A community and its fitness guide

I have known David Faxon since I first became a member of Gold’s Gym 15 years ago as I wanted to be a bigger, stronger, faster young athlete. Since then, fitness, health and nutrition have become a large part of my life, and there is no question that my relationship with Dave Faxon had an impact. Because of this, I sat down with Dave to get his thoughts on everything fitness, nutrition and more. 

Dave Faxon in his McMinnville Excell Fitness.  Diciplined, one step at a time fitness.

Dave Faxon in his McMinnville Excell Fitness.  Diciplined, one step at a time fitness.

What was your path to being a Fitness professional?

DF: Fitness was almost force-introduced to me during high school. I played sports and it was my football coach that signed me up for weight training instead of co-ed PE, which initially I was upset about, but as I improved, performed and recovered better. I knew fitness would be always a part of my life. It wasn't until after college that I was introduced to a Gold’s Gym, and from that point I new that's where I belonged. That was 25 years ago and here I am still owning a gym. I first moved to McMinnville 20 years ago and have loved being a part of this community and its fitness. 

 What do you look for in new clients and how do you assess their fitness

DF: Balance, posture and flexibility. Everyone has expectations and goals with what they want from their body when they come and see me. I have to be honest with them and meet them half way. The way that I look at it is that we can't build on a cracked foundation. If they have mobility or posture issue we have to address those before building strength. Fitness is a lifelong decision. There isn't a quick fix, but if you focus on the foundation you will more than likely see success which will keep going at it. To have great successes in fitness you have to start with a solid and functional foundation. 

In your experience why don't people reach their fitness goals?

DF: Lack of discipline. Plain and simple. We are wired for instant gratification. We stay with things that give us that serotonin hit when we are satisfied. The hard part is sticking it out through the grind. Show up everyday and put in the work and your will see results. The art of less. Make one change today and stick to it. Be where your feet are and take one step at a time to your goals. 

Do you have any nutrition rules?

DF: First, stay out of the middle aisles. If you do shop the middle aisles. Look at the ingredients list and buy the product that is made from real food. Second, sugar is a drug. It hijacks your body and brain c reading only bad habits. Lastly, eat more vegetables than you don't and eat in moderation. Real food, real food, and real food; I can’t say it enough. 

Dave has a very practical look at fitness and nutrition. As you would think from a fitness professional who has been in Yamhill county for over 20 years. If you take your health and fitness goals one step at a time one day at a time you will see and feel the results of your discipline. 

Learn more on Excell Fitness here!

From a survivor for survivors - With Courage

In 2017, there will be an estimated 1,688,780 new cancer cases diagnosed and 600,920 cancer deaths in the US. Our friend and breast cancer survivor Caitlin Sticka has decided to give comfort and courage to those women fighting the same fight. With Courage provides specially curated support, mentorship and care packages to make their fight a little more bearable. 

Local Flow will support With Courage and Caitlin with our monthly With Courage Wednesdays. The first Wednesday of every month 20% of all proceeds will be donated in the form of Local Flow gift cards to give nutritional support as women of Yamhill County undergo treatment for breast cancer. 

The American Cancer Society’s recommendations to eating and getting active to reduce your cancer risks. 

What is with courage and your goal with it? The why?

CS: With Courage is a program under Hope on The Hill that helps to support women during and after beast cancer treatment. It's goals are to support, mentor and provide care packages for women going through treatment.

As much as you care to share, what is your story with cancer. How has it change your outlook on life? 

CS: September 2014 I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 30. I found out that same week that I was pregnant with my 2nd daughter. She went through 5 rounds of chemo with me and also a few surgeries. I delivered her in May 2015 and then continued to finish 4 more rounds of chemo, finishing July 31st 2015. Cancer was the hardest thing I have ever been through, but it has shown me how amazing my family, friends and community are. We were overwhelmed with the support and generosity of close friends as well as complete strangers. I have made everlasting friendships with other cancer moms, these are so valuable because they are the ones I can relate to the most. Cancer has taught me to not take life for granted, it sounds cliche but when you hear those words "you have cancer" your life is forever changed. Staring death in the face is humbling and reminds one of what is important in life.

How did you view and use nutrition during your treatment?

CS: During treatment I luckily felt fairly good, I made sure to drink huge amounts of water and lived off smoothies. I didn't do much research on cancer fighting foods at the time because it was honestly super overwhelming, but I did make sure to each tons of fruits and veggies. Now that the dust has settled I have made the time to meet with a dietician to form a plan for a diet tailored to my needs. It has helped a lot and I feel better than ever!

What will the Local Flow customers purchases be going to?

CS: By purchasing from Local Flow on With Courage Wednesday's you will be providing gift cards for women going through breast cancer treatment. These cards will be part of the care packages that they will receive. The hope is to help them have access to healthy foods during their treatment and beyond.

Where and how can people find more information on with courage?

Visit www.hopeonthehill.org for more information! Stay tuned for a Facebook page coming soon!

Your Flow.

Calories and their impact on health and nutrition have a negative connotation in the United States. Calories are a buzzed word that many use as an overarching nutritional fact without understanding what they actually are and what their impact is on the body.

So let’s get down to the science of a calorie. Straight from the definition - a calorie is the energy required to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water through 1 degree Celsius. In other words, heat. Better yet, energy. Calories are the energy required for your body to function.

Focus on simple sources and ingredients. 

Focus on simple sources and ingredients. 

How can calories have such a negative rap when put into context with nutrition? Calories should be praised, they are what helps you do what you do - they are your flow. All food is comprised of calories, better yet, everything that you put in your mouth is comprised of energy.  From French fries to kale to skittles to tomatoes, they all have energy, and thus calories. The difference between those foods is the source of that energy. Not all energy is created equal in the eyes of the human body.  We are extremely efficient machines, and we are at our best when utilizing simple, non-polymer, non-processed energy, or calories.

Processed energy is a complicated puzzle for your body. The confusion leads your body to do the next simplest thing, store that energy. How do our bodies store energy? As fat. Rather than waste more energy to utilize processed energy, your efficient machine will store that hard-to-process energy around your “favorite” parts of your body.  With simple forms of energy such as raw fruits and vegetables, As Dr. Peterson outlined in the previous edition of The Flow, your body can use that energy to fuel the body’s processes without leading to storage.

A calorie is simple, its energy, it is the fuel for your body and everything that you do. It fuels your flow.  The source of the calorie is what needs to be the focus. Rather than look at the amount of calories per serving, as the FDA labels state, look at the sources of those calories. Focus on simple, focus on fresh, focus on efficient fuel that your body will love.

Step 2 to a Healthier 2017: Eat your Fruits and Veggies

This Flow is brought to you courtesy of Dr. Janet Peterson, DrPH, FACSM. Dr. Peterson made a huge impact on Heather's own diet and life philosophy and in turn, was the seed for what is now Local Flow. We are excited to feature Dr. Peterson periodically on The Flow!

The key to a healthy food intake is to find balance while consuming foods in moderation (i.e. portion sizes) and making sure you are getting adequate intake of all nutrients.  Essential nutrients for a healthy you include water (Step 1 to a healthier 2017: Drink Water) vitamins, minerals, protein, fat and yes, carbohydrates.  The easiest way to achieve a healthy balance is to eat a variety of foods every day. 

Local Flow Smoothies packed with all your servings of fruits and veggies. 

Local Flow Smoothies packed with all your servings of fruits and veggies. 

There is so much hype about carbohydrates. Only eat a small amount or avoid them all together.  Which is tantamount to saying avoid water or vitamins and minerals all together.  Carbohydrates are one of three essential (necessary for health) macronutrients.  The other two, just as controversial, are fats and protein. But we’ll save those for another blog post. 

Carbohydrates come from plant based foods, including sugars.  Carbohydrates do not have to be the enemy – how can they be when most of the fruits and vegetables are in fact carbohydrate based. Sugar is a carbohydrate.  Sugar occurs naturally in many foods such as fruits and vegetables.  It is easy to overconsume sugar when you are eating added sugars.  Added sugars are just that, added to make something sweeter.  You know, the sugar added to your coffee in the morning or added to your favorite peanut butter (check the label).  It is easy to over consume sugars when eating foods with a ton of added sugar.  A little added sugar is okay (moderation).  The 2015 Dietary Guidelines recommends Americans limit added sugars to no more than 10 percent of their daily intake.  That’s 180 kcals (45 grams) or 11 teaspoons of added sugar per day for someone consuming 1800 kcals in a day.

Fruits and vegetables are yummy, nutrient dense, low energy (low calorie) foods packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber, and, yes, they are mostly classified as carbohydrates.  So does that make them bad for us? 

For step #2 for a healthier you up your intake of fruits and vegetables.  Choose fruits and vegetables as healthy snacks.  Pile your plate high with a colorful array of fruits and vegetables.  Or grab a smoothie loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables.  Your health with thank you.  

Step 1 to a Healthier 2017: Drink Water

As we wake up on the first day of 2017, maybe feeling a little hazy from celebrating last night, let’s make this year one of the healthiest that we’ve ever had. The first step in a healthy lifestyle is a simple one. Drink water. (It’s that simple, seriously.) Water is what makes our planet unique; it is the one element that is required for life. Without water humans, can only survive days. Stay hydrated… Live up to your potential.

Find the fountain and drink some water! Photo Cred: http://quinstevenson.com/

Find the fountain and drink some water! Photo Cred: http://quinstevenson.com/

Water is essential for homeostasis, or balance, within your body and makes up anywhere from 55% to 75% of our body mass depending on age. Water is linked to all body functions from physical activity to cognitive activity to circulation. The regulation of water in our bodies is a finite process, it only takes changes in microliters of available water to trigger pathways to make us find the life-giving liquid.

To reach our goals in 2017, drinking water will be the foundation. As we work out our way to health, we can lose 6-10% of body weight in sweat loss, and if that water isn’t replenished we’ll be fighting an uphill battle. Even slight dehydration will result in a drop in performance, body temperature regulation, motivation, and effort output. Our minds won’t be firing on all cylinders either, we will see a loss of concentration, alertness, and short-term memory. Dehydration also leads to a lower blood volume, which makes your heart work harder and deprives your muscles and organs of needed blood to fuel and replenish.

So, the question of the day, how much water do we need to drink daily? To get down to straight numbers, men over the age of 19 need about 1 gallon (128 ounces) and women, the same age, need about 90 ounces daily. That’s a lot of drinking. The thing to keep in mind is that our bodies are very efficient at finding water from what we put in our mouths, and if you have a diet that consists of a balance of fruit and vegetables, 70% or more of your food can consist of water. Below is a quick table from the National Institute of Health so show how what we eat impacts our hydration.

Fruits and veggies go a long way in helping you stay hydrated. 

Fruits and veggies go a long way in helping you stay hydrated. 

The foundation of our healthy life in 2017 must be to stay hydrated. Keep in simple. Carry a water bottle with you and drink when you’re thirsty. Eat a sustainable diet that is primarily fruits and veggies and you will be fueled and ready to tackle anything that comes your way.  

A New Resolute You

The end of a year is an interesting time. Time for reflection on the past 360+ days: the good, the bad, the entertaining, the growth, the tears; this past year has made you who you are today. What are you looking forward to in 2017, how will you change or be different in the next 365 days? At Local Flow, we believe that healthy living is the ultimate marathon, there are no get-fit-quick schemes or magic pills that can replace productive healthy daily habits.

You are the captain of your ship, how will you navigate in 2017? Photo: Joseph Barrientos 

You are the captain of your ship, how will you navigate in 2017? Photo: Joseph Barrientos 

The first New Year’s Resolutions were made some 4,000 years ago by the Babylonians as they made promises to their gods in hopes for favors in return in the new year. A similar practice was carried on by the Romans and early Christians, both promising to their respective gods to be better in the coming year.(1)  Early resolutions obviously had a religious context, but today they have evolved to inner focus and self-improvement. Humans are the one animal on this planet that can break habitual behavior and create new habits; evolving in one’s own lifetime is an achievement and is difficult to do. This is why most resolutions made, have failed.

A chance to start fresh, to create a better you in the new year. That’s heavy. We believe that a resolution should be a refresh, not a weight on your shoulders. A chance to actively create and take charge of your life to make a better you. Here are some thoughts to keep in mind when making and trying to stick to your healthy living resolutions for 2017.  

1.)     Start small, often we multi-level our goals and when we fail to meet one aspect of them we give up. Choose one simple goal, break it down to what you can do in your next step to reach it. One step at a time is how you find a resolution that works. If you develop a simple, sustainable habit it will lead to further beneficial habits in the future.

2.)     No offense, but you’re not perfect. So, don't expect perfection in your resolution journey. When setting your goal, push yourself but also stay realistic.

3.)     Avoid the daunting feeling of not keeping your resolution, if you miss one day or have a bump in the road there, that is life, it’s not the end. Take the next step again the following day, get back on that horse. There is no room for the no-hope attitude when you’re trying to change your habits.

4.)     Hold yourself accountable. The best way to do this is to tell your resolution to someone else. Habit changing often requires teamwork, it’s a tough thing to do, and support from a friend goes a very long way. Make a bet, keep it casual, and more importantly keep it fun. You only have one life, enjoy it with others and be happy.

5.)     "Diets" in general don't work. They are short term band-aids and are rarely sustainable. They often are centered around the elimination of something in your diet; this is counter productive. Every time you exclude something you are thinking of that “thing” and thus implanting a craving. To improve your lifestyle in a positive way you must slowly change your habits. Don’t eliminate, reform. A diet should not be a form of punishment.


Remember, small simple changes, one step at a time. Do two simple things a day that leave you feeling better and over the course of 2017 you will see a new you. We are excited for this journey with you in 2017. Tell us your resolution the next time you are in Local Flow, we would be honored to be part of your support group. Let’s do it together! Stay reading over the next few days as we go into 2017. We will be posting some simple health tips to keep you rocking and rolling in the new year.





1.)     Pruitt, Sarah. “The History of New Year’s Resolutions.” History.com. A&E Television Networks, 30 Dec. 2015. Web. Dec. 2016.

We are Local Flow Health Bar

Local Flow is an idea born out of opportunity and a desire for a sustainable healthy lifestyle. (Plus we really enjoy a mean acai bowl!)

We enjoy our community and want to bring something that not only grows it, but keeps it feeling great on the way. There’s a certain amount of pressure to build something interesting, different and pushing the envelope with the amazingly creative community that we have in McMinnville and Yamhill county. We are excited to now be a part of this community and we look forward to seeing you at Local Flow!

Local Flow Health Bar Owners, Brett and Heather Miller standing on their farm in Carlton, Oregon. 

Local Flow Health Bar Owners, Brett and Heather Miller standing on their farm in Carlton, Oregon. 

Who Is Local Flow:

Heather Miller, Owner, heather@localflowhealthbar.com

-          Linfield grad – Exercise Science

-          Fun Fact!: Heather is a certified downhill ski instructor.

-          Masters in Healthcare Administration

-          Flow: Cooking, crafting, coloring books, reality TV (Bravo), puzzles, travel

-          Nutrition thoughts: Diet is about balance. Never exclude, only change the foundation and knowledge to eat in a sustainable, healthy way.  

Brett Miller, Owner,

-          Born and raised in Carlton, Oregon

-          Linfield grad- Biology and Chemistry

-          Fun Fact!: Brett was a snowboard instructor (but really only to get in the door with Heather, see above).

-          Flow: guitar (roughly), creative arts (design, drawing), yoga, travel

-          Nutrition thoughts: Food is fuel, the better you eat, the better you feel. Your body is a gift, why not treat it that way.

Our goal with Local Flow is to have an impact, to make our community better every day. Initially in our first couple months of being open, that is simply providing a clean, healthy food option to our community so that maybe you can feel better in your day. The next step is growing our Local Flow Community to reach more and more in the hopes of spreading the love of feeling great. Finally, we look forward to getting involved and giving back to our community and the great people that live here.

We are going to spread the knowledge of all aspects of healthy living, geared towards our community. This will include our weekly (maybe more, maybe less) blog which will cover all topics from why diets suck, to how to shop, to cooking healthy on a budget, to why stretching may be the best thing for your body. We want to educate, but we want to do it in a Local Flow way. No pre-conceived notions, no egos and no pedestals. Just simple, clean, healthy knowledge that anyone can use and take that first, or that next, step to living a healthy and active life.