Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Go From Tired to Inspired by Cammy Dennis

We all seem to struggle with maintaining our energy at times. Do you have days where you lose your desire to participate in activities you enjoy, or find it hard to concentrate? If these sound familiar, you might be suffering from an energy drain. There are a host of reasons why we might lack energy or run out of steam. Experts agree that the majority of reasons for energy deficiency come from little things we do to sabotage ourselves. Certain lifestyle behaviors can zap our energy instead of recharging us.

I went to a trusted source to find out the top 10 ways to boost energy. Think about these tips as healthy lifestyle habits that you should make a part of your day every day!

Eat a balanced diet. This will ensure that vitamin and mineral needs are met. Energy deficiency can sometimes indicate that your body is lacking in the nutrients it needs.
Walk around the block. It may seem counter-intuitive to move when you fell tired but often the opposite is true. Increasing physical activity, particularly walking can boost energy.
Take a power nap. Research indicates that pushing our brains too hard (information overload) can drain our energy. The National Institute of Mental Health found that a 60-minute power nap can help to recharge your battery! Along with power-napping, a good night's sleep is very important. It is recommended that you get 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night.
Don't skip breakfast...or any other meal for that matter! Studies prove that folks who eat breakfast report being in a better mood and have more energy. The journal "Nutritional Health" also found that skipping meals led to an overall feeling of fatigue by the day's end.
Reduce your stress. Stress is one of our biggest energy zappers. Dr. Baard from Fordham University says, "Stress is often the result of anxiety and anxiety uses up a whole lot of our energy. We can counter these energy killers by making sure to include relaxation and stress reducing activities into our day.
Drink more water and less alcohol. Sometimes even slight dehydration can leave you feeling tired. This is one reason why our bodies confuse thirst with hunger, we want a "pick me up" so our inclination is to go for food or beverages that our body will convert to glucose (sugar!). All we really need was a tall glass of water.
Eat more whole grains and less sugar. The key with this is to keep blood sugar balanced so our energy is stable. Simple sugar and processed foods spike our blood sugar up quickly and drop it just as quickly. That's where our energy gets zapped. Whole grains provide a slow and steady release of fuel and your energy will be more consistent.
Eat a power snack. Try a snack that combines some protein, a little fat and some fiber. A great example would be peanut butter on whole wheat crackers. The carbs offer quick energy; the protein and the fat will sustain the energy boost.
Make it a latte. Combining coffee or espresso with the sustaining power of protein in the form of low-fat milk will help to maintain the energy boost you get from the caffeine.
Check your thyroid function. If you are constantly running on low energy it might be an indication that there is an underlying physical condition. It would be advisable to see your health care provider for a more in-depth evaluation; prolonged fatigue might mean that there is thyroid dysfunction.

Cammy Dennis is the Fitness Director for On Top of the World Communities and The Ranch Fitness Center & Spa.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Kissing Willie Nelson by Ray Cech

It isn't every day that a young lady gets to meet a famous singer and movie star, no less have him give her a hug and a kiss. But it was back in 1986 when the stars were all aligned for On Top of the World resident Lolly Foos, when she went backstage to shake Willie Nelson's hand, but instead, to her blushing surprise, got a warm hug and a kiss. As Lolly says, "I didn't quite faint but the world went to a blur and for the next few days I was in a wonderful stupor."

A photo was taken of that moment in time for Lolly on February 4, 2012 at the Circle Square Cultural Center in Ocala, Florida where Willie Nelson performed to a sold-out crowd. Lolly wore the same hat she had on 26 years ago when Willie signed that photo and complimented her with, "You're looking good."

How did all this happen? Lolly Foos was the recreational coordinator for First Interstate Bank in Los Angeles, California back then. It was a great job she admits, as she got to book and meet some of the greats like Frank Sinatra and Willie Nelson. Of all the stars she met however, she found Nelson's persona and lyrics to be the best and has been following his career for more than 30 years. "I was a fan back when he was singing and strumming in a business suit", said Lolly who at times was a very active member of his fan club.

When she heard he was coming to the Circle Square Cultural Center located just a golf cart ride away from her house, Lolly naturally got her ticket and on that Saturday night, carried the "kissing" photo with her. It is now a very official document hanging prominently in her home.

Lolly has been an On Top of the World resident for fifteen years and is a cheerleader for volunteering. She has taken on the responsibility for coordinating volunteers for most events in the community. You can see Lolly and her team working at the annual Craft Fair, Home Improvement Expo, Health & Wellness Expo and the Ocala Open, just to name a few.

How will you find Lolly Foos spending her time when not volunteering? Probably kicking back, spinning some Willie Nelson records and looking at that picture on the wall, daydreaming about that unforgettable kiss from back in 1986...and of course, Saturday February 4, 2012.

Ray Cech is a resident at On Top of the World Communities and a writer for the OTOW News

Friday, February 17, 2012

Professional Golf Tournament at Candler Hills Golf Club to Benefit Two Local Charities

Candler Hills Golf Club will be host to the 6th annual Ocala Open Golf Tournament on March 14-16, 2012. Candler Hills Golf Club is the prestigious golf course at On Top of the World Communities in Ocala, Florida. The three-day tournament will be played Wednesday through Friday with a guaranteed winner’s prize of $12,000. The Pro-Am is scheduled for Tuesday, March 13th and will feature local amateurs paired up with pros in a fun round of golf all for charity. Spectator admission to the professional tournament is free.

On Top of the World Communities has established an outstanding reputation for leadership and community service in the greater Ocala and Marion County area. The Ocala Open Golf Tournament will benefit local charities: Hospice of Marion County, Inc. and Interfaith Emergency Services. Hospice of Marion County, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to provide exemplary compassionate comfort care for the terminally ill and support services for the families/caregivers. Interfaith Emergency Services is a not-for-profit organization which brings together people of all faiths providing basic necessities such as food, shelter, clothing and emergency financial assistance to those in need right here in our community.

The 2011 Ocala Open was a great success as the two aforementioned charities split nearly $44,000 that was raised with generous sponsorships by local businesses who embraced and supported the event.

Live, real-time updates will be posted during the tournament on and

For sponsorship opportunities and more information on the 2012 Ocala Open Golf Tournament, visit our website:

Message from Interfaith Emergency Services

The Ocala Open professional golf tournament has been such a blessing to the ministry of Interfaith Emergency Services. While the need in our community grows due to the struggling economy, donations are more difficult to come by so the proceeds that go to Interfaith from this tournament made a significant difference in our ability to continue our work this past year. The $22,000 that we received last year allowed us to provide shelter for many families and individuals throughout the year including the cost of housing multiple families, laundering their clothes, and providing the basic essentials needed for their hygiene. With the support provided by the Ocala Open, we were able to operate our 32-bed homeless shelter at capacity all year and never had to turn a family away because of lack of resources. The difference that it makes for families who have lost their housing is immeasurable. The shelter gives them a safe haven where they get can their financial affairs in order, obtain needed education or employment and get back on their feet without worrying about where they and their children will sleep each night or what they will eat. This wonderful event is one of the largest gifts received by Interfaith during the year and has a huge impact on our ability to help the ever-growing number of people in need of shelter. We are so thankful to the Ocala Open and On Top of the World Communities for their support and for caring about those less fortunate in our community.

Karla Grimsley

Executive Director

Message from Hospice of Marion County

Hospice of Marion County has served our community since 1983. Once an all-volunteer agency, it is now the only not-for-profit hospice in the county with a staff of 250 professionals and 650 volunteers, whose mission is offering compassionate comfort care for those with advancing illness.

Over the past two years, the Ocala Open Pro-Am tournament at Candler Hills Golf Club provided $41,032.66 – that’s 228 days of patient care. This substantial gift supplements our ability to offer the same care to all our patients, regardless of their ability to pay. Each year, Hospice of Marion County provides nearly $1,000,000 in charity care.

Hospice is available for anyone with a prognosis of about six months. Patients often find that their quality of life improves and their caregivers receive much-needed support, enabling them to regain many enjoyable activities. Services are available in homes, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, hospitals or at one of four hospice houses, such as the Legacy House, just off Hwy 200W.

An interdisciplinary team cares for patients and their families with expert end-of-life medical care, counseling, chaplaincy, social services, respite for caregivers and bereavement services for up to 13 months—all covered by Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance. How is all this possible? It is through the generous support of community partners and philanthropic individuals that help us continuously follow through on our mission.

Lisa Varner

Community Outreach Coordinator

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Ocala Area Healthcare is Among the Best in the Nation

Healthcare…it’s an important aspect when considering which community to call home. The availability of superior quality healthcare in the Ocala area is one of the benefits of living in On Top of the World Communities.

Ocala has four area hospitals in addition to numerous walk-in clinics and smaller medical centers.

Munroe Regional Medical Center (MRMC) has served the Ocala community for over 110 years. A locally owned, community hospital, MRMC currently operates with 421 beds, 2,500 associates, 450 physicians and 1,700 volunteers. MRMC has been recognized repeatedly for its outstanding service in the medical field. Awards and honors include: the Consumer Choice Award (for seven consecutive years), the 100 Top Hospitals® Award for cardiovascular care (the only hospital in the nation to receive the honor ten times), the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence (the only three-time recipient in the state of Florida), the Gold Seal of Approval from Joint Commission for Diabetes Outpatient Services, recognition as an Accredited Chest Pain Center (one of only 12% of hospitals in the United States), and most recently the Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence™ (given to hospitals in the top 5% in nation for clinical performance) and the list goes on.

Timber Ridge Medical Park, located just minutes from On Top of the World, offers clinics and medical offices for a variety of services, including emergency services (in conjunction with MRMC), radiology, oncology and more.

Ocala Regional Medical Center (ORMC) has been serving the Ocala area since the 1970s. ORMC includes a Joint Care Center, a Women’s Center, a Cancer Center (approved by the Commission on Cancer and affiliated with the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa), a Bariatric Center (directed by one of the country’s top laparoscopic bariatric surgeons), emergency department and more. ORMC is a 200-bed facility with 300 physicians on staff. Outpatient services are also offered.

West Marion Community Hospital (WMCH), Ocala’s newest hospital located just minutes from On Top of the World, features rehabilitative services, a Breast Health Center, a inpatient Joint Care Center as well as emergency services. WMCH surgeons utilize the state-of-the art Da Vinci Robotic Surgical System, a surgical robot used for laparoscopic surgery.

Senior Health Care Center is an outpatient department of ORMC and is located just outside the entrance to On Top of the World Communities, literally a golf cart ride from home. With physicians and nurses on staff, this center offers services to seniors that include primary and specialty care, lab work, case management, pharmacy and nutrition consults and more.

All area hospitals work in conjunction with the world-famous Shands Teaching Hospital at the University of Florida in Gainesville, just 30 minutes north of Ocala. Shands provides medical services in about 100 specialty and subspecialty areas. In addition Shands opened a brand new Cancer Hospital last fall.

Gainesville is also where you will find the region’s Veterans Hospital.

Other outstanding healthcare services that can also be found in Ocala are Hospice of Marion County, Inc. offering comprehensive palliative care, Visiting Angels, providing in-home, non-medical assistance as needed, and The Bridge, providing assisted living services.

Medical Specialists
Ocala may be considered a small town by some, but not where healthcare is concerned. With some of the best medical professionals in the field, you can rest easy knowing that Ocala has what you need in the way of medical specialists. Fields of expertise include: cardiology, oncology, palliative care, speech and hearing, dermatology, physical therapy, diabetes, neuroscience, orthopedics, urology and more.

Located near the entrance to On Top of the World are several retailers with pharmacies; Publix, Wal-mart, Winn Dixie, Walgreens and CVS are literally just a quick ride from home. And with pharmacy networks in place at most retailers, filling your prescriptions while at home or traveling is fast and simple.

Health…It’s about more than just the body.
Being healthy is more than just not being sick. It is a state of being encompassing the physical, mental, social and spiritual aspects of a person. With this in mind, several local organizations have developed programs to engage the active adult population on multiple levels.

On Top of the World takes pride in offering its residents more health and wellness opportunities with facilities and programs than any other community. The Ranch Fitness Center & Spa is a stunning facility that residents enjoy for their modern fitness programming and exquisite salon and spa treatments. Residents of On Top of the World receive special fitness membership discounts at The Ranch which also include reduced salon and spa rates. There is no other community with a luxury spa and state-of-the-art fitness facility located just a short golf cart ride away from your front door.

Additionally, On Top of the World’s Master the Possibilities adult education program aims to keep the mind active. Master the Possibilities offers over 150 different classes every quarter ranging from academic topics, book clubs and fine art classes to healthcare discussions, cooking demonstrations and computer skills.