Friday, April 27, 2012

The Scientific Method: Legacy and Discovery at Linus Pauling Institute

Scientific Method: Legacy and Discovery are Alive at LPI
By David Baker

(This is part 2 of a series on the scientific research behind Usana Health Sciences and their partnership with LPI)

Inside the lab of a nearly new building. Inside a petri dish and the clear, seemingly non-descript liquid dripped from so many pipettes. Inside the cells composing various in vitro experiments and the DNA that builds life itself. Zoom in close enough on the Linus Pauling Institute, and you can see the mechanics of scientific discovery.

It’s for the discoveries that the new building, the new lab, the petri dishes, the pipettes, and the unquantifiable collection of scientific passion, knowledge, and energy exist. At the Linus Pauling Institute (LPI), it’s all dedicated to discovery—the game-changing kind that helps people live longer, healthier lives.


The researchers working on the campus of Oregon State University (OSU) in Corvallis are following in the footsteps of the scientific pioneer that lends his name to the institute. Linus Pauling, Ph.D., is the only person to win two unshared Nobel Prizes—Chemistry in 1954 and Peace in 1962. From a 13-year-old chemist in his mother’s basement, Pauling grew into one of the most important scientific figures of the 20th century, breaking ground in the nature of the chemical bond, and micronutrient research—especially the importance of vitamin C.

In 1973, Pauling co-founded what eventually became LPI. Basing their research on the idea that a balanced and nutritious diet is the key to optimal health, LPI scientists focus on how vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals (chemicals from plants) play a role in human health. Nearly 30 years later, Pauling’s belief that micronutrients are important is still central, uniting the work of the researchers who carry on his legacy.

“I always have to laugh when MDs say, ‘We don’t need this vitamin!’” said Balz Frei, Ph.D., director and endowed chair of LPI and OSU distinguished professor of biochemistry and biophysics. “Wait a minute. Vitamin? ‘Vita’ is Latin for life. These things are essential nutrients. We need them. Without them, you die or suffer from serious disease.”

Driven by the mission to promote optimal health through micronutrient research, the institute has grown in acclaim, becoming one of the first two Centers of Excellence for Research on Complementary and Alternative Medicine designated by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).


It’s this mix of mission and excellence that brought USANA and LPI together in 2007, when a 10-year partnership was announced to facilitate the exploration of key nutrients to help people live healthy and productive lives.

“We have very similar interests and very similar mission statements,” Frei said. “Our focus is on health span, not so much life span. Of course, if you eat right and you exercise and you take the right dietary supplements you hopefully live longer, but you also live better…USANA is focusing on health span, too—trying to help people stay healthy up to an old age and help them be productive, and not just free of disease, but also vital and energetic. This makes perfect sense, then, for the LPI to partner with USANA.”

The partnership comes to life in the financial support USANA provides for projects at the institute—scientific- and outreach-related—and intellectual collaboration on mutually beneficial research. It’s a win-win, with LPI getting support for projects that are tough to fund through traditional channels, and USANA staying connected to pioneering research and the advancement of nutritional science.


The work most closely associated with Pauling’s is coming out of the Frei lab. Building on a seminal paper he wrote called “Vitamin C is an Outstanding Antioxidant in Human Blood Plasma,” which has been cited over 1,200 times, Frei has continued his vitamin C work, but also explores other compounds and their role in slowing the progression of atherosclerosis—the hardening of arteries caused by plaque build up.

Frei’s research examines the interaction between vitamin C and lipoic acid. Along with fellow LPI researcher, Tory Hagen, Ph.D., Frei is looking at the anti-inflammatory properties of these compounds. Two ongoing clinical trials at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) are looking at the effects of lipoic acid supplementation in overweight subjects and heart disease patients.

The interaction of flavonoids with digestive enzymes is also of interest to the Frei lab. In vitro studies have shown certain flavonoids and extracts, like grape-seed and green tea extract, can inhibit digestive enzymes, slowing starch breakdown into glucose, which lowers the body’s response to this high-glycemic food. They are working to take this from the lab to humans—the goal of all the research at LPI.

Of course, Frei isn’t the only scientist at LPI immersed in interesting research. Visit the office of Emily Ho, Ph. D., and it’s easy to guess one of her lab’s interests. It’s green, stuffed, and sitting in a chair next to her desk.

Continue reading on page two

Broccoli—specifically the sulforaphane found in broccoli sprouts—is one of the two areas Ho’s lab is researching. The LPI principal investigator and associate professor of public health and human sciences also works on zinc projects. Prostate cancer prevention is the thread tying her research together, but she also looks at inflammatory response and immune function, as well.

“You can’t always get a prostate from people, so we study other things, as well,” Ho said with a laugh.

Ho and her collaborators recently ran a controlled feeding study looking at zinc and DNA damage. They found DNA damage increased through the depletion period of the study, and after four weeks receiving adequate zinc—through diet and supplements—subjects’ DNA damage levels returned to normal. There isn’t a good biomarker for zinc status, so one of Ho’s missions is to find a measure that indicates deficiency in this important antioxidant.

Ho has also worked with an LPI colleague to identify a new mechanism for sulforaphane. Now they are running two clinical trials at OHSU in breast cancer patients and men with high risk of prostate cancer. Ho is using epigenetic biomarkers—reversible changes to the genome that occur outside the DNA and alter the way cells behave—to test the impact of sulforaphane.

Each LPI researcher is different. Adrian “Fritz” Gombart, Ph.D., doesn’t have any stuffed effigies in his office, and the LPI principal investigator and associate professor of biochemistry and biophysics prefers to focus on the role vitamin D plays in the innate immune response—the system that signals the presence of a pathogen and prevents it from gaining a foothold in the body.

The research Gombart is doing provides a better understanding of vitamin D’s role in immune function, and could shed light on its ability to regulate an antimicrobial peptide gene called cathelicidin in different immune cells, as well as the response to different infectious diseases. Soon, he is hoping to do human clinical studies examining whether higher vitamin D status leads to higher cathelicidin levels in a large population of healthy people.


Around LPI, Fred Stevens, Ph.D., comes up a lot. The LPI principal investigator and associate professor of medicinal chemistry is working with cutting-edge techniques that could speed up the normally slow process of scientific advancement.

These techniques present a different way of approaching problems and allow for scientific connections to be made more quickly. In a recent study, Stevens and his collaborators used the techniques to make an interesting discovery about vitamin C deficiency. The results suggest vitamin C is critical for maintenance of cellular energy metabolism, and could explain why vitamin C insufficiency causes fatigue.

Another LPI principal investigator, Gerd Bobe, Ph.D., is using Stevens’ techniques to explore the health benefits of various foods. Bobe, an assistant professor in animal sciences, said these techniques give us a better idea of what a drug, supplement, or diet does to a specific person, allowing for more personalized treatments and preventions.


“We have very similar interests and very similar mission statements…This makes perfect sense, then, for the LPI to partner with USANA.” 
— Balz Frei, Ph.D., director and endowed chair of LPI and OSU distinguished professor of biochemistry and biophysics

Bobe is also lending his statistics skills to the Healthy Youth Program. This outreach effort is tackling the issues of nutrition and physical education in schools. Since its inception in 2009, the reach of the Healthy Youth Program has grown substantially. It started with a fitness and nutrition study in elementary school children and an assessment of their micronutrient intake. Now, the program runs cooking classes for children and partners with Corvallis High School to develop a garden maintained by students.

The number of Healthy Youth Program employees has grown from one to five, and the impact of the program continues to expand exponentially. USANA has given $250,000 to support the Healthy Youth Program in its efforts to provide education and activity programs for kids and their families.

Through collaboration on cutting-edge research and support for programs providing nutrition education and activities for kids, USANA has found a kindred spirit in LPI. In the future, this partnership will continue to help people find optimal health and live longer, more productive lives.

In the coming weeks, look for more Scientific Method stories with additional in-depth information on USANA’s research partnerships. Next week’s story focuses on the research and relationship between USANA and TOSH.

Visiting Linus Pauling Institute

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Scientically Speaking - Part 1 of a Series

Ladies and Gentleman - Intelligent people want to know why these nutritional supplements as opposed to others on the market are superior. First it's important to know that unfortunately the supplement industry is an unregulated one. That means that a company can put whatever they want on the label without actually putting that in the bottle. Shocking but true and if you have been reading the news you have seen articles come out in the NY Times on findings of lead, mercury and even arsenic in supplements that humans are putting in their bodies depending on them for nutrition! USANA  Health Sciences is NSF Certified, follows GMP standards, is pharmaceutical grade, is an FDA facility, tests all materials as they arrive in the lab testing for purity and has a potency guarantee on every bottle. Beyond that USANA goes several steps further partnering with LPI and others to further understand the science of nutrition. This is the passion that goes into the manufacture of each and every product. Yes your supplements are good . It's just that these are better and the reason for that is presented in a series of guest posts by David Baker from our blog What's Up Usana?.
To your health!
- Ekayani Chamberlin

Scientifically Speaking: Collaborating for Scientific Good

April 5 2012 written by David Baker

Researchers at the Linus Pauling Institute.
Science seems a scary, incomprehensible idea for some. In truth, it is nothing more than the quest for understanding. Today, scientists are simply using the corner pieces of previous scientific discovery as a starting point to complete the puzzle of existence.
USANA is a science company. Our lab-coat-clad scientists are interested in a particular section of the larger puzzle — developing a better understanding of how supplementation can promote optimal health. This understanding can lead to more effective products and help spread true health around the world — a worthy, if imposing, goal.
Luckily, USANA isn’t searching for puzzle pieces by itself. Although USANA’s team of scientists is second to none, good science often springs from collaboration. That’s why USANA also reaches out to the scientific community to build symbiotic research relationships with a variety of prestigious institutions and organizations.
“Solid science is the key to everything we do,” says USANA’s Director of Product Innovation Brian Dixon, Ph.D. “We want to stay on the cutting edge of nutritional research. That means we need to have a direct connection to the places where the groundbreaking research is being done.”

World-Class Collaboration

Dixon is talking about places like the Linus Pauling Institute (LPI) at Oregon State University (OSU). This world-class research institute — named after Dr. Linus Pauling, a pioneer in nutritional science and the only person to win two unshared Nobel Prizes — shares USANA’s mission to help people live healthy and productive lives through their research in vitamins, essential minerals, and phytochemicals.
At LPI, USANA has funded and collaborated on research involving vitamin C and lipoic acid interactions, zinc and DNA damage, the role vitamin D plays in immune function, an assessment of the micronutrient status of children, and numerous other projects.
He is talking about places like The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital (TOSH). Since 1991, TOSH has been an international leader in orthopedics, sports medicine, and sports science — providing surgical, physical rehabilitation and medicine, and sports and nutritional science under one roof. USANA began partnering with TOSH in 2009.
The relationship has yielded one study about vitamin D in patients with osteoarthritis symptoms, and four other human clinical studies involving USANA products and joint health, strength recovery, and performance in athletes.
And Dixon is also talking about places like Utah State University (USU).
On the Logan campus — about two hours north of Salt Lake City — USANA and USU are examining the role of supplementation in counteracting the negative health effects of exposure to polluted air. Such exposure is the 13th leading cause of mortality worldwide, so this research could have a huge positive impact.

Mutually Beneficial Relationships

Partnering with research entities like LPI, TOSH, and USU — as well as others throughout the years — greatly benefits USANA. It allows the company to continue to produce the most effective, science-based products in the industry, and provides the extra layer of credibility that comes from working with some of the best researchers in the world.
But these research partnerships are mutually beneficial. The help USANA provides — monetarily and otherwise — gives partner institutions the ability to carry out important research that wouldn’t be possible using traditional channels, like the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
“The kind of cutting-edge research that’s unconventional and breaking new ground is often funded by non-NIH sources,” says Balz Frei, Ph.D., director and endowed chair of LPI and OSU distinguished professor of biochemistry and biophysics.
Grants from the NIH are part of a traditional, government-centric framework for research funding. Government grants typically pack a lot of zeros, but they are hard to come by, especially for work that isn’t a sure thing.
“They’re hesitant to put money into anything too risky,” says Adrian “Fritz” Gombart, Ph.D., an associate professor at OSU and an LPI principal investigator. “Somebody gets an out-there idea — and they may have good reasons for it — but the people giving out the money are conservative in their views and they may say, ‘Well, I don’t know. You might be wasting taxpayers’ money.’”

Paving the Way for Cutting-Edge Research

Some of the more unconventional, cutting-edge research gets dismissed, because the NIH and other traditional funding sources need to see significant evidence showing the possible viability of a study before they open the funding floodgates. As a result, this approach leads to only the incremental advancement of science.
“Without preliminary data, you can’t get any funding from NIH,” Frei says. Unfortunately, without money you can’t get any data, which has sent scientists scrambling for other ways to pay for their research. That’s where partners like USANA come in, providing the dollars to do pilot studies that accumulate the evidence needed to secure government funding.
“Even great scientists are having trouble getting money,” Gombart says. “So any source of money — whether it’s the government or a partnership with a company that has an interest in an area of research — is really important.”
Frei estimated that currently less than 10 percent of proposals to NIH are being funded. “We need to diversify,” he says. “And we need to have funding from the private sector as well, because the government is not providing enough funding for all the interesting ideas and projects we have in the Institute. Certainly, that’s where USANA is a big help.”
Being part of the advancement of nutritional science wholly aligns with USANA’s founding principles. Collaborating on studies and funding groundbreaking research is another way — using the vehicle of solid science — to spread true health.
“As a science-based company, we have a strong interest in having access to cutting-edge scientific data,” says Dixon, who spent time at LPI before coming to USANA. “But it’s important to help fund and collaborate on studies that lead to cutting-edge results. I’m excited to be supporting and working with other scientists who are doing important work that can have a positive impact on people’s lives.”
Editor’s Note: A version of this story originally appeared on The first of in an in-depth series about USANA’s research partnerships introduces the world-class institutions we’re working with and the importance of these relationships.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Importance of Research in Supplementation Not Trends

Introduction to Scientifically Speaking: The Importance of Research

This is the beginning of a series of posts from Usana Health Sciences going in depth and behind the scenes into the passion that motivates to constantly improve the products we manufacture. Based on real science instead of fads and trends Usana has partnerships with LPI and TOSH to advance research in the field of human health and the role of supplementation. Enjoy these visits.
Ekayani Chamberlin
 This post originally published on November 10 2011 written by Lisa Kuftinec

Here at USANA Health Sciences, we take dietary supplements seriously.
You’re saying, well, of course you do. You make them.
Correct. However, it is not that simple.
USANA is not in the business of making products that fall into the latest trends. We are in the business of making products that help people live a healthier life.
One way, and possibly one of the most important ways, USANA does this is by using research. That’s right: research. In fact, it says it right on our website:
“At USANA, scientific research is at the heart of every product we offer. Whether in studies conducted by top scientists in our on-site laboratories or findings from the many research partnerships we have across the globe, USANA is fully committed to the research and development of cutting-edge nutritional technology.” — Dr. Myron Wentz
We do not bring a product to market, upgrade or enhance a product unless we have done thorough research.

Identifying Online Resources

This is a timely reminder, as there have been some stories in the news about supplements not being beneficial. There is also a great deal of research that highlights the benefits of supplementation. Here are a few resources for you:
Natural Product Association research has shown that supplementation can boost immune systems and help improve and maintain overall health, along with combating nutritional deficiencies. The healthier we are, the more we save in health care costs.
The Office of Dietary Supplements’ website is very comprehensive, and includes “Quick Facts” alongside more comprehensive “Health Professional” information. Many resources on the site are for consumers, and help consumers make sound decisions about supplementation.

A Word from LPI

One of our research partners, Linus Pauling Institute, discusses this topic on its website. In this article, they cite data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) stating that using supplements can help combat micronutrient deficiencies, which approximately 70% of the U.S. population suffers from.
It also points out that we are deficient in vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin C, magnesium, vitamin A, and calcium. These micronutrients are important to our health, and if supplementation can help our bodies be more in balance, then I am all for it.
Linus Pauling Institute’s Rx for Health is great resource: it shares tips on proper supplementation usage, alongside healthy eating and lifestyle tips. All three work together, and it is important to remember that supplementation is not a one-stop fix.

Research for Yourself

USANA has put together a comprehensive paper on the Health Benefits of Nutritional Supplements (PDF). This paper is 51 pages of “an enumerative bibliography of peer-reviewed research.” Wow. Divided by health issue, this resource provides references to hundreds of studies that have been conducted that show how supplementation affects the body.
Not only does USANA seek out research, we conduct our own.
With partners such as The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital (TOSH), Boston University, the University of Sydney, the University of Colorado Denver, Utah State University, University of Utah, Sanoviv Medical Institute, and the aforementioned, Linus Pauling Institute, we conduct research and clinical trials to test our own hypotheses and to help us understand how nutritional supplements can help the body under different circumstances.
As you can see, the support for dietary supplements is comprehensive. Please know USANA is committed to continuing to make nutritional supplements based upon sound research (read more about it here), to ensure you can trust the products you us

Monday, April 23, 2012

Client Testimonial - Ivy Diaz on Sense skin care

Ivy pointing to her "soft side" post Sense spa treatment

Ivy Diaz works as an insurance agent at New York Life. Warm and vivacious, Ivy has a busy high powered life in New York City dividing her time between her professional and family responsibilities. I had a one on one session with Ivy at my home office taking her through the entire Sense paraben free skin care line.  This is what she had to say.

Feel the Difference -  Half Face Product Demo Demonstrates Results
"Oh Ekayani, I have to thank you with a special message because today was an excellent day with all the trimmings and all your wisdom which brought me to a new level in my life with half of my face feeling Oh - So - Soft like touching cotton or a baby’s bottom!!! Skin is so important to me. If I take care of my skin it will take care of me. So when you and I had our one-on-one  today IT was a blessing.  I learned so much from you! You truly know your profession. Something no one knows about you is the fact that you truly have a special story to share which brings out your passion with your business.  And you owe it first and foremost to your Grandpa who is 110!  I was so touched and now I feel so much closer to you!"
Ekayani with her Inspirational 110 Year Old Grandfather Bernando LaPallo

Sharing Our Stories - The Impact of Inspiration
"You are an inspirational person. (Thanks Ivy.) You take your time to explain how you got to where you are today, what inspired you to get there, who were your key inspirations, and why you believe so much in what you do today. If I knew yesterday, what I learned today, the Anti-Oxidants, Anti-Aging, and Protection would all be part of my 24/7 life proving it with my tight and hydrated skin! But as I learned from you, it is never too late!!!"
Ivy purifying and hydrating her skin with Sense Nutritious Cream Masque
Save Money With Products That Work
"I also learned that the kind of money we spend today for so many items that promise to deliver a tight and hydrated skin is actually killing our skin ever so softly with it deadly chemicals. So giving to ourselves, which is the best gift of all and we’ll believe in the magic and miracles, that only “Ekayani” can introduce us to in under 1.5  hours!"
Live Life to the Fullest
"So I’ve always said it but I’ll say it again LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST! No matter what our age, we need to just take that step and adjust according to age because as I learned from you today it was your turn to be creative with me and it was my time to surprise myself doing something new.  I have to say I spent the morning in a very meaningful way because you greeted me with a loving embrace and after our time ended I knew I was active and my day was a good one. You didn’t hesitate to complete our One-on-One and you sure cared, from beginning to end!

Thank you so much, for your time and caring ways!"

Celebrate the Mom's in Your Life - Sensé Mother’s Day Special!

Save Big During the Sensé Mother’s Day Special!

From April 23 to May 13, 2012 you can save big on the Sensé™ Perfecting Essence and Serum Intensive duo-pack. Buy now and receive a complimentary Sensé cosmetic bag with your purchase. These award-winning products and free gift are the perfect way to treat yourself or show your loved ones that you care. Order yours today! These products fall into our anti aging targeted solutions. Serum Intensive gently exfoliates while diminishing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and scars. Perfecting Essence boosts collagen production, helps diminish blotchy red skin, brightens skins with it's Proteo - C and DSR patented technology. Contains green tea to soothe the skin. Contact ekayani@usana.comif you have any questions or  need help.The savings on these items is $25.00.  

All products are as always paraben free. 
Shop 24/7 at my online store

Sensé Mother’s Day Special
Item #960 
$69.95, 57 SVP

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Real Men Get Facials - Skin the Largest Organ of All Gets Some Man Love

Real Men Get Facials
 It was about 4pm on the Thursday before Good Friday when Gary rolled up on his motorcycle to get his mini Sense facial.  I was excited because Gary was my first guy who was actually looking forward to getting a free facial and product demo. While I appreciate the guys who tried and  had  a - what - the - heck - I'll - try - anything - once- attitude, Gary was different. He said he'd always found them relaxing though he wasn't too sure why it was important to take care of his skin. Undeterred by horrendous traffic and braving an hour and a half snarl in the midtown tunnel Gary is clearly a guy who appreciates health and a little pampering. And why shouldn't he? Skin is the bodies largest organ and is a direct pathway between the pathogens in the outside world to our inside world of organs, blood, bone and tissue.
Looking like a pirate Gary is ready for his closeup

My Sense Easter Set Up

Healthy Skin is Healthy
Regardless of what skin you are in, every skin be it oily, dry, normal or combination skin has six basic needs.  Here's the Run Down
 1. Hydration A balance between water and oil or the alpha lipoic film protects the skin from bacteria, fungus and keeps skin supple. Eww fungus.
2. Proper Nutrition; Skin reflects the state of the  body. You cannot give what you have not got. You cannot expect your skin to look it's best if you are lacking or deficient in antioxidants and DHA and EPA Omega 3 fatty acids. As I spoke with Gary I discovered that he thinks something is fishy with fish oils which are the usual go to source for Omega 3s. I informed Gary that they can be obtained from the vegetarian sources of flax, hemp or chia seeds or oils. Sprinkle chia seeds on your salad or add a tablespoon of these oils to your smoothie. CoQ10 is another very important nutrient for maintaining skin as production levels decrease after age 35. This will help maintain a healthy cell turnover. Foods or supplements like grape seed extract and organic blueberries, strawberries or whole grapes that are ripe and in season combat free radical damage on the skin arising from smoke, smog and greasy diets. (p.s. Usana makes a mercury free triple distilled fish oil with lemon for the fishy after taste)
3. Anti Oxidants
 Using facial products that contain topical nutrition helps give the skin the ammunition it needs to protect against the ravages of free radicals arising from environmental stress. In other words, the midtown tunnel that Gary was sitting in for an hour and a half was a free radical cocktail of car, bus and motorbike exhaust that was entering his body via the trans - medium of his skin.The skin is the third lung. We don't want that. Vitamins A, C, grape seed, whole grape to name a few work together in a synergistic fashion to protect.
4. Anti aging ingredients are a good thing to start using in our late teens. This is when the aging process begins so using products that help repair the skin, keep it strong, hydrated, elastic and promote cell renewal is what we are looking for here.
5. Protection can be achieved but avoiding soap and soap based products. Soap unfortunately has the effect of drying out the skin and has in the majority of cases undesirable parabens and even pesticides in them which will only destroy your skins ability to produce collagen. Try using a skin primer like Christopher Drummond's Rosemary Skin Prep. It smells great in a peppery kind of way and is toxin free.
6. Exfoliation keeps the pores clean and unclogged from blackheads and dead dull looking skin. Allow the products you are using on your skin penetrate and heal more effectively without the barrier of dead skin. Let it breathe with a gentle routine every week. You will look younger and will also avoid nicking and cutting your skin while shaving.
Gary got the Full Treatment with the Sense Deluxe Pack
 All the products I used on Gary fulfilled all the requirements mentioned above. Learn more about these products here

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Spa Week Smash! Recap of Christopher Drummond Beauty Live Event

Ekayani with Christopher Drummond founder and creative director

This is just a quick post to say that the launch of Spa Week at the Altman Building was a great success. This was a press event where all kinds of magazine and television PR ladies ranging from HINT mag to The Today Show to took a seat in the high chair to get a 5 minute touch up with Christopher Drummond Beauty 100%  natural and organic based makeup with PETA approved vegan brushes. It is a mostly vegan line with the exception of the lip stains and lip gloss which contains beeswax. (I only mention this as this is an issue for some.)  Saude Pele the hydrating and soothing radiance booster, Peach Sorbet lip gloss in a tube, Aymee a lovely iridescent eyeshadow with apricot tones and the bronzier Gold were a hit. I had particular fun with a gal from BUST Magazine a very upfront and concerned vegan.

On her I tried the Paradise lip stain and then had fun switching to Shiraz.  She was this side of red and as she was going to the premiere  of "GIRLS" the new series which is a hit even before airing I figured my disco doll needed some subtle flash. As a strawberry blonde with wide blue eyes Aymee on the lids was followed by Gold on the rims and Wink from the middle to the outer portion of the eye.  I also applied a bit of Oscar on her brow bone to push it just a bit. The algae and seaweed based mascara with A & E was a revelation as she had no idea most all manufactured contain lead and mercury.
Will I be taking on makeup as another profession? Not sure about that one but it was great fun to use the skills I picked up in Paris and the tips I have learned from Chris in a live event. Everyone felt great after their touch up pleased with the results and loved the elegant black organza gift bags containing  samples of CDB in light, medium, dark or porcelain. Cruelty free, non - toxic, long lasting, versatile and easy to use what's not to like? It's wonderful to see this company finally taking off and hitting it's much deserved stride. Ever since Dr. Oz was dusted with  CDB Sol Bronzer by Kathy Freston ( Sol Bronzer at the End of this clip)  the orders have been rolling in for all products. Gratitude to both!
Spa Week runs from April 16 - 22. Be sure to enter for your chance to win $500 worth of free makeup from CDB.  Really you'd be a fool not to. Christopher Drummond Beauty is the exclusive makeup sponsor for Spa Week 2012.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Dimensions in Well Being - Q Bedding Offers Buckwheat Pillows for Better Sleep

Buckwheat Hulls for Insomnia
I knew buckwheat was good to eat but never would of  thought of using the hulls as filler for bedding.  The plant is actually related to sorrel, rhubarb and knotweeds and was cultivated to a great extent in the United States in the 18th and 19th Century until the advent of nitrogen fertilizers. Today the biggest producer of the crop is China. A delicious addition to hot breakfast cereal (or good on it's own) it lends a slight natural sweetness to oatmeal.  It is commonly used in Vaisnava tradition as a substitute for grains on Ekadasi and is quite popular in Polish cooking. There is actually no wheat in it at all.

Cooling the Brain Insomnia and Chinese Medicine
As much a mini education as press conference, I found myself on the 25th floor of 1 Rockefeller Plaza and half expected Alec Baldwin to appear. We heard from the lovely Wen Chi Chen, L.Ac who explained the Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective on insomnia. Beginning with a look at ones habits, disturbances are created in the body due to an overheating of the liver which in turns makes the neck and head too hot to sleep properly. After 6pm the sugar and nicotine content from alcohol consumption and cigarettes  metabolize and ferment inside the liver and heat up. (Fascinating really.)   The heat looking for an escape route literally goes to your head.  (No it's not just a song by Marlene Deitrech!) This internal heating of the head disturbs the "shen"  in the body and there you are wondering why you can't get back to sleep. The buckwheat pillow provides cooling specifically to the neck and head thus aiding in better sleep. While you are working on cutting back on the nicotine and nightcaps I'd recommend giving this pillow a try. 

I Slept Well
After an amazingly deep sleep using my new Q Bedding ergonomic pillow I am a believer.  A stiff neck and back have been bothering me lately due in part to the pillow I have been using, the very stiff bed I sleep on, and a few dramatic  wipe outs on my bike in  the last two weeks. Although the pillow I was given seemed firm or even stiff,  I was impressed with how comfortable my head and neck felt banishing the notion that a pillow needs to be soft and squishy. In fact I found myself thinking of Egyptian neck rests that cradled and supported and at last this conundrum came together for me Wednesday night. I woke up feeling so much better and some of the stiffness was gone.
Holistic Bedding and Good Sleep
There has been a trend going back to traditional ways of creating bedding such as horse hair mattresses and goose down but I think that this cooling alternative will be a big hit with the public at large and will score major points with vegans and all those embracing a holistic lifestyle. Ever since I have read The Healthy Home I have been wondering what to do about this:
"If you buy a traditional mattress, you are sleeping on polyurethane foam that manufacturers must drench in toxic chemicals to keep your bed from igniting at the slightest spark. Polyurethane foam is already toxic—it releases toluene diisocyanate, which can cause severe lung problems1—but the heavy doses of flame-retardants only exacerbate the problem. In order to pass US safety standards for flammability, an ignited mattress must not become hotter than 200kW over the course of 30 minutes, which is theoretically enough time for the sleeper to notice that his bed is on fire and remove himself from the situation.2 The mattress must also withstand an open-flame test for 70 seconds. In order for this to be possible, manufacturers must use large quantities of chemicals, and they are not even required to inform consumers what products they are sleeping on every night. Antimony is commonly used, but extended exposure to antimony can adversely affect the heart, digestive system, eyes, skin, and lungs.3 Brominated fire retardants are also widely used, but polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) specifically were banned in 2005 because of their potential to disrupt thyroid hormone activity and impair neurodevelopment.4 The other popular option, boric acid, is just roach killer. Do you want to breath in the fumes from these toxic chemicals for eight hours every night?"
Tips: Visit Q Bedding
Visit The Healthy Home to learn about making better bedding choices Web

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Spa Week Launches April 16 - 22 Make Up Give Away by Christopher Drummond Beauty

April 16 - 22 is Spa Week, a North American phenomenon taking place in all major US markets and parts of Canada. A gal or guy can take advantage of trying out treatments for the alluringly low price of $50. 00 with little risk in terms of investment and a chance to try out some hot spots from Arizona to Toronto. Anyone who has ever dreamt about being pampered in a spa but has hesitated,  the appeal is clear as nothing is more rejuvenating than enjoying your own personal idea of relaxation in a setting dedicated to just to that end.
How It Works - Find Your Spa
Go to Spa Week page and type in your city and zip code to see what spas nearby are participating and what they are offering.  Relatively nearby to where I live the Ada Spa on West Broadway is offering a Green Tea or Milk Body Wrap while the A.F. Bennet Salon in Staten Island is offering a seaweed  detoxifying treatment for 60 minutes. Next, call the spa and book your appointment.  Follow your bliss for a price that is way below everyday rates but know that tips are not included.
A Chance to Win $500 Worth of Makeup from CDB
There are also plenty of free giveaways being offered by various cosmetic companies. All that is required is signing up for these random drawings but only one of them is the official sponsor for Spa Week.

If I were you I'd try my gander at winning this prize. This is your chance to win $500 of free makeup by my favorite makeup line Christopher Drummond Beauty that is Titanium Dioxide and Bismuth free. Not all mineral makeup lines are created equal as many of the ingredients are found to be skin irritants. Full disclosure that I wear and work at promoting this 100% organic toxin free makeup line because I love it!  In fact I was SO excited for a press event  for the line that I showed up a day early.  Just last week on April 4th, 2012 CDB was  featured on Dr. Oz's show by celebrity vegan Kathy Frestan. Get lucky! Sign up here to win.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Spring Detox - Removing Poisons from Your Home

Spring Detox- For Your Home
 If you travel in the yoga circles I do you are hearing a lot about detoxifying your body for Spring. The home we live in day after day and year after year gets short shrift in this department and is almost never mentioned in the effort to do a spring cleaning.  This is one of the topics I am going to be talking about a lot more in my upcoming series of live events because it is critical that we understand that the products that we use daily be it cosmetic, electronic or in the kitchen have a profound impact on our health. In an easy to read Room - by -  Room guide,  Dr. Myron Wentz, renown microbiologist and immunologist and his son Dave Wentz bio - engineer  break it all down covering everything from light bulbs to toothpaste. The Bedroom, Garage, Kitchen, Bathroom, and Living Areas all get the cross examination in this fun and empowering book that provides ways on how to  take back our health in a multi - layered approach going beyond just diet and exercise. After all, if you are cooking or storing your food in toxic substances diet won't do you much good. In this book you will learn how
"...Almost overnight, a toxic world has been built around us, slowly manipulating how we eat, sleep, work, play…how we live. And the consequences of these conveniences have never been documented together in one place..." The duo have also created an amazing interactive website with full access granted to those who register by entering the ISBN number. I wish I had had science teachers this cool when I was growing up! My Healthy Home InterActive Website 
The Healthy Home isn't only a comprehensive look at the dangerous poisons within your home but is a guidebook of simple solutions that will help you live a life free of the toxic burdens society has created, packaged, and sold to you as necessities of everyday life. As you read, you'll begin to learn about the science behind the positive choices you can make to improve you and your family's most important resource—your health.
Have you ever considered:
  • Chemicals added to fabrics to enhance durability and stain and wrinkle resistance have been linked to both reproductive and developmental toxicity, as well as cancers of the liver and bladder. But organic cotton contains none of these.
  • Aluminum can induce oxidative damage, which has been linked to Parkinson's and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)—yet a typical dose of your regular antacids can contain as much as 400 mg of aluminum. A little soda water anyone?
  • Your cooking pans coated with non-stick Teflon can release six toxic gases when heated up to 680°F on a regular electric stove, including two carcinogens, two global pollutants, and a chemical known to be lethal to humans. Maybe the extra scrubbing of a regular pan is worth it.
  • The air in your home is constantly filled with toxins from the paint on your walls, the glue that holds down your carpet, and the fire-retardant chemicals coating your comfy mattress. You can learn how to minimize your exposure.
  • What's even more wonderful about this book is that all the proceeds go to support The Children's Hunger Fund a partnership established with USANA Health Sciences more than ten years ago to provide nutrition and medical care to children in countries like Uganda, Cambodia and soon Malawi. This is a step beyond the annual hunger run held every year in Salt Lake City.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Vegan Makeup & Dr. Oz - Christopher Drummond Beauty April 3 with Kathy Freston

On April 3rd on the Dr. Oz Show vegan author Kathy Freston will be talking about the vegan makeup line from Christopher Drummond Beauty. I am so proud that Chris is getting the attention his makeup line deserves. He is an innovator in the makeup industry which is unfortunately not self regulating in terms of the kinds of ingredients used in the manufacture of cosmetics. Everything from lead in red lipstick to mercury in mascara is used in the majority of products women use to enhance their appearance. When growing up I often heard the adage "You have to suffer to be beautiful." but must you poison yourself too?  Kathy, a Southern gal from Atlanta who has seemingly done the impossible by "leaning" into a plant based diet talks about some of her favorite things. Chris's Sol Bronzer and line of vegan makeup brushes are being featured by Kathy but DO check out his web site and see the rest! 
Skin Prep by CDB is Dimethicone Free. Hooray!

About CDB and Rosemary Skin Prep
I knew Christopher and what he had to offer was great upon the conclusion of our first makeover together. I became an instant convert and have been wearing Christopher Drummond Beauty 100% organic makeup for 5 years now and will not wear anything else. My reasons are practical as "putting on my face" takes minutes as opposed to hours, it looks completely natural as his mineral line blends easily, it does not lay on top of my skin in the way liquid makeup does, and last but not least is toxin and cruelty free.  It's also pretty. Did I mention it's pretty? His signature Saude Pele for radiant skin contains acai which helps improve the skins texture - imagine that!  His offerings are wide in range from Lip Stains to Eye Shadows and most recently a moisturizing Rosemary Skin Prep that goes on underneath makeup hydrating and firming the skin. If you have ever experienced that dry flaky look under your makeup which only magnified what you were trying to hide like I have this product along with a rice bran gentle exfoliant I highly recommend.
To find out what time and station to tune into Dr.  Oz on April 3, 2012 look here
Visit Christopher Drummond Beauty here
Ekayani wearing CDB of course! Makeup applied by Christopher Drummond too
p.s. And when you order any of his fabulous products when asked "how you heard"  about him kindly mention EKAYANI if in fact you heard it here first. Thank you!