opioid epidemic

Our Community’s Opioid Epidemic From the Front Lines

opioid epidemic

Palm Beach County is known for sun, fun, sober homes and a drug problem that has spiraled out of control.

Delray Beach alone has about 700 sober homes, housing some 7,000 recovering addicts. That’s more than 10 percent of the city’s population, according to NBC News.

Yet opioid addiction and drug-related overdoses and death have reached epidemic proportions. The problem is so bad that in early May Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency, earmarking nearly $30 million in federal money for services aimed at drug use prevention, treatment and recovery.

There are people on the front lines already trying to make a dent in the problem. Dolores, who asked not to use her last name, is a local nurse practitioner and addiction specialist who contracts with hospitals and psychiatric facilities from Palm Beach to Miami. I asked her to share what she sees daily in her work with addicts.

“Nearly all of them start very innocently, Dolores says, “and then it becomes a huge problem.”

A typical scenario, according to Dolores’ experience, is a person goes to the emergency department for unbearable back pain, claiming to have tried every over-the-counter remedy to no avail. The person goes home with a three-day supply of opioids.

That’s proper care. According to healthcare best practices or guidelines people should only be on opioids for three days at a time.

But this person is still in pain after three days and goes to his or her primary care doctor with the same complaint. This time, the patient might leave with a week-long prescription for opioids. In no time, some of these people become addicted to the pills, Dolores says.

“We live in a society where people want a quick fix,” she says.

Part of the responsibility lies with patients, she added. Providers might recommend physical therapy instead of pain meds, or weight loss for a patient with painful knees, for example. But that’s too hard. They’d rather have a pill, Dolores says.

And the healthcare system wants to oblige. Pills are covered by insurance; whereas massage, weight loss programs and other healthy alternatives are usually not.

The problem spirals from there. We’ve done a great job as a state at shutting down pill mills. But the pain remains unresolved. So patients that can no longer get opioids turn to heroine, Dolores says.

What many people don’t know is that the heroine epidemic has created a population of people of all ages who are injecting drugs and becoming positive for hepatitis C, she says.

“We are losing the war on drugs,” Dolores says. “We have young kids coming from all over the United States to Florida, which is the addiction state of the U.S. These young kids are addicted and a ton of them are hep C positive.”

According to NBC News, many of the young people who come to Florida to get sober end up dying. They become disconnected from family and friends and end up in a community of former and current addicts.

To make matters worse, the drugs are more deadly than ever. Dealers, according to Dolores, have laced drugs, from heroine to weed, with addictive drugs like fentanyl to create a pipeline of hooked customers.

An overdose on fentanyl, coupled with heroin, slows a person’s respiration until that person stops breathing, she says.

Add to that the post-traumatic stress that happens when one former or current addict sees another die from a heroin overdose, she says.

By the time Dolores encounters these people, they’ve usually attempted suicide, are withdrawing and desperate for yet another quick fix. She says she does everything she can to ease their withdrawal symptoms without prescribing something that will once again feed the addiction.

“I love them all. But they’re persuasive. I have to be strong and methodical,” she says.


People can help themselves and prevent addiction by becoming familiar with how these drugs should be used, if they’re needed. The Florida Medical Association recommends that doctors follow these recommendations from the CDC, when prescribing opioids. Get to know the recommendations, take steps to protect yourself and don’t always look for that quick fix.

Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has had the luxury of reporting on health, fitness and other hot topics for more than 23 years. The longtime Boca Raton resident, University of Florida graduate and fitness buff writes for local, regional and national publications and websites. Find out more on wordscomealive.com.
summer skincare

10 Summer Skincare Staples For Beautiful, Flawless Skin

Summer Skincare SecretsIs it safe to say that the rain and stormy weather is behind us? We really hope so! In the spirit of wishful thinking, we’re jumping into the summer frame of mind this week by featuring some of our favorite products and tips that will keep your skin healthy during the season of sunburns.

Read more

Lindsey Swing & Lilly Robbins are best friends and founders of LLScene, a fashion and lifestyle blog based in South Florida. Sharing the same enthusiasm for style and lifestyle trends, the ladies of LLScene bring an influential twist to “20-30 somethings” looking for a little more in life. Lindsey is a newlywed with a passion for innovative fashion movements and Florida State football. Lilly is a former Miami Dolphins Cheerleader with a desire to further her philanthropic work and brand lifestyle concepts. Until they’re fortunate enough to have children of their own, Lindsey & Lilly will continue to enjoy being “dog moms” to Bentley & Duke.
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FAU Researchers Study Arthritis Remedy Copaiba; Is It a Help or Hoax?

bottles-1433611_1920

Copaiba: Snake Oil or Silver Bullet?

Arthritis sufferers who are looking for an alternative to traditional medications for relieving their joint pain might come across an increasingly popular remedy—an essential oil, copaiba.

But does it help?

Florida Atlantic University (FAU) researchers in Boca put Copaifera reticulate, or copaiba, to the test. They looked at available scientific studies on the essential oil and concluded that, aside from some basic research (not on humans) and individual case reports, there isn’t enough credible evidence to say copaiba is effective for treating the pain or inflammation of inflammatory arthritis.

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Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has had the luxury of reporting on health, fitness and other hot topics for more than 23 years. The longtime Boca Raton resident, University of Florida graduate and fitness buff writes for local, regional and national publications and websites. Find out more on wordscomealive.com.
vegetarian

Skip The Meat: Try These Satisfying Vegetarian Foods for Grilling Season

One of my favorite pastimes during the summer is outdoor parties and grilling. While I love raw food, let’s be realistic—not everyone can or should stick to one dietary theory 100 percent, and sometimes you just want to fire up that grill! If you are like me and want to indulge guilt-free and vegetarian, without harming your body with heavily processed animal proteins, then check out my top recommendations for the best plant-based hot dogs, veggie burgers and potato chips. All of these items are available at Whole Foods Market on Glades Road.

Smart Dogs

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If you are what you eat, why not eat smart foods? Or Smart Dogs, in this case? These are great, non-GMO hot dogs by Lightlife that are bursting with flavor.  Because they are plant-based and have zero cholesterol, you can rest assured that you won’t be compromising your heart health. However, your taste buds will thank you for the delicious treat.

The Beyond Burger

beyondburger_package

For those who want to avoid gluten, dairy and soy, I recommend The Beyond Burger by Beyond Meat. It is the latest veggie burger on the market and it is incredible! It is rich, sizzles on the grill and is delicious. Accessorize it with pickles, ketchup, mayo, mustard and any other fixings and you will be completely satisfied.

Follow Your Heart American Cheese Slices

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This cheese is my new favorite alternative to dairy cheese. If you haven’t tried this dairy-free, soy-free and gluten-free cheese, then you are missing out. This cheese is actually made from coconut oil, which is known to help boost metabolism. How about cheese that can help you lose weight? Yes, please.

Green Lite Burger Buns

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If you are looking to avoid gluten but are tired of eating bread that tastes like cardboard, then check out Green Lite brand. They have delicious rolls, white bread and burger buns, just to name a few. The reason why I try to avoid gluten is because it can be irritating to the body and cause inflammation. While some people are gluten-intolerant, I find many people are gluten-sensitive without even knowing it. To find out how gluten affects you, try avoiding it for two weeks and see how you feel.

Sweet Potato Chips

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When it comes to potato chips, I like to have Terra Sweet Potato Chips. They come in 6 different varieties and bring you that crispy crunch that only a potato chip can provide. However, unlike white potato chips, you are getting extra minerals and fiber. Just don’t tell the kids they are good for them until they try these chips for themselves!

Alina Z., aka “The Green Goddess,” is a certified holistic health coach, detox specialist and raw-food chef (she conducts occasional classes at Whole Foods in Boca). Prior to moving to Florida, Alina hosted her own TV show in Maryland—“Entertaining A to Z”—for people who didn’t have time to cook but wanted to eat healthy. Catch one of her web episodes at eHow.com, visit Alina’s website at alinaz.com, or follow her on Facebook and Twitter. The Green Goddess blog runs every other Wednesday at bocamag.com.
Pondhawk Natural Area. Photo by Lee Lietzke

Take a Walk on the Wild Side on National Trails Day

Pondhawk Natural Area. Photo by Lee Lietzke

Pondhawk Natural Area. Photo by Lee Lietzke

The American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day is Saturday, June 3. And to celebrate, the Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resources Management (ERM) is hosting a hike at the Hungryland Slough Natural Area, in our very own Palm Beach County.

Hungryland Slough is one of the County’s largest restoration projects. The nature area’s more than 3,000 acres features eight distinct ecosystems ranging from prairie to swamp, and tons of wildlife like hawks, otters, butterflies and more. 
If you can’t make it Saturday’s guided hike, don’t fret. Palm Beach County has lots to offer when it comes to hiking, according to Jacey Biery, environmental analyst with the ERM.

“Palm Beach County has 33 natural areas to explore from Boca Raton to Jupiter,” Biery says. The local system of natural areas has 31,000 acres with more 160 miles of trails—just waiting to be explored. Hiking trails of different lengths and varying degrees of difficulty offer something for anyone wanting to see nature up close and personal, according to Biery. There are concrete walking trails that are less than 1/2 a mile long, and local dirt hiking trails range from 1/4 mile to 3 miles in length.

Loxahatchee Natural Area. Photo by Lee Lietzke.

Loxahatchee Natural Area. Photo by Lee Lietzke.

“If you are looking for more of a challenge, some trails become inundated in the wet season. Join [ERM] staff for events like the Bike and Hike, August 12, for a 10-mile bike ride and a 1/3-mile hike through ankle deep water!” she says. The 1/3 mile hike takes an hour, according to the Facebook event for that adventure.

“The natural areas are a place to unwind and witness some of nature’s most beautiful events,” Biery says. Whether exploring the local trails by kayak, on foot or on a bike, it’s always best to go early in the morning or late in the evening to see the native wildlife or take in an amazing sunrise or sunset, Biery said.

Royal Palm Beach Pines Natural Area. Photo by   Ann Mathews.

Royal Palm Beach Pines Natural Area. Photo by
Ann Mathews.

Hungryland Slough Natural Area is at 12385 Seminole Pratt Whitney Road in Palm Beach Gardens. The hike starts Saturday at 7:30 a.m. Hikers should wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, closed-toed shoes and hats, as well as bring bug spray, snacks and plenty of water.

If you’re not up for the trek to Palm Beach Gardens, here are some natural areas in our neck of the woods (literally):

  • Leon M. Weeks Natural Area, 2800 Albatross Rd, Delray Beach
  • Delray Oaks Natural Area, 2021 SW 29th St, Delray Beach
  • Yamato Scrub Natural Area, 701-767 Clint Moore Rd, Boca Raton
  • Pondhawk Natural Area, NW, 1501 Spanish River Blvd, Boca Raton

For more about our local walks on the wild side, go to the ERM’s website. For more about the American Hiking Society, go to nationaltrailsday.americanhiking.org.

Frenchmans Forest Natural Area. Photo by   Ann Mathews.

Frenchmans Forest Natural Area. Photo by
Ann Mathews.

Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has had the luxury of reporting on health, fitness and other hot topics for more than 23 years. The longtime Boca Raton resident, University of Florida graduate and fitness buff writes for local, regional and national publications and websites. Find out more on wordscomealive.com.
hacks for hurricane season

5 Essential Travel Snacks and Healthy Hacks for Hurricane Season

Tomorrow is June 1, which means two things— the beginning of summer travels and the less exciting beginning of hurricane season. To help you prepare for both, I’m sharing my Z-tips for healthy foods to stock up on. They are great to take with you on the road, to the airport or to enjoy when you’re at home without electricity.

Snacks to keep you hydrated

Oranges duo + Leafs

When flying, many people experience dry skin and slight swelling due to the cabin pressure and low humidity. To help you with that, I suggest bringing oranges and bananas on your flight. Their high potassium content will help keep the fluid levels in your body regulated, and the vitamins and antioxidants can boost your immune system on crowded flights. Also, these fruits have a thick peel that makes them easy to transport and eat. If you are stocking up for a hurricane, these are great to have on hand because there is no hand-washing needed.

Get your greens on

lettuce_greens

 

Travel and tropical storms can be stressful, and healthy, dark leafy greens may be hard to find. If you’re in need of a nutritional boost, I recommend stocking up on energy bars with greens. One of my favorite brands is the locally made GreensPlus, and I am in love with the PlusBar Energy Chocolate. You can also buy the bars at Whole Foods Market on Glades Road. This bar has great flavor, is full of immune-system boosting nutrients and has chocolate!

Fill up on carbs

hacks for hurricane season

For an energy boost and to help steer clear of airport pretzels and potato chips, try Florida-made Sami’s Bakery crackers. They are my favorite millet and flax crackers, and they are full of good carbohydrates and healthy fats. Take the whole box or portion them out in Tupperware containers, then pack ’em in your carry-on luggage.

Protein that can help you relax

Grain

Did you know that flying can put a lot of stress on the body and affect your digestive system? In times like that, animal protein can be too hard for the body to handle. In those cases, I would recommend buying individual packs of hemp seeds. Hemp seeds are rich in protein and magnesium, a mineral that is often missing from our diets. Magnesium has the power to help us relax. I like buying hemp seeds that come in easy-to-peal individual packs, which are easy to take with you on the road. This way I can always add some extra protein to a simple garden salad to create a more filling meal. Check out different brands at the Whole Foods Market on Glades Road.

What to drink

water splash

Because TSA doesn’t allow passengers to bring liquids on flights, I suggest getting a refillable bottle like Hydroflask with an Aguagear filtering system. I bring one with me every time I travel and fill it up at the nearest water fountain once I pass the security gate. The great thing about this bottle is that it is reusable and ultimately the water may be cleaner than that in plastic water bottles. Did you know that chemicals from plastic bottles can leach out from the bottle and into the water it contains?

Alina Z., aka “The Green Goddess,” is a certified holistic health coach, detox specialist and raw-food chef (she conducts occasional classes at Whole Foods in Boca). Prior to moving to Florida, Alina hosted her own TV show in Maryland—“Entertaining A to Z”—for people who didn’t have time to cook but wanted to eat healthy. Catch one of her web episodes at eHow.com, visit Alina’s website at alinaz.com, or follow her on Facebook and Twitter. The Green Goddess blog runs every other Wednesday at bocamag.com.
collagen

Collagen: 3 Ways to Use It For Smoother, Younger Looking Skin

Alina Z. Alina Z., aka “The Green Goddess,” is a certified holistic health coach, detox specialist and raw-food chef (she conducts occasional classes at Whole Foods in Boca). Prior to moving to Florida, Alina hosted her own TV show in Maryland—“Entertaining A to Z”—for people who didn’t have time to cook but wanted to eat […]

Alina Z., aka “The Green Goddess,” is a certified holistic health coach, detox specialist and raw-food chef (she conducts occasional classes at Whole Foods in Boca). Prior to moving to Florida, Alina hosted her own TV show in Maryland—“Entertaining A to Z”—for people who didn’t have time to cook but wanted to eat healthy. Catch one of her web episodes at eHow.com, visit Alina’s website at alinaz.com, or follow her on Facebook and Twitter. The Green Goddess blog runs every other Wednesday at bocamag.com.
side plank

Train When, Where You Want with Boca-Based LIVEexercise

side plank

It’s hard to come up with an excuse not to exercise when you have options like Boca Raton-based LIVEexercise.com.

The online workout site offers thousands of workouts, including live workouts by local trainers, which you can do at home, in a hotel room—anywhere you have online access with a mobile device, tablet or computer. Robyn Cifuentes, director of operations at LIVEexercise, said LIVE started in 2009. It’s the brainchild of Blake Kassel, who founded Bodylastics, a resistance band company. Kassel, a Boca Raton resident, filmed one show featuring his Chiseled workout with the bands and people asked for more.

“Now we have over 30 types of workouts, from kickboxing, to yoga, to endurance, Cross-Fit style workouts,” Cifuentes says. “Blake does the most popular show on LIVEexercise—it’s a muscle-building show using resistance bands. It’s hard on your muscles, but easy on your joints.”

warmup

Local trainers, including my daughter Abbey Hilton, a personal trainer, do the workouts with viewers. Abbey says she likes training people on LIVEexercise.com because it’s more personable. “Viewers see and feel what we’re doing because we’re exercising with them,” she says.

LIVEexercise members pay $9.95 a month to get access to all scheduled live workouts, as well as all the archived training sessions, which last from 10 to 40 minutes. The option is ideal, Cifuentes said, for busy parents who don’t have time to get to the gym; people on a budget; and corporate travelers, who can stay in shape with the workouts while on the road.

What you need depends on what workouts you choose. Some classes require kettlebells, some resistance bands or weights. LIVEexercise has partnered with Dick’s Sporting Goods, so LIVEexercise members who buy fitness gear products from Dick’s get three months of LIVEexercise.com free, Cifuentes said. And there’s a risk-free two week trial for anyone who wants to try the online workouts without purchasing anything.

Cifuentes offers these tips for getting the most out of the online workouts:

  • Become part of the community. Just because you’re not physically in a gym doesn’t mean you can’t be part of the LIVEexercise community.
  • Join the LIVEexercise Facebook group to see what other members are doing. If you say you’ll be at a LIVE workout, the trainer will give you a shout out during the session, she says.
  • Monitor your progress.
  • For a boost of inspiration, take a before picture the first day you start and 30 days later take another to see if you notice changes.

 

Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has had the luxury of reporting on health, fitness and other hot topics for more than 23 years. The longtime Boca Raton resident, University of Florida graduate and fitness buff writes for local, regional and national publications and websites. Find out more on wordscomealive.com.
COVER PHOTO

LLScene’s Essential Mother’s Day Gift Guide

COVER PHOTO

Hey cool moms, we’re back with one of our most popular posts, the LLScene “Mother’s Day Gift Guide for Cool Moms!”

Let’s start off with the obvious: Every mom needs a day off.

For the mom who needs a day off…

Mother’s Day is always a hard holiday to shop for. (Not as hard as Father’s Day, but it’s up there.) Moms should be the easiest people to shop for, but finding the perfect gift can be seriously difficult. If you’re like us, you want to surprise mom with something different, something that she would never buy herself. That’s why spa days are always your best option. When was the last time your mom did something for herself? Here are some of our favorite spas offering Mother’s Day specials this year.

Skin Apeel Day Spa

Skin Apeel

Specials range from $139 to $299 and pampering ranges from “Pure Perfection” to “Queen for a Day.”

21301 Powerline Rd #215, Boca Raton, FL 33433

Maui Day Spa

Maui

Maui Day Spa will give Mom a “Divine Diva Day,” complete with signature spa packages and complimentary sweets and drinks on Mother’s Day weekend.

2100 NW Boca Raton Blvd, Boca Raton, FL 33431

Eden Day Spa

Eden Day Spa

“Mom’s Spa Sampler” gives her a variety of spa treatments. The “Mommy-To-Be TLC” package is, of course, designed for women who are expecting, but there’s also the the “Mother and Daughter Day at the Spa,” among other specials.

213 E Palmetto Park Rd, Boca Raton, FL 33432

For the mom who brunches…

Treat mom to brunch. As two South Florida natives, we have brunched it all on Mother’s Day. Here are some of our favorite restaurants hosting Mother’s Day brunches!

The Addison

Addison desserts

Brunch is $89.99 per person, half off for children 12 and under and free for children 2 and under. The buffet includes a harvest table with fruits and cheeses, etc., a salad station, raw bar, carving station, breakfast station (hello cinnamon and maple challah French toast!) and Viennese table. Did we mention that the price includes unlimited mimosas and Bellinis!?

2 East Camino Real, Boca Raton, FL 33432

Sundy House

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The lovely Sundy House is serving a Mother’s Day brunch from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for $75 per person plus tax and gratuity.

106 S Swinton Ave, Delray Beach, FL 33444

For the COOL MOM…

Cool Mom2

Every COOL MOM needs a COOL MOM tee from our Scene Swag collection for Mother’s Day. If you know someone who isn’t like a regular mom, but a cool mom, then they need this shirt. Lucky for you, ALL preorders will be shipped and delivered before Mother’s Day. ORDER HERE!

For the mom who loves the dramatics…

Wick

Do you and your mom bond over the theater the same way Lindsey and her mom do? Plan an afternoon or evening at The Wick Theater. In addition to the amazing shows on their schedule this month, The Wick Theater also has a great restaurant, Tavern at the Wick attached.

7901 N Federal Hwy, Boca Raton, FL 33487

For the creative mom…

These are gifts for the mom in your life that is always coming up with new ways to surprise you. Surprise her for a change and add a twist to the traditional Mother’s Day gift with these options!

Deelishables Photo Cookies

Deelishables are tasty treats designed by you!

Deelishables

 

Venus ET FLEUR Roses

These roses will last for up to a year, with barely any maintenance.

Roses

For the mom who travels…

We have been traveling like crazy lately and have started to notice a lot of wear and tear on some of our beloved (and expensive) travel accessories. If your mom is an avid traveler, chances are she’s starting to notice the same thing. Luggage is always a wonderful gift to give, but the luggage your traveling mom knows, loves and deserves is probably way out of your Mother’s Day budget. So, we will stick to budget friendly travel and tech accessories that bring convenience to a whole new level.

Makeup Bag/Cosmetic Case

Makeup Bag Cosmetic Case

Fifth and Ninth’s Beauty Bank

Fifth and Ninth

Glitter Bomb iPhone Case

Case

Lulus Exclusive Weekender Bag

Weekender

Ted Baker Luggage Tag & Passport Case Set

Passport Case and Luggage Tag 2

 

For the fit mom…

Your mom either loves to work out or loves to talk about working out. Surprise her with something that will make her workouts more fun and convenient!

“I did my best” Yoga Mat

Yoga Mat

Fabletics Fitness Wear Membership

Fabletics

S’well Palm Beach Stainless Steel Water Bottle

Water Bottle

Earbuds

Ear

Namaslay Gym Bag

Gym

 

For the mom-to-be…

It can be hard to shop for the pregnant mom in your life. It’s easy to assume she wants items and products for the baby, but trust us … she doesn’t. This is probably one of the last gifts she will ever truly receive for herself and herself only, so plan accordingly. We’ve polled our preggo besties, and here is what they want this Mother’s Day.

Mama Mio Your Pregnancy Essentials Kit

Mama Mio

Honest Essentials Bundle

Honest

Young Living Home Diffuser

Young Living

Young Living Everyday Oils Set

Oils

Fillyboo Maternity Clothes

Fillyboo

For the very busy mom…

Is there such thing as a mom who isn’t very busy?! Make her life a little easier this year by giving her the gift of organization!

I AM VERY BUSY Planner

Planner

Gold Portable Charger

Charger

Trible C Click Gold Selfie Remote

Selfie

Mini Jewelry Box

Jeweley Box

Jumbo Calendar

Jumbo Calendar

Sunglass Case

Sunglass Case

 

For the summer lovin’ mom…

Everyone loves summer. The South Florida heat, maybe not so much. We have a more relaxed attitude the second Memorial Day weekend hits. Here are some of our favorite summer lovin’ gifts and accessories mom is sure to love.

Airbrush Tanning Session with Goldie Spray Tan

GOLDIE GIFT CARD

Pool Party Beach Towel

Towel

Jumbo Heart Inner Tube

Float

Kate Spade Portable Wireless Speakers

Wireless Speakers

 

Lemon Beach Bag

Lemon Beach Bag

At the end of the day, you know there’s nothing your mom wants more than to just spend the day with you. You can plan an extravagant day or buy her all of the material things you want, but she will be just as happy to simply be with you. No matter how you plan on spending Mother’s Day, just remember that!

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the fabulous COOL MOMS we know and love dearly!


Want to know what the ladies of LLScene are up to on the daily? Visit ll-scene.com.

Lindsey Swing & Lilly Robbins are best friends and founders of LLScene, a fashion and lifestyle blog based in South Florida. Sharing the same enthusiasm for style and lifestyle trends, the ladies of LLScene bring an influential twist to “20-30 somethings” looking for a little more in life. Lindsey is a newlywed with a passion for innovative fashion movements and Florida State football. Lilly is a former Miami Dolphins Cheerleader with a desire to further her philanthropic work and brand lifestyle concepts. Until they’re fortunate enough to have children of their own, Lindsey & Lilly will continue to enjoy being “dog moms” to Bentley & Duke.
burn boot camp

Burn Boot Camp Opens in West Boca

Session at Burn Boot Camp

Session at Burn Boot Camp

Girls run the world at Burn Boot Camp West Boca. The national fitness franchise opened its second Florida location on Monday, thanks to Jen Sawtell-Day and her husband Ryan. Jen, a Boca native, is super excited to have an empowering, female-only gym in her hometown. The couple opened its first Burn Boot Camp location in Naples almost two years ago and plans to open between eight and 10 locations in Palm Beach and Broward County over the next 3 to 4 years.

I attended Burn Boot Camp West Boca on Tuesday (the second day of camp), and it was intense—in the best sort of way. The 45-minute class focused on five different circuits (repeated three times each) and two ab exercises (with two repetitions and a finisher, which was bicycle abs for various intervals). My class included about 30-40 women between the ages of 20 and 50. Some brought kids, others brought their friends. But everyone had a common goal: to burn fat and build muscle. And boy, did we burn: abs, triceps, shoulders, and more abs.

Owners Jen and Ryan and head trainer Brittany

Owners Jen and Ryan and head trainer Brittany

Jen and Ryan kindly shared a bit of their Burn story with me. Here’s a recap:

Boca Mag (BM): How did you become associated with Burn? 

Jen Sawtell-Day (JSD): As a client. There was a Groupon. I started working out in Charlotte, North Carolina, at the headquarters location. It 100 percent changed my life. I had put on 90 pounds during my pregnancy with twins, and I had 45 pounds to lose. Free childcare [at Burn boot camp] was a big draw, and it was women only. It’s absolutely fantastic. One year after the Groupon, the CEO, Devan Kline, decided to franchise. It was Ryan’s idea to look into franchising. He had the dream of opening eight to 10 locations in Florida. Ryan had a finance background and I was a paralegal for 20 years. Both sets of our parents ran small businesses when we were kids. We talked to them and asked if it was crazy to leave our safe corporate jobs to open a gym in Boca—there are gyms everywhere. They said yes, to do it. Devan suggested opening the first location in Naples. It was my dream to bring Burn to Boca, which is my hometown.

BM: What makes Burn different from other gyms?

JSD: Burn [boot camp] made me a fitness junkie. I lost more than 40 pounds, and I’m in better shape at 42 than I was at 22 or 32. It’s so much more than a gym. It’s not cliquey or judgmental. It’s a 45-minute sweat session that empowers women. There’s free childcare, which is a draw for moms. There’s nutrition focus meetings every three weeks to help with coaching and meal plans, to look at fat/carb intake. Regardless of your health or fitness goals, we can tailor [plans] to meet goals in a reasonable amount of time. But I tell people it’s a lifestyle change. You have to commit to fitness and eating better. But the common thread is a sense of community.

BM: Who designs workouts? 

JSD: Headquarters [in Charlotte] determines group workouts. So Tuesday was arms and upper body at all the locations. But trainers at each location decide the exercises. So in West Boca, Brittany writes them, and Ryan and I weigh in.

BM: What’s your favorite healthy meal? 

JSD: I’m a simple cook: grilled chicken, corn, quinoa and black beans. I top it with salsa. I make big quantities and have it for lunch or dinner throughout the week. Meal prep is definitely important.

RD: Mine is a staple Burn recipe: egg, ground turkey, sweet potato and vegetable casserole. It’s great for breakfast. You can throw any veggies in there: peas, broccoli, carrots. The Burn Nutrition Facebook page has more videos, tips and recipes.

BM: What motivates you to keep going? 

JSD: For me it’s two things. I feel good—I sleep better, I have more energy. I don’t want to backslide. And seeing how it changes other people’s lives. To see the look on their face of, “I just did it!” and being surrounded by that for seven boot camps every day is amazing.

RD: I gravitate toward being on the floor. To help someone realize a goal, that’s what drives me every day.


To learn more about Burn Boot Camp West Boca (11411 A West Palmetto Park Road), visit its website.

Allison Lewis is the associate editor at Boca Raton Magazine and a native St. Louisan. She earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master of Arts in Journalism from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo. In her spare time, Allison enjoys cooking, playing Ultimate frisbee, reading, traveling and watching sports.