A mom with a message


Englewood, Colorado

Founder and owner of Fresh Nest Eggs Inc.

Horseback riding in the mountains, organic strawberries, dancing with daughter

AnnaBelle, age 7

There's not much about Cyd Szymanski that you'd call typical. Sure, as a working mom, she juggles career, family, and home like millions of us do. But this Health reader's office is a chicken farm at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, and her idea of business-casual is a pair of overalls and a good layer of sunscreen.

Even Cyd's farming methods are unconventional. She raises her hens in spacious barns instead of cages and forgoes hormones and antibiotics. "Showing compassion for other living creatures is one way to really make a difference in the world," says Cyd, who also gives her time, dollars, and eggs to organizations that promote animal welfare, organic farming methods, and antipoverty agendas.

She directs that compassion inward, too. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder 12 years ago, Cyd has learned to cut herself some slack. "I eat when I need to, sleep eight hours a night, and go for long walks with my family," she says. "And I have given up my perfectionist ways. That helps me stay balanced in all areas of my life."

We met Cyd during Health's 2006 Real Beauty Road Tour with photographer Nigel Barker of America's Next Tap Model. Go to Health.com/realhealth For more portraits, and e-mail us your Real Health stories at realhealth@health.com



By Lisa Delaney

Photograph by Nigel Barker

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