Sunday, December 18, 2016

9 Ways to Maximize Home Office Space

If you conduct any work from home, your home office needs a design that facilitates concentration and productivity. Clutter and poor design can leave you feeling distracted and increase the level of stress you experience on a daily basis.
9 Ways to Maximize Your Home Office Space

* Article Brought to you by Worthington Direct

To design a home office for remote work or the paperwork that comes with daily life, consider two main elements: the furniture you place in the room and how you set up your space. Home office design is about creating a space that works for you. Consider these tips to get the most out of your home office design every day:

1. Pay attention to lighting. Humans work best in atmospheres that have access to natural light. Light affects mood, concentration, and our ability to focus on a task at hand. Situate your home office in a room that receives natural light and supplement that light with some natural, non-fluorescent, lamps or overhead lighting to keep the space warm and inviting. Your space should include enough light to keep you from becoming drowsy, but avoid harsh sources of light that can cause headaches over time.

2. Minimize distractions. While natural light is important, a window that overlooks the street may distract some people from their work. Consider adding gauzy curtains to windows or windowed doors that let light in but separate the space from potential distractions.

Every individual is different. As you discover elements of distraction, reduce them with a design tweak. For example, if your home phone constantly rings but you use a separate line for work, consider lowering the ring volume during certain activities.

3. Understand your workflow. A home office should cater to the way you use the space. If you keep paper files, set up the office in a way that supports easy filing. Some people use a home office for desk work as well as hands-on projects. Choose desks, tables, and cabinets that enable you to move from one task to another seamlessly.
9 Ways to Maximize Your Home Office Space

4. Develop a system for organization. For many, organization is the bane of home office use. Instead of accepting that you can work in organized chaos, install organization solutions that make staying neat easier. Consider:

- Using baskets on open shelving to easily store bulky supplies

- Using file organizers to keep paperwork out of the way before
you file or scan it into the computer

- Boxing up items that you don’t regularly use in the office

5. Invest in a few quality pieces of furniture. At home or the office, your working space should feature ergonomic solutions that protect your physical health. Invest in a standing desk to protect your health or choose a chair and desk combination that enables you to sit comfortably as you work. Depending on the amount of time you spend in a home office, the right desk setup may make a significant difference in how you use the space.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Viki’s Granola Berry Parfait Recipe

Viki’s Granola Berry Parfait Recipe
How many of you knew that National Parfait Day is on November 25th? I never knew that, but these days they have a "national" day for something...every day of the week. With that said, I enjoy eating parfaits, so when this guest post recipe landed in my email box, I knew I had to share it with all of you. It looks delicious and I'm a huge fan of Viki's Granola! If you've never tried Viki's before, I highly recommend it! It's delicious straight from the package or use it in your various recipes.

Viki’s Granola Berry Parfait Recipe

6 ounces Yogurt (yogurt of choice)
¼ cup raspberries
½ cup Viki's Granola Original

Directions: Place 2 ounces of yogurt into a tall glass or mason jar. Pour a 1/3 of granola evenly on top of the yogurt. Place 2 ounces of yogurt on top of the granola. Add raspberries. Add remaining 2 ounces yogurt and granola on top.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

4 Ways Your Cellphone Might Be Making You Ugly

4 Ways Your Cellphone Might Be Making You Ugly
Our cellphones have become so vital to our daily lives. Research has shown that the average person checks their phone 85 times a day and that we spend a total of five hours using our cellphones to browse the web or use apps. For many, our smartphone is the first thing we look at in the morning and the last thing we check at bedtime. Although quick glances at our phone may seem harmless, it can in fact be affecting us physically, mentally and emotionally. We caught up with some experts who help explain the ugly side of excessive cellphones use.

1. Ugly posture.

When we look down at our cellphones we are straining our necks and slouching our shoulders. Doing this can cause some serious damage to our overall posture even leading us to lose up to an inch to an inch and a half of height. “I see up to 10 patients a week complaining of severe neck and shoulder pain. When asked how often they use their phones the typical response is all the time. When pain becomes chronic and severe, surgery has to be considered,” explains Dr. Richard Samperisi, CoFounder of Campus Chiropractic Center at Florida International University & Functional Medicine Practitioner.

2. Ugly eye strain, bags and wrinkles.

Not only can staring at your phone all day cause serious neck and shoulder pain, the extreme use of our phones is leading to various eye conditions such as blurred vision, eye strain, headaches and dry eyes as well as to a condition they like to call “tech neck.” For those concerned with cosmetics and eye appearance constant squinting leads to wrinkles and under eye bags. New Bern, North Carolina plastic surgeon Dr. John Zannis explains that a combination of surgical and non-surgical procedures that address under eye bags, drooping and sagging usually range from 5 - $10,000 with a recovery time of up to 2 weeks. He’s also seen a rise in complaints about neck lines and wrinkling skin attributed to excessive cell phone use.

3. Ugly skin.

Are you constantly struggling with breakouts around your cheeks or chin? Instead of blaming hormones, junk food or a bad skincare routine consider looking at the device in your hand. “Our cellphones are filled with bacteria. We are continuously touching them with dirty hands, throwing them in our bags, stuffing them in our pockets or putting them on counter tops. Then without even thinking twice we put our phones right up to our ears where all of that bacterium from those dirty areas wreak havoc on our face,” offers Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Kaly Papantoniou. She suggests frequently wiping the phone screen and using a face wash with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid to rid bacteria from building up.

4. Ugly Manners

We see people at restaurants who are more focused on snapping a pic of their meal than enjoying each other’s company. Our persistent use of our cellphones can be affecting our relationships with the people and world around us. “When we focus more on our digital lives rather than the individuals we are with; we are not only giving off the impression that we do not care about what they have to say, we are also letting valuable and meaningful moments pass us by,” explains Dr. Sanam Hafeez a New York City based neuropsychologist and teaching faculty at Columbia University. She suggests putting the phone down and even going cell free twice a week.

Give it a try and see how cutting down on your phone use can also cut down on the ugly.

Dr. Richard J. Samperisi, DC, of Miami, Florida, is a New York Native who completed his Doctoral studies at Life University in Atlanta, Georgia. His post-doctoral education focuses on functional medicine and clinical nutrition.

Dr. John Zannis is a New Bern, North Carolina board-certified plastic surgeon and best selling author. A graduate of Stanford University and The University of Cincinnati Medical College, he received his formal training in General Surgery and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Connect with him via twitter @JohnZannisMD or his website

Monday, October 10, 2016

5 Common Things That Happen When You Lose Weight

Whenever someone chooses to commit to a weight loss journey, it’s not just a physical transformation that happens, but a mental transformation as well. Regardless of how long it takes for people to reach their goal weight, there are significant things that occur along the way that impact their body image and confidence. For all of the positive reinforcement once receives, they might also notice some negativity or odd reactions from those they are close to. Read on for tips and insights from leading experts that will offer clarity and solutions for anyone seeking to transform or who already has.

1. You shed friends along with pounds.
Dr. Sanam Hafeez PsyD a NYC based licensed neuropsychologist, a teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College, explains that, “It is normal to lose friends as you lose pounds. As you see the payoff from the lifestyle changes you’ve made you may feel disconnected with friends who may still eat and drink things you no longer do. You’re evolving,” offers Dr. Hafeez. She also adds that, “It’s common to notice jealousy, and digs. You may even experience exclusion from dinners out presuming you wouldn’t want to indulge.”

Have faith that your true friends will love you at any size. “It will actually be difficult to tolerate any gossip, negativity or activities that are counterproductive. The last thing you need are people who bring you down when you are doing something positive for your well being. Look out for yourself. At times that may mean distancing from certain people,” advises Dr. Hafeez.

2. Loose skin becomes the new thing you notice.
Once you reach your goal weight, you may love how you look in clothes but naked in or a bathing suit is a whole other story. This is most common when weight loss is significant. Even when weight training is part of the regimen, loose skin does happen.

Dr. John Zannis a board certified plastic surgeon based in New Bern, North Carolina frequently sees and treats patients who went through a weight loss transformation. According to Dr. Zannis, “Loose skin can gather at the stomach, under arms, breasts, buttocks, inner thighs, face and neck. The more significant the weight-loss is, say 50 pounds and above, the more likely a plastic surgeon is sought out to explore body lifts that specifically address loose skin after weight-loss.”

3. You have more energy, are excited about life and can do more!
As you change your diet, add daily exercise to your new lifestyle and see the weight melt off, you gain energy! You don’t feel the need to hit the snooze button anymore. You may wake up energized for that 7am powerwalk or you may be inspired by that beautiful new dress you get to wear to work, another dress size dropped. Yay!

“Use newfound energy to your advantage, encourages Dr. Hafeez, your brain is forming new neuropathways as your perception about your body starts to change. That flight of stairs that was once an obstacle is much easier. Simple things like putting on shoes, picking up toys and pushing a vacuum are done with ease. As you take notice of what your body can do, you gain more confidence and want to do more. This energizes you both physically and mentally,” she adds.

4. Shopping gets interesting.
It is common to get overwhelmed with options now that you can shop the way you always dreamed of. Perhaps your new strong, shapely legs have inspired you to wear dresses again for the first time in years. Or after always covering your arms, you may opt for sleeveless tops. Either way, trying new looks outside of your comfort zone can be daunting. Dr. Hafeez advises to, shop on your own or with someone you really trust. “It is important that shopping is made to be fun by approaching it as a style experiment. Don’t expect everything to look perfect just because you are a much smaller size. Some things will work, others won’t. Look for clothes that feel good. When you smile in the mirror that’s a sign you’re on track.”

5. You make yourself, your health and well being top priority and start to inspire others.
When you lose a noticeable amount of weight other people want to know how you did it and how you are keeping the weight off. Your immediate family may also adapt to your dietary changes and experience weight loss by association. When your kids see you wake up every morning to exercise they see that anything worth having requires commitment. Your significant other may be inspired to also lose weight. “When you take care of yourself and are in a positive mindset, it has a positive impact on everyone you interact with. When the mind and body are aligned you love the way you look and feel, you’re happy and someone others can look up to.”

For information on Dr. Sanam Hafeez visit:

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Five Secrets Fulfilled People Use Everyday

Are there real tricks to becoming fulfilled in life? You bet. My research and that of others suggests that there are key street-smart actions that those who are most fulfilled use every day in their professional and personal lives. I interviewed over 100 successful people---some who were fulfilled and others who were not---to understand why success does not always bring about fulfillment. There was amazing convergence around several things that fulfilled people do at work and home. Here are the top five:

1. Have strong values—and stick with them. Does your work environment, family and friends allow you to behave consistent with your values? Having to behave contrary with your values can be debilitating.

2. Practice resilience. The ability to face adversity and bounce back. One part of resilience is having grit, a firmness of character, or as psychologist Angela Duckworth describes it based on her studies, the “perseverance and passion for long-term goals.” It was a rare person who could pursue their long-term goals without setbacks in their lives---divorces, failed promotions, cancer, family members coming off the rails. Many people who I knew to be successful in their professional lives had many hidden stories of failures and bounce backs. They used a variety of approaches to get around those adversities that you can borrow in your own life, such as building a great support network of friends, or family that can support you as you plough through challenges. Those who had developed mentors found them particularly helpful. Some dug deep into their long-term vision or spirituality to help them overcome setbacks. We all have setbacks, it’s how you get up that makes the difference.

3. Take risks. A really interesting finding in my research is the quantity of people who either took risks and vouched that those risks stretched them and enabled them to reach new heights, or those who regretted not taking more risks. It appears that wisdom brings with it perspective. What appeared to be huge risks to many when they were young, now seems insignificant in hindsight. Although hindsight is often 20-20, it would be too easy to dismiss this advice simply as sages looking through the rear view mirror. Instead, many felt so strongly about this that they have gone overboard in encouraging their children to take more risks. This is one of the most difficult lessons in the art of fulfillment, but you can help yourself by have a longer term vision, with many intermediate lighthouse goals along the way—stepping stones—that allow you to see the big picture. Imminent risks are often much less threatening when viewing the big picture. Another key is talking to those who have faced those risks before, often providing sage advice that allows one to reduce the fear and anxiety that comes with perceived risk.

4. Find a good network. One of the most frequent pieces of advice among our sages was taking time to build networks. One out-of-work pharmaceutical executive told me that the only time he networks is when he is out of work, lamenting that he has not learned from past mistakes. It takes so much longer to reconnect with people and build trust, he shared. This is an increasing challenge to those who are overloaded at work today. Many interviewees commented that time pressures reduced their attendance at meetings outside work, limited hobby and family time, and reduced the time to simply keep up with friends and professional colleagues on Facebook or Linked-In. Most realized that having a good network is a key skill, particularly in the world we live in where networks and connections are increasing key to scoring the next great job, or finding a life partner or getting into the right school. If you are not building your network continuously, you are falling behind.

5. Give back. An often forgotten element that brought fulfillment to many was giving back. Sharing your skills and experiences with others can bring an incredible sense of fulfillment when you see what it can do for others. I began volunteering for not-for-profits later in life and I can attest that it has been one of the most rewarding experiences. One group I encountered during my investigations was Rosie’s kids—a program to help inner city kids go ahead in life by teaching them stage skills—dancing and singings their hearts away. I first heard the backstory of so many of the disadvantaged kids---crack houses, abusive parent, abandoned, homeless---and then I saw these kids performing with huge smiles on their faces—and one child summed it up for me when I spoke with him at the end. He said that he was excited about his future—his chances. And with a tear in my eye, I realized that one of our greatest sources of fulfillment is enabled others to become fulfilled.

Take a moment to think about your own fulfillment. Do you have a vision, are you taking enough risks, have you built the networks to help you during difficult setbacks, and are you giving back to others more in need? Try it. I think you will find yourself more fulfilled.

William A. Schiemann, Ph.D. is CEO of Metrus Group. He is a thought leader in human resources, employee engagement, and fulfillment and author of Fulfilled! Critical Choices – Work, Home, Life, scheduled to be released October 1, 2016. For more information follow Dr. Schiemann on Twitter, @wschiemann and connect with him on LinkedIn at

Monday, September 19, 2016

5 Tips for Keeping Your Skin Hydrated

Your skin is your largest organ, and many people start to pay attention to taking care of it only when a problem arises. Whether it’s acne, dry skin, blotches, or wrinkles, there are things that should be done regularly to take care of your skin, starting with making sure to keep it well hydrated. Keeping the skin hydrated will go a long way toward helping to have healthy-looking skin that glows and feels great.

“Skin needs to be well hydrated, and most people are just not doing enough to make sure that happens,” explains Katherine Goldman, celebrity esthetician/waxologist and owner of the Stript Wax Bar. “There are numerous things you can do to keep skin hydrated, so doing them regularly should be everyone’s mission.”

Hydration is important for having healthy, clear skin because dehydrated skin lacks water, making it appear dull and dry. While hydrated skin appears soft, it will not stay that way without having natural oils in balance to protect the skin and keep it hydrated by reducing evaporation and water loss. Here are 5 tips for keeping your skin hydrated:

Drink water. Getting enough water is a good way to help with keeping skin hydrated from the inside out. Drink eight glasses of water per day so that your largest organ gets the fluids that it needs to stay soft and supple, and keep from being dry and rough.

Moisturize properly. Dry skin lacks oil and needs to be moisturized. Hydration can come externally through products that act as "humectants." Humectants are products that draw and attract water molecules to the skin. A wonderful ingredient to look for in products is hyaluronic acid. This draws and attracts water molecules 1000 times its weight and infuses it into the skin. Moisturizing the skin typically comes in the form of a cream, serum, or lotion and adds needed moisture, vitamins, oils and nutrients to the skin.

Add fruits and herbs. Foods can make a difference in the amount of moisture that gets into the skin. Add some fruits and herbs to your water for an added hydration boost, and a bit of flavor. Try such options as lemon and rosemary or strawberry, mint, and cucumber.

Refresh the skin. One of the best ways to hydrate your skin topically is to usea product designed to hydrate. Typically these come in the form of a serum or a mist, such as the one carried by Stript Wax Bar, called the Dermaquest Essential B5 Hydrating Serum. Another way to hydrate is to make a mask at home using the natural humectants honey, cucumber and aloe. Combine 1 teaspoon of honey with 2 teaspoons of aloe vera gel. Mix together and add a teaspoon of crushed cucumber and apply to the face for 10 minutes. Some affordable products to look for in the drugstore are alcohol-free rose petal infused witch hazel toner with aloe. This is a great and inexpensive product to hydrate and refresh the skin. You can also look for rosewater and use as a spritz to hydrate.

Make it a priority. All the tips in the world for having ageless skin that is healthy and hydrated won’t do you any good if you are not committed to making it happen. It’s important to make taking care of your skin a high priority and stick to what works to keep it hydrated, healthy, and looking great.
“Having skin that looks healthy and doesn’t age as fast is absolutely possible,” added Goldman. “You have to want to take care of it, making sure to especially keep it well hydrated. If your skin is well hydrated it will look and feel great. It’s a small effort that really pays off.”

About Stript Wax Bar: Stript Wax Bar is a salon dedicated to the art of waxing. They are devoted to delivering high-quality waxing services using the highest quality products in a comfortable and clean environment. With numerous unique services in various locations across California for both men and women, Stript Wax Bar has established themselves as an innovative and trending company. For more information, visit the website at:

Thursday, September 8, 2016

5 Tips for Choosing a Great Dentist

Everyone needs to have a dentist, but finding the right one is not always the easiest of tasks. After all, according to the American Dental Education Association, there are around 230,000 dentists in the U.S. Trying to choose the right one for your family may seem like a monumental task, but it doesn’t have to be. There are some things you can do to help make the selection easier and keep your family happier.

“If you just go with any dentist without first doing some research, then you may soon be looking for yet another after your first visit there,” explains Dr. Bruno Sharp, a prosthodontist, who created Dr. Sharp Natural Oral Care, and is celebrating his 10th year as a Natural Oral Care provider. “Finding the right match for your family requires that you put a little thought into it. Do your homework first by looking for a specialist with the credentials to perform the work and you will probably be happy with your selection from the start.”

Although some people may pick a dentist’s office simply due to the location, that may not assure the most pleasant experience once stepping inside. While you don’t want the office to be too far of a trek, there are more things that you need to consider beyond location.

Here are 5 tips for choosing a great dentist:

1. Reputation. Ask around and see if a particular dentist name comes with feedback from others. People love to talk about their experiences, so you will find out which dentists in your area have a good reputation and which ones you should bypass.

2. Experience and dedication. Choose a dentist who is well experienced and who is dedicated to the field. If they are dedicated to the field they will want to help their patients achieve the best results and keep up on the latest information available to help them do so.

3. Lifestyle compatibility. This is a big one that people tend to overlook. Find a dentist who lives a similar lifestyle to yours. For example, if you believe in natural living and tend to avoid harmful chemicals, then you want to seek out a dentist who does the same. This will help reduce your chances of getting harmful substances used in your oral care routine and dental visits. A metal-free, mercury-free practice is a must.

4. Provides a variety of care. One Stop Shopping! If you choose a dentist who offers a broad range of treatment options, you will not have to visit multiple offices and will have a team of specialists dedicate to maximize your treatment experience. You will be able to get everything done at that one dental office. Seek out a dentist who offers some specialists on site, including cosmetic dentistry, imaging and technology, maxillofacial care, etc. The more they offer at one place, the better for your family experience.

5. Cares about the patients. Choose a dentist who cares about patients beyond just booking appointments. There are dentists, such as Dr. Sharp, who go above and beyond by helping their patients, such as by teaching them nutrition information and educating them on harmful substances in commercial toothpastes.

“If you don’t do some background work before making a selection, there is a good chance you won’t be happy,” added Dr. Sharp. “It’s imperative that your family be happy with their dentist so they keep up on their visits, feel cared for, and trust any treatment that is recommended or taking place. In modern dentistry specialists under the same roof can discuss the patient’s case and offer the best treatment solution”

Dr. Sharp is a fourth-generation dentist that has 25 years in practice. He has a prosthodontic dentistry group practice in South Florida offering all specialties in one place from a simple dental cleaning treatment to visits with prosthoodontists, endodontists, periodontists, orthodontists, maxillofacial prosthodontists, oral surgeons and family dentists . At his office, patients can get a wide variety of care, including those using innovative technology, specialist treatments, cosmetic dentistry, and more. He is an environmentally friendly dentist who focuses on providing people with natural oral health care, including providing amalgam removal and educating people on the dangers of fluoride and mercury in their oral care. He has also created a line of oral hygiene products to give people a healthier alternative at home.

His product line includes natural children’s toothpaste, adult toothpaste, fresh mint mouthwash, and dental tape. All products are safe for the entire family, made in the USA, and are gluten-free, have no artificial colors or flavors, are vegan, non-GMO, alcohol-free, fluoride-free, and cruelty-free. Plus, they help whiten teeth and have xylitol, which is a natural sweetener that also helps to fight off cavities. To learn more about Dr. Sharp Natural Oral Care products or see where they can be purchased, visit the site at:

Joshua Media Ministries, International

Joshua Media Ministries, International, or JMMI, was founded by David Taylor. Taylor is a healing evangelist, prophet, and apostle who uses his connection with Jesus to heal and minister to others. His dynamic ministry is based on his personal, face to face relationship with Jesus. This close bond allows him to know what God is calling him to do, and move confidently in that direction. Taylor believes Jesus came to him and gave him a personal message, calling him to ministry, in 1999. Since then, he has received additional visits that have strengthened his resolve in spreading his ministry around the world.

Taylor particularly feels called to serve America through his ministry. He does this with his "Miracles in America Crusades" and "Prophecy to America" conferences and missions. In addition he launched the television broadcast "Miracles Today" as well as the "Latter Rain Outpouring," a live, call-in radio program.

Another calling Taylor feels particularly strongly about is his ability to interpret and relay what God is saying through dreams. He shares this information on a national and world state in order to warn others about events that may happen in the future. His belief is that by doing so, he will bring about salvation, deliverance, and victory for all continents.

In the 25 years that JMMI has been in ministry, Taylor, who is president and CEO of the organization, has developed many ministries and outreach projects. The Northeastern Headquarters of JMMI, located in Detroit, has fed thousands. JMMI has worked in third-world countries to construct water wells. The ministry also supports local food banks, offers help to women leaving abusive situations, and provides care for orphans.

Goals of JMMI include training young people how to be productive in today's society, working to bring racial equality to today and tomorrow's generation, as well as equipping these generations spread equal rights and justice throughout the world. Another passion project of JMMI is the building of "Refuge Homes," which will be dedicated to rescuing and helping to heal children involved in human slave trafficking. JMMI will offer these services free of charge, as needed. Along with these physical ministries, JMMI uses social media to increase awareness and involvement in the many issues that plague our world.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Sunshine Grapefruit Mocktail Recipe

I used to be a big cocktail drinker but after having some health problems the past few years, I've switched over to drinking mocktails at parties and events that we host. One of the things I now appreciate about consuming mocktails is that I don't miss the alcohol content at all. Matter of fact, I think most mocktails taste better than their alcohol-laced counterparts. Plus, I find that they're a lot easier to make! Check out this delicious recipe that I'm sharing with all of you today.

Here's a fun & interesting Fact - VITAMIN C: According to Psychology Today, Vitamin C helps reduce physical and psychological stress.

Sunshine Grapefruit Mocktail Recipe

1/2 cup Sparkling Ice® Grapefruit
1/3 cup orange juice
1/2 cup crushed ice
1 teaspoon grenadine syrup
Garnish: Grapefruit or orange slice

Directions: Add Sparkling Ice® Grapefruit and orange juice to glass, mixing to combine. Add crushed ice and grenadine syrup. Garnish with grapefruit or orange slice.

Disclosure: This recipe is courtesy of Sparkling ICE. You can find addition cocktail and mocktail recipes right on the company's website, along with product information.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

6 Unexpected Infused Water Ideas for Gorgeous Skin

While most dermatologists and doctors preach the benefits of drinking more water, water gets boring. Perhaps you’ve done just about everything to make your plain glass of water more enjoyable. If you’re running out of ideas and are tempted to reach for a caffeinated beverage you’re not alone. We talked to the experts who gave us six fresh infused water recipes that’ll pack a punch of flavor and add health and beauty benefits to your H2O! If you’re new to infused water it’s easy. Chop up the ingredients, let them sit over night in your water pitcher and sip your way to healthy hydration inside and out.

1. Mango Ginger

This combo might seem weird, but adding the health benefits of ginger and the antioxidant power of mangoes is a surprisingly tasty mix! “Mangoes contain so many vitamins that help boost your immune system. It has antioxidants that maintain youthful glowing skin and aid in the production of blood cells,” says Dr. Christopher Calapai D.O. an anti-aging expert and long-time health advisor to the New York Rangers hockey team. “Ginger is also helpful in fighting infection, has been linked to lower cholesterol levels, may reduce muscle aches, and helps digestion,” adds Dr. Calapai.

2. Grapefruit Rosemary

Recently rosemary was found to be the main ingredient eaten by residents of an Italian village with one of the highest populations of people who live past 100! “Rosemary improves circulation and sends more blood to the brain which is linked to greater concentration and potentially reduces risk of Alzheimer’s,” says Dr. Calapai. Grapefruit is not only delicious but it’s a natural fat burner, boosts metabolism and cleanses your liver.

3. Melon Mix

Cut up watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe chunks and throw into your water over night. “This melon variety tastes great and is amazing for your skin,” says Dr. Kally Papantoniou board certified dermatologist and clinical instructor at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York. “Melons are immensely hydrating, meaning more hydration per cup of water. They are also chock-full of antioxidants that keep skin clear plus they contain vitamins that promote collagen production which helps skin cell turnover.”

4. Citrus Mint

Pick your favorite citrus fruits, cut up into slices and add some crushed mint. “Adding mint to your water is not only extra refreshing but also improves digestive health and can speed up your metabolism,” says Dr. Calapai. “Mint actually contains salicylic acid, a potent acne fighter,” says Dr. Papantoniou. “It’s also well known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties which work to calm irritation both on your skin or internally,” she adds.

5. Cucumber Lavender

“The reason so many spas use cucumber based treatments is because it contains many skin friendly minerals like magnesium, potassium and silicon,” says Dr. Papantoniou. “This mix is especially healthy,” says Dr. Calapai “Cucumbers are powerful detoxifiers, flushing out any waste in your system. Adding crushed lavender to the mix not only adds a beautiful aroma but can also help digestion as lavender contains polyphenols that reduce bad bacteria in your gut, making your system run smoother,” he explains.

6. Pineapple Coconut Water

This one is almost cheating… almost. Get your favorite store bought raw coconut water and refrigerate over night with large chunks of pineapple. The coconut-pineapple flavor combo is delicious and reminiscent of a piña colada without all the sugar and calories. Although this is not pure H2O, coconut water contains electrolytes which plain water does not, which rehydrate you in record time. “Pineapple is yet another fruit that aids in collagen production,” says Papantoniou “This is not just great for beautiful skin, collagen also has a major role in bone health and tissue repair.”

Clearly there are benefits to keeping hydrated. Water does not have to be boring, it can be delicious. Drink up!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Chopped Salad with Tuscan Italian Salad Dressing

Everyone enjoys a light and refreshing salad during the summer time – especially when temperatures begin reaching the 80's+. However salads can be deceptive due to dressings and toppings that are high in fat, calories and sodium. To help your readers overcome the dreadful salad topping trap, we've got a delicious guest post recipe for you, courtesy of Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa, Chef Anthony Stewart. The recipe will yield 2 cups per serving.

Chopped Salad with Tuscan Sunshine Italian Salad Dressing Recipe

1 Head cauliflower
1 Head broccoli
1 Cucumber, seedless
1 Tomato, diced
¼ Cup Pritikin Tuscan Sunshine Italian Salad Dressing
1 Jicama, shredded
1 Carrot, shredded

Rinse and chop cauliflower, broccoli and cucumber. In a salad bowl heap the chopped vegetables and top with diced tomato. Garnish with shredded jicama and carrot. Chill and serve with Tuscan Sunshine Italian Salad Dressing.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Tips for Getting Kids to Brush Regularly

As the new school year moves near, many parents are left with the age-old struggle of how to get their child to brush their teeth regularly before heading off to the bus stop each day. The good news is that for those parents who put in the effort, their kids will usually develop good oral hygiene habits. Prior to the school year beginning, parents can start working on helping their child develop good daily brushing habits.

“It’s important that parents get kids started young with good oral hygiene habits,” explains Dr. Bruno Sharp, a fourth-generation dentist who created a line of natural fluoride-free products called Dr. Sharp Dentistry, and is celebrating his 10th year as a Natural Oral Care provider. “For some families it may seem like a tall task, but it’s one that is important enough to keep working on. Most kids will come around and stick with the habits that they are being taught.”

Here are some back-to-school tips for helping kids establish good morning oral hygiene habits:

Teach them why. Discuss the reasons why they need to brush regularly, so they know why they are doing it. You can make this easier and still keep it age-appropriate by picking up some kid’s books about brushing, too.

Make it fun. When parents make brushing time fun, little kids are more likely to want to participate. Have a brushing song or fun routine that goes along with getting the job done each day.
Give them rewards. Kids love to get rewards, even if it’s a sticker added to their sticker chart. Once they meet their brushing goals, take them to the store to pick out a book. This will help to keep reinforcing the habit.

Praise their efforts. Rather than focusing on what they fall short of or miss, stick to keeping it positive and giving kudos for the parts they do well. They can always go back and improve areas missed, but positive reinforcement goes a long way.

Help and hold accountable. Up until kids are around 8-9 years old, parents may need to keep going into the bathroom with them to ensure proper brushing is being done. While it may seem like a pain, it’s helping them to establish lifelong habits that will benefit them greatly in the long run.

“The last thing parents want to do before school each day is to argue with their kids about brushing their teeth,” added Dr. Sharp. “When you make a plan and stick to it, you are usually going to be more successful in getting them to create the brushing habit. It’s all about looking after their best interest.”

Another issue that parents should be aware of with school coming back is fluorosis, which is marked by changes in the appearance of the tooth’s enamel. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children eight and under are at risk for the condition, because they still have adult teeth under their baby teeth. Dentists such as Dr. Sharp are warning parents to avoid fluoride for their children because of the potential health risks, as well as fluorosis.

Common sources of fluoride, according to the CDC, include toothpaste (which also come with a fluoride warning label right on the label), drinking water that has been fluoridated, and other oral hygiene products, such as mouthwash. They also recommend that parents not allow children to swallow toothpaste that contains fluoride, yet they advise that unintentionally swallowing it can lead to a greater amount being ingested than intended. Dr. Sharp, however, recommends that parents avoid fluoridated toothpastes altogether in an effort to remove the risks associated with children ingesting fluoride.

Dr. Sharp Natural Oral Care now offers their product line in small, convenient travel size options. His product line includes children’s toothpaste, adult toothpaste, fresh mint mouthwash, and dental tape. All products are safe to use, made in the USA, and are gluten-free, have no artificial colors or flavors, are vegan, non-GMO, alcohol-free, fluoride-free, and cruelty-free. Plus, they help whiten teeth and have xylitol, which is a natural sweetener that also helps to fight off cavities. The products are safe for the entire family. To learn more about Dr. Sharp Natural Oral Care products or see where they can be purchased, visit the site at:

Dr. Sharp Natural Oral Care: Dr. Sharp Natural Oral Care is a line of natural oral care products that were created by a fourth-generation dentist. All products are made from natural, safe ingredients, and are made in the USA. The product line includes toothpaste for children and adults, mouthwash, and dental tape.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

7 Tips for Staying Safe in the Sun

Although summer is time when we spend most of our days outside or at the beach, a day in the sun can be dangerous without the proper sun protection – especially for women fighting breast cancer. Sun safety is important for everyone, but for those women fighting certain conditions like breast cancer, there are some "do's" and "don'ts" for getting your vitamin D safely.

Here are 7 Tips for Staying Safe in the Sun
  1. Cover up! This doesn't just mean lathering up your skin with SPF: make sure you keep key areas of your body out of direct sunlight. Especially for those in post-chemotherapy or radiation stage, your skin will be extremely sensitive and keeping yourself covered will avoid sunburn. There are stylish options to stay safe that don't require hiding out, though! We love wearing stylish hats with wide brims to also cover shoulders, especially our Physician Endorsed hats with SPF, or wearing clothing with UV protection included – UV Skins makes fantastic (and stylish) shirts, pants and bathing suits perfect for the beach.
  2. Go organic – Organic is popular in the media right now, but it's an especially important trend for breast cancer fighters. When heading off to the beach, choose your sunscreen carefully and look at the ingredients. Organic sunscreens are a great option because they don't contain the toxic ingredients and chemicals that certain mainstream screens have. Some great options are Nurture My Body My Body sunscreen or CV SkinLabs - anything with minimal, all-natural ingredients. They're specifically tested to be safe for BC fighters and easy to throw into a beach bag!
  3. Stay hydrated – water, water, water! This is a rule no matter where you are, but especially important when you're in the sun. Lack of water can leave you dehydrated, causing faint or complications. Make sure you're packing water in your beach bag.
  4. Stay cool – especially for fighters, your body's changes can make it difficult for you to withstand heat like you once did. To keep cool, try positioning yourself under an umbrella or packing some cooling products like a fan or these really cool cooling beads. Combined with the nice breeze at the beach, you'll be set for a fun day!
  5. Hydrate the skin, too! Water keeps our bodies hydrated, but we need to keep the skin moisturized and hydrated for optimal health, too! Throw some organic, all-natural lotion in your beach bag and apply on your way home from the beach. The sun's rays can dry out our skin, and a little hydration once you're out of the sun will go a long way.
  6. Personal preparation is key – there's no problem seeking some rays a few days after surgery if you're up for it (one of our guardian divas hit the beach 10 days after her mastectomy!) but make sure you're waiting until you can handle the rays of the sun and you're keeping your safety #1. There are great sun sleeves and really cute cover ups (like these from CureDiva) that will help you stay covered while also covering up drains or other areas.
  7. Have fun!! Fighting breast cancer is an extremely brave and physically/emotionally draining experience, so once the summer hits, don't let your diagnosis keep you from summer fun activities you love! It's very possible to spend a day at the beach if you pack your bag with essentials that will keep you prepared and safe.  It's all about the preparation!
Bio: This article is courtesy of Please visit their website and community to learn more.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Chillin' Cherry Slider Sauce Recipe

Do you love to make homemade sliders? Sliders are super easy to make and they're a great way to control your portions when you eat hamburgers, cheeseburgers, veggie burgers and/or turkey burgers. With that said, sometimes you want to add some fun flavor to your grilled sliders to enhance your dining experience. The great folks over at Sparkling ICE sent over this slider sauce recipe for me to share with all of you. It looks delicious!

Chillin' Cherry Slider Sauce Recipe

1 bottle Cherry Limeade Sparkling Ice
2 cups cherries, pitted fresh or frozen (10 oz.)
2 medium shallots – chopped
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon cayenne
¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions: Add Cherry Limeade Sparkling Ice to medium saucepan. Bring to boil and reduce liquid by less half, about ¾ cup. Add cherries, shallots and spices. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and slow boil for 20 minutes until fruit is tender and liquid reduces further. Allow to cool for 30 minutes. Transfer to blender. Blend until smooth. Top your favorite grilled sliders – try ground lamb, pork or chicken!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Watermelon Ginger Cherry Cooler Recipe

We are in the midst of summer heat around here in the northeast and sure has been steamy outside! After a long hard & hot day at work, I love to relax in the evenings with an ice cold cocktail. How about you? If you answered yes, you'll want to check out this delicious watermelon cocktail recipe from Sparkling ICE. 

It's super easy to make and tastes delicious! Sparkling ICE comes in all kinds of wonderful fruity flavors, so I bet you could easily substitute with a different fruit flavor if you wanted to. Anyway, here's the recipe!

Watermelon Ginger Cherry Cooler Recipe

2 bottles Sparkling Ice Black Cherry
1 cup ginger beer
Frozen watermelon chunks

Instructions: Mix Sparkling Ice Black Cherry and Ginger in highball glass - no ice. Put chunks of frozen watermelon in a blender and then add to soda. Garnish with fresh fruit. Serve beverage immediately or chill until you're ready to serve.  Enjoy!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

9 Ways to Get True Beauty Sleep

The quality and length of sleep you receive every night can have a profound impact on your skin’s overall health. When we sleep our bodies recharge. Not only do our bodies recharge, our skin does as well. Dr. Kaleroy Papantoniou is a board certified NYC dermatologist who explains that, “ During sleep we heal, restore and eliminate toxins from the skin. If sleep is compromised, so is the body’s ability to carry out these essential skin functions. During the first three hours of sleep your body will start producing the human growth hormone from the pituitary gland. As we age, this hormone is necessary for the maintenance of youthful and radiant skin. Without this hormone release, skin is not repaired from daily damage and thus induces the aging process.”

The middle two hours of sleep is when melatonin is increased. Melatonin is a hormone that is responsible for regulating your circadian rhythm (sleep/wake patterns) but also acts as an antioxidant that helps protect the skin from damaging free radicals.

The final three hours, or during the active REM sleep stage, levels of cortisol (aka the stress hormone) decrease. Dr. Papantoniou explains that, “The skin’s temperature also drops to its lowest point allowing muscles to relax and become immobile, giving skin its deepest recovery of the night.”

Dr. Papantoniou Provides 9 Ways To Get True Beauty Sleep

1. Supplement Your Sleep
As we age, our bodies naturally produce less melatonin, which affect our skin's ability to repair itself at night. If falling asleep is becoming more difficult, you may benefit from taking a melatonin supplement or using a topical product with melatonin to help combat decreased hormone levels. Melatonin works best if taken at night about 30 minutes before going to bed. This is when it serves its purpose, and helps to increase the depth and duration of restorative sleep. Restorative sleep, in turn helps accelerate and optimize the skin’s repair cycle, says Dr. Papantoniou.

2. Cleanse Twice
Have you ever washed your makeup off before bed, yet mysteriously woken up with liner smudged under your eyes? Turns out that's normal, especially if you used long-lasting makeup, which really does live up to its claim. Here's why: 12 to 24-hour foundations, mascaras, eyeliners, and eye shadows are all made with polymers that don't easily dissolve with soap and water, or water-based makeup remover.

Dr. Papantoniou says, “To really remove all traces of your makeup, take a cue from Korean skin care and wash your face twice using a method called "double cleansing." First, use an oil-based cleanser to remove your makeup (the oil breaks down the waxes and polymers way more effectively than soap and water). You can purchase an oil based make-up remover for this or even use coconut oil on a Q-tip to gently remove more stubborn makeup. Then, use a gentle non-soap cleanser to rid your skin of any leftover residue. An example of a gentle cleanser is Vanicream’s Gentle Cleanser or CeraVe Facial Cleanser”

3. Moisturize
While you sleep, your skin naturally repairs and restores itself, and cleaning it before bed maximizes this effect. Dr. Papanatoniou points out that, “During the day, your skin fights off all sorts of assaults, from UV rays to pollution; at night, there’s less damage control to do, so the beauty products that you apply may be more effective. Applying night creams to clean skin in the evening is the best time to soften your face; not to mention, it can feel soothing and relaxing as you prep for sleep.”

4. Put on a Sleep Mask
"Overnight masks are a great way to treat your skin and give it extra attention," says Dr. Papantoniou. The skin undergoes more cellular repair during sleep and can be more receptive to products at this time." She recommends using an overnight mask a few times a week in lieu of going through your usual nighttime regimen. Simply cleanse, slather on a layer of the mask, and go to sleep.

5. Keep Your Hair Off Your Face
Pull your hair back into a loose ponytail or wrap it in a scarf before going to bed. This will prevent the hair’s natural oils from rubbing off on your skin. This is especially important if your hair is unwashed or you are prone toward acne break outs.

6. Get The Right Pillowcases
It’s worth it to invest in some soft pillowcases, because friction from harsher cotton fibers can accelerate the development of permanent creases. Dr. Papantoniou suggests trying a smooth silk or satin pillowcase, which prevents trauma to the skin and reduces the probability of your skin forming lines and wrinkles while you sleep. Also remember to change and wash your pillowcases at least once a week.

7. Rejuvenate With a Retinoid
Choose an anti-age cream or serum that packs real power. These vitamin-a derivatives are key to youthful-looking skin. "But because exposure to sunlight can deactivate their potency, it's best to apply retinoids at night,” says Dr. Papantoniou. Start by using an OTC retinol-containing cream or serum every other night until skin becomes more tolerant to the side effects, which are often dryness and sensitivity.

8. Apply Eye Cream
If you are having problems with eye bags and puffiness after you wake up, applying eye cream before sleeping will solve this. Gently apply the cream around your eyes especially under it to replenish the skin surrounding your eyes. Make sure you stay hydrated during the day; this can help prevent water retention and will combat your sodium intake during the day.

9. Mind Your Sleeping Position
Train yourself not to sleep face down. This habit can cause premature wrinkles and creases. It’s better to position yourself properly while sleeping. This will also prevent your face from rubbing against pillowcases and sheets. If you are lucky and can sleep on you back, that is the best way to prevent wrinkles and creases from sleep habits.

About Dr. Papantoniou: Dr. Kally Papantoniou is a Cosmetic Dermatologist, Board Certified by the American Board of Dermatology. She specializes in Injectables, Lasers, Body Contouring, Surgical and Medical Dermatology. Dr. Papantoniou is also a clinical instructor at Mount Sinai Health Center in New York City. She applies expert techniques and the newest technologies to treat her patients. Dr. Papantoniou focuses on providing her patients with the highest level of care, with special interests in natural and healthy alternatives to treatments and disease prevention. Connect with Dr. Papantoniou via twitter @DrPderm or her website

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Couscous and Cherry Tomato Salad Recipe

Here, from Chef Anthony, is a simple and savory recipe for whole-wheat couscous. Enjoy it for lunch, as a side dish, or as a hearty snack any time of day. The recipe is courtesy of Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa and will make 4 servings.

If you're trying to eat healthy, lose some weight and/or just looking for a different twist on a classic salad, this recipe is for you!

Couscous and Cherry Tomato Salad Recipe

1/2 red onion chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano dried
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup couscous (whole wheat)

Lightly mist a medium nonstick saucepan with canola oil spray and pre-heat over medium-high heat. Add onions to pan and sauté until softened, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, garlic, oregano, black pepper, and water to pan, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until tomatoes begin to soften, about 3 to 4 minutes. Meanwhile, place couscous in medium mixing bowl. Remove tomato mixture from heat and immediately pour over couscous. Cover and let stand 5 to 8 minutes, until couscous is tender and liquid is absorbed. Stir with fork to fluff before serving.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms with Salsa Recipe

Looking for something a little bit different when it comes to Mexican cuisine? If so, you'll love our guest post recipe today! You can make a double batch of the lively black bean salsa and enjoy in all sorts of ways, for example, as a topping for green salads, poultry, or fish, or blended with whole-grain rice.

Today's recipe is courtesy of Executive Chef, Anthony Stewart, at Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa. This recipe will make approximately 12 servings.

Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms with Salsa Recipe

1 cup black beans (no salt added) cooked and drained
1 cup tomatoes medium-diced
1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup red onion finely chopped
jalapeno pepper finely chopped
1 teaspoon garlic finely chopped
tablespoons lemon or lime juice freshly squeezed
tablespoons cilantro or dill (fresh) chopped
1/4 teaspoon pepper freshly ground
12 artichoke bottoms

Tip: To avoid the tedious task of preparing bottoms from fresh artichokes, look for low-sodium canned and frozen varieties, such as Ruby (canned) and Green Giant (frozen).

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except artichoke bottoms. Toss salsa well until ingredients are evenly mixed. Chill salsa. Then, fill each artichoke bottom with salsa. Serve as appetizers.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Top 5 Tips for Having Glowing Summer Skin

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, skin is the body’s largest and fastest growing organ. For this reason alone, it’s a good idea to give your skin some extra attention, especially during the summer when more of it is often exposed and it is susceptible to the sun’s damaging rays. The good news is that there are a lot of simple things we can do to help keep our skin healthy, glowing and youthful looking all summer long.

“Our skin is often an indicator of what is going on inside and how healthy we are,” explains Katherine Goldman, celebrity esthetician/waxologist and owner of the Stript Wax Bar. “You want your skin to be beautiful, glowing, and give you a healthy look. We help people achieve that on a daily basis.”

It’s a good idea to see an esthetician regularly so that the skin can be cared for in terms of preventing dryness, dehydration, acne, and hyperpigmentation. Here are 5 tips for having glowing summer skin:

Waxing. Getting waxed is an important part of summer, but it’s a job you can’t trust to just anyone. Bad wax jobs can leave skin irritated, red, sore and in some extreme cases scared. It’s important to have it professionally waxed at a place that specializes in waxing, so that the pain is minimal and when they are done the area is baby skin smooth. This goes for all types of summer waxing, including facial, legs, bikini area, and beyond.

Tanning. Having a tan is synonymous with summer, but according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, 40 to 50 percent of all adults who reach the age of 65 will have had some type of skin cancer. It’s crucial to protect skin from the sun’s rays. You can still have a summer tan, but it’s better to get it the healthy way, such as a spray-on tan option. When outside, use sunscreen and wear a hat to shade your face from the sun even when it’s cloudy.

Hydrating. Adequate hydration is necessary for healthy skin, according to the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinical Authority. They report that not getting enough water can make skin dry, tight, and flaky. Aim for 8 glasses of water per day, which will keep it hydrated and help remove toxins from the body.

Eating. What we eat has a role to play in how healthy our skin is. According to a research study in the journal Dermato Endocrinology, fruit and vegetable consumption may represent the most healthy and safe method in order to maintain balanced and youthful appearing skin. Get plenty of antioxidant-loaded fruits and veggies into your diet.

Exfoliating. This is a good way to keep up on taking care of your skin, as it removes the old dead skin cells and can keep your skin glowing. You can do this at home, or you can have it done by getting facials, chemical peels, or microdermabrasion.

“Everyone wants to love the skin they are in and show it off with pride,” added Goldman. “Many people do a lot of damaging things to their skin without even realizing it. The more we know, the better choices we can make, and the better our skin will look and feel!”

About Stript Wax Bar: Stript Wax Bar is a salon dedicated to the art of waxing. They are devoted to delivering high-quality waxing services using the highest quality products in a comfortable and clean environment. With numerous unique services in various locations across California for both men and women, Stript Wax Bar has established themselves as an innovative and trending company. For more information, visit the website at:

Saturday, June 4, 2016

2 Delicious Cocktail Recipes for Summer

Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer. For most Americans, we start our summer season on Memorial Day weekend and finish it up during Labor Day. In between those 2 holidays is July 4th, three great summer holidays to get together with friends & family.

To kick off the unofficial start to summer, we've got 2 delicious cocktail recipes to share with all of you. These recipes and photographs are courtesy of Sparkling ICE. You can find additional cocktail recipes on the company's website.

Loco Lime Margarita Cocktail Recipe

3 oz Lemon Lime Sparkling Ice
1 ½ oz Tequila
Fresh squeezed lime

Directions: Shake and pour into a chilled rocks glass rimmed in salt. Garnish with a lime slice.

Lemon Lime Punch Cocktail Punch Recipe

3 oz Sparkling Ice Lemon Lime
1 ½ oz Tequila
Lime Sherbet
Pineapple juice

Directions: Fill glass 1/3 way with Sparkling Ice Lemon Lime. Fill glass 1/3 was with Pineapple juice. Top with two scoops of Lime Sherbet

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

DIY Coconut Rose Oil Hair Conditioner Tutorial

Ten years ago I had a terrible reaction to some store-bought skincare products and from that time on...I've been dabbling in making my own skincare, bath & body and hair care products. One of the things I like about making your own is the simple fact that you can control the ingredients that go in them. Second, you know the product is fresh (not 3 years old from sitting on a store shelf) and finally, I find that I get better results with products that are handmade.

Today I'm sharing with all of you a guest post tutorial on how you can make your own 3-in-1 hair mask, deep hair conditioner and conditioning leave-in treatment. If you follow the step-by-step instructions, you'll see how easy it is to make your own!

3 in 1 natural recipe acts as a hair mask, deep conditioner & leave-in treatment

"I’ve always been good at conditioning my hair — I condition religiously, in fact. However, some mistakes resulted in hair that needed serious resuscitation, and so I was on a mission to find the best products to help," explains Wendy Rose Gould beauty expert for hair tutorial and advice site

"I found some good ones, of course, but as a DIY-er, I also concocted my own deep conditioner. I consider this DIY hair conditioner a moisture bomb, of sorts, as it’s loaded with hair-loving oils and butter. To give it an extra personal twist, I even added a little bit of rose oil. Here’s the 100% original recipe and how-to."

DIY Coconut Rose Oil Hair Conditioner Tutorial

5 Tbs Shea Butter
3 Tbs. Coconut Oil
1 tsp. Dr. Bronners’ Pure Castille Soap
1 tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
15 drops 100% Camellia Seed Oil
6 Drops of Rose Essential Oil (or scented to preference)

Step 1

Combine three tablespoons of shea butter and three tablespoons of coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave until everything’s melted and mix well.

Step 2
Add your castille soap, olive oil, camellia seed oil and rose scent. The castille soap will help during the rinsing process, the camellia seed oil will soften, and the coconut oil, shea butter and olive oil will provide intense moisture to restore shine and strength to your hair. The rose scent isn’t necessary, but it’ll add a little bit of rose fragrance if you’re into it.

Step 3

Place the mixture into the fridge or freezer until it’s cool, but not solid.

Step 4

Add your remaining two tablespoons of shea butter to the mixture and whip with a hand mixer. It’ll turn into a normal, conditioner-like consistency.

Step 5

Place in a container and date it. The conditioner should last up to 30 days.


This conditioner works in multiple ways.

Deep Conditioner: After shampooing, apply the DIY conditioner. Let it set for three to five minutes, then rinse. Consider this a deep conditioner and only use it once or twice a week.

Conditioning Mask: This is my favorite way to use the conditioner. Simply apply to ends of dry hair and let it set for 15 to 20 minutes before shampooing.

Leave-In Conditioner: If you have very dry hair, or coarse/textured hair, this is a good option. Rub a dime-sized amount of the conditioner into your hands and apply to your ends of damp hair. Style as normal. You can also apply to the ends of day two or three hair for a little bit of a boost.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Asian Salad with Dressing Recipe

It's no surprise that the number one comeback dish each spring is the salad, full of hydrating and refreshing lettuce, fruits and vegetables! However salads can be deceptive due to dressings and toppings that are high in fat, calories and sodium. This recipe is courtesy of Chef Anthony Stewart, Executive Chef at Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa. It will make 4 servings.

Asian Salad with Asian Salad Dressing Recipe

lotus root sliced into 1/2-inch thick pieces
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
6 cups mixed Asian greens
orange supremed (pith and mebranes cut away, leaving only segments of orange)
grapefruit supremed
4 tablespoons fresh basil leaves sliced into thin strips
1/4 cup chives thinly sliced

Marinate Lotus root in vinegar & garlic. Grill until light brown. Cool. Place a small pile of green on each plate. Put orange & grapefruit segment, basil, chives & lotus root on top.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

10 Ways to Spring Clean Your Skin

Spring-cleaning isn’t only for your home. It’s also for your skin! Don’t neglect the largest organ in your body. Get it ready for the warmer, skin-baring months. Here are 10 ways to spring clean your skin from head to toe from Dr. Kally Papantoniou, Cosmetic Dermatologist, Board Certified by the American Board of Dermatology. You can learn more about Dr. Papantoniou by reading her bio below and by visiting the doctor's website online.

1. Scalp: To have healthier, shinier hair it begins with a clean scalp. Deep clean yours to remove any build up, which can lead to dull, limp, locks. Tea tree, grapeseed, coconut, bamboo extract, neem and moringa oils work wonders to deep clean and restore pH levels. Choose one of these oils, add a few drops to water and massage into your scalp. Dr. Papantoniou suggests seeing your dermatologist if scalp itching, dandruff and breakouts occur frequently. To remove heavy product build-up on the scalp and hair try diluting 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to 1 cup water for a scalp solution, allow this to soak on scalp and hair for 5-10 minutes and wash out. Apple cider vinegar gently exfoliates and restores PH.

2. Ears: While people usually focus on how best to safely clean inner ear, we also must pay attention to the outer ear. Oftentimes when we neglect this area skin becomes flaky and dull. Take warm water combined with a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide. Dip a cotton swab into the mixture and gently rub along the crevasses of your outer ear and piercing holes, don’t forget to clean the back of the ears which can often be missed. Then pass a warm cloth with drops of your favorite oil (almond, coconut, or argan oil) to exfoliate and moisturize the softer thinner outer ear skin.

3. Face: Schedule a deep cleansing, exfoliating facial with a professional. According to Dr. Papantoniou, people make the mistake of scrubbing too hard stripping the stratum corneum (the skin’s protective outer layer.) People falsely think burning and tightness means their cleanser is working when in actuality; it’s harming skin. She explains, “you want to deep clean but you don’t want to over dry and cause inflammation leading to more problems. See your dermatologist to get a skin assessment and then begin a regimen that provides a more customized clean.”

4. Neck: Don’t forget about your neck. Typically all it gets is a fast swipe of a washcloth during a shower. That’s not enough. It’s common to see breakouts and darker ashy skin on an overlooked under-cleaned neck area. You can deep clean your neck area at home by using a combination of olive oil and sugar. Some people also use lemon juice but Dr. Papantoniou reminds people to avoid sun exposure after any exfoliation with lemon juice. Glycolic 5-10% pads or cleansing solution can also work wonders to exfoliate dull skin safely on the neck.

5. Chest: Most people are typically concerned with sun-spots and wrinkles. Exfoliation does help address these concerns, and wearing SPF can help prevent them in the first place. However breakouts could be embarrassing and even painful. “The chest area is often covered up. We spray fragrance on our chests and perspire under our clothing. Women with deeper cleavage can experience rashes and breakouts,” explains Dr. Papantoniou. For people who are prone to breakouts she suggests using baking soda. “You want to steer clear of body washes with harsh chemicals that can add to the problem. Baking soda with warm water in a circular motion will help to gently exfoliate as a home remedy. Regular use of glycolic/salicylic acid pads 5-10% can also help prevent and treat flare-ups on the chest. Also, paying attention to diet may help. Be sure to eat foods rich in Omega 3’s that helps maintain skin elasticity, decrease dairy intake and avoid foods that have high glycemic index.

6. Shoulders & Back: This is another area where breakouts can occur. Dr. Papantoniou suggests also using baking soda on the back. It’s also a hard to reach area for deeper cleaning. Back loofas reach the area, but are known to be a breeding ground for bacteria when left in the shower. The loofa should be cleaned by soaking it in a bleach solution and letting it air dry in a cool place. It should be replaced every 3 weeks.

7. Belly Button! An often forgotten spot is the belly button. It’s not an easy place to keep clean, even when showering. Clean it the way you do your outer ears. Hydrogen peroxide combined with water does wonders. Then apply your favorite oil to this delicate area to protect the skin, virgin coconut oil provides natural antibacterial and antifungal properties. These two steps will deep clean the area killing and bacteria that may lurk in this hidden spot.

8. Buttocks: Keep your butt baby soft by exfoliating. Breakouts are common in this area and spas have responded with skin exfoliating treatments designed to leave the derriere smooth, glowing and bikini ready. Given this area is typically covered and rubbing against clothing all day, it’s common to have rashes or skin bumps. You can use the same at home exfoliating cleanser used on the neck. Dr. Papantoniou reminds people to exfoliate with gentle pressure in circular motions, no scrubbing.

9. Knees & Elbows: The skin in these two areas is thicker, dryer and may turn either ashy or brighter pink depending on skin color. A thick paste made from baking soda and milk applied to a cloth and rubbed in circular motion three times weekly will help considerably. Maintain these rough areas with a lotion that contains urea (excipial brand) or lactic acid (amlactin brand), these can be found over the counter at the drug store.

10. Feet: Of course a pedicure is a great way to get feet ready for open shoes after months of being hidden away. It is important to bring your own tools for clipping and cleaning nails and trimming cuticles, otherwise you risk getting an infection. An at home foot detox calls for soaking feet in Epsom salt and hot (but not boiling) water for 15 minutes. Use a pumice stone to remove dead skin. Follow up by applying a paste comprised of bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar. Then after 15 minutes rinse off and dry. Clean each toenail with a nail cleaning tool and moisturize with a few drops of baby oil.

Author Dr. Kally Papantoniou: Dr. Kally Papantoniou is a Cosmetic Dermatologist, Board Certified by the American Board of Dermatology. She specializes in Injectables, Lasers, Surgical and General Dermatology for adults and pediatrics. She commenced her academic career at NYU College of Arts and Science with a double major in Biology and Hellenic studies with Honors. She then stayed in New York for her medical school training at SUNY Downstate, and then matriculated and spent a year as a medicine intern at LIJ. Dr. Papantoniou then returned to train at the premier Dermatology Residency Program at SUNY Downstate. She has authored articles in her field, and has presented research at national meetings. Dr. Papantoniou focuses on providing her patients with the highest level of care; she is a superb diagnostician, with a special interest in natural and healthy alternatives to treatments and disease prevention.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Easy Shrimp Salad Recipe

I love shrimp and I could seriously eat it every day...okay, maybe not every day, but I could certainly eat it several times a week. I love it in casseroles, in salads, steamed, grilled...well, just about any way that I can have it. Today's guest post recipe is courtesy of Executive Chef, Anthony Stewart, at Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa. It looks absolutely delicious!!! I'm not fond of lime juice, but I bet I could substitute with some fresh lemon juice. YUM!

Shrimp Ceviche Recipe

1 pound 16/20 Shrimps (peeled & deveined)
1 Red onion, thinly julienned
½ teaspoon Garlic, finely chopped
4 stalks Green onion, snipped
1 Jalapeno pepper, chopped
1 Small tomato, diced (optional)
½ bunch Cilantro, chopped
¼ cup Freshly squeezed lime juice

In a plastic or wooden bowl combine all ingredients and mix well. Let stand in the refrigerator overnight. Serve in an iceberg lettuce cup or over mixed greens.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Lemon Ice Tea Cocktail Recipe

I love lemonade and I love drinking iced obviously, I would love any drink or cocktail for that matter, that combines the two! Summer will be here before we know it and this cocktail recipe would be the perfect one to serve at your get-together's and parties on those hot summer days, when you want something refreshing & delicious. What's really cool is that you can serve the alcohol version to the guests who want alcohol and those who don't...can just enjoy the Sparkling Ice Lemon Tea in a tall glass with some ice. No need to buy a slew of beverages!

The recipe is courtesy of Sparkling ICE - a great tasting, lightly carbonated, zero-calorie beverage which combines sparkling water, fruit juice, vitamins, antioxidants, and BOLD natural flavors. You can learn more about this product and grab additional recipes by visiting the company's website online.

Lemon Ice Tea Cocktail Recipe

5 oz. Sparkling Ice Lemon Tea
1 ½ oz. vodka
1 oz. gin
Lemon slices and/or wedges

Add vodka and lemon slices to a tall chilled glass with ice. Top with Sparkling Ice Lemon Tea and stir to combine. Garnish with lemon slices and mint. Serve immediately.

Disclaimer: You must be 21 years or older to consumer alcohol. Please drink responsibly and always use a designated driver.