Who is Sally Gower? (more than you care to know)

Being born a middle child in Buffalo, New York in the 1950’s was for the most part pretty good, but it did have a downside. Growing up between an older sister, Sue, and a younger brother, Russ, I felt I always had to prove myself and make my presence known. It seems I was always trying to raise my hand and say look at me, remember me, I’m here too. Typical middle child.

Our family was like a tribe of nomads. Always moving as my Dad searched for the perfect job and the good life. Buffalo, Miami, Arizona, Buffalo, Hollywood (Florida), Buffalo. Houses, duplexes, rentals, and grandparent’s home. See a pattern? In the 1960’s we finally settled in the Town of Tonawanda. I remember a life that was uncomplicated, fun and easy. Filled with summers of singing songs by Petula Clark, Rolling Stones, and Beatles, afternoons at town swimming pools, bike rides, and camping trips in our family trailer. My working life started at about this time. My grandfather owned a dry cleaning business and we had huge rolls of plastic bags that my siblings and I would divide into sellable units and go selling door to door to make money. I also began babysitting and became hooked on having my own money. At the age of fifteen, my first “real” job was at a short order restaurant where I took the orders, cooked the food, served it, cleaned up and then was forced to hide my tips in my shoes because of course, I was already getting paid enough ($1.50/hour).

And then the 1970’s came along with my high school years at Sweet Home High School. I graduated in 1972 with 432 other kids in my class and I think I knew them all. I was a “good” kid, always involved in student council or some other leadership role, drank occasionally, but would never smoke cigarettes or pot (only the “hoods” did that). I also graduated without having any idea of what I wanted to do.

That changed a bit when I went away to college at Edinboro in Pennsylvania. Getting elected as President of the freshman class, President of my dorm, and pledging to become a Delta Zeta all made my freshman year pretty great. My sophomore year I became a Resident Counselor (helping to pay the high out-of-state tuition) but also made the choice to transfer back home to the University at Buffalo. I had decided to major in business and Edinboro didn’t offer a business major. My parents got divorced at the same time I started as a junior at UB majoring in business but, working as a bartender and cheerleading for the UB Bulls Hockey Team made the transition home much better. After graduating from UB in May 1976, I moved immediately to NYC where I became an assistant buyer for A&S department store in Brooklyn.

It only took a year to decide that retailing was not for me, so I moved back to Buffalo to earn my MBA at UB in 1979. I interviewed for my first pharmaceutical job with Abbott Labs and began my professional career about the same time I said, “I do” to Bob Gower, my wonderful and devoted husband for 37 years. Bob has always been a rock and made my life much more stable than it ever would have been without him. Three wonderful, life-changing children, Megan (1982), Brad (1985) and Emily (1988) made life fulfilling, complete and chaotic at the same time. Doing my best to balance motherhood and a career, I worked full time, part time and took one year off totally (the walls came in on me). My career soared in the pharmaceutical industry as a Sale Associate, Professional Education and Research Specialist, and Senior Account Manager. I travelled extensively, made great money but was never truly satisfied. Always looking to make a change and believing more and more that our health and wellness is primarily a result of our lifestyle, I pursued a passion and took an on-line course to become a health coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.

In 2014, I took a leap, left the lucrative pharmaceutical industry and became owner and publisher for Buffalo Natural Awakenings, a local health and wellness magazine. Continuing to follow my passion, I devoted much time and energy to spreading the word. After a successful and rewarding year and a half in publishing, I moved on again and enrolled in Cornell to receive my plant based nutrition certificate on-line. I have not eaten meat for many years now, and eat mostly a plant-based diet with just the right amount of wine included. I started Eat Well Buffalo in the hopes of making a difference in the lives of people who live in WNY. Helping others eat healthier and be healthier. We are what we eat!

I am moving forward in all areas of my life but my largest accomplishments have been my (mostly) wonderful marriage, my three loving and crazy kids, and my Mom, Sister, Brother, and grandchildren. They make my life good.

There is so much more to come. I am on chapter six of my ten-chapter novel. One chapter for each decade. My favorite things in life are music, cooking, exercising, biking, walking, dogs, travel, holidays, my grandmother, wine, great coffee, and time spent at our Lake House (Conesus Lake). Lots of other things too- I guess I really love my life and look forward to all the wonderful living I have left to do!

Happy New Year 2018 ! (it will be here before we know it)

How are these photos connected? A parent might say the school supplies photo represents back to school and that is a reason to celebrate. A retailer might say they are achieving max sales during this season and so they are celebrating.

Our opinion is simple. Always loving back to school season and buying new school supplies, this time of year represents a beginning. A new chapter in the book of life. And that in itself is a reason to celebrate.

Four months from today is New Year’s Day. January 1st, 2018. That is crazy because time just seems to be moving way to fast. It also makes one think we have four months left in 2017. What do you want to accomplish in these 120 plus days? Do you have a change you want to make? Where do you want to be on 1/1/18?

Is your goal around health (drop 5 pounds), inspiration (volunteer at the Food Bank), career (find a new job), simplify (clear out the basement) or something else. Don’t let this moment go by. Think about one change and write it down. You can do this. And think about how you can truly celebrate then on New Year’s Day.

The Last Farmers Market Post in 2017 for EWB

This is EWB’s last Farmers Market post for 2017. Doesn’t seem possible that August is almost over. We have tried to highlight some of the great Farmers Markets in WNY as well as all the positive reasons to visit these markets while at home or traveling. EWB was at the Colorado Springs Farmers Market last week and throughly enjoyed the roasted green chili peppers that were sampled. The nuts, snacks and wines were also delightful. We learned that as in NYS, in Colorado, SNAP EBT cards can be doubled when used to buy fruits and veggies. So $10 will provide $20 worth of yummy fruits and veggies when using your SNAP EBT cards. If you know of a Farmers Market that is doing something very unique or different please let us know. We want to share all the great ideas and local resources so everyone can eat healthier and be happier. Remember most of the Farmers Markets actually end in October so make sure and keep supporting them into the fall. EAT WELL BUFFALO.

Farmer’s Market Friday

Happy National Farmers Market Week

This week is National Farmers Market Week and this new free app can let you know when local produce will be available as well as some other great insight. We should each aim to eat as much local produce as possible because it not only supports our local farmers but is healthier for us too. The produce has had a very short commute to the farmers stand and the flavor will burst because it’s so ripe and yummy. Most locally grown produce has a smaller “footprint” and will probably cost less also.

The new free app is GRACE Communications Foundation (GRACE) and is available for both Android and iOS phones as well as on the web. After you download the app, you can select your state, month and produce item. Try it. We would love to know what you think. The only drawback might be New York is a large state and the growing season differs from western NY to eastern NY.

There is also a belief that eating more seasonally and locally allows us to be more in-synch with our community. Who knows if that is an old wives tale or has some credence. However, I just learned that corn comes into season in late August in NY (can’t wait) and an ear of corn always has an even amount of rows. Interesting, right? Check this app out and you might just be eating more local produce at its peak as well as learn something new.

Niagara Falls City Market- with delights sure to please

There are lots of delicious reasons to stop by the Niagara Falls City Market located at 19th Street and Pine Avenue. Fresh homegrown fruits and veggies, plants, homemade sausage and jams, and yummy baked goods. Reviews on Yelp show this market as being a solid, affordable, and “food right from the farm” market. Homemade pierogis and scrumptious pies seem to be just two of the many reasons to go early and grab some delicious delights for your week-end meals. The Niagara Falls City Market is open on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8AM-3PM. And it’s opened year round. See you soon at this unique and fun place to meet people, greet vendors and buy great local food.

Farmers Market Friday- Veggie Van travels to Lackawanna and Niagara Falls

Every Friday EWB highlights a local farmers market on our blog and provides details about that market. This information is helpful if you have access to transportation to get to these markets. The Veggie Van is a Farmers Market on wheels that travels to Lackawanna and Niagara Falls so everyone regardless of access to transportation can purchase fresh, healthy, affordable and locally grown produce. Both these areas are considered food deserts- areas where residents have limited access to what farmers markets traditionally offer.

Once a week the Veggie Van travels to Lackawanna and Niagara Falls to sell fresh produce at market prices accepting both cash and EBT payments. The Veggie Van helps combat hunger and reduce food insecurity by traveling to these designated areas where community members do not have a grocery store nearby.

The six-week pilot program has been a great success, with over $3,000 worth of fresh produce sold over seven weeks and servicing approximately 80 residents per week. Next year,the sponsor, Cornell Cooperative Extension-Niagara is hoping to expand the program by bringing the Veggie Van to more sites in the community, and to expand its program to operate for the entire summer of 2017.

Here is the 2017 Veggie Van Schedule:

Lackawanna-Every Wednesday from June 21st-Sept 13th (excluding August 2nd)
10am-12pm: Lackawanna Senior Center, 230 Martin Rd.
1pm-3pm: Old Friendship House Site, Ridge Rd. (west of bridge)

Niagara Falls-Every Thursday from June 22nd-September 14th (excluding August 3rd)
10am-12pm: John Duke Senior Center, 1202 Hyde Park Blvd
1pm-3pm: Niagara Falls Medical Center at Golisano Center, 533 10th St.

Hamburg Farmers Market

Meet you tomorrow at the Hamburg Farmers Market located at the Village of Hamburg municipal parking lot. This wonderful and fun market is currently celebrating their 40th anniversary. Started in 1977, they have music every Saturday from 10AM until noon. This Saturday (7/22), come hear the Red, White and Blue Band play some folk and blue grass music. The market is open until 1:00pm and is open whether it is raining or sunny. So many fantastic local fruits and veggies and everything else the best of the best farmers markets offer. The Hamburg Farmers Market is definitely the place to meet up because of all the activity and items available. So bring the dog and kids or come by yourself. Remember to eat local, shop local and support local.

Lancaster Market- So much to enjoy!

The Lancaster Market has so much to offer. They are opened on Sundays from May until October and located at 4913 Transit Road in Depew. Join them this Sunday (7/16) for a Canning Demo. Great information to have so after you buy all those delicious peaches and fruits and veggies you can prepare them to eat this winter. The Lancaster Market is a great place to make friends and be entertained. Plants, flowers, honey, veggies, fruit, soaps, bee products, salsa, cheese, meats, organic coffee and teas are only some of the local and wonderful products available here. On Sunday they open at 9AM and close at 2PM. If additional information is needed, call 716-481-2961. AN ATM is available on site and the WIC program is accepted. See you Sunday at the Lancaster Market.