From Susie concocting SCAT Bars in their kitchen to Brian leading meditative sessions in the Adirondack splendor, the Trzaskos provide a holistic approach to wellness.

The local couple complement each other by providing healthful nourishment for the body and mind.

"What has motivated us is the idea of living life to its helpful fullness," said Brian, a licensed physical therapist.


"It's not hard to live a healthy lifestyle," Brian said. "You have to break out of societal patterns. Our values judge on how hard you work. Too often, we don't set aside time to help ourselves. You can only take as good of care of others as you take care of yourself."

Brian equates this to church tithing, in which 10 percent of one's income or energies are set aside. Thus, each day, about two hours should be allocated for one's well-being.

"We often outsource our health," he said, referring to relying on others and pills to keep us healthy.

"Susie and I feel good that our option is full of health and laughter."


Though there is a serious message to promoting wholesomeness, one of the attributes Brian and Susie promote is a sense of humor.

This relates to Susie's SCAT Bars, an acronym for Supremely Complete Adirondack Treat.

"Brian came up with the name," she said. "We made the bars for ourselves, and friends said I should be selling them. With our son, Wyatt, going to preschool, I needed something to do, so I got a license to make them.

"I have had a tremendous response," Susie said. "We laugh every time we think about it and come up with sayings such as: 'They stick to your ribs, not your shoes,' 'Nature in, nature out,' and 'Make tracks with SCAT.'

The SCAT products include Squirrel (peanuts and cranberries), Bear (almonds, blueberries, and maple syrup), Moose (almonds, cherries, chocolate) and Wake-Up-Call Gorp (a trail mix with almonds, cherries and chocolate-covered coffee beans).

"SCAT bars are a whole-food energy experience made mindfully with all-natural products, which are organic and locally produced whenever possible," Susie said.

"They have been inspired by the culture of the Adirondacks and all of its inhabitants — walking on two legs or four.

"We believe in whole foods and in using our hands to mindfully create whole-food products."


Susie had to experiment to get the right balance of carbs, fat and protein, while incorporating whole foods.

"I wanted to make sure that the bar would work for whatever the reason someone was eating one, whether it be during or after exercise for energy or recovery, as a meal substitute for people on the go, or for a child's snack.

"I want people to feel good after eating one."


About one year ago, Brian left the physical-therapy clinic where he was employed and branched out for himself, founding Ascent Wellness, which includes physical therapy, massage therapy, strength and conditioning.

He has held several meditation retreats, as well as regular Sun Tai Chi classes.

"These exercises are safe and modern in nature and have therapeutic side effects," Brian said.

While chipmunks scurry about, a dragonfly flits its wings and breezes rustle leaves, a natural sense of peacefulness circulates amid the gathering. This is infused with the light breathing of the group and the soft tone of Brian's instructions.

"Remember to smile, and focus on a body part such as your hands or heart. Remember, this really isn't serious business. Focus on the environment and the weather we have had, from hot summer days to today's rain."


Participant Dee Myers said of Brian: "His heart is pure. I think he makes the world a better place. From what I have learned, I sleep better at night.

"He is a breath of positive energy and wisdom."

On his website, Brian advocates: "With gentle eyes, watch; with compassionate ears, listen; with an open heart, feel."

E-mail Alvin Reiner at:

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