Health & Wellness Section Launches

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Michael Wangler portrait Sky Island Organics

Michael Wangler, founder of the Sky Island businesses. Photo courtesy: Michael Wangler.

By Julie Pendray

IDYLLWILD, Calif. — Today, I’m launching a health section on in collaboration with three experienced professionals with connections to Idyllwild: Michael Wangler, Kiwani Lowansa Allen and Anna Herby.

Michael Wangler is Founder and President of the Sky Island family of businesses, which includes a line of handcrafted sprouted and fermented organic foods, as well as a full-service health food store and organic cafe in Idyllwild. Wangler is a science professor who writes and speaks on healthy eating and nutrition.

Kiwani Allen

Kiwani Lowansa Allen, massage therapist, yoga instructor & nutrition consultant. Photo: Kiwani Allen.

Kiwani Lowansa Allen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Exercise Science from Bastyr University in Washington. She is also a Nationally Certified Massage Therapist, with more than 1,000 hours of training from Brian Utting School of Massage in Washington. She has worked in the clinical setting and her focus has been on injury treatment. In addition, Allen is a Registered Yoga Teacher with 200 hours of training through The Center for Yoga of Seattle, an Iyengar studio. She was born and raised in Idyllwild and still visits the community. We hope to see her back here offering health presentations in the future. Allen follows the paleo and gluten-free lifestyle.

Anna Herby headshot

Anna Herby is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who has completed the Pacific Crest Trail. Photo courtesy: Anna Herby.

Anna Herby is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist living and working in Seattle, Wash. She has been a vegetarian since age 12 and was drawn to study nutrition from an early interest in an alternate way of eating. Herby holds a Master of Science in Nutrition through Bastyr University. She completed a Dietetic Internship through the University of Houston. Herby has also worked with Dr. John McDougall’s 10-day program based in Santa Rosa, Calif., which focuses on vegetarian nutrition and lifestyle changes. In addition, she has experience with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine , working on preventive public health.

Herby is well-known to some outdoor enthusiasts as the woman who completed a southbound (SOBO) thru-hike along  the Pacific Crest Trail in 2014, visiting Idyllwild along the way.  This mountain village holds special memories for her, she told me. She worked at Idyllwild Arts Academy as a camp counselor in the summers of 2008 and 2009. She still visits Idyllwild whenever possible. Herby plans to tackle the Continental Divide Trail within the next few years.

Screen Shot 2016-01-03 at 11.42.36 PMAll four of us are excited to bring a collaborative approach to presenting healthy lifestyle and nutrition options to readers wanting the best out of life. While the viewpoints of these professionals will align on many subjects, I have deliberately chosen Allen and Herby because each has made different choices for their own health. I believe each is well qualified to present information that supports those choices, based on their own experiences.

I know readers will want to engage on the variety of topics we plan. Food and lifestyle choices come close to the heart. We are launching this health section on a very positive note, with great respect for each other. We invite readers to communicate in that style. Nothing published on this web site should be taken as medical advice and no significant changes should be made without monitoring by qualified health care practitioners who know you and your personal history. In other words, it’s important for each person to make informed decisions based on their own bodies and unique needs.

Let’s all go into the New Year looking forward to good health, delicious meals and wonderful adventures out in nature, as we enjoy getting to know these three impressive individuals better and having a lively conversation.

Thank you for reading.



5 Comments on "Health & Wellness Section Launches"

  1. Excellent Idea! We all are in desperate need of critical health and nutrition information how food affects the length and quality of life alzhimers, diabetes, vitimin D, skin care, etc.

  2. Looking forward to the exchange of views and ideas!

  3. Kiwani Lowansa, I am so proud to see you recognized as the professional you are. Keep up the awesome work. You’re destined for greatness. Don’t ever stop pursuing your dreams.

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