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Living Healthy. Simplified

Local non-profit works to help locals live a healthier life.
Published: Oct. 1, 2020 at 9:01 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG) -

Sam Mello and a slew of volunteers have spent several weeks transforming the yard of the Capstone House in Panama City.

“Our goal is to have an entire garden. We’re doing a blackberry trellis. Near a fire pit there’s actually gonna be a couple of plants and a lemon tree,” said Mello, founder of Living Healthy. Simplified.

Mello launched the non-profit last year.

“Our vision is being able to teach others how to live healthy in a simplistic way,” said Mello. “Whether that’s through gardening, whether that’s through cooking, whether it’s through yoga, meditation.”

The Capstone House project includes making a winding path with plants on either side.

“This is part of our educational and medicinal garden,” said Mello. “So we wanted it to be public for the community. That way they can come out and be able to see a different aspect of a public garden.”

Because they are a non-profit the group has to work with what is donated, either materials or monetary.

“We have been actually trying to work with some different local companies,” said Mello.

For the Capstone project:

“We got some of them {plants} from Sweet Babies Nursery. Some of them are being brought by different community members from their own backyards,” said Mello.

Capstone has big dreams for their space.

“They had originally asked for a labyrinth, and to be truthful we don’t know how to build a labyrinth but since we’re also a non-profit helping another non-profit we’re trying to figure out how to make their dream come true on our budget,” said Mello.

Mello’s idea for Living Healthy. Simplified was spurred by her own health.

“I have epilepsy and so I started realizing that the life I was living wasn’t in congruence with my health,” said Mello. “It was causing me seizures, it was causing me to be unhealthy.”

So she changed her lifestyle by eating right, exercising and getting more rest. Now she has a passion to teach others how to make healthy changes.

“It doesn’t have to be complicated,” said Mello. “I think a lot of people make it complicated.”

She added growing your own food or just making a place of refuge is a way to start that path to good health even if you don’t have a green thumb. Living Healthy. Simplified has provided a way to make your garden grow and it’s as close as your computer.

“So being able to have somebody to go to that’s already done all the knowledge and done all the information research and they’re giving it to you and they’re saying this is what you need to do, this is when you should plant it, this is what you should do, the steps you should take,” said Mello. “It’s like having a support buddy that’s there with you the whole time and you kind of know who you can go to and who you can ask questions and you also know that sometimes you don’t have to ask those questions because they already have that information for you on the website.”

This community project is a first for Mello and her crew but the group is looking to expand.

“This [garden] is something that we want to do for community members across Bay County,” said Mello. “So if it’s something you feel like you have a blank slate, which a lot of people do after Hurricane Michael, and you want something different but you don’t know how to go about it, we do have an application system on our website.”

November 30th they will choose six winners from those applicants.

“We’ll try and work with our local partners and everything and we will try and build that garden for them 100% free,” said Mello. “We try to focus on edible plants, pollinator plants, medicinal, native, and things like that and maybe two years down the road they can start plucking fruit from a bunch of different trees.”

To get in touch with Living Healthy. Simplified, you can log onto www.livinghealthysimplified.com/ or you can email Sam at s.mello@livinghealthysimplified.com

You can also call them at (850) 299-7871.

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