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I vaguely remember the wellness magazine from 2015, the year I began working at Times Review Media Group. Then, it was called 50+. It was a brief, glossy supplement tucked inside the media group’s newspapers. Inside its pages were stories on finding friendship and love in a Riverhead seniors group, what your diet should look like for those over 50, how seniors stay fit, a group of reinvention stories, two Q&As and a local health resource guide. As a late-20-something, I couldn’t relate to this age-specific type of wellness. At that time, wellness for me felt like a far-away concept of fad diets and coordinated sports tops and leggings meant for fancy Pilates studios. But I couldn’t really relate to that either.

Over the years, as I continued to evolve my career at the media group, 50+ began to evolve, too. Beginning in 2020, the supplement was no longer called 50+ and took on a new identity as “Wellness.” As time went on, the content inside slowly started to intrigue me and, as I read the magazine’s pages, the stories resonated. From eating the rainbow to sipping kombucha to hiking local trails to finding your calm, recent issues are now dog-eared, stories and recipes are torn out for safe-keeping and wellness practices gleaned from inside have become a daily routine.

Now, a few things could have happened here and, in fact, did: I aged, became a parent and made wellness a focus. All true. Our glossy supplement also aged and changed and took on a new life. True there, too. But what also happened is the way that people looked at wellness as a whole changed.

Gone are the days when health and wellness are limited to a weekly spin class or going to a yearly checkup at your primary care physician. Trend eating is out and self-care is in. Wellness is now infused into everyday life and overall lifestyle. It’s a daily practice, a ritual, a routine, and what falls into the wellness bucket runs the gamut. Mental health, consistent physical care, alternative workouts, well-balanced, whole food eating, acupuncture, essential oils, meditation — it all counts and it’s all important.

Living comfortably as an annual northforker magazine issue, Wellness is more than just a passing movement. Our themed magazine discusses real-life challenges and opportunities pertaining to health while living on the North Fork.

In this issue’s pages, you’ll find stories on how Peconic Bay Medical Center is expanding women’s health care on the East End, enabling North Forkers access to excellent care in their own backyards; expert tips from North Fork medical and wellness professionals on staying healthy this season; getting local produce in the dead of winter; alternative fitness regimens that you might not have considered before; and more.

My hope is that these stories make you feel good and inspire healthy, mindful living that becomes a part of your every day life.

Take good care, folks.

– Michelina Da Fonte, Content Director