Wellness coach promotes healthy habits through workshop series | Local News

Wellness coach promotes healthy habits through workshop series | Local News

McALLEN — Hoping to make a small change in someone’s life one step at a time, Lebby Salinas is sharing her ideas and story with the rest of the community.

Salinas, a certified health and wellness coach, began teaching people one-on-one to make healthier choices in their diet to improve their overall well-being. This is something that she has done for approximately a decade now after her own health scare with a food allergy.

After becoming severely ill and even being hospitalized at one point, she decided to take matters into her own hands and began to study better health habits that she says maintain proper nourishment and body wellness. Now, she wants to pay-it-forward by sharing her knowledge with others.


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Lebby Salinas, RGV Fooducator, grows a front yard garden at her home February 8, 2016 in Mission. Photo by Joel Martinez/[email protected]

On her journey to wellness, she was already brainstorming about ways to assist others in a larger-setting who might be following a similar path.

After about four years, the Rise and Shine Wellness and Yoga Workshop was born with a trial run held in early February and was officially kicked off Feb. 25.

“It’s the little bitty changes, and making those connections, that food affects our health and wellness,” Salinas said. “’Fooducation’ is not about eating food to be thin; it’s about eating food to feel good.”

The full-day workshop was conducted at the Chase Bank Sky Tower on the 17th floor. It included meditation, an hour of yoga followed by a short presentations, such as food substitutions and home exercises, and wrapped up with a cooking demonstration.


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Chef Marcel Fortuin gives instruction on cooking vegan pasta during a Raise and Shine Wellness and Yoga workshop at the top floor of the Neuhaus Tower on Sunday, February 25, 2018 in McAllen.



Chef Marcel Fortuin from Bistro M and McAllen Cooking Academy conducted the cooking demonstration, making vegetarian gluten-free pasta, and for a lunch bite made sweet potato lasagna.

He also gave tips on food substitution and how parents can get their children involved in the kitchen.

“It’s also a good way to bring it to the kids because its starts at a young age. Say as a parent I’m going to start living healthy, but let my kids eat all the junk food that it’s still out there and they can make their own their decision when they get older,” Fortuin said. “Start them (children) now when they’re young and feed them lasagna. They wouldn’t know that it doesn’t have any noodles in it, but get them involved in it and as they get older. This is what we put in it and why we put it, then you start a lifestyle.”

In addition to cuisine, the workshop also focused on yoga, led by Erika Contreras. The fitness instructor for years enjoyed practicing yoga, before becoming an instructor almost a decade ago.

“We don’t know how to breathe with awareness, we breathe as an instinct, but when we pay attention to the breath, the breath can control everything,” Contreras said. “It helps us control our emotions. The better we control our emotions, the better we can function as people.”


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Participants listen to instruction during a Raise and Shine Wellness and Yoga workshop at the top floor of the Neuhaus Tower on Sunday, February 25, 2018 in McAllen.



Contreras says yoga is also a workout for the mind and can help deal with stress.

“We all have reasons to be stressed either with family or work or things happening in the world, so the best way to not get affected by what’s going on the outside, is controlling what’s happening on the inside,” she said.

Added Salinas, “It’s about self-awareness and boosting the confidence level.”

If you missed the Rise and Shine Wellness and Yoga Workshop on Sunday, it will be held again on Sunday, March 25 and Sunday, April 29.

If interested and want more information on the workshop series visit, www.riseandshinewellnessworkshops.com.

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