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The Lomas Family made it their life mission to save lives from opiate overdose.
The Lomas Family made it their life mission to save lives from opiate overdose.

CJ Lomas Foundation brings hope to heroin epidemic

Surviving the loss of a loved one to an opiate overdose leaves an inconsolable void. This circumstance has become all too common in Wisconsin, where according to the Wisconsin Epidemiological Profile on Alcohol and other Drug Abuse Report* drug related deaths, in particular overdose deaths from opiates - are on the rise.

The report cites, "The upward trend in mentions of heroin in drug-related deaths may reflect increasing substitution of heroin for prescription drugs among opioid users due to heroin’s lower cost and increasing availability. With no standards for consistency or dosing as with prescription drugs, heroin use carries significant risk of overdose."

After losing son CJ to a heroin overdose, Charlie and Patti Lomas made it their life’s mission to fight the heroin epidemic. On March 18, 2012 they founded the CJ Lomas Recovery Foundation 501(c)(3) nonprofit in memory of their beloved son and in fervent support of those engaged in recovery.

The Foundation is active in myriad activities like speaking engagements, facilitating education and participating in awareness events like neighborhood drug summits. It also provides financial donations to treatment facilities, sober living houses, detox facilities and recovery organizations.

Through this, it effectively provides support, education and resources not only for those suffering with the disease of addiction and engaged in recovery, but also to the people who love them – their families, spouses, significant others and friends.

But, the Lomas family doesn’t just delegate these tasks. They are in the trenches. Every other Tuesday evening, the Lomas’ open their home to families dealing with opiate addiction for their "Family and Friends Support Group."

The group is a vital and unique resource that fills an essential need in the vicious cycle of addiction and in the world of recovery. The group provides a safe place for family members to access resources and through their commonality bond in an env…

"Salad Shaming isn't new and it isn't just happening on the Internet. It happens all the time."
"Salad Shaming isn't new and it isn't just happening on the Internet. It happens all the time."

"Salad Shaming" happens

Sluts can relax. There’s yet another demographic being shamed. Kale enthusiasts everywhere are on high alert, forced to keep their green smoothies under wraps, hiding their blended antioxidant concoctions under concealment of metal coffee mugs to avoid what is generally called "Salad Shaming."

Salad Shaming isn’t new and it isn’t just happening on the Internet. It happens all the time, in real life – at water coolers, in restaurants, at parties – really anywhere folks who innocently engage in facets of healthy living like eating sensibly and working out are vulnerable to public stone throwing.

I haven’t commented on this phenomenon because I’m a lucky health nut surrounded by friends who for the most part are on the same page about healthy eating, exercise and overall lifestyle and who tend to use me as an encyclopedia of all things nutrition, health and fitness related. Although, I have been the receiver of for instance, a passive aggressive Salad Shaming email with the subject line, "Have you heard of this?" that contained a link to the Wikipedia page on Orthorexia. I’m able to recognize what was meant to be the humor in that, but my rant button was pushed hardcore when one of my fit-livin’ buddies recounted a "health shaming" incident they recently suffered to me.

Here is a generalized example of what went down in order to protect both the innocent and the guilty. Healthy Person is at their corporate job when a "catered" lunch is brought in to the office. Oh joy – it’s multiple pizzas from a national franchise! There must have been a deal on cheese stuffed crust mega meat pizza with free frosted deep fried cinnamon sugar sticks for dessert. Healthy Person scoots around the morning’s leftover donut spread and opts for their brown bag packed full of clean, fresh foods and sips from their refillable water bottle.

The healthy person’s co-workers observe in shock between bites of refined carbohydrates and saturated fats. They gulp sugary so…

"There are certainly other brands with similar designs, but after much research, I am so happy I chose these guys," says Lindsay.
"There are certainly other brands with similar designs, but after much research, I am so happy I chose these guys," says Lindsay.

Minimize with Bedrock Sandals

The breeze cools the tops of my feet and sneaks between my toes as my soles deftly navigate every detail of the varied terrain through the most minimal athletic shoe I have ever invested in – Bedrock Sandals.

The name indicates that these are not actually a shoe at all, but a sandal, a bare bones version of a huarache that harkens back to primitive footwear, embracing the primal/barefoot movement and minimalist footwear trend that lowers the profile of the foot to the ground, demanding that every muscle of the foot, ankle, lower limbs and truly the entire body respond to each bump and curve. This culminates in total ergonomic efficiency and a deep, corporal connection to the environment.

Both my husband and I have been living in our Bedrock Gabbro Ultra Lightweight + Performance Trail Sandals. The handmade-to-order, "barefoot" design is as minimal as you can get, with only a toe separator and ankle swaddle holding your foot onto the Vibram sole. It’s a feat of engineering that works so well – I actually have been running in these! I feel like a Greek gazelle in the ancient marathon races with only my huaraches and my stride separating me from the ground beneath. Bedrocks facilitate an extreme athletic, earthly connection that has me feeling like I am more united with my surroundings, making my workouts even more of a moving meditation.

True, my husband, who has now sworn never to wear any other footwear on his very attractive feet, was the recipient of an unfortunate insult, accusing him of crafting his own footwear. Well, we wish WE had thought of these!

Fashion aside, Bedrock Sandals are the ultimate option in minimalist footwear. I’ve hiked, walked, jogged and even done sprint repeats in these barefoot babies and for me – the benefits have outweighed any stylistic statement. The shoes stay put, offering ample protection from the elements and abundant freedom from the claustrophobic constraints of closed toe shoes and engineered arches. Plus, I can reall…

Dela Ends (on the right) with Milwaukee CSA organizer, Rhonda Van Pembrooke.
Dela Ends (on the right) with Milwaukee CSA organizer, Rhonda Van Pembrooke.

Scotch Hill Farm trailblazes CSA path

If farming had professional athletes, Dela Ends of Scotch Hill Farm would be an all-star.

Her certified organic, family-run farm located in Broadhead, has provided nourishment through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) to Milwaukee and neighboring cities since 1994.

Scotch Hill’s offerings also include farmstead products like eggs, organic flowers, pickles, preserves and all-natural, goats’-milk-based body care products.

CSA is an "eat local/eat seasonal" concept where consumers purchase "shares" of vegetables directly from their neighborhood farmer. The CSA "basket" as it’s come to be known, is picked up or delivered during the season, usually June through October/November.

The share purchase is typically done in full and in advance of the season, so farmers can prepare what and how much to grow, but sometimes shares are made available on a per-delivery basis. And farms like Scotch Hill offer many options and add-ons to fit most family’s needs.

The recent emphasis on the importance of eating non-genetically modified food and a renewed interest in farming as a career by a younger generation makes what Ends and Scotch Hill Farm are doing that much more vital. The impact of consciously grown, local, seasonal produce extends beyond just a healthful choice. It’s a delicious alternative that has positive implications on the environment, economics and the cohesion of the area they serve and well beyond.

Scotch Hill Farm is a genuine reflection of the spirit of the "community" piece of this agricultural model. In fact, a dedicated group of Milwaukeeans’ participation in Scotch Hill’s weekly vegetable delivery has been key to the farm’s success.

End’s generously took time out of her busy day to have a conversation with me about the physical component of her daily routine, what it takes to transition into the agricultural life, Milwaukee’s contribution to the development of Scotch Hill Farm’s CSA, the far reaching impact of sustainable farming pract…