Living Mindfully: An Educational Series

We all know eating right can help prevent diseases like obesity, diabetes, and cancer. But gaps remain in our understanding of using food as medicine to reverse such diagnoses while positively impacting our mood, behavior, and overall wellness.

Local wellness entrepreneurs Anne Ilyinsky and Ellen Bradley aim to bridge that disconnect with Living Mindfully, an expert-led community speaker series that explores healthy eating, meditation, and other everyday practices to boost mind-body connection.

“There’s a nutritious component to every natural food,” says Ilyinsky, whose Muse restaurant in Mt. Lookout centers on fresh, local, healthy ingredients. “We eat beets because they’re blood cleaners. Artichoke hearts are detoxifiers. Every herb, every fruit, every protein has a value to helping your body stay healthy or healing itself after illness or injury.”

Living Mindfully invites guests to interact over food and hands-on demonstrations with practitioners from diverse disciplines, with courses ranging in price from $35-40. November’s installment shares methods for addressing common skin ailments, while December features a dreamcatcher crafting session and healing crystal shoppe. (Visit the Modo events page for a full schedule and details.)

While she’s not a dietician by trade, Ilyinsky’s journey to learn more about healthy eating began after receiving a cancer diagnosis while pregnant with her daughter, who would later develop Krohn’s disease. Ilyinsky suspected there were natural foods and supplements that could counteract both illnesses, but she soon became frustrated by the lack of readily available information.

“I talked with several doctors who told me my daughter’s condition wasn’t related to diet, and I just found that very hard to believe,” says Ilyinsky, who has now been cancer-free for more than 30 years. “That’s when I knew I had to dive in and learn as much as I could.”

Ilyinsky began reaching out to experts in traditional channels of nutrition, dermatology, and genetics, as well as practitioners from the emerging fields of spirituality and naturopathy. She gained investment from two prominent local physicians and launched her business by introducing distinctive recipes that quickly developed a following in mainstream and holistic wellness communities.

Ilyinsky and Modo Yoga owner Ellen Bradley connected during a yoga retreat, as they shared feedback they were hearing from patrons; complaints of inflammation, anxiety, depression, and exhaustion were not uncommon, even among healthy, active 30- and 40-somethings. Once food arose as the common denominator, Ilyinsky and Bradley knew they had use their considerable influence in the community to give people from all socioeconomic backgrounds better information and straightforward solutions for healthier living. Thus, Living Mindfully was born.

“Both Anne and I have that fiery element as women on a mission to spread health to as many people as we can,” says Bradley. “For Anne it’s restaurant and food; for me it’s movement and mind. But all of those things are related. To keep your mind and body healthy, you have to feed it good food.”

Living Mindfully take place the second Tuesday of each month from 6:30–8 p.m., with sessions held alternately at Modo Yoga, located at 3527 Columbia Parkway in Columbia-Tusculum and Muse restaurant at 1000 Delta Avenue in Mt Lookout. For event details, visit the group’s Facebook page, Living Mindfully; A Muse & Modo Yoga Community Speaker Series.

Upcoming Events



Certified, practicing dermatologist Dr. Jodi Westfall will tap into more than a decade’s worth of experience to discuss methods for addressing a wide range of skin issues, from both topical and metabolic perspectives. Attendees will get the chance to create a take-home strawberry facial scrub using fresh ingredients. Light snacks included.

When: November 13, 6:30-8p.m.
Where: Modo Yoga
Cost: $40 (Modo members save 10%)


Join noted astrologer Pam Gallagher for an introductory course, followed by one-on-one readings for the first eight people who RSVP. Gallagher is the owner of the Midwest School of Astrology, where she offers a full curriculum in addition to personal consultations. Guests will learn to make small dreamcatchers, and healing crystals will be available for purchase. Holiday snacks included.

When: December 11, 6:30–8 p.m.
Where: Modo Yoga
Cost: $40 (Modo members save 10%)


Enjoy dinner with Amanda Porter at Muse restaurant for a four-course meal and a discussion. Porter is a triple-board-certified psychiatric mental health practitioner. She holds certification in internal medicine, psychiatry/mental health, and addiction, and offers psychiatric medication evaluation and treatment in addition to ongoing therapeutic evaluation and program support for Lindner Center of HOPE Professional Associates. Dinner included.

When: January 8, 6:30–-8 p.m.
Where: Muse
Cost: $35 (Modo members save 10%)


Certified Functional Genomics™ practitioner Beth O’Hara leads this workshop, which will focus on naturopathy, genetics, and emotional wellness. O’Hara is a gifted coach and teacher specializing in holistic approaches and a Health and Wellness 360 process proven to help clients achieve self awareness, success in relationships, and overall life balance. Light snacks included.

When: February 12, 6:30–8 p.m.
Location: Modo Yoga
Cost: $35 (Modo members save 10%)


Sit down for a four-course dinner with Dr. Dotty Shaffer, while discussing gut health and techniques for achieving overall health and wellness. Dr. Shaffer is a Cincinnati native who has completed training at Yale University, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Her current practice at Full Spectrum Health Center focuses on integrative health. Dinner included.

When: March 12, 6:30–8 p.m.
Location: Muse
Cost: $35 (Modo members save 10%)


John F. Sacco M.D. is a radiation oncologist with OHC who has a special interest in integrative and holistic medicine for primary and secondary cancer risk reduction. He is part of the epigenetics teaching faculty at University of Cincinnati’s Center for Integrative Health and Wellness. This discussion will focus on ways to reduce cancer risk through diet and lifestyle changes. Dinner included.

When: April 9
Location: Muse
Cost: $35 (Modo members save 10%)


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