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Get Out Of Your Car And Into Connecticut!

Coastal Connecticut Magazine Column by Emmy-nominated news anchor and longtime Connecticut personality Ann Nyberg, founder of Network Connecticut.

Since it debuted in 2013, Coastal Connecticut magazine has shone a unique light on the people, places and happenings that embody shoreline living. With this column, I want to invite everyone to “get out of your car” and truly experience Connecticut. It drives me crazy that many see our state as just a stretch of highway between New York City and Boston. As a television news broadcaster, I have had the amazing opportunity to report from all over the state: its nooks and crannies, farms and hills, speaking with the innovators, entrepreneurs and everyday citizens that make us great.


Meditation room of the Copper Beech Institute of West Hartford, Connecticut

It was a tough winter, one of the coldest and snowiest on record. We’ve all spent the winter behind the wheel, navigating icy roads. To shake it off and get spring started off well, step out of your car and into some contemplative spiritual work at the Copper Beech Institute in West Hartford. The Executive Director is Brandon Nappi, and I’m not sure I’ve met a kinder person. Under his leadership, this retreat center is thriving, as it reminds us how to be more mindful about how we are living our lives. Here, you can slow down; spend the night if you like; listen to speakers—and meet others who are also trying to unplug from wired lives. The campus includes an outdoor labyrinth for walking meditation, 48 acres, sculpture and perennial gardens, trails, and a working organic farm.

Want a great way to refresh your mind? Drive to one of the state’s scenic waterways, get out of your car, and go canoeing. Connecticut is filled with beautiful spots for a lazy day in a canoe. If you’ve never tried this, it’s wonderful. Gather some friends and make a day of it. Pack a picnic, grab a camera, and paddle your stress away. Here’s a great source of information.

After relaxing in your canoe, you may want to get your heart rate up. One great way is a stationary bike “joy ride” at Joyride Cycling Studio. There are locations in Darien, Ridgefield and Westport. Their motto is: “Life’s a trip. Enjoy the ride!” I love that. Debbie Kate, Amy Hochhauser and Rhodie Lorenz created “Joyride” together. They say that indoor cycling is a lot more than just an exercise class: it builds self-awareness, strength and confidence. It’s also a great option when you want to ride and the weather’s not cooperating. My hat is off to this high-powered fitness trio. They have even compiled an ideal stationary cycling playlist on their website.



Now that you have meditated, canoed and cycled, stay on track by eating healthy. Cindy’s Table can help you do that. Connecticut’s own Cindy Barbieri Anschutz is a wildly popular chef, food blogger and cookbook author. Her “paleo diet” cooking is getting rave reviews. What is paleo? It’s an effort to eat more like early humans might have; hence the word paleo, from the word “Paleolithic” referring to the Stone Age. The Paleo Diet is based on eat- ing more whole foods including, fish, nuts, leafy greens, regional veggies, and seeds. Cindy is going gangbusters with her wonderful spirit and unique approach to food. So, get out of your car, step into the kitchen, and whip up one of Cindy’s delectable paleo dishes.

Trust me, I do know a thing or two about driving… even in strange places.



Image Credits: Car Photo: Shutterstock; Photo of Ann Nyberg courtesy of Ann Nyberg, Photo courtesy of Copper Beach Institute, Photo courtesy of Shutterstock, Photo courtesy of Heather Colby