Archive for October, 2009

When it comes to children there are four very basic things that I place great emphasis on and these are pure water for drinking, clean air for breathing, good nutrition for ingestion and lots of LOVE!
Though the last is not a prerequisite for survival, it is by far what we most remember in our lives.girl with heart

On the subject of love, there is one person, one story that stands out for me. I write about a friend with whom I have had the great fortune to reconnect. She recently visited me and while sharing our thoughts and past experiences, I asked her if she wanted children. She explained that she was not yet ready but with a slight hesitation proceeded to share an amazing love story.

She explained that her dearest friend had attempted numerous times to conceive for over two years but her effort was futile as her eggs were not fertile. One evening while conversing with her friend and perhaps having shared one glass of wine too many, she blurted out, “you should use my eggs”. Her best friend immediately responded in delight and acceptance at which time she realized the magnitude of her offer. She back tracked just a bit and asked her to please allow her some time to deeply reflect on the implications of this act. She told me that she took the time she needed and reflected on the thousands of thoughts that I would imagine someone would think of, if confronted with such a decision.
Could she watch this child, flesh of her flesh, grow up and not claim her? Could she keep to such a promise? My friend took the time she needed and made good on her word.

The fertilized eggs were implanted into her friend’s womb. They waited to see if they took to the uterus and lived on and they did! For thirty seven weeks her friend and mother to be, nurtured, loved and sustained the life and gift that was given to her. As time ensued, these friends had the opportunity to settle both emotionally and psychologically into their chosen and respective roles. As the babes grew, so did their bond.

Before me, two years after the fact, sits this incredible lady, who is the now the Godmother to two precious children and her best friend, the proud mother of two beautiful girls. As she told me her story, I could not help but cry tears of great joy for I witnessed in her the most immense generosity and unselfish love. She was not sure if having children was her path but could not deny this joy to someone else whose pursuit of such desire she had so personally seen. She would love these babies as her nieces and be grateful for their lives.

There is one last thing I must share; as if in an act of gratitude from Heaven above or perhaps the unconscious, unspoken ties of blood, these little baby girls were born, none other than, their Godmother’s birthday.


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The Conscious Breath

Without thought or effort, every minute of every hour, billions of human beings take in the next breath that sustains their life. Based on population and on the average number of breaths taken in per minute by an individual, there are over 162 billion inhalations and exhalations per minute on planet earth! Could you imagine what a visual it would be if we were to all breath in unison? What would be even more grandiose to witness is, if every single person were to take their every single breath in full awareness and appreciation. How would this consciousness of breath impact our lives?

The breath has been divinely referenced biblically as well as having been explored and studied by inspired individuals in various spiritual disciplines. Buddha spoke of the breath and said, “Observe your breath, natural breath – as it comes in – as it goes out.”
What a seemingly simple request by this transcendental figure yet if practiced, this discipline would bring forth a wealth of benefits far exceeding our expectations.

It was just the other day while participating in a belly dance class that Michelle ManiaciI was once again reminded of the endless benefits of what the instructor called diaphragmatic breathing. This brilliant lady is Michelle Maniaci, yoga and physical therapist, and creator of Nurturing Moves. She explained to us that 99% of people, 99% of the time, engage in shallow breathing; this being a very limited expansion of the rib cage and mostly engaging the chest. The effects of this: not a full expulsion of carbon dioxide from the lungs, a limited intake of oxygen and the augmentation of stress and anxiety.

Conversely, diaphragmatic breathing, which is breathing from our bellies, encourages a healthy nervous system, thus relaxing us, cleansing our lungs of toxicity and oxygenizing the blood. Because of the lower abdominal movement in diaphragmatic breathing, internal organs are massaged and more circulation is brought to the area assisting in digestion and promoting fertility.

Conscious breathing induces a great sense of well being, peace and joy. I urge you to try it if only for five minutes. Place your hand on your belly, inhale slowly and as you do, allow for your stomach to distend. Proceed to exhaling slowly and continue this practice for five minutes. You will soon notice that all mental rhetoric and preoccupations have left you and that you have become present to your breath! You may start with just five or ten minutes per day or longer if time permits. You will see that the more you practice, the more time you seem to have. A little trick that I have to remind me to slow down and pause is that I post the word “breathe” on sticky pads and place them in a couple of places that I will surely see. I have made great strides in my breathing and directly associated, the quality of my life.

I believe that it is in the mindfulness of breath and conscious appreciation of it that we are able to promote our greatest health, manifest our highest ideals and as Oprah would say, “live our best lives!”

Contact Michelle Maniaci, PT, RYT For A Breath Evaluation, Individual, or Group Class at:

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There is more to beautiful skin than meets the eye. No different than other states of being, this journey also begins from within.
Vibrant, glowing skin is something that we value more and more with the passage of time. It is an importantElizabeth-59[1] fact to know and consider that 99% of those individuals with healthy-younger looking skin also place great value on good food, healthy food preparations and hydration. The other 1% belong to the genetically gifted who defy time and care.

This piece of information is for the previous of the two. For years, without fault, I have been visiting the most fabulous esthetitician, Elizabeth Canler. I have been a loyal client of hers for numerous years and for numerous reasons, among them her holistic approach to my skin as well as her expertise in the latest and most advanced technologies. It is quite easy to enter a facial and leave 60 minutes later with $200 less. This would be fine if the benefits of the facial were to last past a week, but for most, that is not the case.

I’ve taken the time to write about Elizabeth (shown here in photo) because her passion for beauty is deeply rooted in health principles that promote not only effortlessly beautiful skin, but simultaneously support greater health, more energy and if that were not enough, as a byproduct, greater self esteem.
Her mission: for you to feel “beautiful in your own skin”.
She always says, “Nora, it is easy to fall in love when you look in the mirror and see a healthy vivacious person looking back at you!

Listed below is Elizabeth’s list of the most highly skin regenerating foods. Equally important to adequate food consumption is ample hydration with purified water and of course once per month, a skilled skin appropriate facial. Her contact information is at the end of this article.

Face Food #1: Avocados
This creamy, green fruit is abundant in essential oils and B-complex vitamins that nourish your skin, inside and out. Niacin (vitamin B3) is especially important for healthy skin, and avocados contain oodles of it. Niacin, an anti-inflammatory, soothes irritated skin and red, blotchy skin. One avocado has 3.8 mg niacin – 27% of your daily need.

Face Food #2: Mangoes
Mangoes have more than 80% of your daily requirements for vitamin A, which is why they’re such a great face food. Vitamin A maintains and repairs skin cells; a deficiency will result in a dry, flaky complexion. As an antioxidant, vitamin A also fights free radical damage that can prematurely age the skin.

Face Food #3: Almonds
Almonds are great for your complexion with 150% of your daily need for vitamin E. Vitamin E’s rich oils moisturize dry skin, and its antioxidants protect against skin damage and premature aging of facial tissue.

Face Food #4: Cottage Cheese
Dairy is good for your bones and face.

Face Food #5: Acerola Cherries
Your average cherry doesn’t supply a lot of vitamin C, but that’s not true for Acerolas. One Acerola cherry supplies 100% of your daily allowance for vitamin C, which is great news for your skin. As an antioxidant, vitamin C fights skin damage and wrinkles. It also plays a central role in the production of collagen, the structural protein in your skin.

Face Food #6: Oysters
Oysters are a love fest for skin. Oysters fight pimples because they’re rich in zinc. The mineral affects sebum production, a deficiency which may contribute to acne. Zinc also helps boost elastin (the skin’s elastic protein) production with the help of
vitamin C.

Face Food #7: Baked Potatoes
A plump, steaming baked potato is good for your skin. Eat one baked potato (with the skin) to get 75% of your daily copper need. This essential mineral works with vitamin C and zinc to produce the elastin fibers that support skin structure. Too little copper in your diet can reduce your skin’s ability to heal and cause it to become rigid and lifeless.

Face Food #8: Mushrooms
Mushrooms are rich in riboflavin, a B vitamin that’s vital to your skin. Riboflavin (vitamin B2) is involved in tissue maintenance and repair, and improves skin blemishes caused by rosacea. This vitamin is so important for skin repair that the body uses large amounts=2 0after sustaining a burn or wound, or undergoing surgery.

Face Food #9: Flaxseed Oil
It’s no secret that Omega 3s are great for your skin, but did you know that flaxseed oil is one of the best sources of this essential fatty acid? Just one teaspoon of flaxseed oil per day provides 2.5 grams of Omega 3s, which, in turn, hydrates the skin. Essential fatty acids also dilute sebum and unclog pores that otherwise leads to acne.

Face Food #10: Wheat Germ
Wheat Germ actually just the embryo within a grain of wheat, and it’s nutritious. Wheat germ is a good source of biotin, a B vitamin that is crucial to skin health.

Contact information: Elizabeth Canler at 786-554-9387 or http://www.miamiskinboutique.com

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