and a student asked why he didn’t do it himself. Tyzbir explained that his job was education, not manufacturing, prompting one wag to bring out the age-old adage, “those that can, do; those that can’t, teach.” Faced with that challenge, Tyzbir decided to give production a try and his company, Epic H2O, was born.

Tyzbir, who founded UVM’s sports nutrition program and has a PhD in biochemistry, began mixing ingredients in his Williston kitchen. He used his own money for the start-up company so he would not be beholden to anyone. Tyzbir believes the increase in obesity in America is due at least in part to sugary soft drinks, so it was crucial that his product contain pure glucose and no fructose. Additionally, he refused to use high fructose corn syrup, table sugar, lactose, caffeine or other stimulants, or artificial colors or sweeteners.

After a great deal of experimentation, Tyzbir found the formula for Epic—glucose, a blend of essential amino acids that help rebuild muscle after exercise, electrolytes and water-soluble vitamins and antioxidants. The lemon flavor of the product was tweaked after experimentation with various members of UVM’s athletic teams. Epic comes in powder form in small cylindrical containers and is designed to be mixed with a minimum of eight ounces of water. It can be drunk before, during or after exercise.

Epic has been tested by the World Anti-Doping Agency and found to have no harmful ingredients. Several UVM athletes use Epic, but the university can’t buy it for its teams because NCAA rules prohibit athletic departments from purchasing products with amino acids. Tyzbir said the rule was created because these products are expensive and schools with better endowments would have an unfair advantage over poorer institutions. Student-athletes can purchase Epic on their own.

Once he had his product, Tyzbir approached a former student, Chris Rivard, who was working for Bariatrix in South Burlington. It was Rivard’s idea to use the formula to make sticks of powder rather than a liquid. The packaging currently reads “made in Canada,” which is Bariatrix’s home base, but soon it will be made in Vermont.

“Every ingredient is highly purified and natural,” said Tyzbir.

While Robert Tyzbir created the product, he credits his wife, Elaine, another nutritionist, with doing all the post-production work. She went door-to-door visiting chiropractors, health food stores, physical therapists and sports shops. The couple also did demonstrations at various establishments and provided free samples at local races. Epic is carried in stores throughout Chittenden County including Natural Provisions and the Vermont Center for Chiropractic and Sports Medicine in Williston.

The company was launched in 2010 and although the Tyzbirs had testimonials from users, they had no empirical evidence their product was working. That changed when UVM undergraduate Danielle Leahy commenced a study with Professor Stephen Pintaro. Several non-athletes were asked to come in for a four-day exercise regimen, after which they either took Epic or a placebo that looked and tasted like Epic. They took three weeks off, then repeated the procedure—except the students who had Epic were given the placebo and vice versa. The women in the study experienced a 45 percent decrease in delayed muscle soreness and the duration of the soreness was shortened by one day with Epic. The men also had a decrease in both the delay and the duration but it was not statistically significant, leading Tyzbir to believe they should have had an increased dosage.

The Tyzbirs are not counting on getting rich from their company. Some of the proceeds will go to the Tyzbir Scholarship for needy students majoring in nutrition at UVM and some will go to Smile Train, a nonprofit which repairs children’s cleft palates. The couple also sells the product at cost to nonprofits like the Chittenden County Nordic Soccer Team. Last year, the girls team went door-to-door selling Epic to raise enough money to go to Scandinavia for a tournament.

Elaine Tyzbir said the couple’s goal was to create a healthier alternative to what was on the market. They were gratified at a recent RunVermont event where Epic was requested so often they ran out of product.

Robert Tyzbir said he is proud of the fruits of his labors.

“This stuff really works,” he said.

For more information, visit www.epic-h2o.com.

Annual South End Art Hop Slated for Sept. 6-8

August 9, 2013  
Filed under Things to do

The Board of the South End Arts and Business Association will present the 21st Annual South End Art Hop Sept. 6-8.

The South End Art Hop brings thousands of residents, visitors and the community together to celebrate the dynamic art and culture of Burlington.

“This year we are celebrating our 21st Annual South End Art Hop with a little something for everyone. We are excited to have over 30,000 people come down to the South End of Burlington to experience the creativity of our artists and businesses ” said Adam Brooks, SEABA Executive Director.

More than 500 artists will showcase their artwork at over 100 sites throughout the South End of Burlington. In addition, there will be a Friday night concert ‘Hopapalooza’ featuring five local Vermont bands, a Strut Fashion Show, Kids Hop, pop up performances by local artists and theatre companies, artists market, live music, food vendors and more.

Parking is available at The Innovation Center, Burlington Town Center or Burton parking lots. Transportation will be provided by CCTA Pine Street Shuttle and by ArtsRiot.com. Burlington Town Center will provide free parking on Saturday for Art Hop attendees who take the CCTA shuttle.

For more information, visit www.seaba.com or contact Adam Brooks at 859-9222.

Knight Point Car Show Postponed to Aug. 25

August 9, 2013  
Filed under Things to do

The second annual Automobiles at Knight Point State Park will be held Sunday, Aug. 25. It had to be postponed earlier this summer due to the wet fields at the Park. Featured events this year are spectator judging, vehicles of all kinds and flea market vendors with everything from food to “those things you have stored in your garage for old cars.”

The Car Show is co-sponsored by the Islands Center at Knight Point State Park and the Vermont State Parks in association with Vermont Auto Enthusiasts and the Menace.

The entrance fee is $5 per adult, kids under 12 free and includes park admission. For more information, call 372-8400.

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