Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Health & Happiness Summit - Dr. Ro The Go To Nutitionist for Oz and Fit Kidz

When Dr.Rovenia Brock the go to nutritionist for the Dr. Oz Show and founder of Dr. Ro's Series Fit Kidz boldly declared from the stage of Radio City Music Hall that she was 56 years old there was an audible gasp heard round the hall.  I myself will be 49 in April and though I consider myself a fairly good judge of age my guess of 40 was 16 years off! The lady is fine and with more curves than Jessica Rabbit she is a testimony to health and self acceptance in practice. Looks are only part of her compelling story as she explained that where she began her life was far, far away from where she is today. After telling us some scary facts about obesity in America -  1 out of 3 children are over weight and that 72% of all Americans are obese we moved on. I'd like to mention here that later Dr. Northrup would speak about the connection between child hood trauma and self destructive habits as documented by the A Study. That being all well and good it seems that Dr. "Ro" is an example of someone who  somehow managed to transcend the self sabotage that people fall victim to by becoming extremely self conscious and self examining. As she put it "It's not how you start out but where you end up that counts." Amen Dr. Ro!  The traumatic incidents of her own childhood are her fuel for a mission mixed with a passion to stop childhood obesity in it's tracks. Her motivation? Death in her own family resulting from bad eating habits. Raised by a single mother with the assistance of a grandmother and aunt, she lost all three of them to disease by the age 9. At 7 years she would lose her aunt first, her mother's only sister who passed at  44 years old. Her grandmother would be next and finally at age 9 her mother and sole parent died. The daily Southern breakfast eaten at home was devoid of any fruits or vegetables consisting solely of half a dozen fried dishes fashioned from refined flours and sugars with a good dose of her gramma's "stand up coffee".  Listening to the menu I honestly don't know how anyone could eat that morning after morning and function let alone function properly the rest of the day. Clearly her profound loss made her determined not to suffer the same fate or if she can help it anyone else she comes in contact with either through her books or television appearances.
Fit Kidz  strives to teach children the value of good eating habits and meditation practices in their lives in a fun way. A tour of her site reveals inexpensive episodes available for download for a mere $1.29 along with catchy headings like  Skippin Skate Boards They Put Food in Groups!  or Holy Soccer Balls It's Snack Time. May the force be with you Dr. Ro! Assist Dr. Ro on her mission by taking a look at her many offerings.  See Videos of Dr. Ro on Anderson Cooper

Monday, February 27, 2012

Health & Happiness Summit - Watercress Just What the Doctor Ordered!

Watercress Just What the Dr. Perricone Ordered!
The Health and Happiness Summit with Dr. Oz  featured Doctor Nicholas Perricone who is a board certified clinical research dermatologist and nutritionist. Well known for his inflammation theory on aging he urged us to try a nutritional approach to looking more youthful. Facelift in Your Fridge was clever counsel giving the throng of 6000 another way to look at food as medicine.  A delightful suggestion was to eat watercress. The misaligned green that has been thought of as no more than a garnish repairs DNA, detoxifies the liver and skin, helps control blood sugar and acts as a diuretic. Who knew? But where to get it? Upon leaving Radio City Music Hall I decided to walk downtown as I had been sitting for nearly three hours.  Hungry I headed to Republic of Noodle on Union Square where happily a watercress salad was on the menu. This dish had the additions of sesame seeds and soy bean sprouts. Dr. Perricone advised  staying away from processed sugars, artificial sweeteners and to drink plenty of fresh water, using fresh lemon juice on salads with olive oil and be sure to get plenty of good sleep. Thank you Dr. Perricone for that delicious prescription! It didn't hurt a bit.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Hot Topics Other Than Skin - Nature Valley Oats and Honey Bars

Yesterday morning I was invited to a breakfast meeting of sorts. Laying on the conference room table was a Nature Valley Crunchy Oats 'n Honey Granola bar. Curious I picked it up to read the label. As you can see listed above it read "whole grain oats, sugar, canola oil, yellow corn flour, honey, soy,brown sugar syrup, salt, soy lecithin, baking soda and natural flavors'. While there a few too many sweeteners for my taste what sent up a red flag for me was CANOLA oil with my concerns for the source of corn flour, soy and oats running a tight second. (I will cover honey, bees and soy in future posts). Why Canola oil you may ask?

What is Canola Oil and Why Does It Matter?
Canola stands for Canadian Oil Low Acid and is derived from the rapeseed flower pictured above.
It's been a hot topic lately amongst the health conscious because our neighbor up north supplies the United States with a lot of it. 80% of the Canadian crop is now genetically modified.  Americans used 2.5 billion pounds in 2010. The repercussions of GMO Canola oil (or any GMO product for that matter)  on the food chain are staggering as it is used in feed for livestock, the flowers are a popular source of nectar for our pollinating friends bees, and the sterility  GMO foods causes in reproductive system of humans and other living creatures.
Natural Vs Organic There is a lot of confusion about what natural means as opposed to organic. Well folks I can tell you that "natural" ain't what is used to be. A manufacturer can claim that a product like these oat and honey bars are "all natural" without getting down to the nitty gritty and informing the shopper as to where the ingredients came from and how they were grown. Are there GMO  grains or oils used in the product? Were toxic pesticides and herbicides used? Is there a chance that eating could cause an adverse allergic reaction such as bloating or difficulty breathing? The answer to these questions are yes.  On further inspection I found no USDA Organic label anywhere on the product. And that concerns me.
What does certified organic or "USDA Organic" mean? 
The definition of it is as follows "Certified organic means the farmer or producer has undergone a regular inspection of its farm, facilities, ingredients, and practices by an independent third-party certifier, accredited by the USDA National Organic Program (NOP). The producer has followed strict NOP regulations and maintained detailed records. Genetically engineered ingredients, synthetic pesticides, animal drugs, sewage sludge, irradiation, and chemical fertilizers are prohibited. Farm animals, soil, and crops have been managed organically. Food can be processed using only approved methods. Ingredients must be on the "allowed" list." (Source Natural News)

Coconut Oil Options
I have made the switch to Organic Virgin Coconut Oil for frying, sauteeing and adding a little flavor to my foods. Raved about by my foodie friends I decided to give it a try and have been delighted with the results. It imparts a wonderful flavor to food containing no trans fats.  I have even used it to make a delicious cake! As eating is a necessity that occurs daily (as many as three times for many of us) help out your neighbor, your bees and your farm animals by making wiser choices! Here in the United States our educated food choices have an incredible impact on the politics of growing food, the land, our water supplies, food chain and the future of our childrens health. As we like to think of ourselves a the leaders of the world let's get on it!  Be sure to check the label and find USDA on your foods and avoid health complications for you and your family while insuring the health of our planet. Join a CSA and shop local. Know your farmers and support those in your region who may be struggling.
Learn More on This Topic on Natural News
Check out NY Times Article on Coconut Oil by Melissa Clark
For Coconut Lore and History Look Here About.com
Genetically Modified Soy in the Huff Post

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What's in That Mascara - Christopher Drummond Offers Healthy Alternative

Video Still of La Raihna

Full disclosure: I am a fanatic of Christopher Drummond Beauty all organic paraben and toxin free make up line. In fact after using it I won't use anything else on my face. Why so fanatical you may ask? Hard won experience. It goes back to my modeling days in Paris in the days of casting calls. Before I had a "go see" for Dior, Kenzo, Balmain, CHANEL, Fendi or anyone else I was required to look my best. After all this was the era of the supermodel and Linda Evangelista, Emma, Karen Mulder, Iman, Sonia Cole, Nadege, Tyra, Helen Christensen and the rest were all living and working in the City of Lights! I put in hours of preparation from what I wore to my makeup and hair. And makeup was my least favorite part ordeal that it was. Trained by one of the best I could get away with no sloppiness. This meant standing in front of the bathroom mirror for a solid hour and a half putting on layers of makeup to achieve a flawless look. Starting with concealers, a liquid foundation, powder (2 layers), a layer of lipstick followed by a layer of powder to set it, followed by another layer of lipstick, blush, eye shadow, eye liner, eyebrows and finally mascara. Mascara the victory! Careful scrutiny was required to make sure I did not miss a spot, a layer, and the colors matched my own skin properly. Frankly, it was exhausting. More often than not I would be turned away in 60 seconds or less by a  disenchanted casting director who was staring past me at a sea of competitors. If only I had known about CDB's wonderful mineral makeup then I would have saved myself a lot of time, a lot of money and clogged pores.
Christopher Drummond in NYC

Introduced by a friend I met Chris back in 2006. Chris is passionate about makeup. Being a former model himself  having become dissatisfied with what was available on the market that either made him break out or didn't match his complexion, he began to deeply question just what was in the stuff. One day while having a casual conversation at a makeup counter the salesperson said to him "I bet you'd make a great makeup artist." and Voila! his new career was born. He came to me to do an in house demo and it was love at first application. His light mineral makeup was pretty and truly fashionable. It was easy to apply going on in minutes instead of an hour and looked completely natural! In fact Chris told me I could even sleep with his makeup on and I would be fine as the anti oxidants that it contained were actually good for my skin. Since then I have used Chris on many a photo shoot, video shoot and gala event. One thing Chris would always forget was the mascara though and we'd laugh as I'd have to remind him to put it on. But not anymore.
Don't Settle for Mercury in Your Mascara or Lashes Need Vitamins Too
Looking back on it now I think that Chris was forgetting to apply that mascara on me due to a deep aversion to toxins like mercury that is used in countless mascara products on the market. When you consider how toxic mercury is to the nervous system it gives one pause. I was gifted with his black version and love it. As Christopher says on his web site "This is one of our newest products that have been tested on working models and has proved to be smudge-proof, water-resistant and long wearing. Our formula utilizes a unique technology that combines silky smooth lash building with vitamins A, C & E, seaweed protein and algae extract." It also contains beeswax. As a working model I approve.
Tips: TreeHugger Article on Mercury in Mascara
Check out Eyes on CBD website for this and other organic cosmetics
Video still of Ekayani and The Healing Band by Kurt Ritta for the song "La Raihna" 2006.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Epigenetics - Modern Medicine Catches Up to Common Sense

Saturday 2/18 I listened to Dr. Susan Scharf speak on a powerful new tool of medicine dubbed epigenetics which identifies damage to chromosomes inflicted from environmental stresses and poor habits.  Her talk entitled Why Genes Don't Have to Decide Your Fate was non technical although terms like SNPS and nutrigenetics did arise.  Epi means "on top of" referring to elements other than inheritance that describe something other than DNA that influences health. As Dr. Scharf said "environment pulls the trigger". The premise that Nuture is just as important if not more important than Nature or "genetics" is a new branch of medicine that mimics what the wise have always said. It's a relief to see that this viewpoint is gaining ground as it will provide hope to millions who have thought themselves condemned. Epigenetics as championed by Dr. Mark Hyman and Dr. Oz note that genes are just part of the story of health from short term to longer term multi-  generational influences.  My guru Bernando LaPallo would agree. When people say that diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes are "genetic" epigenetics or functional medicine takes a deeper look into the patterns of eating and  damaging habits such as smoking and  drinking all the way back to say Granny. Reversal of disease by adding the good stuff of optimal diet, exercise, positive attitude and stress management is now visible to a sector of society who were not able to envision this before. This method  can be likened to the every effect has a cause and that there is no such thing as random. For example my friend Mike was telling me that his mother smoked while pregnant while carrying both he and his brother and that they have both suffered from respiratory illnesses all their lives.
How It Works
Tests are conducted on the patient to identify the weak links in the DNA that tell a story about patterns, damage and behavior. This kind of detective work can help pinpoint in a very personal way the trouble and offering clues to solutions on how to treat the problem instead of using a one size fits all approach.
The Human Genome Project began in 1990. In order to prove that what your mother may have told you that eating all your vegetables is good for you is in fact true, the project notes that genes are the blueprints for cell reproduction and as such don't make decisions and therefore don't control outcome. Genes are building blocks. Like any material the quality can be greater or lesser depending upon what they are made out of and the finished product in this case your body is affected by that. Factors such as food, exercise, toxins, water, attitudes and beliefs all play a part and happily can be improved upon. For those who need another kind of analysis for what ails them in language and terms that correspond to modern medicine today epigenetics is a good place to start.  For those who have little faith or knowledge in the wisdom of our grandparents looking to adapt their methods of practice with additional diagnostic skills to treat patients by avoiding medications when possible and using nature as a healer this is a field worth plumbing.  For more info on Dr. Scharf visit her site web site.

Hot Topics Other Than Skin - Wind Water Turbines Power Renewable Energy

This weekend was a big one for education. I attended a couple of seminars a notable one being on Wind and Water Turbines a second installment in a discussion series with the general public sponsored by ReNew New York. A sold out standing room only crowd gathered at the Cathedral House of Saint John The Divine in Manhattan's Morningside Heights. Saint John is to be commended for it's long history of extending the spiritual dialog beyond the pulpit and expanding it to the creation that we all live and work in whose resources we use mindlessly day after day as we were inculcated to do as consumers. Sunday 2/19 we heard from Mateo Chaskel a coordinator for an outfit called Urban Green Energy (UGE) and Dan Whatmoor of Verdant power that is currently running a pilot program in the East River. Moderated by Dr. Lisa DiCaprio Clinical Associate of Social Sciences at NYU and a member of the NYU Sustainability Task Force the pair spoke on how they are using marine and wind turbines to generate power into the grid. Whatmoor 's Verdant power is the first to get a commercial license for marine turbine power in New York a lengthy process spanning 9 years. Currently there are 30 wind turbines installed by Verdant in the narrowest part of the East River with mechanisms placed on Roosevelt Island. One third of that part of the river is cordoned off for use while two thirds is free  using a total of 1.6 acres for the project. "The project, owned by Verdant Power and known as the Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy (RITE) Project, is 1,050-kilowatts and uses the East River’s natural tidal currents to generate electricity. Turbine generator units are mounted on the riverbed and capture energy from the tidal flow. The pilot license issued to Verdant Power is for 10 years."  Funding has come from various sources such as the NYC Development Corporation and there has been a kind of bidding war from multiple companies seeking to buy this "tower" that isn't even out of the development stages yet. Verdant says they are adaptable manufacturing scalable turbines. The river turbine looks like a windmill with blades pointing down into the water utilizing the current of the river to move the blades and generate power. The speed and depth of water determine the amount of energy generated. Water is 800 times more dense than air and that fact  brings to mind the film "The Weight of Water" starring Sean Penn.  Many questions were posed about the long term environmental impacts on fish and fowl which is top of mind due to Pete Seeger's Clear Water Foundation who had a book table  at the event.
A baseline has been taken to monitor conditions pre and post. Whatmoor did mention that in observations fish swim along the banks of the river when water is moving fast and that fish were found in and around the turbines when water was moving slowly although we are not sure if they suffered harm.  Working with various groups like Marine Fish and Wildlife organization  were a part of the equation to meet minimum standards for eco- safety but in an underestimation of the audience's interest we were not told what those standards were. Other questions concerning safety in the event of storms was raised. "Mechanisms" although it was not clear as to what kind - are in place to minimize any damage that would occur. From what I could surmise it is possible to store energy created in a kind of battery. The soft spoken Mr. Chaskel was harder to hear and understand as this reporter was seated out in the hallway. UGE uses a hybrid wind and solar system. Based in New York City they design and manufacture for residential and commercial use and claim they have  installations in 60  countries.
My overall impression was that there was an under estimation by the speakers, organizers and church of the passion and enthusiasm that New Yorkers have for this topic of renewable energy. The speakers would do well to go more in depth by offering detailed answers, tours and even workshops that one's teeth can be sunken into. Here in the Big Apple we are all to painfully aware of the huge amount of energy and waste this city uses  and generates on a daily basis. There is a heartfelt desire to involve children and centers of education in the dialog and action of making New York City truly a green city.
For More on Companies using Wind Energy Visit Usana Green
The next installment on The Boiler Dilemma will be held at The Community Church of New York 40 East 35 Street  March 22 from 6 to 9:30pm Suggested donations of $5 - $10 appreciated.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Beyond Genes - Epigenics and Functional Medicine with Dr. Scharf

Very much looking forward to hearing what Dr, Scharf has to say about Functional Medicine and the importance of self care. Could it be that she is a kindred spirit? Today at 3pm she speaks on how genes are only part of the story of health. This sounds like music to my ears already. My grandfather Bernando LaPallo the 110 year old "health nut" has been practicing self care from childhood as trained by his father. Today he does not suffer from high blood sugar, alzheimers, arthritis, cancer, rheumatism and has stressed repeatedly the importance of a nutrition rich diet and regular exercise. As he says God's creation has everything for us if we know how to use the gifts given. This talk is free today  and will be held at 841 Broadway on the second floor at the JivaMukti Yoga School near Union Square.
Expanded post to follow.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hot Topics Other Than Skin - Kotex Targets Teenage Girls

While walking up the busy thoroughfare of 14 Street yesterday I was handed a metallic box with neon colored patterns and a post card declaring boldly that the Patricia Field design that graced the tin had saved me from the "dullsville" of tampon use.  For anyone who has read or listened to Dr. Christine Northrup's  discussions on the female menstrual and reproductive cycle it's anything but dullsville. The bevy of slightly older women undoubtedly picked to give that cool older sister vibe to hand out totes bags of this product were strategically situated at the crossroads of several high schools in the area. I had arrived at about 3pm just at the moment when gaggles of teen and tween girls were on their way home. While I admire Patricia Field's longevity in the business and have even worked with her company as a model, I must say I was taken aback by the list of ingredients on the package. I wondered if Patricia had any idea what was in this product let alone the affect it would have on the females using it. (Does everyone just jump at endorsements and branding opportunities without looking deeply at what they are promoting?) Also under suspicion were the artificially colored applicators.
Being an avid label reader it started off sounding alright; "100% chlorine free bleached tampons..." Then I arrived at "made of polyurethane..." going on to list nylon, rayon and other decidedly non organic cotton materials. Stop the presses!  As I handed back the tin I said "No, Sis, we shouldn't be putting petroleum in our bodies as women." She then suggested I throw away the tampons and keep the tin. Sad. Sorry Kotex but polyurethane in case you hadn't heard is made from petroleum. Petroleum is toxic. As I read the label I was more than unhappy at the fate of these young women being seduced with bright colors and a fashion taste maker's design. The Tampon Safety portion of the Kotex site says "...Using these tests, dioxin levels in the rayon raw materials for tampons are reported to be at or below the detectable limit of the state-of-the-art dioxin assay, i.e., approximately 0.1 to 1 parts per trillion. FDA's risk assessment indicates that this exposure is many times less than normally present in the body from other environmental sources, so small that any risk of adverse health effects is considered negligible. A part per trillion is about the same as one teaspoon in a lake fifteen feet deep and a mile square."  Thing is the female body is not a lake that's 15 feet deep and a mile square.
The effects of any toxin are cumulative. In this argument we are encouraged to use flawed logic based on an example where women's bodies are compared to lakes and that the toxins present are no more dangerous than any of the other toxins we are exposed to day after day and year after year. What they fail to admit is that this "negligible amount" of toxin is going to be directly inserted into a woman's body right next to her reproductive system. For more mind blowing information on plastics and how they have invaded our lives pick up a copy of The Healthy Home by Dave & Dr. Myron Wentz.

Not worried yet?
How about this "....Polyurethane is starting to cause much concern. The manufacture of PVC uses a class of chemicals suspected of causing cancer, kidney damage and disruption of the body’s hormone system. In children, exposure to PVC can increase the risk of developing asthma and allergies, and may be responsible for the large rise in asthma observed in developed countries over the last 30 years. Exposure to polyurethane can cause respiratory problems and chemically induced asthma. Polyurethane also contains chemicals which may cause damage to the nervous system and are probably carcinogens. The fumes from Polyurethane when it is burnt are also extremely toxic...'
Now what happens to these products when they are buried in landfills?  Aside from the damage done to the user the thought is staggering. I'd like my tampons like my skin care and makeup paraben free please.
Tip: Use organic cotton tampons please

Hot Topics Other Than Skin - Eggs Are Not A Vegetable

I thought I'd make a vegetarian version of Devils on Horseback this week as they were a hit with the guests at the Noche Buena party I attended this past Christmas. You make the recipe stuffing a date with gorgonzola or another fave melting cheese, wrap it in "bacon" and marinating it in mustard sauce. A quick trip inside a 400F oven for 10 minutes or so and voila! I usually have good luck at Trader Joe's but today the veggie bacon was nowhere to be found near the soy chorizo or tofu. One of the clerks stalked off in the direction of the frozen foods section and soon I was handed the package. While standing on the checkout line the first ingredient listed is eggs. Dear Morning Star Farms eggs are not a vegetable. Your product is listed as 100% vegetarian but eggs don't grow on trees or as roots but are produced by chickens which are not trees or roots but are birds. 
Perhaps Morning Star you thought you'd save me the trouble of making eggs to go along with my veggie bacon so you decided to put it in the same product for me. But I don't eat eggs and though I appreciate your thoughtfulness I'd wished you told me the truth first. Maybe you thought because Congress voted that pizza is a vegetable it was cool. I think it's time for some serious remedial courses for different sectors of society who just don't seem to know which way is up.  I found this informative chart on Who Owns Organic at Eden Farms

Next time I'll use eggplant. 


Hot Topics Other Than Skin - Your Breakfast Cereal GMO's + Whole Foods

All my life my grandfather has stressed the importance of eating whole grains and in his case hot oatmeal for breakfast. He often tells the story of how oatmeal was prepared for him when he was growing up in Philadelphia circa 1905. It's soothing just to hear the story and I can only dream how good it tasted over 100 years ago. My great grandfather Bernando LaPallo, Sr. who was a doctor, had the oatmeal cooked in a double boiler so the grains would not stick and burn.

Fresh cinnamon would be added to the water the oats were cooked in to infuse it with flavor and aid in digestion. Finally a whole apple cut up in cubes would be added being the only sweetener used. Having dabbled a bit in cooking truly whole grains myself using buckwheat and oat groats back the 80's  grown in rich pesticide free soil to term,  there is a kind of natural sweetness to them a far cry from the sugar coated frosty cereals of today with "added "nutrients". 
Recently an old friend of mine who I will just call "O" told me that he had recently experienced an allergic reaction to the 365 Brand of oatmeal sold by Whole Foods. Minutes after his meal he bloated up and had difficulty breathing. After an emergency trip to the doctor's office together they "retraced" his steps which lead them back to the ingredient label. Turns out listed was GMO oatmeal on the packaging. And there in one fell swoop Ladies and Gentleman, Parents, Mother's and Children, the unflinching faith we have held dear for generations in a whole grain that Americans have relied upon as a trusted source of wholesome nutrition came to a screeching halt. Later the same week when I warned my own mother from eating another brand that I suspsected might contain GMO's. Her response was surprisingly cavalier; "What could happen from eating a little GMO?" Well Mom as it turns out quite a lot.

1. Food Allergy Foods that you have taken for granted that you could eat all your life with impunity ranging from breakfast cereals to peanut butter to corn chips are likely to be made with GMO's.  It is estimated that 60 to 70% of our food supply now contains them.  Read labels carefully before you buy. As scary as the above incident was for my adult friend "O" imagine the effects on a much smaller individual like your child. When I look back on my childhood and teenage years the "food allergy" pandemic was almost non existent. Occasionally we would hear about the "freak" kid would would be allergic to peanut butter but now this type of thing is everywhere. Why?  2. Toxicity The practice of growing crops that are not only genetically modified but now have pesticides built into their very fiber should serve as a warning. You may have noticed the trend of gluten free foods. While wheat in of itself isn't bad new genetically modified wheat plants loaded with pesticides are. Andrea Moss enlightened me about this new breed of wheat in an in depth conversation we had about nutrition last week. Thanks Andrea that was an eye opener.
3. Sterility Testing  done on laboratory mice and rats found that there were startling differences in the litters of each group. The GMO eating group's offspring not only had a significantly lower body weight , their offspring proved unable to reproduce as they had been rendered sterile by their diet. Even more alarming are cases in women who have been eating GMO soy and corn. During labor it has been discovered that  shortened umbilical cords, still births and birth defects are skyrocketing in countries  where GMO products have flooded the market. Read Award Winning mid- wife Robin Lim's testimony here GMO Foods and Damage to Human Babies  5. Poor Digestion Bloating of the digestive tract is another phenomena that occurs. It would seem logical to surmise that the ingestion of pesticides would cause and inflammation of the digestive tract. Clearly this makes eating if possible at all extremely uncomfortable.
Tips: Carefully read your breakfast cereal labels. Pick whole grain cereals where you know a little something about how they were really grown. Here in New York one of our favorite suppliers and growers is Cayuga Pure Organics  You can find them in several Green markets throughout the city like the McCarren Park Green market in Williamsburg/Greenpoint Brooklyn. They carry a wide variety of grains, beans and organic flours. Avoid GMO soy, corn, canola oil and cottonseed products. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Three Heart Smart Smoothies Cranberry + Super Green + Sunshine

Bernando LaPallo 110 years of age. Photo by StarlinerEvents.com
Today I present you with three smoothie recipes from USANA Health Sciences test kitchen that not only taste fantastic but are heart smart. This post was so good that I decided to use it as a kind of guest post for today's entry. The smoothies incorporate our vanilla Nutrimeal and Fibergy Plus products to keep it extra nutrient rich and help clean your colon. You know that this is a subject that Bernando Lapallo, the 110 year old author of "Age Less, Live More" NEVER tires of speaking about.

We all know that being overweight is a strain on the heart. But did you know that most of the weight you are carrying around your middle section (affectionately known as a tire) is quite literally full of crap? Get rid of it and not only will you be pounds lighter, you will aid in the elimination of a lot of toxins from your body specifically the colon. Your heart will thank you.
A Few Facts About Heart Disease
Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States? In 2008, over 616,000 people died of heart disease — that’s almost 25% of total deaths that year. But it doesn’t have to be this way. There are simple changes we can make to live better… and longer.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number one factor that puts people at risk for heart disease is inactivity. Being a “desk job” person myself, I have to make a conscious effort to move around throughout the day. Instead of sending an inter-office envelope, I’ll hand-deliver a document to the third-floor of my building. It only takes a few minutes, but it keeps my body moving and my mind more alert.
A personal trainer once told me that even going on a daily walk around your neighborhood or taking a restorative yoga class can help — as long as you keep yourself moving. Consider the Harvard Alumni Study that found that men who averaged at least eight flights a day enjoyed a 33 percent lower mortality rate than their sedentary counterparts. All they did was walk up a few flights of stairs!
Also among the risk factors for heart disease are obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. As we know, eating healthier can make a big difference.
The American Heart Association recommends consuming eight or more fruit and vegetable servings every day, and smoothies are a great way to pack a lot of produce into a single meal.
Delicious Heart Smart Smoothie Recipes
Today’s USANA Test Kitchen recipes feature three heart smart smoothie recipes that are quick to whip up and easy to take with you wherever you go!
Cranberry Fruit Smoothie (adapted from AHA recipe)
Servings: 1
  • 1 (6-oz) carton of your favorite low-fat yogurt
  • 1 banana (or other fruit of your choice)
  • 1/3 cup 100% cranberry juice (not cranberry cocktail)
  • 1/2 cup crushed ice
  • 1 Tbs vanilla Nutrimeal
  • 1 tsp Fibergy Plus
  1. Add banana, juice and ice to blender; pulse for 5 seconds
  2. Add Nutrimeal and Fibergy Plus; puree for 5-10 seconds or until smooth


Green Smoothie Spectacular

Serving: 2 


Fibergy Plus is a tasteless fiber that helps keep your colon clean
  • 1 ripe banana, cut in chunks
  • 1 cup seedless grapes
  • 1 (6-oz) tub low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 apple, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup crushed ice
  • 2 teaspoons Fibergy Plus 
  • 1/2 ripe avocado or cucumber (optional)
  1. Add all ingredients to blender; pulse for 10-15 seconds or until smooth


Sunshine Smoothie

Servings: 2
Vanilla Nutrimeal is a  soy protein non GMO food based complete meal replacement
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 apple, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup fresh carrots, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup orange juice (not from concentrate)
  • 1/2 low-fat milk or non-dairy alternative, such as soy milk
  • 1/2 cup crushed ice
  • 2 Tbs Vanilla Nutrimeal (or Orange Crème, if you have it)
  1. Add banana, apple, carrots, juice, milk and ice to blender; pulse for 5 seconds
  2. Add Nutrimeal; puree for 5-10 seconds or until smooth

Tips: Eating well is an important part of being healthy. From the USANA Test Kitchen is a monthly column offering useful nutrition tips, as well as delicious, healthy recipes that use USANA nutritionals in creative ways. Learn more about Fibergy and Nutrimeal Meal replacement Shakes  here: Look under Detox for Fibergy Plus 
Check out Bernando's youtube recipe channel, book,blog and facebook page Age Less Live More Store
Photos by Raji Barbir

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sense = Spa Party for Girls + Spa Birthday Parties and Miami!

Cutting up at a Sense Spa Party with Guys and Gals

When you look on my Linkedin profile  you'll see that I describe myself as a Sense Skin Care specialist and that I offer free skin care sessions in the form of one on one sessions and group parties of up to six persons. But what does that mean exactly? Will it be costly?  Will it involve lot's of water? The answers to those questions below.
Whether you want a spa party for girls, want to throw a spa birthday party or want to do something special at the office for your employees, a Sense skin care Spa Party is a fantastic and simple way to go. As you can see from the photo above all we need is a table, a few chairs and some guests. And yes a little water.  I come equipped with headbands, mirrors, disposable bowls, hand towels, cotton balls and the full Sense skin care line. In short the works! In a matter of minutes our set up is complete.
In one short hour I will explain the revolutionary and anti aging and revitalizing technologies that go into every Sense product. Participation is part of the fun and you and your guests will be applying the products to your own faces so you know how to use them when you get home! For extra "WOW" factor I will demonstrate the "how to's"  on one lucky guy or gal while the rest of your guests follow along. At the end of the spa party each guest will be given a sample to take home and valuable information on all the products we tried during the party! That's it!

There is no cost and if you are considering a way to spice things up for an office party, a surprise for a friend, a birthday party or would like a one on one session for yourself  just shoot me an email at ekayani@usana.com to schedule your session. And if you happen to be in Miami Beach you can contact Sense Skin care specialist Vanessa Soto at vsoto7@gmail.com Vanessa is fun and passionate about sharing the products that have transformed her skin. Just look at that smile!
Vanessa Soto is a Sense skin care specialist based in Miami Beach

Monday, February 6, 2012

Heart Smart Month Deal for Sweethearts Discount on Healthy Heart Supplement Trio

Special Offer for You Until February 17 - Show Your Heart Some Love and Save Big!

Hi! It's Ekayani! And as you know February is the month for corny, romantic poetry. Let’s try some:

Heart, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

You get the idea. But it’s true; you should love your heart. Every beat is a reminder of all the things it does to keep you going. This past year I have had two friends that had major heart attacks which  scared them and upset me. Somehow they survived. (You know who you are) Taking care of your heart post heart attack is critical to it's healing. In the spirit of thriving I stray from my usual skin care information offering you a sweetheart deal.
For the next two weeks—February 6–February 17—you’ll have the opportunity to treat your heart to something it will absolutely love. And vegetarians don't worry I've got you covered with OptOmega!!!!!

The Heart Smart Pack—save more than $20 on three of our best supplements for heart health! (Item #965, $75.95)

  • Proflavanol® C100—Oxidative stress plays a role in damaging cells that, over time, can negatively impact cardiovascular function. Vitamin C has been shown to provide excellent antioxidant defense, making it a key nutrient in the fight to maintain heart health. In addition, grape-seed extract can be very helpful in maintaining heart health and protecting plasma LDL from oxidation.*
  • BiOmega™—EPA+DHA supplementation ranging from 0.5 to 1.8 g per day (either as fatty fish or supplements) is recommended by many experts for protecting healthy heart function.* One of the safest ways to get your EPA+DHA is a highly purified fish oil supplement.
  • CoQuinone® 30—An optimal combination of coenzyme Q10 and alpha-lipoic acid vital for cellular energy in the heart, plus sound muscle and nerve function.*
Along with the Heart Smart Pack, you also have a chance get grab some OptOmega®, the vegetarian source of essential fatty acids. It is available in the US while supplies last—Item #127, $34.95 This is a wonderful blend of olive, pumpkin seed, flax seed oils with rosemary and tumeric.

Show your heart some love. Order your Heart Smart Pack today by looking under Product Specials Offer ends February 17.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

How to Get Rid of Crows Feet and Dark Circles Under Your Eyes

Crows feet and dark circles under the eyes are probably the most dreaded symptoms of aging on a woman's skin. If you've spent a little too much time out in the sun during the strongest times of exposure for years on end or perhaps were a tad carefree about protecting your eyes by not wearing a hat or a pair of sunglasses here is a a tip on an eye nourishing cream that you'll want to try. Usana's
Eye Nourishing Cream is, as always, a paraben free formula with a self preserving technology.

DSR Technology or dermal surface renewal helps the skin's surface "act younger". As we age the skin cells (and all cells) in the body reproduce more slowly. It employs a gentle formulation which helps refine the complexion. Usana uses Regenisomes or marine enzymes that helps the skins recovery from environmental damage  i.e. sun, smoke and let's not forget stress. Remember that magnesium and calcium should be maintained at optimal levels in the body to aid the health of the skin. Inside Outside Beauty is our motto here at The Living Connection and the body reflects it's overall state of health through the skin.
Dark Circles
While dark circles may not be completely done away with, the skin around the eyes can be made to look brighter. (This is a technique that makeup artists use all the time.)  Gently pat this cream underneath the eyes. Of course if you are not getting adequate sleep at night change your routine and get to bed earlier. I have also noticed over the years that people that are not keeping their kidneys in tip top shape by eating adequate leafy greens, eating celery and drinking enough water seem to have pronounced circles so do check your diet. No amount of creams will help you if you are not taking care of what goes on inside your body. Keeping the organs healthy that do the brunt of filtering toxins will help keep your skin glowing.

Sleeping Beauty is not just a name in a fairy tale but addresses a real need the human body has for sleep. Sleep is the time we repair our bodies. While you may not be able to sleep as much as a baby,  it's instructive to notice how glowing and soft a baby's skin looks and it's relationship to sleep.  I remember distinctly having this realization for myself. I watched a man and wife having a conversation on a Parisian street corner one day and she looked so worn out she appeared much older. As women we sacrifice our rest by keeping overly long hours and taking on too much. It does takes its toll. When I was modeling in Paris I remember that the top earners in the business would make early appearances making a bee line straight home to bed. Their faces were quite literally their fortune. They understood the importance of getting beauty rest as they were being paid top dollar to be radiant. "Girls" that burned the midnight oil would soon find themselves losing bookings to well rested, hence younger, looking models. When a client has hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in a photo shoot (and this well before the days of rampant retouching) they cannot afford to hire a model that is going to make their product less than appealing. What they are really selling is well being!  So make it real by practicing your  common sense by making sure you cover the basics; Rest, water, and optimal nutrition. This will not only make you feel better but help you get the most out of the eye nourisher to diminish crows feet and dark under eye circles. Learn more at Ekayani.Usana.com

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Our Tulum Resort Temzacal - Sweat Your Prayers Profound Healing the Mayan Way

On Day 3 as part of our Mayan powered Revision Quest from May 1 - 6  in our Tulum resort  we'll be taking part in a Temzacal which means "bath house" in the ancient Nahuatl language. This ancient practice has endured in the region in spite of the Spanish conquerors attempts it stamp it out. Considered more than just being an occasion to remove toxins from our bodies it is a method of cleansing the mind and spirit.  Profound healing and connection with appreciation to Mother Earth through the agency of the Goddess, the temzacal is seen as the womb of the earth from which we all come (You know well the saying "ashes to ashes, dust to dust") This is an opportunity to be still and cleanse on a deep level.  In tandem,  we are offering a juice cleanse which we recommend. Giving your digestion a break while participating in the sweat lodge will make for a better detox.
Here we found an excellent article from the Mexican Institute of Traditional Medicine that explains in a beautiful way the significance and history of this practice. Do join us. This is in our minds and hearts a perfect way to usher in a renewed look at life with appreciation for all those who have come before us.
Great Article on the significance of Mayan Sweat Lodges
To See Our Itinerary and  Register for this Retreat Go here